Friday, November 30, 2018

COVER REVEAL: Wolf Smoke by Poe Casavant

They were chosen to save their country. First, they'll have to save themselves. 

Following a decade of nuclear war, the population has plummeted, forcing the world to find a civilian-saving alternative. They settle on the Langyan Series, where, in order to decide international disputes, twelve-person teams from each country will compete in paintball battles inside a specially designed arena.

Sarah Charlton—a depressed, destructive, and anxiety-ridden college dropout—is the last person anyone expects to lead the USA team. Cut off from the outside world, she and her eleven teammates, including an old friend and an old flame, must rely on one another for safety and support. To prove her worth as a leader, Sarah first has to learn to trust in herself.

But then the Series turns deadly, and as the team fights to stay alive, Sarah fights to hold onto her humanity.

A thrilling science-fiction story by Poe Casavant

Cover art by l0cke

February 26, 2019 from Sky Forest Press

Add it to your Goodreads today

About the Author: Poe Casavant is the author of the first book in the Langyan Series and its upcoming sequels. By day, she designs robotic props and hairpieces for the fashion world. When not working, you can find her crashing through waves in her sea kayak, jumping out of airplanes, or training for her current goal of climbing the highest peak on every continent. (Five down, three to go!) Poe’s passion is creating high-octane stories with characters who shatter traditional stereotypes.

Poe lives in sunny Silicon Valley with her husband, cat, and two parrots.

Find Poe on Twitter and her website.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

NEWS: The Stroke of Thirteen Is Now on Audiobook

I'm excited to announce that my contemporary fantasy novel, The Stroke of Thirteen, is now on audiobook. 

It's narrated by Kristin Price and available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.

If you're not yet an Audible member, you can use this personalized link to buy it and help me earn a little bit extra.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Writing Update, NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is one of my favorite times of the year. That's partly because it's fall, and I love the excuse to wear soft sweatshirts and drink steaming cups of tea while I write. And partly because it's a challenge. In a small way (a very small way!), I miss the deadlines of grad school, and NaNo is kind of a supersized deadline.

As much as I love it, this year, I won't be participating--at least not in the traditional sense. Instead of 50,000 words, my personal goal is to finish the current draft of book two of my epic fantasy trilogy. To get into the spirit of NaNo, though, I made myself a revision calendar. This is the rough draft. It's very messy.

I'll probably still be logging a few words on the NaNo website, so if you want to friend me, feel free. I could always use more writing buddies! My name there is pancakes16.

If, like me, you enjoy instrumental music while you write and are looking for something new, I made a writing playlist on Spotify.

Happy NaNoing!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Love Like This, Melissa Brayden


Love Like This is the fourth and final installment in Melissa Brayden's Seven Shores series and the third in the series I've read (Sorry, Autumn. I have your book; just haven't gotten to it yet!). The series follows the same group of four friends who all live in the same apartment complex and feature heavily in each other's stories, and Love Like This follows Hadley, the group's resident ray of sunshine. It's fitting that Brayden chose Hadley's story to finish out the series.

After watching her friends Isabel, Autumn, and Gia all find their person and fall in love, it's finally Hadley's turn. As the assistant manager of a clothing store on Rodeo Drive, she's charged with finding a new designer to bring in more interest and clientele. Enter Spencer Adair, a pragmatic designer who doesn't believe in happily ever afters, only happily for nows. The only problem is that Hadley isn't sure she can settle for anything less than forever.

Friday, October 12, 2018

FANTASY FRIDAY: The Pathfinder Universe

I've realized Friday isn't the best day for me to do these because I'm always busy all day, but I love alliteration more than I love being logical, I guess! I'll continue these installments even if I write them a bit irregularly.

On this week's Fantasy Friday, I'm discussing the Pathfinder universe. It's a fantasy role-playing game, much like Dungeons and Dragons, but I don't actually play it! I'd love to rectify that in the future. Right now, though, I don't have much free time to delve into it. And because I didn't play it, I always stayed away from that part of the sci-fi/fantasy section in the bookstore.

I was missing out! Before one of my besties moved to England, she and I would spend lots of time browsing the local B&N. The last time we went together, I stumped one of the booksellers. My friend wanted sci-fi about AI, and his first suggestion was successful. Then I asked for epic or high fantasy with prominent female characters, and he had to try four different suggestions and leave and come back in order to get me to Pathfinder. Out of the series shelf, he pulled out a few titles and explained what they were about. I walked out with three Pathfinder books that day.

The first I read was Gears of Faith by Gabrielle Harbowy. It followa Keren, a knight of Iomedae, and her girlfriend, Zae, a gnome cleric of the clockwork god. When they move to the city of Absalom, they both face challenges in adapting to their new lives while searching for a stolen bloodstone. Even though I'd never read anything in the Pathfinder universe, I never felt lost. Harbowy explained enough to keep me knowledgeable but not so much that I lost interest.

I read it in a few days because it turned out to be exactly what I wanted to read. I loved that there were two female protagonists who were very different but relied on each other for strength and comfort. It was great to see fantasy with LGBT+ representation--and in more than one way. Most of all, in this age of gritty, grimdark sprawling series, I enjoyed the chance to read a standalone fantasy that had nice, moral characters at its heart. I'm so, so tired of fantasy books that focus on characters betraying each other in the name of ambition.

So, yeah, the recommendation of Gears of Faith was a resounding success. I've started reading another book in the series, Hellknight by Liane Merciel. This one is taking me longer not because I don't like it but because I'm a slow reader who reads too many books at once. It's about Jheraal, a Hellknight, one of a brutal organization of warriors dedicated to maintaining law and order at any cost. She teams up with a knight named Ederras to stop a serial killer who targets children. Although I'm only 1/4 of the way in, I'm looking forward to reading more this weekend and, once I've finished, diving into other Pathfinder adventures.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Proxima Five, Missouri Vaun


I requested this book on NetGalley because I really like sci-fi and, honestly, it reminded me a bit of the premise for The 100 (which I think has wasted a lot of its potential). This was my first Vaun book, and I'd probably read more in the future.

The premise is that Leah crash-lands on a planet called Proxima B after decades in cryogenic suspension. Her ship was one of ten, and it's the planet they were aiming for. Unfortunately, none of the rest of her crew survived and Proxima B isn't quite as uninhabited as she'd expected. Keegan, a military commander, finds Leah out in the desert and rescues her by taking her back to Hadyn City, where they get caught up in political struggles as well as their growing feelings for one another.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Gnarled Hollow, Charlotte Greene

 ★★ 1/2

English professor Dr. Emily Murray recently lost her position due to university cutbacks. Depressed, she accepts a timely job offer to live in New England for the summer at a house called Gnarled Hollow, which was the home of the reclusive writer Margot Lewis, one of Emily's subjects of research. She shares the house with Jim, another English professor; Mark, an architect; June, an art historian; and Chris, a landscape historian (or something like that). But they soon realize not all is as it seems.

Unfortunately, I thought I would like this a lot more than I actually did. I'd seen good buzz and was excited for a creepy ghost story. I think my underwhelmed reaction comes down to not really connecting with the writing style and not getting a good sense of the characters. I found the writing to be relatively simple and unexciting.