Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Year in Writing - 2015

This past year I can definitely say I have found my stride when it comes to fitting writing into my busy life. With a day job, an active toddler, and a million things to do every day, I have carved out my time to write, and made the necessary sacrifices I had to make in order to be able to do so (meaning I sacrificed more sleep than I had to give, /tears!). Thus, I was able to write two novels this year. There was a time when I thought work and mommy-hood would mean I might only be able to write one book a year. But two?! That's a precedent I can live with.

It would be nice to be able to have more flexibility with my days, but I do enjoy the fact that many things are scheduled. Finding a specific time and place for certain things means they will definitely get done. Such as reading. The first three quarters of the year I read absolutely nothing! And I was not happy about it. So I scheduled reading time for my subway rides to and from work, and with my trusty Kindle in tow, I have been able to read six books in the past couple months. That's a huge accomplishment for me.

But back to writing. This year I completed the third and fourth novels in my Reanimation Files series. The Ravaging In Between took about seven months to write and was DIFFICULT. In comparison, A Torment of Savages took exactly two months + 7 days and was the easiest book I have written since the first novel, Affairs of the Dead (the second book, Requiem for the Living, was also a difficult beast to write). I think having worked through two hard books back to back,  I learned a lot about how to build and pace my plots, how to handle twists, etc, so I took that knowledge and applied it to the fourth book. Therefore I was able to avoid a lot of the pitfalls I encountered with Requiem and Ravaging. I've been writing for over a decade, but there's always new things to learn! Especially when writing a series. A Torment of Savages restored my faith that the book writing process doesn't have to be difficult or long. Some books will just challenge you in different ways than others.

Moving into 2016, I am looking forward to publishing A Torment of Savages, and working on the fifth book in The Reanimation Files. I have also been thinking about writing a sequel to Black Widow Witch, so maybe that will be my next project. As long as a story comes to me and Reanimation Files #5 doesn't take over and demand that I write it instead!

This was a good writing year. It has made me feel confident that I don't have to sacrifice my writing career just because I am a busy, working mother. So I look forward to the novels I will produce in 2016, and the books I'll read on the train.

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

These are a Few of My Favorite [Literary] Things

In the spirit of the season I thought I would share some of my favorite literary items that I've come across, which would make great gifts for the book lover or writer in your life. I love coming across cool or unique items, and when it comes to anything to do with being a writer or bookworm, that goes double. Here are a few things I'm really digging:

Writing Gloves

These gloves are from Storiarts. I already own their Pride and Prejudice and Secret Garden Book Scarves. I love these writing gloves! My hands can look stylish while I write.

Awkward Silence pillow

Ah awkward silences. Not good in read life, not good in a story. This Awkward Silence Pillow is one of the many adorable pillows from Awkward Animal. I already own the Koala, Giraffe, and Rhino. The intent was to buy these for my toddler, but if I'm being honest, they're more for me. I will definitely be adding the awkward silence (and many others) to my collection!

Book Worm Ring

I came across this Book Worm Ring while browsing Amazon and love how simple it is. And I love that it's from Amazon's Handmade section!

Kindle Cases

Let's face it, there are tons of cute Kindle cases out there, especially on Etsy. I've even made my own. I've been looking for a new case for my Kindle and this is one (of many) that I really like.

Handmade Journals

I came across this Handmade Journal seller while perusing Pinterest. I love hand-bound journals, as well as handmade paper. My Creative Writing teacher gifted me with one in high school, which I still have. Maybe in another post I will showcase literary things that I actually own!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Review! Claiming the Succubus by Lorien Lyn

Today I'm reviewing a fellow Etopia author, Lorien Lyn, and her novella, Claiming the Succubus!

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Book Description: 

Being a Succubus has its perks…until the hunter becomes the hunted.

For half-breed succubus Ava Hawley, hunting supernatural foes is worth all the risks and rewards. But when a wolf shifter is responsible for kidnapping her sister, the mission becomes personal. Ava is ordered to track down the bad boy and turn him over to her boss. That is, until she meets the dangerously sexy shifter and realizes her charm—the kiss of death—is no match for the charms of her opponent.

Alpha werewolf Killian Reid is on the run from a demon mistress, but someone else is on his tail—a stunning seductress with more sex appeal than any woman ought to have. And Killian can't resist her. Proving his innocence will be a challenge, but with every moment that he spends with her, Ava’s self-control weakens. And as their attraction grows, she knows she’ll have to rely on the shifter she'd been sent to capture, or they’ll both become victims to another predator…


Ava reached out for Killian's hand and pulled him to the side. The movement to touch him was 
 instinctual. “I can't let you risk it alone. This is my battle too.”

“We don't have time, love.” He took hold of her chin, running his thumb over her bottom lip. Not giving it too much thought—and because she wanted to—she thrust her tongue out and licked him. The taste of mornings in spring and mint burst into her mouth. She gasped softly and his eyes darkened. “Save it,” he growled low. “I know what you're trying to do.”

Her gaze lowered. Defeated.

“We'll talk later when this is all over.” He leaned forward, leveling his eyes with hers. “The part about us.”

“Won't happen if we go with your plan.”

“It's the only way to gain access into the estate.”

“What if it doesn't work?” Concern spiraled in her gut.

“We won't know if we don't try.”

She couldn't help but wonder if he was referring to them again. The thought of them together had crossed her mind a couple of times, but she couldn't envision being with the wolf. A possessive shifter was dangerous all around. The man's aura radiated nothing but danger and violence. The telltale hint of darkness and dominance gave it away. Besides, wolf shifters mated for life and Ava didn't know if she was ready for that.

My Review

Claiming the Succubus was a fun, and steamy read! We meet Ava and Killian: she's a succubus and he's a werewolf. From the moment they meet sparks fly and it's not long before things get hot and heavy. But they also have problems on their hands in the form of Ava's missing sister and the fact that it looks like a setup is underfoot by someone Ava thought was trustworthy. I enjoyed the balance between unraveling the mystery and developing Ava and Killian's magnetic attraction. The steamy scenes did not disappoint! I loved the back and forth between the two, Killian is seriously swoon worthy. Definitely give this one a read. 

Four Stars!


Lorien Lyn writes paranormal romance and romantic suspense with dangerously sexy heroes and equally strong heroines. Romance novels are her favorite as they push beyond traditional boundaries. When she’s not busy brainstorming up new stories, she enjoys action-packed movies and Fantasy Football with her husband and son in beautiful Southern California. 
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