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Saturday, August 29, 2015
Hi guys.

I'll try to keep this short and sweet.

It took me a really long time to decide whether or not to post this, but ultimately, I decided that you guys deserve to know the truth of why I've been so absent once again. So I'm going to bare my soul here, and I hope that you'll listen.

If you follow me on tumblr, you may have already heard. If not, this will be news to you.

Earlier this year, my depression spiked and I reached a point where everything hurt so much and was so painful that I just didn't want to go on anymore, so I took a handful of medication to try and end my own life.

Obviously, I failed.

I regret that moment I was so weak now, but I can't deny that it happened. It will always be a part of me now, whether or not I like it.

After that, I spent a little over a week in a psychiatric hospital. It was a miserable experience, and one I hope never to repeat.

Anyway, that's where I've been. I hope to get back to blogging soon, as I do really miss it (and you all!) but I'm still recovering, and I need my time.

Thank you all for your support. I love you guys so much.


Thursday, June 18, 2015
Hi there, and welcome to my stop for THE DEVIL'S ONLY FRIEND blog tour! I am honored and blessed to be hosting a stop for a blog tour of this incredibly gifted author. There's a guest post as well as a giveaway, and I hope you enjoy both parts of the post very much!

The Devil's Only Friend (John Cleaver, #4)
Dan Wells
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: June 16, 2015
John Wayne Cleaver hunts demons: they've killed his neighbors, his family, and the girl he loves, but in the end he's always won. Now he works for a secret government kill team, using his gift to hunt and kill as many monsters as he can...
...but the monsters have noticed, and the quiet game of cat and mouse is about to erupt into a full scale supernatural war.
John doesn't want the life he's stuck with. He doesn't want the FBI bossing him around, he doesn't want his only friend imprisoned in a mental ward, and he doesn't want to face the terrifying cannibal who calls himself The Hunter. John doesn't want to kill people. But as the song says, you can't always get what you want. John has learned that the hard way; his clothes have the stains to prove it.
When John again faces evil, he'll know what he has to do.
The Devil's Only Friend is the first book in a brand-new John Wayne Cleaver trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Dan Wells.

About the Author

Dan Wells is a thriller and science fiction writer. Born in Utah, he spent his early years reading and writing. He is he author of the Partials series (Partials, Isolation, Fragments, and Ruins), the John Cleaver series (I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don't Want To Kill You), and a few others (The Hollow City, A Night of Blacker Darkness, etc). He was a Campbell nomine for best new writer, and has won a Hugo award for his work on the podcast Writing Excuses; the podcast is also a multiple winner of the Parsec Award.


I wrote the first John Cleaver trilogy years ago, and considered it finished; I always knew there was room for more books and stories in that world, and about that character, but I was satisfied with John's character arc and the trilogy's conclusion. More to the point, I didn't where I could take that character that would be both familiar and new--the first trilogy is kind of sort of about him learning how to feel, and how to connect with other people, and I didn't want to tell more stories about him unless I could find another arc that was just as compelling.

And then I found a perfect idea, in the weirdest place.

I love poetry. I love to read it, I love to write it, and I love to memorize and recite it. Each of the John Cleaver books includes a poem excerpt as an epigram (T.S. Eliot, Edgar Allan Poe, and ee cummings, in order), and each of them also includes character quoting poems in the text (well, sort of: the first one uses William Blake and the third uses ee cummings again, and the second USED TO use William Butler Yeats, but I had to cut that section because it didn't fit. The book is better without it, but I still miss it). For my standalone thriller The Hollow City, I used an epigram from my favorite poet of all time, Emily Bronte, and honestly I have to fight myself pretty hard not to just throw a Bronte quote in front of every book I write.

So: two years ago I was reading through some old Irish poetry, specifically the works of Thomas More, when I ran across a poem called "Alone in Crowds to Wander On." The title struck me immediately, precisely because it seemed like such a good fit for John Cleaver: he's so inward, and so non-empathetic, that he feels alone even when he's surrounded by people. Then I read the poem and found that it was about death, which is an even better fit for John--not just death, but about our reaction to death, and the emotional devastation that comes from losing someone you care about. I'm keeping this as spoiler-free as I can, for those who haven't read the books, but the trilogy ends with John losing just about everything he ever cared about. This line of More's poem was such a perfect fit for John Cleaver it felt like it was written for him:

This, this, the doom must be,

For all who've loved, and lived to see

The few bright things they thought would stay

Forever near them, die away.

Sometimes inspiration is hard, and sometimes its subtle, but this hit me like a thunderbolt. I knew INSTANTLY that I had the seed for an entire new trilogy of John Cleaver books. The first series was about how he learned to feel; the second series would be about how he learned that feeling sucks, and life has pain, and sometimes all a heart does for you is break. I started a new book about the aftermath of the first, showing John that gaining emotions is one thing, but living with them is a whole new set of challenges.

Obviously there are plenty of new monsters and mysteries and exciting twists and horrific scares; John has joined an FBI team tasked with hunting the demons, and with John's help they're good enough at their job to start attracting attention. Demons don't like being hunted. But the core of the John Cleaver books are the emotions that drive them, and that poem gave me the emotional arc I needed to drive a whole new series. The new trilogy will explore where the monsters come from, and how they work, and how John learns how to deal with all these new dangers and influences in his life. It gives you all the grisly mystery and psychological horror you loved in the first series. The first book (or, I guess, technically the fourth book) is out this week, so I hope you pick it up and love it.

And don't be surprised if book five or six shows up with an epigram from Emily Bronte.

I have been generously allowed to give away one copy of THE DEVIL'S ONLY FRIEND to you lovely people, my beloved followers who live in the US and Canada. Please, enter and good luck! Just remember to read my giveaway rules, and no cheating.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog post! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I loved putting it together, and I hope I'll see you back here soon!


Saturday, May 23, 2015
First off, this post is a short one. I make no qualms about that. It's also a non-traditional post, and one I hope I never have the need to type again.

I'm not disappearing again! The reason there weren't any posts these past two days was I didn't schedule them ahead of time (they were saved as drafts only) and, if you follow me on twitter you might have heard this next part, that my wifi was down. Yes, it was horrible, and without it I was unable to schedule any posts for those two days. It'll be a bit hectic while I get everything back in order, so there may not be any posts for a few days, or there may be. It really depends.

Thank you, as always, for being so understanding.


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Welcome to my young adult reading blog! Sparkles and Lightning has young adult book reviews with the occasional children's or adult's book review sprinkled in. It will also be totally and completely fun :) Have a look around, have some laughs, and most of all, have a perfectly sparkly, electric time!

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I'm a university student and ballroom dancer who spends too much time curled up with a good book. Red roses are my favorite and I love a good love story.

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