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, July 20, 2015

Reading About Brave Black Ops and Doomsday Machines. Fun!

    Took a read outside of my genre zone last week. Our local Friends of the Library had their quarterly book sale, and I picked up James Rollins' Black Order, a galloping tale of former Nazis, crazies, a doomsday machine, and the good guys jumping around the globe, trying to save it. What's not to keep you glued to your chair for just one more chapter. I bought the 500+ page book Saturday afternoon, and was almost half-way through Sunday night, in spite of a funeral, kids' phone calls, and the two other books I was skimming through.

   Hey, how can  you not keep reading when the brave Americans are out to save the world against impossible odds? Oh, yeah. Not only was the book well written, but all those earthquakes in Nepal had recently happened.

   Well, first I was surprised by the intelligent planning behind the work. I've read thrillers before which were basically car chases and races combined with "fireworks" of various kinds. Rollins' characters all have motivation ... and surprisingly, personal growth in the midst of the bombast. His villains, not so much.

   Guess you can't do much with Nazis obsessed with creating the superior human being, a activity I think is moot in this day of robots. Still, it was one of the things I liked most was the extrapolation of science and facts to hold the plot line together. The evolutionary ideas weren't particular new. But then, I've been a fan of Teilard de Chardin and his attempts at reconciling faith and evolution since the sixties. -- How does that apply to escape reading? Darwin's personal Bible is a key plot element.

   I'm not a Rollins fan and don't know if I'll become one. Did take a look at his other Sigma Force books. Seems like he's effective at stretching his research to the optimum. Not only does the Sigma series got ten books, but he writes other action series as well. In fact, reading his list of published books made me tired, thinking about all the work.

   Rollins' chapter endings impressed me the most in his action packed read. He always breaks at a peak in the action and jumps to the other team [or villains] and then, back to scene that he had left hanging just before the gun is fired or the bomb thrown in the other scene. His characters always seem in media res.

   Net result. Made me wish I had bought two of the books so I could give one to a reluctant reader grandkid. Son won out, because I owe him for several books plus my Mercy Thompson graphic novels. Still, Rollins is so good, I going to be buying another copy to give to the grandkid.

    Recommended for light summer reading. What's not to like, especially if you're getting a little bored with your usual genres. Fast paced action. Intelligent, well-rounded characters. Twists and turns galore, sometimes in the same chapter. A grand fight between Good and Evil. All that, and second-hand trips to uncommon foreign countries. Read excerpts and more reviews on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

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Story Idea Giveaway
I'm never going to get around to it so here's a gift--a plot idea. 
   In a land where robots rule, free humans develop magical/esp skills to maintain their freedom from the corporate oligarchy. Haven't checked it for overuse, but with all the dystopian stuff, it should be an easier sell than elves.

You think that's too cheap a giveaway?
Okay, How about a free copy of my short estory Noticing Jamilla?

Blurb:
   Taught to hate magic, Cassy Mae thought she escaped danger when she moved to her GrammyJo’s mountain home after her mother’s death, but a demon hunts Cassy in spite of grandmother's protective juju. Will Cassy find the strength and the power to save herself?

    This is my favorite Andor story. On the Road was going to be a sequel, but I couldn't make it work. You can read it for free in several ereader formats from Smashwords. Use Code: MH92U  It's free to sign up for a Smashwords account if you don't have one, if you want to go through the bother to save 99c. Otherwise, it's for sale at the usual suspects.

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Important Link:
 Taking Care of Your Blog When You Die?

   Got my own blog done early, and immediately hopped over to enjoy the blogs I follow. Came across Anne R. Allen's writing about having a social media executor: What Happens to Your Blog When You Die? The topic is as important for the young as the old grumps like me. 

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My Writing Road

    Still lots of ruts in the road. But the paper edits are getting transferred to Vengeance. Don't have the changes to the cover yet, but they are progressing too. Still, pondering on pre-orders. So far, the betas "loved" it, whatever that means.

On the Run is traveling into new territory. I have scenes mapped out, but they always morph while I write them as other characters help or hinder Pillar's progress.

   Biggest writing event. The timeline tightened up. Had a chapter titled "Lessons and More Lessons". I was cringing at the thought of endless classes of Pillar trying to keep her null image while learning how to work magic. Turns out that there are more lessons than magic to learn. Heh. Heh.

   Oh, I did get a new excerpt of the story on my author website. Take a look. Hope you don't find as many things to rewrite as I did. Remember this is my draft before paper edits. I edit better on paper because I can see the needs of the story line clearer.
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