Archive | November 2019

Review: The Queen of Nothing

Title: The Queen of Nothing

Author: Holly Black

Date of Publication: November 19th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

My Review:

First, can I just give Cardan ALL the stars! I love Holly’s writing and her worlds so much! I would love to bask in them for an eternity if I could!

Now, let me just say that I really, really, really wish this one would have been dual POV between Jude and Cardan. A lot of the book was lacking my boy and I needed more of him! But! There were some amazing scenes that were so perfectly and emotionally written!

Also, I still have a ton of questions that I do not have answers to!! However, I do love the way the book wrapped up, but I still want a spinoff series!

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Have you started this series yet?

Author Interview: Erica Lyn Burden

 

What inspired you to write The Bloodwood Board?

I spent a lot of time really sick and kept thinking when I got better, I was going to skateboard again. I was never good at it, can barely get both feet on the board, but I remember how it made everything better, aside from some broken bones. I wanted to make a world where that was one of the only ways to really get around. The giant spider thing happened because living where we live we have spiders big enough that they turn to look at you when you talk to them. They are really interesting creatures.

What’s your favorite thing about The Bloodwood Board?

Truthfully, it’s the character’s connection to each other. Each one has a strength and if they weren’t connected how they are, then nothing would be possible. That was fun to write.

When did you decide you wanted to be an author?

I didn’t. It’s just the only thing I can say I’m pretty good at. I’ll probably always have a day job, but I’ll never stop writing because this is how I make sense of the world.

Who’s your favorite character you’ve ever written and why?

Haha, Jesper. Which, I’m currently working on for a story about reanimation with nanotech, and he’s this very dominant guy, but also a caretaker. He’s dynamic in a way that I haven’t written before, and he’s also the first plus-sized male I’ve written where his size and strength play a big role in the story and who he is.

What’s your favorite genre to write?

Everything I do still has those undertones of horror, so I guess I need to stick with that. It’s just about how long you can stand to stare in the darkness and give it detail when the elements of your story turn that direction.

What’s your favorite book ever?

Dune.

Do you plot or pants your manuscripts?

I do an outline and then never look at it again. I’m like that person who writes down a grocery list and leaves it at home continuously. It helps to solidify the directions in my head on what the story needs, but in the end, it always changes. I don’t want to fight that.

What’s your favorite color?

Dark Blue. Maybe Black. One of those.

When you write, do you make a playlist or listen to something in particular?

I find that I end up listening to certain bands for writing certain books or short stories. For The Bloodwood Board it was Our Lady Peace that was most often on my playlist.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

I don’t really have any. I don’t know what I’m doing. But I think it’s good to remember that, hell yes, the world needs your voice and your story. Don’t put it down, keep going.

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Author Interview: Gwendolyn Kiste

The Invention Of Ghosts Twitter

From the Nightscape Press Charitable Chapbooks line. One third of all sales of this chapbook will go to support the National Aviary.

It starts with rapping in the ceiling and spirit boards that know them a little too well.

Everly and her best friend aren’t your typical college students. Instead of raucous Saturday night parties, they spend their weekends conjuring up things from the beyond. Ectoplasm, levitation, death photography—you name it, and Everly knows all about it. But while this obsession with the supernatural is only supposed to be in good fun, the girls soon discover themselves drifting deeper into magic and further from each other. Then when one evening ends with an inadvertently broken promise, everything they’ve ever known is shattered in an instant, sending them spiraling into a surreal haunting. Now Everly must learn how to control the spectral forces she’s unleashed if she wants any chance of escaping a ghost more dangerous than all the witchcraft she can summon.

A tale of the occult, unlikely phantoms, and complicated friendships, The Invention of Ghosts is the latest strange vision from the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens.

Original art work by Carrion House

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Author Interview with Gwendolyn Kiste:

Can you tell us a little bit about The Invention of Ghosts?

GK: The Invention of Ghosts is my forthcoming novelette due out in November. The story follows Everly and her best friend who have been inseparable for as long as they can remember. Now in college, however, they find themselves at a crossroads in their friendship, as Everly becomes increasingly entangled in the occult, intrigued with everything from Victorian mourning rituals and ectoplasm to spirit boards and other methods of divination. Soon both girls discover they’ve gotten more than they bargained for, as their friendship and reality start to unravel around them. It’s a story not only about spirits and the supernatural but also about growing up and complicated friendships and learning how to become yourself and let go at the same time.

The Invention of Ghosts is part of the Charitable Chapbook Series from Nightscape Press, and a third of all the proceeds will go to the National Aviary, a bird sanctuary in Pittsburgh which is one of my very favorite places in the world. Creepy fiction for a good cause!

What inspired you to write The Invention of Ghosts?

GK: My work often explores complicated females relationships, and this story in particular really focuses on friendships and how they can go awry.

With this story, I also wanted to research and explore the occult a bit more than I had in my previous work. I’ve always had an interest in the paranormal, ever since I was a kid, so finally having an opportunity to delve into all the background and history on it and incorporate that into a longer work of fiction was so much fun.

Do you have a favorite character you’ve written and why?

GK: That would probably be Phoebe from The Rust Maidens. That book really changed my career and my life in so many ways over the last year since its release, and I spent a lot of time crafting her character, so she’s definitely the one who’s my favorite. At least at this point anyhow! Perhaps another character will come down the line in the future and usurp her position as the favorite child.

What is your favorite horror book and movie?

GK: This is a tough one! My favorite horror book is probably We Have Always Lived in the Castle. It’s not a typical kind of horror, but it’s got that quiet dread permeating every scene, which is exactly the sort of vibe I love in horror.

As for my favorite horror movie, that changes often, but right now, I’ve been thinking a lot about Daughters of Darkness, so let’s go with that one. From 1971, it’s one of the strangest and most beautiful vampire films I’ve ever seen, and it’s so razor-focused on the female characters. There’s a bit of a Carmilla vibe to it, but it’s very much its own story as well. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, I highly recommend it!

What genre do you prefer to write in and why?

GK: Definitely horror. It’s the genre I’ve always loved the most. I grew up with the books of Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allan Poe, with Hammer and Universal Horror films on practically constant rotation in our house. My parents got married on Halloween, back in the 1980s when nobody was really doing that. As a result, horror has always felt like home to me. It’s the genre that runs through my blood and always will.

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

GK: On some level, I feel like I’ve always wanted to be a storyteller. As far back as I remember, I used to make up stories and have my stuffed animals and dolls act them out. Learning to read was one of the most wonderful experiences because I got to explore so many new worlds. That only enhanced my desire to create and tell more stories of my own. I wrote a lot of short stories growing up, and I did a decent bit of screenwriting as well over the years, but it wasn’t until my late twenties when I finally decided to go back to my first love of fiction and start working on becoming a published author. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but I wanted to really give it a try. Flash forward a little over five years later, and I have dozens of short stories out, three books, and a couple more on the way soon, so despite some early trepidation, I’m definitely glad I came back to it.

What’s your favorite color?

GK: Green without a doubt. It’s been my favorite color since I was a kid. It reminds me of forests and spring and pumpkin stems and walking barefoot in grass. Almost every permutation of green delights me: sage, emerald, forest green, spring green, chartreuse. It’s such a versatile and lively color. It feels like being alive.

Do you plot or pants when writing?

GK: A little bit of both. Especially for longer fiction, I like to have at least a vague outline to help guide me along like sign posts on the road. My short fiction, however, is more likely to take a free form approach. It’s fun to just let a story take me as the author on a journey, figuring out those beats and all those turns as I go along. I probably prefer simply allowing a story to form as I write, but as I continue to work on more novels and novellas, I’ve definitely found it’s easier to have an idea of where I’m headed. Otherwise, I’m perpetually like a lost traveler in my own work.

What other new things are you working on?

GK: I’m finishing up my second novel right now and in the planning stages for my third. I’m also working on finishing up some new short fiction, and my longer term plan over the next year is to put together my second collection. I already have enough previously published stories for it, and it’s starting to take shape thematically. So if all goes well, readers will have several new books from me in the foreseeable future. Consider yourself warned!

If there was a zombie apocalypse, what three things would you want to have?

GK: A huge supply of fresh water, a bow and arrow, and my husband. The water is obviously an essential, and the bow and arrow is like a renewable zombie-fighting resource (note: I’m not particularly good at archery, but since this will be the apocalypse, I suppose I’ll just have to learn!). For anything else I might need, I have no doubt that between me and my husband, we could figure out some strange and creative solution, so that’s why he’s the third “thing” I’d have to have!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

GK: Find what works for you. Every writer has a different style, so figure out what makes you happiest. Some authors write every day, and some only write when inspiration strikes. Some have daily word counts, and some loathe word counts. Figure out what you like as a writer, and don’t let anyone else’s advice derail you and your process.

Also, above all else, keep going and keep writing the stories you want to tell. Don’t feel the need to shoehorn your style into what’s popular or what you think others want to read. So long as you’re authentic to your own voice and you keep working on your craft, you’ll continue growing as a storyteller, and you’ll figure out how to get your stories out to the world.

Gwendolyn Hat

Gwendolyn Kiste is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens, from Trepidatio Publishing; And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, from JournalStone; and the dark fantasy novella, Pretty Marys All in a Row, from Broken Eye Books. Her short fiction has appeared in Nightmare Magazine, Black Static, Daily Science Fiction, Shimmer, Interzone, and LampLight, among others. Originally from Ohio, she now resides on an abandoned horse farm outside of Pittsburgh with her husband, two cats, and not nearly enough ghosts. Find her online at gwendolynkiste.com

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What was your favorite part of the author interview?

Review: The Boneless Mercies

Title: The Boneless Mercies

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke

Date of Publication: October 2nd, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Boneless Mercies—girls hired to kill quickly, quietly, and mercifully. But Frey is weary of the death trade and, having been raised on the heroic sagas of her people, dreams of a bigger life.

When she hears of an unstoppable monster ravaging a nearby town, Frey decides this is the Mercies’ one chance out. The fame and fortune of bringing down such a beast would ensure a new future for all the Mercies. In fact, her actions may change the story arc of women everywhere.

My Review:

This was a fabulous and whimsical read with a Beowulf vibe to it! I loved the band of girls … and boy. Their connection was so incredibly beautiful!

The mercy killings were sad yet incredibly right in the way they were done. I seriously loved Frey and reading from her perspective! I actually would have loved for this one to have been multiple POV. But that’s okay!

I’ll just say, wonderful writing, world building, story, and characters! I can’t wait to read more by this author!

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What is your favorite journey story?

Dearest Clementine: Dark and Romantic Monstrous Tales

So guys! I have something fun and awesome coming out October 1st, 2020! It’s a collection titled Dearest Clementine: Dark and Romantic Monstrous Tales!

You can pre-order it on Amazon!

Add to Goodreads!

Dearest Celmentine by Candace Robinson (Ebook)

Clementine has been taken by a creature of darkness.

Doran is a fiend in love who must find Clementine before losing her forever.

While on his desperate search, he pens eight dark and romantic monstrous tales, written only for her. Each story serves a purpose, and that is, do monsters have the ability to love, too?

Dearest Clementine is a short story collection filled with dark romantic tales.

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Do you have a favorite collection of stories?

Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Title: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke

Date of Publication: August 15th, 2013

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Goodreads Summary:

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?

Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery… who makes you want to kiss back.

Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

My Review:

Oh my word! I loved this book! Loved he weirdness and the grayness of it all! And the words were almost magical!

Violet was a great character and she made some very odd choices! Ones that made me smile and one that me go, what are you doing???? Also, the side characters were a hoot!

And River, my boy, you little liar you! Even with all his lies and shenanigans he was such a little precious baby. I wanted to pat the top of his head and tell him to calm the heck down and then give him a hug!

I seriously loved how different and interesting this book was, and I’m already pumped for book 2 to see what kind of games shall be played!

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Have you read this series?

Cover Reveal: Shadowed By Despair

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Shadowed By Despair is the final book in the Laith Trilogy! I hope you guys enjoy it!

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Perin expected eternal darkness after his death, yet the land of Laith has other plans for him. Snapped awake with a desperate hunger for flesh, he fights the urge to feed, knowing that once he gives into temptation there is no turning back.

Tavarra’s deepest desire had always been to be human. When she received her one true wish, the journey had already claimed those she cared about. Now, all alone, she fights through each day, taking her anger out anyway she sees fit, while forgetting how to truly live.

To strip away his new curse, Perin needs to retrieve an enchanted liquid and bring it back to the Stone of Desire. Despite Perin’s unpredictability, and him being the monster this time, Tavarra chooses to help. Tied by fate and loneliness, they must cross the sea into a deadly part of Laith and find the fluid before Perin’s hunger grows even stronger.

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Did you add Shadowed By Despair to your Goodreads?