THG StarDragon Publishing

Publisher info

THG StarDragon Publishing first started to form when Teresa Garcia, then somewhere between fifth (or was it fourth) and sixth grade, began writing in earnest with a desire to be published. She submitted poetry and short stories, but never heard back from the contest companies... although one of her pieces did get submitted to something big for an Earth Day contest too through her school. She kept writing anyway, as her classmates and friends can attest. They had to put up with her scribbling away in class after finishing her classwork and homework.

Moving forward to the eighth Grade, she was working heavily on "The Shadow Chronicles" and though it is still shelved, those stories are (in part) highly responsible for the StarDragon logo. She continued working on them through the early years of college.

Then she had a family, and for many years life was too hectic to write. Then poetry found her, and once again she started getting pieces published. in 2005 she picked up novel writing again, wishing to get her first novel finished before her father would die of cancer. He died shortly before the second book of her "Dragon Shaman" series was finished and released.

THG StarDragon Publishing is dedicated to helping other authors that are having difficulty in getting their work published. It may not be a large group, but books are our passion. Highly favored are spiritual books, fantasy, and paranormal stories, although non-fiction is welcome. You may have seen some of our other titles on other distributors.

Smashwords Interview

What are you working on next?
I am finishing setting up "Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well" to release in print and ebook formats. I will be working on two books concurrently once finished. The first of these is the second book in Kirsty and the Makay family's saga currently titled "Selkies' Skins: Temple and Skin." The other book I plan to work on is "Dragon Shaman Book Three: The Forge and the Well" following Ryu, BlowingWind, and some of the O'Drake family. I also plan to be returning to editing Marantha D. Jenelle's "The Ihmayran Chronicles Trilogy." There is of course a long workline after this.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many favorite authors. Tolkien, Peter S. Beagle, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, Anne McCaffrey, Hiyao Miyazaki, Eastman and Laird of Ninja Turtle comics fame, Anne Rice, Hushicho, M.C.A. Hogarth, Cerridwen Morningstar. I've read whole libraries in my time, and my personal library is split between my apartment and my mother's house...so I've read so many that it is very hard to choose a favorite or even a handful of favorites. I'll need a wheelbarrow.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find THG StarDragon Publishing online


Where to buy in print


Publisher of



Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well
By
Series: Selkies' Skins, 1. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 131,870. Language: English. Published: March 16, 2014 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Kirsty has little choice in her fate, only how it will manifest. There are tests to pass, a place that she may have to occupy prematurely if her visions prove true, and a need to earn her sealskin to be complete. Will Etain return safe to port, and will Kirsty survive her training and test? There are complications along the way, will she be able to stay on the course she's trying to set?
Pearls of Sea and Stone: Book of Seals
By
Series: Selkies Skins Wavelets, Book 3 · Selkies' Skins, 0.5. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 21,550. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2013 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Kirstin Makay is a half-selkie and a witch who must train for the quest to gain her own skin. In the library of Castle Carrick she finds "The Book of Seals," part mythology and part guidebook. What does the book have to teach her about her heritage? We join Kirsty for part of her second year at Castle Carrick and read along with her to learn the secrets Father Ronan sought to preserve.
Irony
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 18,530. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2013 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
For superna refuge leader, Hathim, being in the middle of a centuries old war with the pure-bloods was bad enough. He certainly did not need the added burden of learning that there might be a traitor amongst those at his refuge as well. That all paled into insignificance, however, when rumors began spreading that the humans had developed a poison lethal only to hybrids.
The Dragons' Beads: A Treasury
By
Series: The Dragons' Beads Treasury, vol. 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 18,880. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2013 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author
What do you get when dragons combine their hoards? What do you get when you take a little slice of dragon lore? “The Dragons' Beads" features the work of Elizabeth Buckley, Niels Van Eekelen, Athena Garcia, Ollie Lambert, Douglas J. Moore, Meghan Proctor, Jo Anne Spiese, Kristina Stumpf & Michael Camp, and Rachel Wookey. Edited by Teresa Garcia.
The Partner
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,660. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2013 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Jameson Edwards had a bum deal in life, losing his home, his children, and his work partner through the machinations of his evil witch of a wife. Some friendships are stronger than death though, and sometimes ghostwriting is a very literal thing.
AyaMayA
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 79,330. Language: Canadian English. Published: July 15, 2013 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Religious philosophy
Tarot, Kabbalah, Christianity, Shinto, Buddhism, Taoism, Metaphysics, Psychology, Philosophy, Alchemy... What do these have in common? More than you might think at first. Ayam Yogi Abraxas shares the fruits of his studies and how to practically apply these in daily life. More than just an introduction, there is something for all levels of understanding here.
Impossible Love
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,310. Language: English. Published: June 7, 2013 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical
Khrystiana has always been different. Even Death and the other gods have noticed. At 16 the wheels of Fate begin to turn swifter, and now she may begin to learn what she is meant for.
Homeward Bound
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,830. Language: English. Published: June 1, 2013 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Sharon Maitland discovers shortly after her sixteenth birthday that her entire life had been based on lies. That proves to be the least of the shocks that she would undergo in the months following her birthday - one of which would forever shatter her belief in reality as she had always known it. There is a key choice that she must make, upon which the fate of her life and the world rely...
Ornaments
By
Series: Selkies Skins Wavelets, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,180. Language: English. Published: January 24, 2013 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
At Seal Point two half selkies share their family's traditional Yule habits with some long lost full selkie relatives. Not all of their family is at home, and some will never return. Yet, they are still included. Set in a parallel Earth where magic and mythical creatures still lurk. Short story from the Selkies' Skins universe.
Dreamweaving
By
Series: Selkies Skins Wavelets, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 6,320. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2012 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Dreamweaving pits Diamondixi, a Dreamweaver, and Amehana, a storm ryuugami and priestess, together with Diamondixi's companion ice phoenix in an effort to save the halfbreed selkie Justin from the fate of ultimately becoming a Finman. But, is the effort real, or is it just a dream? Or is it both and perhaps something more all at once? Part of the Selkies' Skins universe.
Pollinations of Jardinia: Geneticist's Distraction
By
Series: Pollinations of Jardinia, Book 3. Price: Free! Words: 1,920. Language: English. Published: November 13, 2012 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The planet of Jardinia is peopled by plant-based beings. The third of a series of short stories, this can be taken for what it is, a flos Geneticist distracted by the results of a breeding project, or read with other stories from the planet to see a much deeper current of evolution and exploration. Adult content Includes planetary glossary.
The Adventures of Lightning the Cat: Collection One
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,140. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2012 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Animals
A collection of three short stories, from the life of Lightning, a real live care kitty. Lightning has a lot of work since his family consists of one perpetually stressed preteen, a young autistic boy, and a mother balancing university, children, and being an author. Join Lightning in his adventures as a care kitty. This book is intended and written for young children.
Call of the Kami
By
Series: Spirit Bridges, Book 1. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 14,320. Language: English. Published: September 16, 2012 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Shintoism
The world is a fine tapestry, ever worked and ever evolving upon the loom of spirit. The worlds of the visible and invisible mesh, and sometimes the unseen is glimpsed between the red posts of the torii on a walk in the woods, or at home. The Kami ever call for their Miko, and they are both within us all. The flower of a poem opens her petals to the sun, amidst a garden of other poems.
Stories of Spirits
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,570. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2012 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Literature » Fairy tales
Five short stories of dragon spirits and ancestors, in a Japanese milleau. Some are set in ancient times, others are more modern. Each short story that has new vocabulary has a mini-glossary of Japanese terms that were utilized. Includes: "Ancestors," "Dragon Dance," "So Close, So Far," "Dark and Light," and "Watcher."
Pollinations of Jardinia: Snake Hunter of Jardinia
By
Series: Pollinations of Jardinia, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 2,530. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2012 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Jardinia, a planet where all life is plant based, whether mobile or not. The wer, met in "Pollinations of Jardinia: Flowers of Desire," are not the only predatory species on Jardinia. Meet the snus in this short horror story. What happens when a flos leaves her Garden? It depends on if she keeps company, and how careful she is. Horror warning: Snus tend to eat flos.
Pollinations of Jardinia: Flowers of Desire
By
Series: Pollinations of Jardinia, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 7,730. Language: English. Published: August 13, 2012 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
A whole planet where flowers are the dominant species, and evolved to fill mobile roles as well as sedentary ones. Orchida, an apprentice herbalist in her culture, follows a strange hunch, and finds what may be the cure for her Garden's fertility problem. She finds much more than a cure though. Erotic content
Dragon Shaman: Book Two, The Smoky Mirror
By
Series: Dragon Shaman, Book 2 · Spirit Bridges, Book 3. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 73,050. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2012 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
BlowingWind and Ryu expected to be able to get on with living, but Fate has a different idea for the young Shaman in training and her Dragon Protector. Continuing her adventures between the worlds of Spirit and Man, BlowingWind traverses the worlds, and even time itself to regain the Smoky Mirror. Will she succeed, or will she get lost in the threads of the tapestry she is caught within?
Dragon Shaman: Book One, Taming the Blowing Wind
By
Series: Dragon Shaman, Book 1 · Spirit Bridges, Book 2. Price: $1.97 USD. Words: 90,140. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2012 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(4.00)
BlowingWind, a half Irish and half Apache trying to mesh and understand her heritage, has a strange enough time figuring out her life. When she thought things were finally starting to have a plan, the Spirit she was in love with dies in his duty, and his soul splits... as does her own. What is her real calling, and what of the ancient O'Drake curse? Why is the Japanese dragon she finds familiar?
The Beast, the Hope, and the Only Sun
By
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 3,420. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2012 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Fiction » Poetry » Female authors
Elizabeth Buckley gathers a collection of poems from the points of view of some of her characters. The Beast, the Hope, and the Only Sun provides snapshots into their development. Written as a high school student, the poems also reflect a journey out of depression, from start to the shining light at the end. Who are the Beast, and the Hope, and who or what is the Sun?
Mend this Heart: The First Year
By
Series: Echoes of Heart and Mind, Book 1. Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 15,830. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2012 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Nonfiction » Gay and Lesbian » Dating and relationships
A heart once whole, passes through the forest of life, battered by the joys and sorrows therein in his first book. THG StarDragon Publishing is pleased to assist Steven Disney in displaying that whether heterosexual or homosexual, all hearts are the same, and all people desire love. This book is not intended for children, due to discussion of sexuality, dark emotions, and alternative lifestyles.
Perceptions of the Mind
By
Series: Echoes of Heart and Mind, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 21,200. Language: English. Published: August 1, 2012 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Nonfiction » Gay and Lesbian » Dating and relationships
A journey through the corridors of past, present, and what may be. What lurks in the darkness where only the brave tread? Joy, sorrow, longing, loss, devotion... and ever more questions. Set sail with Steven Disney in his second book, and drift in the seas of the mind. Please be aware this is not suitable for children, due to sensitive subjects of sexuality and dark imagery.
The Adventures of Lightning the Cat: Disarmament
By
Series: The Adventuresof Lightning the Cat, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,840. Language: English. Published: July 12, 2012 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Animals / Cats
Lightning the Cat has a very important job, to ensure the household runs smoothly. Even more important though, he is a registered care kitty for a little girl that has been with him since almost day one of his life. Keeping Mother, Daughter, and Son happy and mentally healthy is no easy job! Especially as Son, an autistic boy, starts sharing his world with the family finally.
The Adventures of Lightning the Cat: Lightning's Job
By
Series: The Adventuresof Lightning the Cat, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,990. Language: English. Published: July 12, 2012 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Animals
Lightning the Cat has a very important job, to ensure the household runs smoothly. Even more important though, he is a registered care kitty for a little girl that has been with him since almost day one of his life. Keeping Mother, Daughter, and Son happy and mentally healthy is no easy job! Join Lightning as his series of short stories starts rolling. Ah, it's a cat's life...
The Adventures of Lightning the Cat: The Battle of the Tomato
By
Series: The Adventuresof Lightning the Cat, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,710. Language: English. Published: May 21, 2012 by THG StarDragon Publishing. Category: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Humor / General
Lightning the Cat has a very important job, to ensure the household runs smoothly. But sometimes, he just can't help a little mischief, especially if a tomato is involved. Join Lightning as his series of short stories starts rolling. Ah, it's a cat's life... This story is intended and written for young children.


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THG StarDragon Publishing's favorite authors on Smashwords


Smashwords book reviews by THG StarDragon Publishing

  • The Emo Bunny That Should on May 22, 2012

    This was my first introduction to John Carrol's stories. It was not long before I was reading it with my daughter Athena, as it suits her sense of humor. Together we have read several of the "Demented" Tales and have loved them all. We both appreciate the light-hearted and fast pace, and in this tale it is hard not to yell "I KNEW there was something twisted about the Easter Bunny..." Emo Bunny will always be able to get cuddles in our household (though cuddles through Nooks are tough to give).
  • Unholy Cow on July 03, 2012

    My children and I loved this short tale. My daughter is a little jealous that she doesn't get to go on an adventure with a cow like this one. I myself enjoyed the reparte between the characters.
  • Drippy the Peg Legged Rainbow on July 03, 2012

    See, I knew there was something screwy about leprechauns (thus one reason I always dressed as one for St Paddy's). Excellent tale about how things are often easier than we think. Plus, the leprechaun gets his comeuppance.
  • Dont Ever Change on July 03, 2012

    This one had me scared for a bit, something generally hard to do. To be doomed to repeat high school, long after your parents begin to smell and look weird, and to be brought back no matter what you do is a nightmare. And Adam's solution to the cursed state... fascinating (and disturbing). Well done sir.
  • In The Tempest: A Carnal Desires Short Story on July 03, 2012

    I am not normally one for erotic stories, especially as for so long I had to be careful of what I had in the house lest little hands find my books, but I greatly enjoyed this one. As it has shape shifting dragons, that was another bonus point. I rather hope that there is more to the story, as I could see this being serialized or even starting a full novel.
  • Avow (A Last Selkie Short Story Prequel) on Aug. 04, 2012

    I really enjoyed this short prequel and am looking very forward to when I can read the following tale. I adore selkie stories, and they are a type of merfolk that I think really could use more attention, as most think of the fishy sort when thinking "mermaid" and none of the other varieties. The story itself had me tearing up in sympathy, as the emotions of facing death are perfectly captures (I have had very close experience, having nursed my father in his last days and assisted in his spiritual care). I also very much like the deviation from the usual "selkie bride" motif.
  • A Taste of Earth on Sep. 06, 2012

    I thoroughly enjoyed this short story and very much would like to see a continuation of this. The alien probe having a viable AI fascinates me, and I have to admit I did cry at one point, but quickly stopped when I read what came next.
  • The Five Watchers on Oct. 25, 2012

    It took me a few days to finish reading this, but not because it was slow reading. It was actually a very fast paced book that drew me along on hooks wanting to know what happened next. If found it a much more satisfying read than a lot of ghost stories or horror stories because I was able to more fully get into the heads of the characters. The characters were well developed and engaging. I can't choose which fascinated me more, but the pig was highly memorable and a huge surprise. Jon Gilden was pretty memorable too, there were audible sounds of surprise at what happened to him. The first part (I don't want to say exactly what it was and spoil it for readers) of what happened to him made me put my Nook down and get a drink to calm down and process, because I was feeling it as strong as the characters that witnessed in. The other psychic also intrigued me... she went even though she had been warned to be prepared for her own death. I was very surprised by how she went out. And in the arena of psychics... just what is it about Noriko that is her protection? I need to mention setting as well. Shady Glen you wouldn't be able to pay me enough to be in any bordering county. It is that vividly described. I was intrigued, but if anywhere is evil, that's it. At the same time, I want to know even more of the history. I was wanting to know more of the legend of what that thing was that was imprisoned. There was some gore, so if you've ever had nightmares about being alone in a slaughterhouse, you might want to have the lights on. This is one violent spirit in this story, and in my opinion, very well researched. This is a ghost hunt I could believe. The mystery elements make this a multi-genre book as well, so it has a wider appeal than to just ghost fans. And, of course, I want to know what happens next. What happens now that the Malevolence has gotten loose? It is a very sweeping story, especially with how the plot swings around a paranormal investigation show. This book, because of how well written it is, is now one of my favorites. Thank goodness (for me) it's part of a trilogy.
  • The Birth of Kainu (Fargoer Short Stories, #0) on Jan. 13, 2013

    It has been a long time since I've had the pleasure of reading a story poem. I have missed this style of poetry greatly, so I am very happy to have come across one like this. I greatly like the way that the rhyme and meter carries the tale. It ebbs and flows with a lyrical cadence that reminded me greatly of ocean waves. I highly recommend this to anyone, after reading.
  • The Birth of Kainu (Fargoer Short Stories, #0) on Jan. 13, 2013

    It has been a long time since I've had the pleasure of reading a story poem. I have missed this style of poetry greatly, so I am very happy to have come across one like this. I greatly like the way that the rhyme and meter carries the tale. It ebbs and flows with a lyrical cadence that reminded me greatly of ocean waves. I highly recommend this to anyone, after reading.
  • The Unsuspecting Mage: The Morcyth Saga Book One on Jan. 24, 2013

    I liked this book. It took me a while to read because of fast paced school classes and work to keep up on, but if you have uninterrupted time this book will be read very quickly. When I can I will be purchasing the next book. To address the issue of the huge bounty by one reviewer, I interpreted it as being set up by whoever called him onto the quest to ensure that he started out with enough funds. Quests are expensive, any RPGer knows this. A good Dungeon Master will provide opportunities for funds. For the person raising the issue of riding bikes to school not being believable... My daughter often rides her bike to school, though sometimes she walks. Most kids in my town either walk or bike because we have no buses. From what I have seen of city schoolyards, plenty of kids there ride bikes to school as well. Now, that aside, I do have a small issue that kept me from fully immersing myself. The entire book was present tense, including passages that normally reflect back to slightly past tense. That had be bothered for a while until I realized it was rather like the reader is looking into a crystal ball at the dungeon master's lair or using some other method of farviewing. When I realized that, it gave the story even more of an RPG feel.
  • Rojuun on March 03, 2013

    I absolutely loved this book. It has an excellent blend of seriousness and humor. Some of the humor was a bit contemporary, which some might find off-putting. However, the reader is encouraged to remember that this story might not even be our planet. I greatly enjoyed seeing how Tathan shows himself to not be that bad (or serious) of a person despite his dark past (which is alluded to, but never fully laid out, which makes it that much more mysterious). The budding romance between Vevin and Liselle was very well done, in my opinion. It made a good counterbalance to the weightier concerns in the story. The foreign names I found very intriguing, and felt that they helped add reinforcement to the premise of the people and species being different. I did not have any problem with pronouncing the names. I found them rather well laid out. This might be because I study several languages whenever I can, instead of trying to keep myself immersed in one culture. So someone else might have a harder time, but there are not enough of these that should trip anyone reading. I was first introduced to the author's writings through his short stories, and I was very happy to see how well he did with the light, irreverently serious tone of his writing voice in a longer work, and will be getting the next book of the series after I've got all my necessaries taken care of. >.> Devin was my favorite character. I really loved the way he was always expressing his emotion and finding out more about the dragons of this world.
  • Conflagration on May 02, 2013

    Personally I liked the first cover on this one, although I would have made the title lettering match the gloss effect on the shield and flames. It gave it a bit of a plasticy feel, though it seems to be an attempt to mimic an embossed glossed paper cover on the ereader. The second cover is much better though for my Nook Color, and I really like the inclusion of the sword to give us a visual. The storyline so far is the typical quest for a lost object. The different types of characters encountered in the fantasy role play world are all well represented, so this scores points for equality. Although so far it is the usual plot line, it is worth seeing the interactions between the characters as characters and the characters as their roles. Something that I did not expect was the not-fully-willing leader archetype to have a little of a hot head. There is a fair bit of humor which got some chuckles at points. There is a lot of assumed history between several of the characters, and some of them talk to themselves, which I find quite believable as I have been known to voice my thoughts to myself from time to time and have walked in on my kids doing similar. I appreciate the level of description. It certainly helps set it apart from the generic fantasy setting in being able to have details of what the area looks like. The language is a little clunky in places if you are reading with a modern eye, but it flows very well for medieval styled speech. The whole book is written with that feel and sentence structure which leads to a bit more believable experience for me as a reader. You have a definite separation between the speech of their world and the speech of our wold and time. Even with this, there are at times some innuendos, but they are tasteful and not bawdy. There is one character who sticks out greatly, although not in a bad way. Wenxo the gnome has an interesting speech pattern, wherein all of his dialog is in lower case. I personally found that to be intruiging, and it reminded me of how e.e. cummings (please not the lowercase) experimented with capitalization and punctuation in his poetry. I thought that helped to set Wenxo apart from the others, as he has to speak in Common to be understood, has a smaller voice, and gnomes tend to be thought of as generally different than elves, dwarves, and humans. I like this character and his hand darts, the speech treatment produces a "root for the underdog" reaction in me. A few scenes were particularly powerful for me, but first I'll give a spoiler warning: *** 1. The death of the blind druid particularly effected me. He gave his all, but he did it with STYLE and I liked his parting gifts. 2. The scene where the dwarven King gets to meet Torg after it having been gone for generations, and being introduced to Biter. As symbols, these axes are fascinating. I'd love to see someone with a gift at drawing weaponry reder these. 3. Wenxo with the crossbow... and what he was having to shoot into to aid his friends. *** Moving on, I liked the circular treatment of the tale, how it begins in one point of time, and then returns to it or nearby... then continues on. I had hoped that was what would happen since I so rarely find anything that uses that sort of time flow. The end makes me want to know what happens in the rest of the tale, so I look forward to the other books of the series when my studies allow me the time to read them.
  • Fiction Writing: How to Write Your First Novel on May 21, 2013

    I have read many a book on writing, but I appreciated the simplicity. This will definitely be going into my list of suggested books for new authors.
  • The Language of Souls on July 13, 2013

    I was given my copy in exchange for an honest review, meeting the author in one of the discussion groups. I was expecting a light romance. In part that is what I got. I was able to read this in one night once I got to it in my reading lineup. However, this is a bit more than a "light romance." I would be interested in reading a second book to follow how the relationship continues and what becomes of Solena. This is a great stand alone, but would also make a great introduction to a series. The characters I felt were well done, the point of view chosen gave a very nice look at what was going on in their heads. I appreciate a book written that way. The cover I feel was well suited since the romance part is not quite as important as Solena coming into her own. She's still got some growing to do in order to fit into her healer role, but the way she is portrayed in the book she will grow into it well. I think that the wing mark, which was the first one to appear in her marking ritual, is well portrayed by the flying posture on the cover. It's not about the romance, it's about the soul's journey. Something that I particularly liked was the literal take on the embers of life. I absolutely cannot remember reading anyone having done this before. I've seen them written about metaphorically, but the idea of carrying around embers and praying over them is rather powerful. It puts me in mind of how people carried embers with them in order to stoke later fires. With this in mind I can see the connection very well, even though in this they do not use the embers from their votifs to make fire.
  • Campfire Stories on Sep. 03, 2013

    My first thought about the story occurs in the store, where I am struck by the rudeness between checker and protagonists. Both sides confuse me a bit as to why they reacted as they did. I can only assume that it is the cashier trying to protect herself since one of the girls decided to go and attract undue attention to herself. The sentence structure in some places threw me off a bit, as it is written in a different style and tense than I am used to reading. It is not bad, just a bit different, so someone else might not have any trouble. The story places one in a more immediate seat, and I am one of those reserved people that likes a half step or so more removed. It does manage to capture the immediate, disjointed, feel of an emergency though. Having been through emergencies myself I can say with certitude that this is the way it feels when experiencing them. The first tale told at the campfire is a familiar urban/rural legend. My dad's version was called "Knock, Knock, Scratch," and as a person interested in folklore it is interesting to see where permutations pop up. I'm not very sorry for what happens to one of the girls. I viewed it as Karma. Tell a "true" story about something horrible, and expect it to bite you, especially if you were tailed for miles and miles by a strange vehicle. The horror does add up though during the chase as a result of what Laura finds. That makes up for it a bit. The level of description is good. I really do like the use of sound in this piece. The end also bit flip-flopped around a bit, leaving me wondering what would happen until it was all ended. This is one that I had to struggle to keep my morals and upbringing out of and just read for the story. It was nice to see a female protagonist not be a helpless wussy. Some of the thoughts the character dwelled on irked me a bit, but the point wasn't to have the perfect likeable character...it was to have a believable normal character. The author succeeded in that. I am still confused as to why so often the horror is instigated by a twisted ugly man, but the author does capitalize on it. This might have been scarier for me if it was dark when I was reading it. Broad daylight with construction going on around the apartment definitely killed the mood. If you are one that likes horror then make sure you've got the right ambient atmosphere (these same conditions have been making it hard for me to enjoy any books all summer though).
  • A World of Verse on Sep. 06, 2013

    I absolutely loved reading everyone's work. The range of situations is so vast, and yet so many of the poems have a common thread. It's like reading a dance. I have been feeling emotionally raw for quite some time now, and reading this collection has helped to soothe my heart (which takes quite a lot). I can't pick a favorite poem out of these, but the one about the sea, sun, and moon will be lingering in my mind for a very long time. This is a collection that I will very likely be reading often.