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