Silent Night: A Spenser Novel (Well, Kind of)

Parker bookGather around, girls and boys, and I will tell you the story of a very prolific author who created several wonderful sets of characters beloved by many, many readers. His name was Robert B. Parker, and, as you may have guessed from the verb, Mr. Parker diedRobert Parker suddenly in the middle of his writing career in 2010. One might think that the author’s passing would end his list of books. But in the case of Mr. Parker, we seem… Continue reading

A Second Challenge – Do you know these books?

I thought Susan’s challenge was fun so I decided a second one with last lines might be interesting. This is a bit harder (at least for me) so I’ve listed the books below that I’ve drawn from – they range from classics to science fiction and everywhere in between. Each has been around for a long time so I’m sure you will recognize them. I don’t really have a score for this and will be curious how many you know or can reason out. Please post your score if you’re willing.

The Dreaded Query Letter

What is it about query letters that causes heart rates to soar, pupils to widen, and usually articulate people to stutter? It isn’t as though a query letter is very long, certainly nothing like a synopsis, so it shouldn’t take much time to create. It isn’t as though the information requested is difficult to find; it’s all about your work and your life. In fact, query letters from authors are actively sought by agents and editors. What’s the big deal about writing query letters?… Continue reading

Writing Resources that Never Lose Their Style

When I began writing novels, a friend who works in publishing gave me this advice: “You’ve been reading ABOUT writing for a year.  Isn’t it time to start writing?” Yes, I do cop to a certain amount of insecurity before I started my first book. My office shelves are filled with writing resources, but three in particular have proven priceless.  They didn’t come out last year.

One of the best purchases I made was buying a copy of The Synonym Finder (Jerome synonym finderRodale, editor, 1978.) I remember reading about… Continue reading

I Do, You Do, or She Does?

What to do with Point of View? Every story has a Point of View (POV), so that the reader knows who is telling the story, protagonist or narrator, and how they’re telling it.

Sounds like an easy decision, but it’s not. How do you know which POV works best for your story?

readingI struggled for a while with that decision. Once I figured out the difference between POVs, I tried to decide which would be the easiest to write. Then I worried about which POV the reader would prefer… Continue reading

10 Summer Reads

 It’s summer. For some of us, summer means the beach, vacations, and uncomplicated reads. With that in mind, I’ve recommended 10 reads that I think will fit in with this season of lightness and fun.

1) The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley, introduces 11-year-old Flavia de Luce, aspiring chemist, young sleuth, and the put-upon younger sister among three siblings who live with their dad in the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw in the English village of Bishop’s Lacey. It’s the summer of 1950… Continue reading

What is on Kestrel’s Bedside Table

I have a veritable ton of books on my bedside table:  some raunchy romance, some gentler romance, some biography, some histories, some humorous, some nutrition / health, some kind of environmental, and some kind of children/youth literature.  However these titles do not include the list on my Kindle and on my iPhone (Kindle App) – that is like having a library in your pocket!  But then, should I also include the audio books in the car?

Since it would take too long to go into everything I will select the four strangest books to talk about today for those… Continue reading

A Moveable Feast

On my bedside table is a stack of mysteries, with my current read being Linda Barnes’ The Perfect Ghost, a well-done psychological thriller. But the audiobook in my car is, for a change, not a mystery, but a memoir: Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, published posthumously. The book follows Hemingway’s years in Paris in the 1920s and dishes dirt on the expat writers and artists with which he was acquainted. The book is interesting for that peek into society.

moveableBut the “restored edition,” published in 2009, is also fascinating for… Continue reading

“How I Write” by Janet Evanovich with Ina Yalof

“How I Write” by Janet Evanovich with Ina Yalof  2006

I listened to this book as an audio book so any comments that I have can only be referring to that format.  I drive on average of 3000 miles a month so if you have any questions regarding what audio book to listen to I can recommend many ranging from children’s to adult — scatological humor to college level history courses and anywhere in between.  This sort of falls in between!