Before reading the blurb, I totally thought this was going to be a werewhale romance novel…I can’t decide if I’m disappointed that it’s not.
Captain Ahab’s daughter refuses to let her brother be lost to the sea’s call and the mysteries of their father’s stories.
Determined, Morgan tracks down Ishmael and convinces him to help her on a quest to find and bring back her brother who searches for the fabled island of nightmares. When Morgan and Ishmael are captured by mercenaries far out at sea, they convince their captors to head to the island of nightmares where there are rumored to be riches beyond imagination.
Once on the island, Morgan’s hopes are dashed as members of the crew disappear one by one as the true secret behind the island’s raw natural power is revealed. Can Morgan and the others escape, or is there some darker power trapping them there for its own fearsome purpose?
– Ahab’s Daughter: The Werewhale Saga by Ron Vitale
The Empress Chronicles: Historic Fantasy with a New Kind of Heroine
by Melissa, theLibraryCanary
The Keepsake is the soon-to-be-released first novel in the Young Adult Empress Chronicles series, a fantastic look at the life of teenage princess Elisabeth in Bavaria—known familiarly as Sisi.
In The Keepsake, Sisi’s magical locket takes her back in time and gives her the power to predict true love—but it also embroils her in a dangerous competition with an evil enchantress who would use the locket to wicked ends.
The character is based on the historical princess Elisabeth who goes on to become the Empress of Austria and the Queen of Hungary—a cult figure legendary for her eccentricity: bizarre diets, extreme exercising, exotic pets, a penchant for pink, and a mother-in-law from hell. In other words, the stuff of a novelist’s dreams.
The Empress Chronicles brings us Sisi as researched and imagined by Suzy Vitello. And when Vitello’s not busy writing novels and running a popular series of writer’s workshops, she also maintains Sisi’s Blog. She first began writing the blog as a way of organizing her research, as well as delve more deeply into the mind and persona of the 19th century princess.
What would Sisi have made of Twitter, blogging, and Facebook gossip? What would she sound like? The result is, by turns, hysterically funny and eminently educational.
I asked Vitello to tell us a little more about her interest in Sisi, the scope of the series, and when we can expect to get our hot little birdclaws on The Keepsake. Continue reading
Part of the Best and Worst Series
— in which theothercanary talks about her best and worst reads —
Often, new writers seem to think world-building only applies to science fiction and fantasy books. It’s assumed that if one is writing a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 2011, the world is already built–everyone knows what’s there, who’s there and how the world around them works, so what’s left to explain? But that way of thinking is fatally flawed. It leads to a story-world full of cliched characters and the unshakeable feeling that something is missing.
The solution: Build your world from scratch! But be careful. As this best and worst shows, t is not always easy to find the balance between just-enough and oh-my-god-another-page-full-of-descriptions-about-hills. Continue reading