Category: Books

Cover Reveal: Life Within Parole Volume 2 by RoAnna Sylver

Posted October 1, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Life Within Parole Volume 2 by RoAnna Sylver

Life Within Parole Volume 2 by RoAnna Sylver

Coming October 11th, 2018

Preoder today!

Today I’m helping to spread the unveiling of Life Within Parole Volume 2 by awesome author, and fellow Kraken Collective member, RoAnna Sylver! I’ve already shared the cover above, so let me share the description as well!

Parole is full of danger—and secrets.

The deepest of them make up intricately interconnected stories. Damaged survivors finding each other, stitching their lives together in the harshest of places, forging precious bonds amidst the flames. Gradually growing trust, love, and understanding between found families. But there’s no escaping this place, its deadly realities, or its predators. A brutal capture. A hellish withdrawal and fragile recovery. A harrowing escape. A breakneck sprint across a haunted, poisoned wasteland.

Life and death, trust and betrayal, choking smoke and breaths of fresh air—all of these are just part of life within Parole.

* * *

Volume 2 contains ten new Chameleon Moon short stories, and while many stand alone, they’re best enjoyed between Books 1 and 2.

The book also comes with detailed content warnings at the start of the book, so you can easily look those up before purchasing by using Amazon’s Look Inside function.

Having read a few of the stories already, I can confirm that you definitely want to read this after having read at least the first book in the series, Chameleon Moon, because a lot of these stories will rely on you knowing who the characters are. (They’re still delightful if you have no clue, but trust me. It’ll help.)

I’m really excited to see RoAnna release another volume of these stories. Her Chameleon Moon setting is a big, warm hug. Which I know, I know. Isn’t what you’d expect from a dystopian setting, but these are stories about marginalised people surviving and thriving in a hostile world and it’s glorious.

So go and check it out! And if you haven’t read Chameleon Moon before, go check that out first! I heartily recommend it. <3

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Guest Interview: Ceillie Simkiss on Learning Curves

Posted August 11, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Today I’m interviewing Ceillie Simkiss about her debut novella, Learning Curves, a sweet sapphic contemporary romance that comes out August 16th, 2018. Learning Curves is a delightful and diverse novella. I reviewed it earlier this week too, if you’d like my thoughts on it.

Disclaimer: I read an early draft of this novella and Ceillie is a friend. I’m super-excited for everyone to meet Cora and Elena. They’re just so lovely together and we need so much more f/f romance out there. <3

Without further ado, let me give you the book’s description and we’ll hop straight to the interview!

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Book Talk: Learning Curves

Posted August 6, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Learning CurvesLearning Curves by Ceillie Simkiss
Pages: 91

Elena Mendez has always been career-first; with only two semesters of law school to go, her dream of working as a family lawyer for children is finally within reach. She can't afford distractions. She doesn't have time for love. 

And she has no idea how much her life will change, the day she lends her notes to Cora McLaughlin. 

A freelance writer and MBA student, Cora is just as career-driven as Elena. But over weeks in the library together, they discover that as strong as they are apart, they're stronger together. Through snowstorms and stolen moments, through loneliness and companionship, the two learn they can weather anything as long as they have each other--even a surprise visit from Elena's family. 

From solitude to sweetness, there's nothing like falling in love. College may be strict...but when it comes to love, Cora and Elena are ahead of the learning curve.

Doesn’t that description sound adorable? This is a super-sweet contemporary f/f novella in the vein of Shira Glassman’s Knit One, Girl Two, so if you liked that definitely check this upcoming novella out!

I just have no words for how adorable Elena and Cora are together. They’re just perfect and I wish this had been longer so we’d had more of a chance to spend time getting to know them and watching them learn about each other.

One of my favourite things about the book is probably Elena’s family and how close they are. I have a large extended family too and it was really nice to see the dynamics between everyone, even if only briefly.

I love the way that Elena and Cora prioritise good communication skills, explicitly putting off conversations they know they’re in no headspace to have at that time. They work together really well and it’s just such a wholesome story.

It’s very low-conflict, so don’t go into this expecting high drama, but for me at least that’s part of why I enjoyed it so much. It’s just about seeing two people living their lives and working out how to make a life together work out.

Definitely recommended if you’re looking for a good, fluffy read! Christmas features heavily, but I can absolutely see it as a comfy summer read too. It’s just that happy-making and filled with sunshine. <3

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Book Talk: Help Wanted

Posted July 31, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Help WantedHelp Wanted by J. Emery
Series: Ashveil Academy #1
Pages: 60

Em is confused about a lot of things: who she is, what she wants, how she’s going to pass Alchemy when she’s awful at it. The one thing she’s not confused about is how much she wants to buy her best friend (and college roommate) the best birthday present ever. Luckily the local magic supply shop is hiring. 

Her plan to get a job there would be working perfectly if not for her coworker Phineas who is in turns aggravating and endearingly awkward. She’s not sure if she wants to date him or wants to be him. The more time they spend together the more she thinks it may be both. 

Help Wanted is an 18,000 word novella with a gender and sexuality questioning f/m romance. It is the first in a new series about students at a contemporary magic college. 

Surprise book talk time! Today I’m talking about Help Wanted by J. Emery. I was going to do a proper ramble, but my equipment wasn’t cooperating (read: the ground loop is back and this time it’s so bad my voice gets eaten by the noise reduction too). So a good old-fashioned written talk it is!

CW: descriptions of gender dysphoria

Disclaimer: J. is a twitter friend of mine and I received a copy of this novella for a review.

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Guest Interview: Claudie Arseneault on Baker Thief

Posted June 8, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Wow, it’s been a while since I did one of these, but today I’m interviewing Claudie Arseneault to talk about her upcoming new superhero NA story centring aromantic characters and non-romantic relationships, Baker Thief. It’ll release on June 26th, 2018, so that’s not too long a wait now. It’s delightful!

Disclaimer: I edited Baker Thief and am biased not just because Claudie is a dear friend but because I edited the book. I just love it bits and bits and I can’t wait for you all to meet Claire, Adèle and everyone else. Baker Thief has been one of my favourite books of 2017, and I couldn’t talk about it, and I fully expect it to be one of my favourite books this year as well, and now I can talk about it. WHOOT!

So, without further ado, let me give you the description and we’ll hop on over to the interview.

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Book Talk: Labyrinth Lost

Posted April 4, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Labyrinth LostLabyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
Series: Brooklyn Brujas #1
Pages: 324

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can't trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...

Labyrinth Lost is just absolutely gorgeous. It’s fast-paced, lush, gripping… I read it through in about a single sitting. I loved Los Lagos and that one twist. That one twist, OMG! (You’ll know it when you get to it. I loved the way that upended my emotions.)

I loved Alex and Rishi. Nova… a little less. I did appreciate that the narrative didn’t read like much of a love triangle to me and yet still managed to very clearly convey that Alex is bisexual. (Just maybe not biromantic.) Watching Alex grow into her own and come to accept her powers (with the help of her family) was great. Watching Rishi just dash after her friend and attempt to help was wonderful too. I loved the background story of Los Lagos and the way Córdova plays with myths and legends whilst keeping the narrative firmly rooted in its Latinx inspirations and its setting.

Alex and Rishi are just precious together. They’re adorable and I loved that we got to see so much of them together. I wasn’t expecting Rishi to play as big a part as she did and I loved that. I also loved how important family was to Alex and the narrative as a whole.

It was just a really great read and I’m looking forward to the next book!

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This post previously appeared on Patreon and is sponsored by generous patrons. Thank you so much for your support! It means the world to me! <3 I love you all!

If you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to support me in creating more free content, please consider subscribing or spreading the word to others. Visit my Patreon page to discover how to get early access to posts as well as various Patron-exclusive posts and goodies!

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Asexuality in R.J. Anderson’s Quicksilver

Posted April 1, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Miscellaneous, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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4,469 words of moar literary essayage, including quotes, end notes and works cited. I should probably stop calling them not-essays at some point.

Asexuality in R.J. Anderson’s Quicksilver

In 2013, shortly after I discovered asexuality, one book jumped out at me: Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson. Anderson spoke frequently and prominently about the asexual representation in the narrative during interviews and blog posts. At the time, though it stood out to me, I never picked it up because the first book, Ultraviolet, didn’t appeal to me at all and, in time, I forgot it existed.

Until recently when I decided to look more closely at asexual representation in traditionally published books. This brief essay will look at the way that Anderson included asexual representation in the narrative of Quicksilver and discuss the ways in which Anderson avoids or attempts to avoid certain common pitfalls when writers, especially those who are allosexual[1], include asexual representation.

First, a brief note: I highly, highly recommend readers interested in reading Quicksilver start with Ultraviolet. The narrative frequently alludes to events in Ultraviolet so it can be read as a standalone, but it takes about 3/4ths of the book before those events are truly clear to readers who haven’t read Ultraviolet.

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Book Talk: The Tea Master and the Detective

Posted March 25, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: The Tea Master and the DetectiveThe Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard
Pages: 96

Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appareance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood.

A transport ship discharged from military service after a traumatic injury, The Shadow's Child now ekes out a precarious living as a brewer of mind-altering drugs for the comfort of space-travellers. Meanwhile, abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau wants to find a corpse for a scientific study. When Long Chau walks into her office, The Shadow's Child expects an unpleasant but easy assignment. When the corpse turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The Shadow's Child with her.

As they dig deep into the victim's past, The Shadow's Child realises that the investigation points to Long Chau's own murky past…and, ultimately, to the dark and unbearable void that lies between the stars…

Also by this author: In Morningstar's Shadow, Of Books, and Earth, and Courtship, Servant of the Underworld

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Book Talk: Not Otherwise Specified

Posted March 18, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Not Otherwise SpecifiedNot Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
Pages: 305

From the award-winning author of Break and Teeth comes a raw and honest exploration of complicated identities in a novel about a girl living on the fringe of every fringe group in her small town.

Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown.

Everywhere she turns, someone feels she’s too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; not sick enough to look anorexic (partially thanks to recovery). Etta doesn’t fit anywhere—until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group. Both girls are auditioning for Brentwood, a prestigious New York theater academy that is so not Nebraska. Bianca might be Etta’s salvation…but can Etta be saved by a girl who needs saving herself?

CW: eating disorder, bullying, bimisia (called out)

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Book Talk: Failure to Communicate

Posted March 15, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Failure to CommunicateFailure to Communicate by Kaia Sønderby
Series: Xandri Corelel #1
Pages: 395

As one of the only remaining autistics in the universe, Xandri Corelel has faced a lot of hardship, and she's earned her place as the head of Xeno-Liaisons aboard the first contact ship Carpathia. But her skill at negotiating with alien species is about to be put to the ultimate test.

The Anmerilli, a notoriously reticent and xenophobic people, have invented a powerful weapon that will irrevocably change the face of space combat. Now the Starsystems Alliance has called in Xandri and the crew of the Carpathia to mediate. The Alliance won't risk the weapon falling into enemy hands, and if Xandri can't bring the Anmerilli into the fold, the consequences will be dire.

Amidst sabotage, assassination attempts, and rampant cronyism, Xandri struggles to convince the doubtful and ornery Anmerilli. Worse, she's beginning to suspect that not everyone on her side is really working to make the alliance a success. As tensions rise and tempers threaten to boil over, Xandri must focus all her energy into understanding the one species that has always been beyond her: her own.

CW: Ablism (called out), abuse

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