How I Outline a Novel

Warning: this post contains spoilers for The Cruelest Curse, the third book in my Dark and Otherworldly urban fantasy series. If you haven’t read it yet, skip this post and come back later.

Plotters versus Pantsers. It’s the eternal writer debate. Like Kirk versus Picard or Batman versus Superman. The question is this:

Is it better to plot out a novel before writing or discover the story as you go?

I’m definitely a plotter. If I don’t outline a novel before I start, I get stuck and don’t finish. (Looking at you, NaNoWriMos of the past.) But my outlines aren’t set in stone, and as I learn more about the characters and story while writing, I tend to take some detours.

Continue reading How I Outline a Novel

End of Autumn Recap Tag

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I’m officially transitioning from autumn to Christmas-mode. Goodbye pumpkins and autumn leaves, hello snowflakes and icicles.

At least in my head. I live in Florida, so it’s more like goodbye hot weather, hello slightly cooler weather, but I’ve got a snowy winter wonderland in my heart.

I found the End of Autumn Recap Tag at Fortunately, The Book. It’s originally from You Are What You Read and was made in 2019, but I’m usually late jumping on trends, so I’m not going to let that stop me.

Which book can you not stop thinking about?

Harrow the Ninth Cover

Harrow the Ninth turned my brain into mush. Who was the Body? What are all the side characters from the last book doing? What’s going to happen to Gideon? To Harrow? What is going on????

I have questions, and I really hope Alecto the Ninth gives me answers.

Continue reading End of Autumn Recap Tag

Read the first chapter of The Cruelest Curse

The Cruelest Curse hits shelves on November 30th! This is the conclusion to the Dark and Otherworldly series (Start at the beginning with Poison and Honey if you haven’t already), and the story is ending with a bang. Expect tons of sword fights, at least one steamy scene, and one very cruel curse as the title promises.

Want a preview? Check out the first chapter below.

The Cruelest Curse Cover

Chapter 1

Dredarion nearly stepped on the first dead sprite. She lay atop fallen leaves, body no taller than his finger, her delicate arms and legs limp. She’d lost her glow, and one of her butterfly-like wings was bent. She must have choked on the smoke and fallen.

They came across more of them, tiny corpses strewn across grass and tree roots, their colorful wings waving in the breeze and giving the illusion of life. Dredarion and the others stepped carefully. The smoke grew stronger the farther through the forest they trekked. It conspired with the leaves overhead to blot out the sun, so thick between the trees that it obscured everything more than ten feet away. His eyes stung, but that was nothing compared to the cold lump of dread that had settled in his gut. When he coughed, the sound seemed to carry through the entire forest.

Salvador raised a hand for them to stop, and both Dredarion and Leigh obeyed. Dredarion scanned the trees for a threat, but it seemed Salvador was just being cautious. They must nearly be upon the village—or what was left of it, judging by the ash floating in the air.

Continue reading Read the first chapter of The Cruelest Curse

Get FREE Dark and Otherworldly Virtual Swag

As I’m writing this, I’ve got the final edits for The Cruelest Curse back from my proofreader and will be finalizing the manuscript for upload soon. This is a big deal, since it means the trilogy is coming to an end (at least for now) and I want to celebrate. So as a thank-you to all the readers who made the series possible, here’s some virtual swag!

Right click and save to download, and feel free to use them wherever you want.

Phone backgrounds

Here’s the title drop from Poison and Honey.

Phone background for the urban fantasy novel Poison and Honey. Quote says "His lips were like poison and honey; she knew he'd destroy her, but she couldn't resist the sweet taste."
Continue reading Get FREE Dark and Otherworldly Virtual Swag

Scaredy Cat Bingo and Upcoming Halloween Serial Announcement

There’s an angel and a devil on my shoulders. The angel is telling me to wait until October 1st to start Halloween season like a rational person. The devil wants all the pumpkins, spookiness, and candy NOW.

So I’m starting a little early. Just a smidge. No big deal, right?

Evil laughing gif
Right.

First off, I’m participating in Scaredy Cat Bingo, which is hosted by Cats Luv Coffee Book Reviews. It’s a reading challenge full of Halloween-themed categories, and the only catch is that you have to finish all the books in September and October for them to count. Continue reading Scaredy Cat Bingo and Upcoming Halloween Serial Announcement

5 Ways You’d Probably Die in an Urban Fantasy Novel (And how to Survive Them)

“If you could live in any fictional world, what would it be?”

Does that question give anyone else anxiety? Like sure, it would be nice to visit Middle Earth, but I don’t want to get murdered by bands of roving orcs. The Star Wars universe? Noooo, thank you. Did you see that new Death Star? It can blow up multiple planets at once. And don’t even get me started on the dangers of living in a superhero universe.

At first glance, an urban fantasy world might seem like a much better option to call home than an epic fantasy one. You can have modern conveniences like the internet and indoor plumbing while also enjoying the wonders of magic. But personally, I feel like the modern world is dangerous enough without throwing in supernatural threats. I love reading urban fantasy, but if I lived in the world of one of those novels… I would die. I would die so hard.

You probably would too. Let’s talk about how! Continue reading 5 Ways You’d Probably Die in an Urban Fantasy Novel (And how to Survive Them)

Book Spotlight: The Persistence of Memory by Karen Janowsky

It’s no secret around here that I love superhero romance novels, so I was happy when author Karen Janowsky reached out to me about her series, The Persistence of Memory. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m definitely intrigued by the description. It gives me a Captain America vibe, which I am 100% here for.

This post contains affiliate links.

The Persistence of Memory CoverBook Description

When superheroes fall in love, anything can happen. Continue reading Book Spotlight: The Persistence of Memory by Karen Janowsky

Bookish Travel Guide: Hero Status

We’re going into Week Three of social distancing, and I hope everybody who’s reading this is staying safe. I want to send my thanks to the nurses, doctors, grocery store workers, delivery drivers, and everybody else going out there to help others. I also want to send my thoughts to everyone who’s been affected by the virus.

If you, like me, have been hunkered down in your house for the past weeks, you’re probably getting tired of staring at the same old place everyday. That’s why I’m starting Bookish Travel Guide.

The goal is to take you on a fictional vacation to a destination from a book. I’ll be using my own novels, but I encourage book bloggers to post about their favorite bookish escapes and other authors to spotlight the settings of their works–whether published or still in progress. Feel free to use the graphic at the top of this page, and if you use the hashtag #BookishTravelGuide, I’ll do my best retweet and share! Continue reading Bookish Travel Guide: Hero Status

The Netflix Book Tag

I came across The Netflix Book Tag on Blair Leftly’s Feed the Crime, which is a great book review blog for those of you who like mysteries, thrillers, and crime fiction. The tag was created by A Darker Shade of Whitney, and it just seems like a good chance to talk about books, so I’m jumping on the bandwagon.

Recently Watched: The Last Book You Finished

 

Borderline Cover

I’ve been reading a lot of urban fantasy books about the fae recently, including Borderline, Exile, Court of Shadows, and Hot Lead, Cold Iron.

Continue reading The Netflix Book Tag

Autumn Tag – Are you Ready for Sweater Weather?

It still feels like summer here in Florida, but I adore autumn. So when I came across the Autumn Tag over at Perfectly Tolerable, I knew I had to jump on that bandwagon, even if I’m a bit late.

Rules: Answer the questions, link back to the creator, and tag other people.

Autumn Hot Chocolate Tag1. Hot Chocolate – what is your comfort book?

When I’ve had a bad day and find myself in need of a comfort read, I usually turn to fanfiction instead of books. I don’t know what it is about some fics that’s so soothing and comforting–exactly like a cup of hot chocolate. I love crossovers especially, and nothing’s better than an epically long story that’s actually completed. And boy, oh boy, have I read a lot of Harry Potter fanfiction in my time. Continue reading Autumn Tag – Are you Ready for Sweater Weather?