A new Cambridge Fellows story!

Jul. 19th, 2017 07:42 pm
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
I'm delighted to announce that Jonty and Orlando have started to talk to their official biographer (me) once more, having been annoyingly silent these past couple of years. And, in their loquacious manner, they've told me one entirely new story and are bending my ear with another. These will, I hope, be the start of a series of novella length mysteries.

The first Cambridge Fellows Mystery short is 'Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour' and it's available for pre-order now with an August 14th release date. I'll be blethering on about it between now and then but for the moment here's the blurb:

Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith like nothing more than being given a mystery to solve. But what happens when you have to defend your greatest enemy on a charge of murder?

LessonsMurderousSepia800
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech
Drow Assassin by thatDMan
Drow Assassin by thatDMan


You knew a prophecy had to show up eventually. Continuing from part three...

Upon arriving back in town, the party headed for Lord-Protector Shendrel's offices only to find an unruly mob of farmers complaining about Xerlo, the stone giant, who apparently defended an outlying farm from attack by throwing the farmer's silo at a bunch of hill giants who were stealing all the livestock they could get ahold of while chanting "Food for Guh! Food for Guh!" They said they'd have a talk to him.

While they were in town, [personal profile] inkblitz headed off to the Golden Compass Society for Exploration, Acquisition, and Monster Dispatch (a.k.a. the Adventurers Guild), while Sirfox headed for the Brotherhood of the Spider (a.k.a. the Thieves Guild). [profile] jamesbarrett went off to the temple and the garrison to boost morale, aid the refugees of the volcano still clogging up the town, and presumably chop wood or something paladiney like that.

Investigation at the Adventurers Guild revealed... )

They were not expecting the dragon attack that comes in part five...

-The Gneech

PS: Quit creeping on that drow, guildmaster! Don't you know that's Obsidian's mother?

Find a Grave

Jul. 18th, 2017 11:27 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
That was the theme of the day. Mom wanted to find her grandparents in one cemetery, her mother's sister and brother in another and to show me my paternal great grandparents in a third. This last one was easy enough as they knew where they were but for some reason we've never gone to them which is bizarre because it's the same cemetery as my paternal AND maternal grandparents. Dad’s family is odd, not particularly close in some ways and very in others but why in the world we’ve never been to his grandparents’ grave and had to be told about them by his cousin earlier this year is anyone’s guess.

We then went to Fairview Cemetery in Burgettstown to look for the Ms (my great grandparents on Mom’s father’s side) with only knowing ‘they’re by the trees.’ Um tehre are many trees here and all five brothers spelled their surname differently, don’t ask because I have no idea why. We didn’t find them but I suggested find-a-grave to see if we could locate it that way. I will say I want to spend more time in the cemetery (which is directly across from the h.s. football field I spent 4 years marching in but I never went to the cemetery). It’s a strange cemetery. The graves are higgly piggly not lined up in any way. They’re perpendicular to each other, parallel, practically on top of one another. Then there’s a section of tiny headstones with numbers so pauper graveyard but there’s SO many of them, too many for a small town. Prison? Asylum? I truly need to know so I’ll have to investigate it.

Then we went to St Patrick’s cemetery in Oakdale. My great grandfather, Giovanni and his son, Libertino share a headstone there but in the last decade or so no one has gone out there sadly. Worse, Grandmother’s siblings Mary and Joseph who died of flu in the same week are there but no one knows where. “over the hill near the road” was as close as Grandma would ever say. Why she never found them or put up a marker is anyone’s guess.

Mom misplaced the grave in her mind but I hadn’t. I found John and Albert (their Americanized names) and the grave was in shockingly good shape except another headstone from up the hill had fallen and landed against their stone.

Find a grave had zero info on Mary and Joseph nor the Ms nor my dad’s relatives in Fairview I didn’t even know about until we got back. I’m very annoyed that almost all census data is no longer free.

But there was a bit of story fodder in all of this. Returning to the car, I found a grave that said Elizabeth & Theresa (mother and daughter) and elizabeth’s date of death was listed as ‘unknown.’ Oh the questions that spawns. And in the other graveyard was a tombstone entirely in Greek. Neat.

The worst part of it was it was 92 today but with the humidity it felt like 100. Whee.

Jerry's surgery

Jul. 18th, 2017 04:11 pm
codyne: Kitty Jerry under a blanket (jerry)
[personal profile] codyne
Jerry has had her surgery and is resting in ICU at the hospital. Whew. The doctor said it went well. He removed about 95% of her colon, which was flaccid and non-functioning. He also removed several masses on her liver, which he said appeared to be bilomas (I think that's what he called them). They are usually benign, but he will have them tested to make sure. She was just waking up when he called me. He will call again this evening to let me know how she's doing. She'll stay at the hospital at least one night, maybe two, so they can make sure she's recovering well.

The drive down to LA was a horror! I left here at 6 AM, hoping to arrive by my 8:45 check-in time. Nope. Traffic started getting bad before I even got off the 14, and just got worse when I got to the 5, and slowed to stop-and-go when I reached the 405. There were at least two accidents, maybe three. It took over an hour to go the last ten miles. The freeway exit I wanted to use was closed (thank heaven for my phone, which was able to guide me around) and I had to take the next one and circle back. The whole trip took about 3 hours and 40 minutes. I was so flustered when I got to the hospital, I was shaking, and poor Jerry was cranky and complaining. I was almost an hour late for my scheduled check-in. But everything went smoothly once I got there. They whisked Jerry off and I filled in some forms and paid a deposit of the low end of the estimate, which went through on my CareCredit with no problems.

Then I got some chips and a Coke from the vending machine and sat in the waiting area to de-frazzle for a bit before heading back home. The trip home was a breeze, no traffic at all, and took just under two hours.

Now I am home, and Jerry's surgery is over and she's okay, and I can finally breathe.

one week to publication day

Jul. 18th, 2017 09:50 pm
julesjones: (Default)
[personal profile] julesjones
So the countdown begins to the release of my short story collection. :-) Stormy Nights is now available for pre-order direct from the publisher's website and from all the usual suspects including SmashWords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and the many and varied Amazons - UK, US, AU or search on your local 'Zon for the ASIN B073RRNKBD.

Official list price is US$3.99. Looks like local prices are currently £3.09-£3.49 and AU$5.25 for the UK and Oz.

StormyNights-f500

Sex and love, lies and truth, shades in between. Happy endings and might-have-beens. Nine tales of these things between men.

Fallout

Jul. 18th, 2017 01:24 pm
sinisterporpoise: (Default)
[personal profile] sinisterporpoise
I could not think of any other title for this post. The only thing that involves Fallout in my life is a certain video game I've been playing. I'm still in a good mood. A lot of things have gone well.  I'm even coming up on the end of the semester. It will be nice to take the three week break before the fall semester starts. I certainly could use it at this point.  I don't know if I'll ever have the chance to take three college courses over the summer again, but if I do, I'll have to remember not to make that option.

As far as the social security decision, I am waiting for it to come in the mail. I do not know how long this will take, and I've been checking the mailbox every day. It seems like there has been no mail delivered for the past week and a half. I am starting to wonder why we have not gotten mail in this period, but I should relax. It's not unusual to have periods without mail.

In my spare time, I've been doing things like this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsWorIK--gA&t=2s


I'm sorry if this seems dull. It's just that there's a lot going on in my life right now, but there aren't the sort of things that are interesting to write about. 
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech
Ghost paladin possessing a troll SMASH!

Kolstaag Albrek never knew what hit him. Continuing from part two...

It has always been true, but it is especially true of 5E that rolling low on initiative kills bosses dead. Between being blasted by the party's wizard and cleric, sneak-attacked by the rogue, and having a ghost-possessed troll flip a desk on him then pick him up and go all TROLL SMASH, Kolstaag Albrek didn't even get a spell off before the party had wrought their revenge. The pair of drow he was meeting with decided that was their cue to call it a day, and the wizard's vicious gargoyle pets were quickly dispatched. The only other occupant of the house was a cranky old coot named Xzyyzx, the wizard's housekeeper, whose opinion was that the wizard's death meant it was his house now.

The party were not inclined to debate the legalities of property ownership in Three Roads, but instead reclaimed their gear ([profile] jamesbarrett was quite jazzed to discover that Togar was the owner of a suit of adamantine plate), read Kolstaag's mail, and headed back to town. Kolstaag, it turned out, was working for a drow by the name of Nezannar, which triggered deja vu in players from my previous Silver Coast game.

(Since that game is actually set 50 years in the future relative to the current one, the events of that game are history repeating itself, even though it got played first. Wibbly-wobbly campaigney-wampaigney.)

They also fetched Xerlo the stone giant out of the basement. He was quite surprised they were no longer in their cells, but on being informed that his former employer was dead, he adopted a very c'est la vie attitude on the subject. The party invited him to come along back to Three Roads with them, with the plan of setting him up as an 18' tall Lurch-like guardian angel.

Lord-Protector Shendrel of Three Roads was a bit taken aback by having the party come back two days later from the opposite direction the fire giants had gone, with a troll and stone giant in tow. However, when shown the evidence of Kolstaag's shenanigans, took them at their word. (Having a paladin in the party really does wonders for the group's trustability.) She installed Xerlo in a barn outside of town, but took pains to point out that the job she'd hired them for– make sure the fire giants don't come back– was still not done.

So they set off north, tracking the fire giants. Even two days cold, the trail was fairly easy to follow for most of the way. They ran into some Calladganger hunters from the Clan of the Eagle, who seemed to think that Nikki was a nature spirit, but eventually found a cave complex populated by orcs herding axe beaks.

Their attempt at scouting the caves was thwarted when Rina botched a Stealth check. The orcs thought she was just a random wood elf in the forest and were going to bully her for fun, but the rest of the party came swooping in and disabused them of that notion quickly. A general alarm was raised and it turned into a huge furball with orcs, maddened axe beaks, fire giants, and their fire elemental pets/familiars/adds/whatever they were.

In 30+ years of playing Dungeons & Dragons, I would have never guessed I would see opposed Animal Handling checks be a factor in combat. Achievement unlocked.

Hathas, his time "bonding" with the troll seeming to rub off on him, waded into the fray with more bloodlust than one generally expects from a paladin, even a fallen one. The fire elementals damaged the troll so badly that Hathas abandoned it and joined the fray in ghost form instead. While the troll retreated to a cave in the back where it could munch on dead orc and regenerate, Hathas attempted to terrorize a fire giant (not unlike the librarian in the prologue of Ghostbusters). The fire giant was not terrorized... but members of the party were. Nice jorb, Hathas.

The odd thing about ghosts in D&D is... they have hit points. They resist nonmagical damage, but in order to interact with the world they must manifest on the physical plane. Fire giants do an average of 28 points of damage with a single hit and their attack bonus alone equals a ghost's AC. The fire giant made short work of Hathas, much to everyone's surprise (including Hathas).

The fight was a tough one, but the party rose to the challenge. Brother Drang finally got to use the call lightning he'd been itching for, and Togar entered a new phase of his career by being the tankiest ever but not getting one-punched in the first round. When the dust settled, the party was battered and bruised but victorious. They retrieved the giants' rod of the vonindid, a kind of dowsing rod for adamantine golem parts, and also discovered that these giants had found the vonindid's entire left hand. They rather hastily buried this where it was, as it was way too big to haul anywhere, and headed back to town.

The troll survived.

It turned out there were developments with their new stone giant friend, which will be revealed in part four!

-The Gneech

I'm disappointed

Jul. 17th, 2017 09:16 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
By the whole Doctor Who thing. I'm not exactly disappointed that it's a woman. I expected it (though I would much rather they had gone with an Asian or African man but whatever). I actively dislike the actress. She bores me to tears in Broadchurch and the fact the man putting out Broadchurch is the new showrunner for Who makes me nervous. Did she really 'beat out' the competition (because her lifeless portrayals on Broadchurch lead me to disbelieve that) or is she his buddy?

But that's NOT the disappointing thing. No it's the fights and name calling. I've been called a woman hating person who doesn't get the meaning of SF and should just 'shut up and stop whining.' THanks for the bullying.


The good news today is my BFF is heading out here this weekend. That makes me happy.

And since I had so many more writing links, let me share those.

5 reader types


marketing

promoting your book


write what you feel

more on platform and this one bugged me a bit. Really now we need a podcast or youtube channel

the unglamorous life of a writer


say yes to obsession

writing super bad villains

more dualities that can replace good and evil

meaningful subplots

And the last two are from Chuck Wendig so expect the foul language.

having a bad writing day


staying motivated in a tough world


Splinters of Silver - editing nothing

Blood Red - Edited up to ch 24

Steampunk Holiday - sent off for consideration

Behind Blue Eyes - back burnered

Horror anthology - gave up


Haunted Hocking


8726 / 60000 words. 15% done!

Yearly Word Count


19979 / 100000 words. 20% done!

Anxiety

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:34 am
codyne: my wyvern tattoo (Default)
[personal profile] codyne
Woke up at 6:30 this morning to a very strong smell of smoke wafting in my window, so I got up, threw on some clothes and went outside to inspect the skyline. No smoke plume anywhere, but the whole canyon was hazy. I figured it was blowing in from somewhere far enough away not to worry about (but continued worrying) and came back inside.

Untitled

Since I was already awake, I went ahead and started morning chores, all the time thinking about what I would do if I had to evacuate. With my brother gone, I don't have any convenient family to move in with in case of fire, so I would probably have to check into a hotel. Also, I have two vehicles now, and would have to choose one to evacuate in and leave the other. Probably take the truck because 1) more room to carry stuff and 2) I need it more than I need a car. On the other hand, the truck is older and in worse shape, and I've been thinking about replacing it anyway. So maybe I should take the car and let the truck burn? Then thinking about stuff to take. And getting a bit edgy. I've already lost everything once, I don't want to do it again! If this house burns down, I won't rebuild. Probably find someplace to rent until my mom passes and then move away.

Turns out, the fire is at the landfill, and currently under control, although expected to continue to smolder for several days. Looks like we're okay for now.

It's just as well that I got up early today, since I'll have to get up even earlier tomorrow to take Jerry down to LA for her surgery. At least I should be tired enough to go to bed early and get plenty of sleep for the drive.

Jerry was in her room complaining earlier. She gets lonely, but she doesn't want to come out, she wants me to go in there and keep her company. I went in and petted her for a while then came out, but she started calling me again. Went back in, and the other cats sat at the door and meowed for me to come out. So I opened the door, figuring we could all share the bedroom for a little while. Then Jerry started hissing and growling at the boys (who were just prowling around, paying no attention to her), Davey started getting into stuff, and pretty soon I chased the boys out and left Jerry in her room again. Argh! Sorry kitties, there is only one of me! If you can't share space peacefully, you can't all have me at once!

Then I decided to call CareCredit and see if I can make sure they won't decline my charge when I go to pay for Jerry's surgery. The customer service person on the phone was apologetic that my previous charge was declined, but couldn't tell me why it was declined, or offer any assurance that my next charge wouldn't be declined, either. The best she could do was tell me to call them to have the charge put through if it was declined. Which is pretty much what I would have done anyway, so today's call was totally useless.

And now I'm a bundle of nerves, worrying about my cat and fire and paying vet bills and driving to LA in the morning and stuff.
hrj: (LHMP)
[personal profile] hrj
 I'm going back to my more usual pattern of covering thick books one chapter at a time! Velasco will take care of almost two months worth of entries, which will give me some breathing space during my summer travels.
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech

Ghost Martyr Paladin by SpiralMagus
Ghost Martyr Paladin
by SpiralMagus

"So there we were, locked in a dungeon with a stone giant." Carrying on from Part One...

The new phase of the campaign really began with the first session down in Kolstaag Albrek's dungeon. [personal profile] inkblitz's new character was introduced to the rest of the party ("A talking griffon? Neat. I'm a five foot tall flying squirrel!"), as was their erstwhile guard, Xerlo the stone giant, whose first line was a straightforward, "If you try to escape, I will kill you," but who seemed more interested in scribbling on the floor than anything.

But he was willing to chat, assuming you could parse his mode of speech. Riffing on the idea that stone giants are sort of the hippie-dippie mystics of giantkind, I decided that Xerlo didn't care about things like "good" or "evil," but was only interested in what was "true" or "untrue," and that he was on a vision quest to find out what was really going on with the breaking of the Ordning– because he didn't believe that the stone giant thane's interpretation ("We must destroy every town, city, or building of the little folk!") was correct. I chose a stone giant particularly because, being inherently neutral, he could be a wild card. The players could recruit him or fight him, but it would be their choice and an impactful one.

They decided at first, once they'd gotten the gist of what he was about, to basically leave him alone, and that was probably a good call. They also worked out that while he was completely serious that he would kill them if they tried to go out the front door, there was also a back door that he apparently couldn't see and wasn't aware of.

So, being the mighty heroes they were, they slipped out the back, and again, that was a good call. They managed to scrounge up some sharp bits of broken metal or rusted bars from the cell doors to make crude weapons, and plunged into the depths. They found an old series of vaults that either Kolstaag didn't know about or wasn't interested in, origin and purpose unknown, populated by orcs, whom they avoided, but who were also between them and the exit.

They also caught glimpses of a ghostly figure in the darkness... )

They will confront the wizard in part three!

-The Gneech

Writerly Ways

Jul. 16th, 2017 10:06 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
In lieu of saying anything meaningful about writing, how about I share this. (Also if anyone is willing to read and review on Amazon/GR PM me please and I can arrange it)

Blurb Detective Roy Connolly never expected to find real elves and murder at his local anime convention.

Seeking a bonding experience with his formerly estranged son, Sion, a crown prince of the elves, takes him to something they both enjoy: a human anime convention. They both like humans and all their geeky creations so Sion anticipates an enjoyable weekend. He never expected an enemy assassin, armed with only a description of Sion's cosplay, to start murdering his way through the convention.

Detective Roy Connolly, a closet geek, heads to the same anime con without his friend, Amelia. He's surprised to find one of the most handsome men he's ever seen cosplaying in the same anime style as his own, and even more delighted that Sion can't keep his hands off him. Throwing caution to the wind, Roy jumps into a whirlwind relationship only to find himself in the cross hairs of an assassin.


Buy link You can find Conned here

 photo JD_Conned_zpsq3rdsflz.jpg



And now on to the links

Story Arcs

formatting ebooks


self pub success story


best time to publish your book (though I wonder if this applies to LGBT stuff as it's a smaller market in the first place.

And from Betty: earn the back story

successful serial platforms

writing in an unfamiliar setting


ways to bring characters together

TOO tired from the graduation party to do more.
duskpeterson: (bookshelves)
[personal profile] duskpeterson
Law Links


"Sometimes I feel that he is as mysterious as the gods, and that he is hiding something of vital importance from me. Something that would transform my life."

Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.

Torn between affection toward his traditional-minded father and worship of his peace-loving, heretical priest, Adrian finds himself caught between two incompatible visions of his duty to the gods. Then the Jackal God sends Adrian a message that will disrupt his world and send him fleeing to a new and perilous life.




LifePrison


"'You have committed a vile and savage act, one that any other nation would punish with death. Our punishment, on the other hand, will only be to give you what you want. You have sought to live in a world without boundaries of civilization, and such a world shall henceforth be your dwelling place.'"

A cold-hearted murderer. A vicious abuser. A young man hiding a shameful secret. A bewildered immigrant. A pure-minded spy.

All of these men have found their appointed places at Mercy Life Prison, where it is easy to tell who your enemies are. But a new visitor to Mercy is about to challenge decades-old customs. Now these men's worst enemies may be hiding behind masks . . . and so may their closest allies.




Checkmate


"It's all about torture. That's what I didn't understand for a long time. The High Seeker has been seeking out and punishing those of us who wish to show greater mercy to the prisoners than the Code allows. Those of us who question whether it's right to torture prisoners."

The Eternal Dungeon is no longer a prison. It's a battlefield.

Split apart from their closest loves and friends, a small group of prison-workers seek to abolish the use of torture against prisoners in the queendom's royal dungeon. Time is running out, for the deadly High Seeker has already flogged and executed prison-workers who oppose his policies.

Do the reformers have enough time and skill to bring about radical change in the dungeon? Will they be able to overcome their mistrust of one another?




To receive notices of my fiction by e-mail )

Trust by Kylie Scott

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:00 am
calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)
[personal profile] calissa

Trust, Kylie Scott, Earl Grey Editing, books and tea, tea and books

Published: Self-published in July 2017
Format reviewed: E-book (mobi)
Genres: Young adult, contemporary romance
Source: NetGalley
Reading Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017
Available:Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Book Depository ~Kobo

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love… the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight–getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first–losing her virginity–their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose–each other.

Trust is Kylie Scott’s first foray into Young Adult and I certainly hope it won’t be her last because I was pretty impressed.

There was so much that was great about this book. I appreciated its diversity. This includes race and sexuality–two of Edie’s new friends are lesbians and the other Vietnamese–but it also goes beyond that. Edie herself is an unconventional protagonist. She may be white and blonde, but she’s also considered overweight and has no desire to change that. She has seen her mum go through the constant torture of diets and would rather be happy than subject herself to the same. Of course, she is bullied for being a socially-unacceptable body shape but never by the narrative. Instead, she is also shown as being desireble–and desirable by someone who has a socially-acceptable body shape.

Another thing I loved about the story is the way it advocates for healthy relationships and boundary setting. Edie is not shy about cutting people off if they violate her privacy. She has zero time for other people’s bullshit. While her relationship with John didn’t start under the best circumstances, it is a healthy one–with each one supporting the other through the changes they’re making in their lives. There is also one scene that takes a bit of a dig at Twilight when John unexpectedly shows up at Edie’s bedroom window one night.

This is not a book that pulls its punches. It kicks off with the robbery Edie and John get caught in at the convenience store, and takes us all the way through that traumatic experience. It has all the bodily fluids (and I really do mean all). There’s onscreen sex–and, being a romance writer, Scott isn’t shy about it. There’s awkward sex and sexy sex, and good consent practices at all times.

All in all, I loved Trust to pieces and I’m hoping we’ll see more YA from Kylie Scott.

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

Rainbow snippet - Awfully Glad

Jul. 16th, 2017 07:50 pm
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
Here's a snippet from Awfully Glad, which concerns what happens to a certain WWI concert party performer when he hangs up his girdle.

“Mr. Hines, isn’t it?”
“Sorry, I was miles away.” Sam came up from daydreams of men he’d known in khaki—and fancied seeing out of it—to find his new client, Browne, hovering.
“I hope you don’t do that when you’re tending my little flock of investments.” Browne smiled, dark eyes flashing.
“I promise I always have my mind entirely on the job when it’s supposed to be.” Sam indicated the empty chair at his table, manners taking precedence over the small voice in his head with its question about what Browne was doing here. “Will you join me?”
“Why not?” Browne parked himself, then beckoned a waiter over. “What are you having?”
“Another glass of claret, I think.” Food and the club would have to wait. “I’ve not seen you here before,” Sam added, once the order was in.
“No, not my usual stamping ground. My father used to come here a lot, which is why I avoided the place. No,” Browne added, rather hastily, “it wasn’t like that. We got on very well. Just both had our own lives to lead outside of home.”
“Quite. Very sensible.” Sam wondered what stories lay behind that arrangement.

Plenty more excerpts at the Rainbow Snippets group.

Awfully Glad final cover small
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech
The Silver Coast Map, Revisited

So there have been some pretty big changes in my D&D game since the last time I posted about it. I want to bring my chronicle of the game up to date, but there's a lot of ground to cover so it's going to require several posts. So here's part one!

The party did in fact defeat The Yellow Lady, mad priestess of Hastur behind the evil brewing in the Caves of Chaos, only to discover that she had in fact been the missing daughter of Duke Blakewell all along. Oops. >.> A tragic and somewhat downer ending to the scenario, but also completely in line with the kind of crap that happens when Hastur gets involved.

The players all wanted to continue, and after presenting them with the various options I was weighing the group voted for Storm King's Thunder. So I said that with everything at the Keep being so awkward ("Sorry, m'lord, we kinda killed your daughter... but in our defense she tried to kill us first!") the party decided to move on to greener pastures. They heard that Mt. Thunderdelve, over on the Silver Coast, had erupted, and decided to head over there to see what they could do to help, and maybe find some gainful employment on the way.

Unfortunately, here I hit a bit of burnout, and floundered for a time. Far from being something I could easily pick up and run more-or-less off the shelf as Red Hand of Doom was, I discovered that Storm King's Thunder is an immense, sprawling, hot mess of an "adventure." It's not like a traditional module, so much as an enormous sandboxey "Build Your Own Campaign!" kit. Which is cool if that's what you're looking for, but at the time, that was so totally not what I was looking for.

Storm King's Thunder as written covers pretty much all of northern Faerûn, and the Silver Coast wasn't anywhere near that developed. I didn't realize it then, but the monumental task of actually sifting through SKT from front to back and building a world that could accommodate all 256 pages of it while still being a world I liked and wanted to run adventures in, was really biting off more than I was prepared to chew. And because of the way the book is structured, it isn't really something where it's easy to just toss the tracks down in front of the train as it goes.

So, I kinda bobbled a bit at first. I spent several weeks grinding my gears on the problem and not really getting anywhere. But I knew if I let it sit too long, the campaign would pass its expiration date. So I transposed Triboar in the Forgotten Realms to Three Roads, its Silver Coast analog, and ran the giants' assault on the town pretty much as written in the book just to get the game moving again. After a big hairy fight against orcs riding axe-beaks and a lot of what-the-helling at fire giants pulling an enormous adamantine staple out of the ground under the town fountain, the players decided to go visit a local wizard named Kolstaag Albrek to see if he could give them any insights before they chased the giants down– only to have Albrek knock them all out and toss them into a dungeon, the jerk.

Somewhere in here, two things happened... )

These two seeds turned out to be the defining factors of the game. Once I embraced the idea that SKT was a campaign kit and not an off-the-shelf adventure, thirty years of DMing instincts took hold and I was suddenly on fire! But how the party escaped the dungeon and what they did next, will have to wait for the next installment.

-The Gneech

The Halfling Lass From Appletop

Jul. 15th, 2017 07:33 pm
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech


Berelandine the Halfling Serving Wench by Dunlaoch on DeviantArt


A popular barracks/meadhall song in Orbis Leonis, sung to the tune of “The Mademoiselle From Armentiers.”



[call]

The halfling lass from Appletop is a tavern maid.

[return]

The halfling lass from Appletop is a tavern maid!


The halfling lass is a tavern maid.

In gold or kisses she gets paid!


[chorus]

Will you have another round, me lord?


[call]

The halfling lass from Appletop is three foot high.

[return]

The halfling lass from Appletop is three foot high!


The halfling lass is three foot high.

She looks your codpiece in the eye!


[chorus]

Will you have another round, me lord?


[call]

The halfling lass from Appletop is a lovely girl.

[return]

The halfling lass from Appletop is a lovely girl!


The halfling lass is a lovely girl.

She’ll take your stallion for a whirl!


[chorus]

Will you have another round, me lord?


[call]

I asked the lass from Appletop to be my bride.

[return]

He asked the lass from Appletop to be his bride!


I asked the lass to be my bride,

and spend a lifetime at my side!


[chorus]

Will you have another round, me lord?


[call]

The halfling lass from Appletop said “Nay, sir, nay.”

[return]

The halfling lass from Appletop said “Nay, sir, nay!”


The halfling lass said “Nay, sir, nay!

Not until your tab you pay!”


[chorus]

Will you have another round, me lord?


Put that in your weed-pipe and smoke it. 😉


-The Gneech

charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
The answer to that and other questions is over at my Elm Books interview. Better still, Undeath and the Detective (including my short story, Secrets) is among the books on offer this month at Smashwords.

 

Guest author George Loveland

Jul. 15th, 2017 12:24 pm
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
So delighted to have George here today on the eve's eve of his release day for Up in the Air.


When you were last at my blog we chatted about watching your first story fledge. What does it feel like this time round?


Scarier! I was published in Anthologies before, so I didn't feel the pressure because there were other stories around mine. This time it's just me, so I am excited but scared to see what people will think. This story is also the first in a series, as I knew I wanted to write more about the guys. So I have a whole series planned which features the two main characters in this novella, James and Darren, and then the next story out will be James' best friend, Max and his adventures.


What do you think you've learned since you were first published?


I've learnt to stand up for my characters and story, but also listen to the feedback I receive. I've been very lucky to work with great editors and beta readers who've helped me strengthen my writing. Each time I get edits and comments back I read through them, let them settle then go back to read them again. I'll admit to scoffing at some things, but then appreciating the changes suggested. I've also been adamant at keeping things that feel right to me, not just because I want them there, but because it will be more relevant to the story later on.


GeorgeLoveland


What inspired the latest book?


This story came from an exercise in a NaNoWriMo book called 'Ready, Set, Novel'. I had to write a list of 20 items that I loved, then pick three out of a hat. I picked flying, kissing and mountains. I've flown a lot for my job to Johannesburg, and the idea of a passenger nearly missing a flight and then falling for an air steward came to me.


Did you know where 'Up in the Air' was going from the start or did it take an unexpected turn?


This story, and the subsequent stories in the series, have been in my mind for years. So the general plot has been there and I knew what was going to happen. However the journey the characters take has often led me to wonder who the writer is. They go their own way sometimes and I love how things evolve. Sometimes they do things I don't want them to, but I usually let it flow and see what happens. What I've discovered is that when something doesn't work in one place, it will usually work in another area of the story, so the characters usually get their own way.


Have you ever been writing and discovered something totally unexpected about one of your characters?


In this story, there's a scene in the hotel restaurant at breakfast, where at the end Darren said something which had me chuckling. It also showed another side of him which I hadn't expected to see. It was sweet and made me love him even more.


Which book do you wish you'd written and why?


Oh my gosh - I don't know if I could. I love to read and one of the things writing has taught me, is to appreciate how much goes into writing a book and the author's themselves. That said, The Signs of the Zodiac series by Vicki Petterson would be one! She is an amazing writer and the world she created is so rich, I'd love to have her talent and written those stories. Also, Sean Kennedy and his Tigers and Devils series, I've read them countless times and love the characters and world he has built too.



Have you got a secret you'd be willing to share?


I think I am quite open, and I probably post more on Facebook than I should! How about I was the boys dancing champion back in the day ... I think I was seven or eight. I remember looking around my competition and watching them copying me, which didn't make sense. However, I won and I still have the photo - somewhere! I wore this red trouser and white shirt combo my mum made me! I looked fab!


Thanks for dropping by, toots, and good luck with the book!


Johannesburg

Lily fest

Jul. 15th, 2017 01:15 am
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
It felt like a FLorida festival because it was 90 out with 90% humidity It was supposed to be storming but luckily it didn't. My GPS took me a new way to the Bishop Educational Garden, so very remote but I did find where two of the hiking sites I wanted to go explore are. I will say Little Cola Rd sucks. It's supposed to be two way traffic but is barely enough for one car with a huge ditch on one side and a cliff on the other..

It was a muddy mess and so humid my entire body was wet. I wanted a) lilies b) to hear Lone Raven c) Christmas shop.

I actually felt bad for Lone Raven. I think the weather report coupled with the fact it's Friday kept people away. They were there for three sets (I got to hear the middle one) and I could count the audience on one hand. I did get eaten alive by mosquitoes. I enjoyed the set but for that little audience and that much humidity I did feel bad. I did get to talk to them which was nice but it was too miserable to pull out my cd and get it signed. Everyone looked melted.

It took me forever to get a lily because choices. I picked the Catherine Woodbury which is very fragrant and a rebloomer that I can barely shove somewhere. The other was tiny and won't probably bloom for a year or two named Judith which is my mother's name and I'm giving it to her.

I also found a beautiful dichroic glass bracelet for her for Christmas/birthday and a silver wire tree on a quartz geode for her. I also got some awesome, expensive truffles that I need to take a picture of and a neat thing to hang from my stuff here on the porch that I didn't need to buy but I did. I also got an air plant.


In spite of the heat and nausea from the heat it was a good day until I came home and depressed myself by typing in the wrong number in the max price filter and found the absolutely perfect house for me, right where I want to live this house in fact. BUT it's out of my price range. You know I don't mind when they're out of my price range by a lot but this isn't that far out of my range, just enough to be heart breaking.

Selsey Meet the Authors

Jul. 14th, 2017 07:41 pm
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
Looking forward to the afternoon of Wednesday 9th August - Meet the Authors at Selsey Centre. If you're nearby, do come and say hello.

One Does Not Simply Upgrade to Mordor

Jul. 14th, 2017 08:35 am
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech
Maedhroc deals with the local spider problem.

So LotRO has a new paid expansion coming out, titled simply Mordor. And I have to decide what, if anything, I'm going to do about it.

Once upon a time, I love love loooooooved LotRO. I wrote stories about Maedhroc Thornhollow, my little hobbitey warden, tromping all over the world.

Then they scrambled wardens and I didn't know how to play him, so I had to re-learn from scratch...

And then they did it again and I gave up on wardens, but champions had become OP so I went back to one of those.

And then MadeOfLions, the Tolkien ubernerd head writer left somewhere in the development of Rohan IIRC.

I choked down Rohan, a vast country made up of the same story over and over and over and over again, mostly on the momentum of happier days. I got stuck on the "battles" system, which threw away everything good about skirmishes and so never got through the battle of Helm's Deep.

You can skip Helm's Deep to a certain extent, so I moved on figuring I'd come back to it... but then I got to northern Gondor, in which there was no story, just infinite endless daily quest grinding...

...and stopped.

Other than logging in every few months to pay the rent on Maedhroc's house, in the forlorn hope that I may one day get back into it, and the occasional lowbie re-running of Ered Luin to remember happier days, I have not played LotRO in something like two, three years.

I miss it. But like so many other things, I miss the LotRO of 2010, not the LotRO of today. And with no income other than what I can scrape up with my writing and art, do I really have any excuse to buy an expansion to a game I don't play?

Now I have to admit, I am impressed LotRO has made it to Mordor. Lots of people didn't think it would happen, especially when subscribers started dwindling somewhere around late Moria/Mirkwood. But it also means that the game is nearing "The End." Even if they do the Scouring of the Shire, there simply comes a time when there is no more Lord of the Rings for them to do online. What then?

But I also find it interesting that where I lost interest in LotRO is also where I tend to lose interest in the books. "The world of men" is the LEAST. INTERESTING. THING. about Middle-earth! I'm all about elves first, hobbits second, dwarves a distant third, and fuck humans. The more the fantastic elements fade away and it just becomes a series of battles, the less I care. Fellowship of the Ring has barrow-wights and ringwraiths and balrogs and and and... Gondor does have an army of the dead, so that's neat. But mostly it has much fighting and killing of the orcs by the knights in general.

Anyway, I dunno. Like I say, I used to love LotRO and I wish I still did. But the idea of forcing myself to learn the game again and having to grind my way through Gondor just to get to Moria...? Oh, honey, I dunno...

-The Gneech

It's over

Jul. 13th, 2017 10:47 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
We've made our picks. It wasn't as contentious as I feared and that's all I really want to say about it.

I'm pretty exhausted by this and we closed the bar down tonight (which closes shockingly early).

Tomorrow it's supposed to rain all day which kills me because I wanted to go to the lilyfest but probably won't.

I thought I had more to say but I guess I don't. Well I do but I'm too tired to form words.

THough this made me smile. An article I'm reading the author is Pious Thomas. The thoughts of how do you end up with that first name....

Loose-leaf Links #43

Jul. 14th, 2017 08:00 am
calissa: A black and white photo of a large, dark teapot and a small Chinese teacup with a fish painted on the side (Tea)
[personal profile] calissa

Amaretto, Tea Centre, Loose-leaf Links, loose-leaf tea, Earl Grey Editing

Loose-leaf Links is a feature where I gather together the interesting bits and pieces on sci-fi, fantasy and romance I’ve come across and share them with you over tea. Today’s tea is Amaretto from the Tea Centre. This flavoured black tastes strongly of marzipan, making it a favourite of mine.

Follow Up ) Awards News ) Community and Conventions ) On Equity ) For Writers ) For Readers )

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

Jerry

Jul. 13th, 2017 11:24 am
codyne: my wyvern tattoo (Default)
[personal profile] codyne
Welp, I took Jerry to the vet hospital in LA yesterday for a consult with an internist about her megacolon. It was a long, tiring day full of news that was not horrible, but not that great, either.

The drive to LA should theoretically take about 2 hours. That, however, doesn't include traffic delays, and there are always traffic delays in LA. So, since our appointment was at 2 PM, I left around 11:30, hoping that would be enough to get us there on time. Traffic was actually not bad until we reached the 405, when we hit stop and go for the last 10 miles or so. Managed to arrive at the vet hospital by quarter to 2, so that was good. Miss Jerry did not enjoy the ride, and plied me with tiny, plaintive, squeaky meows half the way.

The internist looked at the x-rays and lab tests sent down by my vet, and discussed Jerry's history, and agreed that since medication management wasn't working any more, it was time for surgery. But he was also concerned about a high calcium level in her last blood test, and also wanted to do an ultrasound and chest x-rays. He set up a surgery consultation appointment for us at 4 PM, and went off to do the other ultrasound & x-rays, and I went out to the waiting room to hang out for an hour and a half. I had brought snacks with me and had books and games on my phone, so the wait wasn't too bad.

Around 4 PM, I collected my annoyed kitty and got the news from the internist while we waited for the surgeon. The x-rays were good, but the ultrasound showed a mass on her liver. He took a needle biopsy of it to send out. The good news (if it can be called that) is that, if necessary, the mass can be removed at the same time as her colectomy. We won't get the results of the biopsy for two or three days.

Then we had the consult with the surgeon. He agreed that surgery was indicated, and we made an appointment for next Tuesday. By then, they'll have the results of the biopsy and can decide if the mass also needs to be removed.

One thing that concerns me is that he wants her to go off her stool softeners until the surgery. That's so the stool will be harder and there will be less chance of leakage into her body when he cuts the colon. At first he said he wanted her off the meds for two weeks before the surgery! I told him, it's hard enough to get her to poop any more, even with the stool softeners. I can pretty much guarantee that without them, she won't poop at all for two weeks. So he went off to talk to the internist and check the ultrasounds and came back and said, all right, we'll just do one week. I'm still concerned. I guess she can survive a week without pooping, and if she starts to get distressed, I'll call them and see what they suggest.

So the surgery is scheduled for 8:45 AM next Tuesday. Which means getting up early and getting out of here by 6 AM, because that's going to be rush hour into the city and traffic is going to be bad. I should probably leave earlier, but eh. If I'm a little late, so be it. I'll need to leave her there for one or two nights.

Then we were ready to leave, once I paid the bill, which was another hassle -- I was going to use my CareCredit card, so I could pay it off over time without paying any interest, but it was declined so I had to use a different credit card. Then, not two minutes later, I got a robocall from Care Credit saying they'd detected "unusual activity" on my account and wanted to verify that I'd just attempted to charge $$ on it. I said yes, and the bot cheerfully told me to continue using my card. Wut? What is unusual about trying to pay a vet bill for my cat? Argh. Well, it's (almost) just as well, because I'll need the Care Credit for the surgery anyway, and that will go well over my credit limit, unless I can get it raised in the week before the surgery. And assuming they'll actually let the charge go through.

So then it was around 4:30 PM, and we were heading out just in time to hit evening rush hour. Took us three hours to get home, and we were both tired, hungry, and cranky when we finally arrived. Miss Jerry was thrashing around in her carrier, eager to get out, and as soon as I set her carrier down in her room and opened it, she jumped out and rushed out of the room! Well, rushed inasmuch as she ever does: she strode briskly and determinedly out of the room, which is very rare for her -- since the boys arrived, she has only poked her nose out of the bedroom a few times, and went right back in after a brief foray. This time, she went into the kitchen and sat on one of the chairs at the little bistro table I have in there, and stayed there for an hour and a half, even after the boys finished their dinners and came out to see what was going on. She growled and hissed at them, as usual, but didn't give any ground. Heh.

Untitled

It was dark, so she's mostly just a black blob on the chair, but here she is, adventuring out into the world of the kitchen! I would love it if the surgery improves her health so that she becomes more energetic and brave and starts leaving her room more.

Once I got home, I got the final hit of the day: the email from the vet hospital with an estimate of the cost of her surgery: $7200 - $8200. Holy crap! I really hope I can get most or all of that onto Care Credit, so I can pay it off over time. Otherwise, it's going to completely wipe out my savings, and that doesn't even count the approximately $2500 I've already spent on Jerry's recent vet visits. It's a scary huge amount of money, but at least I *can* pay it. The only other option would be to, I don't know, let her suffer until the megacolon kills her, or have her put down, and I'm not ready for that, not when the surgery has a good chance of making her well.
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
this recent one for Awfully Glad made me very happy:

The amount of information and the depth of plot in this short story is remarkable--a Charlie Cochrane specialty that draws you in an doesn't let you go.

Awfully Glad final cover small

 

Too Damn Hot

Jul. 12th, 2017 11:00 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
I wasn't well today. Mom called and woke me at 10 this morning and I was barely able to keep awake. I went to the bank to deposit the check for my conference (huzzah they gave me 1400 so only 500 was on me!) and then up to Chillicothe to look for a) sleeper sofa for the back room b) recliner for the living room.

Halfway there I'm in the worst traffic jam I've ever seen in this area because they're blasting a hill. I have no idea why (it was even worse on the way back). It was SO HOT I immediately got sick especially after lunch. However it occurred to me I only ever go to Bridge street where the stores are. I've never been to the historic side which is silly. Chillicothe was Ohio's first capitol. there is history here (in spite of the fact it smells bad(paper mill) and is pretty run down now.)

I ended up at the green tree restaurant I liked the history of it (points to website). I got two appetizers as I wasn't in the mood for a 10$ sandwich. The three cheese rosemary quiche was yummy but the spinach pancakes were undercooked raw flour.

I wasn't too happy with the furniture I saw and they wouldn't deliver the thing INTO the house until I paid two fees (the first payment only sends it to 'curbside.')

By the time I got some groceries and got home, I was so sick from the heat it took three hours in the a/c and a fan before I felt not bad.

WHich means all the cleaning (and writing) I wanted to do didn't happen. I've explained to Mom that when she gets here the living room will still be trashed and naturally she doesn't grasp this (and telling me I have too much stuff isn't helping, of course I do. Like I somehow don't know this) I tried and failed to find my landlord so I don't know what's going on there.

Want to win a copy of Tumble Turn?

Jul. 12th, 2017 02:12 pm
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
Then nip over to RJs release event where she's got a load of guests bearing gifts. Comment here with the name of your fave sportsman for a chance of winning a copy of my Olympic swimming romance Tumble Turn.

Tumble_Turn_Front_Cover_3_12_2012_4_PM

 

It's been a weird day

Jul. 12th, 2017 12:33 am
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
Still having trouble sleeping. I did get my task chair (the box is huge), my new fan works but that's not the weird part.

That came much later. We had the second interview...she knew the person who's job she's interviewing for (because that's not awkward). She didn't do nearly as well but I've learned I dislike every part of this. The second choice declined an interview then emailed us today begging to change his mind (sorry). All I can see is the poor job market and wondering what happens to the ones we don't choose etc.

When we took her to dinner the server was my student who lives here who told me my apartment complex has been sold. I didn't know so I need to talk to the land lord. I'm not tremendously worried about the rent going up to where I can't afford it but I AM worried about them coming in and saying I need to get teh hoard out of here. I hate uncertainity. I spent the rest of the evening house hunting and finding nothing I'd want in my price range (the adorable house dad found sold already). I'm supposed to go get a sleeper sofa/futon tomorrow and now I don't really even want to buy anything that I'll have to move.


Back home Zeus beat the shit out of my hometown. Lightning hit a transformer and everyone's home fried. My dad lost all the surge protectors but saved the electronics even though a few plugs got smoked. THe fire and smoke detectors went off (mom said Kanda didn't know what to do and froze in front of the couch which I guess is good because he'd be easy to snare if the house was on fire...which it nearly was. My uncle lost his computers, the neighbors lost a lot. it even hit the next town over.


And in non weird and sad news, I need help from you. I'm looking for opinions, I had a title in mind for the gaslight fantasy I have planned for novel (I know, right? I'm that far ahead for a change) but while the word fits, it's also very obviously of greek origin (Xenolith). Would that bother you when the story itself isn't set on Earth and would have no reason to call a xenolith by that name?

Well, that didn't take long

Jul. 11th, 2017 02:54 pm
codyne: Kitty Jerry under a blanket (jerry)
[personal profile] codyne
Miss Jerry's back at the vet today, having not pooped at all since she came home on Friday. I have an appointment for tomorrow afternoon at an animal hospital in LA to consult on what the next step should be -- most likely surgery. Poor kitty! She really didn't want to go back to the vet this morning, and I didn't want to have to take her, but it's become clear that her bowels are not capable of moving satisfactorily on their own any more. I hope we'll be able to get her fixed up soon, so she won't have to go through this any more.
charlie_cochrane: (Default)
[personal profile] charlie_cochrane
At Twickenham, there's a painting based on a photo of the England rugby team just pre-war. The red roses of those who died have been greyed. One of these chaps (scrum cap in the back row, I think) is Arthur Harrison, or - to give his rank - Lieutenant Commander Arthur Leyland Harrison VC.

IMG_1630

That VC was posthumous, gained in the raid on Zeebrugge, which he'd volunteered for. A notice pinned at Scapa Flow had asked for single, athletic men to put their names down for 'a show' and Harrison had taken up the challenge. He was killed leading his men along a parapet under machine gun fire; that wonderful lantern jaw had already been smashed by a shell.
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
Because it was 11 pm by the time I got home. I drove to Athens for a writer's group meeting. It was fine back at home. I get almost to Athens when my phone goes off. Tornado! Then another flash flooding. It started bucketing down. I stayed at the diner most of the night, had a nice time anyhow.

We had the first interview and it went well. I really liked her. We have the second tomorrow for the same position. I am open minded about the next one even though she's a friend of the one faculty member who's a GIANT pain in the ass. But I'd be very happy with this woman.

Am I the last to hear about Photobucket and them holding pictures for ransom. Okay I DO get that they might have to charge to stay in business but to give no warning and then hold the photos for ransom after the fact, that's a douche canoe move. Mine seem okay but yeah I'm thinking I should go pull them all down and find something else.
misslucyjane: (hulk smash)
[personal profile] misslucyjane
My errands were done much faster than I expected this morning, so after a bit of scribblin' I decided to see Spiderman: Homecoming.

First: trailers! The Dark Tower! (BWEE!!!) Some... other stuff! that I don't remember because it's not relevant to anything I'm a fan of! Justice League! which got an "Awesome!" from one very small audience member. I am there for Aquaman (I mean, the Momoa, come on) and Wonder Woman. Judgement reserved about the rest, though I like Ezra Miller a lot, so I'm willing to believe him as the Flash.

and here there be spoilers. capslocky spoilers )
duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
[personal profile] duskpeterson
Law Links


"Sometimes I feel that he is as mysterious as the gods, and that he is hiding something of vital importance from me. Something that would transform my life."

Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.

Torn between affection toward his traditional-minded father and worship of his peace-loving, heretical priest, Adrian finds himself caught between two incompatible visions of his duty to the gods. Then the Jackal God sends Adrian a message that will disrupt his world and send him fleeing to a new and perilous life.




LifePrison


"'You have committed a vile and savage act, one that any other nation would punish with death. Our punishment, on the other hand, will only be to give you what you want. You have sought to live in a world without boundaries of civilization, and such a world shall henceforth be your dwelling place.'"

A cold-hearted murderer. A vicious abuser. A young man hiding a shameful secret. A bewildered immigrant. A pure-minded spy.

All of these men have found their appointed places at Mercy Life Prison, where it is easy to tell who your enemies are. But a new visitor to Mercy is about to challenge decades-old customs. Now these men's worst enemies may be hiding behind masks . . . and so may their closest allies.

Note: Don't be confused. This is the extension of "Life Prison," which I started serializing last week. I made the belated decision to serialize the entire novel in one go.




Checkmate


"It's all about torture. That's what I didn't understand for a long time. The High Seeker has been seeking out and punishing those of us who wish to show greater mercy to the prisoners than the Code allows. Those of us who question whether it's right to torture prisoners."

The Eternal Dungeon is no longer a prison. It's a battlefield.

Split apart from their closest loves and friends, a small group of prison-workers seek to abolish the use of torture against prisoners in the queendom's royal dungeon. Time is running out, for the deadly High Seeker has already flogged and executed prison-workers who oppose his policies.

Do the reformers have enough time and skill to bring about radical change in the dungeon? Will they be able to overcome their mistrust of one another?



Spy Hill


"Fairview was the finest friend a man could have, and the finest battle-companion. I dared not risk doing anything that might break our friendship."

On a hot summer's day, on a high hill surrounded by the enemy, the best battle-companion can turn out to be the truth.

Rook and Fairview have worked alongside each other for years, first as officers in the navy, then as officers on a steamship, and finally as colonels in an invading army. Members of a nation where tiny differences in rank are considered all-important, the two men defy convention by treating each other as equals.

But now their life-long bond is about to meet its greatest strain, when they are ordered to seize and defend a hill whose landscape is unknown, in the company of soldiers who may be incompetent or treacherous. Will Rook and Fairview's friendship remain by the end of the battle? Or will their lives take an unexpected detour as they struggle to survive on Spy Hill?




To receive notices of my fiction by e-mail )
duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
[personal profile] duskpeterson
Following up on our discussion of this topic earlier, I've simplified my content ratings and have tried to bring them more into line with American standards in ratings. (Which means treating sex and violence differently, darn it.)

When I filtered my current online stories by content rating, I discovered that, out of my 61 stories at AO3, 53 were rated T or M. The other eight stories were borderline cases. Therefore, taking my cue from Wattpad's content ratings, I now have only two ratings for my stories:

T = References to sexuality, brief onscreen violence, and/or sensitive topics.

M = Onscreen sex, extended onscreen violence, and/or extended treatment of sensitive topics.

I've made a few adjustments to my ratings of older stories to fit with my current definitions. As always, if you have specific content questions about my stories, you're welcome to shoot me an e-mail.

Opening Up for Summer

Jul. 10th, 2017 01:02 am
liralen: A pictures of one of my bees (bee)
[personal profile] liralen
The weather has been finally getting really hot, in the mid to high 90's for a few days, and I knew that I had to get better ventilation into the hive for those weeks when it would be close to 100.  The hard part of it all is that I have to replace the bottom board to do so.

There might have been other ways? But I've did this both years when I had my last hive, and I liked having the bottom board be sealed when the colony was small and needed fewer entrances to defend.  It was obvious, from watching the bees coming in and out each day, that they had good numbers to defend themselves, now.  Plus, the girls might need more room, so I prepared a super with another eight frames for them to build on and fill that would fit above the deeps that I was leaving for them to keep full of honey, pollen, and brood.

Read more... )

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