Saturday, February 23, 2013

Review Hiatus

To all the readers and authors I had promised reviews to, forgive me while I go on a temporary hiatus! I went to Salt Lake City this weekend, and seem to have misplaced my Nook. The hotel says they did not find it, but then, they never do.

I am also finishing up the sequel to Lunula, the title of which is still iffy, so for now it will just be The Sequel.

Oh, and I'm going to potty train my two-year-old. Fun times.

I hope to get reviews going again soon!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Character Actors

I have seen a lot of authors do this, and I thought it would be fun to do it myself. Who do I picture as my characters in Lunula? Who did I have in my head while I was writing? I know some authors might look after they have created the characters, but I like to have a concrete picture to look at while I am describing a character, so some of them were thought of before I even wrote the character out.

Are you curious who I had in mind?


Teresa Palmer--I saw her in "Warm Bodies," and I instantly thought she exuded the kind of kindness and grit that Wynn possess. She was one of the later additions, since Wynn's personality was more important as a first person character than anything else.


All along, I pictured a young Gerard Butler. He is fine.
Queen Alexandria:

Katie McGrath


Colin Morgan (Any guesses as to what TV show I watched during the time I wrote Lunula?)


Matt Dallas--Picture him with long, white hair. And a bad attitude.


I'm going to go with Chris Pine on this one, even though he isn't quite what I'm looking for. He's got the smirk down.

I don't have a very large cast, so these are the main ones.

What do you think? Good choices? Did I leave any characters out? If you had someone in mind while you read Lunula, tell me who!

Oh, and of course, if you haven't read my book, you should totally get on that. It's kind of awesome.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Word OD

Do you ever get a word stuck in your head?

Like some sort of crazed addict who got fixated on something, you keep using this one word over and over again, and it just feels so good when you type it out. Only at some point, you realize that you have slathered it all over your writing piece like too much mustard on a hotdog, where it's dripping down the sides and making the bun all soggy and gross. And then you have to go back and delete your precious word, saying farewell to it forever more, no matter how badly you want to keep on typing it out.

Swathed, for example. In the book I am currently writing (and oh yes, almost finished with! Lunula fans, the second book cometh), I realized too late that I had "swathed" all kind of things from darkness, to light, to bodies with blankets. It's such a satisfying word though. Just say it:


I get little shivers from how sweet that imagery is. I could say, "it was in darkness" or I could say, "it was swathed in darkness." So chic. So smooth.

But if everything is swathed then, like mustard (NOT ketchup. I hail from Philly.), it just ruins the main deliciousness I was trying to accentuate.

So what is my cure for this addiction? I give you and their word of the day:

You can look up past  archives of all the words of all the days, and eventually you are bound to find a new one.

Couthie, for example. Keep an eye out for all my couthie characters in future books.

I realize this is just taking the addict from one fix to another, but at least you're putting down the mustard and adding a little relish. Variety is the condiment of life, after all.

What words have you gotten hung up on? I want to know! (Maybe you'll give me my next one!) And what tips do you have for avoiding word overdose?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Edenbrooke Review


Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she'll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry. From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

 Rating-- 4 1/2 Stars
Cleanliness--5 Stars

I couldn't resist reading a good Regency romance this week, especially when I found a clean one with no heaving bosoms and relationships based on sex. Yay for "a proper romance!" I found Edenbrooke when I visited the Whitney Awards website. It is one of the nominations for best romance, and Regency romances are my favorite thing to read. I know, I know--I'm an action/adventure, and Fantasy writer. But if you have read Lunula, then you know I have a real soft spot for romance. I haven't tried my hand at writing a real romance, but they are my favorite to read.

With that said, I opened this book and loved it instantly. It made me laugh out loud on the second page, and about 30 pages in I remember thinking, "I can tell this book isn't going to be long enough. I don't want it to end!" It was such a treat to read something that made me jealous! I love being jealous about a writer. I learned things from the way Donaldson wrote, and I even went back and studied a scene to see how she so effortlessly brought me into the banter between the protagonist and her love interest. It was like literary candy!

So why the half star deduction? Okay, so here's my thing: I'm a picky reader, and especially so when it comes to romantic progression. Donaldson did a fantastic job of creating a seamless relationship between the protagonist and her love interest--their first meeting is one of my favorites of all time. But the problem I ran into was the affected anger Marianne had toward Phillip sometimes. It came off as forced. I understand that it's pretty funny when Marianne is angry with Phillip, and trust me, those are some of my favorite kinds of plots. I love it when they both hate each other first and then come to like each other. It's probably because my own love story with my husband is similar.

But sometimes it just felt made up for the purpose of entertainment. It didn't really flow all the time. I think Marianne had every right to be mad at him in some instances, but for the most part, he was a perfect gentleman. It just didn't always make sense.

I was also a little worn out by the end of the book when it came to Marianne swooning and loosing control of her breathing or feeling like her knees were going to give out. I get it--he's hot. But she did a whole lot of out of body he's-so-hot-I'm-going-to-die type things, and after a while I just wanted to recreate that scene from "The Incredibles" where Edna Mode smacks Elastagirl with the newspaper and shouts, "Pull yourself together!"

BUT even after all that, this will remain a favorite. Donaldson wrote with humor, heart, and real wit, and for a debut author, I have to tell you that I am incredibly impressed. Jealous. In awe. I love it! I'm so glad she has been nominated for an award because she absolutely deserves it. My advice? Read it immediately!


Congratulations to the BBF contest winners!!

LaRhonda has won a free paperback copy of Lunula.

Katie Ciarlone has won the first illustration:

Jamie Oc has won the second illustration

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest! It was a lot of fun for me, and look for more giveaways in the future!

Rebecca Hamilton and Allison Blanchard

Today is the last day of the blogger book fair. It has been so much fun! I met new authors, connected with some wonderful readers, and discovered some fantastic books. There are still events  going on, so if you have a minute, you should definitely check those out!

As a closing post, I wanted to do two more spotlights on some fellow authors and their wonderful books! Take a look!

Rebecca Hamilton

*Book: The Forever Girl
*Promotions: Read Part One of The Forever Girl FREE on Kindle and Kobo.

1.) What books from your childhood sparked your imagination?
The Chronicles of Narnia, Goosebumps books and Fear Street Books (thanks, R.L. Stine!).

2.) What gets your imagination going now?. 
Taking a Shower. Nothing like being too soaking wet to write or type down an idea. It's a curse.

3.) When you get writers block, how do you get past it?
Write through it!
4.) What is your writing process like? Do you plan everything out before you write it? Just go with the flow?
It depends on the book. Some I've just written and now I'm starting to try planning, to make rewrites a little more managable.

5.) What is your favorite dessert?
All of them :)
Allison Blanchard

 Allison Blanchard is currently a student at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia where she is pursuing her bachelor degrees in English Creative Writing and French. She is an active sister in Sigma Alpha Omega where she continues to grow as a woman in Christ. She writes everyday, drinks too much coffee, and is looking forward to the next adventure her characters will take her. 


*Promotions: There is a giveaway of a signed copy of “Forget Me Not” on Sydney Logan’s blog. Not sure when it will be up, but I will keep you posted!

Forget Me Not

“Cole Dyami is a mysterious boy with a dangerous secret. Adeline Jasely is a typical teenage girl. Living in the seemingly normal small town of Great Falls Montana, Adeline is confronted with everyday teenage problems by a not so normal beautiful boy. As Adeline and Cole’s worlds collide, the line between illusion and reality is blurred. According to a tribal legend, Adeline and Cole are no longer two friends, but two pieces in a complicated mystery. Suddenly, Adeline finds herself in a world she never knew existed. Along side Cole, she attempts to unravel the mysteries of the small Chippewa tribe in order to not only find out who Cole Dyami truly is, but who she is as well. As Cole and Adeline begin to uncover the secrets behind the legends of the Chippewa tribe, illusion slowly unravels into reality and friendship gradually melts into a mutual need of survival.”


1.) What books from your childhood sparked your imagination?
            Every book by Marianne Curley. Her books inspired me to not only read more, but to become a writer.

2.) What gets your imagination going now? 
            Music and reading. Nothing better than listening to some of The Civil Wars and reading a good book.

3.) When you get writers block, how do you get past it?
            This may sound strange, but I pray. I am a huge believer and I know my gift of writing is from my God. So, if I am ever struggling, I walk away from the computer, pray for some guidance and direction, then a little later come back and can finish writing. You can say Jesus is my muse.

4.) What is your writing process like? Do you plan everything out before you write it? Just go with the flow? 
            My process is pretty laid back. I usually play some music to help me get in the right mindset, drink some coffee, and sit down at my computer and let it all out. I am less structured and tend to let a scene flow the way it wants or let the characters do whatever comes naturally. I may have a brief outline, but I sometimes don't always follow it.

5.) What is your favorite dessert?
            Oh, this one’s tough! But I’d have to say peanut butter pie is the bomb. I love me some pie!

Here are my links where you can stalk me!

My Goodreads Page:

Buy Links: 
            My Publisher’s website:

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Hey there peeps! Amazing author S.M. Boyce (who is quickly gaining recognition for her really fantastic writing) is offering her book Lichgates for free until tomorrow. If you like fantasy, adventure, and intrigue, you have got to check this one out!


Grimoire Saga #1
Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things—Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With no way out, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea’s royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict—a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.
For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.
Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.

Grab your FREE copy

Learn More (free chapters and excerpts)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ansha Kotyk

Next up to the spotlight is author Ansha Kotyk, author of Gangsterland. This is a middle grade book that both teachers and young readers alike will enjoy. Ansha embraces the adventure of life, and that is reflected in the story she has created in her novel.

Here is a bit about Gangsterland:

Fourteen-year-old Jonathan Brooks would like nothing more than to relax for a few hours and read his comic book. But GANGSTERLAND is no ordinary comic book. When Jonathan actually disappears inside the book, he's dropped into a world of dueling gangsters, a flapper with a fantastic secret and a murder that binds them all. He must decide to become the hero or the final page may trap him inside forever.

Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

I also had Ansha fill out my survey, and here is what she had to say:

1.) What books from your childhood sparked your imagination? 
Choose your own adventure books, Little House on the Prairie, and I actually read quite a bit of my dad's SF collection :)

2.) What gets your imagination going now? 
Reading Science Journals, and watching movies. NOVA is great too.

3.) When you get writers block, how do you get past it? 
I suppose I avoid writer's block by remembering to "feed the creative well" by watching movies, reading science and other things that get me thinking.  Taking a walk right before I sit down to write is also helpful to get my thoughts in order.

4.) What is your writing process like? Do you plan everything out before you write it? Just go with the flow? 
I'm definitely a planner. I need to outline, like creating a map, so I know where I'm headed.  I just don't know how I'm getting there until I sit down to write. It always surprises me what ends up on the page. This is my favorite part about writing.

5.) What is your favorite dessert? 


Ansha has an awesome website with all kinds of things for readers and writers alike. Check it out!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Illustration Prizes

During my giveaway this week, there is a chance to win two illustrations from artist Amy Sanchez. She has done a fantastic job with these paintings, and I kind of wish I was in the drawing myself! Her specialty is in illustrations, and she specifically loves doing children's books and fairytale illustrations. Thank you to Amy Sanchez for creating these beautiful pieces!

Here they are!

If you want a chance to win one of these, all you have to do is click a few buttons!

Kirstin Pulioff

Our first spotlight is author Kirstin Pulioff. She happens to be a fellow writer for my publisher, Malachite Quills. I have talked with Kirstin as we have interacted through our authors circles and this bookfair, and I can tell you that she is one awesome person. She has a passion for writing, especially for the middle grade audience, and the reviews for her book The Escape of Princess Madeline are fantastic. Below is a little information about the book:

Picture The Kingdom of Soron is known for many things, its rolling landscape, haunting history, fiery sunsets, and its beautiful princess.  Princess Madeline woke on her sixteenth birthday to realize that her future had been planned out, a life full of privilege, royalty, and boredom... a life with a husband and knight champion that she did not choose.  Using her charm, strength and stubbornness, she defies the King at every turn, determined to keep her freedom on her terms.

Freedom quickly turns to disaster as she finds herself seized by a group of wandering bandits.   With the kingdom in turmoil over her capture- her Knight Champion eager to prove himself, a group of dedicated suitors determined to win her hand, and a group of exiled wizards join forces in the hunt to rescue her.  Follow Princess Madeline in this adventure to find freedom and love.

Available here at
Available here at Barnes & Noble
Available here at Caliburn Books 

I also had an interview with the lovely Kirstin, and here are her answers to my short survey:

1.) What books from your childhood sparked your imagination? 

 I have always been a reader and fascinated by the worlds those books took me to.  My imagination sparked with the wonders that Dr. Seuss told, my childhood adventures blossomed with the babysitters club, and my desire for reading grew as David Eddings and Piers Anthony took me on wild adventures.

2.) What gets your imagination going now? 

Reading of course still gives me plenty of ideas and lets my imagination grow, but one of my main sources of inspiration comes from being outdoors in nature. 

3.) When you get writers block, how do you get past it?   

First step is to stop and take a break, and let the tension in my mind relax.  Usually a good walk, swinging at the park or a hike in the woods puts me back in the right frame of mind.

4.) What is your writing process like? Do you plan everything out before you write it? Just go with the flow? 

When I sit down to write, I do have a loose outline for the story, and an idea of what themes, conflicts, and plots directions I want to take.  I let the characters guide me though on the specific details as I write, and my original idea is not always the one that ends up in the final draft.

5.) What is your favorite dessert? 

 I LOVE Strawberry shortcake.  Nothing beats a huge scoop of fresh strawberries topped with a mountain of whipped cream!

Visit Kirstin at her website!