amazon.com/authors/laurengilley

You can check out my books on Amazon.com, and at Barnes & Noble too.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Rec: The Captive Prince Trilogy


Writing as much as I do, I don't get nearly the reading time I'd like to have. So I tend to be a really picky reader. Book club selections and research materials for my own work dominate my reading list, but every once in a while I get to completely lose myself in something indulgent...that also happens to be really worthwhile. I have yet another cold (keeping score, I've been sick for a month and a half with various colds/flus/etc.) so I spent much of the weekend devouring the Captive Prince Trilogy by C.S. Pacat.

I've seen this trilogy recc'd for a while in the comic fandom, and I've read some really smart commentary about it. Turns out, it was all well-deserved.

An easily-defined, tightly-boxed tale it is not. Here are my favorite aspects:

The Plot
The main storyline centers on the rightful heirs of two fictional kingdoms. There's been war between the nations before, and the uneasy truce is threatened my the machinations of two wannabe kings trying to outmaneuver one another and get rid of their respective princes: Laurent and Damen.

A love story, yes - and an emotional, complex, delicately-balanced one at that - but there is so much going on in this trilogy. From political intrigue, to sword fighting, to cross-country adventure. The author plays with big themes in a layered, effortless way: family, inheritance, brotherly love, legitimate vs. illegitimate heirs, forgiveness, honor, loyalty. All the relationships are complicated, the conflict multi-faceted. Truly a never-a-dull-moment kind of book, with a pleasing symmetry between the lives of the two main characters.

Dialogue
I LOVE the way the author uses dialogue. The way, as in real life, it's subtle, uncluttered, and usually hiding the character's true feelings. The language used by the characters manages to be eloquent without being pretentious. I love that the precise word choice delivers a deep emotional punch. The dance of tension and relaxation - but mostly tension. Really top notch.

The Characters
You know me; the characters make or break a story for me, and everyone in this trilogy is richly-drawn. Flawed, insecure Laurent hiding behind his cool arrogance and wicked tongue, and faithful, strong Damen struggling through his circumstances with more grace than any of us could lend to the situation. Supporting them is a cast of three-dimensional secondary heroes and villains, fleshing out a fantasy world that feels tangible.

World Building
There's no info-dumping here. The author paints us a portrait of her world through organic story-telling, rich with details, but never bogging down in unimportant minutiae.

The best books are the ones that seem to end too soon, and that's definitely true here. Highly recommended.






Friday, January 13, 2017

It's Been A Long Ride...The Real Story of Fearless


Fearless is two today. Like all milestones in our professional lives, it seems those two years have passed both slower, and faster than they actually have. That contradiction: you run, run, run to get somewhere, and when you look back, can't believe you haven't come very far at all. But then there's the fact that Fearless is a whopping 738 pages, so maybe that's enough to count as progress all on its own. I'm a pessimist, I can't help it. But when I take moments, like now, to step back and look at the way this book has affected my life, it's staggering. It's...unbelievable, really, that a shy girl from Nowhere, GA gets emails from readers in Europe, and Australia, and Asia. Crazy to think that these characters have taken on a life of their own, and have touched people half a world away. I am humbled, and stunned, always, when I hear anyone say something nice about my work. It has been a busy, crazy, wonderful two years.

But the story of Fearless goes back farther than that, really.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Process



(The 'Bama fan in me is giggling at the title of this post)

I’m having a low-key, iced-in weekend full of writing and reading. At any given time, I’ve got three documents open on my computer, flitting back and forth between them, and, surprisingly, getting a lot done. I’ll admit to being inspired by a few of the questions I received on Facebook a few days ago, and decided to talk a little about process today.



Boring writerly crap ahead.



Or maybe not boring, if you’re curious about that sort of thing.


Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: Year In Review

From where I'm sitting, this year has flown. I can't believe it's New Year's Eve. A fast year. And for me, not such a bad one. In fact, it's been my best author year yet, and I can't thank my readers enough for making it such a fast-paced, rewarding time to be a writer. THANK YOU, readers!! I've got lots planned for 2017, so I hope you'll stick around.

On the writing front:

I released five books this year. Walking backward:










On the reading front:
I read some really wonderful books this year, though most weren't published in 2016. In no particular order, my favorites were:

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
by Michael Chabon

The Shell Seekers
by Rosamunde Pilcher

Coming Home
by Rosamunde Pilcher

A Prayer for Owen Meany
by John Irving

The Nightingale
by Kristin Hannah

All The Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

The Ocean At The End of the Lane
by Neil Gaiman

The Martian
by Andy Weir

Happy New Year, everyone!!! I can't wait to see you all again in 2017.







Monday, December 26, 2016

HP Press Debriefing : Walking Wounded



HP Press Debriefing : Walking Wounded

12/26/16

*Author Notes and Insights*



Hi everyone, and welcome to the Walking Wounded debriefing. There will be some spoilers below, I’m sure, which is why I’ve put it under a “read more” cut. So if you haven’t read the novel, and don’t want to be spoiled, come back to this later. If you have read the book, I hope you’ll enjoy taking a deeper look at the novel through my eyes.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Dartmoor Christmas Part 6



A Dartmoor Christmas

Part 6



Christmas Eve



Ava woke up with a sore throat and a pounding headache. “Ugh,” she muttered into her pillow. Her limbs felt weighted as she rolled and reached for her phone. Her eyes were full of grit and she blinked a half dozen times before she could read the screen. Seven a.m. It was still dark out. And she felt like shit.



Thank God it was a holiday, she thought, slumping back down against her pillow. Mercy would be home, and he could help her with the kids, if she needed it. Which she would. In her experience, cold symptoms only got worse as the day progressed.



Speaking of Mercy…


Monday, December 19, 2016

A Dartmoor Christmas Part 5





A Dartmoor Christmas
Part 5



Not that she would admit it to her half-brother, but Raven always liked the old-fashioned, Dickensian look of Maude’s at Christmastime. She admired it a moment, leaning back against the side of her Rover, the sad colored lights tacked up around the windows, wrapped around a little tabletop tree inside, just visible through the condensation on the window panes. All the scene needed was snow. And maybe Tiny Tim.



She shivered against the chill in the air and pushed off the Rover. The bells overhead chimed when she entered the shop, and Albie lifted his head.