Tagged: My Writing Journey

I was tagged by Lisa Stapleton to write these three things:

1. Where are you at in your writing journey?

I have a novella and a full-length novel published, and a published anthology piece! I have three more books I’m working on that are done and just need edits. Plus, the new Marjorie Diaz book should come out sometime earlier 2019.

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2. What advice would you give to young writers?   

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t write every day or if you can only write 100 or 500 words a day at first.

Eventually, you’re going to sit down at your computer and be able to write without thinking about it. And eventually, the more you do it, you’ll be able to crank out 1,000 or 10,000 a day!

But it is not without hard work. Writing sometimes feels like a chore or like pulling teeth and you will be stressed out and upset and angry A LOT. But it is so rewarding to put your story out into the world at the end of all that anger and resentment.

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3. Things you need daily in order to function as a writer: 

-headphones
-a snack
-video game break
-my cats

That’s 4 things, but I think I’ve earned them.

Book Reviews: Axiom – The Last Hope by Rachel Marie Pearcy

I highly recommend this book. My review below contains spoilers, but if you like lesbians in space then this is the book for you. Pearcy is an excellent writer and her characters are fantastic. 

***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR AXIOM: THE LAST HOPE***

It’s been a while since I read a story so compelling I didn’t want to put it down.

Pearcy creates a dystopian world full of fear. A world where biological warfare and a war-ravaged Earth forced everyone to flee to the moon under a tyrannical regime.

Ella and Carly are incredible and interesting characters and the friends they make along that way that both accept them and abhor them make this book so complex and wonderful.

Every twist and turn brought new insight into the characters and Pearcy fleshes them out really well.

I will say there were a few times where I felt like Pearcy fell into some issues with stereotypes. Mainly when Ella and Carly speak ill of STEM subjects like math and science while their male counterparts excel at them.

And again, when Paige is made out to be a shrill mean girl with no redemption arc. I understand that Paige was a strong candidate for that arc while her counterpart and husband, Phillip, was easier to redeem just in time to save everyone in the end. However, those are the small nitpicky things I have to say.

The relationship between the two main characters is heartwarming and fantastically written. Pearcy is a compelling own voices author of lesbian romance, not to mention she truly captures the fear of abandonment and judgment people in the LGBT community can feel when outing themselves to their peers.

Carly is exceptionally well-written and Ella is an excellent narrator.

I am a little sad Ella never gets to see her parents again even once everyone is settled in their new roles, but the ending was so sweet and amazing I’m willing to overlook that little tidbit.

I can’t help but think her dad would have made an excellent grandfather, though.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a truly compelling coming of age story that takes place on the moon.

More about Axiom: The Last Hope

Finally, all parts of the Axiom Series come together in one book.

Generations ago, the human species was driven to the brink of extinction, forcing those who remained to flee to the city of Axiom; a utopian paradise where all your decisions are made for you. The house you live in, your occupation, and even your marriage arrangement are all regulated by the Assembly, leaving the pressures of free will far behind you.

As Annabella Bower enters her last year of schooling, and the final step to adulthood, she’s blissfully unaware of the horrors her perfect city hides, but all that’s about to change. A spark between ‘Ella’ and her new dorm-mate Carly turns her world upside down and opens her eyes to the harsh reality around them.

Suddenly she can see students are dying, there’s a rebel group rising outside the school walls, and if anyone discovers her relationship with Carly, the consequences are dire. With graduation quickly approaching, Ella will have to make the hardest decision of her life- either continue to follow the laws of Axiom or give up everything for love.

Get your copy of Axiom on Amazon

Teasers: Marjorie Diaz Book 1

Marjorie Diaz has no idea who this guy, Patrick Watkins, is. When he saunters into her senior seminar class during her last semester of college, the last thing she expected was to fall in love with him.

Fall in love with them today!

More about Marjorie Diaz

Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy hunts girl for sport.

Marjorie Diaz has no idea who Patrick Watkins is. When he saunters into her senior seminar class during her last semester of college, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with him.

She’s swept up into a whirlwind—and often times fairytale-esque—romance. That is, until his family kidnaps her and sends her to a place she never thought she would go again.

Now, with the help of her best friend Lucian Maravalle, she has to run for her life, and try not to think too hard about the fact that everyone she loves has been keeping a dangerous secret. A secret that could cost Marjorie her life.

Book one in the Marjorie Diaz series.

Cover art by Ariel LeAnn of Cat’s Paw Media

**THIS TITLE IS LGBT WITH A FULL LGBT AND POC CAST**

Get your copy here

Book Reviews: Impostors by Scott Westerfeld

Most of you know that Scott Westerfeld is my favorite author. I post about him constantly on my social media and tweet at him and I’ve even been retweeted by him. Twice. 

So it should come as no surprise that I devoured his new book.

At first, I wasn’t sure how to feel about a new series set in the Uglies universe. I thought the original trilogy was okay. I wasn’t even really a huge fan of Extras. I hardly even remember reading it save for the bits about Tally and a few of the more outrageous body mods.

On page one, I was apprehensive. Then I realized, without even noticing I’d somehow read 50 pages. Then another 50. And another 50 until it was suddenly 5am and I forgot to sleep. 

I was so interested in Rafi and Frey and their story and their sisterhood that I literally forgot to sleep. I’m a grown adult. I have a JOB. I had family in town from 3,000 miles away. But I literally couldn’t put this book down. 

The romance was great too. Scott Westerfeld is to date the only author who can get me to read and enjoy straight romance. This man is magic. But in all truthfulness, the way Scott gets me to read these kinds of things is by never once making the relationship or romance the sole plot of the story. 

Romance can be a bit nausea-making for me. Especially where purple prose is concerned, but Scott has a way of toning all of that down and focusing on his characters and making them so undeniably real you start to feel connected to them. 

This was a great read. It brought me back to 13 years ago when I read the first Uglies novel. When I became so connected to Tally’s story and her world that I devoured every book Scott Westerfeld has ever written. Frey and Rafi are so compelling as characters that it leaves me wanting more. 

Their story sparked something in me. I cannot wait to read more of this series and to see what else Scott Westerfeld has up his sleeve. 

More about Impostors

Frey and Rafi are inseparable . . . two edges of the same knife. But Frey’s very existence is a secret.

Frey is Rafi’s twin sister and her body double. Their powerful father has many enemies, and the world has grown dangerous as the old order falls apart. So while Rafi was raised to be the perfect daughter, Frey has been taught to kill. Her only purpose is to protect her sister, to sacrifice herself for Rafi if she must.

When her father sends Frey in Rafi’s place as collateral in a precarious deal, she becomes the perfect impostor as poised and charming as her sister. But Col, the son of a rival leader, is getting close enough to spot the killer inside her. As the deal starts to crumble, Frey must decide if she can trust him with the truth . . . and if she can risk becoming her own person.

With Impostors, master storyteller Scott Westerfeld returns with a new series set in the world of his mega-bestselling Uglies a world full of twist and turns, rebellion and intrigue, where any wrong step could be Frey’s last.

Buy it here on Amazon

Playlist: Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society

Just like I did with Bloom, I’m doing a playlist for Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society. The kicker with these is that I have one for each chapter. 

So look forward to more content?

Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society
soundtrack [Disk 1]
the ticking clock that is destiny

New York, New York – Frank Sinatra
High Hopes – Panic! At the Disco
Fuqboi – Hey Violet
Bury It – CHVRCHES
Honey to the Bee – Billie Piper
Azul – Natalia Lafourcade
Triceratops Ballet – Jack Dolgen, Adam Schlesinger

Book Reviews: Corin by Ava Burkhart

The writing needs a lot of work, but for a debut short story, this was fairly good. I couldn’t really get a grasp on the characters or the world they lived in, so honestly, from my viewpoint, it could have been longer. I’m not a huge fan of vampires, but I do like supporting lesbian romance. However, I think the romance between Corin and Lindsay moved very quickly. I know there’s a lot of joking in lesbian culture about how lesbian relationships move very fast, but I find it hard to believe that Lindsay would have chosen Corin over her mother after hardly knowing her for a few weeks.

There were a lot of things I felt were detrimental to the story. There isn’t enough description or time to grow to like the characters. Magical realms need time to be set up, there’s a lot of world building required to write these kinds of stories. Also, the way the book was designed left a lot to be desired. You shouldn’t have both a paragraph indentation and a double space between every paragraph. It looks bad.

All in all, I did enjoy the story. There’s nothing like a heartwarming lesbian story about two unlikely people falling in love, but I hope in the future Burkhart will continue to grow and persevere to make their writing better. I know from experience how hard it can be to publish something on your own without an editor, cover designer, or someone to format your book.

You’ve made incredible strides, Ava. I wish you all the best and may your stories become even better moving forward. I’ll be watching and keeping up with your work. One LGBT author to another, we need all the support we can get. 

More about Corin

The daughter of a vampire hunter falls in love with the same vampire her mother is hunting. Lindsay and Corin are soon forced to pretend to be dating to keep her mother off their trail.
A pulpy, cheesy novella about useless lesbians in love. 

READ IT NOW ON AMAZON