Saturday, June 29, 2013

Look what came in the mail!


I took it into my hands and cradled it gently to my bosom, and there was peace and all was right with the world.

Okay, well, not quite. This is only the proof, and I could tell right away that we needed to make a few changes to the cover. It's beautiful, oh yes, but certainly not perfect. So, today I went into Photoshop and tweaked everything that needed to be tweaked, and now it oughta be better.

UNFORTUNATELY, a bigger problem was the interior. Victoria and I decided that the print was just too big, and this isn't something that's really perceptible on the screen. So, that means I had to shrink the font size and go through the whole manuscript, page by page, reformatting everything. It took a few hours, but because we reduced the amount of pages to the book, I was able to drop the price by two whole dollars.

I didn't like the original price to begin with. For a paperback, it was kind of expensive, but thus is the cost of print-on-demand. Now, however, it feels much more comfortable, and to think that only two dollars made that difference.

However, this means that we're going to have to proof the book a second time, which means waiting another week. UGH. But if we receive the next proof within the same time frame as the previous, and if that proof checks out okay, then we'll probably have the paperback available by next weekend!

Aside from that, we've started contacting book review bloggers, and, man, it's just as nerve-wracking as when I had to query agents. Seriously. But, it's like I read from all kinds of self-pub articles before: self-publishing is a marathon, not a race.

I was always really bad at marathons.

Stats on sales for the first month soon!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Status update!

THE BOOKMARKS ARRIVED. Let me tell you, they're beautiful. I'm so pleased. I just. I keep one sitting beside me so I can just gaze at it adoringly.

These are in preparation for the future giveaways. I'm still vacillating on how I want to do them exactly, but the prizes will feature a bunch of these guys and a few posters (along with free ebooks and signed paperbacks, of course). We'll definitely sign the posters -- still not sure if we should sign the bookmarks?


We're gonna go get the posters tomorrow, one of which we're keeping to put up on the wall beside our other poster (which I drew as a tribute to future books, which means SPOILERS, can't show you guys just yet). I'm so excited to see how Kali will look in poster form.

Also, the paperback proof will arrive in our hands possibly by the end of this week, if not by Monday, so it's extremely possible that the paperback will be available by next week! After that, I'll be emailing some awesome book reviewers, and then contest time.

I think, once the contests are done, then we'll finally move onto revising book two and finalizing the new cover and posters and possibly bookmarks (depending on how ambitious I feel).

More updates soon!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Chapter One

Dance in Shadow and Whisper

Chapter One

My chest tightened with a deep breath of preparation. I stared at the front door handle, simple brass and weathered from its once gossamer brilliance, the tread of my boots planted against the new carpet, the back of my neck tingling with sweat.
This whole mission was a joke.
I was the joke.
There must have been so many others much more capable than me, others who could handle the foreign outside world. Damn it, I was lucky if I could handle silencing an incoming call on my brother’s cellular telephone gadget.
The doorbell chimed. A disarming melody lulled throughout the house but echoed shrilly in my brain.
It was too late now.
My arm lifted, but my moist palm stopped just short of the sweeping grin of the handle when I saw how my fingers quivered. I hadn’t noticed until then.
There was no reason to be afraid—concerned, perhaps, for my personal wellbeing, but afraid? No. Certainly not. If I had to, I could hole-punch this guy through the chest with my fist if he gave me the right justification.
My fingers clamped the cool handle and twisted. The door popped open. The fresh, crisp light of early morning flooded the hallway.
There he stood, the embodiment of my fear and apprehension and sweaty palms. He stood nearly half a foot over me, tall for something that had once been human, but his skin was so white that he could pass more for a glow stick than any human I’d ever seen. His eyebrows raised above the rims of his aviator sunglasses as he regarded me with eyes so sinister and evil and diabolical that I couldn’t see them behind the mirror lenses.
He must have been sensitive to sunlight.
“Kali?” he asked.
My lungs bloated with another deep breath. “Depends. Do you have a face behind those sunglasses?”
“I don’t, actually. I could draw one on, if you’d like. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve done drag, after all.”
I stared at him, waiting for him to further elucidate. He didn’t. I pressed my lips together and said, “What….Drag…?”
“Yes, as in drag queen makeup.”
“What is that?”
Silence passed between us. I had a sense that this was something I needed to know if I were to pass for a human teenager. I also had a sense that, if this were a test of my studies, I had failed. Miserably.
He cleared his throat and adjusted his simple three-ring binder under his arm. He wore all sorts of trendy layers that I had seen in my magazine, and his shirt pulled so tight across his chest that I was reminded of my big brother, Toivo, whose pectorals would shred the flimsy cotton if he so much as lifted a paperweight.
Except this guy didn’t have pectorals like Toivo’s. Not even close.
He extended a hand toward me. “You should already know I’m Yuuhi. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Kali.”
I stared at his hand, waiting for it to come alive and attack me. “How am I supposed to know you’re Yuuhi if you don’t show me your face?”
After heaving a great sigh of woe and suffering, he snatched the sunglasses from his nose. The sun glinted off his cheekbones and eyelashes, illuminating a pair of eyes so green it was like staring into the dense forest surrounding my house and trying to see through the darkest shadows.
I swallowed. “You’re Yuufi.”
“That’s what I said.”
“Well…it’s at least a step in the right direction.”
“Yuufi is an Asian name.”
“Japanese, specifically.”
“But you’re not Asian.”
Silence passed between us again. Another test I failed.
So I continued. “You’re actually…quite white-looking. You have typical European features—for the most part, anyway, but you don’t look even remotely Asian.”
I had to wonder if that meant his real name had been taken from him so that he could be claimed and renamed like a pet by his owners. If that was true, then he was more dangerous than I had anticipated.
His lips pursed. “Are you going to make deductions like these for the rest of the day?”
“You mean, am I going to note of the illogical?”
I had asked a very serious question, but instead of addressing me as a serious equal like he should have, he caved into chuckles. His shoulders bounced and he shook his head, free hand pushing back his light brown hair. “Come on, let’s get going. Don’t want to be late for your first day of junior year.”
My ears perked as I watched him turn away and climb down the creaky steps of the balcony. I shut the door on my heels, secured the straps of my backpack, spared one last glance at my cozy one-story house, and then tailed after him.
(Continue reading by hitting "

Dance in Shadow and Whisper is AVAILABLE

AGGGHHHHHGHGH. So, here it is. If you haven't yet seen, we've added the links to the tabs because you can now officially purchase your own digital copy of Dance in Shadow and Whisper.

The paperback is currently being reviewed. From there, we'll get our sample copy, check to make sure everything's all good, make any necessary corrections, and then finalize everything.

Status updates on how things are going will come soon, along with where we go from here! For now, a bit of rest and seclusion because nerves. Victoria's so excited that she hasn't stopped making noises.

Thanks so much to everyone for their support! You all have really helped boost us up. Like, seriously. For real.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A bit more about the series

Victoria completely finished her read-through and we smacked our heads together to finish all the editing rounds. We're now officially DONE as if we weren't excited enough before, now we're insufferable. So, yesterday I worked on setting up everything with our B&N and Amazon accounts.

(Seriously, the Barnes and Noble Nook Press made it SO EASY. They had this Scrivener-like program where you can edit your file directly, so while we initially had problems with the uploaded version not making sense of the chapter headers, we fixed it all in their program. The KDP program is more like, "Hah, you don't have any chapter headers and your book has five-thousand pages lololol you're gonna have to start from the beginning and do it OUR WAY." So...I'll be figuring that bit out today.)

Anyway, soon we'll be posting the first chapter for everyone to preview. For now, a bit more about the series. Aw, yis.

This saga has had three iterations so far. Three full, complete iterations. Yep, I'm on my third version of writing this from beginning completely to the end.

The first version began back in my sophomore year of high school. That was about '03 or '04 -- ten years ago. Holy cow. I didn't even realize it was that old.

I remember the conception of the idea as clearly and poignantly as a punch in the teeth. Up until then, I'd been writing all my stories about a main girl who is super important and everyone must help her fulfill her destiny so that she can save the world. I mean, how many times could I write that?

Well, then I had the epiphany during my English class as I was staring out the window instead of paying attention to "The Tale of Two Cities", a book which I had read only the first page of (and somehow got through the class by only reading the first page of back in a time where CliffNotes was still definitely not on the internet), when I decided how to mix up my traditional formula utilizing inspiration from Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, and subsequently created one of my most favorite characters ever.

The saga started out as only a trilogy then, and since I wrote it during a bad time in my life, the story soaked up a great deal of everything I was going through. It was, however, the first trilogy that I had ever finished.

I did terrible things to those characters.

The second version began multiple times. I went through a period between junior year and several years after my graduation where finishing something on my own became a struggle. I wrote mostly for therapy, and that was fine. It got me through more bad times.

But in about '07, when I was 19, working an office receptionist and filing job, I began version two, and I was determined to strip the ugly from the story that high school had tainted it with, though particular life themes did end up in the story that I certainly didn't intend.

Seriously, each version reflects my life in some way. Such is fiction.

I ended up adding a fourth book to the trilogy to make it officially a saga, but I had many breaks, oftentimes months at a time, in the time it took me to finish it. Many breaks. Like, I finished two years later in '09. Nowadays, that's pretty weird for me. But, I finished, and I didn't expect it could do anything for my publishing career, so I left it alone.

The third version began when I decided, "I just want to write it and I don't care that I won't be able to publish it." Victoria was getting into rewriting her part of the series, which had twined with mine in the second iteration, and I couldn't resist the itch-inducing bite of the inspiration bug.

So, in 2012, I began rewriting Kali again, but with a twist to the world that Victoria and I built upon so it was a level different than typical urban fantasy fiction. We did a lot more than ever before to build on this world and the characters and stories -- and it was a beautiful thing.

But I still had my doubts about her. For any writer, it's a natural vice. Good days and bad days. I painted the above sketch of Kali on one of my bad days...y'know, when I was feeling "blue". Ahahahaha.


Writing the three books (plus a separate book in-between, as well as co-writing a few books with Victoria) took less than a year. I had almost decided to start querying a non-related project, which would have technically been Project Get Agent: Number Six. But Victoria and I talked and we decided publishing our series independently was something we really wanted to do instead of something we felt we had to do. This story does things to us that no other story has -- I seriously can't get excited about other things like I do for these characters. I draw my own fanart. I draw my own fanart.

Can you even draw your own fanart?


Because I do.

Ugly, horrible fanart that causes me gross sobbing.

So, in the end, this was the avenue we chose because it was the best choice for these characters that we love so much. I've already started painting the posters for the second book and I've already put together the composition for the second cover (and the third cover, eheheh). This route allows us to go at the speed we normally go, and thank the gods for that, because now you can be tortured like us sooner.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Poster Talk

Okay, so, let me be honest. I'm definitely not an artist. I almost went for illustration as my career when I had convinced myself I couldn't be a writer, and in my Art 101 class I got an A because I think my professor took pity on me.

In my painting 101 class, I got a D. That professor was kind of evil, anyway.

I also didn't really understand how college worked, but I took less than a handful of art classes after that. That was the end of my art career.


All I ever drew were our characters, and the art that I've used for promotion so far had been drawn over the past year. I bought myself my cheaper non-Wacom tablet with my birthday money last May, got myself a free drawing program, and did stuff. It wasn't always pretty stuff, but it was still stuff.

I never expected to use any of these drawings for promotional-type stuff -- it'd still be a while before Victoria and I decided to go self-pub. Every piece on this blog is experimental.

As in, I had no freaking idea what the heck I was doing when I started.

In the case of this Kali picture, I stuck to everything that I was comfortable with: hard lines, head-on,  closeup, floodlights, so on and so forth.

But, it's only the second real digital semi-realistic full color painting I've ever done. And, let me say, painting darker skin tones is a hundred times more difficult than painting lighter skin tones. Darker skin shows reds and blues differently, and it also reflects light differently. The color I often thought I was painting was not the color I would end up with, because mixing red and blue and yellow too heavily into the intended flesh tone will yield a very muddy color.

Thank the digital painting gods for color correction.

Here are the steps of The Great Kali Painting Endeavor:

The sketch itself required very little, and I didn't spend too much time agonizing over it. I knew most of my corrections would be when I actually threw down colors to get a better idea of the composition and the space of her features. Big things that a sketch or lines can't tell me.

Because of the tone of Kali's story, I wanted the stylized semi-realistic approach with lines. I liked the drama of it as opposed to a normal painting -- I also didn't trust my skills enough to handle a painting without lines and without reference. (Yep, Kali's face was painted without reference.)

You can also see here that lines have been corrected. This happened during the painting process as I tweaked her facial proportions. I had also initially drawn lines on her hand, nose, and lips that I later erased.

This was the final product.

Well, okay, more accurately, this was the product when I decided to throw in the towel and stop tweaking before I drove myself insane. By this point too, my arm was in total pain from all the repetitive movements, so by the end, it came to a question of whether I wanted my arm or a more refined painting. We're going to pretend I made the right choice there.

The colors, however, are pretty shmeh. Easy for eyes to glance over. That's not a good thing for a promo poster. So, I took the thing and upped the contrast and the color vibrancy, which resulted in something closer to what I liked.

THIS looked more like Kali. Finally this girl I had spent a few days painting evolved into Kali and I was pleased (FOR ONCE). From here it was a matter of throwing on some textures and adjusting until everything was just right, and thus:

There's so much to see in this poster, and yet all of it is so subtle. My whole idea was to have readers finish the book and then come back to this poster to see things they hadn't before. We'll see how that goes, but if nothing else, she does the job and now I can take a break from arting.

I've already sketched the poster designs for the next book, but those are a secret for now!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cover Talk

I finally finished the last round of full editing, which is also my last read-through. Seriously, despite how many times I've read this thing, I STILL get worked up over scenes and characters and, and, and--

Now, Victoria will read over the whole thing and check to see if I missed anything (and she's a hundred times faster at reading than I am). I'll also look through Julia's notes to make sure there's nothing I didn't miss.

We're still making good time on this, which is awesome. I want to have the book ready for ereader purchase by the end of this upcoming week!

Holy cow.

But, anyway, in the meantime, let's talk about this nifty cover. You can read more about it in the FAQ section, but I think it'd be fun to go more into it here.

As I mentioned, this cover was made in Photoshop CS2, which is available for free download now if any of y'all need a decent painter or photo editing program. (It's not really my favorite, especially since I use a tablet that's not a Wacom, so the pen sensitivity is pretty weak, but it gets the job done.)

When I first envisioned this cover, I did a "sketch", I suppose, or a rough draft. The final cover has a photo that we took ourselves, but the initial cover had an image that I borrowed from Wikimedia Commons. It's pretty awful, but here's what it looked like:

Okay, so this is pretty embarrassing. Not gonna lie. I took about an hour to throw all these things together, testing stuff here and there, just to figure out more or less what it looked like. The balance and composition, for one, sucked. Yes, it sucked. "Shadow" was still in a sketching phase, not yet refined, and--gah. It's just ugly.

One of the important things about self-pub is creating an attractive cover. Readers can identify covers made on a budget, and budget covers are often associated with budget quality of the story as well. That's not good.

So, many indie authors hire cover artists. I mean, this is pretty cool because it creates a whole niche market for self-employed artists as well. For us, however, we don't really have $500-1,000 to drop on a quality cover.

I certainly don't consider myself a professional artist, but I have some strengths that I took advantage of and made that the focal point of the cover. Like photography, a cover should have elements that make the eye dance, not elements that clash for attention. I kept that in mind as I revised the above awful sketch, and then created this:

So, this was better.

Still not best.

Negative space in an image should tell a story -- this negative space was just...well, negative space. It didn't add anything to the cover. It just felt like too much cover and not enough text, I guess?

But the steps continued to bring me closer to the end. When we embarked on our trip to Pittsburgh, Victoria's place of origin, we used a day to take pictures for cover fodder. As soon as we finally had a moment where we weren't doing something (while the Pens were playing, and losing, horribly), I threw the new photo into the cover layout.

Our image, however, was taken on a very cloudy day (as Pittsburgh days tend to be), and we got some fantastic cloud formulations.

After some tweaks and resizing, we finally ended up with what's now the official cover.

And I've already got some freaken awesome ideas for the second book.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The first post! Woo!!!

I’m so awkward and too socially inept for suave intros, so. Hello. This is the official blog for our indie series and this is the official first update and I’m so excited that I think I’ve dreamed about writing this post about seven times already.

Is “excited” the right word?

We’ll go with that.

Anyway, currently I’m on my last hard edit of the manuscript. Here’s what the rounds look like so far:

Write the thing:
I started writing this version (because there have been many) over a year ago, but it took several months to finish because I went through typical phases of “This isn’t good enough,” and “This isn’t original enough,” and “There are a million books already like this on the shelves.” It took a long time before I finally arrived at the point of “I don’t caaaare!” and finally finished it.

Let the thing sit:
More or less waited until this past March, so probably about five months (while I wrote both book two and three), before I got Victoria and my lovely beta Anna to provide additional feedback.

The heaviest phase of the revision progress is this first step. This is scene changing, additions, and lots of fixing of narrative problems. My writing improved from the time I finished to the time I picked it up again, so I fixed such things as mixed metaphors, comma splices, weak figurative language, and so on. I also had the benefit of knowing exactly how the second and third book played out, so there’s lots of subtle foreshadowing but I never told you that.

Let the thing sit again:
I took a few weeks off while another awesome beta, Julia, read and provided her own feedback. I spent a lot of this time working on promo stuff, such as posters, bookmarks, blog layout, and research. Even when I stopped working on the story, I was still working.

I took the big problems that Julia mentioned and fixed them in an editing session where I put the full manuscript on my Nook. Still, my writing improved and I’ve spent a lot of time tweaking language and refining the narrative. The reason why I put the manuscript on an ereader was to remove myself from the closeness I have to the story. This distance allows me to be more objective, to see the story as if someone else had written it. Simultaneously, I get to make sure all the formatting checks out on the epub version. Aw, yis.

Those are the steps I’ve made so far. Here’s what’s left to do:

More edits:
I’ll look at Julia’s chapter-by-chapter edits to make sure I didn’t miss anything on my own editing round. The reason why I’m doing this after my first round of edits is so I still have that three-week distance that I gave myself from the story. Reading through her edits would have refreshed my memory, which means I’m more likely to glaze over text instead of critically inspect every word and punctuation mark.

A final look-through:
Victoria will read through the thing yet again for all the finishing touches that need to be made, or to comb out any remaining errors and inconsistencies. By this point, we’ll be able to act out each scene of each chapter from memory and every dream every night will consist of revising and finding a thousand errors that we somehow missed. I wish I was joking.

This is already halfway finished. The epub formatting is done. All we need to do is format the paperback version and load it up on KDP.

Throw a party:
If the editing process hasn’t been the end of us.

The final remaining steps are likely to take about a week depending on how Victoria’s work schedule treats her. Then, we’ll be able to upload the epub versions into Amazon and B&N for purchase, and I’ll blast off into the mesosphere.

In a couple of days, we’ll post the first chapter, free to read or download on the blog, but if you follow us on KeyboardSmashWriters, there’s a chance you’ve already read the opening snippet (from this torturous writing exercise).

Until then, peruse the About and FAQ! We’ll be working ourselves into caffeine addiction. No big deal.


What is "Marionettes and Monsters of Myth"?
Marionettes is an upper Young Adult Urban Fantasy (or, perhaps more accurately, Urban High Fantasy) series that begins with three books before its sister New Adult series, Monsters, begins. The two series then run together until one series comes to an end and the other continues.

How do the perspectives work?
Think of Marionettes as being two stories in one. The first story is Kali's, told from her perspective, whether reliable or not. The second story is how everyone else revolves around her, revealing the world outside of her perspective and how she affects it.

Monsters will be limited to only a few perspectives from characters whose lives have moved away from Kali in some form.

Who writes what?
Sarah is the primary author of the Marionettes series with Victoria writing her part of the character cast. Victoria is the primary author of the Monsters series with Sarah writing her part of the character cast.

Why did you decide to self-publish the series?
My story and Victoria’s story are separate series, but they intertwine. The problem is that mine is upper YA (young adult) and Victoria’s falls into the category of NA (new adult). Our themes and many of the subplots are different, but we share characters and storylines. For traditional publication, this would be a real marketing conflict.

So, for the benefit of our stories, taking charge of our own marketing and maintaining perfect creative control over how our stories combine is the best option.

On a similar note, we write a lot, like 4-6 full books a year. Traditional publishing means we have to be slotted into book release dates that could be roughly a year apart. That’s annoying. As it stands, the first three books of my series are already written, and the first book of Victoria’s is nearing the end. We get to control our own release dates.

On top of all that, we get to control our own pricing, and since we’ve knocked out that problematic middle man, the pricing will be a whole lot more reasonable. We like reasonable prices. They’re nice.

But isn’t self-publishing bad?
There are many things that can go wrong with self-publishing, but the old stigma that comes with self-publishing is fading fast in the digital era. This is a great thing for writers, because now the “why” behind self-publication is realer than ever. So many authors find this route a more viable option for reasons like ours, and if they’ve got a great story, edited well with an attractive cover, but doesn’t really fit with what publishers are looking for, why not?

There certainly are pitfalls, however, just as there are with traditional publishing, but we’ve taken great care to avoid those things. So much care. Insert “Oh my god do I try” gif here. 

Is there any difference between your book and a traditionally published book?
Nope. Zero things are different. We’ll have formal e-book formats for both Kindle and Nook, and we’ll also have paperbacks in the Amazon store.

Well, I mean, you might miss the publishing house emblem on the spine, but that’s an expensive little thing anyway. I could draw one, if you want. Awkward Penguin style.

Where did you get the cover?
The cover was done by us in Photoshop CS2 (which is now free on the Photoshop website, just in case y'all need a digital painter-type program). The photo of the Pittsburgh skyline was taken by us, and the font design for "SHADOW" was drawn by hand with a tablet (as in, it isn't a downloadable font).

We went through several different versions of the same cover with minute differences before we settled on the final version, and one of the important things we kept in mind was making sure the title stood out boldly and legibly so that it could be read even in its little icon form. This meant making sure the title had stark contrast against the background and going in by hand to darken the background accordingly.

Typography is a tricky beast. The font and the way it's positioned and how much space it fills creates specific moods that need to represent the book honestly. And because we had budget cover planning with limited skills, we decided to make the title the center focus of the cover with all the other elements framing it.

It was also important that we kept our names bold and easy to find and read, but not competing for spotlight with the title. Branding is an important part of building name recognition, so it's good to always make sure the name stands out.

Who did the art?
The art was also done by us in Photoshop CS2 and Gimp (another free digital painting program). Neither of us are artists, no way, but we had enough skills and strengths to do what we do best to create our own promotional artwork.

The blog banner and the sprites scattered about the blog were all done in similar and simple cell-shading fashion. Lighting and texture effects were thrown on after. One sprite could take about 1-2 hours, whereas the combined images of the banner would take several hours apiece. This is just another embarrassing testament to our lack of art-type efficiency.

The big semi-realistic Kali poster took a couple days and many hours of agonizing over tiny details. The lighting effects and textures, coupled with the typography of the book cover, gave her a more finished look, and then I could use her for promos and banners and all that fun stuff.

Having promotional artwork is a plus, but only if it looks fairly professional and visually appealing. Artists are always available for commission (though keep in mind that, if you intend to use the work commercially, you'll have to pay a lot more), but since we're poor bodies, we did what we could with our limited skills.

Do you have a question to ask us?

About the Series

[The Marionettes of Myth is a series that begins with three books, and then the Monsters of Myth series begins and runs congruently. These two series are written to fit together like building blocks, featuring different characters of the same world and showing them in spotlights that are unique to their particular series. Read more about the origin of Marionettes here and read the first chapter here.

One series will come to an end while the other carries on, but whether it's the Marionettes or the Monsters is a secret.]


The Steel City of Pittsburgh is a Superhuman Metropolis

The steel mill industry ignited with the boom of the industrial revolution, drawing mass migrations of the superhuman species to jobs that would take them when the rest of the human world wouldn't. Communities flourished and the city expanded all along the great three rivers, merging cultures, peoples, magics, and darker things.

Secrets lurk in the city's seams. Magics of vanished peoples hide in its pockets. Rumor even has it that forgotten gods come to the city to die. It might seem that the city itself is a living, breathing beast, flexing the dangerous muscle and sinew of its people.

But not all beasts can be tamed.

Dance in Shadow and Whisper

Kali has always been obedient, but when she takes her first step onto a protected “humans only” high school in suburban Pittsburgh, she knows she was the wrong choice for this mission.

Ever since the murder of her parents when she was too young to remember, she’s been sheltered – and trained. She can swing a sword with expert precision, but studying popular human teen magazines hasn’t taught her how to masquerade as seventeen years old.

Jason is the target of the mission. She and Yuuhi, who was also designated by his own people to be her partner, must find solid proof that Jason is, in fact, a supernatural phenomenon. Yuuhi sees little more than a socially inept emo kid dressed in conflicting shades of black, but Kali only touches Jason’s hand, and she feels the sting of something dark and deadly. Jason’s shadow is bigger than he is, and if the leaders of Yuuhi’s people find out, Jason won’t be human much longer.

The goal of the mission is to protect him, but Kali will find that the only way she can do just that is to break every rule she’s been conditioned to follow. She’ll have to learn how to disobey.

Beginning with Kali’s point of view and then shifting to the eyes of other characters, the Marionettes of Myth series introduces Pittsburgh as a superhuman metropolis, a world both wild and conquered by the monsters buried in its seams and darkest shadows.

And those monsters will be watching her.


The Marionettes of Myth Saga is a young adult urban fantasy series that begins with "Dance in Shadow and Whisper" and is available on the Kindle. The paperback is available through the Amazon store and will soon be available through Barnes & Noble.

The story continues, the stakes rise, and there's more to lose than ever in the exciting sequel "Fracture the Spider's Web", available in Nook and Kindle formats. The paperback is available through the Amazon store.

Not all sediment settles between the end of "Fracture the Spider's Web" and the beginning of book three in "Interlude", a short novella that explores a few favorite characters in first person point of view. Digital editions will be available for free on the blog, but will also be available for purchase, along with the paperback, this October.

She stepped through the doors of eternal night. Now the king of the night won’t let her go. "Taste a Thousand Deaths" is the third installment and currently available on the Kindle.

The Monsters of Myth Saga is a new adult urban fantasy series that begins after the first three books of the companion Marionettes series. The characters featured in Monsters is a closely guarded secret, and details of this series will be revealed later.