Friday, August 29, 2014

Hiatus: Over. Fred is Back!

Ahoy, charming and oh-so-patient readers!

First, I would like to offer my sincerest apologies. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me for my month of silence. It was not because I was giving up on writing, blogging, and all things in life that are good. No, no, I have been busy settling in to my new home in Japan. My place is very rural, so it took some time to settle in and get necessities like cell phone service and Internet (which is still in the works.)

What? Don't believe me? Here's a photo of my rural neighborhood atop a hill in the Chugoku mountains:

Pretty, right?

Alas, the wonderful Japanese landscape could not keep me away from you, my dearest readers and fans.

And SO, I will attempt to redeem myself with a book feature!

From Fairies and Creatures of the Night, Guard Me by Emily de Courcy was great company during my flight to Japan. Which is saying something, since I was in the middle of a row for 14 hours!

This collection of short stories takes place in the fantastical realm of The Hinterlands. While each story features different characters, they all maintain this melancholy and almost nostalgic tone. I missed a land that I had never visited with each passing tale. And, honestly, I kind of liked it.

Each story tells a different tale about romance, magic, and mystery. For example, one story tells the life of a woman who can paint other's futures. The futures, naturally, tend to be pretty bleak, and one unexpected visitor changes her perspective on her gift for forever. Another story features the ghost of a king who has fallen in love with a girl who cannot maintain the same shape. Seriously, sometimes she's the wind, sometimes a cat, sometimes she doesn't even know what she is. Ms. de Courcy has a knack for taking this bizarre stories and turning them into fascinating tales that leave your yearning for more.

As a novelist, I tend to stay away from short story collections. Whether it be because I yearn for more substance or get insanely jealous that some authors can successfully write a complete story in only a few pages, I never strayed past the novels section in the book store. Stumbling upon Creatures changed my perspective completely. De Courcy does such a wonderful job writing each small tale as complete works, while slowly transitioning to the next, that I now am actively looking for more short story collections. If you know of any, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments! ;)

You can find De Courcy's short stories on Amazon and Goodreads. I've posted the links below for your convenience:


How's that for a comeback, eh? I wish I could say that my blogging will  be up to its regular times, but alas, living abroad throws me some unexpected curveballs.

HOWEVER, you can keep up with my travels at my other blog! That should be easy to remember, right? ;)

And, I sincerely promise, that Reverie, the sequel to Lucid is well on its way! I hope to gain all sorts of experience and inspiration while I'm abroad to bring you the best story that I can!

Until next time, keep readin' and dreamin'!