There were moments while reading this book that I forgot it was a romance novel. It’s just that the romantic element felt like a subplot to all the craziness going on regarding Seth’s familial estate, but we happened to also spend a lot of time in Nate’s brain as he angsted about Seth. Continue reading
While there were some elements to enjoy in this book, I’m actually much more impressed that I got over halfway through the available books in this series before I got to one that I vaguely enjoyed rather than devoured. Continue reading
It’s been another whirlwind month at Casa Siamese, filled with lots of reading, blogging, editing, and other such shenanigans. I’ve been doing a lot of working out, and I’m counting down the days until the weather finally gets warm enough for me to walk outside. (Yes, I’m aware that I could walk outside now, but you underestimate my intense dislike of the cold.) Don’t think I’m living too perfect a life, though — the to-be read pile keeps growing out of control!
Currently reading: Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert (as part of Comic Book Girl 19‘s online book club)
Currently watching: Jessica Jones season 2, when I’m not catching up on the shows piling up on the DVR
- The SHIELD Helicarrier LEGO set is completed! It was pretty epic, and a lot of fun to build. Keep an eye out for my build report on the blog soon.
- The latest round of copy-edits on book 4, Steel Time, were completed and sent off to my editor!
- My presentation on alternate history at the Uniontown Library as part of their 2018 Author series was a blast. It went so well that I immediately volunteered to do a modified version at a few of my upcoming conventions this summer, and one has already accepted it for programming!
- I also had the expected great time at Cleveland ConCoction, exploding soda bottles aside. (See the full sordid tale at my con report, linked above.)
- And finally, I’m about halfway through a book I’m proofreading for a fellow RDSP author. It’s a total blast, with a great twist on mythology, so I’ll definitely be shouting about it from the rooftops when it launches.
March Book Reviews
- A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet #1) by Madeleine L’Engle (4 stars)
- Wedding Favors (Bluewater Bay #7) by Anne Tenino (4 stars)
- Stuck Landing (Bluewater Bay #11) by Lauren Gallagher (4 stars)
- How the Cookie Crumbles (Bluewater Bay #12) by Jaime Samms (3 stars)
- Selfie (Bluewater Bay #13) by Amy Lane (5 stars)
- All the Wrong Places (Bluewater Bay #14) by Amy Gallagher (4 stars)
- Bluewater Blues (Bluewater Bay #15) by G.B. Gordon (5 stars)
March Speculative Chic Contributions
- Once I finish proofreading the book I’m working on, I’ve got the first half of another to beta read! Luckily, pretty much all the authors I know are crazy-talented, so this is all more of a privilege than a chore.
- I’ll be meeting with my editor this month to finish up work on Steel Time and discuss the future of the series. Don’t panic! Basically, come June, will I be working on book 6, working on a series of short stories for gradual release, or both?
- No conventions this month, but I will be taking two trips for the day job to New York City and Arlington, VA. The topics for both are fascinating, so I’m happy that so much cool travel is part of BOTH of my jobs.
That’s it! Now, I’ve got a cup of hot coffee, a cat snoring on my lap, and a bunch of emails to catch up on. It was warm enough for a hoodie and no socks today, but the local weather report is threatening mixed snow tonight. You can come anytime now, spring…
I started this book in the afternoon and finished it before I went to bed that evening. In fact, I devoured it so quickly that I didn’t even take a few notes in my phone while reading, like I usually do to make writing reviews easier. I couldn’t bear to tear myself away from the story long enough to do so! Continue reading
This past weekend, I was privileged to be invited to the library in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, to be part of their 2018 Author Series. I presented an interactive lecture on the alternate history genre and it’s possibilities in all genres of fiction. You can find my full PowerPoint presentation and some pictures from the event below.
I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing two projects by Nicholas Conley, so I jumped at the chance to pick his brain about his latest novel. Intraterrestrial was a wild ride, and you can find my review of it here.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Adam Helios is a bully magnet without many friends. When he starts hearing a voice that claims to come from the stars, he fears he’s losing his mind, so he withdraws even further. On the way home from a meeting at the school, he and his parents are involved in a horrible car crash. With his skull cracked open, Adam’s consciousness is abducted by the alien who has been speaking to him for months.
After surviving the wreck with only minor scratches, Camille Helios must deal with her guilt over the accident that left her husband badly injured and her son in a coma. When the doctor suggests letting Adam go, Camille refuses to stop fighting for her son’s life.
Lost among galaxies, Adam must use his imagination to forge a path home before his body dies on the operating table. But even if he does return to Earth, he may end up locked inside a damaged brain forever.
The premise of this book revolves around traumatic brain injury (TBI). Can you tell us about your interest in this topic?
So as with my previous novel, Pale Highway, the inspiration for this book came from my years of working in the long-term care unit of a nursing and rehabilitation home, where I cared for people with many health conditions. When I started writing Intraterrestrial, probably my biggest goal was to always make sure that the main character — Adam — is in the driver’s seat from start to finish: he’s always the central protagonist, never just a supporting character in his own story. It was extremely important, I think, to show that Adam’s TBI doesn’t make him into a plot device. Both before and after the accident, he’s a real person, with the same sorts of hopes, dreams, fears, thoughts, and feelings of anyone else.
I also wanted to explore the painful family dynamics that are caused by accidents like this one, which I saw all too often when I was working in that field. When a kid gets thrust into the medical system, their parents have to be intimately involved in every step of the process, and those parents have an insane amount of pressure (and expectations) placed on their every decision. There are no easy answers, I think, so I felt like it was important to look deeply into the pained humanity behind every person in this narrative — Adam, his parents, the medical professionals — to see each person honestly, openly, as human beings instead of caricatures. Continue reading
Despite the primary premise of this book being a romance between two asexual characters, all of the really intriguing elements of this relationship revolved around what made the characters unique aside from their asexuality. Which I suppose proves the point.
Both men were a study in contrasts. Brennan is a skater dude to reads science fiction and fantasy. Zafir is a Muslim single-father who works at a porn shop. I can’t say that their chemistry was instantaneous, but I will say that their friendship was genuine. Because that was the other point of this book — its difficult to have an excellent relationship if it’s not built on the solid foundation of a true bond of friendship. Continue reading