Stick Figure Fiction!

You may not have known this, but I make a mean stick figure. During college, I used my stick figure comics in my notes. They are a great way to paraphrase what a historical event or story is all about.

I talked it out with a bunch of friends and I was asked to do my stick figure comics. And so, Fridays will be Stick Figure Fiction days or Stick Figure History.

Note. These are grossly bastardizations of events and stories. They are by no means an actual representation of the source material. Especially the historical events, those are definitely going to be inaccurate. With that in mind here is the first STICK FIGURE FICTION!!!


Writing Wednesday: The Pen Name

I forgot to do last week’s Writing Wednesday and for that, I’m sorry. There really isn’t a reason. Just that I forgot.

That said, I decided to write about a topic that has been on my mind lately, the pen name. Also known as the pseudonym, the pen name is a name given to the author by the author to separate themselves from either their other author name or just their life in general.

For me, this has been an ongoing wonderment. Did I want to use my actual name for my works or did I want a pen name? I decided to poll my friends on Facebook about it. For one certain genre, it was decided that I should rock my name, but I also decided that I would use a pen name (compiled by family names) and use that for that genre.

What’s the genre? Well, it leans to the 18+ crowd, let’s just say that. And they probably wouldn’t be very romance either. Leaning towards the dark. So, you can get an idea of what I’m doing.

What is the name? Well, I haven’t announced it yet and I’m not sure I should. That will probably be another poll. I may announce it one day in the future though.

What about my regular name? I think I’m going to keep with the fantasy and horror stories with my name. It’s me.

Really, a pen name should be used as a means of branding yourself. I’m still figuring out my brand, but I have an idea. Maybe I’ll do the next Writing Wednesday about brands. Especially since I may have the concept figured out by then.


Book #16: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

The Hazel Wood is the first book for March’s book club reads. I’ll be honest, I bought it for the cover and that a fictional world is coming alive. Who doesn’t love that?

That said, the book met my expectations in the beginning. I can understand why others say it’s slow pacing in the beginning. In comparison to the last quarter of the book, the pacing is dramatically on different spectrums. It was like a slow burn of darkness and a fairy tale feel and then BAM rush, rush, rush, END. It felt like this book would have been better if it was longer, kept the pacing the same or maybe rush in some parts to better relate to the end.

What kept me reading? It was the ambiance and the concept that kept me going. It doesn’t go into details, but from what I understand, there are different layers of both fictional and natural worlds intertwining together. This concept really grabbed me and still keeps me wondering.

The ambiance of the book was dark and confusing. There are bits of dark fairy tales retold and I have to say, I LOVED THEM. Loved. There’s no other thing I loved more than those fairy tales. I want to know more about them. I want a book of the fairy tales.

I should note that Alice is prickly person. She isn’t easy to love. With that in mind, it’s not hard to get into her mindset. I actually liked her as a character. She knows she’s not easy and does she try to be? Sometimes, but it’s just hard for her. It’s easier for her to say things that she knows is wrong just so she can push them away. She’s not very prickly with the people who matter: her mother.

I said earlier that there was a weird pace near the end of the book. There is. It felt rushed and it’s the only reason why I didn’t go five star with it. I wanted to see more of the world Albert had introduced us to and was bummed out that we didn’t get the same treatment as we did for the journey. However, it’s always the journey that matters in a fairy tale and that might be what Albert was going for.

I do know that there is a second book slated. I’ve heard that the second is going to be the book of fairy tales (YES PLEASE!), but I’ve also heard that the second book will be a continuation to the worlds Albert has crafted. If it’s the former, just take my money now. If it’s the former, I will gladly hand my money over if we are delving into the different universes. I feel Alice’s story is done as an MC.

There’s also a movie deal in the works. I’ll just sit here and gather up my funds for that one! Just please, make it a dark horror like story. Don’t go typical YA movie with cutesie love and comedy. The book doesn’t have it and the story would be lost.

Book #15: Blue by Sarah Jayne Carr

Blue Brennan is a runner. 
She runs from her problems. 
She runs from love. 
She runs from her past. 
What Blue doesn’t anticipate is running toward her hometown of Steele Falls, Washington, especially after she’d vowed to never go back. 

Adam Rockwell is a fighter. 
He fights his demons. 
He fights for validation. 
He fights for his future. 
What Adam doesn’t anticipate is fighting for Blue Brennan, especially when he vowed to never let love get in his way again.

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and my opinion only.

This book has so many emotions that you are either reading through the whole thing in one setting or setting it aside to gather what you’ve just read. I happen to have been the latter.

The beginning of Blue instantly caught me off guard. It reminded me of a similar experience and I had to bust out laughing. I got what Blue was saying and there was no doubt it was worth every giggle and guffaw.

And then came the rest of the book . . .

Talk about a spree of emotions. This is not a comedy. It is a drama. You will find yourself cheering on the characters, getting angry at the characters, and laughing at them. You will want to toss the book, pick it back up, read, and toss it again.

And the ending . . . .

Oh, that horrible and beautiful and . . . dear God, it’s hard to explain without giving anything away. Just be sure to have a box of kleenex nearby.

So, who is Blue? Blue is a girl running away from her troubles. She is snarky and fucked up. She is a prickly character who is hard to love. Luckily, Carr fixes that by showing tidbits of Blue’s softer nature. It’s shown close in the beginning too, so, you are able to have some kind of relationship with the main character.

Would I read this book again? I think I would. I would need some time away from it though. Do I recommend the read? Definitely for the peeps who aren’t afraid to cry while reading.

Book #14: Avalon High by Meg Cabot

To newcomer Ellie, Avalon High seems like a typical American high school, complete with jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, and even the obligatory senior class president, quarterback, and all-around good guy. But it doesn’t take Ellie long to suspect that something weird is going on beneath the glossy surface of this tranquil hall of learning. As she pieces together the meaning of this unfolding drama, she begins to recognize some haunting Arthurian echoes, causing her to worry that she has become just a pawn in mythic history. A powerful novel by the author of The Princess Diaries.

Okay, so I’ve been trying to read this book a few times now. Not sure how many attempts I’ve made, but this one was the longest I’ve lasted (about halfway) and I am officially saying I will not continue this read. I will not try again.

What was my problem with the book? Well, first I will say that the audiobook is annoying. I don’t know if the narrator herself is (this is the first book I’ve listened to her in), but this was definitely not the book for her. The voices were annoying and I didn’t feel like I was in the book.

Cabot’s writing itself isn’t bad. She writes well and the book does have a younger YA or middle grade feel to it. Avalon High is the Mediator series, but the writing isn’t too bad.

That said, the story does lack, in my opinion. Ellie is only subpar as the main character. She doesn’t seem to get into the groove of the story and only seems to think about A.Will Wagner. Will, on the other hand, is too special. He’s the all American guy. He’s the guy you see in the 40’s and 50’s tv shows who is “aw shucks”. There really isn’t a bad thing about him. It’s disgusting.

For the whole first half of the book, we are met with Ellie and her high opinions on A. Will Wagner. The King Arthur storyline is more like an afterthought instead of the focus. I likened the book to a contemporary romance that just mentions some kind of fantasy to it. Not the fantasy book it is making itself sound like.

So, if you’re looking for a contemporary romance, it’s fluffy enough you might like it. If you’re looking for a bit of magic and fantasy, it fails. In truth, I actually love the Disney movie adaptation to the book (which has a completely different storyline to the book). If you want the contemporary, read the book. If you want the fantasy, watch the movie.


Blog Tour: The Boy Who Swallows Flies by Michael F. Stewart

The Boy Who Swallows Flies
Michael F. Stewart
Publication date: February 15th 2018
Genres: Middle-Grade, Mystery, Superhero

Winner of the Claymore Award!

Warning – Rated Kids-Only for Bug Violence

Jarrod can view the memories of any bug. He just has to eat it. It’s not the tastiest of superpowers and, let’s face it, fly memories aren’t all unicorns and rainbows. Eating insects also doesn’t net him many friends, and Bug-boy is an unavoidable nickname. But Jarrod’s ready to prove that he and his bugs are worth more than ridicule.

When he swallows a fly while biking, he’s in for a shock. The bug saw a room stacked full of sick dogs and puppies in crates. It’s a puppy mill, and Jarrod needs to save the animals. But the flight range of the common housefly is five miles. Even if the police believed him, with no evidence, they can’t help. It’s up to Jarrod.

Trained cockroaches survey neighborhood basements. A fly taped to a window makes an excellent sentry. Every beetle, mosquito, caterpillar—don’t eat the fuzzy yellow ones—spider and centipede is his edible sidekick.

Will Jarrod save the dogs? Or is it all too much to swallow?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

I received a copy from XPresso Tours for an honest review. Below is my honest opinion. I wasn’t compensated in any way.

Okay, first off, I requested to review this book because I thought my own son, nicknamed Bug, would love to hear me read it to him. I still think he’d love it, but he refused to hear it before this review was due. Lame, I know.

That said, even though we won’t have the opinion of a young boy on this book, I know he would love this story. It deals with what is right, superhero abilities, and a young boy trying to find where he stands in the world.

Jarrod isn’t great at school. He isn’t really great at anything. And yet, he has a special gift that no one else has: he can see the last memories of the insects he accidentally or purposely eats.

I found myself giggling and cheering Jarrod on all the while getting upset at the decisions his parents made once they learn about his abilities.  This was a seriously cute book and I would love to read a sequel if one happens. The book is encouraging to children and adults alike saying that, even though you don’t know what “your thing” is yet you can still make a difference and find your “thing” in the process.

I was lucky enough to find my “thing” early on, but I can’t say that I’ve done much with it. Not as much as Jarrod. He is a good role model for children as well as a great child protagonist.

The mystery was gripping enough for me to keep reading and the writing is young enough that a child wouldn’t be too scared or confused about what is going on. I’m definitely going to see if my Bug wants to read this book later. This is a book I recommend for all kids. Young and old.

Author Bio:

Michael F. Stewart is winner of both the 2015 Claymore Award and the 2014 inaugural Creation of Stories Award for best YA novel at the Toronto International Book Fair.
He likes to combine storytelling with technology and pioneered interactive storytelling with Scholastic Canada, Australia, and New Zealand’s, anti-cyberbullying program Bully For You. In addition to his award winning Assured Destruction series, he has authored four graphic novels with Oxford University Press Canada’s Boldprint series. Publications of nonfiction titles on Corruption and Children’s Rights are published by Scholastic and early readers are out with Pearson Education.

For adults, Michael has written THE SAND DRAGON a horror about a revenant prehistoric vampire set in the tar sands, HURAKAN a Mayan themed thriller which pits the Maya against the MS-13 with a New York family stuck in the middle, 24 BONES an urban fantasy which draws from Egyptian myth, and THE TERMINALS–a covert government unit which solves crimes in this realm by investigating them in the next.

Herder of four daughters, Michael lives to write in Ottawa where he was the Ottawa Public Library’s first Writer in Residence. To learn more about Michael and his next projects visit his website at or connect via Twitter @MichaelFStewart.

Michael is represented by Talcott Notch.

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Writing Wednesday #8: Follow Your Dreams and Keep Fighting

Today is actually my Bug’s sixth birthday. It’s a big day for him and for our family in general. He’s my parents’ first grandbaby and our first child. On top of that, he was a big motivator to my writing.

I have always wanted to write. There was never a day where I wasn’t writing or thinking about writing. The written word is my life and first love (I love you, Will!). It is tough finding a motivator outside of family or friends. And, yes, technically Bug being my big motivator is not outside of the family, but he is different.

Bug is different because six years ago, he was just an infant. He didn’t know or care what I was doing or what I wanted to be. He only cared about a clean booty, warm body, and full tummy. But I knew that one day he would have a dream. He would want to strive to be someone or do something that was an integral part of him.

Just the way I am about writing.

I remember holding that tiny little boy and talking to him while changing that diaper. I remember telling him that one day I was going to write and finish a book. I remember telling him that I was going to be published and work my hardest to show him that if you keep fighting, your dreams will come true.

My dreams aren’t complete and I don’t think they ever will be, but I’m writing and I will continue to write. It’s surprising how much I got done in six years and I know I can do more. I credit a lot of my hard work to a ton of people, but it was my desire to prove to Bug that he shouldn’t settle that has me continue writing and striving to do better.

What does Bug want to be? Well, for a few years now he’s been saying a police officer. Since I was three or four knowing I was going to be a writer, I have a feeling he’s definite about this one. I also know that I’m not going to let him stop and settle. I’m going to push him and encourage him.

And for everyone who hasn’t reached their goals, keep going. If it matters to you, it matters to the world. You aren’t alone in feeling you can’t do something, but if you do something then you are that much closer to achieving greatness.

Book #12: Cold Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff

The hunt for mass murderer Cara Lindstrom is over. FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke has been working for this moment: the capture of a killer who savagely hunts the worst of humanity. But Roarke remains traumatized by his own near-death at the hands of the serial killer who slaughtered Cara’s family…and haunted by the enigmatic woman who saved his life.

Then the sixteen-year-old prostitute who witnessed Cara’s most recent murder goes missing, and suddenly pimps are turning up dead on the streets of San Francisco, killed with an MO eerily similar to Cara’s handiwork.

Is a new killer on the loose with a mission even more deadly than hers? In the pulse-pounding third Huntress/FBI Thrillers book, Roarke will have to go on the hunt…and every woman he meets, even those closest to him, may prove deadly.

I received this book from the author for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and I wasn’t compensated in any way.

Cold Moon is the third book in the Huntress/FBI mystery/thriller series by Alexandra Sokoloff. The series follows the story of serial killer, Cara Lindstrom, and the FBI agent who is constantly trying to catch her and ends up helping her, Matthew Roarke. This book specifically follows after the events of the second book.

I would have to say that this book was about the same as the first book in story grabbing. Maybe a little less. I had trouble with the first book because of the change in narration, but my trouble with this book (aside from the huge fact that I’ve been in a reading rut) has to be just the pacing.

It felt slower than the other two. The stakes are high, but not to a point where I felt the “omg rush, rush, rush”. It felt more like merging into the highway.

Wait… let me clarify that. What I mean is, imagine the series like a road trip. The first book is where you are starting your journey. You are picking up the pace and getting a feel for the adventure at hand. The second book is when you are really on the go, but wait, you’re hungry and need to get off at an exit. This is the third book. It was a pause in the bigger journey. Still important, still full of information and the characters, but not as exciting as driving down that highway.

The way three ended could be seen as a true ending or just the lull before the epic shit storm waiting to happen. I choose to believe it’s the second one. I will definitely be reading the next book and the one after that. I already have them waiting for me.

I gave Cold Moon a three out of five stars.

Writing Wednesday #8: Meet Celia McMahon

Hey guys! As I said in the first Writing Wednesday post, I would sometimes be giving a shout out to other authors or people who help in the writing/publishing process. Well, here is my first time doing it.

Meet Celia McMahon.

Isn’t she gorgeous? Okay, how do I know her? Well, she happens to be a fellow admin in the book club I’m in on FB. AND she’s a writer! What’s more, her book is coming out some time this year.

Her publisher had suggested she start a blog for peeps to start getting to know her and make a foundation of readers. I agree, it’s a good idea. That said, I also told her I would tell you guys about her.

Her book that’s coming out has to do with wolves, fantasy, magic, and death. I told her I wanted an ARC and I’m hoping I do get that to provide her and you all a review of the book.

Give me a solid and check out her blog. She is mostly posting reviews right now, but really, that’s not new for you guys given that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing (you guys are troopers, I tell you). But, I know she will be posting stuff about her writing and what’s going on too.

So, yeah check out her blog here or check out her Goodreads and follow her here. Or, you know, do both. I do.

Cover Reveal: The Deevolution of Rydia by Mila Waters


I tried to remember a time I was considered normal. Fitting in with my friends both at home and at school, I wish I had known what destiny had in store for me.

I’m no longer normal. I have a gift. One that allows me to see things no one else can. I wanted to use this power for good, to help those in need. But fate had other ideas.

The more I try to hide, the less safe I become. They will find me. They will take what they believe is rightfully theirs. When they do, nothing will ever be the same.



An avid reader, single mother, and all around Superwoman, Mila Waters brings her love of creating dark fictional stories to the world. She is fascinated by gothic horror, psychology, and the paranormal, bringing those elements into her works, though they all hold a theme of finding love. She believes everyone, no matter how broken deserves to find their soulmate. Weird, strange, and a geek, she loves research and has no less than 20 works in progress. Stay tuned. She promises a fun, wild, and sexy ride.

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