Guest Post: From Visual to Verbal – How my Design Career Influences my Writing by Jacqueline Firkins

I’ve been designing costumes and scenery for the theatre for about twenty-five years now. I got into the career because I love working with a group of creative minds to bring a story to an audience. I particularly like developing the world the characters inhabit, and the feel of the characters themselves. How do they choose to express themselves? What objects or garments do they hold precious? Do they dress to be seen or to disappear? What resources do they have available? Connections to their past? Hopes for their future? Do they intentionally align themselves with a group or make themselves stand out?

These are questions we all grapple with, though seldom on a conscious level every day. With costume design work, they rise to the surface and need to be answered. I find the work endlessly fascinating. I do less scenic design than costume work because I love the detail, focus on personal expression, and working relationship I build with actors when I design costumes. However, scenery often allows for bigger symbolic gestures. I like these too!

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Guest Post and Giveaway: Ronni Davis Creates Sims of Her Characters from When the Stars Lead to You

As part of the blog tour for When the Stars Lead to You, I asked Ronni to create Sims of her characters! They look really incredible and I’m so excited to share them with you! You can also read my review of her absolutely incredible book here!


Oh my gosh YES! Any reason I have to play the Sims is a GOOD reason!! I ran out of time to build any houses, but I did make Sims! I have two versions of Ashton and Devon. The first is the Maxis version, with no custom content.

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Guest Post: Writing a Bromance by Naomi Hughes

Bromance—a strong friendship between two guys—is one of my absolute favorite tropes. Sherlock and Watson! Kirk and Spock! Crowley and Aziraphale! Something about these types of relationships just always seems so special to me. I love the banter, the tension, the vulnerable moments. Even better, in my opinion, is if the guys start out as enemies before they grow into an unexpected friendship (or frenemy-ship).

So when it came time for me to brainstorm a brand-new story last year, of course I decided to write a bromance into it.

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Book Playlist: Sisters of Shadow and Light by Sara B. Larson

Title: Sisters of Shadow and Light
Series: Sisters of Shadow and Light
Author: Sara B. Larson
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 368

This post does contain affiliate links. I will receive a small amount from any purchases made through Book Depository at no extra cost to you.

From the acclaimed author of Defy, Sara B. Larson, Sisters of Shadow and Light is a timeless and fantastical tale of sisterly love and powerful magic

The night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes….

Zuhra and Inara have grown up in the Citadel of the Paladins, an abandoned fortress where legendary, magical warriors once lived before disappearing from the world—including their Paladin father the night Inara was born.

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Sensational Sophomores: Miranda Asebedo’s Playlist Inspired by A Constellation of Roses

Sensational Sophomores is a periodic blog series highlighting authors who are releasing their second books. Today, I am honored to be welcoming Miranda Asebedo, author of The Deepest Roots, as she shares a playlist inspired by her upcoming novel A Constellation of Roses. You can read my review for A Constellation of Roses here.


My number one requirement when I’m writing is having a playlist that really fits the mood of the book. Sometimes it’s songs that remind me of a certain scene I want to write, or a tune that perfectly matches the attitude of a character in the manuscript. I write in a lot of different locations—in my kids’ dance studio lobby, my car, the coffeeshop, and occasionally, even in my office! But having a playlist helps me get in the right mindset quickly so that I can get as many words written as I can in whatever bit of time I’ve managed to squeak out.

Here are three of my favorite songs from my playlist for my upcoming sophomore novel, A Constellation of Roses, out November 5, 2019 from HarperTeen!

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Shattering Stigmas 5.0 Wrap Up

It’s hard to believe that Shattering Stigmas has actually come to an end! This event has been incredible and I’m honored and grateful that Taylor chose me as a co-host.

So many amazing things happened over the last two weeks –

  • conversations were started
  • stories were shared for the first time
  • people realized they weren’t alone
  • advice was given and used
  • stigmas were shattered
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Shattering Stigmas: Accepting Help by Shon from Books and Bugs

Welcome to the fifteenth day of Shattering Stigmas! Until October 22 I’ll be highlighting voices from the book community on mental health. I’m co-hosting this event with Taylor from Stay on the Page, Shannon from It Starts at Midnight, and Amber from YA Indulgences so make sure to check their blogs out each day to see different content.

Content Warnings: death of a pet

I’ve struggled with my mental health from a young age. I was diagnosed with ADHD in first grade and depression in early middle school and anxiety starting to show up towards the end of middle school. Back when I unquestioningly did as my mother told me, I did pretty well. I went to the doctor, took my meds – no real problems. But once I started hearing what people outside my family said about it, I started having my doubts about lots of things. Did I really have these issues? A lot of people were discussing the rampant misdiagnosis of mental health problems and saying that prescription drugs were being handed out like candy on Halloween. I heard the teachers and other parents say my anxiety was caused by my mother being a helicopter parent. My best friend’s mom accused my mother of getting me medicated so that I would excel in school – because clearly, my Ritalin was a performance enhancing drug.

I felt awful. I felt like a fake. Was I really sick? I started hiding my medication. Oh, I’d lie and tell my doctor and my family that I’d taken my medicine. Eventually, I’d break down and admit that I hadn’t taken my medication for months. I’d get back on my medication and the cycle would begin again.

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