Cabaret Rollo Rouge continues to look for a home after six months with Carina. Their rejection was very nice, though, along the lines of it not being what they're looking for but being certain another publisher would like it. Testing that theory...
MEANWHILE, I sold another short story for another anthology, and the publisher/editor asked to see more of my work, so I sent them The Lure of Port Stephen. Waiting, naturally. Writing is waiting.
ALSO I am writing an mpreg story that at least attempts to be plausible, because reasons. You all likely know by now how little patience I have for writers who wave their hand and say, "It doesn't have to make sense, IT'S FANTASY!" or worse, "IT'S FICTION!" No, my dears, that's what we call "lazy writing."
I want to mention some works-in-progress, mostly as impetus to finish them -- Fair Hearts, a m/m fairytale story drawing loosely on Snow White, and Morning Star, same only the inspiration is Aladdin. Once I finish Diplomacy Squared, I will be working on these with imaginary deadlines-for-submission, as that seems to be a motivator for me. Let's see how much I can get done before the end of 2016!
Save of the Game by Avon Gale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was torn between 3 and 4 stars, because I would have liked to see the relationship/exploration between the the m/c's happen less in a bubble--they seemed very much apart from the rest of their world and then when they emerged it was "Oh, by the way, the whole team knows you're together".
And I would have liked more scenes to show how much Ethan loved the hockey camp stuff that turns out to be the final solution, because it felt a little contrived.
But mostly, the story made me smiley happy, and that means this is another Avon Gale story that I will read again and again, and that's definitely worth 4 stars.
Also, this line -- “I’m sleeping with a man I barely know. Hurry. Tell me shit before we turn into an independent film.”
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*NOTE* This is book two of a series, but it totally stands alone. Best kind of series, imo.
So I bought approx. 20 print books and 100 digital ones this summer. And I have to say...if I read about one more character looking in the mirror to describe themselves I will puke. All over the Internet. This has got to be not only the laziest writing ever, but also highly implausible. How often do you look in the mirror and notice your "tresses" (ugh, another word that should be banned from writers' vocabularies) or your bone structure or your eye colour? Like, maybe you'll think, "Christ, my hair looks like a rat's nest" or "Eek! Is that another grey hair??" but do you really think about the cut, texture, and style of it? SERIOUSLY?
Everything about this situation was so surreal. She considered the possibility she was dreaming within a coma again as she turned on the water for a quick shower. He had a good quality shampoo and conditioner--not surprising with his abundant, if ill-cut, hair--and a body wash that smelled vaguely familiar. He'd probably used it to wash off the blood from her wound last night. If this was a dream, it was the most richly detailed one she'd ever had. One she probably wouldn’t wake up from, assuming that it had started after she’d been shot.
She used his towels and stared at the dress he'd said she was supposed to wear. It looked on the hanger like a black scarf with bits of red tulle on it. Was he serious? Her mind drew a picture of his face, what she'd seen of it, complete with smirk. She sighed. When he had sat beside her, stroked her cheek, she'd felt... not attraction, things were too weird for that. Alarmed was a word that came to mind, but also reassured. She nodded into the mirror. He had a magnificent confidence that was reassuring, in spite of everything. He had, after all, practically kidnapped her... she caught her reflection, wrapped in thick towels and blowing her hair dry. Yeah, poor Carmen, so ill-used. "A gilded cage is still a cage," she muttered to her reflection.
She used his brush, seeing no other. It was clean, with only a few stray hairs caught in it. They looked and felt like any other human hair she'd seen. He had set out a new toothbrush for her, who else, and she used it, while rummaging through the drawers and cabinets of his bathroom. There was nothing there to suggest he had lots of female visitors, or indeed any. Yet she'd definitely got the impression he knew his way around women.
She pulled the dress on, like a body stocking. And that's how it fit -- if she'd had panties, she couldn't have worn them with this dress. A tuft of red tulle in the center of the neckline pretended to provide modesty, while calling attention to the cleavage it wasn't covering. She cracked the door. "Carabas? This isn't a dress -- it's a fetish outfit!"
She looked at herself in the mirror. It wasn't really that bad, though certainly nothing she'd ever worn before. A basic black strapless sheath dress in clingy jersey, it was the red ribbon and tulle accents that gave it a costume-y look. She wondered if he knew her shoe size, too.
See kids? That's what people do in front of mirrors.
First the good news. Starstruck was released on September 12, but I was suffering from a surfeit of company at the time and sadly failed to properly mark the occasion. So better a late blog announcement than none at all, yay!
Got it? Good!
The other news is, I'll be back to city life and a full size bathroom and 24/7 internet on October 15. I may be one of the few people who actually feels more productive with the internet available all the time. Although I did get two novellas written, and half of two more. (Finish things, dammit!)
And finally on a very sad note, for all the crybaby feels and yes, I am a poor widdle pookie--I sent Cabaret Rollo Rouge off to Carina in answer to a specific call for m/m paranormal etc... Carina is the digital imprint of the illustrious Harlequin, famous for paperback romances for, like, almost ever. They said a response, either yea or nay, would be forthcoming within twelve weeks. Welcome to fourteen weeks and no response. It is "in progress" which means... nothing. For all I know the submission never made it past the submittable website. FOURTEEN WEEKS!
There ought to be a law against torturing writers that way. Besides, I could totes sell that story to...someone. Heck, I could self pub it and make $$. It's an awesome story. (I hate it, I hate everything I write, even when I love it.) I even did a great cover for it, if someone wants to pay me for both the story and the cover art (yes, I know, I should hit the comedy circuit.)
And of course, she's on Facebook because all the cool writers are on Facebook:
Remember kids--writers live and die by our reviews, so if you delve into Katherine's work, be sure to review it!
That's the title of a book I found at a yard sale, publication date--1897.
It has a dictionary of the English language, plus a section for American English... among other things. The 1890s are my favourite decade and this book is a wonderful snapshot on the times. It will be the subject of a few blog posts.
For Real by Alexis Hall
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
1. The first person pov is a SINGLE PERSON NARRATIVE. If your story can't be told from one person's pov, it is NOT a first person story. There's a reason this is a "thing" and one has to be an extraordinary writer to violate such rules. Sadly, this author is not. (see point 3)
2. WTF with character 2 addressing the reader?
3. In an effort to differentiate I from I, the author created two caricatures, rather than two characters.
4. No plot, no character development.
5. Unbelievable relationship. (not because of the age difference--emotionally they were both teenagers-- but because they were both too self-absorbed to actually sustain a relationship with another person)
6. "story" consisted of nothing but angst and sex. Angst, angst, sex. Sex, angst, angst. Angst, sex, sex. If that's your cuppa, have at it!
Although the author tells us the characters fall in love, it's not shown. In fact the characters are such angst-ridden, immature, self-absorbed dicks, I'm surprised they were more than peripherally aware that each other had actual, you know, personalities. One assumes. Somewhere. The author never really showed us that, either.
I suppose as erotica, it might work, but I didn't find the sex scenes all that hot, although I'm willing to concede it's because I didn't care about the characters and whether or not they had good sex.
Conclusion? A lot of words. Nicely put together words, admittedly. Not much substance.
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L. M. Langley is a first generation immigrant living in what she thought was going to be a punk town (it's not!). Her flash fiction story, “The Way It Should Be”, recently appeared on Blue Dandelion. If you think you hate second person stories, or if you’re not sure what one looks like, be sure to click that link!
Her novel, The Whole Trying Thing, was recently released by Ninestar Press and she enjoys typing really fast with only two fingers, no matter what anyone else says. Because touch typing is SO last generation...
Her favourite authors and influences are Sylvia Plath, Oscar Wilde, Stephen King, Gertrude Stein, J.M. Barrie and William Golding, to name a few.
She says, “I write lit-fic because I think genre rules are hard.”
L.M. is also working on a game/western visual novel called Talk to Me. Which I got to play the demo, because I am special. Check it out on itch.io https://boop.itch.io/talk-to-me
Or better yet, become a part of the magic by contributing to the Kickstarter! (hurry!)
Fever by Tonya Plank
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I would not have thought it possible for a writer to take something as sensual, sexy, and romantic as ballroom dance and suck the lifeblood out of it.
First, this is not book one in a series, it is part one of a serial novel, and a very long, very tedious, very repetitive beginning it is. I know dance lessons are tediously repetitive, but a novel should not be.
It took me three tries to make it to the end, and by the time I got there, I didn't even care that it was THREE HUNDRED PAGES OF BEGINNING with no story resolution. I was just so damn glad it was finally over.
Tedious. Repetitive. The most boring ballroom dance story I have EVER read. A "how-to" NOT write a dance story. Okay, originally two stars (because I slogged my way to the very end, hoping for some sort of payoff. But now on review. ONE.
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photo (c) TGDavison Photography
Patricia M. Bryce began her career as an author with the publication of a short steampunk story “The Soul of the Sky Queen” in the anthology Dreams of Steam: Gadgets published by Dark Oak Press, but she began her writing in earnest with fan fiction. Inspired and motivated by publication, she dusted off her fanfic and turned it into the original YA Fantasy series, Forged.
But Patricia isn’t afraid to tackle any genre that strikes her fancy, from her coming-of-age romance Close to You to her upcoming alt-history novel Princess in Hiding.
In her own words: "Someone asked when I began to write. The simple answer is that I've written stories as long as I've known how to put two words together. From simple tales of our day, to the more fantastical tales of the Fae world, and even the world of young romance."
Her favorite authors are Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Tolkien, C.S Lewis and Sydney Blackburn.
You can find Patricia on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaisleyRose1
Or visit her site: http://patriciambryce.weebly.com/
Find all of her books here: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-M-Bryce/e/B00U815USS/