Saturday, January 28, 2023

Book Recommendations February 2023


Here are a few books that I've read recently and recommend:

There are two books out in this series now, and I love both. It's an exciting paranormal adventure, but the main hero is the middle-aged mom! I know quite a few of us who still love the YA book style, even if we aren't the target audience any longer, so it was so much fun to be represented in a book like this! Not to mention the action, how seemlessly the fantasy world fits into our reality, and a hero who can be protective and secretive, yet also respectful. 
I laughed out loud. I grinned while reading most of this book. I read snippets to whoever happened to be nearby. Funny, heart-felt, exciting, full of literary allusions, clever, and oh so human, I love everything about this book.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

The Story Behind the Story: The Dream Realm


A princess with a forbidden power.
A man asleep for a hundred years.

My 12th book baby has been born! The Dream Realm is a YA fantasy retelling of Sleeping Beauty.
The story behind The Dream Realm starts with my very first book series, Keita's Wings. Mostly for the fun of it, I decided to figure out the children of all of my characters from the series, assigning them gender, name, and abilities. I've always thought it would be fun to do a big set of fairytale retellings where the main character of each fairytale could react with each other. I combined those two things to make The Spectra Crown Tales, where each volume features a different royal heir in a different fairytale.

The Dream Realm was originally going to be somewhere in the middle of the list. I moved it up to second because of fan interest in Sleeping Beauty, and because it ties in to the DreamRovers trilogy, which I'd published most recently before this series.

The Dream Realm follows Princess Lilac, second daughter of the Muse king but heir to the throne. She has dreamrover abilities, but her kingdom has looked down on dreamrovers for almost two centuries, so she keeps them secret. You'll also meet Vireo, who has been trapped in sleep for a hundred years, and Lilac's siblings, as powerful as any fairy godmothers. Perrin and Allee, the main characters of the first Spectra Crowns Tale, make an appearance as they try to integrate Spectra (with elemental abilities) and humans. Perrin and Allee were the heroes of Beauty and the Beast, while Lilac's siblings will all have a future story too. Have fun guessing who is who! This list might help.

Sneak peek:

Somewhere out there, Perrin cried out. A moment later, Lilac felt his dreams. She gasped. He was unconscious, probably in danger. 

“No!” Allee’s voice was part shout, part roar. “No more playing nice!” 

Lilac almost felt sorry for the guards. Allee and Perrin had both been holding back. 

The mist cleared. Lilac glimpsed Allee, charging at two figures. The lump beneath them must be Perrin’s body. 

Just before Allee reached them, the attackers vanished. 

Lilac gaped. Dreamrovers? She didn’t want to believe it, but she knew of no other way that Muses could vanish. She rushed forward. She’d been outclassed in the fight, but she was the only one who could follow them. She just needed Perrin’s dreams... 

But Allee reached him first. His dreams faded instantly. He leapt to his feet and waved his arms. The last of the mist vanished. The other guards stood nearby, rubbing their eyes. Lilac studied them warily, but these ones seemed trustworthy.  

One guard ran up to Allee. “Where’d they go?” 

“They ran when they saw me coming,” Allee answered. “Maybe they had Sprite speed.” 

Lilac bit her lip. Speaking up would risk her secret and bring condemnation on her dreamrover friends. They were unpopular already, and they wanted so badly to be regular Castalian citizens. But if she didn’t speak, she’d put her party at risk if the attackers struck again.




A couple years ago, I made a goal for how many books I'd read that year. My mother said something like, "Shouldn't you make a goal for how few books you let yourself read this year?"

I read a lot, but I also read really fast, so it doesn't take much time. This year I've been reading on kindle vella, where I can read small daily chunks of my favorite stories. 

I've been a lot more organized with my writing goals than my reading goals. I publish one chapter every week on kindle vella for my main series, The Spectra Crown Tales, which sets my schedule for when each book comes out as a full book in ebook, kindle unlimited, and paperback. 

Book Recommendations January 2023


Here are a few books that I've read recently and recommend:

Released today!
Regency romance with just a hint of fantasy... 
Lord Peter West fled an engagement and found himself stranded in the district of the Half-Merpeople, where a childhood friend came to his rescue.

I read this book first on kindle vella, and was also privileged to read an ARC of the complete story. I love the characters and the growth that they show through the book. The different points of view make this story really stand out.
Find here.
Here's my most recent kindle vella find! 
It's a contemporary romance about an optimistic field researcher and her neighbor. I took a field research position in college, studying sage grouse, so I loved reading about Diane and her adventure!
Find on kindle vella.

Dream Realm sneak peek


The Dream Realm (The Spectra Crown Tales #2) is currently on preorder!
Here's a snippet from Vireo, a man asleep for a hundred years:

A 10-year-old Lilac danced through Vireo’s dream. At first he enjoyed the memory. But his dream changed. She got older, more each moment. She became the young woman he knew now. Then she kept going. A full woman. Her belly expanded in pregnancy. Of course, that would happen. She was a princess, there’s no way she’d remain single much longer. The thought still made him cringe. Then the bump was gone, but he never saw a child. Just her, getting older and older, as her face wrinkled and her back stooped. Then at last, just like everyone else he knew, she was gone. 

It was just a nightmare, he told himself. But he had no way of knowing. He had such a bad sense of time. Maybe she really was gone. 

Then his dream lightened, and the real Lilac stepped in. She was young again, with her flowing golden hair and her friendly blue-gray eyes free of wrinkles. Vireo rushed to her and threw his arms around her. He didn’t feel anything, but he didn’t care. 

“Whoa,” she said. “Are you all right?” 

“No,” he said, before he could stop himself. “I want to be fully alive. Like you. With you.” 

The Spectra World master maps!

  Summer is here! It's the perfect time to explore somewhere new! Sure, that might include a physical location, but I for one hope to ex...