Sunday, August 27, 2017

Guest Post: Euphrates Moss

Welcome to Today's Guest Post!

I am excited to share a guest post by Euphrates Moss.  In case you missed it, I reviewed his book Telos and Other Psychographs several months ago.  If you are interested in what I thought, you can find that review here.

Today, Moss joins us to tell about his adventure as a writer.  I am looking forward to reading your thoughts on his essay, "From Nobody to Writer," in the comments below.

Just Who is this Euphrates Moss Character?

Euphrates Moss attended Bellevue College, Portland State University, and Seattle University. He currently holds a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Seattle U. Don't hold it against him. He currently hosts a podcast that has absolutely nothing to do with his poetry under a different name.

From Nobody To Writer

I’m a die-hard English stylist. Well, to put it this way, if William Shakespeare and James Joyce are where the bar is set for stylists then I am absolutely going that direction. For those of you don’t know me, hi, I’m Euphrates Moss and I wrote and self-published a book called Telos and Other Psychographs. This is the story behind the making of the book.
            At age 21 I took a class on American literature in community college that changed the direction of my life. Like most kids up until that point I was shamefully unexposed and unaware of poetry. Sure, I’d read Shakespeare in high school, but it was gobbledegook to me at that point, but poetry was simply NOT part of the curriculum (which I find to be a shame). The American literature class did cover poetry from three American poets, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and T.S. Eliot. When I read what these folks had to say I was instantly smitten.
            What was this bravery I saw in Whitman? This economy of words with Dickinson? These multifarious references from Eliot? I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Never did I experience anything like that before.
            I had been writing for quite some time until that point, but I could neither copy the easy-going humor of Mark Twain nor copy the complex plotting of Charles Dickens. And it was copying I would’ve been doing if I were successful, but I wasn’t. I had a novel I was working on called A True Love– kinda like that sort of thing just doesn’t exist, and I was going for that classic. I thought if I’m dry enough but the English is good I can be Dickensian, maybe.
            The poetry threw all that garbage right out the window. I completely re-oriented myself and went through an epiphany of the Romantic sort. My instructors (there were two for this class, it was slightly idiosyncratic) told me that having a Romantic epiphany was not the same as an epiphany in the religious sense. A Romantic epiphany was any time the universe had made its mysterious workings apparent. At least that’s what I got from it. An epiphany could be you playing a real good game of basketball, making all the shots. An epiphany could be you trying some really delicious ice cream. An epiphany was really just a state of heightened realization. Suddenly I was a poet rather than a novelist.
            Since this was a different person than I’d ever met before I needed to be re-christened. I went through a few names before finally landing on Euphrates Moss. I had a nervous breakdown which is chronicled in the poem “Telos”, although I threw out any sort of chronological order in lieu of an emotional order. The chronology is actually perfect in the poem in terms of the feelings each division is meant to evoke. The final division for example is the absolute loss of hope in giving in to paranoia, anxiety, and near-limitless suggestability, that came before I hit the hospital.
            At the hospital I felt better thanks to the relative stasis of everything and the release of pressure to work (or what I was really doing, trying to find work that had meaning to me). I got released after 16 days during which I found the next step I needed to take on my poetic journey. I needed to put out a book, or at least print a book. I had been writing in my notebook consistently so I had no problem with material. $150 and months later, I received 50 copies of my first chapbook in the mail. “Success.”
            It was only a series of 24 four-line poems, not much at all. But it served what it needed. I was in. A couple of years later I hired an artist and went to Kinko’s Copies and printed my own little chapbooks, this time more legitimate and in a run of 100. The poems weren’t just 4-liners, they were poems and they looked a little bit more like something T.S. Eliot would write. And instead of 24 there were just 13 of them. I named it Pomes Fivedoloursadozen in reference to the price and as an homage to the more accomplished (and then recently discovered by me) James Joyce collection, Pomes Penyeach.
            All this time I had been working on a big poem. I was always very ambitious, but this was beyond anything I had ever tried before. At first it was just going to be another “Song Of Myself” like the famous poem by Walt Whitman. But it was getting out of control. I knew it would go absolutely nowhere if I just copied Walt Whitman so I took some elements from the novels I read both in and out of school and hit frappe. Soon it was called “The End”, like I would have a whole collection that was just this poem or even start a collection with this ironically. I always loved doing stuff like that.
            In 2012 or around there I secured a deal with a small publisher to put out a collection with them. It was just a verbal deal, but I’d send the MSS and they’d take care of the rest. Great! All this time “The End” was growing and growing, cannibalizing more and more of my other work. Eventually it transformed into “Telos.” I was taking too long on this project, though, and it was just too precarious at this point. I asked my publisher to put something out that would sort of warm the audience up for “Telos.”
            With her permission I wrapped up what I felt was the best of my first book, 24 Poems, and Pomes Fivedoloursadozen, and added a further section of excess poems. And that’s what went out. In retrospect it was NOT brilliant. I had wanted to make this thing that people might discover after the thing that hit it big and read it as a worthy prequel, or an artist finding his legs. In the end, I feel only 2 or 3 poems in it (out of 20 odd or so) are worth preserving even though it had been an attempt at preserving for posterity its own poems.
            After a spat involving bad behavior[1] that publisher and I went and parted ways. Don’t look for that book, either. She pulled it. I think my bad reputation would’ve hurt her brand… so she would say.
            So that was that. I was on my own, a ronin. I didn’t waste a second, though. I immediately sent MSS out to other publishers, but none bit. I kept working until one day I realized what had then become Telos and Other Psychographs was essentially complete and that further editing would only serve as window sheen. I turned out wrong about this, by the way!
            Nevertheless, I bought the book on publishing. I bought all the necessary books, and I read them, I started my own business, and I secured the finances needed. I was doing it! And about a year after I first sent in my application for business my books had arrived. Here it was: my first true expression with my own fully developed artistic voice.
            Now developing the artistic voice was something different altogether. When first writing the intimidation that comes from the wide open page may seem strangling, and it can be worse if you expect to produce good stuff immediately. But fear not, if you write and write and write and write and write you’ll figure out what it is you really want to write and then coming up with material will be a heck of a lot easier. Go ahead and explore the wide open space at first. You’ll eventually start cutting and the path will become clear.
            That’s really the only solid gold advice I can give to writers everywhere of every stripe: move that pen. Everything else is either really really amazingly difficult to articulate OR is just nuts and bolts. In terms of nuts and bolts, it’s nothing you wouldn’t think to do on your own. Make writing as easy as possible and make anything that distracts that writing as hard as possible. There really isn’t much more to it.
            I’d probably recommend being good with the English language, but if E.L. James is proof of anything it’s “English Not Required.” You can make it with your Yu-Gi-Oh!-meets-Good Charlotte fan-fic! By the way, confession time, I made my own Harry Potter fan-fic in 7th grade or so about him meeting a boy who could fly like Icarus- only I didn’t know the legend of Icarus at that point. I told my sister about it and she gave me this one-word review: lame.
            In terms of constructing the book, a lot of influences came into play. A lot! From F. Scott Fitzgerald’s approach to making This Side Of Paradise, to Frederich Nietzsche’s bounty of ideas in The Birth Of Tragedy, there is a lot of ground to cover. I wanted to do a number of different dialects of English the way Mark Twain did them, but I have been around nowhere near as many different kinds of people (I’m an introvert), so I had to make a very good number of them up. I let a great number of parodies and pastiches flow through my voice, too, in order to capture a wider range of expression. Non-sense like the famed poem “Jabberwocky” plus earlier non-lexical English made for fluidity with spelling and puns that made for more possibilities and interpretations.
            As you can probably tell at this point this wasn’t going to be Ernest Hemingway’s writing in the least. It would perhaps even annoy and irritate, especially those who hated English, as pops up in pockets of the United States and Ireland alike. The not-for-everybodyness of the book was starting to stand stark to me, but I had to continue. I grabbed every reference that I could possibly think of and teased new meaning out of it to fit the context in each case. Suddenly details about Orestes’ journey were now details about mine. I was reading The Mabinogion to try to put some of my ethnic Welshness into the mixture to no avail. I may be a quarter Welsh but nothing about Wales or Welshness speaks to me in any real way, though the lyrically musical accents are charming.
            Really, in composing the book (and calling it composing is deliberate) I was fashioning my tools. These, as many as they are, will probably be used for the rest of my writing life. And each move I do with them will be with purpose whether I refashion them, fiddle with them, use them in a different way, or even lay them down. Focusing in to so much as the specific word is of utmost importance since all poetry is is good words. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the words by themselves will be innately good, but that the words used around them accurately to dialect or accurately to grammar will lift into a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts. I made the overture in “Telos” a dictionary exercise for this reason as well as an introduction to the characters as melodies that would appear in the piece.
            I cross-pollinated poetry with philosophy since philosophy often contains within it a tinge of the poetic at the very least and at most is straight poetry such as when you read Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra or the ancient Greek pre-Socratic philosophers. I even put a preface in the book, which I worked way too hard on, that espoused a new form of modernism known as inconsistentism. I thought I’d pretend to be coy in interviews after my making it and say, “Gee, it was not my purpose to create a movement.” Like, “Who, me? No!” You may call me pretentious at this point. I don’t know. That’s what they called Walt Whitman in the wake of Longfellow and when we look back on it Longfellow was way more pretentious, so….
            By now, it’s probably obvious who some of my influences are. I like to think of these as people who told me what to do and I actually listened. A few more include Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote a better woman than Shakespeare ever did with his Wife of Bath (I still have trouble writing good women), Charles Bukowski, who had a better sense of his character and who he was presenting to the world than anybody else, ever (making for a higher hit rate with his poems than most), W.B. Yeats, who created meaningful poetry under two different eras (the Romantic and the Modern)– I wish Dylan Thomas was W.B. Yeats because he’s of my known people, but alas, he felt he had to be universal rather than provincial and that’s what got him, Homer, who was a master of time with The Odyssey and wrote the manliest poem ever with The Iliad, a true Greek, Robert Frost, who was inspired throughout his life, and most of all Herman Melville, for Moby Dick of course, but also for Billy Budd, Melville is the first and best contender for The Great American Novel; his voice may not always have been consistent but nobody else could wrap their influences around a focused meditation on obsession and monomania (perhaps the most profound of human feelings) than he could.
            Anyways, enough of my blather. If you haven’t read any of Telos and Other Psychographs you may be wondering what it looks like. I can give you here five poems that are the annex to a second and corrected edition of the book that I made since catching a number of mistakes and poor versification in the first edition. The second edition is not out yet, but with some luck, some sales, and some funding, it may become a reality. I’d love to keep producing and making books throughout my life even though I frankly hate the business. So here, without further ado, is the annex to the second edition of my little book of poems.

Babel, Corrected

Sometimes you can see much better-
When observing things obscure,
To look upon them indirectly...
Than to watch them all the more.

Hanging Garden Flower
Ah! he is not a common man
Who turns to a flowerless tree.

Many leaves reside within her garden
Many leaves, indeed; many
Across the breeze the gray river
Golden Bridge, and lady’s laughing faces
Many leaves, many slender: many
All possessed of a smothered envy

Sweet but for the flower…
With its boisterous oranges, yellows, and indigos
The blossom standing neatly in the sun
Who would blame the keeper for a peak while on the run
A cricket lands gently upon his fishing line
Now, the blue moon watches soundly

Snow white-capped mountains shift restlessly behind
A glimpse will catch, most assuredly
The willows sing what the wind ordains
While the pond’s low notes support in harmony
Her fringes sway askance within the wind
A late afternoon nap tucked between the folds

The blue plums taste so good this evening
The color of your eyes tantalize- I am mesmerized!
What if the moon saw your face?
Knowing distance wide your beautiful name
The swirling eddies only enhance the aura at once
And once again once I saw you again once
Apricot boughs and ferns seem as nothing

The now-cloudy skies are ever wanting
I could sit here and think and want the more
I that was once so dandy and sprightly
An American prince out of monarchy
Lie jealous of the folds and forays
Of my lady’s Hanging Garden Flower


Wild Mantra Evening

I make verbal acrobatics concrete as schematics
Clutch your semi-automatic tonight
Snort horse with the Doors and Jim Morrison’s corpse
Is a portis you’ll be riding in flight

Your throat is smote every stroke till it’s grote
Every note is a dissonant theme
Then nymphs in charge with pupils so large
Barge in with cookies and cream

The pulchritudinous ever multitudinous
Now you’re being rude with us, please
Speak straight don’t placate aggravate
Crazy eight it with a bottomless tease

Make cheer this year with a queer kinda sneer
Get your beer you’re gonna need it now
Some huck butt fucked the car with a “shucks”
And got mucked with stuff from a cow

She was scalded by the pan
Sent back by attacks in from the deuce among the men
Scalded by the pan
She went down but she never came up

Some girlish churlish front-end with a furnished
Dervish curlicue on the attack
Like some methodone cyclone with a bone
To pick back home with a knack

Bamboozled by a floozy in damask that’s a doozy
You’re a boozie cousey rolling for mates
You’re drunk and debunked by a slowhand with a stump
Take the lumps that are now on your pate

She was scalded by the pan
Sent back by attacks in from the deuce among the men
Scalded by the pan
She went down but she never came up

Some harlequin harlot turned her face out real scarlot
Said, “Varlot, I’ve got swing and sass.”
I stepped into the spotlight not sure if I’m cockright
And spun my wheels with the gas
Where little Bopeep got it on with a creep
“What’s wrong, soldier, ain’t you doing fine?”
So I turned her loose like she’s tied to a fuse
Said, “Sorry, I ain’t your kind!”

Somnambulatory with a different kind of story
In the laboratory glory of me
Steel trap where that moose cap brain fapped
Gets slapped, is where I’d rather get free

Some shooter outside with a scooter on a slide
In the mood for suicide under glares
Has packed his junk in the left upper bunk
When he’s feeling sorta sunk he just stares

The jack of all trades backed an ace on my spade
With a lady he laid so I caved
His head spooled dead with a tool from the shed
Made his bed and then I said, “Close shave.”

That hit off the snowcone frost bit in the blowzone
Made me sit and then slow groan in bliss
That ship that has left slipstream real bereft
By a meaningful theft, it took the piss

She was scalded by the pan
Sent back by attacks in from the deuce among the men
Scalded by the pan
She went down but she never came up


A Response To The Imagists

Open condemnation   or     praise :
New-blown— fluff       off  a    Dandelion

Crisis Of Existence
Featuring a verse form shortened and simplified from Spenser’s The Faerie Queene

There are times I wish I could disappear
Completely when trouble with existence
Butts against for maximum resistance–
That is, trouble owning, operating
Chance relates myself to world t’would appear
Quite real-ly has me in its grasp for killing

The mitochondria within my cells
Has not sufficient power for my health
Nor my particles bear magnetic wealth
To keep together my own substance pure
Disintigration from within a shell
It seems such more than any could endure

From such a state I never could come back
Or so I worry, so I don’t let go
I keep to what I am and what I know.
To think I’m trapped within this mortal coil
It makes one feel a dread akin attack
Like some old Jew would snuff your burning oil

But here I lie awake within my bed
Or else submerged in water in a tub
Not to be determined by bitter rub
Of e’en so much as my foremost desire:
I dearly want to vacate any stead
In every pan I feel the flicking fire

I swear a storm, I shit a liquid spray
I feel my anxiety around folks,
Them bending out of shape all my wheel’s spokes
I’ve overdosed and soon I may yet die
I don’t know when to shut up when I may
Should now…? Right now? I…

[1] People who aren’t artists don’t understand the need for bad behavior in artists, but only non-artists exhibit this bewilderment at our behavior. Us artists can’t explain it to the rest of the populace. We would if we could.
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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August Book Haul

August has been AMAZING for my book buying abilities! As many of you know, the nearest Barnes and Noble is four hours away.  Yes, I can buy books online, but it's not the same as being able to walk into a book store and drool at the walls and walls of books surrounding you.  Best of all?  I got to go TWICE this month!

I really wanted to focus on buying books that I've fallen in love with through other bloggers' reviews.  If you are interested in checking out some of the bloggers I follow, head on over to my Blog Hop page!

Check it out!

P.S. I apologize for the cramped picture.  My office is currently being reorganized for the new school year!

Just in case the titles are difficult to read, I bought...
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  • The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid
  • The Graces by Laure Eve
  • Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  • The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

What did you get this month? What do you think of my choices? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Author Interview: Kishmi Davis

I fell in love with reading because my mama read to me when I was young. It wasn't just bonding time, it felt like a special reward. I remember feeling like I had been so good that Mom wanted to share another world with me in addition to the real one. So, I decided to share something a little different with you when I heard about Kishmi Davis' book, Wifi Kicked the Bucket.

Kishmi Davis was born and raised in Corsicana, Texas. She graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. Prior to that, she attended Navarro College and graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Radio/TV/Film. She currently teaches seventh grade English
and has taught for 14 years. Kishmi is a member of the North Star of Texas Writing Project, Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as Children’s Book Insider. She now lives in Ellis county with her three children and guinea pig.

To learn more about Kishmi Davis, go to or follow her on twitter: @KishmiDavis

1. What inspired you to become a teacher?

Although I could read at age 3 and had a great imagination, I didn’t like school very much until 3rd grade. Prior to 3rd grade, I had separation anxiety and was anti-social. Mrs. Jones, my 3rd grade teacher, changed all of that. She noticed me. She noticed that I was quiet but fluent in reading. She put me to good use helping out struggling readers in my class. She allowed me to be an example. Allowing me to help others built up my confidence as well as the confidence of my peers. Mrs. Jones inspired me to become a teacher. I like to recognize and encourage my students especially those students who go unnoticed. It encourages them to come out of their shell and lets them know that someone cares. Take it from me, it means a lot when someone notices you.

2. How do you juggle teaching and writing with being a mother? What has been the hardest part of this juggling act?

To me, being a teacher and a mother are interchangeable. Sometimes, I am a mother to my students, and I am also a teacher to my own children. Fortunately, I’ve been blessed to have the best children in the world. I have a 16 year old, a 12 year old, and my youngest is 10 years old. My children are understanding and supportive when it comes to me teaching and allow me to do what I need to do in order to prepare. This can be anything from me staying late and working in my classroom to me grading stacks of papers at home. My children do, however, have one requirement, and that requirement is that they do not have to stay late at school with me. They prefer to be at home while I am working late hours, and they are responsible and old enough to take care of themselves and their responsibilities. It’s not a perfect plan, but it works for us. The hardest part of juggling teaching and motherhood has been the time spent away from my children while I work at school. I usually try to make it up to them on the weekends with fun Fridays and quality time on Saturdays.

3. Please tell us about being nominated for Teacher of the Year.

Being nominated for teacher of the year by my peers was such an honor. Even though I didn’t get the final award, it was nice being considered. There were several teachers who were nominated. We all work very hard and support each other. The teacher who received the Teacher of the Year award is awesome, works very hard, and deserved it.

4. What inspired you to write Wifi Kicked the Bucket?

My children’s book, Wi-Fi Kicked the Bucket, was inspired by my three children. In the summer of 2016 the router to our Wifi stopped working. The reaction from my children was astounding. They literally did not know what to do with themselves in the beginning. They were in a bit of a panic state because they were not quite sure how to entertain themselves without their devices. After observing their reactions, I purposely took my time in replacing the router. I needed to know if they would ever ‘figure’ out other ways to occupy their time. It took a little over a week before they stopped begging me to fix the wifi and created their own fun. As a result, they talked more with each other and played games together. They even built forts! I eventually replaced our wifi router, but now I unplug it often to force them to take a break and spend quality time together.

5. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

My advice for aspiring authors is to get started and know that your story matters! The hardest thing to do is to actually begin the process and stick to it. Once you get started and stay persistent, the rest will fall into place.

6. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

If I could be any animal, I would be an eagle. Eagles fly alone at very high altitudes and have strong vision. They can focus on something up to 5 miles away. And my most favorite thing about eagles is that they love a storm. When clouds gather, eagles get excited. It’s been said that the eagle uses the storm to lift itself above the clouds. If I could have a fraction of an eagle’s characteristics, it would ensure that I become a successful person. Eagle information was found from

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: Pipeliner

About the Book

 Published November 30, 2016

I received an ebook of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.  Due to sexual and drug related content, I do not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 17.

GoodReads Description

For seventeen-year-old Jason Krabb, high school life in 1990s Idaho is a world of cargo shorts, cassette tapes, and junk food. Plagued equally by algebra and puberty, Jason sets out to find a girlfriend and become a rock guitarist. His quest is irreversibly jolted when he attends a bonfire and meets an alluring girl from the other side of town and a rag tag crew who are bringing gas lines through the desert in order to keep the lights on in Portland and Seattle, places where Jason hopes to find his nirvana as a guitarist.

Meanwhile, things deteriorate at home. Jason's pediatrician mom, Leah, sadly faces the twilight of her parenting years while his father, Curtis, contends with the enormity of running a big ticket research laboratory and coming to terms with his son's wayward path.

Pipeliner is at once a coming of age love story and a comical timestamp of early 90s family life. Set in the fictional Idaho town of Helen Springs, pop. 58,000, its characters are as vibrant as the lofty peaks and purple sunsets of the high desert. Here we find rich farmers, poor ranchers, dutiful Mormons, government honchos, disgruntled vets, drug-dealing bruisers, irksome teachers, and spirited students, all doing their best to keep the lights on.

My Thoughts

As a woman, I know what puberty is like on the feminine side of the fence.  Of course, I've heard about the other side, with its wet dreams and awkward spurts of hormonal confusion.  Thanks to Pipeliner, I'm one of few women who can honestly say that they have gone through both sides.  When Hartje sets out to write a coming of age story, his goal is to do so in every sense of the word.

At first, I was a bit put off by Jason's poignant pecker preoccupation.  I actually wrote a note to myself that "I'm stuck between being excited about how realistic Jason is and having heard enough about his penis."

Strangely, I adore strong characterization and it took me too long to realize that what I was upset with wasn't the fact that the pecker was strong with this book.  It was actually that I had a hard time confronting how frigging real this book is.  No one likes to read about teenagers having sex.  No one wants to hear about kids using cocaine, marijuana, or alcohol.  But they do. Even though this book is set in the 90s, many of the kids I teach have struggled with similar issues.  It's just as true in 2017 as it was in the 90s.  *Insert round of applause for Hartje's stunning realism.*

Before I started the book, I read several reviews that mentioned reading this book was like entering a time capsule.   Therefore, I spent a lot of time reading this book trying to find an anachronism.  I came out with empty hands.  This time capsule is definitely filled with strong world building and beautiful characterization.

Hartje obviously spent time developing each character.  If he hadn't, they simply could not be so realistic!  I love seeing the discrepancies between Robert and Jason, Leah and Curtis, and even Bill and Curtis.  Many novels portray families as a close knit group, filled with love and no negative words.  This book, just pulls apart the idea of a loving family to show you the crap it's filled with.  In doing so, Hartje demonstrates what it really means to love your family through the good and bad times.  

There is a point in this book, that Leah (the mom) allows Jason to go off with people she thinks are trouble.    I had a huge issue with this part.  Growing up, if my Mama didn't like you, she didn't hide it.  I knew it.  You knew it.  We didn't hang out.  She was determined to make sure we were safe at every point in time.  It's hard for me to imagine that Leah would allow her son to put himself into such a hazardous position, only to be upset when he made the wrong choice later on.  Yes, it is important that she trusts her son.  However, what has he done to deserve it?  Has he been trustworthy?  No.  Has he been getting in trouble?  Yes.  

Overall, I believe this was a truly thought-provoking novel that is meant to encourage us to think about the present by observing the past.

My Rating

Friday, August 11, 2017

Promo: The Eldritch Heart by Matthew S. Cox

The Eldritch Heart
Matthew S. Cox
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Princess Oona Talomir enjoys the little things that come with her station: a handmaiden, her lavish bedchamber, and scores of fancy dresses―the duty to win a decades’ long war, not so much.
Oh, did I mention assassins?
Seers foretold the conflict would end by her hand. From the moment she drew her first breath, the neighboring kingdom has been trying to kill her so she could not grow powerful enough to destroy them. The king, fearing for his daughter’s life, has kept her confined to the castle grounds for most of her sixteen years. With the tide of war turning against them, the burden of her crown becomes too much to bear, yet one thing lifts her spirits amid the gloom.
Her servant girl, Kitlyn.
Alas, in a kingdom obsessed with the god of purity, she is terrified to confess her forbidden love. When her father makes a demand she cannot abide―marry a prince to forge a military alliance―Oona panics. He is handsome and honorable, but he’s not Kitlyn. Unable to admit why she cannot obey, Oona does the only thing she can think of, and runs away.
Alone and unprepared in the wilderness, she prays the gods will let Kitlyn find her—before the assassins do.

Author Bio:
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- after="" also="" and="" cats.="" deliberate="" fiction="" fond="" happens="" he="" intellectual="" is="" it.="" life="" nature="" of="" p="" questions="" reality="" science="" that="" the="" what="">


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Review: Moonborn by Terry Maggert

About the Book

Moonborn by Terry Maggert
Published 2017
Genre: Dystopia, Fantasy, YA

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

GoodReads Description

Livvy Foster has a new heart, home, and a place in the powerful halls of House Windhook. The fall of Sliver was only the beginning of a civil war that sees angels from across the sky challenge each other to lead a world in which the past and the future are connected by a storm crafted from time, ambition, and power.

When House Selinus attempts to bend the light of days in order to become the supreme power in an apocalyptic future, they confront a goddess who is older than time itself-- and she'll stop at nothing to get the one soul who escaped her deadly grasp: Livvy.

With deceit, war and love swirling in the clouds above a shattered world that was once Livvy's home, she'll be asked to do something a girl with a broken heart never thought possible.
Fight for Windhook. Fight for her world.
Take wing with Livvy, one heartbeat at a time.

My Thoughts

Long before Mr. Maggert ever asked if I would be interested in reviewing this book, I knew that I would do it.  Why?  Because I LOVED the first book in the series.  If you want, you can read my review here.

Starting the book, however, I wasn't quite sure that I was the right person to read this book.  I felt like I didn't remember enough from Heartborn, and I was worried that I would not be able to do this review justice.


Although Maggert starts Moonborn without any reminders of the previous book, he writes so that as his audience reads the book, it all comes flashing back.  I went from being incredibly confused and frustrated to being in love with all of the characters and in tears when the book ended.  For those of you who are new to Maggert's writing, don't read his work if you like feel good stories.  This is an author who knows how to reach into your soul and crush you.  I know this from firsthand experience.  But as I lament that, I must praise Maggert for his skill.

What I Liked

Near the beginning of this book, Maggert introduces a little scum bag named Garrick.  I enjoyed hating this man almost as much as I enjoyed hating Umbridge.  Grr!  I knew that this book was headed for violence and war and I was actually excited to see his little corpse laying still on the battlefield.  Enter Danila.  With her, comes in my absolute love for this beautifully written man.  Maggert definitely demonstrated his mastery of characterization by taking Garrick from being a sniveling pest to a character I want nothing but the best for.  

Maggert shows this skill once again with the characters of Marti and Brigha.  Not that I like them any more now, but he makes them pay for their flaws in a way that they respect and, especially in Brigha's case, are grateful for.

Lastly, Maggert's style is exquisite.  The man uses so many adjectives that I was drooling each time he described a food and I could see every scene and feel every blow in the battle.  If Maggert's goal was to give his audience a breathtaking experience, allow me to be one of the first to congratulate him on his success.

What I Didn't Like

I felt like Maggert had so much going on in this book that he couldn't keep his own story straight at times.  There are two places in particular that I truly had, and still have, no idea if I'm confused or am simply not remembering the story correctly.  I think these confusing points take away from an otherwise poignant plot.

Even though I was able to play catch-up, I think Maggert might have a hard time keeping readers interested by keeping them confused.  Many readers spend so much time with their head in a book that plots can often get jumbled up.  We're not dumb, but he does need to give a helping hand.

This last point is more of me grumbling about the unfairness of Maggert using a character to rip my heart out than anything he actually did "wrong."  There is a VERY important character that I fell in love with in Heartborn and was given a teaser of the possibility of him returning in Moonborn.  Just a teaser, no reality.  As I read, I keep a notebook filled with my notes, so that I can more easily put my review together.  When I came to this point in the book, I simply wrote "Bad author! Bad!" Not that Maggert could hear me or anything, but I guess I liked the illusion that my heart wouldn't be as broken if I at least pretended I got to scold the mean author man.

My Rating