All (Wo)Men of Genius

A woman disguised as man. This is going to be awesome.

Title: All Men of Genius
Author: Lev AC Rosen
Rating: Why isn’t there a sequel yet? It only came out in September is not a reason.
Description: Inspired by Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, All Men of Genius takes place in a Victorian London familiar but fantastical, where mad science makes the impossible possible.

Violet Adams wants to attend Illyria College, a widely renowned school for the most brilliant up-and-coming scientific minds, founded by the late Duke Illyria, the greatest scientist of the Victorian Age. The school is run by his son, Ernest, who has held to his father’s policy that the small, exclusive college remain male-only. Violet sees her opportunity when her father departs for America. She disguises herself as her twin brother, Ashton, and gains entry.

But keeping the secret of her sex won’t be easy, not with her friend Jack’s constant habit of pulling pranks, and especially not when the duke’s young ward, Cecily, starts to develop feelings for Violet’s alter ego, “Ashton.” Not to mention blackmail, mysterious killer automata, the way Violet’s pulse quickens whenever Ernest speaks to her, and a deadly legacy left by Ernest’s father. She soon realizes that it’s not just keeping her secret until the end of the year she has to worry about: it’s surviving that long.

Inspired by Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, All Men of Genius takes place in a Victorian London familiar but fantastical, where mad science makes the impossible possible.

Violet Adams wants to attend Illyria College, a widely renowned school for the most brilliant up-and-coming scientific minds, founded by the late Duke Illyria, the greatest scientist of the Victorian Age. The school is run by his son, Ernest, who has held to his father’s policy that the small, exclusive college remain male-only. Violet sees her opportunity when her father departs for America. She disguises herself as her twin brother, Ashton, and gains entry.

But keeping the secret of her sex won’t be easy, not with her friend Jack’s constant habit of pulling pranks, and especially not when the duke’s young ward, Cecily, starts to develop feelings for Violet’s alter ego, “Ashton.” Not to mention blackmail, mysterious killer automata, the way Violet’s pulse quickens whenever Ernest speaks to her, and a deadly legacy left by Ernest’s father. She soon realizes that it’s not just keeping her secret until the end of the year she has to worry about: it’s surviving that long.

Well, that was enjoyable.

I’d seen this book in stores but never got around to picking it up until I found it conveniently shelved next to the latest Cherie Priest I went into Barnes and Noble. Now I’m kicking myself for waiting so long. It might as well be called Hey Char, You’re Gonna Love This Book.

Let’s examine the evidence, shall we?

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Recipe: Sausage and Apple Hash Over Warm Spinach

THIS IS NOT A POST ABOUT BOOKS.

I know. I know. What about my target audience? What about my niche? What about talking about some really delicious food?

A discussion of my recent dietary changes would take too long (I’m paleo). It’s so much easier to say that I’m eating better than I ever have in my life and I feel better too. Seriously. You should wish you were on a diet like me.

This has led to plenty of time in the kitchen. My teeny tiny little kitchen. Sometimes I cook from a recipe, sometimes I use a highly scientific and educated method called Throw Some Shit In A Pan And See What Happens.

The Food Network should be calling any day now.

One of the results of this is the following original recipe, a product of the Throw Some Shit In A Pan method. It’s delicious even if you’re not a paleo whacko like me and easy enough that you won’t have to wonder how the hell anyone has time for this kind of thing.

And yes, this recipe contains bacon. I said I was eating better, not dead.

Sausage and Apple Hash Over Warm Spinach

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Dust

I drove through a dust storm recently an eerie experience unlike anything I have ever experienced. It was something akin to traveling the surface of Mars. I haven’t been able to get the imagery out of my head. I had to write it down.

For the first time, I wrote longhand on paper instead of typing. Comments from Cleolinda that she’s found writing things down (doesn’t that sound like it should be in caps? Things Written Down) by hand is helpful when you type faster than your brain can supply quality sentences. It made sense and I’m trying it out.

The following is a — not a story because it is too incomplete even to be called flash so let’s think of it as a beginning — piece of fiction I’ve transcribed exactly from where I wrote it in my journal (which is blue and has butterflies on, so you know I is srs writer). I haven’t made any changes or edits since this is an experiment. I may rewrite these words later for a post on editing but let’s not start promising things all crazy like. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alaska

The snow crunched beneath Shaun’s boots and the streetlights above him reflected off it,making the darkness seem less black than it was as if to hint at a dawn that was still weeks away.The town was incredibly well lit, bright at the center and fading outward to a grey smudge like a bruise.Shaun kept the hood of his parka pulled low over his eyes and stepped carefully around the alternating patches of purple-tinged light from streetlamps fitted with UV bulbs.

He wondered how the town would look if the town lost power, lamps winking out like dominoes and his skin matched to the color of the night without the cover of his hood. Invisible save for the flash of his eyes and the delicate crust of snow on his eyelashes and the way his teeth gleamed in the darkness of the night that came even in the day, breathing in the scent of snow and cold in the air.

Down the street, metal clanged as the shopkeepers who made their money selling steak for $30 a pound and a dozen eggs for $12 and $7 for milk locked up their stores. Gloved hands thumbed through keyrings that tinkled like jingle bells as they turned the bolts on the grates covering doors and and windows. The sound matched clink of the dog tags Shaun wore around his neck. The shopkeepers didn’t look at Shaun before they got into cars fitted with heavy chains on the tires for icy roads. A handful of employees walked the same direction Shaun was headed and one fell into step with him, their gates instinctively matching each others.

At the end of the street was a utilitarian structure of grey cement block. It was all alone and there was 100 feet of blank snow-covered ground before a perimeter of chain-link fence. The barbed wire was in sharp spools at the base of the fence. In a guard tower above, an armed soldier kept watch over the line that formed at the entrance. Another pair of uniformed soldiers supervised the front.

Shaun presented his dog tags to have his ID number marked off and a soldier waved a lighted wand over the inside of his forearm. The wand beeped confirmation at the signal from the tracking chip embedded inside him. Shaun was waved inside. There were no pleasantries in the routine inspection and behind Shaun, the line moved quickly forward.

He went to his cell and removed his clothes. The door locked automatically behind him.

Shaun was locked in a cell in a cheerless grey building surrounding by barbed wire in a town filled with artificial light when there was no sun and the town was fenced with more barbed wire. And on the fence the full moon glinted off a metal sign.

Yukon Flats Werewolf Preserve.

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Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza: Review of Lish McBride’s Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

Don't you want to buy this book? Yes. Yes, you do.

Title: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
Author: Lish McBride
Rating: Funny!
Description: Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.

Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.

With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

Let’s talk about that title, shall we? I have a feeling people are in two camps about it: those who think it’s THE BEST THING EVER and those who think it’s stupid. I suggested my old roommate name her cat David Hasselhoff (spoiler: she did) so you can probably guess which group I fall into. In fact, it was the title paired with a beautiful cover design that made me pick this up more than any other thing about the book. It’s no secret I’m a sucker for a pretty cover.

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Remembering The Lost Boys: Justice For Henry Granju

This is how Henry looked when I saw him.

Three nights ago, I dreamt about Henry Granju. He was so clear in my mind I recognized him immediately; thin but wide smile and distinctive shock of wild dark brown hair. But there’s no reason I, a twenty-something from Tucson, should ever dream of Henry. I’ve never been to Tennessee where he grew up. I do not know his family. Henry and I have never met. And we never will.

Henry Granju died a year ago.

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The Not So Epic Tale Of Thor: A Movie Recap

Why the poster looks like the one for the Facebook movie is never explained.

That Epic Part Of The Movie With The Voiceover

Darkness falls upon the theatre as the patrons, restless with much advertisements and caffeinated beverages, fall silent. Then, a voice.

“Hello and welcome to the talky part of the movie; I’m Anthony Hopkins. You may recognize my voice from that time I narrated as the wise old guy in Zorro. We wanted to get Morgan Freeman to provide the ultimate voiceover authority but Thor fans threw a shit fit when we hired a black actor for the Gatekeeper so our colorblind quota was filled.

I am king of a great people of warriors but also of peace. You can tell because we have many tall and shiny gold buildings. Bad guys never get anything shiny. There came a day when we had to kick the ass of a race of Frost Giants after they took to marching across the world in slow motion. The battle was grave and victory cost me an eye but we used their frosty corpses to make margaritas and stole their battery. It may seem like a bad idea to keep all your power in a glowy blue box, but whatever.

Years passed and my eyepatch became more and more badass until it was a metal plate affixed magically to my face. I raised my two sons, reminding each that they were born to be king but only one could claim the prize. Nothing like healthy competition that most certainly won’t come back to bite me later. One of my sons was fair-haired and one was dark as a raven’s wing. That should have been enough to see what was coming. If only I had two eyes!

For some reason, I decided to give the crown to Thor, despite the fact that he’s an asshole.”

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