Vanished: New Release

VANISHED

After everything that Kara has done for Asgard, she thinks they will let her participate in the honorable jobs of the winged Valkyries. She is wrong. Instead, Odin is determined to take Elan away and make her dragon his. Whether he’s a god or not, she isn’t going to let that happen. And of course, Elan can defend herself. But then Elan disappears.

After several searches, Kara grows worried. She hopes that Elan is visiting her mother, not somewhere more sinister.

Purchase Today!

FREE on KU or $2.99


KATRINA COPE

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKatrina is an author of several Young Adult and Preteen/Middle Grade novels. Each of her released books reaching the top 100 in certain categories on the Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank – a few even as high as number one.

She resides in Queensland Australia. Her three teen/preteen boys and husband of over fifteen years treat her like a princess. Unfortunately though, this princess still has to do domestic chores.

From birth, she has been a very creative person and has spent many years travelling the world and observing many different personalities and cultures. Her favourite personalities have been the strange ones, yet the ones under the radar also hold a place in her heart.

During her last extensive travels, she spent 16 nights in a bomb shelter on a Kibbutz 8 kilometers off the Lebanese border. It was to avoid Katyusha bombs that the resident volunteers decided to name her after (she is still trying to work out why).

Connect with Katrina

Website | FB | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads | Bookbub

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Vanished: Pre-Order Today!

VANISHED

After everything that Kara has done for Asgard, she thinks they will let her participate in the honorable jobs of the winged Valkyries. She is wrong. Instead, Odin is determined to take Elan away and make her dragon his. Whether he’s a god or not, she isn’t going to let that happen. And of course, Elan can defend herself. But then Elan disappears.

After several searches, Kara grows worried. She hopes that Elan is visiting her mother, not somewhere more sinister.

Pre-Order Today!

FREE on KU or $2.99!


Katrina Cope

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKatrina is an author of several Young Adult and Preteen/Middle Grade novels. Each of her released books reaching the top 100 in certain categories on the Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank – a few even as high as number one.

She resides in Queensland Australia. Her three teen/preteen boys and husband of over fifteen years treat her like a princess. Unfortunately though, this princess still has to do domestic chores.

From birth, she has been a very creative person and has spent many years travelling the world and observing many different personalities and cultures. Her favourite personalities have been the strange ones, yet the ones under the radar also hold a place in her heart.

During her last extensive travels, she spent 16 nights in a bomb shelter on a Kibbutz 8 kilometers off the Lebanese border. It was to avoid Katyusha bombs that the resident volunteers decided to name her after (she is still trying to work out why).

Connect with Katrina

Website | FB | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads | Bookbub

New Release: Chosen

New Release

CHOSEN

Wingless Valkyries are useless to the future of Asgard–that’s what is drilled into them at Valkyrie Academy. Determined to break the mold and help reap warriors for Valhalla, Kara breaks the rules and finds herself in the most dangerous position yet–facing the wrath of Mistress Sigrun and Odin.

Or that is what she thinks until she realizes a dragon is stalking her.

FREE on KU or $0.99!


Katrina Cope

Katrina is an author of several Young Adult and Preteen/Middle Grade novels. Each of her released books reaching the top 100 in certain categories on the Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank – a few even as high as number one.

She resides in Queensland Australia. Her three teen/preteen boys and husband of over fifteen years treat her like a princess. Unfortunately though, this princess still has to do domestic chores.

From birth, she has been a very creative person and has spent many years travelling the world and observing many different personalities and cultures. Her favourite personalities have been the strange ones, yet the ones under the radar also hold a place in her heart.

During her last extensive travels, she spent 16 nights in a bomb shelter on a Kibbutz 8 kilometers off the Lebanese border. It was to avoid Katyusha bombs that the resident volunteers decided to name her after (she is still trying to work out why).

Connect with Katrina

Website | FB | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads | Bookbub

The Wait is Finally Over!

I am happy to announce that the Wind Rider Chronicles now has a 5th book for readers to enjoy. You really won’t want to miss this one! (Best read after Visions of Light and Shadow.)


shards of faith

Before Morganne and Elowyn were born, Broguean took on the greatest quest of his life. Follow him in this intriguing adventure story as he discovers whether he’s really just a drunken bard or if there’s more to him than meets the eye.

Amazon   |   Payhip   |    Other Retailers


Broguean the Bard takes a seat at Westfalle tavern, with his lute and a mug of his favorite ale. But when one of his songs starts a tavern brawl, his fortunes take an unexpected turn. He’s forced out into the night, and into the waiting arms of a most unexpected foe—someone who knows his true name and the secret past he’s been running from.

Taken under guard to a nearby monastery, he spends a long, painful night wondering if he’s a guest or a prisoner. But the prior who runs the monastery has a job for him. A job that could either help him redeem his tragic past…or get him killed. Is this the message from Aviad he’s been waiting for, or is the prior only sending him on a dangerous fool’s errand?

Get it today from your favorite ebook retailer. (Print copies will be available soon.)

 

A Writer’s Guide… to Sword Fighting by Morgan Morrow

Fellow fantasy writers, you won’t want to miss this fabulous article on sword fighting from the perspective of someone who actually does it.


A love of Swords

I’ve always loved stories featuring heroes wielding swords. That love eventually resulted in my finding and joining a dojo that teaches a school of kenjutsu dating back to the warring states period in Japan.

My years of practice have given me an insight into sword fighting that I think is fairly uncommon in this day and age. My experience is limited to the katana, but I feel like much of it could apply to other swords and other fighting styles as well.

Using a sword

Firstly, swords are generally expensive weapons and they are not indestructible. Trying to cut through someone’s sword is unrealistic, but hitting it broadside and shattering the blade is not.

Throwing a sword would be a last resort only for the most desperate of situations, because not only would you lose your weapon the blade may well shatter or bend upon impact.

The blade is not the only part of a sword that can be used to attack. The hilt can be used for offense; to hit the enemy in the face, solar plexus, or groin. It can also be used to defend against an attack that is coming too quickly to get the blade in front of.

For added realism, it’s important to remember that most swords, if not secured in the sheath, can slide out when the wearer leans forward.

Keeping one hand on the hilt and sheath to secure the blade is oftentimes necessary. It is not unheard of for someone to lean forward, have their sword begin to slide out, and then grasp the blade to stop it. This is not a good idea and will usually result in stitches…

Keep reading A Writer’s Guide… to Sword Fighting

Originally found on Chris the Story Reading Ape’s blog. (Thanks for always posting interesting stuff!)

Is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween Movie, or a Christmas Movie?

This fun, well-thought-out article by Max Gladstone finally settles the debate that my household engages in every year…or does it? I’m firmly in the Halloween movie camp–I mean, really, it’s about Jack losing passion for his role as the Pumpkin King, trying to be something he’s not, and subsequently finding himself–and his love for Halloween–all over again. But my husband is firmly in the Christmas move camp for reasons of his own. Whichever camp you’re in, this is a brilliant article on the topic and well worth reading. Who would have thought a claymation movie would inspire such deep, philosophical debate? Well, it is a Tim Burton creation after all, and not exactly your typical kid’s film. If by some chance you have missed this movie in the last 25 years, go rent it. Right now! Then come back to this article and see what you think. Halloween movie or Christmas movie? Maybe it’s both…


Is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween movie, or a Christmas movie? In terms of worldbuilding, it’s obviously both—it’s about a bunch of Halloween-town residents taking over Christmas from Santa Claus.

But worldbuilding elements don’t suffice as genre classifiers, or else black comedies wouldn’t exist. Creators deliberately apply worldbuilding elements from one genre to another for pure frission’s sake. Consider Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (speaking of Christmas movies), which takes a New York noir character, a down-on-his-luck con, and drops him into an LA noir scenario of movie glitz and private eyes; or Rian Johnson’s amazing Brick, a noir story engine driving high school characters. Fantasy literature is rife with this sort of behavior—consider Steven Brust’s use of crime drama story in the Vlad Taltos books, or for that matter the tug of war between detective fiction and fantasy that propels considerable swaths of urban fantasy. If we classify stories solely by the worldbuilding elements they contain, we’re engaging in the same fallacy as the Certain Kind of Book Review that blithely dismisses all science fiction as “those books with rockets.”

And what happens after the slippery slope? The No True Scotsman Argument?!

This is a frivolous question, sure, like some of the best. But even frivolous questions have a serious edge: holidays are ritual times, and stories are our oldest rituals. The stories we tell around a holiday name that holiday: I’ve failed at every Christmas on which I don’t watch the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. When December rolls around, even unchurched folk can get their teeth out for a Lessons & Carols service.

So let’s abandon trappings and turn to deep structures of story. Does The Nightmare Before Christmas work as Christmas movies do? Does it work as Halloween movies do? It can achieve both ends, clearly—much as a comedy can be romantic, or a thriller funny. But to resolve our dilemma we must first identify these deep structures.

Halloween Movies

Halloween movies are difficult to classify, because two types of movie demand inclusion: movies specifically featuring the holiday, like Hocus Pocus or even E.T., and horror movies, like Cabin in the WoodsThe Craft, or The Devil’s Advocate. Yet some horror movies feel definitely wrong for Halloween—Alien, for example. Where do we draw the line?

I suggest that movies centering on Halloween tend to be stories about the experimentation with, and confirmation of, identities. Consider, for example, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, which might at first glance be mistaken for a simple slice of life featuring the Peanuts characters’ adventures on Halloween. In fact, the story hinges on the extent to which the various Peanuts’ identities shine through the roles they assume. Charlie Brown is the Charlie Browniest ghost in history; a dust cloud surrounds Pig Pen’s spirit. Snoopy operates, as always, in a liminal space between fantasy and reality—he becomes the most Snoopy-like of WWI fighter aces. Linus, whose idealism and hope are the salvation centerpiece of A Charlie Brown Christmas, isn’t equipped for the kind of identity play the other characters attempt. He’s too sincere for masks, and as a result becomes the engine of conflict in the story. For Linus, every holiday must be a grand statement of ideals and hope. In a way, Linus is rewarded—he meets the Avatar of Halloween in Snoopy’s form, but fails to appreciate the message sent, which is that Halloween is an opportunity for play, for self-abandonment. It’s Lucy who turns out to be the truest embodiment of the holiday—by explicitly donning her witch mask, she’s able to remove it, and bring her brother home.

Even movies that feature Halloween in passing use it to highlight or subvert their characters’ identities by exploiting the double nature of the Halloween costume: it conceals the wearer’s identity and reveals her character at once. In E.T.’s brief Halloween sequence, for example, while Elliott’s costume is bare-bones, Michael, Mary, and E.T. himself all shine through their costume selections, literally in the case of E.T. The Karate Kid’s Halloween sequence highlights Danny’s introversion (he’s literally surrounded by a shower curtain!) and the Cobra Kai’s inhumanity (skeletons with all their faces painted identically!). Even holiday movies like Hocus Pocus that aren’t principally concerned with costuming present Halloween as a special night for which identities grow flexible: the dead can be living, the living dead, and a cat can be a three-hundred-year-old man.

If we expand our focus to include books that focus or foreground Halloween, we find Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October, Raskin’s The Westing Game, and Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, all of which focus on the experimentation with, or explicit concealment of, identities, and the power of revelation. Fan artists get in on the fun too—every time Halloween rolls around, I look forward to sequences like this, of characters from one medium dressed up as characters from another.

The centrality of identity play to the holiday explains why some horror movies feel “Halloween-y” while others don’t. Alien, for example, is a terrifying movie, one of my favorites, but with one notable exception it doesn’t care about masquerades. Cabin in the Woods, on the other hand, feels very Halloween, though it’s less scary than Alien—due, I think, to its focus on central characters’ performance of, or deviation from, the identities they’ve been assigned.

Examined in this light, The Nightmare Before Christmas is absolutely a Halloween movie. The entire film’s concerned with the construction and interrogation of identity, from the opening number in which each citizen of Halloween Town assumes center stage and assumes an identity (“I am the shadow on the moon at night!”), to Jack’s final reclamation of himself—“I am the Pumpkin King!”

So, are we done?

Not hardly.

Continue reading this article: https://www.tor.com/2018/10/26/is-the-nightmare-before-christmas-a-halloween-movie-or-a-christmas-movie/

Christmas Movies

My New Book Has Finally Arrived!

visions of light and shadow

You’ve been waiting patiently, and now it’s here–book 3 of the Wind Rider Chronicles!
Get a discounted price by buying direct   |   Amazon  |   BN   |  Kobo   |  Other  


It has been six months since Cailean’s death, and Elowyn can’t get his special clifftop in the mountains out of her thoughts…or her dreams. Something is drawing her there, despite the danger, and time is running out. The new spring growth is threatening to cover what’s left of his foot trail forever, but getting there is going to be more challenging than she imagined, especially with the thieves still lurking along the mining road.

Morganne is having difficulties of her own. The monks are making plans to send the tomes away, Braeden’s tax demands are increasing yet again, and Morganne’s once prosperous shop has been noticeably empty. On top of that, the Kinship is getting ready to leave Minhaven—seemingly for good this time.

With political unrest building, and the Black Shrine still intact, Glak and Bane want the girls to go with them. Elowyn is eager to leave her sorrows behind, certain that Aviad is calling them to follow the road beyond Minhaven, but Morganne isn’t so sure. She’s not ready to abandon everything they know for an uncertain future, and Elowyn finds herself at a crossroads. Will she be able to convince Morganne that it’s Aviad’s voice she is hearing, or will she be forced to go on alone?

Get it today at your favorite ebook retailer. (Print copies will be available soon.)