Review for River Marked

River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6)River Marked by Patricia Briggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

River Marked was different from the other Mercy books, and I’m undecided on which version I prefer.

I liked that we got a lot of Mercy’s background that we’d been missing. I also enjoyed the reduced angst because the relationship issues between her and Adam finally got resolved.

What I liked less was that beginning seemed slow, I think that’s because a lot of the Native American backstory had to be fit in and that made for less action early on. We do get a good amount Mercy butt-kicking goodness, but it’s left until relatively late. I also thought that Mercy and Adam as a couple deserved more screen time.

One big plus I will give in counterpoint is that I love how Adam is willing to let Mercy be herself. There’s always the temptation with dominant characters to run over everyone in the course of getting their way, but it’s nicely handled in this book. Though it’s all in Mercy’s PoV, we get to know a lot of what goes on in Adam’s head.

Overall, I felt like this deviated too much from the previous books for me to be entirely thrilled with it, but at the same time I understand that Mercy has to evolve or else there’s little point to continuing on with her story. Still, I love me some coyote-girl and that goes a long way.

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Character Relationships Revealed through Dialog

I don’t use this space to discuss writing often because mostly I find that stuff so boring. Not that it isn’t important, because it is, I just hate talking about it because I don’t feel like there’s much interesting to say. However, while I was watching The Abyss this week I was struck by how much well-handled dialog can help writers avoid the dreaded info dump. [Aside: If you haven’t ever seen the movie, I highly recommend it. I think it holds up very well, though it’s over twenty years old now.]

There’s a scene early on in the movie where Bud is speaking to Lindsey over the radio. We don’t know much about either of them yet, only that they don’t seem to get along. Bud disconnects from his conversation and says, “I hate that bitch.” Hippy, another character in the room with him says, “Well, you probably shouldn’t have married her then.” Cue laughter.

Wow. With two very natural lines of dialog look what Cameron has accomplished. He’s told us that Bud and Lindsey are married, that there is a lot of tension in their relationship, and they fight so often that it’s a joke among those that know them, all without Bud saying, “That’s Lindsey on the radio, my soon-to-be-ex-wife.” So subtle and so powerful, I actually paused the movie and mentioned my thoughts to my husband.

I think I’m going to try and benefit from James Cameron’s experience on this one. Next time I want to pass along a tidbit of information a character should already know, I’m going to try my best to disguise it the same way.

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Good News, Everyone!

Two pieces of news have me pretty keyed up today.

Awesome News, The First – I’m finally finished with the edits for Elements of Rebellion. Phew. That one was tough, much harder for me than Broods was. I’d finished writing it before Broods, and the writing was much less polished so it needed a lot of work. Seems like we’re still on track for a spring release.

Awesome News, The Second – I’ve been working for a few weeks now on a top secret project. Five writers, myself and four others, have decided to each write a novel set in a collaborative world we’re building from the ground up. Collectively, the books will be called The Drifting Isle Chronicles. My own novel in the world is tentatively titled Songbird’s Lament. Here’s an interview with one of my collaborators giving a little more information on the project. We’ve got some really exciting things planned, and we’re just starting the process of writing now after a couple of weeks of brainstorming. I can tell you that there will be steampunk, magic, and a floating island. I’ll keep you updated on the progress.

For those interested, here is the list of my co-conspirators:

Joseph Lewis

MeiLin Miranda

Charlotte English

Katherine Tomlinson


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With Love Valentine’s Day Blog Hop

I’m so happy to be taking part in the With Love Valentine’s Day Blog Hop. Check out the link for more than 250 giveaways in all shapes and sizes! This contest runs at all locations from today (2/11) through Tuesday (2/14).

For my part, I’m giving away five of any of my eBooks, Winner’s Choice. Enter using the Rafflecopter below before midnight on Valentine’s Day EST.

As a Valentine’s Day treat, go pick up Chance Encounter for free on Amazon on 2/14 only.


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Author Interview with Emily Ward

Today I have something a little unusual for you. I don’t usually host much YA here, because I write Adult books, but I’ve made an exception for the author who I’m featuring today. Emily Ward is a friend I made over at Critique Circle who is a wonderful writer, and a great peer to trade chapters with. Her first novel, Promising Light, is an inventive fantasy story rife with magic and shapeshifters. Read the first chapter here.

Here’s the blurb:

Grace began a secret courtship with Dar for the thrill of doing something against her father, the king’s general. She hadn’t planned on falling in love with him. When Dar suddenly leaves her, she searches for answers, reluctant to let him go.

Everyone seems determined to keep the truth from her—until she’s kidnapped by Dar’s family. They’re shape changers who claim she can break a curse set on them ten years ago by the Protectors, a group of noblemen determined to stifle magic in the name of safety.

Torn between two worlds, Grace isn’t sure who to trust. If the curse endures, Dar’s family could die out forever. But to help them, she’ll have to leave behind everything she knows.

Book One of The Protectors Series. Set two years after The Protectors prequels.

Now, on to our interview:

1. What’s the first word of your book? (You can exclude articles, pronouns or prepositions.)

Grace (more…)

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