Posted in All Dark Places, Books and Authors, Night's Treasure, Psyche, Shadow's Strength, Writing Endeavors

New Book Updates!

Holy! Moly! It’s been a loooooong time since I last posted. I’d say it’s because I had nothing to say, but that’s only half true. I had something to say a couple weeks ago, but I forgot. Well…now I have three things to say! I’ll go in chronological order.

All Dark Places

All Dark Places is a horror anthology released by Dragon Soul Press. Within this book is the debut of my horror pseudonym – Anna Sinjin. I won’t go into how I chose that name except to say that it is, in fact, part of my real name. There are five short horror stories, mine is the second – The Cursed Mirror by Anna Sinjin.

I was pretty excited to participate in this anthology. One, because it was my first anthology. Two, because it was with an actual publishing house. And three, because it was horror, and horror is my true love. They were pretty nice to work with, and I’m currently working on another short story for another anthology of theirs. It’s romance this time. Hopefully, it’ll be accepted as well, but who knows. If nothing else, I got my horror name out there and have met some amazing people.

Ruxandra Tudorica made the front cover, while the back cover for the paperback was created by someone else whose name I don’t know. In any case, it’s a wonderful cover with just the right amount of fun mixed in with the horror. The formatting is awesome, the stories are awesome. Everything is AWESOME! If you don’t know by now, “awesome” is one of my favorite words (and I also love the Everything Is Awesome song from the Lego Movie, so…yeah). I’ll talk more about Rux later in this post because I didn’t work with her on this (the publishers did), but I did work with her on my third piece of news.

E-book – $3.99

Paperback – $14.99

Psyche (Myths of Olympus series)

I made a MAJOR update to Psyche from the Myths of Olympus series. Between the time it was published and this year, I’ve made some serious advancements in my editing and formatting knowledge. It was brought to my attention that I hate commas…or had just gotten supremely lazy with them because I tend to ignore a lot of grammar rules in my off-time. I also learned that the formatting I was using was ONLY for submitting manuscripts to agents. Cue The Scream. So I stopped everything I was doing and went through the book, editing and formatting like a fiend till it was as close to perfect as I could get it.

Another thing that pushed me to fix all the errors was that I had a new cover!! Isn’t it lovely? Lily Dormishev created it for me. I am SO in love with it!! I gave her a general idea of the book, along with another cover she had done that had started this obsession in the first place, to let her know the style I really liked. She went from there to create a work of art! I’m constantly drooling over her work and forcibly holding myself back from buying her covers. I should stand up as I say this and go on with, “Hello, I’m Katie, and I’m a cover addict.” Cue the sobbing into my hands as I sit back down. There are perhaps a handful of covers I’m itching to buy, but I can’t because I already have too many projects lined up that I’ll probably be busy writing for the next decade (yay!). Honestly though, I’m really not sure how long I’ll be able to hold out. Maybe another year at the most? I need to write faster. I’m going to horde my Christmas money for future covers.

Anyway, go to Lily’s site if you want to check out more of her work or order a commission yourself – Lily Dormishev. Even if you aren’t a writer and have no need of book covers, you should still check it out just for some serious eye candy.

Soooo, after I finished fixing Psyche and saw this awesome cover Lily made for me, I went a little crazy. Her prices are so reasonable…I couldn’t help it! I had a gorgeous new cover, fresh editing, fresh formatting…I needed a paperback as well.

Did you know a paperback another set of completely different formatting? Yep. And there’s a lot more to do for it too. I posted about my formatting woes till it got to the point where someone suggested I make “format” my new F word. I actually liked that idea quite a bit, so if you hear me say something like, “What the format!” you’ll know I’m cursing in my own unique way…and I’m probably extremely ticked off because I don’t usually drop the F bomb.

I’m going to skip all those details, but I will say, after much hassle, the e-book and paperback are available to buy on Amazon.

E-book – $2.99

Paperback – $10.99

Shadow’s Strength (Daughter of Nyx Book 2)

This has been two years in the making! I cannot believe it’s finally happening. Book 2 of the Daughter of Nyx series is finally being released! It’s currently available for pre-order as an e-book on Amazon. Paperbacks won’t be available until the third and final book of the series is out. Only then will I start to bring them out as paperbacks. I already have the appointment made with the designer, so there’s no way I can be tempted to bring them out sooner.

Who’s the designer? The lovely Ruxandra Tudorica who also did the cover for the first book, Night’s Treasure! While the first book was a premade that was tweaked to better match my preferences, this cover was a pure custom job. I seriously like how the covers are coming along and can’t wait for the third one and then the paperbacks as well. It’s so exciting! Rux is awesome to work with. Friendly yet professional and awesomely talented. Her works speaks for itself. If you’re interested in more of her work (or to commission her yourself), you can head on over to her website – MethyssART.

By the way, quick note on Night’s Treasure since I mentioned it earlier. It needs some major editing and formatting (just like Psyche did). It’s on my To Do list, and I’ll be working on it slowly as a side project, but don’t expect it to be finished within a week or anything. I mention this in case you take a look at the book and decide it’s worthless because the formatting is wrong and my commas are disastrous. Please don’t hate me for past comma crimes!

E-book – $4.99

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That was a long post, I know. Kudos to you if you made it this far. I promise not to wait till I have a mountain of news before posting again. In fact, I should have some news in December so expect something that month. There’s the short romance story I’m working on for another Dragon Soul Press anthology and then there’s my next novel project. Preferably, I’ll be able to give updates one at a time instead of both at once.

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Posted in Books and Authors, Night's Treasure

Book Cover Artists + Cover Reveal

Early in January I was finally able to update my cover art for Night’s Treasure. I was so excited! I meant to announce it here but looking back I see that I forgot. But that’s okay because it’s not like it was a new book or anything.

Here’s the new cover made by the oh so talented Ruxandra Tudorica (MethyssART)…

Click on the art to buy Night’s Treasure by Kathryn St. John, available on Amazon for $3.99

I love it! It’s soooo much better than what I did myself. If I had had better graphic artist skills (mine are next to none), I would’ve bee happier with how mine turned out but I could not get past the grey blur around the silhouette. It ruined the whole thing for me!

My friend and fellow author, EarthGirly, won a premade from Ruxandra and gave it to me (having only entered because she had thought it would be perfect for Night’s Treasure). I was ecstatic!! Truly ecstatic. Three days later it was personalized for me and gracing Amazon as the new cover of Night’s Treasure!

In the delirium of my euphoria, I joined Ruxandra’s Facebook group (Methyss Art Premade Covers – the group is closed so you need to be given permission to get in) and have one future commission appointment set for August and then fingers crossed for other covers. If you’re interested, take a look at her page. Her work is beautiful and she’s so nice, patient, and friendly!

Through her I also found Ryse’s Cult. The artist there is Jennifer Munswami (J.M. Rising Horse Creations).

Holy. Freaking. Cow!

That’s all I have to say about her work. When I found out I had won a giveaway from her (amazingly gorgeous artwork that another author won in an auction plus a bunch of other stuff), I was so excited I started tiptoeing around and squealing (tiptoeing because that’s my version of jumping around, and squealing because it was 6:30am and I didn’t want to wake anyone up by screaming). Every time I thought about it for the rest of the day I’d get all giggly and start tiptoeing around. People around me would just laugh.

That day was absolutely exhausting.

Here’s some recent cover art of hers that’s been released…

Click on the art to preorder the book Soul Bound by A.J. Flowers

The auction for this cover got intense toward the end. They usually do. This one was won by A.J. Flowers. Soul Bound by A.J. Flowers is available for preorder on Amazon for $4.99.

Jennifer is pretty much booked till the end of time (only half kidding), but there are always last-minute cancellations and premades you can try your luck with so pop on over there too if you’re an author who loves quality covers. Or maybe you just want to oogle her work or buy extra swag or create brand artwork for yourself (not sure if she’s available for that right now or not), etc.

There are more but those are the main two I’m crushing on right now. Totally stalking and not ashamed.

Posted in Books and Authors

Book Review – Lake Nutaq by Ron Ripley

Yet another book review of a Berkley Street installment! Lake Nutaq is the 6th book in the series by Ron Ripley and is even better than the last one.

Lake Nutaq (Berkley Street Series Book 6)

Awesome. Just awesome. It’s amazing how many injuries Shane can sustain and still keep ticking! He’s no longer super depressed, thank goodness. His depression and drinking made it difficult to keep reading at times before. But now he seems to be on the mend…emotionally speaking. Yay! Except I doubt people would say he’s still handsome when he’s missing bits and pieces and chunks of himself. Yowzahs!

I loved the bonus story about Patience. Throughout the whole book I had been wondering about her character and was a bit disappointed not to have gotten her back story…until I started reading the bonus chapters. It was a satisfying background but I was still wanting more. I mean, they mention the Reverend more than once in a way that made me think he was important but he wasn’t.

And then in the story itself there’s the unfinished business with the Englishman and The Woman. Who is she? What’s going on at Lake Nutaq? I really hope these questions are answered at some point. I want to know!!!

The version I read of Lake Nutaq was the audiobook. They’ve all been audiobooks. Shane and the other characters (even the female ones whom he doesn’t do so great a job on) will always be connected with Thom Bowers’ voice. There are times his German sounds a bit on the French side and his Italian sounds like I don’t even know what but, except for the first book, there isn’t much call for foreign voices so I’m content to overlook it. If you’re not the type to overlook something like that, go for the book instead of the audiobook. It’s an excellent series!

For me, Lake Nutaq is perhaps my 3rd favorite in the series, the first two being the first two in the series. My least favorite is Sanford Hospital. Ugh. Super depressing and infuriating. And yet I still enjoyed that one as well.

Posted in Books and Authors

Book Review – Shallow Graves by Patrick Logan

Horror book review this time.

Shallow Graves by Patrick Logan

I didn’t care for all the sex talk in the beginning of the book. It didn’t seem necessary to talk so much about a certain piece of dangling southern male anatomy and go into so much detail for the beginning sex scene. Just because it’s an adult horror novel doesn’t mean it needs that kind of imagery and language. I’m not a prude but it seems unnecessarily vulgar to call it a c**k every time. It dimmed down after a bit, thank goodness, and my interest picked up with the horror taking more of a front row.

After the horror took center stage, I found it an enjoyable read. I kept getting taken out of the story though because the daughter wasn’t even 10 and Robert kept leaving her alone and not paying attention to her at all. I mean, practically an entire day would go by before he’d remember her existence. I had my suspicions why toward the end, but still. It wasn’t a good enough reason for me but I won’t go into it because of spoilers.

One thing annoyed me big time and caused my interest to wane at the end. Shelley. She’s supposed to be the “best” according to a bunch of internet people, but everything she does and talks about seems to be theoretical. She doesn’t seem experienced at all, just well-read with ghostly matters. Her warning Robert that’s it’s super important not to let the ghosts touch him seems completely useless because he’s touched 3 of them by the end without anything happening to him. True, he only gets “touched by” 2 of them, but that seems pretty nit-picky. If you’re doing the touching or being touched, the end physical contact is the same.

Another thing about Shelley I don’t like is that she’s supposed to have the mouth of sailor, but all she ever says is sh** and f***. Not very creative. It’s like her dialogue was written out and then the writer stuck in the F word in various places to give her a potty mouth. There are lots of ways to cuss and I can sometimes appreciate it. Her dialogue wasn’t creative though. Her cussing was boring and contrived and her dialogue, likewise, was boring and lecture-y.

Also, she was pretty mean I thought. She and Robert didn’t get along but he thought they did? I’m assuming that must’ve been the spirits/house/whatever making him different and horny because there was no indication of them getting along. She was condescending and snobbish to him.

This book was all right. Not great but not really bad. The horror part was really good but there was too much else that annoyed me. If you don’t mind everything I had an issue with, you’ll probably like it. There was some really great stuff in Shallow Graves.

Posted in Books and Authors

Book Review – The Ghost of Marlow House by Bobbi Holmes

!!!WARNING!!! I’m usually pretty nice with my reviews. That’s not the case this time.

The Ghost of Marlow House (Haunting Danielle Book 1) by Bobbi Holmes

The plot was so predictable I guessed nearly everything right in the beginning. We’re talking as soon as something was mentioned, I knew it would be integral to the plot and mostly how it would all work out. The only surprise was at the end with the last plot point to wrap up. I can’t say it because I don’t want to spoil it for others. It wasn’t a “Oh wow! I didn’t see that coming!” kind of surprise. More like a “Seriously? They sure pulled some strings to make that work out.” Oh, wait. There was one more surprise at the end that elicited the same kind of response. Those two “surprises” wrap things up very nicely. There’s a lovely little bow and everything. One might say that I’m just good at predicting the outcome etc, but I’m really not. I’m the one at the end going “Holy Cow! I did NOT see that coming!!” while everyone else is like, “pfft whatever.” If everything in the book was obvious even to me, it was seriously obvious.

All the characters sounded alike and weren’t fleshed out properly. Conflicts arise only to be concluded with minor work. The point of view would change constantly! That was a huge deal for me. From one paragraph to the next, there was a chance the PoV would change. Hell, from one sentence to the next sometimes. For me that’s like a giant flashing red danger sign warning that there’s bad writing ahead. But I kept reading because the idea for the book was interesting. Unfortunately, the potential for good was never reached and I was left seriously disappointed.

Then there were the impromptu history and human rights lessons that sounded completely scripted. I thought I was reading about a mystery about a ghost haunting an old house that was being renovated into a B&B, but suddenly people were talking about black women’s rights in Oregon in the 1920s. Whenever they started talking about these sorts of things, the dialogue would get supremely flat and everyone (though they all sounded similar to begin with) sounded exactly alike. It was ridiculous.

Add to all of that the extemporaneous details such as Dani’s friend ordering a martini and you’ve completely lost me. Boring! One may argue that it shows her personality and character. I would argue that it was superfluous and showed nothing of her real character. So much of the dialogue was pure filler. Writing a few times that the waitress silently takes away dishes from your table doesn’t further the story, it adds extra words to sift through in order to get through the story. Unless, of course, the waitress is trying to eavesdrop in order to discover some juicy tidbits on some diamond or whatever that she can steal from you when your guards is down…which isn’t the case.

I paid $0.99 for this and am regretting spending even that much. There are so many other mystery ghost books out there. Just off the top of my head, I’d recommend Rose Pressey. Her books can be fun. I don’t recommend bothering with this one. I for one am not going to be looking into her other books.

Posted in Books and Authors

Book Review – Sanford Hospital by Ron Ripley

Another short book review. This time I’m reviewing the 4th book in the Berkley Street horror series by Ron Ripley (Team Scarestreet) – Sanford Hospital.

sanford-hospitalI loved how simple the horror is in this series. As always, it’s not overdone or complex or confusing. It’s simple and yet there’s always a new twist to it with each book in this series. The twists keep it inventive and new so I don’t get bored with the same old thing. New characters have always been added and, as usual, I like them. Brother Francis is the new main character and he rocks!

There were times I got seriously angry though. The nurse was so horrible and the people following her were just as bad. I couldn’t believe there were living people who believed she was in the right! It made me so mad because it was obvious to me that she was just killing people left and right with no real regard to their pain and suffering. If I’m being honest, I was also a bit scared sometimes. It takes a lot to actually frighten me with a book because I know it’s not real etc. I don’t mean I got scared in that sense. I mean that I was scared for Shane. I was worried this ghost would prove to be too much for him and he’d die. And I felt sooo bad for him. He’s falling apart and I find it so sad. I hope he rallies and gets better or he’s going to drink himself into an early grave. 😦

If you’re the kind of reader who loves the gore, this book has it though not in abundance. It’s not like other horror books that saturate their stories in gruesome slaughters and descriptive nasties. This isn’t about grossing readers out or seeing how much the author can shock you. This is about spooks and the scares they bring though, honestly, it has less of the spooky scares the first two books had. This book (as well as the last one) is more about busting the killer spook rather than the killer spook scaring the bejeezers out of readers. It’s too bad about that, but it’s still a good book.

And it DOES still have gore so consider yourself warned if you don’t like that sort of thing. But, really, if you’re not okay with at least some of that and you’re looking at horror books…well…all I can say is that you’re probably delving into the wrong genre. It’s not often I find a horror book that doesn’t have at least some gore.

Posted in Books and Authors

Book Review – Dark Tempest by Annette Marie

Book review time! Just so you know, I don’t generally give long, complex reviews so don’t expect something with lots of big, literary words. I’m all about keeping it simple.

Dark Tempest (Red Winter Trilogy Book Two) by Annette Marie

dark-tempest

Oh my holy freaking cow!! I am so in love with this series! Some twists that happened weren’t surprising for me because they had been in the back of my mind the whole time in that “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” kind of way. And then BOOM! I was right and it makes me so happy. ^_^ lol

Once again Annette Marie has woven an exciting, fun tale following Emi’s journey. She was given a mission from Amaterasu at the end of book 1 and now journeys to see it through. I giggled and laughed, held my breath, felt excitement and worry and frustration and, of course, sadness. I’m definitely emotionally attached to these characters.

Annette Marie changes relationships so gradually that I hardly know it’s happening until it’s commented on by one of the characters and then I’m right alongside Emi in her realization that it’s true. Just like real life when things change so gradually we don’t realize they’ve changed until it’s pointed out to us and we take a step back and go “Oh!”

Her take on the mythological details and how they might look/act/etc is so creative! Quite ingenuous in my mind. I’m right there along with everyone else waiting with bated breath for the 3rd book.

I’m just going to add in one last thing that has nothing to do with the book content…OMG! Look at that COVER! It is GORGEOUS!!! When I get my covers redone some day, I want mine to look as freaking awesome as hers do. I’m in love with them!

This author is quickly becoming my author idol. Seriously. An indie author who’s doing a fantabulous job. Definitely my idol. I know who I wanna be when I grow up! wink face tongue