Happy Book Birthday to Emerald Blaze!

Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews is out today! I got to read an early copy of this book back in April and it broke me out of the pandemic reading slump I was in at the time. We’d been in lockdown for over a month at that point, and I thought it felt like forever. (Hahahahahahasob)

But then Ilona graciously offered me an early copy of EB (full disclosure: we’re friends! I’m biased!), and I tore through it in a few days after not finishing anything for weeks.

It is so good. It’s I should clearly give up this writing thing and go live in a cave in the woods because I can never hope to write this well good. I’m jealous of all of you who get to read it for the very first time.

As a reminder, this is the fifth book in the Hidden Legacy series, and the second book in Catalina’s trilogy. You’ll definitely want to at least read Sapphire Flames before this one. And if you have somehow missed Ilona Andrews’s previous books, then you have a whole host of awesome awaiting you.

More info on EB:

Emerald Blaze Cover. A dark-haired white woman in a long green dress holding a sword next to a dark-haired white man in a white shirt with an open color and rolled up sleeves holding a pistol.

Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author, continues her spellbinding series set in the Hidden Legacy world where magic controls everything…except the hearts of those who wield it.

As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers—powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart. 

The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won’t rest until she stops the use of the illicit, power-granting serum that’s tearing their world apart.

Happy Reading!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play | Kobo | IndieBound

Being Creative in 2020

Some people thrive on adversity. I am not one of them. If a time machine dropped me in some other time and place, I would immediately meet an unfortunate end, and probably in the stupidest possible way. Oh, you mean I wasn’t supposed to pet that saber-tooth cat? But it was so fluffy!

So while Taylor Swift is busy dropping a new album that she wrote and recorded while stuck at home, I am… not. I write slowly in the best of times and 2020 definitely doesn’t qualify.

In the entire month of May, I wrote the same number of words (in total!) that I can write in one really good day.

Yeah…

So if you’re struggling to create this year, know that you’re not alone. Don’t listen to the people (hi, mom!) who tell you that you should be super productive because you’re stuck at home and can’t go anywhere. Mental health is important for creativity, and stress and anxiety aren’t great for mental health—and there’s plenty of stress and anxiety this year.

The myth of the tortured, starving artist, is just that—a myth. Sure, some people probably thrive on chaos, because nothing is ever one-size-fits-all, but I am not one of them. I have two deadlines upcoming, and I’m behind on both. Usually, this would fill me with panic, but this year the best I can summon is a detached sort of dread. I’m all panicked out.

But I continue to trudge onward because that’s all I can do. New Shiny is over 30k, and TQT just crossed 30k, too. I was trying to get TQT done by the end of the month, but that’s just not going to happen unless some sort of miracle occurs.

But, lest you think it’s all doom and gloom around here, I sent the first six chapters of New Shiny off to Mr M and my bff, and they both loved it, so that’s nice. They are biased, naturally, but at least it’s not completely terrible. :)

Now back to the writing cave, Batman. Be kind to each other, wear a mask, and hang in there!

P.S. If you’re in the US, don’t forget to register to vote! And if it’s a been a while, check your registration to ensure you haven’t been dropped from the voter rolls. Even if it hasn’t, it’s a good idea to check. November isn’t that far away and many states have registration deadlines that are quickly approaching.

Happy Book Birthday to Deal with the Devil!

Today is the day! Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha is out today! Those of you who’ve been around for a while have heard me rave about this book before, way back in April of last year (which, let’s be honest, feels like twenty years ago). We did a virtual back alley trade of Aurora Blazing for Deal with the Devil.

Best. Trade. Ever.

Do you like squads of badass women with superpowers? Do you like teams of badass, morally conflicted supersoldiers? Do you like road trips that smoosh the two groups together, with all of the delicious tension that brings?

OF COURSE YOU DO! 😍

Full disclosure: Bree and Donna (the duo behind Kit Rocha) and I are friends and we share an agent. But their book is incredible and you should definitely check out a sample at the very least. I mean, here’s the first line:

Nina had broken the cardinal rule, and now she had to kill someone.

That is a killer first line (pun absolutely intended).

I officially blurbed the book with my rave from so many moons ago: “Nina is everything I love in a heroine―smart and badass, but with a core of hope and kindness. And Knox is jaded, honorable, and so very conflicted. I loved it!”

Here’s more info:

Deal with the Devil: A Mercenary Librarians Novel by Kit Rocha Cover

Deal with the Devil is Orphan Black meets the post-apocalyptic Avengersby USA Today and New York Times bestselling author duo Kit Rocha.

Nina is an information broker with a mission—she and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to save the hopeless in a crumbling America.

Knox is the bitter, battle-weary captain of the Silver Devils. His squad of supersoldiers went AWOL to avoid slaughtering innocents, and now he’s fighting to survive.

They’re on a deadly collision course, and the passion that flares between them only makes it more dangerous. They could burn down the world, destroying each other in the process…

Or they could do the impossible: team up.

This is the first book in a near-future science fiction series with elements of romance.


Happy Reading!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play | Kobo | Indiebound

Comic-Con@Home Virtual Panel!

Comic-Con is going virtual this year, for obvious reasons, and I was lucky enough to be included on a panel with four other incredible Voyager authors!

COMIC-CON@Home Panel. Galaxy Grrls, or the Female and Non-Binary Authors who Bridge the new Frontier of Space Fiction. Escaping Exodus, by Nicky Drayden. Chaos Reigning by Jessie Mihalik. Noumenon Ultra by Marina J. Lostetter. Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes. A Pale Light in the Black by K.B. Wagers. Friday, July 24, 2020, 3-4PM.

Galaxy Grrls, or the Female and Non-Binary Authors who Bridge the new Frontier of Space Fiction
Friday, July 24, 2020 : 3:00 – 4:00PM PT

Authors Nicky Drayden (Escaping Exodus), Marina Lostetter (Noumenon Ultra), Jessie Mihalik (Chaos Reigning), Valerie Valdes (Chilling Effect), and K.B. Wagers (A Pale Light in the Black) eye the history of space fiction through an entirely new lens. This panel is focused on the legacy of female and non-binary writers who came before, and the trailblazing of modern authors who are re-defining sex, gender, and society against the tapestry of the stars.


Since it’s a virtual event, we pre-recorded the panel, and I have to say, my fellow panelists were phenomenal! Marina volunteered to moderate as well as participate and she did a great job.

I, however, was incredibly nervous.

I don’t know if it was the fact that it was Comic-Con (a dream!) or what, but I got nervous like I haven’t in a very long time, even though I was sitting in my own office, staring at a webcam. I eventually got it under control, mostly, but the first ten minutes or so you’ll probably be able to hear my voice shake.

Come for the nervous rambling, stay for the great discussions. 😂

Despite my nerves, the whole panel was incredibly fun, so you should definitely check it out! Best of all, it’s completely free!

And if your TBR is looking a little thin, pick up the other panelists’ books! They are all writing fantastic sci-fi. 💕

Birthday Week

My birthday is this week, so I’m celebrating with my annual Birthday Week™. It mainly involves me singing “It’s my birthday!” to myself at random times throughout the week.

Rona kind of put a damper on any kind of celebration, but my bff came over and brought Italian cream cake and wine for a patio chat, so it wasn’t all bad.

This is my last year in my thirties. Honestly, I thought I’d feel more grown up by now, but I don’t. I certainly have my shit together more than I did when I was a baby fresh out of college, but I don’t feel older.

At least I don’t until I hurt myself by sleeping wrong. Then I feel about 110.

The last few years have been especially fabulous. I have five books out, three of them with a big publisher. And I completed my first trilogy! My author copies for CR came in, and the books are so pretty together. 😍

I also have a new trilogy under contract, which is another dream come true. Maybe I can make this writing thing work for me, which is very much not guaranteed, even with a publisher. But I can keep writing because all of you lovely people read my books, so thank you! You made the last year of my thirties a memorable one. 💕

And if you want to give yourself a present for my birthday, I suggest taking some time to read! If you need something new, check out my books and my recommendations for books I loved. Happy reading!