26 February, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (110)

Teaser Tuesday is 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 Warped Passages by Lisa Randall, one of my all-time favorite scientists. I'm reading this book for the third time or so, mostly because every time I start it's so good I take forever on each chapter and then it's due at the library again. Sigh. But it is a really interesting book.

This relatively straightforward deduction has profound implications. Since all objects have the same acceleration in a uniform gravitational field, if this single acceleration could be canceled, the evidence of gravity would be canceled as well. 
-p. 97


Do you have any favorite scientists or science writers? What are you reading now, either fiction or non-fiction?


-----The Golden Eagle

25 February, 2013

Book Release: The Neumarian Chronicles: Escapement by Ciara Knight

Today is the release date of Ciara Knight's newest book, Escapement, the first book in The Neumarian Chronicles and the sequel to Weighted, which you may recognize. Congratulations, Ciara!

Here's the promo and information about Escapement.

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We need your help! Thanks to our spy, Ciara Knight, we are able to communicate with you today via blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

The Neumarian uprising has begun. We are fighting for freedom and equality for all, but we need your help. Ciara informed us that you might want to know more about the uprising and why we ask you to risk your lives for our cause. To answer these questions I've agreed to let Ciara tell my sister's, Raeth's, story about her captivity. It will be free for you on a site called Amazon until March 1, 2013.

Our spies have told us this will help spread the word and find more recruits for our rebellion against the tyrannical queen. You can help by simply downloading a free copy of Weighted, a prequel to the Neumarian Chronicles. If you are intrigued and wish to follow our uprising, Escapement, book I of The Neumarian Chronicles, will be available for only $2.99 until March 1, 2013.

Escapement is told by Princess Semara. Don’t hold the fact Semara is a princess against her like I did, there is more to her than you can possibly imagine.

Here is a brief explanation of her telling of our uprising:
Ten years after the great war of 2185 the queen’s reign is threatened by uprisings and fear. In celebration of my sixteenth birthday it is my duty as princess to sacrifice a slave to be initiated into the ruling council, solidifying my mother’s empire. When my own erratic powers surface I’m captured and tried for treason. Slaves hate me, my mother wants me executed, and my only chance of survival rests in the hands of a young man, Ryder Arteres, whose sister I sentenced to death.


What people are saying about Escapement:

“A heady mix of action adventure and steampunk -- leavened with a dash of romance -- ESCAPEMENT offers up its fair share of thrills, horrors and heart-pounding moments. A strong start to a captivating new series.”
-- Jana Oliver, author of The Demon Trapper's Daughter

“A riveting tale of justice, mercy, honor and love. Take a deep breath and hold on, because you'll be turning the pages of Escapement quickly. Three unlikely comrades, Princess Semara, Ryder, and his sister Raeth, embark on a journey that will alter their lives forever. The beautiful love story nestled into these action-packed scenes will make you sigh and remember why you love to love. After reading the prequel Weighted, I knew this story would be amazing, and it was. Ciara Knight truly has a gift for creating awesome worlds and characters you won't forget.”
--Lindi Peterson--Award winning author of Summer's Song.

“Betrayal, secrets, and a rebellion send readers on a grand adventure, caught in the plight to discover Semara’s gifts and purpose.”
--Alex J Cavanaugh, author of Amazon best sellers CassaStar and CassaFire

“The most unmissable series ever! I couldn't stop reading, the action and romance too breathtaking to break the spell!”
--ARC review by Sudah on Goodreads

"A courageous heart-stopping journey by young people to save their kind."
--Hildie McQueen, bestselling author of Where the Four Winds Collide


If you’d like to see a sneak peek into our world, view this short clip on You Tube. If you are now ready to join our fight, please add Escapement to your TBR shelf on Goodreads here. Shout out on all your social media sites, and tell everyone you know to stand up and fight.

Be Bold.
Be Brave.
Be Free.

In the name of the rebellion,
Ryder Arteres


Ciara is also hosting a giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Have you read Weighted? Are you looking forward to Escapement?


-----The Golden Eagle

22 February, 2013

Cover Reveal: CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh

Alex J. Cavanaugh, the power blogger who somehow visits an insane/incredible number of sites a day and is one of the most impressive voices in the blogosphere, is revealing the cover for his next book today. Here it is!

Blurb:
A storm gathers across the galaxy…
     Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, his only struggles are occasional rogue pirate raids and endless government bureaucracies. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.
     After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, shaking Bassan to the core and threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.
     Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could be on its way back. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

Release date: September 17, 2013 

Other details:
Genre: Science Fiction - Space Opera/Adventure
Print ISBN: 9781939844002
E-book: ISBN 9781939844019

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Congratulations, Alex! The cover for CassaStorm is amazing.


What's been one of your favorite new covers or books recently? Or, what's one cover you can go back to over and over again and admire each time?


-----The Golden Eagle

20 February, 2013

Level Up! Blogfest

The Level Up! Blogfest is hosted by Jamie Gibbs at Mithril Wisdom and Allison at Geek Banter.

About:
Games are an important part of living; otherwise life would be boring as hell. You might be a fan of video games, card or dice games, board games or even games you used to play on the playground as a kid. There's always a game that holds a special place with us.

On February 20th, talk about a game you play or used to play; tell us how it works and share your love of the game with the rest of us. It can be any kind of game you like, from World of Warcraft to Hopscotch, from Monopoly to Blackjack and everything else in between. Tell us what you love about that game.

**********

It didn't take me long to think of a game I play often and love--Tetris.

Tetris is a game based on a set of seven tetrominoes (also called tetriminoes) built out of four blocks that "fall" down a ten-wide grid of squares. The objective is to get those pieces (called I, J, L, O, S, T, and Z) perfectly lined up by turning them 90 degrees either clockwise or counterclockwise. When they line up, ten altogether in a row, the blocks disappear.

All the player has to do is make sure those blocks keep falling onto each other in the right way and prevent the stack of tetrominoes from hitting the top of the grid, which is when the game ends (usually). There are special moves (tetrises, where you clear four lines at the same time using the I tetromino, are among the highest-scoring line clears; t-spins are when you turn a T tetromino so it acts like a key in a lock and clears lines otherwise un-clearable) but the concept is simple: Just line up the tetrominoes as they fall.

One of the things I really love about this game is that it gets as hard as you want it to. There's always a level above you or more points to score by using the aforementioned special moves. Some of the game types (Sprint, Ultra) end after a timed period, but others allow you to continue playing as long as you can keep your stack of tetrominoes from the top of the grid.

Tetris Survival is my all-time favorite (my high score is 652k), since after Level 20 there's a bonus Level 21, which is infinite and a really fun challenge because the grid blacks out for longer and longer sets of time, requiring you to memorize the positions of every block. Marathon (high score 707k), also one of my faves, is similar, but its 15 levels are much longer by about 50 or so lines toward the end of the game and there's no infinite level.

Have you ever played Tetris? If so, do you have a favorite version (e.g., Survival, Battle, Ultra, Arena)? If not, do you think you'll ever try it out? Are you a fan of puzzle games or do you avoid them like the plague?


-----The Golden Eagle

She Said What?!: A Blogoversary Celebration

Michelle Wallace and Elise Fallson are celebrating their blogoversaries by hosting a blogfest called She Said What?!

About (from Elise's blog):
We thought about doing a fun and different little bloghop that doesn't require too much time. Below are 3 comic strips you guys get to copy and paste into your post. All you have to do is caption the strips and post by Wednesday. Michelle and I will announce winners on Friday. And that's it! Oh, and don't forget, Michelle has bonus words for you to try and fit into your dialogue for an added challenge. Remember guys, this is supposed to be fun. So slip into your silly slippers and feel free to make this as ridiculous and nutty as you like.

Bonus words (the ones I used have been struck through): twist, cheek, buzz, honour, grey, champagne, tango, vomit


Here are my attempts at captions (I apologize in advance if any of them are terrible. I've never been too great at captions :P):



P1 
(Person in hot air balloon) Michelle: On my honour, the rope twist and broke on its own! I didn't mean to abandon you on a dragon-infested island!

(Person on the ground) Elise: I'm sure. I'm also sure all our supplies managed to jump into the balloon with you on their own!






P2
Elise: My ankle, my ankle! Help me up!

Michelle: Does it look like this was my idea? Does it look like I decided to tie my ankle around a rope and hang upside down? And stop squealing. It's not like Ryan Gosling's here to notice you're trying to hold up your skirt!








P3
Ryan Gosling: Hello, ladies! Damsel in Distress Inc., at your service!












P4










P5
Michelle: Buffoon. I never cared for celebrities! And I don't care for falling to my death in an aerial tango of limbs, either!









P6
Elise: Oh, look, I have a new hairstyle!

Michelle: . . . does my head look big with this seaweed on it?



P7
Dragon: BALLOON! I love balloons! Even more than human meat!

Elise: I forgive you for almost abandoning me on this island.

Michelle: It was nothing. Seriously, I didn't have to do anything and here you are again. Sigh. But let's go follow that sign, shall we? I mean, it can't be anything like Alice in Wonderland's "Drink Me", can it?


**********


Happy Blogoversary, Michelle and Elise!



-----The Golden Eagle

19 February, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (109)

***In case you're here looking for my "She Said What" blogfest post, that will be up tomorrow. Hope you'll swing by then!***


Teaser Tuesday is 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 A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie. I've been on a bit of an Agatha Christie spree lately, working through her books featuring detectives Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple. They're a lot of fun to read, though I have to kind of stop myself from reading too many of them otherwise everything blurs together and they all start coming across as the same.

(This isn't actually the cover of the book I have. The one I'm reading is a library copy that has all-black binding and gold lettering, with no other decoration. This was the most interesting cover I could find instead.)

The mild eyes, the long obstinate mouth, the slightly upturned nose. Poor Dora, so maddening, so muddle-headed, so devoted and such a problem. A dear fussy old idiot and yet, in a queer way, with an instinctive sense of values.

-p. 15

(Since this is mystery, I was afraid to look at anything beyond the point I'd read up to. Hence the lower page number.)

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Have you ever read any books by Agatha Christie? Got any favorites? (Mine would be The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, at least so far.)

What are you reading now? Do you have a teaser to share?


-----The Golden Eagle

14 February, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!



I hope you have a wonderful day, regardless of who you're spending it with. 

(And if Valentine's Day really isn't your thing, think of it like this: Tomorrow's Friday!)


-----The Golden Eagle

12 February, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (108)

Teaser Tuesday, hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, is a weekly book-oriented meme.

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 The Art of War by Sun Tzu, or Sun Zi, or Master Sun, or however you like to Anglicize his name. I'm reading it for fun (can you read books on war "for fun"?) because I haven't read many (translation: Basically zero) Asian classics and this one is fairly well-known.


A ruler can bring misfortune
     Upon his troops
     In three ways: 
     Ordering them
     To advance
     Or to retreat
     When they should not
     Is called
     Hobbling the army; 
     Ignorant interference
     In military decisions
     Confuses
     Officers and men; 
     Ignorant meddling
     In military appointments
     Perplexes
     Officers and men.

-p. 17 "Strategic Offensive"

(Hey, for once I'm not actually posting more than two sentences! I thought about putting up the next sentence as well, but that would have made for a teaser about twice as long as it already is. And it's pretty long.)

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Have you read The Art of War or any other Asian classic? What's your current read?


-----The Golden Eagle

06 February, 2013

An IWSG Post: I Must Be Spending Too Much Time Around Electronics . . .

. . . because I found myself setting down a book, thinking "Where's the power button?".

You know, since everything is based on battery life. Before you go after me for having nothing to do with writing, I'm wondering if something getting lost amid all the different methods people use to write, particularly the electronic ones. I tend to write differently depending on what I'm writing with; my sentences will get shorter and less rambling when I try longhand as opposed to typing, and I know having a voice recognition program take down my words for me would result in very clunky language.

Typing is still my favorite--but there's usually more thought involved in physically writing things out.

What about you? Is typing, speech, or longhand your preferred method? Have you tried all three or just stuck to one?

**********

About the IWSG (from Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog):
Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.


-----The Golden Eagle

05 February, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (107)

Teaser Tuesday is a 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 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. Technically I'm reading it for school, but since it's fiction and I've posted teasers from Russian novels before, I thought it would be fine for this post. I like the book so far; I don't love it, but it takes place in an interesting point in Russian history, right when the revolutions are taking place from the early 1900s through WWII.


The clay huts and geese in the settlement around the station, all scattered with spat-out hunks of sunflower seeds, sat white and frightened under the immobile gaze of the black, menacing sky.
     Bordering the station building was a wide clearing that stretched far to both sides. The grass on it was trampled down, and it was entirely covered by an immense crowd of people, who had spent weeks waiting for trains in the various directions each needed.

-p. 137

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Have you read Doctor Zhivago? What are you reading now?


-----The Golden Eagle

04 February, 2013

The Overcoming Adversity Bloghop: In Which I Write A Short Story

Nick Wilford of Scattergun Scribblings is hosting a blogfest today! From his blog:
I asked you to contribute a short story on the theme of overcoming adversity, to be compiled into an anthology to help raise funds to send my stepson to a specialist college.
More information here.

And so, here's my story, which is called "Endurance" because I can't think of anything better, regardless of how obvious it may be. Anyway. I hope you enjoy it!

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Endurance

Four thousand years and the monolith still stood. Four thousand years had seen kingdoms, empires, civilizations rise and tumble off the edge of history like water over a fall, to crash against the rocks below and the memories of them to scatter into mist. Trees had shrouded it and merged their roots with its surface; the mountain had changed, the rocks shifting and half-burying the thing like a body whose consciousness had long vanished.
   It didn’t have a name. It had always had a title, an honorific by which it was acknowledged by those same civilizations that had tried to pry it apart, to chip away at its skin until all that was left was the hole in which it had been placed.
   It wanted a name.
   It wanted to get away from the cloying aura of the past and the memories of the rituals it had endured because it could not move, to avoid the horrible worship from others that persisted, tireless, only because they could not understand it. To escape from the refusal to acknowledge all it wanted was to get out, out, out.
   Another thousand years couldn’t do too much damage. Processing time behind the wall of its shell, it decided another two thousand years would be bearable. But to feel the organisms crowding around it, even the inert, brainless ones of the trees and the grass and the fungi, that was too much. It wanted company.
   Four thousand and three hundred and twenty seven years after its memory began, it sensed a more complicated presence. It was immediately recognizable as something more advanced, one of the things in this world bigger than plants but hardly more complex.
   It waited. Those things always passed by.
   The thing touched the hard surface as though it was an egg, capable of bearing the weight of a galaxy on its end—but if one knocked it wrong, liable to spill the trauma of history onto the mountainside, an outpouring of the past assumed forgotten.
   It continued to wait. It could sense that the birds had quieted, and the wind hung close to the ground like a scared child, and the mountain had stilled.
   But . . . there was a new thing, besides the air and the trees and the mountain. The thing had somehow exposed its surface, brushing away the organic detritus that had gathered over those millennia, for once being gentle instead of trying to crack it open.
   It did not recognize sunlight. It did not recognize that new thing in the sky, hovering like its own counterpart a million miles away. It felt an unburdening, a release of four thousand years of pain.
   Perhaps the sun was supposed to be its company. It tried to communicate.
   The sun replied.

**********

Any thoughts on the story?


-----The Golden Eagle