Tag Archives: fantasy

#Writing Workshops for August

RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter is offering two workshops in August. Descriptions, sign up links, and other details are below. Reminder: If you are a writing instructor who would like to teach a class for FF&P, please consider submitting a proposal. We are currently scheduling workshops for the first half of 2015. For more information, please contact me.

LAYERED PLOT TECHNIQUES

We all want to tell a compelling story. We all want our books to be un-put-downable.

When we study a number of plotting techniques, we discover they’re all similar, and different enough to seem discordant. It is possible to make that discord work for us. This class will show how to create a synthesis of techniques that will translate into strategies we can use to make our stories richer, deeper, stronger.

Layering Plot Techniques  focuses on synthesis and assimilation, starting with three of the instructor’s favorite plot techniques/structures: Christopher Vogler’s Hero’s Journey, Michael Hauge’s six-stage structure and the W diagram.

At the end of the class, you’ll have a deeper understanding of plot than any of the techniques could give you alone.

Instructor Bio

In her previous life Terrel Hoffman studied physics, researched superconductors and wrote documentation for engineers. In her current incarnation, she writes paranormal romance and steampunk fantasy,  and teaches writing topics like this one. In addition to her degree in Physics and her educational forays into math and technical writing, she has trained to be a life coach. She is a certified guardian ad litem, has mentored at-risk kids on probation and has served as a CASA (court appointed special advocate) for children in dependency. She holds memberships in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and RWA National, as well as several regional RWA chapters in the Pacific Northwest where she lives. The two cats who share her home assure her she is their property and treat her accordingly.

Cost: FFP Members:$25.00/Non-Members: $30.00

08/04/2014 – 08/31/2014

To sign up for this class, click here.

GAME OF HISTORICAL THRONES

USE THE PAST AS YOUR GUIDELINE FOR CHARACTER MOTIVATIONS, PLOT DETAILS AND WORLDBUILDING

This brilliant idea strikes! You know it’s a winner! It’s got everything you love in a story and you’re rarin’ ta go on it. Then reality strikes back. You have no idea why certain things happen, what should happen next, and there is this scary world building to deal with yet. What to do!!!!???

Head to the past, that’s what. People are people (even aliens from other planets and dimensions and parallel universes are people) and that means the sort of elements you need have been played out before…and will play out again and again and again over time.

In fact, using George R. R. Martin’s GAME OF THRONES as an illustration, see how he might have done just this!

In this 4-week workshop we’ll begin harvesting ideas from the past to recreate in our own special ways to fill the gaps in the brilliant idea waiting to be birthed. We’ll look at how these elements can be used in a contemporary tale or a historical story unrelated to the inspiration we’ll use or how it can show up in something you spin that takes place in the future.

And we’ll do it quick, getting ideas on where to go and what to mine as that brilliant idea evolves into a complete manuscript in your very near future.

Your brilliant idea can lean more toward romance, incorporate mystery, or be totally convoluted fantasy, so come one and come all!

Instructor Bio

Beth Daniels currently writes as Beth Henderson and J.B. Dane, though she answered to Lisa Dane and Beth Cruise in the past as well. She has worked with editors at Berkley, Zebra, Leisure, Harlequin/Silhouette, and Simon and Schuster’s Aladdin Paperbacks, done e-books for a now defunct company (not her fault, she says), and began her writing life with hardcover books slated for library use with a publisher that got out of the romance business (again, not her fault). More recently she’s had a number of articles about writing picked up by e-zines, saw a short story published in a mystery and suspense magazine that turned up its toes the next year (really, really not her fault), and has a story in the MOTHER GOOSE IS DEAD anthology from Dragon Moon Press. For over a dozen years Beth taught college level composition, both in the classroom and online, and a credit course on Novel Writing. Five of her former Novel class students are now published. Twenty-six of Beth’s manuscripts have appeared in print or e-book format. These have been historical romantic adventures (6), romantic comedies (10), romantic-suspense (3), and young adult romantic comedy (7). Her titles have appeared in 12 different languages in over 20 countries. At the moment she is working on various manuscripts and collaborated with another RWA member on a contemporary/fantasy/romantic adventure. She also ventured into self-publishing to keep her out-of-print backlist in print.

Cost: FFP Members:$15.00/Non-Members: $20.00

08/11/2014 – 08/18/2014

To sign up for this class, click here.


Goodreads #Giveaway and Other News

Hi all– quick post today to share links to two giveaways that end soon and links to a few new reviews:

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE

Goodreads Book Giveaway

White Heart of Justice by Jill Archer

White Heart of Justice

by Jill Archer

Giveaway ends July 15, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

15 print copies (U.S. only)

If you’ve already bought the book and/or added it on Goodreads, please share the link with friends and followers.

Kings River Life

Review and Giveaway

Kings River Life is “a California magazine with local focus and global appeal.” It has a “Fantasy & Fangs” section that reviews fantasy and horror. Their reviewer recently reviewed WHOJ:

“[T]he journey approaches an epic, mythic level, pitting Noon against puzzles and monsters that can’t be defeated by flat-out attacks. The solutions are ingenious, and they help Noon build power in the magic she spent most of her life trying to hide and deny… Archer builds on the classic journey formula where the prize must be won at a cost.” Terrance McArthur for Kings River Life on White Heart of Justice

KRL is giving away one print copy of WHOJ (U.S. only). Giveaway ends tomorrow. Details on how to enter are here.

Other Wonderful Reviews and Reviewers

The Qwillery

“The chronicles of Noon’s journey to accept her place in her world culminates in a thrilling adventure… unpredictable and thoroughly satisfying… inspired and exhilarating… I loved the introduction of new creatures… [and] I love when an author surprises me. Archer raised my level of appreciation by catching me unawares.” Trinitytwo, reviewer for The Qwillery, on White Heart of Justice

 That’s What I’m Talking About

“[T]he overall story arc… was gripping and intriguing… [Noon's] growth over the course of these books is immense and heartfelt… If you are looking for something different – this alternate realty where the apocalypse has occurred and the demons won – you should really think about picking up the first book, Dark Light of Day and enjoy the journey.” Gikany & Una at That’s What I’m Talking About on White Heart of Justice

 Proud Nerd Book Reviews

“Archer does an excellent job of constructing and explaining the magical system in her world… the “law school” angle is intriguing… The fantasy elements in the story, especially magic and the demons, work extremely well… Anyone who reads fantasy, romance, or especially a combination of the two should thoroughly enjoy Noon’s adventures.” Matthew Cirilli for Proud Nerd Book Reviews on Dark Light of Day

“While Dark Light of Day focused on Noon’s myriad struggles coming to terms with her waning magic and her new life at St. Lucifer’s Law School, Fiery Edge of Steel sweeps Noon to the edges of New Babylonian civilization into the unknown… One of Jill Archer’s greatest strengths is her ability to create unique and intriguing creatures and characters to populate Halja.” Matthew Cirilli for Proud Nerd Book Reviews on Fiery Edge of Steel

Thank you to each of these reviewers for their interest and support! I’m grateful to them for taking the time to read the books, write such thorough and thoughtful reviews, and for sending me the links so that I can share them with you. If you aren’t already following them, please check out their sites.

Readers: I’m also incredibly grateful for your interest, support, ratings, and reviews. If you’ve read White Heart of Justice but haven’t yet posted a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, GoodreadsPowell’s Books, or wherever you hang out online, please consider adding your thoughts and comments! :-D

Best wishes for a terrific weekend, everyone!


16 Favorite Fairytale Films by Juli D. Revezzo and Jill Archer

Paranormal romance author Juli D. Revezzo was one of the first people to reach out and connect with me when I first started blogging. Two years ago she guest blogged here about “Ghosts as Paranormal Heroes.” [Two years! How the heck did that happen?!] She has a new book out called CHANGELING’S CROWN. When she contacted me about guest blogging again we discussed a few topics and one of them was fairytale film adaptations. Juli said she’d love to write a post about her favorites. And — because I couldn’t resist — I added a few of my own below too. Welcome, Juli!

 

Juli’s Favorite Fairytale Films

Jill asked me to come today to talk about fairy tale movie adaptations. There are some great ones out there—and some not so great. Let’s dispense with the not-so-great for the moment, these are my top favorites. Do I think these movies may’ve had an influence on my new release, CHANGELING’S CROWN? I’ll let you see what you think. :-)

10: Snow White and the Huntsman. Yes, Twilight’s Kristen Stewart was miscast, but she pulled it off. More importantly, the story was well done and Snow White doesn’t rely just on the prince to save her hide. I liked that.

9: Enchanted: Princess Giselle is sent to New York City by an evil queen. A quirky take on the princess and fairy godmother story.

8. Cinderella by Disney. Of course, you can’t really go wrong with this adaptation.

7. Shrek. Mashing all the faery tales together and giving them new problems? Brilliant.

6. Princess Bride. A tongue-in-cheek take on faery tale themes. A poor girl falls in love, loses her love, and is forced to marry a prince. But someone comes to change her plans. And some very memorable lines to boot.

5. The Little Mermaid. Disney paints a happier version of the tale yet it’s still by far the best. You all know this one, Ariel, the little mermaid, falls for a prince, and trades her voice to her father’s rival in order to gain human legs so she can be with him. In true Disney fashion, it ends happily.

4. The Princess Diaries. Mia, a typical teen, finds out her father was a prince and she his only heir. She is swept up into lessons at her grandmother’s behest so she can rule their small kingdom. Charming and funny YA series, the movies only hint at the fun tale Meg Cabot spins.

3. Pan’s Labyrinth: A young girl living during the Spanish Civil war meets a mysterious faun at the heart of a labyrinth and to fulfill his prophecy she must complete three tasks. If she does, she will take up her destiny as a princess, missing for decades. If not…she’ll be forever doomed to live under the iron rule of her evil stepfather.

2. Red Riding Hood. This one is the latest adaptation starring Gary Oldman. The bones of the story are here, but barely. In a nutshell, the lead actress lives in a village plagued by wolf attacks. When her sister falls victim to the attacks, a zealous priest comes into town and tells them it’s not just a wolf, but a curse and he’s going to rid them of. Red is part of a love triangle with one man, and another whom she loves. But mama and grandma won’t let her chose the one she wants most. Meanwhile, the villagers go after the wolf only to narrow it down to one possible suspect. Guess who gets to take the blame for the wolf attacks? Really a brilliant twist on the tale, I think, if some of the acting (not Oldman’s) leaves something to be desired.

1. Labyrinth. A young girl, sick of her boring life and little brother, tells him a bedtime story of child-stealing goblins, never knowing they’re about to grant her wish. Plus, you get David Bowie as the goblin king and a great soundtrack. What’s not to love?

So all these somehow had an influence on my latest book, CHANGELING’S CROWN. Would you like to see if you agree?  Here’s the synopsis:

CHANGELINGS CROWNWhen Ianthe began her career as a faery godmother, she stumbled so badly that Snow White will probably never speak to her again. After a long suspension, she’s finally been given a chance to redeem herself…but everything on this latest assignment is going wrong.

But why?

Worse, she definitely doesn’t need an attractive mortal man distracting her from her duties. Of course, needs and wants are two different things.

Briak has had his eye on Ianthe for a very, very long time, but he’s been waiting for just the right moment to make his move. Despite the fact all hell’s about to break loose on his watch, he can’t resist the opportunity to insert himself into her earthly assignment. Can he convince Ianthe of her true calling and thereby win her heart? Or will his subterfuge ultimately cost him her love?

CHANGELING’S CROWN is available at:

I hope you will enjoy it, and my thanks to Jill for inviting me here today!

More about Juli

Juli D. Revezzo

Juli D. Revezzo is a Florida girl, with a love of fantasy, science fiction, and Arthurian legend, so much so she gained a B.A. in English and American Literature. She loves writing stories with fantastical elements whether it be a full-on fantasy, or a story set in this world-slightly askew. She has been published in short form in Eternal Haunted Summer, Dark Things II: Cat Crimes (a charity anthology for cat related charities), Luna Station Quarterly, Crossing the River, An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys; The Scribing Ibis: An Anthology of Pagan Fiction in Honor of Thoth, Twisted Dreams Magazine and more. She’s the author of The Antique Magic series and the Paranormal Romance Harshad Wars series.

Jill’s Favorite Fairytale Films

Some of Juli’s favorites are on my list too. My thoughts on some of her choices?

Snow White and the Huntsman: I thought Kristen Stewart was okay. She would have been better if she hadn’t reminded me so much of Bella. Charlize Theron rocked her role as she always does.

Enchanted: on my list too! I adored this film. Amy Adams is absolutely fantastic. Only she could pull off a role like that — part poking good fun of the princess stereotype, part reminding us why we love it so much. She’s one of my favorite actresses because she has such range but also because of the Happy Working Song. Anyone who has spent precious time cleaning toilets, scrubbing soap scum, or doing loads of laundry is indebted to her for actually making it look funny.

Princess Bride: Yep, agree with Juli. Anything that spawns this many quotes deserves a spot on everyone’s list.

Pan’s Labyrinth: This one’s on my list too for the dark visuals and its multi-layered storyline that leaves the film’s ending and meaning open to multiple interpretations.

Red Riding Hood: This one’s not on my list, but it IS a fun film to talk about. I mostly agree w Juli’s take. My Jan 2012 review has my thoughts on who I thought the real stars were and what I most wanted to see Virginia Madsen do in that film.

Labyrinth: How the hell did I miss seeing this film? It may have been that I didn’t trust Bowie’s involvement. (I seem to recall being underwhelmed by Sting in Dune two years earlier, but I honestly can’t remember.)

And here are my adds:

#6 — Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou? Kind of a cheat since it’s based on an epic poem not a fairytale but George Clooney and his Dapper Dan pomade made me an instant fan. As well acted as Amy Adams in Enchanted and as quotable as Princess Bride.

#5 — Edward Scissorhands. It’s no secret that I like Tim Burton. Slightly Frankenstein-esque but very original.

#4 — Sleepy Hollow. I also like Christina Ricci. For years, we used to watch this movie every Halloween.

#3 — Black Swan: also kind of a cheat because it references Swan Lake rather than retelling it. But it makes my list because it’s incredibly creepy and I’m a fan of movies that play with the line between reality and fantasy.

#2 — A.I. Artificial Intelligence: inspired by Pinocchio. Heartbreaking. Spielberg made me care about an A.I. character (something that’s not real twice over!) David is a fictional robot who wants to become a real boy so his human mother will love him. Ugh. I’m sad just remembering it.

#1 — Hoodwinked: ‘Cause I gotta end on a happy note AND because my girls and I often break out into song whenever we refer to this movie. I also love the non-linear plot and the quirkiness of the characters and humor.

 Do you agree with our choices? What are yours? Thank you to Juli for guest blogging today!


Last Day! My White Heart of Justice blog tour is coming to a close…

Today’s menu:

  1. Final list of topics and links in WHOJ blog tour
  2. Discussion questions for White Heart of Justice
  3. Brief bit about the current “should adults read YA?” debate

I’ve had a terrific time visiting all of the blog hosts and reading and responding to reader comments. Each release has had its own vibe and I gotta say — even despite the uncertain future of the series — WHOJ’s release has been my favorite. Maybe it’s just that I’m getting to know the online book blogging community better (and they are getting to know me) or maybe it’s because I wasn’t a clueless newbie nor was I under enormous deadline pressure at release time. Regardless, I’ve had fun and I hope you have too. As a final thank you and one last chance for everyone to enter to win my awesome prizes, I’m listing all the blog tour participants below with dedicated links to each site and a brief description of topics. If you haven’t already checked out the posts, interviews, and reviews, please do! I am grateful to each and every tour participant and to Roxanne Rhoads at Bewitching Book Tours for setting it up.

What else have I been working on? Among other things, I’ve been tinkering with my website. As promised, I added Discussion Questions for White Heart of Justice. If you read the ones for either Dark Light of Day or Fiery Edge of Steel, you know they contain MASSIVE SPOILERS. Pretty much the entire plot is revealed so don’t read them if you haven’t already read the book(s). Also, after nearly three years of blogging with the same header pic, I finally decided to change it. For those of you who get updates via email, I’m including the before and after pic. I also created a static landing page for my blog. It’s an experiment. I had been using my latest blog posts as a landing page, but it’s probably time to switch over to a static “hello, welcome, here’s who I am and what I write,” right? Check out the new static page here and let me know what you think.

iStock/almotional

BEFORE: Gargoyle of Notre Dame de Paris

iStock/maroznc

AFTER: architecture in Ghent, Belgium

What’s next? Ha! Well, those of you who have been following along on the tour know that I’ve got at least two potential WIPs waiting in the wings: a Noon Onyx B4 and a new, fantastic, creepy-romantic “YA deuce” I’ve been working on (meaning I envision two books). An aside: lots of online noise lately about whether adults should read YA or not. Wow. Really? I’m not going to waste too much time on an articulate response, but the very idea of someone else telling me what I should or shouldn’t read is mind-blowing. My general approach to reading fiction for entertainment is READ WHAT YOU LIKE, PEOPLE. And don’t let anyone tell you to read anything different. At one time or another, readers of young adult, new adult, romance, science fiction, and fantasy have all been called out for their “odd tastes.” What do I do when I hear this sort of nonsense? Ignore, ignore, ignore…. (Now if you’re reading for educational purposes, the entire discussion changes, but that’s a discussion for another day). Keep calm and read on, my fellow genre lovers!

Below are the WHOJ blog tour topics and links. Except for the post where I’ll be announcing the blog tour prize winners, this is the last you’ll hear about WHOJ in such concentrated fashion. You have all been WONDERFUL SPORTS, but I’m sure you’re looking forward to posts on some other topics too. Speaking of that, I’ve got a great guest blogger stopping by tomorrow — Susannah Sandlin (a.k.a. Suzanne Johnson) with her five favorite scenes from Allegiance. See you then! :-D

BLOG TOUR DATES, TOPICS, AND LINKS

For giveaway details see below

Teaser posts and posts marked with an * are outside of the BBT tour

May 20 Spotlight/Excerpt

Butterfly-o-Meter Books

 

May 20 Review

“The best so far… I SERIOUSLY CHEERED”

Happy Tails and Tales

 

May 21 Interview

Books Direct

Topics: what my family thinks of my writing, thoughts on a possible B4, more hints about a future short story featuring new heroine Corelei Neverest

 

May 21 Spotlight

Bookin’ It Reviews

 

May 21 Spotlight

Deb Sanders

 

May 22 Guest Blog

Magic and Mayhem

Top 5 Cool Things You Can Do With A Sword &

Why Heroes and Heroines Can’t Do Without Them

 

May 22 Spotlight

Coffee Break

 

May 22 Spotlight

Cherry Mischievous

 

May 23 Guest Blog

Christina McKnight

Reinventing the Goddess of Sleep: how I used Caer Ibormeith as inspiration for a new patron demon

 

May 23 Spotlight

Shut Up & Read

 
* May 27 RELEASE DAY PARTY!
Bitten By Books
Kalisto’s Crystal Palace and Raphael Sinclair’s Wish: I discuss how I created the setting for the “gearing up” scene. My inspirations? Snow globes, greenhouses, guardian angels, London’s Crystal Palace, whether and when wishes should be granted… and there’s an excerpt that sheds some light on my Rafe sneak peek tweet.
 

May 28 Guest Blog

Night Owl Reviews

Gifts from the Gods: What do rusty gardening tools and 1981′s Clash of the Titans have in common? What the heck is a daisy grubber? Did Noon’s mom really give her “one to grow on” in each book so far?

 

* May 28 Guest Blog

The Reading Café

Topic: The Noon Onyx Covers — discussed in greater detail than ever before! (And there’s a fun, little “ode to covers” intro)

Review too! (“A must read for fans of urban fantasy and dystopian fairy tales where Armageddon is only the beginning, not the end.”)

.

May 29&30 Spotlight and Review

What the Cat Read

Dark Light of Day (“I loved Noon. She’s feisty, conflicted, [and] rather sarcastic at times…”)

Fiery Edge of Steel (“Ah, Rafe… he stole the show in this book.”)

White Heart of Justice (“I have to give Archer serious purrs and a tail wave of approval for this one… Action, adventure, romance, humor, suspense, danger, deception…”)

.

* May 29 Guest Blog
SFSignal
Topic: What Is It With The Devil and Violins? Come read about The Fifth String, Norwegian fossegrimen, and Fiddler’s Green. BONUS: I share the original titles to each of the Noon Onyx books. WHOJ’s is the best!

 

May 30 Interview

CBY Book Club

Wanna know what my very first favorite book was? I also talk about books in my TBR pile: past, present, and future.

 

May 30 Spotlight

Melissa Stevens

 

June 2 review 

“If you’re looking for a new adult fantasy series with exceptional world building, exciting storylines, and strong characters, you need to try the Noon Onyx books.”

Tynga’s Reviews

 

June 3 Guest Blog

Preternatura

Topic: Lord Lawless and the Festival of Frivolity (how I used Saturnalia and the Lord of Misrule as inspiration for a St. Luck’s winter celebration)

 

June 4 Guest blog

Addicted 2 Heroines

Topic: Noon’s missing tooth. Yep, Noon loses her tooth in Chapter 1. Come read about why I knocked it out and give me your opinion on über heroines: If you could choose only one word to describe your ideal heroine, would it be interesting, relatable, or admirable?

 

June 5 Interview

JeanzBookReadNReview

Topics: Reviews, DNFs, and book trailers

 

June 6 Interview

Fantasy Book Addict

If you could choose one book cover to put on your wall as a poster, what would it be? I also talk about how I came up with Noon’s name.

 

June 6 review

“With WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, the Noon Onyx series is now one of my favorite urban/dark fantasy series.”

Leeanna.me

 

June 9 Spotlight

3 Partners in shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!

 

June 9 review and interview

Topics: Am I a pioneer of New Adult Fantasy? I also include a message for Spanish and international readers.

Review: “This book is a homage to Noon’s independence…. With a quirky sense of humour and [fantastic] worldbuilding, White Heart of Justice delves deep into a quest of magic, freedom, redemption and love.”

Tower of Babel

 

June 10 Spotlight

On the Broomstick

 

June 10 Spotlight

Fang-tastic Books

TEASER POSTS

Cover Reveal

The Laurel Crown Race and Its Targets

What Can Readers Expect and Sneak Peek at Page Proofs: Prologue and Page One

The Noon Onyx Series: Urban Fantasy, New Adult… or Neither?

RT Book Reviews: White Heart of Justice

Publishers Weekly: White Heart of Justice

Sneak Peek Tweets + Giveaway

Super Quick Author Interview at Night Owl Reviews

BBT TOUR-WIDE GIVEAWAYS

  • $50 Amazon eGift Certificate (or bookseller of winner’s choice) (international)
  • 5 copies of White Heart of Justice (or an earlier book in the series, winner’s choice) (international so long as Book Depository ships to your address)
  • Dark Light of Day themed SWAG pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)
  • Fiery Edge of Steel themed SWAG pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)
  • White Heart of Justice themed SWAG pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. 18 and over. For official rules, please see my Giveaways page.

DARK LIGHT OF DAY

PRIZE PACKDark Light of Day Prize Pack

  • Signed print copy of Dark Light of Day
  • Handmade bookmark with charm
  • Natural Face Paint Kit
  • Orange Silk Flower Hair Clip
  • Atomic Fireball Candies
  • Signed copy of galley pages of scene that inspired prize pack

FIERY EDGE OF STEEL

PRIZE PACKFiery Edge of Steel Prize Pack

  • Signed print copy of Fiery Edge of Steel
  • Handmade bookmark with charm
  • “The Queen of Flowers” T-shirt Tank Top
  • Set of three Silver Glass Mercury Votive Holders
  • Petite Pear Candies
  • Signed copy of galley pages of scene that inspired prize pack

WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE

PRIZE PACKWhite Heart of Justice Prize Pack

  • Signed print copy of White Heart of Justice
  • Handmade bookmark with charm
  • White Crystal Headband
  • Vintage Star Pin
  • White Chocolate Meltaways
  • Signed copy of galley pages of scene that inspired prize pack

White Heart of Justice, Jill Archer, Noon Onyx, dark fantasy, fantasy, urban fantasy, demons, angels, post-apocalyptic


Auralee Wallace: An Exploration of Alpha vs Beta Heroes and Some Pretty Tasteless Fun

I’m over at Addicted 2 Heroines today discussing Noon’s missing tooth. What?! you ask. Yep, I answer. She loses a tooth in this book. It’s no huge spoiler. It happens in Chapter 1. Want to read about why I knocked her tooth out? Check out the post here.

Today’s guest blogger is Auralee Wallace, author of Sidekick, her debut superhero novel that was just released two days ago. She’s here to debate superheroes, give you a chance to win an ecopy of her new release, and share a Sidekick-inspired Polyvore set. Never heard of Polyvore? Yeah, me neither until I loaded up this post — but what a fun concept. Once registered, users can create themed collections. Looks like an online shopper’s version of Pinterest…? Wikipedia calls it a “community powered social commerce website.” Just today, Fast Company hosted Polyvore’s VP of Engineering who discussed scrappy startups and scaling up. Polyvore was a fun time suck for me as I contemplated creating a Noon Onyx themed collection… But. Then. Realized. Must… Stay… Focused! So, without further hullabaloo: Welcome, Auralee!

Sidekick

Who Would You Rather…?

(If you don’t know what word goes at the end of this question, this post may not for you…hint: it’s not “be”)

An Exploration of Alpha vs Beta Heroes and Some Pretty Tasteless Fun

by Auralee Wallace

Seeing as I write about superheroes – my debut novel, Sidekick is out June 1st – and read a lot of romance, I often have random thoughts about both topics, and this post was born out of those musings. Now before we proceed, I should warn this is not a very mature post, it absolutely objectifies men, and I will deny I ever wrote it if pressed. Got it? Good. Let’s proceed.

 Bruce Banner or The Hulk?

Photograph resized and cropped. Photographer: Slackerwood http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Photograph resized and cropped. Photographer: Slackerwood http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Photograph resized. Photographer: kiwanja http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Photograph resized. Photographer: kiwanja http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

I know. It’s kind of a crazy place to start. This one is a tough one. One the one hand, what does it say about me if I choose the bipolar, green monster? I mean, sure, The Hulk is a puppy dog with women and children, and my guess is that he might be very big, well, all-over, but he does have some serious rage issues, and he’s not the brightest of the green bulbs. On the other hand, I’m not particularly romanced by Bruce Banner either. I’m a child of the 70s/80s, so my Bruce Banner is Bill Bixby (I can’t find a free stock photo of him and Hulk knows I’m not going to buy one, so you’ll have to Google him if you don’t know who I’m talking about). I gotta say Bill Bixby is about as attractive to me as Edward Norton is…and that’s not very much. So I’m going to have to go with neither.

That’s cheating, you say? My post. My rules.

 Clark Kent or Superman?

Photograph resized. Photographer: Xurble http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Photograph resized. Photographer: Xurble http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Uh oh, I may be in trouble again here.

I just can’t imagine choosing either Clark Kent or Superman. I mean even in Superman form, I can’t help but think the Man of Steel might just be  a little too vanilla for me. You know what I’m saying? It’s not that I need a Christian Grey in the bedroom, at least not all the time, but I suspect Superman would be really, really polite in bed…like polite to the point of frustration. So, once again, I’m going to say neither.

But never fear!

There is a third choice.

A third choice? Not fair you say? Once again against the rules? Did I mention it’s my post? Besides I think you’ll agree there really only is one choice to be made. Henry Cavill. No character necessary. Just Henry Cavill would be fine.

Resized photo. Photographer: david_shankbo http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Resized photo. Photographer: david_shankbo http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Or maybe I could go looking for the chest model in the picture above. Just kidding. I like my men to have heads. I’m weird like that.

 Bruce Wayne or Batman?

Christian Bale Photograph cropped/resized. Photographer: Alternatewords http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Christian Bale Photograph cropped/resized. Photographer: Alternatewords http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Batman photograph cropped. Photographer: PopCultureGeek.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Batman photograph cropped. Photographer: PopCultureGeek.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Yes, please…I mean, either or is fine with me…both maybe. I’m not sure how that would work…someone should get Maya Banks on this.

Peter Parker or Spiderman?

Tobey Maguire resized photo. Photographer: Tostie14 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Tobey Maguire resized photo. Photographer: Tostie14 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Spiderman image: public domain

Spiderman image: public domain

I’ll admit I’m having have trouble with this one too. Spiderman has never appealed to me in any of his forms. He’s always just seemed kind of effeminate to me, and in the movies, he’s always played by baby actors. My reaction to most Spiderman actors/depictions is much the same as my reaction to this photo:

Photograph resized. Photographer: chimothy27Tostie14 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Photograph resized. Photographer: chimothy27 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Aww. Isn’t he adorable? He’s tuckered out from all his crime-fighting.

 Tony Stark or Iron Man?

Tony Stark photograph resized. Photographer: mr.skeleton http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Tony Stark photograph resized. Photographer: mr.skeleton http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Iron Man photograph resized and cropped. Photographer: woolennium http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Iron Man photograph resized and cropped. Photographer: woolennium http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

This one is easy. There is no contest. If you don’t say Tony Stark, there is something wrong with you. This conversation is over.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Who Would You Rather? I know I have. So until next time, I wish you all sweet dreams. Mine will be about Tony.

More About Sidekick

Heroes meets Kick-Ass in this brilliant and hilarious debut about a girl who just wants to save the world…

Bremy St James, daughter of billionaire Atticus St James, has been cut off from the family fortune and is struggling to survive in a world that no longer holds its breath every time she buys a new outfit. To make matters worse, her twin sister is keeping secrets, loan sharks are circling, and the man of her dreams — a newspaper reporter — is on assignment to bring down everyone with the last name St James.

Things are certainly looking bleak for the down-and-out socialite until a good deed throws her into the path of the city’s top crime-fighter, Dark Ryder. Suddenly, Bremy has a new goal: apprentice to a superhero, and start her own crime-fighting career.

Ryder has no need for a sidekick, but it turns out the city needs Bremy’s help. Atticus St James is planning the crime of the century, and Bremy may be the only one able to get close enough to her father to stop him.

Now all she needs to do is figure out this superhero thing in less than a month, keep her identity secret from the man who could very well be The One, and save the city from total annihilation.

Well, no one ever said being a superhero would be easy…

Auralee Wallace

Auralee Wallace

More About Auralee

Auralee Wallace has played many roles in her life, including college professor, balloon seller, and collections agent. She is now living her dream of writing humorous women’s fiction. When this semi-natural blonde mother of three children (and psychiatric nurse to two rescue cats) isn’t writing or playing soccer, she can be found watching soap operas with lurid fascination and warring with a family of peregrine falcons for the rights to her backyard.

The Giveaway and the Sidekick-Inspired Polyvore Set

Auralee is giving away 5 ecopies of Sidekick at the end of her blog tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter form to enter to win.

And click here to check out all the neat stuff in her online Sidekick shopping collection.

Sidekick Banner

So… thoughts on Auralee’s post?

I’ll weigh in here with an even bigger disclaimer than Auralee’s in her opening paragraph and then admit that I love Tony Stark too. Why? Because Robert Downey, Jr. does a damn fine job playing him. I also really like Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man. Even though he’s young, I think him and Emma Stone have great chemistry and are really cute together. (I haven’t seen Spidey 2. Have you? Whadya think?)

And I must defend Edward Norton! I loved his performances in The Illusionist and The Painted Veil. Who saw?

And Polyvore? Is anyone on there? Have you tried it? Let us know in the comments. Thank you, Auralee, for guest blogging today!

p.s. after we discuss superheroes, let’s discuss über heroines. Don’t forget to head over to Addicted 2 Heroines where I ask:

If you could choose only one word to describe your ideal heroine, would it be interesting, relatable, or admirable?

Do you like heroines who are drop dead gorgeous without a single physical flaw?

Or do you like heroines with scars, wounds, and/or other evidence of being put through the story wringer by their diabolical creators?

Thanks, everyone! Hope to see you there!


Fictional “Feast Masters,” Maleficent and Miscellaneous

Hi all– the White Heart of Justice blog tour continues! I’m over at Suzanne Johnson/Susannah Sandlin’s blog Preternatura today discussing how I used Saturnalia and the Lord of Misrule as inspiration for one of the opening scenes in White Heart of Justice. There’s a cute picture of a snow demon — the only one I could find. Why a snow demon? Because that’s what the students carve out of snow at the Festival of Frivolity. Come on… I know you want to read more about it! Click here. :-D

Last Friday, CBY Book Club posted their interview of me. I share what my very first favorite book was and I discuss my TBR pile — past, present, and future. Since the start of the tour on May 20th there have been other spotlights and reviews. Check out my blog tour page for the complete list of bloggers/reviewers who are participating. Each link gives you an extra chance to win the fun prizes I’m giving away at the end of the tour:

  • $50 Amazon eGift Certificate (or bookseller of winner’s choice) (international)
  • 5 copies of White Heart of Justice (or an earlier book in the series, winner’s choice) (international so long as Book Depository ships to your address)
  • Dark Light of Day themed SWAG pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)
  • Fiery Edge of Steel themed SWAG pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)
  • White Heart of Justice themed SWAG pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)

RELEASE DAY PARTY WRAP UP

The Release Day Party at Bitten by Books was fantastic. So many terrific questions, including:

Do I have a favorite classic novel with a winter setting?

Is there an inspirational playlist for the Noon Onyx series?

How do I come up with the names for things in my series?

Have I used historical people, places, or things as inspiration?

What country would I love to visit?

Which actress would play me if my life were made into a movie?

If I could visit any place in Halja, which would it be and why?

What books would I recommend to a young reader?

and…perhaps my favorite:

If I could do a crossover with any book, film, or TV series, what would it be and why?

Bonus: Lanie left a DIY snow globe link, which I may use to make White Heart of Justice themed snow globes. Fun, right?

See all of the comments, questions, and answers here.

EMMA D. won the $50 Amazon eGift Certificate I was giving away there. I loved that (urged on by me) she made a “completely wild” wish that would require great miracles and supernatural happenings. It was a really nice wish. In fact, so many of readers’ wishes were heartfelt, selfless, and inspiring. (One of my reader questions was: What would you wish for at the fountain outside Kalisto’s Crystal Palace?)

LAST DAY TO TWEET 

WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE

SNEAK PEEK TWEETS!

Anyone who tweets one of these will be entered to win ANY fantasy book of their choice from Book Depository (so long as Book Depository ships to your address, up to $10.00). Ends at midnight EDT on 6/3/14.

One tweet/entry per person.

If you aren’t on Twitter, or don’t want to tweet the above, you can still enter to win the book. Just tell me what’s the last fantasy book you read, or the one you’re most looking forward to reading, in the comments below. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Open to international participants 18 and over. Complete rules here.

Lucem in tenebras ferimus. Into the darkness, we bring light.” @archer_jill #DARKLIGHTOFDAY

“When traveling into the unknown, sometimes the biggest danger is the one you bring with you…” @archer_jill #FIERYEDGEOFSTEEL

“One out of every two hunters who follow the Old Trail will not return.” @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Finally! I’m looking forward to seeing Noon embrace her fiery magic. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Ari Carmine is smokin’ hot. I wanna see if Noon can forgive him for that nasty surprise at the end of B2. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

I heard a rumor that Rafe Sinclair makes a wish and I wanna know if it’s granted. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Nocturo. Tall dark handsome. Heard his scalpel’s put to good use. Is he gonna threaten Brunus w it again? @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

I love the characters, but I’m really just in it for the monsters and magic. Bring on the ice demons! @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Armageddon is over. The demons won. But it’s not as dark as all that. Parts of it are romantic and sweet. @archer_jill #NOONONYXSERIES

WHAT ELSE HAVE I BEEN UP TO?

This past weekend I saw The Machine (a Blade Runner-esque science fiction movie: Caity Lotz was terrific; the noir feeling felt a little forced at times, but overall, I enjoyed it) and Maleficent, in which Angelina Jolie was magnificent. There’s an interesting discussion over at io9 today. I was going to comment but then got frustrated at having to create yet another social media app account to manage my comments there, especially when the pop up box blocked the terms & conditions so that I couldn’t even read them. In any case, the post and my thoughts are worth a read IF:

1. You’ve seen the movie (massive spoilers)

2. You don’t mind rants (it’s filed under “rants”)

For what it’s worth, my take:

I can’t help but think that Disney was damned if it did, damned if it didn’t. To me, the most significant scene storywise wasn’t the dragon transformation (although that could have been much more impressive regardless of who was doing the shifting) but the kiss. I don’t want to spoil it further for anyone who hasn’t seen it so I’ll just say: Bravo, Disney!

As for the wing cutting scene… horrible. Just horrible. But I have to admit I enjoyed watching Maleficent’s dark transformation into a character capable of exacting revenge. Just as I equally enjoyed her other, lengthier, but perhaps more meaningful, transformation into something else. Not a dragon, but something potentially more powerful.

Also visited Baltimore’s National Aquarium and the Inner Harbor. Because you all know how much I love my photo galleries, here’s one from the weekend:

Beautiful, Deadly, Cute, Helpful:

But which is which?

That’s it for now, but I’ll be back tomorrow with a fun guest post from Auralee Wallace, author of Sidekick, and a link to my guest post at Addicted 2 Heroines. Have a great night!


The Devil and His Fiddle (and the original titles of my Noon Onyx books)

My guest post at SF Signal is up! And it’s a fun one: I discuss what’s up with the association between the devil and the violin; I admit I used to be a horrible fiddle player; and I share the original titles to each novel in the Noon Onyx series. Long-time followers, you may remember the original title to Dark Light of Day but I’m not sure I ever shared the original title to Fiery Edge of Steel (knowledge was a big theme in that book, remember? ;-) ) and I’m even more sure that I’ve never shared the original title to White Heart of Justice with anyone but my agent and my editor. It’s a hoot!

* John Anealio reminded me on Twitter this morning about Niccolo Paganini, the 19th century Italian virtuoso whose playing was so diabolical his audience believed he was in league with the devil. Paganini’s story is intriguing. Check it out here. But, if you do, be sure to also stop by SF Signal because Paganini’s not in my post. I discuss three other interesting connections. Paganini

Have you ever played the violin? Do you play an instrument now? Where do you think the association between the devil and the violin got started? Lemme know in the comments over at SF Signal!


One to Grow On: Noon’s Mom + Cover Lovers Chat

My blog tour resumes today with some fun posts: I’m discussing vintage gardening tools, Clash of the Titans, and Noon’s mom’s growing gifts over at Night Owl Reviews and I’m at The Reading Café discussing my covers. I know I’ve discussed them before, but I share more about the process, covers in general, and give each of my covers a “stat report.” If fantasy covers were baseball cards, click here for what would be on the back of mine. Finally, I’m wrapping up my Release Day Party at Bitten by Books. If you haven’t had a chance to stop by, there’s still time! Readers have asked TONS of terrific questions — and I’ve answered them, in great detail. Skim through for more background on just about everything or leave a question of your own!

Local Lending Libraries

And because I like to include pics w my posts… here are two for all of the book, coffee, and pizza lovers out there => Starbuck’s and Bertucci’s versions of the local lending library. I like it!

Bookshelf at my local Starbuck's -- what's missing? ;-)

Bookshelf at my local Starbuck’s — what’s missing? ;-)

Bookshelf at my local Bertucci's. Mostly children's books... so they get a pass. :-D

Bookshelf at my local Bertucci’s. Mostly children’s books… so they get a pass. :-D

Hope to see you over at Night Owl Reviews, The Reading Café, and/or Bitten by Books!


RELEASE DAY PARTY: WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE! (author chat, excerpt, contest)

Ok, you knew this post was coming, right? This is the post I’ve been working toward for… well, a year now! :-D

Release Day Party at Bitten by Books going on RIGHT NOW! => Click HERE.

The Bitten by Books contest ends at midnight CDT on 5/31/14. I’ll be over there all night and then will be checking in periodically until it closes to answer any questions and/or respond to comments. (There have been some good ones! Come add yours!)

And, probably the last time I’ll be posting/emailing these links to you for a LONG time (although they’ll be up everywhere else, of course)… Here are White Heart of Justice‘s BUY LINKS (Yay! Exciting! Buy links instead of pre-order links. Depending on where you live, you could start reading WHOJ tonight!)

Now is also a good time to thank everyone who has: been following the blog tour (resuming tomorrow); already stopped by the release party; shared, posted, tweeted or RT’d a link or sneak peek tweet; or pre-ordered the book! I appreciate the support and well wishes. Terrific participation and feedback so far. You guys are all awesome! THANK YOU!!!

urban fantasy, dark fantasy, fantasy, White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, cover reveal, cover art

Since Lucifer claimed victory at Armageddon, demons, angels, and humans have coexisted in uneasy harmony. Those with waning magic are trained to maintain peace and order. But hostilities are never far from erupting…

After years of denying her abilities, Noon Onyx, the first woman in history to wield waning magic, has embraced her power. She’s won the right to compete in the prestigious Laurel Crown Race—an event that will not only earn her the respect of her peers but also, if she wins, the right to control her future.

However, Noon’s task is nearly impossible: retrieve the White Heart of Justice, a mythical sword that disappeared hundreds of years ago. The sword is rumored to be hidden in a dangerous region of Halja that she is unlikely to return from. But Noon’s life isn’t the only thing hanging in the balance. The sword holds an awesome power that, in the wrong hands, could reboot the apocalypse—and Noon is the only one who can prevent Armageddon from starting again…

Have a great night, everyone! Hope to see you at Bitten by Books!


Book Series: How Many Books Is Enough?

To B4 or Not To B4, that is my question…

Yesterday Lynda from Books Direct posted her interview of me.  We talked about what my family thinks of my writing, my upcoming short story “Dream, Interrupted” (featuring new heroine Corelei Neverest; she was tons of fun to write), and how darn difficult it was to write the ending to White Heart of Justice.

Why was it so hard?

Well, because White Heart of Justice may be the last Noon Onyx book. As I mention in the interview, I felt an enormous amount of pressure to make sure the ending was emotionally satisfying for those who have followed the series so far – which was challenging considering where I’d left things at the end of Fiery Edge of Steel and the fact that, originally, I’d roughly plotted a total of seven books in the series. (Go ahead, you can say it, what sane writer plots that far ahead of her own career?!)

So, after a mild (dare I admit, significant) panic attack, I got down to business and wrote the ending to WHOJ. That ending changed countless times. I’m not sure what readers will think of it. Early feedback has been wonderful but no one (including me) has really addressed whether this is THE END.

The only thing I know for certain is that I’ll likely self-publish any future books in the series. And self-publishing a book the way I’d want to (with quality editing and a fantastic cover artist/designer) wouldn’t be cheap.

The final decision is mine. Creatively, I have to want to do it. And financially I’ll have to decide whether or not I’m comfortable with the risk and investment of moving forward with a Noon Onyx B4 instead of some other equally awesome but different project.

So I’m curious…

READERS: After you finish White Heart of Justice, let me know whether you’d be interested in reading another Noon novel. I feel the ending is satisfactory enough for us all to walk away happy… and yet… as I said during yesterday’s interview, it’s hard to say goodbye. Halja is a fascinating world and Noon is an interesting, strong character to write about.

WRITERS: Have any of you continued a traditionally published series on your own? How’d that work out for you?

Ok, enough already with the serious talk!!!

Today, I’m over at Magic and Mayhem with a really fun guest blog:

Top 5 Cool Things

You Can Do with a Sword

and

Why Heroes & Heroines Can’t Do Without Them

You gotta come check it out. I actually mention WHOJ only once (to point out its inclusion on the Goodreads “It’s All About The Swords!” list). If you love swords, the post is a MUST READ. :-D

In addition to my Super Serious questions above, I also want to know:

What’s your favorite book cover with a sword on it? Have any examples of cool things you can do with a sword?

Lemme know your answers over at Magic and Mayhem!

Thanks for following, everyone! I’m loving all the tweets!!!


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