4 Awesome, Underhyped Authors

Hey everyone! Today I wanted to write a really simple post, but one that I’m also very excited for. There are a lot of authors out there whose books get insanely hyped up, whose new releases are anticipated by what seems like everyone, and those books are awesome, and absolutely rightfully hyped and anticipated. But there’s also several authors whose books I have loved, but who I really don’t see read around the blogosphere or on goodreads. So, today I wanted to bring some awareness to these authors and their books, since they’re totally awesome and you should definitely read them!

As it turns out, you probably actually have heard of most, if not all, of these authors, simply because I love their books and hype them on my blog a lot. But I still wanted to take the time to write an entire post dedicated to them, because they deserve it and I wanted my time to sing their praises again.
Also, I will only be including authors who have published at least two books (and I have read at least two books by these authors, as well) given that debut novels sometimes are not as hyped as other books just because people don’t know of the author as well. So, these are authors who’ve gone through a debut novel and then another book and I still want to talk about them.

Buttons lead to goodreads pages for each book.

Rosiee Thor

Rosiee Thor’s second book, Fire Becomes Her, just came out on February first. I did see some hype for this book, but definitely not as much as I would have hoped. Rosiee’s first book, Tarnished are the Stars, was published in 2019 and it is a really unique science fiction book. Meanwhile, Fire Becomes Her is a fantasy with amazing worldbuilding. I think that the worldbuilding in Rosiee’s books is really what shines through, with a unique world forming the setting of Tarnished as well. Rosiee’s books also highlight aroace characters and characters on the aroace spectrum, which is always a win for me, and Tarnished are the Stars is actually very important to me because that was the book where I first learned of the terms aromantic and asexual. Not only are their books great, but Rosiee Thor themself is a really great person, who has an awesome personality and is definitely the nicest author who I, myself, have talked to. I wrote a book review of Tarnished are the Stars a very long time ago, and also interviewed Rosiee Thor about it, and you can check out the review here and the interview here, but please keep in mind that this was my very first book review on my blog 🙂 (by which I mean, it might be bad). And look out for another interview with Rosiee coming very soon!

Darcie Little Badger

Darcie Little Badger is a Lipan Apache author with two published books, both of which are magical realism. Darcie’s first book, Elatsoe, was published in 2020, and her second book, A Snake Falls to Earth came the next year in 2021. Both her books center around Lipan Apache main characters, and draw on Lipan Apache legends and stories. Darcie’s writing style is awesome as well! Another thing that was great about Elatsoe and A Snake Falls to Earth is that they’re not super fast books, but in a great way. There’s not a whole lot of action, but they both feel like they’re more an exploration of the world, and of the characters, especially A Snake Falls to Earth. Definitely do not go into these books expecting a fast paced adventure, but just let yourself get pulled along with the story and the characters!
Plus, and I always have to bring this up, the main characters in both Darcie’s books are asexual, as is she, and it’s some great casual ace rep – it’s mentioned on page both times, but it’s never made a big deal of; it’s just there!

Margaret Owen

Margaret Owen may be my favorite fantasy author, which is saying quite a bit. The first thing you have to notice when you read her books is just the worldbuilding. Her Merciful Crow duology as well as her newest book, Little Thieves are both set in fantasy worlds, and they’re honestly just like any other high fantasy worlds, but there’s something about the way that they’re written that’s just so great. And Margaret Owen’s books are just pure high fantasy which is absolutely something that I need every once in a while. There’s a lot of different types of fantasy books and worlds, and so many of them are great, but there’s just something about high fantasy that makes it so awesome to come back to once in a while.
The characters in Margaret’s books are also amazing, and they always end up coming together in the best way. Plus, her plots are sure to keep you hooked with their really unique stories that still manage to follow the high fantasy sort of plot structure feel! If you’re looking for a good fantasy, I would definitely recommend these books, and I will keep on recommending them until you read them (and maybe after, as well).

Justina Ireland

Justina Ireland is an author that I actually have not talked about as much on my blog, and I have no idea why! I’ve very rarely seen her book Dread Nation anywhere in the bookish community and this is a true oversight on all of your parts and I demand you fix it immediately. Dread Nation is a super unique book, set in an alternate timeline where zombies arose from the battlefields in America’s Civil War. I have honestly never read a book like this, and it may sound weird, but I promise you, it’s NOT. Both Dread Nation and it’s sequel kept me super hooked. The books also addressed some of the racial tensions of the time, and both of the main characters are black and queer (aroace rep!!!). dread Nation is NOT the only book that Justina Ireland has written, it’s simply my favorite of hers. She’s written quite a few books, but the only one that I have read other than this duology is her middle grade, Ophie’s Ghosts. I don’t delve into middle grade too much anymore because I’m not at that age range and it can affect my ability to enjoy a book, so while I definitely didn’t enjoy Ophie’s Ghosts as much as I did Dread Nation, it was still very enjoyable for a middle grade book, which really cements my love for Justina Ireland as an author!

Have you read anything by these authors? What are some authors you think are underhyped?

The Bookish Blog Tag

Hey, everyone! It’s been a very long time since I actually did a tag, and I have so many stacked up in my drafts folder that I decided to do one FINALLY!

I was tagged for this tag by the lovely Madeline @The Bookish Mutant, way back in January (sorry it took so long to do it!) Her blog is absolutely amazing so please go check it out!

I’m pretty sure this is going to be an extremely hard tag to do, given that it’s basically general ‘favorites’ in the book world, but let’s see how it goes!

Also, I’ve come up with a new sign-off graphic, I’d love to hear your thoughts on that!

What are 1-3 of your favorite books of all time?

Oh, a bookworm’s least favorite question. But seriously, how in the world am I supposed to choose THREE??? That being said, I can’t even remember the plot of the last book I read, how am I supposed to remember what plot of all the books is my favorite?

After a great amount of indecision, I’ve decided to go with Felix Ever After (Kacen Callender), Loveless (Alice Oseman) and I’ll Give You the Sun (Jandy Nelson). But honestly, don’t trust me on this. Felix Ever After and Loveless are probably correct, but I really don’t know what I’d say for the third book. I guess I’ll Give You The Sun will go in here for now.

What are 1-3 of your favorite authors of all time?

Also EXTREMELY hard. My first two are almost certainly Leigh Bardugo and Alice Oseman, but I really can’t think of a third author, so I’ll just leave it at those two

Who is your favorite female character of all time?

This is officially the hardest tag I’ve ever done. I think I’m going with Fie from The Merciful Crow for this one because even though it’s been such a long time since I read this book, I remember loving it! I honestly don’t see a lot of hype for this book around, which is disappointing because I definitely enjoyed it a lot!

Who is your favorite male character in a book?

This one might be a little easier, but still. Very difficult. As to not overthink things, I’m just going to go with Jesper from Six of Crows because I feel like if I actually go look through my books, I’m going to end up with a lot more indecision. And Jesper is a very cool character.

What is your favorite mythical world?

Who am I kidding? Of COURSE it’s the Grishaverse, same as Madeline! Everything about the world that Leigh Bardugo has created is stunning and just so brilliantly done! Though, I think a close second in worlds would be the one from The Merciful Crow. (Read. The. Merciful. Crow.)

What book has your favorite cover?

I scrolled through all 612 books on my goodreads shelves (and wow am I glad that I’m fairly conservative in adding books to my tbr) and came up with nine contenders. In the end, I think I’m going to have to go with The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah. It’s not the prettiest cover, and it wasn’t my favorite book, but there’s something about that cover that I LOVE.

What is your favorite book-to-movie adaption?

I don’t watch many movies so I honestly don’t know what to say for this one. I feel like Moxie is gonna be pretty good, but I haven’t actually watched that yet, so I don’t wanna say that before I watch it. Other than that, though, I couldn’t tell you what this one might be.

If you could make any book into a movie, what would it be?

Aaah I’m always very iffy on book to movie adaptations because it seems like a lot of times things are going to get messed up! However, for this one I’m going to say Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth. Its plot has very distinct plot points, which I think is good for a book being turned into a movie because the movie gets those plot points. Also, it’s super funny and the characters are great.

What was your favorite childhood book?

I legitimately don’t know what this means. Like when you say ‘childhood,’ how far back do you mean? I read Percy Jackson in 3rd and 4th grade, so that might work? But before those…oh boy I did not know what a good book was.
When I was very young, I remember reading the ‘Rainbow Magic’ series and loving them, getting basically all of them, and…wow. If you don’t know what they are, basically they’re books about two girls who meet some fairies and then help them. Each book is centered around a different fairy, who the girls meet at the beginning of the book and then turn into fairies (they have some special dust that lets them turn into fairies or something?) in order to help solve a problem the fairy has. They’re extremely repetitive, and there are some very odd fairies (Fatima the Face-painting Fairy…Monica the Marshmellow Fairy…there’s just so many books that they had to get creative I guess!)

Fantasy or Sci-fi? (Or neither?)

These days, I honestly don’t read much of either, but I’d definitely go with fantasy. I used to read fantasy all the time, and I still definitely read it much more than sci fi, though I’ve headed towards reading realistic fiction more these days. Sci fi, I’ll occasionally delve into, but I just don’t enjoy those books as much as fantasy or realistic fiction.

Well, that’s it for this tag! It’s so nice to FINALLY be doing tags again since it’s been so long, and I’ve met so many new people since then! That being said, I tag:

Susana @Susana Loves Books
Maria @The Character Study
Jan @The Doodlecrafter
Ritz @Living, Loving, Reading
Saniya @Sunnyside Reviews

What are some of your favorite books and authors? What do you think about mine? Do you do tags often? I’d love to chat with you! (PS what do you think of my new sign-off graphic???)

June wrap up

Welcome back to another of Phoenix’s wrap ups! I feel like the beginning of this month, I read very slowly, and then I read a lot of books at the end of the month, so that’s nice! Anyways, how??? is??? it??? already??? July???

I read 14 books this month, which is pretty good for me!

Can't Say It Went to Plan by Gabrielle Tozer
Project LIT Mountain Brook - O'Neal Library
Amazon.com: Ruinsong (9780374313357): Ember, Julia: Books
  • Can’t Say it Went to Plan by Gabrielle Tozer. This is actually an ARC that I finished at the very end of May but I didn’t have time to put it in my May wrap up so now it’s here. It wasn’t a bad book, however it was very slow at the beginning and I think I was just expecting something a little different ⭐⭐⭐
  • Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake. This book overall was pretty good, however the whole plot of the person leaving notes in Ivy’s locker, basically blackmailing her to come out was not good and not a good lesson. But – Ivy didn’t actually come out because of that blackmail, and other than that part, it was actually a really good book! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Ruinsong by Julia Ember. You can see the few fantasy books beginning to get mixed back into my reading…overall this was a fine book, I mean it was a unique concept but also nothing special (that sounds so brutal, geez) and I enjoyed it but wasn’t over the moon about it. ⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Can't Take That Away (9781547605309): Salvatore, Steven: Books
Amazon.com: Between Perfect and Real (9781419746017): Stoeve, Ray: Books
Amazon.com: May the Best Man Win (9781250625120): Ellor, ZR: Books
  • Can’t Take That Away by Steven Salvatore. I really enjoyed this book. I honestly love a lot of stories where it’s a group of friends helping the MC get something (especially queer groups of friends) and so this was really fun! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve. I thought that this was a super awesome book, and it felt very different from any other book with a trans teen coming out to their parents. I thought that it was just told so well and just an amazing story overall. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • May the Best Man Win by Z. R. Ellor. This book was…interesting? I am honestly really conflicted on it. It had a cool plot and it was diverse but also…Jeremy, one of the MCs, was kinda a jerk? And the writing at times just wasn’t my favorite. However, Jeremy did acknowledge what the things he was doing were wrong and he was slowly getting better throughout the book, I think. ⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Summer Bird Blue (9781481487757): Bowman, Akemi Dawn: Books
Amazon.com: Odd One Out (9781101939536): Stone, Nic: Books
Amazon.com: Starfish (9781481487726): Bowman, Akemi Dawn: Books
  • Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman. Okay, the first thing I wanna say: I expected to cry a lot more. People describe sobbing over this book and I was a little scared but…I didn’t? I’m not a very emotional reader anyways, so that might be part of it, but still. I expected to cry more. Also, can I just say, yes for aroace spec rep??? YES. It’s soooooo rare and if I were gonna cry, the parts that it was mentioned is where I would most likely cry. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Odd One Out by Nic Stone. This book was…I don’t know? Like I honestly don’t know my opinions on this book. On one hand, it kept me hooked and it was interesting but on the other hand…well my mind keeps going back to the unchallenged biphobia. ⭐⭐
  • Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman. Dawn Bownman’s writing is a masterpiece. This writing was seriously so amazing, and the book itself was amazing as well. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the art at the end of the chapters. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating (9781645672579):  Jaigirdar, Adiba: Books
Amazon.com: You're Welcome, Universe (9780399551413): Gardner, Whitney:  Books
Amazon.com: The Ones We're Meant to Find (9781250258564): He, Joan: Books
  • Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Abida Jaigirdar. This book was AMAZING. I really enjoyed The Henna Wars, which I read last month, but this one was 100% better, I loved it SO MUCH. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • You’re Welcome Universe by Whitney Gardner. I really enjoyed this book. I like how it really shows that graffiti is art because a lot of people just think it’s vandalism and don’t really appreciate it. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He. I…woah. I am thoroughly conflicted and confused about this book, that twist just sorta blew my mind? ⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: The Art of Running Away (9781631635779): Sabrina Kleckner: Books
Seafire by Natalie C. Parker: 9780451478825 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books
  • The Art of Running Away by Sabrina Kleckner. This was a really sweet and nice middle grade book and I enjoyed it immensly. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Seafire by Natalie Parker. This one took me a while to get through because fantasy slump but it was a fun one to come back to when I didn’t have anything else to read and I did overall enjoy it. ⭐⭐⭐

The Monthly Bingo is created by A Colorful Bibliophile and it is totally amazing, so please head over there and check it out! It’s such a fun thing to do and I hope you’ll join in on it!
Here’s what I’ve done for this month!

Despite not up to my normal level, I wrote a few more blog posts this month (more than last month, I mean, which wasn’t very hard to beat). All of these posts were super fun, though, and I really hope you check them out if you haven’t already because they’re some of my best yet (in my opinion).

This is my favorite post to date, I think it’s my most important post as well!
My first book review in a very long time–for an awesome book!

June goals:

  • Blog some more?
  • Hang out with my friends
  • Don’t think about school after it ends
  • Follow a few more blogs

July goals:

  • Write a pretty big chunk of my book
  • Do at least half of my summer work (don’t you dare leave it all for August)
  • Read 12 books
  • Catch up on book reviews on goodreads
  • Try to play some more softball (if your body doesn’t continue to get hurt in various ways)
  • School’s out! Yep, in June. My school goes a little longer than a lot of other peoples (though we don’t have school until September)
  • I started a new WIP! Don’t know if this is a good or bad idea because…I already have another WIP, but I’ve barely written any of this one anyways. I’m really excited for it though, because it actually has fake dating in it! I’m really looking forward to incorporating this into the plot since it seems like there are a LOT of fake dating books coming out recently and I wanted to write my own.
  • My team’s softball season ended. While I wasn’t able to play in the final games, given my injury, I still had a great time being on that team and I loved all my teammates. We ended up third (out of four teams) but it was still a really fun season, despite me being injured.
  • …More baseball stuff happened? Most of you have probably figured out that I’m a big baseball fan by now, but we’ve reached the halfway point of the season and things are going pretty well (depending on which team you root for haha. But then again, most of the things were expected. Except for…the Giants and the Red Sox?)

What was your June like? Have you read any of these books?
Thank you so much for stopping by and have a great July!

The Last Ten Books Tag

Okay, I have a LOT of tags to do. I mean, I think we all do. But I have a LOT. This year, I’ve been doing one tag a month, but it looks like that’s going to be too few. I’m going to try to do two tags this month but honestly, who knows if that’ll happen.
It’s not often that I do a tag that I wasn’t tagged for but I saw this tag on Never Not Reading and it just looked so interesting and I had to try it out! Let’s get right into it!

The Last Book I Gave Up On

It’s not often that I DNF a book and I believe that the last book I gave up on was War Girls, back in December. It was nothing against the book, I swear, I was just in a big reading slump and was definitely not in the mood to pick up sci fi. I’m going to have to pick it up again eventually but it’s definitely not near the top of my list of books to read soon.

Last Book I Re-read

Oh, wow, I do not reread books very often. I’m a little annoyed about this but the last book I reread was one that I had to read for school, because we were writing an essay on it and I wanted to refresh my memory. So, the last book I reread was, unfortunately, 1984 by George Orwell. I didn’t enjoy it the first time and I didn’t like it the second, either.

Last Book I Bought

Well this one is gonna have to be Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo. I finished King of Scars around the middle of last month and immediately pre-ordered Rule of Wolves from the bookstore (and I got it three days before it was published which was a very nice surprise).

Last Book I Said I Read But Didn’t

This is not something I do often, if ever. There may have been a time during which I thought I read a book a while ago and so I said I read it, even though I didn’t, but I cannot think of anytime that that has happened at the moment and if it did, it probably happened a long time ago.

Last Book I Wrote in the Margins of

Nope! I don’t think that I have ever done this because I am too terrified of getting WORDS on the book (words that are not part of the book, I mean). It’s just…the pages look so nice, and pristine…how in the world could I RUIN it like that???

Last Book I Had Signed

Well, the last book I got that was signed was The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna because I got it in an Owlcrate box. So I have several books that I got signed because of Owlcrate. However, the only book that I have personally signed is All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace–I read it basically a year ago now (for some reason the date April 12 sticks out in my head when I think of AST…maybe that’s when I read it, maybe my brain is just weird…I definitely read it in April, though) and I really enjoyed it so I went and emailed the author, telling her that I was sad I couldn’t reread it because I’d gotten it from the library. And shockingly enough, I got a response in which she told me she could send me a copy of the book!!! Directly from the author!!! To me!!! When it arrived, it was personally signed with a message to me and this is probably my biggest book-related accomplishment ever.

The Last Book I Lost

Uuuuuuh I honestly cannot remember the last book I lost. The only thing that I can think of–you know when you lend a book to a friend and then they just…never give it back? Yeah, so I believe one of my friends who I literally never talk to anymore has Absolutely Truly, by Heather Vogel Fredrick, a middle grade mystery, and one of my friends has Ella Minnow Pea, which I lent to her because it’s a really strange book and she wanted to read it because I told her that. Lastly, one of my friends has To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo which she borrowed right before quarantine happened so I haven’t had a chance to get that one back. I have no idea if I’m ever going to get these books back, I might like to get Absolutely Truly back one day just because I own the second one and it’s sorta annoying to have the second but not the first and I’d like TKK back because it was a good book. I don’t really care about Ella Minnow Pea though.

Last Book I Had to Replace

I’m honestly not sure that I’ve ever had to replace a book. I don’t really care if my books get beat up as long as they’re still readable. Even the fourth Harry Potter book that has like four pages fallen out of it, we just keep the pages with the book and then if we ever read the book we just read those four pages when we come to the part where they fell out. (we haven’t read it in a while though, because of, you know, JKR)(‘We’ refers to my sister and me in case anyone’s wondering)

Last Book I Argued Over

Well, I’m not entirely sure if this was an argument or just a discussion but basically I had a friend who read and enjoyed One of Us is Lying by Karen M McManus and at one point a few weeks ago I just pointed out the problematic aspects to her just to make her aware of them (I have also read One of Us is Lying and overall I did enjoy it, though now I have been made more aware of the parts of it that are extremely problematic). We just had a discussion of whether it was okay to still enjoy the book, despite that, and why it was so problematic and things like that.

Last Book I Couldn’t Find

I’m assuming this means like couldn’t find in a library/bookstore given that there already was a ‘last book you lost’ question and I think…well, a while ago I believe I was trying to find an ebook copy of The Catcher in the Rye and my library…doesn’t have an ebook copy of that??? I was extremely surprised about that, given that it’s a classic.

Well, that ends the tag! I’ll tag:

I hope you enjoyed this tag, as it was super fun to do! Please, if you find this tag interesting, go ahead and try it, no need to be tagged! Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this, it means the world! As always, stay safe and keep on reading!

Author interview and Book Giveaway of ‘A Bite of Revenge’ by Setayesh Kazempoor

Hey everyone! Today I’m back with yet another giveaway and this one is paired with an author interview!
Today, the book that I will be hosting a book giveaway for is ‘A Bit of Revenge,’ a short story published just this January, as well as an author interview with Setayesh Kazempoor.
But first, a little bit about the novella:

Demona’s life has gone off the rails. Having taken off from college with a bag of candy she stole from her enemy as last revenge, she’s suddenly able to let anyone do her bidding for two hours after she eats a piece of candy. Robbing banks has no longer become a want but a need. She craves money…and because of her newfound powers, avoiding the authorities is easy for her.
But when new agents are assigned to her case and will do anything to catch her….how long can she keep hidden? And what will the agents stop at to catch her?

I’ve conducted an interview with author Setayesh Kazempoor about writing, self publishing and her two published books! It was a super fun interview to do and all of Setayesh’s answers are super fascinating so I hope that you enjoy it!

Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
A: I actually had no plan on becoming an author until I wrote The Deception along with my friends. It was at that point that I realized I wanted to keep writing. Before this, I had usually written for myself, or written for different activities that I had done. I’m glad now that I found the inspiration to keep writing, and hope to release more stories when I’m able to. 

Q: Before writing ‘A Bite of Revenge’, you previously collaborated with two of your friends to write your debut novel, ‘The Deception.’ How was writing this story alone different? What were some things that you liked better about writing together and writing alone?
A: 
Well, to start, I would like to say that everyone is different, and that can be a bit advantage in working collaboratively. One thing you’re able to realize is that people have so many different tastes in writing styles, and it helps to have a group of people there to give their opinion. It’s also a lot easier if you get writer’s block, and writing sessions can be quite enjoyable together! However, there were also advantages in working alone. I would say it was the flexibility to stay with your own original idea. When working with other people, you have to be more flexible in changing your original ideas, since it’s a group project, but the freedom in working alone is also very nice at times. 


Q: What made you choose to write a short story as your second published book instead of a full length novel like your first?
A:
 In reality, I had no idea how to even start writing a short story. I was taking a creative writing course, and it was there that I started writing the story. I presented the summary of the story for an assignment, and I wrote a (very) rough draft of the story then. I personally liked the idea, and decided to pursue writing the short story and publishing it.


Q: What inspired you to write this book? Where did you get the idea and what helped you keep going when you were stuck?
A: Again, I got the idea from the course I was taking. The idea behind the prompt given was to write a story about greed, and it turned into a different version of  A Bite of Revenge. I actually had no trouble getting through the first couple drafts of the story, but it was the editing that really got me (it gets me every time). 

Q: What did you learn while writing ‘A Bite of Revenge’? How did you grow as an author while writing it?
A: I truly do admire people who write a lot of short stories. I had a little bit of trouble figuring out how to structure the story, and I wanted a lot more plot twists while writing, but couldn’t add any because it was a short story. I love writing longer pieces, but I decided that this project was something I wanted to work on. I definitely learned a lot more about the structure of short stories, how to add plots that work in them, and things of that sort (which I did not know before). This experience was truly unique for me, and gave me an idea of a whole new writing style that I had not usually written in for anything other than personal projects. 

Q: You have self published both ‘The Deception’ and ‘A Bite of Revenge’. What is the process of self publishing like and what advice would you offer to those who wish to self publish in the future?
A: 
So to start off with the process of self-publishing, I would say that one of the most important things is figuring out your budget. When self-publishing, there are a lot of things you have to do yourself, such as hiring editors, designers, and formatters. Other than that, I would really suggest getting lots of suggestions on the story, from friends, family, writing groups, etc. This will provide a lot of insight into the story, and how well it’s doing with audiences. Other than that, you really just have to focus on getting a well thought out story. If you’re going to self-publish, look into the platforms that are available to you, and try to go with the one that you believe would work best for you. Uploading your manuscript and setting it for sale is an easy task, and usually sites do have step-by-step instructions. However, before you rush off and self-publish, keep in mind the words I said before. You have to do most everything yourself in self-publishing. If you really know that you’re not up for it, it may be best to query that manuscript to agents if you want it published. I personally have never been through that process, so I have no idea what it’s like, but I do hope to someday, as I would love to be a hybrid author. You can do the same if you feel comfortable, but be sure to look into both options, as there are a lot of differences you may want to know about. 


Q: What is some advice you have for aspiring authors?
A: You can do it. You really can. I know a lot of authors say this, but don’t ever be scared to start writing that book you’ve been dreaming about for so long. A lot of people can dream up a book, but a majority of that population also loses their motivation to continue when things get hard. If that has been you, remember, you can always pick up your old stories and start again. Find out what made you lose interest. That story that has been waiting inside of you may be something that one reader has been dreaming of reading. Don’t ever be afraid to share your creativity. 

Q: What was the best part of writing A Bite of Revenge? A part that you’re super excited for readers to read about?
A: My favorite part was probably writing the robbing scenes. It just fun to write in general, and it’s always enjoyable for me to write action scenes.

Now, more about the book giveaway!

  • The giveaway is already up and running and will continue doing so until Monday, March 29, 2021. You will not be able to enter after this date.
  • You must fill out all fields (name, email) to be considered
  • You do not have to fill out your real name, however you must use your actual email given that that is how you will be reached in the case that you win.
  • The book is available in .mobi, .epub and .pdf files
  • When you enter the giveaway, please consider following my blog! I will not demand this but if you follow, you can find blog posts, book interviews, future book giveaways and more!

Click here to enter the giveaway!

Questions? Please ask me below! Don’t worry, I don’t bite! What do you think of this author interview? Does A Bite of Revenge sound interesting to you? Are you going to enter the giveaway! Please, let me know in the comments below!
As always, thanks for stopping by! Stay safe and keep reading!

Christmas Book Haul

Hey guys, my family knows something and I’m very glad for it: they know that I love books.
I’m finally doing my first book haul! Most of the time, I don’t do book hauls just because I don’t usually get large amounts of books at one time! Despite being a book lover, I am VERY cheap so I hate using my money on anything including books. But Christmas, well, I don’t have to spent any money! This year I got 10 books and I can’t wait to read them all! I’m going to rank them from most want to read to least (but it’s a book so I obviously still want to read it–unless it’s some sort of research book ha ha). Let’s see what I got!
(This post features actual pictures from actual books that I actually own–not just book covers searched up on the internet! Also you get to see my wonderful floor)

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Summary:
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.


Aaaaaah I finally got it!!!! This was my most anticipated release of 2020 and I just–
Well, for a while before having read this book, I’d been saying that I loved it already, just because I’d been building up so much hype in my own head, having just read the summary. On the night of Christmas Eve, when I received this book as an early Christmas present, I read the entire thing in one sitting–that hasn’t happened for a while!
And let me say, it did not disappoint! I loved Yadriel and Julian and Maritza and it was just an awesome book altogether! I’m so glad to have read this book and to have enjoyed it as much as I did!

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Summary:
After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight


I’ve seen this book around a few times and it sounds super interesting! We have magic and a strong female character and just–AAAAH. I can’t wait to bury my head into this book (okay that’s an odd thing to say that I just pulled out of the middle of nowhere but…whatever!)

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Summary:

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.


A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.


But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.


This book has SO MUCH hype surrounding it and I’ve heard so much about it!
The one thing I’m a little nervous about about this book is that, well, it’s a Romeo and Juliet retelling. I’m actually currently reading Romeo and Juliet in school (what a coincidence) and, well, it’s probably my least favorite Shakespeare book I’ve read so far and that’s saying something. It’s just…well, it’s really the INSTA INSTA INSTA love (that is to say, it is MORE than insta love, it’s like–aaah, I don’t know. But it’s awful). I’m just here begging that the insta love is toned down (how could it not be, in Romeo and Juliet it’s the most there could ever be in a book) but otherwise it sounds super interesting (and NOT having to decipher Shakespearean English is definitely a plus).

The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

Summary:
In the last days of the twenty-first century, sea creatures swim through the ruins of London. Trapped in the abyss, humankind wavers between fear and hope–fear of what lurks in the depths around them, and hope that they might one day find a way back to the surface.

When sixteen-year-old submersible racer Leyla McQueen is chosen to participate in the prestigious annual marathon, she sees an opportunity to save her father, who has been arrested on false charges. The Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. But the race takes an unexpected turn, forcing Leyla to make an impossible choice.

Now she must brave unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a guarded, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If Leyla fails to discover the truths at the heart of her world, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture–or worse. And her father will be lost to her forever.


I learned about this book a while ago–nearer to the beginning of 2020 than the end. I tried to get it a few times from the library but…well I can’t remember the exact reason but the library couldn’t get it. I eventually basically forgot about it, it wasn’t on my radar anymore and I moved on to other books. Still, finding this in my presents was awesome and I’m so excited to read it! Also, I absolutely love the cover.

The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda Kail

Summary:
Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don’t trust, don’t stick out, and don’t feel. But on this voyage, as the pirates prepare to sell their unsuspecting passengers into slavery, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is en route to a dreaded arranged marriage with her own casket in tow. Flora doesn’t expect to be taken under Evelyn’s wing, and Evelyn doesn’t expect to find such a deep bond with the pirate Florian.

Soon the unlikely pair set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid (coveted for her blood, which causes men to have visions and lose memories) and involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, and the all-encompassing Sea itself.


The Mermaid, The Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda Kail

I feel like I might have heard this book being mentioned or seen it on someone’s tbr but I really know nothing about it! It looks pretty interesting, I mean just with that title we have a lot of fantasy elements right there. Plus, there’s an f/f relationship!
And I love the cover on this one too. The picture’s not the most amazing to see all the colors but it’s absolutely stunning.

Skyhunter by Marie Lu

Summary:
The Karensa Federation has conquered a dozen countries, leaving Mara as one of the last free nations in the world. Refugees flee to its borders to escape a fate worse than death—transformation into mutant war beasts known as Ghosts, creatures the Federation then sends to attack Mara.

The legendary Strikers, Mara’s elite fighting force, are trained to stop them. But as the number of Ghosts grows and Karensa closes in, defeat seems inevitable.

Still, one Striker refuses to give up hope.

Robbed of her voice and home, Talin Kanami knows firsthand the brutality of the Federation. Their cruelty forced her and her mother to seek asylum in a country that considers their people repugnant. She finds comfort only with a handful of fellow Strikers who have pledged their lives to one another and who are determined to push Karensa back at all costs.

When a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front, Talin senses there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is he a spy from the Federation? Or could he be the weapon that will save them all?


I’ve read Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy and I really enjoyed it! However, I did NOT like ‘The Young Elites’…I’m not sure why. I read it a while ago, like two or three years ago, and since my brain cannot retain bookish info, I don’t really remember it. Anyways, I feel like I also, just…stopped liking sci fi a while ago so I’m not sure how this will go. I hope I enjoy it, though, because Marie Lu is a really good author!
UPDATE: OH HELLO I JUST SAW A NEW GR TAG–LGBTQ+!!! Given that it was only one tag, there probably isn’t much rep, but STILL. It’s good to see that there is at least a little!

Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald

Summary:
Cunning and unapologetic, Emanuela Ragno is a socialite who plays by her own rules. In her most ambitious move yet, she’s about to marry Alessandro Morandi, her childhood best friend and the heir to the wealthiest house in Occhia. Emanuela doesn’t care that she and her groom are both gay, because she doesn’t want a love match. She wants power, and through Ale, she’ll have it all.

But Emanuela has a secret that could shatter her plans. In her city of Occhia, the only source of water is the watercrea, a mysterious being who uses magic to make water from blood. When their first bruise-like omen appears on their skin, all Occhians must surrender themselves to the watercrea to be drained of life. Everyone throughout history has obeyed this law for the greater good. Everyone except Emanuela. She’s kept the tiny omen on her hip out of sight for years.

When the watercrea exposes Emanuela during her wedding ceremony and takes her to be sacrificed, Emanuela fights back…and kills her. Before everyone in Occhia dies of thirst, Emanuela and Ale must travel through the mysterious, blood-red veil that surrounds their city to uncover the source of the watercrea’s power and save their people—no matter what it takes.


I actually had never heard of this book until I got it for Christmas! Maybe I saw it sometime a while ago on goodreads or somewhere else but if I did, I forgot about it. It sounds pretty interesting, maybe not exactly up my alley but who knows, books surprise me all the time! Plus, you know, there are queer characters so it’s all good!

A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos

Summary:
Long ago, following a cataclysm called “The Rupture,” the world was shattered into many floating celestial islands. Known now as Arks, each has developed in distinct ways; each seems to possess its own unique relationship to time, such that nowadays vastly different worlds exist, together but apart. And over all of the Arks the spirit of an omnipotent ancestor abides.

Ophelia lives on Anima, an ark where objects have souls. Beneath her worn scarf and thick glasses, the young girl hides the ability to read and communicate with the souls of objects, and the power to travel through mirrors. Her peaceful existence on the Ark of Anima is disrupted when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, from the powerful Dragon clan. Ophelia must leave her family and follow her fiancée to the floating capital on the distant Ark of the Pole. Why has she been chosen? Why must she hide her true identity? Though she doesn’t know it yet, she has become a pawn in a deadly plot.


Okay, maybe I’m judging a book by its cover (yeah, I’m DEFINITELY doing that) but based on the cover, this book doesn’t look thaaaaat interesting? But, hello, it’s still a book so I will obviously still give it a try (I will eat my words when it’s actually an amazing book). Also, it’s annoying me because the words on the spine are upside down so to make the words on the spine readable, I have to flip the book upside down.

The next two books are not part of my rankings

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Summary:
The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples.

Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.

Spanning more than four hundred years, this classic bottom-up peoples’ history radically reframes US history and explodes the silences that have haunted our national narrative.


This book sounds extremely interesting and really important for a lot of people, including me, to read! I hope I’ll be able to pick it up and read it soon!

Foreshadow by Emily XR Pan and Nova Ren Suma

Summary:
Thirteen Short Stories from Bold New YA Voices & Writing Advice from YA Icons

Created by New York Times bestselling authors Emily X. R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma, Foreshadow is so much more than a short story collection. A trove of unforgettable fiction makes up the beating heart of this book, and the accompanying essays offer an ode to young adult literature, as well as practical advice to writers.

Featured in print for the first time, the thirteen stories anthologized here were originally released via the buzzed-about online platform Foreshadow. Ranging from contemporary romance to mind-bending fantasy, the Foreshadow stories showcase underrepresented voices and highlight the beauty and power of YA fiction. Each piece is selected and introduced by a YA luminary, among them Gayle Forman, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jason Reynolds, and Sabaa Tahir.

What makes these memorable stories tick? What sparked them? How do authors build a world or refine a voice or weave in that deliciously creepy atmosphere to bring their writing to the next level? Addressing these questions and many more are essays and discussions on craft and process by Nova Ren Suma and Emily X. R. Pan.

This unique compilation reveals and celebrates the magic of reading and writing for young adults.


This is a book of short stories and it says it is, ‘stories to celebrate the magic of reading and writing YA.’ Given that I enjoy both reading and writing YA, I think that I will find this really interesting! I can’t wait to read some short stories!

One more thing: I got a three month subscription to Owlcrate!!! I’m so excited because it was one of the things I wanted most for Christmas! This month’s book was These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong (see above) and it looks so awesome! The cover is slightly different than a regular edition of the book–the background of the cover is is a dark green instead of black and the letters are a gold instead of silver.
In addition to the book, I got a These Violent Delights pin, a small decorative rolling pin, hand cream based off a certain book (which I forget because I’m great like that), a puzzle from a scene in An Ember in the Ashes and leg warmers from Serpent and Dove! I can’t wait for next month’s box.

Have you read any of these books? Do you want to read any of these books? What do you think of this book haul? Be sure to tell me what you think of this post in the comments!
As always, thank you so much for reading this post; it means the world that you’d take the time out of your day to see this. Stay safe and keep reading!

TBR for Beyond the Story Challenge

Some of you may have seen my Beyond the Story challenge post a few days ago. I will post my TBR here!

Week one: Judge a book by its cover

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, in fact I own it, but I have never read it. I’ve heard a lot of people tell me it’s good, but it has a rather odd summary so that may be part of the reason that I didn’t want to pick it up. This book has both the word star in the title and an AMAZING cover but I’m reading it for its cover because seriously, its cover is the best I’ve ever seen.

Week two: Star of the story

Scavange the Stars by Tara Sim

I have also heard really great things about this book! In fact, I’ve been meaning to read it for a while but I never got around to it so I’ll be reading it now. There are extremely mixed reviews and it only has a 3.58 average star rating but it sounds very good.

Week three: You Name It

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Well, the character’s name starts with E (Elisabeth) just like mine (a name that I won’t reveal) so here we go! It’s been on my tbr for a while but never near the top, sorta just hovering near the bottom so we’ll see how I like it.

Week Four: Great Minds Think Alike

Forest of Souls, by Lori M. Lee

Alright, so I may be stretching just a liiiittle bit for this one. Here’s why: I haven’t read the book that the author who is reading Forest of Souls wrote. In fact, the author’s book hasn’t even come out yet! But I fell in love with Ashley Shuttleworth’s book as soon as I read the first sentence of the premise. I mean seriously, go here, read this, tell me that you don’t think that’s right up my alley. So I am proclaiming this author my favorite author in advance and their book better not disappoint.

And that’s my tbr for this challenge! Want to share your own tbr? Make a blog post about it and shout out my blog, or just put a comment on either this post or the original post about the challenge! I hope you enjoy!