Category Archives: New books

FLASHDOGS

Beth and Emily both have stories in these volumes put out for charity by the global flash fiction group, The FlashDogs.

The SOLSTICE books are now out and available. Let the dogs out:

LIGHT LO

http://www.amazon.com/Flashdogs-Solstice-Light-II-FlashDogs-ebook/dp/B00ZYT1NZ8/

lower res FD DARK

http://www.amazon.com/Flashdogs-Solstice-Dark-II-ebook/dp/B00ZYTUMIM

AND there’s a promo on the original anthology. It’s only $0.99!

The Gantean: Now Available for Pre-Order. (And look at this pretty cover!)

TGCOVER

Today, June 13th, is Emily’s birthday, and her book, The Gantean, is now available for pre-order on Amazon in ebook form! Make her birthday extremely happy by pre-ordering your copy today.

You can also add The Gantean to your “to-read shelf” on Goodreads. Here’s its page there. You can add reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads once you’ve read it.

It’s Official!

Our next publication, an epic fantasy by Emily June Street, The Gantean, will be coming out on June 27, 2015. Stay tuned for more details in upcoming weeks.

The Gantean

After she is violently kidnapped from her stark existence on the cold island of Gante, Leila must learn to survive in a southern culture her native people hate. She has no choice but to adapt to a foreign new world. In this lush, intricate society, exotic temptations greet her at every turn, including a dangerous love affair with a forbidden man. When civil war threatens, Leila is forced to choose between southern love and northern rituals.

But at what price?

Her choice may have widespread consequences even she cannot predict.

The Gantean has been called “epic and unforgettable” and “lush and lyrical,” by advance readers. It’s a woman-centered epic that introduces the fantasy world of Lethemia and is the first installment in the Tales of Blood & Light series.

 

Summer Writing Fun

Luminous Creatures is back from a long but productive hiatus. Beth and Emily had a great writing meeting today to plan our next few months of LCP activity. We discussed the upcoming release of Emily’s new fantasy book, The Gantean, our plans for a summer flash fiction contest, and the impossible evil of pants.

Afterwards we went shopping for costumes for a book trailer for The Velocipede Races special edition and found a perfect racing jacket and gauntlets, not to mention black lace gauntlettes!

Stay tuned for updates on all fronts. The Summer of Super Short Stories ’15 will commence the first week of July. We have a very unique theme planned to take us through eight weeks of fabulous flash fiction.

Five Hundred Words of Magic Now Available!

Five-Hundred-Words-of-Magic-Kindle

LCP’s latest ebook is now available! Try twenty-nine flash fiction stories about magic by twelve authors!

Links for purchase:

Amazon for Kindle

Payhip (for epub or Kindle) This weekend only, use this code at Payhip for an extra 25% off: EF8AEVQ4XB

Pre-Order Five Hundred Words of Magic!

Five-Hundred-Words-of-Magic-Kindle

You can now pre-order the anthology we created from the winning stories of Winter of Whimsy and Wyrdness on Amazon. This is the kindle edition, which will be released January 3rd.

We will be releasing the book for iBooks and Nooks starting January 3rd as well. Stay tuned for more information.

All our talented winners will also receive their very own special edition print version, coming later in January.

Margaret Dashwood and the Enchanted Atlas Now Available!

Book two of the Regency Magic series is available for your Kindle from Amazon!

Margaret-Dashwood-and-the-Enchanted-Atlas-800 Cover reveal and Promotional

Margaret Dashwood’s father died soon after completing his life’s work, an atlas he painstakingly enchanted for his youngest daughter. Margaret discovers her father’s gift and embarks on an adventure that takes her far from England. Soon she and her new friend, Mrs. Bristlethwaite, a prominent member of the Devonshire Coven, learn that magical objects have begun disappearing from sites around the world. Seeking to prevent further thefts, Margaret and the Coven face unexpected dangers and a surprisingly devious enemy.

Set in Jane Austen’s England several years after the events of Sense and Sensibility, Margaret Dashwood and the Enchanted Atlas is the second book of the Regency Magic Series, whimsical tales of magic and manners published by Luminous Creatures Press.

Fear of Strong

I’ve been thinking about strength lately: bodily strength, mental strength, and the places where the two intersect.

All day long, I cultivate strength—my strength, particularly my body’s strength, and other peoples’ bodies’ strength. I help people find their muscles and use them, which is great fun. I can’t help but notice as I do this that finding physical muscles often results in finding mental ones, too. Finding physical strength requires attributes like discipline, determination, and will, and these qualities are the underpinnings of mental strength.

Becoming embodied—and I mean that in the sense of truly inhabiting one’s body, being in sensations—creates an independent mind. Being aware of your body makes you aware of your internal reality. I’m pretty sure that self-awareness through physical exertion was the original intention behind yoga asanas.

Although we are not surrounded by images of strong female bodies, we are all overly accustomed to the hyper-sexualized female body. You cannot escape it. You get Victoria’s Secret catalogs in the mail. There are buttocks selling thong underwear on the side of the bus, pouting lips promoting ice cream on TV, and hairless legs hawking shoes at the mall. Very few of these bodies (you can’t really call them women—that’s not what they are—they are often headless, chopped up, clearly objectified bodies) are what I would deem physically strong. In fact, just for fun, I searched through dozens of images of “beautiful” or “hot” female bodies: Victoria’s Secret advertisements, Vogue spreads, fashion layout after fashion layout, and guess what? I found a disturbing recurring theme: these women are posed in the strangest, most flimsy postures you can imagine. Hips thrust awkwardly to one side, buttocks stuck out so the back arches in parody of the lordosis I try to cure in peoples’ spines daily, and the slumping shoulders and caved-in chests in the high fashion spreads…don’t get me started. They are, in short, a mess of bad posture, weak centers, and wilting arms: the ideal woman as weak and helpless.

I only care about any of this because I think the images of women we see regularly do damaging things to women’s brains. We can’t help it; we are social creatures; we compare ourselves to each other, especially in the domain of our appearance—for better or worse. Because women compare themselves to other women, the pictures we see on billboards, in advertisements, and on television or the internet have an effect on our brains. If we look at these “idealized” images a lot, we may begin to think they are a prescription for how one should look. Then we start to try to fit that mold.

This desire to fit the mold brings me clients who say things like: “Will this exercise make my calves big? Because I don’t want to do this exercise if it will make my calves get muscular.” I’ve heard this comment (or substitute some other body part for calves) countless times. Every time I have to bite the inside of my cheek, hard. I have to coach myself to have sympathy and compassion and remind myself that I am hearing a deep insecurity about embodying strength that is the one of the curses of women in the world I live in. Even after two waves of feminism, we are still dealing with this fear of strong.

In The Velocipede Races my main character, Emmeline is a strong woman—physically and mentally strong. I wanted to explore what happens to such a woman in a world where women are expected to demonstrate physical frailty. The women of this world, bowing to social custom and aesthetic, wear corsets and are squeezed into their weakness. Women like Emmeline who wish for a different life, are thought of as freaks. But let’s face it: a really muscular woman in our world might endure similar comments to those flung at Emmeline. Comments like “You’re mannish and unfeminine. You’re too big. You take up too much space.”

But as we see from Emmeline, who rebels against the fashion dictates of her world, aesthetic originates outside of us, in the opinion or view of others. Function originates inside, with awareness of sensation. There is a lot of power in being free from others’ opinions. Emmeline gets so free from others’ opinions of her that they go to great lengths to get her to care again. Breaking the mold is not usually a popular activity.

I think it’s possible to escape the vicious head game born from seeing too many images of women’s bodies, to break out of that mold, but it takes a lot of mental strength, a willingness to swim upstream, and a contrariness that you’ll have to defend again and again. How do you get that mental strength? Physical training might be one way.

Being physically strong, as anyone who’s been there knows, makes you feel different. You are less afraid. More capable. More certain of yourself. The way you assess your possibilities is different. You say “I can” more often, and “I can’t” less. You rely more on yourself, and less on others, both for doing things (picking up that heavy box, standing on a ladder to reach for stuff in the cupboards, moving the trash cans) and for permission to do things.

By building that physical strength, a woman breaks the mold. She puts herself in a position where she has to face others’ opinions of her, whether good or bad. And then she has to say: I don’t care what you think of me. I’m going to please myself. And if lifting this weight, or climbing this hill, or running this fast is what pleases me, then I’m going to do it. Even if it makes my thighs big. Even if it means I take up more space than the world wants to give me. She, like Emmeline, places function over aesthetic, which is one of the most physically empowering things you can do for your own view about your body.

-EJS

Like Harry Potter? Love Pride and Prejudice? Try our new Jane Austen Spin-Off: MARY BENNET AND THE BLOOMSBURY COVEN!

Our third book is now available on Amazon!

mary-bennet

The last Bennet daughter remaining at Longbourn, Mary leads a quiet life in Hertfordshire, where gossip about the intriguing new vicar provides the only entertainment. Having developed a taste for novels, Mary lives vicarious adventures through their heroines. But when a mysterious book arrives addressed to her, she embarks on a magical and thrilling adventure of her own. In London she meets Mr. Hartbustle, a charming old bookseller, who invites her to a meeting of the famed Bloomsbury Coven. There she learns about their dreadful enemy, known only as the Glastonbury Sorcerer, who has stolen a very powerful book of spells. Before long Mary finds herself at the center of a deadly war between light and dark forces.

Set in Jane Austen’s England a year after the events of Pride and Prejudice, Mary Bennet and the Bloomsbury Coven is the first book of the Regency Magic Series, whimsical tales of magic and manners published by Luminous Creatures Press.