The Warden and the Wolf King: CSFF post

warden-and-the-wolf-king

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The Slog of War

“What happens next?”

“How am I supposed to know? I’ve never been in a war.”

“But we’ve been here for three hours at least. And we haven’t eaten a thing.”

“Look, all I know is we’re supposed to sit here and be quiet until the tribes are finished pledging— or whatever it’s called. And we’re all hungry, but at least you don’t get cold.

“How many tribes are left?”

“You can count.”

“Wait, how many tribes did we start with?”

“Kal, can you just find some way to be interested in what’s going on? Mama said this hasn’t happened in decades. And they’re here for you, after all. The least you can do is show some interest. Shh! Here comes a tribesman.”

To continue reading, download the sample of The Warden and The Wolf King for Kindle at Amazon.com.

The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson is the book currently being featured by the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy blog tour.

This book is the fourth and final book in the series, and unfortunately I haven’t read the series. But judging from the opening chapters— available for free as a sample for your Kindle— even if you haven’t read the series, this final book can hook you all on its own.

Often a series book other than book one tends to begin with long, boring summing-up of what has gone before featuring telling-not-showing. Or else things that make a reader of the first book weep, but leave the new-to-series reader confused as heck. This book is not like that.

Andrew Peterson skillfully introduces us to the book’s characters and situations, usually in the course of interesting action. I found it compelling and often amusing.

For more extensive accounts of the book, please visit some of the following blogs who are participating in the blog tour. Checkmarks indicate those that have posted already for the blog tour by the time I posted this. Two or three check marks mean two or three posts.

Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Pauline Creeden
Vicky DealSharingAunt
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Nikole Hahn
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Nissa
Jalynn Peterson
Writer Rani
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler

Conservative? Christian? There are Alternatives to Stephen King

If only Stephen King didn't have to hate people like me...

If only Stephen King didn’t have to hate people like me…

Stephen King’s been showing his bigotry towards Christians and conservatives (Tea Party members) on Twitter.  He doesn’t even bother to find out about the charitable work Glenn Beck’s been doing for illegal immigrant children in this current crisis before he insults the man. And since the insult is to call Beck ‘Satan’s mentally challenged younger brother’, looks like there is some bigotry towards the mentally challenged going on here too.

I used to be Stephen King’s number one fan. He even wrote a book about it (bits of it are totally fictional, I assure you.) I was a leftist at the time. But then, since my mind is not totally closed, I began to think for myself and began drifting in a conservative direction. Then I unexpectedly became Catholic. REAL Catholic, which means, since I am a person with Gay sexual orientation, I realized that becoming a Catholic meant saying ‘yes’ to living a life of chastity. So I became toxic waste to people like Stephen King. It’s hard to obsessively love an author you know will hate you. It breaks my heart….

If Stephen King is breaking YOUR heart, too, don’t despair. There are authors out there that don’t hate all Christians or all conservatives, often because they ARE Christian or conservative. For Example:

Dean R. Koontz— I always knew he was über-popular, but I didn’t know he was Catholic until I saw him interviewed on The World Over on television network EWTN.

Orson Scott Card— Another author I love obsessively. He does have Democrat party leanings, but he’s a member of the Mormon (LDS) church and won’t reject all his church’s teachings the way leftists want him to. So he’s often tagged as a ‘vicious homophobe’ by internet leftists.

Brad Thor— This thriller author is very popular with conservative/libertarian readers. Haven’t read him yet (I don’t think) since I don’t much read thrillers.

Andrew Peterson— He’s a Christian (Evangelical?) fantasy author as well as being a musician. I should be writing a blog tour post for his latest book, The Warden and the Wolf King, right now. (Be patient, Andrew, I’m getting to it.)

Karina Fabian— She’s kind of a friend of mine— on Facebook, anyway. She’s a Catholic and writes books about dragons who are private detectives, and zombie exterminators. Among other things.

Declan Finn— Author of the thriller A Pius Man among other things. A Catholic, and another of my Facebook friends.

So— what do you think of the Stephen King thing? Did he go too far? Or should only people who think like Stephen King be allowed to be published writers? If you do think Stephen King went too far, should people boycott him? Which authors should they read instead?

 

Must We All Worship the Anti-Baby Pill?

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My cat Cheney, who never used birth control in her life.

I find it kind of tiresome how some folks are now demanding that we all regard birth control pills as a purely good thing with no drawbacks and no legit reason for anyone to object to them.

When I was in Germany during my college years I learned they were called the ‘Anti-Baby Pill’ over there. Which is kind of appropriate because advocates for that Pill certainly seem to have an anti-baby mindset.

An interesting fact: about the time the Anti-Baby Pill came along, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued a bulletin to redefine the term “conception.” That bulletin stated that conception should be understood to mean “the implantation of a fertilized ovum.” OK, now conception means implantation? All because the Anti-Baby Pill sometimes works by causing a newly conceived baby to be unable to implant in the uterus, which causes the baby’s death.

The fact that they actually tried to change the meaning of the word ‘conception’ so that the Anti-Baby Pill could be considered a contraceptive rather than an abortifacient (abortion-causing) pill makes me feel I’ve been lied to. But I’ve gotten used to that feeling over the years.

Some readers of this blog may know that I am a former feminist. Did you know that at one time feminists were allowed to object to the Anti-Baby Pill (and the IUD)? The reason was that the Anti-Baby Pill was killing women and causing them harm. They had to drop the dose of hormones in the pills to make them safe enough to keep on the market.

They have shut up the feminists who once objected to the pill. But still from time to time you can see television commercials from shyster lawyers looking for women who’ve taken one Anti-Baby Pill or another and suffered harm or death from it. (I wonder what would happen if someone called their hotline and said ‘yes, I took that pill and it killed me dead!’)

There actually is a healthy natural alternative to the Anti-Baby Pill and it would be highly popular among natural health fans except for the fact that Catholics like it. It’s called Natural Family Planning or NFP, and though it takes a bit of trouble to be properly trained in it, research shows that the method can be as effective as the Anti-Baby Pill. Without all the deadly side effects.

This is NFP Awareness Week.  I hope I’ve made you more aware. Or at least enchanted you with the cat picture. 😉

A good graphic to spread all over the internet this week.

A good graphic to spread all over the internet this week.

Author Blogs that Connect Only With Author Blogs

Umberto and Charybdis nap on towel

Umberto and Charybdis nap on towel

OK, you’re an author, or an aspiring author, and you have a blog about that. You want your blog to be read. What do you do?

You have to start connecting with other blogs— which means reading a selection of other blogs, commenting on them, and following blogs. One way of finding blogs to do that with is to join blog hops. Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, of the Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop, is said to comment on thousands of blogs a day.

But there is one little problem— that’s when we as author-bloggers connect mainly with other author bloggers, and participate only in writing-related blog hops. We may connect with author-bloggers across the spectrum or within our own genre communities. And so we are promoting ourselves and our books only to other authors who have their own books to promote. It’s like a salesman giving his sales pitch only to other salesmen.

We need to find non-author blogs to comment on, to make connections with real people. But not just any non-author blogs. You need to get the low-hanging fruit first, and find blogs that connect to the kind of person you are and to what you write.

What do I mean? There are blogs about your various interests, whatever they are, ones that share your beliefs on faith and politics, ones that you just find to be fun. And there are blogs about stuff that bores or appalls you, insults your beliefs on faith and politics, and that you just don’t like. Find the blogs in the first group to comment on.

What to looking for is not the top blogs with many comments on each post, but the lonelier blogs that are grateful to get a comment every now and again. That is where your comments will have more of an impact.

So— the blog search begins. I’ve already found 3 interesting blogs to follow on a list of Catholic blogs. I wish my readers success in finding their own new categories of blogs to follow.

 

 

 

 

Weekend Writing Warriors #8sunday Snippet

This is Reagan, one of my Republi-Cats. His mom was Cheney, his dad was Bush, both acquired on Election Day 2004.

This is Reagan, one of my Republi-Cats. His mom was Cheney, his dad was Bush, both acquired on Election Day 2004.

This is my post for the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop.

 

Killer DNA.

“This is the best research facility ever!” gushed Panto. “Even though it’s in a prison.”

Professor Pamela Stockton looked up from the disorderly and illogical personnel list. Some wag had given her staff designations like ‘lab rat’ for the laboratory workers and ‘psycho’ for the psychology students hired to create useful profiles of their experimental subjects. Pamela suspected Panto, but said nothing of it. She did feel the need to answer Panto’s statement, seeing that the other personnel in the room were looking about warily.

“This is not a prison,” she said. “Merely a first-class research facility with a large secure holding area to accommodate a large number of research subjects who are criminally incarcerated….”

This is from a short story (I think, length may vary) that’s been floating around in my head for a while. It’s from the first draft (started this morning.) The idea is about a researcher who discovers a DNA pattern associated with serial killing, and the consequences if future serial killers could be detected in childhood. Or some such thing. This is still first draft, after all.

 

Finding Friends for My Blog

That’s why I participate in blog hops and other blog events such as Insecure Writers Support Group, Big Dreams Bloghop, Poetry Pantry on Poets United, and the Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy blog tour.

Trying a new blog hop is kind of scary though. You see this long list of blogs and you wonder how many will be simpatico with your blog.

On the Weekend Writing Warrior blog hop I was somewhat inhibited in that the first 6 or so blogs I visited were by ‘erotica’ writers, which I do not feel I can support or promote. But I shall continue slogging down the list.

I don’t know if I’ll continue with the Weekend Writing Warrior blog hop as it’s on the same day as Poetry Pantry, and also because I’m not sure that posting ‘snippets’ is something I’m thrilled with. But I’m going to try it and see what happens.

“People with Asperger Syndrome lack Creativity”

Katniss as a baby kitten.

Katniss as a baby kitten.

Some time ago an expert with power over my life announced to me that as a person with an autism spectrum disorder I could not possibly be creative.  Since this expert ALSO seemed to conclude that I did not have Asperger Syndrome during my childhood but somehow acquired it later, making me ineligible for certain benefits, I tended not to believe him.

After all, people like Vincent van Gogh, Herman Melville and Emily Dickenson are suspected of having Asperger Syndrome. They weren’t exactly uncreative, talentless hacks.

But once the poisonous idea has infiltrated my mind it becomes fuel for doubt. Maybe all my writing ideas, stories, poems are all flat and lacking in creativity. Maybe no one will ever tell me because everyone somehow detects my inferior Aspie status and lies to me out of pity.

Take a story idea I’ve been working on, that I call ‘Jane Eyre in Space’ because the early history of the main character, Hana Kelly, is similar to that of Jane Eyre. And the story takes place on another planet, a colony of the Terran Empire, sometime in the future.

Well, using Jane Eyre as a model proves I’m not original, since if I were really creative as only neurotypical people can be I wouldn’t need to use another book as a model for part of my story.

And setting stories on other planets isn’t original, it’s been done to death. And every single one of the little ideas I’ve had that make this story different— well, I had to come up with the ideas from somewhere. Something inspired them. So I just uncreatively take ideas from other places and that’s all there is to my fake claims of creativity.

But no matter how much that kind of self-doubt hammers through me, I know from my reading of writing books that other writers— REAL writers, neurotypical writers— do the same thing as I do. They get their story ideas from someplace. Think of Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series, which essentially retells fairy tales as fantasy romances in Edwardian England.

In fact, if the majority of our story ideas were not taken from other, familiar sources, the reader would find them too unfamiliar and bizarre to make for a comprehensible read.

So: I am Aspie, I am writer. If I can do as well as those other uncreative, defective Aspies like Herman Melville, I’ll be happy with it.

Bloggers: You’ve got to be a hooker to get ahead

Kitten Therese after her bath.

Kitten Therese after her bath.

You have a blog, and you’ve just written a great blog post. Or a not-so-bad blog post. Or a bad blog post with a cute kitten picture in it (that’s my technique). How do you go about getting people to read it?

I’m the admin of a Facebook group called Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers. Every now and again a new group member promotes their blog by cutting-and-pasting a blog post’s URL and posting it to the group. No intro, no explanation, just the bare URL and whatever Facebook puts up along with it.

Some people use their Facebook pages— personal or other— in the same way. They do it with Twitter. And they are all wrong.

People, sadly, are not born with an innate desire to read YOUR writing. And so, you need to give them a reason to read.

For example: “I just wrote a blog post about methods of toilet cleaning at [URL]. What do you think of it?”

Or, “Have you noticed in the past three days all Democrats have dyed their hair blue? Why do you think they are doing that? [URL].

Now, I post my blog posts to 2 Facebook pages— my personal page and my page Nissa Annakindt, writer, Aspie, cat person— using Networked Blogs so I don’t have a chance to be fancy with intros and such.

In this case, the only way to hook readers is through your post title. For example, in this post instead of talking about hooking your readers, I used the phrase ‘be a hooker’ to get the same meaning across. I’m hoping it might get attention. And I put ‘Bloggers’ specifically because I’m hoping to find some readers looking to get more readers for their blog.

On Twitter, which I don’t use very well, I no longer have it set up to automatically tweet my blog posts. I do that individually so I can make it interesting and put in a useful #hashtag. I also usually post the kitten picture from the top of the blog post on Twitter with the blog post.

So, the next time you decide to post a link to your blog post on Facebook or Twitter, stop and think first. How can you best hook a reader?