Cover Reveal + Excerpt: Remembering Majyk

Hi, everyone! I’m so thrilled to be taking part in the cover reveal for Valia Lind’s Remembering Mayjk, which has a set release date of January 18, 2018. Read below for an exclusive excerpt. But first, let’s take a look at that gorgeous cover!


Title: REMEMBERING MAJYK, book one in The Skazka Chronicles

Young Adult Fantasy

Release Date: January 18




Book Description:

Calista Faulkner never believed in fairy tales…until she is thrust into one.

While attending a college party, she’s attacked by terrifying creatures straight out of a modern day Dr. Frankenstein’s handbook. Fleeing for her life, she discovers that her human memories are a lie and nothing is what it seems.

Calista becomes a target and her only chance of survival is to trust the mysterious Brendan Parnell. He seems to know all of her secrets, even those she doesn’t remember herself.

Together they must fight to protect the most important part of their inheritance, the Relic of Knowledge. Unfortunately, Calista has no memory of her magical life and no idea where she hid the relic. As her memories begin to resurface with bone crushing agony, Calista must face the facts: she is a Volshebnitsya of the High Realm of Skazka and it is her duty to stop the Glava, the masters of Shadowlands.

The world around them begins to falls apart. Plagued by storms that are destroying cities and torn by the sinister monsters of Russian lore. The secrets locked deep inside her mind are her destiny and her undoing. If both worlds are to survive, Calista and Brendan must face the darkness around them—and the darkness threatening from within.


Darkness envelopes me like a cloak of fine silk, rustling against my skin and calming my racing heart. 

I’ve been running for what seems like hours and the night is a welcomed protector, keeping me hidden from the monsters. The rain comes as sudden as a shadow of a bird racing through the sky, soaking me instantly. 

I shouldn’t have ran. 

I shouldn’t have panicked. 

Although, if I ever had a time to panic, right now would be the best possible moment. When you go to a party for a friend, and get attacked by monsters straight out of some dark fairytale book, panicking is almost demanded. My heart is racing, as I try to calm myself down long enough to figure out what to do. I stop moving, letting my eyes scan the street around me, but there is nothing but a sheet of rain between me and the buildings.

I hear footsteps behind me, the same instant a body comes crashing around me. Strong arms pin me close to a solid chest, slamming me against the wall. I yelp and a hand claps over my mouth. Struggling against the human cage, a fierce whisper pierces my ear.

“Hold still, Calista.”

Just like that, everything freezes inside me. My body heats up at the sound of his voice and I raise my head to find Brendan’s eyes on mine. He’s the last person I expect to see, and yet, this feels as familiar as a memory. 

I open my mouth to ask the question, but he shakes his head and transfers his attention to our surroundings. The tall buildings rise on each side of us, the rain making everything glisten in the darkness. The full moon casts shadows on the cars parked along the street, turning a typical neighborhood into a scene straight out of a horror movie.

“Come on. We have to get out of here.” 

Brendan grabs my hand and pulls me after him, away from the main road. Surprisingly, I don’t question him, but follow as he leads me away with the same urgency that runs through my blood. I stumble over my feet, but he keeps me upright. Glancing behind me I see shadows moving, closing in. There’s at least a dozen bodies running after us, close to the ground as if sniffing out our scent. 

“Brendan!” I choke on his name, as the panic threatens to overwhelm my senses. He glances over his shoulder, assessing the situation and I see the frustration written there as plain as day. The odds don’t look so good for us, and he knows it. 

Before I can offer advice, he pushes through a door on our right. Running behind him, as he holds my hand steady in his, I wonder how in the world I have found myself in this position. The thought is much calmer than I expect my mind to be at the moment, and that makes me pause. Brendan senses me slowing down, and turns to look behind him. 

“What’s going on Brendan?” I ask, when his eyes meet mine. I’m not even that out of breath. ”What are those things and why are they chasing us?” My voice rises with panic, as if now that I’m saying the words out loud, it’s finally real.

“Now is really not the time for questions, Cali. We have to get to the roof.” 

“That’s great and all, but you don’t actually expect me to trust you, right?” I ignore the fact that it seems I was doing just that thirty seconds ago. It’s like a reflex. It’s been that way since the day I met Brendan. The moment he came into my life it was like trying to tune a radio and finally finding the right station. The feedback buzz is gone and there’s comfortable silence. 

“Cali, you already trust me. Don’t deny it now. And once we get out of here alive, I will answer as many questions as I can, but for now, we need to move.” 

There is truth to his words, because I do know him and I do trust him. For some reason, that’s all I need to hear before I’m the one dragging him up the stairs. 


Now on Facebook!


As of today I have an author page on Facebook! I decided to take the plunge and create one in the hopes that I can reach more readers through the platform. I also like to think it’ll keep me on-track and accountable. Plus, it means I HAVE to get my novel edits done, right!?

You can follow my Facebook page here.

And fellow authors: I’d love to follow along with your Facebook page! Feel free to leave links below.



Hear Me Read!

I’m such a huge fan of Breadcrumbs Mag, where writers are challenged to get inspired by any of the pieces on the site and let this inspiration fuel their own writing. I currently have three pieces on Breadcrumbs and I am so pleased to be a part of this awesome “trail.”

Today I’m happy to share that I’m featured on the ninth episode of the Breadcrumbs Podcast, and I’m reading my fiction piece that’s all about dead people, and kissing, and ravioli. It sounds weird. It kind of is.

Anyway, I’m so thankful that I got to read and present my work through this new medium! Please check out the episode here and listen to some great pieces by Kim Dietz and Bob Raymonda while you’re at it.

I Have An Agent!

Back in June I started sending agents query letters and excerpts of my YA novel in the hopes of finding someone to represent me. I got radio silence from a few agents, but I wasn’t deterred. I got a few full manuscript requests, which I sent out with fingers crossed.

“The websites say it could takes agents weeks – even months – to answer queries,” I said to myself (out loud) on more than one occasion, reduced to a bundle of nerves. And then, only a few days ago, I happened to see these two tweets that caught my eye:

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Honestly, I took a screenshot of them and sent them to my mom and boyfriend. “Do you think these are about my manuscript? See the movie slate?”

(My novel is set in Los Angeles and my main character is fixated on film and Hollywood culture)

And now, I am so happy to say, the writer of those tweets (Brent Taylor of TriadaUS) is my agent! Could you tell that this is where the story was going? Did the title of the post give me away?

After talking to Brent for the first time I was blown away by how much he seemed to understand and care about my main character and my novel. I can’t wait to dig into revisions and work with him to make the story the best that it can be!

So to all of you out there querying: Good luck! Keep at it. Don’t get discouraged. Also, take advantage of the awesome community that is Twitter, which helps connect agents, editors, and writers in new and interesting ways. I also highly recommend checking out Manuscript Wish List and the #MSWL hashtag to see the kinds of stories agents and editors are looking for! I hope you find your perfect match.

Review: The Yoga of Max’s Discontent


yogaofmax I was given an e-copy of The Yoga of Max’s Discontent by the author in exchange for an honest review. I am so happy to have had this opportunity, because The Yoga of Max’s Discontent is a gem of a story.

Max Pzoras has achieved what many believe to be the American Dream: he has surpassed his impoverished upbringing and lives a life of luxury in New York City. He works a high-paying office job where many people consider him skilled at what he does. He lives in a beautiful apartment and wears fine clothes. He wants for nothing.

Except something in Max’s life is missing. After his mother passes away, Max has a chance encounter with a street cart vendor who, although barely dressed, does not so much as shiver in the cold. Through this man, Max learns about the yogis in India who have achieved Nirvana, and stories…

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Taking the Leap

I can’t believe I finally got here.

I’ve started querying agents concerning my YA novel, Another War Year. After working on this story in various forms for years, it finally feels complete.

And it all suddenly feels so much more real.

I’m thankful that during my time at undergrad as a creative writing major I had the opportunity to learn about the ins and outs of querying. I’ve also loved taking part in Twitter and web events like #PitMad and, today, #Pg70Pit. These events give agents and editors a chance to check out stories they might be interested in a new and exciting way.

You can learn about #PitMad on Brenda Drake’s site here.

And check out #Pg70Pit on Lara Willard’s site here.

I hope some of you other writers will take advantage of events like this! I’ve been having a lot of fun so far and I’ve had a few agents reach out for samples.

Now here’s hoping these agents like 90s nostalgia, movie trivia, and super conflicted protagonists!

BONUS: Please enjoy this photo of me sitting on The Iron Throne last week.

Day 285 - June 25, 2016

Life Lately: June

For the last few months I’ve been in a bit of a creative slump. I’ve been trying to sort out my feelings about blogging. I started BiblioSmiles after college as a creative outlet, when I was still searching for a full-time job. I had a lot of time to devote to reading, writing, and blogging. I’m so glad I created the site, and I am so thankful to my friends for being supportive and for submitting their own content! I’ve loved having a place where people can showcase their writing and reviews.

But working in publishing full-time takes up a lot of energy, and I realized when I did have free time to work on my creative writing endeavors, I felt compelled to write blog posts instead. I felt trapped in the schedule. 

So BiblioSmiles will stick around for when I have a review I want to share, or if any reader wants to get their work out there. I’m always happy to provide a place for that! But I decided in May to take a step back so I can focus on my writing, and I’m so happy I did.

My YA novel is all polished, and I’m thrilled with the results. Yesterday I took a new step:

I joined the #PitMad hashtag on Twitter and sent my query letter to two literary agents.

So scary, but so exciting! Querying an agent – formatting my submission and preparing an excerpt – made the whole idea of novel writing a lot more real in my mind. I feel like I’ve been woken up after sleeping for too long; I’m so eager to move forward! 

And even if I only get rejection, I welcome this step. I welcome any feedback I can get. I’m putting myself out there, and I have never been happier.