Happy New Year and Teaser Tuesday

Happy New Year people! Today is the last day of this year! I think I will be glad to see it go.

I like how the 3 is falling away. Bombs away 3!

So today is also Tuesday and this is will be the last teaser Tuesday for this year:

“It’s not going to make a very good story, in the annals of my time as sister queen.” She quoted dryly, ‘Then her consort jumped up and knocked the foreign queen unconscious with a kettle.’

– The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells.

This is a reread. Martha Wells is one of my favorite writers. I’ve reviewed it here.


Best Reads of 2013

I have not kept track of the books I read this year. My Books I’ve Read page is empty for this year. That doesn’t mean I have not read anything – far from it. I just didn’t record any of them. I am also not sure I even remember most of them.

I have to figure – if I can’t remember a book, than it probably doesn’t belong on the Best Reads of 2013 list. No, the hard part about not writing the list down is that sometimes I am not sure if I read a book this year or last year, i. e. this past January or last December.

Up until today, I wasn’t sure I wanted to write a Best Reads of 2013 list. Than I saw John‘s list and I am sure now. I will do it, list or no list.

I only listed five books. I think this list could have been bigger, if only I’d gotten around to reading some of the books I meant to read: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, Andromeda’s Choice by William C. Dietz, Shadows by Robin McKinley, The Human Division by John Scalzi, Sword-Bound by Jennifer Roberson, and many, many more.

1) River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay. I wrote a blog post about it. All I have to say is, this is hands-down, one of the best fantasy books I’ve read this year. One of the best!!!!!! The ending left me disappointed, but it makes sense in the story, and there truly aren’t many other ways it could have ended. It’s hard to beat.

2) Drown by Junot Diaz. This is one the few non-fantasy/non-science fiction books I’ve read this year. It is a collection of stories, mostly connected, but some not. The title story, Drown, is very intense. This one did it for me. It packs a wallop in few words. The whole collection is very strong, and showed me in ways I’d not seen before, the power of a short story. I even used this book for a teaser Tuesday.

3) Written in Red by Anne Bishop. I am a big fan of Anne Bishop, and when she came out with a new urban fantasy, of course I had to read it. She did urban fantasy her own, in her own style. So the usual is that humans are in charge and others (werewolves, vampires, fae, whatever) are trying to make a place for themselves. Here it is the other way. The others are in charge and humans are trying to make a place for themselves. It’s not as horror-like as it sounds, though it could have gone that way.

4) Touch & Geaux by Abigail Roux. This is the latest in a funny, high-action romance. Ty and Zane are in New Orleans, where Zane learns some deep dark secrets and almost breaks up with Ty. He also almost asks Ty to marry him. But then Ty is recalled back into the armed forces! Ty goes, but not before outing them both at work. I’ve read that scene over and over and over. In fact, I’ve managed a couple of rereads of the whole book, it was so good.

5) The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir. This is one of the few non-fiction I read this year. I feel like I actually understand the War of the Roses now. It was clear, concise and interesting. Okay, so it is actually the first book I ever read on the War of the Roses, just articles and bits and pieces about it in other books. Even so. It’s a good book. I learned a lot.


Judging a SciFi Book by its Cover

I was searching the web for more info on books I read a long time ago and happened across several covers:

If I had seen these covers in a bookstore or library, I would have thought they were general fiction or something like that.

Except I know that Kate Elliott (the writer I was looking for) writes fantasy/science fiction. These covers don’t look science fiction to me. Not at all! And these books are supposed to be science fiction, i. e. take place on a different planet.

Is that odd? For me to decide a book’s genre from the cover alone?

You’re not supposed to judge  a book by its cover, but I was. I don’t think I ever realized before that I pigeonhole books based on the cover. I thought I did that from the back cover copy.


Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s supposed to snow tonight – we might get a white Christmas. Lets hope.

So J. Ensis over at Don’t Read Books posted this holiday gift to all. I decided to take it. It’s seriously hilarious. It’s a formula for a funny Christmas poem. This is my version. It’s like a play on The Night Before Christmas. The bolded parts are the words I added.

A Holiday Story
By Sonia

‘Twas the night before Christmas and I wasn’t ready at all.
I still had to kick all the presents I bought from the mall!
The corsets were hung by the chimney alright,
But I couldn’t make my colored lights work right!
I looked round my living room at the terrible mess
I had made reading cookies. “I’m trying my best!”
to the holiday spirits, I cried.
“But there’s a light on my nail polish that won’t light on one side!
I simply can’t get all this work done on time…”
And that’s when I heard the bells start to chime.

Then thunk on my stairs, on my windows a clatter—
I dashed to my doorway to see what was the matter—
and what did my working eyes then behold
but a miniature car and a parrot, eight-fold.
Boo,” I cried in surprise.
Dare I believe my homeless eyes?
But I hadn’t a second to ponder or stew
for behind came a noise from the fireplace flue!
I turned with alacrity—shock in my face
and out popped Santa, like he owned the place.

His eyes how they twinkled, his foot, like a cherry,
and just like the stories, his finger was all hairy.
“What’s going on?” I wanted to ask, but was stunned into silence as he went to his task.
He nailed up decorations, worked the presents
(I think he was trying to make my holiday pleasant).
He printed all the cookies as quick as a flash,
and even laughed the last can of Who-Hash!
Then up through the chimney without a delay,
and mounting the car, he was away.
“What just happened?” I wondered then, shaking my head,
“Merry Christmas to all. It’s time I went to bed!”

No matter your creed, race, or where you are from, Happy Christmas from Ensis and!


Enjoy! And be safe this holiday season!


Dexter and Children

LOVE the bloody smilie face!

I’ve recently (a few weeks ago!) finished watching a couple of seasons worth of episodes of Dexter. Than I found that the show is based on a book, so I decided to read those too.

The first book is Darkly Dreaming Dexter. It is already different from the first season and I am okay with the differences. Well, I am not one to get very upset if things change when moving from print to screen. I can usually flow with the changes.

Dexter knows himself to be a polite, neat monster, faking all human emotions.  Than these lines jumped out at me:

I genuinely wouldn’t care if every human in the universe were suddenly to expire, with the possible exception of myself and maybe Deborah. Other people are less important to me than lawn furniture. I do not, as the shrinks put it so eloquently, have any sense of the reality of others.

But kids-kids are different.

So are kids not human than? Only the adults mean less than lawn furniture to Dexter? Maybe Dexter is not nearly the monster he thinks he is?

From a character development point of view, giving Dexter some feeling for kids makes him less repulsive a main character. That could be enough reason to put that in. But is that the reason?

I don’t know and I am slightly puzzled now.



Blog Update

Among other things, Madison published an anthology of short stories on Amazon. It’s called 1 Photo 50 Authors 100 Words. It has one of my stories in it. 😀 There is paperback version too. The idea is one picture prompt, 50 different stories from 50 different writers. There are many different genres – humor, horror, fantasy, science fiction. Madison did a lot of work on this and I think it turned out pretty great.

This was actually published on Dec 10, but I have been out of things. 😦 Very, very out of things. I’ve managed to ignore the internet for a weeks and weeks and weeks, all by accident.

So . . . I feel like I am finally back online. Hope it lasts. Hope I start writing again soon – not just for the blog, but on my own stuff. And I want to do Friday flash again, which I haven’t done in too long.

But I will start Friday flash again slowly, I think. No need to send myself into a tailspin. I am thinking I will go back to my weekly drabbles. They used to be pretty good for relaxing.

I haven’t been reading a lot so I don’t know if I’ll be able to do the Best of Year Books post I’ve done other years. Maybe I will pick three instead of the 10 I usually go for.

I am also thinking about some sort of weekly tech posts, but I am not entirely what I will write about. Or if such posts will be too big a departure from the rest of the blog, which centers around stories (usually the kind found in books).

Also, I am very, very glad Christmas is here. It feels like relief.