Category Random musings

Top Ten Things Readers Hate about Books

The Paranormal Book Club recently asked their readers what is the “ONE thing you CAN NOT stand about a book when reading it?” While this is not a scientific survey, the results are nonetheless interesting. In a classic example of procrastination, I spent way too much time categorizing the issues, and I hereby present the results […]

Beauties of Nature

It’s often humbling to me as a writer to realize that no matter how beautifully I write, Mother Nature is going to kick my butt. Take sunsets. Spectacular sunsets are free, and they’re all around.  The one above is from my backyard. Beauty abounds even in the most unexpected places. Take swamps. An international team voted […]

Thoughts on the End of Breaking Bad

Reviews sometimes open with spoiler alerts, right?  While this isn’t a review and I’m not about to spoil anything for anyone, I’ll post my own version of a spoiler alert: Mr. Valentine rarely watches television. Time for writing and music has to come from somewhere.  One of the best and, I’ll admit, hardest decisions I made […]

My Next Big Thing

Time for an update on Mr. Valentine’s latest big thing.  A bunch of writer friends are writing similar posts about the books we’re currently writing, so be sure to check out their blogs, as well: Celia Breslin, author of Haven Amber Belldene, author of Blood Vine Paula Millhouse, author of Dragonstone Tricia Skinner, author of Angel […]

Notes from the Past

Live in the moment, philosophers and gurus tell us. For a novelist, that is rotten, horrible, no good advice! The past fills the present and the future.  Its tracks and traces are everywhere, if we can but read them. Remember that whack I took from a baseball bat when I was nine?  I sure do. […]

Late Night Thoughts on an Eagle Feather

It’s late, past midnight.  I should be asleep.  But the eagle feather shown below sits on my desk, bringing back memories. When I was fresh out of school, I taught at a one-room school on a small island up the British Columbia coast. No TV, no radio, no roads.  The students came to school on […]

Lessons from Marcia, the Mars Rat

Marcia and the Amazing Human Brain One of the Curiosity Rover’s most popular pictures is the so-called Mars Rat.  I’ve heard she even has her own Twitter account.  The long-distance ISP charges must be horrendous. (If you haven’t heard of the Mars Rat, see here, here, here–oh heck, just Google ‘Mars Rat’.) For the sake of convenience, and […]

Looking for a Great Read, part 2: Rita Award nominees

The other day, I listed the nominees for the prestigious Hugo Award for best science fiction novel of 2012.  Today I’ll show you  for the Rita nominees in the Paranormal Romance category … and one other, a nominee for best first novel. But first, I have a confession.  I’m not sure how much stock to […]

Looking for a GREAT Read? Part 1, Hugo Award Nominees

Have a dog and/or a cat? Hey, you’re like me! If you’re like me, your To-Read pile is threatening to take over the house … and that doesn’t even count the untouched tomes on the e-reader! And yet, if you’re like me, you’re always looking for the next big book to read, the next great […]

The SFR Brigade Presents III

The Science Fiction Romance Brigade presents… a collection of cool SFR snippets!  Check out some favorite or new-to-you authors! The Midas Rush Today’s selection is from The Midas Rush, my upcoming science fiction novel with romantic elements. Two of the four main characters have been assigned to work together: MacKay Rullitch of the Interworld Security […]