Cover Candy #9 (Black and White and Re[a]d All Over)

Cover candy: tasty and calorie free! I collect book covers—okay, and books, too—like some people collect shoes. Naturally, being a fantasy author, my tastes run toward fantasy covers. But not always!

The theme for this installment is “Black and White and Red.” I know, the title was a dead giveaway, but doesn’t that particular combination just scream for attention? Modern or classic, fantasy or horror, black-white-and-red draws my attention like a magnet to lodestone. And fantasy books do it right!

(FYI, I don’t actually read much horror, but I do find horror covers sometimes appealing…)

In addition to being just plain attention-grabbing, black and white illustrate a stark contrast. Since the cover says “contrast,” it suggests an unmistakable contrast in the story. Nothing is ever as simple or as demanding as black-and-white (and red).

As usual, I can’t vouch for the contents of the books represented below. We’re only here for the eye candy! 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links it won’t cost you a cent, but I’ll get a small affiliate commission, which helps keep my computer running. Thanks!

COVER CANDY

Cover Candy #09: (Black and White and Re(a)d All Over)

The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids

~Michael McClung~
Kindle pages: 298
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Pub date: November 28, 2012
Genre: Fantasy
Artist: unknown (The cover has since been updated)

Cover Candy #09: (Black and White and Re(a)d All Over)

The Mirror Empire

~Cameron Hurley~
Kindle pages: 544
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pub date: August 26, 2014
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Artist: Richard Anderson

Cover Candy #09: (Black and White and Re(a)d All Over)

The Unending

~A.D. Sands~
Kindle pages: 352
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Pub date: February 11, 2015
Genre: Fantasy
Artist: Spiffing Covers

And then, because I said I didn’t always choose fantasy covers, I give you the United Kingdom version of My Sister’s Bones:

Cover Candy #09: (Black and White and Re(a)d All Over)

My Sister’s Bones

~Nuala Ellwood~
Kindle pages: 400
Publisher: Amazon Media EU S.á r.l. (UK edition)
Pub date: November 1, 2016
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Artist: unknown

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Which cover is your favorite?
What’s your favorite color combination on book covers?

Today, we're looking at cover candy that's black, white, and red. To me, that combination just screams for attention. And fantasy books do it right!

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A Drift of Quills: Books We Love #8 — A Drift of Quills adheres firmly to the adage that you can never have (or read) too many books. And here we are again, reading and sharing our finds in another installment of “Books We Love…”

A Drift of Quills: Books We Love #8

A Drift of Quills adheres firmly to the adage that you can never have (or read) too many books. “I add ‘Read Books’ to my to-do list every day so I know I’ll get at least one thing done.”

Here we are again, reading and sharing our finds in another installment of Books We Love

A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links it won’t cost you a cent, but I’ll get a small affiliate commission, which helps keep my computer running. Thanks!

 

I really love chatting with my readers, and in a recent email exchange someone recommended a book for my Flinch-Free Fantasy list: The Dragon and the George, by Gordon R. Dickson.

Hey! I’ve read that!

About a million years ago…

I recall liking it, and the foggy memory tickled my brain until I had to go pick up a copy and read it again. It didn’t disappoint. True, the style is dated and it took a little too long for the real action to start, but what a fun read.

A Drift of Quills: Books We Love #8A modern couple is transported into another version of our world. The kicker? Our hero ends up in the body of a dragon. The land is populated with knights, magicians, wolves, tough-but-fair maidens, crazy-inducing sandmirks, the mysterious Dark Powers, evil henchmen, a giant slug, an ogre—and don’t forget the Auditing Department, which keeps a careful ledger of the balance between those Dark Powers and those of the Light. (You can earn credits if you’re canny and brave.)

Jim (or Gorbash, depending on your point of view) must rescue his damsel, but to do so he must acquire some official Companions, figure out how a dragon body works, and come to terms with who he really is. Bouts of introspection are balanced with humor. How could anyone not laugh at the image of a dragon and his Companions (with a capital C) sitting around the table at an inn drinking jacks of ale while they plot?

Classic!

PATRICIA REDING

Patricia RedingAuthor of the Oathtaker Series
Patricia’s website

Recently, I read Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders Trilogy, consisting of Ship of Magic, Mad Ship, and Ship of Destiny. While I wouldn’t say I “love” these books, exactly, there are parts of this series that I very much enjoyed—so much so that I quickly read them one after the next.

I liked the set-up of the Bingtown’s oldest families and I loved the concept of the liveships. As for … (the rest of the story)

P.S. BROADDUS

“P.S. Broaddus” width=Author of A Hero’s Curse (The Unseen Chronicles Book 1)
Parker’s website

The Hardy Boys series is formulaic and simple, and often plods into the cliche. I couldn’t help thinking however, how well they build their mysteries through the story. While bland, they get the formula right. I just finished a second one in as many weeks, and it was a good study in the structure of the genre. While I may not want to copy The Hardy Boys series when writing my own mystery, there’s value in internalizing the genre, the beats, and the structure on display. You’ve got to know the rules before you break them and I love that the series feels like a set of training wheels for writers. Fun, whimsical, dated training wheels.

But I didn’t come here to talk about The Hardy Boys. I’ve actually been ruminating on a story I just finished that involved an old man and a big fish…

A Drift of Quills: Books We Love #8 — A Drift of Quills adheres firmly to the adage that you can never have (or read) too many books. And here we are again, reading and sharing our finds in another installment of “Books We Love…”

Click on these links to find The Liveship Traders and The Old Man and the Sea on Amazon.

Photo by Anastasia Zhenina on Unsplash

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Have you read something you’ve just GOT to share? Tell us in the comments!

 

Five Good Things #9 (Recent Finds from the Ethersphere) from fantasy author Robin Lythgoe

Five Good Things #9 (Recent Finds from the Ethersphere)

The ethersphere is full of fantastic goodness—and by that I mean there are a lot of cool fantasy-type things and fantasy-seeming things out there for us to discover! Sometimes it’s hard limiting myself to just five pieces of awesomeness, but if I didn’t we’d all be down an endless rabbit hole.

Away from the ethersphere, I’ve been rubbing my hands together as I plot new tales — and toil away at the rewrites for book two of The Mage’s Gift. Watch this space for more news on those!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links it won’t cost you a cent, but I’ll get a small affiliate commission, which helps keep my computer running. Thanks!

In the meantime, here are some recent good reads from the Ethersphere:

Fantasy epics: “Boy Books?”

http://www.elainecunningham.com/writing-about-writing/fantasy-epics-boy-booksFive Good Things #9 (Recent Finds from the Ethersphere)

I find the notion of  “boy books” — or “girl books”— completely ridiculous. I started my rebellious reading and writing in early elementary school with such shocking titles as Billy and Blaze (about a boy and his horse), The Black Stallion, The Hardy Boy mysteries, and The Wilderness Mystery series. I was aided and abetted in my reading habits by several wonderful lady librarians, who never ONCE suggested I should be reading Nancy Drew. (Which I did, because I ran out of Hardy Boys books and my mother suggested they were similar…)

I have an on-going reader survey that tells me 74% of the fantasy readers who have responded are female. Clearly, nobody has stopped them from reading “boy books”! What do you say we just celebrate the fact that PEOPLE are reading (and writing) and give a huge shout-out for literacy?

All of Your Favorite SFF TV and Movie Adaptations in the Works 

https://www.tor.com/2017/07/31/upcoming-sff-sci-fi-fantasy-adaptations-movies-tv

There are a TON of sci-fi and fantasy books coming to a screen near you…! Which are you most looking forward to? I have given up equating the movies/television shows with the books; they’re two different things! (Less cringing that way. Haha!)

The Kingdoms of Kesh 

https://maximeplasse.deviantart.com/art/Kingdoms-of-Kesh-429008080

Five Good Things #9 (Recent Finds from the Ethersphere) —  The Kingdoms of Kesh, Maxime PlasseAnyone following my blog for any amount of time probably knows by now that I love fantasy maps. (Check here and maybe here, or even here!) Artist Maxime Plasse has done it again (and by that I mean he made me go “Ooooh,” and “Aaaah…”) with this one. I love the style, I love the story.

“My goal for this map was to depict a fictional fantasy territory over three ages and show some political changes through the evolution of heraldry, borders and stuff over the years, related to some main historic events of the region. So I chose a triptych construction flanked by two main chronological cartouches, one for heraldry, the other for a timeline. The idea was to make a map which of course delivers classical information, but also tells a story that the reader can discover throughout its observation of the map.”

World’s Largest Vacuum Cleaner Turns Smog into Jewellery 

http://brightvibes.com/562/en/worlds-largest-vacuum-cleaner-turns-smog-into-jewellery

Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde has created a giant vacuum cleaner that tackles air pollution and turns the waste from the smog into jewelry. Is that amazing or what? I wonder how they’re coming with that bike… or some other jewelry? Say, a necklace? I could wear a smog necklace. Muahaha!

Win A Brand-New Kindle Voyage 

https://www.perrinbriar.com/giveaways/win-brand-new-kindle-voyage

Five Good Things #9 (Recent Finds from the Ethersphere) —  Win a Kindle Voyage from author Perrin Briar!To celebrate the release of his upcoming book series Flowers Vs. Zombies, author Perrin Briar is offering a FREE brand-new Kindle Voyage to one lucky winner.

In addition, he will also be picking 10 lucky winners for an exclusive collection of works by talented authors. (Like… me!)

Better get your hustle on, though, this contest ends in six days.

Five Good Things #9 (Recent Finds from the Ethersphere) from fantasy author Robin Lythgoe

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Which of these five things do you think is most awesome? What fantastic things have you seen in the ethersphere lately?
Share in the comments!

 

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Book Spine Poetry—Easy Magic! Anyone with a collection of books can become an artist¦

Book Spine Poetry—Easy Magic

Book Spine Poetry—Easy Magic! Anyone with a collection of books can become an artist¦

Book Spine Poetry… You’ve heard of it, haven’t you? It’s pretty simple, and anyone with a collection of books can become an artist. You just go to your bookshelf and pull out a handful of books with interesting titles, stack them in a logical (and hopefully musical) order, and take a picture. Voila! You’ve come up with something magical!

I have seen some truly lovely images and stirring words. #BookSpinePoetry on Twitter is a great source of inspiration, and I’ve even caught some on Instagram. After seeing so many I loved, I decided to give it a try—and invite my friends to join me.

Here’s what I came up with:

Book Spine Poetry—Easy Magic! Anyone with a collection of books can become an artist…

Works of Poetic Artistry by Friends

I asked for contributions on Facebook and Twitter, and I am delighted to present to you these masterpieces!

Book Spine Poetry—Easy Magic! Anyone with a collection of books can become an artist¦
by Yvonne Marjot – “I feel autumn coming on…”

 

Book Spine Poetry—Easy Magic! Anyone with a collection of books can become an artist¦
by Adrienne Smith Hartman
Book Spine Poetry—Easy Magic! Anyone with a collection of books can become an artist¦
by Marlee Randol Hughes
Book Spine Poetry—Easy Magic! Anyone with a collection of books can become an artist¦Book Spine Poetry—Easy Magic! Anyone with a collection of books can become an artist¦Book Spine Poetry—Easy Magic! Anyone with a collection of books can become an artist¦
Book Spine Poetry—Easy Magic! Anyone with a collection of books can become an artist¦
Another by the clever Yvonne Marjot…

All this reminds me a little bit of a Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt! Have you done one of those before? Great fun, though Book Spine Poetry is a different spin on that old classic. I had fun with both of them!

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What jewel in the crown is sitting on your bookshelf? Want me to add your (family friendly) book spine poetry? I’d love to!

Post in the comments below, or send your pictures to me via email: robin (at) robinlythgoe.com 

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A Drift of Quills are talking to the Head Muse (Department of Music) to find out what—if anything—helps promote the mood to write or inspire scenes, moods, or any other parts of our imagination.

A Drift of Quills: Muse (Department of Music)

A Drift of Quills are talking to the Head Muse (Department of Music) to find out what—if anything—helps promote the mood to write or inspire scenes, moods, or any other parts of our imagination. What kind of tunes do you think we listen to? We share a lot of things in common; is music one of them?

A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks

Ten Tunes That Rock My Writing

I write better when there is music playing.

I dream better.

Thanks to my mom and older sisters, I grew up listening to a wonderful variety of music. Sadly, not a one of us can play any instrument but the stereo. It’s a shame, really. Music is powerful stuff. Being able to play music gives you an even better boost than listening to it, but listening can Continue reading A Drift of Quills: Muse (Department of Music)

Chocolate Fix: Deep Dark Chocolate Cake — A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Someone in my family discovered the recipe for an easy, scrumptious deep dark chocolate cake. I don’t know who it was or where they found it, but the flavor and texture were to die for. We made it a lot. It swiftly became the go-to chocolate cake recipe.

Chocolate Fix: Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Someone in my family discovered the recipe for an easy, scrumptious deep dark chocolate cake.

I don’t know who it was or where they found it, but the flavor and texture were to die for. We made it a lot. It swiftly became the go-to chocolate cake recipe, but I have to warn you that it does not work for making cupcakes! A shame, but sacrifices must be made. I never liked making cupcakes anyway.

We had a little trouble with the middle caving in, but my son was still living at home at the time, and loved baking. He took it upon himself to experiment until beauty was achieved and the middle behaved.

Such a sacrifice… Continue reading Chocolate Fix: Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

All the Crannies and All the Nooks!

If I were ever to find myself in a position to build my dream home (especially my dream library), I’d be in such trouble! I thought things were bad when I was limited to whatever my imagination could cook up, but then Pinterest came along and I am so doomed.

Let’s pretend for a minute that I’m more than a thousandaire (my husband’s term!).

Do I go Mediterranean? French? Japanese? Modern? I love all those styles—Clearly, “eclectic” is the way to go. Er… the way to continue. “Eclectic Tuscan” is the style du jour at my house, with emphasis on the eclectic part.

I love our little house, don’t get me wrong! It would take millionaire status to convince me to move, and then it would have to be to THE perfect house in THE perfect place.

I would also have to be able to hire a gardener and a maid. Possibly a butler, because Mr. Belvedere ruined me.

When I drool over look at house plans, I start in the garage to find out how hard it will be to get groceries from the car trunk to the pantry. (A pantry is a requirement!) Then I look for the place the library will go.

Let’s talk about that last item. I’ve built myself a substantial morgue file chock full of ideas. I might need more than one library… Continue reading All the Crannies and All the Nooks!

Book Review: Secondborn, by Amy A. Bartol

I read Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol via Amazon Kindle First reads, and since this was the only fantasy/sci-fi option, it was a no-brainer choice. AND it has a beautiful cover. (I do love me a beautiful cover!)
This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links it won’t cost you a cent, but I’ll get a small affiliate commission, which helps keep my computer running. Thanks!

I found the book very like other popular dystopian books about teenage girls—almost to the point of not finishing the book. Select people get all the privileges, and the rest are basically slaves in need of a savior/hero.

Naturally, our protagonist is blessed with incredible fighting skills, she is reluctant to fill the hero position, and she doesn’t have any choice.

Neither, apparently, does she have any choice but to Continue reading Book Review: Secondborn, by Amy A. Bartol

A Drift of Quills: Under the Influence

Stories uncovered! Secrets revealed! Sounds like an article straight out of the tabloids, right? This first-Friday A Drift of Quills are looking at the way people, news stories, or current events play a role in our works. Are we under the influence of current events? How do we use it?

A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links it won’t cost you a cent, but I’ll get a small affiliate commission, which helps keep my computer running. Thanks!

Use people? And places? And stories?? I’m innocent!

Well… mostly innocent.

Maybe “unconscious” would be a better word, because while I don’t (usually) intend to put current happenings and humans in my stories, I’ve had people point out that this is like that, or Continue reading A Drift of Quills: Under the Influence

Survey Says! (Reader Poll Results)

Aren’t surveys fun to take? Well, it turns out they’re fun to read, too, and I have some fun things to share with you about what my current on-going survey says. Do you know, for instance, the name of the conductor?

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links it won’t cost you a cent, but I’ll get a small affiliate commission, which helps keep my computer running. Thanks!

One of my fabulous readers took seriously my invitation to ask me anything. One of his fabulous questions was:

“If 2 trains leave Chicago at the same time, what’s the conductor’s name?”

I had to include it my poll, just for a little comic relief—and wow, has it been fun. Let me give you a sampling of some of the answers I’ve received:

  • Bob (10)
  • Fred (8)
  • Cheech and Chong
  • Pete & Repete
  • Conductor can’t be on two trains at the same time! LOL
  • Vinny
  • Huh? / I don’t know (22)
  • Are you telling me a story? I’m liking it 😉
  • Conroy Gundersnark
  • Skitzo Frenik

Clearly, some folks thought it was a serious question… But I’m thinking “Conroy Gundersnark” should receive a role in one of my books, right?

Looking at the Numbers

Let’s actually get serious for just a minute and look at some of the statistics. Continue reading Survey Says! (Reader Poll Results)