Tag Archives: Review

Some book love

Will O’ the Wisp got some book love recently. I love the idea that these older stories still attract readers from time to time. Pete from this book makes occasional appearances in The Hat series, and I have plans to have Patty show up as well.

Will O’ the Wisp

by C.S. Boyack

“Will O’ the Wisp” is a YA paranormal tale that focuses on fifteen-year-old Patty Hall. The Hall family seems to have been cursed, and Patty is determined to find out why. I love that this story is set in the 1970s. The high school dance and well-placed details of that era brought back some memories. The strained relationship between Patty and her mother is realistic, and Patty’s rebellious side is portrayed nicely, especially with wearing her leg braces. That side of her not only showed her determination, but her inner strength that’s needed to overcome evil. There were some truly terrifying parts, but there was also friendship, trust, and family. I could relate to Patty’s position that no one, other than her two friends, would believe her. If you like a teen protagonist with some horror and a strong female character, this book is for you. Five-Stars! Check out the entire post here.


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Some Lanternfish love

I just discovered this awesome review of Voyage of the Lanternfish. I’m currently working on a sequel called HMS Lanternfish, so now is a great time to join the crew and come along.

My Review:

I bought and read this book back in January and somehow managed to forget to review it until now, six months later, lol. So, here my review is, at last. It says a lot that even after all this time, I still remember this book and its characters clearly, which is one reason I mention my little episode of forgetfulness now.

I’ve read other books by this author and love his easy style, sense of humour, and vivid imagination. He has a way with words. And Voyage of the Lanternfish certainly didn’t disappoint. Read the rest of the review


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Some Lanternfish love today

Head over to Victoria’s blog to see what she thought about Voyage of the Lanternfish

#AmReading + #AmWatching – June 6th 2019 #Reviews

It’s time to take a look at what I’ve been reading and watching during this past week.

If you want to know more about the book, or the author, click on whichever it is you want to learn more about, and it will take you to the appropriate page on Goodreads. Clicking on my rating should take you to my actual Goodreads review for the book in question. Please bear in mind that the format I’ve reviewed on Goodreads may not be the format I actually read. Keep reading here.


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Review: Voyage of the Lanternfish

Run over to Michele’s place and check out what she had to say about Lanternfish. She’s a very supportive author and blogger, so check out her site while you’re there.


I love a good pirate book—who doesn’t. So when Mr. Boyack, one of my go to authors, wrote one, I knew I had to read it. Boyack didn’t disappoint. Voyage of the Lanternfish had it all, and more. His characters were well-written and charismatic, and his plot was well developed. He has a way of creating unusual characters and giving them personality. Keep reading here…


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Saw The Last Jedi, let’s talk about it

My wife and I saw the new Star Wars film yesterday. The half mile walk and several hours in a theater seat didn’t do my back any favors, but that isn’t why we’re here today. If you want to avoid spoilers, stop reading here. I won’t be offended. On the other hand, I may do some offending beyond the spoilers.

I liked the film and it has everything I’ve come to expect from a Star Wars movie. That means some good and some bad things. Before I delve too deep, let me qualify this. I saw the very first movie when it was released in the theater. I went to it eleven times that summer, with a variety of dates, because youth.

It was so new and flashy; no ships on wires in front of a black sheet, no claymation characters either, or those reptiles with things glued on them. (Okay maybe one that stormtroopers rode around on.) I also fixated on how poorly it was cast. Harrison Ford was great, Americans knew Alec Guinness because he blew up that bridge etc. Even recognized a few of the old horror actors as various generals and such. Luke and Leia however were not great actors. I defend this by checking their careers beyond Star Wars. As characters, Leia gets a pass because the damsel in distress works. We got some buy in, and the fact that she participated in her own rescue was cool. That fake accent was awful. I wanted to throttle Luke, but maybe that’s just me.

Down the road, Lando was blah. Liam Neeson was awesome. Child Anakin was awesome. The teenage version sucked. There is a theme here. In the Star Wars universe, the actor has a large part of whether the character sells. My thought is that some of this comes down to the writers. These weren’t parts where you couldn’t fail to love the character.

In the modern version, we have the familiar three pronged group. The overbearing pilot, the female is the Jedi wannabe, and the reformed stormtrooper guy. I don’t love them from the first appearance in the other movie. They have the role and I went with it.

And then there is Rose. I love me some Rose and want more of her. This is because the writers gave me something to like. Her sister is prettier, shapelier, and has a more heroic job. I would have liked to know her, but she croaked too soon. However, this is what motivates Rose. Rose is like the parental disappointment. She mourns her sister, and takes action. Rose isn’t deadpan either, she has and shows emotions. Sometimes in unexpected ways. This is a character I can get behind.

I don’t know if Rose croaked or not. We saw her die, in another emotional moment. Then we saw her on the ship under a blanket, and her face was uncovered. She did not move or speak. What does this mean. Either pull the blanket over her face, or have her move so we know. In my mind she is the best character in the film.

Oh, and Del Torro was awesome, even if his appearance was short.

I always thought it was smart to have so many masked characters in the Star Wars universe. It’s tough getting actors to stick with a part, but anyone can dress like Chewbacca or C3P0 and you can continue with them. They were all in the film, but pretty minimal. If fact their presence felt kind of forced, and they didn’t seem to matter to the plot.

We now have a situation where all of the original characters are dead. Two actually, and one because of Carrie Fisher that’s going to have to be. Star Wars is in an unenviable position, because you have to acknowledge what came before. This includes the performers who debuted these roles. Then again, they are holding you back from new things. Every minute dedicated to Luke Skywalker is not dedicated to someone else. I’m curious to see where the story leads from here. That and more Rose.

It also feels like we’re coming full circle in some ways. Now we have a random kid who can use the force. Will he be a hero or the new Sith apprentice? Very last few minutes of the film.

How do you guys feel about the Star Wars films? Do you want to defend the casting choices? Maybe Hayden Christensen is your favorite actor. What would you do to pay homage to what came before? Did you like this movie? Tell me your good and bad. Maybe I need to stop watching as a writer myself and just enjoy all the flash.


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Wassup Blogland?

I took off a few hours early yesterday. I have gobs of vacation, and since I have the house to myself, I wanted to get some things done. Old What's Her Face* made her annual trek south to watch the Super Bowl with her brother. There really isn't much more attraction there than that, and I decided to watch Otto. (That's code for getting stuff accomplished.)

With the extra time, I stacked the deck for today. Last night, I finished my beta read and made some detailed notes for the author before sending them out the cyber-door. Then I assembled and scheduled next week's Lisa Burton Radio show. I felt so good about it I made myself a drink before bed.

This left me with some time to move my projects ahead. Otto let me sleep in a little bit, but we were still up before 7:00. I fed him, and myself, filled the humidifiers, and made the coffee. Like all days, I started with email and social media.

I moved on to The Yak guy and added several thousand words to his story. He's starting to have bigger thoughts, and placed himself in real danger for the sake of others. He only has to do it one more time, then take a group of helpless folks across a wasteland, have an epiphany, earn his reward, and it's done. It sounds like a lot when I see it written out, but travel time will have to be pared down and explained more than lived through.

I could be done in about three more writing days.

I surfed through all the sites again, picked up the mail,and found Karen O.'s awesome review of my second Experimental Notebook. Many of you are writers, and Karen is a prolific reviewer. Maybe you ought to introduce yourselves over there. She's associated with other reviewers too, and it's good to know a few. Hit the link above, and you might convince yourself to pick up my 99¢ masterpiece while you're there.

Then I picked up The Enhanced League. I wrote another micro piece about behind-the-scenes corporate evils. This project is about three tales away from being finished too.

After finishing the micro piece, I made a chart for the playoffs. I can't detail the whole event and keep reader interest. When I refer to it though, I want a cheat sheet so I can be accurate. Right now, I want to return to the television guys so they can detail the playoff structure for everyone. Then I'm going all the way to game seven of the World Series, which I'm calling the The World Championship. (This isn't Major League Baseball, and I don't want to step on their toes.) After that, I have one post-season tale that ties up some loose threads for my pseudo main character. Then it's done.

I might add another anthem piece, but it depends on how I feel after it's all assembled.

Many of you are writers, most of you are readers, here's a question for you. The Enhanced League is coming together with more micro-fiction than short stories. Would this be an issue to you as a reader? They all serve to tell a bigger tale as a sum than they do standing alone. This makes the book different than my Experimental Notebooks. Would you feel ripped off spending 99¢ on a book of mostly micro-fiction?

It's been pretty quiet in Cyberspace this week. I hope it all means you're tearing it up on your own projects, or doing something fun while I'm working. I'm not counting much on tomorrow, but may spend an hour with The Enhanced League. Yak Guy requires deeper thought, and after calling my parents I don't know how much time I want to dedicate before turning on all the pre-game stuff.

I want to end with Go Steelers, but that ship has sailed.

*Entertaining Stories, protecting my wife's identy since 2013.


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The reviews are starting

Review: The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack

This is a most intriguing collection.  Reminiscent of Poe’s ‘Tales of Mystery and Imagination’ with a hint of Asimov.  The genres range between science fiction, fantasy and paranormal.  They are dark for the most part, which I like, but each story is highly individual.  There are robots, ghosts, and a fearless little girl who lives near a forest making cabbage soup when she’s not ridding the village of monsters (‘The Soup Ladle of Destiny’ is my personal favourite, and the funniest of the stories).  All the stories have a twist.  Mostly these are unexpected… Read more on Bev Spicer’s blog.


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A happy day

I got another great five star review of Will O' the Wisp today. It seems like those who give this story a chance are really enjoying it. I really believe in this book, and am thrilled to hear when someone enjoys it.

I spent a large chunk of my morning writing. I have no idea how many words I wrote but it was thousands. Now that I'm past the middle, the words are flying once more.

All my characters left New Orleans and returned home. I manipulated everyone to a huge shootout at a local coffee shop. My heroine, the maguffin, the bad guy, the anti hero, even some supporting characters were there.

Someone got killed, someone got knocked cold, and a supporting character got his head torn completely off. (He's pouting about it now.) The maguffin changed hands for the last time.

I even did a spiffy job of getting rid of the body. Lots of story elements wove together in this section. I like it.

There are still some things for the characters to figure out. They have to use the maguffin to bring the larger problem to a close. Then I need a denouement that demonstrates each character moving on with life. I'll have to revisit my victim character as part of this. She has to show some kind of healing at the end.

Lisa the robot had to recharge herself. She got to play all the roles and move the furniture around. She's tired, but I could have kept going. I stopped so things wouldn't get silly.

Maybe you have to be a writer to get excited about this stuff.

Writing will come to a halt shortly. I have two weekends of other obligations ahead of me. I'm fine with that. Now that I'm racing toward the end, all pressure is off. I'll finish The Playground very soon. I may read through it in a month or so and make a few changes.

After that… Who knows? I won't start another novel for a while. I have some research to do, and some editing. I should probably do some more promotion for Will O' the Wisp.

I'm going to start outlining about six stories. Possibly this summer sometime. I need to see which ideas can hold up to a novel, and which ones might be better as short stories. I've never done this before, but it feels like a good idea.

So all in all, it was a good day. New words, big chapter, a plan to move forward, and a five star review. That's a good place to end my rotating day off. Back to the paycheck job tomorrow.


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It was one of those days off

I’m sure you’ve all had them. I’m behind on everything in life. My recent work trip has me behind at the office. I haven’t been able to work on my manuscript in weeks, and this is my prime directive.

I haven’t completed my work from the last critique group, and it’s time to start reading submissions for the next one. I laced up my work boots and dove in.

First I went through Twitter and tried to follow everyone who helped in the push day for Panama. I was thrilled to discover a five star review of the book this morning. Some of them are still pushing today. I’m kind of overwhelmed with the support I’ve gotten here. Suggestion to writers: check out the Rave Reviews Book Club. You can find my books under the “science fiction, fantasy, paranormal” category.

Rachel Carrera asked if she could read the draft of The Playground, (so far). She provided some outstanding suggestions, and I finally got around to addressing those.

I grabbed up my critiques and went to work on Will ‘O the Wisp. Four guys all see something different, and it was all helpful. It took me some time to expand Patty’s (MC) emotions about the old desk she inherited. I know you don’t get it, but it’s an important part of the story. You can read all about it on a Kindle near you, probably early next year. Check critique stuff off the list.

Most of the guys have submitted their next chapters for critique group. I decided to do the same. Plus or minus 3000 words emailed to the other members.

My truck’s in the shop, so I’m afoot today. They called and my fender is cracked, not just scratched. Add a few more dollars to the repair cost. “Would you guys trade it for a story about the Panama Canal?” Just joking. Dad’s picking up the tab; he’s the one that crashed into me.

I kept looking over my shoulder all day. I expected Lorelei, my Muse, to show me her idea of the ice bucket challenge. She never made an appearance. She expects new words on my days off.

I’m off until next Tuesday. I’ll get a few chances at new words on paper. Then I can find out how much more behind I am at the office.

Now I have to decide which Macabre Macaroni story I’m posting tomorrow. Thank God I pre wrote them all. I still make a pass over them before I post. It’s going to be hard to match the furor that went along with last week, but I’m going to try. This means laying in the fetal position and hope everyone likes it.

It’s almost time to harass my cover artist again. I wanted The Cock of the South out by October, but that ship has sailed. It was an arbitrary deadline anyway. It probably needs another read through before publishing.

I also have the goal of finishing up reading my Harry Dresden book. Then I need to read some more indie stuff. I’ve made a couple of commitments and want to honor them.

I’m thinking of today like house cleaning. The place sparkles and my imaginary friends can all visit tomorrow.


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