Review: GENRENAUTS: SEASON ONE by Michael R. Underwood

GenrenautsSometimes, you find a published story that incorporates major elements of an idea you had once upon a time and you’re disappointed, because now it’s already “taken.” But other times, you stumble across a story that’s very similar to a vague idea you had back in high school and you’re thrilled, because someone has already put all the work into your half-baked idea and you can just sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labors. Genrenauts is definitely the latter for me, and I had a blast reading this collection of novellas.  Continue reading

Book Spotlight & Review: BITE SOMEBODY ELSE by Sara Dobie Bauer

Happy book birthday to an excellent sequel! Yesterday, I interviewed author Sara Dobie Bauer about her paranormal romance Bite Somebody. Today, I’m pleased to review the sequel, Bite Somebody Else. #Imogene4Life!


bite somebody elseABOUT THE BOOK

Imogene helped her newbie vampire friend Celia hook up with an adorable human, but now Celia has dropped an atomic bomb of surprise: she has a possibly blood-sucking baby on the way. Imogene is not pleased, especially when a mysterious, ancient, and annoyingly gorgeous vampire historian shows up to monitor Celia’s unprecedented pregnancy.

Lord Nicholas Christopher Cuthbert III is everything Imogene hates: posh, mannerly, and totally uninterested in her. Plus, she thinks he’s hiding something. So what if he smells like a fresh garden and looks like a rich boarding school kid just begging to be debauched? Imogene has self-control. Or something.

As Celia’s pregnancy progresses at a freakishly fast pace, Imogene and Nicholas play an ever-escalating game of will they or won’t they, until his sexy maker shows up on Admiral Key, forcing Nicholas to reveal his true intentions toward Celia’s soon-to-arrive infant.

World Weaver Press | Amazon | Kobo | Nook | iBooks


REVIEW

Disclaimer: I received an electronic copy of this novel from the author, whom I consider a friend, in exchange for an honest review.

I was surprised by how much Bite Somebody delighted and entertained me, and in retrospect, that had a lot to do with the how much main character Celia went against the grain as a vampire. I wasn’t sure I was up to an entire novel inside her best friend Imogene’s head, because Imogene is definitely the quintessential vampire. Stuck in a time period that she remembers fondly, obsessed with sex, and badass to the core.

Over the course of Bite Somebody Else, though, these things turned into positives instead of negatives.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Sara Dobie Bauer

Earlier this month, I reviewed a fantastic paranormal romance called Bite Somebody, which was equal parts adorable and hilarious. Tomorrow, the sequel comes out! To celebrate, I’m interviewing author Sara Dobie Bauer today, but be sure to check back here tomorrow for my review of Bite Somebody Else, which is currently available for pre-order.


bite somebody elseABOUT THE BOOK

Imogene helped her newbie vampire friend Celia hook up with an adorable human, but now Celia has dropped an atomic bomb of surprise: she has a possibly blood-sucking baby on the way. Imogene is not pleased, especially when a mysterious, ancient, and annoyingly gorgeous vampire historian shows up to monitor Celia’s unprecedented pregnancy.

Lord Nicholas Christopher Cuthbert III is everything Imogene hates: posh, mannerly, and totally uninterested in her. Plus, she thinks he’s hiding something. So what if he smells like a fresh garden and looks like a rich boarding school kid just begging to be debauched? Imogene has self-control. Or something.

As Celia’s pregnancy progresses at a freakishly fast pace, Imogene and Nicholas play an ever-escalating game of will they or won’t they, until his sexy maker shows up on Admiral Key, forcing Nicholas to reveal his true intentions toward Celia’s soon-to-arrive infant.

World Weaver Press | Amazon | Kobo | Nook | iBooks


Vampire fiction comes close to overwhelming the urban fantasy genre these days. What unique spin do you put on “vampirism” in your books to keep things fresh?

My unique spin is comedy. I don’t take anything seriously. Like, anything. I’ve been reading vampire literature since I was too young to be reading vampire literature. (I’m pretty sure my twelve-year-old teenage girl hormones were unleashed via Interview with the Vampire.) I love the old tropes — the charisma and mystery of classic vampires. Because I love the tropes, I had fun tearing them apart. Imogene and Celia are totally insane, ridiculous, and non-mysterious vampires. They get into awkward messes and have stupidly hilarious adventures. There’s even a semantics discussion: “Are we dead or undead?” I had a blast writing this series, and people have a blast reading the books. It’s escapism in the most snort-laughing of ways. Oh, and there’s a bit of sex — although even the sex is filled with miscues, accidental feet to the face, and broken fingers.  Continue reading

FINAL CALL for Steel Blood blog tour volunteers!

Steel-Blood-Jacket.inddI’m starting to work on the final details for the celebration of Steel Empires Book 3 on July 19, so this is your last chance to be part of the party! Thank you very much to everyone who has signed up so far. I will start pulling together the final schedule and contacting everyone within the next day or so.

I am still looking for volunteers willing to host:

  • Book spotlight
  • Guest blog (topic to be mutually determined)
  • Interview (your questions or mine)
  • Excerpt

Sign up here for the Steel Blood blog tour!

NOTE: I will only use your contact information for this blog tour, and I will not share it with any outside entities, such as my publisher.

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

May Wrap-Up & June Goals

No matter how many things I crossed off the list this past month, my to-do list keeps getting longer. Since I’m at the point where I’m doing work (writing blog posts) to take a break from doing other work (line edits on Steel Time), let’s jump right in.

May Wrap-Up

  • I have printed out a copy of Steel Time to do my final pass through before it gets sent off to my editor for her review. The good news is that it is solidly below 90k words! Based on the recommendations of my beta readers, I cut two and a half scenes (which are saved and will appear on the blog as deleted scenes after publication). That got me down to 92k words, and my massive word search for passive and filtering language took care of the rest. That’s a huge weight off my shoulders (my editor was pleased, too).
  • I created a form for anyone interested in participating in the July blog tour for Steel Blood. I’m still looking for volunteers, so check it out!
  • I totally forgot to include Balticon on my list of goals last month! I had a blast last weekend, which you can read about in my con report.
  • Let’s not talk about book 5 right now.

May Book Reviews

May Speculative Chic Contributions

June Goals

  1. Finish and input Steel Time line edits and submit to my editor. I have a the LEGO Snowspeeder set waiting for me in celebration.
  2. Finish coordinating the Steel Blood blog tour and start writing guest posts.
  3. Book 5 outline. There’s a heavy sigh there, which is a poor representation of how I feel about the book. I’m excited to write it, but I’m also scared that I won’t do my story ideas justice.

As usual, thank you to everyone for coming along for the ride!

LEGO cats

Helpful cats are not actually that helpful.

Book Spotlight: A LIFE OF DEATH trilogy by Weston Kincade

ABOUT THE BOOKS

Ghosts are speaking to Alex, but can he bring them to justice?

Alex has a checkered past, a broken home, and a surprising ability. But who will believe a troubled teen, especially when murders implicate the town’s founding family?

If you like amazing supernatural stories that are intense, powerful, and fraught with emotion, then you’ll love Weston Kincade’s suspenseful coming-of-age trilogy, A Life of Death. Ghosts are speaking, and they want answers. Heed the call.

Book 1: A Life of Death
Book 2: Golden Bulls
Book 3: Sacrifices


Weston - Close-UpABOUT THE AUTHOR

Weston Kincade writes fantasy, paranormal, and horror novels that stretch the boundaries of imagination, and often genres. His current series include the A Life of Death trilogy and the Priors. Weston’s short stories have been published in Alucard Press’ “50 Shades of Slay,” Kevin J. Kennedy’s bestselling “Christmas Horror” and “Easter Horror,” and other anthologies. He is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association (HWA) and helps invest in future writers while teaching English. In his spare time Weston enjoys spending time with his wife and Maine Coon cat, Hermes, who talks so much he must speak for the Gods.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Con Report: Balticon 51

balticon logoSince Balticon is my “local” convention, I was thrilled to finally be invited to participate as a panelist this year. I hadn’t been back since 2006, but the convention was just as great as I remembered, filled with fantastic panels, extraordinarily nice people, and amazing hall costumes.

FRIDAY 

Since I work in a nearby part of Baltimore, I headed over to the hotel after work. Checking in to the con was very easy, and I wandered the dealers room(s) for a bit, catching up with friends.

Later in the evening, I moderated a panel on world building in SF/F. Everyone on the panel was lovely, and the audience asked great questions. Main takeaway: Research, research, research (but be careful of whacking your readers over the head with it).

Afterward, I met one of my best friends for dinner and we had a lovely time catching up before I headed home.  Continue reading

Review: BITE SOMEBODY by Sara Dobie Bauer

bite somebody

Disclaimer: I acquired this novel at a convention through a book trade with the author, whom I consider a friend.


Not gonna lie — I probably never would have picked this novel to read without outside influence. But I met the author at a convention and we hit it off immediately, and I knew based on her personality alone that I had to read the book that had come out of her brain.  Continue reading