Guest Post: Beauty is the Beast author Jennifer Zamboni

Hey there book fans! I’m taking over Lyssa’s blog today to talk to you a little bit.

Hi! My name is Jennifer Zamboni and I’m an urban fantasy author from Maine. I’m the mother of two tiny tornados (little girls who are certainly forces of nature!), a wife, a book dragon (I don’t consume books, I treasure them), a knitting enthusiast, and animal lover.

When I was a kid, both my grandmother and my aunt knit on a regular basis. Sweaters, mittens, hats, shawls. I loved all the knit gifts I received from them over the years. Eventually, my grandmother decided to teach me. She sat me down with a skein of pink yarn a pair of size 8 needles. She cast on the first row of stitches for me, then sent me on my merry way. I eventually ended up with a lumpy uneven scarf that is probably still on the needles, because I never got the cast off lesson. It sat in my room for a few years and I moved.

In my early 20’s, one of my friend’s moms taught me how to knit dish clothes… corner to corner, so I still didn’t know how to cast off! Well, it was time to learn, so I bought a few books, some more yarn and a variety of needles and set down to the task. After several scarves, I was addicted. I think my favorite projects lately have been sweaters for my kids. They knit up quickly, and they’re just so darn cute!

Right now, I’m working on a Beekeepers Quilt (you can find the pattern here: It’s a great project to stick in your bag for on the go!

Speaking of on the go projects, I’ve been known to write on the go as well. Thanks, Google Docs!

Let’s go a little deeper into who I am concerning books. It was a slow development, with a rough start. When I first started school, I was put into a reading program, to help me catch up with my classmates. It worked! All the while my parents read to me every night, mostly The Chronicles of Narnia and Black Beauty, over and over!

In middle school, I dabbled in writing novels. There are lots of beginnings to books about brave girls taming wild horses somewhere.

In high school, I started the book that really ignited my love of writing. It was an epic sword and sorcery style fantasy, and I was smitten. I finished the rough draft when I was 19, did a little editing, and started submitting it to agents. Eventually, I went back, and read through it again, and decided it wasn’t ready.

I got busy with life and work until I discovered National Novel Writing Month, which was the kick in the pants I needed. The second year, I began the manuscript that was to become my first published book. I went on to write more, but that second one wouldn’t leave me alone. I’ve been plugging away at it, for the last couple of years or so, in the midst of teething children & family time. I’m proud to say, Beauty is the Beast, the first book in my urban fantasy series Beasts Among Us, is finally published!

I’ve been supporting the Indi author community as much as possible and will continue to do so, no matter where this journey takes me.

I am a writer, I am a mother, I am a wife, I am a reader.

Thanks so much for hanging out with me for a few minutes! I’d love to keep in contact! Check out my blog’s Find Me page for all my social media links.

All About People

He looked at the stonework. “It’s all just fake because it was built to be a ruin. It’s not real. It tells you all you need to know about people. They don’t want the real deal. People built a fake castle over a fake lake because it looks nice. They don’t care if it doesn’t mean anything.”

I moved away from him, my fingers brushing the warm, rough stones. “It tells you everything about people. It shows that even in the mundane heart of a municipal park, we want drama. We want stories and legends and a sweep of wide colour. I think it’s perfect.”

This is a picture I took of a fake ruin at Roundhay Park, Leeds, UK, which overlooks a man made lake

Review: Smoke and Summons by Charlie N Holmberg

I loved Charlie N Holmberg’s Paper Magician series so I was really excited to dip into her new series. I devoured the book in an afternoon and decided I had to write a review.

This is so much darker. Ms Holmberg paints the world beautifully, giving the right combination of detail and hints. The complex setting gradually unfolds as the characters progress through the smoky, polluted city, a metaphor for the corrupt and desperate society.

This dystopian setting is a wonderful backdrop for the two main characters. Sandis, the slave mystically linked to something dreadful from another plane of existence, and Rone, the rogue who tries to make the right decisions and gets things dreadfully wrong at times. The layers of their respective backgrounds and the stories that have made them are gently peeled back through the course of the well paced story.

And, darn it, the story ended on a cliff hanger and I can’t wait to read the next book. I totally recommend this story.

Just Coffee

I am defined by coffee.

So long ago as I rushed back from college and whirled into the kitchen before whirling out again I scooped the instant granules and boiled the kettle and added a slurp of milk from the fridge as I shocked my mother with my latest stories.

Then it was the cafetiere, feeling sophisticated as I took my one treat, the slowly savoured french blend, mild roast with warmed milk as my darlings napped.

I remembered how grown up I felt, sitting at the dinner parties, discussing the different pods to the machines and lacing my frothed cup with brandy to keep me numb.

I got the fancy machine and stack of pods in the divorce, but I threw them out. Now I look down at my solitary cup, custom roast and slow dripped, encased in elegant china and wonder what I am defining.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash