Lessons from My Reading

M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Ghostly Encounters of the Mysterious Kind

   So, the old man and I were bored and went out for coffee. My reward was discovering an original ghost mystery, pointed right towards the aisle of the bookstore.

Another One Bites the Dust: Jensen Murphy, Ghost For Hire   How different was the book? The ghost takes the lead in the sleuthing in Chris Marie Green's Another One Bites the Dust, the second volume in the Jenson Murphy, Ghost for Hire series. Yay. A bunch of ghosts who don't want to drift off into the great beyond or "into the glare" as Green puts it. Her ghosts prefer to bop around in the "Boo World".

   Jenson Murphy is an active, thinking ghost who is trying to solve her own murder -- if she can remember enough details. In the first book in the series, she was pulled from ghost limbo by a medium trying to solve another murder, but Murphy's efforts don't end there. She persists in sleuthing even though her first attempts [in the first book in the series] went awry when the medium released a malignant spirit.

   The delightful part, Murphy ain't the only active ghost. She has a cohort of friends helping her guard people in danger from psychopaths, alive or dead. In this case, from the threat of serious domestic violence. One of the features I found original is ghost using worm-holes ["travel tunnels", which they pull in after them] to travel from place to place. Don't think I ever saw that before.They all "eat" electricity to keep going so they don't revert to "stationary" ghosts. Lots of different takes on the ghost trope here.

   Green maintains a light touch as Murphy and her medium side-kick try to prevent a murder which they discover is related to their first, semi-botched crime-solving attempt. Another nice touch is that Green gives her characters, even the secondary ones, weaknesses that hinder them in their pursuit of justice. As for the villain, I've seldom seen better ones drawn. All her important characters in the book seem to do unexpected things...which is reason enough to recommend the book.

The second book in the series stands alone on its own merits and is all the more interesting because three different mysteries are pulling the plot along.


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Writing Links

   Haven't done much marketing this week -- except for listing last week's blog. But I did come across a neat article on how to make better use of your time by Lisa Jacobs at Marketing Creativity. Check out her strategy: Seven Ways to Be More Productive in 2015. I know I'm going to be referring to this article again and again.

   Calling all Speculative Fiction Writers. Found this list of markets accepting submissions by Erica Verrillo on her blog, Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity. I saved it as soon as I finished chuckling over the title of her blog. [I think self-publishing is a form of insanity.]

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My Writing

    Am feeling like a real slacker. Not as far as my writing's concerned, though. Not only did I get a revised version of Demon Eyes [after adding enough to one chapter to make two for Cassy Mae's new story] to my critque group -- but I got a whole new chapter written plus an outline of a guest blog. Now, all I have to do is write it.

   Even got some good work done on my website. At this point, I'm thinking I only have to cut & paste several extended excerpts of my published stories -- and check for typos -- and I'll be ready to publish the new version of my author website. Then, you'll get to read some bits and pieces of what I'm currently writing.

   So what stitches in my pipsqueak writing career have I dropped? Well, The Ghostcrow has started to fester in my computer. The copy editor sent it back to me last week, and I haven't even looked at it. 

   Remember my intentions to send out four/five review queries for the new Dumdie story? Not done. Haven't done any work on revising the blurbs, long or short, either or lining up any other promotion for the story I was going to do the big splurge on. Guess it'll get dropped like a pebble into the ocean. Actually, I'm getting fed up with marketing and don't think it's such a bad idea.

    Then there's the poor lonesome -- Doom Comes for a Sold Soul [Amazon where you can see the reviews]. I've only done the one little give-away publicized on my social media networks rather than expanding to other networks. You can still download Doom for free on  Smashwords if you use code TP76B. Links to all my other stories, except Troublesome Neighbors, are at the bottom of the page. Hint. Hint.

   I don't even want to think about promoting my other stories.Yeah, I'm feeling rather "treeish" like a good hermit should.
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