Build Report: Iconic VIP Set

I freaked out to my husband the other day that a LEGO set I wanted might disappear soon, according to the ominous wording in the latest catalog. (Yes, I get the LEGO catalog and pour through it religiously.) Because he is the best husband, his response was, “So order it already.”

That particular LEGO set goes into the build pile as a future writing/editing reward, but what I did get to build tonight is the cute freebie that came with it!

Iconic VIP Set (40178): 205 pieces

VIP store

Not terribly complicated, but definitely adorable. There’s supposed to be a red post on the empty floor pegs up front, but it photographed better without it.

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Review: The Lawrence Browne Affair (Turner Series #2) by Cat Sebastian

Lawrence Browne AffairA break from the daily routine in the form of a business trip to Seattle for the day job meant a break in my regular reading habits. Ages ago, my favorite contemporary romance author (okay, Anna Zabo is really the only contemporary romance author I really read) noted that a novel by one of their favorite romance authors was having a Kindle sale, so I snatched it up. This story was a quick and fluid read over the course of two lovely evenings, and exactly the right fare for my trip.  Continue reading

Review: Patterns of Interference (Star Trek Enterprise: Rise of the Federation #5) by Christopher L. Bennett

Patterns of InterferenceObvious benefits of a media tie-in novel are the lack of production value constraints. This means authors are free to make use of a vast array of characters and create new planets beyond the typical constrictions of special effects. Bennett has capitalized on these abilities to great extent, especially writing a familiar cast of characters no longer centered on a single starship. He brings the crew of the original Enterprise to life as they continue their lives beyond the course of the television series, both separately and yet still inextricably linked. He also expands beyond the names on the title cards to create reader bonds to both new and unique characters and those with some familiar names, such as Kirk and Paris.  Continue reading

Review: The Bronze Skies by Catherine Asaro

bronze skiesAfter I finished this novel, staying up until past midnight on a work night, I posted a complaint on Facebook. Not about this novel, but about how I had over 100 more books on my “to be read” shelf, but all I really wanted to do is go back and re-read everything else in Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire series.

Despite the fact that I write in a different genre, it’s safe to say that the space opera universe created in this book series is my favorite of all time. That this is my favorite author. That reading new stories set in this world is like wrapping myself in a cozy blanket and feeling very much at home. As a new addition, The Bronze Skies did not disappoint (see again staying up late to finish).  Continue reading

Author Interview with A.E. Hayes

shatteredFor something a little bit different today, I’m interviewing author A.E. Hayes about Shattered: Memories of an Amnesiac! I know, it sounds like science fiction, despite my own medical knowledge about traumatic brain injury gleaned from my years of editing a medical journal on rehabilitation. So I was instantly intrigued about, well, everything about this.


ABOUT THE BOOK 

“You’ve been captive far too long,” she whispered. “So I’m releasing you.”

The universe was bathed in white light, and as I touched the azure and ruby stars dancing above my head, the crack within me split and fractured into madness.

I felt the shatter. But I was powerless to stop it.

A.E. Hayes wakes up in a bright hospital room on the afternoon of August 24, 2010, with no idea of who she is or what has happened to her. When her doctors begin saying words such as “traumatic brain injury” and “retrograde amnesia,” she realizes that she cannot remember anything at all – including the man sitting beside her who claims to be her husband.

Guided by numerous doctors, hospitals, trauma units, her husband, a mysterious person known only as Starlight Boy, and an equally mysterious voice inside her head that tells her to seek the truth, Hayes sets out to uncover the answers about her rare condition. But is her amnesia truly all there is to her story? Through various sources, Hayes must learn about her startling and often traumatic past – and how that past may permanently alter the future.

Raw and riveting, Shattered: Memoirs of an Amnesiac leads readers down a path of darkness, mystery, and redemption – where heroes are often villains, fiction routinely gives way to fact, and how, ultimately, the truth can be both the disease and the cure.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kindle | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play


Though your academic degree is in writing fiction, I know from my own professional experience that writing nonfiction is another beast. How do you balance the difference in writing styles?

Writing nonfiction — especially a memoir — was absolutely a massive undertaking. I’m very used to writing fictional pieces, in which the characters come into my head, take over, and create a fantastical fictional playground. And I’m quite used to a distanced form of nonfiction, since I worked as a music magazine writer and as a newspaper editor. But writing a memoir — a story that is one-hundred percent true about my life and the events that have occurred — forced me into a different head space. But telling the truth was the key to balance. With fiction, I do have to tell the truth as my characters would tell it — if character X says she didn’t have an affair, but character Y says she did, those are their truths, and I must be honest to those characters and write out those events. But with nonfiction/memoir, I had to tell the truth as it actually occurred in this very human, real life. The only things that were not one-hundred percent factual were names, some locations, and some identifying characteristics (I’m really not a fan of lawsuits). But the events were all true, and I couldn’t have made them up if I tried. Since these things did occur to me, I could rely on my own experiences to guide me, and I think that made the process a little easier (despite the amnesia, which I will get to in the next question).  Continue reading

September Wrap-Up & October Goals

SLCC book signingAlas, the streak has been broken and I did not quite meet all my goals this month. I blame the con crud I picked up at Salt Lake Comic Con. (Which did not stop me from having an awesome book signing while I was there.)

September Wrap-Up

  • Between a week where I didn’t write a word and being unable to catch up on the flights to and from Salt Lake City, I did not write 15k words this month. As of this writing (Saturday evening), I’m actually at 41.5k. I remind myself that my goals are self-imposed that that it’s not the end of the world.
  • Salt Lake Comic Con, however, was a total success! Participated in great panels, met some cool people, and best of all: Got my picture taken with John Barrowman. Check out the full con report for all the craziness.

September Book Reviews

September Speculative Chic Contributions

October Goals

  1. I would love to catch up on last month’s deficit and make it to 60k words on Steel Shadows by the end of the month. However, I will still be happy with myself if I make it to 55k words instead.
  2. I’m traveling again this month, heading to Seattle for a few days for the day job.

Ugh, it looks like I hardly did anything at all! Two simple reasons: I watched a lot of Netflix instead of reading, and no movies I wanted to review for Speculative Chic came out in September.

But I’ve already got a cool author interview and another book review queued up on the blog while I’m away this upcoming week, so don’t think I’m going anywhere!

Honestly, my brain is still mush from meeting John Barrowman. I’m not sure why I’m even sharing this picture with you all, considering how much I look like a goofball.  Continue reading

Review: Points of Origin (SG-1/SGA Travelers’ Tales #2) edited by Sally Malcolm

Points of OriginFavorite story: “Precognition” by Jo Graham touches on the after-effects of one of my favorite episodes of Stargate SG-1, when our heroes travel back in time and are aided by a younger George Hammond. It was lovely to see his progression through the years, taking us to the man we know and love who guided the Stargate Program with such a steady hand. I especially enjoyed the historical twist about some other characters thrown in, which I decline to spoil here.

Story I’d love to see expanded into a novel: “Cotermino(us)” by Peter J. Evans started off really weird. Like the author was trying too hard to evoke the narrative of what we might see on screen rather than reading. But as things progressed, I got sucked in by the possibilities of what might be happening. The final scene packed an emotional punch, and I’d read an entire novel about this story, or what takes place next.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.


Currently reading: The Bronze Skies (Major Bhaajan #2) by Catherine Asaro