Category Archives: books

Whirlwind summer

I’ve been busy this summer. I spent 4 days in Atlanta for Shatterdome Atlanta 2 (jaeger boogaloo), was home for two days, then flew out to Seattle for my brother-in-law’s wedding on Orcas Island, whence his wife hails, to be gone for five days. So we w… Continue reading

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Whirlwind summer

I’ve been busy this summer. I spent 4 days in Atlanta for Shatterdome Atlanta 2 (jaeger boogaloo), was home for two days, then flew out to Seattle for my brother-in-law’s wedding on Orcas Island, whence his wife hails, to be gone for five days. So we w… Continue reading

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Guest blog: Beth Matthews (E.D. Walker)

Hello. I’m a buddy of Conni’s from the Viable Paradise workshop, and she was kind enough to invite me to her blog today to talk about my medieval fantasy romance THE BEAUTY’S BEAST, which was just re-released this week.
My novel is a retelling of “Bisclavret,” the medieval poem/fairy tale about a cursed werewolf knight written by Marie de France. I was captivated the first time I read her story and immediately decided to write my own version of it, mixing in a little bit of Beauty and the Beast too because I just can’t resist a fun fairy tale retelling.
I thought a good way to help introduce y’all to my book would be to tell you about some of the books I’ve read that helped inspire me. 🙂
Spindle’s End and Beauty by Robin McKinley
I didn’t discover Robin McKinley until my late teens, but once I did I went on a tear and read at least half her backlist in one go. I’ve always been a fan of fairy tale retellings (which is part of why I wrote one…), but these two books made a big impression on me. I loved the wry humor in her characters and their brusque practicality. Another one of my favorite elements was the slow build of the romances in Spindle’s End; there’s a proposal scene in this novel that has to be one of the most romantic things I have ever read. I also loved, loved McKinley’s world-building and all its intricate, well-thought out detail.
The Brother Cadfael Series by Ellis Peters
Growing up I was always asking my mom for stuff to read, and I remember when she handed me my first Brother Cadfael mystery I was totally sucked into the world, and I binge-read the entire 20+ books in the series. Brother Cadfael is a cozy mystery series set in a Benedictine abbey during the English civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maude. The historical period is a little earlier than the one I’m writing in, and some of the research by Ellis Peters is out of date now, but I still remember how wonderful I thought Cadfael’s world was, the history, the community. And Cadfael himself, of course. He’s a wonderful hero and one of the characters in my book (the wry and worldly court magician Llewellyn) is a sort of homage to Cadfael. This charming series was a huge influence on me and a big part of the reason I wanted to write my own medieval-set story. (Of course minehas werewolves…)
The Elemental Masters series by Mercedes Lackey
(Especially The Serpent’s Shadow and The Gates of Sleep)
This was my favorite fantasy series for a little while and the first two books were a big influence on how I wanted to write my own historical fantasies. I loved how Lackey would twist existing history to fit her fantastical elements in. I also appreciated how she incorporated various magical creatures like sylphs, fairies, and even Puck himself into her stories. But, of course, my favorite aspect was how she twisted the basic elements of each fairy tale. She changed things in new and interesting ways so that the bones of the original story were still there, and yet by the end the reader had something totally new and wonderful to enjoy.
If youlike fairy tale retellings and historical fantasy THE BEAUTY’S BEAST is currently available for the Kindle and in paperback. Click here:
Thanks again for having me, Conni.
Happy reading, everybody! 😀
E.D. Walker
(a.k.a. Beth Matthews)
@IAmBethMatthews

Continue reading

Posted in books, guest blog, link | Comments Off on Guest blog: Beth Matthews (E.D. Walker)

Guest blog: Beth Matthews (E.D. Walker)

Hello. I’m a buddy of Conni’s from the Viable Paradise workshop, and she was kind enough to invite me to her blog today to talk about my medieval fantasy romance THE BEAUTY’S BEAST, which was just re-released this week.
My novel is a retelling of “Bisclavret,” the medieval poem/fairy tale about a cursed werewolf knight written by Marie de France. I was captivated the first time I read her story and immediately decided to write my own version of it, mixing in a little bit of Beauty and the Beast too because I just can’t resist a fun fairy tale retelling.
I thought a good way to help introduce y’all to my book would be to tell you about some of the books I’ve read that helped inspire me. 🙂
Spindle’s End and Beauty by Robin McKinley
I didn’t discover Robin McKinley until my late teens, but once I did I went on a tear and read at least half her backlist in one go. I’ve always been a fan of fairy tale retellings (which is part of why I wrote one…), but these two books made a big impression on me. I loved the wry humor in her characters and their brusque practicality. Another one of my favorite elements was the slow build of the romances in Spindle’s End; there’s a proposal scene in this novel that has to be one of the most romantic things I have ever read. I also loved, loved McKinley’s world-building and all its intricate, well-thought out detail.
The Brother Cadfael Series by Ellis Peters
Growing up I was always asking my mom for stuff to read, and I remember when she handed me my first Brother Cadfael mystery I was totally sucked into the world, and I binge-read the entire 20+ books in the series. Brother Cadfael is a cozy mystery series set in a Benedictine abbey during the English civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maude. The historical period is a little earlier than the one I’m writing in, and some of the research by Ellis Peters is out of date now, but I still remember how wonderful I thought Cadfael’s world was, the history, the community. And Cadfael himself, of course. He’s a wonderful hero and one of the characters in my book (the wry and worldly court magician Llewellyn) is a sort of homage to Cadfael. This charming series was a huge influence on me and a big part of the reason I wanted to write my own medieval-set story. (Of course minehas werewolves…)
The Elemental Masters series by Mercedes Lackey
(Especially The Serpent’s Shadow and The Gates of Sleep)
This was my favorite fantasy series for a little while and the first two books were a big influence on how I wanted to write my own historical fantasies. I loved how Lackey would twist existing history to fit her fantastical elements in. I also appreciated how she incorporated various magical creatures like sylphs, fairies, and even Puck himself into her stories. But, of course, my favorite aspect was how she twisted the basic elements of each fairy tale. She changed things in new and interesting ways so that the bones of the original story were still there, and yet by the end the reader had something totally new and wonderful to enjoy.
If youlike fairy tale retellings and historical fantasy THE BEAUTY’S BEAST is currently available for the Kindle and in paperback. Click here:
Thanks again for having me, Conni.
Happy reading, everybody! 😀
E.D. Walker
(a.k.a. Beth Matthews)
@IAmBethMatthews

Continue reading

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Book review: Remnant Population

Remnant Population, by Elizabeth MoonOfelia is a woman in her 70s who lives on a colony world and works on a farm. As the story opens, she has just learned that Sims Bancorp, the company she “works” for and which owns the rights to colonizing that worl… Continue reading

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What I’m reading

After the frenzy of reading between the Hugos and my Viable Paradise instructors, I was feeling a bit burned out on the whole reading thing. That, and I was trying to wrangle several stories to submittable quality while organizing a two-week stay in Ge… Continue reading

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Book review: Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim, official movie novelization by Alex Irvine.In case you hadn’t heard, I really liked the movie Pacific Rim. It was fun and sad and happy and I loved it. There were a lot of feels involved. Here’s my tumblr tag; there are (as I write this) 2… Continue reading

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Monday book post

Between traveling for DragonCon and catching up on everything afterward, I haven’t had much time to finish reading anything recently.I’m currently reading the official Pacific Rim novelization, which is based on an early draft of the script (because of… Continue reading

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Book review: The Price of the Stars

The Price of the Stars by Debra Doyle and James MacDonald.Beka Rosselin-Metadi, daughter of the leader of a world that was destroyed in the Mage Wars and the general who led the fight against the Mages, works on trader ship. On one port call, her fathe… Continue reading

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Book (series) review: Jhereg

Jhereg, Yendi, Teckla, Taltos, Phoenix, by Steven BrustVladimir Taltos is a human living among Dragaerans (sort of elves who live thousands of years and can do sorcery). His grandfather is a witch, and he taught Vlad how to do witchcraft, including how… Continue reading

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