Showing posts from June, 2022

Excerpt: The Sheriff’s Magic Summer Jail Break

  Rowena Grayhide shrugged off her t-shirt and threw it aside. The crowd in the parking lot hooted approval. There were about forty or fifty Shifters here tonight, some from her pack, some other local arcanes, some out-of-towners. Some of them held sparklers, others set off small, noisy “poppers.” In the distance, fireworks from the town’s official display blossomed in the sky. But the Shifters were celebrating Independence Day in their own way. Rowena wore a sports bra. The summer night was warm and her body already glistened with sweat. Her feet were bare on the cold gravel of the parking lot, but she ignored the gravel, broken grass, and cigarette butts as if they weren’t there. She felt it though, she felt every pebble. On nights like this, when the full moon rose over the mountains, her blood ran hot, her wolf close to the surface, she felt every sensation tenfold. The crowd gathered in a rough circle around her and the other Shifter woman who were preparing to fight.  Next, she s

Wednesday WiP: The Moon Bunny & the Sun Shifter

" He had developed a loathing for every evil form of deception. The only lies he loved were those of a child’s imagination writ large: the lies of the theater, the cinema, of novels and video games. Those were lies, but they did not trick you out of any truth you owned. The lies of the Arts only enticed you to forget the desolation of reality long enough to endure another day. At its best, every great story was not a lie at all, but a great truth wrapped in a metaphor. A great story was a path to liberation from suffering because it led you to that great truth by tiny, tiny steps." - from The Moon Bunny & the Lion Shifter Read a novella in the same universe free--click here .  The Genie & the Gymnast is a retelling of the Arthurian tale The Green Knight.

Writing: Motifs in Fiction

  A motif is a repetitive design in art. It's fairly obvious what this means in the visual arts; a motif is a repeating squiggle or shape, often tiled or layered over and over throughout the painting or mosaic. In non-figerative art, the motif may be the dominant feature. The term "narrative motif" is a metaphor borrowed from the visual arts, but it's a little less obvious how to employ a motif in fiction than it is in art. A "motif" can also overlap with other  writing techniques, like "metaphors," "archetypes," and "themes," since a motif can be all of those at  once. Motifs reenforce archetypes and  themes through the use of interlinked metaphors. In certain genres, particularly fantasy, motifs are ready at hand because the entire genre is archetypal by its nature: magic, quests, lost princes, warrior princesses, assassins, dragons and thieves... virtually every fantasy trope is replete with a rich history of myth and legend

Excerpt: The Lawyer & the Leprechaun

  Suddenly the speedboat lurched. Her snake vision couldn’t detect any anomalous heat sources in the vicinity. “Now what?” Eleni asked.  She heard Owen messing around with the controls of the boat.  He groaned. “Only a few minor mishaps,” he said sarcastically. “The boat is out of gas, the radio is broken, the emergency flotation devices were replaced with concrete imitations, according to the message on them, as some kind of fraternity prank… Who in the fecking Light would do such a stupid prank?… Oh and…” An immense roar reverberated through the air, as cold water drenched both of them. A huge serpentine body exploded out of the water. Now her snakes detected the anomalous heat source! It glowed green against the indigo background, although she could tell it was cold compared to a mammal.  A monstrous primordial jaw opened and roared again. The sinuous outline of a cold, ichthyoid serpent reared even higher over their boat. “… and some idiot released a wild, hungry loch serpent into

Book Feast: Free Fantasy Romance Books - June

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Fiction is a Hypothesis by the Unconscious

Black Hole Eater by Thuberchs Art is a hypothesis proposed by the unconscious. In the scientific method, a hypothesis is rigorously defined, delimited and tested against reality. Artistic hypotheses are obviously not rigorous, but ambiguous, not delimited, but open to unlimited interpretation, and tested not against reality but against the subconscious hypotheses already held by readers. Fiction falls into an odd little category of its own, because it is not as inarticulate as music, which can speak only in emotions. Fiction can make (or proport to make) a "rational" argument, although the more self-conscious fiction is of its own moral, the more it risks degrading into crude propaganda. If you compare Tolkien's work to some other "fantasy" fiction written in the same era, the difference is clear. Tolkien deliberately eschewed propaganda, or any kind of talking down to his audience. That is why he wrote imaginary history rather than allegory.  It's hard the

Depression in June

It's June, and in the Northern Hemisphere, that means it's summer and lovely. In other words, there's no accounting for the depression I've felt over the past few days. Right now, I'm doing the final edits (third or fourth round) on books that will appear in August, September, October, November, and December... which made me ask myself... Am I borrowing Winter depression because I'm writing about books set in winter?! What an odd possibility. My writing partner suggested something more prosaic. Since the end of June is a deadline for me to finish the final drafts on all these books, which have gone through more rounds of editing than I planned, perhaps I'm simply feeling the stress of trying meet my deadline. I am definitely getting to that point in the writing process where I'm sick of these projects, and find it hard to find anything good at all in my work. I read each book and feel it's the worst trash ever and a spiral of dark thoughts begin, &qu

Book Feast: June Fantasy Giveaway

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Summaries: Outlining After the Fact

These days, I outline all my books before I sit down (or walk around dictating) to write them. However, I'm not a slave to my outline. I still do plenty of "discovery writing," in which, only in the writing of a scene do I discover a crucial character, setting or plot point that turns the whole story on its head. And that's great--it usually makes the story better and it often makes it more fun to write. BUT... It also means that my original outline is often hopelessly out of date by the time I've finished the complete novel. That means if I want to brush up on events from that book to help refresh my memory to write a scene in a later book, I can't simply check my original outline. I have to write a NEW summary outline of the book, based on the completed manuscript. And, hoo boy, is that a pain in the arse. Really. Writing an outline is fun. You're making up the story, so you're using your imagination, you're excited about delving into the charact

Excerpt: The Seeress & the Seraph

  Tuesday, New Moon “Stan, have you seen Zippy?” Kyrah asked. Her parents had always insisted she call them by their first names. “My narwhal. The one I keep on my bed?” Stan Nestor, her father, sat at the table in the kitchenette of their small apartment playing Sudoku. Reruns of a game show played on the television, mindless noise that grated on Kyrah’s nerves. He answered without looking up at her. “Your mother took it for good luck.” Kyrah froze. “What? Irene’s gambling again? After what nearly happened?” But father had interacted with her as much as he was likely to in the evening. His pen scratched on the paper. The chatter on the television babbled on. The kitchenette smelled like cigarettes even though no one in their family smoked. The apartment had come furnished and nothing could cover the stains or smells. Only moments later, the door burst open and Kyrah’s mother burst in. Irene Nestor looked like an older, blown-out version of Kyrah. Dark hair, pale skin, dark blue eyes.

Book Feast: Gods and Angels Fantasy Books

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Excerpt: Moxie & the Maverick

       The smell of disinfectant and formaldehyde, mingled with slightly burnt tang of electrical sparks tickled her feline sense of smell. In her feline form, she was even more tiny than she was as a petite human girl. Just a kitten, the size of a housecat only a month or two old. In comparison, the lion who prowled behind her was enormous, closer to the size of an Indian elephant then an ordinary zoo specimen. Although both felines padded on soft paws, they barely made any noise in comparison to the noises in the laboratory— beeping computers, whirring fans, engines and motors and screens and even the wine of the overly bright neon light in the ceiling. Nonetheless, the sheer size of the large lion made his passage through the laboratory difficult to conceal. If only her brother had been willing to fight back against their captors, she thought. Personally, she had no qualms about killing any of the human or Elven scum who chose to work in the secret laboratory performing horrific il

WIP: Work In Progress

 Working on the edits for The Moon Bunny & the Sun Lion... Everything happened swiftly after that. They were allowed their pick of weapons and armor from rack against the wall. Other couples were there, each pair waiting their turn to tilt against the reigning champions. The Dwarf waved each pair through a stone portcullis, and beyond. Dahlia and Aaresh watched through a grille as the matches before them played out. The opponents met in the center of the amphitheater. The Empress was already in her dragon form, shining ruby flanks and obsidian dorsal scales. Her scales had been decorated with golden lace and diamonds. The Emperor, in shining armor, rode on her back in a great, golden saddle. He balanced a huge lance on a brace mounted upon the saddle. Turn by turn, pairs of challengers entered the arena and fought with them. It didn’t seem very fair to Aaresh because they had to fight challenger after challenger. Weren’t they getting tired? Whereas each set of challengers was fresh