Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Comicpalooza 2019 Literature Event is LIT!

For those of you unaware, Comicpalooza is an incredible convention held every year in Houston, Texas. This will be my third year attending and I say without hesitation it is my favorite con to attend. They have a bit of everything from fantastic guests from the film industry to amazing authors. This year's guest list includes some big names such as Emilia Clarke from Game of Thrones, Grant Gustin from The Flash, and authors Timothy Zahn and Wesley Chu. I had the opportunity to meet Timothy Zahn a couple years ago and he was an absolute delight! He created the character Mara Jade whom I costume as a member of The 501st Legion and Rebel Legion. For Wesley Chu I'm thrilled to meet him as I am about to start reading The Red Scrolls of Magic, which he collaborated with Cassandra Clare to write. Literature events featured this year are author panels, fan roundtables, read and critique sessions for aspiring writers, and a character-building springboard writing workshop. I'm really excited about this years convention and to meet other like-minded individuals. It'll be a blast! I still can't believe I got to meet author Lev Grossman a couple years ago at Comicpalooza.

With Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians at Comicpalooza 2017

Featured Guest Q&As and discussions include:

Open Mic Reading for All Genres
Timothy Zahn Introspective
Cory Doctorow Introspective
Wesley Chu & Sam Sykes Introspective

Other entertaining panels to check out:

The Storytelling of Game of Thrones
Writing Robots and AI
Evil-ution of Literary Horror
Blood! Gore! How to Write Heroic Fantasy
Cyberpunk Returns, but Did It Ever Really Go Away?
Magic Systems for Writers
Horror for the 21st Century: Film and Literature
Beyond Earthsea: Ursula K. Le Guin's Writing Legacy
Writing and Reading Mysteries and Thrillers
Setting the Hook, Screenwriting and Your First 10 Pages

Creature Horror: Why We Are Drawn To It, and How To Create Montsters

Aspiring writer's may want to check these panels out:

World-building for Short Stories, Novelettes, and Novellas
Help! I'm an introvert!: Networking and Marketing for Writers
Art & Writing Crossovers from Comics to Artist Collaborations
Stop Copycats: Protect Your Ideas
Idea to Publishing: Behind the Scenes with Indie Authors
Writing Powerful Women in Genre Fiction
Writing With/Against Your Gender/Orientation/Ethnicity/Identity
Copyrights and Conduct: The Legal Side of Conventions
Worldbuilding Tips and Tricks: How to Create Believable Worlds
Words Matter: Crafting the Perfect Sentence
How to Avoid Legal Potholes in Your Writing and Publishing

Comicpalooza 2019 takes place May 10-12!
For more info and to get tickets head to COMICPALOOZA.COM

Thursday, September 27, 2018


by April Genevieve Tucholke
Release Date: October 2nd, 2018


A dark and gorgeously drawn standalone YA fantasy about a band of mercenary girls in search of female glory. Won in a major six-house auction!

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.

Full of fierce girls, bloodlust, tenuous alliances, and unapologetic quests for glory, this elegantly spun tale challenges the power of storytelling—and who gets to be the storyteller. Perfect for fans of Maggie Stiefvater, V.E. Schwab, and Heidi Heilig.


I was sent an early copy of this along with the first book from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.

Let's start from the beginning. I dove into this book with specific expectations and they were met and then some. April Genevieve Tucholke has a vivid writing style that draws you in and doesn't release you until you've finished reading. The Boneless Mercies features several strong female characters which made my heart soar with joy. The dynamic between the characters Frey, Runa, Juniper, and Ovie along with their male companion Trigve make for an incredible group of wanderers. I am left wondering though if there is a bit more between Frey and Trigve than a close friendship. I have been intrigued by the story of Beowulf for quite some time so it was great to see this new spin on the tale. The girls start off as Boneless Mercies in which they give merciful deaths for coin but eventually decide to leave that path to seek glory. Now, I'm not going to sugarcoat this. There are many losses along the way with a bittersweet ending, but that's what makes a story seem more real right? There needs to be a balance in life and death, in joy and sadness. Even the giantess had me feeling for her in the end. What may seem like the most evil villain, could in fact feel justified on their end and in a way Logafell was. This story captivated me! I hope there will be a second book because I need to know what the Cut-Queen will do next....

RATING: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Macmillan has provided this lovely necklace inspired by the book
for giveaway that you can enter below to win! 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Book Review: Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake

Through the White Wood
by Jessica Leake
Expected Publication: April 9th, 2019


Katya’s power to freeze anything she touches has made her an outcast in her isolated village. And when she loses control of her ability, accidentally killing several villagers, she is banished to the palace of the terrifying Prince Sasha in Kiev. 

At the castle, though, she is surprised to find that Sasha is just like her—with his own strange talent, the ability to summon fire. Instead of punishment, Sasha offers Katya friendship, and the chance to embrace her power rather than fear it. 

But outside the walls of Kiev, Sasha’s enemies have organized their own army of people who can control the very earth. Bent on taking over the entire world, they won’t stop until they’ve destroyed everything. 

Katya and Sasha are desperate to stop the encroaching army, and together their powers are a fearsome weapon. But as their enemies draw nearer, leaving destruction in their wake, will fire and frost be enough to save the world? Or will they lose everything they hold dear?


I was sent an early copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

Several months back I discovered Jessica Leake's work in the incredible Beyond a Darkened Shore. While Through the White Wood isn't quite a sequel, it does take place in the same world and we even see characters from Beyond a Darkened Shore which was very satisfying. This book immediately hooked me within the first page. The two main characters Katya and Sasha are extremely compelling and supported by many equally great characters. I felt deeply for Katya and her feeling of being an outsider and enjoyed watching her strengthen to finally accepting her powers. Everything that occurred was gradual and at a believable pace which I think is important in a story. If things happen too fast it can really hurt things such as the genuine growth of relationships between all of the characters. When Katya met the prince she really wanted nothing to do with his war and had no idea how deeply it would affect her world. I found I warmed to the prince at about the same pace as her and when they finally came to understand one another it was all the more rewarding. Some other characters of note that I enjoyed were Kharan, Ivan, Boris, and of course Elation. Oh Elation, how the story of her eagle broke and touched my heart! I could not put this book down and highly recommend it to those with an interest in all things fantasy!

RATING: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Saturday, July 14, 2018


by Scott Westerfeld
Published: July 10th, 2018


All hell breaks loose in the second volume of New York Times–bestselling author Scott Westerfeld's visionary graphic novel duology.

Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, forever changing reality within its borders. Strange manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone. Addison got close enough to the Spill Zone to touch it, literally. She survived the encounter, but came back changed.

It turns out she's not alone. North Korea has its own Spill Zone, and a young man named Don Jae is the only one who made it out alive. Alive, but changed. Now Addison, Don Jae, and, curiously, a rag doll named Vespertine, share an unholy bond and uncanny powers.

From Scott Westerfeld, the inspired imagination behind the New York Times bestsellers Uglies and Leviathan, comes The Broken Vow, the second volume of our highly anticipated new graphic novel series.


I was sent an early copy of this along with the first book from Macmillan/First Second Books in exchange for an honest review.

Filled with possessed dolls, animals, and people, Spill Zone is quite the creepy treat! The relationship between sisters Addison and Lexa starts off sweet, but completely morphs when Addison realizes Lexa's doll Vespertine is actually talking to her and that Vespertine caused the deaths of their parents. Throughout the books so far there are a lot of wheels rolling behind the scenes in which several people are messing with the zones and making things worse.  Yes, I said zones! Don Jae, a character we met in book one comes from a town that the same thing happened in. Later on when Addison meets Don Jae we realize there is a lot more going on than meets the eye and he shows this to Addison when they visit her zone. I found the artwork and writing style to really compliment each other and can't stop myself from flipping though the pages to admire it even after finishing it. The colors used are so vibrant and the characters feel absolutely real. I had a blast reading the first two books in this series of graphic novels and hope there will be more. This series really sucks you in!

RATING: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Spill Zone: The Broken Vow is now available as well as the brand new paperback edition of Spill Zone! Check out the gorgeous cover below!

Scott Westerfeld is a New York Times bestselling author of YA. He was born in the Texas and now lives in Sydney and New York City. In 2001, Westerfeld married fellow author Justine Larbalestier.

He is best know for the Uglies and Leviathan series, and his next book, Afterworlds, comes out September 23, 2014.

His book Evolution's Darling was a New York Times Notable Book, and won a Special Citation for the 2000 Philip K. Dick Award. So Yesterday won a Victorian Premier's Award and both Leviathan and Midnighters 1: The Secret Hour won Aurealis Awards. Peeps and Uglies were both named as Best Books for Young Adults 2006 by the American Library Association.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Book Review: Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

by Vera Brosgol
Published: April 24th, 2018


A gripping and hilarious middle-grade summer camp memoir from the author of Anya's Ghost.

All Vera wants to do is fit in—but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there's one summer camp in her price range—Russian summer camp.

Vera is sure she's found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the "cool girl" drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!

Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Cece Bell, and Victoria Jamieson, Vera Brosgol's Be Prepared is a funny and relatable middle-grade graphic novel about navigating your own culture, struggling to belong, and the value of true friendship.


I was sent an early copy of this from Macmillan/First Second Books in exchange for an honest review.

Be Prepared instantly caught my attention from page one and I finished it quickly in one sitting! The story of Vera and everything she goes through to try to make friends is completely relatable. I really enjoyed the dark humor in this novel and the fantastic artwork! This is the perfect summer read for all ages! In all honesty I was having some Adams Family Values feels while reading it. This story teaches that it's better to have one true friend than many fake friends. I can't wait to check out more of Vera Brosgol's work!

RATING: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

TV Series Review: Salvation


An MIT grad student and a tech superstar bring a low-level Pentagon official a staggering discovery--that an asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth.

I don't often review television shows. Honestly, it takes a lot to make me want to. I recently stumbled upon the show Salvation and binged it nonstop. Salvation is a science fiction show that centers around a potential world killing asteroid on a direct path to Earth. With very little time to stop the asteroid and the United States on the brink of war, time is running out to save human kind. I found the writing for this show reasonably believable and able to be felt on a deep level. Of course, to go with great writing you also need an outstanding cast. Among the cast are Charlie Rowe, Santiago Cabrera, Jennifer Finnigan, and Ian Anthony Dale. The brilliant John Noble also has a recurring role. Salvation makes you start to reflect on the concept of time and how much you have left. I do that pretty frequently and this show just made me do that once again. What would you do if you knew exactly how many days you had left to live? Would you panic and give up, would you go be with your loved ones, or would you continue to fight and have hope when there is so little left in the world? There is so much pain and suffering in our world today and I hope that this show will inspire people to look for the good and see the beauty. My way of dealing with all the hate has been to not spend as much time on platforms such as facebook where I see so much ugliness. I still go on there, but I don't live on it like I once did. It's been liberating.

Season 2 of Salvation will premiere this summer on CBS!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Book Review: Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

Out of the Blue
by Sophie Cameron
Release Date: May 15th, 2018


Sometimes, I imagine alternate endings to the story: last-minute miracles, touches of magic. I picture how things might have gone, if I wasn’t there. If I’d left just a few minutes later. If I hadn’t been alone. It doesn’t make any difference. One way or another, the crash always comes.

Ten days after Jaya Mackenzie’s mum dies, angels start falling from the sky. Smashing down to earth at extraordinary speeds, wings bent, faces contorted, not a single one has survived.

Hysteria mounting with every Being that drops, Jaya’s father uproots the family to Edinburgh intent on catching one alive. But Jaya can’t stand this obsession and, struggling to make sense of her mother’s sudden death and her own role on that fateful day, she’s determined to stay out of it.

When her best friend disappears and her father’s mania spirals, things hit rock bottom and it’s at that moment something extraordinary happens: An angel lands right at Jaya’s feet, and it’s alive. Finally she is forced to acknowledge just how significant these celestial beings are.

Set against the backdrop of the frenzied Edinburgh festival, OUT OF THE BLUE tackles questions of grief and guilt and fear over who we really are. But it’s also about love and acceptance and finding your place in this world as angels drop out of another.


I was sent an early copy of this from Fierce Reads in exchange for an honest review.

To say that this writer is brilliant would be an understatement. Out of the Blue is so raw and full of emotion. It takes a lot to hit me in the way that this story did and I can't wait to read more of Sophie's work. The main character struggles with misplaced guilt and regret throughout the book and I can relate to that. We all struggle with that though, right? There are key moments in all of our lives that you look back on and say, "What if I had done things differently?" WHAT IF? I struggle with this constantly and this very realistic story with a touch of fantasy really got me thinking. I think it's great that books such as this exist and feel that it fits a wide audience. While this story seems like it will turn out one way it surprises you in the most beautiful way.

RATING: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️