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Old 05-31-2018, 03:55 PM   #151
49greg
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Rereading "The Dogs of War" by Frederick Forsyth. I've read it before, I think, but back when it was newly published in the seventies.
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:43 PM   #152
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The Bodies Left Behind by Jeffery Deaver before bed, and

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain in the afternoon. Just_e and I are reading it together.
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Old 06-04-2018, 12:11 PM   #153
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I rented (for a year as a vacation house) the villa in Cyprus where Lawrence Durrell wrote much of the Alexandria Quartet (my landlady was Justine from his quartet)
What - what - what? Please PM me and tell me more?

I recently finished Durrell's "Justine" for the first time since ages ago and I'm halfway through "Balthazar" now, in my mission to complete the Alexandria Quartet, which is absolutely fascinating to me. I picked up a used copy of his selected travel writings and I'm snacking on that in between. -- BTW, Does anyone else explore their influences in the erotica they submit here? I've noticed that the more overtly stylistic stuff tends to get less attention from my readers, but that's okay. My latest story ("Love is a Kind of Madness") is stylistically Durrell's "Justine" with a narrative inspired by Lou˙s' "The Woman and the Puppet" and was great fun to write.
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:09 PM   #154
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Just finished enjoying "As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning" and "A Moment of War" by Laurie Lee. He was an english writer who left home in England in 1934 and went to London, then decides to go to Spain where he walks the country, before being caught up in the Spanish Civil War. "As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning" is his story of his travels around Spain and it's a really good look at the country just before the outbreak of the Civil War.

In "A Moment of War", he describes his joining the Republicans after the outbreak of the Civil War and fighting with them.

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Chloe Tzang

Chloe's latest is Never Ending Love", the first of the "Tales from Old Shanghai" series and you can also find it in the 2019 Valentines Day Competition
All of Chloe Tzang's stories can be found here
Chloe supports our Veterans by drinking Black Rifle Coffee
Aaaaand... Chloe's first actual published short story ("Blood Sacrifice") now available on Amazon as part of the Sex and Sorcery 4 anthology
And Chloe's first novel, "Mistaken Identity", is also now available (on that website that sells books)
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:17 PM   #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voboy View Post
Rereading Bernard Fall's "Hell in a Very Small Place." I've read it several times; the man was a prophet in all his books, but this one? Knowing the outcome of the siege, you read about the French optimism and efforts and just shake your head in sorrow.

Saddest book I've ever read.
Isn't it. I lifted that one a while ago and also read "Street Without Joy" at the same time. It's interesting talking to my vietnamese granddad about the French colonial period and what happened - he has his own perspective on all of that.

"Devil's Guard" by Robert Elford is also one I've always found fascinating. I have an old and battered copy I lifted from my granddad years ago - I was a bloodthirsty child, I admit it - and I found it fascinating. Both my granddads said it was BS but it's sure an interesting book.

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Chloe Tzang

Chloe's latest is Never Ending Love", the first of the "Tales from Old Shanghai" series and you can also find it in the 2019 Valentines Day Competition
All of Chloe Tzang's stories can be found here
Chloe supports our Veterans by drinking Black Rifle Coffee
Aaaaand... Chloe's first actual published short story ("Blood Sacrifice") now available on Amazon as part of the Sex and Sorcery 4 anthology
And Chloe's first novel, "Mistaken Identity", is also now available (on that website that sells books)
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:36 AM   #156
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I have been searching for my copy of "Friday" by RAH for my first summer book. I can't seem to find it, but I found "Darker Than Amber" by John D. MacDonald. Travis McGee awaits.
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Old 06-24-2018, 03:27 PM   #157
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Love Eric Nylund. He's written a few Halo novels which I don't enjoy that much but the Mortal Coil series are great if you like YA fantasy. Mortal Coils and All That Lives Must Die are books 1 and 2 in a proposed 5 book series.
Big fan of this series. I'd recommend them to urban fantasy fans even if you don't like YA fantasy. Interesting setting and characters (with some nice guess-the-mythological-figure games) that he does fun things with.

Shame that the series got stuck in limbo, though I'd recommend others trying the first book out even with that: Omit its last few chapters, and it would have worked as a standalone.

Never really got into his other books, though. I rated these two as borderline 5 stars, while the best his other books got were a borderline 3 stars (though, to be fair, my rating system is pretty harsh ).
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Old 06-24-2018, 04:46 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by Valint View Post
Big fan of this series. I'd recommend them to urban fantasy fans even if you don't like YA fantasy. Interesting setting and characters (with some nice guess-the-mythological-figure games) that he does fun things with.

Shame that the series got stuck in limbo, though I'd recommend others trying the first book out even with that: Omit its last few chapters, and it would have worked as a standalone.

Never really got into his other books, though. I rated these two as borderline 5 stars, while the best his other books got were a borderline 3 stars (though, to be fair, my rating system is pretty harsh ).
Yes, borderline 5 stars. I think part of his issue with the publisher over the series was the target market. He inclined to urban fantasy and I think the publishers were pushing YA and they didn't agree and won't relinquish the rights so he can go elsewhere. It is a shame it's stuck.

And today's relaxing read is "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" followed by "Sin City"by Ralph Shaw. "Sin City" looks fascinating - Shanghai in the 1930's, a real-life memoir by an english journalist who lived and worked there

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Chloe Tzang

Chloe's latest is Never Ending Love", the first of the "Tales from Old Shanghai" series and you can also find it in the 2019 Valentines Day Competition
All of Chloe Tzang's stories can be found here
Chloe supports our Veterans by drinking Black Rifle Coffee
Aaaaand... Chloe's first actual published short story ("Blood Sacrifice") now available on Amazon as part of the Sex and Sorcery 4 anthology
And Chloe's first novel, "Mistaken Identity", is also now available (on that website that sells books)

Last edited by ChloeTzang : 06-24-2018 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 06-24-2018, 10:55 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by ChloeTzang View Post
And today's relaxing read is "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" followed by "Sin City"by Ralph Shaw. "Sin City" looks fascinating - Shanghai in the 1930's, a real-life memoir by an english journalist who lived and worked there
You have an interestingly eclectic taste in books. Have you considered putting up your reading list on Goodreads?
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:40 AM   #160
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You have an interestingly eclectic taste in books. Have you considered putting up your reading list on Goodreads?
I just signed up on Goodreads. I should look at doing that.
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Chloe Tzang

Chloe's latest is Never Ending Love", the first of the "Tales from Old Shanghai" series and you can also find it in the 2019 Valentines Day Competition
All of Chloe Tzang's stories can be found here
Chloe supports our Veterans by drinking Black Rifle Coffee
Aaaaand... Chloe's first actual published short story ("Blood Sacrifice") now available on Amazon as part of the Sex and Sorcery 4 anthology
And Chloe's first novel, "Mistaken Identity", is also now available (on that website that sells books)
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:56 AM   #161
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Write Naked:A Bestseller's Secrets to Writing Romance & Navigating the Path to Succes by Jennifer Probst. - found some interesting insights into the writing process here but it is also heavily autobiographical. It's funny and well written, so easy to read. The best was probably the honest personal experience, there's not a lot about writing romance in here at all. I won't say it's going to be on my bookshelf (I borrowed it from the library) but it did give me some good insights.

Probably the best was her reference to Michael Ventura's essay, "The Talent of the Room" which she quotes in full and seeing as it's been published across the internet, I've pasted in a few excerpts here - and here's a link to the essay if you're interested in reading in full.

“The only thing you really need,” I tell these people, “is the talent of the room. Unless you have that, your other talents are worthless.”

Writing is something you do alone in a room. Copy that sentence and put it on your wall because there’s no way to exaggerate or overemphasize this fact. It’s the most important thing to remember if you want to be a writer. Writing is something you do alone in a room.

Before any issues of style, content or form can be addressed, the fundamental questions are: How long can you stay in that room? How many hours a day? How do you behave in that room? How often can you go back to it? How much fear (and, for that matter, how much elation) can you endure by yourself? How many years — how many years — can you remain alone in a room?


and...

Remember, even if you’re financially successful at writing, and even if success comes early, you still have to spend the rest of your life in that room. Money and recognition make many things easier, but they don’t change the basic conditions of writing. You may furnish the room better, but you still have to enter it alone and stay there until something happens.

That really resonated with me because I think we all feel the truth in that. When you write, you write alone. It's only yourself and the words and the story, nothing else, and you just need to sit there and write. By yourself. Alone. For as long as it takes.... The book was worth it to me, just for that one insight.

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Chloe Tzang

Chloe's latest is Never Ending Love", the first of the "Tales from Old Shanghai" series and you can also find it in the 2019 Valentines Day Competition
All of Chloe Tzang's stories can be found here
Chloe supports our Veterans by drinking Black Rifle Coffee
Aaaaand... Chloe's first actual published short story ("Blood Sacrifice") now available on Amazon as part of the Sex and Sorcery 4 anthology
And Chloe's first novel, "Mistaken Identity", is also now available (on that website that sells books)

Last edited by ChloeTzang : 08-08-2018 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:51 PM   #162
ChloeTzang
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Shanghai Grand: Forbidden Love, Intrigue, and Decadence in Old China by Taras Grescoe

The true story of a British aristocrat, an American flapper, and a Chinese poet who found themselves trapped in an unlikely love triangle amid the decadence of Jazz Age Shanghai.

On the eve of WWII, the foreign-controlled port of Shanghai was the rendezvous for the twentieth century’s most outlandish adventurers, all under the watchful eye of the fabulously wealthy Sir Victor Sassoon.

Emily “Mickey” Hahn was a legendary New Yorker journalist whose vivid writing played a crucial role in opening Western eyes to the realities of life in China.

At the height of the Depression, Hahn arrives in Shanghai after a disappointing affair with an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter, convinced she would never love again. After checking in to Sassoon’s glamorous Cathay Hotel, Hahn is absorbed into the social swirl of the expats drawn to pre-war China, among them Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Harold Acton, and a colorful gangster named Morris “Two-Gun” Cohen. But when she meets Zau Sinmay, a Chinese poet from an illustrious family, she discovers the real Shanghai through his eyes: the city of rich colonials, triple agents, opium smokers, displaced Chinese peasants, and increasingly desperate White Russian and Jewish refugees―a place her innate curiosity will lead her to explore firsthand. Danger lurks on the horizon, though, as the brutal Japanese occupation destroys the seductive world of pre-war Shanghai, paving the way for Mao Tse-tung’s Communists rise to power.

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Chloe Tzang

Chloe's latest is Never Ending Love", the first of the "Tales from Old Shanghai" series and you can also find it in the 2019 Valentines Day Competition
All of Chloe Tzang's stories can be found here
Chloe supports our Veterans by drinking Black Rifle Coffee
Aaaaand... Chloe's first actual published short story ("Blood Sacrifice") now available on Amazon as part of the Sex and Sorcery 4 anthology
And Chloe's first novel, "Mistaken Identity", is also now available (on that website that sells books)
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:54 PM   #163
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You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian. Dark, funny, and some of the stories hit very close to home.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:15 PM   #164
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The Undead and Theology - Kim Paffenroth and John Morehead
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:38 AM   #165
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Just finished The Thief and the Dogs by Naguib Mahfouz.

Still reading Song of the Lark by Willa Cather

Just started reading Hunting Season by Andrea Camilleri
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:08 PM   #166
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Just finished Sarah Gailey's "Reynard is coming" and Chuck Wendig's "Blackbirds", and rereading Stjepan Šejić's "Sunstone".

Sunstone: graphic novel (aka "comic") about two women who meet online and get into BDSM play, then things get complicated as it turns into a relationship. Really love this one - the visuals are great, but also it's well written, funny and touching. If I wanted to explain BDSM to somebody, I would give them this story.

Blackbirds: by touching people, Miriam can see how they're going to die. This has made her cynical, to say the least - every time she tries to save somebody from an untimely death, she just ends up making it happen. But then she finds somebody she likes, and wants to save him - is there any way to work around the rules of her visions?

I liked this one, read it in two sittings, and at some point I'll have to go hunt down the other books in the series. While it has a self-contained arc, it definitely feels like the opening to a longer story.

Reynard is Coming: one of those short stories that takes something utterly commonplace and makes it magical and creepy.

Quote:
That time that you were sitting at your desk and you looked at the clock and were shocked to find that three hours had passed -- where did the time go?

Don’t be foolish. You know exactly where it went. Reynard has it.

Reynard took it.
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