The Unveiling of New Publicity and Editorial Services WordPress Blog: “A Bibliophile’s Workshop”

A Bibliophile’s Workshop was borne out of boundless energy and enthusiasm, which was increasingly feeling less utilized in my life, as my rather fruitless search for a job in the publishing industry continued. I started noticing a startling phenomenon emerging among self-published writers that I knew, who were facing the same type of predicament of having trouble getting the book they slaved away on for years on top of years, getting noticed by any publishing agents.

Both prospective authors and those seeking work in the publishing world are really face the same disillusioning challenge to get noticed by professionals in an industry that also has its own share of problems. While the recent recession certainly is a big contributing factor in the subtle decline of traditional publishing. A bigger factor, further compounding the various economic problems traditional publishers face, is how to adapt to the technologically altered shape of the publishing industry, with the  advent of E-Reader devices and the subsequent creation of  self-publishing platforms.

Self-publishing platforms have been a miraculous, empowering wonder for these many struggling writers, invigorating them with the confidence necessary to market their works on their own self-designed marketing platform of sorts. With more authors turning to self publishing and more entrepreneurial avenues for these many writers, many of these writers still require the expertise of publicists, editors, marketers, and other publishing specialists to really facilitate the technical side of both publishing a book, and adeptly marketing that book to the extent where it becomes less of an unknown entity and something that is readily recognizable by either a niche fan-base of fans or a wider market.

That is where A Bibliophile’s Workshop- my own self-created publicity and editorial service-comes in. My services are here to help you forge your writing dreams, and publish a book that can easily become more easily spread all over the internet. I have years upon years of experience with working with social media channels to really promote my own viable book blog, cleverly titled A Bibliophile’s Reverie.

Combining nearly five years worth of blogging, with three years spent serving as a freelance writer, two years being a writing tutor at the university I attended, and four months serving  as a marketing intern at a highly creative, indie publishing house (Quirk Books, to be exact), you have someone that may ostensibly appear under-qualified for this type of work, but beneath that surface of wrongly perceived inexpert skills, lies a wide array of different work experiences that have effectively furnished me with the technical skills and well-furbished editorial eye to effectively make your literary reveries, your self-published novel in works, a brimming reality.

So, if you are interested in checking out the more pedantic summary of how to inquire after these services, the costs involved with these services, and the turn-around time, please click this hyper-linked text to be taken to the area of this rather amateurishly constructed WordPress page, called Cost and other Pertinent information about Bibliophile Workshop’s Publicity and Editorial Services

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Dani Hoots’ Review of Scorched by Erica Hayes

Scorched by Erica Hayes

Scorched

Amazon(Kindle)/Barnes & Noble(Nook)

Published by: HarperImpulse

Review by: Dani Hoots

Scorched is about a young woman with superpowers who has escaped an asylum and can’t remember anything that happened.  All she remembers is her hatred for the villain Razorfire and decides it is her duty to seek revenge. She runs straight to her brother Adonis and realizes a lot had changed in the months that she was gone. Verity herself is scared from the place and bits of memory come back to her, making her blackout at times and not realize what she is doing. Realizing someone has betrayed her in her family, she runs off and joins Shimmer, another person with powers who is trying to stop Razorfire. As bits of memory come back to her, she realizes that not everything is what it seems.

This story was something between X-Men, having people with mutant-like powers and the government wanting to identify them and contain them…

… The Incredibles with a family full of superheroes fighting justice…

… But darker like that of the Justice League where not everything turns out in the end…

I enjoyed this story fairly well. My favorite character is definitely Razorfire but it isn’t until the end do you really meet his character. At first I thought he was just a flat villain whose only purpose was to be evil, but as the reader goes forward in the book, they learn more about the villain. He reminded me of Magneto…

But mixed with Malcolm Merlyn…

However, I didn’t like the flashbacks and became confused as to what was happening sometimes and whether or not it was a flashback or supposed to be the present. The flashbacks needed to be executed better.

Verity, the main character, had her ups and downs. At first she seemed very strong but further in the story she seemed weaker. This could have been because of the flashbacks and frustration of her not remembering what happened. We do learn at the end the whole story which made all her decisions make sense, but while reading they did seem a little odd. This is a story that has to be read until the end to make complete sense, and it was well worth it.

I give the novel a 4.5/5 due to getting confused with the flashbacks, but really enjoying the characters and plot in the end. This is the start of a new series and I can’t wait for the next book.

So if you enjoy a good superhero story with a little romance and a lot of action, be sure to check this story out by Erica Hayes. And remember, never piss off a woman with superpowers…

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Countdown to “The Magician’s Land:” Review of The Magicians by Lev Grossman


Custom Crowdsourced “Magician’s Land,” trailer, produced and filmed by Viking Books

 For the next two consecutive Saturdays, preceding the August 5th release of the concluding installment of Lev Grossman’s Magicians Trilogy, I will be featuring reviews here of the two prior installments of the series: The Magicians &  The Magician’s King.

Giveaway Details: Below this blurb of text, you’ll be able to follow a link (acessed by clicking relevant, magic-themed image below), which should take you directly to a separate page, where you will be prompted to accomplishing different activities to earn entries for this contest.

The prize is of course an enviable one, for it consists of a complimentary hardcover edition of The Magician’s Land, being reviewed on August, 5, 2014 at midnight Eastern time.

*****This contest is open only to entrants, residing the United States only. Please understand that this geographical restriction has more to do with exorbitant mailing costs above all. Thank you! Any winner, who happens not to live in the US, will be disqualified without question. *********

Contest Ends August 5, 2014!!!    Now, click the Harry Potter related GIF image below, to be taken to the Rafflecopter AP, relevant to this contest!!

 

Amazon/Barnes & Nobles/ Books-A-Million/ Goodreads

During the modernist phase of literature that dawned in the early twentieth century, the coherence of the ideals of conservative values and virtues of life were being called into question, thus the more orthodox prose of the language around this time was become more readily with even more perplexing notions of reality. Once Einstein formulated and articulated the idea that space and time were not fixed things, but were instead a type of relationship that was more relativistic, meaning the unclear, uncertain relationship between these abstractions of our minds are derived from our own confused thinking. Less dependence was being placed on more authoritarian ideas about society and reality; things were becoming less self-evident to the practitioner of “common knowledge.”  For many, the twentieth century erupted with strident, ineradicable creativity, from the likes of noteworthy modernist writers, such as James Joyce, who essentially taxed the reader’s minds with many seemingly incomprehensible ways of writing that further shook the foundations of orthodox thinking. Of course, all of this “bending of reality,” was all anticipated by Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland, which was the first of its kind to really bend reality, time, and providential reasoning.

So, the fantasy genre has always been ripe with  people willing to adhere  comfortably  with the notion of relativity. Except, around the latter half of the modernist period, the Inklings, a fellowship or esoteric group of English speculative fiction writers including JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, were adverse, in many ways, to this emergent embrace of a world that defied self-evident knowledge, thus becoming a regular old atheistic notion instead. Narnia is brashly conservative, as this series of whimsical tales was meant to revive the more immutable notion of magic, folklore, and all other things that were being misconstrued for more nefarious creative purposes, in many James Joyce type stories. They did not want the fantasy elements to serve as mocking, even farcical representations of character tropes from an earlier phase of literary history, when myths and stories of magic were much more widely accepted. As such, even the modernist ideas of “the world between worlds” that has a certain Einstein vibe to it, in the Narnia prequel, The Magician’s Nephew, still carries a certain conservative sterility, as if the function and mechanics of this world are not really enigmatic, or paradoxical, but easily known and recognized by the characters in that story.

How does this rather discursive discussion of the clashing literary periods of “modernism,” and nostalgic  medieval fantasy (my term for the Inkling’s brand of speculative fiction)? Well, Lev Grossman’s The Magicians can be both better understood and appreciated, if it is recognized as a book that somehow coexists in these two polarized streams of literary thought, and in that way, The Magicians is very much a post-modern novel, as it is really a pastiche of elements from different literary genres. The tale begins deceptively as a classic hero journey, in a sense, where a seemingly “normal,” male character, who is unbelievably smart and precocious, discovers a portal into a separate universe, which is the coexistent dimension where magic logically exists, as a very real concept. Except of course, this tale seems to accept these things with a blind, undeterred faith, only until Quentin, our main hero, starts to really question things more, especially as he makes complex friendships with other rather eccentric magic geniuses of this world. Strangely enough, the mystique of the magic gets demystified, throughout the course of the story, as Quentin ages and the whimsical quality of magic becomes almost muddled, and Quentin starts to lose the idyllic charm of a new sense of the world. At this part of the story, it is really one part fantasy, one part philosophical in its existential extrapolations of thoughts, but it is mainly a psychological narrative of a very unique coming-of-age story, which deals with sexual identity, the meaning of your mysterious relationship with the universe, and relationships between others.

Furthermore, the novel does a very good job, calling certain facets of the Inkling tales into question, particularly CS Lewis’ Narnia series. Various elements from that series, recognized easily by Narnia fans like myself, appear subtly throughout various sections of the book, and are somewhat satirized in a very clever fashion by Lev Grossman. When the story delves deeply into the existential layer of the story, while also dealing with the implications raised by the logical existence of certain older, more traditional fantasy tropes, the story really, really succeeds with offering a very interesting, revolutionary take on the well-known, formulaic story of the hero, gaining their powers, and the goals of their journey being not just easily attainable, but having very clear connotations for the story’s character. In typical post-modern fashion, these things, again, are called into question, especially since these things are not entirely self-evident, in the same sense they might be in the Narnia series, but serve a much deeper role in a paradoxical, relativistic sense of the universe (this novel deals more with the “multiverse”).

Something rather unfortunate, though, happens at this end of this book, which to me almost destroyed the book in one full swoop. That was the insane, almost pathetically stupid battle sequence at the end, that makes a very interesting, fascinating tale become swept into the morass of  a slow, interminable battle sequence. Now, some people enjoy this sort of stuff, but I felt it really obstructed the flow of the novel, and it reduced the characters for a very fleeting amount of time to characters, versus the more deeper characters they were before dashing into a silly battle sequence. Also, the book’s evil nemesis is almost too cartoonish for me to take seriously, unless the intention of this whole scene was really ironical, then I must have been viewing it in the right way, meaning seeing it for the inane, purposeless battle scene it was served as a means to inform the reader of just how everything representing classical heroics is reduced to something silly, inoffensive, and nonsensical. So, if this scene was meant to be ironical, then I will give the writer the benefit of the doubt and admit that the scene being a satire of fantasy novels, with their overblown action sequences, might actually be a stroke of genius. Many other elements of this fantasy world in the novel are clearly satirical, so this might make this scene not just make more sense, but contain a bit more calculated intelligent planning behind it. The whole world is really suffused with an absurdist charm, which really proves that this novel is written by a novelist, very well classed in existential thinking, in many ways.

Basically, The Magicians is a literary fantasy novel, for people who really have grown cynical of the same overtired tropes, being lazily employed in fantasy novels, with the same stupid ponderous scenes of uninteresting exposition, the hackney, mythologized characters,  the ridiculously technical/dull battle sequences, etc. There are many things to admire about the fantasy genre, but there can be so many things that pose as very frustrating elements, preventing anyone from fully embracing a book. I loved the prose, which was not just layered, but Lev Grossman uses adjective, and adverbs very wisely, and he definitely goes more for the whole “show,don’t tell thing,” versus the more negative opposite way (the tactic that uses more exposition versus  techniques of smooth storytelling). Neil Gaiman fans would probably really enjoy this, or even Terry Prachett fans, as this book is more in that class of eccentric, British fantasy, as The Magicians possesses a very Gormenghast sense of humor.

Yes, this book is definitely geared for those, who consider themselves fans of Gormenghast!! So, if you like your fantasy novels to be more degrees of sly cleverness versus battle-scene bombast; this is really the fantasy book for you!! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must be getting on to reading The Magician’s King.

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Tea Time at Reverie: Stash Tea Company’s Vanilla Nut Creme Decaf Black Tea

Welcome back to a new edition of Tea Time at Reverie! One quick note before we get started: You’ll notice an addition to our Recommendations section at the end of this review. Going forward, I’ll offer possible book pairings with each subject tea. And why not? A Bibliophile’s Reverie is first and foremost a book review blog, so these suggestions will tie our Tea Times more closely with ABR’s primary purpose. If you have your own book pairings that may fit our reviewed teas, feel free to post them in your comments. We always enjoy hearing from you!

Stash Vanilla Nut Creme box

Photo Credit: Stash Tea Company

Today, we’ve got something a little bolder than our two previous drinks: Stash Tea Company’s Vanilla Nut Creme, a flavored, decaffeinated black tea that’s advertised as a terrific choice after dinner or with dessert. A number of reviewers on Stash’s website have made the same recommendation. But, how does it hold up to our Tea Time test?

The Basics

Stash Vanilla Nut Creme loose

Photo Credit: Stash Tea Company

Stash’s Description: “Premium decaf black tea blended with pure vanilla extract and natural hazelnut flavor. The result, a smooth, rich black tea with the wonderful aroma and taste of high-quality vanilla. This tea is good any time of the day but with a touch of sugar makes a delicious after-dinner treat.”

Ingredients: Naturally decaffeinated black tea, vanilla extract, sarsaparilla, and hazelnut flavor.

Steeping Instructions: Use 1 tsp of tea or 1 bag per 8oz of water. Heat water to boiling (190 to 209 degrees Fahrenheit / 87 to 98 degrees Celsius) and steep for 3 to 5 minutes.

Bagged or Loose Leaf?: Both

The Experience

This review of Vanilla Nut Creme is sort of an experiment. Stash sells the tea either bagged or loose-leaf, and I have only the bagged version. Since loose-leaf tea exudes more flavor, I decided to brew Vanilla Nut Creme both ways and see if I noticed a difference in taste. Cutting the teabag open and measuring a teaspoonful (see below) seemed… amusing? *laughs* I don’t know any drinkers who’ve admitted to doing the same. But, it’s all in the name of reviewing tea, so I guess I’m allowed some nerdy moments, right?

VNC teabag cut

Photo Credit: Sara Letourneau (author)

The first waft of Vanilla Nut Creme confused me. It’s pleasant… but I was prepared for vanilla to be the prevailing aroma. Instead, it’s the sarsaparilla, an herb used in soft drinks such as root beer and (what else?) sarsaparilla. The tea itself has a strong, sweet fragrance reminiscent of those beverages. There’s a whiff of hazelnut in there, too – and no vanilla scent to speak of. Hmmmm. I’ll reserve judgment until after the first few sips.

And I’m glad I did. The flavors comprising Vanilla Nut Creme balance out nicely in this dark brown brew. Hazelnut and sarsaparilla overtones make a sweet, earthy cup that’s followed by a warm, lingering, subtly vanilla finish. And when steeped for the shorter end of the recommended time (3 to 4 minutes), I don’t get that sharp taste of tannins that often occurs in black tea.

There are also hints of nostalgia and playfulness in Vanilla Nut Creme. By “playful,” I don’t mean a zing of caffeine. Rather, this tea reminds me of being a kid, lazing by the pool and having an ice cream sundae or a root beer float. (Remember what I said about the sarsaparilla?) This tea really is a lot like drinking root beer, but with a more nutty taste. In fact, I wonder how this tea would taste if chilled and used in a root beer float.

I wouldn’t call Vanilla Nut Creme an “after-dinner treat,” however. Au naturel, the tea is tasty but lacks the indulgent creaminess that pairs so well with nighttime or dessert. Adding sugar and a splash of milk does help with this, though; and the fact that Vanilla Nut Creme is decaffeinated makes it an attractive option for anyone who’s sensitive to a late-day jolt of energy. But with the sarsaparilla’s dominance and the absence of vanilla, the only seasonal evening ambiance this tea fits would be summer.

By the way, the brewing experiment worked. The loose-leaf version of Vanilla Nut Creme brings out more of the sarsaparilla and hazelnut flavors than the bags do. But remember that my “loose-leaf” tea was poured from the bag. I bet the true loose-leaf Vanilla Nut Creme boasts an even stronger palette.

The Aftertaste

Overall, Stash’s Vanilla Nut Creme was a sensory rollercoaster with a surprisingly calm ending. I enjoyed its mix of earthy, sweet, and nutty tones and would gladly drink it again if offered. However, I wouldn’t recommend Vanilla Nut Creme as an after-dinner or dessert tea because of its combination of ingredients. The lack of the vanilla aroma or taste as advertised by the teaseller also. If the word “vanilla” wasn’t so upfront in the tea’s name, my reaction probably would have more positive and the overall grading a bit higher.

Grade: 8 / 10

Recommended For:

  • Tea Drinkers Who: Like flavored black teas without the spice kick or caffeine, or soft drinks such as root beer or sarsaparilla
  • Time of Day and Year: Summer afternoons and evenings, autumn or winter mornings or afternoons
  • Possible Book Pairings: Contemporary stories of summertime fun, or youthful / teenage / coming-of-age novels

You can purchase Vanilla Nut Creme Decaf Black Tea at Stash Tea’s website or at select grocery stores in the United States that sell Stash Tea.

*       *      *

In addition to being a tea enthusiast, Sara Letourneau is an avid reader and a writer who… well, enjoys writing! Currently she’s working on a novel, and she writes CD reviews, book reviews, and occasional articles on the craft of writing. She’s also a published poet with works avaiable in print and online publications. Visit Sara at her personal blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

If you’re a tea seller and would like to have one of your products reviewed here, please visit the Contributors page for contact information.

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Review of The Eye of Cybele by Daniel Chavarrìa


Amazon/Barnes & Nobles/ Books-A-Million/Goodreads

Daniel Chavarrìa’s fifth century B.C. Athens is not the ancient city we learned about it middle school Social Studies.  Of course certain elements we might remember from seventh grade echo throughout The Eye of Cybele—the mention of Olympian heavyweights Athena, Apollo, and Dionysus; the lore surrounding the original Olympic games (before beach volleyball and rhythmic gymnastics were events); the military rivalry between the city we learned as the epicenter of art and philosophy and the stoic, no-fun, mean old Sparta–, but Chavarrìa’s epic novel seems more concerned with Athens’s seedier side, fashioning it like an ancient Greek King’s Landing of Westeros.  The Eye of Cybele presents an ancient Athens that is impeccably researched—the final 75 pages of the book are dedicated to a glossary of Ancient Greek references in the novel—but holds true to the starker HBO-influenced historical storytelling we know and love, taking us through the city’s prostitution rings, xenophobic slave culture, clandestine political plotting, and morally-perverted religious sects and cults.  Even our beloved Socrates is not entirely above reproach.

The novel’s plot revolves around an amethyst jewel, the Eye of Cybele, that was stolen from the temple of the great Athena and the jaded politicos and religious fanatics all racing to find it to serve their own means.  Although the mystery of the jewel’s whereabouts pervades most of its story, the novel relies more on the intrigue and drama present in the lives and interactions of its several protagonists.  Conflict abounds in a twisted love affair between Lysis, a once impoverished prostitute who rises to social distinction, and Alcibiades, an aristocratic playboy, as they each set out at points not just to spurn but essentially destroy, if not love, one another. Poor General Nicias plots to overthrow Pericles, the city’s very popular political leader, while Alcibiades himself utilizes a manufactured success in the Peloponnesian War to establish his own political career.  Lysis, in turn, finds salvation in a new sex cult propagated by Atys, a foreigner from the east, whose own motives seem suspect. All the while, each character seeks to obtain the Eye of Cybele in order to furtively forward his or her position, be it political, religious, social, or emotional.

Chavarrìa’s writing is not particularly difficult to read; however, the novel features several point-of-view and stylistic shifts that might require some patience.  Those not used to heavy historical fiction or political fantasy novels might also struggle with all of the unfamiliar character names and references.  The dense glossary in the back may not be entirely necessary to understand who everyone is and what is going on in the story, but flipping back to it every once in a while will definitely help foster a more immersive experience in the world  Chavarrìa conjures.  For example, the characters continually address a pretty acerbic distaste for the metragyrtes, beggar priests of a particular cult in Athens, yet the reasons for this hate are only illuminated in the glossary (turns out they used to give “street performances of self-mutilation, trances, and dervish-like dances,” and thieves would assume their guise to exploit the public).  The metragyrtes don’t play much of a role in the plot; however, knowing about them creates a more illustrative understanding of the city and its eclectic population.

Even though the version of the novel I am reviewing is an English translation (Chavarrìa is Uruguayan and so writes in Spanish), its prose is particularly noteworthy.  It boasts a variety of narrative styles, switching from first-person epistolary to omniscient stream-of-conscious to third-person limited narration with conventional dialogue fairly regularly, each employed to simultaneously help the reader organize its characters and events and convey a very specific effect.  Although a cursory glance at the book’s size and pages might intimidate the tentative reader, Carlos Lopez’s translation of Chavarrìa’s prose, coupled with all of the plot twists, moves the reader relatively quickly through the book to what I found to be one of the most satisfying endings to any historical mystery I’ve encountered.

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Maria V. Snyder Wednesdays: Retrospective review of “Magic Study”


Amazon/Barnes & Nobles/Books-A-Million/GoodReads

Welcome to another edition of Maria V. Snyder Wednesdays! These weekly features will henceforth continue for the next six weeks, as I plan on covering many more Maria V. Snyder books beyond the Study Trilogy. As such, you will see new reviews of titles from the Glass Trilogy and Inside Out Trilogy.  The reason for the continuation of this blog feature has to do with a renewed interest in exploring all of Maria V. Snyder’s writing, and more importantly, her writing helps educate me, as an aspiring writer, on the best techniques of writing dialogue and writing in a way that is effectively minimalist.

Retrospective Review:

The first thing I noticed, when reading this book, was that some of the clumsy writing of Poison Study had vanished, and I feel the structure and flow of this novel is much more smooth, mature, and it is probably my favorite of the Study Trilogy thus far. When it comes to formulating your opinions about any book, you sorta have to tune out the obnoxious white noise of other people’s reviews and expectations, and form your own. Some people have considered this book to be the moment, when the downward spiral of sorts begins for this series, as though every Maria V. Snyder trilogy, in degrees of quality, can be described as the slow plummet. Incredulously, this formula is recurrent in many reviews of any of her trilogies, and I find the “formula” to be a fascinating one. I surmised, from reading many reviews on Magic Study, that people felt that the diminished appearance of Valek in the book to be the real reason for people’s disappointment with this book, when it is compared almost too directly to Poison Study.

Fortunately, Magic Study  is much more complicated, and there are countless subplots that emerge in this book, which will not effectively be resolved till the next entry in the series Fire Study. But, the book never feels long-winded or overwrought in any way, even when combining new world-building elements, more subplots, more characters. The world grows bigger in Magic Study,but that expansive feeling, thankfully, does not somehow cause Maria V. Snyder to neglect Yelena’s character development. The world grows subtly, while Maria V. Snyder deftly develops Yelena’s own inner struggles with her emerging powers the implications of these powers, for not just herself, but the larger world without.
Some series can become bogged down in needless explanations of the mechanics of magic or the various nuances of the history, but none of this information about Sitia or their methodology on viewing magical potential in people, ever becomes cumbersome to read. This book is very carefully written, and I really enjoyed it a lot more, then based on my memory of the series. I can recall feeling let down that there was less Ari & Janco, less Valek, etc. By reading the novel a second time through, I was able to discern past my own preconceived reader expectations, and rely more effectively on letting Maria V. Snyder skillfully tell a very different type of tale that has a much more wider scope than anyone could have ever envisaged, while reading Poison Study  for the first time.

Another thing that really struck me was how maturely and sensitively Maria V. Snyder dealt with the complexities and even darkness of sexual violence. During many sequences in the novel, you get really rich intimations of the tumult of certain character’s struggles with the trauma of their past, related to a very painful incident of sexual violence. Rape can become just another lazy plot device that overlooks the trauma of the victim, and instead focuses on just moving the plot forward, in an unconscionably stoic way, that completely derides the pain, the trauma of that person’s abusive past. For anyone that has watched Game of Thrones, you know that there was a certain divisive scene that played out differently from the book, where there was a rape scene that the writers denied was “a rape scene,” and then decided to never deal with the lasting psychological toll that this scene would have on the character. It was very disappointing, indeed, for the mature viewer to have to see this kind of deeply sensitive material being vacuously used for cheap thrills and sensationalism.  Magic Study does something that is really, really hard to accomplish, and that is that it deals with this issue in a way that shows Maria V. Snyder is not just throwing these things in haphazardly for dramatic effect, but utilizes it to show the real issues that are present in the lives of not just women, but men,and how this type of violence can severely damage a person’s self-identity. Many of Maria V. Snyder’s characters are always victims temporarily, until they learn to grow and find strength from their painful experience. Maria V. Snyder uses this deeply disempowering situation, and shows the realistic tumultuous toll it has on a person’s psyche, but she also shows what we, as a society, should be doing in reaction to facing the reality that sexual violence exists in our society, and we need to give as much care, compassion, and above all, empowering messages to any and all that have faced this ineffably painful experience in their lives.

With the rich development of Yelena’s continued maturation into a full-fledged magician with impressive, unorthodox powers, Magic Study is really a step-up from Poison Study. Both are exemplary examples of fantasy fiction with a great dosage of well-utilized banter and comedy, sensitively developed drama, and skillfully written action sequences. All these elements and more make Magic Study  a very deep, engrossing 425 page read that unfailingly immerses you into a wonderful world of both malevolent menace, but edifying goodness as well.

**This is the true last post, where I will ask for questions that anyone has for the author Maria V. Snyder. I will be emailing these this coming Sunday, so leave any questions you have about anything related to her works and more below in the comment area**

Next week, we dive into Fire Study, and see if it continues to be as highly entertaining and well-written, as I remember it being at the time of reading it nearly five years ago.

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Vampire Lestat Newsletter 7/22/14

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Jo Vee just took this wonderful picture, of her Lestat doll, holding up my mother’s hand-drawn picture of the Vampire Lestat, in front of a certain iconic mansion in New Orleans. Jo Vee was the voracious artist, who was the prize winner of our last coven contest.

 


Once more, I apologize for the consistent delays made to our schedule. I have delayed the date of our final chat, pertaining to The Vampire Lestat now, about two times. The final date for our appointed live chat, surrounding the first one-hundred pages of The Vampire Lestat will be this Saturday, July 26th, 2014 at 2pm. Eastern (follow this bold-face hyperlink to RSVP for this Google Hangout on Air live chat)!

 

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Picture with Anne Rice and I, after our highly stimulating conversation about her novels, and of course  about her forthcoming return to the vampire fold: Prince Lestat.

 

On this first order of business, yesterday I had the wonderful, very much unforgettable opportunity to interview Anne Rice (and, I do not need to elaborate on her writing credentials; you know who she is). Thanks to both Anne Rice and her wonderful assistant Becket for making this interview a very enjoyable, stress-free experience.

For me, this was a remarkable opportunity, since in many humble respects, I am just a passionate book blogger, who has been mainly writing rather in-depth posts about Anne Rice’s books for nearly four years and counting. It is not the group itself that allowed this opportunity to happen. Incidentally, this interview came mostly about because of the unwavering support of all 700 or so remarkable members of the Lestat Book Coven over at the Facebook Group Page.

I posted the two parts below, and I know there is some continuity issues between the end of Part 1 into Part 2. Due to some inevitable technical glitches, the transition between both parts seems kind of abrupt.  Enjoy it, nonetheless, and thanks again to everyone that enthusiastically has joined in our coven discussions, for all the various individuals that produced such thoughtful questions, finally to Anne Rice and her assistant Becket for making this entire thing possible!!

 

Part 1:

Part 2:

Procure your copy now, for our upcoming discussion!

Don’t let the coven start without you!

Discussion Post:

   These discussion posts will be posted on my blog,opening up the discussion to those people that have been unable to partake in our live chats, or maybe have a host of reasons for preferring text-based posts over video posts.  I’ll always be posting Facebook post updates about each post either on Anne Rice’s Facebook Fan page, the  Lestat Book Coven Facebook Group page, and the mailing list for the Lestat Book Coven (embedded hyperlink will take you to page to sign up for this)Our next live chat will be July 20th, 2014 via Google Hangout on Air, and we will be discussing the first 100 pages of The Vampire Lestat.”

 

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