Posts Tagged ‘YA’

Rouen’s Moribund Playlist

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

One of the things I do while writing is listen to music. And for each project, I have a different sound, a different feel that helps me get into the mood of the characters, the setting, the world. For my lesbian epic fantasy, I listened to a lot of sweeping movie scores like Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Lord of the Rings, and a lot of Two Steps From Hell, who do epic-sounding fighty music.

I wanted Circuit Fae to have a different feel, more fluid and wild, more modern and angsty. The Circuit Fae playlists had to capture the exhilaration of falling in love, the angst of wondering if she feels the same way, the pain of being separated. Plus, it had to capture the Fae themselves—the dark Fae of the Winter Court, cold and merciless; and the fair Fae of the Summer Court, fiery and passionate.

So I started making Pandora stations and playlists of my own. I added to them every week. Now, my main Circuit Fae playlist is over eight hours. It contains music from Sia to Siouxsie, from Lindsey Stirling to Halsey.

I wanted every playlist to seethe with emotion. Especially Rouen’s.

Rouen is the Villainess who starts off trying to kill the Heroine, but eventually teams up with her. Rouen’s got a lot of baggage and sometimes scolds herself for being too broody and emo. A dark Fae princess, she’s been stripped of her birthright for daring to speak out against the males in her dark Faerie homeland, UnderHollow.

As punishment, she’s forced to be a Huntress of the Wild Hunt under the command of the Big Bad, the Huntsman. So she’s got every right to be emo.

The true Rouen playlist has over a hundred songs, but I’ve chosen these ten specifically for you, my pretties. Enjoy all the emo goodness!

Until next time, slán go fóill!



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Moribund Free Chapters: Coming June 20th!

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

That’s right, my pretties! The Moribund Sampler is coming on June 20, 2017!

I’m overwhelmed by your amazing response to the Moribund cover reveal and back cover copy! Since then, I’ve been getting a lot of questions, the most frequent “But, GIE, why is the wait for Moribund so loooooong?”

Now, I’m a fellow reader as well as an author, and I know how tough it can be waiting it out for a book release. (I’m tearing through Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Wings and Ruin as we speak.)

I want you to know that I hear you, loud and clear!

So, Monster House and I have decided to release the Moribund Sampler for free! That’s right, the first three chapters of Moribund absolutely free. Not to mention, three months early. Woohooo!

I’ll be posting links to the Sampler as soon as I have them.

Meanwhile, you can:

  • Add the Moribund Sampler to your “To Read” shelf on Goodreads

  • Add the full version of Circuit Fae 1: Moribund to your “To Read” shelf on Goodreads

  • Add the full version of Circuit Fae 2: Ouroboros to your “To Read” shelf on Goodreads

  • Lock in your full copy of Moribund, releasing on September 12, 2017

Thanks so much for your support!

Until next time, slán go fóill!



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Reader Spotlight: Amy’s Bookish Life

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

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Update – All Things Circuit Fae!

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Hello, my pretties and all you sleeper-princesses out there!

Several of you have asked for a one-stop shop for important Circuit Fae dates, so I’ve thrown together this handy-dandy blog post for y’all, including exciting breaking info on Circuit Fae 2: Ouroboros!

Ouroboros will detail the further adventures of heroine Syl Skye and villainess-turned-heroine Rouen Rivoche aka Euphoria as they flirty-banter at Richmond Elite High and on the nighttime streets of Richmond–all while fighting the mysterious dark Fae menace, the Ouroboros.

To make matters worse, the fair Fae have awoken at last, and they’ve come to claim Syl. Well, if they think Rouen and Syl are going to give her up without a fight, they’ve got another think coming!

Look for a detailed synopsis soon!

And mark your calendar, because the exciting cover reveal of Circuit Fae: Ouroboros is coming this July 2017! This second cover promises to be just as gorgeous as the first, and this time (drum roll, please), it’ll feature everyone’s favorite sleeper-princess, Syl.

After that, it’s on to the Rock the World blog tour for Moribund! Xpresso Tours and yours truly will be putting together some amazing extra content (playlists, character interviews, favorite quotes, the making of the cover, and more) from September 11th – September 22nd, so look for Moribund on all your favorite YA blog sites.

Don’t forget! Moribund releases on September 12, 2017. Pre-order your copy here!

That’s all for now, my pretties. Until next time… slán go fóill!


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Writing Right: Fight Scene Do’s & Don’t’s

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Fight scenes! Many writers dread writing them, and who can blame them? Writing a good fight scene is an art in itself.

Here are some of my best pieces of advice. Caveat: this is not meant to be an exhaustive list. Also, for every single thing I’ve said here, I will bet you, dollars to donuts, there is a best-selling author who does exactly the opposite. The key is: use and adapt what works for you, your style, and your book. Writing is about constantly, constantly making smart decisions and breaking rules in purpose.

And now, without further ado, my Top 10 List of Do’s & Don’t’s

10. Don’t: Use an Ace When a 2 Will Do

Blasting the bad guy with a Howitzer when he doesn’t need to be blasted with a Howitzer is overkill. Overkill is risky because it can make your hero look like a bully. Instead, make the punishment fit the crime, and you’ll fulfill the reader’s sense of “rightness.”


9. Don’t: Be Afraid to Hurt Your Characters! No One Likes Captain Awesome

Aragorn’s ceremonial scratch on the cheek is bogus. No one fights off 1,000 Uruk-hai and gets a single scratch. No one. Make your heroes earn their victories. Ask yourself: how heroic is it if it’s easy?


8. Don’t: Restrict Your Chara’s Powers

Don’t give your hero time travel only to take it away every time it might become useful.  Instead, let him use the power successfully at least once to show he’s heroic.  Later, instead of restricting the power, you can make it have dire consequences.


7. Do: Be Careful in Making Your Chara an Expert 

Make sure she can pass as an expert. If your hero is a martial artist, make sure you know about the martial arts. Interview an expert if you must, but don’t ever fake it.  Readers are smart and savvy. The second your expert does something novice, it will destroy the credibility of your fight scene, your hero, your book, and all your hard work.


6. Do: Balance Your Forces

And not just because I suggest it, but because Dwight Swain, author of Techniques of the Selling Writer, suggests it. Your hero is only as good as your villain. If your villain is weak, then having your hero defeat her isn’t very heroic.


5. Do: Keep Your Level of Reality Consistent

If your fight scene is hyper-realistic, then keep in mind that people can take a whole lot less punishment than Hollywood would have us believe. Any fight with a weapon will be over quickly. Any blow to the head can result in a concussion that can take weeks or even months to recover from. Likewise, if your fight scene is stylistic, keep it stylistic.  All that flying is great in Crouching Tiger because it’s part of the style. Consistency is key.


4. Do: Keep Your Magic Consistent

Readers will believe in magic–as long as you keep the rules that govern it consistent. Gandalf shouts, “You shall not pass!” the bridge crumbles, and the Balrog falls into the center of Middle Earth. The next time Gandalf shouts, “You shall not pass!” your villain should check to make sure he’s not standing on a bridge.


3. Don’t: Fake the Facts

Do your research.  Know how a katana cuts, how many times you can fire that SIG Sauer, etc. Know the training involved in handling each weapon, the types of wounds it causes, and the mindset of the culture it comes from. A samurai of feudal Japan is going to think and act much differently than Vin Diesel in a Fast & Furious movie, and a knife fight is going to be more brutal and deadly than a fistfight.


2. Don’t: Be Afraid to Act it Out

When in DOUBT, Act it OUT.  If your hero’s opponent is taller, get someone who is taller to act out your scene with you–safely. Go to museums, Ren Faires, and dueling Meet-Ups, pick up swords and try on armor. Get a feel for what it’s like to swing a katana, a claymore, a polearm. There’s a big difference. How many times can you swing those suckers without getting tired?


1. Do: Use Short Sentences and Short Paragraphs

Describe only what is essential.  I can tell you from experience that in the thick of a fight, you don’t have time to notice that “his eyes were blue, the color of woodsmoke, and he had a salt-and-pepper beard lightly dusted with–” Really? All that in half-second before the guy punches you in the face? No. Long paragraphs signify to the reader that more time is taking place, slowing your fight scene down to a crawl.  They take longer to read and thus, they tend to leech tension.  Short sentences increase tension.


And that’s it for now. My Top Ten Do’s & Don’t’s to writing a great fight scene!

Until next time… slán go fóill!



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See some of my fight scene advice in action in Circuit Fae: Moribund, in September 2017

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More on Moribund!

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Hello my pretties and all you sleeper-princesses out there! Recently, I reached out to y’all and asked what you wanted to know about Circuit Fae: Moribund. Here are your questions, answered by yours truly.

What is Moribund about?

Moribund is the story of Syl Skye, ordinary geek girl sophomore who discovers she is the last sleeper-princess of the fair Fae. When a freak accident Awakens her slumbering powers, she comes to the attention of the dark Fae who have hunted the sleeper-princesses to near-extinction.

Now she has to fight for her life against dark Fae Huntress/assassin, Rouen, who masquerades as the popular glam-Goth star, Euphoria. But when Rouen’s own people try to enslave her for imagined crimes, she and Syl are thrown together by circumstance.

They just might be in for the adventure of their lives. If only they could decide whether to kiss each or kill each other!


Where is Moribund set?

The entire Circuit Fae series is set in an urban-fantasy version of modern-day Richmond, VA or RVA, as the locals call it. With all the glam and glitz of a big city, a working train system (vital to the plot of ), and a rich history dating back to the Civil War, it’s no wonder it’s a hotspot for the Fae and a perfect backdrop for Syl and Rouen’s Fae shenanigans!

In Moribund, there are also a few glimpses of the dark Fae realm of Faerie, UnderHollow, with more to follow in future books. In book two, we’ll get to travel to OverHill, the fair Fae realm, where the war between Syl’s and Rouen’s people heats up!


What is a sleeper-princess?

A sleeper-princess is a fair Fae whose powers have been “put to sleep” by the fair Fae in order to hide them from the dark Fae who want to destroy them. Super-powerful and mysterious, the sleeper-princesses hold a power no one, human or Fae, has ever seen before.


Why do the dark Fae want to kill them?

Some of the dark Fae believe that the sleeper-princesses’s blood is the cure for their dying hearthstone, the source of magic in their realm. Rouen fights against this idea, wanting to team up with the sleeper-princesses to save UnderHollow, and this is where her troubles begin.

Rouen’s not the kind of girl who follows the rules. She makes her own way, and Syl is very much a part of her finding her path.


What kind of story is it?

Moribund is a coming-of-age story, though not necessarily a coming out story. While I love coming out stories, that idea didn’t resonate with me for Syl and Rouen. Instead, their story is a celebration of finding out who you are, separately, and also with the person who is your one true love.

Through trial and adversity (and a lot of fighting), Syl and Rouen discover they’re better and stronger together. Even though they’re from different worlds and should actually be enemies, each brings out the best in the other.

Isn’t that what true love is all about?


Do Syl and Rouen kiss?

I’ll never tell. 😉


Until next time… Slán go fóill!



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GIE’s Review: The Abyss Surrounds Us

Monday, April 10th, 2017

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Go, Go, LGBTQ Ranger!

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

WARNING: This blog post contains SPOILERS for the 2017 movie Power Rangers. For a non-spoily review, check our my colleague, Kyle’s excellent review here!

Recently, there’s been some backlash from the LGBTQ community because a few sources like Hollywood Reporter and ABC News claimed that one scene in the new Power Rangers movie “breaks down barriers” when it comes to LGBTQ characters.

You can catch up on these stories here:

Hollywood Reporter

ABC News

And on some of the Twitter backlash here


First, let’s consider the scene:

Unable to morph into their armor, the Rangers hit upon the idea that they should “share their stories” so they can get to know one another and function better as a team. Seems legit. Each, except Kimberly, tells a sympathetic and realistic story about their struggles.

When Zack assumes that Trini must be having “boyfriend troubles,” Trini looks uncomfortable. “Girlfriend troubles?” Zack presses, and Trini noncommittally shrugs.

Okay. Yeah… Umm… It’s no wonder the LGBTQ community exploded in outrage over the claims that the entire movie is “breaking down barriers” or “pivotal” when 1. The moment is one part of one scene and 2. It’s pretty noncommittal.

But here’s the thing.

I agree that it’s naïve at best to think that one scene in ANY movie could ever break down all the barriers LGBTQ community faces, and I’m not here to say that the LGBTQ community shouldn’t be outraged over such a wild claim. We should.

But I want to step away from that for a second because all that outrage clouds what that scene actually DOES do—and that’s to normalize a young woman’s struggle and journey to find her sexuality.

Because when Trini tacitly admits to liking girls, the other Rangers don’t freak. They don’t look at Trini sideways. No one bats an eyelash, except Zack, whose eyelash batting is more in the camp of wow, that sounds really hard than OMG, you’re gaaaaaay? You don’t LOOK gay! Even the other female characters don’t freak out. There’s no ridiculousness about the gay agenda, Big Gay, or the fear of being magically transformed into a lesbian.

And that is so utterly refreshing.

Instead, the other teens see Trini’s struggle as totally normal. Not freakish. Not an abomination or against the will of [insert name of Cosmic Nice Guy here].

So while the scene is in no way “groundbreaking” or “barrier-breaking,” it has merit for an entirely different reason.

It treats finding one’s sexual identity as a natural, albeit difficult but totally normal part of life—no more or less earth-shattering than the fact that Zack struggling to take care of his sick mom or Jason struggling to fix his relationship with his dad.

To me, that’s telling that maybe one day, being gay or lesbian or bi won’t have to be such a huge deal. And to me, that’s a big part of what the LGBTQ community is really seeking—acceptance for who we are.

As always, thank you for reading!



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Why Write Lesbian Heroes?

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

I’ve been asked a lot lately why I write lesbian heroes. The answer seems simple: I’m gay and I’m part of the LGBTQ community. Makes sense, right? But the more I get asked this question, the more I think that answer really is too simple.

It’s easy to say “Well, I’m gay,” and just leave it at that. But here’s the thing: Growing up, I never had any heroes who were like me.

Growing up, my favorite heroines were Princess Leia, Buffy, Sarah Connor, Eowyn.

I was a huge Star Wars fan. Epic fantasy has always been in my blood, and I was super excited to see a badass space princess alongside Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. Princess Leia was out there saving the galaxy (and oftentimes, her male sidekicks). She was powerful, both on and off the battlefield, she was smart and sassy and spoke her mind, she was capable, and she didn’t settle for anything less than justice. She was a princess, but she wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. In short, she rocked.

Then there was Buffy. I’m dating myself a little here because I’m referring to the movie starring Kristy Swanson (though Sarah MG’s Buffy was also tres cool). Who could forget the Buffster, half girly-girl/half badass slayer? She fought hard, loved harder, and pretty much smashed the patriarchy. She, too, rocked.

Sarah Connor. Who could forget Linda Hamilton’s transformation from plucky, determined heroine to gun-toting, muscle-bound babe? She threw down with Arnie and never gave up. Also, she totally Terminated that mofo.

Then there was Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings. She fought alongside all the fiercest warriors in Middle Earth. She singlehandedly slew the Witch-King of Angmar when no man could even touch him. She even dressed as a man. Then she married one.

And there it was.

I loved Princess Leia and Buffy and Sarah Connor and Eowyn, but at the end of the day, they went all went home with men. In many ways, they were very much like me. But they weren’t like me. Not completely.

Growing up gay, I was disappointed every time my favorite heroine ended up with a man. It seemed like everyone in my life was straight–from my real-life heroes right down to my fictional heroes. If the people I admired most were all straight, who was I to be gay?

So that, my pretties, is why I write lesbian heroes. So young gay women don’t ever have to ask that question.

Thank you for reading!




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GIE’s Review: Of Fire and Stars

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

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