Lucas, by Elna Holst, is a delightful re-imagining of Jane Austen's world, following the story of Charlotte Collins, Elizabeth Bennet's childhood friend. While Charlotte writes to the Lizzy we all know and love, this story is told in a second, secret set of correspondence Charlotte can never send to her friend, detailing her affection for women and her unexpected fall into infatuation and love--not with her husband, the rector of Rosings Park in Kent, but her physician's cousin, the delightfully unorthodox Miss Ailsa Reid. Ms. Holst paints a wonderful historic picture from the gardens and simplicity of Kent to the finery and excitement of a winter vacation Bath. Despite the fun and adrenaline of new, forbidden love, the more serious aspects of womanhood in Regency England were dealt with honestly and with respect.
Throughout the tale, Charlotte becomes increasingly akin to her imagined penpal, torn into two versions of herself: one, the demure, sensible Mrs Collins, rector's wife, the other swooning, secretive Charly Lucas, lover to the beguiling Ailsa. While the epistolary nature of the book made for a bit less world-building and richness than I would have liked, everything I love about Austen's world is here, from the longing and drama, to the exquisite clothes and races across the countryside for someone's honor and safety. I was hooked as Charlotte had to choose between her family's reputation and her own happiness. 4 out of 5 stars!
I'm so honored Queer Sci-Fi chose to check out Nel's first adventure! It's amazing when a reader truly gets the heart of a story.
"One of the major themes in this story is that of understanding the past to understand the future. We need to know where we came from to know where we are going. It’s a loving tribute to the science of archaeology itself. But it also parallels Nel’s journey – she is still figuring out who she is and her place in the newly discovered changed world. All of her expectations have been shattered apart by the end of the book, and she needs to figure out where to go from here.
If you’re looking for science fiction grounded in factual science, this is a great look at the world of archaeology...." read more
I'm so thankful for this incredible 5-star review of Smoke and Rain from Literary Titan!
"V.S. Holmes hits the mark with this incredible fantasy adventure that utilizes a unique writing style to tell a vivid story. We’re introduced to some rather complex, and rather bleak, characters that we get to see develop throughout the story from multiple perspectives. And with this I felt a lot more connected to these riveting characters. Having such lively characters makes the intense battle scenes all the more dramatic and theatrical...." read more
I jumped on with Jenn Taylor of the Naked Podcast to discuss the loneliness and isolation in which my writing is rooted. I'm a queer Scifi Fiction author. My first book was published in 2015. Since, my writing has weathered divorce, disability diagnosis, an awful political climate, and a parent's death. And yet, my writing is stronger than ever!
If nudity makes you uncomfortable, you can check out the audio version instead!
Sleepwater Beat, by Kathrin Hutson, is the first in the Blue Helix series. The first taste of this speculative fiction world immerses us immediately with an honest certainty. I read the sequel first--so each installment can and does stand on its own. Here, we follow Leo, a young woman raised in a world of pharmaceutical addiction and information overload. Told in alternating timelines of her past and present, we watch her go from a lonely childhood and street life to the tentative relief of a found family.
We encounter a detailed and real cast as Leo gets to know Sleepwater--the group of people who, like her, can change the people around them with just their words. Some "beats" bring entertainment, or pleasure, others control and pain. Like its sequel, Sleepwater Static,Beat moves seamlessly through desperation, explosions, and despair. The thread connecting each of these pieces, however, is one of hope and faith in one another--and ourselves. Another winner: 5 out of 5 stars!
V discusses the complexities of finding your roots, how family impacts writing, and creating high vs low fantasy magic systems with YA fantasy author R. A. Lewis, plus they dive into the fun of audiobook production!