Mar 01 2015
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Signal Boost: Mosaic Stock Kickstarter

Mosaic Stock: A stock photography site as diverse as the world we inhabit.

Recently, I came across a Kickstarter project called Mosaic Stock. As may be obvious from the name (or not) it’s a Kickstarter dedicated to stock photography. Specifically, it’s a Kickstarter dedicated to diverse stock photography.

I’m not entirely sure how to discuss the project without discussing my own covers as an illustration, so… Well, I guess I’ll do so. Below the cut.

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Feb 28 2015
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Goal Review and Upcoming Plans Feb/Mar 2015

WICTORY!!!!

I Want to Read:
– Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis
– Women Destroy Fantasy by various authors
– Shadowplay by Laura Lam

I Want to Edit:
A Promise Broken

Of the above I’ve accomplished everything! And a little more to boot, actually, as I’ve also been betareading and managing to work on a few shorter pieces I had lying around. But most of February has gone into the final round of edits and polishes for A Promise Broken and it is finally all done and prepped and shiny! And then I spent some time rewriting All Our Good Intentions again, wrote a not-so-silly little literary fairytale that I’m going to have to explore in some more depth soon, and… No, I think that covers it. I wrote some (really bad) poetry that was just for me, so it doesn’t count.

Anyway, this all leaves me with a bit of a problem for March. Because I didn’t want to write multiple pieces at once. Even if I did, I’d want to work on the secondary world urban fantasy story people expressed interest in rather than a whole new shiny story (even if people also expressed interest in that), and I need to be working on the sequel to Promises. That should go much faster now that I’ve temporarily abandoned my resistance to writing the story the way it wants to be written instead of how I want it to be written. But I’m probably going to end up juggling multiple pieces purely because my brain has decided it wants to chase all the shinies all at once. It worked last year, albeit slowly, so hopefully it won’t be the disaster my brain is insisting it will be.

So! Let’s look at the plans for March!

I Want to Read:
– Retold: Six Fairytales Reimagined by various authors
– Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
– Climbing the Date Palm by Shira Glassman

I Want to Write:
10,000 words of fiction

Still sticking to a fairly light month in some ways. We’ll see how well it goes and work future monthly goals out from there. I’ll have to scale them up if I want to reach this year’s goal of producing 250,000 words of fiction. I’ll be… roughly 20,000 words behind schedule at the beginning of March, so those 10,000 words are desperately needed. I’m confident I can catch up over the course of the year, but it’s not a nice number.

The books should be fine and doable. I think both Retold and Climbing the Date Palm are relatively short in terms of word count?

Anyway, Retold I’m very curious about. I’d normally try to keep it pushed back a little both because it’s a short story collection and because it’s still a very recent addition to my pile. I’d have liked to read one of the older collections on it first. But nope. I’m really really in the mood for this one, so this one it shall be. ^_^

Three Parts Dead is one I’m going to read for a readalong in March, though whether I’ll manage to participate officially is anyone’s guess. I think I’m better-suited to buddy reads and book conversations between myself and a friend or two. But we’ll see! I hope to have fun with it either way!

Climbing the Date Palm is hopefully going to be a light and fluffy and wonderful story. ^_^

Feb 27 2015
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Release: A Promise Broken

Cover for A Promise Broken

Check out the webserial WIP before buying.
Available now from Amazon (US, UK, CA, AU, DE, FRES, IT, JP, IN, BR, MX), KoboB&N, iTunesPage Foundry, Scribd.

Not all promises can be kept. Four-year-old Eiryn doesn’t understand why her mother left her, but she knows things will never be the same again. When Eiryn tries to call for water during her mother’s funeral, everything starts to go wrong. Her uncle is always sad; her best friend is always getting himself into fights; some of the other children hate her… Sometimes Eiryn even struggles to get through the day. She’s determined to make everyone happy, though. Eiryn promised and even if her mother won’t keep her word Eiryn will keep hers. She’ll make everything right again.

Feb 26 2015
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Book Talk: Otherbound

Cover for Otherbound by Corinne DuyvisI first heard about Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis… On Twitter, I think. And then the book started to appear in the blogosphere to acclaim and it sounded fascinating and promised something wonderfully different and… Well, here, let me show you the description first and you’ll see what I mean.

Nolan doesn’t see darkness when he closes his eyes. Instead, he’s transported into the mind of Amara, a girl living in a different world. Nolan’s life in his small Arizona town is full of history tests, family tension, and laundry; his parents think he has epilepsy, judging from his frequent blackouts.

Amara’s world is full of magic and danger–she’s a mute servant girl who’s tasked with protecting a renegade princess. Nolan is only an observer in Amara’s world–until he learns to control her. At first, Amara is terrified. Then, she’s furious.

But to keep the princess–and themselves–alive, they’ll have to work together and discover the truth behind their connection.

Sounds awesome, right? Be warned, though, that the story is far more fantasy than science fiction and you might end up finding that the cover, while gorgeous, is misleading as to the genre of book you’re about to read.

That all out of the way, let’s get to the book! Be warned that there are spoilers.

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Feb 19 2015
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Book Conversation (with Elizabeth Fitzgerald): Some Kind of Fairy Tale

Welcome (back) to the discussion of Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce. This is the second part of a two part discussion between myself and Elizabeth from Earl Grey Editing. You can find part one of our discussion here and I recommend starting there if you haven’t arrived at my post through hers. (While you’re there, I wholeheartedly recommend checking out the rest of her blog too because she’s awesome and it’s well worth your time.)

As Elizabeth mentions in her introduction, I put down Some Kind of Fairy Tale last year because it was the kind of book that, for me, would benefit from being read in a book club or as part of a buddy read. Elizabeth expressed a firm interest in reading and discussing it with me and so we did. I’ve had a blast and I hope she’s had one too. ^_^

First, for those who don’t know her, I’ll let Elizabeth introduce herself. She’s a very good friend of mine and a total sweetheart.

Hi, everyone! I’m Elizabeth, a writer, editor, binge reader, tabletop RPGer and tea addict. I’ve loved speculative fiction since I learned to read and have a Bachelor of Communication majoring in Literature and Creative Writing. I blog about books over at Earl Grey Editing. Although Lynn and I have known each other for years, this is the first time we’ve tried anything like this conversation. It was a total blast and I hope you enjoy it too.

As it’s always good to have a reminder of what the book is about, below is a description of the book. It’s provided courtesy of Amazon. (With some typo fixing, admittedly.)

Cover for Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham JoyceSome Kind of Fairy Tale is a very English story. A story of woods and clearings, a story of folk tales and family histories. It is as if Neil Gaiman and Joanne Harris had written a Fairy Tale together.

It is Christmas afternoon and Peter Martin gets an unexpected phonecall from his parents, asking him to come round. It pulls him away from his wife and children and into a bewildering mystery.

He arrives at his parents house and discovers that they have a visitor. His sister Tara. Not so unusual you might think, this is Christmas after all, a time when families get together. But twenty years ago Tara took a walk into the woods and never came back and as the years have gone by with no word from her the family have, unspoken, assumed that she was dead. Now she’s back, tired, dirty, dishevelled, but happy and full of stories about twenty years spent travelling the world, an epic odyssey taken on a whim.

But her stories don’t quite hang together and once she has cleaned herself up and got some sleep it becomes apparent that the intervening years have been very kind to Tara. She really does look no different from the young woman who walked out the door twenty years ago. Peter’s parents are just delighted to have their little girl back, but Peter and his best friend Richie, Tara’s one-time boyfriend, are not so sure. Tara seems happy enough but there is something about her. A haunted, otherworldly quality. Some would say it’s as if she’s off with the fairies. And as the months go by Peter begins to suspect that the woods around their homes are not finished with Tara and his family…

And with that, let’s get (back) to the discussion. Remember that if you haven’t read part one, that’s located here and I strongly recommend reading it first because we’ll be continuing straight where we left off and this discussion will pick up about partway through the book. THERE ARE SPOILERS. Of sorts. We don’t spoil the ending unless you’re really good at piecing plots together from very little information.

!!! THIS IS PART TWO OF OUR DISCUSSION. YOU CAN READ PART 1 HERE. !!!

!!! HERE BE SPOILERS. !!!

Enjoy! ^_^

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Feb 17 2015
2

Game Talk: Dragon Age Inquisition

Now that I’m more or less out of quests (that aren’t bugged) to run and dragons to kill… I wanted to poke at discussing Dragon Age Inquisition. This is going to go horribly wrong because it’s me we’re talking about, but I’ll do my best. Firstly, let me make a list of things I liked a lot.

  • Krem. Krem is awesome.
  • Cassandra is awesome.
  • Scout Harding. I wish there’d been a bit more dialogue for her.
  • Dagna.
  • NO MORE REPETITIVE DUNGEON LAYOUTS. NONE!
  • Nuggalopes.
  • That Wicked Grace scene.
  • That dance scene in the Wicked Hearts mission.
  • The visuals. OMG THE VISUALS.

I think that’ll do. Basically, the takeaway from this is that Bioware writers are really really good at writing small scale relationship scenes that I love. And everything else goes below a cut because everything else ends up with spoilers and length.

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Feb 14 2015
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Favourite Fictional Worlds: Part 2, Aekhverse

The next installment in my “Posts on favourite fictional worlds” to answer the_rck’s prompt on DW.

Other People’s Settings: Becca Lusher’s Aekhverse

The Aekhverse is massive and spans everything from historical fiction to science fiction to secondary world fantasy. For someone who does like reading across a variety of settings and genres while still sticking with known and beloved characters (all with an overarching narrative plot!), it is a gold mine of stories.

I love the setting and the mythology. I love the characters. Becca’s already introduced a couple of my favourites. I love the world and Becca’s writing. The one thing that makes this setting a little hard to talk about is that Becca has only recently started to publish the stories and the main narrative hasn’t, at the time I’m writing this, been established.

And, honestly, as much as I’ve loved the stories Becca has published to date, for me the head-over-heels, I-want-to-never-leave-this-setting feel doesn’t really kick in until Nawa shows up and starts hogging the spotlight somewhat. Nawa is the kind of bad guy you love to hate and want to ram a cluejet into. Not that it’d work, but hey maybe he’ll get a clue the twentieth time.

One of the things to love is, as I’ve already noted, the span of the stories. There’s something for everyone in the Aekhverse, provided that ‘speculative fiction’ as a whole appeals. And the Aekhverse doesn’t stick to the main cast either. It can (and sometimes happily does) go off into spin-offs in beloved secondary worlds or exploring the relationships between secondary characters and giving them a story of their own.

It is a sprawling, beautiful, diverse setting that I heart and I look forward to sharing Becca’s stories with you so much. (I’ve read older drafts of many of them. This is why this post is a little all over the place and very vague. There is so much to say and so little of it currently available and I don’t want to spoil it for people. I want to revel in the shinies and the characters and the dynamics.)

I have nabbed one of Becca’s non-spoilery drabbles for a sample.

Songbird: Nel
Someone was singing. Out gathering herbs, Nel paused to listen. It was beautiful. The Shadow Garden was often filled with laughter, joy and music, but to hear someone sing was rare.
To hear someone sing like this was a blessing.
Curious, Nel slipped through the trees, flitting between shadows, until she saw her.
A stranger. New to the Garden, short and pretty, with brown hair and freckles. This must be Dóma, their newest Aekhartain.
Certain the Shadow Garden would be even brighter from now on, Nel slipped away to find Ollie and Fara. They had a welcome party to throw.

- Songbird, Becca Lusher. Drabble originally appeared here on Becca’s blog.

Feb 12 2015
2

Book Talk: Zero Sum Game

Zero-Sum-GameI can’t remember how I heard about Zero Sum Game by SL Huang, but I’m pretty sure it was a case where I heard good things on blogs. After all, it’s the story of a girl who is awesome at maths and how often do you see that combination? Girls aren’t supposed to be good at sciences of any kind. Utter nonsense of course, but since that’s the predominant narrative worth mentioning as existing. If only to remind us all that a protagonist like in Zero Sum Game is pretty rare and should not be so.

Anyway, so that’s what piqued my interest in the book. I snagged it when it came out and then promptly put it aside for other books because I, personally, am not good at maths and, in fact, have days where I cannot deal with maths details without my anxiety issues flaring. So I put it aside and put it aside and didn’t really start reading until Carl (from Stainless Steel Droppings)’ Sci-Fi Experience. At which point I decided that the near-future thriller maths book was perfect for the experience. And lo I read it.

Cas Russell is good at math. Scary good.

The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight. She can take any job for the right price and shoot anyone who gets in her way.

As far as she knows, she’s the only person around with a superpower . . . but then Cas discovers someone with a power even more dangerous than her own. Someone who can reach directly into people’s minds and twist their brains into Moebius strips. Someone intent on becoming the world’s puppet master.

Someone who’s already warped Cas’s thoughts once before, with her none the wiser.

Cas should run. Going up against a psychic with a god complex isn’t exactly a rational move, and saving the world from a power-hungry telepath isn’t her responsibility. But she isn’t about to let anyone get away with violating her brain — and besides, she’s got a small arsenal and some deadly mathematics on her side. There’s only one problem . . .

She doesn’t know which of her thoughts are her own anymore.

There you go. That’s what the story is about. Below the cut lie spoilers.

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