Virtual conventions

With convention season being postponed and canceled in some cases virtual conventions have started popping up on the internet. Last month emerald city comic con had an online artist ally put together by some of the artist who would have attended the event. and this month daughters of darkness hosted a whole convention over the weekend online and it was amazing.

I found daughters of darkness though a few of the online shops I follow and when their online convention popped up I was intrigued. Daughters of darkness is convention celebrating women and darkness and witches it usually takes place in Salem Massachusetts, if it hadn’t been online I would have never been able to attend.

How did this all work? On their website they posted a list of vendors and links to their shops so you could scroll down and click the link to look at the shops, it was almost like going booth to booth in a convention. A few of the vendors offered specials like free shipping or limited edition items, some had deals for the weekend. It you browsed #virtualdodfest on instagram you could also find the vendors.

There website also had a small schedule of panels you could watch over the weekend though facebook, Instagram and zoom. They even had a yoga class! They had blog posts on their website you could read including a series call seven baddass women of Salem I love history so I though these post were really interesting .

It was small but I thought the girls in charge of it did an amazing job with what they were given and I would love to one day attended this event in person, (Salem is also on my bucket list to visit).

Other online convention and festivals that are coming up are.

Yallstayhome the online version of yallwest and wondercon online though the convention has been postponed and will probably be happening at later time in the year you can still go though there vender hall online.

https://www.yallwest.com

https://www.comic-con.org/toucan/wondercon-anaheim-2020-online

Are you guys planning on attending any online event, conventions or festivals?

Tigers, not daughters by Samantha Mabry blog tour- review

Synopsis

The Torres sisters dream of escape. Escape from their needy and despotic widowed father, and from their San Antonio neighborhood, full of old San Antonio families and all the traditions and expectations that go along with them. In the summer after her senior year of high school, Ana, the oldest sister, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, her three younger sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by their sister’s memory. Their dream of leaving Southtown now seems out of reach. But then strange things start happening around the house: mysterious laughter, mysterious shadows, mysterious writing on the walls. The sisters begin to wonder if Ana really is haunting them, trying to send them a message—and what exactly she’s trying to say.

In a stunning follow-up to her National Book Award–longlisted novel All the Wind in the World, Samantha Mabry weaves an aching, magical novel that is one part family drama, one part ghost story, and one part love story.

My review

4 ½ stars

First I have a really bad sinus infection right now so i’m really hoping this review sounds okay.

I really loved this book. I loved how griping and dark and real this book was.

They had always  been four,  Ana and Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa until Ana dies. Leaving Jessica, Iridian and rosa broken by grief.

This story takes place a year after Ana’s death and is told by all three sisters POV along with the neighborhood boy’s POVs (which are my favorite parts). The ghost story that is weaved into it is haunting. It’s not a jump scare nothing super bad happens but it was Still fascinating, writing on the wall and hands in the bathroom , a scream little things that add up that might send goosebumps up your arm.

This story also deals with abuse both from a parent and from a lover and I really appreciate the way Samantha Mabry wrote both it sent chills up my spine and even if I wanted to look away I couldn’t (also coming from a abusive household it reminded me a lot about some of things that I had to deal with as a kid, If your coming from a similar back ground please be safe reading this).

I loved all three sisters. Each sister deals with their grief in different ways

Jessica-  Who tries her best  to become Ana, going as far as dating john Ana’s boyfriend and moving into her sisters old room. She’s a little obsessive and odd, wearing Ana’s old cloth and refusing to throw anything away from her sister.

Iridian- Who refuses to leave the house and spends her time re-reading the witching hour by anne rice and writing in her notebooks about love and the supernatural and curses. She’s the character I could most relate to and I loved her.

Rosa- who is the only sister who still goes to church. Who sits in the back yard trying to communicate to animals and wanders the  neighborhood in search of a hyena that escaped the zoo.

Then there’s the girls good for nothing father, he drinks too much, he’s unreliable, he tries his best to control the girls. He really doesn’t know what they are doing behind his back. He not only lost his oldest daughter he also lost his wife to childbirth.

The book is written in such a way that the characters and their grief felt real.

Tigers, not daughters is character driven, haunting and I couldn’t put it down. I would highly recommend it.

Ruthless gods review

Synopsis

Darkness never works alone…

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become. 

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

My review

5 stars

It’s no secret that I love Emily’s books. I loved her writing way before she got published and I still love it now. so when I got a copy of wicked saints early almost right after she announced  she was going to be published 2 years ago, (I think it was I could be wrong I’m terrible with time.) I read it as soon as I could and I did the same when I finally managed to get a copy of ruthless gods.

To start off OMG this book it’s heartbreaking.

Nadya, Serefin and Malachiasz are dealing with the consequences of what happened in wicked saints.

Nayda, questioning herself and her faith and her gods who she can’t hear anymore. what is a cleric if they can’t speak to the gods? She’s questioning her relationship with Malachiasz who is now turned into even more of a monster then he was before. 

Serefin, who is dealing with a forgotten god in his head, and becoming a king and not knowing what to do about either of them. He just a broken drunk after all? A high prince turned king no one really wants.  He’s being threatened by one of the nobles to return their daughter to them who was taken by the vultures, he tries with the help of Nayda and fails. 

Malachiasz who doesn’t remember what happened, who is more monster then human now. who agrees to help Nayda and I can’t tell if he was playing her the whole time or if he really did/dose care a little bit.

I love these characters I love how broken they are and how they question themselves. I love how they try to push though and keep going, even if things seem bleak and things do get bleak the further they travel the more broken they become. 

I love the way Emily has written them both individually and as a group. Together they felt like a group of friends traveling on ajourney. I loved there banter and how they do care for each other even if their supposed to be enemies. As individuals they are each playing a part of a game each holding their breath for the right time, to see who will attack who first.

I love the relationship between Nayda and Malachiasz I think they really do care about each other. I enjoyed all the small moments between them when it’s visible. I also think there not good for each other there relationship like them is broken.  It can never be fixed and it’s toxic. They have been placed in a loop of betrayal and lost trust and manipulation I don’t think there ever going to get out.

I love the world building we get to see more of Kalyazi in this book and hear more about some of their monsters, (though I do wish that there was some more explanation for them instead of just dropping names and expecting us to know) . 

This book doesn’t just border on horror it is horror. Emily has taken the cosmic horror she placed at the end of  wicked saints and threw it at us with full force. Monsters with too many eyes, gods that have been forgotten and left to rot, a forest full of monsters that traps it victims and doesn’t let them go and so much more. 

I loved this book just as much as I loved the first one. It’s beautifully dark, it’s blood filled, it’s heartbreaking. I need the third book now please?

Foul is fair review

Synopsis

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target. 

They picked the wrong girl. 

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly. 

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

My review

5 stars

I loved this book so much. The writing is poetic and beautiful and I couldn’t get enough of it-I usually don’t read books on the trolley and train but I read this one back in October, (I just kept forgetting to type up my review which is why I’m posting it now.) on my way to Disneyland and by the time I was back from my trip I was almost done.

If I were to describe this book in one word it would be fierce.

For her 16th birthday Elle and her friend’s decided to crash a high school party, not their high school but another one a St. Andrews prep one.  It’s here that Elle’s drink is spiked by the golden boys of St. Andrews and she is raped. It’s after when she changes her name to Jade, dyes her hair revenge black and forms a plan to take down all four boys who have wronged her. First she transfers schools, than she befriends the guys girlfriends and seduces Mack the only boy who wasn’t at the party. One by one the boys start to fall with the help of her coven of girlfriends.

I loved everything about this book it’s dark and twisted, it’s a retelling of Macbeth- I’m a big Shakespeare fan which is why I agreed to do the blog tour. This book is exactly what a revenge fantasy should look like, over the top, beautiful, full of brilliant characters who take what they want and more and have no regrets doing it.

I adore jade and her coven of girlfriends they have her back and she has there’s and while I might be a little scared of them, especially jade. There loyal to each other, there smart and there ruthless and that might be why I love them so much.

I don’t know what else to say except if you can handle it go read it!

Would I would 100% recommend this book to someone and I can’t wait to read more books from this authors.

Content warning

sexual assault (not depicted), rape culture, and violence, an abusive relationship, a suicide attempt, and a brief scene with transphobic bullying. 

i had a bit of a hard time writing this review because it’s been awhile since i read it and also because i loved it so much i really don’t know what to say about it.  

Foul is fair blog tour – excerpt

Today I’m part of the blog tour for foul is fair! I didn’t have time to write my review ( it will be up later this week or the beginning of next week.) but I loved this book so much it was definitely a 5 star read for me, the writing is magical and poetic and I adore the main character and her coven of girlfriends. If you ever have a chance to read this one you should.

I’ll go straight to the excerpt! I hope the writing Draws you in and intrigues you just as much as the first few pages did to me.

For every girl who wants revenge

The primary thematic material of Foul isFair centers on sex- ual assault (not depicted), rape culture, and violence. Addi- tionally, the book includes anabusive relationship, a suicide attempt, and a brief scene with transphobic bullying. For a more detailed description of sensitive content, please visit hannahcapin.com/foulisfair.

Before

Sweet sixteen is when the claws come out.

We’re all flash tonight. Jenny and Summer and Mads and me. Vodka and heels we could never quite walk in before, but tonight we can. Short skirts—the shortest. Glitter and high- light.Matte and shine. Long hair and whitest-white teeth.

I’ve never been blond before but tonight my hair is plati- num. Mads bleached it too fast but I don’t care because tonight’s the only night that matters. And my eyes are jade-green to-night instead of brown, and Summer-swears the contacts Jenny bought are going to melt into my eyes and I’ll never see again, but I don’t care about that,either.

Tonight I’m sixteen.

Tonight Jenny and Summer and Madsand me, we’re four sirens, like the ones in those stories. The ones who sing and make men die.

Tonight we’re walking up the driveway to our best party ever. Not the parties like we always go to, with the dull-duller- dullest Hancock Park girls we’ve always known and the dull-

duller-dullest wine coolers we always drink and the same bad choice in boys.

Tonight we’re going to a StAndrew’s Prep party.

Crashing it, technically.

But nobody turns away girls like us.

We smile at the door. They let us in.Our teeth flash. Our claws glimmer. Mads laughs so shrill-bright it’s almost a scream. Everyone looks. We all grab hands and laugh together and then everyone, every charmed St Andrew’s Prepper is cheering for us and I know they see it—

—our fangs and our claws.

After

The first thing I do is cut my hair.

But it isn’t like in the movies, those crying girls with mas- cara streaks and kindergarten safety scissors, pink and dull, looking into toothpaste specks on medicine cabinet mirrors.

I’m not crying. I don’t fucking cry.

I wash my makeup off first. I use the remover I stole from Summer, oily Clinique in a clear bottle with a green cap. Three minutes later I’m fresh-faced,wholesome, girl-next-door, and you’d almost never know my lips are still poison when I look the way a good girl is supposed to look instead of like that little whore with the jade-green eyes.

The contact lenses go straight into the trash.

Then I take the knife, the good long Knife from the wed- ding silver my sister hid in the attic so she wouldn’t have to think about the stupid man who never deserved her anyway. The marriage was a joke but the knife is perfectly, wickedly beautiful: silver from handle to blade and so sharp you bleed a little just looking at it. No one had ever touched it until I did, and when I opened the box and lifted the knife off the dark red velvet, I could see one slice of my reflection looking back from the blade, and I smiled.

I pull my hair tight, the long hair that’s been mine since those endless backyard days with Jenny and Summer and Mads.Always black, until Mads bleached it too fast, but splin- tering platinum blond for the St Andrew’s party on my sweet sixteen. Ghost-bright hair from Mads and jade-green eyes from Jenny and contour from Summer, almost magic,sculpt- ing me into a brand-new girl for a brand-new year.

My hair is thick, but I’ve never been one to flinch. I stare myself straight in the eyes and slash once— Hard.

And that’s it. Short hair.

I dye it back to black, darker than before, with the cheap box dye I madeJenny steal from the drugstore. Mads revved her Mustang, crooked across two parking spots at three in the morning, and I said:

Get me a color that knows what the fuck it’s doing.

Jenny ran back out barefoot in her baby-pink baby-doll dress and flung herself into the back seat across Summer’s lap, and Mads was out of the lot and onto the road, singing through six red lights, and everything was still slow and foggy and almost like a dream, but when Jenny threw the box onto my knees I could see it diamond-clear. Hard black Cleopatra bangs on the front and the label, spelled out plain: #010112 REVENGE. So I said it out loud:

REVENGE

And Mads gunned the engine harder and Summer and Jenny shrieked war-cries from the back seat and they grabbed my hand, all three of them, and we clung together so tight I could feel blood under my broken claws.

REVENGE, they said back to me. REVENGE, REVENGE, REVENGE.

So in the bathroom, an hour later andalone, I dye my hair revenge-black, andI feel dark wings growing out of my back, and I smile into the mirror at the girl with ink-stained fingers and a silver sword.

Then I cut my broken nails to the quick. Then I go to bed.

In the morning I put on my darkest lipstick before it’s even breakfast time,and I go to Nailed It with a coffee so hot it burns my throat. The beautiful old lady with the crooked smile gives me new nails as long as the ones they broke off last night, and stronger.

She looks at the bruises on my neck and the scratches across my face, but she doesn’t say anything.

So I point at my hair, and I say, This color. Know what it’s called?

She shakes her head: No.

I say, REVENGE.

She says, Good girl. Kill him.

About the author:
Hannah Capin is the author of Foul is Fair and The Dead Queens Club, a feminist retelling of the wives of Henry VIII. When she isn’t writing, she can be found singing, sailing, or pulling marathon gossip sessions with her girl squad. She lives in Tidewater, Virginia.

About the book:
Hannah Capin’s Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

Jade and her friends Jenny, Mads, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Jade’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Jade as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Jade transfers to St. Andrew’s Prep. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

I hope you enjoyed!

Side note I don’t know what’s going on with my wordpress and my Instagram but Iv been having a lot of problems posting on both so I really hope this posted okay.

How to build a heart blog tour- review

Synopsis

One young woman’s journey to find her place in the world as the carefully separated strands of her life — family, money, school, and love — begin to overlap and tangle.

All sixteen-year-old Izzy Crawford wants is to feel like she really belongs somewhere. Her father, a marine, died in Iraq six years ago, and Izzy’s moved to a new town nearly every year since, far from the help of her extended family in North Carolina and Puerto Rico. When Izzy’s hardworking mom moves their small family to Virginia, all her dreams start clicking into place. She likes her new school—even if Izzy is careful to keep her scholarship-student status hidden from her well-to-do classmates and her new athletic and popular boyfriend. And best of all: Izzy’s family has been selected by Habitat for Humanity to build and move into a brand-new house. Izzy is this close to the community and permanence she’s been searching for, until all the secret pieces of her life begin to collide.

How to Build a Heart is the story of Izzy’s journey to find her place in the world and her discovery that the choices we make and the people we love ultimately define us and bring us home.

My review

3 ½

This book is not what I was expecting it be, I thought it was going to be a romance instead what I got a was a book about family, friendship and finding where you belong.

 Izzy is still dealing with the death of her father a marine who died 6 years ago, his death shattered her family leaving a hole in it. After moving from place to place they finally settle in Virginia where Izzy attends a girls only catholic school on scholarship. When her family is picked to be part of homes for humanity things are finally looking up for her she can finally move out of the crappy trailer she lives in and have a real home but all the carefully construct lies she’s build up around her started to crumble and both her worlds are about to collide even as she tries to keep them apart.

While I enjoyed this book I didn’t 100% love it.

 

What I liked

 

. I loved all the characters and how realistic they were, (Izzy’s mom Mami is my favorite).

Izzy’s mom  is strong and loving and caring, she loves her two kids and will do anything for them. Jack Izzy’s younger brother  is just adorable and hype and you can’t help but love him. Her cousin mark, who she calls devils spawn, despite his nickname and his troubled past he is nothing but kind to her, (and one of the only family members from her father’s side that  takes an interest in knowing her.) he even helps her family build their house. Sam who is just really sweet and his sister Aubrey as awkward as she is (she grew on me.)

The only two characters I didn’t like were Roz and izzy, (I’ll explain later.)

. I love the diversity in it Izzy is half  Puerto Rican (her father is white and her mother is  Puerto Rican).

.I liked that it was about habitat for humanity I liked hearing about what they did for people and how they helped people.

 

What I didn’t like

. izzy and Roz. I’ll start with izzy.

 

I felt like Izzy was a bit of a brat she get’s this amazing opportunity to build a new house with habitat for humanity and she throws a fit because she doesn’t want people knowing she poor and lives in a trailer park, she could have ruined the whole thing and lost them the house because she was too busy focusing on her image. She has this web of lies that she’s build around herself and all these excuses because she ashamed she’s poor. She’s also not a very good friend she doesn’t tell her best friend Roz that she knows Sam (Roz’s crush.) she lies to Roz at times and refuses to introduce her to any of her friends.

I understand where Izzy was coming from and at first I liked her character but the further I got into the book the more I started to dislike her.

Roz.

 Roz is such a tragic character she lives with her drunk mother and her mother’s boyfriend who is a piece of work, he’s a angry drunk and always threatens Roz. I feel like She’s is just trying to do anything to survive at this point keep her head down when she’s home, deal with the problems as they come and try not to end up in foster care.

She complains a lot about the rich people on the other side of town, people who Izzy eventually becomes friends with. She spy’s on her crush Sam by sneaking into his backyard. Makes fun of one of the things Izzy really loves VC (I couldn’t tell if this was teasing or her just being mean). I felt like her character had a lot of anger to her and sometimes she let that anger out in the wrong way, like throwing a rock at Izzy and Sam when they kiss for the first time.

 

Maria padian tackles a lot of hard issues in this book and I felt like she tackled them very well. I’m giving how to break a heart  3 ½ stars not because it was a okay book, it was a really well written book with so many interesting  characters. It was fast paced, character driven and filled with drama. The plot was really intresting and I did really enjoy it , I just had a hard time connecting with this one on a personal level. If you have the time to pick it up I do highly recommend it.

 

the babysitters coven by Kate Williams review

synopsis

 

Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this funny, action-packed novel about a coven of witchy babysitters who realize their calling to protect the innocent and save the world from an onslaught of evil.

Seventeen-year-old Esme Pearl has a babysitters club. She knows it’s kinda lame, but what else is she supposed to do? Get a job? Gross. Besides, Esme likes babysitting, and she’s good at it.

And lately Esme needs all the cash she can get, because it seems like destruction follows her wherever she goes. Let’s just say she owes some people a new tree.

Enter Cassandra Heaven. She’s Instagram-model hot, dresses like she found her clothes in a dumpster, and has a rebellious streak as gnarly as the cafeteria food. So why is Cassandra willing to do anything, even take on a potty-training two-year-old, to join Esme’s babysitters club?

The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra’s mother left her: “Find the babysitters. Love, Mom.”

Turns out, Esme and Cassandra have more in common than they think, and they’re about to discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home.

 

babysitter

 

my review

 

3 stars

 

This is a book I had a really hard time getting into and it’s also a book I was really looking forward to reading. I absolutely adore this cover and I love the idea of this book a group of girls who babysit, who have magic and fight monsters and demons yes please.

 

With that said the book I got was not the one I was expecting, (which seemed to have happened to me a few times this year side eyes serpent and dove). The babysitters coven reads young I had a hard time remembering that the characters where in high school and not middle school. There were times I had to put the book down and just take a breath because of this before I could continue reading.

While I love Buffy and I love the nod to the show this book relies  very, very heavily on it (maybe a little too much)  the sitters (this worlds version of the slayers), counsel (which is this world version of the watchers) the way how they explain the portals (hellmouth) It felt almost like a fanfiction.

Despite all that I did somehow manage to enjoy this book after I had given up on what I was expecting and started reading it for what it was.

 

Things I didn’t like

. The characters I found most of the characters to be a little annoying especially Esme’s.

 

.the magic system okay by now you all should know how I love magic systems and world building a good magic system and world makes my heart sing and makes me want to live inside the world.

With the babysitters coven I had a really hard time with both of these things.  I found the magic very unbelievable and something maybe a child would come up with. They have spells like meat manipulation in the book and hair manipulation and they used items like erasers shaped like fruit and vape cartridges.

Even though I didn’t fully like the magic system it was one of the more originals things in this book and there were a few thing I did enjoy about it.

 

.the world building

 

.the ending I have mixed feeling about this like I do with the magic system, the last half of the book is where I started to enjoy myself and I like the big final battle but after that is where I have a problem with it. At the very end the council cleans up the mess, the bad guy is put away and it ties up the ending of the book a little too good and I just really hated that a little, I wanted more from the ending especially since we know there’s going to be a second book and I didn’t get that.

 

Things I liked

 

. I loved the background story from Esme’s mom I thought it was really interesting when we finally learn the truth about why she’s gone mental.

.Parts of the magic system, okay while I didn’t like most if the magic system and found it to be very silly and childish I did find parts of it fascinating I really loved that the way they talked to people in the negative (the world the demons come from) is a magic 8 ball and I also like that normal people can steal magic from sitters.

.The fact they have a demon named Kevin who works for the council.

 

. The romance/not romance I really liked that they started to do something and then it just never happened, not every book needs a romance in it and I like that this one didn’t.

 

In the end I did enjoy this book  it remind me a little of a Disney show but I’m not sure if I’ll pick up the second book.

interview with Annie Sullivan-Tiger Queen

happy belated book birthday to tiger queen! yesterday i wasn’t able to get onto a computer at all so i’m posting the interview i did with Annie (who was amazing and let me do another interview with her for her new book) today.  i hope you enjoy!

 

synopsis

 

In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.

But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.

 

tiger queen 2

 

now for the interview!

 

1.Tiger Queen is your second novel how was it different then writing A Touch of Gold? Did your writing process change?

I think every novel is different from the one that came before it. I wrote Tiger Queen in a fraction of the time that A Touch of Gold took. I think that was partly due to just being a better writer. Plus, once you’ve written one book, it isn’t nearly as hard to write another one.

I also think Tiger Queen was a lot different because the main character, Princess Kateri, is very different from Kora in A Touch of Gold. Kora is a character who doesn’t know her own strength. She has to discover that through the course of the novel. Princess Kateri, on the other hand, has to fight suitors in an arena to win her right to rule. She’s brash and skilled with a sword. She’s a strong, formidable opponent. So it was really interesting to see how these two characters were so different from each other.

 

  1. Where did you first get the idea for Tiger Queen?

Tiger Queen is actually a retelling of an infamous short story by Frank Richard Stockton. It’s infamous because it has a cliffhanger ending. In the original myth, a princess falls in love with a peasant. The princess’s father isn’t okay with this, so he throws the peasant into the arena to face justice—where behind one door is a tiger ready to eat him and behind the other is a beautiful lady he’ll get to marry if he picks that door. The princess finds out what waits behind which door—and she learns that the beautiful lady is her biggest rival, the one she’d never want her lover to end up with. So when the peasant looks up to her in the arena for guidance, she points him toward a door. The door opens, and the story ends. You never find out what was behind the door.

I read that short story back in middle school, and the lack of ending has always bothered me. So I finally rewrote the story with a little bit more of a Robin Hood vibe, and I gave it the ending it always should have had.

Plus, I dedicated the book to my middle school English teacher who taught me the story because without her, I wouldn’t have written this book.

 

  1. What was your research like?

Since Tiger Queen is set in a very unforgiving desert that almost has a mind of its own, I did a lot of research into desert creatures. Although, I have to admit I wrote most of Tiger Queen while I was in Antarctica, which most people don’t know is actually one of the world’s largest desert because of how dry it is. I substituted the snow stinging my face for sand as I wrote, and that became the inspiration of my mythical desert. I did also work with a sensitivity reader just to be sure that my desert setting wouldn’t in any way be harmful or stereotypical.

 

  1. Without spoilers what was your favorite scene to write?

By far, my favorite scene to write is the ending—where I gave the story the absolute perfect ending. I took the myth and turned up the volume, giving the story and my readers the hardcore female protagonist they need.

 

  1. Describe Tiger Queen in 5 words.

Warrior Princess. Arena Fights. Deception.

 

thank you so much for doing the interview with me Annie!

 

 

the grace year by Kim Liggett review

synopsis

 

Survive the year.

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

 

the grace

my review

 

4 ½ stars

This has to be one of the hardest most heartbreaking books I’ve read in awhile. Right from the start we’re thrown into a world where men rule and women are expected to fall into line, where 16 year old girls are thrown into a camp away from society to cleanse themselves of their magic.
This book has been pitched as The Handmaid’s Tale meets Lord of the Flies meets The Hunger Games and it’s the perfect comparison.

Tierney James is about to start her grace year, the year when all 16 year old girls are thrown into the wilds in order to cleanse themselves of their dark sinful magic, a magic that can seduce any man but it’s not just the wilds or the poachers- men who are paid to hunt and kill the girls for there magic- they have to survive it’s each other to.

This book is horrifying and heartbreaking all in one the world felt so real that it could be set in reality and not just a dystopian novel. The grace year was a fast read despite it being more than 400 pages it’s fast paced, interesting and it kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happened to everyone.

Tierney is a headstrong character she wants to be in control of her own future and not let the men decided what she has to do with her body, she’s clever but naive at times and I felt so much for her. The girls in the camp are terrifying the longer the year goes on the more ruthless and blood thirsty they get even going as far as maiming each other and it was like reading a nightmare I would not want to be anywhere near the camp these girls are in.

I’m not sure if this was a popular or unpopular opinion but I actually really liked the romance in the book and while I can see that it might not have been super necessary and seemed to slow the book down (I always wondered in the back of my mind what was going on in the camp with all the other girls) I did enjoy it a lot and liked Tierney and Ryker as a couple. There were a few parts between them that really spoke to me.

I thought the religious aspect was interesting and a terrifying they blame eve for the fall of human kind (no unlike some religions) and because of that women are seen as evil sinners who need to be watched and controlled.

“In the county, there’s nothing more dangerous than a woman who speaks her mind. That’s what happened to Eve, you know, why we were cast out from heaven. We’re dangerous creatures. Full of devil charms. If given the opportunity, we will use our magic to lure men to sin, to evil, to destruction.” My eyes are getting heavy, too heavy to roll in a dramatic fashion. “That’s why they send us here.”

the ending, that ending ripped me apart so hard I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but it shows that some things can’t be changed in big ways like in some books let’s say the hunger games but can only be changed in small ways the ending is heartbreakingly hopeful.

There’s so much meaning in this book I don’t even know if I can write about everything I would definitely recommend the grace year to people. I also want to add really quick that my favorite parts of the grace year had to be the dreams and all there meanings.

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