Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish - (Publisher Summary: Zou Lei, orphan of the desert, migrates to work in America and finds herself slaving in New York’s kitchens. She falls in love with a young man whose heart has been broken in another desert. A new life may be possible if together they can survive homelessness, lockup, and the young man’s nightmares, which may be more prophecy than madness.) 

This is easily (*easily*) the best book I’ve read this year. The writing is beautiful and harsh, sparing nothing and no one. It’s not just a gut punch to the myth of the American Dream–it eviscerates it. No one will save them and so they spiral downward, and then up again, back and forth, clinging to the hope that they are enough to each other to change something. Anything. It’s such a powerful book. I’m still reeling and can’t get it out of my head.  

The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein - (Publisher Summary: In the beautiful, barren landscape of the Far North, under the ever-present midnight sun, Frances and Yasha are surprised to find refuge in each other. Their lives have been upended–Frances has fled heartbreak and claustrophobic Manhattan for an isolated artist colony; Yasha arrives from Brooklyn to fulfill his beloved father’s last wish: to be buried “at the top of the world.” They have come to learn how to be alone.) 

The first word that comes to mind is “cute.” The second is “forgettable.” I wish I had connected with this story. It had the right parts, it had the well-drawn characters, but something about it never quite meshed. I know it’s a deceptively light book, hiding darker, deeper themes, but they never surfaced for me. It felt very flat and shallow. Cute too, at times. 

Because I love you more than any goddamn thing on this fucking planet, I’m gonna let you have one more day. You just lost your daddy, and I’ll never forgive myself for not being here with you. I’ll live my life regretting it. But I’ll be back. You’re mine, Eva Brooks. Always. You told me that yourself and, sweetheart, I’m holding you to it.
—  Abbi Glines, Sometimes It Lasts

So I decided to change the main protagonist of my novel from male to female. Believe me when I say that it turned the whole fucking thing on its side and became something so exciting and emotional that I was crying. However, it also means that I need to go back and revisit some plot points.


An excerpt of the original novel I’m working on right now. While not fan fiction, it’s hard to separate one style from the other and so it reads a lot like what I would write as Vesperchan.

Another card was left behind in her purse. She pinched it between her fingers and turned it over, double checking out of habit and not from need. It was the same as all the others, and just like the others, it was near impossible to explain it’s arrival, wedged between her things in the mess that was her bag.
The card was trimmed in shimmering copper detail atop a plain black background where white scripted words stood out from the center. Duelist was written in white gold that caught light and held it greedily. When Alice turned the card over there was an etching of a queen on a throne holding a sword in one hand and reaching across the card with the other, palm facing up as if expecting something in return. The background was dotted with stars that made something inside her chest pinch painfully.
When she had been a young thing her face was filled full of the tiny red freckles shared between her mother and grandmother. It became a game to find constellations on her skin, even as the years faded the markings from her body.
Being born in early December she found her zodiac sign Sagittarius above her left elbow alongside crux, the cross. Other explorations revealed Cassiopeia the queen dotted across her chest, Cygnus the swan behind her neck, and Ursa Minor the little bear dotted her shoulder among others. Sometimes her mother found constellations Alice couldn’t see or remember, and it made the game all the more appealing.
She cried once when she couldn’t find Ursa major to match the little bear she saw wrap around her shoulder, but her mother had kissed her tears away and told her that there was someone else out there with that constellation on their skin and it wasn’t fair that she wanted all the constellations for herself. It was the silly sort of logic mothers used on children too young for the absence of fairytales, but Alice believed it even after her freckles began to fade.
By the time she lost most of her freckles, the memory had become just as distant. Most of her memories of her parents were like that, especially the ones of her mother.
Tyrannosaur Queen | The Kingdoms of Evil

Former soldier Andrea Ferrero isn’t happy with where her life’s taken her. Specifically, Hell Creek, Montana, 65 million years before the present.  As far as careers go, making sure the dinosaurs don’t eat her paleontologist clients comes in a pretty dismal second choice. But when their time machine malfunctions, Andrea and her team are trapped in a timeline that shouldn’t exist with something a hell of a lot more dangerous than terrible lizards: other people.

Kidnapped by the stone-age descendants of a lost colony, Andrea finds herself stripped of her technological advantages and forced into a war against the implacable armies of the Slaver Empire. Even worse, the Slavers have captured the time machine and the mission’s one surviving paleontologist, using his futuristic weapons to benefit their own ends.

Andrea’s only hope is the ferociously intelligent and violently insane tribal war-leader, Trals Scarback. Armed with his sword Vritai the All-Cutter, Srav his trained velociraptor, and his herd of war-triceratopses, this former slave has the resources and motivation to take on the empire. But can Andrea persuade him to see her as a partner rather than a tool for his ambitions? Only if she beats the barbarian at his own game and becomes the Tyrannosaur Queen.

Status: Preparing for self-publishing in December 2015!

My book trailer is what’s making me happy today! :D For the full video, check out my website 😁 #100happydays #day2 #book #BookTrailer #Fantasy #FantasyBook #Novel #FantasyNovel #FantasyStory #Writing #Writer #Author #TheRedwoodRebel #TheRedwoodWarSeries Animation by Juliette Brocal: 💖