Saturday, 13 June 2015

Where I am now

I've been neglecting this blog terribly for real-life reasons, mostly to do with my day job (i.e. stay-at-home mother of a toddler). Computing time has been precious, and while I can write on my Alphasmart and do forums and twitter on my phone, editing and Scrivener take priority on my computer.

So I thought it was beyond time to do a quick update. :)

Mermaids and Misadventures is written and in editing, and I'm really excited about sharing a book from the POV of Esther. She is so much fun to write. The sequel, Dragons and Deception (working title), is being outlined, although I've written a few scenes. It will be the penultimate novel length instalment, according to current plans.

Game dev wise, I am dying to get back to Stepsister, but I'm suffering the same computer access problems.

I've also outlined a historical love story in Adelaide, South Australia in 1928, about the relationship between a ambitious, wealthy white girl and a mission-raised young Aboriginal charwoman. Working title Lesley and Faith. I am still embroiled in research, so I will be ready to go when Scholars and Sorcery is complete. Much as I love Cornwall and writing books set in Cornwall, there's something special about writing a book set in the town in which I now live. I'm doing lots of cruising around town on buses picking out locations.

I also keep meaning to prepare the paperback copies of the books. Maybe when the whole series is out...

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Kitty art commission

Two blog posts in two days is not like me, but I wanted to share this adorable commission of Lady Emmeline Eversleigh, aka Kitty, in classic shoujo style by michiro-mitch.

I love big sparkly-eyed 1970s-1980s shoujo like that of Riyoko Ikeda, and my book seems like a good match for that art style. I think michiro-mitch did a fantastic job of capturing the style, and also Kitty's charming trickster personality.

Commission to Eleanor by michiro-mitch

Friday, 1 May 2015

Dimsie Moves Up Again

Dimsie Moves Up Again: Dorita Fairlie Bruce (1922)

'Well,' said Rosamund, doubtfully, 'we always have set our faces against the persecution of new girls, even if they're senior to ourselves.'
'Humpf!' said Jean Gordon. 'I've come gradually to the conclusion that the persecution never occurs unless it's deserved, and it usually does a lot of good in the end."
'Oh, but Jean!' objected Dimsie, 'it all depends on the reason. A girl shouldn't be ragged or snubbed because she's different from everybody else, and doesn't know any better.'
'She's come to school to learn,' returned Jean, conclusively.
Finding a new school story at a charity shop is always a little like winning the lottery for me. A recent trip came back with two new prizes, Dimsie Moves Up Again and Celia Wins.
Dimsie Moves Up Again is only new in a certain sense. I have foggy childhood memories of this one that became more clear as I read. One thing that remained intact from being a little girl: the impression that the Headmistress of the Jane Willard Foundation is an absolute monster. But more on that later.
DFB is one of my favourite school story authors, and she is reliably excellent when it comes to serious examinarions of school politics and loads of girls with boyish nicknames, two of my favourite things.
Her Dimsie series is notorious for being about the Anti Soppist League, the existence of which gives the impression that Jane's is a hothouse of lesbian desire that needs to be continually repressed, much like, I suppose, Fernleigh Manor. This gains added hilarity by Dimsie expressing the need to be down on soppiness while sitting with her head on the beautiful Rosamund's lap, for example, and the tendency of her girls to act like walking together to church is a date or a ball dance ("Are you already engaged elsewhere?") or to make exceptions when it's perfectly acceptable to kiss.
This is a little unfair, of course. The "soppy" behaviour Dimsie and her friends are determined to stamp out is more widely expressed as false emotion, airs and graces, and sentimentality of all kinds, including the "wrong" kind of bullying, i.e. that not intended to knock someone's corners off and force her to act like all the conventional girls she's with. (See the quote above about the unfortunate Fenella Postlethwaite in this book.) Sentimentality, effusive affection and other vaguely sapphic behaviour is simply a subset of "soppiness" that the girls will eventually grow out of anyway.
Never mind. In a universe in which Dimsie Grows Up never existed, I'm sure Dimsie and Rosamund, who is stated to be able to "get more out of Dimsie" than anyone else if she wants to, are together forever.
Back to the monstrosity of Miss Yorke, Jane's headmistress.
Tony, a senior girl who is immediately likeable because of her nickname, is a shoe-in to be voted Head Girl, which is done on democratic lines. Tony is a "thoroughly straight, good-all-round sort of girl" and has "the qualities that would make a capital Head Girl". She's adorable. The only other possibility is the wishy-washy, sensitive, musical Ursula Grey (let's take a moment to admire DFB's character naming, which is always perfect) who is not as popular, but is Dimsie's protegee. Yes, Dimsie has protegees who are older than her. She's annoying that way. Dimsie starts going around making girls promise to vote for Ursula.
So Miss Yorke calls in Tony, tells her that she doesn't have the right to order this, only request it, but Tony is not to stand for Head Girl. For the Sake of the School. Because, um... She has too many irons in the fire and lacks concentration.
'It is a great pity, Tony. I wish with all my heart I could let the election take its course, but it wouldn't be safe, so--' she paused, and looked at the tall straight girl before her with a little sigh '--so I must appeal to a principle which I know is strong in all you girls who have been long at the school. Will you think first of what is best for Jane's, Tony?'
My outrage, it still burns.
There is of course, other stuff going on. Ursula must be allowed to learn to play the cello instead of the piano (I would care more if not for my burning loyalty to Tony), people think terrible shabby things of Dimsie because of a purely altruistic attempt to delay another girl getting her hockey colours, some younger girls are wicked low-down rulebreakers. It's all quite glorious. Five stars.
But I shall leave you with another classic moment:
'Thanks, awfully, for the flowers, Dimsie dear. I shall play all the better because you gave them to me.'
'I'm not sure,' said Dimsie, doubtfully, as she followed her down, 'whether that's a speech that should be listened to by a conscientous Anti-Soppist--but never mind!"

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Elves and Escapades out--Fairies and Felicitations free!

I am excited to announce that Elves and Escapades, the sequel to Pegasi and Prefects, has been released today. (On my birthday!)

It feels like it's been forever since Pegasi and Prefects came out, but actually, it's been about three months. :)

To celebrate, the stand-alone prequel novelette Fairies and Felicitations is free for five days.

Monday, 16 March 2015

YA Spring Fling Guest Post: Milda Harris

YA Spring Fling Giveaway Fantasy and Urban Fantasy header

The YA Spring Fling Giveaway gets underway on the 20th. It's not too late to be guaranteed a free YA ebook of your choice if you sign up to the mailing list by the 20th March. (Including Pegasi and Prefects if you haven't read it yet, just in time for Elves and Escapades.) There are tons of books in different YA genres available, as well as swag and goodies.

One of the books you can win is terrific scifi paranormal Doppelganger by Milda Harris. I'm very pleased to host her author interview below.

What’s your favourite thing about spring? I enjoy the change of weather from winter to

spring. Flowers bloom! It's such a pretty season!

What’s the best thing about being a writer? I love creating new stories and making up

adventures. It's the best job ever!

What’s the worst thing about being a writer? Sometimes it is really, really hard to create.

Sometimes you don't feel like writing at all. Still, part of being a writer is writing no matter


Tell us more about your books. I have two main YA series for sale right now. One is

The Doppelganger Trilogy, which is a YA sci-fi/paranormal romance series. My book

Doppelganger is the first in the series. It is also the book that I have in the Spring Fling

Giveaway. Doppelganger is the story of Citrus Leahy and how one day she goes to school and

finds herself already in class! Luckily, the boy she has a crush on has the same problem.

The other series I have out is The Funeral Crashing Mysteries, which is a YA romantic

mystery series starting with Adventures in Funeral Crashing. That book is currently free to

download. Adventures in Funeral Crashing is about a funeral crashing sixteen-year-old girl who

ends up solving a murder mystery with the hottest guy in school.

I've also written a few other books. My other YA titles are The New Girl Who Found a Dead 

Body and Connected (A Paranormal Romance). I also wrote a new adult romantic comedy called

Crashing Prom. 

Coffee or Tea? Coffee!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, I like tea too.

Plotter or Pantser? Pantser, but I so wish I was a plotter.

Are there any books involved in the YA Spring Fling that you’re secretly lusting after? 

A ton of them look like fun reads. Maybe Never Sleep, Kissed, Fashion Fraud, Miss Popularity,

Watermelon Summer, or Unclaimed.

What was the last YA book you read? I just started reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

Why do you write YA? I have loved YA since I was in high school and I never stopped. I

read everything, but YA still holds a very special place in my heart.

What are your top tips for surviving a bad review? I try not to read it! I skim them. I

think bad reviews are very important for potential readers and writers. Still, as a writer I

can't take the blow to my ego so I only try and take away helpful criticism from them. The

truth of the matter is, one book is not meant for everyone to like. You have to keep it in


What are your top tips for surviving a zombie apocalypse? Run! Stock up on supplies.

Get to high ground or somewhere fortified. Lastly, hope your luck lasts long enough to


What inspires you? I'm inspired by books I'm reading, movies, television, and most

importantly - real life!

Where can readers find your books? Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Google

Play, Smashwords, Createspace, and more!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

I'm an app addict. I'm always looking for a better tool. That being said, I thought I'd share a quick and dirty guide to the apps I find invaluable as a writer. No affiliate links here, just gushing.

Scrivener (Mac and Windows: I have both). Price: $40 Windows, $45 Mac, and frequently discounted (e.g. for various Nanowrimo events).

This gets pride of place, because... what can I say that hasn't been said before? Moving from word processors into a custom-built writing app is a revelation. Structuring, outlining, editing, making notes, compiling into an ebook... There is absolutely no part of writing that Scrivener doesn't make easier. It's incredibly rich in features, each feature well thought out.

My first books (treating Elves as second writing-wise), I used it more tentatively, and it was still a miracle. From Fairies onward, I've made much heavier use of its features. I love writing with my outline, scene synopsis and guiding notes visible, in particular.

Distraction-free writing? Phooey. I like it all there. There's a mode if you like that kind of thing, though.

If only I'd had it when I was working on my thesis.

Calibre (Mac and Windows) Price: Donationware

Calibre more than earned its donation. Once I've compiled an ebook, I load it into Scrivener at the touch of a button and look at it in its viewer. If I see changes to be made, it's back to Scrivener. If not, I send it, at the touch of a button, to my kindle and my editor's email.

Googledocs (Any platforms). Price: Free (or your soul)

This is what I use to write on the go. It doesn't matter if it's my Nexus, my iPad or even my phone--it all syncs seamlessly, for future dropping into Scrivener.

A Novel Idea (iOS). Price: Freemium (the paid version was less than $4)

This is my brainstorming app of choice. Nothing like lolling back with a tablet, coming up with ideas. A Novel Idea has places for characters, scenes, ideas, books... and best of all, they can be linked and cross-referenced to your heart's delight. I love this.

Celtx Index Cards (Android and iOS). Price: Free

I haven't found anything as purpose built as A Novel Idea for Android. The Index Cards application belonging to screenwriting app Celtx is the best alternative I've found. Being a Scrivener fan, I'm used to plotting in index cards, and they are easy to reorder and colour codable, and Celtx plays nice with Scrivener. Nice (and free!) little app.

Contour (iOS, Windows and Mac) Price: $10 for iOS, $40 Mac and Win

I started using Contour while plotting Mermaids. My God, I love it. I'd bought it on an impulse, thinking I was wasting $10 on something I would play with and never seriously use. I was a pantser, after all. I was wrong.

Contour is a screenwriting planning app based on a proprietary system. It guides you, through questions and fields, through an extensive planning process aimed at a tightly structured work. By the time you've worked through the starting questions, you should know if your concept is going to fly, or if you need to go back and do more work. There is a detailed manual, and more information is available at a touch.

I've read a lot of craft books talking about the four act structure. Nothing ever made it all click into place like Contour. Planning through it is challenging and joyful, and means I've gone into Mermaids knowing what each scene is going to achieve and what it's place is in the overall structure. Pegasi and Elves had structure imposed on them afterwards, with a lot of time consuming rewriting. This time, I know my structure going in.

It's a great feeling


Eleanor Beresford is the author of the Scholars and Sorcery series of LGBT YA fantasy novels. Find out more here.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

YA Spring Fling Giveaway!

In the run up to Elves and Escapades being released on the 25th, Pegasi and Prefects is part of the YA Spring Fling giveaway. It runs from March 20th to April 3rd and gives readers the opportunity to win ebooks, paperbacks, audiobooks and swag from some of the most awesome YA writers around.

To be in with a chance of winning head over to Sarah Dalton Books after the giveaway opens.

If you sign up to the mailing list before the 20th you’re guaranteed at least one free ebook of your choice!


Eleanor Beresford is the author of the Scholars and Sorcery series of LGBT YA fantasy novels. FInd out more here.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Just add fairies: Scholars and Sorcery inspiration board

I grew up reading school and adventure stories set in places as exotic, to me, as Cornwall and Devon. I didn't, in those pre internet days, have any real idea of how they looked. Beaches, and cliffs, and... gorse? My mind filled  the scenery in with Australian beaches.

Actually walking along cliff paths in Cornwall was one of the most exciting moments of my life.

As I've been enjoying the Pinterest boards for fashion for my upcoming contemporary YA series, I decided to collect some visual images for Scholars and Sorcery, to help me--and any interested readers--visualise the scenery, the buildings, the uniforms.

A lot of it is pictures of Cornwall, still, to me, the most beautiful place on Earth.

The link to the pinterest is here. But I just want to share here a picture that I found of Lanhydrock House that actually echoes really clearly what I had in mind when I describe Fernleigh Manor. I don't know if I was ever there and unconsciously described it, or if it's coincidence, but in any case---

--Just add fairies.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Pinterest and Japanese fashion

While most of my attention is on polishing Elves and Escapades and working on Mermaids and Misadventures, I do find time to fit in some other writing as well. Lately, plot bunnies for a light hearted contemporary romance/friendship YA series have been hopping around in my brain, and I seem to have a structure and a first chapter for Project: Dance Date already.

One of my MCs, Valeria, is a ruthless and manipulative young woman who is very into cute, girly, retro-inspired and Asian influenced clothes which give her a deceptively innocent appearance.In order to visualise her clothes properly, I've started a Pinterest board for her fashion style, strongly influenced by fairy kei and pop kei.

This is so much fun, and so addictive. I think I need boards for all my characters! For now, I couldn't resist sharing some of my favourite pieces for Val.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Review: Into the Wise Dark by Neesha Meminger

Review: Into the Wise Dark by Neesha Meminger, 2012
Genre: Urban fantasy / time travel
Challenges: Dive into Diversity, We Read Diverse Books January challenge (oops)
Published by Ignite Books

I have been terribly remiss at actually posting any review from my various challenges. Here's my first stab at fixing that by actually reviewing a book I read back in January.

Into the Wise Dark is a time travel/urban fantasy, with a British-American Punjabi heroine, Pammi, who fits awkwardly into the Punjabi community due to her mother being divorced and with a boyfriend who sleeps over. Pammi has a history of hellish psychiatric treatment, attempting to cure her of her conviction that she time travels in her dreams.

Thing is, she does. She has a parallel life, leaving her comatose body back in this time, to an ancient utopia called Zanum, where magic is real and she has a really hot boyfriend and an important role to play in saving civilisation from the Big Bad. It reminded me a bit of Inuyasha in the Indus River Valley, with less demons.

Back in the present time, Pammi is persuaded by her mother and her boyfriend to volunteer with some girls "like her" in a mental institution. Unsurprisingly, the girls all have magic mental powers, and need to work together to save Zanum and the future from the Big Bad from the past, who is now in the future and travelling back to cause disaster.

This was the part I really enjoyed. The girls Pammi meet are a diverse lot in every sense: ethnically, magic wise, personality wise, and with a matter of fact presentation of a lesbian couple. I loved all the scenes of Pammi's prickly, uncertain relationship with them and the way it develops, I loved their fairly transgressive use of their powers, and I would happily read a whole series about them.

I also loved the glimpses we got of a future dystopia; they seemed original and they haunted me.

Unfortunately, what I loved less was what I suspect I was supposed to care most about: Zanum, and its perfect Goddess-worshipping, polyamorous, magical civilisation in which women pop babies out in five minutes. Maybe this is why I felt troubled by so much sympathy for the Big Bad, who seemed cynically set up to fail by his society.

Pammi also does something I find incredibly ethically troubling later in the book, although it's impossible to talk about without too many spoilers. I'm hoping there is a sequel, because I want there to be consequences other than positive for the choice she made.

I'm hoping there is a sequel in any case. I really like Pammi, I love her friends, and I want to read more of their superpowered adventures. I don't really read a lot of urban fantasy, but I devoured this one.


Eleanor Beresford is the author of the Scholars and Sorcery series of LGBT YA fantasy novels. FInd out more here.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Fairies and Felicitations Out Now! And a word on Amazon categories.

Fairies and Felicitations, the next Scholars & Sorcery book--or rather, a standalone prequel in the universe-- is now live! 99 cents on Amazon, and available for Kindle Unlimited.

Anne has always thought of herself as middling. Middling looks, middling position in the form, middling magical Gift and just a middling curve to the tip of her ears. 

Her best friend, Lady Emmeline Eversleigh, commonly known as Kitty, is not middling anything. And when Kitty drags Anne into playing a Saint Valentine's Day prank of truly wicked--and magical--proportions on one of the prefects, Anne finds herself in more than a middling muddle of trouble. 

A stand alone novelette of 10,000 words in the Sorcery and Scholars series.

Interestingly enough, one of the categories Amazon filed it under (presumably picking up on some of my keywords) was  Growing Up & Facts of Life > Friendship, Social Skills & School Life > Girls & Women

I had a moment of worrying that I had accidentally categorised it as non-fiction, but on checking, the first book in the category is a Frozen Little Golden Book and it does seem to be a fiction category. When I think about it, it's quite suitable, given Anne's particular dilemma.

Now I have some websites to update!

Friday, 30 January 2015

Fairies and Felicitations in review!

Uploaded Fairies and Felicitations to Amazon just now. <3 Waiting for it to go through review!


Eleanor Beresford is the author of the Scholars and Sorcery series of LGBT YA fantasy novels. Find out more here.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Review: The Seventh Pleiade

Author: Andrew J. Peters
Title: The Seventh Pleiade
Published: Bold Strokes Books, 2013
Genre: YA, Historical Fantasy, Ancient Greece, LGBT (gay)
Relevant Challenges: Reading Through Time, We Read Diverse Books, LGBT Reading Challenge, Dive Into Diversity

This book wins points with me straight away by being YA fantasy set in Atlantis. Greek myth has been a big draw for me ever since I read my Enid Blyton bowdlerised versions, and carried me through Xena (so predicable), Classical Studies at school... right up to an MOOC last year.

What is different, and incredibly engaging, about this particular version is that it deals in detail and a complex manner with sexual and romantic relationships between boys and men in Ancient Greece. For the young hero, Aerander, it's not as simple as falling in love: boy romance is to do with masculinity, and politics, and the commitment to family. The mixture of his strong, real feelings and all the baggage they come with was probably my favourite part of this book. Another of my weaknesses, after all, is politics and power... and romance.

The fantasy elements and world building are fantastic, too. It's difficult to go into too much detail without spoilers, but the dual worlds, above and beyond, the way the central mystery (some disappearing young boys) becomes bound up with the mythology and Aerander's quest, are brilliantly done.

Highly recommended. I would have loved this book if it wasn't LGBT, just as a great fantasy adventure in a setting I love, but the politics of love and sexuality in it made it a unique read and had me absorbed far into the night. I can't wait for another book in this series. ---

Eleanor Beresford is the author of the Scholars and Sorcery series of LGBT YA fantasy novels. FInd out more here.

Monday, 19 January 2015

2015 Reading Challenges

Rather than a Goodreads total, I am going to amuse and challenge myself this year by signing up to a range of reading challenges this year. I've already posted about , but here's a list (and  Pinterest board) of others I'm signing up to:

I am totally allowing myself crossovers between the challenges. Also, that new Scribd subscription is going to come in handy. I am only aiming for 10-12 books in each category, too. But they should add to be variety of my reading. I'm also not entering for any giveaways: this is for my own amusement.

Also, seriously, I did show self control. You should have seen my original list.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Teaser: Fairies and Felicitations

I'm planning to release a stand-alone short for Valentine's Day, giving the Hon. Kitty and her pranks her place in the spotlight--which, after all, is decidedly where she prefers to be. My wife and cover designer finished a beautiful cover for me this morning, and I'm so excited that I have to share it:

I'm so happy with it--it's just so pretty, and with the right vintage feel. The style of the non-Charley stories is separate enough to distinguish them, while keeping the signature font. I'm completely rapt in the Mermaids and Misadventures cover, too, but that needs to wait until I'm closer to completion.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Girl's Own School Stories on Amazon

An American reader of Pegasi and Prefects just asked me for recommendations for school stories. At first I didn't know what to suggest: my own collection has for years existed of books inherited from my mother and aunts and random volumes found at antiquarians and charity shops, always choosing the cheap foxed ones over the valuable editions. I ended up with everything from St Trinian's to evangelical school stories, and a lot of annuals and collections. Some of them had never been read, with pages still uncut: from the inscriptions, unloved birthday presents and Sunday School prizes.

That works in Australia and the UK, my two homes, but I wasn't sure if British school stories ever caught on much in the home of Nancy Drew and the Little House.

However, I checked Amazon, and I was in for a wonderful surprise. Since I last checked, there has been... well, let's say I might be broke for a little while. Plenty of free reading too, though!

I already knew that a lot of Angela Brazils were available on Kindle and Project Gutenberg; I have been gradually giving away my hardbacks and replacing them with free digital editions (unless I really, really like the covers.) Brazil is always a good choice. In a lot of ways she is the quintessential school story writer. In practice, her books range from brilliant to phoned in, but she formed the tropes of the slangy, less than perfect schoolgirl, and her heavily flawed heroines are some of my all time favourites.

A Fourth Form Friendship is the very best, and will be reviewed here properly at some point. Other Angela Brazil (free!) recommendations, all stand-alone novels:

The Luckiest Girl in the School
The Girls of St Cyprians
A Popular Schoolgirl
The Youngest Girl in the Fifth

If Brazil formed the tropes, though, Enid Blyton distilled them into some of the purest forms, as was her genius. Malory Towers, St Clare's and the Naughtiest Girl books (younger children, and co-ed, at a progressive child-centred school) are all available as inexpensive ebooks these days. There are also much more recently written tie-in novels, of which I will cautiously say some are very enjoyable, some less so. (I vehemently object to the renumbering of the series to include the tie-ins, though, and I can remember how cheated I felt as a kid when my new Famous Five book turned out not to be by Blyton at all.)

There are also some Chalet School books up as ebooks  from Bettany Press and Girls Gone By but, disappointingly, the ones actually written by Elinor Brent-Dyer aren't up there, just novel length fanfic. If you are a hardcore fan, though, they might be fun, if IMO over priced. The price factor is why I can't recommend any by experience, as it happens. There is also an unrelated book by Brent-Dyer called The School by the Sea, which I haven't read, but seem to have purchased at some point.

What is annoying is that some Chalet School books (and other books by school story authors) are reprinted by specialist publishers, but they don't make them available as ebooks rather than as limited print runs.  Seriously, on the tiny chance that anyone from Girls Gone By etc is reading this, please let me throw my money at you. There's no way on earth that I'm going to spend A$55 on an airmail copy of a Lightning Source reprint, but price them all at $4.99 as ebooks and I will have spent hundreds of dollars with you before I even realise what I've done. Okay, rant over.

Anne Digby's Trebizon series is also up as ebooks. They never really caught my attention, being too late for me (starting in the late 1970s), but they are so inexpensive I may well give them another shot. She also wrote the Naughtiest Girl fill-ins, which admittedly I don't like much.

The best news (for me, at least) I've saved for last: classic school stories by Evelyn Smith, Dorothea Moore, E. M. Channon and Bessie Marchant, put out by a company called Books to Treasure. THIS is why I may be pinching pennies for a bit. Of that list,  Dorothea Moore and Evelyn Smith are two of my favourite, most solid school story writers ever, reliably fun, and E. M. Channon wrote one of the best (and most unusual) school stories I have ever read, The Honour of the House.  (Not on Kindle yet, but I can hope, and I will review at some point!)

Bessie Marchant I am less sure about; she sounds familiar, but I would have to dig around the boxes in my garage to see if I can fit some books to the name.

Anyway, Smith, Channon and Moore are enthusiastically recommended, and I have some reading to do!

If you have any other recommendations of school stories readily available, please let me know. Top of my wish list is for some of Dorita Fairlie Bruce's non-Dimsie books... I live in hope!


Eleanor Beresford is the author of the Scholars and Sorcery series of LGBT YA fantasy novels. Find out more here.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Joining the LGBT challenge 2015, and pledging to read 10+ QUILTBAG books this year, and review them on my blog.  I'm choosing Omnivorous Bookglutton rather than YA Devourer as my pledge, because I don't want to split hairs over what books are "properly" YA.

I also pledge to release 5+  QUILTBAG works this year, from novels to shorts to AMVs. We'll see how that goes. ;)

Sign up here to join in the fun. There will be monthly challenges and themes.


Eleanor Beresford is the author of the Scholars and Sorcery series of LGBT YA fantasy novels. Find out more here.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Putting aside Mermaids and Misadventures and my side project for a short while to work on two Valentine's Day themed shorts in the Scholars and Sorcery universe. One, currently untitled, is the first male gay story in the universe.

The other is tentatively titled Fairies and Frivolities:
I’ve always thought of myself as middling. Middling looks, middling position in the form, middling magical Gift, a solid but not spectacular athlete, background of the cook and two maids type,  and even a middling kind of curve to the tip of my ears. 
However, at some point in my forgotten past , I must have done something of more than middling wickedness to deserve a friend like Lady Emmeline Eversleigh, commonly known as Kitty. 
Kitty Eversleigh is not middling anything. Kitty is, I suspect, an imp changeling in human form.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Scholars and Sorcery Book 1, Pegasi and Prefects, is released!

Pegasi and Prefects is finally out! I am excited, and thrilled to my core. This story has been with me a very long, time, as has the desire to write a Girl's Own book with a romance between girls at its core, and it's finally being released to the world. It's only the start of the story, of course. Elves and Escapades is out in March, and Mermaids and Misadventures is to follow.

Here's where to buy (or sample) on different platforms:

Amazon Googleplay Nook/B&N Kobo Inketera/Page Foundry Smashwords. . . and iBooks. I have yet to figure out how to link to iBooks.

And now, as it is bedtime here in Australia, good night!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Review: Good for Gracie (school story, 1938)

Good for Gracie--Dorothy Vicary, 1938, Blackie & Son

“Good for Gracie” is one of the school stories I feel intensely conflicted about. On the one hand, it has some of the most vivid characters I can remember in any school story. (More on them later.) On the other, it is set around a trope I particularly dislike: a girl doesn’t fit in, in other words shows too much individuality, and “has her corners rubbed off”. Not only do I find that trope uncomfortable at the best of times, “Good for Gracie” takes it to extremes rarely seen in the genre.

First, the good. Talking about tropes that are relevant to my interests, “Good for Gracie” has one of my very favourite pairs of characters, the gallant tomboy with a masculine nickname (in this case, Billie) and her more feminine inseparable friend (deliciously known as Bubbles, and what a fey creature she is.) They are a delight, especially how handsome Billie is in male clothing at a fancy dress party.

Unfortunately, the bad is very bad indeed. (Break to link to blog)The plot centres around, not Billie or Bubbles nor the protagonist (who is so very dull I forget her name, and can’t be bothered fetching my copy it look it up), but the Gracie of the title. Gracie is a big fish in a small pond at her first school, accustomed to hanging around the Seniors and being treated as a pet. Then, when she and the protagonist transfer to a bigger school, she takes her “special” status with her and fails to show proper humility as a new girl. All hell breaks loose, and I’m not kidding.

The book revolves around Gracie being snubbed, humiliated and actually physically bullied into submission, by everyone from the Head Girl to the otherwise charming Billie. Sure, Gracie breaks cardinal rules of school stories, like giving unsolicited advice to the Games Captain and reporting younger members of her class to the form mistress, or refusing to play for the school, but the sheer brutality of the response seems out of all proportion. You don’t usually get descriptions of the new girl’s bloodied wrists and complete mental breakdown. Well, unless this is supposed to be misery porn, which I really don’t think this is.

Still, in this trope, it’s all for for own good, and supposedly we are meant to cheer the sadism on. In the end, Gracie gives in entirely, submits to the girls who have treated her so cruelly, and is allowed to be friends with Billie & Co. “Good for Gracie”!

It’s hard to hate this entirely, given Billie and Bubbles, but even they show a nasty, sadistic edge. Read this one for the shippiness and one of my favourite tomboys, only.