Tag Archives: Books

Eat This While You Read That: Lee and Miller – Cedar Writes

Here’s a post featuring my favorite author team, their books, and a favorite character’s favorite food. A favorable post!


A couple of weeks ago I featured a lowly, plebian sandwich on ETWYRT. Today’s recipe is pretty much the exact opposite of the zombie apocalypse grilled cheese. I really enjoy the Liaden serie…

Source: Eat This While You Read That: Lee and Miller – Cedar Writes


The Swinging Reader

Are you a promiscuous reader? I am. It’s rare if I’m reading just one book. Probably as a child, I read one at a time, but for many years, I’ve been a reading swinger. Maybe it started during college, when I had several textbooks and other assigned reading going, and in an effort to save my sanity, I’d pick up a novel to read for five minutes before falling asleep.

I’ve always needed fiction. It stimulates my mind, but at the same time it’s restful. I think that’s because it really is a need. If I don’t have it, I’m hungry for it, which can be quite stressful. So I open a book and feed myself.

This doesn’t explain my promiscuity, but that’s not something I worry about. It’s gotten worse with the proliferation of e-readers. I have a different book on each one.

My Kindle contains my bedtime reading. Right now, that’s Keeper’s of the Ancient Wisdomby Sandra Saidak.  This is book 3 of a series about an ancient goddess-centric society.

I used to take my Kindle with me whenever I went somewhere that I’d have reading time. Post office, BART, doctor’s, etc. Now I just bring my phone, where I have access to my husband’s Kindle account. This is where I’m reading Abaddon’s Gate by James. A. Corey. This the Expanse Series, book 3. I think there are several more after this one.

On my computer’s Kindle Reader, I have Tale of the Lost Daughterby Karen Clark. This is book 1 of her series called Path of She. I’ve read Karen’s blog for a while, where she posts meditations and guides about following the Dark Goddess. This is the first novel by her that I’ve read and I’m enjoying it very much. I tend to read this during the day when I feel I want a break.

Wait – there’s more. My computer also has a Reader for PC, which holds a few items that I buy from publishers other than Amazon. While I can usually get a Kindle version of these books, it’s really a hassle to get them onto the Kindle. I’m sure this is Amazon’s fault, since they want you to buy all your books from them. They want to make it difficult to do otherwise. But not everyone distributes their books through Amazon. Or – and this is important – they have their books on Amazon, but based on my own experience,  I’m pretty sure the author gets a bigger royalty if I buy the book from their website. For instance, the book I just started on my Reader is The Spirit Gate by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff. Maya is part of Book View Cafe, an author cooperative that distributes their own books. If I can spare her from a middleman such as Amazon, I’m happy to do it.

I tend to forget about the Reader for PC though, so I think I’ve reached my limit of books-in-process. I’m just glad I don’t have to carry all those physical books around!

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With | The Passive Voice | A Lawyer’s Thoughts on Authors, Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing

I’ve always been a reader and I’ve always lost myself in the stories I read. Even as a child, it was easy for me to understand different sides of an argument or experience empathy for others. I’m certain my reading contributed to this.

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With | The Passive Voice | A Lawyer’s Thoughts on Authors, Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing.

Book Review and General Discussion About the End of the World

It’s rare for me to review a book beyond a basic star rating on Goodreads, but I wanted to review this book here for y’all. NOT because it’s such a great book (trust me, it’s not), but because it does present an idea worth discussing.  The book is One Second After by William R. Forstchen.

I don’t know where or how I found this book. Usually I make a private note to myself on Goodreads if a book is by an author I haven’t read before. But I have no notes for this one, so it will remain a mystery.

This an apocalyptic book, centered on the destruction of America due to a high-atmosphere nuclear bomb that emits an electromagnetic pulse. The EMP wipes out all our electronics in an instant, bringing our civilization to a catastrophic halt. The story is a disturbing description of how one town deals with the aftermath.

The author has an impressive bio of military history and history of technology.  He says his description of how EMPs can be generated, and the damage they can cause, is accurate and true. I have to take him at his word for that – it certainly sounds plausible, and I have no technical knowledge in that area.

Oddly, for someone with so much to offer, he writes a book riddled with ridiculous errors. I am amazed that Purdue actually hands out PhD’s to people who don’t know the correct phrase is “could have” not “could of.” Or that “their” is not the same as “they’re” which is not the same as “there.”

Um, no these errors didn’t happen just once. They occur throughout the book. Sure, the editor is at fault, but the poor editor probably couldn’t believe a grown man with a PhD actually turned in something like this.

Putting all that aside, the book does have something to offer. It’s a dispassionate examination of life after catastrophe. Who dies first, second, third…, including famines, flu, and the secondary diseases that result from too many people dying all at once and how to deal with the bodies. Mr. Forstchen provides a good discussion, through his characters, of why there’s not much to be done to prevent these deaths. The story provides an even better example of how a community can work together to help each other, while policing the bullies and outlaws.

I believe in being reasonably prepared for emergencies – I’ve written before about our earthquake kit. Anyone who is even modestly prepared can probably survive long enough to join up with neighbors, and thus contribute to the larger group’s survival. I don’t think that means you should go out and dig a bomb shelter, stock it, and live there in perpetual hiding. But at least stock enough somewhere to take care of your own needs for a week or three, then maybe stock a bit more to help out someone else.

At its worst, One Second After is a gun-lover’s wet dream, with the far-right hawkish tendency to believe that all wrong-doers are evil devil-worshipers who never met a heinous act they didn’t embrace, and the good guys having guns and being willing to use them is the only answer. This is silly enough, but there’s also the fact that no one in the book seems to understand how wrong it is for the main character (a good guy!) to steal and horde all the insulin in the area, for his own daughter’s use. I know – parents will do crazy things for their kids – but someone should have called him on it. Since no one does, I’m left with the uncomfortable idea that Mr. Forstchen thinks this is heroic, or at least laudable, behavior.

But he does provide a top-notch description of how our modern global society has traded any possibility of self-sufficiency for convenience and cheap products. In fact, he uses the insulin to do this, starting with the oil coming from the Middle East, and following a byzantine trail around the world to produce the medicine and the equipment needed to administer it.

In the end, it’s this trade-off that kills so many people: without immediate and constant replacement of all consumables, most Americans are helpless.

Maybe it would be best to die in the first wave or two, eh?




Reviews: Worlds Apart

Love this Goodreads review on Worlds Apart! 

“This book was a great read and so different from the normal type of relationship. I thoroughly enjoyed the read, as I hope others will. Marlene Dotterer two thumbs up on this great book.”

And this great review is more comprehensive. Here’s a snippet:

“I’m so glad I took a chance on this new novel as I really enjoyed it. It’s full of suspense, intrigue, paranormal, action, and romance. It’s a well-developed story that’s written well that includes an interesting array of characters…” 

If you are so inclined, more reviews are needed at Goodreads, Amazon and Smashwords. Thank you!

Vacation, Books, and Work-in-Progress

My vacation continues to wreck havoc with anything approaching a writing schedule. I’m in a B-I-C, just-pound-the-keyboard phase, where when I DO manage to open a manuscript, I must write utter BS, just to get something onto the page. My mind has essentially shut down.

I’m thrilled with the response to Worlds Apart. All my books are selling more these days, which may have more to do with lowering prices for a couple of summer sales, than anything else. W.A. is selling briskly, so thank you to all who’ve snatched it up! I’m hoping for more reviews, if any of you have a chance. And please tell your friends about it. Somewhere, there are all those thousands of people who buy a particular book over at Smashwords or Amazon or Kobo. Make sure they know about Worlds Apart!

In the meantime, I am having fun on this trip. The grandkids are so much fun. I can’t believe the energy they have. Trying to keep up with them reminds me of how old I am. Keeps me from complacency, I guess. We’ve been doing some hiking, in the midday, July, Arizona sun. How crazy is that? Fortunately, it’s monsoon season, so we get some cloud cover and even the occasional spat of rain. I’ve put in 7 miles in the last two days!

Marlene Sierra Vista









Yesterday we had a close encounter. We think it was a chameleon. It was about 8 inches long. Kept its eye on me the whole time I was passing by.

Chameleon on SV hike

Where in the World is Worlds Apart?

Have you heard the rumor that Worlds Apart by Marlene Dotterer *might* be available somewhere?

Now you have!

Worlds Apart is up at Smashwords – whew! I think it’s actually finished!

There is also a Giveaway over at Goodreads. Sign up and win a signed paperback copy. US and Canada, only – sorry.

Amazon and others – not yet. Maybe tomorrow!



WWW Wednesday

In another bow to Book View Cafe’s WWW Wednesday, I’m going to snatch the idea and post it here.

The meme is simple:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

A Hidden Witch (The Modern Witch #2) by Debora Geary. I’m enjoying this series, despite it’s simplistic nature. In fact, that’s part of the fun. I like characters I’d be comfortable with at a picnic, and this crew of witches definitely fits that idea. So far, nothing much actually happens in these books – it’s sort of a Walden Family Witches. There’s a close-knit extended family with lots of kids and a tight community of witches that stay in contact through the internet and an online game. Everybody loves everybody else and there’s lots of sharing and teaching going on. It’s exactly the kind of thing I’d like to be part of. Except for the gaming part. Trust me. I can’t even handle Second Life.

What did you recently finish reading?

Lyon’s Legacy (Catalyst Chronicles, #1) by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan. I gave this novella 3 stars on Goodreads, which is my default rating. I liked it well enough, although I found it hard to take seriously. Honestly, we discover a wormhole to a parallel universe slightly behind us in time, and we turn it into a tourist playground? Then send someone over there to steal DNA from a famous rock star so we can clone him?

The good thing about this is that it’s so ridiculous you go along for the ride. The characters are well-drawn, especially the MC. There’s no serious action in this book either, but there’s lots of angst.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I think I’ll go with Timeless by Gail Carriger. I loved the Parasol Protectorate series, and I’ve never managed to read this last book.  But I’ve finally bought it and it should be up next!

What about you? Give us your answers in the comments or leave a comment with the link to your blog post.