Shadows of Self – A Review

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Well, this is exciting. Any time a new Sanderson novel comes out, especially one set in the Cosmere, I have a little field day. It’s been well over a year now since we got a new Cosmere novel (the last was Words of Radiance, which I reviewed here), and the hype has really built. Due to the importance of some of the Cosmere-wide tidbits in Shadows of Self, this review will have some spoilers, not only for Shadows of Self, but also for others of Sanderson’s works.

Shadows of Self

Shadows of Self is the fifth and latest installment in Brandon Sanderson’s popular Mistborn series. Properly the second book in “Era 2” of Mistborn, Shadows picks up a year after the events
of Alloy of Law. Continue reading

Cup of Dcaf: Another Beginning

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It’s a weird feeling. After giving myself some breathing room for the last month (not all of it voluntary; see laptop issues), I’m diving back into writing. There are two things of note here.

First, All Flames Cast  is still in the alpha read phase. I have four more alphas still working through it, but the first three have finished! I gotta say, it’s a curious feeling. For the first time ever, somebody has read a book that I wrote, in its entirety. This is a scary feeling, but pretty exciting, too. Initial reviews were actually pretty good, but one plot line is going to need a lot of work on the next draft. That’s on the backburner, though. Because… Continue reading

Book of the Week: August 21st, 2015

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Wow, I totally forgot to upload this yesterday. So you get a Book of the Week on a Friday, this time. Anyway, this week we’re doing a bit of a different genre, and going toward the lighter side of things after going really dark with The Real Story last week. This time, the Book of the Week is Rifles for Watie.

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Rifles for Watie

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Book of the Week – August 13th, 2015

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The Book of the Week is back! I know it’s been a couple weeks, and this has been harder to keep consistent than I thought it would. First, my computer decided to consistently freeze while I was on vacation—resulting in zero posts for over a week, and no writing done on Seeds of Sand, the way I’d planned—and then I came back to Colorado and started a new job almost immediately. It’s been a busy couple weeks.

But anyway, I’m trying to get back on schedule with things now. The Book of the Week is The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story by Stephen R. Donaldson.

The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story

The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story

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Cup of Dcaf: Off to the Alpha Readers

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It’s a scary thing. All Flames Cast is nearing completion. Technically, I suppose, this is the first draft. In a day or two, I will have checked off every plot point and checkpoint on my outline. I’ll have a word count and a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

On the other hand, this really isn’t a first draft. All Flames Cast is in its third incarnation. It started out, as some of you may remember, as Seeds of Doubt back in 2012. I got pretty far into the first draft of that book, working off the same outline document that I’ve had open on my computer for the past month straight. But, as first drafts tend to go, it was really, really flawed. I had to throw out about 40,000 words and basically start over. And then, this spring, I took two months off to revisit the outline and a bunch of the chapters I’d already written, giving it a once (or twice)-over and working out some of the kinks.

And now, with three short chapters left to finish, I’m working with my alpha readers.

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All Flames Cast – Prologue: Spark

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The mountain trail, faint and overgrown as it was, twisted away down and to the west. The setting sun, blazing hues of orange and red over the far plains, shed enough light to reveal the tracks of deer over the bared dirt. The tang of early autumn bit into the air, just a hint, but enough to remind Tymun of past years, training under the myriad golds and yellows of oak leaves.

The ground beneath his feet was uneven, broken at odd intervals by cracks and roots. Dry dust puffed at his every step, settling behind him only to be disturbed again by the long trail of men, winding single file back up the slope. Continue reading

All Flames Cast – Eritan III

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Eritan’s throne room was much larger than any of his audience chambers, even the one used just that morning for his meeting with Selonius and the other priests. This was more of a hall, with towering obsidian columns lining it, reaching to the vaulted ceiling above. Noble men and women clustered along the sides and around the columns, bumping elbows with high-ranking military men and priests in robes of blue and white and black. Their whirlwind of colors made a contrast against the stark black tiles of the floor and the black iron ornamentation along the walls. Even the tapestries were mostly black.

Eritan himself wore voluminous black robes, with wide, stiff shoulders to give him a more intimidating outline against the throne. He was used to the intricate carvings on the marble of his seat, the flames burning stoic and steady and white above his head. He could grant the priests that much, at least. Their decorations for his throne did lend a nice effect and put his features in shadows. While much of the hall was lit by flames hanging high in the air along the columns, the dais upon which sat his throne was mostly kept dark, with the exception of the flames above and behind his head. Eritan liked the setup.
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