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I'm fine!

I felt the quake all the way in Mariposa. It was in the middle of nowhere so hopefully did not do much damage.

Crossposted to https://rachelmanija.dreamwidth.org/2294567.html. Comment here or there.

Guess which cat did a runner today?

Bloody Alex knocked out the screen and apparently climbed out the TOP of the same window Erin escaped from the other day. Both had like two inches clearance both times so I'm still not sure how they did it.

I've had both cats over a year and they both escape for the first time this week, when I'm not weight bearing on a boot and it's incredibly hot if I close all windows. Frat boy neighbor helped retrieve him.

Neither seemed to enjoy their escape but windows are going to be closed unless I'm in the room from now on.

Crossposted to https://rachelmanija.dreamwidth.org/2276244.html. Comment here or there.


Chef Nourish on Twitter (link to Yelp review)

Chef Nourish review on Yelp

Chef Nourish review on Facebook

Needless to say, the refund I was promised to receive on Friday, then promised to receive on Monday, has not yet arrived.

Crossposted to https://rachelmanija.dreamwidth.org/2273040.html. Comment here or there.

The Change series reissued

Sherwood and I have regained the rights to our book Stranger and have reissued it at a more sane price ($2.99 for the ebook, as opposed to the previous $11.99) and with new covers by [personal profile] telophase for the entire series.

If you've already read it but haven't written a review of it on Amazon, I will love you forever if you do so. Even a 1-2 line one would work. (We need more reviews to be able to do certain types of advertising on it.) They don't have to be raves, just any honest review is fine.

We are about 2/3rds of the way through book four, Traitor, and hope for a release date this year. If you like Paco and Felicite, you are in for a treat because they have especially awesome storylines in the final book if I do say so myself.

Crossposted to https://rachelmanija.dreamwidth.org/2256663.html. Comment here or there.
Wanna read some F/F shifter stories for a good cause?

I don't have a story in this anthology - I really wanted to write one, but things intervened - but I did help put it together. [personal profile] sholio and [personal profile] ellenmillion have stories here.

She found her fated mate ... and so did she!

Meet the shifter women who will do anything to claim their mates, and the women who love them. From sweet to sizzling, from dragons to wolves to moose, these eight standalone tales of lesbian shifter romance all have a guaranteed happily ever after!

All profits from this collection will be donated to OutRight Action International which works to protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people across the world.

Read more...Collapse )

Her Wild Soulmate

Crossposted to https://rachelmanija.dreamwidth.org/2244232.html. Comment here or there.

My new book: Top Gun Tiger, by Zoe Chant

I have a new book out under my Zoe Chant pen name. It's the final book in Protection, Inc. What a wild ride that's been. But if you like the series, don't worry - it sets up a spinoff, Protection, Inc: Defenders.

If you'd like a copy in epub, please email me or comment to this post.

Lost in the jungle. Pursued by dinosaurs. And that’s the least of their problems…

Tiger shifter and bodyguard Destiny knows Ethan isn’t the one.

No matter that the Recon Marine is the only man who can keep up with her, in a fight or on the dance floor. No matter how he makes her laugh, or how he makes her burn. Shifters always know their mates, and her tiger says he isn’t hers.

But when Ethan’s fire team goes missing on a secret mission, somehow Destiny knows he’s in danger. Drawn by mysterious instincts, she’s the only person who can find him...

And what she’ll discover will change everything she thinks she knows about shifters…and herself.

Discover shifters like you’ve never seen them before in this thrilling action-packed romance! If you love paranormal romance with strong women and tough men, not to mention dinosaurs and adorable flying kittens (yes, really), scroll up and one-click today!

Top Gun Tiger (Protection, Inc. Book 7)

Crossposted to https://rachelmanija.dreamwidth.org/2241004.html. Comment here or there.
Exactly what it says on the can: an encyclopedia of British fairy descriptions and stories by a British folklorist. Her books are all out of print, but I have also obtained her fairy tale novel Kate Crackernuts and a book on cat folklore. I haven't read those yet.

There are cultural notes in this book but it's not academic, but very easy to read and meant to be enjoyed. Old-school and excellent. The stories are vivid, the atmosphere is eerie, and the illustrations are beautiful and scary by turns—often both. I owned this as a child and was absolutely terrified by the story and full-color plate illustration of the Nuckelavee, a horrible centaur without skin.

I lost the book in one of my many moves, then eventually ordered it online to see if it was still good and the Nuckelavee was still scary or if it was just one of those childhood things that loses its impact with age. Nope. Still good. Still scary.

If you like this sort of thing, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Or give it to a child you know, and with any luck it will haunt them like it haunted me.

Abbey Lubbers, Banshees, & Boggarts: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Fairies

Crossposted to https://rachelmanija.dreamwidth.org/2235558.html. Comment here or there.

Kit’s Wilderness, by David Almond

A beautifully written and intricate English children’s book. Kit’s family returns to their ancestral coal mining town to take care of his grandfather after his grandmother died. At home, his grandfather tells him stories of mining and spirits of the mines; at school, he falls in with Allie, a flamboyant girl who wants to be an actress, and Askew, a strange boy who plays the game of Death, in which the children enact being dead. When Kit plays, he puts one foot in the actual world of spirits, and thereafter is haunted by the spirits of children who died in the mines.

For a relatively short book and fast read, this has dizzying layers of complexity. A journey to some sort of underworld is enacted, in separate but related plotlines, by 1) Kit’s grandfather, into both memory and forgetting, 2) the miners, to the past in terms of the layers of fossils they tunnel through and also into the literal underground, 3) a school play based on the Snow Queen, 4) a story about a caveman that Kit is writing, 5) the schoolchildren, in the game called Death which involves going into a pit, 6) Askew, running away from life and literally going underground, 7) Askew’s father, into alcoholism, 8) Kit, into the spirit world, 9) Kit, Askew, and Allie, into the cave where Askew is hiding.

There’s also an incredible amount of character mirroring, doubling, and opposition; to take just two examples, Kit and Askew both bear the same names and ages of boys who died in the mines, and the story Kit is writing is simultaneously a version of Askew’s life, a version of Kit’s life, a magic spell to bring Askew back, Kit’s way of connecting with the past, and Kit’s ticket to his future: a life that will be different from the one his ancestors led.

This book won a whole lot of well-deserved awards. It’s a technical feat that’s also very enjoyable to read, rewarding without being difficult, numinous and moving.

Anyone read this or anything else by Almond? I have only read Skellig, which I recall shared a balance of grittiness and magic, good characterization of even minor characters, and a lot packed into a short length.

Kit's Wilderness

Crossposted to https://rachelmanija.dreamwidth.org/2234729.html. Comment here or there.

Adrift, by Steven Callahan

A well-written account of how Callahan spent 76 days alone and adrift in a life raft after his ship sank in a storm. He was an expert sailor and had been on a long solo voyage before that, so he was well-equipped to handle the situation. He goes into fascinating detail about how he set up his tiny raft (complete with hand-drawn diagrams), caught fish, etc. Even so, it was a dire situation and he survived only by means of extreme resourcefulness, previous foresight (he’d read and recalled other people’s adrift at sea accounts, and bought a “large” raft intended for six people because he could barely move in the smaller ones), and a lot of good luck.

That is, good luck considering that his ship sank, he nearly drowned trying to grab his survival duffel bag, ships passed him by without spotting him, and several crucial elements of his raft turned out to not work very well. On the other hand, he could have drifted in a direction where no one would have ever found him.

Callahan always had an essentially spiritual relationship with the ocean, which this experience only deepened, so the book falls into the category of “my relationship with nature” as well as straightforward survival story. I could have done with more of the aftermath but these sorts of books virtually always skimp on that, so I’m resigned. It’s considered a classic of first-hand survival experience and for good reason. My edition (Mariner) has a charming introduction which is well worth reading.

What true survival stories are your favorites?

Crossposted to https://rachelmanija.dreamwidth.org/2231671.html. Comment here or there.
I took a break from the series after The Scarab Path and just picked it up again, so this isn't a review, just some flaily notes inspired by having just dived into the series again.

I'm glad I'm reading it right now, because the themes of doing your best in incredibly dark times and trying to make the right choices when it's not at all clear what is the right choice, is really something I want to read now.

It's a series largely about war, and without being very gory/gruesome, doesn't sugarcoat it at all. It's emotionally rough, but not despairing. So far at least, it's actually very hopeful about the good in humanity, and is that rare fantasy war series in which the characters who want peace and think it's possible to negotiate with the enemy are not presented as naive morons.

The brutality of the war is also offset by the sheer glee and exuberant inventiveness of the world. I fucking love the kinden, and every time a new one is introduced I share in the author's obvious delight. There's an especially good one in The Scarab Path.

Please don't spoil me for any new kinden introduced after The Air War! Especially, the nature of what's under the seal, which has not yet been confirmed. I love discovering them for myself.

I am not big on bugs in real life, but I admire and enjoy Tchaikovsky's obvious enthusiasm for all things insectile. Can you imagine his room as a young boy? It would be like my parents' cabin only on purpose.

Also, once I got over the hump of the Apt/Inapt divide being 1) essentially magical and so not based on Earth logic like how one defines a machine, 2) being based more on time period, i.e., people from the Bronze Age existing at the same time as people from the Industrial Revolution, than on literally how machines work, it became really fascinating and I love how he's exploring it and introducing new aspects of it.

I've read through book 8 (The Air War) by now, and my book notes include spoilers through that. Please no spoilers past that point! I am delighting in not knowing WTF is going to happen next.

Read more...Collapse )

Crossposted to https://rachelmanija.dreamwidth.org/2231301.html. Comment here or there.


Rachel M Brown

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