A Slice of Orange


Bookseller’s Corner

September 29, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

The Bob and I

I want to tell you about OCC’s October speaker, or rather his books. I was first introduced to Elvis Cole and Joe Pike in 1987. A friend of mine who is also a bookseller said he had just read a new author in paperback mysteries and his name was Robert Crais.

I ordered The Monkey’s Raincoat–Yeah, a funny title, but I almost didn’t read it because the main character’s name was Elvis. I don’t know why but that was too cute, but I took Jim’s advice and I am so glad I did. Here was a new voice in mystery fiction and he spoke to me in a way that I understood. I could hear his dialogue in my head. Elvis was young and very cool. He was sexy and funny and he liked women. Well, The Monkey’s Raincoat went on to win all sorts of awards and Robert “The Bob” Crais became a big time famous author and I wait for the drop date of every book he writes.

I have been “stalking” RC in the nicest sort of way since the early nineties and he has never disappointed. When Bobbie took over as Program Director and asked us for a wish list, Robert Crais was first on my list.


Take my advice and read The Monkey’s Raincoat and all the rest of his books. I have handed his books to hundreds of people over the years and I can honestly say I’ve never had a complaint. I recommend that you read the Elvis/Joe books in order because Elvis and Joe grow as characters and Robert Crais grows as an author and he was great to begin with.

Happy Reading,
Michelle Thorne
OCC/RWA Bookseller
RWA Bookseller of the Year 1998

2 0 Read more

A Fantasy Life

September 27, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

By Janet Cornelow Quinn

When Michelle Thorne asked me to blog on the OCC site, I was thrilled. Then I get this email in the middle of the week saying I needed a title. No one said I had to have a title. I have a problem with titles. I have two short stories and two books that are in desperate need of titles. Not only did I need a title, but I needed one right then. In a state of panic, A Fantasy Life came to me.

After all, isn’t that what we do as writers? We “play god” and create characters, settings and problems to be solved. We create fantasy lives.

On the other side, I have moved into writing fantasy. My first fantasy novel comes out in February. It’s called THE ENCHANTED HAWK. I’ve written time travel novels, which are in the realm of fantasy, but with time travel I’m only breaking the rules of time and space as I move a character through them. I still have to adhere to the laws of physics and the realities of history. There is only so much leeway for breaking rules.

With real fantasy, I can create my own laws of physics and don’t have to pay any attention to history. I can create a medieval feeling without having to be totally accurate. In THE ENCHANTED HAWK, I have polymorphic beings (shape shifters). The heroine can become as small as a mouse or as large as a dragon – a very large ragon. I can ignore the law of conservation of mass.

In my world of Augeas, long-lived, magical beings exist beside humans. (Augeas is done in short stories.) They have various magical abilities, most of them to do with mind control. Mixed in are the humans who have only normal abilities. Rayna is a warrior, trained with sword, dagger and bow and arrows, to protect her lady. She has no special ability, but a great deal of loyalty and a thirst for revenge.

The thing with fantasy, however, is that whatever rules of physics I make up, I have to follow them. I can’t suddenly change them because I decide I want to do something else. This requires copious notes to make sure everything stays the same. My shape shifters can’t turn into a mouse one time, then not be able to the next time. Also, the color of the animal is tied to the color of the hair, so if Brylyn turns into a hawk, it’s always a red hawk. Every animal she turns into is red.

In Augeas, those who have magical powers can only use those magical powers that they possess. A character can’t read minds one moment and then three pages later not be able to do so. Unless the character faces another character who can block his power.

So enjoy your fantasy life.

Drawings by Jasmine Tanner, veildandy.deviantart.com


Available now by Janet Quinn at her website: http://www.janet-quinn.com/

WHISKEY SHOTS Vol 7 from Whiskey Creek Press,

Available from Whiskey Creek Press

Available at Amber Quill Press

1 0 Read more

The Whole Story

September 26, 2007 by in category Archives

by Sara Black

Perhaps it’s the cold given to me by a recent house guest, but I’m feeling a low on both Pop and Culture, so this month’s post will follow suit.

Last night I was relaxing in bed and enjoying the premier of season two of Heroes (there’s the pop culture part!) when a news spot comes on and a woman starts talking about this house that has been sitting on the shoulder of the 101 for over a week, complete with footage.

“Hey-” I start even as the boyfriend’s eyes widen.

“That’s our house!” He says.

Back to the beginning. I’m at my writing spot waiting for the words to pour forth when this horrible jackhammer noise starts up. It sounds like it’s right outside my window but it’s actually across the street. They’re finally getting rid of the house that has had the notice of demolition sign up since we moved into our apartment three years ago. Soon we’ll have ‘affordable’ condos there instead.

Only, despite some very vigorous jackhammering and other intrusive construction noises, the house doesn’t actually appear to be getting demolished. Then one day, when I pull on my sweater and decide to take one of those clarifying walks, when I stop short in front of my apartment. There is a house parked across the street. I pull out my cell phone and take a picture.

Then retreat back into my apartment, not prepared to deal with the kind of world where a house is parked across the street. Later I peer out long enough to see that it’s gone, and figure that’s the end of the madness.

But when I join my boyfriend in the car that night to go out for dinner, we see the house, now down the block and parked at the end of the cul-d-sac, two police cars parked outside. We try not to stare, but it’s hard not to. We’re almost disappointed when we get back and the police are gone, though the house is still there.

And it stays there for at least a week and a half. Prompting various guests to greet me with: “You know there’s a house parked down the street from you, right?” And a series of jokes about real estate and the new neighbors.

It goes on long enough that we have almost forgotten about it until we’re in the car again, miles from home. The traffic report drones on underneath our conversation, but during a pause in conversation I hear a warning about the 101. Traffic is jammed for miles, and has been for hours, thanks to a house lodged in a freeway underpass. Startled, I ask the boy if he’s heard that and then have to repeat the whole story to him.

“Think that’s our house?”

“How many houses can there be moving around Los Angeles on any given day?” He asks.

Sure enough, the house was no longer down the street. I looked online to see if there are any pictures, but traffic in LA isn’t a big enough story. A week later though, after I see the spot on the news, I can find dozens of pictures that confirm that it is my house (okay, the one from across the street) lodged underneath the freeway. I can understand the distinction, a house in the middle of a residential street for a week is nothing to write home about, sticking out into 101 for too long and the LA Times will take notice.

For more information on this strange debacle, just google “house 101 Freeway”.

Sara Black has a degree in Cinema/Television from USC. She watches far too much television, eats way too much sushi and is always writing a romance novel. This is the sixth in a series of posts on Pop Culture.

She lives somewhere in Santa Monica and now occasionally worries about waking up in the middle of a freeway.

1 0 Read more

Every Breath You Take

September 25, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

by Lori Pyne

As I look at my long to-do list, I can feel my shoulders tensing, my stomach clenching and a headache lurking. Even if I forego sleep, I doubt I’ll finish the must-do, much less the really important stuff. I take a deep breath and exhale. I then stop my spinning thoughts and take another deep breath. I hold that breath and slowly release it. Some of my tension seeps away.

I draw in another breath and the image of a family friend crosses my mind. Deep breathing isn’t one of Cathy’s stress busters. Since her birth, Cathy has fought for her every breath. Cathy does not let her cystic fibrosis control her life. She’s received advanced degrees, works at a day job and exercises. Yes, exercises. Each difficult step after difficult step for three miles everyday.

Of course, she has to be in shape in case a lung is found for her. There’s motivation.

I draw in another deep breath. This list of mine suddenly doesn’t seem as impossible as it did just a moment before. I take another deep breath and start working.

Lori Pyne is a member of OCC, and a multi-tasking volunteer. She is currently serving as one of our Online Class Moderators, Guest Reception Coordinator and Coordinator for the Book Buyers’ Best Contest for published authors. She is married with one son, and works full time for an entertainment law firm.

1 0 Read more

Did is a word of achievement.

September 24, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as
Did is a word of achievement.
Won’t is a word of retreat.
Might is a word of bereavement.
Can’t is a word of defeat.
Ought is a word of duty.
Try is a word of each hour.
Will is a word of beauty.
Can is a word of power.

All things are possible when we learn to come from faith instead of doubt, from love instead of fear, from plenty instead of “not enough,” and from the strength of “can do” instead of the weakness of “woe is me.”

– author unknown
0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM