Welcome to Pica Pica: Cleo's Creative Endevours.  I'm a fanfiction writer, original fiction writer,
accademic writer, and I even occationally make digital fan art.  Feel free to take a wonder
through my domain and be sure to let me know what you think.

Current Features

Featured Quote

For this freedom
I have given all I had
For this darkness
I gave my light
For this wisdom
I have lost my innocence
Take my petals
And cover me with the night

       —   from 'Rose Red' by Emilie Autumn

Featured Book

The Hollow Kingdom

by Clare B. Dunkle

Again, I feel the need to defend my choice of books this month.  This is a young adult fantasy novel and, therefore, likely to be dismissed by many people as not worth reading.  But that rather depends on what you're looking for in a book.  If you are looking for hardcore, gritty realism or something that makes you search your soul and become a different person as a result - than no, this isn't the book you want.  That being said, if you're looking for something out of a common way you might want to take a look here.

The Hollow Kingdom combines humor, suspence, romance, and a good case of the creeps all, as one reviewer on Amazon put it "entwined in a wonderfully surreal storyline."  Taking as her basis the old-world legends of goblins who snatched human girls from their homes never be seen again, Claire Dunkle creates a world where this is almost believable.

Kate and Emily have recently been orphaned and are sent to live in the family home they have never seen to be placed in the care of a distant cousin they've never meet.  Soon after their arrival in Hallow Hill, Kate becomes uneasy.  After a nighttime encounter with the most hideous man she's ever seen, she finds that she's being followed by night and watched by day.  Marak, the king of the goblins, has found in her an excellent candidate for his new bride.  But this is the nineteenth century.  No rational human believes in elves, dwarves or goblins anymore.  So, only her young sister willing to believe in Kate's imminent danger, Kate fears she may be lost to the daylight world forever if she can't find a way to defeat Marak at his own game.

But things are far more complicated than Kate could ever have guessed, and family secrets emerge to put both her and her sister's lives at risk.  Faced with no other choice, Kate makes a desperate bargain with Marak, resigning herself to the fate she feared so much... only to find that she may be the goblin folk's last chance at survival when even their king can no longer protect them.

Full of captivating detail and unexpected twists, The Hollow Kingdom is anything but your usual young adult fantasy.  There are no tiresome histrionics or hopelessly one-dimensional main characters.  For once, being young does not necessarily mean being stupid.  Kate, Marak, Emily, Seylin, Agatha, and the world they inhabit, where what is needful isn't always what is nice, is brought to life so beautifully that you could believe there really are goblins waiting in the woods to snatch the unwary maiden off to their realm.

The Hollow Kingdom is the first book in the 'Hollow Kingdom Trilogy' and is followed by Close Kin and In the Coils of the Serpent.