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Monday, April 25, 2011

The Doe and The Dragon by Andrew Richardson

Andrew Richardson and I have been longstanding critique partners, which should be no surprise to those of you reading my blogs. Despite our very different styles, and what were initially very different genres, our authorial personalities seem to mesh, probably because we both are willing to do some heavy lifting with our writing muscles and try something different while the other serves as a spotter to be sure we don't drop a fifty pound barbell on our chest.

We don't love everything each other writes (his horror stories give me nightmares, and my childbirth scenes make him queasy and uneasy), but objectivity and tough love prevail. The Shoot has long been one of my favorite of his erotic shorts (see why here) and his upcoming release The Doe and The Dragon threatens to unseat it.

I've seen this novel from the first draft to the final one, and loved it. If, like me, you have always been intrigued by Arthurian legend and lore, there is no better place to begin—before it all began—with Andrew's rendition of how Uther Pendragon, the man who would father King Arthur, met his mate.

A shade less bloodcurdling than most of Andrew's supernatural horror novels Andraste’s Blade and The Wood, this more traditional fantasy has it all—sword and sorcery, witchcraft, prophecy, gallantry, vengeance, and epic battles all presented with as much historical accuracy as possible for a time, place, and people swathed in the cloak of mythology.

Andrew describes The Doe and The Dragon as a novel which “follows the north Welsh version of sixth century legends. These stories place national events in a local setting and so give a distinctive Welsh flavour. […] Other ‘non-Arthurian’ characters appearing only in the local legends and have been incorporated into this work. As with any story set in the ‘Arthurian’ period, no matter which sources are used as an inspiration, part of the writer’s job has been to uncover characters about whom little is known, and to flesh them out in the way that makes them real.”

The Doe and The Dragon will be published May 1 by Rogue Phoenix Press. Connect with Andrew on Facebook or on his blog 

Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclaimers: I have received no compensation, monetary or otherwise, for this review. This review has not been submitted, nor will it be, to any established review organizations of which I am a staff member.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sometimes There Are No Rainchecks

There are just some things you can't put off and death is one of them. No, not mine. My father, who has been very ill with lymphoma for six years, is now terminally ill. I am spending as much time as I can with him, given my full time job and family responsibilities, knowing each time might be the last.

It's a two hour round trip commute, and though I am used to being around and caring for dying patients, it takes on a whole different perspective when it's your own family member. Not to mention the emotional upheaval for my mother, my sisters, my kids, and my nieces and nephews.

Dad and I have always been very close and talked about these things a lot, so my time spent with him is quite peaceful. We go outside when he's able, but most of the time I just sit with him, help him to eat and drink, and do a lot of reading and thinking while he's asleep.

I am meeting hard deadlines, but doing very little else. If I owe you something, please be assured I am working on it when I can and will get it out as soon as possible.

Thanks for all the prayers, support and words of encouragement being sent my way. They mean a lot to me and my family.