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Book Recommendation: The Gemma Doyle Trilogy

Posted on October 2, 2018 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Why I Love It: I've referred to this series as brain cheetos before. It's addicting and fun, but there are moments of "why am I doing this to myself?" I love the gothic horror it portrays at times, but I also like how the main characters actually act like teen girls and use their magic to make gems and knights in shining armor. They act like irresponsible teens and I appreciate that, but they do try to step up and get stuff done, even if it backfires sometimes. 

Book Recommendation: Protector of the Small Series

Posted on October 1, 2018 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)


Why I Love It: I didn't like First Test and it took me a long time to read the rest of the series after it. It felt too much like Alanna 2.0 with little variation. However, after that first book I fell in love with Kel. She doesn't hide her gender, she refuses to be bullied into quitting her dreams. And unlike the other Pierce heroes,she has no magic, which I loved. Plus lots of jousting, I love me some jousting. I recommend treating this as one book, rather than as four books, because the first two books are more buildup for the last two and this was in the days when Pierce and her publishers kept books much shorter. 

Book Recommendation

Posted on September 30, 2018 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Why I Loved It: I discovered this book after reading an interview from the author about the difference between arrange and forced marriages. I found her interview so interesting, I bought her book. It's sad, but hopeful. Naila goes through hell at points and breaking away means cutting ties with her family, but through it all, she maintains she'll survive and make it out. I recommend reading Saeed's interview, it helps shed light on Naila's plight of a forced marriage which is a very real problem across the globe. https://bookpage.com/interviews/18032-aisha-saeed" target="_blank">/bookpage.com/interviews/18032-aisha-saeed

Book Recommendation: The Last Unicorn

Posted on September 29, 2018 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)


Why I Love It: It's a classic adventure tale, but the unicorn is the hero. I've been watching the cartoon movie for pretty much my entire life and there's a certain sadnes and magic around this story. The unicorn is on a quest to find her lost kind and along the way she learns and experiences things no creature as innocent as a unicorn should know. All the archtypes are there, the dashing hero, the wizard, the wicked king, the damsel in distress, but everything is turned on its head, as they realize they are archtypes, but that it doesn't have to define them. 

Book Recommendation: The Princess Bride

Posted on September 28, 2018 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

On my Facebook page, I've begun recommending books on Mondays, I thought it was high-time to bring it on over here too!

Why I love it: It's my favorite book ever. Which surprises even me, since I like, but don't love the movie. What draws me to the book isn't the story of Buttercup and Westley, no, no, it's how Goldman presents his life as intertwined with a book he invented, but presents as real. He writes so conviningly I believe Florin and Guilder exist and The Princess Bride is a political satire Goldman abridged. The story itself is an exciting swashbuckling tale, but the controversy and history he created around it and how it shaped his life is brilliant.  

2018-2019 Writing Goals

Posted on June 20, 2018 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (1)

I’ve been suffering from writer’s block mostly for a variety of reasons. There’s some pressure I’ve put on myself to try and get books ready and out into the world. So, I sort of stalled the last year. I’ve finished two manuscripts and edited another, but two of those completed works have planned sequels and one is a hot mess that needs so much time and energy I felt like I’d never have time to work on it and get other manuscripts ready for publishing. I’ve jumped between a lot of projects. There are so many partially finished works or works that I had a few good, solid days of writing, then stalled and tossed it out.


It has not been fun. More and more pressure mounted and a little voice inside screamed “the year is half over and you have squat to release for next year.” Then I decided I wanted to get an MFA and all that pressure came to a head and I stopped doing anything for a while. I may write a few words here or there, but overall just eh. I had no ideas, nothing I would submit in an MFA portfolio. Then I got an idea for a short story, then a coworker put another idea in my head for a short story, and then a third short story cropped up. All ideas I am in various stages of writing/editing/having critiqued so I can submit them in a portfolio. But I still felt crappy no novel/novella ideas were coming up. It feels like forever since I had a good one and even ideas I have planned as sequels, feel stale right now. Then I rediscovered a handwritten sci-fi story I had put a lot of time into and got too busy to finish and as I read it, found I wanted to work on it again for the joy of working on it. And I feel better for it.


And then I took a long look at my writing. I want to continue to put content out in the world, but I’m letting the pressure get to me. So I’ve made a tentative plan for July 2018-end of 2019.


1) Apply to MFA programs with the three shorts I have in the works

2) Edit a Macbeth retelling that is a hot mess, but has been enjoyable. Potentially query to publishers/agents.

3) Finish the found sci-fi story, even if nothing comes of it, just do it for fun.

4) Edit a book that takes place about 20 years after the events of the Death Dealer. I have my name in for a cover art design already, but I don’t see this being released in 2019.

5) Work on a sequel to one finished work. I’m not sure what yet, probably the aforementioned work.

6) Calm the fuck down about writing. Yes, I love writing, yes this is a business venture that needs attention, but I’ve put a lot of stress of getting things done and ready and that is driving me bonkers.

7) Blog more. Haha, yeah right.

The Oracle Queen - Review

Posted on May 11, 2018 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)



4 Stars

It annoys me that the Oracle Queen we’ve heard so much about was pretty much driven to madness because of a man. No, seriously. There’s more at play, which I liked, but a lot of Francesca Arron’s plan rests on Elsabet throwing temper tantrums over her unfaithful husband. Seriously. They want to paint her as mad and unstable and use the king-consort to make her appear man crazy and jealous. Also, the people of this island are endlessly stupid. They turn on Elsabet on the word of Francesca without any real proof. I fail to believe there is not some loyal faction ready to go start a civil war because they believe their queen and hate the Black Council. I’ve enjoyed this series thus far, but the politics and government on this island make no sense and aren’t sustainable. I assume the whole island is brainwashed and that’s why they’ve allowed for this random, useless monarchy to continue ruling.


I will say the politics and backbiting at play were pretty interesting. I enjoyed watching a queen actually rule and then butt up against the Black Council. Francesca stopped at nothing to get her way and have her power, which was downright dastardly. She convinced a lot of people to lie on her behalf, to the point I have to suspend my disbelief. She’s pulling strings brilliantly and she makes a good, cold, calculating villain. It’s a shame this was just a novella, because there’s a lot of room to expand on how these conspirators moved the pieces into place to depose of Elsabet. Her reign set the tone for why oracle queens are killed, so that deserves some serious delving into. I feel like this just scratched the surface. I like what Blake does with political machinations and I hope there’s a lot more of this in Two Dark Reigns.


Also it was nice to get away from the triplets queens and by that I mean it was nice to get away from Jules who I feel is the lowest point in this whole series. I want more queens, less random NPCs.

Available Today on Kindle and Paperback

Posted on March 13, 2018 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Fearless as the Dawn


Pre-Order Today on Amazon

Posted on February 1, 2018 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)

The night Aleka Akoni's mother is murdered is the night everything changes. Aleka, once a pampered violinist for the nobility, suddenly finds herself the scullery maid for the man responsible for her mother's death. Alone, afraid, and legally bound as an indentured servant, Aleka sees no way out except in a pine box next to her mother. But a young woman can only take so much abuse before she fights back. Slowly, Aleka begins to formulate a plan for her future, a future beyond the law. A future in which the nobleman who killed her mother is subject to punishment for his crimes. There's word the Thieves' Guild or the dreaded pirate ship, the Fearless Dawn, will take on the young and desperate. But will Aleka's quest for freedom and revenge lead her to her own early grave?


The Sight - A Reviw

Posted on January 6, 2018 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (0)



I have two very different minds and ratings on this book. There’s the high school mind that loved this and was happy to ignore its obvious faults and then there’s the 30 year-old me that cringes every time one of these wolves sweats. So I’ll just let my two minds on the subject duke it out.


High School Me: What a great dark fantasy about wolves! I wish more books featured wolves like this.

 

Thirty Year-Old Me: Hot damn, wolves don’t act like this and they certainly don’t sweat. The back of the book says he studied wolves, but methinks not.

 

HS: The prose is beautiful and haunting. Davies really paints a picture of the mountains in winter. I can actually feel the cold through my clothes. And he imbues real historical events the wolves witness without knowing what they’re seeing. Amazing!

 

30: Davies certainly can paint a picture, but what’s with the omniscient narrator? The head-hopping mid-scene is enough to drive a person insane. I don’t really need to know what all eight wolves in the scene are thinking. Also, what is with these random history lessons? This is not adding to the actual story at all.

 

HS: This prophecy is great. It’s forcing Larka into such a fierce, independent character. So mysterious, so dark, so violent. I’m getting shivers just waiting to find out what happens.

 

30: This book sure talks a big game about free will, but literally every character is made to bend to this prophecy. They’re even aware the prophecy is shaping things and comment on “it’s as the prophecy said!”, but not a single one says “maybe there’s no free will, maybe it’s all predetermined and we’re screwed.” And Larka had plenty of options in the end, but nope. PREDESTINATION

 

HS: What the hell? Wolf Jesus?

 

30: What the hell? Wolf Jesus?

 

HS: Morgra is a terrifying villain and Kraar is a dastardly little sidekick to her. I hope the family defeats her and saves the world from evil!

 

30: WTF is going on with Morgra? She’s evil because she’s barren. How many times is she going to be told “you can’t love, you’re barren!” What kind of ass backwards crap is that? I’d be evil too if everyone kept telling me I was doomed to be unloved and unloving because I’m barren. I mean really. And Brassa let her take the fall for killing that cub? Yeah, I’d hunt down and kill my old pack too. And Kraar? Ravens and crows are very smart, so take your eagle superiority Skart and eat it. Kraar may be a scavenger, but I guarantee he’s smarter than you.

 

HS: Like 100 pages in the middle could have been cut, they dragged.

 

30: 200 pages could have been cut, this dragged on for too long.

 

HS: I hope I’m this good and inventive in my writing someday.

 

30: Davies has some great ideas and though it’s mostly Christian tales, I can get behind this wolf religion. It’s definitely inventive in the world building and pretty interesting, but this book often becomes bogged down in the world building, adding needless details rather than advancing the story. And the omniscient narrator doesn’t leave much room for “I wonder what is driving this character” since we’re in everyone’s heads, all the time.

 

HS: I’m going to read this again and again! I’m going to tell all my friends!

 

30: This stirs up a lot of nostalgia and this isn’t a bad book. But it’s no longer among my favorites because now that I’m older, I realize how much better it could have been. It was worth the reread and part of me remains loyal to this book despite its faults. I even look forward to reading the sequel.


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