Of Research and Acquisitions



Found this wonderful image of a trickster who is the very essence of my Bardán Fury. Should I buy some of these cards for giveaways?

Bardán Fury (of The Fury Triad) was a valued member of Henry VIII’s court, along with those of his offspring, and had the foresight to understand the need for the Magi–the magical people–to withdraw from the Ordinary world and create their own places between the seams of reality as we know it.

He saw what happened when Christians went on religious wars against other Christians. He knew it was only a matter of time until they turned their full force of rage and prejudice against those who were different in other ways, namely the ‘witches.’

museum of witchcraftIn researching these times I stumbled across a few references to a very old book that, oddly, I couldn’t find online anywhere. But I found that one of the niche publishers I’ve gone to in the past–Troy Books– was bringing out a reproduction of the original book, published in 1680, that is in the collection of the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall.

To my utter delight, it landed in my post office box yesterday and it is beautiful.


A Discovery of the Impostures of Witchcraft and Astrologers

Written by John Brinley, published in 1680.

Charles II

Charles II of England

While the monarch at the time, Charles II, was a Stuart king, after the Tudors and Bardán Fury’s time, the information is much the same as it would have been a few decades or a century earlier. To modern eyes it’s fascinating. To contemporary eyes, terrifying. Terrifying if you were fearing for your soul if a witch worked his or her magic on you. Terrifying if you were accused of being said witch–whether you were or weren’t.

concerning astrologyAs I’ve mentioned before, when it comes to most books, I prefer to buy ebooks. But when it comes to research, I need the book in my hand, ready for highlighting, post-it-ing, scribbling in the margins.

This lovely little hardcover book will not get highlighted or scribbled.

It might get a few post-its.

And it will definitely end up in my personal library of books I love, because it is beautiful, and even moreso, because it is a rare book that survived the ravages of time to come back again.

Three hundred years from now, how many ebooks will have survived?

Have you ever bought a book as an ebook and then bought it again because you want to have it on your shelf?

Cross-posted at The Fury Triad.


Book I Love On Sale!

If I could give this book 5 stars with a cherry on top, I would. Wait, this is my blog. I can do it if I want to, so I just did.

bollywoodA Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev


I love this book. Characterization that pulled me right into a culture that is so different from my own, and dialogue and emotions that are real and true. Watching these characters find a bridge between old India and new India was heart-tugging and the payoff was wonderful.

It’s interesting that even though the characters, their history and their current problems are all from India, the four weeks of this story actually take place primarily in Michigan.

The premise is one that we don’t usually see in a contemporary story–the heroine was 4 years old when she was married to a 12 year old boy by their grandparents, an act that was illegal but could still be binding. She has spent her life being groomed for that marriage and waiting for him to come back and finally get her. She’s in Michigan going to grad school when his brother shows up to get her to sign annulment papers. That does no justice to the story at all. But it’s a premise that caught my attention and the book played it out to its fullest dramatic potential in true Bollywood style.


Let me know what you think!


A Very Good Week


The Great Self-published Fantasy Blog-off | Update » Bookworm Blues

It’s also one of those ‘well yes, maybe’ things. When I submitted my book to Mark Lawrence for inclusion in the Blog-Off I explained that it’s not self-pub, but it’s very small/new pub with no distribution, advance or marketing, so if he thought it qualified, I’d love to be in.

No more communication after that, but I ended up on an ‘extra’ list if Bookworm Blues finished all 25 books on her plate and wanted moar.

[Yeah right like that will happen.]

And then… whoa. Somebody from her list withdrew and I got into that spot.

And then by luck of the Kindle draw, my book ended up in the first five.

Color me having fun with this.

Oh yeah, and if you missed it–Smart Bitches thinks my cover is gorgeous. Well, it is. But still, they singled it out and I am feeling extra happy.

Oh and did I mention I had a .99 sale on bookbub this week? And This Crumbling Pageant showed up #1 in a teen fantasy slot, #2 in regular epic fantasy, and #3 in fantasy romance?

This is what you call A Very Good Week.

Casting Call

Recently when I was sharing some images of Pierce Brosnan from my friend Vonda McIntyre‘s movie [okay, her book is being released as a movie this summer, so in my world, it’s her movie!]…


The King’s Chapel

A photo posted by Keely Shaye (@keelyshayebrosnan) on

Somebody said, “That’s my Apollo Fury!”

And you know what? I like it.

Framed in the open doorway, stood her parents. Surely too young and vibrant, many had said, to have such a passel of children—over half that had reached their majority! But her father’s hair was as black as the day he’d married. Her mother’s softer brown, while too weak to influence a single lock on her children’s heads, showed no silver, her face no lines.

They entered the room with an elegance that might be mistaken for hauteur, had their expressions not been so gracious. Her father’s half smirk and occasional nod seemed merely to say, ‘You have us; we have returned; I hope you are satisfied for this won’t happen again soon,’ while her mother’s smile managed to be both warm and mysterious. If anyone present had thought the Furys’ sudden return to Society was that of prodigals, they now must see the truth.

The Furys were gracing them with their presence.

Now, who would be Persephone’s mother…?

If you ‘see’ certain people as characters in the Fury Triad, or do fan art and have created your own, fplease share. I love knowing what the characters look like in your imagination!

Cross-posted at furytriad.

Harvest Monday – Jan 19

Long time no see!

I haven’t been posting and usually not taking pictures, but I have a question today.

First–after a hard freeze two weeks ago I went and pulled up all our carrots, which ended up in an Irish stew. OMG so good.  Not a lot of carrots but enough for that stew, and I will be planting more. I also harvested a few purple kale leaves. They were delicious, too! And I do have a pic of them.

purple kaleMy question. I have started seedlings and the first batch, I didn’t have the light close enough. Are these too leggy? Should I just start over? I don’t even remember what they are!

leggy seedlings

I’ll be posting more about seedlings when I have time!

Still growing!

Six Degrees of Separation from Kindred Rites

This is a meme I saw on GirlXOXO and it just looked like too much fun not to join in.

Last Book of 2014


Vampires and werewolves and worse, oh my!

Vampires and werewolves and worse, oh my!

As she did, I’m going to begin with the last book I read in 2014, Kindred Rites, by Katharine E Kimbriel (second in a series, a five star read, by the way). The first book in the series, Night Calls, is also amazing. I can’t wait to read the next one, Spiral Path which is already on my Kindle, waiting. This series is set in a slightly alternate early United States under President Madison, which includes the early settlers bringing the magics and traditions from their Old Worlds with them. Awesome stuff.


Last Book of 2013


AR_BetweenTwoThorns-400x600Okay, so that made me curious. What was the last book I read in 2013? Thanks to Goodreads, I could look and see, and discover that I’d just discovered another magical series, urban fantasy with a twist, Emma Newman’s Split Worlds. In the first book, Between Two Thorns, we learn that alongside the London and Bath we know are magical, parallel worlds that include the cities Londinium and Aquae Sulis. The characters are amazing, the magic frightening and scintillating, and the world too much fun. I inhaled these one after the other.


Another Urban Fantasy Series I Love


Rivers of LondonI used to say I didn’t read Urban Fantasy, but that’s because I didn’t know what it was, and more importantly, hadn’t discovered urban fantasy set in the UK. So yes, every urban fantasy series I love is set in the UK, surprise, surprise. I suppose the next book I’ll mention is the unfortunately renamed Midnight Riot, originally titled Rivers of London. I hope you don’t mind that I’m using that book cover, because it’s the edition I bought for my own keeper shelf. I love young copper Peter Grant, whose father is an aging, heroin-addicted jazz musician and mum is a magnificent housekeeper from Sierra Leone. This London is different from most Londons you’ve probably read about, for in addition to his erudite superior Nightingale, Peter’s personal life and assignments take us with him through the various areas of London that tourists never see, and encompass the broad range of cultures that make up today’s UK. These books are fun, smart and a trip to Old Blighty, every time I pick one up.


Books with Protagonists Named Peter


200px-DorothyLSayers_MuderMustAdvertiseOh my darlings, how could it be any other but Lord Peter Wimsey? But which one to put here? Okay, let’s go with Murder Must Advertise, which shines as jaded a light on the advertising business in 1933 when it was written as we see in Mad Men’s mid-century world and today’s. Some things never change, and I’m not just talking about the setting of this book, but the amazing Lord Peter, who is still winning hearts and souls today, just as he did when he was first penned by Dorothy L Sayers.


Anglican Authors


a_wrinkle_in_time_original_coverDorothy L Sayers not only wrote crime fiction, she also wrote theological works and translations.   Another beloved novelist, this one an American who was also known  for her theological works and was also an Anglican (Episcopalian) was Madeleine L’Engle. I first read A Wrinkle in Time when I was a girl, but The Arm of a Starfish caught me up even more vividly. I remember being at home sick and my father bringing home a stack of library books for me that included Meet the Austins. I guess I scattershot all around her oeuvre before I went back and made a concerted effort to read them all.

Books with Time in the Title


time gardenAnother blast from my past, Edward Eager’s works are the first series of books about magic I ever read, The Time Garden. This wasn’t the first book in the series I read, and in fact is probably read better later since this book about time travel has the children traveling back in time to meet children we first read about in the earlier books. But I thought it was oh-so-clever, when they found a thyme garden and discovered that there were many different kinds of thyme, and each on in this garden would take them on a different kind of adventure in time. This is probably the reason why I love planting various thymes in my own garden today, truth to tell! If you want to start earlier, though, try Half-Magic.

 Books About Siblings


ThePrinceOfTidesBrace yourself for whiplash. When it comes to books about families, few rival Prince of Tides for angst, drama, laugh-out-loud humor, and revelation. I own an autographed copy of this book in hardcover, and to this day Pat Conroy is the most gracious author I’ve ever met. Mind you, this isn’t a mark of what miserable bastids most writers are, but what a superlative gentleman he is.  As for his writing, he will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride of Southern dysfunction that you won’t forget.

Books Set on the Coast


montmarayNot the American coast of South Carolina, this time, but off the coast of France, a tiny imaginary nation where the only people left are a handful of royals and their handful or servants. In A Brief History of Montmaray the royals live in a tumbling down castle, totally destitute, and Sophie our main character even does chores, despite their cook’s efforts to keep the family in their exalted place.  This is the first book in a trilogy, and I loved it, and the later books.

This was hella fun!

Why don’t you do it, too? Let me know if you do!

WWW Wednesday Dec 24, 2014

Snagged this meme from shouldbereading.

It is Christmas Eve and I am gifting you, my darlings. Gifting you. Flinging gifts at you with gay abandon.

You see, I’m reading wonderful tales right now. I have recently read fabulous tales. I am posting only wonderful, fabulous reads and if any sound your cuppa, go to the nearest library or bookstore and get them.

You won’t be sorry.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?


What are you currently reading?

The loveliest cover I found.

The loveliest cover I found.

I am currently listening to the first book in Eloisa James’s “Desperate Duchesses” series, aptly titled, Desperate Duchesses. How do I keep forgetting what a fabulous writer she is? I have so many of her books that I haven’t read, and each time I read one it seems as if I am astounded and delighted anew.

I read the second book in the series first, finishing it last night. It is in the next section. I stayed up late because I had see how it ended. And upon finishing it, I promptly went to Audible and downloaded the first in the series, because I knew in the next few days I’d be more likely to have listening time while I’m puttering around the house than sitting time for lingering over a delicious story with a hot cup of tea.

But I’m totally enjoying this [late] introduction to the world of desperate duchesses.

Vampires and werewolves and worse, oh my!

Vampires and werewolves and worse, oh my!


On my Kindle, when I do have those delicious free moments, I have submerged again into Katherine Eliska Kimbriel’s “Allie” books. Just as in Eloisa James, I find myself unable to explain why I didn’t dive into the second book sooner after loving the first with a five-star love.

Returning to this alternate history is like returning to the hearth of a friend, complete with the chills of knowing that outside those cabin walls lurk vampires and werewolves and more, oh my. Kindred Rites, you had me at Chapter One!

I had the delight of sharing a room with Katharine at LoneStarCon in 2013 and experienced the many people who were approaching her wanting to know when a new Allie book was coming, even though it had been many years since the first two were published. Now I understand why, after years, people still remember and want more, and then more.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Wonderful any time of year.

Wonderful any time of year.

As I mentioned above, I just finished a book that made me laugh, even made me choke up with tears, a book that was both delightfully romantic and sexy while being true to the social and sexual mores of the time, in ways sometimes brutally honest.

An Affair Before Christmas is a delight at any time of year. It’s not heavy on the Christmas vibe, since it only ends at Christmas, and yet, what a lovely Christmas ending. (happy sigh)

Eloisa James knows her time periods, and well she should. In this particular book I started off disliking the heroine, even at first thinking she wasn’t really the heroine, but the ‘mistake’ the hero made before finding the real one. And when I finally understood the reason for her ‘issues’ I was sympathetic and thought, yes, this is totally believable for this time period, but was also uneasy by how extreme her situation was, and wondering how on earth James was going to get her past it without a hand-wave romantic trope.

Then my jaw dropped.

Enough said.

Read it. You’ll be glad you did.

foxglove summer

My copy is much greener and quite bright.

And this is where I get to dance the nyah-nyah, I’ve read it and you haven’t dance, because I am so mature like that, because I sprang for the exchange rate plus shipping to get my hardcover copy of Foxglove Summer without waiting for its January 6 American publication date.

These books just keep getting better and better. After the cliffhanger ending of the previous book, I am not sure what I was expecting, but for the first time Peter Grant left London and followed his nose and boredom into the wilds of Herefordshire.

Herefordshire is a place I already know and love from the amazing and plentiful Merrily Watkins series. Going there and seeing it through cheeky Peter’s point of view was a delight. This is the first real paper and binding book I’ve read in months, other than research materials. I loved every word of the experience and now am eyeing the other books in the series, considering ordering them in hardcover from the UK, as well.

Building a library of books I love can be expensive, but since I started reading on Kindle I have stopped buying real books unless they are for research (so I can mutilate with highlighters and marginalia) or keepers, and when the keepers were originally published in the UK, I do prefer UK editions.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I have no freaking idea.

By the way, I had some lovely news this week!

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own WWW Wednesdays post, or share your answers in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Cross-posted at Book View Café.