S R Silcox - Author

Blog updated 2-3 times a month.

Month: June 2013

Introducing… Layce Gardner

I’m not big on the lesbian romance genre. (I can’t believe I can say that with a straight face, considering I am currently dabbling in that genre, but anyway.)

I guess it’s because my early forays into it were a little sub-par. The characters were all a little too beat up, and some of the plot points bordered too far on the unbelievable side of the fence for me.

I get it. We’ve all been through our Coming Out period, our Lusting After our Straight Best Friend period and our U-Haul Lesbian period (in Australia we call it the Budget Lesbian period) among others. Most of us want to read about that stuff to make us feel better about bad decisions, bad romances, and to escape from our bad, sad lives.

Here’s the thing. I’m more than the sum of my bad and sad parts. I have lots of happy times. “Why doesn’t anyone write about the happy times?” I lamented. “Why doesn’t anyone write something fun?”

Then I found Layce Gardner. I am proud to be able to call her my Facebook Friend. (Which means that she stupidly accepted my friend request even though she didn’t know me from a bar of soap, and now I can stalk her interact with her whenever I want.)

I can’t remember exactly how I discovered her novel Tats, but I devoured it in two sittings. I would have devoured it in one, but a pesky little thing called my day job came between us.

I passed my paperback copy on to a great friend of mine, along with rave reviews. (Lisa, I still want it back!)
 
I loved the book so much, in fact, that as soon as the next book Tats Too came out, I downloaded it onto my kindle as soon as it was available. This time, I got to read it while I was on holiday in Fiji – I wasn’t going to let a little thing like a friend’s wedding get in the way of me and that book.

I read parts of it out to my wife, giggling like an idiot, while my wife just looked at me knowing full well I AM an idiot. “I guess you have to read what happened before” was my answer to her blank looks. 

Anyway, to the point. 

I downloaded and read Penny Nickels and Wild at Heart as soon as they came out too, and was itching for more.

That was a few months ago now, and I had decided that I wasn’t going to go out of my way to buy any new books until I had finished some of my own. 

Then, I saw this pop up on my facebook feed:

I was so excited that the new book was available, but you know, my no-book-buying thing.

I held off for exactly three days. 

I bought it, promising that I would only read the first chapter after I had at least completed my word-count quota for the day. 

I only lasted a couple of hours before I thought “I’ll just read the first paragraph and see if it grabs me.” 


A couple of hours of reading and laughing out loud later, I realised that it was past midnight, and that I had wanted to get to bed early, so I could get up early and get in some pre-caffeinated writing time. (For non-writers, that’s the best time to trick my muse into giving up some of her secrets – before she wakes up and goes MIA).

I don’t really have the whole “do something good, reward yourself” thing down very well.

So the truth of it is, I don’t think I can hold out on reading the rest of the book. I think I might just take an early weekend and go ahead and get it over and done with.
If you’re curious, my favourite part of the book so far is when the girls (Dana and Trudy) are sharing an unlit cigarette. They both take pretend puffs and then Trudy takes the cigarette back and “ashes” on the floor.

No wait. It’s when Dana meets Ellen. “She had brown-almost-black eyes like melted chocolate and a smile that reminded Dana of strawberry cheesecake. Her smile itself didn’t exactly remind Dana of cheesecake; it’s that the smile gave her the same feeling as looking at a slice of strawberry cheesecake.”

No, it’s the conversation about Dana’s need to fill a hole in a conversation. “See, when there’s a hole in the conversation I feel this urge to stick something in the hole. In fact, there’s very few people in this world I’m comfortable being around and not sticking something in their hole.”

Layce, you had me at “‘My girlfriend is a slut,’ Dana Dooley said.” It’s going to be another late night.

You can find Layce’s books on Amazon here
Check out her blog here

Introducing… a new series of posts

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am very irregular with my posting schedule. It’s not that I’m too busy to write anything, it’s just that I write stuff, forget about it, then it’s old news. Or I have a great idea for a ranty post but then think better of it, so I don’t write anything.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I want my books to spread by word-of-mouth from readers who love my work. I realised that I am also a reader, and therefore I should be spreading the word on authors and books I love so anyone who’s interested can check them out for themselves.

Spread the love I say.

With that in mind, and having discovered some pretty awesome writers and books over the last 18 months that I’ve had my kindle, I’ve decided to do a series of posts on those books and authors I think deserve a little bloggy love.

My intention is to post these monthly, but we’ll see how we go.

First cab off the rank is one of my new favourite lesbian romance authors, Layce Gardner. That post is ready and raring to go, and will go up on the 1st of July.

Other authors I’ll be posting about will include Hugh Howey (he of the Wool phenomenon), JA Konrath, Lindsay Buroker and John Scalzi.

There will be others as I continue to read and go back over my “Read” list on my kindle. 

There’s a pretty eclectic mix of genres, so not everyone will like all the books or all the authors I recommend. The great thing about the kindle, though, is that you get to download a sample and then can buy it if you like it, or ditch it if you don’t.

I’m also open to suggestions, so feel free to drop me an email or a comment on the blog.

Hidden Treasures in a $5 Box of Books

A couple of weeks ago, we went to an auction. The local second hand store was going out of business, and everything was going – no reserve. Dangerous place to take me, let me tell you. 

So off we went at 8am on a Saturday morning to sign in and have a look at the wares. We’d been through the shop before of course before it went up for sale, but everything was so expensive! Especially since it was all previously used, previously loved (or not) or very, very old. 

I went straight to the books section, where everything had been boxed up, and made sure to write down the numbers of all the boxes I wanted. There were many, but I didn’t want to be greedy. I just wanted the four boxes that held the children’s books, and a box of really old hardcover books in various states of disrepair.

By the time the auction made it as far as those boxes of books, I had inhaled two cups of CWA coffee and a couple of home-made scones (with jam and cream). Wifey had headed off home to do some housework and left me to my bidding wars.

The first three boxes of books went for $35 a piece, and contained hundreds of old western magaziney type books that looked pretty cool. I only wanted one of those boxes, but the guy who won the first box took all three. (See? Greedy!)

Then we came to the table that held the boxes of books I coveted. There were around 15 boxes of books, of which I only wanted three. The auctioneer explained that we would be bidding “for the pick” – so the winning bidder could take their pick of any or all those boxes. Just my luck that someone will want the whole damn table, I thought.

My luck, it seemed, was in. I was the winning bidder at $5 for a pick. I thought at first I only got one pick, but no, that auctioneer said I could have as many as I wanted, and pick my numbers. So I chose my three boxes, making my grand total spend for standing around for three hours at $15. And the laugh was on the other bidders for being slow out of the traps – the next lowest pick bid went for $15 for a box.

We got them home (after bidding on and winning a few more things, and spending a little over 8 hours in total at the auction), and I couldn’t wait to go through those books to see what my $15 had bought me.

I lucked in to a pretty good haul. Below are some pictures of a couple of things that caught my eye. The rest of the books have been sorted out and are going to the kids in my family. 

Yes, I’m THAT aunt that always turns up with books!

101 Dalmations. 

I can’t wait to re-read 101 Dalmations. I remember reading this one when I was in primary school, just before the Disney movie came out. I went to the local movie theatre with my cousins to watch the movie, and loved how the movie mirrored my imagination when I’d read the book.

Schindler’s List and White Fang

Some classics I haven’t yet read, but have been on my To Read list for a long time. Now I get to finally read them – when I can find the time.

Sweet Valley High and Sweet Valley University

 Ah, sweet romances. I mostly read SVH and the Sweet Dreams series of books. The thing I remember most about them was how they made me feel so warm and fuzzy after reading them. Also, I always wanted to be the guy getting the girl, rather than the other way around.

Waltzing Matilda

This is a classic Aussie poem and song. It would have been something I read when I was at primary school. It’s really banged up, but the illustrations are fantastic. Though I want to share this with my nieces and nephews, I’m going to keep this one on my bookshelf.

These aren’t the only great books from my haul, but they are the ones that brought back some great memories from my childhood.

I love how books can do that.