#AMMConnect Bio : Mercy Killers

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These are a few of my favorite things:
Books: Anything by Tahereh Mafi, Six of Crows, And I Darken, Rosewood,  The Winner’s Curse, Rook, Red Rising, Horde, anything by Veronica Rossi and Holly Black.
TV shows and Movies: Stranger Things, Dark, A Handmaid’s tale, Arrow, Crazy Ex-girlfriend, Harlots, Full Metal Alchemist, The Good Doctor, Black Mirror, Death Note, every horror/gothic/steampunk movie ever.

Hi! I’m Jessica Grace Kelley.

This is my #AmmConnect bio. If you’re unfamiliar with Author mentor Match, check it out by clicking on the link.

I started writing novels after spending a year reviewing books on my book blog, anchoredgypsy.com. I work with teens as a fiction teacher at The Muse Writer’s Center and present a YA workshop with HRW’s Traveling Pen series. Blogging is still a passion, and I’m happy to be a contributor at allthewayya.com.









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There are worse things that dying from the Plague.    You could survive it, and be forced to serve as a     Mercy Killer.

Quick Summary :

At age 19, the Guardian has taken hundreds of lives, euthanizing sufferers so they don’t have to endure the Plague’s cruel end. When he arrives in Attica, the only city with a perfect quarantine system, people treat him like a God.

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But Greylin, a 17-year-old vagabond who grew up outside the safety of Attica, can’t see past the blood on the Guardian’s hands. She understands the Plague’s danger because she lost a childhood friend to the sickness. Greylin is the only one asking the question: why is a Mercy Killer visiting the only city that’s never fallen to the Plague?  The Guardian doesn’t travel for fun, he travels for work, and his occupation is death.

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Mercy Killers has

*Twisted themes * Glittery atmosphere * Enemies to lovers *Complicated female friendships *Flawed antiheroes *Morally gray characters *Murder *Magic *Spiderwebs  *Roma Culture *Tragic backstory *Redemption for the wicked




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The hook is killer, pun intended. The characters are vivid. But at this point it’s a slow burn, and that needs to be fixed. I want to build a story that does this hook and these characters justice. I will slay and bleed and slaughter words like it is my job, because that’s what’s being a writer is. For me, this mentorship isn’t just about THIS project, it’s about learning craft and buckling up the the long run.


Why Pick Me?.

  • Revisions don’t scare me. They excite me. I always want the work to be better.
  • I’m fast. I can spit out 5k+ words in a day without blinking.
  • Re-writing is my jam.
  • Little darlings? Let’s murder them all! It’ll be fun.
  • Craft matters to me.  Every plot point, character, and arc.
  • I am so aware of how much I don’t know. That’s why I’m here.

Writing is my life. I teach fiction, I freelance, and I’m part of a fiction studio.  My projects have won the YA Authors.me contest, the YA Molly Award, the Emma Merritt Award, the Fools for love Contest, and placed top three in over a dozen others. Despite these small successes, I know that I’m not where I need to be– but I’m close. I want to learn how to navigate a pitch, how to polish a query until it stuns, and how to build a story with forward movement, sharp dialogue,  and out of this world imagery.

What I’m looking for in a Mentor

I want you to love my story, and I want you to see the flaws.

Tell me to cut. Tell me to kill. Ask me to burn a chapter, replace a POV,  or rewrite fifteen scenes, I welcome it. It’s going to happen– I’m pretty sure I have soggy beginning syndrome. Teach me to pull out the dark and gritty threads that make a story great. Show me how to build a submission package. Give me pointers on choosing an agent. Let’s brainstorm together, laugh, cry over failures and celebrate the highs. I want to get to know you.

I really, really hope I get the chance to be a mentee.  And when I learn enough to reach my goals, I promise to help someone else do the same.


Thanks to all the Mentors who give their time toward this incredible event. I hope you all find a book you love! Special shout out to Heather Kaczynski and Alexa Donne for creating and managing this incredible opportunity.

Good luck Mentees!



Review of In Dawn and Darkness

in dawn and darkness

I have been waiting for this book.

I love this series. Ellison is probably best known for her Frost Chronicles, but in my humble opinion her best work is The Secrets of Itlantis series. The books are set in a beautiful futuristic fantasy world deep under the ocean, and there are several different cities and cultures that are wonderfully woven together. The book’s main character, Aemi, is flawed (like all good characters are,) but determined. The series has victory, loss, romance, a little comedy, and most importantly a lesson. All of the elements of a good fantasy novel are there. Of course, any decent YA Fantasy book should have all of these elements, so what sets this book apart from the eighty others I have read this year?

The writing.

I love authors who are poetic. I don’t want books to tell me it’s raining, I want them to show me how each raindrop cascades down the glass pane, leaving a trail of sparkling drops behind. I want beauty. I want quotable lines. I want the mundane to sound amazing.

Kate Avery Ellison is a pro at this.

The story is well woven, the plot is thick, and the pacing is on point. None of these things are spectacular, but they are good. The characters have their own personalities, and surprises are revealed as the story moves. It is a solid piece of work. But what sets it apart from other books is Kate Ellison’s specific style of writing.

The book isn’t perfect, which is why I am giving this book a 4.5 start rating. There are a few editorial errors, and parts of the ending seemed rushed. I think the romantic tension could have been more defined. However, the final chapter of this book gave the readers great closure, and the beautiful writing and creative world building make up for the small amount of typos. As far as the romance? Well, I always want more. That flaw is probably my own.

Overall, I loved it! I will be recommending this series to people, especially now that I know it remains strong to it’s end.

To purchase your own copy, click on the Book cover!

4.5/5 Stars!
4.5/5 Stars!