Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Happy Galentine's Day!

In celebration of my second favorite holiday-that-came-from-a-television-show (the first is Treat Yo Self Day, of course), I'm featuring a few of my favorite books that include female friendships.

credit: www.bustle.com
1. Lumberjanes Volume 1: Beware the Kitten Holy, Noelle Stevenson
A cute story featuring five girls at the Lumberjanes summer camp, where they get caught up in supernatural shenanigans.

2. The Legend of Wonder Woman: Origins, Renae de Liz
I think this excerpt from my Goodreads review sums this up pretty well:
"But my absolute favorite part of this was her friendship with Etta. Etta and the Holliday girls are fiercely loyal and brave even without Wonder Woman's powers. It's so refreshing and great to see the central relationship be a super supportive one between women."

3. Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein
Beware, though! This one's sad, but I still love that the driving force of this story is the friendship between Maddie and Queenie.

4. Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass & Sorcery, Kurtis J. Wiebe
Hannah the Elf, Violet the Dwarf, Dee the Human, and Betty the Smidgen make up a guild called the Rat Queens, who kill magical monsters for booze money, basically.

5. Beauty Queens, Libba Bray
A plane crash leaves the fifty contestants of the Miss Teen Dream pageant stranded on a deserted island, where they fight to survive both the island and each other. This satire tackles female friendship and all the uncomfortable issues that come with being a teenage girl head-on.

What are some of your favorites?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: The Delivery of Flesh (Bulletproof Witch #1), F.J. Blair

★★★ 1/2

As an indie fantasy writer, I love to find other indie fantasy writers who are new to me. I can't quite remember how I came across this novella, but I'm certainly glad I did! This is a fun, quick read with an interesting world and shades of Wynonna Earp. It's about Temperance Whiteoak, whose grandfather was the first Pistol Warlock, people who can make and use hex bullets. Now, though, the Pistol Warlocks are lawmen, and Temperance isn't interested in that nearly as much as she's interested in revenge against the demons who slaughtered her town and family.

But getting revenge means Temperance needs hex bullets, and hex bullets mean she needs money. She agrees to help a marshal escort a prisoner to Benson City in exchange for payment. Things get complicated, though, when the prisoner's men chase them across the wilderness thanks to a magical brand.

Because it's a novella, the plot is pretty straightforward, but I think where the story shines is in the worldbuilding. Little by little, Blair sprinkles in interesting or cool details that add to the world. The concepts of Pistol Warlocks and hex bullets are vital to the story, and the further in you get, the more you know about both. I especially liked the tidbit when Temperance refers to making and casting the bullets as an art form. But even the details that were less important to the plot made the world seem more developed and less cookie-cutter. My favorite was Astor the horse, Temperance's familiar, who can communicate telepathically with her and frequently does to tell her she's making bad decisions.

My biggest complaint is I didn't think Temperance was fully fleshed-out. Part of that is just the length of the story. It's hard to fit a lot of character development into 100 pages. Mostly, I want to know more about what drives her--outside of revenge--and I'm looking forward to seeing where the next novella takes us.

Friday, February 1, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: Pursuit of Happiness, Carsen Taite

★★★

Pursuit of Happiness is the third book I've read by Taite. Actually, my first ever NetGalley book was Taite's A More Perfect Union, which came out December 2017. I'd requested it on a whim and ended up really enjoying it to the point of seeking out more books in the lesfic genre. This one features a few recurring characters from A More Perfect Union and an earlier Taite book I haven't read, but you don't need to read those before reading this one.

As you can probably guess from the titles, Taite often writes about politics and the law. One thing I like about that is her stories feature strong women with tough jobs. In Pursuit of Happiness, Meredith is a Democratic senator and and Stevie is a public defender. Both are career-driven but find themselves drawn together after meeting at a senate hearing. But things get complicated when Meredith gets a last-minute opportunity to run in the primaries for the chance to be the Democratic presidential nominee, and Stevie's not sure she wants the exposure that would come with dating a presidential candidate.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Short Story Round-Up

In late December, an anthology called Fall Into Fantasy 2018 came out from Cloaked Press. It collects 13 fantasy stories, including "Steeping Spells," which is mine! Check it out on Amazon in paperback and e-book.



I have another story, "Lonesome," coming out in an anthology called Gunsmoke & Dragonfire, a collection of fantasy westerns. Here's the blurb for my story: 

An elven veteran is called back to face her demons when a little girl is snatched to serve the army that destroyed her…

Although the anthology doesn't come out until March, it's available for pre-order on Kindle for just 99 cents for the month of January! Then, the price will increase in increments until it reaches full price upon the release in March.

Pre-order it HERE.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Happy Release Day to RAGNAROK UNWOUND




Available today from Sky Forest Press
Purchase it on Kindle or in paperback

Add it to your Goodreads today

Check under the cut for an exclusive excerpt and giveaway!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Fave Shows of 2018

The Great British Baking Show

I'm starting off with an old favorite. In a year that's been hard for a number of reasons, this show always brings some much-needed joy and comfort to my life. Even though I was apprehensive about the new judge and hosts, they ended up being charming in different ways than the former ones, and I'm looking forward to as many new seasons as Netflix and PBS will give me. Maybe this year, I'll even start baking more. I've always wanted to try bread.


Killing Eve

What a wacky show--in the best way. I didn't expect a show about a serial killer to be as funny as it is, but all the characters seem so real and genuine. The whole cast hits it out of the park, and I have a soft spot for Fiona Shaw's serious, enigmatic Carolyn. Sandra Oh is a particular strength, and it's wonderful to see her in the lead even if her character isn't always as put-together and in control. Despite the synopsis, this isn't simply a spy thriller cut-and-pasted to include women. I haven't read the novellas on which it's based (the first is Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings), but I think I can credit Jennings as well as show creator/writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her writing crew for featuring fascinating women who also feel real. There are lots of women in this story, all of whom are different and messy, and that's one thing I love to see on TV.
 

Doctor Who

Although I'm not quite finished with the season, I found it to be full of wonder and heart. I was excited at the prospect of a female Doctor, and Jodie Whittaker certainly hasn't disappointed. She's got a ton of energy, but my favorite thing about her character is something she said herself in her first episode: "When people need help, I never refuse." The world's been pretty dark, and a lot of times, I find that hard to deal with. Watching this show for an hour reminds me that there are genuinely good people in this world (and out of it!) who want to help. What I find even more refreshing, though, is the trio of companions--Yaz, Ryan, and Graham. I love seeing a more inclusive cast, and I love that they each have their own strengths and struggles. This is getting long, so I'll end it with one of my favorite quotes from the season:

May the saints of all the stars and constellations bring you hope as they guide you out of the dark and into the light on this voyage and the next and all of the journeys still to come for now and evermore.


Legends of Tomorrow

Apparently, I just love wacky shows! While Killing Eve skews dark, Legends of Tomorrow skews silly while still managing to tackle important topics and hit emotional beats. Time travel has always been a staple, but the current season has added magical shenanigans! How could I possibly not love it? That said, the strength of this show is in its characters and its heart. I'm always a sucker for found-family stories, and this one features a timeship full of weirdos who stick together out of necessity before becoming friends and then family. I can't wait to see what the second half of the season has in store.


Runaways

Season 1 was a slow burn that I didn't fully appreciate until I rewatched it in preparation for season 2, which really embraces the found-family trope as Alex, Chase, Gert, Karolina, Molly, and Nico face the reality of leaving the (relative) safety of their parents' homes. Not only does it give them a chance to bond and argue while living under the same abandoned roof, but it makes them band together to figure out and increase their powers. Karolina was always a favorite because I happen to like genuinely nice characters, and it was a treat digging into her background a bit more. But this season has endeared me to all six of the Runaways, with Nico and Molly in the running for second favorite. The show also features some kick-butt music. I'm really hoping Hulu renews this one because I can't wait to see what's next!


Stay tuned for my favorite movies and books of 2018!




Friday, November 30, 2018

COVER REVEAL: Wolf Smoke by Poe Casavant




They were chosen to save their country. First, they'll have to save themselves. 

Following a decade of nuclear war, the population has plummeted, forcing the world to find a civilian-saving alternative. They settle on the Langyan Series, where, in order to decide international disputes, twelve-person teams from each country will compete in paintball battles inside a specially designed arena.

Sarah Charlton—a depressed, destructive, and anxiety-ridden college dropout—is the last person anyone expects to lead the USA team. Cut off from the outside world, she and her eleven teammates, including an old friend and an old flame, must rely on one another for safety and support. To prove her worth as a leader, Sarah first has to learn to trust in herself.

But then the Series turns deadly, and as the team fights to stay alive, Sarah fights to hold onto her humanity.

A thrilling science-fiction story by Poe Casavant

Cover art by l0cke

February 26, 2019 from Sky Forest Press

Add it to your Goodreads today



About the Author: Poe Casavant is the author of the first book in the Langyan Series and its upcoming sequels. By day, she designs robotic props and hairpieces for the fashion world. When not working, you can find her crashing through waves in her sea kayak, jumping out of airplanes, or training for her current goal of climbing the highest peak on every continent. (Five down, three to go!) Poe’s passion is creating high-octane stories with characters who shatter traditional stereotypes.

Poe lives in sunny Silicon Valley with her husband, cat, and two parrots.


Find Poe on Twitter and her website.