Reviews! Terry Lynn Johnson, and Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle on Stage

nother book review today!

I was very excited to receive a copy of the first book in Terry Lynn Johnson's Survivor Diaries series.

I don't read adventure books that often, but really enjoy them when I do (the next book in the series is called Avalanche! and I'm really looking forward to it because of fond memories I have of reading a Scholastic book club story with the same name (Avalanche by Arthur Roth)).

This one is called Overboard! and is a fast-moving, smoothly written tale of how two children survived a rogue wave that tore apart their boat and stranded them on an island in Puget Sound.

Eleven-year-old Travis and his family are on a whale watch off the coast of Washington when their boat capsizes, throwing everyone into the ice-cold water. Will Travis and twelve-year-old passenger Marina have the grit and the know-how to survive?

With seventeen years of hands-on experience and training in remote areas, real-life survival expert Terry Lynn Johnson (Ice Dogs; Sled…

Mini Book Reviews: l'Engle and Wecker

usy, busy!

Work is busy, and I've also been forging ahead on edits. Got some great feedback for the new short story, which has me thinking of ways to raise the stakes (the storywriting feature I always struggle with).

I've also plunged in on work on my list of French and Swiss and Scots phrases that I need for The Charm of Time, thanks to a couple of colleagues and to Hilary!

Cross-posting to the knitting blog, though I haven't done anything on that front yet except choose a pattern for the baby blanket I'd like to knit for a colleague expecting a grandchild... Wonder what colours I should use...

In the meantime, I've read two really good books, one old and one new.

The former is And Both Were Young by Madeleine l'Engle.

Philippa -- Flip -- feels like a prisoner when she first arrives at boarding school in Switzerland; her days are strictly scheduled and she never has a minute to herself. She's constantly surrounded by girls who never stop talking about clo…

Bischofff, Bourne, Synopsis for The Charm of Time, and Swimming!

one swimming!

It's August and I haven't yet been in the lake, but today's the day!

In the meantime, some book bits, and a synopsis...

But first, today is Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

This month's question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

Typos and grammar mistakes always catch my eye when reading. My pet peeve when writing is typos too -- I want to be able to type without errors so that my words flow as quickly on screen as they do when I'm drafting with pen and paper. As for editing... I wish I could stop overusing the same words and cliches all the time. Pushing, pulling, sliding, grazing, up, down, sitting, standing, looking, noticing out of the corner of the eye... I think going back to writing poetry would help a lot with this!

Thank you to this month's co-hosts:
Christine Rains
Dolarah @ Book Lover
Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor
Yvonne Ventresca
LG Keltner

I keep recommending this book to writers, so it's only fair that I menti…

Photos for Swiss National Day, Carina Press, and The Charm of Time

retty, pretty!

Thank you all for the title suggestions last week! It took a few days of throwing words together, shifting them around, testing out different syllables and imagery, before I ended up with five or six new ideas. It occurs to me that those fridge magnets with various words and letters would be very handy for this.

One of the finalists was: A Wave of Summer Heat.

Speaking of summer, and heat -- and the Swiss National Day next Tuesday (which is apparently also Yorkshire Day!), I have a few photos!


Strawberry picking:

Vineyards and the woods near the graves of Richard Burton and Alistair MacLean:

Lake views and view from the top of the Dole, the highest point of the Jura mountain chain:

ROW80 goals: things are moving! I'm ploughing through edits for The Charm of Time. I've written all the missing scenes, and have only major edits to do on the last few chapters. Then I have to go back and enter all my edits from the paper copy into Scrivener. Still hoping…

Jaunt Round the Blogosphere! Also, I Need a Title!

blog, you blog, he/she/it blogs...

I'm visiting blogs and bloggers today that I haven't had a chance to visit in weeks. Come with me!

First we're off to see Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh... And then over to Hilary in England...

And Trisha in Australia!
Then it's off to see:
Taylor Tamara SP Shan ZanMarie The DMS Neurotic Workaholic Sonia Susan Crystal Michael Nick Karen DL Carol Tiffany

For ROW80, I have a new goal this week -- I have to change the title of At Summer's End. Here's the blurb:

Having completed her medical studies at home in Canada, Ayşe is visiting her grandparents in Istanbul for an extended break before throwing herself into residency work. Her vacation heats up a notch when she meets Hakan, who is working for Doctors Without Borders in southern Turkey.

They share an intense afternoon on a sun-drenched, secluded rooftop -- and then he disappears.

Just when Ayşe's decided to chalk up their affair as a one-time pleasure, he's back -- calling from the ca…

Canadiana Part II: KnitTraders and A New Leah Mercer

nitting news!

I haven't visited Kingston, Ontario, in a long time, but they have a great Little Yarn Shop, KnitTraders, and I love getting the KnitTraders newsletter in my inbox. It's always full of interesting news and ideas, and adds to my growing list of projects I'd like to start.

Here's one, from a Canadian based yarn company, Spinrite: "a free, online Lookbook, filled with all manner of knit and crochet projects (like this EH! pillow) sure to please all Canucks."

There's also this happening, which I really unfortunately just don't have time for this summer, but could maybe try over the winter!

Summer Shawl Alongwith Trisha for Canada 150 
Welcome to our second annual Summer KAL.
This year we will be hosting a shawl knit-along that features Canadian yarn and Canadian designers
-Simply pick a shawl pattern from a Canadian Designer.Can you believe it? There are over 700 patterns that fall into that category on Ravelry alone.-Check out all the Canadia…

Goals for New Round of ROW80, IWSG Day, Canada Day! and RIP to Michael Bond, Frank Delaney, and John Freely

new month, with new goals!

The next round of ROW80 is coming up. I didn't really do a recap of the last round (I did finish that Future Learn course -- turns out it was only two weeks long!), but here are my new goals:

Enter scribbled edits for the short story The Tattoo and find some betas...
Keep editing The Charm of Time on paper, including writing missing scenes
(I wrote a long missing scene last week, and also uncovered a way to raise the stakes and make them more personal!)
Finish the synopsis for The Charm of Time
Submit Druid's Moon somewhere, perhaps a small press...

Keep writing about Austin and Brother Arcturus for CampNaNo!
Clean everything in preparation for guests...
Stop adding to the To Do pile!
Catch up on blog comments!

Today is Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

IWSG Day Question: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

Only one? I've learned so many! All about character development (not that my characters weren…

Mini Book Reviews -- Two New Books by Kait Nolan!

ew releases abound!

Kait Nolan has a new book in the Wishful series, See You Again:

A mother of the groom billionaire romance for the Wishful wedding of the year

Mayor Sandra Crawford has survived divorce. She's survived cancer. But she's not at all sure she'll survive the discovery that her town's billionaire philanthropist benefactor is actually the man she nearly left her husband for almost thirty years ago.

Gerald Peyton, III didn't fight for Sandy back in college--a decision he's regretted ever since. Now Trey's older, wiser, and determined to win the heart of the woman he's never forgotten.

When they wake up married in Vegas, Sandy chalks it up to a reckless mistake, but Trey's not willing to let her go so easily. Can he convince her to give their marriage a legitimate chance, or will she let him go for good this time?
Wishful is a lovely little town that makes you want to move in and make friends with everyone there! I think I like it also…

Chamonix and Mont Blanc, and Knitting Spies in Wartime

ross-posting to the knitting blog today because I've realised that five posts from now I will have 200 posts!

Trying to get my anniversaries to run concurrently -- on 6 September, I should reach 1,100 posts on this blog and, come August, I will have been blogging for 10 years!

Came across an interesting article the other day, about knitting used by spies in WWI and WWII:

"During World War I, A grandmother in Belgium knitted at her window, watching the passing trains. As one train chugged by, she made a bumpy stitch in the fabric with her two needles. Another passed, and she dropped a stitch from the fabric, making an intentional hole. Later, she would risk her life by handing the fabric to a soldier—a fellow spy in the Belgian resistance, working to defeat the occupying German force. Whether women knitted codes into fabric or used stereotypes of knitting women as a cover, there’s a history between knitting and espionage. “Spies have been known to work code messages into knitt…