Sunday, June 15, 2014


I'm baaaaaack! No, my writing-induced breakdown did not kill me. After about three weeks I worked up enough gumption to take another crack at Dragon's Whisper.

Now, I'm done with revisions (except for inserting one scene) and I'm doing a final read through with micro-editing in mind to make sure everything is just right. This is the point where I'll tweak chapter lengths, scene endings, and such. *gulp* Since this is my first novel, each part of the process is brand new to me. (And scary as heck, in case you hadn't picked up on that.)

It's probably time to start thinking about marketing, and I really should have a Facebook author page. Maybe I'll start that up. (I should be reading through Dragon's Whisper in my Sunday free time. No, I'm not procrastinating. Not at all.)

This ties in perfectly with my point. (Yeah, a point! What a rare and glorious thing. Ooh ... Sharp and shiny ... Right. Back on track.) This read through is pure torture. My brain is getting in the mood for micro-editing, but I don't want to do it until I make sure everything is just right. So I have to torment myself with my own horrible writing and somehow keep myself from editing it.


Talk to you later (if I survive this read through)!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Much Needed Break

So, I'm going to take a break from writing. I have no idea when I'll be back. I know I will be, but it could be anywhere from a week to a year before I come back to writing. Until then, I won't be doing any more writing posts. I'll still be doing reviews, and probably a few more of them, too. Maybe I'll fling in a few random posts. (Anyone want a clip of me playing a banjo? :P )

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Review of The Merchant's Son by C. F. Barrows

Today I'm going to review 'The Merchant's Son' by C. F. Barrows, which is the prequel to 'The Follower'.


I liked this area of Sehret a bit better than inside the mountains, like in 'The Follower'. This is probably just personal preference, though. Like the first book, the world building is wonderful.


Poor Siran. I will always say this. I constantly wanted to hunt the author down for being so mean to Siran. And Tal ... For reasons I will not reveal because of spoilers, I wanted very, very much to hunt the author down. (Still do, actually.)

Just like in the first book, the characters were well-developed and enough to make you squirm with their realism. This time, though, there were fewer, and you got plenty of time to bond with them all.


Nice and smooth, steadily progressing, and never going slack, the plot was well done in this one. I will admit that this feels like a prequel, but not in the way you might think. There's plenty of action and a perfectly good story here; it just feels like there's more for the characters after "the end."


C. F. Barrows has improved in this book. I can't fault it. I loved it. I will recommend it, and I give it 4.5 stars.

This book is an emotional meatgrinder. You start it with your sanity and feelings intact. Once you get to the end, you have a bloody, mangled pile of hamburger.

Go read it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Review of The Follower by C. F. Barrows

(Yes, laziness strikes again. I just snagged the picture off Amazon. :P )

Today I'm going to review C. F. Barrow's book 'The Follower'.


The world of Sehret is amazing. It's complex, realistic, and engaging. It has that "snap" of realism to it. The history is drop-dead amazing; the history is just as real as the current situations.


Another part of this book that has that realism in it. These characters are human enough to make you squirm. C. F. Barrows doesn't honey-coat their characters or human nature. Their characters aren't all cut from the same mold, either. They're each different and well developed.

My only complaint about the characters is that there's just a few too many of them at first. I understand that they can't be introduced much slower, with the inciting incident being what it is, but it took me a little while to get my bearings. (NOTE: The second time through this book was much, much more enjoyable, since I had already gotten the characters straight.)


The plot is strong. Things are a bit choppy at first, but once again, once you get your bearings, it flows nicely. The tension builds up well and never drops. The climax doesn't disappoint. (Although I very nearly came after the author when you-know-who nearly died.)


Overall, I love this. I couldn't wait to come back to Sehret in the second book ('The Merchant's Son', the prequel, which I will review tomorrow.) I'll give this book four stars, and it's definitely something I'll recommend.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Writers' Claustrophobia

So, I've finished my second draft, done my read through, and now I'm starting on revisions. I've also started feeling claustrophobic about the whole thing. I've started stressing about editing, revising, characters, chapter lengths, cover art, Create Space, beta readers, critiques, dialog, epilogues, writing style, punctuation, typos ... You name it, I've obsessed and stressed myself out of wits about it.

Now that I've diagnosed myself with Writers' Claustrophobia, I have no idea what to do with myself. My self-imposed deadline is seven months away still, but that's far too close for comfort.

Stay tuned as I battle my way through this and the editing process.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Character Quote

I'll have a better post tomorrow (hopefully), but for now, here's a quote I stumbled across in Dragon's Whisper today.

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Review of Jeweler's Apprentice by E. Kaiser

(Yes, I know I'm sloppy. I just snagged the picture of the cover off Amazon. I'm horrible at this, and don't know how to do it right. It works, kinda sorta. :P )

So, I promised E. Kaiser a review a while back, and I know I'm late on it, but here it is. I just finished this, so I'm writing the review while I'm fresh.

This has a nice, complex (but not too confusing), storyworld. It took me a little while to get a grip on the political situation, but that's probably because I tend to commit the sin of skimming. (I know; it's horrible. Shoot me if you must.) The lack of magic is refreshing, and this story doesn't need it to raise the stakes or add tension.

I like Fia. She's a good character. I like how she's not one of those typical "kick butt" heroines that seem so popular right now. She's had propriety drilled into her head, but she still struggles with it and her slightly more reckless side peeks out on occasion (and gets her into the trouble that makes up the
inciting incident). I would have liked the POV a bit deeper; to have been able to see underneath the manners a bit more. Her character's there, it's just not tapped into completely.

Ilido is awesome. I really like him, and I like his secret. That's a wonderful plot twist that I didn't see coming. I think he might be my newest character crush. He's just so cool. (Honestly, I'd kind of like to see if Fia and Ilido work out as a couple. I know they don't really know each other well enough for that yet, but I can dream, can't I?)

I really like everyone at the Olayin house. I love how intricate their past is; they aren't made up on the spot. Each character has scars, grudges, and stories.

The plot is solid, and has a few good twists in there. The end surprised me; as in, it came sooner than I expected. Or maybe I just got sucked in. Or both. ;)

Writing Style
Awesome writing style, and something I envy. It might have just been me getting used to it, but the style seemed to get much less flowery after the first few chapters. Flowery is great, but it doesn't lend itself to quick reading in big pieces. I tend to have to stop and digest after a ridiculously small amount.

Loved it. Can't wait to get a chance to read the second one. I hope we get to know Fia a bit better. Overall, I give this ... 4.5 stars, because I'm indecisive that way. :P Read it if you love a good, clean, magic-free fantasy.