Writing Update: Cover Reveal!

Dahlia

(From this site)

The rough draft of Dahlia is done and this is going to be the cover! I may tweak the font and I’m considering either a subtitle or series name but I wanted to show this off! And show that I’m not slacking on my writing or just talking about it without any results. 

I’m thinking this series will be three parts but depending on the flow, that my change. My original outline was four parts but I already changed that. That’s usually why I don’t outline… But I can’t deny my output has increased overall with a plan in place; even if I don’t follow it.

I don’t have a release date since I’m still editing to make sure it flows right and has no typos. I’ll post that as soon as I know.

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Writing Update: Yeah, remember? I write books.

It’s been a while since I’ve done an update but I have been working. I haven’t published since Djinn 2 and Fruit of the Dead 2, but I have been hard at work re-writing and expanding a short story I wrote in college called “Dahlia.” Instead of a couple-page drabble, I’m going to turn it into either a full novel or a multi-part series. I have to see how the writing goes.

As you can see from the picture, I’m 7k deep and the story is progressing nicely. I hesitate to give a timeline because that totally depends on if I hit a roadblock or have a particularly productive streak of days. I do already have a cover for it but I’ll hold off on posting it until the story is close to being published. I’ll probably have to tweak the design a bit once more of the story is done.

Hopefully I’ll have a release date soon!

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Lenni Reviews: “Defiant Revival” by L. Rockwood

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+.

Prince Michah is dead but the kingdom doesn’t know it. But Billiam, who has been in love with the prince for years, devises a plan to resurrect him and retake the kingdom from a power-mad despot.

Hooooo boy is this book filled with some exposition dumps! We get the tale from Leeke, a warrior who is somehow able to recount events she wasn’t there for in exacting detail. And as the narrative goes on we get so many characters and they tread the line between flawed and unlikable in a way that I don’t want to deal with them anymore and this book has the absolute gall to end on a cliffhanger! Even though this is a dark fantasy, one of my favorite genres, and the fight scenes are well written and interesting, it just was not enjoyable. It felt like work. And that stinks because the premise is amazing and when it’s on topic, the writing is good! 2.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Black God’s Drums” by P. Djèlí Clark

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review

Living with a goddess inside her, Creeper happens upon some valuable information about a scientist and his powerful but dangerous invention. A streetwise kid like her decides to sell this information to become a crewmember for Captain Ann-Marie of the “Midnight Robber.” But the weapon in question could kill thousands and reignite the Civil War.

Other than the casual use of racial epithets typical of the South around the time of the Civil War, this was a cool take on a steampunk-like world set in an alternate universe. It’s a shame it’s just a novella but enough entertainment is packed into its short length, great characters, and fun action. Not enough books are written about the African Orishas and this is a highly creative and enjoyable take on that mythos. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Watersnakes” by Tony Sandoval

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is suggested for mature readers

*This review is cross-posted to Otakus and Geeks.

While Mila is out playing, she meets a strange but beautiful girl named Agnes who believes ghosts live in her teeth. As they spend more time together, Mila realizes Agnes is far from a normal girl as otherworldly forces spill into Mila’s life.

This is what I was expecting from Likely Stories; a trippy, thrilling, scary, bloody, fantastic fantasy story that’s beautiful to look at. The art takes some getting used to but if you can appreciate the likes of Roman Dirge or Dave McKean, this will be a treat to read through. If you like dark fantasy where fairy tale nightmares bleed into real life, this is a cool book to read and I’d like to see more from this creator. 4.7 out of 5.

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Cover Reveal! An upcoming series.

You could have learned this earlier over on my Patreon! (shameless plug ends here)

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I am working on a new series that I plan to release in episodes (then in collections when there’s enough of them) that’s a dark fantasy series. And above is the new cover! I don’t want to say much about it since I want the three fans I have to be surprised but it will be about dead people.

Because I’m sure you can’t guess that from the title.

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Lenni Reviews: “The 53rd Card: A Dark Tale about Finding Light” by Virginia Weiss

 

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Emma Addison, a timid agoraphobic, accidentally summons the Devil, awakening powers in her she never knew she had.

This is an odd book. With such a simple, straightforward premise, you would think the plot would move in a certain direction but nope. The story meanders all over the place. Emma loses her boyfriend, her job, gets magic powers, loses, them, meets new people, the Devil pops in from time to time, and all the while I’m wondering; “Where is this going?” I compare the feeling of reading this book as a walk in a beautiful forest on a trail you have no map of but everything is lovely to look at. The writing is good, Emma is a bit of a saint but I enjoyed following her on her journey; even if it did lack focus. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Drakon Book I: The Sieve” by C.A. Caskabel

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

*This review is cross-posted to Otakus and Geeks.

Da-Ren appears on the doorstep of Castel Monastery demanding the monks redeem the lives of his wife and daughter. Despite being a barbarian, a pagan, and infidel in their eyes, the monks let him on the island where they are tasked with transcribing the warrior’s story.

This book is the story of Da-Ren’s first trials of training in a gauntlet his tribe calls The Sieve; a series of grueling life or death tests that had me legit wondering if this tribe just runs out of kids at some point. But my stupid jokes aside, this is the type of dark fantasy that’s depressing but written in such a visceral and lyrical manner that it’s almost hypnotic. It’s written in the style of most sweeping epics, so it’s not dumbed down or flinch from the gore. You can’t help but get invested in Da-Ren and his world and though the book only covers the first part of his training and you know more is to home, the cliffhanger doesn’t feel jarring enough to not seek out the next installment; which I will definitely be doing. If you like dark fantasy, this is a fantastic installment.A welcome 4.7 out of 5.

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Found in the mailbox: “American Gods”

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So, I come home the other day and have a random box. Not that I would ever turn down a free book (as the full Kindle, full Nook, AND pile of books by my bed) but being a good fangirl of Neil Gaiman, I have read this book already. It’s obvious I got this as promotional material for the upcoming American Gods TV show.

I am contemplating a book vs movie set of posts for this since I have already read the book and the show is forthcoming. Of course, every one will be doing that but, I think it would be fun!

Because, I am obviously lacking things to read…

Personally, I am SUPER psyched for this show. I am wondering how gory or violent or sexual it will be (check out my post on that for further thoughts) since it was awesome to watch Stardust and Coraline with my kid. But if it is, I have no problem watching it alone. It appears pretty epic so I say bring it on!

Lenni Reviews: “Deadlight Jack” by Mark Onspaugh

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

*This review is cross-posted to Otakus and Geeks.

Jimmy Kalmaku and George Watters may seem like any other old retirees, but they are both supernatural heroes who saved the world. When George’s grandson vanishes while on vacation in the Louisiana bayou, both men must use their abilities to the utmost in order to defeat the terrifying Deadlight Jack.

This book is like Murder She Wrote or Columbo except with demons and old men using magic. George and Jimmy’s rapport is a pleasure to read. You can tell they’re old friends and are just the best. About 10% George says the line: “The only pickups I’m gonna be making are of pretty girls who like jazz and want to go dancing with the area’s black Astaire.”

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“Too cute!!”

I found myself chuckling and smiling whenever they talked. I did find it amusing how people kept mistaking them for a gay couple (especially considering how much gay smut romance I read…) and that joke is thankfully not overused. It would have been really easy to use that gag to DEATH but Onspaugh kept it at the level such things should be in real life; not that big a deal.

Deadlight Jack is legitimately horrifying; so when the actual plot gets going it’s tense and exciting. The humor is still there but you feel that impending danger. The ending may have been a little deus ex machina but you’re having so much fun, it’s acceptable. I can tell so much love was put in this book. This is George and Jimmy’s second adventure (I plan to read the first just for fun) and the epilogue makes noise about a possible third. I sure hope that’s true because I am totally on board. 4.7 out of 5.

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