I’m late! I must’ve dozed off like this adorable baby bookwyrm, sorry! These little sweethearts love their books, and were created by one of my favorite artists, Lindy Briggs at How Many Dragons?. They’re perfect for my post today, for the dozing and the books combined!
Book lovers from all over the region gathered on Saturday, October 14, 2017, at the Twin Cities Book Festival in Saint Paul, Minnesota, “the largest and most important literary gathering in the Upper Midwest, [and] the annual get-together for the Twin Cities’ devoted literary community.” TCBF is sponsored by Rain Taxi, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of contemporary literature, and is made possible by a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. I’ve been attending for a few years now, and it really is great!
This year I got to see a panel by Charlie Jane Anders and Cory Doctorow, two luminaries of speculative fiction who spoke about intersectionality, the importance of community-building on top of world-building, and lots of other issues in current science/fantasy fiction, as well as their own new releases. It was a great panel! Anders’ most recent book is called All the Birds in the Sky, and Doctorow’s is called Walkaway, both published by TOR and now on my must-read list!
Sadly, buying more books wasn’t in my budget this month, but while I was soaking in all the literary goodness of the TCBF, I was also grabbing up marketing postcards and bookmarks from all the up-and-coming scifi and fantasy authors that caught my eye. These hardworking folks were there to promote their work, and someday I hope to have a booth right next to them — if Finding Dragons ever gets written, of course…
So as I was thinking about a post for this week, I realized it would be neat to feature some of the books and authors I found at the festival. This lets me share them with all of you, and also gives me a quick-reference in cyberspace the next time I need something new to read!
I’ve shared the author’s name, series title (if it’s a series), and listed some of the author’s books. As always, the links will take you to all the pertinent places like the author’s site or the place to pick these up for yourself. I’m only going to share the author’s synopsis of the first book in each series (even when, in most cases, they were there to promote their latest book), because you should always begin at the beginning, so please go check out the links to find out more!
Now, it bears mentioning that just like every other post I make here on Writing Dragons, I didn’t talk to any of the authors about doing this or even mention my blog at all while at TCBF. (I did intend to bring cards to promote my site, but then I forgot them at home, doh!) I didn’t receive free stuff for mentioning anything in this post — I’m just doing it because I like promoting fellow authors and artists!
I will also note that I haven’t read any of these yet, but if you have (or if you do in the future), I’d love for you to leave me a comment below with your thoughts and impressions! All right, enjoy!
Kimberlee Ann Bastian
The Element Odysseys series
The Breedling & the City in the Garden, and
The Breedling & the Trickster
The Breedling & the City in the Garden:
Absolute obedience, servitude, neutrality.
These were the laws that once governed Bartholomew, an immortal soulcatcher, until one ill-fated night when he was forced to make a choice: rebel against his masters or reveal an ancient, dangerous secret.
He chose defiance.
Imprisoned for centuries as punishment for his decision, Bartholomew wastes away—until he creates an opportunity to escape. By a stroke of chance, Bartholomew finds himself in the human world and soon learns that breaking his bonds does not come without a price. Cut off from the grace that once ruled him, he must discover a new magic in 1930s Chicago.
Armed with only a cryptic message to give him direction, Bartholomew desperately tries to resume the mission he had started so long ago. Relying on the unlikely guidance of the streetwise orphan Charlie Reese, Bartholomew must navigate the depressed streets of the City in the Garden. But in order to solve this riddle, he must first discover if choice and fate are one in the same.
J. Lynn Else
The Forgotten: Aten’s Last Queen, and
Heir of the Heretic
The Forgotten: Aten’s Last Queen:
“I am King Tut’s wife, but my name is barely a whisper in history’s memory. I was the last of my family to survive the Aten revolution. I had a child at age 12 and was forced to marry three times. But that didn’t mean my story ended badly. My name is Ankhesenamun, my loved ones called me An, and I will stop at nothing to save my family.”
Despite the vast treasure found in Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb, there is little left over regarding his bride. From the turbulence of her father’s reign, Akhenaten, who forced monotheism on the country to the mending of these wounds by the now-famous Tutankhamun, her life saw more change than most ancient Egyptians dared even dream about. Evidence left to us about her is this: She was forced to marry her father, her brother, and her grandfather. She gave birth to one healthy baby girl and two stillborn girls. She was widowed at age 12 and 23. She saw four pharaohs crowned within 23 years. After her grandfather took the throne, she disappeared from history.
Ankhesenamun grew up a princess and became a queen at age 13. Her husband, Tutankhamun, was 9. With outside forces try to influence every choice they make, Ankhesenamun finds herself torn between her heart and her duty.
Storm Raven, and
The Azrael Initiative
Young Adult Fantasy with Pirates: Coming December 15, 2017!
Captain Nereyda leads her band of pirates as they seek out grand adventures and loot vulnerable merchant ships. However, when they attempt an overly ambitious raid, Nereyda and her crew are captured and separated. While serving her sentence aboard a naval vessel, she is shipwrecked on an unknown island. As she explores it, she stumbles into some ancient ruins and finds…something. Whatever it is, it wakes a part of Nereyda that she had not felt before. Something that could help her free the rest of her crew and return to life on the sea.
The Wind and the Drum
The Wind and the Drum:
In the Arctic lands of the Midnight Sun, the winters are long and harsh. It is the 1670s. The Saami migrate with the reindeer they depend on for food, clothing, and shelter like the American Plains Indians relied on the buffalo.
Tuuli was marked from birth to be the next noaidi of her people. She will be wind listener and keeper of their most sacred drum. But the wind whispers to Tuuli that strangers are coming—strangers who threaten the reindeer and demand the Saami give up their drums and ancient beliefs. Tuuli refuses, hiding one of the drums and setting off on a series of perilous journeys to save her people, their way of life, and, ultimately, herself.
(Editing note – Katharine doesn’t seem to have an author’s site quite yet, but you can find all her information at her book link!)
Jeffrey L. Kohanek
The Runes of Issalia series
The Buried Symbol, The Emblem Throne, and An Empire in Runes
The Buried Symbol:
Without a rune marking his role in society, Brock is doomed to an existence below the lowest rung of the social ladder. Unwilling to accept his fate, the teen risks his life to obtain a fake rune that marks him as a member of the Empire’s ruling class. He then embarks on a quest to join an institution where the Empire’s future leaders are trained.
As a student of the Academy, he soon uncovers a chain of secrets kept hidden for centuries, secrets that expose cracks in the foundation of Empire society. Among his discoveries is a powerful magic, long buried and forgotten.
Brock’s compassion and sense of justice are seeds that sprout tight friendships and a blossoming romance. An unwillingness to be bullied earns him a dangerous enemy, becoming a feud that escalates to a climactic showdown.
K. Bird Lincoln
Dream Eater, and
Tiger Lily and The Straw Doll Cries at Midnight
Koi Pierce dreams other peoples’ dreams. Her whole life she’s avoided other people. Any skin-to-skin contact—a hug from her sister, the hand of a barista at Stumptown coffee—transfers flashes of that person’s most intense dreams. It’s enough to make anyone a hermit.
But Koi’s getting her act together. No matter what, this time she’s going to finish her degree at Portland Community College and get a real life. Of course it’s not going to be that easy. Her father, increasingly disturbed from Alzheimer’s disease, a dream fragment of a dead girl from the casual brush of a creepy PCC professor’s hand, and a mysterious stranger who speaks the same rare Northern Japanese dialect as Koi’s father will force Koi to learn to trust in the help of others, as well as face the truth about herself.
Have you ever wondered if life is more than a series of random events? Or if invisible threads might weave together seemingly unrelated moments? Bree MacLeod – wise woman, shaman and Daughter of the goddess Bríghid – knows the Truth.
When her aunt and foster-mother falls into a coma of unknown origin, Bree is pulled back to Seattle, the city of her childhood. As the family Bean feasa, Bree must work with her Otherworldly Allies to reach Emily and convince her soul to choose – to make Transition or to return to life on This Side of the Veil. But, being back in Seattle puts her within reach of her uncle, the man from whom Bree fled for her life years ago.
Can Bree and her Allies find the way?
Glimpse the world through the eyes of a modern-day shaman. Bree MacLeod and her story are waiting for you.
Lindy Brigg’s bitty bookwyrms are all set to read these new books! You can see more of them and all of her awesome dragons in her deviantart gallery, purchase one for your very own at her Etsy store How Many Dragons?, or check out all the other times I’ve featured her on this blog, including the dragons I’ve purchased myself!
Whew, this was a big post! To be honest, that’s why I was late — getting all the images and links put together took me longer than I expected. But never fear, I will attempt to make up the missing post with another artwork feature this week.
Remember, if you’ve read any of these books, or if you do in the future, please leave me a comment with your thoughts! And as always, thanks for reading, take care and stay creative!
+ Baby Bookwyrms by Lindy Briggs at How Many Dragons?
+ Twin Cities Book Festival image from Rain Taxi
+ All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
+ Walkaway by Cory Doctorow
+ Green Baby Bookwyrm by Lindy Briggs of How Many Dragons?
+ The Breedling & the City in the Garden and The Breedling & the Trickster by Kimberlee Ann Bastian
+ The Forgotten: Aten’s Last Queen and Heir of the Heretic by J. Lynn Else
+ Storm Raven and The Azrael Initiative by K. Hanson
+ The Wind and the Drum by Katharine Johnson
+ The Buried Symbol, The Emblem Throne, and An Empire in Runes by Jeffrey L. Kohanek
+ Dream Eater, Tiger Lily, and The Straw Doll Cries at Midnight by K. Bird Lincoln
+ Being Here by Jennifer Lynn