A bloody review

Today’s review is brought to you by the fine folks at Glass House Press and the letter S.

Why the letter S? Because you can’t have serpents in the Thames without it! 😀

Hold on, I hear you saying. Serpents? In the Thames? What on Earth are you talking about?

Very well, then, I’ll tell you: behind the cut!

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Mmm, books… :)

Today I’m excited to share with you some excerpts from Blood in the Water by Tash McAdam, a fantastic new novella from the fine folks at Glass House Press. I’ll be reviewing it as well, but for now, here’s a little taste of what it’s all about:

Purchase on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1MtINrb

Purchase on B&N: http://bit.ly/1ExFSr7

Purchase on iBooks: http://apple.co/1E0aW80

About the Book

There have always been warps—tears between realities—and they’ve always been a threat to humanity. Most people are blind to them. But Hallie’s eyes are opening. Now that she’s going to school at the Protectorate, she’s learning there’s more to life than fun and games.

The truth is, she’s just become part of Earth’s only shield against the monsters of the warps. Before, she didn’t think she was anything special. Now, yanked from her relatively normal life, she realizes that she doesn’t have a choice.

When the emergency alarm sounds, calling everyone in the school to arms, even the young and inexperienced are needed. As one of the warp weavers—capable of closing the warps and stopping the monsters—Hallie must now work to save lives. And she must do it in the most complicated situation she’s ever experienced. Because there are sea serpents in the Thames, and Hallie has to close the doors that are letting them in.

The problem is, they’re underwater, and they’re hungry.

Now everyone is relying on her, and Hallie must find a way to do her job—with a brand new partner—before it’s too late. Because if she fails she’ll die, along with everyone who’s depending on her.

Excerpts

The team next to us glides to the edge of the wharf and drops into the water, the weight of the girls plunging the whole apparatus under.

I flinch in shock, and…

Come on along!

I finished my short story this noon.  Woo!  It feels good to be finished with a project!

Well, okay, maybe not finished in the classical sense of the word, to quote one of my favorite movies. 🙂  The first draft, though, that’s done, and it feels awesome, except for one little thing…

I’ve got a song stuck in my head.

So this ghost story calls for sensory cues, like the smell of roses and snippets of an old song (“Alexander’s Ragtime Band”, for those inquiring minds out there).  I discovered over the weekend that the song I had in mind actually had lyrics, and I was able to find an old recording of it online.  If you’ve seen Titanic, then you’ve heard the song – it’s one of the numbers that the string quartet plays as the ship is sinking.  I have that version on CD, and now I have the Billy Murray recording from 1911 (which you can listen to and download here) as well.  Woo!

But to get the proper mood, I had to weave the song throughout the story.  And to get myself in the proper mood, I listened to the song on repeat all.weekend.long.  Now it’s stuck in my head, Billy Murray singing over the Titanic soundtrack version, which let me tell you, is a little strange.  It’s also kind of fun, though – I haven’t fallen this hard for a song in quite a while.

In my search for info on the song, I learned quite a bit about ragtime, and now I’m on a major ragtime kick.  It’s a shame the genre died out so quickly because the music is really interesting, and I notice something new every time I listen to the songs (“Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer” in particular).

What about you?  What kind of music gets you in a writing mood?  Have you ever fallen in love with a song on your writing playlist and listened to it non-stop?

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Friday At Last!

It’s Friday at last,
And the countdown’s begun – just
Ten more minutes till

Quittin’ time; ten more
Minutes to freedom; ten more
Minutes to fun. Woo!

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I can’t wait for the
Weekend – I’ll have a blast. But
I hope that the time

Won’t pass too quickly
And leave me waiting once more
For Friday at last.

(c) 2015. All rights reserved.

Hay!

It was a busy weekend.  We built a chicken coop and hung gutters and tried not to collapse in the heat.  (I may have collapsed, but not from the heat.)

Still, despite all the busy-ness, I managed to take a few neat pictures of the hay in our newly-remodeled granary/rabbit house/cat house/chicken coop:

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I only wish I could have taken more.  There was a great view from the first floor, but by the time I grabbed my phone, we’d already strung up the chicken wire for the ceiling. 😦

How was your weekend?

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Can you believe it?

It’s been almost a whole week since my last post!  Hard to believe the week is almost over already.

Today, to make up for my absence, I’d like to share the first couple lines of my current WIP (no, not from The Lokana Chronicles), a short story I’m working on for the upcoming Ink Slingers League’s next anthology.

It’s a ghost story, but I don’t have a title for it yet.  Heck, I don’t even have an ending for the story yet, or even a middle, which means I’ve got my work cut out for me to get it into shape by the submission deadline.  But this idea’s been rattling around in my head all summer, and I’m really starting to get excited about it.

It’s the stuff of urban legends (and Saturday morning cartoons): a long-lost relative has died, leaving you part of her fortune.  But there’s a catch.

There’s always a catch.

Very, very, VERY loosely based on something that actually happened to me, I love this story idea.  I used to read all the ghost stories I could get my hands on as a kid, but I haven’t really written very many of them.  This is going to be a fun challenge.

So, tell me – what do you think of my opening?  And what kinds of books did you love as a kid?

Have a great weekend, folks!

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

It’s almost here!

Promo_Banner_AWB_Anthology

That’s right, the release of A World of Their Own is fast approaching!  After years of writing and editing and planning and editing and arting and editing one more time, I’m proud to announce that the Alliance of Worldbuilders has, at long last, chosen a release date for our first anthology.  Available in print and e-versions, you can get your copy on September 4.

This book is chock full of stories set in all kinds of fantastic places and featuring all kinds of creatures.  It’s got angels, dragons, vampires, dwarves, and much, much more.  You won’t want to miss this!

All proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the World Literacy Foundation in honor of our fallen comrade, Lindsey J. Parsons.  She was a fantastic author, archer, artist, and friend, and we miss her dearly.

We’re planning all sorts of fun things for the release, including a Facebook party that you can join now, so stay tuned!

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Photo 365 roundup

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I started my photo-a-day project!  I can’t believe it’s over, either.  As I mentioned before, I won’t be blogging every day for a while, and the thought of that seems weird.  I’ve gotten used to posting every day.  There are some days where my blog post was the only writing I did.  I recorded a lot with my camera this past year, but I recorded a lot with my words, too, and so today I’d like to share a picture that I think encompasses what I hoped to do with this project…

Photo 365 #365

For my final photo in this project, I’ve settled on another one of my many, many flower shots:

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I can’t help it – I love shooting flowers.  They’re so pretty, and in the right light, they positively sing.  I mean, look at those colors!  And the clarity of this image – I haven’t done a thing to it, other than transfer the image from my phone to my computer.

I love it when things turn out like this, and I’m glad I can end my photo-a-day project on such a stunning note. 🙂

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.