Tag Archives: book reviews

July Book Releases

There are so many exciting books out this month that I can barely contain myself! I’ll have some reviews coming up of a few of these, but today I’m just here to push you into purchasing books and being my reading buddy.

Out Today

Godkiller by Colleen Vanderlinden (psssstttt…today’s also her birthday! what better birthday gift is there than buying a copy of her book?)

The Cover

The Blurb

In the ten years since the end of the Undead Wars, Molly Brooks, goddess of death and protector of the Earthly realm, has achieved what no one would have thought possible: world peace. The Earth thrives under her protection, and her family and friends are finally safe from the enemies who have targeted her.

But not all of Molly’s battles are about her, and an ancient nemesis is ready to make his move on her world. With her mate and her closest allies at her side, Molly will face attacks from enemies both strange and well-known to her. This time around, the power of the gods just might not be enough.

July 15

Dustwalker by Tiffany Roberts

The Cover

The Blurb


Walk. Scavenge. Destroy. Trade. A simple cycle that’s suited Ronin for one hundred and eighty-five years. With no clear grasp of his programming, the barren wasteland known as The Dust offers him purpose, a place where his armored undercasing, amped-up processors, and advanced optics can be put to use. The ramshackle towns on the edges of the waste serve merely as resupply stations between increasingly long treks. But one night — one human woman — makes him question everything.


Lara Brooks struggles to survive under the strict rules imposed by the bots in Cheyenne. With her sister missing, she’s been on her own for weeks, and fears the worst. Her only hope comes from Ronin, a bot she catches spying on her. He promises to provide for Lara and search for her sister. All she has to do is dance. It should be easy; she’s done it before. But the longer she spends with Ronin, the harder it is to see him as just another bot.


In a city where humans are relegated to live in squalor, Ronin discovers a threat greater than any in the Dust — Warlord, Cheyenne’s tyrannical leader. When Ronin ignores the rules, he unwittingly puts Lara in danger. Warlord is as intolerant of disrespect as he is of mankind.


Last, but not least…

July 27

The Silent by Elizabeth Hunter

The Cover

The Blurb

They are called kareshta, the silent ones.
But the silent are waking.

Kyra has lived her life in the shadow of a powerful Grigori brother. She’s ignored her own desires for the good of her family, but an unexpected request from Thailand sends her on a mission that could change her life and alter the fate of free Grigori all over the world. Sons of the Fallen hidden in the mountains of Thailand have adapted an ancient human magic for their own purposes. Will this practice bring peace or lead to even greater danger for the Irin race?

A simple diplomatic mission sends Leo to Bangkok, but he didn’t expect to see a familiar face in surveillance photographs. He’s tried everything to drive Kyra from his mind, since he was convinced the gentle kareshta wanted to hide from the world. How did she turn up halfway across the globe, living with Grigori who may or may not be Irin allies?

Leo has bided his time. He’s given Kyra her space.

But this scribe is ready to hear a kareshta sing.


Notes and miscellany

I’ll have reviews of all three coming up in the next week or so, in order of publication date (so Dustwalker first, etc.). BUT, if you want to read along, go forth and purchase!

Colleen’s book is the latest in her Hidden series, and I am SO EXCITED to read this one. That was the first fiction of Colleen’s I ever read, and I just love this journey that Molly’s been on. (Plus, as you may remember, Colleen is my kill-count competitor, so I have to dig in to see how many kills I need to add into my rewrite of The Ruby Blade to try to keep up.)

Tiffany Roberts’s book is a new series for them (right? Am I making that up?) and I’m so excited to read what I’ve decided is a cyborg western romance.

Elizabeth Hunter’s is an upcoming release, but I’ve already read the advanced copy, and you guys! Once again, she’s knocked it out of the park. You are not going to want to miss the latest in her Irin Chronicles series.

Motivational Monday

Today, I has none. Someone told my uterus about the upcoming ablation and it is unleashing the anger of a thousand uterii on me. We’re talking full-on worst PMS in recent memory complete with killer headache, extreme nausea (so extreme), dizziness, low back ache, cramps, and the full on abattoir experience.

(I’m currently working on keeping down my breakfast and 50,000 IU Vitamin D. Fingers crossed.)

Last week was overall pretty good on the health front, though. I walked more steps in 7 days than I had since July of last year when I was chasing Pokemon all over Portland. I ate 85% vegan and 99% dairy free. I meditated 5/7 days, did my plank challenge 6/7 days, got to bed at a reasonable hour 5/7 days, and scheduled my acupuncture & therapy appointments. So much winning.

This week is a busy one – specifically Wednesday when I’m doing my cover reveal post, hitting “go” on all the presales, and also having a minor procedure for which I’ve been prescribed so many drugs! I promise your “Three Things Thursday” post will be written under the influence. (Also, no one is allowed to communicate with me on Thursday because the combination of drugs I’ll be on has a tendency to make me harshly, brutally honest and to want to share that honesty with everyone. Exceptions to the communication blackout rule: the beer guy (because he has to communicate with me by virtue of being my ride home) and my PSM  (because she probably deserves some drug-fueled texts after all the times I’ve gotten ambien texts from her).

Check back in tomorrow for a review of a fantastic urban fantasy book I read last week. Wednesday will have The Waning Moon cover reveal & presale info, Thursday will be a drug-riddled post that’s sure to delight everyone, and Friday I’m planning a mini-review of some of the self-help books I’ve read recently.

Happy week!



Writerly Wednesday: when I’m not writing fiction…

I’ve spent the last few days balancing my personal projects (writing some new things, editing some existing things, and trying to figure out how to coerce strangers to buy my things) with applying for freelance jobs.

I did a freelance editing job for a screenplay pitch last month for a former colleague who is co-writing a screenplay in Sweden, and have done several academic editing/proofreading jobs. If you want to pay someone to edit your papers for content and formatting, I’m your person. I’m familiar with MLA, APA, AMA, and Chicago Manual of Style.

My rates are reasonable, my skills are first rate, and my turnaround time is (almost) whatever you need it to be.


I’m hard at work on Raj’s novella and should have that wrapped up in a couple of weeks. Chapters for that will continue to go out in the monthly newsletter, so if you haven’t already, sign up now!

Oh, Raj…


I have openings for book reviews over the next couple months, but they’re filling quickly. Hit me up if you want me to review your book!


My current writing process is all over the place. Between prepping The Cardinal Gate for publication and then moving directly into cramming The Waning Moon’s editing into a very short period of time, I feel like I’ve been pretty consistently busy for the last two months. I’ve been doing a little less work this week than the last, but am ready to kick it up a notch or three again starting next week.

BAM! says tiny Emeril

What that means for me is that I hole up in the office (currently I’m writing on the couch, surrounded by cats) sans phone and turn off the wifi on my computer. I work in 25 minute bursts (with five-minute breaks). No email, no Facebook, no silly phone procrastination games except during breaks.

Clowns to the left of me

Jokers to the right…


This week, though? All about marketing, education, recharging, resting, and looking for money. (You’d think with all Portland’s rainbows, I’d be able to find at least one pot of gold.)



Writerly Wednesday: Self-Promotion Edition

The inaugural issue (volume 1, issue 1) of my newsletter will be hitting newsstands (or, more accurately, inboxes) in a couple of hours. In this month’s issue, you’ll find an exclusive excerpt from The Waning Moon as well as the first chapter of Raj’s novella.

I’ll send out a new chapter of Raj’s story every month and then, when they’re all out, I’ll compile them and release as an ebook. His novella will cover the three most pivotal time periods in his life: the demise of his kingdom and his transition into undeath, the fall of Constantinople and how he’s directly responsible for Dracula himself, and the havoc he wreaked in Scandinavia in the 17th century.


I finished up my readable draft of The Waning Moon last Sunday night and sent it off to my beta readers. Other than vague threats from my PSM regarding something that hasn’t even happened, things are mostly quiet on the eastern front (they’re all much, much further east than me…).


Work on the cover art for The Waning Moon has begun. I’m really excited to see what Skyla comes up with this time! She’s amazing and I know it’ll be fantastic.


If you’ve read and enjoyed The Cardinal Gate (and we don’t have the same last name), I’d really appreciate an Amazon review! I can’t legally offer you compensation for this, but if I get to 50 reviews, I’d send you a picture of my boobs, or a picture of a pie, or an actual pie if there were no shipping charges involved.


I’ve started my Pinterest board for The Waning Moon. If you want to see what Raj, Finn, Florence, and Isaac look like in my head, you should come on over! There’s also setting photos so you can get a sneak peek of where the action will be taking place in book 2!


Last item! My book review slots are quickly filling up for the next few months. If you have a book release between now and the end of July and want me to review it on the blog, use the form below to get it scheduled!

Book Review: Omens & Artifacts

Elizabeth Hunter, who is one of my favorite authors, has a new book out in her Elemental Legacy series. For those of us who really like Tenzin, this is an exciting time. (For the record, I really like Tenzin and have written a fanfic in my head about being friends with her.)

I received this book as a free ARC, but that in no way influenced how much I loved it.

The Blurb

In the elemental world, reputation is everything, but gaining it can get you killed.

Setting up shop as an antiquities hunter means nothing if you don’t have clients. Benjamin Vecchio, nephew of a famed vampire assassin, is the subject of widespread speculation, but so far that speculation hasn’t translated into work.
What Ben needs is a job. A big job. A profitable job.

A legendary job.

Finding the lost sword of Brennus the Celt, the mythical Raven King of the British Isles, would make Ben’s reputation in the immortal world, but it could also draw dangerous attention. The Raven King’s gold hoard isn’t famous for being easy to find. Luckily, Ben has his own legend at his side.

Tenzin is a wind vampire who doesn’t like digging, but she’s more than happy to let Ben do the dirty work while she provides the muscle he needs to make other immortals pay attention. They’re partners. Or so Ben thinks.

But when finding this treasure puts Tenzin’s future plans at risk, will their partnership survive? Tenzin isn’t used to taking orders from anyone, particularly from a young human who used to be her student. Digging into ancient Scottish history can get you dirty. It can also get you killed.

The Cover

The image is a link…click it.


The Review

You guys. I love Benzin. It’s been so much fun to watch Ben grow up and the way his relationship with Tenzin has developed just makes me so happy. He’s gone from a streetwise kid and ward of one of the scariest fire vamps out there to a badass in his own right. He’s obviously cool, right? I mean he’s besties with Tenzin!

Ben’s been caught up in some shady shit, due to Tenzin. (‘Shady Shit’ is probably her middle name.) But now he’s ready to step forward and own what he’s doing. He knows his target audience and needs to make a name for himself – something that’s probably easier if you’re virtually immortal and have a couple of centuries to build a reputation. But, since Ben is [still] mortal, he needs to go big or go home. Obviously, going home would result in a boring book, so that’s not the direction he chooses.

I really like how well Elizabeth transports her readers to the various settings. It’s almost as good as having the travel budget to go there myself. I’ve never been to Scotland (booo!), but it’s on my shortlist (top three after Romania and Sweden), but I feel like I have the lay of the land – at least a bit.

As always, the world building was fantastic. The consistency that Ms. Hunter shows throughout the various Elemental series is rather remarkable. Really, my only complaint is that she won’t let me dictate who shows up where. (All my books would have Carwyn, Tenzin, Cathy, Baojia, and Caspar. Oh, and Patrick.) (And Ioan. *hard stare* And Stephen.)

The combination of humor, mystery, and intrigue equals a delightfully paced book that I was unable to put down once I started. Tenzin’s relationship with Cara, the virtual assistant, made me so happy (as did her insistence on teasing Ben about putting holes in the walls of his NY loft to hang her weapons).

I cannot recommend this book more and am excited for the next Benzin adventure – which I’m assuming will continue to be filled with high jinks, gold, and witty banter (I’m a huge fan of witty banter).

The Quote

You guys – I couldn’t pick just one. I have three quotes that made me happy in this book.

Tenzin had walked in rooms layered in gold, had drunk blood from solid hammered goblets, and eaten food sprinkled with its dust.

She’d taken a king for a lover who painted her body with gold dust just to see her outline on silk sheets after they’d made love.

Not included – whether or not she enhances her lady garden with real diamonds…vajazzling on a very expensive level. We know Tenzin likes shiny things. (This is one of the questions I will ask her when we hang out.)

Oh shit. Well, the neighbors’ llamas had lived a long life. Probably.

I mean, that’s just perfect. Even with no context. Maybe especially with no context. Now you’ll have to read it to find out about the llamas.

[Cathy]: “If he’d given it to you…then you’d be stuck being the vampire king of Scotland.”

“I’m not a vampire!” Ben said.

Cathy nodded. “It would certainly be an awkward and probably very short reign.”

I love Cathy and want more of her.

The Verdict

Solid 4.5 stars. I am SO EXCITED for the next chapter and don’t understand why Elizabeth won’t let me lock her up*, keep her supplied with gin, and write whatever I want as fast as possible. DAMN YOU, HUNTER!

*hahaha. Just kidding. I’ve totally never floated the idea of a writer’s dungeon with my PSM. Ha. Ha.