Schedule for Cleveland ConCoction 2017

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I’m looking forward to returning to Cleveland ConCoction for my second year (March 10-12)! It’s a great mix of literary, media, gaming, and costuming focus, with something for everyone. It’s also my favorite con in terms of they way they are set up to promote authors, with an Author’s Alley where the con sets up it’s own bookshop so authors don’t have to lug their books around all weekend, and where authors can hang out and meet fans during downtime. I was so pleased to be invited back.

Let me know in the comments where you’ll be at this con so I can be sure to say hi! Or, here’s my schedule so you know where to track me down.

Friday

  • 12:00 PM: Author Perspectives on Fan Fiction
  • 9:00 PM: What is Urban Fantasy?

Saturday

  • 12:00 PM: Vampires, Werewolves, and Gods — Rewriting Legends
  • 2:00 PM: Author Showcase — Reading from the Steel Empires series, following by time for signing
  • 9:00 PM: Why Villains Matter

Sunday

  • 11:00 AM: Post Apocalypse — How Will It End?

 

Review: A STUDY IN SABLE by Mercedes Lackey

study-in-sableI was excited by both the return of Nan and Sarah in Lackey’s Elemental Masters series and the introduction of this universe’s version of Sherlock Holmes and the Watsons. The aspect of this novel that I was most impressed with was that my brain never once tried to “cast” my mental images of the characters as Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Robert Downey Jr., or Jude Law. Lackey made these characters totally her own while staying true to the spirit of Arthur Conan Doyle’s creations. Continue reading

Author Interview with Sheri Queen

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Today I’m taking a break from NaNoWriMo panic productivity to feature a new release from fellow urban fantasy author Sheri Queen! I haven’t read this novella yet, but so much about it intrigues me. It’s both an installment in a multi-author project and acts as an introduction to Queen’s own universe, the Sleepy Hollow Hunter series. Please enjoy the following interview with the author and check out more details about the book below.


How did you come up with the title for this book?

It’s my protagonist’s job—bounty hunter. I decided I wanted to separate my novel from the many other bounty hunter ones, so I came up with the gender switch of huntress. It worked.

Is there a message or theme in this story your want readers to be aware of?

There are several themes within the story, mostly about family and relationships, but the biggest one is that it’s okay to be different. Love who you are, and don’t let what others say make you think you’re not good enough.

Is this part of a series? If so, can you share a little about what’s coming next?

This is a short novel that’s part of a multi-author series, The Hotel Paranormal. Over twenty authors have penned their own paranormal story set in a common world—the Hotel. It’s been so much fun to do. Basically it’s a hotel set in an alternate dimension that’s a gathering place for paranormal creatures.

The Hotel Paranormal is the place for supernatural beings looking to get away from it all. Beings like werewolves, vampires, elves, sprites, djinn, and more check in from all over the world for business and for pleasure—and sometimes for both.

Also, I’m using this as an introduction to a new series I’m working on, the Sleepy Hollow Hunter series. The next novel will be out in 2017, although I don’t have a release date as yet. It will see Janda Gray take on her hunter role in earnest. She’ll have great joys and even greater sorrows as a Sleepy Hollow Hunter. Continue reading

Review: FROM A HIGH TOWER by Mercedes Lackey

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I was thrilled that Lackey once again broke the mold with this installment of the Elemental Masters series. Some things were the familiar, such as a modern (well, Victorian-era) retelling of a traditional fairy tale featuring a strong heroine with elemental magic powers. However, like in Blood Red before it, this novel also transported us outside of England and only hinted at a burgeoning romance at the end rather than making it a centerpiece of the plot. Both of these differences have made for stronger books, in my opinion, rather than having the novel be “yet another romantic fantasy.” Continue reading

NaNoWriMo 2016 (sort of)

timey-wimey-quoteIt’s that time of year again, kids! When the writers in your life disappear for hours upon end, consume copious quantities of caffeine (and sometimes alcohol), and come out the other end of 30 days with some semblance of a book completed. Though I’m not officially signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which consists of 50,000 words in 30 days, my goal is 30,000 words in 30 days. This will hopefully get me close to the end of Steel Empires Book 4.

If you follow me on social media, you already know that I’ve been particularly obsessed with all things time travel lately. This isn’t new, really. I’ve maintained a fascination with the TARDIS for almost ten years, and so I figured it was time to put my own spin on it.

Today, I’d like to officially introduce you all to my current project: Steel Time.


Question 1: What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

I already talked a bit about this above, but I’ve known since soon after I started drafting book 2, and decided that this would be a 7-book series, that I wanted to explore time travel at the midpoint of the major story arc. Don’t worry: I won’t be resetting my world and wiping out things that have gone before. Instead, I wanted something epic to bring Victory and Toria back together as POV characters in a novel.  Continue reading

Review: HIDDEN DESIGN: THE PROPHECY by Tia Tormen & C.K. Stone

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Sex sells.

Everyone knows that. Marketing professionals especially know that. But does the inclusion of sex necessarily make something better? Erotica has become more mainstream in popular fiction within the past few years and can make any genre book more appealing to the right audience. In some cases, however, the sexual element can detract from what would otherwise be a great story.

Unfortunately, I think that Hidden Design: the Prophecy, marketed as an erotica dark fantasy, is a perfect example of this. Continue reading

Author Interview: Jessica Knauss

Awash in TalentI was delighted to interview author Jessica Knauss in support of her new novel, Awash in Talent (now available in ebook and hardcopy).

About the Book

So much Talent can kill you.

Welcome to Providence, Rhode Island, home of telekinetics, firestarters, and psychics!

Emily can’t escape her annoyingly Talented telekinetic healer sister without committing a crime.

Kelly must escape her pyrokinesis school and bring Emily’s sister to Boston—her mother’s life depends on it.

Appointments with Emily might drive her psychic therapist insane.

With so much Talent, sometimes it’s all you can do to function in an un-Talented society.


When you first told me about this novel, you referred to it as “zany, hard-to-pin-down” and “Gilmore Girls with a paranormal twist.” As someone who also writes urban fantasy that defies categorization, I’m always interested in other authors’ reasons for doing the same. Why break away from the YA paranormal comfort zone that most readers are familiar with?

I don’t assign genres or categories to my work until it’s done and ready for readers. This can cause some head scratching, believe me! Many years ago, I heard Maya Angelou say that if we can’t find the book we want to read, we have to write it ourselves. I took that advice to heart. If something has been done before, why do it again? As a reader, I’m always searching for something different that will speak to me in a way nothing else has. I’ve set my sights on that elusive uniqueness as a writer. Continue reading