Shadowplay Teaser 6: Moons, Clouds, Suns, Stars

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6. Moons, Clouds, Suns, Stars

“I could list every magic trick in the book, and in intricate, infinite detail describe the reveal behind each one. And you could understand it. But that does not mean you are a magician. It means you know a few tricks. For a trick without context is only a fold of the fingers or a tuck of a prop up a sleeve.

“I could teach you how to switch objects. A clown may pass a cloth over a false bird and bring it away to show a live, cooing dove to delight a sideshow. But a charlatan soothsayer may perform the same trick using misdirection to change the sacrifice of a live crow for a dead one covered in maggots. The same trick for different purposes, with very different results in the audience.

“There is no one way to be a magician any more than there is only one way to be human.”

– The Secrets of Magic, The Great Grimwood

Interested in more? Shadowplay, the sequel to Pantomime, will be released January 7, 2014.

Pre-order links:

UK: Amazon – The Book Depository – Hive
US: Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Indiebound – Powell’s
Canada: Amazon – Indigo
Australia: BookAdda
NZ: Fishpond

Shadowplay Teaser 5: Twisting the Aces

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5. Twisting the Aces

“Twisting the Aces is the oldest magic shop in Imachara, and possibly Ellada. It began as a small stall in the marketplace, with the old fortuneteller, Fay Larch, selling amulets against the evil eye. She later diversified, selling all manner of magical apparatus.

“When attitudes toward magic shifted, her shop and wares likewise morphed. She bought the current premises and sold tricks to the early magicians of her day, from the simple cup and balls trick to the props for grand illusion. After her death, her son took over, and his child after him, and Twisting the Aces has continued for all these many years later.”

– Brochure for Twisting the Aces.

Interested in more? Shadowplay, the sequel to Pantomime, will be released January 7, 2014.

Pre-order links:

UK: Amazon – The Book Depository – Hive
US: Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Indiebound – Powell’s
Canada: Amazon – Indigo
Australia: BookAdda
NZ: Fishpond

Shadowplay Teaser 4: Penglass Peril

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4. Penglass Peril

“Most Elladans have not travelled beyond the island. Some may have gone to Girit to visit family, but very few have been to the Temnes, Linde, Kymri, or Byssia. Thus, the Archipelago must come to them in the form of entertainment circuses or magic shows, theatre or vaudeville. Of course, by nature of this entertainment, many Elladans still know very little about the native culture of each island, no matter how much they think otherwise.”

– Modern Ellada, Professor Caed Cedar, Royal Snakewood University

Interested in more? Shadowplay, the sequel to Pantomime, will be released January 7, 2014.

Pre-order links:

UK: Amazon – The Book Depository – Hive
US: Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Indiebound – Powell’s
Canada: Amazon – Indigo
Australia: BookAdda
NZ: Fishpond

Shadowplay Teaser 3: A Scream in the Dark

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3. A Scream in the Dark

“Never are we as honest as at night, alone with thoughts and nightmares.”

– Elladan proverb

Interested in more? Shadowplay, the sequel to Pantomime, will be released January 7, 2014.

Pre-order links:

UK: Amazon – The Book Depository – Hive
US: Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Indiebound – Powell’s
Canada: Amazon – Indigo
Australia: BookAdda
NZ: Fishpond

Shadowplay Teaser 2: The Séance

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2. The Séance

“Countless times, I have drawn closed the black curtains against the daylight, clasped hands with believers and cynics alike, and claimed to raise the dead. Some believe I actually bring forth ghosts, and others hold tight to their disbelief. But no matter how cynical, there is always the glimmer of fear in their eyes when the possible supernatural crowds the room with them. When the whispers fill their ears and they feel the brush of an unseen hand. Fear of the darkness, and of what they do not understand. Or perhaps it is not fear, but guilt.

“Is it ghosts that truly haunt us, or the memory of our own mistakes that we wish we could undo?”

– The unpublished memoirs of Jasper Maske: The Maske of Magic

Interested in more? Shadowplay, the sequel to Pantomime, will be released January 7, 2014.

Pre-order links:

UK: Amazon – The Book Depository – Hive
US: Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Indiebound – Powell’s
Canada: Amazon – Indigo
Australia: BookAdda
NZ: Fishpond

Shadowplay Teaser 1: The Magician

Up to and a little bit after release, I’ll be sharing the opening quotes of Shadowplay’s chapters as teasers. They give a little background info, but hopefully don’t give away any of the plot. I won’t explain them – the chapters they precede will do that well-enough in January, I hope 🙂 There are 30 in all.

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1. The Magician

“I know I have created magic to rival the greatest anyone has ever known. What I do not know is whether the price of the gamble was worth it.”

– The unpublished memoirs of Jasper Maske: The Maske of Magic

You can also read the rest of the first chapter here.

Interested in more? Shadowplay, the sequel to Pantomime, will be released January 7, 2014.

Pre-order links:

UK: Amazon – The Book Depository – Hive
US: Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Indiebound – Powell’s
Canada: Amazon – Indigo
Australia: BookAdda
NZ: Fishpond

Random Research: Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex – Alice Domurat Dreger

This was the book that changed everything for me.

I was 19 when I first came up with the idea for my novel–the world, its history, and my main character. I decided that my protagonist could be intersex. I knew next to nothing about intersex people or the difficulties many of them faced and I realised that. So I used my university’s fantastic library resource and requested this book and another (Intersex by Catherine Harper, which I’ll make an entry about some time in the future) to learn more about the subject. Now, granted, I haven’t read this book since 2007, so the review will be rather fuzzy on exact details.

Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex highlights the history of clinical management of people with DSDs. The Victorian era was when gender disorders came under medical scrutiny, and there was a fascination with “monstrous hermaphrodites.” Doctors were obsessed with discovering what someone’s “true sex” was meant to be and ensuring that the patient’s gender conformed to this perceived judgement. Before the Victorian era, those with atypical genitals were displayed, but in the 19th century, science had advanced enough that doctors felt they could “fix” them. Many people with DSDs were photographed for medical texts, their faces never visible. Dreger tells the stories of the people behind the medical photos, as much as she is able.  Herculine Barbin, for instance, who was born with male psuedohermaphroditism, suffered a tragic end.

Though rather jargon-heavy and a bit repetitive from what I remember, this was an excellent resource and opened my eyes to how people who didn’t fit the gender binary were treated in Victorian times, and it was one of the books that made me realise I had a story that I needed to tell.