Updates for Upcoming Writing

One problem with grad school is that there’s only so much I can do to get my academic and nerdy interests to collide. As a full-time grad student and a freelance, my output here has plummeted because I’m busy trying to get my assignments in and not mess up at work.

But I am always thinking of things I can write for you all and so right now, there are some things that are definitely on the menu for upcoming months.


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[Stitch Elsewhere] Luke Cage review @ Strange Horizons

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Marvel’s Luke Cage looks at trauma from an intersectional point of view—one which doesn’t center whiteness or stereotypes of Black masculinity.

After eight years, fourteen feature-length films, and four separate television series, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has finally managed to place a Black man front and center in his own narrative. Luke Cage, a character previously seen as a supporting character in the first season of the Netflix-exclusive series Marvel’s Jessica Jones, is the first Black character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to star in their own series rather than remain a poorly-fleshed out sidekick to a white character.

Marvel’s Luke Cage is one of the only series out on television today that provides a close and realistic look at what it means to be a Black person in a world of superheroes. The series’ significant focus on agency, trauma, power, and personhood as they relate to Black bodies—as well as its portrayal of powerful, multi-faceted Black women like Mariah Stokes, Misty Knight, and Claire Temple—puts it above and beyond the very white superhero television and film franchises that dominate the media.

I wrote this piece on Marvel’s Luke Cage series for Strange Horizons and I’m really proud of it!

I got to talk a lot about the role power and agency play in the series, how Jessica Jones really had issues with antiblackness, and how Luke Cage matters as significant representation both to us in the real world and within the MCU.

I’m really grateful that Strange Horizons gave me the chance to write this piece and I think that if you read nothing else from me, that you should read this because a lot of work went into it and I feel that it comprehensively covers the things that Luke Cage did right and how important the show is.

Read the post here on the Strange Horizons website!

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[Book Review] Midtown Masters by Cara McKenna (+ Giveaway)

midtown-masters-coverTitle: Midtown Masters (Sins in the City #3)
Author: Cara McKenna (Twitter)
Rating:
Recommended
Genre/Category: Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Queer Romance, Queer Fiction
Release Date: February 21, 2017

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group: Intermix

Pre-Order Here: AMAZON (KINDLE)  | BARNES & NOBLE

Note: I received an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed here are my own. This review has some spoilers for the book but they’re not major ones that you couldn’t guess from reading McKenna’s other books or the book blurb.


It’s Valentine’s Day folks and that’s kind of the perfect time to talk about the third book in Cara McKenna’s steamy Sins in the City series. Midtown Masters, comes out in a week which gives you plenty of time to read the other two standalone novels in the series if you’re a fast reader.

Out of the three books in the series so far, Midtown Masters is my favorite. Starring a pair of close friends who cam together for well-paying customers and the mysterious client that winds up sparking a deeper connection with one half of the duo, Midtown Masters has so much to it that was genuinely enjoyable. Continue reading

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Urban Fantasy 101 – Weird Ass Werewolf Tropes

Content warnings: This installment of Urban Fantasy 101 contains references to or descriptions of racism, homophobia, heterocentrism, sexual assault, childhood abuse, domestic abuse, other forms of discrimination. There are also tons of footnotes.


urban-fantasy-101-weird ass werewolf tropesWerewolves are everywhere in the urban fantasy genre.

Most major series – film and otherwise – count lycanthropes as a staple creature and always throw in some funky in-world backstory to make the furry beasts fit into their worlds.

There are werewolves in Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lost Girl. The Underworld franchise – which is like Romeo and Juliet taking to a logical werewolf-y extreme – had its fifth installment (Underworld: Blood Wars) come out in January 2017.Teen Wolf, MTV’s adaptation of the Michael J. Fox film, is only now wrapping up its final season while the television adaptation of Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten just ended its final season in April 2016.

The paranormal romance genre (the flipside of the more “action oriented” urban fantasy genre where romance is supposedly supposed to be incidental to the plot) is so full of lycanthropy that you can’t shake a stick without hitting a werewolf.

Honestly, it’s more surprising to find an urban fantasy series without werewolves.

Which makes sense because werewolves are cool. Continue reading

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[Book Review] Marvel’s Black Widow – From Spy to Superhero edited by Sherry Ginn


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Title: Marvel’s Black Widow: From Spy to Superhero
Editor: Sherry Ginn
Authors: Malgorzata Drewniok, Heather M. Porter, Samira Nadkarni, Valerie Estelle Frankel, Jillian Coleman Benjamin, Sherry Ginn, Lewis Call, David Kociemba, and Tanya R. Cochran
Rating: Yeah, No Thanks
Genre/Category: Nonfiction, Superheroes, Feminism, Popular Culture, Comic Books
Release Date: March 1, 2017
Publisher: McFarland and Company

Order Here: AMAZON

Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. All of the views in review are my own.


This collection of essays first came to my attention last semester when I looking for sources I could use in a paper for my Cold War literature class about the position the Black Widow held when it came to Anti-Cold War propaganda in comic books. This essay collection is both a celebration of Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) and a criticism of the cultural environments that led to her creation and subsequent (frequent) reimaginings/reinventions as a second-string to male heroes in Marvel’s various universes.

Out of the volume’s nine essays, I thought maybe three or four had serious worth and didn’t make me want to pitch my kindle.


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How my island upbringing inspired “The Carnival That Comes After”

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This is a little backstory post about my story “The Carnival That Comes After” in Dirty Birds PressUndercities anthology which has two weeks left on its Kickstarter campaign. (So go pledge!)



When I was a wee teenager, my mother would go shopping at this one mall and she’d leave me in the bookstore for hours. I’d dive right into the romance and urban fantasy genres, pouring over books that I probably shouldn’t have read (but were still more appropriate than Anne Rice’s everything or Flowers in the Attic).

One of my earliest memories of this period in my life is reading this ridiculous selkie romance novel. I can’t remember anything about the book except that it was historical fantasy set on an island off the coast of Scotland and had a gorgeous, red-haired woman on the cover, but I think that was the book that sparked my special-interest in selkies.

Boy do I love selkies. Continue reading

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[Cover Reveal] 27 Hours by Tristina Wright

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I’m a huge fan of Tristina Wright and think that she’s an amazing person and a super talented writer! I’ve been following her for a while on twitter, quietly fan-Stitching over her talent and general awesomeness and when I saw the chance to support her by participating in the cover reveal for her upcoming YA novel 27 Hours, I leapt at the chance to do it.

So folks, keep scrolling down past the little leaf-thingies in order to check out the gorgeous cover for 27 Hours as well as the book blurb and information about this awesome author.

 

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[Book Review] Making Love by Aidan Wayne

Tmaking-love-coveritle: Making Love
Author: Aidan Wayne (Twitter)
Rating:
Highly Recommended
Genre/Category: Contemporary Romance, Urban Fantasy, LGBTQIA Romance, Demons & Angels
Release Date:
January 30, 2017

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Order Here: RIPTIDE PUBLISHING

Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed here are my own.

 


Aidan Wayne’s Making Love is literally the cutest book I have on my kindle. Continue reading

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[Book Review] Idle Ingredients by Matt Wallace

idle-ingredients-coverTitle: Idle Ingredients: A Sin du Jour Affair
Author: Matt Wallace (Twitter)
Rating: So Freaking Highly Recommended
Genre/Category: Urban Fantasy, Demons & Angels, Food, Politics
Release Date: February 7, 2017

Publisher: Tor.com

Pre-Order Here: AMAZON | AMAZON (KINDLE) | BARNES AND NOBLE

Note: I received an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of this book from the publisher (but I have also preordered the book on my own). All opinions and thoughts expressed, however drunkenly, in this review are my own. There are also some spoilers for the upcoming book so if that’s not your thing, come back after February 7th when you’ve read the book!


When we last left the Sin du Jour crew at the end of June 2016’s Pride’s Spell, everything was coming up roses. Everyone was alive, the crew got to see an angel in action, and my OTP was finally hooking up (I say as if we’re farther along than halfway through the series…).

So why is it that I found myself making ugly noises before I even finished the first chapter of Idle Ingredients? Continue reading

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[Fanwork Recommendation] Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis

Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis is a new fan-made series that looks at Hermione’s life post-Hogwarts. It’s incredible, relatable, and funny as hell for the most part (but don’t let your guard down like I did because HGatQLC will hit you in the feels before the first episode is done).

This first episode has me super excited to see what they’ll do next! The series has a racebent Black Hermione Granger, a Draco Malfoy that I kinda don’t want to fight, and some really well-written characters that I’m excited to see more of and the potential for incredible tension.

If, like me and many others, you were disappointed with Rowling’s nigh unbroken focus on white characters and the fact that everyone’s life goal was to be married off in neat M/F packages with babies on the way, give this webseries a try because it embodies the fandom mantra of “Epilogue? What Epilogue?”

To find out more about this series, check out the first episode and follow the awesome creative team on:

Their Website

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

Tumblr

 

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