Review: BREAK THROUGH THE ICE by Rachell Nichole

BREAK THROUGH THE ICE by Rachell Nichole

Disclaimer: The author is a friend of mine. However, I purchased this ebook for full price.

This was a well-written novella that I found particularly humorous to read as an urban fantasy author myself. There is a certain amount of wish-fulfillment that I couldn’t help but enjoy, considering the author main character is getting pretty much everything she ever dreamed of: a movie deal for her books, a sexy rendezvous with the attractive actor cast to play her main romantic lead, and the surprising knowledge that the attractive actor both loves her books and is equally attracted back!Continue reading “Review: BREAK THROUGH THE ICE by Rachell Nichole”



Today I’m celebrating the launch of K.W. Taylor’s first science-fiction novel, The Curiosity Killers! This book is close to my heart because I have been friends with the author since she was still writing it, cheered her on as it passed as her thesis for Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate program, and then threw her together with my publishers at Raw Dog Screaming Press/Dog Star Books and cackled to myself as the sparks flew. This phenomenal book is the inevitable end result.

In the twenty-second century, a second Civil War is decades past. The states of the New British Empire have been reduced to working with Victorian-era technology–that is, except physicist Edward Vere, who invents time travel with a little help from aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright.

Vere partners with historian Ben Jonson to monetize the invention, founding the first time travel agency. Unbeknownst to them, a serial killer is using the technology to murder without detection. When Ben discovers the killer has targeted the woman he loves, the mild-mannered academic must become brave enough to change history rather than merely observing it.

Continue reading “Review: THE CURIOSITY KILLERS by K.W. Taylor”

Review: NOTES OF TEMPTATION by Rebecca Halsey


Disclaimer: I am friends with the author. However, I purchased my copy of the book for full price.

Notes of Temptation is a mixed book: part romance, part historical drama, part urban fantasy, and all fun.Continue reading “Review: NOTES OF TEMPTATION by Rebecca Halsey”

STEEL TIME Research Topics

Most writers should identify with this.

The scene-by-scene outline of Steel Time is 95% complete! I just have to work out the final conflict sequence of events, which I won’t be able to do until after I complete some research. I know some authors do their research after coming up with the general idea for the book, but I’m the other camp. I’d rather do a complete outline, then go back and figure out specifically what I’m going to have to look up to not sound like a total idiot.

Here’s the final list of topics that I ended up with:Continue reading “STEEL TIME Research Topics”

April Wrap-Up & May Goals

What a roller coaster of a month!

April Wrap-Up:

  • Vacation successful and new job started! I’m three weeks in and enjoying myself immensely. I’m doing a very different sort of editing, along with a bunch of other interesting projects. My small team is great, and I love the area of Baltimore that my new office is in.
  • I finally got cranking on the Steel Time scene-by-scene outline this weekend and have just the climax left to do!
  • I received a full review of Steel Blood from one of my favorite beta readers, but haven’t gotten a chance to dive into his notes yet because I got distracted by another major project, which was…
  • Doing a last major publicity push for Steel Victory before Steel Magic is released this summer. Over the course of the last week, I put together a database of close to 100 book review bloggers and submitted Steel Victory for consideration to everyone who was currently accepting (between 60 and 70). So far I have sent out 16 review copies! If you are also a book review blogger interested in reviewing Steel Victory within the next few months, please drop me a line!
  • I only poked at the prequel story edits a bit on the cruise, but nothing substantial. Because there have been so many changes with Amazon self-publishing lately, I’m no longer in a big hurry to get those ready.
  • Book reviews! I’m down to a backlog of 11 books. Here’s what I was able to post after the cruise this month:
Zip-lining in St. Thomas above Magen’s Bay

May Goals:

  1. Steel Magic cover reveal! This is coming soon, so let me know if you’d like to participate.
  2. Dog Star Books book-signing in Dayton, Ohio, later this month (Saturday, May 28)! The link goes to the Facebook event page for more details. I’ll be joining Matt Betts and K.W. Taylor for a few hours of discussion on science-fiction and fantasy, including readings and time for Q&A.
  3. Finish the Steel Time outline and do all the research I’ll need in preparation for writing. More on that later this week.
  4. Steel Blood edits.
  5. Book reviews!

What are you all up to in the next few weeks?

Currently reading: Frost Burn by K.T. Munson and Nichelle Rae

Review: THE MAGICIAN’S LAND (The Magicians #3) by Lev Grossman


Some trilogies work well when the author tries to have every book tell a story in a very different way. Unfortunately, this wasn’t one of them.Continue reading “Review: THE MAGICIAN’S LAND (The Magicians #3) by Lev Grossman”

Review: THE MAGICIAN KING by Lev Grossman (Magicians #2)


This novel was easily my favorite in the trilogy, for a few different reasons.Continue reading “Review: THE MAGICIAN KING by Lev Grossman (Magicians #2)”

Review: THE MAGICIANS by Lev Grossman

THE MAGICIANS by Lev Grossman

First of all, let’s get a few things straight. (1) This is a literary fantasy novel. (2) This novel was much more influenced by The Chronicles of Narnia than by Harry Potter. (3) I read this trilogy because I adore the television show currently airing, so my review is going to be linked to that bias to a certain extent.Continue reading “Review: THE MAGICIANS by Lev Grossman”

Netflix Tag

Original creator: [unknown]. Stolen from: Camryn at The Writing Crafter.

A portion of my current Netflix main page. I really don’t understand some of those Top Picks…

Some context for this tag: I enjoy visual storytelling as much as the written version. Therefore, though it comes in waves, I spend and an awful lot of time watching television as well as reading. Though my husband and I still have cable, Netflix has also become an essential part of our lives.

As I writer, I spend a large portion of my life sedentary in front of my computer (I can’t get into the whole standing desk thing). For a long time, I also had one of the common health problems that writers get: shoulder, neck, and upper back pain. I started seeing a massage therapist once a month, and that helped a little bit. When I joined a small gym near my house for access to the treadmills, I took advantage of the free evaluation from a personal trainer and thought, “Huh. There’s something to this.” So between a combination of monthly massages, regular cardio by walking on a treadmill, and strength training, my back pain has almost completely vanished!

Except that I can’t listen to music while walking on a treadmill and staring out at a parking lot. It’s just too boring. Luckily, my gym has wifi, and I can watch Netflix on my phone! Part of my exercise motivation is having one television show that I can’t watch unless I’m on the treadmill at the gym.

Do you watch more TV shows or films on Netflix?

Television shows. For some reason, it’s easy to justify watching an episode or two of a show, but settling in for a movie is just too much of a commitment on a random weeknight.Continue reading “Netflix Tag”

Review: BLOOD RED by Mercedes Lackey

blood red
BLOOD RED by Mercedes Lackey

It’s always fun to return to one of my favorite series, and it’s even better when that series manages to consistently surprise you. Though there have been some departures,  Lackey’s formula for her Elemental Masters series has been “Traditional fairy tale retold in historical (mostly British) urban fantasy setting and concludes with female elemental master living happily ever with male elemental master of appropriate opposing element.”

Blood Red, though it happily exists in the same world as the rest of the series, takes that formula and happily shakes it around a bit. In this retelling of the “Little Red Riding Hood” story, Rosamund is a badass earth master who hunts monsters for a living and has a particular grudge against werewolves. But the fairy tale allegory ends early on in this novel, and we’re left with the story of the main character growing up and coming into her own.Continue reading “Review: BLOOD RED by Mercedes Lackey”