Isabella Swan, under the pseudonym "I.S. Carnelian", went back to the World Ice Art Championships. She created a stunning sculpture to celebrate the moment she met Edward and the bridge where their paths crossed.

Carnelian and Ice (complete): "A man struggling to escape from the darkness, and a woman who thinks she doesn't deserve the light. How will an ice sculpture affect their lives?" AU with vampires.

The lovely SatinCoveredSteel visited the Ice Park in Fairbanks (Alaska) and took a picture of Bella's sculpture.


Thanks to SatinCoveredSteel

If you haven't read the story yet, remember that reviewers get a little gift. ;-)

- Raum


When I was writing Snare (now complete!), I wanted something different than Canon sparkly vamps. Instead of glittery diamond dust, I thought about steel as a way to show how Edward looks under direct sunlight.

This is the way Edward looks (chapter 27):

As the sun hit his skin, it reflected the light, as if his body had been molded from smooth steel. [...] Had it not been for his gaze, [...] he would have been the most beautiful statue...

The lovely Montara created and sent me some pictures of Steelward.

Pictures by Montara (Thank you!!!)

I used the pictures to create a blinkie:


Here's another picture: Steelward on a rock (without his clothes):


Choosing a Point of View (POV) for your story is one of the most important decisions you have to make. 

I hope the following chart will help you. It's also a good tool to examine other writers' stories. 

Happy Writing!

- Raum


Since 2000, Brian Sweany has been the Director of Acquisitions for Recorded Books, one of the world’s largest audiobook publishers. Brian has a BS in English from Eastern Michigan University, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1995. Making Out with Blowfish is the sequel to his debut novel, Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer. For more details, check out the author’s website at: www.briansweany.com.

1. Making Out With Blowfish is about midlife crisis and tragedy. Did you use your own experiences to inspire your writing? 

Much of my first book, Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer, was inspired and informed by my own teen hijinks. There was a shameless precociousness to my cast of characters. They were vain, self-absorbed, and melodramatic. In other words, they were teenagers. In the second book, we see these characters not as prom royalty or captains of their sports teams, but as mothers and wives, husbands and fathers. Their mistakes matter more. Their impulsiveness hurts people. Curfews are replaced by accountability. I tried to take cues from the book Little Children by Tom Perotta, which in turn was inspired by Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary. Suburbia rendered as art, as a familiar but uncomfortable canvas for humanity. Not that my protagonist, Hank Fitzpatrick, doesn’t do his best to rage against the dying of the light. Rest assured he continues to struggle with a serious case of arrested development. But then again, if our 30s and 40s were so awesome, we wouldn't call it a midlife crisis.   Much like the first book, I tried to take cues from my own experiences. I'm in my early 40s now, married almost 19 years, with a beautiful wife and three great kids. That being said, my wife and I don't spend our days drinking champagne, popping bonbons in each other's mouths, and toasting to our evolved awesomeness. Couplehood, parenthood and adulthood can all be just as frustrating as childhood, if not more so. Only now, we don't have any excuses. We have all the tools, and yet we still screw up. That's what really sucks. But it's the struggle and the occasional ugliness that makes the joy and the beauty so much more fulfilling. If you can filter out all the white noise on any given day and tell yourself that there's no place you'd rather be than where you are, you and hopefully everyone around you are going to be okay. 

2. You have worked in publishing for quite some time, what is your publishing world like? How has working in the publishing world helped you to be an author? 

For the last 15 years, I’ve worked as Director of Acquisitions for Recorded Books, one of the world’s largest audiobooks publishers, and before that as a book editor right out of college. It’s been an interesting business, especially more recently with the evolution of digital technology. E-books and e-audio have changed the game, changed the rules. 
Gone is the bookstore on every corner, and in its place is the “Buy Now” button. It’s the golden age of the impulse buyer. Five years ago, your average reader would never walk out of a Barnes & Noble or Borders (RIP) with 10 books under her arm. Last month, I looked at my credit card bill and saw ten Kindle purchases I don’t even remember making. It’s a double-edged sword; at no point in the history of publishing have more readers had more access to more books, and yet you could argue that because of this accessibility, at no point in the history of publishing has it been harder for an author to make a living wage. 
My work has allowed me to gauge reading tastes in the general public and given me access to the eyes and ears of editors, agents and authors at the highest level, but the most fundamental way it’s helped me is through reading. For me, it’s a compulsory activity. I don’t have the option not to read books. In any given week, I review maybe 15-20 manuscripts for recordability and commercial appeal. I’ve heard some writers say that they don’t like to read other people’s work because they feel it taints their voice or unduly influences their writing style. I’m here to tell you that those writers are idiots. 
To quote Stephen King, “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” 

3. Making Out With Blowfish reference music and pop-culture, discuss the music and pop-culture form your teens-thirties. What influenced you the most? 

I will say the music and pop culture references are not quite as pervasive in the second book as they are the first book, and that was by design. When you’re in your teens, seemingly everything you do is some kind of milestone, some kind of best-ever or worst-ever moment that raises you up or knocks you down. And invariably, there’s a song or pop culture event you associate with those moments. 
To this day, when I hear a certain song, I get a little lightheaded and swear I can smell my high school sweetheart's perfume. While these moments still exist as you get older, they’re fewer and farther between. If being young is about emotionally investing yourself too much in even the most mundane of moments, getting older is about chronically taking what matters most for granted. As for what influenced me, I’m like any Generation X’er. 
My influences changed as society changed. When the optimism and debauchery of the 80s faded into the rearview mirror, our rockers put away their hairspray and spandex and replaced it with facial hair and flannel. The Sunset Strip deferred to Seattle. The unbridled cockiness of “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” became the fearful, post-AIDs acclamation, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” This transformation spoke to me, and I think we see the characters in Making Out with Blowfish acting as microcosms of these changes. 
Beth, Hank’s wife, is more serious and somber in this new book. And much of the time it’s not by choice, it’s because Hank is too afraid to take the wheel. Too afraid to be the patriarch the world has wanted him to be since midway through the first book, and way too excited whenever he hears an 80s hairband song come on the radio. 

Thanks, Brian!

Making Out With Blowfish  
Brian Sweany  

Release Date: 6th March 2014
Available from AmazonKoboBarnes and Noble, and TWCS PH


This is the part in our hero’s story where he looks back and reflects upon the man he is today, but the truth is I’m still searching for him. I am still lost. Not the guy who thought I had found my way out of the wilderness . . . not the guy I wanted to become.

When we last saw Hank Fitzpatrick in Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer, he seemed to be finally figuring things out. He had a girlfriend. He had a life. But his secrets were yet to be discovered, his demons yet to be exorcised, and soon he would have no choice but to face them both. Gone is the boy we came to love, replaced by a man we struggle to like. Welcome back to Empire Ridge. Making Out with Blowfish is fear and loathing in the suburbs as told in Brian Sweany’s uniquely uninhibited voice.

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Author Bio:
Since 2000, Brian Sweany has been the Director of Acquisitions for Recorded Books, one of the world’s largest audiobook publishers. Prior to that he edited cookbooks and computer manuals and claims to have saved a major pharmaceutical company from being crippled by the Y2K bug. Brian has a BS in English from Eastern Michigan University, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1995. He's a retired semiprofessional student, with stopovers at: Wabash College, the all-male school that reputedly fired Ezra Pound from its faculty for having sex with a prostitute; Marian University, the former all-female school founded by Franciscan nuns that, if you don't count Brian's expulsion, has fired no one of consequence and is relatively prostitute-free; and Indiana University via a high school honors course he has no recollection of ever attending.
Brian has penned several articles for EverydayHealth.com about his real-life struggles to overcome sexual abuse as a young boy. Making Out with Blowfish is the sequel to his debut novel, Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer, and both books draw inspiration from this experience.
Brian has spent most of his life in the Midwest and now lives near Indianapolis with his wife, three kids, and two rescue dogs. For more details, check out the author’s website at: www.briansweany.com.  

Connect with Brian Sweany on: 
Other novels by Brian Sweany:


Snare (now complete!) has been reviewed by Camilla for Ficsisters.com. If you don't know The International House of Fanfic, you should pay it a visit right now! Many great recs are waiting for you over there.

 I've authored a review for The Fleeting Moment, Camilla's current work in progress.

Enjoy the weekend!

- Raum 


Lissa Bryan is the author of Under These Restless Skies. She's kindly accepted to share with us her experience about writing this historical novel.

Writing About Anne Boleyn, by Lissa Bryan

I’ve always been fascinated by the Tudor era, especially by Anne Boleyn.  She’s a woman who – quite literally – changed the world. Without her, the English Reformation would not have happened as it did, and, of course, there would have been no Elizabeth to face down the Spanish Armada, and no Virgin Queen to christen the little colony of Virginia.

I’ve devoured countless books about Anne Boleyn and the Tudor era— I could never get enough. But I feel Anne Boleyn is sometimes unfairly depicted. Unfortunately, most of what we “know” about Anne Boleyn comes from the reports of her enemies. On top of that, writers have tended to view her through the lens of their own perception.
What I tried to do was go back to the scant records we have and try to strip away all those layers of “perception” that have been added over the years.
What we know for certain about Anne Boleyn is that she was intelligent and charming, and intensely religious. The latter tends to get lost when people are painting her as a creature of raw ambition.
I wanted to show a more human Anne Boleyn, not an icon. She was a woman who changed the world, but she was a woman, with the same fears, vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and flaws as every other human.
I hope I’ve done her justice. I’ve hoped I helped reveal what a remarkable person she was. I confess, I’ve wondered what she would think of it. l think she would laugh and tell me I don’t know the half of it, but I think she would also be touched that we’ve kept her memory alive down through the ages.

Thank you, Lissa!

I'm sure MyReadingLounge's friends will enjoy Lissa's new novel. 

Take care!

- Raum
Magic, love, and intrigue in the court of Henry VIII. Let's talk about this new novel.

Under These Restless Skies
Lissa Bryan

Available from AmazonKoboBarnes and Noble, and TWCS

Will Somers has always thought himself unlovable. When he encounters a creature of myth and magic, he seizes the chance to finally have a wife and family of his own. Emma is a selkie—one of the immortal fae-folk of the sea—bound to Will by the magic of her kind, and eager to learn about life on land. She has to learn to adapt quickly to human customs, because Will is headed for the court of Henry VIII, to serve as the king’s fool. It’s a glittering, dangerous world, where a careless word can lead to the scaffold and the smallest of gestures is loaded with political implications. Anne Boleyn is charmed by Emma’s naïveté and soothing selkie magic and wants Emma for her own fool. Can Will protect his newfound love from the dangers that lurk in every shadow? Circa regna tonat: around the throne, the thunder rolls.


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Author Bio:
Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medallist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist, who recently discovered the cure for athlete’s foot...though only in her head. Real life isn’t so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing. 
Connect with Lissa Bryan on: 
Facebook, Twitter, Blog and Goodreads

Other novels by Lissa Bryan

Short stories by Lissa Bryan

Coming soon: The Land of the Shadow 


“The act of reading is a partnership. The author builds the house, but the reader makes it a home.” ― Jodi Picoult, Between the Lines

Happy reading!


They say that everything comes to an end...
I hope you'll enjoy the Epilogue: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8955111/32/

Camilla's short poem (SatinCoveredSteel helped to translate it):

Qui finisce l'avventura
del profiler testa dura.
Col vampiro, con sua figlia,
immortale fan famiglia.

It’s the end of the adventure
of the stubborn profiler.
With the vampire and his daughter, now reborn,
an immortal family they will form.

Reviewers get a little gift
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