[Guest Post] Luck Be A Lady by Chris H. Stevenson

About

Mason Hart has just lost his job, fiancé, and car in less than 48-hours.  A short time later he accosts a cop and ends up in jail.  He finally lands in a hospital as the result of a jailhouse brawl.  He’s helpless to quell this downhill slide into calamity.  Since he believes all is lost at this point, suicide seems the only alternative left…

 Until the figure of Felicity Fortune, the Roman Goddess of Luck, interrupts Mason’s suicidal plans in the nick of time.  It seems Felicity Fortune was hampered by the bird flu and few other appointments, so she must apologize for her tardy appearance.  She tells Mason that he’s ripe for a cosmic alignment, and that his 15-minutes of fame and wealth are finally at hand.  He is allotted six chances via the roll of the golden dice for his deserved share of the “Great Cornucopia.”   

Beshaba, the Maid of Misfortune, has ear-marked Mason at the exact same time to heap upon him the bad luck part of the equation.  She is the evil incarnate daughter of Felicity, and now covets Mason for her own devious alignment.  Everything that Beshaba represents is in stark contrast to her mother.  It is a deliberate ploy to spite the good works of her mother, thus laying down a challenge of cosmic power.  

Their simultaneous claim to Mason forces the two Goddesses into a mythological cat fight in hell.  When this push and shove reaches a fevered pitch, even the destiny of mankind in called into question. Mason must find the solution and tear away the veil of darkness that could upset the divine balance between good and evil. What he doesn’t know is that the final key to the solution is himself.

 

Why is This Book Special?  

I believe this book incorporates all of the special fantastical elements and hilarity of movies and books like Bedazzled, Weird Science, Manikin, Splash and Date with an Angel. Who knew that the phrase “luck be a lady” was based in reality? You bet! The Roman Goddess Fortuna (Felicity Fortune) is alive and well and spreading wealth—the great cornucopia; your 15 minutes of fame. Only her daughter, Beshaba, means to rip-off every fortune her mother doles out. A mythological catfight in hell ensues, leaving Mason Hart torn between wealth and poverty, and two Goddesses vying for his destiny. 99-cent Special.  

 

Amazon Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Harold-Stevenson/e/B001K8UUBK

Christy’s Website:  https://christysyoungadultfabuliers.com/

Blog:  http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/

Entry 137: In The Dream House: A Memoir

Author: Carmen Maria Machado
Genre: Non-fiction ; Autobiography ; LGBTQA+
Publication: November 5th 2019 by Graywolf Press
Pages: 264
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

For years Carmen Maria Machado has struggled to articulate her experiences in an abusive same-sex relationship. In this extraordinarily candid and radically inventive memoir, Machado tackles a dark and difficult subject with wit, inventiveness and an inquiring spirit, as she uses a series of narrative tropes—including classic horror themes—to create an entirely unique piece of work which is destined to become an instant classic.

My Review

Trigger warnings: sexual assault, abusive romantic relationship (physical, emotional, mental), abusive family relationship, graphic descriptions of sexual encounters, domestic violence, homophobia, fatphobia

Continue reading “Entry 137: In The Dream House: A Memoir”

[Book Tour] Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas

Lost in the Never Woods
Aiden Thomas
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: March 23rd 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

When children go missing, people want answers. When children go missing in the small coastal town of Astoria, people look to Wendy for answers.

It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road, and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town.

Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don’t do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods.

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Author Bio:

Aiden Thomas is a New York Times Bestselling author with an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, Oregon. As a queer, trans Latinx, Aiden advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. Aiden’s special talents include: quoting The Office, winning Jenga, finishing sentences with “is my FAVORITE”, and killing spiders. Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color.

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[Book Blitz] The Other Side of Magic by Ester Manzini

The Other Side of Magic
Ester Manzini
(Parliament House)
Publication date: April 6th 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

For fans of Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

In a world inspired by 16th century Italy, magic is a common occurrence. Everyone in the realms of Epidalio and Zafiria is gifted with it at birth, but with every spell cast, their power wanes.

Gaiane Asares is the result of an accurate selection by her mother, the queen of Zafiria. She’s infinitely powerful; a weapon of mass destruction kept segregated in a tower and used against her will to conquer Epidalio.

Meanwhile, in Epidalio, Leo was born with no magic at all, a rarity. She lost her home and family when Zafiria attacked, and her resentment toward the invaders still burns.

Gaiane manages to escape her gilded cage, and the two girls cross paths. But when war threatens the land again, their loyalty will be put to the test. Will they manage to overcome their differences in the name of freedom?

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[Book Tour] Breathing Underwater by Sarah Allen

Breathing Underwater
Sarah Allen
(Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR))
Publication date: March 31st 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Middle-Grade

Breathing Underwater is a sparkly, moving middle grade novel from Sarah Allen, and a big-hearted exploration of sisterhood, dreams, and what it means to be there for someone you love.

Olivia is on the road trip of her dreams, with her trusty camera and her big sister Ruth by her side. Three years ago, before their family moved from California to Tennessee, Olivia and Ruth buried a time capsule on their favorite beach. Now, they’re taking an RV back across the country to uncover the memories they left behind. But Ruth’s depression has been getting worse, so Olivia has created a plan to help her remember how life used to be: a makeshift scavenger hunt across the country, like pirates hunting for treasure, taking pictures and making memories along the way.

All she wants is to take the picture that makes her sister smile. But what if things can never go back to how they used to be? What if they never find the treasure they’re seeking? Through all the questions, loving her sister, not changing her, is all Olivia can do—and maybe it’s enough.

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Author Bio:

Sarah Allen has been published in The Evansville Review, Allegory, and on WritersDigest. She has an MFA from Brigham Young University. Like Libby in her novel What Stars are Made Of, Allen was born with Turner Syndrome.

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EXCERPT:

Underwear: check.

Toothpaste and toothbrush: check. Murphy, my stuffed killer whale, who Ruth has already made fun of me for packing: check.

I tried to keep him tucked under my clothes so Ruth wouldn’t spot him if she came into my room. I didn’t want her to see that I was bringing him and say Geez, Olivia, are you thirteen or three? But she did come in, and she did see him, and she did say it, so I guess there’s nothing I can do about that. That’s just Ruth being Ruth, not one of the bad signs I need to watch out for.

Most important, I have my new underwater camera in its own special case, a purple case with a long black strap. It took me four months and extra chores to save up for this camera, but it was more than worth it.</P.

I’m sitting cross-legged on my bedroom floor next to my mostly packed luggage when Ruth pokes her head through my doorway. As quickly as I can, I slide the four old pictures I’m looking at under my suitcase. This time Ruth doesn’t notice. “Mom and Dad want us downstairs,” she says.

“Mmkay, coming,” I say. Ruth steps out of view. “Hey, Ruth?”

Her head pops back into frame. “What.”

“Um . . .” Now I’m hesitant, but I say, “What do you remember most from last time?”

“Last time?”

“Yeah.”

She shrugs. “I dunno. It was years ago.”

Only three years ago, I think. “Do you remember what’s in our secret box?”

“I dunno,” she says again.

I nod. Ruth disappears from my doorway.

It’s not like our secret box is huge or special or anything. It’s just a box. A simple wooden box about the size for shoes. Ruth and I thought it looked like a treasure chest when we were younger, so we put a few of our most treasured things inside, like Polaroid pictures and key chains and plastic bracelets and shells we’d collected. We buried it in a cave at Sunset Cliffs, San Diego, before we moved away three years ago. Not even a cave, really, more an open room in the cliffs along the beach half a mile away from our old house. We walked there all the time, played there, and left our treasure there when I was ten and Ruth was thirteen.

And now? Now we’re going back.

Entry 136: A Song Below Water (A Song Below Water #1)

Author: Bethany C. Morrow
Genre: Fantasy (Urban) ; Young Adult ; Contemporary ; Magical Realism
Publication: June 2nd 2020 by Tor Teen
Pages: 288
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.

 

My Review

Trigger warning: death, child abuse, ableism, racism, anti blackness, bigotry (anti siren), police brutality, victim blaming, self harm, sexism, misogynoir, microaggressions, past abusive relationship

Continue reading “Entry 136: A Song Below Water (A Song Below Water #1)”

[RECOMMENDED] Entry 135: Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy #1)

Author: Robin Hobb
Genre: Fantasy ; Adventure
Publication: March 1st 1996 by Spectra Books
Pages: 435
Format Read In: Audiobook

 

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

 

My Review

Trigger warnings: animal death, ableism, drug use, alcoholism, child abuse, parental negligence, mentions of animal abuse, manipulation, grooming, classism, sexism

Continue reading “[RECOMMENDED] Entry 135: Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy #1)”

Entry 134: I’ll Be the One

Author: Lyla Lee
Genre: Contemporary ; Young Adult ; Romance ; LGBTQA+
Publication: June 16th 2020 by Katherine Tegen Books 
Pages: 328
Format Read In: Audiobook

 

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

The world of K-Pop has never met a star like this. Debut author Lyla Lee delivers a deliciously fun, thoughtful rom-com celebrating confidence and body positivity—perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Julie Murphy.

Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.

She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.

When Skye nails her audition, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn’t count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.

But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself.

 

My Review

Trigger warnings: fatphobia, biphobia, homophobia, emotional parental abuse, parental neglect, bullying, controlling parents

Continue reading “Entry 134: I’ll Be the One”

[RECOMMENDED] Entry 133: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates Series

Author: Caroline Carlson
Genre: Middle Grade ; Fantasy ; Adventure
Publication: September 10th 2013 / September 9th 2014 / September 8th 2015 by HarperCollins 
Pages: 358 / 336 / 320
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads

Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors. She particularly enjoys defying authority, and she already owns a rather pointy sword. There’s only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.

Girls belong at Miss Pimm’s Finishing School for Delicate Ladies, learning to waltz, faint, and cursty. But Hilary and her dearest friend, the gargoyle, have no use for such frivolous lessons—they are pirates! (Or very nearly.)

To escape from a life of petticoats and politeness, Hilary answers a curious advertisement for a pirate crew and suddenly finds herself swept up in a seafaring adventure that may or may not involve a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn’t exist, a rogue governess who insists on propriety, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.

Will Hilary find the treasure in time? Will she become a true pirate after all? And what will become of the gargoyle?

/

Hilary Westfield is a pirate. In fact, she’s the Terror of the Southlands! She’s daring, brave, fearless, and . . . in a rut. Maybe she hasn’t found any treasure lately. And maybe she isn’t fighting off as many scallywags as she’d like. But does that mean she and her loyal crew (including a magical gargoyle) deserve to be kicked out of the ranks of the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates?

There is only one thing to do—find a daring mission worthy of her fearless reputation. With the help of first mate Charlie, finishing-school friend Claire, and the self-proclaimed intrepid gargoyle, Hilary sets sail on a swashbuckling expedition that may or may not involve a kidnapped Enchantress, bumbling inspectors, a mysterious group called the Mutineers, and—the most terrifying thing of all—a High Society ball.

Caroline Carlson brings just as much rollicking fun, laughter, and action to this second book of the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates as she did with the first, Magic Marks the Spot.

/

When Miss Pimm, Enchantress of the Northlands, decides to retire, she enlists young Hilary Westfield to gather a band of scallywags and prepare to challenge Captain Blacktooth in an all-out battle for the presidency of the League in order to save the kingdom.
 
My Review:

Trigger warnings: sexism, death of parents

Continue reading “[RECOMMENDED] Entry 133: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates Series”