Writer Woe Number 428 (or something like that): Too Many Blasted Characters


First of all, I know what you’re going to say.

You’re going to say that the sheer volume of characters in my novels is my own stupid fault. That I was a doofus and basically unleashed the population of a small movie theater (on a Harry Potter premier night) into my imagination and said, “Sure you can join the party!”

I’ve told my Beta team, especially Spider, that she has free license to shoot me if I ever dream up another series with this sheer volume of characters and twists. She was like, “Oh don’t worry, I will because MY BRAIN has melted as well!”

I’d say that 70% of the time, I have a solid grasp on crowd control and how the vast cast works through the novels. But the other 30% of the time? It’s like trying to work your way to the girl’s bathroom at a One Direction concert. PURE CHAOS.

True North has proven to be the toughest novel to wrangle in the Undertow series so far. There are numerous scenes with multiple characters interacting at once. And we’re not talking fight scenes (I mean, there ARE fight scenes, but right now I’m not referring to them in this whine-a-log . . . though they are totally kick-ass. Wait . . . what was I moaning about? Oh, right . . .). I’m talking dialogue heavy scenes where more than four characters are talking at once and I have several that are more than seven.


Yeah, I know – I already ordered a straight jacket in my size from Amazon. Thank goodness I have Prime with the two day shipping and all.

What irks me is when I don’t like how a multi-character scene feels, even after several re-writes. Idood2 pride myself on how I mix Eila and her crew in many scenes where they bounce off one another, talking, moving, and interrupting one another like real people. And they’re not real, you know? I’m serious: they are NOT real. I mean, I’m thrilled reviewers and fans seem to forget that little piece of info, but DAMN – keeping them “real” is a task and a half inside the books (I may rely heavily on cookies and chips with dip).

Making those scenes, with dialogue flying back and forth among a group of distinctive characters with frayed emotions, is really hard. In fact, I’d say dialogue among multiple characters at once, is probably the bane of most writers, because even if one character is doing the soapbox thing, the others around him or her have to still feel present to the reader. You can’t just write the scene and flatly ignore everyone else in the room (though, lord knows, I’ve met a few REAL people who act that way).

So yes, True North is taking longer than expected because many scenes are being retweaked until I like them, but I will admit – I LOVE this particular installment of the series.

And once I’m done, the manuscript will head to my MEGA AWESOME Beta team. Having a Beta team as spectacular as they are, cross-checking the characters in the previous books and making sure I don’t fumble a story thread, is a HUGE task that they pull off flawlessly. I’m MADLY grateful for all their incredible work over the years. Seriously – I could never, ever pull off the series (which is turning into more of an epic), without them. My wish, for all writers, is to have such an amazing team of Betas behind them.

After nearly two years of scattering numerous puzzle pieces of story line over 300,000 words of urban fantasy insanity, readers will finally get to see how all the pieces fit together in True North. And yes, that includes Cruel Summer as well, with its numerous hidden breadcrumbs.

Wait – what’s that you say?

You thought it was just a prequel novella about Kian and Ana’s romance?

Dude, have you MET ME? Have you READ me?

Pfft – I do nothing with out a devious twist.






Burnt Leaves and Other Weirdness

b8f878b0-7b4a-523f-83b3-de420a99b0c4.imageMy mother is a wise soul.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, she’s kooky and crazy and lives out loud, but she’s got this inner Zen thing going on that makes her come out with some true treasures of insight every once in a while.

One such gem was pretty simple: she said real writers, WRITE. They don’t perseverate, they don’t make up bullshit excuses. They just write – nose to the keyboarded, possible drink in their hand (hello, Hemmingway), and a brilliant fire in their belly that demands they tell the story.

I didn’t have that drive to write when I first messed around with UNDERTOW, but once I got really rolling inside Eila’s world, I loved it – the feel of the abused keys under my fingers and how the voices and scenes washed away the world as I worked. I mean, literally – the house could catch fire and I may not realize it.

So anytime I try to excuse myself from my keyboard, I remember my mother’s words (and the fact that my readers will get on my case if I don’t finish my next novel) and I get back down to business.

But I like to think that I’m actually a storyteller first, a writer second. The tough thing about being an obsessive storyteller is that you have a MILLION stories to tell. And because the new characters and tales are screaming to come out, I sometimes think I can weave them ALL into a current WIP (work in progress). Sometimes I do, but sometimes I control the urge and tell myself they deserve their own novels. Most of the time I spin so many stories in my head, that they all jockey for attention at once, which literally melts my brain.

At night I go running for a few miles, music blaring in my ears, seeking the muse within. While I pound the pavement, those stories that are whispered in my mind suddenly come vividly to life. I no longer see the road, but rather an entire scene playing before me like a ghostly movie screen. Literally, I no longer have any sense of where I am, only that I SEE the scene in front of me. The stories that win the right to be the next one written, are the ones that build scene after scene, night after night as I run.

Tonight I went walking with Kalli, and while we strolled she suddenly asked me why I was feeling the leaves.

I didn’t even know I was doing it.

I was walking under a low slung oak branch and my fingers were trailing through the tips of the leaves above me. But in my mind, I wasn’t touching them – my character was and the leaves weren’t soft and green, but curled and windburnt.

I turned to my daughter and simply replied, “I’m writing,” as I dropped my hands and shrugged.

Of course, she thought I was not normal and commented as such. A minute or two of silence sat between the two of us as we walked in the near darkness. I glanced at her out of the corner of my eye as she fiddled with her phone, seeming flustered, but then she finally huffed in aggravation and halted. “DAMN IT! Now I’m gonna obsessed about what you’re writing!”

I smiled like the cat who ingested Tweety and pointed to the tree, sitting content and deep green in the night air, and said, “The leaves, in my mind, are burnt and the damage isn’t from nature. I see it every night when I run.”

Kalli looked at me, a stone-still stare that she has perfected over the years, and only her lips moved. “You are so weird.”

Yup. That’s me. The weird one.

I am my mother’s daughter. Apple. Tree.

My daughter is totally doomed to inherit that gene.

Below is the opening of a WIP I call THE COFFIN CREW . . . a story I see in the broken fences and fields of my nighttime runs . . .



The prayer is well practiced.

It slips from my lips, a whispered plea for strength and salvation as my cheek fits tightly against the damp metal, my hand steady, my heart calm. I breathe the words, sending them flowing down the honed steel and polished wood as I ease my shoulder down an inch, enhancing my field of vision.

“Béni soit le Seigneur ma force , qui enseigne mes mains au combat, et mes doigts à la bataille. O mon Dieu, je fais confiance en toi : permettez-moi de ne pas avoir honte , ne laissez pas mes ennemis triompher de moi.”

A part of me, a dark corner of my heart, knows the truth: that the words, once so dear to me, have turned bitter on my tongue, evolving into a talisman against Death, rather than a direct line to God. An incantation that now toes the line between witchcraft and superstition, for I know salvation is no longer mine to ask for.

I’ve sacrificed my soul – and my faith – for the land I lay on, my stained blouse doing little to fend off the damp dirt and trampled wheat beneath me. The slow, shallow breaths I maintain force my chest to dig into the soft earth, the little buttons pressing against my fair skin, but my back doesn’t rise.

Tucked in behind the rotting log, my only company is a delicate spider stepping over the gnarled bark, inches from my nose. I study how it moves, a coordinated ballet of eight needle thin legs, and I wonder if it knows its destination, or does instinct drive it?

Does it sense the difference between a granite stone and a decaying body?

I refocus my eyes on the road that cuts through the field when I hear the distant sound of an engine. It’s a well-worn passage point, a scar that digs into the land by those who have turned the green fields of my country to crimson.

I watch from my hidden spot among the grain, grateful that dawn has brought with her a veil of fog that clings to the trees like cobwebs and makes me invisible to those on the road.

From my low point on the ground, however, I can see.

A slow moving truck rattles and protests as it appears from the tall pines, followed by three armed guards on foot, the jagged double S on their uniforms leaving little doubt as to who they are.

I whisper the words once again as I carefully roll my chest to the left and the barrel of my rifle slides silently to the right, causing the spider to freeze. Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.”

I count carefully in my head. One driver. One passenger. Three on foot.

Five total.

I have never taken on five, but I won’t allow them to pass, even if where I lay will be where I die. I wonder, morbidly, if it would take long to decay? Would the animals scuffle over my bones and my rifle rust into the log? And years from now, would a child find my bones and my gun, and thank me because they were once again free?

Or would we never be free again, doomed to this hell for all eternity?

I ease my finger over the trigger, closing my left eye as I take aim for the walking soldier with the long-barreled rifle. He is laughing at something his comrade is saying, oblivious to my presence.

I draw breath and the prayer eases from my lungs as my hand stills to stone. “O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not my enemies triumph over me,” I whisper, pulling the trigger.

A howling crack splits the fog and drops the laughing soldier to the ground, lifeless, as the rifle kicks hard into my shoulder. It’s painful, but I’m immune to the gun’s bruising recoil at this point.

Slamming the second bullet into the chamber before I take a breath, I instantly adjust my aim as the men yell, reacting to the first shot and the dead comrade in their midst.

I fire again and my bullet cracks through the land, scattering the birds in nearby trees as the men scramble to find me before my sniper scope finds them. I’ve put another clean shot through the head of the Joker, and he hits the ground like lead, probably before he even had a chance to understand what happened to his laughing comrade.

They begin firing blindly into the fog, desperate to stop me, but I am lethal and calculating, reading their body language as the panic. I can tell where they will run before they do, making escape impossible and death imminent.

Within a matter of seconds, I take the remaining three lives cleanly, though one man moves briefly on the ground after my bullet lodges in his chest. His hand grabs for the dirt, as if seeking comfort from the damaged land, and I slowly rise, watching the truck wobble into the field, still in drive, until it catches on a broken fence post and stalls.

I sling the faithful American rifle back over my shoulder and the strap tugs on my long braid before I pull my hair free. It was becoming a burden, my hair, making me both easily recognizable as a girl and often tangling with my father’s gun, but I keep it long. I remember Mother’s love of brushing it, and braiding it, and for that reason, I have yet to take the sheers to it.

I keep it long to keep their memory alive.

I look out over the field and the carnage I have caused and note that the man is no longer moving. I don’t wretch at the site of my kills anymore, and I wonder if my parents have finally found freedom in the arms of Death, or do they watch me still, horrified by what I’ve become?

Glancing once more to the log that hid me so well and cross myself, thankful I will live to see another day though I doubt God stands alongside any killer, even if the death of those five men may have saved hundreds.

I notice the spider has continued his trek, unconcerned for the suffering of mankind, and perhaps he is the only one worth saving.

Perhaps none of us deserve any kindness once this war is over.

Perhaps in our quest to save humanity, we’ve destroyed our own.

Pirate Booty, BABY!

I will be signing Undertow, Stormfront, and Cruel Summer at the Whydah Museum in Provincetown, Massachusetts on August 25th from noon to 3pm with Katie O’Sullivan, author of numerous titles including Descent!  Come find us!


whydah signing


KR Conway:

Huge thanks to Novels All Night for their review of Eila nd her motley crew :)

Originally posted on Novels all Night:


Title:  Undertow (Undertow #1)
Author:  K.R Conway
Publisher:  Wicked Whale Publishing
Release Date:  July 21, 2015
Format:  eARC via Netgalley
My Rating:  4/5 stars

If Eila Walker ever had any luck at all it was bad luck.  That’s why she is so surprised to find out that she’s inherited a million dollar home in Cape Cod.  Her guardian, Mae, and her decide that his might be exactly what they need…a fresh start.  Her new town isn’t perfect but she quickly makes a few new friends.  MJ and Ana are great and help make starting a new school bearable.  Then there’s Raef O’Reilly…the mysterious guy who she feels drawn to.  All her luck seems to be changing until shes pulled under the water by an unnatural undertow and is saved by Raef.  The strange thing is the way his eyes turn completely black.  Raef and her friends can no longer hide…

View original 458 more words

Lizzie Borden is BACK!

Today we’re celebrating the release of the Sweet Madness ebook by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie. Sweet Madness is a retelling of the infamous Borden Murders told from the POV of Lizzie’s Irish maid, Bridget Sullivan. For my review of this killer (pun TOTALLY intended) novel, head over to GOODREADS.



Seventeen-year-old Bridget Sullivan is alone in Fall River, a city that sees Irish immigrants as nothing more than a drunken drain on society. To make matters worse, she’s taken employment with the city’s most peculiar and gossip-laden family—the Bordens. But Bridget can’t afford to be picky—the pay surpasses any other job Bridget could ever secure and she desperately needs the money to buy her little sister, Cara, passage to the states. It doesn’t hurt that the job location is also close to her beau, Liam. As she enters the disturbing inner workings of the Borden household, Bridget clings to these advantages.

However, what seemed like a straightforward situation soon turns into one that is untenable. Of course Bridget has heard the gossip around town about the Bordens, but what she encounters is far more unsettling. The erratic, paranoid behavior of Mr. Borden, the fearful silence of his wife, and worse still…the nightly whisperings Bridget hears that seem to come from the walls themselves.

When Bridget makes a horrifying discovery in the home, all that she thought she knew about the Bordens is called into question…including if Lizzie is dangerous. And the choice she must make about Lizzie’s character could mean Bridget’s life or death.


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23340891-sweet-madness

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1K4xUYm

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sweet-madness-trisha-leaver/1121262963

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781440588945

BAM: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Sweet-Madness/Trisha-Leaver/9781440588945?id=6376832499175

The Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Sweet-Madness-Trisha-Leaver/9781440588945

Powell’s: http://www.powells.com/biblio/62-9781440588945-0


What Readers Are Saying


“This thrilling novel will keep readers on their toes until the last page. Fans of historical fiction and horror will thoroughly enjoy this book.”—VOYA Magazine

“The portrait of the claustrophobic, creepy Borden household and its denizens, Lizzie especially, is grippingly vivid.” (Kirkus)

“Engaging historical novel that gives readers another glimpse into the infamous Lizzie Borden.” (YA Book Central)

“Dark, creepy and overall fantastically moody; SWEET MADNESS remains firmly entrenched in the Hitchcock side of horror.” (Fangirlish)


About the Authors



Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather disobedient black lab. She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life. She writes Young Adult Contemporary Fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press.

Trisha is a member of the SCBWI, The Cape Cod Writers Center, and the YA Scream Queens—a group of nine female authors who are deathly serious about their horror.


Website: www.trishaleaver.com

Twitter: @tleaver

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTrishaLeaver

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/tleaver

Tumblr: http://trishaleaver.tumblr.com




Lindsay Currie lives in Chicago, Illinois with one incredibly patient hubby, three amazing kids and a 160 pound lap dog named Sam. She’s fond of tea, chocolate and things that go bump in the night.

An author of young adult and middle grade fiction, Lindsay is published with Flux/Llewellyn, Merit Press and Spencer Hill Contemporary.


Website: www.lindsaycurrie.com

Twitter: @lindsayncurrie

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Lindsay-Currie

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/lindsay_currie

Instagram: @lindsayncurrie



To celebrate the ebook release, the authors are giving away a very special swag pack: A custom, exclusive bookmark, an exclusive image of the Borden house taken by photographer Frank C. Grace, and signed bookmarks.

Click the RAFFLECOPTER LOGO for a link to the entry form!



Two Teen Events on Cape Cod July 16, 2015

Join the following Young Adult authors on Cape Cod for a day of wicked good books and wild storytelling.

More details at the bottom of the page, but the quick and dirty about these two free events is as follows:

EVENT 1: BITE INTO READING at The Bourne Library, 19 Sandwich Rd, Bourne, MA. 1:00pm to 3:00 PM

Phone: (508) 759-0644 – ask for Terry Johnson (Children’s Librarian)

or email tjohnson@bournelibrary.org

Ten authors (listed below) will be signing books and talking to teens and parents from 1-3pm, There are also six massive beach totes as part of the library’s fundraiser that will be raffled off. This is a great way to simply pop in, grab some books for summer reading, take some selfies, and then head to the beach. Books will be for sale for signing courtesy of Titcombs BookShop. Click HERE for their store link.

EVENT 2: WRECK A BOOK at The Marstons Mills Library, 2160 Main Street, Marstons Mills MA. 6:00 PM to 8:00PM

Phone: (508) 428-5175 – ask for Lindsay Hughes (Children’s Librarian)

 or email lhughes@clamsnet.org

Ten authors (listed below) will take turns reading from their books while participants get to wreck some of their books and turn the pieces into art. This is a rare chance to hang out with the authors in a casual setting while enjoying a wacky arts and crafts story time for teens. Plus the authors will be in PJs!  Books will be for sale for signing courtesy of Titcombs BookShop. Click HERE for their store link.

#WreckABook #BiteABook

Meet the Authors:

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 8.55.49 PM
K.R. Conway – I have been a professional writer since 1999, dipping my toes in the world of novel writing in 2013 with Undertow (Barnes and Noble Teen Summer Selection for 2015 – WOOT!). I am also a member of the SCBWI, which is a fun way to connect with other writers who are as devious as I am. During the school year I drive a 16-ton school bus because I’m obviously out of my mind. In addition to working jobs that should come with a warning label , I hold a BA in dangerous weirdos (Forensic Psych), torment the tourists about Jaws, and occasionally jump from the Town Neck bridge in an attempt to reclaim my youth. I live on Cape Cod with two smallish humans who apparently are my kids, my fishing-obsessed husband, a mutant dog, and a cage-defiant lovebird that sleeps in a miniature tent. Nope – that’s not a type-o. The bird is quite the indoor camper. Tweet to her @Sharkprose


Trisha Leaver – Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab.  She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life.  She writes Young Adult Contemporary fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press. Tweets to her @trishaleaver


Hillary Monahan: Talking about myself isn’t nearly as much fun as I thought it’d be, so I’ll try to keep it simple.  I’m in my thirties and I live in a lovely little suburb just south of Boston with my horror dork husband. We have three basset hounds and three cats. We’re suckers for punishment. At least, I am. The husband just gives me what I want because listening to me piss and moan is no fun. At night, when the lights are dim and the creepy crawlies scuttle around in the dark, I throw words at my computer.  Sometimes they’re even good words. My YA horror MARY: The Summoning was published 9/2/2014 by Disney Hyperion. My lit agent is Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Agency. I tend to blog about writing. And horror movies. And whatever other random thing is on my brain at the moment because I have the attention span of a goldfish. Tweet to her @HillaryMonahan


Jen Malone: Jen Malone writes books for tweens and teens, including At Your Service and the You’re Invited series with Simon & Schuster, and Map to the Stars and the forthcomingWanderlost with HarperCollins. She is a former Hollywood publicisit who once spent a year traveling the world solo, met her husband on the highway (literally), and went into labor with her identical twins while on a rock star’s tour bus. These days she saves the drama for her books. Tweet to her at @jenmalonewrites


Jen Brooks: Jen has a habit of being deeply moved by profound ideas, and her writing reflects her interest in exploring human goodness, relationships, and the feeling of being a part of something greater than oneself. She loves the science fiction and fantasy genres because of their dazzling possibilities for portraying characters and ideas. She credits her undergraduate experience at Dartmouth College, her MFA at Seton Hill University, and her fourteen years of English teaching with shaping her writing.  She is grateful to her family, friends, and students for inspiring her to write. Tweet to her @jenbrookswriter


Reade Scott Whinnem: As a child, Reade Scott Whinnem spent his summers in the earthquake-ridden, ghost-infested woods of East Haddam, Connecticut. From an early age, his father instilled in him a love of Star Trek, comic books, and monster movies, thereby condemning him to a life of incurable geekiness. In addition to being a writer, he is also an avid gardener, cook, and photographer. Both he and his wife are proud public school teachers. They live on Cape Cod with their son, Charlie, where they dig clams, correct essays, and, when necessary, reassure their overweight cat that she is a devastatingly attractive feline. Tweet to him @ReadeSWhinnem


Skylar Dorset: Skylar’s first story was a tale of romantic intrigue involving two feuding factions of squirrels. Think “Romeo & Juliet” but with bushy tails and added espionage. She was seven. Since that time, Skylar’s head has been filled with lots of characters and lots of drama. She is delighted to be able to share some of it with all of you now, because, honestly, it was getting pretty loud and crowded in there. Skylar is a born-and-bred New Englander, which is why Boston was a natural setting for her debut novel, THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS. Skylar shares her home with a cardboard cutout of the Tenth Doctor, lots of Mardi Gras beads from the time she spent living in New Orleans, and a harp she’s supposed to be teaching herself to play. She’d like to get a dog. Tweet to her @SkylarDorset


Katie O’Sullivan: I’m an author, editor, magazine columnist, wife, and mother to three kids and two big dogs… not necessarily in that same order each day. I try to write every day and read a book a week, but life often gets in the way. I write romance and adventure for young adults and the young at heart, and living next to the Atlantic Ocean influences everything I write… Tweet to her @OkatieO


Kristine Carlson Asselin:  I’ve always been a writer–first with short stories in elementary school and then as a tragic poet in high school.  I wrote for both my high school newspaper and my college literary journal. I have a BS from  Fitchburg State University, in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. I wrote a lot of bad scripts for my film classes and loved every minute of it. My MA is from the University of Connecticut. I spent about twelve years as a student activities professional–for most of my career I was the director of student activities at Brandeis University.  I had a blast every day.  I’ve had the pleasure of working on Fourteen books for Capstone (with thirteen already published), and hope to continue my relationship with them. I love books–mostly middle grade and YA.  I’m a sucker for a good love song.  And I can’t resist an invitation for Chinese Food or Ice Cream.  But not together. Tweet to her @KristineAsselin


Lori Goldstein: Born into an Italian-Irish family (hence the short temper and the freckles), Lori grew up on the Jersey Shore and now makes her home outside of Boston in a place close enough to the ocean that on the right day, she can smell the sea from her back deck, and yet it still takes an hour to get to the beach. With a journalism degree from Lehigh University, she worked as a writer, editor, and graphic designer before embracing her love of fictional people. As a young girl, Lori would make a tent with her bed sheet and clasp a flashlight in one hand and a book in the other. She’d read into the wee hours, way past her bedtime. Today, she not only reads past her bedtime, she writes too. (And waking up tired has never felt so good). Like Julia Child, her idol and fellow Massachusetts resident who also found success in a second career, Lori shares a love of traveling, cooking, and eating great food—the weirder, the better—with her husband. When not writing or reading (preferably from a sandy locale), Lori can be found chatting books, obsessing over The Vampire Diaries, and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter. Tweet to her @loriagoldstein




Bourne event postcard side 2

Bite into Reading postcard side 2

Author Palooza #capecod

I’m on the Cape today, signing the UNDERTOW series at the Osterville Library with 24 other authors. Details below! HAPPY SUMMER!


A vintage style tourist poster, with ocean beach and parasols.

A vintage style tourist poster, with ocean beach and parasols.

Tourist Season Beach Reads

The weather on ol’ Cape Cod has been terrific and I’ve been parking my sandy butt at the beach nearly every day after work. In honor of summer and the beachside paradise I adore, I’ve dropped UNDERTOW and CRUEL SUMMER to $.99 on Amazon’s Kindle. ENJOY! Click a title name below and be teleported to the right amazon page . . . like magic!



beach reads sale

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Maas

77113_originalA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas

So, I’m gonna preface this by saying that I would not put this book ANYWHERE near a teen shelf. This is solidly New Adult, which is  17 / 18+   –  basically a heavy duty (HEAVY DUTY) PG-13, more likely soft R rating.

But here’s the thing – Sarah Maas writes one of my all time favorite young adult series (Throne of Glass), so when I saw she wrote something for an older crowd, I was intrigued.

As a reviewer (and author) you should know two things about me: I’m a character Nazi AND I’m not into high fantasy . . . with the major exception of Ms. Maas and Leigh Bardugo. And the only reason I’m a mad fan of both ladies is because their prose rides the line with poetry, their world building is flawless and dark, but (most critically) their characters MAKE SENSE.

In A Court of Thorns and Roses, Maas builds spectacular, fall-off-the-page characters, with fully drawn motivations, personalities, voice, and quirks and then drops them into a high fantasy world of warring faeries who would feel more at home in The Walking Dead than Pixie Hollow.

Summed up quickly, A Court of Thorns and Roses is a terrifying R-rated re-twisting of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST meets GAME OF THRONES and it is spectacular.

Set against a brutal, festering war between Fae kingdoms, Maas weaves a delicate, tenuous chemistry between huntress Feyre and the beast, Tamlin, who demands she lives in his stunning land known as The Spring Court – payment, as it were, for her murdering a comrade of his when she was hunting in the human world.

Lucien, best friend and comrade to Tamlin, also lives in the Summer Court and the three form a slow friendship, with Lucien’s sharp tongue and snide remarks making him a true scene-stealer.

Then there is a host of truly nightmare worthy creatures who are slipping into Tamlin’s kingdom from a dark, hateful place ruled by an iron Queen with a lethal agenda. She dwells Under the Mountain alongside her morally questionable boy toy – a High Fae named Rhysand who is self-centered, but darkly funny and flawed.

I dare you to go Under the Mountain with Feyre to save the life of a beast.

I dare you to put this one down.





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