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!

 

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

Of Music and Scrooge McDuck

The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Collected...

The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Collected Edition cover. Art by Don Rosa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m listening to a comic book soundtrack, and I’m nowhere close to ashamed.

Tuomas Holopainen

Tuomas Holopainen

Tuomas Holopainen — you might know him, if you have exquisite taste, as the founder of symphonic metal wizards Nightwish — has released an album “inspired by the Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.” And it’s pretty darn good. Continue reading

Blog Chain: Mini-Interviews

Today I’m connecting to some nifty people in a blog chain. You, dear reader, get a mini-interview with me and links to other mini-interviews with authors you might also enjoy, so it’s a fun way to maybe find some new reading matter.

First, I should tell you that it was Rhonda Parrish who sweet-talked me into this. (Okay, it wasn’t that hard.) Continue reading