When the magic is free

Weight of Worlds, my collection of 11 tales of magic, cruelty, and sacrifice, is free in ebook form until Feb. 5.

Weight of Worlds
But, for the moment, only on the Kindle, I’m afraid.

The cover story tells of several worlds and their millions of souls lost in a game of chance. In other stories we encounter the soul of a sinner locked in a gargoyle serving out his time in purgatory, an angel offering a new life to a deeply troubled woman but at a bitter price, and many others.

All of my stories owe a debt to the dark and twisted fairy tales of Oscar Wilde and the passion and poignant drama of the stories of Hans Christian Andersen.

If you pick up the book, please consider writing a quick review on Amazon.

Weight of Worlds

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‘Year of reading women’ declared for 2014

The bias in favor of male writers is fueling a drive to switch attention to female authors, Alison Flood reports in the Guardian.

From a small American literary journal’s vow to dedicate a year’s coverage to women writers and writers of color to author and artist Joanna Walsh’s burgeoning  #readwomen2014 project, readers – and publishers – around the world are starting to take their own small steps to address male writers’ dominance in the literary universe.

Persephone BooksFresh perspective … Persephone Books in London, a publisher and bookseller focused on women writers. Photograph: Anna Gordon

Figures last year from Vida show the huge imbalance in how male and female writers – and reviewers – are treated: at the New York Review of Books, for example, in 2012 16% of reviewers were women, with 22% of the books reviewed written by women.

Joanna Walsh points to authors and readers who have all undertaken projects to read only women writers. Her own project, #readwomen2014, started as “nothing but a few Christmas cards” which dubbed 2014 “the year of reading women”, listing 250-odd names from Angela Carter to Zadie Smith and encouraging recipients to “if not vow to read women exclusively, look up some of the writers I’ve drawn on the front or listed on the back”. But she was inundated with requests for the cards, and with suggestions on Twitter for other women authors to include.

Read women

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12 Historic Bars Every Book Nerd Needs To Visit

Channel your inner literary lush, Arianna Rebolini of BuzzFeed says, by drinking where the greats drank. The White Horse Tavern in New York, for example:

White HorseFlickr: katie_cat / Creative Commons

Notable Patrons: Dylan Thomas, James Baldwin, Anais Nin, Norman Mailer

The White Horse Tavern opened in 1880 and was known for being a longshoreman’s hangout until the 1950s, when Welsh poet Dylan Thomas started coming around. It is most famously (and morbidly) known as the place of Thomas’ last drink; in November of 1953, after downing eighteen shots of whiskey, he collapsed on the sidewalk and later died at St. Vincent’s Hospital.

Still, the West Village tavern remained a favorite spot for the literary set, attracting writers and poets to this day.

ArticoFlickr: ladyous / Creative Commons

Antico Caffe Greco, Rome

Notable Patrons: John Keats, Charles Dickens, Henrik Ibsen, Hans Christian Andersen, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, Maria Zambrano

Having opened in 1760, this historic landmark is Rome’s oldest bar (and Italy’s second oldest). Its reputation as a haven for writers and artists was built largely by Shelley and her contemporaries, who worked on manuscripts and swapped ideas while enjoying a cappuccino at the Caffe’s marble tables. It continues to draw some of Rome’s most influential minds today.

‘Drinking’ with the greats

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Romance writers, Jennifer Weiner, and the future of publishing

The New York literary industry stands at the front door and frets over the guest list, while everyone else is sneaking out the back, Jesse Barron writes in Harper’s. There are many better parties…You can feel, in literary corners of the city, the depreciation of old-style New York–centered prestige.

RomanceIllustration by Thomas Allen

Good romance writers, in particular, can earn a living without anyone in New York publishing knowing their names, because they publish and promote their work themselves.

Future publishing

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21 Photographers Share The Most Amazing Shot They Ever Captured

They speak for themselves

Driving through the desertGuy Nesher – “My best photo to date, taken during a trip to the Bolivian salt desert.”

Winter castleLuiz Pires“I was living in Munich a couple of years ago and had my mother and sister visiting me for a few days. We decided to brave the winter conditions and icy roads to drive to Neuschwanstein castle a couple of hours away. When we got there, the weather had completely cleared and we were rewarded with amazing ‘winter wonderland’ scenes.”

Amazing photos

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Wearable’ book allows reader to feel emotions of characters

Students have created a “wearable” book that enables you to feel the characters’ feelings as you read the story”

Wearable books
Feel the emotions

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Fatal literary passion

Russian Man Stabbed to Death in Poetry-Over-Prose Dispute

Literary passion

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Quote of the Day

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first ~ Mark Twain

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Alma Alexander

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