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Archive for the ‘Reviews of Vonnie’s Books’ Category

Murder on Marawa Prime (reviewed in the December 2016 issue of Analog magazine) is my only published murder mystery/ action adventure tale. Yet, I enjoy reading murder mysteries and crime fiction. In my “in progress” fiction files, there are several other crime stories which, I hope, will be completed, polished, and submitted to magazines or anthologies in the not too distant future.

Murder_Cover_CS_front Like all writers, I try not to use clichés, so it was with interest I read an article on clichés in crime fiction (which will include murder mysteries).

Here’s the link – I hope you enjoy Crime Fiction – 10 Cliches to Avoid from Freelance Writing.

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Murder on Marawa Prime, my science fiction murder mystery, was reviewed in Analog, December 2016 issue, in “The Reference Library” column by Don Sakers.

First, my thanks to Don for taking the time to read, then review my novelette. Nowadays, there are so many science fiction books released each year, that it’s hard to catch the eye of a well-known reviewer – much less have a good review published in one of the grand old magazines of science fiction, Analog.

So what did Don think? Here’s an excerpt: “Murder on Marawa Prime is a SF story and a noir mystery, set on a fascinating and well-drawn planet, all packed into a novelette that will leave you wanting more… The story’s tightly plotted, and author Crist does an excellent job of keeping multiple balls in the air while revealing the unique and deadly secrets that have brought murder to Marawa Prime.” – Don Sakers

Murder_Cover_CS_front Woot! This fabulous review adds to the positive comments (used on the front and back covers of the book) from several authors whose writing I admire:

“Inventive and entertaining – a real thrill-ride!” – Gail Z. Martin author of The Ascendent Kingdoms Saga and The Chronicles of the Necromancer series.

“Vonnie Crist serves up some deliciously dangerous interstellar noir in Murder on Marawa Prime. One part Raymond Chandler, one part Agatha Christie, and a huge dose of her own exceptionally clean prose and understated worldbuilding, this is a fast-moving nail-biter on a planet at once iconic and alien. Just one word of warning: don’t aggravate the geneered singing opossum.” – Charles E. Gannon, author of The Tales of the Terran Republic series.

“A fast-paced story of assassins, genetic engineering, singing opossums and betrayal, Vonnie Winslow Crist writes the future fantastic.” – Deborah Walker (also writes as Kelda Crich)

Interested in taking a look at Murder on Marawa Prime? You can find links to various formats on Pole to Pole Publishing’s website: http://poletopolepublishing.com/books/murder-on-marawa-prime/

 

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Today, of all days, it seems a difference of opinion is what it’s all about. But I’m not here to talk politics!

I did get drawn into a Facebook conversation about unicorns and Pegasus. (I know — my geeky side is about to shine).

Someone argued that a winged unicorn must be called an alicorn. I beg to differ. Alicorn is indeed a term sometimes used for a winged unicorn, but I believe the word means the horn of a unicorn. Originally, it appears alicorn comes from the Italian alicorno, alicorne meaning “unicorn.” And alicorno, alicorne appear to have their origins in a Latin word for unicorn: unicornis. (And I just confirmed what many have thought, I was one of the weird kids who chose Latin as my “language” in middle school and high school).

Alicorn remains a really cool word, just as the idea of a unicorn’s horn as a cure for poison is most magical. Alicorns or unicorn horns also appear on various coat-of-arms and other insignia, as well as in spell books and healer’s journals of long ago.

catseye_final-72dpi Which brings me to the first review of “In a Cat’s Eye,” the marvelous anthology of cat stories I recently edited (with Kelly A. Harmon) for Pole to Pole Publishing. I’m delighted with the review, and thank NerdGirl and NerdGirl Vamp for a wonderful review.

Alas, one of my favorite stories in “In a Cat’s Eye,” the reviewer, while saying it was good, didn’t really get. Oh, no!

But then I pause — language, politics, editing, and reviews all benefit from a difference in opinion — even if we don’t see it at first. For how boring this world would be if we were all alike.

 

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small owl light When I see a new review for my book has been published on a website, I always hold my breath for a moment as I click on the link. It shouldn’t matter what a reviewer thinks about my writing – but it does!

Many thanks to reviewer January Gray for her kind words. A sample quote: “A very pleasurable and magical book you will read over and over.” Thanks to January, also, for her 5 Star rating on Amazon. To read all of January’s comments about Owl Light, visit her webpage.

Owl Light has 5 reviews, all 5 Stars. Woot! I hope some of you might be interested in buying and reading this collection of science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, and ghost-tale stories. (And please post a review so I can read what YOU thought about Owl Light).

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Skean copy As I’ve written before, every time I discover a new review of my books, my hands sweat and my heart thumps quickly. It’s always a little scary to see what a reader thinks of the worlds I’ve created. Perhaps they won’t like my story or fantastical world or language or characters or…

Thanks to those people who part with a few dollars and open the (real or virtual) pages of my books. I’m grateful for readers and for their support, both when they purchase my books and when they take the time to review them.

From Amazon, here are a few reviews of The Enchanted Skean:

“Vonnie Winslow Crist has written a fantastical story that brings the reader along for the journey. Young Beck is sent on a mission by his grandmother to bring his father’s bones back home. In the process he discovers the skean and finds out that it is enchanted. I loved this story. I found that the characters were very interesting and I wanted to know more about them. This book is a fun read for young adults and older.” – April Sue Billings

“Originally, I purchased this book for my nephew but was drawn in by the beautiful cover. It’s a wonderful read and I enjoyed the way the fantasy was presented…the protagonist was believable, and without being preachy, the book sends a good message. BTW, my nephew loved it also, and wants to know when the next one is coming out!”  – Haley’s Comments

“Loved this! Highly recommend for both middle readers and adult alike. I’ve read several of this author’s books, and she’s definitely an up-and-coming talent to watch.” – Katie (Hagerstown, MD)

You can find other reviews of The Enchanted Skean on this blog at Looking for Stars, Lucky Thirteen, and First Reviews of The Enchanted Skean.

Thanks again to my readers. Interested in checking out a copy? Here’s the Amazon link for The Enchanted Skean.

(BTW, if you write a review on Amazon or Amazon UK of one of my books, I might reprint it on Whimsical Words).

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The Greener Forest 300 dpi cover Every time I discover a new review of my books, my hands sweat and my heart thumps quickly. It’s always a little scary to see what a reader thinks of the worlds I’ve created. Perhaps they won’t like my story or language or characters or… Well, you get the idea.

I really appreciate my readers, and I try to not only please myself with my tales, but also, those people who part with a few dollars and open the (real or virtual) pages of my books. I’m thankful for readers and for their support, both when they purchase my books and when they take the time to review them.

Here are some Amazon reviews of The Greener Forest:

“A fantastic collection of short stories about the hazy boundary between our world and the hidden faerie world, with roots in archetypal fables (the good get rewarded, the bad get punished), but with branches extending into a more modern setting. Judging by the cover, I gather the author is also an accomplished artist, but sadly the interior illustrations were not made available in the Kindle edition. I wish I could have seen them.” – Mark Taylor  (Sorry Mark, Kindle versions usually don’t include illos. You can see some of the illos included in The Greener Forest on my website).

“Mrs. Crist has a wonderfully vivid imagination which is brought to life in these poems and stories. She is both an excellent writer and an extremely talented artist. The imagery in the poetry is beautiful, such as in “The Greener Forest”, “Late Winter,” and “Key.” What makes the stories truly touching and memorable are the relationships between the characters. “Birdling” reminded me of traditional stories of faeries and how tricky they can be. In “Appleheads” and “Blood of the Swan” the bonds of friendship and affection are truly magical and deep. In “Scarecrow” one is reminded to accept friendship no matter who or what it is from, and to do what is right despite what others say or think. As also in “Blame it on the Trees” we remember to look beneath the surface at what is within. Finally, we learn to respect the natural world, for it is very much alive, and the home of many creatures. Some of the other stories were very short and I wanted more from them, but nevertheless they were still imaginative and well-written. Well done Mrs. Crist. Well done. ” – AM

And a link to a post with earlier reviews of The Greener Forest Intrigued? Why not buy a copy?

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Skean copy Whenever the night sky is clear, I look for stars. When I find the first star of evening, I always wish upon it. And now, I find myself hoping for 4 and 5 star reviews for my books. How strange to watch for stars on a website rather than twinkling in the heavens!

Two new reviews of my fantasy novel, The Enchanted Skean, have been posted. Thanks to Ellen Fritz of Books4Tomorrow for her 5 star review: http://bookstomorrow.blogspot.com/2013/06/review-enchanted-skean-by-vonnie.html And thanks to Aimee Brown of Getting Your Read On for her 4 star review: http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-enchanted-skeen-by-vonnie-winslow.html I keep my fingers crossed that more readers and reviewers will enjoy my newest book and give it lots of stars.

River of Stars fc But I can’t leave my readers with such a meager blog post – so I’ll share the poem, Orion, from my 2nd book of myth-based poetry, River of Stars. Enjoy!

Orion

At the Science Center poetry reading,

the projectionist

activates the planetarium’s dome,

focuses on Orion:

the Great Hunter strides across the heavens,

arms flung wide, ever questing

after that which he cannot have.

Lepus the Hare, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Taurus…

one constellation after another flashes

above us till the roof is a picturebook

filled with celestial allegories.

In the dim planetarium after the show,

seven poets share their work.

Six choose to remain earthbound —

while I, a mere storyteller

inspired by star fire and mythology,

pick up an astronomy book

and begin the journey.

Afterwards, I shake a few hands,

wander into the Baltimore streets,

find my car, glance up.

Even in the city,

Orion appears large and formidable

as he reaches, like humankind,

across the gulf of distance and time

and tries to pluck

the stars from the sky.

©Vonnie Winslow Crist

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