Let’s Play Favourites!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Let’s do that thing we aren’t supposed to and play favourites for just a moment. No, I’m not going to ask you to choose your favourite child or favourite pet, don’t worry.

Who is your favourite character? (Writers, this could be one of your own, or someone else’s)

Readers, and I hope all of us here today consider ourselves readers…who is your favourite character?

Let me know in the comments below!

So I’ve Been Meaning To Ask…

pile of assorted books o

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Do you read? You do? Excellent! I like hanging out with other readers.

I enjoy reading a few different things, mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, some steampunk. I wish I could find more solarpunk and climate fiction. There have been characters I remembered long after the book was closed. Over on Twitter today I asked, “What was the first book that made you cry?”

Of course, that got me thinking about the two books that I remember best for making me cry when I was younger. “Old Yeller” and “The Incredible Journey”. I cared about those animals, man, really cared. I can’t stand hearing or reading about an animal suffering, being neglected or abandoned. (Might be why I have a hard time reading Jack London)

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to ask you, which character stands out as most memorable for you, in all that you’ve read? Let me know in the comments below!

Spinning Tales ~ A Review


Brey Willows has a fabulously colourful imagination that really shines with this tale. The characters are wonderful, the premise is refreshing and the book overall is hard to classify. Others have summarized the plot so I won’t do that here. What I will do is tell you that ‘Spinning Tales’ is one of the most refreshing books I’ve read in years. Yes, years. It has angst, heartache, magic, a quest, romance, love lost, and a sense of wonder that so few books these days have.
I was so captivated by this book that I’ll be ordering the print version, and it will go on the shelf beside my classics like Tolkien and Lewis. and you can bet I’ll be reading this one again and again when I’m in need of some “comfort reading”
Quite possibly Ms. Willows best work!

I received my copy as an ARC, but it will be available from Bold Strokes Books March 1, 2019

The Cranky Cartographer Is Reborn

beige analog gauge

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

I know folks talk about authors being God-like, and to some extent it’s true. We build worlds, we create people, animals and then give them lives. It crosses my mind every now and then.

Today though, it has been at the forefront of my mind.

Many of you know that I’m elbow-deep in my book ‘Infinite Worlds’, and one of the things that I have always struggled with is character motivations. Why are they there? What are they meant to do? Are they doing what they should be or are they standing around being a participant? (This always puts me in mind of the folks that stand around watching at a disaster, but never contribute anything productive.)

I had this come up in IW when I had killed off a character. My editor left this note in the sidebar, “You’ve now killed off the only male character you had.”

It was an eye-opening moment for me. I literally sat back in my chair, blinked and said aloud, “Well, crap. Now what?”

After days of soul-searching, I realized I did not want to kill him off. Yeah, he was a whiner, but I wanted him back. But what to do with him? What role would he serve in the overall plot? Could he develop as a better person over the duration of the plot? Was there any real reason to bring him back?

Yup, there was. So I did. But now what to do with him? More days of soul-searching, followed by charting his personality so I could get to the bottom of why he was a complaining, irritating crank. Then I delved into the research books to find out what sorts of things would make a whiny cartographer…whiny. Boom, he had a backstory. Boom, he had a past bleak enough to make me cranky about it. Then all I had to decide was what he wanted. Out of life and out of the mission he’d been thrust into against his will. Then I decided how he could contribute to the mission, quit his bitching and become a person I could actually like. Now, he’s made a friend! One I didn’t plan on in the slightest. She literally sat down beside him at a feast, and they’ve hit it off.

(It feels a little like when my boys made their first friends at school or on the T-Ball team)

So why am I telling you all this?

To share the wonder of creating worlds and people, I suppose. To reassure even the shyest reader out there that if Villpe Jarvus, cranky cartographer, can be a better man and make a friend, so can we all.

Do you remember how you met your best friend? Let me know in the comments section below!


Answering The Call – A Review


There are so many things to say about this book, I’ve actually been pondering this review for hours.

First off, it is a sequel. This is not a stand-alone book, and I wish I had known this before starting to read. I picked up on this early in the first pages when events were referenced and I had no idea what the characters were talking about. So I went back to Bold Strokes Books and bought the first book, ‘Calling The Dead’. Without going into that book’s review here, let me tell you the two books and their titles are as inter-woven and necessary to each other as a right shoe is to the left.

So, I’m going to assume that you’ve read ‘Calling The Dead’ and trust me when I say, you want to. Really. Now you’re wondering if this book is any good. It is not just good, it is a gut-grabbing, hair-curling, roller-coaster of twists and turns all wrapped in a murder mystery. This is not your grandmother’s mystery! There is blood and guts here, and lots of it. There are sick and twisted bad-guys with sick and demented goals. There are good guys and gals too, lots of them, who want to see the depravity stop and people protected. Chivalry, high emotion and love abounds here as well. The story is paced well and the characters, and there are many, are so well crafted, that you’ll swear they aren’t made-up. Both main families feel so real that you think that you could just call them up. There is only one question I was left with, but it makes no difference to the story.
Why is Sept’s hair white?

So in closing, first, get yourself a copy of ‘Calling The Dead’, then get yourself a copy of this book, ‘Answering The Call’. Prepare to lose yourself in a world of Ali Vali’s making. Leave the dishes unwashed, and let the dog out before you start reading because you won’t want to be disturbed afterward. Oh yeah, and enjoy Mike too.
Fabulously creepy cover, a wonderfully gripping story…what are you still doing here? Go get your own copy!

Second In Command – A Review


This book was a pleasant read. Not dark and twisty as I expected. The characters are memorable, even the one I wanted to slap for being spineless most of the time. She eventually breaks out of that pattern and grows, so don’t give up on her. The rest of the cast is so memorable, I was still thinking about some of them days later.

I’d like to see if these characters turn up anywhere else in the author’s imaginary universe. They’re the kind of people I could have Sunday brunch with. Wonder how I can get an invitation?

I was honored with an ARC from Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley. This book is due out December 11th.

Breaking Character – A Review


This is Lee Winter’s best book yet. There is the snark and attitude we’ve come to expect from her leading ladies. Secrets and lies lurk behind every corner and before long Elizabeth and Summer have painted themselves into a corner. It’s intriguing watching how their lie evolves, grows and takes on a life of its own.

While I cannot put my finger exactly on what makes this a better story than the author’s other works, I can tell you it is a must-read. When it finishes, you’ll wish there had been more. You’ll want to go for burgers with Summer and Elizabeth, you’ll want to tag along for Shakespeare night, just because they are such fascinating people.

I want to re-read this again, if only to hang out with two of the best characters Ms. Winter has created.
Yep, it’s that good.

I Invite You To…

sky space dark galaxy

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m thrilled to report that we’ll have a visitor to Words & Worlds very soon, none other than inter-planetary traveler and universe-hopper Devi Aradesta! She’ll be stopping by to discuss everything from planetary colonization, to movies, tea, Fletcherian ale and what it feels like to slip between worlds. She’s also interested in answering any and all of your questions, Dear Readers, so let’s hear them! Ask those burning questions in the comments box and then watch this space for what promises to be a great interview!

(Maybe we’ll even convince Coriander to sit in the hot seat for an interview of her own!)


If It’s Easy



When a Djinn is discovered inside a popular author’s computer, it’s only the beginning of the strange twist Coriander’s life has taken. Now she’s on the cusp of an out-of-this-world adventure with a beautiful and exotic woman that’s stolen her heart and is offering much, much more than the moon. But this adventure will take Coriander far from home, with no guarantee she’ll get back any time soon.

Can she trust in love enough to take an incredibly large leap of faith? Can she live with herself if she turns down an opportunity of a lifetime?


A sneak peek:

“Here you go.” Devi held out a cold bottle wet with ice-water. “Did you want to sit down? There’s an unoccupied log near the fire.”

Once they were settled, Cori studied the other woman out of the corner of her eye. She was an exotic beauty with clear brown eyes that held flecks of gold, topped by high arching, dark eyebrows and skin that hinted at a heritage in the Middle East. “You have an interesting name, Coriander Wolf.” Her voice was gentle and slightly accented.

Cori ducked her head as she felt her face heat with the compliment. “Thank you. My parents wanted me to have a unique name I guess.”

“I think it’s a lovely name.” Devi leaned slightly toward her. “It reminds me of sunlit meadows.”

Coriander wasn’t often tongue-tied, but she could think of nothing witty or intelligent to say, so she studied the brown bottle in her hands instead.

If It’s Easy is only .99, less than tomorrow’s cup of coffee! You can find it at books2read.com in a variety of storefront for all kinds of reading devices or at Amazon for those of you with a Kindle or the Kindle reading app. If you enjoy the story, please leave a review or let me know via a comment below or an email.

Thanks so much!


GreenGage Plots – A Review



This is a brilliant piece of fiction, centered around a small community on an island and two women who live on it. The plot is a brilliant and funny romp through the varied lives and personalities that touch Kit Sorel, the main character. The characters are wonderfully real, funny, quirky and so memorable. Even Petunia. I had no trouble at all picturing the island and it’s important places in my mind as I read this. Emma Sterner-Radley is a wonderfully talented author!
I had a hard time not laughing aloud while reading this in the wee hours of the morning, so be warned. Even my partner, who doesn’t usually get British humor thought the book was hilarious.

Read this, but don’t say I didn’t warn you if you find yourself laughing out loud.