#BuffyWatch the Final Season

I finally finished watching BtVS – come find out who won the bet!

Spellbound Scribes

If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that Brian O’Conor and I were embroiled in a battle of two T.V. series. Brian had to watch the first seven seasons of Supernatural before I finished watching the seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Whoever finished first get’s to decide which world we’ll use first for a spin-off game with our RPG troupe: MageTech.

And I am thrilled to announce that I AM VICTORIOUS! I DANCE THE DANCE OF VICTORY!

OY YEAH, BURN WITH FIERY ENVY BRIAN!

Poor Brian.

Okay, but seriously. It did come kinda close there. Brian was trying to be a sneaky snearkerson and finished season 6 without telling anyone and was well into season 7 over the weekend. So much so that I realized, though I only  3 episodes left, he just might finish and I’d look like that jackass hare and he’d be the cool tortoise…

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Time of Ruin Blogger Love

As you all know (welp, those of you who’ve been paying attention!), I’ll be releasing Time of Ruin, the sequel to World of Ash, on July 22, 2014! That date is so quickly approaching, I’m just trying not to panic. Trying the key word there.

Anyway, I am not doing a full out blog tour for this release. I am doing a book blitz, hosted by YA Bound. The blitz will run the week of 7/21 with a special Amazon Gift Card as the prize for readers who participate. I would love for every single interested blogger to sign up for the blitz, so make sure you’re on the YA Bound email list so you’ll be notified. No worries if you miss it, I’ll be posting the sign up link like a mad woman here, on FB, and Twitter.

YA Bounk Tour Button

Now, since I’m not doing a blog tour, bloggers will not be given the book to read and review as part of the blitz. BUT! I am more than happy to send bloggers an eARC to read and review! If you’ve read WOA and want to read and review TOR, please fill out a comment below letting me know, including your email and blogger website address and which e-version you prefer (Kindle, nook, PDF, etc). In the first week of June I will email all bloggers interested their eARC. When the buy links are live, I’ll email those to bloggers in July to post their reviews.

TOR

Cover Reveal: Ash and Ruin Trilogy #2

Once again, Stephanie Mooney has surprised me with the perfect cover for my book. I’m very excited to share it with all of you!

If you haven’t checked out World of Ash, I urge you to, as Time of Ruin, the sequel, will be released on July 22nd!

Post-Apocalyptic summertime fun!

And without further ado, I give you Time of Ruin!

 

The world has ended, and hope is the most dangerous thing left.

Battered and bruised after barely escaping San Francisco with their lives, Kat, Dylan, and Blue press north – desperate to reach the possibility of a new home.

But strange, monstrous ravens are tracking the remaining survivors, food is becoming scarce, gasoline is running short, and people are becoming suicidal, making survival almost impossible.

And the Pestas are growing bolder. Somehow, their numbers are growing.

The further north they go, the harder it becomes to ignore the signs that they’ve made a fatal mistake. Kat must face the impossible truth that there is no escape, there is no safe haven, and their worst nightmares don’t come close to their new reality.
TOR
I hope you all love it as much as I do!
And a big thank you to Nereyda at YA Bound for hosting this cover reveal!
YA Bounk Tour Button

TFiOS and My Feels

I finished The Fault in Our Stars last night. I basically read this book in two night sessions over the last two nights. Pretty much everyone in the world has read this book already, but in case – like me – you’ve been avoiding this book and don’t know what it’s about here’s the GoodReads description:

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

I’ll try not to spoil anything for you guys going forward. But beware, there are some spoilers ahead.

So why have I avoided this book? A couple of reasons. First, while I like John Green for the most part, sometimes I don’t like how his characters talk. I’ve only read a short story by him in Let It Snow – which I recommend come Christmastime for a fun read – and I liked his installment, but sometimes the dialogue, man. I know I’m not alone in my criticism of Mr. Green. He doesn’t jive with everyone, as is true of most authors. But I do like him, I just have to be in the mood to read him. Which is true of any lit fic for me.

Another reason I was avoiding it: the book is about death. I know, I know, some are going to argue that it’s about love and living the best life you have, no matter how shitty that life might be, but seriously, it’s about death. Cancer specifically. I do not have a close relationship with cancer like so many other people do. When I was young, I lost a great-grandmother to cancer (I can’t remember the specific name because, seriously, they make the names so hard to say and remember). I have an uncle who beat a tumor when I was even younger than that. My most recent acquaintance with cancer was about five years ago when my husband lost his uncle to pancreatic cancer that he got from being exposed to Agent Orange back in Vietnam. Man, cancer is a sneaky, cunning bastard.

But all these things aren’t exactly visceral for me, like it is every day for so many other people. Like it is for the characters in this particular book. So I was pretty confident that I could go into the book and be able to deal with the cancer aspect pretty well. So why was I avoiding it? Because I knew it was also a love story.

Marriage is a very strange thing. It can really change a person. I was changed by marriage. When I was young I didn’t date a lot, I was, what you would call a professional monogamist. If I started dating someone, I committed for a very long time. If you go through my high school dance pictures, each of them are me and the same guy because we dated for two and a half years – that’s a long time in high school. So even though I made long lasting commitments, I didn’t ever think about death. I never, ever worried about my boyfriends dying. I never worried about my friends dying (though mostly because I was always the DD and I made sure they didn’t and if anyone was contemplating suicide, I was the hotline they all called – but that’s a post for another day). I never thought about my parents dying. I don’t know if it was some twisted sense of teenage invincibility or whatever, but I didn’t think about it.

Sure, I wrote my fair share of teenage agnsty poetry, my whole damn wardrobe was black, and I loved me some angry, hard music. But death was an abstract concept for me back then. People didn’t die.

Then I met my husband. We dated for four years before we got engaged and I never thought about him dying, or me for that matter. But then we got married. And it was as if a switch was flipped in my brain and I thought about death a lot. About his. About mine. I don’ t know why it’s so different. But I worry about death now. All the time.

So I didn’t want to read TFiOS. But I did. And I cried. In fantasy books, you know it’s not real, it’s never going to be real, and while you can fall in love with characters and be sad when they die, there is something about it being fantasy that doesn’t hurt you. In books like this, which are contemporary and about real things in real life that can totally happen, it’s different for the reader. While I figured out what was really going to happen long before it did, it still hit me. It hit me because I am terrified of my husband dying. I am terrified of dying before him. It is strange that we form these relationships with people knowing that, some day, we’re going to hurt them with our deaths. Obviously you can’t help it, and that’s the point of the book – we are going to hurt each other because we love each other.

But oh god, having a book zero in on your greatest fear, it hurts something inside of you. It was the middle of the night when I finished the book and I put it on my nightstand and then rolled over to hug my husband.

It was a good book, the character dialogue bugged me once in a while like Mr. Green always does, but it hurt me to read it. You’ve been warned. Be prepared if you haven’t read it yet.

Now I will look for a lighthearted fantasy, full of magic and fun to scrub my brain. And here is a cute kitten to make you, and me, feel better.

#BuffyWatch Part Five

Eeeep! It’s been almost two months since my last #BuffyWatch post. I know. That’s way too long. But I was finishing Time of Ruin and going through the edits and cover art consultations and all the other crap that goes into book production. I did finish Season 6 though and Brian’s only through Season 5 of Supernatural, so I’m still winning.

And, to be honest, I’m afraid Brian will wuss out and quit if I totally trounce him.

If you’d like to see his latest post, check it here.

If you need to catch up with my saga here are the links:

Post One

Post Two

Post Three

Post Four

I’ve put this post off for too long, so I’m gonna hit major points because memory.

When I last wrote I said if they could bring Buffy back in a believable way I would be down with her swan dive of death.

And you know what? They totally pulled it off.

Unfortunately it was at further cost to my original favorite character: Willow. Something happened over the course of Willow’s story that bummed me out. I get that they were paralleling her magic use with drug use and how a person will start to change in every way, but I wasn’t happy to see it happen. Willow just kept breaking my heart. I’ve seen people spiral out of control on drugs and not see/care what they’re doing to friends and family, so they did a great job with that, I just, well… I liked Willow so of course I don’t want to see this happen to her.

Once More With Feeling. Everyone was waiting with bated breath for me to watch this episode.

I was a little nervous, to be honest with you. I do not like musicals for the most part. I love theater and Broadway shows and I could probably watch Singing in the Rain for the rest of my life, but musicals usually aren’t like Broadway. I cannot tell you how relieved I was that this episode was written more like a Broadway show. I actually enjoyed it and I thought it was a great way for Buffy to explain to the gang, and Willow specifically, that no, bringing brought back from Heaven wasn’t awesome.

Buffy and Spike romance. Hmmm. I’ve made no bones about my feelings about Buffy in romantic relationships. She’s not very good at them and she doesn’t pick the right guys. I like this show so much more when she’s not in a romantic relationship. I liked the idea that Buffy was a strong enough woman to have a sexual relationship with a guy without having to give her whole life to him. But it was strange that Spike couldn’t deal with that – I mean, I know he still has that chip, but he doesn’t have a soul, this should’ve worked for him. Instead he went all love-spell-gone-horribly wrong.

But this is probably why I took so long to get through season six. I was warned that something was coming. Something we’ve all been talking about a lot. Sexual violence against women in fiction. It’s rampant and rage inducing. Even in shows where it shouldn’t happen, like Downton Abbey, we have to see it. I kept putting off watching because I didn’t want to see this AGAIN. I wasn’t sure who was going to be the victim, but I was 50/50 on it being Buffy.

I thought it COULDN’T be her because she’s the Slayer with Slayer strength, who’s gonna be able to do this to her?

But the other half said it was going to be her because it shouldn’t be and fuck writers who do this to characters who should be safe from this. I am glad, as glad as one could be, that they didn’t fully go through with it. That they realized she is the muther  fucking Slayer and has the physical strength to stop it.  But for fucks sake. Let’s stop this bullshit.

But after that episode, I can’t stand Spike. Every time he shows up on screen I find myself glowering or yelling, “I DON’T CARE SPIKE!”

Xander and Anya. Oh man. I was so sad after Willow and Oz, I didn’t know there was something else that could make me so sad. I’m still not okay with what they did here. I dunno, maybe they wanted Anya to be a vengeance demon again and couldn’t think of a way to make it happen if she was happy with Xander, but I really thought Xander’s arc and maturity were spot on for him to go through with the wedding. I never thought he’d stand her up. I hated that choice. I love Anya as a demon, but I hate that it came at the expense of Xander’s character growth.

The Evil Trio. Jesus Christ I hate these guys. Every episode they showed up, I was waiting for someone to kill them. I know, I know, “We don’t kill humans.” BUT C’MON! Especially the insane asylum episode. Even I had a minute of, “wait. Maybe she is crazy.” And I felt horrible for Willow’s loss and what she went through, but I was happy to see her flay that asshole. He totally deserved it.

 

And now Spike has his soul back. I’ve started the first couple of episodes of Season 7. I’m actually kind of surprised the show was only 7 seasons. Season Six was some of the strongest writing of the show, I would’ve thought, after that, they would’ve had a few more seasons in the bag, not just one.

 

We shall see how it ends.