Required Reading

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Books I have authored.

Many times I receive books for FREE to give them an honest review. I do not get paid to give a good or bad review. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as advertising for the book spotlighted. Regardless of where or how I got a book, my review will be as honest as I can make it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Author Kimberly Raiser Answers Questions

Kimberly Raiser Answers Questions on "The Family Bones"

Author of "The Family Bones" (A Sci-Fi Thriller) and "Stranded"

1.) Why did you write this book?
Wow, why do I write anything for that matter?

It started out as a short story titled "Cat Tales". I was about three chapters
in and decided to shelf it for a while. After "Stranded" went to print I picked
it up to work on it and things just started flowing. From one moment to the next I never know what is really going to happen.

What initiated this particular burst of creativity?

Who knows! Sometimes things just pop into my thoughts. It's never expected,that's for sure.

2.) Does your story line develop organically or is it a gestalt before you
There are times where I have been sitting around thinking about a storyline for a long time before I put it to ink. For the most part the characters play a huge factor in where the story is going. When a character begins to come to life, things start to happen. That's when things get fun. So, to answer, there is really no organization in my process.
What comes out, comes out!

3.) Is your process to outline and then fill in the blanks or just sit down
and start to tell a story or ?
I never outline. There have been times where I know what the end is going to be like, and I work my way through to the ending,but for the most part it just comes to me as I write.

4.) Do you have a favorite character in the book and if so why?
I don't think I have a favorite character. If I had to choose, I would say Robert. He is intelligent, loyal, compassionate, and still questions things. (He's like "The Professor, Spock, and Indiana Jones all in one cute guy, kinda like my Geoffrey!) All in all every character has some quality that I like, even the villains.

5.) What do you like the most about writing?
I love to create situations. Building characters is probably the most fun. When building a really good character there is a part of me that gets attached to he or she, or it for that matter. It's like part of an extended family.

The biggest joy I get from writing though is building the story with my husband Geoffrey. His enthusiasm as the story progresses is like a drug. I feed on it. I love to be able to surprise him, shock him, and make him laugh. He is also my technical advisor. That's what he likes to call himself anyway. I write a chapter or five or six pages at a time and give them to him to read. I then get feedback, and sometimes a funny look. That is always amusing!

6.) Where do your new story ideas come from?
I have to laugh just thinking about that. No one really knows.

7.) What advice has helped the most in your writing?
Edit, Edit, Edit. Keep writing.

8.) What is the favorite book you have written?
It's the one I haven't finished yet.

9.) Who is your favorite author and why?
There are so many great authors out there. I love to read Douglas Adams, because he will undoubtedly make me laugh. I adore P.S. Gifford, who happens to be a friend. He writes the best comical horror a person could write!!! I admire Stephen King's ability to capture the essence of the moment and surroundings of a story. He's really a brilliant writer.

10.) What advice would you give for the want to be writer?
Write all the time. No matter what it is. As long as you are writing, you are practicing.

Never give up. Edit, edit, and then edit more.

For myself starting with short stories was a blessing. There is some immediate gratification that can be satisfied in today's electronic world. The ability to get published has grown tremendously. The internet is a great tool. Submit to many many magazines, journals, and anthologies. Don't limit yourself to one genre. Play with everything, and enjoy what you are doing!!!!!

Kimberly Raiser

Author of "The Family Bones" (A Sci-Fi Thriller) and "Stranded"
Now available through amazon!!
Purchase your discounted copy through Kim's Books

Many, many thanks to Kimberly. as I know she is up to her tush in alligators, for her to take the time to be interviewed is truly gracious. Thank you Kimberly!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coming Jan. 30 Interview with Kimberly Raiser

Friday January 30 my first author interview with
Kimberly Raiser
Author of The Family Bones"

See her Video Trailer at YouTube by going to her site and clicking on the spooky eyes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Secret Honor by W. E. B. Griffin

Here is another author who has always kept my interest. I particularly liked his series on Philadelphia. I am familiar with the setting and recognize many of the situations. His military series could be written from a template due to their similarity of style. Since I enjoy the books apparently that doesn’t bother me. This story takes place primarily in Argentina during WWII. The OSS, the SS and the good old USA are all represented. Griffin does a good job of showing that there are many shades of gray. There are coal black SS officers and practically white German officers. I think it is important to consider in today’s world of anger and jihad that those who make the most ugly noise are not always representative of their religion or ethnicity. It is too easy to vilify and stereotype when fear and anger run rampant. Griffin makes it clear in his stories that the “wrong” side of a conflict can have good people overwhelmed by circumstances. Once again, a good story and I recommend reading it.

Body of work of W. E. B. Griffin


Web site:

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Course of Empire by Eric Flint & K.D. Wentworth

Eric Flint always writes a good story. I have read a lot of his work and have inevitably enjoyed them. My guess is the Machiavellian nature of this work may be traced to K. D. Wentworth, who I have not had the occasion to read. Earth is invaded by aliens and is conquered. The obvious reason turns out to be incorrect and the story line is not nearly as straight forward as it seems. The alien political infighting predominates the story and you are lulled into thinking mankind is merely window dressing for alien politics. It turns out that mankind may be outclassed in physical strength, equipment and technology but they still have a lot to teach. The book shows our obvious weaknesses and the often not obvious but there none the less ability of the human genotype to step above and beyond our normal behavior. I really enjoyed the story and highly recommend it. When I get back to real connectivity I am going to track down whether there is a sequel since the story truly demands one.

Body of work of Eric Flint
Body of work of K. D. Wentworth


Web site:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Plum Lovin’ by Janet Evanovich

Knowing full well I am going to be stepping on some toes here, I am mystified as to the fascination with her books. It was a very, quick read, 164 pages and large print, two cups of coffee and you are done. It was light, breezy and in no way intellectually stimulating. Cotton candy comes to mind. It was a mystery and it is a mystery to me why this author is so popular. I guess I will have to track down another of her books to see if this was just a lonely aberration. I don’t recommend it.

Body of work of Janet Evanovich


Web site:

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Manifest Destiny by Barry B. Longyear

The movie Enemy Mine was based on Barry Longyear’s short story of the same name. As most movies based on books go, it was ok but greatly insufficient in depth. The story was much better. This book is a collection of stories under the umbrella theme of Manifest Destiny. Based on our historic performance it sadly rings very true. One can only hope that at some point in time our culture will finally begin to learn something from historic precedents. The stories all center around conflict and primarily military industrial influence. It was a good collection and I recommend it.

Body of work of Barry B. Longyear

Review: couldn’t find one.

Web Site:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Clone Republic by Steven Kent

My thanks to sharonae44 who suggested Steven Kent’s book to me. I was swapping for a David Weber or Drake book with her and she said she was reading this book and felt if I liked Drake and Weber, I would like it. She was right. His style is not as emotional as Weber. I didn’t find myself identifying with the protagonist like I often do with Weber, Drake or Ringo. The concept of clones as disposable troops was dismal but frighteningly plausible. The unwieldy aspect of a galaxy wide federation of worlds leads into the next novel. This book was primarily a coming of age of a young man who discovers he is a military clone. I recommend it.

Body of work of Steven Kent


Web Site:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

March To The Stars by David Weber and John Ringo

At the risk of repeating myself, I love these guys. The story takes up from where “March to the Sea” left off. The embattled marines end up involved in another localized war. The natives they initially help turn out to be the bad guys and they have to shift allegiances to get to the starport which is their goal. The starport is their only hope to get off the planet and get home. The discovery that all is not well at home puts added pressure to get where their going. The authors don’t hesitate to inject a reality check in their work. War has casualties, even characters we really, really like. You know it is only a story but yet you grieve for the loss of life. I, admittedly, really get into these books and have difficulty getting anything else done while reading them. There is one more in the series and I plan on starting it immediately. I would suggest buying all four at the same time because you are going to want to read them back to back, at least I did.

Body of work of David Weber
Body of work of John Ringo


Web Site
David Weber’s web site is under construction.

Web Site:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Simple Truth by David Baldacci

One more score for Baldacci, another book I couldn’t put down. I like intricate stories and I hate being able to figure out the plot. Well, you can always depend on Baldacci for intricacy and you might be able to figure out where he is going, but you are never going to be able to figure out how he is going to get there. This story features sibling rivalry, love, passion, treachery and redemption. The Army, the U.S. Senate and the Supreme Court are all involved. If those participants don’t pique your interest then you probably are a reader anyway. I highly recommend it.

Body of work of David Baldacci


Web Site:

Monday, January 5, 2009

Car Warriors, The Square Deal by David Drake

This is a book one of a series that never propagated. Book 2, “Car Warriors, Double Jeopardy was written by Aaron Allston and that appears to be the end of the series. This book is packed with the normal slam bang violence you expect from Drake but more on a juvenile level. The book appears to be focused on a younger audience than the normal Drake work. I would guess that a lot of gamers would enjoy it as it is a first person shooter kind of book. In a post apocalypse type of world those who drive fast in heavily armed vehicles are the protagonists of the book. The book was enjoyable and I would recommend it although I won’t give it to my 10 year old grandson, I would guess by 12 or 13 he would enjoy it.

Body of work of David Drake

Web Site:

Review: none found

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Family Bones by Kimberly Raiser

The book started with a mystery and proceeded to become more mysterious. My initial reaction was that it was going to be a “slasher” book, you know, Jason in a hockey mask kind of thing. That is a venue I am not overly thrilled with but I proceeded. Much to my pleasant surprise it wasn’t the simplistic psycho running wild plot but much more thoughtful. I admit finding my self a bit uneasy in some of the scenes. The characterizations were good and I enjoyed the mysteriousness of the setting. Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, I could practically picture the locale. The introduction of an alien influence provides a nice twist to the characterizations. An entertaining book to read, my biggest complaint is that it could have been bumped up another hundred pages and maintained my interest. I recommend the book. Look for an interview with the author in January on my blog, Pick of the Literate.

Body of work of Kimberly Raiser