Words

Words! As writers, surely we all love them them, so I highly recommend you stop by Story Empire today to take a look at Joan Hall’s post. It’s fun, interesting, and educational, all at once. While you’re there, please consider passing it along on social media so others can enjoy it too. Thanks, and thanks to Joan for a fun look at language! Great post! 🙂

Story Empire

Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you on this hot July day. Hey, we’ve made it halfway through 2020! That’s an accomplishment. But I prefer not to write about the year some people refer to as the twilight zone.

Honestly, I have a couple of topics for future posts, but I haven’t put them together. So, today I thought I’d write a lighthearted post about something near and dear to all authors.

Words.

A few weeks ago, the SE authors were chatting about words that aren’t often used these days. Dastardly, meaning wicked and cruel, is one of my favorites. Can’t help but think of Dick Dastardly and Mutley. (I love to hear Mutley laugh.)

The English language is forever changing. Words that once were common are now almost obscure, while others are used regionally.

  • Skedaddle – to flee; run away hurriedly
  • Rapscallion – a mischievous person
  • Gobsmacked – astonished; utterly…

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Attention Dresdenphiles! Only One More Week Until Peace Talks – Part 2 of 2

And now for something completely different: More Harry Dresden and Crew! 😀 What, you were expecting me to move on to another addictive series? Don’t worry. There’ll be plenty of time for that another day. Be afraid. Be very afraid. 😀  Okay, just kidding. While there are many series I love and will surely mention here and there, none has ever come close to this one. You’re safe from any future countdown posts. Probably. 😉

Before we begin with the last few Dresden images and memes I’d like to share, let me just toss out one interesting tidbit, for those who may not have realized this. Nowhere in any of the Dresden Files books is Harry ever mentioned wearing, taking off or putting on, or even so much as owning a hat. Nope. And in fact, in one instance, he adamantly states, “I don’t do hats.” Yet, because of the gorgeous cover work of Christian McGrath, I will never be able to imagine Harry going out to do his Wizard Thing without one. And I fully approve. 

ALL THE REST

More villains, including one of the few images I could find of John Marcone, or Gentleman Johnny, as he’s known. (Yeah, I know it’s not a great one, but he came with the set.) Lara Raith and Lasciel are just plain evil, and Harry’s Godmother, the Leanansidhe is creepy as hell, but a bit more complicated to understand.

This one is more the way I picture Marcone, who’s a wonderfully worthy adversary for Harry. Evil in all the right ways, but with a weakness that makes him less of a cardboard villain and far more interesting. 

WAIT!

Okay, Bob. Here you go. While I’ve  mentioned Bob the Skull before, I couldn’t possibly end our Countdown Posts without another image or two. He wouldn’t stand for it. (Get it? Stand? Oh, sometimes I crack myself up!) Here’s Bob at Harry’s house.

And here he is at mine.
And yes, I dress him up for the holidays, much to his dismay. 

Found a few more illustrations of Murph out there, and while they aren’t exactly how I picture her, they’re fun, so I’m sharing them, too.

I recently came across more images of Harry’s brother, Thomas Raith, as well, and am including them for your viewing pleasure. (Maybe it’s just me, but this guy is a real treat for the eyes. No wonder he’s a card-carrying member of the White Court. 😀 )

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for a pretty face, and for me, this is simply a perfect image of Thomas, just as I picture him. (That rarely happens).   I also admit, I have a soft spot in my heart for Thomas Raith, and since I can’t remember half of the plots in these books I read so long ago, I’m always in agony, wondering what will become of him. Arrggh.

While living with Harry, he became the offcial cook.
Note the t-shirt. 😀

I also decided to share a couple of scenes between Thomas and Harry as they are first getting to know each other. (Long story. You’ll have to read it. 😀 )

And now for a few more images of Dresden himself because, well–Harry!

A Graphic Novel.
(Sometimes I’m sorry I kinda outgrew comic books.)

Another “Fuego!” Moment.
(Big Time!)

The only McAnally’s Bar image I could find.
Not my favorite, but we can’t forget Mac!

Gonna Wrap Up with A Few
Funny or Profound Memes and  Quotes
Alert: May Contain Some Slightly Off Color Language!
(Nothing too dreadful, though.)

(Yeah, I know–pretty wordy for Mac.
That just goes to show you how much trouble
Harry was about take on.)

Murphy to Harry, About Harry & his Quest.
From Changes

Harry in Action
😀

And finally, how this series will come to an end, if I get my wish!
Team Murphy, all the way!

Attention Dresdenphiles! Only ONE–Yes, I Said ONE–More Week Until #PeaceTalks Arrives! (PART 1 of 2)

Yep, you read right! Only one more week until the six-year Dresden Drought is OVER! Today is our last countdown post, which I’ve broken into two parts for ease of scrolling, and I decided to go with “And All The Rest.” Pictures, memes, miscellaneous characters, and whatever else I can find in my files that I haven’t already shared. Browse away, and I hope you see some things to make you ooh and aah, or at least smile a bit. Enjoy!

A FEW MISCELLANEOUS CHARACTERS

I’ve talked about Michael Carpenter before, but as you can see by this image, Michael hasn’t been the only Knight of the Cross featured in this series. There were three, Michael, Shiro, and Sanya. Not saying anything specific about Michael or Shiro right now. But this is the only representation I found of Sanya, the Russian knight, and I wanted to include him. He’s truly a fun and interesting character, and adds a lot to the later books.

I’ve also mentioned Harry’s friend, one-man-polka-band and medical examiner Waldo Butters, and I wanted to share a couple more images of Butters . He’s been fun since the beginning, but really comes into his own in Book #13, Ghost Story. You’ll love him and his determination to help Harry, even after his first glimpses of what’s “out there” terrified him. Zombies, anyone?

As White Council Wardens go, one of my very favorites is Carlos Ramirez. He’s vastly amusing, always ready for a fight …



and totally full of himself–but he’s also always there when needed. (Seen below with Molly Carpenter, Michael & Charity’s  somewhat
wayward daughter, and Dresden’s apprentice wizard.)

Here’s another rendition of Molly. As Harry’s Apprentice Wizard, she’s also known as  Grasshopper, Padawan, and several other Dresden-style nicknames.


One More Look at Molly as she’s described in later books. 

The White Council’s executioner, Morgan, is essentially an honorable man, but convinced that Harry is not, and determined to catch him using forbidden Black Magic. He’s been the bane of Harry’s existence for almost all of Harry’s life.

Once in a while Morgan almost succeeds in his desire to prove Harry guilty of breaking the Council’s most sacred laws. 

BIT PLAYERS

Toot-Toot the Fairy is an unforgettable little guy, tiny in stature, but big on courage, especially if there’s pizza being offered as a reward.

And I ask you, who other than Jim Butcher could make the three Billy Goats Gruff scary? (Maybe not up there with demons and Nicodemus, but still … Scary! 😀

I’ll wrap up Part 1 of today’s Countdown Post with this,
but I’ll be back in a bit with Part 2.

 

 

Tips To Succeed On a Video Interview

If you’ve been considering doing a You Tube video or interview to promote your work, you should definitely check out John W. Howell’s post on Story Empire today. Excellent tips and advice on things you might never have considered. (The last photo is worth the visit, all by itself!) Be sure to pass this one along, so others can learn, too. Thanks, and thanks to John for a great post. (Still chuckling, here.) 🙂

Story Empire

Hello, SEers. As you can see, today we are going to talk about the best foot forward position should you get the opportunity to do a video interview or presentation on YouTube or elsewhere. Before getting into the tips, let’s set the stage. You are launching a new book, and you get a call from someone wanting to know if you would like to do a video interview. Does your heart freeze? Do your palms turn to fountains and your stomach to a butterfly storage unit? If so, then you have come to the right place. There is no need for any of these feelings if you remember the tips I’m going to share.

The tips fall under one of four areas Light, Sound, Material, and Delivery. Let’s take them one at a time.

Light – I’m sure you have seen videos where you almost believe the recording is…

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Five Cover Reveals

My good friend (and editor) Staci Troilo has some fabulous news to share today! Check out her blog for more information, and then, please consider passing the post along so the whole world will find out! Thanks, and congratulations, Staci! Well done! 🙂 ❤

Staci Troilo

Ciao, amici! Yep, you read the title right. I’ve got FIVE cover reveals to share today (six if you count the boxed set cover), all penned under my alter ego’s name, D.L. Cross. And I’ve got definitive release dates, too. Ready?

Here we go!

Astral Conspiracy Series, The Complete Set

The Gate, Astral Conspiracy Book 1

The Gate, Astral Conspiracy Series Book 1

He lost his job. Lost his girl. Now it’s all he can do not to lose his life.

Landon Thorne is a disgraced archaeologist, a laughing stock in his field because of his unconventional beliefs — he’s an ancient astronaut theorist. No one takes him seriously.

Until an alien armada targets Earth.

Now he’s in high demand by the U.S. government. And someone far more sinister.

Mysterious mercenaries, government agents, and Landon vie for the lead in a race across two continents to the Gate of the Gods, the one place on the planet that might give humans an advantage…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Extract from your latest book – #Dystopian – Acts of Convenience by Alex Craigie

My good friend, Trish Power, a/k/a Alex Craigie, is the featured guest on Sally Cronin’s “Share an Extract” post today. Please stop by and check out the excerpt shared this morning from Trish’s newest book, Acts of Convenience. It will give you a chill or two, I suspect, and bring home the fact that Trish is a very skilled writer. Then, please consider passing the post along on all your favorite social media sites, so others can read about Trish’s work, too. Thanks so much, and thanks to the always-rockin’ Sally for this really cool series! 🙂 ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Today Alex Craigie shares an extract from her dystopian novel Acts of Convenience.

About the book

Imagine, if you will, a near future where governments adopt policies that suit them rather than the people they were elected to represent.

Imagine a near future where old age and chronic problems are swept away with expedient legislation.

I know; it’s an unlikely scenario.

However, it’s a scenario in which Cassie Lincoln finds herself.

It’s a scenario that compels her to take action.

It’s a scenario that leads to despair and danger.

An extract from Acts of Convenience – Chapter 8 – 2025

The Health Secretary pauses outside the Prime Minister’s office. In her hand she carries a slim notebook and a file of neat, colour-coded papers. She smooths down her skirt, checks her hair with a light patting of her palm and then knocks on the door with the knuckle of…

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June Book Reviews

Check out D. Wallace Peach’s June review post today. Nine intriguing-sounding books to add to your TBR piles, including a lovely one for my own Wake-Robin Ridge. Hope you’ll enjoy looking them over and will pass the post along so others can find out about them, too, thanks. And thanks to Diana for such a terrific selection of authors and books. Great post! 🙂

Myths of the Mirror

If you’re out and about, take a book with you on your wanderings. If you’re stuck at home, here are some reads to while away the time.

This month my offering of reviews includes fantasy, historical fiction, poetry, a thriller, a murder mystery, and more. I hope you enjoy browsing my 4 and 5-star reviews.

Click on the covers for Amazon global links.

*****

The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair

I finished this book a few days ago and it’s stuck with me. I didn’t realize until I’d reached the end that it’s historical fiction based loosely on real women in 16th century Scotland when witches were rounded up, tortured, and murdered. Somehow it was easier to read when I thought it was pure fiction. After getting to know the characters, the author might as well have stabbed me in the heart.

The whole book is beautifully written…

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Turmoil

C. S. Boyack has a great post on Story Empire today on using turmoil to “write what you know.” We are living in turbulent times, for sure, and our own emotion-filled reactions to that can be used to help us create fictional characters facing turmoil of all sorts in our writing. The cause of the fictional turmoil isn’t as important for that as the human reaction to it is. Check out the post to learn more about how this can work to make you a better writer, and please consider passing it along to others, as well. Thanks, and thanks to Craig for making us think about positive ways to use negative feelings. Well done, Craig! 🙂

Story Empire

Hi gang, Craig here today. One thing good fiction requires is a bit of turmoil. Your main character has to have something unsettling going on in his or her life. I write speculative fiction, so it’s fairly easy to give an example or two.

I could dive right into an alien invasion or zombie apocalypse and have all the turmoil I need. In these examples it’s something the main character never wanted, but now has to come to grips with, maybe even defeat.

Something unwanted might apply in a more realistic setting when settlers have to flee an Indian uprising, or survive a starvation winter because the ships didn’t come.

There are also divorces, loss of employment, sick children, that kind of thing.

Another form of turmoil involves getting what you want, but it turns out to be problematic. Think about that new marriage that leads to her entire family…

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Attention Dresdenphiles: Only TWO More Weeks Until #PeaceTalks – Heeeere’s HARRY!

We are really getting down to the wire, so I thought this might be a good time to focus on the star of the Dresden Files, namely, Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, himself. So, here are some of my favorite Harry pictures and memes for you to enjoy, all in one handy place at the same time. 😀 Let’s call this indulgence “I’m Just Wild About Harry,” shall we? 😀 

I’m gonna get the show rolling with one of my very favorite pictures of Harry, taken right from the cover of Welcome to the Jungle #2, cover design by the fabulous Christian McGrath, with cover model  John Paul Pfeiffer.

Though this my personal favorite version of Harry Dresden, there are a lot of other representations out there. Out of all the rest, my favorite takes on Harry are paintings by Mika Blackfield, such as this next one. Therefore, art by McGrath and Blackfield are the images I’ll be focusing on, with a few interesting exceptions. And, surprise! I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking today. 

Notice that in this one, Harry seems to be enjoying
some very interesting reading material.

Errrmmm…The Butcher Files?? 
😀

Now how about a few action scenes just to mix things up a bit?

And Last, a Few Chuckles Before You Go

And that’s my offering of visual treats for today. Hope you enjoyed taking a look at some of the art that this series has spawned. And guess what? Next Tuesday will be the last countdown post BEFORE the release of Peace Talks the following week. Can you believe the end is almost here? Why it seems like no time at all since I started these posts to pass the time until I could get my hands on a copy of Peace Talks, yet here it is. Almost upon us! Woohooo! See you guys next week! 🙂 

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