HAPPY MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY, BLOGOSPHERE!!!

(a personal note from publisher Carrie White-Parrish)


And while we're at it, happy Inauguration Week as well. I mean ... IS there such a thing as a happy Inauguration Week? Possibly not, but it does transition very well into what I'm here to say. First, a moment to remember Martin Luther King, Jr. and what he meant to this nation. A man who fought for his rights, and those of his people--and did it with respect, peace, and love. It's something that, in this day and age, seems out of place and hard to believe.

But look at the results he gained. Look at the freedoms he won. Sometimes, it seems, love is truly the best way to win a battle.





At this point in our country--and our world's!--history, it's important to remember the words of MLK, and the idea that "We may all have come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now." We've seen so much hatred and divisive behavior over the last six months, and though it's broken our hearts--and will continue to do so--we must remember that our country is built on people who fought for what was right ... and won. Our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, were built on a grand idea of equality, rather than tyranny. Of freedom of speech and thought, rather than dictation and cruelty from our government. And above all, as Americans, we've been taught never to keep our mouths shut when it came to doing the right thing.




That's why, this week, Glass House is holding a not-annual (because how could it be annual??) #InaugurationBlitz, where we're going to be speaking up about the Constitution, how it happened, what it meant--and why it's so important to protect it moving forward. We believe in our rights as Americans, as women or minorities or immigrants or LGBTQ+, or people with different political opinions ... and we're going to focus, this week, on how our country was BUILT to accept and embrace those differences rather than holding them down. In celebration, we have blogs, interviews, book excerpts, sneak peeks, facts, and character Q&As queued up and ready to go--and we're talking rebellion, revolution, and fighting for right! This is a deeply personal topic for me, but we're going to work to make it work for everyone, because we believe in the rights of our future generations--and educating our youth about what this great country was built to do!

Starting tomorrow, we'll have pieces from PT McHugh, Linda Foster, Mary Fan, George Ebey, JD Wilcox, RK Brainerd, Kimberly Mitchell, and Sonya Craig, as well as a blog from me about a VERY special thing I'm doing tomorrow afternoon, and lots and lots of facts on the Twitter feed about our Constitution and the role of a true President--as well as the dangers our country is looking at, and the need to #Speakup! Keep your eyes peeled, readers, b/c we're plunging boldly into the thick of life (one of my favorite quotes from Goethe) and letting the world know what America was built to do!

Love,
Carrie and the GH fam

Our "One Word" of 2017

Happy 2-16-is-finally-over celebration!!!!! Are we the only ones SUPER GLAD that the year is over, and we've got a fresh page? We feel like the entire world has a 2016 hangover--and that 2017 had better play pretty nice with us, b/c we all have some sort of PTSD! BUT that doesn't mean that we're just going to coast through 2017, and like a lot of other people, we've been making some resolutions! Now, those resolutions can range from not eating chocolate for a month to exercising every day to being nicer ... but when it came time for GH's house resolutions, we thought we'd go a different way.

Our wonderful social media coordinator suggested that we focus on #oneword. This movement started around 2011 (maybe a little earlier), and basically, instead of focusing on resolutions, you focus on one word to sum up what you want for your year... One word that you want to focus on and strive to achieve. Now that might be something like "meditation," "productivity," "calm," "loving," "patient," "kind," "happy," "fun," "acceptance," "passionate," "intentional"... Well, you get the point. no grammar rules! No boundaries! Just one word that you want to live up to.

The authors and staff at Glass House Press were asked to think of their own #OneWord for 2017. And we got some great ones!

WHAT IS YOUR #oneword of 2017?

CARRIE-WHITE PARRISH (GHP CEO)
Fearless. I want this year to be less fearful and more taking-advantage-of-EVERYTHING. I'm opening a second company (Eleven), and I'm also opening an Etsy shop, bizarrely. Oh and I'm starting boxing lessons.


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J. DAVID WILCOX (GHP AUTHOR)
Intrepid: This year's going to be extremely challenging for me, personally and professionally, but I'm not going to let my writing flag. Instead, I'm going to push into new territories.


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GEORGE EBEY (GHP AUTHOR)
This year I picked Create. The reason for my choice? Both at my day job and with my writing, I have a chance to be creative. I want to embrace that and do as much as I can with it this year.
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LINDA FOSTER (GHP AUTHOR)
Relax: I spend so much time worrying about everything and trying to do so much that I don't relax and take care of me.
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KIMBERLY MITCHELL (GHP AUTHOR)
Moment. I have a lot I'm managing. It's easy to get wrapped up in it and miss the good moments happening right in front of me. So I want to stay in the moment and enjoy it.


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LINDSAY G (GHP STAFF)
Intention. I get pulled in a lot of different directions with balancing school and life outside of the lecture hall, and I tend to lose sight of my intentions when I'm getting pulled into a particular task or involvement of any kind. So in 2017, everything in my life must have clear intention behind it.


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PT MCHUGH (GHP AUTHOR)
Change. I won't be afraid to embrace it!
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Sarah K (GHP STAFF)
Living: Just living each day as best as I can and making sure it's filled with positivity.


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R.K. BRAINERD (GHP AUTHOR)
Oh, I love Lindsay's. Sort of related to that, my word is going to be "engage." It's easy to stay in the shadows and not participate when things get tough. I really want to make sure I'm actively and thoughtfully involved in 2017, and making myself and the world just a bit better.


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SONYA CRAIG (GHP AUTHOR)
MichelleObamaesque. This is a real word, btw. It comes from the Unabridged Dictionary of Sonya.




MARY FAN (GHP AUTHOR)
Confidence


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What about you? What #oneword encompasses everything you want to achieve in 2017? Leave it in the comments for us to think about! We'd love to hear from you, and we're always looking for new ideas and directions!

Happy New Year, and here's to a stupendous 2017 full of books, ideas, and most importantly, PEACE! (also, fewer deaths would be nice...)
Love, the GH Fam

FLOOD WITHOUT WATER: INURING {Flash Fiction Contest w/R.K. Brainerd}

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

This week's post features another GH flash fiction entry! If you've been reading for long, you know the rules: Each author does a flash fiction piece, 2500 words, using five key words  chosen for them by Carrie. When all the authors have been posted, we will have a reader poll to see whose was best. (Mary, George, and Linda have already posted in earlier blogs.)

This week, R. K. Brainerd starts us off with a wonderful and completely original fantasy story. We don't want to make any bets, but we THINK this might become a series--if we play our cards right. Remember that once all the authors have posted, we'll be holding a vote about which story was best, so if this one fits the bill, mark it down!

R.K.'s words were: 


Flood Without Water: Inuring
by R.K. Brainerd

Sofija placed her hands on her thighs and let her hips relax. The movement of Arklys’ steps beneath her, subtle as they were, gently rocked her. It was best to put on a picture of ease, he’d told her.
A picture of ease. On the back of a razor-toothed devil horse. Meeting more razor-toothed creatures straight from the molten core of the planet.
If only her mother could see her now.
Arklys sent a soft feeling of comfort, but he was too distracted to really make it stick. She could feel the attention it was taking for him to remember the pathway through this place. A Labyrinthine, he called it. A gateway to a part of the world he came from. Each of his hooves had to be placed exactly right. Something about the ground needing to recognize him, and him having to plod out the correct sequence and placement of steps. There was only one path forward—but it led to nowhere if you traversed it incorrectly.
In Sofija’s home, a labyrinthine was a place of meditation and inner reflection. She didn’t know what to think about Arklys’ use of it … or which use had come first. She was still struggling to understand that humanity had made a pact with Gaia millennia ago, that daemon traditions existed in every civilization across the globe … and that they were now here to wipe out humanity for breaking their oath to take care of the earth.
The sky was starting to shift, the changing colors shining more vividly, the stars seeming to brighten until it hurt to look at them. The clouds were gone; constellations cut giant swaths across the sky, bringing an odd order to the black and green and blue.
Arklys’ sleek black hide made more sense here—an odd connection Sofija never would have guessed at had she not seen it. She stroked his back—almost a compulsion to prove he was still physical, despite the obvious reality that she sat upon him. Breaking his concentration, his head twisted towards her. He rubbed his nose along her shin once, twice, and then returned to his task.
They were meeting at a place halfway between. Whatever that meant.
She startled as Arklys answered the question in her head before she’d even asked it. Yes, I’m sure they won’t kill us. At least not immediately.
 “Why now?” she murmured. “We’ve been trying to avoid them for months, and now they want to talk peace?”
Arklys didn’t respond, which was typical. He hadn’t been answering similar questions since he’d announced yesterday that ‘they’ wanted to meet with them. And the knot in Sofija’s gut wouldn’t dissipate. He could be leading her to her death, sick of her whiny wanting to go home. Or meeting his kind so he could go back to them, fed up with her warped sense of humor.
He was the only thing Sofija knew she had left.
Arklys sent the feeling of warmth again. She was not comforted. All she wanted to do was go home. But she’d never make it there alive without him … and they couldn’t go back north without first being sure they weren’t followed. He had promised her he’d take her back home without leading his people to her doorstep.
That was, if her home wasn’t completely obliterated.
Suddenly Arklys’ ears pricked and he glided into a trot. She no longer flinched at how smoothly he moved, as if he were made of shadow instead of substance. She did still get dizzy if she watched him for too long, though, his joints and body moving in ways that were too different.
Now she looked down at the ground, which reflected her own image. Her features, the color of her hair … it all seemed flat and plain in this place.
Then shadows began to take form and the hair on her neck stood up. Burning-coal eyes appeared as creatures showed themselves along their path. Their shapes were too different to make sense of them, their sleek black coats a mirror of Arklys. Only none of them had Arklys’ grace and bizarre mix of equine and feline.
The creatures grew more numerous as the path straightened and then turned into a vast shallow bowl-shaped valley that seemed to encompass the sky and the earth all in one.
Within that bowl, half a dozen humanoid creatures stood watching Arklys and Sofija approach. She recognized two of them instantly—or maybe Arklys did—despite their uniform jagged-yet-sleek armor… which could have been armor or simply their bodies.
The daemons, humanity called them. Or the fae, if someone remembered the old stories. The last time she’d seen the one on the right, she’d driven a crappy, rusty sword through him and into the ground.
Shoulder is looking well, she thought, somewhere between sniggering and fleeing in terror.
Arklys came to a halt. He wanted her to get off him. Sofija hesitated, but listened. She remained close, though; close enough to feel the damp heat he radiated.
One of the daemons stepped forward, and she knew that one too. She was there the first time Sofija and Arklys had faced them. She began to speak, and for a second it was nothing but gibberish. Then it clicked, and Sofija felt like her brain was being twisted, pulled in ways it wasn’t supposed to go. She cringed, no less than the last time this had happened.
“… Prince-ride… it is a pleasure to see you again… looking much better this time…
Sofija knew that was a dig at her. Arklys had not looked good the last time they’d faced each other. It was right after she’d accidentally killed Arklys’ prince and gained his loyalty … and she hadn’t known what to feed him. They hadn’t been able to communicate yet, either; she hadn’t even known they could communicate. He’d been withering away.
“… Though your familiar looks a little sick… She’s not dying is she?...”
Arklys snorted. Mine is none of your concern
That seemed to make her ripple with amusement. “… She is not cut out for you…”
Arklys’ ears flipped back against his head.
“…  It is time to come home… The next brood will be coming soon… It is your duty to create the next…”
Arklys seemed to relax. His head tilted in a decidedly non-equine movement, his lips pulling back from his wicked razor teeth in a grin. They gleamed like stars in this place.
Is that what this is? The next brood is no longer my problem. As you can see—
The voice began to croon. “… You are the best of us… We will be lesser without you…”
Technically, daemon steeds, like Arklys, were subservient. Or more accurately, they were subservient when they were paired with the ‘princes.’ This leadership class apparently had no status without a steed. The power of the steed helped determine the status of the ‘prince.’ There was also something to do with bloodline, but Arklys was more evasive with that.
Sofija didn’t really know how it worked, and Arklys had not been the most patient about explaining. Really, all she knew was that the daemons were pissed that she’d killed Arklys’ first prince. Not necessarily because of his death, but because of the loss of Arklys’ loyalty. And somehow … because Sofija was not a daemon and not within their hierarchy, Arklys’ standing was as if he wasn’t paired, which meant that he had more status than most daemons, leadership class included. Sofija guessed he’d been powerful even before, but now he was even more.
She did wonder if that was part of the reason he stuck with her.
“… You cannot think to be Inure with her…” the voice said, soothing and condescending.
Sofija hadn’t heard that one before. She wracked her brain to even understand what the word meant. It was something having to do with becoming used to something, particularly violence. But that didn’t bring any clarity to what the daemon was saying.
Arklys shifted, and Sofija put her hand out automatically against his withers. It was a habit, this understanding what he wanted.
“… YOU ALREADY HAVE…” the daemon bellowed.
Sofija’s mouth filled with metal. She was suddenly back in the fort at the Green Isles, liquid black horrors flying at the walls and dragging screaming soldiers over the edge to never be seen from again—not even their bodies.
“… This is too far. THIS CANNOT STAND…”
And time to go.
Arklys crouched abruptly into an equine bow that was too fluid to be real and his air of calm slammed into Sofija’s chest, just as easily as all the other times he’d done it. She’d barely got a hold of his mane before he wheeled around, so quickly that the stars blurred into a circle of light above her head.  
We must go before they bring my Nemesis.
He’d spoken of a Nemesis before. Each daemon had one; if one got too powerful, there was always another who knew their weakness, who was able to take them out. He’d mentioned once, in the dark of the woods weeks ago, that he’d been nervous the daemons would send his after him.
Now he lunged back the way they’d come. It was a bizarre few seconds as she realized he was laughing—a terrible, mocking laugh that echoed in her head like giant bells. And despite the complete and utter creepiness of the devil-horse, she wasn’t having the the flashbacks of living through hell every night at the Green Isles, like she did with the other daemons. It brought her back to the here and now, which, actually, was helpful.
You should know
Arkyls’ voice in her head was still dripping with dark humor. He was then leaping across the spiral path instead of following it, his hooves striking directly in the center of each stone before he lunged to the next. Each connection sent up sparks, like pops of fire, and Sofija could feel the rippling physical power he was exuding. It was making her more nauseous than she already was.
What I’m doing with you isn’t exactly allowed…
“Having a human as your … pair?” Sofija gasped as a daemon went flying by her head, missing her by a hair when she ducked and Arklys swerved. “They didn’t seem so angry last time.”
I mean when you feel me… It’s—
Arklys suddenly wheeled and let out a howling scream, and Sofija was nearly flung off of him as he struck something that had been rocketing toward them. Metal tang hit her nose a second later. Her eyes shut tightly and she twisted her head away, her stomach churning. Inured to violence she was not, whatever the daemon had meant.
Her people never acted in violence. Only for defense, if necessary. It was probably why there were so few left. But it didn’t stop the wrongness she felt—despite the months of killing to survive.
Her eyes opened, and her stomach dropped. A great flood of daemons was burgeoning toward them, following the path of the labyrinthine. They were hazy, almost more mist than physical. But as they grew closer, they grew darker. And more real.
Was this the last thing my family saw, too?
Panic had her hitting Arklys in the neck with her closed fist. Arklys twisted, done with his victim, and surged into a gallop again. He wasn’t leaping over the paths anymore, but now racing through the circular pattern of the labyrinthine.
It would be dangerous to skip earth-paths at this point.
Again, he answered a question she hadn’t even asked. He was doing that more and more lately. As if he were always inside her head.
Suddenly something whizzed past her ear and Arklys stumbled, a black shiny arrow embedded in his shoulder. He immediately righted and was running again.
“Arklys!”
I am not hurt.
“’I am not hurt,’” Sofija mocked.
This reaction was a lot more extreme than last time. Previously, the daemons had challenged her for Arklys’ loyalty. When she’d won anyway—because of Arklys’ influence, mind you—they’d threatened that they’d challenge her again in the future.
She thought a question to Arklys—intentionally this time: The daemons challenged me for you before. Why are they attacking instead?
You don’t have to think so hard, and it is because if I truly Inure with you, you will have status as a daemon.
Sofija’s mind blanked.
Yes, they’d rather kill us both than have that happen.
“That’s ridiculous! I don’t want status!” How is that possible? I just want to go home!
I know, Arklys soothed. I will take you home. I promised before, I’ll promise again.
The pressure of the air changed, then, Sofija’s ears popped, and she blinked as the colors of the world shifted. They were almost to the end of the labyrinthine … the daemons hot on their heels.
What is Inure?
Not right now
“Yes, right now!”
And then, she just knew—whether it came from him or herself, it didn’t really matter. ‘Inure’ meant becoming accustomed to something—or something taking effect. It was what had been happening between them: the learning to communicate, the knowing what the other wanted without speaking, the bizarre urges Sofija’d had since she killed Arklys’ previous ‘prince.’
He’d accepted her as his ‘pair,’ devoting his life and soul to being her constant companion and protection. A spell—or more seemingly, a physiological change—was happening to both of them, conditioning them to each other. While a normal part of daemon adulthood, it was taking an extra step with Sofija, the human. Arklys saw it as normal; he saw it as pleasing.

Arklys was turning her into a daemon


Until next time, Happy Holidays!

the GH fam


Top Books of 2016

2016 has been an amazing year for books--both new and old. And it was tough, but we do it every year, so some of the authors and staff at Glass House Press have thought long and hard to come up with our top books of 2016. Following please find some of our favorites this year--we tried to keep it to a top two each!--and our reviews.


Our Picks for the Top Books of 2016





"OH! I know my favorite! Six of Crows! And its sequel Crooked Kingdom! Duh. (I'm not sure Six of Crows was actually published this year but the second one was, for sure). They're by Leigh Bardugo, and what hit me most was how refreshing and original they were. I'm usually not a multiple POV fan but I LOVED all the stories in there and how they wove together. I loved how broken and beautiful and real the characters were. I loved that the quest's goal was selfish, yet evolved into so much more. I loved how the redemption/forgiveness theme played out and how (again) flawed and real everyone was. Both books were gritty and dark and poignant... And oddly, unexpectedly, beautiful." 





"Find Her by Lisa Gardner. Just so well written by such an experienced professional. Intense plot and chilling characters. 5 stars."





"My signed copy of Lady Midnight Cassandra Clare. Never fails to amaze me with her worlds and characters."






"Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell: incredibly well done, supremely original, and holy wow was this creepy."



"This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab. Absolutely wonderful. Haunting and tragic and dark and twisty, with just enough hope thrown in to keep you on the edge of your seat. This book is a slow burn, though--you spend the first two thirds or so falling right into the world and characters, and it's a very sophisticated sort of journey. Definitely not your standard YA"





"Heir of Thunder--epic fantasy about a princess on the run." 




"The other one(s!) I had in mind was Children of Chaos... actually the whole Chaos Born Trilogy. Amazing world building, fantastic characters, compelling premise... also, it's a little bit Flynn (dark fantasy), a little bit Fated Stars (epic fantasy)." (For those who don't know, Flynn and Fated Stars are two of Mary's very own series!)





"This is a bit of cheat because it came out in 2015 but it's the closet one I have since I spent most of 2016 catching up on older stuff. I like this book because I'm a history buff and this was a fascinating story that I never knew about. You've heard of Lewis and Clark. But just a few years after that voyage, John Jacob Astor (a big wig in the fur trade) sent another expedition to the Oregon coast with the hopes of expanding his fur empire and even creating a new country that he could control. This book tells the story of that disastrous enterprise. It's nonfiction but reads like a thriller with a little wilderness survival thrown in as well."

That's our list. What do you think? What was your #1 read for the year? Leave a comment so we can fill our Goodreads shelves!

Happy Reading, guys! And happy 2016-is-finally-almost-done week (is anyone else as relieved as we are???)!
love, the GHP fam

All We Want For Christmas-- The Dreamer Edition

OUR CHRISTMAS LISTS!

Let's face it--being an adult is hard. You have to worry about bills, making lists and actually completing the tasks on them, wearing real pants... AND, during this time of year, you have to reach way back into your mind palace and try desperately to remember what your Great Aunt Doris likes (cause if you don't she will give you the evil eye at every family gathering from now until the end of eternity #TheStruggleIsReal).

But that doesn't even scratch the surface, b/c there's a more important question to be asking yourself. W
hat about you? Yes, YOU, dear reader. What do you want Santa to bring you? Because even if we're playing adults, we still all have secret Christmas lists on the mind!

This is the question we posed to the GHP authors and staff ... with ONE stipulation. The wish/want had to be BIG! Oh, and it had to be tangible. Sort of.



Mary Fan (GHP Author)

"An all-expenses paid week-long retreat to a cabin in the woods by a lake... with food already stocked... and no wifi to distract me. And by food, I mean chocolate, wine, popcorn, and beer. And maybe a few nutritious things too so I don't die of malnutrition." (For the record, this answer basically won. We all voted that we wanted to join her.)

Linda Foster (GHP Author)

"New couches. Sorry I'm being practical lol."

George Ebey (GHP Author)

"Tickets to see this. I'm sure I'll see it before Christmas but tickets to see it again wouldn't hurt."




R.K. Brainerd (GHP Author)
"Mary stole mine! But my retreat needs to be at a castle in Ireland or that glass igloo where you can watch the northern lights.

... Or to be original, 1000 acres of free protected forest land with farming land connected to it that I can protect forever and ever and have goats (on the farming land, obviously)."

Kimberly Mitchell  (GHP Author)
"A new president elect, and an around the world ticket and a year to travel."

J. David Wilcox (GHP Author)
"Can I take a knee that can play soccer without pain? If not, I'll take a snowboarding vacation at some swanky cabin with all my adult friends. Sorry kiddos! Third option: fully equipped Tesla model X."

Ula (GHP Staff)
"A gigantic meteor."

Lindsay Graham (GHP Staff)

"There's too many things on my list that I believe Santa can't deliver."

Carrie White-Parrish (GHP Staff)
"Boxing gloves... And I'm adding to my wish because obviously I didn't ask for a big enough thing. Additions: a new horse. And a 2016 Austin Martin Vanquish in red."


Richard Schall  (GHP Author)
"I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!"

Shanna Alderliesten (GHP Staff)
"Free wifi? I haven't had wifi since August and it's getting on my nerves because I'm running out of hotspot at the most inconvenient times." 

Sonya Craig (GHP Author)
"Cars for my girls, used but ones they like. Theirs are beat up pretty bad. And for universities to have more affordable tuition."

Kelly Martin (GHP Staff)
"I want a box that every time you open it, there is a thousand dollars inside... and you can open it as many times as you want a day... AND (unlike the Monkey Claw movie or THE BOX movie) no one dies or gets hurt because of my magical money box. I'll take it in red, please. ;)"

So what about you, readers? What big cool thing would you LOVE to have for the holidays? Think outside the box (so to speak) and leave a comment! We can't promise that we'll be delivering anything come Christmas ... but you never know!

ALSO, in case you haven't heard, Glass House Press is playing Santa this year! We're partnering with White Rabbit Book Design (@whiterabbitbookdesign) Inkstain Interior Book Designing (@InkstainInteriorBookDesigning), and Eleven&Co (@Elevenandcompany) for #GHPitch, a pitch party/contest/all-around awesome party this holiday season! For more details, click HERE.

HAPPY READING, GUYS!
Love, the Glass House fam