Tag Archives: A Tiding Of Magpies

Behind The Scenes: A Tiding Of Magpies

It’s Monkey Queen anniversary week! We’ll be celebrating all week with a look behind the scenes at all four Monkey Queen novels and much more, and we’ve reached the fourth and most recent book, A Tiding Of Magpies!

I had been toying with when to make the Big Reveal that happens during this book when the idea for the story came to me. At first, I thought it would wait until later in the series, but I felt it wouldn’t be fair, and it was limiting my plans for further books. Then one day, I happened to be poking around the TV Tropes web site, and I wound up on the Tanabata (Qixi) page and read about the cowherd and the weaver. Story ideas started bouncing around in my head, but I was reluctant to act on them at first, because Barry Hughart had already retold the story in Bridge Of Birds, my all-time favorite novel. I then realized that he’d published the book thirty years earlier, there was plenty of room for another re-telling, and it was a perfect place to put the Big Reveal.

I mentioned earlier that I try to get each Monkey Queen book up to 40,000 words or more. This one was falling short, until I decided that to help the plot make sense, I needed to tell the story of Qixi/Tanabata as it happened in the Far Lands. Thus, “The Author, The Archer And The King Of Magpies”, which you can read here. Both the author and the archer are based on real people, but I am sworn to secrecy about who they are.

Other notes: I was glad to bring back Glien and show he was more than a one-joke character after all. Beth’s wand was supposed to be more traditional looking, but I liked the design Willow came up with for the cover and ran with it. I still love the scene in Wonderland – I wanted to show that, in a way, the regulars and staff there are an extended family, and if you mess with one of them, you mess with them all. The kitsune was inspired by Willow’s many drawings of them, and I hope we get to see more of her and Toyotoki. And Auntie Ting was one of my favorite characters to write ever. I want to bring her back someday.

Favorite Line (taken out of context): “I don’t want to lose you.”

Favorite Reference: Beth geeking out over Bridge Of Birds. She has excellent taste in books.

Most Obscure Reference: Beth’s t-shirt in the first chapter. If there’s any justice, though, fame will soon come for…SPACE CATS!!!

The BAKA! Slap: Technically, I know it’s Japanese, and the Far Lands are more Chinese in spirit. But I knew that I needed a painful way for Auntie Ting to make a point, and this isn’t Earth anyway, so I went with it. And I’m still amused by the fact that the only character who gets the baka slap twice in the book is…Michiko.

And I do have something to say about the Big Reveal: It’s for real. It’s not a dream, not a hoax, not an illusion. And it will continue to affect Michiko and Beth down the road.

Did you know: When I came up with the idea for the 2015 April Fool’s joke – give three short story titles and make the readers guess which one was real – “A Game Of Scones” was one of the joke titles, and an obvious one at that. So naturally, my brain came up with the plot the next day. I’m quite fond of this one; it’s a bit different, it’s sweet (no pun intended), and I like how Beth is the one who comes up with the solution in the end. (And FYI: I may still write “Hound Of The D’Ubervilles” someday.) Read it here, or click the “short story” tag to read them all!

Saturday: A surprise!

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Tanabata! Get A Tiding Of Magpies on sale! 99 cents US!

It’s the seventh day of the seventh month! It’s Tanabata! It’s Qixi! Today is the day to join Michiko and Beth as they race to reach the Bridge Of Magpies in their latest adventure! And you can get the fourth Monkey Queen book, A Tiding Of Magpies, for just 99 cents US, 0,99€, £0.99, and marked down at all Amazon stores worldwide! And don’t forget that the first Monkey Queen book, Of Introductions And Abductions, is still on sale as well, for the same price!

Since Tanabata is, at its heart, about love, Michiko asked if she could share some of her favorite love songs! Find some classic (and some obscure) pop gems (it’s what she likes) after the cut! Continue reading

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someone to blog beside him, and you just may be the one

First off, don’t forget that there are two sales on Monkey Queen ebooks going on right now! A Tiding Of Magpies, the newest book, is just 99 cents US, to celebrate 7/7 and Tanabata, through this Wednesday, July 8! And Of Introductions And Abductions, Michiko and Beth’s first adventure, is 99 cents US through July 15! They’re available exclusively at Amazon, on sale at Amazon stores worldwide, and free to read with Kindle Unlimited! More after the cut. Continue reading

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Tanabata sale! Get A Tiding Of Magpies for 99 cents through July 8!

“Anyone could see why the gods wanted today to be the day that Jiao and Yun got engaged,” Beth said. “It’s the seventh day of the seventh month, the day the author and the archer were reunited. It’s Valentine’s Day here. It’s Tanabata. It’s Qixi. And this—” She swept her arm out. “It’s the Bridge of Magpies. The bridge of birds. Built on love and hope. And that’s why I wanted to bring you to this place on this day.”
July 7 is coming! The seventh day of the seventh month! Tanabata! And to celebrate, we’re holding a flash sale, starting now! Get the fourth Monkey Queen book, A Tiding Of Magpies, for just 99 cents US, 0,99€, £0.99, and marked down at all Amazon stores worldwide! Look for this gorgeous cover by Willow! And don’t forget that the first Monkey Queen book, Of Introductions And Abductions, is still on sale as well, for the same price!
Art © 2015 by Willow. Design by Alchemy Book Covers.

Art © 2015 by Willow. Design by Alchemy Book Covers.

“One for sorrow, two for joy.”

When Jiao, a princess from Faerie’s Far Lands, comes to the Wonderland Diner and Tavern looking for help, it’s showtime for the teen hero called the Monkey Queen! Michiko and her best friend and partner in adventure, college student and geek girl Beth McGill, have to rescue the princess’ boyfriend from the minions of a scheming warlord, and then race against time and fend off goblins, ogres and monsters to reach the Bridge of Magpies by the seventh day of the seventh month to fulfill a prophecy.

But Michiko has been hiding something from everyone, even Beth, and no secret is forever. And when that secret is revealed…

Everything will change for Michiko and Beth.

Read Chapters One and Two here, and an excerpt from Chapter Four, “The Author, The Archer, And The King Of Magpies”, here!


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A Tiding Of Magpies – where to buy!

(This list used to be a lot longer, but I’ve removed all the non-Amazon links for ebook purchasing preparing for the switch to Kindle Unlimited.)

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XF1FCUO

The paperback edition is available through Amazon, or can be ordered from CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5494368 And at Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-tiding-of-magpies-robert-dahlen/1121950720?ean=9781512170139 Or you can order directly from me! Just email for a price quote.

Worldwide links!

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00XF1FCUO?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Amazon Mexico: http://www.amazon.com.mx/gp/product/B00XF1FCUO?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Amazon Brazil: http://www.amazon.com.br/gp/product/B00XF1FCUO?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00XF1FCUO?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Amazon France: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00XF1FCUO?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Amazon Spain: http://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B00XF1FCUO?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Amazon Netherlands: http://www.amazon.nl/gp/product/B00XF1FCUO?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Amazon Germany: http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00XF1FCUO?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Amazon Italy: http://www.amazon.it/gp/product/B00XF1FCUO?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Amazon India: http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B00XF1FCUO?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Amazon Japan: http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B00XF1FCUO?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Amazon Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B00XF1FCUO?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

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