Saturday, September 19, 2020

THE MIDNIGHT SHOW Paperbacks Now Available!


Hey'a, all! I'm happy to announce that The Midnight Show is now available in paperback! Thanks, everyone, for your patience as I sorted things out with KDP and formatting requirements. You can purchase your copy of the book here on Amazon.

Also, signed bookplates WILL be available as promised! Today through Tuesday, September 22, after you purchase The Midnight Show in paperback, you can claim your signed bookplate by filling out this Google form with your address and proof of purchase.
Thanks again! I hope you enjoy the book, and if you do, make sure to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads!

Friday, September 18, 2020

Fall 2020 Reads (Ft. MUCH EXCITEMENT!)

Hello, everyone! Fall is somehow upon us — which keeps throwing me off, to be honest. Even with my sister back at Cedarville, a significant part of me still feels like it's supposed to be June or July or something. But, on the upside, we have a new season's worth of books to get excited for! (Never mind that I'm at least a year behind on reading in general . . . it's fine.) And some of this fall's releases are ones I've been looking forward to for a very long time indeed.

Fall 2020 Reads

1. Dear Hero by Hope Bolinger and Alyssa Roat (September 2020). Superheroes and and a story told, somewhat like Illuminae, primarily through messages between the characters? Sign me up! Also, the concept — that there is, essentially, a hero/villain nemesis site that works like a dating app — sounds absolutely golden.

2. The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (September 1). Mystery! Puzzles! Strange inheritances! Probably murder! Secrets! I am a fan, as you can tell. I'm 90% hoping that this will be a properly puzzle-and-riddle-filled book. Odds are that it'll end up disproportionately focused on romance, but, y'know. A girl can dream.

3. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn (September 15). Urban fantasy and King Arthur vibes? Storms yes; hand it over! (Also: a little bit of mystery/detective vibe? Maybe? This may just be wishful thinking, I don't know.) I haven't read a good King Arthur-based story in a while; let's hope this one delivers.

4. Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (October 6). Ahhhhhh I've been waiting so long for this! Or I feel like I have, haha. I'm so sad that the series is ending, but at the same time, I'm excited to return to this world and these characters after so long, especially since it's going to be another Eugenides-focused novel. (I love A Conspiracy of Kings and Thick as Thieves, but Gen-centric stories are my favorite.)

5. The Monster in the Hollows and The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson (October 6, rerelease). The rerelease of these got pushed back a long while because of at least one of the many trials and terrors of 2020 (I can't remember which), but that's ok — it just means more time to get excited. That said, I do have eARCs of these, and I'm currently rereading Monster in the Hollows, and I love the art in these new editions. I know I said that about the new editions of the first two, but it really is one of my favorite things.

6. Swamp Thing: Twin Branches by Maggie Stiefvater (October 13). I think this is a graphic novel? Which I have recently gotten back into reading, so that's cool. Apparently it's also related to some DC Comics super-something, which . . . I do not care about. It sounds like a good story, and I know Maggie Stiefvater does beautiful-magical-and-creepy very well indeed, and that is what I care about.

7. The Merchant of Menace by Kendra E. Ardnek (October 19). So, I forgot this when I originally made this list. Oops. I blame the fact that it didn't show up in the proper section of my Goodreads TBR list. Anyway. I am currently alpha-reading this book, and I can confirm that it's pretty fun. It takes a special author to combine Cinderella, The Merchant of Venice, and The Odyssey and make it work, but Kendra manages. (Kendra also has a promo going on where if you preorder the ebook and let her know, you have a chance to win a paperback copy, if she gets ten preorders. So you should go do that.) 

8. Among the Beasts and Briars by Ashley Poston (October 20). Ok, the description doesn't say fey explicitly . . . but I'm hearing fey. Like, properly magical and wild and wondrous fey. And the description also implies there's a magical fox in the book, which — what more could I ask for? The only thing better than a magical (probably faerie) fox is a magical (faerie) cat. (We all know who I'm talking about here, right?)

9. Magic Dark and Strange by Kelly Powell (October 27). It's a historical fantasy mystery with a heavy dose of delicious creepiness; how could I resist? Even if the lead character's power does sound a bit sketch, the story sounds too good to pass up. The few reviews that are currently up also imply that the romance is pretty low-key, so that's a bonus.

10. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong (November 17). I'm not sure if this is historical fantasy or historical magical realism, but either way, it sounds pretty great. A Romeo and Juliet retelling in 1920s Shanghai? With monsters and madness and murder (mystery?) mayhem? I'm here for it.

11. Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson (November 17). IT'S ALMOST HERE! For a given defintion of almost. I am so excited to get back to Kaladin and Shallan and Adolin and Lift and the rest. And, yes, I know they're posting the first part of the book chapter-by-chapter on, and no, I have not been reading it. I want to wait until it comes out, then devour it all at once. Or, you know, in a few sittings, since it's a big book. In any case, I am SO EXCITED.

What books are you looking forward to this fall? Did I miss any on my list? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Tattered Slippers Blog Tour: Spotlight on Vicia!


Hello, everyone! So, the Tattered Slippers blog tour technically ended, what, a week ago? But due to some issues on the author's end, A Time of Mourning and Dancing got pushed back, and the associated blog posts got pushed back even further. Still, it's never too late to share about good books, so . . . have a character spotlight.

About . . .

A Time of Mourning and Dancing

The Floramancy Archives #1
Once, Toph knew his place in the world. As a respected captain in a victorious army, he had triumph and promotion to look forward to. But crippling injury stole his future and war stole his friend. Belonging nowhere and with nothing left to lose, Toph accepts a challenge that could end his life: discover a secret the princesses will do anything to hide.

Vicia is a princess, but powerless and in mourning. Her beloved brothers were killed in a war she’s beginning to question. Ever since, she and her eleven sisters have become mere treasure for her stepfather the king to use to barter. A chance meeting with a frightened faery gave a wild hope that they may recover what they’ve lost. But it will cost a dance—and a dangerous secret.

Soldier and princess must learn to rely on each other if they are to survive curses, slighted fae, and an enchanted lost land. Something dark and powerful lurks in the mists beyond the dance floor, conducting the steps… and time is running out.

Find it on: Amazon || Goodreads


Abigail Falanga

Abigail Falanga may be found in New Mexico creating magic in many ways – with fabric, food, paper, music, and especially with words! She’s loved fantasy ever since playing out epic adventures of swords, fairies, and monsters with her siblings, and loved sci-fi since her dad’s stories around the dinner table. Abigail has published nearly two dozen flash fiction stories across a variety of genres, having discovered that extra-short stories are a wonderful way to explore ideas without getting distracted by – Squirrel! But fantasy and fairytales are her first and truest loves. She's launching "The Floramancy Archives" - dark and epic fantasy reimaginings of classic tales, filled with plant-magic and portals, curses and fae.

Find her online at: Website || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram || Amazon 

The Tattered Slippers

The Tattered Slippers are six retellings of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairytale, each one fantastical and magical. You don't want to miss any of them! You can learn more about the books and find the full tour schedule on the tour page.

The Tattered Slippers are the result of the 2019 Arista Challenge. The Arista Challenge is hosted by Kendra E. Ardnek; it invites fairy tale authors to come together in community as they work on unique retellings of a selected fairy tale.

Character Spotlight: Vicia

Princess Vicia—born the eldest daughter of Queen Flora and King Oliver, coregents of the kingdom of Merimor—is a beautiful woman in her late twenties, with long dark hair and forest-green eyes. Destined for leadership of her country or in alliance with another. Fiercely loving older sister, pampered and sheltered princess, intelligent and capable but often under the mask of being just another silly girl.

Vicia was given the same name as her faerie godmother, Sweetpea, but decided that the Latin form was more dignified and went with that from about the age of ten onwards. As the eldest of five full sisters, she always had a sense of responsibility and maturity.

Although the culture of Merimor and the surrounding kingdoms expects a male leader on the throne and only men go to war, Vicia was groomed from an early age to rule competently and wield a sword. After all, she has no full brothers and was therefore next in line to the throne. She was trained in all the ways of ruling a country, just as a prince would have been, and is as well-versed in swordplay and politics as she is in embroidery and music.

She is haughty and clever, sure of herself and strong, and prepared to put down prelates and princes in conversation. Sheltered by her upbringing in the palace, she has little acquainted with the ways of commoners and often looks down on those she thinks her inferiors.

But she is also kind, generous, gracious, and has strong and good principles. She may not understand the ways of ordinary folk, but she has compassion on them. And she dearly loves her sisters and is always willing to have fun with them.

Vicia has known tragedy from an early age. Her father died when she was young, and King Victor, the man her mother remarried, was often cruel. She gained brothers and sisters with the remarriage, however, and grew to love them as dearly as her own siblings. And then her mother died and her stepfather took control of Merimor, remarrying an ambitious woman named Varella whose sole aim in life is now to marry off her stepdaughters.

 It was always assumed that Vicia would marry her eldest stepbrother, Forest, and rule the country after the death of her stepfather.

Until her dear brothers were killed at the end of a long war.

Vicia does a very good job of hiding her sadness and struggles. While it appears at first that she and her sisters are thoughtlessly wearing their slippers to shreds, and heartlessly not telling why even though their secret has already cost the lives of six men, the truth is far more complicated than a simple dance. The princesses are playing a dangerous and urgently important game.

She has been overlooked and put aside her whole life, trapped by wartime politics and the expectations of her cruel stepparents. But the time has come for her to take control of the destiny of her kingdom, and herself.


Are you excited to meet Vicia? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!


Friday, September 4, 2020

August 2020 Doings!

 Hello, everyone! First things first: today is the last day of nominations for the Silmaril Awards! If you haven't yet nominated and seconded all your favorite characters, make sure you go do that ASAP! And now, since that's been said: let's get on with the Doings!


  • As you probably noticed if you were anywhere near my blog or my social media last week: I published a book! Which is very exciting! The Midnight Show, a Jazz-Age-inspired retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, is now available in Kindle format on Amazon. It's also in Kindle Unlimited, so yeah. You should check it out. We're still working on the paperback, but as I said on Wednesday, I'm doing my best to get it out as soon as possible.
  • Unsurprisingly, I spent a very solid chunk of the month doing final proofs and edits on The Midnight Show, formatting files, and prepping blog posts for the tour. In related news: I now know how to format ebooks in InDesign. Whoooo! (This doesn't sound like a big deal, probably. Trust me when I say that it feels like a big deal to me.)
  • I've also been working on my D&D campaign, though that's slowed down a bit because I can only do limited planning until I know what my players decide at an upcoming juncture. In the meantime, I've started writing a second campaign. This one is loosely inspired by one of my favorite video games and is a lot more dungeon-crawl-y than Defenders of Serys, but I think it'll be fun. And I mentioned it to some of my players before our last D&D session, and they seemed enthusiastic about the idea.


  • This was another pretty solid reading month. About half of what I read this month, was, unsurprisingly, a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling or other fairy tale retelling. I read all the Tattered Slippers books, of course, and enjoyed all of them. (If you want my thoughts on them, just scroll back to last week.) And because I was on a fairy tale kick, I reread the Princess of the Midnight Ball trilogy, which was actually just as good as I remembered it being.
  • Also in the realm of retellings, though not fairy-tale ones, were Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (a reread) and, to a certain degree, Bloodlust and Bonnets, a graphic novel by Emily McGovern that kind of sends-up both Austen and Romantic literature. Wyrd Sisters was excellent, and better on the reread than it was the first time around. Bloodlust and Bonnets was . . . not my favorite thing. In hindsight, I don't know why I thought I would enjoy it that much, since the author's webcomics tend to be hit-or-miss for me. But it did sound like it could have been funny. Oh well. Lessons learned.
  • (I later soothed my desire for an actually-good graphic novel by rereading Nimona, which was excellent.)
  • The last few books of the month were all somewhat mixed bags. Whisper of the Tide was the sequel to Song of the Current, and it alternated between being enjoyably nautical/piratical and frustratingly fraught with communication issues. The ending was good. The middle . . . well, there was a point where I was halfway tempted to just not finish. Caraval was an interesting concept with a lot of potential, but it had too much romantic and relational angst and too little of the actual Caraval. And Crimson Bound is what I'm currently reading; I think it has potential, but I'm not crazy about it thus far.


  • I'm still primarily watching Critical Role, though I've slowed down a little. This is partially because I'm busy and having a harder time fitting it in and partially because Travis and Laura are gone on baby leave and I knew from spoilers that another one of my favorite characters was . . . also about to not be around anymore. And so I kind of procrastinated a bunch on a particular episode. But I got through it! And now I'm continuing to move along through the show! And soon Travis and Laura will be back, so that'll be great!
  • I also started watching both Cowboy Bebop and My Hero Academia, sort of. By that, I mean that I watched the first three episodes of Cowboy Bebop and the first five or six episodes of My Hero Academia while my family was taking my sister back to college and then after that they had to compete with (1) Critical Role and (2) actual responsibilities for my attention and it hasn't exactly been winning. Hopefully, I will change that soon! Hopefully!
  • It is really weird watching anime after having not watched it in so long. I forgot how little tends to happen in an episode. And also how characters have a tendency to be so dramatic about so much stuff. I'm not saying that in a bad way, just in a "this is a thing that happens" way.
  • I'm also having a really hard time figuring out what people's names are in My Hero Academia (with a few exceptions), but that's mostly because I keep trying to match up names I've seen associated with fanart with names used in the show, and I think a bunch of people use last names with fanart? Though I could be wrong?
  • They're both good shows, though. I enjoyed them. And I look forward to watching more when I have time.
  • Other than that, I watched a few movies with the family. On the recommendation of Jenelle Schmidt, I went ahead and gave the newer Casino Royale a chance, and I have to say, I liked it much, much better than Goldfinger. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it was my favorite of the actual movies I saw this month. My second favorite was WarGames, an older sci-fi movie. I don't know that I'd watch it again unless someone I was with really wanted to, but it involved hacking and artificial intelligence in a fairly interesting way. Also, it was reasonably accurate hacking in terms of how it was done? So that was kind of fun, even if the premise was rather out there. At the bottom of my list in terms of how much I liked them were Spellbound (cool premise, but the female lead frustrated me) and Hello, Dolly! (which was just generally not my thing, and I didn't buy any but one of the four different romantic couples). I can see why other people would like both of them. They just aren't my thing.


  • So, my sister went back to college. I didn't, for obvious reasons. This is the first semester-start in four years that I haven't made the trek up to Cedarville. It felt . . . kind of weird? But at the same time, I'm so glad that I don't have to deal with things like having chapel outside or the massive crowds in the dining hall or any of that.
  • I also had the house to myself for a weekend, which was pretty nice. I didn't have internet for the weekend because the hotspot went with the rest of my family, but I did a bunch of gaming (I played through the entirety of The Silent Age and Portal and started Portal 2) and watched stuff on the actual TV rather than my tablet or laptop and listened to music with no headphones. It was nice. (Also: can you tell I'm an introvert?)
  • I would like to add that The Silent Age hits different when you play it during a pandemic. To reveal minimal spoilers, it involves traveling back and forth from the future to prevent a plague from causing the end of the world. Technically, the future year you're traveling to is 2012. Had the developers made it 2021, well, I probably would've been like "Yeah, that seems reasonable."
  • And because I'm on a gaming kick at the moment, I also restarted Undertale, which I technically started playing back in March or April and have been continuing on and off since. But I got stuck on the spider fight, so I decided to restart so I could get an item from the beginning of the game that will hopefully either shorten the fight or let me bypass it entirely. Hopefully. Fingers crossed. (I'm playing the True Pacifist mode, for anyone curious. So that makes it more difficult.)
  • On a more serious note, I'm still working on finding a job beyond self-published author. The internship fell through, sadly — not that I really expected it to work out. I did manage to get a contract/freelance position doing copywriting for, which is nice — the writing isn't hard, and the pay isn't bad, and obviously, it's pretty flexible. But I am still looking for something else. To that end, I had a job interview with one company yesterday — my first actual in-person interview, believe it or not. As of the writing of this post, I'm waiting to find out what will and won't come of that.
  • In the meantime, I've gone back to trying to teach myself to draw. It's going fairly well, even though I'm basically having to relearn everything I figured out when I first attempted this two summers ago. I've gotten back to the point where I can draw a face without thinking it looks bad, and occasionally it actually looks reasonably good.

September Plans

  • With The Midnight Show (mostly) published, I have three major things on my plate:
    1. Continue job-hunting, assuming that I don't get offered the position I interviewed for. (I'm operating under this assumption until corrected; it's less likely to end in disappointment. For all that I try to be an optimist, I can't deny the advantages of pessimism, and I'm unfortunately good at it.)
    2. Keep working on and hopefully finish the first draft of Blood in the Soil/Earth. I know I've hit either endgame or something close to it, and I hope that I'll get back to the scenes where it's easier to write 500 words than 100 soon — you know what I mean, when the words are flowing freely enough that you don't want to stop for fear of losing your train of thought. The trouble is that I don't know how many of those scenes I have left; I know for sure that I have at least three days and three nights of narrative left. (Also, before anyone gets excited . . . this first draft is very rough and is going to require at least one full rewrite. It may require two.)
    3. Figure out for sure if I'm writing a Frosted Roses story (I think I am, and I posted about my main idea in the group) and, if I am, hopefully get started on it. If I end up on a roll with Blood in the Soil/Earth, though, this will get pushed back.
  • Outside of those three things, I'm going to continue writing my D&D campaigns. I think I'll be able to go back to working on Defenders of Serys as my main fairly soon, but we'll see. In the meantime, I'll continue having fun with writing the new campaign. It really is a nice change of pace.
  • On the reading front, I think a lot of my reading plans are going to be defined by who ends up moving on to the voting round of the Silmaril Awards. After all, I want to make sure I'm well-prepared to write the finalists well in the awards ceremony post! At the moment, it looks like I'm going to get to reread some of my favorite books and some books I've been meaning to reread or read for a while, so that's very exciting. I'll also be rereading the third and fourth Wingfeather books, because those release in October! Huzzah!
  • But, yeah. Unless I get a job, it'll probably just be more of the same old same old, with a little bonus urgency to hurry up and finish the hood of the cloak I'm making.

How was your August? Any exciting plans for September? How do you feel about graphic novels? And have you watched either My Hero Academia or Cowboy Bebop? If so, what did you think of them? And if you've watched MHA, can you maybe help me out with my confusion about names? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

An Update on The Midnight Show Paperback


Hello, all! I wanted to take a minute to update y'all on the status of The Midnight Show paperback release and the accompanying bookplate promo. As you may recall, on the original release day, I said that due to some issues with Amazon, the book might be delayed until that afternoon. However, it didn't appear that afternoon, nor the day after, nor any day since. On Monday, I said that I hoped it would be out that day and that I was extending the promo through Wednesday. It's now Wednesday, and still no paperback.

The reason for this delay?

  • On Friday, Amazon rejected the manuscript, saying that I needed to increase the page size to allow for the bleed. I did so, figuring that the book would be delayed by a bit, but not a full day (as I said).
  • Saturday, rather than getting a "Your book is approved" email, I received a message identical to the one I received on Friday. Very weird, said I, but I increased the bleed sizes again and sent it back.
  • After getting no emails at all from Amazon for over three days, I called the KDP helpline yesterday afternoon.
  • The KDP representative I talked to didn't know why my book was being rejected or why I wasn't hearing back from them either, but she said she'd have a technical team look into it — a process that could take twenty-four to forty-eight hours.
  • I then received another identical email about page sizes about fifteen minutes after I hung up. I did not act on this one; I'm giving the technical team time to act in hopes that they actually will look into it.

What does this mean regarding the release?

  1. The paperback will be released eventually. When? At this point — and I say this in the most literal sense — God only knows. I will do my best to make it as soon as possible.
  2. The paperback bookplate promo is, for obvious reasons, postponed. It will happen for real when the paperback actually releases.
  3. I will let you all know as soon as the paperback is released.

Thank you all so much for your patience and understanding. I truly appreciate your support.

P.S. Have you nominated your favorite characters for the Silmaril Awards yet? If not, go do that!