My book When the Prince Didn’ Come in Time will be free on Smashwords only. I just signed it up for the promotion from the 5th to the 11th so if you’d like a copy, grab it!
Link! Code is: SFREE
I’m pleased to announce the release of “When the Prince Didn’t Come In Time”, a rewrite of the classic Sleeping Beauty tale… or is it?
What would happen if the Prince didn’t come to wake Sleeping Beauty from her 100 year nap? Sometimes happily ever after… isn’t.
The release date is August 2nd and right now it’s only available on Kindle, but I have hopes that I’ll be putting it out on a broader platform (smashwords so it’s available on Nook, etc). I most likely won’t be releasing this one in print ever because it’s so short.
I had planned to release the cover a few days ago and then do another release when the book was available for pre-order, but my life got away from me.
A few days ago, I posted a review for Sirens and I hope y’all have had a chance to read it. And have now had a chance to pick up the book (it was released this past Tuesday). Today I have the genuine pleasure of introducing LS Johnson, one of the contributors to the anthology. LS speaks on “Why Sirens?” especially in reference to this day and age.
Check it out, check out more of the blog tour (I’ll try to see about updating the links later today or tomorrow). And make sure to pick up your copy of Sirens from your favorite retailer.
There are few original references to sirens: Jason and the Argonauts, Odysseus on his ship, a handful of others . . . If that wasn’t bad enough, the details are inconsistent. Sometimes they’re winged and sometimes they’re scaly and sometimes they’re just beautiful women, sometimes they eat men and sometimes they mourn them, sometimes there’s two and sometimes they’re five and sometimes they were changed against their will and sometimes they were always thus. It’s barely enough for an episode in a man’s journey.
Which is the only purpose they have: to provide a temptation that the hero can overcome, preferably while exhibiting his craftiness or proving himself more noble than his fellows. But it makes me wonder about these beautiful temptresses. What motivates them? What do they actually sing? What do they think about, what do they do with themselves, when they’re not ruining men? No one seems to know or care, because they’re not really people in the end; they’re temptation embodied, useful only to the extent that they serve the hero’s narrative.
Unless, of course, someone writes them otherwise.
You can look at a project like Sirens in a couple different ways. You can view it as, say, reworking a trope—a fun exercise that can produce some amazing stories, for it has.
But as I type these words, my social media is filled with the outcome of the Stanford rape trial. The victim’s statement had me in tears; the backlash against her, and the messages in support of her rapist, have left me shaking with anger. In such a framework every act of voicing by a woman—whatever the content or the medium, whatever her race and creed, whether she is cis or trans, queer or straight—is an urgent and necessary act.
Julian Jaynes posits that Greek mythology arose from a time when humanity had no self-consciousness as such, and instead was possessed of a bicameral consciousness: that their decision-making occurred when one hemisphere projected orders/images to the other, like a kind of schizophrenia. What the Greeks called gods—Athena, Zeus, Apollo, Hera—were in fact personifications of the voices in their heads. Bearing in mind that nearly all the texts we have were written by males, with male protagonists: what do creatures like the sirens personify, and why have they continued to resonate all this time? For “there’s always a siren singing you to shipwreck” as Radiohead tells us.
What motivates sirens, what’s their story? Because we need to know their story: we need to understand why the shipwrecks, why the ruination, if it’s even really about shipwrecks and ruination. Because behind every siren is a woman, and no matter how much she sings, she may be heard but she’s sure as hell not being listened to.
L.S. Johnson was born in New York and now lives in Northern California, where she feeds her cats by writing book indexes. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Interzone, Long Hidden, Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and other venues, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and longlisted for the Tiptree Award. Her first collection, Vacui Magia: Stories, is now available. Currently she’s working on a fantasy trilogy set in 18th century Europe.
A few days ago, I did a review for the new book edited by Rhonda Parrish, Sirens. I was lucky enough to read an ARC and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I get to help introduce the authors and the book as part of a blog tour. I thought I would help that along by posting the schedule here. It does not include links for the ones not yet posted, but I’ve added in the links for the few that are active. If I can, I’ll come back and add links as they become active.
From Rhonda Parrish’s Site:
The release date for Sirens keeps inching closer and closer. To celebrate it I’ve organised a blog tour, and I’m pretty stinkin’ stoked about this one Beginning tomorrow a series of blog posts will go live on my blog here as well as several other locations across the web.
The incomplete and tentative schedule looks something like this:
Sirens Blog Tour Schedule
Rhonda hosts “The Drama in Japanese Dramas” by Eliza Chan
July 12th (Release Day)
Pippa Jay hosts an announcement with an excerpt
Beth Cato hosts an announcement with her blurb
Mia Rose hosts a guest post by Amanda Kespohl
Tons of announcements from those directly involved in the book
Elesha Teskey hosts a guest post by Tabitha Lord
Simon Kewin hosts a guest post by Michael Leonberger
Laura VanArendonk Baugh hosts a guest post by Eliza Chan
Rhonda hosts The Horrors in the Closet by Adam Bealby
Stephanie Cain hosts a guest post by Tamsin Showbrook
Hayley Stone hosts a guest post by Amanda Kespohl
Rhonda hosts Voices in my Head… by Tabitha Lord
Anna Kyle hosts a guest post by Adam Bealby
Linn Arvidsson hosts an interview, subject TBD
Samantha Saboviec hosts three question interviews
Rhonda hosts flash fiction, Listen and Repeat by Tamsin Showbrook
Dea Poirier hosts an announcement and giveaway
Reb Kreyling hosts a guest post by L.S. Johnson
Rhonda hosts Literary Crush by Michael Leonberger
Paul A. Hamilton hosts interviews with K.T. Ivanrest, Cat McDonald and Randall G. Arnold
Tiffany Michelle Brown hosts an interview, subject TBD
Rhonda hosts Notes on “We Are Sirens” by L.S. Johnson
Rhonda hosts Four (and a half) Things I Learned Writing Threshold by K.T. Ivanrest
Rhonda hosts Notefisher alternative opening by Cat McDonald
I am excited to be able to share all these extra perspectives, alternate openings, flash fiction and so much more over the coming days and weeks This is, as I said, a tentative schedule though and I will be traveling during some of this period so I may not do an awesome job of keeping it up-to-date. All the same, I wanted to show some skeleton idea of what the blog tour is going to look like. I hope you’ll visit some of the stops.
I’ve had the privilege of knowing Rhonda Parrish for quite a few years. I first met her through a NaNo site online and although I’ve never met her in person, I’ve corresponded with her over the years about writing. So I jumped at the chance to review a book that she edited (even if she hadn’t written any of the stories).
It took me a while to get through this, not because the stories are bad, but because I wanted to savor them. The idea of Sirens dates back to the BC times, at least to the idea of Homer’s story, The Oddessy, if not before. Songs sung by women luring sailors to their doom… but the authors of this book took it to a new level. Not only did they have sirens of the sea, but land and space also. And even a siren spaceship (that one was fascinating!). The vast differences in the stories are what keep your attention as you page (flip) through the book, moving between each story from the Siren who’s looking for love (“Siren Seeking” by Kelly Sandoval which brings a whole new meaning to online dating) to the cheerleader sirens (“We Are Sirens” by L.S. Johnson and a very creepy look at the mentality of high school) to the spaceship siren (“Nautilus” by V.F. LeSann which almost reminded me of a Star Trek episode).
There’s something for everyone in here and although a couple of times I had to squint to try to figure out where the “siren” theme fit in, by the end of the story, I could figure it out. A few times I got to the end and went “wait, that’s it?!” but there’s a couple of authors I’m going to look up and see if they have any other books (and no I’m not going to tell you who… you’ll need to read Sirens for yourself), but overall, I didn’t feel the need to skip anything, a rarity in an anthology written by multiple authors.
So pre-order Sirens and then stop back next month for the blog tour when I host L.S. Johnson. I’ve already read her post and I promise it will give you something to think about.
Good luck, and don’t forget to share this giveaway with your Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy loving friends for extra entries to win!
From author, Jay Shaw, comes a new werewolf novel. Wolfhaven is the first book in her Duality series and looks to be a fun and exciting romp. Although I haven’t read this particular novel yet, I’ve read other books by her. This book sounds like it will be a lot of fun.
From the blub:
For three generations, an uneasy truce has existed between the shapeshifter packs of Wolfhaven and Silver Ridge. But Equinox is fast approaching; and all is about to change.
Connell, grandson of Wolfhaven’s chief, is hungry for adventure; and eager to explore the world beyond the boundaries of where he grew up. Is this a plan set for failure? Only Lupa, Goddess of Wolves, can know; for it is she who bends destiny to her will.
Thayer, heir apparent and Connell’s older brother, has found love with Lena – Mistress of the Moon – and daughter of Silver Ridge’s alpha. Yet, the course of true love never runs smooth. Lena is matched to another. A wolf of her father’s choosing.
Fierce and strong, Kellan is Arden’s second and will make the perfect mate. If only Lena wished it. Silver Ridge, a world of zealotry and submission, is no place for a freethinking female. Especially not one, whose lover whispers of a world beyond her father’s reach.
Will Connell’s dreams of freedom and adventure be thwarted, as Thayer and Kellan challenge for the right to claim Lena as their own? Or will Lena resolve to put the traditions of her pack and the demands of her father over those of her own heart?
So if shifters and goddesses are your cup of tea. If the idea of mates and challenges makes you want to flip the pages to find out what happens next… Wolfhaven might be the novel for you.
Available right now on Amazon for Kindle. And soon it should be available in print. A review will follow.
Normally I prompt new books or authors that have new books coming out, but I have two friends that are working on building a platform (not unlike me) for their books. They are in the process of editing their first book together (Killing Mercutio) and although I don’t know much about the book yet, I have been following along on their wordpress site as they write, edit, and just generally talk about things Shakespeare and literary.
Now I know what you’re saying “Shakespeare”?! Who reads Shakespeare once they aren’t forced to?! First off, you’d be surprised how many things you read, see, say, and love are based on Shakespeare. I’m not going to get into that though, I’ll let the girls tell you about it (just peruse some of their posts to find out.) Second of all, Shakespeare can be FUN! No, let me restate that, Shakespeare IS FUN! Yeah, I know… I can see/ hear all the teenagers I’ve taught screaming. Then I’d remind them that we read a graphic novel (yes, a COMIC book) for Romeo and Juliet and watched a modern movie so we didn’t miss any of the nuances. So yes, Shakespeare is FUN!
To get back to the actual point of this post… While the girls do not (yet) have anything published, they do have a strong showing in social media. You can follow them on Twitter or Facebook. Or do what I do and enjoy their posts (almost daily) on wordpress. They are Nerd Cactus in all three places.
I’d like you all to meet WR Gingell. She’s got a delightful book entitled Masque which is on sale this month along with some other books (which are not on sale). Although I haven’t yet had the chance to read more than a sample (what can I say, I’m behind on my reading list), I’m going to let her words speak for herself and I’ll be back later with a review!
MASQUE buy links (99c special for January):
W.R. Gingell is a Tasmanian author who lives in a house with a green door. She spends her time reading, drinking an inordinate amount of tea, and slouching in front of the fire to write. Like Peter Pan, she never really grew up, and is still occasionally to be found climbing trees.
Author Page Links:
Excerpts from MASQUE:
“I think I would like to see your face,” he said thoughtfully. “Would it stretch politeness too far to ask you to remove your mask?”
“After you, my lord.”
I thought he laughed at me, but again it was hard to tell. “I don’t think I understand you, my lady.”
I looked at him steadily for a moment, my chin propped up in my palm. “Forgive me if I seem rude, but I think you understand me very well.”
He sat forward again, leaning his forearms on his knees. His bulk was so considerable that this maneuver put his face only inches from mine, and I found his eyes uncomfortably piercing. “Very well, my lady. Remove your mask, and I will remove mine.”
I was burning with curiosity that was tempered by a touch of self-satisfaction that I was about to accomplish something that even Delysia had not been able to accomplish, but I untied my mask with fingers that were steady enough.
“Well, my lord?”
“Charming,” he said softly, deliberately misunderstanding. I found myself blushing for the first time in many years. It was annoying to know that he’d intended as much. “How old are you, Lady Farrah?”
“Very nearly thirty, my lord,” I told him composedly, ignoring the rudeness of the question. “And a confirmed old maid, so you’ve no need to waste your compliments on me.”
“What brings you to the Ambassadorial Ball?”
“The proposed militia merger, my lord; and I believe you’re stalling.”
He gave me a slow, considering smile, and I wondered if the face beneath the mask was smiling also. “Is that so? Are you sure you want to see my face?”
Courtesy compelled me to say, albeit with reluctance: “Not if you’re unwilling, my lord.”
Lord Pecus sat silent for a moment as if in thought, his mask unreadable.
“Hm. I don’t believe I am,” he said at last, as if he had surprised himself.
“Try not to scream, my lady.”
If he had said it with the slightest theatricality, I would have laughed and gone back to the ballroom, content not to know what his face really looked like. But he said it unemotionally, a plain warning; and I had to take myself firmly to task for the quickly accelerating beat of my heart as he removed the charms that kept his mask in place. I settled my chin a little more firmly in my palm and waited, watching the process with some interest. I had not much talent for magic, and my knowledge was almost as slight: my training had mostly to do with international policy and diplomatic processes.
At last he seemed to be done. He raised both hands to remove the mask – beautiful hands, strong and bare of rings – and it came away cleanly. For a moment I thought he had yet another mask beneath: firelight played on tawny brown hair – no, fur!- in a face that looked like the worst parts of wolf and bear mixed. I blinked once, realising in that instant that it was his face, his real face, and no mask. His mask must be magic indeed to have hidden that snout under the pretence of a plain common-or-garden human nose.
“I see,” I said into the silent warmth of the room. I dropped my hand back to the arm of the chair and let a small sigh escape. “That explains a good deal.”
A voice spoke behind me, startlingly close. “Lady Farrah.”
His voice was an unfamiliar tenor tone, with a light, lilting touch to it that sounded as if it could rise to the pitch of madness without much provocation. I heard him draw in a deep breath, very close behind me now, and came to the disturbing conclusion that he was smelling my hair.
“I believe you have the advantage of me,” I said quietly. Movement teased my periphery, but I looked steadfastly ahead, refusing to turn my head.
“Don’t you want to know who I am?”
Petulance. I said, hardly daring to breathe: “That would ruin the suspense.”
He laughed. “I knew I liked you! Why did they tie you up?”
“They didn’t want me to run away.”
Even a child of ten years would have protested that I hadn’t given a proper answer, but he didn’t. The cold feeling in my stomach spread in an icy rush to my outer extremities: I was at the mercy of a man whose homicidal mania was governed by a childlike whimsy.
The movement in my peripheral vision died away as he moved behind me again. “Did you know them?”
“Barely.” I had the distinct impression that this man would know if I lied to him, and so I told the exact truth. “A countryman of mine was killed a short while ago, and we had reason to believe that it was in connection with a leak in our covert affairs. Those two were encouraging me not to follow up the investigation.”
“Oh.” It sounded as though he was thinking. At length, he said: “I didn’t kill him for that. You’re playing with me, aren’t you? You know it was me.”
“As soon as I heard Claude die,” I said, nodding. “But I don’t know why you did it.”
He chuckled mischievously. “I’m not going to tell you. You have to figure it out for yourself.”
“How delightful!” I managed to say. My throat was becoming steadily drier, but I didn’t dare so much as lick my lips to moisten them. I knew instinctively that he would take it for a sign of weakness.
“Who’s that at the door?” There was a sudden scuffle of dust as he spun sharply to face the door. “Someone’s coming. A little girl.”
I closed my eyes. Vadim.
“It’s my maid,” I said. “I would prefer if you did not kill her.”
A few months ago, I posted cards and played a game to introduce the new book for one of my favorite authors, Jeri Smith-Ready. Now her street team (Team Jeri) put together a reading marathon for one of her other series (the Shade Trilogy) for the month of June. It’s a fabulous series, but it’s a LOT of reading in a short amount of time!
Although the books read very quickly (and are well-worth the re-read or new read), they are looking at reading all three books, plus the two novellas between June 1st and June 30th. So if you can commit that amount of time, it sounds like a lot of fun! I just wish I had the books available and could commit to it.
If you need the books, you can get them at amazon or through Ms. Smith-Ready’s site (Shattered is only available through the site) or at your local bookstore.
And the wonderful Jennifer Strand from Team Jeri on Facebook created a schedule following the one that Team Kilt did a few years ago. Like I said, it’s a lot of reading in a short amount of time, but if you think you could do it, follow along. Even if you can’t read everything in the month, the books are well worth checking out!