A New Addition

Ellie of BraeVitae

There have been a few changes at BraeVitae lately, all related to this adorable, if somewhat demanding creature pictured above. Starting a family of our own has been our greatest wish for about ten years and last December a wonderful birth-mother chose us! We’re now the proud and slightly frazzled parents of Elizabeth (Ellie).

This is having a significant impact on our book release schedule.

We’re inching closer to completing The Witch’s Diary, now including some incredible illustrations created by our good friend Alison Tamko (also purveyor of fine Fantasy and SciFi inspired tea blends).

Part Time Girl and Mist Warden book 3 are on the back-burner for the moment. As we only have a few moments of baby free-time in a day, we’re going to work on a few short stories that we’ve been jonesing to write.

Cheers

Writing Update

writing-828911_1920

Here’s what we’ve been up to since we published Curse Bound earlier this year:

Rebecca completed an adult fantasy/humour novel, working title: The Witch’s Diary. Our first-readers have provided feedback and she’s gearing up to query it.

Adriaan completed a YA low-fantasy novel with a gender-fluid theme, working title: Part Time Girl. He has been querying it and has had some partials requested.

We have not forgotten the Mist Warden series! We recently completed the outline for book 3: Death Bound. There’s death and mayhem in Coldwater as the gate’s magic pushes farther into this reality.  Jess, Drew, and Mac face the toughest challenges yet, making decisions that will change the course of history.

Review: A Spell in the Country

51dL3LKHeaL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_

“A Spell in the Country” by Morgan Smith

A young soldier from a small town thrown into the heart of battle against supernatural evil threatening her country. Which incidentally puts her in close company with top scholars, nobility and of course the gorgeous prince :)

The story generally flows quickly across a landscape with detailed history. There’s a slow part in the middle where I was wondering if there was going to be any more action, but rest assured, the ending delivered some real tension.

Sometimes a contentious point in medieval fantasy settings, but gender equality is handled well and consistently. The author has obviously put some thought into how traditional concepts of chastity, purity and objectification would map out in a society with full equality (Shades of old-school Mercedes Lackey).

I found the hints of backstory about attitudes toward magic intriguing. How the state religion is split over it’s handling, and it’s viewed with significant suspicion by most citizens. I would have liked a few more details but the viewpoint is an eminently practical soldier. As much as magic drives the plot, we’re only seeing the surface. I expect this will be fleshed out more as the series goes on.

Response to the Pulse Nightclub Shooting

Rainbow_flag_and_blue_skies
(Image credit: Wikipedia CC BY 2.0)

For those in the LGBTQ+ community who are scared and hurt, reach out to your family and friends if you can—talk, hold them tight, tell them you love them. If you can’t and need someone to talk things through with, please call a help line. You are precious and you are not alone. There are people who care about you that you haven’t even met yet.

For anyone feeling helpless who wants to do something positive but isn’t sure what, please consider donating money and/or time to local, national, or international organizations that offer programs supporting LGBTQ+ people. They are just a quick Google away and all of their resources will be stretched thin in the coming days and months.

This tragedy reaches beyond country borders. LGBTQ+ people worldwide will feel this hurt deeply and may need help. Please also consider donating to distress lines and if you can, donate blood. Your blood may not reach the victims of this tragedy, but it will reach someone else in crisis. Saving a life is the best response I can think of to this senseless horror.

Last, but by no means least, speak out against hate in all its forms. Don’t stay silent. You never know who is listening. Someone’s life may depend on your response to that hatred, in that moment.

A short list of the many organizations you could help:

http://www.orlandoyouthalliance.org/

https://give.thetrevorproject.org/checkout/donation?eid=63307

http://www.thecenterorlando.org/

http://www.glsen.org/blog/where-honor-victims-orlando-shooting

http://www.fyrefly.ualberta.ca/SupportfYrefly

http://www.distresscentre.com/

http://www.pflagcanada.ca/en/donate-e.htmlhttp://www.calgaryoutlink.ca/#!support-us/ctzx

http://www.calgaryoutlink.ca/#!support-us/ctzx

Review: Minder Rising

minder_rising_carol_van_natta

If you love character driven romantic suspense, pick this one up! The female lead (Imara) and her good friend (Rayle) jump off the page. The male lead (Lièrén) takes a while to shine, but when he does, I think he’ll win your heart. Particularly since he finds a way to help the woman he’s fallen for _without_ taking over. Building on her strengths rather than flaunting his own. This is very refreshing to see.

This is a very sex-positive story but does not delve too far into ‘hot’ romance (which I appreciate – I’d rather focus on the romance, not the sex). I also appreciate the proper accenting of the pinyin used for Chinese names and dialog! (This is a pet-peeve of mine :) )

Minder Rising is the second book of the Central Galactic Concordance series by Carol Van Natta. You may want to start with the first book Overload Flux. Personally, I wanted to read #3 Pico’s Crush, but was advised to read Minder Rising first to get some background, and I’m glad I did.