In this delicious new collection, you’ll find stories about lurking vampires of social media, rebellious vampires hungry for more than just blood, eager vampires coming out―and going out for their first kill―and other bold, breathtaking, dangerous, dreamy, eerie, iconic, powerful creatures of the night.
Welcome to the evolution of the vampire―and a revolution on the page.- goodreads
Firstly, thank you to Hear Our Voice Book Tour for one existing and two for selecting me for this book tour. As one of my most anticipated reads for the year, I was too happy to get a hold of this book.
There are a total of 11 short stories in this book and let me tell you. . The House of Black Sapphires by Dhonielle Clayton ruined my life in a good way. This short story was a whole ass first two chapters to at least a 40 chapter book. It was so freaking amazing. The character detail was unexpected because it was a short story. As a reader, I was able to become invested in her characters in a fairly short amount of time. The world building was not only descriptive but it was unique, creative and dripping in history. *happy sigh* I loved that story and really hope Clayton extends it into a full novel.
The Boys From Blood River by Rebecca Roanhorse was my next favorite read of this collection. Everything about it gave you a promise that you was about to fall in love with the wrong one, love it, hate it, try to change it and then remember why you love it. Although this one felt like a short story, it has the power to become something bigger and as this is the first thing I have read from Roanhorse, I immediately looked up her other books to read. Just like Clayton’s book, it is dripping in history. It plays upon the small town , which you know has a whole lot of secrets. I liked that this book was able to pull me in with song and with dreamy eyes.
In Kind by Kayla Whaley was the most unexpected read out of this entire series. The main character is disabled and something fierce. What happened to her is what took me back. TW by the way. I wasn’t expecting a story to be so real and real in the sense that the only thing making it fantasy is the main character happens to become a vampire. I was feeling all types of feelings with this read. These three stories were my top three (clearly I was completely in love with the first one but yeah).
The remaining stories were good but they didn’t hold my attention was much as I would have wanted nor did they have the depth that these other stories were able to demonstrate. When I think of vampires, even teenage vampires, I think of history, a mix of a good time and internal angst, and trouble. I wanted more darkness out of some of these stories. And all three of my favorites delivered on that.
Overall, I am happy I read this book as it introduced me to a lot of authors I have never read before.
Beauty comes at a price. And no one knows that better than Ebenezer Tweezer, who has stayed beautiful for 511 years. How, you may wonder? Ebenezer simply has to feed the beast in the attic of his mansion. In return for meals of performing monkeys, statues of Winston Churchill, and the occasional cactus, Ebenezer gets potions that keep him young and beautiful, as well as other presents.
But the beast grows ever greedier with each meal, and one day he announces that he’d like to eat a nice, juicy child next. Ebenezer has never done anything quite this terrible to hold onto his wonderful life. Still, he finds the absolutely snottiest, naughtiest, and most frankly unpleasant child he can and prepares to feed her to the beast.
The child, Bethany, may just be more than Ebenezer bargained for. She’s certainly a really rather rude houseguest, but Ebenezer still finds himself wishing she didn’t have to be gobbled up after all. Could it be Bethany is less meal-worthy and more…friend-worthy?- Goodreads
I love when books switch things up. And I also love when books remind me of thing. In particular this book gives me “Little Shop of Horror” vibes ( my favorite musical btw). You know Seymour finds this plant that names it Audrey and feeds it his blood to grow and then Audrey demands more specifically a full human, so he gives him the nastiest person he can think of. . . the dentist.
So when I saw the summary of this book, that is what I thought of and just fell in love.
The writing style of this book is detailed, fun and at the same time you don’t feel as if the author added a bunch of fluff to drag the book. Ebenezer is a great villain because he doesn’t know he is a villain. Its not one of those good intention situations but its because he just don’t know. So anything really goes such as kidnapping a child even if it is a mean one.
There are mean and nasty children in the world. Seeing Bethany, although I don’t wish any child harm was interesting to read. Because on one hand you’re like why are you like this and on the other you’re like… well.
The characters were written extremely well. I loved the pace of the novel and its creativity.
Whenever something scandalous happens at Heller High, the Red Court is the name on everyone’s lips. Its members–the most elite female students in the school–deal out social ruin and favors in equal measure, their true identities a secret known only to their ruthless leader: the Queen of Hearts.
Sixteen-year-old Ember Williams has seen firsthand the damage the Red Court can do. Two years ago, they caused the accident that left her older sister paralyzed. Now, Ember is determined to hold them accountable…by taking the Red Court down from the inside.
But crossing enemy lines will mean crossing moral boundaries, too–ones Ember may never be able to come back from. She always knew taking on the Red Court would come at a price, but will the cost of revenge be more than she’s willing to sacrifice?- Goodreads
There is no way in the world this book should have been this long and ended the way it did. I needed to say that first before anything.
I liked this book. I loved the concept that Ember is going in to take down the woman that destroyed her sister’s life. Its that will they become the evil they hate quest that gets me every time and the fact that it is set in high school makes it a mix of creepy and thrilling at the same. Creepy because it reminds me of politics.
The pace of novel was going really well until about 30% of the book. It was a lot of “I’m going to get the Queen” speeches she was giving herself and it was happening so often it was becoming redundant.
Ember did a lot of complaining and less trying to find information which was another thing that was getting tiring. How you going to do all those “this is what I am fighting for” speeches but then actually don’t do anything. Waiting for information to fall on your lap is boring especially with access to things that Ember had accessed to.
In regards to Ember herself. She was okay. Her focus was the court and protecting her family and that was all she did. Did I like her? My feelings for her are indifferent. She played her role of a teenager out for revenge very well and that was enough for me.
However, this book was too damn long. There was a lot of build up for an ending that was not good. Which is a shame because what I thought was going to happen didn’t. It went real left and I liked that.
But because the author decided to focus on building the tension and the thrill it took a lot a way from the book.
I liked this book but I could have liked it way more.
As mentioned in the subject this post will contact both a book review and an interview :)
Logan’s the new boy at Cherrington Academy, a boarding school that’s promised to provide him with a safe haven away from homophobic bullies and neglectful parents. He’s left all that 2000 miles away.
What he doesn’t expect Cherrington to provide is; a bunch of friends who want to adopt him, a mysterious roommate who’s never home and a gorgeous guy with a secret crush on him.
His perfect new life begins to unravel when he discovers a web of secrets amongst his friends. Plus his roommate? Partial to blackmail. That gorgeous guy? Well, he’s taken by one of Logan’s now closest friends.
Can Logan shut off his feelings to protect his new friendships and the happiness he’s found at Cherrington Academy? Or is love really just all-consuming?- Goodreads
What can I say about this book other than how great it was. What I enjoyed the most about this book was the characters. They were well written and most importantly they had depth, they added to not just Logan’s (MC) story but to the world building and they had some development.
There is a lot that goes on within the novel, however, it does feel over-complicated nor does it feel as if the author threw in a lot of fluff to keep the book going. Everything connected and made sense (including the blackmail) and I am glad it did because when I read the summary I was a bit concerned about that.
I liked the pace of the novel. For most contemporaries, things tend to be drawn out due to the drama. And although there is drama in the novel, it moves very well. The romance was not bad either. But the characters, all of them, were fantastically written.
Quick Five Interview
Firstly, congratulations on your first published novel!
How was the process leading up to this moment? What positives, what difficulties did you face either writing, promoting, or publishing your book?
I think I have genuinely been so lucky with publishing that it has pretty much been an absolute ball of a time for me. I was incredibly blessed to be signed with SRL Publishing who have been the most amazing publishers to work with. They’ve listened to every idea that I’ve had for my story from the actual writing and editing of it, to the front cover and to letting me have a ridiculously long acknowledgements page. In terms of actually writing the story,
I loved it so much. The main difficulties that I faced were during the first stage of writing. I had all the ideas and an outline and character profiles ready to go, but I had no clue where to start.
Turns out the starting of it was definitely the hardest thing for me. I started writing in third person POV and about 45k words in I realised it wasn’t the right fit for my book, but I had no clue how to rectify it or change it. So instead I abandoned the book for around 7-8 months until I had a new plan and realized that I needed to move over to first person POV.
Some of the positives that I’ve faced were the absolute joy in working with my cover designer for Cherrington, Hayley is an angel and I’m always going to be so impressed with it and grateful for her! In terms of writing, damn I enjoyed every bit I can’t lie, I am so crazy that I absolutely just loved writing the book as it was my very first book baby and I just fell in love with the characters and the story.
It is noted in your bio that it was not until you moved to Canada that you were inspired to write Cherrington Academy. What exactly in that change of environment or in general inspired you?
My study abroad year in Canada in 2017/18 was exactly what I needed, without actually knowing it was what I needed. I was incredibly anxious about moving to another country for a whole year with no family and friends close by, but it was the best thing I ever did. It bought me completely out of my comfort zone which led me to feel like I could pretty much do anything. That included the book that I’d been longing to write forever.
I also thinking living in a North American style dormitory with a roommate and a dining plan and everything else that comes with that environment also really inspired the boarding school element of Cherrington Academy as it helped me to feel like I have a decent experience of living in one.
I was also just surrounded by amazing people that I became incredibly good friends with and still am even though I no longer live there. The whole environment of Canada just inspired me to be creative and really get stuck into writing Cherrington Academy.
How do you separate being a writer and a reader when you are writing your book?
This is such a good question. I feel like I have two answers for it. Sometimes I definitely think that you need to separate yourself from being a reader and a writer, especially during the editing stages as I want to be focused a lot on format, spelling, grammar, whether the story actually makes any sense.
However, when writing the story and especially when planning the story, I really do feel like being a reader and a writer is important.
As I want to be writing a book that is readable, that an audience is going to love and is actually a proper story, so I do feel like being a writer and a reader is necessary during these stages of writing my book.
Where do you see yourself as a writer in the next five years?
In the next five years I would love to have three or four books out. With Cherrington and the sequel Coming Home both coming out within the next year I definitely think that this is a good start towards this goal of at least three, maybe even four books being published.
I would also really like to have my writer website up and running, as I have dramatically failed at getting that going again this year. Another thing I’d really like to be doing more of as a writer, is writing short stories! I wrote my first one this year and submitted it to a competition and although I didn’t win, I had such a ball writing it that I’d love to write some more.
I also wrote a really random poem this year, it was very heartfelt and somewhat emotional, but again I also really loved dabbling in poetry so maybe I’ll even write some more poetry in the next five years.
Finally, what do you want readers to take with them when they finish your book?
I really hope they take my book as a little slice of life into a mid-late teen’s life. When writing this book, I really wanted it to be real and gritty and not a book that just portrayed teens lives to be fun and easy and just all about love being simple. Because it isn’t. I hope that came across; I really did. I wanted to portray LGBT characters in real situations, rather than Cherrington just being a coming out story.
I also wanted to deal with some of the stigma around male mental health and emotions and showing that there is support out there and that you should not be afraid to cry as a man or reach out for therapy.
Black Love . . be it between family, friends or strangers is a beautiful thing. Kristina Forest’s latest book Now That I’ve Found You is a reminder that love comes in all forms, can be renewed and embraced at the hardest of times.
Now That I’ve Found You is about 18 year old Evie Jones , the blow she took on her career, the journey she takes to get it back and a boy who is there along the way. This story is about love renewed but not only between people (family, friends and stranger) but for a craft/career.
There were three books that (are currently available for purchase or rent)I instantly thought of once I finished reading this one. Three books that display love on different levels between family, friends and strangers.
Disney-Hyperion TBP July 7th 2020 304 Pages
These books compliment Now That I’ve Found You extremely well and I highly recommend as your next read. As I mentioned, the three books shown above are currently released and are available to read. HOWEVER, there are two other reads that appear to be just as a good compliment to Now That I’ve Found You .
Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera CR: Bloomsbury
It is important to understand that Black love is not just a complicated relationship due to the systematic racism that Black people face. Black Love is joy despite that constant heartache and Now That I’ve Found You as well as all of these books displays that.
Now That I’ve Found You releases on August 25th at major and independent bookstores as well as any store that sells ebooks. You can also request it at your local library (if they don’t have it tell them to get it)
I have had the pleasure of participating in the Blog Tour for Roshani Chokshi new collection of short stories: Star-Touched Stories. The Star-Touched Stories are part of the world of the Star-Touched Queen universe, so you do not need to read the original series, to get into these short stories. However, I recommend it.
Beautifully woven words, that even without the romance have a very romantic and poetic nature to them. So to be able to be granted the opportunity to post a quick interview from Roshani Chokshi is, for the lack of a more refined term, cool lol
Please enjoy :)
What inspired you to create this fictional world? Were there anyRomo mythologies that particularly inspired you?
I was really inspired by the childhood stories that my grandmother told me. To me, they were so rich with details and texture that it really shocked me how these worlds and mythologies were never explored in mainstream literature. I was particularly inspired by Greek and Hindu mythology.
Favorite myth and how has it inspired your writing? What was your inspiration for these stories?
I think my favorite myth is Hades and Persephone. I love the atmosphere, the goth undercurrent, the power dynamic. I love the movement of princess to Queen.
Why did you feel it was important to add Star-Touched Stories to this world you’ve created? What do you want readers to gain from the stories? Do you think there are any more stories to tell from the Star-Touched world, and if so, who you most like to write about next?
For me, this collection of stories is my farewell to the world that I created. It was extremely cathartic to write these three stories. I want readers to gain a sense of closure. I want readers to feel as much as I did when I with the stories. Who can say whether or not there are more stories left to tell in this world? ;)
How is writing short stories different than writing a full-length book? How different is it to write YA and MG? How has your writing evolved?
Writing short stories is really different from writing a full-length book because you’re ultimately writing to a punchline in a shorter amount of space. There is less space to explore so the language must be very deliberate. I think my writing has evolved to become a lot more character focused than I once was. I still love gorgeous, decadent prose, but I believe that the best kind of language is that which is emotionally filtered through the feelings of a character.
What do you want readers to take from your writings?
I want readers to take away a sense of wonder and adventure. I hope I made you feel something. I hope you feel like you traveled somewhere else for a while. And I hope you leave hungry because I work very hard on my food descriptions…
Making and breaking your favorite reads since 2017