Monday, January 4, 2021

Why I like to fail the GoodReads reading challenge!


Confession time, I have failed the Goodreads Reading Challenge every year since I started in forever ago. Also, I am ok with this. Really OK with this. 

What is the Goodreads reading challenge? It's a year-long reading goals tracker that Goodreads encourages. If you aren't on Goodreads, you can join here as well. 

So the deal is, if I gave myself reasonable reading goals, I could meet them—exceed them even—and let me tell you that my former G&T heart would like to see those sorts of things checked off promptly and ahead of schedule. 

That's the whole deal. Reading isn't a chore, not anymore. This isn't misery in paperback on loan from the ninth-grade English department with an alarmingly specific essay due at the end of it. I am choosing to read these books, and reading is a joy. I don't want just to read ten books or twenty, or whatever rando-number. I am confident in my ability to get through at a comfortable pace. I want to get through as many as I can. My TBR pile is very likely longer than the rest of my life as it stands already, and it gets longer every time I dare to get on the internets—and between you and me, because I am supposed to be editing—is all the time. 

Of course, the only problem with that line of thinking is that I don't know what that number is. So I shoot high to motivate myself. 

The thing is, I am a very good little author girl this time of year. I sit down. I plan all my projects out for two years. My planner? Color-coded. My To-Do-List? Optimized. The next month, I will take my trusty crowbar and find a way to make a new project fit. Then I will do the same the next month, and very likely the month after that. 

Then I will tell myself to be good.

I won't be good. 

So with my reading, I want to be able to read as much as possible without sacrificing sleep or sanity—of course, because I am bad, I will probably do both of those things. However, I will still likely fail the challenge again, and I will still be ok with it, even if I do like that super high goal pulling me along.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Halloween Reads for Spooks in Need!

I won't lie, just like Scrooge vowed to keep Christmas in his heart the whole year long, I made it my personal mission to do the same with Halloween! I write not only about witches and vampires, ghosts and death, but skeletons and mummies too. 

So it should come as no surprise that my Halloween Reads list of 2020 ranges from poetic early readers to my YA Urban Fantasy first love and is a carefully curated curious thing indeed. 

Say that three times fast! Then try and say this:

Moundshroud's the name, Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud.

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury is a must read for me every Halloween season. It follows eight trick-or-treating friends as they have an adventure to save their friend Pipkin, while learning the true meaning of Halloween. 

There is also a 90's animated film version with the cast cut in half—but a fun edition to any Halloween TV bender. You can see about the film here

Call in the spirits, wherever they're at!

You might not know this about me, but I have a serious thing with the Haunted Mansion! I've got a half completed Haunted Mansion Office (don't ask me about it, no doubt, you'll see it when I'm done), and it's the first and last ride I do everytime I am at Disney. I've got cool Haunted Mansion merch, art, and even clothing. 

I've also got this ridiculously cute book of the song Grim Grinning Ghosts (which by the way can be heard at my house every 3rd song on Halloween night). 

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Being a YA book lover such as I am, I spend a lot of time with books that have Holly Black's name on the cover. Still there's something special about the The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Set in a sort of Vampire Apocalypse, there is a ton of really great world building here. 

For a book about vampires, it was wholly original. Dark and bloody for sure, with a mad as rabbits love interest and a few unexpected twists. Read it if you love YA. You can get it on Kindle and binge it with me tonight. (Seriously, I am doing that as soon as I finish this!)

Don't have a Kindle? You can read Kindle books on almost every device. 

Friday, March 6, 2020

Crescent City Giveaway!

It's that time again, I am giving away a weekend read! It's one of my few international giveaways a year and runs through the end of the month. I have been patiently waiting for this book for some time, how about you?

If you to read more about the book, or want to get your hands on it right now click here to see it on Amazon.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

How to Read Ebooks without an E-Reader

I don't know who needs to hear this, but you don't need to own a Kindle, Kobo, or Nook device to read ebooks. Chances are, whatever you are using to read this blog post—has a FREE Amazon Kindle app that will allow you to shop in the massive Amazon ebook library. Some other retailers offer similar apps, but I'm really only familiar with the Kindle app because I own more Kindles than I can shake a stick at and still have that app on my phone, Macbook, PC, and Tablet.

Why am I telling you this? Because the dear lady behind me in line for coffee today, said she'd love to support me, but doesn't own an e-reader. First of all, some of my books like The Dark Unicorn can be purchased in paperback (she had been admiring the cover of the said book on my phone screen), but the ability to read ebooks even when you prefer physical books is practically a necessity for the extreme book lover. That's because authors have so many more options when creating content for the ebook market. Say an author wants to write some bonus short stories, in a world you love with characters you can't get out of your head! How do they deliver those little slices of heaven? They might not be long enough to turn into a book by themselves, and waiting until you have enough to bind up a paperback volume of them can take years in some cases.  I for one, am all for instant gratification when it comes to my OTPs, and as. an author I like the flexibility ebooks offer for publication.

Of course, I just smiled and said thanks. Mostly because that was in the real world and this is this internet, I am way smoother on the internet, but maybe that woman from Starbucks will see this blog and I know it was for her. ;)

Monday, October 21, 2019

Eight Hollow Years...

Excuse me. I'm a bit of a mess.

Nostalgia is nagging at me worse than a new knife wound, and I am not sure when I started crying, but it was probably eight years ago.

Eight years. Guys when I say that I can't even, believe that I can't even. I can't even, even, even!

And while you are sorting that out, permit me to wander a little.

When Skeleton Lake was first published, by Red Iris Books, I was scared of publishing. I'd been writing stories my whole life but I couldn't handle pressing the big red button by myself. I was young, I was terrified of failing, and even as I write this eight years later, having sold tens of thousands of books, I still am. I'd been an indie author a solid year before I signed on to publish my first full-length novel. Skeleton Lake, was that book.

One of my co-authors (Angela Sanders) loves Skeleton Lake, probably more than I do because it didn't make her bleed, or maybe it did and that's the whole problem. She always brings it up and talks about it like it's a breathing thing, even though I wrote the book eight years before I even met her. She speaks of the characters, the music, the world, and then she gets mad that I haven't published the end of the series. Then she throws me some serious shade because she knows how it ends.

Only three people on the planet know how it ends beside myself, one of them is married to me, one is my very first editor and co-author Larry Kollar, the other is other-Angela. Though, now I suppose when Brian (third and final coauthor) reads this he's going to expect me to tell him.

Maybe, I'll even do it.

The thing is, the ending gets to me. Truth be told, I have spent about nine years, being utterly afraid of what would happen at the end of that series. So much so, that it's still written in a notebook and stashed under my bed. The paper is yellowed with age, but I recognize the scrawl. The smell.

I wrote all my books by hand then. Sometimes I will go and read those pages, and remember how it felt to write them. How awful, and how alive, and how wicked I was between the lines.

And I tell myself I'll do it.  I am going to publish the end of the series. The last two books.

Only to remember I am afraid of it and find a new project to devote myself to instead.

But I am done putting it off. I came up with the concept of Skeleton Lake over ten years ago. In some ways, I am not the same author I was then; and in some ways I very obviously am. In the next few months, the Hollows series is being expanded to beautiful and macabre splendor I always wanted for it. Stay tuned in-crowd. This one's for you.

Thanks for 8 Hollow Years.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Here be darkness! Dark Unicorn has arrived.

I wanted to wait until both the ebook edition, as well as the paperback edition, were available before making this announcement, and the time is finally here!

The first book in my Horn Sworn Series (co-written with Taylor Haiden) is now available! The series features a very unique unicorn mythos I know my fans will love!

Here's the blurb:

Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Victoria Aveyard, Dark Unicorn is the first of the new and mysterious adult fantasy series Horn Sworn.

Princess Wrenyve knows her oath to return her Kingdom’s missing artifact, the Heart of Spellshallow, means one of the King’s children will die. Even if Wren is cunning, fast, and strong enough, there’s a good chance it will still be her.

Without the Heart, magic will flee the land faster than the night flees the day. Without the Heart, Spellshallow, and everything in it will cease to exist. As her brother’s shameful thievery is uncovered, Wren must swallow her pride and accept help from allies whom she knows she can’t trust: 
- Thackery is the ambitious son of the richest and most powerful councilman—her very ex, scorned lover—and the wounds Wren caused him are still raw.
- Calen isn’t a boy at all. Trapped in human form after a hideous defeat, Calen may have lost his horn, but is still a unicorn—a self-serving, treacherous scoundrel, as dangerous to any man who crosses him as he is to the innocence of every fair maiden.
- Luckily for Wren, she was already doomed.

To find the Heart and restore the magic, to retrieve the lost horn, Wren and her unfortunate travel companions must survive three separate realms—each more deadly than the last. Unknown enemies and strange magic hinder their way, and yet the most perilous thing is what lies within their own hearts.

Monday, April 1, 2019

New Release Announcement!

Coming soon! My new project, Carrots! 

Connor O' Conner is anything but cute, and this year he's not hiding a single freaking Easter egg! Look out Los Angeles, someone is murdering innocent mammals, and one Rabbit isn't taking it basket down.