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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Book Tour: TIMID review + author interview


Book Details

Title: Timid
Author: Harry Woodgate
Publisher: Little Bee Books
Genre(s): Childrens, LGBT, Picture Book
Pages: 32
Format: Physical
Representation: Nonbinary

Rating: 5/5

Favorite Quote/Scene: 
Meeting Nia

Thank you so, so much for Hear Our Voices Tours for allowing me to take part in this book tour!! I love Harry Woodgate's books and I especially love a book with a nonbinary main character! Make sure to check out the tour schedule to see what other wonderful tours and hosts were a part of this tour!

This is a beautiful book! I'm starting to expect that from Harry Woodgate's books. They are colorful and gorgeous and very well-written.

This book has a nice story with a strong impact to me! Especially considering the main character is nonbinary which isn't something we typically get in picture books.

The character's journey throughout the book is actually pretty great! It's not a permanent answer to that fear and anxiety, but it's definitely a better approach then just trying to ignore it or sink into it!

I loved this book! It was exactly what I had hoped for!

How did you get the idea for this book?
I came up with the idea for Timid in early 2020, a few weeks before the first lockdown here in the UK. I was sat in a local coffee shop with my sketchbook, and I drew a lion with a multicoloured mane. I liked the character, so as the world shut down over the next few months, I began to explore what their story might be.

The themes of shyness and anxiety I drew from my own childhood. They're feelings many kids struggle with, and whether it's taking part in a school performance, playing a sport, making new friends or speaking in front of your class, these experiences can feel really daunting, so I wanted to create a story which spoke to and encouraged those readers in a gentle and reassuring way.

Why use a lion to showcase the fear?
There are quite a few books that use big cats as metaphors for worry and fear, but the main reason I chose to include the lion alongside Timmy was because it allowed me to create a playful visual relationship between the two characters, mirroring and contrasting the different emotions Timmy feels throughout the story in the illustrations. I also liked the idea that perhaps this bold, colourful lion was not just representative of Timmy's shyness but also of their vibrant imagination and inner world: sometimes these things can be two sides of the same coin.

The second reason is that one of my favourite soft toys when I was small was a lion called George, so it felt like a fitting tribute!

As a nonbinary reader, I loved that the main character used they/them pronouns. Why did you choose to have it that way?
That means a lot to hear, thank you. I chose to include a non-binary character because there are still relatively few picture books that feature non-binary identities, though there will certainly be young readers who are either beginning to explore their own relationship to gender, or who may have non-binary or gender non-conforming people in their life.

Picture books are excellent tools for building empathy, as well as equipping children and caregivers with the language and space to safely navigate important topics together. Hopefully Timid achieves this whilst most importantly being an enjoyable story.

What do you like to do to overcome nervousness or shyness?
I think more than anything, I've learnt the importance of nurturing those friendships where you become bolder, brighter, more authentic versions of yourselves in each other's company - and the importance of understanding and respecting your own boundaries. Whilst it's good to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and face your fears, doing so with kindness and allowing yourself the space to process your emotions is far better than just trying to power through.

How did you come up with Timmy and Nia's names?
Timmy's name is a bit of a pun on the book's title, Timid. I'm not entirely sure where Nia's name came from: I think it just sounded friendly, which suits her personality.

Do you have a favorite illustration in this book?
I'm really happy with the playground bench scene where Timmy, Nia and the lion are surrounded by colourful macaws, as well as the final illustration where Timmy and Nia put on their costumes and take to the stage. Both are anticipatory moments - the beginnings of a new friendship, or the start of a performance - and I think I'm drawn to the latent emotion within those situations.

What's your favorite part of your job?
I love doing events, meeting readers and seeing the books I've made out in the world, but, perhaps necessarily, I think my favourite part of the job is the physical process of writing and illustrating: the routine of it; the passing of time; the many small decisions, reflections and conversations that go into creating each story.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Book Tour: WE ARE THE CRISIS review + 15 thoughts while reading


Book Details

Title: We Are the Crisis
Author: Cadwell Turnbull
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Publication Date: November 7, 2023
Genre(s): Adult, Horror, Paranormal, Fantasy
Pages: 338
Bookshop Purchase Link: https://bookshop.org/a/67041/9781982603755

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Cover Reveal: KEY LIME SKY by Al Hess


Book Details

Title: Key Lime Sky
Author: Al Hess
Publisher: Angry Robot Books
Publication Date: August 13, 2024
Cover Artist: Al Hess
Cover Designer: Karen Smith
Preorder Link: https://bookshop.org/a/67041/https://angryrobotbooks.my.canva.site/key-lime-sky

Denver Bryant’s passion for pie has sent him across Wyoming searching for the best slices, but his food blog is a failure and its trickling income isn’t enough to pay his rent next month.

Driving home from a roadside diner, Denver witnesses a UFO explode directly over his tiny town of Muddy Gap. When he questions his neighbors, he seems to be the only one to care that the residents’ strange behavior and a shower of hail-that-isn’t-hail could be evidence of something extraterrestrial. Frustrated that his reputation as town eccentric is impeding his quest for answers, he details the events on his failing blog, and his online popularity skyrockets, driving him to search for answers.

The only person in town who takes him seriously is handsome bartender, Ezra. They investigate over pie and the possibility of romance, but when people start vanishing and reality folds in on itself, it’s suddenly a race against time to find the extraterrestrial source and destroy it before it consumes not only Muddy Gap but everything beyond. Denver’s always been more outsider than hero, but he’s determined to ensure that a world with Ezra – and with pie – still exists tomorrow.

About the Author: 
Al Hess is the author of World Running Down (“Hess satisfyingly explores the complexity of building your identity in a world of winners and losers” Washington Post), Yours Celestially, and the award-winning Hep Cats of Boise series. When not hunched before a computer screen, Al can be found at his art desk. He does portraits in both pencil and oil paint, and loves drawing fellow authors’ characters nearly as much as his own. He writes cozy and uplifting stories with queer, trans, and neurodiverse representation.

Disclaimer: I am a bookshop.org affiliate and may earn a commision on books bought using the link on my page.

Monday, November 27, 2023



Thank you to Hear Our Voices tour for allowing me to take part in this! Make sure to check out the schedule to follow all the amazing hosts!

Queer Love. Something Dawn wants, desperately, but does not have. But maybe, if she can capture it, film it, interview the people who have it, queer love will be hers someday. Or, at least, she'll have made a documentary about it. A documentary that, hopefully, will win Dawn a scholarship to film school. Many obstacles stand in the way of completing her film, but her best friends Edie and Georgia are there to help her reach her goal, no matter what it takes.

A touching and joyous story of queer friendship and girlhood set in the vibrant city of Houston, THE QUEER GIRL IS GOING TO BE OKAY will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you believe that eventually, everything will be okay.

Disclaimer: I am a bookshop.org affiliate and may earn a commision on books bought using the link on my page.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Review: A RIVER OF GOLDEN BONES by A.K. Mulford


Book Details

Title: A River of Golden Bones
Series: The Golden Court, Book #1
Author: A.K. Mulford
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: December 5, 2023
Genre(s): Adult, LGBT, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 400
Bookshop Purchase Link: https://bookshop.org/a/67041/9780063291423

Monday, November 20, 2023



Book Details

Title: Sir Callie and the Dragon's Roost
Series: Sir Callie, Book #2
Author: Esme Symes-Smith
Publisher: Labyrinth Road
Publication Date: November 7, 2023
Genre(s): Middle Grade, LGBT, Fantasy
Pages: 400
Bookshop Purchase Link: https://bookshop.org/a/67041/9780593485828

Friday, November 10, 2023



I have a full 1,000+ word review written out for this book, but I definitely don't want to overwhelm anyone during this tour. Firstly: all of my thanks to TBR and Beyond Tours, Labyrinth Road, and Penguin Random House for allowing me to take part in this tour! It is truly an honor! Make sure to check out the other tour stops and see what else the hosts have to say! Secondly: if you've been following me since last year you might remember my obsession with the first book in this series. I am no less obsessed with this book! Thirdly: while I love this book deeply, it does contain triggering content so I strongly recommend checking the content warnings before reading.

I find Esme to be a very strong writer but I think where she truly excels is in her writing of the main characters. Callie, Elowen, Willow, and Edwyn are some of the most three-dimensional characters that I've ever met in a fantasy novel! They all have intricacies that allow them to work together but also cause them to argue at times. They're struggling from the traumas they have been through, but they also want to help the others through their struggles. These characters are brilliant and I adore them with every part of my heart.

Esme also does a really, really good job at exploring the intricacies in this world. The many sides of a war and the truths that aren't always the truths. The people who are caught in the crossfire and suffer the most. The people who wind other's around their fingers to get the results they want. This is a tough topic to approach, especially in a middle-grade novel, but I think they do a very good job.

The settings in this book are also amazing, even if they aren't positive settings! Helston is written wonderfully and the Dragon's Roost is something that I would love to see illustrations of. I'm pretty sure I said it after the first book and I'll say it again: I really want a movie or TV show to be made from these books.

The emotional hold that this book and the first book have on me is indelible! I have such a deep love for these books and such an earnest admiration for Esme that it's hard to be matched. I am eagerly anticipating the third book, especially after how this book ended.

The battle is won, but the war is far from over. In this thrilling sequel, a twelve-year-old nonbinary hopeful knight fights for the heart of their kingdom in a magical medieval world filled with dragons, shape-shifters, and witches.

Thanks to Callie and their friends, Helston seems to be changing for the better: Boys are allowed to explore their magic, and girls are permitted to train as warriors. Callie is an official Helston page, Willow in on track to become king, and Elowen and Edwyn are finally safe and free of their father. Everything is...perfect.

Except it isn’t.

Not in Helston, where every step forward is accompanied by a storm of opposition. Even Queen Ewella and Sir Nick are struggling against the wave of fear and anti-magical sentiment growing daily, while the encroaching threat from across the bridge looms.

Callie isn’t foolish; they notice the suspicious glances thrown Neal’s way and hear the doubtful murmurs following Willow. They know what people think about them, too. Tolerance is not the same as acceptance, and when the fragile peace finally shatters, Callie and their friends have no choice but to leave their home and run.

On the other side of the bridge, old secrets are revealed and new allegiances are formed that will throw into question everything Callie thought they knew about their world. Including what it means to be a hero.

Disclaimer: I am a bookshop.org affiliate and may earn a commision on books bought using the link on my page.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Book Tour: EMMETT by L.C. Rosen


Book Details

Title: Emmett
Author: L.C. Rosen
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 7, 2023
Genre(s): Young Adult, LGBT, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 272
Bookshop Purchase Link: https://bookshop.org/a/67041/9780316524773

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Interview with Claudie Arseneault, author of the CITY OF SPIRES series


Hi, everyone! It's great to be back and posting interviews again. Thank you for your understanding while I dealt with some mental issues and a couple of bouts with sickness.

Today I am thrilled to present my interview with Claudie Arseneault (she/her)! If you've ever searched for books with asexual representation, you've likely seen some of her books listed. Baker's Thief is one of the ones that I saw the most when I was searching around but I also saw a lot about the series we're talking about today: the City of Spires series!

In this interview I got to ask Claudie about how she got started with writing, how the City of Spires series came to be, and what sort of changes happened between conception and publication. This was an excellent interview and I was so excited to get to pick Claudie's brain about her work.

Thursday, September 21, 2023



Book Details

Title: Alex Wise vs. the End of the World
Author: Terry J. Benton-Walker
Publisher: Labyrinth Road
Publication Date: September 26, 2023
Genre(s): Middle Grade, LGBT, Fantasy
Pages: 404
Bookshop Purchase Link: https://bookshop.org/a/67041/9780593564295

Book Tour: TIMID review + author interview

  Book Details Title : Timid Author : Harry Woodgate Publisher : Little Bee Books Genre(s) : Childrens, LG...