September 27, 2022

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Do You Follow Your Favourite Authors on Social Media? Do You Interact With Them?


Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings in order to discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging (and some slightly more personal matters throw in for good measure). After Heidi stopped blogging (apparently for good), five of us took over as hosts while providing new questions. The current team is composed of Berls at Because Reading Is Better Than Real LifeJen at That's What I'm Talking AboutKaren at For What It's WorthLinda at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell and Roberta at Offbeat YA. This week's question is...

DO YOU FOLLOW YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHORS ON SOCIAL MEDIA? DO YOU INTERACT WITH THEM?

Apart from the authors I have a more personal relationship with (which includes beta-reading for them), only two of my very favourite writers are active on Twitter (the only social media I use, if you don't count Goodreads...which you...well, don't count ๐Ÿ˜‚. I mean, is GR a social media? Hardly...). They are:

Nova Ren Suma (@novaren


She isn't very active (and mostly tweets writerly stuff), but I've had the chance to interact with her a handful of times, if briefly (I try not to impose myself). Once I mentioned really missing/looking forward to new books from her, and she quote-tweeted me saying something about tweets like mine being a morale booster when writers are alone with their WIP and struggling with the age-old "is there anyone out there who actually cares?" authorial question. It was heart-warming.

Seanan McGuire (@seananmcguire)


Unlike Suma, she's VERY active, and doesn't shy away from sharing private slices of life when she sees a valid reason for it, but on the other hand, she doesn't usually engage in one-on-one conversations with fans - she doesn't even use the "like" button, though she retweets stuff all the time. I understand that, what with her level of popularity and social media being the pits at times, she needs to set some boundaries, and I respect it. (To be precise: she is available via her site contact form, though it might take a bit for her to reply. That's what she states on Twitter from time to time. I have no experience with it). I think she only retweeted one of my reviews of her books so far (and I'm sure it's because there's no way she can keep up with her notifications - she probably only retweets stuff that goes live while she's online, and probably only sees a fraction of it), and we only interacted a couple of times, very briefly (when I commented on one of her tweets and she replied, and when she answered a question I posed in a Twitter Q&A). Apart from her books, she tweets about disability issues, boosts other content creators/artists, shares pics of cats (hers but not only), amphibians, My Little Ponies, Magic cards and D&D dice sets (which she collects. The last three, I mean ๐Ÿ˜‰).

September 23, 2022

Taste the Books: Review Morsels #36 Rin Chupeco, Kate A. Boorman, Rob Hart


Intro


Hello beauties!

Welcome again to my own brand of mini reviews! I never thought I'd do minis, until I recapped a few of my long reviews in some digest post in 2014, and then guest-posted some shorties for a blogging event in 2015. And Karen from For What It's Worth started praising my short recs/recaps ๐Ÿ˜Š. Just to be clear,  I'm NOT taking a break from writing long reviews - no such luck LOL (though for anthologies, shorter books or books that I didn't enjoy/I don't have enough to say about, I decided to stick to minis). But while I'm making up my mind about a new book I've read, I might as well give you the short version ๐Ÿ˜‰. Just be warned - this feature will be VERY random!

Note: all the mini blurbs (in italics) are of my own creation.

September 18, 2022

Seanan McGuire: "Where the Drowned Girls Go"

Title: Where the Drowned Girls Go [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: Wayward Children (7th of 10? books)
Author: Seanan McGuire [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Supernatural (technically it would be Portal Fantasy, but since I don't have a Fantasy Room on the blog, I decided to shelf this one as Supernatural - that's the closest I could get)
Year: 2022
Age: 14+
Stars: 5/5
Pros: An imaginative look-in-reverse at one of the most common fantasy tropes. Packs a huge punch for so short a book. Has a few surprises in store. Lets all its characters shine.
Cons: Leaves you thirsty for all the worlds that are barely mentioned/touched upon...
WARNING! Bullying by way of fat-shaming. Mention of a suicide attempt by drowning.
Will appeal to: People who love flawed, complex teen heroes and coming of age stories of a peculiar kind. Everyone who's ever felt out of place, but doesn't necessary dream of a happier world than the one they live in...

Blurb: There is another school for children who fall through doors and fall back out again. It isn't as friendly as Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children. And it isn't as safe.
When Eleanor West decided to open her school, her sanctuary, her "Home for Wayward Children", she knew from the beginning that there would be children she couldn’t save; when Cora decides she needs a different direction, a different fate, a different prophecy, Miss West reluctantly agrees to transfer her to the other school, where things are run very differently by Whitethorn, the Headmaster.
She will soon discover that not all doors are welcoming... 
(Amazon excerpt)

Review: A few months ago, I decided I wouldn't write any more full reviews for certain types of books, including novellas. But since I've been reviewing this series in full from the start, I'm making an exception here, and I intend to go on doing so for all its future installments. So, I'll keep writing a mini review after my first read, and a full one after my second. Also...this is my first 5-star rating for a Wayward Children book!

MY MERMAID FRIEND

Something about Cora stole my heart since her first apparition in Beneath the Sugar Sky, and it's funny how we don't have anything in common (apart from being/having been bullies' targets in different ways), but I love her more than any other Wayward Child I've met so far. Or maybe it isn't funny, because what's not to love about a fat girl with a mermaid's heart, who gets bullied for her size and tries to disappear but finds her door instead, ultimately takes matters into her own hands, and becomes a hero? a flawed one, but one who recognises her flaws and does her best to overcome them? not to mention, one with blue-green hair and iridescent skin? Everything about Cora and her arc feels so true and real, that you could swear resourceful, brave, fat mermaids are a thing and you will meet one (or more) one day, and how come you haven't yet? [...]

September 13, 2022

Taste the Books: Review Morsels #35 Lamar Giles, Andrew J. Brandt, Scotto Moore


Intro


Hello beauties!

Welcome again to my own brand of mini reviews! I never thought I'd do minis, until I recapped a few of my long reviews in some digest post in 2014, and then guest-posted some shorties for a blogging event in 2015. And Karen from For What It's Worth started praising my short recs/recaps ๐Ÿ˜Š. Just to be clear,  I'm NOT taking a break from writing long reviews - no such luck LOL (though for anthologies, shorter books or books that I didn't enjoy/I don't have enough to say about, I decided to stick to minis). But while I'm making up my mind about a new book I've read, I might as well give you the short version ๐Ÿ˜‰. Just be warned - this feature will be VERY random!

Note: all the mini blurbs (in italics) are of my own creation.

September 10, 2022

Unplanned Hiatus (But With Scheduled Posts)

Hi sweeties,

just a quick announcement...I'm having a home emergency at the moment, so I won't be able to post and interact with you for a while (barred the occasional tweet). My husband is fighting a nasty foot ulcer, and since he's an amputee in his other leg (as some of you may remember), he's not only home from work, but forced to stay in bed or sit until it heals. So, I'm not only acting as a caregiver more than usual, but also going on errands - though with some assistance from my dad, who, unlike me, (still) drives - and my days are extenuating. If I hadn't been laid off, I'd have had to ask for a leave of absence by now.

As for the blog, you'll still see my posts, since I have the whole month covered already. I'll do my best to reply to your comments, but I won't be able to return the favour for a few weeks, because there aren't enough hours in a day for that. Also, I have a digital ARC (my last one for now) to read and review by next month, and I'm still trying to find time for that Excel online course, and I'm unbelievably tired (plus it's still HOT, and you know how it drains me). I'll most definitely update you at the beginning of October, via my Offbeat Offline post. Please be patient with me for now, and may September treat you better than it's doing me ๐Ÿ˜ญ ๐Ÿงก.

September 08, 2022

Gemma Amor: "Full Immersion" (ARC Review)

Title: Full Immersion [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: None
Author: Gemma Amor [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Sci-Fi, Horror
Year: 2022
Age: 18+
Stars: 4/5
Pros: Unusual, imaginative blend of real-life issues and sci-fi/horror. The visuals jump off the page.
Cons: The dialogue feels a bit contrived at times. A couple of alleged reveals are easy to figure out in advance (though maybe not early on).
WARNING! (TW list provided by the author): Suicidal idealisation. Post-natal depression. Implied acts of violence towards a child. Birth scene. (More): Graphic gore. Bodily fluids.
Will appeal to: Readers who like speculative fiction rooted in real-life scenarios. Mothers who have struggled with post-natal depression and intrusive thoughts. Family members who have witnessed such situations.

Blurb: When Magpie discovers her own dead body one misty morning in Bristol, it prompts her to uncover the truth of her untimely demise. Her investigations take her on a terrifying journey through multiple realities, experimental treatments, technological innovations and half-memories in a race against time and sanity. Accompanied by a new friend who is both familiar and strange, and constantly on the run from the terrifying, relentless presence of the mysterious predator known only as Silhouette, Magpie must piece together the parts of her life previously hidden. In doing so, she will discover the truth about her past, her potential, and her future. (Goodreads)

Review:  First off...DISCLAIMER: I requested this title on Edelweiss. Thanks to Angry Robot for providing a temporary ecopy. This didn't influence my review in any way.

VIRTUAL FEAST

Full Immersion is one of the most unique novels I've ever read. It takes an unflinching look at the still taboo issue of post-partum depression, and it does so through the lens of an imaginative (if far-out) virtual-reality setting where horror and beauty go hand in hand, and whose effects on the real world are...deliciously disturbing (what can I say, I like my stuff dark ๐Ÿ˜‚). After a few suicide attempts, the main character Magpie enrolls in an experimental VR program that should be able to get to the root of her suppressed trauma and - hopefully - force her to confront and overcome it. But the carefully curated scenario (which starts with the protagonist's discovery of her own dead body) soon gets a makeover, while Magpie and the mysterious friend she met at her death site take unaccounted-for routes (some of them in order to escape the ominous Silhouette) and the program begins to infiltrate reality...quite literally. [...]

September 02, 2022

Offbeat Offline: August 2022


Welcome to Offbeat Offline, where I bring you up-to-date with what went on in my life during the month just gone, give you a sneak peek of my next shenanigans, and share my favourite posts of late!

What happened last month to yours truly? A Seanan McGuire full immersion, a perm touch-up and...more heat. Also, I had to trash my TMST post for August 30th (Which Books Are You Looking Forward to Reading This Fall?) because in my customising frenzy I messed up with the code (or maybe more like, Blogger finally lost it on me ๐Ÿ˜‚), and I didn't feel like starting the post anew. Then again, later I noticed that some of my previous, similarly long (and heavily coded) posts have the same problem that the TMST one had - if I look at them in the HTML editor window, from halfway through all the text is in black, instead of showing the different part of the codes involved in different colours with only the actual post content in black (I don't know if I'm making sense...). I mean, the codes WORK - but I wonder if they're going to stand the test in case Blogger makes more changes in the future like the one where I almost lost all my reviews a few years ago ๐Ÿ˜ฑ. I save everything, but I could never go back and replace ALL my posts if the worst happened...Anyhow, it's clear that Blogger can't handle long posts without freaking out LOL. Maybe it's trying to tell me something...Anyhow, onto my August recap!