Tag Archives: author

Need a signed copy of TLD? Read this!

I’ve had lots of requests for signed copies of The Littlest Dragon, and for that, I’m extremely grateful! Nothing warms an author’s heart more than knowing there are people out there ready and willing to support their book. I love making readers happy, so get ready to order your signed books, y’all!

Here’s how this will work: You order direct from me, I receive the book, ink it, and then mail it straight to you. Prices will be a little higher than retail, because I’m factoring shipping into the total cost.


  • Hardback: $23
  • Paperback: $13

Payment Methods:

  • PayPal (preferred!)
  • Venmo
  • Check

In the memo line, or memo field, or note field of your chosen payment method, please include “signed copy of The Littlest Dragon“, or something similar.

*Notes for personal checks: Your requested book(s) won’t be mailed until I receive the check and it clears the bank.*

You can order as many signed books as you want! Go wild!

To start the ordering process, please complete the form below. In the “Comment” section, include the number of copies you’d like, format (HB or PB), and payment method. I’ll then reach out via email and we’ll finalize payment and your shipping address.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out via the comment form, or hit me up on social media.

Thank you!!

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Guest Post: 10 Empowering Movies Every Girl Should See

Hello, everyone! Today I have a very special surprise for you: my very first guest post, by speculative fiction author and blogger, Christina “DZA” Marie. She can be found here, blogging about books, writing, and diversity and representation in the different kinds of media we consume.

Without further ado, I’ll let Christina take it from here!

First I want to thank Jessica for letting me post on her blog. Awesome writing buddies are awesome.

We found each other on Facebook while fangirling over one of our mutual fandoms. We both realized it’s tough trying to find empowering role models for your daughter, or finding a movie where you can root for the woman lead instead of rolling your eyes. This is especially tricky if you’re into speculative fiction: superheroes, fantasy, science fiction…It gets even harder if you want a good movie, one that isn’t over-the-top sappy, one where the director and producers actually tried.

Luckily there are geeks like me who watch a lot of movies who can help you narrow it down, and since I like everything from Disney to gore-filled horror movies there’s something here for all ages and tastes. The following movies are my top ten in regard to quality and amazing girl power. Go forth and conquer your television!


Can we just take a minute to appreciate the beauty of a Disney/Pixar film that centers on a girl and has absolutely no romance? These happen once every blue moon, and have started to become more frequent: Zootopia, Inside Out, Finding DoryBrave was the first. And it did a remarkable job of addressing gender roles and turning them on their head. And it’s hilarious. And you will cry, because it’s Pixar.


merida from brave



Also a platonic Disney film, Zootopia goes a step further than Brave and addresses several different layers of prejudice and privilege. Prey animals are the majority and therefore have more political power than predators. But predators are usually larger animals, and larger animals have access to better jobs and are taken more seriously than smaller animals. Rabbits and other small animals are heavily discouraged from jobs such as law enforcement. Foxes are hated by everyone.

It’s also a great buddy-cop movie. Judy and Nick are the best.


Can we just acknowledge the fact that Angelina Jolie’s favorite Disney character growing up was Maleficent? It explains a lot.

Disney gets props for having a grey character as the focus rather than a traditional hero. It’s made even better by the fact that it’s a woman who’s so morally ambiguous. Normally girls and women in movies are on one end of extremes, either all good and pure (and boring) or twisted and evil.

But more than that, they managed to make one of the most important scenes in the movie a metaphor for rape. In a kids’ movie. And they handled it beautifully. Maleficent doesn’t let her trauma destroy her. She owns it and refuses to let it stop her. Although the best part was how the curse was broken by “true love’s kiss” without involving the bumbling prince.

Monsters vs. Aliens

Classic monster reboots are always fun, but Dreamworks’ Monsters vs. Aliens is probably my favorite. Susan is hit by an alien meteor on the day of her wedding, grows to the size of a skyscraper, and becomes Ginormica. She and a team of other monsters have to fight aliens who want said meteor back.

Susan’s story is an oldy but a goodie: she has to go from scared, meek girl to a confident, capable woman. While that in and of itself is a great message to send to young girls, I love the way they handled her love life. Normally, when a female protagonist realizes the guy she’s dating is a total jerk, the movie ends with her replacing him with a much nicer, cuter guy. Susan doesn’t replace her ex. She breaks up with him and goes to Paris with her new friends to save the world again. But the message isn’t “Confident women can’t get a man.” It’s “Confident women won’t tolerate scumbags.” We know that Susan’s probably going to fall in love again but that’s not the focus of her story, and she’s not going to think about that right now when she has more important things to worry about. Like aliens.


Based on Neil Gaiman’s children’s book, Coraline is a creepy kids’ movie about a girl who discovers a doorway to a mirror universe in her new home. It has better versions of everything in the crappy apartment her family has moved into: an “Other” Mother, “Other” Father, “Other” neighbors, delicious food, a beautiful garden, etc. But it’s a trap, and Coraline has to rescue herself, her friends, and her parents from the Other Mother.

I could rave about the beautiful cinematography, haunting soundtrack, and genius of Gaiman for days. But I’ll keep it simple: Coraline as a character is a bit of a brat, but she’s a lovable brat. The story is incredible, the Other Mother is terrifying, and it’s a terrific family film.

The Craft

What happens when four teenagers become powerful witches? Nothing good. One, Sarah, manages to remain a good guy who recognizes her mistakes and tries to fix them, but the other three turn rotten to the core. Sarah has to battle not only her ex-coven, but also her own inner demons (she’s a suicide survivor).

This is one of the oldest movies on this list (1996, right after I was born), but it’s a classic. There’s also supposed to be a sequel in the works, but there’s been no word of that for over a year. Fingers crossed, though!

Any Star Wars movie with Leia, including Rogue One

So, everything but Episodes I-III.

Leia is just awesome overall in the classic trilogy: smart, charismatic, and courageous. Although it’s disappointing that the script writers tried to reduce her to little more than a love interest after Episode IV. Think about it: Darth Vader is her dad, too, but her narrative is centered around getting Han Solo’s attention rather than trying to reconcile the revelation of her family, like Luke. Still, she’s an excellent character in a great franchise.

While not the best Star Wars film, Rogue One was a good movie. Given the topic of this post, I should probably praise Jyn and how cool it was to see her plan trigger the classic trilogy, but honestly the best parts of the movie were Darth Vader’s fight scene at the end; and K-2SO, the smartass robot.

The Force Awakens was awesome. Yes, it was very similar to A New Hope, but that’s the point. It was basically washing the bad taste of Jar-Jar and Episodes I-III out of our mouths by rewriting a classic story starring Rey and Finn. I have high hopes for The Last Jedi, even though I’m 99% sure that Luke Skywalker’s going to die.

Mad Max: Fury Road

If someone had told me the phrase “feminist action movie” could ever be uttered in a non-sarcastic manner, I would’ve laughed in their face. Then they rebooted Mad Max.

While it certainly has a race problem (come to think of it, most of these movies are pretty darn white…) it has excellent gender representation. I don’t know what I like about it more: Charlize Theron’s Furiosa or the motorcycle-riding grannies. Nux’s narrative arc is probably my favorite. The guy goes from brainwashed minion to total BAMF. It’s supposed to show how young men are conditioned to believe sexist rhetoric but are fully capable of redeeming themselves, but the only thing I could think of in the theater was Flamethrower guitar? Cool!

mad max

furiosa from mad max: fury road

The Shallows

You’re going to think this is a Jaws rip-off. You would be correct. BUT, it’s a very good rip-off. The only major characters are the shark, a seagull, and Nancy the med student (played by the surprisingly talented Blake Lively). Nancy’s a surfer who gets chomped on by a shark and trapped on a rock island in the ocean. Unlike other blondes who star in horror films, she’s smart. After her leg gets nommed on by the shark, she stitches herself back together with her jewelry. Her jewelry!!! And then later, she swims through a field of jellyfish. Neither the med student or shark mess around in this film.

Don’t Breathe

Created by the same horror geniuses behind Evil Dead (both versions), Don’t Breathe is about a trio of thieves who break into an old blind veteran’s house to steal the hundreds of thousands of dollars he has in cash. The problem is he is a sociopath with several skeletons in his closet, and starts killing the would-be thieves one by one.

The star is Rocky, the only woman in the trio. She has a young daughter and lives with her extremely unpleasant mother in a Detroit ghetto. So while she’s certainly no angel, you do root for her, especially when you realize just how evil the blind man is. She doesn’t have a degree like Nancy in The Shallows, but she is smart, relentless, and an overall fantastic heroine.

Honorable Mentions:


Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the show, too!)


Practical Magic


The Hunger Games

Olive, the Other Reindeer


Wonder Woman

The Harry Potter Series




Evil Dead (2013 remake)

The Cabin in the Woods



The Princess and the Frog

Westworld (TV show)

Stranger Things (another TV show)

Thanks, Christina!

Here’s where you can find more from her on the web:





Christina is a great voice and advocate in the fiction community, so I highly recommend you check out her other work!

I hope to be bringing you more insights from other writers and creators this year, so if you’re ready for the ride and don’t want to miss a post, click the “Follow Me” button at the very bottom of this page or go like me on any social media outlet that floats your boat. 🙂

Until next time,


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Cover Reveal: The Littlest Dragon

After the busy blur that was my week at Tinker Mountain Writer’s Workshop, I almost forgot I had scheduled this cover reveal for today!

We have about 30 minutes left of the day, so without any further ado…dun dun dun…here it is:

Cover TLD

Isn’t Bimnid just the most precious little dragon you’ve ever seen??!! 🙂

And the synopsis:

Bimnid is the puniest dragon on the Island of Bones. Not only is he tiny, but he does not have the shiniest scales, or the sharpest teeth, or the loudest roar. When the island is threatened by dragon-hunters, Bimnid looks to the other dragons for help, only to discover that everyone – even the fiercest – is afraid.

Can Bimnid find the courage to save his horde and earn his name?

I can’t end this post without sending out a HUGE THANK YOU to my wonderful illustrator, Sarah Waterfield. Without her, there would be no Bimnid and Co.

You can find Sarah online at her website and on Facebook, if you want to check out more of her wonderful art.

The Littlest Dragon with be available to purchase in hardback and paperback very soon; stay tuned for the official release date!

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2016: A Year in Review

Hello everyone!

So, I’m only a couple of days late with this post, and for that I am very proud of myself. Since we’ve dived joyously into 2017, now is a good time to reflect over the past year and talk about some goals moving forward.

I don’t think I have to address what a dumpster fire 2016 was, so I’m going to move right into the good stuff.

2016 was both a successful year and a not-so-successful year for me, writing-wise. In February, I was accepted into a MFA program (hooray!) but I seriously underestimated how much time I was going to have to devote to writing and reading for class. This time came right out of the extra time I would have used working on my personal writing. But, I did finish several short stories, one of which is currently out on submission, so yay for small victories! I never really found a balance between grad school, work, life, and writing in 2016, so that’s going to be something I work on this year.

Umm…what else did I do this year (checks Instagram)…oh yeah. Saw a lot of ‘rasslin shows, celebrated my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary, took a visit to my alma mater, saw a good friend get married, revealed the official title for #codenamehotprieststory (The Girls of Fall), buzzed both sides of my head, won first place in a Halloween costume contest, got two promotions at my day job (huzzah!), attempted NaNoWriMo, bought new floors for my condo, turned 28 and wore a mermaid princess crown. Shew. I guess my year was pretty busy after all, when you put it that way. 🙂

I’ve spent the last few days planning out what I’d like to accomplish in 2017 and going journalahead and writing things down in my planner. If a thing is written down, I’m more likely to actually do the thing. I bought a brand new notebook — the Leuchtturm 1917 — to use as a project journal and keep better track of all my writing projects — progress and notes.

If you’re following me on Instagram, you might have already seen some of my 2017 goals and resolutions, but I’ve added even more goals since that post, so let’s break them down here as well.

  • Complete second draft of The Girls of Fall by 3/1 — this one is pretty self-explanatory. I’m about exactly halfway through the second draft and I’ve calculated how many words I will have to write each day/week to meet this goal, and it’s very achievable!goals
  • Establish and protect a writing time — I need to write when I sit down and say I’m going to write. Whether that’s a few hours each night, or a big chunk of time on the weekend.
  • Read 30 books — This was my goal number for 2016, and I fell short by about 6 books. Going for 30 again this year!
  • Do Zumba two times per week — gotta go shake that booty.
  • No soda, coke, sweet tea, etc. — I’ve made a spot in my planner to check off the days I’ve been soda-free…only one check mark so far…WHOOPS.
  • Pack lunch for work — saving $$ plus eating healthy.
  • Temper phone time/social media time — I’m still ironing out the details of this one, but I would like to stop using my phone an hour or two before bed and use that time to read instead. And then go straight to bed, not spend another 45 minuets aimlessly scrolling through Instagram.
  • Send a quarterly author newsletter — Subscribers, you’re guaranteed to hear from me at least 4 times a year!
  • Attend a writing conference — I’ve already got one picked out, so now I just need to register.
  • Get all A’s in classes — Ugh, I’ve gotten all A’s and B’s so far, but I want those A’s, dagnabbit!
  • Do a quarterly review of goals — Each quarter, I’d like to sit down with myself and review the goals I’ve outlined here, maybe make some new ones, and just evaluate how the year is going overall.

Okay, I think I’m finished for now, whew!

I’m participating in an author life photo challenge on Instagram this month, so if you want to know more about me and how I’m tackling the new year, head on over and check out the hashtag, #IGAuthorLifeJan.

Happy New Year!

P.S. If anyone has any tips on how to manage your social media time more efficiently/effectively, let me know!

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