860 Following

Debbie's Spurts

Just an avid reader. Mostly SF/Fantasy, some hobbies, paranormal, urban fantasy and lighter, fluffier things.


Currently reading

Martians Abroad: A Novel
Carrie Vaughn
Progress: 65 %
Law and Murder (Fright Court) (Volume 2)
Mindy Klasky
Witches With the Enemy
Barb Hendee
A Darker Shade of Magic
V.E. Schwab
Sins of Empire
Brian McClellan
Heart of Venom
Jennifer Estep
Progress: 100 %
Magic in the Shadows
Devon Monk
Progress: 100 %
Star Witch
Helen Harper
Progress: 100 %
Spirit Witch
Helen Harper
Progress: 100 %
Sarah Zettel
Progress: 100 %

Favorite Book Quotes

"Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake"— Lois McMaster Bujold







Surprise! A Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon in July...

Source: http://iwww.24hourreadathon.com

Phone Scams Continue to be a Serious Threat, Remain on IRS “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams

Just FYI for U.S. folk -- that's the IRS link about some scams; can report via email to phishing@irs.gov (and I did send the recording of a threatening voicemail I got to that email with a reply back that it was received but that due to volume unlikely to get a followup from IRS and the IRS does not contact people by email so any emails purportedly from IRS should be forwarded to report the phishing attempt.) 


IRS notes in linked article:

"The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams as scam artists threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things. The IRS reminds taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during any filing season.


"Taxpayers across the nation face a deluge of these aggressive phone scams. Don't be fooled by callers pretending to be from the IRS in an attempt to steal your money," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We continue to say if you are surprised to be hearing from us, then you're not hearing from us.”

"There are many variations. The caller may threaten you with arrest or court action to trick you into making a payment,” Koskinen added. “Some schemes may say you're entitled to a huge refund. These all add up to trouble. Some simple tips can help protect you."..."

Not book related but I just got annoyed by a voicemail on my cellphone that chopped off the start, then what sounded like automated female voice saying my lack of response over the past few months meant I was guilty of fraud and now being sued by U.S. government; calling that phone number from a public phone gets some guy speaking broken English saying is IRS (no department, title, etc.) and launching into asking me contact/personal details then hanging up when I ask to verify he is IRS and what extension I should punch in going from the 800 number on irs website to get back to him.


Sheesh, I'm not even sure the government normally sues people versus pressing charges, filing liens, issuing warrants, etc.


Betcha I'd immediately contact the folk behind tax software used if I ever did get a valid contact from IRS.  I haven't moved or provided alternate addresses to IRS where they couldn't have mailed me something over the past six months.


Just annoying today -- but, a very threatening phone that I can see being more upsetting and definitely attempting to scare people.



Source: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/phone-scams-continue-to-be-a-serious-threat-remain-on-irs-dirty-dozen-list-of-tax-scams-for-the-2016-filing-season

Reading progress 65%.

Martians Abroad: A Novel - Carrie Vaughn

"Especially considering the gravity situation. I would have thought underground would be easier. Not as far to fall as from those tall buildings. But apparently they liked that sunshine thing. Wimps...


I still felt naked without my breathing mask. What if the air ran out? However much my brain knew it wouldn’t, my gut wasn’t so sure."

Reading progress 56%.

Martians Abroad: A Novel - Carrie Vaughn

Some mixed feelings about this one.  Well-written.  There are moments it's good SF -- where you get glimpses of future and extraplanetory pieces that do contribute well to the atmosphere.  The story isn't that interesting (other than the premise) at past the halfway mark.  I think it's because the plot has basically gone into teenagers and cliches in an academy for the special territory.  And I have yet to like any of the characters.

"I resisted an urge to find a fire extinguisher and put them all out—it would have been my first impulse at home. Open flame and artificial atmospheres didn’t go well together...


They were so casual about the air here."

Reading progress: 2%.

Martians Abroad: A Novel - Carrie Vaughn

"Charles was usually too smart to get caught when he did things like hack a mining rover or borrow gene-splicing lab equipment to engineer blue strawberries just to see if he could."

Reading progress 31%.

Martians Abroad: A Novel - Carrie Vaughn

"On top of that, the keys were helpfully labeled with numbers that matched the cycles’ ID plates. It was like someone wanted me to borrow one."

Going into a reboot of a fave

Martians Abroad: A Novel - Carrie Vaughn

I've waffled back and forth over whether or not I wanted to read this reboot of Podkayne of Mars - Robert A. Heinlein  (a preteen favorite).


Not sure I want it "messed with.". Oh, the original reads dated now with sexist nuances missed back then (think blinking eyelashes to get your way and the chick being the one stuck changing diapers in zero g) while reading of a female in space who does things, thinks things, has goals and keeps her humanity/compassion even around adults with political agendas.  The original Poddy is still a charming character and the space details still interesting.


This one by the author of the Kitty Norville series has renamed her "Polly," ditched all the family except Mom and now a twin brother "Charles."  Opens on Mars:

"Dust flew behind me, and I crouched over the handlebars, sucking air through my mask, blinking behind my goggles."

Almost had time today to update my booklikes ...

,,,well, I'm not sure if I'm ashamed or proud that on my booklikes page I finally replaced the 2017 reading challenge with this year's.  (In my defense, most of my devices won't use the booklikes edit menus and it takes me a while to get back home to the desktop that will.)


I had good intentions of adding progresses and reviews (where my currently reading shows a book at 100%, I've actually finished the book).  And to read more posts.  Engage in more conversations ...


Next week looks like should be busy as well.  Partly some fun Fourth of July stuff.  Partly appointments for boring stuff I've been putting off (like an airbag recall meaning I have an appointment to take a car to the dealer). 


The contractors I was expecting last Monday, then last Tuesday, then Wednesday, then on Thursday called to say Friday they couldn't make because of heat index but would be here Saturday ... I'm assuming tomorrow they'll show up or I'll get a call rescheduling (actually, they were first scheduled to do the work back in April for Pete's sake)?  Not sure if sucks for them or for me because the inspection is being done tomorrow afternoon before they get final payment.  And all the gutters are missing -- not wrong, just that they took the old ones down and have yet to come back to install new ones.  My roof and soffit work are exactly as I wanted at least (then again, roof not leaking, shingles matching materials I got billed for and sofft's not falling down were pretty much all I wanted).


Did I miss a change in grammar rules?

If so, it wouldn't be the first time.  I took a long time to catch on to new rules for things like semicolons.


I've been noticing so very many books lately that use or omit articles (a, an and the) in ways that are odd to me.  I also see it happening with small words like to, be, and at.


At first, I thought it was just a few books.  Possibly just an author or translator not a native speaker of language in which book was published.  Possibly just the indies because I was cleaning off a lot of older downloads and trying out some kindle unlimited offerings.  


But, I've been paying more attention.  Even books from favorite, traditionally published authors seem odd.


Meaning a phrase I think should be "...needs to be done ..."  might be in book as "...needs to done..." or "...needs be to be done..." type of things.


UPDATE:  I'll update as I remember more or spot new examples.


• "...on a such a task..." - I think has extra "a" article

• "...ate like man..."  - I think has omitted "a" article


Reblogged from Carpe Librum

Fighting Erasure: Women SF Writers of the 1970s, Part VIII

The land behind the world - Anne Spencer Parry Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson Gifts of Blood - Susan C. Petrey Doom Patrol (1987-1995) #65 - Rachel Pollack, Richard Case, Linda Medley Unquenchable Fire - Rachel Pollack The Ghost Drum - Susan Price

Another entry in the series over on publisher TOR's site.

Source: http://www.tor.com/2018/06/18/fighting-erasure-women-sf-writers-of-the-1970s-part-viii

Today I have a new kindle Oasis and am getting a new roof

I badly needed new roof.  Lots of rain delays in the attempted scheduling.  A surprising number of folk who didn't even come out to estimate (I think all the rain had everyone swamped -- pun intended).  With nearly triple-digit heat index (Fahrenheit), I don't blame this crew for wanting to show up almost before sunrise (plus the furbabies insistently have us up for breakfast before then) -- but, I got surprised because two hours earlier than the very recent phone call told me.  


It's been nonstop hammering.


Which will be either good for trying out my just arrived Oasis as a distraction or bad for it if it gives me a headache.  Probably any headache won't be as bad as the ones I got listening to bidders patronize the little lady (in my home, granted, my husband is handyman but in my entire family I'm the handiest and I have certified skills in some construction work--neither of us are healthy enough now to be up on ladders but decades ago could have done the work ourselves).


The Oasis I got because hopefully will have some pool/beach time with money I should be getting from some work projects.  Waterproof sounded good as did audio added back.   Not a big audiobook reader but I liked having audio on kindles pre-Paperwhite for the occasional audiobook, text to speech, and my MP3 music files.   It's lighter weight and I do see some display improvements (more font and size options including, thankfully, an option to do a larger text for menus).  Sleek/slicker feeling than my other kindles which I think is just a difference rather than good or bad.  Don't care for the sharper edges.  Seems lighter weight.  Responsive.  And almost got sent back until I found out how to change the home screen in settings back to my library of books with text list of current reads first (came with a screen more than two thirds taken up by Amazon recommended for me bookcovers and a text list of books on my wishlist with a rlarger bookcover of my most recent download/purchase and a menu choice to go to my library).  I loathe having bookcovers showing on kindle home screen; mostly because fewer books show and the title says/authors not always clear in the greyscale thumbnails.  Partly because despite not reading a lot of "embarrassing" books it's usually employers, clients or strangers when traveling that would see that screen and I don't want the conversation or the judgment (so not into any genre bashing ).


With the roofing, in addition to rain delays, there were some initial in-laws-want-me-to-hire-courtesy/obligation-interviews with odd quotes -- or lack of quotes, one of their guys never would quote me about the roof but was oddly determined to give me newer, enlarged back door and to do a total kitchen remake to show his drywall plus cabinet/carpentry skills, another in-law was basically wanting to borrow all our tools for all his upcoming projects, have us buy his license, pay for his insurance, buy him a trailer for hauling off debris, take more than a month while prepaying him $1K per week to oversee the crew we would hire and the materials we would buy and have delivered ...basically we would be buying him a business without actually getting the contractual benefits venture capitalists or investors get plus he would be doing zero work other than overseeing those actually working and we would be packing up and driving the debris to the dump ourselves in the trailer we bought for him ...).  We do home maintenance one of three ways:  ourselves if possible, companies we've used before or worked with, or very well papered, licensed, certified, trade and better business organization members with good reputations type of strangers.


I think the carpentry new-boyfriend-of-inlaw focused guy just wanted to do a project for us to get us on his recommendations because our local involvements in some construction stuff make a rec from one of us a careerbuilder.  But he really gave me a headache talking endlessly about fixing one patch of ceiling dry wall and continually explaining the process to me.  I gave up telling him that as  soon as roof leak was fixed Imwould patch it myself because he just never heard and started everything with how I didn't wouldn't know something and how great he was at ..l


The $1K a week to over see a project for over a month guy -- sheesh.  Kept being late and rescheduled a lot just to quote.  Roofing on our average home with plain roof with a good crew after supplies in place won't take a whole 8 hours.  And cost a quarter of what he'd already mentioned before even getting to to total quote which he never gave us...


So far, I like the roofers we got.  I have deeply offended a lot of relatives by using this company and keep getting dire warning phone calls about how I'm being taken advantage of because their guys would have been cheaper and should hire family first ( and apparently also boyfriends of family even if unemployed boyfriend only met a few weeks ago and clearly has never been up on a roof in his life and has zero references ...).

Reading progress: 14%.

Reclamation - Sarah Zettel

The world building is getting really good.  Along the lines of just who is the alien with a good sense of several cultures.


So far, the characters are somewhat mysterious with backgrounds steadily being filled in.  M.C., Eric, has been so busy escaping captors while rescuing a new captive that I cannot yet tell if I like him.  An intriguing back story so far.


Sort of new to me author.  I have read some bits and pieces and samples from her.  Always planned to read.

This month's free ebook from TOR (Macmillan) -- last 24 hours to get free

A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab

Yay!  I got my email for this one without signing up still yet again.  Maybe (I say maybe because it looked more like the usual newsletter which had a blurb about free ebook than the ebook notice I used to get).


Boo!  Says was made available June 12 and can only download through June 15.  But, I just got the email.


At any rate, hurry up to download  from https://ebookclub.tor.com/ .  To see publisher's details on book - https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780765376466 



30 Books that are better the second time a


Source: http://blog.hpb.com/2013/10/25/2013102530-books-that-are-better-the-second-time-around-html

Not for me ...

Missy the Werecat (Volume 1) - P G Allison

This was a random Kindle Unlimited borrow that I abandoned before giving it a decent chance.  No egregious editing issues or anything.  Possibly of more appeal to  middle grade readers (main character is 13).  Character age not the issue for me.   I did have an issue with how curiously detached the writing/story seemed.  The sentence structuring was also wearing on my nerves where I doubt this writer's style would appeal to me.


Current bookcover is misleading with such an adult looking female: