Saturday, August 30, 2008


Lee Driver's Chase Dagger series is a must for us cross-genre junkies. She straddles the genres with a foot firmly planted in mystery, yet comfortable with the other entrenched in fantasy. Her novels always make a fantastic read and appeal to both groups. Her skill at plotting keeps the twists and turns coming, but not at the expense of characterization. I always clear time when I pick up her books, knowing once I start I won't stop until I reach the end.

Chasing Ghosts explores Dagger's past and the shadow company BettaTec that has been hinted at in previous novels. Also Chase realizes (about time) that he's in love with Sara. A fun visit with the pair who finally sync their working relationship. And a hilarious longer look at the secondary cast members. My favorite is Skizzy, the brilliant techno-nerd. who is hanging by his fingernails on the mental health floor. Although I wanted to smack him about half way through for continuously calling Sara "girly". Except for that quibble it was a pleasurable romp of a ride. As always I'm left wanting more of Chase and Sara.

Lee Driver also writes as S.D.Tooley

Monday, August 25, 2008

Killing Ideas

Where do we get our ideas? This is the number one question asked of an author at one time or another. The answer is everywhere, while doing the most mundane things.

Yesterday my husband, whose dedicated to getting me ready for our bicycle ride vacation, dragged me out of bed at the ungodly hour of eight am for a short twelve mile ride on Fall Creek Greenery Trail.

The trail lives up to its name. Lots of shade trees, birds and insects for soothing background noise, and of course Fall Creek. On the plus side there are very few other idiots exercising in this early morning.

Did I mention I hate to change my routine? My idea of a perfect Sunday is to venture out at noon, an appropriate hour, after a leisurely cup of coffee, yogurt and the morning paper.

Back to the story, still sleepy, I pedal at a moderate pace. Twenty yards in front of me is some middle-age guy, holding a cell phone to his ear hogging the middle of the bike path.

Normally one says something to the effect of passing on your left, or ringing their bell and the other person moves over. Not this guy. He keeps talking and riding in the middle.

He’s now officially irritated me in so many ways and we haven’t met. Doesn’t take much to twist my knickers in a knot does it? First, he isn’t wearing a helmet. What if he falls, cracks his head, and has to be treated? Does he have insurance? Probably not, even if he does he’s stupid for not wearing a helmet. It’s those kind of accidents that makes everyone’s premiums go up. Not a very good citizen.

Second, pick a side of the pathway to ride on, preferable the right. Basic rules of the road follow them. This guy is riding on the edge of the good citizen envelope and is about to fall off.

Third, hells bells get that cell phone out of your ear, put both hands on the handlebar and pay attention. Why would somebody want to exercise and talk on the phone at this hour?

Did I mention he was a middle age man? The only logical reason I can come up with is he’s cheating on his wife and calling his girlfriend. What a lout.

That’s it; he’s fallen over the line. My Jack Reacher-essence has bubbled to the top. He’s using too much air, he’s got to die.

So I tell my retired cop husband, I think I need to kill this guy.
He humors me and plays along? Wants to know what I’m going to use for the murder weapon.

Simple, I ride right up next to him and shoot him with my 38 snub nose revolver.

Hubby always ruins my plans. Your 38 don’t have a silencer, nor do I have a plastic water bottle to improvise needed silencer. Besides, he reminds me, the next mile is sunny and he’ll see the shadow from raising my gun hand.

Okay, I’ll wait till we get to a shaded area and then shoot him. Everyone will think it’s a car backfiring.

Now he reminds me I’m a klutz, can’t ride, aim and shot straight. Further he adds salt to the wound by informing me I would actually need to be slightly ahead of him so I don’t get any blood splatter. And how I’m I going to do that when I can’t get the guy to move over?

Why am I still married to this guy who takes all the fun out of my morning project? At this point my cranky pants hubby puts some bass in his voice and says “passing on the left”. The guy pulls over to the right, unbelievable.

Next Sunday, I’m coming prepared.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I love it when I find a new author, so I'm blogging today about my discovery. Only wish I would of found her sooner.

Bitten is a fine debut. Kelley Armstrong writing is imaginative and extremely descriptive. Her book is urban fantasy, with a touch of mystery and romance.

Elena Michaels, the protagonist, is the only female werewolf in her pack. She deplores the urgings of her wild side and is trying to be a typical strong modern women living apart from her pack. Obviously it's not working, she must return to her pack which comes under siege by outside werewolves(mutts). AT this point the race is on to the end of the novel. Quite the page turner once I got past the initial third of the book.

My big quibble was the amount of back story in the beginning of the book. The narrative slowed the story to the point I laid the book aside several times. Her descriptions of transforming into a wolf and hunting however drew me back in. The last half of the book was well plotted and paced even though the ending was somewhat predictable.

I don't usually believe the blurbs on the back of a novel, but this time the claim she does for werewolves what Anne Rice did for vampires is correct. I'm sure to read her next entry in her Women of the Otherworld series.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Charlaine Harris is one of my favorite authors. It doesn’t hurt that she’s a hoot when you hear her speak at public forums. A perfect day for me, a glass of sun tea, my favorite reading chair, and a Sookie Stackhouse novel. It just doesn’t get any better. Her characters are well written, converse in snappy dialogue, and pleasingly plotted. Yes I’m a fan.

I’ve eagerly watched HBO ramp up their promotions for the fall series True Blood. The series is based on Charlaine’s heroine. Sookie Stackhouse, who is a telepathic Louisiana barmaid and a friend to vampires, werewolves, and various other odd creatures. I’ve got my finger’s crossed they stay true to the essence of the character’s Charlaine has created.

The sequence started with Dead Until Dark and her latest addition is Dead as a Doornail. Her series is considered Urban Fantasy. I prefer the term, cross genre, a mix of mystery and sci-fi. Both good reasons to check out the new series this fall on HBO.
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