Y'all, we are living in a magical comics fantasy land. I came of age in the late nineties and early oughts and had to scour my surprisingly-awesome local comic book shop for comics that were interesting to a weird little 16-year-old queer girl. Now we've got major properties continuing their stories in comic form, artists I'd followed from Elfwood headlining their own series, and an explosion of queer rep. Can things be better? They always can. (Especially on the business side!) But here, we have two series off to an amazing start.
Hi-Fi Fight Club evokes all the 90s girl series we loved to read--friends! togetherness! adventure! --with a teens eye to diversity and the promise of a really big story. Moonstruck is the dream of every Tumblr that wanted their Coffee Shop AU with a side of paranormal romance concepts. They're fun, they read fast and are gorgeously illustrated--if you haven't started a comic habit, then check these out and see if you get hooked!
Hi-Fi Fight Club #1: Amazon.com/Comixology
Moonstruck #1: Amazon.com/Comixology
And if you love em, consider getting them on the pull list at your local comic book store--those numbers mean a lot to writers, publishers, and you, the readers.
Fresh off of reading and loving Wolf Town, Cry Wolf is another tale set in Bridget Essex's American Gothic tradition of sexy ladies who howl at the moon and small towns that are far more than they seem. Haley, showrunner for one of the last online tabloids, runs afoul of a beautiful woman--major of Wolf Lake--when her dart-board-generated schpiel on an upstate town full of werewolves turns out to be a little too true.
This is another gem from Bridget Essex--beautiful women, wild wolves, secrets, family drama, and of course, plenty of wolves. Small town drama meets just a touch of the otherworldly and really charming side players--ever the terrible one! I loved it, I want more in this universe, if you loves wolves, ladies, and enjoy your copy of Weird New York, give it a read.
After reading Venturess Author Betsy Cornwell Talks Polyamory And Inspiration , I knew I had to see what was up with this series for myself, and what a treat it was! Steampunk, adventures, fairies, inventions, and a love triangle that resolves itself in the way many of us have been hoping for a long time. While Venturess contains the confirmation of content that I want to share, I couldn't go without mentioning what a fun read the first in the series turned out to be!
Sequel Venturess is out now!
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine! At Friend of Dorothy Wilde, we love love, and we love love stories, and we really, really love good fashion--which is why we're taking a step to the side of our usual sapphic purview and waiting on The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang.
The tiger lives.
Ok, on with the show.
Tashi, inhabitor and refugee of a civilization based on Bhutan, escapes their war-torn city for refuge in a mountain monastery, finding more drudgery, intrigue, murder, sex, blood....well, it is a war story, and a spy story, and a magical quest story.
But Tashi isn't the bravest, strongest, or truest, and that's what makes this story unique. What happens when your workaday magic user, sharing souls with a golden tiger, has access to the heart of the war, and the ability to end it all?
This is another gem from Ember--a fantasy that investigates culture, magic, relationships. What makes a warrior love their enemy? What gives someone courage? What would you do, if you could end the war for good--and must you do good for one, when it will harm so many others? An atmospheric, adventurous fantasy with a windswept, chilling setting and heroines* fighting with tooth and claw, emotional strength and inner reserve, the only qualm I have is--I can't wait for the next in the series! What a cliffhanger!
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.