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Top 5 Tuesday: Cozy Fall Reads

Ah, another Tuesday, so it must be Belgium what? Oh, no, I mean that it’s Top 5 Tuesday, you know, from Shanah over at, Bionic Book Worm. And this week’s topic in keeping with the season is, Top 5 Cozy Fall Reads.

Though “cozy” is wide open to interpretation. Anyway, here goes nothing:

#1 : CITY OF BRASS — S.A. Chakraborty

I’ve been hearing so many good things about this fantasy, that I’m convinced, it’s on my to Buy List. Personally, the Fall is that time of year to read a really good fantasy, or anything about magic, as it’s that mystical, mythical time of year.

#2 : TIGERHEART — Peter David

I’ve had this book—which was a gift—for ages and this is probably the perfect time of year to read it. It being all about fairies, leprechauns, and magic mirrors people can go through to Fairytale lands. And what’s better, it’s written by Peter David who has great wit.

#3 : THE PERPLEXING THEFT OF THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN — Vaseem Khan

I bought this one a few months back after reading a few reviews that said it was lighthearted and funny, and, of course, set in India. And, needing a break from the typical murder-mystery thought I would give this one a go. Well, I guess along with it’s humour and bright orange cover, reminiscent of Autumnal colours, this is the season I should be reading it. Something to make me smile and feel warm and cozy inside.

#4 : THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE — Alan Bradley

I finally got around to buying this one, the first in a long series featuring Flavia, solving crime. Not only is it on my list because it mentions pie, and pumpkin pie is always a big thing for Fall, but it has a luminous bright green cover which really has nothing to do with anything, but to me, it feels very cozy and fall like.

#5 : HOPELESS IN MAINE — Tom Brown

This is another gift book, well, actually, graphic novel, that’s set in, eh, an alternative Maine. One that sort of moved sideways into a realm of horror, the living dead, spirits that walk the night, and weird monsters that bump into night. Yes, you read right. This is a perfect cozy fall read visually graphic enough to give you the odd chills and scary you in a ‘Oh my god, I’m glad I don’t live there!’ kind of way.

And you, what do you consider a cozy Fall read? Ghouls, ghosts and monsters, or funny, cozy murder-mysteries?

Bassetts Licorice Allsorts

Sometimes, just sometimes, I want to make a large mountain of books in the middle of the floor of my apartment, and set them alight!

Yes, I know, I’m either crazy or … I’m having another bad month time when it comes to choosing books—both at the bookshop and to read—in general. I have this knack at the moment of choosing three books, two of which will turn out to be duds or, just plain GAH!

I read and finished FORCE OF NATURE in record time, within I think two sittings? And throughly enjoyed my trip out into the Aussie outback with Harper’s socially inept characters. But then? The next two books I’ve started are, well, just mind numbingly boring.

Yes, that includes what started out as an intriguing read, LOCKDOWN, by Laurie R. King. Who is normally so reliable when it comes to excellent storytelling with plenty of twists and turns. And yes, for the first 95 pages, I was there … and then, just as quickly, I wasn’t when, for some obscure reason, King has us going 30 years to the past in a flashback to Papua New Guinea. While mildly interesting prose, the whole angle and where it leads, just pulled me right out of the initial story. Not once, but a number of times King has us picking up one of three threads that, well, quite frankly, seem to have little if any bearing on the main plot.

It got annoying so much so, I started FORMULA OF DECEPTION, a good old fashioned kind of whodunit set in Alaska. Out in the boonies, where bodies are likely to turn up stiff in a spring thaw and have everyone guessing what happened. Except … except the writing on this one has failed to spark. So, despite all the right ingredients being present, I’m already bored.

It doesn’t help that in the 3-4 page prologue there’s a glaring error. An unnamed guy (destined for a grisly death) is wearing a flannel shirt, that at one point he covers with a coat, yet, not two paragraphs later he’s trying to pin a medal on his “khaki” shirt. I should have given up then.

So, back to the TBR pile … and I’m going for broke … I hear GLASS HOUSES by Louise Penny, calling my name!

Wish me luck … or something!

Deception Point

“Paul Jutra’s life is about to become a living hell, the problem is, Paul doesn’t remember. Doesn’t remember much of anything, prior to waking up in a hospital bed with a raging headache.”

The prologue of this novel, which I’m about to start work on (well, this winter at least) is now up for review on my writing website, HERE!

I would appreciate any feedback anyone would care to give, even if it’s just to tell me you spotted a spelling mistake. And if anyone would like to be a BETA reader for me, let me know.

This novel started out with a tongue-twisting title I’ve now since abandoned, and who wouldn’t, it was awful: THE DIOSCURI STRATAGEM is now DECEPTION POINT — yes, even though that title has already been used by another, eh, more famous author.

I decided that Deception Point was a better fit. It was, in fact, one of the original titles I’d chosen, but abandoned after doing an online search. I mean, no one really wants to have the same title as another author, especially if that title and or certain someone else is a lot more famous than you. But, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted Deception Point, and so, here we are. I’ve renamed my WIP back to what I wanted.

Oh, and FYI, as for the word “dioscuri” check this out. It might give you a clue about what I’m writing about. What, no?

First Impressions Friday: Formula of Deception

It’s that time of week, again, which means, it’s First Impressions Friday. For those of you who are unfamiliar, #FIF is a weekly meme created by J.W. Martin. The goal is to talk about a book you recently started reading then, share your first impressions, predict what you think will happen, and say whether you think you’ll enjoy it.

When her twin sister was murdered, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and may be back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The memory that Murphy was asked to draw was from an Alaskan hunter who discovered five bodies on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago, but has only shared the information with the police now that he’s dying of cancer. When they go to the island to investigate, no skeletons remain but there is evidence that the bodies may have been deliberately destroyed. But the big discovery is of a World War II Quonset hut.

As one by one the people who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much deeper at stake. What happened there during WWII? And who is willing to kill to keep those secrets buried?

I  told myself I wasn’t going to buy another new book till I had a read few more off my TBR pile on the coffee table (which, btw, is sagging from the weight) but when I absently wandered into the book shop last weekend, I couldn’t help but notice the cover of this one—and, yes, picked it up. And you know how it is, once you start reading a book, there, in the shop, you feel obliged to buy it, right?

So of course, I bought it.

At the moment I’m struggling with LOCKDOWN (last week’s pick) which I really should have finished a couple of days ago. But it’s dragging! I so want to move on from King’s novel, which, if the truth be known, got lost somewhere in the middle of Papua New Guinea — and why the hell we’re there I haven’t got a clue, but it threw me right out of my reading.

Anyway, the plan is to finish LOCKDOWN at some point this weekend, while starting FORMULA OF DECEPTION. I’m in the mood for a really good mystery, and this one seems to have all the right elements.

Wish me luck, I’m off to Alaska.

Getting A Grip On Crime …

Or, more to the point, learning the art of writing crime fiction.

The amazingly talented Crime Thriller Girl, A.K.A. Steph Broadribb, along with a couple of her fellow crime-writing friends—Susi Holliday, AK Benedict, and Louise Voss—have created a website in order to help authors write their first novel.

If you would like to know more about what’s on offer, visit them HERE.

And while you are at it, why not look them up on Facebook, HERE.