Posts Tagged ‘Urban Fantasy’

Happy Book Birthday: MORIBUND!

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Get yours:


B & N




And even though it’s MORIBUND’s birthday, you’re the one getting the gift! to celebrate, we have a ton of giveaways and goodies.

Enter our Rafflecopter and win cool Elf and Fae tiaras and more!


Enter our Goodreads giveaway and win one of 10 copies of MORIBUND, ebook or print version–your choice!


Lastly, I wanted to take a moment to thank a few key people without whom Circuit Fae would never have become a reality.

First, I want to thank the founder of Monster House Books, Christina Bauer, for her relentless efforts in making MORIBUND and me a success, for her business savvy, for her expertise in all things YA, and for being so very good at talking me off the ledge when I need it.

Second, to my wonderful editor, Erin. Girl, you always show me the forest when I’m lollygagging at the trees. Your patience and grace and wealth of writing kung-fu astounds me. I am very fortunate to be working with you.

Third, to Kelly, Kimberly, and Alli, and all the folks at INscribe Digital who have worked so tirelessly and enthusiastically to make MORIBUND’s launch so awesome. Your belief in me and dedication mean the world to me!

To my fiancee, Laura. My self-proclaimed biggest fan. I could not do this without you. You are the fair Fae to my dark Fae, the winter to my summer. My everything. Thank you.

Last but not least, to the friends, family, bloggers, reviewers, readers, and everyone who bought a copy, who took their time to give MORIBUND a review or rating, thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

Y’all are the best!


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A Study in Scarlet vs A Study in Shifters

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

The Adventures of Marisol Holmes: A Study in Shifters is completely different from Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Study in Scarlet”, but the title is based on it. “A Study in Scarlet” was published in 1887 and marks the first appearance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

Since the Marisol Holmes series features a heroine who is the great-great-granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes, and who has the same intelligent, sharp mind as her ancestor does, it made a lot of sense to base the title of the first book in the series on the title of the first Sherlock Holmes book. And admit it, “A Study in Shifters” sounds pretty cool either way.

In “A Study in Scarlet”, Dr. Watson (the narrator) meets Sherlock Holmes, who reveals he’s a consulting detective. They first meet in a laboratory where Holmes is experimenting and explains to Watson the importance of bloodstains as evidence in criminal trials. In A Study of Shifters, Marisol too explains the importance of bloodstains in crime scenes.

Watson is amazed by how perceptive Holmes is, considering the consulting detective notices right away that Watson served in Afghanistan, without the doctor telling him.

Holmes is asked to consult on a murder case, but he’s reluctant to do so. Watson urges him to reconsider, and then Holmes invites Watson along. While Watson is on the sidelines, more a spectator than an active participant in solving the crime, and most of the credit goes to Holmes, he does offer some helpful suggestions that help Holmes along the way.


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Win a Free Copy of MORIBUND!

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

It’s nearly here! Only six more days till you can get your hot little hands on a copy of MORIBUND, book one in The Circuit Fae series!

And to celebrate, we’ve got this awesome GoodReads giveaway, running the entire month of September!

Enter to win one of 10 free copies of MORIBUND. And the best thing? You can choose: ebook or print book.

That’s a deal even a dark Fae could love!

Enter the Giveaway!

Add Moribund to your GoodReads To-Read List!

And thanks for all your love and support! I couldn’t do this with you all.


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The Adventures of Marisol Holmes: All About Otters

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

One of the main characters in The Adventures of Marisol Holmes: A Study in Shifters, Wyatt Johnson, is an otter shifter. Now, otters look adorable, but they’re much more to otters than meets the eye–and the same counts for Wyatt. Let’s learn a bit more about our otter friends.

Otters have long, slim bodies and short limbs. They have powerful webbed feet which they use to swim, and seal-like abilities which permit them to hold their breath underwater. They have sharp claws on their feet and long, muscular tails. There are actually thirteen species of otters.

For most otters, fish is the number one item on their menu. Sometimes they also add in frogs, crayfish and crabs. Otters are active hunters, chasing prey in the water or searching the beds of rivers and lakes. Otters require a lot of food: European otters must eat 15% of their body weight each day. Sea otters need even more, 20-25%, depending on the temperature of the water. Most species hunt for three to five hours each day, and nursing mothers even hunt for eight hours each day.

Did you know an otter’s den is actually called a holt or couch? I had no idea!

Otters are popular animals in Japanese folklore. In Japanse folklore, otters fool humans the same way foxes do (think of the kitsune). They can apparently, according to the stories, shapeshift into beautiful women. They will answer questions in a crytical way. However, there’s also a story of an otter shifting into a beautiful woman, and luring males to their deaths by eating them. Yikes! Turns out these cute animals are quite dangerous after all, at least in folklore.


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Win All the Pretty Things!

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Win all the pretty things! Including this cool Circuit Fae: Moribund elf tiara and ear cuff set!

 Enter now!

To celebrate the September 12th launch of Circuit Fae: Moribund, Monster House Books and I are giving away a bunch of cool elf and Fae themed swag!

Up for grabs:

  • Silver Elf Tiara and Ear Cuff set
  • Syl’s Sun and Circuit Board pendant
  • Leather Fae Arm Cuff
  • A copy of Circuit Fae: Moribund (ebook or print)

 See ImagesEnter Now!          ___________________

Dark Fae. Romance. Evil Plots. High school.

Our heroines could be in for the greatest adventure ever.If only they could decide whether to kill or kiss each other. 

High school sophomore Syl Skye is an ordinary girl. At least, she’s trying to be. School photographer and all-around geek, she introverts hard and keeps her crush on sexy-hot glam-Goth star Euphoria on the down-low.

But when a freak accident Awakens her slumbering power, Syl is forced to accept a destiny she never wanted—as the last sleeper-princess of the fair Fae.

Suddenly hunted by the dark Fae, Syl’s pretty sure things can’t get any worse. Until she discovers her secret crush, Euphoria, is really a dark Circuit Fae able to harness the killing magic in technology. Even worse, she’s been sent to destroy Syl.

With mean girls and magic and dark Fae trying to kill her, it’ll take more than just “clap if you believe in fairies” to save Syl’s bacon—not to mention, her heart.

Coming September 12th. Lock in your copy now!

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The Adventures of Marisol Holmes: All About Leopards

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

In The Adventures of Marisol Holmes: A Study in Shifters, two of the characters, Elise Fell and Reyna Fell, are leopard shifters. Leopards are closely related to jaguars, from the way they look to the way they hunt, but despite the resemblances, there are some stark differences between the two species.

Just like the jaguar, the leopard is one of the five big cats in the genus Panthera. It has relatively short legs, but a long body and large skull. It’s smaller and lighter than a jaguar. There are 9 subspecies of leopards recognized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), namely the African leopard, Indian leopard, Arabian leopard, Persian leopard (also known as Central Asian leopar or Caucasian leopard), North Chinese leopard, Amur leopard, Indochinese leopard, Javan leopard and Sri Lankan leopard. As you can see, most of the species are divided based on their hunting grounds and where they’ve been found.

All these subspecies have small morphological differences from one another. On top of that, the texture and colour of a leopard’s fur often varies too by climate and geography; leopards in forests are darker than those in deserts.

The leopards primarily occur in Africa, and eastern and southeast Asia. They’re very adaptable, and can thrive in forests as well as in savannas. They can climb on trees and are often resting on tree branches during the day. They even drag their kills up trees and hang them there. Leopards are solitary predators.

Leopards often appeared in mythology. Egyptian priests wore the skin of a leopard, in particular the skin of black panthers, which they saw as a symbol for the spirit of Set.





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How to Deal With Rejection

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

As a senior editor for a romance e-publisher, oftentimes, my job is to disappoint hopeful authors, to tell them that their work is not up to par.

I often joke that my job is to tell people their book baby is ugly.

As an author, I know how criticism and rejection can sting. I know the knee-jerk reaction to call that agent, that editor, that publisher a stupid stupidface who doesn’t understand you, your work, the genre, anything.

I get it. I really do.

As writers, we’re passionate about our work! And I think it’s okay to experience that knee-jerk reaction.

With a few caveats.

1. Never, never, never vent in public. ESPECIALLY not on social media. Not even for a second. Not even if you take it down in the next five minutes.

I can guarantee you someone somewhere has a screenshot, and that outburst will come back to haunt you forever.

Why? Because it makes you look like an unprofessional jerk. Rejection and criticism are part and parcel of writing. If you can’t stand the heat, don’t expect your writing to be well-forged.

So vent in private–in private emails, messages, and groups–and only to your Circle of Trust.

2. After you’re done venting in private, go back to the rejection letter and really read it. Look at what it says and what it doesn’t say.

These people are professionals in their field. They’ve read extensively in your genre. They’re also overworked as hell. If they are taking their time to offer you good, solid critique, seriously consider taking it.

Make something out of it.

3. If you find you’re getting rejected a lot, I highly recommend a critique group or beta readers who: a) know your genre and b) will give you honest feedback.

As tempting as it may be to ask your best friend or your mom or your SO to read your work, they may not be the best person. A good crit partner or beta reader is someone who doesn’t have a vested interest in making you happy, but will give you the good with the bad in a detailed and constructive way.

Why do I recommend this? Oftentimes, we can’t see the flaws because we’re so close to the work. Oftentimes, it will take the author 3-4 drafts to figure out a problem when simply talking it out with a crit partner can provide far quicker results.

Not to mention: many of the stories I’ve rejected were ones where the author clearly, clearly, clearly did not have even one person read the work before sending it off to me.

Do you really want that acquisitions editor to be the first one to read your book?

Spoiler alert: No. No you don’t.

As with any advice, your mileage may vary here. Becoming a successful writer is a different path for everyone. I hope my advice helps you on your way!

Slán go fóill!



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The Adventures of Marisol Holmes: All About Jaguars

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

In The Adventures of Marisol Homes: A Study in Shifters, our main character, Marisol, is a half-human / half-jaguar shifter. Her mother is a full blood jaguar shifter. Of course, I couldn’t write about jaguar shifters without doing some research into jaguars.

Turns out, jaguars are actually pretty amazing. They’re the third-largest big cat, after the tiger and lion, and the largest in the Americas. It’s genus is Panthera, which it shares with the leopard, tiger, lion, cheetah, and the other big cats.

The jaguar’s current hunting grounds range from Southwestern United States and Mexico, across much of Central America, even to Paraguay and northern Argentina.

Physically, the jaguar is closest related to the leopard, but it has a larger, sturdier build. The jaguar doesn’t live in packs, it’s a solitary predator at the top of the food chain in the regions it occupies.

The jaguar has the most powerful bite of all the big cats. When a jaguar wants to kill its prey, it bites between the ears and bites directly through the skull, into the brain–usually, a fatal bite.

Did you know a black panther isn’t actually a seperate species? A black panther is either a jaguar or a leopard with color morphism, into a near-black, melanistic form. Jaguars with melanism appear entirely black. Extremely rare are albino jaguars, also called white panthers.

Jaguars are often present in Aztec mythology. The Aztecs used the image of the jaguar as the representative of the ruler, and as a warrior. The Aztecs even had an elite warrior clans, known as the Jaguar Knights. How awesome is that?



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Fae Realms: OverHill and UnderHollow Boards!

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

In honor of the Moribund eSampler staying in the Top 10 in the LGBT Fiction category on Amazon for over a month, I’m releasing two more of my concept inspiration boards.


The first is a concept board for OverHill, the realm of the fair Fae and the seat of the Summer Court. It’s from OverHill that Syl’s white flame power springs–something that becomes a wee bit…problematic for our favorite sleeper-princess in Circuit Fae 2: Ouroboros. 

Along with trying to learn to control her power, Syl must find her place in OverHill and the Summer Court, a place where she and Rouen can be together without fear and judgment–no easy feat since the fair Fae and the dark Fae have been at war since the Cleaving that split Faerie into Fair and Dark.

Not to mention, Aldebaran Prince of the fair Fae has his own plans for Syl, and they do not include a certain dark Fae princess.

We’re pretty sure Rouen and Syl both are going to have a lot to say about that!

In the meantime, enjoy the bright and gorgeous art on the OverHill board. Even a dark Fae would have to admit, it’s pretty boss.


The second is a concept board for UnderHollow, the realm of the dark Fae, and the seat of the Winter Court. It’s from UnderHollow that Rouen’s “euphoria” power springs–a power that is altered irrevocably when she becomes a Circuit Fae for a time.

Rouen travels briefly to UnderHollow in Circuit Fae: Moribund, but in Circuit Fae: Ouroboros,Rouen is forced into a battle with Fiann for the ultimate prize–the throne of Dark Faerie.

Will she take the crown and become queen, sealing her fate as Syl’s enemy for all time? Or will Syl and Rouen find another way–a way where they can be together?

Stay tuned! And in the meantime, check out all the atmospheric dark beauty of the UnderHollow board. No wonder Rouen’s so emo-broody all the time!

Have a board you’d like to see? Drop me a line here!

Slán go fóill!


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The Adventures of Marisol Holmes: Paris Catacombs

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

A Study in Shifters is set in two primary locations: the first one is Waynard Academy, a boarding school in England, and the second location is Paris.

Now, luckily, I’ve visited Paris a few times before, three times to be exact. This helped me get a feel of the place before I wrote about it. I know all the tourist attractions, the landmarks, some of the street names. I’ve seen the Notre Dame twice so I can describe how it looks like, what feelings overwhelm tourists as they head inside.

But the one place I haven’t visited yet in Paris, is the catacombs.

Now, I’ve been in catacombs before, particularly the ones in Rome, and you get more or less the same claustrophic, slightly eerie vibe as you head into that underground labyrinth. For the Paris catacombs, I had to do some reseach though, considering I’d never been there.

Turns out the Catacombs of Paris aren’t really all that old. They were founded in the eighteenth century, two millennia later than the ones founded in Rome. The officials of Paris were struggling with two problems in the eighteenth century: cave-ins and overdlowing cemeteries. During the night, they transferred remains from the cemeteries to reinforced tunnels underneath the ground. More than six million people are now buried in the catacombs of Paris.

Nowadays, Parisians refer to the tunnels under Paris as the “catacombs” – not just to the smaller network of catacomb tunnels themselves, but to all underground tunnels.

A fun anecdote about the Paris catacombs, in 2004, police discovered a fully equipped movie theater in one of the caverns, equipped with a giant cinema screen, audience seats, and a complete restaurant.

If they could hide all that in one of those underground caverns… Think about what else could be hidden deep inside those catacombs.

The pictures used in this post are actually pretty amazing. They’ve been taken by Felix Nadar in 1861, and show case the very first use of the illumination technique with artificial light. The pictures are from Wikimedia Commons, and to see the fulll collection, go here.

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