Shocking, Intimate Fantasy: Siren Queen by Nghi Vo

Release Date: May 10, 2022
Publisher: Tordotcom Publishing
Genre: Historical Fantasy

Description

“No maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers.” Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hill–but she doesn’t care. She’d rather play a monster than a maid.

But in Luli’s world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takes–even if that means becoming the monster herself.

Siren Queen offers up an enthralling exploration of an outsider achieving stardom on her own terms, in a fantastical Hollywood where the monsters are real and the magic of the silver screen illuminates every page.

Continue reading “Shocking, Intimate Fantasy: Siren Queen by Nghi Vo”

Review: “Trouble the Waters: Tales from the Deep Blue” edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, Pan Morigan, & Troy L. Wiggins

Release Date: January 18, 2022
Publisher: Third Man Books
Genre: Anthologies

Description

Trouble the Waters gathers the tidal force of bestselling, renowned writers from Lagos to New Orleans, Memphis to Copenhagen, Northern Ireland and London, offering extraordinary speculative fiction tales of ancient waters in all its myriad forms. Meet techno savvy water spirits, bayou saints and sirens, robots and river rootwomen, a pod of joyful space whales, and a castle of water-born terrors and mysteries. Including work by Nalo Hopkinson, Jaquira Diaz, Andrea Hairston, Linda D. Addison, Rion Amilcar Scott, Marie Vibbert, Maurice Broaddus, and other breakout beautiful voices, these stories and poems celebrate the most vital of elemental forces, water.

Continue reading “Review: “Trouble the Waters: Tales from the Deep Blue” edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, Pan Morigan, & Troy L. Wiggins”

Review: “Reclaim the Stars: 17 Tales Across Realms & Space” edited by Zoraida Córdova

Release Date: February 15, 2022
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Anthologies, Young Adult

Description

Follow princesses warring in space, haunting ghost stories in Argentina, mermaids off the coast of the Caribbean, swamps that whisper secrets, and many more realms explored and unexplored; this stunning collection of seventeen short stories breaks borders and realms to prove that stories are truly universal.

Reclaim the Stars features both bestselling and acclaimed authors as well as two new voices in the genres: Vita Ayala, David Bowles, J.C. Cervantes, Zoraida Córdova, Sara Faring, Romina Garber, Isabel Ibañez, Anna-Marie McLemore, Yamile Saied Méndez, Nina Moreno, Circe Moskowitz, Maya Motayne, Linda Raquel Nieves Pérez, Daniel José Older, Claribel A. Ortega, Mark Oshiro and Lilliam Rivera.

Continue reading “Review: “Reclaim the Stars: 17 Tales Across Realms & Space” edited by Zoraida Córdova”

Review: “The Kindred” by Alechia Dow

Release Date: January 4, 2022
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Description

To save a galactic kingdom from revolution, Kindred mind-pairings were created to ensure each and every person would be seen and heard, no matter how rich or poor…

Joy Abara knows her place. A commoner from the lowly planet Hali, she lives a simple life–apart from the notoriety that being Kindred to the nobility’s most infamous playboy brings.

Duke Felix Hamdi has a plan. He will exasperate his noble family to the point that they agree to let him choose his own future and finally meet his Kindred face-to-face.

Then the royal family is assassinated, putting Felix next in line for the throne…and accused of the murders. Someone will stop at nothing until he’s dead, which means they’ll target Joy, too. Meeting in person for the first time as they steal a spacecraft and flee amid chaos might not be ideal…and neither is crash-landing on the strange backward planet called Earth. But hiding might just be the perfect way to discover the true strength of the Kindred bond and expose a scandal–and a love–that may decide the future of a galaxy.

Continue reading “Review: “The Kindred” by Alechia Dow”

Review: “Lost in the Archives” by E. Saxey

Release Date: May 2022
Publisher: Lethe Press
Genre: Anthologies, Short Stories

Description

Stories as historical oddities, some set in parallel pasts, and others are excursions into the daunting near future, these are the tales written by E. Saxey. A wunderkind is stuck in a dysfunctional start-up which may be hastening the apocalypse; in a near-future university, the efforts to create a plagiarism algorithm undetectable by current software is only the beginning of trouble; widow learns that a body found bobbing in the water under the bridge on Rush Street has her face; a boy’s unobtainable love becomes obtainable through a weird dream-drug until he finds himself struggling to ditch the fantasy; a troubled Freud encounters three strange sisters at a cafe and discovers the one he desires only has eyes for a madman.

Continue reading “Review: “Lost in the Archives” by E. Saxey”

Heavy Is the Head That Wears the Crown: So This Is Ever After by F.T. Lukens

Release Date: March 29, 2022
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Description

Arek hadn’t thought much about what would happen after he completed the prophecy that said he was destined to save the Kingdom of Ere from its evil ruler. So now that he’s finally managed to (somewhat clumsily) behead the evil king (turns out magical swords yanked from bogs don’t come pre-sharpened), he and his rag-tag group of quest companions are at a bit of a loss for what to do next.

As a temporary safeguard, Arek’s best friend and mage, Matt, convinces him to assume the throne until the true heir can be rescued from her tower. Except that she’s dead. Now Arek is stuck as king, a role that comes with a magical catch: choose a spouse by your eighteenth birthday, or wither away into nothing.

With his eighteenth birthday only three months away, and only Matt in on the secret, Arek embarks on a desperate bid to find a spouse to save his life–starting with his quest companions. But his attempts at wooing his friends go painfully and hilariously wrong…until he discovers that love might have been in front of him all along.

Continue reading “Heavy Is the Head That Wears the Crown: So This Is Ever After by F.T. Lukens”

Mini Review: “Boy at the Window” by Lauren Melissa Ellzey

Release Date: February 15, 2022
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Genre: Young Adult

Description

It all began with trying to fly. After jumping off the roof of his house in the middle of the night, Daniel Kim wakes up far from Neverland, his reprieve from the real world. Thrust into a mental health hospital and then into a brand-new high school, he struggles to hold onto reality while haunted by both his very-present past and his never-present parents. But when he joins Cranbrook Preparatory’s cross-country team, he starts to feel like he’s walking on his own two feet once again. He meets Jiwon Yoon–another cross-country runner, who may be the first person to join Daniel in his Neverland daydreams. Or maybe Jiwon is the one who will finally break Daniel free.

Continue reading “Mini Review: “Boy at the Window” by Lauren Melissa Ellzey”

Mini Review: “The Benefits of Eating White Folks” by Leslie T. Grover

Release Date: April 5, 2022
Publisher: Jaded Ibis Press, LLC
Genre: Historical Fiction

Description

The Sickness, a disease with unknown origins, is killing white children in the antebellum South, but Perpetua, a Black enslaved woman, is facing something much more devastating: Her daughter Meenie is missing. What she finds in her search for her child will change her life forever.

By fusing the past and present with the power of prose and poetry, Leslie T. Grover poignantly explores the ripple effect of history and the nature of love and family and the ties that bind.

Continue reading “Mini Review: “The Benefits of Eating White Folks” by Leslie T. Grover”

Mini Review: “The Haunted Quill” edited by Kate Francia

Release Date: December 1, 2021
Publisher: Megara Publishing Inc.
Genre: Anthologies, Short Stories

Description

A young girl in a mining town hears three knocks at her door on a dark night. Two Viking warriors, haunted by grief, enter a cursed forest of iron trees. A mysterious orphan girl hides in the rafters high above the stage of the Opéra le Peletier. A widowed mother and a ghost fight to save her homestead. 

The Haunted Quill contains eight short stories and original illustrations that explore the strange and uncanny corners of history. Featuring original stories and reprints from new and established writers of speculative fiction, including: Jordan Taylor, Laura Hennessey DeSena, Stephen K Pettersson, Henry Herz, LH Moore, Jane Nightshade, Colleen Ennen, and Caren Gussoff Sumption.

Continue reading “Mini Review: “The Haunted Quill” edited by Kate Francia”