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text 2021-08-20 07:47
99¢ BOOK OF THE WEEK - LOCAL RAG – News to Die For



LOCAL RAG – News to Die For


til Aug. 26 at




Do you believe everything you read in the newspapers? Jim Mitchell doesn't.


He's a journalist and the publisher and editor of a community newspaper, The Sentinel. He gave up a career with big media because he couldn't justify their choice of what to cover, couldn't tolerate the way they edited his stories and would not be implicit in misleading the public to benefit some hidden corporate agenda.


When he bought The Sentinel, he thought all that would end. Being owner of "the local rag," he could select the stories, edit the copy and make sure the interests of the community were served. He would print the truth - no slant, no bias, no spin, and he'd make a living doing it.


He was wrong.


From the beginning, Jim's brand of reportage rankles some powerful people, people who pay his bills. Then there's the new competitor, a multinational media conglomerate that's expanding its generic community newspaper format into The Sentinel's market area. Soon it's a struggle for The Sentinel to make a profit and for Jim to keep true to his uncompromising ethic.


When his best friend, Anthony Bravaro decides to run for mayor Jim hopes he'll be an honest politician. Hope turns to dismay as Jim watches the quest for power turn a good man bad. Tony's campaign tests Jim's professional objectivity and personal integrity. When Jim confronts his friend with damaging information that could end his run for public office he finds out how far Tony's prepared to go to win the mayor's seat - farther than he could ever have imagined.




- 5 STARS for having given his readers a story which pits an individual trying to do what's right when it comes to reporting the news against those who would rather keep the status quo in keeping what happens somewhere stays there.
... a dose of reality not seen on most major media. His story highlights the control over the minds of the public by special money factions. Readers have only to see similarities with today.
... engrossing and exciting story that moves quickly. The narrative comes alive because the characters are three dimensional. This is a novel well worth reading. Highly recommended.
Raglin ... grips the readers' attention from the very first page. He managed to put so many levels in this book - corruption, drugs, murder, threats, politics. Yet, there is also place for love and friendship ... he challenges his readers to get actively involved, to start asking questions and reconsidering their own life decisions.

...a well-designed, masterly written, and realistic murder mystery. (5 STARS)

Local Rag should appear to the careful reader much more than a well-designed, masterly written, and realistic murder mystery.

Local Rag is, in my opinion, a philosophical parable on the ultimate meaning of truth in our earthly lives. The last pages will clarify the individual relevance of the initial Aurelian quote in this story.
By the way, the closing image of the book is a powerful visual allegory about where humanity as a whole is heading fast, if not for a sharp change of route.
- Thomas Dalcolle, Author of Five Urban Stories - And Something Better





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text 2015-02-10 01:00
#SteampunkHands Solving the Mystery of What's Missing:


(image by Mr Xpk)


THANKS to Kevin D Steil, our Airship Ambassador, for inviting me to take part in Steampunk Hands Around the World 2015. I'm honoured to be in the company of incredible creators sharing works, thoughts, and passions within the international spectrum. At this World Tour pit stop, allow me to wax philosophical (over your preference of tea, wine, brandy, or a pensive pipe), while I get to the heart of why I like steampunk. I like to look into the past to find ourselves–especially our missing history– within LGBTQ, people of colour, or non-western cultures. Steampunk is where we can (finally!) enhance ourselves through rediscovery and take our imaginations to a new level.



This is image from: http://xdl.drexelmed.edu/item.php?object_id=2373


A memento of the Dean's reception, held Oct 10, 1885.

Anandibai Joshee graduated from Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMC) in 1886; Kei Okami graduated from WMC in 1889; Sabat Islambooly graduated from WMC in 1890.



Peering into the past through old photographs, first-hand accounts, antique possessions, and places is detective work and the anthropological hunt; we're all digging for treasures of understanding and often we trip over distressing artefacts and events. Learning history means learning how we've hurt each other, dehumanised and taken things, bodies, dignity, and identities. And along with the unseemly there are beautiful remnants of human experiences. The past can never be fully known or understood, bad or good. But what's gleaned can answer what we hadn’t known was missing from our present, and when these pieces are locked in, it’s inspiring.



This book is: Human Zoos, the Invention of the Savage, by Gilles Boëtsch and Nanette Jacomijn Snoep.



Steampunk: Solving the Mystery of What's Missing


Regarding me: being a woman and a lesbian; being an American person of colour, absorbed into the "melting pot" culture, and a person raised Buddhist, it becomes hard to find "me" in our world. I don't belong in the "old" country of my parents, nor do I want to, therefore who am I, and how do I perceive myself? Steampunk is my present answer.


I love the trappings of our Western culture and history; the clothes, places, architecture, languages, vehicles, and people. And I see myself as a strong, learned female, ready to be an exemplary example of such a culture. Past the midpoint of my life, I'm still ready. But society's mirror doesn't point in my direction, and when it does it's often disappointing, reflecting stereotype, fantasy, or myself in innocuous background roles.



Elizabeth Watasin, at Clockwork Couture for the Comics and Literature event, 2014.


In reality, I'm wrapped in the cloth of generations of human experience and our imagination. With no mirror, I create my own and visualise the best archetype I can be. This is the metaphor of steampunk, where history becomes the base to build "what if"; where seeds of change, like those I explore in the Dark Victorian series, aren’t killed but flourish. Straight, white, privileged males wrote and interpreted all our history for the Western culture. Therefore it is hard to find the accounts of the disenfranchised, the ignored, the non-English, and those who engaged in their cultures in secret.



This book is: Women in Pants, Manly Maidens, Cowgirls, and Other Renegades, by Catherine Smith and Cynthia Greig


So what to do once we identify what's missing? Arm ourselves. We find photos of Victorian people of colour, uncover 150 year old accounts of women cross-dressing or "married" to other women, rediscover historical key points where oppression can be rewritten, and make Change happen. We restore the silenced or forgotten to the world, saying: remember this? Well here we are again, new.



Metis group, Alberta (1900-1901) L-R: Agatha Garneau, Archange Garneau, Charlotte Garneau, and Placide Poirier.


From: Glenbow Museum, http://ww2.glenbow.org


I tackle the criminalisation of being lgbtq in history, undo it, re-visualise it, and create the better world needed, with pulp fiction and penny dreadful fun. But for others the improved world can be whimsical, charming, fantastic, frightening, epic, sensual, and rollicking too. Do it in music, self-identity, cosplay, fiction, blogs, crafts, fashion, games, comic books, art, design, food, and even as a lifestyle. This is the gift of steampunk.




Creating alternate history and identities may seem frivolous in light of "real world" problems, but storytelling, art, and personas are a way–like great tales, poetry, and songs–of imparting amazing, new ideas and possibilities. It is necessary to realise our potential, and it's possible 150 years from now we may be rediscovered again. The realm of steampunk is imagination taken into forgotten crevices of our many historical selves and lighting them anew.


Celebrate, have fun, and most of all, enjoy being You.





AND for the occasion of Steampunk Hands Around the World 2015, it is with great pleasure that I present an excerpt of my F/F Gothic and dark romance, Medusa: A Dark Victorian Penny Dread Vol 2, on Booktrack for you! FREE, the story is layered with a soundtrack and sound effects for your listening pleasure. Enjoy, and Steam on!



All the best, ~Elizabeth


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text 2015-02-04 19:09
STEAMPUNK Hands Around the World 2015!




Image by the gracious Mr Xpk !


Our grand pooba, Airship Ambassador sez:


"Welcome to the second year of Steampunk Hands Around the World!

Last year, we saw the breadth and depth of what our global community has to offer, and from that arose not only new friendships and connections, but also new collaborations for projects which we’ll read about this month.


This year, our month long event celebrates the theme of Steampunk: Our Playground, Our Classroom, Our Workshop, and several dozen creators will share their perspective and examples of how steampunks from around the world have fun, learn, and create."


HUZZAH (hoists tea cup). I'm late, in that the official opening of the event was this last Sunday, but I was releasing MEDUSA: A Dark Victorian Penny Dread Vol 2 at that tyme. ^v^ Since then many blogs AROUND THE WORLD have published pieces for the occasion. Here is my friend and fellow writer Suna Dasi of Steampunk India, "Ships, Clocks and Stars. A Steampunked Celebration of Longitude History".


I will also publish a blog piece called, "Steampunk: Solving the Mystery of What's Missing" on Monday (Pacific tyme), Feb 9th, AND offer chapter one of MEDUSA as a free Booktrack for all to enjoy. So watch for that release!


And you can enjoy ICE DEMON as a Booktrack in the meantime. Booktracks are books with a soundtrack and sound effects, and I like to multi-layer mine for a superb auditory experience. It's super fun and FREE to listen to, so do head over and enjoy:



Radio! It's like olde tyme radio. And MEDUSA's Booktrack is shaping up to be really fun. But back to the #SteampunkHands celebration---I hope you'll join us! :)


all the best, ~eee

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review 2014-08-11 20:38
I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister
I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister - Amélie Sarn,Y. Maudet

I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister arrived in the mail yesterday, just about a week after publication. When I had it in my hands, I did something I rarely do when a book arrives: read. Since I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister is such a short book, I decided to keep reading, thinking I might as well finish it one go. And finish it I did. I started reading at 10 p.m. and was done by 12.30 a.m. Just as well, since I pre-ordered it.


At first I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister is very unassuming. The sentence constructions are very simple, as is the vocabulary. Ordinarily, I would've dismissed the prose but in this case, I think it is very fitting. My tenth grade German teacher used to say anyone can write long stories—it's those who can write stories with few words who are the masters of language. I think I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister is a stellar example of that sentiment. Even though the language sometimes borders on simplistic, it's a very sad and impactful story.


Reading this book horrified me. Partially because I couldn't believe people can be this cruel, and partially because I know people this cruel do exist in this world. In fact, what makes I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister even more anguishing is that it's based on a real event. It is based on the case of Sohane Benziane.

She was a French girl of Algerian descent who was murdered in 2002.

(spoiler show)

That thought alone sent chills down my spine and saddened me immensely. However, it's not simply that knowledge that struck me. Amélie Sarn wrote a moving book from the perspective of Soharn, who lost her beloved sister Djelila.


I liked the contrast between Sohane and Djelila who each sought to freely express themselves and their beliefs. Even if they didn't quite agree with each other, they supported each other in a way only sisters can. I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister is about the time after Djelila's death and how Sohane comes to terms with her grief and her guilt. At the same time, I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister explores what it means to be Muslim and female in a secular society, especially in terms of outward expression.

Most journalists talk about what they do not know, about matters they don't take the trouble to understand. They adopt the clichés that suit them—take one aspect of an issue until it becomes a caricature. To them, being a Muslim man means wanting to enslave women, to deny them any rights. I can't say that this isn't reality. But it's only one reality among many—the one that is best known since it's the one that gets the most media coverage.

Sohane's voice rang through the pages. A lot of the prose is based on her train of thought. As the chapters alternate between past events and the present, a year after Djelila's death, Sohane's thoughts tend to lapse into thoughts addressing Djelila, as though she was still alive. The events mesh into each other, which to me accentuated Sohane's grief. Even though I did wish that the writing was a little bit more complex, I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister left a definitive impact on me.


This review was first published on Word Revel.

Source: wordrevel.com/i-love-i-hate-i-miss-my-sister-amelie-sarn
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text 2013-10-11 13:35
Links: Thursday, October 10th

A parody of the poster for the zombie movie 28 Days Later. A silhouette of a man pushing a baby stroller in front of a ruined London landscape. Above it in white letters against a blood red background is the title "28 Days Late" and a positive pregnancy test.

This needs to be the cover of a romance novel.


  • Pride and prejudice: Scotland’s complicated black history – Hat tip to Laura Vivanco for this link. May it breed plot bunnies.

    "Black History Month has been held annually in the US since the 1920s and in the UK from the late 80s.

    It is a celebration of the contribution that black African and Caribbean communities have made on a local level and across the world.

    Scotland’s black history is populated by interesting and important characters, many of whom had to endure prejudice and racism. But who were some of these people?"

Read more
Source: loveinthemargins.com/2013/10/10/links-thursday-october-10th
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