IF WILL SCARLET … Took Me Out

A continuation of “If Will Scarlet Were a Super-Powered Plane-Hopper

“You really just stay inside all day, don’t you?” Will would say, everything about his face, tone, and posture inclining toward critical.

“When I can,” I’d say from the comfortable (term used loosely) office space that is my bed. It used to drive me crazy when kids, upon learning that I was homeschooled, would almost invariably ask, “So do you get to go to school in your pajamas?” I’d wonder what the hell was wrong with the world that it was so obsessed with pajamas. I have since come to view the question through a different lens. It’s not about the pajamas. It’s about having to freakin’ get dressed.

“Well, you can’t today,” he’d say. “Get up. We’re going out.”

“Out where?” I’d ask, so I could calculate just how strenuously I’d want to protest.

The exclamatory firework would reply, “The mall!”

All right. Nothing I need too strenuously protest, then. But just as a matter of protocol, I’d have to put up a token resistance. “I’ve got stuff to do.”

“What stuff?” he’d demand specifics.

If the day were like today [meaning when I wrote this, back in November], I would have a blog post to share around Twitter and Facebook – my stop on Aly Grauer’s On the Isle of Sound and Wonder tour. I’d also have e-mails to field, having just sent out a request to three dozen online acquaintances, asking if they’d be game to help me spread the love around during Sun’s Rival Launch Week. (I’ve gotten a few replies already, all of them “yes”-es!) On a related note, I’d have to get the promotional images together so I could get them back to those willing assistors, and who knows how long that could take…

“Yeah,” Will Scarlet would interrupt, “we’re hitting the mall. All this stuff will keep, girl. And besides, I’ve already reblogged you, retweeted you, and shared your Facebook link. Plus I posted a thing on Instagram. Shoot, forgot to cross-post it to my Tumblr, though…”

Because Will Scarlet would be a social media maven. He’d have been on for maybe a week and already have followers in their thousands on any given account. He’s the kind of person I would hate from a distance, if we weren’t the kind of close we are. And besides, one of the top reasons he wants such a huge online presence is so he can more effectively promote me. …and himself, obviously, but that’s one of his reasons behind just about everything.

I would smile my gratitude. “Thanks, Will. You’re—”

“Gorgeous? I know. Now let’s get you dressed. What’ll you wear today? I’m thinking red.”

So shock. Many surprise. Such out of character. Wow.

Outside Will

He would drive, of course. I hate driving, and he enjoys the experience, harkening back as it does to his first big, post-modern adventure in his story world. There’d be singing on the way – the loud, obnoxious kind that driving with friends will sometimes demand, no minstrels around to shame us for the musical butchery.

“Which mall?” I’d eventually think to ask in between laughing fits. “Hawthorne? The Mills?”

“Not the Mills,” he’d say snobbishly. “We could do Hawthorne, though.” He’d flash a grin. “It’s got your Barnes & Noble.”

“Boo-oo-ooks?!” I’d squeal in delight.

“You bet, babe! We’ll get you all nicely buttered up in books, and then we’ll do the real shopping. Hot Topic. Disney store. Food court and Build-a-Bear. The works!”

Sometimes it pays to get dressed.

[To be continued…]

Book Spine Poetry Prophecy

Word on the ‘Net is April’s been National Poetry Month – i.e., the perfect excuse to finally get around to posting this book spine poem I composed back in February, inspired as I was by the Alexa Loves Books-hosted 2015 Book Blogger Love-a-Thon.

Some of you may recall the last time I shared such a poem (during the 2014 Love-a-Thon, as it happens.) Proud as I was of that piece of art, I do believe I like this one even better. Probably because it strikes me as sounding like some epic, ancient prophecy. Complete with rhymes. ^o^

<<<>>>

Spine Poetry Prophecy, Line 1

One more day on the Isle of Sound and Wonder inspired the Seventh Spell:

Spine Poetry Prophecy, Line 2

Transparent ink. The violet hour. The toll of another bell.

Spine Poetry Prophecy, Line 3

The Song Caster unhinged the door in the mountain; splintered the spirit war.

Spine Poetry Prophecy, Line 4

Vicious, marvelous spirit’s end – mistborn legends and lore.

<<<>>>

This lyrical omen brought to you by…

One More Day by L.S. Murphy and others (including yours truly) – available here

On the Isle of Sound and Wonder by Alyson Grauer – my review here

Inspired by Danielle E. Shipley – available here

The Seventh Spell (Book Three of The Wilderhark Tales) by Danielle E. Shipley – available here

Transparent by Natalie Whipple – my review here

Ink (Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun – found here on Goodreads

The Violet Hour (The Violet Hour #1) by Whitney A. Miller – found here on Goodreads

The Toll of Another Bell: A Fantasy Anthology by yours truly and others – available here

The Song Caster (Book Four of The Wilderhark Tales) by Danielle E. Shipley – available here

Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard – my review here

The Door in the Mountain by Caitlin Sweet – my review here

Splintered (Splintered #1) by A.G. Howard – my review here

The Spirit War (Eli Monpress #4) by Rachel Aaron – my review here

Vicious by V.E. Schwab – my review here

Marvelous (The Books of Marvella #1) by Travis Thrasher – found here on Goodreads

Spirit’s End (Eli Monpress #5) by Rachel Aaron – my review here

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson – found here on Goodreads

Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions by yours truly and others – available here

Got any cool book spine poems of your own – oracular or otherwise? I do hope you’ll share!

Be a Hero, Be the [Book] Bomb

Aly and Mark, back in the day.
Aly and Mark, back in the day.

Here’s the deal, Ever On Wordians: My dear friend and fellow Xchyler Publishing author Alyson Grauer is going through one of life’s rough patches. Her father, Mark, is undergoing surgery for cancer, and the fight for his health is not coming cheap. The family could use some help footing the bills, and I’m here to share a few ways even the most sorta-kinda-flat-broke of us can make an impact.

1) Mark Grauer’s Cancer Fund on GiveForward.com. Every buck counts! Even if that single dollar is all you have to give  or if all you can afford is to spread the link around  show cancer and the Grauer family respectively just what you think of them, the crowd funding way.

2) The Generous Juli McCarthy. Quoth mutual friend of Aly’s and mine, jewelry artist Juli of Mockingbird Studio:

For the next 5 regularly-priced sales of Touchstone™ pendants from my website I will donate 100% of the purchase price (minus tax and shipping) to [Mark Grauer’s] fund. After those five sales, I will donate $5 per regularly-priced pendant sold until March 31, 2015.

A fine pendant for you, a sale for an artist, a solid for a family in need… It’s a triple win! Consider ordering a Touchstone™ pendant today.

Commedia Aly, Pirate Aly, and Steampunk Aly agree – a Touchstone™ is an anytime accessory!
Commedia Aly, Pirate Aly, and Steampunk Aly agree – a Touchstone™ is an anytime accessory!

3) Book Bomb for “On the Isle of Sound and Wonder”. I read and reviewed it. Will Scarlet interviewed the tale’s air spirit, Aurael. And on this day, Wednesday the 4th of March, a whole mess of people are gathering on Facebook to book bomb Aly’s debut steampunk fantasy Shakespeare retelling. To quote from the event’s page:

On the Isle of Sound and Wonder banner

WHAT?
A Book Bomb is something that indie authors have occasionally done for each other in the past in order to help members of the community in need. We pick one day where we purchase a copy of an author’s book; because of the concentrated buying activity on that specific day, Amazon takes note, and raises the book on their “bestseller” lists! This gets the author some extra attention and activity for their awesome piece of work, and helps them via the extra book sales.

HOW?
On Wednesday, March 4th, at any time during the day, go to this link, and purchase an eBook copy of On the Isle of Sound and Wonder: http://www.amazon.com/Isle-Sound-Wonder-Alyson-Grauer-ebook/dp/B00O5AGM12
It’s important to do it on this day specifically, as it concentrates the activity that Amazon monitors to rank books. The more people who are shopping and see the book, the more likely it is that we can get more support for Aly’s dad!

OTHER DETAILS:
You can also purchase a paperback or hardback copy; however, we are concentrating on eBook sales particularly in order to focus our efforts on getting the book to rank higher on Amazon, so more people will see it.
If you’ve already purchased this book once, that’s great! You can purchase it again [and] gift a copy to someone who might enjoy it! Any kind of activity works.
If you can’t buy another copy of the book, that’s cool – YOU CAN STILL HELP! Another factor that Amazon uses is ratings and reviews! If you’ve read the book already, then leave a review on March 4th and it will really help!

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO INVITE AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE TO THIS EVENT SO WE CAN POOL OUR SUPPORT!

Me rocking my “On the Isle of Sound and Wonder” leggings and matching hardback.
Me rocking my “On the Isle of Sound and Wonder” leggings and matching hardback.

Well, gee. I’ve already got the book and posted a review. Guess there’s nothing for it: I’m gonna have to buy another e-copy and give it away!

How do you enter to win it? Easy.

– Share this post on Facebook

– Share it on Twitter

– Share it on [insert social media platform of your choice here]

– Reblog it to your own web space

Comment below to let me know you have done any or all of these things, and you’re in the raffle. You’ve got ‘til noon today (central time), at which hour I will select the winner and buy their prize.

**Be sure to include the e-mail address you’d want the e-book sent to in your comment entry.** I’m nocturnal now, y’all, and can’t be staying up all day-night to chase down the winner’s e-addy.

Now, MARCH FO[U]RTH and do this day whatever good you can!

Thanks from Aly and me. ❤

EDIT: Even after this blog’s raffle closes, there are more giveaways going down on the book bomb event page on Facebook. Check it out!

That’s the Spirit (Will Scarlet’s Kiss & Tell)

“From the stage that brought you Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre,” Allyn-a-Dale proclaims before the curtain, “here’s Ever On Word’s original talk show, Will Scarlet’s Kiss & Tell.”

Danielle whipped up a logo for me, because she is awesome first class.

The curtain rises, the studio audience applauds, and Will Scarlet himself walks smiling and waving onto the bright, cozy set.

“Hullo, everyone! Let’s jump right into it, shall we?” Leading by example, he hops into his armchair. “Allyn, who is our guest character today?”

As the guest enters from the other side of the stage, Allyn says, “Author Alyson Grauer describes Aurael thus:

A manipulative, scheming, slippery, chaotic air spirit whose moral code is basically nonexistent.

“Hoo, boy… Welcome, Aurael!” Will greets the air spirit seated in the chair across from his own. “So glad you could join me. First things first – how terrified of you do I need to be, right now? ‘Cause my own story may or may not involve an air-spirit-esque creature trying to kill me and my band, so, um, hahaha, yeah.”

“Oh really?” Aurael twists his mouth into a bemused grimace and goes back to peeling the wings off of a dead dragonfly. “Sounds like a good time to me… And terror is in the eye of the beholder, Will Scarlet.” He shrugs. “I’m only really terrifying if I get bored.” He smiles thinly.

“Right,” Will says brightly. “Good to know. We’ll try to keep things interesting, then. I understand you currently find yourself bound in servitude. Just between you, me, and our viewership, how would you describe your employer? Any perks to working for him? Paid holidays, dental, that sort of thing?”

Aurael’s expression darkens, his eyes like blank slates of lead as spiky protrusions begin to bump out from his brow, cheekbones, nose, skull… He clears his throat and the spikes vanish. He smooths his windblown, silver-blue hair back with a narrow glare. “Dante is a disgusting piece of mortality, if you ask me. He’s manipulative and selfish and snide. He’s self-centered beyond all reasoning, and he’s got eyes for nothing but his own power. Everything else is barely a blip on his brain.” His teeth bare for a moment and they’re shark-like and jagged. “But seriously, no perks, no vacation, nothing.” He pouts thoughtfully. “It’s like being the only trick pony at the circus, if you know what I mean. Complete garbage.”

“Man, and I thought working under Merlin in an immortal Renaissance Faire could get old. But your existence is sure to have some bright spots. How about this: Of your island’s few locals and those recently washed ashore, who do like the most (…or most enjoy tormenting), and why?”

Aurael’s eyebrows shoot upwards thoughtfully at this. A mixture of emotions cross his face as he ponders. Then he squints shrewdly. “I’ll never tire of torturing Karaburan,” he breathes slowly, his lip curled. “Witch-born that he is. His nightmares taste the sweetest.”

The authoress, from the back corner, lifts her hand in contestation of this. “Ahem, if you’ll pardon me,” she says neatly, “Aurael’s favorite person in all the world is Mira. You could go so far as to say he treasures her.”

Aurael’s hair curls into hornlike protrusions, coiling tightly as steam begins to rise from his brow. He scowls and says nothing.

“Adores her, even,” Aly adds.

Aurael’s eyes go black and he stares back at his author, daring her to take one more step.

Aly pauses. “Why don’t you talk about Mira, Aurael? I’m sure Will and the audience would love to know what it’s like for an all-powerful, immortal air spirit to pine for, long for, and against all odds absolutely love a little mortal girl.”

Aurael’s body breaks apart like cloud-puffs, and is replaced with the shape of a massive hideous, steel-silver harpy with terrible talons and a flesh-rending beak. He roars at the author, climbing over the chair to get at her, but bashes face-first into an unseen wall of some kind. The author goes back to taking notes in her book, and harpy-Aurael snarls and snaps and claws at the wall for a moment before hunching its shoulders and peering back over its wings at Will Scarlet.

Will gapes blankly until Allyn coughs from off-camera. “Pun unintended, Will, but we’re still on the air.”

“Ha! Yes! Sorry, I got distracted by the, um, distracting things. Something about a flesh-rending beak. Aaaaanyway, getting back to our happy place: If you were to be granted your freedom, Aurael, what do you suppose you’d want to do with your life? Any long-term dreams or ambitions? Where do you see yourself in— wait, how long does an air spirit tend to live, anyway?”

The question seems to pluck at Aurael’s heartstrings – indeed, if there are any left within him – and he sighs deeply, melting back into the demi-corporeal shape of a silvery-blue man with dark, dark eyes. He sits in the chair again with dignity, as though the harpy form had not occurred. “Immortality is different for everyone,” he admits slowly. “I don’t make plans like that, because I have all the time in the world. Or at least, I did, before I got exiled and captured and all of this grand nonsense.” He seethes quietly. “But I’ll get free again. I will. And Dante will be sorry.”

“Oh, I don’t doubt it for one moment,” Will says in placating tones. “Of course, a cunning creature like you will have seen my next question coming from a mile off. Tell me, Aurael, what is your author Alyson’s biggest, deepest, darkest, most mortifying and/or hilarious secret?” Nerves and excitement roil in his eyes. “Or would you rather kiss me?”

Aurael considers this with a long, smug stare at the author. The author does not look up from her note-taking. Aurael purses his lips and at last folds his arms, putting his feet up on the chair next to him and slouching like a teenager. “Her secrets guard themselves in plain sight,” says the air spirit. “Now that the book is out, anyone at all might stumble upon them. It’s all downhill from here.” He pauses. “And kissing never did anyone any favors, Will Scarlet.” His eyebrows arch, and he smiles that same snarky grin from before. “But if you’re offering, I don’t bite.” His teeth show a little through the grin, still sharp and menacing.

Aly looks up. “He won’t bite you. But watch out for your soul, please – he’ll jab a straw into you like an orange in the old Tropicana commercials and schhhhhluuuuurrrrrpp.”

Aurael scowls. “I don’t even know what that means,” he hisses.

“I know you don’t.” Aly shakes her head. “Never mind.”

“Yeeeaaah, we’ll maybe take a rain check on that kiss,” Will decides. “Or should I say, a full-on tempest check?”

“You shouldn’t,” Allyn advises.

“Oh, come on, it’s perfectly hilarious! Let everyone in the joke with a quick word from our sponsor!”

“Today’s Kiss & Tell segment,” says Allyn dutifully, “was brought to you by Alyson Grauer’s newly released debut novel,On the Isle of Sound and Wonder’.

OISW_webkit_thenovel

“Thank you, Allyn,” says Will. “Thank you, Aurael; you, too, Aly! And thank you, my beautiful audience. Remember, authors – if your characters would like to appear on the show, simply follow the guidelines provided in this post, and we’ll get them on the schedule. ‘Til next time, lovelies: Scarlet out!”

Such Stuff as @DreamsToBecome Novels Are Made On

Everybody get excited! A super rad-tasitical gal is coming out with a book!

…No, not me, this time. …I mean, yeah, me, on December 2nd. But BEFORE that, there is THIS!

On the Isle of Sound and Wonder by Alyson Grauer

I was clamoring to get my hands on an ARC of this one. Alyson Grauer (known as @dreamstobecome on Twitter) is mah girl — not to mention my Ren Faire workfellow and Legends and Lore anthology sister. I had the utmost faith that her debut novel would be a thing of wowsomeness. Guess who was not disappointed?

OISW_webkit_myreview

The story swept me along with the ease of a wave in a gale, the author’s skillful choreography of questions, revelations, and points of view holding me in thrall page after page. Perhaps it is in part a testament to Grauer’s love of theatre shining through that I felt (uncommonly for me) less like a reader and more like a wide-eyed spectator watching a play unfold on my imagination’s stage, complete with humorous scripting and fantastic special effects. I enjoyed moving back and forth between the ensemble cast – from the independent Mira, to the guileful elemental Aurael, to the piteous Karaburan, to the assorted castaways caught as pawns in a twisted magician’s plot. I may or may not have stayed up until three in the morning to find out how it all resolved.

You don’t have to be familiar with the Shakespearean work behind the novel to enjoy it, for this retelling stands tall on its own merits. And if you do happen to be a “Tempest” fan, I expect you’ll only find more to love.

OISW_webkit_theauthor

Find Grauer on the web: Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads | Pinterest

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On the Isle of Sound and Wonder by Alyson Grauer

Heck yes, I’ve already ordered my copy! And you don’t have to wait until the official launch date of November 21* to demand your own. Go forth and experience the wonder. Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway going on throughout the blog tour (the full schedule of which can be found here). And be sure to watch this space for the Kiss & Tell show scheduled for the 22nd, when Will Scarlet sits down for a chat with one of Alyson Grauer’s company of castaways!

*P.S. – That’s when the release party’s coming to Facebook. You’re ALL invited! Come play!