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Los Angeles: Frontier Pueblo to Modern Metropolis

– Posted in: Non-Fiction Book Reviews
The Fragmented Metropolis an engaging history of Los Angeles 1850 to 1930.

El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles (The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels) I'm currently writing a novel set in 1890 Los Angeles and reading The Fragmented Metropolis: Los Angeles, 1850-1930 was part of my research. I'd planned on read up to the 1900s, but found the book engaging and finished [...]

A Must Have Writing Book: “Writing 21st Century Fiction”

– Posted in: Non-Fiction Book Reviews
A must have book for any serious novelist: Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donald Maass

In my post The Best How-To Book for Fiction Writers, I said I loved Techniques of a Selling Writer by Dwright V. Swain. I'd like to revise the title of that post to: One of the Two Best How-to Books for Fiction Writers. Donald Maass' book Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques for Exceptional [...]

Who Started the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Genres?

– Posted in: Literature
Who Started the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Genres?

A woman! Most people credit Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus Unbound as the first science fiction novel. I'd venture a guess that most people think of early science fiction authors as male and would have guessed that a man started the genre. I'm in the middle of reading Ancillary Justice by Ann [...]

Dungeons & Dragons: Does the Game Promote Evil or Creativity?

– Posted in: Random Musings
Learn how playing games like Dungeons and Dragons helps creativity. (artist: Andy Fairhurst @ DeviantArt)

One of the things I do when I take a break is find and watch short videos of authors giving talks or answering questions. It’s fun, and I often learn a thing or two. During this activity, I made a discovery: many of my favorite authors play or played Dungeons & Dragons, and they often [...]

Love, Murder, Plot for World Dominance: Timebound by Rysa Walker

– Posted in: YA Book Reviews
timebound

I'm the kind of reader who accepts certain things easily. For example, I know that some scientists postulate that time travel might be possible if the traveler moves forward in time, but going back in time is impossible. In fiction, I don't care of time travelers move all through time. It's fiction, and we are [...]

Bodies in the Bathtub: Two Mysteries You’ll Enjoy

– Posted in: Fiction Book Reviews
One of the earliest female mystery writers. Whose Body?: a British Cozy.

I don’t usually review two books at once, but since reading these two books back to back was rather serendipitous, I decided to do one review. Both books are cozy mysteries. In case you were wondering: “Cozy mysteries, also referred to simply as "cozies", are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence [...]