Random Friday


Since I don’t really recommend non-fiction books, especially if they’re not books on writing or publishing, I thought I’d talk about it here. It was part of my research for the vampire novel, since I’ve never been to Mumbai. Bollywood Boy by Justine Hardy was an entertaining experience on her year-long attempts to interview Da Muse the year of his debut. So we’re talking about 2000 and 2001 Bollywood “gossip” that read 18 years later is sometimes funny.

What amused me was that they wanted to pair him with Aishwarya Rai from the beginning – it took them until 2006 to actually get in a movie together and there was even a very famous liplock that, when interviewed at the beginning of 2001, he didn’t seem ready to deliver…

Dhoom 2 – best kiss award 2006 (according to Barb)

He was definitely a shy guy carried away by his own sudden success, with impostor syndrome regarding his dancing skills! He had a long way to go before becoming the Greek God, LOL! Anyhow, it was BEFORE – for me there’s “before Dhoom 2” and “after Dhoom 2” that came after a year hiatus and he’s the best villain that ever was – but I needed to read that book to get a feel of what it was like in the early 2000s in Mumbai.

It was a pleasant read, like reading Mrs Funnybones, but from a European point of view – and since my protag is European and living in India, I did need the different view, right? I might have chuckled slightly less, Twinkle Khanna is probably funnier, but it was entertaining and interesting anyway.

And then on Saturday I did a drawing – call it Da Muse or call it Rajveer the vampire in 2005… After 2 failed attempts I was very happy to finish a drawing! 😉 So this is Rajveer who will soon discover he has a very famous lookalike… in the coming book! 😀

That’s all for today… have a great weekend! (for me it’s a long one, since June 29th is a holiday only in Rome!) 🙂

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Random Friday


I’m sure I already mentioned in this blog that I started writing because of Brunella Gasperini. I read her books in my teens and they are still my favorites. Whether it’s fiction or pseudo-memoir, I could reread them forever – although they’re now very dusty paperbacks that make me sneeze.

But they still make me laugh and cry and wish I could have met her before she passed away. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. I am happy to announce that I’ve found a substitute – sort of. Unfortunately she’s not as prolific, but then, she’s younger and she’s not a writer/journalist by trade! 😉

I read Twinkle Khanna’s Mrs. Funnybones to get back to India with my mind, and she has the same kind of humor than Brunella. I haven’t cried on her stories yet, but then, she only wrote two books. And I got both in paperbacks since they were cheaper than the e-books (besides her fiction title didn’t come out in e-book, but I had read the Kindle sample of Mrs. Funnybones).

I read The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad last year, but kept her column for when I needed to get a feel of Mumbai that I haven’t visited yet. And the paperback of Mrs. Funnybones, with its illustrations by Kruttika Susarla, reminds me a lot of Brunella’s pocket editions with sketches! 🙂

I had a good laugh (which was very nice after half an hour spent fighting with Laptop, LOL!) and enjoyed every word – including the mention to her unnamed neighbor fitness freak (a.k.a. Da Muse) who takes only a couple of pages out of 240. And I could exactly picture the Man of the House and hear his voice when he spoke, LOL!

By the way, Mrs Khanna, if you’d like to read a couple of sci-fi stories now that the baby has grown up a little and you may have a little more free time (the book is from 2015), drop me a line and I’ll send you a sneak preview of the Lone Wolves Team… 😉

Now I only have to read the two books on the aforementioned Bollywood Hero a.k.a. Da Muse, but they’re definitely not as entertaining as Mrs. Funnybones… Have a great weekend, everyone! 😀

 

Random Friday


Future reading for research purposes blog post! I finally got everything from the various Amazon marketplaces (IT, FR and .com), so here’s the plan.

June reading for the next vampire novel that starts in 2005 Mumbai and goes from there – I include in this pic also the title for the sadist author, although vampires aren’t that easy to hurt, so that one goes actually for all the other books! 😉

July reading for POC Book 2 – Wanderlust. Survival in a post-apocalyptic but reborn world, since it’s been 3-4 centuries since the Event. The World Without Us is a re-read, probably just scanning for what I need, and the survival guides are also more for consultation than actual reading (although flipping through the pages I may come up with plot points, haha!).

These are all non-fiction books, and at the end of the year you’ll know which ones I recommend. As for fiction, I’m slowly trudging through bundles on my Kindle, but I have so many, I’ll never catch up, sigh. This month I’m reading a friend’s stories (he’s doing the 30-stories-in-30-days challenge) and some classic for research into steampunk – Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells.

Something randomly different: I haven’t seen Padmaavat yet – well, I’ve seen the trailer and wasn’t sure I wanted to watch it or not (the DVD isn’t out yet anyway), but then I got this review of the movie in my inbox (Google Alerts) and now I’m really considering it, since there are some people who are aware that those Rajput are quite delusional! 😉

I did study that time period for Rajveer the Vampire, although I found out later that Padmini or Padmavati might have not existed, but well… this lady did an excellent review and might have convinced me to give it a try – knowing the shortcomings beforehand might help, LOL! 🙂

So, that’s all for this week! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

 

Random Friday


So, last week I was off Day Job and after a few days at home to work on Nightly Bites Volume 2 (by the way, it’s up for pre-order, yay!) I hopped on a train to Milan with my friend and cover artist Cristina Fabris. We arrived around 3pm and spent the afternoon chilling out in our hotel room – she had work to finish and I had a novel to check, LOL!

Friday we met with her friend and fan Michel at the central train station and headed for Cartoomics, where I was supposed to meet two more of my cover artists, Lawrence Wendigo and Rossana Beretta, to give them proofs of the book with their covers…

I also had a list of comics I wanted to buy since I hadn’t gone to a comicon in a few years, so I ended up with a very heavy bag. And since I flew back from Linate (I had to use my Alitalia miles, LOL!), I decided to send some of that stuff back by mail.

Saturday morning I went to the post office and sent to my parents 4,1kg of comics. Then we went to the bookstores around Duomo, where I lost my hat (in the Mondadori flagship store – and they got rid of the Espresso Book Machine, IMHO…), then we met with Franco Giambalvo of an Italian SFF site.

We had lunch with him then spent an hour at Tempo di Libri, meeting Francesco Verso, then, being wrecked, we went back to the hotel. Sunday morning, we got home separated, since I flew and she took the train again…

And yesterday I retrieved the box of comics from my parents… destroyed, but the interior was fine, yay! Now battling a spring cold, but wishing you a wonderful weekend! 🙂

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Random Friday


attempt, not the final one… It wouldn’t save the JPG, so I took a screenshot of this one!

And the publisher page has a new header! Took some working since I have an old version of Photoshop and Elements “doesn’t support layer groups and displays them in their collapsed state. You must simplify them to create an editable image” except the editable image had no layers, so I had to ask Mighty Silvano to please pull them out of the folder.

Now I should renew this blog’s header, but… maybe during the weekend, LOL!

About reading! I started a historical novel that has been on my table for almost ten years, but I’m afraid I won’t finish it. Printed books tend to have small fonts (i.e. hard to read, I stopped buying magazines for that reason) and I’d rather keep all the novels on my Kindle (which I didn’t have ten years ago or whenever I bought that book, LOL!).

Besides, it was written in the 1950s and head-hopping is really jarring (they don’t “ejaculate” anymore, but they “cried” a lot… maybe “he said, she said” isn’t so bad after all!). And I’d rather go back to the bundles I’ve been in and the ones still to come. My TBR pile will never go down… unless I do not finish the books that don’t catch me with the first chapters! 😀

On a different topic, last weekend I brainstormed while drawing – Da Muse, who else – and watched one of the DVDs I got from Amazon, with Da Other Muse (whom Americans might have admired during the Super Bowl, hopefully seeing the most dignified, manly tear, LOL!).

Anyhow, I enjoyed the Whole Truth and it’s final twist (ouch, just read the Italian titles of the latest movies. I wish IMDB didn’t read my server location). I’m not a big fan of courtroom drama, so I didn’t see hundreds of them. I could only compare it to Devil’s Advocate which was shot 20 years before that. So it was okay.

This weekend I hope to see the mess that changed title because the director refused to be part of it and is now called Exposed – we’ll see if it’s really a mess! 😉 And I got the short stories back from Mighty Editor, so I have some editing to do before starting the submission process. And if there’s time, I’ll work on the publisher’s page that still needs some tweaking (do a new header for this blog?)… Have a great weekend! 😀

Random Friday


Random randomness: I’m finally reading my bundles co-authors and at the same time I’m exploring new subgenres. I’ve used the Wikipedia entry for my steampunk short, but do you have any favorite steampunk novel and what do you like about it? Please leave your suggestions in the comments, thank you! 🙂

Also, it’s the Year of Writing Madly, but at the same time I’m thinking of pulling out of the drawer my 12th century historical novel, edited a long time ago (before the craft online workshops) by Nikalee, and decide if I actually want to put it out there or not.

For the new people, it’s a project that had a screenplay version and that I turned into a novel at the beginning of this blog – an 8-year-old bloke, in case you were wondering. If you check the archives, you can probably read about it around 2012.

I guess that after my sci-fi sting, I’ll get back to it and make up my mind about it. Reading about 12th century Europe/Holy Land might help me getting back to Silvery Earth – although the next heroine lives at a time where magic is almost gone and she’s more a renaissance woman than a medieval lady (Angelica de Winter’s story is set AFTER BoI – Earth).

And then I’ll read a steampunk novel for the next book in one of my series. Don’t forget to leave your recommendations in the comments below! Have a great weekend! 😀

Random Friday


Well, then, the last two are definitely Reader Friday! 🙂 Like every year, here’s the list of my reading for 2017. Of a grand total of 45, with only one manuscript this year, there were 7 non-fiction and 5 I did not finish. Here follows the list of the recommended reading from this writer who particularly enjoyed the following (in order of reading, not of favorite!):

Mysterious Kemet Book 1 by S.R. Anand

The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad by Twinkle Khanna

My Anti-Valentine by D.J. Jamison

The Mage’s Grave (Mages of Martir, #1) by Timothy L. Cerepaka 

Firehearted by Sabrina Chase

Al-Kabar by Lee French

Hugo nominee “Touring with the Alien” by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2016)

Hugo winner Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

After Hours: Tales from Ur-Bar anthology edited by Joshua Palmatier

At Risk (Liz Carlisle #1) by Stella Rimington

Twice Against the Dragon by Stefon Mears

Death Takes a Diamond by Dean Wesley Smith

All links go to Goodreads where you can learn more about the books and then look them up at your favorite retailer.

And for you paperback lovers, Nightly Bites Volume 1 is now in paperback as well.

Happy reading and see you next year! 🙂

Random Friday


Random Friday is… A list of great books to add to your Xmas list.

I stole a great idea from my talented friend and fellow author, Douglas Smith, whose psychic vampire  in Nightly Bites Volume 1 will suck you in. (And by the way, the anthology is also a very good title you could add to your Xmas gifts list).

I asked my author friends to give me the title of one of their books with title and genre, short blurb and buying link (the buy links were given by the authors, so they might not be universal). This is what I got and as you can see there’s something for everyone! 🙂

 

Santa Claus: Private Detective (The Noel Kringle Chronicles) by Rebecca M. Senese

Genre: mystery/fantasy

When no one at the North Pole takes Noel Kringle seriously he relocates to Toronto to live his dream as a private detective. Mystery with a dash of fantasy, Noel Kringle mixes Christmas and sleuthing in a tale of magic and suspense.

https://www.amazon.com/Santa-Claus-Private-Detective-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B077Y2VXSD/

The Wolf at the End of the World by Douglas Smith

Genre: fantasy

The Heroka walk among us. Unseen, unknown. Shapeshifters. Human in appearance but with power over their animal totems.
A shapeshifter hero battles ancient spirits, a covert government agency, and his own dark past in a race to solve a murder that could mean the end of the world. http://www.smithwriter.com/the_wolf_at_the_end_of_the_world

Old Bones by Rita Schulz

Genre: cozy mystery

Inspired by a true story two friends try to solve the mystery of the Old Bones in this new mystery cozy.

http://www.53rdstreetpublishing.com/books/old-bones/

Tales from Space by Russ Crossley

Genre: science fiction

Robots locked in deadly civil war, explorers faced with impossible secrets, a continent-sized asteroid about to destroy the Earth…these are some of the stories in this volume of fantastic fiction. Welcome to the 21st century.

http://www.53rdstreetpublishing.com/books/tales-from-space/

The Bet by Vivienne Tuffnell

Genre: psychological literary fiction

Currently £1.99 for the remainder of advent. Jenny likes a challenge and Antony is the biggest challenge of her life…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bet-Vivienne-Tuffnell-ebook/dp/B009ISHLYI/

Zeena Dragon Fae series by Victoria Zigler (Barb’s note: on my ToBuy list)

Genre: Fantasy

A four book series that tells the story of a faerie dragon named Zeena, and her quest to save the world from the evil Spirit fairy.
Smashwords series https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/20557

“Redemption” – a Christian suspense by Laura Ware

Genre: Christian suspense

When Mary Hollister Beamer was 16, she became pregnant. She is taken to an abortion clinic, where she is told her child was stillborn. Ten years later, Mary is married with a young daughter. One day she gets a note in the mail: “I know what you tried to do. Your son is alive.”

https://www.amazon.com/Redemption-Mrs-Laura-A-Ware/dp/0692298045

Shades of Gray (Amaranthine Book 1) by Joleene Naylor

Genre: paranormal

FREE! When Patrick is murdered, Katelina is left with questions. Jorick, one of his so-called friends, has answers of the darkest kind: Patrick was involved with – and betrayed – a coven of vampires; vampires that may now be after Katelina.

https://www.amazon.com/Shades-Gray-Amaranthine-Book-1-ebook/dp/B002RHP5D6

Offside by David Hendrickson

Genre: Young adult (but plenty of adults have loved it, too). This is the book that has been adopted by high schools for required reading.
“Rabbit” Labelle finally gets his chance to play the sport he loves the most, but he must also confront the dangers of “Lynn, Lynn, City of Sin.” Since it’s 1967 and cities are torn by racial turmoil, this includes his father’s greatest fear: “the Negroes.”

Rabbit, who’d been the most popular kid in Plainfield, Maine, struggles to make friends and wonders if he’ll even survive. Only football can save him.

https://www.amazon.com/Offside-David-H-Hendrickson-ebook/dp/B00QZ5Y3FC

Christmas comes to Oddleton (Oddleton Chronicles) by Dulcie Feenan

Genre: holidays humor

For the teacher Mrs Troyd, the pressure is on.

Who will stand in for the Angel Gabriel? Was it an unwise move for the Shepherd to have eaten three packets of Sour Squigglers and a Whistling Dayglo-pop before the play? And did donkeys wear sombreros in Ancient Palestine?

Whatever happens, this will be a Nativity the parishioners will remember for a very long time….

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-comes-Oddleton-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00AS0UW8W

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY READING Y’ALL! 🙂

Random Friday


I’ve been reading Book 1 of Stella Rimington’s series because it’s the only one of the samples I downloaded that actually grabbed me. And it’s set in England, with MI5, which is what I need to finish that spy story. And she’s a former MI5, so she knows what she’s talking about! 🙂

And I think for the first time I was  a reader/writer. I mean, as a reader I reacted and then the writer said “Hey, that’s exactly what you’ve been taught in those online workshops!” And the thing is: you don’t hide things from the reader. You can hide them from the character, but the reader must know!

That’s why I like multiple point-of-views books and I hate first person. You get only one side of the story (and most of those other samples were “I stories”). I downloaded the sample of Dame Stella Rimington’s autobiography too, but I’m not sure when I’ll get to it. As much as I’d love to read the whole Liz Carlyle in one sitting, I know I can’t, I’m too slow  reader to binge read like that.

Besides, I still have plenty of bundles to read! Here’s a quick rundown of the bundles I’m currently in (and I’m still going through the first, so I’m afraid the others will be in next year’s end-of-the-year recommended reading post, sigh!).

First glimpse of secondary worlds (curated by me, will be gone next month)

Sci-fi July Fever Fun (curated by me, there will be more sales coming soon)

Love Magik’s Glow

More Than Human

Cyborg City

Dragon Tales

Sword Wielders

Vampires of the World (curated by me, sale coming soon)

Mythic Tales

Cats Cats Cats

Funny by Design

So, there you have it! Plenty to choose from… mostly SFF, but not all! 🙂 If you love cats or if you feel blue, the last two would be perfect! Happy reading and have a great weekend!

Random Friday


So, I’ve been reading the Hugo Nominees (too late to vote, of course, but I do try to read at least the shorter works. There’s no way I’m reading the novel finalists, but everything else I try to)… Short story, novella and novelette finalists. 3 Did Not Finish and only one in each of the three categories that I absolutely love (and after checking the Hugo Awards, one won the Hugo, deservedly so, yay!).

I loved:

“An Unimaginable Light”, by John C. Wright (God, Robot, Castalia House)

“Touring with the Alien”, by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2016)

Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com publishing) which has an asexual protagonist and is the one that won the Hugo! 🙂

I was beginning to feel bummed because I didn’t like any of the finalists and though I’d never fing my readers among Worldcon goers, but then I found some gems, so… I have a little chance too. In a couple of years. When I sell another story, hopefully. The one I sent out at the beginning of August already collected 2 rejections, but they were nice rejections – the ones that say “not for us, but send us your next” kind of rejections, so there’s still hope to sell it somewhere.

So maybe next year I’ll have 2 professionally published stories and can run for the Hugos in 2019. One can dream, right? 😉 I won’t be disappointed if I don’t get nominated, and will go to Dublin anyway! 😀 By the way, if you want that one to be your first worlcon, it’s definitely cheaper than for returning people! 😉

Now I hope to get back to reading the novels in the bundles I’m in… looking forward to read everybody else’s work! 🙂 It’s been a drawing/reading week, but weekend I’m back to writing, or better, check that feedback from the first reader and address a couple of things before sending off to proofreader.

Have a great weekend! 🙂

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