Gothic Steampunk Gaslamp Fantasy. Bringing you uncanny heroines in shilling shockers and adventuress tales.
Despite the face that Disney won't make a female superhero movie, Marvel itself is doing wonderfully right things with women. The female love interest/secondary character in Silver Surfer was wonderful. Considering that the Surfer has the potential to be a solo sausage fest, so there was no need for a secondary character, much less a female, it's wonderful that they included one who has about as much time and attention devoted to her. The fact that I think she's an amazing character is even better.
Then there's Captain Marvel. A book written by a woman, that stars, yes a female superhero. One who is considered the best pilot out there, and whom Iron Man - and the Avengers - trust to go out and do Avenging-type-stuff in space for about a year. (They said they needed someone who could stand the solitude.) And while she has some guest stars like the Guardians of the Galaxy, she pretty much stands on her own. Even when the others are in her book, it's hard to forget that it is, in fact, her book. The storylines assimilate the other characters without a hitch, but the main storyline revolves around her. It's up to her to deal with the problems she faces, and while, yes, she gets helps, again, the focus is on her. It's nice to see a lady superhero take center stage, and keep that spotlight on her.
Again, this would be enough. But it's really not for Marvel. Why would it be when they can give you a lady superhero who takes center stage, written by a wonderfully talented lady, and then illustrated gorgeously? (By a man, yes, but he does her justice, and doesn't super sexualize her. In that she keeps her clothes on, and her poses seem more natural than 'jutting hip out until it's dislocated while pushing out boobs until spine breaks' poses.)
This would also be enough, but I guess Marvel, and the writer, decided to give us more. It's a fun, action packed story, there's a lot to be said about refugees, relocation, and finding a home once your home is gone. There's a lot to be said about family and how you deicide if you leave people behind. There are, in fact, other strong women, like the one who's the matriarch of the alien refugees, and there's the menacing J'son, the menacing patriarch. It would seem very feminist and contrived, except that there's a long history of J'son being a dick to everyone, including his son, the Prince of Spartax, and also Star-Lord of the Guardians of the Galaxy. And maybe, yes, there is something to be said for the matriarch, but it's also not quite original. I haven't read the story arc yet, but when Odin takes a sabbatical, an Allmother takes his place. There have been matriarchs in the Marvel universe before. It's not so much contrived, but more that this has been convention in the Marvel universe, especially when dealing with alien species.
Looking forward to continuing. Haven't decided if I'll buy the next three issues with my band-spanking new Marvel digital comics discount once I run out of the issues on the Unlimited, or wait to see if more come into the Unlimited service in the next couple of months...
Really enjoy this short piece on Flavorwire, for being frank about her sexuality, the observation her son makes of Rebecca, and for reminding me of why I adore the gothic novel, all over again.
IF I could get away with doing the gothic house, crazy wife, and tormented husband story---with strange heroine---one more time, I would. Writing Sundark just wasn't enough. I'd love to do variations of Jane Eyre, twenty times.
Of the screenshots I've been taking of my ICE DEMON: A Dark Victorian Penny Dread free kindle push, this one makes me happy. :D Because Artifice happens to be a lesbian---AND she's presently topping in free Victorian romance with all the straight romance books.
TAKE THAT, marginalisation. Who says people can't enjoy the romantic adventures of a Victorian Quaker, lesbian, artificial ghost, and strong woman? ;)
It'll fall off the list soon enough, and then there may be backlash, but that's what happens when you walk out the door and just be you. I hope people who can enjoy the book, will.
I also want to thank the person who gave me the 10th Amazon review. With that in hand, I could go beg at more promo doors. Thanks to everyone for this push!
And just because I don't say it enough: thank you BookLikes itself, for the staff's incredible support through all my cover changes and indie hijinks. They've been hands on, the best, and have made me feel welcome from the get-go. I am very happy to be here.
AS free as the wind blows! Gittit, NAO!
I've been so busy, and 3 weeks is the longest I've been away from Booklikes. :( I bet you've all grown up, had children, gotten married (in that order), and had a few Life Changing Events since I've been away. Plus, read lots of books! That's the important thing! :D
Law'! I am trying to do this free book promo thing and everyone wants *10* beautiful reviews for me to qualify (for promotion). I just need one more. So this is an open plea that if anyone would like review ICE DEMON over at Amazon (I just need one more), that would be very cool. And I hope you enjoy.
IN more news:
POISON GARDEN: An Elle Black Penny Dread Vol 2 is with the editor. I still have to make the finals of the new covers (with the original digital artist of Sundark 'retiring', I ought to make the covers more like a series). The book has been a real experience---'twill be as sensual as MEDUSA but in a different way, because plants and conservatories have their own kind of sensuality. PLUS: Entheogens. YEAH, BABY. I really do a number on poor Elle. The synopsis:
Psychic detective Elle Black and her wife Faedra escape London’s unrest for Peaseflower’s fabled gardens and to aid a wealthy friend, troubled by things she cannot name. But once there, Peasy Bunkley assures them nothing is amiss, with herself or her perfect, eerie staff. In the marvellous glass conservatories with its exotic, deadly specimens, Elle knows something is very wrong. Even her telekinetic abilities can’t prevent danger to her wife and Elle succumbing to an insidious attack, rendering her hallucinatory and mad. What her assailants don’t know is that insanity won’t prevent Elle from returning to get Faedra back.
Like I said, this has been a real pleasure to write, though the research was INTENSE. I'm not a scientist, and I mostly kill plants out of ignorance rather than successfully nurture them. :-p So I had to get into that world, of botany, propagation, conservation, ecosystems, of exotic plants, flowers, fruits, of poisonous plants, hallucinogens, the effects of hallucinogenic experience, the effects of poisoning, plant mimicry, plant awareness (consciousness---if one wants to stretch that), and so on. Plus, vegetarian attitudes, Victorian style. And then do horrible things to Elle.
NEW THINGS: Whilst *not* going to Wondercon 2015, I suddenly figured out something I've had on the back burner for uh, (math)---since 1998, I bet. IT will be Gothic Sci-Fi, and I am very pleased with it and decided to work on it asap just to pour my brains out. So it's about 21K words on 'NEW THING' (to be announced), at least for one book, because I'm working on 3 books of the NEW THING at the same time. 6 covers have been mocked up by me as I visualise this beautiful thing. And 6 book synopses have been written. And Elizabeth has to actually write those books and hurry up and make final covers. I could fire that woman, she's so freekin' lazy. ;) We wanted it YESTERDAY, Elizabeth, because this is going to be COOL! More later!!
~*sound of whip lash*
"Sundark" is a little bit steampunk, a little bit horror novel, a little bit Victorian penny-dreadful ... and a whole lot of entertainment!
Paranormal investigator Elle Black is asked to visit Sundark, a hotel/boarding house whose guests are disappearing with incredible regularity. Is there a murderer in the house? Are there dark, occult goings-on? And why does the house literally get up and turn around a few times a day?
These questions and more are answered within the pages of this entertaining novella.
Elizabeth Watasin is writing historical/paranormal fiction for the underserved lesbian audience ... but that keeps any reader entertained. Her books are ripping good yarns, and I highly recommend them.
Nice drop, it was 9$+ last I look!
#amwriting; still 5-6K words away from finishing POISON GARDEN and started a new thing, very excited about it. It has 4 cover mock-ups already, 4 synopses and 5K+ words in one manuscript and 1K in another. We be rollin'!
I also have a free story at Sydney's hottest (fictional) restaurant, Cafe Nix. You can read all the free romances on Wattpad -- mine is "Kissing Time" -- or you can wait for the free book from Smashwords in a week or so. Cafe Nix is a great place! You'll want to click on "Table of Contents" to find the stories.
Gosh, 2015 is busy!
And yes, I'm sneaking in time to read Shelly Laurenston's The Unleashing which released today :)
These all crossed my paths this morning! Which is neat because I'd wanted all of these. :D
So Werewolf Whisperer is now #FREE, last I looked, and that was one I was going to pick up. :D
Also STAY by Emily Goodwin, which was banned briefly by Amazon is at 99cents only for Today.
And from Rick, something I'd also planned to pick up:
Death of the Body is FREE. If you like dark fantasy, horror, or occult fiction, this one is for you.
Bret said, "Kind of sick and twisted, yet kind of a wondrous magic. Kind of anti-religious, yet very spiritual. Kind of quirky and weird, yet that weirdness allowed it to be very unique - I've never read anything like it."
~~~ A gorgeous paperback of MEDUSA: A Dark Victorian Penny Dread Vol 2 ! International is welcomed to partake!
Subscribe, here: http://a-girlstudio.com/?page_id=2105
How to win: you only have to remain on the mailing list. I enter everyone's email into a randomizer and it picks a winner. I haven't decided yet what to give away for April. hmmm
I'm sharing this quite late because of Amazing website meltdowns and Newsletter Fail (which is hosted at my site). It's been hilarious. No it hasn't. So this announcement comes with great relief until something else breaks.
But regardless, thank you for subscribing, and I hope you win!
To say I was completely and utterly charmed by this book is an understatement.
An avowed cat hater, screenwriter Peter Gethers is given a Scottish Fold kitten by a girlfriend. He is immediately captivated by the tiny grey creature whom he names Norton.
Norton is no ordinary cat; he likes to go on walks, travel, and meet new people.
Gethers shares various tales of Norton's adventures, including his trips to Fire Island, San Diego, and the titular Paris. Everywhere they go, Norton makes a new friend ... and teaches Gether something new about life.
This book was published 24 years ago, and Norton is long-gone ... but that doesn't mean I won't read his other two stories!
A billion years ago, someone asked me to pitch something for a new character/property/original comic idea (I can't remember), and I said sure! So I just sent that person 1 or 2 lines. Then that person said: great! Now write us the pitch! (he meant the 'proposal').
I remember that I had to ask a friend what that entailed, writing the *detailed* pitch (the Proposal), and to please send me an example, because sometimes even when you get this much:
Write a 2-3 line synopsis of the Concept
Characters: who's in it
Settings: where is it
Stories: 3 story synopses (1-3 paragraphs), and if asked for 12 total, 2-3 lines for the rest.
It can be hard to visualise it. My friend sent me a sample proposal for a video game, and I used that for the 2nd stage of pitching the "whatever it was that set me on the road to this thing". I mention this because whether you are doing it for a book, game, TV series, comic book/graphic novel, etc---that's either for an idea you own or is for a licensed product---the presentation is pretty much the same.
So I wanted to share who Explains how to do this well, which is Mark Waid. It really is a simple process but it requires a lot of work to seem simple. IN the end you want to communicate clearly, succinctly, and make it easy for the person reading your thing (who has read 1000's of these things), to get your idea, right away. And whether that person *likes* it is another story.
Here's Mark Waid's 'how to do the proposal' in two parts:
After All That, THEN:
You have 12 stories that are GO, green-lighted! Now to write them.
If you have Scrivener, this comic book script template by Sean E Willams is wunderbar:
An amazing template, because it makes the process of creating Easier, and that's half the battle.
all the best, ~e
( Now this is what I'm talkin' about: "The Werewolf Whisperer is, in a word, brilliant. There is no trope to this book. Instead, the story is unusual, amazingly well thought out, mature, and definitely non-magical." Although I love well-done tropes. Or maybe I mean archetypes. REad on~~~)
The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire. - Ferdinand Foch
Any deviation is looked upon as a perversion, is feared, and is usually a target of hatred and prejudice. - Joey Skaggs
Fear is the most debilitating emotion in the world, and it can keep you from ever truly knowing yourself and others - its adverse effects can no longer be overlooked or underestimated. Fear breeds hatred, and hatred has the power to destroy everything in its path. - Kevyn Aucoin
Lucy Lowell’s life changed in an instant – an instant in which her partner with the LAPD Animal Cruelty Task Force, Officer Gabe Torres, was shot in the back. A moment when Gabe – changed. When fangs and claws grew, bones twisted, and a monster stood before her. Her life changed. And then life changed. For the whole world.
Now, the problems of walking the dog, training and, of course, housebreaking, gain a whole new meaning… as in, teaching the family teenager not to chew on the furniture or use the floor for a toilet. Nope, these aren’t your sexy, muscled up Alpha heroes so adored by us lovers of Urban Fantasy. Uh uh – this is “Jimmy, get off the couch!” “Sally! Spit out my Louboutin!” “Bad Tommy! No piddling on the carpet!” Since the appearance of the Kyon Virus, California really has “gone to the dogs” – and these dogs can definitely go feral. An estimated 1-in-20 Californians are struck down when the Virus appears. No one seems to know what it is, where it comes from, or even though it is supposedly limited to California, just how far it has truly spread.
Of course, as humans will, for every calm and positive person willing to accept the Afflicted into their lives and their worlds, for every family willing to work with and continue to love their newest furry family member, there are the cruel, the vicious, the hateful and the murderous. And then there is Lucy Lowell and her partner, Xochitl Magaña. Lucy, better known by the public as “The Werewolf Whisperer,” the woman who can calm your Hound, control your Feral, or help you retain your sanity by putting down your beloved child who has become a Werebeast. Life isn’t easy for Lucy and Xochitl – but it is about to get a lot uglier, and more dangerous, than they would have ever believed. For there is a lot more going on than appears on the surface – and all the kings horses and all the kings men may never be able to put the world back together again.
The Werewolf Whisperer is, in a word, brilliant. There is no trope to this book. Instead, the story is unusual, amazingly well thought out, mature, and definitely non-magical. While the whole book is excellent, the authors interest in and research regarding military, scientific and medical issues really grabbed me, keeping me deeply interested in not only the story of Lucy, Xoc and the other major and minor characters in the story – but also in how beautifully the technical issues of the book were handled. Of course, psychology plays a huge role in a world where your child, your wife, your husband, or even your grandmother suddenly devolves into a wolf – a wolf who may have the personality of the biggest, dumbest, happy-go-lucky Golden Retriever you ever saw --- or of a rabid wolverine with a nasty hangnail.
Hate plays a huge part in the story. Humans hate anything, or anyone, they perceive as different from themselves. And Kyon provides just the excuse that the violent, the religious fanatics, the sad and savage and cruel and complete and totally whacked need to justify horrific actions.
"So you handled him the way human beings always handle things that are bigger than they are. You banded together. Like hunters trying to bring down a mastodon. Like bullfighters trying to weaken a giant bull to prepare it for the kill. Pokes, taunts, teases. Keep him turning around. He can't guess where the next blow was coming from. Prick him with barbs that stay under his skin. Weaken him with pain. Madden him. Because big as he is, you can make him do things. You can make him yell. You can make him run. You can make him cry. See? He's weaker than you after all." – Orson Scott Card
Of course, poking and prodding at the ‘dogs’ just won’t satisfy the hate when guns and torture work so very well. And being able to train and communicate with the ‘newly furry’ places Lucy square in the crosshairs of the religious fanatics, sure that the Kyon sufferers are actually demons sent by Satan, hated by their god, whoever they choose to call ‘him’, and fair game for the savagery of the “Righteous”. This is a story well versed in the ‘humans behaving badly’ concept of humanity as an entity.
While this can certainly be placed easily within the UF genre, I refuse to limit the book in this manner. I would instead call it a marriage of medical mystery, legal and military thriller, suspense, horror, and, oh yes, urban fantasy. After all, the main characters in the book do turn into ‘wolves’. Just not wolves as we have ever seen them before. And believe me – this a good, very good, wonderful thing.
Note: I have no idea how I came across The Werewolf Whisperer, but I can’t find an email from a publisher in my inbox, so I take it that it wasn’t offered to me by a publisher as many of the books I review are. I read the book through Kindle Unlimited, so I read it for free (Score!!!). I can’t recommend it highly enough. In many ways, the tone of the book reminds me of the works of Natasha Mostert in its surreal yet highly realistic, in its own way, delivery and storyline. Get it. Read it. I found it more than worth the reading time, and I look forward to the next book in the series! (Oh, and for those who mentioned that the Hispanic character is too “white” for their tastes – both of the authors, Camilla Ochlan and Bonita Gutierrez have very light skin and eyes. I would imagine that being “too white” is just as difficult in Hispanic culture as it is in Native American or African American circles – so in my mind, the skin colour issue simply adds another layer to a complex character…)
( Laughed at this bit: "She wants to meet a guy who will sweep her off her feet and take her virginity. Yes, she is a virgin. She is a virgin of the virgins because not only that she hasn't been with a guy, she was never really interested in anything male that crossed her path." Read on~~)
You just can't win with this Series, I guess. When the romance is good, the story is just so presumptuous and unbelievable that you simply want to give up on it. But then you go to another book where the story is quite refreshing and the characters are the ones who make you grind your teeth while the steam is coming out of your ears...
This is the kind of a book in which we have a heroin who is so blatantly annoying and FAKE that I wanted to gouge my eyes out from just reading about it.
Let me introduce you to the heroin. She is Gwen Cassidy and guess what she is? A physicist. Oh, yeah. A real one. Which means she is the smartest person alive. Or just the smartest female in oh, what was that field again? Mmmm, science, right? *sigh* *eyes roll*
That's how we need to perceive this person. She didn't do anything great, didn't write anything important, didn't finish school but just because she studied physics for a bit, she is the most intellectual female you'll ever meet. And she knows it. Must be a tough burden...
Gwen has arrived to Scotland on a vacation. She is so smart that she hasn't noticed that she booked a tour with an elderly group. Yeah, smarts indeed. She wants to meet a guy who will sweep her off her feet and take her virginity. Yes, she is a virgin. She is a virgin of the virgins because not only that she hasn't been with a guy, she was never really interested in anything male that crossed her path. What a plot twist in this kind of genre, right? I'm amazed as well. Anyway, she's 25 and she is a virgin because none of the guys she dated were right for her and none of them deserved her "gift" of virginity.
"The sight of a white tee stretched across his muscular chest might persuade her to catapult her cherry at him."
That him is a Highland laird Drustan MacKeltar, a man who was enchanted and put to deep sleep in the caverns where Gwen was sightseeing. He was sleeping there for 500 years until she fell on top of him and so rudely woke him up. I mean, really, desperate-to-get-rid-of-her-cherry-woman?
So she wakes him up from deep slumber and he acts like any medieval man would, ties her up and forcibly takes her with him. Because the guy needs help getting around, of course. I'm sure he has no ulterior guy motives. No, it couldn't be.
But yes, indeed it is. She is his soul mate. He felt it. Must be fate. So he drags her along and on their way they even manage to go back to his time. And back again.
Yes. Science. That's why.
I gave this book three stars only because of the great writing style miss Moning has and because Drustan didn't behave in all ways like medieval highlanders in the historical romances usually do.
He was actually quite passive and confused. In some moments he was really funny and entertaining. I have nothing against him but that woman...
Gwen is a not-officially and not-really a physicist who doesn't utter one smart and interesting sentence but expects everyone to respect her.... because science, that's why.
I don't even know why I'm reading the next book but I am. There must be something wrong with me. Some Moning-bug or Moning-virus that infected my body and against my better judgement is making me continue on with these cliched, ridiculous stories... *facepalm*
I've ran into a perfect summary / dramatization of this book on goodreads, also laughed my ass off while reading it: