Fictionista, Foodie, Feline-lover

Monday, February 27, 2017

Happy Birthday Patricia A, McKillip!

Actually, Patricia McKillip is a leap year baby, born on Febraury 29, but let us celebrate her today! And also let us celebrate the publication of her newest book, The Kingfisher, which came out earlier this month.
I devoured her books when I was younger--loved the Riddle Master trilogy--but got distracted by work and life and other writers and sort of forgot about her. But recently I saw an add for the omnibus edition of Riddle Master of Hed and wondered how many books of hers I missed out on. Turns out...quite a few. So early Christmas present to me.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Bill of Rights

Right now, the popular vote loser who occupies the White House (when he isn't in Florida at his golf club), seems bent on destroying the bedrock foundation of rights that this country was built on. If you're wondering exactly what's laid out in the Bill of Rights, the Bill of Rights Institute has the text and tons of educational resources. Here's a brief history of the Bill of Rights provided by the ACLU, the organization that is on the front lines of protecting these rights. And just in case you want a pocket-sized Constitution to keep handy, you can buy a 10-pack for $12 here.  That's enough that you can mail the extra to anyone who might need a refresher course. The mailing list for the White House is: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 2050.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Free Books
Insta-freebie, a great source for free ebooks, is doing a blow-out giveaway this weekend. Sign up (it takes about three seconds) and start downloading books in half a dozen categories (nearly 1000 in all).

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Andrew Jackson

I was born for a storm and calm does not suit me --Andrew Jackson

We're hearing a lot about Andrew Jackson these days as the "populist" presidency of Donald Trump rampages through Washington, sending shockwaves across America and the world. If you're curious about who Jackson really was, this is the biography to read. 

Jon Meacham's American Lion presents a dimensional look at the seventh president of the United States as he  deals with multiple adversaries and issues—Indian removal, states’ rights, financial corruption, and his own unruly household.  

Jackson was a two-term president and one of his main goals was keeping the young democracy he inherited from falling apart. It's worth reading American Lion for the backdrop of issues that continue to plague America, especially the dark heritage of slave-holding and Native American genocide.

In It to End It!

Today is "Shine a Light on Slavery" Day. the day is meant to raise awareness about modern-day slavery and human trafficking. You can find more information at Shine a Light's site.

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Meme for Monday

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day

Last year, as a Valentine's Day present to myself, I bought a month's worth of stock photograph downloads to use for book covers and blog posts and the like. One of the photographers whose work I fell in love with is Andrejs Pidjass, who calls himself Nejron. You can find his Shutterstock portfolio here. He stages a lot of shots and provides his models with costumes and his work is just great. He works with these two models a lot and I like the pictures so much they've inspired a new series for me. You should check out his work. Or like him on Facebook. Check out his website. Or browse his portfolio on Dreamstime. Or on Stockfresh.  He's really versatile and I guarantee you've seen some of his work on covers. That's his photograph on the cover of my book Bride of the Midnight King,

Monday, February 13, 2017

SFF Book Mega Promotion

Check them out here.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A new Bernie Gunther book coming in April!

I love this series and I love that Kerr is advancing in time with each book in the series. This one sounds particularly riveting as it will be tying the past to the present. Here's the blurb:

From New York Times–bestselling author Philip Kerr, the much-anticipated return of Bernie Gunther, our compromised former Berlin bull and unwilling SS officer. With his cover blown, he is waiting for the next move in the cat-and-mouse game that, even a decade after Germany’s defeat, continues to shadow his life.
The French Riviera, 1956: The invitation to dinner was not unexpected, though neither was it welcome. Erich Mielke, deputy head of the East German Stasi, has turned up in Nice, and he’s not on holiday. An old and dangerous adversary, Mielke is calling in a debt. He intends that Bernie go to London and, with the vial of Thallium he now pushes across the table, poison a female agent they both have had dealings with.

But chance intervenes in the form of Friedrich Korsch, an old Kripo comrade now working for Stasi and probably there to make sure Bernie gets the job done. Bernie bolts for the German border. Traveling by night, holed up during the day, Bernie has plenty of down time to recall the last time Korsch and he worked together.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Novels with Soul--Free books in honor of African-American History Month

A multi-genre, multi-author giveaway! Select your books here.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Free YA Fantasy Books!

Who doesn't like free books? Here's a chance to grab ten free YA fantasy books for the weekend. Weather's predicted to be bad over much of the nation, so settle in for a winter night's read! Find the freebies here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

If nothing else, don't buy anything on 2/17/17

Just in case you haven't read Coretta Scott King's 1986 letter

Yesterday in an extraordinary move.  Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell used an obscure rule to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren as she attempted to read this letter from Coretta Scott King. The subject was Jefferson Sessions, a man she believed unqualified to be a judge and who now, after decades more examples of his disdain for voting rights (among other things) many believe is unqualified to be Attorney General of the United States. Later, several of Warren's male colleagues (including Sherrod Brown and Tom Udall) successfully read the letter into the record and today, you can find it online at many, many newspaper sites. Here are several.The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time Magazine.  Read the letter.

Kelley Armstrong's new series

I first encountered author Kelley Armstrong as the writer of the Otherworld urban fantasy series, which I loved. I remember reading somewhere that Angelina Jolie had optioned Bitten but I never saw any follow-up on that so I thought the project had died. And then it showed up on the Syfy network. Her first book was published in 1999 and since then she's been busy, some years publishing as many as eight books in one year, which would be a blistering pace for an indie author and is almost unheard-of for a traditionally published author (with the exception of Stephen King and James Patterson who basically create their own weather when it comes to publoishing).
I just found out she has embarked on a new series, this time of thrillers "starring" a female detective with a dark secret. When she was younger, she killed the son of a mob boss.
The series is already two books in, which means (yay) that I'll get to read two before I have to wait for the next one.
Here's the blurb for the first book in the series, City of the Lost:

Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows that someday this crime will catch up to her. Casey's best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana's husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it's time for the two of them to disappear again.
Diana has heard of a town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you're accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, and living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council's approval. As a murderer, Casey isn't a good candidate, but she has something they want: She's a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn't the only secret Rockton is hiding—in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.

Monday, February 6, 2017

New Cover from Christa at Paper and Sage

My urban fantasy novel Misbegotten will finally be out in late spring and I'm already working on the sequel. I was playing around with names and I saw this cover on the Paper and Sage site. The temp title was completely apt for my book, so I had the designer, Christa Holland, swap out my name for the place holder and voila. the designer also does custom work. I've already bookmarked several other covers. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

We all know that smart is sexy, but who knew we'd end up with a rockstar astrophysicist? Neil deGrasse Tyson is the best thing to happen to science since the apple fell on Isaac Newton's head.  He's even become the subject of memes in support of science in a time when anti-intellectualism is rampant.

 Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about how it was kind of creepy finding out he's the topic of a meme.

 This is Neil deGrasse Tyson's latest book. You can get it here.
Here he is talking about alien life.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

"It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men."--Frederick Douglass

 Thanks to Project Gutenberg, Frederick Douglass' monumental memoir--Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave--is available here.For more information about the statesman, you can start here or here. His home is a National Historic site.

Douglass is considered one of the great American orators and you can find his speech on "The Hypocrisy of American Slavery" is archived here.  Good Reads has a collection of his memorable quotes here.

"Without a struggle, there can be no progress."--Frederick Douglass

Signature has a list of the five best biographies of Frederick Douglass.