Cooking Up A Storm for Wednesday Whimsy

???????????????????????????????Since next week is the American Thanksgiving holiday, which revolves around a feast and therefore lots of cooking and baking, I pulled some Victorian era trade cards that went with that theme for Wednesday Whimsy.

Of course first one has to buy the groceries.???????????????????????????????

I love this quote from Wolfgang Puck: “Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors – it’s how you combine them that sets you apart.”

And oh boy can I relate to this from Gail Simmons: “Patience was not something that came naturally to me, but in cooking it is the quintessential skill.” I’m not patient by nature at ALL but you can’t rush a turkey or a pie…

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” Harriet Van Horne

???????????????????????????????“Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It’s about harnessing imagination, empowerment, and creativity.” Guy Fieri.  So true! And my adult children are going to cook the entire Thanksgiving feast this year, which will be interesting to say the least. Hard for me to keep out of the mix!

There’s a curmudgeon in every crowd (although I miss Andy Rooney who said the next ???????????????????????????????quote):  “I don’t like food that’s too carefully arranged; it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking. If I wanted a picture I’d buy a painting.”

“I’m just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.” Maya Angelou.

“Cooking and gardening involve so many disciplines: math, chemistry, reading, history.” David Chang. Hmmm, not sure I want to think about cooking  SO seriously, although he does have a point!

Trying to represent all viewpoints here:

“I go out to the kitchen to feed the dog, but that’s about as much cooking as I do.” Betty White

“What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.” Nora Ephron

I beg to differ with this next person! Stuffing is evil. Stuffing adds mass, so it slows the cooking. That’s evil because the longer the bird cooks, the drier it will be.” Alton Brown. Stuffing is THE best part at our house! We have learned to cook it in a separate pan though.

???????????????????????????????“My grandmother was a typical farm-family mother. She would regularly prepare dinner for thirty people, and that meant something was always cooking in the kitchen. All of my grandmother’s recipes went back to her grandmother.” Willard Scott. Neither of my grandmothers was a “farm-family”, but my Irish gramma surely had some wonderful recipes!

“If you’re not the one cooking, stay out of the way and compliment the chef.” Michael Strahan.

“…cooking is the expression  of the land where you are and the culture of that place.” Wolfgang Puck

“I find cooking very sensual. I love getting in there with my hands instead of utensils. With all of the textures and everything, it’s very erotic. Also the time it takes to prepare, and the anticipation and the buildup, you know. Then finally, you get to eat.” Jacqueline Obradors

And then at the end, of course someone has to do the dishes!

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He’s Not A Toy WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

The luxury ship Nebula Dream has suffered a middle of the night catastrophe in space. My hero, Nick Jameson, has fought his way to the nearest lifeboat and found chaos.As he’s just about finished loading the lifeboat, businesswoman Mara Lyrae arrives, much to his relief. But she refuses to get on the lifeboat, as there are children in need of rescuing…after a brief argument, Nick sends the lifeboat on its way. He and Mara set out to rescue the children, accompanied by Khevan, a D’nvannae Brother (think bodyguard/assassin sworn to serve an alien goddess).

This snippet is after they’ve reached the family’s cabin and discovered a growing hull breach. Nick and Khevan have cleared a tunnel through the debris trapping the children, and Nick has crawled through. I’ve done a LOT of creative punctuation and some editing. This follows directly after last week’s excerpt, when Gianna asked Nick to carry her:

“Sorry, I can’t, there isn’t room,” he said with a small laugh, reaching out to tousle her hair, “We have to crawl – it’s like a game but really important.”  He kept his voice reasonable as he said, “Okay, Gianna, I tell you what, you go first and then your brother will follow – the bear and I’ll bring up the rear.”

She regarded him solemnly with huge eyes, “Promise?”

“I promise.” Hurriedly he crossed his heart.

She thrust the bear at him. “He’s not a toy. His name is Huntington the Bear.”

Note from Me: Huntington the bear is named after my younger daughter’s Maine Coon Cat Huntington, which was named after her day care’s resident cat, who was found as a kitten wandering on Huntington Drive in our general area. DD2 loved that cat, and hence her own cat’s distinguished name!

Thanks for all comments and feedback. Much appreciated!

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalMedThe Story
Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.

All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of  Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks iTunes  Google Play   Kobo

The Lady or the Tiger Or Choose Both! Interactive Fiction

002As a kid I was thoroughly exasperated when we read the short story “The Lady or the Tiger” in  English lit class. You may remember the story, written by Frank Stockton in 1882 (hence my 1880s illustration!), wherein the warrior in the arena has to choose one of two doors…a Happily Ever After ending awaits if he picks the girl and he gets eaten if he picks the tiger. (I’d be listening for growls myself.) As a future romance novelist, I wanted the HEA ending, I wanted it NOW and I wanted to know what happened next.

Well flash forward to today and interactive romance fiction of this sort is alive and well and becoming very popular. In my special post for USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog, I talk about everything from individual books to a website devoted exclusively to interactive romances. SilkWords was started by a couple,  Keri and Boyd Multerer. She has a background in science and he’s the founder of XBox Live and a past Director of Development for Xbox One. With three young children, she didn’t have as much time to read as she wanted and he brought a gaming mindset to solving his wife’s problem. They also brought in Sharon L. Fisher, a noted science fiction romance novelist with RWA RITA and multiple Golden Heart Finalist credentials, to handle acquisition and editing.

The way I came to understand it after interviewing Sharon, is that in the gaming world, the player is constantly making choices, which sends them along different story paths. In the SilkWords romance world, the reader gets to enjoy the story up to a key decision point and then “picks their path” – does the heroine run off with the sweet but poor curate or does she accept the proposal from the dashing duke, for example – and the reader’s choice will dictate what happens next in the story. I joined SilkWords (membership is free) to research the column I was writing and once I got used to the idea, I enjoyed the experience. I tried a variety of the stories on the site, from sweet to very hot.

Interestingly enough, SilkWords doesn’t always provide an HEA or even a HFN ending. Sharon talks about that in more detail in our interview. And I got the viewpoint from a SilkWords author, Jax Garren. You can read more from my interviews with Sharon and Jax at USAT.

I also read a very hot novella from Christine D’Abo Choose Your Shot: An Interactive Erotic Adventure (Carina Press), which had me fanning myself and going back to explore the paths I didn’t pick the first time through! I also interviewed Christine on what the challenges were for the author writing this type of novel.  She had to do quite the decision tree in her plotting and work hard to ensure that whatever choice the Reader made would move the story smoothly into another level. More from the interview with her in the USAT post.

Girl WalksBut I have to say I had THE most fun reading the ebook version of  A Girl Walks Into A Wedding: Your Fantasy, Your Rules (William Morrow Paperbacks) by  Helena S. Paige. (I learned on the book’s Amazon page that the author name is a pseudonym for three lively ladies with quite varied backgrounds.) Here’s the blurb:

Your best friend is getting married, and she’s asked you to be her bridesmaid. So many decisions: for starters, do you ask the gorgeous but mysterious man you met online to come as your date? Or do you go solo, giving yourself ample opportunity to kick up your heels and scope out the talent?

Once the wedding weekend gets underway in a romantic country setting, all kinds of adventures on offer. Will you ditch your date? Duet with the hot DJ? Dodge the disreputable best man? Or perhaps the rugged pilot you meet in the bar will open up unexpected erotic opportunities – and who knew the maid of (dis)honor had such a sultry streak?

All this while steering your way through the bachelorette party, the bride’s wedding jitters, the Dress From Hell, and more. Perhaps the most tempting option is to flee the entire affair with a tall, dark stranger … or maybe an old friend surprises you with a sizzling encounter.

YOU make the decisions—fulfillment guaranteed. It’s your fantasy. Your rules. The choice is yours . . .

I had a BLAST. I went through the book numerous times, making different selections at the key points, surprising even myself LOL. I won’t tell you who I ended up with after trying all the paths, but I was happy, and not just from the champagne.

So to sum it all up, I did enjoy my dip into “pick your path” interactive romance but for the most part I’ll probably stick with writing my conventional “one path to the HEA” science fiction romances and ancient Egyptian paranormal romances.

Have you ever tried interactive romance fiction?

 

Seashells and Mermaids Wednesday Whimsy

???????????????????????????????This week I’m showcasing some Victorian trade cards with shells and an oceanic theme…???????????????????????????????
“One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“A beach is not only a sweep of sand, but shells of sea creatures, the sea glass, the seaweed, the incongruous objects washed up by the ocean.” Henry Grunwald

“I was all in gold sequins for Million Dollar Mermaid, 50 feet in the air.” Esther Williams (Clark Gable was the first person to call her a mermaid.)

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“I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
— T.S. Eliot

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I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin’s back,
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song;
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid’s music.
- William Shakespeare

 

 

 

???????????????????????????????Who would be

A mermaid fair,
Singing alone,
Combing her hair
Under the sea,
In a golden curl
With a comb of pearl,
On a throne?
I would be a mermaid fair;
I would sing to myself the whole of the day;???????????????????????????????
With a comb of pearl I would comb my hair;
And still as I comb I would sing and say,
“Who is it loves me? who loves not me?”
- Lord Alfred Tennyson, The Mermaid

 

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Cold and Windy WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

The luxury ship Nebula Dream has suffered a middle of the night catastrophe in space. My hero, Nick Jameson, has fought his way to the nearest lifeboat and found chaos.As he’s just about finished loading the lifeboat, businesswoman Mara Lyrae arrives, much to his relief. But she refuses to get on the lifeboat, as there are children in need of rescuing…after a brief argument, Nick sends the lifeboat on its way. He and Mara set out to rescue the children, accompanied by Khevan, a D’nvannae Brother (think bodyguard/assassin sworn to serve an alien goddess).

This snippet is after they’ve reached the family’s cabin and discovered a growing hull breach. Nick and Khevan have cleared a tunnel through the debris trapping the children, and Nick has crawled through. I’ve done a LOT of creative punctuation and some editing. This follows directly after last week’s excerpt, when Paolo asked if the wall was going to break:

Nick tried to be reassuring, “We’ll be long gone first – now, can you help me get your sister –”

“Her name’s Gianna,” the boy pushed his sister closer to Nick.

“Help me get Gianna to crawl out through all the mess to my friends? We’ve made a tunnel for you – she’ll have to leave her toy, though.”

The girl hugged the bear tightly and shook her head, trying to retreat from her brother and Nick. “Won’t,” she informed Nick, taking her thumb out of her mouth briefly.

“Sweetheart, we have to go – it’s going to get pretty windy and cold in here soon,” with an effort, Nick kept his voice level and calm.

“Carry me,” She raised her arms to him, the bear dangling in one grubby hand.

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalMedThe Story
Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.

All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of  Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

Blowing Bubbles for Wednesday Whimsy

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????A sure fire method for entertaining babies is to blow soap bubbles…well, come to think of it, that works for  amusing pretty much everyone! I’ve put together a fun little gathering of my Victorian trade cards around this ???????????????????????????????theme.

“Real laughter is spontaneous. Like water from the spring it bubbles forth a creation of mingled action and spontaneity – two magic potions in themselves – the very essence of laughter – the unrestrained emotion within us!”  Douglas Fairbanks

No bubble is so iridescent or floats longer than that blown by the successful teacher.”  William Osler

“In all our quest of greatness, like wanton boys, whose pastime is their care, we follow after bubbles, blown in the air.” John Webster

“Give fools their gold, and knaves their power; let fortune’s bubbles rise and fall; who sows a field, or trains a flower, or plants a tree, is more than all.” John Greenleaf Whittier

“Songs are like a form of time travel because they really have moved forward in a bubble. Everyone who’s connected with it, the studio’s gone, the musicians are gone, and the only thing which is left is this recording, which was only about a three-minute period maybe 70 years ago.” Tom Waits

???????????????????????????????I enjoy this card to the left because it solemnly instructs you to “Read The Other Side”,  lest you not flip it over and thereby miss the Yates & Company Clothing’s wish for you to have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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See you next Wednesday for more Whimsy!

Not Much Time WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

The luxury ship Nebula Dream has suffered a middle of the night catastrophe in space. My hero, Nick Jameson, has fought his way to the nearest lifeboat and found chaos. Some creative editing and punctuation has occurred. As he’s just about finished loading the lifeboat, businesswoman Mara Lyrae arrives, much to his relief. But she refuses to get on the lifeboat, as there are children in need of rescuing…after a brief argument, Nick sends the lifeboat on its way. He and Mara set out to rescue the children, accompanied by Khevan, a D’nvannae Brother (think bodyguard/assassin sworn to serve an alien goddess).

This snippet is after they’ve reached the family’s cabin and discovered a growing hull breach. Nick and Khevan have cleared a tunnel through the debris trapping the children, and Nick has crawled through. When he gets to the tight space that comprises what’s left of the bedroom, the bulkhead is plainly about to give way soon. I’ve done very creative punctuation and some editing:

Not much time before the hull goes and we go with it. Sweeping the pale light over the room, he found the children huddled together against one overturned bed. “Hi, remember me? I’m Nick – I was on the shuttle with you guys a few days ago.”

Paolo nodded in the gloom, rising and dragging his sister with him, chubby hand clamped around her wrist. She eyed Nick dubiously, left thumb firmly planted in her mouth, the other hand clutching the big teddy bear.

“Okay, Paolo, you seem like a pretty level-headed trooper,” Nick said, squatting to be at eye level with the boy, “We need to get out of here as fast as possible – you see the outer wall there?”

Paolo nodded, “It’s going to break, isn’t it?”

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalMedThe Story
Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.

All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of  Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

 

Pierrot, Bonbons, More for Halloween

???????????????????????????????For Wednesday Whimsy, I thought this charming group of French 1880′s trade cards would work well, since they’re mostly Pierrot and Harlequin costumes, with a few others added in and the majority of them are advertising French chocolates and bonbons. Trick or treat indeed!

twiggy pierretteI first encountered Pierrot in the movie “The Boy Friend,” actually, when Twiggy wore the female version of the costume and sang a very sad little song which is not my favorite in that movie. These trade cards offer much happier and even mischievous examples. Looking it up, I found out the character goes back to an Italian troupe of actors performing in Paris in the late 1600′s.

???????????????????????????????He was a trusting fool, in love with a girl named Columbine, who he usually loses to ???????????????????????????????Harlequin. He was usually portrayed wearing a loose white costume with a ruff at the neck and a pointed cap or sometimes a black skullcap. He first appeared in a play by Moliere but was then adopted by many other authors and actors in the centuries since.

This character apparently had a wave of popularity in the 1880′s, which is the general time frame of these trade cards. By then mimes had adopted the white-painted face and some of the aspects of the character and the costume. It was also around this time that Pierette, the female version of Pierrot, began showing up, as a rival to the fickle Columbine.

Even the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt played Pierrot once.

???????????????????????????????“Never get a mime talking. He won’t stop.” Marcel Marceau???????????????????????????????

“I studied and performed and even taught mime years ago.” Tom Bergeron  (Who knew?)

In the card to the left, don’t you love the crown-which-is-a-castle on the girl’s head? And I want the “harlequinesque” dress on the girl to the right        ???????????????????????????????

And last but not least, the mischievous players get up to no good with the Jack-o-Lantern  in the card below:

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Happy Halloween!!!

 

Exactly Like An Adventure Holo WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

The luxury ship Nebula Dream has suffered a middle of the night catastrophe in space. My hero, Nick Jameson, has fought his way to the nearest lifeboat and found chaos. Some creative editing and punctuation has occurred. As he’s just about finished loading the lifeboat, businesswoman Mara Lyrae arrives, much to his relief. But she refuses to get on the lifeboat, as there are children in need of rescuing…after a brief argument, Nick sends the lifeboat on its way. He and Mara set out to rescue the children, accompanied by Khevan, a D’nvannae Brother (think bodyguard/assassin sworn to serve an alien goddess).

This snippet is after they’ve reached the family’s cabin and discovered a growing hull breach. Nick and Khevan are working to clear a path through the debris trapping the children while Mara holds an emergency light on the area and tries to keep the children calm. Paolo, the 8 year old, is speaking.

“Did you – did you see my dad anywhere?”

Mara sighed. Taking a deep breath, she answered cheerful­ly, even while making a sad-faced grimace to Nick. “No, sweetheart, I didn’t find him, but I’ve got the next best thing out here – a Special Forces captain and a D’nvannae Brother. Exactly like in an adventure holo –  they came for you and Gianna.”

“And Mommy.” The boy’s voice wavered.

Hand to her mouth, Mara nodded, “Yes, they’re here to help your mother, too.”

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalMed
The Story
Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.

All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of  Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

Talking About Favorite Andre Norton Novels

???????????????????????????????I’m talking about Andre Norton over at USA Today Happily Ever After blog today, in my SciFi Encounters column. There’s a “new” anthology out, containing quite a few short stories of hers I’d never read, so that was a rare pleasure. I’ve mentioned the tremendous influence her books had on me before, because they did…I still have two shelves full of falling-apart vintage Andre Norton ACE paperbacks. No matter if I switch my entire library onto my kindle, I’ll always keep these books. They started out as my Dad’s and became mine…

I thought I’d talk about a few of my top Norton favorites, in no particular order, and stick mostly to the science fiction, rather than the fantasy or the romances (which were never my favorites, because I think I wanted her to give me more of the Witch World magic vibe in those and as I recall they were pretty much Gothic romances. I didn’t think they were her strongest books.)

I always mention Catseye, because it was the first SF book I ever read, so I’ll skip it here. The Beast Master was one of my all time favorites (along with the sequel Lord of the Thunder).  I totally fell in love with the hero, Hosteen Storm, and I loved his telepathic animals. Looking back now, we’d probably say he had PTSD, after Terra was destroyed in an intergalactic war, but he was coping on his new home planet. And there were some really cool touches of the Forerunner presence in the Sealed Caves of Arzor. I just pretty much loved everything about this book.

Sargasso of Space and the crew of the ship “Solar Queen” – I enjoyed all three of their adventures….I’m not AS fond of this set of stories ???????????????????????????????nowadays as I was when I was a kid. I think Star Trek and Firefly and Farscape have taken over that niche in my heart that’s reserved for a ship and her crew cruising the star lanes, but in their day, the Solar Queen was it for me.

???????????????????????????????The Last Planet - Hard to say if Sgt. Kartr of this book is more my favorite than Hosteen Storm. I think it’s a tie. Besides, this book featured Zacathans, always a plus for me! (Yes, this cover is dorky IMHO.) I loved that the plot was based on the old legend about the Roman Legion ordered to march to the end of the world, who died in the attempt. Ms. Norton’s view on the way the galactic civilization was falling apart and how even the most loyal Patrol members had to adjust or die was fascinating.  It was 192 pages of great stuff and yet far too short for me. I always wanted the sequel to this story but alas, there never was one…she did leave hope that humans and their allies would rise to journey to the stars again someday. I’ve never forgotten how Kartr’s first view of the green of this “last planet” felt like coming home to him.

Ordeal in Otherwhere was the first science fiction book I’d ever read where a woman was the heroine and main character. I enjoyed how Chris kept her head and worked with what she found on the planet Warlock, dealing with the Wyverns. She was a problem solver and didn’t need anyone to rescue her, thank you very much. There was also a hint of romance with Shann Lantee, the hero of ???????????????????????????????the first book in this storyline. Plus, more telepathic animals!

???????????????????????????????Eye of the Monster was one of the inspirations for my own Escape From Zulaire, in that the main character  in Eye suddenly finds himself plunged into deadly peril one morning, with very little warning. All the beings he’d (more or less) trusted have turned against him AND the people who might have helped are dead or left the area without him. Not only that, he becomes responsible for saving two children and is assisted by an indomitable Salariki female. It’s a quick read but always left me asking myself what I would do, if I was ever plunged into such dire straits.

I have to mention two more books of hers that were extremely influential to me and among my all time favorites (although not SF): Shadow Hawk, which along with Eloise Jarvis McGraw’s Mara, Daughter of the Nile, left me determined to write my own stories set in ancient Egypt, which of course now I do…and Year of the Unicorn, which is my favorite of all the Witch World stories. I try to capture some of the feeling of mystery and myth and magic that so permeated the Witch World, when writing my own books. This isn’t my first copy of Year of the Unicorn – I’ve no idea what happened to the original. I think I just liked this cover better!

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Did you ever happen to read Andre Norton? Do you have a favorite novel written by her?