7 Reasons I’m Glad Disney Abandoned the Star Wars Extended Universe

I know this is not a popular topic with some Star Wars fans. A lot of people hold the books in the Extended Universe near and dear. The Thrawn Trilogy, the Courtship of Princess Leia, the Jedi Academy Trilogy. They’re all classics. And I’m sure the authors of those novels feel equally close. So losing them as part of the story line comes as a heavy blow. But there are a lot of good things about Disney leaving that universe behind. Here are mine.

  1. The Extended Universe is big. There are a lot of books to keep up with. And comics. I went over to Wookiepedia and tried to count them all and I lost track around three hundred. And that’s just novels. That doesn’t even get into the Dark Horse comics or the original Marvel comics from the early, early years. For a new fan, that’s daunting. I’m not a new fan. I’ve watched the movies since I was a kid, but by the time I got to the novels, there were just too many to try to keep up. Of course, the same will probably happen with the new canon, of which there are only thirteen right now, but it will be some time.
  2. Chewbacca is alive. Sorry folks if that’s a spoiler, but Chewie bites the big one in the Extended Universe. So that touching moment in the Force Awakens where Han and Chewie run back onto the Millenium Falcon and Han utters the line, “Chewie, we’re home?” Yeah, you wouldn’t have that. He dies twenty-five years after the Battle of Yavin, saving young Anakin Solo, one of the three Solo children from the extended Universe. The Force Awakens happens thirty-three years after.
  3. Some of the books are . . . weird. Anyone who’s watched the Clone Wars Animated series knows what I’m talking about. Magic, mystical beings of dark and light, ancient rituals. The newer canon has a little bit of that – I’m looking at you Star Wars Rebels – but no where near the level of strange I’ve read in a few of the books. Granted, Star Wars has always been a science fantasy more than just straight science fiction, but some of the stories go way out on a limb. That’s not a criticism of the authors. That was the universe that was created and they ran with it. I really enjoyed Crucible, but it wasn’t the type of story I normally go for.
  4. Things get complicated. And I don’t mean like trying to figure out who Littlefinger supports episode to episode in Game of Thrones. I mean like casts of hundreds (maybe even thousands) spread over all the books. Go try to figure out Revan’s timeline if you get bored. I’ve played the games and I still have a hard time keeping everything straight. George Lucas himself couldn’t even stick to canon. In Dark Force Rising, book two of the Thrawn Trilogy, Timothy Zahn lists the Clone Wars as 44 BBY, but in the movies, it’s 20 BBY. And that’s just one issue. Zahn also says in that trilogy that the Clone Wars were started by unstable clones, and not just troopers. Jedi, dignitaries, everyone. The troopers were actually started by Thrawn himself. Sorry, another spoiler.
  5. Which brings me to Spoilers. The books have been around so long, it’s fairly common for fans to discuss the plots openly, assuming anyone who wants to read them, has. With the newer books out, a lot of the plot lines are closely guarded by fans who don’t want to spoil the surprise, but can’t wait for you to read it. It’s made the series exciting again.
  6. It’s not like Disney banished the Extended Universe forever. They’ve brought back a lot of characters and plot points. Thrawn (SPOILERS for Star Wars Rebels!) is the biggest one that comes to mind. They’re obviously pulling from the EU, it’s just no longer the same continuity, and that’s alright in my book.
  7. Because in the end, it means we get more Star Wars. More adventures and stories of some of our favorite characters. Sure if you loved Jacen or Jaina Solo, you’re not going to get those tales anymore, but you are going to get more Han and Leia, more Chewbacca, more Luke, and lots of new and fun characters to get to know and that we have yet to even meet. If anything, Disney, Lucasfilm and Del Rey have given new life to a beloved series and I can’t think that’s a bad thing.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Do you like the new canon? Do you hate it? Did I leave something out or put in a bad link? Be civil and leave spoilers for the new canon out of it. You have been warned.

If you liked this post, tell me. I’m thinking of posting weekly Star Wars discussions. I’ll review books, seasons of Rebels, etc.

Thanks for reading and may the Force be with you.

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Book is live!

Do you like magic? Monsters? Archaic lore?

Do you like knitting?

Then this is the book for you.

Follow the adventures of Nevada Sanchez as she learns how to knit with magic and save the world from monsters.Entangled


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Check it out, leave a review, share with your friends.

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Coming soon

I plan to have this out Thursday. I know it’s short notice. Welcome to my life.



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Thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

So, it’s been almost three weeks, so it should be safe now. Right? RIGHT?!

What do you mean you haven’t seen it? Do you live in a cave? Do you hate Star Wars? Do you hate joy?

Okay, well, go away til you’ve seen it or if you hate joy, because there’s going to spoilers and I’m going to be talking about Star Wars A LOT.

No really. I’ll wait.

/taps foot.

Okay, still here? Then you’ve seen it or you don’t care. Or you hate joy and like punishing yourself.

First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It was everything a good Star Wars film should be. Lots of adventure, light sabers, hand-to-hand combat, Wookies, starships, etc., etc. It was a lot of fun.

Was it perfect? No, of course not. I had issues with it, and I’ll get to that in a second, but let’s talk about all the amazing things it did have.

Practical effects. People in costumes and puppets and makeup. Just like the original. Yes, yes, there was CGI, but it wasn’t a computer-generated circle jerk like the prequels. Let’s look at one of the supporting roles.

Unkar Plott.

He was Simon Pegg in a costume made by Jim Henson Creature Shop whose facial expressions were done with CGI. That is the absolute perfect blend of practical and special effects. We’re not talking a guy in a mo-cap suit playing a role then glossed over completely with CGI. (I’m looking at you, Jar-Jar). It’s a nice half and half blend.

Now, that’s not to say there wasn’t a fair amount of completely CGI characters. Supreme Leader Snoke and Maz Kanata were both computer-generated using an actor in mo-cap. But they were done supremely well without being racist, over-the-top, or campy. And let’s be honest, Andy Serkis (Snoke) is pretty much the god of mo-cap. So it wasn’t some unknown hamming it up. It was a professional.

Can we talk about the pirate Maz Kanata (played by Lupita Nyong’o) for a second? She’s a short, little, wide-eyed gal who’s about a thousand years old. She’s the new Yoda. She’s not ridiculous or odd (well, maybe a little). She doesn’t talk backwards. But she’s wise and considerate and a fountain of knowledge. I still want to know how she got a hold of Luke’s old lightsaber. It’s time to start digging through the comic books. Simply put, she’s cool. I hope they bring her back in future films. She’s far too much fun to be a throw-away character.

Okay, so let’s move on to some of the other characters.

Rey (Played by Daisy Ridley). Some smartass has said she’s a Mary Sue. From Wikipedia, A Mary Sue or Gary Stu or Marty Stu is an idealized fictional character, a young or low-rank person who saves the day through unrealistic abilities. Often this character is recognized as an author insert and/or wish-fulfillment. I suppose you could say that. She’s fluent in just about everything, understands droids, Wookies, etc. She’s an exceptional fighter and great at electronics and flying. And she fights against Kylo Ren with a lightsaber, a weapon she’s never used, and wins. She’s also basically BFF with the Force. And everybody loves her.

But take a step back. She’s lived, and survived, alone on Jakku since she was 5. As a scavenger. She’s had to figure out what’s worth something and what’s worth nothing. She’s probably hung around with old Unkar and learned how to fix and tear down as well as heard every kind of language. Kids are sponges for language. She’s kind and compassionate despite her rough beginnings. And she’s strong with the Force, which we know allowed Anakin Skywalker to be an incredible pilot and tech savvy kid as well as Luke Skywalker. Of course people are gonna like her. She’s a nice person. A bit scared and wary, but likeable.

And don’t forget, Mary Sues are author insertion. The majority of the script was written by Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote The Empire Strikes back and Return of the Jedi. I very seriously doubt he wants to be buddy-buddy with Han Solo and Chewbacca. Especially considering he wanted to kill Solo in Jedi.

No, Rey holds a much bigger role. She’s not author insertion. She’s not a Mary Sue. She is someone the audience can empathize with and connect to and drift further into the story. She is a vessel. A companion. She is the Rose Tyler to Han Solo’s 9th Doctor.

And Finn is Mickey the Idiot.

I love Finn (Played by John Boyega). He is so completely human. He’s vulnerable, slightly misogynistic, and daring. He falls for Rey instantly and wants nothing more than to protect her even though she needs it not one bit. He’s a strong character. They left us with a bit of a cliff hanger with his character. He’s in a coma after taking a near fatal blow from Kylo Ren. But he’s alive. I can’t wait to see how he grows.

If Rey is Rose and Finn is Mickey, then that means Poe Dameron (played by Oscar Isaacs) is Captain Jack Harkness. And I’m okay with that. He’s funny and suave, a fantastic pilot, and a fun character. Through him, we get to see just how dark and terrifying Ren is. We need someone who’s completely at the mercy of Ren’s powers. We watch Poe suffer so we can cheer when he escapes and makes a new friend. Poe and Finn are the bromance of the century.

Let’s go to Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver) next. A powerful Force user. I’m not going to call him a Sith, because no one has called him or his master, Supreme Leader Snoke, a Sith. You can be a dark Force user and not be a Sith. At least from my understanding of the Star Wars Universe. With the new canon, that may be different and I will correct myself it that is the case. For lack of a better word, Ren is a dark Jedi, trained by Luke Skywalker. He was seduced to the dark side. How and why are still a mystery, but as with all strong Force users, the temptation is always there.

Now, a few people have called him “emo” and whiney. There’s even an Emo Kylo Ren Twitter page. It’s hilarious. I won’t deny that. And he does whine. But I think it’s totally validated.

Look at his situation. His mother is Princess Leia Organa. His father is the smuggler Han Solo. His uncle is Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi in the galaxy. His grandfather was Darth Vader, the evilest mother fucker that ever force choked a guy for looking at him sideways. He’s got this happy family. Mom and dad, weird Uncle Luke. He’s strong with the Force. Maybe he’s prone to fits of rage because he’s so strong with the Force. He can’t control it. He sees visions. Hears things. He struggles.

And so his mom tells him about his grand dad. How he was a powerful Jedi who was seduced by the dark side and did terrible things because he couldn’t control himself either, but eventually redeemed himself. Uncle Luke supports this story.

But everybody you talk to says Darth Vader was a murderer and a monster and nothing he ever could have done would have redeemed him. And then you have this guy Snoke who starts whispering in your ear, telling you all the GOOD things Vader did. He brought order to the galaxy. He destroyed the Jedi, a corrupt group of monks that lorded over everyone and stole babies from their parents. Vader didn’t redeem himself, he failed. You have to finish what he started. Luke and your parents are murderers and villains. They killed millions in their fight to destroy the empire.

Dude is conflicted. Falls to the sway of Snoke’s words. Maybe Snoke promised he can help him learn control. Through anger, he can become more powerful than Vader.

And he is powerful. The guy stops a blaster bolt. In mid air. He can pull thoughts from people’s heads. He takes a shot from Chewie’s bolt caster, a weapon that literally sends storm troopers flying like ragdolls, and doesn’t fucking flinch. He takes a knee for a second and then marches out into the woods to whoop some ass. If Rey had that much trouble beating his scrawny ass when he’s injured, think about how hard it’s going to be when he’s in full on dark side rage mode? That’s some scary shit.

So, um, wow, spent a lot of time talking about Kylo, but the guy is a serious badass. And he’s just starting. Episode VIII will be awesome if it keeps going the way it’s going.

I have a few complaints about The Force Awakens.

Captain Phasma. We get all this hype in the interviews and trailers. But she does NOTHING. Not a damn thing. Just walks around, says a couple of lines, and lowers a shield. And this guy!


I’m not alone in thinking this should have been Phasma. Why is that guy even in the movie? Should have been her.

Cheesy dialog. It’s nowhere near as bad as the prequels. Nowhere. But man, there are some lines I winced at. They just hurt.

The droids. BB-8 is cute, and I loved him in the film. But the addition of C-3P0 and R2-D2 felt forced. The scene at the end where the droids are all happy and talking and ugh, just ugh. It was metal ewoks. I could have gagged.

Overall though, I really did enjoy the movie. A friend said it was like JJ Abrams walked up, waved his hand, and said, “The Prequels never happened.” I can’t argue with that. JJ saved the franchise. He made me a believer again. I’m already trying to figure out how I can buy all the books. I’ve seen it three times and I’ll probably watch it every day for a week when the Blu-Ray comes out.

Before I go, I’m going to put a couple of theories here.

One, Rey is Luke’s daughter. He left her on Jakku to protect her from Kylo Ren. OR his wife/companion took her and hid her away, letting him believe her dead. Why does this make sense? Other than the obvious that she’s got a lot of the skills he does and is an incredibly powerful Force user, it’s poetic. George Lucas has said that Star Wars is a poem. Anakin had no father. Luke thought his father was dead, learned he was alive, and lost him shortly thereafter. It would be poetic for Rey to find her father, learn from him, get to know him. It would be fitting. I don’t think she’s Han’s. That would be too much repeat from the original trilogy. Time will tell.

Finn broke his Imperial conditioning because he is Force sensitive. Not like Rey is, though I think she had some training as a young child. Finn is becoming aware of the Force. It’s why Ren took notice of him in the Force followers’ village.

That’s all I really have. Put your theories in the comments. What bugged you? What did you enjoy? Who’s your favorite character? What do you want to see in Episode VIII?

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It’s here!

I did it! It’s here! It’s a thing!

The third and final book in the New Dark Ages Trilogy is done.


Here it is, the cover in all its splendor. Galileo’s Ascension. Done , once again, by the amazing Keith Draws Cover Art.


Galileo's ascention Nook

I am really, really excited to have this out.

And you can buy it at any of these fine retailers.


Barnes and Noble



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New Blood and Satin

It’s late and I’m sorry, but it’s done and it’s available at multiple ebook retailers. I’m also happy to say Galileo’s Ascension is off to the cover artist. It will go through editing next week. I hope to have it up and ready to read by the end of the month. Thank you all so much for being so patient.

Blood and Satin 4 6x9 Nook

Adelaide is missing, held captive by her Maker. Dirk is under police custody, questioned by none other than his mad ex-partner Detective Jennie Lin. The investigation mounts while Adelaide’s fate lies in the balance. If she drinks blood again, the Vampire Council will have her executed and Dirk will die alongside her. Time is running out. Can they find Adelaide before it’s too late?


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Thanks again for being patient. If you enjoy it, leave a review with your preferred retailer and join the mailing list!

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Apologies for delays

First off, I want to thank you if you’ve bought the Women of the Apocalypse Bundle, either through StoryBundle or Amazon. The Amazon bundle is still available here. It’s 99 cents and you really can’t get better than that.

Second, if you’ve bought the bundle, read Galileo’s Stepdaughter AND Galileo’s Resurrection and you’re waiting for the third book, I am sorry. It’s coming. I swear. I’m on the second draft. It’s taking so much longer than I wanted. I want to give you guys a fantastic story that lives up to what the New Dark Ages trilogy has been up to this point.

Add to that and I’ve got a fairly stressful working situation right now and I’m not writing as many words as I would like. It’s not really you guys’ problem. It’s mine, but it, unfortunately, affects how much I write. I’m working on getting that fixed.

But know that I am working on getting it finished. I’m almost to the end of the third book. Once that’s done, it will go to my cover artist. While he’s working on that, I’m going to edit and format. I want to have it done by the end of the month, but I don’t want to promise anything.

Fans of Adelaide Hunter! I do have a forth book just about ready to go. It needs some editing and formatting as well and then it will be out. If that one’s not out by the end of the month, I’ve been a bad Manda.

Thank you so much for being patient with me and I’m really sorry I’m behind. You guys are awesome.

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Why I wrote Galileo’s Stepdaughter

Recently, I was involved in a StoryBundle called Women of the Apocalypse. My book, Galileo’s Stepdaughter was one of the stories included. I wanted to take a moment to talk about why I wrote it.

I like apocalyptic stories. Not so much zombies, but things where society breaks down in general. Not like The Walking Dead type apocalypse, but more like The Stand. I also really like the post-apocalyptic stories such as Matched, the Hunger Games, and Wool. I like to see how humanity deals with the end.

That’s why I wrote Galileo’s Stepdaughter. I wanted to see what would happen in a world where some cataclysm drove humanity to religious fervor and fear of technology. What kind of world would that be?

I hope I’ve done that. I’m happy to say, I am working on the third and final book in the New Dark Ages trilogy and I hope to have it out this summer.

In the mean time, if you missed our StoryBundle, and you’d like to read my book, and a bunch of other apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic stories, we’ve put our books into an independent bundle, available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iBooks. The best part is, it’s 99 cents. You really can’t beat that.

Women of the Apocalypse - 3D Bundle

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So what is StoryBundle

I’ve had a couple of people ask me this, so I thought I’d take some time to lay it out and explain.

StoryBundle is awesome, for one. Why? Because they take ebooks and bundle them together for a low cost. Instead of paying twenty dollars or more to buy eight, ten, ore more ebooks, they give them to you at a reduced rate. Then, once you’ve bought them, you can either download the whole package (if you’re using and epub device) or have them sent to your Kindle (if you’d rather use a .mobi file).

Let me give you an example, and I’m going to use the bundle I’m currently in, Women of the Apocalypse.

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For 3$, that’s three singles or three bucks, you get the first five books in our bundle; The Culling by JC Andrijeski, Driven by Eve Silver, Flaming Dove by Daniel Arenson, The Digital Sea by Thomas K. Carpenter, and Netherwood by Michele Lang. So, for less than the price of a latte, you get nearly 20$ worth of ebooks. That ain’t bad.

However, there are 9 books in our bundle.

If you up what you pay to 12 dollars, you get four more books; Zombie Battle Part One: Outbreak by Jacqueline Druga, Angel in the Badlands by Bianca D’Arc, Galileo’s Stepdaughter by Amanda McCarter (Hey! That’s me!) and SILVER – Acheron (A River of Pain) by Keira Michele Telford. This time, it’s the price of a movie ticket. That’s 45$ worth of books and hours of entertainment for less than you paid for two hours at the theater, three if you saw the Hobbit film recently.

Okay, you’re saying, so inexpensive books for a low price. Is that all StoryBundle does?

No, no it’s not. First, you can choose what you pay. Don’t want to pay just 3 dollars? You can change the payment all the way up to 100$. Well, why would I want to do that?

In addition to giving authors a great way to reach new fans and giving fans an inexpensive way to enjoy their favorite authors, you can also choose to have a portion of your payment go to a charity. The two we have going are Girls Write Now which helps mentor girls so they can develop writing skills and Mighty Writers which is a youth outreach program in Philadelphia that helps young people learn to read and write. Follow the links to learn more. They’re both great programs.

Check out StoryBundle and all the bundles they have going on. If dystopian futures and apocalypse isn’t your thing, they are bound to have something you’ll like.

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Women of the Apocalypse Bundle

So, very exciting news. I am in a StoryBundle! As in StoryBundle.com

The title is Women of the Apocalypse. I’m partnered with 8 other fantastic indie writers. This is an incredible chance to get a lot of great books for very little cash. Share with your friends. Find it here: http://storybundle.com/apocalypse

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Again, I am very happy and excited to be a part of this. Take a minute to check out the books. There’s bound to be something here you’ll love.

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