I am so thrilled to finally get to share the cover art for Ice Upon a Pier, done by the incredible Aleta Perez, a Bolivian-American illustrator and screen-printer. The reveal went up earlier today on Sarah Gailey’s Stone Soup newsletter and website, which comes complete with a preview of Chapter 1. A preview of the Introduction went live in the January edition of my own newsletter, which you can read here.
This post is to show off the cover on my own space and also tell you how to request ARCs.
Read a NetGalley eARC Trigger/Content warning: serial murder, dead family, stalking, spiritual abuse, ritual torture (aftermath)
Ro is a struggling writer with a couple of stories and a group of friends who seemed to have come together randomly at a diner during Christmas. They meet for several Christmases more, and each one seems to end worse than the one that came before as the past haunts them.
More creepy than scary, with people proving to be the real horror with folkloric elements woven throughout that makes the reader wonder if there’s sinister spirits afoot or if people are just like that.
Read a physical ARC from the publisher Trigger/Content warning: death of a parent, fantasy violence, misogyny, discussions of infertility
Peretur grew up in a cave with her mom, Elen, without a name until she sees a band of knights and decides to go to Cair Leon where her destiny lies. There’s the lady of the lake, the sword in the stone, and the holy grail, remixed together in a swoony tale that fully honors its origins.
Romantic in a way only medieval romance can be, I really loved this exploration of the quest, the relationship between the chosen one and her mystical mother, and, ultimately, how much this story loves the women found within its pages.
Read an Advanced Bound Manuscript obtained from ALA AC 2022 Trigger/Content warning: suicide, burnout, gun violence, beating, alcoholism, drug abuse
In the year 2043, the world has passed through a plague like any other, one that rendered a quarter of the population Sleepless. We follow Jamie Vega, a reporter, who didn’t develop hyperinsomnia via the illness. He got it by biohacking, and it leads to some serious problems. Like forgetting the details of what happened the night before he found his boss, Simon, dead. Mysteries and a global conspiracy unravel, with twists on twist on twist.
This sharp examination of the cost of non-stop productivity at a personal and a global level includes a personal character journey as Jamie tries to clear his own name and get to the truth of what really happened that night.
An interview with the author will be going up on release day, August 23rd, 2022.
Read an Advanced Bound Manuscript obtained from ALA AC 2022 Content warning: racism, colorism, transphobia, queerphobia, 1920’s sexism, vomiting, PTSD
I will continue to read every and any retelling of The Great Gatsby. With McLemore being one of my auto-buy authors, this seems like a match in heaven. In this spin, Nick and Daisy are Latinx cousins, with Daisy abandoning her background to pass as white among the East Coast elite. Nick and Gatsby are both trans, giving them something else in common aside from a history with Daisy.
While the plot matches its source material approximately beat by beat, the character development and interpersonal relationships in the context of societal expectations makes this retelling shine bright like a chandelier at one of Gatsby’s parties.
Read an ARC from NetGalley Content warning: fatshaming, fatphobia, bullying
Cora’s door led to a world of Drowned Gods and mermaids. She returns to Eleanor West’s school still haunted by her experience and requests a transfer to the cruel Whitehorn Institute, where normalcy via suppression and repression is the rule of those halls. I found this entry much darker than those that came before it in ways that are less fantastical than eeriness of the worlds behind the doors.
Read an ARC from the author Content warning: trauma, parental death, house fires, fantasy violence, psychiatric hospital, immolation
A necromancer named Spectre killed Dani Black’s partner and the hunter is out for revenge. He also haunts Emilie Lockgrove, a medium with repressed memories and a whole bunch of family trauma to unpack. They come together in Dawson, Maryland, in search of a blade and a way to kill the necromancer once and for all.
Smooth as a knife’s edge and just as sharp, an exciting and sapphic new entry into the paranormal genre with plenty of scary monsters to go around.
An interview with author Jen Karner will be up on June 29th, 2021 (release day).
Read an ARC from the publisher Content warning: parental death, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, hate crimes, discrimination
Physicist Elsa Park returns from a research trip to Antarctica when she founds out that her catatonic mother had died. All Elsa has left of her is a collection of stories and an uncanny ghost who follows her around. Then begins a search for discovery as Elsa reconnects with the stories she inherited from her mother and what it means for the rest of her adult life. There’s physics, there’s ghosts.
Hypnotic in its exploration of mythology, culture, and family, this literary contemporary fantasy shows how family and mythology have lines that might not at all be clearly defined.
Read a NetGalley eARC Content warning: birth, self harm, teen pregnancy, drowning, child abuse, cult, emotional abuse, blood, gaslighting, drowning, rape, gun violence, hanging, suicide, AIDS
Fifteen-year-old Vern gives birth to twins in the woods after having escaped the religious compound where things were amiss. She seeks to raise them free of that influence, but the hauntings and hunts force her to interact with the forbidden world beyond.
Feral and howling, this brilliant piece of speculative fiction is not one to miss. It is as beautiful as it is raw, and I am truly jealous that I can’t re-experience it for the first time again.
An interview with author Rivers Solomon will be posted on the blog on release day, May 4th 2021.
Read a NetGalley eARC Content warning: bleeding (mild), doppelgangers
This unexpected sequel to Finna starts off with the backstory of why Derek couldn’t come into that fateful work day when Jules and Ava fall into a wormhole. What continues is an unexpected shift to tame homicidal toilets with a team of Derek’s own doppelgangers.
With fantastic dynamics, characters that leap off the page, and the cost of company loyalty, Defekt is a wonderfully weird sequel which leaves the reader wide-eyed at the strangeness and grinning with delight.
This book was a ton of fun. I feel like the tone went from scary-weird to funny-weird with clever uses of character introductions. Derek, as a person, is relatively harmless, albeit annoying as far as coworkers go. He’s senselessly loyal to LitenVäld, including details like how he lives in a cargo trailer near the store and seems to not know how to interact with other humans. He feels suddenly ill one day and takes a sick day, leading him to sleep for 30 hours which accidentally causes the relationship tension in Finna.
To make up for his absence, Derek gets assigned to a special inventory unit to deal with defekta, or mutant furniture. In true LitenVäld form, however, his coworkers are also his clones. I enjoyed how Cipri pulled this off. Each doppelganger definitely feels like they’re cut from the same cloth as Derek. It was also super exciting to see him interact with being that aren’t all LitenVäld all the time. It’s really funny from the end, and the inclusion of company handbook advice between the chapters to remind the reader of the capitalist horror that is this future brand.
Author Nino Cipri returns to the blog to talk about this sequel, which will be posted on release day, April 20.