Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Review - Innocent Darkness

Along with Throne of Glass, another ARC I recieved at BEA, Innocent Darkness, will be released in August, so here is my review of it. You can find a link to Shanella's review at the end of this post. Warning - review can be spoilery.

Release Date: August 8th, 2012

Innocent Darkness tells the story of Magnolia (Noli), Braddock, a girl who finds herself at a harsh reform school after getting into trouble. There, a wish inadvertently takes her into the world of the Fae, where she realizes that she is to be the sacrifice that will save the Fae world from withering. That’s because Noli has the “Spark,” and every seven years a girl with the Spark is bound to the Fae world and killed so that the Fae don’t fade. Unbeknownst to her, her best friend and crush Steven (V) is Fae, a prince, and comes to Noli’s rescue.

I thought the premise of Innocent Darkness was interesting because I had never heard of a novel that combined Steampunk and Fae/magic elements. However, I was disappointed with the execution of the novel. It was very difficult for me to finish, and I don’t think it lived up to its potential.

Noli lives in Los Angeles, during a time period that mimics real life history in that women are not on par with men, a working woman is looked down on, and there are societal expectations for a way a woman is supposed to dress, act, etc. The reform school Noli ends up in is supposed to suppress her personality and turn her into a vapid lady. I can’t say I was drawn into the world though, because I did not feel as though there was enough world building, especially in regards to the Steampunk elements. In the Fae world we don’t see a wide scope of it, but for the space the story encompasses I think it was sufficient.

I did not connect with Noli; she was not an extremely strong character. On one hand she believes that as a lady she should act a certain way in regards to men, yet on the other hand both love interests get pretty far under her clothes with not much protesting from her. Yes, there’s something to be said for getting caught up in the moment, but the amount of back and forth she had made it harder for me to let her get away with her teenage hormones. She struck me as a more passive than active character who just went with the flow while everyone else made the decisions.

As far as the love triangle, I did not buy one angle of it at all, and the other, while more believable, felt a bit forced. One minute V (the more believable love interest), is resolved to be distant to her for her own protection, then a page later they’re making out. Then there’s Kevighn, who is the Queen’s huntsman sent to find human girls with the Spark, seduce them, and trick them into sacrificing themselves. The fact that he so quickly falls for Noli after she ends up with him in the Fae world was extremely unbelievable, and I knew it was only done so that he would have a crisis of conscience when it came to handing her over to the high Queen. Then there’s V’s brother James, who searches for Noli’s friend Charlotte, who also has the Spark, and was taken from the reform school by her abusive uncle. James brings her into the Fae world, and while we don’t read any scenes of James and Charlotte together until they show up to where Noli and V are, they are suddenly in love. Where is the build up to make that believable and make me care about their romance? There was an overall streak of sexuality in the book that I found to be off. I don’t have a problem with sex/sensuality in YA novels, but it has to feel believable, and there has to be a reason for it. In this novel, there was something about the references and scenes regarding sensuality that felt awkward and not believable to the type of story it was.

It was intriguing to have the idea that Noli’s death would save the entire Fae kingdom (including V), and if she didn’t die all the Fae would die, but I think the conclusion was too neat. There weren’t really any huge stakes for Noli, no real action scenes, no real feeling of impending doom, and the high Queen was quite disappointing; she let Noli just run off and hide in another part of the kingdom with V. Why wouldn’t you want to keep the girl with the Spark that will save your people under lock and key?

Something else that I found jarring was the writing style. The amount of repetitive phrases was  definitely noticeable enough to throw the reader off. Kevighn can only seem to say “opium and soft women” in relation to his desire to go to a brothel, and can only call V “that whelp of a prince.” Then there were all the “hoydens” and “fussy old bodgers.” Overall, the writing style was not captivating.

If there are future books, I will not be continuing with the series. Innocent Darkness gets one out of five from me.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Book Review - Throne of Glass

I'm part of a small book club where we will be reviewing ARCs we got at BEA. Today I will be posting a review for Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, which is released on August 7th. This ties in nicely with the Buccaneer Blogfest since the last post for this week is to do a book review. I'll just be doing mine a day early since we arranged to post our reviews today. You can find links to everyone else's reviews at the bottom of this post. Warning -- the reviews can be spoilery. 

Throne of Glass is a YA fantasy novel that follows seventeen year old assassin Celaena Sardothien as she’s plucked from a death camp by the crown prince and chosen to be his champion, to compete against over twenty other murderers and thieves in a quest to become the king’s champion. If she wins the competition she gains her freedom after four years of service to the king, if she loses she’s sent back to the harrowing salt mines she was taken from.

Throne of Glass was listed as perfect for fans of Game of Thrones and the Hunger Games novels, so I had the expectation that there would be a lot of action, mainly involving Celaena fighting her way through her competitors to win. However, I was disappointed by the lack of action, and what we got instead, the competitors going through challenges and being eliminated, was not that engaging or interesting. However, the main character Celaena, definitely has a strong voice and comes across as extremely tough and witty, but not without her softer side, and while I liked her sense of humor and the way she interacted with some of the other characters, I had a hard time buying the fact that she is a ruthless, infamous assassin who doesn’t think twice about killing. Even if she was a trained assassin, I feel like something should have been said that at so young an age she was already such an accomplished murderer. We get hints at her past, involving the death of her parents and the person who trained her to become an assassin, as well as a past love and a betrayal that landed her in the salt mines, but the book ends leaving us only with hints. While I would have liked more of her back story I understand that in a “Book One” you can’t give it all away, so I am sure those hints will be explored in further novels.

Maas definitely has some good prose going, but there were numerous places that I found to be unbelievable or awkward and those things threw me out of the narrative. The novel switches perspectives between at least four characters, and at times I was not sure whose perspective I was following if two of those characters were in the same scene. Also, I was less invested in reading from certain character’s perspective than others, so there were parts of the novel that dragged for me.

As for the romance, as with most YA books there is a love triangle, but I honestly was not extremely invested in either of them. The love triangle involves Celaena, the prince, and the captain of the guard, who is also her trainer. While I like a well paced buildup to romance as opposed to two characters just falling on each other fast, to me the buildup was too long and not believable enough, so when the prince and Celaena finally kiss, I wasn’t moved one way or another. I felt like a more interesting relationship was between her and the captain of the guard, but there wasn’t much development there, and I felt as though there was too much back and forth in how they felt about each other for me to really understand what kind of relationship they had or were trying to have.

There is a murder mystery aspect to the novel as well, and it involves the magical element of the book; the champions start dying in gruesome ways, and no one knows who or what did it. When the magical aspect starts to develop more, it’s interesting, but also a little predictable. I knew who did it long before the characters did, and I felt like with the truly horrific way specific people were dying, there should have been more fear and hysteria going around, and even after three champions died they still couldn’t figure out that it was a pattern. This was one of my biggest issues with the novel; having smart characters not figure out obvious things for the sake of tension or keeping readers in the dark. A lot of times the things characters would say or the way they would act induced an eye roll in me. For example, I didn’t understand why such a ruthless, fearless assassin never tried to escape and only thought about it, even when she found a secret passage in her room (!) that led outside to an area of the castle that wasn’t guarded at all (even though there were over twenty ruthless murderers and thieves staying there). It would have made for great action if she had attempted to escape, even if she failed.

Overall, when the explanation of the magic is revealed, I think it ends up being one of the stronger aspects of the novel. Throne of Glass was not a bad read, but it also did not blow me away. However, I will probably continue reading the series to see where Celaena’s story takes her. The novel gets 3 out of 5 from me.

Shanella's Review
Alexa's Review
Pixie's Review

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest -- Top 5 favorite books

I have a hard time answering when someone asks "What's your favorite..." It's not that I'm so stuck up that I don't have a favorite anything, I just like so many things that's it never easy to say one out of all of them is my favorite. I think the only thing I can definitely say I have a favorite of is song, and even there it's actually two songs tied for first because I can't choose! Anyway, today we are supposed to post our top five favorite books of all time, so let me give it a shot. In no particular order:

1. The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima. This one is actually an easy pick for the fave category. I geared a lot of my studies in college around Japanese culture/literature/history etc, thus I read a lot of Japanese works, especially from their post modern period. I fell in love with this novel because of the quiet feel it had, set on a small island it tells the love story of a young fisherman and a girl who comes from a wealthy family. It's a simple story but not without its complexities, and I love it for that. It doesn't stray far from the island it's set on and there's not a huge cast of characters, but it keeps the reader through the story. I'm not really the type to re-read novels, but this one I've read more than once.

2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I first read this when I was a sophomore in high school. Though I think the prose can be a bit dense at times, what I love most about this novel is the damaging love between Heathcliff and Catherine. It's dark and twisted, Heathcliff is truly a heinous character, and Catherine is hardly likeable a lot of the time, yet you can't help feel for them and want them to be together. I love how Bronte wasn't afraid to go there with her characters, I mean digging up someone's body years after they died just to get some ease of mind? That's something beyond love. I was even inspired to write a poem based on Catherine and Healthcliff. I love trying to write in extremes, especially when I write poetry, so when I'm trying to push the envelope of something dark and romantic and tragic I always think about these characters.

3. The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause. This was one of the first vampire novels I read, and even after years of reading vampire novels it stands out to me because, like The Sound of Waves, I'd describe this novel as quiet. It tells a love story between a girl and a vampire, who is tortured by his existence, not unlike a lot of vampires out there. But the novel stayed in a very small world involving the characters, who each had their own issues, and I liked that there was no big evil to fight or mysteries to unravel, it was mostly about the characters. I think this was one of the first books that brought tears to my eyes since the ending is sad (and probably because I was a young teen and all sensitive lol).

4. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This is one from my childhood, but I've re-read it well into my older years. I loved the story of a garden bringing people together and bringing 'magic' back into their lives. There was just something about it that kept me coming back. And I guess I have a thing for books involving big, old houses on the English moors?

5. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Since the other four books are older, I'll go with something more recent. This is one of my favorite books I've read this year. The prose was lovely, the characters extremely interesting, the story complex and mysterious and keeping me turning the page to find out more. Can't wait for the sequel.

I actually made it to five books, yay!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest - What I'm Reading

This week for the Buccaneer Blogfest is all about reading. Today we have to share the last three books we read and what's on our TBR pile.

I just recently finished an ARC of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass. I got the ARC at Book Expo, and since my cousin decided to start a little book group based on ARCs we got at BEA, I'll be posting a review of Throne of Glass later this week, as well as one for Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lezar.

Before Throne of Glass I read Eon by Allison Goodman, I really liked it, it was a very interesting story and it was nice to get back to reading high fantasy after reading more urban and paranormal  books. Before Eon I read Die for Me by Amy Plum, which I liked as well, I especially liked her take on zombies, I thought her world building was pretty unique and I definitely hadn't read anything like it before. There could have been a bit more plot development but to me it was a book that's more character driven so I was fine with that.

Now, as for my TBR pile, that just seems to be a list that keeps going! For the BEA book club I have:

Carnival of Souls - Melissa Marr
The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater
The Diviners - Libba Bray
Crewel - Gennifer Albin
Venom - Fiona Paul

And my personal TBR pile, these are the books sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor
Until I Die - Amy Plum
Eona - Allison Goodman
City of Lost Souls - Cassandra Clare
Kiss the Dead - Laurell K. Hamilton
Under the Never Sky - Veronica Rossi
Across the Universe/ A Million Suns - Beth Revis
The Immortal Rules - Julie Kagawa

Since I have so many books to read I've been trying to resist buying even more books (so hard!) but I do want to buy more of the adult urban fantasy series I'm reading, I've been on a YA kick so I like to switch off from time to time. But the books aren't going anywhere right? There will be time for them all!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest - Lightbulb Moment

So today for the Buccaneer Blogfest we're supposed to talk about the inspiration behind our WIPs. For me, I really love the inspiration part of the writing process, because I never know when it's going to hit and I love seeing what my imagination comes up with. What's interesting to me is that I always have a list of book ideas that I keep on the back burner, and I always think my next book will come from that list, but it almost never does. I could be totally excited about an existing idea, then a new idea will pop in and that will be what I end up writing instead.

Affairs of the Dead was one of those new ideas that randomly came to me. I remember what initially came to mind was thoughts about a world where people died but their ghosts stuck around because they had unfinished business that they needed help with. Now I promise you I had never even thought about the T.V. show "Ghost Whisperer" (which I have never watched), until I was in the early stages of planning the book, was all giddy and excited about it, and was telling my cousin about it and she said "Oh like Ghost Whisperer!" Then the brakes squealed and I thought, crap, am I just ripping off that show? So I looked it up and even though the premise is similar -- female MC helping ghosts with unfinished business, ultimately what Affairs grew into was something I feel is unique enough to stand on its own and I regained my excitement about it. After that, my first scene came to mind, and I started writing pretty quickly. It was one of my ten day novels, the first draft flowed out quickly, and now it's in the editing stage.

So, that's basically my lightbulb moment for Affairs of the Dead.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hookers and Hangers Blogfest -- Hangers

My entry for the Buccaneer Blogfest can be found here. And before I get to my Hangers, I'd like to say thanks for all the comments on my Hookers, I'm glad people enjoyed my first line. So now here are my hangers:
  • I knew my best bet for getting her laid would be in a strip club where money came first and dignity was a distant second.
  • She smiled at my sarcasm and bid me goodbye as I left her office and went back to the tenth floor and the folder of tasks I had to get cracking on.
  • One, that I was among the small population of necromancers who carried the very illegal ability to reanimate the dead, and two that Micah was the only person who knew that.
  • “My body is alive,” he said, blue eyes fixed on me as though he was willing me to believe him. “I’m just not the one walking around in it.”
  • “Just don’t stand there and watch me sleep. It’s creepy…”
  • Andrew just laughed, pulled me into his lap, and got me out of my underwear.
  • Some girls had all the fun.
  • But, you know, running around the city with Ethan in pursuit of his stolen body could be fun too.
  • “I guess that’s a no.”
  • It was Athena.
  • Our relationship had changed yet again, but I had absolutely no idea what it had changed into.
  • He held me for a little while longer and when we let go, he gently touched my cheek, then headed to his car.
  • Imagine that.
  • It was a beautiful moment among the chaos that had suddenly descended into my life.
  • I pounded my fist against the closed elevator door and screamed, feeling angry and frustrated and devastated.
  • Ghost Ethan was fighting his body jacker.
  • He kissed me again, and we fell asleep with our arms tight around each other.
  • He sighed and started up the car.
  • “We need to head to the office. Now.”
  • I would have laughed at her attempt to side with me under the fear that I’d do what Larry did, but this was one situation even I couldn’t find the humor in.
  • Right now it seemed like all the roads only led to dark places.
  • “Show me how you play this game, Ethan,” I said. “Yelling and cursing at it seems to have helped you these last few days. I want in.”

Buccaneer Blogfest - Character Interview

Another double post today, first up is a character interview for the Buccaneer Blogfest. I actually did a character interview last month for the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun blogfest, so I'm gonna cheat and re-use it =) Here goes:

1. How would you describe your hero?
A royal pain in my ass! At least in the beginning. Micah was hostile towards me for no reason, but it's not like I cared too much about what crawled up his butt. Though alright, he's gorgeous, but he's plowed through half the women in the office, including me, one drunken night. He actually turned hateful after that night, and I always figured it was because he thought I'd be so enamored with him afterwards I'd throw myself at him and beg to be his girlfriend. And that definitely didn't happen.  But recently things have been changing, Micah and I had a heart to heart about a lot of things, including the true reason for his hostility, and I have to say waking up in a hospital room and seeing him there changed a lot for me...
2. What's your biggest date horror story?
HA, only one? Well suffice to say I get around a lot, oh, that really makes me sound like a big tramp doesn't it? Okay, I get around...periodically, how's that? One time a guy took me out and his idea of a date was pizza then drinking at a seedy bar in the West Village; which I was okay with don't get me wrong, any night that can combine pizza and liquor for me is a good night. But when prince charming got so hammered he ended up throwing up on me but still wanted to get into my pants, I'd have to say that date belongs in the sucky pile.
3. What turns you off from a guy the most?
Throwing up on me is a pretty big turn off, but since I'm an aggressive sorta girl I have to say someone who can't match me on that isn't someone whose gonna get the goods if you know what I mean. 
4. What's the best date you ever had? 
I'll get back to you on that one, see I'm only now realizing my hitting and quitting ways aren't quite working for me any more...Micah seems to be interested in me for more than a good time between the sheets, but I'm terrified of messing this up. Because let's face it, making a mess of things is sorta my MO.
5. Kiss on the first date?
Sure, we can start with a kiss... 
6. What gets a guy a second date?
Again, I'll get back to you on this.
7. Boxers or briefs on your guy?
Boxers for sure, you can't get me hot and bothered if you're coming at me in tightie whities.
8. What is one thing you believe can tell a lot about a person?
What they will do for you when it really matters. If you end up in the hospital, will they drop everyone and come even if it's not life threatening? Or will they leave you an expensive necklace on your desk at work then expect you to come and thank them for it? Because I've experienced both, and the behavior of the person who did the latter taught me a lesson almost too late.
9. What attracts you to a guy the most?
Scenario A from above. And nice biceps. And abs. And Micah's gray eyes...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest - Work in Progress

If you're looking for my post for the Hookers and Hangers Blogfest, it's here. Today's post for the Buccaneer Blogfest actually ties in nicely with the Hookers and Hangers fest since this week it's all about our WIPs and today we're to post the first paragraph. So here's the first paragraph of Affairs of the Dead:
I was in a strip club trying to help a ghost get laid, which was challenging, but not impossible. It was just extremely taxing on the necromancer extraordinaire (me) who had to channel energy into the ghost to make her corporeal enough to entice one of the stripper boys. Technically what I was doing was illegal, but it was my job to help ghosts settle their affairs so they could move on to eternally ever after, and Julia’s unfinished business was that she’d died a virgin. I’d made it as easy as I could for her by starting at a strip club; if she couldn’t get some here I wasn’t sure how much lower I could scrape the barrel. 

Hookers and Hangers Blogfest

Today I'll be double posting since other than the Buccaneer Blogfest there's the Hookers and Hangers Blogfest hosted by the ladies over at Falling for Fiction. Today we're supposed to post the first line from each chapter (or as many chapters as we want) from our novels, so I will be posting the first chapter lines from my most recent novel, Affairs of the Dead. (It's adult urban fantasy).

  • I was in a strip club trying to help a ghost get laid; which was challenging, but not impossible.
  • I barely knew how I’d made the drive home last night without crashing into a light post; after exhausting myself by channeling energy into Julia, I was almost a corpse myself.
  • Micah wasn’t lurking around as far as I could see, and I hoped he was out on a job because I didn’t care for another snarky confrontation with him.
  • I left the suite and headed back to the eighth floor to the dead witches, but my thoughts were distracted.
  • “What the hell are you talking about?” I asked Ethan.
  • The next morning Ethan was sitting on my couch looking no less pathetic than he had last night.
  • When I woke up the next morning I was still sore from all the manual labor with Larry, but I was also sore from my romp with Andrew, which was the only type of soreness I enjoyed.
  • The directions to the crime scene were in the folder, but Micah didn’t share them with me, nor did he care to partake in any conversation I tried to start, so all in all we had a very awkward drive.
  • Ethan was Mr. Chatty as soon as I walked through the door, but I ignored him because the first thing I wanted to do was take my reanimator power back; I had forgotten to do it yesterday, but thankfully hadn’t hit the danger zone yet.
  • I didn’t see Ethan all of Saturday so I guess he was still off sulking, or once again trying to find his body on his own.
  • “I can’t believe this,” I said.
  • The next day at work didn’t yield any progress for Micah and I on the case.
  • Ethan was eagerly awaiting me at home, but for a change it wasn’t so he could badger me about finding his body, he seemed really excited to show me something, which made me wonder what mischief a ghost could have gotten into in my house.
  • A nurse had just finished helping me put my clothes back on, which were worse for the wear but were all I had to go home in, when there was a knock on the door and I turned to see Ilyse standing there.
  • When I woke up the next morning, the first thing I did was smile because I remembered kissing Micah last night.
  • When I got home I tried calling Micah but he didn’t answer, not that I thought he would.
  • “Ethan!”
  • Ethan was still on my couch in the morning, and was able to bring himself into a full sitting position even though his eyes still looked haunted.
  • Three hours later we had surprised over a dozen people at home or on the street as they walked their dogs, had driven through all of the boroughs and gone as far as Long Island, and still hadn’t come across Larry
  • My heart was in my throat by the time we were nearing the office building; I was gripping the headrest to keep myself from throwing my body out the car door, rolling to my feet, and running the rest of way.
  • There went my theory that putting Luna’s ghost back into her body would help me not be discovered; I guess I couldn’t really expect that to work since the dog had undergone reanimation twice.
  • Two weeks later, Ethan and I were still free; Ilyse had kept me informed about our case with the government and so far it looked like we’d be okay for a while since no one could conclude what to do with us that wouldn’t involve killing us.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bucaneer Blogfest - About My Blog

So for today's post we are supposed to talk about our blogs, although I don't think I have a very interesting blog story! But here goes.

I started blogging in March of 2010, because I wanted to chronicle my journey towards becoming a published writer. At that point my writing was starting to kick into high gear after being a bit sluggish for a while, so I thought it would be fun to blog about the process. However, that year my blogging was extremely sparse, I only did 10 blog posts that year. I think I just couldn't think of anything to write about, plus I didn't have any followers yet so it's not like I thought there were people out there who read what I wrote, ha. Anyway, I'll fast forward to when my blog started to change, which was around July of last year when I signed up for Deana Barnhardt's 'Gearing up to get an Agent' blogfest. Deana was actually the first person to follow my blog (and pointed out that I didn't even have the GFC up - silly me), and from her blogfest I gained my first followers. After that blogfest I did Rachel Harrie's Platform Building Campaign and was happy to gain more followers. So I can definitely say I owe the growth of my blog to blogfests, particularly those two.

I never really set out to accomplish anything per se with my blog except to have a place to blog about whatever I wanted, and meet more writers, which I'm glad I've done. Sometimes I don't know what to blog about, but I love that there are always blogfests going on because other than them being fun, participating keeps my blog active. My blog has definitely grown from the sparse thing it was when I started, and I definitely feel more comfortable blogging.

Well, that's basically my blogging story in a nutshell =)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bucaneer Blogfest - About Me

I'm excited to be part of Sharon Bayliss' Buccaneer blogfest since I think it will be a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to meeting more awesome writers. To kick things off we have to do an "About Me" post, so here goes!

Back Story in a flash: Originally from Trinidad, I currently live in NYC.

Writer's Story: I've been writing novels for about ten years now, having started when I was fourteen. My first novel was about vampires of course, but they existed in a parallel realm that a human girl gets drawn into because she contains one of three "powers" a power hungry vampire is looking for. It was completely handwritten, as were my next three books, then I switched to typing. I knew all along typing was easier and more practical but I had developed a fondness for hand writing my books so I stuck with it for a while. Since I was writing during my teen years it was natural for my books to be YA, but my last eight books have been adult urban fantasy and it's now my favorite genre to write in. To date I've written seventeen novels. I'm still at the query stage, going along with the highs and lows that come with that.

Writing Style: I used to be a plotter but I've turned into a panster. I never thought I'd leave my outlines behind but I was pleasantly surprised with how my novels flowed when I didn't have an outline, only notes. Now I'm not sure I'll ever plot again, hah. I've become progressively faster at writing my first drafts, my fastest time being ten days.

Current Project: I've written three novels for the year already so I'm taking a reprieve from writing, although there are always ideas in the back of my mind. I'm also a wee burnt out from the intense editing I did on my second to last novel, so my most recent novel is still waiting for me to finish editing.

Other than writing...: I love to read of course. I also draw, paint, and do some graphic design. (I make cards and other things on Etsy -TsukiStar).

Where you can find me:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Murder Mystery Blogfest - Queen Solenne's Interrogation

It's time for Queen Solenne to be put through the ringer, will she come out innocent, or guilty?

Your Highness, you're not the type to be tricked, scammed, or even inconvenienced, certainly not by a lowly human. A man like Lenny Glow doesn't deserve to kiss your shoe, so if he were to cross you, you'd snuff him out like the insect he is, correct?

I would do worse than 'snuff him out' as you say. No one crosses the Queen of Shadows and Souls! Death is far too quick and final a punishment, so why would I ever just kill someone who displeased me when I could torture them for decades? Through truth be told humans are so much less resilient when it comes to torture...

But Mr. Glow didn't see himself that way. He thought he...a mere mortal...was untouchable. He was able to get politicians and leaders to do his bidding. Able to get beautiful woman to show him favor. I've yet to come across anyone who didn't have good reason to stuff his stomach with spiders. But not many of them could. But you...the witch Queen of Shadows and souls could do this as easily as scratching an itch. Am I right there?

Why would I deny that which is true? Human imaginations are far too limited, I could teach you humans a thing or two about murder and torture. You rely too much on bullets and knives. Though I must say the era where tying bricks to someone's feet and dropping them into a river was the norm was a favorite time of mine.

I have information that you crossed paths with Lenny Glow. Mr. Glow wanted to collect some debts, and was tired of using his usual thugs, so he wished to employ your Shadow Monsters. Personally, I can't imagine any interaction between you and the sleazy Mr. Glow that wouldn't end with his stomach filled with spiders, at least. So what is your story?
Mr. Glow would not be so stupid as to approach me for my Shadow Monsters, and my dear I know I must have painted an awful picture of myself and you may be just about ready to pin this on me, but let me tell you this...I am unable to step into the human world, the realm of witches is where I must stay, so while I very well could stuff this Lenny Glow with spiders and leave him to rot, is it actually possible? Of course there is my henchman Jorix who scuttles between the worlds for me....*sly smile*
Well, that's Queen Solenne for you, she would never deny being evil to the core, but she'd also try to lead you down a false path, so it will be up to the detectives to discern her guilt or innocence, though if she's guilty I doubt there's anything they could do to bring her to justice.