A Reading and Writing Play List

It’s summer (at least here in the Northern Hemisphere – waves to the south  :) ) so what’s more perfect than a play list! And for a writer what could be better than a play list of music to write to? So… here – in no particular order – is my current list.

Of course, music to write to, and also music to listen with, are intensely personal things, so I won’t be offended (too much) if you hate my playlist. But perhaps you’ll love a track or two. And if you do… please think about buying the song. All this free music on Youtube is great, except for the struggling artist.

Dangerous Women – Female-led Epic Fantasy

Following on from my last post on female-led epic fantasy, Dangerous Women Vol 2 (edited by George R R Martin and Gardner Dozois) is now available in paperback. Volume 2 includes stories by Megan Lindholm (who also writes as Robin Hobb), Lev Grossman, Sharon Kay Penman, S. M. Stirling, Sam Sykes, Caroline Spector, and Nancy Kress.
A third volume Dangerous Women Vol 3, is also available, and features  a stories by Brandon Sanderson, Pat Cadigan and Joe Abercrombie.
These volumes follow on from Dangerous Women Vol 1, published in late 2013 (originally to be titled Femmes Fatale), which featured a 35,000-word novella by George R. R. Martin, “The Princess and the Queen” (or the Blacks and the Greens), a tale of “continent-burning warfare” between Targaryen Princess Rhaenyra and her stepmother Queen Alicent. The Joe Abercrombie tale in this volume, “Some Desperado“, was nominated for a 2014 Locus award.

Skirts and Swords – Female-led Epic Fantasy

Female-led epic fantasy isn’t very easy to find. So it’s great to see a new box set compilation come out, featuring stories from L.P. Dover, R.K. Ryals and Melissa Wright. And even better than that, it’s for charity!
Only thing is, my first reaction is that I wished they’d named it something else, instead of Skirts and Swords. Skirts and swords don’t go so well together, well, unless there’s lots of leather or metal underneath the skirt :). Though on the female armor bingo scale it’s not so bad a choice – better than the chain-mail bikini. (For even more fun, here is female armor bingo – the rhetoric edition :).)

woman, armor, arrows, mistake, I am starting to question my choice or armor
I am starting to question my choice of armor

But this started me thinking: how do you signify that a book is female-led in the title – if you want to? And, actually, it’s not so easy. Without thinking too much about it, I gave one of my book’s a woman’s name in the title (Chloe), and another has the word sister in the title – so several of my books have some indication. But outside that, what do you do?
Sifting through the online book sites, well, there is a variety of ways, for example, ahem, Chicks in Chain Mail, and its sequels Did you Say Chicks? and – who could forget the fabulously titled – Chicks n Chained Mails? But these titles have their tongues firmly in their cheeks (I hope) – and their covers really fail at armor bingo :)
More seriously, there’s a Goodreads list of Strong Female Characters in Epic Fantasy, and, looking down it, the answer to my question is – you don’t indicate it in the title very much. And I think this is a good thing. After all why should we bother, epic fantasy should be just as much female-led as male-led. It’s fantasy after all.
The covers, though, are a different matter. Yes, they feature women, but as for weapons, well there’s daggers, and – if they’re lucky – girl-sized swords, but as for actual armor that would be, er, safe to go out in, forget it. Some lovely dresses though :).
The winner in the not-ending-up-quickly-dead-in-a-fight awards must be Paksenarrion, in the eponymous series by Elizabeth Moon. She’s a woman with enough armor for her opponents not to laugh themselves sick.

A Sister of Sword and Seal – a short sale

To celebrate publishing a Sister of Sword and Seal I’ve been running a short sale on the major publishing platforms, and cleverly forgot to mention the fact on this blog. Doh!

So I’m continuing the sale for an extra day, into Sunday, to allow blogs readers to pick it up at the reduced price.

A Sister of Sword and Seal is available at:

You may enjoy A Sister of Sword and Seal more if you read the prequel short story, Squire Chloe’s Demon, first. Currently free.

A Sister of Sword and Seal – on Amazon

A Sister of Sword and Seal

A Sister of Sword and Seal is now available on Amazon: USUKCA, and AU

I hope you enjoy it, and if you do please review it. Thank you.

If you would like to take a look inside in the novel, Chapter One, “Whose Life?” is available here.

You may enjoy A Sister of Sword and Seal more if you read the prequel short story, Squire Chloe’s Demon, first. Currently free on Amazon USUK,  CA and AU

** My name here is Alia. I try to leave these words, in the hope that– **
Alia is a daughter of a powerful dynasty, sent to the Temple to complete her education in sword and charm. As a sister of the seal, she’s sworn to the service of the Temple, and of her sisters.
But Alia knows there are secrets to Temple life, hidden behind the glamours, laughter, and the false friendships. She has a warning etched into her soul: never trust your Temple sisters.
Yet trusting no one will lead to her doom. For there is a secret Alia has never been told, one that has awaited her since before she was born, a secret of fate.

A Sister of Sword and Seal – pre-order

A Sister of Sword and Seal

A Sister of Sword and Seal is coming to Amazon from February the 1st, 2015. It’s currently available for pre-order at

I hope you enjoy it, and if you do please review it. Thank you. If you would like to take a look inside in the novel, Chapter One, “Whose Life?” is available here.

You may enjoy A Sister of Sword and Seal more if you read the prequel short story, Squire Chloe’s Demon, first. Currently free on Amazon USUK,  CA and AU

** My name here is Alia. I try to leave these words, in the hope that– **
Alia is a daughter of a powerful dynasty, sent to the Temple to complete her education in sword and charm. As a sister of the seal, she’s sworn to the service of the Temple, and of her sisters.
But Alia knows there are secrets to Temple life, hidden behind the glamours, laughter, and the false friendships. She has a warning etched into her soul: never trust your Temple sisters.
Yet trusting no one will lead to her doom. For there is a secret Alia has never been told, one that has awaited her since before she was born, a secret of fate.

All stories are wishes. All wishes, stories.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 66 other followers