Sunday, 21 October 2012

Cover Reveal - Mesmer, Book #3: The Amarinth Heir

Yes, it's finally time for me to reveal the cover for the final book in the Mesmer Trilogy! And here it is, my lovely cover for Mesmer, Book #3: The Amarinth Heir! I hope you guys love it as much as I do:)

Coming soon in Spring 2013*, Mesmer, Book #3: The Amarinth Heir

A hidden kingdom in a forbidden forest. A realm she can’t escape without the trust of a mage. But trust and magic make complicated allies – when time is running out.

When Lea's presence in Verlaine leads to the unexpected discovery of a secret hidden long ago by an ancient enemy, a secret that has the power to alter the fabric of Lea's and Gabriel's very different worlds forever, the Lorien spy must make a choice between protecting the kingdom she never believed she could betray, and saving the world – and mage – she never imagined she could come to love.
*updated from initial scheduled release date of November/December 2012 - Apologies, folks, but the initial date proved a bit too ambitious for me. As a further update to those who are waiting, all I can say is, when Book 3 does come out, you'll absolutely love it! Cheers to everyone, and may the year come to a close with much joy and happiness to us all (Mayan prophecies regardless)!:)

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Sunday, 30 September 2012

A Funny Guest Post on Mira's Corner!

Hi folks,

First off, apologies for my silence as of late. I've been bogged down with lots of unexpected stuff. Fortunately, at least one of the things I've been occupied with has been my first guest blog post!:) If you're in the mood for some dry humour, do drop by the delightful Mira's Corner to check out my guest post, An Interview With Humour:) It was a pleasure to write, and I am so excited to see it up! What a good way to end September and ring in October:) I love any piece of writing that tickles the old funny bone; all fingers are crossed that An Interview With Humour will tickle yours:) Cheers, folks, and have a great week ahead!:)

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Saturday, 11 August 2012

'Little Talks' by folk indie band Of Monsters and Men

Sigh.... I've officially fallen in love with a music video:)

Now, I'll admit I'm a bit fickle when it comes to music videos, easily falling in and out of love with them as it were—but this one is a keeper! I came to 'Little Talks' a bit late in time. From what I understand, the video actually debuted on Youtube in February 2012. Yes, it's August. Yes, I've missed out on this gorgeous creature for *counting* five months now! Bloody hell, where have I been?? Well, thank goodness I finally got to see it:)

Beautiful, creative, artistic and full of rich imagery and mythological references, the video for 'Little Talks' features a fey/witch/otherworldly personage who helps five humans as they trek through a harsh landscape, coming upon fearsome creatures along the way... The video is animated for the most part, stylistically gothic I thought, and definitely fantastical throughout. The song's beat/rhythm is infectious (folk music, I think);  somehow the dark tone to the video and lyrics does not in any way reduce its infectiousness. It's a smart blend of elements that creates just the right mix of hope and tragedy in a listener/viewer. Let's just say that I was left with a feeling of completeness at the end of this poignant tale:)

Right, I'll refrain from analysing it any further, simply because I think this kind of a visual delicacy should not be theorised to death, hmmm?:) Oooh, I love this video so much. And I love the song too, of course!:D

Do check out 'Little Talks' below, and get the single/album ('My Head Is An Animal') if you haven't already! By the Icelandic band, Of Monsters and Men, here is *drumroll*... 'Little Talks'!

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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

'Mesmer, Book 2: Favoured' is out now on Kindle and Smashwords!:)

Yay, Book 2 in the Mesmer Trilogy is finally out on Kindle and Smashwords! For those who've been waiting, my apologies for taking a bit longer than I'd expected to get 'Favoured' out there. I hope you enjoy reading the continuation to Lea's adventures in the magical realm of Verlaine!:)


(A Three Towers Fantasy)

A hidden kingdom in a forbidden forest.
A realm she can’t escape without the trust of a mage.
But trust and magic make complicated allies – when time is running out...

As Lea races to outsmart Gabriel Amarinth and escape his magical kingdom, her stubborn loyalty to her home realm begins to waver. To her dismay, she finds herself turning fascinated by her charmed sanctuary – and its magi master. But when strange accidents and deadly disasters stalk Lea through the halls of Gabriel's castle, it’s obvious that someone in Verlaine isn't happy with her change of heart.

Get Mesmer, Book 2: Favoured on Kindle US, Kindle UK, Kobo or Smashwords now!

Note: The ebook should get onto other online retailers very soon. I'll keep you guys posted. Cheers:)

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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A reading of the music video for 'Princess of China' (by Coldplay feat Rihanna)

'Princess of China' by Coldplay (feat Rihanna) . . . is a really beautifully constructed song! The lyrics are pretty straightforward I thought (seem to be about a couple's break-up) and the vocals are pretty sublime. The music video, however, did raise some questions, made the song way more fascinating than it was initially . . . so I thought I'd do a short reading of it for you guys. Be warned, I'll be deploying some poetic license and perhaps cherry-picking symbology along the way:)

First off, the title 'Princess of China'. Obviously, a strange reference to the Orient—strange because, well . . . this reference doesn't appear in the song at all afterwards. Also, what on earth would either the Orient or a princess of China (whose monarchy has long left us) have to do with a couple's break-up? Hmmmm *crickets*... exactly.

So, moving beyond couples, the next point is: 'china' as in 'fragile', 'delicate' etc. This makes more sense. Princesses in narrative/myth have historically been rather fragile souls who need to be rescued by princes/kings all the time. All right, so gender issues are brought right into the middle of things; and that's going to be my first reading.

First reading

Gender roles

Male and female voices in the song obviously portray a split between the two. Previously 'on the same side', the male later overpowers the female, as represented through the sword fight, and renders her powerless save for sexual attributes; Rihanna goes from being a white-garbed (read: sexually pure) warrior to a somewhat red-garbed (read: sexually active) dancer who is left performing for him while he sits on a throne.

Summary: the video/song is about the fragile princess (woman) becoming fragile due to being overpowered by the king (man), thus limiting her to a sensual role in the king's court, instead of them both being able to co-exist as equal partners physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Second reading

My second reading is perhaps in fact reading too much into the video/song, but hey, it got me thinking, all right:) Now, remember when I mentioned 'China' in the title as referring to the Orient, and wondering what on earth a reference to Asia has got to do with a couple breaking up? Well, maybe it's not about a couple as we think of it:

When East Meets West

One thing which made me a bit perplexed in the video was that, yes, the song is titled "Princess of China", but the symbology isn't really about China per se. You get some Japanese ninja action, some Chinese flying-wire kung fu scenes, and what looks either like the many-handed Indian goddess Durga (who of course manifests as among others, Kali) or traditional Thai dancers (in dances such as 'Manohra').

In other words, perhaps 'China' here signifies Eastern tradition.

In this context, the 'princess' of China could represent the nature of that tradition as feminised (the ninja Chris Martin's character defeats is a woman, and of course so are Rihanna's various characters) as opposed to a 'masculine' West (symbolised by Martin's character).

Further, the video seems to portray this feminine Eastern tradition as having been 'subjugated' by a masculine West (see the way Martin's clothes change from Western to Eastern throughout the video, but only once he enters 'China' from 'outside'; he enters without being stopped/questioned by its male guard; he knocks out the defensive component of the place (as represented by the female ninja), and apparently defeats its 'many-handed' feminine spiritual component (represented by Rihanna's character), while gaining the support of the city's men (represented by the drummers) by the end of the clip.

As a result of the above, the spiritually pure (white-garbed) Rihanna and her many-handed (divine/religious) counterpart are reduced to dancing before the new King—minus her many hands and warrior-like power . . .  Not to mention, all the other women in the video pointedly fall down in a group under the King's rule while the male drummers surround them/Rihanna's character, and support the King.

Summary: the video/song is about the meeting of East and West, resulting in the subjugation by the (masculine) West of Eastern tradition and ideals (which are, methinks, overwhelmingly feminine).

The End

Well, this has been fun, but that's it for me. I'm exhausted:) lol anyway, do let me know what you guys think. Do these two readings come through for you too? I really wonder what else one could read into the song/video:) Ciaos, folks:)

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