New Release: Bloodline Inheritance by Lindsey Sablowski


Not long ago I participated in a cover reveal for Bloodline Inheritance by Lindsey Sablowski, and wrote a review on the first book of her series, Cursed With Power. 

Cursed With Power was an engaging read with a fantastic setting and realistic characters. Now I am glad to announce that the final book of the Dark Magicians series is out! Today you can purchase Bloodline Inheritance.

I can’t wait to catch up on the series and read it–the cover is gorgeous!

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Dyanna Carpathia has been a runner her entire life. A handsome man offers her love and a new beginning, but the war could change everything. Now her dreams of leaving behind magic and living as a human seem unrealistic. The magical war demands strength and focus, but Dyanna is haunted by a dark secret. Who will save her from a potential downfall? Nearby on the battlefield is Malin Petrescu, a survivor who views Dyanna as a potential threat. They share different opinions on the magical world and the future. Marrying the love of his life demands him to fight no matter the consequences. However, victory means defeating their greatest enemy, Christopher. Dyanna’s loyalty is tested, but can she and Malin set aside their differences to save their loved ones? In the fourth and final installment to the Magicians series we witness the war and the aftermath. This is the last stand for the Dark magicians, and for some it will cost them everything.

Buy it for Kindle or CreateSpace, and follow the author’s blog!

The Book Creators – for those who thrive on literature


Calling all bookworms!

The Book Creators hope to provide engaging posts for bibliophiles in all stages of their passion. Published or unpublished, reader or writer, our aim is to be a home for those who can’t live without a book in their backpack (or maybe two.)

We have gathered from all over the world with different backgrounds and genres, hoping to prove the love of books takes on many forms. Here, we’ll help you find the perfect book—or guide you in the process of writing one.

Click here to visit!

Sometimes it’s easy to look at the online reading community and divide readers from writers. What I’ve found over the years is that not all readers write and many writers don’t read every popular book around. What we do have in common is a passionate love for the literary world, the ability to get lost in a book. Libraries are beautiful places for us; paragraphs are exciting.

We don’t read the same genres or enjoy the same authors. I’ve met avid readers who don’t like J.K. Rowling–which seems absurd to most of us, but they offer real insight on why they prefer obscure novels to Harry Potter.

We at The Book Creators hope to prove words have power, and it never fades. No matter how old you are or what you read, whether you write or collect books on a shelf, we have something in common. We share a lifestyle that takes us back in time, shedding light on the darkest situations, providing us with an escape.

We’ve shared adventures in imaginary worlds we found within the pages of books.

Let me invite you to this new project.  It’s a gathering for those who can’t seem call one place home because there are so many books we haven’t read yet. Why settle when we can go anywhere in time and space? We can meet anyone and be anything.

This blog is for those of us who’d rather be in the pages of a book, and I can’t wait to help you find the perfect book–or write it. My first post went live today–Resources for Outlining Stories.

Review: Cursed With Power by Lindsey Sablowski


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Celestria Hale learns that she is one of the last living Dark magicians. Upon leaving her hometown, she searches for others like herself to find out what has happened to her kind. She meets Alaire, another Dark magician with a dangerously sinister past. Through their travels, Celestria and Alaire come face to face with their enemies. The White magicians plot against them, developing a conspiracy that will overtake the last of them. While struggling for survival, Celestria must also come to terms with her sister’s death. But is her sister dead? There’s no way out. The battle’s already begun, and only the most powerful force will prevail. Everyone shows a longing hunger in their eyes, but their greed for power is only the beginning of a war raging between darkness and light. With the war approaching to determine the fate of magicians, Celestria fears for her and Alaire’s existence. Destiny may find them, but will it be enough?

Let me talk about Cursed With Power. More than a review, this is a reflection; I read Cursed With Power when it was still on inkpop. If you don’t know what that is, look it up–it was like Wattpad but better, lacking the distracting orange sidebar.

The time I spent on inkpop was crucial for my development as a writer. I learned to finish projects, discovering I wasn’t alone–there were other young people who, like me, aspired to be published authors. Most of all, I discovered it wasn’t impossible or a silly fantasy.

People did get published, but inkpop helped me learn how to write a good book.

I made so many friends. Among them was Lindsey Sablowski, one of the most determined authors there. After inkpop shut down, she got her book published. I remember the excitement when it was released–but life happened.

For some reason it took me a while (years) to read Cursed With Power after it was published. This summer I finally got to it and found myself pleasantly surprised. I guess I hadn’t expected it to read so differently. It was different in a positive way; the plot had a stronger hook than before.

I feel bad for having taken so long, but now the rest of the series is waiting for me!

Cursed With Power felt both familiar and new, because I’d read it before. I knew the characters but found myself surprised with each scene.

I love the thorough detail Lindsey put into making the setting realistic. My favorite books are those that boast of rich settings. I could often feel the breeze on my skin, sense the cold and forbidding air surrounding Celestria and her companions during their adventure.

No two characters were the same. They weren’t always likeable–sometimes they had reactions that made me cringe. They were human, losing their tempers and doing things I urged them not to. These characters had life.

Combine a solid setting with realistic characters and you’ll find this is a very good book.

I’m not just saying this because Lindsey is my friend…though I am just a tad biased, because I saw her dedication to get this published. I’m proud she’s almost finished her series, adding to a story that was one of my favorites on inkpop.

If you like magic, romance, and killer cliffhangers, Cursed With Power is a must-read. It’s engaging and it’ll leave you deep in thought, enveloping you in its magical world and sucking you in with the characters that have minds of their own.

Find Cursed With Power on Goodreads and follow the author’s blog!

Guest Post: Five Inspiring New York City Stops


cityloveIn May I reviewed an amazing book called City Love which follows the adventures of three girls in New York City. The setting was so vivid that I became curious–which spots in New York City most fascinate the author, Susane Colasanti? She was amazing enough to write this up for me. I’m going to try and visit these places sometime!

The second book in the City Love trilogy will be out in 2016.


Realistic fiction is my thing. I like incorporating details inspired by my own experiences to make my books feel as realistic as possible. City Love takes place in my favorite New York City neighborhood, the West Village. I’m having lots of fun including my fave New York City places and things in this trilogy. Some of these places can be found in So Much Closer and Take Me There, which are also set in the West Village. I thought it would be fun to share some of these places with you!

1. The High Line

When I moved to New York City almost 20 years ago, I heard about these old elevated train tracks. No one used them anymore. They were just sitting there being rusty. But word on the street was that they were going to be renovated into a green space.

I was psyched. That sounded like the coolest idea ever.

And then…nothing happened for a long time. Years passed. I kept hearing rumors about the renovations. No one really knew what was going on. Finally, the High Line opened in June 2009. I was beyond ecstatic. It was everything I imagined and more. You can still see the old train tracks (which I adore – I have a thing for train tracks) with flowers and tall grasses and trees growing all around. It’s such a unique place. The whole park feels like this Zen retreat where you can chill with friends and have an excellent view of the sunset. And find a peaceful oasis in a busy city, a place that transports you to a different world.

2. Crumbs

If you know me, you are well aware that I’m into cupcakes. Whoever invented the cupcake is a freaking genius. Hello, a mini cake with lots of frosting and sprinkles? Sign me up. You are probably also aware that all cupcakes are not created equal. Some are severely lacking. Some are woefully dry. Some look pretty, but have no taste. There are just so many things that can go wrong. When I find a quality cupcake, I’m fiercely loyal for life.

Which brings me to Crumbs.

I did not discover Crumbs at Crumbs. I was actually at my fave café on the Upper West Side, Café Lalo, when I noticed they had some new cupcakes. The cupcakes looked delicious. They had frosting in all different colors with lots of different toppings. I immediately ordered the chocolate cupcake with caramel buttercream frosting and Snickers on top. A transcendental experience ensued. They told me the cupcakes were from Crumbs. Crumbs is now a chain that has since expanded beyond New York–a sweet success story! Especially considering that the entire chain closed for a while. I mourned like I lost a best friend. But then Crumbs made an epic comeback. I busted out a dorky happy dance in the street like the hardcore cupcake fangirl I am. They don’t make the Snickerdoodle cupcake anymore, but there are lots of other delicious flavors. I recommend the Coffee Toffee and the Blueberry Cobbler. And of course the Pina Colada, which happens to be featured in So Much Closer during an extremely tense scene at Crumbs. Which, really, if life is about to smack you with an unexpected life-shattering turn, wouldn’t that be a good time for a cupcake?

3. Perry Street

When I was 15 or 16, we were driving through the West Village. I didn’t get to visit New York that often. But whenever I did, the amazing energy of this place would make me feel alive for days. That’s how I began to understand New York was my true home. And when we drove past Perry Street, I took one look down it as we went by and thought, That’s my street.

The Village is known for its quaint cobblestone walkways and zigzaggy streets. Tourists come to absorb the charm. There are so many gorgeous streets here. But a few of them really stand out. Perry Street is one of them. Carrie Bradshaw’s building in real life is on Perry Street, so there you go. In So Much Closer and City Love, Sadie goes out of her way not only to walk down Perry Street and Charles Street, but to walk down the prettiest sides of them. I completely understand. There are certain streets I won’t walk down because they are not pretty enough. I will go out of my way to cross over to 5th Avenue instead of walking up 6th. And if I’m walking crosstown from the West Village, you can probably find me on West 11th. It’s an energy thing. Sadie knows what I mean.

4. Strawberry Fields

There’s a place in Central Park where Beatles fans go to remember John Lennon. They bring guitars. They sing Beatles songs. They leave flowers and cards for John on a tile mosaic that says Imagine. That place is called Strawberry Fields. Tons of people gather there every single day. Strawberry Fields is located in a little clearing across from the Dakota, where John Lennon lived. It’s an intense place where people from all around the city go to worship at the altar of their musical religion. Take Me There, So Much Closer, and City Love all have scenes that take place at Strawberry Fields. And since I’m doing this thing where I’m bringing back characters from my previous books for my newer ones, you will find characters from Take Me There and So Much Closer in City Love. Strawberry Fields kinds of ties them together and shows how everything is connected. Love is the answer.

5. Water towers

Water towers rule.

That is all.


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Review: All the Butterflies in the World by Rodney Jones


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Find on Goodreads

Sequel to The Sun, the Moon, and Maybe the Trains

With her senior year looming, Tess McKinnon has two goals: hanging out with her best friend, Liz, and avoiding her judgmental, alcoholic mother. Then yummy John Bartley arrives—to tell Mrs. McKinnon that her daughter is dead. Distinctly still alive, Tess is baffled by John’s tales of 1800s time travel, rewritten lives, and love. She knows she’s never seen him before, but her feelings refuse to be denied.

When Tess and John discover an aged newspaper clipping that indicates John’s uncle was hanged for Tess’s murder in 1875, John decides to return to his time to save his uncle’s life, but when Tess checks the article after John’s departure, she is horrified to discover that John has been hanged instead.

Armed with determination and modern ingenuity, Tess must abandon her past and risk her future for a chance to catch her own killer and find her first love for the second time.

I received All the Butterflies in the World via NetGalley and was pleasantly surprised. The story was rich with something magical that kept me reading on. It’s a book getting very good feedback on Goodreads, so I’ll keep my review short–I agree with almost everyone on GR.

I loved chapters where Tess discovered the truth reading old newspaper articles and letters in a museum. Those are things people don’t pay much attention to when touring a museum, especially small ones–most are dusty and lonely. But this book made me wonder what secrets I could rediscover if I took the time to read a yellowed old newspaper.

The chapters written in the past were easy to read and rich with action. We could relate to or at least understand every character at some point. Even those who only made brief appearances had a small detail, a touch of magic that made them memorable. In fact, many of my favorite characters in this book were those who only had walk-on roles. They appeared quickly but, like a firework or bolt of lightning, were bright and burned themselves in my memory.

I don’t have a complaint for this book. It was well written, perfectly paced, and engaging. But what I liked most about it were the characters, dialogue, and perfect stitching together of past and present.

I will be reading the prequel as soon as I possibly can.

The 7/7/7 Challenge


Rawls E. nominated me for this WIP challenge! This one was actually fun and motivational, seeing as I’m in the stages of getting a first draft all the way to the end. It forced me to look at chapter one and see the good in it, that it’s worth continuing.

The rules are simple:

  • Go to page 7 of your WIP
  • Scroll down to line 7
  • Share the next 7 sentences in a blog post.
  • After the excerpt tag 7 other writers to continue the challenge.

She spent her first week at the Italian restaurant eagerly busing tables and refilling wineglasses, proud to be helping at her father’s restaurant. She sampled the recipes he’d collected from his years in Milan and enjoyed the view of the ocean outside the window, spending her paychecks at the bookstore across the street.

It felt nice to be part of a family business. With nothing to distract her father, it had thrived in the year since their move to Florida. With the responsibility of a small empire lifted from his shoulders, Julian was able to taste for the first time what it was like to be a hard working human—a normal person.

Allie knew he enjoyed this freedom to make people happy, but had seen him fake many smiles as well, because one thing hadn’t changed: His pride.

Fine diners weren’t shy to say they didn’t like a dish, and to make matters worse, half of their patrons were important figures from Julian’s past come to gawk at him.

I nominate:

patriotism, planets, prewriting, photography


This week has been crazy.

Explosive.

Patriotic. Because there’s the Fourth of July and then there’s our victory in the Women’s World Cup.

Not only that, though–there’s planets aligning in a different way. Also, I’m finally starting a new novel with the assurance that I can devote all my time to it. The sequel to Elegy is happening, and hopefully this time I can write it in less than five years. With my prewriting and outlining skills you can’t be sure. But I know most of what’s going to happen; the challenge is piecing events together.

How did I ever write Dissonance as a coherent novel? I know it wasn’t by working alone, and am thankful for beta readers.

It feels good to write again.

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It took me a long time to get into Instagram. Now I’m glad for these little windows of my week, depicting moments small and huge.

The World Cup win is a huge one; our finch smiling for the camera was beautifully tiny.

Just look at that sky. I wonder if someone somewhere in the world got a professional shot of that. I’m not a professional photographer, but you don’t need to be in order to make beautiful memories.

I’ve fallen behind on book reviews because of a heat wave keeping me away from most computer screens. But there’s something happening.

11665732_1630489810560363_2457709694065998546_nIt’s a group blog for readers and writers of all ages, genres, and stages of their craft. We’ll talk about books, writing, and even things not directly related to writing–because every writer needs a life beyond to draw ideas from.

It’s coming soon. Soon. I’m so honored and delighted to be a part of this! Like us on Facebook.

Hope you had a great Independence Day!

Quote Challenge: Day 3


I was nominated for the quote challenge by Sarah @ Sarah’s Bookshelf. Thanks! :D

This challenge requires the nominees to follow three steps:

  • Post your 3 favourite quotes, one each for three consecutive days.
  • With each post nominate three bloggers for the challenge.
  • Recognise the blogger who nominated you.

hemingway

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
Ernest Hemingway

Basically, anything Hemingway.

His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred.
Ernest Hemingway

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If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.
Ernest Hemingway

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I tag anyone who reads this and falls in love with a Hemingway quote.

Guest Post: Why I’m Proud to be a #Slytherin


Brett Michael Orr is a blogger from Australia who writes YA Science Fiction novels. His latest manuscript is The Bureau of Time, currently in beta-stage and soon looking for a publisher. You can follow him on Twitter, or visit his blog.

The Harry Potter community is a diverse and complex one, bonded by twenty years’ worth of kids and adults alike delving into J.K. Rowling’s rich world of magic, friendship, and adventure. Like many fandoms, Harry Potter fans enjoy forming teams and alliances, moreso than any other fandom due to the nature of Hogwarts itself – of course, I’m talking about houses.

What Hogwarts House are you in?

Here, Put This Hat On.

Even before the official Pottermore site, there were literally millions of ‘House Quizzes’ available on the internet, but Pottermore brought a unique element to the Houses – essentially, it stopped people repeating the quiz again to get the house they wanted. It revealed our true personalities and house suitability.

With Houses comes House Rivalry. Like the characters we followed for 7 books and 8 films, Houses mean more than just arbitrary association – each house has its own values and morals (not markedly different from common personality tests), and these qualities have led to fierce rivalries and loyalty among fans.

Slytherin is, however, the most divisive of the houses.

Where the other houses value bravery (Gryffindor), intelligence (Ravenclaw), or loyalty (Hufflepuff), my own house Slytherin values cunning, resourcefulness and ambition.

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Snakes and Chambers.

The ‘heroes’ of Harry Potter are from Gryffindor, and Harry’s immediate enemies come from Slytherin – so it’s natural for most fandoms to jump to the conclusion that Slytherin is bad.

There is, however, a problem.

Readers do not ever experience a Point-of-View from a Slytherin. Admittedly the same can be said for Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, but those two houses aren’t painted in the same distasteful light as Slytherin.

Even worse, Slytherin’s bad reputation comes largely from the terrible actions of a single man – Tom Riddle, or Lord Voldemort.

There are uncomfortable real-world parallels to this — in the real-world, entire religions and nations have been tarnished via the actions of a few rogue elements, whose power and fear was so great that the ‘regular’ members could do nothing but stand by out of fear for their own lives.

This is clearly shown multiple times throughout the novels – the Malfoy family, for instance, was harassed and threatened by Voldemort, coerced into helping advance the Dark Lord’s plans until eventually they were of no further use to him. Draco Malfoy, in particular, during the events of The Half-Blood Prince, was being routinely threatened by Voldemort – but despite his inherent nasty streak, Draco was unable to carry out the final deed of killing Albus Dumbledore.

But wait – doesn’t Slytherin despise half-bloods? Don’t they champion Blood Purity?

It’s true, Salazar Slytherin fell out with Godric Gryffindor over the issue of Blood Purity – Salazar was attempting to maintain the strength and purity of magical blood.

Isn’t that terrible? Shouldn’t Slytherin have welcomed Half-Bloods and treated them as equals?

They did. The most famous Half-Blood Slytherin of them all was – did you guess? Tom Marvolo Riddle.

I’m not suggesting that Slytherin was right to pursue blood purity, but in an ironic twist, if Slytherin had enforced blood purity, Tom Riddle might never have joined Slytherin and may never have pursued his ancestor (Salazar Slytherin)’s dark arts. We’ll never know.

Being Cunning Isn’t a Bad Thing.

Slytherin’s personality traits have been criticized before – but there is nothing inherently wrong with being a little cunning. In fact, there have been ‘good’ Slytherins, such as Horace Slughorn and Andromeda Tonks; and Slytherins who redeemed themselves – such as Severus Snape and Regulus Black.

Gryffindor isn’t perfect either. It has been tainted with evil too: Peter Pettigrew was directly responsible for the death of James and Lily Potter, and allowed Voldemort to attack Harry Potter, beginning the entire saga in the first place.

For some Slytherins, it’s simply a matter of self-preservation above reckless bravery:

We Slytherins are brave, yes, but not stupid. For instance, when given the choice, we will always choose to save our own necks” – Phineas Nigellus.

Slytherin has great magical traits too – they have dabbled in Dark Magic, it’s true, but their resourcefulness and cunning has always seen Slytherin rise to the top of potions making. Additionally, many Slytherins are skilled in Occlumency, a very rare and powerful type of magic for protecting one’s mind. Notice the emphasis – this is a defensive spell, not an aggressive spell.

The Good with the Bad.

Slytherin is a complex house. You can’t accept it and be part of it without acknowledging its checkered past — but when you take a harder look at Slytherin, the discrimination and negative views against it start to fall away.

Not every Slytherin was involved with the Dart Arts or agreed with Voldemort, and many were forced against their will to join the Death Eaters. They’re fascination with the older elements of magic was misconstrued, and in the process, their natural aptitude for useful arts like potions and occlumency, among other areas, was somehow forgotten.

Slytherins deserve as much as respect as any other house – our personality traits complement the other houses, and our self-preservation (and ambitious) streak has seen our house always battling at the top of the House Cup for years, striving to continually better ourselves.

It’s time to shrug off the bad reputation and negative image. Slytherins need to unite, stand together and be proud of their house, and they need to show the other houses that being a Slytherin is more than just being ambitious or cunning, but about battling through a long history, against continual stigma, and rising out of that better than ever.

I’m pride to be Slytherin – and perhaps, if you join this house with me, you’ll find your real friends too!

Quote Challenge: Day 2


I was nominated for the quote challenge by Sarah @ Sarah’s Bookshelf. Thanks! :D

This challenge requires the nominees to follow three steps:

  • Post your 3 favourite quotes, one each for three consecutive days.
  • With each post nominate three bloggers for the challenge.
  • Recognise the blogger who nominated you.

I’m a couple days late but I am really eager to complete this challenge.

My quote for today:

Writing is the soul on paper.
-Mary T. Lane

I tag:

  1. Briana Mae Morgan
  2. Kayla @ Kayla’s Books
  3. Jessica @ Little Siberia