books

a most irregular prophecy – it’s out

I was therefore forced to draw the only possible conclusion; I was going to be heinously murdered.

A MOST IRREGULAR PROPHECY

It started as a short story and it’s now a full-length book with a dope front cover and words and everything. If you fancy a bit of a barmy read with a Victorian, a reluctant Scribe, Unicorn-type-creatures, Portals, Propaganda, and a touch of romance? It’s here! It’s actually here!

It’s ready in paperback and ebook. (I’m particularly proud of the back cover. It has pamphlets and a hot air balloon.) Ahem. Anyway. This is a book. A book I wrote.

My feelings are the below – from this post:

But oh – if it’s a tiny bit beautiful, if it’s a little funny, if it’s moving, if it’s a wondrous adventure, if it makes you see a glimmer of something you can’t quite name, or startles you into a laugh; if it’s something that I can be pleased with then, I would like to share it with you.

this book falls into ‘startles you into a laugh’ i think. whether that be good or bad, i’m not sure

If it’s not your cup of tea – that’s perfectly fine. If you read it and have a strong opinion (positive or negative! either is alright!) do scribble a review. Or don’t. This is a free country.

Either way, please join me in being excessively gleeful that – after six years of silence – a full-length book has finally been completed. I’m so very glad to share this one with you.

books

a most irregular prophecy – front cover reveal also, unicorn poop

I’d like to announce the fact that I had an idea about unicorn manure and I ran with it. And by that I mean, I wrote a book about it. An entire book.

Behold! Here it is in all of its glory:

isn’t it DIGNIFIED?

It went like this:

MY LOGIC:

  • I like Portal fiction
  • What if the person abducted had a very mediocre destiny? That would be funny, right? Right?
  • What if … they were abducted to shovel unicorn manure? What if it’s toxic to everyone but Humans?
  • *gasp* Why, Mr Spock – I think we’re onto something

I wrote a short story about the idea (‘one moment I was washing my car, the next I was neck-deep in manure‘ reads a highly attractive line), chuckled to myself, and then put it to the side, confident that I was quite hilarious and a genius. (These are dubious facts.)

Then, a few years later, I read the short story again, chuckled to myself and thought I was quite hilarious and definitely a genius. (Again, the facts are dubious.) But I went one step further – I decided that I’d write a book on that single premise.

And so I did.

That ‘and so I did’ sounds so … simple and laid back. It was not that simple. It was not that laid back. I had to seriously consider the implications of unicorn manure. I dedicated so much time to it. (Put that epitaph on my gravestone thank you very much. Follow it up with ‘a life well lived’.)

The heroine transformed from a 21st century girl with pop culture references and poop puns into a determined Victorian woman with flame-red hair and no poop puns.

And then, of course, in the lead romantic role is Mr Sorrow who isn’t the coolest dude to ever dude … but … I like him. He’s dope. He’s cool. He’s also an alien.

It also has:

  • toxic unicorn waste (… you’re welcome, humanity)
  • a slow burn romance
  • unicorns but also not quite unicorns
  • furniture flying around (it’s ONE scene but … you know, it’s freakin’ Pulitzer winning. Ah-hem. The way I describe a table in flight? Well it could never be accused of being poetry but, well. It could never be accused of being poetry.)
  • everything going wrong
  • a Victorian heroine caught up in the middle of everything, determined to set everything to rights and then have a cup of tea like a boss.

It’s called A Most Irregular Prophecy. It’s not just about unicorn poop anymore. (Wow. What a tagline.)

“I didn’t have anything left to do except to die. I would do it nobly. With dignity. Preferably after a moving speech.”

A monstrous Natterdash is waking, the dread Wizard Tig is stalking Planet Ora, and a new Prophecy regarding their destruction has been announced. In the central role? A Human abducted from 21st century England and cast as The Foretold One.

Long time captive and full time Suffragist, Victorian Primula ‘Vi’ Ravensbourne is dragged into the mix to act as translator and Thrawk keeper. With unseen enemies, reluctant Foretold Ones, and a gift that is Most Unexpected, she’ll soon find that all is not as it seems.

Vi may want the populace to have a Voice, but one must be alive in order to speak. Can Vi help fulfil a Prophecy that is rapidly running off track, and off script?

It’s coming your way the 30th of July. That’s this year. 2021. Just so you know. (I once stayed up for a book release only to find that I’d got the wrong year.)

You can pre-order it on Kindle here and add it to your Goodreads to read list here.

books, ness rambles, ness talks about life

i am a metaphor queen, and other interesting factoids

Let me tell you about Spring – it’s brilliant. Bloomin’ brilliant. It feels like I’ve stirred awake and blinked away a soul-hibernation. (Though, you know what? I think I need to have an internet dive on hibernation. Mainly, I equate it with bears but I’d like to know the dynamics of it.)

Our lockdown is lifting – it hasn’t fully lifted yet, and there could still always be another (perish the thought!) But yesterday I went to the zoo and watched orangutans doing roly-polys and a tiger pacing in its pen.

A few weeks prior found me whizzing round country lanes and breath-taking views of a world overflowing with greens and golds and rugged red-browns.

It’s quite shocking, really – the way you can allow your world to narrow. You see, I’m always fond of saying see the extraordinary in the ordinary or look for the everyday adventures (which to be fair, when typed out, seems terribly trite but sue me, this is my blog – I can be cliché if I want to) but sometimes I forget to.

I forget to look for the good, for the quiet joys, for the adventures.

I forget, and the world feels bleaker for it. Like a grey sky is staring oppressively down at you and the future is just one long trudge of complicated paperwork and taxes and missing socks.

It’s easy to be reactive. To let inertia settle in your bones. Stagnation … heck I don’t know, to fester in your soul. It’s harder to be proactive. Or rather, it is easy to forget that we have choices, that we have free will, that we aren’t leaves on the stream of life just drifting down-

Okay. I’m sorry. It’s been awhile since I last blogged but have my metaphors always been like this? Because a) holy cow what the heck am I a poet or what and ii) ?????!!!!!!!!!!!! and 3) I don’t know whether to be ashamed or immensely proud of it.

(Both. I’ll take both.)

My point is – and I do have a point – is that we always have a choice. We can choose how we act. We can’t control others or, for example, the weather but we can choose to be kind. We can choose to wear a raincoat if the sky is looks threatening. (And to jump in a puddle if there’s no one around. Because come on – you know you want to. Shoes dry but joy stays.)

I’m attempting to choose better. I’m not always successful, but like a moth always ceaselessly fluttering towards the light of life- alright, I’ll stop with the metaphors.

A Suffragist Abroad has been renamed to A Most Irregular Prophecy – and it’s odd how unconsciously a thread of this sort of thought has seeped through into the book. Though I didn’t compare the main character to a moth.

… mainly because didn’t occur to me at the time of writing, but I suppose there’s always the next book?

happy reading / keep going … like a moth

books

good books and future-to-read books and nunneries

I’ve read about 180+ books this year. Here are some of the highlights that I’d recommend:

THE AMELIA PEABODY SERIES

Seriously. All of them. Especially The Falcon At the Portal, The Ape Who Guards The Balance, and He Shall Thunder In The Sky – it’s important to read the books before these ones because my gosh, it will hit differently. Ramses! My poor heart. Torn! Cut out of my chest! Sold on the black market to- okay, too far? Too far. (Also: RAMSES.) Oh! And The Deeds of The Disturber which is a personal favourite.

If you want to read an entire book series which sort of embodies The Mummy, with an epic heroine, her husband, son, and a cast of characters who will soon become dear friends … if you want to read about murder! humour! Egypt! Archaeology! Romance! This is the series for you.

Amelia Peabody bravely strides in where angels fear to tread, parasol brandished and steel-grey eyes flashing. She’s the sort of role-model we need.

THE ELEMENTS OF ELOQUENCE BY MARK FORSYTH

If you are a lover of words, this is a brilliant book to discover the world of rhetoric – Forsyth makes it all very delightful. I’ve hooted with laughter (YES. HOOTED. I AM USING THIS VERB) when reading this book. 10/10 would recommend. It has increased my love of language. I’m rereading it for the second time.

MEDITATIONS BY MARCUS AURELIUS

Okay. I saw this mentioned on Twitter by Russell Crowe (though I prefer to think that I discovered this in the bowels of a dusty, mystery-ridden library) and I was like hmm, that sounds interesting.

(It was interesting.)

I underlined a lot. It read like a personal diary, which in a way it was. It was like Ecclesiastes if Ecclesiastes was written by a Roman Emperor. I enjoyed it. I recommend it etc etc etc.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS BY MARIE BRENNAN

Yes. It’s like the Amelia Peabody series in a way – but instead of mummies, she studies dragons. AHHHHHH. How could you not want to read that sort of thing? I haven’t read the rest of the series but this is one I would definitely continue.


The above are a few books that I read – I read *cough* quite a few romance novels (full of melodrama! pet penguins! very realistic circumstances!) and slipped in a few comics (Batman: White Knight was pretty good though it suffered from a lack of Catwoman.)

BOOKS I WANT TO READ NEXT YEAR:

I’ve got a list. Or at least, I had one mentally. Now I’ve got this one. Life is good. Here’s the list. Or part of the list:

  • My collection of Georgette Heyer murder mysteries (‘They Found Him Dead’ which honestly is up there with Falling In Love With His Wife levels of book titling)
  • One simply entitled ‘the nunnery book’ which I’ve been reading for approximately five years or more. It’s a history of nuns and it is very fascinating. So fascinating I’ve been spacing it out for … a long, long time.
  • Rereading a few favourites – the only zombie book I own and also Nine Coaches Waiting which is peek gothic lit as far as I’m concerned.
  • Finishing off a few books I started this year (Why We Sleep and Frankenstein which really are not related in the least.)

All in all, I have 45 books listed in my cramped hand. Of course, I may disregard some quite callously, and add a few more just for larks. Why not? Reading has, as ever, been a blessing this year – I’m sure it will be the same in 2021.

What books did you enjoy in 2020 / are looking forward to reading in 2021?

books

i compose book blurbs

In lieu of using Goodreads, I keep my own reading log. It isn’t anything special – just a spiral notebook (a spiral notebook WITH UNICORNS ON THE FRONT. ah-hem), but it has my thoughts scrawled in drunken chicken scratchings. It’s very useful and stops read books getting lost, drained through the colander of my memory.

I was stuck by inspiration – what if, I thought, what if I pretended that I was either a) a famous book critic (THINK: THAT BLOKE FROM RATATOUILLE) or b) an author writing a blurb for someone, who was also HELLA hangry and in need of the loo. In DESPERATE need of the loo.

So I searched my reading log and found the below …

‘I love it but at the same time I don’t.’

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

‘BatCat (More. Screen. Time. Please)’

BATMAN: HUSH (which I read as a comic but apparently I think comics have screen time so … oh-kay then.)

‘Moved like a sluggish river in summer’s drought’

The Rain From God, by Mark Ammerman

‘Initially thought that it was mediocre and uninspiring, however, I was wrong

BOOSTER GOLD: BLUE AND GOLD

‘Contained the soul of Robin Hood’

The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley, blurbed by: a dramatic goldfish

‘A Christian acid trip’

Perelandra, by C S Lewis

I’m afraid that I amuse myself greatly. Have you read any of these? How would YOU blurb them?

happy reading!