I know it’s been a long time between posts and if you follow my Facebook page, you will know why so I’m not going to get into it here right now. Instead, I just wanted to share a treat with you for Halloween.
The next book in the Harry Russo Diaries is in the works with a yet to be determined release date in early 2018, but I thought I would share the title and blurb with you now to celebrate Halloween, one of my favourite times of the year. Enjoy!
Dead to Me, The Harry Russo Diaries, volume 5
by Lisa Emme
LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING…
Angharad “Harry” Russo is a half-vampire witch with the power to raise the dead. No surprise that her life is not what you would call normal, but that won’t stop her from trying. So maybe she was almost disemboweled by a demon, that’s no reason for her sexy boyfriend, homicide detective Cian Nash to give her the cold shoulder, is it? One thing’s for sure, Harry’s not going to let his behaviour slide. She’ll get to the bottom of it even if it means sitting him down and tying him to a chair. But first there’s the little mystery of some damaged roses and stolen jewels to solve. Add in a flirty stranger with mysterious powers, a cat burglar and a feathered accomplice, and Harry’s off on another adventure. Unfortunately, it’s not all fun and games. When the leaders of the supernatural community go missing, the race is on to find who’s behind their abductions before it’s too late.
Cover reveal and pre-order forthcoming. Stay tuned!
Today most of North America will be plunged in at least partial darkness during the middle of the day, but thankfully the majority of us will be looking at the eclipse of the sun in awe (and wearing proper safety glasses – protect your eyes people!) rather than panicked frenzy.
Solar eclipses have caused fear, inspired curiosity, and have long been associated with myths, legends and superstitions throughout history. In some cultures, they are still considered bad omens, even today.
Of course today we know that a solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, momentarily blocking out the sun’s light. Ancient civilizations, however, understandably struggled to find an explanation as to why the sun temporarily vanished from the sky, resulting in many myths and legends behind the astronomic phenomena.
In many cultures, the legends surrounding solar eclipses involve mythical figures eating or stealing the sun. For example, in Vietnam, it was believed that a giant frog devoured the sun, while the Vikings blamed wolves. The word for eclipse in Chinese, chih or shih, actually means “to eat” and the ancients there believed a celestial dragon was to blame.
If you hear pots and pans banging together today, you might be in Korea (or your neighbours could be Korean) because in ancient times there, people believed that mythical dogs were trying to steal the sun so they banged their pots to scare the canines away.
Some cultures have a more romantic take on solar eclipses. Both Australian Aboriginals and the Tlingit people of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America, believed that the sun and the moon were a man and a woman who were in love and eclipses darkened the world when they came together in order to give them some privacy. Boom-chicka-wa-wa!
Other crazy myths associated with eclipses have to do with what happens rather than why. In Transylvanian folk tales, the dew formed during an eclipse was thought to be toxic. Even into the 19th century, some people believed that you shouldn’t breathe outdoor air during an eclipse and laundry left out to dry would be contaminated. Today a quick internet search will result in warnings about “eclipse rays” harming unborn children and people in India fasting due to their belief that food cooked during an eclipse is poisonous and unpure.
Eclipses have also played important roles in literature. Shakespeare mentioned them as bad omens in King Lear and Antony and Cleopatra, John Milton compared the fall of Satan to a solar eclipse in Paradise Lost, and Mark Twain used an eclipse as a pivotal plot point in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, when the time-traveling Yankee saves himself from execution by making a medieval court believe that he can darken the sun. Even horror writer Stephen King connected two of his novels, Gerald’s Game and Dolores Claiborne, through the solar eclipse that was visible over Maine on July 20, 1963.
Throughout recorded history, eclipses have been blamed for tragedies, wars, disease outbreaks and the deaths of prominent people. In 2009, a financial behaviourist named Gabriele Lepori even discovered that stock prices tend to fall on eclipse days.
Thankfully we are not the Aztecs, who attempted to stave off the end of the world (which they believed would be caused by an eclipse followed by an earthquake) by performing a human sacrifice once a year on the day they expected the solar eclipse. These days we don’t try and prevent eclipses, nor do we have to make up wild stories about their cause. Instead, some die-hards go to great lengths to experience them. Like Alvin Peterson, a navy photographer who spent two hours on top of a flying dirigible with his movie camera to film the eclipse over New York on Jan. 24, 1925. The most impressive and literal example of eclipse chasing occurred on June 30, 1973. Scientists who chartered a supersonic Concorde traveling at 1,250 mph over Africa managed to stay in the path of totality for 74 minutes, at least 10 times longer than anyone could ever see a total solar eclipse from the ground.
Why do people go to these extremes to see an eclipse? Ask ten people you’ll get ten different answers, but for many it’s for the sensory experience and the rare opportunity to see the solar system in motion. It’s that desire to experience the eclipse that will spur millions of people to flood parks, roads, trails and towns along the path of totality today, many traveling for hours or days and paying jacked-up hotel rates to put cardboard glasses on their faces and spend a couple of minutes staring at the sky. I guess maybe eclipses do still make us crazy.
Happy summer reading! Kobo is having a Science Fiction & Fantasy sale and all titles participating in the event are just $2.99, making it a great time to stock up for some summer reading.
Even better, Hell to Payis one of the titles included in the sale, so if you haven’t had a chance to read Harry’s most recent adventure, now is a great time to do it. Sale runs from August 1st to the 14th and is valid in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., and the U.K.
Yay! It’s almost summer. For some, that means time to slow down and relax, others, it might mean things are just ramping up to get busy. For me, it means cottage season. The cottage on Lake Winnipeg is my favourite place to relax. We have limited access to the internet out there, so I may not post very often, but don’t worry, I’m still hard at work writing book 5 in Harry’s adventures.
Summer is also a great time to read, so in honour of that, I decided to lower the price of Harry’s second book, Tooth and Claw. If you started reading Harry’s adventures in Dead and Kicking and just haven’t had a chance to get to the next book, now’s a great time to take advantage of the new low price.
I’d also like to congratulate Tina C. who won the latest gift card draw. Tina was randomly selected from all the names on my mailing list and has been sent a $25 gift card just for signing up. Remember, I will make another draw the next time I get one hundred more signups, and once you’re signed up you are automatically entered in the draw every time. If you haven’t joined the list, you can still do so by clicking Yes! SIGN ME UP back on my home page.
I became a Star Wars fan completely by accident. The summer that Star Wars arrived in theatres in my hometown, I was just a young punk, my age not even in double digits. Too young to go by myself with my friends (who were a year or two older and had less parental supervision) to see another movie that just arrived in theatres, a movie that had less than acceptable themes like smoking and sex.
No, instead I was given the choice of staying home or going to the movies with my older brother who was off to see some stupid space movie with his friends. It goes without saying that neither my brother nor I were pleased with this arrangement, but he was stuck with me, and I was stuck with Star Wars.
So there I sat in the balcony of the King’s Theatre (by myself, two rows back and several seats over from my brother and his buddies because heaven forbid he be seen with his kid sister) unaware that my mind was about to be blown.
And then the words started scrolling on the screen.
With those now famous words, I was hooked.
Raised on a steady diet of movies such as The Rescuers, Benji and Herbie Rides Again, Star Wars was like nothing I had ever seen before. It was starry vistas and barren planets with three moons. It was hyperdrive, lightsabers and robot “droids”. It was awesome. It was epic. It was good vs. evil and had freakin’ Darth Vader.
Best of all, it had Princess Leia. A princess that didn’t need to be rescued (well, she did, but then she quickly put her would-be rescuers in their place). A princess who was feisty and tough and perfectly capable of keeping up with the boys. A princess this tomboy could actually identify with. The rest, as they say, is history.
Welcome to my stop on the Pub Crawl (Blog Hop) and welcome to The Lodge. You should count yourself lucky because very few outsiders, especially norms such as yourselves, are allowed entry to the Werewolf Pack’s party headquarters.
For newcomers to my blog, I would like to invite you into the world of Harry Russo, a twenty-something witch with a peculiar affinity for the dead that gets her into all sorts of trouble.
The Lodge figures prominently in book one, Dead and Kicking, when Harry and her friends are invited to the infamous bar and, at first, it’s not quite what they expected:
But there’s a secret hidden behind the tired facade of The Lodge, which it turns out is merely a front for the real party central – the Ice House. A place where you can let your proverbial hair down and party like an animal, the Ice House has something for everyone: Cheap booze, top forty dance tunes, billiards, darts, and a clientele that just wants to party.
So, step into Harry’s world and enjoy her adventures. There are four books currently available in the series (number five is in the works). And, while you’re visiting The Lodge don’t forget to try the famous stew and to drink, I’d recommend the Blood Red Moon (recipe below).
Hell to Pay, the newest release in the Harry Russo Diaries, and all of Harry’s other adventures are available at your favourite online retailer.
Join me on the Facebook event page on April 30th for the Hangover Party. I’ll be taking over the page between 12:30pm and 1pm (EST).
You can send tweets through the rafflecopter form every day until the contest closes for extra entries. Any link you need will be posted in the description of the main image in the Facebook event. You have until May 1st to visit all of the daily stops. Hope to see you there!