Monthly Archives: September 2017

Three Things Thursday: Ruby Blade

  1. In case you missed it, The Ruby Blade cover reveal and preorder announcement went up last night! You can pop over to Goodreads and mark it as “to read” and then head to Amazon to preorder your copy!
  2. The book is currently with editor extraordinaire getting once last look-see, and then I’ll be sending out ARCs, having it proofread, and then sending it to my formatter to work her magic.

    There’s probably a wand involved somewhere, too.

     

  3. If you read The Cardinal Gate or The Waning Moon, I’d be beyond delighted if you could head over to Amazon to leave a review for either or both of them. Getting to 50 reviews lets the books get picked up by Amazon’s algorithms, which results in more people seeing my book, and presumably buying my book, which makes it easier for me to keep writing books. (This is also presumably some kind of eldritch magic.)

    Amazon employees at work

Cover Reveal! The Ruby Blade

I am so excited to share this with you guys. I love my cover artist and what she’s been doing for the series, and really think this captures Eleanor and where she’s at with The Ruby Blade.

As much as doing the cover art is one of the most fun parts of the gig, writing the accompanying blurb is my least favorite part.

I mean, I have one, but I think the real winner is the version I came up with Monday evening as I was workshopping this in my author group chat (for the 1 millionth time):

Just buy it. It’s not that bad.

NAKED HOTTUB SCENE!

GOOD FIGHTING!

/and scene

The Blurb

Raj swore he’d pay any price to recover the blade he’d wielded a thousand years ago, but what if that price is Eleanor’s trust?

Eleanor is beset on all sides by supernatural enemies determined to halt her quest to reopen otherworldly traffic between Earth and the Fae Plane. Double-dealing shifters, black magic, and treacherous elves challenge the skills and cohesion of the group.

The chill that threatens to send her dragon half into hibernation does nothing to bank the fires of her desire for Raj—but Florence’s cryptic warning prevents her from succumbing to his charms. Raj is not what he seems and he is hiding something far darker than Eleanor ever imagined.

Will she be able to forgive him or will the truth kill her?

And, without further ado, the cover!

 

Didn’t Skyla do an amazing job?

I’m super excited for you guys to read this book! ARCs will be headed out the end of next week (maybe earlier) and the release is set for 10/31/17.

You can add it to your Goodreads queue The Ruby Blade (Eleanor Morgan #3)  and even preorder it on Amazon (Kindle version only at this point).


SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

Book Review: Midnight Labyrinth

As everyone is probably aware by this time, I’m on Elizabeth Hunter’s ARC list. It was not easy to get on this list. I tried bribing her with so many things. (True, most of those things were my first-born son, and yes, most of those offerings were on days he was being particularly trying, but he is adorable, dammit! and that should’ve worked.)

When she offered me a chance to read Midnight Labyrinth ahead of time, I not only jumped at the chance, I asked: “how high?” I’ve been waiting for the first Ben & Tenzin full-length novel for just about as long as I knew that Benzin was going to be a thing.

I was planning on waiting to review this until release date, but I need you guys to be as excited about this as I am. Because this was amazing.

 

The Blurb

He’s one human caught in a tangled maze of theft, politics, magic, and blood.? In other words, it’s just another night.?

Benjamin Vecchio escaped a chaotic childhood and grew to adulthood under the protection and training of one of the Elemental world’s most feared vampire assassins. He’s traveled the world and battled immortal enemies.

But everyone has to go home sometime.

New York means new opportunities and allies for Ben and his vampire partner, Tenzin. It also means new politics and new threats. Their antiquities business is taking off, and their client list is growing. When Ben is challenged to find a painting lost since the second world war, he jumps at the chance. This job will keep him closer to home, but it might just land him in hot water with the insular clan of earth vampires who run Manhattan.

Tenzin knew the painting would be trouble before she laid eyes on it, but she can’t deny the challenge intrigues her. Human laws mean little to a vampire with a few millennia behind her, and Tenzin misses the rush of taking what isn’t hers.

But nothing is more dangerous than a human with half the story, and Ben and Tenzin might end up risking their reputations and their lives before they escape the Midnight Labyrinth.

MIDNIGHT LABYRINTH is the first book in an all new contemporary fantasy series by Elizabeth Hunter, author of the Elemental Mysteries and the Irin Chronicles

The Cover

You can’t tell me this isn’t gorgeous. SO AMAZING! (Click the cover and it will take you to Goodreads)

The Review

This was an amazing book. There’s a mystery for Ben to solve, humans for Tenzin to amuse herself with, secret bad guys, not-so-secret bad guys, and Gavin. There was Gavin.

Now, I’ve always liked Gavin. Overall, I’m extremely fond of Scottish people, and will do just about anything asked if it’s asked in a Scottish accent (don’t you take advantage of that, PSM!), but Gavin had kinda always been the background before.

But this book? *sigh* Gavin.

WAIT! This book is about Ben & Tenzin, not Gavin. (YOU GUYS! Gavin owns a bar in New York, but he’s getting a little bored with immortality, and instead of seeking me out, decides to do crime with Ben, Tenzin, and their human (and Ben’s high school sweetheart) Chloe.)

BACK TO BENZIN!

I adore Tenzin, but I’m also a little afraid of her. This how I prefer all my best girlfriends, though, and I think I’d make an excellent day person for Tenzin, even if I don’t know any awesome tailors. BUT STILL! I would be delighted to be Tenzin’s PA and work part-time at Gavin’s bar. DAMMIT! How did this come back to Gavin again? (I’m sorry Carwyn, but you’re going to have to do some work if you want to remain number one in my heart.)

Sorry. I promise I’ll be good now.

On a more serious note, one of the best things about this book was the way the domestic abuse situation was handled.

Ben to Tenzin: “He’s not going to touch her again.”

“I have no doubt about that, but be smart. Don’t try to order her around for her own good. Don’t be a fool.”

“Sometimes women go back.”

I love that this is acknowledged without shaming the victim of the abuse. You never know the reasons a woman stays with an abuser, and until you’ve walked a few yards in those shoes, you don’t get to judge a woman for staying in a relationship like that. If you need to judge, judge the asshole who’s doing the abusing. That’s the person who’s really in the wrong, here.

I cannot stop going off on tangents. But there’s so much to talk about, and I really, really don’t want to give any spoilers.

This book combines exciting art heists and double-crosses with details of the developing relationship between Ben and Tenzin as well as exploring the fact that whether or not Ben’s a vampire biologically, he is a vampire in every other way, and adds a little bit of romance.

The world-building was, as always with Ms. Hunter, delightful. She creates a world in which vampires mingle with unsuspecting humans and makes it so believable that I definitely double-take whenever I see someone a bit too pale (which, let’s face it, in sunlight- and diversity-impaired Portland happens an awful lot).

The pacing was perfect. She moves you along the story just fast enough to keep you on edge (I read this in one sitting) without bowling you over with too much information too quickly.

One of the things I appreciate most about Elizabeth’s writing is the humor. I love someone that can make me feel, make me cringe, make me gasp, and make me laugh all in one book.

Ben glanced down. “Well, you do have great legs, Gavin. Very shapely.”

“Thank you. I work out.”

“Really?” Ben asked.

“No, you idiot, I’m a vampire.”

*sigh* Gavin

The Quote

…Ben could admit what he couldn’t in the light of day.

She was the darkness he wanted to fall into

The Verdict

This was amazing. My favorite in the Elemental World, for sure. I give it five stars and recommend you click on that cover above to figure out where you can pre-order it.

PURCHASE:
?Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2wq0Hso
?Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2zmAoaX
?iBooks: http://apple.co/2vvFgsD
?B&N: http://bit.ly/2vAHyGM
?Kobo: http://bit.ly/2vALPtX
?Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gkOnlA

SaveSave

SaveSave

UTERUS UPDATE! (Cyborg Implant Month 1)

I know each and every one of you has been waiting with bated breath for an update on my uterus issues. THE WAIT IS OVER!

As I’m sure you recall, I had a nexplanon implant put in the end of August. (OMG – the bruising for this was horrific. I really, really want to share a picture, but I’m not going to, because I am a good person.) This was to help manage the horrific dysmenorrhea I was suffering for a week straight (the worst usually only lasted a day or two, but it was a day or two of sobbing, wracked with pain, emotional hellbeastiness and then 4-5 days of regularly awful cramps that would cause me to randomly double over with pain and work through headaches, back aches, and neck aches, not to mention the nausea and random dizziness).

My period tracker tells me that my period was due two days ago. That means that I am currently LATE! This is super exciting for someone whose cycle was lasting between 9-12 days for much of the earlier part of this year. I’m at an actual 4-week cycle this month (or maybe even longer! fingers crossed!).

The best part is that I’ve been having cramps. But not full-body, wracked with pain and sobbing until I practically throw up cramps! No! I am having midol ad cramps.

Wait – not this Midol ad!

 

I wouldn’t necessarily choose this one, either…

 

Yes! This one! She looks like she’ll be going on a hike as soon as she pops her midol!

Like, I have cramps. They’re twingy and uncomfortable. I literally don’t know how to deal with this. I had a craving for chocolate yesterday, so I had some. I haven’t cried, or pulled out the vicodin, or even grabbed my heating pad.

I feel…not bad. Almost good, even. It’s so weird.

I’m not sure I’m quite at “happy bitch” stage, but I’ll take this.

My doctor and all the studies I’ve read (because of course I was on pub med central searching for journal articles, I am not [often] a spontaneous decision maker*) laid out the following stats:

  1. 20% of users have a complete cessation of menstruation
  2. 20% of users have unpredictable menstrual cycles with extra blood
  3. 60% of users have regular cycles

Of women who’ve suffered from dysmenorrhea, 80% (give or take, depending on the study and what they were using as markers) have a drastic reduction in pain levels over the course of six months.

AND – most women who have the insert removed before it expires (three years, I think) do so because of point #2 above, and almost all within the first 3 months. I’m one month in and feeling hopeful that I’ll fall into camps 1 or 3 (I’d really, really like to be #1…for so many reasons, but mostly because my damn uterus OWES ME.

Maybe, if it repents and is good, I’ll let it stay a bit longer…I’d sure like to avoid major surgery if at all possible.

I’m hoping if I can get to a place where I’m not in pain 50% of the time and dopey from my borderline anemia, I’ll have more energy so I can start waking up and exercising and feeling all around better!

*fingers crossed*

All positive uterus thoughts accepted, although honestly, I don’t need you to spend a lot of time thinking about my uterus because that’s just weird.

*I can be spontaneous if you give me a heads up.

 

Three Things Thursday: Random Shit

 

  1. I’ve been having the most bizarre dreams lately. I’m not gonna share them all (THIS IS A FAMILY BLOG, in that people in my family read it), but last night I dreamed I went on a bender of epic proportions and drank all the wine. ALL OF IT. When my alarm went off this morning, I pried my eyes open, tasted that disgusting hangover tongue taste, and could tell I was going to be wicked hungover. I was so mad at myself for getting completely and totally wasted on a weeknight. It took me at least five minutes to get over my fear of hangover and realize that it was just a dream. I’d had about 1/2 glass of wine last night.

  2. When I finally did manage to drag myself out of bed this morning, happily hangover free, it looked like there’d been some kind of natural disaster in the house. I don’t know who Rupurrt Giles’s dealer is, but I’d really like him to stop giving the kitten whatever it is that makes him go on a rock-star-destroying-a-hotel-room rampage in the middle of the night. Broken mirrors, coasters everywhere, roll of paper towel reduced to its post ticker-tape parade level of existence. THE KITTEN DOES NOT NEED UPPERS, OKAY?

    The only time he sits still is when he’s on my keyboard.

     

  3. I used to have a pink unicorn onesie. Alas! It because too holy for everyday use (made my atheistic soul-heh-uncomfortable). I’d made my peace with the unicorn gods until last weekend when Amazon suggested I would be interested in a unicorn hoodie. It was getting colder. The rain was coming. Autumn REQUIRES cozy hoodies, and I require unicorn things. So, in a moment (this moment is currently on year 26) of weakness, I bought the unicorn hoodie. It arrived yesterday, I spent the entire evening in my hoodie, either frightening or amusing the food delivery person (either way, I win).