Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Lion of Lucca

lion of luccaI just finished the second Gardner Fox historical novel after loving The Borgia Blade. This one, The Lion of Lucca, didn’t thrill me nearly as much. Any time that there were tactics or battle scenes, it was great stuff. The rest of the time I was reading a romance novel from a guy’s perceptive, which meant that there wasn’t much about what anyone was feeling, just a whole lot of admittedly well-written descriptions of lovely renaissance women getting it on with the protagonist.

Beyond the Pool of Stars

pool of starsI spotted this the other day. A whole slew of copies of my new book ready to be released. Not to the general public yet, alas, but to reviewers. These are advanced reading copies, or ARCs. It won’t be on bookstore shelves until the fall.

It’s so nice to have a new book just about ready to appear in print!

I’m preparing to dive back into another pass on its sequel at the same time I’m performing rather intense revisions on my new series for Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s. Much as I love the temporary title I’ve been using, I’m not sure it really works anymore, at least for the first book in the sequence. 

Swords in the Mist Re-Read: “Their Mistress, The Sea”

mist3Bill Ward and I are continuing our read through of Fritz Leiber’s collection of Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories, Swords in the Mist. This week we’re looking at the third tale in the collection, “Their Mistress, The Sea.”

Howard: “Their Mistress, the Sea” can’t properly be called a linking story — it’s more like a linking interlude, an explanation as to what happened between the preceding story and the one that follows. Yet it’s not without some charm. Leiber clearly loved this world and his characters, and it shows in many of the small details.

The Perfect Pocket Writing Notebook: Review 5

Palamino frongThis week I’m reviewing the Palamino Luxury Small hardcover. If you’re interested in seeing other notebook reviews, or my judging criteria, click here. Unless noted otherwise, all the notebooks I review are 3.5 by 5.5 — other details I expect include an elastic closure, a bookmark, and an inside back cover envelope (again, follow the link for details).

Pricing: $12.95 and up

The Borgia Blade

borgia bladeI know of Gardner Fox mostly through his comic creations (like, say Hawkman or the Justice Society of America) and the sword-and-sorcery adventures of Kothar. The Kothar stories are mild entertainment. They alternate moments of splendid action and inventiveness with head-slapping stupidity and nonsense. I once resolved to finally read through the entire series — they’re short books, after all — and mid way through the second book remembered why I hadn’t gotten any further.

But Morgan Holmes knows his heroic fiction, and when he told me there were some good Gardner Fox historicals, I believed him implicitly, and snapped up the three he said were the best. One of these, The Borgia Blade, I took with me to read on a  long plane flight recently, and the competence of the writing and the depth of the characters surpassed anything that I’d expected from the creator of Kothar.

The Perfect Pocket Writing Notebook: Review 4

Poppin-Sot-Small-NotebooksThis week I’m looking at the Poppin Soft Cover notebook. In previous reviews I’ve simply mentioned that a product is widely available without providing a link because I’m pretty sure you all know how the search function works. (If you’ve questions about my criteria, that preceding link should take you to a page than answers them.)

In the case of Poppin, though, the notebook is currently only available through the manufacturer, so you’ll probably have to pay shipping costs. And that’s okay, because even with shipping the Poppin is a bargain. Here’s the link.

Price: $6.00

Notebook Writing

Poppin bindingOne of the reasons I’ve been talking about writing notebooks so much lately is that I’ve been using them more than ever.

It’s just too danged easy to be distracted while on a computer and lately I’ve been extra distractible. E-mail checking, looking up data that I didn’t have any interest in a few moments before, following links from Facebook to articles I didn’t know I wanted to read, etc. I’ve been failing the Dr. McCoy test pretty miserably. Sometimes I promise myself I won’t be distracted and get good work done, and sometimes I fall prey to Resistance.