Books I Read in Febuary 2014

May Shout-Outs for the books I read in February…

(I may seem pretty behind in these, but waiting a while gives me some perspective. If I can’t remember what the book was about, that’s a point in and of itself.)

Wolf Creek Alpha and Wolf Creek Enforcer by Jo Ellen (click on the picture to head over to Amazon)

Technically I read Wolf Creek Alpha in 2013, but I haven’t posted about it, so I’m including it here. Jo Ellen has created a fantastic world that includes a werewolf pack, faeries, witches, and probably some other non-humans that I’m forgetting at the moment. Oh, and there’s a castle and a magic pond. Mostly there is a HOT HOT HOT group of alphas that you will love meeting.  I’ve never liked werewolf books that go into graphic detail about the shifting (bones and sinew – ewww!!), and this one doesn’t. Boom it’s done.  I’m anxiously awaiting the third book about the third brother… (impatiently taps foot)

 

Twist Me by Anna Zaires is a dark erotic new adult novel not for the faint of heart. It’s in first person, which I usually don’t like. Here’s the Amazon description:

Kidnapped. Taken to a private island. I never thought this could happen to me. I never imagined one chance meeting on the eve of my eighteenth birthday could change my life so completely. Now I belong to him. To Julian. To a man who is as ruthless as he is beautiful—a man whose touch makes me burn. A man whose tenderness I find more devastating than his cruelty. My captor is an enigma. I don’t know who he is or why he took me. There is a darkness inside him—a darkness that scares me even as it draws me in. My name is Nora Leston, and this is my story.

Stockholm syndrome much? It makes no bones about what it is, so if you find such things upsetting or degrading, don’t check this one out. It’s well done, with a substantial story line. It’s staunchly in the vein of new adult, with a young female protagonist and older, wealthy male (anti)hero.

And now for something completely different, I read Never Ending Dance, by G. Jean Smith.

If you had the gene marker for Huntington’s, would you want to know?

The blurb from Amazon: What If You Were Destined To Dance Till Death? Catherine Cannon has spent her life keeping secrets and trying to outrun her past. Speaking about her past, about her family, is taboo and she has only shared her life with her closest childhood friend. But when Catherine reaches a milestone, she willingly places herself in a situation where she is faced with having to talk in-depth with a psychologist. It’s the only way she can confront her past head on as she seeks the answer to one question – does she carry the defective gene that causes Huntington’s disease?

A gritty, dark look at living with Huntington’s disease, poverty, and pain, the humor fused throughout makes Never Ending Dance an emotional rollercoaster ride. Catherine Cannon’s struggles, triumphs and sheer will to survive will have readers cheering her on until the bitter end.

This one is definitely a roller coaster ride. Ms. Smith does a great job of getting you to feel the angst that Catherine is experiencing. I almost didn’t read it because I thought it would be too depressing, but that wasn’t the case. I’m really glad I gave it a chance. Strongly in the court of women’s fiction, there’s a hint of romance, but it’s not the focus of the book. Loved it!

Following Your Heart by Cheryl Persons was a sweet new adult style romance that didn’t disappoint.

From Amazon: It had been 10 years since Cassie and Seth said their goodbyes. They had both moved on and were leading happy lives, or were they? When Cassie finds herself back in Texas, everything changes. Cassie remembers the love that she once had and surprisingly finds herself longing for it again. Is it too late, or does her heart have other plans?

Second chances and the one who got away… This book stares regret in the eye and doesn’t back down. Life isn’t always simple, and the choices we make aren’t always easy.

 

A Couple of Kids’ Books

To keep my daughter happy, I have to mention the two books that I bought for her that she devoured (read is too tame a description of what she does to these books)

Once Upon an Island and Lost in Lion Country by D.M. Potter are both interactive books that let the readers choose which direction the plot is going. My 11-year old daughter loves these. She will keep reading them until she has read every option and chased every link.

 

So for the year, counting 1.5 in January (we’ll round down), and 4 in February (remember Wolf Creek Alpha was 2013), my count as of February is at 5. What do all of these books have in common? They are all indie-published. Want to revisit my January books? Look here

 

Update on my writing progress:

I have sent chapters 1-18 out of 29 to my editor. I’m feeling good about the book, but it’s not there yet. I’m looking at each chapter and making sure the scenes have the level of detail I need, that they are well developed and that they each give you a reason to keep reading. It’s over 90,000 words, and that’s long compared to my first book, which came in at 76,000 words. I promise a preview soon.

 

Writer Wednesday – Meet Cynthia Woolf

Today I’d like you to meet a writer that I’ve discovered recently. Her name is Cynthia Woolf, and I just finished her scifi romance published under the pen name CA Woolf, entitled Centauri Dawn (Centauri Series). I thought I would introduce her to all of you, and let her talk about how she manages to write in two genres – western romance and scifi romance. Cynthia, take it away.

Author Cynthia WoolfWriting in Two Genres and Other Ramblings

My books are historical western romance and scifi romance. Two very different genres. Or are they?

When you think of western, what do you think of? Cowboys. Settler crossing the prairie in covered wagons. Saloons. Showdowns in the street. Cattle drives. You get the idea. These are the images we have from our modern media. TV, films and even books. Essentially brave people settling an untamed land

When you think of scifi what do you think of?   Space pilots. Space ships. Ray guns and phasers. Our media images are Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica and in my case, Firefly. I love that show. Anyway what you have, essentially is brave people settling untamed space and planets.

Not so very different are they?

I started writing westerns first. My first book, TAME A WILD HEART, was written because I fell in love with the story of how my parents met on a ranch in Southern Colorado. Mom was from Texas and up there as a nursemaid (nanny) to a young boy with asthma. Dad was a cowboy who worked on the ranch.

I found the idea of ranch life fascinating and decided to write a story about it. That’s all I had to begin with. Just an idea. Now I’m not a plotter. I’ve tried and tried to plot my books. I’ve tried using GMC, the hero’s journey, the W plot. You name it I’ve tried it. The problem is when I get the book plotted, I don’t want to write it anymore. To me it’s already been written. Now it’s just fill in the blanks. As a pantser (a non plotter) the book unfolds before me much as it does you when you read it. It’s a surprise.

Redeemed by a RebelMy current western, REDEEMED BY A REBEL, is the first in the Destiny in Deadwood series. The books are about the Black Hills Gold Rush in 1876-1877. My hero is on the run from the law and he and his brothers come to Deadwood, where there is no law. There they each meet their destiny.

The second book I wrote was CENTAURI DAWN. It came about because of a dream I had when I was fifteen. My mother and I were going through a rough patch. My dad died when I was five and Mom was both mother and father to me. It was tough on her, but as a selfish kid I didn’t think about that.

But I digress. We were having a difficult time as most teenagers have with their parents. During the time, I had a dream. I was a princess from Alpha Centauri. I’d been sent to Earth as a baby in order to save my life. Bad men wanted to kill me. But now it was time to go home and they’d come for me.

That was the premise of my second book. This one had a space captain not a cowboy flying to the rescue of the princess not a ranch owner.

I guess what I’m trying to show is that these two genres are not so very different. A different place and different time but still the same story. Battlestar Gallactica is just a retelling of the old TV show Wagon Train. Star Trek is the old show Gunsmoke, where the sheriff (Matt Dillon or Captain Kirk) attempts to keep the peace in their town or universe.

What it comes down to is write what you love whether western or scifi or romantic suspense or romantic comedy or thrillers. Whatever it is, they all have some elements that are the same if they are romance and all of mine are. They must have a happy ending. The guy in the white hat (good guy) always wins. The hero always gets the girl. Always.

Amazon Buy Links to the first book in each of my series:

REDEEMED BY A REBEL – http://amzn.com/B00I1GZAU0

CAPITAL BRIDE – http://amzn.com/B00AM3CNQ4

TAME A WILD HEART – http://amzn.to/vu62X7

CENTAURI DAWN – http://amzn.to/uDMkCY

THE SWORDS OF GREGARA – JENALA – http://amzn.to/JFXEQv

WEBSITE – www.cynthiawoolf.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/CynthiaWoolf

Twitter – @CynthiaWoolf

 

Here’s an excerpt of Redeemed by a Rebel:

CHAPTER 1

August 1876

He’d been dead. Deader than a doornail in a rotted-out door. Becky Finnegan remembered finding Horace Sutter splayed across the rocks like the annual sacrifice to some unknown god. Heck, that wasn’t something she was likely to ever forget. She’d had to leave him to collect her no good, drunkard father, Billy, from The Gem where he spent all the gold she worked her butt off to get.

She’d lied to Billy once again, only given him part of their gold. If she gave him all of it, like he wanted, nothing would be left to buy food or the pans and other equipment she needed to work their claim. And then there’d be no gold for him to go drown his sorrows. Sorrows that were her fault, according to him, since Becky killed her Ma by getting born. And then he’d beat her and she wouldn’t be able to work so there’d be no gold and the cycle would start again. Better to lie to him.

Resigned, she grabbed the mule’s bridle. Buster snorted at the small jerk she gave the gear as she started walking downstream along the narrow path that followed the creek. She’d made this path, going back and forth to their claim on a daily basis. After collecting Billy from The Gem, after he’d spent another night drowning his sorrows. Better there than at their campsite where he’d just complain and then beat her for the hell of it.

She and her father, Billy, originally came from the coal mines of West Virginia. Some said they were rebels because West Virginia was in the south during the War of Northern Aggression. But that was so long ago and there’d been many, many stops along the way. Becky barely remembered the place anymore. She supposed the only reason she didn’t forget it altogether was because she’d lived there with Grandma Bess. Those were the memories she liked to remember. Grandma Bess was so good to her, but then she had to go and die. Then there was just Billy and new place after new place

Every time she hoped this might be the spot, the one where they could put down roots. But it never was. Billy leached the goodwill from the townsfolk until there was none left and they had to move on.

She’d gotten lucky with her education. One of the ladies she worked for took pity on her and taught her to read, write and speak so she was able to get better jobs as time went on. But not good enough to keep Billy supplied which was why she spent all day in the cold river panning for whatever gold, flake or nugget, she could find.

She went into The Gem and saw Billy, face down on one of the tables next to the door.

“Hi, just came to get Billy,” she said to the man behind the bar.

“Ah, if it isn’t Miss Finnegan. Where are your bruises Becky? Guess Billy’s been keeping his fists to himself lately.” Al Swearengen, owner of The Gem and procurer of flesh, said from in front of his second floor office.

“No thanks to you and all the whiskey he downs here,” she said. There was a running dialogue that she had with Al, every time she picked up Billy.

“Thanks for that. I love the gold Billy spends here every night. He almost single-handedly keeps me in business.”

She rolled her eyes and looked over at Billy, wondering if she really could be related to the reprobate. She’d get the barkeep to load him on the mule and then, when they got back to camp, she’d untie him and let him slip to the ground. She used to try holding him up, to slow his fall, but too many times, she’d ended up trapped beneath him until she could shove his heavy body off her. Totally ignorant of the whole situation, he blissfully slept off the effects of his alcohol fueled stupor.

There’d been just as many times she left him at The Gem and let them deal with his sorry ass..

Dan, the barkeep said, “you get your father and get out. I keep telling you, this ain’t no place for a girl like you to be seen.”

“Oh, I don’t know, Dan,” said Al looking dapper in his black three piece pinstriped suit. He wore no tie and his shirt was open at the collar. Becky craned her neck to look upward at him. “We could give her a job that’s a lot easier than working that claim. Wouldn’t you like that Becky? No more standing in the cold river. You’d be flat on your back, but you’d be warm.”

He leaned on the hand rail of the second floor walkway. The small porch like structure went along the whole back of the building, all of the doors to the whores rooms were off of it and visible from the bar where the barkeep could keep track of the comings and goings of the men from the rooms.

“Not today, Mr. Swearengen, but I’ll be sure and keep your offer in mind.” She hoped the sarcasm came through in her voice.

Swearengen laughed. A great rumble from deep in his chest. “You do that. Help her load Billy on to her mule,” he said to the barkeep then he turned away and went back into his office. “See you tomorrow, Becky,” he called over his shoulder.

She nodded, then looked at the fancy women lounging around the room in varying states of undress and silently agreed with Dan. She should get out. She didn’t understand how they could do what they did. She’d rather work day and night in the creek than let any man with a dollar in his pocket touch her in that way.

 A little bit more about Cynthia:

Cynthia Woolf is the author of six historical western romance books and one short story with more books on the way. She was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.

Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.

Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similiarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she’s made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.

TITLES AVAILABLE:

REDEEMED BY A REBEL, TAME A WILD HEART, TAME A WILD WIND, TAME A WILD BRIDE, TAME A SUMMER HEART, CAPITAL BRIDE, HEIRESS BRIDE, FIERY BRIDE, LOVE AND MISERY, a very short story


I hope you enjoyed this little chat with Cynthia. I know I did. In the next few months I’ll be buying more of her books. She has a natural, clean style, and her books are well-edited. I fell in love with the men of Centauri (ssshh don’t tell my husband). I could picture the space ship and all of the wonderful technology she described, but she didn’t paint with a heavy hand. The story blazed along and kept me guessing.

So, phasers or six-shooters up — give Cynthia Woolf (and CA Woolf) a try.

And remember if you’re looking for a sample of my work, head over to No Strings Attached.

Books I Read in January 2014

I’ve been meaning to do these monthly posts, but the months have gotten away from me. So here is January and expect February soon.

January was a light reading month for me. I finally picked up Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, which I had never read, and it’s a big one, coming in at 896 pages according to its Amazon page. Then I stuck my toe into serial fiction, but that didn’t quite go as well.

Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon –

Have you ever had a book that too many people told you it was good, so you refuse to read it because you didn’t think it could be THAT good? That’s how I felt about Outlander. I look time travel romance, but the book description put me off. How could you have two love interests? I failed to realize that Outlander started a whole sub-genre.

Time travel is a familiar trope, and reading one is usually like settling into a favorite sweater. This book pushes the romance genre to its edge and back. Women’s rights  have come a long way since 1743, and many books time travel back to this era. However, often when they do, we find that amazingly enough, the male characters have modern sensibilities when it comes to women. This book doesn’t do that.

Time travel, whether through a magic stone, potion, or an existing portal,  is always complicated, but the trope usually goes like this: a young woman, not well established in life, travels back in time, falls in love, and stays with her new life. But what if she is leaving behind a life she was happy with? What if she happened to be already married and happy with her husband? If she falls in love with another man while she is in the past, is it adultery? Very few authors have the guts to go there. Diana Gabaldon went there. Well done. I don’ t think I gave too much away here, but if you haven’t read it yet, do it. Although I think I’m the last person who reads time-travel romance who hasn’t read this one. You can find an Amazon buy link in my store.

 

Yesterday’s Gone, Season One, by Sean Platt, David Wright – I hate to admit that I did not finish this one. The book was billed as similar to LOST, which it may be, but I couldn’t get far enough to tell.

The thing about LOST (which people who say their thing is like LOST forgets) is that the island started out fairly normal. Sure, we saw a polar bear, and there were some strange things, but nothing that could be defined as paranormal or alien happened until after season one. By the time the weird stuff really started, generally viewers cared about the characters and stuck around. I didn’t care about any of these characters.

This book tries to be similar to The Stand, Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic book, which has multiple groups all over the country that eventually come together. The authors may eventually get these groups together, but I couldn’t stay with it long enough to tell. There were too many different character groups, and I couldn’t remember which was which. The writing itself was well-edited and there weren’t any issues there, but the jumping around between different threads was too much for me.

On to February. Book count for the year: 1.5

I’m going by the purchases on my Kindle for my official count for the year.

Writing update: I m sending Under His Protection to my editor a chapter at a time, and I’ve send ten chapters so far. I’m still hoping for a May release date. No Strings Attached is now available on the Nook, Kobo, and the iTunes bookstore if you don’t do Kindle.

Author Spotlight: Katherine Logan, Author of The Last MacKlenna

Today I’d like you to meet Katherine Logan and her character, Meredith Montgomery. Meredith is the President of Montgomery Winery in Napa, California. I love Katherine’s books, and this is a great opportunity to get to know Meredith better. So pour you a glass of scotch, or a fine chardonnay, and have a seat.

(This post originally appeared on the Girl Who Reads Blog – Katherine offered to share it here as well)

Welcome Meredith. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and the part you play in the contemporary romance The Last MacKlenna, which is available at Amazon,

image001When Katherine told me she wanted to include me in her story, I said no thank you. Although I do live in a glass house, I’m a very private person. From a very young age, my father told me that everything I did reflected on the family winery. I had to excel in the classroom, score the most goals, and run the fastest. I had to be the best. And when I dressed up for functions at the winery, I was expected to look glamorous and hold my own in conversations with vintners, politicians, and movie stars.

I bet that was a lot of pressure. How did you handle it at such a young age?

As a teenager, I rebelled and showed up at a cocktail party in ripped jeans and a t-shirt. I wasn’t rude to anyone, but I didn’t go out of my way to be pleasant either. My father didn’t say anything, and he didn’t punish me. He didn’t have to because the winery employees I had known all my life showed their disappointment in a myriad of ways. They left the room when I walked in. They didn’t invite me to join them for lunch. They ignored my birthday. Needless to say, I toed the line from that point on.

What about your mother. Were you close to her?

She died when I was born. I was an only child and didn’t have any aunts or grandparents. The closest to a mother figure in my life was dad’s secretary. We were close enough that I could ask her questions that young girls ask their mothers.

Tell us about your education. I assume it’s wine related?

I have a Masters of Business Administration and Bachelors of Science degree from UCLA. Although my background is finance, I found my niche in marketing. I spent ten years directing the winery’s marketing efforts. When my father died, I moved into the president’s office.image002

That must have been a hard transition to make.

It hasn’t been easy. There has been a male Montgomery at the helm since the winery was founded in 1853. It’s not that the employees object to having me as their boss, it’s my own feelings of inadequacy. Now that we’re about to launch my legacy wine, I’m scared to death. What if it’s not well-received? I review the financials daily. I know what lackluster sales could mean for the company. We’ve invested four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in research and development. If the wine is not a success, we’ll have to sell off part of the company.

Wow. I can see why you’re scared. How do you handle your stress?

I’m forty-two, a widow, and I’ve never had children. My life is the business. I live it and breathe it. And I run. I’m currently training for a Boston Marathon qualifying race. If I can stay healthy, I should meet the 3:45 qualifying time for my age group. For me, the term “staying healthy” has two meanings. Staying healthy to run and staying healthy to live. You see, I’m a breast cancer survivor.

I didn’t know. I’m sorry to hear you had to go through that. How long ago was it? 

It’s been five years. I had a mastectomy. The disease didn’t spread to the lymph nodes so I didn’t have chemo or radiation. I got lucky. I do regular breast self-exams and have annual mammograms. Everything’s been good so far.

You mentioned that you’re a widow. You’re a beautiful woman. I’m sure you get asked out all the time. Are you dating anyone now?

My husband died two years ago. I’ve had a few dinner dates, but I don’t have time for men. And to be honest, the men I’ve met are intimidated by a wealthy, successful woman. And the wealthy, successful men want women much younger than I am.

If you met someone who wasn’t intimidated by your wealth and success would you consider a relationship?

No. Yes. Maybe. Let me just say the man would have to be extraordinary, and I’m not sure there are many men out there who would meet my criteria for a boyfriend.

Oh, you have a list. Tell us about your perfect man?

He has to love wine and horses and annual trips to Scotland. He has to be passionate about what he does, whatever that is. His balance sheet has to match mine so there’s no fear that he’s dating me for my money. His plane doesn’t have to be bigger but it would be nice if he had one. He has to be physically fit and extra points are given if he’s a runner. Looks are important, but they’re not everything. Generosity, a good heart, a wonderful sense of humor, and a circle of caring friends are “must-haves.”

It looks like you’ve got it covered. Do you think there are any men who can meet your qualifications?

Honestly, no, and I think that’s why my list is so specific. I don’t really want a man in my life right now. I have too much going on and I don’t need the distraction of a relationship. Maybe after I launch my new wine I’ll be more open to the possibility, but not right now.

Are you saying if the perfect man came along you wouldn’t pay any attention to him?

Not at all. If the perfect man came along, I’d probably fall right into his arms.

Do you think Katherine has written a man into your life?

She told me that if she did, he would be the perfect man for me.

A little sneak peek…Shhh! Don’t tell Meredith

image003

Website  *  Blog  *  Facebook  *  Twitter  *  LinkedIn  *  Pinterest  *  Shelfari  *  Goodreads *  Google+

Katherine Lowry Logan Logan23

Author of:

The Ruby Brooch ~ Amazon

The Last MacKlenna ~ Amazon

Website Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads Pinterest LinkedIn Kirkus Review

That was a great insight to Meredith’s character. I really enjoyed this behind-the-scenes peek, and I highly recommend it. A link to my review on Amazon is here: Review of the Last MacKlenna

If you want to see how I felt about the Ruby Brooch, which I also enjoyed, my review is here: Review of the Ruby Brooch

While these books are stand alone and can be read in either order, events in The Ruby Brooch occur before events in The Last MacKlenna. If you don’t mind a touch of the paranormal, read The Ruby Brooch first. Then you’ll snatch up The Last MacKlenna, I promise.

Happy reading!!!

Looking for more of my recommendations? You can find them all listed on my Amazon store page here.

Are you an American Goddess?

Are you an American Goddess?

Today on my blog I’m featuring Gary R. Henry, author of American Goddesses. I have been twitter-friends with Gary, who tweets by @LAmerican Goddesses by Gary R. HenryiteraryGary, for several months. I read his book, American Goddesses, and was hooked. I think if you give it a chance, you will like it too. Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

When two small-town women find themselves with nearly unlimited powers of mind and body, their lives get complicated. Things turn nasty as a shadowy organization attempts to use Megan and Trish for their own evil ends, and destroy them, their town and the USA in the process.

Here’s my review, 5/5 stars: When I first saw this book, I didn’t have a lot of interest for the superhero theme, but this book is so much more than “Can (insert name of superhero) save the earth from death and destruction?” What would your life be like if you gained unlimited powers? Would you still have a job, working with people who you worked with before you were indestructible? How would they feel about your bizarre powers? Would you still be married? How would your relationships change? These are all deep questions that none of the superhero movies delve into, especially where the superheros are women. Gary Henry attacks these issues and questions with gusto. I loved seeing the characters grow and become more fully human, even as they had all of these fantastic powers. Well done!

GaryGary, tell me a little bit about yourself.

I love stories – Seeing, hearing, reading, telling them. In my trail-running club, the Lawrence Trail Hawks, we’re each given a special “hawk name” when we join. You can’t name yourself. The name must be bestowed by others. They called me “Story Hawk.”

This story is different. How did you stumble across this idea?

I’ve always worshiped women. You are like water. Strong and life-sustaining.  There’s nothing sweeter when you’re thirsty. Yet water  — and women — can also grow angry and violent, and when they do – watch out. AMERICAN GODDESSESS is my love-letter to women. You’ve always seemed mysterious, magical and a little intimidating to me.

Sometimes when you create something different, it’s hard to find a classification for it. Currently, this book is listed under action and adventure, but it also has some romance. Who do you think would like this book?

I originally thought superhero fanboys would be the audience. Surprisingly, at least to me, many middle-aged women have reacted positively to AMERICAN GODDESSES. But I hope anyone who liked a good story will enjoy the tale.

I struggle sometimes when I get inside the head of my male characters. You’re facing the reverse problem, being a man writing from the POV of women characters. How do you get inside your female characters heads?

I read romances authored by women. NO STRINGS ATTACHED by  Lily Bishop is on my list, as a matter of fact. I also ask women almost exclusively to beta read for me.

Romances I’ve read – and enjoyed – include THE MERRY GO-ROUND by Donna Fasano and SUMMER WINDS by Wanda P. Smith. Also, THE GOOD DR. GRANT by Karen Einsel, TWIXT by Diane J. Reed and THE SELKIE SPELL by Sophie Moss.

I also try to pay close attention during my interactions with women, including my spouse Karen.

Are you thinking about a follow-up? How far along are you?

I’m a touch beyond halfway on the sequel ROGUE GODDESSES. For a preview, visit my book review website Honest Indie Book Reviews at http://honestindiebookreviews.wordpress.com/rogue-goddesses-preview/

Lily, I hope you will allow me to add how honored I am to be asked on to “Don’t Call Me Sugar.” I love that title.  Happy New Year, my dear friend and fellow author. Go Tigers, and see you in the Orange Bowl!

Give me the buy links so I can include them, and a link to whatever else you want to share.

AMERICAN GODDESSES at Amazon – American Goddesses

AMERICAN GODDESSES at Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/168834

Gary, thank you for stopping by, and best of luck in the new year. Now get to work on that sequel, darn it!!! Gary can be found on twitter (@LiteraryGary) and blogs over at http://honestindiebookreviews.wordpress.com/

If the book sounds good to you, check it out and tell your friends. If you don’t want to miss any of my future book recommendations, follow this blog.

 

 

 

 

Gone With the Wind Turns 77 This Month

Product Details

Gone With the Wind turns 77 this month.  The original publication date of the novel was in June 1936, with varying dates in Wikipedia.  So today I salute the grand dame of historical fiction in the United States, with a nod to romantic fiction (although of course there’s no happy ending).

Wikipedia has a great entry on Gone With the wind here. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gone_with_the_Wind) and IMDB summarizes the great quotes from the movie here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031381/quotes.

Gone With the Wind has always been a special book/movie for me. In fact, I borrowed the title of my blog, the phrase “Don’t Call Me Sugar” from the movie. The exact quote is “Great balls of fire. Don’t bother me anymore, and don’t call me sugar.”

I always thought GWTW got short shrift from critics, but that’s not surprising given the way the public snatched it up. Remember that in 1936, the country was still in the throes of the Great Depression. The book struck chords with a public that still remembered World War I, and in the South, scars from the Civil War still ran very deep. Unfortunately, segregation was still firmly entrenched, and many upper class White families still had African-American servants. It became a best-seller almost immediately.

As a young girl growing up in the seventies and eighties, I absolutely worshiped the book. I collected everything related to the book and movie, from bears to porcelain figurines. However, by the time I enrolled in an English program at UGA, it was beat into me that Gone With the Wind was crass popular fiction, and not worthy of my continuing interest. Sigh.

I’ve moved on from my English degree. I’ve decided I like to read what I like to read, critics be damned. A few years ago my husband bought me Rhett Butler’s People, a sequel to the original book authorized by the Margaret Mitchell estate. Initially, I couldn’t believe that he bought it for me. I was appalled. How could he support the author who dared to walk in Margaret Mitchell’s footsteps? He had spent a lot of money on a hardback that I NEVER would have bought. Emphasis on never. I stewed. I couldn’t t ask him to take it back. Really, knowing my history with the book, it was a thoughtful gift.

Once I gave it a try, I was hooked. I loved it. Much of the book runs parallel with GWTW, so we see a lot of the action from Rhett’s perspective. In my opinion, it was a sequel definitely worth reading.

Since I got married, I’ve collected Hallmark Gone With the Wind ornaments, and last Christmas I received a porcelain sculpture that when you press a button plays (in Clark Gable’s voice) the following quote:

No, I don’t think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.

Hold on while I fan myself. Sigh.

Another interesting phenomena that I have found is that when I read the book, in my mind Scarlett and Rhett do not end up together in the future after the book’s end. The hurt for both of them is too deep and the scars too much to manage. However, when I watch the movie, whether it’s the performance by Vivien Leigh or Clark Gable I’m not sure, but I just know that she will get him back.

Quickpoll: Since for the reader characters don’t end when you stop reading the book — Do you think Rhett and Scarlett will get back together?  Give your opinion in the poll.  I’ve told you what I think and I would love to hear your opinion in the comments. 

Bonus: Without using Google, do you know the original name of the character Scarlett?  Big surprise: It was Pansy!  Can you imagine?

Happy Birthday to Gone With the Wind!!