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Oct. 18th, 2014

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Book Review: The Paying Guests

The Paying GuestsThe Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sarah Waters wrote one of my favorite books--Affinity--and I have read every novel she's written. Some are more successful than others, but one thing Waters excels at is writing emotion. Her novels are character driven, and in general, the emotional tension drives the plot. This is true of this book as well. I have read several reviews that say the beginning is a bit slow, and the last half moves at a breakneck pace, but I have to say that my experience was exactly the opposite. I read the first 200+ pages in one sitting. I think Waters did a stunning job of building the relationships, as well as building tension. But when the main incident happens--the thing that drives the rest of the book--I found myself losing steam. Perhaps it was too familiar.(SMALL SPOILER, if you've read nothing about the book): I think I might be getting tired of court cases and murder suspects and everything therein. In any case, while I didn't quite lose interest, I was less enthralled. I wanted something more unexpected. I kept expecting a twist. But Waters is more interested in exploring the ways in which relationships are tested and how they recover--or don't--and that is what she does here as well, and quite effectively. I actually did like the ending, but because I was expecting something more, it lacked gravitas for me.

The book is well paced--mostly, and the characters well-defined and interesting. That I wanted a bit more is perhaps more my fault than hers. A solid B.

View all my reviews

Oct. 14th, 2014

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Cover Reveal!

And now, presenting the cover for Book Two of the Fianna Trilogy, The Web:

The Web final

I think it's just beautiful, and I'm very excited for everyone to read the further adventures of Grace, Derry and Patrick. All the info is up on the site now at Amazon. The book release date is January 20, 2015. Not so long to wait!

Oct. 7th, 2014

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Break Ends

Today, my agent informed me that the new book was "great," (*happy dancing*) and so it's moving forward--on to my editor now--which was excellent to hear, given that yesterday was my last day on break (really not as wonderful a time as I'd imagined), wherein I accomplished many boring tasks that have been waiting for me for some time, including cleaning my office, my closet, and my carpets.

I also managed to see This is Where I Leave You, which I liked but didn't love, Gone Girl, which is completely unsettling, and which I really liked, even though it gave me nightmares (what? why? I have no idea, but I had to sleep with the nightlight on, as my husband is out of town), and Queen Margot, which is overwrought but still an interesting film (and really, how hard is it to watch Isabelle Adjani and Vincent Perez for nearly three hours? As it turns out, not hard at all). One thing I didn't manage to do was get much reading done, and this is because the new fall season started, and my two-series-a-season-rule has been completely thrown out the window. I mean, which should I jettison? Sleepy Hollow? Boardwalk Empire? The Vampire Diaries? The Originals? The 100? I'm afraid I'm hooked on all of them. Fortunately Outlander and The Musketeers have ended for the time being.

I have also managed to do some playing around with recipes I'd been dying to make for a while, including a kick-ass cassoulet, an amazing molten chocolate cake with dulce de leche and sea salt, and a chewy and flavorful sourdough campagne boule. My freezer is full--I will survive any apocalypse.

Now, I'm afraid it's time to get back to work, though that wall I need to paint is calling my name ...

Oct. 2nd, 2014

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New Interview and News

Today, there's a new interview with me up at the blog Pebbles in Still Water.

Also, I have seen the almost-final cover for The Web, and it is so perfectly realized and beautiful! I'll show it as soon as it's final and I've been given the okay. Remember, this second book in The Fianna Trilogy is out January 20, 2015.

And Inamorata has broken the 1000 review mark at Amazon. Lots of readers, lots of opinions--the most for any of my books, which is very cool!

In case I haven't mentioned it earlier, the new manuscript is done (FINALLY!!) and off to my agent. Now, I'm only waiting to see what she says. And doing really fun things like cleaning my carpet and my closet. This break thing is a bit overrated, if you ask me

Sep. 23rd, 2014

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Cool Stuff

So this week I was the recipient of this lovely, pretty thing:


I am profoundly grateful to everyone who helped make this happen!

And in other great news, I've finished the new manuscript (Adult Historical Fiction) and sent it off to my agent. Given that this book has seemingly taken forever, I am breathing a big sigh of relief. Now, just waiting to see how it's received by the powers that be.

And now ... my messy office is waiting for me to attend to it ...

messy office

Sep. 12th, 2014

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Seattle7Writers Gathering

Last night, I attended a social for the Seattle 7 Writers, a non-profit group that is dedicated to raising money for literacy programs. More information on them here. A lot of fun was had by all, and here I am, surrounded by many talented authors (including Lynn Brunelle, Jennie Shortridge, Suzanne Selfors, Boyd Morrison, Rebecca Wells, Kaya McLaren, Erica Bauermeister, Susan Wiggs, and Kristin Hannah, among others):

Seattle 7 Writers social

Also, this week, Blanche managed to find her way to my office, and much exploring and messing up of things commenced. I will not be inviting her back any time soon.

blanche office

Sep. 10th, 2014

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New Publication Date!

The powers that be have decided to move the publication date of The Web, (The Fianna Trilogy, Book Two), to January 20, 2015! Even less time to wait!

Sep. 9th, 2014

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Bone River Special

BR final 300

Today through October 8th, the print edition of Bone River is being offered at the special price of $3.99. And don't forget about Kindle Matchbook--if you buy the print edition, you can get the Kindle edition for $.99. All in all, a pretty cool deal. Details and ordering are here.

Now, back to the cave, where I'm doing the final edit on the new manuscript ...

Sep. 4th, 2014

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The Web news and Guest Blog

I've done a guest blog over at Vox Libris on "The Believable Character"--five tips to remember when developing characters that work for me.

And ... I've seen the cover ideas for The Web, (The Fianna Trilogy, Book 2), and it is going to be as gorgeous as The Shadows. I'll be sure to post it when it's ready. Also, I received the page proofs as well--another beautiful design from Skyscape. I can hardly wait for everyone to read this one. More Celtic myth, more danger, and more love story ... just holding my breath for February 25, 2015!

Sep. 2nd, 2014

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Interview: The Examiner

Today I'm the featured author for the Examiner's "Ten Questions with a Historical Fiction Author." This was a fun interview to do--a couple of offbeat questions. The link is here.

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