My Creations

Thursday, July 27, 2017

There are less than two weeks left to pre-order Earth Reclaimed. This book is one I am writing about topics I am passionate about -- earth, nature, magic and the idea of being non-binary / genderqueer. Earth Reclaimed is an #ownvoices novel that expresses my love for nature and my gender identity! Please help me make it a reality by pre-ordering it!

Monday, July 24, 2017

How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin' DaysHow I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin' Days by Megan O'Russell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you enjoyed Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon, you will probably enjoy How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin' Days as they both feature a snarky, sort of whiny, self aware narrator who wants to be like Deadpool but isn’t quite as cool.

At the beginning, I was not a fan of this book, or Bryant, its narrator/main character. My first impression was that he was a racist dick because made a comment about “old black ladies” watching out for him. That opening chapter really made me think the book drew unnecessary attention to race, and made me want to punch Bryant in the face.

But Bryant grew on me. He made me laugh. I loved the idea of the magic cell phone, and the world was well built. That first chapter was really the only one that had a racist vibe. There were some lines that were a bit too corny, even for this character, but in the end, the plot and the world drew me in. Bryant did grow and change throughout book, and he learned something in the end, which is more than I can say for the leads in Valerian.

Speaking of the end, it wrapped up the main storyline, but left plenty room for a sequel, which I would probably read. However, I never read the second book in the Chronicles of Nick, so maybe I will be content to leave Bryant with one book. Books, like all arts, are subjective, and Bryant’s voice just wasn’t one I connected with. That doesn’t mean it was bad -- just not my cup of tea.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Book Review: The Dying Game

The Dying GameThe Dying Game by Asa Åvdic
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This one is going to be hard to review without spoilers, but I’ll do the best I can.

I received an ARC of The Dying Game through the First to Read program. I initially chose it because I thought it might eventually be a good comp for one of my novels. It was thriller set in the near future and it had a female protagonist trying to get over something bad. That part of the concept seemed neat. The whole set up with people disappearing from a secluded house filled with secret passages was cliche.

Overall, the book wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. I get part of the thriller genre is to keep people guessing, but some of the details the author choose to leave out were downright distracting. For example, I never quite figured out the main character actually did at her job. I was constantly thinking about this instead of the story, and as a result, found myself constantly getting pulled out of the story. While the author skimped on details that seemed important, there were large swaths of back story that was just told, and more info dumps than I could count.

I kept thinking that all this was going to be relevant when I got to the end. Some of it was -- but the end would have been far more surprising had the backstory been woven through in a more subtle way. Because of the info dumps and long, told, segments of flashbacks, the end was pretty much exactly what I was expecting, though, I admit, there were a few times in the middle where I thought I was wrong, and found myself hoping in vain for a more optimistic ending.

I also felt most of the characters were unnessarily sexist and binary. After reading two books with intersex and genderfluid leads, this felt like a slap in the face. I can see a female writer making the men seem a bit misogynistic to make a point, but there could have been at least one female character who wasn’t a stereotype of one kind or another…

Despite the many flaws of the The Dying Game, I did keep reading until the end, even though I considered giving up a couple times. The prose were pretty -- there was good literary scenary that made it a little less painful. I also wanted to know if I was right about where the plot was going, and really hate to leave a novel unfinished (House of Leaves is still siting on my book case, mocking me. It doesn’t need a friend.) So I kept reading, and got to the ending I really wished I had been wrong about.

I my head, this book is 2.5 stars, but Goodreads and Amazon don’t give that option, so I’m rounding up when I review on those sites.


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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cracked Flash Fiction Competition: Cracked Flash Y2W47: Results!

Cracked Flash Fiction Competition: Cracked Flash Y2W47: Results!: I had so much fun reading this week’s entries. I enjoyed the different takes on the prompt and had a hard time figuring out who the winners...

Monday, July 17, 2017

DalíDalí by E.M. Hamill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I received a free, electronic copy of Dalí from NineStar Press in exchange for an honest review.

I admit, I haven’t read much space opera, if any, since Karen Traviss stopped writing for the Star Wars franchise. I stuck to fantasy, and to science fiction that did not involve space travel because nothing quite compared to the Star Wars universe and the 40+ books I had read in it.

Dalí restored my faith in that particular sub-genre. The world building was exquisite, and done so smoothly that it did not distract from character development and plot. There was just enough description to help me picture the world, but it was concise and didn’t slow the story down. But most importantly, the characters were alive, diverse, fluid, and complex.

I am envious of Dalí’s ability to change gender to suit the their mood or the situation but remain neutral when they is just being theirself. I have a soft spot for characters that do not conform to the binary gender, and for characters that bounce back from trauma.

All that I mentioned above combined with the fascinating galaxy and the well woven Princess Bride references made this book a definite five stars.

There is so much more explore with this galaxy and its characters. I really hope this becomes a series!


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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Trans Liberty Riot Brigade (Brigade, #1)Trans Liberty Riot Brigade by L.M. Pierce
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The title and cover of “Trans Liberty Riot Brigade” told me the book was going to be something special. The teaser on the back was further evidence supporting that theory. The novel did not disappoint. Once I started reading, I had to finish in one sitting.

At first, the slang made it hard for to engage with the character. I had to stop and figure out what some of the words meant. They were familiar enough, that between context, and remembering how my friends from high school used to talk, I could figure them out. They were foreign enough to feel like they were part of a true future. Once I got through the first few chapters and learned their rhythm, I flew through the book.

The truth that potential future holds is the most terrifying part of the book. The dark, gritty, dystopian landscape portrayed seems all to possible in today’s political climate. There was just enough truth to make it seem plausible.

The world building was good - but the main character was amazing. I always find myself complaining that the characters in some of my favorite books are too binary, but this one featured two who truly transcended the binary idea gender.

I can forgive the occasional moments of preachy-ness, and the work I had to do to learn the language of the book. The plot kept me on the edge of my seat. I could really engage with the characters, and I believed the world.

If I had to compare it other books, I say it’s a mix of Christina Henry’s Alice, Veronica Roth’s Divergent, and George Orwell’s 1984.

Read it!

Note: I received a free ARC of this in exchange for an honest review.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

I'm starting a new adventure in the publishing world and have launched a pre-order campaign on Publishizer.

This sites gives readers and writers more control over the books. If writers choose to self-publish, they can use the funds raised from pre-orders to pay for editing, marketing and design so they can successfully launch their book. However, writers can also get offers from traditional publishers if enough readers express interest. 

I'm trying it for a YA science fantasy novel called Earth Reclaimed, where 17-year-old Serena, reluctant magician, must convince people to live in harmony with the Earth. 

 Pre-order on:


https://publishizer.com/earth-reclaimed/

And be sure to check out the bonuses! They include signed copies, seaglass jewelry, and feedback on your writing!