BW9: Sunday's Book Babble - Fictional librarian for March is Dr. Horace Worblehat


It's book week 9 in our 52 Books quest and March's fictional librarian is Dr. Horace Worblehat from Terry Pratchett's Discworld 

Reads in progress: The Count of Monte Cristo and learning a few new words.  Pratchett's The Colour of Magic which is weirdish but kind of reminds of Xanth series and having to learn a whole new world and cast of characters.   Karen Marie Moning's Kingdom of Shadow and Light which is very good and putting everyone to the test. 

Bookish Notes - Karen Marie Moning's Kingdom of Shadow and Light


I'm currently reading Karen Marie Moning's 11th and final book in her Fever series - Kingdom of Shadow and Light. Completed my speed read and now going back to savor and absorb.  The final book is all the more poignant because Moning reveals she had been battling a chronic illness which left her unable to write for a couple years which is why it took so long for this book to come out. 

"From the moment MacKayla Lane arrived in Dublin to hunt her sister’s murderer, she’s had to fight one dangerous battle after the next: to survive, to secure power, to keep her city safe, to protect the people she loves.

The matter of who’s good and who’s evil can be decided by the answer to a single question: Whose side are you on?

Now, as High Queen of the Fae, Mac faces her greatest challenge yet: ruling the very race she was born to hunt and kill - a race that wants her dead yesterday, so they can put a pure-blooded Fae queen on the throne."

Bookish Notes: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini


I started off listening To Sleep in a Sea of Stars on audiobook in the car, but soon couldn’t stand waiting for the next car trip to find out what happened next, so ended up buying the book.  Now that I’ve finished the hardcopy, I can enjoy listening in the car, listening at a slower pace, familiar with the story, and not having to click back 30 seconds because I missed something. 

I had to recover from a book hangover before I could put my thoughts together on this story.  A space opera that I imagine mirrors long sea cruises in which there are many long days, with nothing to do but sleep and eat and talk and think, mixed in with shore excursions where one tries to fit in everything they can in a day, then off to another port of call.  It’s every thing I imagine how space travel would be.  

At the center of it all is Cara, a xenobiologist, who discovers an ancient relic, the Soft Blade.   A sentient alien, the last of her kind, who melds with Cara as a living skin suit.  Then mix in two different alien groups out to conquer the world and want the Soft Blade,  and the shore excursions become space battles and a race to save the universe.  Between the space battles are period when the crew hibernates in cryosleep, except for Cara because the Soft Blade has made her resistant to it. 

During those periods of time in which it seem to take forever and a day,  Cara and the Soft Blade must figure out how to communicate and work together.   I totally enjoyed the story, the world building, the characters and the relationships building among all of them.  Amazing and entertaining story and really appreciate Paolini’s creativity.  

Synopsis:  During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she's delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move. As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn't at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human. While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity's greatest and final hope

(Category:  Alternate Realities)

BW8: Sunday's Book Babble - Bridge to Nowhere


It's week 8 in our 52 Books Quest Did you know Monday is Walk your Dog day, National Margarita day, and International Thinking day? So make a pitcher of margaritas, take a walk with your fur baby, and ponder life, the universe and everything.  Oh, and please share your favorite margarita recipes.  Don’t forget to buy some Girl Scout Cookies since thinking day was created in 1926 during the fourth Girl Guide/Girl Scout International Conference Plus. Plus the 26th is Tell a Fairy Tale day so read a fairy tale or make up one of your own.  Which I have done: 

 Bridge to Nowhere


Robin M. 

 On a bridge to Nowhere
To see No One
Who could be Anyone,
Who has traveled,
Happy and safe,
Everywhere and somewhere.
Music leads Them
From near to far
Across the bridge
to Nowhere.
The sky is full of light
Sparkling and clear.
The air is full of love,
Plenty and dear.
There, They sing
And dance and play,
Making up lines
And have plenty to say.
Past the bridge that Leads
to Nowhere.
They live to the rhythm
Of bass, cymbals, and drums
And maybe
A horn or flute or two.
Feet stamp, hands clap
And hips sway
To the beat
Of the drum.
Who laughs, What sings
And Baby laughs with joy.
And all the voices ring,
Welcome to Nowhere.


Bookish Notes: Book Hangover


I'm nursing a book hangover as I finished reading To Sleep in a Sea of Stars.  Lot to process and will write a review at some point. Still listening in the car and now can relax a little bit since I know what happened in the story.  Hard for me to listen to a story when it's new. Requires way more concentration and had to keep hitting 30 second rewind because I kept missing things. 

I discovered Microsoft Word's read aloud function which has come in handy with my current WIP and making lots of changes, and its taking  up a lot of time, but I'm happy to be back in the writing zone after a long hiatus. 

Plus I  finally got Netflix and I've been binge watching Schitts creek. ** grin**

BW7: Sunday's Book Babble - Daughters of Mnemosyne - Erato


It's book week 7 in our 52 Books Quest and we are diving into the world of romance literature this week as well as love poetry.  It’s quite apropos that our next Daughter of Mnemosyne is Erato, the muse of lyric and love poetry. Her name means the Lovely One and her symbol is the Kithara and she wears of wreath made from myrtle and roses. 

Dip your toes into Shakespeare's Sonnets, love poems of Rumi or Pablo Neruda,  ancient love Poems from Japan by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu to contemporary poetry written by Rupi Kaur

"Love is the Water of Life. "

"Because of you, in gardens of blossoming flowers I ache from the perfumes of spring."

"A woman's face with Nature's own hand painted
Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion;"

"Remembering you . . .
The fireflies of this marsh
seem like sparks
that rise
from my body's longing."



    I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Paolini’s To Sleep in a Sea of Stars and when I took James to Barnes and Noble on Superbowl Sunday I couldn’t resist and bought the book, which I’m reading now. Wonderfully imaginative story.

    Buying ban officially broken. However, I’ll stick to it as much as possible with the exception of new releases by a few select authors. Karen Marie Moning’s newest in the fever series Kingdom of Shadow and Light will be out on the 23rd. 😁

    Ebook wise, started another dragon read. Judith Tarr’s Dragons in the Earth. Since one of the stories I’m writing involves horses, I’ve been enjoying her series of posts on about Understanding Horses.

    “Dragons sleep in the earth here. Claire is barely scraping a living on her friend's ranch near Tucson, Arizona. She looks after the long-abandoned horse facility, makes occasional attempts to resuscitate her academic career, and pays the bills, more or less, with her skills as an animal communicator. Those skills don't always let her say the tactful thing to the human with the checkbook. Sometimes she has to tell the truth.

    After a particularly unfortunate session, Claire gets one last chance to keep her home and her livelihood. A small herd of horses needs a place to live and a person to care for them. But these are no ordinary horses. They represent an old, old breed, the rarest in the world, and they protect an ancient and terrible secret. And something is hunting them.

    The ranch is a perfect sanctuary. The powers that live on and under and above it can protect the horses—if Claire can control them. But first she has to control her own abilities, and learn to believe in herself.”

    I finished the Book of Secrets (#1 Last Oracle series) by Melissa McShane and will post a review a bit later. Looking forward to reading more in the series.

    Haven’t decided which romance related book I’ll be reading for our erato read.

    Onward and upward with Count of Monte Cristo!!!

    BW6: Sunday's Book Babble - Mystery, Myth, and Monte Cristo


    Jazzberry Blue 

    I started reading the Count of Monte Cristo with my 52 Books group this week in which we planned to read three chapters a week.  I couldn’t help myself because I needed to know what happened so read through Chapter 6.  Then I got totally bogged down in chapter 7 with all the history and will have to reread with my ipad standing by to look up information. Jealousy reared its ugly head.  Danglars, the supercargo, dislikes Dante taking over the ship and his super secret mission for the late captain.  Caderousse is jealous of his money or maybe just too greedy, but Dante's father felt the need to pay back a loan even though it left him destitute and hungry until Dantes returned from his trip. Fernand hates Dantes even before he meets him because he is Mercedes love.  Danglers is quite manipulative, feeding both Caderousse’s and Fernand’s dislike.  Is Dantes blind, too young and arrogant or is he really just that nice in that he is kind, even to those who treat him badly.  It could have read like a soap opera but didn't and I'm enjoying it so far.  

    I finished two new to me authors this week.  The first book in Toni Anderson's Cold Justice mystery series, A Cold Dark Place,  in which  FBI Agent Mallory Rooney has spent her life trying to find the man who kidnapped her twin from their bedroom when they were children. While searching for a vigilante whose been killing criminals and pedophiles, she gets involved with a private security contractor who is actually a clandestine government approved assassin. You can probably guess where this is going and it causes plenty of angst and trouble for both characters. There were plenty of twists and turns to keep me reading and kept me from figuring out who the serial killer was.  

    (Category:  Be Still My Heart, Police Procedural,  Setting: Virginia U.S)

    I finally read the Bear and the Nightingale which is the first book in Katherine Arden's Winternight mythological fantasy trilogy.   I don't know anything about Russian mythology or fairy tales so enjoyed learning all about it.  The beautifully written story drew me in with its vivid imagery, and you can almost feel the bite of the freezing snow, and played on your emotions with plenty of love, fear,  and anger,  as well as evil and hope and magic.  Set during Medieval times, the lead character, a young girl by the name of Vasya challenges the culture and mores of the times with her powers and belief in spirits others might consider evil.  She is a wild child and can talk to horses, communicate with nature and household spirits. When a priest decides to challenge and destroy the villagers beliefs in the spirits,  and rein in Vasya, it endangers the whole village as well as himself. I totally enjoyed it and looking forward to reading the rest of the series. 

    (Category: Magic and Mystery / Dragons and other fantastical creatures.  Setting:  Russia,)

    Continuing my Nora Roberts reread with Blue Smoke about a female arson investigator. 

    I finally broke down and subscribed to Netflix this week and enjoyed watching the first few episodes of the Good Place.  Which means I didn't accomplish  much on the writing front.  Bad me. Time to sit down, reread my story, then tackle editing again.  

    Kirby Gets Chased by a Bee - metaphor for the proletariat

    James wrote the following fan fiction story which received a very amusing and thoughtful analysis by an anonymous source. The analysis is below the story.   Read and enjoy! 

    Kirby Gets Chased by a Bee -

    (Kirby - property of Nintendo)

     "All was peaceful in Dream Land, it was a nice and sunny day. Squirrels gathered acorns, birds flew in the sky and insects roamed in their natural habitats. A bumblebee flew through a field of golden sunflowers, gathering pollen for its colony.

    The bee landed on a sunflower and was gathering as much pollen as possible, minding its own business... until a large shadow fell over. The bee looked up and was terrified to see a huge, round pink creature with dark eyes observing the bee.

    Curious yet willing to defend itself, the bee prepared its stinger and its eyes narrowed. Young Kirby's interest in this insect soon became replaced with fear when he saw the bee take flight and show its stinger, ready to attack.

    "AHHHHHH!" Kirby ran for it, eyes wide with terror. BZZZZZ! The bee flew after the heroic defender of Dream Land, not keen on letting its predator get away. This bee was going to sting Kirby and would make him suffer.

    Kirby made his way out of the sunflower patch and out into a grassy field, running as fast as his little feet could carry him and not bothering to look back as he knew the bee was behind him. If he stopped, the bee would catch up and the puffball would be stung like crazy.

    In all his years, Kirby had heard of bees and had never been stung by one. He did see a few bees but had never gotten curious about one before, let alone try to make friends with a bee. Today, Kirby had let his curiosity get the better of him and was now being chased for it.

    The bee chased Kirby through Whispy Forest, across Dedede Lake and through Grass Land, passing by trees and a group of Waddle Doos, who watched the scene with curiosity. Up above, Krako the Cloud was observing the world below when he saw Kirby running from the bee.

    'Ugh, really?' The cloud thought, a bored look in its eye. Krako could not believe that Kirby was scared of just one bee, at one point, the puffball had to face his fear and confront the insect. Kirby could not run forever, everyone knew it, bees were also fast.

    After countless minutes of running as fast as he could, Kirby started to feel tired and an idea came to him, he was going to eat that stupid bee. Coming to a stop, he turned around and, just as the bee was catching up, went into Kirby Inhale mode.

    The puffball opened his mouth and a vacuum-like vortex appeared, sucking air into his mouth. Seeing this, the bee halted, its eyes wide with shock. The insect tried to fly away and escape, realizing the error of chasing Kirby. Try as it might, the bee could not escape.

    In seconds, the bumblebee flew into Kirby's mouth and vanished along with all the pollen it gathered inside the bizarre pocket dimension. The bee was no more and Kirby was safe, he had overcame his fright of the bee.

    Kirby danced a little jig happily and magically transformed into Bee Kirby as he copied the bee's form and powers, turning from pink to yellow n' black with two antennas and a stinger. The the puffball flew off to sting some enemies and get some flowers for himself...


    Analysis by Guest 

    So my basic analysis is that this is a metaphor for how the working class is being oppressed by the 1% but if the working class would rise up and eat the rich it would make them more powerful in the end, but they chose to become the bourgeoisie instead.

    You see, the second paragraph shows that the bee is gathering as much pollen as possible, the pollen symbolizing economic power,

    but then it sees just how big Kirby (the proletariat) is and feels threatened, even though Kirby didn't do anything to provoke it.

    So Kirby saw that the bee (the bourgeoisie) was preparing to attack (oppress the proletariat) and he began to run which in turn put the bee into power.

    And it specifically says "This bee was going to sting Kirby and would make him suffer." Showing that the bee didn't just want to defend itself, but to actually make Kirby suffer.

    What started as defending itself turned into offending Kirby.

    So Kirby (the working class) has the ability to defeat (overthrow) the bee (the 1%) but because he is afraid of being stung (economically punished) runs away (voluntarily suppression).

    "In all his years, Kirby had heard of bees and had never been stung by one. He did see a few bees but had never gotten curious about one before, let alone try to make friends with a bee. Today, Kirby had let his curiosity get the better of him and was now being chased for it."

    This paragraph shows that Kirby has known that the bee existed, but never tried to intermingle with them.

    But when he did try to climb the economic ladder he was punished for it.

    The next paragraph shows Kirby running through multiple areas to escape the bee, but to no avail.

    This shows that no matter where you are, the working class will always be oppressed as long as they choose to run from the bee.

    But then Krako (the god figure) looks on this scene disappointed.

    You see, God knows that the proletariat has all the power they need to rise up, but they still choose to run from the 1%.

    So now it says that Kirby knows he cannot run from the bee forever.

    And it also says that everyone knows, "bees are fast".

    Now this shows that the proletariat has gained the class consciousness needed to realize that they can no longer be oppressed.

    But also that they know if this continues, it will be their end.

    So Kirby, tired from being oppressed, gets an idea:

    He is going to rise up!

    So Kirby stops running, he stops letting that bee get the better of him!

    He turns around and starts to inhale (the proletariat starts their revolution).

    The bee immediately realizes that this could be it's end, so it tries to fly away (the 1% tries to appease the working class).

    But it's too late!

    The revolution has begun!

    Nothing they can do can quell the flames of the people!

    And after a very short struggle, the bee has been inhaled.

    "The bee was no more and Kirby was safe, he had overcame his fright of the bee."

    So now that the proletariat has gotten over their fear they have brought safety to themselves.

    But here's where it gets interesting,

    You see, Kirby does not simply inhale the bee.

    Kirby copied the bee!

    After defeating the 1%, instead of redistributing the wealth and living on as a country of the people, they became the 1% themselves!

    "The the puffball flew off to sting some enemies and get some flowers for himself..."

    And not only did they become the bourgeoisie, but they started to act like it too!

    Oppressing their enemies and collecting as much money for themselves as they can!

    After freeing themselves they decided to continue the cycle instead of breaking the cycle.

    Now that we have analyzed the deeper meaning of the story we can start to draw our historical parallels.

    So you see, this story is obviously inspired by the American revolution.

    The oppressed lower class rising up against the higher class, only to become the higher class themselves after their oppressors are destroyed.

    In conclusion, this work has very deep metaphorical and historical meaning and I can't wait until the sequel comes out!

    15/19 needs more cowbell

    Bookish Notes: Real Murders by Charlaine Harris


    Real Murders by Charlaine Harris is the first book in the 10 books series - Aurora Teagarden mysteries. Once upon a time I wouldn't have noticed the writing style or the voice of the character and would have just enjoyed the cozy mystery, thinking the character was slightly weird or missing a few brain cells or just young for her age. I couldn't make up my mind whether I disliked Aurora or the writing which drove me crazy with all the telling vs showing.  There were several times I almost quit reading because Aurora annoyed me, but liked the premise and didn't have a clue who committed the murder, so was pleasantly surprised.  Written mostly in passive voice with many begin's, began's, was's, and seemed, which had me rewriting the sentences in my head and throwing me out of the story.   

    Realize I have to cut Charlaine some slack since Real Murders is her debut novel written back in 1990 and she's since grown in style and substance.  I read the Sookie Stackhouse series a few years ago, plus Midnight Crossroads more recently which were both excellent.  

    The funniest exchange which had me giggling. 

    “If you want him to notice you as a woman, just lust after him.”


    “I don’t mean lick your lips or pant. Keep conversation normal. Don’t do anything obvious. You have to keep it so you don’t lose anything if he decides he’s not interested.” Amina was interested in saving face.

     “So what do I do? 

    “Just lust. Keep everything going like normal, but sort of concentrate on the area below your waist and above your knees, right? And send out waves. You can do it. It’s like the Kegel exercise. You can’t show anyone how to do it, but if you describe it to a woman, she can pick it up.”

    And this was just out kinda out there. Chicken Pox?

    "It was such a nice little morning I decided to go to church. I often did. I sometimes enjoyed it and felt better for going, but I felt no spiritual compulsion. I went because I hoped I’d “catch it,” like deliberately exposing myself to the chicken pox. Sometimes I even wore a hat and gloves, though that was bordering on parody and gloves were not so easy to find anymore. It wasn’t a hat-and-gloves day, today, too dark and rainy, and I wasn’t in a role-playing mood, anyway."

    Loved the premise and the ending so worth the read.  It may behoove Harris to give the series an editing upgrade at some point to freshen up the story for new readers as some authors have done with their backlists 

    (Fictional Librarians, Fines and Misdemeanors)