Agent to the Stars

December 23, 2010

Every once in a while, I find a book that is a pleasant surprise. Agent to the Stars is just such a book.

Face it. Most first novels are just not that good. They may show a lot of promise and be fun, but the majority of authors hit their stride as professional storytellers after two or three novels. Not so with this fun read. Now I’ll grant you that this isn’t the first publication. By Scalzi’s own admission in the foreword, it has been edited and updated for the current Tor mass-market paperback. It’s still a lot more fun than it has a right to be.

This is a first contact story with some very enjoyable twists. The aliens are good guys that look like large blobs of Jello and stink. They stink a LOT. Although they can hear sounds and see in our visible light spectrum, their main form of communication is olfactory. They can speak and hear smells. Most of these smells stink to humans.

That is just the setup for a humorous read that actually had me laughing out loud on several occasions. The aliens are not dumb. They have been studying us for years and know that despite their good intentions, most humans will just be grossed out at first sight. They decide they need a Hollywood agent to help get the word out and establish good public relations.

If you are looking for a fun read that will leave you with some memorable images and a huge smile, then pick up a copy of Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi.

Happy Holidays!

Another Four-Star Review!

December 10, 2010

Shifter Born, the first in the Shifter Series from Red Rose Publications, just got another great review from Tony-Paul.

Shifter Born is actually two novellas, published in one volume, and an enjoyable one it is, too.

Thanks, Tony!

note: This review contains a bunch of spoilers!

Shifter Born Review

December 4, 2010

I just got this review of the first book in my shifter series, Shifter Born from Marie Beau.

– – –

I have long been a lover of shifter stories and this is definitely a good one.

Anthony Stevens has a wonderful, lyrical way of writing that made me feel like I was there in the firelight listening to the priest’s rolling Irish brogue. And his imagery allowed me to see the clearing, and feel the close quarters of the motor homes. Beyond description, he made me feel like I was there watching and listening.┬áThe hunt is great – a true action scene, start to finish, full of moral and ethical choices along the way.

Marcie’s guidance of Sam, leading him to an understanding of what he is, is very well done. The uncertainty and insecurity quivers in his words and actions, making him real.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, but what a cliffhanger! Where’s the next one, Anthony?

Marie Beau
Wolf!
Release date: 10/1/2010
Whispers Publishing
http://www.whispershome.com/
http://www.authormariebeau.blogspot.com/

Free Holiday Projects

December 4, 2010

Recently, I’ve gotten very involved with cardstock modeling. One of my projects is making a holiday ornament or three out of cheap cardstock I run through my inkjet printer.

There are many sites on the web that offers free downloads that you can print, cut out and assemble. It you’re a teacher, these kits make great classroom projects. Here’s a few links to get you started.

Canon Printers has a huge collection of free paper art downloads:

http://cp.c-ij.com/en/contents/1006/

Here’s the Christmas collection from Delta 7 Studios:

http://www.delta7studios.com/santasshop.htm

The more advanced paper modeler (or less lucid) might wish to give this project a try:

http://amoebabloke.deviantart.com/art/steampunk-x-wing-kit-download-90228186

Advice, tips and links to thousands of models can be found on the PaperModelers Forum:

http://www.papermodelers.com/

I hope this gets your creative juices flowing!

May you and yours enjoy a happy and safe holiday season!