Blog News, Store Updates, and Manuscript Progress

Hello, and thank you again for subscribing to my mailing list! I have exciting bits to share, in addition to some news that should perk your interest.

Blog News

I published some helpful posts on writing. They’ve garnered a bunch of views, and should be worthwhile to check out:

  • The Blank Page talks about starting a new manuscript and how to handle that dreaded first page.
  • A summary of Brandon Sanderson’s 2020 Lectures, which covers several hours’ worth of material. I’ve compressed them into a single post highlighting the juiciest tidbits.
  • A post on Query Letters and general business practices.
  • Describing Sounds in Writing helps writers convey sounds to readers—still raking in dozens of views!

Store Highlights

  • My store is gaining traction with new merchandise, designed to inspire and motivate. Several of the designs will have quotes from characters in my upcoming novel, Blade of Dragons. You can check it out here. Thanks for your patronage!
  • You can also check me out on Instagram and Twitter.

Manuscript Report

  • My new beta reader has been very helpful during our beta swap. I’m hoping to strengthen the plot and characters further before I reach out to a professional editor and start the publishing business.
  • Blade of Dragons got trimmed down a hefty amount. It went from 135,000 words to almost 125,000! That’s a lot of unnecessary fat. The prose reads tighter and many of those unnecessary scenes are gone.
  • I’ve started on the alpha manuscript of book 2. The general outline is done, and I’m eager to get to it in my spare time.
  • I’ve also returned to hand sketching to develop concepts of my characters. It’s been a blast, and I have friends giving me feedback. 

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for next month’s newsletter with more to come!

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Brandon Sanderson Lecture 2020 Notes

Bestseller of fiction: Brandon Sanderson

Hello, my readers, I’ve got quite a gift to share with you today. The other week, I watched Brandon Sanderson’s 2020 lectures on creative writing. The whole playlist runs several hours, but I’ve put together a concise list of tips that I found helpful. Enjoy.

(Note, the lecture # is just how I organized the notations, not which lecture videos they relate to.)

Lecture 1: On Writing

  • Always chase publication and book writing with a passion, but don’t be attached to it.
  • Just enjoy telling stories.
  • Try things, if they don’t work, try something else.
  • Pantsiers vs plotters; both work.
  • Know when to ignore the rules or the professionals.
  • With experience, you gain intuitive writing ability.
  • Make good habits for writing consistently. (This tip I bolded for emphasis)

Lecture 2: Plot and Character

  • Plot, character, and setting are glued together by conflict.
  • Setting is the least important of the three.
  • Stories make promises.
  • Introduction shows the promises.
  • Remember to detail a character’s desires and goals.
  • Indicate what kind of plot the story is about.
  • Promise–>progress–>payoffs.
  • Plot expansion twists can work.
  • Check out the Hero’s’ journey by Joseph Campbell

Lecture 3: Plot and Character II

  • Start the intro fast and explosive.
  • Sympathize the audience with your protagonist ASAP.
  • Multiple POV cast is a double-edged sword. It is good for variety, but readers will polarize towards certain characters and dislike others.
  • Subverting expectations and promises isn’t a good idea.
  • Exceeding expectations can make some subversions tolerable.
  • Escalate rather than undermine expectations.
  • Satisfying endings are better than a twist.
  • Writers’ block solution: don’t stop writing, finish the story.
  • Epistularies at start of chapters is a viable strategy.

Lecture 4: Magical Systems and Worldbuilding

  • Sanderson Law One: your ability to solve problems with magic in a satisfying way is directly proportional to how well the reader understands said magic.
  • Soft magic: unknown cost or outcome of a magic.
  • Sanderson Law Two: flaws and limitations are more interesting than powers.
  • Sanderson Law Three: before adding something new to your magic or setting, see if you can instead expand what you have.
  • Use world building in service of character and story building, not solely for showing off or building a world.
  • Use more concrete methods through the eyes of the characters to worldbuild.

Lecture 5: Characters, Dialog, and Humor

  • Characters as living tools to tell your story, the plot’s message.
  • Establish empathy between characters and readers.
  • Show others characters liking them.
  • Establish motivation: show something they want, but can’t have. Connect personal desires of a character to the plot.
  • Show character progress. How are they going to change? Show flaws or the journey taken.
  • Characters ruled by: likability, proactivity, competence.
  • Iconic hero does not change during the course of a story.
  • Flaws: things to be overcome.
  • Handicaps: the character does not have control over these.
  • -Quirks: things that make the character imperfect, but unique.
  • Don’t write characters to a role.
  • Avoid bland monologues.
  • Dialog should convey likability, proactivity, competence, character arc, motivation, and humor.
  • Dialect: is a personal choice, but less is better.
  • Use dialog beats to slow down scene to focus on subtext.
  • Telepathy: italics with ‘said’ tag, but up to author’s choice.
  • Women in the Refrigerator: characters (especially female) killed off, tortured, or raped to further the plot or protagonist’s arc.
  • Killing a character properly fulfills an arc, or it is the direct cause of the character’s choices.
  • Wikipad, Dropbox, Hemingway are good programs to use.
  • Humor is difficult and subjective.
  • Comic drops to cut tension and induce humor.
  • Comic juxtaposition: contrasting qualities to create humor.
  • Repetitious scenario can create humor.
  • Rule of three cycles of humor with gradual escalation.

Lecture 6: Publishing Traditionally and Indie

  • Agents take 15% publishing profit, but do a lot of the business work.
  • Query letter->synopsis–>sample chapters->full manuscript.
  • Vanity press charges money to publish your novel. Stay away from them and agents who funnel to them.
  • A good agent will never charge you money.
  • Book offers with loan advances 10-20k for new authors split between costs.
  • The bigger the advance budget for publishing a novel, the better the publisher push.
  • Editors want to help you improve the story and make suggestions.
  • You can pay back advance and cancel contract if you change your mind.
  • Indie published authors get 70% of profit.
  • Platform writing via blog posts or website is important to have an online presence.
  • Need a good cover for your novel (300-500$ suggested).
  • Also need good copyediting (0.007-0.009cents per word suggested).
  • Content edits (0.012-0.015 cents per word).
  • Proofreading (0.003 cents per word).
  • Cross author promotions with other authors is a good idea.
  • Mailing lists like Mailchimp are important to form an audience and fan base.
  • Recommended Amazon price for epub novels is 2.99 to $9.99.
  • Be wary of scams or vanity presses.
  • Amazon is now a pay-to-play for advertising ebooks: thousands of dollars a month to advertise.
  • 10-15% of cover contract for Hardcover sales.
  • 6-8% of cover Paperback sales.
  • 10% of cover Tradepaper sales.
  • As a traditionally published author, you want advances that you can earn out in a couple of years.
  • Indie publishing undercuts markets.
  • Less $ for lower word count, more $ for higher on indie publishing.
  • Book signing to improve reputation and make connections, but it is a lot of work and money to pay for travel, rent, etc.
  • Sales within first week is significant, especially for best seller list.
  • Niche genres: mashing two genres together.
  • Free short stories do work to promote for indie publishers, but not for profit.

I’m currently expanding my platform onto Mailchimp to develop a mailing community. Members will receive free poetry, special deals, and short stories once Mailchimp is up and running. For more details on my current projects, visit my portfolio. I also have an online store, selling t-shirt designs with quotes from characters in Blade of Dragons. Many are inspirational and spiritual in nature. Be sure to check them out here.

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Business Promotional ideas for Blade of Dragons

Hello, my readers, short post today. I had some interesting ideas to share with you today regarding my WIP, Blade of Dragons. As the manuscript reaches completion, I’ve been toying with the cover art a bit. Once I find a professional cover artist, I imagine it will look much better, but for now, I’m figuring out what I want.

I’ve brainstormed some nifty ideas to promote my novel. This post is mainly me organizing my thoughts and should give you an idea of where I’m headed.

Book Promotion

My main promotion will be either one or multiple short stories, free to read on this blog and elsewhere. The short stories will be preludes to the story to introduce readers to my world. Social Media advertising will be a thing, especially through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and others.

Readers subscribed to my Mailchimp listing will receive free poetry filled with plot and character lore. Moreover, I’ll send PDF copies of the prologue stories upon publishing my novel.


The book will be available on Amazon for around $3.99 to 4.99. I didn’t want to make it too expensive, but at the same time it is a 130,000 word story. I am considering Kindle Unlimited too, which makes the book free for Kindle subscribers.


Blade of Dragons will have its own Goodreads page, where I will convene with readers about story feedback, ideas for further installments, and gathering new fans of the series. It’s also a nice spot to make connections with readers and authors.

Betareader Invites

I am still looking for a few more readers on to polish my manuscript. If you’re interested, sign up and complete a brief survey to get started. Thanks a bunch!

Story Description

Whimsical Magic. Arcane Technology. Romance.

Can Pepper Slyhart use her father’s sword, a weapon with unfathomable power, to save her planet? With her childhood friend, Tarie, Pepper embarks on a dire quest. She enters a war against a dark goddess that has scoured grasslands, scorched forests, and devoured great cities.

Pepper unravels the terrible price of her sentient blade, a connection to the Ethereal Seals Gate, which powers technology and sustains her planet.
But her half-dragon heritage seeks to betray Pepper, and Tarie may be the only one who can save her.

Are they able to fight a war on both fronts, or will the Shadow claim their souls?

—”Exciting, hard-hitting, and exotic. Blade of Dragons is an action-packed adventure filled with vivid storytelling and a strong heroine that will hold you spellbound from start to finish.”

That’s all for now, my readers. Thanks again for tuning in and I’ll see you next time!

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Adventures of the Deep: A Fantasy Short Story

Hello, my readers, I hope you are well. I fashioned a fantasy short story for your enjoyment. I also entered this short story into a contest on Havok Publishing. Feel free to leave any comments below for feedback. Enjoy.

My heart rang in my ears. I glanced around, listening to the sound of footsteps from the corridor. That peculiar echo of bone and leather—it had to be goblins. I sighed and crept out from the shadows. Carefully. My trusty dagger groaned as I slid it from its sheath.

I sized my gloomy surroundings—the Fortress of the Ancients. It had taken me months to infiltrate this place. My cape flapped about my slender body as I tiptoed down the hall. I stuck to the shadows and listened to the drips of water echoing in the background.

Hold on, mom, I thought, I’ll find that elixir for you. I frowned. The last thing I wanted was to return home to find her dead from her illness. I had to move swiftly—silently.

My thief’s tools jingled at my belt as I moved. I tucked them into my pocket to muffle the noise. I paused as a doorway shimmering with silver jewels caught my eye. That has to be it! I hesitated, for two goblins guarded the doorway. One of the green monsters grunted and shifted its shoulders, causing its chainmail to clank together.

Murderers, I thought, noticing the stained blood on their axes. My nails ground against the hilt of my dagger, ready to impale the monsters. They were short, but well equipped and trained for combat. I was no more than a thief with a dagger.

I squatted in the shadows listening to their guttural noises. I may be able to kill one in an ambush. The other would be a problem, and what if it raised an alarm? I couldn’t afford to wait. My mother needed the medicine. Fear and urgency tore at my mind, the sound of water droplets counting down the seconds.

My brows lifted. There was the Songfire—yes, I could use that! Okay, mom, you taught me this song for a reason. I hope it works.

I cleared my throat and began to sing. At first, the Songfire was soft and melodious. The pointed ears of the goblins prickled. They grunted and exchanged looks before advancing towards my hiding spot.

My heartbeat pounded in my ears as if adding a drum to the melody. The cadence of my voice increased. Sharply. Then the tune of the Songfire turned coarse, like metal grating against metal. The goblins dropped their weapons and held their ears as they shrieked.

I saw my chance. My cloak flapped about my body as I rushed in. The first goblin squealed as my dagger pierced the exposed section between its chainmail. It collapsed with a thud. I turned to the second goblin, who had grabbed its weapons.

With a loud roar, it charged me swinging its ax. Our weapons clanked as we engaged in mortal battle. My heartbeat intensified in my ear. Using my long legs to my advantage, I landed a kick to its stomach. It grunted and tumbled backward, crashing into a brazier. I leaped into the air and drove my dagger into my foe.

It squealed, trying to fling me off. I let out a fierce roar and used both hands to twist the dagger deeper into its body. It gave one final shriek before it stiffened.

Breathing heavily, I studied my fallen opponent. I retrieved my dagger, and glanced at the green blood coating its surface. My dagger hissed as the ichor corroded its metal. I sighed and flung the weapon away.

Now I had only the Songfire and my wits to protect me.

Marveling at the silver door, I grinned. My thief’s tools jingled as I drew them out procuring a lock pick from the selection. I slid the tool into the lock, my ear to the door. I twisted carefully. Ping. That wasn’t it; I turned the pick a bit more. Ping.

I jumped as a goblin horn rang throughout the corridor. It was a shrill sound, distant, but still—someone had raised the alarm.

I broke into a cold sweat and leaned my ear against the door once more turning my pick. Ping. Footsteps echoed down the hall. Ping. My pulse pounded in my eardrum. Ping.

“Come on, you stupid door!”


The door opened. I grabbed my pick and slid inside before slamming it behind me. Using my pick, I relocked the door. That should hold them for a minute.

I scanned the room that had but one window. A vial sat on a pedestal, sunlight from the window giving the liquid a shimmering quality. That’s it! It has to be! I rushed forward and grabbed the vial. The doorknob to the room twisted vainly. Guttural sounds echoed outside.

Thinking fast, I turned to the window. It was a drop more than fifty feet, but it would have to do. I had climbed higher than that from thieving castles.

I pounded against the glass, but it wouldn’t give. The doorknob to the room opened. Three goblins rushed in, their weapons flailing.

I licked my lips and began the Songfire. The song rose quickly. Sharply. The glass shattered from the noise, and the goblins dropped their weapons, squealing from the cadence.

Holy Jason protect me!

I threw myself out the window.

Air rushed through my ear as the ground approached. I raked my nails against the fortress’ stone hoping to slow my fall. To my success, my hand caught a cleft in the wall close to the ground. Hanging from one hand, I gritted my teeth as my other hand found another cleft. I climbed the last ten feet.

My boots hit the grass with a thump. I looked up at the goblins shrieking from the window fifty feet above. I grinned and studied the vial I held, hope filling my heart.

Don’t worry, mom; your son will be home soon.

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Mageborn Review

Hello, my readers, to another book review! Today, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Dayne Edmondson’s first book in the Mageborn series. It’s a science fantasy catered to YA and, overall, I enjoyed it.


Mageborn begins as a fantasy, which slowly introduces some science fiction elements later on. The beginning was amazing and had me hooked.

For the rest of the story, it is told through Emma’s eyes. She is a young protagonist learning how to become a mage. Dropped into a world of danger and magic, the ambiance of Mageborn is fairly well done.


The chapters vary between short and long. Scene breaks weren’t that common, which is a nitpick of mine (see my other book reviews on why that is). In general, it’s a short fantasy novel and shouldn’t take a reader too long to finish.


The characters are where, I feel, Mageborn floundered. Emma, as the protagonist, came off as a bit bland or stereotypical without any unique quirks that stood out to me. I had difficulty sympathizing with her, and the plot didn’t challenge her as much as it could.

Some of the side characters like Bridgette and Flavio appealed to me more with their distinctive character traits. Emma’s brother, Ethan, was kind of there, and kind of not.

Magic System

The magic in Mageborn is whimsical and not well defined. This adds a good element of surprise and awe to it, although my reader’s instincts tell me there is a technological system behind it in later books. Many scenes created jaw-dropping effects with the magic which I enjoyed.


The tension was steady throughout the book, and the author did a good job at it. A look into Emma’s inner conflicts and flaws would have strengthened the tension.

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The Good

Mageborn is a fun, fast-paced adventure for any fantasy fan. It’s also a quick read with an enjoyable magic system and decent amount of worldbuilding. The introduction is a jewel and pulls the reader in.

The Bad

Emma came off as a protagonist who wasn’t quite as likable as she could have been. There remains much to explore about her inner world, the flaws she carries, the fears she hides, and so forth. That said, this is the first book, so Emma may develop into a butterfly by the end of the series.

The Ugly

Nitpicks from me. Some of the chapters felt long and drawn out. Descriptions slogged a few of the action scenes, and—besides the intro—the book started a bit too slowly for my taste.

Mageborn is a series with good potential. It has great premise and ambiance that intrigues. While Emma is an underdeveloped character, I’m giving the author a pass for it being the first book in the series.

Thank you for reading!

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Blade of Dragons New Intro Idea

Hello, my readers, quick update. I hope you are all safe. After watching some of Brandon Sanderson’s lectures (which I highly recommended) I rewrote my intro to be more engaging. Here’s the new version. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Thanks

“I’m not a monster!”

Pepper held her ground against the shadowy figures encircling her. She caught the glint of darksteel under their cloaks.

“Yer a half-dragon,” one of the brigands said. He stepped forward. “An abomination at that.”

Pepper bared her teeth and gripped her walking stick. It wasn’t a weapon, but it would do against these thugs. Her other hand clutched a large, teardrop emerald.

“She’s Saul Slyhart’s daughter,” another brigand said. He scowled and spat to the side. “The daughter of a war hero. More like an aberration and a thief!”

“I’ve done nothing wrong,” Pepper said, shaking the emerald in front of her. “This heirloom belongs to the Slyhart family. You’re the ones who stole it.”

“And yer kind savaged my family. My wife and children…eaten to the bone.” His lip trembled, but his eyes were hard, filled with bloodlust.

Bile filled Pepper’s stomach, and her face softened. The horrible acts her kind had committed. “I’m sorry.”

His left arm whirred with machinery as the hand molded into the shape of an arm cannon.   “Aye, ya will be soon!”

Pepper’s eyes narrowed. Her stubby tail stiffened as the brigands closed in. A gust whisked her ponytail about. She scanned the forest, not a few miles from home. Her throat tightened as she counted her assailants. Four. One of them had an arm cannon implant—if she could just disarm him…

“Die, tal’snak!” One brigand cried, rushing forward. His fists glowed, fingers hardening with stone-like gauntlets. He pounded the ground. The earth groaned, exploding in a wave towards Pepper.

A Shifter, Pepper realized, avoiding the shockwave and closing the distance. Spotting an opening, she pulled a feint. The thug collapsed from a blow to his stomach. Two more thugs rushed her. Pepper danced around them, her staff hitting vital points. They crumpled to the ground. Fast. Pepper wheeled around as the brigand with the arm cannon fired his weapon with a zap.

She dodged the fireball but grunted as the shockwave threw her against a tree. Blood ran down her forehead and the world spun. She staggered to her feet and examined a cut on her forearm. The emerald had slipped out of her fingers, dirt on its surface.

She clenched her teeth, staring at her dirty heirloom. “Okay, now I’m pissed!”

Still dizzy, she charged the thug, her staff aimed out. He fired another fireball. Pepper dunked under it and rammed her staff into his face. The wood cracked as the thug flew backward ten yards.

Her opponents lay motionless on the ground. Pepper sighed with relief. She discarded her broken stick. and picked up the emerald. An itchy, crawling sensation came from the cut on her arm. Already the flesh had stitched itself together. She frowned at the amazing regeneration of her body, one finger stroking the healed gashes.

She wasn’t a monster, was she?

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Blade of Dragons Update: Blurbs, Taglines, Longlines, and more!

Hello, my readers, I’m back with another update on my manuscript, Blade of Dragons! It’s been a stressful month (for all of us I would imagine), but my manuscript is approaching the end of the beta stage—at least I hope.

Anyway, I have some items to share that involve general manuscript preparation. Most any author follows this formula.

There are several tools an author uses to promote or describe a book. These include: blurbs, taglines, loglines, cover descriptions, and synopses.


A blurb is a brief statement designed to promote the book. The blurb may be by the author, a reviewer, an editor, a publishing company, or anyone else. A blurb is designed to perk interest and add a silver-lining to the book’s appearance. A blurb may appear on the front or back cover.


A logline is a book compressed into a brief paragraph. It should be concise while packing a punch. The main character, antagonist, conflict, and any other relevant detail is included, giving the reader an idea of what the story is about.


Short and witty, a tagline is a statement that doesn’t tell anything about the book. It’s more of a catchphrase or trademark to the author’s story.


Book descriptions are like an expanded logline, often around 150 to 200 words. Besides the tagline and blurb, a description is meant to lure the reader into opening the book. First sentences are crucial in descriptions, as this will convince the reader to read the story.


Designed more for the eyes of an agent, a synopsis is a larger description, varying anywhere from 500 to 2000 words. Short and long synopses are both viable, but modern agents err more on the shorter side. A synopsis should mention the protagonist’s arc, showing the agent that you’ve built a complete, alluring story.

I’ll give examples of the manuscript tools I mentioned above using ones from my book. Mind, these aren’t official, nor are they polished. Still, they should give you an idea of each category.


Exciting, hard-hitting, and exotic. Blade of Dragons is an action-packed story filled with vivid storytelling and likable characters that will hold you spellbound from start to finish.

This blurb reads promotional, coming from a reader who enjoys the story.


Pepper, a cursed farmer’s daughter, inherits her father’s sword, ancient technology that can save her planet from a dark goddess. But her draconic blood seeks to undo all she holds dear.

I kept the logline short. In a more compressed form, it almost gives a stronger punch, I noticed.


The legend of a farmer’s daughter, cursed with the blood of dragons.

Perhaps not the shortest or wittiest tagline. Still, this one stuck with me, and it’s consistent with the other items mentioned above. It also invokes a good degree of intrigue.


Whimsical Magic. Arcane Technology. Romance.

Can Pepper Slyhart use her father’s sword, a weapon with unfathomable power, to save her planet? With her childhood friend, Tarie, Pepper embarks on a dire quest. She enters a war against a dark goddess that has scoured grasslands, scorched forests, and devoured great cities.

Pepper unravels the terrible price of her sentient blade, a connection to the Ethereal Seals Gate, which powers technology and sustains her planet. 

But her half-dragon heritage seeks to betray Pepper, and Tarie may be the only one who can save her.

Are they able to fight a war on both fronts, or will the Shadow claim their souls?

Notice that I include certain keywords in the blurb. The reader will know that there are: swords, a dire quest, a dark goddess, a heroine, technology, and a dragon-like race. This suggests a science fantasy genre, the type of message I hope to convey. The beginning ‘trio-word’ technique I used is a popular strategy to create rhythm and intrigue.


Uhh, no, I won’t post that here—it’s way too long. Regardless, I do have a short (two page) and long (seven page) synopsis written if I need it. My synopses break down the story piecemeal, proving I have a solid and complete book. Any agent or publisher who reads it would get a good idea of what the story is about: the characters, conflict, the driving force of the story, and so forth.

Additional Items to Consider

My cover art (my own work) you can view at the top of the page. It’s still unofficial, and I may reach out to a professional to spruce it up. I included a map and glossary with my manuscript to provide additional reference material for readers.

When you design your own world, including a glossary or world map can help add depth to the story. I highly recommend it, especially for epic fantasy worlds.


I am unsure if I will go traditional or epub, but I am leaning more towards the latter. I may still find an agent to help me represent my book, as I am underread when it comes to marketing.

With that said, I hope you found this post to be informative and enjoyable. Good luck with whatever creative projects you might be working on.

Thank you for reading and stay safe out there.

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Book Review: The Enduring Flame Trilogy

Hello, my readers, I hope you’re all doing fine during the Quarantine. I finished a fantasy series a while ago, and wanted to do a review while it was still fresh in my mind.

I did a review of the first book here. While I enjoyed the first installation very much, the rest of the series was disappointing. I’ll keep spoilers to a minimum.

Anyway, let’s dive in!


The first book of the Enduring Flame series started strong. There was plenty of worldbuilding, two heroes called on a wild adventure, whimsical magic, and horrible dangers lurking everywhere.

While the second book did a decent job elaborating on the first book, the third installation fell short. Resorting to mundane storytelling and cliche fantasy tropes, the book ruined everything that the first two books has built up.

By the end of the story, I was ready to shelf the book and forget about the series entirely.


Each book is around 400 pages. Chapters can be long, but are broken down with several scene breaks that alternate between character perspectives. Personally, I enjoyed the many scene breaks, as it makes it convenient for taking breaks or stopping for the day.


The two main protagonists, Harrier and Tiercel, had a degree of charm. They acted as if they were siblings, always arguing in an amusing way. The third heroine, Shaiara, I found the most interesting, however, as her worldview is vastly different. This contrast in character perspectives added color to the worldbuilding and is one good thing that the series maintained.

Magic System

The magic is whimsical and unpredictable. This offered many fascinating scenarios throughout the book, but also created a variety of plot holes and asspulls from characters that seemed contrived. Overall, the magic system damaged the story by the end of the third book.


The tension was steady and drove the prose well through the first two books. In the third book, the conflict became dull and tedious, though there still was an element of danger and risk.

The Good

The Enduring Flame Trilogy has excellent worldbuilding early on and sets strong tension with its initial installations. The characters are amusing and likable. Character’s magic is powerful and can lead to some jaw-dropping scenes, some which had me quivering with excitement. The antagonist has good backstory, weaving into the magical system.

The Bad

The prose is filled with excessive adverbs, fair dialog, mediocre characterisation, and a story that decays by the end of the third book. The magic system led to several plot holes and contrived scenarios that almost made me want to put the book down.

The Ugly

All three books have a lot of mundane “travel time” and inappropriate detours that take from the direction of the plot without adding to subplots or character growth. The main characters, while relatable, are sometimes snobbish or stupid—and not in a likable way.

The Enduring Flame series is a flower that wilted early in the season. Many of its fans from the first two books will be disappointed with the conclusion. All in all, the trilogy is nothing noteworthy, nor is it a piece of garbage that should never have been published. There are a few pearls within its pages, for those willing to look deep into the quest of Harrier and Tiercel.

Thank you for reading!

I’m playing around with some new designs with my blog and testing them out. I’m also merging my blog with Mailchimp (still in testing). I plan to send out blog news and free gifts once I get it up and running! 🙂

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Surviving Writer Purgatory

Sometimes we, as writers, need to take a break from the craft. Whatever it is, embrace it, don’t fight it. Having vacations ever now and then can improve on your long-term productivity. When you return to writing, your stamina will be full steam; this is known as the vacation effect.

Here’s an article from a fellow blogger on the very subject. Enjoy.

Lorraine Ambers

Sometimes life outside of being a writer becomes hectic, and juggling the many demands of life takes its toll. In times like these something has to give, and I’ve already cooked too many oven chips for dinner and stopped walking my dog every day.

While no writer wants to sacrifice their writing time, that precious outlet for their sanity, there comes a time (usually around doing our annual taxes or Christmas) when they simply must take a short break.


Here’s my four top tips to help you survive writing purgatory.

Stop berating yourself, this is only temporary: By removing the addition stress of unrealistic goals, you’ll actually increase productivity, be better at problem solving and be back on track before you know it. 

Prioritize your responsibilities: Make a list of all that needs to be done and cut out the unessential. Oh how I wish the world were fair, and…

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7 Words You Should Delete From Your Manuscript

A nifty post on words you can avoid in your manuscript or article. Deleting these will give you a more concise, fluid piece. Enjoy.

The Z-Axis

As a professional editor, one of my primary responsibilities is to work with clients to polish the language in their manuscripts. Through the course of editing my own novels and working with clients to shine up their manuscripts, I’ve learned that one of the main goals of a late-stage editorial pass over any manuscript is to prune unnecessary words. In fact, there are a number of specific words I intentionally target for culling. Why? Because they’re overused and often unnecessary.

Scissors Cut.jpeg Time to get out those scissors and start pruning.

Novice writers often rely heavily on these words. Some of them come easily because they’re used often in speech; others make sentences clunky but feel necessary for clarity. But as our writing improves and we learn how to better translate our ideas into written words, it becomes apparent that these words are more of a hindrance than a help.

In this post…

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