This is a Good Book Thursday, April 18, 2024

Last week was six kinds of awful, so I decided to put my mind on something completely different, a very old book I’ve been working on for a very long time called You Again. It’s my homage to the country house murder mystery, especially Agatha Christie’s versions of it, so I reread The Hollow and my fave, 4:50 to Paddington. Then I went on to Marsh and Overture to Death; next up: Death and the Dancing Footman. I’d already read all of these long ago so I know who the murderers are, which means I can watch while Christie and Marsh duck and swerve their ways through the plots, playing fair with all those fascinating characters. It’s a master class in mystery writing, or would be if I started taking notes. The biggest lesson so far, which was not a surprise: It’s the characters, stupid. You’d think it would be the plot, but it’s the characters that make it work.

So what did you read that was enjoyable this week?

Working Wednesday, April 17, 2024

When I get so tense I can’t think straight, I pick up a crochet hook and do something ridiculously easy, something that’s all one stitch, and I get lost in the rhythm and that repetitive motion calms me down. In this case, it’s a sweater I’m making from an antique bed jacket pattern. It’s all double crochet in the back loop, and the only places I have to pay attention are at the back turn where I have to do two double crochets three times to make the turn, and the front edges where I put the double crochet in both loops. Just miles and miles of simple double crochet. Better than valium. I still have a long way to go on this one, but below is one I made twelve years ago, during another tense week. Great pattern.

What did you work on this week?

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Argh Author: Deb Blake’s Wickedly Magical and Wickedly Dangerous

Our own Deb Blake has two reissues coming out. As she explains, “This month I’m releasing the prequel novella to my Baba Yaga series, “Wickedly Magical” [for only $.99], and the first novel, Wickedly Dangerous . . . . The remaining books will be coming out one at a time, every other month. Ebooks everywhere, and print on Amazon.”

Wickedly Magical: Long ago, in Russia and its neighboring countries, legends told of a witch named Baba Yaga. Some of the stories portrayed her as a frightening old crone who lived in a log hut that stalked through the forest on chicken legs. Others said she was an elemental goddess who was guardian over the natural world and the doorway into the mystical Otherworld.

As with all stories, some parts were true and others … a little less true. The Baba Yagas were powerful witches; that much the tales got right. But there was never just one, and they were neither good nor evil. Just very, very powerful. And very dedicated to doing their jobs, no matter who got in the way.

These days, the United States is home to three Baba Yagas: Barbara, Beka, and Bella. Each of them powerful, beautiful, and magical, and each with her own story – for of such women and deeds are legends made …

WICKEDLY MAGICAL is the prequel novella that introduced the world Barbara Yager, the oldest and most powerful of the Baba Yagas. Along with her dragon-dog Chudo-Yudo, she travels the Eastern United States in an enchanted Airstream trailer, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding normal humans, until one comes to her with a request she can’t turn down. See how it all started, in this story of debts owed, promises kept, and justice administered the Baba Yaga way.

Wickedly Dangerous: Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…

Older than she looks and powerful beyond measure, Barbara Yager no longer has much in common with the mortal life she left behind long ago. Posing as an herbalist and researcher, she travels the country with her faithful (mostly) dragon-turned-dog in an enchanted Airstream, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding any possibility of human attachment.

But when she is summoned by a woman desperate to find her missing child, Barbara suddenly finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and an unexpected attraction to the charming but frustrating Sheriff Liam McClellan.

Now, as Barbara fights both human enemies and Otherworld creatures to save the lives of three innocent children, she discovers that her most difficult battle may be with her own heart.

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Happiness is Perspective

I’ve been in what has felt like a constant state of panic stress, and last night I just hit the wall. After I picked myself up, I had the first really coherent thought I’d had in a week:
What if I didn’t do any of the stuff I was trying to do?
Would I get arrested? No. My accountant files an extension and I get the tax stuff to him this week.
Would I go bankrupt? No. None of this has to do with finances or anything legal. Except for the taxes. See above.
Was anybody going to die? No. Bob would scream about the books, but he knew the job was dangerous when he took it.
So basically, I was freaking over being late on stuff and having a complete lack of organizational skills and focus, i.e., my life as usual.
Yeah, I stopped panicking and read an old Agatha Christie country house murder because I have a big chunk of my Christie homage already written. So I was working. Kinda.

Happiness is gaining some perspective.

What made you happy this week?

Flashbacks: Why You Should Never

So aside from dealing with taxes and trying to rescue stuff from my screen-defunct computer, I’m also working on cleaning up my stuff in Rocky Start which is all detail work so I still don’t have stuff like the Egg Cups transferred over. But I did find one of our discussions about flashbacks which lays out why Bob loves them and I hate them, and I thought you might be distracted by picking a side and wading in.