Cleveland ConCoction Schedule

Cleveland ConCoction 2018 logo This weekend, I will be attending Cleveland ConCoction for the third year! This is one of my favorite conventions in terms of how authors are treated and the variety of events. I made some great friends last year that I can’t wait to reunite with.

The convention is a new hotel this year, farther from the airport. Slightly inconvenient for me, but I’ll get to have a new experience: renting a car! Here’s my schedule for the weekend, hopefully to be filled with other awesome new experiences.


  • 2 PM: Stories of Coming up with Characters
  • 3 PM: Mistakes Beginning Authors Make 1.0
  • 4 PM: Author Perspectives on Fan Fiction
  • 9 PM: Vampires, Werewolves & Gods: Rewriting Legends 1.0


  • 5 PM: Author Showcase: Reading from Steel Blood
  • 10 PM: NSFW Authors Panel 2.0


  • 11 AM: What’s in a Genre?

I’ll have all three of the current books in the Steel Empires for sale in Authors Alley, and when in doubt, you can probably find me in the hotel bar with Brent Seth and Sara Dobie Bauer. I’m also looking forward to the awesome party that Barfleet throws!

Will I see you in Cleveland?


February Wrap-Up & March Goals

Wow, the year is flying by. So are the deadlines! Just kidding — I’m actually on pretty good track with all of my current projects. But things are only going to pick up again before they slow down.

Homemade foodOn top of everything else, my husband and I joined one of those meal delivery services in an attempt to eat healthier and learn new skills. Since my social media has already been inflicted with a bunch of food pictures, it’s only fair to spread the love here.

February Wrap-Up

  • I completed my review and revisions to book 5, Steel Shadows! It took longer than I expected, until the day I tied myself to my kitchen island with a ton of tea and cranked through the last third.
  • And off it went to the beta readers! I have a mix of readers in terms of how far they’ve read in the series so far, so I’m interested to read their final notes.
  • I had a blast at my first Farpoint convention a few weeks ago and made some awesome new friends. You can read about my adventures and check out some cool cosplay in my Farpoint con report.
  • My presentation at the Uniontown Library Series is coming up quick! Luckily, I found out the presentation part is significantly shorter than I thought it was. That means I’ve done literally nothing to prepare yet. (I’m too busy building LEGOs right now, honestly.)
Farpoint Jessica-Xena and Jay-WW

With cosplayers Jessica Crouse and Jay Justice at Farpoint 2018

February Book Reviews

February Speculative Chic Contributions

March Goals

  1. Finish my current LEGO set! I’m finally working on my biggest set to date, the SHIELD Helicarrier from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  2. The Steel Empires work never ends. Now that book 5 is out of my hands for a few months, it’s time to do another round of proofing on book 4 and get it back to my editor.
  3. I need to put together my presentation on alternate history for the upcoming Uniontown Library Author Series.
  4. But before that, I’ll be heading to Ohio for one of my favorite annual conventions, Cleveland ConCoction!
  5. And finally, I have some beta reading of my own to do! Two projects due within the next month or so, but authors whose work I always enjoy. Definitely more of a pleasure than a chore.

Wow, that was a lot of movies in February. I think I’ve got even more lined up in March, considering I already saw Red Sparrow last night (review to come over at Speculative Chic this Tuesday).

2018 is shaping up to be a hell of a year! I’ve got my convention schedule pretty firmed up (note to self: Update events page at some point). To top everything off, the husband and I scheduled a Caribbean cruise this December. Definitely something to look forward to!

Build Report: Star Wars Arrowhead

To celebrate completing revisions on my fourth novel, Steel Time, and sending it off to my publisher for layout, I took a break before jumping into my next major project (revisions to book 5, Steel Shadows) by building the awesome set I received from my littlest sister last Christmas.

The Arrowhead (75186) — 775 pieces

As usual, these ships get built from the inside out. Doesn’t seem like much at first, but you need a solid base to add on all the cool bits. I do love the build colors in this build, rather than it being a mess of light and dark grays.

Continue reading

Review: Rain Shadow (Bluewater Bay #10) by L.A. Witt

Rain ShadowOne of the things I love most about this series is the diversity of characters. This doesn’t refer to just skin color, or occupation, or whether the character is famous or “normal,” but also in terms of personal history. In this case, Scott is a guy who hasn’t had a serious relationship in decades, and Jeremy is a divorced dad who has only embraced his sexual orientation in the past few years.  Continue reading

Review: City Ash and Desert Bones by Laurel Myler

City Ash and Desert BonesDisclaimer: This book was produced by the publishing company that also publishes my current series of novels; however, I purchased a hardcopy version of this novel for full price.

The mystery about Reesa, one of the narrators and main characters of this novel, hooks you from the very first line of the book. As reminders and clues slowly unwind through the rest of the tale, becoming entangled with the rest of the mystery of the world, I found myself both aching to know the truth and fearful of what I might discover.  Continue reading

Review: When to Hold Them (Bluewater Bay #9) by G.B. Gordon

When to Hold ThemOne of the things that I love about this series is that the creators of the world recognize that the entire town of Bluewater Bay does not revolve around the television show being filmed there, however much the characters mention the “Hollywood Invasion.” So much of the Pacific Northwest is protected national park (for now), that I was pleased and not surprised to find an installment featuring a park ranger.

Xavier was a credit to his profession, and it was clear that the author did their research without ever falling into the trap of wanting to show the reader every single detail that they learned. On the contrary, Doran was a character that I’m not sure I’d ever read before — a recovering gambling addict out on very supervised probation. The match shouldn’t have worked, but I enjoyed every bit of it.  Continue reading

Review: ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times by Andrew MacLean

ApocalyptiGirlA post-apocalyptic story starring a strong female character and her adorable pet cat? This should have been right up my alley. But despite the art being streamlined and stunning, the story never quite grabbed me.

Though the internal narration conceit was very cool, it seems the author erred on the side of “less is more” when it came to world-building. Unfortunately, that “less” led to a world that didn’t make much sense. I also did not figure out Aria’s place in it soon enough to care, and only finished the story because it was so short.  Continue reading