Phaethon Review

Hackers, fae, and a new breed of corporate greed battle over the future of the human race….

Hacker couple Jack and Rosie crack technology, but the newest device, the Phaethon, isn’t like other phones. The parts are junk, yet it can do the impossible. Through gentle prodding and data theft, they learn it’s powered remotely…by a living creature.

Cracking the Phaethon enters them into a war. Some, like Calthine, the bitter Bogle, are on their side. Others are controlled by a new type of fae; the bosses of the Phaethon corporation, who have steel for eyes and iron for souls. Now, the hackers have to fight creatures they’ve never heard of to save the friends they’ve just made.

Rachel Sharp is an author and lifetime member of the Somewhat Eccentric Creative Persons Club (which she just invented). Her books include the Planetary Tarantella trilogy, as well as the hacker & fae novel Phaethon from Pandamoon Publishing.

Originally from Vermont, she now lives in New York City with her partner, several plants, and her boundless sense of inappropriate humor. At time of writing, she is working on entirely too many projects. The previous statement will be true regardless of time of reading.

She also lives with chronic illness, plays ukulele, and tries to save the planet.

REVIEW ★★★★★
I adore this book. I think it’s cute, it’s sweet, it’s adventurous. It has main characters that I really wish were my friends. Characters so real I feel like I have a chance of meeting them in the great wild that is this urban fantasy hacker filled world. It made watching Finding Bigfoot after reading oddly fun. It’s really a strange and fun book full of tech and creatures.
Do yourself a favor and grab this gem of a book!

Unburied Fables Release Day!

Hello all! Today is the release of Unburied Fables! This collection enlisted talent around the world. From students to seasoned professionals, these writers came together to raise awareness and reinvent classic stories. While they showcase a wide variety of LGBTQA identities, origins, styles, and endings, all the tales in this anthology have one classic element in common: a happily ever after.

Fifty percent of this collection’s proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project, a non-profit focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, asexual and other queer youth.

You can win a copy on tumblr or get your own today on Amazon!

#WattpadBlockParty!

The #WattpadBlockParty is finally here! I’m so excited to be a part of it and to have Hello World’s first chapter debut this Friday. There are sooo many authors joining and countless giveaways so instead of posting a giant list of names I’m going to recap the party’s juicy details every Monday!

This party just got started, so first Iet me tell you about our giveaway. You can win a signed paperback of Hello World before it’s Fall 2016 release!

Fallzswimmer is showcasing a preview to Paper Hearts and you can win a paperback of the prequel.

KnightsRachel presents a chapter in McKenna’s POV of the San Francisco Art Festival and is not letting us down with the giveaways.

DoNotMicrowave’s “dish” isn’t ready for the potluck just yet, but please check back later today so you don’t miss it!

styleslegend brought some video flare to their preview.

Wattpad4 is also joining the party today. If you didn’t know they run a weekly wattpad twitter chat every Monday. Check out their post for more about them individually.

Make sure you check out Hello World’s first chapter on Wattpad this Friday!

Two Reviews Tuesday

During May, Ace Book Club featured Rachel Sharp’s books and since it’s the last day in May I thought I’d bring you my review of the series so far!

This book is one of the realist apocalypse books I might ever have the pleasure of reading. It was at times refreshing, charming in it’s humor, and scary as a reader who is realizing along with Mab that we aren’t so ready for the end of the world. It was both encouraging to see a person react realistically to the world going to suck, and unnerving (because that shit is hard.) I also feel like I should re-did just so I can highlight all my favorite jokes, but will be checking out the sequels when they come out!

★★★★★ |  Amazon  |  Goodreads

 

The sequel is  so realistic downloaded a survival app. I wouldn’t say Rachel writes the most realistic characters in the sense that you view them the same as you would your living friends, more so like an artist who makes such a realistic painting that the only word that captures both the true to life and work of art qualities is “masterpiece”. I’d definitely buy this book and maybe a wilderness guide.  Even better than the first.

★★★★★ | Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

 

Announcing Tastes Like Ash

 

 

 

 

 

Guess what I did? I did the thing!

Today I am officially announcing Tastes Like Ash

If there is one thing I seem to enjoy doing, it’s mixing things. Last time, it was video game culture in a novel format. This time we are going on a food blog adventure run by a vampire. First, I’ll give ya the blurb, then below we can check out the cover reveal! It’s a busy day and I hope you are as excited as I am!

About Tastes Like Ash: 

Two teachers, a vampire and a witch, start a food blog…

To be fair, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Terrence Rogers is a vampire stuck in the house all day, hungry, and killing nothing but time. This leads him to the obvious choice, starting a blog about food, history, and life with his fellow teacher and roommate. Written in the style of blog posts, follow along for actual recipes and other paranormal happenings.

And by follow along, I mean prepare for the most interactive story from me to date. Everything will be written from the character’s point of view. The tweets will come from the characters, so will the tumblr posts, and if you are a wattpad user I got you covered, or if you are a more traditional blogger you can sign up here.

Ready for the cover reveal?

….

Tastes Like AshBeautiful, aye?

Now hop over to the blog and learn more about this food loving vampire because this story starts next Friday!

 

Without Benefits Cover Reveal!

A little less than three months from now,  Without Benefits will be showing up on doorsteps and in e-readers! But today we get a first look at the amazing cover, designed by Ashley at Cardboard Monet! Ashley even did a special photoshoot just for this cover. So check out the cover and make sure you scroll down to the giveaway below!
About the book:

Emma will always be a New Yorker at heart, even though she has a perfect life in Seattle. She has a prestigious job fundraising for the Seattle Symphony, a handsome boyfriend who adores her, and a Belltown apartment with views of the Sound. It should be more than enough to keep her pain from not playing the piano, and her 9/11 nightmares, away.

But when her old college crush, Owen, comes back into her life, it’s more than just spending time with him that’s causing cracks in her picture-perfect life. As she steps back on stage, and back into the spotlight, her connection with Owen and his world, dredges up old memories that Emma worked hard to forget.

Emma’s past comes back to haunt her, forcing her to face the truth about more than just her fears of returning back to New York. As her once perfect life begins to burn down, Emma is forced to figure out what she really wants: her fundraiser and cocktail party-filled life with her boyfriend, or forging a new future with the one thing, and one person, she’s ever loved–even if it means returning to New York.

Without Benefits  is a beautiful and moving exploration of modern relationships and family written in the vein of Taylor Jenkins Reid and Renee Carlino.

So here it is…

The moment we’ve been waiting for…

 

WithoutBenefitsCover

Isn’t it gorgeous? Pre-order your copy today!

And you can win a bunch of really neat stuff. Like seriously just go look what Nicole is giving away for this. It’s awesome~

nicoletoneheadshot
About the author:
Nicole Tone is a freelance editor, MFA student, traveller, pet collector, binge-watcher, and a self-proclaimed coffee snob. She lives in Buffalo, NY with her husband, three cats, and two very large dogs, but spends as much of her time in Seattle as possible. You can like her page on
Facebook, Twitter,  swoon over dream houses together on Pinterest, and add Without Benefits on Goodreads.

From Under The Mountain Review

 

FUTM Cover

Let’s be real here, reviews are hard. Or at least for me they are. They feel even harder when I have to describe something like From Under The Mountain. It starts slow like all of this genre does, but then becomes a friend. The world and the characters bit by bit reveal themselves to you. And my main questions while reading become ‘what are they up to’ and ‘are they okay’?

Another thing I’ll forever be grateful for is there is no shock for shock value here. I got to enjoy the diversity without having to tolerate bull to get there. There was some gory, and spooky things but they all felt like a true part of this world.

While I length of the paperback lends itself akin to a weapon, I just might use it as such if I could have all the questions above answered now. Is Theo okay? Will he stay okay? How about my baby girl Guerline? Ahem, I mean four out of five stars to From Under The Mountain.

If you aren’t convinced yet check out this book’s amazing author:  Cait Spivey is a speculative fiction writer, author of high fantasy From Under the Mountain and the horror novella series, “The Web“. Her enduring love of fantasy started young, thanks to authors like Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Diane Duane, Tamora Pierce, and many more. Now, she explores the rules and ramifications of magic in her own works—and as a panromantic asexual, she’s committed to queering her favorite genres.

Darkly cinematic, From Under the Mountain pairs the sweeping landscape of epic fantasy with the personal journey of finding one’s voice in the world, posing the question: how do you define evil, when everything society tells you is a lie?

Where To Grab a Copy: Amazon | Reuts Publications | Goodreads

 

Featured Wattpad Science Fiction: Bone Diggers

I have so much to say about Wattpad and I don’t really know where to start. So, let’s start with the news. Bone Diggers was selected to be featured on the website!

I was literally jumping up and down when I was approached for this. Posting on Wattpad has been such a surreal and wonderful thing that is so different than traditional publishing routes. I don’t consider Bone Diggers published. Being published means the end of the writing and editing side. This experience was more like inviting a bunch of strangers along with me as I write, edit, and then in the coming future, publish.

I mean, look at this map. Look at all of you. People all over the world hitting up the internet because they want something new, want something shared with them.  Again, and forever, thank you for sharing this with me.

>> Ready to load Bone Diggers? 

 

The Future of Bone Diggers

I promised a surprise today, and here it is, a trailer featuring the song Why We Lose! (Which seriously has to be one of my favorite playlist songs) Instead of having a traditional trailer I decided that featuring the comment section would be more fitting way to wrap up the year. That way you can see the literal ways people help make Bone Diggers year– I mean 2015 so special. It also features brand new fnVR graphics to help blend the fiction with reality. Because if Bone Diggers was about one thing it would be that duality.

“Bone Diggers has queer characters that are defined by much more than their sexual preference, character driven story, passionate rage-based violence, and religious imagery. I’m always a slut for this right here.” – John Lopez

I can’t thank the people above enough for taking a moment to comment. Or the people who tweeted me about Bone Diggers, or even the silent readers who just added to the page count. 2015 was a great year because of Bone Diggers and you.

 And for the future~

For those who haven’t read Bone Diggers yet: The story will be staying on Wattpad and you can now read it all without wait! Cliffhangers are no longer a match for you! The story will be getting plenty polish over this year and I hope to have it published in ebook and paperback in 2017. That’s quite a long time from now, but it gives you plenty of ways to join in!

For those who have read Bone Diggers:  We also have something special for you! Instead of weekly new chapters we are going to have DLC chapters posted every first Friday! These chapters might be alternative chapters, ‘deleted scenes’ or AUs where we can play around with everyone in a different setting or game type. First Fridays here are a community gathering and we hope you enjoy these extra one-off chapters to get extra kisses and other fun in.

Merry interview time with J.M. Frey!

The Untold Tale coverToday I have an amazing interview from author J.M. Frey. We talk about The Untold Tale, fandoms, fic, and other untold tales in life as a writer. But, first let me tell you more about the novel!

About The Untold Tale:
Forsyth Turn is not a hero. Lordling of Turn Hall and Lysse Chipping, yes. Spymaster for the king, certainly. But hero? That’s his older brother’s job, and Kintyre Turn is nothing if not legendary. However, when a raid on the kingdom’s worst criminal results in the rescue of a bafflingly blunt woman, oddly named and even more oddly mannered, Forsyth finds his quaint, sedentary life is turned on its head. Dragged reluctantly into a quest he never expected, and fighting villains that even his brother has never managed to best, Forsyth is forced to confront his own self-shame and the demons that come with always being second-best. And, more than that, when he finally realizes where Lucy came from and why she’s here, he’ll be forced to question not only his place in the world, but the very meaning of his own existence. Smartly crafted, The Untold Tale gives agency to the unlikeliest of heroes: the silenced, the marginalized, and the overlooked. It asks what it really means to be a fan when the worlds you love don’t resemble the world you live in, celebrates the power of the written word, challenges tropes, and shows us what happens when someone stands up and refuses to remain a secondary character in their own life.

No need to wait for Santa, you can get it now! 

Q: The title of The Untold Tale has such a classic feeling. Could you tell us the story of how you settled with that title?JMFrey_Author Photo

A: Oh, gosh, it was a process. I usually don’t title my books right away, so the filenames are generally something really snarky like “The One With The Gay Blue Aliens” (which later became Triptych.)

The Untold Tale was originally “That Meta-Thingy”. After the first draft was done, I started searching the manuscript for a great line or phrase to use. I really liked the titles of books like The Knife of Never Letting Goor Where the Red Fern Grows, and I wanted something like that. But nothing in the book really stood out like that.

I asked friends, asked beta readers, asked my agent. I think at one point I had a list of about fifty possible titles. I finally landed on Between the Lines and really adored that title, but when I Googled it, it turned out to be a Jodi Picault novel. Next I went with Untold, and that’s where the book lived for a few weeks, and then Sarah Rees Brennan released a novel with that title.

I’d already had problems with people mistaking my Triptych for Karen Slaughter’s, so I wanted something unique. In the end, after about a year, my agent and I finally landed on The Untold Tales of Turn, and then in the middle of her shopping the book, I shortened it to simple The Untold Tale, because that’s what the book was, in essence. It’s a tale that hasn’t been told yet.
And boy howdy, the process was just as loopy and frustrating for the next two books in the series, too. The Publisher’s Marketplace announcement lists them as “The Returned Tale” and “The Final Tale” but I didn’t think those were evocative enough. Those were I’m-panicking-and-I-only-came-up-with-these-story-ideas-and-titles-three-days-ago titles. Once I’d actually had the opportunity to discuss the books with my acquiring editor, Kisa Whipkey, and we’d decided what the next two books in the series would really be about, we started brainstorming titles. They ended up being The Forgotten Tale, and The Silenced Tale, and they literally could not be more perfect.

Q: What is your favorite thing about fandoms?

A: For me it’s the sense of community. It’s the tribe of it. I can (and have) look across a room, see a woman with a fan-art printed bag, and know, instantly, that this is a person that I will like and have something in common with. They say watching people read in public is like seeing a book recommend a person. With fandom, it’s the same. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your age, gender expression, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, etc. if you are wearing a Stargate SG1 mission patch on your coat I know in an instant that you are someone that I will get along with.

I also love the creativity that is expressed through fandom. I adore the idea of someone so moved by a story, so engaged that they can no longer simply passively consume it. They must seek out more, and make more. They have to write, or cosplay, or make art, or go to conventions, or RPG online. That’s stunning. And as a creator, that’s flattering as all get out. I really hope that people will be inspired enough by my work to create fanworks. I think there’s no better way of telling an author you love what they wrote.

Q: After studying them for a while, have you noticed a change with how readers either react or interact?

A: Well, I mean, the readers I studied for my MA were all internet-based; I began with research in Yahoo Groups before Tumblr was even a twinkle in its creator’s eyes. And the only really difference I see is that the intense and deeply engaged discussions are happening on public walls instead of in closed-room groups that can sometimes become echo chambers of bias, to their detriment. This means the discussion is open for anyone to jump into.
Now, sometimes this opens the way for bullies, trolls, flamers (do we even use that word any more?) and douchecanoes, and I can absolutely say that I’ve seen a rise in the self-important entitled troll. But I’ve also seen a rise in diverse discussions, where people with differing opinions, or new information are welcomed into the thread and conversation, and their contribution is welcome, celebrated, fairly considered, and replied to politely. And I think that’s fantastic. Discourse can only be augmented by fairly reasoned, well researched, interesting additions. It’s just unfortunate that it’s also been joined by the rise of the entitled whiney trolls.

Q: What advice could you give to people looking to add more diversity into their own stories?

A: Ask yourself “why” more often when you’re creating your characters. For example, “Brian is a straight, white, man.” Okay, but ‘why’? What about this character Brian is inherently straight, or white, or male? Why does Brian have to be any of those things? Why is that the default? Why can’t Brian be Brienne, and not straight, and not white? Will it ruin the story?
The thing is, the world is not homogenous, and groups are not monolith. The default is white, and straight, and male, and it should not be. The white straight male is a sliver of the population of the earth. It’s time to start making art that shows the rest of the human race as well.
And once you’ve decided to make Brian different, be meticulous, fair, and as unbiased in your research as you can be. Figure out what the stereotypes are for Brian’s gender expression, sexuality, ethnicity, etc. and avoid them. Create a whole character, not just a caricature, and do it with as much thought and care as you would any “default setting” character you may write.
And most importantly, do not tell the stories of diverse writers FOR them. Include diverse characters, but don’t co-opt their voices and experiences.

Q: We’ve talked about fanfiction before, what sort of fanfiction would you love to see with your characters or worlds?

A: I tried so hard to write the “how they got together” story for one of the couples in The Untold Tale and every single time I tried to write it down, I could never do what was in my head justice. In the end, it was removed from the book completely because it didn’t work with the novel’s single narrator POV. I would just die with joy if a whole spate of “how they got together” fics sprouted up!

Q: In a few tweets, it’s been mentioned that there is another whole level under what is written that is filled with personal things like “I was on the train when I wrote this scene.” Could you tell us a moment of The Untold Tale that is soaked with one of these memories?

A: What I was talking about that series of tweets was the nostalgia of rereading one’s own writing. Books are intensely personal because there is a lot of the author in not just the story, but because the creative journey is long and laborious, and when we re-read our own work we inevitably are also experiencing the memories of when we wrote that part. We experience not only the book, but where we were when we wrote that bit (or cut it out again). For an author, a book is not just a story. It is also an emotional time capsule of who we were, and where we were when we wrote it.

For me, I think one of the scenes packed with the highest number of emotional moments for me is the ball at Turn Hall in The Untold Tale, where Pip dances with Bevel and Kintyre, and ends up telling them off. That rant was the very first thing I wrote for the book, and it came from an extremely long and infuriating conversation I had with a male friend where I tried to explain to him what it felt like to never be the intended audience. I couldn’t argue with him anymore, I was too emotional, so I fled into my office and ended up writing it all out.

I came back to that scene a lot to recapture Pip’s rage, and so I read it everywhere – on planes, on trains, overseas, under the covers, and out loud at several workshops, coffeehouses, and reading series.

And now there’s a new layer! I was out at a pub listening to the Steel City Rovers play, and they did an instrumental song called Aibhlinn’s Dance.About five bars into the song I burst into tears, and had to hide my face in my sleeves because the song was exactly what I’d had in my mind for the “Waves Upon the Shore Dance”, which Pip and Bevel dance at the ball. I was absolutely slammed with the memories of writing and reading the scene aloud, all at once.

Now when I reread the scene, I hear this song in my head and it makes it even more perfect and emotionally gripping for me.

Q: I know I’m really excited for The Untold Tale, what are some upcoming things you are excited for?

A: SLEEP! No, seriously, I really am looking forward to that. I’ve been really pushing myself to finish a few more projects before the release of The Untold Tale so I can just enjoy the celebrations. (As soon as I finish this interview with you, I am rushing straight back to a screenplay that is THIS CLOSE to being done.)

In terms of stories, I’m pumped for Captain America: Civil War and the Sherlock: The Abominable Bride. And of course I hang on every page of Meagan Kearney’s Beauty and the Beast, and series two of The Riftworld Chronicles, if it ever happens.

And I’m super excited to share the #SecretScreenplay project with everyone, once it’s complete and I can tell!

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