Posts

Showing posts from December, 2011

Happy New Year from the Haanta Series!

Image
See you all in the New Year! Looking forward to the apocalypse, or whatever the kids are calling it. We'll be at Raneca's when the world explodes.

New Year's Resolutions!

Image
We all make them, but not all of us keep them. I do, as much as I can do, but I think the secret to making resolutions is to forget about them. Many people seem to fret about not losing enough weight or not moving forward in their careers, get frustrated, and just give up altogether. I write them down in the back of one of my numerous notebooks, feel positive about them, and then close the book and don't look at them until the end of the year. Here is a recap of what I promised myself in the past year:

By the end of 2010, I:
1) Had one book published
2) Began a new series
3) Wrote 700 short stories and 5 books
4) Found a creative partner

As my New Year's resolutions for 2011, I wrote the following:

I would like to:
1) sell 60,000 books
2) Publish 3 more books
3) Have my hair crocheted
4) Finish 5 more novels
5) Have tours and book signings

This is what I actually did in 2011:
1) Had 5 books published
2) Had my long and unkempt hair crocheted
3) Had 1 book signing and 5 tours
4…

#BoxingDay story: The Crumble

Image
Alasdair loves baked goods, much to his dismay. Holiday time ruins him.
As the meal began, everyone soon realized that the plates had been calculated to everyone’s differing tastes: a platter of cold meats, fresh lettuce, and boiled eggs was laid before Alasdair; a large bowl of steamed grains was set before for Unghaahi; a veritable meat salad and mountain of Calleen’s famous garlic potatoes was planed near Rautu, much to Unghaahi’s dismay; pasties and meat pies and hardier fare were there for the farmers’ delights; grilled potato cakes and cumin stew for Kai Linaa and her more Lucentian delectation; sprouts and roast, sweet bread and lamb shanks, all of the scents melding with one another, and everyone’s eyes keen and fixed on their specific desires. Everyone took one plate, and once they had given enough to themselves had begun passing it round the table. Unghaahi and Alasdair declined most of the dishes while Hathanta declined all and the twins, Sheamas, and Rautu declined none. La…

Maith Ailineighdeath from Twisk and Red Willow Press

Image
Ailineighdaeth wishes from everyone here in Frewyn!

Twisk has made a special drawing for the occasion, furnished with stockings my Mrs Cuineill and a hat from Mr Craw's collection!

And since the holiday and Rautu's birthday coincide, Red Willow Press, publishers of the Haanta Series novels and short stories, have sent a special cake his way!

Happy Ailineighdaeth!

Image
Ailineighdaeth (pronounced Alinade in Old Frewyn) is the Day of Renewal or Rebirth and is one of the major holidays of the Frewyn calendar. It commemorates the day that the Gods forgave their children by reappearing as stars in the night sky. Various customs are associated with the holiday, like eating more cake than is advisable, thanking grandma for the tenth pair of socks you somehow needed, being forced to sit through the dirge of Church sermons, and spending the day in the throes of family togetherness. There is also the exchanging of small gifts, the placing of the glass lights on the tree, and the giving of charms, but these are paltry puersuits where the other customs are concerned. The holiday begins the night of the 23rd, as all Frewyn holidays begin the might before, is commemorated with a small feast, and passes quietly away into the following evening, which just happens to be Rautu's birthday. He would refute the idea of double gifts or gifts in general, but where cak…

Story for the Day: Inpalo

Image
Nidello and Arkastino, Ladrei's brothers and guardsmen, have always been in love. 
Arkastino was still sleeping when Nidello entered their apartment, and was snoring so sonorously as to make Nidello’s laughing at him muted by his strident drones, his hissing snuffles, and his whistling exhales. Nidello closed the door quietly behind him, but he had some misgiving as to whether his mate should hear him regardless of his attempts to be as silent as was possible as he approached. He undressed, tossed his clothing on a far chair, and went to the divan where Arkastino lay sprawled out, his immense legs hanging off the sides, his mouth open, his arms cuddling a large cushion. Here was a prospect of equanimity, an attestation that regardless of how prominent or how feared they became in Lucentian society, Arkastino slept in the very same manner now as he did when he was ten. Nidello could not help but admire him: one so large and foreboding so sweet of face and so soft of heart. His fond …

Story for the Day: Rautu's Birthday P4

Image
Anxious that the cake had never arrived, Kai Linaa paced the length of the main hall, ever spying the entrance with a vexed look and a craned neck while keeping within sight of her door in the guest quarter. She wished to remain tolerably close to keep Unghaahi’s suspicions from impeding the delivery, but when two hours had gone and no delivery was made, she began to agonize in a frantic fit, proclaiming her ill-luck, reproaching herself for having ordered from the same bakery that had so slighted her before. Why had she done it when she knew she ought to have asked Martje to bake and dress the cake for her? He would have eaten it if she had made a point of its being a gift, and now he would have nothing for his birthday. Surely the commander had something planned, but that was always a private celebration between them, and here she wanted to do something more for him. She was growing too nervous and aggrieved, she would have to visit the latrine tower for the fourth time, and just as…

Story for the Day: Rautu's Birthday P3

Image
He raced down the main hall, silently begging for his cake to be unsoiled by her hands. Thrusting aside the scullery maids and yeomen about who were clearing away the accoutrements yet lingering in the great hall, Rautu hastened to the kitchen, and there, upon the table was a chocolate cake, the perfect rotunda of icing unblemished, its top sprinkled with chocolate shavings and its bottom a delicate chocolate crust. It was here, it was safe, and the giant must be satisfied. His chest surged with consoling breaths but his distress soon returned when he observed Martje standing at the entrance to the larder with a knife in her hands and wry grin on her round face.                   “Did you take that cake out of its box?” was Rautu’s furious and terrified inquiry.                 “Aye,” said Martje, sauntering complacently toward him, “and I breathed on it too.”                 He quickly inspected the cake for any imperfections: there were no finger marks, no depressions, and no condensat…

Story for the Day: Rautu's Birthday P2

Image
He camped accordingly for his conquest: the fires in the hearth were lit, his trappings were got and secured about him to give him all the advantage of a mountainous and menacing aspect, his scowl was apparent and firm, and when he declared himself ready, his closed his eyes and submitted to Haakhas until the cake should arrive. His peaceful ruminations were inundated by notions of his impending treat: its delicate and slightly bitter savour, its pleasant texture, its mellifluous scent made him eager to stand at the bottom of the stair and await his delivery there. He would wait, though it might be difficult to do so; he should not want to ruin Kai Linaa’s surprise that he might admit his expectation of the cake to dampen her unbidden happiness, which must be his true gift and thus all his glory, but when an hour had passed and no cake had arrived, the giant began to suspect some misapprehension. He reasoned it away, proclaiming to himself that it was a holiday and perhaps it was a ve…

Story for the Day: Rautu's Birthday P1

Image
Rautu’s Birthday                  While the Great Hall was being cleared of the day’s festive remnants, Kai Linaa was secretly conniving at continuing the celebration later in the evening. Though the Haanta did not celebrate birthdays with all the gaiety, the gifts, and the bustle that such a commemoration usually required, she, with all her powers of merriment, decided that Rautu must have a cake. He might deny an acknowledgement of his birthday in the ways of supernumerary knitted socks and sweaters, might dislike a public feast though he could not decline a handsomely roasted boar, but cake and certainly chocolate cake, one carefully tailored to his tastes with dark chocolate icing and teeming fondant within, could never be refused. Here would be Kai Linaa’s triumph: a fresh cake from Diras Delights, all made for Rautu’s delectation, delivered personally and done in quiet manner, to secure his approbation.                 Her schemes, however, were a little thwarted whereupon arrivi…

Story for the Day: A Retreat

Image
I cannot wait to have a cottage. There is nothing like sitting around the fire and doing nothing.
                Once Kai Linaa's letter of decided approbation was procured, though not requisite as she had so vehemently stated in the contents of the note, Sheamas and Margilesse accepted the commander's and Hathanta's offer of watching Little Jaicobh in favour of a much needed escape from the capital. They had not been alone for one day together since their return to Frewyn, and though they delighted in the bustle and unquietness that a happy child and surrounding family could afford, they were eager to abscond and revel in merely being in one another's private company. Though the cottage was visited by many on various occasions, they were assured their peace by everyone's declarations of not traveling to Sethshire without given due warning. The twins might endeavour to lark about and contrive to ruin a small measure of their privacy, but this was nothing where prot…

Reading the Classics: Review of T.H. White's "Letters to a Friend" and Jane Austen's "Complete Letters Collection"

Image
An epistolary novel, for those who are unaware of the term, is a novel written as a series of documents, usually through diary entries. Although the aforementioned titles are not fictional, they do read as though they could have been. Epistolary novels such as The History of Sir Charles Grandison, Clarissa, and Pamela were amongst Jane's favourites, and she even wrote one of her first books, Lady Susan, in the same style. Though T.H. White did not publish any epistolary work, he certainly read a great deal of it, as he had to do for his book The Age of Scandal, and subsequently fell in love with the time period during which this style of novel was most prevalent. 


Jane's letters, comprised of daily accounts directed to her sister Cassandra, her publisher Mr Barry, her niece Fanny Knight, her best friend Martha Lloyd, and her friend Jame Stanley Clarke, detail everything about her world but little about her personal sentiments. Cassandra, to keep her sister's private life fr…

Story for the Day: Mureadh and Tiulaine

Image
Everyone always teases Mureadh for his devout constitution, not because he's religious but because he loves the Leabhar Maith more than anything in the world. Here he finally has his two loves come together, and he's a wreck. 

A gentle introduction would be both their tranquility, and Mureadh graciously did her the honour of a bow. “I am Sir Mureadh Farhayden, Captain of the Royal Guard and protector of the Brennin line,” he said, his long red mantle draping over his shoulder as he righted. “His Majesty King Alasdair sent me to be your guardian.”                 She wanted to believe him, but she had learned to be distrustful. It took her a few moments to consider his addresses, and in the midst of her thoughtfulness, she received confirmation of his assertions: she descried the Brennin livery on his cuirass when he placed his hands back at his sides. If this was not enough to secure her comforts, the clasp of his mantle was one she recognized as the same one that Alasdair had b…

Khantara Tour: First Stretch!

Image
Here are the highlights from the first stretch! Be sure to visit all the hosts and participate in their giveaways!

Excerpts from the book:
Moonlight Gleam
LovLivLife Reviews
Mila Raimos

Guest Posts on writing:
Avery's Book Nook

Reviews of the book:
Zen Cherry
A Book Vacation

Story for the Day: A Day in the Keep

Image
We're a set of quiet and simple folk, but sometimes we do need to get out.
A Day in the Keep                 Although Alasdair was not fond of patrolling in the winter months, on account of his hair being to freeze and the horror of it breaking off with the waft of a gentle wind, he must at last venture outside the warm auspices of the keep. It had been a tiresome day at court and he was in desperate want of an airing: the indefatigable nagging of Count Ross, the idle prattle of the two Ms Roberts, the complaining voices, the tittuping of heeled shoes, the waft and flicker of fans muting the witless banter of the front rows, the murmured chuffs from the elevated pews; Alasdair had done with all of this. Enduring the din of the courts for a an hour or two, the fidgets of tedium the hems restlessness, was one thing, but to suffer them for the better part of a frigid day where he had only the wealth of his only intellect to furnish him was entirely another.                 The court wa…

Tales from Frewyn: Opera Tour Last Stretch!

Image
Here we are, almost at the end of the Opera tour! Here are the ending highlights:

Excerpts:
See Alasdair and Carrigh enjoy themselves on Roxxane's Realm: 

Other excerpts:

Simplistik:

Lisa's World of Books:

Review 
A Book Vacation:

Interview (probably one of my best)
Vicariously Jane

Khantara Preview and Haanta Series:
Moonlight Gleam

Tomorrow, be sure to visit Avery's Book Nook for the last Opera stop and Lovlivlife Reviews for the first official stop on the Khantara tour!


Thank you to all the hosts and all the readers for visiting!

Story for the Day: Special

Image
Someone, I won't say whom, was declaring all day that she is not special. Well, Alasdair has something to say about that. So, there.
Special                  The celebration cleared away, the remainder of the cake placed in the larder, the chief of the celebrants prepared for a most needed rest, and the visitors from the islands enjoying their training together in the yard, Kai Linaa was at liberty to enjoy a small cup of tea, watch her mate and his brothers flip one another about, and think. She had reveled in the day and all the sanguine feelings her involvement in it could afford, but when he was alone, her sentiments altered to a more sobering hue. With her fingers coiled around the handle, she stared at the remnants of tea leaves swilling about the bottom of the teacup and began to wonder at whether she should be accepted on the islands now that a return thither was soon approaching. It was true that her brothers would do anything to make her comfortable, but if only she could …