Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New Site!

Go and check out my new site! Arin Rhys Online! That is where my blog is now being held.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Wereplanets: In Smoke by Crystal Jordan

Wereplanets: In Smoke by Crystal Jordan is a book that is built on a great premise with awesome world building. The plot doesn't feel rushed by its novella length. That doesn't mean that it is a book without flaws, though in spite of them, I would still give the book a C.

There are four wereplanets with mermaids, weredragons, weretigers, and werebears on separate planets. The werefolk were made from Earthan experiments so they could survive on the various planets. It takes places in a galaxy far far a way and a long time from now, but with the loss of Earth they have gaps in their fantastic yet primitive technology. The world building is awesome and the little hints of the various were cultures were fascinating. It made me want to read more in this series just for the world building.

Wereplanets is a series and in this story, Katryn is a weredragon raised on the weretiger planet who is sent back to her home planet to be mated to Lord Nadir and be apart of his harim which is really a polyamorous relationship that would include the sexy Tarkesh. That is where the story breaks down. This plot should have enough conflict thrown in its way, but Jordan resorts to big misunderstandings to advance the plot.

Katryn is thickheaded like few characters outside of the Anita Blake series. Katryn is described as being intelligent, but there are few examples of that trait.

She has no idea what is up with dragon politics or culture and is about to be mated in a way that would cement and protect a trading relationship with the dragons and tigers, but she still allows Tarkesh to seduce her and kiss her in public.

And, even with the knowledge that there are dangerous bandits in the desert that require her caravan to take secret routes she does this:

“No. Just leave me be.” She knew her words and actions were unreasonable, but she couldn’t help it, couldn’t stop now. Her fists balled at her sides, a sign of her anger at all the things she couldn’t control in her life now. Of all the things she was ignorant of, all the things she should know and didn’t. Spinning away, she ran as fast as her legs would carry her. She needed to escape, to be alone... Digging her toes into the sand, she moved with great speed over the terrain. Her body was built to thrive in desert conditions. Away, away.

Katryn acts like a child at every turn. She is supposed to be from the tough weretiger court, but there is no sign that she has any guile or tact. She needs to read the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, badly.

This is supposed to be a menage, but the relationships between Katryn, Tarkesh, and Nadir are very fragmented. Everything is focused on Katryn. The relationship between Katryn and Nadir is never really built on. Tarkesh seems to be their only link besides the mating. One good thing about the threesome (or in separate couples) was that whenever Jordan got them sexing it up, I had to fan myself because she can write some scorching sex scenes.

Nadir is my favorite character because he acts in a logical manner. It annoyed me when he made Katryn apologize to someone when she was being rude, he gets stomped on by the other two in his mating. He's willing to do something very big for Katryn and she doesn't appear grateful as if its her due.

Oh, and the sequel baiting or whatever the side romance plot was distracting.

Crystal Jordan has a great world on her hands. I would love to read her other books, but I just hope that next time she makes a heroine that it is worth her universe. What do you think about this book? You can buy Wereplanets: In Smoke at Cobblestone Press.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The NEW Arin Rhys Online is OPEN!

Thanks to the lovely Celia Kyle, my website has a new home and a new look. She put in the wordpress which is the foundation of the entire site. Thank you, Celia!!!

Arin Rhys Online

Monday, June 4, 2007

MY NEW SITE!!! - Celia Kyle of graciously is letting me squat on her internet domain.

I just have a coming soon page up, but I hope to have a lot more. Yay!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

I'm having a bad day....

Does anyone have any happy, fun books to recommend?

I need a good book, a good cry, and good sized bar of chocolate.

The Most Important Thing I Learned From Fanfiction

The Most Important Thing I have Learned From Writing Fanfiction

Taking Criticism -- Constructive or Not:

We all love our moms. She tells us that we are the most pretty girl in the world, that our writing is fantastic, and that we'll be bigger than Nora Roberts. Unfortunately, you could be butt-ugly, unable to string two words together, and Nora Roberts would laugh in her Gucci heels before riding off into the sunset on her diamond-encrusted pony rocket at the thought of you gunning for her. You're Mom isn't necessarily lying to you – she probably thinks that you're great because she loves you.

The people online don't love you – you have to make them love you. In fanfiction, you can get instant feedback from people across the world. And, not all of that feedback is good. I've gotten horrible feedback (along the lines of 'please never write again because I don't think the world can stand such stupidity again') on stories that I busted my ass on which made me want to cry. But, I still thanked them for reading. Why? Because no one is going to love your work like your mother or your best friend and you will have to deal with that.

Whether you are being published online in a fanfiction livejournal community or in the newest anthology from Ellora's Cave, you are still putting your work out there to be viewed at by the general public. Between you and me, the general public is a nasty beast with a short attention span and finicky nature. The general public doesn't care if you had a bad day or your dog died or that you have kidney stone – the general public wants to be entertained. And, it doesn't matter if they spend five dollars or only five minutes to read your story, if you don't deliver they will be disappointed. They might even tell their friends or write on their blog about how much your story sucked and to avoid you at all costs.

The readers and writers of fanfic aren't as nice as the Romance Community. They'll say if your story sucked donkey balls without pointing out that they liked the sidekick. I've gotten used to getting my babies stomped on, but it still hurts. That's why when I get a comment (any kind) on my work, I step back and let it soak in before I make any kind of reply. That keeps me from making an ass out of myself a la Sally Fields at the Oscars or Laurel K. Hamilton in her 'Dear Negative Readers' rant. Mrs. Giggles is never going to strike the same fear into me as angry, snotty English major posting my story on their journal for the sheer pleasure of ripping it apart. Trust me, its happened and I survived. Mrs. Giggles doesn't make personal attacks which fanfic readers will. Always, remember that they are reviewing the story and not you.

Here's the tough love on publishing. Once you publish it – its going to be mocked, loved, hated, ignored, liked, disliked, and celebrated. If you don't want to know what the outside world might think of your story then keep it under your bed. If you can't handle a unkind word about it, ditto.

As, for myself, I use every mocking comment, negative reply, and constructive criticism as a challenge, promise, and means of improving my work. I feel grateful that people actually read the story and had some sort of emotional reaction to it even if it was revulsion. Hey, at least, if they are making fun of it they aren't indifferent to it. Now, that is the reaction to fear – indifference.

Friday, June 1, 2007

I Keep On Trucking...

I had my story, The Cherub's Ditch, rejected by Torquere Press which was depressing as hell. But, I still have vaguely offensive funny videos on Youtube to console me.

I bring you: HOUSE OF COSBYS!

This isn't quit safe for work, I don't think. Its in the AdultSwim on the cartoon network line of humor. You'll never look at Bill Cosby the same again!