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alan doyle

Books, Other People's Books

Ebook roundup time: all the Mary Stewart!

It’s ebook roundup time again! I’ve been backing off a lot on ebook purchases lately. But this week, sufficient motivation has inspired me to splurge! Namely: Mary Stewart’s novels have finally come out in digital format. And as covered over here at the Bitchery, goodness gracious, the covers on those are gorgeous. And I do love me some Mary Stewart.

Thunder on the Right

Thunder on the Right

Better yet, I haven’t read a few of these, still. Doublechecking my library, I find that I have print copies of ten of the fifteen titles that I just bought off of Kobo. I’ll be re-reading those, along with the new ones! Just because a Mary Stewart comfort reading binge sounds delightful to me right now–partly due to our heading into storm season in the PNW, but also due to the general state of the world.

So here’s a roundup of stuff bought lately, because the Stewarts aren’t all of it, either. First, picked up at Kobo, here is the full list of Stewarts I just nabbed:

The ones I haven’t read yet

  • The Wind Off the Small Isles and The Lost One (which is actually a novella with a bonus added short story)
  • Thunder on the Right
  • This Rough Magic (a title which amuses me, as there is a Russell Crowe film called Rough Magic)
  • Stormy Petrel (I feel like I may have read this one ages ago, but I do not remember it and do not own a print copy)
  • Rose Cottage (whose cover amuses me as there is a distinct lack of roses in otherwise nice art)

The ones I have already read

  • The Gabriel Hounds
  • Wildfire at Midnight
  • Touch Not the Cat (AW YEAH and this one in particular is the one that triggered the Stewart bonanza, as I have high-school-era memories of reading this one!)
  • Thornyhold
  • The Moonspinners (except the cover art says The Moon-Spinners, even though the text does not, so I wonder about the discrepancy there)
  • The Ivy Tree, which apparently differs between the UK and US editions; I’ll be particularly intrigued to find out how
  • Nine Coaches Waiting
  • My Brother Michael
  • Madam, Will You Talk?
  • Airs Above the Ground

Meanwhile, also picked up from Kobo

I grabbed Alan Doyle’s second memoir, A Newfoundlander in Canada: Always Going Somewhere, Always Coming Home, because Alan Doyle. Of course I’m buying Alan’s next book. πŸ˜€

Nabbed in print

The mass market paperback edition of Julie E. Czerneda’s The Gate to Futures Past, book 2 of her Reunification trilogy.

I’ve also gotten a new influx of ebook settlement credit, so I’ll be picking out some titles on B&N again soon. But for now let’s get this post up.

17 total titles in this post, and 50 for the year.

Great Big Sea

For the B’ys of Great Big Sea: thanks for all the good times!

This article that showed up on the OKP Facebook group this morning has a quote from Alan Doyle in it that makes it pretty much official now: Great Big Sea is done.

I’m not surprised by this. I’ve seen this coming since Séan McCann stood down from the band, and really, I had suspicions of it being on the way even before the 2013 XX tour. But part of me wishes it would have come a bit sooner, and I note we still haven’t had any sort of official announcement via the band newsletter, the band website, or anything of that nature. So people coming to the greatbigsea.com website still won’t have any actual idea that the band’s pretty much done.

But it is what it is, and I feel it’s important now to take a few moments to celebrate what this band has meant to me in the last fourteen years. They’ve brought me huge amounts of joy. They’ve led me to making lifelong friends, to learning brand new instruments, to discovering the dynamic energy of Newfoundland traditional music in general, and most of all, to looking forward to the yearly outing to a concert where I could bounce and sing at the top of my lungs. And sometimes more than one concert in a year.

They led me to founding the Three Good Measures jamming group, and I’m proud to this day of all the fun we had making those MP3s.

They made a guitar player out of me! And they are, of course, responsible for why my best guitar is named General Taylor.

Me and the General

Me and the General

They led me and Dara and a bunch of our friends to have ridiculous amounts of fun participating in the fan song contest in 2010, when Safe Upon the Shore came out.

(Not to mention that we also had a bunch of fun making the blooper reel for these shenanigans, too!)

And of course, Alan Doyle does still hold the record for killing me MOST DED WITH SWOON in any given concert, thanks to our getting him to sing “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. Okay yeah sure, this was an Alan Solo show, but I include this because it’s all part and parcel of the joy these guys have brought to my life!

Which of course also leads me to add that I was also very, very grateful to finally get pics of myself with Alan AND with Séan.

And last but most DEFINITELY not least, these boys are very specifically responsible for why Christopher in Faerie Blood and Bone Walker is a Newfoundlander and a bouzouki player. They are why the very first scene of Bone Walker is, in fact, at a Great Big Sea show, even though I don’t call them out by name. And they are why the third book of the Free Court of Seattle will be set partially in St. John’s, and why Dara and I had such an awesome time in 2012 going there for the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival. Where, I might add, we saw them sing on their home soil, with the added special bonus of Darrell Power showing up to help them sing “Excursion Around the Bay”.

(And man, it was satisfying to see Alan’s doubletake on the stage when he came out and saw Dara and me there, faces he usually saw on the other side of the continent. ;D Particularly since this was only a few months after the Elvis incident!)

And in fact, they did “Excursion” TWICE.

It is part and parcel of life that all good things must eventually come to an end. But the music still lives on in my collection, and in my fingers. I will still come to both Alan’s and Séan’s shows when I can. And I know that whenever I pick up one of my guitars or flutes or whistles, when I start singing “Ordinary Day” on a walk to or from work just because I can, it’ll be because these guys kindled that within me.

Thanks b’ys. From the bottom of my heart. <3

Great Big Sea, Other People's Books

Book review: Where I Belong, by Alan Doyle

As I’d already posted, I pre-ordered Alan Doyle’s new memoir Where I Belong straight off of greatbigsea.com, and that book got here yesterday, woo! (Although I only wound up getting it out of the mailbox tonight, since I worked from home yesterday and forgot to check the mail.)

But in the meantime I also pulled down the ebook via Kobo, since I wasn’t about to try to take a signed hardback anywhere in my backpack. And I’ve gotta say, I was expecting the read to be delightful–but hadn’t really quite grasped how fun it would be to go through a few hundred pages’ worth of Alan essentially telling us all about the first half of his life.

I already knew the man has a command of language; I have, after all, been following his blog posts on greatbigsea.com and his own site for years now. And I’ve been to many a GBS concert in which he’s launched into amusing tales while at the mike. I’m very, very familiar with the cadences of his voice at this point, after 14 straight years of Great Big Sea fandom.

And reading Where I Belong pretty much was just like hearing Alan tell a very long tale at a kitchen party, I swear. His voice came right through into his writing, and it was made all the more delightful by assorted pictures of his young self and assorted family members. At the end of each chapter came an additional anecdote, often tying into Great Big Sea, that gave the overall narrative good structure and eventually brought us to the big turning point of Alan’s life: i.e., the founding of the band that would make him, SΓ©an McCann, Darrell Power, and Bob Hallett famous.

Some of this stuff I already knew, just from being in the fandom as long as I have. Some of it, though, I didn’t–particularly Alan describing the poverty of his early life. Boy howdy can I sympathize with that. And now that I’ve actually visited St. John’s, bits of the book kept resonating for me. Particularly Alan’s tale of the first visit he ever made to O’Brien’s–which has sadly now gone bankrupt. πŸ™ I’ve been in that store. And I have a very healthy respect for the significance it’s had to the history of music in St. John’s.

Those of you who’ve read Faerie Blood and who will hopefully be getting Bone Walker by the turn of the year–you also know my Warder boy Christopher is a Newfoundlander. And reading Alan’s book, for me as an author as well as a GBS fan, kept triggering little moments of “ah yes, this would be important to Christopher and all of his family”.

So yeah. Absolutely required reading, if you’re a Great Big Sea fan. And I’d even recommend it if you’re not a GBS fan, just on the strength of Alan’s storytelling. The man does have a way with a word. And I’m hearing rumors he may be already thinking of writing another one.

To which there can of course be only one proper response: yes b’y.

And here: both of my copies of the book, the signed one from greatbigsea.com, and the ebook on my Nook HD!

Where I Belong, in Stereo

Where I Belong, in Stereo

Books

Oh hey Carina is doing POD finally book roundup

It’s been a while since the last time I emptied the change jar, so I took it to the Coinstar machine at Safeway and found I had a whopping $77, woo! So I dumped it all into an iTunes code, and promptly bought myself a bunch of Tor titles I had on the To Read list–because I will happily buy from the iBooks store if the titles are DRM-free.

So here are the Tor titles I nabbed:

  • In the Garden of Iden, by Kage Baker. SF. Because I’d always heard this series was good, and although Ms. Baker has unfortunately passed away, I kept meaning to check this out.
  • Awakenings, by Edward Lazellari. Urban fantasy. One I’d seen buzz about on tor.com, and thought it sounded interesting.
  • A Darkling Sea, by James L. Cambias. SF. First contact story. Nabbed because this had an excerpt posted on tor.com, and the excerpt was interesting enough that I wanted to read the book.
  • The Highest Frontier, by Joan Slonczewski. SF.
  • Eyes to See, by Joseph Nassise. Urban fantasy. Nabbed because I thought the idea of the blind protagonist (who of course has otherworldly sight) sounded nicely creepy.
  • Three Princes, by Ramona Wheeler. Fantasy. Nabbed because AU involving a world where the Egyptian Empire remained a dominant power through most of history.
  • Silver, by Rhiannon Held. Urban fantasy. Nabbed because werewolves.

And meanwhile, I nabbed these from B&N:

  • Dangerous Refuge and Night Diver, by Elizabeth Lowell. Her two most recent romantic suspense releases, which I have already read as of this writing. Found them less interesting than many of her earlier works, although Night Diver actually surprised me by having queer side characters.
  • Maplecroft, by Cherie Priest (pre-order). Historical fantasy. Nabbed by pre-order because LIZZIE BORDEN. πŸ˜€

Nabbed from Amazon:

  • Steam & Sorcery, by Cindy Spencer Pape. Steampunk romance. Grabbed this (even though I already own it in ebook form) because it’s one of Carina’s first print-on-demand titles and I want to see what the output looks like, not to mention support the POD effort.
  • Per-Bast: A Tale of Cats in Ancient Egypt, by Lara-Dawn Stiegler. Nabbed because I know the author and she was offering the book for free on the Kindle over the weekend. Also because fantasy set in ancient Egypt, and cats!

Grabbed this from GreatBigSea.com:

  • Where I Belong, by Alan Doyle. Because ALAN DOYLE, and also because this is his forthcoming memoir, to be released in October! Pre-ordering straight off of greatbigsea.com because pre-orders are, indeed, love. And because GBS.com is guaranteeing signed copies, woo.

Lastly, picked these up from Dragonwell Press:

  • Lex Talionis, by R.S.A. Garcia. SF/mystery. Grabbed this because of featuring it on Boosting the Signal!
  • Mistress of the Solstice, by Anna Kashina. Fantasy. Grabbed this because I’d originally bought it when it was called Ivan and Marya and published by Drollerie Press. Wanted to grab a copy to support Anna Kashina’s re-issue of the book.

86 for the year.

Great Big Sea, Other People's Books

For the Great Big Sea fans, hey look! Alan Doyle, author!

Those of you who’re in Great Big Sea fandom undoubtedly know this already, but just in case you don’t, Alan Doyle is releasing a memoir in October! It’s to be called Where I Belong. Alert fans will note that this is the same title used by one of Alan’s songs on his solo album Boy on Bridge, and it’s about the importance of family collections even when a Newfoundlander wanders far from home. A fitting title indeed for a personal memoir.

GreatBigSea.com announced today over their newsletter that the book’s now available for preorder directly on their site, in hardcover form. So just for giggles, I went and poked around my various favorite ebook sites, and I’m seeing available on a lot of the major ebook sites as well. Here’s a roundup of places I’m seeing for sale!

GreatBigSea.com

Amazon US (Kindle and hardcover)

Amazon CA (Kindle and hardcover)

Barnes and Noble (hardcover only, no sign of a Nook version yet)

Powells

Chapters CA (hardcover and ebook, note that Chapters sells ebooks via Kobo)

iBooks US

iBooks CA

Kobo US

Google Play US

These are all the various links I can get at, browsing on computers in the States. If anybody in Canada or elsewhere wants to add links to this list, drop ’em in the comments!

AND! For those of you who’re on Goodreads, be advised that there is a giveaway in progress for both United States and Canadian readers! So if you don’t want to commit to buying a copy yet, you might want to jump in on this.

As y’all know, I am a voracious buyer of books, not to mention a longstanding voracious buyer of anything with Alan’s name on it. It tickles me deeply that I get to throw some of my book-buying money to Alan’s first venture into writing, and I very much look forward to having a signed hardcopy and a digital version. ‘Cause I ain’t taking a signed hardback on a bus commute!

Great Big Sea

A LOT of visitors coming by to read about Sean McCann

I’ve had a massive uptick lately in people hitting my three previous posts about Sean McCann leaving GBS, here and here and here. And what I’m sensing here is quite a few people who might perhaps be looking for answers as to why exactly Sean bailed on the band–and what Great Big Sea’s fate will be now that he’s out.

On the latter question, there has still been no formal announcement through official GBS channels. I’ve seen nothing posted on the site’s news page, and nothing’s come across the newsletter either. The most official thing I’ve seen on the matter is Alan Doyle’s most recent post to his personal blog, From the Road, which you can see on the Great Big Sea site here or on Alan’s site here. Alan basically says that the band is on hiatus again, and goes into some detail about what he, Bob, Murray, and Kris are up to. He does also mention Sean’s leaving, that Sean is about to release a new CD (today, in fact, as of this writing, up on his bandcamp page), and that he wishes him well.

Sean himself in the meantime has started talking to the media. So if you haven’t seen it already, an interview he did on the matter is over here. He’s saying pretty much what I expected, which is to say, creative differences. And he, like much of the fanbase, is going a bit “buh?” at the silence on greatbigsea.com about his departure.

‘Cause yeah, you’d think they’d have issued some sort of formal announcement by now. o.O

But, be that as it may, I’ll continue to relay any news I come across. If you’re on Facebook, you might consider dropping by the OKP group there since that’s become the more or less de facto replacement for the OKP forums that used to be on the Great Big Sea site. This is where I’m getting my most recent news. You can find that group here.

Great Big Sea

The most important thing about the Great Big Sea show tonight

Internets, my usual full concert report will be coming about tonight’s Great Big Sea show in Edmonds real soon–but before I post that, I have to post this, because THIS was the high point of the evening and I’m still trying to ramp down from the outburst of ZOMG in my system.

As you all know, I’m a novelist. I’ve completed five novels, in fact. Verbosity is my primary superpower. I have a LOT of words in me. So you’ll know that if other people’s pictures are worth a thousand words, this one, coming from me, is worth an entire trilogy. This happened after the GBS show in Edmonds tonight, when I and several other fangirls were hanging out by the band’s tour bus!

Anna and Alan Doyle

Anna and Alan Doyle

Thirteen years. THIRTEEN YEARS I’ve been in this fandom and I’ve finally scored not only the opportunity, but also the gumption to ask Alan Doyle to his face if I could have a picture with him. He promptly said “sure!”, invited me to get in close, and put his arm around my shoulders. I handed my phone off to my friend Helen, who then needed me to unlock it for her ’cause duh right access code. THEN she had trouble finding my camera app, so she made cracks at me about how “should I draw this out a little longer?”–’cause Alan was standing there with his arm around me the whole time. I chirped, “I’M GOOD!”

There was laughter, and the picture was finally taken. One other girl in the group also snapped a pic which she promised to send me, so this wasn’t even the only one!

(ALSO! There was bonus Murray! Most of the group wanted pics with Alan, so after I got my turn I turned to Murray and asked him about his fundraising efforts for his Cocksure Lads movie–his mockumentary about a fictional 60’s British rock band. Great fun. I was in on round one of that fundraising and I’ll be chiming in on the second one too. Because Murray is awesome.

Also, mad props to Foster when I told him I was annathepiper on Twitter and that we’d chatted some about Tolkien. He remembered that. YAY!)

So yeah. This was a TRIUMPH. Making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.

Also note: I neither confirm nor deny any rumors of high-pitched squealing and a victory dance as soon as we were out of range of the bus.