Shepherd Book Recommendations
Monday, May 20, 2024

Have you heard of Shepherd? It's a website dedicated to book recommendations!

People post lists of recommended books that share a common theme. It could be their genre, their tropes, their mood, etc. Any unifying factor you can think of can be used to create a list of similar books. In my case, since I write and primarily read urban fantasy, I wanted to recommend books that bring magic to the modern world.

The Adventure Continues...
Monday, May 13, 2024

The newest addition to the Magicsmith universe will release on June 28, 2024!

Diplomacy has never been Alex’s strong suit…

When the vampire council puts Alex and James on trial for exposing the species’ existence to the world, Alex's freedom and James's life hang in the balance, though Alex suspects James’s new daywalking ability is the real aim of their inquisition.

Review: Just Stab Me Now
Sunday, April 28, 2024

Just Stab Me NowJust Stab Me Now by Jill Bearup
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A unique take on the process of writing fiction that made me laugh and groan in equal measure.

This book is written as a framed story, meaning a story written inside another story with multiple layers of narration. I didn't realize that going in, so it took me a little bit to get into the book. At first I was reading it as Rosamund's story (a fairly straightforward fantasy), which started out with a bit of an info-dump. (Lots of names of people and places thrown at the reader all at once.) Then Caroline, Rosamund's author, stepped in to point out that the reader didn't need all that information up front--which I wholeheartedly agreed with--at which point I realized this book was not going to be straightforward at all.

Review: The Black Unicorn
Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Black Unicorn (Unicorn, #1)Black Unicorn by Tanith Lee
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

You know that feeling when you read a book as an adult that you loved as a kid and you notice that the story is quite a bit different than what you remember? That's the experience I had with this book. I remember Black Unicorn being one of my favorite books when I was a kid, so I was thrilled to read it with my own child now as an adult. It was still a fun story, and still well-written, but it didn't have quite the same enchanting quality that I remembered. Maybe I'm just harder to impress now.

CIBA Finals
Friday, March 29, 2024

I'm thrilled to announce that two of my books have made it through the many rounds of rigorous judging to reach the Chanticleer International Book Award's Finalist lists in two categories! Of Mettle and Magic is in the running for the OZMA award for fantasy fiction, and Personal Demons is in the running for the Paranormal award for supernatural fiction.

Review: Assistant to the Villain
Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Assistant to the Villain (Assistant to the Villain, #1)Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's been a while since I've had this much fun with a romance novel, but Assistant to the Villain was a superb read! A great balance of comedy and romance with a dash of mystery to spice things up.

The one thing that I would warn people of: this book has a MASSIVE CLIFFHANGER. There isn't much in the way of resolution at the end, so the novel reads more like the first half of a larger story. If you don't like cliffhangers, don't start this book until the series is finished. That said, the dreaded cliffhanger was not enough for me to lower my rating for this otherwise well-written book.

The highlight of the story was definitely the colorful characters. Both the two narrative characters and their supporting cast were well-realized, with distinct personalities and hinted at or explicit backstories that help perpetuate the world outside of the events of the main plot.

Top Ten: Co-op Video Games
Monday, January 29, 2024

My husband and I are always on the lookout for co-op video games, so I'm putting together this list of our top ten recommendations. If you're like us and want to work together toward a common goal rather than battling it out in your games, give these a try:

Review: Rhenn the Traveler
Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Rhenn the Traveler: Legacy of Shadows (Eldros Legacy, #3)Rhenn the Traveler: Legacy of Shadows by Todd Fahnestock
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another great story in the Eldros Legacy series! This book is the third in Todd Fahnestock's "Legacy of Shadows" arc, and the books absolutely need to be read in order. So I'm going to assume that if you're looking at this review, you've already read books 1 and 2. If not, go read them.

This book picks up shortly after Rhenn was abducted at the end of book 1, Khyven the Unkillable, and possibly overlaps the events of book 2, Lorelle of the Dark. Rhenn has been living as a "guest" in a foreign land. She's not exactly a prisoner, but neither is she free. Even as she makes a life for herself as best she can, she never wavers in her desire to go home. So when an opportunity arises that might let her do just that, she jumps at the chance despite it being a truly terrible idea. She pays the price for her choice, as do those around her, but that's what makes the story feel real.

Review: Ruin and Rising
Thursday, December 14, 2023

Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3)Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a satisfactory conclusion to the Shadow and Bone trilogy. I liked that a lot more happened in this book than the previous one, though there was still a considerable amount of time set aside for lengthy descriptions. If you watched the second season of the Netflix adaptation of this series, pretty much everything from book 2 and book 3, along with the crows story arc, were combined to make that show.

Alina and Mal are on the run, as per usual, which is good. It's always fun to have your protagonist against the ropes. Alina is getting stronger in her powers but, whether due to youthful arrogance or some dopamine addiction caused by her use of merzost, Alina continuously makes really terrible decisions.