#AmReading Modern Fairy Tales (July’s Reading Challenge Choices)

This month’s theme is fairy tale retellings. There are A LOT of them out there. Good ones, bad ones, and everything in between. But I tried to pick a few that were either different or hadn’t yet received as much attention as some of the others — not that my choices are unheard of!

July’s Choices

(Descriptions from Goodreads)

Bitter Greens

The amazing power and truth of the Rapunzel fairy tale comes alive for the first time in this breathtaking tale of desire, black magic and the redemptive power of love.

French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. At the convent, she is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens…

After Margherita’s father steals parsley from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off, unless he and his wife relinquish their precious little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. She is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition.

Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young man does.

Award-winning author Kate Forsyth braids together the stories of Margherita, Selena, and Charlotte-Rose, the woman who penned Rapunzel as we now know it, to create what is a sumptuous historical novel, an enchanting fairy tale retelling, and a loving tribute to the imagination of one remarkable woman.

The Bear and the Nightingale

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

The Singing Bones

A unique and alluring art book showcasing Shaun Tan’s extraordinary sculptures based on the timeless and compelling fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm.

In this beautifully presented volume, the essence of seventy-five fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm is wonderfully evoked by Shaun Tan’s extraordinary sculptures.

Nameless princes, wicked stepsisters, greedy kings, honourable peasants and ruthless witches, tales of love, betrayal, adventure and magical transformation: all inspiration for this stunning gallery of sculptural works. Introduced by Grimm Tales author Philip Pullman and leading fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes, The Singing Bones breathes new life into some of the world’s most beloved fairy tales.

Thorn

For Princess Alyrra, choice is a luxury she’s never had … until she’s betrayed.

Princess Alyrra has never enjoyed the security or power of her rank. Between her family’s cruelty and the court’s contempt, she has spent her life in the shadows. Forced to marry a powerful foreign prince, Alyrra embarks on a journey to meet her betrothed with little hope for a better future.

But powerful men have powerful enemies–and now, so does Alyrra. Betrayed during a magical attack, her identity is switched with another woman’s, giving Alyrra the first choice she’s ever had: to start a new life for herself or fight for a prince she’s never met. But Alyrra soon finds that Prince Kestrin is not at all what she expected. While walking away will cost Kestrin his life, returning to the court may cost Alyrra her own. As Alyrra is coming to realize, sometime the hardest choice means learning to trust herself.

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The #Fae versus #Demons – a few quick thoughts

June’s choices were all awesome and I’d like to continue reading more books featuring the fae. Demon-like in their malleability, they can be anything their creator needs them to be. Karen Marie Moning really used that trait to her advantage in Darkfever. The fae in that book were all varied and imaginative. Unlike demons, however, the fae come with a ready-made uniform mythology for any author to use as backstory if they choose. (There are the dark fae of the Unseelie Court and the light fae of the Seelie Court for starters, this backstory courtesy of the fae’s European origins. Some might consider the fae a subset of demons — Europe’s collective pre-Christianity take on the concept. The light fae seem to share some characteristics with fallen angels whereas the dark fae seem to resemble true demons. Perhaps the Seelie/Unseelie courts are a result of pagan Europe’s inability to imagine a world governed by any structure other than royal houses…?) I’ve often thought about writing a future series featuring fae characters (versus demons or some other type of monster), but it’s always seemed to me, that outside of certain circles, no one’s ever heard the term “fae.” They get a blank look when I mention the word.

So those are my semi-deep, very un-academic thoughts on fae versus demons. If you disagree, have thoughts to add, or want to share a link to an interesting source that discusses this too, please take the time to comment! I’d love to hear from you.

Okay, on to my more specific thoughts on the books.

Darkfever

MacKayla Lane is a young Southern bartender, who initially reminded me of Sookie Stackhouse, which made me curious about who came first. (Sookie. But that’s where the similarities end — at least as much as I can remember. It’s been a long time since I read Charlaine Harris’ first Southern vampire mystery.)

Moning opens her Fever series by introducing readers to Mac, a blonde, pink-loving, cell phone-toting, matching accessory-wearing twenty-something from Georgia whose naiveté comes off as charming, funny, or endearing rather than annoying. (Other readers may feel differently, but I doubt anyone who reads this blog will. We here are appreciative of characters with large growth potential and we don’t have a problem remembering we were all young once. Nobody is born wise.) Mac’s older sister is horrifically murdered and when the local authorities quickly close the case as unsolvable, Mac decides to travel to Ireland to see what clues she can find herself.

I liked that Moning’s fae were true monsters. Even the pretty ones were evil. I was surprised by how much was left open/unsolved/unresolved in the end, but I never felt like Darkfever dragged or didn’t move fast enough. Instead, it seemed to nicely set up future books. I imagine future stories will focus on Mac and Barrons tracking down and killing the Unseelie baddies while simultaneously searching for a way to seal the otherworld door they’re using. (If Jaws had been Darkfever, it would have ended at the part where Brody says, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”)

A Court of Thorns and Roses/A Court of Mist and Fury

Although published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens, my library shelves these under adult SFF, which is where I’d put them too. No doubt, some books can be hard to categorize. Librarians do their best, weighing many things before making their decision. The romantic scenes are well written, but detailed enough to possibly take some younger teen readers by surprise. (Teens who read new adult fiction will be fine.)

Loosely based on Beauty & the Beast with a whiff of Tam Lin and a smattering of Persephone/Hades. There’s also a lot of original worldbuilding, which keeps it interesting. The book opens with the starving Feyre killing a wolf for its prey — a deer. Turns out, the wolf isn’t really a wolf. It’s a faerie and Feyre gets dragged off to a fae court where she is held captive as punishment for killing it. Her captor? Tamlin… whose face is obscured by a jeweled mask.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Arguably the best written of the three (it’s been nominated for, and won, many prestigious awards, including the Hugo and the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel), but not for everyone. It’s long and dense, packed with footnotes and written in a voice that evokes bygone British authors. Set in an alternate 19th century England where magic exists but has long been dormant, the book is written in three parts. The first two are named after the titular characters and the third after the missing Raven King, the man who brought magic to England nearly a millennia ago, whose disappearance caused the gradual withdrawal of magic from England. It’s been adapted into a BBC TV series. Has anyone seen it? If so, tell me what you think in the comments!

5 PHOTOS: Nancy Northcott + THE 6 PLACES I FIND NEW BOOKS/AUTHORS! (#writerslife #giveaway)

Programming Note: I’ve been treading water with this blog for a couple of months now, getting by with Reading Challenge posts and 5 Photos posts. I also haven’t been on Facebook or Twitter other than to briefly check in. There are good reasons for it, but they have nothing to do with writing or blogging. I’ll try to do a more personal post soon. In the meantime, please enjoy the wonderful guest posts!


Today, Nancy Northcott shares her five writer’s life photos. Her post touches on all sorts of neat things — the Wright Brothers, backwater peat bogs, bulging bookcases, Dragon Con… It’s also packed with reading and watching suggestions and a chance to win a signed print copy of her latest book. At the end, I share the half-dozen places I find new books and authors. Welcome, Nancy!

The Photos

Something that represents something unique about you

So far as I know, I’m the only romance writer regularly using the Okefenokee Swamp in her books.  My Light Mage Wars/Protectors paranormal romances feature mages fighting ghouls and demons in south Georgia near the Okefenokee (though one novella, Sentinel, is set in Macon, which is closer to Atlanta).

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m not Ms. Outdoors.  I like my surroundings climate-controlled and my wildlife safely distant, but I fell in love with the Okefenokee, which is actually not a swamp but a blackwater peat bog, when I went with my family to research it.  The place is so different from anything else I’ve seen, yet it’s beautiful and wild and captivating–and spooky at night!

Something that represents where you live

I live in North Carolina, where the Wright Brothers first flew.  Our license plates claim we’re First in Flight, and we have a genteel feud with Ohio, whose plates claim it’s the Birthplace of Aviation. This airplane hangs in one of the departure lounges at the Charlotte airport.

Your pet(s) or plant(s) or thing you care for (besides your human family/friends)

This is our dog, who thinks all routes in our house should pass through the kitchen.  She looks irritated in this photo because no one is moving toward that area.

Something (not someone) that really frustrates you

This bookcase illustrates an ongoing problem, too little space for books.  I love comic books and speculative fiction, but I also love history.  I’ve been a history geek all my life,  mostly reading American and British history with a little Ancient World mixed in. I collect books on topics I have used or might want to use for worldbuilding, but I also just simply enjoy it.

Hence the problem.

And yes, those are books stacked in the left of the photo. *sigh*

Something that brings you joy (besides writing)

I love going to science fiction/fantasy and comics conventions.  Here I am at Dragon Con a couple of years ago.  I was in the lobby of one of the convention hotels on Thursday morning of the con weekend.  By lunchtime, that area was hopping.

I’ve loved comics, science fiction, and fantasy, along with other things of course, since I was in grade school.  The people who go to the cons, whether or not they like the same things I do, are my tribe.  I love the fannish energy in the air and the enthusiasm for the various guests.

The Interview

What’s the elevator pitch for your latest published novel?

My latest novel is The Herald of Day. It’s the first book in the Boar King’s Honor trilogy, and it represents a new direction for me.  Instead of contemporary paranormal romance, it’s historical fantasy with romantic elements.  Here’s the pitch:

A wizard in 17th century England has altered history to set up a dictatorship of the mageborn.  Standing in his way are a cursed wizard and a Gifted but untrained tavern maid. If they can’t figure out how to stop him and put history right, he’ll crush England under his heel.

What are you working on next?

I have three projects in varying stages of development.

I’m collaborating with Jeanne Adams on a new space opera series.  It’s about a world (and a space station) that are officially dubbed Paradise Station but, because they’re in the armpit of humanity’s galactic frontier, are more commonly known as Outcast Station. We plan to launch it this summer.

I’m also working on the next Light Mage Wars book, Nemesis, which is a second-chance-at-love story.

Finally, I’m doing research for The Steel Rose, the next book in the Boar King’s Honor series.  It’s set during the end of the Napoleonic Wars, with a climactic confrontation during the Battle of Waterloo.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished Josephine Wilkinson’s The Princes in the Tower: Did Richard III Murder His Nephews, Edward V and Richard of York? It’s a slim book that focuses only on that question, but it provides a careful examination of the various sources, including contemporary ones, that address the issue.

Next up is KJ Howe’s debut thriller, The Freedom Broker.

What are you currently watching (TV shows)?

We love NCIS:LA and Supergirl, and we’re having withdrawal over Grimm.

Favorite fantasy creature, villain, or weapon not from your own work?

That’s a tough one.  I had to think about it a while, and I pick Nighteyes, the wolf that bonds with Fitzchivalry Farseer in Robin Hobb’s Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies.  He shows us a lot about Fitz, but he definitely has a personality of his own.  He’s a brave, steadfast, loving companion.

An alternate choice would be any of Anne McCaffrey’s dragons–which also happen to bond with their humans.

Biggest challenge facing writers today?

Aside from the longstanding one of learning to be the best writers we can be, I think it’s getting readers’ attention in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

How can we meet that challenge?

If I had a guaranteed answer for that, I’d bottle it and make a fortune! *g*  I think we have to learn how to market ourselves. I couldn’t sell toothbrushes to benefit the marching band in my hometown, so I have lots to figure out, but I’m gaining ground.

I also think we need to be flexible.  What worked last year might not work this year, and so on.

Thanks for having me today, Jill.  I’ve enjoyed it.

My pleasure, Nancy. 🙂


More about The Herald of Day

A wizard’s fatal mistake, a king wrongly blamed for murder, and a bloodline cursed until they clear the king’s name…

In 17th century England, witchcraft is a hanging offense. Tavern maid Miranda Willoughby hides her magical gifts until terrifying visions compel her to seek the aid of a stranger, Richard Mainwaring, to interpret them. A powerful wizard, he sees her summons as a chance for redemption.  He bears a curse because an ancestor unwittingly helped murder the two royal children known as the Princes in the Tower, and her message uses symbols related to those murders.

Miranda’s visions reveal that someone has altered history, spreading famine, plague, and tyranny across the land. The quest to restore the timeline takes her and Richard from the glittering court of Charles II to a shadowy realm between life and death, where they must battle the most powerful wizard in generations with the fate of all England at stake.

More about Nancy

Nancy Northcott’s childhood ambition was to grow up and become Wonder Woman.  Around fourth grade, she realized it was too late to acquire Amazon genes, but she still loved comic books, science fiction, fantasy, history, and romance.

Nancy has taught a college course on science fiction, fantasy, and society.   She has also given presentations on the Wars of the Roses and Richard III to university classes studying Shakespeare’s play about that king.  A sucker for fast action and wrenching emotion, Nancy combines the magic, romance, and high stakes she loves in the books she writes.

Library Journal gave her debut novel, Renegade, a starred review, calling it “genre fiction at its best.” Connect with her via her website, Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter: @NancyNorthcott.


More about the Giveaway

Nancy’s giving a signed, print copy of The Herald of Day to one commenter, so tell her how you usually find new authors and what you’re reading now. I’ll pick a winner by midnight DST on May 15th. (For my complete giveaway rules, click here.)

Here’s my TBR list for this month, although I’ll likely only have time to read one of them. As for how I find new books/authors, here are my Go To Resources:

  1. My local library: I’m a part-time librarian and, in direct contrast to my local indie bookstore, my local library just doubled its square footage and the size of its print book collection. I love looking through the new release shelves.
  2. Early Word: a resource for librarians that alerts us to books with high hold ratios, movie tie-ins, early reviews, upcoming releases, etc. Even though it’s geared toward librarians, anyone can read/subscribe to this blog. If you miss GalleyCat or think EW‘s book coverage is spotty, this would be a great resource for you.
  3. Genre-specific blogs and other authors: Speculative fiction blog The Qwillery highlights the work of debut authors. They also review other genre titles and provide some industry coverage. Plus, they have a fun Cover Wars contest every month. Suzanne Johnson’s blog (formerly Preternatura) has a nice comfortable feel. She blogs about her author life, various things that interest her, and shares a weekly New Releases list that features paranormal, UF, and fantasy reads. Veronica Scott lists new releases for SF/fantasy romance every Wednesday.
  4. Word of Mouth: I’m always asking people what they’re reading and what they think of it.
  5. My book club: I’ve read some books this year that I wouldn’t have picked up but for my book club. It’s good for authors to expose themselves to genres other than their own. You don’t want your work to be derivative or so full of generic tropes that it lacks any sort of personality or voice, right? Well, reading widely is one thing you can do to avoid that fate. Joining a book club also reminded me that there’s value in a book beyond its entertainment or educational value — its ability to spark discussion. My book club uses Book Movement to keep track of its book choices, meeting places, etc.
  6. Amazon: I still prefer browsing in a bookstore to browsing online, but when I know exactly what I’m looking for, want it immediately, and don’t care about owning the book in print, Amazon’s convenience is hard to beat.

We’d love to hear from YOU. How do you find new books/authors? Do you have a book blog or follow one that you can recommend? Just “liking” this post isn’t enough. Give your favorite blog a shout out!! 😀

Thanks for sharing your pictures and thoughts, Nancy!

#Movies: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST + 4 more! (#amwatching #goodstuff)

I know I hinted about a possible Key West post, but this was actually easier to put together. Below, are my thoughts on some things I’ve seen in the last month or so, including Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast.


Victoria: Masterpiece’s dramatization of Queen Victoria’s life. I love Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes together. Truth be told, I’d never heard of them before. Because Netflix’s The Crown aired around the same time, it seemed as if everyone was comparing the two with Victoria coming up short. (How do I know this? Well, nothing concrete, that’s for sure. It’s just my take based on a quick perusal of reviews and talking to people at the library). But I liked Victoria and will definitely tune in for the next season. I did try one episode of The Crown — and liked it — but Victoria feels more fun. The costumes and sets are beautiful, the chemistry between the leads is great, and I like that the story takes place further back in time. (The Crown is based on Queen Elizabeth II’s early life. Geesh. She’s probably not watching, but that’s gotta be weird.)

Who would I recommend this to? Anyone who gave up on Reign because it was too ridiculous.

High Strung: In a nutshell, this is “student bunhead meets fiddler busker,” which is exactly why I wanted to watch it. I love dance movies (I have no dance background, but my younger daughter dances and I love a good performance). Some of you might also remember that I have a mini-thing for fiddlers. (I used to play the violin — badly; I talked a little bit about that in a podcast I did for Functional Nerds years ago — again, badly… They’d invited me on the show to talk about The Fifth String by John Philip Sousa and I totally botched it.) Anywho, when I saw High Strung was about a spirited ballerina and a young violinist — whose neighbor happens to be part of a hip hop dance crew — I was in. The New York Times wasn’t impressed, but I’m sure the reviewer is way more cultured than I am and she at least admitted that the choreography was great. The story is very predictable, but let’s face it: people don’t watch movies like this to be surprised. We watch to get what we paid for — an entertaining performance. I would have paid far more than the rental fee to see the final “String & Dance” number performed live.

Who would I recommend this to? Fans of Strictly Ballroom.

Passengers: Oh my. Where to start? Before I knew what the movie was about, this was on my Must See list. And then I heard some of the scuttlebutt and I was less enthusiastic. I finally rented it and watched it with Penny and E, which meant we had an interesting discussion about Jim’s Big Choice, why he did it, and whether it was forgivable. Confused? This movie opens in the distant future. Planets have been terraformed and colonized, but FTL travel still eludes us. The grand spaceship Avalon, which resembles a high-tech, spacefaring cruise ship, is on its way to one of those other-earths. The trip takes 130 years. 5,000+ passengers are in deep sleep. Their pods are set for them to wake up when they are four months from their destination. Due to an unforeseen meteor strike on the ship, however, Jim’s pod opens early. As in, 90 years too early. And he can’t put himself back to sleep. So he’s looking at a very lonely, boring existence until he spies a fellow passenger sleeping prettily in her pod. Her name is Aurora, which should tell you what happens next and why the movie only has a 31% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. (Hint: he doesn’t wake her up with a kiss.)

Who would I recommend this to? Anyone who likes science fiction and/or debating whether and how redemption is possible for someone who commits an arguably unforgivable act.

Hidden Figures: Ah, now we’re getting to the good stuff. This was nominated for Best Picture and, after the whole Oscars contretemps, it’s nice to get back to just talking about the films. This is the story of three brilliant, but unrecognized African-American women, who worked for NASA and helped launch astronaut John Glenn into space: physicist/mathematician Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Hensen); “human computer” Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer); and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae). The movie did a great job of portraying the bullshit these women had to put up with. Penny, E, and I were aghast, pissed off, and then finally, thankfully, elated and inspired. (Of course, bullshit, i.e. discrimination, still happens, but I liked that the movie ended on an up note).

Who would I recommend this movie to? Anyone who likes bio pics, historical fiction, and/or movies featuring strong women.

Beauty and the Beast: Like many, I’m a fan of the original animated movie and Belle is one of my favorite Disney characters. The fact that the source material is one of the oldest fairy tales ever is fascinating to me. So I went in with incredibly high expectations. And Disney partially delivered. I’d rate this redo alongside their live action Cinderella, but beneath Enchanted. Enchanted, for me, continues to be the Gold Standard. That movie’s combination of animation and live action, the story, the humor, its self-awareness and affectionate mockery of itself, the songs, the dance numbers, the juggling act between whimsy, romance, and quirk, not to mention Amy Adams’ simply sublime performance. Well, I very much enjoyed the new B&B, and it’s enchanting at times, but it’s no Enchanted. What did I like? The big dance numbers with Gaston, Josh Gad as LeFou (he was Olaf from Frozen), and the fact that the filmmakers answered a question I’ve long had: why was the Beast a beast before he was cursed? (In others words, why was he such a cad that he refused to help an old woman?) Worth noting that everyone else in my family unequivocally loved the film.

Who would I recommend it to? Hahaha. You know who you are. If the idea of a live action Beauty and the Beast sounds appealing to you, then this movie is a must see.


So, how about you? Have you seen any of the above? What did you think?

DARK LIGHT OF DAY on sale for $2.99! (#fantasy #NewAdult)

Jill Archer's Dark Light of DayBrief post today just to let everyone know the digital version of the first Noon Onyx novel, DARK LIGHT OF DAY, is currently on sale. It’s only $2.99, which is a great entry price for anyone who hasn’t yet tried the series. I have no idea how long the publisher will keep it on sale, so don’t wait to buy if you’re interested. (And THANK YOU for helping me to spread the word; apologies if you’re getting this info from multiple channels! :-D )

Who would like Dark Light of Day? Anyone who likes urban fantasy, dark fantasy, and/or new adult fantasy. We pitched it as Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series meets Scott Turow’s One L. The series has evolved from there.

The e-book is on sale here:

In other news:

My March newsletter is out. The newsletter is mostly for readers who want a quarterly update and notice of new releases, whereas this blog is more eclectic. It’s not necessary to subscribe to both (although I appreciate it!). I leave it to everyone to figure out which works best for them.


My Newsletter

Quarterly newsletters are sent every September, December, March, and June. Content varies, but is usually some combination of:

  • Snippets from old or new work
  • Quizzes
  • Fun quotes and tweets
  • Recipes related to the books
  • Random Facts (background info on characters, etc.)
  • First look at Extras I’ll be adding to my website
  • Interesting stuff I’m researching
  • Meet the Team (bios of people who help me behind the scenes)
  • Be an Ambassador (ways readers can help me spread the word about my books)
  • Contests/Giveaways

This month, I shared some pictures of various real world places that inspired settings from Pocket Full of Tinder.


This Blog

  • 2017 Reading Challenge
  • 5 Photos Author Interview Series
  • Posts on Writing & Publishing
  • My Thoughts on Various Books, Movies & TV Shows
  • Occasional “On the Fly” Day Trip Posts
  • Wild card posts (guest posts, vintage pics, pet posts, etc.)

Up next? Possibly some pics from a recent trip to Key West. Stay tuned and thanks for following!

#amreading: Jane Austen-inspired #fantasy (Feb’s 2017 Reading Challenge)

I’m sharing my thoughts on my February 2017 Reading Challenge picks, but first…

Wondering how I pick my books, where I get them, and how I choose which ones to read?

My Reading Challenge choices are based on personal interest and the fact that they fit my monthly theme. Then I either check them out of my local library or buy them. (If you’re wondering, it does help authors to check their books out of a library – it keeps that book in circulation longer and helps the library’s collection department know that at least one of its patrons is interested in that author, which might make it more likely the library will buy their next book.)

I’m not able to read all of my monthly choices (I wish) so, just because I’m giving my thoughts on some and not others, doesn’t necessarily mean they were the best of the bunch. And my site’s not monetized, so I don’t make any money if you choose to buy these books. (That’s why I often link to Goodreads, although not always).

I encourage everyone to get their books from a wide variety of places. Amazon, sure. We all do. But try to make it a point to buy from other vendors from time to time — and remember to check books out of your local library! It supports both the author and your library. 🙂

IndieBound: Find books at local independent book stores.

WorldCat: Find books at local libraries.

Shades of Milk and Honey

Features Jane Ellsworth, master glamour manipulator, and her sister, Melody, an au naturale beauty.

Months ago – just after the New Year – this was the first book I grabbed after the insanity of the holidays. It had been on my TBR list forever and I thought it would be interesting, fun, and even somewhat soothing after December’s mania. I was right. (Unfortunately, I didn’t know I’d be doing a reading challenge at the time, so I didn’t take good notes.) I do, however, remember liking many things about the book:

The magic – I love glamour magic. Fara Vanderlin from my Noon Onyx series also works with glamours and I love to see what other authors do with this type of magic. I liked that Jane refused to enhance her own appearance but was fantastic at creating sensory tableaus that incorporated not just the visual, but also other senses like sound, smell, and touch. It was fascinating that, in this society, people used galmourists like interior decorators. The richer someone was, the better glamourist they could hire. And the way the magic worked — weaved, woven, layered — was pretty cool.

It wasn’t a retelling – the story was set in an alternate version of Regency England, but it wasn’t based on any specific Jane Austen novel. I love a good redux, but it’s more impressive when writers use their inspirations as jumping off points.

The cover to the next book! There are a total of five books in the Glamourist Histories series. The cover of the second, Glamour in Glass, features a Regency heroine (I assume Jane) in… well, shades of milk and honey – but with bubbles. Makes me curious to say the least.

Heartstone

This was a retelling… of Pride and Prejudice, but with dragons. Tell me you can resist that. 😀

In the beginning, there were a lot of creatures and names to keep straight. There were wyverns, dragons, gnomes, and gryphons… beoryns, lamias, nakla, khela… Tekari, Shani…

There were Brysneys instead of Bingleys, Bentaines instead of Bennets, Daireds instead of Darcys, but I became immersed in the story soon enough.

The Fourfold God was interesting: Janna—Provider, She Who Sustains; Mikla—Protector, Shield of the Faithful; Odei—Creator, He Who Begins; and Thell—the Unmaker (i.e. Death).

And I liked that none of the characters seemed to be an exact replica of their match in P&P.

After reading it, I wished two things:

  1. That I’d chosen Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, instead of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters as my third book choice for February; and
  2. That I’d had time to read another book in February.

It would have been neat to see how Elle Katherine White’s retelling differed from Seth Grahame-Smith’s. (Have you read P&P&Z? What did you think? Are you wondering why I picked Sea Monsters over Zombies? Because the cover reminded me of Bill Nighy’s Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean. And because I felt like Zombies had gotten more than enough attention with the movie.) 

In lieu of my thoughts on Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, I offer you its You Tube book trailer link. Absolutely worth the two minutes or so it takes to watch.

My final thought on Heartstone: Giving the Drakaina (the dragon queen) some of the characteristics of Lady Catherine de Bourgh was a nice touch.

So, how about you? Did you read any of my Feb 2017 Reading Challenge picks? Are you reading anything else? Can you think of any other Jane Austen-inspired fantasy? If so, let me know in the comments! Tomorrow, I’ll share March’s reading picks.

February’s Reading Challenge – #JaneAusten Inspired #Fantasy

For 2017, I’m doing a Reading Challenge. At the start of every month, I’ll post the month’s reading theme and a list of possible books to read, then at the end of the month, I’ll share my thoughts on at least one of them. YOU are invited to read along by picking whatever book on the list appeals to you and sharing your thoughts –OR– by picking some other book that fits the theme and sharing your thoughts about that. Easy, right? And, hopefully fun too.

Jill Archer, 2017 Reading Challenge, books, fantasy, Jane Austen

February’s theme is:

JANE AUSTEN INSPIRED FANTASY

and the choices are…

(descriptions are from Goodreads)

shades-of-milk-and-honey-by-mary-robinette-kowal

Shades of Milk and Honey

by Mary Robinette Kowal

The fantasy novel you’ve always wished Jane Austen had written

Shades of Milk and Honey is exactly what we could expect from Jane Austen if she had been a fantasy writer: Pride and Prejudice meets Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It is an intimate portrait of a woman, Jane, and her quest for love in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality.

Jane and her sister Melody vie for the attentions of eligible men, and while Jane’s skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face. When Jane realizes that one of Melody’s suitors is set on taking advantage of her sister for the sake of her dowry, she pushes her skills to the limit of what her body can withstand in order to set things right—and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.

heartstone

Heartstone

by Elle Katharine White

A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms

They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

Elle Katharine White infuses elements of Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy that conjures a familiar yet wondrously unique new world.

sense-and-sensibility-and-sea-monsters

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters

From the publisher of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes a new tale of romance, heartbreak, and tentacled mayhem. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities.

As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon.

Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It’s survival of the fittest — and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!


So there they are — February’s reading choices. Get to it, people! 🙂

Pocket Full of Tinder, Jill Archer, Noon Onyx, paranormal, fantasy

Night Owl Reviews Pocket Full of Tinder – TOP PICK!

Pocket Full of Tinder is a Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK!

Pocket Full of Tinder does not disappoint. It has all that I have come to expect from Ms. Archer… action, character building, friends (what’s a good story without the side characters), demons, couples and an arc that will leave you saying… I need to read the next book now!!!

So thankful for everyone’s interest and support! 🙂

Last Day of Blog Tour and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Today is the last day of my blog tour for Pocket Full of Tinder (Noon Onyx #4), which means this is your LAST CHANCE to enter to win my tour-wide giveaway. Thank you to everyone who has helped spread the word about the book’s release so far! If you read the book, please don’t forget to leave a review in as many places as possible (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo).

If you celebrate Christmas, have a merry one! Best wishes to each and every one of you for 2017!

happy holidays, 2016, Jill Archer, fantasy, books, best wishes

RELEASE DAY FOR POCKET FULL OF TINDER!

Last New Year’s I celebrated with a bunch of my friends and had a really great time, but I was still inwardly bummed about 2015 and vowed this year would be different. I picked two resolutions and promised myself no matter what I’d figure out how to accomplish them. The first was to finally self-publish already! I’d been talking about it for years and it felt like this gaping hole in my author resume. Everyone was self-publishing (or so it felt to me) and I was stuck on the sidelines. 2015 was the year I published nothing, which felt really crappy. (In my defense, I was still writing and submitting, but since the proposal we’d been shopping around didn’t sell, it felt like a wasted year writing-wise even though, if it were anyone else, I would tell them ABSOLUTELY NOT – that any and all time spent in the pursuit of your passion, or which could lead to paid written work, is time well spent and… blah blah blah. I published nothing in 2015 was all I could think about.)

My second 2016 New Year’s resolution? To get a bookish job so I could afford to self-publish the way I wanted to. I started working as a librarian this past June, which has been fantastic, but TODAY, with only two weeks to spare, my #1 goal for 2016 has been met. (Yay!)

If you haven’t already bought Pocket Full of Tinder, TODAY IS THE DAY! Forget about that midnight showing of ROGUE ONE. What you really want to be doing tonight is reading PFoT!

More reviews are trickling in…

Trinitytwo at The Qwillery gave the book a fantastic review (and there’s a separate giveaway for the book there too!):

There is something for everyone in Pocket Full of Tinder: magical skirmishes, romance, espionage, betrayal, death, and redemption… Noon Onyx is a great heroine… Although powerful and extremely badass, Noon’s decisions are tempered by an admirable degree of love and compassion. I appreciate that she has a great sense of humor, is fiercely loyal to her friends and that she has one heck of a stylist… Archer has taken the series to new heights… I am a big fan of this series and hope to read about Noon’s life and adventures for years to come.

Luna Lovebooks from One Book Two called the book:

Heartbreaking… uplifting… devastating… the best Noon novel yet.

and Gikany & Una at That’s What I’m Talking About said they were:

Thrilled to be back in this unique and fascinating world… The supporting characters are just as compelling as Noon… We cannot wait to see what happens next…

I’ll continue to share positive and mixed reviews that are sent to me. I cannot thank those who have already reviewed the book enough. I’m humbled and grateful for all the kind words.

If you received an ARC and haven’t yet posted a review, TODAY’S THE DAY to share your thoughts on Goodreads, Amazon, and wherever else you hang out online.

If you pre-ordered, or buy the book today, please try to post a review by this weekend. Reviews help keep Amazon’s search algorithm juiced. I’d love to see if I can break into the Top 100 in the Fantasy New Adult category. (Is that even possible with this book? I don’t know! It’s been on pre-order for longer than it should have been, it’s a fourth book in a series where the first book is the highest priced one in the series, there’s been two years in between the last book and this one… basically, if I can break the Top 500 in my Amazon category it would be a Christmas miracle. I think in the time it took to write this post, my rank actually went down. So, for the record, if my rank tanks I’m still going to stubbornly consider this release a success because – hello?! – didn’t you read paragraph one? 😀 )

THANK YOU TO EACH OF YOU for all the shares, likes, tweets, posts, purchases, and reviews. No one can launch a book alone. I’m so grateful for your enthusiasm and support.

Jill Archer, Noon Onyx, fantasy, new adult, paranormal

FOR PRINT COPIES: CREATE SPACE eSTORE

FOR DIGITAL COPIES: Amazon | iTunes | Kobo | Nook


Release Day Blitz!

A bunch of bloggers agreed to help me spread the word about today’s release. They’ll be sharing excerpts, teasers, Q&As, and chances to win my release day giveaway: a $25 Amazon eGC + a signed set of Noon Onyx books. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada. To see the list of participating bloggers, click here. For my complete giveaway rules, click here. And to stay up to date on all of the Bewitching Book Tours blog posts, spotlights, and reviews, click here.

POCKET FULL OF TINDER: Blog Tour Kick Off and Other News

What I Learned from Self-Pubbing B4

I kicked off Pocket Full of Tinder‘s blog tour yesterday with a post at fellow author Marsha Moore’s place: 8 Things I Learned from Self-Publishing my 4th Novel.

There are also two nice spotlights at Books N Pearls and Sapphyria’s Book Reviews where you can enter to win my tour-wide giveaway (details below).

Still Available on NetGalley

Pocket Full of Tinder is still available to reviewers through NetGalley. Click here to request a copy! While you’re there, check out the other great books being offered by fellow SFWA members.

Please Review!

If you received an early copy of Pocket Full of Tinder, please review it. Amazon doesn’t allow reviews to be posted before the release date, but Goodreads does. Next week, I’m hoping everyone who received an ARC will post reviews as widely as possible – on Goodreads, Amazon, iTunes, Nook, your blogs, and wherever else you hang out online.

The number of reviews a book gets has a direct impact on its success. If you want to read more Noon Onyx books, help support the series by writing a review.

A big shout out and thank you to Matt at Bibliomania Book Reviews for his early review:

May be the best book in the Noon Onyx series to date… The genre-bending nature of Jill Archer’s novels is inventive and refreshing, and world-building is one of her greatest strengths… Those who are new to the series should read all of the previous books first to get the full impact of this one, but [there is] enough backstory that it is possible for a new reader to jump in.

And to Lissette Manning, a.k.a. LizzieBeth at Simplistik, for her wonderful review. Loved her description of Noon:

A headstrong heroine who… is decisive and is often led by her emotions, yet she will never back down from a fight. She will do everything possible to set all wrongs to right, even if it means she’ll die trying…. This is a series that sinks deep into your heart.

Thank you too to those of you who have left reviews at Goodreads! I tread carefully there because I think it’s a sacrosanct reader space. So I don’t comment here on reviews there. However – they are VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!!!!

Still Available for Pre-Order!

Even if you received an advance copy, please consider pre-ordering. Pocket Full of Tinder‘s price is half the price of previous books. (It’s less than lots of the crap stuff they sell at Five Below!)

Amazon | iTunes | Kobo

In Other News…

  1. I’m going to be doing a release day blitz with Xpresso Book Tours. Originally, I’d wanted to do another release day party at Bitten by Books (I really enjoyed the last one), but Rachel’s not currently scheduling them. Giselle at Xpresso was able to book a little blitz for me on short notice. She’s also based in Canada and I thought it might be nice to reach out to more Canadian readers. My release day giveaway is a $25 eGC and signed books. That giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada! 🙂

  2. I received an email the other day from BookBub. For one brief crazy half-second, I got excited. BookBub?! I mean, everyone talks about BookBub as if your launch will fail if you’re not using it. (Disclaimer for any new followers, my Twitter bio used to say, “Queen of Hyperbole”). But then I remembered I’m not doing a BookBub ad. (Pocket Full of Tinder isn’t even a good candidate because it’s not heavily discounted and it’s not a first-in-series). Then I read the email:

    Your new release alert will be sent to your BookBub followers. You currently have 4 in the US.

    Seriously, WordPress, where is your laughing/crying emoji? Clearly, I have not been encouraging my followers to sign up for new release alerts over at BookBub – and I’m still not! If you are a new follower/fan/friend who is interested in receiving new release alerts, please sign up for my newsletter. That said, I appreciate BookBub’s handling that for me and I would definitely like to do business with them in the future. 😉


  3. Penny took her first flying lesson!
    😀
    pennys-take-offpenny-in-the-air


More about my BBT Giveaway

The winner will receive their choice of either:

#1 – an Etsy “Book Lover” prize pack, which includes a book hoarder dragon poster, a dozen book page flowers, six book wine charms, and a pair of book earrings. (U.S. Only for Option #1. If these items are no longer available on Etsy, winner will receive Option #2); or

#2 – $50 worth of fantasy books from Book Depository and a $25 Etsy gift certificate.

For my complete giveaway rules, click here.

Thank you, everyone, for following this blog and supporting the Noon Onyx series! You are all amazing and awesome!

#SFF Genre Talk: The Queen of the Tearling and Low-Tech Futuristic Worlds

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen is the first book in a fantasy trilogy featuring Kelsea Raleigh, a nineteen year-old newly crowned queen. One of my favorite parts of the story was its world, which is a low-tech futuristic one.

fantasy, futuristic, medieval, magic, Erika Johansen, The Queen of the Tearling

The story takes place in a fictional country called Tear, which exists at some point in the future (Wikipedia says it takes place in the 24th century, although I couldn’t find where that was mentioned in the book) in a New World (which, I assume is somewhere in the Old World, i.e. Europe??). This vague backstory might be frustrating to some, but I was interested as both writer and reader in how Johansen built her world.

In the distant past, the new queen’s ancestor sailed himself and a bunch of followers from America to wherever they are now. But utopianism didn’t work out as well as everyone wanted and, at the story’s open, the country has been subjugated by the neighboring country, Mortmesne, which is ruled by a queen as evil as her country’s name suggests.

The world of the Tear and Morts might seem odd or inconsistent to a reader unwilling to imagine a low-tech future without a causative apocalyptic event. There are geneticists, but no cars. There are ruling monarchs and magic, but no guns. There are cities, but very few books. There was a Crossing, not a Catastrophe. But I think low-tech futuristic worlds are ripe with potential. (Yes, I’m admittedly biased; my Noon Onyx series takes place in a low-tech futuristic world. As a writer, I love the possibilities of this as yet unlabeled sub-genre… which I’m not necessarily suggesting we label. Are we any closer to understanding what “dark fantasy” is or what type of stories are truly “new adult”? Worth noting, though, that others have already taken a stab at naming it. Best Fantasy Books uses the term “Futuristic Fantasy” and its list of books shows how long the sub-genre has been around.)

Regardless of what we call them, low-tech futuristics seem to offer the best of two other sf/f sub-genres: historical fantasy and post-apocalyptic fantasy. Readers get to immerse themselves in a medieval-ish, make-believe otherworld, but one with recognizable references (e.g. the Brothers Grimm and Leonardo da Vinci). Instead of centering on how the characters will survive the immediate aftermath of some sort of grand catastrophe, a low-tech futuristic story has more room to breathe in terms of plot. It can be epic instead of laser-focused. Its pacing can be slower and less breakneck. Most importantly, however, it provides flexibility for a writer to pick and choose which real world elements work for them and their story. This expansive, though eclectic, approach can lead to a world that feels familiar, but different – to a world that has broken its historical constraints while at the same time remaining accessible and identifiable to readers.

The bottom line is that low-tech futuristic stories allow writers to play with the past, instead of being limited by it.

So what about the rest of the story?

The Queen of the Tearling is part of a trilogy (the third book, The Fate of the Tearling, comes out tomorrow) and this first book feels a lot like Act I of a bigger story, which is fine. There are lots of unanswered questions for future books to address, such as:

Who is Kelsea’s father?

What’s up with Andalie, her lady-in-waiting?

And the Robin Hood-like Fetch? (whose name brings out my sophomoric sense of humor because I could NOT stop thinking of Gretchen from Mean Girls every time his name was mentioned in the book)

Here are a few other brief, disjointed thoughts about the book:

I loved all the fictional epigraphs at the beginning of the chapters. Yes, they seem to give much of the plot away, but somehow story tension remains (see unanswered questions above).

The book has been shelved multiple times on Goodreads under Young Adult, but it’s not YA.

Emma Watson is starring in, and producing, the movie adaptation.

What do you think of low-tech futuristics? What do you call them?

Have you read The Queen of the Tearling? What did you think? Have any other, similar books to recommend?

POCKET FULL OF TINDER is now available on NetGalley (#fantasy)

Pocket Full of Tinder is now available on NetGalley. If you are interested in getting an advance review copy via NetGalley, click here, sign in or register, and request a copy. I offered it via SFWA’s NetGalley co-op, which is a terrific benefit to members. (Why join SFWA?) Check out the other ARCs being offered by fellow SFWA members here.

Other ways you can get an ARC of Pocket Full of Tinder

Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Pocket Full of Tinder by Jill Archer

Pocket Full of Tinder

by Jill Archer

Giveaway ends December 01, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

My Author Newsletter

I’ll be offering ARCs via my newsletter one more time before the book’s release. Click here to subscribe.

Don’t Forget to Pre-Order!

Pre-orders help support the series. There will be at least one more book. What happens after that depends on readers!

Amazon

iTunes

Kobo

When Pocket Full of Tinder releases on December 15, 2016, it will also be available for purchase on Nook and CreateSpace.

Suzanne Johnson: Building New Worlds, Book by Book (#writing #fantasy)

Please welcome Suzanne Johnson, author of the Sentinels of New Orleans series, who’s here to talk about worldbuilding. Her newest book released yesterday — Belle Chasse. She’s also giving away one $50 Amazon eGiftCard and five $10 Amazon eGift Cards. The Rafflecopter link is below. Welcome, Suzanne!


The Sentinels of New Orleans series takes place in a big multiverse….a really big multiverse.

If you’ve been around the series from the beginning, you know that I’ve built the world slowly and deliberately.

suzanne-johnson-royal-street

In ROYAL STREET, we met the wizards and historical undead and shifters—particularly our heroine wizard DJ and major characters Alex Warin and the undead French pirate Jean Lafitte. We also visited Old Orleans, the “wild west” border town between modern New Orleans and the great preternatural world, the Beyond.

suzanne-johnson-river-roadNext, in RIVER ROAD, we met the water species, particularly the merfolk and merman Rene Delachaise. We also got a brief introduction to elves and were introduced to visiting historical versions of the Beyond.

suzanne-johnson-elysian-fields

ELYSIAN FIELDS took us to Elfheim, the ancestral home of the elves, for a brief period, and we learned a lot more about these sneaky devils. Oh, they’re pretty, but don’t let those pretty faces fool you. And we met a subclass of our wizards, the necromancers, as well as the mercenary race of vampires. Yeah, they’re pretty too. And loyal until the money runs out or they get a better offer.

suzanne-johnson-pirates-alley

PIRATE’S ALLEY introduced the largest species of preternaturals other than the wizards: the fae, specifically the queen of Faerie, Sabine, and the two princes who are rivals to succeed her to the throne, Christof, prince of Winter, and Florian, prince of Summer. Faeries are, uh, well, a wee bit crazy. We also got a brief trip into the Realm of Vampyre, the ancestral home of the vamps.

suzanne-johnson-belle-chasse

And now—yesterday, in fact—we have BELLE CHASSE, the penultimate book in the series. What’s new this time out?

Well, much of the book takes place in the Beyond. We spend some time in circa 1814 South Louisiana. We visit the capital city of Faerie and learn a little more about their magic. And we get to go inside the walls of the Winter Palace. All of the species are at play in this book…and do I need to say that they don’t play well together?

The fae have been a fun species to create. Their magic of Arch and Academy pits science and technology against nature, with only royals possessing both types of magic eligible to take the throne. There is also a population of hybrids where fae possessing one type of magic have played science experiment to try and acquire the other type, with disastrous results.

(You’ll meet Mick, a giant black talking bear with humanoid hands and feet. He owns a bar, of course.)

Civil war is brewing on the charming streets of the Faerie capital, and its outcome will have major implications on the preternatural world war brewing in modern New Orleans. Buckle your seat belts, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

In the wide world of paranormal creatures, what are your favorites?


More about Belle Chasse

Suzanne Johnson’s “strong and intriguing” (Publishers Weekly) urban fantasy series continues with Belle Chasse. The Sentinels of New Orleans series has earned starred reviews from Library Journal (“a resourceful heroine who relies on her magical ingenuity”) and PW (“vivid…a lively tale jam-packed with action, magic, and intriguing plot twists”).

With the wizard-elven treaty on the verge of collapse, the preternatural world stands on the brink of war. Unless former wizard sentinel DJ Jaco manages to keep the elven leader, Quince Randolph, focused on peace and not personal matters.

With no one on the throne, Faerie is in chaos, with rival princes battling for power. The still-undead pirate, Jean Lafitte, is building his own army of misfits, and DJ stripped of her job and hiding in the Beyond to avoid the death sentence handed down by the wizard Council of Elders can’t get anywhere near her beloved New Orleans or her significant something-or-other, Alex.

It’s time to choose sides. Friends will become enemies, enemies will become allies, and not everyone will survive. DJ and her friends will learn a hard lesson: sometimes, even the ultimate sacrifice isn’t enough.

Amazon     BN     Book Depository     Books-a-Million     Indie Bound

More about Suzanne

Suzanne Johnson is the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series but perhaps is best known for her romantic suspense and paranormal romance books written as Susannah Sandlin, including the Penton Vampire Legacy paranormal romance series, the Wilds of the Bayou suspense series, and The Collectors romantic thriller series. Her awards include two Holt Medallions in 2013 and 2015, a 2015 Booksellers Best Award in romantic suspense, and nominations in 2014 and 2015 for the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award. A displaced New Orleanian, she currently lives in Auburn, Alabama. Suzanne loves SEC football, fried gator on a stick, all things Cajun, and redneck reality TV.

The Giveaway

Suzanne is giving away one $50 Amazon eGiftCard and five $10 Amazon eGift Cards. Click here for the Rafflecopter link. Click here for Jill’s complete giveaway rules.

suzanne-johnson-belle-chasse-banner

Thank you for guest blogging today, Suzanne!

Quick reminder: Jill’s giving away ten advance copies of Pocket Full of Tinder on Goodreads. To enter, click here.

POCKET FULL OF TINDER: #GoodreadsGiveaway

Want a chance to win one of ten signed advance copies of Pocket Full of Tinder? Then enter the Goodreads giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Pocket Full of Tinder by Jill Archer

Pocket Full of Tinder

by Jill Archer

Giveaway ends December 01, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

In other news:

Saw Doctor Strange this weekend. Thought it was great. I’m not sure it was as cerebral as some reviewers have said (ahem, EW, I’m looking at you), but I do love a good origin story. Visually, it reminded me of Inception and Insurgent).

Also watched the first two episodes of Timeless, which was good. E loved it. I’m interested enough to keep watching.

If you’re doing NaNo this month – GOOD LUCK!!!

And… if you live in the U.S. (you know where I’m going with this last bit, right?) – Don’t forget to vote tomorrow! I can’t imagine that anyone who follows this blog won’t, but I have, on occasion, talked to people who have a false belief that their vote won’t count. Huh? Every vote counts. If you have a right to vote – exercise it. The fact that you live in a non-battleground state, the fact that you think your voice will be better heard online than in the voting box, or the fact that you’re fed up with this election aren’t good excuses. Vote!

Tomorrow, Penny, E, and I will be home watching CNN. On Wednesday, I’ll have the fabulous Suzanne Johnson here, who will be discussing the worldbuilding in her Sentinels of New Orleans series. Belle Chasse, the penultimate book, releases tomorrow, so pre-order now!

Best wishes for Monday, all!

Pocket Full of Tinder Pre-Order Links (#Fantasy #Paranormal)

I have pre-order links for Noon Onyx #4!

Pre-Order on Amazon

Pre-Order on iTunes

Pre-Order on Kobo

The digital version is $3.99 and the print version will be $12.99. That digital price is the lowest price of any book in the series so, even if you haven’t yet read a Noon Onyx book, I’m hoping it’s an easy entry price. Yes, I know it’s not $0.99 — and it likely never will be. (So, please don’t wait for it to go on sale; if you want to buy it, please pre-order it now 🙂 ).

When the book releases on December 15, 2016, it will also be available on Nook and CreateSpace.

Want a Sample Booklet?

Pocket Full of Tinder, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, Fantasy, Paranormal

Interested in receiving a sample booklet with Pocket Full of Tinder’s prologue and first chapter? Then use my Contact Page to send me your U.S. mailing address. (While supplies last. My newsletter subscribers get first dibs.)

Have a wonderful Halloween weekend, everyone! Don’t forget to pre-order before your weekend festivities!!

Pre-Order on Amazon

Pre-Order on iTunes

Pre-Order on Kobo

THANK YOU!!!

THIS BOOK WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT THE AMAZING SUPPORT OF THE INDIE AUTHOR COMMUNITY, THE READERS WHO HAVE PATIENTLY WAITED FOR ME TO CONTINUE NOON’S STORY, AND MY OWN STUBBORN INSISTENCE TO KEEP WRITING IN THE FACE OF SOME VERY STRONG HEADWINDS.

TO MIX METAPHORS, I’M GOING BACK TO MY ROLLER COASTER ANALOGY — PRE-ORDER LINKS MEAN THAT WE ARE AT THE VERY TOP OF THE LIFT HILL, BALANCED FOR ONE BRIEF MOMENT (OR FOR THE NEXT 49 DAYS) BETWEEN THE MASSIVE HEAVY LIFTING THAT HAS BROUGHT US TO THIS POINT AND…

THE UNKNOWN…

My Thoughts on Reviews (#writing #publishing advice)

As I head into the pre-release period for Pocket Full of Tinder, I figured it would be a great time to share my thoughts on reviews, readers, and writers.

  1. A reviewer’s opinion is never wrong. Ever. Their interpretation of your story is what it is. You can’t change it. Nor should you try to. The wonderful thing about writing and publishing (as opposed to keeping your work locked in a drawer) is that it becomes a dialog of sorts between you and the reader. A reader’s own backstory and experiences become a part of the reading experience. That explains, in part, why fairy tale retellings are so popular. The amount of story information that is immediately conveyed when a character has a red hood or a magic mirror or a glass slipper is incredible. Include two words in your character description and suddenly a reader is drawing upon generations-worth of mythological information. (That’s, obviously, a very simple explanation of how the unwritten dialog between an author and a reader works.) The bottom line is: A writer can’t control that final missing piece of their story – the reader’s interpretation of it. Which is all to the better. If we could, it would be like writing a story for ourselves. Boring! The risk and uncertainty involved with crafting something that requires a last sine qua non from someone else is what makes the writing process challenging and worthwhile.
  2. In the unlikely event that a reviewer states something factually incorrect about your book, I’m still not sure I’d argue with them. Writers, you’ll have to judge this for yourselves based on the situation, but I don’t think it’s worth it. Quibbling over minor book details seems petty as best, and insecure and antagonistic at worst.
  3. What happens if a reader or a reviewer is mistaken about you personally? This is a tougher situation and it’s only happened to me once. Years ago, a reviewer posted a review that included thoughts on me and my personal beliefs. What was said was so egregious that I felt I had to correct the record (privately, at least). I ended up reaching out to her via email and we actually had a nice exchange. I have no idea if she continued reading my books or not, but the experience ended up being (for the most part) a positive one.
  4. From the perspective of the writer, bad reviews suck. There’s no getting around it. We all want everyone to love our books. (Although, that analogy that your book is your baby isn’t one I subscribe to). But we all know, either consciously or deep down, that it is IMPOSSIBLE for everyone to adore our work. Simply impossible. And the more you want your work read, the more you’ll find readers who don’t like it. It’s a math equation. The answer isn’t hiding your work and living in fear. The answer is always to KEEP ON. I don’t want bad reviews (who does?!) but, at this point, I’m more afraid of the fact that, four years after being published, I’m still a slow writer. And that I promised to finish a series in which I have no control over the first three books. (Commercial suicide, people, don’t try this at home! More on that later. Maybe.)

What about positive or mixed reviews? How should a writer handle those?

With cartwheels and confetti and ticker tape parades!!!

Seriously though, unequivocally enthusiastic and supportive reviews will keep you going during those inevitable times when you want to throw in the towel. (If you are a writer who has never thought about quitting, then you are either new to the game or some sort of unprecedented confidence-crackerjack.)

And mixed reviews contain all sorts of valuable information. I love thorough, thoughtful reviews that discuss the many different aspects of a novel.

What’s my policy on sharing reviews?

Since I’ll be reaching out soon and asking for reviews of Pocket Full of Tinder, here’s my policy on sharing the reviews:

First, I hope you’ll review Pocket Full of Tinder! Readers/reviewers, don’t ever think that your thoughts on a book don’t matter or shouldn’t be shared.

If someone sends me a link to a review (or lets me know about it through social media) and it’s a mixed or positive review, I will share it.

If it’s a positive review, I may also include a quote from it on my “Novels” page and include the reviewer’s blog on my “Book Reviewers & Bibliophiles” blogroll. Quotes might also be included in marketing materials such as bookmarks and media kits.

If it’s a negative review, I’ll ignore it. It’s not sour grapes; it’s business. No one expects those to be shared by the author anyway. (But I still hope that any reviewer who doesn’t like the Noon Onyx series might try something else of mine later.)

That’s it for now because I need to get back to work. Updates and more blog posts later…

Hope everyone is having a fantastic October!!!

Halloween, books, book convention, HallowRead, Maryland, fantasy, horror

HallowRead — Author Interviews, Schedule, and Ticket Giveaway!

Today’s post is all about HallowRead, the book festival and mini-con for authors and fans of paranormal, urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror. It’s happening on October 21-23 in Havre de Grace, Maryland. I’m giving away one ALL-INCLUSIVE TICKET (includes Friday Workshops, Saturday Panels, Ghost Tour, Book Signing, and Sunday Brunch & Wine Tasting). Details on how to win the ticket are below. For those of you who can’t make it, here’s a fun Halloween themed Q&A with me and two other HallowRead authors:

RYSA WALKER is the author of the bestselling CHRONOS Files series. Timebound, the first book in the series, was the Young Adult and Grand Prize winner in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. The CHRONOS Files has sold nearly half a million copies since 2013 and has been translated into ten languages. Rysa currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, two youngest sons, and a hyperactive golden retriever. When not working on the second book in The Delphi Trilogy, she watches shows where travelers boldly go to galaxies far away, or reads about magical creatures and superheroes from alternate timelines.  She has neither the time nor the patience for reality TV.

DYLANN RHEA was raised in a small town in Bergen County where she still lives today with her family. She has always shown a passion for writing despite the difficulty she faced in school with dyslexia. Rhea spent most of her time daydreaming and writing during her childhood with no vision of becoming an author. After attending community college for a semester, she decided to pave her own path and create the world she wished she could have read about as a young adult. She published her first two books, Tormented Soul and Fallen Warrior, in 2015.

What’s your favorite Halloween treat?

Rysa: Take5 bars that I steal from my kids’ haul on Halloween.  I don’t buy the darn things, because it’s one of the few candy bars that I will scarf down with a shameless lack of self-control.  I may have to break the no-buying rule this year, however, since my guys now insist that they are too old to trick-or-treat and it’s really not Halloween without Take5.

Dylann: What isn’t my favorite? Honestly, I eat any treat you put in front of me, however I really enjoy the classic Candy Corn. You can never go wrong with the classics.

Jill: Twizzlers and Sour Patch Kids… also caramel apples, salted caramels, Milk Duds, and Milky Ways. I don’t think I’ve ever had a Take5 though, which means I’m going to have to hunt one down now to see what I think.

What do you think this year’s most popular Halloween costume will be?

Rysa: I’m pretty sure Star Wars will top the list.  I’m guessing we’ll have about as many Reys at our door as we did Groots last year, and Harry Potters a few years back.  Those were my favorite Halloweens, because I could dress  up as Bellatrix and chase all of the little Gryffindors around the cul-de-sac shouting “I killed Sirius Black!” without the neighbors complaining.

Dylann: I wouldn’t be surprised if the ‘joke’ costume is either Trump or Hillary. The kid’s costume is always tricky, but I think this year it could be Star Wars costumes. I know I dressed up as Jarjar when I was in Kindergarten even though everyone hates him.

Jill: I’m wondering how many Harley Quinns I’ll see and if that’s a good thing or a bad thing…

Do you have a favorite horror movie?

Rysa: I love scary books, and I like some scary movies, but not gory ones.  Spewing arteries put me off my popcorn (although probably not off my Take5 bars).  My favorite is probably “IT,” especially Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise the Clown.  I’m more than a little afraid of clowns to begin with, so he scared the bejeezus out of me. 

Dylann: Horror is one of those things that I hate, thriller movies creep me out ten times more. If I had to pick it would be Friday the 13th. Someone invading your mind is horrifying and part of me feels like it could happen one day.

Jill: I think my current favorite is Spring. Other creepy, scary, and/or Gothic movies I’ve enjoyed: Sleepy Hollow, The Village, Underworld, Crimson Peak, Jane Eyre, Edwards Scissorhands, Shaun of the Dead…

If you could be any type of monster, which would it be and why?

Rysa: It wouldn’t be a clown, that’s for sure.  Maybe a dog-shifter like Sirius Black? My golden retriever has a pretty sweet life.

Dylann: Do witches count as monsters? I’ve been obsessed with them ever since I watched Charmed when I was younger. Witches have a perfect balance of being on the border of human, but not. There’s something so fascinating about them, but if witches don’t count werewolf in a heartbeat. There’s something sexy about the beast within and again you’re only a werewolf once a month so you have that humanity.  

Jill: A Valkyrie or one of the Furies for sure. 😀

Are you superstitious? If so, about what?

Rysa: Usually not, although I was somewhat more superstitious when I was a kid.  I’d worry a bit about my mom if I stepped on a crack in the sidewalk, and I’d avoid walking under ladders — although the last is partly because I’m so clumsy I’d likely knock the thing down.

Dylann: Hell yes! I’m always looking up my horoscope and reading my tarot twice a day. I LOVE seeing psychics and mediums, palms readers, the whole nine. Sometimes I play back my recordings of what a psychic has said to me and try to decipher it. I don’t believe in the whole walking under a ladder thing or black cats being bad luck. I do throw salt over my shoulder if I spill it.

Jill: I’m superstitious in the most inconsistent ways. I think nothing of stepping on cracks or walking under ladders, but I try not to open umbrellas in the house or break mirrors. I knock on wood, wish on stars, wonder if things really do happen in threes…

Have you ever seen a ghost?

Rysa: I haven’t seen one, but I’ve seen evidence of one.  When I was about seven months pregnant with my middle son, we had several odd incidents in our house.  A floor lamp suddenly dipped to one side, making the dog go crazy.  A piece of stuffing from a pillow  suddenly appears in a glass of water that was clear a second before.  Several other things happened that involved water, and all of this took place within a couple of days and then ended.  The family joke is that it was my son checking us out as potential parents to make sure we had a sense of humor. 

Dylann: No and I don’t have a desire to. I already know spirits exist, but I don’t need to be scared shitless and see one.

Jill: Only on-screen or in costume.

What is your latest book about?

rysa-walker-2Rysa: The previous question was a perfect segue, since my latest book, The Delphi Effect, which launches October 11th, is–at least in part– about a ghost.  Anna Morgan has the unfortunate ability to pick up mental hitchhikers who have unfinished business.  Her current hitcher, Molly,  is a bit more insistent than most, and Anna gets pulled into the search for a serial killer and a government conspiracy that could get Anna and her friends killed…but could also help her figure out the origin of her abilities.

One of the reasons that I’m really excited for this year’s Hallowread is that it’s located in Havre de Grace, Maryland.  Havre de Grace is one of the settings of The Delphi Effect.  Some scenes are also set in nearby Port Deposit–although I guess I should really say under Port Deposit…at the site of the former Tome School.  It’s great to be able to do my first post-launch event in an area that had so much influence on the book.

Dylann: Right now I’m in the process of finishing my first trilogy The Storm Trilogy which is about a young girl named Kaden who comes from a dysfunctional family and has in turn created her own idea of family through her sister and best friend, Megan. One night while she’s out with Megan, things go awry and Megan ends up missing. Kaden is forced to work with a young man, Finley, who shows Kaden a fae world hidden within the streets of Seattle. As Kaden gets pulled further into the darkness of the world, she realizes Megan is in much more danger than she thought.

Jill: Maegester-in-Training, Noon Onyx, heads to Rockthorn Gorge to work for its new demon lord – who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend.

Where can we find it?

Rysa: You can find The Delphi Effect, along with my other books, on my Amazon page and at select book stores.

Dylann: The first book, Tormented Soul can be found here and the sequel, Fallon Warrior, can be found here. Both can be purchased through Barnes and Noble upon request.

Jill: You can add Pocket Full of Tinder to your Goodreads shelf here and subscribe to my newsletter for future ARC and pre-order info.

Where can we find you at HallowRead?

Rysa: I wouldn’t miss the Ghost Tour in Havre de Grace on Friday October 21st.  I’ll also be on two writing panels, Saturday October 22nd.  The first is “An Architect and a Gardener,” which looks at the differences between writers who are plotters and those who fly by the seat of their pants. (I’m very much in the latter category!) The second is “Suspending Disbelief,” where the group will be looking at the challenges of writing magical stories while keeping it “real” enough that the reader buys into your world. Finally, I’ll be signing copies of The Delphi Effect at the Havre de Grace Library on Saturday afternoon from 4-6 PM.

Dylann: I will be on the Urban Fantasy Round up panel and hovering around the event all weekend so come say hello!

Jill: I’ll be at the Books You Can Sink Your Teeth Into panel and the book signing and generally around all day Saturday.

Where can we find you online?

Rysa:

If you find me at Facebook or on Twitter, please tell me to get back in the Writing Cave.  I spend way too much time there.  I’m also occasionally on Goodreads and you can get updates on my books, appearances, and other information at my website. Plus, if you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll get a free CHRONOS short story.

Dylann:


More about HallowRead

Multi author event with various activities throughout the weekend including Writing Workshops, Ghost Tour, SteamPunk Author Tea, Author Panels, Book Signing, Paranormal Investigation and so much more. Hang out with your favorite authors in our new host city, the haunted and historic town of Havre de Grace, Maryland!

Local Maryland author of dark urban fantasy, Rachel Rawlings, had a crazy idea. Create a book convention for genre fiction and hold it the weekend before Halloween. Haunted and historic Ellicott City held a special place in her heart so there was no other place to take her first ever convention. The town welcomed her and HallowRead with open arms. Each ticket sold helped raise money for the Ellicott City Partnership- a coalition of residents and business owners for the betterment of the town. HallowRead raised money for projects like rain barrels which help reduce the sediment and contaminants running into the Patapsco River and fund grants for projects like Paint Main Street which helped small business owners get a much-needed fresh coat of paint improving the moral and over all appearance of the town.

Rachel is excited to take the convention on the road for 2016 and raise funds for Harford County literacy programs and the local library system! One ticket, whether it’s a $10 paranormal investigation or the full monty ticket, makes a difference for the town and the wonderful people who call it home, something Rachel is extremely proud of.

Click here to see a list of HallowRead events.

Get your tickets here.

See a list of attending authors here.

For more about HallowRead founder, Rachel Rawlings, see this previous post featuring her Maurin Kincaide UF series.


More about the Ticket Giveaway

I’m giving away one all-inclusive ticket to HallowRead. To enter to win, comment below (answer one of the questions in the Q&A above) or contact me no later than midnight EST on October 4, 2016. My complete giveaway rules are here. Hope to see you there!

Thank you to Rysa and Dylann for the Q&A. It was fun reading your answers. I’m looking forward to meeting you in person in October.

Hope everyone’s fall is off to a great start!

Haunted Halloween Spooktacular! (Chance to win Kindle Fire + IT’S FUN!!)

Before I get into the details of the Halloween Spooktacular, I want to say THANK YOU to each and every one of you who helped make the Pocket Full of Tinder cover reveal as awesome as it could be. I very much appreciate all the shares, likes, tweets, RTs, host posts, Goodreads adds, etc. There is simply NO WAY I could launch a book without your help. I’m still not quite sure what to expect in December, but I do know the more people who know about the book’s release, the better. Hugs to all of you who continue to help me spread the word about the Noon Onyx series!!

(Cover Reveal Giveaway Update: Ann B. won the $25 eGC. The Sneak Peek Tweet Contest is still going on. It doesn’t end until September 30th. PLENTY of chances to win. How to enter? Simply tweet one of my sneak peek tweets. Details here.)

Halloween, giveaway, books, authors, fantasy, horror, demons, angels, magic

HAUNTED HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR

What is it?

A month-and-a-half-long online event featuring authors who write horror, dark fantasy, and paranormal stories. Our books have magic, witches, vampires, werewolves, demons, and/or all sorts of otherworldly elements.

Who’s participating?

Participating authors include: Marsha A Moore, Laura B. Diamond, JC Andrijeski, N.D. Jones, Ash Krafton, Krista Carlson, Natalie Nicole Bates, Vanta Black, Jenn Windrow, Constance Burris, Kirsten Weiss, Rayna Noire, Roxanne Rhoads, Catherine Winters, Traci Douglass, Jamie K. Schmidt, Sam Baltrusis, Lexxie Couper, Lily Harlem, Angelique Voisen, MA Church, BA Tortuga, Erzabet Bishop, Sam Crescent, Kelex… and me!

Click here for the full schedule.

Where to find me and when

September 19: Urban Fantasy Investigations & Zenny’s Awesome Book Reviews

September 21: Author Kim Richards’ Blog

September 28: ParaYourNormal

October 7: Kayl’s Krazy Obssession

October 19: Books, Dreams, Life

October 20: Mello and June, It’s a Book Thang! & Infinite House of Books

October 21: Eskimo Princess Book Reviews

BONUS FACEBOOK PARTY

on October 19

I’ll be hosting a Facebook Halloween-themed party from 2-3 p.m. EST on Oct. 19th. I’ve never hosted a Facebook party before, but with each release, I like to try at least one new thing. This should be lots of fun. I’ll have some quizzes, games, maybe some old Halloween pictures, and PRIZES! Get more details and RSVP here. I’ll post a reminder in a few weeks.

Giveaway

The big giveaway for the Halloween Spooktacular is a Kindle Fire Tablet, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB. Neat, right? There are also smaller prizes being offered by other participating authors like Amazon gift cards, ebooks, and signed print copies of their books. To see the full list of prizes, click here and scroll to the bottom for the Rafflecopter form.

Click here for my complete giveaway rules.

In other news…

And, because posting pure promotion can be perilous (although not, perhaps, as bad as endless alliteration 😉 ), here are a few other updates:

Penny got her braces off. Yay! 😀

A few nights ago, Craig gave a beekeeping talk at the library where I work with another, more experienced beekeeper. They brought in an observation hive (it was like a big wooden suitcase with bees in it), a honey extraction video, and lots of tips for first-timers. Whole families came and it was fun! Hopefully, we’ll have some new beekeepers in our area soon. 🙂

E read Raina Telgemeier’s latest book, GHOSTS, and really enjoyed it. Click here for an audio snippet from NPR books editor Barrie Handyman, who discusses the book’s tough topic (death) and how the author masterfully handled it.

I checked out the first episodes of American Horror Story S6, Haven, Wynona Earp, and The Expanse. The winner (at least for now)? The Expanse. I don’t know when I’ll get to watch again, but want to soon!

Did you have braces? Do you remember the day you got them off? (I did and do).

Does your library offer programs? What’s the best one you’ve ever been to? What program do you WISH would be offered?

Have you read or watched anything good lately?

Best wishes and happy reading, all!

Spotlight: Rhodi’s Light by Megan Linski

Quick note for new visitors — Yesterday, I revealed the cover for my fourth Noon Onyx novel, POCKET FULL OF TINDER. To celebrate, I’m offering two giveaways: a $25 eGC to a bookstore (winner’s choice) and a $10 fantasy book from Book Depository. To see the cover, read my thoughts, and enter the giveaways, click here, but only AFTER reading about Megan’s Rhodi Saga! 🙂

the-rhodi-saga

Rhodi’s Light

Flight. Hyperspeed. Clairvoyance. These are some of the powers gifted to the Rhodi, an ancient sect of assassins who defend Crescentia, a dystopian world with a dying hope.

Dyliana Fairsson is one of them. After losing her parents to a suspicious accident, she and her twin brother, Devin, join the Rhodi to avoid starvation. Under the direction of her master, Dylan struggles to learn the strength of her magic …as well as hide the growing scars on her wrists.

Can Dylan become the warrior, the hero, she’s destined to be? Or is she fated to fall from the light into the darkness?

Rhodi Rising

Forced into hiding.
Desperate to find their masters.

In the past few months since the attack on their home, twin assassins Dylan and Devin have grown restless. With the Rhodi facing extinction, they search for their masters Talidin and Tavana, only to discover they’ve gone missing. With nowhere to turn, the twins seek help from a pair of mysterious spies, only to find the trail gone cold, marked by hints of torture and destruction.

Dylan and Devin piece together the events that led to the disappearance of their fellow Rhodi. As their enemies close in for the kill, Dylan discovers that some things are impossible for a Rhodi…but not for a tigress.

Rhodi’s Lullaby

Cities burn.
Governments fall.
Lives are lost in a desperate war…one the Rhodi are losing.

The world has been devastated by the tyranny of the Red Huntress. To save Crescentia, Dylan and Devin attempt to decipher the mystery of the ancient letter their ancestors left behind, the only hope of salvation for their kind. Dylan continues to fight foes both on the battlefield and within her own mind, all while wrestling with the confused feelings she has for Enfys, the alluring spy who has become devoted to her cause.

In the epic conclusion to the thrilling Rhodi Saga, one brave warrior will stand in the way of corruption, to take place before her destiny…or her death.

More about Megan

Megan Linski is the owner of Gryfyn Publishing and has had a passion for writing ever since she completed her first (short) novel at the age of 6. Her specializations are romance, fantasy, and contemporary fiction for people aged 14-24. When not writing she enjoys ice skating, horse riding, theatre, archery, fishing, and being outdoors. She is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, and is an active fighter against common variable immune deficiency disorder. She lives in Michigan.

Megan Linski also writes under the pen name of Natalie Erin for the Creatures of the Lands Series, co-authored with Krisen Lison.