Author: amaralynn (page 1 of 2)

Author Interview – Lore Graham

I’m pleased to bring you an interview this week from Lore Graham! Lore’s newest book, Under the Midnight Sun, will be out on August 14th! Check out my review of it here!

underthemidnightsun400

And now, the questions!

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

The realization that I want to be a writer has crystallized slowly over the years. I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a kid, but more recently I’ve realized that it’s closer to a compulsion. I just don’t feel satisfied with my life if I’m not writing.

Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?

Everywhere! Inspiration is all around me – movies, music, books, nonfiction articles, things that have happened to me. Figuring out how to channel my inspiration is the hard part.

Where did you get your inspiration for the world of Under the Midnight Sun?

The world of Under the Midnight Sun is heavily inspired by medieval Scandinavia and the Vikings, as well as sword & sorcery fantasy. I picked the elements I wanted to keep (such as a warrior-centric culture and the presence of midnight sun in the summer) and the ones I wanted to change (land-locked instead of sea-faring, different relationship norms), then elaborated from there.

What is your favorite character type to write, and why?

I have a particular fondness for writing anxious characters because I’ve struggled a lot with anxiety and worry throughout my life. That said, I don’t center all of my stories around anxious characters, because I like to play with lots of different character types.

Who (a personal acquaintance or an author) has inspired you the most, and why?

My best friend and editor, Jack, provides me with ongoing inspiration and encouragement. Under the Midnight Sun wouldn’t exist without him!

What surprised you most when writing this story?

I was pleasantly surprised by how much some of my secondary characters grew. I tend to start writing drafts with only a vague idea of the secondary characters, so I love seeing how they come alive while I write.

Do you have any favorite tropes?

I really enjoy rivals-to-lovers and enemies-to-lovers tropes. I like seeing two characters who come in with a conflict and get on each others’ nerves faced with a mutual obstacle, and seeing that relationship progress as they develop mutual respect, understanding, and trust.

What draws you to the romance and fantasy genres?

I’m drawn to romance because I appreciate the guarantee of a happy ending, which is important for me when I’m reading stories about queer folks. I’ve always loved fantasy because I enjoy magic, monsters, and fantastical worlds.

What is your writing process like?

My writing process varies somewhat project by project, as I tweak it every time. I usually plan my stories extensively, and once I get writing I try to keep a consistent pace so that I can make it all the way to the end without losing steam.

What’s your favorite food, and your go-to writing fuel?

I have too many favorite foods to pick one! Writing fuel is easy though; baby carrots are perfect for mindless snacking while I’m working.

Are you reading any good books right now, and if so, share!

I’m almost finished with Alonso Munich is Now Dead by S. Gates which I’ve quite enjoyed! It’s a bit of a thriller as well an urban fantasy romance, as Alonso tries to figure out why he’s a vampire and how he’s lost five years of his memory.

If you could teleport to anywhere on the planet right now, where would it be and why?

Iceland! I’ve never been. I want to visit at least once in my life to see the Aurora Borealis.

 

Thanks so much for the interview, Lore!

About Lore:

Lore Graham is a queer writer who lives in Massachusetts. Ze primarily writes sci fi and fantasy romance, but dabbles in poetry and nonfiction as well.

Lore is passionate about spectacular worlds and queer characters. Ze is transgender and agender; zir pronouns are ze/zir/zir or they/them/their. Outside of writing, ze enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with zir cat.

Check out Lore on social media!

Goodreads

Twitter

Lore’s Website

Review – Under the Midnight Sun by Lore Graham

Today I’m reviewing Under the Midnight Sun by Lore Graham.

Blurb: The eldest son of Thunderhill’s warrior-kings, Otto Johanson lives for battle but has forsaken love since the death of his partner three years ago. Still when the Midsummer festivities bring nomadic reindeer herders back to town, Otto can’t help but notice the handsome, if sullen, Lukas.

Tension rises between them during the annual tournament, but when a terrible attack devastates Thunderhill, Otto and Lukas must put aside their burgeoning rivalry to embark on a dangerous quest that may be the town’s only hope of survival.

underthemidnightsun400

I’ve read one other short story by Lore, so I was excited to jump into something longer by this author!

Lore seems to have a knack for painting rich, developed worlds. I loved the myths and legends of the land. If I had to pick a favorite thing about the book, that would be it. One thing I particularly liked was that this world was accepting of all relationships, including same sex and triads, something that I always love to see in fantasy settings.

Though the world was well developed, I would have liked to see a bit more build up between Otto and Lukas. There were several places where exposition was used throughout the story to signal passages of time on the characters’ quest, which made it feel like less time passed than it actually had to me.

While this story probably didn’t quite have me on the edge of my seat, it’s rich mythos and descriptions still make for an enjoyable read. If you’re looking for lighter fantasy read with some m/m in it, you might want to give this one a try!

My rating: 3.5/5

Under the Midnight Sun releases on August 14th. You can preorder it now on Less Than Three’s website!

It is also on Goodreads if you’d like to add it to your shelf!

 

Disclosures: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and I’m friends with the author on Slack and social media.

Content warnings (provided by the author on Goodreads):

Explicit sexual content; graphic violence (fantasy-typical); animal death.

For specifics, which may contain minor spoilers, highlight over the text below:

A few scenes of explicit sex. Several scenes involving violence, including a couple of gory moments, a minor character being maimed in battle, and some secondary character deaths. Animal death (primarily reindeer) and violence towards animal-like monsters, but (specific spoiler) the dogs do not die!

June Bookchest

It’s been awhile! I’ve been busy getting my second book ready to submit to LT3, and then I went through a period of being very up and down, mostly down and not feeling good.

But I have still been reading!

To get back into things, I thought I’d share my reads for the month of June, in the first addition of Fiction Cove’s monthly bookchest! (I swear I thought I’d read more books this month, but according to Goodreads, I read three books).

Bookchest will be a monthly showcase of books I read for that month, with mini reviews of each one.

So, let’s get started!

FictionCoveBookchest copy

Starting off the month, I finally got around to reading my ARC of Agent Bayne, the latest book in the Psycop Series by Jordan Castillo Price. After reading the previous book, Skin After Skin, I have very mixed opinions about this series and the main protag, Vic.

I’ll set that rant aside though, and say, despite the opinions I have on this series now, Agent Bayne was an enjoyable read overall. Many more intriguing elements are brought to the forefront in this installment, though I saw right through the mystery and knew from the get go who the culprit was.

Next, in mid-June, I finally revisited A Gathering of Shadows, by V.E. Schwab. I started this book about a year ago, but I’m awful when it comes to sticking to reading paperbacks, and got sidetracked. I finally got it as an e-book and finished it off.

AGoS had some great character building, and as always a vivid world, and I was anxious to see what would come for Kell, Lila, and Rhy, who all get POV time in this installment, as well as a couple other characters who I won’t name! Be ready to jump into the third book if you read this one though, because it does end on a cliffhanger! (I say as I haven’t started the third one yet, by some weird miracle).

The last book I read of the month was Timekeeper, by Tara Sim (yes I was doing a lot of catch up on some older releases). I adored this book! I loved the characters, the world, and the twist I didn’t see coming! Just everything! The only reason I’m not picking up the next book right now is because I know from friends that it ends in a cliffhanger, so I’m waiting for the third book to be out before I dive back in.

That’s it for the June edition of bookchest! Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you thought of them in the comments!

Review – Dragon Rider and The Isle of Eternal Happiness by Kay Berrisford

Today’s review is for the third and fourth installments of Kay Berrisford’s Landlocked Heart series, which will close out my month long author feature on Kay and the Landlocked Heart series.

In the third installment of the series, Dragon Rider, things pick up pretty much where they left off. Ben and Lyle are still working at the ice cream parlor, and are very close to finishing their wedding preparations. There’s just one thing left on Ben’s agenda: his family meeting Lyle. But of course, things quickly go awry when Lyle’s sister, Cully, shows up suddenly, asking for Lyle’s help with some family matters.

What I loved about this addition to the series was that it expands and adds several new plot elements. I won’t say what so as not to spoil the fun. I also became quite fond of Cully, though at first it isn’t apparent what side she’s on.

For the forth and final installment, The Isle of Eternal Happiness, things take a bit of a darker turn as the ramifications of everything that happened in book three unfold. There were a lot of really heartbreaking moments because one character wasn’t quite himself, and both Ben and Lyle deal with some heavy doubts about if the other is better off without him.

The final volume was a wild ride of emotions and I thought it was a great conclusion to the series!

Be sure to check these books out if you like mermen, dragons, myths and prophecies, and some angst thrown in! And of course, some sweet and slightly fiery romance!

There is one minor content warning I can think of, which I’ll put under the links.

My rating: 5/5 for both!

Thanks again to Kay for the interviews, and if you haven’t checked those out, be sure to! They’re great!

Check out the Landlocked Heart series at the Less Than Three website or Amazon!

LT3 Store

Amazon

 

Disclosures: I am friends with the author of these books, and I might be slightly biased because MERMEN/MERPEOPLE and some FAB writing.

 

Content warnings (highlight over to read, contains minor spoilers): In one scene, things escalate to violence and attempted abuse, however I will say it is because one character is basically not in control of his own actions (which is not fully known at the time, though it’s hinted at and pretty obvious).

Character Interview – Ben & Lyle from the Landlocked Heart series

Hello! I’m super excited to bring you Fiction Cove’s first character interview, with Ben and Lyle from the Landlocked Heart series, by Kay Berrisford. Thanks to Kay for these amazing answers! This does contain some minor spoilers for the Landlocked Heart series, so I would recommend reading them, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

Without further ado, let’s turn it over to Ben and Lyle!

 

What is your favorite food, and why?

Ben: Oooh, a nice easy starter. Pizza, but I’m trying to cut back on the calories a bit. So, uh, Weetabix and cheese and cucumber sandwiches. And maybe pizza. And chocolate ice-cream. And pizza. Did I mention pizza?

Lyle: I’m a magical shapeshifting merman and I don’t need to eat, thus I can basically eat anything. So that’s limitless ice-cream with waffles and toffee sauce. Oh, and sparkly wine. And I don’t mind a pizza or six.

Ben: I really wish I could hate you, sometimes…

Lyle: *tries not to look smug and deliberately fails*

 

Do you have any treasured possessions or heirlooms? If so, what are they and why are they important to you?

Lyle: It’s got to be my fabulous engagement ring, because when my lovely Ben gave it to me… Well, I don’t want to give away too much of our story, but a lot of magical and shiny stuff happened, and most of it was good.

Ben: I used to be into collecting stuff—shiny cars and all that clutter. But I guess I had a revelatory moment once I found love with Lyle and faced losing him. I realized what really matters in life and it isn’t stuff.

 

What do you think is your best quality, and why?

Ben: I’m pretty level headed and sensible, although I’ve had my moments of madness over the last year.

Lyle: We’ve both got too many to list, obviously! Er, only joking. Um… let me think. I’d like to think I’m quite brave. It’s good to have me on your side in a fight, that’s for sure.

 

What do you think is your worst quality, and why?

Ben: I might be a bit too fussy and sensible sometimes. Lyle’s sister, Cully, thinks I’m boring…

Lyle: …but then you became a sword wielding, dragon-riding hero, with a slight detour into being a super-villain.

Ben: Oh yes, so I did. Do you think accidentally becoming mega evil might do for this one?

Lyle: I should think so, although Cully claimed it made you slightly more interesting. However, don’t worry, I kicked her scaly dragon-y arse for it.

Ben: Lyle, stop talking about Cully. You haven’t answered the question for yourself.

Lyle: *groans* I probably have a few bad qualities. I can be a little vain, and I possibly possess a fiery temper, which might accidentally result in the destruction of the odd ceiling or sea cliff from time to time—

Ben: Shut up, love. You’re perfect.

 

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Lyle: *eyeballs interviewer* This is getting a bit intense… Okay, one thing.  I wouldn’t mind being able to control my magic a little better. I’m prone to the odd shape-shifting mishap, from time-to-time, and then comes those those, er, fiery moments with my temper.

Ben: I sometimes wish I was a little more spontaneous and a little less of a worrier.

 

What are your hobbies or interests?

Lyle: I create multi-media art inspired by the seashore. Oh, and I enjoy a bit of al fresco sex. Does that count?

Ben: *blushes* We do make sure the neighbors can’t see, honest! At the moment, my other hobby is DIY in our little house and garden. Specifically, trying to repair the leak in Lyle’s new hot-tub.

 

What is your greatest fear?

Lyle: Being cursed again and shut away in a creepy gothic tower for another hundred years, all alone and without my lovely Ben.

Ben: I don’t even want to say it, but I think it’s kind of obvious…

 

Do you have any secrets?

Lyle: *looks guilty* I, uh, might have kept quite a few things from Ben when we first met. Like neglecting to tell him, I might have accidentally murdered my brother.

Ben: But that’s all in the past, unless you’ve anything else to confess, love?

Lyle: *shakes head vociferously*

 

What do you find most attractive about your partner?

Lyle: Everything! But if I really had to pick, Ben has the most beautiful eyes. I could lose myself in them forever.

Ben: Lyle has amazing tentacle-like fins, which he can, uh, do some marvelously sexy things with, so they require a nod. But I think he might kill me if I didn’t say he had a fantastic arse.

 

If today were your last day to live, what would you do and who would you want to spend it with?

*both point to each other*

Lyle: Easy! We’ll be spending it together. As for what we’d do… Wouldn’t you like to know! But if you read a little more of our story, you might get a good idea.

 

Thanks to Ben and Lyle for joining me! Don’t forget to check out the Landlocked Heart series. If you enjoy modern day shape-shifting mermen, sweet romance, a bit of action, and angst, you’ll love it!

Check it out on the Less Than Three website or Amazon!

LT3 Store

Amazon

 

 

Review – The Lonely Merman and Lyle’s Story by Kay Berrisford

Today I’m reviewing the first two parts of The Landlocked Heart series, The Lonely Merman and Lyle’s Story. The two stories can be purchased separately in ebook, or together as a paperback edition!

As a lover of mermen, The Lonely Merman was a story I just had to read. The story is about Ben, a pretty ordinary guy, thirty years old and living with his parents. He’s trying to do his job, securing a potential hazard reported in the Shanty woods when he encounters an odd fellow named Lyle in the woods. Turns out, Lyle is essentially a merman, banished and cursed to live out his days in those woods.

Ben and Lyle make quite a pair. Ben is a level-headed, voice of reason guy who thinks he’s got things under control, and Lyle is over-dramatic and over-the-top.

I really enjoyed this book because it was a sweet story of true love with a bit of silliness, a lot of cuteness, and a light smattering of angst.

If you like sweet modern fairy-tale like romances and mermen, definitely check it out!

The second part in the series is called Lyle’s Story, and it picks up just after the end of the first book. The bulk of this part explains exactly what happened at the end of book one, from Lyle’s point of view. I enjoyed getting inside Lyle’s head, and learning a bit more about his family. This part plays a lot on Lyle and Ben’s insecurities in their relationship. Even though most of the book takes place basically in one spot and explaining in more detail what Lyle went through to be with Ben in the end of book one, it was still pretty eventful and intriguing.

Also, shout out for a gender neutral side character that used alternative pronouns, which I really loved!

All in all, I thought the second part of the series was a great addition and built more on the world that Lyle came from.

Ben and Lyle definitely aren’t perfect, and both have their own problems and struggles, which for me is what makes them feel so real and makes their stories so interesting.

My rating:

The Lonely Merman – 5/5 stars

Lyle’s Story – 5/5 stars

 

Buy the Landlocked Heart books at the below links!

Less Than Three:

The Lonely Merman

Lyle’s Story

Landlocked Heart Volume 1 Print

Amazon

The Lonely Merman

Lyle’s Story

Landlocked Heart Volume 1 Print

Author Interview – Kay Berrisford

Today I’m bringing you Fiction Cove’s first ever author interview! I’m super excited for that to be with the wonderful Kay Berrisford!

Kay is the author of the Landlocked Heart series, The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate, and Bound for the Forest.

I first found Kay’s work browsing pre-order titles on the Less Than Three website while waiting for my pre-order listing for my own book to go up. Kay’s book The Lonely Merman caught my eye because of the title. I’m a huge lover of mermen so my curiosity was piqued immediately. After reading it, I connected with Kay on Twitter, and now we talk and support each other in our writing. I’m very honored to call Kay a friend!

Now let’s get to the questions!

 

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t really think of myself as a writer! Whenever I try to believe I am, a voice in my head shouts loudly, “Who are you trying to kid?” On the other hand, I’ve always made up stories, and sometimes I write them down. There’s never been a time when I didn’t make up stories, so I don’t think there was ever a moment I decided I wanted to. It’s just an essential part of what I am.

 

Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?

Everywhere, but mainly from other books and from history.  I have studied history extensively, I work in a museum, and so I get bombarded with great ideas all the time. I once attended a talk by Terry Pratchett, and he said he got most of his ideas from history and non-fiction books (like me) but that, interestingly, he didn’t read much other fiction at all (quite unlike me!)

I am also often inspired by travel: new and beautiful places can inspire new ideas, settings, and characters. Much of Dragon Rider, the third Landlocked Heart book, was dreamed up on the coast of Pembrokeshire in Wales (although I set it in Cornwall!)

 

What is your favorite character type to write, and why?

I like writing angsty, tortured characters the best.  Although I started writing the Landlocked Heart series from Ben’s (the human’s) point of view, I enjoyed writing from Lyle’s (the merman’s) point of view the most, because frankly, he was the more tortured and whumped of the pair.

 

Do you have any favorite tropes?

Oh, plenty! I’m a particular fan of “enemies to lovers” stories, which are always fun to write as well as read.

 

Who (a personal acquaintance or an author) has inspired you the most, and why?

Megan Derr, Megan Derr, Megan Derr. I love everything she writes, especially her fantasy stories, but pretty much anything.  Her characters are always incredibly strong and her world-building just stuns me. Reading her books makes me want to write, to up my game, and try and create something that’s even a faint shadow of her awesomeness. She’s also been incredibly supportive of my writing. Along with Sam and Sasha at LT3 Press, Megan’s the reason I’m publishing again.

 

What draws you to the romance and urban fantasy genres?

I love reading them! With urban fantasy, I love taking the world around me that I know and adding that little ingredient of magic that transports us somewhere really special. It’s probably my favourite genre to write, although I also like writing historical fantasy. That’s a lot more hard work—all that bloody research!

 

What is your writing process like?

When I write, I’m mega disciplined. On a writing day, I sit down and aim for at least 3000 words, and usually I hit my target. I use my time at work—in between my days off to write—in daydreaming, brainstorming, and planning. Although, to be fair, apart from a couple of abortive weeks last October, I’ve only written for ten months in the past four years and not since last July. I’m kind of “all or nothing at all.”

I spend more time editing than writing, too. I actually enjoy the process of editing my own work more than the initial drafting.

 

Did you draw on any specific mythologies when creating your characters and world? What were they, and what made you want to play with those elements?

I’ve always drawn a lot on English folklore (the Green Man, Robin Hood, Herne the Hunter), which is most evident in my Bound for the Forest series.  I grew up surrounded by these stories, so it seemed a natural place for me to play.

For the Landlocked Heart series, I drew on fairy mythology, which I love, although I kind of made up my own merfolk mythology. Landlocked Heart is actually set in the same universe as my previous historical fantasy book, The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate, just two centuries later. Lyle (Landlocked Heart) is from a different tribe and species as Raef (The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate) but they are from the same origins. One of the characters explains all the history behind this in Dragon Rider (the third Landlocked Heart book) but I cut it in edits, because it slowed pace.

In the final Landlocked Heart book, The Isle of Eternal Happiness, I drew a little on the mythology of lost islands, like Atlantis, which was fun.

 

What surprised you most when writing the Landlocked Heart series?

That I loved writing it so much! I hadn’t written in nearly three years when I sat down to write The Lonely Merman, and I’d often thought I’d never write again. But once I started, I couldn’t stop. Lyle and Ben have been among my very favourite characters to write ever.

 

What’s your favorite food, and your go-to writing fuel?

I usually write in in the morning, so sorry to be mega dull, but my fuel is coffee, breakfast cereal (Weetabix) and then peppermint tea! At lunch, I sometimes treat myself with pancakes piled with banana and ice-cream, though.

 

Are you reading any good books right now, and if so, share!

I’ve just started Dragon Magic by Megan Derr, which I’m loving. I was lucky lately to get a sneak preview of the second book in the Masks series by Amara Lynn, and that was pretty awesome too.

 

If you could teleport to anywhere on the planet right now, where would it be and why?

I love Italy, so maybe a sun-kissed villa in Tuscany, with a month’s supply of yummy food, a swimming pool, (heated for April!) and endless days to daydream and write.

 

Thanks for the interview, Kay!

Kay’s final book in the Landlocked Heart series just released on March 14th, and Bound for the Forest was just re-released with LT3 on April 4th. Now is a great time to check out Kay’s stuff, since everything on LT3’s site is 29% off for their anniversary sale! Links to Kay’s work will be at the bottom of this post!

 

About Kay:

I am, and always will be, the nerdy book-loving girl in the corner. I’ll never be one of the cool, popular kids, even among fellow readers, writers, and book lovers… and I’m okay with that. I’ve been making up romance stories with m/m protagonists since the days before the internet, before I’d any idea what sex was, and when I believed I was the only little girl whose imagination worked like that. How am I supposed to stop now?

I try to squeeze in writing between a 6-day-a-week job in Customer Services. Yayz!?! My romance tales contain an unholy concoction of fun and fantasy (dragons, fairies, elves, and mermen, anyone?) alongside a strong dose of angst and hurt/comfort.

I am a bit of a social media recluse (sorry!) but I love to connect with readers. You can email me at kayberrisford @ yahoo.co.uk and I lurk on twitter a little – @kayberrisford

 

Links to Kay’s work:

Amazon 

Less Than Three Press 

Review – Welcome to Crash by Lina Langley

Today I’m reviewing Welcome to Crash, by my friend Lina, which I loved!

wtc

Welcome to Crash was an amazing, wild, intriguing ride of a book that left me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Now I know why Lina was always saying it is very hard to talk about without spoiling the whole thing.

There were some things I wasn’t keen about and I will list as many warnings as I can at the end of the review for those interested, but I think everything about this book worked and that none of that made me personally want to put the book down at all.

This story is very much a psychological, is it all just in the MC’s head type of story, and it’s great.

The story is told from the POV of Damien, a college student who accepts an internship at prestigious art studio Crash. It quickly becomes apparent that something is off, and the reader will likely figure out something is up before Damien does. That didn’t make it any less intriguing for me, though.

What I like about this book is it’s got a lot of raw emotions in it, it messes with your head, and it’s got a new adult feel to it with Damien’s struggle to be a functional part of society. My favorite thing about it though, I can’t say because it’s a spoiler!

There were a few hiccups as far as typos, but I loved this book so much that the here and there typo didn’t bother me too much.

Overall, this is a must-read in my opinion!

My rating: 5/5 stars

Content warnings are below links, and contain spoilers.

Links:

Amazon

DSP Publications

Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

Content Warnings:
-MC with epilepsy
-MC cheats on his boyfriend (it’s kind of a love triangle going on, and he is very upfront that he’s cheated to his boyfriend and feels awful about this for the whole book, which is so contrary to the mainstream media trend of casual cheating with no negative emotions attached, and so it really didn’t bother me like cheating normally would. I think it worked for this book.)
-Everyone is really concerned at one point for the MC to the point where his parents literally tell him he has to move back home so they can take care of him because he obviously can’t take care of himself. Not sure what the warning should be on that one, but there it is. It didn’t personally bother me but I recognize that it may bother some.
-John (the other love interest in the story) persists at one point he is not gay and he’s into women, but this is not a gay for you thing I promise you that. I thought it was worth fair warning though. I would say he was more a questioning individual who didn’t know the word bisexual, so I wouldn’t let this bit turn you off from the story. Just keep reading!

Review – No Rulebook For Flirting by Laura Bailo

Today I’m reviewing No Rulebook For Flirting, by Laura Bailo, which I received an ARC for!

norulebookforflirting

This is a super short contemp romance novella, coming in at 12k, so can easily be read in one sitting. It starts with a meet cute between the two characters when one steals a parking spot from the other at a board game convention. The two of them get off on the wrong foot but quickly move on to flirting over a game in the convention.

Though I’m not trans myself, I loved the trans rep in this story because it was there and it wasn’t a big deal. Aitor brought it up to Gabriel pretty early on, and then they moved on with things like it was no big deal. That acceptance was nice.

There is a side character, Raul, that is a bit abrasive during the story, which came off as him being queer-phobe, but [SPOILERS, click and drag over if you wish to reveal] at the very end of the story, this is played down as him just having an attitude but nothing actually against the characters for their sexuality, which left me feeling a bit conflicted about him.

All in all I thought this was a cute, sweet, and short read. If you like board games, D&D, and queer characters, consider checking it out. No Rulebook For Flirting releases on February 10th!

My Rating: 3/5

Amazon

JMS Books

Goodreads

 

Review – A Lake of Feathers and Moonbeams by Dax Murray

This week’s review is of A Lake of Feathers and Moonbeams, by Dax Murray.

The story is a queer retelling of Swan Lake, and is available on Kindle Unlimited if you have that!

51TkHcQwsWL

I found this story to be quite lovely. It’s queer, and it’s a fairy tale retelling, so I just had to try it!

It starts out with a bit of a dump of info about magic that was a little hard to follow, but it doesn’t linger too terribly much, so if you get confused at the start I’d recommend sticking it out. All does get explained better later!

The book centers mostly on Katya, who just seems to have come into being and has always dwelled within the forest. She comes to live with a sorcerer named Ivan, and the two of them have what seems to be a happy life together, eventually becoming lovers. During her time with Ivan, Katya also learns magic from Ivan’s books and becomes well versed herself. These details are explained in a sort of summary at the beginning of the book and the intro feels very fairy tale-like in style.

Things start to pick up when an escort is discovered making their way through Ivan and Katya’s forest, escorting the princess Yi Zhen on her way to an arranged marriage with Princen Alexis (an enby royal from the neighboring land!).

I loved the variety of rep in the story, all of which was portrayed in a positive, accepting light, from the enby Princen Alexis, who used they/them pronouns and is openly accepted in their kingdom, to Katya’s bisexuality, and the Princen’s parents being in a triad. It was absolutely delightful.

The story itself was quite interesting as well. I loved the descriptions, especially of the world’s magic.

The only real minus for me was a few grammatical/editing errors here and there that pulled me out of the narrative (one of which was a wrong pronoun).

All in all, this was worth the read, and I’d highly recommend to anyone looking for a sweet, queer fairy tale retelling with a variety of characters!

My rating: 4/5

Check out A Lake of Feathers and Moonbeams over on Goodreads and Amazon!

 

 

 

 

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