Thursday, March 31, 2016

Trust Issues - A Flash Fiction



I like how artwork can inspire the imagination, and this image I linked to on my Sunday Post a couple weeks ago inspired this quick story.

TRUST ISSUES

He didn't want to leave.

Funny how these things happen, he thought as he lay there looking at her. A few weeks ago his life had been quiet, he thought he'd put the drama behind him. He'd made some mistakes, had been in some trouble, but he was working it out. He could have used a little drama, to be honest, but he hadn't been expecting this. Now... he'd hardly been home in the last week. He had been in relationships before, of course, but not like this girl. He knew he should be careful, knew he was going all in, but he didn't care. 8124... that was her number. Her apartment up here in the spire. He liked that number.

He watched her sleep for a while, her breath rising and falling. Sabine jumped up on the bed and walked on him for a moment, then settled down at the foot of the bed and stared out the window. His gaze followed, at the gleaming towers and sky traffic. She has a great view. He wondered how she afforded it. He turned onto his stomach and fiddled with the keypad, and the sound of falling rain filled the little room, punctuated occasionally by distant thunder. She woke slowly and smiled at him, and his heart skipped a beat. You're in way over your head.

"Hi."
"Hi yourself," she mumbled, kissing him, then she lay back, her orange hair splayed out over her pillow.  She lay there for a bit and  looked at him and their fingers interlaced as the rain continued to fall. Sabine came up and made herself comfortable, purring in that loud way she had.
"When do you have to go?" he asked after a while, toying with a strand of her hair. 
"My shift starts at eight. We have a while yet..."
He smiled. "Whatever will we do?" 
She smiled back. "Oh I don't know, maybe go for a walk. We have to leave sometime. Maybe watch a vid..."
"I don't think so," he said as he kissed her, "but nice try." She mumbled something and pulled him down, and Sabby had to vacate. The kiss was long and deep, and afterward it was quiet for a while. 

They hadn't left the place in two days. Food was from some crappy Chinese take out place a few levels down- they delivered thankfully and the door opened just long enough to snatch the bags. The cartons were mostly strewn on the floor near the tiny kitchenette, where they had sat crosslegged and devoured like there was no tomorrow. The cat had been after what was left. I hope Sabby likes General Tso's. She had told him he could stay, and he thought about it. He liked the view, and he'd be here when she got home. Definitely a plus. He also liked that no one knew where he was. But, he had some things he should take care of. And... he should probably cool it. He was getting attached, always wanting to be here. Thinking about her all the time. If he wasn't careful he would lose his shit for this girl. Too late.

All too soon it was time and she had to get up. Eventually she pulled away and stepped down into the living area, pulling the sheet with her. He decided not to let go and it fell away, and she smiled back at him as she walked naked into the bathroom. Damn. He laid back contentedly and closed his eyes, listening to the faint whirring of the traffic outside and after a few moments the shower turning on. He thought about joining her, but it was getting late and he was happy right where he was. Sabby jumped up to keep him company.

A chime sounded behind him and he turned onto his stomach. An incoming message. Knowing he shouldn't, he swiped. A deposit with an attached message. A deposit for a large amount of money. Wow. In spite of his better judgment he kept reading.     

ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF CONTACT. SUBJECT WILL BE ACQUIRED AT 20:00 ST. 

STANDARD PROCEDURE. BALANCE OF FEE WILL BE DEPOSITED UPON RETRIEVAL OF SUBJECT. 

His picture and social ID information were there. 

Stunned he fell back against the pillows. No. No no no. Not possible. How could she know? Are you fricking kidding me? The last few weeks had been nice. More than nice. Tears stung his eyes. I thought maybe... The cat was still purring against him, and he shoved her off the bed angrily. The events of the last few weeks replayed themselves through his mind- the questions he hadn't asked, the vague playful answers she gave to the ones he did ask. It all made sense now. 'I work in the history section of the library', she had said. Yeah sure you do honey. Although he had not exactly been honest either. She didn't know anything about his... Well, she did apparently  

The water turned off. Shit. He closed the message as unread and scrambled up, pulling his clothes on. Sabby was in the cartons again. He was at the door when she called out. 
"Do you want to stay while I'm gone?  We could do something when I get back, maybe go for breakfast?"  
If only... 
"No," his voice cracked as he answered. "I should get going, I've got a few things I need to do. See you after though?" Yeah right. 
"Sure. You're welcome to stay though. Sabby won't mind." 
I'm sure. 
Hesitating, he wanted to say something. Anything. But what did it matter? He stepped outside and looked around. Just off her hallway was a busy concourse, throngs of people going here and there amongst the restaurants and nightclubs.  

He didn't want to leave. With a last look back he stepped into the flow of people and disappeared. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Dance With Dragons

 A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

Welcome to my A Dance with Dragons re- read. This week we are reading Jon XI and Cersei I. The first chapter picks up with Tormund Giantsbane at the Wall to treat with Jon. Then we check in with Cersei who we haven't seen since book four- a prisoner of the Faith and the High Sparrow. So let's take a look...

Jon and Tormund are negotiating the terms of the wildlings joining with Jon. They come to an agreement and Tormund is not happy, and Jon talks to Val. He assigns the giant to guard her, and she says she can help him sell the wildling deal to the queen. They meet Selyse and it doesn't go well, the queen finds Val impertinent and is not happy with Jon either. There are almost two hundred giants and eighty mammoths coming the long way around the Wall, and Val takes exception to Shireen due to her greyscale. 

Jon then meets with Bowen Marsh and some of the other leaders and tells them about the deal. That doesn't really go well either, as the rest of the Nights Watch leadership have deep misgivings about taking in wildlings. Also present are two of the mountain clan chiefs and they seem a bit more reasonable. 

MY THOUGHTS: 

The writing is on the wall here for Jon. He can't really sell the wildling deal to the Nights Watch guys, try as he might, so he's putting himself in a tough spot. Val is back, with Tormund, so he may be getting wildling allies even as he alienates his own people.  

CERSEI I

Cersei has been imprisoned for some time apparently and finally comes to the conclusion that she must confess in order to get free. She does so but is not entirely honest- she denies having anything to do with killing Robert and denies that her children are born of incest. The Sparrow of course is not convinced and says she will have a trial. She is given better chambers though for having confessed, and allowed to have someone visit. She asks for her uncle Kevan and he comes, and he gives her updates on what is going on. Margaery is with Tommen and Mace Tyrell is Hand- Margaery is fre because Tarly brought an army and had her released. 

Kevan tells her that the Sparrow is pushing a walk of shame as penance. He also tells her that Myrcella was injured, and that Jaime has missing. 

MY THOUGHTS: 

Kevan basically updates Cersei on everything going on and we get Cersei's perspective on things, which is always hilarious. She wants nothing more than to punish and kill everyone who has wronged her (in her eyes) but at the same time we see that events are passing her by. Or are they? She may get back to the Keep and cause more trouble, but long term I think she's done. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Let's Talk About The Fae



Let's talk about the fae. Anyone who reads urban fantasy or YA fantasy may have encountered the fae - sometimes they're called the Sidhe- and often the story involves a trip to Faerie, or a portal from Faerie to Earth, or a riff on that. But what is Faerie? Well that depends on the story, and there are lots of examples. I've read descriptions of it as a dangerous place where the faerie courts hold sway, a place of pure nature where the sun is brighter and every sense is enhanced, where people go and have a hard time escaping, the list goes on and on.



To me Faerie is a plane of existence where nature rules supreme. The faeries and other creatures have their own customs, and there is honor but also duplicity and mischievousness. There are meadows where twinkling lights and great bonfires illumine the night, elven courts and great dragonflies and gnomes who live in trees. Is there evil as well? Sure in some areas. It could be like Mirkwood in Lord of the Rings- part of the forest is ruled by the Elvenking but there are also darker areas... perhaps great marshes where will-o-wisps feed on the life energies of those foolish enough to enter. Dragons would be here too I would think, their appearance striking fear into all, and the great crack of their wings announcing their presence. One might look up in the night and see a great winged form in the moonlight, obscured briefly by scudding clouds.



I've always been fascinated too by the concept of Gates- portals through time and space to other worlds, of which Faerie might be just one. Perhaps there is a shimmering in the woods, and if you pass beneath the interlacing branches of an ancient oak you find yourself- elsewhere. Or a volcano or lava flow opens up a rift to elemental fire. Could there be a passage to a plane of water, where there is no surface? Or a plane of elemental air, where there is no down. No ground to fall too- do you float or do you just sort of fall forever? Maybe there are floating islands with settlements, with airships and waterfalls that spray into the air.

I'm curious to know what Faerie is to you- how would you imagine it? Do you have a favorite read dealing with the fae folk or a favorite creature?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Cover Characteristics #21



Cover Characteristics is a meme by Sugar and Snark- every week a characteristic is selected and we post 5 books with that week's theme.  

This week's pick- ?  

This week the host is off so I guess it's a freebie week. My topic is covers with a faerie element- since I'm doing a discussion post on Tuesday about the fae folk it seemed like a natural pick. I'm in that mindset anyway... so let's see what we have.    

Image result for the cats of tanglewood forestImage result for covers with faerie elementsImage result for covers with faerie elementsImage result for covers with faerie elementsImage result for covers with faerie elementsImage result for covers with faerie elementsImage result for faeries goodreadsImage result for faeries book coverImage result for covers with faerie elementsImage result for covers with faerie elements

 

The Cats of Tanglewood Forest is a favorite of mine, and although there are no faeries on the cover they play a prominent role in the story. Artwork is by Charles Vess who kinda specializes in this kind of artwork- his site is worth a look. 

Image result for covers with faerie elements

I like this cover it seems to have an enchanted feel to it.  

Image result for covers with faerie elements

No idea what this is about but it's a faery tale apparently and it's Holly Black.  

Image result for covers with faerie elements

This has a ethereal sort of vibe to it, not a bad cover. Looks YA- ish. 

Image result for covers with faerie elements

I started this book once but never finished- not because it wasn't good, but just because I got sidetracked. It was sort of alternate history with Victorian era stuff if I remember. I should go back. 

Image result for covers with faerie elements

Again no ideas on this one but love the cover. 

Image result for faeries goodreads



Image result for faeries book cover

This looks like a classic book on faeries and bonus- art is by Alan Lee (known for his Lord of the Rings work). 



I have no idea if this is even a faerie book but the title and cover both look like they have that vibe. I'm going with it. 



Charles Vess. Same guy who did The Cats of Tanglewood Forest at the top of this list. 

Both of these magazines look pretty good.  

Image result for covers with faerie elements

Image result for covers with faerie elements

So what is your favorite book cover with a faerie element? Do you have a favorite fae creature? 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Sunday Post #135



The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

This week wasn't bad it hasn't really warmed up yet and it got rainy but I think temps are supposed to get nicer next week. The sun came out at the end of the week so that's something. I did a bit of reading and I'm still working out what I want to read next- I'll be trying some urban fantasy so maybe that will do the trick. I've also been writing and may have a flash fiction post on Thursday if all goes well.

This week I talked favorite moments in books on Tuesday and will have a discussion post this week on the fae. I also reviewed Rebel Bully Geek Pariah and continued reading Allegiant. The other thing I wanted to share is the Tolkien event going on at Pages Unbound- they are doing a two week celebration of all things Tolkien with reviews, fun stuff like name generators, and giveaways.  

Rebel Bully Geek Pariah

I also finished up 12 Monkeys. This show surprised me how good it was and for once I'm not too far behind- the new season starts in April. All caught up- now I just need to finish Orphan Black. 



This might be the best thing I've seen all week. 



And I'm listening to... 



PULP COVER OF THE WEEK:



Last Weeks Stuff:

Cover Characteristics- Kissing 
Favorite Moments in Books #1 
A Dance With Dragons
Rebel Bully Geek Pariah
Bookcover Spotlight #41 

This Week:

Cover Characteristic- 
Let's Talk About The Fae 
A Dance with Dragons
Flash fiction- maybe?
Bookcover Spotlight #42

NEW ARRIVAL/ UPCOMING REVIEWS:

     

BOOKISH LINKS

Boats Against The Current reviews The Other Queen

The Hardcover Lover shares her playlist for Siren by Kiera Cass. 

Confessions of a Book Addict reviews Allegiant (the movie).  

Peace Love Books talks about adulthood and how it can ruin reading. 

Pages Unbound is running a two week Tolkien event with giveaways and awesome posts. You can check one of the giveaways out here, but there's a lot of awesome stuff to see. 

This will tell you which graphic novel to read based on your zodiac sign.   


And continuing the theme from last week- a bit about stormtrooper accuracy. Love the part at 1:05 with the Jawa...





Here is the Game of Thrones theme on electric harp. 

 

Another space ambient mix.