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Review Project & Other Updates

Review Project & Other Updates

Well, I had a productive week finishing my first draft of my current main WIP, so now I’ve got a few days of spring break left to work on some other stuff, like my review project. But first:

  • Catch me on Lawrence Schoen’s Eating Authors feature, where I talk about haggis, the traditional Scottish dish so delicious that it’s literally illegal.
  • I’ve updated my author bio. I’m paying a lot of money to go to grad school so I might as well brag about it, right?
  • And I’ve updated my Goodreads author profile (also with that new bio), and I’m hoping to do a little more on Goodreads going forward aside from just keeping track of my reading progress. It has a couple of cool features for authors that I really should get more into using.

Now, back to the book reviews. I’m now caught up on my list of books from the past few months that I’ve been needing to write reviews for, so my next step is to copy over all of my other Goodreads reviews to Amazon. In the meantime, here’s a look at the books I tackled for this project and some excerpts from the reviews I wrote:


Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi

“…Keiko is a relatable young woman who embodies a dichotomy of youthful uncertainty and driven passion to do what is right.”

(I’ll admit that I didn’t write as detailed of a review of this one as I wanted because it’s been too many months since I read it and I don’t remember enough of the details.)

 

 


Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway is a poetic story about growing up in a world that does not make room for you, an especially poignant theme given the queer representation in the book.”


Through a Dark Glass by Barb Hendee

“The story takes care to show how Megan, too, changes as a person depending on the events of each scenario, which is probably the most compelling aspect of the book’s premise.”


Buffalo Solider by Maurice Broaddus

“While the story contains quite a bit of action, its shining moments are with the steampunk alternate history world-building, the mystery of the agents Desmond meets and the tension that arises as he tries to puzzle out their identities, motives, and possible benefits to his own goals, and the secret behind what makes Lij so important to these different groups hunting him down.”


The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang

“While the story is fantastical, action-packed, and romantic, perhaps its most compelling aspect is how it reflects upon the nature of grief and trauma, and how these feelings shape our relationships with other people, with our role in the world, and with our perceptions of ourselves.”


And, finally, a book that wasn’t on my backlist for review but that I actually finished this spring break:

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

“With a fun, creepy, high-action plot appropriately paced with moments of quiet, and imagery that is both modern and mythic, Certain Dark Things is a highly recommended read for those looking for a fresh revival of the urban vampire genre.”

Back From Seattle

Back From Seattle

The book signing at the University Book Store in Seattle went without a hitch, aside from the aforementioned violent far right group in the area earlier that day that left the neighborhood a bit of a ghost town. Thankfully, I didn’t see any of that nonsense and had a lovely time at the University Book Store. I am, however, a bit wiped from the drive up and down to Seattle.

Here are some pictures (courtesy of my friend, Audry) from the event:

And just a quick reminder that I will be up in Seattle AGAIN for Emerald City Comic Con on March 2nd!

US Book Birthday for Moonshine!

US Book Birthday for Moonshine!

Today’s Moonshine’s US release day! I said I’d have some more words for the second release day, and here they are:

A huge thank you as always to the Angry Robot crew, and various thanks as well to: my agent Laura Zats, Dawn Frederick, Paul Simpson, Dan Holloway, John Coulthart, Idris Grey, Beth Phelan, AC Wise, JS Fields, Abbey Gaterud, Kathi Berens, my fellow Oolies, Stacie, Audry, Eli, Flynn, and my family. I’m sure I’m glossing over some folks who deserve thanks but the book has acknowledgements already, so you’ll have to buy it if you want the full list, I guess.

Oh, and thank you again to Bruce Cordell for helping my author copies get to my house!

I started working on Moonshine as a rough concept waaaay back in high school, and picked it back up when I (like Daisy) was shortly out of college and trying to get my feet under me so I could survive the whole capitalism thing. It went through many rounds of editing and a very slow submission process (during which I did more editing!) before I ever even connected with Angry Robot through #DVPit. The publishing process is never a short one, and I definitely took my sweet time with this one, so needless to say it’s very satisfying to have it in actual, for-reals book form and out in the world. The support and reactions I’ve gotten so far have been wonderful, and it really is a dream come true to have my debut novel sitting on my own bookshelf.

And don’t think I’m getting through this without more link round-ups:

Anyway, now that you can buy Moonshine, the time has come to turn all those pre-order links into regular purchase links:

Ebook: Angry Robot | Amazon | Kobo | B&N
Paperback: Powell’s | Amazon | B&N

Coming Soon: Content Warnings for Moonshine

Coming Soon: Content Warnings for Moonshine

Happiest and newest of years! Now, Moonshine is less than a month to publication, so I don’t need to tell you that you can still pre-order Moonshine or (for reviewers) request the digital ARC on NetGalley, right? No, of course not. You already know that, because you’re smart and well-informed.

What might be new information is that I’m currently working on writing up a list of content warnings for Moonshine. I’m hoping to get it posted by next week, but this kind of thing does take a while to thoroughly assemble (and Moonshine is about twice as long as A Study of Fiber and Demons, and that one took me quite a bit of time as it was). If you’re a reviewer or a reader just eager to know what to expect before you get your hands on it on release day, and you need particular warnings before then, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or via my shiny new contact form here on the site. I’m happy to spoil things (privately) for the sake of letting folks make the decisions they need to about approaching my books. I can also add warnings to the list after it’s posted, as I’m sure there will be elements in need of warning that I didn’t consider the first time around and, obviously, I can’t account for everything with this kind of thing.

In the meantime, I’ve also added an Upcoming Events page! (I tried adding a proper calendar, but WordPress outsmarted me on that one, *shake fist*). Keep an eye there for, well, upcoming events. There will be more added soon.

A Very Spooky Autumn Update

A Very Spooky Autumn Update

Well, as predicted, it’s been a busy fall for me. Here’s what’s been going on:

  • Copyedits for Moonshine have come and gone. With the book shifting ever closer to its Final Form, I imagine things are going to start heating up on the marketing and publicity end of things for Moonshine, so I should have a lot more to share with you soon.
  • My first term in grad school is going well, though it seems all of my anxiety about feeling overwhelmed was fully justified. But I’m staying on top of my work for now, and with my copyedits already out of the way, that takes a bit of the weight off.
  • I have an Instagram now! Finally, a way to inject desaturated Fall Aesthetic directly into my bloodstream. And so much less existentially crushing than Twitter…
  • I’m making progress on my cosplays for Kumoricon, with Taako and pajama-themed Terra Branford essentially finished, and Edward (also from The Adventure Zone) close to done.
  • Speaking of Kumoricon, I will be there! Specifically, I will be a panelist on the LGBTQ+ Gaymes and Gaymers panel, and I’ll be talking about Final Fantasy IX’s Quina and neopronouns. If you’ll be at Kumoricon on Friday October 27th, please stop by! Still waiting to hear if I got into cosplay chess, too…

Aside from that, I’ve been spending my spare moments playing FFXII Zodiac Age and Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! (the two greatest games of 2017, and that’s just a fact), and working on the sequel for Moonshine, though of course I took a break from that when I was working on the copyedits. I should be able to really lock down on writing for a while now, but it’ll be a tight fit between midterms and conventions and holidays… ugh. When was the last time I had a vacation again?

Summer Reading Report

Summer Reading Report

Summer’s almost over for me, so I figured it would be good to review some of my reading escapades before I get slammed with grad school and copyedits and have no time for any books except those that I am directly involved in producing. So! Here’s a look back on my summer reads this year.

Last year, in my lumbering effort to catch up on Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings universe, I read through the Liveship Trader trilogy, which was a worthwhile effort but, damn, those books are heavy. In all senses of the term. This year, I wanted to focus on books that are a little more light-hearted or at least was more “creepy because zombies” and less “creepy because prevalent systematic sexual violence”. I also wanted to expand my reading to incorporate more men of color, since up until this point, the number of fantasy books written by MOC that I’ve read has been tragically tiny. Here are the books I’ve read this summer:

Half-Resurrection Blues and Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel José Older. The first two books in Older’s Bone Street Rumba series, a creepy urban fantasy series set in New York about an undead man named Carlos Delacruz who works as a sort of freelance MIB agent but, like, for ghosts instead of aliens. Both books focus on Carlos becoming entangled in the mechanisms of sinister supernatural groups who endanger both the humans and the ghosts of New York. These books were great fun, and Carlos is an incredible jackass of a main character who’s just sensitive enough to be sympathetic. The various types of ghosts and zombies and cultists made Oogey Boogey-style out of bugs bring a great fantasy element to the authenticity of the bustling New York setting (I assume, I’ve never been to New York, but Older sure makes it feel realistic). Midnight Taxi Tango was especially stand-out to me as Older expands the point of view characters to include Kia, Carlos’ teen friend who gains the ability to see ghosts after she gets caught in the crossfires of supernatural conspiracies, and Reza, a butch lesbian gangster who likewise becomes entangled. Older’s talent for character voice, which was already apparent in the first book with just Carlos’ PoV, is really showcased once he expands the main cast of the series. The third book, Battle Hill Bolero, is on my to-read list, so here’s hoping I can make some time for it before next summer rolls around.

Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi. This book has been on my to-read list since I first got in talks with Angry Robot about Moonshine. While I was researching them, the cover of Kojiki’s sequel, Kokoro, really caught my eye. I haven’t yet read Kokoro, but Kojiki was definitely worth the ride. I will admit: I learned in the course of reading this book that my stamina for long battle sequences is not what it used to be, and that slowed me down quite a bit. But if epic, landscape-destroying clashes between gods and their minions is your speed, this book should be very enjoyable. It follow Keiko Yamada as she travels to Japan to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance and encounters an old ally of his, a kami named Yui. Yui introduces Keiko to a conflict among the kami surrounding the kami of fire threatening to destroy the world in pursuit of his obsession over the kami of water. The story does end up focusing quite a bit more heavily on the kami than I was expecting, and I would have liked to have seen more of Keiko herself, but the conflict between the embodiments of the elements does make for some very vivid scenes and sort of cinematic battle sequences.

Silent Hall by N.S. Dolkart. This was an exception to my search for MOC authors, and I picked it up more because after reading through the above books, despite my immense enjoyment of them, I was really just feeling some high fantasy, and this was another book whose cover caught my attention as I was signing on with Angry Robot. Silent Hall follows five teens who are the sole survivors of an island cursed by a god, who then fall in with a mysterious wizard as they attempt to rebuild their lives on the mainland among the warring followers of various gods. The book follows them through a series of sometimes loosely-connected adventures which gave the story a very Earthsea-esque flow that I was really feeling. The five main characters were all excellent–realistically flawed but very easy to root for, which is exactly what one would hope for with a cast of frightened, desperate teens. It was only Hunter who came off a little weaker than the others in the first half of the book, but this was largely the result of his general stoicism and he grew into himself as the story went on. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Narky as the traditional roguish scoundrel who shined a little brighter to me than the others (plus, greatest naming of a fantasy character ever?), but they all had strong personalities that harkened to but didn’t rely too heavily standard fantasy archetypes. (Although, again, Narky’s adherence to archetypes really only bolstered my opinion of him, since he is very much My Type in terms of fantasy characters.) It’s a great, mythological sort of story that brings all of high fantasy’s good stuff to the table without having all that Good Ol’ Boy fantasy nonsense of its genre predecessors from the 90s and early 2000s.

As for what I’m reading now, I’m working on one print book and one ebook: Among the Fallen by N.S. Dolkart, the sequel to Silent Hall, and Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus, a steampunk novella about a Jamaican ex-spy on the run with a young boy wanted by multiple political factions (this is yet another book that has wooed me largely by the sheer beauty of its cover, but while the premise is pretty straightforward, the execution has been lovely.) I’m loving both so far, and while I might be able to finish up Buffalo Soldier in my last week of summer, I don’t know if I’ll get far enough into Among the Fallen before school starts to really count it as a “summer read.”

Overall, while I couldn’t get through as much recreational reading as I wanted, I made some solid choices with what I was able to get into. For those of you with more spare time to read than I have, I highly recommend any of these titles. In the meantime, despite my soon-to-be-limited free time, I’m hoping to carve out enough reading time this fall to finish Among the Fallen and get into Jeannette Ng’s upcoming Under the Pendulum Sun and Linsey Miller’s recently released Mask of Shadows.

Summer Writing Update

Summer Writing Update

Here’s what’s been going in my neck of the woods lately:

  • A Study of Fiber and Demons released! You can go here to find links to your vendor of choice. If you’ve already read it, it’d be swell if you could leave a quick review on Amazon or Goodreads.
  • Queer Summer Reading had me for an interview! You can read that here.
  • I’m still working on edits for Moonshine. It was tricky getting started on it, but now I’m having a good time rewriting some of my scenes that need a little work. I should be done with that soon, and then I can take an actual breather from these back-to-back edits for the first time since February. (You can see why I’m so excited to have my novella out? It means I’m all done editing that book, at least.)
  • Not writing-related: I’ve been working a bit on cosplay. I had to finish the sewing project I was working on (a skirt to replace the one I ruined because I got it covered in grease stains, whoops), but now I’m working on Taako from The Adventure Zone and a pajama-themed revival of my Terra Branford cosplay. I’m also planning on making Edward from The Adventure Zone but I haven’t…. exactly…… gottenstartedonityet… Well, summer’s not quite done yet, so now that I’ve got the ball rolling, hopefully I’ll get all these costumes done before school starts back up.
  • Also not writing-related: I’ve started learning Welsh on Duolingo! I’m very bad at it because I can’t roll my R’s!

As for what’s next, I’m still expecting to soon hear details on Moonshine’s Official Cover Reveal™, so stay tuned for that. Once I’m done with my Moonshine edits, I hope to also get back into drafting the sequel and perchance planning out a fun promotional thing I have in mind for Moonshine’s release. I’ll be updating here on all of that as things come along.

And, of course, I’ll be officially starting grad school in the fall, so that will be a fun challenge to balance against all of this writing stuff. But for now, it’s still summer, so I’m going to focus on these edits and watch the eclipse on Monday.

 

 

 

Content Warning page added

Content Warning page added

The content warning page is now live, although it currently only includes warnings for A Study of Fiber and Demons. You can find it listed under “About” in the menu at the top of the screen.

I’m likely to rearrange or add to that list soon, but for the time being, it covers the particularly notable content in as spoiler-free wording as I could manage.