Author Interview with Nancy O’Toole Meservier

Since I was lucky enough to read an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Red and Black, I knew I had to know more behind the book! This is a fantastic debut novel — I hope you’re inclined to pick it up after reading this interview with the author. You can find my review of the book here.


Red and BlackABOUT THE BOOK

Dawn Takahashi knows a thing or two about superheroes, from the fictional ones that populate her favorite comic books, to the real-life vigilantes who keep people safe. When she’s granted an impressive set of powers of her own, she dives right in, eager to prove herself as Bailey City’s first legitimate superhero. Dressed in red and black, Dawn spends her nights jumping from rooftop to rooftop, apprehending criminals with a smile. But by day, she finds her interactions marred by crippling social awkwardness.

Alex Gage is used to life giving him the short end of the stick, from his working-class upbringing, to the recent death of his mother. He works hard to support his younger sisters, hiding his anger and frustration behind laid back charm. It’s this charm that first draws Alex and Dawn together, but their secrets may tear them apart. Because while Dawn protects the city against threats, Alex unknowingly undermines her efforts by working as a henchman for Calypso, a mysterious woman who can make anyone loyal to her with a single touch of her hand.

It’s the classic story of boy meets girl. And hero versus villain. Where only one side can win.

Amazon | Goodreads


You’ve called this book an urban fantasy with superheroes. What will appeal to fans to both genres?

I feel like I’m cheating a little bit here, because the urban fantasy and superhero genres are already so closely related. Both typically feature a modern day (usually city-like) settings and fantastical elements. Combine this with the fact that the supernatural aspects of urban fantasy worlds are often hidden, and many urban fantasy characters already have something like secret identities.

Red and Black was born out of my love for both genres. It has the taping of a superhero story, including superpowers, masks, and codenames. At the same time, it’s structured much like my favorite urban fantasy books. This includes a first-person perspective, quick pacing, and a prominent secondary romance.  Continue reading

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Review: Urban Dragon: Volume 1 by J.W. Troemner

Urban Dragon 1Disclaimer: I received a hardcopy of this novel through a book trade with the author.

I was sold on this book based on two things: The absolutely gorgeous cover art, and when I heard the author read from it during Cleveland ConCoction 2018. I’m a sucker for urban fantasy, but this is urban fantasy done right. It embodies many of the traditional tropes of the genre while simultaneously breaking all the rules.  Continue reading

Review: All Saints (Murder Ballads and Whiskey #4) by Jason Jack Miller

All SaintsDisclaimer: I received an electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. I am friends with the author and we shared a publisher.


The flow and style of the language in this novel took me on a trip around the world that I’m not sure I wanted to come back from. Whether it was modern-day, war-torn Afghanistan, the European countryside that wasn’t in much better shape during the Great War, or the humid depths of the Mexican jungle, I was one hundred percent there with the characters. Even when I wasn’t precisely sure what was going on, I didn’t necessarily care because the words swept me up in their wake.  Continue reading

Steel Blood Deleted Scene

Steel-Blood-Jacket.inddHappy New Year to all of my awesome readers! In honor of 2017 finally being over, and to celebrate my birthday (yes, I’m a New Year’s Eve baby), I’d like to share a scene that was left on the cutting room floor after my beta readers read one of the earliest drafts of Steel Empires #3: Steel Blood.

This scene takes place early during the novel, while Victory and Mikelos are traveling by ship to Jiang Yi Yue. While I had fun writing it and exploring more of Rob and Guy’s characters, it was ultimately felt that the scene didn’t add to the larger story of the book itself.

My only birthday wish is that if you have been enjoying my writing, please consider leaving an honest review of any of my books someplace like Amazon or Goodreads. A review can be as simple as “I liked it!” and leaving a rating. This is the cheapest and easiest way to continue supporting authors you enjoy after buying their books.

Thank you, party safely tonight, and enjoy this look at Victory in her element — with a sword in her hand!  Continue reading

Review: A Scandal in Battersea (Elemental Masters #12) by Mercedes Lackey

Scandal in BatterseaThe novels of Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series take two forms. The first is re-imagined fairy tales set in Edwardian England (and Europe beyond). The second is a more of a traditional (historical) urban fantasy series that centers around a group of magicians, psychics, and mediums in London, starring two plucky young women and their avian familiars. They hang out with Sherlock Holmes sometimes, which is why his star-power gets him on the cover of the book.

A Scandal in Battersea is the latter style, which is not my preference of the two, but it was still a quick and enjoyable read. It was a solid, magical mystery adventure filled with comforting characters familiar from earlier in the series. Watching Nan and Sarah grow up has been a lovely ride, and I do enjoy checking in on them.  Continue reading

Review: Bookburners (Season 1) created by Max Gladstone

Bookburners S1Also written by Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery

I first learned about Bookburners and the modern concept of the serial novel through a blog post at Speculative Chic. I was intrigued by both the format and the story premise, so downloaded the first season on my Kindle. It languished for a while, as most things on my Kindle do, until my most recent trip out of town.

I read fairly fast, so it was actually odd to spend so much of my trip on a single book. I worried that I’d be inclined to break up the 16 episodic installments with other reading alternatives, but the story line managed to hook me and keep me going without gratuitous use of cliffhangers. The characters were the perfect mix of unique, heroic, and flawed, and I may have gasped out loud during one particular revelation.   Continue reading

Review: The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies #1) by K.J. Charles

Magpie LordNow that I’ve discovered a newfound love for queer historical romance, it was really only a matter of time before I made the jump to the urban fantasy variety. This novel was an excellent introductory choice that I devoured in the space of one airport wait + flight to Florida, and I had to resist the urge to immediately purchase the rest of the trilogy (that urge has since been sated).  Continue reading