Contest time!

It’s Day of the Girl and National Coming Out Day, so thought I’d give away a book featuring my bisexual badass heroine Tabitha.

Head on over to Twitter to RT this post and follow me. You could win a copy of Grrrls on the Side!

What I’m reading this week

This week I had planned on reading The Ship Beyond Time, but then the sequel to Not Your Sidekick landed in my inbox, and I switched to Not Your Villain. Sorry ’bout it. Except I’m not sorry at all. I’ve been dying to read this one. I’m also listening to Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy, which has been on my TBR list for far too long. And since it’s about her struggles with mental illness, I thought World Mental Health Day would be a great day to talk about it.

Things I’m loving about Not Your Villain: Everything! I love getting to know the Sidekick Squad from another point of view and Bells is just so freaking charming. And his crush on Emma? Be still my YA-reading heart! As always, I love C.B. Lee’s representation of her marginalized characters, and the overall world building. This series skews a tad toward Middle Grade, but don’t let that stop you. It’s such a fun read, you won’t even notice.

Things I’m loving about Furiously Happy: I’ve loved Jenny Lawson’s (aka The Bloggess) sense of humor since she first posted about Beyoncé the Giant Metal Chicken so I was pretty sure I was going to love this. What I didn’t expect was to laugh-cry at the realism of Jenny’s struggle with MI. I especially love that I snagged the audio book, because getting to hear this in the author’s voice? Golden. I may have to get Let’s Pretend This Never Happened just to hear her say “Knock-knock, motherfucker!” 😂

Related Recommendations: If you are looking for something a bit more firmly in the YA camp than the Sidekick Squad, check out Blood Surfer by Debra Jess. I read this one about a year ago now, but it was a really great urban fantasy with super-powered characters. Jess has a few novellas in this world and I believe another book coming out in this series (don’t @ me if I’m wrong – UPDATE: confirmed!)

And obviously I’d recommend Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Happy reading!

Up Next: I think I’m going to opt for reading about more feminist, zine-making girls and read Moxie. It reminds me a lot of Grrrls on the Side (which is currently 30% off on Amazon!) so I have a feeling I’m going to love it!

In the meantime, what are you reading?

What I’m reading this week

This week I chose to start on a dollar store find called The Sweetheart by Angelina Mirabella. This one is about a 1950s female wrestler, and I was sold on buying it on the description alone. Unfortnately, the execution is leaving much to be desired. After the prologue, this book is written in second person, as if the author is talking to herself or remembering events. But instead of saying, “I did this,” or “She did this,” the author used, “You did this.” It’s an uncommon style for fiction writing, and with good reason. And in this case, it’s not working. The second-person narration is really taking me out of the story, and I’m having a hard time staying focused on the story and characters.

Things I’m loving: The main character, Leonie, is charming so far, and I am invested in what happens to her. Also, the plot is solid enough that it’s not become a DNF for me yet, but man, the desire to put it down and not pick it up again is strong.

Related Recommendation: I recently read another book written in second person that wasn’t distracting, and it’s proof that this style can be done well. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera is a young adult novel written from the point of view of a young man whose ex-boyfriend has died. The novel is written as if Griffin is speaking to Theo. I think in this case it works because Griffin is going through his grief process and believes he is actually speaking to Theo.

Up Next: I think I’m going to dig into Heidi Heilig’s The Ship Beyond Time. It’s the sequel to The Girl From Everywhere, which I loved. So I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, what are you reading?

What I’m reading this week

Hopefully this will be the first of many posts about books I’m currently reading. This installment features Island of Exiles (Book 1 in the Ryogan Chronicles) by Erica Cameron and A World Without You by Beth Revis (which I’m technicaly listening to as an audiobook).

Things I’m loving: Island of Exiles is such a lush world, despite taking place in a desert. The setting, characters and plot are all richly crafted. I’m dying to finish this one. I hope book two comes out soon because I have a feeling I’m going to want to dive right in again.

I started listening to A World Without You on my way home from Hurricane Irma evacuation because I had met Beth Revis at a Malaprops Bookstore event in Asheville, NC. I knew she had written the Star Wars: Rogue One prequel Rebel Rising, but when she mentioned a time-traveling, mentally ill character, I knew I had to read this book. Knowing I would be trapped in a car for several hours had me opting for the audiobook. I’m loving the narrator and so far the story has me wondering. I’ve heard it keeps you guessing until the end, so I’m dying to finish it as well.

Related recommendations: Beth Revis was kind enough to host a Q&A for me and fellow YA author F.T. Lukens at Malaprops and we talked about our writing process and read random snippets from our books.

Check out F.T. Lukens’ The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic. It’s a great coming-of-age tale juxtaposed with the world of myth and magic. Main character Bridger just can’t seem to get his shit together to follow through on his crush on the cute boy next door. Supporting characters Astrid and Leo are also charmers, and mentor Pavel is a gem.

Up Next: After I finish these two I think I want to dig into a dollar store find that I hadn’t heard of before and I can’t remember the name of. But I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, what are you reading?

My 300-word story is featured in “Renewal”

Queer SciFi (QSF) has a new book out, the latest in its series of flash fiction anthologies, and my story “Allora’s Kiss” is included!

Re.new.al (noun)

1) Resuming an activity after an interruption, or
2) Extending a contract, subscription or license, or
3) Replacing or repairing something that is worn out, run-down, or broken, or
4) Rebirth after death.

Four definitions to spark inspiration, a limitless number of stories to be conceived. Only 110 made the cut.

Thrilling to hopeful, Renewal features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets about sexual and gender minorities to entice readers.

Welcome to Renewal.

Mischief Corner Books (info only) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads


Renewal Banner

Excerpt

Because these stories are only 300 words each, we’re not supplying long excerpts, but here are the first lines of several of the stories. Enjoy!

“Griselda pulled the weeds from between the rows of Valerianella locusta plants in the garden, careful not to disturb the buds that would grow into the babies that were her only real income-producing crop.” —The Witches’ Garden, by Rie Sheridan Rose

“I didn’t know how truly the world was in trouble until I went journeying to look for Anisette’s bluebonnets.” —Bluebonnets, by Emily Horner

“The ship’s drive malfunctioned at the worst possible time.” —The Return, by Andrea Speed

“Before we continue, there’s a rather macabre fact about me I should share.” —Rejuvenation, by Christine Wright

“When I died they buried me at the bottom of the garden and returned to the fields.” —Below the Hill, by Matthew Bright

“The world is ending and I can’t look away from your eyes.” —Sunrise, by Brigitte Winter

““Losing one’s superpowers to your arch nemesis sucks donkey nuts, I tell ya. And trust me when I say I suck a lot of them.” —Rainbow Powers, by Dustin Karpovich

“The day I was born again was damp, rainy—a good day for rebirth, all things considered.” —The Birthing Pod, by Michelle Browne

“Intwir’s twelve eyes roved over the container, taking in the cracked outer lock and the elasticated fabric stretched tightly over its exterior.” —In a Bind, by S R Jones

“‘You’ve reached Androgyne HelpLine. Press one to start service. Press two to interrupt or cancel service. Press three—’” —Auto-Renew, by Ginger Streusel

“The doctor tells me that my wife is dying, but I already know.” —I Will Be Your Shelter, by Carey Ford Compton

“‘San Francisco was the first to go dark, followed by Los Angeles.’” —When Light Left, by Lex Chase

“My fingers lingered on the synthetic skin, trailing soft patterns across my work.” —Miss You, by Stephanie Shaffer Continue reading “My 300-word story is featured in “Renewal””

Find me at DragonCon

September is going to be an especially busy month for me, starting with this weekend. I’ll be at DragonCon in Atlanta again this year along with some of my favorite queer SFF authors: C.B. Lee, F.T. Lukens, Michelle Osgood and Taylor Brooke.

We’ll have our books for sale in booth 1223, first floor of America’s Mart. And I’ll be on the Fanfiction in YA, YA in Fanfiction panel on Sunday at 4 p.m., Marriott A707. Hope to see you there!

Oh, and one more thing: we’re hosting a DragonCon scavenger hunt. Check it out!

What’s your ’90s Zine called?

Grrrls on the Side is full of excerpts from the characters’ zines. These blog-style print booklets have great names like “Chubby Bunny” and “Material Grrrl.”

Want to know what your ’90s zine would be called?

In the graphic above, just find the word associated with your zodiac sign (#1), then the last digit of your phone number (#2) and then the last digit of your age (#3). Put the three words together and you get the name of your zine.

Mine would be Brutal Feminist Baggage.

Grrrls on the Side is now available wherever books are sold!

Grrrls on the Side
ISBN 13: 978-1-945053-21-4Grrrls on the Side - cover

The year is 1994 and alternative is in. But not for alternative girl Tabitha Denton; she hates her life. She is uninterested in boys, lonely, and sidelined by former friends at her suburban high school. When she picks up a zine at a punk concert, she finds an escape—an advertisement for a Riot Grrrl meet-up.

At the meeting, Tabitha finds girls who are more like her and a place to belong. But just as Tabitha is settling in with her new friends and beginning to think she understands herself, eighteen-year-old Jackie Hardwick walks into a meeting and changes her world forever. The out-and-proud Jackie is unlike anyone Tabitha has ever known. As her feelings for Jackie grow, Tabitha begins to learn more about herself and the racial injustices of the punk scene, but to be with Jackie, she must also come to grips with her own privilege and stand up for what’s right.

In the Present Tense is Foreword INDIES finalist

In the Present Tense is a 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award finalist for LGBT fiction and Science Fiction.

Description:

Miles Lawson goes to sleep dreaming of a future with his boyfriend Adam, but wakes to find he is married to Ana, an acquaintance from high school. When he learns he has been time traveling, Miles is consumed with finding a cure for his rare condition—and finding his first love. As he loses control, Miles must realize that sometimes fixing your past mistakes means changing your future. But will he be able to convince Adam he is telling the truth before it’s too late?

Playlist for your next riot

Girl-fronted punk bands gave birth to the Riot Grrrl movement. As a result, music played an important role in its culture and the writing of Grrrls on the Side. This playlist is inspired by both the characters from Grrrls and the time period in which it is set—some songs are more modern and others are pure vintage punk. Enjoy!

Cool Schmool – Bratmobile
Oh Bondage! Up Yours! – X-Ray Spex
You’re No Rock n’ Roll Fun – Sleater-Kinney
Bucket of Bleach – Peroxxxidal
Rebel Girl – Bikini Kill
White Girl – Heavens to Betsy
Simple Then – Honeychild Coleman
Bad Reputation – Joan Jett
Cherry Bomb – The Runaways
Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
Activity Grrrl – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
I Wanna Be Sedated – Ramones
Coming Clean – Green Day
Off-Duty Sailor – Dicks
She’s Amazing – Team Dresch
Sunday Girl – Blondie
Girls and Boys – Blur
Material Girl – Madonna
Just a Girl – No Doubt
Constant Craving – k.d. lang

You can also listen to the playlist on Spotify or by clicking on the widget in the sidebar below.