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!