Riot Grrrls and Trigger Warnings

My novel Grrrls on the Side, (Duet, June 8, 2017), takes place during the Riot Grrrl movement of the early to mid-’90s. The young women who considered themselves Riot Grrrls were feminists, activists and artists. They participated in the punk scene, created zines, marched on Washington, spoke out about rape culture, and demanded to be heard. But like many young women and teens, they were often derided for their choices and for daring to speak out.

It was an imperfect movement that was often criticized for its lack of intersectionality and ultimately fizzled out due to a lack of organization. But it was still important. Many young women found themselves through the friendships and values they formed as Riot Grrrls. Myself included. My feminism definitely has its roots in Riot Grrrl.

Because Riot Grrrl was (and still is) important to so many women, I knew I had to depict the experience with honesty and respect. That meant being realistic about what these “grrrls” talked about during their meetings. Unfortunately, for one in six American women, that probably meant talking about sexual assault. So it would be impossible to talk about feminism and Riot Grrrl without addressing that very real and important issue. But that doesn’t mean I should exploit the situation. Real people who have been sexually assaulted may read my book (I know of a couple who already have), and I owe it to them to treat their experiences with care because rape and other forms of sexual assault cause very real, lasting trauma. Just because it happens in real life and I wanted to reflect that in a novel, doesn’t mean that victims who might be harmed by reading about something so traumatic should have to read it. So I chose to include a trigger warning in the author’s note at the beginning of the book. Continue reading “Riot Grrrls and Trigger Warnings”

Five stars for F.T. Lukens’ Ghosts & Ashes

Ghosts & AshesGhosts & Ashes by F.T. Lukens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It would be an understatement to say I was excited about book 2 in the Broken Moon series because book 1, The Star Host, was one of my favorite books of 2016. So I hoped Ghosts & Ashes would not disappoint. I’m happy to say Lukens met and exceeded my expectations this go around, and I’m eagerly awaiting book 3.

Despite Ren & Asher earning their freedom in The Star Host, Ghosts & Ashes is full of tension and questions about where everyone’s loyalties truly lie. Readers will be kept guessing until the last page… and beyond. Although G&A ends on a cliffhanger, it feels satisfactory in a way and will get you excited for the finale.

Ghosts & Ashes is a worthy and exciting follow-up to The Star Host. Fans of Star Wars and Firefly will love the Broken Moon series for its space opera-style storyline and memorable characters.

View all my reviews

Coming in June: Grrrls on the Side

It’s an understatement to say I’m excited to finally talk about my debut YA novel, Grrrls on the Side. Check out the blurb below, and add it on Goodreads. If you’d like to stay up to date on my work, you can join my email list in the sidebar.

Grrrls on the Side
ISBN-13: 9781945053214

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.

Grrrls on the Side will be available from Duet Books (the YA imprint of Interlude Press) June 8, 2017.

Authors After Dark and more!

I just got back from the final Authors After Dark con and I had so much fun I’ll be recovering for weeks. Special thanks to Stella Price and her staff for a great week! I also met some awesome fellow authors and hopefully picked up a few new readers.

While I was gone I was featured on some great blogs. Be sure to check these out and enter to win the great prizes at Joyfully Jay and Hart’s Romance Pulse.

At Joyfully Jay I talked about the portrayal of mental illness in my work and I’m offering a giveaway. I also recently got a 4.25-star review from them. Check it out!

At J. Scott Coatsworth’s blog I got to do a fun little interview where I reveal what year of my life I would live over again.

Finally, it’s Time Travel Romance Week at Hart’s Romance Pulse. Today I’m featured there, but there are a ton of other time travel authors for you to check out all week as well as some amazing giveaways!

Next up, I’m headed to Atlanta for the Decatur Book Festival and DragonCon. So stay tuned for more info.

(And yes, you can buy the bag pictured above. It’s currently available without my logo or with my logo.)