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…



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

download (1)

3. Luc—Chris Hemsworth


4. Judy—Rebecca Gibney


5. Matt—Sam Worthington

download (2)

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!




Since I’m still in the whole second/third draft period with Outsider, I decided to share the wordcloud for my upcoming book. I learned about wordclouds from Scott Westerfeld, who’s the author of the Uglies trilogy, and who’s blog I should frequent way more because it’s awesome. Anyway, he used it as a way to discover words that he might be overusing.

If you take a quick glance at my wordcloud (or a long glance, it’s so beautiful, go ahead, stare as long as you like ^_^) you can immediately tell that ‘Niko’ is the biggest word. No surprise there she’s the main character and since The Outsider Chronicles is written in the third person Niko’s name appears a lot.

Second is ‘Ben’, again no real surprise, as Niko and Ben are currently an item and since I’m concentrating a little more on his story arc this time around his name gets bandied around a lot.

In fact seeing many of my characters names loom large in this wordcloud is not that surprising, it’s mostly a reflection on how many times they appear in Outsider.

Once I move past all of that, I’ll begin to see the more insidious words, the ones that I might not have meant to be so prominent, words like ‘though’ or ‘like’ which could mean I use too many similes and metaphors and might be something I want to cut out.

The word ‘eyes’ is large as well, which mean I use eyes to describe an emotion too much (her eyes widened, his eyes narrowed, they rolled their eyes), which lessens the impact I want a scene to have and causes it not to feel as fresh as I would like. Interestingly enough, ‘looked’ and ‘glanced’ are much smaller than usual as I try to scale back on relying on eyes to hint at emotion.

Luckily, ‘just’ is much smaller than in my previous wordclouds and that means I’m not just using it as a throwaway word just to fill up the space anymore (← see what I did just there? >_<)

Since Outsider is set inside the city of Cherai and there aren’t so many Slithers coming inside, their presence isn’t as big as usual (I don’t think that will be the case in book 4)

Of course, a wordcloud is more of a cosmetic approach to writing and can’t tell me which scenes need more work, but it is a good way to get an overall picture of my writing and clean up a majority of my sentences.

Not to mention it looks really nice on my wall.


By the way, for the whole month of July Niko and Harm are on sale at Use the coupon code SW100 at checkout and get Niko for free, and the code SSW50 gets Harm on your device for half the price!



Yay, at long last! I’ve been asking my sister to draw a picture of Songhay and Roosevelt for months and after some aggressive hovering (and maybe being slightly annoying 😛 ) she has done it.

First introduced in Harm, the second book of the Outsider Chronicles, the siblings were originally only supposed to have a small role in the book but they were so interesting (okay, I’ll admit it, they also totally bribed me with cake), their characters expanded from minor to major and they have even managed to attach themselves to some very important story arcs.




Roosevelt Miller

Age: Approximately 16

Height: 5′ 5”

Hair/Eye: Red/Grey

Favorite foods: None in particular. Can and will eat any and everything but really enjoyed the canned peaches Niko provided and wouldn’t mind having those again.

Distinctive qualities: Punctuates most of her sentences with the word ‘oi’.

One arm is missing below the elbow due to an accident when she was six.

Can touch her nose with her tongue.


Songhay Miller

Age: Approximately 19 (neither knows their true age)

Height: 5′ 11”

Hair/Eye: Black/Brown

Favorite foods: Meat. Doesn’t get it often but is very happy when he does.

Distinctive qualities: Has elven scars on his arms to mark his wins as a fighter.

Hates spicy foods.

Check out Niko, the first book in the series here:






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!

I’m Not Mad, I’m Just Saying

Last week I discovered that I’d been plagiarized. Nothing major just a review of mines that I did for Readers’ (great site for indie authors who want to get their books reviewed!) but the odd thing was that I found myself getting more annoyed than if they’d stolen one of my stories or an article I’d written (fun fact: I have sister – not Hana Kura, a less creative one – who used to copy my stuff all the time and not in an ‘imitation is the best form of flattery’ way but in a full on ‘gank your stuff and run with it’ kind of way).

A story or article I can understand, sometimes you see something so awesome that you wish it was yours just be warned,



Stealing a review is just… lazy. Not to mention kind of insulting to the author whose book you’re supposed to be reviewing because we read every review, the good ones, the bad ones, the fairly meh ones, we dissect them and analyze them and try not to let them affect our confidence too much. So when things get a little deja vu the author is definitely going to notice and you’ll definitely look like a lazy liar not worthy of adding the words ‘readingaddiction’ to your blog’s title.

In the book world there is no deadlier sin than the one of plagiarism.

Thankfully, the blogger took it down along with a bunch of other reviews that she claims her little sister put up not knowing that that even if you take out a few words it’s still plagiarism and something you’re not suppose to do.

I know as a writer plagiarism can be a real fear, some people let it keep them from bringing their creativity out into the world while some still decide to brave the wilds of the internet despite the poachers. What are your thoughts on plagiarism and plagiarists? Is it okay to re-post another person’s review as long as you give the source or not at all? And have any of you been on the receiving (or giving) end of plagiarism?