Entry 179: The Last Session Vol. 1: Roll for Initiative

Author: Jasmine Walls, Dozerdraws (illustrations)
Genre: Fiction ; Graphic Novels ; Fantasy ; Contemporary ; LGBTQA+ ; Adventure
Publication: June 29th 2022 by Mad Cave Studios
Pages: 139
Format Read In: Ebook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

Roll for initiative! Jay, Lana, Drew, Walter, and Shen have played Dice & Deathtraps together since high school. Now, on the verge of graduating college and scattering, they’ve decided to finally complete their unfinished first campaign. But when Jay’s partner Cassandra joins as a new player, Lana’s afraid the party won’t ever finish their quest…

Trigger warning: fatphobia, isolation (one character being treated poorly by the group).

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this graphic novel through NetGalley to provide a review.

My Review:

Continue reading “Entry 179: The Last Session Vol. 1: Roll for Initiative”

[Book Blitz] Discordant Memories by Dee Rollings

Discordant Memories
Dee Rollings
Publication date: June 14th 2022
Genres: Adult, Thriller

A car accident, amnesia, two supposed lovers, and many dark secrets. In a race against time, who will come out on top?

Catrina Banks wakes up with bruises on her body and no memories from the last six months. An illustrious painter, she feels as though someone has stolen the colors from her canvas.

Under the teeming hospital lights and white coats crowding around her, Catrina faces questions she has no answers to. How did she end up in a city far from home? What was she doing there? Where is her phone, her ID, and most of all: Who assaulted her?

Struggling with intermittent flashbacks, Catrina tries to piece her life together. Cradling a gray hoodie and wedding bands she has no memory of, Cat returns home with her boyfriend Danny.

Even after she’s safe at home, she can’t shake the weird feeling that something is off, nor can she ignore the haunting glimpses she gets of a different life with another man.

“Discordant Memories” is a gripping domestic thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat, desperate to flip the pages to find out what happens next.

Follow Catrina’s story and find out if she can overcome the obstacles in her way and regain the memories she so desperately craves.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I opened my eyes slowly, but as I reached up to scratch an itch on my forehead, pain shot through my side before my hand connected with whatever was stuck to my forehead. A bandage? I tried to sit up to shake off the weird dream I was having, but every muscle in my body protested. Pain shot through my ribs.

Something was wrong. I blinked the sleep out of my eyes and realized I was not at home. I was in a hospital bed.

“Help!” I shouted.

Was I still dreaming? I called out weakly a couple more times before a nurse rushed in.

“You’re awake!” she said, helping me sit up. “Can you tell me your name?”

“What’s going on? What happened?”

“You were in a car accident. You are at Nashville General Hospital. Please tell me your name.”

An accident? The scene that played out so many times in my dreams began to have clarity. The sounds and the glass. It must have been a roll-over.

“Nashville? When did I come to Nashville? Oh God, my Chevelle!”

The only possession I actually cared about was the car my dad had given me before he passed away. I didn’t know what I would do if it was totaled. I put my head in my hands to clear my thoughts and try to focus.

The nurse rolled the computer cart up to my bed and started typing. She wasn’t exactly cold, but she didn’t offer much sympathy either. She let out an exasperated sigh. “Can you please verify your name so we can see how you’re doing?”

How was she so calm when I was falling apart?

“Catrina Banks. Please, tell me what happened.”

“I’ve sent for the doctor; he can tell you more when he arrives.”

“Is there anything you can tell me? How long have I been here?” I tried to keep my voice calm, but it was difficult.

She ignored my question and checked my vitals, then asked me to tell her where I was on the silly little pain-scale poster that hung on the wall. I told her it was a mix between the regular sad face and the crying face. She gave me no additional information. When the doctor finally came in, she gave me a pitiful look and rolled her computer cart off to the corner of the room.
“Ms. Banks, it’s nice to see you again. I’m Dr. Parker.” He offered me a sweet smile and a handshake. He was tall and had thick silver hair. He wore a white coat over a green collared shirt and plaid slacks, which looked more appropriate for the golf course than a hospital.

“Catrina, your accident happened a day and a half ago. You suffered a brain contusion and have been in and out of consciousness since then. The ribs on the right side of your body are bruised and you have some additional bruising in places we rarely see in these types of accidents. Do you remember anything before or after the accident?”

I shook my head as I rubbed my hand against my ribs. Now I knew why breathing was so uncomfortable. “I don’t remember even leaving my house. Maybe something inside the car hit me?”

He wrote something down on my chart and clicked his pen a few times, clearly thinking about something he didn’t want to tell me yet. “You’ve been getting a lot of rest, which is good, but you have been regressing every time you fall asleep. We aren’t sure how long it will continue, or if you’ll even remember this conversation later.” The way he spoke led me to believe it wasn’t the first time he had told me this. He paused, giving me a chance to interject, but I had nothing to say. “Do you know what today’s date is?”

“April 10th,” I blurted without even thinking.

Another one of those pitiful looks came my way, but this time it was from Dr. Parker. The room was silent for a few moments except for the sound of the nurse typing away on her computer.

The doctor clicked his pen three more times before replying, “Actually, it’s October 15th. I’m afraid you have some time missing.”

Six. Months.

How the hell was I missing six months of my life?

Author Bio:

Dee Rollings was born and raised in the big city, but her heart lives in the forest.

She does her best writing on the porch of her tiny house in the woods when she’s not wrangling her kid and her dogs or having one-way conversations with chipmunks.

She has a gorgeous husband who resembles Paul Bunyan and builds the best campfires, which makes all her dreams come true.


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Luv-a-Palooza: Romance Readers Extravaganza!

Luv-a-Palooza

Luv-a-Palooza

Romance Readers Extravaganza

Luv-a-Palooza is a romance reader’s “Heaven-on-Earth” with authors who write “Sweet to Steamy” and everything in between. With 40+ of the world’s most exciting romance authors in multiple breakout areas running simultaneously, you are sure to find old favorites and discover new ones to love. Now is your chance to get a book signed or chat online with your favorite author from the comfort of your own couch.

Attendees can enjoy short pre-recorded Romance Author presentations as well as live interactions but they can also upgrade for a nominal fee in order to participate gain even more author access including additional games and giveaways.

Additionally, attendees have the option to learn more about the ins-and-outs of the industry by attending the Writing / Publishing Workshops. These workshops will be presented by leading book publishing professionals with years of experience in their specific expertise in the book publishing field.

Luv-a-Palooza

Continue reading “Luv-a-Palooza: Romance Readers Extravaganza!”

[Articles of Interest] Wen-yi Lee’s “Lady Macbeth, the Pontianak, and the Compulsive Power of the Monstrous Feminine”

Wen-yi Lee, a contributor at Tor.com, wrote a brief but very interesting post on the monstrously feminine and how women who transgress the binary are often seen as grotesques monsters that must be punished. In this post, Lee mentions some Western icons, like Lady Macbeth, but also weaves in the South Asian myth of the pontianak. A riveting read and one I think should be looked at more!

Lady Macbeth, the Pontianak, and the Compulsive Power of the Monstrous Feminine

Entry 178: Clariel (Old Kingdom #4)

Author: Garth Nix
Genre: Fiction ; Young Adult ; Fantasy ; Adventure
Publication: October 14th 2014 by HarperCollins
Pages: 382
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

Sixteen-year-old Clariel is not adjusting well to her new life in the city of Belisaere, the capital of the Old Kingdom. She misses roaming freely within the forests of Estwael, and she feels trapped within the stone city walls. And in Belisaere she is forced to follow the plans, plots and demands of everyone, from her parents to her maid, to the sinister Guildmaster Kilp. Clariel can see her freedom slipping away. It seems too that the city itself is descending into chaos, as the ancient rules binding Abhorsen, King and Clayr appear to be disintegrating.

With the discovery of a dangerous Free Magic creature loose in the city, Clariel is given the chance both to prove her worth and make her escape. But events spin rapidly out of control. Clariel finds herself more trapped than ever, until help comes from an unlikely source. But the help comes at a terrible cost. Clariel must question the motivations and secret hearts of everyone around her – and it is herself she must question most of all.

Trigger warnings: Child neglect, uncontrolled temper, violence, death of a parent, acephobia/arophobia language

My Review [SPOILERS FOR OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES]:

Continue reading “Entry 178: Clariel (Old Kingdom #4)”

[Book Blitz] The Indigo by Heather Siegel

The Indigo
Heather Siegel
Publication date: June 1st 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Jett Hart, a 16-year-old girl from New Jersey, refuses to accept the diagnosis that her mother is brain-dead. Yes, Mom’s long-comatose body seems like an empty shell. But there was that split-second, weird time Jett swears she lifted out from her own body and travelled to an indigo-colored, starry space, where she felt Mom’s presence.

Now, as Jett’s caretaking Aunt threatens to pull Mom’s life support, Jett must find this mysterious indigo place again and return her mother to her body before it’s too late. The bad news is that only her schoolmate Farold — who may or may not give off a more-than-friends vibe — believes she can do this. The good news is that he’s an amateur quantum physicist in training and has some ideas about how to help Jett get back “up there.”

Even if Jett manages to find Mom in the “indigo,” can she bring her back to her body? While also staying connected to her own “empty shell” below? And, what if . . . someone is trying to stop her?

A teen thriller offering astral projection cosmology, life cords, parallel universes, and wormholes, THE INDIGO is a wild trip through one person’s consciousness “above,” her interconnected reality “below,” and the psychological and potentially fatal dangers of being disconnected from both.

Goodreads / Amazon

Continue reading “[Book Blitz] The Indigo by Heather Siegel”

[Mini Review] Entry 177: Antigone Rising: The Subversive Power of the Ancient Myths [RECOMMENDED]

Author: Helen Morales
Genre: Non-Fiction ; Mythology (Greek) ; Feminism ; History ; Classics ; Writing (Essays) ; Politics ; LGBTQA+
Publication: April 14th 2020 by Bold Type Books
Pages: 224
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

A witty, inspiring reckoning with the ancient Greek and Roman myths and their legacy, from what they can illuminate about #MeToo to the radical imagery of Beyoncé.
The picture of classical antiquity most of us learned in school is framed in certain ways — glossing over misogyny while omitting the seeds of feminist resistance. Many of today’s harmful practices, like school dress codes, exploitation of the environment, and rape culture, have their roots in the ancient world.
But in Antigone Rising, classicist Helen Morales reminds us that the myths have subversive power because they are told — and read — in different ways. Through these stories, whether it’s Antigone’s courageous stand against tyranny or the indestructible Caeneus, who inspires trans and gender queer people today, Morales uncovers hidden truths about solidarity, empowerment, and catharsis.

Antigone Rising offers a fresh understanding of the stories we take for granted, showing how we can reclaim them to challenge the status quo, spark resistance, and rail against unjust regimes.

My Review:

Continue reading “[Mini Review] Entry 177: Antigone Rising: The Subversive Power of the Ancient Myths [RECOMMENDED]”