How a Book Hangover is like a Break-Up



The book is slammed shut (or reading device put down or narrator announces the conclusion of the story). Maybe you hold it to your chest for a second, close your eyes and sigh?  Maybe announce to everyone or no one, “That was so GOOD!”? Then your eyes pop open or you sit up straight and the truth sinks in. It’s over. Really and truly. The story has ended. You have to enter the real world again.

You have no choice. You try, but everything seems mundane, like you’re going through the motions. Why are all the real life people moving along like mindless drones? Where’s the magic? Where’s the mystery, the beauty? It’s okay, though. You know later when you have a moment, you will slip into your book and it’s world and characters, like slipping into your lover’s arms. It’s so comfortable and you’ll be right there in that book. Except… you can’t. Cause it’s over. Done. Shut. No more chapters. Sitting there. Cold.


Gone are the days of sneaking off with your book, not wanting to watch tv, not minding when people were late to meet you or canceled plans, not minding staying in snuggled up in bed reading. It was just you and your book sharing every free moment of your time. Till it ended.

Now music reminds you of the plot or character of that book world you are no longer in. You try to pick up books in the same genre, but nothing comes close to YOUR book. Friends suggest books that they’ve read and you look at them like they’re throwing you into a double date with their hot boyfriend’s very un-hot (but nice) cousin. Speaking of your friends, you’re driving them crazy, constantly talking about the book and recommending it to anyone who will listen (they get it! And those random people at the library don’t care. They don’t. Walk away). This is torture. On and on this vicious cycle goes. What’s it been now? A week?! Maybe two?!

There will never be another book.

It’s right about this time that the Universe grants you a boon. Oh, and it. Is. Good!  The book has a sequel that just released and guess who’s about to start it? Guess who’s ready to sink into that world again (especially, because the world is even bigger and better than before)?  Guess who’s going to reinvest in those amazing characters (especially now that those characters have grown so much and come so far!)? Guess who’s ready to just accept that sequel back into their life like it’s an ex-lover taking you back? And guess who’s ready to blow through that sequel, only to end up crushed and heartbroken all over again? You are.  Of course, you are! You know it will hurt in the end, it hurts so good. It’ll all be worth it.

And maybe, juuust maybe there will be a book three!

Jessica’s previous blog: Love Me Some Buddy Reads




Q&A Review: Shoot the Messenger by Pippa DaCosta


What did you like about Shoot the Messenger?

Kira: Almost everything. Just like all of Pippa DaCosta’s characters, these ones were complicated and deceptive. They’re very real because they never fit into good or bad categories. The world building was awesome, but I’ll get into that more later. Last but not least, it was so easy to get into. I was constantly trying to figure out who to trust and what was going to happen next.

Shelly: Like Kira, I liked just about everything. There was so much win. I haven’t read ALL of Pippa’s books (yet), but it is very different from the ones I have read, and I think a great job was done with the world-building. This sets up so many possibilities, and I loved with mix of the traditional, “organic” fae with tech/tek. I haven’t seen that done before and it’s a mix of the traditional fae lore with sci-fi aliens.

What didn’t you like about Shoot the Messenger?

Kira: This was my first foray into a reverse harem. I’m not sure the reverse harem thing is for me although this didn’t seem like much of a harem. It is the first in the series, so I’m sure other lovers will come along. My big issue with the book was the unreliable narrator. I love a good twist in a book. This one was completely unexpected, but unreliable narrators make me feel like I’ve been lied to. That’s okay when it’s a character whose thoughts are not well known to me, but this character’s were.

Shelly: Gosh, I can’t think of anything I didn’t like! I didn’t even register that Kesh was an unreliable narrator, but Pippa is known for anti-heroes/heroines and writing characters that don’t fall into neat, tidy boxes. I guess if I absolutely HAD to pick something, it would be ending on a cliffhanger.

What did you think of the world building?

Kira: I loved it! It perfectly blended fantasy and sci-fi in a way that felt completely natural. It was a complex world, but it wasn’t bogged down with extraneous details. All of the necessary details were given when needed. I loved the the issues with magic and tek and how those two opposing forces blended together.

Shelly: It was fantastic. It felt like something you could recognize, but fresh and original. Like I mentioned before, merging the fae with sci-fi space shenanigans is just a win for me. You have enough of the fae to recognize the species, but add the idea they come from another planet and can use technology to gain more power while still being bound to life and soil and plants and blood, etc.

Who was your favorite character?

Kira: Marshall Kellee even though he wasn’t the main character. He had the most integrity of any character. So far he seemed the most trustworthy although I’m well aware that could change. He had an interesting background, which I hope to learn more about. I sympathized with him the most in the end.

Shelly: Tough one. I loved Kellee AND Talen and I even found Larsen intriguing. I guess if my back is to the wall, I’m gonna go with the mysterious fae, Talen.

Would you recommend this to others?

Kira: Absolutely! It was fun and original. It had lots of action. If you like nontraditional fae stories or sci-fi, I’d highly recommend you read this.

Shelly: Yes, I would. But don’t expect a fluffy tale about faeries in space. Expect treachery, ambiguous characters and relationships, slow burn romance, and lots of what-the-fuckery. I am very curious to see what Pippa does with the reverse harem thing since it’s a genre I absolutely adore right now!

Your rating and review:

Kira: ★★★★ Shoot the Messenger review

Shelly: ★★★★★  Shoot the Messenger review

Related post:

Pippa DaCosta “Shoot the Messenger” Cover and Q&A!


Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Quotes

top ten

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. These are 10 of my favorite book quotes. It was hard to narrow it down to 10. They are in no particular order.

“What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.” ~A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

“Music was always the one thing in life I could count on, the drug that took me away from reality and made me whole.” ~The Devil’s Metal by Karina Halle

“[T]he only way I was dealing with it was by not dealing with it, ever.” ~Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire

“Hope hurts. That’s what you need to learn, and fast, if you don’t want it to cut you open from the inside out. Hope is bad. Hope means you keep on holding to things that won’t ever be so again, and so you bleed an inch at a time until there’s nothing left.” ~Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

“[W]hen life gets beaten out of those who shine brightest, they recover, but sometimes that light never quite comes all the way back.” ~Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben

“Good people do all the things bad people do, Lazlo. It’s just that when they do them, they call it justice.” ~Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

“Night skills: the ability to survive inside my own darkness.” ~Night Shift by Debi Gliori

“Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.” ~A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

“I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.” ~The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

“Popular young adult novels notwithstanding, vampires only sparkle when they burn.” ~Charming by Elliott James

March New Releases!

March 6

High voltage


High Voltage (Fever #10) by Karen Marie Moning

Dani is off to save the world with Ryodan at her side. Unforeseen consequences from saving the world are putting it in danger. I’d be more excited about this if I could bring myself to ship Dani and Ryodan.

Burn bright


Burn Bright (Alpha & Omega #5) by Patricia Briggs

Charles and Anna are in charge and have to deal with some issues with one of the damaged werewolves. Someone gets attacked and they have to go after them.

tricks for free


Tricks for Free (Incryptid #7) by Seanan McGuire

Antimony is on the run from the covenant. She’s completely cut off from her family including the mice. She flees to an amusement park where trouble follows her.

to kill a kingdom


To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Seems to be a Little Mermaid retelling, but I could be wrong about that. Princess Lira is punished and turned into a human. To become a siren again she must bring the heart of Prince Elian to the sea queen or remain human forever.

silence lake


Lake Silence (The Others #6) by Anne Bishop

This is the first book in the series that doesn’t focus on Simon and Meg. Vicki lives in a human town controlled by the others. Someone is murdered and detectives blaming her.

March 20



Pestilence (The Four Horsemen #1) by Laura Thalassa

The four horsemen of the apocalypse have come to destroy Earth. Sara is determined to stop Pestilence. All she manages to do is anger him. In return, he kidnaps her. Can she save the world without breaking her heart?

March 27

born of darkness


Born of Darkness (Hunter Legacy #1) by Lara Adrian

This is a spin off of the Midnight Breed series. It’s about vampires. Need I say more?



8 simple rules

Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced #3) by Kerrelyn Sparks

Gwennore is an elf who stumbles into a dragon realm. She is a healer and discovered a curse in the realm. Dragons and elves were taught not to trust each, but problems arise when Gwennore and Silas develop feelings for each other. If this is anything like the first book in the series, it is PNR with a strong plot.

The Dark Side series by Kristy Cunning

I have been having a blast reading this reverse harem series by Kristy Cunning (who also writes “regular” romance as C.M. Owens). This series follows a ghost named Keyla who has attached herself to four bonded men who are supernatural. They live together, fight together, eat together… they do everything together. Keyla has been watching them for years. They make her stronger and able to stay in our world for longer periods of time.

Eventually, she is able to appear to them and expects things to go great, but the guys find her annoying, and just want to get rid of her! Snarky times and bantering ensues.

I find these first two books (two more will be released, the next one is called Two Kingdoms) hilarious! Keyla is a riot and doesn’t let the boys get away with anything. The author nails the chemistry and bantering.

It’s kind of a slow burn, but by the end of book two, you get a lot of answers and it is very satisfying. There are demons and much of the action literally takes place in hell.

I highly recommend giving this a shot if you like quick romantic reads full of shenanigans, mayhem, swoon-worthy moments, and hilarity. I don’t usually like “ghost” stories, but this is really unique and not-your-typical romance.


They are on Kindle Unlimited or available to buy for dirt cheap ($0.99 each!).

My review for Four Psychos. My review for Three Trials.




Pippa DaCosta “Shoot the Messenger” Cover and Q&A!

Well, Shoot the Messenger technically released sooner than expected (Amazon was Speedy McSpeedster this time), but today is when paperbacks will go out and the author will officially announce it on her website. Here is the glorious cover:



That is Kesh Lasota on the cover, the series’ new protagonist. It’s a slow-burn sci-fi reverse harem fantasy! We were lucky enough to score another Q&A with Pippa DaCosta.

Q: What made you decide to dabble in the reverse harem genre?

A: Way back in 2013, when I was writing The Veil Series, I deliberately set out to challenge genre tropes, and one of those tropes in urban fantasy is the girl who must pick “her guy”. I’ll be honest, it annoyed me that the main character had to pick. I wanted her to have both, but I felt the readership wouldn’t react well to the heroine not choosing. I had already broken the rules of what was and wasn’t acceptable by having her sleep with (gasp) two men in the first book! I still get stick for that. Muse (the main character) is often seen by some as “sluttish” (Let’s not get into the double-standards of when a guy is fast and loose with his partners, it’s perfectly acceptable). I made the right call back then, but it’s always bugged me. Why should a strong female heroine have to choose one man?

Fast forward to 2017. I have an idea bubbling away in the background. I know I want to dive deeper into using “fae” mythology, but this time (I have another fae series set in London) I’m going to switch things up by setting this new series in the distant future. I’m going to surround fae beings (who we would normally associate with an organic setting) with technology. But c’mon, this is me, I’m known for doing things a little different, so I’m not going to stop there. I’m going to mash two genres together. Sci-fi and fantasy. And hell, lets go further. THIS time the girl gets to have her cake and eat it. She can have ALL THE CAKE. Kesh, the main character in Messenger, will not be choosing one guy. F*ck that. She’s strong, confident, as kick-ass as they come, and if she wants to entertain emotional and physical relations with more than two guys at once, she sure as hell is going to. And if there are more than three guys who think they can handle her and the harem dynamics, good for them.

I’m still not following tropes. The first book only features two guys—and without spoiling some MAJOR plot twists—let’s just say, Kesh isn’t the “normal” romantic heroine. She’s no damsel, and she’s definitely not in distress.

I’ve found reverse harem to be freeing and empowering. This new slant on romance takes everything we love about our kick-ass heroines, and makes them even more powerful.  I love it.

Q: Who is your favorite character in the new series?

A: Kesh built herself a companion drone called Sota. He’s part tactical war drone and part personal assistant and all artificial intelligence. He also has a filthy sense of humor. Unfortunately, he gets stolen early on in the book, but his scenes bring a much-needed lighthearted element to Kesh’s story. Already fans are demanding more Sota. I’m working on it 😉

Q: How many books are planned for the Messenger Chronicles?

A: I’m planning at least five full-length novels and a short prequel. The Messenger world is vast and could easily be expanded into more works, but it really depends on how the first few books sell.

Q: Have you read any books lately you would recommend?

A: I loved the Unlikable Demon Hunter series by Deborah Wilde so much that I reached out to her and told her she’s awesome. There’s nothing better than authors fangirling over other authors. I have the new book in that series to read once the Messenger new release frenzy is over. I also enjoyed Jex Lane’s male/male Beautiful Monsters series so much that I read each book one after another and couldn’t stop. A proper binge. It was wonderful. I struggle to really fall into books (the curse of being an author with no off button for my internal editor) so when I do find a series that grabs me, I got nuts for it and fangirl all over the place. I have no shame.

Q: What inspires you the most these days?

A: Anything and everything. I’m a sponge. I soak up everything around me and turn it into stories. It might be something simple, like a bird landing on a branch and suddenly my imagination runs with it, turning that image into a uninhabited, barren, frozen landscape where that one bird is a sign of life. Or, I might be watching TV and think, holy shit, that’s how my main character gets out of the plot hole she’s fallen into. It’s a constant process that I can’t turn off. But I also can’t force it. If the ideas don’t want to come, I can’t make them. I’ve tried to force myself to write books that I think will work but after countless restarts, if the words don’t flow, it ain’t happening.

Inspiration also comes from the characters themselves. Once a world is established and the characters have populated it, I often just go with whatever crazy idea the characters have next. By the end of The Veil Series the characters practically wrote those books themselves, and likewise with The 1000 Revolution. It sometimes feels like I’m the conduit and I’ve no idea where the stories come from – they just do come.  I’m a very organic writer. I have an idea, I have a rough outline, I have a beginning and an end, and that’s it. The rest just happens.

Q: How do you design your covers and who does them?

A: I’m a cover design nerd. I love book covers, the shinier the better. But good covers and good designers can be tough to find. I have several that I’ve worked with regularly over the years. Ravven and Rebecca Frank are my go-to professional designers. But I also go the risky route and check out designers on Artstation and DeviantArt. It’s not for the the feint-hearted. I’ve had designers be amazing and then disappear off the face of the planet. There’s a massive amount of risk and trust involved when hiring someone half the world away. But the results can be EPIC.

I found the Shoot the Messenger designer by accident on Pinterest. I was searching for pins to capture the Messenger world and stumbled across an amazing piece of art that kept drawing me back to it. I reached out to the artist, thinking there’s no way he’s going to be interested in working with lil’ ol’ me. Not only did he get back to me, but he completely understood my vision. Anytime someone starts referring to Final Fantasy CGI as a comparable, I’m totally on-board.

He’s now hard at work on Book 2 and producing some post-card sized character art that I’m hoping to give away at Boston Fantasy Festival. (If you haven’t seen the Boston Fantasy Festival details, check it out, Rebecca Frank will be there, along with a selected bunch of awesome authors, and me!).

Thank you for having me on the MacHalos blog today and I hope you enjoy Shoot the Messenger.


Pippa is also hosting a Messenger competition that includes a signed paperback, a bookmark, a $25 Amazon giftcard, and a poster! Enter HERE!


We are sooo excited about this new series and ANYTHING Pippa writes! Get your copy of Shoot the Messenger at Amazon. It’s only $0.99 and is also on Kindle Unlimited!

Pippa DaCosta’s Amazon page.



Author page.

Related posts:

Q & A with Author Pippa DaCosta! (Our first Q&A with Pippa!)



Is he hot or is he not? Part Two!

Okay, so after I posted Is he hot or is he not? (Unconventional Hotties), I started thinking of more unconventional hotties. A part two is definitely required. Shall we begin?

First up, I’m going to say Jemaine Clement.


He was in the vampire mockumentary, What We Do in the Shadows (which is awesomely hilarious), Flight of the Conchords (which I haven’t seen yet, I know I know), and Legion (season one was amazing).

John Cusack. I think he is super-talented and has played the quirky roles to perfection since the 80s. Stand-outs: Say Anything, The Grifters, High Fidelity.


Lee Pace. He plays a super-hot elf and looks so cute in a beanie. He’s also a giant at 6’5″ (I like tall guys).


Andrew Scott. He played Moriarty in Sherlock! Need I say more???


David Morrissey. He was alluringly evil as The Governor on The Walking Dead. To be honest, that is the only thing I overtly remember him from. But that is enough.


Pilou Asbæk. How fun is he as the PIRATE Euron Greyjoy in Game of Thrones?! (Pirates are almost *always* a win.) He was also in Ben-Hur, which was – I think – an underrated movie.


Finally, last but not least, Jason Segel. Another tall person at 6’4″ (really, it’s ridiculous how my tastes tend to run), he has such a cute disposition, in my view. He has the best smile too.


Okay, that wraps it up for unconventional hotties part two. Did I leave any of your favorites out? Do you agree or disagree? Let’s discuss! 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend and do something good for you!