Annual Blog Break

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It’s August, so if you’ve been here a while, you probably know what that means. I usually take a break from blogging for about two weeks at the end of August. Never fear, I’ll be back September 12. I’m taking a little longer this time do deal with some personal/family issues. I’ll still be hanging out on Twitter, Tumblr, and Ravelry, but if you follow me there, you might have noticed I’ve been a bit quieter of late. I’m still around, I’m still reading posts and keeping up with things, I just haven’t been in the mood for talking. I may elaborate when I come back, or I might not.

See you on the 12th!

In Defense of Mushrooms & 2 great promo codes!

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indefenseofmushrooms1400That’s right! Just a week after the release of The Night Wars Collection, and already my next book (well, novella) is up for pre-order! And if you want a discount, you can save 15% on In Defense of Mushrooms or any other Torquere book if you pre-order through their website with the code “preorder15”.

Want to know more? The Q&A post for IDM will be up soon, and in the meantime you can find a blurb and info about all my books here.

Want some instant gratification? You can save 25% on The Spider’s Web or the Night Wars Collection (or any other already released Torquere book) with the code “BTS16”. Remember, the discount codes are ONLY good on the Torquere website, but you can still find my stuff on Amazon, BN.com, Sourbooks.com, or a variety of other internet retailers. I’m not sure how long they’ll be good, though, so use them while you can!

 

 

The Night Wars Collection is out tomorrow!

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night wars collection coverThat’s right! If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet, you can still get 15% off on the Torquere website with the code “preorder15”.

Not sure where to find the book? It will be up on the Torquere website, Amazon, BN.com, and Smashwords to name a few. (If you want a paperback edition, though, you do have to go through Amazon. Paperbacks are NOT available for preorder, and will be available around August 16.)

Got more questions? You can check out my Q&A post here, or leave it in the comments below.

 

Coming Soon: In Defense of Mushrooms

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The smaller package had Izzy’s name on it, but she’d told me to keep an eye out for a birthday present. And since my birthday was technically over, it couldn’t hurt to open it, right?

I cut through the tape, peeling back the cardboard. Inside was a thin, print-on-demand paperback. More novella than novel, the front cover had a close up of a tattoo–a familiar tattoo. The orange and green snake was poised to strike, but it’s coiled tail was wrapped around a heart. The title read, “Adder’s Breath,” and listed Izzy as the author.

There was no summary on the back. Inside, I found the dedication:

For my lovely Evie, so you will always know how much you are loved, even when I can’t say the words out loud.

Intrigued, I flipped to the first page and began to read.

The Spider’s Web, chapter nine

Oindefenseofmushrooms1400fficial blurb:

Isabella “Izzy” Cappelli has always been a troublemaker, and it’s putting a strain on her family. Now a fling with a handsome stranger has left her with an unexpected surprise, and things with her family are worse than ever. Can she change course, or is she really the failure everyone says?

IN DEFENSE OF MUSHROOMS, the Evie Cappelli prequel novella, will be available on September 21 from Torquere Press! Stay tuned for more info and preorder announcements and discounts!

July Wrap Up

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Holy cow, guys. The past few weeks have just been a blur. I’m not going into all of the details right here and now, but stay tuned because there’s going to be a lot of news coming down the pipeline in August!

But before we look ahead, let’s take a second to glance back, shall we?

The Goals 

  1. Be active for 30 minutes 5x per week.
    I haven’t been doing so well on this one. The last two weeks of July saw 90+ degree temps with high humidity. I spent several days laying down in the AC, just trying to breathe.
  2. Polish 3 manuscripts
    2/3 Complete!
  3. Pay off 2 debts
    Debt 2 of 2016 has been paid off! I’m a little annoyed that this was a new debt incurred at the beginning of this year (a repair on my car) and not one of my existing ones, but it’s still paid off and that’s what counts. Now I can focus on other things!

The Books 

Books Read:

In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park
Conquests and Cultures by Thomas Sowell
The Forest of Souls by Missouri Dalton (beta)
I am Malala by Malala Yousefzai
One False Note by Gordan Korman
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis
You’re Broke Because You Want to Be by Larry Winget
Playing with Fire by Derek Landy
MBA in a Book Joel Kurtzman

Another fantastic reading month, in no small part thanks to audio books. 11 books total. I think my all time record is 12, so that’s pretty darn good!

My favorites were In Order to Live and Playing with Fire.

Book News:

Where to begin?

THE NIGHT WARS COLLECTION will be out on August 6. There’s a Q&A about the book here, and as always you can check the books tab above for summaries, buy links, etc. Oh, and if you order through the Torquere website and use the code “preorder15”, you’ll get 15% off if you order before August 6.

Next week I’ll be revealing the cover for my next book, In Defense of Mushrooms, which is a prequel novella. It’s Izzy’s origin story, so to speak.

Pass, Fail, Promise: World Politics Edition

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Pass: In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park and Maryanne Vollers

This is the first book in a while to send me into book coma. I finished listening to it, and then had to sit for a couple of hours, processing it.

I went into it knowing nothing about Korea ouside of what I’ve gleaned from the Kdramas on Netflix. We didn’t study the Korean War in school, my generation being too young to have personal knowledge of it, but too old for it to be in our schoolbooks.

Yeonmi’s harrowing journey to freedom is alternately heartbreaking and heartwarming. The woman herself is incredible in all she has achieved.

From starvation, a corrupt government, and human trafficking, this book covers so many aspects of the darker side of human nature, but

Genre: Nonfiction
Sub-Genre: North Korea, autobiography, memoir
Page Count: 288


Fail: Conquests and Cultures by Thomas Sowell

Like most of the books I grab from the library, I didnt know much about the book or the author before diving in. The first 3/4 of the book were really interesting, covering history we did not discuss when I was in school (including Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Asia), but around the 3/4 mark when he began to discuss North America, I started scratching my head, and wondering about the accuracy of the information presented at the beginning of the book. Then I just got pissed off as he began not only defending racism, but then arguing that it doesn’t exist (I’m sorry…how can it be both justified and nonexistent?). I would avoid this book unless you enjoy doing things like watching Donald Trump rallies, since it’s pretty much his entire platform on race, immigration, income inequality, etc, all bound up nicely.

Genre: Nonfiction
Sub-Genre: race, religion, history
Page Count: 516
Promise: I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

I’ve been meaning to read this book since it came out, and I finally sat down and listened to it. Like In Order to Live, it was the type of book to hit you right in the gut.

Vacillating between rich imaginary and clinical detail, I learned a lot from this book. I know very little about Islam, Pakistan, or the middle east in general, but found the background information provided here to be fascinating and relatively easy to understand (I think it would have been easier for me to keep some of the names straight if I’d been eye-reading instead of listening, but I got the general picture and was able to follow along).

Aside from that, Malala herself is a fascinating person, who has been involved in politics from a very young age. After reading her accounts of life in Pakistan and how she hopes to change it for the better, I look forward to hearing more about her activism.

Genre: Nonfiction
Sub-Genre: Pakistan, history, autobiography, memoir
Page Count: 327

The Last Unicorn

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Anyone remember this movie?

I used to love watching it as a kid. If I happened to find it on tv I would drop whatever I was doing to watch it. I didn’t realize how trippy it was until one of my college roommates pulled out the VHS, and we all watched it at midnight while doing homework.

I didn’t even realize it was a book until I found a copy at Half Price a few months ago. I’m not sure if I’m relieved or disappointed that the book isn’t an acid trip the way the movie was.

Instead, it’s a beautiful story about strength, love, and self confidence, and finding yourself and your purpose when when it seems the time for it has passed.

This is absolutely going to be  re-read for me. There’s also a follow up novelette that’s available for free (fair warning, be prepared to cry).

Character Aesthetic: Isaiah

Isaiah

Full name: Isaia Marco Lorenzo Raffaele Cappelli ● Goes by: Isaiah● Height: 5’4”● Zodiac: Scorpio ● Occupation: Tae Kwan Do instructor ● Age: 20

Isaiah is one of the new character you’ll meet in the Night Wars Collection. After a bad breakup, he winds up in Montreal almost by accident. He doesn’t realize until much later that if you’re a Cappelli with a broken heart, you go to Montreal.

The Night Wars Collection Q&A

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night wars collection coverWhat is this a “collection” of? Is it about Evie?
The Night Wars Collection is a compendium of 13 short stories that take place in the Night Wars universe. While that is the universe where Evie lives, not all of the stories are about her. You’ll be introduced to some new characters, as well as some familiar faces if you’ve read Missouri’s novels.

Who the heck is Missouri Dalton?
Missouri and I co-created the Night Wars Universe all the way back in 2007. She was the first one to get published (Evie was a little stubborn in the development phase…there may have been a full rewrite or two involved. Or twelve. Anyway), and as such has had several years to establish her characters and build a foundation for Fynn, Jack, Evie, and all of the other characters to stand on.

If you want to know more about Missouri, you can find her here.

What formats will be available?
The Night Wars collection will be available in ebook and trade paperback formats (no, really this time. I mean it. There will be a paperback edition).

Can I pre-order through Amazon?
No. Once the book is released, you will be able to purchase through Amazon or the Barnes and Noble website (among other venues; I do not have a complete list), but pre-orders are only available from my publisher, Torquere Press.

Will The Night Wars Collection be available in brick & mortar stores?
Unless you have a really, really amazing indie book store near you, probably not. While you will be able to order the book through the Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites, physical copies will not be available in store.

Does it matter where I buy the collection?
Yes! While I will be happy no matter where you choose to purchase it and the prices will be the same no matter where you go, my publisher and I make more money on sales made through the Torquere website. When I make more money, it’s easier for me to write more books, since I’m not doing things like looking for another job, or curled up in a corner crying because I don’t know how I’m going to pay the bills.

 

If you have any more questions about the book, feel free to email me or leave a comment. I’m happy to answer any questions!

WIPs

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FullSizeRender If you were afraid I’d given up crafting after the past few months, fear not! (Were you scared? I was. I’ve hardly been crafting at all since May.)

While I’m still working on the second pair of purple socks, there has been a good deal of progress made–at least, compared to the last time I showed them to you. I’m about halfway done with the foot at the moment, and debating between an afterthought heel, or trying out the Fish Lips Kiss heel, which is supposed to provide a better fit without the holes or gaps that always seem to happen with the afterthoughts.

IMG_3631 (1)To give my hand/wrist time to recover, I dug through my stash and found my Very Last Emergency Ball of Roving, and pulled out my spinning wheel. I’ve been spinning and binging on Black Books on Netlfix, as well as the 2nd season of Raiders of the Lost Art. While it may not look like there’s much there, I tend to spin very, very fine singles, so there’s quite a lot of yardage. Just what you see here represents about six to seven hours of spinning.

The fiber is a shetland cross I got last year or the year before at the World of Ohio fair at the village. It’s coarser and sheepier than I would normally use (i.e. it has a rougher texture and more lanolin–that’s sheep grease for you non-knitters), but it spins up wonderfully well. I will probably have to give away the completed yarn because it will irritate my skin if I try to wear it and Missouri will probably break out in hives if she touches it, but I am enjoying the spinning portion. Once this is gone, I’ll have to order more fiber from Etsy or something; my wheel has been sadly neglected since we moved into this apartment, and there’s really no reason for it. I need to start spinning more.

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I’m not sure where Loki thinks I’m shipping him, but he’s been “packing” all week. I don’t have the heart to throw away the box now.

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