Hey guys!

I’ve moved!

Yes, that’s right, you will no longer be seeing my post of wordpress. Instead I’m at a completely new site Don’t worry you will still be able to see all my old post and some new ones as well on the new site! ^_^

So what are you waiting for, go on! *employs slightly aggressive shoving*

I’ll be waiting!


Ready to mingle


Outsider is now live on Amazon!

Okay, as you can probably tell by that statement I’m feeling extra giddy. 🙂

It’s the third book in the Outsider Chronicles a YA dystopia that as a friend says, features a badass girl with a baseball cap.

It already has one reviewer saying, “The third installment in The Outsider Chronicles is probably the best yet.”


Not to mention the fact that it’s part of a giveaway that ends at midnight.

So go on, hurry, you never know, soon you could be saying two glorious words…


Wet Moons and Firetraps


Today marks #4more days until Outsider is out (you can still pre-order it though!). Yesterday marked the one year anniversary for my blog and since I’ve got two things to be happy about I decided to share the love by providing another list!

The first list was for Niko, and and the weird random facts (and books, and jokes, and music videos) that went into creating book one.

So now here’s a list of all the fun facts you may not know about Harm, book two of the Outsider Chronicles.

Try, try, try again

I hate writing sequels. While the first book is all fun and games and blazing on through while you create a whole new world, the second book is about building upon the foundation that you cobbled together (especially if you don’t outline like me) and trying to make sure it all makes sense. That means a lot less fun.

Harm had two false starts before it finally got going.

In the first one (which lasted a torturous thirty pages) Roosevelt was in it but not Songhay, she was also twelve and lived with her mother. Her name was originally Evan.

In the second, equally false, start, Songhay was in it but not Roosevelt. He was supposed to steal from Niko but attempt number two died an even faster death than attempt number one (fifteen pages… ) and that scene never happened (it probably wouldn’t have ended well for him anyway).


Now they’re together!

What’s in a name?

Niko is taken from the Japanese word for smile (yea, I know the irony) not Nicholas or any of it’s various incarnations.

Roosevelt loosely translates to “rose field” in Dutch

Songhay’s name comes from Songhai which was an empire in western Africa spanning from the mid-15th to the late 16 century


If you remember from the last list, I get a lot of inspiration from books, movies, and music. Here’s what went into Harm.

The false names that Ben, Niko and Jared used in their attempt to get into the city (Hanna and Wyatt Reeves, Jamie Brennan) pay homage to The Demon Lexicon Trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan, and Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves.

Roosevelt was very (very, very) loosely inspired by the characters in Wet Moon by Ross Campbell


Meet Trilby, fave Wet Moon character and hair inspiration

Songhay and Roosevelt’s roof hopping antics are inspired by Parkour, specifically the French movie B13 (I would suggest watching this from 1:17)

I decided to burn down the slums after listening to Fire in Freetown by K’naan

Songhay is a fighter because I love watching MMA

The theme song for Harm is Rigamortis by Kendrick Lamar

Locations and Locales

In Harm, there are very few settings but I wanted each one to be as distinctive as possible to showcase the wide gap in resource allotment between the slums and the cities. So while the slums are very gritty and grimy, the Greenery is just the opposite.

The slums are based on the favela’s in Brazil and the townships in South Africa – but you probably already guessed that already. 🙂


The slums surrounding Cherai are broken into four sections, Aker, New Mill, Orange County, and Freetown

All three cities have a nickname. Cherai’s is the Black City.

The Greenery, even though it only makes a brief appearance in Harm is heavily influenced by the design style of Art Nouveau and was inspired by Clamp’s manga trilogy Clover.


Well that’s it! A little something to tide you over in the coming days before Outsider is a officially out.

In the meantime, would you care for a little giveaway?

Last Outsider Cookie + Giveaway


This is the last Outsider cookie before it’s out and completely available to the masses (Not yet! You say. We’ve been on a cookie less diet for more than a month! How can you be so cruel!) Unless you’ve already pre-ordered it then… *thumbs up*

Not to worry I haven’t cut you off completely and won’t leave you guys to survive of the crumbs of this last Songhay-filled cookie (like chocolate chips but better 😉 ). I’m hosting a giveaway!

To enter is pretty simple, from now until the Twenty-third either leave a comment telling everyone your favorite dystopia is and why. Once you’ve entered one lucky winner shall receive books, 1, 2, and 3 of the Outsider Chronicles. 🙂

For now, enjoy some cookies!


The image of a familiar dream was just beginning to flicker into view when she heard the soft tinkle of glass hitting glass and felt a cold shadow press against her body.

Five heartbeats passed between the time it took her to sweep his feet out from underneath him, grapple him to the ground and press a knife to his throat. She opened her eyes.


He swallowed delicately.

“I thought you were asleep,” he finally managed to say.

“I was.” But her time in the Box had turned her into a very light sleeper. “What are you doing here?”


Marketing a Book Is Like Dating



The Bar

Authors dress their books up with covers and blurbs, and mingle with readers through marketing. Readers are searching for good books, checking out those covers and blurbs, looking for a good catch to take home and bundle up with.

The Pick-up Line

Trying to stand out, authors try to design fantastic covers, promote their books with special deals, or catch interest with a clever strapline. Readers want to be impressed; they won’t fall for a common one-liner. If the line does impress them, they will play hard to get.

The Blind Date

A reader who enjoyed a book sets the book up with a friend. The friend is nervous. If the book doesn’t turn out to be good, he will feel obligated to grind through it so he doesn’t let his friend down. He’s also worried that the book may be too good for him, with more vocabulary…

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Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover


On Crushing Cinder’s blog she made a post showcasing her favorite book covers, the ones she would like to frame on her wall and oogle at all day. Even though that post was ages ago I decided to take a note out of her book – er, blog, and do the same.

They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover but it’s a good cover that drags us in and gives us tantalizing clues about what might be inside.



Shatter Me by Tehari Mafi

I really like this book, I once said it’s a series that I would love to have on my bookshelf. Even a friend who didn’t like the book (2 stars, waaaaah!) liked the cover because there’s no denying its gorgeousness.




Pure by Julianna Baggott

The cover for the first book in this dystopian trilogy is deceptively simple, butterfly under a glass dome, nothing to see here, but when you look at the front and back cover side by side  (unfortunately, I couldn’t find an image of the back cover…) it tells a story and reveals the main premise of the book. A post-apocalyptic event has mutated the land and people outside of the Dome while the people who live inside it and managed to escape the radiation are called Pures. Which is why on the front cover, the butterfly under the glass is ‘pure’ while on the back a handmade butterfly flutters outside of it.




The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

I actually didn’t really like this book (in fact I barely remember it) but the cover is something that has really stuck with me over the years with its beautiful underwater photography.




Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

This is one badass cover. In the acknowledgments the author said that Throne of Glass is based off of Cinderella as she was listening to the soundtrack one day and realized the music actually sounded pretty dark. She thought what if Cinderella ran from the ball because she was an assassin? There’s political intrigue, hidden elves, dastardly monarchs, and of course lots of assassinations. 🙂




Twilight by Stephenie Meyers

Bear with me.

I like Twilight (I got into it before it was super popular and am decidedly smug) I know there are lots of people who have issues with the book but we’re not here to talk about that (I wouldn’t listen to you anyway :p). The cover is gorgeous and immediately pulls you in with the slight mystery of the hands holding an apple, hinting at sin. Also, this cover was a game changer in the way covers were done for vampire novels and we ended up seeing a lot less leather (and black, and goth, and widow’s peaks, and capes) as the years progressed.




The Girl by Madhuri Blaylock

“No fair!” You say, “She’s your friend! I smell nepotism!”

All true (well except for the nepotism, I’m nobody’s uncle :p). But……

When I got The Girl, way before I knew Madhuri the person, it took me two days before I actually started the book but those two days were spent absently gazing at the cover, fondling the pixels (it was an ebook) and imagining what was inside, which are all things a good book cover is supposed to do. Also I got an author friend out of it so, score!




Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

I. Freakin. Love. This. Cover.

I like Will, but Jem is my favorite and I was rooting for him throughout the whole book (takes out pom poms) and a book with just him on the cover… I can’t… *passes out*





Liar by Justine Larbalestier

This book came out with a lot of controversy. Liar is about a girl who is an unreliable narrator, and may or may not be a werewolf (there’s a lot of may or may not bes in this book because Micah lies, and lies about lying, and lies about lying about lying). But one thing that is certain is that she’s a black girl (actually she’s biracial but she views the world and the world views her as a black person). The author wanted a non-representative cover for the book because she felt that some people might take a offense to the idea of Liar emblazoned under a picture of a black girl but what she didn’t expect was that the publishing company would whitewash the cover completely (this company actually has quite a track record for whitewashing). Things hit the fan and the cover was eventually corrected. For me, this cover is gorgeous, and also serves as a reminder on how much work still needs to be done as readers, writers and publishers.

(Also she has another book coming out this year, of which I am super excited. Yay, Razorhurst!)



Well, that’s all folks. Tell me some of your favorite covers not to mention whether or not you judge books by their covers or the content of their pages?

Interview Time! Tima Maria Lacoba author of the Dantonville Legacy Trilogy

Woot! at long last I’ve nabbed the busy Ms. Lacoba and have asked the usual round of interview questions. This Aussie writer was very gracious and didn’t even mind the minor bout of kidnapping (Kidding!)

Anyway, without further ado here is all the juicy little tidbits you wanted to know about Bloodgifted.



1. How would you describe Bloodgifted to those who haven’t read it yet?

Bloodgifted is the story of a young woman who stopped aging in her mid-twenties, and only later learns the frightening reason why.

2. How did the idea for Bloodgifted come about?

While I was doing research for my MPhil in Archaeology in Britain, I came across a Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall that had been abandoned in the mid 3rd century and re-inhabited a century later. No explanation was given as to why it was abandoned so suddenly. So, I came up with my own.

3. Is there a sequel?

Bloodgifted is the first book of the Dantonville Legacy series. Book 2, Bloodpledge has only just been released, and Book 3, Blood Vault is due for release April/May 2015.

4. When did you first realize that writing was something you wanted to do?

It was only a recent development, and totally unexpected. My career took up so much of my time, very little was left for either reading or writing. So, I didn’t take it up seriously until I resigned from my teaching job.

5. What’s your usual writer’s schedule like? Are you an Outliner, or do you let the characters lead you where they may?

Oh, I wish I had a schedule! I write whenever I get the time. Although I prefer mornings when my brain is fresh, there are always interruptions—life so often gets in the way. As for being an Outliner or not, I’d say I’m a combination of plotter and pantser. I tend to outline the story from beginning to end so I know which direction I’m going, but some individual scenes I happily leave up to my characters. After all, it’s their story.

6. Name some of your writerly crushes.

Where do I begin? There are so many. But my ultimate author crushes have to be on Maggie Shayne, Gena Showalter, MaryJanice Davidson and Lindsay J Pryor. They’re all brilliant.

7. Movie Time! Who would you cast for Bloodgifted: The Movie?

Since Bloodgifted is an Australian story, I would have to choose an all-Aussie cast. Here they are:

  1. Laura – Theresa Palmer


2. Alec—Justin Melvey

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3. Luc—Chris Hemsworth


4. Judy—Rebecca Gibney


5. Matt—Sam Worthington

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