April 2023 Reading Recap

Apologies for the delay in posting this recap. Life stuff came up and I needed to take care of my own, but it’s finally here. The biggest thing that happened in April is I debuted with my sapphic true crime fantasy noir novella, Ice Upon a Pier. The reception has been great so far, and I’m so excited that people have purchased, read, and enjoyed it. I did get some reading done, but absolutely not the level I’m used to. I’m really excited to continue down this path and there are announcements coming in June.

Here are the cool things that happens with Ice Upon a Pier:

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Horny Goth Novel Craft Study Part 3: TITUS ALONE (Gormenghast #3) by Mervyn Peake (1959)

The trilogy finally comes to a close, and while I loved the first two books in this entry, this one might actually be my favorite. It’s less driven by the castle and its rituals, with Titus making many decisions, but not necessarily having a ton of agency. With an entirely new setting and a whole new cast of increasingly erratic characters, this final entry in the trilogy is a wild ride from start to finish, as Titus is anything but alone.

The next entry into the Horny Goth Novel Craft Study is either going to be a novel or theory, depending on which I finish first.

Buy link: Barnes and Noble | Unabridged | Libro.fm

Previous parts: Titus Groan, Gormenghast

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March 2023 Reading Recap

Once again, I’m sorry that I had to take a break in February. March got me mostly back on track, aside from a mental health episode that’s stalled a whole bunch of things. But, in the best news, I’m done with my novella, Ice Upon a Pier, and it’s coming out with a paperback edition for those who don’t want to read it on a Kindle or in digital. All links have been updated in the press kit, including some indie bookstores for those who want to support those venues.

In March, I interviewed Freydís Moon to celebrate the release of Heart, Haunt, Havoc.

Not sure what April is bringing, but to be honest, all I can see is my own release date and not much else.

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Review: CINDERED GLASS (Glass Queen Book 1) by Chalan Johnson (2023)

Genre: Dark Fantasy Why Choose Romance
Year Release: 2023
Source: Amazon

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Content warnings: Parental abuse, dubious consent, on-page rape (Chapter 13), anxiety, dubious consent, classicism, blood, immolation, pregnancy, dead parent, mentions of infertility and miscarriage (full list here)

In another instance of a first foray into a subgenre, I picked up this dark fantasy Cinderella retelling because it’s the “why choose” genre – one where the main character, usually female, has multiple lovers over the course of the story.

In this retelling, Summer lives under the equally oppressive and neglectful thumb of her stepmother in a world where fae and magic are very real, where transgressions can cost people their names, and curses can spell economic disparity. Her only hope for societal freedom is marriage, but when she’s set up with Sandsell who seems more monster than man, she will do whatever it takes to find her own path. Between the pacing and the intrigue, I had a lot of fun with this entry point into a new-to-me genre, though I highly recommend checking the content/trigger warnings before diving in.

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Horny Goth Novel Craft Study Part 2: GORMENGHAST (Gormenghast #2) by Mervyn Peake (1946)

Reading Gormenghast is interesting for me. It’s very slow story, that really takes its time establishing its themes, tone, and characters before absolutely going at max speed for the last third or so. It took me a while, amid travel woes, personal and professional upheaval, but it’s finally here: Part 2 of the Horny Goth Novel Crafty Study in which I talk about Gormenghast, the second entry of the eponymous trilogy

Buy link: Bookshop | Unabridged | Libro.fm

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Manga Review: THE KINGDOMS OF RUIN Vol. 5 by yoruhashi (2022)

Genre: Dark Fantasy Seinen
Year Release in English: 2022

Reminder: The star rating reflects overall opinion of the series. Click here for my reviews of the previous volumes.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content warnings: Gore, violence, blood, robot necrophilia (aftermath), beheading

After the levity of the previous entry into the series, Adonis and Doroka continue on their way through the wastes with Redian special forces hot on their trail. They come across several abandoned towns, each ruined by technology in different ways.

Despite Doroka using her love powers to defensive means, it’s charming to see that she hasn’t lost her faith in humanity (in the spiritual sense) while Adonis works extra hard to maintain his edge. Their rapport is so good, giving necessary levity to the bleakness of their surroundings. The landscapes are chilling, especially with the ways that decay is evident and what becomes of the people left behind. What’s almost as frightening are the super-powered humans chasing the witch and boy-witch, and that fight introduced at the very end of the volume is bound to be a doozy.

October 2022 Reading Recap

October was my first month without my main WIP. Because I’ve been in such an intense state of revision, I took October off to tap into things I’ve wanted to watch and read for a while, and honestly, it’s been quite restorative. 10/10 highly recommend. I might have a new project in the works, but it’s all joy and no stress. Book-shaped, but without all the other intensity.

Which, speaking of, it’s November. Am I doing NaNoWriMo? Who knows.

October’s blog interviews were:

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Horny Goth Novel Craft Study Part 1: TITUS GROAN (Gormenghast #1) by Mervyn Peake (1946)

After finishing my revision and resubmission, I needed to take a step back from barreling through writing novel after novel, inhaling every release, not really learning anything new, and getting my soul crushed in query trenches. The step I’m taking to recover from the intensity of writing-to-publish, I’ve decided to make a reading list to help me develop in pretty specific ways. While a craft study might not make any difference in my outcomes in the traditional publishing trenches, I’m having a great time learning and studying, improving my craft while I wait for responses. This series is me writing about the books I’m reading to learn how to write a “horny goth” novel because that’s the type of book I want to write next.

I’m kicking off the Horny Goth Novel Craft Study series with Titus Groan, the first book in the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake.

Buy link: Bookshop | Unabridged | Libro.fm

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September 2022 Reading Recap

Somehow, September also saw me in New York City. We can thank the CDC for letting me reunite with my best friend from my childhood in Poland, along with several others who I haven’t seen in years even before the pandemic. This is also a reminder for folks to get the bivalent booster if you are 18 and haven’t had COVID within the last 3 months.

I finished my revision and resubmitted it, which is my big project completion that robbed me lots of reading time. Now, I’m resting an embarking on a reading adventure to learn how to write a horny goth book. Hopefully, I’ll be able recapping that in October’s post. But we’ll see.

This month’s blog interviews were:

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Review: KNIVES IN YOUR EYES by RooFiction (2022)

Genre: Adult Dark Fantasy Erotica
Buy Links: itch.io | AO3 (Read for Free)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Trigger warnings: Full list here, gore, body horror, surgery, eye trauma, torture, insects, graphic sex, dubious consent & lack of consent, incest

This is a self-published novel about a boy who can’t die, a professor who’s actually a god, and hunter seeking a new job. Val is a little freak with a heart of gold who seeks to understand all the people around him while he helps the professor, Dream, search for his brother, Mare, while newly-minted humanoid monsters called spiders wreak havoc in city centers. The reunion is fraught with danger at every corner, including a man called the Cardinal Major with literal daggers in his eye sockets.

It’s intense with some gorgeous writing and a compelling found family, Please heed the trigger and content warnings before diving into this one.

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