Book of the Week: Medicine for the Dead, by Tex Thompson

WooHoo! Tex Thompson’s new book is out today!!! It’s the second in the Children of the Drought series ;o)


From the back cover:

The story of Appaloosa Elim continues.
Two years ago, the crow-god Marhuk sent his grandson to Sixes.
Two nights ago, a stranger picked up his gun and shot him.
Two hours ago, the funeral party set out for the holy city of Atali’Krah, braving the wastelands to bring home the body of Dulei Marhuk.

Out in the wastes, one more corpse should hardly make a difference. But the blighted landscape has been ravaged by drought, twisted by violence, and warped by magic – and no-one is immune. Vuchak struggles to keep the party safe from monsters, marauders, and his own troubled mind. Weisei is being eaten alive by a strange illness. And fearful, guilt-wracked Elim hopes he’s only imagining the sounds coming from Dulei’s coffin.

As their supplies dwindle and tensions mount, the desert exacts a terrible price from its pilgrims – one that will be paid with the blood of the living, and the peace of the dead.

Purchase from: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s

Add on Goodreads:


Now I haven’t gotten my book yet. It will probably show up tomorrow, since Amazon seems determined to vex me.  But I really loved the first book in this series, and I’m looking forward to seeing more in this world. The first book in the Chilrden of the Drought series came out last summer, and I was lucky enough to snag a UK copy, which is slightly different in format, but not in substance (read that as ‘bigger pages.’)


If you enjoy westerns and are looking for a bit of weird I really can’t recommend any series more!



Arianne “Tex” Thompson is a native and lifelong resident of Texas. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history from UT Dallas and a master’s degree in literature from the University of Dallas, she went on to become a community college professor, teaching the fundamentals of English to adults writing below the eighth-grade level. Now a master teacher for academic tutoring and test prep services, as well as the managing editor for the DFW Writers Conference, Tex is a regular feature at high schools, writing conferences, and genre conventions alike.

With her first book, a ‘rural fantasy’ novel called One Night in Sixes, Tex joins the growing ranks of Solaris authors committed to exciting, innovative and inclusive science fiction and fantasy. Find her online at and on Twitter as @tex_maam!


Email: tex at
Facebook: texbooks
Twitter: @tex_maam
Goodreads: tex_maam
Amazon:  Arianne ‘Tex’ Thompson


Outside my area of expertise…

I have, in the past few months, been approached by 3 different people who want to write a book that is semi-biographical. In two cases, they wanted to know how to find a ghost writer to write it for them. All three  also wanted to ask about the legal ramifications of writing about real people they know, even when posed as fiction.

Sadly, I’m no help here.  I don’t know anyone who does ghostwriting, and have no idea how to find such a person.  Nor do I know anything about the literary/biographical fiction market and the legal ramifications of those people’s suggested stories.

I told my husband that although, yes, I’m a writer…I’m the wrong kind of writer to help those people.

It’s a bit like asking your Obstetrician to answer questions about your grandmother’s rheumatoid arthritis.

Sorry, folks.

If you want to talk about writing Speculative Fiction, then I can answer questions.  And I have some knowledge about Romance Fiction as well.  But pretty much everything else is outside my purview, and the only answers I can give you will be unsatisfactory.


The countdown has officially begun…

…to the release of Book 3, The Shores of Spain on July 7.

And I know it’s official because yesterday afternoon, I got my ARCs.

So that makes it official official.

The Mass Market paperback of The Seat of Magic also comes out the same day, and eventually I hope in the UK and Europe.  I know that’s when the MM of The Golden City hit foreign shelves…a couple of weeks after the US release.

That means 4 months until the series is closed out.

Because of the double book drop, I’m beginning to send out bookmarks to people willing to drop them on swag tables at various cons, or put a few in their library. 10982493_10206248018222403_2845584311878409762_n

So if you’re heading to a cool con in the next 3 months and are willing to put out a few, let me know and I can mail some to you.

And I’m working on Book 5 right now, tentatively named The Sins of the Fathers. There are already about 300 pages written, but since one story facet was edited out of Dreaming Death, that will actually drop that down to about 200, giving me some wiggle room to get the book wrapped up.

So the next 4 months will be full of crazy….scary crazy.


Late to the party, as usual….

When I saw it in the theater, I enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy.  Not as much as I did The Avengers or The Winter Soldier.  But I did enjoy it.

However, on further consideration, I’ve decided that I like it the best of all the Marvel movies so far.  In no small part, that’s because of this:5566c1ff1587114e61bbb250834021c611ba3192

This is literally the music of my childhood. (That makes me feel a bit old, since it was supposedly the childhood music of Peter Quill’s mother.)  And hearing it during the movie forged an instant connection for me.

But unlike the other Marvel movies, these characters are goofballs. (There’s a scene where Quill calls them ‘losers’, but he doesn’t mean that in the sense that they’re bad people. Rather he points out that they’re all people who’ve lost.)  There’s a lot more humor in this movie than the others. On rewatching the movie, I spend a greal deal more time laughing than I do when watching the others.

And of course, there’s the Dance Off: 

The last time I watched this movie, they got to that part, and I absolutely wanted to see Lee Pace dance. ;o)

All that is to say that humor goes a long way.

Friday First Lines #3

OK, here are set 3 of the Friday First lines. The challenge here is to see if you recognize them, so no looking them up on the internet!

In addition, the ones that are italicized are translated from another language (which means, among other things, that they may slightly differ from your copy.)

Also, one of these is a short story.

Good luck!

  1. When Danny came home from the army he learned that he was an heir and an owner of property.
  1. For want of a nail the kingdom was lost–that’s how the catechism goes when you boil it down.
  1. A squat grey building of only 34 stories.
  1. “Couldn’t you give more’n six peanuts for a cent?” was a question asked by a very small boy, with big, staring eyes, of a candy vendor at a circus booth.
  1. Lov Bensey trudged homeward through the deep white sand of the gully-washed tobacco road with a sack of winter turnips on his back.
  1. When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.
  1. The time-traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us.
  1. True!-nervous-very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?
  1. Buck did not read the newspapers, or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tide-water dog, strong of muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego.
  1. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…


Friday First Lines

OK, here are set 2 of the Friday First lines. The challenge here is to see if you recognize them, so no looking them up on the internet!

In addition, the ones that are italicized are translated from another language (which means, among other things, that they may slightly differ from your copy.)

Good luck!

  1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.


  1. Eh bien, mon prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now no more than family estates of the Bonapartes.


  1. The first place that I can remember well was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it.


  1. Late in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two gentlemen were sitting alone over their wine, in a well furnished dining parlor, in the town of P_______.


  1. Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York.


  1. The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended.


  1. The year 1866 was signalized by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and puzzling phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten.



  1. In that place the wind prevailed.


  1. Mrs. May lived in two rooms in Kate’s parents’ house in London.


  1. Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen have asked me to write down the whole particulars about….


ETA: I don’t know what 18 and 19 are. So if you know those, I’ll probably end up taking your word for it ;o)

Things my Copy Editor Taught Me (or tried to)

Due to/Because of

The Copy Editor’s JOB is to correct my grammar (so I won’t look like an idiot in front of the readers), and thus they’re generally far more cognizant of what correct grammar should look like. Therefore, when one of them dings me on something, I try to figure out what I’m doing wrong so we won’t have to go through it again on the next book.

But this one?

I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone correct my use of ‘due to’ before.  I had no idea that it mattered, but according to a few sites I’ve visited, I do use the word pair incorrectly.

I had no clue.

It comes down to this: due to is only to be used as an adjective, not a preposition.  So it modifies a noun.

Grammar Girl explains it here:

The traditional view is that you should use “due to” only as an adjective, usually following the verb “to be” (1). For example, if you say, “The cancelation was due to rain,” the words “due to” modify “cancelation.” 

In other words, if you don’t have a was directly before it, you’re probably not supposed to use ‘due to’.

KU explains the traditionalist opinion here.  There’s even a little quiz at the end of the lesson.  (I got them all correct, simply by using the tip above.)


The most interesting thing about this is that the two copy editors -before- this one never noticed that error.  In fact, on her second page, Grammar Girl pretty much says that this one is fading away.  But that tells me that because of/due to is one of this most recent copy editor’s particular bugaboos.

I have those, too, BTW.  Want me to throw your book across the room? Use further when you should be using farther. Further/Farther really bugs me. Also, I grit my teeth if you use prodigal incorrectly.  That word does not mean what you think it means….



Definition of prodigal (

recklessly wasteful, “prodigal in their expenditures”

extravagant, profligate, spendthrift

tending to squander and waste

Nowhere there do you find the definition being “someone who goes away and comes back”.  So the “prodigal son” you’re talking about had to have wasted a lot of money before you use that adjective on him.  (Noun usage is a bit different, BTW.)

Yes, it irritates me…


I’ve said all that because yesterday I posted an interesting correction wherein the copy editor who dinged me on my improper use of ‘due to‘ failed to notice that I use ‘different than.

Now you will see in this explanation that ‘different from’ is preferred over ‘different than‘.  (If you want to see real grammar sniping, btw, read the comments!)

Here’s a nice bit from the Oxford dictionary people where they shrug about the whole thing, but add different to to the equation (a usage apparently used more by the Brits.)

One of my previous copy editors -did- call me out on this one, yet had no objection to my ‘due to’ usage.

Basically, I think this is the same situation as my further aversion. Every copy editor will have the thing that annoys them, and they will notice every time you do that thing.  But what bugs one doesn’t bug the next, so it’s a challenge to try to write well enough to make them all happy.  A never-ending quest…





ETA: Also, improper use of the word enormity bothers me.