Erasmus shakes his head at me and tells me I've taken terrible liberties with his beloved Rare Books Department. (I have and I'll try to be sorry about that at some point.) It's only fair that I set a few things straight. So to speak.
The Rare Books Department is an actual place in the main branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, located on Vine Street. Also called the Parkway Central branch, since its right there, visible when you're on the Parkway. Rare Books is on the third floor and it really does have a glass-door entrance with gold lettering and it really does house the stuffed and mounted body of Grip, Charles Dicken's talking raven, in a glass case. As an aside, Grip is said to be the inspiration for the raven in Edgar Allen Poe's poem. Maybe? But the neon raven in Offbeat Crimes is called Edgar for the poet, so there's some kind of completed circle there.
While the staff in Rare Books takes great care for their collection, I've probably understated their public outreach efforts in the stories. The department is there, as its web page states, to serve the people of Philadelphia, as well as the students, scholars, and researchers who use its collections. Daily tours, exhibitions, and classes help to open the department’s collections to a wider public.
You can visit for tours Monday through Saturday, starting at 11am. You can make appointments for research in the reading room Monday through Friday. You can see the Elkins room, which was given to the library by William Elkins, who not only donated his books, but his actual library.
And, yes, they really do have an outstanding collection of Beatrix Potter illustrations and sketches with, I'm sure, an expert in her work whom I so ungraciously shoved aside to give the job to Erasmus. I very much doubt that they have locked cabinets of spell books, but how would I know? Maybe it's in the back somewhere.
They do plenty of special exhibitions as well. The current one as of this writing is "Big and Small, Books For All," of extraordinary books selected for their extreme sizes and unusual shapes, which runs until March 2018.
It's such an unusual and wonderful place, I couldn't possibly have made it up. For more information, please see their web page and go visit when you can.
OK - so I'm not quite there yet. I'd hoped to have the next Brandywine story done by month end. It's close - at 48K for the word count and climbing, just not quite finished yet. Charon and Azeban's story will be completed soon, though. Then off to the beta to rip and shred. Pack Up The Moon - coming soon. :D
Next - The Holiday Stories Are Here!
Releases begin this week for A Holiday To Remember and continue until 12/30! For all the details, check the Mischief Corner Books website, where there's a lovely cover slideshow.
A Holiday To Remember
Also, All The World's An Undead Stage has gone on tour! Blog tour, that is. Look for interviews with characters you might not expect, columns from me and one original flash prequel piece. :D
My Fiction Nook - a little post on the theme of family in Offbeat Crimes
Hearts On Fire - Officer Krisk Would Like A Word
The Novel Approach - a post on who the cast should reflect the setting :)
Love Bytes - an extra special flash fiction prequel with Pecca Teecosi
Anna Butler - a post about the Walnut Lane Bridge (you'll thank me later)
Jessie G. Books - paranormal vs urban fantasy (or You Got Vampires In My UF)
What? Overdramatic? Okay. Maybe it's not quite that bad. Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate! But holiday stories ARE up for pre-order for the Holiday To Remember Collection and the first one goes live 11/29 (Watermelon Kisses.) For the full schedule, blurbs, pre-order links and pretty covers, I've done a convenient blog post here: A Holiday To Remember
And yes, I do have a holiday story this year. :D Really should make an annual thing of it. Mine's up for pre-order now, too, and will go live on December 9.
Safety Protocols For Human Holidays
Growlan Raskli serves as the security officer on an interspecies ship. It's her job to keep the peace amid a wild array of cultural and physical differences. But when senior staff ask her to investigate the new aberrant behavior of their single Human crewmember, she's at a complete loss.
Also up for pre-order and releasing everywhere, all at once, on January 2, 2018, the final installment of the Offbeat Crimes series arc. If you've been following along, this is the one in which all of your questions get answered. No. Not that one. Um, not that one either... This is the one in which the questions I'm willing to answer get answered.
All The World's An Undead Stage
Offbeat Crimes 6
(Gay Paranormal Humor)
Don't forget that Shax and the Brimstone crew launched in French this week, too! Captain Shax will be trying to impress everyone with his French all week, I'm sure.
L'équipée infernale: La Soufrière, T1
(Hell For The Company - French edition)
Shax, le prince démoniaque des Voleurs, s'est réconcilié avec son existence d'exilé. Il s'amuse comme un fou à foncer d'un bout à l'autre de la galaxie pour sa reconversion professionnelle en tant que contrebandier de patrimoines hauts de gamme. Tout baigne pour lui, merci bien.
Bon, d'accord, les vaches anti-gravité lui posent quelques problèmes et certains de ses acheteurs vont finir par lui flanquer un ulcère, mais il s'en tire très bien jusqu'au jour où il rencontre un ange blessé dans une jungle psychédélique.
La seule raison qui le pousse à porter secours au jeune homme ailé, ce sont ses ailes dorées, mais la quantité de choses qu'il ignore au sujet des anges pourrait remplir une encyclopédie intergalactique...
More or less, at any rate.
Right now, right this second:
Safety Protocols For Human Holidays is up for pre-order. Release is December 9 as part of MCB's A Holiday To Remember collection this year. Something different this year - a science fiction humor piece that's not Brimstone.
Also right now (!!)
Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists is in audio! Up on Amazon and Audible now, iTunes link coming in the next couple of days. Narrated by the marvelous (and did we mention patient?) Michael Pauley.
Poltergeists has also just received an Honorable Mention in this year's Rainbow Awards - yay!
Pre-order links goes up for All The World's An Undead Stage next Tuesday! Waaaaagh! The last book in the Offbeat Crimes series (this story arc, at any rate), concerns Erasmus and Carrington, the answers to some burning questions, and undead actors.
By the end of November
I'm determined to get to the end of Pack Up The Moon - Brandywine Investigations 5. It's looking very likely at this point.
Oh, hi! It's Thursday again. *twitches* How do the weeks keep slipping away like that?
All sorts of exciting fun things to tell you this week.
Safety Protocols For Human Holidays is up for pre-order!
Part of MIschief Corner Books "A Holiday To Remember" collection this year (and there are ten other fabulous stories), mine is a F/F science fiction humor piece, because of course it is. :D
All The World's An Undead Stage goes up for pre-order on November 21!
Book 6 in the Offbeat Crimes series, the last one in this story arc, Ras and Carrington are back to face more bad things and many of the questions you've been asking get answers.
AUDIO! 2 specifically, coming to your ears very soon.
Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists, narrated by Michael Pauley, is complete and just waiting for the gods of ACX/Audible to get the links up. Fingers crossed that it's sooner rather than later.
Potato Surprise, A Brimstone Prequel, narrated by the man of a thousand voices, Vance Bastian, recording is complete. Probably will be early December when we can get editing done and get it through ACX.
Finally, I'm NaNo-ing this year. Don't know what possessed me. (Yes, I do. But we won't talk about that.) The thinking is that if I have word count to live up to, I might finish the next Brandywine story. Fingers crossed there, too.
Got a little hairy there at the end, but All The World's An Undead Stage is now off to the editor!
*wheee* *confetti* And there was much rejoicing.
Erasmus and Carrington's second story goes up for pre-order November 21, with a release date of January 2, 2018. (Pride's changed the release schedule a bit so there will be one release date from now on rather than two - makes things a little easier.)
All The World's An Undead Stage
In this last story of the series arc, I'll answer all the questions I'm willing to answer. No, you won't get to know everything. Some characters like their privacy.
So this means once I get some administrative stuff done that I've been neglecting *ahem* I can start recovering from The Year Of Offbeat Crimes - as amazingly fun as it has been - and get back to some other things. Brandywine is on deck next.
A certain squirrel has insisted that I do NaNoWriMo this year - not so much for writing a whole new novel this month, but for the daily word count. We'll see how that goes. :D
Some weeks are quiet and some weeks are all the things!
I'm at Yaoi Con this week at the Santa Clara Hyatt Regency for Mischief Corner Books. The convention is October 6-8 and they do have day passes. The amazing Catherine Dair will be with me as our guest (and much needed pair of hands!) and will be debuting her ultra cute Pip & Skip line of plushies.
Come say hi, and pick up some books and bunnies!
Jackalopes and Woofen-Poofs: Offbeat Crimes 5 is out everywhere! Yep - in ebook and paperback. Return to the 77th Precinct as Officer Wolf and his boyfriend ACO Jason Shen have another bizarre puzzle on their hands. And Audacity, of course.
The MCB holiday event "A Holiday To Remember" is now through its submissions period. Stories will start releasing 11/29 - just in time for the holidays - and will continue throughout December. I'm pleased to say I have a story in this collection, a F/F science fiction humor holiday romance (can I get any more sub-genres in there?)
Safety Protocols For Human Holidays releases 12/9 - Join Growlan Security Officer Raskli as she tries to determine what's caused the ship's single Human to begin displaying aberrant (even for a human) behavior.
Hooray for a Friday that finally feels like fall! Today's reading is from Offbeat Crimes 5, which has it's general release next Tuesday - October 3. All the linkages below :)
Jackalopes & Woofen-Poofs
Offbeat Crimes 5
Pride Publishing (print edition)
All Animal Control Officer Jason Shen ever wanted was a quiet life of rescuing lost kittens and helping animals in need. Having a paranormal cop boyfriend guarantees an end to the quiet part. What at first seems like a random encounter with jackalopes in the park might be more than chance and when State Paranormal sends a handsome, charming vampire to consult with the Seventy-Seventh, he finds his relationship with Alex on shaky ground.
Officer Alex Wolf hoped his humaning skills were improving but now he can’t unravel the strange politics at State Paranormal or why Jason’s family seems to hate him. There’s no time to puzzle things out, either. Bizarre animals are loose in the city, Jason’s acting strange—and is the vampire captain from State flirting with him? Wolf’s going to have to keep his head in the game if he’s going to have any chance of putting the pieces together and keeping the city safe from the strange critters terrorizing its streets.
Okay. Let me see if I can remember all the things for this week. Always seem to forget something.
It's here! Jackalopes & Woofen-Poofs is available now at Pride Publishing's website for early download. If you have a favorite distributor that isn't Pride Publishing, the book is up for pre-order all of those places but you'll have to wait until October 3 - not so long now!
Prepare for hoax animals galore, Alex Wolf, Jason Shen, Audacity (of course), all the officers and entities of the 77th and some fun new characters. :)
Stuff happening right this moment? I'm taking a short break from novel writing and working on a holiday short story for Mischief Corner Book's A Holiday To Remember collection for this year. Yes, it will be SF and it will be (probably) a standalone story. It will also be a F/F story since MCB is accepting all queer pairings this year - yay! And that's all I'm telling you. Ha.
Angel writes (mostly) Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head, she has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.