Friday, 29 December 2017

#fridayflash: A Hitch in the Plans


"I would like to kiss you," she says.

"Oh." He cocks his head to one side, left eyebrow raised. "Why?"

She shrugs. "Why not?"

He stares at her for a little too long and she finds herself staring back, that space in the back of her head suddenly mute.

"Never mind," she finally says.

But as she turns, before she can flee, his hand is grasping her wrist and pulling her back, fixing her on the spot. Her cheeks burn.

"Why?" he asks again.

There is gold in her mouth, rocks on her tongue, a blissed, hateful void in her thoughts. She doesn't even know why she'd brought it up in the first place--it was too forward, too sudden. It wasn't what she'd planned--except wine, too much wine. Despite the fact she hasn't touched any of it.

"I'm drunk," she offers, wincing as his eyes narrow. Hormonally drunk, maybe, though he can't know that.

"You never drink," he says flatly.

"Oh?"

"And I would smell it on you if you had."

"The fumes..." She stops as he shakes his head. It's a flimsy lie anyway.

"What do you want?"

She straightens her back, grasping at the last straws of her dignity. "I thought I made that quite clear. Did I mumble?"

"That's not what you really want, is it?"

"It's not?"

"Is it Katherine? Is she putting you up to this?"

Her throat is too dry, too scratchy. She desperately needs a drink, alcoholic if possible--something to silence the emptiness of her mind. His grip is tight and binding and she wants to run away, but she also wants to lean in. Lean in and kiss him. Except she can't.

"Lady Katherine has nothing to do with this," she manages, dropping her eyes. "If you... do not require my services, I would like to retire for the night."

He makes an odd sound at the back of his throat and she looks up at him sheepishly. That hadn't come out quite as she intended.

"I meant..."

"I know what you meant. Go."

She curtsies and scurries away.

###

She's in the nearest nook, chest heaving as she leans against the wall, when a whisper startles her.

"Your Grace?"

She waves it, her, away, eyes still closed.

"His Highness is asking after you," the voice says again much later.

"Why? To gloat in my humiliation?" It's sharper than she intended.

"He thought you'd like something for your hand." It's him this time, his voice dry and amused.

She opens her eyes, staring at him confused before following his gaze.

"You've been bleeding on my floor for quite a while, my servant tells me."

"Oh."

"How?"

"I... I don't remember." It's probably from when she stumbled in here, flailing at the walls in a flurry of tears. Why hadn't she just gone straight to her rooms?

She watches numbly as he gently cleans and binds the gash on the back of her hand. "I should go."

"Back to your rooms?" He takes her hand to escort her.

She wonders why she doesn't pull her hand away. "Back to my home." It's obvious she's failed. She's not what he wants.

"Ah," is all he says.

At her door, she smiles and thanks him again. He bows slightly, ever the perfect gentleman. And then he is gone. She closes the door behind her, cutting off the sight of his retreating back and the receding hope of an alliance with his house.

Tomorrow, she would have to make her plans anew.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

#bookreview: Between the Lanterns | J.M. Bush

Between the LanternsBetween the Lanterns by J.M. Bush
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'd rate this more of a 3.5 (but you know, rounding) mostly because it gets pretty slow going in the middle.

Between the Lanterns is a Southern love story set in a futuristic, heartless, soulless New Dothan. As in really heartless and really soulless, where everyone is all teched out and thinking only of themselves. Yet in the midst of these near-robots, Samantha - a cook who wants people to eat Real Food instead of Nutricator slop - meets August - a tinkerer who longs for the good old days where people sat down and talked and were kind to each other - between the lanterns on West Main Street.

The soullessness of the society grates on you after a while, and you're left wondering if people are really capable of being that heartless. (Maybe they are, but probably not in the quantities you meet in this book). The warm, kindly, openness of Sam and August rubs off on you too, and you start to wonder how these two got to be who they are because it hardly seems like there are any good role models for them to follow after.

The middle of the book (somewhere around the 1-hour mark) gets a little draggy. Things happen and things happen and more things happen. It doesn't look like the book is heading anywhere fast. Then Bush gets a little sneaky by throwing in a medical diagnosis and NOT TELLING YOU WHO IT RELATES TO. Aha! Something is about to happen! And the story picks up again from there as he keeps you guessing for pages until the denouement. (And then it's heart-wrenching, of course.)

In the midst of all that, Between the Lanterns plays briefly with the themes of ascension and explores the concept of the soul. Is our consciousness equal to our soul? Is there a heaven? What happens if we finally manage to upload our consciousness into tech? Do we get to live forever?

I liked the second half of the book more than the first. The tension is heightened, and it also feels more thoughtful as the Luries figure out a balance between Sam's severe dislike of tech and August's constant tinkering with it. The first half, especially the second quarter, is very much a setting up phase--an explanation of all the things that need to happen to bring them to the right emotional mood for the rest of the events that follow. (Or maybe I don't tend to like Southern stories all that much, and there was not enough other stuff to distract me from it.)

All in all, Between the Lanterns is worth pushing through, mostly because I liked the ending.

View all my reviews

Monday, 25 December 2017

#musicmonday: I Won't Let You Go | Switchfoot ft. Lauren Daigle



[Verse 1: Jon Foreman]
When it feels like surgery
And it burns like third degree
And you wonder what is it worth?
When your inside's breaking in
And you feel that ache again
And you wonder what's giving birth?

[Pre-Chorus: Jon Foreman]
If you could let the pain of the past go
Of your soul
None of this is in your control

[Chorus: Jon Foreman]
If you could only let your guard down
If you could learn to trust me somehow
Well I swear, that I won't let you go
If you could only let go your doubts
If you could just believe in me now
I swear, that I won't let you go
I won't let you go

[Verse 2: Lauren Daigle]
When your fear is currency
And you feel that urgency
You want peace but there's war in your head
Maybe that's where life is born
When our fa├žades are torn
Pain gives birth to the promise ahead, yeah

[Pre-Chorus: Lauren Daigle & Jon Foreman]
If you could let the pain of the past go
Of your soul
None of this is in your control

[Chorus: Jon Foreman & Lauren Daigle]
If you could only let your guard down
If you could learn to trust me somehow
Well I swear, that I won't let you go
If you could only let go your doubts
If you could just believe in me now
I swear, that I won't let you go

[Bridge: Lauren Daigle & Jon Foreman]
I won't let you go
I'll always be by your side, yeah

[Chorus]
If you could only let go your doubts
If you could just believe in me now
I swear, that I won't let you go
I won't let you go

[Interlude: Jon Foreman & Lauren Daigle]
I won't let you go
I won't let you go
I won't let you go

---

because christmas is really God saying I won't let you go.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Advent: Divinity in Chains



But you are Divinity,
bound by the chains of humanity.
God made man,

...and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us...

might contained
in frailty,
restrained by a form

...and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father...

taken willingly, lovingly,
eyes fixed on eternity.
And all you are,

...he made himself nothing... 

all your glory,
constrained
in the very jars of clay

...by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness...

you formed.
Bound only by
your Word and Will.

...he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross.

---

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and donkeys are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spears shall pierce him through,
the cross he bore for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
the Babe, the Son of Mary.

---

Firman itu sudah menjadi manusia dan tinggal antara kita. Kita nampak kemuliaan-Nya, kemuliaan yang diterima-Nya sebagai anak tunggal Bapa. Melalui Dia, kasih Allah dan Allah sendiri ditunjunkkan kepada kita.
Yohanes 1:14

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

#bookreview: Mythic Orbits 2016 | Travis Perry (ed)

Mythic Orbits 2016: Best Speculative Fiction by Christian AuthorsMythic Orbits 2016: Best Speculative Fiction by Christian Authors by Travis Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

TBH Mythic Orbits wasn't exactly what I expected. (Actually, I don't really know what I expect these days.) The title and the cover made me think that it might be more space/scifi than it actually turned out to be; 'speculative fiction', of course, is a rather large umbrella term (though 'Mythic' is also another clue). The actual stories, however, are skewed to the more paranormal/fantasy side of things.

There isn't any single unifying factor that ties these stories together, other than that large umbrella term 'speculative fiction' and the fact that all writers are professing Christians. This resulted in a rather mish-mash offering (this is explained in the Editor's Introduction), in which case it comes across as more of a sampler than anything else.

Mark Venturini's The Bones Don't Lie is a stellar start to the book; fantasy with a slight religious bent.
The Disembodied Hand (Jill Domschot) turned a little more paranormal (and slightly creepy) as was Richard New's Escapee. Though I have to say I didn't quite expect the twist at the end of the latter.
Nether Ore by Kirk Outerbridge was another excellent piece -- and one of the more scifi ones, also with a lovely twist at the end! I'd like to read a sequel to this if there is one. (It's also a story I could imagine becoming a full novel, if it isn't already one)
Cindy Emmet Smith's A Model of Decorum was slightly predictable as a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, but still very well-crafted. I rather enjoyed it, even though I could see the ending from miles away.
Dental Troll (Lisa Godfrees) was sheer fun -- and a little younger, whilst L Jagi Lamplighter's HMS Mangled Treasure kept that light, humorous tone in a rather more serious (and disturbing) story.
Another more scifi offering was Domo by Joshua M Young, with sentient robots slightly reminiscent of Asimov.
Cameo (Linda Burklin) went back to something more fantasy, featuring a magical artifact with time-travelling properties and a murder mystery to solve. It had me thinking of Skyping Back in Time which has roughly the same premise.
Going back to the more freaky/weird were Clay's Fire (Kat Heckenbach), Ghost Roommate (Matthew Sketchley) and Baby, Don't Cry (R V Saunders) in a WTH, Paranormal, and Scifi way respectively. Oh wait, and
The Water Man (Sherry Rossman) as well, which I don't think I really got.
The final story in the anthology was Kerry Nietz's Graxin. It's a well-written story about an AI in space, reminiscent of Quinn's Containment. (Though Graxin was first published in 2012, so should that be the other way around?)

Anyway, as you can see, Mythic Orbits 2016 seems to have a little bit of everything, which makes it a rather hard thing to define.

Note: I received a sponsored copy of this book by the publisher for review purposes.

View all my reviews

Monday, 18 December 2017

#musicmonday: O Come, O Come Emmanuel | For King and Country



O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heavenly home
Make safe the way that leads on high
And close the path to misery
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

Won't you come
Won't you come

---

I was originally searching for a more classic, soulful rendition of this song but THIS pretty much sums up all the emotions I was looking for. 

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Advent: Pilgrims and Promises



O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

---

All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.
Hebrews 11:13-16 (NASB)

---

Advent is longing; for a home we long for but have never seen, for a place we travel to from birth to death.
But what is home? 
Is it this skin we inhabit, this land we lay claim to, this earth we war over?
Or is home where our hearts reside, nowhere but everywhere, in spaces of love and family, friends and kin--whether by blood or spirit, flesh or soul; this nebulous feeling of safety and familiarity and rightness.
And we long, because this is not our home. This is our not yet, the yet to come, the yesterdays for our tomorrows and we know--oh how well we know--that we are pilgrims passing through.

This world is not our home.
There are promises yet to come.

Keep safe the paths that lead us yet to home.

---

Sebaliknya, mereka merindukan sebuah negeri yang lebih baik, iaitu negeri yang di syurga. Itulah sebabnya Allah tidak malu apabila mereka menyebut Dia sebagai Allah mereka, kerana Allah sudah menyediakan sebuah kota untuk mereka.
Ibrani 11:16 (Alkitab Berita Baik)

---

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

#bookreview: The Tethered World | Heather LL FitzGerald

The Tethered World (The Tethered World Chronicles, #1)The Tethered World by Heather L.L. FitzGerald
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

TLDR: The Tethered World probably works better for younger audiences. I'd put it at the younger younger end of YA, maybe even MG, even if the main character is sixteen.
--OR--
One of those books where first person POV just doesn't work for me.

---

Sixteen-year-old Sadie Larcen wakes up early one morning to discover that her parents are missing. When Great Aunt Jules turns up at their doorstep, she learns something even worse: they've been kidnapped by the not-so-fictional creatures her mother has been studying. Which all seems legit crazy, but she soon finds out it's not when she's sent into the Tethered World to rescue them along with her three of her younger siblings--the twins, Brady and Brock, and Sophie.

FitzGerald has created a colourful world where Gnomes, Dwarves, Leprechauns, Trolls, Ogres and Nephilim live in a secret underworld that's tethered to our own--accessible by dragon, of course, because how else would you get there? Sadie and her siblings are in for a great adventure as they try to save their parents as well as their long-lost great-aunt. They fight trolls and ogres, get tricked by mischievous leprechauns, get soothed by motherly dwarfs and yelled at by soldierly ones, and learn to rely on and work with each other.

The Christian content isn't overly smothering; it's presented as a fact of life. The Larcens and the denizens of the Tethered World (at least the good ones) believe in God, so they tend to pray when things get bad, or when they're in need of help. The Tethered World itself is presented as a sort of New Eden, after the first one was closed off after the Fall (hence, the Nephilim). I don't have any opinions, good or bad, about the theology behind that.

Unfortunately, I didn't really connect that well with Sadie, which is probably the main cause of my ultimate meh-ness about the book, since she is the main protagonist and it is her point of view. On the surface, she seems like a very real 16YO. She tries her best to lead and guide her siblings, but she's also selfish and afraid and somewhat distracted by handsome princes. She's definitely in over her head and it shows, even if that showing comes up in her berating herself for her failures, both real and perceived.

I guess I also get the feeling that the author is trying a little too hard. There are copious snarky jokes, often with a book or movie reference, and whilst I can get the occasional need to compare this fantastic world with Narnia (and the like), it gets a little too much. It just seems a little... dated? (DO kids talk about Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Three Musketeers, Indiana Jones, and Peter Pan nowadays? Hi-Ho Silver? And that much John Wayne? Planet of the Apes I can forgive-there have been recent remakes.) I guess it just seems a bit too over done and maybe a bit forced. (Or maybe that's a quirk of how homeschooled Americans speak, I wouldn't know.)

Still, The Tethered World is overall a pretty interesting read, suitable for younger audiences looking for adventure and fun.

Note: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Monday, 11 December 2017

#musicmonday: Jealous Kind | Jars of Clay



One hundred other lovers, more, one hundred other altars
If I should slow my pace and finally subject me to grace
And love that shames the wise, betrays the heart's deceit and lies
And breaks the back of foolish pride

You know I've been unfaithful
Lovers in lines
While you're turning over tables
With the rage of a jealous kind
I chose the gallows to the aisle
Thought that love would never find
Hanging ropes will never keep you
And your love of a jealous kind
Love of a jealous kind

---

Slow.
Slow your pace.
Subject yourself to grace.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Advent: Look, your Light has come



O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.

---

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the Lord will rise upon you.
Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
Isaiah 60:1-3

---

Yet it's hard to remember the light in the midst of the night, when the walls press in around you and the darkness closes in.
It's hard to remember to come up to breathe. It's hard to remember that there are things other than what holds you down. That there are other things, good things. Beautiful things.

That there is rest.
That you will rise.
That there is more than this.

Because your light is coming -
Behold, your Light has come. 

---

Bangkitlah, dan bersinarlah, hai Yerusalam, 
kerana cahaya penyelamatanmu sudah datang;
Tuhan menyinari engkau dengan kemuliaan-Nya
Yesaya 60:1

---

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

Friday, 8 December 2017

#fridayflash: Beneath the Rumbling Earth excerpt... and a Cover Reveal!


Mica had always loved the Painted Hall. In the dark, cold year he spent in the castle, when everyone assumed he was the heir, the Painted Hall had been his only solace. It was the only place in the North where he could be with the sea and the creatures he loved, even if they were not real; even if they were just two-dimensional drawings on a cold wall, he was with them. In spirit. When his grandfather's spirit had been released and the Yuki-Onna disappeared, Mica feared the enchantment would wipe away all evidence of the sea from the Castle of Winter. He was glad it hadn’t.

Now, with Hono’s strange words lingering in his thoughts, he entered the hall cautiously. It was as he left it eleven months ago. There was the Kraken in the deep, tentacles outstretched. The whale swum ponderously at eye-level, dark and heavy. The deserted ship still rocked in the storm. In his father’s time, there had been people—his mother’s unlucky suitors—but they’d disappeared from the walls when the curse broke. He hoped they’d been returned to their lives and to their families, but no one knew for sure. Far above, the dolphins leapt, half out of the water, as if aiming for the sun. Mica’s hand hovered over the mural.

“You are here.”

Mica snatched his hand away. “Who is speaking?”

“Us. The monsters on your wall.”

Mica stared at the great whale before him, for no reason other than it was the easiest to look at. “Who said you are monsters?”

“Does not this realm consider us monsters from the deep?”

“This realm, maybe, but not mine. You are my friends.” He paused. “You have not spoken to me before. Who gave you the power of speech?”

A chuckle filled the air. “Did you not know that this castle is enchanted?”

“But Grandfather—”

“Is dead. He has left, yes. And who remains to keep us at bay?”

Who? Mica gulped. “Hono, Flame of the North.”

“Hah. She is too young. She has not grown into her powers.”

“The Steward, then.”

“The former prince is old and weak. His powers wane.”

“My mother will fight you.”

“Ah, Hana, Blossom of the Snow, the Ever Young. She has no more power here. The crown has passed from her hands.”

“Father—”

“Danis of the Sun and Sea has never ruled over us. He conquered the Yuki-Onna and broke her curse, yes. But he was not our enemy.”

Mica stared the whale in the eye. “What do you want of me?”

“Nothing. Nothing but our freedom.”

“How?”

“Come to us, son of the Sun and Snow. Fall into our embrace. Dive deep. You’ve heard your father’s stories, have you not? About how the paintings in this hall came alive for him?”

“Yes,” Mica replied cautiously.

“We give you the chance now to do the same. Come and join us. Dive into the deep waters you crave...”

---

I'm figuring out a new way to publish my stories now that Pronoun is going away. While I do that, here's the cover for Beneath the Rumbling Earth!


It's the third in the North Series and will be online sometime this month! Promise!

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

#bookreview: The Silenced Tale by @scifrey

The Silenced Tale (The Accidental Turn, #3)The Silenced Tale by J.M. Frey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All good things come in threes and the Accidental Turn trilogy is no different. Whilst I loved The Forgotten Tale, after reading The Silenced Tale I have to admit that it did suffer slightly from the second-book slump—though only in comparison. The Untold Tale was absolutely brilliant in how Lucy pokes at the fantasy novel from within the novel, and The Forgotten Tale continues in that tradition, but The Silenced Tale takes it into a whole different plane.

In this third book, the focal point moves from Forsyth Turn & Lucy Piper in Hain to concentrate on the creator of the Hain itself—the self-important, misogynistic white man, Elgar Reed. Can a work of fantasy truly stand alone from its creator? How much does the writer’s world view and experiences colour the work itself? How does the fandom that grows around a work affect it? What makes something canon? Is it the intention of the writer or how the fans interpret it?

Magic isn’t supposed to exist in the real world, but somehow it’s leaking through from Hain. And Elgar is being hounded by a stalker who just might be tapping into it. Elgar hopes the stalker is a mere mortal, but if he isn’t, the only way to stop it might be to write an end to it. Only, Elgar can’t. He can’t write anything else about Hain, knowing as he does that the people in it are real. That his choices as writer have affected their lives in very real and hurtful ways. He’s learning, though. He’s learning to be better, to be respectful, to stop hurting people for the sake of the plot, to stop taking people for granted, to stop being racist and sexist in his writing—though he still lapses in real life.

Fandom isn’t as pretty and gushing as it appears to be. Yes, it’s magic and it’s creative and it pushes the boundaries in a million different ways. But there are disgruntled fans out there who believe that the only way to settle differences is through violence. And that punching up to the man may sometimes need to get bloody. Frey explores thoughtfully the world of fantasy cons and fan fiction, digs into representation and intention, argues through fetishization and tropes, doubling back to stab at the patriarchy and white men again and again in various ways—We exist for ourselves and we’re worth it is the message Frey is repeating over and over again, whether you’re talking about the portrayal of women, POC or LGBT (and probably various others I glossed over) in fiction.

In a way, it’s a difficult book to get through. There’s anger and hurt to work through, there’s fear and sorrow and a harrowing scene that made me want to cry, and then there’s that whole bittersweet ending; the finality of parting countered by a sense of reunion, the regret of an unchangeable past amidst a bright hope for tomorrow. In the vernacular of our times, when we’ve lost all ability to word: ALL THE FEELS.

Note: A special shout out to J.M. Frey who let me read a super early copy of this book and leave comments!

View all my reviews

Monday, 4 December 2017

#musicmonday: Every Season | Nichole Nordeman



For some reason I thought it was Bethany Dillon and spent a long time searching fruitlessly until I decided to just google the lyrics I remembered.

---

Every evening sky, an invitation
To trace the patterned stars 
And early in July, a celebration 
For freedom that is ours 

And I notice you in children's games 
In those who watch them from the shade 
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder 
You are summer 

And even when the trees have just surrendered 
To the harvest time 
Forfeiting their leaves in late September 
And sending us inside 

Still I notice you when change begins 
And I am braced for colder winds 
I will offer thanks for what has been and what's to come 
You are autumn 

And everything in time and under Heaven 
Finally falls asleep 
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation 
Shivers underneath 

And still I notice you when branches crack 
And in my breath on frosted glass 
Even now in death, you open doors for life to enter 
You are winter 

And everything that's new has bravely surfaced 
Teaching us to breathe 
And what was frozen through is newly purposed 
Turning all things green 

So it is with You and how You make me new 
With every season's change 
And so it will be as You are re-creating me 
Summer, autumn, winter, spring

---

Because it is time. 
The seasons have turned, the year is ending.
The King is coming. 

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Advent: You who are Israel, He comes



O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

---

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, no willingly, but because of Him who subject it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Romans 8:18-25 (NASB)

---

But Israel is an idea, an ideal.
It is not a state-
Neither political nor of being.
God contended.
Jacob wrestled.
And Israel walked away in both triumph and defeat
For who can say who won or who lost?

And you who believe, you are Israel, who mourns for a world broken, an earth that groans for the coming of its King.
You are Israel, who longs for the things unseen, who hopes for the redemption to come, who knows that this is not enough.

This life is not enough.
This body is not enough.
This faith is not enough.

You are Israel, who lives the struggle, and survives in the inbetween; between the death and the resurrection, in the valley of the shadow of death, looking up to the hills for the promised hope.
The promised Son.

He comes.

---

Bukan sahaja alam semesta yang merintih, tetapi kita juga merintih dalam batin. Kita yang sudah menerima Roh Allah sebagain kurnia Allah yang pertama, pun masih menunggu masanya Allah menjadikan kita anak-anak-Nya dan membebaskan diri kita seluruhnya.
Roma 8:23 (Alkitab Berita Baik)


---

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

#bookreview: Coiled | H.L. Burke

CoiledCoiled by H.L. Burke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On a private scale of internal squees, Coiled would rate somewhere between 4.5 - 5 stars. On the cosmic scale of books I have read, I'd put Coiled at 4 stars. Which is just a grand way of saying that it hit a lot of sweet spots, I liked it very, very much, but it's not the greatest book I've ever read. (And is also a fancy way of saying it falls into the category of books-I-won't-admit-to-liking-this-much because of literary pretentions.)

Two sets of twins from neighbouring countries are cursed. As they come of age, they're pitted against each other, as curing one would permanently curse the other. Soon it becomes a race--which twin will win? And what will happen to the one that loses out? Coiled is basically a fairy tale/myth with gods and half-gods, curses and magic, and a quest. Well, more than one quest. They are personal quests to break personal curses, but that doesn't make them any less valid. There's a lot of personal vendetta and family squabbling and guilty secrets.

The... thing... between Princess Laidra and Prince Calen is tooth-achingly, diabetes-inducingly sweet, and has the added advantage of being old-fashioned and gentlemanly and will-he-won't-he-WHATAREYOUWAITINGFORPRINCE, which is what I love in a good guilty-secret read, which usually involves princes and princesses, because I don't read romance [ahem]. It IS, however, clean YA, and while there are certain--allusions? Fade to blacks? Almosts?--hints of impropriety (to come and hoped for), it mainly stays in the teenage royal fantasy plane.

It's the sort of book my teenage self would have read over and over and over again. Now, I just read it, sigh, and go back to real life.

The serpent on the cover is also very cute.

Note: I received an e-galley via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

#bookreview: Swords Against Darkness | Paula Guran (ed)

Swords Against DarknessSwords Against Darkness by Paula Guran
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really did take about a month to finish this.
Partially because it's a really, really long book (it's really mostly an anthology of novellas!) and also because I've been running around Malaysia for most of October AND November.

Reading Swords Against Darkness was like having a crash course on the sword-and-sorcery genre. Paula Guran has put together a very educational collection of stories that showcases the best of sword and sorcery from its beginnings with Conan the Barbarian in 1933 to its current guise in 2017. The anthology features famous names in fantasy -- Michael Moorcock, Mercedes Lackey, Samuel R. Delany, Scott Lynch, and Kameron Hurley, to name a few. Those more firmly entrenched in this branch of fantasy would probably recognise many more of the authors featured, but I've always had a slightly more epic fantasy bent.

That said, there is much to love and hate about the stories in this book. For all that Conan is well known to me, at least in cartoon form, I've never actually read any of the original short stories, so the inclusion of The Tower of the Elephant (Robert E. Howard) was rather amusing. I liked it better than I expected. I initially wanted to be intrigued by Hellsgarde (CL Moore); after all, it was written by a woman and features a female protagonist. However, the story centred mostly around Jirel being tricked by men and used by men (and dead men/spirits) which didn't sit too well after a while (even if she bests them in the end). It was also annoying that deformity or illness was basically equated to being evil or cursed by God. I was rather distracted by the name Stark in Black Amazon of Mars , but I rather liked this one mostly because of the Eowyn-type. While the Gods Laugh (Michael Moorcock) was classic reluctant-hero, so there's nothing much to hate about it.

Undertow (Karl Edward Wagner) was a strange one. At first glance, it appears to be a story about a girl trying to escape from her abuser (who happens to be a renowned magician) but the ending is something else altogether. I absolutely loved Swords Against the Marluk (Katherine Kurtz) and Out of the Deep -- which basically flaunts my love for princes and royal family stories. Ha. (And also underdog stories.) The Swords of Her Heart (John Balestra) should also get a mention here for being amusing even if it only plays on bad fortune and stupidity, and poor Brimm trying to get out of all the trouble his friend Snoori gets him into.

Bluestocking (Joanna Russ) confused me a little -- probably because I was skimming by this point -- as did The Tale of Dragons and Dreamers (Samuel R. Delany), though I rather think I'd like to revisit the latter again when I have time. First Blood (Elizabeth Moon) recaptured my interest, falling neatly into that coming-of-age slot that I like. It also helps that Luden is such an earnest, innocent boy. Where Virtue Lives (Saladin Ahmed) and The Ghostmakers (Elizabeth Bear) stand out from the white, Western-centric crowd whilst Scott Lynch's The Effigy Engine: A Tale of the Red Hats reminds me that The Lies of Locke Lamora has been on my TBR forever.

There's more that I've skipped over because commenting on each story would be tedious and frankly, after reading so many over a month, I don't recall every single one of them.

Note: I received a digital review copy of this via Edelweiss.

View all my reviews

Monday, 20 November 2017

#musicmonday: Saturday's #worship setlist



I really should have posted this on Saturday, but I didn't want to go dig for a Music Monday song.

So today you get 5!

Which was really the worship set from Saturday's service. 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

#bookreview: Doctor Who: Myths and Legends | Richard Dinnick

Doctor Who: Myths and LegendsDoctor Who: Myths and Legends by Richard Dinnick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you're looking for an analysis of how these myths and legends fit into the core Doctor Who world/fandom or something like that, you're looking in the wrong place. If you want a review of how much you'd like this collection of short stories even if you're not a hardcore fan, I guess that's where this review would fit. (Note: I have watched some Doctor Who as my siblings are fans, but I'm generally too lazy to follow a TV series. Don't kill me.)

Doctor Who: Myths and Legends is a collection of shorts, mostly based in/around Gallifrey, or at least various Time Lords, that makes for light sci-fi reading. This is probably harsh judgement, based off the fact that I've just finished reading Paula Guran's Swords Against Darkness, but it is what it is: light reading. The stories are short, in some cases, almost simplistic, and some feel as if they end too abruptly. Some background knowledge about the Doctor Who universe is encouraged; I'm guessing that a true fan would decipher what was going on in The Unwanted Gift of Prophecy better than I did.

However, the stories are based on myths (well-known examples include King Midas, Medusa, the Trojan Horse, and Pandora's box; others are a little more obscure), so anyone interested in retellings of myths would probably like these science-fiction spins to those classic tales. Doctor Who fans need not fret - Lord High President Rassilon makes multiple appearances, as does the Doctor, though not in every single story. You will also meet the Daleks and the Weeping Angels.

The stories I enjoyed particularly include The Mondas Touch, The Terrible Manussa, The Angels Of Vengeance, The Jeopardy Of Solar Proximity, and The Multi-Faceted War.

Note: I received an e-galley of this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Monday, 13 November 2017

#musicmonday: Sinking - Jars of Clay



I was reminded that I haven't been posting Music Monday songs.

Here's a random.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Short + Sweet Theatre Penang: A Completely Biased Review

In the interest of full disclosure, I'll say right from the start that I have stakes in this.

Not very high stakes, but some stakes. So yes, I am biased, but I shall try to be as unbiased as possible.

Now that's out of the way, let's begin.

What to expect in general:
A mix of everything. There's drama, comedy, and confusion. (We'll get to the last in a bit.)


I haven't been to watch S+S in a while so I didn't know quite what to expect. There were eight short plays altogether - half in BM, half in English. It used to be mostly in English with maybe one play each in Mandarin/Hokkien and BM (or something like that), so whilst I'm maybe sad that there were no Chinese ones this round (despite my comprehension of that being near nil), I think that this turned out to be a pretty good mix.

Overall, the scripts were biased towards drama-type shows, with two (clear) comedies, and one... that I couldn't decide if it was trying to be comedic or serious... which leads to confusion. Out of the eight, I thought four were really good, two were okay... and I don't know what to think about the other two. My brain pretty much just went ? ???? ???!?!

Last general comment: Accents, OMG ACCENTS. I really love the Malaysian accent, I do. Except when it makes everything sound so awkward. Like. WHY YOU ALL SPEAK SO CINA. I know you all are Chinese but don't be so cina can ah. (Speaking about two of the English plays. The other two were okay. The BM ones were pretty fine except one, where the loghat was a bit strong so I couldn't follow everything.)

Right. I'm not going to give a rundown of each play, but I'll highlight the four I really liked, in all its biasedness.

Happy -- of course I liked this. I wrote this. Well, I wrote it in English and they translated it into BM, and I still think it's awesome. I usually hate everything I write the more I read it (hahahaha) so having watched this twice (Tuesday at full dress and Wednesday at opening night) means that they did really well!
(VOTE FOR MAH PLAAAAAYYY)





The Setup -- How can I not like this? It features Penang superstar names like Chen and Lucille Dass, so it can't go terribly wrong. Though, to be honest, Lucille wasn't quite stellar in this. I had questions about her weird overacting and blocking choices (though that's probably more a director thing rather than an actor thing).






Overheard at a Cafe in Taman Tun -- Of all the skits, this felt the most natural. It was also one of the most static, but the actors were strong enough to carry it through. A lot of listening, though.
(Note: LGBT themes if you're the squeamish sort.)






Death is Satu Permulaan -- Malay slapstick at its best. Just park your brain at the door and enjoy. The comedic timing was spot on.


Tickets are still available for shows on Thursday - Saturday, so do do do do dooooo go watch! And also come say hi. :D

Head to the FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE for more details.

Friday, 3 November 2017

#nanowrimo updates

I'm taking a break from #fridayflash in November (not that I was terribly consistent before) because I'll be posting writing updates from NaNoWrimo over at my Patreon page. (Or you can just see my graph on the sidebar.)

If you want sneak previews of the snazzy new novel I'm working on, head over to https://www.patreon.com/annatsp and become a patron! You'll only be charged once I publish the novel.

Friday, 27 October 2017

#fridayflash: Open skies

Clear blue skies. Not a good day for dying. Nadira focused on putting one foot in front of the other. Tiny beads of sweat collected around her neckline and she looked up at Riz. He'd stopped a few steps in front of her and was gazing out into the distance, his hands outstretched.

"What are you doing?" Nadira asked as she stopped beside him.

He dropped his arms and shrugged. "Waiting."

"For?"

"It's stupid, you know? The way we internalise things. Our perception is skewed from birth."

"What?"

"Okay, maybe not from birth. But from young, anyway."

"What do you -"

"It's nothing. Come, let's go."

"Riz..."

The air was still. Stifling. They'd hugged awkwardly when they met for lunch, rearranging limbs around each other. When had he grown so tall? He'd been an inch shorter than her the last time they met. When he'd suggested they take a ride after lunch, she'd said yes, because how could you deny a childhood friend you haven't seen in decades - at least a decade?

So here they were. Not that she knew where here was. Hot. Sunny. Dry. Sand. She could disappear into this desert and no one would find her for months.

"It's in our heads, as much as we try to deny it. As much as we say we're good enough, we're capable enough, we look at our work, our careers with hypercritical eyes and pick out all the problems, all the hiccups. And then we look at the Other and say it's good. Even when they're doing just about the same as us. Or worse. But they're failing with confidence and we're... we're performing with self-rejection."

"Riz?" Maybe she should have declined. After all, she hadn't met him for so long, she didn't know if he was safe, if he was sane. "Is something the matter? Why are we here?"

"Open skies. The heavens are open, but we install our own glass ceilings."

"I'm getting worried here."

His lips quirked upwards. "I'm not going to kill you. Or do anything to you. I'm just..." He slumped on the ground against his car. "I'm just so tired."

Nadira sat down beside him. After a while, she put her arms around his shoulders, pulling him close to her chest. "Rest. Tomorrow will be better."

Dust and sweat. Cigarettes and spice. Clear, blue, open skies. A day for living.

---

Prompts:



What I used: a boy has a crazy idea, ending up with him and friend in the desert.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

#bookreview: Dancing Dragon or Headless Chicken

Dancing Dragon or Headless Chicken: Unleashing The Leader In YouDancing Dragon or Headless Chicken: Unleashing The Leader In You by Robert J. Kirby
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nonfiction books hardly ever make my to-read list, but this was given to me by a writer friend of mine (who happens to be his daughter) and the title was super catchy. So *shrug*

As leadership books go, I suppose this is useful. It's got all the things I've heard before in the millions of leadership seminars I've attended for work and church. Dancing Dragon or Headless Chicken focuses heavily on the self-awareness side of things, following the spiel of "you should lead yourself first to be able to lead others." There are the usual probing questions to answer and exercises to complete -- which puts this book in the category of much-more-useful-when-done-in-teams (instead of reading solo, like I did), so if you're looking for an introspective type workbook/discussion group type of leadership book, this would definitely ping your radar.

And because I'm a ridiculous person, I would have liked this book better if he'd worked more with this Dancing Dragon/Headless Chicken imagery throughout the book, rather than just the intro and the end. Because, you know, I'm running around like a headless chicken enough. I'd really like to see this Dancing Dragon in my head too.

View all my reviews

Note: Also updated the weightage system above to include non-fiction stuff.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

#bookreview: The Hush | Skye Melki-Wegner

The HushThe Hush by Skye Melki-Wegner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Chester Hays is a musician—a very good musician. But he hasn’t been (and doesn’t have the money to) audition at the Conservatorium. Which means he isn’t a Songshaper and he shouldn’t be able to connect to the Song or play Music—that special sort that was made of sorcery and secrets—but he can. And he doesn’t know how. Or how to stop it. Travelling from town to town in search of his missing father, Chester makes a terrible mistake out of pride—and suddenly he finds himself on the run from the authorities, hiding in a secret world that shouldn’t exist and doing things he shouldn’t be able and isn’t allowed to.

The Hush is brilliantly written. This magical steampunk world comes alive and sucks you into it like whirlwind. Revelation upon revelation is thrust at you, the rhythm of discovery and rest keeping you as off-balance as Chester, layered secrets seeping out the way magic itself seems to seep into the Hush. Behind it all is the thrum of danger; danger that leads to imprisonment, torture, and even death.

It is also a stark commentary on the real world, where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, nobody cares about the disappearing poor, and second chances hardly ever exist—if you’re not from the right family or the right background. It’s also a story of the poor and the disenchanted rising up to make a change—hoping to improve their lives. It has echoes of Robin Hood, of strong women fighting against their tormentors, of self-sacrificing love, of betrayal and conspiracy.

All woven together in an enthralling melody that catches your ear and won’t let you go.

Note: I received a digital copy of this book for review via Edelweiss. All opinions are my own.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

#bookreview: Lawless by Janeen Ippolito @thequietpen

Lawless (The Ironfire Legacy, #1)Lawless by Janeen Ippolito
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To be honest, I went into Lawless a little warily. I had a rocky start with it--liking the snarkiness between Kesia and Zephryn, but stumbling a little to figure out what was going on. Fleetwings? Talents? Congruency? Scepters? What? But confusion soon cleared and then it was off on an adventure!

The dragon-human war has dragged for years with no resolution. On the dragon side, Kesia, convicted murderer, serves as a soldier for the Pinnacle in hopes of redemption; her fleetwing and tactical partner, deposed Prince Zephryn, too has little choice in his involvement. On the human side, Captain Shance Windkeeper has been conscripted into the war, hiding his distaste for it with alcohol and sex everytime he can. Unlikely partners, it would seem--and yet all three must work together to find the truth--and hopefully, stop the war.

I love the way Ippolito has created a dragon culture that's almost tangible and the world comes alive. It's also more interesting when the dragonshifters themselves constantly rediscover parts of their culture and lives that have been stolen away from them due to the war. But really, the best thing about Lawless is how fun it is. True, there's war and conspiracy, death and betrayal, but there's also the lighthearted side of life: Kesia muddling through confusing human social customs; Zilpath's gentle teasing; Shance constantly making a fool of himself for love; the banter between Kesia and Zephryn, Kesia and Shance.

However, it's not just a flighty read. Interweaved into this lightheartedness are broad themes of worth and redemption, strength and conviction, and faithfulness. Kesia struggles with her self-worth and is constantly fighting to redeem herself. Yet, as she remembers more about her forgotten past, and discovers more about what brought her to that place, she also learns that her past doesn't have to define her future, the actions of others don't necessarily demean her worth, and that who she is is strong enough.

Since this is book 1, obviously the story doesn't end yet. It reaches a sort of pause, and I have questions. But they can wait. Until book 2.

Note: I received an ARC from the publisher. This review is my own independent and fair evaluation.

View all my reviews

---

Get your copy on:
Amazon | Apple | Nook | Kobo

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Author Bio 
Janeen Ippolito is two authors for the price of one! She creates writing resources and writes speculative fiction with monsters, misfits, and mushy stuff. She's also an experienced author coach, editor, teacher, and the Fearless Leader (president) of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, geeky TV, and brownie batter.

A lifelong misfit, she believes different is beautiful and that everyone has the ability to tell their story. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and at her two websites: janeenippolito.com and writeinsideout.com




OH OH! BOOK RELEASE LAUNCH PARTY TODAY!



The Cipher Scavenger hunt is still ongoing, so make sure you check out all the starred posts! 

Sept. 21* - Laura A. Grace - Unicorn Quester - Author Interview 
Sept. 22* - Josh Hardt - Character Interview
Sept. 25 - Annie Douglass Lima - Realm Explorers
Sept. 26* - Anna Tan - Steampunk, Fantasy, and Cultures
Sept. 27* - Fanni Suto - Author Interview
Sept. 28 - Leanna Shields - Character Chat
Sept. 29 - Kessie Carroll - Book Spotlight
Sept. 30* - Bethany Jennings - Character MBTI
Oct. 1 - Melissa Sasina - Book Spotlight 
Oct. 2 - Alexander Preston - Book Review
Oct. 3* - Kyle Shultz - Character Interview 
Oct. 4* - Cathrine Bonham - FANtastic Interview
Oct. 5 - C. S. Johnson - Book Spotlight
Oct. 6 - Kara Swanson - Character Interview

Thursday, 28 September 2017

#Guestpost: Worldbuilding Cultures: Cultivating Sensitivity through Creativity by @Rebekah_Loper

Today, for the final post of what apparently became worldbuilding week, Rebekah Loper talks a little bit about cultures and sensitivity as part of her book launch tour.

Rebekah is a fellow A to Z blogger and Wrimo, who, coincidentally, introduced me to Realm Makers!

Worldbuilding Cultures: Cultivating Sensitivity through Creativity

Last summer, I read an article about fiction readers being more empathetic people than non-readers. There doesn’t seem to be a formal article or study about writers being more empathetic (though many writers are avid readers, so it wouldn’t be a surprise), but I would say that especially for writers of speculative fiction empathy is a necessary skill.

One of the methods I advocate in my book is to look at the world around you, especially climates similar to what you’re worldbuilding, and see what types of cultures developed from them. In this time, when terms like cultural appropriation and white-washing get tossed around frequently (and often justly), it is a fine line to walk.

When cultural inspiration is done inappropriately, it becomes something along the lines of plagiarism – taking something that wasn’t yours and claiming that it was, despite evidence to the contrary.

It’s one thing to take a single aspect of a culture, look at it from a new perspective, and re-build it for your world from there. It’s another matter entirely to take entire existing cultures (and cultural stereotypes) and transplant them into your story – especially for fantasy. Not only is it sloppy writing, but it’s disrespectful.

Culture has so many nuances to it, and especially so when you’re writing about a culture that isn’t yours. That doesn’t mean it’s an impossible task, however – it simply means you need more help than you do when you’re writing something that happens in your own backyard. It means learning how to put on someone else’s shoes, and walking a mile (or one hundred miles) in them, and knowing that it’s probably not ever going to be enough.

It all comes back to empathy – for your readers to be able to step inside another mind, another world, you have to know the nuances of your characters, and that means knowing their culture, whether it’s based on a real culture from our world or it’s one completely made up for your story.

Sometimes it means hours and hours of research and worldbuilding and revisions, and sometimes it means recognizing that you may not the best person to write the story. Most importantly, though, it means learning more about the world around you, whether it ends up in the story you write or not.

---

Rebekah Loper loves to create worlds – whether they are magical and fictional, or a productive farm in her suburban backyard where she makes futile attempts to curse Bermuda grass from all existence.

Rebekah lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband, dog, formerly feral cat, a flock of chickens, and an extensive tea collection. She blogs at rebekahloper.com, and is also a contributing blogger at Fantasy-Faction.com and The Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society (fictionalferrets.wordpress.com).

Blog | Newsletter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter


About the book:
Worldbuilding is the ultimate act of creation for speculative fiction writers, but how exactly do you worldbuild? You ask 'what if' and use each answer as a springboard to more questions and answers about your fictional world.

In The A-Zs of Worldbuilding, that ‘what if’ process is broken down into 26 themed chapters, covering topics ranging from architecture to zoology. Each chapter includes a corresponding set of guided exercises to help you find the ‘what if’ questions relevant to your story’s world.

Fair warning, though: worldbuilding is addictive. Once you get started, you might never put your pen down again.

Amazon | Apple | Nook | Google Play | Kobo

Get The A-Zs of Worldbuilding ebook for only 99 cents (USD) now through September 30! (Regularly $3.99)

Sign up for Rebekah’s newsletter by September 30 and get a 25% off coupon for The A-Zs of Worldbuilding paperback when you purchase it from RebekahLoper.com or CreateSpace!

---

Check out my review HERE!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

#bookreview: The A-Zs of Worldbuilding by @Rebekah_Loper

The A-Zs of Worldbuilding: Building a Fictional World From Scratch (The A-Zs of Worldbuilding, #1)The A-Zs of Worldbuilding: Building a Fictional World From Scratch by Rebekah Loper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Covering everything from Architecture to Zoology, The A-Zs of Worldbuilding is a comprehensive workbook on how to build a fictional world from scratch. Evidently.

Each chapter provides some background on the chosen topic, giving examples of how that specific aspect may affect people or culture, both individually and as a whole. This is followed by exercises: questions about the topic, plus guidance on things to think about in answering those questions, which I found useful. A lot of times, I give up on workbooks because the questions are either too vague or too difficult to answer--and then everything goes all over the place. However, with the guided questions, Loper provides a structure that is both general (if you're experienced and just need a checklist) and focused (if you still need help figuring out what's going on).

Each chapter of the workbook, although interconnected, is mostly self-contained and can be focused on according to your individual needs. Reading & working through it with my own story world in mind, I found that some of the topics were super relevant (I should probably work a bit more on History, Queens [government], and Science [both tech levels and magic use]) but some were things I could easily decide to skim through for now (births, for one, since there's none in my story yet; time, for another, since I'm not messing about with that).

Overall, this workbook is a great resource when building your own science fiction or fantasy world. Obviously, what you get from it is going to be as much as the effort you personally put in, but so far it's been a great fodder for thought on how to fix and refine the world I'm building.

Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review as part of the launch tour.

View all my reviews

Rebekah Loper loves to create worlds – whether they are magical and fictional, or a productive farm in her suburban backyard where she makes futile attempts to curse Bermuda grass from all existence.

Rebekah lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband, dog, formerly feral cat, a flock of chickens, and an extensive tea collection. She blogs at rebekahloper.com, and is also a contributing blogger at Fantasy-Faction.com and The Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society (fictionalferrets.wordpress.com).

Blog | Newsletter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter


About the book:
Worldbuilding is the ultimate act of creation for speculative fiction writers, but how exactly do you worldbuild? You ask 'what if' and use each answer as a springboard to more questions and answers about your fictional world.

In The A-Zs of Worldbuilding, that ‘what if’ process is broken down into 26 themed chapters, covering topics ranging from architecture to zoology. Each chapter includes a corresponding set of guided exercises to help you find the ‘what if’ questions relevant to your story’s world.

Fair warning, though: worldbuilding is addictive. Once you get started, you might never put your pen down again.

Amazon | Apple | Nook | Google Play | Kobo

Get The A-Zs of Worldbuilding ebook for only 99 cents (USD) now through September 30! (Regularly $3.99)

Sign up for Rebekah’s newsletter by September 30 and get a 25% off coupon for The A-Zs of Worldbuilding paperback when you purchase it from RebekahLoper.com or CreateSpace!