Month: April 2014

Book Talk: Sing to Me

Posted April 27, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Sing to Me by Becca LusherThe acknowledgements made me laugh. This may seem like a strange sentence to start a book talk burbling with, but they did. It is entirely my own fault. You see, I got to betaread this before publication and I may, just might, have spent an awful lot of my time mentally trying to whack Freyda, bless her heart, with a rolled-up newspaper. And occasionally Dóma too.

And then Becca went and put it in the acknowledgements. I was mightily amused. And this is all a particularly silly and long-winded way of saying that I know Becca. She’s been a good friend of mine for many years and you should all be aware that as fair as I try to be I do have bias. Yes. My bias has nothing at all to do with the fact that she’s an amazingly talented writer. Not a thing. Not a single thing.

Actually my bias has everything to do with the fact that Becca is an amazingly talented writer and only a little with the fact that she’s one of my best friends, but you can read it how you will. I shall continue to hold my friends to higher standards and remain alert to bias and highlight when I’m sure I have it as well as how I have it. ^_^ No, I’m not trying to fill up text to make room for a quotation at all. It just appears that way. But! Before I get to what the novella is actually about… Please be aware that you don’t need to read Orion’s Kiss before reading this one. It stands on its own. You’ll get more out of it in certain scenes if you do and the setting will be more familiar, but that’s about it. You can jump right in with Sing to Me if you’re more in the mood for a sweet romance tale.

Dóma has always liked welcoming newcomers to the Shadow Garden, but there’s something different about the newest arrival. Freyda’s life was hard before she joined the Aekhartain, but that’s not it. No, for the first time in over a hundred years, Dóma might just be falling in love.

But does Freyda feel the same? And if she does, how will this most restrained pair ever admit their feelings for each other?

Luckily, they’re in the Shadow Garden and they have one or two friends around to help them out.

This novella is a sweet little F/F romance about wings, hope, love and gossip. There is a little magic here, but it’s mostly what Freyda and Dóma can make between themselves.

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#Readathon Post

Posted April 26, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 2 Comments

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This year, or at least this April edition of the Readathon, I am going rogue almost all the way. No sign-up, nothing official, not even a stack, but a whole lot of fun all the same. But, as is tradition, have the introduction meme just because I can and it’s fun. ^_^ This is how I started ‘thonning years ago, so it’ll be lovely to revisit it.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

As always, Europe. Specifically, my bedroom for my pillows are nice and comfy and my blanket is soothing.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

As per my rogue intentions, I have no stack! I am looking forward to finishing The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox, however, which I’ll be nattering about with Memory at some point in the future. We’re in for such an awesome time. <3

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

I’d say “What snacks?” but I did just go out to run some errands and came home with ALL THE CAKE. By which I mean ‘chocolate cake’ and ‘lemon cake’ oh nom. But in truth I’ll probably forget food until dinner and not snack at all.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I love going rogue for the ‘thon, but I tend not to do it. Readathons, especially of this scale, take a lot of organisation to run smoothly. Um. I write, so as a shameless plug, if you’re looking for some short fantasy reads, I have several free pieces available for your perusal. The longest is a collection of about 30,000 words.

That wasn’t so bad as I thought it would be. Yeah, this self-promotion thing? Really bad at it. So there’s more things about me. ^_^ I also like cats and books (er, obviously) and I will be perfectly content to nom all the lemon cake.

I am also still not over my obsession with ‘Let It Go’. I WILL learn how to sing that properly, dammit.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I’m going rogue! Muahahahahahahahaha!

Oh. Yeah. One last thing about me? I’m very silly very frequently and I’m worse when I’m excited. EXPECT SILLY. And excitement. But mostly silly.

And now… Now I shall go and read books. ALL THE BOOKS. SHINY BOOKS. Updates will happen periodically on this post unless, for some reason, I decide to split it up. Assuming that updates happen in the first place.

HAVE FUN, EVERYONE!

ETA: And we are in hour… 5, I think, of the readathon. Yeah, I wasn’t kidding about the sporadic updates, no. So! Here’s an update. My stats say I’ve been reading for about 5 hours, which isn’t too shabby. Even though a good 2 of them were before the ‘thon proper started. (Hey, you’re going to start the event smack in the middle of my day, I’m going to make it a two-day event whenever I can. WHY WOULD I NOT CARVE OUT TWO WHOLE DAYS TO READ SHINY BOOKS? Also, I know myself. I can’t be up 24 hours straight, so I’ll be asleep during part of the ‘thon.)

Anyway. Officially I have finished two books. The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox and Little (Grrl) Lost by Charles de Lint. I have several more de Lints. I’m tempted to make it a de Lint day. Right now, though, I need a reading break. (Actually, I need a ‘thon break. It’s time for dinner and I need to top up my energy levels. I know it’s only five hours in, but I started three to four hours earlier too. (Also, I just have energy level issues, period. See my inability to stay up all night.)

So there we are. I shall have dinner, a break and then probably read some short pieces and try to slow my reading down somewhat while I’m at it.

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Game Talk: Heroine’s Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok

Posted April 20, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Games, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Heroine's Quest: The Herald of RagnarokNot too long ago I discussed Quest for Glory. It was originally titled Hero’s Quest, but that ran into trademark issues and got changed. Heroine’s Quest is, in many ways, a homage to the QfG series and to point-and-click adventure games in general. It’s just, most clearly, a homage to QfG1. It’s most visible in the fact that it has the same character classes and the same “Different classes different solutions” approach to problem solving. Our heroine is a blonde-haired young woman who looks a fair amount like Kyrandia’s Zanthia. (This is not the only reference to classic games you’ll find either. The game is filled with them and quite a lot of them aren’t the least bit subtle about it. I’ve seen Cedric from KG5 (whom, looking at the Steam achievements, looks like he can be killed with the right skill set), Keapon Laffin from QfG2… There’s the babelfish thingie from Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis; you can recount stories that aren’t yours to characters — such as Monkey Island and King’s Quest 1 — though you don’t regale them with full recaps; several screens are reminiscent of others. (One has a not-quite-secret hidden in a stream ala QfG4.) Etc. It’s good fun.

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Book Talk: The Privilege of the Sword

Posted April 18, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 2 Comments

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The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen KushnerThe Privilege of the Sword is a book beloved by several of my friends. I don’t think they’ve ever recommended the book to me, but they did encourage me to read it when they learned I had it. It’s taken me a while, but I finally got to reading it. I’ve always been under the impression that this was the first of the Riverside books until I’d finished it. Of course that just shows you how much attention I pay to the order of loose series, but it’s perfectly possible to read this as a stand-alone.

Welcome to Riverside, where the aristocratic and the ambitious battle for power in the city’s ballroom, brothels and boudoirs. Into this alluring world walks Katherine, a well-bred country girl versed in the rules of conventional society. Her mistake is thinking that they apply. For Katherine’s host and uncle, Alec Campion, aka the Mad Duke Tremontaine, is in charge here—and to him, rules are made to be broken. When Alec decides it would be more amusing for his niece to learn swordplay than to follow the usual path to marriage, her world changes forever. Blade in hand, it’s up to Katherine to navigate a maze of secrets and scoundrels and to gain the self-discovery that comes to those who master: the privilege of the sword.

 

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Game Talk: Quest for Glory series

Posted April 13, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Games, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Quest for Glory 1-5

Somehow, I have the feeling that I’ve already discussed these games before — I must have; it’s not been that long since I finished QfG4 for the first time — but I’m going to mention them again anyway. Because if we’re talking about games and things that defined my childhood fantasy love in some form of detail, these need to be mentioned. I should be careful with these. I’ll have nothing new to say next year if I keep it up.

Anyway! Quest for Glory is another set of Sierra’s adventure games. Unlike King’s Quest, QfG throws in RPG elements and all games focus on the same protagonist: an unnamed, blond-haired, would-be hero. You get to play as a fighter, a mage or a thief and which class you pick will determine the way you can solve the puzzles. That said, practically nothing but grinding stands in your way of making your character a multiclassed character. (Well, that and potentially messing up the rest of your games when you get gifts suited to the class you’re not focusing on.)

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Game Talk: Might and Magic franchise, Take 2

Posted April 11, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Games, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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I discussed the Might and Magic franchise in more general terms back in January. I focused mostly on the overarching science fictional elements that tie much of the games together into an ongoing saga, some of the history behind the games’ development and some of my memories of playing these games as a child.

This time around, I’d like to focus a little on the fantastical aspects of the games! Which are… shall we say numerous. (M&M7 starts with your beginner level party having to slay dragon. I’m just saying.) Aside from dragons there are elves, dwarves, orcs, griffons, unicorns… It depends a little on the game you’re playing as the world you’re playing on changes and, as a result, so do some of the creatures you’ll face.

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Reading/Watching/Gaming/Etc March 2014

Posted April 1, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Monthly Round-up. The text 'monthly round-up' beneath a wrapped package. What I've been up to the past month.

I am tired, minorly grumpy and have a massive headache. So I shall keep this short! (All of it, mind you.) I am minorly sad about that as I really wish I had enough words to say shiny things about most all of these books. Half of the books here are by friends and fellow indie authors, so I will undoubtedly try again. Hopefully I’ll manage some more expanded thoughts on them later. (Also one of them isn’t out yet, so. You shall have to wait until closer to the release date.)

What I’ve Read

Aunt Adeline’s Bequest by Amy Rae Durreson: Awwww. I read this far too late for Valentine’s, for which it was written, and I do wish it’d been a little longer, but awwww. It’s very sweet.

A Dinner of Herbs by Elizabeth Conall and Anne B. Walsh: These were wonderful. I did find myself wishing the stories’d been longer and a little more fleshed out, but what can I say? I’m greedy. They’re some amazing stories and you should go read them. <3

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews: I think it’s safe to say that urban fantasy just isn’t really my thing, but I did quite enjoy the narrative in this. It didn’t blow me away as I was led to believe I might, though. I also discovered that deliberately withholding information that the character (presumably) has and just hinting at its existence annoys the heck out of. :/

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: My thoughts are here and the less said about it the better.

Sing to Me by Becca Lusher: You’ll have to wait on my full thoughts as I’m rereading the actually published version now, but, I heart. I look forward to talking about this one. I HAVE SO MANY FEELS AND OMG DÓMA STOP BEING SO MUCH LIKE ME. Go read it.

The Storyteller and Her Sisters by Cheryl Mahoney: So looking forward to when this is released. All I will say for now is that if you enjoy fairytale retellings, I heartily and happily recommend this.

Winds of Change edited by Elizabeth Fitzgerald: As per the usual with anthologies there were stories I liked more and ones I liked less. There was more scifi (and horror) than I was expecting, which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s a thing. It’s actually very hard for me to feel strongly about anthologies. I did enjoy the majority of the stories, but there are always a couple that just don’t work for me in any way.

I’m in the Middle of Reading

Sing to Me by Becca Lusher: Yep, again. So far I haven’t landed on any big changes, so I’m pretty content with my little f/f romance of sweetness.

What I’ve Played

Heroine’s Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok: Good fun! It’s like QfG but with a female lead and Norse mythology. My full thoughts will be going up later this month, but in brief if you like the mix of RPG and point-and-click that is QfG then you’ll probably enjoy this game too. (Also, it’s free.)

What I’ve Watched

As per usual, I have entirely forgotten. I’m hopeless, I know.

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Monthly Goals March/April 2014

Posted April 1, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Goals / 0 Comments

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Monthly Goals. The text 'monthly goals' underneath a scroll with a key on it. A look back at my goals of the month.

And then March had ended! :O Yep. That’s pretty much it for intro text right now.

I Want to Read:
– The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
– Cheryl Mahoney’s next book (I get to betaread/edit. Eeeee!!!)
– Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

I Want to Write:
– finish the space ghosts draft at last (AT LAST! And then I can probably change the thing beyond recognition.)

I did ALL OF THE ABOVE. :O Well, all right. I didn’t finish The Raven Boys, but apart from that I read all the bookses on my list and a couple more! :O

Also, have I mentioned that I’ve finally finished the space ghost story yet? Because I finished it. I plan to be looking at it again some time in May, really, so I’ll have April to write on A Promise Broken.

New month intro.

I Want to Read:
– The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner
– Winds of Change edited by Elizabeth Fitzgerald
– The Mystery of Grace by Charles de Lint

I Want to Write:
– as many chapters of A Promise Broken as I can manage with a minimum of about 6. (That’s roughly 18,000 words.)

I have a feeling I’m going to drop the ball on the writing front, partially because I have another new ornery short story rambling about. It features more peeweww. It is also mostly unrelated to the two stories collected in Feather by Feather so it’ll prove a very interesting experience as the story is set quite a bit in the past before the peeweww diaspora that the previous stories are dealing with (or starting to deal).

We’ll see how it goes. I am not making predictions for April until I’m at least a week into it. My March ended on that kind of note. Also I’m prepping this post while I’m very tired and just about up to forming sentences. I probably shouldn’t do that.

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