The Queen and her Brook Horse, An Orc Saga Novella, Book 2.5, is Available Now!
Facets of Fate, a Fate of the Gods novella and short story collection, is available now in print and ebook!
And don't forget to subscribe to THE AMALIAD, to stay up to date on Authors!me.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Name That Butt REVEAL: Stage TWO, Round ONE!

Stage Two (New) Rules:

  • I post a butt and TWO clues, you guess who that butt belongs to in the comments. If you guess right, you get 5 points. (No bonus for being first.)
  • Comments are moderated, which means they sit in my inbox quietly until I choose to publish them, so you won't see anyone else's guesses.
  • HOWEVER, if you CORRECTLY identify the artistic work in question, you earn a bonus 5 points. (Provided of course, that it differs from the subject's name alone and the artist is known at all)
  • The following Friday, I reveal the subject, along with the full backside image of the sculpture in question! If at this point you can correctly identify artist/title of the piece, you can earn an additional 2.5 points, and you may guess artist/title until the next round of NAME THAT BUTT begins.
  • I'll keep a running tally of correct answers/points, with occasional updates of who is "winning." 
  • For Olympians, Greek AND Roman names are acceptable, because half of these sculptures were probably titled with their Roman names but in my head, they immediately translate to the Greek, and that's how I remember them when I'm organizing my photos.
  • The game will continue for as long as I have photographs of backsides to share, but a new NAME THAT BUTT may not be posted every week, depending on Things. 

And Round One's Butt Belongs To...

*drumroll*

photo © me!

HERA!

For some thoughts on this perplexing goddess, scope out this post from the Other Me.

You have until Monday, 11:59pm eastern to nab half those extra bonus points for title and artist, so get your google on, and make it so!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Character Art Poll!

Now that FORGED BY FATE and TEMPTING FATE are out, and FATE FORGOTTEN's cover art is revealed, I find myself debating which character should be given an OFFICIAL face next -- Eve is already in process, but who should be her companion for the Fate Forgotten series of trading cards?

So, it is time for a poll!



Which Character Card Do You Want to See Next?
  
pollcode.com free polls 


Vote above and if your favorite character isn't in the lineup, feel free to suggest him or her in the comments below! Cast your votes before September 7th so that El Husband has plenty of time to start sketching out the winner. And if you're feeling particularly motivated, feel free to include the name of an actor you'd choose to play your favorite character in the FATE OF THE GODS series!

Also PSA: Comments are once again MODERATED for Name That Butt, so don't worry if it doesn't appear immediately! It's just sitting in my inbox waiting for me to hit publish :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Name That Butt RETURNS! Stage TWO, Round ONE!

Stage Two (New) Rules:
  • I post a butt and some clues, you guess who that butt belongs to in the comments. If you guess right, you get 5 points. (No bonus for being first.)
  • Comments are moderated, which means they sit in my inbox quietly until I choose to publish them, so you won't see anyone else's guesses.
  • HOWEVER, if you CORRECTLY identify the artistic work in question from the BUTT ONLY photo, you earn a bonus 5 points. (Provided of course, that it differs from the subject's name alone and the artist is known at all)
  • The following Friday, I reveal the subject, along with the full backside image of the sculpture in question! If at this point you can correctly identify artist/title of the piece, you can earn an additional 2.5 points, and you may guess artist/title until the next round of NAME THAT BUTT begins.
  • I'll keep a running tally of correct answers/points, with occasional updates of who is "winning." 
  • For Olympians, Greek AND Roman names are acceptable, because half of these sculptures were probably titled with their Roman names but in my head, they immediately translate to the Greek, and that's how I remember them when I'm organizing my photos.
  • The game will continue for as long as I have photographs of backsides to share, but a new NAME THAT BUTT may not be posted every week, depending on Things. 
Let the Games Begin!

The Butt:

photo © me!

The Clues:

1) This bottom is best known for exacting punishments -- even newborn children are not safe from its wrath!
2) Some say this butt was born beneath a willow tree.
3) We can only marvel that this butt did not kick its spouse to the curb for all said spouse's infidelities. Perhaps it is a butt of infinite patience in the face of betrayal, or perhaps these butts had very different feelings about what marriage means. 

You have until Thursday, August 29th at 11:59pm Eastern to NAME THAT BUTT in the comments below!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Writerly Inspirations

[I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because it's easier to second guess all my commas and subjunctives after someone else points them out. And seriously, I've been doing so much revision lately I am pretty sure that EVERYTHING I write is wrong.*]

It can be as simple as a song lyric, half-heard while I’m shopping, or as complex as a movie, or the study of mythology on the whole. The things that inspire me as a writer are the things that make me ask questions, or ask questions of me that start the wheels turning in the back of my mind.

What if all the gods were real? What if your big sister was a goddess of love and didn’t know it? What if Europa knew exactly what she was doing when she climbed up on the back of that bull? What *is* it like to sail across the surface of the sun? (Train’s Drops of Jupiter is seriously the most amazing song – I could listen to it on repeat for hours, and it never stops making me want to write things!) What if there were empaths? What if Ragnarok *already* came? What is it like to date someone whose entire family is one big secret society?

After I know what the question is, and I’m writing the story that goes with it, if I’m really stuck, I’ll go for a walk, or hop in the shower, or do *anything* that doesn’t require a lot of focus but puts me in a position where I don’t have anything to write on (that’s always how it is, isn’t it?).

Sometimes I’ll chat up my characters: ask Adam what he hoped to accomplish by… well, that would be telling. I’ll talk to Thor about some piece of mythology/saga/Edda/history that’s tripping me up, and see what his perspective would be. Just getting out of my own head sometimes gives me what I need to move forward.

But for me, writing isn’t just about inspiration. It isn’t about waiting for the muse to show up and tell me what comes next. For me, writing is just as much discipline as it is creativity, and I don’t believe in writer’s block. I believe in sitting down and writing – and if I’m not sure what’s happening next in one story, I work on another until I can go back to it. Day to day, when I’m hip deep in a manuscript, all I really need is a good night’s sleep to keep going. Sometimes I’m too caught up in the story even for that much, and after writing too late into the night, I wake up too early, eager and anxious to get to the next part.

Because when I’m writing, really in the zone, learning what happens next is its own inspiration.

And man, when you hit that point – when the story is telling itself as much as you’re writing it – it makes all the other frustrations disappear. It makes all the waiting and worrying and taking books apart and putting them back together again worth it. And you realize that Tolkien was right – writing really is close to divine.

*This post is being sponsored by Grammarly, which honestly is not terrible as an "extra set of eyes," and is, full disclosure, offering me an amazon gift card for my troubles. The program did try to tell me I used the wrong to/too/two when I clearly did not, which is kind of disappointing, but it was in a "this is a commonly confused word" way rather than a "this is wrong" way.  

When using it for works of fiction, it flags a lot of pronoun usage that isn't wrong (if there's more than one pronoun in the sentence, I think, mostly, or if the pronoun is modifying another noun in the sentence) and also tried to tell me that "silence of the room" should be "silence with the room" (what?). The bigger problem though, is that it has a 20 page limit, so you have to break things down into chunks for it to analyze, which is annoying. But the thing I like about the program itself is that it teaches you the grammar as it goes through your "errors" so you can decide yourself if the program is misapplying the rule or not. 

I realized the other day while proofing one of my manuscripts that a lot of what I know and how I write is kind of "by ear." I don't know WHY I think it's right, but I know it is. (As the daughter of an English teacher, I should probably be ashamed of myself, but that's how it is. I didn't learn grammar until I took Latin.) So Grammarly's little lessons inside the explanation bubbles are pretty handy for me. I'm not sure I'm going to shell out for a subscription beyond the trial period, but, I'm enjoying playing with it for the time being.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

FATE FORGOTTEN COVER ART!

FATE FORGOTTEN is the second book in the Fate of the Gods trilogy, coming November 5th, 2013 (just in time for Thor 2!) and I'm thrilled to be able to share the fantastic cover art World Weaver Press put together for the novel!

But before we get to the art, let me tell you a little bit more about FATE FORGOTTEN:

Since the gods returned Adam's memory six hundred years ago, Thor has been a scourge on his lives. But when Adam learns that Thor has been haunting his steps out of love for Eve, he is determined to banish the thunder god once and for all. Adam is no fool: Eve still loves the man she knew as Thorgrim, and if she ever learned he still lived, that he still loved her, Adam would lose any chance of winning Eve to his side, never mind liberating the world. But after everything Thor has done to protect Eve, everything he's sacrificed, the thunder god won't go without a fight. Not as long as Eve might love him again.

Which means that Adam has to find a new ally. The enemy of his enemy, complete with burning sword and righteous resentment of the gods. But in order to attract the Archangel Michael's attention, he needs Eve -- an unmarried Eve, willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

It shouldn't be too difficult to find her in the future. Not now that he knows how to look.
FATE FORGOTTEN will pick up where FORGED BY FATE left off -- and I can't wait to share it with you all! In the meantime, don't forget to add it on Goodreads, and as always, you can learn more about the series and the individual titles over at World Weaver Press, or just click on the Fate of the Gods tab above!

And now -- the Art!


There are so many things I love about this cover. The way Eve is turning her face back toward Adam as she leans away, as if she isn't quite sure what she wants. The way Adam is invading her personal space, his hand clutching at her jacket. The way the lightning seems to be pointing RIGHT at Adam, like Thor wants to stab him between the shoulder blades for his impertinence. The storm in general. The barrenness of the landscape, as a reminder of what Adam and Eve together could do to the world, if Eve gives in to that conflicted-maybe-I-do-want-to-stay look on her face. SO MANY FEELS, YOU GUYS.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! with me in the comments! And/or leave your predictions about what's coming for Adam, Eve, and Thor in Fate Forgotten! I will, of course, neither confirm nor deny!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hypatia the Philosopher, the Tower of Babel, and The Gods.

PSA: THURSDAY we are revealing FATE FORGOTTEN's cover art and cover copy!! so be sure to check back for that very special Thor's Day Awesomesauce!!

The other night I watched the movie Agora, which chronicles the life of Hypatia, a prominent female philosopher of Alexandria in late antiquity, and touches on the constant conflicts between the rising influence of Christianity, the long established pagan schools of philosophy and religion, and the Jews, as they struggled to coexist -- and ultimately failed in finding a way to do so.

The film didn't gloss over the horrific nature of this ongoing conflict, and each religious sect took a turn in the spotlight of brutality. Persecuting and persecuted in turn, with the eventual triumph of Christianity, and culminating in the murder of Hypatia herself. It was a grim, depressing, and utterly necessary illustration of history and religion at its worst, including the sacking and destruction of the works housed in the Serapeum (which may or may not have happened, but was still symbolically awful, and terribly reminiscent of the grievous loss of the library of Alexandria, over which El Husband and I periodically agonize.)

The whole experience, and the discussion with my mother after the film had finished, got me thinking -- Why would ANY god want this? Why would any god want their people to commit murder in their name? Why would any god want the willful destruction of so much knowledge, either?

I thought about it. And I thought about it some more. And I thought about the FATE OF THE GODS series, and why the gods act out against Adam and Eve. And I thought about the Tower of Babel, too, and I wondered: what if the gods are afraid? What if, like the Tower of Babel, Hypatia and her compatriots were rising too fast, building too quickly this tower of knowledge and understanding and progress. What if God was afraid of the tower touching the heavens and man's potential, and maybe even the Olympians were, too, and maybe that's all it all is, all these holy wars, all this strife -- just the gods' way of making sure we don't rise too far, too fast, and we're playing right into their hands?

What could we be, if we didn't spend so much of our resources on destroying one another, that the gods, that even Old Testament God, should fear us?

Don't you kind of wish we could find out?

Friday, August 16, 2013

House of Lions EMBLEM revealed! and Tempting Fate Release Week Round-Up!

So this has been a busy week, and it is time for a round-up post, for those of you with a more targeted approach to the excess of content of the blog tour.

For starters, I talked mythology at Jaye Viner's blog: 5 reasons I fell in love with it, and one of them involves Kevin Sorbo. Kind of.

Then I talked Cover Art and Character (particularly the House of Lions!) with Mia Hayson on her COVER CLOSEUP, which follows up her fabulous blogpost on fonts and what they say about the contents of the book inside.

I talked a little bit about FATE FORGOTTEN and What's Next For Author Me over at Marilyn Almodovar's blog. (Fate Forgotten!!!! Have I mentioned how excited I am for you all to read this book? Also, there may or may not be cover art in the near future, I am just throwing that out there.)

At the same time, I chatted about the process of writing the side story that is TEMPTING FATE, over at World Weaver Press's blog. (Shout out to TWB, without whom TEMPTING FATE would not have existed at all.)

And you remember ST Bende, from her post about Ullr? Well, she was kind enough to let me visit her blog to talk about TEMPTING FATE as a more New Adult-ish installment, with a little bit of a comparison between ELSKER's Kristia and Tempting Fate's Mia. (Spoiler: Kristia is a lot less selfish. I did not include that in the blogpost but guys, it is true. Mia is... difficult.)

FINALLY, today, I am going to be over at Diana Paz's blog, talking about her most favorite of the Fate of the Gods characters: Adam. She's really hopeful that there will be more of you on her #AdamLove side of the fence soon, so definitely show your solidarity with a comment if you are a fan of his antagonistic self!

We've got some more action coming next week (including photography of the TEMPTING FATE goodies!), and then! THEN! NAME THAT BUTT will be making a return to the blog. I hope you all are ready for more delightful backsides!

And as promised, now that I've made you wade through a blogpost round up:

THE EMBLEM OF THE HOUSE OF LIONS!
Designed by the fabulous EL HUSBAND!
(Art © Adam and Amalia Dillin.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

TEMPTING FATE is here! aka GIVEAWAY TIME!

To celebrate the release of TEMPTING FATE, my first FATE OF THE GODS e-novella (available now for KINDLE and KOBO, and NOOK!), of COURSE there is a giveaway. And this time, I am getting serious and breaking out the rafflecopter. DUN DUN DUNNNNN.

This time, instead of a t-shirt, we're doing a gift card, straight up for the Grand Prize! Of course there will also be TEMPTING FATE themed stickers and a trading card, too, because that is how I roll. So how do you enter? I'm glad you asked! There are lots of options for entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Not sure what all this TEMPTING FATE stuff is about? Allow me to throw some cover copy your way:

Mia's lived in her sister's shadow long enough. Now that Abby is getting married to a Frenchman, Mia scents freedom. In fact, Jean DeLeon, the groom's too-charming cousin, seems like the perfect place to start. But the House of Lions is full of secrets, and what started out as an exciting fling is quickly becoming more frustration than fun. Mia wants answers, or she wants out, and it isn't like she doesn’t have other options. Ethan Hastings, for example. Tall, handsome, and gray eyes like nothing she's ever seen before.

The fact that Jean seems to hate him is just a bonus.
Tempting Fate takes place during Forged by Fate, and follows Mia, Eve's younger sister in the present day, as she does what she does best -- cause trouble!

Also, those of you who want an extra chance at winning stickers and a new Tempting Fate trading card, leave a comment below! There will be at least one from-the-comments-section winner! But that will NOT count as an entry for the grand prize.


Friday, August 09, 2013

Extra Fun Arts for FATE OF THE GODS! and a Goodreads Giveaway!

So maybe "arts" is a stretch but! I have, for you, some fabulous FATE OF THE GODS themed images for use on twitter/facebook/whathaveyou!




So go forth and show your FATE OF THE GODS series love! Or, you know, don't. Your call. Check back on AUGUST 13 (TEMPTING FATE's release day!), for details about some fabulous giving-aways in celebration! But for now, check out Goodreads because we're giving away one copy of Forged by Fate to start things off!



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Forged by Fate by Amalia Dillin

Forged by Fate

by Amalia Dillin

Giveaway ends August 14, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Name that Butt: Round Three REVEAL!

This is HALF TIME, and the end of Name that Butt stage ONE, because TEMPTING FATE comes out on Tuesday, August 13th and I should probably do some, you know, promoting or something. Plus I have some other giveaways up my sleeve to celebrate.

THE NEXT NAME THAT BUTT will be posted... oh, let's say August 27th! Stage TWO may or may not include some added skill tests related to artists and titles of the artwork for bonus points and will have a slightly different format (New butt goes up on Tuesday, Reveal on Friday) so this is still ANYONE'S game! (And I promise by then I'll have a concrete idea of what kind of prize you guys are competing for beyond Butt Postcards.)

Anyway, REVEAL time! Round Three's Butt belonged to...

*drumroll*


Actaeon!

This is a less familiar myth, so I wanted to give you a little bit of a summary -- though those of you who guessed correctly probably already know! 

The details vary, but what never changes is that Actaeon had the audacity to insult Artemis, either by spying on her while she bathed in a pond in the wood, or by claiming he was a better hunter than she was, or possibly, by attempting to become her consort (virgin goddesses really don't like that). As a result, Artemis turned him into a stag, and he was ripped apart by his own hunting dogs, who later mourned his loss, but didn't realize what they were doing at the time. Poor Actaeon, the famous hunter, trained and schooled by the centaur Chiron (the very same centaur who trained Achilles and so on), became the hunted. 

And that, my friends, is why this butt has antlers.

And now, the Stage One Half-Time winner is a TIE between Melissa and Faithlessone! I'm going to have to institute a tie-breaker quick challenge-- the first one to link me to a verifiable Theseus-Backside in the comments wins the stage one prize of fabulous BUTT POSTCARDS!

Go!

Friday, August 02, 2013

Name that Butt: Round Three, Second Chance!

The Rules:
  • I post a butt and ONE clue, you guess who that butt belongs to in the comments. If you guess right, and you're the first person who does, you get 7.5 points. 
  • If you guess right after someone else already has guessed correctly, you get 5 points. 
  • The following Friday, I post the FULL backside, with another clue or two, and you may guess again. 
  • If you guess correctly on Friday or later, you only get 2.5 points. 
  • The next Tuesday, the answer is revealed, with a frontal view of the sculpture in question, and I'll keep a running tally of correct answers, with occasional updates of who is "winning." 
  • For Olympians, Greek AND Roman names are acceptable, because half of these sculptures were probably titled with their Roman names but in my head, they immediately translate to the Greek, and that's how I remember them when I'm organizing my photos.
  • The game will continue for as long as I have photographs of backsides to share, but a new NAME THAT BUTT may not be posted every week, depending on Things. 
The FULL Backside for Round Three. Well. Backside being kind of a relative statement in this instance. Stupid walls.

Photo © Me!
And Your Final Clue:
3) The gods don't look kindly on butts who catch them during their morning ablutions.
You have until Monday, August  5th at 11:59pm to post your guess and get your 2.5 points!

And in celebration of my BIRTHDAY weekend, whoever is in the lead on Tuesday the 6th is going to get some BUTT-tacular Postcards of the butts named, so far!