Saturday, October 7, 2017

Book Review: Topaz Reign by Teresa Richards

Book cover of Topaz Reign, a twisted fairy tale

I love fairy tales but I'm always on the search for something slightly different. If a book can pull me in like a classic fairy tale and yet still leave me guessing, then I love it even more. Topaz Reign in one of those books. When I found out it takes the classic story of Thumbelina, but gives it a twist, I knew it was going to be something unique and fun.

Before you jump in to Topaz Reign, you should probably read Emerald Bound first (check out my review here). Both books are in the Altered Stones series by Teresa Richards. Emerald Bound follows the story of The Princess and the Pea.

Topaz Reign continues the story of Maggie and Lindy, but with new problems, more romance, and a bit of time travel. I was sad at the end of Emerald Bound when present-day Maggie stays in our world and Lindy returns to her tiny Scandinavian country over 400 years before because I wanted them to stay friends! But, in Topaz Reign, they meet up again because during some of Maggie's research on Lindy's country, she discovers that history is changing. That leads her to realize that the curse she broke of the Emerald Necklace had consequences. Now she must find a way to get things back to where they are supposed to be, all while Lindy has to deal with her country being overtaken by an imposter. 

My favorite part about these books is how they take Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales and turn them into something a little darker (like all the original Grimm stories), but then they still give you that happily-ever-after feeling too. I think the combination of our contemporary world and the historical fantasy part put together give these novels a uniqueness I haven't seen in any young adult books. They are definitely worth the read for teens and adults who love to keep their youth alive.

Emerald Bound and Topaz Reign Teresa Richards

Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a copy of the books and more!

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Book Review: Emerald Bound ( A Twisted Fairy Tale)

I love books that can take a story that we've all heard before, but twist it around into something entirely different. I felt this about Cinder (Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer and any story that is patterned after Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice. The Altered Stones series is another set of books that does just that! The first book, Emerald Bound, takes the classic fairy tale of Princess and the Pea and turns it into a contemporary fantasy (and altered historical fantasy in parts). 

Emerald Bound follows the story of two teens - Maggie in present day and Lindy in a fantasy country (bordering present-day Sweden) of nearly 400 years before, as well as Lindy in present day. Both girls in their separate times are tricked into becoming part of an ancient curse involving princesses, emeralds (which are referred to as peas to keep them secret), and uncomfortable mattresses. When Maggie's best friend goes missing, she discovers that gems feed on life and that her own history is quite different than she thought. With the help of present-day Lindy and Garon, a handsome stranger who is somehow connected to the emerald, Maggie is sent on a quest to retrieve the emerald before her best friend's fate is sealed.

I would highly recommend this book to readers that love a happy ending, but don't mind a bit of mystery and darkness on the side. If you are a fan of Jenni James or other authors that have taken simple fairy tales and woven them into something frightening and beautiful at the same time, you will enjoy the twists and turns of Emerald Bound.

This Never Happens! .99 for Remembrandt

I'm seriously a little shocked that I was able to convince my publisher to offer the ebook of Remembrandt for .99! It's been nearly 3 years since the first book in the Remembrandt series has come out.  I've been wanting to do it since the final book in the series, Memory of Monet, came out. And now it is under a dollar! Spread the word because it will only stay this way a short time.

(Why I'm Busy and What I'm Writing Next)

  • I'll be at The League of Utah Writers Conference Friday, October 5. You can still signup or just show up (because Friday is FREE). I won't be at an official booth or teaching, but if you see me, I'd be happy to sign a book (I'll keep a few with me if you want to buy one). Also, anyone who sees me and wants a free audiobook of Remembrandt just has to mention they read it here and it theirs! Or just email me or message me if you promise to add a review online and it's yours too.
  • Van Gogh Gone Audiobook is almost here! (It should be ready by November 1).
  • Remembrandt Audiobook available here or on Amazon!
  • I'm teaching a writing bootcamp and a class at Snow College on October 13-14 at Write Here in Ephraim. You can still register!
  • My latest completed manuscript, The Forgotten Sin-you is a young adult fantasy that is a loosely-based retelling of Sword and the Stone with Eastern Asian influences, a female protagonist, a mythical creature, and the heist of a century. I'm currently agent hunting. I have had great interest and some requests for the full manuscript and I've only contacted 7 agents. I have my *fingers crossed* that my favorite agent wants it, but if they pass, I've got a list of potential ones I'm hoping to submit to soon! 
  • I'm participating in NANOWRIMO this year! Basically, it National Novel Writing Month and you write 1,667 words per day for the whole month to get 50,000 words towards a new novel. I'm planning on starting the sequel to The Forgotten Sin-you.
  • On October 26 at 6pm, I'll be at eBorn Books (254 S. Main Street, Salt Lake City, UT) with some other authors talking about Horror, Thrillers, and Romantic Suspense. I'll also be chatting about how to make espionage come alive on the page (Event link here).
  • I've started taking Shotokan Karate with my husband with Ronin Dragon Karate. I've always wanted to learn a martial art and my husband and I needed something to do together (I think 'couples karate' should be a thing and considered a form of marriage therapy). It was also sparked by my love of Eastern Asia (my research for my newest novel) and watching Iron Fist on Netflix. I've also started to do more yoga since my last marathon because of some overuse injuries. I'm starting to understand my CHI and how to focus myself mentally, which I always thought was weird, but now I think is amazing.
  • I participated in Salt Lake Comic Con this year, including my stint as Fleur Delacour from Harry Potter, a performance on stage in front of thousands of people, and a Stephen Amell sighting. All of which gave me butterflies - literally too, because I had butterflies releasing from my hands during my performance. My costume didn't win any contests, but I had so many people ask how I made it and have their picture taken with me, it was worth it (here's my tutorial on how I made it).

I'm hoping my next NEWS with be even bigger than my 99 cent book (your prayers and fingers crossing strongly encouraged as I agent hunt).



Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book Review: From Grandma to You - Childcare Wisdom for a New Generation

You know how there are things you read or advice you're given that you wished you'd read or been told years ago? That's exactly how I felt after I read From Grandma to You: Childcare Wisdom for a New Generation

This quaint little book written by Joan D. Hellstrom, Susan D. Findlay, Connie E. Ray, and Dr. Homer R. Rich is filled with knowledge, advice, and quotes pertaining to child rearing, being a grandparent and much more. It's like having your mom or grandma give you all the advice you need all in one place. Filled with old black and white photos of babies, children, and family, this book of wisdom leaves you feeling a little bit nostalgic, even if you didn't live in the same time period as many of the authors. 

I found myself laughing at some of the old remedies for ailments (many of which still work today!) or smiling at the advice given by Dr. Rich. 

Here are some of my favorite little bits:

  • "I would encourage parents to allow their special youngsters to explore and experience - and even fail - right along with their peers." (This was advice given to parents with physically or mentally challenged children.)
  • "Choose which feeding method is best for you, not which method is more politically correct at the moment." 
  • "Most babies give up thumbsucking by the time they get married." -Homer Rich, MD-
  • "Wouldn't it be better if all babies received the emotional warmth and trust they need without demanding it?"
  • "Learn to gratefully accept help from others; there are no prizes for the mother who does it all."

If you're looking for a great gift for the mom or grandma in your life for birthdays, Christmas, or Mother's Day, From Grandma to You is it!

If you want to snag your own copy, you can find it on Amazon here.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

'Van Gogh Gone' Audio Coming Soon and Giveaway

Remembrandt Series Audiobook

I just found out Van Gogh Gone (Remembrandt #2) is going to be an audiobook too! The lovely, Austenne Grey, will be narrating the book. Prep work is already underway and production starts next month. As the time nears, I'll keep everyone updated on the actual release date, but right now it looks like it will be by the end of the summer! Yay.

So in celebration, here's a giveaway for the first book, Remembrandt. Also, if you buy the first book either in print or ebook by July 15th, 2017 and send me a copy/snapshot of your receipt, I will give you a free copy of the audiobook for Remembrandt too - I love celebrating with you.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Remembrandt by Robin M. King


by Robin M. King

Giveaway ends July 01, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Signed Remembrandt, Van Gogh Gone, and Memory of Monet Copies!

Cheap copies of Remembrandt, Van Gogh Gone, and Memory of Monet

Now the the audiobook and new cover of Remembrandt are here, I have copies of the original cover of Remembrandt that I'm selling for super cheap ($8). I can ship anywhere in the U.S. for $3 too! And I'll personalize them and/or sign them them too.

I also have signed copies of the new cover of Remembrandt for $10, as well as Van Gogh Gone and Memory of Monet.

If you are interested in the whole set of all three books in the Remembrandt series, you can get it for $25. I can sign all three books and send them to you or to someone you would like to gift them too.

Of course, you can always order it on Amazon or visit your local bookstore, but I'm doing this until I'm out of the old cover of Remembrandt, so order it quick (I only have 10 copies left!).

Just send an email to and tell me if you want one or just venmo payment to @authorrobinking and put in the comments how many and which books/set you want. If you don't do venmo, just email how you would like to pay (PayPal, check, cash in person) and I will get back to you.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Remembrandt Audiobook and Paperback Giveaway

Yippee! Yep, I just wrote that. I'm old school like that. GoodReads is doing a giveaway right now for 5 copies of Remembrandt and you get to choose if you want the audiobook or a paperback. YES!!

New Audiobook Cover!

Anyone can enter to win. Even if you've read the book or listened to the audio, feel free to enter and you can give it away. All you have to do is click below :) Happy reading and let me know what you think of the audiobook!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Remembrandt by Robin M. King


by Robin M. King

Giveaway ends March 31, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Remembrandt Audiobook is Live!!

It's here! It's finally here. Production started last fall and now the first book in the Remembrandt series is live on Audible (through Amazon) with the amazing narrator Austenne Grey. Also, the song I sang and co-wrote with my brother, Aaron LuBean, is on the audiobook (at the end)! SO exciting.

Best YA Audiobook
Remembrandt Audiobook with narration by Austenne Grey

You can listen to a sample on Amazon, download it for your iPhone, computer, or iPod (do people still use these?!?).

Just in case you didn't know, Remembrandt is a spy/thriller/adventure perfect for teens or adults that like to keep it PG. The series follows the story of Alexandra Stewart. With her eidetic memory, the seventeen-year-old can't forget anything. Ever. When she solves an impossible puzzle for her Russian professor, Alex is catapulted into a life of cryptic codes, covert missions, and unexpected love.

The books are best read in this order:

1. Remembrandt
2. Van Gogh Gone
3. Memory of Monet

All three books are available in print and ebook (Kindle or other) on Amazon, Deseret Book, or ask about it at your local book store.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Book Launch Gala for Memory of Monet by Robin M. King

I didn't set out to do something big. I just wanted to have a great book launch for my new book, Memory of Monet, and I wanted it to matter - to do some good. Since I've felt such a connection with Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), I thought throwing a silent auction in conjunction with my book launch was the way to go. I never knew how much support I would receive from local businesses, friends, family, and even strangers. I will be forever grateful for all the people who helped pull this off!

My good friend, Alix, made these beautiful flower arrangements for each table. They were what pulled everything together for the decor.

My sweet Mom and Dad came into town from Washington and helped me by setting up, preparing food, and doing whatever I asked. My dad helped to hang these jar lanterns to give the room a bit of a rustic feel.  

Over 100 people showed up and we barely had tables for everyone. I was so grateful all guests were gracious enough not to complain about the tight space. Miri Gallery was such a fabulous place to host the book launch. I wanted to use a real life gallery because of the art references in the book. I lucked out that a mutual friend knew the owner. And his wife is also an author - Sarah Beard (I'm reading her book, Beyond the Rising Tide, and loving it!)

I used to not be huge cake fan, and I had mixed feelings about cupcakes. My mind was changed! These cupcakes from Flave Bakery are gourmet and the best I have ever eaten. EVER. Their flavors are to die for. They even do tasty and gorgeous cakes too. 

They had four different flavors that night including Red Velvet Cheesecake, Chocolate Sin Pie, Banana Biscoff, and Raspberry Truffle!

Sorry, I couldn't resist one more picture. These were sooo good!

I love it when authors support one another. This rising star on the left is Brittany Shannon. Her Conquest of Canaan series starts with the first book, Og. This book is a religious historical fiction with spiritual conflict and adventure all rolled into one.

 I had so much fun making these place cards for all the guests. I love how the gold accented with the black and white 007 spy-like decor. Alexandra, the main character in my Remembrandt series, would be proud.

We kept the lights low and the spirits high (with only sparkling cider). For those that have read my books, James Daly would approve of our choice of drink! And don't I have the most beautiful friends? Whitney had a baby only a few weeks before this picture and looked amazing!

Literature is my food of choice!

Stacks of my books . . . my happy place. 

Each guest went home with these cool spy-inspired tuxedo little boxes filled with chocolate covered almonds. I may have gained a few pounds while filling the boxes because they are so good!

My writing friend, Amy, and her husband Jefferson. Jefferson Montoya is a musical genius and he provided some guitar and vocal entertainment for the night. He also writes custom songs (he turns love letters into songs!) for people at

Marissa is looking very gorgeous in green! She is a fabulous seamstress and Harry Potter enthusiast like me. You have to see her amazing costumes at her shop at RaeGun Ramblings.

My oldest son was a waiter with some of his friends, so my daughter, Charly, wanted in on the action, bowtie and all.

My son, Elijah, just hanging out patiently while we waited for dinner.

A spy in training . . .

My sweet friend, Mary, with her husband. Mary is in my writing group and I can't wait for her books to be published!

Three-year-old Alana has been a handful of late. Funny side note . . . I found two gorgeous midnight blue dresses for the two youngest girls (Alana and Olive) to wear to the book launch. An hour before, I got the girls ready and sent them off with my husband to the book launch. When I arrived fashionably late, Alana was no longer in the dress I had picked out for her and changed her into for the evening. Apparently she decided she didn't like the dress and daddy didn't notice she had changed. Oh well!

Writing friends are the best friends because they are there from the beginning seeds of an idea all the way to the publishing process!

Operation Underground Railroad was our charity for the night. O.U.R. rescues children from human trafficking. 

Each table had a program with all the donors for the night. Our silent auction wasn't as organized as I would have liked, but we made over a thousand dollars for O.U.R.!

My brother, Shae, and his wife Christine were there as support.

It was a busy night for me, but I loved that everyone else got to sit and chat with one another.

Kara and Whitney are in my book club, Delicious Reads. We all love books.

My sweet neighbor, Linda, has been a cheerleader for me since we first met. Jared was one of my beta readers for Memory of Monet. It was awesome to get some male insight on my book.

My friend, Cheryl, and her husband, Michael, were such a happy sight. I'm so glad everyone dressed formally for the night.

Liz and her husband, Rich, came to support me too.

I'm was so impressed that everyone listened as I told about O.U.R. and made bids on the silent auction items.

I have no idea what was going on with my expression here, but it was so fun to read a little excerpt from Memory of Monet.

Though it is hard to see in this photo, the artwork behind me are masterpieces that influenced all my books. All the other walls in the gallery were filled with pieces of art from local artists including Andrea Taylor, Carin Fausett, and Laila Garza

Kelly, Alix, Kara, and Whitney all came dressed so beautifully.

I nearly forgot that the night was a book signing too!

My sweet friend, Krista, is an aspiring author and a fabulous singer. Jefferson let a few of us do a little karaoke at the end of the night. I wish we would have had more time! I could sing all night.

Alix and Kelly have been some of my best supporters and are just all round fabulous people. They started a book box subscription company last year, LitJoy Crate, that is an absolute hit! I am hoping in the future to have one of my books in their boxes :)

Angie is one of the most beautiful people I know. Not only did she do my makeup for the night, but she is always stepping in to help me out whenever I need it. I love people who take charge and help out without even being asked because I'm such a stubborn person and have a hard time asking for it. 

Me and my future spy.

My hubby doesn't love to read, but he still supports my book obsession.

Mandy and Carina run with me (or I should say, run ahead of me because they are so fast) brought their husbands, Matt and Stephan. I'm so glad that there were so many guys that came to the gala!

I loved the ambiance of the night. 

Me, my lovely aunt, Patsy, and my mom. I couldn't have done this night without my mom. She often hides behind the scenes, working hard for everyone around her. This night was no exception.

My little baby, Olive Grace, had so much fun being passed around to family members the whole night. She's my tiniest little cheerleader.

I was so exhausted at the end of the night, but so appreciative of all the love and support of family and friends. I learned a lot about myself and others as I wrote the Remembrandt series. I feel like this book launch gala was a happy ending to an amazing writing journey. But don't worry, there is still more to come. I'm currently working on a fantasy novel and I have two contemporary fantasy novels that are complete that I plan on starting to look for an agent for this year.

Thanks again for all the people who came and those that have read my books. Remembrandt will be on audio in a few weeks (you will be able to get it on Audible). Listening to the words of my book, read by a fabulous narrator (Austenne Grey), makes me so happy. It's like seeing a masterpiece finally hung on a wall. 

I've included below the excerpt I read from Memory of Monet at the gala. This excerpt inspired me to put together this gala, to go outside the box for a book launch by making it a charity gala too. Tim Ballard, the founder of O.U.R., started his organization because he felt there wasn't a group that was doing enough to rescue these children. At the gala, I spoke to everyone and told them how I felt we all have the ability to make a change, to do something that only we can do.

“Can I give you one last bit of advice, Alex?”
“Throw it all out the window.” 
“What?” I stared at my open window. A slight breeze blew the gauze-like drapes in and out as if they were a living creature. 
“Everything you’ve learned about art, the lines, the colors, the pictures in your head from other artists—just throw it all out. And throw out everything you’ve learned from books and simulations about being a good spy. Don’t try to be like someone else. Don’t force yourself to follow a set of rules that weren’t meant for you. Those work for 99.99% of the people.”
 “You’re telling me I’m the .01%?” I asked skeptically. 
“No, I’m telling you you’re not even on the scale.” Daly’s soft breathing traveled through the phone line. “With a mind like yours, you can’t be put in a box. Or even expected to stand outside it. You were never meant to hold still, Alex. You have to stack all the boxes up and climb and keep climbing until you find you. I’m just saying that Alexandra Stewart will find her own way.” (Excerpt from Memory of Monet by Robin M. King)