Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mini Double Review: Stars & Swipes and Hugs & Misses from Wilhelm Staehle!

Author: Wilhelm Staehle
Format: paperback, 30 pages
Pub. Date: December 3rd 2014
Source: Quirk Books

Author: Wilhelm Staehle
Format: paperback, 30 pages
Pub. Date: December 3rd 2014
Source: Quirk Books

About the Books:

Wilhelm Staehle’s Silhouette Masterpiece Theater ( is the rare Web comic that deserves to be printed. Each panel in the popular weekly strip features a painstakingly detailed etching carved from a beautiful painting; the results are gorgeous and very funny.

These two postcard books feature some of Staehle’s finest work. Hugs and Misses is a terrific Valentine’s Day gift, full of lovelorn ladies, roguish gentlemen, renegade Cupids, and indecent proposals. Stars and Swipes offers a hilarious vision of classic Americana, with farcical frontiersmen, prattling presidents, and other all-American oddities.



I have to say, these little books are super fun. I haven't sent snail mail, save for Christmas cards, in a long while but I can say with complete honesty that there are poor lucky souls out there who will be receiving post cards from me in the mail thanks to these books.

The artwork for both books is really pretty, but it is surely enhanced by the great humor that's brought to the cards within it.

Hugs and Misses is a collection that is perfect for upcoming Valentine's Day (still time to order, by the way), full of romantic puns and jokes and pretty artwork to match each awkward moment. There are 30 postcards in here, waiting to be shipped to your man or lady friend.

But, if romance isn't your thing, Staehle has a second postcard book called Stars and Swipes which features the same lovely art style and sense of humor with thirty postcards full of hilarious moments of Americana and patriotic laughs. I have a few friends that are history majors who I know will be getting a card or too in their mailbox.

These are unique little books that are perfect for that awkward geek in your life, or for yourself if you wish to send them out to your friends to brighten their day one joke at a time.

Thanks so much to Quirk Books for my copies in exchange for my honest review!

Stalk the Books:

Buy them here:

Hugs and Misses and Stars and Swipes.

Stacking the Shelves [78]

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to show off the books we've won, bought, or otherwise received in the past week. If a book catches your eye, *click* the picture to go to the Goodreads page of that book.

New from Netgalley:

Pure Pork Awesomeness by Kevin Gillespie, David Joachim
The Authentic Amish Cookbook by Norman Miller
Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea by Annelies Zijderveld

Fabulous Freebies:

Falling for Emma by Alix Nichols

In My Email Inbox:


In My Mailbox:

The Trouble with Peer Pressure: A Simple "My ADHD Story" for Young Teens by Darlene R Wood Signed. Thanks Darlene!

The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse by Lauren Wilson, Kristian Bauthus Thanks BenBella Books!

And I was sent this lovely birthday card & signed copy of Spark of Light by Elizabeth Tuttle. Thank you so much!!

My Giveaways:

Call of the Jersey Devil by Aurelio Voltaire
Upside Down by Lia Riley

Book Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Ever Darkening by Janeal Falor!

Ever Darkening
Release Date: 01/28/15

Summary from Goodreads:
Perfection. Goodness. Elimination of evil. It's what
seventeen-year-old Kaylyn has trained her entire life to achieve. But no one is
prepared for the consequences of her actually defeating all evil people on the
planet. Finally successful in her mission, Kaylyn faces an unfamiliar world,
full of good people doing good things, in which she no longer has purpose.

When the skies grow dark, and a stranger from another village pleads for her
help, her instincts roar to life. It turns out their perfect world isn't
exactly what it seems. Kaylyn's new quest, harder than any she's been on
before, will rip apart her friendships, her life, and her soul more than any
evil man ever managed to.


The darkness is filled with a silence so thick and unnatural, I want to draw my sword and slice through it. I don’t want to think what that could mean. But it’s the whole reason we are here. To figure it out, this slimy, oily thing that sticks to my Zophasken like tar. My power burns even as I keep it tightly wrapped inside me. Malryx no longer exist. Except no one told this forest.

About the Author
Janeal Falor lives in Utah where she’s finally managed to live in the same house for more than five years without moving. In her spare time she reads books like they’re nuts covered in caramel and chocolate, cooks whatever strikes her fancy, and enjoys the outdoors. Her husband and three children try to keep up with her overactive imagination. Usually they settle for having dinner on the table, even if she’s still going on about the voices in her head.

Author Links:
    photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png


$50 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:

Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: Taste of Beirut by Joumana Accad!

Title: Taste of Beirut: 175+ Delicious Lebanese Recipes from Classics to Contemporary to Mezzes and More
Author: Joumana Accad
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 2nd 2014
Source: Netgalley & Health Communications

Book Description via Goodreads:

Joumana Accad, creator of the blog, is a native Lebanese, a trained pastry chef, and professional caterer. In her debut cookbook, the "The Taste of Beirut," she shares her heritage through exquisite food and anecdotes, teaching anyone from newbies to foodies how to master traditional Lebanese cuisine. With over 150 recipes inspired by her "Teta" (grandmother) in their family's kitchen, Accad captures the fabulous flavors of the Middle East and makes them completely accessible to home cooks.

Each recipe features step-by-step instructions, Accad's warm teaching style, and breathtaking color photographs that will make mouths water.



As I'm sure a lot of you know by now, I am always looking to broaden my cooking horizons. I honestly know next to nothing about Lebanese food, other then the family of a girl I went to high school with own a Lebanese restaurant. This book was a great introduction to the cuisine, and I'll be using a lot of the recipes from this book in the future.

It's easily navigated, as it's sorted by course. I was really surprised (in a good way) how short but concise the recipes were. Accad gives clear, step by step instructions, but very rarely was there a recipe that was longer than one page. This worked out great for me because it allowed more room for pictures, which are a "must have" for me when buying a cookbook. On top of that, the photographs are visually appealing. It definitely made me more excited to try these recipes out.

I appreciated that the author gave tips on how to change recipes when needed, and offered a lot of varieties to some dishes. This was a bit redundant at times, but it was no doubt useful. My only concern is that there are quite a few ingredients I don't think are offered by me- but that's where the variants come in handy. There are a wide range of dishes in this book, so that meat lovers and vegetarians alike can benefit from having this book.

The three dishes that I am most excited to try are Shrimp in a Pineapple Boat, Breaded Scallops with Mango Sauce, and Pomegranate & Milk Pudding.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in spicing up their repertoire, regardless of skill level or dietary restrictions. It's approachable and well detailed so that any home cook can learn a thing or two. Thanks to Netgalley & Health Communications for my copy in exchange for my honest review.

Book Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Broken Aro by Jen Wylie!

by Jen Wylie 
Date: 09/04/12

from Goodreads:

Open your eyes to darkness. What do you
see? Does the darkness frighten you? Now imagine the darkness being the cargo
hold of a slave ship. Your city has fallen. Your family is most likely dead. You
don't know anyone around you, and some of them aren't even human. Giving up
would be so easy to do, but not for Arowyn Mason. Not after being raised in a
military family with seven brothers. Every great story should begin with a
plan. Aro's was to escape and to survive.

Escape comes, but at a price. As they reach the shore, Aro and the other
survivors learn that freedom doesn't mean safety. The slavers want their
property back and will do anything to get it. The party uses every ounce of
their brute strength, a hearty helping of cunning, and even ancient magics to
keep themselves alive. Sickness, danger, and even love surprise them at every
turn. Dealing with danger becomes their way of life, but none of them ever
considered that nothing can be quite as dangerous as a prophecy. Running turns
into another race altogether as her world falls to pieces again and again.


"Do you believe in magic, Aro?"

"What?" His sudden question startled her. "Well, I guess." She paused, thinking. "They say the eastern lands are full of all manner of beings that aren't human. Some are...something more. Like you. Is what you do magic?"

"Sort of. You could say part of me is magic. The Were use it more, changing forms. The Elves have their powers."

She interrupted him warily, "Are you going to do something strange again?"

He was silent for a very long time. "We Fey have a special magic. A magic of the heart and soul. A magic of…binding…of promise and intent. Do you understand?"

"No idea at all," she admitted.

"I want you to know how serious I am about protecting you, and I want you to know it's not just because of your father. I like you, Aro. I want us to be friends."

"I sort of thought we were heading that way already."

"But I can make it binding. Forever. Forever friends. No matter what."

She considered about what he said, who'd he suddenly become to her. He was her brother, her father had believed in him, but still...she hesitated. "Would it hurt?"

"Of course not," he said incredulously. "It's words and a little magic. That's all."

"Sure," she said impulsively. "What are the words?"

Her answer seemed to have surprised him. He took a moment before answering. "In friendship I shall bind my heart and soul to yours. Forever beside you I shall stand. Together or apart always will I be with you. Eternal friends we shall ever be."


& Noble

Untold Press is offering review copies of Broken Aro (The Broken Ones #1) by Jen Wylie for interested bloggers.  Review copies are available in Mobi and ePub formats. Review copies of book one are also available.  Please only sign up if you are interested in providing a review.  Read the terms below before signing up.

-By signing up, you agree to read and review within 2 months of receiving book.

-Please also post your review to Goodreads/Amazon/etc. in addition to your blog.
-Review copies will be sent directly by YA Bound Book Tours.

-Signing up does not guarantee you will receive a copy.

-Review copies will be sent on a bi-weekly basis (depending on sign ups).

About the Author
Wylie was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. In a cosmic twist of fate she
dislikes the snow and cold.

Before settling down to raise a family, she attained a BA from Queens
University and worked in retail and sales.

Thanks to her mother she acquired a love of books at an early age and began
writing in public school. She constantly has stories floating around in her
head, and finds it amazing most people don’t. Jennifer writes various forms of
fantasy, both novels and short stories. 

Jennifer resides in rural Ontario, Canada with her two boys, Australian
shepherd and a disagreeable amount of wildlife.

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Birthday Blogoversary Fangirl Bash Part IV GIVEAWAY & Interview: Upside Down by Lia Riley!

Hello my lovely followers and readers. Do you know what is special about today? It's my birthday!!! I am at the grand old age of twenty-three (-internal sobbing-) and admittedly, that age only makes me think of this:

But... Hopefully you guys still like me when I'm twenty three, right? Well in an attempt to butter you up, I'd like to present to you today a very special post. As some of you know, the Off the Map trilogy by Lia Riley was one of my absolute favorite sets of books in 2014. It is with absolute giddy fangirlish delight that I welcome Lia to Bitches n Prose to help me celebrate my birthday!


Thank you so much Lia for taking some time to talk with me today and help me celebrate. The setting of the Off the Map trilogy is written in such great detail. Have you spent a lot of time in Australia? Was there any research you needed to do?

My first trip to Australia was, ahem, *cough* fifteen years ago. I hadn’t quite turned twenty-one and certainly never expected in five million years to meet “the one” while on my study abroad trip. However, my now husband, Matey, whittled his way into my heart with bad dance moves and bottles of ginger wine. We lived in Australia (Tasmania mostly) for five years and still go back every year. I’ve made the flight at least a dozen times now. . .it’s long, but hey…in-flight movies and wine? Not so bad.

The settings in the book were all places I’ve visited, right down to the exhibits from the Museum of Old and New Art in
Upside Down.

That's so cool. I didn't realize just how realistic all those places were, and now I just want to visit there even more. Continuing on with research, over the course of the books Talia struggles with her OCD. Is this a disorder you knew a lot about before writing?

I’m clinically diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety. While my symptoms manifest differently than Talia on occasion, her experiences absolutely echo my own.

Did you get any input/say on the cover art? Because they are absolutely gorgeous.

My contract with my publisher, Hachette Book Group, guarantees me a say in the cover design. That being said, I had zero to do with the beauty of the Off the Map covers. My editor emailed them to me and I cried with happiness.

Bran is one of my favorite romance leads of all time and Talia is a very relatable character for me. Were any of your characters based off of people you know in real life?

Aw, thank you so much! I have no idea where Bran and Talia came from. A week or two into drafting, Talia’s voice came loud and clear. Bran, surly boy that he is, took longer. I didn’t intend to write his POV at all, then around a month into the book, he piped up his two-cents, before clamming back up. That’s why there’s so little of him in Upside Down. Homeboy was a tough nut to crack. Strangely, once I started Sideswiped, he wouldn’t shut up. I’d literally have to be like STOP HOGGING THE BOOK, BRAN! Same for Inside Out.

I’ve had readers view me more as Talia, and that’s a tremendous compliment (in my opinion), as I do love and respect that girl. But in real life, I might be a leeeeettle more cynical and idealistic, a la Bran.

A girl after my own heart, Talia loves her some TimTams. What is the best snack to have nearby when you're writing?

TimTams are such a delight, right? I usually mainline herbal tea, and occasionally popcorn. No one should watch me eat popcorn. Ever. Picture Cookie Monster gone wild.

That is quite possibly the best description I have ever heard. Now... "Lia!" The movie directors cry. "We need your help with casting!" Who would you like to see play these characters?

Oh, I have that dialed. Talia would be played by Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak in Arrow) and Bran by Colton Hayes (Roy Harper in Arrow).

I can totally see both of them fitting as your characters. What is one tip you wish you would have known at the start of your writing adventure?

Actually, nothing. Every mistake I’ve made has taught me a valuable lesson, ones I needed to make to be where I am today.

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what are some of the songs that helped you to write the Off the Map books?

I mainlined Passenger's All the Little Lights while during that series. Even now if I hear a song from that album, it gives me a visceral Off the Map response.

I've actually never heard of them before, so I'll have to check it out. Do you have any new projects in the works?

Yes, Ma’am. Here’s a list:

All three
Off the Map books are being released in stores as a trade paperback starting May 23rd, then June and July! Woo hoo!

On The Side (Off the Map #3.1)--a stand alone companion novella featuring Sunny and Tanner. Out in April.

Last First Kiss (Brightwater #1)--my first book in a contemporary adult romance series, set in a small ranch town that’s recently become lauded as “Best Kept Secret in the West”. Features a hot cowboy sheriff named Sawyer who is skilled in oral pleasure, honey harvesting (not an innuendo) and hot springs booty calls. Out June 23rd.

Right Wrong Guy (Brightwater #2), second book in adult contemporary. Features a bad boy wrangler and a runaway bride. Out August 4th.

Blindside (Off the Map #3.2), a stand alone companion novella featuring two characters from Off the Map universe. Out in September.

Best Worst Mistake (Brightwater #3), this one has a gruff smoke jumper. ‘Nuff said? Out in November.

With Every Breath, a New Adult standalone set in Patagonia and starring a broody Scottish mountaineer. Out in paperback/digital in December.


-blinks- Holy Hell Lia do you plan on breathing ever. 1) I AM SO EXCITED FOR PARPERBACKS YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW. 2) I kind of hate you because (as my girlfriend will tell you with a sigh and a shake of her head) I have recently come to have an obsession with Scottish characters and cowboys. FIRST AUSSIES NOW THIS LIA GET OUT OF MY HEAD. Don't really, I can't quit you-r books.

What's something you hope that readers take away from your books?

Wow, fantastic question. I guess, my core story, is people conquering their fears. It seems to be a theme I return to again and again. Hopefully, that is something that can resonate with readers?

Bonus Question That is Really a Statement and Fangirlish Request: I can has more Marti please?

You can! Let me just write all that other stuff first <3 Thanks so much for this and happy birthday!

And thank YOU so much for talking with me today <3

Stalk the Books:

You can find my reviews here: Upside Down, Sideswiped, and Inside Out.


Add them on Goodreads here:


Buy them here:

Upside Down, Sideswiped, and Inside Out.


Because Lia is the absolute cat's pajamas, she's generously offered an ebook copy of Upside Down for a giveaway! This is open to anyone age 16+ in CAN or US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Update: A new winner was chosen after 7 days with no response.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Birthday Blogoversary Fangirl Bash Part Three Review & Interview: Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman!

Title: Alex as Well
Author: Alyssa Brugman
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: January 20th 2015
Source: Netgalley & Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

About the Book:

Alex is ready for things to change, in a big way. Everyone seems to think she’s a boy, but for Alex the whole boy/girl thing isn’t as simple as either/or, and when she decides girl is closer to the truth, no one knows how to react, least of all her parents. Undeterred, Alex begins to create a new identity for herself: ditching one school, enrolling in another, and throwing out most of her clothes. But the other Alex—the boy Alex—has a lot to say about that. Heartbreaking and droll in equal measures, Alex As Well is a brilliantly told story of exploring gender and sexuality, navigating friendships, and finding a place to belong.


I'm very stoked to have Alyssa Brugman on the blog today to answer some of my questions about her book (which I absolutely adored) and to help to celebrate my birthday week. Thanks again for taking the time to let me do an interview with you! First, what inspired you to write Alex as Well?

The writer Jane McCredie was on the radio talking about her book Making Boys and Girls, which is about the science and psychology of gender. She was talking about gender as a spectrum.

Young people who experiment with, who identify as neither or both gender in various ways, are not much discussed in young adult fiction, which seems very odd when gender, sexual awareness and identity make up so much of the rest of young adult fiction. It doesn’t make any sense that there aren’t there more YA books about transgendered, cross-dressing or intersex teens, so I wrote one.

At the time I was working on a PhD in literature. My area of study was unreliable narration in young adult fiction. I wanted to know how I could let the reader know what was going even though my young character shouldn’t really have the emotional maturity to understand either themselves, or the motives of others. I incorporated a number of the narrative strategies that I studied in the PhD into this manuscript.

I couldn't agree with you more, YA literature is definitely lacking in those areas, and I was fascinated by Alex's narrative. Were any of these characters based off of people that you know in real life?

No, I made it all up.

Did you have to do any research while writing this novel? If so, how did you use this research, or what are some things you learned?

As I said before, I wrote a PhD thesis on unreliable narration, and the original manuscript of Alex was submitted as the companion piece, showing examples of the narrative strategies that I talked about in the thesis. I learned a lot of technical names for things I had done before in other books, and now I can see them when I read other people’s books. It’s kind of like opening the bonnet of a novel seeing all the different parts of its engine.

What do you hope people take away from Alex as Well?

I read an article by an emerging young adult author in the Australian Society of Authors magazine who said, “I didn’t want to write one of those social realism novels whose aim seems to be to make teens feel better about being bullied for being fat or thin or gay or black or Muslim.”
I unapologetically write those novels, but not with the sort of cynicism that the above quote implies - instead with what I fancy is a genuine compassion for, and interest in, young people who might be struggling in their various ways.

People who don’t understand intersex conditions seem to think that gender dysphoria is some kind of choice.
While I believe society in general is making life easier than it used to be for people who identify as LGBT, it still appears to be too common an experience to have the family/loved ones of these people to say, “I will love you again when you decide to stop being LGBT”.
My wonderful editor for the novel, Jane Pearson and I had a long discussion about how we were going to end this novel. We wanted it to be hopeful and triumphant, at the same time reflecting the sometimes harsh reality for adolescents like Alex.
I hope that young people (or old people) who in some way identify with Alex’s plight, for whatever reason, will find some comfort in her company.

“I will love you again when you decide to stop being LGBT” is quite possibly one of the most accurate statements about being LGBT today that I have personally ever read. In a bit lighter of a question, do you listen to music when you write? If so, what songs make up the soundtrack to this book?

There are a lot of pop tunes in this book. It's interesting that my character will often choose a soundtrack for the writing of the book that is quite different from what I would choose. My latest character, who is a man, wants to listen to The Cure, David Bowie, Joy Division, Morrissey, and Peter Gabriel. That's a long way from Alex who liked Pink, Black Eyed Peas and Miley Cyrus.

I'd get along with both of those characters- I listen to both Pink and The Cure. Is there a particular place or room where you feel the most inspired to write?

I have a study in my house which is where I do the typing part, but writing mostly happens in my head. I do the composing part while I am hanging out the washing, driving, grocery shopping etc.

Which scene in Alex as Well was your favorite to write?

There is a section of the book where Alex’s mother is giving her testosterone without Alex being aware of it, and Alex’s male side reasserts himself more at that point in the novel. He flirts with a class mate. I enjoyed writing that part of the manuscript because the two sides of Alex debate what to do and discuss what is appropriate conduct. The male part of Alex contributes power and vibrancy to the character too.There is a section of the book where Alex’s mother is giving her testosterone without Alex being aware of it, and Alex’s male side reasserts himself more at that point in the novel. He flirts with a class mate. I enjoyed writing that part of the manuscript because the two sides of Alex debate what to do and discuss what is appropriate conduct. The male part of Alex contributes power and vibrancy to the character too.

Which parts of the book gave you the most trouble?

This was one of the easier manuscripts that I have written. I didn’t feel like a had to build Alex from scratch – it was as if she already existed, and I only had to put the words down. I hope that you will have the same sensation reading this book – as if Alex is there next to you whispering in your ear.
The feedback that I’m getting so far from readers is that, now that they’ve met Alex, somehow they feel that they should have read this story before. In fact, there was one reader who wrote something like, “so good to read a vegetarian character in YA”, as if that was the attribute that stood out.

From my experience, I can definitely confirm that Alex felt like someone I should already know, like she was telling me something important as opposed to just being a character in a novel. But... Can you describe the book in five words?

Hahaha! No. Maybe feisty teenage girl comes out? Something like that?

Do you have any new books or projects in the works that you can tell us about?

Yes, I just finished a new manuscript which is about a man with a broken heart. It's been a lot of fun to write. I'm also planning on self publishing a romance novel this year. It's a manuscript I've had sitting on my hard drive for a little while. I have not tried self publishing before, so it will be interesting to see how that goes compared to the books I have sold through mainstream publishers.

I look forward to reading your new work. Thank you so much for talking with me about Alex as Well. It's not a book I'm likely to forget in the near future.



Five stars


It's time to get a little bit personal here on my blog. Regular readers of my reviews know that I am happily taken by a girl named Emily, who sometimes graces this blog with her own book reviews. What most of you don't know, is that Emily has struggled with gender identity issues for a long, long time. It is because of her and the charming cover, I admit, that I picked up Alex as Well. Though of course I acknowledge that this book is one of fiction, I do believe it has helped me process some things about the way Emily thinks and feels, and for that reason among others I am so, so happy that I requested this title.

Alex, the 15 year old protagonist of this story, explains in the book that she has "two selves". This can be a kind of hard concept to wrap around, but because she has torn feelings about who she really is as a person, she finds that it is easier to associate "girl Alex" and "boy Alex" as two different people in her head. As voices, if you will. Alex was born "intersex", and these gender ideas clash and fight often with one another.

Though Emily is biologically female through and through, she also uses this way of speaking about her inner conflicts. She has a girl voice, Emily, and a boy voice, Devin. I was very confused and conflicted at first, when Emily spoke of these "voices" so to speak, because I had never heard of something like that before. I was nervous and scared for both her and myself and what it meant for us as a couple.

Because I was used to this way of thinking, it was easier for me to follow Alex's internal conversations and honestly, it made me feel.... Like Emily and I aren't alone. I connected with this form of narration from the very get-go, and it is definitely unique. This is the first book that I have personally ever encountered that uses two voices from the same person beyond just the idea of a conscience. Another unique concept of this book is that the chapters are sprinkled with blog posts from her mother on what it is like to raise someone who is intersex.

Speaking of her mother, let's talk about characters for a bit. I hated and loved them. I mean this in the best way. The author wanted me to hate and love them, and she got her wish. Each of the characters was unique and had depth, and unfortunately they were all believable. Her mother, for example. I was left with SO MANY FEELINGS. I will refrain from spoilers, but Alex's views made me hate her. Then her blog posts helped me to understand her a bit more, but still with hatred. And then at the end I felt kind of sorry for her but also still angry and heartbroken. I didn't know how to feel. Alex is an amazing character. She's complex and unapologetically true to herself, despite the shitstorm by which she's surrounded. She's fierce and often snarky and hilarious, but sometimes she broke my heart. I was cheering her on from the beginning to the end, and she isn't a character that I will soon forget, nor do I want to forget her. I also really liked how she connected her life to the music she was listening to at the time, I thought it to be a nice touch.

The synopsis (at least on Goodreads) describes this book as "heartbreaking and droll in equal measures" and I feel like this perfectly describes it. I was left emotionally exhausted from this book, and though I finished it ages ago, I am still thinking about it. It's a roller coaster that's gritty, real, and well executed. This is the first book that I have read from Alyssa Brugman and I sincerely hope it is not the last. You will feel lows when you see the bullying, the drama, and the awful people that Alex must encounter. You will feel highs when Alex comes into herself, when she feels beautiful, and when her life seems to be looking up for the better. And, if you are like me, you will make an inhuman noise when you find yourself out of pages when you are still having these intense feelings. (It's not a cliffhanger ending. It's not quite so dramatic. More like a hillhanger. That's a word now. Tell your friends.)

And, if by some chance the author is reading this, I would love to read more about Alex. Just sayin'. And while I have your attention, I would personally like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating a story that touched me on such a personal level, and that helped to open a better dialog between my girlfriend and I. Who would have thought that one little young adult novel could do so much?

I recommend this book to anyone who loves LGBT themed young adult, contemporary YA, or books dealing with disorders, mental issues, or identity issues. Thank you so much to Netgalley and Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Book Blitz, Trailer, & Giveaway: Henge by Realm Lovejoy!

Date: 11/11/14

from Goodreads:
Modern-day Camelot. Where knights no
longer carry swords. Magic is dangerous. And those who seek control are not to
be trusted.

Sixteen-year-old Morgan le Fay is a fire user. An ordinary girl with an
extraordinary skill, she has the ability to create and command fire at will.
Her dream is to become the Maven—the right hand of the future King Arthur. In
the chance of a lifetime, Morgan is selected to join Arthur’s Round, an elite
group of young magic users from which the new Maven will be chosen.

Along with the other fire, water, and wind users in Arthur’s Round, Morgan is
rigorously trained and tested. The handsome Merlin, a brilliant water user,
takes a particular interest in her. Is his friendship to be trusted, or is
Merlin simply trying to win the position of Maven for himself? Among the many
rivals Morgan faces is the current Maven, Mordred, who seems determined to see
her fail.

But Morgan has a secret—years ago, her mother was executed for using fire
magic, and Morgan’s desire for justice makes her more than ready to take on the
challenge before her. Can she prevail in Camelot’s tests of survival and magic?
Only time—and Morgan’s powerful fire—will tell.


"Camelot meets Hogwarts meets Panem in this intriguing, well-written
beginning to a planned YA series."--Kirkus Reviews


Buy Links:

About the Author
Realm Lovejoy is a writer and an artist. She was raised in Washington State and the alps of Nagano, Japan. Her father is a Japanese ex-monk and her mother an English teacher from Rhode Island. Her art is influenced by both the East and the West.
Realm aspires to tell stories through her writing and art.

She is agented by Jessica Regel.

Her upcoming YA sci-fi novel is titled CLAN, due 2013.

Author Links:

 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png  photo icontumblr-32x32_zps959818ca.png

$20 amazon gift card, 4 ebooks, and 1 paperback (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Birthday Blogoversary Fangirl Bash Part Two Review & Interview: Zeus is Dead by Michael G. Munz!

Title: Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure
Author: Michael G. Munz
Format: Kindle Edition
Pub. Date: January 1st 2014
Source: Author

About the Book:


You probably saw the press conference. Nine months ago, Zeus's murder catapulted the Greek gods back into our world. Now they revel in their new temples, casinos, and media empires—well, all except Apollo. A compulsive overachiever with a bursting portfolio of godly duties, the amount of email alone that he receives from rapacious mortals turns each of his days into a living hell.

Yet there may be hope, if only he can return Zeus to life! With the aid of Thalia, the muse of comedy and science fiction, Apollo will risk his very godhood to help sarcastic TV producer Tracy Wallace and a gamer-geek named Leif—two mortals who hold the key to Zeus's resurrection. (Well, probably. Prophecies are tricky buggers.)

Soon an overflowing inbox will be the least of Apollo’s troubles. Whoever murdered Zeus will certainly kill again to prevent his return, and avoiding them would be far easier if Apollo could possibly figure out who they are.

Even worse, the muse is starting to get cranky.

Discover a world where reality TV heroes slay actual monsters and the gods have their own Twitter feeds:
Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure!


I'm so excited to have Michael G. Munz back on the blog for a second round of questions to celebrate both my birthday week and this amazing book. Thanks again for taking the time to answer some questions!

Happy to do it! Thanks for the opportunity.

In our previous interview, we talked a little bit about what books and movies inspired you as an author. Since Zeus is Dead is a book that centrals around Greek mythology: What is your favorite mythical movie?

If we're talking Greek mythology, it's a toss-up between Jason and the Argonauts and the original Clash of the Titans. It's been decades since I've seen the former, though. (I should really re-watch it to see if I enjoy it as much as I used to.) Without the Greek qualifier, I'd have to go with The Dark Crystal, which is an amazing creation with a mythology of its very own.

If you were given a spot in the pantheon, what would you like to be the god of?

I'd love to be the god of geeks and geek culture. But I think I'd have to overthrow Wil Wheaton first.

All hail Wesley Crusher. Would you follow the rules, or would you interfere with the lives of your chosen worshippers (or enemies, for that matter)?

I'm one of those weirdos who tries to stick to the rules. Though there IS a difference between bending and breaking, isn't there? I might do a little interfering, if I thought I could get away with it. Mostly, though, I think I'd tend toward humor and pranks rather than doing things that have grand effects on people's lives. Making people laugh is fun.

You're among like minds, I was always tend to follow the rules too. Now, can you tell us a little about your writing process? Do you have to be in a certain room or in a certain mind set?

I have difficulty writing at home (I get distracted with other things), so, as cliché as this may sound, I tend to go out to write in a café or something. I'm lucky enough to have a number of great choices where I live. I find I work best in a place with a lot of warm tones (wood, reds, dark greens, etc.), with enough people in it to keep it lively without being overcrowded. I look for corner tables where I can face the room; it's hard to write if I feel someone is behind me, even if they're not actually paying attention to what I'm doing. (Plus, as we know from Frank Herbert's Dune, sitting with your back to a room is an invitation to assassination!)

Also, some manner of caffeine is helpful.

What scene was your favorite to write?

The first one that comes to mind is the introduction of Baskin, a newly created god of battle and ice cream. It's a short scene, but it was a blast making him come to life. A close second is the scene where Tracy and Leif confront Dionysus in his never-ending party atop the Dionysian Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

I do love me some Dionysus. I mean he is the original god of tits and wine. Which scene gave you the most trouble?

The entire bit with The Fates. I really wanted to portray them as being on a completely different level from everyone, gods included. They needed to be mysterious, paradoxical, and beyond. At the same time I needed to keep them funny (this is an adventure comedy, after all) and able to advance the story in a way that wouldn't confuse the reader. What do the Fates look like? What does their abode (a serviceable room above a convenience store at the intersection of the two parallel streets of Sparkwood and 23rd on the eastern side of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan) look like? How do they talk?

It was slow-going, with a lot of revisions. I do like how it turned out, though. Plus I got to introduce the concept of a "Moebius balcony"!

Have you at all considered fundraising to make razorwings a genetic possibility? I would like a litter. (Colony?)

If I may quote Egon Spengler, I think that would be an extraordinarily bad idea. Do you really want a bunch of playfully feral kittens who can chew through metal and slice off a human arm with their wings running around your house spitting paralytic poison on everything? Though that would be cute…

Genetic tampering aside, my publisher and I are considering the possibility of a Kickstarter to make some razorwing plushies, but we need to wait for the book's readership to grow a little more, first. More and more people are reading it each day, though, so, I don't know, maybe this summer? (Keep watching for news!)

And I believe a group of cats is called a "clowder." Though razorwings themselves travel in swarms…

I WOULD FUND THAT SO HARD. Are you working on any books now?

I'm doing my best to get the third book in my cyberpunk series (The New Aeneid Cycle) completed in time for a late 2015 release. It's called A Dragon at the Gate, and will conclude the trilogy. It's an interesting challenge to make sure the series culminates in a powerful, satisfying way, and I'm excited to see if I can pull it off.

I'm a big fan of cyberpunk, I'll have to check out that series as well. Hades has dominion over those who are no longer with us. If you could chat with any three people, living or dead, who would they be and why?

1) Leonardo da Vinci. I'm sure he was a fascinating guy in general, and it'd be fun to tell him about the modern world and see what he thinks of it. 2) Homer (the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, not the Simpsons character), assuming he actually existed. The guy was one of the earliest known storytellers, and that, along with his obvious interest in Greek mythology (would he even term it "mythology"?) is pretty tempting. 3) This one's personal.

This is really just a fangirlish request and not even really a question: More Hecate and Hades, pretty please!

Well, I make no promises, but one idea I'm toying with for a Zeus Is Dead sequel does involve Hecate, despite what happened. And there might just be a way for Hades to be involved in that.

…or maybe I'll just toss something together with vampires.

I won't get my hopes up, but I will eagerly await the sequel regardless. Thank you again for being a part of Bitches n Prose!



So, I came across this book initially on the wonderful imgur. I was drawn in by the puns. Those of you who follow me know I have a serious problem with puns. It's an epundemic. (See!?). Add Greek mythology on top of that? This Classics minoring internet-dweller was sold.

Y'all, this book is effing hilarious. I loved the way that Munz sucked the reader in, not just with the plot of his book but with his engagement with the readers. It was as though the book narrator was telling you, the reader, a story personally. This might sound like an odd comparison, but the way the author "breaks the fourth wall" so to speak with his readers was reminiscent of Lemony Snicket in his Series of Unfortunate Event. But less dark and macabre, of course. I snickered aloud more than once, and that takes skill. I'm admittedly a bit of a humor snob when it comes to books, but I guess me and Munz are just on the same humor wave length because this was simply great.

The story features a lot of characters, including the entire Greek pantheon. This wasn't a problem though. Each character was written in a unique style/personality so that I was never left confused or concerned by the cast. Munz also did a great job with story navigation. Zeus is Dead follows different plot lines and characters, but again the flow just worked well and it was easy to transition. And in a rare display, I was interested in each of these characters' stories. There was never a point where I was like "ugh, we're back on him again?" I thoroughly enjoyed everything that this novel had to offer.

As for the plot itself, I really liked the concept behind it. Could you imagine if any god or gods from any denomination just popped up and said heyyyy we're real by the way and started living like celebrities? I may be alone in this, but I would totally watch Juno's new reality show Juno What I'm Sayin'? or read Rama's new book. There's a hero and a quest and an homage to Hecate which just makes me insanely happy because no one ever mentions Hecate and she's easily my second favorite god(dess). It's a fabulous idea that's well constructed from start to finish. And the more you read, the more you'll want to know what exactly happened to Zeus?

It's worth noting that even though I came to the table with a pretty good knowledge of the Greek gods and goddesses, that is absolutely not a requirement to enjoy this book. Each deity, myth, muse, monster, and any other "m" words are well explained and elaborated. This book is approachable to anyone, regardless of their mythological education. And if that's the case, you just might learn a thing or two from Zeus is Dead.

If you are in search of a Greek epic for the Social Media age, a good laugh, or a book that features fucking murderous flying kittens, then I cannot recommend this book enough. Please go and enjoy this book. It's fantastic and will be joining my Classics shelf as soon as I can get my hands on a physical copy. (And next to my razorwing plushie, right Michael?) Thank you to Munz and his blog tour lovelies for my copy in exchange for my honest review.

Buy it Meow:

You can get your copy today on:

Amazon | BN | iTunes

About the Author:

An award-winning writer of speculative fiction, Michael G. Munz was born in Pennsylvania but moved to Washington State in 1977 at the age of three. Unable to escape the state’s gravity, he has spent most of his life there and studied writing at the University of Washington.

Michael developed his creative bug in college, writing and filming four exceedingly amateur films before setting his sights on becoming a novelist. Driving this goal is the desire to tell entertaining stories that give to others the same pleasure as other writers have given to him. He enjoys writing tales that combine the modern world with the futuristic or fantastic.

Michael has traveled to three continents and has an interest in Celtic and Classical mythology. He also possesses what most “normal” people would likely deem far too much familiarity with a wide range of geek culture, though Michael prefers the term geek-bard: a jack of all geek-trades, but master of none—except possibly Farscape and Twin Peaks.

Michael dwells in Seattle where he continues his quest to write the most entertaining novel known to humankind and find a really fantastic clam linguine.

Find out more about him at While there, it wouldn't hurt to get a FREE copy of Mythed Connections, the spiritual prequel to Zeus is Dead.

Facebook | Twitter