Indie Review | Dragon Speaker, by Elana A. Mugdan

Dragon Speaker by Elana A. Mugdan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Magic, power, and purpose are bestowed upon everyone in Elentria from birth, except for Karia. Born without magic, she isn’t even worthy of having a name in her village. But the dragon goddess Shivnath has other plans for Karia Nameless…

I listened to the audiobook of this and oh my goodness! What a thrilling and captivating read!

This is a YA fantasy novel about a girl without magic in a world where everyone has magic. Through a jaw-dropping/heart-stopping (literally) incident with the dragon goddess Shivnath, she’s forced to leave her hometown and shenanigans ensue.

This story has so much to offer! Dragons, humor, found family, some romantic tension, morally gray villains, morally dark villains, magic, a quest, magical creatures, just… everything, seriously. The pacing was perfect to world build, develop the characters, and keep me engaged from start to finish.

I adored this story. All three of the main characters had very unique voices. I loved Thorion. I even liked reading about the evil characters; they had personalities that were humorous and believable. And I 100% want more Bog Spectre.

The audiobook was also extremely well done. I tend to shy away from author read audiobooks simply because authors are usually not trained in voice acting like professional audiobook narrators are, and I find I usually enjoy reading the physical book more in those cases. However, Elana Mugdan blew this performance out of the Elentrian sky. Each character had a unique voice in both words and sound, and though I didn’t have a physical copy of the book to compare, I’m very glad I chose to experience this novel as an audiobook. It was top notch.

I absolutely hope the author has intentions for creating audiobooks for the rest of the series because I definitely want to continue this saga and hear my favorite characters speak to me whilst doing so.

If you’re looking for an amazing dragon book to read–maybe Fourth Wing didn’t do it for you, or maybe it did and you want more dragons–PICK THIS ONE UP! You will not be sorry!

View all my reviews

Monthly Writing Prompt | August 2023

The image flashes before you–a vision you’ve been anticipating, like a bubble swelling in your chest to the point of almost bursting. And now it’s here. No more waiting. You sweep your eyes over it, taking in every detail. And a new feeling begins to prickle across your skin.

Muse Stimulators:

  • What is the image that the POV has been waiting to see?
  • Is it what the POV expected, or different?
  • What is the new feeling seeping in? Excitement? Disappointment? Something else?
  • Why is this image so important to the POV?
  • What happens next?

Happy Writing!

Monthly Writing Prompt | July 2023

You push your foot to the floor and feel the surge of power echo from the earth upwards through your entire body. The world swirls past as you drive. Butterflies in your gut, a slight pressure between your eyes, and somewhere ahead is something that you’ve been waiting for your entire life.

Muse Stimulators:

  • Is ‘something you’ve been waiting for’ metaphorical or literal?
  • Where are they driving to and what do they expect when they get there?
  • Where are they driving away from and are they planning to return?
  • Do they stop anywhere in between?
  • Who is the first person they meet during this journey?

Happy writing!


Reblog – Epic of Helinthia: ARC Review

Epic of Helinthia by MJ Pankey This book consumed me. From the prologue I was gripped. All details of the world around me were reduced to nil. I had fallen into a new world, a world that was familiar but also, so new. When Annassa Iptys falls and a usurper takes her thrown, the lands […]

Epic of Helinthia: ARC Review

Monthly Writing Prompt | June 2023

The last piece slips into place and you feel a great sense of calm and accomplishment. It’s done. And though you weren’t sure you’d actually make it this far, you’re proud of yourself for sticking it out.
The success sinks in, spurring your anxiety. Is it good enough? Will it hold up? Is everything right? And in the back of your mind, you just know you forgot to do something extremely important.

Muse Stimulators:

  • What has the POV accomplished?
  • Is this an end goal or a just milestone toward a bigger goal?
  • What benefits did the POV anticipate from this accomplishment?
  • Did the POV actually forget something important?
  • What happens next?

Happy Writing!

Book Trailers, worth it or not?

I’m a slut for a great movie trailer, especially when they’re combined with epic music, action, and effects. I’ve caught myself rewatching movie trailers multiple times even after I’ve seen the movie because good ones are such a rush. So when I started seeing book trailers popping up on twitter and Instagram, I was intrigued.

Intrigued though I was, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make one for Epic of Helinthia. I’d seen some really good book trailers that honestly made me want to investigate the book more, and I’d seen some that I just scrolled past, and a few that made me cringe.

Like with book covers, I believe any kind of exposure for your book needs to make the best impression possible, otherwise, whether it’s fair or not, it’s going to reflect badly on your story. Having a poorly constructed book trailer, in my opinion, is worse than not having one at all.

Of course, there are the exceptions to this rule, where exposure being reaaaallly bad can drive traffic just from sheer hilarity or outrage, but that outcome is most often accidental, and the results are extremely unreliable, and often unfavorable.

In my quest to lure readers to my book, I’ve been exploring Canva, learning how to create Brand colors, fonts, and templates to reuse for social media, then slowly progressing to animations, graphics, and even swag items like stickers, posters, banners, and bookmarks. Though I’m no expert, I’ve found Canva to be a decent tool with a minimal learning curve, and well worth the $9.99/month for the Pro version. If you are tackling book marketing and publicity on your own, this is an excellent investment.

But I was not ready to take on creating a video with Canva. That’s a whole new level of savvy… right?

So, I looked into Fiverr to see about hiring someone. Fiverr is where I found my cover designer, and I’ve received soooooo many compliments on my cover, I could not be more pleased with Sadie at Lune View Publishing. So I figured it would be a good place to start looking for someone to do a book trailer too. But after browsing a couple of portfolios from some of the top-rated sellers, I decided that this wasn’t the route I wanted to take.

So what did I do? I went to youtube, of course, and found a few tutorial videos on how to create a video in Canva. And you know what? It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. Canva has a vast database of videos, audio clips, music tracks, photos, everything you need to create your own book trailer. I used the pro version, but even the free version had an insane selection to choose from, so if you’re not sure you want to take the plunge and invest in a subscription, I still encourage you to check out the free version and play around with it, I bet you’ll be shocked what you come up with!

The creation of my book trailer began outside of Canva, with a script. I’ve spent a lot of time creating, tweaking, drafting, and recreating a short description of my book in various lengths for dozens of different sites now, so it didn’t take me long to piece together a short script briefly describing the synopsis of my story, and then I’ve also had several amazing reviews which I decided to use as well.

Having a script made it a LOT easier to sift through Canva and find elements that worked together to create something epic and aligned with my book. I started with the text of the script, finding relevant background videos, then added sound effects, then added music, and continued tweaking everything. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so it took me all day to create a book trailer I’m proud of, but it was actually a LOT of fun.

I hope you’ve found this article helpful, and I would love to know your thoughts on book trailers in the comments below. I hope you enjoy my book trailer and if you do, preorder links are below!

Pre-Order Epic of Helinthia:

Barnes and Noble

Michael Clark – Hell On High #HellOnHigh #MichealClark #Zooloosbooktours #SharonBTB

I’m super excited to be posting my review for Hel On High by Michael Clark. Thanks to ZooLoo’s Book Tours and Brigids Gate Press for the gifted ebook in exchange for an honest review. Prepare for adventure as Juliana, a nineteen-year-old Brazilian, finds herself forced to run from an occult overlord, leaving her sister in […]

Michael Clark – Hell On High #HellOnHigh #MichealClark #Zooloosbooktours #SharonBTB

ARC Review | Tales of Thread, by Hegeleen Kissel

Tales of Thread is a visceral collection of inspired tales whose gravity and emotional depth would meet the approval of the most renowned ancient playwrights.

Tales of Thread is a visceral collection of inspired tales whose gravity and emotional depth would meet the approval of the most renowned ancient playwrights.

Hegeleen Kissel has created a collection of short stories and poems that are a mix of mythology retellings and brand-new stories pulled from the rich history of ancient Greece. This collection could very well be inspired by the Muses themselves. Her master of prose captures the raw human emotion in every character in these stories, and her knowledge of the ancient Greek world and culture resonates in every scene.

Her style of writing, in particular, drew me in. Most of the stories are written in first person, and the way she has chosen to combine monologue, dialogue, and exposition made me feel like everything was actually happening to me, like I was really the character. Which made the horrific choices some of them make all the more gut-wrenching and visceral.

Let me be clear, this is not a collection for the faint of heart. There are very adult themes and graphic descriptions in some of these stories that are brutal in their beautiful execution. I’m just amazed, honestly.

It’s rare that I read a short story collection where I love every single story, but I will enthusiastically add Tales of Thread to that small list. There are three stories in particular that invoked such strong emotional reactions from me: “The Boy”, “Tales of Thread”, and “XXIV”. I am a mother, and oh. These stories hit me hard. All in unique ways.

A fourth story I want to mention is “The World Beneath”, which I found to be extremely unique and interesting; a refreshing twist on the myth of the Minotaur that depicted a progression of insanity so natural that it had me overanalyzing every thought I had for the next 24 hours.

The book is also visually appealing. Each chapter has a beautiful graphic on its chapter title page. It is clear that Kissel has put an enormous amount of effort into this collection and presentation, and it is gorgeous. My only hope is that she will offer this as a physical book because I will buy it so quickly to display proudly on my shelves and re-read on those days when I need my heart ripped out of my chest and fed back to me to remind me I’m still alive.

When I say I read this in one sit down, I mean I couldn’t read this fast enough. I’m no stranger to the mythical tales and plays of ancient Greece. They’re tragic, they’re heartbreaking, they make you want to scream, they make you want to cry, sometimes laugh, and Tales of Thread captures all of that and transports you to the scene of the crime. If you love ancient Greek mythology, you must read this book and add it your collection.

Tales of Thread will be available to purchase on 14 August, so mark your calendars!

Happy Writing!


Monthly Writing Prompt | May 2023

The ground shakes. Overhead, birds of every type are flapping wildly, feathers rain down as they collide in their frenzy to escape. Behind you, a splintered tree crashes to the ground. You want your feet to move, but it feels like you’re stuck in mud.

Muse Stimulators:

  • What catastrophic thing is happening?
  • What was happening just before this event began?
  • How does this event change your character’s trajectory?
  • What happens next?
%d bloggers like this: