Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Dear Elphie

An image of a fawn-colored greyhound on a paved park trail

Dear Elphie,

We brought you home in September of 2014, and even though there were some growing pains (you were nervous, and--let's be real--house-training took a long time!), it was one of the best decisions of my life. Soon enough, we were pretty inseparable. Walks in the park and around the neighborhood, watching TV while lounging (or cockroaching) on the big red couch in the family room, you sleeping in between my legs on my tiny twin bed. And I loved every moment we spent together.

Your presence did wonders for my mental health. You got me out on a walk every day. You made me laugh when I'd get home and you'd zoom around the room, bouncing on the couch. You were always ready for snuggles. When life got me down, you always brought me back up. I'll never forget that.

A few years ago, we tried Ohio for a little bit, but you missed Mom and Dad. I didn't blame you because you were always a social dog, always wanting people to pet you and talk to you and love you up. I do regret not being closer for almost three years, but I hope you knew you were the reason I came to visit so often. I'm glad you stayed with them so you could be around them almost all day every day and that you got to see so many of your friends on walks around the neighborhood. So many people loved you! I can't even count the number of times strangers called you "such a beautiful dog," and you sure did live for the attention. 

You lived for attention so much that sometimes when we stopped petting you, you'd paw us until we started again. Even when I moved to a queen bed, you made sure to be right up against me as we slept. If I moved away a bit, you'd move, too, until I was right on the edge and you and your long legs were taking up most of the mattress. 

Monday, May 1, 2023

Writing Update: Spring 2023


It's been a while since I gave a proper writing update! So, here it is. In case you missed it, I released an epic fantasy novella back in February called IN THE ARMS OF THE RESTLESS SEA. It's set in The Heartfriends universe, and it follows Nessa, Aurelia's childhood best friend, as she navigates life after the temple. Check out the synopsis:

Sometimes, only when we’re lost can we discover who we truly are.

When Nessa and her fellow priestesses are abducted from their temple by bounty hunters, Nessa is the only one to escape. Unable to return to the sole home she’s ever known, she is forced into the great wide world, where she will either forge her own path or leave her life up to chance. Along the way, she just might find a family, find herself, and find out what “home” truly means.

Add it to your to-read list on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Bookshop.

I also participated in an anthology that recently came out called TALES OF MONSTROSITY, which includes 19 stories of the monsters we think we know. Check it out today!

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

NEW RELEASE: In the Arms of the Restless Sea

It's here! In the Arms of the Restless Sea is now available on Kindle e-book and in paperback. Click the cover photo above to go to Amazon. 


The e-book will stay exclusive to Kindle for a while, but the paperback should be available at Barnes & Noble online and other online stores.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

NEWS: Upcoming Heartfriends Novella

I have news! After working starting this project a long time ago, taking a break, and finally picking it up again last fall, I've made a ton of progress on In the Arms of the Sea, a novella set in The Heartfriends universe and revolving around Aurelia's old friend Nessa. 

I've been working hard to put this out in the world soon, so you can expect it in the next month or so. I'll be releasing more information as I have it.

For now, check out below for a glimpse of what the cover will look like!

Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022 Favorites

As the year winds down, I'm reflecting on the pop culture I've consumed throughout the year. Below, you'll find my lists of the favorite TV shows, movies, music, and books I've enjoyed. Unsurprisingly, this is genre heavy! None of the lists are in any particular order.

TV Shows

1. Willow (Disney+)

20 years after vanquishing the wicked queen Bavmorda, the sorcerer Willow Ufgood leads a group of misfits on a dangerous rescue mission into the unknown.

2. The Letter for the King (Netflix)

Tiuri, a teenage squire, answers a call for help that sends him on a perilous mission across the three kingdoms to deliver a secret letter to the King.

3. Andor (Disney+)

Prequel series to Star Wars' 'Rogue One'. In an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue, Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a Rebel hero.

4. Rings of Power (Amazon Prime)

Epic drama set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth.

5. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)

Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi has to save young Leia after she is kidnapped, all the while being pursued by Imperial Inquisitors and his former Padawan, now known as Darth Vader.

Honorable mention: Motherland: Fort Salem. Couldn't leave this baby out, especially since this year's third season was the final season.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Epic Fantasy for Winter Viewing

I like winter for many reasons: snow (when I don't have to drive in it), time off to spend with family, those pine cones that smell like cinnamon, cozy blankets and sweaters, tea and cookies, beautiful decorations. I could go on and on. But one thing I especially love about winter is that I associate it with fantasy stories, whether epic or simply high or other-world fantasy. I'm not really sure why. I think it's because fantasy is my favorite genre and therefore it feels cozy to me, and winter is the season for coziness.

In that vein, here are some suggestions for epic fantasy movies and TV shows to watch this winter.

The Letter for the King
This TV show is from 2020 and is on Netflix. My friend Meredith recommended it to me ages ago, but I only just got to it and finished it. I'm glad I did! The series follows Tiuri, a teenage squire who's trying to follow in his adoptive father's footsteps. On the night he and his fellow squires are going through the trial to become knights, he breaks the silence by answering a knock at the chapel door. Answering the door leads him to a dying knight, who gives him a letter for the king across the mountains. By accepting the letter, he begins a journey that will have change both his world and himself.

Amir Wilson, who plays Tiuri, is absolutely endearing, and I loved watching his character grow. Thaddea Graham, Islam Bouakkaz, Jonah Lees, Jack Barton, and Nathanael Saleh play his fellow squires. All of them are interesting and have satisfying character arcs (although I disagreed with how one of their stories ended). Ruby Ashbourne Serkis has a standout role as Lavinia, a brash and hotheaded girl who joins Tiuri's quest mostly to run away. Their different personalities play off each other really well. 

There's lots to love here! The story feels very Arthurian inspired, and it's set in a world where chivalry matters. In epic fantasy fashion, there are multiple kingdoms, a war going on, and political aspects at play, which is why delivering the letter to the king is so vital. Each episode introduces new things about the world, which ultimately feels familiar in a comforting way.

I will say that I didn't find myself fully invested until the third episode, and it's only six episodes total. Once I was invested, though, I was really invested and finished the show in a couple days. Unfortunately, it's been two years since Netflix released this, and since Netflix likes to cancel things or let them languish instead of investing in them, it seems like this won't get a second season. However! It's based on a book series by Tonke Dragt, and I absolutely plan to check it out.