The official blog of Susan Landis-Steward, writer of whatever she likes, and co-founder of Puddletown Publishing Group

Posts tagged ‘books’

My Book is OUT!

My first book was part of the first Puddletown Publishing launch. Blind Leading the Blind is the first in a lesbian series about Erik(a), a defrocked detective, and Liz, a blind psychologist. It’s mostly a mystery, but there is romance, a dog, even some discrete sex. It’s also funny. I like neurotic characters, I am a neurotic character, and can’t imagine writing about perfect people. (Even though Erik does believe, at times, that Liz is the World’s Greatest Blind Lady. Don’t worry, she’s not. In fact, she can be a royal pain.) Also features horses, Portland, snow, and did I mention sex?

Anyway, you can buy it from that carousel over there to the right (—->) for $4.99 at Amazon. (once I figure out how to get it back).  As soon as B&N gets it’s act together, you can get it for Nook. Also available at Smashwords.com in all sorts of formats..

Other books in the launch, also available ——-> and at Smashwords are Kidnapping the Lorax by Pat Lichen (a real-life Greenpeace pirate) and Volunteer for Glory by Alice Lynn (a Civil War historical romance.) Sanna, Sorceress Apprentice, a middle grade/YA fantasy by Roxanna Matthews, is at Smashwords. Amazon is  having hiccups over it, but it should be there soon.

If you buy any of them, and I hope you do, please leave a review on Amazon or Smashwords. Thanks.

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Cool iPod Touch/iPhone app

I just downloaded Stanza, a free ebook reader and it hooks up to some pretty cool books from Project Gutenburg. We’re talking Brothers Karamazov, The Little Prince (in FRENCH yet!), all the Sherlock Holmes books, Grimm Brothers, Andre Norton, and about a zillion more. WILLA CATHER! I’m in heaven. I downloaded 23 books and could have gone for more. It will also connect to Project Gutenburg itself, I think, but I have yet to figure out how. Kurt Vonnegut! Lao Tzu!

I’m in book heaven.

Working

I love my work. I commute from the bedroom to my office (about 30 feet), park the dog on a Turkish kilim, and go to work. First I check my email and recharge my iPod. Next I see what folks are twittering about. Maybe I pay a bill. Get some breakfast. Refill my drink. Take the dog outside.

You see where this is going, don’t you? I love my work. Once I get around to it.

Working for yourself seems to be everyone’s dream. But it’s not easy. Oh, sure, I get to sleep in, stay up late, work when I feel like it. But my only office buddy has vocabulary limited to sit, down, outside, car, treat, and no. (Although, during my cube rat days I had some coworkers who were about the same. Even some supervisors.)

And, if I’m not procrastinating, I’m forgetting to move until my legs fall asleep and then I have to stump around until they wake up. Still, as my sister observed, I have the perfect job for me. I get paid to read books and play with a computer. In fact, when I’m doing a particularly dry tome on, say, econometrics or portfolio construction, I often reward myself with real computer play. Two chapters of this book buys me 30 minutes of World of Warcraft. Finishing my quota for the day nets me a scoot down the road or some more WoW time.

And, if I’m really smoking, and manage to actually work on my current write-it-myself book, I can do pretty much what I damn well please for the rest of the day.

However, I tend to procrastinate and find myself where I am now: 400 pages into a book that is supposed to be 622 pages and is definitely due on Wednesday. However, I have 613 pages downloaded into my computer and the project manager says there are four more chapters to come. Sounds more like 700 or 800 pages. Which means I’m way behind schedule. Which means the sun can shine all it wants, I’m not going out in it expect to meet the dog’s biological requirements.

Flip side: more pages to index, more money. Silver lining, folks.

Now, time to get some marionberry shortcake (my favorite) and pull a better-part-of-the-nighter.

Today’s quota: 200 pages. Done: 141 pages. 59 to go!

Books in the indexing queue: Three after this one. No rest for the wicked.

Books I’m writing:  Four. One in final edits, one on hiatus because I lost my way, one on hold until the one on hiatus is finished because the first three are a series, and one roughed out waiting for me to do the hard part: research. All are mysteries. Two are theological in nature. All involve lesbians.

Things you should know…..About Islam

Not that I’m an expert but my current research is on Islam. Why? Because I’m writing another book, why not? So, for this book, I need to know all I can about Western Monotheism. Being an idiot savant in Judeo-Christian tradition, I’m all too aware of my weaknesses in Islam.

First: If you want to read a fabulous book set in Islamic Pakistan, read Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. It is one of the (so-far) two books on my books-everyone-should-read-to- be-a-compassionate-and-informed-human-being list.

Now some facts:

Islam means submission to God. Basically this is the same message given by Moses and Jesus. I dated a Muslim years ago and was told that God sent Moses and folks didn’t listen. Then God sent Jesus and not only did people not listen, they put him on a pedestal and worshipped him. I have opinions about this but that’s for later. Finally, God sent Muhammed and said get it right this time.

Islam is not about terrorism or jihad. Nor does jihad mean what you think it does. Assuming you are not my Muslim friend Mike. He DOES know what jihad really means. Yes, a real live Caucasian American Muslim convert. I even eat with him! Live with it. Chances are Islam is growing faster in your neighborhood than your religion is. It’s one of the fastest growing religions in America and with good cause. It’s a good religion.

Madras means school. Unfortunately, while we’ve been bombing the hell out of innocent people, folks like the Taliban are building madrassas to indoctrinate kids into a perverted version of Islam. Think of school run by the likes of Jerry Falwell, or Rush Limbaugh, or George W. Bush. A TRUE madras is a place where everyone is taught all the best that there is to know…sort of like a good university except it takes little kids too. Madras is not a bad thing anymore than PS 12 is a bad thing. But extremist madrassas are very bad things just like Christian extremist schools. Oh yeah, the Qur’an REQUIRES the education of girls.

Allah means God. So does Dieu (that’s French, the only foreign language I’m actually conversant in). Guess what Christians and Jews in Arabic-speaking countries call God. Allah. Same God.

Like women in Judaism before Jesus and Paul, women in pre-Islamic centuries were devalued and mistreated. Jesus, Paul (yeah, I know, another subject some other time), and Muhammed all taught equality for women. If you don’t believe me, do your homework in Scripture and history. Unfortunately, the powers-that-be in the status quo don’t give up easily. So, a perversion of Islam has been perpetuated and AMERICANS, being basically illiterate and lazy, believe whatever Fox News tells us to believe.

Read the Qur’an. Now, it’s not the easiest reading, but it is amazing. (And you can download it free for your iPhone or iPod Touch).

I will be posting other facts about Islam as I go along, and will recommend some books for you to check out. Check your prejudices at the door, please, and open those minds.

BTW, the book is a mystery and that’s all I’m going to say. Well, it has lesbians in it, too. If you want an advance read, you have to be in my writer’s group. Not even the Adored Jenny gets to read it until it’s done.

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