Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Forest of Whispers by Jennifer Murgia

I'm jazzed to be part of this week's Waiting on Wednesday for Forest of Whispers by Jennifer Murgia.

Title: Forest of Whispers
Author: Jennifer Murgia
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Expected Publication Date: September 9, 2014

Raised by an old fortune-teller within the dark veil of the Bavarian Black Forest, Rune has learned two valuable lessons: only take from the forest that which you can use, and never, never look anyone in the eye in the village. For something terrible happened in the forest long ago... and now, the whispers of a long-dead mother with a vengeful secret have come haunting.

Forced to flee all she has ever known, Rune soon learns of a legacy she is bound to--one that is drenched in fear, witchcraft and murder--a birthright that stretches beyond the grave to the trees where Rune is no longer safe.

Twitter @covercontessa   @SpencerHillP   @JenniferMurgia
All author information an be found at the following link:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Author Blog Hopping

I’ve been invited to be part of a fun blog hop for authors (thank you, J.L. Spelbring for tagging me with these questions!)

What are you currently working on?
I am halfway through writing the first draft of The Burnt Bones, the fourth book in The Adventures of Finn MacCullen (middle grade urban fantasy from Spencer Hill Middle Grade). I also just finished proofing the galley proof to The Stag Lord (adult urban fantasy to be released Dec. 2nd from Spence City.)
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
My settings tend to be more rural or suburban. In fact, I often say I write suburban fantasy. And most of my books focus on a master/apprentice or father/son relationships
Why do you write what you write?
I enjoy urban fantasy because I can mix modern life with histories and mythologies from around the world. My background is anthropology. And Tolkien. Always Tolkien.
How does your individual writing process work?
With some books, I just start writing, and with other books, I outline. But I always make myself write at least 500 to 1000 words a day, no matter what. Writing is a profession and I must show up for work every day. Speaking of which…I better get back to it!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer 2014

Wrapping up Summer 2014
(what this writer does to clear the old skull cavity)


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Four Months Until the Release of The Stag Lord

Today is August 2nd. Which means that four months from now, my debut adult novel, The Stag Lord, will be released from Spence City.

Which means I'm in the mood for a giveaway:  $20.00 gift card to Barnes & Noble.

Leave a comment here (about anything - have some fun) and your name goes into a drawing for a $20.00 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a cool antler charm. I will randomly pick a name on Friday, August 8th by noon.

 "Outlander meets Taken"

On the run across America from a vengeful shape-shifter, Bannerman “Bann” Boru has only one thing on his mind: keeping himself and his young son, Cor, alive.

At any cost.

Until he meets Shay Doyle, healer and member of a secret group of immortal Celtic warriors, the Tuatha De Danaan, living in modern-day Colorado. When Cor is injured, Bannerman is forced to accept her help. He quickly realizes that the golden-haired healer is shield-maiden tough and can hold her own on the field of battle with the big boys. And Shay soon discovers that there is more to Bann than meets the eye.

Now, with the shape-shifter Cernunnos teaming up with the local pack of Fir Bolgs (Bronze Age creatures with a nasty taste for children), Bannerman, Shay, her wolf-dog, Max, and the rest of the Doyle clan must figure out how to battle one insane god.

Barnes & Noble 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Double Negative by C. Lee McKenzie

 Double Negative
(Evernight Teen)
C. Lee McKenzie

Happy Book Birthday!

"My life was going, going, gone, and I hadn't been laid yet. I couldn't go into the slammer before that happened." Hutch McQueen. 
Sixteen-year-old Hutchinson McQueen is trapped between an abusive mother and an absentee father. Shackled by poor vision and poor reading skills, he squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. After another suspension from school and suffering through one of his mother’s violent attacks, he escapes to a friend’s house that turns out to be a meth lab. The lab is raided and Hutch lands in juvenile detention. When the court sentences him to six months in a new juvenile program, he meets a teacher with Alzheimer’s who will change his life and hers.

My Review:
C. Lee McKenzie cannot write a bad book. Her style is so lyrical and her teen “voice” in this one is so perfect that I had serious author envy the entire time I was reading. I loved all her other books, but this one is her best work yet. Hutch is a character that is so real and has so much depth, that I devoured his story in two nights. Without giving away the plot, let me say that Hutch is the poster child for so many students who struggle with crappy home lives and difficulties in school (in Hutch’s case –reading). This is a bright kid who just needs some extra help.

And, boy, does he get that help in the form of an ex-street thug turned priest (Father Kerry) and a retired school teacher, (Maggie Scott). Between the two of them, they manage to help Hutch realize that he must take control of his own life and make the choice to succeed or fail.

One of the best things C. Lee McKenzie did in this book is give the adult characters as much depth as the teens, something that is too often lacking in YA books. My favorite is Hutch’s father, Jimmie. A good old boy from Texas, he starts out acting like an absentee parent, but as the story move along, I was thrilled to see Jimmie grow and take on the responsibilities of a pretty decent father.

Double Negative is one of the best YA novels I’ve read this year. Highly recommended and a must-have for every high school library.


I'm a writer who captures the pulse of adolescent confusion in my Young Adult fiction, Sliding on the Edge and The Princess of Las Pulgas. Of course, I often reveal a lot of my Old Adult confusion while doing that. My first Middle Grade fantasy titled Alligators Overhead went out to good reviews, and my third Young Adult, Double Negative will be published this summer by Evernight Teen.