Writing and Reading with Metrics and Prizes

Becky Lang in her Flight of the Red Dragonfly blog posted a well developed  survey on why readers choose the books they do.   I was both amused and flummoxed to read one responder used my recommendations to choose her books.  For your perusal after my writing status, I’ve listed the books currently in my reading stack.  One of the authors is offering a deal on her latest release and another novel (and a chance for a $50 gift card). I’ve included the details and hope you win.


The Abishag series is on a very short hold as I steel myself for the last cleanup of the First Abishag novella: Sinking Ships, using the August Camp NaNo to do a last edit on the Second Abishag: Indelible Beats and a last run through of the Third Abishag: Riddle in the Bones before sending it to an editor.

Slide1During this brief interlude, I’m writing a short mystery called Jack Fell Down for e-publishing. The story is currently at 4289 words and is approximately 35% completed.  I’ve finished the scene summaries and the timeline—the latter was critical for figuring the logistics of the story.  Although short, the story is packed with events, and the timeline will hopefully keep it on track


While in Colorado last week, I finished Craig Lancaster’s Edward Adrift, a wonderful story from the POV of a 42-year–old man with Aspergers.  In honor of those who need  exactness, I’ll add metrics to my current bookshelf status in a sporadic fashion.

Paper Reads

While I was at the Denver airport, I stopped at Hudson Booksellers to check out their book thongs.  I only had ten minutes so the two I bought were impulse buys.  Sort of.  I did intend to buy at least one.  Then I went to Costco and bought a book whose cover matched one of the thongs: Carol Rifka Brunt’s Tell the Wolves I’m Home.  It’s proving to be an excellent book although the reason for its purchase is certainly questionable.

Earlier this week, my Amazon copy of The Cuckoo’s Calling arrived.  This is the infamous secret mystery novel that JK Rowling penned under a different name.  Fortunately its cover matched the other book thong so we’re good.

ship out of luckAfter my Rhine river cruise last summer, I’m now enamored of this mode of travel.  I’ve read all the Antsy books, but this third venture—Neal Shusterman’s YA novel  Ship Out of Luck —may be my favorite because of the cruise angle.   It’s already wearing a matching book thong from my collection.

Audible books

I listen to books on my daily walks and just finished Stephen King’s 11-22-63.  I loved the main character, and the book spiraled unexpectedly and masterfully.  I began Richard Ford’s Canada just before leaving for Colorado and while slogging through Denver’s Open Space, admired his slow portrayal of hope and a family’s ruin when the parents turn to bank robbery. (Metric: 47% complete)

Digital Reads for Enrichment

 I’m reading 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman on the iPad.  I just started this book and it appeals to me.  The chapters are readable in short sessions and the illustrative examples are charming and clear. (Metric: at Chapter 5)

Although I have the digital version, I’m reading a hardcopy of Scripture By Heart: Devotional Practices for Memorizing God’s Word by Korean Pastor Joshua Choonmin Kang.  It’s easier to use for a study that I’m doing with a friend who lives in Cambodia.  We Skype on Sunday evenings, and this study has been groundbreaking for me. (Metric: 54% complete)

I try to go through the Bible every year, reading chapters everyday. I find I’m nicer to be around when I do.  This year I’m reading the English Standard Version, the version I now use for memorization.  Studies say that memorization is a valuable cognitive exercise. (Metric: Reading at 2 Kings 10, Memorization at 28 verses)

Digital Reads for Entertainment

GhostJewelCoverDebra Young’s short story  Ghost Jewel appeared on Amazon last week.  It’s a unique fantasy with a setting that’s akin to North Africa, but also reminds me of my travels in Tanzania.  Beautifully written with many fascinating elements—like a spearhead made of salt.  Isn’t that cunning? (Metric: 100% complete)

Two reads from past First Friday Breakfast with an Author interviews: I continue to enjoy the scope and twisty plot dynamics of Jacqueline Diamond’s science fiction novel  Out of Her Universe .  Just released this week, Debra Holland’s sweet historical  Mail Order Brides of the West: Trudy has already engaged me with an intriguing premise and wonderful characters. (Metric: 8% complete)

TheThinPlace_LargeAnother new release: I purchased romance writer Lori Herter’s  The Thin Place this week also.  A must-buy as who can resist a lost love story set in Ireland with a dose of magic?

My August Breakfast with an Author will be Elise Stephens.  Her novel Forecast came out July 9th, and it’s now on my Kindle too.  I’m looking forward to reading it especially after recently finishing her deliciously creepy short story Tightrope.  Please check in next week for the interview.

RitaAnd now for the prizes! In celebration of publishing the novel Rescuing Rita (sequel to Stealing Mercy—a favorite of mine), author Kristy Tate is offering this fabulous deal–get two great novels for only 99 cents and enter to win a $50 gift card. How?

For a double entry:

1. Tell everyone you know on all your favorite social media sites about this great opportunity.

2. Send an email to kristyswords@yahoo.com with double entry in the subject line on or before Thursday, August 1, 2013 and she will forward you a Smashwords coupon for Losing Penny.

3. Buy  Rescuing Rita on or before Thursday, August 1, 2013.

For one contest entry:

Purchase optional. If you don’t want to buy Rescuing Rita, but are still willing to give a shout out on social media sites, send a blank subject line email to kristyswords@yahoo.com on or before Thursday, August 1, 2013.

Thank you for stopping by.  See you next week for First Friday Breakfast!

About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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2 Responses to Writing and Reading with Metrics and Prizes

  1. Rebecca Lang says:

    Thanks so much for the mention. 🙂 I don’t know how you find the time to read all those books. I keep adding to my book collection, but I never seem to sit down and read them. 😦 Thabks for so many cool suggestions

  2. mlknowlden says:

    It does take me a long time to finish anything especially when I’m deep into a project. A friend of mine devotes Sunday to reading which is a champion idea.

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