Review: “A Lord to Love” by Sara Dobie Bauer

Lord to LoveDisclaimer: I received a free electronic copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I read a much earlier draft of this story, but it was just as much of a pleasure to read the final product a second time around. Bauer features the best of both worlds here: despite this being a short story that manages to feature two explicit sex scenes, the tone is still that of a swoon-worthy slow-burn romance.

Lord John Morgan starts off as kind of a jerk, but it becomes obvious that a traditional courtship with Lord Harrison Price is not possible. Both men are not your typical heroes, and they fit together anyway. Neither man could ever be called adorable, but the way they combine makes for an adorable story.

And finally, I love the short and sweet explanation of why a same-sex marriage is acceptable in this time period. This is the best type of alternate history storytelling. Continue reading

StokerCon 2019 Schedule!

StokerCon 2019 imageI’m excited to attend my first StokerCon this week, in Grand Rapids, Michigan! This is not a convention I plan to attend normally, but the stars aligned to make attending this year too awesome to pass up, such as my publisher Raw Dog Screaming Press winning this year’s Specialty Press Award.

For most of the event, you’ll be able to find me at the RDSP table in the dealer’s room, where my books will be available despite the lack of blatant horror. I do have some spots on the schedule though:

Thursday

  • 7 PM: Be a Diamond in the Slush Pile Rough (panel)
    • Tired of getting lost in the stack of unread submissions? Do you want your work to stand out as the diamond in the rough? Learn the top editing tips that can help you rise above the slush pile and get published.
    • With Michael Cieslak, Norman Prentiss, J.D. Barker, and April Grey

Friday

  • 12 PM: Reading
    • With Jeff Strand and Peggy Christie
  • 5 PM: Mass Autograph Session & Ice Cream Social

Saturday

  • 1 PM: Creating Stories by Changing the Past (presentation)
    • Join author and editor J.L. Gribble for an overview of the alternate history genre, followed by world-building activities with audience interaction to create various alternate histories of our own. Appropriate for both readers and creators.

I’m getting to the hotel on Wednesday evening and leaving Sunday morning, so there’s plenty of time to hang out if you’d like to meet for a meal, drink, coffee, or just a chat! I’m attending the awards ceremony on Saturday night, but not the banquet, so I’ll definitely be looking for dinner buddies for that time.

Will I see you there?

April Wrap-Up & May Goals

I definitely had a productive month, just not in the way I originally thought. I also got to see some great friends and read some great books, so no complaints here. I’m in the middle of reading some pretty awesome book series that I’m alternating with each other, which just makes me want to read faster. (Is that even possible?)

My favorite part of the month was spending time in Atlanta for a good friend’s wedding. The spouse and I needed a weekend away together, and we had a great time exploring the city. The wedding itself was at a natural history museum, with dinosaurs! How cool is that?

April Wrap-Up

  • I’m currently trading the back cover blurb for Steel Shadows back and forth with my editor to nail down the final version.
  • I only added about 3k words to Steel Justice, but that’s okay because…
  • I completed the final proofread for Steel Shadows! I’ve also seen the cover (it’s absolutely amazing). The book will be available this summer, with more details to come as they are available.
  • I’m totally caught up with book reviews, as of this moment. I also reorganized the format of my book review page to make it easier to view.
  • I had a fabulous weekend away in Atlanta with my husband for a friend’s wedding (see pics above).
  • And I had a great few days in Washington, DC at a healthcare conference.

April Book Reviews

April Speculative Chic Contributions

May Goals

  1. Make more progress on Steel Justice. I still refuse to quantify what this means. That may or may not help with the actual progress.
  2. Of all the crazy things, this total horror wuss is attending a horror convention! I’ll be at StokerCon 2019 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the beginning this month to hang out with my publisher and fellow authors.
  3. I’ll also be returning to Balticon 53 in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor over Memorial Day weekend.
  4. I’ll squeeze a quick trip up to New York City for the day job in there somewhere.

Will I see you at StokerCon or Balticon this month? What book series are you currently invested in? I obviously need more sagas to get addicted to.

We bought the cats a window seat this month. They approve. I’d chill out there with them, if I could.

cat windowseat

Review: The Horse Mistress: Book 3 (Eburosi Chronicles #3) by R.A. Steffan

Horse Mistress 3When their rock shatters, Carivel and Senovo have to work together to put Andoc back together again. Their relationship arc goes through another set of trials, just enough to make a reader worried while also keeping faith that everything will work out for the best.

The world of Eburosi grows again when the characters travel south to conduct political meetings in a bid to protect themselves from foreign invasion. In addition, more fantasy elements are introduced in this world that I occasionally forget isn’t just ancient Britain with the names changed. Steffan has obviously done her research, so the intentional changes she does make are both seamless and pleasantly surprising. Continue reading

Review: Once Ghosted, Twice Shy (Reluctant Royals #2.5) by Alyssa Cole

Once Ghosted Twice ShyThough the initial attraction I had to the Reluctant Royals series was the royalty aspect, I quickly fell in love with Cole’s writing and amazing characters. Even though no royals even appear onscreen in this supplemental novella, the story still packed an amazing combination of love and heartbreak into a limited number of pages.

The intertwining timelines of Likotsi and Fabiola’s first and second meetings told the story in an intriguing manner. I generally dislike when point-of-view characters hide information from the reader, but Cole chooses her reveal moments perfectly, and to great affect.

Everyone deserves a happy ending, not just those who wear the crown. Continue reading