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Friday, November 18, 2016

Binge Reading

How did I find the first book?  NO IDEA!  Goodreads or Amazon or Bookbub... I seem to add to my TBR list everywhere.  So THANK YOU to the universe for this one:

Which is the fourth in a series, but it totally didn't matter.  I was HOOKED on the story, the setting, & the characters.  The lead is a strong woman - flawed but not ridiculous, with passion & problems & massive skills.  

 So I quickly devoured:


                          And this great 
                           little novella: 

They were ALL delightful.  The audible versions are great fun.  They are perfect cozy romps & I hope that Gretchen Archer is busy writing the next installment.  I can hardly WAIT to see what's next!!


Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Don't be mislead by the title.  This will NOT be a list of Halloween (Samhain) appropriate books.  I don't do scary, creepy, spooky, or terror.  Remember, if you can't imagine the book being translated to the screen by the Muppets, then it's probably too scary for me.

I'm referencing the not-at-all-spooky Samantha Stevens - the main character from the Bewitched TV show.  Ah.... what a great show.  One of her many powers was the ability to twitch her nose & make time freeze.  Completely stop!  She (& whoever needed a quick talking to) would continue on while the rest of the world was on pause.  Then, a finger snap from Sam, & everyone finished sipping their martinis & wagging their fingers at Darwin.

I've always wanted this power.  Just think of it!  In addition to meeting deadlines with ease, just think of the NAPS I could take!  Chores wouldn't interfere with fun times because I could just hop into a time bubble, clean the bathroom, take a shower, have a cup of coffee & snap back into the time stream!

And the books!  My to-be-read list grows every day.  I read a lot & pretty quickly, but I can acquire new books even faster.  All those authors out there adding to the literary world - how can I possibly keep up?  tinkle-inkle-ink - instant reading bubble.  Such a heavenly daydream...

But it is just a daydream.  Aside from the obvious flaw in this plan - my inability to stop time or even, truth be told, wiggle my nose - there are other issues.

As mentioned, I read a lot.  Science fiction has covered this particular power many times.  Whether by supernatural, mechanical, or quantum means, this power has popped up in The Twilight Zone, Arthur C. Clark anthologies, Star Trek, Harry Potter (sorta),  From nuclear war to aging & insanity, this plan is always doomed.  

So I can't read all the books.


But I can read a LOT of books.  And knowing that I can't read them all might free me up to dive into the pile wherever and whenever I want.

Which is convenient since, you know, that's already what I do.

I should probably reset my Goodreads Goal for 2016 too.  I blew past that & there are still 3 months to go.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Book Release!

A new book & new-to-me author that I'm excited to check out.  Metro Diaries - 2 releases on September 1st.  

Here's what the press packet says:

Give life another chance.
        Laugh a little longer.
Let go of your past.
        Hold onto what you love.

In short, LIVE rather than just exist!

Some told, some untold, some heard & some unheard - this collection of stories will make you look at life in a different light & make you ponder over its definition of it till now.

And what reviewers are saying:

  • After touching your hearts with 'Metro Diaries - Love Classics' she is back now with stories that will redefine life for you!
  • The stories in Metro Diaries - Love Classics are free from any trappings of youthful slang and fashionable language stunts. These young adults are speaking to the readers with Namrata’s maturity shining through, and Namrata’s ideas of love. - Sakshi Nanda
  • The language is fairly pleasant to read and the elaborate discussions between characters in each story must have taken a lot of work – because the most difficult job of all authors is to bring out human emotions in proper words. Thankfully, Namrata has concentrated upon it very well! - Dhivya Balaji

About the Author:

Namrata is 

A Lost Wanderer who loves travelling the length and breadth of the world.

A published author in various anthologies and magazines she enjoys capturing the magic of life in her words.

She is forever in pursuit of a new country and a new story.

I'm planning to read a LOT this weekend, & this book will be at the top of the list.

- sash

Posted in conjunction with 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Starting by listening

First small thing.

Hearing more voices so my heartsick mourning can find
a respectful, supportive, EFFECTIVE outlet.

This can't continue.
This violence & fear & hatred.  This death.
This is one little step.

Diversity in books

Click through to that website.

Or look at the lists with which I'm starting. (In my list of lists section over there -------> )

Don't fail to take any step because they all seem so small.

Be safe, my beloved family.  Even the ones I haven't met.


Friday, June 24, 2016

Make this work!

I'm gonna try changing the color.

Doing this AFTER the stuff is typed.

I'm dubious.

blah blah blah

Huh. It worked.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Book Bucks!

This is a good way to shake up a Tuesday:

"  Your Credit from the Apple eBooks
    Antitrust Settlement Is Ready to Use  "

Sweet.  An Amazon credit?

I'll be right book!

err.... Back!


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Pride - a WIP

Text from the Rev  "Do we have some rainbow fabric that we could loan to Rose City Park Presbyterian for Sunday?"

Obviously the question was about the loaning cause you KNOW we have rainbows.

Take all of it.   Represent!  I'll bring rainbows from home for the Bridgeport sanctuary.

I wish this quilt was finished.  It's close - pieced, sandwiched, & mostly quilted. Just a few more seams & a binding

Then again, maybe it's ok the way it is?  Beautiful.  Vibrant.  Incomplete.

Artistic vision realized (with work still to come).

Over time, without the rest of the quilting, the quilt would get all lumpy.  Some places would be thin & unsupported.  Other places would be thick & bunch up - putting strain on the whole piece.

And binding.  That's the worst part of quilting.  I like designing, picking fabric, piecing it together.  Binding is like hemming jeans or patching socks.  Boring.

But without wrapping this thing up & taking care of the edges, the seams that hold the beautiful pieces together will ravel.  The whole piece will be weak. Water & dirt will get into the rainbow & my creation will sour & rot from the inside.
Block 04854

(I'm not into subtle metaphors.)

Like The Names Project, quilt as metaphor in the queer community isn't about subtle.  Giving names & faces to those lost.  Laying all those feels out there for those who thought their lives were complete separate from homosexuality.  

Quilts may be soft & comforting, but a 54-TON Quilt is not subtle.

So I proudly place my WIP* on the altar: 

I'm really pleased with this quilt top.  PROUD of it, in fact.

It's important to feel PRIDE.  About who we are.  About all that we've done.

Then it's important to remember that this is a work in process.
  • For the dark spaces like Orlando.  
  • For the vulnerable edges like our transgender brothers & sisters.  
  • For those seams that aren't yet reinforced & secure like our queer children & youth.  
  • And for all of us - feeling safe & strong in the center of this beautiful patchwork - to guard against clumping ourselves up, lumping others away from us, & allowing the dirt & damp of prejudice & complacency to rot away at the center of our rainbow.
Happy Pride!  Have Fun!  Be Safe!  Be Bold!

Then let's get to work.  Writing letters, Reaching out to those on the edges, Fighting for our kids, Evening out the lumps & bumps that distort our center. 

We have built something beautiful & our work is not yet done.

auntie sash

Hey - I see you.  I love you.  I need you to stick around.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Ghosts of Writers Future?

There is a bizarre juxtaposition between the ephemeral nature of mankind & the vast lifespan of the written word.  Or even, in modern times, the data-entered word.

I'm accustomed to the Linked-In invites from friends who were probably not aware of being linked-in even before passing away & who are certainly not, at this point, requesting my connection.

I'm comforted by revisiting a blog or facebook account,  looking at photos, & reading comments from other bereaved friends.

I'm a little surprised, I must admit, when my "New Books By Authors You've Read" list from Goodreads is dotted with new releases from authors who are dead.  It's sorta amazing to me.  I've never finished writing one book, & these people are still creating from beyond the pale???

OK - I'm going to set that aside for now & get on with the books.  Some exciting stuff from authors (living & not-so-much) coming out this month.

From the vault of Terry Pratchett

This is the 5th & final book in The Long Earth series.  It's supposed to ask (& maybe answer) questions about  The Nature of Things (note the capital letters).

I'm more addicted to the Discworld series (rumor says there's another Tiffany Achin book in that vault) but perhaps this finale will inspire me to reread the whole Long Earth series.

From Stephanie Perkins (of Anna & the French Kiss, etc) there is an anthology of YA short stories. Check this out:

Doesn't it just call out for a porch swing & some sweet tea?

From Sci-fi to YA - how about some magic?  From Charlie N. Holmberg (Paper Magician Trilogy) there will be a new (stand alone?) released on June 28th. 

This looks delightful (that cover is so pretty) & engaging.  Another good summer read!

There are also new releases in June from

AND, returning to the less corporeal authors releasing books this month, a new book from Franklin L. Dixon. Yeah - you read that right.  Those Hardy Boys are at it again!  And yeah - I know it's a pen name that has been passed along for generations now.  It's still just a little weird & disconcerting to have Frank & Joe show up on my newsfeed. 

It's not going on my summer reading list, but for sentimental reasons, here it is: 

So many nights reading Nancy Drew 
(then the Hardy boys & the Bobbsey Twins).
So many pictures of Parker Stevenson cut
from Tiger Beat magazine.

(Shaun Cassidy just never did it for me). 

What new (or old) releases are on beside your lounge chair this summer?  For more ideas, check out the upcoming releases page at Powell's or Goodreads.

Maybe instead of being disoriented by books from the dead, I'll just be reassured knowing that, if the authors never stop publishing, I'll never run out of books to read!

Happy Reading,

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cat's out of the bag!

What's not fascinating about Egyptian Mythology?

Amazing creatures, complex family trees - groves - whatever.  Violence, seduction, double-cross, & heroism.

In Daughter of the Sun by Zoe Kalo, the full drama of Egyptology is the backdrop for this fantasy, thriller, coming-of-age story.

Book One of the Cult of the Cat Series, introduces us to plucky orphan, Trinity.  We go with Trinity when she is reunited with her only living relative.

On an island.

Full of cats.

Things get weird fast.  First just "that was odd" kinda weird.  Then "What?  WHAT?!?" kinda weird.

The story & characters pulled me into the book.  The backstory was richly non-obtrusive.  It's a fantasy, sure, but I never felt my credibility over-stretched.

I give the book a 4 out of 5 & recommend it for advanced middle school & up.

Important note:  I received a free advance copy of this book.  All opinions & ratings are my own.

This Review is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by b00k r3vi3w Tours

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

So, this is cool...

Yeah - clearly I'm more active on Goodreads than I am here, on my very own blog.  Hey - I'm working on it!

On Facebook this week, the question was asked: if we wanted to summon you, what 3 items should be placed in the circle?  Well, obviously a bobbin, a bokken, and a book!


Friday, March 4, 2016

Battle Wounds

Sometimes stress needs a more immediate release than can be found in a book or at the sewing machine.  At those moments, I really need to kill things.

Usually those things are demons, undead, and other pixelated evils. 

   Which I can shoot,

          Whack with a sword,
Carindre - Restoration Druid

Or leave to the devices of my allies (while I keep my guildies alive from a safe distance)

Sometimes, however, virtual violence isn't enough.  I must hit things.  With sticks.

In particular, I hit a pell (upright, padded target my darling hubby built for me) with either bokken (wooden practice sword) or tanto (knife - in this case, a wooden practice version).

I must have been extra tense this week.  I was trying to remember all the basic escrima moves. & managed to strain something in my mid/lower back.  I didn't have my notes so I was relying on muscle memory.  Clearly what my muscles didn't remember was how long it's been since I've done any escrima.  


I couldn't remember beyond the first 4-5 moves.  I need to check with Sensei Craig but maybe I'll wait a couple weeks first.

Meanwhile, about those demons....



Movie.  Soon. TIM frickin BURTON!!!!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Boggled Bobbin

I'm doing this:

The first class was Sunday.  Sorting & organizing & cutting.  I think there will be a lot of that going on.  Each owl has over 40 pieces.  We're gonna start with the Foxes - those only have about 12.

Clearly, I've lost my mind.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Books of the ******FUTURE*****

Let's ignore, for the moment, that I have several (dozens) of physical books at home that I have not yet read.

Let's also set aside the knowledge that my Kindle contains a few (scores) of books that I also have not read.

There may be some (a large stack of) untouched quilting magazines too.

Click Here For More!
Forget all that.

Because LOOK!!   

     Books from the 

I'm quite excited about the release of Adulthood is a Myth: a Sarah's Scribbles Collection. 

Here's a sample of this awesome comic & a link to check out more.

I'm a big fan of Augusten Burroughs & this book just popped up the Goodreads New Releases email:

Expected Release Date:
29 march 2016

And then there is this:


I love me some Rainbow Rowell.

This is one of a handful of selected short reads specially produced for World Book Day 

Release date (& world book day) - 
3 march 2016

Another upcoming release is 

EDGE: A YA/New Adult Paranormal Collection

This cool collection - 20 shorts stories by best selling YA authors - will release on 5 april 2016.  I love short stories. Such a great way to meet new authors & to see how favorite authors unfold & conclude a story in a limited space.

I've been asked to give an honest review of this collection in exchange for a free copy.  There is no ARC, so I'm on the pre-order list & am super excited to read & review this set.

It's a grey day in February.  I can't promise that the immediate future is BRIGHT, but I'm pretty sure it will be full of BOOKS, & what's better on a cloudy day than books?


Monday, February 15, 2016

Breakfast Club Phenomenon

The Breakfast Club Phenomenon (patent pending) is a great foundation for a story (& for most "real life" encounters).  Curtain rises on well sorted cast - Good guys over there, bad guys over here.  Slacker, bimbo, preppy, good girl, rebel... etc.  Cue the clueless adults.  Mix in one heart of gold.  

Then some sort of (varying degrees of contrived/ improbable) stuff* happens.  Opposites are tossed together.  Arch rivals* are forced to cooperate.   Hardships & madcappery reveal the nuances & quirks in each player.  Stereotypes are crushed. Prejudice tossed aside.  Unlikely pairings form, break apart, reform, etc.  Sometimes, in the end, even the adults are more/less cool/dorky than everyone thought.

Here's a new Breakfast Club Phenomenon book that I really enjoyed.  

The Improbably Theory of Ana & Zac 

Just because there is a formula, that does not mean this book are formulaic!  Not at all.  Where everyone starts, where they end up, & all the hi-jinx in between make for a fabulous read.  The plot, the setting, the epiphanies, & the individual growth - those are the core of a YA novel & a mirror of real life.

Along the way, our hearts are captured by these crazy kids because it's so very familiar.  Growing up (& continuing to grow) is so much about finding out we are more than our talents & background.  We push against & break out of the molds & shockingly, the people around us break free too - even free of the boxes that we put them in.  
de chicks can't handle de smoke.  dat's what it is.

Click on the original gang for other BCP books I like (when I get that list made)


* You know - stuff.  (Do my impressive literary terms intimidate you?  Make me less approachable?)
* What is the plural of nemesis?  Apparently, it's "arch rivals". (My vocabulary is second only to my spelling)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Down for the count

What's the opposite of a countdown?  

A count-up? Or maybe just...a count?

The countdown I talked about here came to an end on Sunday.  Final count: 35,388.  96 years, 10 months, 18 days.

The new count is now at 4.  4 sunrises to watch.  4 first cups of coffee.  4 days without Harold G. Schmidt alive on this planet.

At some point, I'll lose count.  Another day without him will just be, well, another day.  Without him.  I might forget to count, but I'll never forget him.

My daddy wasn't perfect, but he was amazing.  Like a character from the westerns he LOVED to read.

You rode this one to the barn, daddy.  We're gonna be ok.  You rest now.
You've certainly earned it.
Harold Glenn Schmidt
March 21, 1919 - February 7, 2016