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RIP Neil Armstrong

Thank you for giving us the moon, and all the dreams I had about it when I was a little girl.

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Princess Alethea’s Magical Elixir

New book reviews are up at IGMS!

Title: Home from the Sea
Author: Mercedes Lackey
EAN: 9780756407278

I adore Mercedes Lackey – By the Sword is one of my all-time favorites, as is her beautiful collaboration with Andre Norton: The Ship Who Searched. I keep the Bardic Voices books on hand at all times for my re-reading enjoyment. They are all in hardcover, and the dust jacket for The Lark and The Wren is very worn.

However, I haven’t read a Lackey novel in quite some time. I never warmed to her seemingly never-ending Valdemar series, much to my disappointment. But I was in the mood for some really good, fun, fantasy, and Home from the Sea had just arrived on my doorstep, so I thought, why not? (Read more)

 

Title: Thieftaker
Author: D. B. Jackson
EAN: 9780765327611

First and foremost, I would like to thank D.B. Jackson for being one of the most patient and wonderful souls in the universe. I fought long and hard to get Thieftaker into my TBR pile – I’ve wanted to read this novel for years, since the first time he mentioned this labor of love full of magic and Revolutionary New England to me. Once in hand, I carried the ARC everywhere with me for weeks before going on book tour, trying to find time to sneak a page in and failing miserably, and then right before I left on my 21-day non-stop whirlwind, I promptly lost it somewhere in my very small apartment. <sigh> I saw Jackson on my way to Nashville and he lent me his own, personal copy of the ARC when I admitted my untimely absentmindedness. (I found the book as soon as I got home, of course.)

Happily for everyone, Thieftaker did not disappoint, and I’m very glad I was forced to wait for a less tumultuous time in which to lose myself in the wilds of its lush description. (Read more)

 

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Missing Maggie Mae

On Saturday night, Dark-Hunter posse member Maggie Mae Short was watching fireworks. She posted about it on Facebook. Apparently, her town had a bunch left over from the 4th of July, so they were setting them off in honor of some local event. She looked out her window, was surprised by a professional light show in rainbow colors, and shared that magical moment with us.

This morning I woke to find friends posting that Maggie Mae was gone.

I hope to be able to say a little something about this before the Hour With Sherrilyn Kenyon at Dragon*Con next Friday, but we don’t always have that lovely block of time beforehand in which I can put on an impromptu Princess Alethea Preshow, so I wanted to make sure I said this here.

It is still strange to me when one of my friends passes away, but it is no longer strange for me to mourn someone I barely (or never) knew in person, but with whom I conversed online almost daily.

Being a writer is odd, in that you constantly wobble back and forth over the line from infamy to obscurity (until you’re someone like Sherri or J.K. Rowling). I decided back when my friend Andre Norton passed away that I would always strive to make as many friends as possible, even if that meant crying like my heart was broken every time one left. It was worth it. It’s always worth it. That was the origin of that thing I always say: Strangers are just best friends I haven’t met yet.

Nobody says that authors and fans can’t be friends. I’m a person. You’re a person. We met because we like the same things. Seriously–I still go to Sherrilyn Kenyon book signings because they are like three-hour cocktail parties during which I meet the most fun people. I keep in touch with those people. They make me laugh with the things they say, and they stop by to leave a hug when I’m feeling down. When I feel passionate about something, they’re part of the conversation. We hang out together at conventions. Sometimes we even play Words With Friends at 2am.

Some of the Dark-Hunter fans are closer to me than members of my own family. They cheer me on and inspire me from every corner of this globe. Some are new (Britany) and some are old (Lisa). Some I met simply because they recognized me and screamed “Oh my god, I love you!” in a crowded food court full of people (Sammi). Some I met because they simply showed up, with their red hair and lovely accents (Bernadette). Some I got to know because we just kept meeting at Dark-Hunter signings from the beginning of time (Marie, Kat, Dee, Afifa, Penny, Judy, Eddie…the list goes on). We make the effort to stay in touch.

Sometimes, that’s all friendship is.

I can’t tell you how many people in my life have said to me, “Remember me when you’re famous!” and then never spoken to me again. I do remember those people. I have nightmares about them. We were closer than sisters and we don’t talk anymore. I send emails and texts and get nothing in return. It’s incredibly sad. People will come into your life and leave it because they choose to. There’s nothing you can do about that.

But it makes us treasure the people who DO make the effort even more.

Maggie Mae was always part of my global conversation. She was pleasant and shiny (and a breath of fresh air when some people who post comments have no social skills). I am sad that she will never know what seeing her there all the time meant to me.

I know I’m not great about being on the internet. I try to comment when I can–it’s like the luck of the draw if something comes across my news feed in the ten minutes I sign online to see if there are any old-world synonyms for the word “gnome.” But I would like everyone who posts on my FB wall, and on my blog, and who messages me on Twitter to know that I see you there. I’m listening. I’m smiling, or laughing, or following a link you just sent me. I appreciate the hell out of you,  you mean the world to me, and–above all–I consider you a friend.

It really is just that easy.

I will miss you, Maggie Mae, and I will think of your smiling face the next time my night sky lights up with pretty colors. Thank you for being my friend. xox

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TMV Cafe Book of the Month

Enchanted is the TMV Cafe’s Book of the Month!

My thanks to the ever-sexy Funky Werepig for nominating it! xox

enchanted

 

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Monday the 13th

I fell down.
It hurts. A lot.

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ENCHANTED: Your Favorite Bits

When my friend Mary Robinette Kowal asked me to guest post on her feature “My Favorite Bit,” I chose to feature The Wonderland Alphabet.

So when Asher from Parenormal Indulgence asked me to pick out a few of my favorite quotes from Enchanted, I jumped at the chance. It was SO MUCH FUN…and kind of hard to stop.

Are mine the same as yours?

You’ll have to click over here to see…

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Enchanted at the Olympics

It needed to happen. And I’m so very happy that it did.

Cheers, Heather!

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Blast from Dragon*Con Past

My friend Marisol recently sent me a few pictures she had taken at Dragon*Con last year, including this one of me right before the Hour with Sherrilyn Kenyon panel, showing off my lovely new green corset and the gorgeous cover to my new novel.

I’ve been going to Dragon*Con since 1996. THIS YEAR, 2012, is the first year I will be attending AS A PUBLISHED NOVELIST.

I honestly can’t tell you what this means to me. I am SO EXCITED about this year.

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TeachingBooks.net

If you are a teacher or an author or a bookseller or librarian or reviewer or audiobook reader or anyone else who deals with books in any capacity, you need to know about the Teachingbooks.net website.

Most specifically, you need to bookmark this page: THE AUTHOR NAME PRONUNCIATION GUIDE.

On this page is a list of authors. Click on the author’s name and it will take you to a brief audio file in which the author him/herself pronounces his/her name and then tells you a little bit about it.

When I was emailed and asked to be part of this pronunciation guide, I went over to check it out and spent over an hour clicking on my favorite authors. I didn’t even put a dent in the glossary.

This is an incredibly valuable website, and I’m not saying that lightly.

Spread the word!

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The Princess in Ender’s World

I am so excited!

I was invited by SmartPop and Orson Scott Card to be a part of ENDER’S WORLD — a collection of essays about the Enderverse compiled and edited by the creator of Ender himself.

ENDER’S WORLD will be available February of 2013. It’s not up on Amazon just yet, but you can check out what’s happening at the Ender’s World SmartPop book page here.

My contribution is “Mirror, Mirror”, an essay on four of the main characters of the Enderverse, their counterparts in the world of fairy tale, and what that means to the reader.

SmartPop is going to be doing some really fun promotion around this one–be sure to check back. I promise to keep you posted!

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From the Ender’s World site:

Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is a classic of science fiction. Though it began its life as a short story, it was later expanded into a Hugo and Nebula award-winning novel, served as a springboard for a much larger universe of stories, and finally, in March 2013, will become a feature film.

Ender’s World conscripts almost two dozen writers of science fiction, fantasy, and young adult books to offer new perspectives on the 1985 novel, along with insights gleaned from other Ender stories that fit within the Ender’s Game chronology, including Ender in Exile and Ender’s Shadow. In addition, military strategists Colonel Tom Ruby and Captain John Schmitt offer insight into the human-Formic war. A contribution from Aaron Johnson, the coauthor of the Formic Wars prequel novels, is also included.

The collection’s insightful analyses and moving personal essays are rounded out with short pieces answering more technically oriented questions about the Ender universe, including: Why is the Battle Room a cube? and Why did the military recruit their soldiers as children?

Edited by Orson Scott Card himself, who also provides an introduction to the anthology as well as to the individual essays, Ender’s World is aimed both at readers who have kept up with the many books that came after and at those who have not, but who loved and want to re-visit the original novel.

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