It’s HEEEEEEEEEEEERE!

My book is now officially published! Yippy! As such, I am so keen on people who would like to review it 🙂 Please contact me if you would like a free reviewer’s copy in exchange for an honest review (posted on goodreads or your blog or amazon/kobo/smashwords, whichever you like). I have pdf, epub and mobi versions so please let me know which you would like and I shall happily send it along! You can fill out the form below or email me at nogaku89@gmail.com

Please read below for the blurb & click here if you would like to read a scene.

Also, if you would like to purchase the book I currently have it up on Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords for US$0.99, although I am looking at expanding to other outlets in the near future.

Please note that this story is New Adult Paranormal Fantasy and includes:

Coarse language, violence, sexual references and one sex scene

Black Swan GOODfirst

The striking Black Swan is native to Australia, unrelated to the seemingly pure White Swan of Europe. She is found in the strangest of places – from ugly mines to cultivated farms, beautiful bushland to violent coastline.

Yet, she always shies away from humanity.

The Black Swan is always beautiful, surprisingly resilient and very, very powerful. Most Black Swans are wise enough not to use that power to challenge the status quo.

Most…

Anita had the kind of reputation in high school that no one wants to carry into adulthood, especially since she wants to be a doctor like her dad. Now at university, she is determined to be good, but one little end-of-semester celebration can’t hurt, right? Well, it can if she ends up having a one-night stand with a werewolf that triggers a dark awakening. Turns out Anita’s over-active libido has become more than something hormonal – it’s magical.

The Black Swan is a powerful legacy that brings both temptation and danger. Having now inherited the title and all that comes with it, Anita finds herself beset upon by ancient abominations that won’t take no for an answer. No wonder the Black Swan had been driven to seclusion and banishment in the past. But Anita is determined not to run away – she is here to help, whether the medieval dragon-wolf or the undead cultists want it or not.

She will be no one’s pawn. She will rise to the challenge.

If she can just manage to deal with her own flaws first. Anxiety, panic-attacks, and bouts of bitchiness does not a successful diplomat make.

Ebook Distribution Services

While investigating the nitty-gritty unexpected details in this self-publishing business (I think I was googling something about ISBNs (those numbers above the barcodes if you didn’t know (like how I didn’t) – consensus seems to be that they aren’t necessary, but are a good thing to have to back up your rights)), I came across this blog post by savvy writers:

http://www.savvybookwriters.com/how-to-distribute-your-ebook-worldwide/

It references the British company eBook Partnership as an option for self-publishers who want to reach ALL OF THE DISTRIBUTORS!

all the distributors

This is a thing? You can pay someone to reach all of the outlets and even libraries? AND THEY DON’T TAKE COMMISSION???

Colour me suspicious.

I’ve got to be honest here: this seems too good to be true. These guys only charge $50 for a year of this:

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They do have plenty of recommendations on their website… but you know how if it seems too good to be true, it probably is?

What I’d like to know, is if any of you authors/interested parties out there have heard of this? For now, it seems legit, but I’m definitely curious on getting some third-party opinions…

So, what do you think?

Tomorrow Is Thanksgiving – Time To Change It To “Thinksgiving”?

Please read this. I have nothing to add to this argument – Leiah just nails it.

So, I Read This Book Today

Mohammed Zeyara posted this on Facebook this morning. First, you must realize I have no real idea who this person is, he is simply someone who wound up on my ‘following you’ list. Huh. A guy with over a million followers is following me-how cool is that?

The forced removal of the Cherokee Nation took them 1,000 miles west to Oklahoma, but along the way thousands died from starvation, disease or freezing to death during the winter months of the forced removal. Some estimates say that 55% of the Cherokee Nation died as a direct result of the Trail of Tears. (A Little Matter of Genocide, Churchill)

Anyway, I was reading this, and it really hit home for me. My family on my mother’s side was Quapaw, a Native American Tribe. They were part of the “Great Removal” – the Cherokee Trail of Tears, (other tribes, including Choctaw…

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Indie Book Review: The Power of Six by Nicholas C. Rossis

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Review:

I love short stories that come with twists, something that challenges the reader’s perception and expectations. Of course, I like short stories that are enjoyable and entertaining, but if it has that twist in there it gives a nice zing to the whole thing – makes you think about it afterwards and reflect and read it again just to see if the changed perspective works. In this case, it does!

These short stories were perfect for me: they were fun, they made me think, and they intrigued me. The extra short story by Amos M. Carpenter compliments perfectly with the sci-fi ‘perception’ theme of Nicholas C. Rossis’ six short stories.

If you want a fun taste of sci-fi then I have to recommend this book.

I received this book as a gift from the author. This review is my honest opinion.

The Power of Six by Nicholas C. Rossis

Plus one short story by Amos M. Carpenter.

Book Length: 137 pages (includes sneak-peaks at Perseas, Year 18: The Schism by Nicholas C. Rossis and The Beginning by Ryan Schneider)

Science Fiction Short story collection.

Author Websitenicholasrossis.me

According to the Blurb on the Back:

Six science fiction short stories written by the author of Pearseus, the epic fantasy series that has reached #1 on Amazon. This edition includes an extra story, by Amos M. Carpenter.

Although they seem to be concerned with various themes, there are certain passions that run through them, almost obsessively. What is the nature of reality; digital and corporeal? Is there more to the world than we can see? How far can we trust our senses? What are the consequences of our actions, and is it possible to change them? And if so, would we simply repeat same mistakes, or make new ones?

The anthology includes “I Come in Peace”, an award-winning short story that deals with a tortuous question: how far would man go to alleviate his loneliness? Readers of Pearseus will certainly recognize here the birth of the Orbs.

Humorous and poignant, these short stories are exciting, intriguing and imaginative.

Summer’s Here!!!

And the Poinciana’s gone CRAZY! Which is just amazing of course. If Jacaranda is the tree for Spring and Frangipani for Summer, Poinciana is to bridge the gap between 🙂

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I’ve been told the reason the trees are so packed with bright red flowers is because we haven’t had any rain yet to knock the flowers down. It would be nice to have some rain though, especially for the farmers in regional areas. Summer is great, but if it’s not flooding, it’s drought.

Anyway, I found the last dregs of the Jacaranda blooms:

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The Frangipanis are getting started too…

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And I found some surprise sunflowers! They’re on the fenceline of an apartment block, so I’m not sure who tends to them, but they look great!

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I love walking around my neighbourhood to see the change of the plants and the seasons. We don’t have ”proper” seasons in Brisbane but we do get some beauty from nature to tell the turn of time. I really should post my photos of flowers more, or just whatever I fancy taking a photo of. I love seeing other people’s photos, like on Midwestern Plants or Tea and Paper or To Search and Find Happiness Everyday (I’m sorry if I missed anyone!), so I’m going to do it too 🙂

I took these photos Tuesday afternoon, 18 November 2014.

Teacher Scenarios

Photo: when practicing routines & procedures...

From Teacher Memes’ Facebook page

I’ve been running scenarios in my head with how I would cope as a Middle-School Science Teacher. This is what I’ve come up with.

Scenario 1:

Some smart-aleck student: “Miss, tell us about Uranus.”

Me: “We won’t be studying heavenly bodies until week twelve.”

How I’d like it to go

Whole class applause.

How I expect it will go

I’ll be sacked for sexual harassment.

Scenario 2:

When a student raises their hand to ask a question, I’ll high-five that hand.

How I’d like it to go

Everyone thinks it’s awesome.

How I expect it will go

I’ll be sacked for physical abuse.

Scenario 3:

Class won’t be quiet, so I bring in a fog-horn.

How I’d like it to go

Class is quiet, and everyone respects me.

How I expect it will go

Students’ ears will start bleeding and I’ll be sacked for dangerous use of sound.

Scenario 4:

Kids start rumour mill that pairs me up with male teachers. I tell them I’m asexual.

How I’d like it to go

Kids become respectful and no longer make assumptions about people’s sexual orientation.

How I expect it will go

Kids will assume I must be taking part in orgies, the rumour mill gets worse, and I’m sacked because parents start pulling their kids out of my classes.

Scenario 5:

Kids rise as soon as bell goes off.

How I’d like it to go

They all simultaneously meet my eyes and slowly sit back down.

How I expect it will go

Ideal situation doesn’t work, so I try to block the door, and get murdered by the mob in that bloody-hand-reaches-up-and-stains-the-doorknob-way.

Conclusion:

When I start this education course, I better have a bloody good mentor.

Broken Sleep Might Be Good For You

Does anyone else know humans used to sleep twice a night? First sleep as soon as the sun goes down, then we would wake some time after midnight to pray, talk, read, or just make love, before falling back asleep. I had no idea this was the case!

What changed? Effective lighting at night, making the nighttime safer and more active, pushing out our days and squeezing our rest time to a solid block. Nowadays, we expect we should be able to sleep right through the night, and if you can’t, well, you have a problem. Maybe we’re treating broken sleep wrong? Maybe we should embrace the break so we can sleep better? Of course, it might involve going to bed earlier…

I could write more about this topic I just discovered in the most amateurish way, but I found someone who has done it better than I could.

Article: Why Broken Sleep Is A Golden Time For Creativity

And if you want some opinions on the research, there’s this interesting commentary from Virginia Tech.

To be fair, I don’t have much trouble sleeping through the night, but that’s me. I know a lot of people who ‘struggle’ with sleep, and some of them function very well. The article I linked to above suggests it’s because of the expectation of sleeping: when sleep doesn’t come we worry about not sleeping and making the problem worse. Maybe there’s more than one way to go about this sleep business, and we just have to find the way that works for us. If we need to get up and move around and read or whatever, maybe that’s just what we need to do?

A curious idea.

Book Review: A Killing Notion by Melissa Bourbon

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Review

I haven’t read a cozy mystery in a while, so I found this in the library and decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into it. I have to be honest, I was guilty of skim-reading the majority of anything that wasn’t to do with the mystery, which was actually quite good, it just didn’t have a majority presence in the novel. Even though the genre is ‘cozy mystery’ and therefore not meant to be serious, I still want my cozy mysteries to be mostly about the mystery. And the mystery part in this book was interesting – it really was, otherwise I wouldn’t have finished the book.

Don’t get me wrong, I can still see positives about the series: the Cassidy charm is cute, being haunted by a relative is intriguing and the social and physical world is well-fleshed out. It just wasn’t for me. There was too much dressmaking (which I admit, I am not that into) and an awful lot of chattiness about nothing. I guess this is one of those cozy mysteries which is more cozy and less mystery?

Well, I gave it a go and finished the book. I don’t think I’ll be reading the others in the series unless someone does a damn good job of convincing me to give these books a second chance. Why did I pick up a dressmaking book if I’m not into dressmaking? Maybe it was the ‘magical’ that got to me. And sometimes I do like dressmaking. Just not this time.

A Killing Notion, by Melissa Bourbon

The Magical Dressmaking Mysteries #5

Book Length: 290 pages

Cozy Mystery

According to the Blurb on the Back:

Harlow Jane Cassidy is swamped with homecoming couture requests. If only she didn’t have to help solve a murder, she might get the gowns off the dress forms….  

Harlow is doing everything she can to expand her dressmaking business, Buttons & Bows—without letting clients know about her secret charm. When she has a chance to create homecoming dresses with a local charity and handmade mums for several high school girls—including Gracie, whose father, Will, has mended Harlow’s heart—she is ready to use her magical talents for a great cause.

But when Gracie’s date for the dance is accused of murder, Harlow knows things won’t be back on course until she helps Gracie clear the football player’s name. If Harlow can’t patch up this mess before the big game, her business and her love life might be permanently benched.