August 2015

Anne Marvin Blog Posts

A Bridge Too far

A Bridge Too far

Some months ago I had the privilege of being asked to beta reader the second offering in the Bluebell Kildare series by Lilo J. Abernathy. It was a new experience for me, and one I enjoyed and hope to repeat. At the time, Lilo was primarily seeking comments on the plot progression and character development. One of the questions she asked her beta readers concerned how far she could take the actions of one of her characters before that character became too “unlikable” in the minds of her readers. It was a fascinating question–and an astute one. In contemplating the answer for Lilo, I was reminded about other books where this phenomenon occurred and how the authors handled it. Another author who grapples explicitly with this question is Bella Forrest. Her series is not my usual fare, and is quite different in many respects from Lilo Abernathy’s series, but some… READ MORE

It’s Not You, It’s Me

It’s Not You, It’s Me

I’m still thinking about the latest offering in Katie MacAlister’s Dragon series, Dragon Fall. The title refers to the male protagonist, Kostya, a proud Black Dragon, and leader of his Sept, who’s been used and abused by a former flame and has sworn off women in any sort of serious capacity. In other words, he’s got commitment issues. So when our heroine, Aiofe (EE-fuh), falls for the Black Dragon, he is determined not to fall for her. This, of course, creates a challenge that many women couldn’t resist. I know. I used to be one of them.  “It’s not you, it’s me.”  I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that line, or some variation. Conversely, I can’t count how many times I’ve used it to offer a nice but unsuitable guy a “soft landing” and the salvation of a bit of face. And because I’ve used the line so… READ MORE

Gal Pals and Other Necessities

Gal Pals and Other Necessities

I just spent a long weekend with one of my childhood friends to celebrate our 50th birthdays. Yes, I’m still celebrating and I don’t want to hear any guff about it—and I’ll tell you why. First, I respectfully disagree with another of my friends who believes that the mere fact of meeting this milestone as a privileged American female who’s had every conceivable opportunity is not necessarily worth celebrating. It is. For me, it’s more than important to mark and rejoice in every happy life event because, God knows, life delivers more than enough adversity to each of us. We should glom onto life’s joyful occasions like chocolate frosting clings to the tops of cupcakes. All that gooey goodness should be savored against the time when our mouths fill with the ashes of failure, loss and despair. Because the bad stuff will come, sure as the earth will continue to… READ MORE

You Can’t Fix Crazy

You Can’t Fix Crazy

I’ve just finished the latest offering in Katie MacAlister’s dragon shifter series, Dragon Fall. Sometimes it’s hard to read a new book in a series when I read its predecessors a while ago, but it was fun nevertheless. A major plot element in this novel has to do with the female protagonist, Aoife (pronounced EE-fuh) being committed to an asylum because she claimed to witness a supernatural event (she did) Which she was told made her crazy and in need of treatment (which she wasn’t). Unfortunately, I could relate.   In the past, I’ve questioned my own sanity. And had others question it as well. Not my best memories. The depth of this line of inquiry usually relates to our self-confidence, self-esteem, and the amount of influence those who believe that our mental hygiene could use a bath exert on us. This is not to say that authentic mental illness… READ MORE

Stop, Drop and Roll

Stop, Drop and Roll

I’m enjoying Hour of the Lion, the first of two shapeshifter books by Cherise Sinclair. I’ve read some of Ms. Sinclair’s non-fantasy novels about alternative lifestyles, which are quite good (thank you, Laurell Hamilton. After reading your work I am always open to more variety in my literary life), and so far, her fantasy work does not disappoint.  One of the central conflicts in Hour of the Lion is an ailing drug kingpin’s desire to co-opt the magic of shapeshifters to cure his degenerative illness. Because Ms. Sinclair’s story involves a bad guy coercing magic from unwilling shapeshifters, I’m guessing that he won’t get the his HEA, but we shall see. What struck me about this trope was the visceral fear and fundamental lack of acceptance by the drug kingpin of his inevitable decline and eventual demise. I find myself spending more and more time thinking the same type of… READ MORE

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