Saturday, December 31, 2016

Writers: 10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Social Media Presence

Participating in the #NaNo Blog Hop inspired me to tweak my social media presence, and clicking on several hundred twitter, facebook, and blog profiles makes you hyper-aware of what works and what doesn't. So here are a few things you can check on your profiles right now, especially Twitter:

  1. List your genre(s). I can't tell you how many twitter and facebook profiles I read that said they were a writer or aspiring author, but didn't list genre. I love a lot of genres but there are some I'm simply not interested in. So if you write something I'm not interested in, me following you isn't going to help either of us. You'll get that cool notification and that's it. I'll never click on anything you post and I'll never buy your book.
  2. Links. Let's say you write SFF. Sweet! I'm interested. And maybe I like some other things about your profile. What now? Give me a website or something to click. There is nothing more frustrating than looking at someone's profile, which indicates that I'm already interested, and then not finding anywhere else to go from Twitter. And know where you want to funnel potential readers, because I'll probably only click one link and you'll be lucky if I click another link on from that first landing page. Like, I might link my SFF chapbook, Premeditations, and my PB Charlie Cat Does NOT Like Halloween, and my Readers Club newsletter,.
  3. Examples. If you have product to sell (such as books) I want to see examples of what you've written. I don't mean that I expect thousands of words for free, but come on, give me something. Be proud of your work and let it speak for you. And if possible, have your example link directly to your email list or a book you want us to buy.
  4. Images. You have about 30 seconds to catch a potential follower's attention. I saw all sorts of images; most of you had an author photo, which helps with professionalism. Some had covers on their back splash which often helped indicate genre. Some had cool photos which give a peak into that 'I swear I'm a real person' stuff (appropriate for Twitter if not facebook and goodreads). Some had more generic images of book shelves. What caught my eye were the bad images. The ones that were pixelated and a few that didn't have images at all (which is better than a bad image). Generic didn't bother me but bad did. These are social media websites that make it easy for you to add images. Add high-quality images that say something about you.
  5. Your Personal Life. Unlike in a short story cover letter, I like to see that tiny bit of you that says hey, you're a real person! Oh my gosh, are we both moms who like SFF? I just clicked follow. You like Star Trek, too? I'm a sucker. I clicked Follow. And as much as I like the witty profile descriptions, that description had better also say something about who you are (or at least your genre!). Adjust this advice for different platforms, but it works for twitter, which is a mix of professional and personal and has low-risk for following new people.
  6. Interact. So, I get that people hate those auto-DMs and even Twitter officially discourages it. But I'll admit to clicking on a few of the links sent to me this way--Now I'm not saying that you should break Twitter's rules, but I am saying that you should interact with the people who are your target audience or otherwise have a lot in common with you. There were also plenty of auto-DMs that I did not click on because, wow, you can't reach me if I'm not even your target audience. Twitter in particular is a platform where people expect a lot of short, quick interactions. Even though I found you on a list of 300+ NaNo bloggers, we might actually like talking to each other, yanno? Plus, you joining the blog hop tells me that you're open to almost-random contacts from everyone else on the list. /Advice from a social butterfly.
  7. Pick a Platform. What I mean here is to know what you can handle. Don't join every platform in existence without even knowing what that platform is good for. Exceptions might include Goodreads and Facebook, where having your book/author page up is good and interacting is even better but not really required. So don't reach out through DMs and whatnot using a platform that you're not going to stick with. Pick a few that work for you and make it clear where fans can best interact with you. I know an author who periodically has to remind her followers that a FB DM to her is a sure waste of your time, but she still finds Facebook useful because it's Facebook and she does interact on her author page. I didn't follow a lot of the FB profiles because I actually use Facebook for a lot of real-life things and don't need heaps of extra notifications. I have a Goodreads account and a Reddit account that I mostly neglect. Oops. So, for the record, I'd love to connect with you through TwitterFacebook, and my Readers Club newsletter.
  8. Media Sheets. Do yourself a favor and create a media sheet for anything you publish. A media sheet is a document that lists all those annoying things that you have to look up or write all over again when advertising your work, yourself, and otherwise engaging your social media superpowers. For example, amazon link, goodreads link, links to all your social media platforms, small versions of the cover, the blurb, your author blurb, pre-written tweets, etc. My media sheets made my life tons easier as I was filling out the blog hop and responding to new followers.
  9. Schedule Posts. As a creative person I often cycle through productive periods. For instance, NaNo meant that I was writing 50k+ words in my WIP, but of course I have to toil more before I can show that to my readers. Then I'll go through periods where I'm writing blog posts because I have an idea or because something timely is coming up. Rather than posting 20 blog posts in a week and then nothing for 6 months, I like to schedule these posts ahead of time and I use fancy magic to automatically tweet my blog posts and share them to facebook. And for advertising my books, I like to have a reason to advertise and I definitely don't want to spam followers every day, so I take something like Premeditiations bookversary and do something special for my Readers Club subscribers. Then there's my Charlie Cat picture book series which centers around certain holidays, so obviously that has a time factor to it. And here I am going back to my media sheets to embed links in this post. Whew!
  10. Go Back to Writing! Ever heard the 80/20 rule? Spend most of your time writing, not gleefully making hundreds of maybe-friends on social media. It was fun to participate in the blog hop and I 'met' quite a number of people I'm happy to have in my networks, but it meant that I spent less time writing and now I've got to get back to that. Buh-bye!
P.S. Want to learn more? Try these Simple SEO Practices That Do Get More Blog Traffic

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Book Birthday Twins! #Premeditations #Millroadacademy

Sign up for more of Lauren B. Harris' fiction!
Sign up for more of my fiction!

Everyone loves a book birthday!

A year ago today, both Premeditations and The Girl in Acid Park debuted!

Happy Book Birthday, Lauren Harris!

Books make great holiday gifts! Or maybe you'd like to gift yourself with something to read over the holidays.

Get Premeditations on your kindle for $2.99!

Or get a signed copy of Premeditations directly from me

Your support means a lot. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

#Nano Blog Hop

Welcome, new followers!

Are you part of the #NaNo social media hop? Let me give you a quick run down of who I am:

Wow, am I enjoying this blog hop already! I'm "meeting" at lot of new people and already seeing many that I have a connection with through fandom, favorite genres to read and write, and parenthood.

See something you like? Join my Readers Club newsletter to keep abreast of all the awesome that is me. I won't spam you with random journal-esque entries and you can unsubscribe at any time. I'm teaming up with another author for something special to celebrate Premeditations' bookversary, so now's an opportune time to join! (Read an excerpt from Premeditations courtesy of my publisher.)

Follow me on Facebook for somewhat more noise, such as my reviews, and add me on twitter for much more noise, including retweeting my favorite authors and random things about kids.

Can't get enough about kids? Follow my homeschooling blog for reviews and releases geared towards the younger crowd. (Join my Readers Club and click the appropriate box to sign up for cool kid stuff!)

And don't forget to tell me a little about yourself! With all the new people I'm meeting, I'd hate to lose you in the crowd. If you've read this far, I bet we have something in common, so leave a comment or tweet me!

*My microphone bit the dust recently and I have three loud kids, but I still love to follow podcasting authors and maybe some day I'll narrate again (sniff!)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Review: Worlds Unseen by Rachel Starr Thompson @writerstarr

I’m excited to share a wonderful Christian fantasy trilogy by homeschool graduate Rachel Starr Thomson. In other words, as a second-generation homeschooler and a Christian and a speculative fiction lover, I am THE market for this book. However, as a voracious reader and long-time reviewer of speculative fiction, I am also very picky. It is rare for me to find a series that both meets my high expectations and gives kudos to Christianity and homeschooling.

Worlds Unseen (The Seventh World Trilogy Book 1) by Rachel Starr Thomson is a story of darkness versus the light. It’s good versus bad, and I’m happy to see archetypes and imagery reminiscent of Celtic and medieval fairy tales.

Maggie Sheffield begins as a subtly weak character, often being saved by other characters and never the first one to speak up or take that leap. Halfway through the narrative she reaches an epiphany and becomes a purposeful, strong character. Her actions early in the novel hint at this potential - she is the one who offers to take on a dangerous mission, and we know early on that she is no stranger to adventure/trauma.

Worlds Unseen is a great epic fantasy read for adults (and young adults) who enjoyed C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia as a kid.

Author Rachel Starr Thompson has many other books and an active mailing list, all of which can be found at

Worlds Unseen blurb:

Beauty and terror await beyond the veil in this classic Christian fantasy.

The Council for Exploration Into Worlds Unseen believed there was more to reality than the Empire had taught them—but when they came a little too close to the truth, tragedy ended their work, leaving the terrifying and beautiful world behind their own still hidden.

Forty years later, one of the last Council members entrusts an ancient relic to the orphaned young woman Maggie Sheffield: a scroll that reveals the truth at last. Along with Nicolas Fisher, a Gypsy who hears things no one else can, Maggie sets out on a journey across the Seventh World to deliver the scroll to those who can use it.

But the price of truth may be too high: for Maggie and Nicolas are tearing at the Veil between the seen and the unseen, between good and evil, between forgotten past and treacherous future. 

Monstrous forces are already on their trail.

And when the Veil grows thin enough, it’s anyone’s guess what may come through.
WORLDS UNSEEN is the first book in The Seventh World Trilogy, a Christian fantasy adventure with hints of steampunk and depths of spiritual truth. If you love page-turning action, memorable characters, and inspirational fiction that confronts darkness, reveals breathtaking beauty, and moves your heart to connect more deeply with God, this series is for you.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Premeditations now available in Ebook! @foldedword

I love ebooks!

As much as I love physical copies, it's just not possible for me to keep a copy of everything I read in my house. There'd be no room for, well, me! Ebooks take up no room and arrive on my virtual doorstep in no time. Even Amazon prime shipping can't beat that!

Get your ebook of Premeditations for your kindle here! This collection of super-short, dark stories of the fantastic make a great addition to your holiday reading to balance out all that sugary food and sappy Christmas music. I mean, I love cookies and singing Jingle Bell Rock as much as the next person, but after the kids go to bed I'll hide in my room, watch The Night Before Christmas, and write you more stories about unicorns that would as soon gore you as not.

Watch out cookies, because your god of the all-consuming teeth is real, and I'm coming to get you.

Friday, October 21, 2016

NaNoWriMo Prep Talk

This week I was honored to sit down with teens and young adults to discuss novel writing and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Sharing my love for writing (and some of the tricks of the trade) is one of my favorite things no matter the age group - but there's something special about meeting young people who are so enthusiastic and serious about writing, and sharing with them things I wish someone had told me when I started this writing journey!

If you would like to learn more about or help spread the word, feel free to use my PDF presentation, "NaNoWriMo Prep Talk." The presentation gives a general overview of NaNoWriMo and some of the strategies that help authors push through to that 50,000 word goal. I don't explain the strategies in the PDF (I did that in person) but you can follow the resource links at the end and use the lists as a springboard to google more about them.

View and download the PDF here. Download and share the PDF however you like!

If you have anything else to add, or a blog post related to NaNoWriMo and novel writing, please share in the comments.

Ready to write a novel for November?

You can add me on as mrsmica. Signing up at is free and serves as a unique chance to keep track of your progress while connecting with other writers, and the NaNoWriMo newsletters offer advice and encouragement all through November and a little throughout the rest of the year.

As for me, I'll be working on my fantasy series Dragon Islands. One NaNoWriMo I wrote over 80,000 words to start the series off (no one was more surprised than me when I hit 80k in a month!). Through subsequent editing, outlining and writing parts of the rest of the series, that draft has literally doubled in word count and become the first two books. Most of the editing and beta-reader feedback has focused on the first book, so for this NaNoWriMo I'll be going through the second book and possibly writing the draft for the third book. At the time I'm writing this post, I have done exactly 0 prep for November (sob, irony) unless you count all the years of writing and editing the first two books, so I'll be spending the last week of October mentally preparing myself by reading over what I have so far and notecarding. I don't expect to hit 80k again due to life complications (3 young kids, haha) but I would be ecstatic to reach the end of book 3, and happy to at least go through the second book with edits and added scenes. Those are my super goals and goals, respectively.

Good luck, everyone!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Dragon Apocalypse" and Review: "Bitterwood" by James Maxey

I recently read the Bitterwood quartet by James Maxey on recommendation by another speculative fiction author (Alethea Kontis) and picked it up for a steal (it's currently still a steal). I've included a review of Bitterwood below, but first I want to let you know about James Maxey's newly completed series that I can't wait to read! 

Dragon Apocalypse is, as James Maxey says, “bad girls, big dragons.” He gives a great description of the book and how it is different than “Bitterwood” here on his blog:

Cinder, the 4th book in the series, just came out, and you can get the complete quartet here.

And, oh my gosh, that cover! I noticed the author's announcement on facebook because of the cover. I see so many things on my social networks that sometimes I accidentally keep scrolling, but this one really grabbed me. The cover is by Hugo award-winning artist Julie Dillon.

So, if you've gone and read Maxey's post linked above, you already know that Dragon Apocalypse has a different, lighter feel than Bitterwood. Even so, it was Maxey's great plot and world development in Bitterwood that makes me so excited to read Dragon Apocalypse. If you do not like anti-heros and other dark tones, you'll still want to check out Dragon Apocalypse.

The Bitterwood quartet by James Maxey is a complex speculative fiction tale of bitterness and revenge that at first presents itself as a dark fantasy. The narrative draws back proverbial veils throughout the quartet, in the end revealing a deep history in an expansive post-apocalyptic, SF world. Maxey weaves plot in a way that makes big things happen in an otherwise small and petty world inhabited mostly by small and petty people. Many of the characters present as anti-hero to begin with and change their alliances throughout the series. The combination of high-tech and complex characters makes for a thrilling plot that takes unexpected turns.

Although I was drawn in from the start, it took me longer before I could appreciate the characters. Jandra in particular started as a seemingly flat character – a flatness brought on by her sheltered upbringing – but in time she grew to become a character that I enjoyed. Antagonists such as Blasphet grow alongside the protagonists, a dynamic that, along with the complicated world, allows the story to explore many themes and subplots appropriate to a SF quartet patterned after epic fantasy. The bad guys (and sometimes the good guys) offer up plenty of deception and misuse of religion that go along with the many layers of the history and world of Bitterwood.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Review: Humanity 2.0 edited by Alex Shvartsman

Humanity 2.0
Alex Shvartsman brings us another excellent anthology with Humanity 2.0, a collection of stories that explore how interstellar flight might alter the path of humanity. Fifteen diverse stories show what it means to be human in the future — often the far future, and sometimes with genetic code that no longer reads as homo sapiens.

With Humanity 2.0, Alex Shvartsman once again shows that he knows how to pick ‘em and how to arrange them, so that each story compliments the preceding and the following in an even mix of reprints and new fiction.

Humanity 2.0 opens with excellent mixed narrative“The Waves” by Ken Liu, whichs asks readers to compare ancient origin myths with the high-tech life of the far-flung future. The theme of the issue begs an examination of topics such as multi-generational colonization and each author brings their own perspective and flare to Humanity 2.0. In "The Right Place to Start a Family" by Caroline M. Yoachim, Yuna ditches crowded Earth to colonize a distant planet and soon discovers that her expectations are rigid and unrealistic.

Shvartsman’s anthology is a great mix of positive SF and those of a heavy-hearted nature;

"A Lack of Congenial Solutions" by Kenneth Schneyer presents a philosophical bent that takes a darker turn when enslaved races overthrow humanity. And if you like your fiction even darker, Cat Rambo has you covered in “Angry Rose’s Lament,”a piece where a recovering addict feels he must pull off his negotiation with the wasp-like Solin aliens, or else he and his colleagues will fall back into temptation. "The Hand on the Cradle" by Brenda Cooper deals with themes of abuse and discrimination when cyborg Colorima is tortured for her supposed knowledge of her colleague’s radical resistance movement. "EH" by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro takes creepy to a whole new level when humans jump at the chance to become enhanced and then discount the side-affects of their genetic alterations.

In the middle of the anthology, “An Endless Series of Doors” by David Walton shows the pros and cons of portal travel and of the human condition by telling an adventure from the perspective of a hopelessly selfish, ultra-rich party-goer.

Towards the end, Mike Resnick brings us a powerful, multifaceted story with "The Homecoming," in which Jordan resents his son Phillip for taking on the form of an alien and leaving Earth. When Phillip returns home for a visit, he discovers his mother in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's.

For more stories on the lighter side, body modder Niko takes readers on an adventure on the lam in "Green Girl Blues" by Martin L. Shoemaker. "Star Light, Star Bright" by Robert J. Sawyer ends the anthology with a sweet exploration story full of hope.

Humanity 2.0 releases Nov. 24th, 2016 from Pheonix Pick.

Pre-order Humanity 2.0 at [ Amazon ] to get your copy delivered Nov. 24th!
Visit to see Shvartsman’s many anthologies and short story publications.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Review: Decision Points edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

When I saw the author list, I knew I had to have this anthology!

Decision Points is an exciting YA anthology with many strong stories, including:

"Sisters" by Jonathan Maberry, in which two sisters find that zombies are not their biggest enemy.
"The Prince of Artemis V" by Jennifer Brozek, which centers around a haunting fae dream realm.
"Aftermaths" by Lois McMaster Bujold, which deals with the carnage left by a war in space.
"My Father's Eyes" by E. C. Meyers, in which a disease robs its victims of their intelligence and sends them back to primitive existence.
"Like a Thief in the Light" by Alethea Kontis, which deals with death and gargoyles.
"Clockwork Fagin" by Cory Doctorow, in which orphans take over the orphanage and build a clockwork man to fool the adults.
"Rivalry on the Sky Course" by Bryan Thomas Schmidt, which ties into Schmidt's Saga of Davi Rhii space opera.
"An Echo in the Shell" by Beth L. Cato, a haunting tale of a grandmother who is turning into a giant bug.
"Blood and Water" by Kate Corcino, in which the protagonist is asked to murder his girlfriend.
"Newts" by Kevin J. Anderson, where a separatist war rests on the shoulders of an emotionally neutered protagonist.
"Shade" by Steven Gould, where a dire water shortage in Africa is alleviated through magic.
"The War of Gifts" by Orson Scott Card, which ties into Enders Game and deals with childhood abuse and religious hypocrisy.

Decision Points on [ Amazon ] and on [ Baen ]'s website, as well as most other places where books are sold.

Don't forget to leave a review, event a short one, to support your favorite authors!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Review: The Worker Prince by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

In The Worker Prince, emperor tyrant Xavilar orders all first-born male slaves killed. One boy gets away – Davi, who is adopted by none other than princess Miri, Xavilar's sister. When Davi finds out that he is the progeny of slaves, and witnesses the slaves' treatment first-hand, he confronts his uncle and lands himself in more trouble than he could have imagined.

The Worker Prince is a story of family, with Davi as an inverted prodigal son. Davi loves his adoptive mother and his uncle, the tyrant emperor, even as his definition of family expands to include his biological parents and cousins. Xavilar makes a great villain in part because he also cares for his family as part of his skewed moral code. The tyrant's soft spot for princess Miri allows her to raise Davi to think for himself, setting events in motion beyond the emperor's control. Part of Davi's journey is his realization that his own moral principals differ greatly from his uncle's, and to a lesser extent from Miri's. The Worker Prince offers the reader many heart-warming scenes that line up characters like dominoes for the action-packed end, which in turn leads into an exciting sequel (The Returning).

The Saga of Davi Rhii series is also a story of war – of a long-brewing conflict that comes to a head when Davi meets the rebels. While Davi's influence as a prince and as a fighter pilot is important, we also see how smart and capable the rebels are, as are the emperor's lackeys who hunt them done. A lot of the rebel's planning and infrastructure is already in the works when Davi shows up, which makes the rebels' ensuing battles feel realistic. Schmidt does an excellent job of weaving realism into The Worker Prince through carefully chosen details that mimic real life conflicts – from mass graves to Xavilar's gradual erosion of the counsel's powers. And where Davi is sometimes a naive, as befits his age, many of the supporting characters are not, and together they make big events possible. Davi's confrontation with the emperor and his interactions with the rebels force the hands of supporting characters like Miri. Of course, emperor Xavilar has a large military with trained officers and many ships at his disposal, so when the rebels launch their attack, soldiers die. But as with many rebellions, there is no turning back once the ship has launched – or in this case, the fighter pilots.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt's Saga of Davi Rii is an engaging space opera about standing up against abuse even if that means defying public opinion and the Emperor himself.

Check out Hugo Nominee Bryan Thomas Schmidt's website to read more about the books he writes and the big-name anthologies he edits:

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Appearance: Createfest in Fuquay-Varina, NC

I've been invited to the Writer's Tent at Createfest, a family-friendly, one-day, FREE event that runs May 14th from 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM.

Find me at the Writer's Tent
May 14th, starting at 3PM

341 Broad St #151,
Fuquay-Varina, NC
(in the downtown Varina district)

I will be signing copies of my speculative fiction chapbook, Premeditations, at the Writer's Tent starting at 3:00 PM

I will have a mic and a question for you: What is one fictional character, place, or invention you would like to see made real? The answers will be compiled and shared on the Pendragon Variety Network.

So come say hello, get your signed copy, and browse the works of other local artists and writers!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Review: Funny Fantasy edited by Alex Shvartsman

Funny Fantasy, edited by Alex Shvartsman, is an excellent collection of humorous fantasy tales with a wide range of subgenre and tone, from irreverent hyperbole to clever social commentary.

“Dave the Mighty Steel-Thewed Avenger” by Laura Resnick opens up the anthology with over-the-top, ostentatious fantasy trappings that summarize down to a talking raccoon giving a disbelieving drunk college student a magic weapon. What could possibly go wrong? Many of the other stories are also quite glib, including Mike Resnick's "A Very Special Girl," wherein a zombie thug falls in love, demonstrating that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To balance out the collection's tone, “Fairy Debt” by Gail Carriger is a sweet story wherein fairy Cups can bake amazing banana cupcakes.

Retold folk tales and blatantly inverted tropes provide the backbone of Funny Fantasy. In “Crumbs” by Esther Friesner, Hansel's son becomes a paladin for an obnoxious king who sends him deep into the evil woods, where he finds that Hansel and Gretel's version of the story, and his view of witches in general, is patently erroneous. In “The Blue Corpse Corps” by Jim C. Hines, goblins scramble to let zombies bite them so that they can gain near-invincible powers. For those who are tired of faerie realm stories, “The Best Little Cleaning Robot in All of Faerie” by Susan Jane Bigelow mixes in a little space opera and ends on a completely irreverent note.

On the social commentary side, “Another End of the Empire” by Tim Pratt follows a tyrant king determined to undermine the prophecy of his downfall by creating the Village of Progress. A few stories take on sexism directly; “A Fish Story” by Sarah Totton shows just how inappropriate an unwanted suitor's attentions can be, and in “The Queens Reason” by Richard Parks, the young man who has come to save the queen from her insanity is not at all what he appears to be.

All-in-all, Funny Fantasy is a solid anthology with plenty of laughs. 

Funny Fantasy represents the fantasy genre well by including fourteen stories published in the past decade by current magazines and big names. With such a wide range of style and subject matter, there's bound to be something for every one:

“Dave the Mighty Steel-Thewed Avenger” by Laura Resnick 
“Crumbs” by Esther Friesner 
“Fellow Traveler” by Donald J. Bingle 
“A Fish Story” by Sarah Totton 
“Another End of the Empire” by Tim Pratt 
“Giantkiller” by G. Scott Huggins 
“A Mild Case of Death” by David Gerrold 
“Fairy Debt” by Gail Carriger 
“A Very Special Girl” by Mike Resnick 
“The Blue Corpse Corps” by Jim C. Hines 
“Librarians in the Branch Library of Babel” by Shaenon K. Garrity 
“The Queens Reason” by Richard Parks 
“The Best Little Cleaning Robot in All of Faerie” by Susan Jane Bigelow 
“Suede This Time” by Jean Rabe 

Are you still reading this? What are you waiting for? Pick up Funny Fantasy on [ Amazon ] and check out Alex Shvartsman's website, - he writes plenty of funny fiction himself and edits great anthologies, including the Unidentified Funny Objects series.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Review: The Overseer's Son by @SarahJaune

The Overseer's Son (Children of the Guard Book 1) by Sarah Jaune is a post-apocalyptic science-fiction fantasy following Elijah Hunt, son of a powerful magician, the Overseer of Chicago:

Imagine a world where there are only two classes: people with power, and people without.

Imagine a world where cities are ruled by families with magical powers, where their will determines their citizen's lives, and where the strongest thrives.

For Elijah Hunt he doesn't have to imagine a world where bullies rule. He lives it everyday under the cruelty of his magical father: the Overseer of Chicago.

Will Elijah choose to run from the father determined to mold him into a monster too, or will he stay and face his future? Will Eli even have magic of his own?

The stakes are high as Eli and his sisters have to choose whether to stay or run for their lives.

Although the introduction may come off as a bit of an info-dump, the majority of The Overseer's Son is a fun coming-of-age story propelled by big magic, engaging dialogue, and a clear moral foundation.

As Elijah meets new friends who help him unlock his potential, he also witnesses the true state of the Chicago first-hand. Readers learn about an expansive world that blurs genre by combining technology and magic, and Elijah learns about problems too big for any one person to fix, but also too big to ignore. These discoveries drive him to moral crisis as he confronts the man his father wants him to be, the man others hope he can be, and the person he thinks he is.

Elijah receives wonderful support from other characters but finds that he still must fight an internal battle – will he grow up to be a monster like his father? Can he truly escape his father's physical and emotional influence? Sarah Jaune addresses many of the issues that stem from childhood abuse, and does so in a way appropriate for upper middle-grade and YA audiences.

The Overseer's Son hints at bigger mysteries to be explored in later books, adding depth to the world while promising an adventure-oriented plot. Dark undertones introduce the readers to deep issues such as poverty. Yet, Elijah's story is a positive narrative of overcoming obstacles with the wise and loving support of family and friends.

You can find The Overseer's Son on [ Amazon ] and [ Goodreads ], and you can connect with author Sarah Jaune on twitter @sarahjaune

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Appearance: Oak City Comicon

Stop on by!

I will be signing copies of my speculative fiction chapbook, Premeditations, on April 16th from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation's vendor table at Oak City Comicon.

Oak City Comicon is a family-friendly, one-day convention that runs April 16th from 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM at the Raleigh Convention Center. Kids 8 and under are FREE. Their guest list includes  Howard Chaykin who illustrated the first ten issues of the Marvel Star Wars comics series.

From their website:

Oak City Comicon was conceived and created by Alan Gill and Tommy Lee Edwards, the same gentlemen who bring you the fan-favorite NC Comicon each November.

“We wanted to do a huge, one-day show that would be low-cost, high energy, crazy fun and showcase not only the best vendors in the area, but also the amazing creator talent we have in North Carolina.”
On top of hosting an abundance of comic book professionals and the best local comic book stores and vendors from across the state, Oak City Comicon will be a new destination for those individuals who love costume and cosplay. In fact, the show will facilitate a cosplay contest with a grand prize of two all-access, 3-day passes to the 2016 NC Comicon.

So come say hello, get your signed copy, and browse the works of other NC writers!

Oak City Comicon
Raleigh Convention Center
500 South Salisbury Street,
Raleigh, NC 27601

Sign up for my author mailing list to be the first to hear about my appearances and my publications.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Review: #Dreamers by Samantha Priestley

In Dreamers by Samantha Priestley, boyfriend Pete laughs off Fran's belief in the power of dreams. When Rob takes Fran seriously and takes a risk, their friendship fractures and the wheels are set in motion for Fran's dreams to come true - but not in the way that Fran expects. In the end, is it the dreams that are more powerful, or the characters' interpersonal choices? Fran certainly has her regrets.

You can purchase Dreamers from [ Folded Word] or from [ Amazon ] in paperback or ebook formats.

Have twitter? Connect with the author @sampriestley and the publisher @FoldedWord and use the hashtag #Dreamers

Check out more of Folded Word's Chapbooks!

Hey, look! An interview of Samantha Priestley on Lifestyle and Literature.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Review: The Lost Pony of Riverdale

So, I know that this one is a little different than what I usually review because it's not speculative fiction, but AHHH PONIES!!!


The Lost Pony of Riverdale by Amanda Wills made my 11-year-old heart squeal with joy. This sweet middle grade novel tackles a few big issues like depression and anger, brought on by the death of Poppy's mother years back and the new family's sudden move to the country with Poppy's stepmother of several years. Poppy's actions and understanding of the world around her are spot on for her age, and she matures by the end, no longer seeing her kind stepmother as the enemy. Her six-year-old brother is a great supporting character who adds adventure the way only a six-year-old can. The setting feels real-to-life, as does the care required for such a large animal.

The Lost Pony of Riverdale is a story of underdogs, disappointment, and moving on from tragedy through love. Pick it up here on [ Amazon ] to start reading immediately.

There are several books in the series (Yay!) and you can get the first three as a bundle on [ Amazon ].

Learn more about Amanda Wills at

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Narration: Leapling by Nicole Feldringer @CastofWonders

Today Cast of Wonders published Episode 199: Leapling by Nicole Feldringer, narrated by yours truly. "Leapling" is about a teen who confronts her wayward brother as part of her destiny foretold to her by her grandmother.  

Cast of Wonders is a pro-paying YA market that I've narrated for before. They are part of the Escape Artists podcasts, along with Escape Pod and Podcastle. You can comment about the story here on the Escape Artists forum.


Friday, February 26, 2016

Review: #Ephemeral by Miguel Lupian

Ephemeral by Miguel Lupian, translated by Joseph Hutchison, is a collection of inspiringly bizarre flash fiction headed by "Blind Man's First Diary Entry." Each reality-bending piece is a poetically poignant mix of the senses.

I love how the original Spanish version is placed opposite the translation, giving this collection added depth for bilingual readers and Spanish language enthusiasts.

You can purchase Ephemeral from [ Folded Word ] or from [ Amazon ] in paperback.

Have twitter? Connect with the author @mortinatos, the translator @poetjhwriter, and the publisher @FoldedWord and use the hashtag #Ephemeral

Check out more of Folded Word's Chapbooks!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Review: #LAnguille by Jon Trobaugh

L'Anguille by Jon Trobaugh is a chapbook of three disturbing stories centering around children in desperate, real-world situations. Often, the adults are failing these children -- dysfunctional isn't a strong enough word. Each story grabs the reader's attention with a strong opening line, and doesn't let go until the less-than-happy ending.

You can purchase L'Anguille from [ Folded Word ] or from [ Amazon ] in paperback or in ebook format.

Have twitter? Connect with the author @jontrobaugh and the publisher @FoldedWord

Check more of Folded Word's Chapbooks!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Review: Lepidopterist by Kendra Fortmeyer

Hop on over to Hobart Pulp to read "Lepidopterist" by Kendra Fortmeyer. "Lepidopterist" is a flash piece that brings the reader into the twisted mind of a killer.

You can also check out Fortmeyer's chapbook here and my review for it here. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Author Mailing List, Activated! Sign up!

Since Premeditations came out, so many people have come to me and told me that they were interested in my work but missed several of the announcements on social media.

With facebook algorithms especially, sometimes social media doesn't cut it, not when you want to be the first to know and take advantage of time-sensitive things like preorder discounts. I also have a few appearances I'm scheduling right now and I would hate to have fans miss them because of these issues.

All this to say that I now have an author mailing list! I will never send you spam, but only one-time announcements when a book or story is published, when it becomes available in another format, or when an appearance is coming up.

Thank you for all your feedback!

I really appreciate my followers on social media and on this blog, too. You will continue to see reviews in those places that you won't see on the author mailing list. On facebook and twitter you'll no doubt see our homeschooling antics as well. Carry on!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

#PREMEDITATIONS on Goodreads - Call for Reviews

My chapbook PREMEDITATIONS now has an [ Amazon ] page, a [ Goodreads ] page, in addition to its page at Folded Word where you can still get multi-pack discounts. We'd love to hear your opinion.

Have a question or comment about PREMEDITATIONS? Visit the Goodreads discussion thread!

Don't forget to leave a review on Amazon  ] and on [ Goodreads ]. Thank you!