25 November 2015

Shopping Small

As everyone in the United States is gearing up for cold weather, parades, football games, turkey, and shopping, I’m watching my friends who are artists, writers, and small business owners gear up for their busy time of year. Here are some of the Rhode Island artists and small business owners that I know and love. Some of them have online stores, some of them you might just have to go meet in person and see how wonderful they really are.

Rick Devin
Thompson's Flowers and Antiques
Amy Kristin Photography
Spoonlove Bracelets

We can’t all shop local, I understand that. And I am among the zillions of people who do love the convenience of a site like Amazon. So consider books from indie authors and small presses. You’re still helping an individual. I’ve compiled a few of my favorites from this year at my Amazon store. (Amazon Affiliates link.) 

You don’t have to wait for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Snooze in Your PJs All Day Sunday (that’s a thing). You can click over to Facebook or Etsy or Amazon right now if you want to. Check the hours of your local coffee shop and an independent gift shop and pop in any time to spread some holiday cheer. They will appreciate it and you’ll know exactly where your money is going.

Here’s Where I Write on Bamako

I’ve written so many personal notes to friends and family over the last few days that it’s difficult to sit down and write my public feelings about what happened last Friday in Bamako. I’m exhausted. I may or may not have copy/pasted phrases from various notes and stitched them together here for this post.

Last Friday morning I was feeling too sick to be motivated to leave the house at my usual time for a run. My phone buzzed with a message from a friend telling me to stay home if I hadn’t left yet. Thank goodness I was sick. Otherwise I most likely would have been running past the Radisson at the time of the attack. I surrendered to the couch with a cup of tea and a long day of waiting for news ahead of me. I’m not going to rehash the day here. You can Google all the news if you’re not familiar with it. Reading it now still gives me a bit of a panicky headache.

Bamako is relatively back to normal now. Most people can’t afford to take the days off for mourning or states of emergency. The economy relies on everyone going to work every day. My run streak is still on (day 26 today). I spent a few days on the treadmill, partly due to the events here but partly due to the amount of dust in the air right now making my sinuses ache if I’m outside for too long.

It’s Thanksgiving week and I’m sick and all I want to do is sleep and order take-away on Thursday and hope that Mike doesn’t get called in to work. I am thankful that everyone I know is safe and sound. And that we have enough to eat should we choose to have a feast. And we have friends we can gather with, who are our family here. And we have a roof over our heads and all the necessities, and then some, which so many people in Mali and in the United States and in other parts of the world do not have. We are still very lucky.

19 November 2015

Book Reviews: A Taste for Mystery, Libidinous Zombie, & Summer Pudding

I've put up a few new reviews this week. Please consider leaving a line or two on Goodreads and Amazon after you read a book. The authors appreciate it!

These are my reviews as they appear on Goodreads.

A Taste for MysteryA Taste for Mystery by K.D. Rose
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

KD Rose does something I could never do, and that’s write a mystery that leaves you wondering who did it and what’s going to happen next. They were fun stories and a perfect read for a cold, rainy afternoon.




Libidinous Zombie: An Erotic Horror CollectionLibidinous Zombie: An Erotic Horror Collection by Rose Caraway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit, I wasn’t anxious to read this book even though I enjoy the writing of several of the authors. I hate zombies. And it’s not the gore, it’s the unrelenting, suffocating pursuit. Zombies are one of my irrational fears.

I faced my fear and read the book anyway. And I’m glad I did. Only one of the stories is about zombies. Tamsin Flowers’ zombie tale did give me the panicky feeling any story about zombies gives me because she tapped into that suffocating pursuit rather than the gore. But her tale turned out to be one of my favorites in the book.

The entire collection is full of horror and sex, and it’s a lot of fun. I’m a whimp about horror and there are a few stories I started at night and had to put down until daylight – most notably Malin James’s journey into an asylum. I also particularly liked Janine Ashbless’s erotic take on The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and the way Rose Caraway gave me second thoughts about how much I enjoy the Santa Ana winds.

These stories will keep you warm on a cold winter night and will make you pause to think about whether you want to turn the light off or not.


Summer Pudding: Story 1 of Forbidden FruitSummer Pudding: Story 1 of Forbidden Fruit by Tamsin Flowers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story left me breathless and anxious for berries to be in season next summer. Lisa and Laurent have the perfect amount of tension and sweetness between them, which leads to a delicious, satisfying ending.

View all my reviews

13 November 2015

Mountains Never Meet Kindle Release Day!

About a year ago I half jokingly posted a status on Facebook stating I was going to write expat-travel themed romance novels. Whether they were half joking or not, my friends encouraged me to actually do so. After a lot of work, here it is.

I made it a point to read more independent authors on my road to becoming one myself. I had no idea what I was getting into. I reached out to different online communities and not only did I learn some of the ropes (because there’s really no one way to do this) I met some wonderful people who have helped and supported me immensely.

Mountains Never Meet is available for Kindle from Amazon (in several countries, including the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, and India, so check your local Amazon site). The paperback edition and other digital formats will follow in a few weeks.

Thank you, everyone, for the various ways you supported and encouraged me. I hope you enjoy it. (And if you don’t, that’s okay, too. Not every book is for every person.)

US: http://amzn.to/1MN6QxF
UK: http://amzn.to/1Mbcpsz
Australia: http://bit.ly/1QzHwkW
Canada: http://amzn.to/1Nu7FvY
India: http://amzn.to/1NP4dRj

After you read, please consider leaving a review on Amazon and Goodreads. (And check out the reviews I’ve left for other indie authors.) Thank you!

Chapter Six: The Shoemaker: A Tale of Two Cities with Women

For background on the project and to see all the chapters at once, go to the tag A Tale of Two Cities Project . Chapter Six: The Shoemak...