Book Reviews - Short, Inspiration, The Owl-Sword-Efil Stone, Writing

What I’m Reading…

Journaling - IndulgesLife is so busy, yet my heart-strings pull me to reading. I read many things, not just books, and listen to many things too. Lately, I’ve read a lot of magazine and newspaper articles and listened to podcasts of books and short stories and radio classic broadcasts.

A few years back, a dear friend, George, passed away unexpectedly. During the cleaning, clearing, and redistribution of his things, I was lucky enough to receive a pile of old magazines. I have thought about digging into those mags and seeing what treasures are buried there. But, that idea keeps getting pushed back on the “never-ending-to-do” list.

Then, yesterday, while skimming the New York Times, I came across this article about a serious collection of magazines owned by James Hyman of The Hyman Archive – All Good Magazines Go to Heaven. A fascinating read and as I read, I realized a visit to this archive would probably cause me to lose months from my life as I would get lost reading. Do yourself a favor, read this article and learn about The Hyman Archive.

During the free book give-away of The Fire Within, a reader reached out to me on my FaceBook Author page and asked me about the idea of exchanging reviews. The reader, Gino Cox, is an author too.

I’m a slow reader and its mainly due to the huge amount of reading I must do for my technical writing gigs that pay for my writing habit. Gino Cox is the author of Ice Cold. It is a good read. I’m about twenty percent through. Gino is patiently waiting on my review. As a sneak peek…get the book! It is one hell-of-a-ride. The Iceman is Ice Cold with revenge on his mind. The narrative is full of twists and turns. Just the kind of book you would enjoy.

Recently, while sitting in the Martin room, it dawned on me why I’m not checking off as many books on my reading list as I’ve done in the past. I’m no longer driving an hour back-n-forth from work every day. When I drove to work, I’d listen to books on tape. I miss that. It saved me all kinds of time and I was able to ‘hear’ many good books.

A good book I’ve ticked away at reading in small chunks is by one of my favorite authors, Sue Grafton. The book is W – W is for Wasted. Kinsey is at it again and it is such a good escape. Sadly, my slow reading has me several letters behind in Grafton’s series. If you’ve not read her series featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone, you are in for a treat.

A writing book I picked up and have found not only informative to read but a fun read too is James Scott Bell’s How to Write Pulp Fiction. His opening description:

“Type Hard. Type Fast. Make Dough. That was the formula of old-school pulp fiction—plot-driven, popular and gobbled up by a reading public hungry for more.”

sets the stage for an excellent learning experience. Of course, I’m very partial to his writing and love his fiction work as well. The link to his Pulp Fiction book will open doors to all of his work. If you enjoy a good thriller, his Mike Romeo thriller series is a must read.

As for audio listening, I do love listening to Radio Classics on Sirius-XM radio following Greg Bell’s wonderful playlists as well as a variety of podcasts, such as Myths and Legends by Jason Weiser.

Update:

The Owl, the Sword, & the Efil Stone – Book One of The Chronicles of Eldershire

The countdown continues — today is 184!

Read & Write On!
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Book Reviews - Short, Book Two, Murder, Superstitions, The Fire Within, Writing

Three Things I Did on Sunday

The three things I did on Sunday are listed in no particular order. I ended up doing all three interchangeably. Do you multitask?

Thing Number One: Made dinner and hamburger rolls. The dough sat in the refrigerator for about two hours, it was on its second rise. I punched it down, and then I shaped the dough into different size rolls. Some were the size for dinner rolls while others were sized so that they could be used for a hamburger or tuna fish sandwich.

Note: I had planned to take pictures, but happily, I had friends drop by. And so, I got distracted and forgot to snap the pictures as I worked. Here is a picture of four of the hamburger sized rolls after we had finished taste-testing. They were yummy!

Homemade Hamburger Buns topped with Garlic and Parsley
Homemade Hamburger Buns topped with Garlic and Parsley

Thing Number Two: Updating my Pinterest site—if you haven’t found it or followed a link to it. Do it now—> http://www.pinterest.com/newberry0073/

There you will find a variety of pics that I collected while I wrote The Fire Within to inspire me.

Here is a picture from my Pinterest The Fire Within board that depicts the three women I used as inspiration for the development of Marine, the protagonist in the trilogy.

Actress Scientists
Actress Scientists posted on SciTech

I have started a new board for Book Two – it now has the following working title: Murder on the Blue Ridge and no pictures. I will change the title to something else as the book begins to take shape. I haven’t started posting pictures yet, as I’m still trying to figure out how I want the story arc to flow and I haven’t really found suitable pics yet. Stay tuned!

The premise of Book Two is:

Suppose Marine Letsco learns she was an assassin. As a result, she decides to change her life, and make amends, by becoming a fire investigator for her new hometown of New Brook. While in training, Marine is asked to study and check old fire casualty files. She was asked to determine if the cause of death listed was accurate. She discovers there was a pattern to the fires. What if in Marine’s desire to turn good, evil returns, and thwarts her every move? What if she learns that her life isn’t as easily changed as she thought? What if an arsonist works his plan to kill the only person he knows that can stop him?

Thing Number Three: Finished reading one book—The Peach Keeper by Sarah Allison Allen and worked on finishing another—The Secret Place by Tana French.

These two books are extreme polar opposites. I like them both for very different reasons.

If you’ve not read either, I recommend trying The Peach Keeper first for a taste of magical whimsy, superstitions, and characters reflecting on their past as they try to live down how people used to view them as opposed to whom they are now. Read The Secret Place for ghostly powers and nasty teenage girls in the middle of a murder.

I’m not sure how I feel about The Secret Place. I had struggles with the story flow mainly due to sentence structured. I don’t mean this in a negative way. I loved the way French works her words to deliver a powerful description that makes you think you are in the middle of the scene—like a stealth fly on the wall. Here’s an example:

“By the time we were finishing up, the good had gone out of that. I’d a taste in my mouth and a turn in my stomach like gone-off cider, fizzy and strong and wrong. Not because it was such bad stuff up there, it wasn’t; they were right, Conway and McKenna in their different ways, we were a long way from my old school.”

I find myself rereading paragraphs to be sure to capture each nuance. I’m still reading this one and I have to share I’ve learned a lot from this author and her writing style.

So, that was my Sunday—Good friends, good words, good stories! Hope you had such a wonderful day on this Tuesday, the day after Columbus Day. And the day of the birth of my loving sister-n-law, Jean—Happy Birthday Jean!

Happy Birthday cake
Happy Birthday to Jean and Betsy!

Happy Birthday greetings and hugs to Cousin Betsy who also has a birthday today, too!

Please leave a comment, let me know what you think, and sign up for The Newberry Tales newsletter to receive a free copy of the recipe for the dinner rolls and a sneak peek at Chapter One of Book Two (title left out until I’m sure what I want to call it).

Stay Connected with me!
Pam

The post Three Things I did on Sunday first appeared on Pam B. Newberry’s My Writing Adventure blog.
Birthday Cake photo courtesy of Tiverylucky from Free Digital Photos . net
Actress Scientist from SciTech from https://scontent-b-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/1461812_638680866184169_935444914_n.jpg