LOVE IN A TIME OF MONSTERS IS OUT!

This is the post I’ve been waiting to write for years. YEARS! My fantasy novel, LOVE IN A TIME OF MONSTERS, is on sale!

LoveMonsters_FC_BNG copy

He has a monster problem

Scotland, 1867. When Rob Stevenson’s brother is killed—and eaten—in the forest outside their estate, Rob’s sheltered world is shattered by a monster infestation. Determined to keep his village safe, Rob’s first duty as laird involves hiring a professional hunter.

She kills monsters

The sole survivor of a massacre in the Congo, Catriona Mornay is rumored to have lost her mind in the jungle. In Edinburgh’s gas-lit streets, Cat’s skill as a hunter is unmatched. Her reputation as a killer of unnatural creatures, legendary.

Two worlds collide

Faced with a rising body count, Rob takes a chance on Cat, hoping that somewhere inside this tortured yet charismatic girl is the hero he’s been searching for. But in this shadow realm of secrets, lies, and underworld crime, their lives overlap in more ways than one. And in an age where harpies flock the sky and serpents rule the sea, it’s even possible for a boy and his hunter to fall in love.

But can their love survive in a time of monsters?

You can buy it here:

Amazon

Barnes & Nobles

Kobo

iBooks

Google Play

The ebook is cheaper than the price of popcorn chicken (or Girl Scout cookies for those of you who do not gorge yourself on popcorn chicken) and will net you hours of entertainment. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel a little scared and perhaps… a little sexy? I have a dirty mind, and while that’s no secret, aren’t you curious about my dirty mind when applied to a fantasy setting?

As an added bonus, if you buy the paperback version on Amazon, you’ll get the kindle version for $0.99.

I’m thrilled to share this book with you and hope you enjoy it! And once you’ve enjoyed it… please consider leaving a review (I won’t direct you to where, but allow me to point in Amazon’s general direction) to help others find my work and spread my dirty mind around… rather like herpes but in a more pleasant way.

 

 

Books Read 2012

Books I Read (Minus the DNF) with random commentary.
JAN 2012

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Comments: Incest is icky, but this is a heartbreaking love story between siblings.  And I say this with absolute seriousness. Remember in V.C. Andrews’ Dawn when Philip Cutler is all ‘It’s not incest if we turn the lights off’? and that was um, gross, but in Forbidden, I was really rooting for Maya and Lochan and hoping they’d run away (but not procreate). I felt so TORMENTED after this read.

FEB 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Comments: Pretty Cover!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Comments: Hazel’s quest to meet that Peter Van author dude mirrors my Christopher Pike stalking. I can relate. Unlike Peter Van Mumble Mumble, Christopher Pike is really nice and HE WROTE ON MY FB WALL WISHING ME A HAPPY BIRTHDAY ONE WEEK BEFORE MY ACTUAL BIRTHDAY WHICH MEANS HE HAS ME MARKED ON HIS CALENDER. ZOMG I’VE BEEN MARKED BY THE PIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To quote Hazel: What is this life?????

MARCH 2012

Misery by Stephen King

Comments: The book is much freakier than the movie. I learned a new word: man gland. And when Annie Wilkes threatened to cut off Paul Sheldon’s man gland, I was secretly worshipping Stephen King’s sick mind.

APRIL 2012

Cujo by Stephen King

Comments: Rabid dogs are scary. That’s all. Read with some liberal skimming as there were lots of exposition on ad agencies and whatnot. Could use a ‘man-gland’ now and then.

MAY 2012

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott.

Comments: Stopped page 195. Reason: Library book due. Aspiring dressmaker on Titanic. I liked the pacing and rapid scene breaks, but when my copy went back to the library, I felt like I could live without finishing it. I’d probably pick it back up again when the Titanic mood strikes.

Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

Comments: Derek Craven is one sexy gambling kingpin. And he speaks with a cockney accent, much like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, except Derek gets it ON with mousy romance novelist. Not that Dick Van Dyke doesn’t get it ON now and again. If you recall his Penguin dance, he is very flexible and… feral.

JULY 2012

Cracked by K.M. Walton

Comments: The bully and the boy he bullied become roommates in a psych ward. This is neither here nor there, but I kept imagining Biff and George McFly as roommates.

AUGUST 2012

Phantom by Susan Kay

Comments: This is one big mother of a book, but I am obsessed with The Phantom of the Opera and sort of want to marry the man behind the mask. This book is about his life and is so scrumptiously written that I actually looked up from the text to mouth “Wow.” Oh Phantom, you are like the most perfect man EVER. Master architect, magician, composer, tortured genius—who cares about your face? Christine doesn’t deserve you…Please take me to your secret lair and let me play with your mechanical monkey (oh how wrong this sounds).

SEPTEMBER 2012

The Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell

Comments: Gothic-y middle grade involving a tumbledown mansion and an aviary filled with creepy birds. Birds freak me out. Feathers. Beaks. Scaly feet. Nasty avian scum! I once saw a man at the beach with two parrots on his arm and nearly tossed my cookies. Do not EVER ask me to pet your pigeon.

God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie Debartolo

Comments: This book is like a love letter to LA from characters who hate LA. This book is hilarious and the voice, my God the voice…Since this is blurbed as “This generation’s Love Story” on the cover, I already knew what was coming and yet, the end felt like a million daggers into my heart all the same. And when I finished picking up the shattered pieces of my heart off the floor, I thought about all the tragic endings I encountered this year. The Phantom. This book. A Fault in Our Stars. Forbidden. It’s the year of tempestuous love and untimely deaths. P.S. I pictured Jacob and Trixie as Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke circa Reality Bites.

Projects

I’ve been semi-hard at work on my second novel. I have a title. A badass title. Unfortunately, I am artistically superstitious and cannot talk about my work-in-progress(s) until I’ve finished drafting so you must remain in the dark.

This second project is a YA historical fantasy set in Scotland circa 188o. See collage below… There is a high amount of Victorian Era drug use involving absinthe and syringes. Interesting research fact, syringes were invented in the 19th century–in Scotland, in fact–so it was meant to be.

As per my tastes, the fantasy element is very light so it’s more of an ‘alternate history’ than ‘high fantasy.’ Also, character names and places will never contain ‘ae.’

In three simple words: love, drugs, and monsters.

And below is WIP #3, a YA historical fantasy set in Elizabethan England.  It was born out of a NyQuil-induced dream involving Elizabethan-era spies, though the actual premise is pure backstabbing Rome/I,Claudius. A vague description: Ruffle collars, court intrigue, poison, murder, executions, empires, tyrants…

2011 Books Read

Better late than never. Remember how I used to blog and make OCD-worthy lists and collages of all I’d read? I still make lists, but collages these days, while never extinct, are few and far between.

2011 was a slim yet memorable reading year. I discovered Lisa Kleypas and dedicated the entire spring to reading her backlists. And new author crush: Stephanie Perkins! I plan to write an entire blog post on how much I swooned during the reading of Lola and the Boy Next Door.

The Wild Rose, the  final installment of Jennifer Donnelly’s Rose Trilogy came out in August covered in awesome sauce. There were Lawrence of Arabia and motorcar chases, dude.

In between, there were many ‘Did Not Finished’ books. I’m a notorious abandon-er of books (known to abandon on the last few pages!), so I don’t count something as ‘Read’ unless I read or liberally skimmed every. single. word.

Oh, and I read The Witch of Blackbird Pond again. It’s a sickness. This is re-read #12.

Jan. 2011
Room by Emma Donoghue

Feb 2011
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (re-read)
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (re-read)

March 2011
Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Re-read).
Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas
Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas

April 2011
Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas
It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas
After the Night by Linda Howard
Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

May 2011
Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
Seduce Me At Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas
Tempt Me At Twilight by Lisa Kleypas
Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

June 2009
Intensity by Dean Koontz
The Lost City of Z by David Grann (liberal skimming)

July 2011
A Shore Thing by Snooki
Jane by April Lindner

August 2011
The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (liberal skimming)

September 2011
Fury by Elizabeth Miles

October 2011
Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur
If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Dec 2011
Legend by Marie Lu

The Hunger Games Movie Casting (thoughts)

If you’re like me–a not-so-secret Hunger Games fangirl–you’ve probably prowled the four corners of the web waiting for any tidbits of casting news for the forthcoming movie. I’ve been known to indulge in book to movie fantasy casting in the past and I’ve even assembled my own Hunger Games cast last year, so when the actors for the Peeta/Katniss/Gale roles were announced, how could I let the opportunity slip by without offering my two cents?

This whole Hunger Games movie brings about so much nail-biting anxiety, especially in lieu of ‘The Great Twilight Debacle.” Because I love The Hunger Games so freaking much, I will be devastated, no, inconsolable, if the movies descends into a Michael Bay meets Twilight CGI noise-fest. In short, I’d like to impart a few words to Hollywood: Please don’t F**k this up!

KATNISS: Any actress cast in this role is sure to receive criticism. After all, these are large hunter boots to fill…Jennifer Lawrence has Oscar creds, I’m actually rather relieved she’s going to play my favorite YA heroine, though I speak from Oscar awe and not from having seen Winter’s Bone. My first choice (highly improbable due to age) was Summer Galu the Terminator girl: so perfect for the role but alas, we’re about five years too late. So Jennifer Lawrence, huh? I’m trying to imagine her sooty-faced and shooting arrows into people’s asses and you know what? I could totally see it! Give the girl a bottle of hair dye and some archery lessons and let’s see if she can incite a revolution. Plus, she’s got Suzanne Collins’ personal approval but the verdict is still out until I’ve seen Winter’s Bone.

Katniss by LitCon on Polyvore.com

PEETA: My first reaction upon hearing that Josh Hutcherson was going to play the baker boy was “Who the heck is Josh Hutcherson?” followed by “This dude has Batman’s (of the Animated series) jaw! So strong, so square!” Plus, the pictures of him sporting a fohawk was not helping his cause. An IMDB search revealed Josh H. as the somber, doe-eyed kid in 2007’s Bridge to Teribithia movie… Ah. What a relief! There was a lot of soulful ‘staring-off-into-the-distance as I contemplate my mortality’ scenes in Bridge to Teribithia, which Josh H. OWNED and he was all of twelve years old. I hoped he’s brushed up on his meaningful stares because Peeta waxes philosophic ALL THE TIME. Remember “Real vs. Not Real?” in Mockingjay? Or the “Let us stand on the rooftop and gaze upon the city while we decide how we should die with dignity” scene in Hunger Games? This square jawed, chin-dimpled boy has my seal of approval! As for the hair, I’m sure the stylist who bleached Tom Felton’s hair in the Harry Potter movies will welcome the commission…

Peeta by LitCon on Polyvore.com

GALE: Liam Hemsworth?!!!!  As in the Captain America look-a-like who romanced Miley Cyrus with BABY SEA TURTLES in The Last Song?!!! Oh God… OH MAN! Oh GOD! OH MAN! Let me take a moment to drop to my knees and howl: NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! As you can see, I was not pleased with the casting. Up until the end of Mockingjay, I was waving the Team Gale banner to victory. I knew it was a lost cause but guys, Gale… Hunter. Adonis. Henry Cavill in the movie of my mind! Perhaps I’m being unfair to Liam and yet, the taint of that sacchrine Nicholas Sparks movie coupled with being Miley Cyprus’ off screen arm candy is hard to shake.

The Secret of Ka

The Secret of Ka by Christopher Pike

I have a secret crush on Christopher Pike, the mysterious author of those candy-colored teen thrillers of the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. Like Big Foot, Pike is something of an urban legend. I like to imagine he’s like lives in a haunted mansion by the sea and writes his novels at night…like the Phantom of the Opera! Some days I wonder if he resembles Harrison Ford, on other days—given his Star Trek pseudonym—he may look like Spock (from the new Star Trek movie. So pointy-eared, so logically sexy). Of all the authors I admire, C.Pike is the one I would most like to meet. If I play my cards right, he might call me his ANGEL OF FICTION!!!! He may also whisper in my ear: “Let the dream begin, let your darker side give in. To the power of the novels that I write. The power of the NOVELS OF THE NIGHT!!!!!!!!”
Which is why I hope he never stumbles upon this review…
The Secret of Ka. Sigh…

Oh Christopher Pike, why have you forsaken me? I know from experience that you’ve written 40+ novels, some great, some just okay, and some just plain bad. They can’t all be winners. Nobody will ever mistake The Secret of Ka for a winner…
So Sara is visiting her CEO father in Istanbul when she crosses paths with Amesh, a one-armed delivery boy with a one-note personality. The same could be said for Sara, and I don’t mean the one-arm part. They discover a magic carpet at her father’s job site and steer the rug to a remote island where they unleash a genie. This is all very Aladdin except, wait for it… genies are evil and they want your soul!
Fueled by a driving need to bring the jihad on the bastards who cut off his arm, Amesh morphs into a wish greedy fiend. He hijacks the magic carpet, marooning Sara on the island after eating all her power bars. Then, if memory serves me right, he kidnaps Sara’s dad at knife point. Despite the fact that she’s only known him for a day and he has all the makings of a homicidal maniac, Sara still loves him. He’s just so darn cute! Anyways, all is well because…oh what the heck… there are ALIENS involved. And by aliens, I mean *whispers* her dad is an alien, not from outer space, but from a fourth dimension race of snake people. Oh, and he’s not really her father.
I’ve come to expect WTFery from Christopher Pike. In fact, I rather like it when there’s helicopter chases or teens morphing into vampire bats as long as it’s entertaining. That’s not to say that The Secret of Ka didn’t have its moments. It did, however, lack the ‘cool factor’ and passion of Pike’s earlier books and I wonder if it’s because Secret of Ka read more like a middle grade novel than a YA. I miss the resourceful protagonists that used to populate Pike’s older novels; the ones who made elaborate plans that usually involves buying a shotgun without an ID or siphoning gasoline to blow up monsters. Alas, times have changed since the days Pike ruled the YA shelves and I guess he can’t write ‘80’s gore anymore.
This was not the worst novel I’ve ever read. It’s certainly not anywhere near the best. C-.
Damn my honesty! Now Pike will never call me his ANGEL OF FICTION!

POV

I like to browse books on Amazon and click on the “Look inside” button of possible books to stack on top of my To Be Read pile. Last night, I was reading the first paragraphs of mostly YA and Middle Grade books when I began to see patterns in narrative points of view. YA books (most, not all) are written in the 1st person POV while Middle Grade novels are told from 3rd person limited.

Why?

My very rough interpretation: Teens want to be in the story whereas children are still in the ‘tell me a story’ stage. A divide between  Being the protagonist vs. Reading about the protagonist?

Lend me your thoughts! Curious minds—mostly my curious mind—begs an answer. Educate me!