Book Review: All our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong TodaysAll Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How do you write a time-travel story unlike any other time-travel story? I have no idea, but Elan Mastai has done it! Make sure when you pick this up that you have significant reading time in your schedule, because you won’t be able to put it down until you bash through to the end. No use trying to figure out how it’s all going to work ahead of time, because you’ll never get close. Tom Barren is a terrific character, in all his complexities and screw ups, and if you don’t grow in your understanding of ego, family dynamics, and true love, you weren’t paying attention. Recommended. (Language and sexual content not suitable for kids.)

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Haiku from Hawaii

Web surfing today, unable not to click on any of the hyperlinks in Joanna Penn’s Author 2.0 Blueprint.

One click took me to Orna Ross’s blog, where one of her recent posts describes how she writes haiku and posts them on Instagram. I don’t quite do Instagram yet, so…here’s mine for today:

pau hana pool

Swimming pool
Soaking away the day’s heat
Pau hana


(Pau hana means work is done in Hawaiian.)

Thanks for the inspiration, Orna!


Montana Rising going out to beta readers

Or at least, to one beta reader so far: my husband.

It’s been intolerable not to quote the story to him a dozen times a week, as I wanted to avoid spouting spoilers. So much of the conversation in the story, the family’s vocabulary, anecdotes and wit (or some semblance thereof) are from our own family history. I kept saying to him, “Ooh, I can’t wait for you to read my book,” while wanting to say “Hey it’s funny you mention that, I used that line in a scene where Monti is visiting her jailed student….” Spoilers.

I hope to distribute the book to my friends in our Maui Christian Writers group soon, and to a  few other volunteers, to start getting feedback. I know that just because the manuscript is as good as I think it can be, does not mean it’s as good as it needs to be to provide an enjoyable, worthwhile read for purchasers. They tell me I’m really just getting started on the work…

To get an idea how long I’ve been working on Montana Rising so far, here’s a picture of what started the whole thing. I never suspected at the time that nearly seven years later I would finally be nudging a completed novel toward the world.

original montana rising scrabble board

For non-Scrabble players out there, this is the backside of a scoring tablet. The other side has the accumulated scores for that particular game. This side shows all the words we played. “All the words we played” being the seminal idea for a story within a story…

Yes, I had the diagram upside down when I was filling it in. Sigh.

Book Launch for Maui Christian Writers Member


A few friends and I  started Maui Christian Writers somewhat less than two years ago. Our goal is to encourage one another as we write the stories that are on our hearts, as we research and build books to help people, and always to bring glory to God. Now one of our founding members, Susan M. Robinson, has published her first novel, Accused a Traitor. (It’s good, you should read it!)

Bonnie Aleman, a friend from church, opened her house and threw a book signing party for Susan. In grand Hawaiian style, we ate pupus and talked story before giving Susan the floor. She read to us from Accused a Traitor, told us about her writing journey, and graciously signed copies for all of us eager to buy the book and find out what happens next!

All of our Maui Christian Writers members have at least one project in the hopper. Koni is editing an heirloom manuscript written by her grandmother, and writing a historical novel of her own. Karen is researching health and diet ideas, and collecting them into a simple, practicable guide. Joy, an occasional member, has her own fantasy project in its early stages.

And I have finally finished the first draft of my Montana Rising novel, and am now working through the second draft. I hope to finish the revisions by the end of the year, and then to begin asking select people to read it and provide helpful feedback. (Untrammeled enthusiasm will also be welcomed.)