Fictionista, Foodie, Feline-lover

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

12 Nights of Christmas--Shameless Self-Promotion

My collection of dark short stories based on "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is back, just in time for the holiday season. I've been all about the Amazon in the past, but with this release, I'm going wider. The book won't be on Amazon but you can find it at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Tolino (if you happen to live in Germany), and a number of others.

Some of these stories originally appeared in Dark Valentine Magazine or on the website and it's a pretty eclectic batch of tales. I enjoyed writing them. The cover is by the talented Joy Sillsesen of Indie Author Services.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A quickie review: Laini Taylor's DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE

Laini Taylor's writing is incredibly lush. Her descriptions of Prague make me want to book a flight there tonight. Just gorgeous writing. I also like the inventive and original mythology surrounding the wishes and the teeth. It feels like she's stumbled across an old legend found in a crumbling crypt somewhere. Excellent characters too, and the relationship between Karue and her best friend feels real. I have some quibbles about the plot--it seems like all Karue has to do is "wish" for things and she "levels up," and that cover? Looks like it's a romance set in Venice or something. But still, I liked this book enough to want to track down other books she's read. This was a refreshingly different urban fantasy.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Shakes[eare Silliness for the Season

What says the holidays more than a Shakespeare paper puppet? (Well, probably most anything, but work with me here.) Once again, Etsy does not disappoint. find this great Shakespeare puppet here. It's $3.50 for an instant digital download from raidersofthelostart.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Sometimes it's kind of overwhelming how much need there is. You want to help, but your resources and disposable income just can't keep up. And then there are times when people make it easy for you. You can sign up for Survey Monkey, for example. For every survey you complete, they'll donate 50 cents to a charity of your choice. And not only that, but you get a chance to win an Amazon gift card or other prize. The money starts to add up after a while (you get a running total every time you log on). If you're interested, here's where to sign up.
This Christmas, Penguin Books is sponsoring their second annual book giveaway. For every tweet and Facebook post using the hashtag #giveabook between now and December 24, they'll do just that--up to a total of 35,000 books (which is up 10K from last year's giveaway). How fantastic is that? With just a couple of keystrokes you can have a book donated on your behalf. Go Penguin!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

the Book Purse

It's almost time for the fourth annual Kattomic Energy holiday gift guide, but here's a preview. The BOOK PURSE!  Crafted by Etsy artisan Novel Creations, these are whimsical purses upcycled from leather-cound and hardback books. See them here.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


I have friends and clients and colleagues who live in Paris. They're all safe. Or as safe as you can be in a city that's in lockdown mode. By early evening US time last night, social media was already full of ribbons and French flags and hashtags and expressions of horror.
And I couldn't help thinking that the word "terrible" is the same in French as it is in English.
And how terrible is it that there's even a colored ribbon FOR terrorist acts?
Paris is my heart's hometown. The Charlie Hebdo attack hit home for me because I started life as a journalist.
And now, after this latest atrocity, there are conservative journalists already blaming the influx of Syrian and Iraqi refugees for fueling the crisis. Classic and cruel "blame the victim" mentality. But I remember what it was like in the days after 9/11. The Indian man murdered by the zealous patriot who decided he was a terrorist because of his skin color.
Today's tears and prayers are for the people of France, but tomorrow they must be for all people who live under the shadow of terror.

Friday, November 6, 2015

#HEARTBLAZE--Twilight with a Bite!

If you're looking for something new in paranormal romance, you might want to check out Heartblaze 1: Secret Soul, the debut novel by Shay Roberts. the story mixes a contemporary tale about a troubled college student name Emma Rue with a past life adventure when she was a vampire aristocrat. And just to make things more complicated, there's a vengeful ghost trying to manipulate her, an anti-paranormal organization that's out to kill her, and a conflicted werewolf who can't decide between his duty and his feelings.

There's a real depth of world-building here--an element most paranormal romances skip over--and real stakes at hand. This is Twilight with a bite,  a story with some edge to its emotions.

Heartblaze is a great read, and it's available worldwide.