From the Instagram poet and author of the exquisite Please Don’t Go Before I Get Better comes a gorgeous poetry and prose collection that explores the meaning of “home” and the profound discovery of finding it within oneself—perfect for fans of Rupi Kaur and Amanda Lovelace.
In this stunning third collection from Madisen Kuhn, Madisen eloquently analyzes some of life’s universal themes within the framework of a house. Whether it’s the garden, the bedroom, or the front porch, Madisen takes you into her own “home,” sharing some of the most intimate parts of her life so that you might also, someday, feel free to share some of yours.
Filled with beautiful hand-drawn illustrations from Melody Hansen, this boldly intimate, preternaturally wise, and emotionally candid collection encourages you to consider what home means to you—whether it’s in the lush, green-lawned suburbs or a city apartment—and, more importantly, explores how you can find it even when home feels like it’s on the far-off horizon.
A lesser-known fact about me, in undergrad I minored in Creative Writing, and put together a portfolio of poems, and creative fiction. I don’t write much anymore, but I still love poetry, so I was over the moon to receive a copy of this book. I loved it. So many lovely poems that really get into the heart of what home is, how we choose our home, and the feelings of losing that sense of home. For me, the best poetry comes with a side of heartbreak, and you can’t write unless you’ve felt that pain and Madison Kuhn has. I cannot recommend this collection highly enough, it’s well done, and really transports you, and you get a sense that “home” is just one of those concepts we’re all working on trying to nail down. This is one that I’ll keep pulling out to re-read because these poems just resonate. Grab a copy for your shelf!
Madisen Kuhn is a writer and photographer living in Charlottesville, Virginia. She likes to explore topics of identity, belonging, sexuality, and mental illness in her work. In 2015, she self-published Eighteen Years, a collection of more than two hundred poems, and in 2018, published her second collection, Please Don’t Go Before I Get Better, with Gallery Books. She was named as one of “5 LGBT Poets to Celebrate This World Poetry Day” on hiskind.com, and is currently pursuing a BFA in Studio and Digital Arts with a minor in Creative Writing.
Hey Readers! Today, I get to do something a little different and a bit more fun. I got a chance to read “The Fountains of Silence” by Ruta Sepetys before it released, and I’m honored to be a part of the blog tour!
Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming guise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of a Texas oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.
Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history’s darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence–inspired by the true post-war struggles of Spain.
This book was fantastic, engrossing, perfect for fans of a bit of history tied into our stories of human emotions and the power of hope. I just loved it.
Today, I’m offering up 6 movies I think you’d love, if you loved this book! If you’ve read the book, let me know what you think! Any movies you’d add?
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)
This was the first one I thought of. It’s another gorgeous movie (and book) set with a backdrop of something critical to world history, but we get to narrow the lens and focus on this group of people, and this author who came to visit them after exchanging letters. I won’t spoil it, but if you love history, books, and gorgeous scenery, this is a must water.
Julie & Julia (2009)
Though this one is not quite historical, it gives me the same vibes. I love watching someone’s lives unfold in past, but this movie gives us the modern view of someone trying out improve their life by cooking through the cookbook of Julia Child. It’s a fantastic movie, funny, heartfelt, and shows the power we can have even when we don’t know it.
The Glass Castle (2017)
“The Glass Castle” is a film adapted from Jeannette Walls’ memoir. Another period piece that really shows what life was life for a specific family in a time in America. The main character tells her story about growing up with unemployed parents, who struggle with abuse and addiction.
The Red Badge of Courage (1951)
History through the eyes of a young man, similar to our photographer in Fountains, the Red Badge of Courage deals with courage, responsibility, and our personal duty. Many themes that appear in the book. In the movie, Henry Fleming is a young Union soldier in the American Civil War. During his unit’s first engagement, Henry flees the battlefield in fear. However, when he learns that his unit will be leading a charge on the enemy, Henry takes the opportunity to face his fears and redeem himself.
I loved Ana, and this movie made me think of her. A young girl trying to make her own life, that bold streak. In this movie, young Irish immigrant Eilis Lace (Saoirse Ronan) navigates her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her past disrupts her new vivacity, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
Ashes in the Snow (2018)
I didn’t realize this book was based on a book by the same author until putting this list together, but I can see it. I definitely got the same vibes in this story. The plot to this movie deals with World War II, and focused on a 16-year-old artist and her family get deported to Siberia as Stalin brutally dismantles the Baltic region. Another movie with our focus on young adults during a very trying time in history. Well done, touching, and right in line with our goals for this list!
I loved this book! I’m a historical fiction lover, and I tend to enjoy a good story of hope, courage, and being a young person against the backdrop of an event in our history, and that’s what this book delivered. It’s actually the first book by this author I’ve read, and I will have to check out more of her books in the future.
Rafe and Ana are struggling with the tragic past of their family. Their father was killed, and their mother was imprisoned, and they are trying to survive in this new world. Their backstory was heartbreaking, but their journey in the book was lovely. We also meet Fuga who shares Rafe’s dreams of becoming a famous bullfighter and protecting the children. Another character, Puri, works at the Catholic Adoption Centre and we get a view of what this looked like in Spain at the time. David comes to Spain to capture images beyond the official version and attempting to highlight the truth. During a dictatorship, that’s a dangerous intention. David and Ana connect to discuss traveling and escape, and she begins to slowly entrust him with the inner secrets of a country where people live in fear and terror. It’s fantastic.
If you’re on the fence, pick up this book. You’ll get such a unique view on Franco’s rule in Spain and how it felt to be one of the many struggling.
Ruta Sepetys (www.rutasepetys.com) is an internationally acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction published in over sixty countries and forty languages. Sepetys is considered a “crossover” novelist, as her books are read by both teens and adults worldwide. Her novels Between Shades of Gray, Out of the Easy, and Salt to the Sea have won or been shortlisted for more than forty book prizes, and are included on more than sixty state award lists. Between Shades of Gray was adapted into the film Ashes in the Snow, and her other novels are currently in development for TV and film. Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Ruta is passionate about the power of history and literature to foster global awareness and connectivity. She has presented to NATO, to the European Parliament, in the United States Capitol, and at embassies worldwide. Ruta was born and raised in Michigan and now lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee. Follow her on Twitter @RutaSepetys and Instagram @RutaSepetysAuthor.
Four destinies collide in a unique fantasy world of war and wonders, where empire is won with enchanted steel and magical animal companions fight alongside their masters in battle.
A soldier with a curse Tala lost her family to the empress’s army and has spent her life avenging them in battle. But the empress’s crimes don’t haunt her half as much as the crimes Tala has committed against the laws of magic… and her own flesh and blood.
A prince with a debt Jimuro has inherited the ashes of an empire. Now that the revolution has brought down his kingdom, he must depend on Tala to bring him home safe. But it was his army who murdered her family. Now Tala will be his redemption—or his downfall.
A detective with a grudge Xiulan is an eccentric, pipe-smoking detective who can solve any mystery—but the biggest mystery of all is her true identity. She’s a princess in disguise, and she plans to secure her throne by presenting her father with the ultimate prize: the world’s most wanted prince.
A thief with a broken heart Lee is a small-time criminal who lives by only one law: Leave them before they leave you. But when Princess Xiulan asks her to be her partner in crime—and offers her a magical animal companion as a reward—she can’t say no, and soon finds she doesn’t want to leave the princess behind.
This band of rogues and royals should all be enemies, but they unite for a common purpose: to defeat an unstoppable killer who defies the laws of magic. In this battle, they will forge unexpected bonds of friendship and love that will change their lives—and begin to change the world.
This book was fantastic. I can’t rave about it highly enough. I was lucky enough to pick up a copy at Denver Pop Culture Con this year and get approved for a NetGalley, and I absolutely loved it! The book is filled with moments that get you excited to continue on. I didn’t think I’d be so impressed with a giant rat, or a box of mushrooms, but believe me when I tell you this book had me laughing, crying, and getting really worried about my favorite characters as the pages turned. I’m a big fan of Manga and Anime, and I think that really put this book over the top for me because I could (and would LOVE) to see it as an anime in the future. It’s got it all, the tough military type, the reluctant ruler, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and the awkward but fantastic wannabe detective. I just couldn’t stop reading it, and have already recommended it to my friends, book club, and random strangers. It’s worth picking up a copy! You won’t regret it! I loved it, and my boyfriend loved it, it appeals to all readers and it’s got amazing representation of cultures and sexuality. It’s fantastic and just want we need right now! Go read it!
Dorothy, now known as the witch killer, leads the charge to the South to take on the last remaining witch in Oz. Glinda is supposed to be the “good” witch, but she might only be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. After all, she still has Gin in her prison.
I thought we’d won the battle for Emerald City against Jinjur and Mombi, but I’ve never been more wrong. Because of the incident I had with General Falcom during the conflict, he switches sides. Now, we have to figure out a way to get out of the city, save Gin from Glinda, and possibly even free the southern territory, while we’re at it. My reputation as a legend has gotten us new allies before, but would it work again? We need all the help we can get if we’re going to unite Oz and place it under one rule. But whose rule will it be? Jinjur or Mombi? Me or Chimmy? Or is there someone else, who we haven’t thought of yet?
This is the thrilling novella conclusion to the series The Wicked Origins Series – a modern YA Fantasy Retelling of L. Frank Baum’s original Oz tales.
Fans of Jon Messenger’s steampunk series have been asking for a boxed set! We’re excited to share that we’re releasing one next month! The first three novels in the Magic and Machinery series will be available at a discounted rate of only $5.99 for pre-orders. This is a $2.99 savings over buying the novels individually. Plus, fans will get a never before released short story titled The Rift Between that is exclusively available only in this boxed set. Check out the cover reveal below and be sure to pre-order your copy while it’s only $5.99!
If you’re not familiar with this series, now’s the time to dive right in since the first novel in the Magic & Machinery Series— Wolves of the Northern Rift— is currently free for a limited time! Not sure if this series is right for you? Fans are calling this series, “Sherlock Holmes meets Steampunk.” If you like mysteries, magic, steampunk, science fiction, fantasy, adventure, shifter novels, vampires, READING, and more— start reading this series today!
Own the first three novels in the epic Magic & Machinery series from author Jon Messenger. This handsome boxed set includes Wolves of the Northern Rift, The Blood Thief of Whitten Hall, and The Golem of Solomon’s Way—plus exclusive bonus content: The Rift Between, an unreleased short story about the formation of the original chasm that started it all. This set is a great introduction for readers who are new to the series, or a perfect collector’s item for existing fans.
Wolves of the Northern Rift:
In a world of science, magic is an abomination—an abomination that came from the Rift, a great chasm hundreds of miles long that nearly split the southern continent in two. The Rift was a portal, a gateway between the world of science and the mythological world of magic. The Royal Inquisitors were formed to investigate reports of mystical occurrences, and, should they be found, to destroy them.
Simon Whitlock knows his responsibilities all too well. Along with the apothecary, Luthor Strong, they’ve spent two years inquiring into reports of magical abominations, though they’ve discovered far more charlatans than true magical creatures. When assigned to investigate Haversham and its reports of werewolves, Simon remains unconvinced the rumors are true. What he discovers in the frozen little hamlet is that the werewolves are far more real than he believed—yet they’re hardly the most dangerous monsters in the city.
The Blood Thief of Whitten Hall:
In a world of science, magic is an abomination—but not the vile creation Royal Inquisitor Simon Whitlock once believed it to be. Accompanied by his apothecary companion, Luthor Strong, and Matilda Hawke, a werewolf, they return to the capital of Callifax, only to be quickly sent on another mission. It seems the iron mines of Whitten Hall have ceased their production, no longer sending its ore to the crown. The Ministry of Trade has sent inquiries, but its representatives have all fled from the train ride to the distal outpost. It seems a vampire stalks the trains in and out of Whitten Hall, a vampire who will reveal the secret of the iron mine and the darkness that resides within…
The Golem of Solomon’s Way:
Something is amiss in the capital. Callifax has always been a bastion for Inquisitor Simon Whitlock—the walled city a barrier against the chaos of the magical world. After the physical and emotional pain of his last few missions, safety is all he desires. But a monster is stalking the streets, an abomination far more violent than even the mystical denizens he’s encountered before. The monster has slain women in Solomon’s Way, the nightlife district of the modern capital. Solomon’s Way, a part of town Simon and Luthor have frequented all too often. Solomon’s Way—where the woman he loves lives and works…
Magic is an abomination. It spread from the Rift, a great chasm hundreds of miles long that nearly split the southern continent in two. The Rift was a portal, a gateway between their world of science and the mythological world of magic.
On the northern continent of Ocker, King Godwin declared that no magical monstrosity would be allowed within their borders. The Royal Inquisitors were formed to investigate reports of mystical occurrences and, should they be found, to destroy them.
Inquisitor Simon Whitlock knows his responsibilities all too well. Along with the apothecary, Luthor Strong, they’ve spent two years inquiring into such reports of magical abominations, though they’ve discovered far more charlatans than true magical creatures. When assigned to investigate Haversham and its reports of werewolves, Simon remains unconvinced that the rumors are true. What he discovers in the frozen little hamlet is that the werewolves are far more real than he believed; yet they’re hardly the most dangerous monster in the city.
Jon Messenger (Born 1979 in London, England) serves as an United States Army Major in the Medical Service Corps. Since graduating from the University of Southern California in 2002, writing Science Fiction has remained his passion, a passion that has continued through two deployments to Iraq and a humanitarian relief mission to Haiti. Jon wrote the “Brink of Distinction” trilogy, of which “Burden of Sisyphus” is the first book, while serving a 16-month deployment in Baghdad, Iraq.
Jon Messenger is the author of The World Aflame Series, The Brink of Distinction Series and The Magic & Machinery Series.
You could win an advance copy of SALVATION DAY by Kali Wallace, a gripping thriller that takes place in less than 24 hours! But act quickly, because this giveaway is also only 24 hours – and time is running out…
“A smart, gripping thriller you just can’t put down. Explosions, betrayals, morally gray choices and twisty secrets; all set in the world that comes after the end of ours. Perfect for fans of Aliens and locked spaceship murder mysteries.” – Kameron Hurley, Hugo Award-winning author of The Light Brigade
A lethal virus is awoken on an abandoned spaceship in this incredibly fast-paced, claustrophobic thriller.
They thought the ship would be their salvation.
Zahra knew every detail of the plan. House of Wisdom, a massive exploration vessel, had been abandoned by the government of Earth a decade earlier, when a deadly virus broke out and killed everyone on board in a matter of hours. But now it could belong to her people if they were bold enough to take it. All they needed to do was kidnap Jaswinder Bhattacharya—the sole survivor of the tragedy, and the last person whose genetic signature would allow entry to the spaceship.
But what Zahra and her crew could not know was what waited for them on the ship—a terrifying secret buried by the government. A threat to all of humanity that lay sleeping alongside the orbiting dead.
So I’m trying to get back into blogging with my hectic schedule, so prepare for short & sweet posts!
Today, I’m discussing what’s on my reading list this week! I read I listen, and then there are books that my boyfriend and I read together in the evening. Each is a different list, so enjoy what’s on our #CurrentlyReading list!
Armada by Ernest Cline (This is voiced by Wil Wheaton, the icon, and I think it’s perfectly done, and am really enjoying the deep dive into nerd culture!)
The 131 Method by Chalene Johnson – I am actively trying to read/listen to ONE book that makes my life better, and I’m hoping this book will help me with my eating goals! Plus, Chalene is the Bomb.com so why wouldn’t I listen?
House of Furies by Madeleine Roux – Thanks to #WunderkindPR I got the whole series and we are PUMPED. This is exactly the type of book we love. The 1800s, Devil, Magic, and so so much more! We’re already like 6 chapters in, and we started LAST NIGHT!
The Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger (#ARC from Penguin/RandomHouse at Denver Pop Culture Con). We already knew of Paul, but after meeting him, and talking to him at DPCC, we HAD to start ASAP. He told us it’s like Pokemon & Full Metal Alchemist had a Leftist Child…. I mean, how can I not? It’s fantastic so far!