Guest Blog – Crystal Crawford

Have you ever picked up a book, and from the very first sentence, you knew you would never, ever forget about it? That’s how I felt when I first started beta reading Crystal Crawford’s book The Edge of Nothing, the first in her Lex Chronicles Trilogy (which is part of a larger world-related franchise.)

Crystal and I had a fairly new friendship at the time, mostly talking about writing and reading each other’s work on Wattpad. Then we started beta reading new work. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first opened that Google Doc with The Edge of Nothing title looking back at me—after all, I wasn’t much of a fantasy or science fiction sort of reader, but boy did that change!

The opening scene, miserable as it must have been for Lex, drew me in, and I needed to figure out what was happening to him as much as I needed to breathe. From then on, I was hooked. But don’t take my word for it! Grab a copy of her book and settle in for a great ride—but before you do that, have a look at this guest post by Crystal Crawford, where she describes her world in her own words!

You can find the book here.

Read Crystal’s blog post here.

Book Review – The Last Necromancer by C. J. Archer

From Amazon:

A waif, her abductor and a twist you won’t see coming.

For five years, Charlotte (Charlie) Holloway has lived as a boy in the slums. But when one theft too many gets her arrested, her only means of escape lies with a dead man. Charlie hasn’t raised a spirit since she first discovered she could do so five years ago. That time, her father banished her. This time, she brings even more trouble upon herself.

People are now hunting Charlie all over London, but only one man succeeds in capturing her.

Lincoln Fitzroy is the mysterious head of a secret organization on the trail of a madman who needs a necromancer to control his newly “made” creatures. There was only one known necromancer in the world – Charlotte – but now there appears to be two. Lincoln captures the willful Charlie in the hopes the boy will lead him to Charlotte. But what happens when he discovers the boy is in fact the young woman he’s been searching for all along? And will she agree to work for the man who held her against her will, and for an organization she doesn’t trust?Because Lincoln and his ministry might be just as dangerous as the madman they’re hunting.

Fair warning, this review DOES contain spoilers!

This one was a pickle for me. I adore Archer’s Glass and Steele series, so I thought I would like this one as well despite my aversion for books about necromancy. Her writing kept me involved as usual, and I did grow an affection for the main character, Charlie, a rough and tumble girl of eighteen who spent five years living as a boy on the streets of Victorian Era London.

At the start, Charlie was strong-willed and brave, leaving me with the impression she will be the heroine of the story. In many ways, she was, but in more, she was not. I was surprised to find this was a sort of Frankenstein adaptation, especially since that didn’t pop up until more than halfway through the novel, but I was able to adapt to that shift.

What bothered me was Charlie’s out-of-character response to most everything once she was “found out” as a woman. She went from an independent, focused “boy” to a swooning, incapable young girl. Her defiance remained unless she was captivated by Lincoln, her love interest/captor. Yes, captor. He kidnapped her right off the street for her protection.

That said, I understand that historical fiction (primarily Victorian Era England) would portray women as soft and weak, needing constant supervision and chaperoning. I also don’t have a problem with a female lead sharing the spotlight with a male, nor do I have an issue with a male saving a female. To me, it does not show weakness just because you need help. What I did have an issue with was Charlie’s sudden inability to take care of herself. One does not go from living on the streets of London to a helpless child in one day, yet that seemed to be what happened.

However, my absolute biggest issue with this book was the near-rape scene. I realize rape happens, and it often happened at that time, but when Lincoln PAID a man to “scare” Charlie by attempting to rape her, that crossed a line for me. He was no longer a potential “rough around the edges” love interest, but a full-on horrible human being. He set up this incident to scare Charlie into believing she needed him to protect her, then killed the man for doing what he’d paid him to do because he “went too far.”

Honestly, I was shocked when I read this scene because, until then, I had never seen such a thing in Archer’s books. I’m not a faint-hearted person, and I wholeheartedly believe even bad people can be reformed and deserve another chance, but… not like that. He got off with hardly a smack to the face, and Charlie was swooning over him again. It turned me off from reading the rest of the series altogether.

But, of course, my opinion is not the hard and fast truth—it’s my opinion. I still encourage readers to choose for themselves, because what’s not for me might be right up someone else’s ally. As for me, I’ll stick with the Glass and Steele series.

You can find C. J. Archer’s books here.

Sneak Peek!

I’m in love with an idea that came to me a few months ago, and I can’t wait to start writing it in earnest! I am mostly Irish and Scottish, a little German and Swiss, and a lot obsessed with all the lore surrounding my heritage. With that, comes my desire to write about those things! I can’t give away too much, or I risk ruining the surprise for my future book, The Never Ending Life of Natalia O’Fahy, but here is a sneak peek at the prologue!


August 7, 2019

Savannah, Georgia

Natalia O’Fahy stared out the murky kitchen window of her nephew’s Savannah home. Her forehead crinkled in concentration as she admired the garden. With its thriving arbors and newly blossomed roses, the garden was not at the forefront of her mind, but it did serve as a mild distraction from the heavy thoughts that had plagued her for weeks. Simon would soon pass, leaving a wife, three children, seven grandchildren and a great-grandchild soon to enter the world.

A droplet of sweat dribbled from Natalia’s hairline and settled on her chin. “Blasted heat,” she said, a mutter on her lips as she swiped the droplet away. She returned her attention to the bloody rags in the sink. Simon sputtered so frequently now she might as well give up on keeping clean spittle cloths at his bedside. Amelia was too weak to care for her husband, but it was not the work that bothered Natalia. It was death itself that teased her, plucked her loved ones from her side every so often, leaving her wanting and wishing there was more she could do with her life, her gifts.

“Aunt Natalia?” Simon’s faint whisper drifted through the stagnant house and settled in Natalia’s ears. How many more calls would come from his parched lips before he released his hold on this world and slipped into the next?

“Natalia?” Simon asked again.

“Coming, dear,” Natalia said. She wiped her hands on her apron and fetched a bit of bread and sweet cream before returning to Simon’s room. Amelia sat beside him on the bed, clutching her husband’s hand as if, somehow, the tether between them would keep him in this world for as long as she needed him. Amelia had always been a weak, feeble, wisp of a woman who clung to anyone who would offer her the easy path. Even so, Simon loved her, and so Natalia did, too.

“Here, nephew. Eat if you can,” Natalia said, then pressed the bread against his lips. In the adjacent room, the remainder of the family waited. It would be today, Natalia determined. She had seen death enough to know when it perched at the window, waiting for a stolen moment when no one was watching. Then it would strike.

“I cannot,” Simon said and turned his head. “Amelia, would you retrieve my letters?”

Amelia’s gray eyes narrowed, but she abided her husband’s wish. The frail woman slid her legs from the bed and stood on wobbly knees. Once her cane was beneath her, she managed to move quite swiftly to the spare room where Simon kept his most valuable items—the suit he wore on his wedding day, the letters from his mother tied with a faded silk ribbon, and of course, his beloved childhood lovie, a bear he called… bear.

The moment the door closed tight behind Amelia, Simon relaxed. His tense body released, and he let a great sigh escape his lips. “Natalia…” His fingers brushed against Natalia’s, the only family member his elder. “Do try to live more when I am gone,” he said, then his head slunk to the right, and his eyes fluttered closed.

Natalia shut her eyes tight to keep the tears from falling. She could not allow Amelia to see her in such a distraught state, so she bent and kissed her beloved nephew’s wrinkled brow, pressed his eyelids closed completely, and stood. Natalia smoothed the wrinkles from her apron and moved to the door. As her hand fell upon the handle, she felt Simon’s presence in her heart fade, then it left with nary a moment’s hesitation. He was gone on to his final resting place, and now she would focus on what remained.

She curled her fingers around the handle and turned, releasing the last of her grief before presenting herself to the family. Amelia still shuffled in the side room, searching for the letters, so Natalia beckoned the family to come to her.

“Loved ones,” she said. “Please, meet me in the side room.” Before Natalia could set foot in the room, Amelia let out a great wail and crumpled to the floor. She clutched Simon’s letters in her hand, tearing the browned papers. Natalia pursed her lips again and wiggled the family treasures from Amelia’s grip. Once free, she placed them on a small chest of drawers tucked neatly in the corner of the spare room.

Simon’s children and grandchildren surrounded Amelia, soothing her and begging her to stand, move to the main room and relax. One son, Joshua, stood apart from the others. The youngest, he had the slightest whisper of gray at his temples, a distinguished look that complimented his black hair and warm, brown eyes. Joshua rubbed a hand over his face and scratched the stubble at his chin. His eyes wandered the room until they settled upon Natalia’s face.

“Aunt, come eat something and let them care for mother.” He offered a kindly hand to her, which she accepted if only to relieve herself of the burden of pretending to care that Amelia was putting on quite a show. Her sobs ricocheted off the rafters like a banshee’s screams, settling in Natalia’s ears like a hammer to her head. She did sympathize with the woman, of course, but she did believe the moments after a soul crossed into Heaven should be spent in quiet contemplation. Certainly, she did not believe they should be wasted drawing attention to oneself.

In the kitchen, the bloody rags awaited, so Natalia plugged the sink again and drew a bath of hot, soapy water. Joshua leaned against the counter, squinting each time his mother cried out.

“Not to sound harsh, but that woman could make the deaf shudder,” Joshua said.

Natalia shook her head and chuckled. It was the first time she had so much as smiled in over a week. It felt good. “Thank you, Joshua. I needed that.”

Joshua pushed off the counter and grasped Natalia’s hand. “How old are you, Aunt Natalia? Truly?”

Natalia blew wisps of her deep red hair from her face then smiled. “You should never ask a woman her age, nephew. Who raised you?”

Joshua’s eyes fluttered toward the room where his mother still cried, and his sisters worked with much difficulty to calm her. His elder brother, Henry, grumbled intelligibly and exited the room. He crossed the living room and went out the front door to have a smoke while the grandchildren, most of whom were well into adulthood, wandered here and there in the house.

“Yes, well… Mother, bless her, was never any good at teaching manners, and Father was never any good at telling Mother what to do,” Joshua said. “So, the question remains.”

Natalia sighed and added up the years in her head, having lost track over the last decade or so. “Mmm… One hundred seventy-two, give or take a year or five,” she teased.

“Ah, yes. And when was the last time you had fun? Over a hundred years ago?”

Natalia chuckled again, then a memory surged forward. It took hold of her heart and squeezed it so tightly she could hardly breathe. Her hands shook, and lips trembled so that her nephew steadied her by the elbow. Mischievous green eyes flashed in her mind, a smattering of freckles over the bridge of a slender nose that dipped up ever so slightly at the end, a roguish smile, hands so tender she hardly noticed when they touched her…

“Aunt Natalia? Are you well?”

Natalia squeezed her eyes, begged her memory to hold for a moment longer, but it was gone. He was gone. She released the edge of the counter and slunk to a chair with Joshua’s aid.

“I am sorry, Joshua. I was… remembering something from long ago.”

“Will you tell me? Will you speak of your life, Aunt Natalia? Father always said your life was spectacular. He loved to hear your stories.”

Simon did love to sit and listen to Natalia’s tales, but there were many she left untold. They were personal—some tragic, others filled with hope for a future that never came to fruition. But there was one that weighed on her, one that she considered using her gifts to change, but to do so would alter history, leaving a rift that could change everything that came after it.

Joshua, a chemist by day and mystery novelist by night, sat quietly waiting for Natalia to choose—would she share her life story with yet another generation, or would she keep her lips sealed and take her memories to the grave, not that she would ever die.

“On the day of my nineteenth birthday, I stopped aging. I just… stopped. My parents searched for a cause, a reason that my face never grew wrinkles, why my hair did not gray, but they found nothing before they died. Generation after generation has passed, and no one has found any reason that I am still alive and young. For the longest time, I stayed holed up in my home, afraid someone would see me and ask why.” Natalia shrugged and toyed with her handkerchief. “Why was I so old yet so young?”

Joshua leaned forward, already captivated. Natalia had always loved Joshua the best of all Simon’s children, and so, with that in mind, she dove into the tales of her life with very little care or forethought. She simply wanted to share them, to lighten the load again just as she had with Simon decades before.

“I want to tell you a secret, Joshua, but you must tell no one. No one would understand, but you.”

“Yes, Aunt Natalia. I promise I will tell no one.” He placed a gentle hand over hers, calming her. She patted his hand with her free one and stood. She filled a coffee pot and set it to brew, then placed a few cookies on a plate. Once she had prepared herself, she sat at the table again and started with the memory that haunted her most often.

“I want to tell you about the greatest love of my life, Joshua. Perhaps when I am through, I will know what to do,” Natalia said.

Joshua, not being one to question much when it came to Natalia and her supposed immortality, cocked his head to the left and peered over his eyeglasses. “Will I need a good whiskey for this?”

Natalia smiled and nodded. “Perhaps we best skip the coffee and head straight to the good stuff.”

Joshua obliged and stood, scraping his chair over the scuffed hardwood. His mother would have his head for that, but Natalia would never tell. He poured two glasses and handed one to Natalia. The woodsy scent mixed with light floral and honey wafted toward her. She inhaled and sipped, allowing the alcohol to soothe her rattled nerves.

She set her glass down and began. “It was 1918. I lived in a tiny cottage in Killea, just outside of Londonderry. Technically, I was seventy-one at the time, but, of course, I still appeared a young lass of nineteen. His little brother sold goat’s milk on the side of the road. I remember because one day, I bought some just to have something to pass the time while I waited for my cousin to return home from London.”

“Cousin… Esther?” Joshua asked.

“Indeed. You have studied our history. I am proud of you,” Natalia said, earning a beaming smile from her nephew. “Esther had gone to care for a dear friend after the loss of a child. Anyway, while we haggled over the price, he rode up on his father’s horse. He was quite stern with me at first, then…” Natalia’s voice faded as her mind took her back. “Oh, then our eyes locked for the first time. It was like the world just fell away and left only the two of us standing there in the mist, cold and wet, shivering until we couldn’t stand it any longer. But we wouldn’t walk away. No, we couldn’t.

Natalia sipped her whiskey again, washing the pain down with the image of that first moment.

“What was his name?”

“Rory,” she said with a sigh. “Rory Kelly. Damn him and those emerald eyes.”

All About It Blog Series – Week Seven

Here we are in week seven of the All About It series! This week I want to talk about a new series that doesn’t have any releases just yet. Christmas in Chatswain City was born from my love of the holiday season beginning in October on my daughter’s birthday! There are so many wonderful times to be had from then through the New Year, but it all seems to fly by so fast! I wanted to create a series where people can fall into that holiday spirit even when it’s 100 degrees outside!

Those of you who used to follow me on Wattpad will recognize some of the books in the series since they were initially written and posted there! However, they will be reshaped to fit in a new town—the fictional town of Chatswain City—and will center around Christmas (for the most part, but I might venture into other seasonal fares from time to time.)

As usual, many of the characters will be loveable, quirky, hot messes with loads of heart. I can’t wait for you all to read the first installment, The Cupcake Criminal, which I hope to have rebranded and released in time for Christmas (fingers crossed), but if I don’t, then it will definitely take you back to the holidays no matter when it comes out!

Here are some commonly asked questions about this series:

  1. What is the target age group?

Anyone can enjoy these books. They will be clean and free of too much dark drama. The drama will be minimal and contained, solved by the end of each book, and focus on positive outcomes.

2. What are the ages of the characters?

This will vary, but usually early to mid-twenties, with a few minor exceptions.

3. What is the content rating?

PG to PG-13 depending on the situational content, but it will always be free of cursing, vulgarity, and sex. Topics such as depression, anxiety, and others might be addressed.

4. Why did you start this series?

Because I love winter and all things cold (Seriously, what was Olaf thinking with this summer business?)

5. Should I read the series in order?

Nope. Each book is a stand-alone novel or novella that takes place in the fictional town of Chatswain City, but the characters will not be making any cameos in each others’ books.

What is already available? Well… nothing yet, but if you are signed up for my newsletter or to this blog, you’ll be the first to know when The Cupcake Criminals releases!

Here’s a look at the first book coming and a short quote scene:

What happens when a down on her luck woman gets hit with bad news one too many times? Why, she steals a cupcake delivery van, of course!

When a hot delivery guy brings an elegant proposal to the wrong doorstep, Abby can’t help herself. She’s already lost her boyfriend, her job, and now her mind, so what’s left to lose? In a moment of clouded judgment, Abby kidnaps the delivery man and steals his van. What ensues is nothing short of catastrophic, but when things go from bad to worse, Abby realizes there was always one thing she could count on—or maybe four. Her best friends.

Abby’s best friends since high school pull out all the stops to save their friend from going down in a blaze of glory. And if they can’t help her, well, then they’ll just go down with her.

Lucas sighed. “Look, we can ride around town all day in a stolen cupcake van, or you can pull over and walk your happy butt home. No harm, no foul. I mean it. I’ll make up a lie my boss will believe, and we can just pretend we never met.”

I caught a glimpse of his hand from the corner of my eye. He was fishing around in his pocket, and I remembered that I had no idea how to be a good kidnapper. Kidnapping 101, take your hostage’s phone before he calls the police.

“Hey! Give me that!” I grabbed at him, nearly driving us off the road. There was another honking serenade behind me as I swerved this way and that in a haphazard attempt to relieve Lucas of his cell phone. I wouldn’t stop until I got it, which was, in effect, the best way to get him to just hand it over.

“You’re going to get us killed you nutcase!” he shouted, then threw his phone at my head. It bounced off my shoulder and hit the dash, illuminating the screen for a moment before it landed on the floorboard. His home screen displayed a candid snapshot of an adorable little girl.

“Is that your daughter?” I asked. My heart began to race as extreme guilt sank in. I had not considered Lucas’ life outside of his shady, spicy cupcake dealing business, but now that his personal life was literally glaring at me, I knew I had to give up my plan to… Well, I didn’t know what my plan was or its purpose, but surely, I had one… right?

“Not that it’s any of your business, but yes, it is my daughter,” Lucas said as he scrambled to snatch his phone from the floor before I could. I swerved again, because cupcake vans are a surprising pain in the bootie to drive, but regained control quickly. Lucas whacked his head on the dash, but he did not retrieve his phone. It slid under my seat ensuring there would be no additional covert calls to the police, the FBI, the CIA, or any other national security agency that might want to arrest a woman who’d stolen a bakery van.

After that, I have no less than ELEVEN more books ready to in this series. Many are already written and just need some tweaking, while others are partially written or have detailed notes and scenes ready to go. I hope you all enjoy reading the series as much as I enjoyed writing the first drafts of these books!

Here is a peek at a few to release down the line!

All About It Blog Series, Week Six

Here we are in week six of the All About It series already! I’ve written a lot of books, and I plan to write a lot more! Even so, not all of my books require long series, and The Demolition Trilogy fits that bill. I had a few ideas but couldn’t cram them all into one book without making it way too long, so I planned out three.

It all started long ago on Wattpad with The Demolition Project. It started as a little 30K word novella that I expanded into close to 60K before publishing on Amazon. On Wattpad, the book garnered over 50K reads and grew a small cult following (by small, I mean one person who adores it and a few who still bug me about a sequel—I hear you, and it’s coming!)

By now, most of my readers are accustomed to my silver-lining style of writing where everyone ends up happy, the rainbows fill the sky, and the sun is always shining (unless you read Eiagan’s Winter, in which case… I don’t know what to say, LOL.) In The Demolition Trilogy, there are still silver linings, but they are hard-fought and well-earned by the protagonists. In these books, I explore the not-so-good parts of the foster care and adoption systems, the harsh realities for some of those children, and the darker sides of life.

While these books do cover darker concepts and may not be suitable for all ages or for those uncomfortable reading such things, I do try to offer hope and a way out of those dark situations for my characters. For example, attempted suicide, drug addiction, and abuse are all discussed in these books, but they are never shown in a positive light. They are adequately addressed and appropriately treated in the books as something requiring aid and treatment rather than glorified.

Adults and parents are not treated as clueless idiots who simply “misunderstand” the youth. They contribute to their recovery, offer assistance and discipline, and provide foundations for them. The adults in the series who are bad players are swiftly and well punished.

Here are some commonly asked questions about this series:

  1. What is the target age group?

Young adults to adults who prefer young adult fiction. There are “triggering” situations in the books, so I would recommend an adult read through before offering to a younger crowd or to those who might have experienced similar trauma.

2. What are the ages of the characters?

Protagonists and friends are 16-18, and adults play a critical role in many of their experiences

3. What is the content rating?

PG-13 for the situations, but the books are clean of cussing, sex, and sexual situations except for the first book, which mentions inappropriate interactions between an adult and teacher.

4. Why did you start this series?

I was annoyed by the way some young adult novels glorified suicide, abusive relationships, drug use, and inappropriate behavior between teenagers and adults. I also wanted to shine a light on the difficulties foster children encounter when aging out of the system. It is not easy for them, and the more we learn about it, the more we can do to help.

5. Should I read the series in order?

You don’t have to because each story has its own conclusion, but some characters from the first book appear in the second, and some from the second will appear in the third. I would recommend that you do, but it is not a must if you are not interested in reading all of them.

What is already available? The first book in the trilogy, The Demolition Project, is available at Amazon in print and e-book and is also available in Kindle Unlimited. Here is a quick look!

Knox Harris was perfect. He was the perfect student, ultimate best friend, a gifted athlete, and chillingly handsome with a sweetheart streak a mile long. There was absolutely nothing about the boy to hate. Everyone loved him, but Charlotte hated him.

Charlotte Woods was alone. She was nothing but trouble, a criminal, a waste of time. Not a single soul in the world cared about her. In fact, most people wished she would just disappear. She spent her days hiding in the shadows, just trying to survive.

The unfortunate product of a broken foster care system, Charlotte aged-out and hit the streets running on nothing but anger and a bad attitude. Barely able to keep herself alive, Charlotte’s anger grew. It threatened to eat her alive, but she refused to go down alone. Charlotte turned her focus to Knox, the one boy who seemed to care about everything and everyone but her. Knox didn’t appreciate the amazing life he had, but Charlotte vowed to make him see. She’d show him the hard way as she systematically destroyed everything he held dear.

But when a broken girl sets her sights on destroying an unbreakable boy, she had better be prepared to suffer the consequences. For Charlotte, the consequences just might kill her.

What’s next? The second book, The Demolition Daze, will be available soon! The rough draft is finished and is in an alpha review. It will need expansion and editing, but I hope to release it in a couple of months!

Book Review – Finding Madeline by Emily Fertic

Hi all! I haven’t done a book review in a while, so I thought I would dive back in with one I was lucky enough to beta read! First, here’s a look at the summary and where you can find the book!

Madeline Morgan is counting down the days until middle school is over. After three years of putting up with the digs and jabs that come from the school’s reigning Queen Bee, Zoe McAdams, Madeline only has three months of middle school left, and then she’s on to high school, ready to leave the bullies and drama behind. She’s decided to lie low and stay off of Zoe’s radar until the end of the school year. At least, that was her plan.

Madeline soon catches the attention of the already popular August Carter and the new-to-school basketball star, Jack Gray. August and Jack show Madeline that they don’t care what Zoe says and quickly win her over. But when these new friendships only put Madeline more in the line of fire from Zoe and her crew, Madeline can’t help but wonder if she— and her new friendships— will make it out of middle school intact.

Written by an author who has lived through bullying herself, this novel takes readers on a heart-wrenching, powerful journey of one girl’s attempts to navigate the complex social landscape of adolescence. But for Madeline to succeed, she must do more than simply survive middle school; she must decide who she is and who she wants to be.

The book is available for pre-order at Amazon and will release on August 11!

First, I want to congratulate Emily on her first independent novel! Emily has written collaborative works with Class Source (you can find those here) and is quite talented. This young woman knows how to take you all the way back to middle school (cringe) and puts you right in the middle of the drama. With every chapter, I found myself sitting beside middle-school me reminding myself it would all get better, that people wouldn’t be awful forever, and one day I would find my passion in life.

Emily tackles the all-too-real subject of bullying in her novel, but she relays the story in a way that anyone can relate to no matter their age. Madeline is a fully fleshed-out character whose pain you can feel tug at your heart every time the dreaded bully walks into the picture.

Finding Madeline also has betrayal and that horrific moment when you realize even the people you trust most can hurt you. But that’s not all. It also shows that perseverance, determination, and a kind heart are the keys to surviving almost any difficult situation. As an added bonus, there is plenty of the “will they/won’t they” tension between Madeline and a special someone who sticks by her side through it all, proving that some friendships are meant to be.

If you love sweet, clean stories with a lot of heart, this is for you. It’s appropriate for middle-grade all the way through adulthood (and believe me, it will take you back to those younger days!) Don’t forget to pre-order today and dive in on August 11!

Keep up-to-date with Emily’s work on her Facebook Author Page!

All About It Blog Series, Week Five

Welcome back to the All About It blog series that introduces readers to my book series!

On today’s agenda is the series with the weirdest name (maybe) ever: The Immortal Grimm Brothers’ Guide to Sociopathic Princesses!

This series is a seven-book series of fairy tale adaptations with big twists! It has mostly great reviews with a few who just didn’t like the premise at all—the magical system, the time and setting, and other things (and that one person who really hated that I omitted everything the Grimm brothers did in their lives other than writing fairy tales)—but that’s okay! Not everyone has to love my books! I’m just glad it has a following of folks who really do love it!

This series is geared toward young adults, but I have many adult readers who like it too! If you like fairy tale adaptations flipped on their heads, you would love this series. I call it my Teen Wolf meets Grimm’s Fairy Tales with a Wicked twist series because it has a little to appeal to everyone—werewolves, magic, a twist that makes your beloved princesses the bad guys, and more!

Here are those commonly asked questions again:

  1. What is the target age group?

Adults and teens who love fairy-tales with a paranormal twist.

2. What are the ages of the characters?

Once again, that’s hard to pin down because some of the characters are reborn, some are immortal, others have magic that keeps them from aging the same as humans—but ultimately, the characters range in age from 18 into adulthood, and includes multiple generations.

3. What is the content rating?

There are no sex scenes or cussing in these books, but there is violence against monsters and some human death. I’d say PG to PG-13.

4. Why did you start this series?

I wanted to add a twist to the fairy tales I loved as a child, but with elements of magic and paranormal creatures people love so much in modern-day fantasy.

5. Should I read the series in order?

Yes, yes, yes! If you don’t, you will be so confused. Each story has its own conclusion, but it sets up the next book in the series. The series has many small hurdles in each book, but a long plot that follows the whole way through.

Here are all the details:

Snow Kissed, Volume One, is the first look into the world of Schwarzwald.

Eighteen-year-old Calla Benson is like any other normal teenage girl. She has a secret crush on her best friend, likes music and movies, works hard to make good grades, and does her best to stay out of trouble. But once in a blue moon, Calla is anything but normal. There’s a predatory animal lurking inside her, just waiting to rampage through the forest once a year.

One fateful night, Calla comes across something she’s never seen before—someone like her. After a tense meeting in the forest, Calla dives headlong into a fantastical land she never knew existed. She learns things are not always what they seem, and she is farther from normal than she ever imagined.

With the help of her best friends, a pair of quirky brothers, and a family she never knew she had, Calla embarks on a mission to save her people from a treacherous queen. With wolves, witches, deathly secrets, and mysterious lands (and a few confusing boys), Calla’s life is flipped upside down. It’s the stuff fairy tales are made of… because being a teenager wasn’t already difficult enough.

Here is a look at the main characters in the first book, Calla and Wil!

Artwork by Ana Karina

To view additional characters from other books in the series, you can visit my website character art page here:

There are currently six books released in the series! You can find descriptions of the books on my website here:

The final book, The Heart of the Darkness, is in the planning and outlining stages. Some scenes are written, and it is coming together nicely. I hope to have this available by the winter of this year! Soon after that, I hope to have a complete illustrated Grimm Guide with everything fans need to know about the series!