reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: City of Bones

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

The door blew outward, knocking her off her feet. She skidded across the hallway floor and slammed into the wall, rolling onto her stomach. There was a dull roaring in her ears as she pulled herself up to her knees.

– City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Short Story · Writing

Succinctly Yours: Wet Roads

Succinctly Yours is a weekly meme by grandma. Of this meme she says:

How low can you go?

Use the photo as inspiration for a story of 140 characters OR 140 words. It doesn’t have to be exactly 140, just not more. This one is 137 characters. This time I even managed to use the challenge word: glisten

The storm turned the road into a glistening mess. I studied the accident up ahead, and decided to turn left to avoid it. Might be faster.

fantasy · Writing

Made of Awesome Contest

Shelley Watters is hosting a Made of Awesome Contest where people post title, genre, word count and the first 250 words or complete first page on their blog for a review and maybe, just maybe, get read by an agent.

So here it goes.

Title: My Ancestors, My Blood. (Sadly, this is only a working title)

Genre: Urban Fantasy. ghosts, witches, wizards, mages.

Word Count: 70,500 (Yes, I have not updated my novel in progress counter in the sidebar. I very bad.)

My first page (yes, the whole first page, not just the first 250 words. But they are bolded.) Got two versions of this now. Silly me.


The wind was icy and a gust blew the exhaust of a passing bus into my mouth. I coughed into my hand. We probably wouldn’t net many people in the raid; eleven pm on a bitterly cold Monday night wasn’t the time to catch many people. But I’d gotten enough evidence to raid Carmine Stars only yesterday. It had taken all day to put together and organize the team.

The Lieutenant herself insisted on taking control. She couldn’t leave me behind because she wasn’t a Shadow Scout, and everything inter-race required the presence of a Shadow Scout. The new rules required more for leecher raids. A Shadow Scout needed to get solid evidence leecher activity was going on at least an hour before the raid took place.

It was stupid. If I had my way, I would shove all the leechers down a deep hole where –

I cut off that line of thought. This was my first real job in months. If I was going to finish it right, my head needed to be in the right place. I fingered the little mirror shard in my pocket before stepping forward.

The club’s outside was plain plaster and dark windows. Carmine Stars was outlined in orange neon above the front door. A pair of stylized dancers and the words “A Magical Night” decorated the windows. The music pouring from the open doors pulsed through my bones, and if I was here for any other reason, I would have been tempted to dance.

I paid the cover charge and went in. The doorman was a witch; I could tell from his green aura. It hovered above his dark hair like a green halo. Not a particularly strong one, either, because the green wasn’t dark enough for strength. Most male witches weren’t strong. But I allowed him to tie a thin green ribbon around my wrist as proof of payment. “Keep it on,” he told me. “You will regret it if you don’t.”

No doubt. The ribbon was warm against my skin and soft as a flower petal. The charm had probably started out as a plant. It glowed against my skin, a green ribbon of light, obvious to anyone with a smidgen of magic. A symbol that I was a normal human being, just in case anyone failed to recognize that I didn’t leak magic. Just as well. Considering the effort I had put into my shields and glamour, it would be humiliating if anyone saw through them.

Or this other version. Sadly, I realized this was mostly telling about ten minutes after I posted. Decided to go with it, but is this a better first 250 (265 really!) words?

I paid the cover charge. The doorman’s aura hovered above his dark hair like a green halo. The green wasn’t dark enough for strength, but male witches weren’t strong. I allowed him to tie a thin green ribbon around my wrist as proof of payment. “Keep it on,” he told me. “You will regret it if you don’t.”

The ribbon was warm and soft as a flower petal. The charm had probably started out as a plant. It glowed against my skin, obvious to anyone with a smidgen of magic. A symbol that I was a normal human being, just in case anyone failed to recognize I didn’t leak magic. Just as well. Considering the effort I had put into my glamour, it would be humiliating if anyone saw through it.

It was dim inside. I spotted Mags at the bar, giving his lady a drink.

No female witches to supervise. Not for the first time, I wondered where Mags found so many males witches willing to work outside the coven. Odd.

“What’ll you have?” the bartender asked. His aura was strong for a male witch, a speckled forest-green. It waved back and forth over his head like a demented bird. Typical leecher aura, but not proof anyone would accept.

“Surprise me.”

He drew me a cold mug of beer. Green pinpricks of a leeching spell lay across the top like sprinkles on ice cream. Not enough to affect me, but enough to affect someone with very weak magic.

All the proof I needed to call in a raid.

Go crazy people! Tell me what you think. Don’t worry, I got a thick skin.

Book Review · fantasy · reading

Book Review: Twilight’s Dawn

Twilight’s Dawn is the latest in the black jewels series. Twilight’s Dawn is not stand alone,  but I don’t think it was supposed to be. It is an anthology and it has four stories: Winsol Gifts, Shades of Honor, Family and The High Lord’s Daughter. Fair warning, there are lots of spoilers.

They are all good, but Shades of Honor is probably my favorite. For one thing, it answers the question raised in another Black Jewels book: what did Falonar do? Well, it turns out Falonar is a perfect ass. He’s not totally without honor (if he was, Janelle would’ve known) but he has a very different interpretation of honor from Lucivar. I think Lucivar should have killed him, but the death Daemon gave him is probably better. Lucivar would’ve given him a cleaner death. Second, I really loved Rainier here. He enters a new phase of his life. I, personally, would love to see a whole novel about him. Third, I liked the glimpse into Eyrien society.

The High Lord’s Daughter probably caused the most furor in the blog-sphere. I don’t get it. I really don’t get why people are upset. Jaenelle dies. But she was always going to die. And she was going to die before her first century, because (1) she is from the short-lived races and (2) the short-lived races die before their 100th birthday. That was stated from the first, and Anne Bishop is too good a writer to finagle a way around her own words.

Another reason a lot of people got upset is that Surreal married Daemon. This surprised me, but I went with it. Okay, so she’s not the great love of Daemon’s life, but Jaenelle is dead and he deserves better than to be alone. Surreal deserves better than to be alone, too, and most men are wary of being with her forever and ever (because is a mixture of long and short lived races, and she said no man wants that for his children).

The best thing about this story is their daughter, Jaenelle Saetien, and the fact that she is also dreams made flesh.

Plus, the black jewels books are not romances and I can’t say I ever really expected a happy ever after for the characters.

Winsol Gifts is a sweet story, but a little disappointing. Best part is when Daemon realizes Tersa is both his and Lucivar’s mother. It is worth reading for that alone. But the ending is disappointing because it seems incomplete. I mean, Daemon gets a present from his father and can’t open it because it is locked and he doesn’t have the key. I really want to know: what present did Daemon get? It’s driving me crazy.

Family is good, too. Mostly because Jaenelle goes back to being a Queen.

A lot of people think this is the last book in the series, but I disagree. There are decades between Family and The High Lord’s Daughter. There have to be lots of stories in that time period. And there is Rainer. He lives and dies and that story hasn’t been told, either. Besides, as important as Jaenelle as to this series, there are other characters (The Invisible Ring doesn’t include Jaenelle at all!) Ms. Bishop can write stories about any of them.

flash friday · science fiction · Writing

Friday Flash: Beauty Suspect

This week’s Friday flash (or Friday drabble, as it were) is based on this photo from wiki commons. It’s supposed to be some type of chemical element, but to me, it looks like a good magical item.

The ship’s gardens were amazingly lifelike. I crouched at the edge of the pool, studying the dragonfly.

I remembered Father’s warnings about flying spy devices. The insect robots were to cross-pollinate and provide beauty, too, without the unsanitary attributes of real insects. They couldn’t carry a camera, too, could they?

The gardens were supposed to provide fresh food and a calming place to walk. Thinking about all that Father had said, I couldn’t be calm. I had to always be on guard, wary and suspicious. Always!

I wanted home.  At least home was safe.

“Lieutenant? Staff meeting,” the sergeant called.

General

I am a Versatile Blogger

I am a Versatile Blogger.

A few days ago, Helen, nominated me for the versatile blogger award. In order to get this award I must (1) admit seven random things about myself and (2) pick five other people to give this award to.

Seven Random Things About Myself: This is hard, because I don’t think there are seven random, interesting things about me. But here we go.

  1. My nails are long and real.
  2. I have not watched any of this seasons’ Idol.
  3. Contrary to everything I thought I knew about my reading likes, I loved The Lover by Marguerite Duras.
  4. I hate putting on contact lenses. (Taking them off is also a pain)
  5. I love soft, silky fabrics.
  6. I detest cars. They make me sick. 😦 If I am lucky, I manage an hour before I upchuck. Before anyone mentions them, anti-nausea pills take an hour to work and I don’t always have an hour.
  7.  I love I Love Lucy. Really old, but really, really funny. Got almost every episode on DVD.

Nominate Five Bloggers for Versatile Blogger: This is hard, because how do you choose?

  1. Grandma 
  2. Sandy
  3. Monica “Choppy” Nguyen
  4. Manda 
  5. Brenda Bryant

Looking forward to your posts people!

fantasy · reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: Twilight’s Dawn

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

But whether they resented her, were relived for themselves, or were happy that the Warlord Prince of Dhemlan had a steady sexual companion, they had all been careful of how they approached her.

Not because they felt threatened be her, Surreal thought with a dollop of resentment, but because the consequences of pissing off Daemon or Lucivar right now were bound to be painful – and messy.

– Twilight’s Dawn, The High Lord’s Daughter, by Anne Bishop

Short Story · Teaser Tuesdays · Writing

Succinctly Yours: Betrayed Love

Succinctly Yours is a weekly meme by grandma. Of this meme she says:

How low can you go?

Use the photo as inspiration for a story of 140 characters OR 140 words. It doesn’t have to be exactly 140, just not more. This one is 140 characters.

I took his rose and jammed the stem up his nose.

He looked flummoxed. “You-”

“I don’t forgive,” I announced and pointed him to the door.

fantasy · reading

Book Blogger Hop: One Day in a Fictional World

Just discovered this blog hop over at crazy-for-books. Looks interesting enough to participate despite the Friday flash fiction thing today. You gotta answer a question:

“If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?”

For me, there is no question. I would love love LOVE to live in the Black Jewels world by Anne Bishop. I want to live in Jaenelle’s world.  It is so interesting! Magical jewels, demons, flying people, unicorns, talking animals – who can resist?

Plus, the chance to visit with Daemon Sadi? He has to be the hottest, sexiest hero every written.

fantasy · Short Story · Writing

Friday Flash: Contemplating A Painting

This week’s Friday flash (or Friday drabble, as it were) is based on this photo from wiki commons.

The bay was in fine form tonight. I glanced outside, then studied my painting. It looked good. Not exactly the same, but the colors were brilliant. The perfect background for the angel I intended to add tomorrow. An angel lounging by the fence, with wings the color of ivory, and a body any man would be glad to have. Eyes like –

“Love, where are my pajamas?”

I turned, smiled. His exhaustion showed in the dragging wings and shadowed eyes. “In the dryer, dear.”

Tomorrow, I would make his eyes gleam like the moon and paint him in all his glory.