Saturday, October 27, 2012


Here's my piece for Dani and Jackie's Spooktoberfest, in which we had to incorporate the words cobwebs, jack-o-lantern, ghost, cauldron, and razor into a 300 word piece:

The only light I had to see by came from the flickering candle inside the jack-o-lantern that sat in the corner of the room. During the day it had looked like a non-threatening, smiling pumpkin, but now the shadows that crowded around it and the flame that danced inside it made it look like it had crawled out of a nightmare. I swept my eyes around the room for the hundredth time; trying to convince myself I was safe. I would have given myself more light, but I didn’t want to give them any more reason to find me. Though really, could you hide from ghosts? I laughed softly at the thought, but it wasn’t a happy laugh, it was the laugh of someone whose mind had melted into a miasma of insanity; like a cauldron full of toils and troubles, something spun from razor sharp nightmares that cut through the defenses I had tried to build up like they were nothing but cobwebs. I had definitely lost my mind, because it was Halloween night, and here I was sitting in a dark room with a pumpkin for company, waiting for ghosts to come and claim me. They had warned me, but I hadn’t listened.

A laugh resounded somewhere outside, and it sounded like the laughter of some innocent soul who didn’t know what this night was really about. Then the windows suddenly rattled as a gust of wind slammed into them; the door shook and the candle flamed snuffed out, and that laughter abruptly became a scream. And I was next.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Urban Fantasy Bloghop + Giveaway!

Today is the start of Yelena Casle's Urban Fantasy bloghop, and I'm happy to be participating! Here's my Q&A:

1. What do you love about the Urban Fantasy genre? (reading and writing)

I love the darkness and grittiness I get to explore with urban fantasy. As much as I enjoy reading YA, I love the adult aspect of urban fantasy because of the themes I get to explore. I love the mix of action, suspense, magic, and of course the sex and romance. Kick ass heroines and sexy, supernatural alpha men? Count me in! This counts for both reading and writing. With my books, I love being able to encompass things like politics, murder, romance, and kickassness all in one. I don't have to be afraid to hold back, you can definitely push the envelope with the genre.

2. Who is the sexiest supernatural creature? Who is the scariest?

In terms of sex appeal, I think a smoldering hot were-animal is pretty sexy. The muscles, the heat, the dangerous air about them, the dominant personality -- hot! Scariest, hmm....zombies perhaps? Because they are as least sexy as you can get, you pretty much have to run for your lives to keep your brains in your head. Or of course if we're talking UF, you can stick around and kick their asses.

3. If you could make any supernatural creature, what would it look like and what powers would it have?

I like things that are not just one thing, so maybe some sort of demon/witch hybrid (I actually have this sort of character in one of my books and he's a lot of fun) So he has magic but can also suck the soul from your body. He'd be a good looking guy of course lol

4. Do you have any Halloween rituals?

I actually don't, because where I spent my childhood (Trinidad), Halloween wasn't a big deal like it is in the states, so I didn't grow up having one thought or another about it. So even as an adult I don't have anything I ritually do on Halloween, I have fun if I can, if not it's not a big deal.

5. Walking at midnight in a forest on Halloween - crazy, scary or adventurous?

All of the above!

6. What is your worst fear?

Being buried alive. Drowning also seems like it would suck.

7. What is one of your character's worst fear?

Hm, I think I'll use Selene, from my most recent novel, Affairs of the Dead. I think one of her fears is not feeling as though she is good enough to handle a healthy relationship. She might very well run from it.

8. What is your favorite Urban Fantasy novel?

How can I have a favorite! My first foray into the genre was Laurell K. Hamilton so I will always have a soft spot for the Anita Blake novels, especially the earlier ones. I've been reading Richelle Mead lately so I've been enjoying her series.

9. Who is your favorite Urban Fantasy hero/heroine?

I like Richelle Mead's Eugenie from her Thorn Queen series. Hero...hmm! Jean Claude from the Anite Blake series is one sexy vamp in my opinion, but really, how can I choose?

10. Which hero/heroine would you love to be on Halloween?

I'll be myself, just give me some kick ass powers! lol

For my giveaway, I will be giving away an ARC of "A Conspiracy of Alchemists" by Liesel Schwarz, which is to be published in March 2013. Just comment on this post and I will choose the winner at random!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Crewel Discussion

As part of our BEA book club, we swap questions about the book, so here's my Q&A with the ladies:

Did you find the concept of weaving and all it involves to be easy to grasp or a little confusing? At what point in the book did you totally understand it?

Alexa: It was such a cool idea! I actually took a long time to understand it - it was probably towards the second third of the book that I really started getting what they were referring to. It was a bit difficult for me to visualize, but I do think that it’s pretty well-done.

Rachel: I found the concept a little confusing, however, like Alexa, I was able to understand it better in the latter of the book. It was a REALLY cool idea, and I was able to fully grasp the weaving concept in a particular scene ((**SPOILERS when Jost was explaining how his wife and baby were ‘ripped’ away**))

Shanella: I also took a long time to grasp the concept - about ¾ of the way through - and while I thought the world building was done well, I can also see the story losing readers because it takes such a long to really explain the world. A few action examples in the opening might have been more beneficial.

A.J: I was unclear about how it all worked until later in the story, and I also wish there had been clearer examples earlier on to help me understand how things worked. I felt like it was a little bit of a stretch to believe that an entire world was built using threads and looms, and I wasn’t really sure what sort of mental image to have during the scenes involving the looms where it seemed as though the characters were seeing what was going on, I the threads work like a television screen or something? Ripping was a concept that was easier to grasp, though, even though it’s kind of frightening to think that just ripping a certain thread would end someone’s life!

 For more Q&A head to:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Book Review - Crewel

Amazon description:

For generations, Spinsters have been called by Arras’s Manipulation Services to work the looms and determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die. Gifted with the rare ability to weave time with matter, Adelice is exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But once you become a Spinster, there is no turning back. Now caught in a web of lies and intrigue, Adelice must decide who to trust: her kind mentor, Enora; the handsome and mysterious valet Jost; or the charismatic Guild ambassador Cormac Patton. They each have secrets, but Adelice is about to unravel the deadliest one of all, a sinister truth that could destroy reality as she knows it.


Crewel gets points for its high concept; I had never read a book like this before, that took the concept of spinning and weaving and turned it into something the entire world of the book was based on. It actually reminded me a little of the movie Wanted, where it’s revealed that the Fraternity did things based on a Loom of Fate that involved weaving. I remember being somewhat confused by the weaving concept in the movie, and it was the same for Crewel.

It took me a little time to sink into the world because I did not immediately grasp the concept of weaving and how it worked. In some ways I feel as though the novel did not quite achieve what it set out to in regards to building a story around the concept of weaving things in and out of existence. However, as the story progressed I started to understand it a little more, so it was not too much of a struggle to read the book through.

What was less appealing to me about the book was the fact that I don’t feel as though a lot happened throughout most of it. There weren’t a lot of twists or revelations, it was more like a gradual unveiling of information, but I was not sure where it was all leading. That said, I realize that the story is more character driven than plot driven, but given the scope and uniqueness of the world, I wish there had been more stakes involved for Adelice. Speaking of Adelice, I have to say that I did not connect with her very strongly; I understood why she had the sort of personality that she had, but I found myself disliking her more than liking her.

There is a love triangle, of course, with boys who could be seen as polar opposites, and I was drawn to one pairing more than the other. Also, while I found Adelice and Jost’s interactions to be cute, I wondered about what reason they really had to like each other. However, Jost is more than just a love interest, he has his own story and agenda, and I think it will be interesting to see where future novels take the story, especially given how it ends.

Overall, I think Crewel was less than I was expecting, I was not blown away by it, but I did not dislike it. It is very unique, and I would be interested to see how it develops.
Crewel gets three out of five.