Saturday, April 23, 2011

What's a Girl to Do?

I've been wondering what to post on here. I've heard that 'normal people' don't follow blogs that only offer updates about the author, but my non-me writing efforts are currently being directed towards the guest blogs that will start coming out with the release of my book (yay!). You can find some of my blog tour dates here. I expect to be updating this page with more locations soon.

At least it doesn't affect my ability to do book reviews. I wanted to become an author because I love reading. Who wouldn't want to produce something so wonderful on their own? Even now, I manage to squeeze a little reading in.

So, let me tell you what is going on with All This and Family, Too. I've returned the final proof of the book to Pill Hill Press, and it's set for publication on May 1st. Think I'm wired for sound yet?

Let's just say that my co-workers think I'm drinking too much caffeine.

As the countdown to my book's release proceeds, the countdown to the Goodreads Drawing for a free advance copy of my book also proceeds. It ends this coming week, so enter before it's too late!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

All This and Family, Too by Sarah E. Glenn

All This and Family, Too

by Sarah E. Glenn

Giveaway ends April 30, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review: Other Eyes

Other EyesOther Eyes by Barbara D'Amato

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This thriller begins with an arresting scene: a baby crawls across several lanes of traffic on I-90 in Chicago. The baby is saved, but police detective Tommy Pollard no idea of who he is or where his parents are.

Unfortunately, we're not going to return to the baby for a while. Instead, we are introduced to Blue Eriksen, an archaeologist with controversial ideas. We eventually figure out - fifty pages into the book - that she is the baby's mother.

Then, there's the dread assassin the FBI agents are pursuing. Felix Hacker is in Chicago for some reason, and it can't be good. FBI agent Marcus plans to catch him with the help of other agents, but Hacker slips out of town after several stupid mistakes on the parts of the locals.

We bounce between Blue blithely planning research in Peru and the Keystone Kop action... what about the baby? Eventually, we get back to Detective Pollard, who is more astute than the group chasing the assassin. He traces the baby's trail back to Blue's house, where he finds that the father, Blue's ex-husband, has been murdered.

Eighty pages into the book, Blue discovers that her baby is the one everybody has been talking about. This pretty much sets the pace of the novel.

Blue clears things up with the police - she was being interviewed about her controversial theories at the time of the murder, so she has an ironclad alibi. Then, we travel to Peru with her.

The trip is highly educational for the reader. We learn a bit about modern Peru, but we learn more about the ancient Peruvians. Blue likes to visualize how the skeletons they discover wound up in their current condition, so we are treated to several vignettes of the lives of these ancients.

Oh, and there's a cartel that's trying to get the drug dealers in Mexico on the same page. By the way, they hired Hacker to kill Blue because she thinks hallucinogens might be able to cure drug addiction.

Hacker's still trying to kill Blue. After a failed attempt to kill her with a rockslide, it becomes a matter of principle for him to complete the job.

One of Blue's fellow professors is killed in the slide. His brother works in Europe, solving art crimes. The latest theft was inspired by a story written by Jacques Futrelle. Fortunately, the brother is also familiar with the story.

Blue goes on to Turkey. More research, more vignettes. She finds out that the rockslide was no accident, so she calls in the brother for assistance. More intrigue follows... but first, the baby's birthday party.

Barbara D'Amato has a great track record as an author, but I had serious problems finishing this novel. There were so many intervening scenes and situations, the thread - and, more importantly, the excitement - of the main plot was lost again and again. And I'm speaking as someone who likes history, archaeology, and mystery religions.

I enjoyed D'Amato's writing style and the information on the ancient cultures... but there was too much education and not enough time spent on the central plot. Fans of archaeology may enjoy this book, but if you're expecting a James Bond-style caper with a secretive crime cartel and a relentless assassin, prepare to be frustrated.

View all my reviews


Sunday, April 03, 2011

Sorta-Kinda Convention Schedule

Yes, it's been a while since I posted. I've thought about posting, but my little gray cells have been busy elsewhere, mostly working with my wife to determine our schedule for the rest of the year. I'm sending out ARCs, and have received the final-final copy from Pill Hill of my novel, All This and Family, Too. I have a couple of short stories I should be hearing about, now that their submission deadlines have passed.

So... the schedule so far:

Gwen is presenting at Authorfest in Schaumburg, IL next Saturday. I'll be tagging along, but not speaking. If you like historical fiction, you'll like her presentation AND her writing.

Gwen and I will be attending the Golden Crown Literary Society conference in Orlando, FL. We're con "Virgins", so I'm expecting to be sacrificed.

We'll be at FandomFest in Louisville, KY. Come on down to see the zombies!

15 - 18: Bouchercon in St Louis, MO. Gwen and I both hope to be on panels, but there's a lot of competition. We're already scoping barbecue places.
23 - 25: Scarefest in Lexington, KY. Not sure who the headliner will be, but it was George Romero last year!

22: A Day of Mystic Blood Lust in Lexington, KY. See the trailer below for more info:

We really wish we could afford to go to Magna cum Murder this year (28-30), but we just don't have the money. I'm especially sorry since Parnell Hall is the featured guest.

12th: I hope to have a berth at the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort.

We hope to see you at one or more of these gatherings!