Monday, December 11, 2017

Writing Parallels #OpenBook Blog Hop



When I wrote Wolves' Pawn, I didn't set out to create a manifesto on women's place in today's society. All I wanted to do was write a story about wolf shifters with a strong female lead that defied the conventions of the genre.

Well, that's only partly true. I did want to write a strong female lead. The rest just sorta happened because that's the way Dot, my heroine, wanted it.The fact that she refused to go along with patriarchal pack expectations was true to her history.

I could see Dot taking part in the Woman's March (if she wasn't too busy running her company!) She hasn't met a glass ceiling yet that she couldn't break. And I bet she and Gavin would have more than one heated discussion as he tried—and failed—to get her to moderate her views in favor of keeping peace among the traditionalists of the pack. Dot, of course, would stay true to her personal beliefs.


Although I haven't figured out birth control for shifters yet, (Human methods are only 50% effective), I'm pretty darn sure Dot is using it. And the insurance plan she provides for her employees covers it too. Come to think of it, much of their medical care is free because they make use of the doctor who is contracted with the Fairwood pack. Not true socialized medicine, but close.


Then there's the school that Dot's company supports. None of the kids who attend pay a dime and they even get fed and clothed and help finding jobs when they graduate. And this book was written several years before the most recent US presidential election!


Although I'd guess her politics were more conservative, Tasha of Wolves' Knight also plays havoc with the traditional female role in paranormal romances. And wait until you meet Lori in Wolves' Gambit, the third book in the Free Wolves series. (the one I'm working on now.) There's no doubt in my mind where she'd be on the political spectrum.

So yes, I'm rather proud of my characters.They stand up for themselves in a male-dominated society under all sorts of circumstances. And succeed.


Now that I'm done bragging about my "friends," let's go see what everyone else is talking about. (Oh, and if you're interested in buying my books, head here for the links to get them.




December 11, 2017 – Writing parallels - parallels between events and your writing, topic or genre.
Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.
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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Book Review—The Western Star by Craig Johnson #OpenBook Blog Hop




I've long been a fan of Craig's Johnson's series of Longmire books. I discovered them several years before they became the inspiration for the TV series and own most of them. (In print.) I've had about half of them signed by the author as he makes regular appearances in my part of the world.

So I was looking forward to his new release, The Western Star. In fact, it was on my wishlist for my birthday. It took me a few days to start reading it because I wanted to wait for the weekend when I could devour it without too many interruptions.

Most of the book did not disappoint. Johnson did his usual fine job of weaving an intricate tale including both present-day and historical references. Most of our favorite characters are back,  although they take a back seat in the story line. (Spoiler alert: for those of you hoping for more action between Longmire and Vic, don't hold your breath.) The major mystery is wrapped up nicely by our favorite sheriff.




But here's where I think Johnson went wrong. He left us with a cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers and refuse to write them. For those of you who have read the books, you probably remember the underlying story arc.Without giving too much away, that's the story line that leaves us hanging. In a big way. And since Johnson only seems to release one book a year, that's a long time to wait.

As a result, I'm giving this book 4 stars. But sure, I'll read the next one when it comes out.

If you've read the book, let me know in the comments if you agree or disagree with my rating. In the meantime, I'm off to see what our other authors are reading.




December 4, 2017 – Review a book you've recently read.
Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Baron's Cufflinks #MFRWHooks



This week I'm presenting a snippet from The Baron's Cufflinks, the third book in the Oak Grove Mysteries. Harmony Duprie, my main character is up to her usual shenanigans—finding trouble.


     A couple of DUI’s and one arrest for marijuana possession do not a villain make. I was almost disappointed. Other than a few waitresses he’d manhandled, Tadd didn’t seem to have any enemies. He wasn’t necessarily popular, but no one hated him. Not on record, at least. So who had the motive to kill him?
     A talk with my favorite FBI agent seemed to be in order.

     Not that I particularly liked Agent Felton. But I only knew two FBI agents and couldn't tolerate the other one. Although Felton didn't count as a friend, he wasn't an enemy either. Still, it surprised me when he agreed to meet for lunch, no questions asked.
     I spotted him right away when I entered the small Chinese buffet place, his suggestion, near his office. He stuck out like a sore thumb amid the crowd of secretaries having lunch. It had been a few months since I’d seen him, and gray hairs were now scattered in with the brown. Meeting him on his home turf meant I'd need to be on my best behavior, but I was good with that.
     The restaurant’s Shanghai soup dumplings were a treat and I was on my second serving when Felton wearied of our sporadic chit-chat. “You didn’t call me to talk about the weather. Or to tell me you’ve realized that you’re deeply in love with me. What is it you want, Miss Duprie?”
     I could play it for kicks or play it straight. The choice seemed obvious if I didn’t want to tick him off. I swallowed and looked him square in the eye. “Information. Do you know anything about a guy by the name of Tadd Foard?”
     The agent leaned back in his chair, crossed his arms, and thought for a moment. “Can't say that I do. Why?”
     “He was murdered a few days ago.”
      “And you care why? Are you sticking your nose where it doesn't belong again?” He grinned as he raised a spoonful of the egg drop soup towards his mouth.
     “I may be a suspect.”

     We spent the next few minutes cleaning up the soup that had sprayed everywhere.




Blurb:

What starts as Girl's Night Out ends in murder, and Harmony Duprie is a suspect.
She's innocent, of course, but with no alibi, the sheriff's department won't remove her from the list of suspects. It doesn't help when a waitress from the bar gets beaten up and the only clue is a slip of paper with Harmony's name on it. Throw in a rookie deputy dead set on building his reputation and Harmony must tread carefully.

But caution isn't Harmony's middle name and she plunges head first into danger to defend her honor.

What she finds is a web of half-truths and suspicions implicating several law enforcement agencies, with Jake, her ex-lover, stuck in the middle of it all.

Can Harmony rescue Jake and find the real culprit before she becomes the next victim?


The Baron's Cufflinks is available at here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1232223538

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072P6CD3D

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-baron-s-cufflinks

Books2read Universal https://www.books2read.com/u/b5OVGp

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-barons-cufflinks-pj-maclayne/1126317718?ean=2940157511692




Monday, November 27, 2017

Top Ten #OpenBook Blog Hop



Here's my Top Ten list of  things I like to do.


10. Going to work. Most days, anyway. I actually like my job and my coworkers. They joke around with me about my writing (in a kind way) and help keep my ego in check.

9. Exploring back roads in my Jeep. It's a kick to be able to go places I wouldn't dare try in a car.

8. Play on the computer. I didn't touch my first computer until I was over 30, and I haven't been without one since.

7. Talk to people. Or at least observe them from a distance. People's individual stories are amazing. We are a weird collection, we humans.

6. Needlepoint. I love how it combines both artistic and mathematical components.

5. Be outside. Whether it's doing yard work, going for a walk, shoveling snow or going for a hike, I like being outside.

4. Writing my stories. Now sharing them with my readers means they have to be edited first, (which I don't enjoy!) and that's what knocks this down from on the list.

3. Reading. I love to read. I don't read as much as I used to because life happens.

2. Play with my grandkids. Okay, play with the oldest and hold the little one. Especially as he's starting to smile.

1. You knew this was coming. Spending time in the mountains with my hubby. Whether its a couple of days or a couple of hours, I'll take it.



What's your Top Ten?

November 27, 2017 – Top 10 – Share your top 10 favorite movies, books or things to do.
Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.
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Monday, November 20, 2017

Crossword puzzle #OpenBook blog hop





The challenge this week was to make a crossword puzzle with clues and answers from our books. I suggest you don't try this on your cell phone. :) If there's something you get stuck on, let me know in the comments and I'll give you an additional hint. Have fun!



November 20, 2017 – Create a game or puzzle for one or more of your books. You can do this on crosswords.com, puzzle creator and more sites and embed them in your blog so you have an online puzzle or game for readers to complete.
Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.
Wordpress:



Custom Blog:



An InLinkz Link-up

get the InLinkz code

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