IWSG and Cozy Mystery Review with Author Interview

This is a big post, so fasten your seat belts!  First: This is IWSG day, so I have a short post to report out on NaNoWriMo.       Why? The IWSG is here to share and encourage, to offer a place for authors to admit their insecurities and offer help and support to each other. How? The official IWSG posting day is the first Wednesday of every month. Hop around the list and see who has worries, triumphs, and news to share.  Every month we have an optional question to spark discussion.  Our motto:  Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG. The awesome co-hosts for the December 6 posting of the IWSG are C. Lee McKenzie, JQ Rose, Jennifer Lane, and Jacqui Murray! Every month, we announce an optional question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. December 6 question: Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book review do yo

Fantasy review: The Steerswoman, by Rosemary Kirstein

I picked up this book on a recommendation from Jemima Pett's blog, and found myself very much drawn into the world of the book (first in series).   Title: The Steerswoman Author: 
 Rosemary Kirstein Publication Info: Del Rey, 1989. 262 pages, Kindle Edition. Source: 

 Library Publisher’s Blurb: If you ask, she must answer. A steerswoman's knowledge is shared with any who request it; no steerswoman may refuse a question, and no steerswoman may answer with anything but the truth. And if she asks, you must answer. It is the other side of tradition's contract -- and if you refuse the question, or lie, no steerswoman will ever again answer even your most casual question. And so, the steerswomen — always seeking, always investigating — have gathered more and more knowledge about the world they traveled, and they share that knowledge freely. Until the day that the steerswoman Rowan begins asking innocent questions about one small, lovely, inexplicable object… Her discove

Photo Friday comes on Saturday. Sawtooth Mountain dayhikes

A couple of weeks ago I shared photos from the first stage of my September road-and-hiking trip, with several hikes in the Wallowa Mountains. From there, we moved on to Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains, an area I last hiked in (runs off to check records) 2007. We (I was traveling with my brother- and sister-in-law) had our eye on a 2-3 night hike in the White Cloud Mountains, but first needed to do a couple of dayhikes to adjust to the time zone and the altitude, which while not Sierra-like would put us over 9000' much of the time. Hike 1: Sawtooth Lake 10 miles, 1775' This hike is one of the Sawtooth "must see" hikes, and is well worth the effort. The entire hike is scenic, and though the climb is significant, it's seldom excessively steep. We started early with the short drive from our campsite, leaving the TH before 8 a.m. After a mile and a bit of very gradual climb in the forest, we briefly joined the Alpine Way trail and began to climb.   The advantage when th

NaNo Update (Writer Wednesday comes a day late)

Well, this has been a mixed bag, as evidenced in part by my post being a day late (look for Photo Friday on Saturday, too).  Of course, having pretty much a week with the house full of company added extra challenges. But every day I was able to write at least a few hundred words, and some days I clobbered the word counts, so at this point I am still well ahead of my target, if not keeping up quite the level of over-achieving I was at the beginning of the month. So my writing time has been up and down. What about the actual writing? You know, the way the story is going and all that? Ups. Way up there. Downs. Way down there.   That's been a bit up and down as well. I have a lot of big holes in the story that need to be filled. And that turns out to be a good thing, because at the moment I seem to have wrapped up the basic story line at about 65,000 words--well short of my usual 80K for a cozy mystery. We'll see how close I come; 70K is still in the ballpark. Of course, I went and

Cozy Review and Guest Post: Christmas Lights and Cat Fights

I'm grateful to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read this fun holiday mystery!       Christmas Lights and Cat Fights: A Jules Keene Glamping Mystery Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series Setting – Virginia Level Best Books (October 17, 2023) Print length ‏ : ‎ 285 pages Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0CJQKWK3F Christmas has come to Fern Valley, and the town’s decked out with enough glitter and sparkle for a month’s worth of celebrations, each more over-the-top than the previous one. The idyllic setting, filled with laughter, carols, and sweet treats, is shattered, along with some of the decorations, when the current wife and the ex-wife of a big-cat showman have a knock-down, drag-out fight in the center of town. Jules Keene, owner of the Fern Valley Glamping Resort, tries to keep peace among her guests and with the town council, but it turns into a catastrophe when Tabbi Morris, winds up dead in one of her ex-husband’s tiger cages. And if the murder wasn’t en

Taking the week off, mostly

Wishing all who celebrate it a happy Thanksgiving! I'm taking the week off to try to manage both enjoying my family and keeping up my NaNo word count. Progress on the new novel has been good, but is much slowed as the social life heats up! Here's to good food with people we love. ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2023     As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated.    Don't miss a post-- Follow us!         

Photo Friday: Dayhiking the Wallowa Mountains

Since some of you may be wondering where the Wallowas are: they are a small range in the far NE corner of Oregon, in part at least renowned for having a bit of a feel of California's Sierra Nevada Mountains--without so much altitude! Back in September I did a road trip with my brother- and sister-in-law, beginning with several days around the Wallowa Mountains and three scenic dayhikes, mostly within the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Hike #1 was a 7 1/2-mile round trip to Bonney Lake. The road to the trailhead was a little rough, but passable with my Prius. YMMV. After a short stretch of pleasant valley bottom and a stream crossing, a big chunk of the middle of the hike to the lake was through an area that had burned in a fire within the last year or two--very fresh still. Nothing like finding your trail signs well-blackened. We eventually climbed above the burn and into the sub-alpine meadows. This part felt more like the Rockies than the Sierra. Pretty sure that was volcanic, though, so