Review: Dead Indian Wars (Damnation #2) by Clark Casey

Dead Indian WarsDisclaimer: I received a free ebook from the author via Netgalley.

This fast-paced sequel to Dawn in Damnation picks up mere moments after the first book ends. Like the first installment, it’s an easy read that flows well; every chapter brings a new character, a new incident, or a new puzzle.

The narrator Tom continues to be one of my favorite characters of the town, but for much of the tale, the very omniscient storytelling jumps around between points of view, giving us only tantalizing glimpses of Tom’s character arc at times. I was pleased, however, so see that one of my complaints about the first book had been addressed, with the significant increase in named, talking characters who are neither white nor male.  Continue reading

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Review: A Wind in the Door (Time Quintet #2) by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wind in the DoorMy 2018 Resolution Project for Speculative Chic was to read and review both the novel and film versions of A Wrinkle in Time. But I’m a completionist, so it should come as no surprise that I’d have to continue on this magical journey I somehow missed when I was a teenager.  Continue reading

In Your Write Mind 2018 Schedule

IYWM 2018

This weekend, I’ll be returning to Hogwarts Seton Hill University for the annual writers retreat hosted by the Writing Popular Fiction graduate program alumni, of which I am one. Mostly, we just wanted an excuse to come back to our favorite place in the world and meet up with our tribe. But because everyone should get to experience that awesomeness, the In Your Write Mind program is open to all writers!

As usual, I’ll be arriving on campus early Thursday afternoon and heading home late Sunday afternoon. I’m staying in the dorms, which isn’t glamorous, but is always a party.

Here is the full schedule. I can’t wait to attend some of these awesome presentations, but below is what I’ll be up to and where you can specifically find me. Will I see you there?

FRIDAY

  • Costume Ball at 9 PM: The theme this year is “Storybook Land.” I’m being a total slacker with my costume, but I promise it’s still prize-worthy.

SATURDAY

  • Behind the Scenes of Military Life at 8 AM: I’m moderating a panel of current and former service members and others attached to the military life (I’m both a brat and a spouse). This is a chance to get an inside look at what being in (and attached) to the military is really like, by those who’ve been there…and are still there.
  • Mass Book Signing from 5:30 to 9:30 PM: I’ll have copies of all books currently available in the Steel Empires series…and maybe a surprise extra!

Build Report: BB-8

There was no reason for me to buy this year’s special Star Wars Day LEGO set, but that didn’t stop me! While the awesome Y-Wing Starfighter set is waiting patiently in my “to be built” pile (dwarfed only by my “to be read” pile), I couldn’t resist putting together this cute freebie I got with it.

BB-8 (40288) — 48 pieces

Obviously, this was a short and sweet set that I was able to throw together in about 5 minutes. But it does answer the question of what BB-8 wears under his metal exterior!

BB-8 inside

The answer is apparently LEGOs.

Once finished, BB-8 survived a careful car ride to take his place of pride with his buddy R2-D2 in my office! They have teamed up with a Dalek to protect the TARDIS from the Weeping Angels.

BB-8 complete

An unexpected alliance

TARDIS and Weeping Angels miniatures hand-painted by Tower of the Archmage

Review: “The Unexpected Infatuation” by Sara Dobie Bauer

unexpected infatuationDisclaimer: I consider the author a friend; however, I purchased this short story ebook for full price. 


I wasn’t sure about this short story at first. I’m not keen on the idea of anyone cheating in a relationship, nor do I particularly find the “gay for you” trope appealing. The writing of this story, however, is extremely elegant and evocative of the time period and the narrator himself, so I found myself swept along anyway.  Continue reading

Review: “Wild Type” by J.K. Ullrich

Wild TypeDisclaimer: I received an electronic copy of this short story as part of the full novel Syzygy from the author in exchange for an honest review.


This short story acts as a great supplemental material to the novel Syzygy. I enjoyed the insight into the character of Lily’s life in her youth, especially through effective use of flashbacks. While it doesn’t stand alone from the novel, it continues the themes and atmosphere in a way that makes me long for more stories set in this world.  Continue reading

Review: “The Battersea Barricades” (Chronicles of St. Mary’s short story) by Jodi Taylor

Battersea BarricadesFinally, some “history” of the world of St. Mary’s!

Taylor’s authorial voice makes pages and pages of expository narrative delightful rather than boring. Even more fascinating, this time she’s not talking about something “real” — this time the historical events are all from her imagination. I loved every intricate detail of it. The more specific meat of the story is told as a story to the main character, but the storytelling is just as riveting as if the main character was there, or I was viewing the events through the teller’s eyes/memories.  Continue reading