Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My books are in print!

Hey Everyone,

I just thought that I would update you on the status of my novels. Both Blood Rain and Blood Moon are print to order on Amazon!  Hooray!  I have to admit that it's a nice feeling to be physically holding them. Even though I'm not opposed to e-books, I like the feeling of a book in my hand. Also, seeing my novels in print is kind of surreal.

Many thanks again to J.M. Lee for his awesome cover art. We tried to pick the right type of cover to do the pictures justice. At first we went with matte finish, but we ended up choosing glossy because the colors are more pronounced. We also did some work on the margins and we think we're pretty satisfied now. Many thanks also to my husband, Joel, for handling the format changes.

Long story short, both books are available print to order if you would prefer a print copy over an e-book. The e-books have also been updated to include any important changes. (Mostly, I fixed the grammatical issues that my editors found, and I added a few days here and there to travel times. This doesn't change the story, but it makes the world a bit more realistic and it satisfies my perfectionist tendencies.)

I probably won't make my goal of finishing book three by March 22nd, but we'll have to see. Progress is slow, but I feel like the story is going pretty well.  I'm going to take as much time as I need to make sure that the last book is as good as it can be.  I'll keep you updated on the status of Blood God as I write it. Currently, we're at 35,000 words. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy Blood Rain and Blood Moon on e-book or in print, whichever you prefer.  Thank you for your time and for reading my rambling. I hope you enjoy the novels!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Clockwork Angel of The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

As promised, here is my book review for Clockwork Angel in the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. (Sorry this took me so long. Better late than never. I'm currently reading the second novel of the series Clockwork Prince and will try to get the review of it finished in a more timely fashion.)

First of all, I'd like to say I really like the setting. I've always had a soft spot for steampunk, especially set in London. I'm also very impressed with the author's knowledge of Victorian literature and culture. Specifically, the author has a verse from a Victorian story or poem at the beginning of every chapter and it's clear that she knows the geography of London as though she lives there.

Another interesting thing about this series is the fact that it's an urban fantasy story. There are elements of gothic horror and mystery. I really like the combination of steampunk and gothic horror which is something I would like to explore in the future as well.  As with most young adult literature, there is a love story brewing throughout the book. I won't give any spoilers, but I will say that the love story itself is a strange one and it keeps you guessing..

The theme in this story is a secret organization of "shadowhunters" with angelic bloodlines hunting demons and keeping "mundanes" safe from the things that go bump in the night. While this theme has been done before, I think the author did a good job making the organization feel real with it's inner politics and the strange almost family-like dynamic created by the individuals within the institute.

The main character "Tessa" is a girl that has the power to use an object to transform into the owner of the object and view their memories. While she is a powerful female lead, there's a certain vulnerability to her that I find endearing. Her power makes her useful, but she is rescued by the other members of the institute frequently. While some might frown upon that sort of thing, I think it makes her transformation into a stronger character more important and being set in Victorian London (even though the character is from America) it makes more sense.

The only real criticism I have for this book is I really don't like changing perspectives. This might be a personal pet peeve of mine, but I've read other books that change perspective such as Stephen King's IT and it didn't bother me. Let me explain why I found it particularly irritating in this book.

I'm pretty sure Tessa is supposed to be the main character, but the book shifts between almost every member of the institute's point of view at least once. This means, that you look through another character's eyes at least seven times throughout the book and Tessa isn't in every scene. There are times that I wonder if Tessa is the main character or if Will and Jem are supposed to be the focus.I think Tessa is supposed to be the character the reader associates the most with, but with all the wavering back and forth it's hard to tell.

Also this shift usually happens during a cliffhanger scene when Tessa was in danger. When the character I care most about is in danger, I don't really care about Charlotte discussing institute politics with one of her contacts, I want to know what happened. It has a way of derailing the action and, about the time I get into the scene with the political discussion, I'm suddenly back to where I left off from the chapter before, or in a different scene entirely. It made the story feel disjointed and it kind of gave me spoilers about what the other characters were thinking.

Despite that one issue, this was a very good book. There is enough intrigue and mystery to keep you guessing at what the antagonist wants, though even at the end you don't really know. The ending seems to tie a few things up, but leaves other elements unsolved to explore in the second book. While that is an issue with some people, I don't think of that as a problem. I'm actually about halfway through Clockwork Prince right now, so clearly it left enough of a hook for me to want to buy the series. I suggest you do too. (Though there is only a hint of a love triangle in the first book, that is played up much more in the second.)

Well, I'm off to read more Clockwork Prince. I hope you find this review helpful, and if you like steampunk, gothic horror, hunters, secret organizations, or romance, Clockwork Angel is probably for you.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Blood Moon is here!

Hey Everyone,

I have some good news. I know I said I would have to push the date back, but my editor was nice enough to work through her illness and finished editing Blood Moon.  Despite illnesses in my household as well (including the flu), I've finished making the changes and Blood Moon is available for purchase on Amazon.  Here's the link if you're interested.  I'm very exited about it.

Blood Moon (book 2 of the Blood Rain trilogy

Also, the edits for Blood Rain should be finished within a few weeks and it should be available print to order as soon as the changes are made.  (Again, I assure you than nothing about the content has been changed with the exception of travel times and grammatical issues.) Blood Moon should also be ready for print to order around the same time.  It will be a few weeks as well, mostly because we have to approve formatting, etc. But it will be much sooner than I said in the previous blog entry.

Things are coming along on Blood God.  I'm thirty thousand words into it (about ninety-four pages) which is probably about a third of the way to the end.  So far, I feel pretty good about my progress and hope to have that done sometime in March or before.  It would be a nice present for me to have the completed trilogy published and ready for print and e-book purchase by my birthday, but we'll have to see. I'm working hard and as long as I keep it up, I should be able to make that goal.

After this trilogy is over, I might make a few more of my novels available on amazon. I'm not sure about which ones yet.  There are a few more homeless books that might end up as e-books, but I need to seriously edit them and finish the endings first, including a steampunk romance that I wrote several years ago. I think it has potential. The next project I'm planning is to work on, though, is finishing the first five stories in my young reader horror series and continuing my search for an agent to represent them.  Then, I might just try my hand at steampunk urban fantasy.  I have a few ideas.  I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy Blood Moon as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Take care!  Keep reading and writing!