Monday, December 31, 2012

Review: Touch of Death (Touch of Death #1) Kelly Hashway

Jodi Marshall isn’t sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she’s in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she’s being stalked by some guy no one seems to know.

After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he’s not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she’s part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendents of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins.

Jodi’s deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn’t difficult enough, Jodi discovers she’s the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can’t figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct. Goodreads

Kelly Hashway is an awesome storyteller. I loved how she combined zombies, Medusa, Hades, and teenage drama into one action-packed book. And, of course, there is the good-looking mystery boy named Alex. Apparently, I have a soft spot for guys named Alex, but, yeah. I loved him in all of his stalkerish, mac and cheese eating weirdness.

For me, the story did start out a little slow, but after the first few chapters, it really took off. I can honestly say, I've never read a plot quite like this one. It twists and turns, combining several of my favorite elements, making for a highly entertaining read.

I loved the way Jodi dealt with finding out the truth about her family, and what it meant for her future. Even though she's scared out of her mind, she keeps her focus, and her own sense of right and wrong, no matter what the cost.

Touch of Death is the must-read beginning of an awesome trilogy, and I can't wait to get my hands on book two!

Rating 5/5 stars
YA notes: None

Note: I had the privilege of doing some copy-editing for this book. This in no way influenced my review. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's Coming

My first novel and three short stories will be out next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is all. Have a Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cover Reveal :The Devil's Triangle, Toni De Palma

The Devil's Triangle

by Toni De Palma

When 17 year old Cooper dies in an attempt to burn down his school, he finds himself in the afterlife. Lucy, the Devil's sister who has crossed party lines, decides to give Cooper another shot at heaven. The deal? Cooper returns to Earth and has to find a girl named Grace. The rest is up to him.

While Cooper figures out his mission, he's thrown into the life he's always wanted. Great parents, a spot on the Varsity football team and a real future are all within reach. But what he really wants is Grace, a feisty girl with an abusive boyfriend that can pound Cooper into pulp if he doesn't watch out.

While Lucy plays demonic-puppeteer, clues to an unknown past between Cooper and Grace start to unravel. Cooper discovers that what's keeping he and Grace apart is far more sinister than anything this bad boy could have ever imagined.

978-1-939173-03-4Devil’s Triangle print
978-1-939173-04-1Devil’s triangle Ebook
Find Toni and The Devil's Triangle here:


Friday, December 7, 2012

Review: The Treachery of Beautiful Things, Ruth Frances Long

The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she's lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she's faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice--and not just her own. Goodreads

I absolutely loved that this was a very traditional faerie story. All but a few pages take place in the Other Realm, and there is so much magic you can feel it jumping off the page. Since it was so traditional, a few of the dangers and Jenny's mistakes are obvious, which did take away from the suspense for me. But at the same time, sticking so close to the roots of faerie lore reminded me why I love the genre so much. Speaking of roots, I did find the greenman aspect very interesting, possibly because I'm doing a little research on that myself.

      I really liked Jenny as a main character. Even though the story is written in third person, we really get a feel of the torment she went through the seven years after Tom was taken. Her fear, her pain, and her growth as a character are beautifully done. 

     Although I thought Jenny's outbursts of anger toward Jack were a bit overdone, I did understand her love/hate feelings toward him. Jack is a strong character in his own right. His impossible loyalties push him passed the breaking point, and he has to re-learn who he thought he was.

    My only compliant, and this is totally a personal preference, is that the descriptions got to be a bit much. There were times that I felt so caught up in the bright, the shiny, the beautiful, that I lost the rhythm of the story. But, given the title, maybe that was the point. This was definitely a traditional faerie tale that I would recommend to all fans of the genre, and to those who are looking for something refreshing to fall in love with.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

YA notes: None

IF YOU ARE HERE FOR THE GIVEAWAY, please see my previous post.

Monday, December 3, 2012


Here it is! The Spencer Hill Press Holiday Giveaway. ARC's, SWAG, candy, professional writing/editing help. We have it all, and YOU can win it all. Feast your eyes on these prize packs.

GRAND PRIZE Holiday Cheer Away Holiday Giveaway Bag


One Spencer Hill Press book (winner's choice--can include soon to be release selections)

TOUCH OF DEATH Handcrafted Pendant-
Handcrafted Necklace and Earrings
So Many Books, So Little Time Necklace

$20 Amazon or Barnes and Nobel (Winner's Choice)
$15 Starbucks
Two $10 Amazon

First Chapter Critique-Mary Gray
First Chapter Critique-Rhys A Jones
Query Letter Critique-Trisha Wolfe

Cool Stuff:
BETRAYED Fridge Magnet
Holiday Towel and Potholder
Candy- nom nom nom

BREAKING GLASS Handcrafted Bookmark
FINN FINNEGAN Handcrafted Charmed Bookmark-

SECOND Prize Holiday Cheer Away Holiday Giveaway Bag


ANGELINA'S SECRET - 1st edition signed copy

TOUCH OF DEATH Handcrafted Pendant-

$10 Amazon or Barnes and Nobel (Winner's Choice) 
$15 Starbucks
$10 Amazon
First Chapter Critique-Trisha Wolfe
First Chapter Critique (2500 Words Max)-Elizabeth Langston
Query Letter Critique-Kimberly Ann Miller

Cool Stuff:
BETRAYED Fridge Magnet
Holiday Towel and Potholder

FINN FINNEGAN Handcrafted Charmed Bookmark-

THIRD PRIZE Holiday Cheer Away Holiday Giveaway

First five pages--Sarah Guillory
First 250 word-DK Mok
Either query or first 250 word critique (your choice)--Michelle Pickett

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest is opened to entries from Dec. 3rd to Dec. 16th
Contest is open to all ages from 13 up.
Contest is opened to US and Canada residents only. Sorry.  :(  


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Unique Experience

I have had rejection letters. I have received acceptance letters. But, last night, I received my very first rejection and acceptance in the same letter. Of course, that's because I submitted multiple stories to the same anthology, but still, I thought it was interesting.

Now for the announcement. My very first Flash Fiction story, "The Game," will be in Doorways to Extra Time, an anthology from Spencer Hill Press, due out in 2013. (Insert Happy Dance Here)

As for my other story, well, congrats to everyone who beat me out. :) I know the competition was very stiff, and, honestly, it's an honor to have written one story that got in. I can't wait to read all the winners!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Wow. My posts have been really sporadic lately, and I'm sorry. But I'm still here. I promise. It just seems that between family commitments, holiday stuff, and, of course, writing, I just don't have much time left to tell you what I'm doing lately. But how about I make it up to you? What if I joined in a super-awesome Christmas giveaway with some other equally awesome authors? Would that make up for it? Details coming soon.  :) 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


As I'm sure you all know, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. And as some of you know, I have a short story in the upcoming anthology, Holiday Magick, that is based on a Thanksgiving tradition. What you may not know is that the main character in that story is based on my younger brother, the traditionalist. Every year, he insists that we do what we've always done, because "it's tradition." This even includes going over the Thanksgiving menu to make sure certain foods (even ones he doesn't like) will be present at the meal. Of course, we all tease him about this, but if he ever stopped, I'm sure it just wouldn't feel right. It's, well, tradition. :)

Traditions are important, and they tell a lot about who we are. so, what are your favorite holiday traditions? Do you decorate the Christmas tree Thanksgiving night? Spend meal time plotting your Black Friday trips? Watch a certain football game? Do you have unusual traditions attached to a different holiday? I'd love to hear about your traditions. And, even though I don't have any stories planned yet, your traditions might show up in a future story of mine!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Review: Dust Girl (The American Fairy 1) Sarah Zettel

Callie LeRoux lives in Slow Run, Kansas, helping her mother run their small hotel and trying not to think about the father she’s never met. Lately all of her energy is spent battling the constant storms plaguing the Dust Bowl and their effects on her health. Callie is left alone when her mother goes missing in a dust storm. Her only hope comes from a mysterious man offering a few clues about her destiny and the path she must take to find her parents in “the golden hills of the west”: California.

Along the way she meets Jack, a young hobo boy who is happy to keep her company—there are dangerous, desperate people at every turn. And there’s also an otherworldly threat to Callie. Warring fae factions, attached to the creative communities of American society, are very much aware of the role this half-mortal, half-fae teenage girl plays in their fate.

I have to say this is one of the most unique books I've read this year. I read as many fae books as I can get my hands on, but I've never read one set in dust-bowl Kansas. I loved it.

The imagery and language were so vivid I felt like I'd been transported back in time, listening to an old jazz band and wiping away the newest layer of dirt. Callie's desperation, confusion, and fear all felt very real. But they were nothing compared to the portrayal of the fae. In Callie's world, there are no clear cut "Good" or "Bad" fairies.They all tell her bits of the puzzle, woven in with their own version of the truth.

Callie is a great lead for this story. Her voice is a bit younger than what I normally read, but it really works here. She has spent her whole life in seclusion, hiding her bi-racial heritage, and now she is out on her own, trying to find out who she really is. She makes several mistakes, pushing even Jack, the only person who really wants to help her, away. But as she starts to figure out her own strength, she is willing to do whatever it takes to save those she loves.

Rating 5/5 stars

YA notes: none

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Least Favorite Shape

Let me start out by saying that a well done love triangle can be awesome. It can be beautiful, heart-wrenching, and show that the only truth to finding "the one" is finding "the one" you choose to make it work with. That said; Enough Already!

It has gotten to the point that as soon as one love interest is introduced in a new book, I start wondering when the other one is going to show up.I pretty much refuse to read any new series if the main thing reviewers are talking about is "I'm team HotGuy." Seriously, are that many completely swoon-worthy guys out there that every heroine needs two? I know that triangles are the "trend" at the moment, and I'm not at all saying that writing what is popular is a bad thing. I guess what I am saying is that I'm bored. A love triangle always ends one of two ways, and it's generally pretty obvious which guy will get the girl. So, what happened to creativity? Why can't one side of the triangle find someone else entirely? Or maybe the girl could decide she doesn't really need a guy at all, and leave the two hormone-driven males with nothing to fight over. Throw me a curve-ball once in a while. Okay, I'm done ranting now, but I am curious. What plot-devices make you want to poke your eyes out with a spoon? 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Review: Hereafter (Hereafter #1) Tara Hudson

Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life--or her actual death--she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but "will" him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever. Goodreads

Hereafter is an awesome debut novel from Tara Hudson. As most of you know, I love a good ghost story, and this is right up there with the best of them.

While the book does get bonus points for being set in Oklahoma, my favorite part of the book is that it is told from the ghost's perspective. I loved being able to go along with Amelia as she learned the "rules" of being a ghost. Her emotions, especially dealing with her family, really connected with me.

Joshua, if a bit too perfect, is a great love interest. He's strong, smart, and funny. It is great to see that while he doesn't always get along with his family, he truly cares about them, especially his little sister. Oh, and there is the tiny fact that he's willing to accept Amelia as she is, even though she has no pulse.

There is definitely a dark aspect to the story, dealing with Amelia's death, and why she is an "unclaimed" spirit. The last few pages left me thoroughly creeped out, but I can't say much without ruining the plot. But I will say that I can't wait to read the rest of this trilogy, and you shouldn't either!

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Y.A. notes: language

Saturday, November 3, 2012

And the Winner Is...

    First of all, I want to give a HUGE thanks to everyone who voted, blogged, tweeted, ore otherwise spread the word about my special cover reveal. We had over five hundred votes!  And for those of you who preferred the "hand" image, the publisher just informed me that we may be using that image as well, in one form or another. And now all that is left is for you to add my awesome debut to your TBR list, and (along with me) anxiously wait for September!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Unspoken Lynburn Legacy #1 Sarah Rees Brennan

Stop! Before you read this review, visit my previous post and help me pick out the cover for Blood Bound! Did you vote? Okay, now the review:  

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him? Goodreads 

Let me start by saying that I really liked this book, but that I also have a few reservations about it. But mainly, I liked it a lot.  :)

Kami, ah Kami. I wish Kami was real. I'm pretty sure we would be best friends. There were several times, especially in the first half of the story where I actually had to put the book down because I was laughing too hard. She's smart, reckless, and more than a little mouthy. Maybe because I wish Kami was my friend, I did not like Angela. She just got on my nerves the whole time, and she never seemed to be completely honest with someone she considered a best friend. Considering all the things she knew about Kami, it just didn't seem fair.

I have to admit, the plot really surprised me. I mean, who writes about a teen who still talks to her imaginary friend? It was brilliant. There were several turns I just didn't see coming. And especially given the light tone of the first chapters, it was a much darker read than I initially expected. Not that this is a bad thing. It actually kept me on my toes. And I loved that even though there is a definite love interest, this was not a love story.  It seems like "the guy" takes center stage in most YA heroine's thoughts, but not Kami. 

There were a few times I felt disoriented, like the plot was almost moving too fast. I couldn't tell whether it was day or night, who was in the room, etc. Of course, that could be my own fault for putting the book down to giggle, so I'm not sure. Another complaint I had was that Jared and Ash were supposedly American boys who'd lived all over the states, but they didn't always sound like that. They adapted to the English lingo a bit too quickly for me. Yes, I know that's a really picky thing to say. My main complaint is the ending. Since it is the first in a series, I was expecting something hinting at what is to come, maybe a teaser of the next book. Instead I was left feeling like WHAT THE CRAP??? It totally threw me, and quite possibly made me hate one of the main characters. But, of course, I'll have o pick up the next book when it comes out to be sure. And maybe that was the point all along.

If you're looking for a different sort of storytelling, with horror, tones of humor, and a little bit of warm fuzzies sprinkled in, definitely check out Unspoken.

Rating 4/5 stars

YA notes : language.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

MY Cover Reveal CONTEST

It's finally here guys! It's my very first COVER REVEAL day!  Here is my official blurb:

Blood Bound

Starting college a year early is hard. Starting fae college and learning to protect the world from the Unseelie is harder.
Brielle Reed has always been an over-achiever, but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew. Between her crash course in fae politics, struggles to control her new mind-reading ability, training sessions with the demanding Dr. Schwartz, and discoveries about the father who is still a mystery to her, Brielle finds herself longing for a chance at a normal life.
But she may not get that chance. Or chance at a life at all, for that matter.

And now for the even more awesome part. Are you ready for it? YOU get to pick my cover!!! Feast your eyes on these awesome choices.



Which one pops out and grabs you? Makes you want to pick it up and figure out what is going on? I want to hear all of your comments and opinions, so feel free to leave them in the comments section, but for your vote to count your have to vote here. May the best cover win!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: Shadowfell (Shadowfell #1) Juliet Marillier

Sixteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured and brought before him. Eager to hide her own canny skill—a uniquely powerful ability to communicate with the fairy-like Good Folk—Neryn sets out for the legendary Shadowfell, a home and training ground for a secret rebel group determined to overthrow the evil King Keldec.

During her dangerous journey, she receives aid from the Good Folk, who tell her she must pass a series of tests in order to recognize her full potential. She also finds help from a handsome young man, Flint, who rescues her from certain death—but whose motives in doing so remain unclear. Neryn struggles to trust her only allies. They both hint that she alone may be the key to Alban’s release from Keldec’s rule.

Homeless, unsure of who to trust, and trapped in an empire determined to crush her, Neryn must make it to Shadowfell not only to save herself, but to save Alban. Goodreads.  

Note to self: Never ever start a series by Juliet Marillier before the last book is published. I'm not sure how I'll be able to function without knowing what is happening in Alban until the next book comes out! Okay, fangirl moment is over. Almost.

Seriously, you just can't go wrong with Juliet Marillier. Her skill at world building is one of the best I've ever read, and I read a lot. Her characters are always strong, yet realistically imperfect. They make mistakes, sometimes big ones. But even when the reader sees it coming, you can't get mad at the main character, because you also completely understand. Neryn is so scared and broken at points in this book that I have no idea how she could go on. But she apparently has a core of iron, because she's still standing at the end of book one. And now I'm going to be worried about what is happening to her until the next book comes out.

The love interest in Shadowfell does not disappoint. One of my favorite things about Juliet's writing is that she doesn't rely on cliches or "steamy scenes" to make you care about her characters love life. But the feelings she does use are so raw and real, your heart jumps (and breaks) right along with them. And the best part? They don't always end up with the "obvious choice." So even though I'm already falling in love with Flint, I don't even know that he's the one

Okay, I totally lied about the fangirl moment being over. Bottom line: Read this book. ASAP.

Rating 5/5 stars

YA notes: none 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Review: Amarok, Angela Townsend

Life has been hell for seventeen-year-old Emma since she moved from sunny California to a remote Alaskan town. Rejected by her father and living with the guilt of causing her mother's death, she makes a desperate dash for freedom from her abusive stepfather. But when her car skids off the icy road, her escape only leads to further captivity in a world beyond her imagining. Dragged across the tundra by a crazed mountain man and his enormous black wolf, she finds that her gentle touch and kind heart earn her the wolf's friendship, and she names him Amarok, not knowing he was once a young man. When a vicious madman--trapped in bear form by an ancient Shaman--attacks the travelers and injures Amarok, Emma must find the strength to confront her fears and free the wolf she's come to love. But there's a catch--she must face down the evil shaman, a powerful Siberian mammoth hunter from the ice age, and he has no intention of giving up his power to her. Goodreads  

Amarok was unlike any "werewolf" story I've ever read. I loved the mix of legends Angela used, and her descriptions of the Alaskan landscape made my toes ache with the cold. The story was unique and fascinating, leaving me curious as to what happened next. 

I immediately felt sorry for Emma, but her thoughts were so jumbled it took me a little while to understand her. Once I did, I really liked her. She was a strong character who refused to let anything break her, no matter how bad life got.I've notices a sort of mini-trend lately of main characters with different disorders, and I really think that is a good thing. It helps girls going through the same situations to see they aren't alone, and that there is a better way. In Emma's case, she learns to fight her addiction to cutting by focusing on helping others, which is a great message.

Amarok was a little easier for me to understand. My heart broke for him and the loneliness he suffered. My favorite part of reading "his" chapters was seeing how differently he saw Emma than she saw herself. The love story in Amarok is one of the sweetest I've read in a while. I hope there are more like it in the future.

Rating 4/5 stars
YA notes: Language

I received a copy of Amarok for my honest review. This did not effect my opinion in any way.   

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Free For YOU!!

 Okay guys, On Haunted Ground, by Lisa Rogers, (with a bonus chapter by ME) is being offered as a free Kindle download for a limited time only. So grab your copy today. Go on, hurry up!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Dollhouse Asylum, Mary Gray

Can you believe this awesomely creepy cover?  

The Dollhouse Asylum
A virus that had once been contained has returned, and soon no place will be left untouched by its destruction. But when seventeen-year-old Cheyenne wakes up in Elysian Fields--a subdivision cut off from the world and its monster-creating virus--she is thrilled to have a chance at survival.
At first, Elysian Fields,with its beautiful houses and manicured lawns, is perfect. Teo Richardson, the older man who stole Cheyenne's heart, built it so they could be together. But when Teo tells Cheyenne there are tests that she and seven other couples must pass to be worthy of salvation, Cheyenne begins to question the perfection of his world.
The people they were before are gone. Cheyenne is now "Persephone," and each couple has been re-named to reflect the most tragic romances ever told. Everyone is fighting to pass the test, to remain in Elysian Fields. Teo dresses them up, tells them when to move and how to act, and in order to pass the test, they must play along.
If they play it right, then they'll be safe.
But if they play it wrong, they'll die.

Title: The Dollhouse Asylum

Author: Mary Gray

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (

ISBN: 978-1-937053-64-2
Release Date: October 22, 2013

Formats: Paper, e-book

Friday, October 12, 2012

Review: The Book of Blood and Shadow, Robin Wasserman

It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.

But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead. His girlfriend Adriane, Nora's best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life. Goodreads

The Book of Blood and Shadow was unlike anything I've read in YA in a long time. The first page grabbed me, and it didn't let go until the end. I loved the confused, off balance feel, especially to the first part of the book. I will say this; I wasn't that fond of any of the characters. But that may have actually been on purpose. This book was driven by plot, not characters. They were more like pieces of the puzzle.

I've heard several people call this a YA Da Vinci Code, and it really does have that feel to it. So if fiction framed around Christian/Jewish religions tend to offend you, this book probably isn't for you. Personally, I did have a problem with the way Nora views God, even though I understood it.

However, if you're just in the mood for a great suspense/mystery that is a little darker than some YA, I definitely recommend this book. It is extremely well written, and once the action starts, it doesn't stop. The only reason I can't give it 5 stars is because of some language and suggestive content.

Rating: 4/5 stars

YA notes: Language, suggestive content, religious controversy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Guest Posting

If you're looking for me, I'm over at Ghost Talk today. In honor of Halloween, I'm telling the first of two true ghost stories today. I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Review: Crossed (Matched #2) Ally Condle

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky — taken by the Society to his certain death — only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. 

Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander — who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart — change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever. Goodreads

Let me start by saying that the world created by Ally Condle is way creepier than any zombie apocalypse. Why? Because I could actually see it happening at some point. It is very detailed, and just a few "what ifs" removed from reality. 
The action in Crossed picked up much faster than it did in Matched. It starts a few months after Matched ends, when Cassia is almost finished with her "punishment" of being in the outer provinces, and she discovers that something far worse than she imagined was going on.

I don't want to give away any of the plot from this book, but I will comment on the "love triangle." I'm usually not a huge fan, since it seems like almost every book has one. But I really wish we could see more Xander in this book. I'm not at all sure Cassia has made the right choice. While I do still like Ky, the parts of the book written from his POV make it 100% clear that he's chosen not to be completely honest with her, even though she's literally given up everything to find him. I'm definitely interested to see how this one plays out.

Even though this isn't the most romantic, action-packed book I've read this year, I'm hooked because it feels so real. I'll be getting my hands on a copy of Reached when it comes out.

Rating 4/5 stars

YA notes  Mild language

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cover Reveal: Awoken, Timothy Miller

Fourteen-year-old Michael Stevens has never been ordinary; no orphan who hears music coming from rocks considers himself a typical teenager. But life gets a lot more complicated when two-foot-tall, albino, doll-like men sneak into his room one night, transforming the harmless music into a frightening ability he cannot control.

Soon, strangers in black suits begin to ask unsettling questions while unnatural animals with mismatched eyes haunt the streets. They are hunting, and not just Michael: anyone he cares about is in danger.

With the help of a mysterious drifter, an annoying girl he's accidentally mutated, and one of those creepy doll men, Michael finds himself in the middle of a war that could forever change the world he knows - reconstructing the very definition of humanity.

Title: Awoken

Author: Timothy Miller

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (

ISBN: 978-1-937053-53-6
Release Date: August 13, 2013

Formats: Paper, e-book

Sunday, September 30, 2012

In Other News

So, it's officially October. How did that happen? *sighs* At least it is now pumpkin-everything season, which makes it my favorite time of the year. But, I 'm sure you don't really care about that.

Some things you might care about: October 15 is the deadline to submit your totally awesome short stories for the new Spencer Hill Press anthology.

My COVER REVEAL for Blood Bound will be closer to the end of this month.

In the spirit of Halloween, Lisa over at Ghost Talk is looking for a few brave souls willing to share their true ghost stories.

And finally, in case you missed the earlier announcement, I've joined Twitter. @KeshiaSwaim.

And if anyone wants to bring me a pumpkin pie, well, I'll love you forever.  :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cover Reveal: Whisper Falls, Elizabeth Langston

Whisper Falls
While training for a mountain bike race, high-school senior Mark Lewis spots a mysterious girl dressed in odd clothing, standing behind a waterfall in the woods near his North Carolina home. When she comments on the strange machine that he rides, he suspects something isn't right. When Susanna claims to be an indentured servant from 1796, he wonders if she's crazy. Yet he feels compelled to find out more.

Mark enters a 'long-distance' relationship with Susanna through the shimmering--and temperamental--barrier of Whisper Falls. Curious about her world, Mark combs through history to learn about the brutal life she's trapped in. But knowledge can be dangerous. Soon he must choose between the risk of changing history or dooming the girl he can't stop thinking about to a lifetime of misery.

Title: Whisper Falls (Whisper Falls #1)

Author: Elizabeth Langston

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (

ISBN: 978-1-937053-42-0
Release Date: November 19, 2013

Formats: Paper, e-book

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It Happened...

Well, it finally happened. I joined Twitter. I've decided that there is just way too much awesomeness going on for me to just use two sites to tell you about it. So if you want to follow me, search @KeshiaSwaim. Or just use the nifty button in my sidebar.  :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rejections, Edits, and Other Facts of Life

For those of you who may not know, being an author is a thrilling, maddening, exciting, depressing, rewarding, crazy job that only someone slightly mentally unstable would want.

Writing is the only thing I've ever really wanted to do. But it was a dream, a time consuming hobby, at best. And then I had my first short story published. I about died of happiness. What happened next? My mom asked me to write a chapter for a book she was working on, and her publisher loved it. Now, my actual words are sitting on a local B&N shelf! *pauses to do happy dance* And then my awesome husband got a promotion that allowed me to stay home with Stitch and write during nap time! Almost immediately, I got an offer on Blood Bound, which I'd been working on forever. I decided then and there I was going to die a happy woman.

But then I got a rejection letter on a story I'd worked really hard on. Sure, I've been rejected before. But...but...but... now I was published. I thought those days were behind me.

And then I received the first round of edits on my beloved Blood Bound. My editor went out of her way to remind me that they chose my work, and I had a lot of potential. But not only did her edits amount to a complete re-write of the first half of my book, I also have to rewrite my entire planned sequel (which I was quite proud of myself for finishing so quickly). And my brilliant idea for a book cover turned crap.

I wanted to curl up and cry. For ever and ever and ever. Who thought writing was such a good idea anyway?

But now, with my first round of edits basically done, Blood Bound is way more awesome before, and I can't wait to dive in and redo the sequel with my new, improved plot. And my cover (which I can't show you yet) is so stinking cool. I'm back to short story writing as well. I may have been rejected, but it made me a better author. I'm trying new and different writing styles, and I have ideas for an epic fantasy novel!

In conclusion, if this sounds insane to you, DO NOT WRITE. But, if it sounds fun, exciting, or like a normal life, then by all means pick up a pen and join me in the loony bin!

Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm still here!

I just wanted to apologize for my recent lack of posts. I've been writing and editing like a crazy (crazier than usual) woman. But I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. AND I may have something to share with you soon. So stay tuned!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cover Reveal: Fireblood, Trisha Wolfe


To save a kingdom, Zara must choose between a prince who could be the answer and a rising rebellion that threatens to take control.

When Zara Dane is chosen to marry Prince Sebastian Hart, son of the man who ordered her father's capture, Zara knows she must fight to save everything she loves from ruin.

Being betrothed to the prince means a life trapped behind the towering stone walls of the Camelot-forged realm. Under the watchful eye of the prince's first knight, Sir Devlan Capra, changing her future becomes difficult.

When an unlikely rebel reveals the truth about the deadly secrets that fuel King Hart's twisted world, Zara's path to rescue her father becomes clouded by deception. The Rebels clear her path by forcing Zara's hand with an ultimatum: sway Prince Sebastian to join the Rebels, convincing him of his father's evil nature, or they will take him out.

But Zara is uncertain about a future under the Rebels' command and where the prince's heart truly lies. She must decide who to trust, what to believe, and what she's truly fighting for before the king destroys all of Karm, including her heart .

Title: Fireblood

Author: Trisha Wolfe

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (

ISBN: 978-1-937053-59-8
Release Date: October 8, 2013

Formats: Paper, e-book

Friday, September 7, 2012

Cover Reveal: Stalked by Death


Title: Stalked by Death
Series Touch of Death (#2)
Author: Kelly Hashway
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
ISBN: 978-1-937053-56-7
Release Date: July 23, 2013

Formats: Paper, e-book

Jodi knows that any slip-ups made by the Ophi--a special group of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac--will fall on her shoulders... and that Hades is just waiting for them to screw up so he can wipe out the Ophi line.

When the only Ophi Jodi can convince to come to the school and train with her is a gorgeous guy named Chase, it spells more than trouble for Jodi and Alex. Her mixed emotions for both guys send her powers surging out of control, and she begins raising the dead without even meaning to. Jodi doesn't want to lose Alex, but Chase is offering her something Alex can't. His very touch enhances her powers, making her stronger than any Ophi ever has been--maybe even powerful enough to stop Hades from threatening them all. But Chase's offering comes with a huge price. One that may cost Jodi everything she has.

Jodi needs to figure things out fast--because death is stalking her at every turn.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Child is Doomed

I've come to the realization that I might be (slightly) warping my child. Stitch is only a year old, but I've already managed to instill in him a love for books. We read all the usual shapes, farm animals, counting books, but I also read aloud from my fantasy novels, and discuss my own writing projects with him. When his grandmother (also a writer) is babysitting, I've learned she does the same thing.

And then there is the small matter that I've gotten Stitch hooked on my childhood favorite cartoon: Pinky & the Brain. He dances to the theme song and watches Brain's plots for world domination very seriously. Then my husband had to step in and teach him to zombie-walk while growling "braaiiins."

So, when my sweet little Stitch is in his room being suspiciously quiet, I'm positive he's either communing with the fair folk, pondering ways to overthrow his parents, or simply dreaming about snacking on our heads. Is this normal?  :)  Happy Wednesday.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Review: Underworld (Abandon #2) Meg Cabot

Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape. Goodreads

I'm honestly not sure what to say about this second installment in the Abandon trilogy, so I'll just jump in. Meg Cabot's writing style is flawless, and the plot is highly imaginative, with several little twists.

For the most part, I like Pierce's character much better this time. She finally seems to care about people other than herself, and even though she doesn't have a real plan, she at least wants to help.

I'm especially interested to see what becomes of the "powers" she and John seem to share. She is obviously more than a hapless teenage girl, but we'll have to wait until book three to find out how much more.

Unfortunately, Pierce's relationship with John is my biggest complaint. I don't blame her for being attracted to the sexy, strong, fiercely protective type, but she just overlooks too much. In Abandon, she goes from being terrified of John's violent actions to "in love" without any real reason. Then the book ends with his kidnapping her.

Now, he lies to her repeatedly, tells her if he's honest about his past she'll hate him, and she still follows him no matter what. She seems to think her parents will be better off without her, and when she has a chance to let them know she's safe, she decides not to. I have a really hard time understanding how anyone can follow anyone that blindly, (even if he really may be a good guy deep down) that isn't love, it's stupidity. 

I'm interested enough to read book three, and withhold judgement on the series until then, but Underworld definitely could have been better.

Rating 3/5 stars

YA notes: language, sexual references.    

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cover Reveal: Blood Fuge by E. J. Wesley

Cover work by Sketcher Girl, LLC -

What's the Story About?

Some folks treated the past like an old friend. The memories warmed them with fondness for what was, and hope for what was to come. Not me. When I thought of long ago, my insides curdled, and I was left feeling sour and wasted.”

Jenny Schmidt is a young woman with old heartaches. A small town Texas girl with big city attitude, she just doesn’t fit in. Not that she has ever tried. She wears loneliness like a comfy sweatshirt. By the age of twenty-one, she was the last living member of her immediate family. Or so she thought…

“We found my ‘grandfather’ sitting at his dining room table. An entire scorched pot of coffee dangled from his shaky hand. His skin was the ashen gray shade of thunderclouds, not the rich mocha from the photo I’d seen. There were dark blue circles under each swollen red eye. A halo of white hair skirted his bald head, a crown of tangles and mats. Corpses had more life in them.”

Suddenly, instead of burying her history with the dead, Jenny is forced to confront the past. Armed only with an ancient family journal, her rifle, and an Apache tomahawk, she must save her grandfather’s life and embrace her dangerous heritage. Or be devoured by it.

BLOOD FUGUE by E.J. Wesley, is the first of the MOONSONGS books, a series of paranormal-action novelettes. At fewer than 13k words, BLOOD FUGUE is the perfect snack for adventurous readers who aren’t afraid of stories with bite. Available wherever fine eBooks are sold September 2012.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Random Tidbits

Looking over my last several posts I noticed that they are all reviews. It almost looks like I've been binge reading or something. Well, I have. But I have a good reason. I'm supposed to get my edits for Blood Bound in a few weeks. *Squeee!* Depending on how horribly shredded my MS is, I may not be able to touch another book (or blog page) for a while. *Shudders*

But reading isn't the only thing I've been doing. I promise. I've written and submitted a few short stories to various places. They all have long waiting periods before they'll tell me anything, so here I go again. I hate waiting.

And finally, I'm getting to see some cover mock-ups now, and let me tell you: Seeing my name on the cover (even if it is just a picture) is pretty darn awesome. So, since the entire point of a cover is to catch a potential reader's eye, what do you think? Should the cover be a scene from the book, something that makes you think "Oooh, that's pretty/creepy/interesting," or something else entirely?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Review: Endlessly (Paranormalacy #3) Kiersten White

Evie's paranormal past keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants to drag her back to headquarters. The Dark Faerie Queen is torturing humans in her poisonous realm. And supernatural creatures keep insisting that Evie is the only one who can save them from a mysterious, perilous fate.

The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its fate rests solely in Evie's hands.

So much for normal. Goodreads

I'm not going to lie. I read this one a lot slower than necessary because  Endlessly is, well, the end. And when I read the last page there was a tear in my eye, not because it was sad (well, maybe a little) but because it is really over. Okay, on to the review.

Kiersten White is amazing. Se is my hero. I want to write just like her when I grow up. I am a (obviously) a huge fan of the Paranormalcy series. I love that Evie is a little pouty and selfish, obsessed with pink and her boyfriend, and, an actual teenage girl. So many times I read YA stuff that feels way too adult, in both characters and situations. Mrs. White has proven that you can write a lighthearted, clean, real teen book, and have it shoot to the top of the best seller's list. 

Endlessly tied everything together very nicely, with lots of action, kissing, and Tasey. I loved that most of the characters from the first two books made an appearance, and that the ending, in a way, was just a new beginning. Now, I've always been creepily attracted to Reth, so the way he was portrayed in this book made me happy.I really want so say more, but without spoilers, I can't.

As far as weak points, there really weren't many. It was a little frustrating that Evie spent a lot of time ranting about being manipulated, yet it kept happening right up till the last page. But, alas, that is the nature of the fey.

Bottom line: Read. This. Book. But do it slowly, to savor the end.

Rating 5/5 stars

YA notes: None

Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Abandon (Abandon #1) Meg Cabot

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.  Goodreads

I actually finished this book several days ago, but it's taken me a while to get my head around it. There is something darkly beautiful about the way Meg Cabot re-tells the story of Persephone. I was hooked from the first page, and I couldn't put it down.

Now, there are a lot of negative reviews over this book, and I can sort of see why. Pierce is not a roll-with-the-punches street-smart beauty queen type of girl. At times she was incredibly frustrating, selfish, and more than a little disturbed. But somehow my inability to connect with her actually worked for this book. It left me wondering "Who says the main character has to be strong to be great?" Pierce has been through a lot. She technically died, her best friend committed suicide, her parents are in a messy divorce, and, oh yeah, Death is stalking her. Honestly, I'd have a few mental stability issues as well.

The love/stalker story is really just starting off, so I'm withholding judgment on that front. There were plenty of twists and turns, mysterious characters, and about a thousand different ways the story can go from here. If  I could ask Meg one question, I's ask what is up with the tassels. Other than that, I loved it and  you can bet I'll be picking up the next book in the series.

Rating 4/5 stars
YA notes: language 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: Hemlock, Kathleen Peacock

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends.

Since then, Mac's life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac's hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy's killer:

A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome--also known as the werewolf virus--is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy's murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy's boy-friend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life   at risk. Goodreads   

This book left me with mixed feelings. It is a new and interesting take on the werewolf theme, a little darker and more frightening than most of what I've read. Some of the decisions Mac has to make are really tough, and the right answer is hardly ever clear. I found myself wrapped up in several scenes, wondering what was going to happen next. Dream-Amy is super creepy, and the ending pretty much guarantees that readers will come back to see what happens next.

But I had several problems with the story line. I really didn't get how Mac-who is now trying to solve a murder the police couldn't figure out-seemed to know absolutely nothing about her supposed three best friends, even though they'd been together for years. Not surprisingly, she knew even less about the other people in her town. And then there is the love triangle. Yes, it is cliche, and no, that doesn't automatically make it bad. What makes it bad is that Mac continually points out that it is cliche and stupid. In my opinion, common plot lines exist because they work, we readers like them. But the author's job is to put their own twist, some angle of uniqueness on it, not point out that they are copying what millions of books and movies have done before them. *done with rant* While thinking about this review, I also noticed several holes in the plot. They didn't immediately jump out at me while I was reading, but they are definitely there. In the end, it was a good book that could have been great with a little more effort.

Rating 3/5 stars

YA notes: Mild language, mild suggestive content. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Review: Blood Moon (Drake Chronicles #5) Alyxandra Harvey

When the vampire tribes convene for the rare Blood Moon ceremonies, Solange’s fight with her feral nature, a mysterious stranger, family secrets and forbidden magic put all of the Drakes in danger.

The POVs are: Solange, Lucy and Nicholas.  Goodreads. 

Wow. When did my lighthearted Drake Dramas go all dark and creepy? I think I like it.  :)

This is by far the darkest of the Drake Chronicles. There is a mass gathering of less-than-nice vampires and their blood-slaves, Solange dumps Kieran and is shutting herself away from her whole family, and Lucy joins the Helios-Ra. And these aren't even the  strange parts of this book!

Unlike the other Drake books, there is no new romance, just lots of secrets and a major cliffhanger ending. It's almost impossible to say more without some major spoilers, so I will just say this. I loved this book. I didn't want it to end, and now that it has I am impatiently awaiting the next one. Alyxandra Harvey, if you're reading this, get off my blog and go write! I need to know what happened to a certain someone, like, now. Thanks.

Two minor complaints: There is a whole lot about the Blood Moon that goes unexplained. I'm pretty detail oriented, so that bugs me. But not as much as this cover bugs me. The Drake Chronicles are not steamy romances, and Blood Moon is even less romantic than the other books. There is a lot of sarcasm, knives, and blood. One kiss. So I don't get it. But I also know the author probably didn't get much say in the cover art, so I won't hold it against her. :)

Rating 4.5/5 stars
YA notes: mild language

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Love Story

I'm as bad as any girl about getting all giggly about a good romantic sub-plot. Every awesome novel about a girl does NOT have to have a gorgeous guy tagging along, but it helps :)

Lately, however, I've noticed a disturbing trend in the books I've picked up. The guy that the main character is drawn to is bad. Not bad as in "on opposing sides of the war" bad, (that's kinda fun, actually) but bad as in lies, manipulates, and ignores her. And in most cases, the seemingly intelligent MC knows this, but "loves" him anyway.

Now, in all fairness, these are usually the beginnings of a series, and I'm confident that by the last book, jerk-boy will turn over a new leaf, realize what he has, and deserve her. My problem is that, in real life, that rarely happens. You're more likely to end up with a jerk who doesn't respect you. Please don't get me wrong. I know people can change, and I know girls don't really fall for someone because they act like the butt-head turned nice guy in the novel they are currently reading. But I am worried that if we keep making this behavior look attractive, or even "normal," more and more girls will start to believe that's the way it's supposed to be.

So, am I overreacting? What if the love interest from your favorite novel was real? Would you date him, or let your daughter? I know the bad boy plot is here to stay, but should we really be okay with our heroines following them blindly because "they'll change" eventually?  Thoughts please.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

To Tweet or Not To Tweet?

We all know that social media, and the internet in general, is a huge time suck. BUT, it is also a great way for  a new author from a small press to get her name out to a lot of people. I enjoy blogging and my facebook page because I think they make me feel real and accessible. I love that. I want people to be able to tell me what they think, start conversations, etc. Goodreads is super awesome. It's a whole website dedicated to books. How could it not be? Yet I know as my book's release date gets closer I'll need to do more, so I'm asking: What do you recommend? Twitter? Tumblr? Something else? What is the best way to connect and still have time to actually write?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: The Traitor in the Tunnel (The Agency #3) Y. S. Lee

Queen Victoria has a little problem: there's a petty thief at work in Buckingham Palace. Charged with discretion, the Agency puts quickwitted Mary Quinn on the case, where she must pose as a domestic while fending off the attentions of a feckless Prince of Wales. But when the prince witnesses the murder of one of his friends in an opium den, the potential for scandal looms large. And Mary faces an even more unsettling possibility: the accused killer, a Chinese sailor imprisoned in the Tower of London, shares a name with her long-lost father. Meanwhile, engineer James Easton, Mary's onetime paramour, is at work shoring up the sewers beneath the palace, where an unexpected tunnel seems to be very much in use. Can Mary and James trust each other (and put their simmering feelings aside) long enough to solve the mystery and protect the Royal Family? Hoist on your waders for Mary's most personal case yet, where the stakes couldn't be higher - and she has everything to lose. Goodreads.

I absolutely love The Agency. Mary, a female private eye in Victorian England is smart, funny, brave, and a little hot-headed. I especially love that she manages her own style of intelligent banter, without sounding like a repeat of every other "snarky" female lead. Lee's lighthearted mysteries are full of Victorian details that let the reader feel completely sucked in to a different time and place. It is some of my favorite historical fiction.

James Easton. *sigh* I really don't know where to begin with him. He is infuriating, and I love him. While I admire his high morals, courage, and stubbornness, the amount of time they keep him away from Mary is maddening. Which I suppose is the point. Well done, Ms. Lee, well done.

I do have to say I was disappointed in the treatment of Felicity and Anne, Mary's handlers. I felt like the issue there took place and was over a little too quickly. The Agency is listed as a trilogy, with The Traitor in the Tunnel being book three, but Goodreads has a fourth title listed, but not yet published. YAY! Maybe it will clear up a few lingering questions, like who is the girl in the blue dress??

Rating 4.5/5 stars
YA notes, mild language, mild suggestive content 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Main Characters...

I had hoped to have a review for you today. I picked up a new book by an author I have always thoroughly enjoyed in the past, but sadly, I just couldn't get into the story. I tried, I really did. I read about 250 pages of it's 400+ before giving up. The writing style was what I'd come to expect, the plot was sufficiently twisted but still... The problem was the MC.

I didn't connect with her. At all. I never understood what drove her to do the things she did, why she didn't do other things sooner, or why she was so darn pouty.By my stopping point, she was in a pretty tense situation, and I just didn't care. So, my question is: What makes a great MC for YOU?  At what point in the story do you stop and say Oooh, I like her/him?

Obviously, we're all different, and not everybody clicks. That's fine. That's the way it should be, actually. So it is understandable that we all find books where we never really like the MC. So, here is question #2. If you find yourself with an annoying MC, do you put the book down? Why or why not?

That is all for today! But if you're in the mood for more blogging, may I recommend this?   

Monday, July 23, 2012

I Refuse to Title This Post.

For those of you who've followed me for a while, you've heard me rant about how much I hate Titling my work. But I have new followers and this is my blog, so I'm doing it again.

I can write a novel. But I can't come up with a title. WHY? Why is it so hard to come up with a one or two word phrase to encompass the entirety of a book? Okay, I know very few titles actually accomplish that, but they do accomplish intriguing a potential reader, giving hints about what is hidden between the covers of the book, or at least sounding cool. Gah! I've got nothing. Fortunately, I only seem to have this problem with novels. Short stories, I can name. But novels, I had less trouble naming my child. Sad, but true. I'll quit ranting now and go back to flipping through the thesaurus.

* On a side note, I did survive VBS. Thanks to all who were concerned.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Random Post

Did you know 13 is a LOT of 2-3 year olds? Yep, that is how I'm spending my "writing time" this week. Wrangling toddlers for VBS. So this may very well be the only post I do this week and for that I am sorry. However, if anyone notices a lack of posting for several weeks, would you please come bail me out of the insane asylum? I'll give you cookies. Thanks.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Now I Get It.

On the recommendation of a friend, I read Stephen King's On Writing several months ago. I mean, what better source to learn how to be a successful author, right? There were a few nuggets of wisdom I put into immediate practice, and several that I thought, "Well that's just plain weird." One of these oddities was Mr. King's suggestion that, after a manuscript was written, the author should put it out of sight for a while to let it "incubate" before revising it. Incubate? I thought. Am I trying to write or hatch an egg here? And so I filed it away and ignored it.

You may have caught my post earlier this week about having some short stories accepted in an anthology. Even though the deadline for submission was in June, I knew I would be working on a different project, so I wrote, re-wrote, sought advice on, polished, and sent off my submissions back in Mach. When I received my acceptance email, I went back to re-read my first story, and to my horror, I instantly spotted three grammatical errors on the first page. And yes, I *do* claim to be a professional editor. Then it got worse. There were phrases, whole sentences even, that made me go "huh"? I have no idea what they meant, and I wrote them.

And now I get it, Mr. King. Time is the best, perhaps only way, to make sure you are looking with fresh eyes on your work, not simply seeing what is supposed to be there. Since I will be spending the rest of my free time in an editing cave this weekend, I hope you all have a lovely one.  :P

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Yay Me!

I just found out that TWO of my short stories are going to be part of a new anthology, Holiday Magick. My stories are titled "Marked" and "Easy as Pie," and the anthology has a projected release date of May 21,2013. That's all the info I have for now, but you can bet I'll pass anything new along as I get it. :)  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: A Breath of Eyre, Marie Mont

Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates in her head. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to filling the void left by her mother’s death. And her only romantic prospect—apart from a crush on her English teacher—is Gray Newman, a long-time friend who just adds to Emma’s confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre…

Reading of Jane’s isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane’s body and her nineteenth-century world. As governess at Thornfield, Emma has a sense of belonging she’s never known—and an attraction to the brooding Mr. Rochester. Now, moving between her two realities and uncovering secrets in both, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane’s story, or in the unwritten chapters of her own… Goodreads

Okay, I'm a little behind on posting this due to the blog hop, so I'll get right to it. This is an awesome book. I felt completely connected to Emma. This is a girl who turns to books, (some of my favorites no less) to escape her everyday problems. Familiar? I think so.

The lot is a seamless retelling of Jane Eyre, along with a few twists. On reading the jacket blurb I was interested to see how Mont would have Emma live Jane's life without sounding totally corny. Without spoiling anything, I can only say she did it! And the ending... Again, I'm trying to do this spoiler free,so... As much as I love the classics, the book wouldn't have been nearly as good if Mont hadn't been brave enough to change the plot.

On a side note, this novel does tackle some pretty serious issues, such as underage sex, drinking, and drug use, as well as suicide, but it does so in a tactful, responsible way. There are two other books in this series my Mont, and I can't wait to get my hands on them!

Rating 4.5/5 Stars

Notes Language, Drinking, drug references.

Friday, July 6, 2012

And the Winners Are...

Haley H. and Becky P. Congrats and thanks to everyone who entered. Keep an eye on this blog for important updates and more giveaways!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Cover Reveal- FAE, Emily White

If you are here for the blog hop see the previous post.

Not all fae'ri tales come with a happy ending.

Ella thought taking care of the ego-bloated Mamood god would be a sure way to bring peace to the galaxy and satisfy her taste for revenge.
But she was wrong.
Despite the fact their god is gone, the Mamood refuse to abandon their attack on the planet Soltak and Ella's own so-called friends start to turn against her. And with Soltak dying--its oceans drying up and its plants withering in the ground--Ella and Cailen suspect there's a new enemy at work. As more people die and more water is leached from the planet, they both prepare for something straight from a nightmare.

The fae are coming.

Title: Fae
Series: Auri #2
Author: Emily White

ISBN: 978-1-937053-26-0
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Formats: paper, e-book
Cover Design: Vic Caswell of Sketcher Girl