Dark Dealings


by Karen Victoria Smith

Four Stars

Dark Dealings is the beginning.  Be fore-warned as you’ll fall for these characters.  Hard.

Smith introduces us to the world of Macaela O’Brien, a druid who has turned her back on her legacy.  From the opening chapter, we are thrown into a search and rescue, and from there the reader travels around the globe from New York to Brussels, Boston to Ireland.  Murder, mayhem and plot twists abound as challenges force Macaela to choose between her old life and new, friends and foes and make sacrifices along the way.

This is an engaging story, well thought-out and plotted.  Rich in detail with characters who will resonant with the fans of fantasy, this is good old-fashioned storytelling.

One nit (and there is always one, isn’t there?) is that the beginning was a bit confusing and unfocused. All became clearer shortly thereafter, but I found myself initially confused by all the names thrown at me. Your experience may vary.

All in all, on small critique aside, a marvelous weekend read.


Karen Victoria Smith grew up with an Irish grandmother who tried to teach her the old ways and watched horror movies with her in the dark. KV lives in New Jersey with her family who patiently allow her to believe that in a 24-hour world the monsters are real. 

Visit her at Storyteller’s Grove, where you can read excerpts of Dark Dealings.  

Karen Victoria Smith grew up with an Irish grandmother who tried to teach her the old ways and watched horror movies with her in the dark. KV lives in New Jersey with her family who patiently allow her to believe that in a 24-hour world the monsters are real. 

Follow her on Facebook at K. Victoria Smith and on Twitter at @kvictoriasmith

Submissions are now OPEN!

lxgmovieThe Word Count Podcast Episode 25.

An interesting choice for the next Word Count theme. Based on some of the creepier selections for previous podcasts, I’m please to announce that the readers choice for the next show is:

” A scene between you and your favorite fictional character.”


Submission guidelines below. I’m looking forward to whom we are going to meet!


Submission Guidelines (PLEASE READ CAREFULLY)

PROMPT: “A scene between you and your favorite fictional character.


DEADLINE: I must receive your submission by MIDNIGHT (Eastern Time) Friday 18th May 2012

THE DETAILS: The work must be an original of yours. It could be a poem, short story, song—anything really as long as you write something based on the stated theme (“A scene between you and your favorite fictional character.”) Do NOT exceed ten minutes. As this is a podcast, I need to receive a file of YOU, a friend or multiple friends reading (singing or otherwise performing) your work. MP3 FORMAT ONLY, and please attach your MP3 file to an e-mail. The e-mail should also contain the following:

  • Your pen name
  • Your latest bio
  • Links to your websites
  • Your Twitter name (if you have one)
  • A photo I can use for the show notes
  • Permission to use your recording in the podcast

At the end of the recording, please add the following: “The is <YOUR NAME> author of <YOUR WORK(s)> and you’re listening to The Word Count Podcast”

Send your file to me@rbwood.com by Friday the 18th of May. You can also e-mail me with questions before hand. I do reserve the right NOT to post your submission, but will communicate that to you should it be the case. I add the ‘Explicit’ tag to the ‘cast, so if your story uses adult themes or language that’s ok—but it should be necessary for the story.


Flame ON!

UPDATE:  At 7:07 PM Eastern, the Fighting Gravity troupe posted the following on thier Facebook Page:

Fighting Gravity

To Leah Peterson and her fans: Disregard the cease and desist letter that was issued by our lawyers. Although imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, some people have taken that too far and we have had to deal with it. By no means is Leah Peterson one of those people, our lawyers were just doing their jobs and trying to protect our name and trademark. We wish the best for Leah and hope her book becomes a great success!”

Tipping my hat to the folks over at FG for doing the right thing and overruling thier lawyers.




I know here in the United States we are a very litigious society these days. Back when I was a kid, if I slipped and fell in front of the neighbor’s house, my dad would pick me up and say “Watch where you’re going!”

Today, people sue for stupid crap all the time.

“I put hot coffee between my legs while driving and burned my nether region!”


“He stood me up for the prom!”



Pictured: Attorneys


Where am I going with this? Recently, my dear friend Leah Petersen received a “Cease and Desist” order from lawyers representing a modern performance art troupe called “Fighting Gravity.”

Yes. Fighting Gravity is the title of Leah’s first book.

Apparently, the legal whiz-kids representing the dance group feel that a small press published Science Fiction novel about a brilliant young physicist and the Emperor whom he loves infringes on their trademark.

The interesting thing of course is that there have been past books (and a rock group from the 90’s) with the same title. Since they pre-date the dance troupe, I wonder who is suing who in the background? And by the way, Leah’s book title was announced in 2009, which also pre-dates the Dance Troupe– who’s own website states their copyrite is 2010.

FG-cover-latest-663x1024Now, I’m no attorney…so I’m not an expert or anything, but I would think that logically, a ‘book’ and an ‘entertainment service’ would be different classes entirely (BTW, They are. Entertainment is service class 41 and Printed Matter is 16. But that’s beside the point).

In my very humble opinion, this is a bullying tactic by attorneys of a group that were made famous in part due to the internet. This situation has already begun to go viral as Cory Doctorow has already posted about it on BoingBoing and is an article over at The Passive Voice.

Methinks they are about to find out that the Internet is a double-edged sword.


Pick up FIGHTING GRAVITY (The “book” not the “dance company”) at AMAZON

The Word Count Episode 25: Select the theme!

sexy_voterIt’s been a while since I’ve put out a podcast, so I thought I’d kick-start the next show by posting a brand new poll to have y’all vote on the next theme for the show!

Off to the LEFT are FIVE choices.  Pick your favorite and click ‘Vote.’  It’s that simple.

Vote once a day and I’ll announce the winner on the morning of MAY 7th.

Here are this week’s potential themes:


A scene between you and your favorite fictional character.

A day in the life of a homeless person.

Your boss at work is blackmailing you…

In a Chinese Restaurant, you open a fortune cookie that says “Your life is in danger…tell no one…”

It was not the birthday gift I was expecting…


I can’t wait to see what you come up with!