‘Same same, but different.’ ~A Thai colloquialism.
Often used in the market to sell you something not the same at all But also used for subtle nuance and drawing connections cross-culturally.
Comp titles. As a reader, I love them! But as an author… let’s just say it’s complicated.
Maybe I overthink the process. Wouldn’t be the first time But I always worry it’ll end up misleading. Especially for stories that are a bit more niche. Or comping very well known works.
Is some basic allegory and one chapter heavily inspired by the Lucy/Aslan dynamic really enough to compare my debut with one of the most beloved Christian Fantasy novels of all time?
So, instead of sharing comps I’ve come up with, here are some connections my brilliant readers have felt strongly enough to comment on!
If you have read Margaret Rogerson’s ‘An Enchantment of Ravens’, then this book is right up your alley! It’s got the fairytale vibes, the unlikely heroine, and her struggle to love and accept herself as he is. ~Goodreads
Beautiful, lyrical writing with a creative storyline and intriguing characters. Sucks you into a world of magic, darkness, and light and helps you see the world differently. Reminiscent of the Tales of Goldstone Wood. ~Goodreads
This novel reminds me a bit of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress but with a more subtle allegory for our modern age. ~Amazon
It reminded me of a cross between Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengel and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. ~Amazon
A thrilling, imaginative quest story that reminded me of all my favorite old medieval quests with whispers of Narnia and a bit of a Christopher Nolan’s Inception thrown in. ~Amazon
Looking for a good summer read? How about this Aztec inspired Fantasy!
Thrust into leadership upon the death of his emperor father, young Prince Ahkin feels completely unready for his new position. Though his royal blood controls the power of the sun, he’s now responsible for the lives of all the Chicome people. And despite all Ahkin’s efforts, the sun is fading–and the end of the world may be at hand.
For Mayana, the only daughter of the Chicome family whose blood controls the power of water, the old emperor’s death may mean that she is next. Prince Ahkin must be married before he can ascend the throne, and Mayana is one of six noble daughters presented to him as a possible wife. Those who are not chosen will be sacrificed to the gods.
Only one girl can become Ahkin’s bride. Mayana and Ahkin feel an immediate connection, but the gods themselves may be against them. Both recognize that the ancient rites of blood that keep the gods appeased may be harming the Chicome more than they help. As a bloodred comet and the fading sun bring a growing sense of dread, only two young people may hope to change their world.
What I Liked:
Atmospheric: Lani’s rich, vivid, atmospheric style and gripping plot are a riptide, pulling unsuspecting readers under and holding them captive till the very last page.
Bingable: I fly through books on a regular basis, but I’ve never before binged so hard I went numb. Honestly, I made it through the whole set in about two days and need a re-read to properly process all the gorgeous prose and twisty feels.
Worldbuilding: I love the worldbuilding! Always been interested in ancient cultures, so the influence from lesser known myths is a big plus, while the magic system is one of the most unique and well thought out I’ve seen in quite a while.
Characters: The character development is so well done! I like Mayana and Yamania best, but every character is well fleshed out. I especially appreciate how characters react differently to similar trauma, sometimes putting them at odds and sometimes bringing them closer together.
My Rating: 5/5
There is so much truth and hope woven through these books! Lani’s heart really shines through her words with beautiful passages on worth, belief, courage, love, and life. I dare anyone to read this and say they didn’t feel seen at least once.
To Slay a Curse is getting an audiobook! And I’m doing it myself!
I’ve always liked reading aloud. But gotta admit the idea of narrating and producing a whole audiobook totally intimidates me 😅 It’s been a huge learning curve, but I’m finally getting the hang of it. And pretty proud of the results😊
Today is To Slay a Curse’s first birthday 🥳 Giselle asked me to make a wish for her when I blew out the candle. Any guesses what it was?
And it happens to be a beautifully cozy Sunday afternoon. So why not grab yourself a cupcake and curl up with this free e-book? Yes, you read that right! My book baby is FREE ON KINDLE for the next five days! Click the image below to get your free ebook. Happy reading everyone!
First off, To Slay a Curse is now free to read with your Kindle Unlimited subscription! And it looks like they’re running a two month special right now. So if you’ve been debating whether or not to try it out, now would be a good time. But if you don’t have/want KU, don’t worry! The Kindle e-book is for sale and the paperback is still up on most major retailers.
Second, I’ll be doing my first book signing next month! If you live close, or just really enjoy road trips 😝, stop by the Cape Girardeau Library on October 16 between 2-4 and pick up a signed copy of To Slay a Curse, character art, or some of my custom bookmarks! If you’ve already got a copy, you are more than welcome to bring it for signing.
Are you looking for a fun dragon book with diverse characters, timeless themes, and an ending that will leave you pacing the floor? Look no further!
Alísa was born to lead her clan of dragon slayers, but her vocal stammer has robbed her of confidence and respect. If she can’t lead slayers, how on A’dem is she supposed to lead dragons?
As the only child of a dragon slayer chief, Alísa’s purpose should have been simple: lead the clan in ridding humankind of the dragon scourge. But while gaining respect from hardened warriors is difficult enough with a vocal stammer, when they learn her empathic powers connect uncontrollably to the dragon enemy, it becomes impossible.
Confidence shattered, Alísa resigns herself to silent service under her father’s apprentice. But when her growing connection reveals one dragon’s capacity for good, she realizes the war isn’t as black and white as the slayers teach. Now Alísa faces an impossible choice: stay with her family in comfortable but condemning silence, or follow the dragon claiming to know her true purpose.
What I Liked:
Diverse Cast: I loved the way Michelle weaved together so many complex characters. A timid, stuttering, heroin from a warrior clan with an uncanny connection to her enemies. A chief who loves his daughter deeply, and yet fears what she may become. A dragon who must work with his father’s murderers for a chance at peace. A village boy desperate to make a difference but convinced he will never be enough. All coming to terms with the meaning of worth and the dangers of judging others without first attempting to understand them.
Alísa: I related to Alísa so much! She’s introverted and compassionate with physical limitations. Ones that often cause her to be seen as weak, incapable, worthless. A sentiment she takes to heart. Yet, strength can be found in quiet perseverance. Bravery in kindness. And I loved watching as Alísa learned this and comes into her own. In the end it’s this very ‘weakness’ that becomes her strength.
Magic System: The magic system revolves around music and telepathy in a very unique way. Both a weapon and the glue that binds Alísa’s clan together. I especially loved the way it’s used with Alísa and her adopted baby dragon.
Slow-Burn Romance: Not going to say too much on this. But there’s a slow-burn I wholeheartedly ship. And an ex I desperately want to punch in the face 😂
If there is one thing I will gladly take a beating for, it is the healer who was a mother to me. And the daughter who has followed in her footsteps-my sister in spirit who greets me with a question.
To Slay a Curse
Last week, I talked a bit about found family and how that has played a role in my life. For this post, I want to focus on the theme as it applies to sisterhood.
I come from a small family. Just one brother about two years younger than me. As a kid, I would see my friends with their sisters and kept hoping my parents would give me one too. Cause’ obviously, Mom just had to visit the hospital and bring home a present Alas, it never happened. Pretty sure they made a pact after my brother No one needs two of him
So, I’ve basically gone through life adopting sisters for myself! Which works out quite well, actually. You can stick round for the fun and go home when they get annoying
Ok, but in all seriousness, these girls have been my life force through the years. Sometimes very different from me in personality and interests, but always there when I need them with a hug and encouraging word. And no matter how much time passes from parting to meeting, we can pick up right where we left off.
They are the Ami to my Giselle. And I wouldn’t make it through life without them. So, to all my sisters in spirit, know that I love you so much I wrote you a book And I can’t wait till our next meeting!
Welcome to the To Slay a Curse Blog Tour! We’ve got a lot planned for you this week, but before we get into that, I just want to say a great big THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me on this journey to publication. My first book baby has been officially out in the world only two days and I’ve already sold out of signed copies! Fear not, I have ordered more 😉
Ok, you ready to get this thing started? So am I! Kicking off with my signature tour post, a character interview 😊
Welcome, Giselle! Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with us today.
‘Tis so good of you to have me! I’m not sure why anyone should care to interview me. But I’ll do my best to satisfy.
Now don’t be like that! My readers have been dying to meet you. The girl who traveled her own mind! And while so young, too. Tell me, dear, how old are you?
I will reach my 19th autumn this year.
See? Your trip was quite the achievement.
*Blushes* I thank you. But, truly, credit must go to the others. I didn’t do all that much mysef.
If you say so. Now, down to business!What’s your favorite scent?
Roses to be sure. I always get this warm, cared for, feeling when I catch a whiff. As if wrapped in a mother’s arms. *smiles sadly.* I like to think my mother kept them about.
Roses are delightful! Even better when coming from a man, right? *sly wink*
*embarrassed laugh* I would not know. I have yet to receive any.
What a shame! And his own mother runs the florist shop. Don’t worry, love, I’ll see that he pulls his act together.
Ah, here’s another favorites question for you. If you had to choose one sweet to eat the rest of your life, what would it be?
Ami’s tarts. She is always so disappointed when they don’t come out just as her mother’s, yet I love them. I attempted baking some myself, once. It was quite the disaster!
Haha! I feel your pain. I enjoy baking, but am not much good.
Now, for one of my personal favorites. If you could go anywhere, where would you go and why?
I would give anything for a chance to see Ivlin. It’s Healer Aliza’s birthplace, you know. And Elden’s home. I want so badly to see their tales.
I don’t blame you. It sounds like a truly magical place.In the vein of tales from childhood, what’syour best childhood memory?
*Eyes gleam* The first time Ami came over! It was rather unexpected and I had just made a dreadful mess in the kitchen. *laughs* I’m sure I looked a fright, flour all over. I was mortified, yet she wasn’t put out. Not one bit. Just picked up a rag and started cleaning! She claimed me as a sister that day and we have been, ever since. I truly don’t know what I would do without her.
Sister friendships are priceless. And it sounds like you admire Ami a good deal. Who else would you say is a personal hero?
It’s no secret where Ami gets her courage. Healer Aliza gave up her home for love, came to a village on the edge of nowhere that feared her, and had kids of her own yet still found room for the lonely girl a cottage over. I aim to be her one day.
What a wonderful legacy to leave. Any other hopes for the future?
I do miss my friends in the mind world terribly. Especially Leal. That boy never failed to bring me a smile. I know there is no going back, so I’d like to find a way of honoring their memory here. Perhaps write their stories down. Tell the lives I know, imagine where they could be now. After all, I’ve got Stella to help.
I think that’s a lovely idea! Come to me if you need anything. I’m more than happy to help.
Many thanks, I certainly shall!
*Consults list* Looks like that’s a wrap! Thank you again for sharing so much with us. It’s been truly inspiring.
It was my pleasure entirely.
And thank you, dear readers, for joining us! I do hope you’ll return for our next stop on the tour!
*Exit together deep in writerly discussion.*
Ready for more? You’ll have to wait till tomorrow I’m afraid 😉 Here’s what you’ve got to look forward to in the upcoming week: