Review: An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities #3) by K.J. Charles

Unsuitable HeirThis book was a fabulous conclusion to the over-arching mystery that took place over the course of this trilogy. However, it was almost a shame that this book had to take place at the end. I think it can be read as a stand-alone, because what makes this book so important isn’t the conclusion of the mystery, but the characters it focuses on.  Continue reading

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Review: An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities #2) by K.J. Charles

Unnatural ViceMy favorite thing about this series is the overlapping mystery, in which each of the romances develop as a part of that plot. Charles’ talent for writing truly shows as each book in this trilogy feels complete even without the over-arching story yet solved.  Continue reading

Review: An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities #1) by K.J. Charles

Unseen AttractionThanks to real-life drama dragging me down, I’m back on a kick where I just want to read about happy endings. Therefore, K.J. Charles is the perfect author for me to binge-read right now. I’m so glad that a friend recommended that I check out the Sins of the Cities trilogy next, and I read the first two books in quick succession.

Slow-burn romance and chilling mystery are described in the cover blurb, and it couldn’t be more accurate. Both aspects of this novel are a joy to read, to the point where I’d have been fine it either halves were the sole focus of the novel. Together, things are made all the more intricate and interesting.  Continue reading

Review: Unfit to Print by K.J. Charles

Unfit to PrintJLG: October was really stressful for me, in terms of politics and worldwide events. So, comfort reading became a bit of a priority. For the next two months or so, please enjoy this ride through my adventures with the excellent writing of author K.J. Charles.


This novella was a delightful read, perfect for a quiet night at home. Charles continues to impress me with her seemingly effortless way of immersing me into England of the past, with the bonus of portraying nontraditional characters that history has otherwise tried to erase.

Vikram and Gil were a precious find, as two characters of color, both fully formed and natural features of a real London. (Many bonus points for bisexual representation, as well!) Vikram especially appealed to me with his complicated relationship between his dual identity of Englishman and India — it reminded me greatly of my own strange relationship with aspects of my heritage.  Continue reading

Con Report: World Fantasy 2018

World Fantasy 2018 banner

When a professional convention in your field is literally in your back yard (or at least 2 blocks away from where you used to work for 12 years), there’s really no excuse not to go. And I’m so glad that I attended World Fantasy 2018 in Baltimore, MD!

THURSDAY

I worked from home on Thursday morning, and then my mother-in-law was nice enough to drive me up to the convention hotel, where I stayed for the weekend. I could have commuted, but sharing a room was literally the same cost as I would have paid in parking fees over the course of 4 days.

After checking in, a friend dragged me to a small workshop on using Tarot cards to help prompt story ideas. While I don’t disbelieve in using Tarot for more personal means, I adore the concept as a storytelling exercise.

Following that, my afternoon workshop on Working with Editors went well. Scott H. Andrews, of Beneath Ceaseless Skies magazine, was a great presenter and very knowledgeable about the subject. I was pretty much there to speak from the novel perspective, and help wrangle one of the small Q&A groups we held with other editors — and I am totally okay with that!

I joined the three lovely ladies I shared a hotel room with for dinner at the Irish pub across the street. All of us are former students from Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate program, but the best part of that is how many of those former students are now my friends and colleagues.  Continue reading

October Wrap-Up & November Goals

SJ outlineAnother month has flown by in a fun and bewildering blur! I’m writing this post on Halloween, and my biggest dilemma right now is figuring out what to wear while I hand out candy tonight. Oh, and write two thousand words so that I can kick off NaNoWriMo at an even 10k. Yep, you read that right. More details below.

October Wrap-Up

  • I finally finished the detailed outline for book 6, tentatively titled Steel Justice and I’m really pleased with it! This will be a fun adventure.
  • Like I said above, I’m 8k words into the first draft already! I’m really enjoying writing from the POV of a character who has been around for a bit, but I hadn’t dipped into his head yet.
  • I had a blast at a writers retreat on the beach with a bunch of romance writers. Not my usual crowd, but they were all lovely ladies. The second retreat was cancelled last minute, so I spent a quiet weekend at home with the husband instead. No complaints there.
  • I started reading the final book of my Speculative Chic 2018 Resolution Project, but then I got distracted by an advanced copy of a fun fantasy novel. I’ll get back to that soon.

October Book Reviews

October Speculative Chic Contributions

November Goals

  1. I’m officially a crazy person. I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month for 2018, to write 50k words of Steel Justice in 30 days. Feel free to follow along and keep track of my word count at my NaNoWriMo page!
  2. And I’m doing all that writing during a month when I have two conventions! I’ll be at World Fantasy in Baltimore the first weekend of the month and ChessieCon on the last. (At least both of these events have minimal travel time.)
  3. Finish reading An Acceptable Time and write up the review to finish my Speculative Chic 2018 Resolution Project.

I feel like that’s a short list, but: FIFTY THOUSAND WORDS IN THIRTY DAYS.

I’d better start eating Halloween candy now.

beach writers

Seven romance writers at the beach plus one tall urban fantasy writer to take the selfie.