Thursday, May 31, 2012


I haven't been around much lately; I apologize, and I'm working on it. I've had a new day job for a month as of tomorrow, and it's been...well, it's been a steep learning curve, let's just say, and has put me in some unpleasant mental spaces. Since this is a professional rather than personal blog, I decided to err on the side of discretion.

But I'm back! Or I'm going to consistently pretend to be back! In news of my own books, Super has undergone a strange renaissance over the past month, which makes me laugh. (And wonder if KDP Select free days don't have some life in them yet.) I hope that you like it, new readers, and check out Fire With Fire when you're done. Leech, the third book in the series, is chilling with some beta readers as we speak. Meanwhile, I'm keeping up with my GYWO 2012 count by plowing away at the first draft of Bulletproof, aka the last book before the Thrilling Finale, aka Bonnie's book. Let me tell you, working through Bonnie's PTSD issues has done wonders for keeping my work-induced stress and occasional bouts of rage at a manageable level.

And in news of other people's books: I like to read, period, but unless a book really blows my doors off, I prefer to keep my review time here reserved for indie books. (You can always check out my general thoughts at my Goodreads page here. And as I've mentioned before: auto-add me as a friend solely for the purposes of promotion, get a permanent black mark. My biggest offender is now up to twenty-seven attempts.) Indie authors still have a stigma; I like to help. So give me your recs! I'll read virtually anything, but I prefer: urban fantasy, sci-fi, dystopia, and anything with women being awesome. It might also go without saying, considering my favoritest heroine in the Super series is bisexual and dating another woman, but queer-friendly recs are extra-especially welcome.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

REVIEW: The Hunger Games

Yeah, yeah, insanely late to the party. However, this book is worth the hype.

Description: In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games," a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.

My Thoughts: Yeah, consider me a fan without any reservations. In a world swimming with YA heroines who think of little else other than getting a boy to love them (and more often than not express that love in ways that deserve a VPO), Katniss is sharp, clever, and focused. In every chapter, it seemed, she found another way to please my competence kink, and I laughed out loud when she thought to herself, regarding Peeta, "Geez, I hope I'm not the one who has to kill him." (In a black humor kind of way, admittedly, but come on. It is not news at this point that I'm kinda creepy.) While your basic brooding, socially maladjusted hero would be simple (though admittedly remarkable for being applied to a female character), Katniss isn't cold, just a survivor. I loved how sweetly her relationship with Peeta played out, and how inevitable their rift. Yeah, Peeta is probably sweeter to be around, but Katniss keeps people alive. I will always root for the pragmatic, fast-thinking utilitarian over just about any other character archetype.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Okay, Goodreads members, let's have a talk.

I will admit, I have a fairly laid-back approach to marketing. (And I have the sales figures to prove it.) It sort of grosses me out to be in 24/7 sales mode, to the point that it ruins all enjoyment I get from actually writing the books and talking to people about them. I also think that consciously setting out to be cool doesn't work any better in marketing than it did on the playground. We all remember that kid who just tried so hard and so painfully that it actually hurt to be around them.

I get that not everyone feels this way. I understand that there's a hell of a lot of book promotion going on in internet spaces, and that everyone is looking for the next thing to set them apart from the pack.

With all that being said, there still have to be lines. Look, I have a Goodreads author account. And I don't aggressively use it to sell books. I am on Goodreads because I like books and like talking about them. I will happily friend anyone who shares these interests.

If you friend me on Goodreads, and I see that you have 3000 friends and yet only 50 books (one person had no books at all), I am not going to friend you back. If you attempt to friend me several times in spite of this (one person is up to eleven attempts; good luck, Cupcake), you are now actively pissing me off. I will never buy anything you write, because you are either a soulless automatic process or someone doing a damned good job pretending to be one.

A little personality and thought, people. You can't be a half-decent writer without it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fire With Fire is finally here!

"J isn't what you would call a follower. In fact, most people would say that she's downright dangerous. J can create and control fire, and she doesn't always use this ability to uphold the law. Nevertheless, when a shady real estate developer threatens to buy up her neighborhood, she knows this much--sparks are going to fly."

At Amazon and Smashwords.

And not only that, but as a special release celebration, Super will be absolutely free on Amazon for the next four days! Check it out!

Monday, May 7, 2012

REVIEW: The Avengers

Fair warning, y'all, I'm going to play fast and loose with spoilers.

Looking back on my formative years, there were three major influences on me: Katherine Applegate, Xena, and Joss Whedon. (And when you think about it, that explains so much. It's miracle that I turned out as borderline-normal as I did.) So when I learned that Joss Whedon was going to be both writing and directing the Avengers movie, which I already had high hopes for, I...might have squeaked and flailed my arms about like a Jibbles the Gerbil/Muppet hybrid. But, you know, in a dignified way.

It was even better than I had hoped it would be.

Marvel's been knocking it out of the park with its superhero movies for a long time now, for reasons that I've listed in this blog before: they all feel as though they belong to a coherent world, they don't forget to be fun, and they actually treat the women in their audience and their casts as people. (Looking at you on those last two, Mr. Nolan.) Joss Whedon was the perfect person to take on this movie. He toned down his particular dialogue quirks enough so that there were tons of punny one-liners, but no one beat you over the head with their quippiness. He got to the emotional meat of these screwed-up people finding common ground and becoming more than the sum of their parts, and he whupped ass with Natasha Romanoff (and pulled ScarJo's best performance yet out of her). Seriously, Marvel, get on the Black Widow movie, already, these flicks have been a boys' club long enough. He does give in to the Joss Whedon School of Killing Everyone You Love, but I honestly think it was earned. (And it's comics, okay. Do you remember the Bucky Rule? Yeah, well, he has his own comics line and Sebastian Stan is contracted for six movies. IJS.)

Apart from Joss's writing, the acting in this movie is seriously top-notch. I raised my eyebrows when I heard that Mark Ruffalo was going to be playing Bruce Banner (you would think I would know better by now, given Chris Evans as Captain America), but he's the first actor to get Banner right. Much has also been made of Tom Hiddleston's turn as Loki, and he deserves every second of it. Between his acting and Joss's writing, a bridge is drawn between the flailing, damaged Loki of Thor and the homicidal lunatic of Avengers. I would commit minor crimes to find out what really went down between Loki and Thanos in deep space, and I cannot wait for the potential villain(s) of Thor 2.

Seriously. Go see this movie. If you like comics, heroes, or shit going BOOM, you are in for a treat.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fire With Fire Cover Reveal!

We're down to one week, guys, and I think I might be even more excited for this release than I am for the Avengers movie. (It's close, though.) As I did last time, with Super, here's a shot of the model humoring me:

And now here's the final result, once it's been in the hands of someone who actually knows what they're doing:

Whatcha think?