28 February, 2012

On Fire for Alex J. Cavanaugh's CassaFire!

It's the big day, everyone! It's the release date of Alex J. Cavanaugh's new book, CassaFire (sequel to CassaStar).

The goal is to help CassaFire “catch fire” on the best seller charts and achieve the success of the first book, CassaStar. There’s also a special package of prizes being given away at the author’s blog (copies of CassaFire, CassaStar, tote bag, mug, and bookmarks) as well as book giveaways during his two-week blog tour. See Alex’s site for details.



About the book:

CassaStar was just the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities.

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…


A review of his novel CassaStar, from Library Journal:

“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” 

Trailer (you really should see this, because it's amazing):



Science fiction - space opera/adventure
Print ISBN 978-0-9827139-4-5, $15.95, 6x9 Trade paperback, 240 pages
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-6-9, $4.99, available in all formats


Links to purchase:
Barnes and Noble: http://dft.ba/-CassaFireBaN
Amazon: http://dft.ba/-CassaFireAmazon
Amazon Kindle: http://dft.ba/-CassaFireKindle


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CONGRATULATIONS, ALEX! :)


-----The Golden Eagle

27 February, 2012

Blogoversary Celebration + The Evil Genius Blogfest

The Eagle's Aerial Perspective turns two years old today!


Wow. I wasn't sure I'd even be sticking it out beyond just starting a blog back in 2010, since I'd lurked in the blogosphere for a month or two and noticed bloggers appear and disappear within that time frame. But I did, and I'm glad of that; I've learned a lot from the experience and I got to know all of you amazing people.

Reading last year's recap post, I have to say that 2011 feels like it was busier.

There was the A-Z Challenge, the Harry Potter Blogfest, the Inanimation Blogfest, the It's All Fun and Games Blogfest, the Blogfest Interrupted, the Inspiration Blogfest, the Novel Films Blogfest, Terry Pratchett Month, the Worst Movies Ever Blogfest, the What I Did On My Summer Vacation Blogfest, the REN3 Blogfest, the Pay It Forward Blogfest, the Cool As Cucumber Blogfest, the Deja Vu Blogfest, the Origins Blogfest, the Third and Fourth Platform-Building Campaigns, Teaser Tuesday, and various writing, review, and guest posts. In addition to a few guest posts that I wrote and interviews of me.

Stat-wise, this blog reached 67,400 pageviews, 12,800 comments (not counting over 600 spam :P), and almost 650 published posts.

And since that takes visitors and readers, here's a big THANK YOU to you all. You make this blog more than just any other site among billions.

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Because of this date, I am hosting The Evil Genius Blogfest. Here's the information:


The Who:
You, of course. With the evil genius of your choice.

The What:
Create a story, in any format whether that's flash fiction or poetry, where the aforementioned character does something qualifying them as an evil genius. You can also choose an already-existing person, perhaps from one of your favorite books or movies--just tell us why you think they're the best.

Interpret the phrase "evil genius" any way you like: For the evil, it can be a truly sinister murder or a humorous prank; a teen hacking into high-level security or a plot to foil someone's trip to the mall. And the genius? Also up to you. Just make sure there's something that makes your entry sparkle. Or skulk through the dark, as it may be.

Non-fiction what you'd like to do instead? No problem. Feel free to write a post about an evil genius from history or the present.

Word limit for entries: 400. You may go over that number--but be aware, people are less likely to read your entire post if it is long.

The Where:
Your blog/website.

The When:
February 27.

The Why:
Because The Eagle's Aerial Perspective is turning 2 years old on February 27, and that calls for celebration. Furthermore, the blog's mastermind has had this idea simmering in the back of her mind for months (part of her plot for complete web domination, you know) and she thought it was about time she took the leap and hosted her own blogfest.

And why should you sign up? Well . . . three winners will be announced on March 9th; two shall be chosen by Random.org and one by popular vote, and those entrants will win something of their choice. Nothing monetary (since this evil genius is among the rest of them: experiencing recession) but the other options are many: guest post or interview on The Eagle's Aerial Perspective (written a book? Free advertising), some graphic design (examples can be procured), an edit/critique, and even some HTML/CSS coding (for websites and so forth). Other things within her (er, limited) domain of knowledge may be negotiated. Nothing so terribly exciting as, say, free books, unfortunately.




VOTING IS NOW OPEN. Go HERE to cast your vote for your favorite entry.

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And here is my entry. I decided to go the fiction route (though do note that you can write your post on any evil genius, whether that's fictional or real):


   She was dressed all in black, even her hands covered in smooth, tight gloves.
   “Commander.” The man dropped to one knee in front of her, his head bowed and his weapon pressing into his stomach.
   “You have the coordinates?” she asked. She walked toward him, her boots striking against the marble floor.
   “Yes, Commander.”
   “Show me.”
   He pulled a small computer from his pocket and handed it to her.
   “How easily destructible it looks.”
   “It would have been impossible to find without your technology, Commander.”
   “Of course it would have been,” she replied, handing the device back to him. “Everything—everything—this army depends on was created by me. The enemy has nothing against us. Their scientists? Fools and simpletons, incapable of everything except the wheel, and lopsided ones at that.”
   “Of course, Commander.”
   “How many soldiers do you have at Station 3?”
   “6,000.”
   “No more?”
   The man hesitated. “One of the ships was attacked by the enemy. My regiment tried to fend them off—”
   “Do you mean you merely tried to deflect them, Captain?”
   It was impossible to tell if he resented the address, directed as if he’d been in charge when the attack occurred. He only lowered his eyes and said, “Yes, Commander—“
   She turned her back on him before he could finish and walked toward the throne. “How many times do I have to tell you to never show the enemy mercy?”
   “We felt—“
   She turned around and faced him. “Felt, Captain. Precisely the word I do not want to hear within this chamber.”
   “My apologies, Commander.“
   “Return to Station 3 and tell the soldiers I want them performing at no less than brilliant. We have a reputation as the most cunning army in the galaxy—and I am its brain. Show the enemy that. I will arrive in six hours to check that operations are proceeding smoothly.”
   “Yes, Commander.” The man bowed and walked out of the room.
   A few seconds later, the woman froze. She did not even blink as a young, short girl walked through a hidden door in the wall.
   She patted the woman on the shoulder. “You performed marvelously well for a remotely-controlled android, Commander. How I wish I didn’t have to pretend, but of course, who would listen to a girl?”
   She sighed. “Even if I am a genius.”

(390 words)

**********

So, how long have you been blogging? How long do you think you'll continue--and/or how long do you want to continue?

And (if you aren't participating in the blogfest) who is your favorite evil genius?


-----The Golden Eagle

Voting for The Evil Genius Blogfest

26 February, 2012

Upcoming Blog Events

First, the hosts of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge are trying to get to 1000 participants by March 1st--so far they have over 700.


I participated in this blogfest last year and I highly recommend it. While it is a month long and involves posting 26 out of 30 days--not to mention the time it takes to visit other participants--there's also no comparable event. When else are you going to find the blogosphere turned into a series of alphabet letters, with no two bloggers taking the same approach, and get to know dozens of new people?


Second, Alex J. Cavanaugh's Catch Fire! Blog Party.


His new book CassaFire is coming out on February 28, and he's asked for the blogosphere to help spread the word. If half as many people have signed up as those who did for the CassaStar blog event, then a ton of blogs will be showcasing his book. And I get the feeling there are many more this time!


. . . and I hope none of you will mind if I mention my own blogfest. Tomorrow is The Eagle's Aerial Perspective's blogoversary (two years, everyone. Hard to get my head around) and the celebration begins with The Evil Genius Blogfest. The general idea? Post in any form about an evil genius (real or fictional) of your choice. You can even win stuff!

For those of you who have already signed up, I can't wait to see what you come up with. :)


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Will you be participating in any of these?


-----The Golden Eagle

23 February, 2012

The First Campaigner Challenge of the Fourth Campaign

From the host Rachael Harrie's blog:

Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall”. These five words will be included in the word count. 
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), do one or more of these:
  • end the story with the words: "everything faded." (also included in the word count)
  • include the word "orange" in the story
  • write in the same genre you normally write
  • make your story 200 words exactly!


Shadows crept across the wall.
   Terren, sitting on the chill marble floor, tried to ignore the shadows creeping across his shoulders as well. He knew he should focus on the orange object in his hands, the hot smoldering thing he’d been told to steal, but the dragging sensation of the spirits hidden within those shadows kept his eyes and body shifting every few moments.
   “You shouldn’t have taken it.”
   Terren nearly dropped the object in his hands as he shoved off the floor, his feet skidding along its smooth dark surface.
   “Who’s there?” he almost shouted, overcompensating for the fear he felt, the nervousness that was born from guilt and shame deep in his heart.
   “Me.”
   A girl stepped out from behind a stone column, her slippers barely making a sound as she walked toward him. The moonlight shafting in through the windows above hit her face at hard, harsh angles and Terren shifted backwards as she held up a pale hand.
   “Sorceress,” he murmured, as the shadows moved away from his shoulders to seep across the floor and twirl around her skirts, pooling into a gray squirming mass above her palm.
   “They’re hungry, Terren,” she said. “So hungry.”

Stats:
Included the word "orange"
200 words exactly
Fantasy is a genre I commonly write in (though SF is the most common)

**********

What do you think of my entry? (#175 on the Linky List of Campaign Challenge participants.)


-----The Golden Eagle

21 February, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (73)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly, bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Rules for participating:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week, my teaser is from Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. I haven't read anything by Maguire in a while; I read Wicked and Son of a Witch almost three years ago. It's mostly because I thought some elements of both books were a little strange, and it isn't the type of Fantasy I usually read. But I always love books that turn the antagonist into the protagonist, so I decided to pick up this one.

(I don't really like the cover for the book. I think the art is detailed and interesting, but nothing really pops and says "Read Me!". I prefer this alternative cover, even if it is more generic.)

"He's taken and flattened all that is attractive in you," says Caspar. "It's like a lie that has enough resemblance to truth to convince for a brief moment."
-p. 51

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What are you reading right now? Have a teaser to share?


-----The Golden Eagle

20 February, 2012

What I Thought Of Star Trek: A Review

But first, Happy Presidents Day! (Also known as Washington's Birthday, which is actually the official name of it.)

For those of you who may not know much about this American federal holiday, it was founded to celebrate the first president of the United States, George Washington, and it falls on the third Monday in February, despite the fact George Washington's real birthday is February 22. It was celebrated the 22nd up until 1971, when holidays were switched to Mondays thanks to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

(An aside: For some reason, all of my posts on Science Fiction in 2012 have fallen on holidays. Ah well.)

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As you may know, I started out 2012 by watching Star Wars: The Original Trilogy; you can read my posts on it HERE. Having done that, I thought about watching the Prequel Trilogy but decided I wasn't really desperate to do so.

Instead, I decided to try Star Trek. Reasons:

1. I knew very little about it, having only watched a documentary on Science Fiction TV shows, probably around a year or so earlier. They interviewed William Shatner (Captain Kirk) and other people I don't remember. Oh, and I do vaguely recall watching Reading Rainbow with LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation) back when I was around seven or something, where they showed off the set. But that was a while ago.

2. As with Star Wars, I wanted to find out what everyone (well, almost everyone) seemed to be a big fan of.

So I took out the first DVD in The Original Series: Season One from my library and watched it the weekend before last. The first disc had The Man Trap, Charlie X, and Where No Man Has Gone Before, and I played all of them with some interest.

To generalize:

The first thing I noticed is that the episodes are all predictable. They basically follow the formula:

Strange people/aliens/what-have-you arrive --> the USS Enterprise runs into trouble --> one of the characters teleports ("beams") up or down to try and fix the problem --> some unimportant and occasionally nameless crewmembers meet a terrible fate and the situation reaches crisis point --> the problem is resolved by some plot twist and the Enterprise moves off to the next planet.

You can't really call the plot(s) spectacular, though they aren't as guessable as they could be since all the details of the enemy are withheld until that final twist. It's not a particularly bad formula, and I expected it.

I didn't know what to expect of the characters. I knew of Captain Kirk, of course, and Spock stuck in my mind before because I think he looks like an elf. The others were new to me; namely McCoy, Sulu, Uhura, and Scott.

First, I have to say, for a television series produced back in the 1960s the fact that there are Asian and African-American characters--female African-American characters--right up there with white male protagonists is impressive. I'm further glad that they have women in significant roles; even these days female characters in SF are often secondary, tertiary, or just background noise (which never fails to irritate me). And while I can't say I absolutely love any of those said Star Trek characters, the crew dynamics are interesting, as is seeing how the characters respond to different situations.

With the setting, the technology was klunky, the special effects were fairly unspectacular, and the aliens/reasons for the Enterprise's troubles were either humanoid or a bit implausible. And all the "new worlds" (how can you call them "new worlds" if the Enterprise goes around visiting planets already inhabited by people?) were Earth-like.

But my overall opinion of Star Trek? I liked it. Quite a lot. I went and watched another three episodes last weekend (The Naked Time, The Enemy Within, and Mudd's Women) and I still was happy to see them, though I could no longer call the series something new. I plan on continuing to watch through the rest of TOS: Season One, and then on to Two and Three.

I think Star Trek: The Original Series is fun. No, you can't take all the elements seriously, yes the plot is predictable, no it's not up to today's standards or culture, and heck there are repeating elements just in the six episodes I've seen, but I'd recommend it (so far).

**********

Have you seen any of the Star Trek series/movies? If so, what did you think of them?


And if you haven't, do you want to watch Star Trek? (In that case, I commend you for not watching it. I know I just jumped onto a rather sizeable bandwagon.)


-----The Golden Eagle

16 February, 2012

900+ FOLLOWERS!

The Eagle's Aerial Perspective has reached 925 Followers!

Thank you all so much! It really made my day earlier this week when I visited by blog and realized I'd made it over 900. :)

As usual, here are the latest followers since the 800 Followers celebration post, under the names they appear in Google Friend Connect, and in the order they followed:

Justin
Sheri L. Swift
Natzers
Jenna Cooper
Hobo Annie
Marsha Sigman
Alison Miller
Ed Pilolla
Ty Johnston
Abby Fowers
Joshua
Claire Hennessy
Colleen Chen
Liza Kane
Silversolara
Cassie Mae
Tasha Seegmiller
Matt
Tammy Polen Manocchio
Pat Hatt
Uniquely Moi Books
Michael Gettel-Gilmartin
Jeremy Bates
Green Monkey
Free Book Reviews
Colin
Laura Barnes
JennaQuentin
SBJones
Book Republik Blog
J Olivarez-Mazone
Claire Chilton
Mish
Rachel Palmer
M.E.
Jon Paul
Melissa Pearl
Basil Sands
Chrissy Peebles
Lynn Hubbard
TToria
D.G. Hudson
Shelley Workinger
McKenzie McCann
Ninja Girl
Jessie
Ada Zdanowicz
Antonio Puigg
Adam Smith
Cacy Duncan
Carol Kilgore
Jay Noel
Farawayeyes
Kristy Shen
K. Turley (Clutzattack)
DL Hammons
Jen Knox
DeThrasher
Nancy
Jessica Salyer
Leigh Covington
Becky
Emma
Copyboy
K.D.
Cate Masters
The Writing Hour
Natasha
Michelle
BlueFenix
James
Tania.F.Walsh
MNHopkins
Paco Torres
Ali
Jamie Gibbs
Nick Wilford
Stacy S. Jensen
Cheshire Wildlife
Mystic2awesome
DearestDreams
Leon Kennedy
Dreadnaught
JamesFitting
Sonsuz Dekorasyon
Janice Horton
JeffO
Rachel Kester
Sharon H
Hope Roberson
Kela McClelland
Theodric the Obscure
Anthony
Gracielou
WTF Are You Reading
SherryE
Patricia Marques
CLBledsoe
Andrew
Jonyangorg
Megan Orisini
Victoria Lindstrom
Diane Gillette
Hildred
Poppy Taylor
Rebecca Belliston
Lucy V Morgan
Sarah
Veronica and Thomas
Carolyn Brown
Grumpy Bulldog, Media Mogul
Ashley Nixon
Eah
Scarlett
Heather Gilbert
Melissa sugar-gold
S. L. Hennessy
DoceanMotion
Morgan Shamy
Jack
Megan
Laurie Dennison
Susan Rocan
Honey
Nancy Thompson

**********

If I do not have your link (due to not finding it in your profile), linked to the wrong site, or there is another URL you'd like your name to direct people to, please leave a comment and mention it! I'll fix it as soon as I can.

You can view past follower lists here:
600-700
500-600
1-500

**********

I feel like throwing some kind of Follower bonanza, but I'm already in the process of celebrating my two-year blogoversary with The Evil Genius Blogfest (see top of sidebar) on February 27. So I hope you'll consider checking that out and joining in, because the evil genii will be taking over the web that day--why not be among them? :)

But in case you're not the blogfesting sort, I thought I'd open up another Q&A session, like I did HERE. I got some interesting questions last time, which I enjoyed answering; and if there's anything you've been wondering, feel free to ask!


Thanks again for supporting this blog, you awesome readers.


-----The Golden Eagle

14 February, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day! + Teaser Tuesday (72)

Or, Happy Pan-Universal Be Who You Are Day, formerly titled Interplanetary Be Who You Are Day, in case you don't like Valentine's Day.

At any rate, have an awesome Tuesday!

**********

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly, bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This week, my teaser is from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. He's one of my favorite authors; you may have also heard of him as one of the brothers who runs the popular vlogbrothers YouTube channel. He signed all the pre-orders of this book, which I still struggle to comprehend because there were 150,000 of them. Wow. Geez. Anyway, on with the teaser.


I might have been nervous--what with sitting in the car of a strange boy on the way to his house, keenly aware that my crap lungs complicate efforts to fend off unwanted advances--but his driving was so astonishingly poor that I could think of nothing else.
   We'd gone perhaps a mile in jagged silence before Augustus said, "I failed the driving test three times."
   "You don't say."
-p. 22

**********

What are you reading right now? Got a teaser to share?


Also, I should have mentioned this on my blog before (bad me), but be sure to stop by My First Book since there's a guest post I wrote about Writing Relationships!


-----The Golden Eagle

13 February, 2012

The Origins Blogfest

This blogfest is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, DL Hammons, Katie Mills, and Matthew MacNish.

About the blogfest:
On Monday, February 13th, post your own origin story. Tell us all where your writing dreams began. It could be anything from how you started making up stories as a child, or writing for the school newspaper, or even what prompted you to start a blog. How about stories about the first time somebody took an interest in your writing, or maybe the singular moment when you first started calling yourself a writer. It all started somewhere and we want you to tell us your own unique beginnings.


My writing dreams didn't so much begin in a sudden "I'm going to be a writer!" moment as evolve over time. The beginning of that evolution started one summer's day (nope, not even a dark and stormy night) when I decided to write a short story involving a 12-year-old boy, a Lord of Mortals (who wanted to become the Lord of Immortals, of course, and was willing to kill to do it), glaciers, and the underworld. Max planned page count? 10-20, longhand.

A couple months later, it had expanded into a trilogy. I wanted to pack everything possible into that trilogy; time travel, shape-shifting, telekinesis, cryokinesis, gryphons, exotic islands, and a showdown between good and evil.

Did I ever finish the trilogy--or even the first book? No. (I might try my hand at MG again and work on it; however, that's another post.) But I managed to write out over 120 pages and the writing bug occupied my brain for a while.

Then I didn't write much; the bug seemed to have abandoned me. A few short stories, a poem or two, several stalled attempts at more novels I never followed up on. But in 2009 I came across the Space Opera novel The Dragon Never Sleeps by Glen Cook at the library. At this point I hadn't read much Science Fiction (so this involves my SF origins as well), nor did I have a great desire to. But I fell in love with the cover of the book and decided to take it out based on that and the blurb.

(I'm partial to covers with ships; and yes, I know the cover is the shallowest reason for choosing a story.)

I loved the world-building in The Dragon Never Sleeps. I've forgotten most of it now (the only thing I remember for sure is that there were War Avocats who were as strange as they sound) and it felt like there was a lot of technical jargon I had to read twice to fully understand, but the story still hooked me--regardless of the fact that I wanted to chuck many of the characters into a black hole.

And so I decided to write something I really wanted to read myself, despite the fact I knew I couldn't create something as good as a published novel. I built off of (read: copied, though I went back and changed the glaring similarities) the world and happily typed away a random scene, which eventually morphed into the 1000+ page story I now call The Trilogy. During those 1 1/2 years spent writing The Trilogy is when I began to identify myself: I was not just someone who scribbled away on the back porch on a whim, but a writer who spent time on the craft. Mostly in the form of wrangling plot, arguing with stubborn and silent characters, and looking in despair at the mess of a setting I'd created, but still.

A writer.

And there you have my origins story.

What's yours?


-----The Golden Eagle

10 February, 2012

Announcing: The Evil Genius Blogfest

The Who:
You, of course. With the evil genius of your choice.

The What:
Create a story, in any format whether that's flash fiction or poetry, where the aforementioned character does something qualifying them as an evil genius. You can also choose an already-existing person, perhaps from one of your favorite books or movies--just tell us why you think they're the best.

Interpret the phrase "evil genius" any way you like: For the evil, it can be a truly sinister murder or a humorous prank; a teen hacking into high-level security or a plot to foil someone's trip to the mall. And the genius? Also up to you. Just make sure there's something that makes your entry sparkle. Or skulk through the dark, as it may be.

Non-fiction what you'd like to do instead? No problem. Feel free to write a post about an evil genius from history or the present.

Word limit for entries: 400. You may go over that number--but be aware, people are less likely to read your entire post if it is long.

The Where:
Your blog/website.

The When:
February 27.

The Why:
Because The Eagle's Aerial Perspective is turning 2 years old on February 27, and that calls for celebration. Furthermore, the blog's mastermind has had this idea simmering in the back of her mind for months (part of her plot for complete web domination, you know) and she thought it was about time she took the leap and hosted her own blogfest.

And why should you sign up? Well . . . three winners will be announced on March 9th; two shall be chosen by Random.org and one by popular vote, and those entrants will win something of their choice. Nothing monetary (since this evil genius is among the rest of them: experiencing recession) but the other options are many: guest post or interview on The Eagle's Aerial Perspective (written a book? Free advertising), some graphic design (examples can be procured), an edit/critique, and even some HTML/CSS coding (for websites and so forth). Other things within her (er, limited) domain of knowledge may be negotiated. Nothing so terribly exciting as, say, free books, unfortunately.

So. Think you're up for some Evil Genii? Sign up below. The host looks forward to your presence on February 27.



(You may also go HERE to view the list and add your link, in case there are technical problems and the script above does not show up.)


And don't forget to take the button to display on your site (not mandatory, but it would be awesome if you did):





Code:



-----The Golden Eagle

09 February, 2012

The Fourth Writers' Platform-Building Campaign

Yes, I've signed up for the Fourth Writers' Platform-Building Campaign!


Never heard of the Campaign? From the creator's, Rachael Harrie's, site:
Basically, the Campaign is a way to link those of us in the writing community together with the aim of helping to build our online platforms. The Campaigners are all bloggers in a similar position, who genuinely want to pay it forward, make connections and friends within the writing community, and help build each others' online platforms while at the same time building theirs.

Are you joining in?

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***Also: Tomorrow, I'll be announcing something special that I'm really quite excited about--a blogfest, hosted here on The Eagle's Aerial Perspective. Be sure to mark your calendars!***


-----The Golden Eagle

07 February, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (71)

Time for Teaser Tuesday, everyone! This weekly, bookish meme is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Rules:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week, my teaser is from Cosmic Critiques: How & Why Ten Science Fiction Stories Work. Technically it's non-fiction but there are, of course, ten stories in it.


"If you don't like what you observe?"
   "Perhaps we will do something about it. Perhaps not."
   He threw back his head and laughed. "You will die, die, die," he said.
-p. 43, from "Transstar" by Raymond E. Banks

**********

What are you reading right now? Got a teaser to share?


-----The Golden Eagle

05 February, 2012

Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

It's been months since I last posted a book review, which is much too long. I miss talking about novels I've read recently, so book reviews are back on for The Eagle's Aerial Perspective!

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Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publisher: Doubleday
Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 400
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Cover Rating: 5 out of 5. I love the way it looks like a delicate paper cut-out; also, in person, the cover is shiny and the stars on the background sort of sparkle.

Inside flap:
The circus arrives without warning. 
No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. 
Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

My expectations: Hailed as "the next Harry Potter", I wasn't quite sure what to think of this book. I don't know how many novels have been called the next big literary phenomenon, but it's a lot. However, I really liked the blurb for this one and, of course, the cover was beautiful, so I had high expectations.

The Night Circus exceeded them.

About the book: First off, let me say that this is not the next Harry Potter. The style and target age group are very different, the characters are older than HP throughout much the story, and this book will never have as large an audience. Even so, I think The Night Circus was a wonderful book with a fascinating cast and one of the most unique worlds I've come across.

  • Writing:

I know Erin Morgenstern's writing style has been criticized--and I can certainly see why--but personally I loved it. The description was beautiful, and it was one of those books I slowed down my reading for just to absorb the language.

  • Plot:
This is where I got a little confused. You see, I don't tend to pay much attention to chapter titles or the little location/date listings that authors sometimes put at the top of the page, since I assume I'll be able to pick up on where the story is.

Pay Close Attention To Them in this book. If you don't, then things will get muddled. There are a bunch of time shifts and back-and-forth between events in the characters' lives. It was an interesting way to structure the story--though toward the second half it felt like there were too many changes.

  • Characters:
Celia Bowen was my favorite character in the story, since she was intelligent, strong under the circumstances, and, of course, very talented as a magician.

Marco Alisdair was also a good character. I liked the way he contrasted with Celia; she'd been trained with magic all her life and was born with abilities, while he spend much of his childhood learning it. So much so that he didn't even have a name until he named himself in one spontaneous moment.

Prospero, Celia's father, was an interesting antagonist, and not only because he's her father. It was hard to tell when he would emerge and ruin things, for reasons I won't disclose here for fear of spoilers. And then there was the other antagonist Mr. A. H—, the perpetual mystery.

  • Setting/Elements:
I loved the setting. The world along with the magic itself was treated in a unique way and, again, Morgenstern's descriptions helped bring it to life. In addition, the circus--the focal point of the story--is the most interesting part; I really wanted to be a reveur myself and visit it by the end of the book.

Content: Sex, some violence.

Other: I hope Summit Entertainment doesn't botch up the movie, if they ever make it. It would be a tragedy to see this story ruined on the big screen.

Do I recommend this book? If you enjoy elements of Fantasy, magic, descriptive writing, and/or even romance, I absolutely recommend The Night Circus.


-----The Golden Eagle

01 February, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group: How Many People Know You Blog About Writing?

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. I highly recommend you check out his blog, if you haven't yet!


I'm not that shy about telling people I write. If someone asks me "Hey, what do you do for fun?", writing is usually among my answers. I'm happy to tell you about my current project, the genre it's in, even details about the characters or setting.

Blogging is a different story. I can count the number of people who know I blog on one hand (well, maybe two . . . I forget exactly, but it's a small number) and even fewer know, specifically, what my blog is about.


I'm not really sure why I don't tell people about it more often. I'm proud of my little slice of the web, and I love the bloggers I know, but there's something to blogging that I'm reluctant to talk about. I think it may be because I'm introverted in person and I worry what people will think of the internet me; that they'll interpret what I say here as stupid and/or start seeing me differently--in a bad way.

In relation to writing, perhaps it's just the fact that my writing is fictional and my blog is reality. I'm not talking about some made-up character who chatters to me in my head on the internet; I'm posting my own ideas and thoughts, so I don't have the excuse of it being "just a story".

Or maybe I'm taking the whole thing too seriously. I've been known to do that, of course.

How many people know you blog? Is it something you're willing to mention to people right off the bat? What, for you, is the more sensitive topic: writing or blogging?


-----The Golden Eagle