Sunday, December 30, 2012

Books I Like #9


On Par with a Fairy  by Lyla Bardan 

Really cute love story. Pleasant, innocent. A breath of fresh air. For more details check out my interview of the author, Lyla Bardan on my website. Or click HERE.


 Riser (Riser Saga) by Becca C. Smith 

Necromancy was never more interesting than in this story. Becca C. Smith has created a believable world where zombies walk among us, animated by a few people with special powers. The main character Chelsan happens to be one of those with the gift.

This book gripped me with its opening line and never let up. And when it was over, I immediately bought the next. On the top list of my favorites. Highly recommended.

Check them out!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Books I Like #8


Apocalypsis: Book 1 (Kahayatle) by Elle Casey-- A Canner? What (or Who) is that? A hungry young person you do NOT want to mess with. In fact, Bryn, the heroine of Apocalypsis, does everything in her power to avoid these bloodthirsty nasties, but she comes to their attention while helping out a young kid named Peter. A journey to safer land ensues, riddled with challenges, heartache, friendship and hope. Her group grows bigger and so does our bond with it. These characters are sympathetic and funny. Again, this was one I could not put down. Loved it.


Paris Brats y Gwen Ellery--The heroine of Paris Brats is Fern, a rather well-off girl living in Paris with her friends. But will Fern's trust in others, including her family, leave her destitute? Fern's heart is golden. I just love this gal: quirky, spunky, and resourceful. And each friend or family member brings unique charm, adding to some great scenes. 

Need a light-hearted laugh? Gwen Ellery delivers.

Check them out!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Tenth Spell Caster is here! :)

My tenth Spell Caster! Woohoo!

Today it is my pleasure to welcome a new writer to my "Spells of Artistry" segment, Lyla Bardan. She writes YA and paranormal romance. Check it out HERE!

Kara :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cover Reveal on my Website!


And Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

My what a busy holiday season it's turning out to be.

I am so excited to show you the cover of my new book, Stealing Sky, which is coming out next week. Yay!

Click on the picture or HERE to go to my website and see it. Let me know what you think! Thanks!

-Kara :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Books I Like #7


The Trial of Tompa Lee by Edward Hoornaert. This story gripped me within the first chapter and did not let go until I read the last page. Correction, it still has a hold on me. Hoornaert is an ambitious storyteller and world creator. No word is wasted as he fleshes out his characters, makes the reader care about them, and describes a place with unique customs and brutal justice. Truth and honor reside in the victor, however manipulative and savage. The story kept me on the edge of my seat, invested in the outcome. Would the innocent win against the mighty masses? And at what cost to the victor?


Frost Arch by Kate Bloomfield. The first book of Bloomfield's Fire Mage Trilogy takes us on Avalon Redding's exciting journey. A Fire Mage, Avalon runs away from home to Frost Arch, where she hopes to begin a new life and keep her family and its secrets safe. But placing distance between her past and her new life leaves her vulnerable to people who care more about class status than fairness. Frost Arch's lower magic-level inhabitants are treated like peasants, and Humans are treated even worse.

Bloomfield not only clearly explains a complicated magic system, but also adds extra details and symbolism that I noticed on second reading. For example: What would a tree, mentioned at the very beginning of the story, have in common with an animal Avalon adores? Read and find out. One note: some missing words and a Track Changes strike-through, which shows up near the end, might be distracting for some readers, but I believe these appeared as a result of formatting from AU to USA Kindle. Don't let these stop you. The story is wonderful. I loved it and can't wait to start on the next in the series.

A prequel, Raeven Blacklock, is available on her website and scribd.


The Incredible Escape of the Sly Little Fox by Lily Lexington. What a name! And what a cute children's story to go with it. Bright pictures and rhyming poetry will entertain your toddler for many years, and teach a nice lesson, too.  Recommended with a smile!

-Kara :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ninth Installment of "Spells of Artistry"

My Ninth Spell Caster has been interviewed. On my website! Devin’s work is amazing, and her potential points toward legendary, I believe. I am so glad to have a moment to share her story and interview with you! Click on the picture or HERE to go to the interview! Yay!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Books I Like #6


Troll or Derby by Red Tash. I love the author's voice in this story. A fun read, with real imagination and fast, witty dialogue. The book is written from the points of view of Roller Deb and Harlow on their first adventure: to save Deb's sister.


The Disgusting Child by Christine McMahon. Trapped in her parents' mansion,  Lydia is compelled by a strong wish to please her parents, but it seems nothing she does is good enough for Mother and Father.  As she repairs the strange house and comes across magic books and secret spaces, Lydia realizes the small, stormy world she is forced to live in isn't exactly what it appears to be. Jacket Art by Tim Mallos. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this tale. In fact, I read it in one sitting. Couldn't leave it. McMahon took me to a world of geckos and kittens, within enchanted rooms of revelation and danger. Her descriptions are beautifully crafted. I rooted for Lydia, at every challenge.  

MONSTER SOUP COMIC a series by Devin Blake

Last but not least--this noteworthy web-comic! While looking over a Spell Caster's drawing contest,  I came across Monster Soup, a comic by Devin Blake. The artwork is beautiful with clean, elegant lines. The story engages the reader right away. Funny characters, each with his/her own troubled past and agenda. Some language and adult content. Check it out!

-Kara :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Books I Like #5

The perks of being a wallflower (Stephen Chbosky) -- Perhaps Charlie is one of the most loveable characters I have ever encountered in my reading. He feels geniune. Each mental hurtle he jumps and painful discovery he overcomes strengthens the bond between character and reader. Some sentences are packed with so much intent, I found it best to just set the book aside for a minute and mull them over. Having grown up around the time of this book, I was visiting an old haunt and looking back with better understanding. I am pretty sure there was a Charlie in my high school, and I wish I'd befriended him. High school would have had more meaning, immediately.

Catching Fire (Suzanne Collins) -- Gripping sequel to Hunger Games. Doesn't have the typical sag found in so many trilogies' middle books. By taking time to flesh out characters and introduce us to new ones, Collins has built an excellent bridge to her trilogy's dynamic, emotion-packed  conclusion.

On Dublin Street (Samantha Young) -- Okay this story is HOT. For adults ONLY. If you like steamy scenes and thoughtfully crafted plots that focus on relationships and sex, this is the ticket. Young takes extra time (and pages) to bring us along on Joss's journey, her path back to life after surviving tragedy. The fear, to let someone in, is a primary focus. I liked it and appreciated the patient development of characters--something that is sometimes lacking in the hotter books. Beautiful cover.

Friday, September 21, 2012

If I were...I would

Please tell me Present Unreal Conditional is still acceptable. Please tell me it isn't dead. Say it ain't SO!!! How long did it take me to learn this stuff in school? Shoved and pounded into my ears until anything else sounds so wrong...


Yes, I still write 'swum.' I'm old school. Under careful  guidance from others, I have erased many sentences, such as this one:

If I were smarter, I would leave well enough alone.

and have rewritten:

If I was smarter, I would leave well enough alone. 

CRINGE! It sounds horrible.  Depending on whom I ask, I get a different answer. And this debate has been  active on many loops, along will passive aggressive misunderstandings (mine, silently--hah!).

Is it dead?  Tell me your thoughts...
No burning, please.

Much love,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It's All About Collaboration

I cannot tell you how excited I am to finally have this pair of interviews up on my website!!! Today I have posted interviews with two amazing men who collaborated on one cute little children's book called, "Little Mikey the Vampire Monkey." It's part of my library. I bought one for my nephew and my niece and, well, when Christmas comes around--I just think it will be an awesome Christmas stocking stuffer.

These guys are the real deal. Talented, warm hearted and inspiring. Mike is an amazing award-winning director, and Jason is a very talented concept artist who specializing in character design. I think they have captured the cute, carefree ways of a young kid doodling in his notebook, telling a story about his life. I cannot recommend it enough. Go check out the interviews!


(p.s. Click on the image to go to the interview!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Where Have I Been???? my new writing cave...making it comfy. Here are some pictures!

This is the main part of the room. Everything is within reach so I never have to get out of my CHAIR AGAIN! Hah!

This is my artsy-craftsy area (yes, in the same room). See the easel behind the lamp? Yeah. It's there as an incentive to get my books published and out of the way. I'll paint later. My reward.

And I converted my closet into my printing and research room. Yay! Three printers and lots of files. I save everything. And I mean EVERYTHING! .

I love, love, LOVE my new space. One thing I would add is a refrigerator, but I gotta get some exercise in somewhere, sometime! Writers and artists out there, do you have a special place for your creativity to dwell? Tell me about it! :)


Friday, April 6, 2012

Books I Like

Today, I'm pointing out a few YA books I enjoyed reading recently. One is now a major motion picture. The next is a wonderful adventure that I would love to see on the big screen some day. After that is a great new twist on an old fairy-tale.  And the last is a blast from the past (2004) which I love for its wit and memorable characters.  I highly recommend these:

I know. I know. I am late. Everyone is talking about The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I learned about this series at our annual Halloween party, two years ago. Many kids were dressed as Hogwarts but, in between magic wand fights, they talked excitedly about a character called Katniss and a book called The Hunger Games. They highly recommended it, and after finally reading it, so do I. Even if you see the movie, read the book! I loved it.

Note: For the more mature audience,  Battle Royale is both a manga and movie. Or so I have heard, but again--sigh--I am a bit behind and haven't seen those yet!

Above World by Jenn Reese is one of the best YA books I have read in the past year. I cannot recommend it more highly. Taking place sometime in the future, this story is about Aluna, a young girl whose people (the Kampii) have adapted to living underwater, in the sea. When Aluna and her best friend Hoku discover the Kampii's breathing devices are failing, they set out on a courageous quest to find a solution and save their families. They must journey to Above World. The worlds within the story are delightful in detail; the characters, lovable. It is a rare gift for the reader when an author takes the time to create such depth within her worlds. It's much appreciated!  Usually, I can guess an ending to a book a chapter in, but this story was so original, I was pleasantly surprised at every turn. I eagerly await the next book and recommend it to many friends, young and 'less' young!

Marissa Meyer delivers. Without a doubt. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A great variation on the old fairy tale, Cinderella. Cinder is a cyborg. She's a strong, lovable character who faces a tough world with her street smarts and resourceful optimism. It's a world that spares little sympathy for her, but I had plenty of empathy to make up for that. By the end I was reading on the edge of my seat. I still am. Loved this book. Couldn't put it down.

Okay, this is one fun book. Its title says it all, and I can't really add to that. I enjoyed Hunter and Jen's adventure in So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld and I think you will enjoy it, too.

Published eight years ago, this book is still relevant and, remarkably, very few elements feel dated. The story is a funny social commentary camouflaged within a twisting plot and hidden between some bright, clever characters skating above a 'ticking time bomb' pace.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Spell Caster has NEW Paintings Up!

Hi All! I just went to Deanna Molinaro's site and found she has new paintings up HERE! Check out the Hungry Mermaid and Egg Hunt. Amazing! Plus some of these are for sale at her story. I am now the proud owner of Boston Balloon Escape, Peep, and Awkward. Prints and some originals are yet available. Also, if you have time, please check out a cause that is close to Deanna's heart: Collin County Urgents on Facebook. Thanks! :) -Kara

A Spell Caster is Developing a NEW Graphic Novel!

If you love watching an artist's process from beginning to end, here is a great opportunity to witness the development of a new graphic novel by Sarah Mensinga. Sarah is posting her first pages on her blog. Check it out. Her talent amazes me. :) -Kara

A Spell Caster has a new CD!

Hi All! Just wanted to send out a heads-up to everyone: Hollan Holmes has a new CD out. It is called The Farthest Fringes and is available on his website. Check it out and let me know what you think. Hollan's musical journey continues to impress! :) -Kara