Thursday, December 31, 2009

What I read in December

Science Fiction

The Hawk Strikes or, Meet Hawk Carse [The Interplanetary Adventures of Space Hawk #1] By Harry Bates
Bodyguard by William Dietz
The Possession of Paavo Deshin by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Haze by L.E. Modesitt Jr.


The Magical Christmas Cat by Nalini Singh


Cast in Silence by Michelle Sagara
Charmed Destinies by Mercedes Lackey, Rachel Lee and Catherine Asaro
Cast in Courtlight by Michelle Sagara


Badland Bride by Lauri Robinson


There Goes the Bride by M.C. Beaton
Kindred in Death by J.D. Robb


Playing the Enemy, Nelson Mandella and the Game that Made a Nation by John Carlin

Click on the Goodreads button on the right of the page to see how I rated each of these books.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Novella: The Possession of Paavo Deshin by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Space Opera

Another short recommendation. Still busy because of Christmas.

I love the Disappeared series and was glad to see a new story featuring Miles Flint. The Possession of Paavo Deshin is in the January/February issue of Analog SFF. If you like the series be sure to pick up this issue of Analog. While I purchased the issue for Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s story there are others stories just as enjoyable in the issue.

I purchased Analog on Fictionwise and read it on my eBookwise Reader.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

PLAYING THE ENEMY Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation By John Carlin


I went to the movie last week to see Invictus. I thought it was a great movie and would recommend it to anyone. I found that I could not get the story out of my mind and decided that I needed to read Playing the Enemy, the book the movie was based on. I wanted to know if the movie version was true to life. I found that there was some creative license but the entire movie did a very good job of portraying events as they actually occurred.

John Carlin covered events in South Africa until 1995 and had followed Nelson Mandella over the years. Although much has been written about that time he felt that the 1995 World Cup was a pivotal point in South Africa history. He wanted to write a book describing the events surrounding the World Cup. He approached Mandella to see if he was willing to be intervened and found him more than willing, as were others who played a role in the drama surrounding the World Cup.

Carlin describes the factors that lead Mandella on the path of reconciliation instead of revenge. Carlin shows that Mandella was, “a canny strategist, a talented manipulator of mass sentiment. His gift for political theater was as sophisticated as Bill Clinton’s or Ronald Reagan’s.” Mandella knew he had to find a way to bring the people together and he decided to use the 1995 World Cup. The 1995 matches were held in South Africa. Rugby was the white man’s game and the blacks saw the Springboks as symbol of white oppression. For the whites rugby was like a religion and the Springboks were the high priests. Mandella felt he could build a bridge to the white community by supporting the team. Playing the Enemy details how blacks and whites all came together. Carlin includes excerpts from interview with many of the key players. He also includes exact quotes from media sources.

I would recommend seeing the movie and then reading the book. There are some lessons relevant to today to be learned from both.

Penguin Press published Playing the Enemy , Nelson Mandella and the Game that Made a Nation by John Carlin in 2008.

I purchased Playing the Enemy from Fictionwise.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bodyguard by William Dietz

Space Opera

It is Christmas and I am busy so I will just post a short recommendation. I have had Bodyguard in my electronic Too Be Read pile for awhile (loaded on my eBookwise Reader) and I finally got around to reading it.

If you get a chance read this book. Bodyguard has a unusual hero and a good story with some unexpected twists and turns. This is Space Opera as it should be written and it makes very entertaining read.

I purchased Bodyguard by William C. Dietz from Fictionwise. It was organically published in 1994.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Magical Christmas Cat by Nalini Singh, Erin McCarthy, Linda Winstead Jones, Lora Leigh

Paranormal Romance

The Magical Christmas Cat contains 4 short novellas by four different authors. It was released at Christmas in 2008. One of the four stories is Stroke of Enticement by Nalini Singh, one of my favorite Psy/Changelings stories.

Stroke of Enticement is a sweet love story set at the same time as the early Psy/Changeling books. Annie teaches little cats as well as humans. When Bryan, one of the Dark River leopard children, hits another child and refuses to tell Annie why his Uncle Zack is the one who comes to sort everything out. Zack knows immediately that Annie is his mate. Annie on the other hand feels that she is damaged because a leg injury she suffered as a child has left her with a slight limp. She thinks that Zack will play for a while and leave. Annie has to trust and her journey makes a wonderful story.

If you would like another Psy/Changeling story look for An Enchanted Season the 2009 Christmas multi-author release. Beat of Temptation is set in the past and tells the story of Nate and Tammy’s mating.

Berkley Sensation published The Magical Christmas Cat in 2008.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Free eBooks

Who doesn't love free books. I certainly do so check out this site for a great holiday offer.

In honor of the 12 Days of Christmas All Romance web site is giving away free eBooks to anyone who is a member. Just sign up and you will receive their newsletter, Wildfire, Every day for 12 days you will receive a email that lets you download that day's free book. This is day three, so if you are not a member sign up today.

Follow the link to the All Romance web site.

All of the books come in a format that will load on the eBookwise reader or you can read on your computer.

Christmas Gift - EBookwise Reader

On Sale for 89.95

This is the eBook reader I have owned for several years. If you are looking for a Christmas gift the price is great. There are a lot of choices out there today so look carefully before you buy. Here are some things to consider.

On the Plus Side:

Great price

Backlit Screen

Good selection of books at Fictionwise and EBookwise

8-15-hour battery life

Will read the following files; plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Microsoft Word documents (.doc), HTML (.htm or .html), and Rocket eBook Editions (.rb).

There are several ways to transfer personal content onto the device,

Most of the eBook publishers have a format that will download to the EBookwise Reader

Some other publishers (Baen comes to mind) also have compatible formats

Will hold up to 100 books

On the minus side:

Takes a UBS cord to download

Barnes and Noble now owns Fictionwise and EBookwise so I don’t know how long they will continue to support the EBookwise Reader as they will be selling the Nook

No wireless capability

Will not accept some of the common secure formats

I like my EBookwise Reader and when I cannot download to the reader I just download to my computer and read the book there. I do prefer having the book on a eBook reader rather than the computer so I am planning to look at the Nook and if I like it will probably purchase one.

Go to this web site to get more information.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Badland Bride, Book 2 of the Quinter Brides by Lauri Robinson

Historical Romance

With Badland Bride Lauri Robinson has once again written a wonderful engaging romance. There is something old and something new is the story. Ma Quinter has again gotten out her shotgun, tied the prospective bride and groom to chairs and called for the preacher. This time the bride is from the future, a victim of date rape and pregnant. The groom is willing but the bride does not plan to stay in the past. . It does not sound like the best start to the marriage. Throw in few Indians, some bone hunters and an enemy from the future and things stay interesting

Badland Bride does a great job of moving the series forward. I am looking forward to the next book about the Quinter Brides. The first book in the series is Shotgun Bride. Look for Boot Hill Bride, Book 3 in the Quinter Brides in July of 2010.

Wild Rose Press published Badland Bride by Lauri Robinson in 2009.

I purchased Badland Bride from Fictionwise. If you would like a 10% discount on Badland Bride leave me your email address in the comments section.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Interplanetary Adventures of Space Hawk #1 The Hawk Strikes or Meet Hawk Carse by Harry Bates

Classic Space Opera

Some of the Science Fiction published in the early 20th Century has been hard to find. Now thanks to the Internet and eBooks some of that science fiction is easier to obtain. December seems like to good time to look at one of stories from that time.

The Hawk Strikes is a story first published in November of 1931 in Astounding, Stories of Super Science. It and other stories featuring the Hawk are available from Fictionwise.

The story is classic Space Opera full of danger and adventure complete with a larger than life hero and the required villain. There are parts of the story that show its age and some parts that are no longer politically correct but the basic requirements for Space Opera are all intact.

It was fun to read about Hawk Carse and how he defended his ranch on one of the moons of Saturn from his archenemy Judd the Kite. It was also fun to check out the differences between Space Opera today and in 1931.

The Hawk Strikes by Harry Bates is available as an eBook from Fictionwise.

I purchased The Hawk Strikes from Fictionwise. If you would like a 10% discount on The Hawk Strikes leave me your email address in the comments section.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Three Favorite Scenes and Quotes - 2009

December is a time to look back over the past year and remember some favorite things. Here are scenes or quotes from 3 of the books I recommended in 2009 that stuck in my mind. If you have favorites from the past year why don’t you share them in the comments section?

Broken Wing by Judith James

Sarah invites Gabriel to watch meteor shower from her balcony and Gabriel for the first time enjoys shares an innocent experience with another person and finds “it was a new and heady flavor, and he liked it tremendously

Close Encounters by Katherine Allred

I especially loved Crigo, Kiera’s rock cat. Kiera’s description of their relationship is a classic for any of us who love cats. She says “I promise not to compromise his dignity by petting him, he promises not to rip my arm off at the elbow. In return for the food he consumes ….he keeps me humble by following me around, making derogatory feline comments about everything I do and turning his back when I talk to him. “

Blaze of Memory by Nalini Singh

In the book there is a young boy, William, who has the same mutation as Judd Lauren, he can kill with a thought. William does not know how to control what he does and has killed Spot, the dog that he loves. His parents think that embracing Silence is the only answer for William. Then one night Judd visits William and tells him that he can do what William can. William asks Judd, “Can you fix me?” and Judd answers, “There’s nothing to fix. What I can do is teach you to control it. So you can use it for good things.”