AURORA RISING cover reveaaaaal!

Jay Kristoff - Literary Giant

Hello droogs!

Today’s the big day for the AURORA RISING cover reveal! We won’t waste much of your time, since we’re sure you want to get to the loot and AMAZING cover itself, but, we must say a special thanks to the incredible team at Allen and Unwin, our brilliant cover designer Debra Billson and our incrediballs illustrator, the one and only Charlie Bowater (squeeeeeee)!

So! We’ll do this in three stages.

1. Pre-orders

Pre-orders are the lifeblood of any book’s launch, and there’s no better way to support your fave authors than pre-ordering their next book. So, if you’re inclined, links are below.

If you do pre-order, thank you! And if you’re an ILLUMINAE fan, save your receipts, because we’ll be announcing a pre-order offer early next year that you will not want to miss out on. Trust us.

AUSTRALIA

Booktopia

Dymocks

Angus and Robertson

UNITED KINGDOM

Amazon…

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ONE WEEEEEEK

Jay Kristoff - Literary Giant

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Droogs!

One week til GODSGRAVE launches!

DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND

Waterstones have added more signed black-edged special editions into stock, and they’re currently discounted by 5 pounds. Numbers are strictly limited and this is absolutely your last chance to get them, so get on it. You can pre-order here.

For all you audiobook types, the GODSGRAVE AB is sounding AMAZING. There’s a 7 minute sample for you to listen to here.

Aussies, next week we have two launch parties

MELBOURNE LAUNCH!
Friday, September 8th
Dymocks, Melbourne, 6.30pm
234 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC

SYDNEY LAUNCH!
Thursday, September 7th
Dymocks, Sydney, 6.30pm
424 George St, Sydney NSW

Also, it occurs to me I’ve never shown off the new maps in GG< created by the amazing Virginia Allyn, so behollllld! Right click to embiggen.

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How many times can I say we had a busy Weekend?

Yeah yeah you get it. We ended up doing more than we planned and even though it was a three day weekend for me, after it all I’m tired and now I have to go to work and give probably 3000 flu shots in the nextthreedaysandnowI’mjustcomplaningandtalkingtoofastlikeagnomefromtheDragonlancebooks.

What? You haven’t read the Dragonlance books? Go check out the first three in the series. They’re the best of the lot and I still find them inspiring.

Date Hike

Lisa and I spent Friday morning hiking in the Bosque. It is lovely living up in the foothills but there is something nice about those big trees down by the river.

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Rio Grande

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Surprised us a bit but we didn’t get run over!
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Sandia’s in the background.

Saturday we spent finishing up some costume ideas and then off to a Halloween party with some Baha’i friends. It was a very good time with very good vegetarian chili.

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Why is Lisa giving me The Stink Eye?
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WTF are they looking at?

It was fun and we enjoyed ourselves but man were we tired and grumpy the next day. Well, I was at least. I worked it out on a quick run in the afternoon though.

I swung by Active Imagination, our friendly local nerdstore Gaming store to preorder a new DnD book and maybe pick up some Magic:the Gathering cards. I was planning on teaching Animal how to play since some of her friends at school play and I’m old enough to remember when MtG came out and didn’t have worldwide tournaments.

Anyway I got a few free starter decks from the fine folks at AI and we played a quick intro game. She took to it quite well and I’m guessing we’ll have more games coming up.

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Future Geek.

I pray you all had a wonderful weekend? Who has played MtG? Come on admit it nerds!

Deadman 2016 or You Gotta Know When to Fold ’em.

More than being a nod to Kenny Rogers (who doesn’t love that song? Communists that’s who!) that is a perfect description of my 3rd attempt at Deadman Peaks Trail Run. I say attempt because I unfortunately Did Not Finish (DNF). I am both disappointed and proud of my performance but we’ll get to that.

Set up

I took a half-day off  on Friday and came home and packed up my gear. After hanging out with Lisa and the girls I hit the road for Cuba, NM. This was a big deal for a couple different reasons: this was my first time running this race without my family present and I missed them and more importantly this was my first time off on my own since coming clean. In my past life (as I call it) I would have taken the opportunity afforded by my being alone and anonymous to misbehave. Grossly.

Despite our shared misgivings we worked out a plan we both felt comfortable with and went ahead. I think I’ll cover this further in a separate post but all went well and it was a positive experience.

Arriving at the trail-head/campsite at sunset, I was just in time to catch the evening colors tinting the moon rise:

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I quickly set about making camp and settling in for the night. I managed to forget a spoon so I wandered over to the central campfire and borrowed one from another camper. I then ate my borscht, prepped my drop bags, read more of Neverni by Jay Kristoff and went to bed at about 9. I did get texts and calls from a couple programs buddies I had reached out to. Good folks.

It got down to 37º at night but that’s a killer tent and I have a good sleeping bag and extra blanket. I had hand and body warmers to throw in the bag if needed but it didn’t come to that.

5am came pretty quickly. I woke, dressed and ate (here is where things went wrong I think) and headed out to the fire to keep warm while waiting for the start. We did the countdown and were off!

The 9 miles to the first Aid Station (AS) g by quickly as it is dark and we are fresh. Running along the ridge in the growing light is possible my favorite part of the race and pictures cannot do it justice.

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At AS1 I quickly took my jacket and headlamp off. Drank some water and Tailwind, ate a handful of something and took off. I felt a poop coming, but this AS is in a field so there was no hiding and I opted to wait until I had more cover.

I fell in with a couple other runners at my pace, one of whom was a talker. I very quickly learned we both worked in the medical field, had both lived in the same part of MN and had kids roughly the same age. Small world!

AS2 is a total of 17 Miles in and it’s a climb to get there but I was on track for an approx 12 hr finish and still feeling strong. A quick snack and refill of water and I was off. And then I was off track.

Just after AS2 I stopped to poop. Nothing weird about it but after that everything went to shit. My stomach started talking to me…angrily. My pace slowed a bit but not too much. I let the talker and his pal lead out ahead, I prefer to run in silence anyway, but mostly I was listening to my stomach grumble.

That snack at AS 2 was the last real food I had all day. I couldn’t get anything else down and despite my drinking plenty of water and Tailwind I wasn’t hydrating properly. By the time I reached the turn around at 26.5 miles I was having flank pain (kidney pain) and dark urine. I still couldn’t eat so I took my time at the turn around and sipped Ginger ale and sucked on ginger chews to settle my stomach, which they did. I still couldn’t get anything substantial down but my stomach didn’t hurt anymore so off I went!

The four miles back to AS3 were long and I took another extended break there and did more stomach assessment and ginger eating. I decided to head out before fully getting my stomach back under me though I did force down some pumpkin bread and a banana with nutella.

Not two miles out I knew I had made the an unwise decision. My stomach hurt enough now that I couldn’t run anymore but was forced to walk. I threw away the extra food I had carried from the AS. I knew there was no way I was going to eat it. I couldn’t even suck on a mint.

My goal then became to get back to AS2 and there were times I didn’t think it would happen. It was the hottest part of the day (79º) with no cover from the sun and I hadn’t been able to eat anything since 9:45 that morning. The RN in me knew I was overheated, dehydrated and probably hypoglycemic. I had GU packets but I knew I would vomit as soon as they hit my stomach and a tub-a-lard like me has a extra calories to burn but I couldn’t spare the water lost in emesis or diarrhea. I’d been drinking all day but I wasn’t absorbing it. But hey it was pretty out here!

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After what felt like hours of prayer doubled over in pain (Is there any Remover of Difficulty save God?) I stumbled into the AS, 36 miles done and 17 miles short of completion, but I was finished. My Garmin had died a half mile earlier and my phone was on it’s last legs as well. I texted Lisa I was dropping and safe and that my phone was dying and I’d connect with her when I got back to the start/finish.

I hung with the crew until the last runners were through. I sipped more ginger ale and water and sucked on lifesavers while packing up. The drive out was beautiful and I was with a husband and wife who had helped plan and clear the trail we were running on! They were experts in local outdoor activities and gave me many tips on where to take the family. I thanked them profusely.

Back at the start/finish I changed my clothes, packed up my gear and waited with the other runners for our drop bags to return. I charged my phone in the truck and reconnected with my family. Still not able to eat I was sipping warm water while reviewing my day.

Wha happened?

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Normally I’m known for having a cast-iron stomach. I can eat anything anytime and not be troubled, so what went wrong?

I have a couple theories.

  1. Ayurvedic Cleanse killed my Stomach
  2. That hard-boiled egg at breakfast was a bad choice
  3. Some other third thing

In the two weeks leading up to the race Lisa and I were following an Ayurvedic Cleanse. My short version is “eat healthy foods to reset your digestive system and put you back in balance”. 4 days of food to deconstruct your digestion, 7 days of kitchari (an excellent meal) to neutralize and 4 days of foods that will build it back up. Well race day was Day 1 of build up meaning my digestion was at it’s lowest point when I threw all sorts of race food at it.

Conclusion: Bull-shit. I’ve done this the past two years for fall and spring races and never had any issue with cleansing and racing.

I had a hard boiled egg for breakfast on race day. I must admit I have NO IDEA how old that egg was. Lisa and I had been cleansing for about two weeks so upon reflection it was at least that old. I didn’t even finish it which says something. Conclusion: Possible

Truthfully it was probably a combination of both, a really bad egg (Pirates of the Caribbean reference btw) and a weakened digestive tract. I blame the egg.

Final Thoughts

I’m happy and disappointed. I’m happy to have made it as far as I did and that I persevered through such hardship. I’m disappointed I was unable to finish again but I’m more disappointed I didn’t listen to myself and stop sooner. I suspected what was coming by mile 26 and I kept going for 10 more miles! That’s hours more and miles more for something bad to happen in the middle of nowhere. I am blessed to come out of it with a deep tan and an upset stomach and nothing more.

There it is. A long ramble. I’m still here and happy to be so. The race beat me this year with help from my stomach and that damned egg.

It’s OK. I’ll get it next year.

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Fall is here! Fall is here! Fall is here!

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons. I love the summer heat and I try to spend all day running through it but there is something….cozy about autumn. Chilly nights huddled next to the fire after warm days exploring the riotous colors in the trees.

And hot cocoa. It’s one of my favorite drinks. Not your sugary-sweet American hot cocoa with your marshmallows and cremes. I prefer Mexican style chocolate with the spiciness of chile mixed in. It’s the best!

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Fall in New Mexico is marked by many things including losing the 100º+ heat, Balloon Fiesta, Chile roasting season and of course fall colors. We set out to enjoy as many of these as we could.

Crest Hike

 Last Friday we all had the day off and that means family time! We headed up to the crest to get some sun, some fresh air and take in the fall colors. Well, our short hike to the Kiwanis Cabin on the crest didn’t have as much color as I was expecting, but it was a ton of fun to be out in the sunshine and fresh air with all my beautiful ladies.

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I mentioned before that the Kiwanis Cabin was built back in 1936 by the CCC. It’s easily spotted when you are hiking the peak trails and it’s been on our family bucket list for a few years. It’s a little sad it took us so long to get up there. It’s a short and easy 1 mile hike (2 round trip) on a very well maintained section of the Crest Trail. I guess coming from the Tram terminal it felt father. That and we didn’t know any better.

On our way back to the truck I spotted this little gem written on a felled tree just before coming back into a golden mountain-top meadow.

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Pumpkin Patch/Chile Farm

Yeah that’s right. Everything has a touch of chile in New Mexico. Sunday we spent the morning at Wagner Farms in Corrales. We decided to stay away from the money-grab that McCalls has turned into. Also it was free last weekend.

Conclusion: I liked it. It was a small family farm that felt like a farm and not a commercial money grab. Sure no rides and jumpers and slides, but I don’t want that shit for Halloween. I want to go to the country, pick my pumpkin out of a patch and maybe eat something with corn/chile and have apple cider. Definitely chile.

After starting through a farmer’s market filled with red chiles, green chiles, apples and squash. We took a hayride out to the apple orchard and spent some time collecting apples straight from the tree. We picked out our pumpkins on the return trip and then headed over to the other site for the corn-maze and petting zoo. Though the corn here is a little sad compared to what we are used to in MN and WI:

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My 6 yr old shouldn’t be taller than the corn. Just saying.

We did hit Balloon Fiesta this year. It was fun but I failed to bring my phone so no new pictures and we lost a favorite hat. Other than that is was a pretty decent trip. If you haven’t been just check this out to see why you should come. We have some extra space in the office if you need to crash.

That made for a pretty full but fun long weekend and this week has been full too. Next weekend should be a bit better. Lisa and the girls will get to relax.

I’m heading out of town tomorrow for Deadman Peaks Trail Run. It’s easily my favorite race and it’s right in my backyard! Wish me luck or say prayers or whatever you do on Saturday while I run 53 miles on the Continental Divide Trail with a bunch of other crazies.

Have a great weekend folks! See you on the trail.*

*If you do see me on the trail and I look like I’m dying…I just ran 53 miles. It’s ok to share your water or food with me.*

GEMINA CASUALTY LIST CONTEST

Immortalize yourself without doing something awful that history will revile you for!

Jay Kristoff - Literary Giant

gemina-by-amie-kaufman-and-jay-kristoff

THIS CONTEST IS OPEN INTERNATIONALLY.

Droogs!

As you may know, we recently ran a contest to get your name on the GEMINA casualty list. Yes, Amie and I actually asked our readers to volunteer to be murdered in the lightless black of the void. That’s the kind of authors we are.

Happily, the response was amazing! Sadly, the contest was only open to US and Canadian residents. We said at the time that we’d be working on a way for all our amazing  readers to die horribly, and THAT TIME IS UPON US.

There are very few spaces on the list. But, if you would like the chance to suffer a particularly painful death in the cold belly of space, read on.

REPEAT: THIS CONTEST IS OPEN TO EVERYONE. BRITONS. AUSTRALIANS. AMERICANS. MARTIANS. WE GIVE NO FUCKS WHERE YOU ARE FROM.

Things you must do to win this contest:

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Meeting Reflections 05-12-16

Tonight’s reading:

“Then they outlined the spiritual answer and program of action which a hundred of them had followed successfully. Though I had been only a nominal churchman, their proposals were not, intellectually, hard to swallow. But the program of action, though entirely sensible, was pretty drastic. It meant I would have to throw several lifelong conceptions out of the window. That was not easy. But the moment I made up my mind to go through with the process, I had the curious feeling that my alcoholic condition was relieved, as in fact it proved to be.

“Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems. I have since been brought into a way of living infinitely more satisfying and, I hope, more useful than the life I lived before. My old manner of life was by no means a bad one, but I would not exchange its best moments for the worst I have now. I would not go back to it even if I could.”

Fred’s story speaks for itself. We hope it strikes home to thousands like him. He had felt only the first nip of the wringer. Most alcoholics have to be pretty badly mangled before they really commence to solve their problems.

Many doctors and psychiatrists agree with our conclusions. One of these men, staff member of a world-renowned hospital, recently made this statement to some of us: “What you say about the general hopelessness of the average alcoholic’s plight is, in my opinion, correct. As to two of you men, whose stories I have heard, there is no doubt in my mind that you were 100% hopeless, apart from divine help. Had you offered yourselves as patients at this hospital, I would not have taken you, if I had been able to avoid it. People like you are too heartbreaking. Though not a religious person, I have profound respect for the spiritual approach in such cases as yours. For most cases, there is virtually no other solution.”

Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.

My Take

Obviously there are lots of meanings one could cull from these words but what stood out to me after a few shares was the need to surround myself with people that have what I want/need. I do it in many aspects of my life. I want to be a better runner so I run with people that are better than I am. I want to improve my nursing skills, I surround myself with Nurses who have experiences and abilities I do not.

To quote Cervantes: “For we are all as God made us, and often times a great deal worse.”

‘I want to stop being a shitty, base human being so I follow and allow God/Higher Power/Spirituality into my life. Am I going to get to be as good as God? Of course not. I am not and never will be perfection but I can make progress, I can better myself by being and doing better and by surrounding myself with those who are also being and doing better.

I’ve made a lot of shitty choices in my life. Choices that hurt people. Devastated families, mine most of all. I don’t have to be trapped by those decisions. I get to make new ones. That is incredibly exciting and liberating and humbling.

That is why I keep coming back to meetings. I will always have something more to learn from God through others who have the unfortunate experience of knowing what it is like to have said and done things like I have said and done.