Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

I just…can’t. I don’t know what to say about this book. I love the world of Shadowhunters and believe that this series will be just as good as the last. Can’t wait for more!


The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

513a6d5yvwl-_sx329_bo1204203200_Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

I’m Grateful to be a Writer in this Decade

Since Thanksgiving is coming up this week I thought I would use this week’s blog to share why I am grateful to be a writer during this decade.

  • Access to more literature than ever before
  • Technology makes it easier to write, edit, and be published
  • Social media makes it easier to share drafts and completed works with readers and other writers who can give me advice. It also makes it easier to directly connect with my target audience and build an even bigger audience.
  • Means of travel allow me to go to places I admire in literature or visit historical author’s homes, places that offer inspiration. I can also go anywhere near and far to discuss literature, edit literature, write, read, attend conferences, contests etc. with people who share the same passion.
  • I have the choice to pick a publisher or self-publish. Self-publishing is also becoming easier.
  • Many different writing platforms and outlets-blogs, social media, e-books, contests. Every where I turn there is opportunity for me to write and share what I write!

thanksgiving-1060123_1920These are just some of the things I am grateful for as a writer in this modern world. I would love to hear what you are thankful for. Share your comments below or on my social media pages. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! I hope you have safe travels and enjoy the holiday season.



The Princess Bride by William Goldman

It’s as adorable as the movie. That’s all you need to know.

510yzqd6ukl-_sx302_bo1204203200_Anyone who lived through the 1980s may find it impossible—inconceivable, even—to equate The Princess Bride with anything other than the sweet, celluloid romance of Westley and Buttercup, but the film is only a fraction of the ingenious storytelling you’ll find in these pages. Rich in character and satire, the novel is set in 1941 and framed cleverly as an “abridged” retelling of a centuries-old tale set in the fabled country of Florin that’s home to “Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions.”

Writing Tip of the Week-Meeting Deadlines #NaNoWriMo

This is particularly relevant now since it is National Novel Writing Month! We are halfway through the month, so ideally we should all be halfway through our novels. 😉 Here are some tips provided by H.M Clarke at Book Marketing Tools to help all of us get through the rest of November.

  • Prioritize-Decide which minor goals will benefit your major end goal and then start with the most important and work down. Whether that’s meeting a certain word count/page count/chapters per day, gaining a certain number of social media followers per week, or writing a particular number of query letters, etc. its up to you, but evaluate what is going to benefit you and your goals the best.
  • Be Realistic, Not Negative-Sometimes deadlines cannot be met and that’s okay.  “It is important to not feel like a failure when this happens. What is important is to learn from the experience and ask yourself why you did not meet the deadline, and what you can do next time to prevent it from happening in the future.” –H.M Clarke
  • Write Like There’s No Tomorrow – Don’t Procrastinate!! There will always be something less important than your writing that will tempt to drag you away like cleaning, surfing Twitter, or shopping. Complete these tasks ahead of your scheduled writing time and you won’t be tempted to avoid writing.
  • Take Tiny Manageable Steps-Sometimes we try to take on too much at once and become “intimidated” by the tasks at hand. “Strip away the intimidation by breaking down the project into smaller, manageable tasks.” –H.M Clarke
  • Stay on Point by Using the Right Tools-Organize your goals and have those goals easily accessible and visible. You could use a calendar app, notebook, chalkboard, journal, post-its, etc.

I wish all of you a no stress, organized, happy, deadline meeting rest of the month!! I hope these tips encourage and motive you! Let me know what tips you are already using to meeting your writing deadline goals.


The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

I love these books. This is the second book in The Winner’s trilogy and it’s as good as the first. I love the way Marie Rutkoski writes. She makes it easy for you to fall in love with the characters and she immerses you in the story in a way that makes you feel like you’re right alongside them. I <3 her!


Following your heart can be a crime

A royal wedding is what most girls dream about. It means one celebration after another: balls, fireworks, and revelry until dawn. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement: that she agreed to marry the crown prince in exchange for Arin’s freedom. But can Kestrel trust Arin? Can she even trust 51qxastpbvlherself? For Kestrel is becoming very good at deception. She’s working as a spy in the court. If caught, she’ll be exposed as a traitor to her country. Yet she can’t help searching for a way to change her ruthless world . . . and she is close to uncovering a shocking secret.
This dazzling follow-up to The Winner’s Curse reveals the high price of dangerous lies and untrustworthy alliances. The truth will come out, and when it does, Kestrel and Arin will learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

Beyond the Cover-Author Interview with Brenda Drake

I first learned of Brenda at RT15 when she led a session. The session was a panel of agents and editors and Brenda did a fantastic job of being the moderator. It wasn’t until I checked out her website after the session that I realized that she’s kind of a big deal. She’s the founder of PitchWars — which you should all try to be a part of if you haven’t already — but more than that, she’s just an all around good person. You can tell from the second you meet her that she’s amazing. Check out her latest book Thief of Lies and pre-order the second book Guardian of Secrets.


Brenda Drake

  1. What is your favorite author quote?

Growing up, my parents had an old collection of Mark Twain books. There are many authors I love, but Mark Twain is one author who has some of the most profound quotes. My favorite of his is… “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

  1. What is the most valuable piece of writing (or other) advice that you’ve ever been given?

Read. A lot. It really is true that to be an author, you must read many books by different authors. Reading will teach you how to write and open your mind to finding your own voice.

  1. What is the first idea you ever had for a book?

My first idea for a book was when I was a young girl. Most my stories were about animals, naturally. But my first novel I completed (many were given up before finishing) was a disaster. It was a horrible story—a Narnia type of book with portals and creatures. But I learned a lot about writing while creating that manuscript and I discovered I could finish a novel. I call that first one my practice novel. And it’s probably, with all its horribleness, my favorite one because of what it taught me and because I had so much fun writing it.

  1. Which character was the most fun to write?

This is such a difficult question. I have fun with all my characters. When I don’t like them, I cut them out or kill them. Ha! But seriously, I think it has been Gia in the Library Jumpers series. She’s a combination of many girls I love in my life. When I’m in her head, I can relive the joys I’ve had with my girls.

  1. Describe your dream writing/reading space:

My dream writing space would be a comfortable office with large picturesque windows and endless views of the Land of Enchantment. It’s where I write now. So I guess I’ve accomplished my dream.

  1. Why did you decide to become an author?

I’ve been a storyteller since I was girl. I’m not sure it was ever a decision. It just came to me. Taking the next step to get my work published, came after I married my husband and became a stay-at-home mom. I needed something for me, and writing filed that need.

  1. Have you ever accidentally dropped a book in the tub? If so, what was it?

No. If that had ever happened to me, I would’ve been devastated. But I could imagine a book I would drop. It would have to be one that would scare the begeebers out of me like Salem’s Lot or It by Stephen King.


Thanks, Brenda, for stopping by! We loved having you!