Tag Archives: Family By Choice

Today was card game day

You may or may not remember, two weeks ago, I mentioned that I created a card game called A Match Made in Austen, and that my publishers, Renaissance, was using the game as a gateway to expend the business into game production. Card games, as it turns out, are a pretty good starting point for printing games, because they are relatively easy to make. So today, fellow Renaissance author Caroline Fréchette and I had planned a day of testing various kinds of card games. I brought mine and she brought hers, and we were going to try out as many as possible. The goal was to try out different systems, and get some ideas about adapting her book series Family by Choice into a card game.


Those are my card games, photographed from my apartment.


Those are her card games, photographed from her home. To be fair, she owns many – MANY – more board games then I do. I barely can fill a bookshelf with my board games. She has a wall full in her basement. I also included a regular deck of cards in my games, and I’m sure she owns one of those, too.

Turns out that between the making of the plans and the actual day, she and her partner had already figured out a system, which is the bunch of papers you see in the pictures of her games. So we tried out that version (still some details to iron out, but already a lot of fun) and played Gloom and Fluxx, because I had never played Gloom and she had never played Fluxx.

I think I may have been the overall winner of this game of discovery. I found Gloom to be so much fun. However, while Caroline agreed that the collectible Fluxx versions might be fun to have, for fannish purposes, the game itself is too random for her taste. Of course, randomness is the point of Fluxx, but if you like to be able to plan three moves ahead, it’s not the game for you.

In any case, today was a good day, and there are a lot of potential goodies in the future. One of those future goodies being my own game, A Match Made in Austen, which you can now support on Kickstarter.

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Posted by on May 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Book Wednesday: Blood Relations, by Caroline Frechette

I’ll get that right out of the way: Caroline Fréchette is a friend of mine, and I have read Blood Relations even before it came out, last fall. We are part of the same critique group, and she was working through Blood Relations while I was working through The Admirer.

There is a very strong possibility that I would not have read this book otherwise. It is a very dark read, and it makes no effort to hide it, with its dramatic black and white (and just a touch of blood red) cover illustrations. It has violence, and sex, and drug use, and foul language. What else do you expect from a novel about a 16 years old pyrokinetic mafioso who is forced to fight vampires?

So I might not have picked Blood Relations, if left to my own devices. And I would have missed something. The story has a great pace, and some wonderfully funny moments. The dialogue is brilliant. There is a great cast of characters, where everyone can have a favorite. (Mine is one of the hero’s best friend, of the “caregiver, wise beyond his years” trope that I just can’t resist, especially when it’s done well.)

Blood Relations is the first novel of the series Family By Choice. The second novel of the series, Brothers In Arms, comes out this Saturday, March 8th.

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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Uncategorized


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