Awesome Blogs

**Awesome Blog** The Carnelian Crow (Stoker & Holmes, #4) by Colleen Gleason (Review by Melanie V””V #NerdGirlVamp)

Hello Nerd Herd!!!!!

As you know from time to time we will share with you some reviews or musings from the “Non Indie” world so here are my thoughts on The Carnelian Crow

Melanie V””V #NerdGirlVamp

Title: The Carnelian Crow (Stoker & Holmes, #4) 

Author: Colleen Gleason

Published Date: July 11th 2017

Genre:  YA Steampunk


1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

paragraph divider 18



 Ever since the debacle of the Chess Queen Enigma, Mina Holmes and Evaline Stoker have laid low, trying to settle back into their quiet lives as young ladies of London. But the Holmesian deductive abilities won’t remain dormant for long, and when Mina receives a strange package from a winged, midnight visitor, she is catapulted into a new, dangerous adventure: the search for The Carnelian Crow.

Meanwhile, Evaline has received some very disturbing news–news that will change her life forever. Along with that unpleasant knowledge is the strange disappearance of her nemesis, the disreputable pickpocket Pix.

When it becomes clear the arch-villainess the Ankh has made her next move, it will take all of Mina’s Holmesian ingenuity and Evaline’s courage and determination to stop the… Continue reading

Hallowread Attending Author Exclusive with Kim Alexander!

You’d think after co-producing Sirius XM Book Radio for over 5 years, listening to hundreds of hours of audio, and interviewing both authors and voice actors, I’d be better equipped to have one of my own books turned into audio. You’d be mistaken!

I love audio books. I guess I’m not alone–Audible is setting the world on fire these days, and voice actors and authors are lining up at the ACX website to meet n’ greet and make connections. That’s how I found my actor, William Turbett. I posted my audition script–which included multiple human and non- human characters acting bitchy at a cocktail party–and he killed it. We agreed on terms, and he got to work.

(I should also mention my novel, The Sand Prince, is epic fantasy and typically for the genre runs about 120,000 words, which in the end came out to about 12 hours. That is a BIG commitment on the part of the actor, so when he tells me he loved the book, I hope he means it!)

I’ve listened to many, many audio books, but until this spring, I’d never heard my own words–my characters, who I love fiercely and protectively–my jokes, my sex scenes, my murders–I’d never heard them out loud. And it was an experience! The jokes landed! Tense scenes were absolutely fraught! It was subtle and funny and made sense. And the emotion was turned up to eleven.

Writing a book is usually an intensely personal act. This is a world of your own creation, peopled with characters you bring to life. They turn into so much more than puppets acting out scenes–they have decisions and interior lives of their own, they love and hate and act sometimes (it seems) without any input from the writer. I was trepidatious to say the least to turn my darlings over to someone else. Would William understand why Rhuun is so defensive? Or why Hellne is a great queen but an indifferent mother? Would he be able to pronounce words in the Eriisai dialect which until now have only lived in my head?

He did all those things, and more. To hear them interact, laugh, cry, insult and sometimes be kind to each other was something like a miracle. So now my story of two worlds–torn apart by war and betrayal yet inexorably linked by magic and love is now yours to listen to. I hope you love it, too.

“When the storm came, it was made of magic, not rain, and when it had passed, the life and the city Hellne knew were changed forever.”

Two worlds, divided by a door.

On the war-ravaged demon world of Eriis, Hellne, the fierce young queen, fights to keep her people alive…

On the green and gentle human world of Mistra, the demons have faded into myth. Only a handful of old men and children still guard The Door between the worlds…

Rhuun, the Prince of Eriis, uncovers a forgotten book written by a human, sparking an obsession with the other world. When he is forced to flee Eriis, he must escape through The Door or pay the price in blood.

The humans of Mistra are not what Rhuun was expecting—and one insufferable young woman in particular is about to find out that the demons of Eriis are not mythological after all…

Continue reading

**Awesome Blog** Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong (Review by Melanie V””V – #NerdGirlVamp)

Hello Nerd Herd!!!!!

As you know from time to time we will share with you some reviews or musings from the “Non Indie” world so here are my thoughts on Omens.

Melanie V””V #NerdGirlVamp

Title: Omens (Cainsville #1)

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Published Date: April 13th 2013

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Mystery


1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

paragraph divider 18


Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears… Continue reading

**Awesome Blog** Welcome to Night Vale (Night Vale #1) by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor (Review by Melanie V””V – #NerdGirlVamp)

Hello Nerd Herd!!!!!

As you know from time to time we will share with you some reviews or musings from the “Non Indie” world so here are my thoughts on Welcome to Night Vale 

Melanie V””V #NerdGirlVamp


Title: Welcome to Night Vale (Night Vale #1)

Author: Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor 

Published Date: October 20th 2015

Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy


1 star1 star1 star1 star

paragraph divider 18



From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Valepodcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find ourselves…no matter where we live.

Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge.

Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked “King City” by a mysterious man in a tan jacket holding a deer skin suitcase. Everything about him… Continue reading

#IndyAuthorTalk with Shannon Nemechek – Why our Readers are so important to us

Collage 2016-03-28 18_26_24-1


Collage 2016-03-11 21_24_23-1-1

First of all, especially in the Romance industry, not only are we writers, but we are also readers.  So as readers, we tend to be more empathic when it comes to our own readers.  Maybe it is a little do unto others as we would have them do unto us mixed in there.

But for me, I never realized how much of an impact the writer/reader’s relationship was until I became a writer myself.  The interaction between writer and reader is like no other because we are one and the same.

I am having such a wonderful time, being able to interact with readers, as a reader myself, I have Fangirl moments too.  Like when I am doing a takeover, and I find myself doing one with a couple of USA Today and New York Times best-selling Authors, I seriously Fangirl.

It’s amazing to me as a writer, how close we are able to become with our readers, especially in the Romance Genre.  I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we are readers too; we have our Fangirl moments, and that makes this job so much fun.   We have signings, Facebook events, conferences, and of course the Romance Writers of America national conference.

I mean come on, you can’t get this close to Gerard Butler on the Red Carpet or on a movie set. By the way, if you decide to follow me, friend me or meet me, you will find I am convinced he and I were married in past lives.  Ha ha.

We, as writers, are readers first and writers second.  We are the readers and as the readers, don’t we always spread the word about our favorite author or a new book we just read?  What a blessing and honor it is for me to be able to say I am a Romance Novelist, and that we have the best readers and fellow authors in this industry.

We are approachable because we ourselves, are the FANS and we are the readers. Don’t we all love an HEA?   That’s what we get when we pick up a romance novel, well most anyway, some are HEA, for now, stories, and that’s ok too.

We all love a great HEA story, from the time we were little kids until the day we die because HEA shows us all that there is always a Once upon a Time.

So for me, our readers are IMPORTANT, because WE are them and WE are a FAMILY, and as a FAMILY we help each other. And I believe, that is what I found.

So a big thank you, to all of you who have read, will read and who won’t because no matter what, we are FAMILY, the Romance FAMILY.

Continue reading

#IndyAuthorTalk – Weird Writer Habits with Randi Perrin!

Collage 2016-03-28 18_26_24-1

Collage 2016-03-11 21_24_23-1-1

A lot of times when I do interviews, I get asked about what weird writer habits I have. I have quite a few.

I’m crazy anal about naming my characters. Legit. There’s meaning in almost every single character name. Often the name means nothing to anyone but me, but I must have a good character name to develop them. I will spend days agonizing over baby naming sites and going back and forth with people trying to figure it out. And then there are some characters, like Mason in Virtue and Honor, who name themselves. I had named him Mason, and then changed it to something else. But when I started typing the story, I found I had stopped using the new name and defaulted to Mason for several pages. That’s when I knew Mason was going to be his name.

But that’s not the weirdest habit I have—not by a longshot.

My critique partners get texts of pics I take of my monitor with good lines highlighted. Often at all hours of the night. Because I get so proud of lines and I am compelled to share them with someone.

But that’s not the weirdest habit I have either.

My weirdest habit started the Christmas after I wrote Virtue of Death. My husband scoured the internet to find a pair of angel wings earrings—that didn’t have feathers (that was the hardest part for him, as most angel wings are depicted with feathers but my angels do not). I loved them, and I still wear them to almost all book signings and author events I attend. But that started a slippery slope…

Now, every time I get a contract for a story, I pick up a piece of jewelry. They are great conversation starters, believe it or not.

For “Just What I Need,” which was included in Unintentional: North American Edition, I ordered a pair of earrings off etsy that were chocolate covered doughnuts because doughnuts play a role in that story.

For the Earthbound Angels trilogy, I had the earrings my husband kicked it all off with. But I also have three silver stackable rings that I wear on my right hand. One has blue topaz, one emerald, and the other amethyst, each representing one of the books.

For Wreck You, I picked up two pairs of earrings—one is dangly Corvette symbols and the others are studs in the shape of wrenches. Perfect for my grease monkeys with a love of little, red Corvettes.

For “Boston Crème Breakdown” in Food and Romance Go Together, I bought earrings with the @ symbol, as a large part of their romance takes place in emails.

For Anticipating Temptation, a novella coming out later this summer, I already had a pair of dangly star earrings, so I picked up a pair of crescent moons. A crescent moon with a shooting star is an earring combination the main character wears.

It’s a little quirky, but it’s fun to try and figure out the best piece of jewelry to get to play off a new piece, and they are fabulous conversation starters. Sometimes I come up with more than one idea, so I keep one and use the other as a giveaway.

Mi Amor is another novella coming later this summer… and I haven’t figured out what I’m going to get for that one. (Though I do know the giveaway that will be for that one.) Follow me on Twitter and Facebook to find out about all my releases and giveaways.

Continue reading

#HallowreadAuthorExclusive featuring Meg Eden!

Meg Eden

10 Things People Don’t Tell You About Publishing A Novel

  • Finding an agent or editor is like dating. It’s subjective, and when you find “the one” there’s this gushy feeling you two have for each other. There’s no shame in having trouble finding an agent–the timeline works differently for everyone, and that’s OK. It’s an important relationship, and shouldn’t be rushed.
  • It can take a long time. I got my first agent in high school, almost sold my novel to an editor when at the University of Maryland as an undergrad. But the editor couldn’t sell it to the house. After that, I dropped my agent (my students were like “Dump her! It’s been 6 years and nothing’s happened”—so again, it’s like dating!) and queried small press editors. After lots of rejection letters, Bob from California Coldblood accepted my novel “Post-High School Reality Quest,” which is coming out in June. Let me clarify that PHSRQ is my thirteenth novel. I had to write 12 really mediocre novels to get one that worked. That’s not the case for everyone, but it’s unlikely the first thing you finish will be “the one.”
  • There’s a lot of chance involved. My publishing successes have often been “Lol why not” submissions. For example, the press publishing my novel focuses on sci fi and urban fantasy. Bob even told me, “This book isn’t really sci fi, but I don’t care—I really love it.” I sent my work out constantly. During my lectures (sorry not sorry UMD), I tried to send out about ten submissions. But the more you send out, the more likely your work will find the right home.
  • The big houses aren’t necessarily the perfect home for you. There can be lot at stake when you publish with a big house. With bigger investments come bigger expectations. If your book’s not a NYT bestseller, it might be hard to make an argument for your second book. Big houses publish a lot of books, so yours doesn’t necessarily get as much attention as you might like. I love working with California Coldblood because it’s a small operation with a professional backing, and I have only three fellow authors with me in the press. We’re like a family, and I get to work really closely with my editor, and have a say with the cover and everything, which I really appreciate.
  • Being young is good. Agents and editors are looking for younger writers. I got my first agent in high school. If you’re a student, don’t let that discourage you–use that in your favor.
  • There are strong lit communities–there’s probably one in your home town! I grew up in the Baltimore/DC area but it took me several years to realize all the amazing diverse communities that were accessible to me. Do some research, get connected with writers in your area, and serve your local communities. Volunteer at local book fairs and writing conventions, be a part of a local open mike or critique group, read for a local literary magazine. By giving back, you build friendships and relationships with readers and writers that will serve you well in the future.
  • Twitter is where the industry is. Follow your dream agents and favorite writers on twitter. Get involved in and follow twitter chats. Watch #mswl for agents to get a sense of what they’re looking for. Participate in #pitchwars and build relationships with published writers. Follow #2017debuts to see up and coming work and be familiar with what’s happening in the industry.
  • Your first sentence is critical. If you don’t grab your reader in that first sentence, that first page, they’re not going to keep reading. If you haven’t already, get a position as a reader or editor for a magazine or journal and feel what it’s like to be on the other side of the slush pile. As I work as a reader for two magazines, I find my patience is very slim for work, and someone has to grab me immediately for me to want to keep reading and not just move onto the next piece.
  • Rejection letters aren’t bad. Some of my favorite replies to my submissions have been rejection letters. Some agents or editors will write back with specific ideas of how to improve my novel, or interest in seeing more of my work. I love getting feedback and through rejection letters have learned how I can improve my writing and make my stories and poems even stronger.

Publish smaller work before sending out a full novel. In high school, I sent out my poems and short stories to literary magazines. Then when I queried an agent, I was able to mention places I had already been published. I think this helps a query letter stand out.  It says that you’ve already been vetted as a writer, that what they’re about to read is probably pretty good, and can get them excited about reading your work

Buffy is playing a game. However, the game is her life, and there are no instructions or cheat codes on how to win.

After graduating high school, a voice called “the text parser” emerges in Buffy’s head, narrating her life as a classic text adventure game. Buffy figures this is just a manifestation of her shy, awkward, nerdy nature—until the voice doesn’t go away, and instead begins to dominate her thoughts, telling her how to live her life. Though Buffy tries to beat the game, crash it, and even restart it, it becomes clear that this game is not something she can simply “shut off” or beat without the text parser’s help.

While the text parser tries to give Buffy advice on how “to win the game,” Buffy decides to pursue her own game-plan: start over, make new friends, and win her long-time crush Tristan’s heart. But even when Buffy gets the guy of her dreams, the game doesn’t stop. In fact, it gets worse than she could’ve ever imagined: her crumbling group of friends fall apart, her roommate turns against her, and Buffy finds herself trying to survive in a game built off her greatest nightmares.

Graduation: May 12th, 2009

You are in the cafeteria. There is a high school graduation happening. Mason, the valedictorian, is giving her farewell to the class. It takes a long time.

In your pocket, there is a letter. It’s crumpled and smeared from you reaching in and touching it so many times, to make sure it’s still there.

Exits are: out, back and stage.

Tristan was almost valedictorian. He was about .002 points away from it. And he makes sure to not let any of you forget. Not that you’d ever forget a single word he’s ever said.


You get up from your chair and go to the back of the room. There is a piano. You look longingly at it.

>Examine piano.

You go over the piano. You run your fingers over the keys but are too shy to actually play anything. That’s what everyone says about you: that you want to do something but never actually do it. That’s why you wear gothic Lolita dresses only at home, curl your hair once a month, and paint on the weekends. Anything else might be too much.

> Exit out.

You are now in the main hallway. It is very long. There are lots of doors.

You wonder if you hide in one of them long enough you can avoid growing up. Everyone says that after today, everything that you do actually matters. That every decision you make will invariably have consequences on your existence and wellbeing. The only consequences you’re used to are not saving before entering the water temple in Ocarina of Time, or using up your master ball before encountering Mewtwo in Pokemon Red.

Exits are: cafeteria, door, another door, bathroom, main office, and out.

> Door?

You go into one of the doors. It’s not very exciting.


You are now in the main hallway. It is very—


You go into the bathroom. There is an acidic smell you can’t quite place coming from the stalls. Sephora is in front of the mirror, fluffing her insignificant breasts. No one believes her birth name is actually Sephora but no one has any proof to say otherwise. She doesn’t look like a make-up model but you keep that kind of commentary to yourself.

Exits are: bathroom stall and out.

“You dying out there too?” Sephora asks, pressing her hands on her stomach. “It’s so humid in that small room.”

You nod. “Yeah, it’s really hot.” You feel sweat run through your hair, down your scalp.

“When there’s a whole twenty people graduating, you’d think it’d be shorter than this. But they still find a way to make us miserable.” Sephora reapplies a layer of lipstick. “And this uniform makes me look even fatter than usual. Ugh.”

You just graduated from a religious high school. You say religious, because as hard as it is for you to stomach the concept of a God, words like transubstantiation are even less comprehensible to you. And as much as your music class sings about concepts like grace, the signs posted on every door with commandments like: Skirts shorter than your finger tips are unacceptable and Earrings should be no larger than a nickel, have made you eager for the alleged freedom of college.

And not just freedom from rules, but freedom from people like Sephora, who are “your friends” only because of your small school population. Because everyone has to survive somehow, and it’s dangerous to go alone.

But you’ve survived, at least this far. Congratulations.

Sephora sighs, scratching at the dead skin on her cheek. “I can’t wait ‘til the sun comes out again. I mean, look at my skin! I need to tan again.”

Even if you hadn’t seen Sephora in size 00 bikinis before, one look at Sephora makes it clear that she has the Scottish pasty skin that never tans. Just like you. Besides your gender and your love of obscure video games, this is all you have in common with her.

“You know, now that summer’s coming, I’m thinking about trying something new, just for the kicks.” Sephora looks you in the eye. “I’m even thinking about going out with Tristan. Who knows. It might be fun! And I’ve been seeing him eye me…”

You want to tell Sephora that she’s too stupid to date someone as brilliant as Tristan, that he has better taste than that, but you can’t seem to get the words out.

>Wrestle Sephora to the ground.

You wrestle the lipstick from her hands and scream “You whore!” and write mean things on the mirror. Then you stuff her head in the toilet and prevent this horrible story from actually happening.

And by that, you only daydream of wrestling Sephora to the ground.

If you had actually done that, you might’ve beaten the game in record time. Assuming life’s a game and you remembered to save more frequently.

>I don’t like this story.

I’m sorry. I don’t understand “I don’t like this story.” You think we get to choose our stories?

Continue reading

#IndyAuthorTalk with Stasia Morineaux

Collage 2016-03-28 18_26_24-1

Collage 2016-03-11 21_24_23-1-1

Sooooo…I saved this scary part for last. (I totally cheated and skipped ahead to fill in the other sections first!)

It’s so easy to answer the questiony-factual bits, and to write an excerpt, and to type in my social media details.

But, oh boy!

Look what we have here…that ultra-intimidating big blank space. And ‘The Dread’ (a somewhat cute, and of course quite tiny, fantastical critter, something akin to an itty-bitty goblin) sits in my tummy and sets loose the hummingbirds.

What do I want to write about? What do you want to read? Is it gonna be interesting enough?

My mind is a blank.

So I’m going to follow my own advice…which I’ve conveniently posted down somewhere below. And just write.

Something will come of it, I suppose.

How about dreams? The largest source of my inspiration. Aside from traveling and wandering and day-dreaming and people watching…


I weekly regale my family and friends with my wacked-out dream adventures.

I mean, seriously, what is a baby hippo fish? And why was he living in a flooded cornfield-pond? And why-oh-why did he want so badly to suck my arm down his cute little face?

And where are my shoes? Why am I so often finding myself in the most awkward instances with no shoes?

And for the love of Puck…why can I never find a clean restroom?

My mind is a strange and funny place, and I don’t want to scare you away, so maybe we should move on from dreams.

How about ‘Random Facts’? Those can be entertaining.

*I used to be a Candy Maker at Disneyland, right on Main Street! I can make candy canes!  Best job EVER…other than making up worlds that is!

*I have a squirrel circus in my back woods! They perform a daily trapeze act along the Kudzu vines that lace through the trees. And Buddy Squirrel sits beneath my balcony, being all cute and squirrely-like, and begs for peanuts. (Of course I give them to him, I’m no monster!) He’s teaching his friends to do the same. I’m convinced I’m going to wake up one day and they’re going to be knocking on my balcony door.

*I binge watch Netflix and Hula…waaaaay too much.

*Coffee tends to make me sleepy, but I still drink it ALL the time.

*Iced Chai Lattes are my true weakness.

*I have 6 tattoos.

*I suffer from Duality…I want to live in the city. I want to live in the country. 😃

*I didn’t learn to drive until I was 23, I was terrified of having an accident. But with good reason. I’d been in 3 just as a passenger! In retrospect, you’d think that would’ve prompted me to drive myself around a lot sooner! Huh…oh well.

*I craft lotions & potions.

*I rescue spiders…

*I want a Christmas tree farm…and some goats…and some chickens…maybe some bees…

Okay, enough randomness for today.

Go on and enjoy all the nitty-gritty factional info and book stuffs now!

Continue reading

#AwesomeBlog – The Great Pursuit (Eurona Duology #2) by Wendy Higgins (Review by Gladys, #NerdGirlOfficial)

Hello Nerd Herd!!!!!

As you know from time to time we will share with you some reviews or musings from the “Non Indie” world so here are Gladys’s thoughts on The Great Hunt

Melanie V””V #NerdGirlVamp


Title: The Great Pursuit (Eurona Duology #2)

Author: Wendy Higgins

Published Date: March 7th 2017

Genre: YA Fantasy


1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

paragraph divider 18



Lochlanach has traded the great beast for something far more terrible, a Lashed enemy veiled in beauty, deception, and a vengeance passed down through generations: Rozaria Rocato. And she’s offering the hunter Paxton Seabolt power and acceptance he could never receive in his homeland. Pax must decide how far he’s willing to go under her tutelage, knowing she is the opponent of Princess Aerity Lochson.

In a land where traditionalists dread change, the Lochlan throne must contend with mysterious foes and traitors, while attempting to keep revolt at bay. As dire circumstances strike the royal family, matters of the castle are left in Aerity’s hands. It’s time to put aside her fears and grasp the reign, taking actions that have the potential to save or destroy her people.… Continue reading

**Awesome Blog** A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas (Review by Gladys – #NerdGirlOfficial)

Hello Nerd Herd!!!!!

As you know from time to time we will share with you some reviews or musings from the “Non Indie” world so here are Gladys’s  thoughts on  A Court of Wings and Ruin 

Melanie V””V #NerdGirlVamp


Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)

Author: Sarah J. Maas 

Published Date: May 2nd 2017

Genre: YA Fantasy


1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

paragraph divider 18



Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New… Continue reading

NGO on Twitter!