A Great Reckoning On Sale Now

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny pulls back the layers to reveal a brilliant and emotionally powerful truth in her latest spellbinding novel.

When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes.
Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. To an old friend and older adversary. It leads the former Chief of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec to places even he is afraid to go. But must.

And there he finds four young cadets in the Sûreté academy, and a dead professor. And, with the body, a copy of the old, odd map.

Everywhere Gamache turns, he sees Amelia Choquet, one of the cadets. Tattooed and pierced. Guarded and angry. Amelia is more likely to be found on the other side of a police line-up. And yet she is in the academy. A protégée of the murdered professor.

The focus of the investigation soon turns to Gamache himself and his mysterious relationship with Amelia, and his possible involvement in the crime. The frantic search for answers takes the investigators back to Three Pines and a stained glass window with its own horrific secrets.

For both Amelia Choquet and Armand Gamache, the time has come for a great reckoning. -Amazon

“Penny writes with grace and intelligence about complex people struggling with complex emotions. But her great gift is her uncanny ability to describe what might seem indescribable – the play of light, the sound of celestial music, a quiet sense of peace.” ―New York Times Book Review

If you haven’t read Louise Penny you should, start here:

Screenshot (8888).pngWinner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter. Still Life introduces not only an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces—and this series—with integrity and quiet courage, but also a winning and talented new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny.- Amazon

How a Self-Published Writer of Gay Erotica Beat Sci-Fi’s Sad Puppies at their Own Game

And What it Taught Me About Pushing through Writer’s Block

Author M. Sophia Newman writes about the Hugos, writer’s block, a whole lotta Puppies, elves, and the wit and wisdom of Chuck Tingle.

When I was a little kid, my mother would come into the bedroom I shared with two of my sisters each night and read us a book before we slept. Inevitably, a minor fight would erupt over whose bed beside which Mom would sit; after the aggression subsided, we’d all settle in for a story. My favorites were Grimm’s Fairytales, that vast compendium of dark forests, glowering wolves, and lost little girls.

Lately, I’ve realized that the story I loved best, “The Elves and the Shoemaker,” is an oddly perfect way to understand the difficulties of my own life—which include a recent, nearly shattering bout of writer’s block—and the difficulties of the lives of other writers. In particular, it’s a key to understanding an emotionally fraught and slightly dirty-minded political battle that has played out among writers of science fiction and fantasy, a band of insanely ineffective far-right protestors, and the author of a unique brand of erotic fiction known as “Tinglers.”

The plot of “The Elves and the Shoemaker” is simple. A poor shoemaker has been having such a rough time that he’s run out of money. One day, he realizes he has enough leather left for just one more pair of shoes. That night, filled with self-recriminations, he lays out the leather in preparation for the next—his very last—day of work. In the morning, as if by a miracle, a fine pair of shoes stands in place of the leather. That day, a girl comes into the shop, tries on the shoes, and finds they are a perfect fit. The money she pays is enough for the shoemaker to help a starving man, and also buy leather for two more pairs of shoes. The next morning, those leather pieces have been turned into shoes as sumptuous as the last pair. Again, they’re perfect for happy customers, and now there is enough money to help out two people in need and buy leather for four more pairs of shoes.

To read more follow this link.

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We interrupt my reading of a ridiculous werewolf romance for a really excellent post by author KJ Charles. I still read the occasional historical romance/mystery/ steampunk/etc. and the one thing that will make me toss the book no matter how interesting the story is if the author has not done the research on proper forms of address.

C’mon, it’s not that difficult to look up the proper form of address for every earl, duke, and prince. Sadly it seems a large number of wannabe writers think research is a dirty word.

So for all those who want to know here is KJ on proper address, and read the comments, some really good info there too.

I am fed up of seeing British-set historical romances that mess up with aristocratic titles. This is fundamental, and while some errors are pretty obscure, others stamp COULDN’T BE BOTHERED across your book. (I’m looking at you, authors who refer to Sir Samuel Smith as ‘Sir Smith’.)

Granted this is intricate and fussy stuff but if you’re writing aristos, it matters. The people inside the system care about the system, therefore if you’re writing characters inside the system, you have to care for the duration of the book. You cannot write about a society if you don’t understand its rules; you can’t write a book about a heroine constrained by social stratification if you have no idea what the social strata even are; you can’t do a faux pas scene of the out-group heroine getting it wrong if none of the in-group are getting it right.

Click here to continue.

 

Death & Detention

Screenshot (634)I am really enjoying this book. David is offering D&D in five episodes, the first being free. After reading it I bought the book.

In the affluent town of Augustine, being picture-perfect means everything. Which is why the powers that be are so willing to write off a troubled teen’s suspicious death as an accident.

But when seventeen-year-old outsider Prudence Mallory finds an anonymous letter that makes her classmate’s death look like a homicide, she can’t turn away from the mystery. -Amazon

Two sentences that do not do justice to Prudence. She is simply, for me, the best 17 yr old heroine I have read in a long time. Mind you, I am only at 44% but Prudence has not disappointed.

Prudence is no stranger to what happens when doing the right thing makes you the pariah, she’s done that and is still there. She knows that her digging into the “accidental” death of a classmate isn’t going to make her popular but she believes that justice for Anna  is more important than being invited to the right parties- or any parties.

She can wield a mean can of coke, she has a bright pink scooter and a cell phone. She knows when a dumb idea is dumb but if that’s her only idea she’ll make it work out- somehow.

Oh, Prudence Mallory, I love you.

 

Elizabeth Cadell on Kindle

I just found five Elizabeth Cadells on Kindle!

These are delightful, frothy, very English romances usually with a little twist at the end. I’ve read these five books about 30+ years ago and I remember The Fledgling in great detail. No one has ever come close to writing the funny, quirky, witty characters, absurd situations, and sweet, romantic love stories that Cadell produced.