Friday Face-Off: In the Jungle


It’s time again for the Friday Face-Off meme, created by Books by Proxy, with weekly topics hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.  The idea is to put up different covers for one book, and select a favorite.

This week’s theme is: None of the Jungle People like being disturbed.

With this theme, I immediately thought of a recent biography I read of Henry Stanley, African explorer of “Dr. Livingstone, I presume” fame – although, alas for disillusion, he probably didn’t really say his most famous quote.  That was part of the fascination of the biography though, exploring how and why Stanley fictionalized parts of his very extraordinary life.  Much of the excitement took place in the jungles, and while some were friendly, many were not.  There are only a few different covers for the book.

As a cover study I find this rather interesting, in that all three covers did variations on design using the same image.  It’s interesting to see how different things can be done with the same base.  My favorite is the first one.  It’s the easiest title to read, and I like how it focuses in on Stanley – which represents the focus of the book well!

Blog Hop: Trick-or-Treating Partners


Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is: If you went trick-or-treating with your favorite book characters, who would it be?

Well, since I haven’t been trick-or-treating in about twenty years, I’m going to assume that this question also includes an appropriate age adjustment in the imaginary scenario, and go from there!  With that, I would definitely have to say that pretty much any of L. M. Montgomery’s characters would be brilliant to trick-or-treat with.

I can’t think that any of them ever did in any of her books (maybe it wasn’t so much a Canadian thing?  A time period thing?  Or it just didn’t make much sense in a rural community with widely-spread farmhouses?) but if we also assume a world where that’s happening and the geography makes sense…I feel pretty sure that her heroines, particularly Anne and Emily, would spend weeks before Halloween coming up with and creating elaborate home-made costumes, probably based on literary or historical characters, and then get very into the role-playing on Halloween night.  And that sounds like quite a lot of fun!

Who would you choose to trick-or-treat with?  Does it make a lot of sense, or do you have to make some assumptions? 😉

The Phantom of the Opera Reading and Viewing Challenge – 3rd Update

Fall is in the air, shadows are getting longer (better for lurking Opera Ghosts), and it’s time to check in about our Phantom of the Opera experiences so far this year!

I started the year off with rereading Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera.  I more recently watched Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to his Phantom play.  It stirred up a lot of feelings, so I posted a video review if you’d like to check it out (spoiler: I’m not a fan).

I’m still aiming for the Lon Chaney Level of the challenge, by reading one book, watching one filmed play and, still to be done, watching one movie.  Haven’t decided which movie yet!

My main Phantom focus lately has been on putting my own Guardian of the Opera series out – Books 1 and 2 are already available, and Book 3 just went up for pre-order last week.  Any of them, of course, qualify for this challenge. 🙂

That covers my recent Phantom adventures – now I want to hear about yours! If you’d like a refresher on the challenge, check out the launch post here.  And please share in a comment below.  I look forward to seeing what you’ve been exploring this year!

Cover Reveal + Pre-Order for Dawn Melody, Guardian of the Opera Book Three

If you’ve been following along for the last few months, you’ll know that I released Nocturne, Book 1 of my Guardian of the Opera trilogy in July, and Accompaniment, Book 2, in September.  And today I’m excited to announce that Dawn Melody, Book 3, will be out December 4th!  Keep scrolling down for the cover reveal – and you can already pre-order your Kindle copy.

Before we come to the cover, here’s a bit about the book…I’ll warn you ahead that it does give a bit away about the Book 2 cliffhanger!

With the Phantom of the Opera dead, Erik tries to discover what role still exists for him at the Opera Garnier—or if there is one. Sure that he can never belong in the outside world, he questions if he can still belong inside the Opera either. And also to wonder why it bothers him so much when Meg spends more and more time with the handsome Léon de Troyes.

Fighting feelings she’s sure she shouldn’t have for Erik, Meg tries to balance a friendship with him, a flirtation with Léon, and her dreams about a life beyond the corps de ballet. But even a ballerina can’t keep her balance forever, and events escalate as their fragile dance begins to fall apart. And neither Meg nor Erik suspect that Commissaire Mifroid—and Christine Daaé—may still have plans of their own.

The first book retold the events of the original Phantom story, while the second book continued the lives of the characters in the aftermath and months beyond.  The third book is when everything comes to a head, as tensions ramp up and some plotlines that have been teasing for hundreds of pages finally come together.  It’s my personal favorite of the series!

I wouldn’t recommend starting on Book 3, but you still have time before December to catch up on the story.

And now on to that cover I promised!

I love that I’ve been able to use the same model as Meg for all three covers.  We see her in a more triumphant pose here, which is appropriate as she’s been on an arc of coming into herself and her own confidence for the entire series.  The backdrop is the Grand Foyer of the Opera Garnier, which is absolutely covered in gold.

I hope you’ve been enjoying the series so far, and will order your copy of Dawn Melody!

Blog Hop: A Halloween Alternative


Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Would you consider giving out books to trick-or-treaters instead of candy?

That’s a cute idea, but I’m not sure how actually feasible it would be.  My first thought was that books, as a rule, cost much more per unit than candy, so it’s not that economically feasible.  But on the other hand, in my neighborhood it’s a busy Halloween if we get a dozen trick-or-treaters, so that may not be that much of an issue after all.

The possibly bigger trouble is that it’s impossible to predict the age, gender or interests of the kids who show up at the door, so having the right books would be a challenge.  People talk about liking “books” generically, but the truth is that pretty much everyone has a limited selection of books they actually like, and kids of different age groups are even more complicated.  While not every kid likes every type of candy, it’s much more universally appealing.

And then there’s the issue of expectations – we all know what the kids are coming to the door for, and it’s not books.  I wouldn’t really blame a kid who wasn’t happy to not get chocolate, or even assume that they don’t like books – only that they’re here looking for chocolate!

I think books could be an awesome party favor, and I give lots of books as gifts, but it makes more sense in a situation where you know more about the numbers and the identities of the recipients.  So probably not the best choice for trick-or-treaters!