Are You Not Entertained?

What to Watch:

I don’t get to watch as much TV or film as I might like, so I am very picky about what gets into my lineup. Even so, my tastes are pretty eclectic. My friends won’t be surprised to find “Alien” (1979), “Blackhawk Down” (2001), and Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films among my favorites, but, come on! Everyone likes those, right?

I enjoy a lot of indie and limited release films, too. If it has Steve Buscemi (though I have not yet watched Boardwalk Empire-go figure), Ed Norton (“Fight Club” & “American History X”), or was made by the Coen brothers (“Fargo”  and “O Brother Where Art Thou?”), it will make the cut. Anything by the self-taught French director and genius (IMHO), Jean-Pierre Jeunet, including “Ameli,” “Micmacs,” and “Delicatessen,” also gets my attention. Let’s just pretend that “Alien: Resurrection” never happened, okay?

A couple of lesser known, fairly recent additions to the zombie shelf have made my Favorites list: a British work of comedic splatter art, Cockneys vs Zombies (2012), and a dramatic, visually beautiful South African film called “The Dead.” If you haven’t seen these yet, do so.

Television vs Movies

With the production quality of television easily rivaling what we see on the big screen, I find the bulk of my diminishing entertainment time going to small screen shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and Sherlock.  I can watch a TV show in less time than a movie, and if I like it there will be a new episode next week, and a whole new season next year.

What to Read

I choose the books I read with similar criteria. I do my reading at night, often falling asleep with my iPod in hand. I usually have a very long, epic novel going (Currently Anna Erishkigal’s Sword of the Gods series), a 70-100 thousand word novel (most recently Dale Amidei’s masterful “Anvil of the Craftsman”), and something short enough to read in one or two sittings, like Rhonda Hopkins’ new zombie short story Survival.

What to Write

Projecting my entertainment preferences onto my writing, I am wrapping up “Phantom Drift,” the second episode of Sand, my super-hero horror series. The cover reveal will be in a couple of weeks. Leading up to that release, I am putting Episode 1, Shadow of the World on sale.

For the next 3 days, I’m dropping the price of Shadow of the World to 99 cents as part of the Addictive Summer Reads sale and blog hop.
Newsletter Banner copy
The other Addictive Reads authors and I are raffling off a bunch of Amazon gift cards and an additional $50 in PayPal cash or an Amazon gift card (winner’s choice). Click over to the other authors’ blogs for more chances to win, but don’t wait. This event ends on June 30.

What to Do:

Just click over to the Addictive Reads website for the main contest and sale links. Links to the other authors’ blogs are below

Review of Forever Road by Catie Rhodes

Here, at long last, is the final episode of the Thirty Minute Reader featuring Catie Rhodes’ Forever Road.

Forever Road Cover

Like most readers, I have genres that prefer to read. But I’ve also said on several occasions that good writing transcends genre preferences.  Forever Road is a book that you should read, regardless of your genre preferences. Yes, it is that good. Really.

Here’s my final take:

Catie Rhodes’ debut novel, Forever Road, is one of those rare books that gets it all right, and makes it seem easy. The characters and setting are well crafted, and made me nostalgic for the small South Carolina town where I grew up. The romantic tension was just right for my taste, and the murder-mystery elements were solid and had me changing my mind regularly on who I thought “done it.”

Beyond the true to life characters, the masterfully constructed mystery and a setting that feels like another character in itself, Forever Road is perfectly seasoned with wit and a few laugh-out-loud moments, with a supernatural element that adds both levity and some really spooky scenes. The entire package feels more like the work of a veteran novelist than a new writer’s debut. Well written and beautifully edited, this story puts Catie and Peri-Jean on my Must Read list, and I’m eager for their next adventures.

The Thirty Minute Reader will return some day in the near future with a new title, but meanwhile,  if you’ll forgive some blatant self-promotion, my debut novel, Children of the Plague, is infecting most e-book retailers. Get a copy and enjoy…

“Children of the Plague” by Gregory Carrico on Ganxy

A Thirty Minute Reader Space-out

Part One: That Ghoul Ava.

[mantra-multi][mantra-column width=”1/2″] That Ghoul Ava [/mantra-column] [mantra-column width=”1/2″]

30 Minute Reader

30 Minute Reader

[/mantra-column] [/mantra-multi]

If you missed the Thirty Minute Reader last week,  I’m reading That Ghoul Ava and the Queen of the Zombies, without reading Ava’s 1st book 1st. I don’t feel like I’m playing catch-up, at all, and Mr. Brown (if I may?) deserves his propers for craftsmanship. Particularly for a second book, he gives us character background without dumping it Carrie-style over our heads, or beginning with a Batman-style “When we last left our hero…,” wrap-up. It’s smooth, natural, and entertaining.

We learn about Ava’s past through well-timed “space-outs,” as something reminds her of that time when… (which reminds me of my tenth grade English class, when I wrote the assignment instructions in shorthand, and later couldn’t figure out what the hell I was supposed to do. How could I? I don’t even know shorthand. This turned my simple journal assignment into a short story about how I was recruited by a secret government agency… Damn! Now I’m doing it, too! I’ll let you get back to my blog post) …jelly donuts and camel incisors everywhere! It was most unexpected.

Ava usually snaps out of her mental diversions just in time to catch the last few words of an important sounding sentence. It’s an entertaining way to give us just enough info to keep us guessing, while developing Ava into a character we can identify with.

No, I won’t say ‘with whom we can identify.’ Get over yourself!

I was completely immersed in the scene at VooDoo Donuts with the ‘maple syrup brunette.’ I’ve never been to one of these shops, but I felt the atmosphere so clearly, that I almost have phony memories of the place. Perfectly done!

The flavor of the book’s humor is coming through a lot stronger now, too (What can I say? Sometimes I’m a bit slow).I even re-read it from the beginning with an eye for things I might have missed. I have a great appreciation for subtle humor, and That Ghoul Ava delivers. It’s an aromatic blend of inside jokes (80’s pop-culture references, chapter titles, even some sentence structures cleverly designed for comedic delivery (Crap! He did that on purpose, right?)), and classical comedic structures that remind me of my favorite Brit-com, Miranda.

If you’ve ever seen it, you’ll know some of the funniest scenes in the TV show are when Miranda turns directly to the camera to give us a confused shrug, or to whisper “Someone help me,” to the audience. Visually, it’s hilarious. In a book, it’s a risky tactic, easily fumbled, but Todd nailed it.

If you are reading along, this brings us to Chapter 6. If you aren’t reading along, you should be! I’ll even buy you a copy of the book (while my budget lasts). Just ask for one in the comments, let me know what reader/format you prefer, and give me the email addy where I can gift it.

I’m doing a double-header this week, so watch for Part 2 of the Thirty Minute Reader on Catie Rhodes’ Forever Road this Friday.

I know she does her Friday’s Bitter End posts then. Sheesh! Can’t you DVR it?

I’ll do one more TMR post on each book, and then wrap up each with a full review and a pretty pink bow. Or a soggy Band-Aid. Whichever fits best. We’ll see 😉

For those of you reading along, have I missed anything? What’s your favorite part of the story so far?

*Thanks to those of you who let me know your comments didn’t show up on the last two posts. I apologize for the glitch. I think it is fixed now, but if you have any trouble, let me know, and I’ll get it taken care of right away. Thanks.*



Launch Event Blast at Beach Book Blast Launch Event!

The following is a transcript of the tragic broadcast announcement of the Beach Book Blast Launch event, that you Won’t see on the cable news channels. It was never aired. Read for yourself, and see what “They” are trying to hide.

begin transcript:


Greg's Head

Greg Carrico

I’m Greg Carrico, reporting from Live the Story’s New York headquarters. Something Amazing is happening today. I’m told that a small group of bloggers will be launching twelve authors into orbit! This is breaking news, so I’ll fill you in as I get it. All I know is that NASA spokesmen are saying… Hang on… Sorry about that. NASA has been alarmingly quiet on this. My people in the field are on top of this, and we’ll be bringing this story to you as it unfolds. Stay tuned for a live feed from… Well, when I find out, I’ll let you know. This is Greg Carrico, and I’ll be back with more in a moment from Live the Story.


News is trickling in on this odd story, so let me bring you up to date with a few corrections. The authors being launched into space today are all, in fact, part of that mysterious group called Indies. Earlier, I said that there were twelve, and I’ve just been told that there are now a full baker’s dozen; that’s thirteen for those of you who’ve never seen me at a bakery. Oh, stand by. More data are coming in right now.


Well, this is a big announcement! My PIFs

A PIF working on the story

(People in the Field, keep up!) have confirmed that the bloggers responsible for this launch have no affiliation with NASA, and are part of something called WG2E, which is, I believe, and acronym for We Get 2 Eat. I don’t know what a space launch of authors has to do with food, but stay with us, and we’ll find out together.


 Well, this is what I look like when I’m embarrassed. I have to apologize for a couple of factual errors that I shared this morning. Our fact checking PIF has called in sick, and with breaking stories, we do run the risk of making a few mistakes. The WG2E are not a group of eating contest winners, as we first thought, though some of their members may be. They are the Writer’s Guide to ePublishing, a group of writers dedicated to eradicating lewd puppy photos

Forced into a life of depravity by a Book Blaster!

from the internet. Sorry, bear with…

 (What? So none of this crap is right? I’ve been up here saying all of this insane sh… huh? The Mic is still on? That’s great! This better never see the light of… Huh? Live!?!)

 Sorry about that folks! You just heard my, uh, producers practicing for a variety show skit. Boy, are they funny? Stay tuned for more!


Aaaaaand, Back! Let me apologize once more to everyone for the very slight factual errors we reported today. I have now confirmed the following:

There are Fifteen(ish) authors, belonging to the radical Beach Book Blast subgroup of the WG2E Street Terror Team subgroup of the Writer’s Guide to ePublishing subgroup of the DD Scott Galactic publishing empire, and they are launching their brand new explosive books of various genres into geosynchronous orbit above Manhattan NY in a group event at the Beach Book Blast blog, on the Book Blast Facebook page, and on Twitter using the #BeachBookBlast tag. It will happen this evening from 8PM until 11PM New York time.

I understand that so the greatest number of people will witness this unprecedented attack, the public is being enticed to participate with ‘door prizes’ at the Facebook page, and a raffle for some awesome prizes, including a new type of WMD called a Kindle Fire at the blog.  They will be launching their books with the new RG2E-168.b rocket, and… Oh, good grief. Hang on.

(What do you mean there’s no freaking rocket? What next? They aren’t radical terrorists? But you said Indie Authors!)

Breaking news: I’m quitting my job as a newscaster. Get the real story at these other (legitimate) blogs and websites:

(How did All of these other blogs get this story right and I got this mess of fairy tales?? You’re all fired! Turn the Mic off!)

end transcript.

For the Real story:

1.      Visit the Beach Book Blast Launch Event page for the real scoop, a lot of fun, and prizes that you’ll actually like!


2.      Like the Beach Book Blast Facebook Page so you can join the


3.      Facebook page Launch Event and get door prizes


4.      Join the conversation on Twitter leading up to tonight’s launch by following #BeachBookBlast


5.      Visit Rhonda Hopkins’ and Kristine Cayne’s very amazing blogs for Q&A with the authors


6.      Visit the Authors’ pages and our WG2E and RG2E blogs (win free copies of the Launch books at the RG2E):

Alicia and Roy Street

Dale Amidei

Debra Burroughs

L.C. Giroux

Liz Jasper

Liz Matis

Stacey Joy Netzel

Natalie G. Owens

Janice Palko

Christina Routon

Sheila Seabrook

Lily Silver

*lizzie starr

Kiru Taye

Tamara Ward

What’s Hap’nin?


For all of my friends who have been patiently
(and not so patiently- you know who you are!) waiting for the much promised sequel to Killing Tiffany Hudson, thanks for hanging in there with me. I’ve had a few personal glitches, including a sick, elderly relative being neglected in a hospital- you know, the usual stuff, but I’m making great progress, and will soon be emerging from Revision Hell with a book that I hope you’re gonna love.

Here’s a quick, and probably very inaccurate timeline:


May 22, 2012

I’ll be uploading Apocalypstick to B&N for the Nook, and will be submitting it to the publisher for hard copies in the coming days. I’ve made a few minor changes, most notably the addition of Chapter One of Children of the Plague. It picks up the story of Diane and her small band of humans hiding in the ruins of Manhattan, just a couple of days before Crane arrives, and will continue the story where Killing Tiffany Hudson left off.


May 23rd through May 25th, 2012: Beach Book Blast!

If you don’t have Apocalypstick yet, you can get it for $0.99 during the WG2E Street Team’s Beach Book Blast, starting this Wednesday, through Friday, the 25th. Please take a second and Like our FB page, Follow our blog, enter to win a Kindle Fire, and bring me small French Vanilla Coffee Coolatta from Dunkin Donuts. No whipped cream, please. I’m not a girl.

I’m not ready to give you a release date for Children of the Plague, yet, but I’m working with some great folks to make sure it’ll eat your face off.

Book Review, Interview, & Giveaway

Oh, I almost forgot! I’m very honored that Penelope Ann Bartotto, better known as “The Opinionated Sassy Mama” at The Library at the End of the Universe blog, has read Apocalypstick. I know! I didn’t even have to pay her, or anything!

Anyway, she’s writing her review as we speak, and will be hosting Yours Truly for a giveaway, and for what I’m sure will be a very bloody interview… Just Kidding (I hope!). Penelope Ann’s interviews are not the same old questions everyone else asks. Trust me, it’ll be worth looking at. Go check out some of her other posts while we’re waiting for her to get to me, and you’ll see what I mean.

I don’t know what she thought of the book yet, or if she even liked it, but honestly, I’m so impressed with her blog, her interviews, and the work she puts into her reviews, that I’m just thrilled she picked me for one! Her reviews are detailed, thorough, and honest, and I can’t wait to hear what she has to say. No, seriously. Should I keep writing, or go back to that consulting thing? I need to know!

So subscribe to her blog, leave a comment or two, and be there with me as we find if my tears will from joy or soul-crushing pain. And if any of you know Penelope’s favorite kind of chocolate, please let me know ASAP! What? I’m just curious!

Win a Free Kindle Fire* at the Beach Book Blast


Beach Book Blast

Since I didn’t mention the Free Kindle Fire* in my previous Beach Book Blast post, and I was (purposefully) a bit cryptic, allow me, if you will, to clarify. Here is what Beach Book Blast is, and how it got started:

Early this month,

Tamara Ward, author of Storm Surge, Jade O’Reilly and the Ice Queen, and contributing author to the The WG2E All-For-Indies Anthologies: Winter Wonderland Edition, sent an innocent email to a small group of writers, asking if any of us would like to team up with her and offer a book for free on the same day(s). I thought this was a great idea, and so did a couple of other authors, so we started planning.

It turns out that more than couple of us thought it sounded good. Tamara’s little email with her great idea has blossomed into quite the big event. Now, less than two weeks later, we have

A Big Event, with:

  • A Date: May 23rd-25th,
  • A Name: Beach Book Blast,

I’d like to give Big Thanks to Indie Author Powerhouse and Pay it Forward Goddess, D. D. Scott, founder of the WG2E and the RG2E, for the Kindle Fire, and for including All of her books in the Beach Book Blast!

“Big Deal?” you ask. “I can get Free eBooks just about anywhere,” you say.

You are right! Thanks to Amazon’s Kindle Select program, authors offer their books for free all the time. So why is this different?

We are a group of writers dedicated to helping each other improve our craft, our skills, and our ability to personally connect with our readers. Beach Book Blast is our way of helping readers find some great new books by promoting some incredible indie writers. If you look at our bio page, you’ll Best Selling, Award Winning, indie and traditionally published, and international authors of just about any Genre you like.

So save the date. The Beach Book Blast officially begins on May 23rd, and ends three short days later, on May 25th 2012. Be nice to your friends, and tell them about it, too. They want free books and a chance to win that free Kindle Fire*, too.

[notice]*Earn multiple chances to win a free Kindle Fire by choosing any or all of the Rafflecopter options on the Beach Book Blast website. You don’t have to wait for the event to start. Start earning your extra contest entries Right Now![/notice]

[important]PS. You can get an early bird preview today and tomorrow, with free books by Meredith Bond and LC Giroux![/important]


Thirty Minute Reader, The Return!

Hi there! Oh! Well, thank you! It’s great to be back! I’m still reading and writing and reviewing, but this week I’ve mostly been writing. I wrote a post over the weekend, but it turned into a rambling rant about a topic that has been done by better folks than yours truly. Here, for example, by Kristin Lamb. I decided I’d better stick with talking about the stuff I’ve been reading. In books, that is.

Before I jump in, though, I just want to say how much I really enjoy reading Indie authors. There is so much creativity and talent that we readers have been denied by the templates of big 6 publishers, and what an agent thinks she can sell. I’m not Anti-traditional publishing at all. I’m just glad that there is a bit more to choose from, and that I get to see NEW ideas in fiction. Take a look at the indie authors at your favorite bookseller, and buy a couple of their books. You’ll see what I mean.

If this is your first Thirty Minute Review post, go back to the beginning, and see what you’ve missed.

Aaaaaaand, back.

I have finally made a little time for some catch up reading, and I’m so glad that I did. I got to the halfway point in Dead: The Ugly Beginning last night. I was getting a little worried about the vignettes, to be honest. I was afraid they were going make the whole book feel like a bunch of left over scenes that were thrown in to fill up some space, and turn a short story into a full length novel. I admit it, I had a crisis of faith. The thing is, I couldn’t stop reading it, regardless of which part of the story I was on. It’s all good stuff.

So I better go ahead and say ‘Sorry’ for doubting you, Todd.

image from

I’m happy to admit that I was wrong. Every time I think I know where this book is taking me, Bam! We swerve onto a side street that I didn’t even know was there. It makes for an exciting ride.

I looked back at the stuff I highlighted while reading last night (something I usually do when I find disagreeable grammar), and every item was something I thought was particularly fun, clever, or just wanted to read again. I’m not going to give anything away, but the scene on the highway with the station wagon and the baby… Brilliant! I want more. Happily, I have about half of the book to go.

But first, I have to tell you what’s going on in D.D. Scott’s Carats and Coconuts. After the first story in the book, I am into the actual Carats and Coconuts part. All can say at this point is that more I read these characters, the more fun they are.

D.D.’s narrative style is so easy going, that she can feed you a few bites of back-story, and it will taste just like the main course. It’s sort of like listening to the stories your favorite tells after a long, crazy vacation. You have to imagine that your aunt it really good at it, though.

Even though I’m meeting the characters somewhere after the first book in this series, we’re becoming pretty good friends. I’m not even terribly upset that I’m not the funny one of the gang, either. No, I’m ok with it.  Really, it’s alright, I’m fine. Can we just drop it?

I’ll catch you up again next week. Until then,



Thirty Minute Reader Double Header

I read for an entire hour last night, and yes it was luxurious. I wanted to make up for lost time, so this is a Super Bonus Double Happy post with updates on both Carats and Coconuts, by Dee Dee Scott, and TW Brown’s Dead: The Ugly Beginning.

I may make another Thirty Minute Reader post this week, time allowing, but deadlines are looming, and I know that one or two of you are eager to read the follow up to Killing Tiffany Hudson, one of the stories from Apocalypstick.

Dead: The Ugly Beginning
By TW Brown

Let’s begin with Dead, shall we? In my previous Dead post, I was curious about where this story was going. There were tons of new characters introduced in the 1st Vignettes section, and I’m eager to see how or if they are related, and if I’ll see any of them again; the ones who survived, that is. Brown does a great job of making them all seem like very real people. Some are decent, some are, well… not. We get to see a good bit how awful we can be to each other when society breaks down, and baddies want to eat our brains.

Honestly, I’m still not sure where it’s all going, but so far, it’s fun ride. I guess not knowing when the next corner is coming adds a bit of excitement, so I’m digging it.

You can buy this cool sign here:

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say again: Brown has a true gift for making me feel like I’m right there with the main character. I get nervous when he hears something behind that door, and is about to open it. It’s almost interactive.

After checking in on the first story line again, I’m ended the session at the start of vignettes II. More on that later, but first…

Carats and Coconuts
By Dee Dee Scott

So far in Carats and Coconuts, Scott has introduced me to some very wacky characters, and made me like them. She has put me in an absurd setting, and made it fun. She has set before me, a plot that may very well be all in the mind of the main character’s delusional father, yet the entire cast of characters is going along with it.

Is this situation real? Is it imaginary? Are the characters just going along with it, are they orchestrating it, or is their world a Hogwarts-like realm of magic hidden in plain sight?

Am I reading too deeply, and wondering too much? Yes! I absolutely am… I think….


image from


Carats is a fun, light hearted tale that makes me smile, even as I roll my eyes. This is new territory for me, and I have to learn how to read it. It is rather like a magic show. It’s loads of fun, but could be even more rewarding if I stopped trying to look up the magician’s sleeve to spot his tricks.

Last night, I read through the first action-ish sequence, and just like the setting, the characters, and the plot, it is rife with ridiculousness, and had me laughing out loud. It was just what I needed.

If you are reading along with me, let me know what you think so far. If not, come on, it’s only half an hour a day. Anyone can be a Thirty Minute Reader!

Lucky Sevens Manuscript Sample, Such Fun!

I have been tagged by Alicia and Roy Street!

By the way, I stole the Lucky 7 Meme picture from their blog. Don’t say anything!

This is, actually, such fun! Well, it is once the horror, shame and embarrassment wears off. Here’s what I’m talking about.

A couple of days ago, I was tagged in a post on Facebook by the amazing Diana Layne (That’s her super-hero name). It was a trick post, because there were strings attached. Responding to a similar post from one of HER writer pals, she turned to page 77 of her WiP (Work in Progress), counted down 7 lines, and copy the following seven lines into her Facebook post. Sounds simple enough, right? (Yeah, I know, I’m pretending I figured it out right away. Shhh.)

By tagging me, I was compelled, yes COMPELLED to do the same. Oh, knock it off! Like you never succumbed to peer pressure! Diana write thrillers like The Good Daughter, with mafia hit-men in them. I’m doing what she says!

So, I dusted off a manuscript, and thought “This is going to be SO cool! I’m such an awesome writer! My seven lines are gonna Rock your Face Off” (thanks for that line, Ashley)!

And they did! But not in a good way, let me tell you! I couldn’t believe my seven lines from line seven of page seventy seven were so awful! So I did what anyone would do in this situation. I cheated.

I flipped back ten pages to page 67. Don’t look at me like that (PJ ;-))! I know you peeked at your Christmas presents last year, so don’t cast that first stone! Only, those seven lines were terrible, too. It was a very lectury bit of dialogue that I thought I had cleaned up pretty well. Nope!

I had one more shot. I opened book I started a while ago, but shelved because the idea grew bigger. That book became book 2 of the series I wanted to write, so I set it aside. I found my seven. They were much less embarrassing than my other options, so I went it.

The point of this exercise, as PJ Sharon pointed out in the 7’s on her Facebook page (which were brilliant, by the way), is to force us to look at our writing totally out of context, and judge it objectively, which we authors are already Sooo good at. Yes, I’m being facetious. Because if don’t like what we see, our readers won’t either.

Sigh… I have a lot of deleting to do!

Anyway, Do you Wanna see my 7 lines from line 7 of page 7? No? That’s just mean! Here they are, anyway. Read ‘em and weep! Seriously, I’m sorry if they make you cry.


“You know that’s not true, Merrick. Even if you aren’t here to kill me, they won’t let me live. I know their plans. Besides, Sideon knows I’d never follow him. No real Enforcer would. How did he get to you, by the way? I wouldn’t have taken you for the corruptible sort.”

“I’m just a soldier, Mase. I serve my King.”

“No longer! You are an assassin, serving a tyrant. Soldiers fight wars, boy. You kill people for a man who has lost his mind. Well, I don’t think I’ll let that happen tonight, so, are you going to walk away, or do you really think it’s your destiny to die in this muddy alley?”

I’m not going to pimp this book yet, because my fantasy series won’t be out until I finish the Killing Tiffany Hudson scifi stories I started in Apocalypstic. The next one will be released in the coming days, by the way.

Now, take a look at how some Real writers did this:

Here is Rhoda Hopkin’s post on her 7’s.

Here is Alicia and Roy Street’s post.

They have links to others, too.

Now I’m supposed to tag other authors and subject them to this treat, but I just did that on Facebook yesterday, so if any of them decide to participate and post on their blogs, I’ll put their links here.

…it’s full of Zombie Apocalypse goodness!

Welcome to another Zombie Apocalypse edition of The Thirty Minute Reader!

Thirty Minute Reader

Countdown to Zombie Apocalypse!

Catchy, no? I think it sums up what these posts are about pretty well. The premise is this: at least twice a week, I set aside thirty minutes to read. Simple enough. The day after I read, I make a quick post about it. There’s no mystery to it, so far. When I finish a book, I’ll post a thorough, critical review. Easy peasy.

Here’s the fun bit, at least for me. I have never had to limit the amount of reading I do, so experiencing a book like this is… well, a new experience. I LOVE new experiences. I love seeing something that I’ve glanced at a million times in a new light, and that is just what this little experiment is doing for me.

Try it for a week, and you’ll see what I mean. Limit your reading time to 30 minutes, and you will become very jealous of that time. You will also become much more careful about what you read, because that time is now much more valuable (it’s supply and demand, folks! Fewer minutes to go around = each minute has a higher value).

That’s why I’m pretty happy with my current reading selection. I’m reading something I don’t normally read (Carats and Coconuts, by Dee Dee Scott), and I’m reading one of my favorite genres with TW Brown’s Dead: The Ugly Beginning. So, I get a new experience with one, and a new way to experience the other. It’s a win-win!

Anyway, last night, I read another half-hour’s worth of TW Brown’s Dead: The Ugly Beginning. This puts me about 20% of the way into this book, for those following along. Here’s the skinny:

After reading the first section, I liked where the story was going. It’s a zombie apocalypse, what’s not to love, right? During last night’s session, I was a little confused with the direction we were heading. This isn’t a bad thing, because I like it when an author makes me think about the story.

My confusion was with the vignettes section, which is a series of scenes in which a string of new characters, at this either loosely or unrelated to each other, experience the realization that there are some very foul smelling undead walking about, and have their first encounter with said stink-bags. Each scene was a delightfully gory, true-to-tradition zombie-fest, with some interesting characters. Again, what’s not to love?

One of Brown’s true strengths as a writer is in crafting scenes that stay with you after you finish reading. His characters, for the most part, act like I think real people would act in their situations, and his ability to describe the action and sensations of the characters make each scene feel more like a personal memory than something I just read.

I must admit that I read a little bit more than 30 minutes last night, because I had to find out how all of these individual stories fit together. Glancing ahead at the next section, I see that we are returning to the characters from book’s beginning, so now I’m no longer confused, just curious to see what’s around the corner.

I’m also very pleased to have noticed, or rather, not noticed the editing. Either this section is better edited than the first, or I’m paying too much attention to the imaginative, descriptive, disgustingly cool carnage to notice. In other words, it’s a bloody, smelly, undead mess, and I can’t wait to read more.

But first, you guessed it, I’ll be digging into some very silly holiday cheer in the very “Com”-y RomCom, Carats and Coconuts by ‘superfab’ author, blogger, and e-book trendsetter Dee Dee Scott, and I’ll tell you all about it on Friday.

Until then,



If you are just starting to follow  The Thirty Minute Reader reading posts,  you might want to read my first impressions of these books:

Carats and Coconuts

Dead:The Ugly Beginning