Review: Mishap's Heroes: Magic and Misrule
Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Magic and MisruleMagic and Misrule by K.M. Merritt
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This was a fast and entertaining read that took a bunch of social outliers no one thought much of and turned them into heroes. The main protagonist is a half-orc hoping to become a paladin in a D&D-style world. She sets out on a quest with a rag-tag party of similarly overlooked beings that include a klutzy wizard who's also a runaway noble, a hafling monk, and a non-gendered ranger with a wolf companion. She is also joined by her trainer, Henri, who will observe the quest and make the call on whether or not she's fit to be a full-fledged knight.

Review: The Dragon Reborn
Monday, January 30, 2023

The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time, #3)The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Dragon Reborn is the third book in Robert Jordan's epic Wheel of Time series, and so far it is my favorite. There was a decent amount of action and some more world building. There were several interwoven threads of plot that wound through the book as each character group tackled its own tasks before eventually coming back together. The writing was smooth and descriptive, though I admit those descriptions sometimes dragged on to the point where I found myself skimming. I also noticed quite a few more typos in this book than I had in the previous two. I would not consider this book to be much of a stand-alone, but it isn't meant to be. This series definitely needs to be read in order.

Reader Survey
Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Have you ever heard the term "target audience?" It's a term I've heard a lot since becoming an author. Basically, it's the idea of reaching the right customers with the right message at the right time in order to increase you product's visibility in the most effective way. In the case of authors, that translates to identifying the readers most likely to appreciate your book(s), then finding out where they are so that you can show them your book(s).

This may seem like a simple enough concept, but in actuality it's really, really hard. I've spun my wheels about identifying my "target audience" for quite a while, and I've decided the best way to figure out what kind of people like my books is to ask the people who've already read them. (Brilliant, I know. :D) To that end, I'm asking anyone who's enjoyed reading one or more of my stories to fill out this short survey that will help me get to know you better, and will hopefully get me one step closer to defining my target audience.

Review: Mis Spelled
Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Mis-Spelled: Book One of the Stellaluna ChroniclesMis-Spelled: Book One of the Stellaluna Chronicles by T.H. Leatherman
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This was a fast, fun, fantasy read that revolved around found family, unlikely problem solving, and humor.

Evan is a normal high school kid from Earth who escapes one sticky situation at school only to find himself in another world--a world of elves, goblins, and magic. The only way back is a magic spell, which the elf queen will only teach him if he can perform three impossible tasks. I love that Evan isn't a charge in, guns blazing kind of character. He's considerate and clever. He uses his head to find solutions that won't get him killed.

Review: The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
Tuesday, December 20, 2022

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (The League of Princes, #1)The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A hilarious romp that turns traditional fairy tales on their heads.

Ever notice how the princes get overlooked in the classic stories? Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty.... Those stories are all named after their princesses. Well, this book takes a look at the princes of those tales. Namely, the Princes Charming.

Prince Frederic is a dandy afraid of any and everything that might scar, mar, or otherwise dirty his princely perfection, but he's loyal, kind, and good with his words. Gustav is a burly brute with anger management issues and a massive inferiority complex, but he's brave and cares more than he wants to admit.

Review: Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village
Thursday, December 15, 2022

Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English VillageYour Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a super fast read filled with tongue-in-cheek humor that pokes fun at all the traditional tropes found in cozy mysteries set in the English countryside. I saw this sitting on my library shelf and the title made me chuckle. I just had to pick it up. :) I read it within an hour there in the building; it's that fast!

Each page has a charming illustration and a short, witty sentence or paragraph describing why a given person or place is best to avoid and how/why you will end up dead if you ignore the book's warnings. Meet the vicar, you're going to die. See a vat, you're going to die. Taste test for the local bake-off, you get the idea...

Review: Emerald Blaze
Thursday, November 17, 2022

Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy, #5)Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the kind of story I love to find when I open an urban fantasy novel. Magic, intrigue, multifaceted characters, intense action, and just a splash of romance. Andrews' masterful world building creates a colorful and rich history for a world not unlike our own. Because I did not realize when I picked this book up that it was part of a larger series, I was definitely missing some information, especially where the characters were concerned. That said, I had no problem following along and inferring the events of the previous books. It was still a wonderful and satisfying read.

New Release: Chaos Song
Friday, November 11, 2022

Today is release day for CHAOS SONG, book 6 in my award-winning Magicsmith series!
First I want to shout out a big THANK YOU to everyone who preordered the book. Thanks to you, Chaos Song made it all the way to the Top 50 Bestsellers list on Amazon for contemporary fantasy. If you bought the ebook version, you should be able to start reading right away. Physical editions are in the mail. :)

If you didn't get around to preordering, you can still support this launch by grabbing your copy today. Consistent sales are huge for the success of a book in the early days of its release.
You can find purchase links on the book's page here on my website.

Review: Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks
Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the StacksDear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks by Annie Spence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a terrific and hilarious book that is basically a collection of book reviews from a collections librarian. Because this book is written as a series of love (and hate) letters addressed to the books they describe, I decided to write my review in a similar style. ;)

Dear Dear Fahrenheit 451,

You caught my gaze from across the room. Not a crowded room, mind, for not many people visit the library at 7PM on a Tuesday. I read your title, and it was love at first sight. In your pages I found truth and humor. I found insights and rants. I found old friends, new acquaintances, and a few shady characters that I'll be sure to steer clear of.