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Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff


March 2015

AWRW Interview of Paranormal Urban Fantasy Author: Marigold Deidre Dicer

A Well Read Woman

Welcome, everyone!

Marigold Deidre Dicer has been reading since she fell in love with Enid Blyton’s mysteries at the tender age of eight years old. She began writing full length stories at fifteen years old, and the novelty hasn’t worn off. 🙂 Please welcome paranormal urban fantasy author, Marigold Deidre Dicer, to A Well Read Woman blog! I encourage everyone to leave her  a supportive comment!

Hi Marigold. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed on A Well Read Woman Blog! Please, tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Well, I’ve gone back to uni to become a high school teacher, since my career in geology didn’t… ugh… let’s just say working in a literal hole wasn’t the dream job I hoped it would be. I’ve always loved reading, way, way back to the hungry, hungry caterpillar days, though Enid Blyton was the first author whose books I…

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Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction Hannu Rajaniemi – On Netgalley

I received the OK to read and review. Will let you know what I think.

I haven’t read William Gibson recently – but Hannu may just get me back on the hard science fiction track. The book is available from Netgalley – click the cover to go to the NG page. I requested it. It usually takes a few days to get a “yes” or “no” from Netgalley.


“A storytelling skill rarely found from even the most experienced authors.”
Library Journal

“Hard to admit, but I think he’s better at this stuff than I am.”
—Charles Stross, author of Accelerando and The Rapture of the Nerds

Inside the firewall the city is alive. Buildings breathe, cars attack, angels patrol, and hyperintelligent pets rebel.

With unbridled invention and breakneck adventure, Hannu Rajaniemi is on the cutting-edge of science fiction. His post-apocalyptic, post-cyberpunk, and post-human tales are full of exhilarating energy and unpredictable optimism. Whether the next big step in technology is 3D printing, genetic alteration, or unlimited space travel, Rajaniemi writes about what happens after.

Tachyon Publications

Publishing May 12, 2015


Advance Praise

Praise for Hannu Rajaniemi

“Writing that’s striking, evocative…. Thoughtful, hard, densely realised and highly patterned, there’s nothing quite like it in contemporary SF”
The Guardian

“Rajaniemi is a virtuoso idea-smith, with a flair for stylish imagery and clever literary architecture.”
Strange Horizons
“With his challenging, intellectual high-wire-balancing-act novels, Hannu Rajaniemi is definitely a body thief supreme.”
Barnes &

Praise for The Quantum Thief

“Spectacularly and convincingly inventive, assured and wholly spellbinding: one of the most impressive debuts in years.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A stellar debut.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Rajaniemi has spectacularly delivered on the promise that this is likely to be the most important SF novel we’ll see this year.”

NetGalley Members Say…

Ralph Blackburn

Recommends This Book Strongly

Hannu Rajaniemi exploded on the international Science Fiction scene with the publication of THE QUANTUM THIEF and its predecessors involving the exploits of Jean Le Flambeur in a Post-Singularity future. But before this awesome event, Rajaniemi had steadily been publishing short stories of the quantum future in his native Finland and adopted Scotland. Here are the bulk of those stories, and they are quite something different indeed. This is not your father’s Science Fiction, no, and to describe it as “Hard Science Fiction” is misleading. This is ultra hard and mesmerizingly adroit writing, that reminds one of the first time encounter with William Gibson or Bruce Sterling at the beginning of Cyberpunk. So different and intoxicating in structure and idea. In fact, the ideas fly so fast and furious, you find yourself turning back to earlier passages to solidify your connection to the writing. There are seventeen award-worthy stories here and then it gets even stranger, for Rajaniemi began writing Twitter stories( 140 characters or less!) and explains this and includes multiple examples. Some people will be put off by the dense writing and the scatter-shot barrage of concepts, but if you are looking for something intriguing and are willing to work a little- the future is yours

Brooke Gessner

Recommends This Book Yes

A wonderful, bizarre, cyberpunk-ish, post-human collection of short stories. Not all of the stories shine, and often I was left wanting more, but overall, a delightful, thought-provoking collection. This was my first introduction to Hannu Rajaniemi, and I will definitely be seeking out more.

Once Upon A Fairy Tale: A Collection of 11 Fairy Tale Inspired Romances – An Anthology

Once upon a time the world was sweeter than we knew. Everything was ours; how happy we were then, but then once upon a time never comes again. – Johnny Mercer

I’m not a happy-ending person. I want to know what happens once Cinderella rides off with Prince Charming. – Melissa Joan Hart


Danielle Monsch, Cate Rowan, Jennifer Lewis, Jeannie Lin, Nadia Lee, Dee Carney

Romantic Geek Publishing
Pub Date   Mar 3 2015

We always want the happy ending. Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, The Frog Prince. We all want a Fairy Godmother, you know how it goes.

Once Upon A Fairy Tale tells the stories again – only not in the way we expect them. Of course, Grimm’s original stories weren’t as we think (the stepsisters cut off their toes to try to fit into the glass slipper, you know) but these stories are quirky and strange, funny and twisted, and a great lot of fun! Here, Little Red Riding Hood wears the cloak because it really does hide those nasty stains from being married to a vampire. And being arrested by the Fairy Tale Police for kidnapping Beauty and being a Fairy Tale Killer, (I didn’t do it!!) makes it a really bad day for Melinda Lightfoot. These twisted tales are a hoot, and such great fun to read. For everyone who loves fairy tales, but knows that living with Prince Charming after the wedding doesn’t always mean “Happily Ever After” I highly recommend it!

Once upon a Time, in a Kingdom that was just a little twisted…

This oh-so-funny anthology is well worth a happy Sunday of tea and giggles!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own, and I really enjoyed it.

Review: The Soldier’s E-Mail Order Bride by Cora Seton

21845866I have been reading some silly stuff this weekend – when I can’t sleep, sometimes the simple is the way to go – like with “The Soldier’s E-Mail Order Bride (Heroes of Chance Creek Series Book 1). Not that romance is ‘silly’, just that I have been doing the ‘serious’ thing for a while, so some lighthearted reading has been just the ticket for the weekend.

This book by Cora Seton made me laugh – hard. As in, I nearly dropped my reader in the tub, and drowned myself at that, laughing so hard!  This is somewhat of a trope – the mail order bride thing. Of course, updated for a modern ‘mail order’. The degree of humour in this book has it on my “watch for these” list.

The Hall brothers grew up at “Crescent Hall” on the Hall Ranch in Chance Creek, Montana. Until, that is, their amazing, loving father dies without warning. Suddenly they find themselves and their devastated mother stuck in Florida, their beloved ranch passed to their father’s brother, Uncle Zeke. Not that Zeke knows what to do with the ranch – other than let it run down. Now, Zeke is dead, and to keep the ranch from his useless son Darren, Great Aunt Heloise has decided to turn the ranch over to the boys – as long as they are married, and at least one new wife is pregnant, within the year. Kind of hard when each of the four brothers are in the military and posted in Afghanistan. What to do? Well, run an ad, of course – just like in the 1800’s when newspaper ads asked for mail order brides for cowboys, these cowboys need to find brides as well. Only, Afghanistan is quite a bit farther away from Montana. . .so brother Lieutenant Commander Mason Hall as put together an ad, and Colt, his youngest brother, and Zane and Austin, the twins, need to follow along – – whether they like it or not. And especially in Colt’s case, the not is the thing. An Air Force combat controller, Colt intends to remain in the Air Force, whether Mason wishes it or not. Zane and Austin are amenable – but since Mason is getting out first, the weight falls on him.

Regan Anderson is making huge changes in her life. She has quit her boring banking job to start a new non profit consulting job. She has moved into a tiny studio from her nice apartment in New York, and now she has her life planned out – including having a baby on her own, raising it on her own, and forget dating for the next 18-years. Of course, when she sees the ad on Facebook while watching her favorite movie, Pride and Prejudice, while celebrating her new life with wine (and then, when the wine runs out, tequila) she can’t resist answering the ad in the language of Jane Austin (and this is where I nearly dropped my reader in the tub laughing so hard I could barely breath). The things we do when we are on the sauce, right? Of course, her letter is hysterical, and completely meant as a joke – surely the hottie hot hotties in the ad aren’t really doing something so ridiculous – it has to be a scam! But hey, “In short, you are really hot. I’d like to lick you.” as the last line of her letter is the proper response to an ad that asks for Skills required-any or all of the following: Riding, roping, construction, animal care, roofing, farming, market gardening, cooking, cleaning, metalworking, small motor repair. . .

If you want a funny romance, that has not only humour but some really great serious parts as well, I recommend it. I read Seton’s original stories “The Cowboys of Chance Creek” and they were good, but I am looking forward to reading more of “The Heroes of Chance Creek” if they are as humourous and this one was – and in other places, so serious and thoughtful.


Review: Art Quilts Of The Midwest by Linzee Kull McCray

23309912I remember when it happened. In 1971 The Whitney Museum of American Art did something that sat the “Art World” on its ear. They displayed quilts in a museum setting: Abstract Design in American Quilts “bestowed institutional recognition of the artistry inherent in these humble textiles.”

Quilts have existed, literally, throughout history. While they are made from fabric, and therefore examples are hard to find before Roman times, scraps from that period have been found in digs. The Middle Ages hold many examples of quilted fabrics being used under the metal armor used by knights to shield their bodies from sharp edges and protect them from blows against the metal.

As a child, I remember quilts in wedding chests and on beds in country homes. They were often cherished and handed down by families. I also remember seeing exquisitely hand stitched quilts thrown in the trunks of cars by uncaring family members, and used under cars for changing oil. Quilts often, literally, “got no respect.”

I remember my first quilt show, at the local county fair. I worked for hours on end to stitch a Bargello quilt in all shades of reds. I very carefully chose all my fabrics, carefully matching thread colours to blend, not only to my top but to the floral background I oh-so-very-carefully chose to go with the top. I was soooo proud of that quilt!

Imagine my dismay when the judge, an elderly woman with a tight, lemon-pucker face, said, “You know, you could have won, if you hand just used the proper thread. Quilts are always quilted with WHITE thread!” As I looked at my much loved quilt, I gave up in tears. White thread?!?! All you would see would be the thread!! It would totally take away from my quilt! I gave my quilt away, and didn’t quilt again for years.

A few of the quilts hanging in the Whitney

Things have changed since then. Quilts ARE Art! And isn’t it wonderful? What used to be three layers of fabric (COTTON ONLY!!) batting (COTTON ONLY) and fabric (COTTON ONLY) bound together by thread (WHITE cotton only) to be shown only at the county fair, if you showed them at all, have now become magnificent art forms. And Art Quilts of the Midwest Linzee Kull McCray showcases the works of many of the premiere quilt artists of today. As a writer covering textiles, art, and craft, Linzee Kull McCray wondered just how deeply fiber artists were influenced by their surroundings. Focusing on midwestern art quilters in particular, she put out a call for entries and nearly 100 artists responded; they were free to define those aspects of midwesterness that most affected their work. Just as with any other art form, these artists are influenced by their surroundings, their time period, and their materials, much like the quilters of Gees Bend, Alabama were influenced by theirs. From the functional to the fantastic these 100

The stunning asymmetry and colour use of one of the Gee’s Bend Quilts. All the quilts are made of ‘found’ or cast off fabrics, worn clothing, feed sacks and sometimes, just sometimes, purchased fabrics.


artists work in fiber, certainly, but how they handle their materials is wide-ranging and exciting. All sorts of fibers are used – but how it is handled is deeply based in the idea of quilt as art. From new ways to utilize symmetry and repetition to new forms of dying, painting, uses of three dimensional forms and uses of non-fiber materials such as metals and jewels, the old has become new again, while still hearkening back to its historical roots, philosophy and culture.

Sewing a Quilt. Gee’s Bend, Alabama
Sewing a Quilt. Gee’s Bend, Alabama, 1937 Photo by Arthur Rothstein/Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

If you are interested in art as a whole, or in quilts in particular, this is a beautiful book to add to your collection, whether as a coffee table book to browse at your leisure over a cup of tea, a fount of ideas for your own quilt, or a paean to beauty, this is a gorgeous book to add to your library.


I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.


McCray_Jenny Gordy.jpgLinzee Kull McCray

Linzee Kull McCray grew up in California and resides in Iowa. After nearly thirteen years as a writer and editor for the University of Iowa, she is a fulltime freelance writer with a focus on textiles, art, and craft. She is a contributing editor at Stitch magazine and her work appears in Etsy’s blog, UPPERCASE, American Patchwork and Quilting, Quilt Country, Quilt Sampler, Modern Patchwork, O magazine, and numerous other print and online publications.

Photo credit: Jenny Gordy

The Artists

Marilyn Ampe, St. Paul, Minnesota
Gail Baar, Buffalo Grove, Illinois

Diane Nunez, “Twisted”

Sally Bowker, Cornucopia, Wisconsin
Peggy Brown, Nashville, Indiana
Shelly Burge, Lincoln, Nebraska
Shin-hee Chin, McPherson, Kansas
Sandra Palmer Ciolino, Cincinnati, Ohio
Jacquelyn Gering, Chicago, Illinois
Kate Gorman, Westerville, Ohio
Donna Katz, Chicago, Illinois
Beth Markel, Rochester Hills, Michigan
Diane Núñez, Southfield, Michigan
Pat Owoc, St. Louis, Missouri
BJ Parady, Batavia, Illinois
Bonnie Peterson, Houghton, Michigan
Luanne Rimel, St. Louis, Missouri

“Knowledge” by Luanne Rimel, St. Louis MO

Barbara Schneider, Woodstock, Illinois
Susan Shie, Wooster, Ohio
Martha Warshaw, Cincinnati, Ohio
Erick Wolfmeyer, Iowa City, Iowa

A Question and a Request

Bookin' It


Agatha Christie

The Question: Agatha and I have been wondering…where does the time go? No, I mean, really. Where does it go, once we’ve squeezed every bit of the life from a moment, and cast it aside, moving on to the next? Is there some graveyard for used hours somewhere? Or is it really relegated to crumbling photo albums and lines in a diary?

Just curious, here, on account of I seem to have lost a LOT of it lately. But I suppose that’s the nature of things–both losing time, and wasting more, wondering where it went. By my age, there are veritable slag heaps of lost time piled up behind me, but I’m finally learning that it doesn’t pay to worry about it. What does pay, sort of, is writing. So that’s where I’ve been in recent weeks. Writing my fingers down to bloody bones! Makes for a messy keyboard…

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The Homicides of March – WIN 41 Thrillers!!

Win 41 thriller novels: The Homicides of March

Review: Blood Moon – Book 2 – The Huntress/FBI Thrillers by Alexandra Sokoloff

This is a gift it comes with a price
Who is the lamb and who is the knife
– Florence and the Machine – Rabbit Heart

 “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” – ― Elie Wiesel

 I find the idea of vigilante justice very attractive. I like the idea that the murderer decides that this person has gone too far, and nothing will happen to him unless she does something to stop him. – Donna Leon

 This series should carry a sign.

 OK? Do we have that out of the way now? Whew. Good. Because you won’t find “Fifty Shades of Horrible Writing” or “The “Twilight” of the Modern Mind” between these pages. What you will find is Outstanding psychological suspense.

Sokoloff’s work reminds me, in her writing style and story lines, of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. If there is no God, everything is permitted. Mass murder. Child sex slavery. Or a small girl, throat slashed, left to lie in the blood of her slaughtered family.

This is the story of Cara Lindstrom, a five-year-old little girl whose family is slaughtered by a serial killer. Now, twenty-five years later, Cara is an Avenging Angel – Santa Muerte – an Angel who brings death to the evil of the world. Her specialty? Child sex traffickers. Find them. Kill them. Release the children they exploit.

Of course, the FBI can’t have that. In Huntress Moon, after Cara killed the members of a child sex slavery ring in the desert of California, and to be fair, an undercover FBI agent (who happened to be “sampling the wares”) it is Matt Roarke’s job to capture her, bring her in, and put her away for the rest of her life for doing what the FBI can’t, or more importantly, won’t do.

“You can never kill them all,” she whispered. “They keep coming back.”

 And Cara should know. She sees the monsters in men’s souls. And while the monster who took her family and two others twenty-five years ago disappeared, now he is back. Back to slaughter. Back to kill the one who got away. And he isn’t the only one. For there is another killer, perhaps more savage than the first, who is walking death across the country – The Reaper. And finding Cara may be the only way Roarke can stop the past from becoming the present – even if capturing Cara means her complete and total destruction.

Twenty-five girls to a block, locked in the rooms and drugged to the gills, servicing twenty-five to forty men a day, twelve hours a day, seven days a week.

The monsters live amongst us. And Santa Muerte, the Lady Death, walks amongst them, nibbling away at a $33 billion a year industry of rape, torture and abuse – she saves with death – unless the FBI, and Matt Roarke, can stop her. After all, you could only sell a drug or a gun once, but you could sell a girl to the walking vermin known as johns twenty-five times a night.

Terry Pratchett said it, and Blood Moon reflects it:

“This is Art holding a Mirror up to Life. That’s why everything is exactly the wrong way around.”Wyrd Sisters

 Roarke seeks “Justice” – but is it justice, truly, to capture Santa Muerte?

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. Ms. Sokoloff is an amazing storyteller, and her works are now high on my “automatic buy” list. I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do.

Coming May 5, 2015

Cold Moon

Cold Moon

Book Three in the Thriller Award-nominated
Huntress/FBI series

It is strongly recommended that you read Huntress Moon and Blood Moon first.

The hunt for mass murderer Cara Lindstrom is over. FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke has been working for this moment: the capture of a killer who savagely hunts the worst of humanity. But Roarke remains traumatized by his own near-death at the hands of the serial killer who slaughtered Cara’s family…and haunted by the enigmatic woman who saved his life.

Then the sixteen-year-old prostitute who witnessed Cara’s most recent murder goes missing, and suddenly pimps are turning up dead on the streets of San Francisco, killed with an MO eerily similar to Cara’s handiwork.

Is a new killer on the loose with a mission even more deadly than hers? In the pulse-pounding third Huntress/FBI Thrillers book, Roarke will have to go on the hunt…and every woman he meets, even those closest to him, may prove deadly.

About the Author:

Alexandra SokoloffAlexandra Sokoloff is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill Award-nominated author of the supernatural thrillers THE HARROWING, THE PRICE, THE UNSEEN, BOOK OF SHADOWS, THE SHIFTERS, and THE SPACE BETWEEN, and the Thriller Award-nominated, Amazon bestselling Huntress/FBI series (HUNTRESS MOON, BLOOD MOON, COLD MOON). The New York Times Book Review called her a “daughter of Mary Shelley,” and her books “Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre.”

As a screenwriter she has sold original horror and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios. She has also written two non-fiction workbooks: SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS and WRITING LOVE, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog (, and has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA, west and the Board of the Mystery Writers of America.


Learn more at



Review: Claimed by Sarah Fine – Book Two of the Servants of Fate Series

“Memories are nothing but a collection of electrical pulses and chemicals. Neurotransmitters sliding into receptors like hands into gloves. Acetylcholine. Serotonin. My body is a complex machine. A conglomeration of cells, each one with a designated purpose. – Galena Margolis – Claimed

Galena Margolis is brilliant. Brilliant – and broken. Body and soul damaged – and then there is her mind. Her brilliant mind, which holds the secrets of a vaccine which could be the salvation of a world flooded and destroyed. We first met Galena in Marked, the first in the Servants of Fate series, when she and her brother, Eli, arrived in Boston from the ‘desert wastelands’ of Philadelphia. The physical world qualifies as a ‘dystopia’ as climate change has destroyed much of the earth, leaving the places that remain changed beyond all comprehension. It is a bad, bad, very dangerous world out there, and Galena is in more danger than she could possibly imagine.

Claimed picks up right after Marked, as Galena and Eli find their place, and reach for some sense of stability after Galena’s near death – and Eli’s rise from death. For this isn’t just a dystopian novel – it is a novel of life and death, of change and balance, and of a world where nothing will ever be as it was before. For the Ferrys are real – not just the richest family in Boston, the Ferry family are actual Ferrymen – servants of death who help the dead across the Veil and into the afterlife. Eli’s girlfriend and paramedic partner, Cacy, is a Ferryman, and Galena is someone – something – who could spell the salvation of the world – and someone wants her dead for it.

I couldn’t say enough good about Marked, and my love of this series 21805566continues with the second installment. Sarah Fine is sharp, mercilessly realistic in a magical world overlaid upon a world destroyed by human angst and self-centred greed, and mightily creative. This is a world of layers – layers of well-developed characters, of fantastical thought processes and creative characters and worlds. I can’t recommend this book highly enough for those who like their books to have more than a single storyline, more than one dimensional characters, just more.

I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. I hope you will try the series – I loved it.

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