26 Apr

Reading Challenge: April 2019

A better month than last with fun murder, pleasant romance, almost-there horror, a ghost story I finished despite my dissatisfaction, a rollicking adventure worthy of my apocalypse library, and a fourth-in-series that might have fared better if I remembered more about its predecessors before finally getting to a space adventure I couldn’t finish and a fantasy romance I wish had done a thousand things differently.

Links are affiliate-coded and go to Amazon.


MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER by Oyinkan Braithwaite: Korede is a tall, plain, practical nurse with a case of unrequited love for one of the doctors at work. Her younger sister, Ayoola, is so beautiful and vivacious that everyone she encounters is instantly enthralled—including the doctor Korede loves. This familiar tale of sibling rivalry is complicated by Ayoola having killed enough of her boyfriends to officially qualify as a serial killer. Korede has always protected her sister (starting in childhood with their abusive father and extending to body disposal and crime scene cleanup in the present), but this time she’s motivated to warn the victim, who promptly says she’s jealous and he’s disappointed in her for not being more supportive of her sister.

Hey, she tried.

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11 Apr

Deleted Scene from Silent Song

Silent Song is a second chance romance. As such, there’s a whole other story about what happened between Gin and Lex years ago. Part of figuring out who they are now and how their relationship works now involved looking at their shared past, so I have a ton of material about The Old Days.

The problem with any second chance romance is that it’s about the second chance, not the first attempt that failed, so no matter how great (or not) that ton of historical material may be, very little of it belongs in the book. Like any flashback, if it’s not immediately relevant to the now story, it’s not relevant at all.

This scene hung around longer than its peers that got cut. If I remember correctly, I was trying (unsuccessfully) to make it relevant to a subplot. When I cut three or four days from the story timeline and there wasn’t enough time for that subplot to happen, there was no longer even a flimsy excuse for keeping this scene. I thought about it yesterday, though, so I’m going to break my rule about sharing junk that ended up on the cutting room floor. (I usually don’t even save a file of what gets cut, but I kept 7,000 words trimmed from this book because I can’t let go.)

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26 Mar

Reading Challenge: March 2019

In a word, this month was rough. Five books. Four DNFs. I’m going to play video games during reading time for the rest of the month to cleanse my palate.

Links go to Amazon and are affiliate coded.


TIME SALVAGER by Wesley Chu: In a far distant future, Earth is a toxic wasteland and humans have to use time travel to raid the past for resources. There are, of course, strict regulations about what can be taken and when so the theft doesn’t disrupt the future, and only a select few are authorized to do the job. James Griffin-Mars is one such time traveler, and the nature of the job has begun to take a toll.

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10 Mar

NDTS: Consistently Crappy Sentences

I read a book earlier this month that caused an urge to write a salty email to an editor who should have done a lot more work than they did and sugary emails to the editors who’ve kicked my ass over the years and taught me to self-correct a lot of problems before a manuscript leaves my hands. I won’t do either because (a) unproductive and (b) kicked my ass, but I need to rant and—what ho!—I have this nifty spot for just such an occasion.

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28 Feb

Reading Challenge: February 2019

This month, I rebounded from some rant-worthy romances I can’t talk about (contest judging… do not recommend) by rereading an old favorite and breaking the glass on an expected feel-good I’ve been saving in case of emergency.

All links go to Amazon and are affiliate coded. Almost all books are available at other sellers (I’ll note when that’s not the case and chastise myself for poor shopping habits), but linking every book to every store is a lot of work to do for free, and the two other affiliate programs are a pain in the ass.


COMPLETELY by Ruthie Knox: Rosemary is 39 years old, divorced, mother of a 19-year-old daughter, and she’s trying to reclaim her own identity by climbing the seven biggest mountains in the world and writing a book about her experience. Her Everest climb is interrupted by an avalanche that requires her climbing party to be evacuated. They’re unharmed, but the base camp below is wiped out, killing 29 people, many of whom had become her friends while waiting to start her climb. She’s shell-shocked when Kal, the 32-year-old “ice doctor” who was in charge of the safety of her group and still feels responsible for her, checks up on her at the hotel to which they’ve been evacuated. In the customary “we’re lucky to be alive” fashion, they celebrate with food, wine, and sex.

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