Aunts vs. Uncles

“It is no use telling me there are bad aunts and good aunts. At the core, they are all alike. Sooner or later, out pops the cloven hoof.”
Boldini, Countess de Janville.
Thus did Bertie Wooster condemn the genus aunt in The Code of the Woosters. Admittedly, uncles come in for a certain amount of censure too – the 5th Earl of Ickenham, aka Pongo Twistleton‘s Uncle Fred, is a notable example. But never do we find the wholesale condemnation of aunts repeated on the avuncular side.

What do you think: on the balance of things, is it aunts or uncles that are “a menace to one and all”?

What Do You Call…

a) the thing a person keeps their cash in
b) the thing a person keeps coins in
c) the thing a person keeps the aforementioned things in

and do these terms vary depending on the gender of the person in question?

Public Purse Melbourne

Myself, I call them
a) a wallet (or possibly a purse, if it is basically a little bag with a fastening, as in picture above);
b) a purse (also as in picture above);
c) a bag, bilum or handbag.

I tend to avoid the words purse and handbag when referring to men’s accoutrements, since some consider those words apply only to women’s accoutrements and become uncomfortable and/or offended. And if I’m going to make people uncomfortable and/or offended, I’d rather it was intentional.

Blurbs: Your Opinion, Please!

After the helpful feedback I garnered from my last appeal for opinions (#2 is looking like a winner), I am moved to ask again. This time, your opinion is sought on the matter of blurbs.

The blurb text will appear on the back cover of the hardcopy, and in the online sales pages for both hardcopy and ebook. It’s the first thing after the cover that has the chance to pique a reader’s interest in the book. It’s gotta be good, and it’s gotta be short. Brevity is the soul of wit, Polonius informs us, and tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes. Brief, therefore, let me be.

There are two groups of people I want to hear from in particular:

  1. People who have read the book.
  2. People who have not read the book.

If you fall into the former category, let me know which of the following blurbs you think best fits the content and tone of the book (always bearing in mind that Some Changes Have Been Made).

If you fall into the latter category, your task is simple: say which of the following blurbs you find most intriguing; which most piques your interest in reading the book.

Feel free to make your feedback as detailed as you like – approve some sentences, denounce others, critique the commas, substitute the shoutlines – all feedback is welcomed. Bear in mind that the illustrations are provided purely for, er, illustrative purposes, and won’t actually be involved in the end product.

Now, with no further ado, let us bring on the contestants!

Contestant Number One:

It should have been a fairytale…

Lily was born to be queen of Arcelia, where the land itself has life and magic growing in it. The royal rite of Restoration Day renews that life, restoring every family to their ancestral lands.
A quest for the Restoration Requisites is Lily’s chance to leave her enchanted castle for the world beyond, taking her rightful place at last. Her fairytale is finally coming true. Or so she thought…
But Arcelia has changed in ways she never imagined possible. Lily’s quest soon turns deadly serious: if she doesn’t find the Requisites in time, the life of the land will be lost – and so will hers.

Restoration Day is coming…


Contestant Number Two:

Princess, pawn – or queen?

Princess Lily was born to be queen, but she lives like a pawn in the shadow of her aunt’s control. She dreams of the day when she will take her place in the world. At last her chance arrives, with a quest for the three Requisites of Restoration Day, the royal rite which renews the life of the land.
But she’s been hidden away too long, and Arcelia has changed. Stripped of everything but the identity which has become a life-threatening liability, Lily will need to do more than cross the board if she is to emerge triumphant as the queen she knows she must be.
The land she thought was hers becomes the field for a gripping game of chess – and this time she’s playing for her life.


Contestant Number Three:

When the people are divided
from each other and the land…

So runs the Fate, a warning of dark times for the land of Arcelia, where the land itself has life and magic growing in it. Arcelia’s Princess Lily escapes the confines of her sequestered childhood to seek the Requisites for Restoration Day, a once in a lifetime rite that restores ancestral lands and renews the land’s own life.
But Lily soon finds that being a princess in a magic land is nothing like a fairytale. Stripped of all she thought was hers, and running for her life, she must see through her quest before the Fate falls on her land and they both are lost forever.

…to a foreigner’s dominion
shall the land at last be lost.

book world

So what will it be? Contestant Number One, Contestant Number Two, Contestant Number Three, or Other? Have your say below!