ConDFW Schedule (with added kolaches!)

I’ve been putting off laying my schedule out for ConDFW (this weekend!) because I’ve had a few other things going on, but here it is:

FRIDAY:

4pm: It Was A Dark and Stormy Night…

Panelists:  Mel White (M), KM Tolan, Linda Donahue, Teresa Patterson, William Ledbetter, J. Kathleen Cheney

Starting a story, whether a short story or a massive tome, is usually the most difficult thing to do.   You know the characters, and you know the world.  But just how do you get started?  Our writing experts give tips and tricks for how to get that story started.

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SATURDAY:

READING 10am: J. Kathleen Cheney, Rhonda Eudaly

THERE WILL BE KOLACHES! 

12pm (noon)  Creating your Fantasy Hero

Panelists: Marshall Ryan Maresca (M), C. Dean Andersson, Tracy S. Morris, Martha Wells, Bradley H. Sinor, J. Kathleen Cheney

There are many stereotypes of hero out there in Epic Fantasy.  The brawny barbarian, the wise wizard, the crafty thief and the pious cleric are all choices.  Which hero fits your world that you have built?  Or do you want to go counter‐trope and build something against the norm?  We’ve put together the brains of our fantasy authors and they will give you ideas on how to build the perfect hero for your world.   [Note: “Perfect Hero” does not denote a commitment to a romantic relationship, so be forewarned]

 

(And I’ve been added to this one, although my attendance is contingent upon an outside commitent.)

9pm: Pornography vs Erotica – How to sell a scene

Panelists: Melanie Fletcher (M), J. Kathleen Cheney, others

Our popular late night panel returns with a twist!  It is one thing to write slash fiction which no one will read.  It is another to write so that people will buy.  Our writers talk about their experiences trying to sell their erotica/pornography, and why something worked and some did not.  Warning, this may be spicy, and is definitely adults only!

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SUNDAY:

2pm: Promoting Your Wares

Panelists: J. Kathleen Cheney (M), Julia S. Mandala, Rie Sheridan Rose, Mary Gearhart‐Gray

You can be self‐published, or part of a world‐spanning literary empire, but you still need to know how to promote your book.  Between book tours, going to conventions and other events and a media blitz, our publisher experts talk about the ways to promote your wares so they can be seen and consumed!

 

 

So that’s where I’ll be, and if you come, please come by and introduce yourselves!

 

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Review: Empress of Storms by Nicola Cameron

Today I’m reviewing Empress of Storms by Nicola Cameron.

One of the things that you need to know going into this book is that it has strong erotic content. Most people who read this author’s work know that’s what this author writes, but I’ve seen one review where the reviewer clearly missed that fact (and was upset to find out the book wasn’t PG), so I’m mentioning that up front to avoid any possible confusion.

 

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Empress of Storms 

Copy from the cover:

A king who must offer himself as royal consort to fulfill a treaty. A young queen and mage, unexpectedly married to the man she’s loved since childhood. Two countries, divided by geography and united by a political marriage, are poised on the brink of a golden age. But will vicious magic and unexpected betrayal tear both the royal couple and their kingdoms apart?

When King Matthias of Ypres has to fulfill a treaty and provide a royal consort for young Queen Danaë of Hellas, the only royal available for marriage is … him. Can he risk letting a blue-haired witch queen into his heart?

From political necessity, Queen Danaë finds herself marrying the man she secretly loves. Now she must win the heart of a king, prove herself as a mage, and defeat the enemies that threaten them both.

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Now I know a lot of people who won’t like this one because it’s erotica, but I know Nicola in her other guise (Melanie) pretty well, so I gave it a read.

All in all, it was a good story, filled with characters who kept this reader’s interest, and a plot that I had no trouble following. While I know some people think that a book with erotic content won’t have any plot, that’s usually not true. Most of them have a plot, although in many books, that plot’s not very well formed. Cameron does a good job here, neither sidelining the plot for the sake of the romance element, nor making the plot nonsensical. The plot worked on its own.

The erotic element was a natural outgrowth of an arranged marriage, and therefore didn’t seem too forced or artificial (she even gave us a reason not to see this as ‘instalove’.)  So that was well incorporated, I think.

The resolution of the plot worked well, and left some wiggle room for us to anticipate another story coming along after this one.  Well done!

 

 

Toying with covers

I’m working on repackaging things and getting a couple of new novellas out, so I’ve been looking at stock art and covers a lot. And I ended up purchasing a cover for the Russian novella.

I can’t change the art, but I can certainly tweak the text a lot. So here’s what I’ve got so far.  It will be challenging to get this all done in the end.

 

So that’s it. There will be tweaks, and I may even try to insert a tag line. We’ll see how that goes down.

(Thoughts are welcome in comments, although since I can’t change the art (that’s already purchased) you don’t need to inform me if you hate it.)

#SFWAPro

The Big Idea +

Today I’m a guest over at John Scalzi’s blog, where I talk about the Big Idea of extreme sensitivity.  

FWIW, at the signing last night I answered some questions about this, including quite a bit about how difficult it would have been for her to eat at first (which is why she went from a plump child to a rather slim young woman–she basically couldn’t tolerate food for some time.) One of the guests at the reading last night asked is she was a vegetarian, to which I answered yes, although she does tolerate fish in the second novel.

in addition, I’m interviewed over at Beth Cato’s blog, so you can drop by there and pick up a few other little tidbits.

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I also had a signing last night at the Barnes and Noble, Lincoln Park, Dallas.

12651077_10208167419960634_5114741014135867214_nHere I am holding forth on some topic, fortunately away from the microphone by then (I only learned later that the microphone broadcast all over the store!) But I’m talking, which I hope is enough of an explanation for that expression…

The signing went well, although it’s difficult to get people to come down to a store on a school night. Next time I shall opt for a non-school night if possible.

Thanks to everyone who showed up, and to the staff there that arranged everything for me.  (And to Rhonda Eudaly, who actually thought to take a couple of pictures, because I FORGOT!)

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And if you’re looking for a signed copies of my books, they have some there at the Lincoln Park location!

#SFWAPro

 

…and accordingly, I’m everywhere.

One of the horrible things about book drop day is that authors are everywhere on the internet…which I am. So let me sum up the last two days:

Interviews:

By M. Darusha Wehm. 

By Sally Janin at The Qwillery

 

Guest Posts:

At Dark Faerie Tales (along with a giveaway)  wherein I talk about the ‘history’ of Larossa.

At SFSignal where I talk about Worldbuilding Underground.

 

There are also a handful of reviews on there, and some should pop up any day now on Amazon. (I hope). Be kind, folks.

And finally, I’m bemused by the number of “Used” copies of my book that are now available on Amazon. 26 at last check, some of them going for as much $22.50, which is over twice what Amazon’s asking.  They’re like scalpers, only for books!

And as a reminder to DFW folks, I’m signing in a few hours (less than 3, EEEP!), at the Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Park, 7PM, so if you can, swing by and introduce yourself.

 

 

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Today’s the Day!

Yep, today is the day Dreaming Death comes out! I’ve been posting about this book a lot, so I’m sure some of you will be relieved.

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It’s available at all the usual places, although Amazon claims they only have a handful left.

From the blurb:

Shironne Anjir’s status as a sensitive is both a gift and a curse. Her augmented senses allow her to discover and feel things others can’t, but her talents come with a price: a constant assault of emotions and sensations has left her blind. Determined to use her abilities as best she can, Shironne works tirelessly as an investigator for the Larossan army.
 
A member of the royal family’s guard, Mikael Lee also possesses an overwhelming power—he dreams of the deaths of others, sometimes in vivid, shocking detail, and sometimes in cryptic fragments and half-remembered images.
 
But then a killer brings a reign of terror to the city, snuffing out his victims with an arcane and deadly blood magic. Only Shironne can sense and interpret Mikael’s dim, dark dreams of the murders. And what they find together will lead them into a nightmare…

 

If you want a tl:dr version: A blind girl uses her enhanced sense of touch to solve crimes! 

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And if you’re looking for other books to fill out a $25 basket to get free shipping, may I suggest two others which are out today:

Rachel A. Marks’ Darkness Fair (the sequel to Darkness Brutal), and Marshall Ryan Maresca’s The Alchemy of Chaos!

Now, please go forth and buy things! We authors need your support!

#SFWApro

Review: Darkness Fair by Rachel A. Marks

Today I’m tackling Darkness Fair, by Rachel A. Marks. She was kind enough to send me an early copy (since I loved the first book so much.) This is the sequel to Darkness Brutal, which I also reviewed and loved!

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Overall, I thought this book was great. It had a bit of a ‘middle of a series’ feel to it in that it didn’t resolve all the issues in the end (and carried some over from the first book, of course.)  However, some things are out in the open now that will definitely change the scenario for the next book. I can’t go further in discussing those because they would be spoilers, but one of them the author warned us about very early in the game, and I was pleased with the way it played out.

 

This series involves a bunch of young people with a handful of adult guardians. As such, you’d probably call this series YA, although it’s perfectly good for an adult to read. Aidan and his cohorts are all believable characters, and now I desperately want to know more about Finger. (The author probably didn’t expect me to say that.)

The relationships between the three main characters (Triangle? Not Triangle?) flow pretty naturally throughout this book, and I was pleased with the resolution, although I can’t say how it will carry on into the next book.  The action throughout the book was steady, making it a fun ride. And I’m finding the magic in this world to be absolutely fascinating, drawing as it does from mythology and history.

I’m definitely looking forward to book 3!

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(I realize this is kinda weird to post on a Sunday, but I had to do this because there’s a bribery system in effect. Not the author’s, but my own accountability system.

Every time I make myself post a review, I get to buy a bag of tortilla chips.

I love tortilla chips, but I had writing reviews.  Mostly because I’m not good at it.  I’m not truly able to look at a book and dissect it. I either come away with “Book Good” or “Book Not Good Enough to Finish.”  (I won’t even contemplate reviewing something in the second category.)

And as I prematurely bought my second bag of chips for January, so I HAVE to pay up by posting this review before February.  Hence, the strange Sunday post of a review.  Sorry folks!)

 

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