Category Archives: Books

Looking Back at My 2018 Goals

Because I have an awful lot of things on the go at any one time and generally lack focus in general, I set goals for myself each year to try and provide a sort of framework to work within. And then at the end of each year I look back over those goals and assess how well I did at achieving them.

It’s that time of year again…

Goals I feel I’ve accomplished will be in bold.

  • Write a book
    • I know this is super vague and that’s intentional. I have several ideas tumbling about in my mind and I haven’t settled on one yet.

Huh. I don’t know if I should bold this or not. I’m going to though… because I really turned up the amount of writing I was doing. Also, though I didn’t write a single book from start to finish I did write 20k ish words on a new book I sold to Dundurn Press (Eerie Edmonton) and wrote 50,000 words of a NaNoWriMo novel. I feel like that’s close enough to count.

  • Make at least one blog post a week

Uh… I don’t know if I did this, to be honest, but I don’t want to go back through my archives to count and see. If I didn’t actually write a post a week I definitely wrote more than 52 posts altogether and surely that’s good enough? Really, I question the judgement of Past Me in picking this as a goal because it’s definitely better to not blog on any given week than it is to blog about nothing, right?

Well, nailed the first half — I read over fifty books so far this year. I didn’t finish reading all the ones from my partial reading list, however. I guess that goal will get bumped to 2019 LOL

  • Increase the number of my books available in libraries
    • I wish I had a more concrete goal to go here, but I still need to figure out what my system is going to be (Am I going to focus on a specific book? If so, which one? Am I going to focus on a specific library location? Where? How much time am I going to dedicate to this?). As I figure out the details I will share them on this blog.

So technically this goal was achieved, but not through any effort on my part. Really what happened is D2D started distributing to Overdrive and a couple other places where libraries get books and a handful of libraries acquired some of my titles. I didn’t spend any time on this, though, which may be a thing for 2019 or may be a thing to put on a shelf for a wee bit longer. We’ll have to wait and see, I think.

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage this. I planned to. I bought tickets, booked a hotel room, hell, I even had plane tickets, but I was just too sick to go. That’s twice in a row I’ve had to cancel. Both times were for good reasons, but, bleh…

However, I did participate in STARFest in St. Albert, Alberta and CoCoKon in Phoenix, Arizona this year and I hadn’t planned to do either of those things. So hopefully that will make up for the convention I had planned to attend but couldn’t.

Done and done. It was a good one this year. I felt like I had just the right amount of programming and a happy amount of social time too. Win/win!

  • Successfully participate in NovPAD
    • NovPAD is November Poem-A-Day. I haven’t successfully pulled this off in ages, and I miss it.

Narp. Sadly. I tried. I even picked a theme and bought a premade cover to use as inspiration and everything, but by the end of November I did not have thirty poems. I am still working on this though, I want to finish that chapbook and put it out… maybe 2019? Maybe 2020?

It was a busy year 🙂

  • Have a successful submissions window for Grimm, Grit and Gasoline
    • Have a Table of Contents decided by the end of the year.

Whoot! That TOC was tricksy, but I finalized it just this month. Edits will begin in January and then contracts which means I’ll probably be able to announce it in February or March 🙂

  • Continue in my role as Assistant Editor for World Weaver Press
    • At present this looks like it will include acquiring and/or editing at least three titles.

I edited some of these WWP titles in 2017 for a 2018 release. Some I edited in 2018 for a 2019 release. To be fair, the bulk of my work ends once edits are complete, but not all, so I’ve included all of the titles. I didn’t list those I copy edited though, so it seems balanced to me 😉

The Continuum by Wendy Nikel (Edited in 2017 but released in 2018)

The Grandmother Paradox by Wendy Nikel (Edited in 2018 for a 2018 release)

Book #3 in the Place in Time Series by Wendy Nikel (Edited in 2018 for a 2019 release)

Black Pearl Dreaming by K. Bird Lincoln (Edited in 2017 for a 2018 release)

Book #3 in the Portland Hafu Series by K. Bird Lincoln (Edited in 2018 for a 2019 release)

  • Edit the next book in E.C. Bell’s Marie Jenner series

Hearing Voices is out in the world and I’m ridiculously proud to say that I’m its editor. The previous book I edited in this series, Dying on Second, also won the Bony Blithe award this year. Of course, Eileen did all the work for that, but I get to brag about it a bit too 😉

  • Work on putting together TOC for [Top Sekkrit] anthology

So close to done on this. Close, but not quite.

  • Organise a Giftmas Blog Tour

Done and done. At the time of my writing this post we had exceeded our goal and still had several days to go. I am very proud 🙂

  • Increase my mailing list subscribers by 20%

I actually increased my numbers by significantly more than that — like closer to 30x at its peek. I used a couple builders to do that, however, so after the cycle of unsubscribers leaving and purging zombie members my subscriber numbers are much lower than that peek but those who are on the list really seem to want to be there. And even my current numbers are significantly higher than they were last year. About 9k at last count (because why am I being vague?)

  • Increase my BookBub followers by 20%

LoL Well, Past Me. It would be easier to know how I’d done in regard to this goal if I had written down my current number of BookBub followers somewhere memorable at the begining of the year. Alas, I did not. I wrote it down. I remember that much, but I can’t remember where… so I guess this one will have to remain a mystery. However… I think my ultimate goal was 1,000 BookBub followers (because that would open up tools to me) and I currently have just over 800. So probably this goal wasn’t nailed. Yet.

Not listed as goals but other things I accomplished this year include editing F is for Fairy (forthcoming), pitching and selling Eerie Edmonton to Dundurn Press and doing loads of research for it, sold an anthology about swashbuckling cats that was wholly conceived of on Twitter, and successfully completing NaNoWriMo.

I spent a good part of this year quite unwell so I was nervous about looking back at these goals but overall? I’m pretty pleased with how I did. I’d also set a fitness goal for myself that I totally failed to hit, but given how sick I was for over half of this year I’m going to cut myself a whole bunch of slack on that one.

Looking forward to seeing what 2019 will bring!

The Other Side of the Door

A collection of ghost stories that will touch you, thrill you and send chills down your spine.

An abused boy receives a ghostly visitor, a lost girl discovers a house which could save or damn her. An impossible voice sings an impossible song. A Christmas miracle allows for a once in a lifetime visit, and a man faces the darkness in himself and his world in these tales which will haunt you long after you’ve finished reading them.

Available Now!

Amazon (US) (CA) (UK)

Kobo

Apple

B&N

 

Okay, see, what happened was I was left unsupervised…

😉

Honestly, I’ve intended to pull together a bunch of my ghost stories into a collection and release them together for a while now–I had the cover made for it last year so it’s been at least that long–but I never seemed to find the time to do it. Then, on the 20th my husband had to work.

We’re usually pretty strict about not working on weekends around here, or we try to be anyway, in order to keep my workaholism in check and ensure we have family time together. But on the 20th he had to work. Which meant I had a day I could work if I wanted to, guilt free, and there was nothing in my planner. Nothing that needed to be done. And with Halloween approaching, that made it the perfect chance for me to finally make this collection.

It also meant there was a super small window between when I created the book and when I released it, so there was none of the usual pre-release trumpeting and promotion. I offered copies to my ARC team* and then it was today and here I am, surprising you with my ghost stories.

Surprise!

This collection includes some of my personal favourites (“Coming Storm” and “The Other Side of the Door” in particular) and if you like ghost stories I really hope you’ll check it out.

 

*If you’d like to join my ARC team please just drop me a line

Black Pearl Dreaming is Out :)

In one of those fun little parallels that make up my life I’m in the middle of editing the third book in the Portland Hafu series by K. Bird Lincoln and it is awesome. It’s relevant and magical and beautiful and I love it. But this is not about the third book, it’s about the second, because BLACK PEARL DREAMING is out today!

/flail

I got to edit this book, so obviously I’m biased, but I think it’s awesome. Up there? Those are my contributor copies that arrived a little while ago. Aren’t they pretty? You know you want one already and I haven’t even told you about the book yet 😉

When K. Bird Lincoln first submitted this book to World Weaver Press I knew I had to have it. An urban fantasy featuring mythology beyond vampires and werewolves? Yes please! I have nothing against vampires or werewolves, I love them, actually. But I wanted something different. Koi Pierce, a baku who picks up dream fragments when she touches people offered that. Something different. Pair that with kitsuni, a corvid trickster and a dragon? Yeah. I had to have this book.

I wasn’t the only editor with my eye on it either. I won’t go into details but there may have been some back alley dealings required in order for me to secure Dream Eater (and thus the whole series) for myself but it was 1,000% worth it.

Dream Eater delivered and Black Pearl Dreaming builds on that. Each book stands alone (though BPD is complex and it might be tricksy to pick up all the threads without the grounding that DE gives you) but together they combine to make a powerful one-two punch I think most fans of urban fantasy will enjoy.

Best part? Dream Eater is on sale now for you $0.99 so you can check it out for less than the price of a coffee and then, if you like what you’re reading, you don’t need to wait to get book two because it’s out now!

But Rhonda, you say. Could you stop sounding like an infomercial for a damn second and tell us what they are about?

Sure. ‘Course I can.

Koi Pierce dreams other peoples’ dreams. Her whole life she’s avoided other people. Any skin-to-skin contact—a hug from her sister, the hand of a barista at Stumptown coffee—transfers flashes of that person’s most intense dreams. It’s enough to make anyone a hermit.

But Koi’s getting her act together. No matter what, this time she’s going to finish her degree at Portland Community College and get a real life. Of course it’s not going to be that easy. Her father, increasingly disturbed from Alzheimer’s disease, a dream fragment of a dead girl from the casual brush of a creepy PCC professor’s hand, and a mysterious stranger who speaks the same rare Northern Japanese dialect as Koi’s father will force Koi to learn to trust in the help of others, as well as face the truth about herself.

Koi Pierce, a half-baku, visits Japan looking for answers and finds an impossible choice.

With the help of powerful new friends, Koi defeated her dragon enemy in Portland. Now, no longer able to deny her dream-eating powers or the real reason for her father’s mental decline, she flies to Tokyo with her new Kitsune love, Ken, and the trickster Kwaskwi, seeking answers. But secrets from Ken’s past and Kind politics threaten to unravel their newfound trust and someone in Tokyo is desperate to kidnap a Baku. Koi must untangle a long history of pain and deceit in order to save her father, an imprisoned dragon, and herself.

I think you’ll enjoy them and you won’t be alone. Check this out:

“In Black Pearl Dreaming, Koi is a delightfully watchable heroine in way over her head. She struggles to figure out whom to trust, where she can get good coffee, and what exactly she should do about this enormous sleeping dragon, in this fast paced paranormal intrigue set in a vividly detailed contemporary Japan.”

— Tina Connolly, author of Ironskin and Seriously Wicked series.

Oooh or this one:

“I absolutely got sucked in by the way several mythologies were mixed with modern-day and WWII history to form a cool, surprising, and action packed plot. ”

— Pat Esden, author of The Dark Heart and Northern Circle Coven series.

 

I hope you’ll give the series a shot. And if you do, lemme know what you think 🙂

The Grandmother Paradox

The second title in Wendy Nikel’s Place in Time series, The Grandmother Paradox. I’m super proud to be the editor for this series and that is because the stories are awesome.

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes/Apple iBooks
Kobo
World Weaver Press

When Dr. Wells, the head of the Place in Time Travel Agency, learns that someone’s trying to track down the ancestors of his star employee, there are few people he can turn to without revealing her secrets. But who better to jump down the timeline and rescue Elise from being snuffed out of existence generations before she’s born than the very person whose life she saved a hundred years in the future?

But Juliette Argent isn’t an easy woman to protect. The assistant to a traveling magician, she’s bold, fearless, and has a fascination with time travel, of all things. Can the former secret agent Chandler, with his knowledge of what’s to come, keep her safe from harm and keep his purpose there a secret? Or will his presence there only entangle the timeline more?


And though The Grandmother Paradox is a standalone title it does follow closely on the heels of the first book in the series, The Continuum. Which, it just so happens, is on sale for $0.99 right now!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes/Apple iBooks
Kobo
World Weaver Press

 

 

Eerie Edmonton

I just got the signed contract back from Dundurn Publishing, so it is official! Eerie Edmonton is a go!

While I was working on Haunted Hospitals I met up with Rona and Ben of The Paranormal Explorers here in Edmonton to talk about their investigation of the Charles Camsell Hospital. I was straight-up with Rona and Ben from the start, letting them know that I’m pretty skeptical when it comes to paranormal phenomena but if they were willing to accept that I was willing to accept that they believed everything they were telling me. It worked out really well. I got some great stories for the book and I enjoyed the time I spent with them.

So, when Dundurn invited me to pitch them a new book after Haunted Hospitals came out, I pitched to Rona first. “Why don’t we team up and write a book about haunted locations in Edmonton? You’ll come to it from the point of view of a believer, I’ll come to it from the point of view of a skeptic (but one who likes a good creepy story) and we’ll meet in the middle?” She agreed.

Even better? Rona shares my interest in local history so after we’ve investigated the haunted locales around the city, we’re going to research them to see if what Rona sees and experiences matches up with actual historical events.

I’m going to do all the writing, Rona will lead the investigations, and we’ll work together on research.

It’s gonna be awesome 🙂

Oh, and you can be a part of it! If you have seen or experienced something spooky that you can’t explain here in Edmonton, please use the form below to get in touch with me. I’d love to hear your story and maybe investigate the location where it takes place with Rona.

Using this form will give me access to your email address and I may reply to you at that email address. Your story, name or identifying information will not be used in the book without your permission. I promise.

So. Exciting!

5 Picture Books touching on Biracial Asian Identity You Should Read to your Children

My blog is going to be pretty Equus-centric for the next few weeks, but for today we’re going to press pause on that so I can share this guest post from K. Bird Lincoln. I met her when she submitted a manuscript to WWP that I just had to have. I’d have never even thought to put ‘Urban fantasy that uses mythology beyond the usual vampire/werewolf variety’ on an editorial wish list but Dream Eater was all the things I wanted from an urban fantasy.

This post isn’t about her book, but the main character of Dream Eater is biracial so the connection is there 😉

5 Picture Books touching on Biracial Asian Identity You Should Read to your Children—and Make Me Cry

by K. Bird Lincoln

Ariana Miyamoto was crowned Miss Universe Japan in 2015. She’s biracial. This was a big deal—since for many Japanese folks, being Japanese encompasses both race and culture. Take the Zainichi Koreans, they’re still treated as non-Japanese by many although through my U.S. eyes and ears there’s no way for me to tell them apart.

It’s hard for many Americans to understand this view of nationality without a bit of extra thinking. I mean, imagine if Irish Americans, despite living in the U.S. almost their whole lives, were treated as second class citizens…oh wait, yeah that actually happened.

Anyway, back to Ms. Miyamoto. According to a New York times report, she frequently gets asked ‘What part of you is most like a Japanese?’

What kind of a question is that? How do you even answer that graciously? (Apparently Ms. Miyamoto says “I am Japanese”)

I mean all the erroneous and bigoted assumptions underlying that question! I’ll tell you what kind of question that is…it’s the kind of question that I worried about my own children encountering if Tokyo Boy and I decided to live in Japan. For economic/job-related ones we didn’t end up in Japan, but as an outsider/geek/nerd myself, I think I was hyper-sensitive to the possibility my daughters might have to deal daily with outsider status.

They still have to deal with being biracial here in the U.S., especially after moving from diverse Portland, OR to more or less whitebread Minnesota Prairie. But hopefully, the issues here are a bit easier to work through.  I recommend Half and Half as book with a variety of perspectives/races addressing this issue through personal experience. Or, if you’re like me and prefer narrative-driven treatments of major issues, I recommend Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet as a particularly telling tale about Asians and U.S. History.

When my first daughter was a baby (so live over a decade ago), I was teaching at an international university in Chiba Prefecture and taking an online course in multimedia. We had to design a website as part of our final for the class. I created a resource for multi-cultural U.S./Japanese families (somewhat outdated now) for baby’s bedtime.  Here are the children’s books that I found that touched on some of the experiences that I knew my daughter might encounter. But the books are great for children of any background or social class growing up in the states to have a wider appreciation for the world.

And great for grandparents for the same reason. And many of them I can’t read out loud because they will make me cry—both for the beauty of the tender diversity portrayed and for the sadness that there is a sense of otherness at all.

Two Mrs. Gibsons
Toyomi Igus and Daryl Wells
Children’s Book Press

This book portrays a Japanese mother living in the home of her African American mother-in-law. It compares cooking, clothes, and lifestyles from the perspective of the child. It never fails to make me cry when we get to the ending: “They were very different, but they had a lot in common. They both loved my father and they both loved me.”

 

How My Parents Learned to Eat
Ina R. Friedman and Allen Say
Houghton Mifflin

Okay, this book doesn’t have the most engaging illustrations. Also, it has a very simplistic view of some things (American sailor trying to eat sukiyaki with chopsticks without mention of the touchy cultural and political situation a relationship between an American G.I. and a Japanese woman would have had back then), but I like it because once again it’s a story told by a child who takes for granted that people are different and do things differently without making too big of a deal about it.

 

Bon Odori Dancer
Karen Kawamoto McCoy and Caroline Yao
Polychrome Publishing

The book has beautiful illustrations. The portrayal of a Japanese/American girl with a bunch of other ethnically varied (different colored hair abounds) girls learning a traditional Japanese Obon dance in the U.S. in a matter-of-fact way really appealed to me. It’s a story about a girl and her love of dance rather than a big deal about identity.

 

The Wakame Gatherers
Holly Thompson and Kazumi Wilds
Shen’s Books

I never fail to geta tight throat and wet eyes reading this booki. It’s the story of Nanami-chan, and the day she goes with her grandma and ba-chan to the beach to gather wakame. She has to translate, forgets to speak the right language to the right person sometimes, and also touches on feelings left over from World War II. Excellent, excellent book. This one is always especially meaningful to us because the father is Japanese!  (Check out author Holly Thompson’s excellent explorations of identity in her YA fiction as well like “The Language Inside”)

 

Yoko
Rosemary Wells
Hyperion Books

Rosemary Wells is beloved for Max and Ruby, but what a pleasant surprise for me to find this tale of a little girl (well, cat) who is ridiculed by her schoolmates when she brings sushi for lunch. Ouch. A little close to the bone, there? How many conversations have I had with other bicultural moms about this very topic? Either too American lunches at Japanese school, or too Japanese lunches at American school. I like this book because the mom is clueless, and while the teacher wants to help by starting an “international day”, there is no real solution to Yoko’s problem. She does make a friend, though, when one of the other students is hungry enough to try the sushi, and so things turn out okay.


K. Bird Lincoln is an ESL professional and writer living on the windswept Minnesota Prairie with family and a huge addiction to frou-frou coffee. Also dark chocolate– without which, the world is a howling void. Originally from Cleveland, she has spent more years living on the edges of the Pacific Ocean than in the Midwest. Her speculative short stories are published in various online & paper publications such as Strange Horizons. Her first novel, Tiger Lily, a medieval Japanese fantasy, is available from Amazon. She also writes tasty speculative and YA fiction reviews under the name K. Bird at Goodreads.com and maintains an author page on Facebook.

Her novel, Dream Eater, is about a half-Japanese college student discovering her mythological parentage:

Find it Online:
World Weaver Press
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
iTunes/Apple iBooks
Kobo

 

 

But really, aren’t we all winners?

Dream Eater Banner 1

Well, the rafflecopter has ended and a winner has been chosen from the over 200 entries.

Congratulations Patricia J.!

I have emailed you with the information I need in order to send your prize and I hope to hear from you soon.

Rafflecopter believes it has chosen our winner, and it has, but K. Bird Lincoln’s book Dream Eater is coming out tomorrow so really, aren’t we all winners?

Pre-order your copy here!

 

Dream Eater Banner PW Quote

 

T-Shirt Giveaway

Dream Eater is coming out soon. April 4th, as a matter-of-fact. In case you haven’t heard me rave about Dream Eater before, it’s a book by K. Bird Lincoln that I had the pleasure of editing. I love it.

Dream Eater Front

Koi Pierce dreams other peoples’ dreams.

Her whole life she’s avoided other people. Any skin-to-skin contact–a hug from her sister, the hand of a barista at Stumptown coffee–transfers flashes of that person’s most intense dreams. It’s enough to make anyone a hermit.

But Koi’s getting her act together. No matter what, this time she’s going to finish her degree at Portland Community College and get a real life. Of course it’s not going to be that easy. Her father, increasingly disturbed from Altzheimer’s disease, a dream fragment of a dead girl from the casual brush of a creepy PCC professor’s hand, and a mysterious stranger who speaks the same rare Northern Japanese dialect as Koi’s father will force Koi to learn to trust in the help of others, as well as face the truth about herself.

Reviews have been coming in, and mostly people like it. People like Beth Cato, and Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Publisher’s Weekly!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

To celebrate, and to continue to raise awareness of Dream Eater‘s impending release, I wanted to have a giveaway but I wanted for the prize to be something a little different than normal. I couldn’t make it a handicraft — I’m still working on the blanket that was a prize for my Giftmas fundraiser — but I could make it something fun. A t-shirt from TeeTurtle.com! I’m not affiliated with Tee Turtle in any way, I just happen to love their shirts (and own several of them), so why not give one away?

The winner of this draw will receive one t-shirt of their choice — and trust me, they have some awesome designs to choose from 🙂

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

We’ve Got Loki All Wrong

We’re going to take a short break from dinosaurs today to help celebrate a different book. The Songweaver’s Vow is by Laura VanArendonk Baugh. You should recognise her name by now (and not just because it stands out LoL) because I’m a pretty big fan of hers and have been lucky enough to work with her on several occasions. On this occasion she wants to talk about Loki. I’ve been reading a lot about Loki (in particular because I just finished putting together Equus and Loki has that whole ‘turned into a horse’ thing goin’ on), but also because c’mon! It’s Loki!

 

We’ve Got Loki All Wrong

by Laura VanArendonk Baugh

Photo by Gage Skidmore
Photo by Gage Skidmore

Loki is kind of a big deal.

From Diana Wynne Jones’ Eight Days of Luke to Neil Gaiman’s American Gods to Marvel’s Avengers films and comic Agent of Asgard, Loki has captured the modern imagination like no other Norse figure. And yes, Thor, sorry, but I’m including you in that. You may be Marvel’s nominal hero, but do you have your own imagine-pr0n Tumblrs? (Okay, you know what, you probably do, because Tumblr. Let’s just move on.)

Because Loki has been so popularly reimagined, however, it can be hard to get an authentic take on him. Even when he is the villain, he usually ends up something of an anti-hero, or at least a sympathetic and attractive villain. (See the Marvel cinematic universe for Exhibit A.)

A playwright friend who adapted Treasure Island for the stage commented to me on how difficult it was to “translate,” because the original audience viewed the pirates as villains while today’s audience (influenced by Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.) views the pirates as the heroes. That’s much the same thing here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Tom Hiddleston too! but this is not that Loki.

In the source material, Loki is not an anti-hero. He is a – what’s this blog rated? – he’s a turdblossom.

A Force of Destruction

1280px-Loki_taunts_BragiThough Loki is often canonically found in Asgard, he’s not a god. The word Jötunn is often translated “giant,” but that’s not terribly accurate; Loki and his kind are actually “devourers.” They are destroyers. They are the chaos to counter the order of Asgard.

And so all the crazy antics for which we know Loki best are not merely amusing tales – turning into a female horse and getting pregnant by a stallion, tethering a goat to his testicles, insulting all the gods and their guests in order – but a deliberate overturning of everything the original audience would have held as honorable and just and comprehensible. And Loki isn’t doing it to make a point, not seeking social justice or questioning social norms, he’s doing it because it’s his nature to tear down and it is fun – even when it has dire personal consequences.

I never planned for this book to give Loki a major role, because so many Norse-based stories are Loki-centric. But in the end, he had more to do with it all than I’d intended, because the one thing you can count on from Loki is that he will do whatever is least intended and most inconvenient.

When Euthalia’s father trades her to Viking raiders, her best hope is to be made a wife instead of a slave. She gets her wish – sort of – when she is sacrificed as a bride to a god.

Her inhuman husband seems kind, but he visits only in the dark of night and will not allow her to look upon him. By day Euthalia becomes known as a storyteller, spinning ancient Greek tales to entertain Asgard’s gods and monsters.

When one of her stories precipitates a god’s murder and horrific retribution, Euthalia discovers there is a monster in her bed as well. Alone in a hostile Asgard, Euthalia must ally with a spiteful goddess to sway Odin himself before bloody tragedy opens Ragnarok, the prophesied end of the world.

The Songweaver’s Vow released Tuesday, February 21, and is available at Amazon and wherever books are sold.

 

Elemental-5252-webLaura VanArendonk Baugh overcame the dubious challenge of having been born without teeth or developed motor skills to become an award-winning writer of speculative fiction, mystery, and non-fiction. Her works have earned numerous accolades, including 3-star ratings (the highest possible) on Tangent’s “Recommended Reading” list. Laura speaks professionally on a variety of topics throughout the year, including writing, fan costuming, and her day job as a professional animal trainer and behavior consultant. Find her at www.LauraVanArendonkBaugh.com .

 

(Partial) 2017 Reading List

To be perfectly honest, I’m primarily making this blog post for myself LoL

A couple of weeks ago I asked my Facebook friends to recommend books for me to read in 2017 and said I’d add some of them to my reading list. Now that I’m pulled together a list out of their suggestions I wanted to have it one nice central location with links to those books on Goodreads. I could totally do the list in meatspace, but the links require something online and so this blog post has been born.

Besides, maybe you want to join me in reading some of these?

In no particular order the books I’ve added to my reading list based on the suggestions of my Facebook friends are:

Phew! I’d only intended to add twenty of the books people suggested to this list to leave lots of room for random books I come across and want to read, friend’s novels, that sort of thing… but I couldn’t quite whittle this one down to less than twenty four. For example, someone suggested I read ‘Something by Daniel José Older’ and then when I started looking at all his books I couldn’t choose just one, so he’s actually on this reading list four times O_o Similarly, I couldn’t decide between the two books by Anne-Marie McLemore that I’ve included on here.

I added something from every person who took the time to suggest something to me. As a result, a few of these books don’t really look like they are “my thing” but I’ve been surprised many times before. I will give all of these a fair shot. I don’t finish books I’m not enjoying and I’ve been known to step away within just a few pages but I promise to give each of these at least 20 pages. We’ll see how that goes 🙂

*funny story. I bought the sequel to this when it came out without realising it was a sequel. I’ve meant to pick up this book for forever but my TBR pile is high and my memory imperfect. This reading list will help with at least one of those things 😉

**one of my friends (I forget who) described this as the most disturbing book they’ve ever read. I’ve wanted to read it ever since but never got around to it. Now I will.

***The books suggested were actually #2 and #3 in this series and though Goodreads assures me they work well as standalone novels I just can’t bring myself to start a series in the middle.

AB = Audiobook. These are stories I hope to listen to rather than read.

2016 Eligibility Post

If you are nominating for industry awards this year please consider the following works of mine which I published in 2016:

WomenInPracticalArmorShort Story:

Sharper Than a Griffin’s Claw, Women in Practical Armor, March 2016

Where I come from they say there are a finite number of souls and after death each goes to a great repository to await another vessel to fill. By that reasoning, if one were to live forever, they would encounter the same souls over and over again…

Anthology / Related Works:

SIRENS -- cover by Jonathan C. ParrishSirens, World Weaver Press, April 2016

Sirens are beautiful, dangerous, and musical, whether they come from the sea or the sky. Greek sirens were described as part-bird, part-woman, and Roman sirens more like mermaids, but both had a voice that could captivate and destroy the strongest man. The pages of this book contain the stories of the Sirens of old, but also allow for modern re-imaginings, plucking the sirens out of their natural elements and placing them at a high school football game, or in wartime London, or even into outer space.

Featuring stories by Kelly Sandoval, Amanda Kespohl, L.S. Johnson, Pat Flewwelling, Gabriel F. Cuellar, Randall G. Arnold, Micheal Leonberger, V. F. LeSann, Tamsin Showbrook, Simon Kewin, Cat McDonald, Sandra Wickham, K.T. Ivanrest, Adam L. Bealby, Eliza Chan, and Tabitha Lord, these siren songs will both exemplify and defy your expectations.

Cover art and design by Jonathan C. ParrishC is for Chimera, Poise and Pen Publishing, April 2016

This installment of Rhonda Parrish’s alphabet anthology series asks skilled storytellers to write around the theme of chimera. The resulting tales are part fable, part poem, part dream. But like any chimera, the parts make up a greater whole.

Blend reality with fantasy. Mesh science fiction with mystery. Mix history with what should have been. They are all chimera.

A shadow tells a tale of schoolyard bullies. A long-vanished monster returns from the cold dark. Make-up makes up a life. Alchemy, Atlantis, and apocalypse. These 26 tales bring both chaos and closure to dark and elusively fantastic geographies.

 

If you are qualified to nominate for awards (of any flavour) and you’d like a copy of any of these works in order to read and consider them, please email me. I will be more than happy to provide what I can.