Saturday, December 3, 2016

Writing Update

Wow, it's almost the end of a year already.

I've been busier than ever, but what grounds me time and again is writing. It's a release, it's a moment to run wild, and it is a reflection into how much I have changed as well. I will choose to take the story in a different direction than I would have a year ago, or I will see a character in a new light. I hope you all wake up Christmas morning to find piles of new books waiting. And I hope you authors make those moments to write, even with all of the holiday craziness going on (no easy feat - today I had to fend off an attention-starved cat, appointment reminder calls, and a fiance who loves to sneak extra lines in if I'm not looking!)

There's one of the culprits.

That being said, here are some of the upcoming projects I'm looking forward to releasing soon!

  • Descriptions and Cover Reveals for two big novels: The Staff of Aaron (Afterlife Chronicles #2) and Year of the Rat (Changeling Sisters #4)
  • Year of the Boar (Changeling Sisters #1.5) launched on, with distribution to Barnes and Noble, Apple, and other online e-book retailers!
  • Completing the Ireland Travel Series
  •  And...researching paperback options for existing book series.
Will keep you posted on these, and I hope you all stay warm and toasty this holiday season! Thank you for all of your support. 




December 2016 Book Review: Court of Fives


By Kate Elliott 

~Book Review~

Warning! Spoilers!

THE HUNGER GAMES GOES ROMAN. I really enjoyed this one! Kate Elliott is a seasoned author who knows how to create suspense and keeps the pages clipping along. Plus, I am always up for a book the centers around an obstacle course.

The story feels fairly simply: Jessamy lives a conflicted life in Efea. Her military father is one of the conquering Saroese who married a commoner Efean, so she is mixed. While she is more privileged than the full-blooded Efeans, she will never be accepted in the upper class Saroese. Her sisters feel the brunt of belonging nowhere, as this hurts pretty Amaya’s marriage prospects or sensible Maraya’s chance of becoming a scribe. However, all Jessamy wants is to run the Fives, a obstacle course reminiscent of Ninja Warrior, where she must surpass Trees, Traps, Rivers, and Rings to win. A nasty high court lord wants her for her talents and her father for his military prowess, and thus plots to destroy the rest of her family so she and her father will serve his will.

Elliott’s method of world-building was very subtle. She doesn’t info-dump; she drops tidbits here and there when it is relevant to the plot to alert the reader that there is a very raw and painful war here brimming between the colonialist Saroese and the native Efeans. I thought it was well-done, since mixed, privileged Jessamy was born a while after Efea has been colonized. While she lives with the stigma of Efean heritage, she doesn’t fully understand the anger of the low-class who are aware of many things she isn’t, like how her beloved Fives game widely believed to be Saroese is actually taken from the Efean culture and beliefs.

Elliott does set up a love triangle toward the end of Court of Fives. She also takes an interesting approach with Kalliarkos, Jessamy’s original love interest, who is much more passive and a pawn of the courts rather than a bad-ass. However, it was something different than I usually see in YA, and I liked Jessamy’s choice at the end. I’m very excited to see what will unfold next in Poisoned Blade.

Recommended for fans of: Suzanne Collins, Richelle Mead, James Dashner
Upcoming Book Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Saturday, November 5, 2016

November 2016 Book Review: Six of Crows


By Leigh Bardugo 

~Book Review~

Warning! Spoilers!


This book had massive hype around it. I really enjoyed Bardugo’s world-building and memorable characters in her Shadow and Bone series, and this book promised to be a grittier, edgier heist extravaganza.


The characters: I didn’t care. And I should have! Kaz is the mysterious, sarcastic leader of the crew hired to break out a well-known scientist from the Ice Palace/Court. He is accompanied by Inej (best character in my opinion: sneaky and fierce assassin), Nina (a Grisha), Matthias (a soldier sworn to destroy Grisha), and Jesper and Wylan (yawn, they can do something-something). However, I simply felt like the characters never came to life from archetype draft. There was a barrier between me and the characters, and I couldn’t keep track of the various names, and I didn’t feel a connection to them. The plot didn’t intrigue me. Maybe it was because all of the characters were so supremely confident in themselves, and their bevy of sarcastic comments made it difficult to distinguish one from another.

What this book needed was a good, rival gang, or at least a cunning, compelling villain to make Kaz fail. Yes, there is the “twist” at the end, but honestly, was it that much of a surprise? And I’m afraid Duke Van Eck makes me shiver as much as a mewing kitten.

In contrast, TheLies of Lockmora by Scott Lynch had me riveted from page one. I cared about Lock and Jean. Lynch was able to make them and their city come alive in a way that enchanted me. Kaz and his crew are just too perfect and don’t have the flaws and compelling storyline that I’m looking for. Everything down to the characters’ backstories was just predictability seen coming from a mile away.

I’m definitely a minority opinion on Six of Crows so I would urge you to give it a try. However, I’m not sold on picking up the next book. Maybe to see what happens to Inej. We’ll see.

Recommend for fans of: Scott Lynch, Kate Elliott, Suzanne Collins

Upcoming Book Review: Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

Thursday, September 29, 2016

October 2016 Book Review: Splintered


By A. G. Howard

~Book Review~

*Warning! Minor Spoilers!*
IT’S NOT EVERYDAY you read about a main heroine with a fetish for bugs. Alyssa is a descendent of Alice Liddell, Lewis Carroll’s original inspiration for Alice in Wonderland. Her mother and she both suffer from the Wonderland curse: they hear bugs whisper and flowers laugh. Alyssa adopts a punk skater persona and creates intricate bug art to try and escape it, but she can’t escape the alluring moth boy in her dreams: Morpheus. No longer a hookah-smoking caterpillar, Morpheus is a hot winged boy who warns her Wonderland is in trouble.

Alyssa travels to Wonderland with her best friend and secret crush, Jeb, where she must undergo three tasks such as draining an ocean of Alice’s tears and defeating a Bandersnatch. Howard’s writing really flows and she succeeds in bringing Wonderland to life in all of its bizarre color and contradictions.

Alyssa doesn’t have much going on personality-wise, but the bug art part was unique. Her chemistry with Morpheus was definitely enticing to keep reading about. Jeb is the Rory who comes along and ruins what you hope is a promising romance between Amy Pond and The Doctor (maybe this is just me). He acts important and means well, but come on, Morpheus/The Doctor is the one with all the neat superpowers and charisma.

Of course a showdown for the throne of Wonderland has to occur, and Splintered keeps you turning through the pages, eager to see when the infamous Queen of Hearts or any other of your favorite Wonderland characters will make an appearance. Hopefully in the next installment Alyssa will perk up from being a more passive personality and the weird creativity will continue to rampage!

Recommended for fans of: Laini Taylor, Kendare Blake, Julie Kagawa
Upcoming Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo