Quote of the Moment

"Magic comes from what is inside you. It is part of you. You can't weave together a spell you don't believe in." - Jim Butcher

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Logan

WARNING: Spoilers! If you haven't seen Logan yet and don't want things spoiled for you, click away now and come back here once you've seen the movie. But if you're the type that enjoys having everything spoiled, by all means, read on! You should still see the movie, though. It's a must, in my opinion, if you like character-driven fantasy.

I know, you're thinking I'm losing my touch when it comes to titling my blog posts. The thing is, when it comes to Logan, I think the title of the movie itself does it enough justice because just that one word is so powerful for me and it sums up the movie to a tee.

Now, if you're a fan of superhero movies and walk into Logan expecting a true superhero movie, you're likely to walk out sorely disappointed. There's no aim to save the world, no team banding together to protect the innocent. It's a story about a single man, a reluctant hero, an anti-hero in many respects. No, this isn't a superhero movie at all. It's a gritty, dark urban fantasy. One that's character-driven.

In other words, it was right up my alley. While I do love true superhero movies, my heart will always be much closer to the darkness in a story and in a character.

And since we have this central character in Logan, you don't have other characters fighting for equal screen time, so Logan is developed wonderfully well. In his actions, you see how much Logan cares for Charles. Even though he no longer wants to be part of the world, he refuses to leave Charles behind.

Just because the movie is character-driven, doesn't mean there isn't a lot of action. Looking for a high death count? Yup, plenty of that. You see Wolverine's claws going through lots of heads, among other things.

But the deaths aren't limited to the bad guys. And this is what truly makes it a dark fantasy. Honestly, I knew it was all coming. Charles had the target on his head from the beginning, and I also knew this was the last chapter for Logan. That didn't make those deaths any less heart-wrenching.

Is it hard to tell what I felt about the movie? I know I'm not fan girling, nor am I heaping praise or tearing it down. It's so hard to communicate my feelings about it because it's just that powerful of a movie. My mere words can't do justice to the story that unfolds.

If you like powerful, character-driven movies, you should see it, and let the movie speak for itself.

Not much more to say, but I did want to touch on the ending briefly. I felt a bit cheated after Laura buried Logan, and the kids walked off, disappearing into the trees (I love it that she turned the cross on the grave into an X). We never do find out if Eden actually existed or if it was just a tale. That was my initial gut reaction. But when I thought about it more, it made sense. This wasn't Laura's story. She was simply part of Logan's story, and his story ended at that grave. It wouldn't have made sense to follow her to Eden.

Of course, that doesn't mean we'll never find out. Logan might be gone, but Laura, X-23, is very much alive. And you never know if another movie will come along to continue her story!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Read? Read. Read!

OK, yes, silly post title. Forgive me, but I've acquired my youngest's cold and I am miserable. Anything to make me laugh right now and encourage me to write this post. It'll be a short one at least. ;)

If you're looking to fill up your e-reader in preparation for spring and summer reading, now is the time to do it! Two of my Fortunes of Fate stories are part of promotions running this week, and you'll find a lot of good fantasy and science fiction to add to your To Be Read pile.

Both of these promotions go through March 19, 2017. So don't wait too long if you're curious what's available!

First, a word everyone likes. FREE! You can find over 100 SF/F books in the Mega Promo for March. Take a look and see if any covers grab you, then click for more information and download it from Instafreebie! Dreams in Shadow (Fortunes of Fate, 1) is part of this giveaway. You'd be silly to not at least take a look at all the titles available.

Second, there's a SF/F 99 cent Sale going on as well! Heck, there are even some boxed sets in this sale, so a lot of bang for your buck. You can find Love Fades (Fortunes of Fate, 2) among these titles.

So, yes... Read? Read. Read!

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Edge of Sorrow Excerpt

It's time for the next Fortunes of Fate story! Edge of Sorrow is the 6th title in the series, and the release date is March 14. Not just at Amazon, either. I'm immediately releasing this one to all the major online retailers. And when I say all, I also mean Google Play! As a matter of fact, in the next couple of days all of the Fortunes of Fate stories will be available on Google Play (in the next week for my other titles).

For now, you can preorder Edge of Sorrow on Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks. The 14th isn't that far away, right? The Google Play preorder should be up soon, and I'll add the link to the post when it is. No preorder at Barnes & Noble, but Edge of Sorrow will be available there some time on the 14th.

I actually have some other exciting news. The first story in the Fortunes of Fate series, Dreams in Shadow is FREE at all retailers right now (and on Instafreebie - it will be part of a group promo, but more on that next week). So, if you haven't grabbed a copy yet, your budget won't stop you from snagging your free copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, and Smashwords. Grab it while you can. Not sure how long I'll keep it free.

Free stuff is good, but I'm hoping you're looking forward to the Edge of Sorrow excerpt. I have to say, this short story is my favorite of all the ones I've written so far to date. Happy reading!

Jasp draped his arms over the gargoyle and rested his chin on his interlaced fingers. The stone bench was as chilly on his backside as the gargoyle was on his wrinkled hands, but he’d suffer through any temperature for his daily vigil, which had lasted going on two decades.

A plum tree rattled in the breeze as if it spoke to him. No other tree or bush in the garden stirred.

If only Yetta could still speak. Her voice had been that of a songbird. Sweet as honey. And all those other wretched clich├ęs.

No one’s fault but his own, though. He’d been lucky he’d had enough magic to turn her spirit into a plum tree before she’d completely faded from Fate.

Although Jasp didn’t think she was too happy with her current status. Twenty years was a long time. “Sorry, Yetta. Can’t let you go.”

Can't let go? The external thought burrowed into his brain, clear as the sky if he hadn’t intentionally kept it cloudy and gray.

Jasp slapped the gargoyle on the head, and it woke up. It flapped away and offered a vexed look over its shoulder.

“Yetta?” Stupid question. The voice wasn’t hers -- he’d know it anywhere. A soprano. This one was an alto, saturated with accusation.

A calico cat with shimmering red eyes slunk out from behind the plum tree. No Yetta here. Name's Amber.

“Cat.” Jasp stood and stalked toward the creature, but it held its ground. He waggled a finger. “You’re the one who ruined my fun then with that Darney boy?”

Oh, no. I love some tormenting fun, Mage Jasp. Maybe more than you. That was probably my meddling sister Joslyn. And feel free to kick that Darney fellow for me next time you see him, if you’d like.

“Humph. Makes no difference to me. Punishing one cat is as good as the other.”

The cat sauntered closer and rubbed up against his old, ratty purple robe. Little minx. You don't want to punish me. A purr vibrated through his mind.

“No?” He squatted down and stared into her mischievous red eyes. “Why’s that?”

You need me to show you.

He wanted to kick her and her bothersome riddling. She’d destroyed his peace, gazing upon his dear Yetta in tree form. The only time his aging body quieted. “What do you want from me, you mangy critter?”

Mangy? Amber yowled. I'll forgive the insult, for now. I need you to... meddle.

"But you just..." Vexing, contradictory creature.

Meddling has its advantages. Just don't tell Joslyn I said so.

The woman’s skin blends into the gray of the bark, her body melded with the tree. And she weeps.

The mage Jasp spent the last two decades shuttered away in his crumbling mansion, mourning the loss of his wife, Yetta – his guilt and a couple of stone-brained gargoyles his only companions. He intends to continue his self-inflicted solitude, until the calico cat Amber appears. A malicious mage is imprisoning women and draining their life force. Amber insists the great and powerful Jasp must save them.

Jasp’s memory of Yetta spurs him to act. Making no promises, he follows Amber to the weeping women in the woods. But it’s not as simple as freeing them. It never is.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Kittens to Cats!

It's been almost a year since I posted about our Trio of Terror. Yup, that means they're no longer kittens! What happened? How did they become cats so quickly? Where has the last year gone? I ask myself that last question for so many things.

Anyway, I figured it would be nice to post a few more pictures. Even though they aren't kittens, they're still our Trio of Terror, after all. If you didn't see the previous pictures, visit Kitten, Kitten, Kitten and Kitten Intermission. The picture below is the 1-year anniversary pic from when we brought them home. They love that cat tree. And it shakes when Sylph or Shade jump up to the top tier. O.O

Look at Rikku. Doesn't she look so sweet and innocent? She's our smallest kitty (she was not the runt). She's also our lap cat who likes snuggles and purrs more than the other two. This is usually welcome except for when I'm trying to write or when her butt is stinky. =P Oh, yes, that sweet and innocent thing? Hardly.

Rikku wanted some Girl Scout cookies. Thankfully, she didn't reach the cookies, or she would have needed a trip to the vet due to the chocolate. She's also chewed on the corner of my laptop, and enjoys chewing on the corners of my folders when I'm using them. Oh, and her or Nightshade also munched on my Fitbit. They are lucky they're cute.

Nightshade is still the biggest climber of the three. And I say biggest because all of them like to be high up, but the girls won't jump on the counters (or the pillars) unless they have a chair to get them closer. Shade is still Boo Kitty. He's our derpy cat. Oh, so derpy. And he likes being a gargoyle on the stair railing pillars to get our attention. Our old cat Amara used to do this. He's not super snugly until he gets into certain moods, and then he's usually all over my eldest daughter. He loves her to no end. But he does put up with a lot from my youngest -- it's like he doesn't care if he's smushed or battered. See, derpy.

What happened to the runt?! Sylph is now the biggest cat of the bunch. Scratch that -- fattest. XD Even if there's food in her bowl, if I'm anywhere near the kitchen and she's awake, she's begging for food. Tubby Tortie. And don't think she's the good one that doesn't chew on things. I've caught her gnawing on my youngest's My Little Pony castle. As a matter of fact, a couple nights ago she woke me up because she was chewing on the plastic bins under our bed... And while she begs for love and attention, she only wants scratches. Don't pick her up! She insists she's not a lap cat at all. She's also the one who stays hidden when strangers (to her) are in the house.

They're all such naughty kitties, but we love them anyway. And who doesn't like cute cat pics? OK, sorry if you don't, but I think our cats our goofy and adorable.