Unspeakable: A Queer Gothic Anthology – blog tour (review, quotes, giveaway, yay!)

Editor: Celine Frohn
Cover artist: Jenni Coutts
Cover designer: Charlie Bramald

Publication date: February 28, 2020
Genre: adult, speculative fiction, paranormal/supernatural, gothic
My rating: 4/5 stars

It’s here. It’s queer. Its creepiness levels range from minimal to severe. It’s Unspeakable, the queer gothic anthology that you didn’t know you needed until just now. From beginning to end (minus a handful of “meh” moments), it is a fun-filled read, especially for those of us who like an extra dash of the paranormal, dark, and/or macabre in our stories. Plus, it is positively bursting with queer rep of all shapes and sizes! Stick with this post to the end, and you’ll find a nice little giveaway for a copy of the book, too.

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Christmas gifts for bookworms (that aren’t books!) – Part 1

Let’s face it: sometimes, it’s hard to know what to get for the book-lover in your life. The seemingly-obvious answer–“Just buy them books!”–is often less-than-helpful. If you don’t know their taste that well, how can you be sure that you’re getting them something they’ll actually like? If you don’t read much yourself (and just want to make your bookdragon buddy feel appreciated), how do you start selecting titles? What if they’ve already read it? Or–perhaps worse?–what if they already own it but haven’t read it yet?

Fear not! There are so many other options for gifts that will warm the cockles of your bibliophile pal’s heart, acknowledging their fanatical obsession love of reading without running the risk of getting them something they won’t appreciate. In fact, I’ve come up with so many that I’ve split them across two posts. Here are a few:

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King of the Rising – blog tour (feat. giveaway)

Author: Kacen Callender
Series: Islands of Blood and Storm (#2)
Publication date: December 1, 2020
Genre: adult fantasy

After absolutely falling in love with Felix Ever After earlier this year, I simply had to try out more of Kacen Callender’s work. So when I saw an opportunity to get involved in a blog tour with one of Callender’s books–and one that is in my favorite genre, no less!–I simply had to sign up. And I am so glad that I did; this dark fantasy, full of political struggles and open commentary on colonialism, is excellent. Callender’s writing prowess apparently spans a wide range of genres as well as age levels (seriously, they write MG, YA, and adult, and genres including both contemporary and fantasy??), and I will certainly be picking up more of their books in the future. But enough about how much I love this author–let’s get on to the story!

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Catfishing on CatNet – blog tour (review + giveaway!!)

Author: Naomi Kritzer
Publication date: November 19, 2019
Genre: young adult, sci-fi, thriller
My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Excellent queer rep. The coolest, quirkiest, most awkwardly badass AI. A ragtag team of internet friends, a road trip, a reprogrammed sex-education robot (not the AI), a literal cat…this book has a bit of everything, and it works so well. In under 300 pages, this tiny page-turner covers an impressive span of topics, with a delicate balance of fun and dread that will ring true for all of us who grew up alongside the internet.

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I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are – ARC review + some funny stuff

Author: Rachel Bloom
Publication date: November 17, 2020
Genre: memoir, humor
My rating: 4.5/5 stars

It’s funny. It’s weird. It’s occasionally oddly insightful and poignant. Guys, gals, and nonbinary pals, this book is everything I hoped for and then some, a candid testament to the value of honesty and the absolute falseness of the idea that everyone else is normal while you’re just an oddball. From the inimitable Rachel Bloom, creator/star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and creator of amazing songs/music videos including “Fuck Me Ray Bradbury” and “I Steal Pets,” comes a memoir that I can truly say is unlike any memoir I’ve read to date. It contains some echoes of other fun female-comedian-memoirs like Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please…and then amps up the weirdness to a new, wholly delightful level.

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Divided Fire – blog tour (ARC review + GIVEAWAY!!!)

Author: Jennifer San Filippo
Publication date: November 10, 2020
Genre: young adult fantasy
My rating: 4/5 stars

Okay, hear me out: take the elemental powers of Avatar: The Last Airbender and fuel them with singing, rather than martial arts. That absolutely golden combination lies at the heart of the world Jennifer San Filippo has created in her debut novel, Divided Fire. A captivating tale of sisterhood, magic, and the meaning of strength, this book was a quick, refreshing read with a premise at once classic and original.

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Master of One – blog tour (ARC review + awesome quotes)

Authors: Danni Bennett and Jaida Jones
Publication date: November 10, 2020
Genre: young adult fantasy
My rating: 4.25/5 stars

It’s no secret that I love dark fantasy, morally gray characters, queer characters, thieves and other sketchy people, sarcastic humor, and ragtag teams of misfits. So it should come as no surprise that Master of One, a book that combines literally ALL of those elements, was a huge hit for me. I laughed. I cringed. My heart twisted a few times. What starts out as the story of an irreverent thief on a mission way above his pay grade morphs into a sprawling, slow-building tale of fae, magical silver animals, evil sorcerers, corrupt monarchy, and all that other fun stuff. I’ll admit, I was a little confused at the start, but once the story really got going, I was very invested, and I’m already dying for the sequel. (Plus, huge bonus–there’s some nice physical disability rep in the book as well!)

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All or None – blog tour (feat. some cool quotes)

Author: Aurora Lee Thornton
Publication date: August 2020
Genre: adult, fantasy

Hello, friends! It’s your friendly neighborhood K-Specks, coming to you with another blog tour. This is my first time working with Caffeine Book Tours, so huge thank you to them for allowing me to be a part of this. On the docket for today: a self-published, super-queer, #OwnVoices high fantasy. It’s got demisexual characters. It’s got polyamorous soulmates (yep, you read that correctly). It’s got trans characters, gay characters, lesbian characters, multiple species of humanoid creatures, magic transferred through intimacy, assassins…and that’s just the beginning. Let’s get started!

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A Golden Fury – blog tour (review + GIVEAWAY!!!)

Author: Samantha Cohoe
Publication date: October 13, 2020
Genre: young adult historical fantasy
My rating: 4/5 stars

Psychologically unsettling, darkly magical, and patriarchy-smashing, A Golden Fury was a great debut novel. It’s a highly enjoyable, fast-paced read, with an intoxicating blend of darkness, madness, alchemy, history, betrayal, and loyalty–definitely a good way to get in the mood for fall.

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The Dragon of Ynys – ARC review

Author: Minerva Cerridwen
Publication date: September 15, 2020
Genre: fantasy, LGBTQIA+, novella
My rating: 5/5 stars

The Dragon of Ynys - Atthis Arts Indie Publishing

In today’s divisive society, uniqueness can become a point of shame rather than pride. The Dragon of Ynys is a perfect balm to soothe everyone and anyone who feels hurt by the lack of acceptance that is often so prevalent–it will make you smile, lift your spirits, and reaffirm your belief that there is good in the world, all in the span of roughly 100 pages. I seriously cannot adequately express how much I loved this book.

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