Thursday, January 4, 2018

Book Review: The Crystal Ribbon

The Crystal RibbonThe Crystal Ribbon by Celeste Lim
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reposting from my review on The Kidliterati

During the Northern Song dynasty in Taiyuan province of Medieval China lived a girl named Li Jing.

Spirit guardians protect the villages, such as the Great Golden Huli Jing, the five-tailed fox jing that saved hers years ago, and Jing shares a name with. Teased constantly, she’s reminded to be proud of her name because it’s a part of her. The village shamaness says her name ties her to their village jing, like a crystal ribbon, that it will protect and help Li Jing “find the home of her spirit.”

Since Li Jing’s mother died in childbirth, she watches over her younger brothers. Her aunt Mei and Grandmamma live with them, and her Baba. With hardly enough to feed themselves, they offer the tutelary spirits their best crops. And in order to survive, Jing’s family sells her to a family in Xiawan, where she becomes a tongyang-xi — wife, and nursemaid to a three-year-old. Jing’s life goes from hard to worse and she’s sold once again.

Facing unimaginable adversity, Jing’s only option is to run away, and she wants to go home. A magical spider, a nightingale, and a traveling stranger help her find a way.
A richly depicted historical fantasy, emotionally charged, filled with magic and hope, and some of the loveliest metaphors. Readers will be inspired by Li Jing’s resilience and strength.

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*** You still have time to sign up for my Goodreads Giveaway!  link on the side panel >>> 

Open to USA, UK, Australia, and Canada!   

Friday, December 22, 2017

Happy Holidays!

May you find Peace and Joy this season!   
And Books! 

The Unmoving Sky

Available in Print eBook or Audible! 
Ask for it at your favorite Indie Bookstore. 

Wishing for peace on Earth! 

"If you want peace, fight for justice!" Democracy Now. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

My Response to “Diversity is not our Strength” tweet by Steve King (R-Iowa)

“It’s a small world after all … “ the song went as my boat ride passed children of all ethnicities, holding hands across the world at Walt Disney. It was Diversity. Inclusivity. Love. 

It's a Small World Walt Disney 

My mother, an immigrant from Greece, had become single by the time we moved to Florida. I was 8-years-old, my brother three years younger, and she had little help from anyone aside from friends. She taught belly dancing, and her friends from Syria, Turkey, or Lebanon turned our place into the United Nations. Memories of whirling dervishes, their laughter, and joy shared among these women, echoes in my heart and memory. They found each other in an otherwise isolated existence living in Central Florida and formed bonds to last years.

This was the early 80’s, my mother was tall and beautiful in a striking way. Exotic. She stuck out of every crowd. Her broken English I never noticed until someone pointed it out, or if I were away a while I’d hear it.

At 13-years-old, we moved to Key West after my mother married her friend, Kamal, from India, and we lived there for a time. Turned out Kamal was gay. (Long story there) I have fond memories of his sister’s Tandoori Chicken, unable to sleep, but the stomachache was well worth the indulgence.

While we lived in Key West, my mother met a Cuban man, and with the help of his son, translated the passions running between them. We moved to Miami and she learned to cook arroz con pollo and café con leche. I had a new family, five brothers and a stepsister, all born in Puerto Rico. I loved learning about their cool jobs, and wild adventures. I was 15 when my stepsister told us she was gay. My oldest stepbrother was also gay, the one who explained dreams and astronomy, and understood the abstract ideas I enjoyed talking about. The youngest of my stepbrothers lived with us. Close in age, we bonded over teasing and taunting, while forced to share a home for a year, before I left for college.

This is my America. Diversity is my America. In the melting pot of New York City, I’ve found a home., and now married with children to a Jewish man.  

 Dear Steve King (R-Iowa): 
On my father’s side, we're descended from Arthur H. Hallam, whom Tennyson wrote In Memoriam A.H.H., and your white-supremacy behavior is ignorant and wrong.  I have no trouble calling out racists or bigots. 

We have but faith: we cannot know;
For knowledge is of things we see
And yet we trust it comes from thee,
A beam in darkness: let it grow.

Diversity strengthens ME! I have faith in the good people of the earth moving toward unity. #OneLove   

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Unmoving Sky is Moving into Bookstores.

"Paperback Writer ..."   the song that's been ringing in my ears.

THE UNMOVING SKY now available in Paperback at Barnes & Noble 

And in one of my most favorite Indie Bookstores McNally Jackson Books!    ~ Yay!

I go a little cross-eyed when holding my books! They're real. 

If you don't see The Unmoving Sky in your local bookstore, please, pretty please Ask!
You can even ask your librarian. I have a lot of legwork ahead, and now without a publicist, I could use every little elf available.  

Now to sling word-count for my NaNoWriMo Draft!    
Happy Writing and Reading, friends. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

YA Book Review: Now is Everything

Now Is EverythingNow Is Everything by Amy Giles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A repost from my review on The Kidliterati. 
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

All seventeen-year-old Hadley wants is to protect her sister from the monster. The monster her mother won’t go against. The brut that pushes her at the gym, and laughs at any pain she suffers, and like a drill sergeant, has her up at the crack of dawn to run every day despite her injuries. The monster is her father.

Hadley can take it. She can take just about anything he dishes out. So long as he stays away from Lila, her 10-year-old, spirited and carefree sister, who’s innocent of his torments, for the most part. Hadley wants to keep it that way and plans to enroll at a local college, instead of Cornell, her father’s alma mater. The college he’s forcing her to attend.

Hadley doesn’t confide in anyone at school, she doesn’t tell her friends what’s happening at home. Hadley suffers alone.
Until she meets Charlie.

All the girls swoon over Charlie, kind, humble, and contentious. Hadley can’t understand why he likes her. They fall hard for each other. But her father’s on to him, becoming suspicious and even more controlling of Hadley until suddenly he’s not. The monster has found Hadley’s weakness and sets his sights. Then the next tragedy strikes; a tragedy that changes everything.

Told in two timelines: then and now. Beautifully written, its subject difficult to read at times. There were many triggers for me, personally. Hadley’s emotional journey of being trapped in an abusive family was written with sensitivity and understanding—and suspense! It was also difficult to put down.

2017 Debut Author.

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Read Charger Nine Now!

I'm pretty excited to have another piece of my imagination out in the world!

My science fiction fantasy, Charger Nine, is in the 13th Issue of Alien Dimensions, for their one year anniversary! I wrote this story and as soon as I finished writing it, I found Alien Dimensions through Duotrope and discovered that my Ecco Warrior, Cassandra, was a perfect fit for this issue. Serendipity. Everything takes place off-planet.  

Enjoy! And since writers need so much support, if you like what you read, please leave a review.  
Paperback now available! 

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Alien Dimensions is a monthly anthology of science fiction, fantasy and metaphysical short stories by new and established authors. In this 1st anniversary extra long issue:

Aura Who by Aric Merchant

One to the Left by Isaac Teile

Charger Nine by Karen L. Hallam

One Chance by Sam Honour

Under the Surface by Alison McBain

Rejuvenation by Neil A. Hogan

Promises Kept by Patrick S. Baker

Sacrifice by Nicky Martin

The Ghost Haunter by Martin Roy Hill
Tiara and the Comet Apocalypse Part 6 by Neil A. Hogan

This issue is paying tribute to the 13th Doctor in Doctor Who by containing stories featuring strong, female characters. Being the 13th issue, and being released in October, also included are a couple of stories to help you celebrate Halloween!

Many thanks to all our contributors and readers for helping us make it to this auspicious milestone. We hope you enjoy this extra special release of Alien Dimensions.

Monday, September 18, 2017

MG Book Review: Kat Greene Comes Clean by Melissa Roske

Kat Greene Comes CleanKat Greene Comes Clean by Melissa Roske
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A repost from my Kidliterati review.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Eleven-year-old, Kat Greene is growing more and more frustrated with her mother’s constant need to clean. When she tries to talk to her about school or anything else she becomes distracted by germs. Kat isn’t sure she should tell her father what’s happening, how her mother washes her hands until they’re scaly and red as lobsters. He has another wife now, and three-year-old son to take care of, Harry, whom she babysits on occasion with her best friend, Halle. If he finds out, he’ll make Kat move in with them, and she can’t leave her mother alone.

Kat’s mother feels horrible. It’s something she can’t control. Maybe if she wins a spot on the game show, Clean Sweep, she can come clean about her cleaning obsession, and do something useful with it. Kat sure is rooting for her. It’s what they both hope.

While this is happening, Kat’s learns she’s the Boy with the Purple Socks, in the class’s dramatic presentation of Harriet the Spy, The Harriet Project. Not only does she think her character is boring, she has to pair off with Sam, who won’t leave her alone. He wants her to make the Boy with the Purple Socks do something “memorable”. Kat loves Harriet the Spy and relates to Harriet in many ways, but she can’t bring anyone home while her mother’s behavior “is too weird for random guests”.

It’s hard for her to focus on The Harriet Project, or much else while worrying about her mother if she’ll throw out her favorite things, or ruin them with bleach because they’re considered dirty. Olympia, the school psychologist, offers help, and after an online search, Kat learns about the anxiety disorder, OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It scares Kat that her mother has this condition, or that she could get it too!

Written with a lot of heart and humor, Kat Greene Comes Clean, is a vibrant MG voice for readers 9-12.

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