Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Storm Continues – Space Opera Basics at Mithril Wisdom! Plus Launch Recap, CassaFacts, CassaTrivia, and Ninja News

Today’s tour stop is with the awesome Jamie at Mithril Wisdom! I met Jamie during the very first A to Z Challenge, so we’ve know each other a long time. He’s one sharp fantasy geek and studied Egyptology in college. My guest post today is an easy introduction into the space opera genre, covering books, movies, shows, etc. Plus – we’re giving away a Cassa Universe poster! Check it out.

And CassaStorm’s release week kicks off with prizes every day! Comment between September 16 and 20 to enter. (Ends 6:00 pm EST Sunday, September 22.)
Prizes include:
Cassa mousepad
Cassa Universe poster
Cassa magnet
Cassa mug
Autographed copy of CassaStorm
One person will be randomly selected each day and the five names will be drawn from a hat – first person gets first choice and so on.

This week I will be featuring my tour, unique Cassa facts, trivia, and prizes every day. Plus others are announcing CassaStorm’s release, and almost every post features a unique interview question. List of participants on the CassaStorm Page. So join the fun!

Launch Day Recap

Huge thanks to everyone who has made announcements thus far or purchased CassaStorm! Launch day was awesome – this whole week has been awesome!

The #RUSHED Twitter party with Lynn Rush was fun! Fortunately it wasn’t a huge turnout, or I would’ve been even more confused…

I wanted to point out some really special posts:

Many thanks to Edi at Edi’s Book Lighthouse for hosting me on release day with a review, interview, and giveaway.

Father Dragon Al had a wonderful, fiery tribute and touching review of CassaStar. (As far as I know, no dwarves were singed.)

Leovi posted the most amazing photo in tribute to CassaStorm.

Melanie Schulz posted a wonderful review of CassaStorm.

Tammy Theriault’s announcement was very amusing!

Randy at Not the Baseball Pitcher posted a review of CassaStorm.

And the links to announcement posts have been updated on the CassaStorm Page so you can go directly to the answers if that person has posted.

Thanks, everyone – you made the Ninja’s day!

Ninja News

Samantha Redstreake Geary, the genius behind the Illumination Collaborative Flash Fiction Challenge – Tree of Life, has a special announcement today and a giveaway!

Lynn Rush’s latest came out yesterday – Frostbite! Congratulations, Lynn.

Liesel Hill’s latest came out yesterday - Quantum Entanglement! Plus there’s a Goodreads giveaway in progress, so check it out. Congratulations, Liesel!

Movie Review

Hansel and Gretel
In a nutshell – dumb but fun! It’s a misfire, but an interesting one to watch. Add a weird mix of steampunk weaponry and medieval folklore and you have one strange twist. It’s bloody and violent, which actually works in its favor. (Water this stuff down too far and it’s unwatchable.) Leave brain at door.

Cassa Facts

“A lack of female characters…”

Yes, I heard that more than once. There were virtually no female characters in CassaStar. (Outside of a very brief scene with Byron’s older sister in the beginning.) And that is one of the reasons some readers have dinged it with a poor review.

There are two reasons why no women appear in the first book.

The first has to do with my skills as a writer. It was my first book. I knew I had a lot of things working against me. I didn’t want my incompetence when it came to portraying the opposite sex to be one of those. So I didn’t include any female characters, not even in casual passing on the Cassan Flagship.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think to explain the second reason in CassaStar, and readers didn’t find the answer until CassaFire. There is a legitimate reason why Cassan women don’t serve on Flagships or fly Cassan fighters. I won’t reveal it here, but you can read about it in CassaFire.

So for those of you who still wonder – no, I did not intend to exclude women from my books. I just wasn’t ready to write them in the first book. And as you’ll discover in the second book, their strengths lay elsewhere.

Cassa Trivia

For those who’ve read the Cassa books – or at least read the synopsis of each one! 

1 – Who was Byron’s first navigator?

2 – What was Athee’s relationship to Prefect Orellen?

3 – Who was Byron’s Cosbolt pilot friend in all three books?

4 – What was the name of the Flagship in CassaStar?

5 – What is the name of Athee’s home world?

Did you catch any of those cool posts? Excited about the new books? Seen Hansel and Gretel? Do you struggle with writing the opposite sex? (Or wondered why there were no women in CassaStar?) And do you know any of the trivia?

Don’t forget to visit Mithril Wisdom!


Unknown said...

Thanks for writing over at my humble abode, Alex - here's hoping we get a few new space opera fans afterwards :)

Tonja Drecker said...

I was just thinking 'I've got to congratulate Alex' and look, I'm at the top of the comment list today!
So... *confetti**balloons**silly string* CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Couldn't happen to a nicer guy ;)

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Congratulations to you, Alex! So excited for you. :)

I think writing the opposite sex is definitely a challenge. I haven't attempted a POV character male.

Congrats again!

Old Kitty said...

Trindel!! Hah!!

Take care

Natalie Aguirre said...

Enjoyed the Twitter party. It was my first one. Glad I wasn't the only one confused a bit.

And I'll have to think about watching Hansel and Gretel after your review.

Yolanda Renée said...

I don't see anything wrong with not having women in the story, many times I've wondered why they are there at all, but mostly in some movies. Especially if only as an afterthought.

Congratulations, Alex! This is one major roll out and very well done, and kudos on the organization of it all!

A.J. Walker said...

Mithril Wisdom is a great blog, headed over there now!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Appreciate the opportunity, Jamie!

T, thanks - that made me grin.

Elizabeth, never?

Kitty, you got it!

Natalie, thanks for joining us.

Yolanda, thanks - I tried.

randi lee said...

The support provided to you by the writing community is purely amazing and inspirational...and most certainly well deserved! Posted by promo (albeit a day late!) this morning, in the hopes that it'll reach even a few more potential readers. Rock on, Alex!!!

J.L. Campbell said...

Glad the Twitter chat went well. Still can't quite wrap my head around them, but I guess they work for those who can follow what's going on. Can't imagine how busy you are this week.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Congratulations on the release of your latest book and for attempting a Twitter chat! They DO blow your mind, don't they? And I can't keep up since my favorite Twitter chat website went Ka-flooey.

Enjoy your release week!

Michelle Wallace said...

I think that's a perfectly reasonable explanation, as to why females have been excluded from CassaStar!
Twitter chat? I barely manage with the normal tweeting... but it seems like you did okay...? Didn't you?

Brian Miller said...

i saw tammy's announcement. that was fun....sorry i missed the twitter party...forgot i had class last night and did not get home until late....i hear you too on having things working against you as a first time writer and not wanting to compound it...

RaveAir said...

You just opened the possibility to other writters to wrote "The wifes of cosbolt pilots" spin-off. ;)

Hansel & Gretel... I almost got what I expected. It was fun, but nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Just ordered your book on Amazon uk. Look forward to receiving it,

Great blog again today hope the "Storm" rages on.


Tony Laplume said...

I'm pretty sure Byron's navigator in the first one was Bassa, his son's namesame in the third.

I would have to cheat with other answers. Athee's homeworld is the location for the whole third book (and I believe the second as well). Tgren, yes?

Unknown said...

Been following you around like a true groupie Alex and I have read some great posts! Congrats on a successful launch. I did see Hansel and Gretel. Like Jack and the Giant it was fun and entertaining but worth a wait for DVD release. Leave brain at door...LOL, yes I agree, but the movie was just fun and sometimes my brain needs just that :)

Unknown said...

Always love your movie reviews with "Leave Brain at Door"

Nick Wilford said...

I think any good, interesting characters can be hard work to portray, men or women.

Just wanted to stop by and say congrats, I'm sorry I wasn't involved in the tour. I'm just finding my way around blogland again!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Most books have some kind of romantic element, if only because it ups the ante. CassaStar is one example of successful books that don't.

Off to Mithril

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Randi Lee, and I am most grateful for the support!

Joy, I don't think my brain wrapped as well as it should've last night.

Dianne, my mind was blown...

Michelle, I survived, so I did something right!

Brian, no worries.

Zoltan, that's funny!

Yvonne, thank you!!

Tony, you are correct! You're on it this morning.

Siv, appreciate that and yes, mindless fun is good sometimes.

David, it's the safest way to approach the film.

Nick, glad to have you back. We've missed you.

Thanks, Donna!

Chris Desson said...

I started CasaStorm last night, and am already hooked. Congrats on the successful launch; sorry I missed the twitter party but it was past my bedtime.

I actually enjoyed the movie Hansel and Gretel. The storyline is lacking, but the premise is there and the action is awesome. I watched it twice in a row the night I rented it.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Keep going strong Alex! I have seen you everywhere!

I know you're not on Facebook but you are all over that too!

So happy for you!


Shah Wharton said...

I wasn't sold on H & G either Alex. Could have been better, but it was fun I guess. As for your posts - You are EVERYWHERE! Brilliant support for your launch. You must feel so loved right now. :D Good for you admitting your insecurities on your first book. I have the same issue with the kissy/sexy stuff on my first book. I'm struggling with it but less so in the second. At least your given a reason regarding storyline later on. :)

Johanna Garth said...

Congratulations Alex. I'm off to visit your post on Jamie's blog...had me at Egyptology. How cool!

Unknown said...

So glad your launch day and Twitter party were awesome fun!
And congrats to Lynn and Liesel on their book releases as well!

Cherie Reich said...

I really need to catch up on reading your books, Alex! I loved the first one, even if there were very few women in it. :)

Cassie Mae said...

I actually prefer to write in male POV. Reasons is 100% in my male MC's POV, and most of my collaborations I write the boy. I'm not sure what that says about me...maybe I'm better at thinking like a man. Or maybe I spent too much time around my brother and his guy friends growing up ;) said...

Too bad the original Hansel and Gretel was massacred. It's a great story to play off of.

1) Eye Forgott
2) Niece
3) Mevine
4) Dont No
5) Tgren

Keep flying high, Alex.

Carrie-Anne said...

I I tend towards female protagonists, but I really enjoy the chance to have a male main character. It's a nice change of pace, just as writing a character from another culture, religion, or political party.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Christine, thank you!! That's good to know.

Heather, really? Whoa...

Shah, writing that stuff just doesn't come natural. And I've been overwhelmed by the support!

Cherie, there are more in the second one! Well, one more anyway...

Cassie, I'm not even going to speculate!

Robyn, you got three!

Liesel K. Hill said...

Thanks so much for featuring my book, Alex! I really appreciate it! Glad your release is going so well! :D

Andrew Leon said...

I actually mostly enjoyed Hansel and Gretel.

Laura Clipson said...

I don't blame you for leaving female characters out, after all we are always told to write what we know! Besides, like you said, you explained it later in the series.

ilima said...

YOU ARE EVERYWHERE. And I've seen some creative questions and answers so far.

Leovi said...

Wonderful! CassaStorm fever keeps going up, great collaborations, Congratulations Alex! And thank you very much for remembering me!

Luanne G. Smith said...

Congrats, Alex! I'm a little out of it this week, but I'm seeing your book everywhere. Best of luck!

Summer Ross said...

I saw H&G- it was ok but don't plan to own it. Yay on a good launch!

Julie Flanders said...

I'm so glad none of Father Dragon's dwarves were burned. That was dangerous work they were doing!

I don't think you should have to explain yourself as far as the female characters and can't believe someone would give a bad review just because of that.

John Wiswell said...

Having no female characters is increasingly hazardous in SFF, a change I'm quite happy about. It seems like you're more comfortable with your skill now, though you have openly questioned if you'll write more novels. If you do, do you think you'll intentionally include women closer to the core of the plot?

Bevimus said...

I'm so glad release day was a success! I'll head on over to Mithril now.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I know mot of the trivia.

I enjoy writing from a male POV. Guys are so simple.

Huntress said...

LOL what L. Diane said.

Checking out Mithril Wisdom. Great name btw.

Pat Hatt said...

Never watched h & g, figured it would be as you described.

Seen quite a few posts for you around many a blog zoo

The Angry Lurker said...

Hansel and Gretel was popcorn but the good popcorn with butter!

Ruth said...

I am a little behind in my reading. Congrats. I don't read much of sci-fi, but the books sound great for my sister and brother inlaw. I am thinking Christmas gifts. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Liesel, you're welcome!

Laura, I wrote one when I was ready.

Ilima, I had fun answering all of them.

Leovi, your tribute was just awesome!

LG, you've had a rough week, so I understand.

Julie, I got several bad reviews because of that. Oh well!

John, I managed to do that in the second and third books, so yes.

Diane and Huntress - we're simple? And the problem with that is...?

Fran, the fatty good kind!

Ruth, thank you!

Liz Blocker said...

CONGRATULATIONS, ALEX!! *does a belated but heartfelt dance of good wishes*

I need to start at the beginning of the series, so I won't get to CassaStorm for a bit. But I'll get there!

And oh yes, I think it's really normal to struggle with writing the opposite sex. Not to mention different ethnicities, races, etc. Anything that threatens labels of ignorance! We're so used to being politically correct that we can get reaaaaally scared of screwing it up. I just try to go for it - and make sure I'm writing three-dimensional, REAL people, no matter the race or gender.

Julie Dao said...

Congrats again, Alex, and I think those are perfectly legit reasons for not including women in your book!

Unknown said...

Yay! I've seen the Storm all over the blogosphere this week. Have it featured over at my blog today. :D

SK Anthony said...

Lack of female characters.... See? You know where and how to limit yourself and that is better than forcing it and failing. I can't wait to actually sit down and read this series, I'm so curious now to know where their strength lie...and and and, look at that. Now you can use this as marketing :P

I'm all set up for CassaStorm tomorrow. This is such an exciting week!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

It's amazing how treasured you are across the blogosphere Alex. Congrats to you and all the authors with new books coming out this week. I loved the Hansel and Gretel movie. Watched the movie in 3D and I think they made excellent use of it.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I am really happy that your release day was a success Alex. Everyone is as excited as you for CassaStorm's launch :)

Isis Rushdan said...

I like Lynn's newest cover!

Hansel and Gretel looked like it would be a waste of time for me. I will not add this one to Netflix. Although with the little one, it is easier to check brain at door while watching light entertainment, lol.

Unknown said...

Very excited to have you on my site today, Alex! The fantastic gang over in Hollywood just announced your feature on their social media--should get tons of exposure:)

I picked one of my favorite audiomachine tracks to go with CassaStorm--hope you like it:)


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Liz, thanks! And I really didn't want to screw it up.

Thanks, Candilynn.

SK, didn't want to fail. And thank you! If you get a chance to read them I'd really appreciate it.

Samantha, really? Whoa!!!

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Congratulations, Alex! What a great launch you have created! Good luck with all of it.

nutschell said...

I cannot wait to read Cassastorm.I love Byron and Athee and I'm excited to read about the next chapter in their lives!
Congrats, Alex! I hope you never stop writing your stories, despite the lure of music. haha.


Crystal Collier said...

I enjoyed Hansel and Gretel too--thought clearplayed. I've had a blast the last couple days, seeing your book news everywhere. And that trailer? Super awesomesauce.

Sherry Ellis said...

You're off to a great start! (Sorry, I couldn't be there for the Twitter party. I was helping my kids with homework. I hope it went well!) I'll hop over to your first stop on the blog tour.

Al Diaz said...

Seems my comment appeared in the wrong post. Stupid Feedly, how much dragon hates it. Ah well, I got two answers only and now yesterday post got two dragon comments. :P

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Alex,

Congrats again!!!

I like writing in different POVS... female included. I find it so fascinating to be in the minds of others no matter what sex they are.

Even POVS of animals is interesting. I dabbled in that as well in my first novel.

This has been quite the week.. I have seen SOOO much blogger love, it just warms my soul....

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I was hit with immediate guilt when I couldn't think of the answer to the first Cassa trivia and the answer is on the tip of my tongue...but then I reminded myself that I fail at trivia all the time!!

Best of luck to all the new releases. And I enjoyed Hansel and Gretel...I'm super good at leaving my brain at the door :)

Not offended by there being no girls. Stupid reason to knock a good book.

Bassa!!! I remembered. I'm right, right?

klahanie said...

Hi Alex,

Shall keep my comment mercifully short.

I'm doing my utmost to follow around on your tour and leave comments. Heck, I'm even sharing the postings on 'Farcebook'!

Links noted and well done, good sir.


D.G. Hudson said...

Those are my guesses, but I've only read the two, and that was a while ago. They sit on my shelves.

As for writing in a different gender, I do it a lot. I ask hubs when I want to ensure the dialogue sounds like a guy.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nutschell, thanks!!

Crystal, I was really happy with how they did the trailer.

Sherry, no worries! It was fun.

Al, that's all right! Gave me a chuckle.

Michael, never tried an animal - bet it's different!

Elizabeth, you remembered!

Gary, thanks! Appreciate that.

DG, so close on the second, but you got the others. And I check with my wife when writing from Athee's point of view.

Melissa said...

Interesting about the female character issue... You've piqued my interest.

So far, no one's told me I write male characters poorly, but the real test, I suppose, will be publication.

Congrats to everyone with good news to share. :)

Elsie Amata said...

I have seen some of the most creative posts done about your book, Alex. I love seeing all the attention it's getting. Go You!!

Empty Nest Insider said...

This has been a great week Alex! Congrats on your wonderful tributes and reviews!


ediFanoB said...

you are a fantastic blog tour host. Every post I read shows the love for you and your books.

I'm happy that I found time to visit your blog and todays tour stop after a real long working day accompanied by a dripping nose. Furthermore I had to postpone my holiday for one day because of some unexpected events today

Christine Rains said...

It's been a huge week for you! And so much fun. I felt the same way about Hansel & Gretel. No thinking necessary for that film. I'm off to Mithril Wisdom. :)

mooderino said...

Off to check out your guest post.


Peaches Ledwidge said...

Congrats on your new release, Alex. I love this: "After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind." And I love your trailer too.

M Pax said...

Congrats to Liesel and Lynn!

Don't forget to breathe during your whirlwind tour. Glad it's going great.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I like the covers for Frostbite and Quantum Entanglement!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

It didn't bother me that there were no women in CassaStar. I didn't see Hansel and Gretel and probably won't unless it's on HBO.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

dream of a world you want to live in, dream out loud...

Nicole said...

So. Much. CassaStorm! Congrats Alex. Been seeing this everywhere - what a kick-off!

Erin L. Funk said...

Congrats on your latest book release! Hansel & Gretel looked like it might be fun but possibly a bit on the gory side for me. Loved Jeremy Renner in the latest Bourne movie though!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Despite the best of intentions it's often impossible to please everyone. I had a review complain because Valerie's kitchen in Dead Witness was blue. She typed in capital letters WHY BLUE? Beats the heck out of me. Alex, you are a winner, so are your books, and the rest of us don't care if there were no women in your first novel.

Helena said...

I just bought the LAST paperback copy of CassaStorm in stock on Amazon! There musta been a run on it, which is wonderful for you, Alex.

Brandon Ax said...

I got my post up today. I did enjoy H and G although I agree too much thought ruins the movie. Good luck on your tour and release.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Melissa, you're probably fine!

Edi, sorry about that! Thanks and appreciated stopping to see you yesterday.

Thanks, Peaches!

Mary - breathing, breathing...

Erin, he was good in the Bourne film.

Joylene, that is really dumb!

Helena, thanks! And that's good to know.

Thanks everyone - what a week!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you have a very valid reason for not having female characters. Hopefully you're more comfortable writing them now and you can give women a larger role in your future novels.

Congrats on the book release!

The Armchair Squid said...

Congrats on the new release, Alex!

Robyn Campbell said...

I gotta have Frostbite! That cover is awesome! Alex, I'm thrilled that release day was such a huge success. I'm going to read it this weekend. A Cassa story and some buttered popcorn. Ahh. Off to read your guest post.

Kimberly Gabriel said...

I'm so thrilled to see you everywhere right now!! I hope you're enjoying (and surviving) the week!!

Unknown said...

Congratulations, Alex! Sell a million books.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Chris, I'm better!

Robyn, thank you! Hope you enjoy it.

Kimberly, doing my best.

J E Oneil said...

Congratulations on the book coming out!

Unknown said...

Congrats, Alex!

And wow! Frostbite is an amazing cover. :D

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

A continued congrats. It's so awesome to see so much brilliant support for your launch. Yay!!

And yes! Twitter parties ARE so confusing! hehehe

Suze said...

'There is a legitimate reason why Cassan women don’t serve on Flagships or fly Cassan fighters. I won’t reveal it here, but you can read about it in CassaFire.'

Okay, that was clever. :)

Ella said...

Great launch! Fun to see our favorite Ninja Captain everywhere~
I haven't forgotten you! Now that my Zombie meds have worn off I will post later today ;D

Off to make the rounds!
I need more clones

L.G. Keltner said...

I've written from male POV's multiple times, but am I any good at it? I'm not entirely sure. All I can say is that I do my best.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lynda, now I know!

Ella, no worries - glad you feel better.

LG, I think you do well.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Alex, have you been watching your Amazon rankings?

Gossip_Grl said...

Great post! Hansel and Gretel is on our Redbox movie list to watch this weekend.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Diane, I need to!

Gossip Girl, it's good mindless entertainment.

Nancy Thompson said...

I think it's remarkable how, even as you're launching your book, you continue to promote & help others. True Alex fashion. We are blessed to know you.

Anonymous said...

I understand your nerves about writing female characters. I am worried about writing men myself. I don't think I understand them very well.

Congrats on having your trilogy out!