Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

All Involved by Ryan Gattis...a review



This novel, inspired by the events of the L.A. Riots in 1992,  interweaves stories and points of view in a cinematic way (think CRASH or SYRIANA) with the authenticity of actual events told the lens of Gattis’ multi-cultural cast. It makes a wonderful copansion piece to Anna Deavere Smith’s TWILIGHT, her one-woman, multi-character theater piece about the L.A. riots that erupted in the wake of the verdict in the Rodney King case.

 And while much of the L.A. riot coverage focused on the clashes between the African-American and Korean communities, this novel also gives us a snapshot of one complicated extended Hispanic family (both blood family and gang affiliations). Gattis has done a terrific job of getting inside the heads of his characters, particularly Lupe (aka Payasa). .

The characters here are complex and mostly sympathetic, and the adage “Live by the gun, die by the gun” has never seemed so apt.

There’s not a whole lot of story here, but what there is, is absorbing. The plot has a lot of different threads that are woven together, with unexpected connections every step of the way. This is a lot like CRASH, and it’s visceral.  No one group is singled out as the good or bad guys and Gattis does a terrific job giving us viewpoints from all different directions.

For the TBR Pile--THE GENE

I love popular science as a genre and this book caught my eye in a newsletter from Simon & Schuster. Muhkherjee also wrote the amazing The Emperor of All Maladies (subtitled: A Biography of Cancer), so I have high hopes for this book about what it means to be human when we can write and overwrite our own genetic code.

I like the cover too--it's clean and graphic and stands out in a thumbnail. (When you're an indie writer, you tend to notice things like that.What I didn't realize is that this cover is actually the cover of the audio book. The book has a slightly different cover. It's got much the same feel but it's not, at least in my opinion, as eye-catching or appealing.

The Beast Prince

This retelling of Beauty and the Beast popped up this morning when I went to Amazon to see if anyone had left a new review for The Summer Garden. I'm always interested in what other writers have done with the story since I'm so fond of the story myself. (And while the Disney version of the story looks pretty, I Cannoot. Wait to see the Guillermo del Toro version with Emma Watson. It was a really smart script and it will look fantastic.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cover Reveal Dark Dream

This is the cover for the first book in my new series The Dreamer's Daughters, which will publish this fall. It focuses on a trio of sisters, all who have the ability to work dream magic because I've been fascinated by dreams my whole life. Mostly because I rarely remember mine. I do dream in color, and I did once have that anxiety dream about being in college and having an exam in a class you never attended. (For me, the class was advanced calculus and even in my dream I knew it was a dream because I am math-challeged.)

The designer is Veronica R of IndieElaborates and I purchased it from The Book Cover Designer.

Once Upon a Curse--17 Fairy Tale Retellings

I just bought Once Upon a Curse (it's a boxed set selling for 99 cents on Amazon) that's chock full of fairy tale retellings. The only story I've read before is Christine Pope's "The Queen of Frost and Darkness," a Snow Queen retelling that originally ran in Dark Valentine Magazine. 

It's a fantastic collection. Here's the review I just posted on Amazon:



 Witches and warriors, demons and darkness, brave women and true love, and a vampiric take on a classic fairy tale—it’s all here in this boxed set, and more besides. Because many of the stories have layers to them that remind us of other stories and folk tales and ballads, like the silver dagger Yarrow carries in the collection’s opening story, “Yarrow Sturdy and Bright,” by Devon Monk. This is a fierce, feminist take on “The Pied Piper,” and it sets the tone for the stories that follow.

The stories run the gamut from reimagined Celtic folklore like Anthea Sharp’s “Fae Horse,” a wild ride on a NightMare to Christine Pope’s lyrical Russian take on “The Snow Queen.” C. Gockel’s urban fantastic version of Cinderella features a wildly sympathetic stepmother, a “stepsister” who’s a 15-year-old gay kid exploring his own fabulosity, and a whiny “princess” whose diva antics are consistently amusing.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The teaser trailer for Beauty and the Beast

Disney has just released the teaser trailer for their live-action Beauty and the Beast. And it looks lush.

Bite-sized Beauty and the Beast

My retelling of Beauty and the Beast, The Summer Garden, is free this week on Amazon. Because we all need a free fairy tale every once in a while.