Friday Face-Off: Light and Dark


It’s time again for the Friday Face-Off meme, created by Books by Proxy, with weekly topics hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.  The idea is to put up different covers for one book, and select a favorite.

This week’s theme is: Tunnel – ‘At the end of every light, is a tunnel of darkness.’

So I totally failed to think of any book with an actual tunnel on the cover…so I decided to play with the light and dark idea instead.  And I thought of the Wayward Children series that I’ve been reading recently and loving. Because they’re recent books with only one cover each, I’m going to further stretch things and put up covers from the whole series.  And they kind of have a tunnel-ish look to them…




I’m torn when it comes to choosing a favorite!  I really like #3 and #4, both quite magical and intriguing, and I like #6 a lot too.  #6 looks like a book I’d really like to read, but it doesn’t look like it’s necessarily a magical book about travel between worlds.  I really like the way #4 uses lighting to suggest magic around a door in a tree (and it’s also totally accurate to what happens in the book, which I always appreciate).  I’m going to ultimately give the edge to #3 though – the bright colors are both appealing and just a touch weird (in a good way) and I like how the door is actually cut out of the sky – very visually interesting.

Also, the series is AMAZING.  I’ve really got to get on top of reviewing… 🙂

Can you think of any books with tunnels on the cover?  Or rave about the Wayward Children series, that kind of comment is welcome too!

Belated Writing Wednesday: Multiplicity of Projects

I meant to get this up yesterday, but…it seems to be Thursday.  I’ve been working through a great many writing projects in the last few weeks, which have been keeping me very busy – but I’ve made good progress with them!

I finished final revisions for Guardian II at the beginning of the month, and my paperback proof copy arrived yesterday.  Always exciting!  Stay tuned for a cover reveal soon.  With the book due out at the beginning of September, release date will be here practically before we know it.

I finished revisions for the two short stories I’m contributing to an anthology, due out some time this fall.  It was fun getting feedback from the other writers – among other things, I learned that “long guns” are an actual, specific thing, not just a phrase J. M. Barrie chanced upon in Peter Pan. 🙂

Last weekend I wrote Chapter Fourteen of Pesto, Pirouettes and Potions, the novel (novella?) I and three other authors are writing round-robin style.  We’re actually getting close to the end, so it’s cool to see the story taking its shape.

And currently I’m revising some new Guardian short stories.  I wrote up a few prequel stories earlier in the month, focusing on key characters before the trilogy began, and setting some of the threads that eventually led them to meet.  Right now I’m revising, and stay tuned for those stories releasing very soon!

Perhaps an early peek at that last project?  Enjoy!


He came back to the Opera in darkness.  He had left through the darkness of the tunnels and catacombs beneath the half-built building’s foundations, and he returned through the long shadows of night-time boulevards, to stand at last across the street and look at the great edifice rising against the starlit sky.

He let his gaze linger on the marble pillars, the copper dome, the line of masks already in place decorating the upper edge of the building’s frontispiece.  His mouth twisted in a self-mocking smile at the sight of the masks.  So appropriate.

Mostly he felt a kind of relief mingled with almost incredulous wonder.  Part of him had never thought he would come back.  Many times in the past few years he had given up any hope at all that both he and the building would survive the turmoil around them, enmeshed as they were in separate crises in separate countries, but both surrounded by people who thought they had no right to exist.

Now he was back, and his opera house was still here, waiting for him, silent in these dark hours before dawn.

Blog Hop: Popular, Yet Disappointing


Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  What books got a lot of hype but were a disappointment for you?

There’s definitely been some books that were super popular that I really disliked…and I always feel a little weird criticizing them, to be honest!  It’s a little harder to say “this is a terribly written book” when the cover says “10 million copies sold” or whatever!  But there have still been some that seemed to work for a lot of people but not at all for me.

The first to come to mind was Wicked by Gregory Maguire, which had  “massive number of copies sold” on the cover.  And I…really disliked it.  I found the characters unappealing, the attempt to be shocking kind of bothersome, and the ending especially disappointing.  The musical, on the other hand, is a wonderful delight!

I was quite disappointed by Carrie Fisher’s The Princess Diarist.  I mean, Carrie Fisher’s memoir of being in Star Wars – that sounded amazing!  But it turned out to be more about her affair with Harrison Ford than it was about, well, Star Wars, and that was disappointing.  I still think she was awesome, but this was not the book for me.

I heard about Stephen King’s memoir/writing advice book, On Writing, from a lot of people, particularly other writers, before I finally picked it up.  I ended up skimming great pieces of it, because it was so much about his writing, which I haven’t read (not being a horror reader).  I suppose I should have taken the “memoir” part of the description more seriously.  If I was a King fan, I acknowledge that this probably would have gone better.

Three seems like enough books to criticize in one day. 🙂  Have you read a very popular book that you found disappointing?  I suspect it’s happened to us all…

The Phantom of the Opera Reading and Viewing Challenge – 2nd Update

It’s (somehow) July 1st, meaning we are halfway through 2020 already!  It has been a strange and unusual several months, and I hope you all are staying safe and well.  If you’ve been escaping from the weirdness of the present moment by visiting below the Opera Garnier, this post is for you!  At the halfway point of the year, it’s time to share about our Phantom of the Opera reading and viewing so far.

I started the year off with rereading Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera.  In the last few months, my Phantom focus has shifted to getting my own retelling out.  I published Nocturne (Guardian of the Opera Book 1) on June 5th, which was of course very exciting!  I’ve also recently reread Book 2 (which will be out in September!) and am currently midway through Book 3.

I’ve posted quite a few videos on Phantom topics, including a review of the 2004 Phantom of the Opera movie, starring Gerard Butler.  Check out my Phantom videos here.

Lately I also bought a Phantom-themed coloring book, and have been having a lot of fun with that.  Here’s a few photos, just because.


That covers my recent Phantom adventures – now I want to hear about yours! If you’d like a refresher on the challenge, check out the launch post here.  And please share in a comment below.  I look forward to seeing what you’ve been exploring this year!

Video Update: Spoilers about Christine Daae

I’m back today with another video update about my newly-released book, Nocturne.  When I talk about the story, I frequently make veiled references to people not being as they seem, or my portrayal of Christine Daae (heroine of every other version) being unusual…  I’m not generally one to give spoilers, but if you really want to know what I’m talking about and haven’t read the book yet, I made a video that explains it all.

So if you like to read the last page of a book first, this video is for you!