Wednesday, July 29, 2020


by Anna Birch
Publication date: July 28th 2020
Published by: Macmillan
Genres: LGBTQ+, Romance, Young Adult

For fans of Leah on the Offbeat and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, Anna Birch’s I Kissed Alice is a romantic comedy about enemies, lovers, and everything in between.

Rhodes and Iliana couldn’t be more different, but that’s not why they hate each other.

Rhodes, a gifted artist, has always excelled at Alabama’s Conservatory of the Arts (until she’s hit with a secret bout of creator’s block), while Iliana, a transfer student, tries to outshine everyone with her intense, competitive work ethic. Since only one of them can get the coveted Capstone scholarship, the competition between them is fierce.

They both escape the pressure on a fanfic site where they are unknowingly collaborating on a webcomic. And despite being worst enemies in real life, their anonymous online identities I-Kissed-Alice and Curious-in-Cheshire are starting to like each other… a lot. When the truth comes out, will they destroy each other’s future?
It was the end of our junior year when everything between Rhodes and me came to be as it is now.
It was May, and we were at a pop-up installation on the edge of campus. Clouds of heavy, weed-scented smoke hung up around the light fixtures of an old gas station with bars on the windows, and rain was falling in through a spot where the roof had caved, leaving puddles on the dirty tiled floor.
Behind each ancient cooler door was an installation: women with tape over their mouths. Women with their hands bound. Women dressed like schoolgirls, and dressed like moms, and dressed like frumpy old ladies with curlers in their hair. There was a gas station attendant behind the dilapidated old counter, a girl barely older than us with shiny red lip gloss and breasts begging to escape from a Play- boy Bunny costume. Word around campus was that participants had to be eighteen so they could sign the liability waiver provided by the lead artist.
Men wandered from one cooler to the next, shopping quietly, selecting someone to take with them along with six-packs of beer and packs of beef jerky.
Rhodes and I had become friends, sort of.
We weren’t talk-on-the-phone friends, or even text-on-occasion friends.
But Sarah had been my best friend since the third grade, and Sar- ah and Rhodes had become completely symbiotic during their first and second years as roommates at the Conservatory. It had taken weeks of begging for Sarah to even suggest to Rhodes that I come along—no matter what I did, Rhodes thought my work was “pedestrian.”
She didn’t think I’d understand the show—called Quickies at the Kwickee Mart, clever them—or that the art installation would speak to me the way it spoke to her and Sarah.
But by some force of nature, I had been the one to win a scholar- ship at the Savannah College of Art and Design only a week before. My art wasn’t an existential crisis played out with paint and canvas, and it didn’t make any grand political statements, but it was going to pay for my college—and apparently it meant I was allowed to play with the big girls now. Only two days later, Rhodes invited me along herself.
A week after that, we stood side by side, stoned out of our minds and attempting to make sense of the little theater that played out in front of us. Some of the girls in the cases were seniors at the Conservatory, and I knew about half of the people standing around us from campus as well. The rest were unimaginably sophisticated, worldly looking artist types—people with ink-stained hands and tattoos that crept up from under the collars of their shirts and onto their necks.
If my perception hadn’t been completely altered, I would have thought to be a little embarrassed by my own clothing choices. I felt so metal sneaking out in my tattered-on-purpose Slipknot T-shirt and my tattered-on-purpose acid-washed shorts and my tattered-on-pur- pose pink-and-white-striped tights.
“It’s, like, feminism—” Rhodes said.
Her brows were knit together; her cogs were turning.
She didn’t understand. I didn’t want to tell her otherwise, to ruin the night like I always do. It wasn’t enough to say it was about “like, feminism.” Anything can be about feminism, because in everything there’s an imbalance of power. There will always be one person in the room that has more privilege than the rest, and that person is almost always an Ingram.
It didn’t surprise me that Rhodes didn’t understand then, and it doesn’t now—she doesn’t really know what it means to be a little further down the food chain than everyone else. I’m not much further down than she is—I’m just as white, Christian-adjacent, abled, and straight-passing as she is—but I’m aware of it.
“Yeah, just, you know—” Sarah’s pupils were blown out. She held on to me for dear life, the way Rhodes’s barely-younger brother and then-dance-track student, Griffin, clung to Rhodes’s arm. Sarah liked Griffin then—she was infatuated, really. I think she thought he’d be an easy segue into being a fixture in Rhodes’s life forever.
She thought wrong.
“The motherfucking patriarchy,” said Griffin.
The motherfucking patriarchy. As if that phrase in and of itself wasn’t the purpose of the installation, the fact that women are continuously victims of sexual violence in Western culture, so much so that it has permeated our patterns of speaking and even the way we curse.
Rhodes sighed, and nodded appreciatively. Sarah sighed, and nodded appreciatively. Griffin sighed, and nodded appreciatively.
This is art, they communicated, with stoops in their shoulders and ennui-burdened frowns. This is life.
This is suffering.
Pot only ever makes me more philosophical. Everyone around me was melting into puddles, and I was practically writing ninety-nine theses on third-wave feminism on the back of a fifteen-year-old Kwickee Mart napkin that had been stuck to the bottom of my boot.

Author Info
Anna Birch is the author of I Kissed Alice. She was born 'n' raised in a rural area on the outskirts of Birmingham, Alabama. She traded thick forests and dirt roads for the heart of the city, where she lives now with her husband, three children, and dog. She loves knitting, brie, and hanging out with her family.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

YA PARANORMAL - ALEX MCKENNA & THE GERANIUM DEATHS by Vicki-Ann Bush Narrator: Marcus Rothenberg

by Vicki-Ann Bush
Narrator: Marcus Rothenberg
Length: 8 hours 38 minutes
Released: June 10, 2020
Publisher: The Parliament House
Genre: YA Paranormal

For Alex McKenna, high school is just a distraction from the love of his life Margaret, with whom he can't wait to spend more time once they get to college. In many respects, Alex is just an average 17-year-old boy...except for the fact he's a transgender medium born from a long line of Strega witches, possessing the ability to communicate with ghosts. 

With the help of Margaret and his talented Strega great-grandmother, Alex will learn how to strengthen his abilities. The dead need Alex to help them reconcile issues they left behind, and he finds that he needs them, too. 

As his abilities multiply, assisting the dead becomes an outlet to channel his new energy, giving him the strength to come to terms with who he is as a transgender male and how far he will choose to go.

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Originally from New York, Vicki-Ann currently reside in Nevada. Writing Young Adult paranormal, she finds inspiration from events that have been in her life for as long as she can remember. Inheriting the sensitivity to the supernatural from her family, they continue to be an endless source of vision. Newly released on September 24, 2019 from The Parliament House, the YA Paranormal LGBTQ, Alex McKenna & The Geranium Deaths. A series of books that will feature a seventeen year old, transgender boy with paranormal abilities. Author has several titles that have received Reader's Favorite Five Star seal, as well as the 2017 & 2018 winner of, 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading. Coming October 20th, 2020, the release of book 2, Alex McKenna & The Academy of Souls.

Narrator Bio  

 Marcus Rothenberg is a voiceover artist born and raised in Springfield, Illinois. After high school, Marcus joined the Air Force as an air traffic controller. Once out of the service, he began to pursue his passions, including his dream career as a voice over artist. Marcus began pursuing voice work full time in November of 2019. Since then, he has lent his voice to multiple projects ranging from commercials, to commissioned Dungeons and Dragons character voices, to full length audiobooks. He currently lives back in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois and is continuing to use his voice to fuel his passion. When Marcus is not recording, he enjoys table top games, video games, reading, and kayaking.
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Monday, June 1, 2020


Vigilant, #2
by L.M. Preston
May 1st 2020
Publisher: Phenomenal One Press
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Dexter didn’t like being a pawn. It seems life was taking him there though. His father and he never saw eye to eye, but being captured and tortured for his father’s mistakes gave Dexter too much to think about.

First, the girl he lost, he’d never forget what they did to her. It changed him, and made him see the small city his father moved him to for what is was, a prison for magicals, the damned, and now him.

Too bad, the creator of the void didn’t realize they would be better off if they’d set him free, because now, he was fighting for his life, and someone he’d have to hide his feelings from to protect, not just from those that want to drag them back, but from him -a vigilant.
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“Do you want to escape here? I can help you.” Dex wanted out of this place.
        Nash smiled, “Yes, but now is not the time. We have to wait for her to hatch. I need her for a successful escape. It’s why I implanted a song in the guard’s mind to put her with me.”
        “You manipulated my friend Trey?” Dex wiped a hand down his face. This guy Nash was dangerous. Dex could feel it, only now, Dex felt it was time to stop trying to be the nice guy. He would survive. Finding a way to say his family would start with getting out of here, even if making a deal with this little devil would do it.
        Nash lifted an eyebrow, “I hummed him a tune.”
       “Whatever. You want my help getting out of here? I’m offering as long as we go our separate ways.”
        “I will take your willing help.” Nash cocked his head to the side, “Although, if I wanted it, I could make you give it, you know.”
        Dex crossed his arms over his chest, “Isn’t a free give better?”
        “Oh it is. What will you give me for helping you get free?”
        Dex frowned, “Give you? I got nothing.”
        “Everyone has…something.”
        “What are you? I like to know what kind of creature I’m bargaining with.” Dex didn’t want to give this imp anything.
        “I am many things, yet in part, not a human like you.”
Dex caught a hint of regret in his tone. Dex could swear Nash had a hungry gleam in his eye. Trey had warned him that Nash was pied piper and Rumpelstiltskin. Dex knew the pied piper had something to do with music. He had no idea what a Rumpelstiltskin was, and he had a feeling he shouldn’t mention it to Nash.
        “You need to tell me specifically what you want before I can agree to anything.”
        One side of Nash’s lip kicked up. “Her. The pixie-human. Give me her.”
        Dex frowned, then scratched his head. Why would Nash ask him to give up the pixie-human? The girl wasn’t his to give, he didn’t even know what it looked like.
        “Not mine to give.”
        Nash shrugged, “Then I won’t help either of you.”


Author Info

L.M. Preston, a native of Washington, DC. An avid reader, she loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl. She is an author, an engineer, a professor, a mother and a wife. Her passion for writing and helping others to see their potential through her stories and encouragement has been her life's greatest adventures. She loves to write while on the porch watching her kids play or when she is traveling, which is another passion that encouraged her writing.

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