Build Report: Hogwarts Castle

hogwarts castle dragonSince I acknowledged that I’ll never have room for the largest LEGO set ever, I set my sights slightly smaller — on the second-largest LEGO set ever. I also thought this dream was unattainable, even though it was my number one wish-list item for the 2018 holiday/birthday season.

Even though my birthday is 6 days after Christmas, my husband is well aware that he is not allowed to combine gifts. But I made an exception this year, when he approved my purchase of my dream LEGO set!

Hogwarts Castle (71403) — 6,020 pieces

I built this set between Christmas and New Year’s Day of 2018/2019, and not a moment of it was ever boring. The architectural details and moments from the books were amazing, and I’m obsessed with the stained glass elements. This set came with not one, but FOUR instruction booklets (and a whopping 37 bags of pieces), so I’ll show the build off by sections. Continue reading

Author Interview with Shaun Hume

Shaun Hume reached out to me a few weeks ago regarding a possible review for his book (he complimented me on my book covers, which is the fastest way to this author’s heart) (other than salty black licorice). Unfortunately, I was unable to fit him into my schedule, but I was still intrigued enough that I had to know more!


ewan pendle and the white wraithABOUT THE BOOK

Ewan Pendle was weird. Really weird. At least, that’s what everyone told him. Then again, being able to see monsters that no one else could wasn’t exactly normal.

Thinking he has been moved off to live with his eleventh foster family, Ewan is instead told he is a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who can alone see the real Creatures that inhabit the earth. He is taken in by Enola, the mysterious sword carrying Grand Master of Firedrake Lyceum, a labyrinth of halls and rooms in the middle of London where other children, just like him, go to learn the ways of the Creatures.

Paperback | eBook


Since your reviewers bring up the Harry Potter connection, I think the most important thing potential readers might want to know is how are your books different from the Harry Potter universe?

Maybe the most important world difference between Ewan Pendle and Harry Potter is the lack of magic. Magic does exist in the world of Creatures and Lenitnes, but it’s a relatively new discovery. While it certainly is an emerging aspect (hence the rather newly formed Witch Clique), few people understand it, and even fewer can perform any magic at all.

The other main difference would be the number of strong and unique female characters. I’m a massive HP fan, and love it dearly, but there really aren’t many girls within the story who take on much of a narratively propelling role. In my story it was a conscious choice to create more female characters, purely because I find them more interesting to write. This, I think, gives much more scope to the story and its characters.  Continue reading

Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

harry-potter-cursed-childLike many readers, I had a difficult time falling in love with the play that continued the story of the both the original and next generation of wizards from the Harry Potter universe. Since I hadn’t read anything in script form in over a decade, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out whether my problem was with the unfamiliar storytelling style. Unfortunately, I finally had to admit that while there was much to enjoy about this tale, the rest of it came up lacking. Continue reading