Weekly Words: Getting Closer


Happy Friday!

FRACTURED PRINCESS is now less than 2 weeks away from relaunching, and I'm coming up on some jitters. Mostly because this is the third release of the same book. Hopefully, people who started the journey with me are still interested. I expected to have the sequel ready by now, but I found myself getting stuck and unwilling to keep writing in the direction I was going. I'm not going to GRRM my readers, but I do know taking it slow is better for me. That way I can assess as I go.

And because some dude named Murphy created a law, my laptop stopped recognizing the charger, so it's dead. On the bright side, I already uploaded the new versions to KDP, so I can just hit Publish on the 30th. I think everything I need is in OneDrive, but I know I had some things (not related to writing) just sitting in my downloads folder, so that's annoying. To replace it, I ordered a gaming laptop suitable for a casual gamer like me, and not only was it on sale, but I was able to put it on a payment plan as well (plus). It will ship on May 29th and arrive the day after the relaunch (ooooof course. Minus).

I'm expecting a proof of the paperback to arrive today, so I can check it for errors before the final date to upload changes. A proof of the hardcover is set to come May 26th, so at least I'll have more time to check that. Hardcover release date is coming soon!

Anyhow, I'll be expecting to hit Publish on the Paperback at midnight May 30th. KDP says it can take up to 72 hours to publish, but the last time I trusted that, I accidentally published the book a day early, so I think I'll be fine doing it same day. And that will give me time to purchase books for Dover Comic-Con. I can't wait for it!

Weekly Words: Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle


Happy Friday!

Two weeks ago, I had what I'm almost sure was a sinus infection from being in the office while they were painting (I wasn't supposed to be there at first, luck of the draw), and I was in bed from Thursday night into Monday. I don't remember what I was doing last Friday, but for the most part, I spent these past two weeks recovering.

If you follow me anywhere else, you'll know I did make time to start the big countdown to FRACTURED PRINCESS's re-release, which is now 18 days away! Pre-ordering for the Kindle is live. The paperback will be available May 30th at Midnight (if I do it correctly. The first go-round, I accidentally released it a day early haha), and the **hardcover**. Will be available shortly after that, so keep an eye out!

This past week, I also started a new book! I'm excited about this one because it is a black ace romance!


I absolutely. Love. This cover. Pink and purple are my favorite colors, so I'm biased, but also, just the way he's looking at her and how she's touching his arm. And the "Solid Gold" lettering is a bonus. I can't wait to see how this turns out. It's a romance, so it will most likely be a HEA (happily ever after), but the important part of romance novels is the journey to it. From how it's started, I think it may be a bit emotional.

Here is the blurb for your reading pleasure:

Prince Jones is the guy with all the answers—or so it seems. After all, at seventeen, he has his own segment on Detroit’s popular hip-hop show, Love Radio, where he dishes out advice to the brokenhearted.

Prince has always dreamed of becoming a DJ and falling in love. But being the main caretaker for his mother, who has multiple sclerosis, and his little brother means his dreams will stay just that and the only romances in his life are the ones he hears about from his listeners. Until he meets Dani Ford.

Dani isn’t checking for anybody. She’s focused on her plan: ace senior year, score a scholarship, and move to New York City to become a famous author. But her college essay keeps tripping her up and acknowledging what’s blocking her means dealing with what happened at that party a few months ago. And that’s one thing Dani can’t do.

When the romantic DJ meets the ambitious writer, sparks fly. Prince is smitten, but Dani’s not looking to get derailed. She gives Prince just three dates to convince her that he’s worth falling for. Three dates for the love expert to take his own advice, and just maybe change two lives forever.


I'm extra biased because Dani is a writer. *heart eyes* I hope she makes it big.

What are you reading this week?

Weekly Words: Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi


Happy Friday!

Last Friday, I realized it was Friday, and I hadn't prepared anything to post. Par for the course. I decided not to try to rush to do a post, but on the bright side, I do have a post this week, because I am getting a lot more reading done!

Book Cover: #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Tomi Adeyemi Children of Virtue and Vengeance

 Last month, I started Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Virtue and Vengeance.

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari's right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy's wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

This is the sequel for Children of Blood and Bone, which was such a great book. Unfortunately, I hadn't read it in about 5 years, and as I started reading its sequel, I found myself trying to remember everything that happened. So, I did the logical thing to do: I checked out the audiobook of CBB to refresh my memory, and it all flooded back. Last week I finished the "reread," and so I resumed CVV with all the knowledge I needed with a question-free head! And this book is amazing! I just passed the 300-page mark this week, and I am feeling the feelings! Tomi does another great job of describing the magic and the world of Orïsha. Plus, this time, we get to see more maji, more tîtáns, and more heart-wrenching relational tension. I want this to end happily, but I'll accept bittersweet...Actually, no, I need this to end happily! Especially for Zélie.

Lastly, can we talk about how gorgeous this cover is!? I love staring at it and seeing new things each time. The juxtapositions of Zélie's beautiful, black skin with her stark white hair, her gold tattoos and silver eyes, her red and blue hairbands, and the light and shadow against her face make for an intense, mysterious, and mesmerizing cover. How can you not just keep looking at it? *chefs kiss*

What are you reading this month?

Movie Review - Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves


Happy April!


I can't tell you the last time I did a movie review on my blog. Now the world is trying to open back up like COVID is dead, I at least get the pleasure of going to the movies again, which is something I did miss during quarantine.


My sister and I had the pleasure of joining the Black Girl Gamers x Paramount for a screening of the new Dungeons and Dragons movie: Honor Among Thieves. First off, didn't know there were two movies before it. hahaha. I'm 85% sure they were terrible, because they came out in 2000 and 2005, not prime movie effect era unless you were The Matrix, and literally just the first one, because the effects in The Matrix: Reloaded were awful.

But anyway, back to D&D: HAT. The movie starts with Edgin (Chris Pine) and Holga (Michelle Rodriguez) pleading their case to get out of prison so they can get back to Edgin's daughter, whom he left with one of his thief buddies. Not to spoil anything, but honor among thieves ensues, as well as dungeons and dragons. Saying anything else will give away just about everything. It's a pretty standard plot and character arc, though. Not much will surprise you.

This movie has a big cast of stars: Chris, Michelle, Hugh Grant, and Regé-Jean Paige, as well as smaller known names like Justice Smith (Jurassic World, The Get Down) and Sophia Lillis (IT, Uncle Frank), etc. Their chemistry is just about perfect, and they all give some great performances. I didn't expect to laugh the entire movie. It was hilarious. Everyone's comedic timing really was a gem to watch. My sister said someone said Chris Pine can save any movie, and not that this movie needs saving, but he is a favorite of mine, and he shines as a bard/harper/team planner haha.

I have an understanding of the game D&D, mainly from a couple episodes of Community, Futurama: Bender's Game, the short-lived "Dungeons & Durags" on Twitch, and Hello From the Magic Tavern's version "Offices & Bosses," so the different beasts and special weapons didn't get lost on me. As someone who plays Shattered Pixel Dungeon every day, I especially loved the appearance of a mimic in the game, and what I think might have been a basilisk? Anyhow, there wasn't as much action as you would expect, but the effects were really good. When the first non-mythical creature effect happened, I said out loud, "That was a really cool effect." The only one that was pretty bad was an animatronic cat baby (you'll get it when you see it). But the mythical creatures are all very well-designed.

I think I'm going to give this movie 5 of out 5 stars. My sister said it's one she would watch over and over on tv, and I agree. It has great characters, great acting, great storytelling, and overall, it's just a great adventure! So if you haven't seen it already, go see it!

Weekly Words: Women in Writing & Quarterly Goals - Fractured Princess


Can you believe it's the last Friday in March?

I'll get to my quarterly goals in a second, but as I've been highlighting my favorite female characters written by women, I wanted to shamelessly add myself to the mix, because why not?


When I started writing Fractured Princess, back when it was called Save the Queen, I strove to have strong women in the background supporting what was a very passive and tragic main character. A few critiques and drafts later, I realized Jonnie also needed to be a strong, active main character. Still tragic, but better able to take charge of the tragedies going on around her. She might be impulsive and make some life-changing mistakes, but I also wanted her to have flaws that she could overcome on her own, whether in the present or the future. Wink. I put a little bit of myself in Jonnie, so she's like my child. I want to see her succeed and be happy in the end. Hopefully she's someone readers have liked and will continue to like in the books to come.

Of course, I skipped a season in my quarterly goals, but I didn't have much going on in December except prepping for my book freedom, which was part of my September goals post, so check. By the end of the year I had read 13 books, so I just made my 12-book goal. I made a goal of 18 books this year, and I've read 4 so far, so I'm close to schedule! I had finally started reading Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Virtue and Vengeance, but it had been so long since I'd read Children of Blood and Bone that I had to stop to "reread" it. I'm currently listening to the audiobook version, and it's jogging my memory! The majority of my physical books are packed up for my hope-to-come-soon move out of this house, but I have what's probably over a hundred ebooks I can read in the meantime.

Career-wise, freelancing has been slow, but I've realized I can still enjoy my job (because I actually do) even though it's not what I want to do full-time. We'll be moving to the new office in June, so at least I'll gain half an hour's sleep back and won't have to take the bus or pay for parking anymore. That will most definitely alleviate some of my blanket exhaustion.

My goals for the next quarter: well, obviously, publication. The Kindle version of Fractured Princess is currently available for pre-order. The paperback will launch May 30th. So, my biggest goal is to generate more interest and get some books sold. This is the 3rd version of the first book, so I just hope that hasn't discouraged readers.

I'm going to read/listen to more audiobooks. I find that I like them, and also, I need to listen to different narrators to hear their technique if I want to record my own. I not-so-secretly love doing voice work, so I know it will be fun.

I will keep you all posted! Next week, I have a movie review to share with you, so tune in!

Weekly Words: Women in Writing - Octavia Butler


Happy Women's History Month

I DEFINITELY wasn't going to go this month without mentioning the queen of sci-fi. My hero, Octavia Butler. Not only did she write some very prophetic stories (read The Parable of the Sower and The Parable of the Talents and go ahead and have your heart attack), but she wrote some fierce, black women at every single turn. From my introduction to her work in Dawn, to her Patternmaster series, she wrote raw, gut-wrenching narratives that would often than not devastate me to the core. And sadly, as I may have mentioned before, she died of cancer the year before I discovered her work. I would've loved to see what else she would have written, especially in these past 17 years. Or she may have just said, "I told y'all."

But anyway, as you all may remember, my favorite book of hers was her last book, Fledgling.

This book was created on the most interesting premise of vampires not as the Nosferatu or Dracula variety, but the origin of the lore in which those stories were created. Their race, known as Ina, were a territorial society, where the women lived in one community and the men in another. When we begin with the main character, she is awakening in the midst of what appears to be a rebirth of sorts, and a painful one at that. Her skin is burnt, her skull is broken, and the world around her is destroyed. Very strong imagery. Come to find out a little later, her name is Shori, and her mothers genetically engineered her to be a dark-skinned Ina, so she could live in the sun. Some of the other Ina were not pleased with this, so to speak, and destroyed the community. By the end of the book, Shori finds her people and her mothers' killers, and typing this up, I want to read the book a third time. I loved it so much.

You may also know that I wrote a fan fiction based on the book in 2015. Every now and then, I find a comment in my inbox, and it brings me joy to see other Butler fans and hear that they love my little "sequel."

There is also a really cool organization called The Octavia Butler Project that mixes the arts with STEM, and they have two summer programs for young preteens and teenagers and events all through the year. If you haven't heard of them, be sure to check them out and donate if you can!

Next week, I'll close out the week with a shameless plug, so be on the look out! :)

Weekly Words: Women in Writing - Jodi Meadows


Happy Women's History Month!


This month, I've been highlighting some of my favorite women writers who have written great female characters. I'm sharing this week's a little selfishly because I helped sensitivity read this one, and I love the main character so much.

Jodi Meadows's main character Mira from the Fallen Isles Trilogy felt like a person the teenage me was, minus the trauma from an attempted murder as a child. When she was born, the council basically marked her as the avatar of peace and the end of the enslavement of one of the other isles, which bred some animosity, as ending slavery always does. But anyway, when she learns there is a conspiracy and does the right thing by bringing it to the council's attention, she is thrown into prison where she meets a group of people who will ride with her to the end of the series. Each book had some unforgettable scenes, from the first time Mira uses her dragon power, to the second time she uses it, and her friends see the actual shape of the dragon, to a steamy rain scene I read a couple times (hehe), to the isles STANDING UP (they were trying to prevent the isles from turning back into gods and deserting them. Come to find out, they were always going to leave, but they returned a bigger and better dragon island for the people who survived the literal uprising)! These books were magical.

And what was also so great about them was seeing Mira's character progress from this spoiled but sweet little rich girl with massive anxiety becoming this strong warrior for the people of the isles, even so far as standing up against a mad queen! I will always cherish her.


Tune in next week for another character and author I would not let this month pass by without mentioning!

**ANNOUNCEMENT** FRACTURED PRINCESS Available for Kindle Pre-Order



This is a quick announcement, but I'm very excited about it.

The 2nd indie edition of FRACTURED PRINCESS is now available for Kindle Pre-order!

Visit the link embedded in this phrase to purchase for $7.99!

Weekly Words: Women in Writing - N.K. Jemisin


Happy Women's History Month!

Last week, I decided to highlight some of my favorite female characters written by female characters for this month. No one knows when like women, so reading women written by women for women is always a treat.

Y'all know I wasn't going to get too far into the month without posting my queen, N.K. Jemisin! I had so many female characters to choose from, from Yeine and Oree (oh God, I loved The Broken Kingdoms so much *sob*) in the Inheritance Trilogy, to Jo in Far Sector, to the badass ladies in the Great Cities Duology. But it was a no-brainer for me to choose Essun, f.k.a. Syenite, f.k.a. Damaya from the Broken Earth trilogy.

The journey we went on with Essun, from her beginnings as a child given away by her parents to the Fulcrum to a grieving mother looking for her daughter in the middle of what seems like the world finally ending, or ending...for the last time (if you know, you know), was an emotion-filled, suspense filled wonder, and the ending was so satisfying I almost cried. Essun is a strong, determined, slightly broken woman who didn't quite know how to love her children until she loses them, and it was a joy to read such a complex character. No one writes like Norah.

If you haven't read the THREE-TIME Hugo Award-winning trilogy, what are you doing? Check it out!

Weekly Words: Women in Writing - Kristin Cashore

Happy Women's History Month!

Earlier this week, I had an idea to highlight some of my favorite female characters written by women authors. As a writer, I grew up an avid reader, so I've seen many a female character, but it's always special when a woman writes a woman FOR other women to read. So this month, I will share some of my favorites.

Kristin Cashore's Graceling Series

I don't even remember how I can't make came across Graceling, but if you've followed me long enough, you'll know my first pitches for Fractured Princess heralded it as Graceling meets Final Fantasy. It's still accurate, even though these books are around 10 years old now.

The story itself is quietly terrifying, but seeing characters like Katsa, gifted with the power to kill, and Fire, cursed with the power to control people's minds, and how they navigated their lives with the conspiracies happening around them was exciting. Fire, especially, was such a unique character to me. I think I read that book in 3 days. I'll also give a nod to Bitterblue's character, though I wasn't as whelmed by her book as I was by the other two, but she was a princess who was forced to clean up the mess her father created, so she was still a strong female character in her own right.

I might have to read these again. There are so many scenes I remember vividly. If you've never read them, check them out!

Monthly Review and Weekly Words: N.K. Jemisin’s The World We Make

© Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

Happy Last Friday in February!

I've felt both conflicted and free since getting rid of my rotating schedule. A Weekly Words on the FOURTH FRIDAY, WHAT!? I suppose it's because I've been blogging for so long and had built this little system that worked for a while, getting rid of it comes with some weird sense of guilt as though they have their own feelings. I'm killing my blog-darlings, and as a writer that's hard.

But to the trash with that! The freedom means I don't have to wait until X Week to tell you all about something, and that's a good thing! It should lead to less unplanned breaks because I have nothing to say on a particular topic.

So on that note, this week I applied for an LCCN for Fractured Princess. That's exciting, because that gives it a better chance at being available in libraries. I've I receive a number, I'll be able to set up the Kindle edition for pre-sale! May will be here before I know it. 

I've also written a few more words in the new draft of Divided Princess. I do think this restart is going to help me get to the end of the book. It's on my mind more and more now that FP is on the move again.

My reading is also on the move again! I've been beta reading a friend's work the past few weeks, but this week, I was able to start N.K. Jemisin’s next book in her Great Cities series: The World We Make!

All is not well in the city that never sleeps. Even though the avatars of New York City have temporarily managed to stop the Woman in White from invading—and destroying the entire universe in the process—the mysterious capital "E" Enemy has more subtle powers at her disposal. A new candidate for mayor wielding the populist rhetoric of gentrification, xenophobia, and "law and order" may have what it takes to change the very nature of New York itself and take it down from the inside. 

In order to defeat him, and the Enemy who holds his purse strings, the avatars will have to join together with the other Great Cities of the world in order to bring her down for good and protect their world from complete destruction.

I'm almost 100 pages in, and I'm already stressed out! The action in the first book was amazing, so seeing even more magical city avatar action almost right out of the gate again is exciting! I'm sad that this will be the last book, but I can how weaving current events into a world of magical realism could get exhausting. I wish I loved Delaware enough to write a love letter book to it hahaha.

See you in March!

Another Writing Update: The Dreaded BLOCK

Happy rainy Friday! Well, at least in the mid- Atlantic.

While I'm preparing for the big re-release of Fractured Princess, I also realized that I hit a big roadblock in writing its sequel. One I couldn't figure my way out of. Sometimes, my writer's block is because I'm hesitant to write the next scene or can't figure out how to get a scene down the road. This time, I realized what I was writing wasn't connecting.

And since I figured out some of the biggest pieces of the puzzle, I realized a couple things:

1) I needed to start from the beginning, from scratch; and

2) I needed to *gasp* plot it out. 

I've been a pantser my entire life, just writing things how they came to me, even if they came out of order. This was especially how I wrote FP, but also, I never planned on writing a sequel. FP was going to be a standalone book, albeit with a bittersweet ending. I don't even remember preparing for a sequel when I decided to self-publish.

But then, ideas came, and damn them, I liked them! And unfortunately, creating a sequel means figuring out how to connect it to the first book and make sense, so of course I need a plan. It's just aaarrrgggh.

I will say, though, that I like the first paragraphs I've written. I plan on repurposing some of the scenes from the first version, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to lose a lot of them. *sob* I was about halfway done the first draft.

I can't be too upset, though, because this will most likely mean a better story overall! I certainly hope so.

Lastly, if all goes well, pre-ordering of the Kindle edition will be available mid-March/early April! Stay tuned for more news!

Writing Update: ***NEW COVER DESIGN REVEAL***

Graphic of a Computer that reads "Writing Update" on the screen

Happy February and Happy Black History Month!

I don't have a lot to say today, but I did decide it was the perfect time to reveal the updated cover for the new edition of Fractured Princess, the first book in The Shattered Chronicles! Returning to self-publishing has been both a relief and a big undertaking. This time, I definitely want to make sure I do things right, including more promotion up to the big day, which will be May 30th!

As a reminder, this is the blurb for the book:

Jonnie is the last princess of the Crystal Bearers, once a powerful people. When she was a baby, the metal army destroyed what was left of them, and now it is hunting her. Her watchmen keep her just out of the metal army’s reach, but she has spent her seventeen years running and hiding. Instead of standing by while her watchmen keep risking their lives for her, she decides to learn how to fight alongside them.

On the journey to hone her skills, long hidden secrets about her people reveal a connection between the Crystal Bearers and the metal army that only fuels Jonnie's will to defeat it. But the more she learns about her own powers, the more she realizes she may be responsible for the metal army – and the destruction of her people.

And now, without further ado, I present the newly designed cover, originally created by Racheal Scotland:









Actually, as another reminder, here was my original concept sketch that I gave to Racheal way back in 2019:

pencil sketch of a girl in front of a willow tree
All right, now back to the reveal.









book cover with three girls Title: Fractured Princess. Subtitle: The Shattered Chroncles Pt. 1. Tagline: Past, present, future, Jonnie must fight for them all. Author: Debra Renee Byrd

I updated the design with Canva. It's a really great program. I'm so excited. The first cover, I didn't really do anything with, but with this one, I also made sure to get the spine right, and I continued the design on the back cover!

back cover with a broken glass design and blurb on the back

I hope you guys like it! More updates to come soon!