Fictionista, Foodie, Feline-lover

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Shakespeare Fan Fic--Macbeth


by Katherine Tomlinson
The cops eventually showed up at school. Cate knew they would. When a guy like Kingman Duncan gets killed, people pay attention. Questions get asked. The police want answers. So we were expecting them and we had answers ready.
It was a week after Homecoming but the posters were still up all over the school.
Go fighting Scots!
Dunsinane H.S. rules!
As far as the cops were concerned, they had a whole high school full of suspects, kids who might have stabbed Duncan. Studies have shown that popular kids get bullied as often as the misfits do. My experience suggests they probably deserve it.
I wasn’t going to shed any tears over dead Duncan and neither were my sisters.
We didn’t do it, but we knew who did.
We weren’t going to throw him under the bus.
Unless we had to.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The cancer you've never heard of...

I had never heard of Angiosarcoma until just over a year ago when a friend of mine collapsed in pain while at work and soon after learned that his spleen had essentially exploded as a result of the disease.

What is Angiosarcoma?  Angiosarcoma is a cancer of the inner lining of blood vessels, and it can occur in any area of the body. The disease most commonly occurs in the skin, breast, liver, spleen, and deep tissue.

Cancer of the inner lining of blood vessels. Who even knew there was such a thing? Seriously, there aren't enough major organs for cancer to infest, it has to invade the inner lining of blood vessels?  Even the Wikipedia article on the disease is really brief. By the time my friend knew he had this aggressive cancer, it had already spread all over. He fought it as hard as he could with heart and courage and humor. But it killed him anyway.

There used to be a tagline for American Cancer Society PSAs. "Help fight cancer in YOUR lifetime." It's too late for my friend, but maybe not too late for someone you know. If you have a spare dollar and don't know where to put it, here's a place.

Angiosarcoma Awareness, Inc.
P.O. Box 17421
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33318

Friday, April 22, 2016

400 Years Later--William shakespeare is still relevant!

Caliban's Drabble

In honor of #ShakespeareWeek

Caliban’s Drabble

They say that two wrongs do not make a right. That is a concept that was unknown to me until the Duke and his daughter came to the island and took it for their own. My mother offered the duke friendship and welcomed the girl, but he saw her as an enemy and with his magic imprisoned her.
He took my birthright and in return, he taught me language, which I welcomed, for it allowed me to curse and I often had need to curse.
And to bemoan my wretched fate.
Fuck language.
Fuck curses.
I want my island back.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ian McKellen and Judi Dench in Macbeth

Yes, #ShakespeareWeek continues with another fabulous YouTube find, the 1978 Royal Shakespeare Company's version of Macbeth starring Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench. Yes, Shakespeare royalty. You can see it here. The production is stripped down, minimalist and intimate, with semi-modern dress. McKellen was 39, when he played Macbeth, Judi Dench, 44. McKellen, at 5'11" is nearly a foot taller than Dench, and that physical disparity makes her seem almost fragile at times. But watching her face as she gives voice to her ambition--bemoaning that Macbeth is so full of the milk of human kindness--and the way she seduces her husband into regicide, you have no doubt that this is one DANGEROUS lady.  It's a terrific production.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

YouTube finds: Helen Mirren's version of The Tempest

I've been wanting to see this forever but somehow never did. But now that it's #ShakespeareWeek, I went looking for Shakespeare on YouTube to see what sort of Shakespeare goodness I could find. Imagine my delight when I discovered the full movie is up. Directed by Julie Taymor, who conceived he fabulous stage version of The Lion King, the movie is a visual treat and stars Helen Mirren in the role of Prospera. Shakespeare productions are always fiddling around with the sex of their protagonists, much in the way the playwright himself played with it, but here the sex-change works beautifully in a way that female Hamlets never have for me. If you love the play--and I do, I've seen around seven productions of it--check it out here.

Surprising Shakespeare Brand Name

so it's #ShakespeareWeek and I was Googling around looking for Shakespeare silliness and I discovered that there's a Shakespeare brand of fishing equipment. I know Shakespeare isn't the first name that comes to my mind when I think "fishing" so I went looking for something he might have said about the sport. (Was fishing a sport back then? Or was it just another way to catch dinner?) Turns out there is a famous quote from Hamlet:

“A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm”

Monday, April 18, 2016

Celebrate Shakespeare Week

By reading three strange tales (and a bonus "Drabble") inspired by the Bard. Shakespeare Noir.

Shakespeare Week

It's #ShakespeareWeek and Goodreads is celebrating in a creative way. They've asked various authors to imagine a deleted scene from a play. They start off with Christopher Moore's deleted scene from Julius Caesar and it's just as hilarious as you would expect. Read it here and get in on all the fun.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Youtube finds: Night Heat

I love Youtube. Every once in a while when I'm looking for something to watch while I'm eating lunch or dinner, I'll head over there and see what I can find. Rummaging around on Youtube is like going through the stuff in your parents' attic; you never know what you're going to find. I can't remember what I was looking for when I stumbled across episodes of Night Heat.

Night Heat was a Canadian cop show that originally aired between 1985 and 1989. In the LA market, it played late night, and from the first episode I watched, I was hooked. It was a contemporary of Miami Vice (1994-1990) but the two shows could not have been more different in look and feel. Where Miami Vice was all neon noir and hip sountracks and pastel clothes, Night Heat was gritty and down to earth, the cases more personal, more intimate.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Interview with Gerard Brennan

 Gerard Brennan's latest novel is Undercover, a Belfast cop thriller. His short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies; including three volumes of The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime and Belfast Noir. He co-edited Requiems for the Departed, a collection of crime fiction based on Irish myths which won the 2011 Spinetingler Award for best anthology. His novella, The Point, was published by Pulp Press in October 2011 and won the 2012 Spinetingler Award for best novella. His novels, Wee Rockets and Fireproof, were published as ebooks by Blasted Heath in 2012. He graduated from the MA in creative writing at Queen's University Belfast in 2012 and is currently working on a PhD.

What was the first short story you ever published (and when)? Were you paid for it?

I wrote a story called ‘Pool Sharks’ after I spent a weekend in Wexford. We were lucky enough to score a lock-in at the local pub and things got a bit messy. I became obsessed by the fact that we could have gotten away with murder that night. Then the hamster wheel started spinning and the story was born. This was back in 2007, when I’d started to get serious about writing. The story got accepted into a horror/crime anthology titled ‘Badass Horror’. And yes, I got paid! I still get paid for it from time to time, in fact. The publisher, Tim Lieder, is passionate about compensating his writers. Fair play to him.

Did you find it hard to transition from short stories to longer works?

Not really. I just needed to catch an idea that wanted to be a novel. Then I sat down and put the hours in.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Review of Gerard Brennan's FIREPROOF

Mike Rocks has a bad attitude. Sent to hell for murdering a man, he doesn’t seem to be taking his fate all that seriously. Despite having his own personal demon tasked with tormenting him for all eternity, Mike is not impressed. And that presents a problem for Lucifer. Big Red really can’t have it getting around hell that Mike is impervious to the pain of damnation so he offers him a job. He wants Mike to “take a crack” at developing a new religion—Satanism, of course. Mike jumps at the chance and no sooner has he signed the phonebook-thick contract than he finds himself back in West Belfast, with a handsome new face (he thinks he looks Italian) and a thirst for vengeance as strong as his thirst for a pint. He quenches both at his former local, and that’s when things start to go sideways.

Back in hell for a tune-up with Lucifer, Mike finds himself on a short leash with an imp on his shoulder kibitzing on his every move as he puts the devil’s plan into operation, starting with a sales pitch to a group of not-too-bright teenagers. What follows is a dark (very dark) comedy of crime and punishment with trenchant observations on pop culture and religious dogma gracefully woven into the fabric of the story.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A review of Monica Hesse's mystery GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT

Girl in the Blue Coat was just published last week and already it's started collecting some buzz. that's not surprising. It's a book with a genuinely twisty plot, memorable characters, and a well-researched and immersive sense of time (1943) and place (Amsterdam).

This novel begins like a classic "locked room" mystery, although the mystery isn't how someone was killed in a locked room but how someone escaped from a locked room and for what reason? Monica Hesse's novel is set in 1943 Amsterdam, a place controlled by the Nazis whose will is enforced by the "Green Police" who can stop anyone, anywhere, for any reason.

As the story opens, Hanneke Bakker is riding her bicycle on her delivery rounds when she's stopped by a handsome young Green Policeman. Flirting with him, she manages to fluster him enough that he shoos her away, telling her he doesn't have time for silly little girls like her. But she's not a silly girl; she's a black market operator who sees what she's doing as an act of defiance against the occupation, no matter how small.

Another Boxed Set full of Best-Selling Authors

Before my book Bride of the MIdnight King was picked to be in a boxed set (For The Love of the Vampire), I didn't really know that boxed sets were a "thing." I noticed them every once in a while on Book Bub ads, but had no idea they were usually such great deals. They're like sampler chocolate boxes where you can try out a lot of new writers for not a lot of money--usually either free or 99 cents.

 In the past month I've seen a lot of boxed sets featuring some of my favorite writers--Christine Pope, Stacy Clafin, Rebecca Hamilton--going by.  And here's a boxed set that's just gone up, featuring 29 best-selling authors (some of them INTERNATIONAL best sellers.)  Edge is only 99 cents on all platforms including Amazon. You better believe I've already snagged my set!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Reflections--what the camera sees

I have terrible eyesight. So when I snapped this picture of the pond near my house, I didn't notice the reflections of the trees in the water. If I enlarge this photo on my phone, the texture and play of color is really something and I find myself wishing I could take Annie Leibovitz' MASTER CLASS on photography. There's so much I don't know technically, but I sold my SLR camera when I left L.A. and now I just snap pix with my camera phone.

I love taking pictures with my camera phone. An Instagram account is in my near future, mainly because I love looking at other people's photos too. (And yes, I'm on Pinterest, where one of my boards is called REFLECTIONS.)

Monday, April 4, 2016

A review of A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab

In Victoria Schwab's novel, a pickpocket and a mage must join forces to save the interconnected worlds in which they live. 

A lot of work has gone into building the world of this book, a flat-out fantasy adventure with several very engaging characters and enough treachery and magic to fuel a season of GAME OF THRONES. 

This is a book that’s suffused with magic—blood magic, elemental magic, you name it. The magic builds from the small to the epic, and the magic battles are very satisfying. (Fans of this kind of material may see some parallels to Katherine Kurtz’ fantastic DERYNI CHRONICLES, which are history-based and use an alternate Wales as their location.)

Even more free books!!

I love the cover of this paranormal boxed set. Like the tagline says, this is not your normal paranormal cover with its gray/blue/violet color palette. Get it free here.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The weekend of Free Books!

Like sci fi? Dystopian? Fantasy? Sci Fi and Fantasy Romance?  Then you're in luck. there's a 90-book giveaway going on this weekend over at Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Promotions. Click here and start downloading.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Free!!!Whipping Boy by Katherine Tomlinson

I'm getting ready to release the sequel to my short mystery novel Whipping Boy and thought I might whip up some interest by giving the digital version of the first book away free. You can find it on Amazon here.