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Guest Stephen Lomer muses about his fave books @stephenlomer #KindleUnlimited

This guest post is by Stephen Lomer, author of Stargazer Lilies or Nothing at All.

My favorite book. How does a person even decide that? It’s like asking a mother which of her children she loves the most.

Okay, maybe it’s not exactly like that. But it’s tough. It is one tough call.

My knee-jerk reaction is to answer with Stephen King’s The Stand, which held the number-one spot in my heart for a very, very long time.

In addition to it being a really well-written, well thought-out novel, I was always amazed by the sheer length of the thing. The complete and uncut edition is 1,200 freaking pages. Writing a book that long is daunting enough, but to keep it fresh and compelling and interesting from cover to cover is a truly Herculean feat.

So yes, The Stand was my favorite book for a good long while. But then I discovered JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

And everything changed.

Now, Harry Potter fans will no doubt ask why not The Goblet of Fire or The Deathly Hallows. Those are both excellent books, but here’s why I chose Sorcerer’s Stone.

First, it’s how I discovered it. By the time I got around to reading it, I believe Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was already on the shelves. Pottermania was already in full swing, but I had no interest. Zero. None. I thought it was nothing more than a very popular children’s book.

Then one day I was in Boston at the Prudential Center, intending to meet an old friend for lunch. She was delayed, so I wandered into Barnes & Noble and saw Sorcerer’s Stone sitting on the shelf. There was nothing else that really interested me, and it was cheap, so I thought: What the hell. I’ll buy it.

As I waited for my delayed friend, I started reading it, and immediately fell in love with the simple, straightforward prose. I had never been drawn into a story so quickly, so easily, so deeply before. I understood in a flash why this book was so popular. As it turned out, my friend was delayed indefinitely and couldn’t make lunch, but I couldn’t have been happier. I had much better things to do.

So yes, I have a very fond memory of the discovery process. But that doesn’t explain why Sorcerer’s Stone was never supplanted by other Potter books, which are arguably better written. It’s because Sorcerer’s Stone was the beginning of the journey. It was the very first peek into that glorious wizarding world, and like your first kiss or your first love, nothing will ever be quite that level of sweet.

I hope that someday I find another book that makes me feel the same way I did when I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. But if that never happens, I can always crouch down into that cupboard under the stairs at Number 4, Privet Drive and relive it all over again.

About Stephen Lomer Stephen Lomer

Stephen Lomer has been writing books, novellas, short stories, and scripts for nearly a decade, and one or two of them are actually pretty good. A grammar nerd, Star Trek fan, and other things that chicks dig, Stephen is the creator, owner, and a regular contributor to the website Television Woodshed. He’s a hardcore fan of the Houston Texans, despite living in the Hub of the Universe his whole life, and believes Mark Twain was correct about pretty much everything.

Stephen lives on Boston’s North Shore with his wife, Teresa. Stargazer Lilies or Nothing at All is his first published work.

Stargazer Lilies or Nothing at All is a collection of short stories that has a little something for everyone. See what life is like for the poor mother of an insufferable perfectionist in the title story. Find out what’s to be done to save the hipsters in “So Ten Minutes Ago.” Enjoy an updated take on the Goldilocks story in “Trouble Bruin.” Ponder how our choices define our lives in “The Haunting of Flattop Harris.” Stand in the shoes of a young nurse trying to save the tiniest of lives from a city’s destruction in “Wallflower and Casanova.” PLUS! “Royally Screwed,” the story that serves as a prequel to the upcoming novel Typo Squad. >>AVAILABLE through KINDLE UNLIMITED<<<

Website:               http://www.stephenlomer.com
Facebook:              http://www.facebook.com/AuthorStephenLomer
Twitter:                 http://www.twitter.com/stephenlomer

Guarding Angel Blog Tour – Guest Post S. L. Saboviec #scifi #guardingangel

Hello, everyone! This is S. L. Saboviec, and I’m pleased to be a guest today on The Opinionated Woman. I’m author of the Adult Paranormal novel Guarding Angel.

Guarding Angel - July 2015 Blog Tour Banner

This blog is right up my alley—I certainly have a truckload of opinion, and today I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the book Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. (The movie is another subject, which I won’t be covering today. Suffice it to say they went a different direction with it than the book.)

Starship Troopers by Robert HeinleinThis book was considered one of Heinlein’s most controversial works, but what stands out most is how well-crafted the main character, Johnnie, is. You know that ever-elusive thing called “voice?” This book has it. So much of it. Johnnie is raw and real and has a simple but interesting way of relaying the events of war. I felt like I was inside his head, experiencing everything along with him: the suddenness of death, the build-up of strength of body and mind, the horrors of facing a totally alien species.

But it’s not just voice. The book has tension, world-building, and plot developments that turn on a dime. I was in tears at the end of the first chapter, and I was hooked well before that as Johnnie tells about a high-stakes battle where he’s on the ground of an alien planet, shaking, shivering, yet ultimately defeating his enemies.

Still, there’s the controversial part.

For the first three-quarters of the book, the plot moves along at a good clip; however, by the end, Heinlein gets preachy. Earlier, he gives glimpses into his political and philosophical views on war. (In simplistic terms: war is necessary, sacrifice is vital, and military is the epitome of nobility.) He makes a good case, especially earlier when he’s gently introducing his concepts, but by the end, he stuffed a bunch of propaganda in that made me long for the first chapter. I agree with about seventy-five percent of what he’s saying, but it was overwhelming.

Perhaps that’s the controversial part. It’s not about what he’s saying but how he’s presenting it. The morality gets heavy-handed, and even someone like me who’s mostly on board with his arguments got antsy with his story-telling.

My opinion is that books should be about the story first and foremost. He started off strong, with a compelling character and fascinating situation. Rather than letting the story tell itself, he intruded with his own opinions.

But then again, he’s Robert Heinlein. He can—and did—get away with it.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Johnnie about his drill sergeant:

Starship Troopers - Favorite Quote

About Me:

SL Saboviec - Head Shot  I’m a self-published author whose dark, thought-provoking science fiction & fantasy contains flawed, relatable characters and themes that challenge the status quo.

Guarding Angel - Cover

Guarding Angel is on sale for $0.99 right now. You can find it at several major eBook retailers and on Amazon in paperback. The sequel, Reaping Angel, will be released in early 2016.

You can also follow me on social media, check out the other stops on this blog tour, or if you like my work, sign up for my newsletter:

Thank you, Amaryllis, for having me here today!