This week’s Naked Reviewers Book of the week.

https://thenakedreviewers.com/index.php/2018/12/23/smoke-and-roses-a-steampunk-language-of-flowers-by-olivia-wylie/?fbclid=IwAR2oLF74cgSKp2wrz54xjCqN0gyckC_-kkVSTmyw7Nn6Bgdt0n41eWEBR1I#comment-283

Smoke And Roses: A Steampunk Language of Flowers by Olivia Wylie

Rosemary is for remembrance. You give yellow roses to a friend and lilies to the bereaved. Ever wondered why?

In this illustrated volume you will discover the history of the symbolic code daring Victorian ladies and gents used to pass messages in bouquets: the roots of the practice in Turkey, its rise in Europe and its fascinating cultural connotations on both sides of the Atlantic. You’ll learn how a mispronounced word gave the tulip its name and why the colors of the rose have so many meanings. Included are recipes for bouquets useful in your own life, including the Bugger Off Bouquet, to be given to those you would rather not see again. Let this book lead you up the historical garden path.

A little about Olivia first:

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Olivia Wylie is a professional landscaper who specializes in the restoration of neglected gardens in Downtown Denver. She snaps photos of garden beauty in her daily work and uses rain days, the photos and research to create art that shares the serenity of the green world with its viewers. On days when the weather keeps her indoors, she writes about the relationship between humanity and the green world. She currently has two ethnobotanic works in print: ‘Smoke and Roses’ and the book Roots: Insights From the Tree Alphabet of Old Ireland’. A book on the history of weeds in America is forthcoming in March. Her works are available at www.leafingoutgardening.com as well as Amazon.

Terence Vicker’s Review: 4-Stars

Smoke and Roses by Olivia Wylie
Smoke and Roses is an interesting look into the meaning behind flowers and the history behind them. The introduction is the most interesting part to me as I enjoy reading about the history behind the flower meanings.

The illustrations appear to be hand drawn and painted, possibly watercolors and with the background of the page and the graphics, it gives the impression of an old book with a certain rustic charm.

I was a bit disappointed that there was no history behind the individual flowers included.

Generally an interesting book and a good reference for those giving or receiving bouquets.

Diane Andersen’s Review: 5-Stars

A Steampunk Language of Flowers by Olivia Wylie

If you’ve ever wondered about how to design the perfect bouquet of flowers for a certain occasion or a special person in your life, look no further than this book. Forget those dry dusty botanical textbooks your garden-loving grandfather may have handed down to you. This one is a feast for the eyes with its delightful original illustrations that look like an illuminated edition from the 18th century, something one might find in a rare book room of a botanical garden research library or the English estate of a wealthy collector.

This book would make a great gift for anyone interested in botanicals or the history of flowers and the Victorian custom of sending messages via a carefully orchestrated bouquet. Do you want to convey your gratitude to someone special? Send them a bunch of bluebells or rather Hyacinthoides non-scripta, if you prefer knowing the scientific Latin term. Are you feeling a bit oppressed and want to send a clear message that says: “Let justice be done”? Then the perfect choice is a handful of black-eyed Susans, also known as rudbeckia, and not to be “rude” by any means, as some have mistaken the play on its name. Just be direct and to the point, which is precisely what Wylie has done in both her visual and verbal descriptions, some only taking up a mere paragraph to describe the history and purpose of each flower.

Wylie’s lushly illustrated book with pages that look like aged parchment almost feels as if you can smell the musty crackle of each leaf, even on the ebook. Although the paperback edition is a bit pricey at $25 it would still make a welcome gift for a favorite gardener, history buff or trivia fan. Although there isn’t much in the way of “steampunk” marked within the text, the old-fashioned charm and title make this the perfect accessory for any Steampunk LARPer on your list.

Please feel free to share your review in the comments.

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Body Switched- Twisted, An Adult Fairy Tale

What would you do if you were body switched with the opposite sex?  And a different species?

That’s the premise of Twisted, my rendition of a movie favorite turned into a paranormal Fairy Tale filled with vampires, werewolves, and a witch.

Oh, and it’s for ADULTS… cause let’s face it, how much fun can you have in another body?

 

 

 

On facebook, I asked the question, ‘What would you do in the opposite sex’s body?’  The comments ranged from… ‘yanking it all day,’ to ‘asking for a raise.’

So, as I write the next sequel to Twisted, I’m asking you- What would you do?

Building a Story Bible

If you’re writing, you need a story bible.  It’s basically a one place catch-all for every little nit-pick that your writing about.  If you are planning a series, you have to have one.

Here’s my tabs for Characters in the story for Demise’s Desire,  and Death’s Lover, the Queen of the Underworld books 1 and 2 in Scrivner

Screenshot (13)

That’s a lot of characters to keep track of!

Here is one character, the female MC, and her breakdown.

Screenshot (18)

I love Scrivner because it allows me photos.  Here is Demise’s breakdown.  It will change as the story does.  The basic summary should include everything you can think of; age, weight, height, sex,  where they are from, where are they now, education and their current occupation, any odd mannerisms, how they dress,  pets, etc.

For characters, you might color coat the tabs for MC’s, protagonist, etc.  Also, for Fantasy writers include special powers of the characters, (use a wand? mind-read? Their cultural differences? Are they human? etc)  Do they use different words?  Keep track of those!

The setting.  If your characters are in a house/apartment, jot down a quick floorplan.  Why?  Because if you can see where your characters are going, so can your readers. Have a real idea of the setting, include photos, check the high and low temps, any odd item that might stick out… ie thunderstorms every afternoon, ocean breezes, flowers that bloom, etc.  If you have a real-world setting, use google maps and take a walk through.

Fantasy worlds should have a map and include everything above, including moons, suns, sky color, flowers, other inhabitants, etc. No, you don’t have to publish your drawings, but it might help the fantasy reader orientate themselves.    I use http://rickriordan.com/extra/map-of-the-underworld/  It’s an interactive Map and really useful.  I did change a couple of things for my own purposes, but you can see the map.3 parts of the underworld by Rick Riordan

Setting sketch should include the following for each place.

Screenshot (20)

There’s a whole lot more to a character bible but the basics are the same.  Keep track of what you have along with what you’ve written and you’ll know where you’re going and so will your readers.

But the most important aspect of a character bible is to save the writer TIME… yep.  Instead of going back and re-reading sections for minor characters, in their character sketch place the page numbers that they appear with a sentence or two *I copy and paste stuff right out of my doc* so if later you need to refresh your memory, you don’t need to hunt for it.

Timeline is next. There is a lot of software for timelines.  Pick one or jot down your own.  Why?  Because if your MC spent July doing something, then six months later you revisit them, don’t have them in the summer… It’s January…

Last day…

Today is the last day to get Painted Girl for FREE and RedHorse for .99c.  Once you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my work.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been locked out of my blog so I have a lot of catching up to do.  I’d love to post more photos of Puerto Rico when there’s time.  The country is open for business and I’m sure you’d love the beaches.

Today I’m finishing up reading Roseanne Beck – Talk to Me.  It’s a romance AND has ghosts, so you know I’ll be devouring it.  Catch the Naked Reviewers review on Wednesday!

Poor Sherry Terry, head of The Naked Reviewers is laid up with a broken ankle!  Give her some love, she could use a lot of it right now.  Oh, and she posted her injury, go check it out on her facebook page.  The lady has beautiful legs with a big cast on her foot.

Also, head over to the Naked Reviewers and check out Sherry’s daily questions about your WIP.  We’d love to hear what’s going on in your world.

lucinda E Clarke

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