August 1, 2016
Finally, after years of work, LoE Book 10, The House of Bloodstein is available! The HOB series consists of two books, this one, subtitled Perlamum and Book 11, subtitled Mentralysis. Mentralysis is already written, just going through the usual editing and pre-publication process which can take a long time. It should be out in 2017.
All authors are different. Some are note-takers, scribbling down thoughts and sudden ideas for consideration later. Others outline the story from beginning to end, making the work into a full-fledged project. And then there’s me. I write on-the-fly, no notes, no outlines, nothing. I just write. It works for me most of the time. The problem with writing how I do is I tend to change my mind in mid-stream a lot. It’s never the case where the story I intended to write at the beginning is what ends up in the final product–and that is triply so for HOB.
As much as I complain about the NaNoWriMo month as a destructive stunt and waste of time, HOB started as a NaNo project I did to appease a friend about five years ago. It was a fairly straight-forward tale, but it lacked the manic imagination and strangosity I’m known for. In fact, as I finished the first draft, it reminded me of those feel-good ABC After-School Specials I used to have to watch as a kid. There’s a term in Spanish that applies here: The first draft of HOB had no tiene chiste. What that means is the story was plain, boring, had no oomph, had no pop. Love or hate my books, nobody’s ever bored, and HOB, due to the emphasis of NaNo on word-count, was full-on boring.
So, there I was with a 50k manuscript that I, frankly, hated.
I moved on to writing the oft-mentioned but seldom-seen Shadow tech Goddess. As I wrote, the candy-coated mess that was HOB stayed in the back of my head like a doomed bug fying in a window pane. But, you know, sometimes, the addition of one or two elements can make all the difference, like that elusive missing piece of a puzzle that, once found, pulls everything else together. I’m not certain when it happened, but that missing piece for HOB hit me–hard–and I went back to the story. 50k words quickly exploded to 170k, enough for two complete books.
With this addition, all the old imagination came back in earnest, in spades. HOB went from a moribund cake-walk with no chiste, to the weirdest, most epic, most sprawling book in the LoE series yet with tons of chiste. I held nothing back… it is all out there and I am so happy to share it with the world at last.
I usually suck at blurbing–it’s a lot harder than you might think, but, this one just sort of wrote itself for HOB
Mysterious and elusive, Lady Chrysania of Bloodstein calls from the ruins of her castle. She dwells in the dark, hiding her face, ravaged by an ancient curse. The only way to break the curse is to win a game called Perlamum. If she loses, she dies. She looks to her Vith kin in the west, begging for help acquiring the all-important pieces she needs to play the game. Lord Kabyl of Blanchefort, his Ne-Countess Sammidoran, and his cousins answer her call. However, collecting the Perlamum pieces for Lady Bloodstein is a deadly game. They must face a host of perils:
-The terrible Black Hat in the city of Waam who knows their every move.
-A hated rival on the planet Xandarr and the bewildering labyrinth of Gods Temple.
-The man from Shook who cannot be killed. -A family of vile bravos from the south.
-The diabolical Dead Men of Mare, nigh invincible creatures straight from an insane nightmare.
To even the odds, Kay and Sam turn to a forgotten graveyard deep in the Telmus Grove, and the great eminence resting there. Can Lady Chrysania of Bloodstein be helped, or, for that matter . . . . . . can she be trusted?
The House of Bloodstein is out on Amazon–CLICK HERE to go to Amazon.com. I also have several signed copies available. If you’d like one, message me. I’ll even pay the shipping and throw in a little swag.
copyright 2016, Ren Garcia and Carol Phillips
September 5, 2012
The following has nothing to do with my science fiction/fantasy book series. Just some thoughts on a sport that I love and respect. WARNING–there’s a bit of foul language.–Note, the following interview occurred only in the imagination of the blogger … Ronda Rousey is becoming a force in the world of women’s MMA, not just because of her amazing skills in the cage, but also because of her bold personality and ribald, unpredictable wit. Her material just sort of writes itself and she is destined to become the Muhammad Ali of women’s MMA for her ability to bang out quips and one-liners and self-promote a fight.
TOTEH: So Ronda, we appreciate the opportunity to sit down and speak to you today.
TOTEH: In your last outing, you beat Sarah Kaufman in just under a minute of the first round via armbar. What can you tell us about that fight?
RR: No, no, I beat Sarah Kaufman in about ten seconds, really. I bull-rushed her, knocked her down using some judo stuff that I know and then she spent the rest of the fight trying to avoid the inevitable. I snapped her arm off like a twig–you saw it. She was all patriotic before the fight, saying the belt was going with her back to Canada. Looks to me like the belt’s staying right here in the US. I’m amazed maple syrup didn’t come gushing out when I broke her arm off. How’s that for promoting US-Canadian relations??
TOTEH: You’ve won pretty much every fight you’ve ever been in, either amateur or pro, by way of armbar. Your critics call you one-dimensional–that’s not me talking, I’m just saying. What’s your take on that?RR: My take? Yeah, I’ve got a hot armbar, and when somebody can figure out how to beat it, I’ll move on to something else. Look, Plan A of every fight is to land the armbar. Want to know what Plan B is?? Do you? Plan B is: Repeat Plan A. I used to wake up as a kid with my teddy bear and footie pajamas and have my mom all over me, rolled up in the armbar position. “Get out of it, you little milk-drinking punk!” Mom would shout. “Get out of it!”, and eventually I did.
TOTEH: Your Mother is Dr. Anna Maria Rousey DeMarrs, a very famous judoka of the `70’s and `80’s.
RR: Damn right. The only chick out there tough enough to beat me is my mom, and I don’t think you’ll be seeing her stepping into the cage anytime soon.TOTEH: Let’s move on. Miesha Tate …
RR: Oh, f— that bitch! No–take that back, I wouldn’t f— that bitch if I was a guy, see? Did you see that scene while I was kicking Sarah Kaufman’s ass? She was sitting there eating a cupcake or something, and got frosting in that stupid hair-doo of hers. See, I frighten her so much, she can’t even eat a cupcake in my presence without embarrassing herself. So me and Kaufman are rolling around and I’m like: “Why don’t you take that forked tongue of yours and lick that frosting off of there, bitch, I mean Miesha!” Ha! Miesha Tate … Thanks to me, we all know what the inside of her arm looks like.
TOTEH: But, she …
RR: Next question, she’s old news and out of the picture. F— her. Did you see her almost lose to the dried up Earthly remains of Julie Kedzie in the under, under, under card that night? Heck, I could help Julie Kedzie cross the street and she’d end up with a broken arm and a busted hip. Julie Kedzie needs to apply for AARP or for one of those scooters old ladies rumble down the sidewalk on. Time to retire, Julie! You know what Tate’s trying to do, right? She’s trying to create some sort of cross-association linking her name to my name to get her places, sort of like Tonto and the Lone Ranger, Bigfoot and Wildboy, Batman and Robin. She’s like the ghost of some nameless person whose ass you’ve kicked and wants to haunt you forever. Let “Cupcake Girl” win some fights against non-senior citizens and eat some cupcakes without getting it in her hair and we’ll see. I’ll add her other arm to my collection.TOTEH: Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos is considered one of the most dangerous females ever to step into the cage. Her doping suspension is up soon, and she has stated that she wants you to come on up to her weight level and fight. Looks like she wants her belt back. What do you say to that?”
RR: What do I say?? I say there’s two types out there, there’s the “Champ,” and then there are all the “Chumps”. If you’re not the Champ, then you’re a Chump. I don’t see a belt around her waist, and therefore she’s a big, sorry-looking Chump from Brazil. Maybe there’s a problem with the Portuguese to English translation, but the Champ does not come up to the Chump’s weight class. No, no, if the Chump wants to fight, then she’s going to have to put down the `roids and the creams and the clears and come on down to where I am and we’ll fight. I wonder, when I rip her skinny, cut-weight Chump arm off, if it’ll wiggle around on the mat and do a little Chump Samba for me. What do you think?TOTEH: I think that would be something to see. You were recently critical of former Olympic teammate Michael Phelps for being a “Diva“. Can you expand upon that?
RR: What’s to expand? He was a big guy around the Olympic village in Beijing–didn’t hang out, didn’t participate in stuff with everybody else, played by a different set of rules. Sounds like a Diva to me. Sounds like he ought to be dating Miesha Tate and they can hang out and be Divas together. I hung out. I made friends. Oh, by the way, he’d last about as long as Sarah Kaufman did against me.
TOTEH: Well, he’s not an MMA guy, he’s a swimmer. I don’t think he knows judo.
RR: I don’t know judo either, I just rip arms off. If he’d like to swim, we’ll swim. I’ll jump into that pool and armbar it into submission in world record time.
TOTEH: Well, er …
RR: You know, sometimes when I’m working out and I get a real sweat going, I think I can see through time. You know what I see there at the end of time?
RR: I see a big arm there, ripe and sweaty, just waiting for me to grab hold and hyper-extend it.
TOETH: Miesha Tate’s arm?
RR: Oh, hell no–she wishes. She’s at minute 14 1/2 of her 15 and we’re moving on without her. Nope, it’s just an arm, and one of these days I’m going to reach out and it’s going to tap.
February 23, 2011
I’VE GOT A VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM!! I need to pick a hair-style for Lady Sarah of Blanchefort, and I can’t decide. Cover artist Carol Phillips has given me lots of options and I’m at a loss. Here’s your chance to throw your two-cents in and have a say in how the cover for Book IV, The Machine will look.
Sarah is a rather brusque tom-boy, a hot-head and a bit of a loud-mouth. She loves the thrill of adventure and is an eager companion of her cousin, Lord Kabyl of Blanchefort. She’s basically a big kid. I describe her in the story as having a long head of straight blue hair, like her grandmother had. She doesn’t spend a lot of time fussing with it. She pulls it back into a bouncy ponytail and a rolled-up set of bangs, quick and easy and that’s it.
Here are the choices:
Go ahead, take a look and give me your thoughts.
Copyright 2011, Ren Garcia and Carol Phillips
January 31, 2011
Sarah is the spitting image of her maternal grandmother, Countess Hermilane, right down to the blue hair and rather pugnacious temperament. Sarah is a notorious tom-boy, and often dresses like a boy, eschewing the fine Blanchefort gowns her mother wishes she’d wear. She is Gifted with the Gift of Sight, a usual Blanchefort Gift, and the Gift of Strength, which is unusual for a girl to receive. Her mother has forbidden her from powering up inside the castle due to past mayhems she has caused.
Sarah refuses to see any gentleman hoping to court her unless they first have a “cool-sounding” name. The Blancheforts had to issue a public apology to the House of Posie after Sarah refused to see their son, Houck.She has a love of the lurid and the grotesque, and often seeks out “nasty” things to gawk at. Her favorite place is the “Mystery Library” located on the 50th floor of Xyotel Tower, which she shares with her twin brother, Phillip. There, Sarah maintains her collection of books and other materials on ghosts, demons, urban legends and other miscellaneous things. She is very meticulous and, as Kay often says, she would make a wonderful librarian. Her favorite “ghost” to chase is the Wraith of Gaston, an entity she is determined to uncover and confront.
Sarah is often said to be bull-headed, quick to judge, quick to get angry, loud-mouthed and opinionated in the extreme. To those she loves, she is loyal and dedicated, steadfast to the end. To those she does not know or dislikes, however, she is rude, rather boorish and, often-times, a vile bully. She has a running feud going with Kay’s sister, Lady Kilos, and often calls her Tez, which means “cheap prostitute” in Esther. Nobody can recall when the feud began or who started it, but Sarah takes every opportunity to be mean to her. Kay often speculates that Sarah is simply jealous of Kilos because she has the Gift of Stare, a Gift that Sarah had hoped to have.When Sarah found out that Lady Sammidoran of Monama would be seated at their table at the annual “Falling in Love” ball, she was incensed. Sarah hated and mistrusted Monamas–those odd loners from the south who often turned into Berserkacides. Sarah had a whole section in the Mystery Library dedicated to Berserkacides, and she was convinced Lady Sammidoran would turn into one right there at the ball. When she thought she caught the Monama girl making eyes at Kay, her cousin and best friend, she was determined to put a stop to it at once. Cracking her knuckles, she stood, ready to call “Sam” out.
Sarah appears in all three books in the Temple trilogy. The first book, The Dead Held Hands will be out in March, 2011 by Loconeal Publishing.
copyright 2011, Ren Garcia