The New Year has come roaring upon us like a mighty dragon with storm winds in its wake. It is a time for the setting of goals. For looking behind and looking ahead. A time for comparisons and calculations. It can be discouraging, daunting even, but it can also be hopeful. The hope of a fresh start. Of a blank book spreading before us with no mistakes yet marring the pages. So let us face this fierce new year of 2015 with fire in our hearts and strength in our arms. And get excited because I’ve been planning all sorts of fun things for the blog this year! It may come as a slight surprise to you, but I love books. I love reading books, writing books, sniffing books, stuffing books into my too-full bookcase … and giving books to friends. It’s a long-standing joke in my family that at least one person is going to get a book from me at Christmas time. This year, I managed to keep that number down to two. (The previous year, I realized I had given every single family member a book … only after they unwrapped their presents!) There is nothing quite like finding the perfect book—with just the right blend of setting, tone, characters, and plot—to match each reader. Because I love gifting books, I’ll be hosting a book giveaway for you, dear readers, every 1st and 3rd Tuesday for the duration of the year. Just for fun, I matched each month of the year to one of 12 Speculative Fiction Subgenres, so the giveaways for that month will fall under a certain theme. And January’s theme is … dystopian! January can be a bit of a bleak, dismal, gray month—words that tend to describe most dystopian societies … if not necessarily the books I’ve chosen. So be sure to stop by on January 6th for the first giveaway of the year! When Destiny Comes Calling … This serial short-ish story is one of my favorite things that I’ve ever tried on the blog, so I was quite sad to have to leave it hanging this fall amidst the crazed rush of a book release. But I think it’s high time we return to poor Alexander Mitus Scott Beauford III and his strange companions, Destiny, Fate, and the Wizard Doomsday, don’t you? Expect the return shortly! Need a refresher? Enjoy sifting through the archives to get caught up on the story! On Villains and Heroes My spy has once again managed infiltrate the ranks of the Academy of Ultimate Villainy, so you can expect to enjoy snippets of lecture notes on all things nefarious and dastardly, including a series on “Master-Minding Murder and Mayhem.” I don’t know about you, but that sounds fascinating to me! Also, in response to a series of messages sent to the Warriors-in-Hero-Training School of the Round Table, I finally received a missive from Sir Galgadin. Hand delivered by a talking wolf—definitely a strange experience. Apparently, Sir Galgadin has been away for the past several months hunting ogres in the mountains where hunting eagles make pigeon-reception doubtful, to say the least. In any case, he has a series of Questology Lectures that he intends to submit whenever possible, so you can expect to learn all sorts of heroic and fascinating things about questing, damsels in distress, identifying enchantresses, and returning home in one piece. Stay in Touch There’s quite a bit in the works for this year—not to mention several books that will be coming your way shortly—and you won’t want to miss out on any of it! A great way you can stay informed is by joining the Clan Newsletter! By following my newsletter, you’ll be the first to receive giveaway announcements, see cover reveals, and hear about upcoming books. Not to mention receiving the occasional epic fantasy short story delivered straight to your computer … Click here to sign up! As always, I wish you all the best and look forward to spending this next year with you!