Thursday, January 31, 2013

Review: A Shimmer of Angels (Angel Sight #1) Lisa Basso

Sixteen-year-old Rayna sees angels, and has the medication and weekly therapy sessions to prove it. Now, in remission, Rayna starts fresh at a new school, lands a new job, and desperately tries for normalcy. She ignores signs that she may be slipping into the world she has tried so hard to climb out of. But these days, it’s more than just hallucinations that keep Rayna up at night. Students are dying, and she may be the only one who can stop it. Can she keep her job, her sanity, and her friends from dying at the hands of angels she can't admit to seeing?

I really, REALLY liked this book! I love that the main character, Rayna, has been institutionalized due to her "gift." Not only does it add an extra layer of suspense to the story, but, in my opinion, it makes it more realistic. Very few (at least that I've read) paranormal novels take this angle, but in reality, if someone claims they are being followed by angels, vampires...insert paranormal character here... they get medications and lots of therapy. That, combined with the fact that this book was about angels, which I read very little about, made everything feel new and exciting. The plot wasn't  what I would have predicted, and it leaves so much to be covered in future books that I can't wait to read them.

As far as character development, I felt for Rayna, even though I occasionally wanted to kick her in the head. But she was very believable as a person. Luke, I don't know what to do with. He seemed like he has some important roll to play, but in this book he was more of a background character. In future books, I'd like to see more of her best friend, Lee. He seems like a really fun character, and for some reason the fact that he's just a guy-friend, not a love interest, makes him more intriguing to me.

And that brings me to the love situation... There is definitely a love triangle here, and I saw it coming from a mile away. What I didn't see coming was that I have no idea which side I'm on. I mean, seriously, how do you choose between angels? I'm just glad I'm not her.

Oh, and the ending. I can't forget that. There is a huge twist that I totally did not see coming, and I'm pretty much dying to know what it means for book two. So in summary (if you hadn't gathered as much from my rambling review) this is one debut that you will absolutely want to keep an eye on! I loved every second of it, it will be one that I read over again!

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

YA notes: language

I received this book through  Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Importance of an Editor

I'll admit it. There have been several times in my short writing career where I have thought very bad things about my editors. I pour countless hours, a ridiculous amount of caffeine, and a chunk of my very soul into a project, and then, if it's even accepted it comes back bleeding with ruthless commentary. Entire chapters get deleted, characters get re-written, and some of my favorite scenes and witticisms are declared useless. And I tell myself "they're only being big meanies because they care."

Unfortunately, I just read a book that did not have the same kind of "care" I have received. The plot was original, took several twists, and had me involved. Even better, even though it was very much a teen/new adult romance, it was very clean, both in language and content, and we all know how I feel about that. In short, this should have been a book I gave at least a 4.5 rating to, blogged, tweeted, and otherwise promoted while ordering the next in the series. Only, it wasn't. In my opinion, it was all in the editing.

There were several instances of missed punctuation, "dropped" words, random sentences in the wrong tense,  and sentences that were so stiff it was obvious the author re-wrote it twenty times, trying to make it perfect. Now, I do not at all think that this means the author isn't talented. But, as an author, this funny little thing happens when you stare at the same page for the thousandth time. The brain starts to auto-correct what is actually written with what you think you wrote. It's like you're not really seeing what is there anymore. And that's why we all need editors.

After pouting, defending my phrasing, and finally walking away from my shredded manuscripts to clear my head, I've found that my editors are right. Every. Single. Time. It can be slightly annoying, and I've had to swallow wounded pride, but in the end I have a product that is so much better that I could have made it by myself. Because I know that some of my early drafts of Blood Bound looked just like the novel I finished this weekend. The only difference is that I have some awesome editors that care enough to help me make it better.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

And the Winners Are:

In no particular order....drum roll please... Vic Caswell, Amandalynn01, Thomas Rollings.  Feel free to use the contact form to send me your mailing addresses. Thanks guys!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Who Wants One?

For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook or Twitter, (which, you totally should) check out what I got in the mail earlier this week!

That's right! I now have SWAG. So, who wants some? If you do, just comment on this post. At some point after midnight, I'll choose three (3) random winners to get my first autographed bookmarks. But if you don't win this time, don't be too bummed, there will be plenty more in the future.  :)  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


As many of you know, Kiersten White is something of a hero to me. Seriously, I want to be her one day. As all of you know (unless you've been living under a rock) her next book, Mind Games will be out next month.

Don't worry, this post is actually to tell you something you may NOT know. In celebration of this release, she is holding the mother of all contests. Translation: everybody wins! Seriously, everyone who enters, even international entries, will get an autographed bookmark! And what's even better... there will also be several copies of the whole Paranormalcy trilogy up for grabs, as well as an autographed copy of Mind Games and an ipod! And all you have to do to enter is pre-order the book. Which, of course, you want to do anyway. Just don't put it off! The contest ends February 17th. So, go order it, then fill out the entry form here. You know I did.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Just for Fun: Part II

Are you ready to find out what happened to the beloved internet? Here it is

Stamp came to Calliope one evening, pretending to be very distressed.  He explained to her that his alters had been neglected, and that his wife had just informed him that she was with child.  He begged Calliope to promise that his child would have a place in her world of e-mail, since his domain was fading.  Calliope felt terrible for causing a fellow god distress, so she immediately promised that his child would always have a place with her.  Stamp went away happy, for he had seen the future.  A few months later his wife gave birth to twins, Spam and Pop-up.  Since a goddess can never go back on her word, Calliope had no choice but to allow them to mar her precious creation.
Spam and Pop-up were only minor annoyances, and the wonderful gift, which had been called Internet, continued on uninterrupted.  But then some very disturbing news reached Britannica.  Some humans were abusing the Internet.  The precious gift of accessible knowledge that Britannica had so carefully crafted had become nothing more than a way to plagiarize the hard work of others.  Men were not trying to understand new ideas.  They were using her precious gift as a tool for deceit, the most hateful of all human characteristics.
Just moments after Britannica discovered the treachery of the humans, Java’s cousin, Cinema, came to make her own complaints.  Even though Java had given his word, somehow people had gained access to movies before they ever reached her temples.  Entire music CD’s were also being stolen from the Internet and the artists who created them received no payment for them.
While Cinema was still speaking, Midas stormed in.  He had just discovered a system that the humans created that allowed them to steal money from one another.  When a person visited one of his on-line markets, other people would take his or her credit information.  Still other people would go to the on-line markets claiming to have great products, when in reality they were scamming fellow men.
After she heard this, Britannica flew into a blind rage.  She remembered all of the work that she and the other gods had put into their gift.  And the humans thanked them by abusing their power and harming themselves and others.  She regretted that she had ever created the Internet, and she vowed to destroy it.  Out of her anger came thousands of viruses.  They attacked every part of the Internet, demolishing it one piece at a time.
Only Calliope was sorry to see their creation coming to this.  She listened to the screams of anguish from honest students as their research papers disappeared into cyberspace.  She watched as people tried to retrieve important communications from their inboxes with no luck.  Finally she devised a plan of her own.  There were far too many viruses for her to gather up, so she created a firewall.  The viruses could not break through this barrier, and people who could prove themselves worthy and attain it were saved from the destruction. 
But the Internet was severely damaged.  While Calliope had been busy creating the firewall, Java and Midas managed to calm Britannica.  They were all sorry to see what had happened to their beautiful creation.  They set out to repair the Internet, but the damage was extensive, and the project took months.
When the repair was finished the gods made a covenant to never destroy the Internet again.  But it would no longer be a free gift to mankind.  From that day on humans had to pay for the privilege of using the Internet.  Every month some of the minor gods, AOL, Cox, and Netscape, are sent out to collect the fees.      

So, what do you think? Did it really happen that way???

Friday, January 18, 2013

Just For Fun: Part 1

Hey Guys! I've been going through some of my old writings, and I found some that were pretty fun. Would you like to see one? This one is from a college prompt to imagine Greek gods in the modern world. Here is what I came up with. Enjoy! 

The Greatest Gift

By: Keshia Rogers

            Not very long ago the gods held a meeting to decide what to do about the humans.  But this was no ordinary meeting.  All of the gods were summoned to Silicon Valley because they were impressed with mankind.  Men had been very industrious and created some amazing things.  It was nice for men to do things for themselves once in a while.  The gods had grown weary of humans constantly begging for help.  But for the last several years the gods had been left virtually to themselves.  The humans were respectful, and what was even better, they left the gods to their nectar and ambrosia, figuring out solutions to their problems themselves.
            The gods were so pleased with this break that they decided to give the humans a gift.  The meeting would decide which god or goddess would be in charge of creating the gift.  Naturally, all of the gods wanted to be in charge.  Each wanted the humans to favor themselves above the others.  Ceres, goddess of the harvest, claimed that she was the obvious choice.  Food was extremely important; men would surely appreciate any gift she would bestow.  But her proposal was quickly rejected.  Ceres had been exalted since she gave men sliced bread.  It wouldn’t be fair to let her give the best gift twice in a row. 
The argument went on for days, with each god or goddess trying to gain the upper hand.  It was quickly decided that the gift could not come from the god of a certain area, because it was to be a gift for all people.  And some gods, like the god of war, were simply not good at gift giving.  Finally the gods decided that the gift would be a group project.  It would be overseen by Britannica, goddess of wisdom.  She was to be aided by her husband, Java, god of entertainment.  Java’s sister Calliope, goddess of communication, would also be part of this creation, along with her husband Midas, god of commerce.
This team of gods quickly agreed that they should make a gift that would improve one of the human creations.  After all, it was their creativeness that had impressed the gods in the first place.  They soon decided that one invention, the computer, had the most potential.  It was a large awkward thing, but it was very advanced by human standards.  The gods decided to spin an invisible web to connect all of these machines together.  Each of the gods would add something dear to them in this web.  It would be a way for humans to access the gods without even bothering them.  They could return to Silicon Valley in peace.  It was a perfect plan.
Britannica, as head of the project, started the invisible web.  She wanted to give mankind unlimited access to knowledge.  She poured entire encyclopedias and dictionaries into the web.  Anything and everything a human had ever wanted to know was placed in the web.  Books that were only available in a few locations could now be read all over the world.  Britannica was so excited about her ideas that she spun the web faster than she had expected, which gave her another idea.  It was not good enough to have unlimited knowledge, but the web would function in such a way that the humans did not even have to wait for their answers.
Next it was Java’s turn.  Java took advantage of the speed his wife had built into the web for his additions.  He added every game that men had ever known.  They could now be played alone or with hundreds of other people, regardless of where a human was or what time it was.  Java had long ago noticed the love men held for music, so he wove that into the web as well.  Every song ever sung was put into the web for humans to enjoy whenever they wished.  There was also a more modern phenomenon that humans loved.  Java made movies available on this web as well.  Now this one was a little more difficult.  He had to get permission from his cousin Cinema, who created the movies, so that he could put them into the web.  She agreed, but only on the condition that the movies were to be shown in her temples before they could be put into the web.
Midas also borrowed from Britannica’s creation.  He loved the idea of having things instantly available and decided to use it for his own area of interest.  His contribution to this web was the creation of shopping networks.  Humans would be able to buy and sell merchandise to markets they had never before been able to reach.
Calliope had observed the creations of the other gods quietly, and then it was up to her to tie them all together.  She created networks that would keep friends in touch with each other, no matter where they lived.  Next she added areas of special interest, where humans could meet and discuss specific matters, or simply get to know people from different parts of the world.  Letters would be able to travel instantly to anywhere in the world.  She made sure that her creation worked to make the others better, to make it the perfect gift.
Now the gods knew that humans would not be able to use this new gift on their own without any guidance.  So they used their powers to create the ultimate oracle.  The oracle at Google was able to answer any question that a human might have.  It would give the human several options, and allow him or her do decide what path they should choose.
When the team of gods presented their gift all of the other gods were amazed.  They were forced to admit that it was the greatest creation that they had ever seen.  With the new gift human civilization flourished like never before.  People were smarter, happier, and healthier than ever.  They praised the gods for this wonderful gift, and the gods were allowed to relax.  But not all of the gods were happy.  Stamp, god of the Post Office, was very jealous.  Since the time Calliope created e-mail, his alters had been neglected.  So he decided to take revenge upon her creation.    Stay tuned for part II

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hey Guess What!

So, in my last post, I promised that when I had info about any of my upcoming releases, I'd let you know. Well... I've updated my "Purchase My Books" tab with the Pre-Order links for Holiday Magick. It is also up on Goodreads, in case you want to add it to your shelf. Sorry, I can't get the handy widget for my sidebar yet, but I'll put it up as soon as possible. Oh, and here's the cover. What do you think?

People don't usually question holiday traditions or their origins, but maybe they should. Over centuries, explanations of how and why holidays exist may have been lost or changed.
Some holiday histories might only be known by a few individuals. Ancient magic spells could have influenced how we celebrate today. Fairies, zombies, or demons may have shaped our holidays.
Consider the following...
Why do people give red roses and cards on Valentine's Day?
Is there more to the story of Purim than is traditionally told?
Why do people wear green on St. Patrick's Day?
What happens to spirits that are captured during the Japanese Doll Festival?
Where does Santa get his helpers?
You may think you know the truth, but you can't be too sure.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Hi there! I know I haven't posted very faithfully recently, and I can only throw myself at your feet and beg for mercy. But I know you'll forgive me, because that's just how awesome you are!

Shall I tell you what I've been up to? Aside from the holiday madness, I have touched-up, polished, and made print-ready the three short stories that I'll have coming out this year. What? You missed those exciting announcements? Well, two of my stories, "Marked" and "Easy as Pie" are included in the Holiday Magick anthology, scheduled for release in May. My first ever flash fiction, "The Game," will be out this fall in the Doorways to Extra Time anthology. Of course, as soon as I have any pre-order info on these awesome titles, I'll post it here.

The bigger news is that Blood Bound is now in the hands of the copy-editors, meaning ARC's should be available in March. Squeee! And I've just submitted a proposed sequel... But I can't say anything else about that at the moment.

In the meantime, I suggest checking out the awesome Debut Author feature that Megan from Reading Away the Days has put together. I'll be her guest on Jan. 12th, but you should click the button in my sidebar so you don't miss a single new author!