#FearlessWomen – THE CALCULATING STARS

the calculating stars

THE CALCULATING STARS –

I shivered and looked up at the odd ochre haze in the sky.

Mrs. Lindholm saw my shiver and misinterpreted it. “Let’s get inside before you catch your death.”

“Oh, I’m getting good at outrunning death.”

Mrs. Lindholm’s face blanched. “I’m so sorry! I forgot about what you went through.”

Sometimes my humor doesn’t work to diffuse a situation. This was one of those cases. “No, really. It’s fine. It’s just . . .  I’m the one who should apologize. That joke was in poor taste.”

“No, it’s my fault.”

“Really—no. You have nothing to apologize for.”

“I was being thoughtless.”

“I—” I stopped and narrowed my gaze. “I should remind you that I’m Southern, and you’ll never win a politeness battle with me.”

She laughed, and people down the sidewalk turned to glare as if she had begun cursing in public. “Truce?”

THE CALCULATING STARS Summary:

On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process.

Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too.

Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.

Mary Robinette Kowal color - c. Rod Searcey 2018

 

About Mary Robinette Kowal:

Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of the historical fantasy novels Ghost Talkers and the five books in The Glamourist Histories series. She is also a multiple Hugo Award winner. Her short fiction has appeared in Uncanny, Tor.com, and Asimov’s. Mary, a professional puppeteer, lives in Chicago with her husband Robert and over a dozen manual typewriters.

#FearlessWomen_BlogHeader

About #FearlessWomen:

Women are shining in every genre of speculative fiction, and it is no longer enough to say “Women are here.” Instead, #FearlessWomen everywhere are taking a stand to say “Women will thrive here.”

Highlighting major titles from bestselling authors V.E. Schwab, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jacqueline Carey as well as titles from acclaimed and debut authors such as Mary Robinette Kowal, Tessa Gratton, Sam Hawke, and Robyn Bennis, #FearlessWomen will be a coordinated social media celebration encouraging fans to start a dialogue about women in publishing, their worlds, their voices, and their unique stories.

Tor Books’ handles across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@torbooks) will be using the hashtags #FearlessWomen (and #FearlessFantasy and #FearlessSF) to promote excerpts, exclusive content, quizzes and giveaways beginning in May. There will also be exclusive giveaways at BookCon, San Diego Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con. Follow Tor Books online, join the conversation – and get reading!

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#FearlessWomen – CITY OF LIES

CITY OF LIES

CITY OF LIES –

“If you can be a proofer, you can be a poisoner,” I said. After all, our family’s secret role had developed for a reason. Once each Family would have had their own secret poisoner, and it was foolish to believe our own ancestors had been too noble to participate actively in the squabbles for leadership. I doubted the proofing role had always been entirely reactive, even if our records spoke only of defense. My gaze dropped to the scars on Jovan’s arm; not his only ones, but the most visible. Even if the role of proofer had been a silent and purely defensive one for generations, Etan’s experiments had always been wide ranging, and some of our resources could be turned to weapons in an emergency. Jovan knew that, at least intellectually, but he had never harmed anyone with his knowledge before. We were protectors, not assassins. As someone prone to quadruple-guessing and harshly judging his every decision as it was, he might struggle to cope with such a change. But what choice did we have?

CITY OF LIES Summary

Poison. Treachery. Ancient spirits. Sieges. The Poison Wars begin now, with City of Lies, a fabulous epic fantasy debut by Sam Hawke

I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me…

Outwardly, Jovan is the lifelong friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible Heir. Quiet. Forgettable. In secret, he’s a master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the Chancellor’s family from treachery. When the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city, Jovan and his sister Kalina must protect the Heir and save their city-state.

But treachery lurks in every corner, and the ancient spirits of the land are rising…and angry.

Hawke.Sam - Author photo_Credit Kris Arnold PhotographyAbout Sam Hawke:

A black belt in jujitsu, Sam Hawke lives with her husband and children in Australia. CITY OF LIES is her first novel.

#FearlessWomen_BlogHeader

About #FearlessWomen:

Women are shining in every genre of speculative fiction, and it is no longer enough to say “Women are here.” Instead, #FearlessWomen everywhere are taking a stand to say “Women will thrive here.”

Highlighting major titles from bestselling authors V.E. Schwab, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jacqueline Carey as well as titles from acclaimed and debut authors such as Mary Robinette Kowal, Tessa Gratton, Sam Hawke, and Robyn Bennis, #FearlessWomen will be a coordinated social media celebration encouraging fans to start a dialogue about women in publishing, their worlds, their voices, and their unique stories.

Tor Books’ handles across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@torbooks) will be using the hashtags #FearlessWomen (and #FearlessFantasy and #FearlessSF) to promote excerpts, exclusive content, quizzes and giveaways beginning in May. There will also be exclusive giveaways at BookCon, San Diego Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con. Follow Tor Books online, join the conversation – and get reading!

Hiatus Until August

Hi everyone,

Blogging is going to go on hiatus for the month of July as my husband and I prepare to move to a new place. This means my time is mostly going to be focused on packing, cleaning, and generally trying not to die. I hope to come back with some stronger content, more reviews, personal posts. I also have a trip to Japan coming up as well, so you’ll definitely get some of that on the blog during the month of September.

I hate when life gets so crazy that things you consistently do fall to the wayside. However, this is a huge step for us and it needs to get done with a lot of care and focus. Please don’t forget about me! And who knows, maybe Molly will share some posts while I am gone like she did the last time. You never know. 😉

Love,

Sam

Book Riot’s Read Harder 2018 Challenge – May and June Wrap Up

You may have noticed that I skipped a month for this feature. If I am being realistic, given how much crap has been going on in my life, it was an easy thing to forget. However, since then, I have read a few more books for my challenge. Lemme share what the last two months have brought me.


Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Completes Challenge #10: Romance Novel by or About a Person of Colour

Thoughts: While this book is getting a lot of mixed reviews, I personally loved the crap out of it. I loved the meet cute between Penny and Sam, and I loved how organic their friendship was from the start and how it blossomed into quite the dramatic romance. This book has great friendships, and while Penny and Sam are challenging characters to enjoy, I think Choi does an amazing job of getting the reader to understand where they are both coming from. Check out my review here.


The Emissary by Yōko Tawada

Completes the Challenge #19: Book of genre fiction in translation

Thoughts: I found this on our New & Popular shelf at work and decided to give it a whirl.  I don’t mind a very abstract read, but something about this book left me feeling very lost and confused a lot of the time. Maybe it’s me being out of practice reading Japanese Literature, or maybe it’s the fact that this novel jumps around with too many ideas but nothing feeling concrete at all. Yeah, not sure what happened here.

 


And there you have it! It’s another two reads, one for each month. I didn’t do so hot, but let’s be honest: I’m trying to do a bit too much on top of getting ready to move and go on vacation. Here’s hoping for a better month in July! (Though I doubt it.)

Three Contemporary Novels I Want to Read This Summer

Summer is here and it always puts me in the mood to read contemporary. There’s just something wonderful about a summer-focused novel, be it a beach read, a summer road trip, or just an adventure in dealing with feelings that feel so brand new, contemporary is just what I want to devour throughout July and August. I thought I’d share five contemporary novels I want to get to this summer.

Finding Yvonne
by Brandy Colbert (Expected Release Date: August 7th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

I am very fortunate at the moment to have an ARC for this novel. I loved Little & Lion, and I own Pointe, which I rescued from being put in the trash at my work (old weeded copy) that I still haven’t read yet. Regardless, I was beyond impressed by Little & Lion that now Colbert is an author I watch. I love her stories that focus on family, diversity, and how change affects young people. There’s a sharpness to her words that I instantly connect with and Finding Yvonne sounds like it may break me.

The Way You Make Me Feel
by Maurene Goo (Published: May 8th 2018 by Farrar Straus Giroux Books)

I loved the comedy of errors that was I Believe in a Thing Called Love. It was cute, quirky, and just so so funny. I’ve heard great things about The Way You Make Feel, and I feel like it’s going to be a book that is going to leave me so hungry given it has to do with a summer romance and food trucks. I am not the biggest romance reader, but I like how Maurene Goo writes them, so I am in it to see what all the fun is about.

Save the Date by Morgan Matson (Published: June 5th 2018 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Whenever I think of summer reads, two authors usually spring to mind: Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson. Since I have read all the Sarah Dessen, it would seem I now need to catch up on the latter, I have only read Amy & Rodger’s Epic Detour and The Unexpected Everything, both which I thoroughly enjoyed. I ended up picking up Save the Date from my local book store on a whim, and I feel like it’s going to be a fun read.

What are some contemporary books you want to check out this summer? I’d love to know in the comments.

Cramathon Wrap Up!

So Cramathon happened back from June 10th to the 17th, and despite all the crazy in my life, I decided I wanted to participate. Of the seven challenges, I completed five! I thought that was pretty good given it was happening during a very busy and crazy work period. Since the read-a-thon ended I am still working on the last two challenges, which are finishing Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now (which I am enjoying a lot!) and staring Dear Martin.

 Predicted 5 Star Read – Sadie by Courtney Summers – It was, in fact, a five star read and definitely what I needed to be reading in my life. I am going to have a review coming closer towards the date, as well as another post discussing Sadie a bit more loosely in weeks to come. Let’s just say if you love a thriller, you need this book. 5/5 Stars.

Book Out of Your Comfort Zone – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi – This book was so WEIRD, but so beautifully written that I couldn’t take my eyes off the page. It’s a difficult book to describe, but one if you’re interested in works by Nigerian writers. 4/5 Stars.

A Book That Has Been On Your TBR A Long Time – The Dust Devils by Sean Williams – I finished the first book in this series earlier in the year and enjoyed it. I decided to check out the sequels, Dust Devils and The Scarecrow and for me this series just didn’t do it for me. It was an okay fantasy series, but I just never truly felt invested. 2/5 Stars.

LGBTQIA+ Ownvoices Book – Wide Awake by David Levithan – This book was weirdly uplifting, kind of utopian, and a very interesting take on if the world wasn’t filled with discrimination. Not the most realistic book, but definitely one I loved just because I loved how hopeful it was throughout. 4/5 Stars.

Something That is Not a Standard Novel – Dear Martin by Nic Stone – INCOMPLETE

Book With Your Favourite Colour on it – Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis – INCOMPLETE.

Read Seven Books – Flor and Miranda Steal the Show by Jennifer Torres – Yes, yell at me! I decided that this was my freebie book for the read-a-thon since I already had it started and had finished on the first day. You can read my review here. 4/5 Stars.

Five out of seven challenges isn’t too bad. The next read-a-thon I am hoping to participate in is #TomeTopple which starts on June 29th. I will be so happy if I complete two 500+ page books (well one comic, one book). We shall see. Let me know if you participated and whether or not you completed the challenges! 🙂

Late to the Party ARC Review – Tiny Infinities by J.H. Diehl

Title: Tiny Infinities

Author: J.H. Diehl

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: When Alice’s dad moves out, leaving her with her troubled mother, she does the only thing that feels right: she retreats to her family’s old Renaissance tent in the backyard, determined to live there until her dad comes home. In an attempt to keep at least one part of her summer from changing, Alice focuses on her quest to swim freestyle fast enough to get on her swim team’s record board. But summers contain multitudes, and soon Alice meets an odd new friend, Harriet, whose obsession with the school’s science fair is equal only to her conviction that Alice’s best stroke is backstroke, not freestyle. Most unexpected of all is an unusual babysitting charge, Piper, who is mute—until Alice hears her speak. 

Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

This book was very much a slow burn for me as far as middle grade reads are concerned. This is a book about loss, change, friendships, and swimming. When Alice’s father leaves her family, she decides to take refuge in his old Renaissance tent in the backyard. Her summer is showing constant change, as she meets a new girl who loves science, but is a bit odd. She meets a girl who is a mute that she attempts to befriend, and she spends her days learning that perhaps difference and change isn’t such a bad thing.

Alice’s story is one I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to. She’s learning to deal with her family getting a divorce, she’s determined to try and stop her world for changing. Alice is lovable as a heroine — she’s stubborn, determined, and a bit shy. She’s a character I think a lot of readers will connect with because she goes through events in her life that are challenging, and there is such an unknown feeling to the changes she encounters.

I also really liked the writing in this book, even if the story was a tad slow. I did find Harriet, Alice’s newfound friend, to be a bit of a difficult character. At times she read very robotically, though that may stem from the fact that she is very intelligent and somewhat socially awkward. I think she’s a character kids may have some trouble with just because her vocabulary is so advanced compared to other children in the story, but I think given how she is portrayed, it makes a lot of sense.

I enjoyed my time with Tiny Infinities. I loved it’s message about how adapting to change can be wonderful and rewarding, and I loved that as a middle grade story, it had subject matters that kids could relate to, but they were still complex enough to be challenging. I definitely look forward to recommending this to more patient middle grade readers. I don’t recommend this for readers looking for a fast paced adventure, because that doesn’t exist here.