Category Archives: Books and Reading

Alma’s Bookshelf: “Secrets of Jin-shei”

Weave and spin, weave and spin… (When is China not China? or, What is this thing called fantasy, really?)   I spend half my life living in dreams, in alternate realities. That might sound bizarre to some, even verging on … Continue reading

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Posted in Books and Reading, fantasy, feminism, Genres, Historical fantasy, historical novels, Writers on Writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Spreading Branches of Romance

“It is only a novel… or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of … Continue reading

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Posted in Book View Cafe publications, Books and Reading, romance | Tagged , , , , | 26 Comments

The Language of (folding) Fans

The idea of using fans as a semaphore system is instant story fodder for a lot of us. As a young writer I gleefully grabbed that idea and ran with it, but it wasn’t until decades later, when I wrote more … Continue reading

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Posted in Books and Reading, Culture, History | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Alma’s Bookshelf: Empress

When it comes to European history, most Western readers know only the high points, know some of the names even if they can’t exactly nail down the place and the time. They know Rome, and the realms of ancient Greece; … Continue reading

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Posted in Book View Cafe, Book View Cafe publications, Books and Reading, fantasy, Genres, History, New Releases, Worldbuilding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Regency Romance–still new after 200 years

Regency painting

Regency romances have been a “thing” since the Silver Fork novels of the 1830s, which I suspect Georgette Heyer grew up reading. I started reading Heyer as a teen, which taste combined with my love of the Hornblower series by … Continue reading

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Posted in Book View Cafe, Book View Cafe publications, Books and Reading, historical novels, Magic, regency, romance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Rejection, Discouragement, and How a Few Loyal Readers Can Save an Author

Stevens_The_Letter

Being discouraged is part and parcel of a working writer’s life. Negative reviews, ditto. Some of us are naturally more thick-skinned about them than others, and most of us develop coping strategies over the years. This is where networking with … Continue reading

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Posted in literary criticism, Publishing, Writers on Writing | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Wit and the Art of Conversation

As I was growing up, I became aware of people talking about how witty this book was, or that movie, or a famous person sitting in a famous cafe in Manhattan or Paris.   I began to read Jane Austen, and … Continue reading

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Posted in Books and Reading | Tagged , , , | 29 Comments

Alma’s Bookshelf: Dolphin’s Daughter and Other Stories

  Once upon a time… oh, but it’s so appropriate to begin this post with those words…it was so long ago, I was so, so young, and so full of the fire of I CAN DO THIS, EVERYTHING, AND NOTHING … Continue reading

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My genre is growing up

Someone I know is writing an article about aspects of science fiction, and has been looking at the evolution of the genre in addition to parallel readings of various kinds. So a lot of our conversations have been about science … Continue reading

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Posted in Books and Reading, science fiction | Tagged , , , | 39 Comments

Great Reads for a Rainy Winter Day

Girl reading with dog

The redwoods have been getting their fair share of the rain, and I’ve been holed up with a pile of wonderful books. Some of these came from my gigantic “To Be Read” bookshelf and others fall under the category of … Continue reading

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Posted in Books and Reading, fantasy, Reviews, science fiction, Series | 1 Comment