Homo Sapiens: The Only Bipedal Primates on the Planet – Right?

Each time I write a book, I do my research. And more often than not, that research leads to more questions and more research for a different book. Such was the case for The Belial Children. I won’t give anything for those who have yet to read the book, but as I was conducting those particular lines of research, I kept coming across tales of giant primates in North America.

So I started researched bigfoot, sasquatch, yeti, and a dozen other names for a giant hairy primate. The more I learned the more fascinated I became and I knew there was a book in there. Originally, I had hoped to incorporate the topic into the Belial Series. But let’s be honest, Laney meeting bigfoot stretches the realm of credibility a little too far. As a result, Dr. Tess Brannick was born. An anthropologist with a background in anatomy and physiology, she is intent on proving the existence of the creature that has been the stuff of legends for centuries.

Even though Hominid is outside the Belial series, it is written in the same manner – lots of facts weaved between the narrative. In fact, Hominid has the largest fact and fiction section of all the books I’ve written.

So while you’re waiting for the next Belial series book (coming in November) I hope you’ll take a chance on Hominid. It is now available on Amazon.com!

P.S. And I failed to do an announcement for two other books: The Belial Origins and Runs Deep. Runs Deep is another departure from the Belial Series and honestly, was so much fun to write. Because what’s more fun than a serial killer in a small town? 🙂

Authors I Love, Books I Love

Waiting is the Most Difficult Part: My Love/Hate Relationship with Book Series

I recently found two great series that I fell in love with. The first is by Susan Ee (yes, that’s how it’s spelled). The series is called Penryn & the End of Days. (Yes, that’s how it’s spelled as well.)

The Penryn books employs a post apocalyptic setting where the angels really have wings and pretty much none of them are nice. The lead character, Penryn, saves one angel in order to save her sister. Add in a mother who has phenomenal survival skills due in part to her paranoid mental disorder, and some serious martials arts skills, and you have all the ingredients for an excellent read. (Honestly, the fight scenes are great. Susan really knows her stuff!) In fact, I lost two days zipping through these books.

The Relentless Series by Karen Lynch is equally entertaining. Karen introduces a supernatural universe which includes werewolves, vampires, and other unworldly creatures.

But unlike other series with similar characters, the main character Sara and her cohorts are seriously likeable. Sarah lives with her uncle who she tries desperately to protect from knowing anything from this other world. And her friendship with a supernatural who is avoided by even other supernatural, just makes you like her more.

In fact what both of these series have in common are main characters who you like and, dare I say, respect. They put their concern for others above themselves. Seriously, if you’re looking for good reads, pick up both series. They’re wonderful.

Now as I mentioned above, I have a love/hate relationship with book series. So far, all I’ve told you is the love.

Here’s the hate: each series only has two books out so far. $%#*&^!

When I find a series I love, it’s really hard to wait to find out what happens characters that I have come to care about. (And yes, I appreciate the irony in that many of you have contacted me to say how much you care about the characters in the Belial series. So believe me when I say – I feel your pain.)

So what is one to do? Avoid book series? Nah – I like getting to know characters and I really enjoy starting a book where I don’t have to wonder if I’ll like the characters. I already know before I’ve cracked the first page.

Actually, now that I think about it, one of the great parts of book series is that I get to re-visit the books before the next book in the series comes out. After all, I like to know exactly where we left off, so I usually re-read the books right before the latest edition is published. Which means to get to experience the joy all over again.

So I’ve changed my mind. There is no love hate relationship with books series. There is only love-love.

And so if you are looking for a new series to love/love, check out Susan Ee’s Penryn & the End of Days series and Karen Lynch’s Relentless series. You will be up way too late happily flipping to the next page! 🙂



Authors I Love, Books I Love

Rooting for the Underdog: The Girl in the Box Series  

So I’ve started a new series that I’m enjoying. It’s the Girl in the Box by Robert J. Crane.

It was recommended to me and I wasn’t sure what to expect. The title made me think of Schrodinger’s cat. You know, the theory about the cat in the box: Until the box is opened the cat is simultaneously dead and alive. (Obviously, I am not a physicist and that is my layman’s interpretation. Here’s a better one if you’re interested.)

Anyway, without the recommendation, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. And honestly, that would have been my loss. I devoured the first book in a day.

So here’s the synopsis: Sienna Nelson has spent fifteen of her seventeen years of her life hidden away in the apartment she shares with her mother. But then her mother disappears. And then men with guns show up. Unable to stay and not really sure what awaits her outside her door, Sienna nonetheless herself thrust into the outside world. And there’s more than just those two men chasing her.

But this is not just a chase novel. Not by any stretch. Robert J. Crane has added a supernatural element that is right up my aisle and created this whole underworld that exists right along ours.

Of course, being the main character is seventeen, this is a YA novel, so it’s full of teenage angst and teenage fearlessness. Often called stupidity by us adults.   The whole time though you are rooting for Sienna. She has so much stacked against her – you just want the girl to catch a break.

Of course, that means she needs to make her own breaks. The first three books of the series are free on Amazon, so if you have a chance, go download them. And happy reading! 🙂


Authors I Love, Books I Love

Humanity in Ruins

I drove with the family down to visit other family this past weekend.  Six hours each way – I either really love my family or am completely susceptible to Mom guilt.  The jury is still out as to which it is. 🙂

Luckily, I had the third installment of Dan Wells Partial series to keep me company.  For those who are unfamiliar with the trilogy, Partials are biological robot/soldiers created to aid humanity.  But humanity, after using them to fight their wars, treats them like second-class citizens even though they have feelings, minds of their own, etc.  So of course, they rebel against humanity.

When the trilogy begins, humanity is down to thirty-five thousand, while the Partials number at 500,000.    But both numbers are dwindling down due to an expiration date for the partials and disease for the humans.

Ruins is the struggle of individuals on each side to fight their own nature and the distrust of those around them to do the right thing.  And to have faith in the people/robots they shouldn’t.

This is my kind of book.  Impossible odds.  Little to no chance of survival, but doing to right thing anyway.  I know, it sounds corny.  But I like the books that show us the best sides of human nature, er human and partial nature.

So if you are looking for a good quick read, pick it up!


Books I Love, Reading Fun

A Suggestion For When You Can’t Spend A Lot Of Time With A Book

Sorry for the long absence. I haven’t blogged about anything in a while because I haven’t read much lately. Well, I’ve read a few things, but not really anything I’d recommend. I live by the motto, if you don’t have anything good to say, yadda, yadda, yadda.

And life did get a little hectic, making reading difficult. Actually, that’s not entirely true. Life did get hectic but I have been reading. Just not novels. . . something else . . .um, well . . . okay, okay. I’ve been reading comic books.

I know, I know. No intelligent adult is supposed to admit that publicly. But it’s true and it has completely filled the reading void. I have been busy. The kind of busy that means large portions of time will go between reading sessions. Enough time that it’s hard to get into a book.

And, to be perfectly frank, I haven’t had the time to get lost in a book. But a comic book is different. A short little story that I can read in one sitting and walk away feeling satisfied.

Oh, what comic book? Um, well, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I know, I know, but I used to love that show. I was so upset when it went off the air. And the comics take up right where the show left off. It’s fun, fantastical, and irreverent.

And the Buffy comic is overseen by Joss Whedon. Who doesn’t love Joss Whedon? So yes, I am an adult woman, with kids, who likes comics. So if you’re looking for a short little something, try comics.

Now if you’ll excuse me, Calvin and Hobbes are waiting for me. ☺

Books I Love

Going, going, gone! Michael Grant’s last installment in the Gone Series

Previously, I have chatted about Young Adult novels: They are not just for kids. Originally, I started roaming the shelves looking for books for my nephew. Of course, I had to read them before I handed them over. I was shocked to find a number of series that had me absolutely hooked. Nowhere is that more apparent than with Michael Grant’s Gone series.

The sixth and final book in the series, Light, was released at the beginning of April. And like all the other books, I couldn’t put it down. Literally. I ignored the other things I had to do that day, unable to focus on anything but the story. I forced myself to get some work done, placing myself in a location far from the book. I lasted two hours. Then I sprinted back home and curled up on the couch. Again. It’s that kind of series.

For those unfamiliar with the series, let me give you a little back story. One morning, all of the people older than the age of fifteen, in a Californian town called Perdido Beach, disappear. Poof. All that are left are the kids, newborns through age fourteen. And an impermeable wall now surrounds the town. The kids have no idea what happened. Are they the only one left? Is there anyone on the other side of the wall? Are all the adults even alive?

Unsurprisingly, some of the kids try to take over and others are forced into hero roles. And then we add in the superpowers. I know, I know. It sounds weird. And you’re thinking, okay Lord of the Flies meets X-Men. Actually, you’re not too far off, except for losing the whole Xavier-morality part. Think Magneto alone. (Yes, yes, I know. My nerd is showing.) But, damn, the books are addictive!

Across the series, the kids face different trials. Namely: Hunger, Lies, Plague, and Fear, which coincidently are the names of books two through four. In the final installment, all the battles come full circle and the kids face the truth of the kind of people they are. And the kind of people they want to be. At the end, they know they are not children. They haven’t been since the adults disappeared.

So if you’re looking to get lost, try the Gone series. You won’t be disappointed. I sure wasn’t. 🙂