Let the #SPFBO 2018 begin : my process

The SPFBO starts today (Aug 1, 2018). A Wizard’s Forge is being judged over at Lynn’s Book Blog, and in today’s post she explained how it’s all going to go down.

Books and travelling with Lynn

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Today sees the start of the fourth Self Published Fantasy Blog Off (#SPFBO).  The competition involves 300 self published books, distributed between 10 blogs.  Each blog will eventually choose 1 finalist leaving 10 finalists for the second phase.  Each blog will then read and score the finalists which will hopefully result in one book with the highest score winning the competition.  More details can be found here and if you scroll down you can see the list of books and how they’ve been distributed.

I’ve taken part as a judge in the past 3 competitions but this year I might shake my format up a little.  Previously I’ve divided my books into six batches of 5 books and then chosen 1 book from each batch – this has then given me six semi finalists to choose between.  In the past I’ve usually aimed to read at least 20% of the…

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Author Spotlight: Soundtracks by A.M. Justice – Guest Post

Today on RockStarlit Book Asylum, the spotlight is on Prince Ashel of A Wizard’s Forge. Even though Ashel cedes the narrative center stage to Vic, he is a born frontman. Many thanks to Rock Star Timy for letting him shine!

RockStarlit BookAsylum

When I gave a call to a few grimdarklings friends to write submit articles and any other materials they see fit for my blog, one of them asked what topics I’d like to see. I gave him a few, music in fantasy among others. Amanda, like a hawk sensing its prey, swept in and took the opportunity. Which made me pretty happy, because, well, you know, I’m a music addict, so finally someone combined my two love: books and music! Amanda gives us a glimpse how she uses music during her story. This article is rather interesting, so hopefully you’ll like it as much as I do! And now I give the spotlight to her:


A.M. Justice  I’m a Brooklyn-based author, lover of science and wit, sporadic scuba diver, and once and future tango dancer. My characters live only in my head, but they’re real, and I put them through hell.

Music…

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Separating Immigrant Children from Parents

A lot of bloggers have offered opinions on the immigrant children crisis lately. D. Wallace Peach’s thoughts beautifully echo my own.

Myths of the Mirror

This child was not removed from her mother at the border, but her cries demonstrate the stress these children are under even without being separated from their parents. Time Magazine cover.

This isn’t a political blog. and yet there are times when it’s vital to speak out and use whatever platforms we have available. This is such a time.

The US is in the midst of a moral crisis as the Trump Administration continues a border policy that results in the systematic abuse of immigrant children. Many Americans, of both parties and of all faiths and walks of life, are horrified, and we are doing what we can to support these children and their families by sharing our outrage, time, talent, and treasure.

There are some people who insist that these children are just fine. And physically, that may be true. But that comment conveys a lack of understanding about…

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Victoria of Ourtown, aka Vic the Blade (of A Wizard’s Forge, by A.M. Justice)

Thanks to Assaph Mehr for including Vic in his Protagonist Speaks series on his blog.

The Protagonist Speaks

Dear readers, tonight we are republishing an article from the premiere newspaper in Latha, on the fantasy planet Knownearth.

After Vic, a former scholar turned soldier, nearly killed her erstwhile captor, the newspaper issued a scathing article condemning her actions.

The newspaper has followed this up with an interview with Vic, to hear her side of the story. We publish this second interview in full. Read on to learn of Vic’s adventures, and what drove her from being a shy scholar to become a warrior and pick up the fight against Relm.


Last week, this paper published the news that Captain Victoria of Ourtown—aka Vic the Blade—had tried and failed to assassinate Lornk Korng, the Lord of Relm. The Monarchy and Prime Minister’s office have protested that the Heralds’ coverage of the incident was biased. As members of the Lathan free press, we stand by our story, but invited the…

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My Most Anticipated Books of 2018

Gosh, what an honor to be included on the Critiquing Chemist’s “Most Anticipated Books of 2018” list. This may be just the kick in the pants I need to finish A Wizard’s Sacrifice. Check out this list for all the other great books coming up in 2018.

The Critiquing Chemist


Happy New Year Friends! With 2017 having drawn to an end it is time to look forward to what 2018 has in store for avid book lovers! Similar to last year, I’ve comprised a list of the top books in 2018 that I’m looking forward to being released.  While at least one book on the following list might be classified as wishful thinking, i.e., Winds of Winter, whereas optimistically I couldn’t help but group it in with the rest.  I’m hopeful that I will be able to get a few advanced review copies of these prior to their release date! I already was lucky enough to receive and read an advanced review copy of Iron Gold. You can read my spoiler free review here. Here’s to hopefully receiving a few more ARCs.

Let me know what you think of the titles on my lineup? Have I…

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Rip It or Ship It Book Tag

It’s Vic’s birthday (A Wizard’s Forge came out one year ago today), and Cassopeia’s Moon once again honors Vic with a mention in her blog. This time she has her paired up with Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass. Celaena and Vic have a lot in common (love of books, badass fightin’ spirit) but I agree there might be too much yang and not enough yin in that relationship for them to work as life-partners. It could be a beautiful friendship, though.

Cassiopeia's Moon

So, I filmed a bookshelf reorganisation video, and it went really well (at least at 12 minutes the clock was till ticking. But when I finished and checked, nothing was saved! *crying inside* This means that the wonderful reorganisation cannot be shown. But I am very happy with how my bookshelves turned out 🙂

Now I have to think of something else to write a blog post about. And what better than to do a tag that went around everywhere quite a while ago? I wasn’t tagged, but no one cares about that, so here we go – The Rip it or Ship it Book Tag!


Round 1
Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass) & Victoria (A Wizard’s Forge)

This is a tricky one… It might work, but I do think hey both are a bit too headstrong to be a good fit. I could see them having an…

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Fight Like a YA Girl Book Tag

Wow! Tremendous thanks to Cassiopeia’s Moon for including Vic and A WIZARD’S FORGE in her “Fight Like a YA Girl” list. We’re very honored.

Cassiopeia's Moon

Be prepared for a lot of tips on strong female leads…

So I was not tagged by The Book Prophet to match YA girls to some descriptions, but I saw her do it and really want to do it. I just really hope I’ve read enough YA to have enough characters… Tend to read everything from children’s fantasy to adult fantasy so it might be a challenge. Let’s see how it goes!

Rules:
  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Mention the creator Krysti at YA and Wine
  • Match at least one YA girl with each of the themes below
  • Tag as many people as you’d like!

It is so important for everyone to see examples of strong women in books, television, and movies. There are so many ways in which women exhibit strength, so this tag is meant to be a celebration of some those strengths.

Warrior Girls

Raisa ana’

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How to Make a Clichéd High Fantasy Cover

Nicola at Thoughts on Fantasy puts together an absolutely brilliant instruction manual on how to make a cliched fantasy book cover. #Designtip!

Thoughts on Fantasy

I’m not averse to a few fantasy clichés on a book cover – they let me know at a glance that I’m looking at a fantasy fiction novel, and can be nice if used in creative or appealing ways. As with all clichés, however, they become eye-roll-worthy when used en masse, i.e. when several standard tropes are all packed into the one artwork. If a book tries to cover too many bases, it can start to look a little silly.

I’ve encountered a few covers that take it a bit far, but I thought it’d be amusing to go even further, and have a bit of fun with the tropes of my favourite genre… so here is my recipe for a no-holds-barred, all-boxes-ticked, epic high fantasy book cover (accompanied by examples from the most clichéd design I can muster). I’m no graphic designer, but I imagine that will add a…

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The Epic World of Knownearth by A.M. Justice

Our Epic Worlds has posted a worldbuilding feature about Knownearth. Look for M.L. Spencer’s review of A Wizard’s Forge on the same site!

Our Epic Worlds

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Scholar. Slave. Warrior. Wizard.

On a planet far from Earth, descendants of marooned space travelers fight a decades-long war. Shy scholar Victoria knows nothing of this conflict until pirates kidnap and sell her to the sadistic tyrant behind it. He keeps her naked and locked in a tower, subjecting her to months of psychological torture. After seizing an opportunity to escape, Vic joins the fight against her former captor and begins walking a bloody path toward revenge.

As the Blade, Vic gains glory raiding her enemy’s forces, but the ordeal in his tower haunts her. Bitter memories keep her from returning the love of the kindhearted Prince Ashel, whose family has fended off the tyrant’s invading army for a generation. When enemy soldiers capture Ashel, Vic embarks on a quest to rescue him and, on the journey, discovers a source of spectacular power. With wizardry, Vic can rescue the prince…

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