After three weeks of book tour and appearances its not surprising I’m fighting off a cold. Melbourne Supanova was wonderful though, and made better by the fact I got to spend some time with my twin, Isobelle Carmody, who I hardly ever see. Isobelle is my kind of people in every way and I hope to have her back in Australia full time one day. I’m waiting on some Supanova pics to come through, especially the one of me with Aaron, who was wearing the biggest Fro in the history of Fros!

IMT, here is a round up of stuff. Burn Bright continues to get most gratifying reviews, which I am accumulating over here. I’ve also just done an interview with YA Concoction, and She Who is Know as Jess, and Eleusinian Mysteries are doing Burn Bright And giveaways of their own volition. Many thanks guys! And Missie at The Unread Reader has included Burn Bright in her YA Aussie Book Tour.

A lovely in depth review of Glitter Rose popped up this week too. The book is available currently for a discount, as we attend conventions. If you’d like to pick up a copy for $25 AUD, you can email me through this website’s contact form.

I received my copy of Apocalypse in Australian Fiction and Film by Roslyn Weaver this week and it’s so terribly cool to see the chapter on Parrish Plessis. I can’t wait to read it.

What else? Laura Anne Gilman is going to be guest blogging soon, so am looking forward to that. And there’ll be some more Super Creatives upcoming.

Finally, I’d like to announce the winner of the Ilona Andrews book set. Evening Green is the winner with this post on The Moment of Gratuitous Coolness:

I think a favorite moment of gratuitous coolness of mine would be in “Ronia the Robber’s Daughter” which I read as a child, when Ronia’s friend (who is the son of the rivaling band of robber’s chief) is held prisoner by her own people and she ensures his safety by jumping over an abyss to be captured by her family’s enemies who then can exchange her for him and both go free. I still remember this scene vividly and I think it will stick with me for a long time.

**Evening Green could you please send your postal details to me through the website’s contact form and I’ll pass them on to Ilona.

The Moment of Gratuitous Coolness

When I was a teenager, I inhaled the works of Alexander Dumas, one of which was  MARGUERITE DE VALOIS.  The story centers around King Henry of Navarre, a protestant, and his unwilling wife, Marguerite.  Henry rules Navarre, a large province, and is technically a king in his own right, but he owes his allegiance to France.  Unfortunately he is trapped at the French court at the time of St. Valentine’s day massacre, during which Catholics mass-murdered French protestants.

Henry’s wife, Marguerite, is a part of a large Catholic family that rules France.  She is the daughter of Catherine de Medici and sister to Charles, the monarch of France.  Catherine de Medici deeply hates Henry, both because he is a Protestant and because of some past business with his mother and she is continuously scheming to murder him somehow, in such a way as to not cause a war with the powerful province of Navarre.  Catherine de Medici is a deeply evil character.  She poisons, she schemes, she uses her children as pawns.  She is this unstoppable malevolent force and she stalks the palace like a panther waiting to pounce.

In the novel, Henry and Marguerite are married against their wishes.  They do not consummate the marriage, but out of sheer self-defense, they form a secret political alliance with each other.  Henry is seduced by Madame de Sauve, one of Catherine’s maids of honor.  He makes nightly pilgrimages to her bedroom.  One night, Marguerite sends him a note asking him to come to her bedroom instead of that of his mistress.  Henry arrives in her bedchamber, where they discuss strategy, but before they can get anywhere, they receive word that Catherine de Medici has left her rooms and is heading to Marguerite’s chamber.  Quickly Henry strips and dives into the bed, behind the curtains.  Marguerite cuts the laces of her gown, rips off her hair dress, and jumps into her bed next to her husband.

Catherine de Medici enters this bedchamber.  Marguerite springs out of her bed, terribly surprised, kisses her hand and bats her eye lashes.  Catherine sits down and proceeds to make her case for Henry’s demise.  She is trying to blatantly manipulate Marguerite in helping her destroy Henry, arguing that he is obviously not suited to be the husband of the Princess of France.  Why, everyone knows that Henry and Marguerite haven’t slept together and what’s more, Henry is clearly slapping Marguerite in the face with this terrible affair with his mistress.  Catherine is simply heartsick over seeing her daughter so badly treated by that boorish ruffian.  At this point Marguerite raises her hand and says, “Shh, mother, please not so loud.” Catherine de Medici asks why she should be quiet.    Marguerite rises, pulls back the bed curtains and says, “Because you’ll wake my husband.”

Catherine looks inside and there is Henry, half dressed, his hair tousled, asleep on the bed.

Oh snap!

Catherine stands there, stares at Henry for a long minute, as if she’d seen Gorgon Medusa’s head with snakes instead of hair, and marches out of the chamber, seething.

It is a moment of pure gratuitous coolness. There were other scenes in the novel, heartbreaking, poignant, tragic, romantic, but years later this is the scene I remember best.  It is a magic instance of complete surprise, half ingenuity, half coincidence, with the stars aligning just right so the protagonists could for a moment triumph against an overpowering foe in a battle they had no chance of winning.

I love these moments.  They are my absolute favorite part of reading.  Such moments give you a little thrill and you tend to remember them forever. It’s the moment of Jessica Trent shooting Sebastian Ballister in LORD OF SCOUNDRELS.  It’s the moment that makes you go, “Ha!” and “Oh my God!”

I’d like to read about your favorite moment of gratuitous coolness.  It can be from books or movies, from any genre.  Comment on this post and one of the comment authors will get a set of signed books from our Edge Series: ON THE EDGE and BAYOU MOON.

BIO:

Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. “Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.

Very excited to report that Ilona Andrews and Gregory Frost will both be guest blogging here in the next month. I love it when we have visitors!

And some rather exciting-making reviews for Burn Bright have been coming in.

Renee at YA Book Reads says:

“… a fictional location that is entirely fresh and unprecedented in YA fantasy … everything flowed so effortlessly. Descriptions were lush, sensual and evocative, but never bogged down in superfluous detail …” Read the full review here.

And

Burn Bright is an epic and mystifying new novel from Australian writer, Marianne de Pierres. The novel is a cross between Logan’s Run, Lord of the Flies and The Beach with a healthy dose of sci-fi steampunk thrown in for good measure. It is incredible, and should most certainly be appearing on everyone’s ‘Must Read’ list for 2011!” Read the rest of ALPHA Reader’s review here.

That’s a bunch of goodies for a Friday. But coming Monday there’s more with the release of Yunyu’s song sample of Angel Arias on YouTube. We’ll also have the details of a live podcast that will bring Angel Arias fully into the world for the first time.

And lastly, I will have my Burn Bright tour details soon. A little birdy whispered in my ear that Galaxy Bookshop is on the list. That means cake with Mark Timmony!

All that remains is for me to finish my Angel Arias (bk 2). With just under three weeks to delivery, this might be the last bit of sense you get out of me for a while. Please send out search parties if I haven’t blogged by midweek!

Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 

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