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Winding Down The Year

Lioness looking pensive

It’s halfway through October, and creeping ever closer to the day on which I will close the doors on The Scribbling Lion for good. I still have several excellent books in stock, and I’ve set the prices as low as I can afford to drop them; there’s even a coupon on a couple of them, for folks who watch my new YouTube channel or subscribe to my newsletter.

(Haven’t done that yet? Here you go!)

Since I won’t be going out of state to any conventions at this point, I’ve closed out my sales tax accounts in Maryland, South Carolina, and North Carolina. All that’s left is Virginia. I’ll shut that door at the end of December, after Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, this is an excellent time to clear out my inventory with orders. How about SISTERS OF THE WILD SAGE, a magical collection of stories by Nicole Givens Kurtz? Or CITY OF WEIRD, a fantastical anthology of weird Portland tales? I still have cookbooks, one copy each of THE HEARTHSTONE INNKEEPER’S COOKBOOK and STAR WARS: GALAXY’S EDGE. If you’re more interested in epic fantasy, I have all seven books of the CHILDREN OF THE DESERT series — five main, two side novellas — in stock and ready to ship. I have the second and third books of Angela P Wade’s EDWARD RED MAGE series in stock — if you want the first book, just contact me. It’ll be a bit of a wait, given holiday printing demands, along with shipping mayhem, so order that sooner than later!

Wander through the shop, as there are many more titles to be had than what I can reasonably list here. I’d planned on a busy convention season in 2020!

By the way, if you’re missing convention companionship, take a look at ConTinual, an ongoing virtual convention that’s running over on Facebook. There are panels, and seminars, and meet & greets, and a vendor room, and live performances, just like an in person convention. I’ll be presenting on at least one panel in November, so keep an eye out for that!

In person conventions coming back in 2021 is dubious, in my opinion; the economic reality of many conventions is that they run on such a thin margin that this year has completely destroyed their savings buffer. If they’re lucky, their host hotel released them from the contract and they have a chance at starting up again next year; if not, the funds to run a convention just aren’t there. Also, a high proportion of the vendors, writers, and artists that draw attendance in the first place are just as desperately dry, and are, like The Scribbling Lion, effectively out of business.

So virtual meetings, or much smaller meetings in person, are going to be the way forward at least through 2021, I think. It’s going to be an interesting year….

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The Shop is Back!

The Lioness Is Pleased

I’ve finally gotten enough of the crazed cats to run in a sufficiently straight-ish line to where I am rebooting The Shop. I’m still adding inventory as I have time and energy, and I’m still kicking dust off the edges and making things pretty, but there’s enough there to be going on with for now. Please take a look, let me know what you think, and definitely alert me to any glitches!

Thanks for your help and your support! This is where it gets FUN again!

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It’s Winter, Which Means…

The Scribbling Lion Logo

…Winter is PRIME READING TIME. There’s just nothing better than sitting in a comfy chair with a cup of hot chocolate and a great book. We can’t help you with the first two, but we DO have a FANTASTIC selection of books. Want to get away from politics and escape into a world of cozy mystery? Pick up Angela P Wade‘s Edward Red Mage series. Want something grittier and more surreal? Dive into Cassandra Khaw’s worlds. How about YA targeted magical surrealism? Frances Hardinge has that category nailed. We could go on, but really, the best choice here is to take a look through our Pack Page for recommendations.

And if you are looking to dive into political or historical works, we have suggestions there too: Ijeoma Oluo, Kelley Fanto Deetz, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas (academic/scholarly work), and Imani Gandy, for a start.

What are you waiting for? Go order your stack of reading joys now! Or, you could go to Retro Daddio and buy something from our table there. There’s also AtomaCon 2018 coming up, as we may have mentioned once or twice by this point. We’ll be there with books to sell! In any case, start loading up your TBR stack for those cold days when staying home with a book is just the ticket.

 

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Inventory Update

Cats In Space, Anthology

Our inventory for the next three months should remain stable, unless we sell out of something (which we would, of course, LOVE to do!).  Please check the Amazon listing for the most up to date information, as this page will be the last place to update stock quantity. Here’s the current list, with blurbs and buy links:


The Only Harmless Great Thing, by Brooke BolanderTHE ONLY HARMLESS GREAT THING, Brooke Bolander

“…a heart-wrenching alternative history … that imagines an intersection between the Radium Girls and noble, sentient elephants.”

If you haven’t read about the Radium Girls, by the way, here’s another book for you.

5 copies remaining in inventory as of 5/21/18


Sha'Daa: PAWNSSha’Daa: PAWNS and INKED

“The mother of all apocalypses, The Sha’Daa, is back and more terrifying than ever as multiple portals to horrifying hell dimensions open all across the Earth, but there is still hope….”

In PAWNS, each story is told from the point of view of the demons as they try to breach the dimension between dimensions and bring the hordes of Hell to Earth. Obviously they fail … but how? And at what cost to the survivors?

In INKED, each story centers around a magical tattoo, and takes place within a sharply limited time frame and range of locations. The fun, as always, is in seeing how each author spins the constraints and requirements into a galloping fun story.

2 copies of each remaining in stock as of 5/21/18


Dress Like A WomanDress Like A Woman, Vanessa Friedman

A woman can be a firefighter, surgeon, astronaut, military officer, athlete, judge, and scientist. So what does it mean to dress like a woman? Dress Like a Woman turns that question on its head by sharing a myriad of interpretations across history. The book includes more than 240 incredible photographs that illustrate how women’s roles have changed over the last century.”

This book really hit me in the gut at times, with a deep sense of pride in being part of a long history of fighters. The photographs really are that stunning.

1 copy remaining as of 5/21/18


So You Want To Talk About Race, Ijeoma OluoSo You Want To Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo

“… a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the “N” word.”

 

4 copies remaining as of 5/21/18


Cloak of Obscurity, Angela P WadeCloak of Obscurity, Angela P Wade

“Young wizard-for-hire Edward Red Mage was no hero, and he certainly didn’t consider himself an instrument of Divine Justice–until he was called upon to save the life of one of his best friends.”

4 copies remaining as of 5/21//18

Queen Isabeau's Book, Angela P WadeQueen Isabeau’s Book, Angela P Wade

“All wizard-for-hire Edward Red Mage really wants is to tell fortunes and cast spells for the lower classes of Belcamp-a-Lyr. But when an attempt is made on the life of the King’s Royal Wizard, Edward has to take his place. Can a common-born wizard protect a Queen from a conspiracy against the throne? And can he avoid the advances of a beautiful, but possibly murderous, circus performer?”

7 copies remaining as of 5/21/18

The Mermaid and the Monster, Angela P WadeThe Mermaid and the Monster, Angela P Wade

“When someone, or something, leaves a trail of headless corpses around Belcamp, Edward Red Mage finds himself investigating some of the lowest and most depraved places and people of his career. He traces the deaths to one seedy tavern . . . but is blocked from further investigation for fear of creating a scandal. Meanwhile, his childhood flame, Elizabeth Fuller, is back in town. She’s as attractive as ever, and seems to be attracted to him. The only catch? She’s married. With a serial killer stalking the city, and a worldly woman stalking Edward, what could possibly go wrong?”

5 copies remaining as of 5/21/18


The Wizard of Macatawa, Tom DoyleThe Wizard of Macatawa, Tom Doyle

“…this collection contains a mix of fantasy and science fiction short stories, twelve in all, including “While Ireland Holds These Graves” which earned Doyle a win with Writers of the Future.”

2 copies remaining as of 5/21/18


Going Through The Change, Samantha BryantGoing Through The Change, Samantha Bryant

“Going through “the change” isn’t easy on any woman. Mood swings, hot flashes, hormonal imbalances, and itchy skin are par for the course. But for these four seemingly unrelated women, menopause brought changes none of them had ever anticipated—super-heroic changes.”

2 copies left as of 5/21/18

Change of Life, Samantha BryantChange of Life, Samantha Bryant

“With great power comes…great frustration. Several months after the events of Going Through the Change, retired corporate vice president (and occasional lizard-woman) Patricia O’Neill is embroiled in a search for the mad scientist who brought the “change” upon them all. Meanwhile, Flygirl Jessica Roark and gender-bending strongman Linda/Leonel Alvarez have joined a mysterious covert agency known only as The Department. They’re training hard, in hopes of using their newfound powers for the greater good. Patricia thinks they’re being used….”

3 copies left as of 5/21/18

Face The Change, Samantha BryantFace The Change, Samantha Bryant

“The Menopausal Superheroes are coming out of the closet and the pressure is high, on the job and on the homefront.”

5 copies left as of 5/21/18


The Lie Tree, Frances HardingeThe Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge

“Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy—a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered…”

1 copy left as of 5/21/18

A Skinful of Shadows, Frances HardingeA Skinful of Shadows, Frances Hardinge

“…a dark YA historical fantasy set in the early part of the English Civil War. Makepeace is an illegitimate daughter of the aristocratic Fellmotte family, and as such, she shares their unique hereditary gift: the capacity to be possessed by ghosts. Reluctant to accept her appointed destiny as vessel for a coterie of her ancestors, she escapes. As she flees the pursuing Fellmottes across war-torn England, she accumulates a motley crew of her own allies, including outcasts, misfits, criminals, and one extremely angry dead bear.”

4 copies left as of 5/21/18


Secrets of the Sands, Leona R WisokerSecrets of the Sands, Leona R Wisoker

When Cafad Scratha was a child, someone murdered his entire family. People have questioned his sanity ever since. As the last Scratha, he’s dedicated his life to catching the murderers. Now a desert lord, one of the mysterious elite of the southlands, he stands above every mundane political imperative and rule of courtesy—or so it seems until the king of the northlands tries to bring Scratha to heel.

7 copies left as of 5/21/18

Guardians of the Desert, Leona R WisokerGuardians of the Desert, Leona R Wisoker

Not long ago, Alyea Peysimun was a shallow young noblewoman maneuvering for personal power. Her first attempt at politics proved far more dangerous than she dreamed possible, and nearly ended her life. Now she is a desert lord, one of the powerful, little-understood southern elite. But power changes everything … —including who to call friend and enemy.

Plenty of copies left as of 5/21/18

Fallen City, Leona R WisokerFallen City, Leona R Wisoker

Dekstakheiq (Deiq) is a human-hakrethe crossbreed called a hakrakha. He is worshiped as a demigod, immune to human laws, largely indifferent to human wants and needs. He seeks only to amuse himself — usually by stirring up trouble amongst the humans. But being all-powerful is boring, and spending so much time around the humans has changed Deiq more than he ever expected … much to the displeasure of his hakrethe kin.

Plenty of copies left as of 5/21/18

Bells of the Kingdom, Leona R WisokerBells of the Kingdom, Leona R Wisoker

Ha’reye and humanity have misunderstood one another for over a thousand years–and that may be the only reason humanity still exists….

Plenty of copies left as of 5/21/18

 

Fires of the Desert, Leona R Wisoker

Sometimes, love just gets in the way…

Plenty of copies left as of 5/21/18

 

A Small Price to Pay, Leona R WisokerA Small Price to Pay, Leona R Wisoker

Cuna, an ambitious young woman, breaks with tradition and risks her life to become an assassin-spy, but the cost of her choices is far higher than even she expected.

AVAILABLE IN EBOOK ONLY, AND THROUGH SMASHWORDS.

 

Salt City, Leona R WisokerSalt City, Leona R Wisoker

As the northern kingdom begins its spiral into that dark time later named “The Purge”, Moir’s choices set him on a uniquely perilous road, binding his future to the whim of creatures that were old before humanity was born. He must decide who he serves: Church, King, gods … or something so tenebrous and dangerous that it could well overshadow every one of those entities.

Plenty of copies left as of 5/21/18

Servants of the Sands, Leona R WisokerServants of the Sands, Leona R Wisoker

A ubiquitous southern saying: “Everyone serves, in the end”. Another: “The teyanain are involved, eventually, in everything.” People rarely consider how those two statements overlap….

Plenty of copies left as of 5/21/18


Hammers on Bone by Cassandra KhawHammers on Bone, Cassandra Khaw

John Persons is a private investigator with a distasteful job from an unlikely client. He’s been hired by a ten-year-old to kill the kid’s stepdad…

3 copies left as of 5/21/18


Los Nefilim, Teresa FrohockLos Nefilim, Teresa Frohock

Diago Alvarez, a singular being of daimonic and angelic descent, is pulled into the ranks of Los Nefilim in order to protect his newly-found son. As an angelic war brews in the numinous realms, and Spain marches closer to civil war, the destiny of two worlds hangs on Diago’s actions. Yet it is the combined fates of his lover, Miquel, and his young son, Rafael, that weighs most heavily on his soul.

Lyrical and magical, Los Nefilim explores whether moving towards the light is necessarily the right move, and what it means to live amongst the shadows.

2 copies left as of 5/21/18


Erfworld book 1, Rob BalderErfworld, Rob Balder

The Battle for Gobwin Knob tells the story of obsessive strategy gamer Parson Gotti, who is magically summoned into a gamelike fantasy universe and forced to command an army in an all-too-real war. This is the first book in the long-running online graphic novel “Erfworld.”

2 copies left as of 5/21/18


Cats In Space, AnthologyCats In Space, Anthology

Seven stories about cats. In space. What else is there to say, really?

1 copy left as of 5/21/18


Shut Up And Eat 2, Angela PritchettShut Up And Eat 2, Angela Pritchett

Take a culinary adventure in the TARDIS with Shut Up and Eat Vol. 2! The Unofficial Doctor Who Series Nine, Ready to Dine Cookbook. Explore each new episode from series nine with a full meal and relive the action and adventure right along with the Doctor, Clara, Osgood and others! Enjoy dishes like Missy’s Java Jump, Mini Zygon Gummies, The Osgood Box Mac n Cheese and many many more!

2 copies left as of 5/21/18


That’s all we have right now — but we have a list of books to add in as these sell out, so keep an eye on our Amazon Sales Page, please! And remember — LEAVE REVIEWS. Ask your local library to stock a book you particularly like, if they don’t already. Donate a copy, if you can! Support small bookstores, like, well, us — but also Orielis‘, and Oakley’s, and so many others. Look for the one closest to you! And don’t forget about the fabulous Little Free Libraries popping up everywhere. Those are great places to drop off a copy of your faves and find new titles!

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New Inventory!

Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw

Just in time for RavenCon 2018, I’ve added FIVE titles to the shelves. Two of them should be arriving this week, the other three are already listed on our Amazon shop and are on the table at Retro Daddio’s.  I’ll start with the latter first.

WARNING: Some of the links lead to troubling videos and articles. I’ve put a star next to those, just in case you’re not in a good place for hard-to-see information right now.

The Mermaid and The Monster, by Angela P Wade. Third book in the ongoing Edward Red Mage series, this episode finds its hero chasing a mysterious murderer who is leaving headless corpses all over Ed’s beloved Belcamp; falling hopelessly in love (lust?) with an old childhood friend newly returned to town (unfortunately with a ring already on); and desperately out of his depth as a nouveau nobleman. He grows up — and thins out — in this volume. It’s an entertaining romp that will leave fans wanting the next volume. (Full disclosure: I’m the editor of the series to date. I’m biased.)

Dress Like A Woman: Working Women and What They Wore, by Vanessa Friedman and Roxanne Gay, is a stunning overview of what women have worn to work over the past century. Light on text and heavy on gorgeous photos, the array of outfits and the accompanying context notes left me feeling both astonished and deeply proud of what women have accomplished. It’s one thing to know that women have worked in every possible field, overcoming barriers right, left, and center: to see it in full color, to see their faces … is just breathtaking. Pride and joy is on full display, interspersed with stolid “yeah, so?” expressions and even an occasional look of “get that damn camera out of here so I can get back to work”. I found myself newly determined to “git ‘er done” as these women have done, no excuses, just get to work. For those who need a cheaper version, the ebook is just as gorgeous as the hardcover.

So You Want To Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo, is an absolute must-read for anyone ready to confront the vast shitstain of racism in American society. And actually, even if you’re not, you ought to read this book anyway–because nobody’s waiting for you to be ready. We’re all in the middle on a longstanding, ongoing, and expanding mess. Get involved. At the very least, get informed. Oluo is an excellent source for that information. She has a way of delivering reality that both bypasses and shatters the “I’m not racist!” armor so many of us wear. I follow her on Twitter (@IjeomaOluo), and strongly suggest you do as well.

As a side note: In case you hadn’t heard, two incidents at two different Starbucks recently are incisive illustrations of why all of us need to look at racism in our everyday lives. Not just white people, although we are far and away the most prevalent and pervasive and treacherous offenders; racism is incredibly complicated. Take a look *here, and *here, to see what I mean. (The first link is to a CBS article, the second to a NBC article.)

Moving back to books: I’m currently waiting on the arrival of two more books: The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander and  Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw. Technically, Hammers on Bone is a refill, not a new item, but my first batch sold out so fast it might as well still be new. I’ve put up an author page for Khaw; take a look at it, and follow the links provided to her excellent short fiction.

I’m on record as loving almost everything Khaw has written to date. Her Rupert Wong books aren’t quite to my … err … taste, but there’s no question that the writing is utterly gorgeous. Her grasp of horror kicks Lovecraft, Lansdale, and, dare I say, Bradbury to the curb. In Hammers on Bone, a demonic detective is approached by a desperate kid who needs help with a domestic problem. Specifically, the kid wants to kill his stepfather. And he has a damned (ahem) good reason….

Last but not least, Brooke Bolander’s debut novel, The Only Harmless Great Thing, absolutely grabs and kicks the reader the whole way through. It’s a gorgeously written story. Bolander has combined two true things: the *Radium Girls and the *electrocution of an elephant (both of which occurred during the early 20th century), and created an unearthly tale of desperation and rage, greed and injustice, that serves up a sharp reminder that even today, “regulations are written in blood”. Loosen the laws, look the other way, and people … not just humans, but people … die. It’s not a cheerful book, but it is an important one. The questions it raises will haunt the reader, and perhaps make us all take a harder look at the things we’ve been trying not to see happening around us. Bolander is on my short list at this point; I’m very interested indeed to see what she produces in the coming years.

That’s not the most cheerful note on which to end this update, so let me take a sharp turn sideways to more amusing and yet still strange items.

Visitors to the Detroit Zoo recently had a chance to walk out with buckets of “zoo poo” … great for your garden, and hey, what a story to tell your neighbors as well!

Zombie Raccoons. Really? Not quite. But still makes for an interesting story premise, for you horror writers out there…

Unusual Cookbooks. From The Decadent Cannibal’s Cookbook to Entertaining With Insects. Yum … ?

There you go. Enjoy the pâté … but carefully …. 😀

 

 

 

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Change Of Direction

Hello, everyone!

I’ve taken another good hard look at the business model and decided to make some long overdue changes. After some research, I’ve decided that Amazon would be more accessible and convenient for the majority of our customers, and provide a wider audience to the authors The Scribbling Lion is promoting. So: I’m discontinuing the shop as it stands and moving that function over to Amazon. Buy links now redirect over to an Amazon sales page. CAUTION: Be aware that this Amazon page may not be not mobile friendly. 🙁

I’m putting the focus of the business back where it belongs: on the promotion and support of authors, especially those in marginalized and minority demographics. It’s past time I reconnected with the passion that prompted me to open this business in the first place. I‘ll still have sales tables at conventions and events throughout the year, but I’m going to allow myself to concentrate on the part that makes me really happy: geeking out about excellent authors.

Stay tuned to see how this refocus develops! And let’s all tackle 2018 with the passion, grace, and ferocity of a lioness. Forward!

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Cassandra Khaw

Opinion: HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Khaw creates Lovecraftian, surreal tales that hit hard and stay in the memory. So far, I’ve read Hammers on Bone and A Song for Quiet, and they’re both absolutely, utterly excellent. The vivid imagery and well defined characters are nearly addictive. Definitely check out her work!

Khaw on Amazon

On Facebook

On Twitter

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News Roundup

OK, folks, there’s a whole new batch of awesome stuff for you to take a look at. And some really depressing stuff, so let’s get that out of the way first.

January 2016 has undeniably started out on a less than happy note. In the last three weeks, we’ve lost Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Rene Angelil, Dan Haggerty, Dale Griffin, David Heartwell, and Glenn Frey. If you don’t know one or more of those names, don’t look them up–you’ll just get your heart broken at the wonderfulness you’ve missed. Many of the deaths were to cancer.  Too many. Far too goddamn many. And I’m personally expecting to lose two or three more people I love to cancer before the end of the year. So this is a shit start to the year, no question about that. Not to mention ELECTION YEAR and TRUMP and POISONED WATER SUPPLY and POLICE CORRUPTION and ohmygodddddddddd it goes ON and ON. Horrific.

HOWEVER.

Tempting through it is, I ain’t hiding under the bed with a bottle of Xanax. Not gonna happen. Instead, I’m going to look at all the amazing stuff that’s ALSO been happening. And I’m going to shout at you about how amazing YOU are, just because you aren’t hiding under the bed yourself. And if you are, I’m going to say you’re STILL amazing, and I’m going to do my best to coax you out so you can see all this other excellently happy news.

Here goes. Take a look at this:

Musician Jonah Knight is branching out into fiction! His short story, The Giant Killer, is coming out in Gaslight And Grimm: Steampunk Fairy Tales through eSpec Books.  They ran a wonderfully successful Kickstarter–take a look here for all the details–and are currently chasing down the last of the stretch goals. Since Danielle Ackley-McPhail is involved in this project, I can tell you that A) it’s a solidly reliable investment and B) it’s going to be high quality. Oh, and C) the backer rewards seriously rock. Free digital downloads of this that and the other from a spectacular array of names including Gail Z. Martin, Kelly A. Harmon, Jody Lynn Nye, Jean Marie Ward, and Danny Birt. Take a look at the Kickstarter and toss five bucks in if you can, boost the signal as loud as possible.

Speaking of music and Jonah Knight, last weekend was MarsCon of Williamsburg, VA. Why is that connected? Well, there were several concerts featuring a wide array of voices, including Jonah. And Danny Birt. And Mikey Mason. And S.J. Tucker. And The Blibbering Humdingers, and Griff’s Room Band, and White Plectrum, and… well. You had to have been there to appreciate the epic scope of the lineup this year. BUT WAIT. Thanks to staff photographer Earl Harris, there is VIDEO of many of the concerts. He’s sorting through the footage now, and I should be able to post clips by Monday next. Keep an eye on the MarsCon Facebook page in the meanwhile; other folks are posting their own videos, if you’re not willing to wait. (Earl’s vids are good, though. He had a feed into the sound board, for one thing, which makes the sound on his videos nice and clear.)

Two musicians who weren’t at MarsCon but who deserve a note here:

Devo Spice, nerdcore rap comedian extraordinaire (no, seriously, check out his awards and achievements, I’m not just being nice here), has a few new projects for you to sit up and take note of. For one thing, he’s creating a video game called Sneaky Monster, which looks like it’s going to be a LOT of fun and has a great origin story. For another, he has an absolutely hysterical new video out, Dinky McDiddlyboots, that you HAVE TO WATCH. He took a moment of teasing by fellow musician Shoebox of Worm Quartet, and turned it around into a great earworm of a song.

A new, Virginia-local discovery for me: Shelly Thiss, blues singer extraordinaire. I know, you haven’t heard of her, it’s okay. She doesn’t self-promote the way Devo does. (She really ought to!) I heard her sing at the Williamsburg Winter Blues Jazz Fest recently, and she completely astounded me with the power, strength, depth, and passion of her singing. Move over, Adele, Shelly just passed you like you was standin’ still. Shelly sings with the Mike Lucci Band, and if you visit their web site you can listen to clips of Shelly singing–and check out the songs she WROTE, too! Talented, talented lady. I’m very glad I met her.

Another great discovery for me at the Winter Festival was the beer. There were many, many craft beers on display. Some were okay, some were terrible–seriously, folks, a beer is a beer. Quit adding so many damn fancy things to it. Lemongrass? Pineapple? ROSEMARY? *shudder* yick. Fortunately, I found one that I absolutely loved: Lickinghole Creek’s Chocolate Heir Apparent Russian Imperial Stout. I went out looking and found it at my local wine & beer shop, which made me very happy indeed. I will add a caveat–according to the beer-ista (what else should I call someone smart about beer who works at a wine & beer specialty shop? I like beer-ista, myself), the blend served at the Festival was extra chocolatey, more so than what’s in the official bottle. I haven’t opened it yet–it’s a big bottle, I need to have someone to share it with!–but I’m looking forward to seeing the difference.

In fiction news, I suggest checking out the following titles forthwith:

A Small Price To Pay, Leona R Wisoker — How far will you go for freedom? A short origin story about one of the plot points in the next Children of the Desert book. Also, a look at just how freaking brutal Lord Evkit can be. Currently available through pre-order–only $0.99, truly a small price! Available through Smashwords, and a fair chunk of it is up for sample reading. Also be sure to read Fallen City, a longer treatment of a different backstory point in the series, this one involving the cryptic Deiq of Stass.

Mussorgsky Riddle, by Darin Kennedy — What, you’re sick of hearing me talk about this title? THEN GO FREAKING READ IT ALREADY so I can shut up about how marvelous it is. The sequel is currently in editorial, and I’ll tell you AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN that it’s even better than the first one.

Vendetta, by Gail Z Martin — I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s the next book in the Deadly Curiosities series, and I’m *ahem* dying for the chance (meaning: time) to read it. I love the DC series SO much. I think it’s hands-down the best stuff Gail’s ever written.

So if you’re snowed in along the East Coast, download one of those books.

And speaking of snow, it’s piling up here in Williamsburg, so I’m going to sit and admire it for a while. This is my absolutely favorite time of the year! Here’s wishing you a safe and happy snowpocalypse 2016! 😀