#12DaysofDiversity — Lineup and Scoreboard!

THE CONTEST IS OVER. NO MORE BOOKS WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR POINTS BEYOND THIS POINT. I WILL BE LISTING WINNERS AND PRIZES by JAN 5 at the LATEST!

 

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I am so excited that the time for the event is almost upon us! Lots of readers signed up, so it looks like this will be a very competitive readathon — at least where winning is prizes is concerned. 

If you can't remember the categories or you're struggling for things to read, definitely checkout the signup post, which has lists of books to encourage you!

Over the next few weeks, I will keep this page up to date with links to reviews and instagram posts provided by each of the participants. It will also serve as a masterlist of posts and interviews by guest authors throughout the event! 

If you missed the signup window, but are desperate to participate, please email me! 🙂 

 

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Guest Post List 

I am so excited about the lineup of guest posts and interviews for this event.

As the posts appear, I will post a link here, but stay tuned for Brie Spangler, Robin Talley, C.B. Lee, Sarah Ockler and Kari Trenton!

I will also be posting a sneak preview of my 2017 Bi Norse Little Mermaid retelling, The Seafarer's Kiss.

 

5 Questions with Brie Spangler

5 Questions with Robin Talley

5 Questions with Sarah Ockler + Giveaway!

Exclusive Short Story by KS Trenton: THE FLOWER

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Participants and Scores 

To update your scores list, please leave a comment with the book title and a link to your review! Reviews must be cross-posted to GoodReads and at least one retailer website to count towards the Badass Santa award! Reindeer readers can display on blog alone if they like. 

 

 

SCORES — 

In totalling up everyone's score, I used the following point scheme:

Full Review – 50pts, DNF over 40% – 40pts, DNF over 20% – 20pts, Instagram – 10pts

 

BADASS SANTA — Jamie from Books and Ladders with 1020 pts

Runner Up: Rebecca from Reading Wishes with 860 pts

Reindeer Randomly Picked Winner — Sydney from Books of Kings 

Instagram Winner – Louise from Foxes and Fairy Tales

Review Winner — Rebecca from Reading Wishes 

 

The prizes for Reindeer/Badass Santa are as posted on the original post. If the winners will please EMAIL me their shipping addresses via the contact form, as well as which bookshop you would like to receive your credit. 

I've decided that for the Instagram/Review winner, where I did not post the prize, that I will buy you the book of your choice (up to £15/$20) from the Book Depository. Please also email your shipping address! 

Thank you so so much to everyone who participated. I hope you had fun! <3 

 

ANGELINA FROM FABLES LIBRARY

        Published 2016: BEAST by Brie Spangler 

        http://wp.me/p7uDdD-1JQ

        POC Protagonist: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        LGBTQIA Protagonist: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        Non-Western Setting: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        Small Publisher: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        Instagram Posts: 

        https://www.instagram.com/p/BOaSyLwgu78/

 

JAMIE FROM BOOKS AND LADDERS

        Published 2016:  BEAST by Brie Spangler 

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1845658612

        NORA AND KETTLE by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

       https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792483548?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

        POC Protagonist:  STREET LOVE by Walter Dean Myers 

         https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792488693?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

        THE SUMMER OF CHASING MERMAIDS by Sarah Ockler

         https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792488099

         SHADOWS ON THE MOON by Zoe Marriot 

         https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1420221094

        OF METAL AND WISHES by Sarah Fine

       https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792481162

        LGBTQIA Protagonist: THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE by Neill Gaiman

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792483971

       FAIREST by KS Trenton 

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792498132

        LOVE IN THE TIME OF GLOBAL WARMING by Francesa Lia Block 

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792489521

       THE ISLAND OF EXCESS by Francesa Lia Block

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1853109188

      ASH by MALINDA LO

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792479842

        Non-Western Setting: THE FORBIDDEN WISH by Jessica Khoury 

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1844620731

        WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON by Grace Lin 

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792480530?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

        Small Publisher: MARIAN by Ella Lyons 

         https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792503036

        MAD ABOUT THE HATTER by Dakota Chase

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792515558

       CHAR by Kristina Wojtazek 

      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792495171

      THE INTERIM GODDESS OF LOVE by Mina Esguerra 

      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792370488

    
      SEVEN TEARS AT HIGH TIDE by CB LEE

       https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792476838

       QUEEN OF CLUELESS by Mina Esguerra

       https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792482519

      ICON OF INDECISIVE 

     https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792481926?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

        Instagram Posts: 

       https://www.instagram.com/p/BOMv5ypDf-0/

      https://www.instagram.com/p/BOPXUbRjcfH/

     https://www.instagram.com/p/BOSEuGrDr9N/

     https://www.instagram.com/p/BOUk4pFDbhK/

      https://www.instagram.com/p/BOXKz3AjqCH/

      https://www.instagram.com/p/BOcrCvaD7BU/

     https://www.instagram.com/p/BOfEJeBjmXK/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOmlFP4DjE9/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOpG4S_Dysv/

 

IF THE BOOK WILL BE TOO DIFFICULT

 

        Published 2016: AS I DESCENDED by Robin Talley 

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1720896146

        POC Protagonist: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin 

         https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792484189

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792476838

        LGBTQIA Protagonist:  Hunting Monsters by SL Huang

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1844139377 

        Non-Western Setting: A Whole New World by Liz Braswell 

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1845028768

        Small Publisher:  SEVEN TEARS AT HIGH TIDE by CB LEE

         https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1792485497 

        Wildcard: A Thousand Nights by EK Johnson

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1542144865

        Instagram Posts: 

 

BECCA FROM BECCA AND BOOKS

        Published 2016: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        POC Protagonist: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        LGBTQIA Protagonist: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        Non-Western Setting: THE FORBIDDEN WISH by Jessica Khoury

         https://beccaandbooks.wordpress.com/2016/12/18/the-forbidden-wish/

        Small Publisher: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        Instagram Posts: 

 

ANNA ELISE MONTE

        Published 2016: AS I DESCENDED by Robin Talley

        https://annelisemontewriter.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/12daysofdiversity-as-i-descended-by-robin-talley/

        POC Protagonist: CHAR by KRISTINA WOJTASZEK 

        https://annelisemontewriter.wordpress.com/2016/12/22/12daysofdiversity-char-by-kristina-wojtaszek/

        LGBTQIA Protagonist: THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE 

        https://annelisemontewriter.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/12daysofdiversity-the-sleeper-and-the-spindle-by-neil-gaiman-and-chris-riddell/

        Non-Western Setting: THE 99th BRIDE by Catherine F. King

https://annelisemontewriter.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/12daysofdiversity-the-ninety-ninth-bride-by-catherine-f-king/ 

        Small Publisher: HUNTING MONSTERS by SL Huang 

        https://annelisemontewriter.wordpress.com/2016/12/23/12daysofdiversity-hunter-monsters-by-s-l-huang/

   MARIAN by Ella Lyons

     https://annelisemontewriter.wordpress.com/2016/12/30/12daysofdiversity-marian-by-ella-lyons/

      WILDCARD: Fairest by KS Trenton 

       https://annelisemontewriter.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/12daysofdiversity-fairest-by-k-s-trenten/

        Instagram Posts: 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOfE3TJBS6d/

 

 

LOUISE FROM FOXES AND FAIRY TALES

        Published 2016: THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi 

        https://foxesfairytale.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/review-the-star-touched-queen/

        POC Protagonist: WHEN THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON by GRACE LIN

        https://foxesfairytale.wordpress.com/2016/12/24/review-where-the-mountain-meets-the-moon/

        LGBTQIA Protagonist:  ASH by Malinda Lo 

        https://foxesfairytale.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/review-ash/

       SEVEN TEARS AT HIGH TIDE by CB LEE

        https://foxesfairytale.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/review-seven-tears-at-high-tide

        Non-Western Setting: The Wrath and the Dawn 

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1713916960?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

        Small Publisher: The 99th Bride by Catherine F King

       https://foxesfairytale.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/review-the-ninety-ninth-brid

       Wildcard: HUNTING MONSTERS by SL Huang 

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1843614284

       WildCard:  A THOUSAND NIGHTS by EK Johnson 

        https://foxesfairytale.wordpress.com/2016/12/26/review-a-thousand-nights/

       Wildcard: THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE by Neill Gaiman 

      https://foxesfairytale.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/review-the-sleeper-and-the-spindle/

      THE FORBIDDEN WISH by Jessica Khoury 

     https://foxesfairytale.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/review-the-forbidden-wish

      SHADOWS ON THE MOON by Zoe Marriot 

       https://foxesfairytale.wordpress.com/2016/12/30/shadows/

        Instagram Posts:

        https://www.instagram.com/p/BOMVEpOBKGJ/

       https://www.instagram.com/p/BOWxvjnBdDk/ 

       https://www.instagram.com/p/BOYE3QlBMbO

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOf86XYhrUe

 

NINA ROSSING

        Published 2016: THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1849673107

        POC Protagonist: THE SUMMER OF CHASING MERMAIDS

       https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1850787562?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

        LGBTQIA Protagonist:BEAST by Brie Spangler 

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1855070737?book_show_action=false

        Non-Western Setting: THE ROSE AND THE DAGGER by Renee Ahdieh 

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1682914500?book_show_action=false

        Small Publisher:  MARIAN by Ella Lyons 

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1706875060?book_show_action=false

        Instagram Posts:

 

SARAH FROM REVIEWS AND READATHONS

        Published 2016: THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi 

        https://reviewsreadathons.wordpress.com/2016/12/26/review-a-star-touched-queen-by-roshani-chokshi/

        POC Protagonist: STREET LOVE by Walter Dean Myers

        https://reviewsreadathons.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/review-street-love-by-walter-dean-myers/

        NORA AND KETTLE by Lauren Nicolle Taylor 

       https://reviewsreadathons.wordpress.com/2016/12/26/review-nora-kettle-by-lauren-nicolle-taylor/

        LGBTQIA Protagonist: MARIAN by ELLA LYONS

        https://reviewsreadathons.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/review-marian-by-ella-lyons/

        AS I DESCENDED by Robin Talley

        https://reviewsreadathons.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/review-as-i-descended-by-robin-talley/

        SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeleine Miller 

        https://reviewsreadathons.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/review-the-song-of-achilles-by-madeline-miller/

        Non-Western Setting: A THOUSAND NIGHTS by E.K. Johnson 

       https://wordpress.com/post/reviewsreadathons.wordpress.com/5659

        Small Publisher: RULES OF EVER AFTER by Killian Brewer

         https://reviewsreadathons.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/review-rules-of-ever-after-by-killian-b-brewer/

        Instagram Posts:

        https://www.instagram.com/p/BONdMKcDFkZ/?taken-by=reviewsandreadathons

       https://www.instagram.com/p/BOiRfbFD3m8/?taken-by=reviewsandreadathons

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOkkXQcDKUU/?taken-by=reviewsandreadathons 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOnSp7xDfY6/?taken-by=reviewsandreadathons

       

SYDNEY FROM BOOKS OF KINGS

        Published 2016:  BOUND BY BLOOD AND SAND by Becky Allen 

        https://booksofkings.wordpress.com/2016/12/24/sydney-reads-and-reviews-bound-by-blood-and-sand/

        POC Protagonist: A Thousand Nights by EK Johnson 

        https://booksofkings.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/sydney-reads-and-reviews-a-thousand-nights/

        LGBTQIA Protagonist: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neill Gaiman

        https://booksofkings.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/sydney-reads-and-reviews-the-sleeper-the-spindle/

        Non-Western Setting: A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON by Samantha Mabry 

        https://booksofkings.wordpress.com/2016/12/23/sydney-reads-and-reviews-a-fierce-and-subtle-poison/

        Small Publisher: MAD ABOUT THE HATTER by Dakota Chase 

         https://booksofkings.wordpress.com/2016/12/23/sydney-reads-and-reviews-mad-about-the-hatter/

        Instagram Posts:

        https://www.instagram.com/p/BONncbDgrIv/ 

       https://www.instagram.com/p/BOPt-f9Ahk-/

       https://www.instagram.com/p/BOXO84tAyVe/

       https://www.instagram.com/p/BOXQxOpA3JS/

       https://www.instagram.com/p/BOawfKBA6m1/

 

JESSICA GUNN

        Published 2016: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        POC Protagonist: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        LGBTQIA Protagonist: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        Non-Western Setting: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        Small Publisher:  MARIAN by Ella Lyons

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1634289240 

        Wildcard: VASSA IN THE NIGHT by Sarah Porter 

       https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1824429590

        Instagram Posts:

 

ADRIYANNA FROM Life Writings of a Reader

        Published 2016: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        POC Protagonist:

       WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON by Grace Lin

       https://lifewritingsofareader.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/book-review-where-the-mountain-meets-the-moon-by-grace-lin/

        LGBTQIA Protagonist: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        Non-Western Setting: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        Small Publisher: [Book & Review Link TBA]

        Instagram Posts:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOs-PpDDs1c/?taken-by=akzfineart

 

REBECCA FROM Reading Wishes

        Published 2016: THE FORBIDDEN WISH by Jessica Khoury 

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1848369921?book_show_action=false

        AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White

       https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1852109634?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

        POC Protagonist: THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renee Abdieh 

       https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1101103888

        LGBTQIA Protagonist: BEAST by Brie Spangler 

       https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1599898805?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

       THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE by Neill Gaiman 

      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1857791209

        Non-Western Setting:  THE ROSE AND THE DAGGER

       https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1847238918?book_show_action=false

       TERRACOTTA BRIDE

       https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1857412178

       SONG OF ACHILLES 

       https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1857439235

       FAIREST by KS Trenton 

      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1856668215?

        Small Publisher: MARIAN by Ella Lyons

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1842867512

       HUNTING MONSTERS by SL Huang 

       https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1852983257

        WILDCARD: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids 

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1108402859

        The 99th Bride

        https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1852109634?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

      THE RULES OF EVER AFTER by Killian Brewer

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1854999676

 INTERIM GODDESS OF LOVE (trilogy)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21632819-interim-goddess-of-love
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1858118889
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1858125348

        Instagram Posts:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOR_u9ph0RF/?taken-by=reading_wishes&hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOdYIoTAY6f/?taken-by=reading_wishes&hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOT9YJxhYnW/?taken-by=reading_wishes&hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOZze-shlMf/?taken-by=reading_wishes&hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOhH34yBxnm/?taken-by=reading_wishes

 

#YASH: Introducing CM McCoy and Eerie!

 

yash1

 

Hello, Scavengers! Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt Fall 2016! I'm super excited to be on the Purple Team this season, hosting CM McCoy and her novel Eerie!

My name is Julia Ember and my debut YA Fantasy Romance, Unicorn Tracks, came out this year from Harmony Ink Press. If you're not familiar with it yet, you should definitely click the link! 😀

The rules of the game are simple … Enjoy the amazing bonus content all the author have put together while searching for the secret number concealed in each post. Once you find all the numbers for the Purple Team, total them up and submit your entry on Yash.rocks!

Repeat the process until you complete the hunt for all the teams. There is also a Special Giveaway on this post for a £25 Amazon Card and a Paperback Copy of Unicorn Tracks! Use the Rafflecopter entry at the bottom of the content!

… Ready?

 

About CM McCoy

CM McCoy knows full well nobody can pronounce her last name. Hence the pen name. Also known as Colleen Oefelein, CM is the PR Manager for Inklings Literary Agency. She leads writing conference workshops on a spectrum of topics like book promotion and tippity-tapping into your way around writer’s block. Her paranormal debut, EERIE, released last year and was featured in an April issue of PEOPLE Magazine. Colleen loves to Irish dance, drink whiskey, and sing WAY too loud. Thankfully, her Last Frontier neighbors (the moose) don't seem to mind. Though she holds a B.S. in chemical engineering and one in German from Penn State, she's happiest writing the stories of monsters in Alaska (with an awkward kiss in the mix.) While working 911 dispatch for State Troopers, she learned to speak in 10-codes, which she still does…but only to annoy her family.

 

colleen

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 

eerie

About EERIE:

EERIE is a YA Paranormal Romance with crossover appeal (which means that even 27 year olds like me will enjoy it! I bought it and I'm looking forward to reading it!), published by Omnific Publishing.

“Eerie is a deliciously dark, surprisingly funny teen novel, full of quirky characters and jaw-dropping surprises.” – Goodreads review

Hailey Hartley has just enrolled in the world's premier supernatural university. It's a school she's never heard of, located in a town called The Middle of Nowhere, and run by a creature that's not supposed to exist. But at least she got a scholarship…

Hailey’s dreams have always been, well…vivid. As in monsters from her nightmares follow her into her waking life vivid.

When her big sister goes missing, eighteen-year-old Hailey finds the only thing keeping her safe from a murderous 3,000-year old beast is an equally terrifying creature who’s fallen “madly” in love with her. Competing to win her affection, the Dream Creature, Asher, lures her to the one place that offers safety—a ParaScience university in Alaska he calls home. There, she must learn to live with a roommate from Hell, survive her ParaScience classes, and hope the only creature who can save her from an evil immortal doesn’t decide to kill her himself. 

You can watch her amazing book trailer here:

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CM McCoy has provided an exclusive deleted scene for her bonus content! I thought it was brilliant and has definitely ramped up my excitement to read the book …

 

Deleted Scene:

The Pre-Med group began the day’s seminar with a presentation on staying healthy and a stark reminder that Hailey wasn’t in Pittsburgh anymore.

“Remember,” said the too-groomed man at the front of the room, “Bear Towne hospital is a teaching hospital that treats humans and non-humans alike, which sometimes leads to inadvertent mix-ups. Now,” he said holding up a superior finger as his nose also went in the air, “despite the rumors, we haven’t had an accidental transmutation in almost a decade—”

“Thank you, Professor Starr,” said an equally well-groomed, but younger man, who ushered the professor out of the way and took over the presentation.

“Bottom line—” he told them, “I’ve got five reasons to NOT end up at Bear Towne Hospital. Dr. Starr already mentioned the transmutations,” he said holding up his thumb. He added a finger at each increasingly horrific reason to stay away from campus health care.

“Second—there has been an increased incidence of Flesh-eating Zombitis among patients treated in the emergency room. Third—and this is no rumor—the hospital has a resident banshee, who doesn’t always follow the prescribed treatment plans—if you know what I mean,” he said with a nervous laugh to a roomful of crickets.

Hailey tried not to look as shocked as she felt. Honestly, Professor Starr had her at “transmutation.” Everything after that was fodder for nightmares.

“Also,” he continued, adding a fourth finger to his count, “I-MET drives the ambulance and finally, I’m sure you’ve all heard of last year’s Soylent Green incident in the hospital’s cafeteria.

“So, do what you need to do to stay healthy, because there’s no telling if you’ll come out of the campus hospital in better or worse shape than when you entered.”

Campus safety for humans was next. The student handbook laid out most of the information on Bear Towne’s predators, but Hailey did take a few notes from the I-MET worker, who marched to the front of the room wearing a presidential mask—Reagan it looked like. For instance, she had no idea you could use a shotgun to kill mosquitos. Also, the colored flag atop the Trinity Center indicated the mosquito climate for the day, with green meaning a low concentration of blood suckers (usually due to high winds); yellow meaning no amount of DEET will protect you, and red meaning grab the shotgun.

Things wrapped up with the campus priest blessing the freshmen and reminding everyone to tend to their soul—go to church, be nice and don’t kill anyone was his advice.

Seemed easy enough.

 

Continue the Hunt with the Purple Team! …

Head Over to Hannah Rials' Blog Next!

 

teampurple

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2016 Isn’t Over: Fall 2016 Queer Reads

 

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In the past few weeks, I've noticed a definite shift on blogs I follow and on Twitter towards looking at Books To Come in 2017. As an author, I'm definitely looking forward to 2017 because the first book in my High Fantasy series, Tiger's Watch, will come out in August. But I can't help feeling like authors whose books come out in the fall get a little left out sometimes by the fast-paced blogosphere that likes to focus on the future and ARCs to come! 

And I feel a little bit sad about that because several of my "most anticipated" for 2016 are fall releases. In fact, although I've been MAGNIFICENTLY SURPRISED AND DELIGHTED by many Spring/Summer 2016 books, the only queer YA book that was on my radar at this time in 2015 that has actually come out is AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White. 

Which is why I wanted to write a blog post focusing on some late summer/fall Queer Books that I am dying to read. Let's salivate together, hmm?

Ignore my innuendos. 

FIRST UP …

22 November 2016 from Balzer and Brey

OF FIRE AND STARS has been on my radar since last fall, when I stumbled across the Publisher's Weekly announcement on twitter. The brief description told of an arranged marriage and a princess who falls in love with her betrothed's horse-crazy sister instead. When I read that, my brain just about exploded. 

I am a sucker for the arranged-marriage-gone-wrong trope. I am a sucker for horse-crazy girls who fall in love with other horse crazy girls. 

And everything that I've heard about this book since that point has only strengthened my desire. The fuller synopsis tells us to expect forbidden fire magic, assassinations and court intrigue. Plus this insanely gorgeous, lesbians-in-full-view cover. And the author herself is a married lesbian, so #ownvoices LES YA abounds in this read. And it's fantasy. 

My heart is pounding so fast it might explode.

Someone please fetch my smelling salts. 

If, like me, you want to pre-order this marvel, you can do so here: CLICKY

 

AND SECONDLY …

5 September 2016 from Triton Books

Okay. Those of you who have followed me on Twitter for a little while are probably aware of my deep and enduring obsession with female assassins. I mean, some people say they're tired of them, but I WILL NEVER GET TIRED OF BADASS LADY ASSASSINS. NEVER. I am obsessed with Throne of Glass, Grave MercyAssasin's Heart … basically, you name it, if it has a female assassin in it, I'm here for it and will probably end up rating it 5 stars. 

I'm not really sure what it says about my psycology that I love such violent protagonists, but let's not analyse that too in too much depth. 

Anyway, the synopsis for this book has me totally intrigued. We have a morally ambiguous protagonist, whose father trains her an assassin from a young age. But when he misses a mark, her world gets thrown into turmoil. Then she gets kidnapped, and by the synopsis' promise of a "green eyed stranger" …

I am going to go out on a limb and say she probably gets kidnapped by her love interest, who I am promised is a female, and that combination is causing me to type really fast and make this crazy runon sentence because I am so excited I actually cannot contain myself. 

*heavy breathing* So, our f/f romance is going to have a kidnapping. And thus possibly another favourite trope of mine — ENEMIES TO LOVERS. 

You can also preorder this one: CLICKY 

 

MOVING RIGHT ALONG …

1 November 2016 from Sky Pony Press

 

I had heard of this book, vaguely, but didn't really know what it was about until after its cover reveal. Then I checked it out, and had one of those moments where my interest level ramped up by 190% because I suddenly realised: THIS BOOK IS GAY. 

This book promises so many things that I love. It's set in a Victorian-inspired world, featuring time spirits and all kinds of forbidden magic. What's even better, is although the synopsis hints that the romance between mechanic Danny and clock-spirit Colton is forbidden — it's not forbidden because they're gay, it's forbidden because one of them is a magical being. 

I am so intrigued by this setting and by what promises to be a truly unique system of magic. This book is really activating my inner world-building nerd. I like it and I NEED IT. 

You need it too! Pre-order: CLICKY

 

OUR JOURNEY CONTINUES … 

3 November 2016 from Harmony Ink Press

 

MARIAN is an f/f Robin Hood retelling with a gender-flipped Robin. Let's all just take a moment to appreciate the beauty of that premise. I have always been a fan of well-executed retellings, but the brilliance of AND I DARKEN has me especially pumped up for another legend/quasi-historical/quasi-medieval genderflipped, queer retelling. MARIAN is promising to deliver on that. 

When I read the synopsis, the last line really stuck with me: "Can Robin save her one more? Or will Marian discover how to save herself?" The reason is that I feel like one of my favourite t-shirt sayings may soon be widely applicable to a YA novel. (that saying being: We're Damsels. We're in Distress. We got this.) I am really looking forward to seeing how Marian develops as a character herself — since the classical portrait of Marian shows her as being quite weak! 

Jump on the pre-order bandwagon with me! CLICKY

 

WHEREIN OUR HEROINE CHEATS … 

6 September 2016 from Delacorte

I'm cheating with this one because I've already read it.  HA! Be jealous. 

I'm including it because this book is quite possibly my favourite book of 2016 so far and one of the most beautiful, haunting and important books I've ever read. 

Girl in Pieces is a heart-breaking book that handles the difficult topic of self-harm with sensitivity matched with a sort of stark realness. The prose quality genuinely reminded me of Margaret Atwood. 

You can read my full review here.

You can preorder this marvel here! 

 

 

AND THE ADULT BOOKS …

3 November 2016 from Interlude Press

The first of my non-YA future-flails has to be this one. From the cover and the synopsis, LUCHADOR promises to be a mashup of angel mythology and Latin-american Christiana, gayness and Fight Club awesomness. I love conflicted main characters … especially when their inner conflict comes as a result of desire juxtaposed with faith. 

The synopsis tells us that Gabriel enters the world of the lucha libre, training as an elite wrestler and performer and becoming embroiled in the underground counter-culture surrounding it. Faced with career prospects and too many temptations, Gabriel has to choose between wealth and staying true to his faith. 

This cover calls to me. The strong character-based narrative calls to me. 

NEED. 

Sadly not available to pre-order yet, but you can add it to GoodReads!

 

AND OUR HORSEY ROMANCE … 

8 August 2016 from Dreamspinner Press

This one is a very personal selection. The synopsis promises a tender romance between a cowboy and a former eventer, struggling together to heal a damaged horse. It genuinely sounds like a gay version of The Horse Whisperer and I really could not be more ready for this, even though I know it is going to destroy me emotionally. Nothing makes me sob as fast as animal stories. 

Currently, my old event horse of sixteen years is on a downward spiral. He's old. Just turned 24 and keeps having more issues with his tendons and ligaments. 

A story of finding love while healing horses … going to BREAK ME. But I think, in a good way. 

Pre-order Link!

 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST … 

29 August 2016

Okay … so, confession time: I am a former online gaming addict. #PokemonGO aside, I've had to ban myself from playing because it's so easy for me to get hooked. I also fucking love Alexis Hall. 

When I realised Alexis Hall had a book coming out about two guys who meet in an MMO and fall in love … I knew I had to have it. I'm not entirely sure what the central conflict is going to be, if I'm honest, based on the synopsis of this one. But, I have the utmost faith that the characters and the voice will be rocking in this … because Alexis Hall is a fucking genius. 

Preorder clickety!

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#ReadProud: Week 4!

Thanks to the outpouring of support for #ReadProud, I'm starting a different blog post for each week to keep things a little bit more organised. You can read about the overall structure of the event here. You can also find out about the prizes there! 

Remember, each week there are two categories. Participating in one category and reading one book per week makes you eligible for the Silver Prize Draw. Participating in both categories and reading two books (or more!) per week makes you eligible for Gold Prize Draw!

For your book to count towards the draw, you have to leave a review on GoodReads and at least one retailer website. If you're not comfortable posting reviews, you can still participate, but unfortunately you won't be eligible for a prize draw. Leave links to your reviews in the comments for the Week!

THIS IS THE FINAL WEEK OF THE CHALLENGE!

 

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Category A:  GAY YA

What I'll Be Reading: We Are the Ants by Shawn David Hutchinson

Bender by Gene Gant

Suggested Titles: 

JERKBAIT by Mia Seigert 

SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli 

DAGGER by Steven dos Santos

BOY MEETS BOY by David Levithan

FJORD BLUE by Nina Rossing

 

Category B: WILDCARD 

Surprise me. Surprise us all. As long as it's LGBTQIA. I'd LOVE people to bring forward some terrific Asexual, Bisexual and Non-binary books. 

 

1) Jerkbait … Jamie

2) Bender … Julia 

3) False Hearts … Julia

4) We Are the Ants … Bhavya 

5) Bender … Laura

6) Waiting for the Flood … Laura

7) None of the Above … Nicole

8) Boy Meets Boy … Serena

9) Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe … Rebecca

10) Symptoms of Being Human … Nina

11) Fun Home … Becky

12) We Awaken … Jamie 

13) Daybreak Rising … Jamie 

14) Wonders of the Invisible World … Serena

15) Five Stages of Andrew Brawley … Chasia

16) Noble Falling … Chasia

17) Out on Good Behavior  … Rebecca

18)  Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda … Bhavya

19) Jerkbait … Bhavya

20) Alex as Well … Bhavya

21) One Man Guy … Amber

22) This Song is Not For You … Amber

23) Strong Signal … Lauren

24) Simon Vs … Bogi

25) Half Bad … Meredith

26) A Distant Soil … Meredith

27) Freakboy … Bogi

28) None of the Above … Michelle

 

 

#ReadProud Week 2!

Thanks to the outpouring of support for #ReadProud, I'm starting a different blog post for each week to keep things a little bit more organised. You can read about the overall structure of the event here. You can also find out about the prizes there! 

Remember, each week there are two categories. Participating in one category and reading one book per week makes you eligible for the Silver Prize Draw. Participating in both categories and reading two books (or more!) per week makes you eligible for Gold Prize Draw!

For your book to count towards the draw, you have to leave a review on GoodReads and at least one retailer website. If you're not comfortable posting reviews, you can still participate, but unfortunately you won't be eligible for a prize draw. Leave links to your reviews in the comments for the Week!

 

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#ReadProud Week 2!

 

Category A:  LESBIAN SPECULATIVE

What I'll be Reading: 

TREMONTAINE by Ellen Kushner *et all – Serial

THE BETTER TO KISS YOU WITH by Michelle Osgood

Suggested Titles: 

UNICORN TRACKS by Julia Ember (meeee!)

THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US by Emily Skrutskie

THE RENEGADE by Amy Dunne 

THE SECOND MANGO by Shira Glassman

OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulthurst

ASH by Malinda Lo

NOBLE FALLING by Sarah Gaines

MY LADY KING by Kayla Bashe

THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE by Neill Gaiman

(you may read any other book of your choice that falls into this category)

 

Category B:  LGBTQ Middle Grade or Younger

What I'll be Reading: 

GEORGE by Alex Gino

Suggested Titles: 

RED: A CRAYON'S STORY by Michael Hall

AND TANGO MAKES THREE by Justin Richardson 

HEATHER HAS TWO MOMMIES by Leslea Newman

10,000 DRESSES by Marcus Ewert 

I AM JAZZ by Jessica Herthel 

(you may read any other book of your choice that falls into this category)

 

Update us on your progress in the comments! 

 

COMPLETED BOOKS

1) The Abyss Surrounds Us … Jamie 

2) Lumberjanes Vol 3 … Jamie 

3) Red: A Crayon's Story … Bhavya

4) And Tango Makes Three … Bhavya

5) George … Nicole

6) Unicorn Tracks … Laura

7) Tango Makes Three … Laura

8) George … Becky

9) The Second Mango … Serena

10) George … Lauren

11) George … Serena

12) Donovan's Big Day … Crystal

14) Tremontaine … Rebecca

15) Fairest … Chasia

16) George … Chasia

17) George … Nina

18) I Am Jazz … Bhavya

19) The Abyss Surrounds Us … Bhavya

20) Unicorn Tracks … Bhavya

21) George … Mia Siegert 

22) George … Bhavya

23) Introducing Teddy … Rebecca

24) Unicorn Tracks … Kara

25) George … Kara

26) Tremontaine … Julia

27) Women Were Warriors … Becky

28) Unicorn Tracks … Michelle

29) The Second Mango … Meredith

30) George … Amber

31) The Abyss Surrounds Us .. Bogi

32) The Abyss Surrounds Us … Amber

33) George … Amber

34) The Manny Files … Meredith

35) How it Feels to Have a Lesbian or Gay Parent … Bogi

36) Graveyard Sparrow … Shira

Reading Wrap Up – March and April

 

Reading Wrap Up – March and April 

Shockingly, despite April being my debut novel month — I've managed to read quite a few new books over the past two months! Part of this has been my excitement over friends' new books and debuts. Part of the experience of being a new author is making writer friends and sharing in their successes. It's an intoxicating thing and I easily get swept up in the new release craze. 

So, a by the numbers update:

In 2016, I have read 39 books/novellas/stories. 

21/39 were Young Adult. 

7/39 Featured an LGBTQIA protagonist — a percentage that is shockingly down from last year and one that I intend to fix in the coming months. 

6/39 Featured a POC of colour — again, something I need to fix in the coming months. 

7/39 were Adult or New Adult Fiction. 

5/39 were Children's fiction for under 12s. 

3/39 were Non-Fiction

19/39 were High Fantasy

 

Favourites from MAR-APR

 

I read Shadow and Bone some time ago. I loved it, but the story itself seemed quite complete at its end, so I wasn't desperate to read the next two in the trilogy. I should have jumped in. I absolutely loved the new cast of characters in the trilogy's second and thid installments. 

Sturmhand was undoubtedly my favourite. I loved the combination of wit, playfulness and shrewd calculation in his personality. Leigh Bardugo has a real knack for writing witty, genuinely funny dialogue — and that shone in Sturmhand. I could have read his flirations with Alina forever. 

Then of course, there's the Darkling. I found him smouldering in the first book, but the second two books added a real depth to his character. His relationship with his mother fascinated me, as did the connection between him and Alina. I'm a massive sucker for a sexy bad guy. Always have been, and it'll always be my achilles heel. 

Despite that, I rooted for Alina and Mal throughout — which is a testament to how well Bardugo paired them up. 

The Russian-inspired Fantasy setting is breathtaking. The writing is fast-paced, simaltaneously chilling and beautiful. I rated them 5* on GoodReads and I couldn't recommend these books higher!

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I stumbled upon this little story by accident when I was surfing through Kindle deals looking for something to read. I'm so glad I did.

This novellete is a totally fascinating blend of mythology and modernity. This is a super quick read novella read with a unique and interesting cast of characters. Beautifully written and easily readable in an hour. 

I loved the way the story talked about hell and reincarnation. It's not always a peaceful process, but something that a lot of the souls dread. Siew Tsin's naivety made her a perfect narrator. I rated this 5* on GoodReads. 

 

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This was recommended to me SUPER HIGHLY by Nori from Read Write Love28 who basically said I needed to drop everything to read this book. I'm happy I listened to her. 

Let me just fangirl for a moment about my love of Travis, because when I was still in High School, I would have had the biggest crush ever on him, and if there is a mid-twenties male equivalent of him lurking about on GoodReads … Just know that you're a catch. I loved him as a gentle giant with his staff and Viking obsession. I loved his online forum posts and how his crush on Amelia developed. 

The differences between all three perspective characters were striking and really made this book. Jeff's writing has a really raw quality to it … And I loved that. He captured three distinct voices so magnificently. 

I like a bit of cult crazy in my books, so I was equally fascinated and repulsed by Dill's family. On the one hand, as a secular person living in quite a secular place, it's hard for me to conceive of people that nuts being real. It's easy to imagine religious sub-groups like that as comedic. But on the other, when I try to imagine it as real, I'm horrified. Poisonous snakes? Battery acid?? Whattttttttt

The only thing that didn't quite work for me all the time was Lydia. Sometimes I felt like her character was quite flat compared to the two boys. I felt that Dill and Travis had more richly imagined emotions and interior lives. I'm not sure if this was because Lydia had fewer hurdles to overcome or if the author was simply more invested in the others. 

But Travis … Aww, you big lovely snuggly bunny <3

I rated this 4.5/5 on GoodReads. 

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When I first read the synopsis for this, I'll admit that I wasn't sure the book was going to be for me. I'm probably the only person I know who hates The Walking Dead, so I was a bit apprehensive about a dystopian plot with a mass epidemic.

Nat lives with her grandparents in a giant zombie-proof bubble, complete with a thriving forest of trees for oxygen, a learning institute and guaranteed job placement. It sounds a bit like a utopia, but the local authorities are actually sinister and authoritarian. There is a bit of a Stepford Wives vibe going on … where things are made to look perfect and rebellion is swept under the rug. 

Initially, I think is was the sinister government element that interested me. I wanted to know what The Order was hiding and what was happening to the people left outside The Dome. Then, I came to love Nat as a character and her burgeoning relationship with Evan. 

There were a few elements that seemed a bit overly 'canon' and I would have liked to see expanded a bit beyond the more common tropes, such as the symptoms of the disease itself. 

Overall, this is a really interesting and face-paced read that may completely go against your expectations. If you're a Walking Dead hater like me, but want to try out another disease-apocalypse based dystopia, I recommend this!

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Those are my top picks for the last two months! What have you been reading? Tell me about it in the comments!

Of course, the major life event for me is that my own book has been published! Unicorn Tracks is a lesbian YA Fantasy Romance. It tells the story of Mnemba, a safari guide and tracker, who falls in love with a Unicorn Naturalist who visits her country. When the unicorns Kara loves are abducted and enslaved to build a railway, the two girls have to find a way to save them, while trying to resist each other. 

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