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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Pride and Prejudice: A Cinderella Retelling

Today I’m guest-posting over at Stella’s Ex Libris site. Look: she even has a graphic:

Gee, I wish I had the time and talent to make things like that!

Anyway, for my topic, I playfully slotted the major characters in Pride and Prejudice into their Cinderella equivalents. At least as I see ’em. Here’s a taste:

Cinderella – Of course Cinderalla is Lizzy. Or Elizabeth Bennett. A no-brainer.

The Prince – um … Wickham? Just kidding. It’s a no-brainer again. The name is Fitzwilliam Darcy. A name that is exciting even to write.

The Wicked Stepmother – Mrs Bennett. I bet you thought I’d say Lady Catherine de Bourgh, did you? No, it’s Mrs Bennett. How is she wicked? Well, she’s awfully cruel to poor Mary, simply because she had the misfortune of being born plain. And Mrs Bennett’s one purpose in life is to get all her daughters married off—and happily is optional. She pressured poor Lizzy to accept Mr Collins, and only backed off when …

Read the rest at Stella’s Ex Libris site! There’s a giveaway too. I’ll be by after 5 PM EST to join the conversation.

Fairy Tale Event – Current Reads – Rooting Nooks

If you like fairy tale retellings, head on over to Stella’s Ex Libris site for her two week Spotlight on Fairy Tales Retold event. I’m up on Thurdsay, and today Bettie Sharp’s Cat’s Tale is launching the event. Here is the schedule, which will be updated all week.


I spent a long weekend visiting family. My feet ache. Next time, I WILL bring some slippers.

Here’s what I’ve been reading, lately:

  • Little House on the Prairie – I’ve been reading this book aloud in order to kindle my daughter’s interest in reading novels. She was rivited all throughout it. So was my husband. He called it the ultimate book to read in case of an apocalypse, because in it you will find complete instructions on how to build a log cabin, fireplace, well, door, barn door, puncheon floor, beds and rocking chair. We’ll be moving onto the next book. I skipped Little House in the Big Woods, which I skipped as a child, too.
  • No One to Trust by Julie Moffett. I read the first book, No One Lives Twice, and I liked it so much that I bought NOTT on the day it was released.
  • Master and Apprentice by Sonya Bateman. This is the followup to Master of None, which I reviewed here.

I have lots of other new books on my Nook as well.


Speaking of Nooks, I’ve decided to root mine. I’ll probably do it later this week. Has anyone rooted their Nooks, jailbroken their iPads, or engaged in similar activity? The reason I want to root my nook is so I can install the Kindle app on it. I’m tired of Kindle owners bragging to me about how great is the Kindle store while I just writhe in jealously, because the B&N store is … not so great. My one and only attempt to purchase something there led me to Diesel Ebooks, which is now my favorite ebook store.

Does anyone know any drawbacks to rooting nooks? Can you still install your DRM-ed ebooks on a rooted nook?


Free Book Week at Carina Press

A friend, Christine Bell, asked me to post this. The enthusiasm is all hers and yes, she’s like this all the time, so you should check out her blog. But first go forth, download and read!


It’s FREE BOOK WEEK at Carina Press!!!
Every weekday, all week, Carina is offering a spectacular title for free download. And when they say free, they mean ACTUALLY free. Not “sorta free”, or “free with a $50 purchase” free, but actually, totally, no strings attached FREE! So, get thee to Carina press to download a free book every day! Here are the books being offered, and the links and promo codes for your free download:

Monday’s FREE BOOK is:
The Debutante’s Dilemma by Elyse Mady
Just type in the promo code DEBUTANTEFREE at checkout

Tuesday’s FREE BOOK is:
Demon’s Fall by Karalynn Lee
Just type in the promo code DEMONFREE at checkout

Wednesday’s FREE BOOK is:
The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell
Just type in the promo code TWISTEDFREE at checkout

Thursday’s FREE BOOK is:
Blue Galaxy by Diane Dooley
Just type in the promo code GALAXYFREE at checkout

Friday’s FREE BOOK is:
Friendly Fire by Megan Hart
Just type in the promo code FRIENDLYFREE at checkout

I'm Hopeless: More Retro-Tech


What was the sigh for? Film photography.

More specifically, SLR film photography.

I’m fairly high-tech without being cutting edge. I have devices with all three of the major cellphone operating systems–iPhone (my iPod Touch–still used daily), Android (my personal cell phone) and BlackBerry (for work–just got it and I’m surprised at how much it rocks). But none are bleeding-edge. I have an ebook reader, but it’s a first-generation Nook. I have a laptop that will run the games of 2007 (specifically, Oblivion).

So I tend to like yesterday’s technology. Or yesteryear’s.

Here is my SLR camera, equipped with its monstrous flash. It’s a Minolta XG-1, purchased in 1984, for my high school graduation:

Yeah, so I’m old. Anyway. My husband just got the camera that took this picture. A Nikon D3100 Digital SLR. Nothing beats being able to look in that viewfinder to compose your shot, especially when you know that you are looking at what the picture will look like. Somehow, I never got into using a viewscreen. I just couldn’t seem to see it as well. So this may be the digital camera that rekindles my interest in photography.

Yeah, like all I need is another hobby.

Anyway, my husband asked if my XG-1 still works. I said sure, it just needs batteries. However, it did have this problem with mold–there was mold in the eyepiece lens and I suspected there was some in the shutter, because every once in a while, you would see a ghost of the shutter curtain across the frame, as if the shutter had paused or slowed down as it was flying back and forth.

But we got us some batteries anyway, along with some film (3 bucks for 2 rolls!), and some batteries for the flash. Here’s a closer picture of the camera, itself:

It’s in such good shape because I got a custom-fitted leather case for it the same year it was purchased. Nowadays, you would call it a skin. It’s cool because you just unsnapped a button (yeah! A genuine button!) and the cover over the lens would flip down, and you could take your picture with the camera still in its case. In addition to the flash, I have a zoom/macro lens. It’s huge and weighty, but not as huge and weighty as my husband’s zoom from 1982. The technology had shrunk up a bit by 1995, when I bought the zoom, used.

I decided to clean the camera up with a can of air. I’m holding it so close to my face because I’m nearsighted, and I see really well extra close up.

I’m cleaning the tracks of the curtain. I also held the shutter open and cleaned out the guts of the shutter mechanism. I’m thinking that humidity probably caused the mold. I’m not sure if the blasts of air did any good, but I figured I’d test with a couple of rolls of film and see if the shadow returns.

After that, I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. Because I kinda like my hubby’s new camera.


Fantasy Review – Faerie Blood by Angela Korra'ti

I bought Faerie Blood by Angela Korra’ti a while back and read the opening chapters, but for some reason, it wasn’t what I was in the mood for at the time. I read a few other books, and then came back to this one. I remembered the story so far (always a good sign!) turned to the last read page in my Nook and started reading.

And I wondered why the heck I stopped.

Several things hooked me about this novel, and it mostly had to do with the cover. I liked the fact that a black girl was the protagonist, and that she also played the violin, and instrument of which I am familiar. And then there’s the tiny pixy.

So I bought it.

Faerie Blood begins when Kendis Thompson is attacked by a troll along a bike trail in Seattle, Washington. A young man comes running to her rescue, but the troll puts up quite a fight, the young man ends up bleeding all over the trail, and Kendis finally stabs the thing with her little pocket knife and …

… to her surprise, the troll turns to stone.

This is only the start. Kendis takes the guy home, he bleeds all over her, and then strange things start to happen. Namely, Kendis’s brown eyes turn golden. Check out the cover to see what I mean.

Kendis is freaked.

And her life turns upside-down.

The young man–who is named Christopher–turns out to be of Warder blood, and by allowing his blood to touch the ground, he has begun to bind himself to the grounds of Seattle. Except it already has a Warder. And Kendis’s natural Faerie blood is asserting itself. And her relatives from Faerie show up.

This book was laugh-out-loud fun along with almost nonstop action. The only thing I could have wished for was more of a sense of the atmosphere in Seattle. Since Christopher is bound to the land, a lot of places are named, but I’m not familiar with Seattle. The book would have benefited from a sort of establishing shot of Seattle to give that sense of atmosphere, describing the spots that would eventually be alluded to. Without that, it was just a list of names, and I didn’t get a sense of the city’s character.

But that’s a very small critique. Both Kendis and Christopher were very likable, even though they both had to make some adjustments in their thinking before the end of the book. I particularly liked Christopher and his struggles. Both had to accept themselves for what they were, and to embrace their destinies. This novel has an urban-fantasyesque voice that keeps the humor and ditches the snark.

I had a great time reading this book, and the pages just flew by. Faerie Blood stands alone, but could easily spawn a sequel. I look forward to more from Angela Korra’ti.


Those Nonresponsive Author Email Accounts

So I emailed an author last week, and I never got a response. I think this is the second time. I don’t suspect any malice here; I simply think it is another unattended author email account.

I got a solution for that.

Believe me, I understand. It can be depressing to check an email account day after day, and nothing’s ever there except spam. Daily becomes every few days, then weekly, then you barely remember to check once a month. When I was running Fantasy Debut and Debuts & Reviews, I often had to turn into a detective in order to discover an active email account for an author. I’m going to have to do that now.

But here’s how I ensured I’m always responsive on my own author account.

When I set it up, I gave this problem some thought. I suspected that fan mail would be as rare as a personal letter in my snail mailbox. (However–funny thing–I do check my snail mailbox every day.) At about the time I was setting the account up, my personal email account was getting inundated with author loop emails. Emails from RWA, our Carina Press author group, another author group I was invited to, and another … emails every day, even with them all set on Digest mode.

Then, the solution hit me. Have all those loop emails sent to my author account. That way, I could keep them from cluttering up my personal account, and I could be responsive to the occasional email from something that is not from an author loop. Like … maybe … a fan.

Hey. It’s happened.

It works great. I have them all going to my author account, where I have some filters set up in Outlook. Anything from Yahoo goes straight into a folder. Everything else (except automagically handled spam) goes into my inbox. I even check that spam folder because important mails have ended up there from time to time. Any account I that set up as an author now uses that email account. And there are a few accounts–such as Goodreads and my author Facebook–that I really should switch over.

I highly recommend this approach for all writers, published or not. It doesn’t have to be a domain; it could simply be Or Yahoo. Use it for queries and submissions to keep it active.

Because that’s the important thing. It needs to be active for that very occasional, very important email.

The Sevenfold Spell Audio Version Price Cut!

Yay! The price of The Sevenfold Spell has come down from a very steep 17.95 to a very reasonable 4.95! And this is the change in cover price–not just a sale.

Here’s the product page.

The price change has not trickled down to Amazon yet, and I can no longer find it on iTunes. I’m excited about this change because I always thought the original price was too prohibitive and somewhat embarrassing. But now, I’m delighted!


Dear SFWA: Ebook Authors Need You

Dear Esteemed SFWA Members,

Recently, I submitted my novel to an ebook publisher. My reasons for submitting there were many, and I did not come to this decision easily. In this turbulent time for new authors, I decided that I would submit my novel to the ebook publisher first, before submitting to print publishers who accept unagented submissions. My main reason is that I have already established a modest readership among ebook enthusiasts, and I’m hoping my novel appeals to those readers.

Before submitting, I went to your SFWA Membership Requirements page, which is my first stop when submitting stories to short story markets. And I looked to see if you have started listing any ebook publishers yet.

You have not.

For years–probably for as long as you have been running a website–I have been checking with your qualifying markets page for good places to submit my short stories. I am a submission snob. I don’t submit to many markets that aren’t listed on your pages. There are a few semipro magazines I will submit to–but not many.

But why do you not list any ebook publishers? You don’t even acknowledge that they exist. Even your disapproved publishers are listed, such as PublishAmerica. Yet no Carina Press, no Samhain, no Ellora’s Cave, no Loose Id or any of the other epublishers where many writers make very good money–some as much as five figures–publishing books with great content, great covers and great editing, and which all publish a lot of science fiction and fantasy.

Ebook authors who write science fiction and fantasy need you to step up to the plate. For years, romance has dominated ebooks, but that’s changing. Those publishers have set the mark very high. Not only are the covers and editing thoroughly professional, but the books are widely available at ebook stores everywhere, and you see their ads everywhere. There’s no question that they’re trying to put out a professional product.

But because most professional writing organizations don’t acknowledge that they exist, the publishers are setting all the rules. There is some competition among them for royalty rates, but I know of nothing that demarks what a “professional” publisher should be paying vs. a “semipro”, like we have for short story markets. For short stories, 5 cents a word is the minimum. It is a goal for both writers and publishers alike. What should the minimum royalty rate be for ebooks? Some pay 40 percent off net. Others pay 15 percent off cover. Which is better for the author? Often, we don’t know. We have to go it alone, unless we can manage to find an agent. I sold a novella–I didn’t even look for an agent. I may look if my novel gets an offer, but I have not made that decision yet.

Please consider coming up with some membership guidelines for epublished authors. Please consider coming up with membership levels that will include them. And please consider vetting the ebook publishers and include a section about them in your Membership Requirements page, as a service to all writers, whether they are members, or hope to be one day.


Tia Nevitt

Tagged for Six Questions

It’s been a long time since I’ve been tagged, so it was kind of fun to find myself tagged by Sherri Meyer. Thanks for an easy post topic, Sherri!

1) Do you think you’re hot?

My husband thinks so. As for me, I’m just another overweight American woman, and struggling to get not so.

2) Upload a picture or wall paper you are using at the moment.

I don’t have to because it’s right over there, to the right. Yup, the cover of THE SEVENFOLD SPELL is my wallpaper. It was designed by the amazing CrocoDesigns. At work, I like to grab a picture from Astronomy Photo of the Day. I look for pictures of galaxies or star clusters. I’m not a fan of nebulas. They are sometimes pretty, but they’re just gas. But galaxies and star clusters gets my imagination going that something else might be out there.

3) When was the last time you ate chicken meat?

Today, on a sandwich.

4) The song(s) you listened to recently?

I don’t remember, but it was probably a Country classic, which is the type of radio station I listen to.

5) What were you thinking as you were doing this?

Boy am I glad Sherri tagged me, because now I have something to post tomorrow. Of course, I dawdled for a week before I posted it.

6) Do you have a nickname?

Yes. It’s Tia. When I started blogging online, it was only natural that I used my nickname. And by the time I got an an offer to publish, I was like, “Gee, I might as well use Tia as my author name, because I already have something of an audience.” And so I did.

And now, I suppose I must tell how I got “Tia” as a nickname. My older sister Mary (Hi, Mary!!!) is only 13 months older than me, and couldn’t pronounce my name. My parents were trying to think of which nickname to use for me, when someone suggested Tia. It has nothing to do with my real name, but I like it.

And now I must tag people. Here are some picks from my blog roll.


Mystery Robin




And this concludes my unscheduled Monday post.

In the Transom

Here’s one thing you should know about me, if you don’t know it already. When I post a lot here, I’m not writing. And when I’m writing, I don’t have time to post here.

And I have been writing feverishly. After I sent off my epic fantasy, I dove right back into Cinderella and have been writing thousands of words. Far more than my usual output–about 4000 words this weekend alone. And it’s 5:30 AM Sunday! I also cut thousands of words, so I’m creeping back up on 25,000 words now. I honestly think I’ve cut just as much.

But still, I must keep some discipline concerning this blog. Therefore, I have decided to stick to the following posting schedule, life allowing:

Sunday – A short post showing what’s coming up that week, and perhaps something fun.

Tuesday– The Weekly Review. In order to keep my reviewing muscles flexed, I will review something once a week, be it a book, some technology, a movie, a TV episode, or something quirky. But mostly, it will be books that I buy and read for my own enjoyment.

Thursday – Articles and Interviews. Any guests will appear on Thursdays. When I don’t have guests, I’ll post an article, myself.

And I really hope I can stick to this schedule!

So what’s up this week? Well, I’m going to write a review of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy for Tuesday. On Thursday, I hope to host a steampunk author.

And finally, I’m under the delusion that my webpage loading speed has resolved itself. If this is not true, please let me know somehow. Things seem faster on this end, anyway. You can email me at tia dot nevitt at gmail dot com.


One more thing! I was going through my reader blogroll for people to tag for an extra post this week, and I found that a lot of those blogs are inactive. Therefore, I’d like to update my blogroll. If you are a reader of this blog and want your site listed, please leave a comment with the details, and I’ll list you. Reciprocity is appreciated.