Haiku Tuesday VI

My window shivers

Trembling before the onslaught

Of rampaging wind

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Wait…it’s February?

I still have a bunch of stuff I was supposed to get done in January….

The last twelve months have been crazy. I suppose life has always been a bit nutty, but my responsibilities keep increasing these days, and I have yet to fully adjust. I’m trying to come up with a schedule that works. I want order! I want solitude! I want perfectly plotted pages on demand! But I’ll settle for a little less chaos.

For those of you who haven’t given up hope that this website will ever be completed (I can change! I can do better! Um, I will tame the unruly minutes and transform them into productive hours!), I updated a couple of pages and added a new one. The latter is an excerpt from The Carys Chronicles: Here and There, the Young Adult Fantasy I’m readying for publishing this spring. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Hey, Author! You Didn’t Finish Your Book!

Last week I read a Young Adult novel, the first in a series. The author ended the the book smack in the middle of a scene. Somebody pushed a button. Or blew a whistle or rang a bell or whatever. The End. Nyah, nyah – gotta buy Book Two to find out what happens next.

Uh, no. I don’t gotta. And I won’t.

I have run across many of these abominations – three or more books hacked out of what should be only one – while browsing through Kindle Books on Amazon. I weed out most of them by examining the reader reviews before deciding whether or not to buy. The few I ended up purchasing, believing I bought a whole book, have left me wary of independent authors I don’t know. That irks me to no end, as I am taking the independent author route myself. If I ever succumb to the urge to publish an incomplete book, however, I’ll do it over at Leanpub, where works in progress are encouraged and clearly indicated.

Although some people don’t mind reading unfinished books, I am not one of them. Give me a proper ending, please. That doesn’t mean every question must be answered. But resolve something. Set it up at the beginning and provide a complete journey for the reader. Once my imagination takes flight, I don’t want to be kicked off the plane (without a parachute) before it lands. Makes me cranky. Leaves me feeling cheated. *frowns*

Hey, Author! I’m spending my time and money elsewhere.

Review: Strings

I intended to mix it up and review something outside the fantasy genre in the middle of last month, but life happened, as is life’s habit, and September slipped by me, tagging October well before I was ready. Time is relentless like that. No mercy whatsoever. Kinda like the Big Bad in Ruthanne Reid’s novella Strings.

Strings centers on Grey, the Fey prince who assisted Katie in The Christmas Dragon. In this tale Grey serves as narrator, and quite the entertaining one. Arrogant, selfish, and more than a little cynical, his commentary proves surprisingly honest when events turn dire, but, fortunately for us, he never entirely loses the snark.

The story opens with Grey playing gigs in bars. His music is magic in the literal sense, and he feeds on the love it engenders among humans, whom he refers to as the Ever-Dying. But his night takes a turn for the (even) less ordinary when a monster comes a-knockin’ at the door of his latest venue. Grey tries to exit before things get crazy, but the crazy comes hard and fast, and before he can extricate himself, he becomes a key player – albeit a reluctant one – in a desperate situation well outside his comfort zone.

Ms. Reid has written another highly entertaining story populated with interesting characters. She has a gift for bringing even minor ones to life. The main players are well-rounded, from Grey and his outrageous charm to the blunt and bald Barry the Bartender to the beautiful, mysterious, and deadly Notte. I look forward to reading the latter’s story in the yet to be released Notte, which, like The Sundered, will be a full-length novel.

Although the 86-page Strings is third in Ms. Reid’s Among the Mythos series, I read it second. The series (so far) consists of linked stand alone stories, so the reading order doesn’t really matter. Unlike, say, Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Definitely must read those in sequence. (He wrote it as one book, and his publisher split it into three.)

I read a free version of Strings on Wattpad. It is also available on Amazon in both print and digital form.