In Defense of Fanfic


Whenever I see an author up in arms about how bad and horrible fanfic is, I can’t help but to scratch my head and ask, “But what is so wrong about it?”

Sure, the appearance and popularity of fanfic-turned-original-novel is meant to take some of the blame. Would 50 Shades of Grey be so popular if it hadn’t started out as Twilight fanfic first? Would EL James have gotten a huge following regardless? What about writers like Alice Clayton, Jamie McGuire, etc? Truth is, no one knows. But it opened the discussion of authors using their standing in fandom to garner a following, and whether was it right for them to pull-and-publish their fics with different characters.

(I’m using Clayton, James, and McGuire as examples, but seriously, a list of published Twilight fanfics is not hard to find. It’s really not.)

Is it wrong? Unless someone’s lifting complete passages off your book, then no, not really, at least from a legal standpoint. Whether it’s morally wrong or not, jury’s still out on that one. But ask yourself: if you had a readership of millions, and got offered a book contract if you changed the names and setting, would you do it?

Personally, I don’t think I would. I think my fic is meant to stay in the confines of what inspired it, and it’s meant to be free. I may have created some original concepts in fic that I’ve then ported into original works, but those were original concepts. They were mine, and as such, I can use them as I see fit. At the time, I put them in fic to experiment, and those that worked, I decided to dedicate books to. So, in a way, fanfic helped me train. And if you ask writers, some of them will tell you the exact same thing.

A lot of the criticism for fanfic appeared during the 50SoG debacle. Before, some authors were vocal about their distaste for fic (such as Anne Rice and Robin Hobb) to the point sites like forbade users from posting fic based off those writers’ comments. But the more 50SoG earned, the more comments I saw deriding fanfic, and the people who *gasp* like to write it in their free time.

Back in 2003, when Anne Rice told people not to write fanfic based on her work, do you think people stopped? You bet they didn’t. Some actually stopped buying her books, because they were mad. So, remember that every time you oppose fanfic, you may actually be alienating some of your own fans.

It’s not because they want to steal the characters. It’s not because they’re thinking about “oh, I’ll write this fic, become popular, then pull it, change names and get a million bucks!”

It’s because people love the work so much they feel inspired to write. They love the world, the characters so much, their heads won’t stop thinking about it. They will sit down and put said characters in situations the author didn’t. They devote time, put themselves out there in the fandom world, and hope others will like their spin on things.

And that is one of the highest compliments a writer can get.

You cannot keep people from writing whatever the hell they want. And if they’re choosing to write about your characters, for chocolate’s sake, let them.

“But if they become popular then they can make millions off a work that’s based on my work!”

Well, true. But so what?

If they make millions off a work based on yours, I’m sure it’s because you already have big recognition. All the “big” pulled-to-publish fanfics came from Twilight, and what did Twilight have already? That’s right, a huge following. Trust me, no fanfic of a small fandom is going to garner thousands of followers, much less a million-dollar-publishing contract. Not to mention EL James, Alice Clayton, and all the Twi-fic authors didn’t really steal readers from Stephenie Meyer. Meyer’s fans will still buy Meyer’s work. Meyer never really lost any readership from having people writing fanfic of her work.

And neither will you. Neither will anyone, really.

“But they should be spending time on their characters, not mine! They should be creating their world!”

People spend time doing whatever the fuck they want. If they want to write about your characters, they will do it. And the truth is, sometimes, people just want to write in a world’s that’s already set, with characters they already know. Believe it or not, it teaches them something. It teaches how to stay in character, how to use a world and follow its rules. Hell, even if it’s AU (Another Universe), it’s still a great training exercise, because you keep the characters but build a new world for them.

“People should be reading real books instead of fanfic!”

People should read whatever the hell they want. If it’s fanfic, then they are going to read fanfic. In fact, just last week, as I was playing Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice, I found myself craving serious Phoenix/Maya fanfic. So, I went and read some. And it was glorious.

Just like when I’m playing a Bioware game (it happens with Bioware games 99% of the time), and my future game husband is being overdramatic about lyrium addiction, you bet your ass I’m going to spend however long I want writing about it. Because it’s fun. It’s liberating. And sometimes, it helps connect to like-minded people. Fanfic led me to meet amazing people who I’ve stayed friends with for over ten years.

“But knowing how to write fanfic doesn’t mean you’re ready to write books!”

Sure, there are many things you do in fanfic that you don’t do in books, because fanfic has no purpose other than what you want it. Ultimately, though, more than it harms, fanfic helps. I know it helped me.

Fanfic helped me realize I did want to become a writer. Fanfic helped me improve my English, my prose, my skills. Sticking to a fanfic for years even though people rarely left comments in it taught me discipline, and it taught me how to write just because I love writing.

And if you, as an author, are inspiring people to write, take it as a compliment, because it is one. Obviously, don’t police the fandom, or participate actively in it (look at what happened to Marion Zimmer Bradley when she did), and don’t tell them to stop, because you never know how important it might be to them.


Norbert and Truwitch – which I’m currently making fanart for!



Pre-NaNo warm-up: My Crazy Tips


I’m tackling NaNoWriMo again like I do every year. Winner or no, 50k or no, I find that NaNo helps with several things, from productivity to rising from a slump. These past couple years, I don’t think I’ve “won” Nano, but it’s such a fun time it’s impossible to never join in.

This year, I’ll be attempting to write at least 50k on my new novel, Eat Me, Drink Me. It’s going to be YA Dark Fantasy, because it’s what I love to write, and goddamn Bloodborne, of all things, inspired this one. Note that I say “of all things” because, if you’ve known me for a while, you also know I thought I wouldn’t like Fromsoftware games because they didn’t present a story in the traditional sense. Hell, there’s not much story going on in Bloodborne, but the atmosphere, the soundtrack, the gameplay… they’re all so terrific, by the time I realized what was happening, I was planning a Lovecraftian YA Fantasy. It wouldn’t die, so instead of Cat Dragons (a MG Fantasy I was working on), or yet another re-write of Sightless (my YA Contemp Fantasy that really won’t die), I decided to go for this one.

So yeah, Bloodborne is amazing, you should play it if you can, etc. But I digress.

If you’re thinking about doing NaNo, but the 50k-in-a-month scare you, well, I HAVE YOU COVERED. With tips that these, it’ll be amazing if you don’t have 50k by the end of November.

My Crazy NaNo Tips

(or how I get 50k+ in a month when I try)
  1. It helps if you plot beforehand, even if you never intend to follow said plotline. But if you’re a pantser, well, just work your panster magic!
  2. Whenever you have free time, be it one minute or one hour, write. It doesn’t have to be spectacular. It just has to be there.
  3. If you’re a student (I was, during my GLORIOUS Nano winner years) and already know you’re going to sleep through class anyway: write. This is actually terrible advice on an academic basis, but I probably wrote most of my Nano words during Complex Analysis and Systems Modelling classes.
  4. Carry a tiny notebook and pen/pencil at all times. Whip it out during bus stops, commutes, coffee breaks, anything! Every word counts!
  5. If all else fails, write on your cell phone. I have around 2000 words of A Trace of Madness on small notes in mine.
  6. Take writing material to places you normally wouldn’t. Like the bathroom. For real, you’d be surprised at what magic can happen while your body is, well… working its digestive system magic.
  7. Drink copious amount of coffee/energy drink of choice. In the Lisbon NaNo meets, I’m known for being the chick who drinks 3 giant cups in an hour and a half. If you start getting jittery, worry not! That just means your blood’s become half-caffeine, and we all know that’s what writers run on anyway.
  8. See if you have a NaNo group nearby, and go to the meets! I was sooooo scared the first time I decided to attend the one in Lisbon, but it turned out to be incredibly fun! It was also where I met some of my great friends!
  9. If you’re rolling around in bed and can’t sleep, get up and write. You were going to waste that time to insomnia anyway.
  10. This might just be me, but walking helps a lot with idea flow/plot blocks. If you’re feeling stuck, go for a walk with your soundtrack of choice!
  11. Find and join word sprint groups (or do it by yourself, if you can – I can’t!) If you’re competitive like I am, these will help you get words down without worrying about if it’s actually crap.
  12. Don’t go crazy and start editing. This is super hard for me, because I like editing as I go. However, during NaNo, it’s a no-no. A BIG ONE.
  13. If you’re stuck on a scene, it’s fine to skip ahead. Likewise, if you really want to write that magic cookie of a scene that you’ve been imagining, skip ahead and do it. DO IT!
  14. If you cat/dog/dragon starts throwing a tantrum because you’re ignoring them over writing, be sure to indulge them before they climb onto your laptop and erase your lifeblood from the screen.
  15. Alternatively, let them climb onto the screen and sneak in some ninja “aaaaaaaaahhhh” and “jjjjjjjjjjjhjhjjjjj” words for you. That’s their way of showing pity for their human.


And that’s it! Be sure to add me to your NaNo buddy list and maybe we can sprint together!

2016-07-15 16_33_32-Diana Pinguicha Connors (@pinguicha) • Instagram photos and videos.png

Norbert, Dragon to the Southern Portuguese Nanoninjas, dares you to take part in this year’s NaNoWriMo! 


Why I Write in English



I’ve been asked this often, both by native speakers and non-natives, which is why I decided to share my (in)finite wisdom today. I’ve spoken about it briefly on my “Getting the Call” guest post on Michelle Hauck’s blog, but here’s a longer version.

It’s not a secret I’m a huge, huge video game fan. Until I was 12, I’d only had basic English classes at school (basically, two years of learning basic verbs, numbers, how to say the English alphabet, and some questions/answers such as “What’s your name?/My name’s Diana”). Not knowing English on a fluent basis was a very big barrier to my enjoyment of video games, and when I got Ocarina of Time, the world, characters and story were all so vivid and wonderful, I found myself wanting to understand everything. So, like the stubborn little girl that I was, I armed myself with a dictionary. I noted down words I didn’t know to memorize them later.

Now, if you’ve played Ocarina of Time, you know the ending. You also know that any incurable romantic like me wanted more. Zelink is life. Zelink needs to be cannon. I also got hooked on Resident Evil, and the Chris/Jill pairing that everyone knows it’s secretly real at Capcom.

Then I discovered fanfiction.

I lurked on a lot. I eventually discovered the Resident Evil fic of this wonderful lady named Louise. We started talking. I told Louise that I’d love to write, but there was no point in doing it in Portuguese because no one would read it, and I was afraid of writing in English because mine was so broken. Louise, being the awesome kick-butt lady she is, told me to do it anyway. So, I did.

My first fics were shit. They were riddled with grammar errors (I will never forget my iconic use of “Zelda runned”). Still, people somehow liked them. Errors aside, they liked the story, and kept encouraging me. And I kept writing.

By then, I was in 7th grade and had this wonderful English teacher who nurtured my then-above-average English. I’d ask her to translated some game passages when I was stuck, and she’d do it. I remember learning verb conjugations from her, and finally, I understood that the pas of run, was ran. Similarly, my Portuguese teacher (who I hated back then, but eventually realized I was being a little stupid shit) told me to write more, because he always enjoyed my short stories. So, I did.

At 14, while on an away hockey match, my parents bought me Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. This was significant, because they hate video games, but since yours truly was a model student, and we’d just won the hockey match, they gave it to me as sort of a prize.

You have no idea what sort of doors that game opened. AoD brought on a pivotal change to my life, and it came in the shape of the KTEB. I joined their forums and met the most amazing group of people, some of whom I’m still friends with. My English still had problems, but they never mocked me for it, and they gave me support when I needed it most. I probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them. My Sanistas and Manistas are my second family, and they inspired me in many, many ways. A lot of them wrote amazing Tomb Raider fanfic, and I found myself thinking “I wish I could be as good as they are.” I would never have met them had it not been for video games, and my need to learn English.

Now, school was not easy for me. I was a straight-A student, the kind who’s also good at sports. I was bullied, terribly. People gave me hell for playing video games. People gave me hell when I said I learned most of my English from video games. I got spat at in class, hounded at recess, and this obviously caused me to withdraw.

Cue to more video games, and subsequently, better English. I started drawing just because I enjoyed it (my drawing saga in itself deserves another post, but for now, just know that everyone said I’d never be good). I wrote so much fanfic, it was embarrassing. I played Planescape: Torment and it made me realize games could have amazing, complex stories, with great writing to boot.

PS:T is a work of genius and everyone should play it. Seriously.

By then, I was 15, and my English was pretty damn good. So good my parents decided to send me to summer camp for two weeks in Cambridge as a reward for my good grades. It was expensive, but my parents, in spite of all their flaws, never held back when it came to my education.

I went to summer camp twice: first in Cambridge, then in Manchester. Met incredible people there, and my teachers back then also encouraged me to write more. And that second year in Manchester, I got to meet some of my Sanistas in person. It was amazing.

When I was in 9th grade, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix came out after a long wait. You think I was going to wait two more months for it to be translated in Portuguese? Hell no! It was the first book I read in English, and I got much use out of my dictionary. Same thing went when I discovered Juliet Marillier’s new book was out in English while the Portuguese release was 6 months away. Wait? Hell no!

(In case you don’t know, Juliet’s my favorite writer, and her books are made of magic. READ THEM.)

Fast-forward a couple of years, and I read an amazing Knights of the Old Republic fanfic by Trillian4210 (who I discovered now writes romance under the name Emma Scott). Its scale and scope inspired me tremendously, and after playing Neverwinter Nights II, I decided to try my hand at something epic. If I could commit to it and finish it, I’d then try to write a book.

That fanfic’s still up. It’s called Full Circle, and yes, you guessed it, it’s complete.

I was in college for Computer Engineering by the time I finished it. By then, I’d realized I wanted to write, and went to Engineering to pursue game development. But Engineering is hard, especially when you’re so engrossed in your hobbies you forget to study, so it took me a while to get that damn degree. But I did it.

Halfway through my Bachelor’s, I asked my parents to pay for my Proficiency in English exam, just to have it. They thought I should have some classes first, so I went to Cambridge School in Lisbon and took their test. I started Proficiency classes next week.

I had about six months of classes. Once, our teacher, Harry, told us to write a short story. He loved mine so much he told me to quit Engineering and go to an University in England (he recommended Sussex) and get a writing degree. Unfortunately, my parents couldn’t afford it, so couldn’t, but that was when I decided to pursue writing seriously.

After that, I decided to do NaNoWriMo. At first, I thought I’d do it in Portuguese. Then I met Leonor, fellow animal-lover and Juliet Marillier fan. Friendship immediately struck. Thanks to her, I gained more knowledge of the Portuguese publishing industry – enough to not want to give it a try.

Fantasy (which is what I write) doesn’t sell very well in Portugal unless you have a TV show or a movie. And then there’s the fact that most of the books we get are imports, and not from national authors. If you write Crime novels, then you might have a shot, or Historical Romance. I’ve heard of an established Hist Romance author who sells well, but her editors refuse to even read her fantasy manuscripts, because “Fantasy doesn’t sell.”
So I gave Portuguese a big middle-finger and went on with writing in English. After years of fanfic, it came surprisingly easy. In fact, it started coming easier than Portuguese itself. But I was still afraid my knowledge of the language wasn’t good enough.
Now, I could try the Brazilian Portuguese market, but Brazilian Portuguese, while very similar, has some differences from European Portuguese, and I’ve watched enough Brazilian Soap Operas to know those differences are significant. I could’ve researched, true, and learned how to write in Brazilian PT, but I felt I had a better shot with English.

Soon, I had a book (which was crap). I learned about the submission process in the US. I queried. I got rejections. But I also got one of the most surprising responses, and it came from Russ Galen – who reps Juliet fucking Marillier. He passed on the novel, obviously, but gave me great advice that I follow to this day. He also said he didn’t believe I wasn’t a native speaker, because my English was better than most of the submissions he read.

Ego boost gained. I stuck to English. I didn’t give up.

I wrote another book. Then another. Finally, on my fourth try, I got rep (the wonderful Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Lit).

So, here’s the gist:

I started learning English at school. I got better because of video games.
I started writing in English so people would read my fanfics.
I kept writing fanfic in English. I got better.
I met the most amazing group of people. Interacting with them made me better, both as a person, and as an English speaker.
I started writing in Portuguese, but gave up when I found out how hard it was to get an unknown author’s fantasy book read by publishers.
I wrote in English because, believe it or not, getting an agent abroad is easier than an unknown getting published here. Especially in Fantasy.
All my support was mostly from English speakers, and it was easier getting feedback if I wrote in that language.

So, there’s why. As for the how:

Ultimately, I practiced. And ultimately, I got better to the point no one knows I’m not a native speaker – unless they actually hear me speak. Accent: I have it.

Query + First Page Giveaway



I’m in sore need of an excuse to drop my 3DS and Fire Emblem. Since my desktop broke and I (sadly) can’t do a lot for Lakewater Press until it’s fixed, PitchWars is right around the corner, and the competition helped me meet some of the most amazing people ever…

Giveaway time! Click on the link below to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Why would you want this?

I’m a nobody, really. But I somehow convinced an agent (the wonderful Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Lit) to represent my novels, so I might know a bit about queries and first pages that work. Might. If you do win, take my word-spew of a critique with a grain of salt (for your sanity).

I write mostly Fantasy, and mostly YA (though I’m trying to write a MG book at the moment). However, I read pretty widely, so anything’s welcome.

And now I leave you with a picture of Norbert on top of my controller because a) he’s a DRAGON and b) HE’S A DRAGON.

2016-01-04 16_06_05-Diana Pinguicha (@pinguicha) • Instagram photos and videos



In  The Blood Banner 540 x 200


In the Blood: The Witchbreed, Book One by R.L. Martínez

Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Lakewater Press
Date of Publication: March 21, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-9944511-0-1
ISBN: 978-0-9944511-1-8
Number of pages: 370
Word Count: app. 122,000




The Warrior

The war between Dosalyn and Roanaan has ended, but a new battle begins for prisoner-of-war, Ottilde Dominax. Dreams of her witchbreed twin sister are visions of death and betrayal. Driven by their grim warning, she escapes her captors and races across nations to save her sister.

But she may arrive too late…

The Witch

Oriabel Dominax has kept her healing magic secret while she cares for her family’s struggling estate. But the arrival of a new lord with secrets of his own, the discovery of a dark and addictive magic, and threats from a cruel blackmailer push Oriabel closer to disaster. Through it all, the Witch’s Tree calls…

Cover Artist E.L. Wicker







Angry hisses and mutters rippled through the assembly at the announcement of Ottilde’s number.

The guard at the front of their formation watched with a bored expression as the other inmates spat at her feet. “King Killer,” the woman next to her hissed. Ottilde swallowed and her grip on the heartstone tightened. Chroy had not been a king when she threw her knife into his throat, not yet. But he had been their future, their hope.

Ottilde raised one hand into the air. “Here.” The commotion died down after he called a few more numbers and Ottilde let out her long-held breath. She loosened her fingers from around the heartstone.

They came away aching with the force of her hold.

When all the prisoners were accounted for, several inmates broke formation to walk to the dining house for breakfast. The guards, however, growled at them to remain in line, shoving some of the slower ones back into place.

Ottilde frowned at the change in routine, and peered around. Prison Chief Wilder Coomb strode towards them on the other side of the wire fence that formed the front of the yard, his adjutant close at his side. One of the guards unlocked the yard gate and stood back as the Chief entered.

Wilder Coomb was a formidable man. He might once have been handsome, but life had bullied him viciously. His shaved head sported a deep, curling scar on one side of his scalp, while his face and neck carried similar gruesome marks. One earlobe was missing, which gave his head a cock-eyed appearance when viewed straight on. A jagged horizontal line along his neck indicated someone had tried to cut his throat at one time. But Ottilde believed the most impressive scar lay behind the patch over his left eye.

The silvery tail of the wound snaked down his cheek and neck to disappear in the stiff collar of his forest green officer’s coat. Upon reaching the front of the prisoner formations, he folded his hands behind his back and swept a contemptuous eye over them. Ottilde could only imagine what he saw as he stared at them, the ragged unlucky soldiers taken prisoner during the recent Pleinour War. For a moment, Chief Coomb’s hard, dark eye settled on her and she lifted her chin, refusing to show him how much he intimidated her. But his gaze moved on, and she sensed the subtle shift of discomfort in the prisoners around her when one of them felt the whip of his gaze.

He held up a sheaf of folded papers; a letter, judging by the regular creases. “Queen Kuonrada has fled and Deauxerr has vanquished her armies.”

The prisoners shuffled and muttered. The cold air warmed with the force of their anger and humiliation. Ottilde kept her eyes on Chief Coomb’s face, though she felt a good portion of their collective rage focused on her. She knew she held blame for breaking the back of Roanaan’s fighting spirit.

“Over the last several weeks,” Coomb continued, “those with authority in such matters have considered what to do with you all. I have a list of officers and knights to be traded for Deauxerr soldiers now held by the remnant of Roanaan’s military as an act of diplomatic faith. Step forward when I read your number. You will be readied immediately for transport to the exchange point.” He snapped his fingers and his adjutant took the letter from his hand, replacing it with a single sheet of dark paper. Coomb scanned it and shouted out prisoner numbers.

Ottilde’s breathing grew irregular with hope as each man or woman came forward in answer to the prison chief’s summons. But he reached the last number on the list without calling hers. Her stomach soured as she watched a contingent of guards escort the fifty or so fortunate prisoners from the yard.

Once the yard gate had shut again. Chief Coomb’s adjutant handed him another paper. “Now, King Talin of Deauxerr has decided to offer those of you with reports of good conduct and no criminal past the opportunity to swear fealty to the Deauxerr crown. Talin has granted you permission to return to Roanaan or settle in Deauxerr; also, you will be given a small subsidy to start your new life. If you wish to accept this offer, step forward when I read your number.” He sounded off another list of prisoners.

Again, Ottilde listened tensely for her number, though she knew how unlikely it was she would hear it this time. Coomb must have called a hundred numbers or more, but Ottilde estimated only forty prisoners stepped forward. They averted their eyes from those who remained in the formations. Another handful of guards led this group from the yard.

“As for the rest of you,” Coomb said, “you are to be moved to a civilian prison facility where you will no longer be my concern.” He folded his arms behind his back. “Remember, as long as you remain in this camp, or in the custody of my staff, you will obey Lachlas regulations. Everyone will appear for morning roll every day. You all know what will happen should even one of your numbers go missing.” He gave them a last menacing glare then stalked to the yard gate.

About the Author:

SONY DSCR.L. Martinez writes fantasy and science fiction with dark edges and corners. She began writing when she was in the seventh grade when her teacher assigned a creative writing project. She lives in Norman, OK with her husband, two young sons, a mouse-killing cat, and two naughty pooches.

Website –
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Tour giveaway, enter HERE!

1 swag pack (book, bookmark, postcard, heartstone necklace) and 3 ebook copies


PARASITE Book Blitz!


Hi everyone! I’m super excited to be a part of the book blitz for K.T. Hanna’s PARASITE! K.T. is an absolute sweetheart and writes kick-ass sci-fi novels. Books 1 and 2 (CHAMELEON and HYBRID) are available for $.99 on Amazon, so WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Parasite blitz banner

Parasite (The Domino Project #3)
by K.T. Hanna
Release Date: February 22nd 2016
Amaranthine Press

Summary from Goodreads:
With the Damascus closing in on the Exiled, Sai and Dom must put their grief and inner demons aside as they rush to free the people of the Protected Conglomerate from the influence of the psionic grid. 

Chipped and placed under house arrest with a guard, Bastian’s only hope lies in reaching his core to disrupt Deign’s ruthless plan. 

Intent on putting a stop to the Damascus and the GNW’s reign, Dom discovers the true extent of the parasite within. Just when Sai thinks the Exiled have a chance, their greatest weapon turns on them.

Add to Goodreads


Chameleon (The Domino Project #1) on Goodreads
Hybrid The Domino Project #2) on Goodreads

Buy Links:
Amazon | Signed Copies from Watermark Books

To celebrate Parasite’s release, Chameleon and Hybrid are on sale for $0.99!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Praise for Book #1 – CHAMELEON
“Hanna takes familiar sci-fi genre elements… and spins dystopian gold.” Kirkus Reviews


Alpha is stationary and eerily silent when Mele catches up to it. The adrium netting camouflage flickers in and out softly, appearing every several seconds, as if a swarm of fireflies surround the dome. Dom sighs with relief that it’s still standing. Without seeing them, he knows there are people working frantically to get it functional again. If it doesn’t work properly, they’re sitting ducks.

The cargo ramp lowers slowly, an occasional hitch pausing it. Dom waits impatiently, tapping his foot and the light from the lowering ramp momentarily blinds him. As he pulls Mele into the bay, laser points appear on his vehicle—targeting sights for crossbows. He moves cautiously toward the door as it opens and finds Mason, pale and gaunt, flanked by two guards on each side.

They acknowledge him by lowering their weapons.

“It’s you.” The relief in Mason’s tone is palpable, as is the exhaustion.

“Medics,” Dom says shortly, feeling the irritation trying to poke through his control. “I picked up survivors.”

Mason raises his eyebrows as he motions over to the cargo bay door. He takes a step inside Mele and glances around. “Survivors.” His shoulders sag, and the tension drains from his frame a little. “I thought we’d lost them all.”

Dom has a thousand things sitting on his tongue, but he swallows most of them and settles for, “I thought we’d lost her. I can’t afford to lose her.” His grip on the sinuous tendrils of impatience and darkness tightens, choking them back.

About the Author

KT Hanna has a love for words so extreme, a single word can spark entire worlds.k.t. hanna

Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically out to kill you.
When she’s not writing, she freelance edits for Chimera Editing, and chases her daughter, husband, corgi, and cat. No, she doesn’t sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, and beef jerky.

Note: Still searching for her Tardis



Guard Banner (1)

Hiiii, everyone, and welcome to my tour stop for The Tsar’s Guard Parade, in honor of Evelyn Skye’s THE CROWN’S GAME! I’m suuuuper excited for this book and YOU SHOULD BE TOO!

The Tsar’s Guard Parade also includes a giveaway for an ARC of the book. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post!

So, without further ado, here’s my contribution: a portrait of Vika!


Bigger size here!
About the Book:

CrownsGame hc cTitle: THE CROWN’S GAME
Author: Evelyn Skye
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Pages: 416
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


About Evelyn:

Evelyn Skye head shot high res

Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN’S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.

Website | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram



Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive an ARC of THE CROWN’S GAME. International.

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Find the complete Tsar’s Guard Parade Schedule at Evelyn Skye’s website!

Winell Road Blog Tour




Happy Christmas from Kate and Winell Road!

When Winell Road: Beneath the Surface was released back in April, Kate didn’t embark on a great deal of promotion. Because of a lot of ‘things’. So, to make up for that and to kick off the festivities for her favourite time of year – Christmas! – she’s taken Winell Road on a little tour, hoping to spread the word and introduce lots of new young readers to, what she believes is, a great big dollop of sci-fi fun and adventure.

Here’s a little info…

Winell Road cover 2Twelve-year old Jack Mills lives at 5 Winell Road and probably has the world’s weirdest neighbours. Like freakishly weird. And to top it off, he lives with Mum: nosy, interfering, a hideous cook, and Dad: unsuccessful inventor of the Camera Belt and Self-Closing Window. All in all, it’s a boring, embarrassing, dead-end place to live.

So when Jack arrives home from school one day, a close shave with a UFO is the last thing he expects. But the fact it doesn’t abduct him, and that no one else, not even Mum, sees the gigantic flying saucer hovering over the street, adds a whole new layer of strange.

Soon after, an alien encounter threatens Jack’s life and he becomes embroiled in a galaxy-saving mission. With the assistance of his new neighbour, frighteningly tall Roxy Fox, he discovers Winell Road is hiding secrets—secrets Jack might wish he’d never uncovered.


If you’re still not sure, here’s a couple of reviews…

‘Winell Road: Beneath the Surface is a fast-paced middle-grade adventure story with the feel of Men in Black. Jack is a smart, resourceful boy with more abilities than he’s ever dreamed off, and he finds out that the world is a far stranger place than he imagined. The action is non-stop and will keep readers riveted.’

‘This book will work wonderfully read aloud in class. There are enough cliff-hanger chapter endings to keep them begging for more. It will also promote discussion about making snap judgments while providing plenty of scope for related art projects.’ Buzz Words Magazine

Go to Goodreads to see a few more.

About Kate


rsnow pics 001Kate is an Englishwoman on the Gold Coast in Australia. A middle grade writer, freelance editor, the editorial director at Lakewater Press and all around lover of the written word, she is ruled by her three sons, husband and spoodle pup. Not one to have a quiet day, she spends her free time mentoring new writers in contests like Nest Pitch and Pitch Wars, judging writing contests and helping out at Writers Activation on the Gold Coast. Other than that, she likes laying in bed or by the pool with a book!

If you would like to stalk Kate you can follow her on Twitter or visit her blog, where you can also find out about her editorial services.


It would make a great stocking filler for children. BUT, if you’re feeling particularly lucky, she’s giving away three signed copies just in time for Christmas! Yippee!

Click here to enter!


If you don’t win, then the book is available all over the virtual world.


Amazon UK



Jet Black Publishing

Thanks for stopping by. MERRY CHRISTMAS!


A piece of Truthwitch fanart!

A piece of Truthwitch fanart!

One of my favorite authors — the AMAZING Susan Dennard — has a new Fantasy book coming out in January called TRUTHWITCH. Before Truthwitch, she wrote the Something Strange and Deadly series, which I absolutely loved. Also, she has a website littered with advice for writers, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t read through all of it. Especially the synopsis post. OH THE DREADED SYNOPSIS.

Anyway, I offered to draw some portraits for Susan, because, like I said, she’s a) awesome and b) I would’ve ended up doing them anyway because I can’t help myself. So here is my version of Safiya fon Hasstrel, Truthwitch extraordinaire!


(alternative version can be found here). Iseult, Merik and Aeduan to come!

DIVIDED Cover Reveal!


I am suuuper excited to be a part of this cover reveal! Sharon has always been super nice and supportive! So, without further ado, LOOK AT THIS SHINY!

DIVIDED full digital

Book Blurb

A new heart should mean new life, instead it’s a living nightmare.

Mishca Richardson’s life is at an all-time high after her heart transplant. With new boyfriend, Ryder, she has the perfect summer romance. Even the nightmares plaguing her sleep since her operation can’t dull her new dream world.

Yet, life starts to unravel when Mishca develops superhuman abilities. She does her best to hide them so as not to end up a science experiment in a lab, but she can’t ignore the strange instant attraction she experiences when she meets her university professor, Colin Reed.

Torn between love and obsession, Mishca must unite her divided heart and decide between the two men. But when the truth about her weird powers comes to light, she’ll have a lot more to worry about than romance.

Praise for Divided

“DIVIDED is a fast-paced adventure filled with mystery, romance, action, and humor.

Mishca and Ryder rank up there with my favorite heroines and heroes ever!

Sharon M. Johnston is an author to watch out for.”

  • WENDY HIGGINS, USA Today and New York Times bestselling author.

Preorder DIVIDED now!

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About the author


From sunny Queensland in Australia, Sharon writes weird stories and soulful contemporaries across a number of categories. Working as a PR specialist by day, in her spare time she writes, blogs, plays with her fur babies and plays computer games with her family. She’s also been stalked by women wanted to know where she buys her shoes.

Find her on:

Her website