Uncategorized

Update

I’ve been taking a small break from blogging due to being lethargic, nothing Access to a computer, and trying to spend as much time outside as possible. Will get back to posting in the next couple of days.

In other news, I have a job! I’m so excited to start my career as health care aide!! 

Until next time!

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Uncategorized

Book Haul!

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I ended up caving yesterday and bought these three books. I’m about one third away through When Dimple Met Rishi. It’s really cute. I quite like it! 🙂

I have so many books that are backed up on my kindle, but I wanted to read an actual physical book.

 

Very short update, so later, for now. Sorry it’s so short, but the picture pretty much says it all!

 

 

Interviews, Uncategorized

Author Interview – G.W. Renshaw

Welcome to a new feature I plan on having for awhile! I’ve got several authors lined up, and will be posting interviews once a week!

The first guest I have lined up is G.W. Renshaw. Renshaw has penned five books, four of which are a series.

What made you want to write about Veronica’s life as a PI? Did it have to do anything with how social media and Hollywood’s portrayal of women and their value?

A friend of mine, Randy McCharles, was writing mysteries and it sounded like an interesting thing to try. Of course that meant I needed an interesting investigator. Not a 50ish year old, male, ex-cop with a drinking problem living hand-to-mouth in a major U.S. city. Or a sexless, anti-social intellectual drug addict. Or a highly-powered magician or psychic. Or a talented amateur.

Alberta is the only place I’ve found where a determined person can be licensed as a PI at the age of 18, so a teenaged Canadian woman trained as a chef who rarely drinks and has an investment portfolio seemed like a good start.

The more research I did, the more interesting Veronica became. Canadian PIs can’t carry a firearm, but can be licensed to carry a tactical baton. We have laws against calling up a police buddy to run a license plate for her. It gives her fewer simple solutions. She has martial arts skills, but rarely encounters a problem that must be solved by beating it into submission. I made her father a chef and her mother a homicide detective. She’s a voracious reader, so she has a lot of book knowledge that sometimes gets ahead of her practical knowledge. Like all teens she has to figure out her sexuality, which in her case is complicated. Another difference between her and most investigators is that she ages as the series progresses.

As far as Veronica being a feminist icon, that was never my explicit intention. I write her, first and foremost, as a person. She’s a private investigator who happens to be a woman, not a woman who happens to be a PI.

Sadly, Hollywood assumes that a “strong female character” must mean a hot woman who can kick butt, but the strength of a character is not in their appearance or their skills. A strong character is one who is a real person–well-rounded and possessing depth. A ten-year old girl can be a strong female character if she’s battling cancer and is not completely defined by that. She must have interests, goals, dreams, and relationships. She must have opinions. THAT is what makes her a strong character.

That’s why we need more “strong female characters.” We need girls and women who actively participate in the story as much as the men do, and not just act as background decoration.

 

Veronica’s best friend is Wiccan. What made you write that into the story? What’s the difference between the magic in the book and magic in real life?

Liliana Marina Herndández Rojas is from Colombia, and her name is a bit of a mouthful. In many Wiccan traditions initiates take a new name. In Liliana’s case she says her goddess gave her the name Kali, which is what everybody but her parents calls her.

There are paranormal elements to the series, so her being Wiccan and owning an occult shop also gives Veronica the traditional research buddy who Knows Things.

It’s also a religion that most people aren’t familiar with, and after a lot of research it seemed very plausible to me that when Kali’s life turned to complete crap she would move away from her family’s Catholicism to something that was more personal. Veronica tried it for a while, but she doesn’t believe in magic so she drifted away from it. She does admit that there may be something to it in non-magical terms after a memorial ritual for characters who have died.

As for the story magic versus real life magic, I don’t know. You’ll have to read it and see.

 

How did you ever come up with the plot of the first book, The Stable Vices Affair?

The first book is about Veronica’s first two cases, and introduces some of how strange her life will get. As I wrote it, I realised that it didn’t make sense without her origin story as well, so the two are intertwined in the first book. As a character in a 70s sitcom said, “how are you doing to know where I’m at if you don’t know where I’ve been? You get where I’m coming from?”

 

How did you come up with the demonic dwarf character? Was that character easy to write?

Believe it or not, the dwarf (in the sense of a person with dwarfism, not in the sense of Gimli) was intended to be a one-shot character. That changed when I dug deeper into Beleth’s background and discovered–well, you’ll see.

Beleth is a demon mentioned in a 16th century grimoire, and is said to show up as a great king astride a horse who tries to intimidate the magician. If you don’t show fear, Beleth will answer your questions.

Yeah, great, whatever. But then I found a text that said if the magician really impresses Beleth he’ll show his true form as a “doe-eyed young girl.” Ah, now that’s more interesting!

I find Beleth easy to write because she’s so much fun. She’s a whimsical psychopath with an agenda we don’t see yet. She seems to have a certain fondness for Veronica, but we are still unclear as to why. All will be revealed.

Is Beleth an actual demon, as she (and/or he) claims? Is Beleth one person or two? Or are they a con artist who is putting something over on their victims? We shall see.

 

What genre would you consider the Chandler book series? Would you categorize this as New Adult, or is this strictly for adults?

The first two novels, The Stable Vices Affair and The Prince and the Puppet Affair, are paranormal mysteries. The second two, The Kalevala Affair and The True Love Affair are paranormal thrillers.

As to the audience, I’d say that it’s aimed at people old enough to read it. Unlike Nancy Drew who was 16 for a very long time, Veronica ages I’ve asked actual teenagers to rate the books for me and the consensus is 14 and older because of mature themes. The oldest reader I’m aware of is 85. Recently I had a ten-year-old girl state that she’d like to read the books when she’s a bit older and knows more words.

Genre is a difficult thing to assign for the whole series. There are elements of mystery, thriller, urban fantasy, romance, and science fiction.

 

Because you live in Calgary, are there any specific buildings that non-Canadians may know? Any tourist attractions? Do you plan on inserting in any?

There are one or two. While in London Veronica compares the British Museum with Calgary’s Glenbow Museum because that’s what she’s familiar with. It’s important to remember that Veronica isn’t a tourist in Calgary. Mentioning places of interest wouldn’t be something she does unless she needs to go there for some reason.

Almost all the places that are mentioned are real. They may not be famous but they are definitely places you could visit.

 

What is the take you have on the importance of a book cover and title?

There are two kinds of readers in book stores: Those who are looking for a specific book, and those who are browsing for something that catches their eye. The cover and title are the only way to do that.

My experience is that people are more interested in the cover than in the title. That’s why every book store employee has stories about people who come saying, “do you have that book, I can’t remember the title or who wrote it, but the cover is green.” Seriously.

Eventually people do look at the title and it must be intriguing without giving too much away.

 

Did you design your book cover? If no, who? What was the creative process like?

I helped design the cover, and it was a lot of fun.

We’d found a great winter image of down town Calgary at night with steam rising from various buildings that would work well for the cover of book one. The problem was that the photographer was Russian with no contact information. It would have cost a lot of money to find him and get copyright clearance to use the photo.

I looked at it for a while and figured out exactly where he’d been standing to take it, so one night in February my lovely wife and I trudged down to the river and set up our new camera. It was so new I didn’t realize it had a panorama feature, so I took several, overlapping shots of the buildings. That turned out to be good thing, because the lens was short enough that there was distortion from shot to shot–the buildings leaned a bit toward the centre of each.

That meant that the pictures couldn’t just be put together–they had to be tilted so the buildings would match. That’s why the river is straight across the front cover and then curves slightly to go off into the distance on the back cover. It worked perfectly because I didn’t know how to use my camera.

 

Are there any elements that you wish to add to the series? Have you taken out major plot lines for the sake of continuity and plot? 

That would be telling. I will say that there are some even more curious places to visit. And curious people to meet. For some definition of “people.”

Everything is unfolding according to my diabolical plan, so to speak.

 

What is it that you want the readers to gain from this series? Does it carry a message? 

The main thing is that it should be worth reading. There are plenty of books out there that have An Important Message that completely runs over any entertainment value with big spiky boots. It’s much better to have people say, “I enjoyed that, and later it made me think” than for them to say, “this book deals with important themes, but I didn’t actually have fun reading it and can’t stand the characters.”

Any message is one of Veronica leading by example rather than me trying to tell you what the moral of the story is. She’s a very young woman in a field dominated by older men. The important thing is that she’s an intelligent, tenacious, caring, and competent person, not that she’s a short, cute, girl. Yes, being female can be an advantage for her, as can her youth, but they don’t determine her ability to do her job.

Veronica’s exploration of her sexuality is a critical part of her journey apart from her career. Her libido sometimes rages out of control. She makes mistakes. She has her heart broken. She goes after revenge. She has fun. She feels guilty. She wonders if she’s normal. In other words, she feels like every other girl and woman. I’ve actually had women tell me Veronica’s problems gave them insight in to what they were going through in their own lives. That’s pretty humbling for a male author to hear.

 

What was the entire publishing experience like for you? 

Exhilarating, frustrating, and tiring. Seeing my idea as a tangible book that I can hold in my hand is, of course, exhilarating.

All the little details can be frustrating. Book design, formatting, all the technical details, things that have to be done a certain way or they won’t print correctly. The list is just about endless until one day it isn’t.

Marketing one’s books is something that every author must face, no matter who their publisher is. Marketing is exhausting, because not only is it something you don’t want to do, it takes time away from writing the next book. One of the best moves I made was hiring a publicist who knows all the people I would otherwise have to learn about, contact, and argue with myself.

 

What is one question that you have yet to be asked, but would love to answer? 

What is Veronica’s favourite cocktail?
The Yoko Geri, which she and Kali invented one night while watching her kitten murder a squeaky toy.

One can of Coke (355 ml), 1 oz of white Sambuca, with a wedge of lime muddled in. Ice or not as your prefer. It has less alcohol than an American beer.

 

Many authors listen to music to help with getting inside their characters heads. What is it that you listen to? And does the type of music change for each character. 

I don’t need help getting inside my characters’ heads, which I suppose is a troubling thing for me to say.

I usually listen to Venice Classic Radio Italia (an internet radio station, veniceclassicradio.eu) while writing at home. When I’m at a writing retreat there usually isn’t reliable Wi-fi so I have a variety of albums on my computer: Abba, Disturbed, Smetana, Lycia (Kali’s favourite!), Nightwish, The Nylons, Sibelius, Spice Girls, and a variety of indie music put together by my Young Padawan, who is the inspiration for Veronica and also my cover model.

 

What would be your soundtrack for the series? 

I would love to have Nightwish do the soundtrack for TV or a movie. The fact that the band has copies of The Kalevala Affair is completely coincidental.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time and discussing everything with me! I really enjoyed learning more about your series and your writing!

My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

 

 

 

Uncategorized

The Reading Quest Challenge!

I’m excited to start The Reading Quest challenge which can be located here! All the information you need is at the link.

I have chosen the Bard, and will endeavour to do as much as I can! 🙂 This will help me greatly towards my 100 Reading Challenge on Goodreads! I’m still behind, but I’m determined to catch up!

The books I have chosen for this Quest are as follows:

The Night Manager by John le Carre (tv/movie adaptation)

Uprooted by Noami Novik (fairytale retelling)

(striking typography)

IQ84 by Haruki Marakumi (book translated from another language)

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (banned book)

Overall, I’m very excited! Who else plans on joining me?

 

Uncategorized

Quick update

Hello follow book aficionados,

It’s a beautiful day in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The sun is shining, and the heat is scorching. Don’t leave children or pets in cars!! Too many expire that way, and we love children and pets!

I’m writing to you to say that things have been busy. I’m preparing for job interviews, and thus have been focusing mainly on that. The last few weeks, I have spent considerable amount of time on Whimsical Fox. I hope you all have enjoyed all my posts so far! I’ve slowly been seeing a steady increase in hits and followers. I’m hoping my blog will continue to grow. I love making posts, and I dedicate myself to ensuring each one is of high quality. If you have any ideas on what you would love to see, simply contact me via the form I have put up or email directly at bibliophilicfox@gmail.com.

I am working on a comprehensive list for all resources relating to books, so feel free to send in any sites or newsletters you enjoy reading. I’ve also started interviewing indie authors to help promote books and gain exposure. If you are an author and would like to be interviewed, feel free to contact me at the email address I have posted above! And not to worry, I don’t ask cliche questions that are always asked of authors. I try to make the questions fun and original, helping your personality shine through.

With that, I hope you all enjoy the weekend!

Regards,

Eldrid

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Memes, Tags, Uncategorized

The Lying Game

For today’s post, let’s play a game. I’m going to make fifteen statements. Three of which will be lies. It is up to you to try and guess which three are not true. You will learn a bit about me, and have fun — hopefully. Good luck!

1) I have had laser eye surgery.

2) I would like to learn as many languages as I can.

3) I have been to Georgia, USA.

4) I have brown eyes.

5) I have moved over twenty times in my life.

6) I have never swam in the ocean.

7) I have never been sky diving.

8) I have never eaten what is called a beaver tail.

9) I have never eaten octopi.

10) I have been married in the past.

11) I have never been to Disneyland.

12) I have met some famous people.

13) I have been published.

14) I have a fear of heights.

15) I hate Guns and Roses and Bon Jovi.

 

Tell me what you think are the lies in the comments. Friday, I will post what are the lies. I also tag whoever wants to do this!

4 out of 5, Reviews, Uncategorized

Review: The Subs Club by J. A. Rock

Warning: This book is gay erotica.

the subs clubSummary: A year and a half ago, there was an accident that shook the BDSM community. David’s been holding his group of friends together the best he can. He blames himself for the death of their friend as he wasn’t there when the death occurred. Feeling increasingly guilty, he comes up with the idea of the Subs Club, a website forum where the Subs can talk in a safe place on how some problematic Dom’s participate in scenarios. Shortly after, David meets and falls in love with a no-nonsence Dom on FetLife, and decides to meet with him in order to rate him and warn other Subs of his behaviour. Things go awry for David, who only had the best intentions, and he even falls in love, which is worse and confusing. Add in the Dom’s find out and David finds himself in a growing rift, threatening to pit friends against each other.

My Thoughts: This was an online burrow from my Library, via Libby. The title  and book cover caught my eye. After reading the summary, I quickly settled down to read. I’ve never read gay erotica, and was gearing up for a really bad imitation of fanfic, but I was happily surprised when it wasn’t so. David’s character, though a bit whiny and incredibly petulant at times due to his lack of maturity, had an interesting growth of character. I rooted for him the entire book. There are graphic sex scenes, due to it being gay BDSM, but well developed. Much better developed that Fifty Shades of Gray. I don’t know much about the scene, but I know enough that the author is well versed in various play, and knows a great deal about kinks, etiquette, and vocabulary dealing with BDSM. I learned a lot, which I enjoy doing, even if the book is a work of fiction. 

The intricate plot developed with good pace, quickly but not so fast that you felt your head spinning. The language was well suited for the intended audience, with swearing and liberal amounts of sex talk. I have to say I did enjoy most things about this book. As I said before, David seemed immature, but towards the end he was really working on improving himself, which I admire. It’s always hard to realize major faults in oneself, but to go head on with them as he did, I must give him credit!

There are mentions of enema’s, paddling, spankings, and caning. Proceed at your own discretion.

However, if you are not bothered by such, I recommend this book! I will say I’m not planning on reading the rest of the series, as each book is each character’s point of view. I enjoyed the story that this one told, and that’s good enough for me.

 

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I give the Sub’s Club four out of five fox heads. It was a fun read!

Memes, Tags, Uncategorized

My Life in Book Tags

The My Life In Books Tag was originally created by The Journeys of A Girl.

Stole this off various people! 🙂

1. Find a book for each of your initials.

E – Equus by Peter Shaffer

B – Beowulf (unknown author)

L – Labyrinth by Kate Moss

 

2. Count your age along your bookshelf. Which book is it?

graveyardbook

 

3. Pick a book set in your city/country.

sva

Set in Calgary, Alberta. I lived there for eight years. I’m so looking forward to going back, whenever I can!

4. Pick a book that represents a place you’d love to visit.

thebat.jpg

I really wanna travel to Norway!

5. Pick a book that’s your favorite color.

shadowofthewind

Orange and purple are my favourite colours, followed by blue and green.

6. What book do you have the fondest memories of?

mr.mugs

I remember reading the Mr. Mugs series in grade one. I just loved these books, as they had various stories in them, along with some non-fiction related articles with pictures!

7. Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

whereIlosther

I couldn’t get past the first five chapters or so. I had to DNF it. This was such a horrible book. I couldn’t. I feel bad saying that, and I’m to mad at the author. I’m mad at the publisher, because there were so many plot holes and so much…. shit… going on. It didn’t read realistically, and I guess that’s what bugged me the most. 
8. Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest feeling of accomplishment when you finish it?

I’m putting several, as I really have a huge TBR list, and all of these have been on for over  fifteen years.

Uncategorized

Why I Prefer the YA Genre over General Fiction

More diversity.

The YA/NA genre has become a treasure trove for diverse characters. It’s something I’m extremely happy about. It’s nice to see other nationalities popping up. I’m from Canada. and our country is hugely diverse. It’s hard to read books that don’t have people of colour; it doesn’t seem realistic. I’ve grown up in various rich environments, and it’s simply the norm for me.

It’s also extremely uplifting to see more LGBTTQQIAAP characters emerging from the book community. Growing up in the eighties and nineties, it was very rare to see a lesbian or a gay character. It’s incredibly pleasing to see that it’s not as hushed or swept under the rug as it used to be.

Flushed out characters

I’m extremely tired of the tired cliche characters that work Monday through Friday, come home, have some booze, and lament on their disaster of a marriage. Can’t a couple be freaking happy for once?

The characters in this genre seem more alive, more vibrant, colourful! They are a much more fun and intense read. There have been several dull books in the general fiction section that were a chore to read through. Half the time I end up not finishing them! I want my characters to be relatable, despite being thirty years younger than me. I want them to feel alive! (Half the characters in adult fiction just seem to be living like zombies, slogging through life.)

Better storylines

As stated above, the characters in Young Adult seem more alive. With that, the storylines become more exciting, more thrilling. It seems to me that the authors in this genre we love so much have the ability to know how to tell better stories. Don’t get me wrong, there have been thrilling adult fiction stories. The Night Circus is one example. Plus, the Dresden Files.

There’s less ‘the woman looked at herself in the mirror, and poked her fat that hung around her middle’, talk. So, less female body shaming/critiquing.

Just. I can’t. I just can’t with internal dialogues that go on about this. It leaves a stale taste in my mouth. For the longest time, I thought I was abnormal, as I was incredibly comfortable in my body. I realize that for the most part, a lot of this is done by male authors (at least in my experience.) I know that some female authors do this too. Can we not focus on moving the plot forward, instead of taking a few paragraphs and lamenting on how unsavoury body fat can be, and just move the story along? K, thanks bai.

More strong female characters that go on thrilling adventures.

Okay. So this one’s stretching it a bit. But, it’s there. I realize that we have Star Wars, and Game of Thrones, and all the Mercedes Lackey books. But still, we need more feminism goddammit.

book cover beautiful, Uncategorized

Book Cover Beautiful

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Song of Achilles – I really prefer illustrations over photoshopped pictures and manipulations. I really like the teal coloured background with the gold old-style helmet. The font is elegant, which just adds to the beautiful stylized cover. It draws the eye, and definitely stands out. 

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – What can I say? I adore any book cover that has shelves of books on it. The ladder invites me to climb up to peruse the books. I would love to go shopping in this store. It’s fun. It’s a bookstore. A bookstore that’s open ALL THE TIME!!! What’s not to love. 

Glow – A plain black background, with just the title on it, as well as pop of colour, and a snippet of a scenario inside one of the letters. Brilliant. Reminds me of universes and space travel. I adore the simplicity. It seems to have more impact.


 

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Starfish – The colours shown here are beautiful. I love the watercolour effect. It’s elegant, mysterious. I enjoy how the jellyfish seems to be lazily swimming across the universe, the turtle trailing gently behind it. I love the boldness of the font. It stands out. The two make together make it artistic. 

The Seafarer’s Kiss – This book cover grabbed me the moment I saw it. The flowing way the layers come through, the colours of the ocean and the mermaid’s tale, while the viking maiden knees on the ice overlooking the depth, adds a dimensional trait we normally don’t see on book covers. This is pure talent on whoever came up with this cover. The way it’s all set inside the frame makes me feel like I’ve already opened the book which adds to the allure. The tentacle adds a classical touch to the feeling. I love old school illustrations, and it reminded me of how the Norse mythology depictions were drawn.

The Bone Witch – The prominent purple colour with the overplayed gold elegant design is gorgeous. I love it. I adore purple, but that’s besides the point. The to colours together, with the female character adds an enchanting mystical air about it. The skull in the middle separating the title and the author’s name adds a hint of danger. I’m in love with this cover. It’s so gorgeous. I simply must have it in my collection. 


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To Kill A Mockingbird Silhouettes on a cover? Yes, please! Black and white cover is very classy, on a very classic classic! (Ha.) It’s even better that this is my favourite classical book! Scout looking up to the title in the tree makes me think if they did it this way, drawing a parallel that Scout is always looking at how something bigger than her is going on – the racism and the entire court process that’s going on in the book. My favourite cover edition of this book, by far!

The Book of Atrix Wolfe -A beautiful lady laying in slumber on the forest floor, with the background showing a cold’s winter day in the background. Fairytales and magic and maiden’s come to mind whenever I see this book. I love this illustration. It reminds me of the beautiful Waterhouse paintings. Waterhouse is one of my favourite artists. I love this colour because of the greenery, with the flowery strip bordering around it. 


 

What are your favourite book covers? Why do you like them? Which do you prefer, illustrations or photo’s?