The Force Awakens: A New Hope for the Star Wars Franchise

Yes, /waves Jedi hand/ you see what I did there.

I’m not gonna lie, I had a very hard time getting excited about the new Star Wars movie. I’d been very excited about a new Star Wars movie before, and that backfired hard. Ever since Jar Jar and the disregard of established canon, I’ve had trust issues.

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But as I hate spoilers, I bought an opening night ticket in self-defense, and I sat tense in my seat through the ads and trailers, wearing my Mara Jade costume*, waiting. Daring, just a little, to hope. Continue reading

Vampires for Charity

Once, while dressed as Dracula (I was a sponsor for the Monster Mania film festival of Universal classics at the Historic Artcraft Theater), I donated blood. I posed for a photo outside the mobile donation trailer, assuring the photographer I’d come to the blood bank to make a deposit, not a withdrawal. Then I went inside, and when the nurse came around the corner to check me in, she screamed.

It was great fun. I do love my vampires.

In a similar /ahem/ vein, I would like to share with you a fun promotional event called Vampire Books for Blood. The authors of the vampire-themed books listed have pledged to donate 10% of their October sales to either the American Red Cross or Canadian Blood Services, depending on their location.

So hop on over (yes, that’s a vampire pun, too) and see if there’s any new books you want to sink your teeth into.

#VampBooks4Blood

The March Madness CIR Blog Hop

The March Hare with Alice, the Dormouse, and t...

The March Hare with Alice, the Dormouse, and the Hatter from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During breeding season, it was said, hares were bolder and more active than at other times of the year. Hence the phrase “mad as a March hare,” or “March mad,” and finally “March madness,” a phrase which has been appropriated to refer to basketball tournaments.

As European hares have a six-week reproductive cycle which repeats from January to August or so, I am not sure why they were supposed to be particularly mad in March. I suspect it had something to do with being more visible in the spring as they also rushed about to recover calories spent in the winter and the general thank God at last there’s sunshine shared by all species. But let’s not quibble.

And so in the spirit of March Madness, both leporine and athletic, the CIR blog is having a March Madness book sale and giving away some books. Continue reading

Something Wicked, or How I Got Kicked Out of Book Club

Cover of "Something Wicked This Way Comes...

Cover of Something Wicked This Way Comes (film)

So Monday night I attended for the first time our local library’s book club. It may also have been my last.

The club was discussing Something Wicked This Way Comes, the creepy seasonal novel by Ray Bradbury. I’ve always felt vaguely guilty about not liking this novel quite as much as it probably deserves, but after listening to everyone else give their impressions, I felt like a positive fangirl. Oh, sure, a few enjoyed it, but at least half the group hadn’t even finished the book.

That’s not what got me into trouble, though. No, this particular session of book club offered dinner and a movie, and we watched the film adaptation for further discussion.

I realized I was both dominating the conversation and sounding rather negative, both of which I figured were bad for a first-timer, so I squelched myself a bit. And thus a blog post was born! But the comparison really does offer a really spectacular example of what removing the stakes and changing motivations can do for a story. Continue reading

The Fairy Midwife – a FAE interview

FaeTo celebrate the recent release of Fae, an anthology of fairy tales like you haven’t seen them, some of the anthology authors are taking turns interviewing one another. Today I have the pleasuring of sharing a virtual chat with Shannon Phillips, author of “The Fairy Midwife.” Continue reading

a review: Blade of the Samurai

Cover of Blade of the Samurai, by Susan Spann, a Shinobi MysteryLast night I dreamt of Faery. Thanks to everyone who came to the virtual release party and/or acquired Fae!

In other news, I had the woot-factor of winning a copy of Blade of the Samurai by Susan Spann (released July 15, 2014), and I award it 4.5 stars!

One thing Susan Spann does well — and I can’t believe how fashionably correct this is going to sound, but it’s true — is to write marginalized characters who act powerfully. In Claws of the Cat it was a woman taking a man’s role in society; in Blade of the Samurai it’s a boy on the cusp of genpuku (ceremonial coming of age). Neither is an adult male in this hierarchal patriarchy, yet both are active and interesting characters. I’m taking notes. Continue reading

Today is Digital Book Day!

Digital Book DayIt’s here! It’s Digital Book Day!

Go to Digital Book Day to find lots of titles in lots of genres by lots of authors. All free, today only. My free title today is Con Job (follow link to download), but there are all kinds of books available. But hurry, because the free downloads end tonight.

And remember, be kind and review the books you grab today. Reviews make authors happy!

 

Digital Book Day!

Digital Book DayMark your calendars: Monday is the day to pick up lots of free books!

Go to Digital Book Day to find lots of titles in lots of genres by lots of authors. All free, one day only. Continue reading

Achievement Unlocked: Art

I have a short list in Evernote titled “Unofficial Goals Indicating I Have Arrived :D”. There are only a few entries, formatted as a checklist, of cultural ripples I have observed around successful stories.

I keep the list a secret, because I don’t want to influence the process. I want to see the organic ripples — I want a reader to tweet my title on #FridayReads because she was enthusiastic about the book, not because a friend did it just to make me feel good. Only once an achievement has been unlocked do I allow myself to share that it was ever a goal. (Yep, a #FridayReads appearance was one!)

And today I can check off another. Fan art. Continue reading

The Greatest Show You’ve Never Seen: Remember WENN

Remember WENN

Remember WENN (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The best television series you’ve never heard of is Remember WENN.

Remember WENN holds an odd place in television history. Continue reading