10.14.2018

Books: Faebourne

Well, the ebook is finally here! (Paperback forthcoming.) You can pick it up on Amazon Kindle for just 99 cents for a limited time. Kindle Unlimited patrons can read it for free.

Those who enjoyed Brynnde will, I hope, enjoy this book as well. However, this one is less typical of the Regency romance genre. I call it a "Regency fairy tale" because there are fantasy elements to the story. Also, more conservative readers should know there is a homosexual relationship in this book. If that makes you uncomfortable, you might want to skip this one.

Blurb:

Duncan Oliver was in every respect an unremarkable gentleman. 

When mild-mannered Duncan Oliver is abducted by the Milne brothers and taken to their legendary home of Faebourne, his unexciting life becomes much more interesting. Adelia Milne has been cursed, and Duncan is her chosen champion to break the spell. Duncan may not be a hero, but he is a gentleman, and he refuses to leave a lady in distress. He becomes determined to take on the quest on Miss Milne's behalf.

Meanwhile, an unlikely rescue team forms in the pairing of Duncan's best friend George and valet Davies. As they set out for Faebourne—and also perchance to learn more about Davies' obscured family history—what begins as an unequal partnership quickly blooms into friendship... and possibly something more.

10.12.2018

The Dream Cages: Update

I haven't forgotten you! (The, like, 11 of you who might even care.) I'm on a deadline with my current novel and will come back to TDC when it's done. Should be another week maybe? Thanks for your patience!

Television: FBI & The Good Cop

Tried the first episodes of both these new procedurals. Here are my thoughts:

FBI was incredibly generic. The characters were all so monotone, with no personalities whatsoever. I mean, maybe the show is written and directed by A.I. robots? I also had the sense that the episode I was watching was not the first one—like maybe they'd aired them out of order. (Too lazy to go look it up and see if that might be true.) Because there was no real introduction to the characters or anything. When done well, that can be fine. When you slowly show the characters' personalities, when the characters bloom open as it were. But that didn't happen here. Or if they're trying to do that, it's too slow for anyone to find it interesting. The difference between watching an actual flower grow in real time vs. time lapse. (Hint: people watch time lapse videos; they don't sit and watch flowers actually open.)

The storyline itself was fine. ::shrug:: Nothing very different from any other procedural, really.

Verdict: I took the series recording off my DVR. But the show got a full season pick-up, I think, so there must be some people who like it.

The Good Cop was . . . not as funny as I thought it would be? This show seems to be very self-aware of the fact that it's dragging up some old tropes. But it also doesn't seem to know what it wants to be when it grows up. Like, the title sequence is riffing on old 80s shows (and when you have Tony Danza, what else are you going to do, really?), and the music cues are over-the-top sitcom stuff. In fact, a lot of the show is over the top. The characters are all extreme versions of their types: the straight-laced, by-the-book cop; the ex-con cop; the buffoon sidekick; the dorky science guy, etc. They all seemed to be overacting a bit, and I couldn't tell whether that was intentional and, if so, why. Like, what effect the show was going for. A lot of it looks and feels very tongue in cheek, but it wasn't actually funny, so I couldn't tell if it was supposed to be or???

The plot was very basic, too. The titular good cop is framed for a murder that his ex-con cop dad may have committed. But there's an absolutely throwaway plot spur in which said dad confesses and goes back to prison. Something like that should add weight or tension, and here it didn't seem to have any impact on the story or the characters whatsoever.

Verdict: I'm still a little intrigued to see if this show finds its feet. So I'll probably try another one or two episodes.

10.06.2018

Movies: Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Oh, man. It's difficult to make me cry (unless there are animals involved), but I bawled through a lot of this documentary about Fred Rogers' efforts to reach children with his message of how they all have value. Like many kids growing up in the late 70s and early 80s, I spent my fair share of time in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. I'm very sorry my kids were born just a wee bit too late to learn from him, too. Mr. Rogers was soothing, comforting, understanding. I believe his methods inform the way I speak to my children even today. Why, just yesterday I spoke to my youngest about how it's okay to be angry—normal, in fact—but the important thing is what we do with that anger. Mr. Rogers taught us that it's okay to make mistakes, something I think our society forgets far too easily.

WYBMN? focuses specifically on Rogers' mission, his television work. It's very well done and interviews a number of family members, cast and crew, and friends. It also makes extensive use of archival footage so that Rogers speaks for himself via old interviews as well.

That said, I'm not sure I learned anything about Rogers that I didn't already know or suspect. That he was more or less exactly how he came across on television, a good and caring person—that's nice to know, I think, because it allows me to maintain my faith in him and every lesson he instilled in me as a child. Still, I might've liked to hear about his childhood or family life, but that was beyond the purvey of this documentary.

The world could use a few more Fred Rogers, but alas, he was sui generis. He knew we had it in us to be better, but I fear we've let him down.

10.03.2018

IWSG Reminder

I know some of you stumble over here after clicking on a comment I may have left on an IWSG post. But I don't post my IWSG here. It's over on PepperWords. So please do hop over there for a look, and thanks for stopping by!

Q: What's the difference between the two sites?

A: This one is for reviews and the other is my author site.

Q: Why not have it all on one site?

A: I'd love to, but I don't have the time and energy to merge them. One day I may bring two blogs into one, but today is not that day.