Jan. 9th, 2012

alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
I went over to Barnes & Noble to make sure that a review I thought I'd posted there was there, and I found it had been blocked for "inappropriate content."


Considering I apologize for saying "D*****t" when I do, this would be amusing. Except they may also have removed the other review I wrote for a friend's books. Which suggests that someone doesn't want them to have reviews? Here's the review. Anyone have a suggestion what's wrong? It's not too long -- I was going to put it up in a shorter form when I thought I'd missed them as a venue, until the message came up.

No, of course these is no contact number or email to ask them what they think is wrong. But Northlight is a great book, and I want as many reviews as possible up for it. So your opinion is solicited.

If I was to sum this story up in one sentence, I would say that Northlight is a tale about the many forms of love, regret, and second chances.

Kardith the Ranger is an exiled woman of the steppes who has found a home and a purpose working as a border ranger for the country of Laurea on the planet Harth. When we meet her, she is in a panic, half-killing her beloved hill pony as she tries to reach the capital city in time to get permission to search for her partner, the Ranger Aviyya, who has gone missing in the badlands. Laurea is on the verge of war with the northern barbarians, and Kardith's superiors will not allow any ranger to go off on a fruitless rescue mission.

Kardith has a slim hope she can convince their beloved leader Pateros to give her that permission -- partly because her partner Avi is the daughter of a powerful government official, a woman who saw her people through a great plague and now tries to moderate the military's influence on their peaceful land. Kardith's hope fails when a would-be assassin strikes Pateros, leaving the capital in chaos.

As it turns out, Kardith has one person who believes in her and will help her. Avi's brother Terricel has grown up into a young man dangling at loose ends, relegated to his mother's shadow, his own future as a scholar threatened by his mother's power and fame.

Terricel wants to help Kardith and the sister he remembers fondly. He's smothered by his mother's protection, and worried that something is rotten in Laurea -- something that the assassin's appearance reveals is ripening. Ever since he was a child, Terr has been uncomfortable in the great hall of the government, prone to "spells" that amuse those who feel nothing strange about the building. Terr has done all he can to help his mother hold the government -- now, it's time to make new choices.

Terr's a person who notices things -- like Kardith's awareness of something "wrong" before the assassin even struck. Kardith has a talent for recognizing breakers -- the heart of a group, the focus of energy, the end point of a chain of events.

Together they will discover conspiracy at home, secrets beyond belief and a future poised on the brink of disaster. Where do you go when you need answers, when myth may actually be history, and some kinds of progress may destroy an entire civilization? The barbarians go to Northlight -- and in the end, so will Kardith and Terricel.

The story starts with the Ranger, and this was a brilliant choice. Kardith's status as outsider turned Ranger, her hyper-aware training and her innate abilities are what tells you that something is rotten in the system -- and keeps you looking beneath the surface at every point. Things seem to take a breath once you reach Laurea and Ter's POV, but not really. Look closely -- it's a fine watchworks moving with precision. Although the world is old and layered, the weight of it is light. We learn only what we need to know, even as other glimpses intrigue.

You will not forget the POV characters, or the others who help and hinder them on their quest.

alfreda89: (Cat Magic)
Ursula has always been chosen by a cat or two, never chosen them. She went in search of one, and sure enough, a cat found her.
alfreda89: (Winter_Mette's Glogg)
This article is based on a one-month “test diet change” plan I concocted for a friend back in January 2011 and posted at www.blog.bookviewcafe.com. Here’s a tweaked version for my personal blog readers.

How food, diet, and dieting affected my writing and my life. And maybe effects yours...

Here’s my current theory on gluten-free “snackage.” Have something to fill most gaps in your snack cravings, and then consciously work to eat them slowly -- that's much, much slower than you normally go through something. At the least, you are trying to heal your body of an overload of gluten. At the worst? You have actual gluten damage that has messed with your digestion and slowed your ability to absorb nutrients. Remember that you may actually eat less once you stop eating gluten. Your stomach may be happy with less.
Choices, choices )
May this list get you through your next snack attack. Now, it’s your turn to share munching secrets. Help us out! I’m trusting I don’t have to tell you that fresh veggies and fruit are all right. What else do you like to munch on when you have a snack attack? Popcorn? (Remember to make your own – don’t trust a self-contained popcorn packet unless you read the label.) Sorghum popcorn? Tell all!


Katharine Eliska Kimbriel is currently working on a new Alfreda book, a contemporary fantasy series about a curse, and a few other things as well. You can find links to her major ebook vendors through Backlist eBooks.

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