Month: August 2016

Book Release: The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake

Posted August 31, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in My Work, News / 2 Comments

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The Princess who Didn't Eat Cake

The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake: a demisexual fairy tale

Available from: Amazon (Ebook), Payhip

Read the story itself on Wattpad

Once upon a time there lived a princess…

When the kingdom discovers that their crown princess doesn’t like cake, chaos ensues. How will the royal line ever continue? Cake is essential to a good marriage! (Not to mention, the rejection of his cake was deeply insulting to the baker-prince who proposed with it.)

…and the stableboy who loved her…

The princess befriends a stableboy. She’s oblivious to the fact that he’s in love with her. The stableboy does his best to explain to the princess what is so wonderful about cake, but it takes an arduous journey to convince her to try a slice.

…in a kingdom that didn’t want to understand…

The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake is a demisexual fairy tale. It aims to introduce people to the concept of demisexuality and to offer a rough idea of how the world may be experienced by people identifying on the asexual spectrum. It offers both the titular fairy tale, a brief essay explaining what demisexuality is in more detail and a short list of books featuring demisexual characters for anyone who would like to see more representation in fiction.

Content Note! View Spoiler » If this is sensitive material for you, please tread with caution.

Surprise release! Yay! It is out and available! Well, to some retailers, at least. It is still percolating its way to most others, but I couldn’t wait to share it with you all! Call me impatient. (Because I am.) But here it is! A handy-dandy ebook version of The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake, accompanied by a short essay for additional information and a short list of other books to explore! It’s also a little more polished and doesn’t feature the word ‘cake’ quite as often as it did.

It should be available for free from most large e-retailers within a few days. The exception to this is Amazon, sorry! Amazon won’t let authors release ebooks for free and it’s not all that happy about authors asking them to price-match either. T_T So I’ve set the price there as low as I can for now. I hope it’ll price match for me automatically, but this is actually something where I could use readers’ help! If any readers could contact Amazon to inform them that the booklet is available permafree elsewhere, I would be super grateful. The more people inform them, the more likely it’ll be price-matched and stay that way.

I’ve released the booklet for free on large retailers because I’m hopeful that their reach will allow more readers to discover the story and, through it, raise more awareness of the asexuality spectrum and demisexuality in particular. Payhip includes DRM-free epub and mobi files and is available on a pay-what-you-want basis, in case you like what I and the booklet are trying to achieve and you want to support a queer indie author produce more stories. (But that is totally optional.)

Please do spread the word to anyone you think will enjoy it or find it useful. I am happy to talk to you about the asexual spectrum and demisexuality too if you have any other questions. I admit that non-fiction is not my strong point, but I’d be happy to do my best to answer any questions you have.

This is the story that sparked the longer DemiPrincess project that’s currently on sort-of official hiatus while I piece my heart back together. (I am getting there and I still aim to have a completed first draft before December.) But the DemiPrincess novel isn’t going to be a particularly good educational opportunity. Sure, it’s longer, but that also means it’s going to have a lot more elements to draw attention away from the focus and it can’t use the cake metaphor quite as easily as a short piece like this can.

I think that about covers it. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

*flails and hides*

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Book Talk: When Our Worlds Collide

Posted August 31, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: When Our Worlds CollideWhen our Worlds Collide by Aniesha Brahma
Pages: 117

Akriti has led a pretty much sheltered life.
Zayn has been shuttled from city to city when he was growing up.
She is comfortable watching her life from the sidelines.
He wants to feel rooted to a place he can call ‘home’.
They meet each other quite by chance.
And both seize the chance to be someone they both need in their lives:
For Zayn, it’s a 'Partner-In-Crime'.
For Akriti, someone who just knows how to be there for her…
When their worlds collide,
It is not what either of them expected it to be.
Zayn has a steady girlfriend. And Akriti has a crush on him.
What happens these two become friends?
The biggest adventure of their lives? Or the road to heartbreak?
What happens when two completely different people collide?
Do they become friends? Or, is their friendship doomed from the start?
'When Our Worlds Collide' is the story of two twenty-three-year olds,
Who are finally growing up and finding their feet in the world.
A tale of friendship and love, crushes and betrayals, messes and second chances,
Marriage and divorce… and the elusive happily ever after!

Also by this author: The Secret Proposal

Earlier this year, I read The Secret Proposal and… didn’t really enjoy it. I was hoping to get a sense of the Indian English dialect, but the copy I bought was so littered with typos that I found it impossible to tell where something was a regional difference or a genuine error that hadn’t been caught in proofreading. I really enjoyed the characters’ personalities, though, and decided to give Brahma’s latest release a chance too.

It has far fewer issues than the first book I read and I enjoyed it a lot!

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Goal Review August 2016

Posted August 31, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 2 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.

Everything down below the banner this time! :O I’m sure you’re all tired of the whinging that was August. ^-~ So let’s poke good things!

Last Month's Goal
I Want to Read:

  • Books. Just. Books. At all. Anything. Except maybe not too much of HEX because then I’ll spend all of August with a massive headache.

I Want to Write:

  • Fiction! Still just fiction! But I have a cunning Sekrit Plan for the fiction!

I may have failed at the cunning sekrit plan because the world did not cooperate and give me what I needed to finish the cunning sekrit plan in time for this month’s end. The cunning sekrit plan is postponed until the world delivers what I need to make it work. It should be September or October before it is implemented, sadly.

Despite that, I wound up writing PIP, the unexpected!verse thing that made up most of August’s writing and I have managed to find the energy to drag myself into draft revisions and editing for A Promise Broken. (It took me a while to be able to look at the cover without getting upset, you see. It is a cover that gives me many mixed emotions at present.) So yay I have written fiction and made progress! I am, I think, picking things back up again (on all fronts), though I’m finding it difficult to get past lethargy and the sense of futility. (Because yay depression!)

Uh, yes, I deal with depression if you didn’t yet know. It is usually… at least decently managed? Which is why this is often surprising to people when I say that this is an ongoing thing that requires ongoing work. “But you’re so happy and cheerful!” Yes, I know. This really does not mean as much as you might think it means. It’s still there. It’s a chronic thing and managing it and doing okay now doesn’t mean that a set-back can’t send you careening back into the spiral. (I am extremely lucky, let me just put it that way.)

Anyway! So I managed the writing, if differently from what I’d envisioned and intended. I have a new story to share once it’s polished and betad and ready to be released. I’m still debating what to do with it, though. Do I want to serialise it next year? Do I want to publish it this year? (Actually, I probably want to save it for next year regardless because it gives me a sure thing to publish in that year.) I’ve also been working on a booklet version of The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake that can go on retailer sites to hopefully spread awareness of demisexuality and the ace spectrum in general through fiction and that is… Actually by the time I publish this post, it might already be available. WHOOHOO!

And I read a number of books too! I didn’t read as many as I’d expected, but that it’s okay. I did end up reading all of HEX, but only in one language to see what I needed to pay attention to in the comparisons. And… Yeah. As you can hopefully tell, I am actually feeling a bit better and more hopeful now. August accomplished what I wanted (if not how I’d imagined), so that is good and encouraging. Bring on the end of the year!

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Book Talk: Every Heart a Doorway

Posted August 30, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Every Heart a DoorwayEvery Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children #1
Pages: 176

Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.
But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she's back. The things she's experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West's care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy's arrival marks a change at the Home. There's a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it's up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of things.
No matter the cost.

Also in this series: Beneath the Sugar Sky
Also by this author: Beneath the Sugar Sky

Let’s start off with my biggest complaint about Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire just so we’ve got it out of the way: It’s too short! T_T I wanted more of this setting and these characters and the world-building and everything. WHY ISN’T THERE MORE?! (Yet? I can has more some time in future?)

Okay, complaint over. Now let’s go talk about the novella below the cut.

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Book Talk: Champion of the Rose

Posted August 28, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Champion of the RoseChampion of the Rose by Andrea K. Höst
Series: Darest #1
Pages: 304

Soren Armitage is an anachronism. Proclaimed Rathen Champion by the Rathen Rose, intended to support the rule of a Rathen King or Queen.

But there are no Rathens.

Resigned to symbolising only Darest's faded glories, Soren is not prepared for the sudden appearance of a Rathen. Now she must find and support the heir despite the machinations of the kingdom's regent, sylvan curses, and the strange behaviour of once-dormant protective enchantments. While the odds seem stacked against her, Soren is determined to do her best to live up to the name of Rathen Champion. But what is she to do when it seems that there is something very wrong with her Rathen? Can she trust the person she is meant to protect?

Champion of the Rose by Andrea K. Höst has been on my TBR pile for… a relatively long time. It’s probably been on it since 2011ish? I’m pretty sure it was one of the oldest fiction books on the pile, at least. But now I have read it! YAY!

There’s a trigger warning for rape. (It happens early in the book, is about a paragraph long, is pretty vague, and most of the story deals with the characters’ conflicted feelings afterwards, if you want some more detail on what to expect. I had to go back and reread a section because I’d missed what it was about.) I will be talking about it, so there are some mild spoilers to follow and the TW extends to this post.

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Book Talk: Blazing Dawn

Posted August 24, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Blazing DawnBlazing Dawn by Becca Lusher
Series: Dragonlands #1
Pages: 221

Nera has been fascinated by dragons all her life. Now, as a Rift Rider Lieutenant, her chance to see them up close has come. The appointment to spend five years as an escort to the human ambassador seems like the ultimate honour and gift, but the dragons she studied in training don't come anywhere close to the reality awaiting her inside the Dragonlands.

Elder Khennik kin Blazeborn Clan Sunlord has no interest in humans. Thanks to the Cloud Curse that their kind brought down upon the Overworld, Khennik's kin are close to losing their ancestral desert homelands forever. When he's assigned as a delegate to the humans upon their arrival, he can't believe his bad luck. Unlike some dragons, he has no wish for more power or responsibility, but he can't seem to avoid collecting them. From his desperate kin to his nervous aide, right along to the useless humans, Khennik dreams of the day when he can return to his desert home.

Regardless of personal dreams and opinions, both humans and dragons are about to learn that they often have more in common than they might think or wish. And when trouble descends, the true friends you can count on have little to do with species – and everything to do with spirit.

Also in this series: A Courtship of Dragons, Storm Rising
Also by this author: Orion's Kiss, Sing to Me, Unbound & Free

Standard disclaimer: Becca is a good friend of mine and I betaread this before it was available. Bias is as toned down as I can make it, but I can’t make Becca into a less skilled author. (Also, I would not want to.)

But yay! Surprise story is surprising! I’ve known about Becca’s Overworld setting for many years and got to read an earlier draft of Wingborn ages past, but I never knew there were prequel stories. Blazing Dawn is set about 200 years earlier and features dragons! And giant eagles! And relationships! And mystery!

So, you know, if political intrigue, QUILTBAG content, dragons, giant eagles, shapeshifting, friendship, and giant skyships is your kind of jam… Give this a go! More details below the cut!

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Book Talk: Last Rituals

Posted August 21, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 2 Comments

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Book Talk: Last RitualsLast Rituals by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir
Series: Thóra Guðmundsdóttir #1
Pages: 314

At a university in Reykjavík, the body of a young German student is discovered, his eyes cut out and strange symbols carved into his chest. Police waste no time in making an arrest, but the victim's family isn't convinced that the right man is in custody. They ask Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, an attorney and single mother of two, to investigate. It isn't long before Thóra and her associate, Matthew Reich, uncover the deceased student's obsession with Iceland's grisly history of torture, execution, and witch hunts. But there are very contemporary horrors hidden in the long, cold shadow of dark traditions. And for two suddenly endangered investigators, nothing is quite what it seems . . . and no one can be trusted.

I was a bit hesitant about starting Last Rituals by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. I don’t have the best of track records with contemporary mystery and, admittedly, the book I read before that had left me feeling less than enthusiastic about being faced with a book that was also about witches in a contemporary setting, albeit that book was horror and supernatural and this one was, well, not.

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Discussing the Feather by Feather second edition ebook

Posted August 17, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in My Work / 0 Comments

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Design Adventures: Feather by Feather Proof 2

Welcome back to another instalment in Design Adventures! This time, we’re taking a quick break from print editions to discuss ebook editions! Specifically, the second edition for Feather by Feather which I worked on in tandem with the second proof.

I don’t really have a particularly long intro to write here, so let’s just get right to it! With the books I’ve been designing and preparing for print this year, I’ve been tackling the ebook version and the print version simultaneously. This is… not actually that uncommon, of course. It makes sense to work on both when you can! Then you can release both at the same time.

But! Feather by Feather and Other Stories already has an ebook edition! So that leaves me with two choices. Well, it leaves me with more, but they all boil down to two things: I edit the ebook I already have or I recreate a new one from scratch. Now, Feather by Feather uses a lot of different formatting for its stories, because I thought that was a good idea at the time, and that means that redoing the ebook from scratch is… not something I’m particularly keen on.

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Book Talk: Hex, Chapter 2

Posted August 16, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Bilingual read-through of HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Welcome back to the comparative read of Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s HEX! This time I’m tackling chapter 2.

When last we visited the towns of Black Spring and Beek (stream, if you’d like a translation), we had encountered Stefan, his family and their USian counterparts! We’d also encountered a creepy, kind of stalkerish old lady with eyes and mouth sewn shut.

She basically stared at everyone and banged into a door and I am not quite sure why everyone is frightened of her. (No, okay. Intellectually I am well aware that she’s creepy. I’m just not feeling the creepy vibe just yet. Maybe in this chapter?)

Another important question for this read: Will Lynn be equally grumpy about the creepfactor? (Mild spoiler: she probably will be.)

List of Prominent Characters

So, the NL and EN tags are the ones actually used in the story. If it’s listed for both then it’s a shorthand I’m using to note which of the characters is which. Where no name for ‘both’ is included I haven’t used a name for both. (Expect this list to get updated per chapter!)

  • Stefan (NL), Steve (EN), Ste (both)
  • Katherina (NL), Katherine (EN), Kat (both)
  • Jolanda (NL), Jocelyn (EN), Jo (both)
  • Timo (NL), Tyler (EN), Tiy (both)
  • Oma (NL), Gramma (EN), Granny (both)
  • Max (NL), Matt (EN), Maxmatt (both)
  • Robert Grim (NL, EN)
  • Claire Hamer (NL), Claire Hammer (EN)
  • Jens van der Heijden (NL), Warren Castillo (EN), Jenren (both)
  • Jasmine Aerendonck (NL), Bammy Delarosa (EN), Jasmy (both)
  • The Aerandoncks/The Delarosas, Aerenrosa (both)
  • Martijn Winkel (NL), Marty Keller (EN),Winler (both)
  • Loes Krijgsman (NL), Lucy Everett (EN), Loucy (both)

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