Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Things to Look Forward to This Year

I recently got the rights back to my contemporary romance novel, Irish Squeeze. I love the characters in this story but I wanted to do something more with it. I mean, since when do I write romance with no extra element to add some flavor? And Melissa is such a spunky chick, she could definitely use some extra umph.
Then it hit me: rewrite it as a fantasy. An urban fantasy romance. Boom, just like that the characters suddenly had more depth to them. Irish now had secrets. Melissa's family were now a rare breed of fantasy creature in their world. And the world itself now had its own story of civil unrest and an "Us vs Them" mentality between humans and "other" creatures. 
Isn't it funny how that works out sometimes? This story was already a sexy fun time but now it has even more going for it. Not to mention possible sequels because I definitely see a series in the making here.
I plan to republish this story this year through Hollow Hills. Now I just need to think of a new name that will fit this new and improved tale...

Meanwhile, I am touching up my short story for the next Hollow Hills anthology coming later this year. If you haven't read Still Standing, I suggest checking it out. My short story titled "The Brave Blacksmith" is a fantasy romance at heart, but deals with some dark issues. Blacksmith's wife was murdered, but though he got his revenge and executed the evil king, ensuring the rightful queen was returned to her throne, he now feels he has no purpose in life. Until the queen sends him on a quest in an unfamiliar country. This story deals with mental health, bullying, and ends on a cliffhanger. Part Two promises to be just as magical and action packed. I do hope you stick around to read "The Blacksmith's Quest" coming in the next anthology.

It looks like this is shaping up to be a busy year so far. Stick around to hear more about amazing indie books I read and releases of my own novels in 2019.
Happy reading!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Indie Book Reviews Catch-Up

Hello, fellow readers.
Now that Christmas is over and we can all get back to our normal lives, I have been catching up on reading like crazy. I read more manga volumes in the last two months than I have in the last two years. Two complete series! (Yes, long series.) 
Now I'm here again to show you guys the indie books that I wrapped up last year and in January of this year. I do not post reviews for any books I dnfed or any that I gave less than three stars to. Only showing off the good stories and there were many. Let's get started!

Dawn's Keeper
by Veronica Del Rosa 

Rating: 5 Stars

Veronica Del Rosa does it again! Not only were we introduced to two wonderful, lovable, and dangerous characters, but we get deliciously steamy scenes and a light but heartfelt romance. More of the Enforcers and Coterie world is shown to us and the reader is left with more questions than answers. Usually, that would annoy me, but with this series, it only has me scrambling for the next book.
Oh, how I love this universe the author has created!

Storm Portal
by Michael R. Stern

Rating: 4 Stars

An interesting tale of time travel by a normal citizen. History buffs will love the classroom lessons and historical locations that our hero, Fritz, witnessed. I certainly enjoyed taking the trip and rooting for Fritz to come back in one piece, and stay out of trouble with the White House.

The 11th Percent
by T.H. Morris 

Rating: 4 Stars

This is an interesting paranormal read. It doesn't really present any new ideas, but it does give you a nice diverse cast of characters that you get to know and relate to.
I did have a hard time relating to the main character, Jonah. For a writer who claims to have a lot of imagination, he has a pretty hard time wrapping his head around certain truths in the book. Also, he isn't very bright since everything has to be explained to him at least twice. I don't need a genius main character but I do need one that I care about and Jonah isn't relatable to me. I'm hoping he does more growing in future books, but right now my fave character would have to be Reena.
The story drags in a few places but the last few chapters are definitely worth the read. Take a dive into this one and you may find it quite enjoyable. I liked it enough to want to read the next in the series.

Valkyrie in the Demon Realm
by Lynne Murray 

Rating: 5 Stars

Another great Sybil read! I always enjoy these stories about Sybil, her own personal demons, and their adventures together. I only wish this one was longer! A great story.

Scandal With a Prince
by Nicole Burnham 

Rating: 4 Stars

This was well written and certainly entertaining. The main characters were relatable, the sex scenes hot, and the plot pretty solid. An enjoyable read. 

That is all I have for you today. Hopefully my solid reading streak will continue and I will have more indie gems for you guys to discover and drool over as much as I did soon. 
Happy reading, everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

New Anthology: Still Standing

Hello, all.
I do hope your Halloween was enjoyable. I made my own Viking costume and threatened people with an ax. Good times. What did you dress as?
I wanted to pop in and share some news with you, valued readers. Hollow Hills has a new anthology coming out next month titled STILL STANDING. This collection of short stories and poetry will benefit Crisis Text Line, a non-profit that helps those in crisis. Find out more about this wonderful organization here.

Various authors came together bringing unique fantasy and science fiction tales to this amazing anthology. The stories and poems involve bullying, harassment, or ill-treatment by others in some way. The stories may get dark, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Our protagonists will not be kept down because in the end they are still standing tall. 
For more information about each story in the anthology, visit the Hollow Hills website

My story, "The Brave Blacksmith" is about a man who became a legend but walked away from his past life. Now he does odd jobs, enduring bullying from local villagers and even his own employers sometimes. Merely trying to make it through each day while dealing with his own inner demons, the queen of his land suddenly calls upon him to track down and help a sorcerer in a neighboring kingdom. Accepting the quest may mean a break from his daily struggles, but his pain still follows him as he heads out with his trusty tools to locate a powerful stranger.

Follow Blacksmith on his adventures in STILL STANDING, coming December 14th. Pre-orders are available now.

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41969929-still-standing

100% of royalties will go to Crisis Text Line, so be sure to grab your copy today!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Let's Play Catch-Up

Hello, all.
No, I didn't die, though I have been absent for quite a bit. Various things going on in my personal life have kept me busy and I honestly haven't been reading as much of late. So in this post, I will share the few indie books I have read since April. 
Before I get to that, let me plug my newest release that hit the market in July. Tantalizing Tales of the Horrific and Fantastic is a collection of short stories that span various genres.
Here is the blurb and buy links:
Sink your teeth into this book of fantastical short stories that will leave you wanting more. This collection mixes fantasy, science fiction, horror, and more into one big boiling pot of tastiness. Stories may include princesses, talking birds, alien species, magical items, terrifying creatures, cyborgs, or assassins. You’ll get your fill of thrills and chills.
BUY LINKS: Universal link - Amazon - Goodreads - Books2Read

Now on to the indie books!

Valkyrie on Planet Fury
by Lynne Murray

Rating: 5 Stars

Lynne Murray knocks it out of the park again!
It had been a while since I read the first book Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone. I had almost forgotten what an amazing storyteller this author is but two pages in and it all came rushing back. Her memorable characters. Her own sci-fi take on various mythologies. Her amazing building of complex societies. Everything about this book makes it such a pleasure to read.
Though there are some editing issues, the storytelling shines through as we are whisked away on another edge-of-your-seat adventure with Sybil, our favorite oddball from Planet Valkyrie. Tension, romance, devious plots, and sexy fun are in store. We even meet Medusa!
I highly recommend this one.

American Darkness
by Garrison Kelly

Rating: 3 Stars

If you're looking for a collection of short stories where everyone is pissed off all the time, look no further. Each story certainly delves into the darkness of humankind, showing how unreasonable and crazy some people can be. Though most of the characters are over-the-top and violence is the word of the day, there is usually a happy-ish ending in store. Be sure to listen to some angry screamo while reading this one!

Once Upon a Fabulous Time
Various Authors

Rating: 4 Stars

Here are a bunch of random fairy tale stories from various authors put together nicely in one anthology. Though I still didn't see how each story tied into the main story throughout, I enjoyed this book more than expected. I have to say that both Aliya DalRae stories were my favorite of the bunch. "Where Darkness Lies" by Joanna Van Leerdam was my next favorite. Their stories were the strongest and best written.
Though some of the other stories were okay, my least favorite was Mr. Wizardo. There was confusing head-hopping as well as scene jumping that would jolt me out of the story. To be honest, I skipped the rest of the story after Chapter Two. The author's need to slap the reader in the face with a Wizard of Oz reference in every single paragraph got really old really fast, especially when most references didn't come across as making any sense.
Overall, a nice collection with a few tales I wouldn't mind seeing fleshed out into novel length stories.

Ghostly Writes 2017
by Various Authors

Rating: 3 Stars 

An entertaining collection of short stories. Only a few of the stories were scary, though all contained some aspect of the supernatural. My favorite stories were "A Grave Business" by Michael Lynes and "The Big Escape" by Marjorie Hembroff.

 Happy reading, all!