MAMA DOES TIME by Deborah Sharp : Meet Mama: a true Southern woman with impeccable manners, sherbet-colored pantsuits, and four prior husbands, able to serve sweet tea and sidestep alligator attacks with equal aplomb. Mama’s antics — especially her penchant for finding trouble — drive her daughters Mace, Maddie, and Marty to distraction.
One night, while settling in to look for ex-beaus on COPS, Mace gets a frantic call from her mother. This time, the trouble is real: Mama found a body in the trunk of her turquoise convertible and the police think she’s the killer. It doesn’t help that the handsome detective assigned to the case seems determined to prove Mama’s guilt or that the cowboy who broke Mace’s heart shows up at the local Booze ‘n’ Breeze in the midst of the investigation. Before their mama lands in prison — just like an embarrassing lyric from a country-western song — Mace and her sisters must find the real culprit.
While I haven’t yet finished this book, I find I’m delightfully caught up in the quirky writing style. The heroine, Mace, might seem a little stereotypical of female leads these days, but the character interaction and dialogue is witty and clever. Sharp also does a great job of developing side characters, not only her leading roles, in this plucky charmer. I’m looking forward to the ending.
BRIGHT OF THE SKY by Kay Kenyon: Kay Kenyon, noted for her science fiction world-building, has in this new series created her most vivid and compelling society, the Universe Entire. In a land-locked galaxy that tunnels through our own, the Entire is a bizarre and seductive mix of long-lived quasi-human and alien beings gathered under a sky of fire, called the bright. A land of wonders, the Entire is sustained by monumental storm walls and an exotic, never-ending river. Over all, the elegant and cruel Tarig rule supreme. Into this rich milieu is thrust Titus Quinn, former star pilot, bereft of his beloved wife and daughter who are assumed dead by everyone on earth except Quinn. Believing them trapped in a parallel universe–one where he himself may have been imprisoned–he returns to the Entire without resources, language, or his memories of that former life. He is assisted by Anzi, a woman of the Chalin people, a Chinese culture copied from our own universe and transformed by the kingdom of the bright. Learning of his daughter’s dreadful slavery, Quinn swears to free her. To do so, he must cross the unimaginable distances of the Entire in disguise, for the Tarig are lying in wait for him. As Quinn’s memories return, he discovers why. Quinn’s goal is to penetrate the exotic culture of the Entire–to the heart of Tarig power, the fabulous city of the Ascendancy, to steal the key to his family’s redemption. But will his daughter and wife welcome rescue? Ten years of brutality have forced compromises on everyone. What Quinn will learn to his dismay is what his own choices were, long ago, in the Universe Entire. He will also discover why a fearful multiverse destiny is converging on him and what he must sacrifice to oppose the coming storm. This is high-concept SF written on the scale of Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld, Roger Zelazny’s Amber Chronicles, and Dan Dimmons’s Hyperion.
Since I’m too few pages into this book to give an accurate description, I’m going to refrain at the moment. All I can say is the imagery presented so far is believably vivid.
WHAT ZOMBIES FEAR by Kirk Almond: When Victor Tookes went to work that beautiful spring day, he never expected to see a man eaten alive in the street in front of his office. After convincing himself that they really were zombies, he makes a trip from his house in Pennsylvania to his family home in Virginia, battling zombies all the way. His three and a half year old son was bitten on the leg, but doesn’t turn into a zombie. Instead, he turns into something more than human.
Victor quickly discovers that everything he knew about zombies was wrong. Not all of them were mindless, uncoordinated, rotting ghouls; some of them were bigger, faster, stronger or smarter than when they were human.
A small percentage of humans are genetically immune to the parasite. Instead of turning these humans into mindless shamblers, they gain enhanced abilities. These new abilities will be pushed to their limits in their quest to carve out a safe haven to call home.
So far, this novel is interesting. The initial Prologue at the beginning had me concerned. I usually avoid books beginning with a Prologue. Since starting to read I’ve found a few typos. This irritates me but has not put me off from the book yet. It’s fairly tongue-in-cheek writing so far. And there have been instances of unrealistic portrayals. However, I’m still not willing to put it down yet. The concept behind this book is fairly unique – shambling zombies are joined by smart, weapon-wielding zombies. The concept of super-humans fighting against the mutant zombies…? Not so much. The storyline seems more intended for YA audiences than adult readers, which I don’t think was the writer’s original intention but that’s okay. For now, I’ll keep reading.
IRISH MOON by Amber Scott: A deathbed vow he cannot forget….
Murder for magick. If she can master her powers before they master her….
A fierce–undeniable–passion that threatens to unravel it all under an Irish Moon.
Picked this novel up as a freebie, although I can’t say it really grabbed my attention. The blurb was a little vague, but I thought I’d give it a shot. It’s free, right? How can that hurt. I’m not saying I don’t like the book at this point. I’m not really that far into it at the moment to say one way or another. But I can say that the author really likes to lay the brogue on thick. I wholeheartedly enjoy my Irish/Scottish burr in dialogue, but this author goes further by using it in the story prose as well. It’s a bit like she’s trying too hard. Also an intelligent woman getting “too old” to marry off and the people responsible for her deciding her fate is a little tried and true. Oh, yes, and she seems to be learning forbidden knowledge as well so… Again, this tale hasn’t put me off it yet so I’ll give it a little more time and see what it gives me new and fresh.
NOW…for the piece de la resistance! A snippet of what I’ve been working on recently.
BLOOD OF MY BLOOD:
What else I knew was that she didn’t work on Mondays because that was the only day of my work week she and I didn’t ride beside each other. What other day off she had out of the week must have been one of the two days I was off from Big’un’s, either Tuesday or Thursday. Unless, of course, she had three days off and was off both Tuesday and Thursday as well as Monday. But I didn’t think so. She struck me as a “worker”.
The woman on the bus whom I sat next to had the same look as my mother, the look of a “worker,” someone who would put her family’s needs above her own at all costs. Her blonde, curly hair was cut simply and had an easy style, like she needed to be able to don it in a hurry in the mornings. Her makeup, while expertly applied, was minimal; and her uniform, while clean and crisp, often showed signs of wear, mending, and the occasional carefully matched patching. Her shoes appeared to be the only splurge the woman allowed (even her purse and coat seemed well-looked-after but old), but that made sense to me since she was a nurse.
To me, these were all indicators she was a “worker.” They made me like her immediately. Since my own mother had been similar to her, and I had adored my mother while she lived, I suppose I was pre-dispositioned to think fondly of the woman on the bus. This fact was probably why I’d decided to take the seat beside her over the surly looking woman one seat before the nurse on the day I’d given up my seat to an elderly man at the front of the bus.
“I’m sorry,” I’d said. “Would you mind if I sat here?” She’d shook her head and offered me the barest of smiles. I slid in beside her.
“I’m Sammy,” I’d said by way of simple introduction. She’d answered me simply enough as well, offering, “Judy.”
And, with that exchange, we were introduced.
I’d ridden twice more in the seat I’d usually sat in at the front of the bus, each time, giving up my seat to the elderly gentleman whom I’d given it to when I’d met Judy. And, each time, I’d choose to sit beside Judy rather than the sour-faced woman in front of her.
For months, we’d ridden in relative silence, other than my asking her permission to sit beside her on the somewhat crowded public transit. From time to time, she or I would comment on the weather or some scene that caught our fancy in the world outside the bus’s windows, but little conversation occurred.
Until one day, Judy’d asked, “Do you have children?” I shook my head. Judy frowned and glanced out her window, effectively turning away from me. I assumed the end of the conversation, but then she turned back to me.
“I do. My daughter is ten,” she’d said. I nodded. “Tonight I woke up to find Jocelyn had pierced her nose sometime this evening!” She didn’t raise her voice, but I could hear the frustration in it. I made some noncommittal sound, not sure if Judy was the type of person who wanted a comment made in return or was just a “talker.”
“Talkers” were people who struck up conversation with you, intent on never letting you actually converse with them. But she only looked at me in exasperation. Clearly, Judy wasn’t a “talker.”
“I take it a nose piercing is a bad thing?” I’d asked. My eyebrows raised on my face. Judy frowned again. “No, they’re ok. Actually, I really like them. Just not on my ten year old daughter, you know?”
“I see,” I’d said. I wasn’t a parent, so I wasn’t really sure how one would respond, but I did have a nephew who was ten once upon a time. “Did you ever tell you she couldn’t have one?” Judy shook her head no. “What did you say when you saw her tonight?”
“She was sleeping; I didn’t wake her.” She sighed. “What was I supposed to say?”
I thought back to the time when my nephew had gone through his “goth” phase and come home wearing a dog collar and black lipstick, his nails painted blood red. My brother had panicked. He hadn’t known how to respond, so he’d grounded the kid.
“I guess you could go two ways with it,” I’d said. “Either freak out or ignore it. I’ve found with my nephew that any time my brother freaked, he’d up the ante, so to speak. If he ignored him, the kid usually reverted pretty quick to his old ways. Except when it came to skateboarding, but that’s not a piercing.” I shrugged.
“I’m probably overreacting,” Judy said. “But she’s ten, and she’s the prettiest little thing with red hair like her grandmother’s and my green eyes.”
“Well, that explains it,” I said, thinking of my own childhood growing up with red hair. “Most of us can’t wait to look like anything but ourselves. Let’s face it, everyone may think gingers are adorable, but we feel like the only person wearing plaid at a black-tie affair.”