Escape into Books

I’ve been reading this past week, pretty much to the exclusion of all other things. A new book in a favorite series is being released shortly, and I thought a reread was in order. There are currently six books available, and I just started #5.

The series is called Hidden Wolves, and it’s written by Kaje Harper. I stumbled on it by accident when someone posted on FB about the first book being free, but I hesitated when I saw it was about wolf shifters.

For years I avoided shifter books, because they were so dumb, what with “fated mates” and other silly BS. The only reason I came across this genre at all was because I used to edit for Dreamspinner Press.

I even bought a few, and they were written so poorly, I wrote one of my own, just to see if I could do better. It’s called Wolf Bound, and it’s available on Amazon. Someone told me it was the best shifter book they’d ever read, which made me feel all glowy inside. Although I originally intended to write a trilogy, it never happened, but I’m still fond of this book.

Back to Ms. Harper’s free book (and yes, it’s still free!). I read the first few pages at Amazon, liked it, and got the book. I happened to have a few days off at the time, and after finishing it, I picked up the next one in the series. After devouring that, I bought all the rest and immersed myself in the world she’d created. It was good stuff. It probably helped that it was set in Minnesota, my home state, but what really sold it were the characters and a compelling story. The words “fated mates” never appeared once.

The story unfolds book to book in a wonderful and impressive way. I didn’t even mind the sex scenes (and y’all know I generally can’t stand them, because 99 percent of them are gawd-awful and downright tedious, they’re written so badly). I actually read them instead of skimming, the writing was that good.

Because I edit books, writing matters to me. If I have to stop and mentally correct the shit an editor should have removed or fixed, I get frustrated and eventually stop reading. I didn’t have to do that with this series. I stumbled across a couple things, but they were minor, and I just kept going, delighted by the character and story development, and excellent pacing.

It’s too bad George R. R. Martin didn’t have Ms Harper’s skill or editor, because I barely made it through Game of Thrones, given the zillion times the phrase “began to” showed up. By the time I finally reached the end, I was gritting my teeth and cringing every time I saw those two words. I will probably never read the rest of the books in his Ice and Fire series because of that.

If you’re looking for a new series to read, and you love M/M, get this one. You won’t be sorry.

I visited a new place recently called Burnt Out Bridge. Yes, that’s its actual name, and online there was a picture of a rusty old bridge painted a myriad of colors, but when I got there I saw only this.

Beautiful, isn’t it? Kayakers and canoers set off down the river from this place on a dead-end road. But there was no bridge, and I was disappointed. Perhaps it exists farther along, but there was no way for me to get to it.

Closer to home, I attached the camera and big telephoto lens to a monopod and went out to the woods. I’ve been having some problems with my left shoulder, and doing handheld shots with the heavy Sigma was causing me pain. The tripod is awkward to carry around, but the monopod was a snap. It’s the first time I’ve used it, though I’ve had it for years, and I liked it so much, I may invest in a better one when I can afford it. I took this pic of a gray catbird while sitting on a bench, the monopod between my legs.

And here’s my favorite snowy egret, back again and strutting.

This pic was taken right off the boardwalk. Those blue berries just screamed “look at me!” even in the shade.

Finally, a before/after, because the difference is so extreme. I saw this tiny rice bug on a slender blade of grass next to the lake. Here’s the original.

And here it is after processing.

Processing makes all the difference, and don’t you love that one blue drop of water?

See you next time.

About Fenraven

Fenraven lives in central Florida, which reminds him of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Find him on Twitter and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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7 Responses to Escape into Books

  1. Shirley Ann Speakman says:

    Wow so much detail in the pictures. Love Kaje Harper books got them all she has a new one coming out soon in the Hidden Wolves series I think.

  2. Lindsaysf says:

    I’ve been in a reading mode too. I got a bunch of Terry Prachett books – finally “got” why so many friends love him. “The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” ☺ I’d say I was responding to the burst of colder weather we’ve had but actually any time of year I may be called to immerse myself in a book or two.

    • Fenraven says:

      It’s wonderful having a stack of books waiting to be read, whether they are paper or on Kindle. I haven’t been working as much lately, so there is plenty of time to read, which I love. Reading is THE best escape, and gawd knows life has been trying of late.

  3. jeffbaker307 says:

    Oh I love the pictures! And I agree with you about Kaje Harper!

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