Friday, September 1, 2017

New Blog Up and Running!

First, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone again. You've made me so happy to have decided to jump into the book blogging community, not having any idea what I was doing. And I'm very much looking forward to a new blog/new start.

Because, this post is to tell you my new blog, A Thousand Worlds, is now live! I have my first post up. It's just a welcome post, but I have lots of scheduled posts coming up that I'm very excited to get out there. Here's a link to my new blog's main page.

What this all means for this blog is that this is probably the last post I will ever publish for it. It has been a blast and a great learning experience. I hope I can take what I've learnt from this blog and use it on my new one. Also, I have met some great people. Thanks so much for making this blog such fun!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Quick Update

Hey, all. Just popping over for a quick update on my situation.

I've been hard at work learning how to use wordpress (and playing with the idea of paying for the premium one - it's definitely a thought and I'd love to hear if anyone upgraded to it and if they like it) and starting to get a bit of a scheduled post cushion.

I'm deciding how I want to lay a few things out - mainly my review post and am deciding how best to tag/categorize stuff - but it looks like I will be making my September first 'grand opening'.

I probably won't have another update until my blog goes live and at that point I'll post up a link to it so you guys can find it. I've been having fun with this and am starting to get quiet excited at the thought of a new blog and a new start!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Update On My Situation

First off, I'd like to say thank you to everyone that left me comments recently and I'm so sorry for not responding to them. They do mean a lot to me, even if I didn't comment back.

Now, I was getting ready for an August return, slowly working on a few new posts and shifting things around a bit for my blog and schedule. I was also considering making the switch from blogger to wordpress - but I didn't think I'd do that until the beginning of the new year.

I was searching for an old post I made some time back and while looking for it, I clicked on another one and found that photobucket - who I had been using as my image sharing site - had made it so you can no longer share your photos unless you upgrade and pay for their services. Well, this entire time, I've not payed for anything concerning this blog. It's free and it's a hobby and I'm not paying sixty bucks a year so I can share pictures.

This was the last push I needed to get determined that I need to switch my blogging platform - because it's really too big of a pain to go back and switch out all my old pictures. Now what I'm intending to do is make the switch to wordpress before I return to blogging.

This will push my return back further than August. I am hoping for a September return now, but I'm not entirely sure I'll make it.

When I get there, I will be posting a link so you can come visit me at my new blog - and, depending how things go, I might keep you updated on my progress. In the mean time, I'm actually really looking forward to the switch.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Unintended Hiatus

As you might have noticed, I've been a little absent the past week or two - and haven't replied to comments or visited other blogs since the beginning of the month.

This is partially because I'm in the midst of a major reading slump. I believe the last book I read was at the end of last month. I've picked up a few books but when they fail to grab me in the first 10-20 pages, I put them down and lose interest. So, I don't have any reviews to post and I really don't want to just post two meme's a week and nothing else. (The infrequent discussion topic I can't write doesn't actually help matters.)

Also though, I've been busy with other stuff and when I have downtime, I spend most of it either playing video games or writing. (And very definitely not getting enough sleep.)

The simple fact is, right now, just thinking of all the catch-up I have to do - with this blog and visiting others - not to mention the comments I have to reply to at the very least, makes me feel incredibly exhausted and a little like I'm drowning.

I don't know when I'll be coming back to this blog. I do want to, but the way I feel so indifferent to even picking up a book to read... I don't know when it will be. I just need a break for awhile, time to not feel guilty about not posting and commenting and all that other stuff, and time to actually get some posts lined up.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Top Ten 'Amy-Bait' Things in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Original title: Top Ten Things That When They Are Even HINTED At In A Book Will Mean Amy Want's To Read It Right Now (but that title was too long).

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

T5W - Books That Would Make Awesome Video Games

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on goodreads that you can find here. Every week - or less for some of us ;) - the members get together and post five books that pertain to a specific topic.

This topic is like tailor made for me. For the past two months - almost three now, I think - I have been locked into the whole Dragon Age franchise. Playing the second one half a dozen times, replaying the first one twice, all in preparation for the third one. So, I definitely have a pretty certain idea of what kind of games I'd currently like to play.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Top Ten Most Unique Sounding Books On My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

I think the longer I blog, the more I experiment with books that are a little outside my usual wheelhouse. Honestly, I love that. Sure, it does let me in for some 'what the hell was I thinking' moments, but sometimes the book turns out to be amazing and I never would have found it if I stuck to the norm. So, here's ten eight books on my TBR that sound different than anything else I've read!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

2017 Challenges - 1st Quarter Update!

I am officially baffled that it is already the beginning of April. (And I was supposed to have this up the end of last month. :p) This year is going by crazy fast so far. But, that does mean it's time for my first challenge update. I've definitely had some mixed results - but, over all, I'm pretty happy.

Pages of Starlight's Speculative Fiction Challenge
(A challenge created by me for me - though you're welcome to join in!)

#1 A Fairytale Retelling

#2 A Historical Fantasy

#3 A Book From NPR's Top 100 SF/F List
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Sci-Fi)

#4 A Non-British/American Steampunk

#5 Crossed With Another Genre (like a sci-fi mystery)
Hexbreaker by Jordan L. Hawk (Historical/UF/Mystery) (LGBT+POC MC)

#6 A Manga (or 15)
Karneval #5  by Touya Mikanagi

#7 A Comic Book
A-Force: Warzones by G. Willow Wilson
#8 An Urban Fantasy

#9 A Classic

#10 About Superheroes

#12 A Western (Space Western or Cattle Punk)

#13 An Earth-Based Sci-Fi

#14 A Sci-Fi With Aliens

#15 Based Around a Non-White Culture

#16 With a POC Main Character
Earthrise by M.C.A. Hogarth (Sci-Fi) (POC MC+Aliens)

#17 With a LGBTQIA Main Character

#18 With an Aro or Ace Character
An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows (Fantasy) (Aro POV Character+LGBT+POC)

#19 Written By a POC Author

#20 Has a M/M Romance
The Fire's Stone by Tanya Huff (Fantasy) (LGBT)

#21 Has a  F/F Romance

#22 Published Last Year

#23 Published Before 2000

#24 A Novella

Pages of Starlights ReRead Challenge
I don't reread enough books. I'm usually so focused on the next new book that I never get back to the books I loved. This year I'd like to change that. I'd like to reread at least 12 books this year.

Title - Author Here
Empty Net by Avon Gale
The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh by K.J. Charles

I had so much fun with my challenges from last year, I decided to do them again!

Pages of Starlight's Chunky-Book Challenge
(Adult 400+ YA 500+)
I plan to read 12 chunky books this year - or as many as I can find that sounds good, whichever comes first. (I don't even have 12 chunky books on my TBR!)

Title - Author Here
Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling
Home and Away by Samantha Wayland
An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows
Stalking Darkness by Lynn Flewelling

Earthrise by M.C.A. Hogarth

Pages of Starlight's Finish-the-Series Challenge
My goal is to finish 12 series this year.
I'm also including series I've caught up on if there's no indication when/if it'll be finished.

Series by Author Finished
Hexworld by Jordan L. Hawk
A Society of Gentlemen by K.J. Charles

Pages of Starlight's TBR-Clean-Up Challenge
Read some of those books I've had on my TBR list for over a year.
Not my physical TBR.

Book - Author Here

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

T5W - Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books On My TBR

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on goodreads that you can find here. Every week - or less for some of us ;) - the members get together and post five books that pertain to a specific topic.

Just when I was starting to think that I'd quit posting this meme, they have some of the best, most 'me' topics imaginable. This week, I get to talk about the spec fiction books on my TBR that I want to read, desperately. What's even better - or worse, depending on perspective - is that I already own all these and now just need to make time to read them.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Top Ten Non-Bookish Fandoms I Obsess Over

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Because we all know that my crazy fangirling cannot be limited to books. I mean, seriously.

Monday, April 3, 2017

April New Releases

Another month, another handful of books that sound awesome!

Releases April 4th

Defy the Stars by Claudia Grey
Noemi Vidal is a teen soldier from the planet Genesis, once a colony of Earth that's now at war for its independence. The humans of Genesis have fought Earth's robotic "mech" armies for decades with no end in sight. 

After a surprise attack, Noemi finds herself stranded in space on an abandoned ship where she meets Abel, the most sophisticated mech prototype ever made. One who should be her enemy. But Abel's programming forces him to obey Noemi as his commander, which means he has to help her save Genesis--even though her plan to win the war will kill him. 

Together they embark on a daring voyage through the galaxy. Before long, Noemi begins to realize Abel may be more than a machine, and, for his part, Abel's devotion to Noemi is no longer just a matter of programming.

Geekerella: A Fangirl Fairytale by Ashley Poston
Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad's old costume), Elle's determined to win unless her stepsisters get there first. 

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons before he was famous. Now they re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he's ever wanted, but the Starfieldfandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom."

Rebels Rising by Shanna Swendson
Risking all for freedom – and love

The governor has disbanded the Colonial Assembly, removing the last shred of representative government from American shores. The Rebel Mechanics and their magister allies can’t let the Empire get away with that. The time has come to act.

But to truly start turning the wheels of revolution, they need popular support from ordinary laborers, housewives, students, and the middle class—people outside the rebel movements. That’s a job for Verity Newton, under the guise of her journalistic alter ego. As the rebel movement builds momentum, Verity must take a more public, open stand for the cause—a stand that could jeopardize her job, her home, and her place in society.

At the same time, a revolution is the only way Verity stands a chance of being with Lord Henry, since they’re divided by class and by the fact that he’s wanted for treason. It’s a risk she’s willing to take.

Releases April 25th

The Explorers by Adrienne Kress
Featuring a mysterious society, a secretive past, and a pig in a teeny hat, The Explorers: The Door in the Alley is the first book in a new series for fans of The Name of This Book Is a Secret and The Mysterious Benedict Society. Knock once if you can find it—but only members are allowed inside. 

This is one of those stories that start with a pig in a teeny hat. It’s not the one you’re thinking about. (This story is way better than that one.) 

This pig-in-a-teeny-hat story starts when a very uninquisitive boy stumbles upon a very mysterious society. After that, there is danger and adventure; there are missing persons, hired thugs, a hidden box, a lost map, and famous explorers; and also a girl on a rescue mission.

This month must be my 'unusual' month, where I'm interested in books that aren't the norm for me. I will admit that I am super excited for what seems to be the conclusion of Shanna Swendson's series. Beyond that, as good as these other books sound, I'm going to have to know a little more about them before I take the plunge, I think.

Friday, March 31, 2017

March Wrap-Up

I've learnt something about myself this month. When I'm upset, I read gay romance. (Or watch hockey movies, but that's another subject.) Anyway, around the middle of the month, I broke my hard drive - and lost over fifty hours on my replay of Dragon Age Origins as well as almost a full month's writing (about twenty pages) of my story I'm working on writing.

So I was left on my old backup computer that doesn't have a period key and suddenly decided it would be appropriate to refuse to be connected to the internet. In my efforts to not think about how much writing I lost for my fantasy story, I found myself mostly looking at my to read fantasy books with much pain - and avoiding them like the plague.

Then I got myself wrapped up in a totally awesome sci-fi story, so that's all good.

Now I have my (new hard drive installed) computer back and am incredibly lazy. I mean, I'm always a little lazy, but I have no posts scheduled for next month. And I feel a little strange about that.

What I've Been Reading...

Timekeeper by Tara Sim - ****
Clockwork Heart by Heidi Cullinan - **
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - **

Empty Net by Avon Gale - ***** - Re-read
A Gentleman's Position by K.J. Charles - ***
The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh by K.J. Charles - **** - Re-read

The Private Secretary by Summer Devon - *****
The Lawrence Browne Affair by Cat Sebastian - *****
One Glimpse by Lydia Gastrell - ****

Crashing the Net by Samantha Wayland - ***
Checking it Twice by Samantha Wayland - **
Earthrise by M.C.A. Hogarth - *****

What I've Been Watching...

I watched the last season (8? 7? I don't even remember now) of Rizzoli & Isles and, while I would have loved to see the show continue, at least they went out on a high note and before the show started to suffer. (Like that old advice to leave the audience wanting more.) I also watched season two of The Librarians and, gotta admit, I like the way things changed between seasons one and two, thanks to the stuff at the end of season one. I also watched a couple of the movies I got for my birthday: The Mighty Ducks and D2. From my birthday haul I've still got D3 and Miracle (another hockey movie!) to watch.

How's your month been? Truthfully, I hope better than mine. Do tell me about all the wonderful things you've been reading/watching or commiserate with me down in the comments. (Or tell me how great your month has been so I can get psyched up for April in the hopes it'll be better.)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Top Ten Authors it Would be Cool to Meet

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Okay, so I know myself well enough to know that I'd probably never go to any sort of book/author event. However, if I ever got hit by a bout out-of-character behavior, these are the authors that I'd want to meet. (Oddly enough - or maybe not - this could also pretty much double as my favorite authors list. Or the authors whose brains I want to pick.)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #2

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, the participants are supposed to choose one book for each of the three categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and a diverse book that has not yet been released.

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

Moon has spent his life hiding what he is — a shape-shifter able to transform himself into a winged creature of flight. An orphan with only vague memories of his own kind, Moon tries to fit in among the tribes of his river valley, with mixed success. Just as Moon is once again cast out by his adopted tribe, he discovers a shape-shifter like himself... someone who seems to know exactly what he is, who promises that Moon will be welcomed into his community. What this stranger doesn't tell Moon is that his presence will tip the balance of power... that his extraordinary lineage is crucial to the colony's survival... and that his people face extinction at the hands of the dreaded Fell! Now Moon must overcome a lifetime of conditioning in order to save and himself... and his newfound kin.

Notes: This is truly diverse fantasy at its best. The main race in the book are not humans but a vague type of avian shifter - and have a culture in place that reflects this. These are definitely not rubber-faced aliens. Besides the people of color, there is also polyamory, mostly, I believe, in the form of open relationships.

Everfair by Nisi Shawl

Everfair is a wonderful Neo-Victorian alternate history novel that explores the question of what might have come of Belgium's disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier. Fabian Socialists from Great Britian join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo's "owner," King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.

Shawl's speculative masterpiece manages to turn one of the worst human rights disasters on record into a marvelous and exciting exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history. Everfair is told from a multiplicity of voices: Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and African Americans in complex relationships with one another, in a compelling range of voices that have historically been silenced. Everfair is not only a beautiful book but an educational and inspiring one that will give the reader new insight into an often ignored period of history.

Notes: I have been enamored with this book ever since I first saw the cover. Finding out what it's about just makes me that much more interested - but the less than glowing Goodreads reviews make me a little worried. (Well, that and the truly expensive price! 13 dollars for the ebook, and that's cheaper than the physical copy.)

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

Notes: I will not deny it, the title kept me from looking at this book for the longest time. At least, until I convinced myself that no book would have such an on-the-nose title. And then I came across this. Though, the first synopsis made it much more obvious that the two boys' feeling were for each other. Oh, well, I am so ready for the May release of this totally meta sounding book.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Want to leave me any diverse book recommendations?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Top Ten Books You Could (and totally should) Read in One Sitting (I kinda did)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

I've just realized, it's been a while since I actually sat down and read a book in one sitting. An actual novel, that is, not a comic or manga. something that I should totally rectify. Anyhow, here's a list of ten books that are either short enough to or that totally benefit from reading in one sitting. (And that I read, if not in one sitting, in a very short period of time.)

Monday, March 20, 2017

My Thoughts On: Write What You Know

As some of you may already know, I write. I don't really consider myself an author - mostly because I've only ever finished one story and it was rubbish (as they're supposed to be, of course) - but I do consider myself a writer. Because I write.

I usually write a handful of pages a week - definitely not a high number, but it's a hobby to go along with my fulltime job and my other hobbies. And I like writing.

Lately, I've been giving some thought to the advice that you always hear given to first-time writers.

Write what you know.

Honestly, I've thought that advice was junk for years. I mean, if people only ever wrote what they knew, you'd never have fantasy stories, or sci-fi or steampunk and, really, you'd have a lot fewer romance novels, too.

But, you know, if you look at it a bit differently, it is good advice.

To me, write what you know should be changed to write what you're passionate about.

All my stories that I've worked on have a distinct amount of the unusual about them but I live in what can only be - sadly - called reality. I don't live in a world of ghosts or elves or superheroes, but I've written about each of them.

Write what you know is terribly limiting. But, if we'd change that to 'write what you're passionate about'…

I think passion comes through in writing. (I know it sure does in my own writing.) I think if an author truly loves the subject matter, it shows up. So, maybe you won't be the next J.K. Rowling, but if you write what you're passionate about, other people with the same passion will find your books and love them.

So, maybe write what you know isn't such bad advice. I mean, everyone knows what they're passionate about, after all.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Review: Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Series: Timekeeper #1
Genre: Steampunk/LGBT
Add on Goodreads

Two o’clock was missing. 

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

T5W - Books I Feel Betrayed By

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on goodreads that you can find here. Every week - or less for some of us ;) - the members get together and post five books that pertain to a specific topic.

And the second of two topics this month that I just can't pass up. Why would I even not take the chance to talk about books that betrayed me? Why? I wouldn't. Ever. Warning: Here Be Spoilers!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

After a bit of a hiatus, TTT is now back. And, interestingly enough, the topic this week is Spring TBR. And here I am, haven't pulled together a TBR for the past two months. And, you know what? I like it. But, I can't deny that it'll be kinda nice having a bit more structure for the next couple months. (Let's just ignore the fact that I failed epically when it came to my Winter TBR, m'kay?)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Review: Starflight by Melissa Landers

Starflight by Melissa Landers
Series: Starflight #1
Genre: Sci-Fi
Add on Goodreads

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

T5W - Favorite Spec Fiction Books

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on goodreads that you can find here. Every week - or less for some of us ;) - the members get together and post five books that pertain to a specific topic.

Just as I was getting read to stop posting this meme, I was hit with two topics this month that I can't resist. This week I get to talk about five of my most favoritest sci-fi and fantasy books!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Rereading a Book You No Longer Love

Lately, I've been doing a lot of talk about rereading. In fact, I have challenged myself to reread 12 books this year. At least, that was the plan.

So, in January, I hit a bit of a slump. Not terribly, but nothing was keeping my attention. I'd pick a book up and put it back down after a half-dozen pages. So, I decided to reread the first book in what I claim to be my favorite fantasy series.

It worked perfectly. I was enjoying it and having a blast and then, about 50 pages into it, I just totally lost interest. I think it was partially because, even though it's been about three years since I read it, I remember things very well. But, also…

Nowadays, I'm looking for books that are more. More than just another straight white cis male going out and saving this fantasy world. I want books that are diverse, books that are inclusive - I don't call diversity one black woman that dies at the end of the series. So, I love the book. I probably - I hope - I always will.

But I just don't want to reread a book that's not something I would currently pick to read new now.

As much as I loved them years ago when I first read them, this is why I haven't reread the Sherlock Holmes stories in years. I'm afraid I won't enjoy them at all and they will feel sexist and racist. (Which I bet they were - though no more than most other books written around that time.)

The fact is, I'd like to keep pleasant memories of books that if I were to read them nowadays, I'd probably rip into.

This has left me very concerned about my intent to reread a lot this year - as I have no idea how some of these books that I loved once will strike me now. (And I do want good memories of them.)

Have you ever experienced this - where the book is well written and you still could love it, but you just want more out of it when you reread? Or if your reading tastes change so drastically that you can't really love the book anymore?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #1

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, the participants are supposed to choose one book for each of the three categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and a diverse book that has not yet been released.

When I first saw this meme, I knew I had to participate. Well, now that I've finally gotten my schedule shuffled around, I can!

An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows

When Saffron Coulter stumbles through a hole in reality, she finds herself trapped in Kena, a magical realm on the brink of civil war.

There, her fate becomes intertwined with that of three very different women: Zech, the fast-thinking acolyte of a cunning, powerful exile; Viya, the spoiled, runaway consort of the empire-building ruler, Vex Leoden; and Gwen, an Earth-born worldwalker whose greatest regret is putting Leoden on the throne. But Leoden has allies, too, chief among them the Vex’Mara Kadeja, a dangerous ex-priestess who shares his dreams of conquest.

Pursued by Leoden and aided by the Shavaktiin, a secretive order of storytellers and mystics, the rebels flee to Veksh, a neighboring matriarchy ruled by the fearsome Council of Queens. Saffron is out of her world and out of her depth, but the further she travels, the more she finds herself bound to her friends with ties of blood and magic.

Can one girl – an accidental worldwalker – really be the key to saving Kena? Or will she just die trying?

Notes: Of course my first feature for this would be a book I'm pushing harder than any book since A Wicked Thing. I love this book so much and it's one of my favorite reads of the year so far. (And I see that changing never!)

Earthrise by M.C.A. Hogarth

Reese Eddings has enough to do just keeping her rattletrap merchant vessel, the TMS Earthrise, profitable enough to pay food for herself and her micro-crew. So when a mysterious benefactor from her past shows up demanding she rescue a man from slavers, her first reaction is to say "NO!" And then to remember that she sort of promised to repay the loan. But she doesn't remember signing up to tangle with pirates and slavers over a space elf prince...

Notes: BTW, this book is free on kindle. (No kindle first or anything, but actually free!) I downloaded it as soon as I saw that because I seriously need more POC in my science fiction. And it's been sitting on my kindle for three months now and each time I see it, I think I should read it because it sounds great!

The Tiger's Watch by Julia Ember

Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.

When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn't question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.

Notes: So, as I discovered, I have very few upcoming diverse books on my list - and those that I have, don't have a cover yet! Then I found this wonderful sounding book and I find myself really, really wanting it. Though, beware, it doesn't get released until August.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? What are your go-to diverse book recommendations?

Monday, February 27, 2017

February Wrap-Up

So this month has been uneventful in the grand scheme, but I've been doing a bunch of little things. Like spending the first two weeks of the month mired in Dragon Age 2 so deep that I read very little.

Oh, and scrapping the superheros story I was working on and returning to fantasy with a story I'm loving! (I do plan to let you know about it, maybe even as soon as next month, because the writing is going unbelievably well and I have plot and characters and worldbuilding that I'm going crazy with.)

And, finally, this month was my birthday. I didn't do anything different for it, but I never do anymore so it was nice. And quiet. My birthdays are much quieter now than they used to be when the whole family would get together.

We have been really, unseasonably warm this winter, but this month was crazy. We've had days that top out over eighty degrees - which is like almost twice as warm as it should be.

What I've been reading...

World of Warcraft: Mage by Richard A. Knaak - **
One Indulgence by Lydia Gastrell - ****
Starflight by Melissa Landers - ***** - Review on 3/10

Stalking Darkness by Lynn Flewelling - *****
Hexmaker by Jordan L. Hawk - *****
A Seditious Affair by K.J. Charles - ****

A-Force: Warzones by G. Willow Wilson - *****
The Siren Depths by Martha Wells - *****

What I've been watching...

Honestly, very little. My video games and books have been a ton more interesting than anything I've been watching on TV, so some nights I haven't even gotten one show watched. And my writing has taken precedence over watching anything too. I do plan to get some of my almost finished shows actually, you know, finished soon, so next month I might have this section filled.

How was your February? Read any of these books? Watch anything good, because I totally need some new shows, I think!