Reading and Writing and Dad, and Freed by Flame and Storm’s Pub Day

Reading and Writing and Dad, and Freed by Flame and Storm’s Pub Day

Today is the release of my second book, Freed by Flame and Storm. This should be a celebratory blog post, but it isn’t quite. This is the book’s dedication: My father passed away two weeks ago today. You can see how Freed’s release is bittersweet. * It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized people thought of SFF as a “boy” thing. For me, it was a family thing. My mom loved Tolkien and Star Trek, and my older siblings showed me Star Wars at a very young age. And the rest — essentially all of my reading

Science Fiction Fairy Tale: A Wrinkle in Time

Science Fiction Fairy Tale: A Wrinkle in Time

My August/September YA classics read was Madeline L’engle’s A Wrinkle in Time — but technically, it was a reread. When I was a kid, probably only eight or nine years old, my mother read Wrinkle to me out loud, which left only two lasting impressions for me: the line “There is such a thing as a tesseract,” and the scene with the kids jumping rope and playing ball, which was and remains TERRIFYING. I loved it when Mom read it to me, though, and devoured the next two books in the series. (But I’m not sure I ever read the

Kirkus Loves Freed by Flame and Storm!

Kirkus Loves Freed by Flame and Storm!

The first review for Freed by Flame and Storm is in… and it’s great! And while not exactly spoilery, it does drop some pretty heavy hints about what’s to come… A former slave must choose between vengeance, mercy, and justice in the conclusion of the epic fantasy duology that began with Bound by Blood and Sand (2016). After much struggle and sacrifice, Jae mastered her elemental magic and ended the drought ravaging her desert realm. Now she and Elan, forswearing his once-exalted status, seek to destroy the Curse enslaving the Closest caste. But their newfound allies demand nothing less than

Blitzball Is Hell: A (Very) Few Thoughts On A Separate Peace

Blitzball Is Hell: A (Very) Few Thoughts On A Separate Peace

Hey, before we dig in! I was on a podcast! Superhero Ethics invited me to drop by and talk about storytelling and the hero’s journey, especially with regards to Star Wars and what the changes from A New Hope to Rogue One signify. Recording was super fun and I think it was a great conversation, so I hope you’ll check that out! Okay, so, the blogathon. In July, I read a A Separate Peace by John Knowles and discovered a flaw in my entire blogathon project, which is: I started with the assumption that I’d have something to say about

The Scourge of Apathy and The Catcher In The Rye

The Scourge of Apathy and The Catcher In The Rye

So. The Catcher in the Rye. I have to admit, this was one of the books I most dreaded reading for this project, because it’s also one of the very few I’ve read before. And the truth was, I didn’t like it very much. And it’s really hard to talk about why without feeling like I’m writing a high school English paper. Let me talk about that for just a second. I, like many, many people, read Catcher for high school English. And I did not enjoy it. In fact, I enjoyed very little about high school English — which

Six Months Out Giveaway

Six Months Out Giveaway

BOOK TWO: IT’S TIME. Um. In six months. Still: six months goes by so quickly! I can’t believe we’re already in June of this completely ludicrous year. So if the next six months go as quickly as the previous six did, well, it’s basically time for Freed by Flame and Storm, right? Or maybe I’m just eager to get it in everyone’s hands. Or maybe I’m terrified of that, actually. A fact that I realized when I saw that ARCs had begun to go out to reviewers. You’d think that, having done this once before, I’d be a little bit

The Free World of Francie Nelson’s Brooklyn

The Free World of Francie Nelson’s Brooklyn

I knew even less about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn when I started reading it than I had about Little Women. But it was, in a lot of a ways, a perfect answer to Little Women, right down to the moment, early on, where Francie mentions that she read and enjoyed Little Women. Liberty vs. Poverty and Education in Francie Nelson’s Brooklyn It’s a little hard to summary the plot of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, because (again like Little Women) there isn’t much of one. It’s the story of Francie growing up, and of her family. Francie’s mother is

Little Women, Female Ambition, and Castles in the Air

Little Women, Female Ambition, and Castles in the Air

Hey everyone, have you read your Pilgrim’s Progress lately? Because it’s time to talk about what I got out of reading Little Women, in this first real installment of the YA Classics Catch Up. But first, one housekeeping note — as I experimented with formats, I found I had a pretty fun time capturing some of my thoughts on Instagram as I read. So if you’re an Instagrammy person, feel free to follow along that way! Okay. So. Little Women is a novel by Louisa May Alcott, originally published in two volumes, the first in 1868 and the second in

Assault, Consent, and Romance in Bound by Blood and Sand

Assault, Consent, and Romance in <I>Bound by Blood and Sand</i>

(Notes: This blog entry discusses rape culture, also, there are minor BBB&S spoilers.) It’s April, which is sexual assault awareness month. So I want to take a second to talk about sexual assault in Bound by Blood and Sand, because, well, it’s in there. Jae, the protagonist, is a survivor of rape before the book begins, and she’s assaulted about halfway through, on the page. Jae also has PTSD (from the assaults, and from a lifetime of slavery), something which is, of course, still part of her in Freed by Flame and Storm. I did not take the idea of

The YA Classics Catch Up Blogathon

The YA Classics Catch Up Blogathon

My name is Becky and I have a confession: I am a YA writer who is shamefully un-read in the classics of my own category. I’ve never read The Outsiders. I’ve never read A Separate Peace. And while I have read The Catcher in the Rye, it was only grudgingly for class, and I hated it. A little of this is because my school didn’t teach some of these. Mostly, though, it’s because I’ve always been drawn way more to genre books than contemporary (or books that were contemporary when they were written, decades ago). I like my pacing zippy