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On Hiatus

Hi All –

I’m sorry to announce that I’m putting the Book Club on hiatus, at least until we’re settled in our new place (and we still don’t have a date for when that might happen, grrr).

Book 12 is going to be delayed, too – the new tentative release date is March 2017 (but I’ll try to make it sooner).  Between getting kicked out of the house for showings and being bombarded with details about the move and the construction of our new place, my time is eaten up  and my concentration is shattered.  I’m sorry for the delay, and I promise I’m doing my best – I’d rather release late than release crap.

Thank you so much for your past participation in the Book Club – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all your insights!  Feel free to come here and talk among yourselves anytime, and if there’s enough interest once we’re settled in our new place, I’ll start posting prompts again.

Thanks again for your support!  🙂


Hi All –

Thanks for holding the fort while I was away!  I’ve been catching up on the comments, and a couple of you have mentioned the moratorium on speculations.

That’s been bothering me a bit – after all, wondering aloud about what’s going to happen is part of the fun!

So I’d like to get your thoughts:

Would the book club be more fun if you felt welcome to speculate?

If I add a disclaimer that says something like “by posting on this site, you grant permission for me to use your ideas without compensation”, that makes me sound (and feel) like a sleazy plagiarist.  But I don’t know any other way to limit liability if somebody guesses what I’ve already planned.  Do you have any ideas?

Or… has the book club run its course?  Are we running out of topics to discuss, and/or are you running out of time/motivation to participate?

Over to you…

Life-Changing Fiction

Hi All –

With the upheaval of trying to sell our house and get ready to move, I’m falling behind on Book 12.  To carve out a bit more time for writing, I’m going to be absent from the Virtual Backyard Book Club for a few weeks.  I’ll post the next new topic around the middle of November.

Meanwhile, feel free to talk among yourselves about anything that strikes your fancy!

Some suggestions:

Have you ever read a work of fiction that fundamentally changed your worldview?  What was the book?  What was the revelation?

Do you “do” Halloween?  What are your favourite autumn activities?

Good pumpkin recipes?

Anything else you want to discuss?

Take it away…

You Can’t Always Get What You Want…

Let’s get inside Aydan’s head this week:

Does Aydan truly know what she wants/needs in her relationships, or is she still reacting to the baggage of her past?  What does she need to change?  Does she sincerely want to change?  If she can find happiness without being in a permanent relationship, why should/shouldn’t she change to fit society’s ‘norm’?

A Rose By Any Other Name…

In Book 8, Aydan reacts with incredulity when she discovers that Sharkface’s given name is Kevin instead of something badass like Rocco or Slade.  So…

How important are character names to you?  Do you form first impressions based on names?  Have you ever read a story where a character’s name just didn’t seem to fit?  How did that work out?

Secret Messages!

My geekish side enjoys figuring out creative (and untraceable) ways for Aydan and the gang to communicate, and I couldn’t resist a little secret communication of my own.  When I was designing the book covers, I hid a message on them just to see if anybody was as much of a geek as I am.  So far nobody’s answered, but it could happen!

When you read about the secret technology in the NSS series, do you try to figure out how it could/might work?  Accept it as a story element and keep reading without a pause?  Think it through after finishing the story?  Do tell…


I usually avoid describing the race/ethnicity of characters so readers can immerse themselves in the story-world and ‘see’ the characters in whatever race/ethnicity they expect based on their own cultural surroundings.

How does this affect your interpretation and mental image of the characters?  Did you even notice this before I brought it up?  Do you ‘see’ a mix of characters that matches your own cultural surroundings?

Reader’s Choice

The Virtual Backyard Book Club is four months old now, so I figured it was time to see how we’re doing and ask for your ideas.  Let’s brainstorm, and I’ll implement your ideas and add your topics to the to-be-discussed list!

What topic(s) would you like to discuss?  What would you like to change about this forum?