Happy Birthday, GYRE! (And Giveaway!)

GUYS! One year ago today, Gyre was released into the world and my dream of seeing my book published came true. And because of you wonderful, amazing readers, I got to release its sequel and a novella in that same year (Landlocked and Driftwood).

I cannot believe it’s been a full year since Gyre came out! It just doesn’t compute. This past year has been filled with so many incredible experiences, from traveling to Las Vegas to attend the RT Booklovers Convention, to signing my book at Barnes and Noble. And throughout it all, I got to meet other authors and, more importantly, interact with readers.

Thank you so, so much for accompanying me on this ride. It has been INCREDIBLE. And as a way to give back to you, I’ve teamed up with some of my best author friends who also have book birthdays in February to give you one amazing giveaway.

Pat Esden (author of A HOLD ON ME), Courtney Sloan (author of OF SCIONS AND MEN), Suzanne Van Rooyen (author of SCARDUST), and me are giving one lucky winner:

(1) $50 Amazon Giftcard

(1) signed copy EACH of all of our 2016 debut New Adult Speculative Fiction books.

That’s right. One lucky winner will get $50 to Amazon and 4 brand new, signed paperbacks. You can enter this giveaway here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thank you so, so much for helping me make my dream come true. Because of your support, I get to do what I love, which also means I keep being able to give you guys more stories to enjoy. Thank you for this amazing first year, and here’s to many more!

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

This year. THIS YEAR. I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced the range of highs and lows that I did in 2016. Despite all the obvious bad things (and boy were there a TON), a lot of good things happened, too.

For instance, my dream came true: I published my first book. And I am so grateful and humbled by the small village of brilliant, talented people that helped bring about that dream.

But 2016 wasn’t just about Gyre. I also read 100 books (at least 60% of which were by indie or small press authors, so woot!), met and connected with a ton of people at RT Convention in Las Vegas, traveled to 3 new states, went on a road trip, and published two of Gyre’s sequels: Landlocked and Driftwood.

Overall, I didn’t hit all the goals I set for 2016. But considering everything 2016 brought, I’m okay with that. This year was full of twists and turns, both in life and relationships, but also this crazy publishing world. In all things, I think my biggest takeaway from 2016 is this: everything you want is on the other side of fear, and that fear and exhilaration often live on opposite sides of an incredibly thin line.

Looking ahead at 2017, I see a whole new world of potential, filled with more writing, more published works, and much more travel.

Here are some of my goals for 2017:

  1. See Riptide (Atlas Link #3) published in August.
  2. Read 50 published or soon-to-be published books.
  3. Write 4 books, 2 novellas, and 2 short stories. (These are the *planned* projects… who knows what’ll actually happen!)
  4. Buy experiences, not things. This is pretty much my motto for 2017. I want to travel more, experience new things, and really live, not just exist. I’ve got a few ideas in mind for this, but I’m going to let things unfold as I go.

What are your goals for 2017? What’s your most anticipated read? I want to know! 🙂

My Top 10 Reads of 2016

I read 100 books this year, which is going to make this reading round-up incredibly difficult compared to past years. But I’m here to try, so let’s do this!

Young Adult

Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember – I’ve had a very love-hate relationship with YA (overall) lately, especially over the past year, but Julia Ember’s book was a bright, refreshing light for me. Unicorn Tracks is one of the most unique YA Fantasy books I’ve ever read. It’s also a diverse read. If you’re looking for an amazing, fast-paced strikingly different YA Fantasy, try Unicorn Tracks. You won’t be disappointed.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer – Cinder is a YA Sci-Fi Fairytale Retelling of Cinderella, but it’s also a lot more. This was a book I’d meant to read for years now and finally picked up when I discovered audiobooks this year. (And the audiobook is phenomenal, by the way!) Cinder took me by utter surprise. It’s easy to forget this is a Cinderella retelling and not a sci-fi/dystopian tale of an Earth plagued by a disease that kills within days. But then Meyer reminds you this is, in fact, a fairytale. I’ve gone on to read most of the rest of the series, and am currently finishing up Winter. This series might become one of my favorite YA series of all-time.

New Adult

Artificial by Jadah McCoy – Artificial is a NA SF story that mixes creatures and monsters with androids and the question of what makes us human, not just in the futuristic dystopian setting of the book, but in general. I loved this!

The Debt Collector, Season One by Susan Kaye Quinn – Here’s another great new adult sci-fi/noir story, told as a serial.  I’ve really gotten into serials this year and actually really prefer this format (for the same reason I love series of books and TV shows compared to one-shot movies and standalone books).

Of Scions and Men by Courtney Sloan – OSAM is a SF Dystopian that restored my faith in vampire novels, utterly and completely. This book is dark and gritty, but also full of heart. Check this book out for sure!

The Immortality Cure by Tori Centanni – This is another vampire book, but with a twist. The main character used to be a vampire and is searching for a way to regain her immortality. SO GOOD.

Adult

The Rouge Retrieval by Dan Koboldt – This is an adult SFF reminiscent of Stargate and Now You See Me, which are two of my favorite things on the planet. So, naturally, this book is easily in my top 10 list. There’s no further description. GO ONE-CLICK THIS BOOK!

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – This novella is an Adult Fantasy / Fairytale that is somehow at once both light-hearted and whimsical, and a dark, soul-wrenching look at what happens to the children who go to other worlds like Narnia and Wonderland… and are forced to come back against their will. The children who are stranded in our world. The children who are forever changed by their adventure. If I could give this novella a million stars, I would.

Craft Books

I read a TON of craft books this year, but these were my favorites 🙂

Take Off Your Pants! By Libbie Hawker – This book saved my (writing) life. Literally. I used to pants everything. Every time I plotted a book, I “lost the magic” and couldn’t finish it. But for some reason, Libbie Hawker made plotting make sense, and I refer to this book every time I start a new project. This book is now my writing bible.

Chris Fox’s entire Write Faster, Write Smarter craft book series was recommended to me and I loved every book. Though they’re short, these novella-length craft books are jam-packed with useful information, good tips, and an easy step-by-step guide to many things in the publishing world.

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So, there you have it. That’s my Top 10 of 2016 Reading List. But what’s my favorite book from this year? That’s easy.

My favorite read of 2016 is: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. Here, I’ll even make it easy for you to pick up your own copy. Just follow this link to Amazon and purchase it for yourself 🙂

#12DaysofDiversity TBR!

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The #12DaysofDiversity – Diverse Retelling Readathon hosted by Julia Ember (author of the AMAZING Unicorn Tracks) is almost here! I’m super excited about this readathon because it revolves around diverse retellings of classic tales, including fairytales and stories less so. Basically, this is a unique chance to get these off my TBR and into my read pile, and I’m so ready!

The #12DaysofDiversity Readathon starts on Monday so I thought I’d post my official TBR for the week. Here we go!

  1. 12daysofdiversityPublished in 2016: And I Darken by Kiersten White
  2. Protagonists of Color: The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  3. LGBTQIA: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  4. Non-Western: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
  5. Small Publisher: Marian by Ella Lyons
  6. Wild Card Pick: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

Dumbledore’s Army ReadAThon TBR!

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I am SUPER excited for the Dumbledore’s Army Readathon hosted by ReadAtMidnight! 😀 I’ve recently just started reading the Harry Potter books for the first time (I know, I know), and only a few months ago got myself sorted into Hufflepuff. So I’m elated to show some Hufflepuff pride and try to win us some house points this January!

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Here’s a look at my TBR:

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