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

Flash Fiction: Marigold and Saffron

Marigold pushed the blankets off herself, careful not to make a sound. Slowly, she sat up in bed and put her bare feet on the rough wooden floor. Then she stood, wincing as the floorboard creaked under her weight. She froze, and her heart pounded as she waited to see if the sound had woken her stepsister sleeping in the bed next to hers.

Nothing. All Marigold heard was the hooting of an owl and the sound of the wind rustling the trees outside. Her stepsister, Saffron, hadn’t stirred.

Relaxing, Marigold dressed clumsily in the darkness and groped under her bed until she found the bag she’d packed earlier in the day. Food, water, matches, rope—she hoped she hadn’t forgotten anything, but she didn’t have the first clue what was needed to rescue a prince from an evil wizard. Probably, she’d fail no matter she brought.

But she had to try. She couldn’t forget him and move on, no matter what anyone else said.

She crept to the window and was about to climb out when she heard the squeak of a mattress. “What do you think you’re doing?” Continue reading Flash Fiction: Marigold and Saffron

Bookish Travel Guide: Poison and Honey

Want to take a vacation? How about a trip to an untamed wilderness that’s home to skittish sprites and ancient monsters? Visit a dark, decadent palace where lavish balls and hidden assassinations are weekly occurrences. Take a stroll by the misty seashore, and stay on the lookout for scaly creatures from the depths.

I’m planning to release my next book, Poison and Honey, this summer. It’s an urban fantasy, and most of the story is set in a faerie-like Otherworld, which I’d like to take you to today.

Don’t worry. You’ll probably make it back in one piece. Continue reading Bookish Travel Guide: Poison and Honey

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

Turn Back the Pages: Pretty Deadly

Turn Back the Pages is a feature where I spotlight a comic that is not fresh and new. It may have come out a few months ago or even a few years ago. Maybe it was hyped and popular, or maybe it was an underappreciated gem. Whatever the case, it’ll be a great comic that’s well worth a read.

I’ve yet to read a weird west story that I didn’t like. And I have to categorize Pretty Deadly as a “weird western,” because “fantasy western revenge horror neo-folktale” isn’t an accepted genre.

Pretty Deadly

So what is this comic about? Good question. There’s an old blind man named Fox and a young girl named Sissy who travel from town to town telling “The Ballad of Deathface Ginny.” Then Sissy gets a mysterious piece of paper that sends them running for their lives. Continue reading Turn Back the Pages: Pretty Deadly

5 Things I’m Excited About for The Witch’s March

One reason I love having a sister who’s an author is that we beta-read each other’s work. She catches my typos and gives me feedback about the overall story, and I do the same for her.

The hard part is that I end up finishing an awesome book and having no one to geek out with, because literally no one else has read it yet.

This is the case with The Witch’s March: The Occult Invasion, an urban fantasy set during WWI. Luckily, a chance for everyone else to read this book is coming. My sister is running a Kickstarter to fund the book launch, and I want to talk about why I’m excited about it.

Aerial Dogfights with Dragons

Yes, you read that right. This book has not one but two scenes with the characters fighting/desperately trying to escape a dragon while in WW1 fighter planes. Continue reading 5 Things I’m Excited About for The Witch’s March