Meniscus: Oral Traditions … available on Amazon!

I am pleased to announce, the next book in the Meniscus Science Fiction Series, Meniscus: Oral Traditions is now available for order in paperback here.  It will be available in e-book format within a few days.

Oral Traditions cover blue (4)

Meniscus: Oral Traditions is a stand alone book, fitting within the story of the Humans on planet Meniscus but introducing new characters as they learn to live in the shadow of the Dock-winders.

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Meniscus: Oral Traditions

Margaret, with her Masters Degree in Chemistry, works at a call centre. Her days are uneventful, answering the questions of pet owners and walking along the river with her dog Winston each evening.

Then everything changes.

One minute she is explaining to a call centre customer how to convince her labradoodle to swallow its medication.

And the next, her hair has grown four inches and she is in the streets of an alien city, surrounded by unfamiliar spaces, water that climbs and aliens with skin like green gelatin.

In the next weeks, Tagret (no one will use her proper name) learns about her new home on Meniscus and meets one of the Slain, Human males who have been genetically modified by the Dock-winder aliens. Rist is like no other Slain. He is strong and has a Slain’s special weaponry and abilities, but he also sings and jokes and makes Tagret feel safe on this alien planet.

Together they set off on an adventure that will put Tagret’s chemistry knowledge to use.

But Rist has a secret. He has taken a vow . . .

Rist and Tagret foreground

For those of you who live nearby, I will have copies of Oral Traditions by May 30 or earlier. After that, they will be available from me directly or from Westminster Books in Fredericton.

So happy to be able to share this story with you! As author, my favorite to date!

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All my best,

Alexandra

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Delay on Book Release

My optimism in February set the date for the release of my next book in the Meniscus Series at March 31. But as the month of March unfolded, I realized I had much more work to do on Meniscus: Oral Traditions:

  • completion of the cover painting
  • completion of the pencil drawings to illustrate the story
  • final edit of the story
  • final design of the book
  • time for my beta readers to read and comment on the story

I have completed some of the work. But there is still some distance to go. The new publication date is much more realistic: May 15, 2019.

In that time I will be able to complete the above steps and feel confident I have done my best work.

Setting goals is a good idea, since it gives an author something to work towards. But sometimes it is easy to set unrealistic goals and very hard to meet them.

This will give you a look at some of the drawings I have done for Meniscus: Oral Traditions:

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Rist and Tagret foreground
‘Rist and Tagret’

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March 2019 'Rist's tattoo'paperback
Rist’s tattoo – Rist has a secret and reason for the tattoo!

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'dagger-drip'paperback.jpg
Dagger-drip, a poisonous plant featured in the story

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All my best!

Jane

 

 

coming soon – Meniscus: Oral Traditions

Coming March 2019 – the sixth book in the Meniscus Series. The setting is the planet Meniscus, but in this book, we meet new characters who will eventually become part of the town at Themble Hill.

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Meniscus: Oral Traditions

Margaret, with her Masters Degree in Chemistry, works at a call centre. Her days are uneventful, answering the questions of pet owners and walking along the river with her dog Winston each evening.

Then everything changes.

One minute she is explaining to a call centre customer how to convince her labradoodle to swallow its medication.

And the next, her hair has grown four inches and she is in the streets of an alien city, surrounded by unfamiliar spaces, water that climbs and aliens with skin like green gelatin.

In the next weeks, Tagret (no one will use her proper name) learns about her new home on Meniscus and meets one of the Slain, Human males who have been genetically modified by the Dock-winder aliens. Rist is like no other Slain. He is strong and has a Slain’s special weaponry and abilities, but he also sings and jokes and makes Tagret feel safe on this alien planet.

Together they set off on an adventure that will put Tagret’s chemistry knowledge to use.

But Rist has a secret. He has taken a vow . . .

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Meniscus: Oral Traditions will be available March 31, 2019 !

Rist and Tagret foreground

I hope you will like this new story about Humans on an alien planet!

All my best,

Alexandra

 

 

 

 

 

Review: S. C. Eston, The Conclave

If you love the fantasy genre, revel in stories of mystic deeds and enjoy the verbal sparring of well-crafted characters, you will like reading The Conclave by S. C. Eston (2018). I recently attended a reading by the author; I was introduced to his writing when I won his first book Burden of the Protector at an Odd Sundays book draw a couple of years ago. As the writer explains, the characters, setting and plot for the book The Conclave are based on his years of participating in Dungeons and Dragons role playing.

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Set in the fantasy World of Arvelas, the book tells the story of a gathering of wizards, warriors and heroes. The purpose of their secret meeting is to discover who betrayed them all in a recent struggle for power.

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At first I wondered if a story based mostly on dialogue could engage a reader and provide the tension required for a satisfying read. The tale did not disappoint, however, as fragments of background were woven with brisk dialogue to create a compelling tale of rivalry, power and betrayal.

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Although the book focusses on dialogue rather than action, the possible loyalties of the characters and the mingling of friends and former foes keep the tension high. My favourite characters are Theodoric (the Writer) and Hebsibia (the Wizzard), probably because they have lost their former powers and are, as a result, more vulnerable.

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The Conclave includes Appendices to help the reader better understand the World of Arvelas. I particularly like the Calendar of months used in Arvelas; consider ‘the Deluge’, the first month of Fall! The Conclave is illustrated by Kirk Shannon. The charming black and white drawings are perfect for the genre, reminiscent of old style engravings.

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My reading of The Conclave has inspired me to reread S. C. Eston’s earlier book The Burden of the Protector and to look forward to others by the same author.

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Enjoy your reading!

Alexandra (a.k.a. Jane)

marble Earth

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I grew up in a household of teachers. They taught me the history and pre-history of the earth. My mom was my teacher in grade five and taught me about the explorers those who believed the earth was a sphere. She used to tell me to look out of the plane when I flew, see the curvature of the earth.

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My father was my teacher in grade seven and taught me why the northern hemisphere is cold in winter. Again, all about the curvature of the earth.

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walking among the stars crop (2)

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curvature of the earth

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round of roiling sun

hovers above water

sits on bowed horizon

plunges into flat pan

of ocean sizzle

fired rock in a birch bark

stewing pot

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hands form

around a ball

of rising bread

a packing of snow

fast-beating heart

of a baby bird

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we have seen

the other side

know earth

as marble

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All my best,

Alexandra (a.k.a. Jane)

New Book in the Series: Karst Topography

Only a few days to go before the fifth book in the Meniscus Series is published … October 15, 2018 !

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Review of Meniscus: Crossing The Churn, first book in the series:

I have never read a book that uses so few words to inspire so much emotion …

only 139 pages long, with each page holding 100 words or less per page … You will be amazed at how potent her words are!

I give this 5 stars for its power, its uniqueness, the fabulous graphics, and a terrific story.

Liza O’Connor, The Multiverses of Liza O’Connor

The Series follows the adventures of a group of Humans on the alien Planet of Meniscus. On Meniscus, Humans live in bondage and are not allowed to build relationships with one another. When a small group escapes the over-lords, they work together to build a new community, battling the elements, local wild life and dangerous aliens. Meniscus is the story of how Humans work to overcome any hardship.

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walking among the stars crop (2).jpeg

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Meniscus: Karst Topography

After building a new town at Themble Hill, and thinking they are safe from their Dock-winder over-seers, the Human women of the town are taken by a Prell transport. The Slain return to the town from a supply run to find their women gone. They journey to Prell and use technology to locate the women and intimidation to procure their release. But Odymn is not in Prell and Daniel (one of the Slain) is convinced that she did not survive. Meanwhile, back in Themble Hill, Odymn struggles with her injuries and worries she has lost Daniel forever. Gradually she recovers from her injuries, uses her skill at parkour to recover her strength and mobility and learns more about the strange place they have chosen to settle. Eventually she learns about the rescue mission and determines to follow and find Daniel.

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cover trial.jpg

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Meniscus: Karst Topography will be available October 15, 2018. There is still time to catch up on the Series. The books are written as narrative poetry, 10-20,000 words and each a quick read! A love story with lots of action and adventure. Edited by Lee Thompson.

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Meniscus: Crossing the Churn A woman on a dystopian planet wants freedom and discovers that sometimes fate returns you to where you began; the story of the meeting of Odymn and the Slain, Daniel.

Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days  When Daniel is injured, Odymn and a furry Argenop work to return him to health; the story of how Odymn’s past trauma may get in the way of her romance with the Slain.

Meniscus: South from Sintha Daniel tries to right the wrongs he has done and learns he must bear the consequences of his actions; the story of how the Slain returns six of his contracts to their homes.

Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb A group of people try to build the first human community on a dystopian planet and discover that their former masters have found a way to follow them; story of Odymn and Daniel’s first winter together on Meniscus and how they help six survivors of a transport crash.

Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill A group of people try to overcome the hardships of living together in the first human community on a dystopian planet; the story of what happens when parkour-loving Odymn breaks a leg.

Meniscus: Karst Topography A group of the Slain go on a mission to rescue the woman of Themble Hill; the story of how Daniel and Odymn deal with separation.

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All my best

Alexandra (a.k.a. Jane)

 

World Building: Phases of the moon

I love the night sky. A lot of the scenes in my Meniscus stories happen at night, so I often mention the appearance of the moons (there are two moons on Meniscus). When I am revising/editing, this means I have to keep track of the days (sun-reels) that have passed and what phase the moon is in.

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xolar system
Here it is, planet Meniscus, second rock from the suns!

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To keep track of the phases of my Meniscus moons (called Cardoth grill’en and Cardoth roe) I have prepared a guide to phases of the moon. Warning, these phases are not the same as the progression of phases of Earth’s moon. For example, the moons on Meniscus move differently and so the waxing and waning occur in a different order (on Earth, the moon starts with the new moon waxing [growing] to a sickle moon as a left facing bracket and ends with the waning sickle moon as a right facing bracket; on Meniscus, the waxing and waning slivers are right and left-facing).

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Numbers on my moon chart stand for the number of days passing.

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Diagram of Earth’s Moon Phases:

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Moon_Phase_Diagram_for_Simple_English_Wikipedia

(Source: By Andonee – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38635547 )

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People have been drawing the phases of the moon for centuries. Here are some of Galileo Galilei’s sketches of the moon:

moon drawings.png

Source: The phases of the Moon’, drawing by Galileo Galilei, 1616, courtesy of https://commons.wikimedia.org

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For any world building, I find tables to be very helpful during the editing phase. A Chapter by Chapter record of settings, actions, point of view, characters, passage of time,  moon phases … status of water supplies, state of healing, or anything else pertinent to the story can help resolve issues and prevent reader confusion/frustration.

An example of a simple table from part of one of my stories:

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Ch Setting Action Point of View Characters Day # Moon Phase
42 Limestone caves in The Fault Odymn runs to build her muscle and finds Rafters Odymn Odymn Day 26 waning gibbous moon
43 City of Prell Slain tells others he is leaving for north Slain Daniel, Belnar, Vicki, Madoline, Kathryn Day 27
44 Themble Woods Odymn starts her program of parkour Odymn Odymn Day 31 waning quarter moon
45 Village of Themble Hill Belnar and Vicki arrive at Themble Hill Odymn Odymn Day 32

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cropped-scan_20170508.jpg

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All my best,

Alexandra (a.k.a. Jane)