#Review of In the Cards by Ariel Dawn

Hi everyone! 

I know, it’s been a while, but… life happens… and not in a fun way! 


I’m back with a review! 

So, here’s the thing, my editor recommended this box set to me. Which I couldn’t get my hands on because Amazon loathes me (nothing new, it’s a long story that I will not get into here). However, she really wanted me to read it since she’s the one that edited the story and being in a funk with my writing and EXTREMELY sleep-deprived, I agreed. She reached out to the author, and I got a copy to review.

Without further ado, I’ll post the details to the collection below, then sweep into my review. Keep in mind, I’m only reviewing one story. 

Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08JM8DF3G?tag=k067c9-20

Blurb: The veil is thin. Darkness calls. Will you answer?

Halloween curses plague the daring heroes and spunky heroines in this spirited collection of tales. A Cursed All Hallows’ Eve brings you 20+ stories stuffed with everything from dark gods to brooding shifters, delivering hours of decadent, pleasure-filled reading from bestselling and award-winning urban fantasy and paranormal romance authors.

If you can’t get enough of those supernatural creatures—vampires, ghosts, witches, demons, and fae—this limited edition collection will alternately thrill you with the spicy and tempt you with the sweet. Delve into these worlds where the living haunt the dead and the undead tempt the breathing.

Answer the call, because this Halloween, not all the costumes are disguises.

Now, I’m going to dive right in. Slight spoilers ahead!

The story is about Ember, a psychic specializing in tarot readings. While preparing to meet customers she reads her own fortune. At the end of the day, a blue-eyed hottie comes in asking for a reading. He draws the same cards she did earlier in the day. To top it off, she’s been dreaming about him for as long as she can remember. 


I’m going to shut up now and just tell you what I thought. 

Honestly? It wasn’t my cup of tea. I like stories that surprise you, that mislead you, twists and runs, a red herring or two along the way. I like a story that’ll punch you in the gut and heal the hurt down the line.

This wasn’t that. 

It’s not bad, don’t get me wrong. It’s well written (if riddled with cliches and cheesy tropes, but then, that was the point, I guess!). If you want a sweet story with a HEA, that’s got minimal spice and no surprises lurking and you love the soulmate angle, this is for you. 

For a Halloween story, it was adorable. Might not be my usual must-read, but I wouldn’t say no to reading something else by this author. That said: rumor has it she’s about to release book 2, which centers on Ember’s best friend, Ava, who’s a bit of a mystery. 

Stay safe, everybody and stay true to yourself! 

Editing woes or not…

Hey Folks!

I figured it was about time to give you all an update. So, here goes:

I ended up adding a TON! Honestly; I hadn’t intended for it to be this extensive, but it makes sense. For one, it negates the need to scrap one of the POVs like my last editor suggested. Another reason is: it goes more in depth into the time leading up to the events that set off the story. I’m now on the 4th chapter of recent additions to the story, but once this one is done, I’ll be getting back to the original story and switching things around to smooth it all out. I’m hoping to have it all over and done with before the end of the year.

Then I can use the new year for querying… and here’s hoping for a better one, because 2020 sucks, y’all!

Honestly… I’m not a fan of editing, never have been. Like a lot of writers, I hate reading my drivel and trying to figure out what’s wrong with it. That said… This time around, it seems to be much easier.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m not doing it alone.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m writing stuff in I’d intended to from the beginning, but couldn’t because PitchWars was looming and I wanted to give it a go.

Maybe it’s the fact that I like the characters and showing what I saw in them feels right.

And maybe my friend/editor is right and I am growing and that’s why it feels different.

Maybe the confidence I used to have is back.

I dunno, could be all the above, or it could just be a mirage and I’ll be sitting in a corner sobbing I can’t do this tomorrow again. But whatever it is, feels good either way!

Stay true to yourself, and most of all: safe!

New Beginnings.

Greetings, Nerdlings!

So, I got my book back a few weeks ago from the third editor I sent it out to, and… well, I’ve been struggling with mixed feelings to be honest. 

First off: she loved the story and my writing overall, which is a huge relief to me since I’ve never worked with her before this and I always get antsy showing new people my work. 

Second: She made some point, I was already aware of and had planned to change anyway, but the time crunch with PitchWars last year meant I couldn’t go through with it. That said, about half that stuff is already written out and I just need to insert it. She also had some things she suggested to switch around, which again, I agree would make the story stronger. 

However, she proceeded to give me a new possible outline for the story. And, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate with effort and care and time she took to try and understand my story. I honestly do, but this is why people (and she also strongly emphasized this point when she sent me everything back and in a followup email as well) say, editors, are there to suggest and guide you to make the story better. If their input clashes with the intent of the story, or they misinterpret something (which can happen, they don’t have the full vision after all) the author is free to disregard it. And if their nudging leads to the author getting a better idea, well, that’s ideal. 

That said, her overall feedback regarding the timeline and the things I had already planned to change myself along with some added plot twists, I found very helpful and am working on implementing. But she also had an amazing amount of cliche and overdone and too easy to spot Outline points, that I felt would… I dunno I guess dumb down, is the best way to put it, the story. And considering the subplots, I wasn’t willing to go that way. 

So, I spent a week taking notes and getting my head on straight and I’m now working my way through rewrites. Overall, it’s not much just extremely time-consuming and, honestly, a touch frustrating. But, I’m happy, because I have no doubt it’ll make the story stronger. 

Stay true to yourself!

Demon Bound: Shackled Ever After #1 – Review

Hey Bookish Peeps,

Let’s start of with the basic information. To that end, I’m posting the link and blurb before I start typing my fingers bloody gushing over this story. And don’t worry, I’ll mark the spoilers so you can skip them, should you not want to know details.


Survival is the name of the game, and the angels are losing.
Too bad I am one of them.
The Almighty abandoned Earth after the ultimate battle between Heaven and Hell, closing St. Peter’s pearly gates forever. Locking out any angel still on Earth.
Alone and defenseless for fifty years.
My name is Veroseline, and the Almighty’s silence is the least of my problems. Our stronghold, Resvener, has a barrier that is sucking our angelic power dry to keep the demons at bay, but it doesn’t work on zombies itching for a nibble.
I am running myself in circles trying to keep us all safe.
Then everything changes for me when an irritatingly sexy and cocky Akmon shows up. I accidentally mistake him for an angel and save his life, creating a powerful debt-bond between us.
My reward? He knocks me out and drags me away to be his prisoner. All the while bragging about how he was the demon who seduced Eve… and almost every other human being throughout history.
Now the humans have gone, and it looks like I’m his next target.
But the more time I spend with Akmon — the muddier the lines between angel and demon become. I’m falling for him, but danger looms too close for comfort.
Can sworn enemies work together to stop an ancient evil lurking right under our noses?

Amazon link:


Now, let’s get down to it. 

Frankly, zombie stories were never my thing. However, I admit to occasionally watching a horror flick with rotting corpses, just like any other girl… for the drool-worthy hero. And the inevitable giggles, because some are just so weird. 

Honestly, What surprised me most was that the author actually wrote a zombie in a way that got me to care about the pile of rotting flesh. 

As the blurb suggests, the story is about a demon named Akmon and an angel he nicknames Vero (among other hilarious pet names he uses to irritate her.)


They meet when she mistakes him for a fellow angel that’s strayed from the stronghold and thinks he’s about to be attacked by a ravenous horde of zombies. He knocks her out and kidnaps her. It goes without saying, she is not happy about the situation she’s found herself in. Even less so, when he continuously lobs new nicknames at her. But her demonic captor is not alone, he has a henchman assigned to watch her and make sure she doesn’t escape. While blindfolded she can’t tell who her guard is, but conjures up all sorts of possibilities. 


Well, suffice it to say she was wrong about all of them and got quite the shock when it turns out the ‘being’ guarding her is… a zombie. Nurse, as Akmon calls him, is not your typical mindless undead eating machine. There’s, I guess the best way to describe it is, a child-like innocence to him. It’s weird, I know, but it makes him super endearing in my opinion and Vero seems to come to the same conclusion.

Now, I’m not gonna spoil the whole story, that’d defeat the point of the review, but honestly, it’s hard to keep my gushing contained. 

First and foremost, the author does a good job of building the world the story sucks the reader into. What’s more, we get to read the story from both Vero’s and Akmon’s perspective. That, in my opinion, enhances the frustration and hurt when the other acts contrary to what you are hoping for, even though their actions make perfect sense. 

That brings me to the second point. Despite being enemies, we’re taken on a journey of learning to see past what’s right in front of you. Demons are supposed to be evil, right? Yet, Akmon tells Nurse to prepare a bath for Vero so she can wash off the gore from the zombies she killed before Akmon kidnapped her. Despite being enemies he gives her a room and clothes (and shoes, which are a rare commodity in this world) to wear. Despite … well, a lot more annoying things, they both eventually become comfortable with each other and develop a bond of mutual respect which blooms into a, somewhat reluctant, bond of trust.

While the attraction between them may be almost instantaneously there, it’s not until after they’ve come to respect and trust each other and have formed a friendship that they become more. 
This story has a lot of giggles and outright laugh out loud moments for me. But it also made me really mad and almost Hulk Smash my phone. All in all, it was a fun roller-coaster and I’m definitely going to reread this!

Give it a try, I’m sure as halo licking glad I did!

Stay true to yourself!

Unanswered questions

Hi everybody, 

A little update overall accompanied by a pissed off rant to follow thought I’d warn you before I got started. Soooo… if you don’t want either, just skip this post. No hard feelings. 

On the writing side of things: 

I gave my MS to another editor a while back, don’t remember if I said as much last time, which means I’m stuck in the waiting game. My query is good as done, I think. My synopsis still needs work. Yes, I hate both those things, like most writers! Diana and I are still working on our story, with everything going on with both of us it’s not easy to focus… But we want to have it done in August. 

On the daily life side of insanity: 

COVID is driving me nuts. Mind you, it’s had it’s good points, in my POV anyway, but right now… well, I’ll rant in a bit. I’m doing a Criminology course. Yup, that’s right. I’m actually gonna be certified for the shit I dream up. 

Now… if you don’t want to read a rant, walk away. Because here it comes. 

January, my dad flew to Germany for treatment. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer, which sucks but at the time was no big deal. Anyway, two operations later, he was transferred to a short term assisted living facility to help him get a grip on using/changing the urine bag. In the aforementioned facility, he ended up breaking his hip and leg within the first week. That resulted in him having to return to the hospital and have the entire thing replaced. Now, mind you, we are talking about an artificial hip and thigh bone. 

This whole bedazzled spectacle meant my dad went through three operations in as many months. At the ripe age of 73. I’m just going to jump over the whole issue where he got an (operation specific) infection from the hospital and the tried to claim he arrived with it. 

Moooooving on to rehab. He entered rehab end of April. About 2 weeks in he complained of losing his appetite. Which, fair enough, after months in and out of hospitals etc… understandable, plus, the food usually sucks balls in those places. After being transferred into the beginning of June he told us he was only 62kg. He in effect lost 30kg in 6ish weeks. And it’s not from the chemo, that hadn’t started. 

Over the course of the last 5 months, we repeatedly asked him about his BP and BS levels, since he was a diabetic who’d had a stroke 18ish months ago. EVERY. FUCKING. TIME. he would tell us: I dunno, they don’t check. Okay, fine, he was getting forgetful, increasingly so, since the stroke so maybe they did, but he never noticed or forgot. It could be. 

However, the part that pisses me off is this: 

Friday morning 1:48 am a relative panic calls me and tells me to call the hospital he was taken to from the rehab center because he fell out of bed and was found seizing on the floor. I do so and the doctor asks me if I want to keep him on life support if worst comes to worst. *deer in the headlights look* those were literally his first words after telling me he was admitted and it doesn’t look good. Talk about ripping off the bandaid… 

Yesterday around lunch I called again, three extra hours sleep, my head was a little clearer, I asked how he was. The doctor tells me he suffered kidney failure and his organs were following. That got my attention fast! Because after his bladder removal they tested his organs and said all including kidneys were in good condition for his age and that was in March. He proceeded to blame it on the diabetic meds dad was taking, which he’d been taking for 10 plus years. So… how can they cause failure in 3 months when they didn’t do shit all that time. He wouldn’t listen, claimed it was possible. 


Next thing my relative tells me dad had not been drinking water in weeks, which was more likely to trigger kidney failure. And herein lies my problem: He was in rehab. He was not getting physiotherapy as he should have been. And they were emptying and changing the urine bags for him, so why did no one raise a red flag that the bags were good as empty for – god knows how long… ????? 

How does a man with no organ damage, apart from the removed bladder, in March end up with organ failure in June and die?! 

Stay true to yourself!

I gotta ask…

Hey everybody!

Sorry, I know it’s been… a long while since I posted. That’s on me, I know. All right let me get the personal stuff out of the way before I go on a rant.

So, if you read my last post, you know my short story “Dark Desires” was published in an Anthology. In all honesty, I haven’t provided links or anything because… well, life is just crazy, and I got sidetracked. Plus… it’s kind of embarrassing. That said, I’m working on a new story with my best friend, Diana Ferris. We planned to make it a short story, too, inspired by a short we didn’t like. But, as always, Diana’s plot bunnies are out of hand and she told me today she wants to try making it a novella.

Diana’s mind

I guess time will tell if that actually happens, I honestly have my doubts :P. Love you, psycho, don’t hate on me for saying the truth!

Well, That’s the writing part of my life, in other news: I’m getting ready to start querying. I have one more round of edits starting next week and once those are over and done with I’ll try my hand at looking for an agent and submit to publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts. Wish me luck!! It’s been a long hard road, writing the book last year, submitting to Pitchwars and coming up empty (not unexpected) and then diving deeper into edits afterwards, and polishing my query letter and synopsis. Hopefully, I’ll get at least one or two positive reactions!

Personally… well, life sucks! I’m aware, we’re all in the same boat with Covid making things hard and people scared, angry. I get it, believe me, I do! But I also see something good coming out of this pandemic mess. And yeah, I know, saying so marks me as a mad woman, but the fact is: our planet needs healing. And Covid gave it just the tiniest bit of time to repair a fraction of the damaged we humans caused it over the last two centuries (let’s just count the last two). Now, I’m sure, it’s a) not nearly enough b) won’t last more than a few weeks after all lockdown have been lifted, but I damn sure hope people see that we need to do better. We need to be better!

It’s our planet, destroying it means destroying ourselves. But then, the human race has proven exceptionally good at doing both. Which brings me to the next part of my rant. GROW THE FUCK UP AND LEARN FROM HISTORY!! STOP REPEATING IT!!!   















WHAT DOES IT MATTER?! We walk, we talk, we breathe the SAME FUCKING AIR. EAT THE SAME DAMN FOOD. FEEL THE SAME EMOTIONS. WE LIVE ON THE SAME WORLD. The country doesn’t matter. The Language doesn’t matter. The continent doesn’t matter. We all bleed red. EVERY MAMMAL ON THIS PLANET BLEEDS RED AND FEELS EMOTIONS.

My mother always told me to treat people the way I want them to treat me. Is it so hard to remember to be kind to those around you?! What if it was you, would you want to be yelled at and have to fear for your life because you don’t look like those around you? I think not. SO GROW THE FUCK UP!

Sorry folks, but I needed to get all this off my chest. I’m sick of the hypocrisy some hide behind.

Stay true to yourself!

April Madness 2020

Hey everybody,

I know, it’s been forever. To be honest … I didn’t wanna write a blog post with all the crazy going on because I didn’t want it to come across as  a downer or a lecture. That said, my annoying editor, I’m looking at you, Katie!, insisted it was about time I wrote something/anything.

I don’t think anybody expected 2020 to turn out like this. I’ve heard a few interesting and surprisingly accurate descriptions of the current situations. 

  • That we somehow all got sucked into a Stephen King novel (poor guy even apologized to those that felt that way!).
  • That Avenger’s Infinity Wars was a sort of prophecy and that Covid-19 is our real-life version of Thanos.

Frankly, I don’t know which one scares me more … 

Yeah, okay, that’s a lie. What WOULD scare me is living in the U.S. right now. Thank fuck, I don’t. I may question some of the measures taken (or not taken) over here, but the way they are dealing with the outbreak itself is not in question. 

Now, Virus depression aside, I’ve got NEWS! 

I submitted the short I was writing for the PNR Anthology – Fated Souls – and it’s titled: Dark Desires. Now, I haven’t heard anything from the publisher about it yet. However, I am 85% sure my weirdness will stand out since one of my series’ antagonists is the focus and it’s from his POV. 

I have heard that the anthology is being prepped for ARC copies. It was supposed to be released on the 3rd of April but with all the madness of lockdowns, etc, it was pushed back. I’ll let you all know once I have more info on the release, pre-order and buy links! 

Until then you can feast your eyes on the cover:

Stay home, stay safe, don’t give in to panic, but be reasonable! And most of all … 

The Chocolatiest Day of the Year is here!

Hey folks!

Time sure flies…
Everywhere you turn, it’s been nothing but chocolates and cakes for the past few weeks, and now here it is: Valentine’s Day.
The thing is, this day splits the world in half.

Those that look forward to it.
Those that dread it.

Mind you; I’ve got nothing against the day or the sentiment. Personally, I think we shouldn’t drop chocolate bombs on those we cherish once a year. You love someone, show them! Hell, even if you just want to say thanks to a friend for being in your corner, don’t wait for a designated day.

That being said, my issue is with the endless advertising weeks ahead of the event. But that’s true for all holidays and just had me personally on tenterhooks.

As usual, I’m in yammering mode, feel free to ignore it!
Anyway, point being: Whether you hate or love the day, there’s no arguing with what it stands for.

Just kidding, well… maybe…. and telling people how you feel.

Stay true to yourself.

Species jumping the divide

Hey folks!

It’s been two weeks, and boy have I got thoughts!

2020 has sure managed to start off in a rather… enchanting fashion if you ask me! First, I get some bad, but not surprising news, on the home front. Then the whole planet jumps into a mass panic about the Corona Virus. 

Mind you; I haven’t heard anything about it being over here. That said, I do know it’s spreading fast and is already in a lot of countries, including where I have friends. 

I wanted to take the time and tell you all to take reasonable precautions. Please don’t go around spreading more panic. That’s not going to help anybody! 

Now, virus and whatnot aside, I have something else burning a hole in my tongue (and fingers!). 

I am honestly sick and tired of reading about racism and bigotry and all the misplaced anger and prejudice. 




If predators and prey can accept, bond, and love each other. Two species that were never meant to, if you listen to some people talk… Two species on opposite ends of the food chain, then why can’t we humans do it? 

Caucasian, African, Middle Eastern, Asian. 

Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Wiccan. 

Tall, short, blond, brunette.

Straight, Gay, Transgender, Pansexual.


We live. We breathe. We eat. We feel. 

Then again, what do I know? I’m just a dumb black sheep dumped between two worlds. I couldn’t possibly understand what one or the other is like… oh, wait! That’s exactly what gives me the right to say it because I was raised in two very different cultures. I was taught to see both sides. To see both the good and the bad

And guess what? Religion isn’t the bad guy, and it’s the few that use it to justify themselves. But that doesn’t mean everyone should be punished for it. 

The same goes for a person’s skin color or sexual orientation. Neither of which is a choice! You don’t choose to be born! What you can choose is who makes you happy! 

Stay true to yourself!

Humans are without a doubt the strangest creatures.

Hey everybody!

I know it’s been a few days since my last post. Between writer’s block and plain old fatigue, I’ve been feeling… meh. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking today, and I’ve got to say: it still feels weird.

So, here’s the thing:

A year ago, new neighbors moved in next door. Over the years, I learned to trust my instincts when it comes to people. Now, here’s this couple, second day after they moved in, the wife rings the doorbell. Which, I honestly hate, because the damn thing is just way too loud!. But anyway, I open up and she’s all smiles and friendly and seems downright neighborly as she asks if my mother is around.

The thing is this: we had put our old washing machine outside, wanting to move it somewhere else to use, since we got a new one for the house. They move in and just take the thing without asking, so my mother went over to tell them it wasn’t theirs to take.

Anywho, one look at her smiling face and alarm bells start going off in my head, I can’t put my finger on it, but something’s telling me she’s a total fake. I tell my mother much. A few weeks go by and I start thinking maybe I’m paranoid. Maybe there isn’t anything to worry about. Maybe – for once – we hit the jackpot and got nice neighbors.

Eeeeeh… wrong.

It started with her telling my mother she got her husband to marry her by putting him in prison until he agreed to it. (Not kidding!)

Then, she goes on to tell my mother I have nothing better to do than run to the door whenever any of the neighbors (upstairs or hers) bell rings. The kicker here is, she specifies that I open the door to see who it is. EVERY. TIME!

Now, during that time, between her and the upstairs neighbor, the bells went off 10+ times a day.

Didn’t stop there though. She goes on to tell mum I have men coming over, knocking the door at odd times in the day. Mind you, it’s the company driver bringing me back the bills from deliveries he made, and considering she describes to my mother what the guy is wearing and how I only stretch my hand through the door… I ask you: who’s spying on who?




Working off her own agenda.

And boy can she turn on the waterworks in seconds. She can turn them off just as fast, too.

Hell, she even turned her family against each other to get them to turn on one of her brothers so that she can get his daughter.

You’re probably wondering what my point is by now, if I even have one or if I’m just venting. Both, actually.

True, I had to vent.

But I also have a reason for posting this. Two, to be perfectly honest.

The first being, the old saying that truth is stranger than fiction holds merit more often than not.

The second, trust your instincts. You may not know the reason right then and there, but there’s always a reason. If your gut is screaming to watch out, don’t let your guard down. Trust is easily broken and regret is a powerful thing.

Stay true to yourself.