Monthly Archives: October 2015

Review of Rattlesnake, by Kim Fielding

RattlesnakeI bought a copy of Rattlesnake, by Kim Fielding.

Description from Goodreads:
A drifter since his teens, Jimmy Dorsett has no home and no hope. What he does have is a duffel bag, a lot of stories, and a junker car. Then one cold desert night he picks up a hitchhiker and ends up with something more: a letter from a dying man to the son he hasn’t seen in years. 

On a quest to deliver the letter, Jimmy travels to Rattlesnake, a small town nestled in the foothills of the California Sierras. The centerpiece of the town is the Rattlesnake Inn, where the bartender is handsome former cowboy Shane Little. Sparks fly, and when Jimmy’s car gives up the ghost, Shane gets him a job as handyman at the inn. 

Both within the community of Rattlesnake and in Shane’s arms, Jimmy finds an unaccustomed peace. But it can’t be a lasting thing. The open road continues to call, and surely Shane—a strong, proud man with a painful past and a difficult present—deserves better than a lying vagabond who can’t stay put for long.

I thought this was a sweet little story. It’s basically about two men falling in love, that’s it, nothing flashy or exciting, but it’s sweet. What saves it from being boring is that the two men in question are the type of men who rarely make it as main characters, a 43-year-old drifter/chronically homeless man and a 33-year-old crippled man with a traumatic brain injury. And the book proves that readers (or at least this one) don’t need infallible, godly gorgeous, alpha men as heroes. I adored Chase and Jimmy (Chase especially).

It is a bit of an insta-love, which is unfortunate, because it’s not really supported. I have no idea why Chase tried so hard to keep Jimmy around, but I’m glad that he did. I also thought it was a little on the predictable side. But again, it’s a fairly straight forward romance, so it wouldn’t have been overly realistic to have too many twists and turns. All-in-all, it was a book that made me happy to see the HEA (even if it did get a little sappy there at the end).

Review of Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders (Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin #1)

Romulus BuckleI checked Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders, by Richard Ellis Preston, out from the library.

Description from Goodreads:
In a postapocalyptic world of endless snow, Captain Romulus Buckle and the stalwart crew of the Pneumatic Zeppelin must embark on a perilous mission to rescue their kidnapped leader, Balthazar Crankshaft, from the impenetrable City of the Founders. Steaming over a territory once known as Southern California — before it was devastated in the alien war — Buckle navigates his massive airship through skies infested with enemy war zeppelins and ravenous alien beasties in this swashbuckling and high-octane steampunk adventure. Life is desperate in the Snow World, and death is quick. Buckle and his ship’s company must brave poisoned wastelands of Noxious Mustard and do battle with forgewalkers, steampipers, and armored locomotives as they plunge from the skies into the underground prison warrens of the fortress city.

Captain Romulus Buckle must lead the Pneumatic Zeppelin and its crew of ne’er-do-wells on a desperate mission where he must risk everything to save Balthazar and attempt to prevent a catastrophic war that could wipe out all that is left of civilization and the entire human race.

Bah, it was ok but not much more. Here’s the thing, the writing seemed fine but everything was waaaaaay over described and nothing of significance really happened. Don’t get me wrong, things blew up, the air ship almost crashed like 400 times, people ran around and said droll things, but in terms of an overall story arc it didn’t really show up until about page 350. Yes, the leaders had been kidnapped and the crew was rescuing them, but that’s not really much of a plot as presented here. It’s just an excuse to be off doing things.

So, even though I checked this out of my local library along with the sequel, I’m returning them both. I’m not going to bother with the second book. I’m just not interested enough and I have a strong suspicion that, if it takes 350 pages to finally present the real plot in this book, it’s probably the same in book two, which means I’ll likely finish it little more satisfied than I am now. It’s just not worth it to me.

Getting ready for NaNoWriMo 2015


All right, I’m not a complete NaNo newbie anymore! Ok, I’m still pretty new to National Writing Month, but I did it last year and survived, so I don’t feel like a total boot. And this fact makes itself known when I think of how much writing prep I did last year compared to this year.

I don’t mean research or plotting or outlining. I did way more of that Nano Prep Researchthis year than last year. But last year I was so stressed about my word count that I had tunnel vision. I bought myself a new mole skin and dandy pen. I picked out word count rewards. I scouted my out-of-the-house writing spot. I scoured the NaNoWriMo website, the Facebook page, the Pinterest page, the Twitter page, the Goodreads forums. I spent most of the latter half of October setting myself up to hit my word count.

This year? Not so much. I mean, ok, some of the reason is that the NaNoWriMo website hasn’t changed much and the forums are in the same place, so I don’t need to do all that again. But another part of it is that I’m confident I can hit a 50k mark in a way I wasn’t last year, so I can concentrate on WHAT I’ll be writing instead of HOW MUCH I’ll be writing. And I’m excited about this in a way I didn’t allow myself to be last year.

o-YOGA-JOES-570So, what am I writing this year? I’m branching way outside my comfort zone. I’m writing a contemporary romance of sorts, between a wounded Afghanistan war veteran and a FTM transgendered Trauma Sensitive yoga instructor.

This is outside my comfort zone for a couple reasons, One, I tend to gravitate toward writing fantasy, so a contemporary setting is new for me. Plus, I’ve never written a romance. And lastly, as I’ve discussed elsewhere, I’m deathly afraid of getting my transgendered representation wrong. But I have what I think is a pretty strong outline, so I am soldiering on. (If anyone is able and willing to beta this aspect of the book, on completion, I would love you forever.)

*Deep breath* In three days I’ll start my second NaNo round. I feel as ready as I can be. I’m going to try and hit more of the real-life, in person write-ins than I did last year. But most are at 6pm, which is a hard time for me to arrange. (That’s an excuse, but it’s also true.) But if anyone is in the Saint Louis area and interested in connecting. I’m Saussy on the buddy list. Feel free to drop me a line. We can commiserate together, or encourage on another, or whatever.

It probably goes without saying, but for those seeking review…not in November.