Raquel Byrnes

~Edge of Your Seat Stories~

Its a Steampunk Western Bank Robbery Violin Showdown!

Wait...What?  This week Violinist Lindsey Stirling went viral with a video for her newest violin performance. For those of you that know her name, she did that amazingly cool video for her Violin Dubstep Song, Crystallize a while back in some really creepy ice caves.  So beautiful and haunting. Love it!

She was original and stayed true to her own vision of what violin meant to her. Flash forward to a new recording contract and a tour. Way to go Lindsey!

Well recently she put her own spin on Steampunk this time with a vignette where she fights off bank robbers in a steampunk-western town, with her bodacious bowing. Her song, Roundtable Rival has dancers, horses, weird sound wave ammo, and of course...a great song...


I got me thinking that sometimes breaking out of tropes or putting a personal spin on one, particularly in writing, can be both scary and tons of fun.  There's something freeing about deciding to dance to your own tune.

As we head into NaNoWriMo next month, I challenge you to let your inner dreamer out and really take a chance on a story you've been too afraid to try.

So what if there doesn't seem to be a place on the shelf for it yet.  Spread your wings and make your own room!

What are you going to tackle in November? I'd love to hear about it!

By +Raquel Byrnes 

Book Review: The Young Elites

I have been waiting for this book to come out ever since the buzz caught my eye over at Deviant Art. So many concept drawings and excitement really piqued my interest. A huge fan of fantasy, I was so excited when the book finally dropped.

Let me just say that Mary Lu's world building, much like her Legend series, is phenomenal. The story is breathtaking in its pace and exploration of emotional treachery. 

Here's what Goodreads has to say...

"I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside."

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

My Thoughts...

Marie Lu, author of The Legend Trilogy, uses her fertile mind and mighty pen to create a dark story in The Young Elites

Set in a fantasy realm filled with intriguing villains, magic, and betrayal, this book is by far one of the most intense stories I’ve read in the YA Fantasy genre.

Adelina Amouteru’s world barely survived a devastating fever that left strange markings and mysterious powers on those that lived. Adelina is scarred and because of that is considered by her family and those around her as one who brings misfortune. What she finds out, however, is much worse when she discovers that there is something very different about her.

Thrust into a situation where she cannot trust anyone and one misstep will mean her own death, she struggles to make her way in a world that seems to have no good guys at all. Striving to understand her own dark impulses and the rules of a game where she is the pawn, Adelina is a memorable and haunting character that will stay with you long after the last page.

Some story elements are very dark and the situations the young characters must deal with are disturbing, but I believe that contributes to the tension Marie Lu uses to keep the story so intense. Because of the content, I would recommend the book for older teens to adults.

Mary Lu gifts us a wonderfully created world with riveting characters, this book is a killer start to what looks to be a promising series. 

I give it 4.5 stars out of 5.

By +Raquel Byrnes 

With Music In Their Hearts

Today I'd like to introduce you to fellow author, Carole Brown's Romantic Suspense...

About the book:

Angry at being rejected for military service, Minister Tyrell Walker accepts the call to serve as a civilian spy within his own country. Across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio, a spy working for a foreign country is stealing secret plans for newly developed ammunition to be used in the war. According to his FBI cousin, this spy favors pink stationery giving strong indications that a woman is involved.

He’s instructed to obtain a room in the Rayner Boarding House run by the lovely, spunky red-haired Emma Jaine Rayner. Sparks of jealousy and love fly between them immediately even as they battle suspicions that one or the other is not on the up and up. While Tyrell searches for the murdering spy who reaches even into the boarding home, Emma Jaine struggles with an annoying renter, a worried father (who could be involved in this spy thing), and two younger sisters who are very different but just as strong willed as she is.

As Tyrell works to keep his double life a secret and locate the traitor, he refuses to believe that Emma Jaine could be involved even when he sees a red-haired woman in the arms of another man. Could the handsome and svelte banker who’s also determined to win Emma Jaine’s hand for marriage, be the dangerous man he’s looking for? Is the trouble-making renter who hassles Emma Jaine serving as a flunky? Worse, is Papa Rayner so worried about his finances and keeping his girls in the style they’re used to, that he’ll stoop to espionage?

Will their love survive the danger and personal issues that arise to hinder the path of true love?

November 2014
Launch date: November 10, 2014

A dab of romance, a cozy who-done-it, and a detective story with a satisfying ending—clean and riveting, a pure delight to read. —Lorilyn Roberts, best selling author


With a degree in Christian Education, and a former elementary teacher and secretary, Carole Brown didn’t seriously begin writing until after her sons were grown. She and her husband have traveled extensively throughout the country ministering and counseling, and along with their sons, have experienced many exciting and wonderful opportunities.
But once she picked up her "writing pen," it didn’t take her long to regain the passion for writing she'd secretly felt for years.