Category Archives: Reading

Sterling is Here!

Today marks the official publication date of Tales of Blood & Light, Book 3, STERLING, by Emily June Street. This is LCP’s latest offering, and we hope you will enjoy a lighter fantasy romance read for summer!

Get it now in print or ebook at Amazon.

Sterling

Life can change in an instant.
Shy, shunned Sterling Ricknagel never expected to become High Princess of Lethemia—or to be betrothed to the handsomest lord in the land. Though she fears rejection, she dutifully represents her House.

Every privilege comes with a cost.
When an unexpected tragedy throws the country back into civil war, Sterling flees for her life. Anchorless and alone, she knows she must restore her family’s crumbling honor.

Love can prevail over any obstacle.
Sterling’s only possible ally is the one man she cannot trust: her former fiancé, a notorious rake who harbors his own secrets.

Seeking redemption, Sterling sets out on an epic journey, facing despair, deceits, and danger to discover the truth about her family—and herself.

“Romantic and riveting!” Tamara Shoemaker, author, Guardian of the Vale and Heart of a Dragon series

Sterling is here in PRINT

sterling

Sterling print copies came early, so those of you who prefer paperback versions can get an early copy at Flow Studio in Fairfax or you can order a print version now from Amazon.

If you’d like a signed copy to pick up at Flow–-or mailed to you–-please contact Emily directly. emily (at) luminouscreaturespress (dot) com

Ebooks will still be out on June 27. You can pre-order an ebook here.

And don’t forget! Starting on June 28th, LCP will be hosting a mini fantasy flash fiction contest. A print version of Sterling will be one of the prizes. We’re also planning a Goodreads giveaway starting Monday 6/13. Happy summer reading!

Sterling Cover Reveal & Pre-Order

Sterling

Tales of Blood & Light, Book Three, STERLING, is on its way! The official publication date is June 27th, 2016, one year after THE GANTEAN (Book One).

Sterling is a lighter, romantic story that tracks events in Lethemia after the conclusions of THE GANTEAN and THE CEDNA (Book Two). Readers of the series may recognize Sterling for her supporting roles in both earlier books–she is the younger daughter of House Ricknagel who has been shunned by most of Lethemian high society because of a sprawling birthmark covering half her face. Learn more about the book here or here.

You may be interested to know this tidbit about all the ToB&L covers: each one has a dominant color, which is the color of the narrator’s aetherlight. Readers will know that aetherlight is sort of like one’s aura, the essential energy that feeds a person in the layer of magic. Each print edition of the book also has a tag line on its back cover that reveals an element or substance that was a guiding principle in the creation of the lead character.

You can pre-order the ebook now from Amazon. If you want to pre-order a print edition (to know what Sterling’s guiding element is!) please contact LCP or Emily directly.

Also, adding the book to your “want to read shelf” on Goodreads is a great, no-commitment way to help it get a little visibility before it is out.

“Steal It and Make It Your Own” or Why Reading Good Writing Matters

When I was an undergrad at UCONN, I balanced my major in English with a minor in Acting (much to my advisor’s chagrin). Although I’ve forgotten a lot about those years, I can still hear Professor Jerry Krasser saying, “Steal it and make it your own.” That was his advice to anyone attempting creative work: find the best work out there and then adapt it for yourself. Of all the things I heard from my professors, I think that was my favorite. I learned many years later that this is a variation on the quotation often attributed to Picasso that “good artists copy, great artists steal.” I like Jerry’s phrasing better—it doesn’t include so much judgment.

As an actor I do a fair amount of conscious stealing from people around me—gestures, voices, ticks, habits—I consider them all fair game. Making them my own is pretty simple because I’m using my body and my voice to perform the stolen gesture or vocal quality. They are automatically filtered through me, so even if I try just to imitate, I can’t. With writing it’s less clear: I know what the stealing part is; it’s the making it my own that I’m still working on. I’m still finding my own voice, so when I make a conscious effort to steal from another writer, it doesn’t always go well. I sent this post as a draft to Emily, and she suggested that there’s something about the style and voice that facilitates the transformation of the stolen into the own, which makes sense. The tone and voice are the writer’s presence in the work just like my voice and body are my presence on stage.

I’ve seen little hints of how this exchange might work. Like all writers I love to read—it’s the best source for things to steal and make my own, after all. Lately I’ve noticed that whether I mean for it to happen or not, what I read has a tendency to show up in my writing. While Emily makes lists of words that tickle her, words that she wants to find room for in her writing, that’s not a habit that I have developed—except when I work on Mary Bennet and the Bloomsbury Coven. Then I make note of phrases that Jane Austen uses and I found a wonderful website that is so useful to anyone writing Jane Austenesque books. But in my other work, I pretty much just wing it.

Or so I think. The truth is that when I’m reading, my unconscious mind acts like a magpie collecting shiny things: gathering words and phrases, catching on to rhythms and patterns. When I first drafted this post, I chose the mynah bird because it, too, likes to collect shiny things. But as Emily pointed out, the mynah is best known for its ability to hear a sound then reproduce it exactly. The magpie makes new objects with its stolen treasure. And that seems to be how my subconscious mind operates. Some of those shiny things turned up in a post I wrote recently over on my own blog—I kept noticing rhythms stolen from Emily’s work and unconsciously adapted for mine. I was pleased with those little bits because I think Emily is a wonderfully poetic writer, but had I tried to imitate her (as I have in the past), the results would have been disappointing at best, embarrassing at worst. I am no mynah bird.

On the other hand, on the few occasions that I have tried to finish poorly written books, I’ve seen how they influence my writing, too. It turns out my magpie mind can’t tell the difference between a polished diamond and a broken paper clip. Whatever I’m reading influences whatever I’m writing. I don’t want to steal crap and call it my own. I only want to steal beautiful things.

So, with this aim in mind, I turn to writers I admire: Kate Atkinson for the quiet beauty of her language, J. K. Rowling for the mastery of her characterizations, and Emily June Street for the musicality and rhythms of her prose. Great writers teach us how to be better writers because they give us lots to steal and make our own.