Casting The Sanctum Trilogy – Darby Winthrop

This is for my girlfriend, Bekah, who’s not feeling too well this morning, so I thought a little game of Casting The Sanctum would take her mind off her yucky belly.

Last night while some of us were yacking about my choice for Ryker, a conversation started about Darby and Jools and who would I post about next. Bekah made a request for Darby and then proceeded to send me her casting choice: Kiernan “Kiki” Shipka.

KiernanDarby.2 KiernanDarby

Dammit, Bekah, that’s good.

I’m tempted…


But I’m sticking with my girl, Dakota Fanning.

Since the beginning, that very first scene where the reader meets Darby as she spies on Wyatt, Ryker, and Jools as they leave that bar, I’ve had a very distinct idea of Darby, her personality, and her appearance. And I think she’s Dakota Fanning all the way. Childlike features in a very tiny body but a very otherworldly, adult sense of self.


For me, Fanning’s the perfect package. That, plus it would be fun watching her capture all of Darby’s ever-changing moods and indulging in the vampire’s lust for both life and death. That character would be all kinds of fun to play, if I may say so myself.

Random Darby fact: her full name is Eudora “Darby” Cordelia Winthrop. Even her name screams Dakota Fanning.



Casting The Sanctum Trilogy – Ryker, Part II

Over the last few weeks I’ve been indulging my inner pop culture whore and casting The Sanctum Trilogy as if the movie is in the works and all of Hollywood is at my beck and call.

Dev is going to be played by Lupita Nyong’o because I’m sure she’s free and just dying to play a badass hybrid demon and Wyatt will be none other than Nicholas Hoult, mostly because he’s tall and hot and I loved him in “About a Boy.”

So now we’re up to Ryker, Wyatt’s best friend and The Sanctum’s most gifted, and most troubled, warrior. He’s smart, funny, charming, and damn does he know his way around a woman’s body.

I had some very interesting suggestions for Ryker, from Chris Brochu (really, Denise?) to Shemar Moore (this one makes me laugh – it’s like Halle playing Dev). My friend, Steph, suggested The Orginals’ Charles Michael Davis, who up until a couple of weeks ago was also my choice for Ryker. Every time I saw him, I thought of Ryker.

That is until I randomly came across Nathan Owens.


Really, I needn’t say more.

I just hope he can act, because he’s kind of cute. And totally Ryker.


NathanOwens4 3b8e4c8ca1e2b3e5154853d7f415bde1


Book Review – Outsider by Kayti Nika Raet


YA Dystopia

Published: September 22, 2014

If you’ve been following my book reviews, then you know I’m kind of in love with Kayti Nika Raet’s* unique, fast-paced, thrilling series The Outsider Chronicles.

I read NIKO and promptly fell in love with a badass girl and her killer baseball bat. Then I snagged HARM and fell even harder for Songhay. And now I’ve read OUTSIDER twice.

Oh yeah, you read that right. Twice, bitches, cuz it’s just that good.

OUTSIDER is the third cycle in Raet’s The Outsider Chronicles and I have to say, it’s her best so far. The novel represents a two-fold evolution: Raet’s prowess as a writer and her main character Niko’s growth as a woman. The rhythm of the novel feels almost languid compared to the first two books and this is a good thing, as it is perfectly pitched to Niko’s state of mind: contemplative, distraught, conflicted, determined.

The story opens with Songhay and Niko entering Cherai city as Grey-men, the drugged slaves working within the city walls. Quickly reuniting with Ben, Jared, and their allies, the group plot to free the Grey-Men and wrest control of the city’s water supply, thus revolutionizing the lives of many.

And that’s about all I’m going to say about the plot.

Actually, I lied. I’ve got one more thing to say about the plot: there are Slithers. Of course there are Slithers. Freaking nasty pieces of work which, by the way, are becoming smarter by the day. Dudes are talking and strategizing.

Shit’s about to get real up in here.

As always, Raet delivers with the action as her crew battle Slithers and race to gain control of the water supply. This is where Raet excels and seems quite at ease as a writer – girlfriend knows her way around a deadly fight. Where she surprises the reader and proves her writing skill are the moments of quiet reflection, tenderness, and despair. Her love triangle is fraught with wonder, surprise, and awe; her lovers are wrapped in a bittersweet, ever-encroaching anguish. Their kisses are full of tightly-wound sexual tension, released sparingly and with such effect the reader can almost feel a brush of lips along a clavicle and a touch along a hip.

It’s sexy and sweet and sad.

And then there’s Songhay.

About him, all I’m going to say is this: “we don’t always get what we want.”

Go buy the book. Now. I’m not playing. Snag a copy this minute. You can thank me later.


*Full disclosure, Kayti and I have become friends ever since she reviewed THE GIRL, interviewed me, and then I reviewed NIKO. But seriously, that matters little. This series is fierce and I would not lead you astray. Also, Kayti and I don’t have one of those relationships where we are afraid to call each other out on the not-so-good-stuff in our work. I’ve criticized her spelling errors and she’s been honest about parts of my books she doesn’t like. Which is another way of saying I’m not sitting here, sugar-coating shit to make Kayti feel good. I mean, yeah, she’s probably feeling good right about now as she reads this review, but she earned it.

This. Book. Rocks.

Book Review: Harm by Kayti Nika Raet


YA Dystopia

Published January 13, 2014

HARM is the fast-paced, thoroughly engrossing second installment in Kayti Nika Raet’s The Outsider Chronicles and picks up right where NIKO left off, leading readers through the stressful twists and turns of Niko’s journey after her narrow escape from Amaryllis City.

Traveling with Ben and her brother, with hopes of making it to Ben’s hometown of Cherai City, the trio encounter all sorts of obstacles prior to their arrival at the city gates, only to be turned away without a thought when they fail to produce the requisite entry fee. Deciding their best chance to get inside is to split up, Niko goes it alone on the outside, traversing the slums, encountering evil gangs, unscrupulous boot-sellers (trust me, you need some boots!) and finally meeting Songhay, a mysterious boy with some serious fighting skills. Songhay saves Niko, now calling herself Harm, from a rather horrible situation and together with Songhay’s sister, Roosevelt, the trio learn to (kind of) trust one another and survive.

As exciting and unique as the first installment in the series, NIKO, I especially enjoyed Harm because of the character Songhay. He is the one person in Niko’s life who seems to soften her a bit, humanize her in ways that not even her brother, Jared, can. I have no idea whether Songhay will play a more important role in Niko’s journey, but I do appreciate his ability to get under Niko’s skin and peel away a bit of the cold, calculated veneer she shows the rest of the world. (And I know Niko needs to be cold and calculated to survive this deadly landscape of acid rain, Slithers and corrupt individuals at every corner, but it’s nice to see there is someone with whom she can let down her guard and genuinely smile, even if it’s only for a moment.)

As with NIKO, Harm is action-packed, full of exciting fight scenes, witty banter and general feats of Niko-badassery. Fans of the first book will not be disappointed with Harm, as Raet continues weaving her web of intrigue around Niko. This original, engrossing, quick read takes you on one hell of a ride, leaving you wondering what secrets book three will uncover and expose, and hopeful Niko’s soul can survive them.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a copy, fix yourself a drink, and settle in for this wildly entertaining, second installment of The Outsider Chronicles.

Holla bitches.

FMK – The Diva Holy Trinity

FMKNikki FMKRihanna FMKBeyonce


It’s Friday and I haven’t played Fuck, Marry, Kill in a hot minute, so why not?

I just saw this one done for a Broad City promotion and couldn’t resist – it’s too divalicious not to indulge and play.

So let’s do this.

I’m fucking Rihanna because duh, marrying Beyonce so long as she and I can reach an agreement about that damn photog who seems to follow her around 24/7, and as much as I love Nikki and her killer fast raps, I’m gonna have to kill her juicy booty. 


What say you?

Come on, don’t be shy. You know you want to play. Leave your FMK in the comments.

Otherwise, happy Friday, bitches.

How To Get Away With Being A Bigot

When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called “How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.”

The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley crafted that sentence as the lead into her article on Shonda Rhimes. She then later defended that very sentence and its creation by claiming “her intent had been to praise Rhimes, to talk about how [Rhimes] had managed to rise above stereotypes”…

all while Stanley very hideously perpetuated one.

Much has been written on this article, including pieces from Vox, VultureSlate, and Jezebel, a justified uproar has ensued, and even Shonda has responded.

The New York Times has backtracked and apologized, reminding me of another behemoth flailing about in the media as of late, the NFL. Neither organization thought their actions were improper until the rest of us instigated a social media firestorm and called them out on their bullshit.

Ugh. Here we go again.

The sexism.

The racism.

The bad behavior by those in positions of power.

I’m over it, folks.

I’m not going to say much on the situation with Shonda because for one, it’s already been said and said eloquently and two, after sitting with this for four days, I’m still so fucking mad that it’s difficult to write coherently on this issue. All I really want to do is string together some expletives and ship them off to Ms. Stanley and the other tools she works with at the New York Times.

What I will say is this: it’s so sad to me that when Shonda creates strong, Black characters it’s akin to being an “angry, Black woman” but when one of Aaron Sorkin’s characters waxes poetic on whatever Mr. Sorkin feels like discussing at the time, it’s described as “opinionated speech” and “forceful denunciation.”

Fuck that noise.

The double-standard, the racism, the bigotry is so blatant and so upsetting. If this world we’ve created is post-racial then god only knows what’s coming for us next.