Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Top Five Favorite TV Witches by Zoraida Cordova

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

FIVE FAVORITE WITCHES FROM TV by Zoraida Cordova, author of Labyrinth Lost

Magic and mayhem are two of my favorite words. When they’re combined with women and girls, I love them even more. In Labyrinth Lost, book 1 of the Brooklyn Brujas series, I wanted to write about three different sisters who embody this in completely different ways. Each book in the series is dedicated to a different sister’s journey. Alex’s story in Labyrinth Lost is about self-love, family, and accepting your own power. Because Halloween is the Witch’s New Year, I want to share with you some of my favorite witches from TV.

5. Melisandre. ONLY because she brought back Jon Snow.


4. Jesus Vasquez from True Blood

BRUJOS REPRESENT. When Jesus says “I am a brujo” for the first time, I got shivers. He’s gay, he’s Mexican. He was a breath of fresh air. I was upset over his demise.


3. Sabrina Spellman from Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

This was one of my absolute favorite shows of all time. I watched it every day as a kid. Sabrina was resourceful, quirky, funny, and totally weird. She didn’t fit in, despite her best attempts, and I felt that way, too. Plus, she got to do the kind of magic I wanted. Super easy wardrobe change.


2. Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Willow goes through some dramatic changes during the seven seasons Buffy was on the air. Booknerd, thriving college student, light witch, dark witch, basically goddess. She’s the reason the gang solves most of their problems. When she’s faced with ultimate darkness, she finds her way back. Every squad needs a brain, but Willow is more than that. She’s hope and kindness and loyalty.


1. Regina Mills AKA The Evil Queen from Once Upon a Time

I’ve been rewatching this show lately and have the utmost respect for Regina. She’s cursed in many ways, but she has a hero’s journey. Magic isn’t black and white, but the show (being Disney and all) places her in an interesting position. Her entire life keeps getting thrown off course by the “good guys” and she is made to take the higher road. She’s resilient and brave and has the best outfits of all evil queens out there. I’m rooting for her Happy Ever After.


Thanks to Zoraida for sharing her Top Five Witches - don't forget to check out her YA novel, Labyrinth Lost, with features LGBT+ characters. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

All Hallows' Eve by Annabelle Jacobs

All Hallows' Eve by Annabelle Jacobs

Review by Lauren

source: copy from author; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryDominic Ashworth is descended from a long line of witches, although the family practice of witchcraft died out generations ago. Forever connected to a dark history, the house he grew up in remained in the Ashworth family for generations until his estranged father sold it. 

On a mission to check out the new owners, Dominic runs into Caleb Jones and gives the gorgeous man his phone number—but getting a date should be the last thing on Dominic’s agenda.

Caleb and his best friend, Zach Briceworth, are oblivious to the heartache and magic tied to the foundations of their new home. When strange things start to happen, the truth emerges and surprises them both, especially as everything revolves around Caleb’s new love interest.

After a shaky start, Caleb and Dominic settle into an easy relationship, falling faster than either of them expected. But with Halloween approaching, the possibility of danger increases. The past is not always as it seems, and the ripples of a tragic event threaten to put an end to everything between them.

ReviewThanks to the author for allowing me to read her novel, which is obviously perfect for the month of October and Halloween. I love books that are spooky, so I was really excited to check this one out, especially because it's an m/m novel, which I also love. All Hallows' Eve was a really fascinating read, and I loved the twists thrown in throughout that kept me reading. The basics of the story is that Dominic is in a family of witches, and to keep a relative from years and years back from taking over their body and coming back, every member of the family needs to get a tattoo/protective mark. Dominic and his sister Alice have theirs, but when their estranged dad sells their old house (where the aforementioned ancestor was banished to the 'other side'), all they know is that one person has the mark...but what about the guy's son?

While trying to figure out if the son has the mark, Dominic meets his roommate, Caleb, and the two start a relationship. Alice urges Dominic to tell Caleb about them before they get too far into the relationship and everything comes out. Unfortunately, Dominic doesn't really get the chance until things start getting weird. 

I loved the relationship between Dominic and Caleb. They had a quick connection, but obviously they do have some issues throughout the book, what with Dominic believing so strongly in magic. As for Dominic's old house, weirder and weirder things start happening as it gets closer to Halloween. Cold drafts, new cat avoiding rooms, an old diary that had no writing one day and was filled the next. The book gets spookier as it goes on, and while it's not outright scary, it does leave you wondering what will happen next and if everyone will be okay.

I do recommend this one!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday with Author Brent Hartinger

I contacted various authors this month who wrote LGBT+ fiction and whose latest book was fit for the month of Halloween. Two of them chose the Top Ten Tuesday Halloween Freebie for next week, so I figured I'd post one today and the other next Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Twist Endings
by Brent Hartinger

I'm a huge fan of twist endings in books (at least when they're done fairly, and the author doesn't cheat). Here are a few of my favorites:

Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge: Just in time for Halloween, a horror novel that will make you never look at pumpkins the same way again.

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James: How reliable is this narrator exactly? The most interesting way to read this classic is as a story of a woman who has some serious projection issues when it comes to sex.

Follow You Home by Mark Edwards: This is a case of a book where I don't think the author plays entirely fair, withholding information that the narrator knows but doesn't reveal to the reader until the very end. But I still couldn't put it down.

Shattering Glass by Gail Giles: A kid is bullied. By the end of the book, someone gets shattered, but it's not necessarily who you think!

The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner: A smart, cleanly-written domestic thriller set near Seattle (where I live).

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: I'm one of those who hated the ending of this book, because it requires characters to act in crazy, unbelievable ways. But the mid-book twist where the alternating narrators are both revealed to be extremely unreliable is hands-down brilliant.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card: Unfortunately, the author is a raging bigot, so I would discourage you from buying this sci-fi book (get it from a library instead). Regardless, the ending will blow your mind.

The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne: One twin dies, and the parents take the surviving child to live on an isolated island. Creepy things ensue. Is the ending far-fetched? Perhaps, but it still worked for me.

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk: Yeah, yeah, everyone knows the twist ending by now. But it's still a good one.

Grand and Humble by Brent Hartinger: I hate to include one of my own books, but [ahem] I'm especially proud of this twist, which (as far as I know) has never been done before, in any book or movie. And no one -- and I mean NO ONE -- has ever guessed it correctly.

THREE TRUTHS AND A LIE by Brent Hartinger

Brent Hartinger's latest book is Three Truths and a Lie, a psychological thriller with, yes, a twist ending! And also gay teens. Visit Brent at www.brenthartinger.com. Check out the book trailer for Three Truths and a Lie here

Monday, October 17, 2016

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

Review by Lauren

source: copy from BEA16; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryFlynn's girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories that don't add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January's boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January's disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

Review: When researching the authors/books that would be at Book Expo America in May, I came across Caleb Roehrig's novel, Last Seen Leaving. It comes two things that I absolutely love - LGBT+ characters and a mystery! After reading this one, I can definitely say you should check it out. The mystery of January's disappearance is perfect for the fall season, though you can enjoy it at any time.

I think it's fairly obvious from the summary that Flynn is gay. That's the "truth about himself" that the official summary talks about. Therefore, when his girlfriend January goes missing, there is a lot that Flynn can't talk about concerning their relationship and the last night they spent together. Don't worry, the secret doesn't stay hidden for too long, so there shouldn't be any yelling of "OMG, Flynn, tell someone!" It's actually after Flynn finally comes out that things get really interesting.

Last Seen Leaving is full of little twists and turns that I loved. Whether you guess a culprit or not, you're bound to be surprised by something in this novel. I loved the character of Flynn. He's scared about coming out, but then he's also determined to do right by January now that she's gone. He wants to know what happened to her and most of the things he does to find answers is understandable, since I know that this is something that people are often bothered by in teen mysteries.

What I really loved about this book is that it's more than just a who done it or a murder mystery. Yes, there is all of that, but it's also about growing up and learning to understand why people do the things they do. Again, I highly recommend this one and I can't wait for more by this author!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is Becoming a Movie!

One of my favorite book is Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and I'm so excited that it's been optioned to become a film. Not only that but it actually has a director attached and that would be Greg Berlanti, who has most recently been working on hit shows like Arrow and The Flash. You can learn a bit more about the film and Berlanti by reading this Hollywood Reporter article.

Who has read this book? Are you excited about a movie version? If you have not read the book, check it out on Goodreads now!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday with Author Annabelle Jacobs

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Today I have author Annabelle Jacobs, author of All Hallows' Eve (review to come soon!). Today she is sharing 10 of her favorite recommended reads! Have you read any of these?

10 of My Favourite Recommended Books by Annabelle Jacobs

1. Captive Prince - C. S. Pacat

God I love this book, and the two after it. I was a little reluctant to read at first. What the hell was I thinking? I've read them all at least 3 times so far, and I will definitely be reading them again.

2. Vespertine - Leta Blake, Indra Vaughn

Another one I took a while to get to, and it was so so good. I really should know better than to wait.

3. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli

 I don't read all that many YA books, but this made me want to read more. Such a lovely book *sigh*

4. Among the Living (PsyCop Bk 1) - Jordan Castillo Price

The first time I read this I couldn't get into it. I picked it up again a year later and read the whole series in about 2 weeks. I love Vic and Jacob *swoon*. This is probably my favourite paranormal series, and after I finish it, I went straight on to read all the Channelling Morpheus books - also excellent. Wild Bill is probably my fav vamp. 

5. The Boys on the Mountain - John Inman

When I asked for horror/scary MM book recs, this was one of the ones that was mentioned - a lot. And yeah, I can see why. After stupidly reading it in bed, I had to sleep with the light on. It was excellent, even if it gave me nightmares, lol.

6. Rock - Anyta Sunday

Such a beautifully written book.  Reviews for it kept popping up on my feed, and curiosity got the better of me.

7. Misfits - Garrett Leigh

MMM books aren’t really my thing, I tend to avoid them. But a lot of people recommended this one, so I gave it a try, and I was so not disappointed. It's such a lovely book—one that leaves all you all warm, happy and smiley.

8. Hot Head - Damon Suede

 One of the very first books I read in this genre. Firefighters - always a winner.

9. Sutphin Boulevard - Santino Hassell

 Love this whole series. I think I read this one in just over a day, couldn't put it down.  School mornings are no fun on a few hours sleep!

10. Blame it on the Mistletoe - Eli Easton

This was my very first Eli Easton book. After I finished it, I read everything else she'd written. I love finding new favourite authors with backlists to get stuck into. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Wonder Woman...Queer?!

According to The Huffington Post, Wonder Woman is Officially Queer. This isn't something The Huff Post made up. Rather, writer Greg Rucka stated this in an interview. Taken from The Huff Post:

Rucka said the decision to depict the character as such was only “logical,” given that her island home, Themyscira, is inhabited only by women, which can be interpreted by some as a “queer culture.” 

To be honest, this reasoning makes a lot of sense to me! I love that these new adaptations of famous comic book characters are changing up the game a bit. You get these icons everyone thinks they already know and writers change their sexuality and even their color sometimes! I love that it makes it more modern and it opens it up for other people to fall in love with these comic book characters, when they might not otherwise pay attention!

What do you think about a queer Wonder Woman?