Shameless plug…

AKA – Oh *bleep* it’s Thursday…

I will have a review for Ashlyn Forge’s Chrysalis and Kings series up shortly (tonight) but in the mean time…

If you are curious about what “Shadow and Clay” is all about, I posted the first three chapters of the first book in that series on Wattpad:

It’s fantasy, targeted at the young adult crowd. If you read it, I would LOVE to get feedback (please!!) – doesn’t have to be positive, but constructively telling me what I’m doing wrong would be nice…


The Art of Editing Vol. 3 – Ground down to a tiny nubbin.

I’m not yet to this point (still in the editing stages that involve completely rewriting the entire damn book), but when I DO get to this stage I hope to overcome my blocks as well as does the talented Mr. Cejka!

Puckishwird's Blog

Right. Yeah. I promised a blog about editing. So here it is. Frankly, i don’t really feel like it because i have been at it all day and my eyes are about to fall out of my head. Okay… that’s a lie. I HAVE been at it all day but i have also been goofing off in a huge proportion to the actual work getting done and THEN i hit a snag.

Right now i’m in the final phase. Proofreading. So that’s something you’ll need to figure on and put in your toolbox. It’s a bit of an annoying process. Really, it’s the easiest bit of editing because by now you should have smoothed out all the really rough edges to your work and are just on the verge of publishing the bad boy and getting out of the proverbial house. It’s all grown up and mouthing off and it…

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Review: Me, Cinderella?  by Aubrey Rose

I spent the last week reading the first chapter of nearly every “to-read for blog” book on my Kindle. This was in an effort to weed out the books I really didn’t want to spend time on right now, and to prioritize the remainders. See my blog post on making a good first impression for more about that. When all was said and done, this was the book that screamed “READ ME!!” the most to my brain, and so this is where I started. And I’m glad I did.

As the main character, Brynn, put it:

Like the moment when you first open a book, uncertain of whether or not you’ll enjoy it. You decide to read the first page, and word by word it draws you in until you’ve reached the end of the first chapter without realizing it, then the second. Could the rest of the story live up to the promise? You’d have to wait and see.


A very enjoyable read, with complex, relatable characters. A definite treat! This is in that newish category “New Adult”, aimed at college age readers and with a college-age protagonist. It is a brainy romance, weaving music, mathematics, fairy-tales, and the recovery process from deep psychological wounds into a story both sweet and compelling. Continue reading “Review: Me, Cinderella?  by Aubrey Rose”

First Impressions, Part one: The opening line

I couldn’t get the blood off my hands.  — First line of “Ash – A Thriller” by Jason Brandt.

This is going to be amateur hour again, here at the Shadow and Clay. I’m approaching the topic of how to draw readers in solely as someone who has read a lot of books and has heard from experts on this topic. Experts like Stephen King, Brian KlemsChuck Sambuchino, Miss Literati, Dr. K.P White and Victoria Grefer.

But mostly, I’m approaching this as someone who has spent the last week reading the first chapter of every “to-read” book on my stack, and sorting them into the “blog about” and “discard” piles. So I will be using specific examples about what caught my attention, and what lost it. Most of it will be subjective, but I hope there will be enough that is universal that the writers following this blog can find it useful. Continue reading “First Impressions, Part one: The opening line”

Review: Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle by Phil and Kaja Foglio


Reading this was like coming home – nostalgic with a high-possibility of holiday-related violence. This novel is a brilliant adaptation of volumes 7partway through volume 10 of the Girl Genius Graphic Novels, and really challenges the adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” And if you know the incredible detail in every panel of Girl Genius, you know what high praise it is to say that they transmuted art to prose with commendable efficiency.

“Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle” is the third installment in this series. If you have not read the first two books, DO THAT NOW. And you probably should read at least the first 6 volumes of the Graphic Novels as well (free online for your frugal viewing pleasure!)

Continue reading “Review: Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle by Phil and Kaja Foglio”

To Review or to not Review – Part Deux

Stephen King says “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

So I made my New Year’s resolution a pledge to read 52 books. I currently have finished 2, and have 100 sitting in my “to read for blog” stack, and that’s not counting the books that I want to read to actually enjoy, books by authors I stalk adore… or the dozens that I tack on there every week from book-giveaways or friends who finally have crossed that threshold that I hope to make it across sometime soon.

That’s reading… but why review? Well, when I started the whole “reviewing” thing, it was for two reasons – to support independent/small published authors and their works, and to hold a gun to my back and make me try new authors and keep my pledge. Continue reading “To Review or to not Review – Part Deux”

Review: Misfortune Cookies by Linda Kozar

As you can probably tell, this is NOT Ronnie Virdi’s “Grave Beginnings”. With the craziness of the holidays and the news that the author is considering revising it again, I’ve decided to shelve that one for now. Feel free to get a jump start on me with it – I love the main character and Virdi knocks the action scenes out of the park 😀 Now back to “Misfortune Cookies.”


A disappointing read for a scenario that had so much potential. Continue reading “Review: Misfortune Cookies by Linda Kozar”