Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Quiddity of Speculation: Great Steampunk Reads

Hello Again, Writers!

Welcome to Part Two of The Quiddity of Speculation: Steampunk 101! Saturday, we talked about the makings of a Steampunk story. In this post, we’ll discuss a few fantastic Steampunk reads. It’s such a rapidly-growing subgenre that I’ve chosen to break this post into sections to give you a little taste of everything. As you read this post, please be aware that there are loads of Steampunk books out there—and more being published all the time—and please don’t let your reading be limited by my choices. If you don’t see your favorite on the list, tell me about it in the comments (below)!

One of my favorite aspects of the Steampunk subgenre is that it often features girls behaving badly, or rather, bucking the conventions set forth for them by society. Gail Carriger is one author who truly shines in this area. Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate Series (Orbit, 2009-2012) consists of five novels about Alexia Tarabotti, a half-Italian spinster born without a soul—all of which complicates her standing in London society. The first book, Soulless (2009), received an Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association and was nominated for a Locus Award for best first novel. In a society where vampires and werewolves and are accepted as members of society, Alexia’s soulless state leaves supernatural beings unable to target her. But when a vampire attacks her and she kills him, she becomes suspected in a rash of vampire disappearances and embroiled in a fun, fast-paced mystery. The Parasol Protectorate is a fabulous, funny blend of supernatural, steampunk, and mystery.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Quiddity of Speculation: Steampunk 101

Greetings, fellow writers!

Welcome back to The Quiddity of Speculation, where we dissect the various subgenres of speculative fiction and talk about some spectacular books from each! Today’s Quiddity is a favorite of mine—Steampunk! I love this subgenre for a variety of reasons, but chiefly because it revolves around history and one of my favorite time periods to research. Pull up a chair and a teacup and join me for an airship ride into the wonderful world of Steampunk!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Spotlight: The Haunting Season by Michelle Muto

Bonjour Beardies,

Yesterday, as you all know, The Bearded Scribe hosted a stop on a Blog Tour for Michelle Muto's title, The Haunting Season. Today I will be digging a little deeper into this Paranormal Fantasy, highlighting specific strengths of the author—strengths that writers should consider emulating in their own stories.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Haunting Season by Michelle Muto

Proud of being a Tour Host for Fae Books, The Bearded Scribe is happy to not only be a stop on The Haunting Season Tour, but to also Spotlight this fellow Georgian author and her spooky new title.  In addition to the tour and giveaway, The Bearded Scribe will also be doing a follow-up Book Spotlight post about the title—so stay tuned for its appearance.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Book Spotlight: The Calling (Darkness Rising Series, Book 2) by Kelley Armstrong

Ciao, Beardies!

The best way to experience any series is to just plow straight through it. Am I right? Anyone who has sat down and watched an entire season of a show (or has just watched every season of that show) has lived through what I call Marathon Madness. It’s the craze that takes hold when one becomes involved in any fandom, geekery, or series. Marathon Madness usually strikes at the most inconvenient of times: when extended family is coming to stay for the week, when you have to study for finals, or when one is avoiding chores (this includes feeding your family). This can also be done with books. I find this better than getting hyped up on a book only to find out that its sequel won’t be published for another year. Therefore, I went straight from The Gathering to The Calling. And what a ride!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Book Spotlight: Moonchild by Aleister Crowley

Cheers Beardies!

Here’s hoping you are well and life is swell wherever you are! Sadly I have less to report this time (life in Essex makes the average puddle look like a rave party). That said, I have now tried ‘Filthy Tramp Juice’ at a festival—an achievement sadly diminished by the foul taste of said cider.

Would the author of this next Spotlight have enjoyed such a drink? It’s not impossible. For the redoubtable figure we discover today was once known as the ‘Wickedest Man in the World’ and ‘The Great Beast’ (although the second title did come from The Daily Mail. For those outside of Britain, this website should tell you whether you should read the Mail).

There are some facts about Crowley (born Edward Alexander) which are certain at least. Firstly, he was born into a wealthy family and enjoyed a high-quality upbringing. Secondly, he was extremely bright, showing a strong performance at Cambridge (before he dropped out as a result of illness and an existential crisis). Thirdly, he was either a fantastic actor or stark-raving bonkers.

Crowley was an occultist, a libertine, and many other things besides in his time. His larger-than-life figure, cultivated mystique, sexual experimentation, drug usage, and general oddness were allied to a keen mind and a sharp wit, all of which led to an over-sized ego. Making connections with other esoterics was difficult, at best—he fell out with W.B. Yeats in a fit of jealousy whilst Arthur Waite, famous for the Ryder-Waite Tarot cards, is parodied in Moonchild itself.

Crowley died a broke, broken, drug-addled figure, and most of his literary works have fallen by the wayside since then. So here is my attempt to restore some glory to a much mocked but deeply intelligent author.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fae Books 4K Likes Giveaway

Fae Books
4K Likes Giveaway

Hi there, I'm Sarah Fae from FaeBooks.co.uk and I'm celebrating reaching an amazing 4000 Likes on my Facebook page.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book Spotlight: Everneath (An Everneath Novel, Book #1) by Brodi Ashton

Good Day, Beardies!

Summer is flying by! It’s July already! Summers in the south are hot and humid; luckily we got our camping trip in before the heat set in. Virginia is steeped in so much history, we decided to make a trip of it and visit some of the Civil War battlefields here.

Visiting these hallowed grounds makes me think of how life has changed so much in the 150 years since the war took place; it also makes me ponder what our future holds.

During our trip, I started reading a new YA series I found on a trip to the library. It is something different from what I normally read, and it intrigued me. When I fall in love with a particular genre or sub-genre, I tend to read only those types of books, similar to when you always order the same thing at your favorite restaurant. Every now and again, I like to branch out and try something different; this book was it. Without further ado, here is Everneath by Brodi Ashton.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Book Blast: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

by Laura Howard

Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

What some reviewers are saying:

“This book is so amazing! It’s one of those that speaks so vividly in your mind that you can’t help but get lost in!”

“5 Stars and a fantastically beautiful read. I definitely recommend to all who love fantasy, romance, or are just looking for a book to escape into for a while.”

“Enter another type of world you never knew existed but secretly wished it did. I can’t wait for book 2! Keep em coming out like pure gold Laura

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Book Spotlight: The Gathering (Darkness Rising #1) by Kelley Armstrong

Salutations, Beardies!

Summer! That means summer vacation, right? Oh, if only I lived in a perfect world where summer vacation existed after elementary school…As it is, I’m only taking one summer class, which means that I do have some extra time to read.

I read Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers Trilogy a couple years ago, and then she published The Gathering, the first in another supernatural trilogy (squee!!). Therefore, it must be read. Then came the dreaded School period. Mistress Time decided to dance across my brain and sucked me into Distraction. A lovely place, Distraction. Lots of sparkly lights and food fit for the gods (think chocolate, Nutella, and anything flavored with chocolate). Now that Mistress Time has released me from Distraction, I find that I have the opportunity to read with a purpose other than for class. Thanks to a good book friend of mine and Elizabeth’s, Anna, the Mighty and Magnificent Merchant of Materials and Knower of All Book Worlds, I have possession of the following fantastic trip:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

*NEW* The Bearded Scribe now offers Author Services!

Hello Everyone!

I am SUPER excited to make this announcement—it's been several months worth of consideration and planning, but I've decided to launch an Author Services section to The Bearded Scribe.

What are Author Services you may ask?  Author Services are comprised of a plethora of individual parts, but the sole purpose is to improve your story and, ultimately, your success as a writer.  Whether you've finished your manuscript and you're looking for edits before submitting to an agent or self-publishing, you're just starting out and are now looking for guidance or motivation, or you've conceived a great idea for a story but do not know where to begin to berth its genius onto figurative paper—I am here to help!

Below you'll find an explanation of Author Services offered (at the moment); click on any of the individual services to be directed to the Author Services page for rates...

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Book Spotlight: The Exile's Violin (Tethys Chronicles, Book 1) by R.S. Hunter

Evening Beardies!

Even being busy with writing, networking, and a full time job, I've jammed in time to read. It allows me time to relax and gives me food for thought as to my own stories with possible plots, characters, twists, and settings. I personally love reading both favorites I've found in the past and totally new stories. Variety is the spice of life, but so is seeking new experiences and information! One idea I've played with for my recent stories is learning more about the Steampunk sub-genre. I had the luck of seeing The Exile's Violin listed as one of the available reviews for The Bearded Scribe and jumped on it. The possibility of discovering a new favorite author AND getting to read a novel set in Steampunk fashion? Yes, please!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Book Spotlight: Order of the Dimensions by Irene Helenowski

Cheers Beardies!

I do hope you are all well and enjoying life wherever you are. I have now completed my sojourn in Paris, which I thoroughly enjoyed (it is a city which I would recommend to all!), and I write this from surprisingly sunny Boreham, Essex (which is not a county I would recommend to anyone).

At any rate, I have exchanged the City of Lights for the land of fake tans and silicone. Still, one must count one’s blessings: our new puppy, Madiba, named for Nelson Mandela’s clan, is proving to be an easy way of keeping fit. She would fit rather well into the role of Holmes’ Toby—I have never met a more inquisitive animal nor one as recklessly brave!

On a vaguely related note, the Musée d'Orsay had an excellent exhibition on L’Ange du Bizarre (the Angel of the Odd)—a title taken from one of Poe’s works. Though labeled as Dark Romanticism, the time periods spanned from proto-Gothic up to the Inter-War years and beautifully highlighted the works which lead up to the dawn of Speculative Fiction. Few other areas can boast that different media are so closely linked, bringing in new ideas, reinventing them, and continually pushing the boundaries of our thoughts. 

Whilst glancing through a number of older authors I came to the realisation that my knowledge of the more modern side of our genre is rather limited. So, I present to you my first 'Review Request' book review on Ms. Irene Helenowski’s Order of the Dimensions.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Curiouser & Curiouser: Twentyish Questions with the Executive Editor — Part Four

Hello Beardies!

For me, June flew by in a blur of library programs, summer reading prizes, and, of course, books, and I can't believe it's July already.  In the midst of the insanity, though, I think last week's heat wave melted the last of Joshua's resistance to my questioning.  For whatever reason, he finally allowed me to finish the interview we started nearly a year ago.  So, four blog posts, one vial of truth serum, and innumerable late-night text messages and cups of coffee later, here's the last part.

Elizabeth: Where do you see yourself, and the The Bearded Scribe, in five years?

Joshua: I see The Bearded Scribe with its own domain and as my actual author website. The blog will still be a part of it, of course, but it will just be one section of it. Of course, that's pendulous upon my being published, but I am ever hopeful.

Elizabeth: Who or what inspires you? How do those inspirations come out in your writing?

Joshua: I pull my inspiration from so many places, it'd be torturous (to you) for me to list them all. Generally speaking, though, I love history, religion and spirituality, folklore, music, art, and classic literary pieces. I pull from them all. I also pull from nature and landscapes I love, settings that are iconic in their own right, and then I add my own twists.

Elizabeth: What is the best writing advice you have ever been given?

Joshua: Don't stop. Simple, yet full of so much weight and power.

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