I’ve ranted enough for one day…

Here is a treat. A preview of the inside of Orcs and Aliens magazine.

 

magazine

 

Reblog if you’re excited!

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The Great (Ex) Roommate Debacle

Hello my darlings,

I know, I know. Good lord, where has Cy been? Has he been burrowing deep into the earth, unable to stop until he comes out the other side? Has he been unearthing lost civilizations? Curing cancer? Hiding in a monastery as he finishes his latest masterpiece?

terracotta-warriors

Anything like this would be an acceptable excuse.

…None of those, actually, I’ve just been so super extremely busy and so super extremely stressed. Busy and stressed enough that I have only made marginal progress with The Hollow Living, unfortunately.

There is a rubber band in the back of my head, and someone is pulling it tighter and tighter to the point where it will at some point snap, and I will collapse in pain. That is what it feels like is happening… but I’m fairly certain it is just a headache. A horrible, stress-induced headache.

I’m not certain how to relay the events of the past few days.

Nope.

Maybe I’ll just use bullet points.

  • Friday: Great-grandmother gets out of rehab. We take her home, set her up. Pray she doesn’t fall again.
  • Wednesday: She falls.

This time, the EMT’s don’t even call my mamaw first before taking my great-grandmother to the hospital. They just straight up break down her door and take her down to the emergency room.

As for all that happened in-between…

  • Mark gets text from troublesome roommate. We have not lived a day with this woman yet, but she wants to adjust the lease (don’t ask how, it’s too complicated) because she doesn’t trust us.
  • I get the job I applied for (YAYYY!!!) I learn I have to go to Greensboro five days earlier than I thought (ew) without Mark. (double ew).
  • Learns that I can get up there on the 5th… but nobody (absolutely nobody) is available to drive Mark up that weekend so he can move into our apartment on the 10th. (Guys, we’ve seriously known our move-in date since April or May).
  • Panics. Is trying to plan.
  • ON TOP OF PANIC, troublesome roommate won’t shut up about the lease that is already a signed and sealed deal. Starts launching personal attacks.
  • Other roommate that we actually like gets stressed to the point of tears.
  • Landlord calls Mark, because troublesome roommate’s mother had called him and kept him on the phone for HOURS.
  • Gets matter sorted out … but with $15 increase in rent.
  • Troublesome roommate not happy. Threatens to move out. Launches more personal attacks … this time at me, who has not spoken to her this entire time and did nothing to provoke being yelled at.
  • Decides not to put up with this bullshit, tells troublesome roommate exactly what I think of her.
  • Troublesome roommate blocks me on Facebook (because she is an adult) and outright just cancels her lease (fine with me).
  • …Rent goes up almost $70 without the fourth person (at least we have our living room back).
  • Lease matter settled. … Now we just have to make a day trip into town (3 hours away) to make sure all the new paperwork is in order since she up and left.
  • …Roommate we like can’t possibly make day trip.
  • Mark still is not 100% certain of how he is getting to Greensboro.
  • In conclusion… Mark and I went through almost an entire pack of cigarettes (and we’re only social smokers).

Did you get all of that? I wish I was one of those people who could relax and forget about stress for a little while… but unlike Scarlet O’ Hara, I cannot think about it tomorrow. I have to fix it today.

And of course, now is when I really want to get some writing done. Le SIGH.

Your most adored,

C.N.F.

Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower – NEW RELEASE!

 

Prodigy Cover Final

The action-packed, humor-filled, dramatic sequel to ‘Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero’.
Battling through a demonic assassin and an army of monsters, Luke Callindor has survived his time at Hamilton Military Academy.  Now, Luke and his friends must leave the safety of the academy to escort Duke Solomon’s heir down the L’dandrin River and into the safety of the city of Gods’ Voice.  Joining them for this journey is Nyx, a powerful caster apprentice of Rainbow Tower.  With her talent for combat magic and her short temper, Nyx will prove to be a challenge for Luke and all of their enemies.

Who will survive the harrowing trip down the L’dandrin River?  And, who will be the one to break Luke’s trust?

 

SEE MY REVIEW OF PRODIGY HERE! 

 

Find Prodigy of Rainbow Tower on Goodreads! http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18171173-prodigy-of-rainbow-tower

And don’t forget, this is book 2 in a series! Read Beginning of a Hero, book #1 of this awesome series! http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Hero-Legends-Windemere-ebook/dp/B00BL9GBU2/

 

SEE MY REVIEW OF BEGINNING OF A HERO! 

 

Cover Art Credit:

Jason Pedersen Website: http://www.jasonpedersen.com/

 

Note: I apologize to Charles for this being so late. Things have been going badly these past few days and I completely missed my original intended posting date.

Guest Blog: Fan-girling, Benedict Cumberbatch, karma and my books by Susan Mac Nicol

Hello my darlings, you are in for a treat today! Today’s guest blogger is the lovely author Susan Mac Nicol. One of her topics today makes mention of actor Benedict Cumberbatch. If you don’t know who that is, take a moment to stare in wonder.

That is all.

That is all.

Enjoy!

———–

Cassandra by Starlight CVR_3_resized

I have to confess I’m usually a pretty level headed, non-emotional kinda gal. I’ve even been called a ‘cold hearted bitch’ or ‘the Ice Queen’ on occasion so you get the drift. Yet when a certain young man appeared on my television screen for the first time, I simply melted like the proverbial primordial ooze and left all common sense, a little dignity and any sexual inhibitions behind as I raced to meet him.  I know, I know…it’s a little crazy and a lot sad. But I can’t make excuses or apologies for my obsession so here I am, on Cy’s blog, bearing my fan girl soul.
My first huge crush was on Michael Landon in ‘Bonanza’. My bedroom door was plastered with pictures of him. I also had a scrap book solely for James Hunt, the racing car driver. But that was when I was about twelve or so – I think I can be excused from those little foibles.
But having said all of the above, without Benedict Cumberbatch coming into my life, I wouldn’t be where I am now. A published author with five books under her belt and others on their way. And this is how it all began. It’s a pretty karmic and epic journey…
Oh, and if you’re wondering what the link between me and Cy’s blog is as an LGBT author herself, it’s because I’ve branched out too into the MM Romance genre with a book of my own called ‘Stripped Bare’, released 22nd July. I have another couple of books on the way. I’ve found a niche here I’m very comfortable with and I just love writing it. And no, Benedict wasn’t the inspiration behind any of the characters in my gay romance books. ..although that has possibilities…*winks*

StrippedBare_cover

My debut novel in August 2012 was a book called ‘Cassandra By Starlight.’ I had the idea for this book, about a woman meeting a man under tragic circumstances, after I read about an incident in my local newspaper. Some idiot stood on a motorway bridge and threw a bucket of concrete onto the motorway below. The bucket hit a car, injuring a woman badly. I started thinking, ‘Imagine if that was someone jumping and they hit a car and the woman was rushed to hospital. Then the sexy older brother of the suicide jumper came to see how she was doing and va-va-voom! Instant attraction. And that’s how Cassie Wallace, a feisty, very attractive, sexy size 16 forty seven year old woman, meets the urbane and utterly delicious and wealthy Bennett Saville, actor and theatre owner, and who is ten years younger than her.
Of course, he wasn’t always Bennett Saville. He started off as someone else, a prominent business man in the hotel industry. But then I saw Benedict and I just knew I wanted one for my own. Of course, he’s a little unobtainable to the likes of me so I thought instead I’d create my own to have and to hold, to abuse, put in danger, make sure he had amazing sex and generally have a really good time with me- I mean with Cassie. The Cumberbatch inspired the character for this book without doubt. The idea of the story alone wasn’t enough to create the passion I had in writing it. The need to create the character of Bennett for my own personal use in my mind was the main catalyst.
So I wrote furiously for eight weeks and ended up with a 350 000 word trilogy. During my ‘research’ for Mr Cumberbatch’s character in the performing arts, I happened to ‘LinkIn’ with a man called Alex Baranowski. He’s a wonderful London based composer who worked with the producers of ‘Frankenstein’ at the National Theatre, the part Benedict played with such aplomb both as the doctor and the creature and which I’ve had the pleasure of seeing –twice.  Soon after Alex and I hooked up, I received an invite from a romance publishing company called Boroughs Publishing Group, to ‘LinkIn’. (I think they must have been linked in’ with Alex.) So I accepted of course, thinking that once I had the books finished, I’d send it over to them. It couldn’t do any harm, right? And bugger me if they didn’t like them and want to publish them. Only the second publisher I’d sent them to and they WANTED my work! And so that’s how my current status as a published author came to be.
And another kooky thing is –look at the picture I’ve attached. It’s not very good but hopefully you’ll get the gist. This horoscope appeared in a local newspaper the week before Boroughs told me they wanted my book, along with a picture of Benedict Cumberbatch in a crossword puzzle directly above the horoscope section. I took this a good omen and keep it with me in my purse. It’s my lucky rabbit’s foot.

HoroscopeH

I was interviewed by a couple of local newspapers who quoted the ‘Cumberbatch Connection’ and was also asked by a fellow Cumberbatch fan who works in local radio to go on her breakfast show. You can see one of the newspaper articles and listen to the podcasts of the radio interview at the links below.

http://www.susanmacnicol.com/books/

http://www.susanmacnicol.com/category/news-appearances/radio-interview-tracy-cooper/

Everything I do which mentions Benedict (which will include this blog post) I send to his publicist Karen for the ‘Cumberbatch Scrapbook’.  I don’t get a response (other than when she emailed me to congratulate me on my newspaper interviews) but she hasn’t put a restraining order on me yet so I think I’m all right to continue doing this. It must be a pretty big file by now
Right then. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and it’s given you a little bit of light entertainment as you snigger at my idiosyncrasies or… feel guilty because you have experienced something similar…after all, they say authors just write about their own fantasies don’t they?

Bio

Sue Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. At the age of eight, her family moved to Johannesburg, South Africa where she stayed for nearly thirty years before arriving back in the UK in December 2000.

She has written nine novels, two novellas and a screen play since February 2012 so believes in keeping herself busy. She has found herself wanting to stay in the genre that is M/M romance so more can definitely be expected.

Sue is a member of Romance Writers of America and Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She is also a member of a rather unique writing group, called the Talliston Writer’s Circle, which in itself has a story all of its own to tell and lives in the rural village of Bocking, in Essex, with her family.

Her plan is to keep writing as long as her muse sits upon her shoulder. Her dream is to one day make enough money to give up the day job and get that big old house in the English countryside overlooking a river, where she can write all day and continue to indulge her passion for telling stories.

http://www.boroughspublishinggroup.com/authors/susan-mac-nicol
Twitter – @SusanMacnicol7
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/susiemax77
http://www.susanmacnicol.com/blog/
Personal website – http://www.susanmacnicol.com

Linked In http://linkd.in/YFWZ40
Goodsreads   http://www.goodreads.com/Susiemax777

Sexist? Who, me?

Hello my darlings,

So, so, I was called sexist and ‘borderline downright misogynistic’ today. Mind you, that is not the first time.

This time it wasn’t related to my writing, but in the past it has been. People seem to find it ridiculous that a good 85% of my characters are male, and with the exception of one goddess, their entire pantheon is male also.

And half of the male cast looks is as beefy and masculine as this guy.

And half of the male cast looks about as beefy and masculine as this guy.

But what I would like to know is … how can I get called sexist when no one is jumping up and down calling Salvatore a separatist feminist? (I’m not bashing Salvatore, he is my idol, it is just an example).

Because, I don’t know how many of you read Forgotten Realms, but the drow are run by a straight-up matriarchy. It’s like a medieval fantasy Desperate Housewives. Meanwhile, Jarlaxle Baenre remains my favorite character to date.

Because hat.

Because hat.

And they worship a goddess who cannot be pictured, because spiders. But you see where I am going with this.

So, is it only OK for a fantasy society to be completely dominated by one sex if that sex is female?

I can’t relate to a lot of female characters. You know a female character is written well when I really, truly enjoy them. Kudos if I can relate at all.

I cannot relate to Mina from Dragons of a Fallen Sun (I really, really hate Mina) and I cannot relate to Goldmoon (who can?). So it is not that I need to see a “stronger” female character, I’ve seen plenty of those, and I even really like a few. (Quenthel and Triel, to come full circle back to Salvatore).

In summary: I like male characters, I enjoy writing for them, I identify with them more. End of story … that is why I write for so many. Does it mean I hate females? NO. In fact, one of my favorites (Olympia) to write for has been with me since the beginning, plays an integral role in the plot, and has a strong personality. As my writing grows (and I grow) you will meet more female characters (Nerissa Ercole will be one, in The Hollow Living. And she walks the warpath while dragging her family behind her on a string).

You know, after reading through this post, I’ve realized that a few select characters are beginning to make a lot more sense.

kiss

Ladies and gents, I give you Dragoloth.

I know this is kind of a weird, hot-button topic for some people. I just had to blow off some steam. I put up a question on my Facebook page asking “How far is too far when it comes to gender roles in fantasy novels?” Check it out, I would love to hear your thoughts! If you don’t have a Facebook, drop me a line in the comments below.

Your most adored,

C.N.F.

GUEST BLOG: Should writers cave to market forces? No way! by Storm Chase

Many thanks to Storm Chase for this guest blog! Read and enjoy! – C.N.F.

—-

Lost Weekend By Storm Chase

I’m an egalitarian, atheist, feminist who can’t take a tan, no matter how much I try, and I’m living in Malaysia, a Muslim dominated male chauvinist hierarchical society. As you may guess, I stick out like a sore thumb.

It doesn’t bother me because I’m foreign. Always have been; always will be. I was born in Amsterdam and lived there for 11 years. Since then I’ve lived in 5 countries, with over 20 years in Asia.

So where’s this going, do you ask? Well, recently I’ve been wondering if my background is getting in the way of my writing. I mean, I look like a member of the pan Euro-American white supremacist hierarchy on the outside but the inside is a bit mixed up.

I write romances, some erotic, some not, and most with a touch of crime. When you knock around in the places I do, you meet a lot of hookers, girls who get into trouble, and people who have to make some very tough survival choices. My heroines tend to reflect this.

The Mule By Storm Chase

There’s Cleo, an exotic dancer who gets conned into being a mule and is banged up in a Colombian jail in The Mule, and Star, a hooker who makes some wrong decisions and ends up being sold in Siberia, in Chocolate, or Bryony, from Lost Weekend, who was convicted for theft – and actually did steal something!

When you compare that to the standard stuff out there, my storylines sound a bit rough. However, the stories are actually very romantic. I soften reality to an acceptable level of horror, and I provide HEA endings. Also, my heroines never fall for jerks who expect them to sacrifice everything for the sake of love!

While I’m getting some nice reviews, too many say they were put off by my erotica romances at first because they couldn’t imagine themselves as those heroines.

I don’t get that. I mean, I’m straight but one of the best books I’ve read in years was Body 2 Body: A Malaysian Queer Anthology. I also love LOTR and I, robot and I’m neither a man, hobbit, wizard, elf or robot. For me, reading means being someone totally different.

Still, I don’t like the idea of turning off readers before they even see what my books are like. So, I’m thinking, as the typical reader of romance ebooks is female, middle class and rather insulated from the rough realities of life, should I write a cutie-college-graduate-meets-billionaire where the tension comes from a tussle over whether she eats a hot dog in a 5 star restaurant?

Chocolate by Storm Chase

From what’s out there, I know it would have mass appeal. Problem is, I’m bored just thinking about it.

No, I’ve thought about it and it’s just not worth it. I shall be true – and possibly obscure but at least I’ll have fun writing.

Storm Chase novels are sold on Smashwords, Kobo, B&N, iTunes and other quality ebook shops.

Blog: http://stormchasenovels.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StormChaseRomance

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/StormChase

Buy my books: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/stormchase