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    The Desert of Souls

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    In 8th century Baghdad, a stranger pleads with the vizier to safeguard the bejeweled tablet he carries, but he is murdered before he can explain. Charged with solving…

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    The Bones of the Old Ones

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    As a snowfall blankets 8th century Mosul, a Persian noblewoman arrives at the home of the scholar Dabir and his friend the swordsman Captain Asim. Najya has escaped…

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    The Waters of Eternity

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    Venture into the time of the Arabian Nights with stalwart Captain Asim and the brilliant Dabir as they hunt an unseen killer that craves only the eyes of…

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    Plague of Shadows

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    In the third official novel in Paizo’s Pathfinder Tales line, the race is on to free Lord Stelan from the grip of a wasting curse, and only Elyana,…

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    Stalking the Beast

    Monday, August 13, 1066

      When a mysterious monster carves a path of destruction across the southern River Kingdoms, desperate townsfolk look to the famed elven ranger Elyana and her half-orc companion…

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Dec
19

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Lord Dunsany Re-Read: Time and the Gods Part 1

time and the godsBill Ward and I are continuing our Lord Dunsany re-read, starting with the first two stories published in the original Time and the Gods (not the omnibus)You can find a free copy of the book here and join in the discussion. Our rating system is pretty simple. One star is a standout, and two stars is truly notable. Most of Lord Dunsany’s fantasy work is already fairly remarkable, so even a “no star” story on this scale may be worth a look. Read More

Dec
15

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Hardboiled Monday: Mike Dime and Stickman

mike dimeAs with preceding Hardboiled Mondays, Chris Hocking and I are working our way down the master list in alphabetical order. Details and the list are here. And earlier discussions are here.

Today Chris and I are looking at two excellent, little-known, and hard-to-find private eye novels by Barry Fantoni, Mike Dime and Stickman. Read More

Dec
12

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Lord Dunsany Re-Read: “The Avenger of Perdóndaris”

 

Lord Dunsany

Lord Dunsany

Bill Ward and I are continuing with our Lord Dunsany re-read with a follow-up to one of Dunsany’s greatest, “Idle Days on the Yann.”  Here’s a link to the Gutenberg edition of Tales of Three Hemispheres, one of Lord Dunsany’s later (and to my mind weaker) collections. Towards the very end of the collection are  “The Avenger Of Perdóndaris,” which we discussed this week. As always, our rating system is simple. Any Dunsany story tends to be fabulous, so one star is a standout and two is something remarkable. Read More

Dec
10

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Writing Well

hulk thinkI’m starting to think that writing is easy and that it’s writing well that’s the hard part.

My new outlining method has worked wonderfully for me all year. I remain excited by it. It is not, however, the complete solution to all my writing problems.

It ensures that all the bones are in place and that everything makes sense plot wise so that I don’t write dead-end scenes that end up having to be cut. But, because I start with a very rough framework, it can take longer than I might like to whip the prose itself into shape. On the plus side, it means that my writing process HAS gotten much faster. But it’s still not as fast as I would like. I can complete a rough draft in three months, but it might take another month or two to punch it into proper shape. Now that’s not a bad thing, certainly, especially when some of my first books took more than a year to write. But in an industry that doesn’t pay particularly well 4-5 months isn’t a useful tempo. I’m not sure what to do about that except keep fingers crossed that the next books sell even better so that 4-5 months profits me more.

Process wise, though, I keep coming back to some essential truths.

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Dec
8

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Icky Monday

rein-main2_1213440aIt’s been a miserable few days here at the Jones household. First my eldest came down with something that knocked him out of commission on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then it hit my wife and me. Head cold, general aches, that kind of thing. I managed to work through it on Thursday after resting a little extra, fully expecting to bounce back by Friday. I have a pretty high constitution, despite the fact that I’m not a particularly robust looking guy, and I almost never get sick.

This time, though, my wife and I got worse and worse, bad enough that she called in Friday (by Thursday she had mostly lost her voice). Bad enough that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I wasn’t good for anything except lying on the couch. Usually I’m the first one in the family to bounce back from anything, but this time it hit me the hardest. I did some reading, but I was in enough discomfort that writing or revising weren’t real options. Today I finally feel about as good as I felt last Thursday, which is pretty icky, but which is the picture of health compared to the last three days.

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Hardboiled Monday

Hardboiled Monday: Mike Dime and Stickman

Monday, December 15, 2014

As with preceding Hardboiled Mondays, Chris Hocking and I are working our way down the master list in alphabetical order. Details and the list are here. And earlier discussions are here….

Hardboiled Monday: The Mouse in the Mountain

Monday, December 1, 2014

As with preceding Hardboiled Mondays, Chris Hocking and I are working our way down the master list in alphabetical order. Details and the list are here. And earlier discussions are here….

Hardboiled Monday: The Last Good Kiss

Monday, November 17, 2014

As with preceding Hardboiled Mondays, Chris Hocking and I are working our way down the master list in alphabetical order. Details and the list are here. And earlier discussions are here….

Hardboiled Monday: Quarry

Monday, November 3, 2014

As with preceding Hardboiled Mondays, Chris Hocking and I are working our way down the master list in alphabetical order. Details and the list are here. And earlier discussions are here….

Hardboiled Monday: Raymond Chandler

Monday, October 27, 2014

As with preceding Hardboiled Mondays, Chris Hocking and I are working our way down the master list in alphabetical order. Details and the list are here. And earlier discussions are here….