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

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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

Review: Night Shift (Midnight, Texas #3) by Charlaine Harris

night shiftI quickly sped through the finale of this trilogy once it arrived in the mail. However, this was mostly to get to the end of the story rather than through any great love for the world or the characters. On the one hand, I am very satisfied with how some story lines concluded, such as the explanation for the hotel renovation and the purpose of the Reeds in Midnight.

On the other, however, this series jumped from murder mysteries solved by the town’s supernatural residents to demon wackiness awfully quickly, and the jump in this final book was a bit jarring.  Continue reading

Review: While the Black Stars Burn by Lucy A. Snyder

While the Black Stars BurnIn the spirit of Halloween month, I was asked by a fellow blogger to participate in her round-up of monster discussions. In looking for a way to talk about Cthulu, when I have very limited experience in the horror genre in general and H.P. Lovecraft in particular, I remembered a book that’s been sitting on my “to be read” shelf for an embarrassingly long time.

I steeled myself with bright lights and espresso and dove out of my comfort zone! You can find my in-depth look at Lucy A. Snyder’s While the Black Stars Burn at MNBernard Books!  Continue reading