Girl of Nightmares & Auracle: Vastly Different Paranormal Experiences


Recommended? Yes. For all the reasons I recommend reading Anna Dressed In Blood. But the ending of this book… oh, it’s brilliant. It’s amazing. This book will haunt you for days after you’re done reading.

Just like Anna Dressed In Blood, I loved this book. It’s another remarkable book, that’s well worth the read. The ending of this book was amazing. It was perfect and so sad at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this entire book. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, wondering what was going to happen and which characters were going to end up dead. Again, I either loved the characters or hated them — there really wasn’t any half-feelings. Though I was conflicted a few times on how to feel about Jestine and Carmel from time to time.

I really like Thesus Cassio Lodwood. I can’t think of a main character I’ve enjoyed more than him at the moment. He is easy to relate to, even though I doubt many of us go out hunting ghosts at night — or love a ghost girl, either.

The writing was pretty great, too. The way Blake can just slip in the most disturbing imagery as if it is no big deal was impressive. She really has a talent for description, too, I could picture everything in my head clearly from her words. I just… was in awe of this book once I was done with it (which took all of one day because I couldn’t put it down).

I wonder if there will be another… I really want there to be, because I enjoyed the story so much, but end felt like closure, like it’s officially The End for Cas’s story. Either way, I’m going to read Blake’s next book (whatever it is). I’m a fan. The ending of this book still haunts me. I think about it all the time. It’s just so… right for this book. Everything is so right in this book. I loved it.

AURACLE by Gina Rosati


Recommended? Sure. It’s worth reading, somethings bothered me in this book but if you are looking for something mildly funny and light but filled with drama then this would be a good book for you.

This book didn’t really get a fair shot from me, I’ll admit. I had just finished reading Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake and I was still thinking about it when I was reading this book. So I didn’t really allow myself to be fully immersed in the story. It’s an interesting one. The concept is the main character, Anna, can astral project and during a mishap another girl gets into her body and starts to control it, leaving her stuck without a body. With the help of her best friend, Rei, she starts her journey to get her body back. I really liked Rei but Anna… I mean, I liked her, but I couldn’t really relate with her. She was so good and pure and oddly spiritual (in a new agey type of way, not traditional) that I just couldn’t buy it.

A lot of this book taps into new agey things. And the balance between the power of negativity and positivity. I’m not into that type of thing at all. Give me a horror story any day, but don’t make me think about new agey spirituality. That aside, it was an interesting read. I liked Rei, I liked Seth, and I liked Anna well enough. But… there were things in this that bothered me a lot.

I don’t like excessive exclamation marks, particularly in narration — even if it is first person POV. This was done multiple times. As was CAPITALIZING WORDS TO MAKE A POINT, which I dislike. I just feel like it’s a cheap way out of good dialogue. You should be able to show the emphasis of these words WITHOUT DOING THIS. I know JK Rowling did it, but still, I’d rather not deal with that.

Rosati did a great job of packing a lot of tension and drama into the book, though. And I’m sure a lot of parts would have been very amusing for people that have a better sense of humor than me (I have a dry one, more Parks & Rec than SNL). The way she explains the other dimension Anna is in is very real and sometimes even beautiful. She has a great talent to explain the unexplainable. I will most certainly read whatever her next book is, so I’m not saying she’s a bad writer. She just does things that I would never.

Plus, the solution to the problem is pretty obvious — at least it was to me. And Anna really brought most of her problems down on herself because she was either stubborn or just… stupid for not thinking of the obvious answer. But, like I said, I really like Rei and his family. I’m glad I read this book, and I’m glad I bought it, but when I just read a book I loved as much as Girl of Nightmares, I guess I was expecting something else. Or something more.


There are a lot of books that I don’t like. Some are widely popular, others not so much. No matter whether I like the book or not, I always admire anyone who is willing to put their work out in the world. It’s brave, especially nowadays because there are are so many different places that your work might get reviewed (good reads, amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and all those blogs out there) plus if you’re getting published the traditional route there are going to be critiques/reviews by magazine and newspaper contributors. I bring this up because I was reading Goodreads recently and there were a couple not-so-good reviews that were just plan rude, too. Yes, I feel gypped if I bought a book and invested the time to read it but am I going to go on a rant about it on a review? No. I’ll just say why I didn’t like it and move on.

Sometimes that bravery is premature, there are a fair number of e-books that could have used one or two more edits and revisions, but even then it’s brave. Even when I come across those, I’ll mention that it could have done better with another revision, but there’s no point in being rude.

I think about what it’s going to be like when my book finally sees the light of day (well, hopefully) and I get nervous. What if it flops? I’ll be doomed and never write again! What if it’s a success? Thank goodness, I can keep writing! What if it’s somewhere in between? What if everyone hates it? What if this and what if that? But at the same time, it’s a good nervousness. It energizes me to do more.

The same can’t be said for TV shows or movies. I mean, sure, it could but I wouldn’t. When it comes to writing a book it’s almost exclusively up to the writer — if it fails, it’s all on her. A literary agent and editor might have some say but in the end it’s up to the writer. With TV shows and movies, there’s usually a couple screen writers, a director, producers, actors, and at least a dozen other people that have a say in it. So if it flops, it flops for all of them, and they can usually pick themselves up and move along. It’s brave for an actor to take the stage, but unless they also wrote the play/movie then they are redeemable. Maybe their acting is decent or even stellar but the movie/play is just horribly plotted. The actor will get a pass, it happens all the time.

For a writer…? It’s a great deal harder to recover from a flop. Hence, it’s braver for a writer. Perhaps I’m a bit bias (well, probably a bit more than just a bit). But I can’t be the only one that thinks like this, right? Do you respect the bravery of publishing a book and even if you don’t like it, when you review you stay civil? I mean, really, what good comes from a rude review? A one star is a one star, regardless if tear apart the author or not.

Writers Shouldn’t Blog About Writing…?

I’ve come across the “writers shouldn’t blog about writing” thing in a couple different places this weekend. It’s not a new debate by any means. Author Roni Loren talked about it back in 2011, as did Anne R. Allen. Even though they are dated, the points they make are still valued. I’d recommend their posts for anyone to read.

This weekend, Writer’s Digest opened all their tutorials to customers for free for four days. I checked them out and some are intriguing, but I don’t think any of it was eye-opening for me. The tutorials made by Jane Friedman were some of my favorites. It was interesting learning about her point of view on internet networking. She’s one of those that advocates against writer’s blogging about the process of writing.

Hearing that just makes me think “wtf?”. On the one hand I get her point of view. She’s talking about published writers and it makes sense to have a reader friendly website and blog instead of just one oriented towards writers. After all, there are a lot of readers out there that don’t write. That being said, writers write — I know, I’m stating the obvious but it’s true.

Trust me, if someone is really dedicated to writing — so much so that they even get published — then writing is a major part of their life. How can you ask them not to talk about it? It’s always said you should blog about something you love and have a good amount of knowledge on. If you’re a writer… then that’s writing. I’m not saying that all writers should just blog about writing but they shouldn’t be told that it’s a “no-no”.

I think that Roni Loren has a good mix on her site. There’s a massive amount of helpful tips about writing on her site, for her fellow writers, and still posts that are non-writer friendly.

I’m not saying that they’re wrong and I’m right. Jane Friedman has extensive knowledge in this area, for all I know she could be very right. Still, I don’t think I could not post about the writing process, even if I were a successful published author. It’s an important part of my life, a major part that I enjoy talking about.

Paranormal Romance Genre’s Challenge

Paranormal romance (PNR) is a genre like mystery, thriller, historical romance, fantasy, horror, and I could go on and on. For whatever reason, I’ve heard and read a lot of complaints about this genre and it doesn’t make sense to me. Editors want a break from it. People are sick of things within PNR (like vampires, demons, or werewolves).

Why doesn’t PNR get treated like every other category? Yes, things repeat. Yes, vampires are used a lot but they’re not the only paranormal creature. PNR is bigger than just vampires.

Every genre has a set of things that happens all the time. Thrillers have international terrorists that are going to destroy the USA. Mysteries have cops that catch creepy killers. Romance has a lot of repeats about the same relationship complications (like, girl is irrationally in love with an asshole who turns out not to be as much of an asshole as she thought). Fantasy has magic. Horror has ghosts. Sci-fi has spaceships or genetically altered humans.

Do you see my point? Every category has things that repeat. Over and over again. Yes, I get it, people get sick of repetition but I hear a lot more people complaining about being sick of that happening in PNR than other genres. I don’t think people give it credit. It seems more like everyone assumes it’s just a phase that will eventually disappear.

I hope that’s not true. I love PNRs. I’ve always been interested in paranormal creatures. I like them so much because they’re a break from reality. There are still unique, original, stories being published both traditionally and through self-publishing (example, BR Kingsolver’s Succubus Gift).

My point is this: every genre has repeats. Those repeats are made original by authors every day. The same thing happens within PNR. Yeah, vampires might be overused but someday an author will come around and breath originality and life back into them.