Thursday, March 26, 2009
by Jaime Samms
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I love Jaime Samms’ ‘Moving Day’. I don’t say that often, not about any book. As I try to remember a book I really loved... I think of TA Chases Angel’s Evolution. That one was pretty decent. I think the last book I just adored was Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and I read that in like...2003? Maybe it was 2004. So that puts ‘Moving Day’ out of my preferred genre and a rare hit for me.
One of the things I loved about the story was how real the characters felt, while still retaining an echo of mythic flavor. Great characters are like that, Luke Skywalker, Paris, Macbeth.. so large and universal in their flavor and yet retaining the petty, bickering misunderstandings that us mortals get in our lives. Ms. Samms’ characters are like that. I’m not saying that Ms. Samms story is ‘great’ like the hard to read Iliad or ‘grand’ like the commercial intent of the Star Wars franchise. No, her stuff is wonderful and easy to swallow, real and vivid, with characters that linger in the mind and make a person want to draw them.
I think reading Moving Day left a kernel of idea in me... about how important it is to forgive flawed people, you know, like myself. Jay and Mike make me smile when I think about them, and I read this book well over a month ago. If you want some romance that will touch your life and linger like a sweet afterthought long after the book is done, please read Moving Day.
Author: Nix Winter
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Blurb: The card is elegant, simple. One single word on it, ‘Dream’, and it’s Cade’s key into Toshiro’s world, a world of sensual truth and secrets like Cade has never dreamed of before.
Toshiro sees clients. Sometimes it's for a Japanese tea ceremony. Sometimes it's for something more ... personal. Cade comes to him searching for information about a missing brother. He's not looking for a spanking or the thoughts of a beautiful, mysterious man, but he's likely going to get more than he bargained for.
So, What can I say about this book? Besides that I love it, because that isn't really enough to go on. It's hard to talk about a book when the writer is your friend, and you don't want to sound like you're pandering. But I have to say, Nix writes like I wish I could. She creates characters that I want to know. I have to admit, and I have to her a few times, that I'm a little bit crushin' on Tosh. Perhaps it's like Cade says, and everyone who meets him falls a little in love with him, even if he only exists on paper, but then, that's the mark of a truly good writer isn't it? To create characters we wish were real people because it seems like the world would be a better place if they were in it.
As a writer and a reviewer, it's a rare story that loses me in the beauty and rhythm of the words, in the lush settings, that really lets me let go of that little voice inside that's looking for something to pick on. When I get to the end of a story and realize I haven't been critiquing it the whole way through, I know I've read something worth talking about, and passing on and sharing, because everyone should have that experience of getting lost for a little while.
This book has one of the sexiest, and yet most understated love scenes I've read in ears. As erotic writers, I think sometimes we get a little caught up in the details, in making sure we get the mechanics right, and we lose sight of the bigger picture of why the characters are on their backs in the first place. In a story where the men aren't supposed to fall in love, the idea that the love scene is about just about everything but sex is refreshing. Nix hasn't lost the forest for the trees here. In fact, she's created a zen garden where only the most basic and important elements have been included, and all the extraneous, distracting noise and clutter have been eliminated.
Have I said she writes like I wish I could? Well, she does, and you should read this book.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
There are two different kinds of posts for author pairs to consider. These descriptions are to be taken as just vague guidelines. The intent here is to give the author pairs a base to start creating from.
“The Book” posts:
Here Author A and Author B would exchange books or stories they are promoting. In one post Author A would review [using term loosely] or reflect upon or critque or exam or study Author B’s story.
I see the “reviews/reflections” as more in depth or with an angle postings. As writers, we see writing differently. So here Author A could be creative talking about whatever stands out after reading the story like use of descriptions, or types of characters, or wealth of knowledge to be gained through the text, etc. Again, be creative and no summary of the story - the blurb will be enough. Next post, Authors would switch roles.
“The Author” posts:
These would look like “interviews” or just conversations. Again, be creative and more personal. For example, maybe chat about a very specific topic of writing or interview about the subject matter the author dealt with.
[Edit 5/1/2009 - We have had really inventive ways to do this so far, one author pair actually had their characters interviewing them! Just wanted to give a good example of how this format can be creatively played with!]
I see various advantages to doing this blog. Authors get a “review” of sorts to use excerpts from in their marketing. Free reads - we all know that authors are avid readers and sometimes poor! LOL! Of course, marketing for both. This blog gives both authors another chance to post on yahoo groups without using the traditional promo format, send event invitations and bulletins on MySpace, or talk about the experience on your blog. With all authors involved advertising when they are going to be there, this should build quickly.
Email me at howell (dot) kiki (at) gmail (dot) com with the pair of authors names, email addresses, website, and date wishing to post. If you do not know another author to ask, email me with what you wish to post along with the genres you would be willing to work with, and I will try to pair authors up.
[Edit 5/1/2009 - so far I have been successful about 80% of the time. I don't always get authors whose genres overlap in a timely fashion, but I will do my best!]
In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.