Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Puzzle Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Crown of Bones puzzle hunt cover reveal and giveaway.
I'm so excited to point you all in the direction of EntangledTeen's cover reveal of my next book! The cover is spectacular and finding the pieces on the Instagram tour puts you in the running to win a copy, fresh off the press.

The Giveaway

It’s all happening on Instagram. You simply follow and copy a puzzle piece from each of these influencers below, screenshot the puzzle piece from their insta, then post on EntangledTeen to be in it to win.

Details live on the 18th on my Instagram, a.k.wilder, or Entangled's or any of the book Divas below. The influencers participating are:   

What the Cover Won't Be

I can't divulge the Crown of Bones cover until September 25th, but I can tell you what it won't be like. Here are a few of the early drafts from the Entangled Art Department.

These drafts were created with the w/t of The Bone Throwers, now the series title.

I hope you like the official cover as much as I do. Drop back here on the 25th to see it, or take the Instagram tour and be in it to win.

Fun Jigsaw Puzzle Facts

Image III

The origins of jigsaw puzzles go back to the 1760s when European mapmakers pasted maps onto wood and cut them into small pieces with - you guessed it - a jigsaw. But the name 'jigsaw' wouldn't be applied for another 150 years. Before then, the puzzles were called 'dissecting puzzles'.

Not exactly a name that flows off the tongue...

Image III is 'Europe Divided into its Kingdoms,' a1766 puzzle drawn by London cartographer John Spilsbury. It's known as the world’s very first jigsaw puzzle.

More Facts

Jigsaw puzzles are good for the brain, waking up both left and right sides. The left side sorts the pieces logically while the right side visions the finished product and works intuitively. 

And how long does it take to make one? Guinness Book of Records has 15-year-old Deepika Ravichandran as the fastest puzzler on the planet, logging in at 13 minutes and seven seconds to complete the official Guinness puzzle on May 9, 2014. 

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Stay tuned! I'll be back on the 25th with the full cover reveal just for Sup readers.

Thanks for all your support!

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Kim Falconer's New YA Fantasy Series is out March 2020 - The Crown of Bones. 

Also, check her urban fantasy out now - The Blood in the Beginning - and Ava Sykes Novel and the SFF Quantum Enchantment Series

You can find Kim on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Contact me also at kimfalconer.com

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

High Fives with Amanda: Five Awesome things about Back to School

Hello there!
I know, its been forever, but enough about me, let's talk School. As you might know, I have a Bean who will be in Kinder this year, so we are full on uniforms and backpacks and carpool lanes. As a new mom to this new clutter, there are a few things that are actually GREAT about Back to School and I thought I would share as they have drastically changed my life and my writing.

Top Five Awesome things about Back to School.

1. Germs. New school, new germs! Well after the past three weeks of stomach flu and head cold, I am ready for whatever Germ-pocolypse those scientists can muster up. I'm convinced I can survive everything with the immunity invested in me by the petrie dish that is Kindergarten.

2. School supplies. For a writer, this is the best time of year. This is when the post-its are all BOGO, in every shape and size, and in all the new fall colors. You can get a hundred pencils for three dollars. You can find compositions notebooks for next to nothing. Erasers shaped like Unicorns- no problem. Its like Christmas for writers. This is when you need to make your list for your families to check twice.

3. New for no reason. Need a pencil for Back to School- sure! But sheets? Pillows? Fridge? Coffee pot? Everything is on sale. Need a new organizer for your spirals- bet that is on sale. Need a mirror locker- bet its on sale! Back to School helped me get new journals AND new pants, just because we are going back to school and you can't go back to school in last years pants. Duh!

4. Forces a schedule. With the new carpool times, the Bean and I are on a pretty tight schedule and I find that I like it. She HAS to go to bed at 8:30, which means I have exactly from 5:30-8:30 to love and squeeze and feed and bathe her in an orderly fashion. There is no stay-up night (except on Saturdays) and there is no movie watching on a Tuesday. Our lives have become nearly predictable, which is great for my post-830 brain when I can sit down and actually get some writing done.

5. Time is precious. Please don't read the above as stifling. Its not. It has helped me realize that Time is a precious commodity. Those thirty minutes we get for dinner- you better damn well believe there isn't a screen in sight, because those minutes are now precious and might be the only ones I get to spend with my kid sitting and talking and telling stories. Back to School has brought me a sense of awareness that my kid is growing up and I won't let that slip past me. Knowing that I can focus on her now, because I'll have time to write later, has only purified my attention on those two times of time which are special and deserving of my attention.


So there you have it: the best things about Back to School.


If you have a Top Five list you'd like me to cultivate, please let me know in the comments below or at @pantherista

In the meantime, give yourself a high five!

Amanda AristaAuthor

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Romance In Fantasy Fiction: A "Beauty & the Beast" Riff In Julian May's Saga Of The Exiles

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Intro: #RIFF #YOR

I'm excited to get to to the 7th instalment of my Year of Romance (#YOR) post series on Supernatural Underground. Specifically, that is, Romance in Fantasy Fiction (#RIFF) and most specifically of all, romances that I've enjoyed over many years of reading. #JustSayin' ;-)

Today's feature is a series that was pretty big in the 1980s (or so I believe!), just to stay on track with my intention to switch between older and newer works. 

That series, as the title above has completely given away is Julian May's Saga Of The Exiles, or as I think of it, The Many-Colored Land Quartet — The Many-Colored Land being the title of the first book in the series.

Julian May's Saga Of The Exiles — A "Beauty and the Beast" Riff with the Tale of Katlinel & Sugoll

In point of fact, there are many romances in Julian May's Saga of the Exiles, some of them more central to the main story than that of Katlinel and Sugoll  — but I've always liked their particular riff  on the Beauty and the Beast romantic theme. And as I've said from the outset, this post-series is all about my favourites. :-) 

First, though, I think I have to provide a basic outline of the Saga of the Exiles storyline. In the not-too-distant future, humanity has become part of a Galactic Milieu of civilizations with psychic capabilities. Human beings who cannot adjust to this enlightened new world order, are permitted to time-travel back in time to the Pliocene Era, approximately six million years ago, in quest of a simpler life.

There's only one little problem. Unbeknownst to everyone in the 22nd century, there are already two other cultures present on Pliocene Earth: the Tanu and the Firvulag. The Tanu resemble a cross between Celtic sidhe and the Norse gods, while the Firvulag are more closely aligned with races such as dwarves and goblins, ogres and dark elves. Both are highly magical beings and committed to an aeons-old battle for dominance, part of which is expressed through ritualized combats.

At the outset of the story, the Tanu are controlling the arrival of human time-travellers into the Pliocene. Those who have no psychic or magical capabilities are enslaved for labor, military, and reproductive purposes. Those who do possess such abilities, however, are co-opted into the ranks of the Tanu, some of them rising to high positions.

Katlinel, also known as Katlinel the Darkeyed, is the daughter of a Tanu father and human mother, and one of the Tanu elite in terms of power. Sugoll is a Firvulag, but of a subtribe known as Howlers, whose dwelling place and sensitivity to radiation has led to hideous mutations. As the leader of the Howlers, Sugoll is seeking a solution to reverse the mutations. Part of his qualifications as leader are that he is the most powerful but also the most grotesquely mutated Howler...

Although Katlinel and Sugoll are on opposite sides of the Tanu-Firvulag divide, they meet during the truce and Fair that precedes one of the major ritualized combats between the two species. In it, Sugoll uses his magic to manifest as a handsome prince, a magic too strong for Katlinel to completely penetrate, although her own abilities lead her to recognize it as illusion. Regardless, the two fall in love and Katlinel, defying the Tanu-Firvulag divide. goes to live among the Howlers and work to reverse the mutation effect.

One of the significant aspects of the Beauty and the Beast storyline is that as the story, and their relationship evolves, Sugoll ceases to resort to illusion when with Katlinel. Their love is strong enough for him to appear as his true self in every way. An important part of that is because his character and personality resemble his illusion-self and Katlinel sees to the heart of that truth.

Although their relationship is not the most important one in the series, it is nonetheless significant. I've always liked it, too, because Katlinel and Sugoll are the first individuals to step beyond the traditional enmities and bridge the Tanu-Firvulag-human divisions that are core to the book's conflicts. And although there are other relationships in the series, theirs is one of the most truly equal and also based on a positive expression of power, to an end that transcends personal loyalties and ambitions.

In fact, Katlinel and Sugoll are definitely one of the power couples you'd most want to be around in the Pliocene — and maybe in any era. Again, #JustSayin' ;-)


List of Year of Romance in Fantasy Posts (so far):



Helen Lowe is a teller of tales and purveyor of story, chiefly by way of novels and poetry; she also blogs and occasionally interviews fellow writers. Her first novel, Thornspell (Knopf), was published to critical praise in 2008. The second,The Heir of Night(The Wall Of Night Series, Book One) won the Gemmell Morningstar Award 2012, and the sequel, The Gathering Of The Lost, was shortlisted for the Gemmell Legend Award in 2013.Daughter Of Blood (Book Three), was published in 2016 and Helen is currently completing the final novel in the series. She posts regularly on her “…on Anything, Really” blog, monthly on the Supernatural Underground, and is also on Twitter:@helenl0we.