Some Books

I have read many books along with Son 1, and enjoyed them immensely.  Here are a few of these books:

1) The Wings of Fire Series by Tui T. Sutherland.  These books are surprisingly intense.  My favorite thing about them is that they are each told from a different character’s point of view.  Sutherland wrote at least one Animorphs books as well…and lots of others that look good.

2) “Dragonrider” by Cornelia Funke.  This is a sweet book with a kind of intimacy that is appropriate and comforting.  This is a good book for an early reader with advanced skills.  Funke is also the author of Inkheart.

3) The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.  I assume I don’t need to tell you about these!

4) The Fraser Brothers series (known to us as the Jason & Edward books) by Jane Cutler.  Like Dragonrider, these books are fine for younger readers.  They are sweet, easy, humorous reads.  They are out of print, but can still be found at the usual places (Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, alibris.com) on-line.  It looks like Ms. Cutler wrote a lot of other books, but we haven’t  read them so I can’t say anything about them.

5) The first 4 to um, 40 Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osborne. These are great read-aloud books or easy readers to get kids into chapter books.  They do get a bit formulaic after the first 10 or so, but my son probably hit book 47 in this series before that phased him.  These are educational too.

Numbers 2 , 4 & 5 we read when Son 1 was much, much younger than he is now.  He absolutely devours books and I could write forever if I tried to list every one that we enjoyed. Right now, he’s reading my complete Jules Verne.  I am pretty excited to have a reading buddy here at home (and I’m shooting to raise two more 😀 ).  I have”The Water of Possibility” by Hiromi Goto & Janet Lunn on my list of books to read with him.  Have you read it?  I also think it’s time to introduce him to the Earthsea Books by Ursula LeGuin.  I remember them as fine reading for a 10 year old.  What do you think?

As for grown-up fiction, I recently loaned my favorite book, “Geek Love” by Katherine Dunne, to friends (a couple) and am looking forward to talking with them about it.  It’s probably time to re-read it.  It’s a different book for me every time.  I highly recommend it, though if you are faint of heart or stomach, the first go through may shock or upset you.  Still, it’s worth it.

I have also been thinking about re-reading “Lives of the Monster Dogs” by Kirsten Bakis.  My sister gave me this haunting book years ago.  Another book my sister gave me (ages ago) that is due for re-read is the “Forgotten Beasts of Eld” by Patricia McKillip.  There’s a line in it about life unraveling that stays with me. I wonder if that book would be considered YA fiction now?  Maybe even middle grade?

Not too long ago, I re-read “Sometimes After Sunset” by Tanith Lee and it still surprised me.  If you like science fiction or fantasy even a little and haven’t read Lee, you should give her work a go.  Her work is probably considered YA, and now that I think about it. I was probably a teen the first go-round.

I also humbly suggest you might like my novella, “The Pied Piper of St. May” too.

I can recommend “Zira’s Heart” by K Tempest Bradford.  I think it would also be considered YA.  It has the feel of a lost fairy tale from a lost culture, strange and familiar at the same time.  I have only read it once so far.  I am a fan of Ms. Bradford’s short stories too (you’ll see Elan Vital in my links o the left)  & enjoy an on-line friendship with her built over many years of (my) fandom.

Right now, I am reading “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn and it just took a shocking turn.  You probably know what I mean if you’ve read it or seen the movie.  I’m not done, so please no spoilers!  For once, I understand what the fuss is all about.

The links above are for your convenience.  Because I am in Colorado, I cannot benefit in any way from your actions, even from Amazon – except if you buy my book (of course!).

Do you have books you regularly re-read?  What is your goal when you do that, if you have one?  Do you have personal classics to recommend?  Any books you’ve especially enjoyed lately?

Gosh, but I do love to read!

Hi There!

If you are about my age, a Peter Gabriel song may now be playing in your head too!

Summer is a busy place around here, with little time to write here or anywhere else. I hope to be through the second draft of my early reader book by summer’s end, and that is eating a lot of my time. For now, while I am in the bat-cave, if you haven’t checked out my novella, maybe you’d like to do that.
Here it is: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005F5D4NA#

I had it up on Nook for awhile too, and am thinking about re-publishing it there, since they work with public libraries.
Do you have thoughts or ideas on self-publishing? Do you have favorite places for self-publishing or reading self-published fiction?

And in case you are curious, I bought Montepuliciano with the $7.50 I made on this book so far. As far as cheap wines goes, it was quite good. Cheers!

Uphill Both Ways

I am working through the second draft of my early reader book at a snail’s pace.  I am the middle-aged (read: old) working Mom of 3 young kids, and by the end of the day, I’m spent.  I may have to tackle this thing in a way I had not previously envisioned (Take time off?  Hide?).  It deserves to be finished, if only for the sake of my three young muses (my sons).

For now, I redirect you to one of my published short stories “And the Moon Waits” in this issue of Ranfurly Review:

http://www.ranfurly-review.co.uk/issues/The_Ranfurly_Review_Issue_11.pdf

This is a favorite of mine.  I welcome your comments.

The Pied Piper of St. May – Paperback

My novella The Pied Piper of St. May is now available at Create Space in paperback here.  If you are curious about why I self-published this book, you’ll find a bit about that here.

I put a lot of time into making the book look reasonably nice. The people who format books deserve more attention and praise, especially since, as far as I can tell, they don’t get any.  They are artists.  The Kindle edition (with reviews) is here.  If you want paperback copies (of any book), buying from Create Space is of more benefit to the artist.

This book is no longer available for Nook.

Enjoy!

Progress of a Writer?

I recently finished a chapter book for early readers, inspired by my sons.  I’ll be looking for an agent for this one, but only after my editor is finished.  In the meantime, I am enjoying “saving” my old poems, sketches, and song lyrics.  I am scanning yellowed papers with crumbling edges and posting the contents here.  I hope you enjoy them.

This year, I plan to work on my YA novel and maybe a(n already in progress) book of short stories.  If I manage to complete the book of short stories, I may self-publish it.  I am considering self-publishing a book of my poetry too but I worry.  That seems self-indulgent to me.  But I can’t work out why self-publishing poetry feels self-indulgent when self-publishing short stories does not.  What do you think?

So far, I have self-published my novella The Pied Piper of St. May on Amazon and NookI’ve made about $4 and Amazon’s made about $6.  Reviews suggest the handful of people who’ve read it have been pleased with how they spent their 99 cents.  That’s pretty cool.

What are you up to? If you write, do you self-publish?  Why?  Or why not?

Wonderful review on Amazon!

This review of my novella “The Pied Piper of St. May” was recently posted on Amazon:

Usually, short stories do not have enough in them to be interesting, but this one was just amazing! I really enjoyed this book, and once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. The plot has the perfect mixture of mystery and adventure. This novella makes you not want the story to end, and you can picture living in the story. The setting is happy and calm, yet with danger hidden from sight, slowly transforming the town. If I could rate this story six stars, I would!

What a wonderful review!  Today, I am sending happy, thankful thoughts out to this reviewer.

If you have not done so already, check it out here on Amazon or here for Nook.  I’ll be watching for you!

What if they were real?

The Pied Piper of St. May

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In the distant future, crash-landings scatter mankind’s efforts to colonize the stars.  Disconnected, societies develop on their own.  If they could communicate, would they wonder why ancient myths persist? What if siren songs, pied pipers, and creatures that spirit children off in the dark were real?

When a nature-loving child makes a promise that brings her face to face with an ancient enemy of man, who – or what – will prevail?

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My young adult science-fiction novella The Pied Piper of St. May is available for 99 cents for Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005F5D4NA

And now available on Nook: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Pied-Piper-of-St-May/mcneill/e/2940013557291

What Do the Children Hear in the Woods?

What do the children hear in the woods?  Go to Amazon & get my novella The Pied Piper of St. May to find out.  The Pied Piper of St. May is a light science fiction novella suitable for ages 12 and up.  A mere 99 cents and it’s yours.

If you read this story and liked it, I’d adore it (and you!) if you pushed that LIKE button on Amazon and maybe wrote a review.

If you hated it or feel you have some constructive criticism to offer, I’d appreciate it if you’d come back to this post and leave a comment.  I’ve edited the beeeee-geebus out of it at this point, but it’s a process.  I am expanding to longer work, and I truly do appreciate the feed-back.

And yes, you can comment on my cover art too.