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

11 Indie Book Covers that are Knocking it out of the Park

Book covers are works of art. They’re also marketing tools. Being in complete control of your book cover can be a huge advantage of self-publishing. It’s also harder than you’d think.

We authors (and by “we” I mostly mean “me” 😅) aren’t always savvy marketers, and designing a book cover that sells in a particular genre is a completely different skill from writing said book. And the cover of an author’s dreams isn’t always within one’s budget. With that in mind, I love it when authors overcome these challenges and get that perfect eye-catching cover that makes me drool over their book.

Here are 10 covers by self-published authors and author-run small presses that knock my socks off. Some I’ve read, and some I haven’t yet, but you can bet the covers played a big role in putting them on my to-read list.

*This post contains affiliate links.

No Man Can Tame by Miranda Honfleur

No Man Can Tame Cover

This is one of the books on this list that I’ve read, and I’m happy to report that the story lives up to that gorgeous cover. I like so many things about it from the clothing to the flowers and moon in the background. It sort of depicts the first meeting of these two characters but also seems pretty symbolic. Overall, it’s just a beautiful cover for a beautiful story. Continue reading 11 Indie Book Covers that are Knocking it out of the Park

Fae Friday

I’ve been meaning to hop on the #FaeFriday tag for a while. Hosted by Caffeinated Fae, it’s got bookish prompts inspired by fairies every Friday. This week’s prompt is:

Did you know that in certain lore, a fairy is born from the first laugh of a child? That is why this curious wannabe fae wants to know: What is a book that made you genuinely laugh?

This prompt spoke to me, because I think we could all use a good laugh right now. Things are…pretty depressing at the moment. This isn’t a current events post, but I also don’t feel right updating this week without acknowledging what’s happening, so I’m going to link to the statement on the Black Lives Matter website, which is full of resources and ways to help.

Now, my pick for a book that made me laugh is:

Going Postal CoverBlurb

Convicted con man and forger Moist von Lipwig is given a choice: Face the hangman’s noose, or get Ankh Morpork’s ancient Post Office up and running efficiently!

It was a tough decision . . . Continue reading Fae Friday

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)

Urban Fantasy Short Story: Strange Hunt (Part 2 of 2)

Find the Others…before they find you.

Looking for an urban fantasy short story with lots of action and a bit of creepiness? Finished reading Poison and Honey and want more of the characters and world? You’ll probably enjoy Strange Hunt.

Just make sure you read Part 1 first, or else you’ll probably be pretty lost.

Strange Hunt CoverSal’s magic compass took them down a back road, bringing them to a dilapidated house. Woods covered most of the large property, and a sign at the end of the dirt driveway warned about trespassing and how the building was condemned. It was legible thanks to a nearby streetlamp, but as they crept down the driveway, the trees blocked the light, and the thin sliver of moon shrouded in clouds overhead was no help.

Leigh couldn’t see exactly how rundown the house was, but she was glad it was abandoned. If a family had still lived there, the Others would have taken them all. Continue reading Urban Fantasy Short Story: Strange Hunt (Part 2 of 2)

Urban Fantasy Short Story: Strange Hunt (Part 1 of 2)

Did you finish reading Poison and Honey already? You may have noticed the afterward where I promised a free prequel short story on my website.

Strange Hunt is a look at how Leigh and her team fought the Others before going to Otherworld. It’ll give you a bit more insight into the world and characters of the series–plus a fun story about friendship and monster-hunting. Read and enjoy!

Strange Hunt Cover

The cue ball struck the five-ball with a crack, sending it rolling into the corner pocket. Leigh Morgan straightened up, pushing back her long hair. Not a bad shot, considering she was only half paying attention to the game.

“Nice.” Garrett strolled around the pool table, surveying his options. “Too bad I’m about to win. You want to play darts next? You’re good at that, right?”

“No.”

He looked up from the table, his face scrunching. “But you have a dart board in your apartment. I’ve seen it.”

“That’s not for darts.”

His head tilted.

“It’s for knives,” she said. “Why would I practice throwing darts? They’re not gonna hurt the Others.” Continue reading Urban Fantasy Short Story: Strange Hunt (Part 1 of 2)

Read the First Chapter of Poison and Honey

Do you like urban fantasy? How about tough, determined heroines? Cunning, villainous princes? If you answered yes, then have I got the ebook for you.

If you want a sneak peek of Poison and Honey, check out the entire first chapter below.

Poison and Honey Cover

Chapter 1

Leigh Morgan was having a nightmare about the horse-headed man when someone shook her awake. Her eyelids shot open, and every muscle in her body tensed. Where was she? Where was the closest weapon?

Awareness followed a second after consciousness. Kitchens. Dozed off. No danger. Well, no serious danger anyway. Mistress Yibba’s plump face filled her vision, the disapproving line of her mouth like a cut in a lump of dough. She slapped Leigh for nodding off, which Leigh took without comment. Thank God Mistress Yibba had woken her up first. If she’d slapped Leigh while she’d been sleeping, Leigh might have struck back before she could stop herself, and that would have been a disaster.

“Lady Kalivildra rang for tea,” Mistress Yibba said. “Bring it to her room. Quickly.”

Her tone would have been threatening if Mistress Yibba were… well, threatening. But she was just bluster and sloppy slaps. Pretending to be contrite, Leigh took the tea tray from Mistress Yibba’s hands, bowed, and left the drowse-inducing heat of the kitchens for the cool palace halls.

It was late at night—early morning really—but the evening’s revelries were still winding down. Music drifted through the corridors, an enchanting nocturne that enticed the listener to search for its source. An open door to one of the gardens revealed a woman in a luminous ball gown, dancing with several naked, green-skinned men. Moans came from a secluded corner where two half-dressed, inhuman bodies were entwined. A drunken man stumbled to bed, the feathers of his wings ruffled and his ornamental mask askew. Leigh walked past it all, more bored than anything.

Until someone grabbed her arm and pulled her into a shadowed alcove. Continue reading Read the First Chapter of Poison and Honey

New Superhero Fiction (May and Jun 2020)

The year 2020 is halfway over. Or we still have halfway to go, depending on if you’re an optimist or a pessimist. I try to be an optimist, and while 2020 has been a dumpster fire in a lot of ways, I like to think that we can come out of this adversity as better people–and that superheroes can be an inspiration.

The superheroes we love can’t stand by and watch injustice. They’re driven to right wrongs and help people in need. While most of us aren’t faster than a speeding bullet and can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound, there’s plenty of things we can do. We can protest, donate, and petition for racial justice. We can believe survivors and hold abusers accountable. We can demand better protections for the LGBT community. We can listen, learn, and speak up for people who need help.

And we can do it all while wearing actual superhero masks that literally save the lives of our families, friends, and neighbors.

So whether you’re looking for inspiration or escapism, here’s a roundup of some recent superhero fiction releases that caught my eye. As usual, I haven’t read all of them personally, so please check the samples and reviews before purchasing. Stay safe out there, and happy reading! Continue reading New Superhero Fiction (May and Jun 2020)

Ladies in Leather Jackets: An Urban Fantasy Book Cover Appreciation Post

Before I commissioned the cover for Poison and Honey, I did some serious market research–which is a term that in this case means “looking at pretty book covers on Pinterest and online bookstores for hours.” Oh, woe is me. The life of an author is so hard.

Anyway, as I studied genre trends and the characteristics of covers that sell well (reeeeeally hoping my book sells well), I came across all these gorgeous cover that I want to share with you.

I don’t judge a book by its cover, but a beautiful cover will absolutely make me more likely to check out the description and first few pages, which then makes me more likely to buy the book.

And I just like looking at awesome fantasy art. 🤷

*This post contains affiliate links.

Cover Fae CoverLeather jacket? Check. Sword? Check. Intense glare? Huge check. This cover is a MOOD. That haunting blue cathedral is a nice background, and the title font looks great. Continue reading Ladies in Leather Jackets: An Urban Fantasy Book Cover Appreciation Post

More About Poison and Honey

We’re about a month away from the release of Poison and Honey, and I’m getting really excited! Some positive early reviews are coming in, and if you have a Goodreads account, you can now add the book to your to-read list.

A refresher on what it’s all about:

Poison and Honey Cover

Leigh Morgan has known that magic existed ever since an unearthly monster abducted her sister. It’s why she’s in Otherworld now, posing as a servant in its dark, decadent palace. She’s gathering intelligence and working with a small band of allies to bring down the Others and free their human captives. Her mission depends on blending in, so the last thing she wants is to attract the attention of a cunning prince.

Dredarion Rath wants one thing: to disgrace his older brother and prove himself the worthier heir to the throne. And out of all the servants in the palace, he chooses Leigh to help him. Just her luck.

Now Leigh has to keep her work a secret from a bewitching man who sees right through her–and who’s not nearly as cold and inhuman as he seems. She can’t screw this up, or the humans forced into servitude will never go home. But juggling two conspiracies at once, it’s only a matter of time before it all comes crashing down, and the man she’s falling for has her executed for her betrayal…

I’ve daydreamed about the book, plotted the book, written the book, rewritten the book, and procrastinated on the book by making pretty aesthetics and book quote art.

Speaking of which… Continue reading More About Poison and Honey