11 Dec 2019

#Discussions: Next 5 Books on my TBR

11 December 0 Comments

Next 5 Books on my TBR

I need to get back on track for reading! I have a lot to unpack at my new apartment so I am going to queue up some audiobooks and listen while I open boxes upon boxes of mostly books my stuff!

So here are the next five books on my TBR that I have on audio and I can't wait to get to!

KINGSBANE

Author: Claire Legrand
Series: Empirium #2
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: May 21, 2019

Summary:

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Furyborn, two queens, separated by a thousand years, connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength—and their hearts.

Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien—but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist.

Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity's long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption—fear of becoming another Rielle—keeps Eliana's power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted—by embracing her mother's power, or rejecting it forever.
Add Sorcery of Thorns to Goodreads
Purchase:

WE HUNT THE FLAME

Author: Hafsah Faizal
Series: Sands of Arawiya #1
Source: Indigo Book Box
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: May 14, 2019

Summary:
People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.
Add Sorcery of Thorns to Goodreads
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD

PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING

Author: Randy Ribay
Series: N/A
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: June 18, 2019

Summary:
A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin's murder.

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.

Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth -- and the part he played in it.

As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.
Add Sorcery of Thorns to Goodreads
Purchase:

WICKED FOX

Author: Kat Cho
Series: Gumiho #1
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 25, 2019

Summary:
A fresh and addictive fantasy-romance set in modern-day Seoul.

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret--she's a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.

But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead--her gumiho soul--in the process.

Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl--he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He's drawn to her anyway.

With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon's.
Add Sorcery of Thorns to Goodreads
Purchase:

ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: N/A
Source: Audible
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: October 10th 2017

Summary:
From bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater, a gripping tale of darkness, miracles, and family. Saints. Miracles. Family. Romance. Death. Redemption.

Here is a thing everyone wants: A miracle.

Here is a thing everyone fears:
What it takes to get one.

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.
Add Sorcery of Thorns to Goodreads
Purchase:

What books are you hoping to read next?

9 Dec 2019

#Discussions: 5 Podcasts I've Been Streaming Non-Stop

09 December 0 Comments

5 Podcasts I've Been Streaming Non-Stop

I have been pretty inactive on here. With starting a new job, moving, and not having the internet in my new place, it hasn't been the easiest to stay up to date on blogging. I also haven't been able to read as much because my books were in one place and I was in another :( but I was listening to a lot of podcasts!

I really like using my commute time to listen to podcasts because I can learn while I'm on the train and on my way to work. I could use that time for listening to audiobooks, but I find myself a little distracted while listening sometimes and I like to try to sleep too so I wouldn't want to miss anything!

Here are some of the podcasts I've been listening to a lot lately - and I hope you'll check them out too!

Here are the podcasts I've been listening to lately!

Dude Soup by Funhaus

Dude Soup is Funhaus' podcast. Done in both video and audio format, they discuss all things pop culture related mostly to video games. A lot of great information about what is upcoming, what games are being played, and a behind the scenes look at influencing the internet by playing video games. Definitely recommend checking out their YouTube channel and podcast!

Harvard Business Reviews: Women at Work

HBR's Women at Work discusses the obstacles, challenges, and opportunities that women face in the workplace on a day to day basis. They discuss with experts the different types of obstacles and the best ways to overcome them. I have learned a lot from this podcast and really enjoy it. I like that there are a lot of great interviews, stories, and true vulnerability from women on what they deal with daily.

Cults by Parcast Network

Cults takes a look at past and present cults in the world. Each cult gets two episodes: the first looks at the psychology of the leader of the cult and the second looks at the actions of the cult in more detail. A lot of really interesting historical cults have been featured on this - and not just the "typical" ones that you may think of. If you're interested in cults, this is definitely the one for you. But it can be graphic at times, so definitely some trigger warnings!

Small Town Murder by James Pietragallo & Jimmie Whisman

Small Town Murder has the right blend of true crime and comedy. A look into the type of town that the murder happens in, the type of (dumb) things that the murders do, and a full inspection of the court case. This has everything you could ever want and more from true crime.

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History

My boyfriend has gotten me into Dan Carlin's history podcast. It is so thorough and detailed about different topics in history and definitely has some amazing qualities to it. Each episode is between 3-4 hours, so make sure you have time to dedicate to this! But if you're looking to expand your knowledge of history, this is definitely the podcast for you.

What podcasts do you listen to?

6 Dec 2019

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: Queer SFF Releasing in 2020 + #Interview with Chana Porter!

06 December 0 Comments

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays

introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!
Today's post is all about the ah-mazing queer Science Fiction and Fantasy books that are releasing in 2020! Make sure you check it all out!


What are some of your favourite Adult SFF books?

4 Oct 2019

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN by A.J. Hackwith

04 October 1 Comments

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays

introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!

THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN

Author: A.J. Hackwitch
Series: A Novel from Hell's Library #1
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Ace Books
Publication Date: October 1, 2019


Summary:
In the first book in a brilliant new fantasy series, books that aren't finished by their authors reside in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, and it is up to the Librarian to track down any restless characters who emerge from those unfinished stories.

Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing-- a neutral space in Hell where all the stories unfinished by their authors reside. Her job consists mainly of repairing and organizing books, but also of keeping an eye on restless stories that risk materializing as characters and escaping the library. When a Hero escapes from his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must track and capture him with the help of former muse and current assistant Brevity and nervous demon courier Leto.

But what should have been a simple retrieval goes horrifyingly wrong when the terrifyingly angelic Ramiel attacks them, convinced that they hold the Devil's Bible. The text of the Devil's Bible is a powerful weapon in the power struggle between Heaven and Hell, so it falls to the librarians to find a book with the power to reshape the boundaries between Heaven, Hell….and Earth.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD

Describe THE ORCHID THRONE in 10 words or less.

A.J. HackwithLibrarian of unwritten books hunts runaway character, catches hell instead.


What was your favourite scene to write in THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN?



A.J. HackwithWhat a tough question! I think most readers would think I’d pick a major dramatic scene, but as far as what was the most fun to write, there’s a duel, midway through the book, between two storytellers with very different ideas of stories and books. 

They duel using quotes, of course, and the fight occurs while a more standard swordfight is happening next to them. It let me combine my two favorite things: meta-humor and fight scenes. It required a combination of action and humor that was challenging, but it was a blast to draft and pull off. 


What is the most interesting part of writing fantasy? How are these elements incorporated into your novels?

A.J. HackwithThere’s a highwire writers walk when writing fantasy. You are trying to build a world that’s fantastical enough to capture a reader’s imagination, but credible enough that they’ll go along for the ride. A lot of skilled authors lean on the realism, but I like making the world only just familiar enough--and fun enough--to gain a reader’s trust. 

I’m a fan of the AUTHOR knowing how everything works, but only giving the reader as much exposition and detail as the story absolutely requires. That means I tried to make sure the rules and magic of the Library made poetic sense--they felt true, to book readers--without going into deep detail that would break the spell.  Worlds should have rules, but more importantly worlds should have physics which can be felt. You should understand that something is going to fall without necessarily knowing the details of gravitational force.

The fun thing is, physics can surprise you. Sometimes eggs balance on their ends--that’s what I save my exposition for. The exceptions can help explain the norm.


Did you incorporate any of your “shelved” manuscripts into the stories that are unwritten? If yes, why did you stop writing them?

A.J. HackwithI was writing a library of the books that never got written--it was impossible NOT to insert some references to my trunked works and the works of my dearest writer friends! You’ll see sly slivers of those in the names of damsels (awakened under-appreciated characters from unwritten books), names of places, and references to particular stories. 

I’ve trunked a couple very early novels. I first attempted NaNoWriMo during my first year in college--I ‘won,’ but only barely. The draft was a fun but fairly derivative Urban Fantasy, which politely lingers and gathers dust in my own section of the Unwritten wing. For the last few years, I am less likely to trunk unfinished ideas as I am prone to tearing it apart and repurposing the good bits into a successful project. No writing is wasted. If an idea doesn’t work out, I can always mulch it into fertilizer for the next one.


What do you like most about writing a series? How does THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN fall into this?

A.J. Hackwith: The fun thing about writing a series is getting to craft very large character arcs that would feel too rushed in a single book. I try to make sure each book is a complete story--the cliffhanger ending for books always bugs me--but at the same time explore a larger arc over the course of a series. I’m entering into drafting the third and final book of the trilogy right now, and my number one goal is to make sure each of the Library crew get an emotionally satisfying resolution to their personal arc. Everyone’s changed so much! It’s bittersweet, but it is also really fun to work in callbacks and mirrors to where they all started in the first book.

Claire is Hell’s librarian - what would be her number one recommendation to people to read?


A.J. Hackwith: She couldn’t recommend anything from her own library--impossible to acquire a copy! I think Claire, being intimately familiar with the agonies of stories that don’t get told, would strongly encourage readers to read books by marginalized authors. We’re entering into a period of books where we’re getting more options (and yet more are needed). That would be her number one recommendation: read outside your own experience! A story only exists if its read.

For sci-fi and fantasy readers, for example, she might shove the BINTI series of novellas, by Nnedi Okafor, in your hands, along with Fonda Lee’s JADE CITY, J. Y. Yang’s Tensorate series, and Rebecca Roanhorse’s TRAIL OF LIGHTNING. 

What can we expect from you next?

A.J. Hackwith
I have my hands full with the subsequent two books of the Hell’s Library trilogy! I’m working on drafting the final book now, and it is a very weird thing going through the bittersweet feelings of finishing a trilogy when the first book is only just being shared with the world. But I’ve had such a wonderful journey writing it, and I hope readers will have a wonderful journey reading it. 

This trilogy certainly isn’t the only one in my own personal unwritten library, however. There are projects-in-waiting that I am right now internally referring to as ‘Shrinepunk-heist book’ and ‘Map!Magic book’. I hope readers will enjoy the journey of The Library of the Unwritten books enough to join me on the next one.

What are some of your favourite Adult SFF books?