July 2017 Archives

Well, last night I broke a little logjam I'd been having on The Invention of Motherhood, and as soon as I did, the characters hijacked the story again. I thought I was getting ready to enter the homestretch into the climax, but thanks to Grace and Asto, I've got more work to do.

Not griping. I think it will be a better story for this, even if it does violate one of Chekov's rules. Not like it's the first time or anything, but I still want to be mindful when I do.

Author Interview

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C A King interviewed me for her Goodreads blog. Worth checking out!

Thank you to Ms. King!

A Spell In The Country

#30days30authors #30authors30days

The Good:

This is an enjoyable little story

I like the characters, the dialog and the narration are good, and it kept me reading and interested. As jaded as I sometimes get about books, that's not a trivial feat. If what you're after is a fun little read with some intelligent plotting, a good story. It doesn't put me in mind of any great, well-known stories - the closest in mood I can come is the moderately obscure Curse of Sagamore by Kara Dalkey. I would say it's most appropriate for a pre-teen or younger teenager - no adult things going on, and few adult situations, none more salacious than a pretty girl batting her eyes at men who should know better.

Finally, I should note that this is an actual novel, not a short story or novellette trying to tease you into getting into a serial. Unlike a lot of what I see published in e-book format, a solid value.

The Needs Improvement:

Pretty much everyone in the book other than the protagonist is incapable of putting two and two together. Soldiers who cannot tell that a person that is still alive, and similar things. Nor would I rate it high on the scale of pseudo-historical verisimilitude. This is a younger person's story and these things are forgivable in that context. But the general incapability of everyone else in the story puts this right on the border of Mary Sue territory.

I would rate this an eight on the ten scale - as I said, it was an enjoyable read, and I had no problems staying interested. I would like to read the next story. By Amazon standards, a solid four star product.

If you want me to review your book, contact me via my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Dan.Melson.Author My schedule can mean it sometimes takes a while, and it definitely wouldn't hurt your chances to review one of mine. I do not do puff pieces - real reviews only - but neither do I do hack jobs in vengeance.

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Kusaan del. It means 'finger of fate'. When it points at you do you walk away or do you step up?

The Man From Empire (Rediscovery Book 1)

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Learning to be a real adult is serious work

A Guardian From Earth (Rediscovery Book 2)

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Ji da to pront. Literally "part of the price"

Empire and Earth (Rediscovery Book 3)

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A New Series!

It started innocently enough. I was the engineer on one of Earth's first explorations beyond the Solar System, using borrowed Imperial technology. Captured on a hostile planet, I have to make a plan to escape. And then I discovered my real mistake

Preparing the Ground (Preparations for War 1)

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Missionary work doesn't necessarily have anything to do with religion.

Building the People

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PS: My author's Amazon site is here for those who might be interested in other works, like the best layman's guide to mortgages on the market.


I got this from a fellow member of the 30 days, 30 authors group


The Good:

A setting rich in thought, with lots of world-building behind it. The Wild West with Elves and Dwarves and Trolls and many more such things, including magic. This is NOT More Brand New Same Old Thing. Some serious thought has gone into building the world that is the background for the story. I could sit here and pick some things about it to pieces, but I could do that with a lot of good stories. The story works, at least on the surface level. It held my interest for as long as it needed to.

The Needs Improvement

Hops around in time with excessive information-dumps. It's a novellette, and a shortish one, not a novel. I didn't do a word-count, but I would be surprised if it was over ten thousand words. The hopping around in time conducting information dumping was distracting. This would be a better story told in a less non-linear fashion. The climax begs a big question of where the protagonist's father/trainer is.

With that said, each individual segment flows well from start to finish. It comes together to build a coherent picture of the protagonist that makes the climax make sense. I would like to read more.

I would give it about a seven on a ten scale, or three to three and a half stars on the five star system. By Amazon's definitions, a four star product.

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No matter what the song says, it does rain in southern California. All the damn time in March of El Nino years.

The most recent storm had finished blowing through earlier that evening. I didn't like working after dark, but the compliance reports just couldn't wait any longer. My boss, "Call me George" Martinez, had informed me that the EPA was crawling all over him and that if the hazardous usage and disposal reports weren't completed by the time he got to work in the morning, I would be joining the ranks of the unemployed. In blue state basket case California, in the middle of the worst economy of the last eighty years. Jerk.

Overall, Riverside's not a bad town. I've got a small apartment not too far from the UC campus. The complex is full of students with a smattering of old fogeys too poor and too stubborn to leave, and working class stiffs, not to mention hybrids like me. The ones I've talked to were alright.

But this wasn't there. The warehouse sits in a commercial district near where the 91 dies and turns into the 215 at the 60 merge. There are some rough people nearby, in the old twenties and thirties housing they threw up back before tract housing. Tiny lots, old decaying houses, ancient plumbing and wiring, never updated. Paint cracked, chipped, and peeling. Calling them Craftsmen would be implying a level of charm that simply didn't exist. Streets jammed with old junker cars. Chain link fences, neglected lawns, junk left wherever someone dropped it because it was too much effort to clean up. An occasional abuela put in a few flowers that just made the rest of the neighborhood look even more pitiful. Rough people, mostly poor hispanics with the occasional white trash or black, human refuse that just didn't have what it took to get ahead in the world as it had become. Some were disabled, most simply never applied themselves much. Get a second or third generation in there, and you got some real gangbanging. Easy path to see, damned near impossible to make it work into a real life worth living. Enough to make me appreciate my parents, who escaped that world and made sure I knew enough not to fall back.

The gangs had been cooped up inside most of the previous ten days. El Nino storms came through one after another. Maybe they wouldn't drown or freeze you, but they were cold, wet, and miserable - at least by the standards of California weather. Nobody came out when it was raining without a good reason why they had to be out there and then, but once it stopped a light jacket would keep you warm, and the hoodies would be out looking to burn off some energy. It's not like they had anything better to do.

And here I was, a 28 year old woman leaving the building all by myself in the dark just after eight-thirty with no one around. Just bad luck the four guys in jackets walking up the other side of the street at the exact wrong time. No key to get back in - damn "Call me George" to hell. I picked up my pace. If I could get to my car - beater that it is - and lock the doors there was a chance I'd be able to drive away.

Mistake. The hoodies started to run. Now there was some effort in it for them, things were looking worse for me. Cell phone, you say? I could grab the phone and push the number to dial 911, but it wouldn't do me a bit of good. Typical response time was thirty minutes. By the time the cops showed up, it would be long over. I was about to do it anyway when it happened.

I swear on my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that this happened. He looked like an Angel of the Lord, minus the wings. Hanging up there in the air. Well, not hanging - he was falling, though not like he was getting pulled - more like he was riding an escalator that wasn't there. At least six five, thin as a rail, with a softly glowing sword of all the improbable things. Wearing what looked like some kind of uniform, dark with lighter trim, cut like nothing I'd ever seen.

I don't know what he did to call attention to himself, but all of a sudden the 'bangers noticed him. Not just the 'bangers, but everything's attention was wrenched towards him as if someone grabbed our heads, sunk hooks into our eyeballs and made us look. Right down to the rats in the dumpsters.

That was enough for the 'bangers. They hauled out their guns and started banging away. The visitor looked puzzled for an instant, then the sword vanished, and I saw a flash from him. Something in his hand - didn't did get a good look at what it was. The gang members fell over so fast it was over before I could twitch. Damn! The guy was fast. I'd never seen anything like that even in the movies.

One look showed four lifeless bodies with blood starting to pool. The visitor lit with catlike grace, apparently as unconcerned as if nothing had just happened. I had a decision to make, and I did. I jumped in my car and got the hell out of Dodge. I didn't want to be anywhere in the neighborhood when the cops finally got there. I didn't stop to say thanks, I definitely didn't talk to him, I just jumped in and went. I didn't slow down until I was home. I might have run a red light or two; I really couldn't tell you with any certainty.

The Man From Empire, Book 1 of Rediscovery, is now on sale for 99 cents - 2/3 off!

The Man From Empire

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Technology is advanced enough to move millions of light-years in quantum time. People can be young and healthy indefinitely. They can build massive habitats for quadrillions of people - or destroy unshielded planets almost without noticing. But people are still human - or a little bit more


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Links to free samples here

The Man From Empire
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A Guardian From Earth
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Empire and Earth
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Working The Trenches
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Working the Trenches Books2Read link

Rediscovery 4 novel set
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Preparing The Ground
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Preparing the Ground Books2Read link

Building the People
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Building the People Books2Read link

Setting The Board

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Moving The Pieces

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The Invention of Motherhood
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The Price of Power
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Price of Power Books2Read link

The End Of Childhood
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Measure Of Adulthood
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The Fountains of Aescalon
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The Monad Trap
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The Gates To Faerie
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Gifts Of The Mother
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The Book on Mortgages Everyone Should Have!
What Consumers Need To Know About Mortgages
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The Book on Buying Real Estate Everyone Should Have
What Consumers Need To Know About Buying Real Estate
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