Archive for the ‘fantasy’ Category

snippet!   Leave a comment

“In fact, she bravely attempted what she called a seventh level spell, and by the time Andre had managed to put out the flames and changed into undamaged trousers she had nearly stopped apologizing.”

From The Legends of Tiger Jack


Posted September 15, 2014 by Fran LaPlaca in books, daily, fantasy, The Legends of Tiger Jack, writing

The Tokyo Express   Leave a comment

“It will hit you on the Tokyo Express.”

That line was running through my brain when my alarm went off this morning. I have no idea what it meant; my dream, so far as I can remember it, was of my son holding a god-awful lamp and laughing. No Tokyo in sight.

But picture this: A girl wakes with those words running though her head, as I did. She can’t forget them, as apparently I can’t. She determines that she MUST find out their meaning. So being young and rash, as I am not, she decides to go to Japan and search for the words. An adventure ensues, and she, of course, in the process discovers herself, finds new meaning to her depressing, gray life. Perhaps she finds love, perhaps she just finds fun.

(Is love more important to life than fun? I wonder…)

Does she find The Tokyo Express? I googled the phrase. There are quite a number of sushi restaurants, from Sacramento to Maine, with that name. It’s also a code phrase used in World War II to describe “the use of Imperial Japanese Navy ships at night to deliver personnel, supplies, and equipment to Japanese forces.” (quote from Wikipedia)

I don’t picture that as her answer. I was thinking it might be a train. You know, like the Bullet Train, only not quite as fast. And what hits her? The answer to a tremendous question? An epiphany of some sort? Or does someone simply throw something at her head? A gaijin female in a Japanese train, who speaks not a word of Japanese outside of what she learned from watching Naruto? (And there are very few situations in life that call for one to weave hand signs while shouting, “Kage bunshin no jutsu!”)

(Although that would be very cool…)

Ah, well. Maybe I’ll write it someday, and when I get to the end I’ll know.

The Tokyo Express:

What it was:

What it is:

What I hoped it might be:

You should read this. Really.   Leave a comment

Blade of Lightning

*Spirit to hold us.*
*Knowledge to keep us.*
*Warrior to defend.*

There are three Faces a Keeper can swear to, and three elements to bind their souls. But the elements number four, and although Fire was forbidden nearly five hundred years ago, the time for it to return is at hand. And the only thing standing between the Keepers of the Way and total destruction is Kei Ayumi.

“What are your weapons?” Keeper of Earth Secchi Amara asks Kei Ayumi the first time they meet. “Anything,” she answers. And Secchi soon learns it is not a boast, for although he may be the ranking warrior in the Fortress of Earth, Kei Ayumi is beyond deadly. With a past hidden in smoke and fire, and wrapped in a grief so profound she cannot even speak of it, Kei Ayumi faces challenges that daunt even a warrior. For although she has only just been bound to the Wayline, her path will take her from the snow covered Galdain Mountains to the hot sands of the Honshara desert as she tries to unlock her lost memories, defeat an enemy wreathed in flames, and face a firestorm of lightning.

Blade of Lightning – Book One of The Keepers of the Way is available for Kindle and Nook, and at Smashwords.
Amazon Kindle US Edition
Amazon Kindle UK Edition
Barnes and Noble Nook Edition
also available through iTunes

First draft is done!   Leave a comment

Well, to be quite honest, (and one should always be honest!) it’s the fourth and a half draft, of the second Keepers of the Way, KEEPER OF FIRE. It’s now going into the editing stage, so I may still be done before the end of the year, as I’d hoped. Though I’d hoped to be done long before this. Fingers crossed.

What are you reading?   Leave a comment

I have a terrible habit of reading far too many books at one time. I tried to break it once. I found myself reading seven books – one on the kitchen table, two in the living room, one in each bathroom, and two next to my bed. So I put them all in one pile, and read them one at a time until they were gone. Then I swore I would only read one book at a time from now on.

That lasted, oh, maybe a month? I don’t even remember. Then it was, well, one downstairs and one upstairs. And slowly, over the past few years, the habit, as habits do, snuck back, bigger than ever.

I am currently reading, in hardcover, Dreams Underfoot, by Charles de Lint. That’s my bathroom book. Not an insult, I generally keep books of short stories there, and this book is, in essence, short stories. I hadn’t read anything by him before, and chose to start with this one. About halfway through, quite enjoying it.

I also read manga, generally four volumes at a time. Though I read a lot of it online, there are some series I collect as well, and then I read them again. Currently, for manga, I’m on Death Note, Volume 3, Naruto Volume 40, Black Cat Volume 13, and the last volume of Fullmetal Alchemist. Other than Black Cat, I’ve already read these in various other forums, but it’s nice to have the story and the artwork in hand. 😀 I recently just finished Hero Tales Volume 2, and that is entirely new to me. I quite love it. It’s by Hiromu Arakawa and Huang Jin Zhou. Arakawa you would know as the author of Fullmetal Alchemist. The characters and artwork show the same hand (Oh! He looks like King Bradley! That one looks like Greed!) but the story is so different and so interesting that as soon as I finished the volume I ordered the next one.

Now to the ebooks. I have a Kindle. Once I had the Kindle, I found I could read Kindle books on my laptop and my phone and my iPad, so then I was reading four at a time. I have possibly a hundred books on my Kindle that I haven’t read yet. I’ve had to FORCE myself not buy more until I make a dent! So I’m reading only two on my Kindle for right now: Grass For His Pillow, by Lian Hearn (the second of the Otori books), and A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. A Game of Thrones I’ve read before, years back, in hardcover, but then I never got around to reading the others. It’s been so long I had no idea what the story was even about anymore, so I started at the beginning. I don’t know why I didn’t continue last time, because this time, and it is as if the book is completely new to me, I am so in love. I haven’t seen the TV series, and probably won’t for a long time, and the book itself (and the sequels) are so long it’s quite daunting…but I’m glad I began again. Grass for His Pillow is the sequel to Across the Nightingale Floor, and is just as enjoyable as that one was.

Next on my list, when I get something (anything!) finished, is the second book in the Black Company stories by Glen Cook, Shadows Linger. I read The Black Company just last year, and it became one of my favorite books of all time, up there with The Riddlemaster of Hed books. It’s different from most fantasy books; a genre almost on its own – Military Fantasy, I suppose you could call it. I’m looking forward to that. And with that, I shall add Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami. I recently finished A Wild Sheep Chase, and loved it.

The only thing better than reading a good book is the anticipation of the next one in the pile. 😀

(I have to add this, because at the end of the last sentence, WordPress told me my post was 666 words long. That’s un-good. There. Now it’s almost 700 words. Excellent.)

Posted April 18, 2012 by Fran LaPlaca in blogging, books, daily, fantasy, manga, reading

read an e-book week!   Leave a comment

It’s read an e-book week on Smashwords, where authors are discounting their books heavily, and many are now free. But only until Saturday, so you need to get there now! At the moment I only have one book up on Smashwords (the rest are on Amazon), TO SERVE THE HIGH KING, but, during this promotion it’s FREE. So you should go check it out, and download it in whatever format works for you. (I do NOT recommend plain text format- it came out with no formatting whatsoever, not even paragraph breaks. Just one huge, run-on paragraph!)

So Read An E-Book this week. You don’t need a reader, you can read it online, or download to your computer and read there. The Kindle e-reader is free at Amazon, then go to Smashwords and get TO SERVE THE HIGH KING for free!

But hurry, it’s only until Saturday!


a dragon….   Leave a comment

A collection of short stories….
The answers to the questions everyone is asking: Should you skip dragon-killing class for a Star Trek convention? What really happened in the house of the three bears? What makes a wizard a wizard? Includes five short stories: A Dragon By Any Other Name, Where Do Wizards Come From?, The House at the End of the World, Goldi Freaking Who? and Please Press Star.

Posted February 28, 2012 by Fran LaPlaca in dragons, fantasy, publishing, short stories, wizards