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?


The 7-7-7 Challenge

Oh my god, I haven’t posted in so long it’s obscene.


But to get me back into the blog posting game I’ve been tagged by Madhuri Blaylock to join the 7-7-7 challenge. Which immediately made me think of the Demon Lord, but that’s how my weird mind works.


Sorry, I had to make a NANA reference. I had to!

Any *ahem* back to the point…

The 7-7-7 challenge has nothing to do with the Demon Lord at all (or Demon-Sama for you purists), instead it’s a way to give readers a teeny tiny taste of your work in progress and whet their appetite. 🙂

It’s also a great way for me to get back into the writing groove because I had to put my precious baby on hold for a month and I really want to get back to Songhay and Niko (they’re proving to be more fun than I expected, heh heh).

What you do is go to the 7th page of your WIP, start on the 7th line of that page and post 7 lines.

So without further ado, here is my 7-7-7 sneak peek of Monster, book 4 of The Outsider Chronicles


There were two types of Slithers, pale, inhuman, monsters with disturbingly colored eyes, a mouthful of long sharp teeth and a taste for human flesh.

They were pretty straightforward in their quest for their favorite meal. They were incredibly stupid but they were also too fast and too strong for anyone to stop unless they were a Slither hunter.

The smart ones were crafty, a regular Slither wouldn’t have thought to hide beneath the house.

Niko thought they had killed the smart one.

She was wrong.

I’m tagging, Betty Cross, and Tima Maria Lacoba!


Meet My Main Character Blog Tour (at last!)

Meet My Main Character Blog Tour

I was tagged by my friend Madhuri Blaylock (queen of badassery and author of The Sanctum trilogy) to join the Meet My Main Character blog tour which I think is a great way to introduce your characters as well as find out about other authors characters and books (and you know, ramble on and on about my precious baby).

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’m super late and the last person to put hers up since it’s been more than a week already.



1.What is the name of your main character? Is he or she fictional or historic person?


My character’s name is Niko ( actually, her name is Harmony Niko but she goes by Niko for about 99.7% of the book). Much like the goddess Athena (minus the insane jealousy) she sprung fully formed out of my head and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. 😀

2.When and where is the story set?

 New New Nikoresize

Since it’s a dystopian novel, Niko is set in the future (a quick glance at my notes says 2093 to be exact). In a world that has been ravaged by acid rain (it’s not like that stuff you heard about in the ’90’s) and strange creatures called Slithers that may or may not have once been human. There are a few people who live protected inside walled cities but most are left to fend for themselves Outside.

Niko lives Outside with her two younger brothers and since her main focus is survival, in the beginning she’s very deliberate and independent as one wrong choice could mean the difference between life and a very painful death.

3.What should we know about her?

Niko is a Slither hunter, which is basically a person who has the speed, strength and agility to take down a Slither while regular people usually succumb to an attack and get eaten.  She’s been killing them since she was fourteen, but it isn’t until she is taken into Amaryllis City and joins the Rose Circle that she realizes she’s actually different than other Slither hunters who only grow into their abilities once they’re eighteen.

She doesn’t learn why that is until the second book, Harm, and I’m against spoilers so you’ll have to find out for yourself 😛

She’s very survival orientated and sometimes that can make her seem cold and closed off but in reality she just wants a safe place where she’s not always looking over her shoulder or worrying about the next few minutes and to create that space she realizes that she’s going to have to spill a lot of blood.

(Oh me gooseness! Niko and Dev are kind of similar, Madhuri!)

4.What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?


The first book starts off with Niko losing her brothers by the end of the first chapter. One brother is killed during a Slither attack while the other goes missing. Niko herself is saved by a group of Slither hunters and taken into the city. It’s an Inciting Incident that gets the ball rolling (also I have a short attention span and must have something blow up within the first few chapters ^_^).

5.What is her personal goal?


In the beginning all she wants is to find her brother but the longer she stays in Amaryllis City the more corruption she discovers, especially when she learns about the things done to keep everyone ‘safe’. So at first her goals are rather small but as the series progresses all the way to the third book (Outsider, which is coming this fall by the way) she’s planning a rebellion to take control of the city.

6.Is there working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?


Since Niko is already published (it’s been a little over a year actually, woot!) the title is set as well as the titles for the four other books in the series. Two of which have yet to be revealed. *waves hands mysteriously*

7. When can we expect the books to be published?


Niko was published in May 2013 and it’s sequel Harm was published in January. I hope to release the third book, Outsider some time in late September. Book four and five have tenuous release dates of Spring and Winter 2015 (it’s like they’re in fashion, lol). It hasn’t been set in stone yet but I do have a hammer and chisel on standby.

But while you wait you can check out Book One and Two of the Outsider Chronicles on Smashwords or! XD

Now that all the questions are done and you haven’t run away from my weird humor (good thing I had all that rope handy though), I’m tagging …

Rob Slater author of All Is Silence and whose own heroine is completely bad-ass

Kourtney Heintz author of The Six Train to Wisconsin who has two awesome main characters for her novel (double the fun!)

Paige Daniels author of Non-Compliance: The Sector whose main character uses both brains and brawn to great effect

Have fun you guys!

Interview Time! Character interview with Jools Clayworth of The Sanctum Trilogy by Madhuri Blaylock

With the new book in The Sanctum trilogy out right now (a totally awesome book by the way, you should go check it out). I decided to do something different this time– or at least different for this blog– and host a character interview with one Jools Clayworth, Class A Warrior and Acting Head of The New York Academy. Also one of my favorite characters because she’d just awesome like that. 😀

Full name: Jools Gabrielle Clayworth

Age: 18

Occupation: Class A Warrior for The Sanctum, Acting Head of The New York Academy

KNR: Tell us a little bit about what happens in The Boy?

I feel like it’s a treatise of sorts on dealing with loss, the devastating effects loss can have on you and how everyone handles loss differently.

I’m sure Wyatt would say it’s all about him becoming more perfect than he already was, but for me, THE BOY is about coping and overcoming and loving and ultimately, growth. On so many levels, from the most basic, where you see me step into Sam’s shoes and start leading our Academy to the more subtle, like when Ryker forgives Dev (which I’m not supposed to know, but I’m totally nosey and manage to get all sorts of information out of Madhuri) (she likes me best, you know).

KNR: What is the Sanctum? What are Magicals?

Currently, The Sanctum is going to mean different things to different people, depending on their agenda. Ideally, The Sanctum was created by the gods to oversee Magicals and keep humans in the dark about the supernatural lives existing right under their noses, on their blocks and sometimes in their very own homes.

Ask a Breslin and they’ll tell you The Sanctum is a means to achieving dominance over all of us, warriors and Magicals alike. Ask Carter Breslin and he’ll tell you The Sanctum is his premier torture chamber in the basement of The London Academy.

Ask Wyatt and he’ll tell you The Sanctum is an upstanding and vital organization meting out justice for all Magical-kind. Ask Ryker and he’ll tell you The Sanctum is nothing but a bunch of blood-thirsty, murderous fools.

Personally, The Sanctum represents what we are and how we should always strive to improve. Yes, we protect Magicals and humans, but we can do a better job of it, we can be more just and less brutal. We are the fine line between Magical and humankind and maintaining that balance in an honorable manner should be our primary goal, as the gods intended when they created us.

What was your other question? Oh yeah, what are Magicals? Basically, that’s just Sanctum lingo, a catch-all term we use for any non-human being, from demons, vampires and werewolves to faeries, trolls, imps and the like.

KNR: You’ve recently become Acting Head of the New York Academy, can you tell us a bit about what a day as Acting Head is like?

Hell mixed in with a lot of ass-kissing, cajoling and threats. Ha! I kid, but not really.

It’s tough.

I’m young and I’m not Wyatt. And everyone expected that next to the words “Head of The New York Academy” would be the name Wyatt Clayworth. So I’ve spent a lot of time having to prove myself to our allies. And as much as I hate to admit it, having Ryker around has helped tremendously. He seems to iron out all of my wrinkles, stepping in whenever I get testy, saying just the right thing and putting everyone’s minds at ease.

I’m working on being better at that aspect of the job, but for him, it just comes naturally.

Right now, I’m so caught up in creating this coalition to take on the Breslins, that the other aspects of running The Academy are still being handled by my dad. Of course, Sam has rejoined us, so I imagine she will help Dad, but right now, he’s been handling the day-to-day with the Magicals. He’s my right hand and I love him.

KNR: What do you think people would be most surprised to learn about you?

I love a good rom-com. And I had a fling with a werewolf.

KNR: List five things you can’t live without.

My crossbow, a good pair of jeans, scotch, mint ChapStick…and Ryker

But if you tell him he made my list, I swear to the gods, I will kill you.

KNR: If you weren’t a part of the Sanctum what do you think you would be doing?

Practicing Shindo, no doubt. Dark magic, black arts. Making The Sanctum crazy because if I’m not in The Sanctum, I’m pretty positive I’m doing something to make them chase me around constantly, so I can fight them all the time.

It’s in my blood. I’ve got to fight. I can’t really imagine a life where I don’t have a blade around my hips and that crossbow on my back, you know?

Did you think I was going to say something like own a brownstone in Brooklyn with Ryker and have a bunch of babies?

Ha! Not likely.

KNR: What do you feel is your best characteristic? Your worst one?

Best characteristic, easily my killer instinct. I’m one of the best warriors in The Sanctum, if not the best now that Wyatt is gone and Ryker never liked being a warrior anyway.

My worst? You should have asked Wyatt since he’ll have a nice, long list for you of all my annoying qualities. Personally, I think I’m freaking awesome, but if I have to pick something, probably those rare moments when my bratty side rears its head.

KNR: Lastly, can you give us all a tiny hint at what’s going to happen in Book III?

No way.

Madhuri will kill me.


[Le sigh, I had to make an attempt :)]


Review of The Boy by Madhuri Blaylock

Dun dun dun! The Boy, book II in The Sanctum trilogy by Madhuri Blaylock’s is finally out (by the way did you know you can download the first book, The Girl for free on Amazon now? You didn’t? Well, go on. I’ll wait).

Since The Boy was so awesome (and sexy! :3) I’ll leave a review for your enjoyment, and be on the look out for a character interview with Jools Clayworth (so you better start reading The Sanctum right now and earn your hipster bragging rights).



I enjoyed the first book in The Sanctum trilogy but I enjoyed the second one even more. The Boy by Madhuri Blaylock starts off pretty much where The Girl left off. Wyatt is dying from a mortal wound inflicted by Max Breslin and Dev has brought him to the Ramyan hoping he can be saved.

Back in the Sanctum world Jools is now acting head of the New York branch, Darby’s her usual Southern Vampire self, the Breslins are a-plotting and a-scheming, and someone is impersonating Ryker, killing Magicals left and right.

The action never stops as the plot and tension builds leaving the reader holding their breath during each chapter.

The Boy is actually one of the few series where I find myself enjoying all the characters and even those I might have been cold toward in the previous book I’m starting to warm up to.

The writing’s excellent and while The Boy doesn’t end with a cliffhanger this time I can hardly wait for book three.

I loved it. Madly.


Book Giveaway!


In a couple of days on Twitter (April 30th to be exact) I will be revealing the cover of Madhuri Blaylock’s The Boy (Book 2 of The Sanctum Trilogy) in all it’s awesomeness. But while you wait :p you can join the raffle for a chance to win one of five e-copies of The Girl AND The Boy and earn hipster bragging rights while are you’re friends will be left just wishing they were as cool as you.

So join The Sanctum and follow me @KNRwrites to get a peek of book 2:The Boy




In THE GIRL, Madhuri Blaylock introduced readers to the world of The Sanctum, one corrupted by greed and savagery and hellbent on achieving a single goal: destroying the prophesied hybrid. When one of its most celebrated warriors questioned his allegiances, age-old secrets were unveiled and violence erupted. The journey becomes more perilous and intense as the trilogy surges forward with




Can you cross the plains of death, collect every piece of your soul and make it back to the land of the living?


And if you complete the journey, will your loved ones welcome your return?


The Ramyan have been answering such questions since the creation of The Sanctum. A mysterious sect of Magicals, haunting the blank spaces of time and memory, they serve no one but themselves and their higher purpose. They exist on a plane removed from earthly matters, shifting easily between the living and the dead, moving in time to the beat of their own drummer.


At least they did. Dev and Wyatt change all of that when the prophesied hybrid lands on the steps of Rinshun Palace, seeking help for the wounded Class A Warrior. That decision alters lives and sets old agendas back on course. But at what cost to Dev and Wyatt? And does that really even matter?

Live Fast, Die Young

Of course everybody knows that stress is a bad thing, it makes you lose sleep, causes breakout on you’re beautiful face not to mention potentially damages organs, but I think there is one ‘good’ stress.

I’ve finally reached that level of stress. Success! *fist pump*

Already, I’ve:

Published one book 

About to publish another 


Review some awesome books 

Writing articles for Soul Central Magazine


Wrote a blurb for Madhuri Blaylock’s upcoming novel The Boy

Reaction videos once a week

Plan on starting Niko 4 and 5

Perhaps it’s the Virgo in me but somehow I’m deriving great satisfaction from juggling all these projects. Is anyone else a juggler or are you playing it smart and not risking burnout by concentrating on only one thing at a time.