Review: Many Waters (Time Quintet #4) by Madeleine L’Engle

Many WatersAs I’m completing a resolution to review the rest of the books in this series this year, I was happy to return to the book that I read multiple times while growing up despite missing all the rest. You can find my full review of Many Waters at Speculative Chic.

An excerpt:

I may not have read A Wrinkle in Time growing up, but I can’t tell you how many times I devoured its companion Many Waters. If fact, I was fairly concerned when I picked it up this year, having not read it since at least early high school, whether it would live up to such fond memories.

Good news. I adored this novel just as much at 34 as I did at 11. Continue reading

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Review: The Flame (1001 Dark Nights/Desire Exchange novella) by Christopher Rice

FlameOften novellas either feel like a padded-out short story or a rushed novel. This was neither, giving all the background detail between each of the three main characters necessary to make the next step in their relationship feel natural and inevitable. Additionally, the supernatural element of the story blended seamlessly with the relationship arc between the characters.  Continue reading

Build Report: BTL-A4 Y-Wing Starfighter

IMG_8739Just because I’m behind schedule with all of my writing projects doesn’t mean I will deprive myself of a reward when I do get something done! To celebrate submitting my fifth novel to my editor, I built this year’s special Star Wars set, the Y-Wing Starfighter. The Y-Wing is not one of my favorite ships from that particular universe, so I didn’t expect to enjoy this build as much as I did.

Between travels and other obligations, this build was spread out over the course of about two weeks. But it started with an epic night of watching Marvel movies, spanned the latest season of the Great British Baking Show, and then most of season 2 of Luke Cage.

Y-Wing Starfighter (75181) — 1,967 pieces

Continue reading

September Wrap-Up & October Goals

Steel Time Jacket.inddHow is it almost the end of the year? What happened? Where have I been?

Writing and reading and traveling, for the most part. Oh yeah, and I published my fourth book. Welcome Steel Empires Book 4: Steel Time to the world!

But now October has already started, so there’s no time to waste!

September Wrap-Up

  • Hey, something I completed! I built an awesome LEGO set to celebrate turning my fifth book in to my editor. The built report will show up here next week.
  • Hey, something I absolutely did not complete! As of the time of this writing, book six is all of eight outlined scenes on the floor of my office. But it has a title — Steel Justice. So, a partial win? Maybe?
  • Book 4, Steel Time, did have awesome blog tour. If you missed any of the stops, you can find the full round-up here.
  • Two conventions were also attended this month, which probably contributes to my current haze of mild exhaustion. You can find my con reports for both events below:

September Book Reviews

September Speculative Chic Contributions

October Goals

  1. Finish the detailed outline of book 6. I have no idea why this book is giving me such a mental block.
  2. Write at least 10k words of book 6. Maybe once I start, it’ll go a lot easier.
  3. No conventions this month, but I’m attending two writing retreats over two weekends. The scheduling was unintentional on my part, but I’m looking forward to handing out with writers. Hopefully some of their productivity and enthusiasm for their projects will rub off on me.
  4. I have one more book to read for my Speculative Chic 2018 Resolution Project, so I’d better add it to the list before 2018 slips away from me completely!

A question for you writers in the audience — what do you do when you’re so intimidated by a project that you’re too terrified to even start it? This isn’t writer’s block, I think. I’d appreciate any advice.

For you non-writers, gentle and not-so-gentle nudges on social media of “You should be writing!” are probably welcome in the coming weeks.

These guys are not helpful:

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Con Report: Capclave 2018

Capclave dodoThis weekend was amazing, and I’m absolutely exhausted. (I apologize in advance that this con report will not be as in-depth as usual.) I’m very glad that spent the weekend at the hotel, despite Capclave being a “local” convention to where I live (Rockville, Maryland, is a 40-minute drive from my house without traffic). But it meant plenty of social time to catch up with old friends and meet new ones, which is really the best part of conventions anyway!  Continue reading

Review: Exile’s Throne (Empress Game #3) by Rhonda Mason

Exile's ThroneDisclaimer: I consider the author a friend; however, I purchased a hardcopy of this book for full price.

Mason concludes her stunning space opera trilogy with absolutely nothing you expect, which makes this book all the more perfect.

Since I’ve started reviewing every book I complete, I’ve gotten into the habit of taking down random thoughts as I read. I read this book in one sitting on a flight between Baltimore and Salt Lake City. But some books suck you in and don’t let go. Afterward, you look up with a massive book hangover and the only reasonable action is finding the nearest human and shoving the book (or series) at them and demanding that they read it too. So, consider this the online version of that. Continue reading

Review: American War by Omar El Akkad

American WarI snagged this book on a whim to support an independent bookstore during a vacation and absolutely devoured it on the flight home. I’d been a bit burned out on post-apocalyptic fiction lately, but this book was not your typical environmental or man-made apocalypse. Instead, it was an apocalypse created by people being dumb; or perhaps more charitably, by people being human.  Continue reading