August Wrap-Up & September Goals

signing at Confluence 2017Ack, I’ve been productive again! Met all my goals for August and everything.

August Wrap-Up

  • I completed another 15k words in Steel Shadows, bringing me to 30k done! That’s definitely over one-third of the book, and while I often have trouble slogging through the middle, this story has been a hell of a roller coaster so far. I’m excited, and I hope that shows through my writing.
  • Confluence in Pittsburgh earlier this month was a blast, and you can read my con report here.
  • When I got home from Pittsburgh, my husband headed off to Europe for a few weeks for work, so I had to entertain myself somehow. Luckily, I had a brand new LEGO set to build, and you can check out my build report for the Saturn V rocket here.
  • And finally, the contest I hosted for Steel Blood’s one-month birthday was a ton of fun! Entrants guessed the total number of my TARDIS collection for a chance to win free books from the Steel Empires series. I’m already brainstorming fun ideas for another contest later this year.

Saturn V final

August Book Reviews

August Speculative Chic Contributions

September Goals

  1. Another 15k words of Steel Shadows, bringing me to 45k completed.
  2. Attend Salt Lake Comic Con! I still don’t have my schedule, but my husband and I planned this as our 5-year wedding anniversary present to ourselves, so being on programming was just a bonus. We’re excited to see some friends, visit a new city, get books signed by cool authors, and get our photo taken with John Barrowman. Okay, I’m getting my photo taken with John Barrowman. The plan is to politely ask for a hug from my favorite immortal and try not to burst into tears.

TARDIS contest extras

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Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

american godsI have a weird history with this book. I was utterly convinced that I’d read it before, but I remembered really bizarre parts of it, such as Shadow being cold in Lakeside and the secret of the klunker on the lake. I even watched season 1 of the new television show (enjoying it immensely), and had myself convinced that I was thinking of an entirely different book.

So I read it, and realized that I had read this before. I have no idea why my brain lost literally all the interesting things about it (a visit from Shadow, perhaps?), so I enjoyed this revisit.  Continue reading

TARDIS Contest: Winners and Final Tally!

TARDIS contest books

Thanks so much to everyone who submitted guesses in my crazy contest!

And the final TARDIS tally: 34!

Congratulations to the following:

  • Kelly M., the random winner of a hardcopy of their choice from the Steel Empires series
  • Kat S. and Jules D., who both guessed the closest at 32, the winners of an ebook of their choice from the Steel Empires series

I’ll be emailing you today to find out which books you want and the best way to get them to you.

Now, let’s see them all!  Continue reading

Review: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

jonathan strange mr norrellThis year, many of the contributors to my other blog, Speculative Chic, all set New Year’s Resolutions together. Some of them were to catch up on movies, others were to revisit an old favorite video game. Mine was to finally tackle the giant hardcover that had been anchoring my “to be read” pile since I picked up a used copy at a convention over 10 years ago.

And like all best-laid plans, some things work out, and some don’t. I finally got around to purchasing the ebook (because there was no way I was lugging that hardcover around), but despite this book being everything I love on the surface, I couldn’t make my way through it.

For a more in-depth review of how I felt about the first 25% of the book that I did read (much of which is actually quite positive), you can check out my thoughts over at Speculative Chic.

Per my review policy, I have marked this book as “abandoned” on Goodreads without a starred review. There is no review on Amazon.


Currently reading: Shattering the Ley by Joshua Palmatier

Currently writing: 23.5k/30k words

Review: Heart of the Dragon (Supernatural #4) by Keith R.A. DeCandido

heart of the dragonI usually avoid reading other reviews of books before writing my own, but for some reason I scrolled down when getting the links for this book. While it looks like the majority of the ratings are positive, the top few reviews that showed up on Goodreads absolutely trashed this book, which is unfortunate. You might take this to mean that I have poor taste in books, but I’d like to think that I really enjoyed this novel because it takes risks and breaks the mold of what is expected from most media tie-ins.

If you’re looking for a book about just Sam and Dean Winchester, you’re going to be disappointed (as, apparently, many reviewers were). The Winchester brothers certainly appear in the book, and they definitely save the day (as they ought to), but this book is also about their family. I genuinely enjoyed this triptych of stories that include not just Sam and Dean, but also their father, mother, and grandparents.   Continue reading

Review: WILDFIRE (Hidden Legacy #3) by Ilona Andrews

WildfireThis was a thrilling conclusion to a major part of the Hidden Legacy story line. Nevada Baylor’s family and her interactions with them are my one of my favorite parts of this series, and it was exciting to see plot progression on that front.

For some reason, I had it stuck in my head that this was a trilogy. Once I got to about 50 pages in the book left, I panicked, sure there was no way for everything to get tied up in that short space. The epilogue made it obvious, however, that things in this world are far from over.  Continue reading

Book excerpt: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #14

It’s been a whirlwind two weeks, but today is the last stop of the Steel Blood blog tour! If you missed any stops along the way, you can find the full roster at my Guest Blog page. For our final stop, author Weston Kindcade was kind enough to discuss his thoughts about Steel Empires Book 1: Steel Victory and host a short excerpt from Steel Blood for me.

[The Brit] raised one hand and bit a thumbnail, then flicked his thumb at the robed Qin. He didn’t get the insult, but his friend did. The man in pants threw the first punch, snapping the Brit’s head to the side. But the Brit recovered at once and tackled his aggressor. They both crashed to the street in a mess of limbs, leaving the robed Qin shouting above them.

It was like watching a train wreck, exactly the sort of political bullshit Victory had been concerned about dealing with. But she had expected pointed jibes over state dinners and cocktail parties, not brawling in the streets. This was embarrassing for everyone. She passed Mikelos her overnight bag and waded into the fray….

Head over to Kincade’s blog to see the rest and make sure to check out his fiction while you’re there. I hope you’ve enjoyed taking this journey with me!

Steel Blood is available in hardcopy and ebook formats at the following online retailers:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Raw Dog Screaming Press


Seriously, it’s the end of the tour. What are you still doing here? I have cats to snuggle and writing to get back to.

Oh, you want more?

Check back here on August 21st (or better yet, subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss anything) for a fun contest announcement! You’ll have a chance to win a hardcopy or ebook of your choice from the Steel Empires series!