Review: Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao

First, I would like to thank Penguin Teen Canada for providing me a physical ARC of this. I am honored to have received a copy!


3 stars

This review doesn’t contain spoilers.

From what I understand this is a companion novel from one of her other series. I have never read anything else by her. And I can happily say that you don’t need to in order to understand this book.

What I loved most about the book was actually the setting, history, and politics. And I don’t like politics, so that’s saying a lot. 

Julie did a really wonderful job of putting you right into the world. Showing you where they live, and how. The setting was very beautiful; in just a couple of lines you can tell exactly what the characters are seeing.

However I was not highly invested in the main story between the main characters. There was a lot of side characters though that I would have liked to know more about. The main story is very soft. Starting softly and ending so as well. The stakes don’t seem very high, and even when they do, I didn’t feel that there was enough emotional build up to feel strongly about what was happening. 

I also felt that a lot of the timing of certain point reveals was quite a bit off. One character served only to confirm the plot points that were already known by the characters. To the point where you can actually tell when we would be interacting with that character. It was almost always a chapter after a big reveal, only for them to confirm what we already knew. 

If you like books that don’t necessarily have a lot of emotional turmoil, this would be perfect. I find that this book would be a good palate cleanser. Or if you like books that don’t have super high stakes, then I would definitely recommend this. 

An Announcement!

Hi everyone, I’m excited to announce some really cool news! On August 23rd, from 11am to 3 p.m, I will be doing a book signing at the Chapters location in Red Deer, Alberta. Copies of my poetry collection Witchcraft and Monsters will be available for purchase at that book signing.
Come on over to say hi, ask me any writing related questions, and maybe pick up your next read!
I hope to see there!


Review of Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer

I received an ARC copy on netgalley of this poetry collection, in exchange for my honest review.

“To sing of love is almost always to sing of war.”

I’ve followed Trista’s journey as a poet for a very long time. All the way back before her collection Honey Bee, when she was still only on Tumblr.

From there her poetry has grown, while never losing touch with who she is. And always having a consistent voice.

Now typically with poetry collections, I tend to skip a poem here and there. As they just don’t click with me. However with Trista’s poetry, I can find something to connect with in each poem. Whether it’s the whole poem, or simply just a phrase.

Her writing always manages to spark emotion. I will be giving this collection a 4.5 star.

“She says, “I thought you weren’t looking for love.”

I say, “That doesn’t mean I’m not hoping it will find me.”

A reading update, because I don’t have a writing one.

So far this year I’ve read 25 books is here. My Goodreads goal was 30, so it’s looking like I’m going to have to up that pretty soon.

I’m going to give you a reading update, instead of a writing update, because I don’t have one of those yet. I’m hoping to have one by September. During August I’m going to try to edit my manuscript into something that’s ready to query.

So since I talked to you last I’ve read about three to four books.

The Strange the Dreamer duology by Laini Taylor. (both books are undoubtedly five stars)

This series was one hell of a wild ride. It was beautiful and immersive, filled with so much detail. Because of its size, it’s a little intimidating to start. But once I finished the first book I knew immediately I had to pick up the second one. Thank God I had both.

Laini Taylor is seriously a master at what she does. There was multiple times that I couldn’t actually decide what genre it was. And that didn’t bother me, in fact I actually enjoyed it more because each page was a surprise.

I attempted Women Talking by Miriam Toews

(No stars)

This was rough. I was buddy reading this book with my mom, and if she wasn’t reading it out loud, I wouldn’t have even made it as far as we did before we DNF-ed it. We only made it 20 pages in. And it’s not a very long book. But quite frankly, it was boring.

I wanted a story about what happened to the women during the process of it happening. Instead you’re thrown into a story of a back-and-forth debate about what happened afterwards. I don’t think the synopsis gives a good interpretation of this. As I didn’t realize what we were getting into.

And the rerelease of The Near Witch by V.E Schwab.

(Also 5 stars)

I found out about this book before it was re-released, but after it was out of print. I always wondered what the first book was. And was a little bit sad that it didn’t make it very long. I can only imagine how happy she was when she found out that it was being re-released. Because I’m such a fan of her writing, I just about cried when I opened the first page. I’m ecstatic that this book is out again, when the market is more ready for it. When readers are ready for it. It’s a soft story with sharp teeth. And like everything I’ve read by this author, it’s phenomenal.

I’ve currently started Year One by Nora Roberts and The House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt.

…Hopefully I’ll have an update soon!

Mid-year Book Freakout Tag

All right, prepare yourselves because I’m jumping on this train too! Here’s my Mid year book freakout tag. I have no clue who originally started this tag, but I’ve seen it around a lot recently.

Here we go.


I’ve read 22 books so far this year!


Three were 5 stars. Six were 4 stars. Five were 3 stars. Two were 2 stars And one was 1 star. 5 were no stars because I ended up dnf-ing them. Out of the dnf-ed books, I will retry only one of them.


Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. Which as of right now (July 16th) I’m only 390 pages into but I can already tell it’s the best sequel that I have ever read.


Wilder Girls by Rory Powers just got released, but I need it in my hands RIGHT NOW!!


Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab, Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw, and Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning


Ohhh man I don’t like this question… Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, I didn’t even include this on my list as read because I didn’t click with the writing on the first 2 pages. And 180 Seconds by Jessica Park.


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. There is so much hype still surrounding this book, and sometimes that can be hard. I’ve read plenty of books that were hyped and I didn’t like them. This book is also huge, so it’s a little intimidating. But I absolutely fell in love with it.


Laini Taylor


Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw, it’s a nonfiction book written about Shane’s life with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 2. I also have SMA type 2 and I related to it.


None, I very rarely reread.


None so far. Though Muse of Nightmares has brought me very close.


Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill


The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab, The white jardcover re-release! Under the dust jacket is a wonderful foiled surprise.


Read as much as humanly possible!

Authortube Newbie tag (revamped)

So I decided to take the “Authortube Newbie Tag” and frankenstein it into a blog appropriate version. The tag was intially created by Jenna Streety. Here’s the link to her youtube channel.

Hopefully no one minds me taking this tag and doing it in a blog format. I will be changing the questions a bit to better suit my blog.


How did you find out about AuthorTube? (Or author blogging?)

Well Authortube was more or less me frantically searching youtube for content about. I found booktube first, and then the Wordnerds. Now I have quite a list that I follow.

Author blogging I’ve known about for quite awhile. I used to do book blogging. Which you will see a bit of on here.

What genres do you write in?

Fantasy, paranormal, horror. And very widely within those genres. I also occasionally write poetry. However my poetry tends to revolve around those genres.

What is your preferred writing tense, point of view, and category of story? (Children’s, YA, NA, Adult, etc.)

Hmmm I like present tense, and 1st person POV. I prefer to write MG, YA, or NA.

Are you a plotter, pantser, or plantser?

Definitely a plantser. I need just a few plot points to keep myself on track. But not enough for me to feel bored.

Are you a self-published, published, or yet-to-be published?

Currently self published, but I would like to traditionally published at some point.

What publishing company, literary agent, and/or printing company are you represented by or use? If you’re not yet published, what is your dream publishing house and/or literary agent?

Right now I am self published but represented by Patchwork Press. And then through Amazon, and Draft2Digital. I don’t really want to say a specific company or agent that I would like to be represented by, because it would be a dream to be published by one of the big 5, or even one of their imprints. But whomever I would work with well, is who I would choose.

What kind of content can we expect to find on your website?

Updates on my reading and writing. The process of writing. And my life updates.

When did you start writing?

Seriously for publication? Right after high school. Actually maybe even during high school, I think I entered writing contests. But I’ve been writing for fun since I was little.

What was the first story you ever wrote?

I was maybe 12. It was a fantasy about  a kingdom that had been cut in half but a cursed tree. An angel boy was prince of one side, and a demon girl ruled the other.

What authors have inspired your writing the most?

Stephenie Meyer, the author of Twilight was who made me want to be an author. I have so many good memories associated with the Twilight series. Otherwise I like the writing style of V.E. Schwab. I find she captures my attention from line one, and I never get bored.

Do you schedule your writing sessions or simply get to writing whenever you can find the time?

I find that I am a habit based person. I work from 10am or 11am until 1pm or 2pm, This is usually work revolving around editing. And then from 1:30pm or 2pm until 5pm, I’m writing. After supper is TV time or reading.

Do you type on a computer, typewriter, write everything out by hand, or use a blend of those?

All first drafts are written by hand. This way I am not distracted by flipping over to social media. My word choice seems to be more specific when writing by hand, as well.

And where do you write in general?

The living room. Soon, maybe the deck.

What are you most looking forward to now that you’re a part of the writing community?

Building community. I like being part of a community that has a mutual interest.

Well that’s all for today! I hope to have more updates soon. If you have any questions about me or my writing, please leave them in the comments!

Here’s an Update!


April was a little bit of a slow reading month, so I will add both my April and my current May reads. Because well, why not?

Wild Beauty by Anna Marie McLemore. Four stars. It was a beautiful book. The author has a very distinctive voice and writing style.

180 Seconds by Jessica Park. I DNF-ed at 90 pages. It just wasn’t for me.

Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane burcaw. Five stars. This is a book about Shane and his life with spinal muscular atrophy type 2. Which is the same disability that I have. I loved it and I thought it was hilarious.

Currently reading:

The Weight of Feathers by Anna Marie McLemore.

Writing update:

At the end of April I had a whole week where I had caught up on everything that needed to be finished. So I decided that I would try to finish the first draft of a fantasy novel that I had been working on.

This fantasy novel is a project that I’ve been working on for a year and a half. And yes that is just the first draft…

Good news, I did finish it. Now I’m going through the process of transferring it all to the computer.

Why didn’t you type it in the first place?

Well, that’s because I’m a crazy person, who drops everything by hand. Yes including this blog post. But I do this because when I’m on the computer I get too distracted by social media. Handwriting is better for me to focus.

Favorite Author-tubers:

The Word Nerds

Kate Cavanaugh

Alexa Donne