Friday, January 31, 2014

Budweiser Clydesdales, Old Norse Poetry, and the Superbowl

So you know how Old Norse poetry uses Kennings? So one phrase or expression which may have nothing directly related to a thing would be used to talk about said thing obliquely? So, if you're talking about gold, you might say "Freyja's tears" or "Serpent's Lair" which are derived from stories in the myths relating to gold but you wouldn't know that unless you were already familiar with the stories and the device of using kennings.

Well, this year's Superbowl commercial from Budweiser is a FANTASTIC example of how kennings work. The Clydesdale represents Budweiser, because everyone is familiar with the Budweiser Clydesdales, because that is part of our cultural memory and a distinct piece of the company's branding, even though horses are not really directly related at all to beer today, otherwise. The puppy could be seen as us -- the everyman who enjoys a drink. And the commercial tells us that a Man and his Beer of Choice cannot be parted. That Brand Loyalty matters, and when the going gets tough, Budweiser will come to the rescue.

It is REALLY cool that we can still see these kinds of devices used today -- but also kind of sad that the best place to see them in action is marketing and publicity. EITHER WAY THOUGH. Now you know.

Snorri would be so proud.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Honor Among Orcs Cover Reveal February 20th! And Eve on BBC4 radio!

Hello blogfriends and followers! It's been a while. And I'm sorry to say, I'm still in the writer cave -- though I've switched to editing for the moment -- so these next blogposts are likely to be a lot of "In Progress" style updates! But I also have some EXCITING NEWS to share!

I've got my cover art for HONOR AMONG ORCS, the first book in my new series, called the Orc Saga, and I'm REALLY excited to get to share it -- but not yet! The official cover reveal is February 20th, and I'd LOVE your help in getting the word out. So if you've got a blog, and you'd like to take part, head over to Masquerade Tours and sign up! The more the merrier! And in the meantime, if you're as excited to read it as I am to release it, add Honor Among Orcs on Goodreads!

The other big news is already linked to above this post but it's so awesome it deserves to be repeated: Monday, January 20th, I was on the BBC4 radio show BEYOND BELIEF, talking about Eve in Forged by Fate. You can listen to the episode in the archives, now, and I hope that you will! The roundtable discussion surrounding my interview is really interesting. I'll be talking a bit more about this over on the World Weaver Press blog, but for now, I just have to say that until I heard my voice on the radio on Monday, I honestly did not believe it was going to happen.

And now I'm back to the edit-cave -- Honor Among Orcs isn't going to finish prepping itself!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

The 5th Annual No Kiss Blogfest is Here!

First, I hope you've kicked off your shoes and made yourself comfortable, because there is no point in rushing through the wonderfulness that is No-Kisses! You'll waste all the delicious UST and Angst! And why don't you go ahead and check out the other participants' entries now -- I'll wait!

You're back? Good! On to more No Kiss Pleasure!

Second, I hope you'll like my offering for this year's party. I searched through my Fate of the Gods books -- at least the ones which are published -- for a sample of some No-Kiss action, but I wasn't satisfied with any of my options for this magical day. Mia definitely has a no-kiss moment with Jean DeLeon in Tempting Fate, and Eve... well, let's just say I didn't want to spoiler anything for anyone, and all her no-kisses would have been just that: Spoilers! 

So today, I'm going to give you a VERY special teaser for a VERY special project you've heard a little bit about before. It goes by a new name now, and there will be more details soon, including some unbelievably outstanding cover art coming your way once I escape the writer cave long enough to organize the reveal. But for now, let me just set the scene and whet your appetite. 

Arianna is a princess who is taking her fate into her own hands. Bolthorn is the mysterious Orc who inspired her to do so, and they're currently sick, injured, and fleeing for their lives. (But there's always time for a no kiss along the way!)

He knew these woods, sparse as they had become, and when they broke, he knew the tundra of the foothills too. Just before dawn, he found the outcrop beneath which he had made a shelter his first night beyond the mountains, and though he did not dare to light a fire, the sedge made a soft bed.

After a meal of apples and cheese, the last of their food, Arianna curled against his side, sharing the fur, and rested her head on his shoulder. He tested her forehead for fever and breathed his relief when she did not burn against his palm.

She tugged his hand away, a small smile curving her lips. “You worry overmuch. There are still two days of warmth before I must fight your cruel winds. I will be well enough for your mountains by then.”

His fingers lingered against her skin and her smile faded. He traced the clan-markings on her cheek and her lips parted, her heart thrumming in his ears.

“Bolthorn –”

Up the bridge of her nose and over her eyebrow, the umber flaked from her skin, coloring his fingertip. Down along the line of her jaw, to the pulse point beneath. Her breathing hitched. He only wished the marks had reached her collarbone, to give him some excuse to trail his fingers across the smooth skin there.

“You make a beautiful orc.”

“Not a Vala?” she asked, her eyelashes sweeping across her cheek.

“The Vala cannot marry.” The sunlight caught in her hair, flashing reds within the rich brown and he smoothed the soft, wild strands from her face. “They cannot bear children, or know the touch of any kind of man after they have made their vows. They know only the ancestors and the mysteries they reveal.”

“Oh,” she breathed.

Oh. It was the first thing she had ever said to him, trembling against the stone. She trembled now, too. As she should, he thought, knowing herself within the arms of an orc. He closed his eyes and drew his hand back. This was a dangerous game to play with her so near, so vulnerable.

“Sleep well, princess,” he said, his jaw tight against his need. “You’ll want your strength.”

She made a noise in the back of her throat, but when he glanced at her, she had turned away.

So there you have it. Your first teaser for my next novel. HONOR AMONG ORCS will be releasing this spring, and I cannot WAIT to share Bolthorn and Arianna's journey with everyone!!