Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie Larue

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie Larue
Apr 21, 2023 by HL Bernabe

Written by V.E. Schwab and published in 2020, Addie Larue isn’t a new book. But it was new to me, and I imagine there are some of you out there who haven’t read it yet, so I decided to review it, anyway. I’m glad I found it. It’s not my usual fare–I like books that have a lot of humor, or action, or are cosy, or… whatever this isn’t. But this book was so engrossing, I couldn’t stop listening to it.

The narrator, Julia Whelan, does a spot-on French accent, and a number of other accents, besides. I’ve always had trouble with female narrators taking on the male voice, but in this one, she does a wonderful job, and it doesn’t...

Reading Update

Reading Update
Apr 14, 2023 by HL Bernabe
Isn't this library lovely? Picture from Canva.

I'm still plugging away at my goal of reading one book per week this year, and I've handily surpassed that count. I've read over 22 books! Below are some books I read or listened to from the end of February through now. You can see the blog post I wrote in February to get a list of the books I read the first two months of the year.

Hilarious stuff!

This was okay.

I did a review on this one last month!


Good, angry stuff.

Three stars

Best book ever!

More angry stuff! (I sense a theme...)

Honor Among Thieves Review

Honor Among Thieves Review
Apr 07, 2023 by HL Bernabe
Guess what I did?

AAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHH! I went to see the movie with my kiddo and I have been fan-girl gushing all day.

Wait, sorry. Let me step back and put on my serious reviewer's face. Ahem. (You can't see it, but I'm still smiling.) Nope. Can't do it.

This movie was fun. Did it stick to DnD RAW? Hell, no. Who cares? Probably some rules-lawyer sort of player who I probably wouldn't want to play with, anyway. For me, DnD is about imagination. It's about making the impossible possible. This movie did just that. It made me believe, just for a moment, that magic was real. Toward the beginning, the choices they made with the cinematography lent it a campaign-like feel, as...

Bunkom and the Enchanted Spectacles

Bunkom and the Enchanted Spectacles
Mar 31, 2023 by HL Bernabe




I played around on Canva to come up with some covers for a short story I've got on Book Funnel. My favorite is number two. He looks like he's got a colander on his head. Most other people I've talked to say they like number four. What's your favorite? Put it in the comments!

My discord writing group ladies are a fabulous bunch. When I ask for help, they are always happy to give it. This time, I asked for a prompt, because I want to write more short stories. I was given this: a dwarf character named Bunkom, enchanted spectacles, and a bit of dialogue, "I didn't see that coming." I had to incorporate all three into my story. That...

Book Review: The Wandering Inn

Book Review: The Wandering Inn
Mar 17, 2023 by HL Bernabe
Last week I finished reading The Wandering Inn by Pirate Aba. I have wanted to review more independent authors, and Pirate Aba wrote all of their works as a serial on their website. All nine volumes are available to read for free there, or you can read them in ebook format on Kindle. I read mine on the Kindle app on my iPad. The Wandering Inn came under my radar because of my search for comparative titles to my own work. I wanted to find characters and situations that were similar. This book has an inn and is a fantasy. Alas, other than that, there was very little in common with mine.But I read it anyway. This book is 1200+...

Two Summits, One Week

Two Summits, One Week
Mar 10, 2023 by HL Bernabe

Last week was a doozy, y'all. I attended two writing summits in one week. Now, back in October, I attended three summits over two weeks. And while there was some overlap, I never felt completely overwhelmed with the number of seminars/workshops/etc. on offer.

This time was different. ProWritingAid had their fantasy and science fiction writer's week from February 27 - March 2nd. The Women in Publishing (WIP) Summit was scheduled from March 1st through March 4th. The fantasy summit had about 5-6 workshops per day. They touched on editing, marketing, structure, and basic craft, as well as topics specific to fantasy and science fiction, like world building. The WIP Summit blew the PWA Fantasy Week out of the water...

Housework, Kitty Edition

Housework, Kitty Edition
Mar 03, 2023 by HL Bernabe
Doesn't Tribble have the cutest Star Trek nametag?

Gray sheets and blankets are a must with a gray kitty. What cat hair?

Look at that precious face!

Tribble was a helpful kitty. She enjoyed helping me make the bed. The resulting chaos drew Meli like a honeybee to the nectar, and she had to butt in, too. Never a dull day with my floofy girls.

What I'm Reading

What I'm Reading
Feb 17, 2023 by HL Bernabe

In the home of my dreams, I have an enormous library, with a fireplace, an oversized cozy reading chair, big windows, and a secret passage to a comfy hidden room that I can hide in when I don't want to be bothered when I'm reading my books.

Last year, I spent so much time taking workshops and courses on writing and publishing, that I didn't have as much time for reading as I would have liked. I decided this year I would make time and gave myself a goal of finishing one book per week.What I've read so far this year:

Currently, I'm in the middle of reading Space Team by Barry Hutchison. And a few other books that I've got in...

Tech Terror

Tech Terror
Feb 10, 2023 by HL Bernabe

The moment I decided to become an author, I knew my lack of computer savvy would be a detriment to my work. I required a technological transformation. I know enough to get around the computer for most things I need. But being an author required knowledge in social media apps that I did not have, as well as design programs, formatting programs, writing programs, publishing platforms, and so on. Since March last year, I have created accounts on most of the social media platforms and attempted to familiarize myself with how they work, though I still feel hopelessly outgunned, especially on Instagram and Tiktok and on marketing planning programs like Tailwind. Social media is such a... a thing. My kiddo...

It's On Amazon!!

Feb 03, 2023 by HL Bernabe

My novella is on Amazon! AAAAAAUUUUUGGGGHHHHH! I am so excited. Can you tell? You can read it for free on Kindle Unlimited, or the ebook is available for purchase for $2.99.

By Her Grace is the prequel to book one in my epic fantasy series The Dell Chronicles. The novella is great for people who like Legends and Lattes. It has kind and sympathetic characters that you love to love, and takes place in a cosy fantasy setting. Please read it. And I would be most grateful if you wrote a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads (super doubly wonderful if you did that on both).

January Ramping Up

January Ramping Up
Jan 27, 2023 by HL Bernabe
So many cogs and wheels make writing and publishing possible.

January and February are starting my year off with lots of stuff to do. By Her Grace: A Dell Chronicles Novella  is going to be moved onto the Amazon platform at the beginning of February. As soon as it is available there, I will let you all know. I would be deeply grateful if those of you who have read my novella would write a review on the Amazon site when it is up. Oh, and on Goodreads, too!

If you haven’t read By Her Grace: A Dell Chronicles Novella, you can still get it free through Book Funnel. You also have access to a bunch of other free books on a...

Grandfather Anonymous Review

Grandfather Anonymous Review
Jan 20, 2023 by HL Bernabe

I joined a Book Funnel promo with a bunch of other fantasy and sci-fi authors and we are collectively offering 73 different books, novellas, anthologies, and so on for free until the end of January (click to check it out). I checked out the offerings and downloaded probably 20+ books that were in subgenres I liked. From those, I recently finished reading Grandfather Anonymous. I may have gotten it free, but this was not one of those free book for a review type situations. The author and I don't know each other, and he doesn't even know I'm writing this. I just want to write more reviews of indie published books, because I want to boost authors whose books I've...

Kitty Cuteness

Kitty Cuteness
Jan 13, 2023 by HL Bernabe
It's been a while since I posted anything about my kitties, so here you are! The girls are all grown up.

Boop the nose!

Kitties are so angelic looking when they sleep. Don't let that fool you!

Meli loves to climb under the blanket I always have on whenever I work and cuddle me. Unfortunately, that means she takes up my entire desk and blocks my keyboard. I have had to get very creative to get work done.

Tribble says, "Get to work!" (Actually, it's more like, "Scritch me now, lady!"

Tribble likes to put in her two claws on my edits.

You're spelling it all wrong. Here, let me.

I'm boring today. Yaaawwwn.

The girls stole my blanket and are cuddling on the filing cabinet...


Jan 06, 2023 by HL Bernabe
courtesy cottonbro studioWhen I searched pexels for "sexy man reading book" this was the image that came up. Ummm...

I read a lot last year, but I didn't really keep track of it. Most of what I read was writing craft books for research. And smutty erotica books to figure out how to write sex scenes. (Also, how not to write them—some of that stuff is so awful it's hilarious.)

To help me come up with a good reading list, I created a spreadsheet of the winners of the major awards in sci-fi and fantasy from 2017 to 2021: the Hugo, the Nebula, the World Fantasy Awards. To round it out, I also included the top 20 Goodreads fantasy books for...


Dec 30, 2022 by HL Bernabe

Wow. This year is done already. It's hard to believe. It swept away like the seeds of a dandelion in a wind gust.

I've been working on my epic fantasy series since 2020. It feels simultaneously like I've been working on them forever, and yet also like I'm just getting started. This year has been a year of learning for me. I feel like I've been in grad school, learning the publishing and writing business. I have learned so much, sometimes I think my brain won't be able to hold it all.This year is also the year I started to get some things done. I wrote the prequel to my series, a novella called By Her Grace. It's published and...

It's here! It's done!

It's here! It's done!
Dec 16, 2022 by HL Bernabe

My fantasy novella By Her Grace is finished! You can get it free. Please read it and comment below. Let me know what you think!

Get Free Copy Here

By Her Grace Cover Reveal

By Her Grace Cover Reveal
Dec 09, 2022 by HL Bernabe

The cover is finished, and now I'm just waiting for the formatting to get done. Hopefully, they will have it formatted before the end of the year! I'm so stinking excited! I can't wait to share my novella with you all.

Be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get a free copy!

Here's the blurb:

Halfling chef Paisley Dell lives in Aspenwood, a small town at the meeting of two major trade roads. The Dells own the Rosebud Inn and are pillars of the halfling community.

Paisley is happy, but... something is missing. She feels unfulfilled and restless. On her Becoming Day, she meets a mysterious young human, pregnant and on the run, and through her Paisley glimpses a...

What We Did On Thanksgiving

What We Did On Thanksgiving
Dec 02, 2022 by HL Bernabe
Bottom left orb I call the Twilight Zone. Bought it from a glass artist on Etsy.

Rocket ship Santa!

Pineapples are very Christmassy. Didn't you know?

There's no place like gnome.

Farmhouse fun!

Hanging with a nice cuppa joe.

Kitty temptation. Uh-oh.

We're done! Tired kiddo.

Can you tell what we did? These are pics of some of my favorite ornaments this year. We change our color theme from year to year. A few years ago, it was black, red and silver. Then blue, white, and sea themed. This year it's black, red and green. Next year we'll probably do blue and green. We try not to go too differently from year to year because I'm not made of money. Though I wish I was, because there are...

NaNoWriMo 2022 NSFW Version

NaNoWriMo 2022 NSFW Version
Nov 24, 2022 by HL Bernabe
NSFW You have been warned!

I'm taking part in NaNo again this year. For those of you who don't know what that is, NaNo is National Novel Writing Month, where a bunch of us writers all get together in spirit and write our asses off, with the goal of reaching 50,000 words. I have participated the last two years, and "won", i.e. I reached the target goal and then some.

For my last two NaNos, I worked on my fantasy novel series. This year I needed a break to refresh. Working on one thing for so long, even when I love the project, can be tedious. I needed to do something different, something to take myself out of that world, so...

The Only Way I get Any Work Done these Days

The Only Way I get Any Work Done these Days
Nov 11, 2022 by HL Bernabe
Meli being a pill

The things we do to keep our cats happy. I swear. She loves to burrow under the blanket. I always have a blanket on when I am at my desk, because there's a draft near my desk and I'm cold. So she burrows under my blanket and when she's there, there is no place for my keyboard.

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Viola! My new desk. She didn't seem to mind, and slept right through me typing away.