Category Archives: Science Fiction

What are you reading now?

I’ve posted about the books of my childhood, the books of my teen years, and the books which influenced me. Obviously, I love books!

You do, too, or you wouldn’t be reading this.

So tell me: What are you reading right now?


My daughter Melanie gave me a set of books for Mother’s Day last year, but real life was keeping me too busy to read anything not on my phone. I read while I wait in doctors’ offices or lines, and I don’t want to carry around paperbacks.

I saw them on a side table yesterday and decided that I’d like to know why these books had captivated her enough that she would spend the money to buy them (in paperback!) and mail them to me.

So far, I have to agree with her. They’re attention-grabbing time sinks. The writing style is different, but I like it. The characters are interesting – not just rewrites of Katniss and Peeta, Bella and Edward, or Tris and Four. Great covers, too!


It’s Dystopian Young Adult, so if that isn’t your “thing,” skip on by. Remember, I’m the reader who loved the Divergent series, The Hunger Games, and The Twilight Saga. Like those books, this is a series. She gave me the next two as well: Unravel Me and Ignite Me.

Stay tuned. I’ll let you know if these grab my attention and hold it or not. I’m not worried about whether or not there are erotic scenes, because my daughter would not read or recommend books that portray graphic sex. Romance? Yes, she would like that.

So, what are you reading now? We at Jane Started It want to know.


Tell Me What You Really Think

Sincerely Yours  Robin Helm

Sincerely Yours
Robin Helm

Meredith Esparza of Austenesque Reviews posted her thoughtful four-star review of Sincerely Yours yesterday. Her review was a good one, in that she presented her likes and dislikes in a very fair manner. It’s wonderful to me that she likes more than she dislikes about the book. Thank you, Meredith!

I don’t expect everyone to like everything about my books. In fact, I would be surprised if they did. I know that my books can be controversial. All of them have a religious component and a paranormal element. The Yours by Design series (Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours) features a time-switch between Regency Darcy and modern Darcy.

I was particularly interested in the comments. More people were concerned about the religious aspect than about the time switch. Accidentally Yours (the first book) is much more “Christian” than are the other two books (Sincerely Yours and Forever Yours) in the series. I established modern Will’s Christianity in the the first book, so I felt no need to beat it to death in the other two books. Modern Will’s grandmother was dying. Losing his last family member caused him to lean heavily upon his faith. He was in despair. People of faith respond to such gut-wrenching agony in one of two ways: they will either draw closer to God or they’ll turn from Him entirely. Will reacted in the first way – he sought God. When he switched places in time with Regency Darcy, Will was in a place where everything was unfamiliar to him. Again, he sought the comfort of the only thing in his life that was stable and real at that point – his faith.

It amuses me that so many readers prefer the jerk Darcy (who grows into a good guy) to the spiritual Darcy, but it shouldn’t. After all, I see that in real life on a daily basis.

I’m thinking of two high-profile men I know who have the same job. One is a criminal, though he has never been convicted of anything since charges against him are always dropped. He has raped, stolen, cheated, been obscene in public, and destroyed private property, but people idolize him because he gives them what they want. He has received national, prestigious awards. The other man is a Christian. He works hard, goes to church, does good works, stays humble, and pleases God rather than all men. Guess which one is more popular? Michel Jackson meme

I’m not at all upset by the controversy my books create. People are talking about them, and to me, that’s a good thing. At least I’m not being ignored.

I think I’ll make my next Darcy a Christian politician. Hand me that popcorn.

The Flintstones and Giant Squids

September 30 has never seemed to be very important to me. I live in the south, and though fall officially begins September 23, we don’t notice it for at least another month. September is more like a northern summer here.

Since September 30 seems to be a particularly blah day, I decided to see if anything important had ever happened on that date. If you’re interested, History Orb has a huge list, most of which are events I’d rather forget.

However, there were a few September 30 happenings that illustrate just how much life has changed in the past 168 years

1846 – Anesthetic ether was used for 1st time by American dentist Dr. William Morton who extracted a tooth.
1939 – A college football game was televised for the first time. (Fordham vs Waynesburg at NYC)
1950 – Radio’s “Grand Ole Opry” was broadcast on TV.
1960 – The Flintstones premieres (first prime time animation show)
1962 – KCRL TV channel 4 in Reno, NV (NBC) begins broadcasting
1988 – IBM announces shipment of 3 millionth PS/2 personal computer.
1993 – MS Dos 6.2 was released.
1994 – Space shuttle STS-68 (Endeavour 7), launches into orbit
2004 – The first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat are taken 600 miles south of Tokyo.

I’m most thankful for that first one. I would never have any dental work done without anesthetic, so Dr. William Morton has my undying gratitude.

The item which caught my fancy the most was the last one. A live giant squid was photographed for the first time.

The first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat are taken 600 miles south of Tokyo on September 30, 2004.

The first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat are taken 600 miles south of Tokyo on September 30, 2004.

That, of course, was followed fewer than ten years later by a live giant squid sighting hoax in California.

January 9, 2014 - the giant squid hoax in California by The Lightly Braised Turnip

January 9, 2014 – the giant squid hoax in California by The Lightly Braised Turnip

If we can be so easily fooled by a photoshopped picture, what else might we be missing?

Next, I’m going to hear that the Flintstones were never the modern Stone Age family from the town of Bedrock.

I really do believe in Area 51 and the Roswell UFO incident. Something is out there.

I can’t take much more reality. That’s why I write fiction.

My Fatal Mistake – The Mortal Instruments

I have made a terrible mistake. I started reading The Mortal Instruments series, and I can’t put it down.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments
by Cassandra Clare

This fantasy world of Downworlders (werewolves, vampires, demons, warlocks, and fairies), Shadowhunters (human demon killers), and mundanes (regular humans) has captured my imagination. I am almost as fascinated with this series as I was with The Twilight Saga. Warning: this series is not as conservative as The Twilight Saga. It’s more liberal in philosophy and theology.Mortal Instruments movie The series has been endorsed by Stephanie Meyer, and to my satisfaction, Clare is a better writer than is Meyer. Meyer excels in storytelling, but her writing style is too modern for the English teacher in me. Clare doesn’t write narrative in fragments; she saves that for dialog.

Sadly, I already had too many distractions interfering with my concentration in writing, and this isn’t helping me right now. I just have to finish reading, and I’ll be fine. At one book a day, I should be through on Wednesday. I’m practically inhaling them.

I really liked the first movie, The Mortal Instruments City of Bones, and I’m glad to hear that the second movie in the series has resumed production and should be out next year.