Category Archives: fantasy

Author interview tonight!

I’m excited to be a guest on tonight’s A Book and a Chat interview at 630 p.m! (That’s my Florida time — so please adjust if you don’t live on the east coast).

Please drop by to give a listen or share your thoughts and questions. I’m looking forward to chatting about From Light to Dark!

From Light to Dark

Polygamy with Skyrim

…a spoilerful collection of gamer nonsense, written by a happily married, arguably sane, female gamer  🙂


Not too long ago, I married another man while my husband cheered me on.

Afterward I slayed a dragon and sold its scales at the local general goods store, but that’s nothing special.

Let’s get this part out of the way for those of you who have come here just to get a simple breakdown.

(WARNING: there are unhidden spoilers for the game Skyrim below)

To get married in Skyrim:

  • Go to Riften.
  • Visit the Temple of Mara.
  • Find Maramal. Buy an amulet of Mara… OR
  • Do quests at the temple to get an amulet of Mara.
  • Wear the amulet, and go talk to the character you hope to marry (Same-sex marriage IS allowed, but Lydia is NOT an option).
  • If the character seems interested, follow that line of conversation.
  • Return with the character to Riften to make it official.
  • Live happily ever after.

Now, for those of you who are here for the deeply romantic story of my fictional wedding, here you go!

The Joy of Marriage in Skyrim

Part I: Fall in love… because the alpha guy with a heart – and a werewolf condition – is simply irresistible.

Part II: Decide to wed… because, really, there’s no need to bother your spouse-to-be with the details. Just let him know when you’re ready to claim him.

Part III: Travel to the slums of Riften… because, when you want to tie the knot with your lupine loveboat, nothing says “romance” quite like getting stopped by thieves and drug-addicts at every corner.

Part IV: Join the Temple of Mara… because everyone who’s just fallen in love wants to go witness for a church they’ve just heard of for the first time.

Part V: Get distracted by various Mara missions… because, like everything else in Skyrim, marriage can always wait.

Part VI: Notice the orphans… Wait. Why is that woman being so awful to them???

Part VII: Save your game… because you’re about to do something really wrong.

Part VIII: Take that horrible woman into the other room and shut the door… because the sweet little innocent children shouldn’t have to see this.

Part IX: Watch in horror as the kids come rushing in with glee… because they clearly are not the innocent sweethearts you imagined they were. They’re itty bitty demons in darling skin. Load your previous save and get out of that orphanage of evil. (NOTE: If you are interested in joining – or destroying the Dark Brotherhood, do not load your previous save. Carry on with your game from here.)

Part X: Do your part to clean up Riften… because that whole orphanage experience just made you feel dirty. Cure addicts. Encourage nice behavior. Get rid of dealers. Etc.

Part XI: Realize you’ve lost track of your original purpose in Riften. Go find Maramal… because nothing’s better than realizing the leader of the church you’ve been blindly supporting is one of those guys who goes into bars and yells at everyone there.

Part XII: Buy the amulet of Mara (if you don’t have it already)… because that’s all you really need to get a mate. Just wear a necklace that says, “On the Prowl.”

I'm available!

Part XIII: Wear the amulet… because it’s fun to see who’s interested. This is kind of like dieting and working out for a month, putting on your cutest outfit, curling your hair, and spritzing your best perfume all over your neck and wrists. Only the amulet is easier because you just equip it and move on.

Part XIV: Nearly propose to the wrong guy… because the irresistible werewolf with a heart has a twin brother.  🙂

Part XV: Approach Farkas and feel a little disappointed by his casual acceptance… because being a hot guy with a sensitive side apparently does not necessarily mean he’s also good with words.

You and me, Farkas.

Part XVI: Go back to Riften! Jitters!

Wait... is he having second thoughts?

Part XVII: Lose your husband after the ceremony… um, what?

Part XVIII: Reload and do the wedding four more times before Farkas will actually stay in the temple to discuss living arrangements.

It'll be a great day if you stick around this time...

Part XIX: Decide to live in your own house… because nothing’s better than home-cooked meals and a successful store that your husband decides to run while you’re out hunting dragons.

Part XX: Lose Lydia… because apparently she does not like this new union.

Part XXI: Live happily ever after – and welcome Lydia back with all of your loot a week later.

Whatever. Elves are tall. We were on the stairs.

Ah… sweet romance.

Reader Input Requested: Mary Findley guest blog

Oliver Unmerged, from Mary Findley's steampunk mashup concept!

~Today’s blog comes FROM MARY FINDLEY!~

Reader Input Requested! Please post your thoughts in the comments.

I am Mary Findley, Goodreads indie author, traveling in a tractor-trailer around the country with my husband as driver. We have three 20-something children in NY, OK, and AL. My published works are historical fiction, but I have always loved fantasy and sci-fi, wrote it in hr. high and high school, and am working my way back to it. I have some sci-fi and fantasy short stories, and my husband Michael has a sci-fi compilation on Goodreads called The Space Empire Saga.

Since I saw The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie I have wanted to create a YA graphic novel based on some literary characters I love. Part of my desire was to be faithful to the original authors’ depictions in a way I thought the movie failed to be. I want input from readers as I plan this.

My story is set in Victorian times, or at least the later 1800’s. I am also a Christian, and I want to write for that audience, but I am not opposed to some violence and non-explicit sexual references.

The book will be called The Alexander Legacy and involve the uncovering of the man behind a plot to organize and send round the world pickpockets, prostitutes and other “perps” taught deadly sophistication to extort, to spy, and to steal on an international level. I hope the identity of the villain will be a surprise but also ironic.

The leader of my group is Phoebe Moore Campbell from Louisa May Alcott’s Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom. I like the idea of her being now a celebrity and wealthy upper-class, but formerly a servant and housekeeper. I think it will enable her to mingle and get information for the cause on all levels of society.

Oliver Twist will lend a steampunk flavor to the story and figure strongly as one of the more important characters. He has grown up to inherit his family’s fortune and become an inventor, but still seeks to right the wrongs of the corrupt welfare system and stop the underworld of fences, housebreakers, and prostitutes he was almost swallowed up by with his amazing gadgets.

Next is Prince Florizel of Bohemia from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Suicide Club. The others would mostly be amateurs at this intrigue and pursuit, and he would be experienced, and experienced with its cost.

Mowgli and the black leopard Bagheera from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book will bring tracking skills, a hatred of greed, and the ability to destroy the credibility of any criminal who dares testify that a “half-naked jungle man” and a black nightmare cat accosted them in a dark London alley.

Edward Ferras from Jane Austin’s Sense and Sensibility serves as the group’s chaplain and has knowledge of the church and the corruption of its members. Corruption in government, religion and business figure prominently in the plot, so I am not picking on the church.

Fun See is another character from Alcott’s books mentioned above, a Chinese merchant who keeps an appearance of traditional culture but knows everything about shipping and trade in all the British and Asian ports. I would consider substituting another Oriental character here if readers have a better idea. I am hoping to find some kind of cowboy character, as well as a black (African, African America) character. If at least one of these were female that would be a good thing, to keep Phoebe from being lonely. These are the three characters I need readers’ help with.

Anonymous, Shakespeare, Nerdiness… and a book!

I’m guest blogging over at the Madhouse! Come see what I have to say about Shakespeare, the new film Anonymous, and generally being a nerd.

And, speaking of Shakespeare, have you seen the release of my book yet? It has a Romeo and Juliet theme — with magic! What could be better for a fall read?  🙂  Get your copy now and let me know your thoughts.

From Light to Dark

Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry.

Last night I saw the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.

There it was, the second half of the seventh book unfolding in front of me and then slipping away like a wisp of magic leaving a broken wand. With every event that happened on screen, I was that much closer to being done with Harry Potter forever.

Harry has been my friend for over ten years. I started reading his stories  in a Denny’s, where I would go to be alone during my lunch breaks. The real world just melted away as I snuggled up for a few chapters each afternoon. Once, a woman dashed over to my booth and tapped me on the shoulder, snapping me out of Hogwarts and back to the diner. Looking a little embarrassed, she asked, “Are you reading those, too? Aren’t they amazing?”

When the movies started, I loved sharing the fun with friends by dressing up and generally acting insane. Have you read John Scalzi’s blog about just how unique these films have been?

Yes, I'm a Hufflepuff.

To prepare for the theatrical release of one of the best of the series, my mom and I bought an audio version of Prisoner of Azkaban and listened to it together every day, remembering our favorite parts of that great story.

My brother accompanied me on a road trip to my grad school one summer, and in the hotel he hooked up a PlayStation and put in a Harry Potter game. I had fallen asleep critiquing manuscripts for class when he woke me up with a loud, “ALRIGHT!” My eyes flew open, and there he stood next to the television, one arm behind his back like a General instructing his troops, the game on pause. He pointed at the screen dramatically, tapping locations on the game map. “We have Prefects HERE, HERE, and HERE!”

Now that the books and movies are complete, we’re done. I look back on those years of joy that surrounded Harry Potter, and I know I’m really going to miss it. Of course we’ll have fun in other ways, but there’s nothing quite like sitting around with your friends and family late at night, adamantly defending Snape’s innocence to the one person who admits to being on the fence.

🙂  Oh, Snape. You’re so dreamy. Sirius, too.  /swoon

So, let me take this moment to make a desperate plea to JK Rowling:

Please write more! How about the story of Dumbledore vs. Grindelwald? Or seven books about the Marauders? We can’t really be expected to get by without any Wizarding World fiction ever again, can we? Can we???

Okay. We’ll see how that works.  🙂

In the meantime, though, what do we do? It’s easy enough to say, “Here’s a great book to read if you love Harry Potter!” but somehow I wonder whether anything can really touch the magic that Hogwarts brought to our lives.

The Wizarding World at Universal Orlando

Are you a fan who misses the Wizarding World? How are you coping? What are you reading now to get by?  🙂