If you've read Harry Potter, you remember Fawkes:
Standing on a golden perch behind the door was a decrepit-looking bird that resembled a half-plucked turkey. Harry stared at it and the bird looked balefully back, making it's gagging noise again. Harry thought it looked very ill. Its eyes were dull and, even as Harry watched, a couple more feathers fell out of its tail. Harry was just thinking that all he needed was for Dumbledore's pet bird to die while he was alone in the office with it, when the bird burst into flames.

Not a brilliant first impression, right?

But then Fawkes will show its full splendor:
A crimson bird the size of a swan had appeared, piping its weird music to the vaulted ceiling. It had a glittering golden tail as long as a peacock's and gleaming golden talons, which were gripping a ragged bundle.
My friend Sarah - SatinCoveredSteel - sent me some wonderful pictures of an ice sculpture from Fairbanks, Alaska. Don't they resemble Fawkes? Enjoy!

Would you share your favorite quotes about Fawkes? Thank you!


I've found this article, and it made me remember an important hint from the 3rd season. 

- Robb Stark: dead at the Red Wedding
- Joffrey "Baratheon": dead at the Purple Wedding

Who is the next one?

Here's a possible answer.

Meanwhile, I've finished the 1st book, A Game of Thrones, and I'm devouring the 2nd one, A Clash of Kings. The 4th season of the TV-show is currently following the second half of the 3rd book, A Storm of Swords.


- Raum 


What does Drew Evans have to say next? Find out in this forty page short story, filled with his sexy charm, unique advice and hilarious one-liners. 

Marriage: the final frontier.

Steven went first. He was kind of our test subject. Like those monkeys that NASA sent off into space in the fifties, all the while knowing they’d never make it back. And now another poor rocket is ready to launch. 

But this isn’t just any posh New York wedding. You’ve seen my friends, you’ve met our families, you know you're in for a treat. Everyone wants their wedding to be memorable. This one’s going to be un-frigging-forgettable.

Get your copy!


What have Tarzan, Casablanca, and James Bond in common? According to Michael A. Stackpole, those are three good examples of enduring characters. I'm sure that in your reading experience you've met some characters who still hold a special place in your hearts and minds. How could you create enduring characters for your readers?

The article 7 Traits of Enduring Characters will help you:

I've found this article because Shay Savage recommended it in her workshop on Project Team Beta. 

Happy writing!

- Raum 


My favourite scene in the last episode was the one with (poor) Tyrion Lannister

I think many characters in A Song of Ice and Fire are based on a (sometimes very difficult) balance between what they've been given by their life and family and what they've chosen to become. Many of them are full of hate after the humiliations and traumas they had to endure. I'm in awe of Tyrion, because he's one of the characters who have suffered most, and yet he's one of the most generous. His own family would happily sacrifice him for their own interests, while he -- a rich, intelligent, powerful nobleman -- is ready to sacrifice himself for a poor lad (Podrick) or for a prostitute (Shae). 

You can watch it here:


The second video is the promo for the upcoming episode. Just 35 seconds to help you wait until next Sunday.


Your comments are always welcome!
Tell me about your favorite scene in the last episode, or about your favorite characters. 

- Raum 


If you haven't watched the last episode (aired 4/13, 2014), "The Lion and the Rose", stop and catch up.

I've watched the last scene twice, the second time in slow motion, and I'm working on theories. I haven't read all the books yet (I'm still reading the first one), so my ideas are based only on the aired episodes.

First of all, in one of the previous episodes Pycelle said that poison is the preferred weapon of women, cravens, and eunuchs.
We have one eunuch, Varys, and a few women who were very close to the crime scene.

I've noticed that Margaery Tyrell didn't taste the pie. Joffrey clears his throat just after eating the first mouthful of pie, and only then he asks for the wine, complaining because the pie is too dry.

In her conversation with Sansa Stark, Lady Olenna Tyrell said "Killing a man at a wedding ... What sort of monster would do such a thing? As if men need more reasons to fear marriage." Those words sound so ominous after the end of the episode. While the others are still processing what's happening, Lady Olenna is the first one who yells "Help the poor boy! Idiots, help your king!" Doesn't she seem too ready to react?

What are your theories?

If you want to test other ideas and characters, this post will give you some hints


- Raum 


In the fourth sexy romance by the New York Times bestselling author of Tangled and Twisted, Drew and Kate can’t wait to tie the knot—if they can survive the pre-wedding festivities.

For most of my life, I never imagined I’d get married. But Kate did the impossible: she changed me. I think we can all agree I was pretty frigging awesome before, but now I’m even better.

The road to this day wasn’t all rainbows and boners. There were mistakes and misunderstandings worthy of a Greek tragedy. But Kate and I made it through with our inexhaustible lust, boundless admiration, and everlasting love for one another intact.

That being said, there were some unexpected incidents in Vegas last weekend that could have been a problem. It was kind of…my final test.

I know what you’re thinking—what the hell did you do this time? Relax. Let’s not judge, or call for my castration, until you’ve heard the whole story.

And hold on tight, because you’re in for a wild ride. Did you expect anything less?


If you've read Savage's stories (and if you haven't, you should), you know that angst is a very important trait of her work. Do you enjoy angst as a reader?

And as a writer, do you know the "must haves" you need to set the scene? How can you achieve balance?

Shay Savage talked about angst in a workshop on Project Team Beta. At the end of the workshop there's also a challenge.

Don't miss it!

Happy writing,

- Raum


If you've watched the first three seasons of Game of Thrones and if you want an unconventional recap, you can't miss this video:

From fiction's most notorious serial killer...
A bookmark for every death...

Find our why the authors of this Honest Trailer are calling the show "the most perfect mix of history, D&D, and p0rn ever made."


Your comments are always welcome!

- Raum


Do you follow Game of Thrones? I fell in love with that show last fall, thanks to Camilla's rec. 
As Serena Davies pointed out in her review, it "gives you everything from dragons and deadly zombie-like creatures to high level politicking". 

Are you reading the books as well? I'm currently reading the first (huge) novel.

Here's one of the most poignant moments from last episode:

Tyrion Lannister: The king is very grateful that you traveled all this way for his wedding.
Oberyn Martell: Let us speak truth here. Joffrey is insulted. I am only the second son after all.
Tyrion Lannister: Well, speaking as a fellow second son, I have grown rather used to being the family insult. [Oberyn chuckles] Why did you come to King's Landing, Prince Oberyn?
Oberyn Martell: I was invited to the royal wedding.
Tyrion Lannister: I thought we were speaking truth.
Oberyn Martell: The last time I was in the capital was many years ago. Another wedding. My sister Elia and Rhaegar Targaryen, the Last Dragon. My sister loved him. She bore his children. Swaddled them, rocked them, fed them at her own breast. Elia wouldn't let the wet nurse touch them. And beautiful, noble Rhaegar Targaryen left her for another woman. That started a war and the war ended right here when your father's army took the city...
Tyrion Lannister: I wasn't actually present.
Oberyn Martell: And butchered those children. My nephew and niece. Carved them up and wrapped them in Lannister cloaks. And my sister, you know what they did to her? [Tyrion doesn't answer] I'm asking you a question.
Tyrion Lannister: I've heard rumors.
Oberyn Martell: [chuckles] So have I. The one I keep hearing is that Gregor Clegane the Mountain raped Elia and split her in half with his great sword.
Tyrion Lannister: I wasn't there. I don't know what happened.
Oberyn Martell: If the Mountain killed my sister, then your father gave the order. Tell your father I'm here. And tell him the Lannisters aren't the only ones who pay their debts.

What are we getting in the next episode?

Here you go:

Your comments are welcome!

 - Raum


Snare's been reviewed on Bookish Temptations!
Katiebird wrote a lovely review for my vamp story and for The Agreement by Badjujube.

You can find the complete post in this week's Fanfic Friday:


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