Review: An Argumentation of Historians (Chronicles of St. Mary’s #9) by Jodi Taylor

Argumentation of HistoriansCall me blasphemous, because I am a huge fan of this series…but I’m getting a bit bored with fighting Clive Ronan.

I still enjoyed the hell out of this book, despite the slow start. One thing I did appreciate about it is seeing the evolution of St. Mary’s relationship with the Time Police. They’ll never be more than reluctant allies, but at least they’re not trying to murder each other unnecessarily anymore.  Continue reading

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Review: Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles #2) by Frank Herbert

Dune MessiahRead as part of Comic Book Girl 19‘s online Dune book club.


Picking up a sequel 13 years after reading the first book should have made the book completely inaccessible. However, a quick trip through the Dune Wikipedia entry and I was ready to go. So ready, in fact, that I devoured this book in 2 days, whereas I remember Dune taking closer to 2 weeks.  Continue reading

Review: Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs Aliens edited by Patricia Bray & Joshua Palmatier

Clockwork UniverseThis was a fun anthology that I easily read over the course of a weekend of airplane flights. The stories were dissimilar enough that they were easily distinguishable, despite the thematic elements that tied them all together. I especially enjoyed that the stories did not all take place in England or even Europe, and that elements of character diversity were also present.

Favorite story: The final story in an anthology should always end with a bang, and in this case, Seanan McGuire’s “Lady Antheia’s Guide to Horticultural Warfare” was an absolute delight. The main character was charming and vicious, and the narrative upended my expectations of the story in surprising and clever ways.

Story I wish was a novel: There is incredible potential for expansion with C.B. Pratt’s “The Red Queen and the White.” I was instantly drawn to the depth of the main and secondary characters, and the world-building was solid enough for the purposes of the story while leaving me wanting so much more. I’d happily read a longer form narrative of the events in this story, because there was so much more to be explored therein, for both Earth and the mysterious aliens who arrive.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Nicholas Conley

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing two projects by Nicholas Conley, so I jumped at the chance to pick his brain about his latest novel. Intraterrestrial was a wild ride, and you can find my review of it here.

IntraterrestrialABOUT THE BOOK

Adam Helios is a bully magnet without many friends. When he starts hearing a voice that claims to come from the stars, he fears he’s losing his mind, so he withdraws even further. On the way home from a meeting at the school, he and his parents are involved in a horrible car crash. With his skull cracked open, Adam’s consciousness is abducted by the alien who has been speaking to him for months.

After surviving the wreck with only minor scratches, Camille Helios must deal with her guilt over the accident that left her husband badly injured and her son in a coma. When the doctor suggests letting Adam go, Camille refuses to stop fighting for her son’s life.

Lost among galaxies, Adam must use his imagination to forge a path home before his body dies on the operating table. But even if he does return to Earth, he may end up locked inside a damaged brain forever.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


The premise of this book revolves around traumatic brain injury (TBI). Can you tell us about your interest in this topic?

So as with my previous novel, Pale Highway, the inspiration for this book came from my years of working in the long-term care unit of a nursing and rehabilitation home, where I cared for people with many health conditions. When I started writing Intraterrestrial, probably my biggest goal was to always make sure that the main character — Adam — is in the driver’s seat from start to finish: he’s always the central protagonist, never just a supporting character in his own story. It was extremely important, I think, to show that Adam’s TBI doesn’t make him into a plot device. Both before and after the accident, he’s a real person, with the same sorts of hopes, dreams, fears, thoughts, and feelings of anyone else.

I also wanted to explore the painful family dynamics that are caused by accidents like this one, which I saw all too often when I was working in that field. When a kid gets thrust into the medical system, their parents have to be intimately involved in every step of the process, and those parents have an insane amount of pressure (and expectations) placed on their every decision. There are no easy answers, I think, so I felt like it was important to look deeply into the pained humanity behind every person in this narrative — Adam, his parents, the medical professionals — to see each person honestly, openly, as human beings instead of caricatures.  Continue reading

Review: A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet #1) by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time cover 1I read this novel for my 2018 Resolution Project over at Speculative Chic, the other blog I contribute to. This year, I resolved to fill a gap in my knowledge of the science-fiction classics and read the book before the film comes out in March.

I succeeded! You can find my full review at Speculative Chic.

Overall, this book holds up as an entertaining and unique story for a new, adult reader. I look forward to continuing this series and experiencing more of L’Engle’s fantastic imagination.  Continue reading

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.

Friday

  • 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

Saturday

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

Sunday

  • 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?

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