Short Story: Around the old Hawthorn Tree

Addison found the box one Sunday afternoon when her mom asked her to clean out the closet in the guest bedroom. It was a dusty old cardboard thing, and inside, she found a few notebooks with her late grandma’s name on the front and a beautiful silver necklace with a jeweled rose pendant.

“Look what I found,” she said, bringing the box to her mom.

Her mom turned from her computer, and her eyes widened. “I remember that. I kept it just in case…”

“In case what?”

“Nothing.”

Addison pestered (She was good at pestering) until her mom heaved a sigh and sat her down for a Serious Talk.

“I guess you’re old enough now to know that your grandma… She just disappeared one day. I always hoped she’d come back, but… We never found out what happened.” Continue reading Short Story: Around the old Hawthorn Tree

What to read if you liked The Ghost Machine

Paperback and hardcover editions of The Ghost Machine have popped up on Amazon, which is super exciting. Clockmaker hasn’t been re-released yet, though, so what should you read while you’re waiting for another gothic steampunk novel?

Here are a few similar books I’ve enjoyed that you might like, too. Continue reading What to read if you liked The Ghost Machine

Older Characters in Superhero Media

Readers of The White Knight & Black Valentine Series sometimes ask me why I chose to make my heroes “older.” The superhero genre doesn’t have an age limit: it includes heroes from children to seniors. Just look at the Power Pack or the Justice Society of America. Like most media, though, I’d say it skews young, and the genre has its roots in teen heroes and superpowers as a metaphor for puberty.

With the explosion of live-action superhero films and television starring actors who are human rather than ink on page and therefore age, we’re seeing a few more characters on the older half of the spectrum. Except when CGI makes them look younger. Oh, and those aging actors are rarely women.

But we’re all growing older (unless you’re reading this from a Lazarus Pit), so let’s take a look at those awesome elders of superhero media who don’t let age stop them from saving (or destroying) the world. Continue reading Older Characters in Superhero Media

Turn Back the Pages: Gotham Academy

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 love gothic mysteries. I love Batman. I really should have read Gotham Academy sooner.

This book is full of gothic tropes. Gotham Academy is old, mysterious, and has a dark history. One building is even boarded up and abandoned for secret reasons. The girls’ dorm is possibly haunted. A group dressed in cloaks and masks conducts arcane rituals on campus in the dead of night. There’s even a vampire! (Okay, so he’s a bat-mutant made by science, but he looks super vampiry.) It’s seriously the best. Continue reading Turn Back the Pages: Gotham Academy

New Superhero Fiction (October 2018)

Halloween is over, and though October is a month for spooky horror reads, there were plenty of good superhero novels and novellas released last month. Here are a few that caught my eye. As usual, I haven’t read all of these books personally, so please read the reviews and samples before purchasing. And if you have any recommendations, let me know!

Spectra: A Cynical Superhero

by Amy Sumida

Spectra Cover

They think she’s a superhero. She thinks they’re delusional.

Amara Madison has strange abilities. She can manipulate colors; use them to create illusions, alter auras, and affect the human body in both helpful and harmful ways. She’s not alone either. Amara lives in a secret community of supernaturals in Washington DC. Some of her kind try to help humans. They call themselves superheroes instead of supernaturals. Amara thinks that’s just super-ridiculous. Continue reading New Superhero Fiction (October 2018)

4 Haunting Halloween Reads (that even a wimp like me can’t put down)

I’m a total wimp when it comes to horror. My imagination is so overactive that just watching the preview for a scary movie or reading a recap can freak me out. So when I do read something spooky, it’s because I’ve been sucked in by the amazing atmosphere, characters, or premise.

Like Crimson Peak. It’s terrifying, but I couldn’t resist that gorgeous gothic atmosphere.

Crimson Peak Gif

Here are some books that are undeniably scary yet so good I couldn’t put them down and hide. If you’re looking for an atmospheric Halloween read, look no further. Just don’t blame me for any nightmares. Continue reading 4 Haunting Halloween Reads (that even a wimp like me can’t put down)

Book Recommendation: Rebellion’s Song by J.E. Brand

The battle is over. The heroes lower their weapons as the crowd cheers. The evil overlord has been defeated, and the hero’s people are free.

…what now?

That’s the question asked in Rebellion’s Song by J.E. Brand. Earlier this year, I posted about how much I love The Freedom Game, my sister’s first book. Now, the sequel is out, and I have to gush about how great it is, too.

Rebellion's Song Cover

The rebellion is over. The real fight has just begun… Continue reading Book Recommendation: Rebellion’s Song by J.E. Brand