Monday, November 30, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: TRICKY TWENTY-TWO by Janet Evanovich

If you haven't figured it out by now, there are several series that I love to read, can't wait for the paperback -- and thanks to Overdrive and ebooks in the library system, I don't have to fork out the $$$ for a hardback and take up more space in my bookshelves that are about to collapse....

The latest installment in the Stephanie Plum series is another grin-gasp-cringe-giggle-gulp adventure. There's a sense that Stephanie is starting to grow up, that she's putting more thought into her adventures, even when she stumbles into things that most of us would avoid at all costs. She has a couple of close calls in this one -- and honestly, sometimes you just want to reach through the pages of the book and slap Morelli until he gets some sense. Yeah, he's the grown-up in the partnership, or at least, the hopeful partnership, but ... well, he's a guy. And he's Italian, so that explains a lot of the brain damage. (Hey, I'm Italian, so I can say that, it's from experience! Italian men are ... well, let's just say sometimes I really wonder how Christopher Columbus got across the Atlantic, y'know?)

Anyway .... yeah, this is another FUN book. A fast read. A treat and a reward for me getting some major writing and editing chores done. There are a couple homicides, a not-so-grieving widow, a fraternity that makes Animal House seem a little tame, some wacko faculty and administration people, a plan to spread the plague, missing people, and the usual assortment of wackos that Stephanie has to track down and return to jail. Along with more amazing costume changes by Lula and several of Ranger's cars get destroyed yet again. I hope he has good auto insurance ...

What can I say? I never get tired of this stuff.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

In the Spotlight: THE RIFT WAR, Zygradon Chronicles Book 5

And now we come to the fifth and final book in the Arthurian fantasy series published by Uncial Press:


Awakened from magical sleep, Emrillian Warhawk grew up in the modern, technological world of Moerta, 2000 years away from Quenlaque and Lygroes. There, the legends of Athrar Warhawk and Quenlaque, Braenlicach and the Zygradon were nothing but fanciful tales warped beyond all recognition. Raised by Mrillis the enchanter, she knew the truth, and sought out friends among the Archaics, who believed in the promise and prophecy of Quenlaque and the return of Athrar. Only they had access to star-metal, the Threads, and the magic of the Rey'kil.

Then the authorities threatened their sanctuary to confiscate star-metal to use in weapons of war. Emrillian and Mrillis fled back to Lygroes through the tunnel under the sea, accompanied by Grego, a friend with inborn magic who had sworn loyalty to Athrar and Quenlaque. In Lygroes, where only 200 years had passed, they joined forces with Baedrix, descendant of Lycen, and prepared for the awakening of Athrar, the dismantling of the dome of Threads that kept Lygroes hidden from the modern world, and the final battle with Edrout, son of the Nameless One.

With the help of Archaics who crossed to Lygroes and awakened their own inborn magic, Emrillian, Baedrix, and Grego set out to retrieve Braenlicach from hiding and find the lost Zygradon to heal and awaken Athrar. Time was their enemy as Edrout gathered his forces and armies from the modern world surrounded them -- and failure could mean the destruction of the entire world.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The BARROO Report

Blessed Thanksgiving to all of you!

Especially those of you who are staying HOME today -- or at least, if you aren't home, you're going to spend the day with someone else and you're not out SHOPPING -- or worse, you have to work because some bargain hungry twit made so much noise last year about missing out on bargains that corporate decided to make you guys work. Honestly!!!!

Okay, back on track ....

I'm delighted to report that THE WICKED QUEEN, my project for this year's National Novel Writing Month, was finished last Friday. 117 THOUSAND words in the first draft. It's going to be a lot of fun when it's published. At least, I hope you think so. I had fun taking some classic faerie tales and not so classic faerie tales and twisting them around. For instance, in my version of The Princess and the Pea, the princess is RUNNING from several good-for-nothing princes who want to marry her and become king of her father's kingdom -- and they use a magic spell to make her allergic to peas, to help them find her. Or the LITTLE MERMAID who wasn't ready to give up her tail to marry the prince, and now she has to find the knife that he used to cut off her hair, so she can return to the sea. Along with a twist on the Emperor's New Clothes and The Tinderbox. And of course, a wicked queen who gets reformed almost against her will.

Right now, I'm focusing on revising and polishing ODESSA FREMONT, the first book in the Guardians of the Time Stream series, Steampunk, that will be coming out from Desert Breeze Publishing next year. I think you'll have some fun with it -- I know I have been!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Day 15 of the 20 Days of Tabor Heights Scavenger Hunt Countdown!

Today's the 6th day/6th book in the countdown to the final Tabor Heights novel, TRUCK STOP ANGEL.

There's still lots of time to join in the fun and enter. 15 more prizes to go, plus grand prizes for the 3 people who enter the most times. You don't even have to win every day to become a grand prize winner!

Did you check out the Tabor Heights Today blog to learn about today's book?

Have you watched the video for the whole scavenger hunt?


When you email your entry -- the rules and instructions are on my website,, in
the Tabor folder and the Contest tab -- could you tell me where you heard about the contest? I did a lot of advertising at different places, posting on web sites, buying ads in book review magazines. It'd be helpful to know where people are actually looking!

So ... send that email in, and keep checking every even numbered day for the next book to look for. Lots of time yet to win!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: LIFEBOATS, a Tale of the Young Wizards by Diane Duane

Bottom line: Diane Duane does not write FAST ENOUGH when it comes to her Young Wizards books.

That's why I'm thrilled that another book in the series is coming out in 2016. The wait has been way too long.

Meanwhile, we have this lovely in-between tale, where many of the characters we've met in previous stories, as Kit and Nita learn their duties and grow up and juggle being teens with saving worlds and sometimes the universe, participate.

Because this one is a HUGE intervention.

A planet's moon is about to literally fall down on top of it. Ecologic disaster. Extinction of several races that share the world. While it isn't easy by any definition to shift the entire eco-system of a planet to other planets that have been prepared to take the many varieties of life on this world -- and it's not easy to prepare those worlds to take them -- it's do-able.

What doesn't seem to be do-able is convincing some of the residents of this world to leave ... They know their world is on the verge of death, which means them, too, but they don't want to leave. Finding out why, and finding out a way to persuade these people to choose life, is part of the assignment for Nita and Kit and Ronan and Dairine and Tom and Carl and the rest of the gang, from Earth and from other worlds. Can they do it?

Like, duh -- READ THE BOOK and find out.

Umm, Diane? Please write faster??????

Saturday, November 21, 2015

In the Spotlight: LADY WARHAWK, Zygradon Chronicles Book 4

Now for the fourth book in the Arthurian fantasy series published by Uncial Press:


Raised in hiding, Athrar Warhawk emerges to claim his place and destiny as Warhawk's Heir. Guided by Mrillis and Meghianna, supported by his foster-brother, Lycen, Meghianna's adopted son, he tries to hold the alliance together as rebels and traitors fight for dominance. Young love turns to betrayal and loss, made worse by the political games of court and a growing schism between Noveni and Rey'kil.

When Athrar finds his soul-mate, traitors and politics try to tear them apart, and magic tries to force her to betray him with Lycen. A new prophecy emerges, speaking of the Lady Warhawk, promising sorrow and hope for the future - even as the Nameless One emerges from hiding and begins his final campaign of destruction. Mrillis and Meghianna risk all to protect the defenseless thousands who have fled to Moerta, and in so doing lock the defenders in with their enemy, for all time. Only the Lady Warhawk will hold the key to the future, and to freedom.

Monday, November 16, 2015

New Book Launch -- JA'HANNA, Wildvine Book 1

I'm delighted to announce a new feature on this blog -- and something I should have set up a long time ago.

If you read this blog with anything even approaching regularity, you usually expect a book review on Mondays, right?

Well, lately I've been so busy with deadlines, turning in new books, or editing, or earning a living, and doing promotion for published books, I sometimes can't even manage to read ONE new book each week ....

And then my publisher informed me a new book in my newest series had been released, and it hit me -- Mondays can be NEW BOOK LAUNCH DAY, as well as book report days.

So, here we go.

Taaaa Daaaaa!!!!

New book, new feature, new series.

Writer's Exchange E-publishing of Australia has released the first book in my newest fantasy series, WILDVINE.

In multiple worlds and universes and dimensions of reality, there are tales of Hub Worlds, where many different realms can meet and intersect. Some travel between worlds through the power of the mind and Talents born into the blood, while others are chosen through vision and prophecy and step between worlds with the power of talismans. None can go to the others' worlds, except when they meet in a Hub World. Wildvine County, somewhere in the United States, is that pivotal point where the travelers from multiple worlds and universes meet.

The story begins when refugees from a world called Rehdonna stumble through the vortex to Wildvine. Through danger and treachery, the only one who can take them home again was killed, but they live in hope that someday, one of them will be born with the Talent and can find the way home again.

Book 1: 

Dayree was born to a powerful family in the Taksearhe Clan. She was expected to have strong Talents, yet her gifts never emerged. Mocked by some, ignored by others, she took the opportunities offered to her and explored other gifts, becoming a craftsman and then a teacher. In the process, she found her soulmate, Jayx.

Years later, when their village was threatened by rebels who wanted to control their world, Dayree's gift awakened, enabling her talented cousin to evacuate the entire village to safety--stepping through the vortex between worlds, to a planet called Earth.