Sunday, November 29, 2015

Redblade: closing in!

I don't usually post twice in one day, but this is too cool to wait on. Willow has just completed the line art for the cover for the next Monkey Queen book, Redblade, and has kindly allowed me to share it with you! I hope you enjoy it, and like you, I can't wait to see the final cover!

you and I, we've seen what time's blogged, haven't we?

So, have you read "Best Christmas Ever!", the newly expanded (and more festive!) version of the short story that tells about Michiko and Beth's first Christmas as roommates? If you haven't, scroll down to the post right below this! (There's also a "Behind The Scenes" post below that, with lots of nifty background info). More after the cut!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Best Christmas Ever! (a Monkey Queen short story, revised and reposted)

It's the unofficial start of the holiday season! To celebrate, here's "Best Christmas Ever!", a short story about Michiko and Beth's first Christmas as roommates! This was originally posted in 2014, but for reasons detailed in the post below this, I've revised and expanded the story. Hopefully, this will make your holidays a bit happier! Read on, after the cut!

Behind The Scenes: Best Christmas Ever!

As promised, here is our Behind The Scenes look at "Best Christmas Ever", the Michiko and Beth holiday short story! If you haven't read it yet, scroll up; if you have, it's been revised, so you may want to read it again! There are spoilers ahead, so read on after the cut!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Willow Wednesdays: off to adventure!

Welcome to Willow Wednesdays! Featuring art by Willow, the cover artist for the Monkey Queen series, with her kind permission! Read on after the cut!

Monday, November 23, 2015

I'm a GIF!

I mentioned the wonderful new avatar that Calomiel, the French artist and comic creator, drew from me on this blog last week. What I didn't know was that as she worked on the avatar, from sketch to ink to final art, she saved each stage, and used them to produce this marvelous GIF!

It's nice to see Calomiel's art as it progresses. And I'm thrilled; I've never been a GIF before! You can see the original on her blog here, and other work-in-progress GIFs (and so much more) as well. Merci, Calomiel!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Blognolia Simms

First off, with Christmas starting to loom in the distance like a giant commercialized monster hungering for your attention and money: You might want to check here on the 27th ("Black Friday" to Americans) for the Monkey Queen short story "Best Christmas Ever!" its new, slightly revised version, along with a "Behind The Scenes" post! Grab some candy canes and a white chocolate mocha and come back Friday! More (including spoilers) after the cut!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Willow Wednesdays Extra: The Journey Has Ended!

As regular readers of this blog no doubt know by now: A few months ago, Willow ran a crowdfunding campaign for her debut graphic novel, The Journey Of Earth. I backed it as quickly as I could, and I've been waiting like a kid at Christmas for the final book and the goodies to get here. Well, guess what showed up today? Let's see what's in the package after the cut!

Friday, November 20, 2015

little gold bear in big trouble

So what happened with our little milk chocolate gold foil bear after he escaped from Halloweentown? Find out after the cut.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Willow Wednesdays: Bubbline!

Welcome to Willow Wednesdays! Featuring art by Willow, the cover artist for the Monkey Queen series, with her kind permission! Read on after the cut!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

they blogged for war, and nobody came

This is not going to be your usual Sunday catchup post, and I apologize for that. (Last night's Doctor Who wasn't that good anyway.) Feel free to skip this one...but I hope you won't.

I still have the attacks on Paris on my mind. I keep hearing and reading all these people who want to respond in kind. It seems sad to me to answer hate with hate and fear with fear. It's tragic that we should condemn those fleeing war to live in camps, or try to send them back to homes that no longer exist, out of fear that one of the hundreds of thousands might harbor ill will. Yes, we should stop the terrorists. But the overwhelming majority of Muslims are not terrorists and have condemned these horrible attacks.

And attacking France, saying that they somehow deserved this for daring to have a multi-cultural society, is vile. If you're a Christian, think twice before saying this to anyone. Jesus would never have said such a thing.

I sometimes wonder what I can do about this wave of hatred that's sweeping the globe, that's threatening to drown France, that's trying to swallow the US. Comic book writer Mark Evanier, and others, have posted this quote from Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets:

At some point in my life I decided, rightly or wrongly, that there are many situations in this life that I can't do much about — acts of terrorism, feelings of nationalistic prejudice, Cold War, etc. — so what I should do is concentrate on the situations that my energy can affect.

I'm just a writer, with a very small audience; Henson created characters that are loved by millions. But I know Jim Henson and I have the one thing in common: We tried, in our own way, to inspire people and make the world a little bit better. (Of course, Jim Henson did that far better than I ever could.)

Maybe the answer is for all of us to try that, to show that there is joy out there, that the world can be a better place. Maybe kinder to each other. If the alternative is to let the hate and fear consume us, then bring on love and kindness.

Take care, one and all, and thank you for reading.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Willow posted this sad drawing earlier today in reaction to Friday's tragedies in Paris. All I can add is my hope that someday, we won't need to create these tributes and mourn the dead and comfort the wounded. Someday, may there be peace on Earth at last.

Friday, November 13, 2015


Like so many other people, I am shocked and saddened by what's happened in Paris. My thoughts are with the victims and their families, and with all the good people of France.

In case anyone was wondering: Willow actually lives in western France, a good distance from Paris. However, she has family in Paris, and she was worried about them for a while. Thankfully, they're okay, but she's quite shaken.

I was concerned about Calomiel, the artist who drew my new avatar, because she lives in Paris. I contacted her as soon as the news broke, and she was actually at home that evening, so she's fine. I hope her friends and family are okay too.

May the French people stay strong, and not let fear and hate dominate their thoughts and deeds. May the ones who planned this horrible night be brought to justice. And I hope we someday learn, once and for all, that no cause is worth spilling innocent blood for, now or ever.

little gold bear on Friday the 13th (eek!)

So what happened to our little gold foil covered milk chocolate bear? Find out after the cut!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Willow Wednesdays: Art To Play!

Welcome to Willow Wednesdays! Featuring art by Willow, the cover artist for the Monkey Queen series, with her kind permission! Read on after the cut!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

introducing...the new me! (sort of)

I said this would be happening on Sunday, and here it is! Calomiel has finished the art for my new avatar!

If you missed Sunday's post: Calomiel is a talented French artist and photographer! We've been interacting on Facebook recently, and I thought her style would work for my avatar. I was right! (And I should also add that she's very nice and lots of fun to work with!) Find out more about her at her blog, where you can also read her delightful BDs/comic strips and see her GIFs and process posts! It's in French, but it's worth the effort to translate, and you can enjoy her art regardless; as she says in her header, "Comics are the universal language". And Calomiel? Merci pour ce merveilleux nouveau avatar!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

do I have to blog this all over again?

We'll start this Sunday catchup with news that I actually mentioned on Facebook earlier this week: My tentative writing plans are in place for 2016. These include three more Monkey Queen books (not counting Redblade, which will hopefully debut in the next few weeks), and the first three books in a new series. It'll be fantasy adventure, set in the same multiverse as the Monkey Queen stories. Since I won't be writing just about Michiko and Beth, I've changed the name of my Facebook page to "Robert Dahlen - writer". If you're on Facebook, please like my page; I try to update or share there every day, and I'd love to hear from you, here or there!

More, including spoilers and an artistic surprise, after the cut.

Friday, November 6, 2015

little gold bear who had his left shoe stolen

Well, shall we check in after the cut to see what happened to the little milk chocolate gold foil bear? Yes, we shall!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Willow Wednesdays: Safe Journeys!

Welcome to Willow Wednesdays! We're featuring art by Willow, the cover artist for the Monkey Queen series, with her kind permission! Read on after the cut!

Big news for those of you in France who have not yet picked up Willow's debut novel The Journey Of Earth - it's now available to buy online through the French Amazon store!  Click here to get your copy! You can also get one direct from Willow; just contact her through her Facebook or DeviantArt pages. I wish my copy would get here... Anyway, here's another lovely drawing of Earth and Moon to celebrate!

Art © 2015 by Willow. All rights reserved; used by permission. You can view Willow's extensive gallery on DeviantArt, see her works in progress by liking her Facebook page, follow her on Twitter, and buy prints and much more at her Society6 webstore, including exclusive Monkey Queen items!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Big sci-fi and fantasy book giveaway!

Just wanted to get in a plug for the big science fiction and fantasy promo taking place all day Tuesday, November 3! 52 e-books, all the first in a series, are FREE! Many of them will stop being free when the promotion is over, so get them while you can! Click here for the full list and Amazon links. Hope you find something you like!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

shorty blogwell, be friends with me

We'll open this Sunday catchup with something of interest to all you readers of sci-fi and fantasy: There's a big promo coming this Tuesday, November 3, with over 50 e-books being offered for free! With this many titles, there'll be something for everyone! Click here for more details! More after the cut.