Santa Muerte Book Review

Author: Lucina Stone

Publisher: Story Merchant

Synopsis:

THE YEAR IS 2030. IN A DRAMATIC, final attempt to free her inner demons, twenty-year-old Daniela Delgado tempts fate and winds up on a strange farm in 1923. With an olive complexion due to her Mexican/Italian heritage and a fresh pixie cut, she is mistaken for a “boy of color.” Her only shot at survival now is to play it cool, pose as “Danny,” and figure out how to get back home to her two, loving moms. And then she meets Daphne—an abused, motherless farm girl in desperate need of freedom and a friend. Having escaped Daphne’s father, the two of them are now roaming the streets of New York City disguised as a young aristocrat and her male servant. They’re running out of money, and ideas. And Daniela thought living in 2030 was tough. But her solar powered smart phone works. And there’s someone within range. She pings them. A selfie of an attractive male comes in with the text: I’m Lain. Who the f— are you? Even in that moment, Daniela knows this can’t be safe, but what are her choices? They meet Lain at a speakeasy on the Lower East Side. When Daniela reveals her last name, Lain says the only Delgado he knows is Anaya—the head of the Santa Muerte Coven of witches in Merida, Mexico. And then he hints that Daniela is a liar, even though she rocks a man’s three-piece suit like no woman he’s ever met. And as for her tattoos? Don’t get Lain started…. Despite the intrigue, Daniela adds Lain to the list of folks Daphne and she must outrun to stay alive. But as they plan their trip to Mexico, they soon discover that list is much longer than they thought. And they uncover a few other things, too, about Daniela’s true identity….

Rating: ⭐️

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The Girl From Everywhere Book Review

Author: Heidi Heilig

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Synopsis: Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own. via Amazon

Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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C.T. Callahan & Three Little Books Co. Present: the Little Voices Diverse Book Box

What is it?

The Little Books Diverse Book Box basically consists of two separate parts: a diverse book box and a diverse short story anthology. Each month, we’ll release a box featuring a diverse novel, a previously unpublished diverse short story, and some bookish goodies. At the end of the year, we’ll compile all of our short story publications as well as a few others into a diverse anthology.

 

How does it work?

Each month, we’ll have a new, diverse novel as the central point of our book boxes. Inspired by these novels, we’ll release themes to help guide authors toward diverse short stories. We’ll accept previously unpublished short stories from around the world, promote them beside already published diverse novels, and eventually compile them all for our anthology. Submissions are paid, and we’ll accept any work so long as it hasn’t been officially published before (blogs don’t count!) so feel free to send us whatever you’ve been working on. While we’ll be giving special priority to stories that fit our monthly theme, we’ll accept any diverse story each month, and even if your story doesn’t win, you’ll still be in the running to be included in the final anthology.

 

Who will we publish?

Anyone! We welcome experienced writers and amateurs alike. Every piece we receive will be answered with a formal acceptance/rejection, and any piece received prior to the 10th of the month will receive feedback and a chance to resubmit.

 

You said paid?

Indeed we did! All winners will be awarded:

  • Publication as a standalone story and in the final anthology
  • A copy of your standalone story
  • Monetary compensation at $.01 USD/word.

Anyone chosen for the final anthology will receive monetary compensation at $.01 USD/word.

 

Where can I submit?

Email us at INQUIRY@THREELITTLEBOOKS.CO with subject line: LITTLE VOICES [CURRENT MONTH] SUBMISSIONS. Ex. “LITTLE VOICES DECEMBER SUBMISSIONS”. Please compile your story into a word document and include a short personal bio. If your story is own voices, please include that too!

 

Is there any way I can help out?

Spread the word! Follow us on social media! Donate here! Anything you can contribute will help us a ton and is greatly appreciated!

 

I’m still a little confused…?

Send any questions to INQUIRY@THREELITTLEBOOKS.CO and we’ll be happy to answer!

Writing Marginalizations: Why “Tan Skin” Isn’t Enough

I’ve been meaning to write series of posts talking about how to write marginalized characters. With everything that’s happened recently, now feels like an excellent time. For anyone wondering what qualifications I have to give you writing advice about marginalized characters, I’m a queer, neurodivergent, non-binary POC finishing off a degree in Creative Writing and working as an editor for two lit mags. My #ownvoices book comes out in a week.

(P.S. I chose the image above because it’s one of the worst/most offensive descriptions of skin tone I’ve ever seen. If you want to start with what you shouldn’t do, see above. The image is from Skin Renews Skincare on Pinterest.)

So, tan skin. I can’t even detail the number of times I’ve heard, “but it says they have tan skin. That means their a POC.” If you’re wondering why this doesn’t make sense, take a second and think about summer and beaches and yacht parties. Really, just think of an basic white movie. Remember all the people talking about how they want to get tan. It’s so wild! It’s almost like “tan” is a super ambiguous, rather subjective word that means different things to different people and can very frequently be used to describe white people!

So, without further ado, here’s a little “How To” when it comes to writing skin-tones for POCs.

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“More Happy Than Not” Book Review

Author: Adam Silvera

Publisher: Soho Teen

Synopsis: In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again—but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard? Via Amazon

Overall Rating: 4.5 stars

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Evie Weiss Character Interview

Here’s the first official interview with Evie, the main protagonist from Plastic Wings, which releases November 22, 2016.

How about you tell us a little bit about you? What’s your favorite color? Favorite hobbies? Etc?

 

To be honest, I haven’t thought much about my favorite color. Considering recent events, I’ll say green. As for hobbies, I love reading and drawing, and I really love spending time with nature. 

Continue reading “Evie Weiss Character Interview”

Plastic Wings Snippet #1

“I’m sorry you had to sit through that.”

I glanced up from the fiery glow to face Wes. He looked directly at me, eyes as bright as the hearth. It was the first time that night, at least as far as my awareness held, that he’d paid me any mind.

“Through what?”

“Porter’s story. I know how much you hate those.”

“Oh, do you?” I asked. I’d never considered the possibility of Wes observing me when he was around, but I should have. Quiet people always have a way of seeing things others don’t. “You shouldn’t feel bad. It’s not your job to control your friend.”

“He’s not my friend, per se,” Wes said.

“Then what is he?”

“Porter and I have a complicated relationship,” Wes said. He grinned at this as if watching some sweet scene only he could see. “But I wouldn’t exactly call us friends.”

“Well, either way, his affairs aren’t your responsibility,” I said.

“Evie?”

“Yes?”

“If Porter makes you uncomfortable, why don’t you ever just say so?”

“That would be rude,” I said.

“Do you think he deserves better?”

“Who am I to tell Porter what he deserves?”

Wes smiled. I turned to the fireplace. I hated thinking about it, what people deserved. Did I want to punch Porter in the face most of the time? I would never deny it, but if I judged Porter on his flaws, then I was welcoming someone to judge me on mine, and this isn’t something I’ve ever been ready to answer to. Still, I had to suppress a smile. It wasn’t the things Wes said, but the way he said them. It was as if his questions were a game, and he received some sort of remarkable thrill at hearing me answer them. I wouldn’t tell him so, but seeing his reaction gave me a thrill as well.

But Why POCs?

So I’m winding down the final edits on my first novel, and there are a ton of insecurities and concerns running through my mind. It’s never easy to release your life’s work to the world, and with so many different things that people could possibly harp on, it’s really hard for me to figure out which decisions are the best ones.

That being said, one big concern my betas have expressed is the setting of my story. Originally, I wrote the entire thing in a sort of dystopian future in which everyone was a POC because I felt like the idea of POC being the majority in a couple hundred years wasn’t too unrealistic. I’ve gotten a whole horde of comments about how I need to explain the world, explain what happened that led the world to being mostly POC, and explain how this new world works.

I started brainstorming different ideas, different government rulings and cultural changes and all these different reasons why there would be so few white people in my story, and honestly, I’m kind of annoyed that I had to do that in the first place.

Walk into a bookstore right now and pick up a book. If you have a bestseller on your shelf, maybe start with that. Unless you were specifically looking for own voices books or books with characters of color, odds are, every character or the vast majority of characters in that book will be white. If you ask the author why they wrote all/mostly white characters, they’ll probably just say that they wrote what they know. My question is, then why is it wrong for me, a biracial author, to write what I know and create a world that has mostly POC characters, especially a world that involves man-eating angels in a fairly distant future?

I hate this idea that all-white characters is the default, and having mostly POC characters better come with an explanation. It makes no sense for there to be mostly POC characters unless its the result of some authoritarian government or weird plague or something. Why is that? Is it because there’s no way that POC could reasonably be the majority at some point in time? Or is it the fact that, despite POC already existing in droves on every continent on the planet, people still think of us as ‘other’, as a rare exception to the white norm?

I’m writing in my POC characters. Why are they there? Decide for yourself.