Book Review: The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

The Goblins of Bellwater

I picked this up for the gorgeous cover, and was interested in the premiss. Kit, goblin liason, is stuck stealing for the tricky creatures. When he misses a payment, they tend to get into mischief, stealing people to turn them into goblins…or killing them. As long as you stay off their magical paths and don’t eat their tainted fruits, you’ll be safe. Too bad a young woman named Skye wanders into the forest and gets put under a spell. Part of the enchantment renders her unable to smile, or even speak of the goblins. Her sister Livy thinks she’s suddenly depressed, and turns to Kit for comfort. When Kit’s own cousin Grady gets involved with not just Skye, but those tricky goblins, trouble is ahead, and time is running out before the goblins add another member (or two) to their tribe.

I really enjoyed this! After reading reviews, I can see how some people didn’t get into this, but I loved the weirdness of it. I was slightly confused about the mentions of sex in reviews, because there’s really not much so I think most was removed, and I kind of wish I’d read the earlier version. Shrugs.

If you’re not into creatures, this might be hard to suspend your disbelief, but I liked it. The characters were well-written, the tension believable, and the ending was amazing– the tasks! I loved the nature throughout, and the love Livy shows her sister. I enjoyed that for an adult (or new adult?) fantasy there was no gore, and hardly anything violent. I liked the softness of it, because that seems rare. The very end was a bit too tidy, but that’s ok. Overall 4.5 stars.

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Revise & Resubmit

Or otherwise known as an R&R. 

What is this? And why am I blogging about it?

First, if you’ve been following you know I’ve been working on my Weightless revision for awhile. I finished about two weeks ago, and began sending out my first batch of queries to literary agents (of this YA version. If you recall, I queried way back in 2016 but that was an entirely different Middle-grade manuscript, basically, and I’ve carefully revised since). I got a quick request for the FULL manuscript from an agent and was super excited. Then. 

The rejection email came, but it wasn’t the typical “not for me” rejection. It had gems such as “lovely writing” and “you have something here” BUT then there were detailed remarks on why agent didn’t fall in love, including serious characterization issues. Gulp. 

I took some time to let it all soak in, because as much as some of the comments caught me off guard, once I thought about it, I realized there ARE issues, and the biggest ones were things I’d never even realized, such as my main character being too “good” in parts, basically devoid of any personality. Yikes. So. Now what? 

The agent invited me to resubmit my manuscript after revising, and I know how great an opportunity that is. It doesn’t mean she’ll accept it even after, but it does mean she sees potential. 

I’ve started making changes, and the easy things were, well, easy to change. But there’s a huge aspect of the story I need to change and I’m struggling. Deep breaths, right? 

Anyway, I’m going to take a few days off from revisions (round 500??) and just read for pleasure. I need to clear my head (So. Much. Confusion) and get inspired to tackle this head-on. Hopefully this time-out will give me fresh eyes to get focused on what needs to be done, and HOW I can do it. 

So wish me luck! XO


Book Review: Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović

Wicked Like a Wildfire (Hibiscus Daughter, #1)Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I got Wicked Like A Wildfire this summer, and sadly, it sat on my bookshelf unread, for months. The premise sounded intriguing though, and I finally picked it up a couple weeks ago.

Twin sisters, Iris and Milena, both have what their mother calls a “gleam”—a unique magical gift. Iris can see flowers in fractals, and translates what she sees into blown glass. Milena uses her voice to interpret emotion. Their mother, the sharp-tongued Jasmina, can evoke settings with her baked goods. The three live a sheltered life running their café in Montenegro, and Iris and her mother are constantly at odds with each other, even going so far as to slut-shame the other. Iris rebels by drinking, being promiscuous, and always dreaming (and talking) about Japan since she and Milena have a long-lost Japanese father. Then everything changes when their mother softens one night, showing them tenderness once again. Too bad the next day she is brutally attacked, and left hovering somewhere between not alive and not quite dead.

The girls are determined to find out what happened to their mother, and who the strange visitor who came to town was just the day of the attack. The storyline twisted deeper and deeper, bringing new light to who their mother was, and why she became so cold toward the two, and the more I read the more interested I was.

Lovers of sparse, clean prose might not care for the poetic descriptions. At times it even became noticeably to me—and I love a beautifully-crafted sentence, but overall I loved it. Passages like:

Other days, she made floating islands, fluffy lumps of spongy, unset meringue bobbing in creamy zabaglione and laced with orange syrup, violet preserves and a powder she ground from bee pollen, so every bite tasted exactly like late spring sunshine. She churned her own gelato too, but her chocolate stracciatella was always streaked like a sunset with other things, marmalade and rose hip jelly and crystallized chips of honey, and somehow it put you in mind of the sky—the held breath of twilight, the sanctity of dusk, and the final slippage of night. And you knew that when she looked at the sky, this was the taste that bloomed in her mouth.

(OMG gorgeous, no?) really set the tone of the story, and I felt so much of my imagination was using the senses the author brought to life. At times, the description slowed down the story, and I wish there’d been more with iris’s glass blowing—we only get 1 actual scene of the process and I’d have loved to have gotten more immersed in her talent. But in general I loved the story, the question of who had attacked their mother (and why), would she survive, and the hint of romantic tension throughout. The last 20% had me with my knuckles white, for things really got exciting, and I was left both unsure what to think, and freaking out for the next book. I cannot wait for the second book to find out more. 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for a lush and generous book about sisterhood, complex mother-daughter dynamics, beauty, love, sensuality and for including diverse characters and relationships.

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Quick hi.

Well, hi, everyone. It’s been so long since I’ve posted- sorry! I hope you had a terrific holiday season and a happy new year. My 2018 has started off with a burst of creative energy, so that’s great. I started working on a brand-new story, and I’m still querying WITCH LESSON and revising WEIGHTLESS.

I will have a new book review up soon for Wicked Like A Wildfire (loved it!) AND a 2018 reading year in review, so stay tuned for that. I’ve just been so busy writing and reading, and working (and momming) that I am behind.

I wish I had some amazing news to share, like an agent offer, but I’m hoping it’ll be soon. Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me that 2018 is my year!




Fireflies & Fairy Dust Cover Reveal

Just a quick post to share the cover for the anthology I’m involved in. 😄 I don’t know a release date yet but hopefully soon.


Book Review: The Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer 

The Gravity Between UsThe Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer

Where does friendship stop and love begin?

At just 19, Kendall Bettencourt is Hollywood’s hottest young starlet with the world at her feet – but behind the glamour and designer dresses is a girl who longs for normal.

Payton Taylor is Kendall’s best friend since childhood, and the one person who reminds her of who she really is – her refuge from the craziness of celebrity life. 

With her career taking off, Kendall moves Payton to LA to help keep her sane. But Payton is hiding a secret that could make everything ten times worse. Because to her, Kendall is more than a best friend – she is the only girl that she has ever loved. 

Just as they need each other more than ever, they’ll have to answer the question of where friendship stops and love begins? And find out whether the feelings they have can survive the mounting pressure of fame…
3 of 5 stars

This was a really easy read, and it had lots of potential. I wanted to love it more than I did.

The good parts were Kendall & Payton’s relationship as friends. I felt they cared about each other. The underlying sexual and romantic tension also felt real most of the time. I also thought the conflict of what society/Hollywood would think made it stronger than just “will she/won’t she” because there was something bigger coming between them.

That said, I had to downgrade because of the bi-negativity other reviewers mentioned, the multiple times “retard” was used ::cringes:: and that the two points-of-view just sounded way too much like one person. It was a good read if you are looking for something light.

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Book Review: Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

Song of the Current (Song of the Current #1)Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Song of the Current is a book I bought this summer in a local bookstore, and I loved the description. River gods, girl captain, intrigue? Yes, please! Despite my best intentions I just could not get into intially. I started it, read a few pages here or there, and then set it aside until last week. Then I decided I may as well read it. I’m glad I did. Though there’s a lot of sailing lingo which may put some people off, the story does pick up and get really fun. I liked Caroline (Caro) the main character well enough, and I loved that she was sassy and independent, plus she doesn’t take crap from anyone. But there were times I wasn’t that sympathetic to her and I wanted a bit more softness. I don’t want to reveal spoilers, but I’ll say I liked her interactions with a certain somebody. I think the story really got started more when she got off her wherry and onto land, only to steal another boat instead. I liked the general feel of the book, and I will probably read it again.

 I wasn’t sure what to rate this. In all honesty I’d probably say 3.5 stars because I think my emotional response was a little meh in parts and I wasn’t as connected as I should be, but I’m going to round it to 4. It’s a good story, with some fun characters, and a twist at the end I wasn’t expecting. I just wanted a tiny bit more.

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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. 



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..