Review: Eight Minutes, Thirty-Two Seconds

This was the first book I had read from my fellow Horror Writers Association member, Peter Salomon. He reached out to me back in January of this year asking for a blurb for his new book. I had never been asked to do anything like that before, but he enjoyed The She-Wolf of Kanta so much that he wanted to hear what I thought of this.

I didn’t know what I was getting into.

Finished: January 31, 2019

What starts out as a very stream-of consciousness style slowly pieces together as the story progresses. You get snippets of details as each person explores memories. You get insight, piece by piece, into what happened that led to this bizarre state of existence. You start to understand the mistakes, the terrible decisions, the consequences of being so very intelligent and untouchable.

After reading this book, I’ve started to keep an eye out for any of Peter’s other work because I binged this in two days. Yes, it’s a novella so it’s shorter than a novel, but the sun had gone down and I was sitting in the dark reading on my phone because I just couldn’t put it down and hadn’t noticed it was nighttime. I don’t usually do that, I can disconnect and pull away, but this book sucked me in entirely. Maybe it’s because it taps into psychology and cognitive science, two fields that I adore and almost went into in college. Maybe it’s because it explores teen abuse and neglect from highly intelligent individuals, something I haven’t seen much in YA fiction. Either way, I devoured this book.

This book is an intense, terrifying foray into a dark future where two survivors must piece together the end of the world through the jumbled memories of six abused teens. A wonderful read that I couldn’t put down by a writer who understands the biological, technological, and research worlds, this is one science fiction thrill ride you won’t want to miss! If you enjoy exploring cognitive science, AI technology, biological weapons, and a mystery of global proportions, this is definitely the book for you!

What I consider a 5-star book:

  • Is it a fun read? Didn’t even notice it was nighttime, remember? It’s a ridiculously fun read once you get on board!
  • Would you recommend it to others? Absolutely! Especially if they enjoy science fiction thrillers.
  • Does it stick with you? Peter’s writing gets under your skin in a good way. I’m reading another book from him now, and I just end up falling right into his voice again. So yes, it sticks with you. Like glue.

My overall rating: 5/5

PS. I’m reading another book by Peter now, Henry Franks, and I’m enjoying it just as much so far. It’s more of a straightforward horror rather than a science fiction piece though. Expect a review for that to come soon! He’s quickly become one of my favorite authors.

New Book Announcement!

I know, I know, I’ve been dancing around this announcement quite a bit on my Instagram stories. I can’t help it though, it’s not everyday you get to announce that a new book is going to be published!

If you’ve been following along, you probably already know that I submitted Book 2 of the Stolen series (Broken) last month. I was so thrilled to get it in with time to spare on a deadline I had already needed to push back. This book though has nothing to do with the Stolen series, or even with the She-Wolf series I’ve talked about some.

The Seeking is a brand new YA Horror novel, and it’s coming soon from Parliament House Press!

This novel mixes quite a few things that I love: autumn, a dystopian society, monsters, love, and family. I am so excited that you’ll be able to experience it soon and that you’ll get to discover the secrets of the Gray People.

If you’re curious to see more about this weird novel, check out my Pinterest board for it!

As soon as I have more details, I’ll be sharing them! And if you want to find out about news like this first, be sure to sign up for my mailing list or join the Facebook group!

A temporary cover I made.

The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the town of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the Exalted Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

The Bride of Glass by Candace Robinson

Finished: Friday, December 14, 2018

Candace is one of my fellow authors over at Parliament Houes Press. Knowing how much I loved book 1, she was kind enough to offer me a review copy of book 2 as well in exchange for an honest review.

My review:

So if you saw my review for Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, then you’ll understand how quickly I sped through the first book in this series. (And if you’ve been taking notes on how often I review books, you’ll know that’s a rarity!) I don’t want to spoil anything, but book 1 had an amazing, unexpected ending, and book 2 picks up right where things left off.

I honestly wasn’t sure where Robinson could take it after book 1 based on where it ended. The whole situation was completely unexpected so when book 2 came along, I realized that I was along for one heck of a ride on this roller coaster and threw my expectations out the window. It did not disappoint!

One of the things that I loved with the first book was the wonderful mix of dark horror and old-school monsters. The array of creatures was just fantastic. Book 2 digs even more into these crazy monsters and I legit had to message Candace directly at one point because of one of the monsters that showed up. (Bonus points if you can figure out which one that was!) If you have so many wicked monsters, you have to choose how to handle the gore, and she did not skimp there! This isn’t a bland monster story, Robinson digs in with some visceral descriptions where you won’t be able to pull away.

I also love Perrie’s storyline. She’s the protagonist from book 1, and she carries the main storyline in book 2 as well. However she’s a very different person than she used to be. The events that occur change her in realistic ways and it was wonderful to see that portrayed. Maisie is still one of my favorite characters too, but I also grew an unexpected soft spot for Vale. I can’t say too much without dropping some major spoilers, but let me just say that by the end of it, I felt for all of them. It was quite an amazing read and a perfect end to this series.

What I consider a 5-star book:

  1. Is it a fun read? Definitely! I was grinning during some of the scenes because I just loved Robinson’s unique take on the characters or the unique monster that appeared.
  2. Would you recommend it to others? Yes, but especially to anyone who loves old-school monster movies. Or even fans of current monster films. You’ll get a kick out of this more than the average reader because you’ll get the references.
  3. Does it stick with you? Yes! Vale’s character in particular and his interaction with Perrie is going to be a pairing I’m going to reflect on for a long time. I felt like one of the biggest strengths in this book is the characterization of these two and you feel like you’re right there with them through it all.

My overall rating? 5/5

Learning to Be Kind to Yourself

Y’all don’t want to know how far behind I am on NaNoWriMo at this point. Let’s just say it’s been a heck of a busy month with a lot of good things going on, but not nearly as much time for writing as I wanted. At this point I’m a little under 20k behind, but that’s not going to stop me. I’m still trucking away, because even if I miss NaNo’s deadline, I still have other deadlines to meet.

Sometimes when you’re so far behind, it’s difficult to find the motivation to keep going. Sometimes it’s difficult to make the time for writing, and you really have to get used to forgiving yourself. It’s hard to do, but so necessary. You have to learn to be kind to yourself for missing deadlines, or not carving out writing time, or binging a favorite TV show. You have to allow your mind to wander. Cause when you sit back down to write you need to be able to dive in and make use of the sometimes limited time that you have. Give yourself the time you need to figure out where you’re going but don’t forget to return to it and give it the attention it deserves. Be kind to yourself but stay on track as much as possible. That’s the tough middle ground you have to find between slacking and overworking.

This week I mailed off a manuscript, I’m prepping for Stolen‘s release (in a little over 2 months!), I’m working on Broken, and I’m querying The Seeking. I realized that I’m juggling 4 pieces right now in various stages of readiness, and that’s just how the writing world works. Opportunities and connections don’t come every day, so you have to learn to jump when that comes along. This just always seems to happen in November around NaNoWriMo time – which I’m not complaining about! I’m just, whew, tired.

Here’s my incredible progress I made today on Broken and even though it’s not as far along as I need it to be, I’m still proud of myself for getting to this point.

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
11/14 – 653
11/18 – 2,301

Current Word Count: 35,855

Progress:
Finished up one scene and dived right into the next one. Some weird things are going on but I can’t go into too much detail without giving things away. Let’s just say they’re shadows with red eyes.

Next Up:
A bit of an angry tantrum followed by some very dangerous decisions. Desperation makes people act in strange ways.

Commentary:
I’m realizing how much reorganizing I’m going to have to make for this story to get the timeline down, and I may end up writing a full timeline to keep everything straight and to keep things going properly. The woes of being a pantser and trying to keep two POVs running smoothly. On a side note, this is quickly creeping up to the halfway mark!! And the first big climax of the story is really getting close. Considering this is book 2 of a 3 part series, it’s right where I need it to be.

Hope everyone else is doing well in NaNoWriMo this month! And if not, remember, it’s perfectly fine. Be kind to yourselves!