Thursday, August 29, 2013



 This Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 3, Book II in the Changeling Sisters Series, YEAR OF THE TIGER, will be *free* on Mark your calenders and make sure you download! This will be the last free giveaway of YEAR OF THE TIGER for a while.

As many fellow indie authors know, offers the KDP Select Program, which means that if you sell your ebook exclusively with Amazon for 90 days, you get a 5 day promotion window during which time, your ebook is free. YEAR OF THE TIGER's exclusivity time will soon be up, so the good news is that soon it will be available on Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, ect.

I'm going on a tip here from a veteran indie author who suggested putting your five free promotion days together, so you have a better chance of making the top 100 in free downloads, hence more exposure time. I'll let you all know how it works out. Thanks so much for your support, and I hope you enjoy your free book! Cheers!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Visit Citlalli's Seoul

Curious about the places Citlalli visits in the Changeling Sisters Series? Check out the new page, Worlds Strange and Wondrous, for pictures and a little bit of history behind the South Korean locations.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Author Interview

I want to give a big shout-out to fellow author Sharon Stevenson and thank her for interviewing me! Find out five random things about myself, what the future of the Changeling Sisters Series holds, and what inspired the series here.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

August 2013 Book Review: The Immortal Rules

The Immortal Rules

 By Julie Kagawa
~Book Review~

*Minor Spoilers*

AFTER THE TWILIGHT phenomenon, a new wave of vampire books rose up to counter it, screaming, “Vampires don’t sparkle!” Whatever your opinion on Twilight is, it certainly made us reimagine how we think of the “undead,” and suddenly hot, sexy fallen angels, werewolves, and witches are everywhere in YA paranormal. Want a man of few words who always listens to you while his eyes rove hungrily over your body? Sure, just hook up with a zombie. Sorry mortal men, you better step up your game.

However entertaining it is to read about star-crossed lovers attempting to dance around the “deadly” in seductive Fae, trolls, or what have you, there have been some great cross-over worlds imagined. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa succeeds at this. Kagawa creates a post-apocalyptic night world organized by “kill zones” and districts, where survivors of the horrid Red Lung Virus are branded by tattoos that mark them as the property of vampire princes. She’s less concerned with romance than exploring gritty Allison Sekemoto’s transition from tooth-and-nails Fringe survivor to vampire apprentice of the mysterious Kanin.

The first half of the book flies by as Allison evades “Rabids,” mindless zombie killing machines, and learns the way of the vampire under Kanin’s stern tutelage. Unfortunately, her loner master has enemies, and Allison finds herself driven from the city and into the wilderness.

The second half the book suffers from the loss of the compelling Kanin and much dawdling about in the woods. Allison meets up with a group of zealous humans intent on finding Eden, a mythical island beyond the reach of vampires and rabids, which again, sounds incredible. Unfortunately, romantic lead Zeke doesn’t have much of a memorable personality, and Allison herself feels rather wooden (it felt like she had more chemistry with her teacher). More time is spent getting to know the various humans of the Eden group, which causes the tension of traveling through a plague-infested world to fizzle, and by the time the intriguing villain Jackal is introduced, it’s too little too late.

Despite execution not quite living up to Kagawa’s obviously brilliant imagination, there is that special something that lures you back to The Immortal Rules time and time again. Allison has a katana, which is awesome. The vampires feel more interesting than the humans, which is a shame, because I always love a good dogmatic zealot. Luckily, the second book in the Blood of Eden series, The Eternity Cure, promises more Kanin and Jackal, and more of Allison being a badass. Yes! Among all the vampire YA offerings out there, this series distinguishes itself.

Recommended for fans of: Richelle Mead, Susan Ee, and Veronica Roth

September Book Review: A toss-up between Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone or Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Shadow and Bone… Smoke and Bone… Maybe I’ll feature both :)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Music Up-and-Comers!

I'VE BEEN BLESSED to meet some incredibly talented musicians in my life. For a taste of powerhouse vocals or wicked guitar playing, check out these soloists/bands who sing from the heart: 

1. Tess Henley
I remember in high school we wished she'd join choir--she was amazing then and she's unstoppable now! Hell yeah for Seattle-area talent :)

2. Sheldon Botler
In college, Sheldon told me he could sing. He proceeded to sing--and play--an original that just makes you stop everything you're doing and listen.  

3. Bearfoot Bluegrass (now just Bearfoot)
My aunt and cousin have long coordinated bluegrass music camps in Alaska that grew so popular, they have since spread across the US to Hawai'i. There's a heart and soul in Bearfoot's music that is pure, honest, and wicked fun to listen to. My cousin Mike used to play just guitar in the band, but the other members convinced him to sing. Fans were glad they did!

Current Bearfoot members include Angela Oudean, Jason Norris, Todd Grebe, and Megan McCormick.

For more on Cordova 4-H Bluegrass Music Camps, visit:

The earlier you start playing, the better! And you can learn tin whistle, how crazy is that?

Citlalli Named a Top-Five Kick-ass Female Character!

Check out the article by Sharon Stevenson here, as well as discover four other badasses :)

If you're a fan of zombies, you'll want to fill out this survey for the chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card, also available at her newly launched website! 


Thursday, August 1, 2013

*NEW* Book: The Tribe of Ishmael is FINISHED!

Afterlife Chronicles Book I


~Horror/Dark Epic Fantasy~

There are no heroes. Only villains.

My name is Ishmael. Brilliant biochem genius. Undercover associate in the Maldini crime family. Blessed with a handsome face that occasionally gets accused of terrorism. My mother always told me diversification was good for my resume.

The last thing I remember is being on my way back home for my mother’s birthday party. But something happened, and now I’m on a strange train with a conductor who may or may not be a demon, and in order to figure out what the hell is going on, I teamed up with a girl who may or may not be a murderer. She’s not even the worst one aboard.

The worst one may

Welcome Aboard the Sunnyside Express.
Next stop: the Afterlife.
Whatever you do, please don't abandon all hope. That wouldn't be as much fun.


OH THANK GOD it's done.

Well. Draft numero uno, anyway. Clocks in at about 173,000 words. 349 pages in Microsoft Word. Someday my beta readers will forgive me :) Hey, they don't call it epic fantasy for nothing.

My freshman year, I read Dante's Inferno. It instantly wowed me with its sheer imagination. My reading partner and I admitted that there was something ghoulishly “fun” about taking a trip through Hell. Much of the fear surrounding “Hell” comes from the idea that it is so unknown; nothing we comprehend can prepare ourselves for the horror that awaits there. Dante kept that allure of horror alive by revealing just enough detail to enchant our imaginations, while keeping other secrets hidden. I found myself wondering about the demons who lived there on a daily basis. What would their cities be like? Did they think it was fair that they were being punished for their fathers’ sins? What does it even mean to be a demon? And that’s where Milton came in, weaving an accountable and yet sympathetic portrait of Lucifer and his followers. Toss in two humans with a heavenly host of secrets, and The Tribe of Ishmael was born. 

It bears saying that this is a work of pure fiction. It explores how we create our own heavens and hells, but it is not intended to represent any faith or religion. Although certain characters and concepts are definitely influenced by Biblical, Rabbinical, and Islamic literature, other parts are entirely the result of my hyperactive imagination *grins*.

So I've surfaced briefly for air to celebrate the manuscript's completion, but now I must dive back under into the editing world. I do hope to have this book available by the end of the year, and I will post a cover as soon as I'm able.

In Changeling Sisters Series news, I know many of you have been patiently awaiting for Book II, Year of the Tiger, to be available outside of I'm pleased to say that I will be free of exclusivity clauses in late October. Look for the third book in the series, Year of the Dragon, to be released sometime in 2014. 

If you haven't visited yet, check out fellow author Sharon Stevenson's website, where this August she will be releasing a Top Five Kickass Heroines article featuring Citlalli Alvarez from the Changeling Sisters Series! She's also hosting a  Reader Survey with an Amazon gift card prize draw and conducting indie author interviews, so a lot of cool stuff happening there. Sharon is the author of the Gallows Series, which features a pair of demon ass-kicking twins. She's also launching a brand new series, Book I: Raised, on August 15th, so make sure to go check it out!

THANK YOU EVERYONE for your support, reviews, ratings, in general, for just taking a chance on my books. I love sharing these stories with you. As my fellow indie authors know: writing isn't a choice, it's what we do.

Awesome song!

'Nuff said. Wish this singer every success. 

"Royals" by Lorde: