A Few Recent Reads & Recommendations!

Lock & WestLock & West by Alexander C. Eberhart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lock & West FTW

This is but exactly the messy, chaotic, sweet gay teen romance I didn’t know I needed so badly. So tumultuous and endearing. Every emotion. All the feels.

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Love, Hate and Other FiltersLove, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Heartbreaking and Heart-bursting Story of Love and Hate We All NEED

Such a beautiful story. How can a story be so traumatic and traumatizing and yet still have a beautiful thread of love and hope weaved through it? I loved the love story in this book and we need the rest of the story that unfolded now more than ever. Just beautiful! Such a ride of emotions, too, with such a lovely denouement at the end of the ride. And the author’s note was such a lovely signature to end on. We need this book. We need the love and hope it exudes.

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The DisastersThe Disasters by M.K. England

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazing!

I loved this book! From the heart-stopping chapter cliffhangers to the brother relationship between Nax and Malik to the sweet relationship between Nax and Rion to the awesomeness of the heroines… Case, Zee and Asra! The Swift Kick team is Kick Ass! I forgot how exciting and fulfilling this genre could be. Great read!

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SadieSadie by Courtney Summers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was one of the hardest books I’ve read in a long time. I attempt to police myself on trigger stories, but my desire to read this one was stronger than my need for self-care at the time. As a survivor, I can definitely say this was TRUE. It was a roller-coaster of a story. I was beside Sadie every step of the way. The more I feared the reveals, the faster I read to discover them. Such a fast-paced exciting read. The word that comes to mind the most, for me, is AUTHENTIC. It’s very true to the survivor mindset. Great read.

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We Are The AntsWe Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Heartbreaking and Hopeful, Such a Fine Balance!

Took me long enough to get to this beautiful book. So glad I found it. I thoroughly enjoyed Henry’s story. Coming out of such a devastating story filled with hope and happiness feels almost like alchemy. Definitely my favorite read of 2018. Exquisite.

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Darius the Great Is Not OkayDarius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Darius is Actually Quite Amazing

I loved this story. I loved Darius and his fears and his inability to see his own strengths. I loved his friendship in Iran and his complicated relationship with his father. Yazd sounds beautiful and I want to visit now. Such a touching and subtle story. I’d recommend it to anyone.

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Getting it Right the 2nd Time Around – Half Dead & Fully Broken, the Re-Release

Time to admit that I made some grave errors while writing my novel Half Dead & Fully Broken. I couldn’t even see at the time that I crossed a line. Anyway, re-releasing a novel after leaving a publisher behind… is a great opportunity to fix issues with that novel. Half Dead is now available for pre-order on Amazon. This one is getting an overhaul prior to its release, right or wrong. The story is about Carter and Marcus Colby, twins who are in a motorcycle accident. Only Carter survives, but the ghost of Marcus is featured throughout the story. The relationship between Carter and Marcus’s girlfriend, so soon after Marcus’s death, did NOT sit well with some readers. Frankly, it didn’t really sit well with me, either. The thing about rebirths is you can do it right the second time around…at least as far as it pertains to novels and updated editions. So, be forewarned…the second edition of Half Dead & Fully Broken will contain less EW. It will also be greatly updated as far as technology is concerned. (-:

The new and improved HALF DEAD lands in your Kindle on FEBRUARY 21st, 2019. See the pre-order links below the cover…

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Pre-Order Half Dead & Fully Broken on Amazon USA today!

Pre-Order Half Dead & Fully Broken on Amazon Canada today!

This Is Me In Grade Nine – Love Is Love

Look for an announcement regarding my latest anthology inclusion. My short story THIS IS ME IN GRADE NINE will be published this month in the LOVE IS LOVE  anthology. All proceeds from this anthology will go directly to the TREVOR PROJECT. Full details to follow. (-:

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In the meantime, I will be re-releasing the 2nd of my novels that was once with Curiosity Quills Press. Half Dead & Fully Broken will re-release in February, 2019. Details to follow.

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Further details on LOVE IS LOVE will be forthcoming. Stay tuned!

Burn Baby Burn Baby’s RE-Release

I recently separated from the publisher that released both BURN BABY BURN BABY and HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN. I won’t discuss this, but I am announcing that I will eventually be RE-releasing both books. They are no longer with Curiosity Quills Press.

First up for the return to the land of the living will be BURN BABY BURN BABY, complete with a new cover. Please note that this is a RE-RELEASE and if you have already read Burn Baby, there are no major changes in the story. I’ve made a few minor edits, but it remains mostly intact from the original. If you haven’t read it, there will be links at the bottom of this post for PRE-ORDERing a copy!

Burn Baby Burn Baby made it onto the 2016 IN THE MARGINS BOOK AWARD LIST at LIBRARY SERVICES FOR YOUTH IN CUSTODY.

Burn Baby Burn Baby has 108 ratings on Goodreads with an overall rating of over 4-stars!

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Synopsis for Burn Baby Burn Baby:

Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago. Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley-the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby. The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars. If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions. Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted. Francis is in turmoil as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end.

Burn Baby will drop onto Kindle on January 31st, 2019. You can PRE-ORDER now.

PRE-ORDER LINK FOR BURN BABY BURN BABY ON AMAZON.COM

PRE-ORDER LINK FOR BURN BABY BURN BABY ON AMAZON.CA

In the meantime, you can always pick up a copy of PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE while you’re waiting for Burn Baby to drop! (-;

 

Left Bank Writers Retreat – Paris!

Hello all,

I went down a nice little rabbit hole this morning. Or shall I say trou de lapin? At any rate, today’s #TBT or #ThrowbackThursday idea to post something about Paris made me fall in love with the LEFT BANK WRITERS RETREAT all over again! Speaking of RABBITS, did you know that Picasso at the Lapin Agile, the play by actor, writer, renaissance man, Steve Martin, was actually set in a place in Paris? Montmartre to be exact!

There will probably be many digressions today. (-: Where was I? Oh yes, the Left Bank Writers Retreat! It happens every June in the City of Love & Lights. It’s a unique one-week retreat that explores writing and Paris and Hemingway ALL AT ONCE! Almost 5 years ago, I attended this retreat and it was magic from moment one. You write in the Tuileries, in Luxembourg Gardens, in the garden behind Notre Dame Cathedral. You visit Musée d’Orsay and Musée de l’Orangerie and Montmartre. You dine at Hemingway’s hangouts and where Fitzgerald dined. It’s all writing world and Paris world meets and you just have to experience it to know the gorgeous retreat it is.

I believe there are still spots available for June, 2019…though I suppose I should have checked with Darla first! You can meet DARLA, TRAVIS & SARAH here. They are the incredible faculty of the retreat and their knowledge of Paris, Hemingway and writing, combined with their incredible personalities, MAKE the experience what it is.

All your days are mapped out for you and each one is magical. Your evening? ALL YOURS! You might be fortunate enough to make some new friends at the intimate retreat and hit the streets together! My traveling companion in the evenings became new friend, fellow writer and poet, Nina. Here we are atop the Arc!

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With Nina atop the Arc de Triomphe, Paris France, June 2014 – Left Bank Writers Retreat. And, yes, that IS the beautiful Avenue des Champs-Élysées behind us!

Click on the pic of the website below to visit the LEFT BANK WRITERS RETREAT site to find out all the details, including the itinerary, payment, FAQ, etc…

Left Bank

You should do yourself and your writing life a solid in 2019 and jump into the Left Bank! You’ll love it!

 

On the Horizon – 2019 Goals

  • I will finish my Middle Grade non-binary novel and figure out a title for it
  • I will have my 7th novel published. This is a given as the contract was already signed. Look for I WILL TELL THE NIGHT early in the new year (release date to be announced)
  • I WILL find a home for my young adult Camino de Santiago novel
  • I WILL finish my young adult novel The Book of My Dreams
  • I will write more often
  • I will continue to discover who I am and work towards becoming that person
  • I WILL walk on the Camino de Santiago once again!

I don’t have a lot of goals for 2019 and at least one of them is already achieved. I can’t wait for I WILL TELL THE NIGHT to be out into the world. It’s been a few years since I wrote an adult novel. NO…that doesn’t mean it has any explicit content or anything like that. It simply means it’s not written for a teen/child audience. It’s a contemporary family saga, I suppose. It virtually came out in one sitting at the 2016 Muskoka Novel Marathon…and it was added to and polished in the meantime. Going through edits with the publisher soon-ish. I will announce the release date soon. It actually won BEST ADULT NOVEL at the marathon… An honour I NEVER get tired of receiving. I WILL TELL THE NIGHT was my 5th marathon win.

cropped-untitled2.jpgLast night I had a hard time sleeping. Not a very good way to spend the last night of sleep of 2018. BUT! I came up with a way to get my characters out of the basement dungeon in my young adult horror novel THE BOOK OF MY DREAMS. Once I complete the middle grade I’m currently working on, I will make it my mission to finish the Dreams book! I took notes this morning to help me get there. (-: And I have really been letting the aforementioned middle grade novel percolate in order to find my next moves that will take me to the end I envision. It’s my first (but hopefully not my last) novel with a non-binary main character. I really want to finish this one! It’s gone through a few title changes already, but none of them are sticking. WHICH IS REALLY WEIRD FOR ME, AS I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS START WITH A TITLE AND GO FROM THERE. I don’t mind. I just know it deserves a better title than the ones I have thus far come up with.

 

In September we are heading for the Camino de Santiago in Spain again. Hopefully before that time I will be able to announce a home for my Camino novel that I worked so hard to create. It really is a special one for me, so I NEED it to find a home. Honestly, whenever I have a novel out on submission I struggle to write regularly. It feels like that exposure–knowing that it’s out there–causes a crippling handicap to my creativity. But not only that, I just really want it to be in the world.

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The Camino Passport Book (Credential) and patches for our backpacks!

I hope all your goals and dreams for 2019 come true. If you practice New Year’s Resolutions may they all be reasonable and kind. And may you achieve them or be kind to yourself if you don’t. I hope you find a more firm standing in self in 2019. Enjoy your shiny new year. Stand in the place where you live.

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Pokhara, Nepal (September, 2018)