Sunday, January 31, 2016

2016 January Reading List

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean – Probably the best written out of MacLean’s novels. Rather enjoyable, except the hero is an ass when you look at the big picture. I so wish romance heroines stopped thinking of themselves as plain, uninteresting, and unworthy. It takes away a lot of the fun. 3/5 stars

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean – See the complaint above, not the ass part. It was okay, though. 3/5 stars

Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLean – I liked this book the least from this series. Rather long and boring. 3/5 stars

Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean – Things are becoming exciting again, though the heroine is once again deemed unworthy. Some subplots are left unfinished or unexplained clearly enough. As a whole, I prefer MacLean’s other series. 3/5 stars

Uprooted by Naomi Novik – There’s certainly a good story hidden somewhere in there, unfortunately suffocated under heaps of telling which makes reading a tedious job. The wizard is an ass, there’s zero romance, but somehow the sex scenes are A+, go figure! 3/5 stars

Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce – I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started the book and I certainly wasn’t expecting to like it this much. One thing, though, I came to the conclusion I don’t like this version of fairy lore either. 4/5 stars

A reminder of my rating system:
1 star - you won't find any so it doesn't matter
2 stars - waste of time or unfinished book because of poor writing of major plot issues
3 stars - enjoyable, you won't be sorry for reading it, but you can just as well live without it
4 stars - it brings something special into your life
5 stars - brilliant, damn near perfect 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Cover Reveal: The Strength of a Heart by Ioana Visan

The Strength of a Heart
 (The Stolen Wings #2)
by Ioana Visan 

One day, a pair of wings will change the world. Alise’s wings are killing her.

Twice condemned to death, Alise is slowly fading away after a poisonous Mermaid’s bite, but Rafe will have none of that. Along with two other Guardians of Balance and Alise’s human friend, they go in search of a cure in The Mists, where Gorem’s Wizard is in hiding.

Their journey will be met with danger and strife along the way. With werewolves, demons, dangerous sea creatures, and Alise’s poisoned-filled wings growing back, their chance of survival is slim.

Will Alise survive another murderous plot?

Release Date: March 15, 2016 
Pre-order on Amazon.
Add to Goodreads.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Writing Update - January 2016

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you already know the good news. The first draft of The Strength of a Heart, the second book in The Stolen Wings series, is done. I just finished it last night. I know, go, me! :)

The first 15k words were written in January 2012, right after I finished the first draft of The Weight of a Wing, the first book in the series. Then I went back to polish the TWOW draft until I got sick of it and moved to something else. The next 10k were written last summer after TWOW was published and readers began asking for more. But the real writing was done between October and January, and it would have been finished sooner if I hadn't taken a two-week break for Christmas, but that's all right.

I had one big problem with this story. I kept feeling I was missing a piece of the action, like I should have squeezed in one more adventure as I feared I wouldn't make the word count I had in mind. It's the main reason I kept putting off writing it this long. As I started working on it, however, all pieces lined up nicely together, and it turned out I wasn't missing anything. The initial goal was to get it to 75k, but I would have been secretly happy with 70k. I've got 74k, and that's only the first draft. At least 2k will be added during rewrites if not more, plenty enough for my editor to cut from as she usually does, and rightfully so. 

The next step is to get it to the final draft, which I plan to do in February. Depending on how quickly my editor can get it done, the release will take place either in March or April. In February, I also need to write three short stories before I start working on another novel in March, so it will be a busy month. Plenty of time for you to read The Weight of a Wing if you haven't yet. It's my best-selling title, so it must be good. :) Fair warning, it's getting more romantic than initially planned. Ha! Until then, check back on Monday for a cover reveal. I've been sitting on it since TWOW came out, and I can't wait to share it with you. :D

One more thing, I've been also working on putting together a manuscript for a new Romanian short story collection. I only have to finalize the table of contents and then it's off to my publisher. So I guess all of my readers will have something new to read this spring.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Short Story: Fata racheta (Rocket Girl)

At the end of 2014, "Fata racheta" (the Romanian version of Rocket Girl, a short story from The Nightingale Circus short story collection, set in the Broken People universe) was published in the printed edition of Paradox magazine, issue no. 25-26.

Browsing the magazine's site the other day in search of clues on when the next issue will appear (guess why :) ), I discovered that "Fata racheta" is also available in the Paradox online edition. So go ahead and read it if you haven't yet. 

If you like the characters, there are more stories in The Nightingale Circus, and of course they also appear in the two novels in the series, Broken People and Broken Hearts.

Note: Only "Fata racheta" is in Romanian. The rest are all in English, I'm afraid.

Thursday, January 7, 2016