Wednesday, March 30, 2016

ill rainbow ~ poem

Across the wide mouth of water
Sat my beloved ready for me.
My eyes focused on his out of focus face
And knew that it was over.
The water rippled a thin oil sheen,
Casting an ill rainbow to the bottom.
I wish, therefore, it must not be real.
My lines, he told me later, consist
Of murky reeds pulled from too far.
I am too far gone to reconcile with you,
You who sits across the lake, filled

With prayers that fall below.

(Memphis Botanic Gardens, copyright 2014 - photography by Kimberly B. Richardson)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

clicking towards forever

Clean, free from tainted
horrors, in denying what has
carried me here this far.
Sleep, a chance to forget
and instead rely upon the dangers
of pain in loss. Trespassing
into my mind are thoughts of living;
finally, without any constraints
or pollutants. The time, clicking
towards forever, is looming above,
reminding all that the skin
can only last so long, and be ready
for the evolution toward Paradise.

(photograph by Kimberly B. Richardson, copyright 2014)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Space Werewolves With Romance? Yes PLEASE!

After taking several days off from a most wonderful Midsouth Con (so good seeing everyone!), I'm back in the saddle to ravage this land with my books and tea!

Or, I could just review a book instead . . . .

One thing that I love about cons is that I get to meet really awesome folks and this year's Midsouth Con was no exception. Thanks to the spacing in the dealer's room, I had a chance to meet and talk with Sela Carsen, author of several novellas and short stories that are, well, shall we say, all about some LOVIN? After talking with her on several occasions, I decided to purchase several of her works. After flying through A Wolf to Watch Over Me, I knew I had made a good choice.

Most people know that I love werewolves, which is funny because I used to read anything that had a vampire in it. Don't get me wrong; I still love my vampires, a la Trisha Baker, Anne Rice, John Hartness, and Brian Lumley. However, I have recently begun reading and writing stories involving werewolves and I have to admit - they are most fun! However, Carsen's werewolves are anything but fun. In fact, they are quite, quite dangerous.

Enter the wolf shifters from the planet Fenrir, complete with black eyes, at least seven feet in height, rapid shift to wolflike status, and little concern for humans as they make a living on the planet Earth. However, one shifter named Hakon sidUlfr, gives the humans more than just a passing glance. In fact, he is the bodyguard in hiding of a human female physicist named Lauren Ivers who is the target of an assassination plot. In the course of one day, the two are thrown together amid much chaos and bloodshed, only to find themselves at the end as more than the hunted and the protector.

Carsen tells a 41 page story well, blending in the right amounts of intrigue, science fiction, romance, and even some humour. Her voice is clear and strong as you wonder if the two will actually make it off the planet alive. The romance aspect is not fluffy and syrupy sweet but rather quite gritty that doesn't end with the two kissing in front of the setting sun. Lauren is a smart woman who is not a damsel in distress and Hakon is not the hulking beefcake with the ever so clever "shirt with rips in the right spots". A romance between a space werewolf and a human physicist? Sure, why not!

Carsen did inform me that there will be at least one more book in the Fenrir series and I all I can say is HUZZAH! In fact, when I finished reading A Wolf to Watch Over Me, I pestered her with questions. Yeah, I do get fangirl every so often. Like that time I fangirled on that astrophysicist and received a copy of her paper regarding gravitational waves and black holes. But I digress.

 If you like romance that ain't really romance with believable characters written by a strong female voice, then check out Sela Carsen.

Okay, back to ravaging the land with my tea and books . . . .


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Spider Witch Is Coming - NEW TEA BLEND

Back from an awesome road trip and seminar and I'm ready to hit the ground running . . . with a cup of tea, of course! My new blend comes from the fantastic, and sometimes horrific, mind of my friend and fellow author, J.L. Mulvihill. She is the author of the books The Lost Daughter of Easa, The Boxcar Baby, and Crossings, not to mention many short stories (her story, Sand Mermaids is in the second issue of my journal - violet windows), plus she designs costumes and hats for squirrels, is a singer, and a great joy to watch on panels. So, thanks to her awesome imagination, the new blend of Viridian Tea Company is Spider Witch Tea!

Spider Witch Tea is a delightfully sweet mix of assam tea, hawthorn berries, and anise - perfect for those nights when you feel something is watching you from the shadows. The blend, like all my others, will be available in my Etsy store, ViridianTeaCompany, IONS Geek Gallery (soon to be called Fantom Art Gallery), and hopefully at Tubby and Coo's Mid City Book Shop in New Orleans and Little Shop of Horror in Durham, North Carolina! The tea will also make its debut at Midsouth Con this weekend in Memphis! Stop by my table and pick up a bag, then visit Jen's table and buy her books!

Happy Cups and see YOU at Midsouth Con!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

~A Taste of Ethiopia in Memphis~

Four hours later and I'm still full from my lunch at Blue Nile Ethiopian Kitchen, located right here in Memphis, yet the pain is well worth it. Although I'm no restaurant critic by any means, I felt the need to talk about my experience today so that hopefully, others will visit the establishment. And, for the record for all my out of town friends: if you ever visit Memphis, I will be taking you here for lunch and/or dinner. That is a promise.

When I walked into the restaurant, the first thing I noticed was the music - Dave Brubeck's Take Five, one of my favourite jazz pieces. In fact, here is a live clip of the quartet performing that piece:

In any case, the interior of the restaurant was colourful and welcoming as I sat down and prepared myself for what would be a most delicious lunch. After ordering a cup of Ethiopian Spice Tea (I just looked up the recipe and will definitely make it!), I soon decided to try the Yebaeg Wat with a side of cabbage and collard greens. Yebaeg Wat is a lamb stew that is served with Ethiopian flatbread injera. I barely had enough time to read several pages from my book and take photos before I had my lunch in front of me.

Not many people know this, but when I first tried Ethiopian food several years ago, I initially thought that the flatbread was my napkin. Yeah, I'm real swift. Anyway. As much as I tried to use my utensils, I instead tore off pieces of the flatbread and scooped up my food with as much dignity as I could muster. However, since I was really hungry . . . . .

If you happen to visit Memphis soon or live here, you owe it to yourself to visit Blue Nile, The prices are reasonable, the food selection is quite varied, and although I've only had three of their items, I know that the rest will be just as good when I return very soon. They have takeout too!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Paint It Black with . . . . a Jawbone?

It seems that I'm on a book reviewing spree - ready for the third book review in a row?

Let's do this.

First, I want to say, as I have probably said a million times before, John Hartness is the MAN. In the years that I have known him, he has always lived up to the reputation of being a Renaissance Man, not to mention a damn good friend. In fact, it was due to a conversation that he and I had several years ago that led me to take a chance in my writing and seek a new path. Thank you for that conversation, John.

Now . . . Jimmy and Greg have returned as the geeky yet still kick ass vampires in the fourth installment of the Black Knight Chronicles, as published by Bell Bridge Books! In Paint It Black, they are given the task of researching several human jawbones. However, what seems like an ordinary murder investigation turns into a return trip to Faerieland and an introduction to the Goblin Market, the place that normals fear to tread. Yet, Jimmy and Greg along with their associates prove that they are more than up for the task of solving the mystery. Just don't eat the stew!

Hartness recently posted that his publisher extended his contract to write more in the Black Knight Chronicles; I couldn't be happier about that news, because if he keeps cranking them out, I know I'll be reading them. Okay, devouring them, but you get the idea. Every time I read Hartness' books, I can always hear his awesome voice in the background, telling it all as a more than mere witness. Yet, his writing remains fresh and tight and gives just enough for the readers without holding their hand too much. John, for the record, you really had me when you described the scene of Jimmy and Greg tied up in the Goblin Market. Grotesque and glorious! I may have said that Knight Moves was my favourite so far; I take that back. Paint It Black is my favourite in the series. I'll probably change my mind when I read In the Still of the Knight. If you like vampire books with snarky and geeky humour, not to mention that the vampires do NOT look like they came from Twilight or are named Lestat (I'm a BIG fan of Anne Rice, though), then you need to purchase the entire Black Knight Chronicles. Trust me on this one.

And now, seeing as how the title of the book is Paint It Black, I figured I would end this review with some music.

Enjoy, buy Black Knight Chronicles, and EX LIBRIS!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Victorus aut Mortis! 600th POST!

From the darkness we strike; fast and lethal, and by the time our foes can react . . . darkness there and nothing more . . . . . 

(photo taken from Pinterest)

Ever since my good friend, Local Celebrity Brian Held, and The One Who Makes Me Smile told me about the world of Warhammer 40K, I have been quite smitten with the grim dark universe. My entry into the 40K universe began with the Eldar and then later the Dark Eldar, yet I still wanted to know more. Several months ago, I applied to become a freelance author for Games Workshop and was given two writing tests. Although I did not make the cut, I still treated that time as a learning experience, especially when it came to one of the writing subjects. For you see, I was introduced to the Raven Guard, one of the many legions of the Space Marines and quite honestly, the BEST legion under the eye of the Emperor. 

In wanting to learn more about the Raven Guard, I picked up the book Sons of Corax by George Mann and dove in. Good lord. By the time I finished the book several days later, I was mentally screaming "For Corax!" and "Victorus aut Mortis!" at everything. For, as it states on the back of the book, The Raven Guard are Space Marines like no other.

While other Space Marine legions are of brutal fighting and facing the enemy head on (like the Brazen Minotaurs), the Raven Guard rely upon shadows and stealth to overcome their enemy. The collection of stories in Sons of Corax presents the Raven Guard in all their black glory as they take on immense rocs to acquire more corvia, do battle with the disciples of Nurgle (one of the chaos gods), and even assist the Brazen Minotaurs in saving their Librarian from the death planet of Kasharat. In short, the Raven Guard kick serious ass from the shadows while the Ravenspire looms from beyond in their minds. 

Mann's writing kept me engrossed from page one to the very end and I actually got mad when I reached the end of the book. As I told a friend, I had begun to form a bond with Shadow Captain Aremis Koryn as I watched him and his fellow Sons of Corax do battle with the forces of Chaos. Mann's writing was tight and filled with action, along with quite nauseating depictions of the disciples of Nurgle and other foes inflicted with plague and rot. Thanks to Mann, you can smell the rotting flesh as it looms over you in an attempt to bring you that much closer to Chaos. The collection of stories is one wild ride through Life and Death with the white skinned and black eyed Raven Guard leading the way.

Although I still consider the Dark Eldar superior in everything (yeah, I'm probably going to get a lot of flak for saying that!), the Raven Guard are a close second, if not equal in the grim darkness. 

For the glory of the Ravenspire!

For Corax!

Victorus aut Mortis!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Beware The Panther . . . .

I had the pleasure of meeting author Jay Requard at ConNooga several years ago and since then, have considered him to be a dear friend. After devouring Thief of Shadows– Manwe The Panther Volume One, published by Falstaff Books, he is now “one hell of a writer” as well as a dear friend. Thanks to Requard's mastery in storytelling and my really awesome Kindle Paperwhite, I flew through the collection of stories that have whetted my appetite for more.

Manwe is The Panther, the top of the line when it comes to the art of thievery. He will steal anything deemed possible or impossible to claim and will do it without even a second thought. He is not only agile and swift on his feet but also deadly when it comes to “removing” an obstruction in his path. The three stories, The Gem of AcitusA Light in the Dark, and By The Tears, do not disappoint as we are introduced to the life of The Panther. His world is filled with treacherous sorcerers, deities that promote endless sexual fulfillment, creatures of myth and legend thought long forgotten, and above all else, a man who lives, and surprisingly loves, by no rules (great job on writing about his love life, Jay!)

The story collection  will more than provide a reader with great action scenes in a fantasy of a Jungle/Eastern setting. The stories feel as though Requard has visited these places firsthand; the details are simply divine. Requard writes with such passion that I am happy to say that he has claimed me as a fan. If you have a Kindle and want something that will pump your blood with excitement and wonder, get a copy of Thief of Shadows today!


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Siren Is Calling - NEW TEA BLEND

(artwork by Yvonne Williams - Back To Earth Creations)

The ocean has always been a never-ending source of fascination and imagination for me. Many consider it to be the last undiscovered "wilderness" on the planet and it has been the the location of many myths and legends. Mer people, sirens that lure sailors to their watery deaths, deep sea creatures that are constantly being discovered - such is the way of the deep waters . . . .

Take a walk along a beach while watching the waves crash in and out. Suddenly, you hear a strange sound. You stop in your walk and turn towards the blue waters; just then, the noise increases in volume. You take a step forward; it sounds like . . . singing. Suddenly, you see a large rock slowly rise from the waters and on top of it is a woman dressed in white. You watch with curiosity as the beautiful woman begins to comb her long flowing hair while the waves crash all around the immense rock.

May I present to you the new blend of Viridian Tea Company - Lwa Sirene. This simple blend consisting of bai mu dan tea (white tea), dried blueberries, and juniper berries will send your senses soaring through the deep blue like a mermaid.

This tea, like all of my other blends, will be available through the Etsy store, IONS Geek Gallery,  and coming soon to Tubby and Coo's Mid-City Book Shop in New Orleans! I will also have bags of the blend at Coast Con this weekend!

Happy Cups and see you soon at Coast Con!