Book tour: Mortis, by Hannah Cobb

Mortis by hannah cobb
Mortis, available on Amazon

In an underground school rife with duels and deadly classes, Jane hides in the shadows to stay alive. She is the invisible assassin. But as she prepares to graduate from Mortis, Jane stumbles across secrets that reveal dark truths about her school. Will she embrace the darkness, or betray the school that raised her—and the boy she loves? Once Jane sets herself against her school, there is no turning back, because in Mortis failure always means death.

Isn’t that a great cover? I pretty much wanted to read the book because the cover sold me. Also, hey, assassins.

Pros: Ludicrously over the top action all the way through. The assassin kids try to murder each other just for fun, and there’s death traps in all the hallways. Jane, our heroine, pretty much dances through it all with her ability to turn invisible.

The assassin school Mortis is under ground, so it feels claustrophobic sometimes. But the characters run around above ground, too. It’s very entertaining. It also manages to cover the standard YA tropes, including the Love Triangle, the Dance, the Mean Girl rival, and the Creepy Rapist Stalker. (Note: There’s no sex or anything. It’s a nice change, really.)

The characters are fun and clearly drawn, and the escalating conflict brings out their secret depths.

Cons: Zero worldbuilding. There are only two clues that this isn’t set on Earth–Jane’s invisibility power, and the talking horses who run the transportation. This is dropped on you without a single word of explanation, and you kind of roll with it, wondering if the author will ever explain anything.

Nope.

There is mention of nobility and assassins around the world, but what world is it? We’re never told. Maybe book 2 will explain a few more things? I found it annoying, especially as the plot got rolling, because I couldn’t figure out how important the nobles were in the grand scheme of things.

Overall, a fun read! I’m interested to see where the next few books take Jane and company.

___

About Hannah Cobb:

Hannah Cobb lives in Maryland, where she maintains a cover identity as a librarian by day and moonlights as a writer. When she isn’t writing, Hannah enjoys designing elaborate period costumes and collecting swords. Mortis is her first novel. You can find Hannah at http://hannahcobbauthor.weebly.com/

Other stops on the blog tour:

Ralene Burke’s Blog
J.L. Mbewe’s blog
Kim Vandel’s blog

Baby pic and rambles

It’s been a pretty nice week, all told. It’s been warmish and the wind has blown a lot. I wish we’d get some rain. The desert gets so dusty when the wind has been blowing.

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A neighbor gave us a boxful of books and activity stuff, so the kids have been doing those for school all week. I’ve been cleaning house, potty training the 3 year old, and cooking dinner at lunch to accommodate my husband’s late shifts. It’s all pretty run of the mill, but it eats up time like mad.

Miss H who will be 5 in May is just starting to read. I feel like doing this reading curriculum is like working magic. We’re using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Steps, and it blows my mind how easy it is. She’s just about sight reading now. She can read, actually, when she gets in the groove.

Mr. A, who just turned 7, is drilling his writing and spelling right now, since that’s his weakest area. I’ve backed off on math, because for one thing it’s too easy, and for another thing I’d rather they burn their brain cells learning new stuff. We’re also messing about making gameplay videos for YouTube. None are up yet, but we’ll get the tech working eventually.

So that’s how it’s been around here. Busy with the mundane! But that’s 99 percent of life, isn’t it?

Turned: A werewolf romance novella

I forgot to post about when I released my werewolf romance novella. Silly me!

Here it is:

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Amazon link

A loveless marriage. A werewolf curse.

In the rainy near-Earth land of Grayton, Bernard and Charlotte Preston lead separate lives. An arranged marriage has left them with plenty of money and a cold relationship. She craves social esteem–while she wishes for the love her marriage has never contained.

He is an alchemist who is desperately seeking a cure for the werewolf curse. Yet he, too, is plagued by loneliness and a wistful admiration for his distant wife.

When the werewolves attack Lyedyn City the night of the Spring Ball, Bernard and Charlotte together fall under the curse. Retaining only their sanity, they flee deep into the forest to escape the hunters. Hungry and afraid, the estranged couple works together to survive … and the romance they’ve never had begins to blossom.

But their newfound love may be cut short by the ruthless man who controls the werewolves, and who hopes a cure is never found.

This is a sweet paranormal romance with no sex.

This story started life as a fanfic very loosely based on World of Warcraft. But since the characters were mine and I only borrowed a few names and the setting, it was easy to rewrite into an original story. It remains near and dear to my heart.

Besides, I like love stories that aren’t quite guy-meets-girl. These two are already married, so their romance is that much sweeter.

Writing Blather Blog Hop

I don’t know if that’s really the name of this hop, but it’s an excuse to talk about what we’re writing.

I was tagged by Kat Heckenbach, and you can go read her post!

I find my own interests of consuming, well, interest, but if you’re not a writer, this will be a total snooze-fest. I mean, who wants to listen to somebody talk about their imaginary friends?

Unless you read my books and I make them into YOUR imaginary friends for a while.

Anyway! Meme questions!

1) What are you working on?

At the moment, I’m blistering my fingers to finish a book I’ve tentatively titled The Puzzle Box, but will more likely be called something like The Malevolent Soul or something. It’s about a girl who has been sick for a long time. She meets a beekeeper who farms magic bees that create magic honey that can heal her … except he may or may not be worse than a vampire, struggling to hold on to his humanity, and be working to thwart the zombie apocalypse.

Yeah, it’s a romance. 😀

I’m also rewriting Chronocrime, the second Spacetime Legacy book. At the end of Storm Chase, Indal the time mage werewolf was exiled and expected to die. Except he didn’t, which is a problem for the higher ups. Carda brings him back to sort out a nasty little problem–Carda has found his own corpse, and nobody can solve the timeline problem but Indal.

Which quickly becomes a bigger problem involving magic gangsters across several neighboring worlds who not only want our heroes dead, they’d like to take Indal’s werewolf problem apart and see how it works.

2) What makes my work different from other genre books?

Haha, this is such a loaded question. I can either say, “Well, technically, it has all the same stuff–adventure, romance, monsters, non-humans, angels, demons, vampires, werewolves, magic, and car trouble.”

Or I can say, “My works are written in such screaming passion that they’ll give you an emotional high by the time you’re finished. THEY’RE THE BEST THING EVAR!!!!!11one.”

I’m taking the same stuff everybody else is writing about (see above) and putting my own spin on it. I used to do that in my fanfiction days. When everybody else was writing “Sonic fights Robotnik lawl” I was writing “Sonic touches the source of all evil and loses his mind and has to leave so he doesn’t hurt his friends and winds up on a time travel adventure while battling to retain his sanity.”

3) Why do I write what I do?

I love adventure. One of my formative reading experiences was the Island Stallion by Walter Farley. And it wasn’t just the idea of the wonderful horses hidden in a secret canyon in the middle of an island–it was the catacombs and the ruins and the secrets on the island itself. It all combined into a story that blew my young mind.

Diana Wynne Jones showed me how to do magic in the real world. Like, Archer’s Goon is just a story about a family with real problems–his little sister is basically Ramona the Pest (and her name is Awful). But there’s also a family of mages bullying his father in more and more hilarious ways, (and they all just want his father to write 1000 words), and the more stubborn the dad is, the crazier the bullying gets. Like digging up the road in front of his house so nobody can get in and out.

I have a hard time finding books that scratch exactly the adventure/real magic itch. So I have to write what I want to read.

4) How does your writing process work?

Ah, the most boring question of all. If you must know, I write an outline. Then I write the story. Then I revise the story. Then I give it to beta readers/editors, then it gets published in some way.

Pretty dry, huh? The process itself is just as much work as swinging a hammer. But with IMAGINATION.

I’m supposed to tag three more people, but everybody’s already been tagged. How about Rachel?

One of those days

Today was just one of those days.

This morning, we got up and discovered that one of our industrious children had relieved Daddy’s shaver of its gear-blades. Daddy had taken his shaver apart to clean it, and left the gear assembly on the sink to dry. One of our children discovered them, took them outside and lost them in a square acre of foot-tall grass.

So my poor husband went to work, unshaven. When he went to buy a new shaver, he discovered that a bill we’d already paid had auto-billed and cleaned out our checking account.

Then he discovered that a co-worker has been fired and he’s been loaded up with all of her hours. The money is welcome, but the unexpected stress is not.

Meanwhile, I had a decent day with the kids. But when I went to make my poor hubby some brownies, I used a little too much butter and ran out of cocoa, so they came out more like a pan of vaguely chocolate caramel.

Then the baby refused to go to sleep at the regular time.

Thank goodness the day is over. While I know we’ve had worse, it was just one of those days that the annoyances pile up.

Birthday weekend

My son’s seventh birthday is today, so we did his birthday this weekend. Here’s the itinerary:

Saturday: I made a metric ton of cupcakes, added every kind of sprinkles known to man, and distributed them to the neighbor kids. Two days later, I still have some left. Which is dangerous, because they’re made with lots of butter and are totally delicious. He got to go birthday shopping with Dad and go out to lunch.

Sunday: Visited the grandparents for cake, pizza, and presents. Had a nice time and came home hyped up on sugar.

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(They had to relight the candle because a sister blew it out first.)

Monday: Back to school. 🙂