Showing posts from March, 2011

Decadence & Obsession in London: One Fateful Summer

What lengths will we go to for our friends and our family? What behaviors will we--can we--put up with... and when does the sum total of those behaviors suddenly become “too much”?  How do we know if love borders on obsession... and are we capable of realizing if and when it crosses the line, blithely sailing right on past what is apt to be recognized only later as the point of no return? Why do we make the choices we do... and how do we justify living with their consequences? * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * By all accounts, it would've been perfectly reasonable for Queen Charlotte’s College linguistics student Karen Clarke to assume she had life all figured out as it stretched endlessly before her, in a vista seemingly full of promise and possibilities. But, all sorts of things can intervene and spoil even the best-laid plans... something which author Erin Kelly illustrates with bold brushstrokes in her tour-de-force debut, The Poison Tree.  (Quick note: You may be worried that I’m about to…

Carpools & PTA Meetings: Just A Day in the Life of a Vampire P.I.

Somewhat curiously, a lot of people live and die for vampire books. (Okay, maybe--hopefully--the reality isn’t quite as dramatic as life-and-death... but, still, you know the person I’m talking about, right? The one who will read anything, no matter how atrocious, so long as it features their favorite creature of the night?)  Such people can--and invariablydo, if you’re around them long enough--rhapsodize for hours about the “dreaminess” of vamps... from their perfect, alabaster skin (conveniently ignoring the reality of how it would feel to hug such marble-chilliness), to the romantic nature of their only-after-dark lifestyles (seriously? as though a life lived primarily without ever seeing the sun sounds do-able?), to their overall beauty (because everyone knows that NO ONE is writing books about vamps who look anything like Bela Lugosi these days, pfft). Then, of course, there’s the whole issue of blood to deal with (ornot, as is generally the case with all but the seriously-hardcore…

Journey into the Icy Unknown (a Steampunkish Fantasy Adventure)

Being a young woman has never been quite the walk in the park it might--at first blush--appear to be. Sure, it looks simple enough when viewed from the outside. Young women giggle and share secrets with their best friends. They sit in front of mirrors, studying their reflections and analyzing every pore. They spend hours in pursuit of the perfect article of clothing or pair of shoes. They daydream about who they want to fall in love with them... and then devise elaborate schemes in the hope of ensuring romantic success. Young women are a lot more than such fluff and frippery, of course. They think about the world at large, looking beyond their own small corner of it. They rail at social injustices and inequalities, and chafe at being told to blindly accept the status quo. They ponder the great unknown of the future, and think, perhaps, that they could solve all the world’s problems, if given the chance. They have minds of their own, and they look for opportunities in which to use them. ✠…

Strip Clubs and Lap Dances: 'Lucky' Writer Researches It All

I am, admittedly, something of a slave to research.
That comes as no great shock, I know; we quiet, “bookish” (ugh!) folk are just sort of made for spending hours cooped up in libraries or in front of computers, compiling endless lists of data for later tabulation, consideration, and regurgitation. Case in point? I spent two semesters in college--working for minimum wage, 20 hours a week, mind you--cooped up alone in a glorified closet (okay, scratch the “glorified” part, because it wasn’t), painstakingly wading through roll after roll of grainy, eye-numbing microfilm, trying my best to decipher shakily-handwritten copies of wills, bills of lading, and other documents from the late 1600s and early 1700s, cataloguing each and every single possession of the individual (down to the mended sock or mismatched set of spoons) bequeathed, inventoried, and otherwise mentioned therein... all in the name of research. And the kicker? I. Loved. That. Job. Fortunately for those not so-inclined, though…