My friend Carey and I just hit a podcasting rite of passage--we Steven'd Out an entire recording! Since we'll be busy rerecording and getting all that fun stuff ready, I wanted to drop a quick line about Under the Lights, a fun, fast, and sexy New Adult novel. Following the lives of teen actors navigating Hollywood, politics, media, and their own love lives, there's a heroine who wants more than she can tell (including, horror of horrors, the daughter of her media handler) and a hero who is awful and super fun to read. It's a companion novel--I went in knowing nothing, fell in love, and put Out on Good Behavior on my TBR right away!
Sunday is for domestic pursuits at Friend of Dorothy Wilde, and today I've got a really cute book to share. As a doodler of people that look like people, I often hear "oh, I could never do that" or "I could never make my drawings look that cute." Here's Zainab Khan, aka Pic Candle, with the solution: an easy guide to making adorable little creatures and bringing the inanimate to life.
With clean art, an engaging instructional style, and simple enough instructions for even the beginner-est of beginning doodlers, Zainab Khan will have you filling the margins of your notes and bullet journals in no time. Keep an eye out for it--Kawaii Doodle Class will be out on September first, and you can pre-order at Amazon or Barnes & Noble now. While you're waiting, the Pic Candle channel has dozens of instructional videos, draw with mes, and other good stuff.
Advance Copy shared by NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Bisexual fatshionista werebear in London.
Oh, I have to write more words, don't I?
Bisexual fatshionista werebear in London navigates romance, sexism, and a furry little problem that ruins knickers, interspecies relations, and fancy restaurant bathrooms, all while falling in love with the wrong--or exactly right--person. Khaw's touching afterword is about how the jump to paranormal rom-com opened up a whole new way of reading and writing, and I'm so glad that happened (had my own epiphany after devouring 9 Tessa Dare novels this January) The writing is sparkling, funny, and does not waste a word or a scene in pursuit of werebear Zelda's happy ending, and best, respects its readers by keeping Zelda and her compatriots on their toes when it comes to intersectional justice. Loved it, read it in a werebear's yawn and can't wait for more!
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine! Today we're getting a bit literal--as the waiting I am doing is just until I get home. This one's YA plus tiny worlds plus toy drama, which is, of course, Rie catnip.
You can order Toyetica #1 today through your local comic book shop, at the publisher website, and at Comixology. Marty LeGrow runs an awesome tumblr with all kinds of behind-the-scenes info, and, most thrillingly, blogged about her experience as a birthday party princess.
Hey readers! Apparently it's #RockMyTBR season, and I'm doing my best...but too many awesome books keep finding their way onto my list! Here's a few I'm working through at the moment:
The Little Queen is one of the most beautiful books I have read this year. It also has a half-chapter turn on a poop joke. This dichotomy is one of the reasons I love it so much.
To start, we have a little queen, who loses her parents and sets out to find out who she is, what she's about, and how, in fact, to be a little queen. She learns much about being just about everyone else in the world--book sniffers, season painters, animal singers and other curious folks--but still, in the end, does not know how to be a little queen. Along the way, she circles the world, falls in love, and discovers, in fact, what all the folk of her little world are meant to do.
Geddes has such an original, poetic way of writing--phrases and ideas circle back on each others, weaving like song, and full of wistful ideas that unfold in second and third readings. The story is a poetic fairy tale for the ageless, in the tradition of The Man with Dancing Eyes and The Size of the World, and ends with two women in love and making the little world a better place--what could be more delightful? With heart and soul, in a whimsical world come alive with art and philosophy (and with beautiful airy illustrations by Sara Zieve Miller), The Little Queen is a gorgeous read.
Hi all! I'm off to the Newport Folk Festival to hang out with guitarists and elder gods. See y'all next Monday and have a great weekend!
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine! Today we're looking into the far-flung future of 2018, for a book with just a name, an author, and the promise of some Friend of Dorothy Wilde in the already-amazing ensemble cast
The biggest split between reading YA as a YA and reading it as an adult is the transition from wanting fictional characters to be your mom, and wanting to be their mom. There is no fictional child I would want to save from the world more than Sovereign's Danny, aka Dreadnought, infinitely powerful teen superheroine currently holding the world together by threads--or, the lattice, the web of energetic connections holding the fabric of the universe together. Said universe, not contented with the first book's wave of horrors, graces the brilliant teen with monstrous libertarians, hideous mercenaries, the nastiest couple of gene donors I've met in YA lit, and a T/E/RF.
Since I know this is a selling point with my audience: the T/E/RF dies at the end.
But beyond the cartoonish hideous violence and the unstoppable horrors, there is the question of: what makes a hero? Is there any action, and its equal reaction, that you, the hero, could never come back from? And what does it mean when you fall in love with your best friend, who is also the leader of your superhero squad?
Sovereign is a unique treasure, rich in representation, full of action and also deep wonderings on the makings of a superhero--especially in the superhero culture that permeates their world, one where government sanction and renegade do-gooders with super powers collide, and where the latest super gadgetry debuts at a Biannual Superhero World Con. Yes, of course, you should be reading this, if you love YA, superheros, #ownvoices, any combo thereof.
Here's the thing: I liked this story, I like anything that has San Francisco and magic and a combination there. It's a novella that doesn't flinch away from the ugliness of the period portrayed--racism, homophobia, misogyny-and leaves a promising narrative of community and place-based magic more ephemeral. I would have preferred the combination reversed, but enjoyed it for what it was, and would return to Klages San Francisco and cartomancers within.
If you are interested but unsure about how the content is handled, I would recommend Monica Nolan for a lighter, deeply funny take on San Francisco-based pulp period romance.
Passing Strange: Goodreads, Amazon.com
Prequel Short Story: "Caligo Lane"
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!
Today I wanted to give a heads up on a couple titles from the always-delightful Less Than Three Press. If you're not acquainted, LT3 Press is all about "great romance, with high-quality, well-edited stories that are also affordable, engaging, and always come with that famous happy end"--all things we love at FODW, of course!
Walking on Knives will be out July 25, 2017.
Beast will be available for purchase on August 15 2017.
Alex Dark, archeologist and wanderer, thinks picking up a creepy Victorian mansion in Niagara Falls is just a charming side venture--pick it up for a dollar, flip it, and head off to the next dig. Who could have predicted she would find a decades-old mystery, vengeful spirits, and a sexy high femme librarian and ghost hunter to help her solve both?
Cross My Heart is hella charming and rather steamy, with Trudy Strange, rockabilly in Halloween dresses and a hot-pink Ghostbusting jumpsuit the perfect love interest for a paranormal romance. Alex, expecting to stay a mere two weeks, meets strange townspeople, a classy medium, and discovers the latent psychic ability of her own adorable nephew--while doing her best to reunite the spirits of the house's previous mistress and her lover. Deliciously creepy, sexy, and romantic by turns, this is everything I wanted in a dark and stormy night read. Natalie, I'd love to see them get a series!
Aubre Andrus' bio states that she got her start at American Girl magazine--and it shows, with the beautifully caring book that is Project You. While careful to give resources to reader who would need more help than a book can give, all 50 activities dovetail nicely with any treatment a young reader may access--and an older reader may appreciate without having to lug their DBT guide everywhere they go.
From lovingkindness meditation to wardrobe decluttering to making a nature journal, the 50 activities are cleverly arranged by topic, with a guide in the introductory chapter as a guide to what activities match what kind of stress. The layout is beautifully collaged and watercolored, with diverse models and illustrations--even boys! What a nice thing to see in a guide to feeling good.
A wonderful guide for every young reader you care about, Project You is a gift I would give every teenager I know, because its potential to make the reader feel better can lead to lifelong wellness practices. Highly, highly recommended.
Aubre Andrus: Website
Botanical Beauty is that perfect balance of stunning, clean design (that still appeals to the aesthetics of your spa-loving crafter) with clear, easy-to-follow recipes. I can't wait to try making my own batch of Cinnamon Vanilla Whipped Body Butter, or Chocolate Sugar Hand Scrub.
While I would have appreciated more warnings to spot-test ingredients, especially anything warming or tingling, all of the recipes feature easy to find ingredients, simple instructions, and a fun, encouraging tone. Along with skin, hair, and nails-based fun, there are instructions for crafts like hair wraps and spa slippers, and suggestions for jazzing up products made as presents. Totally fun, totally on-trend, and a must-have for any young spa lover or naturalista in your life.
Both Books provided by Netgalley for an honest review--Couldn't resist a nonfiction title by an editor at my favorite childhood magazine, American Girl!
I love Australian lit, love it so much I used to import it from one sadly-gone bookshop and wait weeks for it to arrive: Jesse Blackadder, Joanne Horniman, Brigid Lowry, Linda Jaivin and others. Pene Henson's Storm Season evokes everything I love from those books I spent so much time tracking down--sweeping descriptions of the natural world, cheeky humor, breathless emotion--with a modern sensibility around life, love, diversity, and doing what's right over what's easy.
The last thing party girl and journalist Lien wants is roughing it in the woods on the way to a festival, even with her best friends, but she rethinks her feelings about the outdoors when a freak storm washes her right into the arms of Claudie, strapping forest ranger with a mysterious musical past. Their passion blooms as the tropical storm rages, but what will become of their feelings when both return to their real life?
Pene Henson is a new author, and one that I am so glad to be introduced to. Her writing is quick, lyrical, gently funny, and emotional just when it needs to be. Every character is a dear, even the ones with barely half a dozen lines, and their identities reflect a modern, non-homogeneous Sydney. Even better, this is a story where the answer isn't giving up what anyone loves to be with a person--it's about finding oneself and striking it out on your own, and how that can make love grow all the better. A gem, one I will be returning to during the rainy NYC summer.
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!
Today's choices are about my literal wait for graphic novels--and the nonfiction read on children's literature I have waiting in my mailbox. So excited to read and review these for y'all!