Personal

So It Goes by Isis Molina – I published a book!

I wanted to share that I published my first novel. It’s a friends to lovers slow burn romance, and I’m so excited to share it with all of you. I’ll leave the blurb below, and the Amazon and Goodreads links. It’s available for free in Kindle Unlimited.

Blurb:

At thirty-one, Aaron Santos has finally bought his family their dream house. This is the first place that’s felt like a home, and things are finally looking up. However, as much as he tries to be the best boyfriend and father, it never feels like enough. 

Lucas Adams is happily married with a baby on the way. The life he’s created for himself is exactly the one he’d always longed for. He’s a successful full-time author who is delighted to meet his new next door neighbors, especially Aaron, who’s kind and intriguing. 

Soon, Aaron and Lucas form a close friendship and realize that they have more in common than they thought. Together, they navigate suburban life with their respective families, through all the ups and downs thrown their way. But when both of them lose what is most precious to them, they find solace in each other to cope with the fallout, and discover that the love they feel for one another is stronger than any challenge they’ve ever faced.

AMAZON

GOODREADS

Book Reviews

The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer – Book Review

This lifetime is yours to make what you will of it.

I don’t tend to read sci-fi books. Fantasy and sci-fi aren’t really my things, but I make exceptions, mostly when they’re gay. I can’t remember how I heard about this book, but I picked it up last year on my birthday as a gift for myself. I finally got around to reading it, and it completely blew my mind.

This book follows Ambrose and Kodiak, two seventeen-year-old boys in a spaceship on a mission to rescue Ambrose’s older sister, Minerva, from Titan. At first, Ambrose has a hard time getting Kodiak to even speak to him. The two boys were picked from enemy countries, so already they’re at odds with each other. Slowly but surely, Ambrose manages to win Kodiak over, and then they have to work together to figure out the mystery behind their mission.

I wasn’t sure at first if I liked the direction the story was going. The Operating System in their ship was acting strange, and I wondered if this was a story about evil robots, but it is far more than that. It is actually something quite terrifying and devastating and it felt suddenly life-changing. I was astounded as the truth unraveled, and a hundred different emotions took over. There was something so profound about Ambrose and Kodiak’s journey, their friendship, their relationship, and their lives. I would have never imagined this book would make me philosophize about life to this extent, but it did.

This book was masterfully crafted. It felt significant. It felt honest. I was gripped by it entirely, and I was glad for it. This is one of the best, if not the best, book I’ve read this year. I think anyone could easily take something away from it. Do yourself a favor and read it.

Book Reviews

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden – Book Review

I had no idea this book was first published in 1982. I can’t even begin to imagine how revolutionary it was at the time. I knew I had to read it as a queer literature classic, and I’m so glad I did.

This book follows Liza and Annie, who meet at a museum and quickly become close friends. They just have this pull towards each other from the get-go, and I love stories like that. I like it when two people just come together because they feel like they need to be in each other’s lives so badly. I liked that both girls come from two very different backgrounds, and yet they don’t let that get in the way.

The romance that flourishes between them is very honest. It’s confusing at first because neither of them really knew they were into girls, but they can’t help their feelings. I really liked so many aspects of their relationship. I just felt that this story dealt with way too many unimportant subplots that got in the way for me. I wish it had mostly focused on Liza and Annie’s relationship. There was a whole ordeal with Liza and her school that I just didn’t like. But I still appreciated this book for what it is.

I had always heard that this was one of the first queer books with a happy ending, and I’m so glad for that. I think queer stories with tragic endings need to stay in the past. I honestly can’t stand to see queer people dying in fiction anymore. Sure, it happens, but can we not write about it anymore? Can we just pretend they all get to live happily ever afters?

Book Reviews

George by Alex Gino – Book Review

This book is so important.

I live in Texas, and I’m so fucking angry about this law that punishes parents who support their trans children, claiming it’s “child abuse.” Child abuse is not allowing these children to be who they are. But of course, the transphobic man in power lacks brain cells and a heart to figure this out. Please consider donating to Don’t Mess With Trans Kids, or any other organization that is helping out this cause.

Back to the book. This is a middle grade novel following a girl by the name of George, although she prefers the name Melissa, and she’s trans. I was surprised by the heaviness of this book considering it’s a middle grade novel, but I can’t fault it for that because our reality is so messed up, even for kids. Sometimes especially for kids. I was just appalled by some of the things my sweet Melissa had to go through. It broke my heart over and over again. For the majority of this book, she doesn’t have much support. Not from her mom, or her teacher, or other students at her school.

But then there’s Kelly, Melissa’s sweet little friend. I adored Kelly. I wish everyone had a friend like Kelly, who just accepted and supported Melissa with everything. Kelly was a real MVP. I have no words to express how grateful I was for Kelly. She was the highlight of the entire book. Melissa got to present herself how she felt thanks to her friend, and I was on the verge of tears because of that.

I really enjoyed this book. It was short but poignant. I have hopes that books like this could change perspectives. I really hope they do because I need to hold onto hope somehow. For all those trans kids who just want to be who they are.

Uncategorized

Dark Rise by C.S. Pacat – Book Review

I think what people were is less important than what they are. And what people are is less important than what they could be.

I listened to the audiobook in two days, and I found it impossible to stop listening to it on the second day. This book has entirely consumed me, and I just can’t stop thinking and talking about it.

I have read everything the author has published. I’ve come to trust C.S. Pacat in her storytelling abilities. She writes magnificent characters and romances. I knew I had to pick this book up as well. I’m not into high fantasy in the slightest, but I made the exception for this book, and I’m so glad I did.

Dark Rise follows sixteen-year-old Will who is on the run from the people who killed his mother, but Will doesn’t know exactly who he’s running from. He’s saved by Justice, a Steward who takes him back to his people, who are powerful knights trained to fight off the Dark King from the Old World. Simon is one of the descendants of the Dark King, and he’s trying to bring him back. Will soon discovers his role in destroying the Dark King.

This book is packed with an incredible set of characters. I adored Violet, a lion meant to work for Simon and the Dark King, but she soon joins the Stewards and decides to fight against Simon. She was my absolute favorite. Justice also stole the show. He was such an incredible hero, and I couldn’t help but root for him. But the character who stole my heart was James. James is a reborn from the Old World. In another life, he was the Dark King’s right hand, and now he’s working for Simon to bring him back. James is powerful and strong and so incredible. I love a good villain, and James was excellent.

This is a very complex story. I loved the way it was woven together. It was easy to get lost in it, and it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. And of course, I was living with every scene James was in. But the ending of the book just brought it all together. That ending made me scream, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. The only downside of reading this book now is that I’ll have to wait for so long to read the sequel, which isn’t even written yet. It’s such a shame because no one should have to wait after an ending like THAT.

I would recommend this to fantasy readers, anyone into slow burn romances, or just anyone who wants to scream because of the ending of a book. I plan on reading everything else C.S. Pacat publishes because she has not yet disappointed me.

Book Reviews

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver – Book Review

This is probably one of the prettiest covers I’ve ever seen. I wish I could just buy a print of it and put it on my wall. It’s gorgeous. I don’t think I knew much about this book other than it’s about a nonbinary character and it has a pretty cover. But I’m so glad I finally picked it up!

This book follows Ben, who is only eighteen when their parents kick them out of their house when they come out as nonbinary. They have no choice but to contact their older sister, who left home when they were very little, and she agrees to take Ben into her home. There, Ben meets their sister Hanna’s husband, Thomas, who is a teacher at a high school, and they enroll Ben there. Ben also starts going to therapy to deal with the fallout of their coming out and their anxiety issues. And of course, Ben makes friends, one of which is Nathan, who is very outgoing and kind to them.

I thought Ben was such a relatable character. They were going through so much at such a young age, and all they wanted was just to get by, which is honestly a whole mood. I wanted to protect them, but at times they also frustrated me. I thought Hannah was such a great sister, but Ben had all their walls up around her all the time, and I just wanted them to get together. I liked Ben and Nathan’s friendship, and I went into this expecting a romance, but that was such a small subplot I can’t really count this book as a romance. I thought it was more of a journey of self-exploration than anything else, and those books are great, too.

This is the very first book I’ve ever read with a nonbinary character, and I need to remedy that. I will look for more because I think these perspectives are so important and necessary. These voices need to be heard. I’m so glad this book was written.

Book Reviews

Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler – Book Review

I’d had my eye on this book for quite some time. That cover is beautiful, and I love Demi’s song by the same title. It also sounded like the protagonist would be a bisexual disaster. And I have to say, I was not at all disappointed.

This young adult book follows Lara, who spends the summer before senior year of high school away from home with her mom while on a work trip. There she meets Jasmine, and they spend the entire summer together. When she starts school, she has the attention of her long time crush, Chase, but then Jasmine shows up at her school, and all of the feelings she had for her come back, too. This is told in past and present events to show the summer events as well. And let me tell you, those were my favorite parts of this book.

I really loved the exploration of bisexuality Lara went through. She never identifies as bisexual, but as pansexual myself, everything she went through was so relatable. I loved all the characters a lot. I thought Chase was really great, and I could easily understand Lara’s struggle between Chase and Jasmine. It was such a great premise. I’m just so glad this book exists. I would read a sequel for sure, and I’ll be looking for more books by this author. I also really enjoyed how Demi Lovato’s song was actually a part of the story. That was a neat touch.

This made my gay heart so happy.

Book Reviews

A Very Bossy Christmas by Kayley Loring – Book Review

I stumbled upon this book in December on Goodreads. Someone I’m friends with gave it five stars, so I was intrigued. I have to admit, I hate covers like this, with a shirtless man on the cover. They’re not at all appealing to me, and I tend to stay away from them. However, I was in the mood for a Christmas book, especially one between a boss and his employee. And I’m glad I gave it a chance!

This book is told in dual POV between Maddie and Declan. Maddie has been working for Declan for a short time, and even though he’s a workaholic who keeps her at the office, she stands her ground and bosses him around. Declan is completely attracted to Maddie, and finds her a constant temptation. Then one day, Declan propositions Maddie to be his fake girlfriend during Christmas Eve with his family in exchange for a few days off work. This starts the entire ordeal.

I really liked Maddie. I thought she was a strong woman, and I liked how open she was about who she was and what she wanted and how she wanted to be treated. I wasn’t entirely sure about Declan. One second he was this closed off man, the other he was just throwing himself at her, and there wasn’t really much build up. I like my romances to burn slow, so I didn’t really like that. But I can appreciate this for what it is, and that is just a nice smutty read.

The side characters were all very fun and entertaining, too. I enjoyed Maddie’s niece, too. She’s thirteen and she likes butts, especially Declan’s, which was a little weird, but I can understand her. I, too, was once thirteen. (Who am I kidding, I still like butts). This was just a fun Christmas romance. It was very sweet.

Book Reviews

The Geek Who Saved Christmas by Annabeth Albert – Book Review

The Geek Who Saved Christmas: MM Holiday Romance - Kindle edition by  Albert, Annabeth. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

He deserved someone watching out for him, someone to leave a light on, and if he’d let it be me, well, I liked that. It also terrified me. But not enough to dampen how much I wanted to be someone for him.

I was drawn to this book by the gorgeous illustrated cover. I mean, look how pretty. I’m a sucker for illustrated covers. I also happen to love Christmas romance stories, in books and in movies. I’m not the biggest fan of the holiday, but I love seeing people fall in love during it. And this was no exception.

The Geek Who Saved Christmas follows the lovely and charming Gideon Holiday, a forty-something man who loves Christmas, and helping out in his neighborhood. This year, he has a plan to help his grumpy next door neighbor, Paul Frost, put up Christmas lights for once in the four years he’s lived there. Paul isn’t into the holiday at all, and he doesn’t want Gideon’s help. That is, until Paul’s younger brother lets him know that he and his girlfriend are visiting for Christmas, and he plans to propose to her. Suddenly, Paul needs to find a decorator to spring up his house, and Gideon is more than happy to help.

I absolutely adored this story. It had everything I could have ever wanted, and more. I loved loved Gideon. He was a real sunshine, despite being kind of lonely. I liked him from the start. He was the kind of positive person who actually makes you want to be positive instead of angering you. I liked Paul and his grumpiness, too, especially when I saw the soft side of him. And I loved seeing the two lonely men come together as they worked to decorate for Christmas.

This book is full of heart and cheeriness and warmth and good feelings. It’s very low angst, and the family aspect is pretty strong. There was no real conflict, and you have no idea how much I appreciated that. I love books like this. I wish more books were like this. I had the best time reading it. I love romance stories about forty year olds because it’s never too late to fall in love.

If you like sweet Christmas romances, this one is for you!

Book Reviews

Total Creative Control by Joanna Chambers & Sally Malcolm – Book Review

Total Creative Control (Creative Types Book 1) - Kindle edition by  Chambers, Joanna, Malcolm, Sally. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

This lovely book follows Aaron Page, a PA working for the creator and writer of the TV show Leeches, Lewis Hunter. Aaron is not only a fan of the show, in his personal time, he also writes slash fanfiction of the show about the two main characters, who are not canonically together. I knew just from this premise that I would like this book.

There was so much to love about this story. First, I loved that we got to hear about a fanfiction writer who devoted so much of his time to a show and characters that meant a lot to him. Second, I loved that said writer could also work on the actual show with its creator. What a dream that would be. And third, I loved that these two characters were meant to fall in love.

We have the sunshine/grumpy trope and the boss/employee trope working side by side and, let me tell you, it was wonderful. I just loved seeing Aaron and Lewis getting closer and closer together. I loved that, despite the power imbalance, they felt like equals. I liked that Lewis would seek out Aaron for comfort when it was most needed, and that Aaron was always so loyal to Lewis. I liked a grumpy Lewis, too.

So many aspects of this book just pushed my buttons in the best way. It made me lose so much sleep, but it was all worth it. I loved getting lost in this story. It kind of made me feel validated for my love of fandom and fanfiction. So, if you want to dive into a new slow burn romance, this one is perfect.