March 2019 Bookish Summary

Total books read in March: 6

Comics/ Graphic Novels = 3  |  #LoveOzYA / #LoveNzYA = 0 |  the remainder = 3

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James.
A YA Sci-Fi tale that follows Lowrie and Shen, the last teenagers on earth, as they live in the aftermath of a virus that caused global infertility. There are plenty of twists and turns and plenty of moments that make you ponder life and what it means to live.
Published March 7th, 2019 by Walker Books [View on Goodreads] [My Full Review Here].

Runaways, Vol. 4: True Believers by Brian K. Vaughan,  Adrian Alphona & Craig Yeung.
The teens get a grave visit from the future, fight off against some retired superheros and dodge a supreme bad guy. I wasn’t as into this one as the previous three, but it was still enjoyable and it ended with a cliff-hanger that has me keen for Vol.5.
Published November 29th, 2006 by Marvel [View on Goodreads].

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour.
A queer contemporary tale of a young woman drowning in, then dealing with her grief for the grandfather and life she’s lost and for the mother she never knew. A beautiful story that will break your heart, then turn around and heal it.
Published March 5th, 2019 by UQP [View on Goodreads] [My Full Review Here].

Long Macchiatos and Monsters by Alison Evans.
A sweet and heart-warming 44-page story set in Melbourne. It’s a meet cute and the two MAIN characters giving it Transgender and Nonbinary representation (woop woop). Alison is the bomb when it comes to inclusive queer YA, but I’d have to say this short would be considered an adult because of the sex.
Published January 28th, 2015 by Less Than Three Press, LLC [View on Goodreads].

Heartstopper Volume One by Alice Oseman.
I had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading this. It is just about the sweetest thing I’ve read. Two teen boys meet, grow as friends, one openly gay, the other not so much, and the ending leaves us with the hope they could be more.
Published February 7th, 2019 by Hodder Children’s Books [View on Goodreads].

Darcy Swipes Left (OMG Classics) by Courtney Carbone (Adaptor) & Jane Austen.
Pride and Prejudice told entirely through social media posts and emojis. I’ve previously read the Shakespeare retellings in this series and enjoyed them. This wasn’t bad, but how could you ever capture the beauty of P&P in so few pages.
Published September 27th, 2016 by Random House Books [View on Goodreads].

Conclusion:

March was an off month for me reading wise. I only actually managed to read two full length books, I just had too much going on.
I did however manage to write and publish a short poem, which i’m going to try and do each month and I got to do a fun Q&A with author Michael Earp.

Read I Can’t, a poem HERE

Read Michael Earp Q&A HERE

 Past Monthly Summaries:  Oct 18Nov 18Dec 18Jan 19Feb 19

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat 🙂

Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Christina Bauer: Guest Post


My Top Five Inspirational Books

By Christina Bauer

As part of the launch tour for my new book, UMBRA, the lovely Sarah at The Adventures of SacaKat asked me to share the top five books that inspire me as a writer. (Actually, they asked me for ten, but I got blabby).

So without further ado, here are the top five books!

Book Number Five. The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien

This book had a massive impact on me when I read it for the first time as a teenager. This was back in the 1980’s, and the fantasy genre was a lot less developed than it is today. LOTR opened my eyes to a new kind of fantasy that was separate from fairy tales, and I loved it.

Book Number Four. Grimm’s Fairy Tales by the Brother’s Grimm

My first entrance to fantasy was through the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Now, I’m not referring to the sanitized Disney version, although I enjoyed those as well. I’m talking the gritty stuff where Snow White ends up dead, that kind of thing. My work is often classified as dark fantasy and this is where it all came from!

Book Number Three. Mythology by Edith Hamilton

This is not so much a story as a compendium of Greco-Roman myths written in the style of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Such an eye opener in terms of themes, character, magic and fantasy!

Book Number Two. The Egyptian Story of Isis

I read this one for a decade—in different translations—before I truly understood it. Isis was the original goddess story and stretches back in use at least 40,000 years. It’s a tale of power, sacrifice and intellect. For more analysis, check out my blog post on the subject.

Book Number One. The Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

The first time this crossed my path, I was in high school. Campbell writes about what he calls the hero’s journey. I then became interested in mapping out the heroine’s journey, which brings me to why I write today.

So there you have it—the five books that most influenced my journey as a writer! I enjoyed sharing this list with you and hope to return on a future tour!


Umbra by Christina Bauer
(Dimension Drift Prequels, #2)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: March 26th 2019
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult

A prequel novella to the new series from USA Today’s ‘must read YA paranormal romance’ author, Christina Bauer.

One day, eighteen-year-old Thorne will be the Emperor of the Omniverse, the single being who rules countless worlds. Trouble is, his father Cole–who’s also the current Emperor–is a sadistic freak.

In fact, Cole won’t even keep his promises to the very humans who got him his throne.

Thorne won’t stand for it. He decides to travel to the human world and make good on his father’s promises. What he doesn’t count on is falling in love….

“I love how Bauer manages to add some awesome new world building to each of her books.”Woven Magic

This new series is perfect for: fans of urban fantasy, action and adventure, cool science, evil corporations, forbidden romance and hot new classmates who may or may not be aliens.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

Author Bio:

Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates

Blog / Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / LinkedIn

*  *  *  *  *  G I V E A W A Y !  *  *  *  *  *
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

*  *  *  Follow the tour HERE  *  *  *

XBTBanner1

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Michael Earp: Author Q&A

Michael is a Children’s and Young Adult bookseller and writer.
He is the editor of the collection Kindred: A Queer #LoveOzYA Anthology which will be published by Walker Books Australia this coming June.
And he also contributed the story ‘Meet and Greet’ to Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories, ‘Regulation’ to Aurealis #99 and ‘The Next Stop’ to The Victorian Writer.

Michael graciously took the time to do a Q&A with me earlier in the week and I am very excited to share it with you.


DID YOU ALWAYS DREAM OF BECOMING A WRITER? 

My desire to be a writer developed gradually. I’ve always written. Starting with the terrible teenage poetry, of a 14 year old. But I never stopped journaling in free verse. Then I got a job in a bookshop as a 19 year old and rediscovered my love of books. Then started wondering if I couldn’t write them myself.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR WRITING PROCESS; WHERE YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM FOR YOUR STORIES, DO YOU HAVE ANY PRE-WRITING RITUALS OR MAYBE EVEN A PREFERRED WRITING PLACE?

I often have to tidy my desk. Clear workspace, clear mind and all that. And while I can journal and/or daydream stories anywhere, I find it very difficult to write or edit a work in progress with other people around, so I tend to do most of my writing at my desk at home, trying hard to pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist. I’m VERY easily distracted.
As for inspiration? A lot of my ideas come from images, or snapshots from a scene that appears in my head. Then I get really curious to what came before, or what comes next, and I tease it out. Occasionally a story is in direct response to something I’ve heard. Regulation, my story in Aurealis #99 for example, was my reaction to comments someone said during the Safe Schools debate and I just felt erased in a single statement. That story just poured out of me, and I’m really proud of it.

[Note from Sarah: I purchased Aurealis #99 specifically to read Micheal’s short story Regulation. It was gripping, poignant and beautiful. It was a story that resonated within me. I am now feeling an even deeper level of connection to Regulation, after reading how it came about – I encourage you all to read it]

HAVE YOU FOUND THAT ANY WRITERS, CHILDHOOD FAVORITES PERHAPS, HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING?

There are certainly authors that while I don’t actively try to emulate their style, I maybe try to channel their vibe? Because I want my writing to be mine. But it’s hard not to aspire to be like the people you admire.

ARE THERE ANY BOOKS YOU WISH YOU HAD WRITTEN?

Ummm YES! But only in that the writer in me has grabby hands every time I read something I feel is brilliant. Margo Lanagan, Patrick Ness, David Levithan, David Almond just to name a few.

WHAT ISSUES DO YOU LIKE TO EXPLORE IN YOUR WRITING?

I’m really interested in the way that people relate to each other. The nuance of individual connections and relationships is what makes them fascinating. This includes people (or characters) relationship with themselves. All these connections are so bolstering and fraught that regardless of what the plot is doing, it’s that balance that intrigues me most.

I WAS ELATED WHEN I HEARD THAT YOU WERE PUTTING KINDRED TOGETHER (Kindred: A Queer #LoveOzYA Anthology). THE WORLD NEEDS MORE QUEER BOOKS! HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU GOT THE GO AHEAD?

ELATED! The world does need more queer books, so the fact that I was going to be able to help usher these amazing stories into the world was so exciting! I’ve been riding that wave for almost 2 years now. So now that the release is so very close (!) I’m ready for the world to have Kindred in their hands!

CAN YOU GIVE US YOUR TOP FIVE QUEER READS? – I KNOW, I KNOW, ONLY FIVE WHAAAAT. JUST GO WITH THE FIRST FIVE THAT POP INTO YOUR HEAD.

How. Dare. You.
Only 5? Sigh. Ok, here we go:
Release by Patrick Ness
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Welcome To Orphancorp by Marlee Jane Ward
I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
Deadendia by Hamish Steele

WHAT ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT OR WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK THAT YOU READ?

I’m currently reading Prisoncorp, the 3rd and final in Marlee Jane Ward’s FREAKING BRILLIANT series that started with Welcome to Orphancorp. Really, if you haven’t read it, go out and get it in your face.
My last 2 reads were After the Lights Go Out by Lili Wilkinson which was great (and I loved that the main character was bi, even though it wasn’t about her sexuality at all and the romance storyline was F/M). The other was Highway Bodies by Alison Evans, which all I can say is: If zombies are your thing, then what are you waiting for, and if they’re not, read it anyway. The characters and relationships Alison has created are heartwarming, crackling with life and so delightfully queer.


THANK YOU SO MUCH TO MICHAEL FOR TAKING THE TIME TO ANSWER MY QUESTIONS!

You find Michael here > >
Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Website

Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories – June 1st 2019, Walker Books Australia.

What does it mean to be queer? What does it mean to be human? In this powerful #OwnVoices collection, twelve of Australia’s finest queer writers explore the stories of family, friends, lovers and strangers – the connections that form us.

Compelling queer short fiction by bestsellers, award winners and newcomers to the #LoveOzYA community including Jax Jacki Brown, Claire G Coleman, Michael Earp, Alison Evans, Erin Gough, Benjamin Law, Omar Sakr, Christos Tsiolkas, Ellen van Neerven, Marlee Jane Ward, Jen Wilde and Nevo Zisin.

Sign ups are OPEN for the queer own voices Kindred tour.

To sign up or for more information see HERE.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

February 2019 Bookish Summary

Total books read in February: 8

Comics/ Graphic Novels = 2  |  #LoveOzYA / #LoveNzYA = 3 |  the remainder = 3

I Had Such Friends by Meg Gatland-Veness #LoveOzYa [Full Review Here].
The story follows Hamish during his last year of high school. We journey with him as he discovers his sexuality and self-identity. This story is filled with grief, hate, and heartbreaking sadness.
Published August 1st 2018 by Pantera Press [View on Goodreads].

Songs That Sound Like Blood by Jared Thomas #LoveOzYa [Full Review Here].
A beautiful coming of age tale about a young aboriginal girl coming out and discovering herself. This story is filled with courage, love and music. A heartfelt yarn that I highly recommend you read.
Published August 1st 2016 by Magabala Books [View on Goodreads].

Aurealis #99 by Michael Pryor, Alan Baxter, Michael Earp, Aaron Emmel, Gillian Polack, Chris Large & Russell Kirkpatrick.
I’d never read an issue of Aussie Sci-fi zine Aurealis before and I picked this one up because I wanted to read Michael Earp’s short story. I’m glad I did. Michael’s short story was brilliant, and I enjoyed the other shorts & articles.
Published April 9th, 2017 by Chimaera Publications [View on Goodreads].

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath [Full Review Here].
Should I be worried about how much I saw of myself in Esther Greenwood, a character that Plath based on herself?
This was one of the darkest and most beautiful things I’ve ever read. It was compulsive reading. The story, the writing, the words, the girl, it sucked me in.
Published 2006 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics (first published January 1963) [View on Goodreads].

Defensive Play (Boys on the Brink) by Jamie Deacon [Full Review Here].
A boy meets boy tale. We follow Davey as he gets his first boyfriend and comes out to his family and friends. It was a quick and cute read that I really enjoyed.
Published November 30th, 2018 by Beaten Track Publishing [View on Goodreads].

Runaways, Vol. 2: Teenage Wasteland by Brian K. Vaughan & Adrian Alphona.
Collects Runaways vol. 1, issues #7-12.
All the things I loved about Pride and Joy (issues #1-6) continue in this engrossing teen tale.
Published July 19th, 2006 by Marvel Comics [View on Goodreads].

Runaways, Vol. 3: The Good Die Young by Brian K. Vaughan & Adrian Alphona.
Collects Runaways vol. 1, issues #13-18.
And so the first story arc ends, but we are left with an opening for another and set up for the rest of the series – which I’m looking forward to reading 😊
Published June 7th, 2006 by Marvel Comics [View on Goodreads].

Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim #LoveOzYa.
Based on the real-life events of the authors father and set in 1960’s China, Freedom Swimmer is a story of oppression, survival, friendship, hope and freedom. It is beautiful and powerful, and I implore you to read it.
I was in the water with Ming, willing him to keep moving forward.
Published September 1st, 2016 by Allen & Unwin [View on Goodreads].

Conclusion: How the heck is it march already? Where did February go?!
I had to DNF a book in february, my first for 2019 and my first in years! I’m still bummed about it, but life’s too short and my time’s too valuable (obviously this book does not appear above). While I enjoyed all my completed reads this month, Defensive Play was a highlight for me – it was a super cute and quick queer read.

Past Monthly Summaries: Oct 18Nov 18Dec 18Jan 19

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

January 2019 Bookish Summary

Total books read in January: 8

Comics/ Graphic Novels = 2  |  #LoveOzYA / #LoveNzYA = 1  |  the remainder = 5

Frankie by Shivaun Plozza #LoveOzYA.
A compelling YA contemporary, with lead characters you can’t help but fall for.
Frankie is full of sass, anger, hurt, heart and humour.
Frankie is pure awesome! (and so is Shivaun Plozza’s writing).
Published March 23rd, 2016 by Penguin [View on Goodreads].

Paper Girls, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson & Jared K. Fletcher.
A gang of feisty 12-yr-old girls, time jumps, meeting future selves and self-clones. Sounds like it should be awesome, right? And it was by no means bad, just slower paced than I’m used to from Vaughan.
Published November 30th, 2016 by Image Comics [View on Goodreads].

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi [View Full Review].
A YA contemporary featuring a strangers-to-friends-to-couple plot.
A slow starter, but once the main characters friendship started to develop, I was hooked.
Some heavy issues were touched on during the story, but by the end my heart was warm and full.
Published January 1st, 2019 by Simon Schuster Australia [View on Goodreads].

Runaways, Vol. 1: Pride & Joy by Brian K. Vaughan & Adrian Alphona.
“At some point in their lives, all young people believe their parents are evil … but what if they really are?” Loved the premise of this one and I enjoyed the execution enough to say that I’m excited to continue reading this series.
LOVED the psychically linked Velociraptor – gimme gimme gimme gimme gimme!
Published December 6th, 2006 by Marvel [View on Goodreads].

Falling for Cindy Fellars by Regina Puckett.
A 24-page Cinderella retelling, that is a cute and fun little read. I found it a perfect in-between read, short and sweet. I can see myself rereading it somewhere down the line.
Published October 14th, 2014 by Punk & Sissy Publications [View on Goodreads].

Inkling by Kenneth Oppel [View Full Review].
A glorious middle grade book featuring magical realism that hit a lot harder than I expected.
Inkling is a beautiful story of a family drowning in, then overcoming their combined grief with the help of an adorable animated splotch of ink.
Published October 1st, 2018 by Walker Australia [View on Goodreads].

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum.
A captivating story that was darkly delicious and hauntingly beautiful.
The story touches on love, friendship, neglect, mental health and coping mechanisms.
Published October 31st, 2017 by Imprint [View on Goodreads].

Player’s Game by Desirae Clark.
A light and fluffy YA romance featuring a friends to lovers plot. There’s all the angst and drama you’d expect from a fluffy YA romance and even though the story was predictable – you knew going into it that they were going to end up together – it was still an enjoyable enough read.
Published December 25th, 2017 by BLVNP Incorporated [View on Goodreads].

ConclusionOh January, you came and went in a blur. My reading highlights for the month were Frankie and The Wicker King. I had a birthday!! and published a series of short poems about the relationships that shape us – read them HERE.
I actually really love the set of poems so please have a read ❤

Past Monthly Summaries: Oct 18Nov 18Dec 18

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Animal Business: Short Series

I wasn’t going to share these, as i’m not sure if they will make sense if you don’t know the people the animals represent. But I love them all, so have decided I will share them :-).
I hope you enjoy, Animal Business, a series of short poem-ish tales about the relationships that shape us.

Two Tigers

Two Tigers were on the run
just trying to have some fun
before adult responsibilities could drown them.
They visited dank wolf dens
and spend nights in sheep pens
before finding bridges blocked with barbwire fences.
That time is now lost
but it was well worth the cost
and together again in old age they will be.

The Tiger & The Sheep

The Tiger & The Sheep no longer reap
even though The Hunter did not find them.
The Shepherd ruined the day
& drove The Sheep away
to the greener pastures behind him.

The Tiger & The Hunter

The Tiger did try to run
but The Hunter he had a gun
& back down to earth she was shot.
Cubs were born
on a diet of new dawn
& The Tiger well worn
settled into life beside them.

The Dog

When The Dog was a pup
he used to hide in the grass
and watch the wolves swagger past
wishing he’d grow up just like them.
Grow up he soon did,
howling & fit,
in with the wolves around him.

The Tiger

To her younger self
The Tiger was mean
and into a slumber she went.
The Tiger no longer sleeps
thanks in part to The Sheep.
She no longer hides in herds.
She finds truth & solace in words.

The Tiger & The Dog

When The Tiger & The Dog did meet
He sat at her feet.
Astray as he was
she tried to mind him.
More time has now passed
and this meeting won’t be the last.
Savage friends you will always find them.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

December 2018 Bookish Summary

Ah, tis the season to end up in car park queues because you realise on Christmas eve that you forgot to buy more dog food when you did the grocery shopping the previous week to try and avoid going near the shops that close to Christmas – dumb ass I am.

On the 14th my littlest baby turned two and I am still in shock as to where that last two years have gone. I wrote a poem about it HERE.

On the 21st I got to have dinner with some fantastic people including the lovely Lynette Noni at Pantera press house in Sydney. I felt super blessed to have been invited and was ecstatic when we got to take home a copy of Vardaesia before its release. I am still buzzing from it.

Christmas day was overwhelming and tinged with sadness, as it was the first one since my grandmothers passing. But she raised a strong bunch and we will always come through.

Total books read in December: 9

Comics/ Graphic Novels: 3 | #LoveOzYA: 2 | The remainder: 4

Skin Deep (Paranormal Detectives #6) by Lily Luchesi.
Published June 10th, 2018 by Vamptasy Publishing [View on Goodreads].
Vampires, Skin Changers, Psychics. Fast and furious action. A PDS tale that is Classic Luchesi.

Stuck On Vacation With Ryan Rupert (Ryan Rupert #1) by P.S. Malcolm
Published June 30th, 2016 by P.S. Malcolm [View on Goodreads] #LoveOzYA.
A hate to love YA romance set on an island paradise with a murderous twist [Full Review HERE].

What If? X-Men (2018) #1 by Bryan Hill, Neil Edwards, Giannis Milonogiannis & Rahzzah.
Published October 3rd, 2018 by Marvel [View on Goodreads].
The X-Men reimagined in a dystopian like cyber-scape abusing world.

X-Men: Black – Magneto (2018) #1 by Chris Claremont, Dalibor Talajić & J. Scott Campbell.
Published October 3rd, 2018 by Marvel [View on Goodreads].
A deep and meaningful, dark and entertaining Magneto filled tale.

Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Cliff Chiang & Matthew Wilson.
Published April 5th 2016 by Image Comics [View on Goodreads].
A compelling read with a sci-fi twist that was giving me apocalyptic vibes.

Day of Execution (Paranormal Detectives #7) by Lily Luchesi.
Published January 1st, 2019 by Vamptasy Publishing [View on Goodreads].
Battle scenes, gore and vampire lore. I thought book 6 was fast and furious, book 7 is even more so. Bring on book 8 and what I’m sure will be a killer conclusion. *Full review to come.

Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins.
Published March 22nd, 2011 by Disney- Hyperion [View on Goodreads].
Two dreamy warlocks, a sassy part demon protagonist and a whole bunch of action and drama.

Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins.
Published March 13th, 2012 by Disney- Hyperion [View on Goodreads].
Wicked witches, out of control demons, sexy self-sacrificing warlocks, and the trilogies conclusion.

 

Vardaesia (The Medoran Chronicles #5) by Lynette Noni.
Published: February 18th, 2019 by Pantera Press [View on Goodreads]
#LoveOzYA. Alex’s friendships, loves, loyalties, physical abilities and sheer force of will are all tested in the action packed and epic conclusion to one of my all-time favourite series. *Full review to come.

 

Conclusion: December was hectic, stressful and sad at times, but it was still awesome. I met some wonderful people and read some fantastic books.

Past Summaries: Oct 18Nov 18

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Now you are two

Most days

the only thing that holds me together

is you.

You are my breaking point

and my glue.

For you the world must seem so shiny,

bright

and new.

At only two

you still have your whole life

in front of you.

As for me

I am about thirty eight percent through.

But Here’s hoping

for a million more days with you.


My littlest baby turned two yesterday. And I am just sitting here stunned wondering where the last two years have gone. Ethan has turned into an adventurous, hyperactive, tantrum throwing, food loving, wonder inducing little boy.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).