Book Review: Rise of the Phoenix by Jamie McLachlan

Rise of the Phoenix (The Memory Collector Series, #3)Rise of the Phoenix by Jamie McLachlan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rise of the Phoenix is the third and final book in the Memory Collector Series. It follows where we left off with Moira, the empath, and Keenan, the detective, trying to solve the twisted games of the serial killer The Phoenix before another person is killed—or forced to commit suicide. Right away we are thrown into this fantastical world where people can alter emotions, read minds, and even “play” in the landscape of the minds of others (seriously, how cool is this? What would YOUR mind look like inside?).

There’s plenty of sexual heat, suspense, and so many twists I did NOT see coming. I was so connected to the characters by this point I was devastated when certain things happened to certain people. No spoilers but I kept thinking I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING??! It was a roller-coaster of emotions for me, which is the mark of a great suspenseful read, I think. I messaged the author (my pal Jamie) to ask how she could do this to me? lol. My nerves were shot at a few spots.

This is a spectacular series, and a great ending to a story that I thoroughly enjoyed. 4 solid stars. Fans of dark fantasy, sexy romance, independent bad ass heroines, and more will love this. I received an advance copy of ROTP in exchange for an honest review. I very much enjoyed this book, and the way it concludes the trilogy.

Pre-order your copy now, and if you haven’t already please check out #1 & #2 in the series. You can also purchase the 3 e-book set for $11!

Visit Jamie’s website for a free excerpt of the story, and to keep informed of all her upcoming projects! Trust me, you don’t want to miss what she’s cooking up next.

View all my reviews


Instagram Book Giveaway 

Hi guys! I’m hosting a really fun giveaway on my Instagram until November 11th. There’s two options for entry, one super easy, one more creative. I’ll be picking TWO winners. 

Please check it out 😄 And come say hi and stuff. I’m really enjoying IG after resisting joining for so long, ha! 

And I hope you’re doing well. Revisions on Weightless are going incredibly (and surprisingly?) well, especially after my meh stage recently lol. I’m up to 47,000 words, much of which still needs fixing of course but I’m happy where it’s headed. 

Also, I’m coming off of reading a few books and desperately slacking on reviews- so sorry! I promise to post some soon 🙂 

Take care. And get thy butt to my giveaway! 


Good Updates & SALE 

Hi guys! It’s been awhile. Is it weird to say I miss you? Because I do! 😘

Just popping in with some small, pretty cool updates. 

1. My Like Waves Goodreads giveaway ended, with nearly 750 entries! Thanks to all who entered. 

2. In the last Twitter pitch party, I recieved like, 16 favs from agents for my Witch Lessons pitch (Please check out my page What I’m Working On to learn more)! Those numbers are including a few likes from smaller publishers and 1 random guy. Lol. So, I sent most of the agents queries, and recieved 1 rejection already but I also got a full request from an absolutely rocking agent so….fingers crossed! 

3.  I participated in the Instagram #childrenofinksept2017 poetry contest and won (1 winner of 10) with this autumn-themed poem: 

4. And to celebrate, I am having a sale! Like Waves is just 99 cents on Kindle (still free on KU) until Wednesday. If you haven’t gotten yourself a copy yet now is a great time! 

5. Finally, I’ll be interviewed tonight on Twitter by Writer Moms! Please search the hashtag #WM_chat to learn more about moi and my writing 🙂 8pm PST. 

Have a great day! I’m off all week because my parents (babysitters) are in PARIS. OMG AM I JEALOUS. I’ll be working on my YA fairytale retelling. 



Yeah, idk. 

But hi guys! I am feeling quite meh but I will say I’m glad to be posting, and I’m sorry it’s been so long. I hope everyone is safe, happy, and healthy. 

So, why meh? I’m not even sure. I just have no zip. It may be partly due to me not refilling my thyroid prescription for the last week (I know. I KNOW). Or just the sense of overwhelm right now. But here’s a brief update on me and my writing:

Witch Lessons: has been professionally edited, and I participated in first #Pitchwars (where I received a full request but ultimately no mentor, though they gave fantastic feedback), and then #PitMad where I got 3 likes! I sent it off to 2 agents, and one passed. Besides those agents, I’ve sent queries to another 15 or so. I’m feeling good about it, and just praying I’ll find someone to fall in love. All the same, I do not enjoy the query process. 

Weightless: revision has been on the back burner while I’ve been focused on WL. And I definitely feel bad about it…

Poetry: I’ve written some new poems for Instagram contests, so that’s good. Also, my poem When My Arms Are Full was nominated for The Best of the Net 2017. I’m still building my collection for my next book. 

Book sales: Have been slow, so here’s a link to my Amazon page in case you’d like to buy this struggling author a cuppa coffee! 😉

Other: Just reading. More book reviews coming! 

Keep your fingers crossed for query success! Have a great day ♡

Book Review: The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace

The Princess Saves Herself in this OneThe Princess Saves Herself in this One by amanda lovelace

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve had this book for months now, and it’s been staring at me from my TBR pile (stack?) for awhile. It took me some time to clear my mind of the buzz & reviews around such a popular book and pick it up. What can I say? I’m a rebel, and sometimes I am wary of bestsellers 😉

In any case, I follow Amanda Lovelace on Instagram and I like the snippets she posts from her book, so I finally dove in. I’m glad I did. The Princess Saves Herself In This One is a story, one I read as a poetic memoir, about someone who struggles and eventually comes out the other side stronger. I enjoyed the narrative, and I always lose myself more in poetry books with a storyline, rather than just poems with no connection. At times, it was so deeply personal that the rawness struck me. Some of the poems were stronger than others, and I’m still not a fan of poetry without titles, or with the titles on the end (personal preference). Also, I wish there’d been some more fantasy-ish ones, but I’d give it 4 stars for an overall powerful collection, with empowerment woven throughout. Plenty of people will relate to so many of these poems (and I know readers are really responding), myself included. I especially enjoyed at least a dozen, which I marked. Two of my favorites:

i was the one
who found your body
(you were nowhere
to be found)
mouth opened
wide enough
to suck all the oxygen
from the room,
wide enough
to plant lilies in,
wide enough to have
been calling my name—
that is, if only you
remembered it.

-i want to forget, forget, forget

opened me up
like a book
& poured the
poetry back into

-my personal pen & paper

It was a sensitive, and at times gut-punching book, and I look forward to more from the author! I’ll definitely be checking out her next book.

View all my reviews

Publishing: The Aftermath


Hi. It’s a rainy, dark day here this Monday morning, perfect for writing in some comfy sweats, and not too bad for a bit of reflection, too. I realized recently I have this thing that happens to me after almost every single book/story/poem I publish. Without fail, it goes something like this:

-With completed manuscript in hand: Wow. I’m proud. I wrote this? It’s not perfect (nothing is) but I love it. I love my characters. I have to share this with someone. Maybe I should publish it someday…

-Pre-publication (months or years later): I’m soooo nervous! I’m excited! I’m thinking about all the tiny details, reading over every word, choosing carefully, hoping release goes smoothly, hoping I sell some copies, hoping people like it.

-Release day: Holy shit! I’ve published something! That’s amazing, and I’m proud, and I’m humbled, and can’t believe it. And yay- people are buying!

-Post-release: People are liking it?!?! Are they telling me the truth? Are they just being nice? All my confidence is gone. I’m embarrassed. I’d change so much about the story. What was I thinking? Am I a total loser? Is my story complete garbage? Why did I do it from point-of-view? Why did I filter so much? Why did I write it to begin with? What gave me the balls to think I should put it (and myself) out there like this?

-Post-release (long-term): Person: “Oh? You wrote a new book, right?” Me: ::Blushes furiously, fumbles with words, finally answers in apologetic tone:: “Um, yeah.”


Really. What is that about? I get publishing-remorse after almost everything. I would say not my anthologies, perhaps because I am more confident in those stories. For the rest, I know in part it’s because having something put out in the world that is my creation, that opens my work up to criticism, is difficult. Particularly in the case of my poetry book– I’m still freaking out over that being live. Because what if I’m blinded by my own love and affection for each project? What if it’s really a mistake to publish? Despite having beta readers, critique partners, professional editing, etc, what if it’s just not good enough? What if I’m not?

It’s been almost two years since my debut novel was published, and since then I’ve published another 3 books, and numerous short stories and poems. Two years is not long. Maybe this feeling will go away eventually. I’m still a baby in the publishing world. I’m not sure if I just need more confidence, or a stronger sense of “what’s done is done” but something needs to change. It’s not that I’m not still proud, of myself, or my work. It’s not that I’ve been bludgeoned with awful reviews–because I am proud, and my reviews have mostly been very generous and kind. It’s just…I second-guess everything. I keep thinking of everything I’d change. I need to stop looking backward, take a deep breath, and take compliments better, instead of getting a sick feeling in my stomach every time someone tells me they’re reading my book!

Because really, so what if some people don’t like my books? My intent is to have readers love my work, so it’s hard to be cavalier about but the simple truth is not everyone will. And I won’t lie, I’ve had a couple of low reviews that stung. In general, maybe because they pointed out critiques that I myself have of my own stories. Like, damn it, they mentioned XYZ, and I had a feeling that was a weak point. It makes me want to smack myself a little, to be honest. But I am not perfect. And I never said my work was either. You guys know that, I’m sure.

Why do I keep forgetting?

With that said, please consider supporting this awkward, emotionally-complicated, yet lovingly quirky author by buying one of my books. Head on over to the Books & More tab if you’re unsure where to start.

Thank you for reading,

Amanda ❤




Bookloot Unboxing August 

Yay! I received my second subscription box from BookLoot the other day. 

Without further ado…

In the box was:

-Lord of the Rings inspired bookmarks 

-Aslan-inspired soap. Kid used this, and liked it. 

-Loose leaf tea. I’m not a tea-drinker, but I will pass it to a family member 

-Seeds to plant my own tree- love this! 

-A short story, Protecting Neverland, by C.A. Perkins. Sounds interesting.

-insert card

-and the book of the month, The Wood, by Chelsea Bobulski, including a letter from the author, which was neat 🙂 I haven’t heard of the book, but I am excited to read! Sounds very cool. 

There was also some gummy bears, which again, my rugrats ate. It was a fun box, and I plan to order again!

Thanks for checking out my post! I’ll be back with another unboxing in October, and the theme is Horror Remixed..oooooo.. 

Book Birthday! 

Hi, everyone. Today is release day for Like Waves: Poetry! Can you believe it? I can’t. It seems like a whirlwind, especially looking back and realizing how much I’ve accomplished this year, what with publishing 3 books, getting individual things published, and everything else. Phew! 

I am happy for these milestones, and hope you’ll share your support of my newest release. About the book:

A collection of poetry by Amanda Linsmeier, Like Waves dives into the author’s complex relationship with her body, told in three sections: Before, During, and After/Still. The first part centers around her struggle with low self-esteem and depression, the second throws the reader deep into the years of recurrent miscarriage, and the third, with the acceptance of her own imperfections. 

These poems evoke emotion and offer a deeper understanding of not only the author’s experience within her own skin, but her connection to the bodies and minds of others. This book is a labor of love, blood, and tears, the story of one writer’s journey from girlhood to motherhood, from resentment to gratitude.

Like Waves is available here. Thank you for the likes, follows across social media, and for supporting my work. ♡ 

Have a beautiful day!