Friday, January 31, 2014

Fun Fridays 3 ~ Let Your Imaginations Run Amok!

Mulluane | Friday, January 31, 2014 | 3 Comments so far
Well it is Friday again (barely) and time do a post that serves absolutely no purpose except to have fun. A little late today but foul weather this week has sent my schedule into a tailspin. Anyway....



The Premise


One thing that all Fantasy and Science Fiction readers and bloggers share is a vivid imagination and a great sense of fun. 

So, on Fridays, I am going to put forth a scenario and ask a question. Just for fun and hopefully we can, share a few giggles, chuckles and maybe even a guffaw or two.

Give the scenario some thought then leave your answer in the comments! Be inventive, indulge your imagination, show off your sense of humor and maybe, just maybe, meet a few new people.

Of course serious answers count too. While my main goal is to have some fun and silliness, I realize that some questions may strike a completely different chord with the reader. Don't let that stop you from commenting! The other thing us SFF fans are good at is serious discussion. 

So without further fanfare, here is the question!


If you were a ghost, where, what or who would you like to haunt? 



Yes I know. I already asked about the afterlife and but this is slightly different. This version of ghost is earthbound, very bored and as wicked (or not) as you wish!

Now me, I'd like to haunt an old historical castle. Not sure which one but it will need to be full of ancient ghosts I could talk to about, well, history and stuff... Oh and needs to be a Bed and Breakfast so I can spend the rest of my spare time scaring guests and messing with the heads of paranormal investigators.

So now it is your turn. Who, what, when, where and how?

BTW, this post has no expiration date. Doesn't matter if you stumbled on it recently or it was posted years ago. Your comment will be appreciated and responded to! 


See More Fun Friday Questions

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fun Fridays 2 ~ Let Your Imaginations Sing!

Mulluane | Friday, January 24, 2014 | 7 Comments so far
Well it is time to take another brief break and do a post that serves absolutely no purpose except to have fun. (And invite comments, 'cause yanno us bloggers live for comments!)


The Premise

One thing that all Fantasy and Science Fiction readers and bloggers share is a vivid imagination and a great sense of fun. 

So, on Fridays, I am going to put forth a scenario and ask a question. Just for fun and hopefully we can, share a few giggles, chuckles and maybe even a guffaw or two.

Give the scenario some thought then leave your answer in the comments! Be inventive, indulge your imagination, show off your sense of humor and maybe, just maybe, meet a few new people.

Of course serious answers count too. While my main goal is to have some fun and silliness, I realize that some questions may strike a completely different chord with the reader. Don't let that stop you from commenting! The other thing us SFF fans are good at is serious discussion. 

Did I mention leave a comment? Oh yeah, I did didn't I. OK...OK... on with the question.


If you discovered the Fountain of Youth which endowed you with immortality, what would you like to do with all that time? Travel the world? Learn every language? Get degrees in every subject? Read your way through the Library of Congress? Count the stars? All of the above? Something else entirely? Inquiring minds wanna know!

The fountain by Nieblastocks

Image Source: The Fountain by Nieblastocks on Deviantart.com


Don't like this question? Look here "Fun Fridays" and see if there is one you do like! Comments are always welcome, even on older posts.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Fun Fridays ~ Let Your Imaginations Fly!

Mulluane | Friday, January 17, 2014 | 14 Comments so far
One thing that all Fantasy and Science Fiction readers and bloggers share is a vivid imagination and a great sense of fun. Sadly it is also something we don't get to indulge in very often. We may insert some humor into our reviews or do a funny interview ever so often but as a rule, we work. Writing posts, writing reviews, cross posting, hosting giveaways, promoting our blogs and of course reading that never ending TBR pile. The latter being an enjoyable pastime to be sure, though not always.

Well I think it is time to take a break and do a post that serves absolutely no purpose except to have fun.

So for awhile, on Fridays, I am going to put forth a scenario and ask a question. Just for fun and hopefully a few giggles, chuckles and maybe even a guffaw or two.

Answer (or not) in the comments and have fun with your answers! Be inventive, indulge your imagination, show off your sense of humor and maybe, just maybe, make a few new friends.

BTW, I consider these posts to be timeless. Doesn't matter if you discover it today or years from now. Answers will always be welcome!

So here is Fun Friday question number one.


1. If you arrived in the afterlife and discovered it was required that you get a job, but it can be any job you want, what would you choose? Heavenly Tour Guide? Guardian Angel? Pearly Gatekeeper? Hell Prison Guard? Grim Reaper? Other? 



Feel free to make up your own afterlife dream job! 


Grim Reaper

Don't like this question? Look here "Fun Fridays" and see if there is one you do like! Comments are always welcome, even on older posts.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Join My 2014 Reading Challenge

Mulluane | Tuesday, January 14, 2014 | 9 Comments so far
It should come as no shock to anybody who reads this that I think Pinterest is the best thing since the printed word.

I've done posts on using Pinterest, I tweet my pins, I pin other blogs' stuff in addition to my own, I make permanent boards to serve as fixtures on this blog.


Yes folks, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. I am a true Pinterest addict.


Good thing is I am not alone. Pinterest is quickly rocketing to the top of the social media ranks,
 last time I checked ranking third in referring traffic.

So maybe I am not so far off base in my belief that it is a venue worth utilizing to its fullest extent.



♦ With that in mind I got the brilliant idea (if I do say so myself) of using Pinterest as a way to keep track of my reading progress for this year. Yeah, I can, and will use Goodreads but pinning beautiful book covers is alot of fun. More fun IMO than just posting non-visual reviews to GR.


♦ But... I don't really want to have fun all by myself so I made it a group board! I invited a bunch of people, 3 accepted, but there is a challenge to doing group invites. I can only invite people who follow me. I follow all kinds of book bloggers but very few are following me back so I can't ask them to join.


♦ This is where you dear reader come into the picture. If you use Pinterest, and this sounds like a good idea (there is already a lively conversation going on the board), just follow me on Pinterest and leave me a comment here, on Twitter, on Facebook or on the Board, and I'll send you an invite. Even better, once you are a member of the board, you will have full invite rights! You can then invite anyone you want, then they can invite anybody they want, then everybody can check out all the reviews, counts, discussions and book cover love. Don't have a Pinterest account yet? Well read on to see why you should.



If you are not sure why this is such a great idea, but want to know more, please read on. And don't take my word for it, check out the linked articles too!



♦ So you ask, what is in it for me? I mean Mulluane, I'm already busy enough reading, reviewing, writing posts, cross posting, blog hopping, commenting, running giveaways and all of the other hours of work I do each day to promote my blog! I just don't have the time. Well believe it or not, Pinterest group boards are an awesome way to promote your sites. Here is an article explaining how and why (just substitute animals for books)


♦ Here are some more fun facts for you. The beauty of Pinterest, aside from its eye-catching appeal, is the longevity of your pins. Lets compare Pins to Tweets for example. Tweets last a day, maybe two if they are popular, then after 10 days, pretty much drop off the radar. According to this article, Pins continue to drive traffic for months!


♦ I conducted my own experiment. Lets say I am looking for a new Epic fantasy book to read. On Pinterest I put Epic Fantasy into the search bar.


As if by magic I get literally hundreds of beautiful book covers with links to their matching posts in an endlessly scrolling page. I can then scroll that page without ever reading a word until I see a cover that speaks to me. Then I stop and check it out. Using hashtag #EpicFantasy did even better. I even saw some of my own pins from months ago showing up near the top. It was like walking into a bookstore.


Now I put that same search into Twitter. I got a single page, going back to Jan 4, and I had to read every single one, most of which were unrelated and lets face it, not very helpful. #EpicFantasy did a tad better but still only 10 days worth showed up in my search.


♦ See the potential? And you really don't have to put any time into it at all if you don't want toIt isn't hard to put pin buttons on your site or to install a pin-it addon to your browser, or you can even use whatever sharing tool you currently use for sharing posts. After you write your post, share it to Pinterest just like you would to FB and Twitter.


One tip though, your source image needs to be 250px wide and taller than it is wide in order to pin well. (Which is why book covers work so well.) Note I said source image. Size of pin in the post is irrelevant. The original, the one you get by rightclicking the image and opening in a new tab, needs to be at least 250px wide but can be as tall as you want.


So what are you waiting for! Come join in the fun!





Friday, January 10, 2014

Cover Reveal and Excerpt for The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy) by Deborah Harkness

Mulluane | Friday, January 10, 2014 | 7 Comments so far
Due to the generosity of Penguin Group I have been given the opportunity to do a cover reveal with an excerpt for the final book in Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy, THE BOOK OF LIFE – coming out courtesy of Viking on July 15, 2014. 

The Book Of Life is the eagerly awaited conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that started with A Discovery of Witches. The first book in the trilogy A Discovery of Witches was an immediate phenomenon, with film rights selling to Warner Brothers, and the second book The Shadow of Night was a #1 New York Times bestseller. For more information about the stunning conclusion to this trilogy, see below or check out www.deborahharkness.com.


And without further ado, here is some cover candy for you!

Cover Reveal of The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

Synopsis: 

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchant­ing series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they re­unite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its miss­ing pages takes on even more urgency. In the tril­ogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowl­edge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in thirty-eight foreign editions and translations, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major bestseller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness’s legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close. (Source: Goodreads)

About the Author:

Deborah Harkness is a scholar and writer specializing in the history of science and medicine. She has received numerous awards, including Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships. Currently a professor of history at the University of Southern California, her most recent academic publication is The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. (Source Penguin Group)


Excerpt:

Ghosts didn’t have much substance; they were composed only of memories and heart. Atop one of Sept-Tours’ round towers, Emily Mather pressed a diaphanous hand against the spot in the center of her chest that even now was heavy with dread.

It had been her witch’s sixth sense that someone was in mortal peril that had steered Emily down the path leading to this moment. But the death she had foreseen was her own.

Does it ever get easier? Her voice, like the rest of her, was almost imperceptible. The watching? The waiting? The knowing?

Not that I’ve noticed, Philippe de Clermont replied shortly. He was perched nearby, studying his own transparent fingers.


Emily’s face fell, and Philippe silently cursed himself. Since she’d died, the witch had been his constant companion, cutting his loneliness in two.

Perhaps it will be easier when they don’t need us anymore, Philippe said more gently. He might be the more experienced ghost, but it was Emily who understood the metaphysics of their situation. What the witch had told him went against everything Philippe believed about the Afterworld.

Diana’s warm alto floated up to the battlements.

Diana and Matthew, Emily and Philippe said in unison, peering down on the cobbled courtyard that surrounded the ch√Ęteau.


There, Philippe said, pointing at the drive.

Even dead, his vampire sight was sharper than any human’s. He was also still more handsome than any man had a right to be, with his broad shoulders and devilish grin. He turned the latter on Emily, who couldn’t help grinning back.

They are a fine couple, are they not? Look how much my son has changed.


Vampires weren’t supposed to be altered by the passing of time, and so Emily expected to see the same black hair, so dark it glinted blue; the same celadon eyes, cool and remote as a winter sea; the same pale skin and wide mouth. There were a few subtle differences though, as Philippe suggested. Matthew’s hair was shorter, and he had a beard that made him look even more dangerous, like a pirate. She gasped.


Is Matthew—bigger? . . . Diana looks different, too. More like her mother, with that long coppery hair.

Diana stumbled on a cobblestone and Matthew’s hand shot out to steady her.

It’s not just Diana’s hair that has changed. Philippe’s face had a look of wonder. Diana is with child—Matthew’s child.

Emily examined her niece more carefully, using the supernatural grasp of truth that death afforded.


What will happen now, Philippe? Emily asked, her heart growing heavier.

Endings. Beginnings, Philippe said with deliberate vagueness. Change.

Diana has always resisted change, Emily said.


That is because she is afraid of what she must become, replied Philippe.

Blurb might contain spoilers, toggle to view.
( Toggle may not function in email and some feed readers.)


♦ Credits ♦

From The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness. Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House company. Copyright © Deborah Harkness, 2014.





Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014 New Speculative Fiction Releases Board ~ Updated Frequently

Mulluane | Thursday, January 09, 2014 | Be the first to comment!


2014 New Speculative Fiction Releases Board

This is going to be a permanent Pinterest board just like the Giveaways Board, only in this case I will not be deleting outdated pins. As new SF/F/H books are released into the wild I will add them to this board. Board will always show the 30 most recent additions, newest at top left, oldest on bottom right corner. If you click on "See on Pinterest," found at the bottom of the widget, you can view the entire year to date. Since this is now a fixture, you will always be able to find it using the "New Releases" menu tab.





Instructions on how a Pinterest board embed works can be found below the widget: 
Mouseover each book image to see description.



Follow Shari Mulluane's board 2014 New Releases in Speculative Fiction on Pinterest.
(On touch screens and some feed readers, tap or click link to view)


♥ On PC ♥

Clicking on the covers only gives you an option to repin or signup/login and is only useful if you have or want a Pinterest account. However, you can simply mouse over the covers to reveal the full description. You can also view the entire board by clicking on "See on Pinterest" at the bottom. You do not need an account. Once on Pinterest you will see all the books and their descriptions in one place and can click through to publisher's book page for even more info.

♥ On Mobile ♥

You will see nothing but a link that says "Follow Shari Mulluane's board 2014 New Releases in Speculative Fiction on Pinterest." Tap the link and you will be taken to a mosaic of book covers similar to what PC viewers see inside this post.

Once you see the mosaic, you do want to click on the individual book covers. This takes you to the pin with its full description. Tap the cover once more and it will load the publisher's book page with more info. To make things even easier, Pinterest also included a thumbnail link at the bottom which takes you back to the mosaic itself.

The process is really simple and gives you a one stop destination for new releases that doesn't involve long unwieldy posts to scroll through. Each book image will link directly to the publisher's book page where you will find tons of additional info including excerpts, author info, the full synopsis, and sometimes a book trailer or sample chapters.

A Request: Because I am going to make this a single continuous board, I will not be able to monetize it with affiliate links. Affiliate links do not garner very much in the way of funds but they do help bloggers buy new books or pay for services needed to produce quality content. If you like this feature, please consider buying the books using one of the included search boxes below or by using an affiliate link on any of your favorite blogs. We will appreciate it more than words can express.

And as always, feedback on this feature is welcome. Enjoy!


Affiliate Links:


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