All posts by Robin Lythgoe

Book Review: The Portrait of Géraldine Germaine, by E.M. Epps

Book Review: The Portrait of Geraldine Germaine by E.M. Epps

Have you read The Portrait of Geraldine Gérmaine by E.M. Epps? You should. Really.

I enjoy some fantastic chats with some of my readers—folks who have taken to heart the invitation to recommend books that might be suitable for my Flinch-Free Fantasy reads. I got a wonderfully long list from Dorkas (hi, Dorkas!), who went above and beyond the call of duty when she saw one of her favorite authors had all their work for free on Amazon and quickly emailed me to let me know.

Dorkas said this particular story “fascinates me because of its charm and because I never thought a non-French could capture the French lightness and charm (or what I THINK is the French lightness and charm). It’s a wonderful book to lift you up.”

A peek at the “Look Inside” finished convincing me to download this marvelous novelette. I danced through The Portrait of Geraldine Germaine last night and went to bed smiling. Continue reading Book Review: The Portrait of Geraldine Germaine by E.M. Epps

It’s Been a Busy Week!

Hello, faithful readers!

This is not the post I’d planned for today, nor the time I meant to post it (oops! I’m late!), but it’s been a busy week, so what I have for you is a quick update.

On May 21, grandchild #3 came into our lives. We are smitten. He is adorable.

Then, on June 7, grandchild #4 appeared. She, too, is adorable and instantly melted our hearts. We have such cute grandchildren! (No, really!)

Between those two amazing events we began a super-sized yard makeover: taking out a big chunk of sod in the back yard and putting in a flower bed, a little patio, (hopefully) a big patio (but we’re still waiting on the Patio Dudes), and repairing the insane sprinkling system we inherited when we bought our house. (Who puts sprinkler heads meant for the entire yard behind trees? Three out of four across the back fence, and don’t get me started on the rest!)

AND… it suddenly became summer here. We’re having temperatures in the upper 80s and lower 90s, which would be great if we were sipping cool drinks on the patio, enjoying the new scenery, but it is not very fun to work in!

Backyard Makeover 2017
The west corner of the back yard… and it looks pretty much the same all the way to the east corner, so I’ll spare you more pictures. For now…

Wish us luck! And stay tuned for more interesting things to read soon… Er… eventually?!

A Drift of Quills: Where Do You List Your (Book) Loot?

A Drift of Quills: Where Do You List Your (Book) Loot?

We are a list-loving society, and for those of us who adore books, that means keeping some kind of inventory of what books we own, what we want to own, what we’ve read, what we want to read—and how well we liked what we read… Today A Drift of Quills delves into the subject of social cataloging for books—What do we use? What are some other options?

A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks

When it comes to social cataloguing for books, I think Goodreads is the *800 pound gorilla in the room. Nearly everyone knows what it is and how to use it. Nearly everyone seems to use it as their go-to option.

It’s easy to keep track of books, including the correct covers and editions if you’re particular about that.

I can put all the candy—er, books onto shelves I can name however I please, thus creating lists of fantasy, single-pov, DNF (Did Not Finish), or whatever I can think of. I am the goddess of my personal online library. Feel the power!

I have fun with the challenges, particularly those sponsored by some of the groups I’ve joined. Face it, I’m not great at socializing. I’m a certified introvert. Also, I just don’t have time to spend socializing on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, et cetera, et cetera. You know what’s cool about Goodreads? It’s a collection of people who like books talking about… books. My kind of crowd!

I don’t want to completely dismiss the other social cataloguing options out there in the ether world, though. Here are a few others I’ve tried and participate in now and then:

Social Cataloging Options
  • Riffle Books – Profile pages open to two lists: those books I recommend and those I’ve read. One can also create their own lists and name them creatively. You can publish reviews, and I like that comments are allowed on them. You can follow people or be followed. Riffle is less “busy” than Goodreads, and everything is neatly available from a single drop-down menu. I like simplicity.
  • Rising Shadow – This gets a thumbs up simply because the site is completely fantasy/science fiction oriented. The front page announces new books, reviews, guest posts. If a book is not in the catalogue, a reader can add it (It must be approved by the admins, but it’s quick!). There’s a forum for socializing. Finding your own page is a little tricky, but everything from there on out is simple. Want to “level up”? Review more books.
  • A Drift of Quills: Where Do You List Your (Book) Loot? (Social cataloging for book lovers)LibraryThing – A busy place. You can catalogue your books as well as movies and music. (Overkill for me; I like to focus on the books!) There are forums, news, groups, reviews, and lots of other stuff. This one costs actual money after 200 items (which might be why I drifted away…?).

Rising Shadow is probably my favorite of the three for social cataloging—if only because it focuses on the genre(s) of books I like to read and write.

Now if I could only carve more time out of my week for flagrant, shameless reading!

*Do you know the difference between an 800 pound gorilla and the elephant in the room? That question should come with a punchline, but I’m forever looking up the sources and meanings of things. Read “The 800-pound grammar gorilla” if you want to see the beasties mixing it up. (And try to ignore the Chicago Tribune’s title capitalization faux pas. Apparently grammar ain’t what it used to be!)

P.S. BROADDUS

“P.S.Author of A Hero’s Curse (The Unseen Chronicles Book 1)
Parker’s website

Goodreads. Pinterest. Facebook. Google+. I’m a relative newcomer to cataloging my reading socially. I saw the option on Facebook years ago, but felt like it was too much work to go through and name all the books I love and like – and then I felt like Facebook itself was too broad – I could detail my favorite books, my favorite movies, my causes, my hobbies – it was all too much, and too invasive!

Only recently, (within the past couple of years), did I discover… (Wait—what did he discover?)

PATRICIA REDING

Patricia RedingAuthor of the Oathtaker Series

Patricia’s website

Patricia is spending some precious time with her extended family. Hopefully, she will be able to join us again next month. Please drop by her site and share some love!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Do you use a website to catalog your books? Do you like the idea of “social cataloging”?
What’s your favorite site—and why?

Five Good Things #8: Pencils, books, a map, a quote, food…

Five Good Things #8: Pencils, books, a map, a quote, food…

Are you ready for Five Good Things #8? In Real Life, the Green Gomboo is sticking to me like glue. Luckily, there are more exciting things going on in the world than my slow-as-a-herd-of-snails recovery. Like pre-orders for Tad Williams’ new The Witchwood Crown, which comes out in June of this year. I am eager to return to Osten Ard! Have I got the first book in the new series yet? Well… no, but it’s on my wishlist!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links it won’t cost you a cent, but I’ll get a small affiliate commission, which helps keep my computer running. Thanks!

In the meantime, here are some recent good reads in the Blog World: Continue reading Five Good Things #8: Pencils, books, a map, a quote, food…

Of Ocean Breezes and Green Gomboo…

Original plans called for me going through vacation pictures and making witty captions to post about my recent vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. However… The Green Gomboo came along for the trip. I spent half my would-be gorgeous vacation in the sun and sand sick as a dog. (Ever wonder where that term came from? Me, too. Read about it at World Wide Words. Luckily, I am not sick as a cushion.)

 

My sister has a time-share in Myrtle Beach—and it’s Continue reading Of Ocean Breezes and Green Gomboo…

Today A Drift of Quills are looking at writerly things. We’re writers. It happens. I don’t know about you, but as a reader I love learning about how my favorite authors work and what they like to use. And read. And see. It makes them more whole in my mind’s eye (if that makes sense).

A Drift of Quills: Break Out the Toolbox and Write!

Today A Drift of Quills are looking at writerly things. We’re writers. It happens. We’re breaking out the ol’ writerly toolbox and taking a peek inside. I don’t know about you, but as a reader I love learning about how my favorite authors work and what they like to use. And read. And see. It makes them more whole in my mind’s eye (if that makes sense).

But I digress!

The question du jour is “what are our favorite ‘tools’ for writing”? And I quote, so the emphasis on “tools” got my mind dashing off on tangents. Read on to see where the three of us went on this expedition!

A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks

There are so incredibly many tools for a writer to use today. (Not like in the Old Days, when it was pen and paper, a set of encyclopedias if you were lucky, and the library!) What a wonderfully rich age we live in!

What are a few of my favorite things? Er… tools? Continue reading A Drift of Quills: Break Out the Toolbox and Write!

Cover Candy #08: The One with Dragons

Cover Candy #8 (The One with Dragons)

Are you ready for a little Cover Candy? Sometimes cover art is so yummy you just want to eat it up—and that’s a good thing!

Well, maybe not physically. There are better ways to get your fiber, and digital munching might be… electrifying.

But admit it: if the cover art on a book whets your appetite you’re much more likely to have a taste of what’s inside.

What do you say to these covers with dragons?

(As usual, I can’t vouch for the contents of the books represented below. We’re only here for the eye candy!)

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links it won’t cost you a cent, but I’ll get a small affiliate commission, which helps keep my computer running. Thanks!

 Cover Stars

Cover Candy #08: The One with Dragons [Assassin's Fate, by Robin Hobb]

ASSASSIN’S FATE

~Robin Hobb~
http://amzn.to/2ox5qYl
Kindle pages: 864
Publisher: Del Rey
Pub date: May 9, 2017
Genre: Fantasy
Artist: Alejandro Colucci

 Cover Candy #08: The One with Dragons [Forest of Ruin, by Kelley Armstrong]

FOREST OF RUIN

~Kelly Armstrong~
http://amzn.to/2q8yju6
Kindle pages: 453
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub date: April 5, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy
Artist: (unknown)

 Cover Candy #08: The One with Dragons [The Summer Dragon, by Todd Lockwood]

THE SUMMER DRAGON

~Todd Lockwood~
http://amzn.to/2oK5xuU
Print pages: 512
Publisher: DAW
Pub date: May 3, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Artist: Todd Lockwood

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Which cover is your favorite of the three?
Share one of YOUR favorite covers!
Do you have a favorite cover artist?

Cover Candy #08: The One with Dragons

It’s World Book Day—Party on, Bibliophiles!

Did you know that April 23rd is World Book Day?

It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world. ~World Book Day

It’s like the world hears all of our birthday wishes and wishes-upon-a-star! BOOK celebrations everywhere! Party on, Bibliophiles!

Also known as International Day of the Book, this is an annual event celebrated every April 23rd since 1995. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) organized the affair, using it to promote reading, publishing, and copyright.

I love that!

Just to be quirky, the folks in the United Kingdom celebrate on the first Thursday in March. 😮

The Low-down on World Book Day

World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.I love finding out about stuff. When I was little and read something I didn’t know or understand, I would ask my mother. I’m not sure if it was an insidious plot to get me to leave her alone or if it was pure genius for waking my curiosity. Whatever the motivation, she would always tell me to go look it up.

The real problem with this was that I would get so distracted by all the other amazing things in the dictionary and/or encyclopedia (yeah, back in the dinosaur age) that I would forget what I was there for!

I did that today, too. Continue reading It’s World Book Day—Party on, Bibliophiles!

Chocolate Fix: Avocado Chocolate Cream Pie

Avocado Chocolate Cream Pie sounds weird, right? Don’t run away yet! I tried it on my hubby, and I thought he was going to eat the whole thing in one sitting.

Then I sprang it on my daughter and her husband when she needed someone to make them a meal. (Dontcha hate being stuck in bed? But then people bring you food, and things might be okay after all!) Here’s what she had to say:

“The pie! So smooth and scrumptious! Hubby liked it, too. We both liked your Avocado Chocolate Cream Pie more than we thought we would. It was amazing! I also like that it’s not too rich. I could probably eat the whole pie…”

It’s slightly less decadent than the last pie I shared, but the texture is to die for. I revamped a  recipe by Whole Lifestyle Nutrition. The original recipe uses real maple syrup—which I love, but I wasn’t fond of it with chocolate and avocados! So I rebelled and used sugar. So sue me! You could probably Continue reading Chocolate Fix: Avocado Chocolate Cream Pie

Celebrate Reading (Drop Everything and READ!)

Happy Birthday, Beverly Cleary!

The author of the beloved Ramona Quimby books turns 101 years old today. A hundred and one! I’m sure she had no idea when she wrote Ramona Quimby, Age 8 that she would start a literary revolution.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

 

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - by Beverly ClearyInspired by letters from readers sharing their enthusiasm for the D.E.A.R. activities implemented in their schools, Mrs. Cleary decided to give the same experience to Ramona and her classmates. In the book, Ramona’s teacher introduces the children in her class to D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read). It could have been “Sustained Silent Reading,” but how much more fun is it with a title like that? I love clever teachers (and writers) who know how to engage their students and make learning an adventure.

Drop Everything and Read has become “a national month-long celebration of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives.” (Drop Everything and Read)

Did you know that reading Continue reading Celebrate Reading (Drop Everything and READ!)