26 December 2008

Friday Quizzage

I thought the Snow Quiz would be a good choice, seeing as we're apparently having out 100-year winter storm right now. Yes, we are a solid two weeks into snow here in the temperate Pacific Northwest. The good news is, it's supposed to get up to--and stay at or around--40F this weekend. So hopefully it'll all melt away by New Year's Eve. Cross your fingers for us.



Your Snow Test Says You're Independent



You feel like something good will happen to you in the next few weeks.


You love to work, especially when work is creative. You have the makings of a successful artist.


You are an independent, individualistic person. You thrive when you're doing your own thing.


Your biggest worry in life is your family. You stay up at night thinking about them.


When it comes time to relax, you have no problem letting go. You are already pretty relaxed as is!



Umm...relaxed? Maybe at the moment, but not usually. Ah well. They can't all be right. ;o)

24 December 2008

What's she reading this Wednesday?

What else? Suzanne Brockmann's All Through the Night. I love Jules and Robin and now I finally get to read their HEA. And it's even seasonal. :D I've read three others of her books, and I've thoroughly enjoyed them all. Of course, they all had a lot of Jules in them, so how could I not, right? If you've not had the pleasure of reading any of her books, I highly recommend diving into Hot Target. It's number eight in her Troublshooters series, but it's where Jules and Robin's story begins and that's what it's all about for me. So Hot Target, then Breaking Point, and Force of Nature. Then and only then may you read All Through the Night. But don't worry. It won't take long to get throught the first three; they're all very tough to put down once you start reading. And it's so worth it! Hie thee to the bookstore and pick up all four titles. If the weather around you is anything like the weather around me, you'll need some good books to keep you warm.

21 December 2008

Happy Solstice!


I hope everyone has a cozy place to spend this longest night of the year. Happy Solstice!

Global Climate Change

No, I'm not going to go all envrionmentalist and political on you today. I am environmentalist and political at times, but not just now. I just want to do a bit of compare and contrast with these two photos of the antique rose bush outside my house. The first was taken on 31 Dec 06. The second was taken this morning, 21 Dec 07.



Weirdest part is, it has snowed three times here in the last week, and each time there's been some snow left when the next snow fell. That just doesn't happen here. Normally, if we get any snow at all, it stays for 24 hours or less, and then melts away. This year we've had record low temperatures. The other morning it was 12.1 F in our back yard. The city just doesn't get that cold! It's crazy! We're basically shut down until this passes. They've good about sanding the hills and whatnot, but being the short-sighted city that we are, we're just not prepared for this sort of thing. I'm so glad that we got all our shopping and errands done yesterday! My hubby tried skiing a bit this morning, but apparently there's a layer of freezing rain over the nice, fluffy snow. So now he's walking over to the donut shop to see if they're open. I hope so. I'd love a donut for breakfast today. Much easier than the pancakes I was going to make. ;)

Happy Solstice!

19 December 2008

Friday Quizzage



You are Dark Chocolate



You live your life with intensity, always going full force.

You push yourself (and others) to the limit... you want more than you can handle.

An extreme person, you challenge and inspire the world!

12 December 2008

Friday Quizzage

I do loves me some flannel jammies!



You Are Flannel Pajamas



You seek comfort above everything else. You rather feel good than look good.

You are a very relaxed person, especially when you're surrounded by your favorite things and people.


You are a homebody. Home is the place where you can truly be yourself.

You are likely to wear pajamas a lot. In fact, you often change into your pj's the minute you get home!

09 December 2008

Free Solstice Story

Hey there! My holiday freebie is up and ready for downloading. You can find it on the Samhellion Blog (It says the theme is Xmas, really it's Solstice--they don't have Christmas, per se, in that universe). You can also get it from my website, which I updated just today with a few other things, too. If you read the story, let me know what you think!

08 December 2008

Free Holiday Stories

I'm having fun this afternoon reading the holiday freebies from Samhain. So far I've read: The Gift of Giving; Baby, It's Cold Outside; and A Midnight Clear. All have had their various charms. What's not to love about m/m romance set in London, right? And I love stories set in and around Seattle, esp. when they involve spice and snow. ::wicked grin:: I'd been particularly looking forward to Ciar Cullen's Baltimore historical and I wasn't disappointed. If you haven't popped over to DL these fun freebies, what the hell are you waiting for? Off you go now.

Holiday Freebie Reads and I'm a dork!

I didn't realize they'd begun posting stories last week. D'oh! So rush on over to the Samhellion Blog Free Reads page and start downloading now! I'm jazzed to read Ciar Cullen's story that was posted today. And of course I'll be all over Ann Sommerville's, too. I've downloaded them all and will be reading as many of them as I can this afternoon. (Stuck at a desk where hopefully the phone won't ring much.)

And most importantly: my story will be posted tomorrow! :D If you liked Jimothy and Ricky, you'll get another taste of them tomorrow when they celebrate Solstice together.

05 December 2008

Holiday Freebies!

Hey, gang! Next week Samhain will be offering a free holiday story a day on the Samhain Cafe and the Samhellion Blog. (I'll get you those links later when I'm on my own computer where everything is conveniently bookmarked.) Mine will be up on Tuesday 9 December, but I encourage you to download all of them. They're all short, about 3K each, and there are some great authors representing for Samhain. So check in each day next week and I'll post links for them all.

Happy Holidays!

Friday Quizzage

Okay, so I'm a week late with the Thanksgiving quizzage. I blame the food hangover I had last Friday. I take issue with this result. Proper mashed potatoes are are neither predictable nor ordinary.



You Are Mashed Potatoes



Ordinary, comforting, and more than a little predictable

You're the glue that holds everyone together.

03 December 2008

What's she reading this week?

I finally finished Kushiel's Dart, which was brilliant. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys: fantasy; action/adventure; political drama; erotic romance.

So, what am I reading this week? I'm reading the print galley for The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing. It comes out in print on 28 April and of course that means a chance to fix typos before that happens. I'm nearly done--just one chapter to go--which is good since it's due next Monday.

Also, I won NaNoWriMo again this year. Yay! I'm a three-peat winner! (We'll ignore for now the fact that the novel isn't acutally done.)

Finally, I have a free read holiday story that will be available soon through the Samhain Cafe yahoo group and I think on the Samhellion Blog. When it's up, I'll let you know!

28 November 2008

Friday Quizzage, The Return!

Your rainbow is shaded orange, brown, and black.


What is says about you: You are a strong person. You appreciate the roughness of nature. You feel closer to people when you understand their imperfections. You may meet people who are afraid of you.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.

20 November 2008

Write? Right!

I had a most successful time at this evening's write-in. Not only did I win one word war (yay for prizes!), I got in 5000+ words on the day, and ::drumroll::

I passed 50K for the month! I'm currently looking a green bar (if you know NaNoWriMo, you know what I mean) and a total word count of 50,077. And you know what? I'm not even close to done. When I'm finished happy dancing, I may weep. LOL

18 November 2008

Come Write-in!

Hey there. Sorry to have vanished. It's just that I'm once again participating in NaNoWriMo. That's National Novel Writing Month, for those who don't know. I've been churning out words like a Dutch dairy maid in a 19th century comic opera. Get it? Churn? Okay so it's a good thing I'm not trying to write stand-up comedy.

I'm doing pretty well so far. ::quickly knocks on wood:: I crossed over the 40K mark yesterday evening. If I stay on pace, I'll make 50K this weekend. We'll see... Part of that attempt will take place at an official write-in on Thursday evening. I'll be joining my fellow WriMos at a local coffee shop, Cafe Van Gogh, in Wedgewood from 6 - 9 pm. The lovely owner has generously agreed to remain open three hours later than usual that night just for us. So, if you're in the nieghbourhood and feel like stopping by to wave the flag of moral support and/or get yourself a fabulous cuppa java, please do! And if you're NaNoing yourself, bring that laptop along and join in. There will be word wars and fabulous prizes to be won! And did I mention the delicious coffee? Yeah. Mmm...coffee.

Hope to see you there!

04 November 2008

HUZZAH!

My country has regained a modicum of sanity. I only hope my state follows suit.

U.S. President - Electoral College

winnerObama (D) - 338


McCain (R) - 141



31 October 2008

Happy Halloween! - Friday Quizzage!

So true, so true.



What Your Love of Peanut Butter Cups Says About You


You are hedonistic... sometimes to the point of being greedy.


You love to eat, and there's no chance you're sharing your candy!


While you may be greedy, it's with good reason. You have great taste.


The things you love are worth loving, and it's no wonder you crave them.



Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain to you all!

30 October 2008

Halloween Countdown Quiz #3

It's almost Halloween. Are you as excited as I am? Samhain. The New Year. Time of endings and beginnings. I love it all! And I think this quiz in amusingly accurate. ;)




Your Monster Profile



War Terror


You Feast On: Starbucks


You Lurk Around In: The Hearts of Men


You Especially Like to Torment: British People


29 October 2008

Halloween Countdown Quiz #2

One for you vamp and shifter fans out there.




You Are a Vampire



You are charming, sensual, and even a bit manipulative.


You can't help but get people to do what you want.


You have sharp senses and a strong predatory instinct.


You go after what you want, without mercy.


While you have the heart of a killer, many people are drawn to you.


You are elegant, timeless, and mysterious. You are the ultimate fantasy object.


28 October 2008

Halloween Countdown Quiz #1


You Are 35% Witch



It's unlikely that you're a witch. At least, no one thinks you are.


You may still be interested in witchcraft, but you're by no means a stereotypical witch.


While you don't seem all that witchy, people may think you're a bit weird.


You're definitely a little offbeat. No one really knows what to make of you sometimes.


27 October 2008

New Interview

Check it out. My interview with Debra Parmley is up at her blog, Make-believe Mondays. She had some great questions and I had a lot of fun answering them. She made me think, blast her! ;-) Pop over and have a read.

24 October 2008

Friday Halloween Quizzage!


You Are



A Drunk Pumpkin Face

You would make a good pumpkin martini.


Mmm...pumpkin martini! I may have to make one of those. :D

17 October 2008

Friday Halloween Quizzage!

Halloween is by far my fave celebratory occasion. So I'm starting the Halloween Friday Quizzage two weeks early. Yay!






Your Unique Costume is Shark Attack



HEEELP!!! This Great White won't be hungry for long!

15 October 2008

What's she reading this Wednesday?

As predicted, I'm still working my way through Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey and still enjoying it. Unfortunately, pesky day job-type stuff is keeping me from reading. I predict I still won't be done next week, but I'm sure as hell going to try.

14 October 2008

Hilarious video

I got this vid link in my email this morning and I have to share it with you. It's so very un-PC and wonderful. Enjoy!

I Love the Gays

10 October 2008

Friday Quizzage




Your Hair Should Be Red



You are a passionate person... both in love and in life.

You have many causes that are important to you. You can be very intense.

You are very fiery. You speak up, and you don't mince words.

You also have a very flamboyant personality. You love to show off.

You are both eccentric and expressive. You like to share your unique point of view.

You can become quite impassioned. So impassioned that you can seem a little overbearing.



I've been a red-head more than once in the past, but keeping up a colour not one's own is too much work these days. Still, it was always fun while it lasted.

08 October 2008

It's Wednseday. What's she reading?

This week (and probably next week, too) I'm reading Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey. It was recommended to me several years ago by one friend and then again recently by another friend who went so far as to thrust her copy of it into my hands. The author has created a fascinating and complex world. A country of people descended from apostles and angels, who love beauty above all else, and who live by the rule "Love as thou wilt."



The heroine, Phedre, is born to a woman of the Night Court, sold into indentured servitude, and purchased by a nobleman with political secrets and plans. She becomes a part of his household and at the same time a living tool that he uses to gain information. I'm barely over a quarter of the way in--it's 900+ pages--and I am hooked. At least for this book. It's not easy reading; I'd put it somewhere between Gael Baudino and Robert Heinlein in density of verbiage. But so far my friends have not steered my wrong. I can put it down with relative easy, but I am always excited to pick it up again later.

04 October 2008

Banned books week - Day 6

I'm choosing to finish out the week with this. The irony factor makes it particularly appropriate. Have you ever read Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451? Why would someone want to ban it? Because it makes book banners look bad, perhaps?





In a futuristic Earth -- but not so far removed that we don't recognize or relate to it -- all books have been declared illegal. Our hero, Guy Montag, is a fireman. That doesn't mean he fights fires. Quite the opposite. Firemen burn books. Guy thinks nothing of it until the day he and his fellow firemen are called to the home of a woman who has a whole library hidden in her house. She chooses to burn to death among her books rather than to live without them. Guy is so struck by this extremity of emotion -- seeing as there is no passion of any kind in his own life -- that he swipes a book before it can be destroyed, just so he can read it and see what all the fuss is about. That's the beginning of his slide. His marriage, his job, his status as a free man. It's all lost and in its place is an underground network where people have become books.


I love Bradbury. I really do. This is one of his many masterpieces, IMO. The idea of books becoming illegal -- any and all books -- is too horrible for me to want to think about it. But I do, especially when I think about Farenheit 451. This story is a prime example of an all too possible future if we continue to allow people to ban books in any place for any reason. That's why this week is important. That's why it's important to remember during the other 51 weeks of every year that freedom of expression is one of the most important freedoms there is. And that's why it's so important that every book be out there on the shelves for anyone who wants to read it.


03 October 2008

Banned books week - Day 5

I was going to end the week with this book because it's one of my all-time favourites, but instead I'm blogging about it today. It seems only fitting since it, too, starred Anthony Andrews when it was filmed for television in 1981.




It also starred Jeremy Irons and a lot of other amazing actors. But the cast isn't important. It's the characters that really matter. I read this one, for fun, for the first time when I was in middle school. I re-read it repeatedly for the next several years. Probably almost as often as I re-read The Lord of the Rings.



Brideshead Revisited started my love affair with Evelyn Waugh, King and Master of Irony. (Don't believe he deserves the title? Read The Loved One.) Brideshead Revisited really struck home to my adolescent self, even though I undoubtedly missed many of the nuances the first few times I read it. I read it again for the first time in something like 15-20 years this past summer and was reminded of everything I loved about it. The relationship of Charles and Sebastian. The way Charles tries so hard to protect Sebastian from his own family's well-meanning but horribly misguided "protection". How Charles's relationships with Sebastian and all of the Flytes changes over the years. There are few constants in the world, real or fictional, and Charles Ryder is the most constant of them all. It's one of the things I love about him. His beliefs are firm and unwavering, just like his affection for his friend. Maybe that's what drew me to him. From the very first time I read it, I could always relate to Charles. My own feelings tend to run towards the absolute, you know?



My friend who first turned me onto Brideshead Revisited had a teacher in high school, a priest, who called Charles his "favourite agnostic". I love that. It amuses me to this day. I guess you could say Charles is my favourite agnostic as well. Maybe that's why I keep re-reading the book.

02 October 2008

Banned books week - Day 4

This time I'm not blogging about something I read for school. (Not that I read Phantom Tollbooth for school, either, now that I think about it. Anyway...) You'd expect it was for school. Maybe some heavy (or just pretentious) English Lit class from college or something, but you'd be mistaken. See, I read this one for fun. Remember that, okay? Because I'm going to tell you what it is and you're not going to believe me. Ready?



Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott.





Yep. I read it for fun. I know. I'm a sick puppy. I have a good reason though. Want to hear it? Okay. Anthony Andrews. See, he was in the TV movie of Ivanhoe 1982. ::happy sigh:: I look at the cast now over on IMDb and I realize there were a load of amazing actors in that movie, but I only remember Anthony Andrews. When he didn't choose Lady Rowena (the Saxon, which would have pissed off the Norman lords) and instead chose Rebecca (the Jewish woman, which pissed off everyone - including Rebecca)... ::chuckle:: Loved it.



I didn't read the novel then. Gods no! Precious (and pretentious) as I was in 1982, I wasn't stupid enough to think I could actually read that book. I read it later. Maybe in the early 1990s. I'm not entirely sure. I thought I'd never make it through when I got to the multiple pages (3? 7? 20?) describing this Cardinal and his train of attendants and followers in complete detail all the way down to the two Saxon pig herders, but I slogged on and eventually got into and through it. Finished it and everything. And didn't throw it across the room. ;) It wasn't as good as watching Anthony Andrews on the telly, but it was still very enjoyable. (And wouldn't Sir Walter Scott be oh so pleased to hear it put that way. LOL. I console myself with the reassurance that if he could see Anthony Andrews in the role, Sir Walter would agree.)

01 October 2008

Banned Books Week - Day 3


Today I pick D.H. Lawrence's book Sons and Lovers. I don't know why someone banned it unless they hated it even more than I did, and I just don't think that's possible. This is another one I read for school. It was the over-the-summer homework in preparation for AP English when I was a senior in high school. It's a novel version of D.H. Lawrence's life. Why he did it that way I don't know, but it doesn't really matter because the only books I've ever disliked as much as this one, I simply didn't finish reading. (Black Trillium and Crystal Singer come immediately to mind. Hated both. Didn't waste my time finishing them.) In the case of Sons and Lovers, however, it was for school and I dug the teacher and I didn't want to start my last year of high school off on the inevitable lazy note on which I knew it was destined to end. So I read it. Every fucking word. You know how I celebrated when I was done? I threw it across my parents' living room. Diagonally so it would have to fly farther. This is saying something. I treasure books. They're very important to me just in their very existence. The fact that I wanted to do physical harm to this innocent collection of pages tells you just how much I loathed what was printed on those pages.


Now here's the funny part. We started the year on this book. I expressed repeatedly and fairly articulately why and how much I hated it. It wasn't until late in the school year that I discovered that the teacher didn't believe I'd read it. How do I know? I was TA-ing for the registrar and the English teacher came in. The conversation got around to this horrible book, and I began, once again, to expound on its great horribleness. That's when I saw it. That sudden look of surprise and realization on his face. It was at that moment he understood that I had read it. Hell, if my points of argument were still in my head eight months later, I must have right? I still love the guy, but Duh! Could I possibly have hated it that much without reading it? No! Right then and there I told him in no uncertain terms that I had read every page of that piece of shit (And yes, that was my choice of wording at the time.) and it sucked!



So there you have it. Not all banned books are actually good books, but that still doesn't mean they should be banned. If one objects to a book, don't read it. Assuming, of course, you are given the choice. ;-P

30 September 2008

Banned Books Week - Day 2

Today I pick that masterpiece of YA lit, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. To this day I can't think of leaping to conclusions without the concern of having to swim back. And many is the day I have found myself wasting time and thought that Tock would be very displeased with me but at least I'm not killing time, which would be far, far worse. The plays on words and the interpretations of common phrases are thoroughly brilliant and force the reader to think twice or indeed thrice about linguistic turns of phrase that we take for granted. So here's to Milo and Tock, the denizens of Dictionopolis, the stairway to infinity, the island of Conclusions, the awful Dynne, the Princesses Rhyme and Reason, and a magical Phantom Tollbooth.

29 September 2008

Banned Books Week!

Greetings, all! It's ALA Banned Books Week and I thought it might be interesting to blog on a different banned book each day this week. I can't actually think of five off the top of my head--mostly because I can never remember what some idiot has banned in the past. I do know that Mark Twain's masterpiece Huckleberry Finn was banned at some point, though. (Hell, it was probably banned at several different times; ignorami exist in all generations, right? :-P )



I remember reading Huckleberry Finn in high school for junior year English and I remember enjoying it very much. Naturally we had to write a paper on it and I distinctly recall arguing the opinion that Huck was an example of a "pure human being". What that means, exactly, I couldn't tell you today. My memory of my teen-aged self is blessedly vague. There was something about humanist theory and naturalism and whothehellknows what else. I, of course, thought I was innovative and terribly clever. The teacher wasn't so impressed. Of course, she and I had a very shaky truce thing going on at the best of times that year, but that's neither here nor there. I liked the book and the fact that I got a C+ on the paper didn't bother me at all and I'm not still bitter about it. Nope. Not bitter in the least. ;-P



What banned books do you remember reading for school? or just for fun?



I'm going to go digging through lists of banned books too see what else I've read that I can blog about this week. Why don't you go out and find a banned book you've always wanted to read, and read it!


26 September 2008

Friday Quizzage

I figured it was going to be either this or a semi-colon.






You Are a Comma



You are open minded and extremely optimistic.

You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.



You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.

You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.



Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.

(But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)



You excel in: Inspiring people



You get along best with: The Question Mark



ETA: I forgot to mention earlier that apparently it was National Punctuation Week this week. That's why I picked this particular quiz today. I hope you all used proper punctuation this week. Of course, I hope you do that every week because there is no excuse for bad grammar. (I'll stop now before I go on a rampage about how our society is becoming a bunch of illiterati because of text messaging. If I were a parent my kid would have the rule that s/he would text in complete sentences, properly spelled and punctuated or they would not be allowed to text. ::gives evil eye to all who would challenge her:: ... Huh. So much for not going on a rampage. At least it was a wee one.)

24 September 2008

What am I reading this week?

The Masque of the Black Tulip by Lauren Willig. That's what I'm reading. It's the sequel to The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. I know. The titles alone are thoroughly delightful. Even more so when you get into the story and discover that the author's tongue is firmly in her cheek. The second book is no disappointment on that count. Willig's style flows easily whether she's writing the present-day, first-person story of Eloise - the historian researching these floral mysteries - or the third-person, 1803 characters of London and Napoleonic France.



First off, this is a part of history I dig. Not quite as much as I dig the French Revolution itself, but close. It's a fascinating segment of history, IMO. Willig takes the story of The Scarlet Pimpernel and moves beyond it to his student-cum-replacement the Purple Gentian, and then later the Pink Carnation. Okay, enough of the premise. These are romantic historic adventures with a healthy dose of modernity. I nearly sqwaked like one when the 1803 heroine of Black Tulip barked out "Albatross!" Willig made it fit perfectly sensibly into the scene while leaving no question as to just who and what the author was referring to. Hilarious!



I do like this heroine, Lady Henrietta, rather more than I like the heroine, Amy de Balcourt, in the first one. Amy has her charms, but she's a bit of a twit, IMO. Hen, on the other hand, I can relate to. She's sensible and logical while still falling prey to her emotions. You know, like normal people do. At least, the normal people I tend to know. Amy's great on the page, but like Grace Adler, I would have to beat her with a stick if she were real. Hen and her hero, Miles, are normal people in extraordinary circumstances. I like that. I'm looking forward to reading The Deception of the Emerald Ring.



And through it all, Eloise, who is living her own first-person life while researching the Pink Carnation, et al. Again, my type of heroine. The woman's a dork, and I love her for it. Go, Eloise!

19 September 2008

Friday Quizzage




You Are Argentina



You are a set of contradictions, and it often seems like you live in two worlds.

You are introspective yet outgoing. You are modern yet traditional.



You are warm and honest. Your life is petty much an open book.

You are a hard worker, and you don't mind putting in long hours. And then you'll go party til dawn!

17 September 2008

What am I reading?

I'm trying something new. Each Wednesday I'm going to post something about whatever book I happen to be reading. That's the theory anyway. Let's see how many Wednesdays I can go before I miss one. Hopefully it'll be incentive for me to read more, too.



This Wednesday, I'm reading Arthur C. Clarke's Against the Fall of Night. Its original copywrite is 1953 and this edition, from April 1970, has a fascinating Publisher's Note that I'll add at the end of the post. Clarke is -- sorry, was ( ::sad sigh:: ) one of the masters of the sci-fi genre. He used (I cannot get used to that past tense.) science fact to write speculative fiction. This book is set so far into the future that he tosses out words like century and millenia like we would use minutes and years. The human race has expanded out into the universe and been driven back to Earth by "the Invaders", and even that was all so long ago that no one living (despite their slowly aquired immortality) was living then. The contraction of the human race over countless eons down to one enormous, automated city - Diaspar - has at the same time been both the deliverance and the slow destruction of the species. Unimaginative, incurious, afraid, patient to the point of stagnation, humans have lost what made their ancestors human. Until our hero, Alvin, the first child born in seven thousand years, grows into a boy who questions...everything.



And that's where the story begins as the last cloud ever seen by man crosses the sky of the desert Earth.



I'm loving this book despite its most obvious failing. 109 pages into the total 159, there has been one - one - female character. I only half blame the author. After all, it was 1953. The western world was sexist beyond anything I can comprehend and, quite simply, Clarke wasn't writing for the audience that is me. Setting aside what I tend to refer to as the quaint sexism of early sci-fi, it's a beautiful illustration of a future too big and broad to be real to our minds, but at the same time too familiar to the themes facing the world today to be comfortable. We are back sliding rather badly here in the US, de-evolving right before our very eyes. We need an Alvin to shake things up.



I'm looking forward to seeing where the story goes and where it ends.



Okay, here's that Publisher's Note I mentioned. Check this out:



"Against the Fall of Night is a novelty even in the novel field of science-fiction publishing. Published in 1953 by Gnome Press, it earned critical acclaim and reader popularity. Then, in 1956, Mr. Clarke published a completely rewritten version under the title of The City and the Stars, exercising his author's privilege to have "second thoughts" about his work. There has been no general agreement on which is the better book. Pyramid is proud to present the author's original inspiration in the form in which it first appeared."



I love that: a novelty even in the novel field of science-fiction publishing. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for a copy of The City and the Stars so I can make my own comparison.

12 September 2008

Friday Quizzage

Actually, I was voted Most Likely to Become Famous.





You Would Be Voted Most Outspoken



In school, you were often the first person to raise your hand in class.

You always had something to say, and you weren't afraid to say it.

You were well known for being politically active and controversial.

And while people may not have agreed with you all the time, they appreciated you speaking your mind.

11 September 2008

Does that make me lazy?

I don't believe in writer's block. If that sounds like high-and-mighty-bullshit, so be it. I used to have a muse, but she went on holiday to Fiji sometime in the late 80s or early 90s. I haven't heard from her since and I've not opened the position to new-hires. I'm a practical person in a lot of ways and writing is one of them. Right now, I am expressing that practicality by owning my uninspired uncreativity. I don't have writer's block. I'm not missing a muse. I am simply feeling completely unmotivated. I'm waiting on a lot of things that are currently out of my computer and control. That's no excuse for my incredible lack o' motivation. I'm just not feeling the love. Fortunately I'm leaving town on Tuesday for nearly a week. I find that a major geographical shift will often kick me back into literary motion. Here's hoping it works again this time.

05 September 2008

Friday Quizzage

I couldn't decide today, so you get two. :)





You Are Sheryl Crow!



Down to earth with tons of creative energy
When you talk, everyone can relate to you
"Life springs eternal
On a gaudy neon street
Not that I care at all"






You Are 28% Girly



You are a pretty hardcore tomboy, and a very free spirit.

Gender roles be dammed, you like to do things your way.

02 September 2008

Treasured Possessions

I have many things I would consider treasured possessions - many (indeed possibly most) are books. A new one entered my world today. It was already a bit of a treasure being a copy of Robert Llewellyn's book The Man in the Rubber Mask, which my bro gave me years ago when Red Dwarf was still filming. It became even more wonderful this weekend when a good friend took it to Dragon*Con and got it not only autographed but personalized by the author. *squee* Thank you, L!

29 August 2008

Friday Quizzage

I've been totally lame about updates. Right now, especially after the crazy-random week I've had, I'm proud to have managed my weekly silly quiz. I hope everyone has a good weekend!






What Your Little Black Dress Says About You



You are sexy, outrageous, and daring. You love to push people's buttons.

You are fearless and free spirited. You get people talking... and you don't care what they say about you.

Your style is revealing, trendy, and flirty. You love to look good.

If you were a shoe, you would be: Strappy sandals

22 August 2008

Friday Quizzage




You Are Comic Sans



You are a nothing but a big goofball. You're quite playful and fun!

You're widely known for your zany personality and your vivacious attitude.



To say that you stand out in a crowd would be a definite understatement.

Remember that you are overwhelming at times and that people appreciate you best in small doses.

15 August 2008

Friday Quizzage

Well, not so much a quiz this week as a fun little name generator. I went to a friend's film fest last weekend and everyone was required to wear a name tag with his or her Star Wars name on it. How do you find out your Star Wars name? Simple! Follow the directions below.



Take the last three letters of your first name and reverse them.
Example: Maia => Aia => Aia (Okay, so, bad example because it's the same forward as back, but you get the idea, right?)



What is the first car you ever drove (or owned if, like me, you can't remember)?
Example: Chevette



So, my Star Wars name is: Aia Chevette



See? Fun and easy. :D



Happy Friday, everyone!

11 August 2008

Friday Quizage on Monday

I was offline last week so I missed my usual Friday Quizzage, but I don't want to wait until this coming Friday for this one, so here's your Friday Quizzage on Monday instead. Of course, whenever I've taken any "Which Harry Potter character are you?" I've always ended up as Ron. In which case this is a little creepy, but still amusing. ;)



Your result for The Harry Potter Husband Test...

Mrs. Weasley Twin

Your perfect HP man is Fred and/or George Weasley.


Laughter is important to you. You want a guy who's never boring, who can always put a smile on your face, and who can pull the best of pranks and never get caught. Or possibly two such guys. Because let's face it, they're pretty much a two-fer. You get one, you get both. Even if one of them's only a friend, he'll still be around so much you'll feel like you're married to him, too. Sure, they may not seem like the most mature guys in the world, in a traditional sense, but just ask them about their business plan. When they drive you nuts by relentlessly testing their latest inventions on you, you can console youself with that huge stack of cash and dragon-leather jacket. Besides, you know you're powerless against those stereo smiles.

Take The Harry Potter Husband Test at HelloQuizzy

10 August 2008

I'm back!

In fact, I've been back since Wednesday evening, but between food poisoning and other, much more pleasant, events, I've not had a chance to catch up and update. That should change tomorrow. ::crossing fingers::

04 August 2008

Outta town

I'm heading to the coast for a few days. See you later in the week!

02 August 2008

New (Zoo) Review

Okay, just kidding about the zoo part. Does anyone else remember that show or is my generation showing? ;)



Anywho, I got a very nice review from Romance Junkies and just had to share. :)



I hope everyone is having as good a weekend as I am! Now if only my replacement coffee carafe would arrive, the day would be perfect. ::sigh::

01 August 2008

Friday Quizzage & New Link

Here's the quiz:


You Are Half Baked Ice Cream



In reality, you're just a quarter baked.



And here's the new link: http://www.mybookstoreandmore.com/shop/product.da/the-ballad-of-jimothy-redwing MyBookstoreandMore.com has been totally revamped, so my old link is no more. The new site looks great and is much quicker to load. Go check it out if you haven't yet!

31 July 2008

Instant gratification

I'm an instant gratification junkie. Have I mentioned that before? Probably. I sent a manuscript to my editor recently and I was just thinking, 'I wonder when I'll hear back from her.' Then I looked at the calendar. ... It's been two weeks as of yesterday. Impatient much? LOL. ::shakes head at self:: I need to find a distraction... Oo! Hula-hoops! And there are Blue Angels flying, too! I'm off to the back yard. TFN!

25 July 2008

Friday Quizzage

I'd make that a regular event if only I could remember from one week to the next. LOL.




Your Mind is PG-13 Rated



Your mind is definitely a little dirty. You're naughty, but not trashy.

You don't shy away from a dirty joke, and you're clearly not a prude.

24 July 2008

Guest blogging

I'm guest blogging at Kate Davies Blogs! today. I know, I know: Not much of "today" left at this point, you dork. But the post will be up tomorrow, and the next day, and... I've tried twice to announce it to the Samhain Cafe, but cyberspace and yahoo aren't feeling the love today because neither post has appeared.

Anywho, stop on over if you're so inclined. I'm seeking the help of the title gods and goddesses. (Psst. That's you guys. ;) )

23 July 2008

New Beta Reader

I'm breaking in a new beta right now. She's quite brilliant. She knows when a story is well crafted and when it isn't, and can tell you in exactly what ways it is or isn't. I can't wait to see what she thinks of the manuscript I sent to her earlier this week. I know it'll be a while; it's longer than any of my others. I can wait. That doesn't mean I'm not excited, especially since she's the first person other than me to read it. I'm gonna start humming Carly Simon if I don't start thinking about something else pretty quick. LOL

18 July 2008

Draft complete!

I finally have the first draft of last year's NaNoWriMo novel done. I had to read it twice since I first completed the roughest draft before I felt it was ready to see the light outside my hard drive. Not that I'm going to pester my betas any time soon. They're very busy women and I have plenty of other stuff to keep me occupied for now. Eventually, though... Look out, ladies! ;-D

01 July 2008

Happy Canada Day, eh?

Happy Canada Day to all the citizens of the True North! Since it was GLBT Pride weekend just this past weekend, and since you're way better than the US with the whole equality thing, I fly my Canadian Pride Flag today in your collective honour.

25 June 2008

Plug for Gia Dawn's latest

Check out the new release from Gia Dawn: Dunmore Rising: Demons of Dunmore, Book 4. I'm not familiar with the series...yet. This one makes me curious to go back and pick up the first one. :D

24 June 2008

And more reviews!

Just as I posted my previous entry, I discovered I have another review. This one is quite lovely and I'm very flattered by it! Literary Nymphs gave me 4 Nymphs! I'm now feeling well chuffed. :D

Reviews and Rewrites

Since my first book released last week, I've gotten two reviews—one from Elisa Rolle and one from Mrs. Giggles. I'm glad I have a thick skin. I'm an actor; I'm very good at handling rejection and criticism. Neither review was glowing, but neither panned it completely. Of course, Mrs. Giggles was less positive but that's to be expected. She is known for snark and she does it well. Both reviews had one criticism in common and I agree with it: the book starts slowly. ::shrug:: I'm okay with that. It was a lot of detail and description at the top. Visual world-building before leaping into the action. Some people like that and some don't. Usually I'm in the don't. Funny how that happened, eh? Irony. It's good for the blood. ;)

Right now I'm working on expanding a novella that my editor liked but wanted more of. Higher stakes, more back-story. I'm glad she didn't take it as is (or at this point as was). I initially wrote it for an anthology submission with a 25,000-word limit. These boys deserve more story than that and while I was pleased with the initial version, I think the expanded one will be much better. Here are pics of actors I'd cast were I casting. Pretty boys, no?


Jamie Bell

and Simon Woods

23 June 2008

Party pics!

I finally got the pics of the beautiful, beautiful cake my friend JennyB made for my release party loaded onto my computer. Yay! Check it out. Is beautiful, no? Yes! Many, many thanks to my dear friend, beta, and baker! And thanks to those of you who made it to the party. It was great to see you all!

11 June 2008

Thank you! and Winners!

Thanks to everyone who came to my pre-release blog party! It would've been awfully dull without you guys. :)



Without further delay, here are the winners, chosen by the highly scientific method of printing out names, cutting them apart, and drawing them from a bowl....



The Jot-a-thought Notebook goes to CrystalGB, by random chance the first person to post to the party and the first name to be drawn from the big blue bowl!



The silver music charm goes to carrot-cake67!



The winner of the notecards is Jane!



And the grand prize winner who gets her very own free dowload of my book is ... ::drumroll:: ... Kaye!



Email me with your mailing addresses, please, ladies at maiastrong (at) earthlink (dot) net. (You all know how to do the converstions so that's a real email right? ;) ) And Kaye, please let me know what format you'd like your book in.



Thanks again everyone!

10 June 2008

Release Day Arrives!

Today's the day and I'm beyond excited!

The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing by Maia Strong

Available now at My Bookstore and More

*****

New lover. New city. New dangers. Jimothy's become a player in a tale of another's crafting. Who holds the quill and what are they plotting next?

Wand'ring Minstrel Jimothy Redwing is used to life on the road, living by the words and music that are his stock in trade. While he's comfortable finding his way alone, he's always amenable to a friendly stranger who knows the lay of the land. Ricky Lennox is smart, funny, handsome, and very amenable.

With a place to stay, a sexy new lover, and some local contacts, Jimothy looks forward to delivering the letters in his care—including a message for the local ruler—and earning a little money with his music before moving on.

Ricky's declaration he's interested in more than just a one-night tryst starts Jimothy thinking about settling into a life of perfect harmony. But things hit a sour note when he learns his lover's true identity—and exactly what's in the epistle to Kanbec's ruler.

Jimothy's journey turns out to be far more complicated than he could have dreamed, and as dangerous as any epic ballad. For himself—and for Ricky.

Warning: This book contains a sexy musician, hot nekkid manlove, violence, and nuns dressed in blue.

FYI: This is my last blog party post. All comments posted by midnight Pacific Daylight Time will be included in the prize drawings. I'll announce the winners tomorrow. Good luck, guys!

09 June 2008

The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing – Excerpt Three

This is the last excerpt for the week and it's not for the faint of heart, my friends, so prepare yourselves accordingly. This one is also definitely Not Safe for Work--unless you work somewhere more than a little liberal in its policies. ... I love those sorts of workplaces, don't you?

Come back tomorrow when I'll be squeeing like a fangrrl because my book will be out at last. The contests all run through the end of tomorrow, too, so remember to keep those comments coming! Oh! I almost forgot! I was interviewed by Kate Davies today for her new feature: Meet The Author Monday. Go check it out. You might learn something new.


*****

He wearily pulled off his tunic and shirt and couldn't hide the wince that flashed across his face as he did. "Do not offer me any medicine," he commanded before Ricky could even open his mouth.

"I wasn't going to," he protested, but it was clear from his expression that he was lying. "Sit down. Let me help you." He crossed to the bed and knelt, pulling off each of Jimothy's boots and setting them to one side.

Jimothy wasn't such a fool that he didn't appreciate the help. "Thank you. This is familiar." A little smile tugged the corner of his mouth.

"Yeah. Isn't it, though?" Ricky looked up at him with a warmth in his pale eyes that was completely unlike the fiery flashes Jimothy had seen there before.

Jimothy stood once more, leaning against the bed to keep his balance. He really was exhausted and the fact annoyed him.

"You're frowning," said Ricky, removing his tunic and shirt and tossing them aside.

"I'm annoyed."

"About what?" He pulled off his boots and set them next to Jimothy's.

"It doesn't matter." Jimothy hated being helpless. And helpless is exactly how I feel. He undid the lacing of his pants, but strong hands reached out and stopped him. He met Ricky's blue gaze, and the other man smiled.

"Let me." He undid the laces the rest of the way and slipped his hands inside the waistband. He pushed the breeches down, running his hands warmly over Jimothy's hips and down his legs as he did so. "Lean on me." Jimothy put a hand on Ricky's shoulder, lifting his feet one at a time so Ricky could slide his pants off over them.

Then he was naked before his kneeling lover. His memory of the last time Ricky had knelt before him rushed to his mind as blood rushed to his penis, making him hard and hot. He was suddenly very alert.

"You're not so terribly tired, then, I see," said Ricky softly, smiling up at him.

"I am," contradicted Jimothy, "but you seem to have this effect on me." Ricky's smile widened and he took his lover's erection in one hand, causing it to jump with anticipation. He chuckled and licked the tip playfully.

"Do you want me to?" Ricky asked. "Because I'd be more than happy to."

Jimothy wasn't about to lie. "I do, but I think if I came on my feet right now, I'd collapse."

"Better to just sit down in that case." Ricky stood as Jimothy sat on the bed, pushing the blankets back. Ricky took a moment to remove his pants, releasing his own throbbing cock from its fabric prison. Already the end was slick.

"You are beyond sexy," Jimothy stated fervently. "I want to taste you."

"Are you sure?"

Jimothy nodded once.

"Move back." Jimothy shifted back from the edge a little and Ricky knelt on the mattress, knees straddling the seated man's thighs. Ricky frowned slightly. "How's your jaw? Don't hurt yourself."

Jimothy couldn't help but chuckle. "You're about to trust me enough to put your cock in my mouth, and you're worried about me getting hurt. That's so incredibly sweet that I think you're actually even sexier than you were a second ago." Ricky looked down at him, and even backlit by a single lantern, Jimothy could see he was blushing. The blush ran down his neck all the way to his chest.

"I don't know what to say."

Don't say anything. Just trust me, Jimothy answered silently, wondering if he would be heard. Then Ricky smiled and he knew his message was received. Ricky placed his hands on Jimothy's shoulders for balance, and Jimothy put one hand on Ricky's hip, taking his hard penis in the other. He massaged gently, eliciting both a moan of pleasure and a dribble of pre-ejaculate from the other man. He licked at the slickness, tasted salt and sweet, and then ran his tongue in a circle around the silky tip.

"Mmm," moaned Ricky again. He looked down and they locked eyes. "You know I like to be able to see everything," he whispered.

"I know." Jimothy opened his mouth and took just the tip of Ricky's cock inside. Little by little he worked his way up the shaft, lips curled over his teeth to protect the silken skin. Too soon he was forced to pull back. The ache in his jaw was stronger than his drive to continue. He looked up at Ricky apologetically and shook his head. "I'm sorry. I thought I could, but… It hurts."

Ricky held his shoulders in both hands, sat down so he was on Jimothy's lap, and kissed him tenderly. "It's all right. I'd have been surprised if you could manage it, really. Delighted," he added with a smile, "but surprised. Here. Lay down." He shifted off of the bed so Jimothy could turn and stretch out on his back with his head cushioned by pillows. Ricky laid down beside him. Careful of Jimothy's bruises, he ran gentle hands over the supine man's lean, naked body. He leaned over and kissed him again.

This was something Jimothy could still manage—at least in short spurts. He opened his mouth and Ricky took the cue seamlessly, running his tongue along Jimothy's teeth and then using it to tickle the roof of his mouth. His already sensitized groin tingled and tightened, his hardness leaping at the surprising sensation. When Ricky released him, both men were smiling and Jimothy's eyes were wide.

"That was…unusual."

"Good unusual?" asked Ricky, a hint of concern in his voice.

"Very good," Jimothy reassured him. "I've never had anyone do that before. It tingled."

"Right down to your cock, I hope." Ricky reached a hand down and took hold of him, rubbing his thumb over the wet, slippery tip. "It does that to me."

"Yes," agreed Jimothy, suddenly at a loss for words as the other man's hand worked slowly, toyingly up and down his prick.

Ricky leaned in again, this time to whisper in his ear. "Come inside?"

© 2008 Maia Strong

To read the rest of this scene, you need only wait one more day. That's not so bad, right? I'm done counting down the days. Now I'm counting down the hours…

08 June 2008

The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing – Excerpt Two

Once again, thanks so much to Maria Zannini for guest blogging yesterday!

For today's part of the party, I promised a slightly steamier scene this time and I did not lie. You'll have to wait until tomorrow for the sexiest snippet, however. I'd call this one an [R+]. You have been warned. *weg*

*****

"You said I could have two songs."

"Yes I did."

"Can I save the other one for later?"

"I don't see why not." Jimothy set his guitar down in its soft case. He stretched and yawned.

"You look like you're ready to collect your side of the transaction," Ricky said, rising from where he sat on the edge of the bed.

"I am, indeed," agreed Jimothy emphatically.

Ricky chuckled. "I thought so." He rose and went to his pack.

That bag must be bigger inside than it is outside, thought Jimothy. I bet if I asked he could magically pull a saddle out of one of those multitudinous pockets.

Turning around to face Jimothy again, Ricky held up a glazed pot about the size of a man's fist, its lid secured with a soft wax seal. "You're in luck. I was out, but I made myself stay an extra few minutes in Torvik just so I could restock."

"I appreciate your sacrifice," joked Jimothy.

"You should. You know how I feel about that city. I should warn you," he went on as he peeled off the seal, "it's sort of…pungent."

The moment the lid was off, Jimothy could smell the stuff. He concluded that his companion was a master of understatement. It wasn't that it smelled bad at all. In fact he quite liked the scent, detecting clove, cinnamon and peppermint oils. There was a hint of something softer underneath them, but he couldn't identify what it was. "You're not kidding. That smells like powerful stuff."

"Do you like it? I love it." Ricky stuck his nose in the pot and inhaled deeply. "Mm! Clears the sinuses a bit, too."

"I imagine it does. But all I care about is how well it works on sore muscles. I'd forgotten how hard horse riding is on my back."

"It's all that time keeping your balance. Don't be surprised if you wake up tomorrow feeling it in your gut and your thighs, too."

"I'm already feeling it in my thighs, thanks," Jimothy cracked dryly.

"I can rub those for you, too." This time Jimothy knew he wasn't mistaking Ricky's meaning or his expression, but before he could say anything, the younger man's eyes went wide. He quickly turned his back to Jimothy. "I'm sorry. That was inappropriate."

"No. Don't apologize."

"I shouldn't have said that. My mother warns me all the time that my mouth is going to get me into trouble. I'm really sorry."

Jimothy rose and came to stand a little behind and to one side of him. He cautiously reached out a hand and laid it gently on Ricky's shoulder. Ricky turned with the gentle pressure and the two men stood face to face. Jimothy looked down the short distance into Ricky's pale eyes and saw a mix of emotions he couldn't quite sort out. On impulse, he leaned in and kissed him on the mouth—a little cautiously, a little eagerly—and was thrilled when Ricky readily kissed him back.

They parted, but neither of them moved away so much as a step. There was a moment of silence until…

"Damn," breathed Ricky, his eyes alight once again. "Now that's the kind of trouble I like getting into." Jimothy laughed and they kissed again, deeper and hungrier and longer. Ricky pressed him back towards the bed until Jimothy bumped into it and sat down, abruptly breaking the kiss. He looked up at the other man and smiled salaciously.

"Nice bed."

"Blankets are soft, too. The linen sheets are nice on bare skin."

Jimothy ran a hand over them. "Mm-hmm."

Ricky stood close, legs spread just enough to squeeze Jimothy's knees between them. "I like to be on the bottom," he said, his voice daring a challenge.

"Then what are you doing up there?" Jimothy's words were met by a wide smile.

Ricky stepped back. Jimothy leaned forward to pull off his boots and moaned inadvertently as his back protested. Ricky laughed and knelt in front of him. "Let me do that," he offered. Jimothy was happy to let him. He held out each foot in turn and Ricky quickly removed Jimothy's boots and chucked them aside. They were soon joined by Ricky's boots and clothing. He pulled Jimothy to his feet and helped the aching man undress.

Standing naked together, each took time to look the other over appraisingly—flat bellies, sharply defined calves and thighs, strong arms. Jimothy smiled at the dark hair that curled over the other man's chest and the thin line of fine hairs that led down to his groin and his engorged penis. It was bigger than he'd expected and his own cock jumped eagerly in response. Ricky saw and grasped it, winning him a wordless grunt of excited surprise. He massaged the silken skin with strong fingers and Jimothy moaned and thrust his hips forward into his touch. Ricky trailed the fingers of his free hand over Jimothy's smooth chest with a feather-light touch that caused the taller man to shiver slightly. Leaning in, Ricky tilted his head to nip at Jimothy's ear and murmured, "That liniment is good for more than treating sore muscles." He looked into Jimothy's dark eyes, his own as blue as the center of a candle flame.

Jimothy met his gaze steadily. "Then let's put it to good use."

© 2008 Maia Strong

07 June 2008

Thanks and Good Night!

I just want to send out a huge thank you and a shout out to the lovely and talented Maria Zannini! Woo-hoo! Thanks for joining in the fun of this blog party week. We'll have to do it again sometime. :D



Come back tomorrow for Excerpt #2, everybody. You don't want to miss it and you really don't want to miss a chance to post a comment because, dude, there are prizes to be won!



See you in the morning! (Or probably afternoon wherever you are. ;) )

The Tao of Contests

I always fret on what I should talk about whenever someone invites me over to his blog. I lucked out this time because Maia gave me the perfect segue. Since she looked up some of the contest winners from Samhain's First Line Contest, I thought it would be apropos to talk about contests.



I've had pretty good luck in contests. I usually final and sometimes I win. Recently, I was asked if I had any tips on placing in contests.



This is what's worked for me.



• Always follow directions. If they want no more than 25 pages, don't send 26.



• If it's a huge contest, you'll want your entry in early. Judges can get tired and jaded toward the end. Catch'um while they're fresh.



• Read your entry backwards. You'd be surprised how often you can catch errors and readability issues.



• Find a virgin reader. Hand your partial to a crit partner who hasn't read the entire novel. You'll get a purer reaction.



• Target your entries. Always look for contests that will put your work in front of editors or agents you'd like to work with.



And now that I've told you the right things to do, let me assure you that luck plays just as important a role. I am living proof.



When I entered the Samhain contest, I had exactly five lines! Pathetic, I know. A friend of mine talked me into entering. I waffled a bit, knowing I had nothing to offer, but then I came across a short story set on a post-apocalyptic Earth. I had written it as a workshop assignment. The more I thought about it, the more the setting piqued my interest.



I entered the contest on an idea and a bucket load of chutzpa that I could pull this off. TOUCH OF FIRE was born.



By the time the contest ended, I had a full outline and the first three chapters polished. My little fingers flew across the keyboard because I knew exactly what was going to happen in the story.



There was going to be adventure, sacrifice and sex. Leda, the haughty young mage learns a lesson no elder can teach her. And Grey, an ex-soldier turned scavenger discovers danger he can't fight alone.



The world building is probably the most intriguing part of Touch Of Fire. I love blurring the lines between science fiction and fantasy. And this world is unlike any other.



Set 1200 years in the future, Earth is a fusion of language, culture and religion. Society is divided between the plainfolk and fae, mages who can manipulate the four great elements: air, earth, water and fire. When a dangerous alchemist's book surfaces, it threatens to introduce technology to a world that knows only magic.



These are the lines that started it all:



The Reverend Mother used to tell acolytes that if men were going to brawl, they should at least be naked and glistening with oil.



Leda’s money was on the hulking brute with the Cydian blade, but right now she needed the other guy to win. That one had information she needed, and she wasn’t going to get it if he got himself killed. She was just about to intercede when her quarry tripped on his feet and knocked himself out cold.



Idiot.




***


I'm glad Maia looked me up. Her blog party is a great idea and I'm thrilled to be here! (I really don't get out enough.)



And now that you know who I am, I hope you'll pop over and visit me over at my place.



During the week, you can count on me to discuss publishing news, business, markets and gossip. (The good gossip--like new agents in town or the latest conference intel.) On the weekends, I let my hair down and talk about movies, dogs, or weird-but-true stories.



Stop by and visit me. Read an excerpt for Touch Of Fire here. And buy the book. Buy Maia's book. You'll love'em. Honest.



We wouldn't steer you wrong.



Links o' Luv



www.mariazannini.blogspot.com


www.mariazannini.com


www.myspace.com/mariazannini



Buy: Touch Of Fire