Wednesday, 18 September 2019

#bookreview: Heroes of the Realm

Heroes of the RealmHeroes of the Realm by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I backed this one on kickstarter!

Heroes of the Realm is a collection of short stories based on the theme of... heroes! As usual, with anthologies, there's a mixed bag of stuff in here.

Ashling and the Little People (Kathy Tyers) -- This is an interesting twist on Irish legends and how Christianity pushed out the local beliefs and superstitions of the area. 4/5 stars

The Tea Dragon (L. Jagi Lamplighter) -- Obviously my favourite! It has tea. And dragons. The scoundrel (more like dandy) has a change of heart which seems somewhat a little too sudden, but tea and dragons make up for everything. Almost. 5/5 stars!

The Fire Proof Man is Dead (James Chambers) -- Magic or science? There's some detective work going on here when super heroes end up stealing stuff before turning up dead. It's okay. 3/5 stars

The Garrison Holds (Steve Rzasa) -- Somewhat superman like, Tobias is tempted to use his powers the same way the enemy does, even if that goes against the principles he's supposed to be upholding. 3/5 stars

Where Monsters Wait (Gabrielle Pollack) -- The monsters aren't real, are they? Lyric has to decide if she believe the mad man or if she's willing to let her village be destroyed. 4/5 stars

Will o The Wisps (Wayne Thomas Batson) -- Another one of my favourites! Stoker Graves is crazy about ghosts--he's excited to go to a camp where Will o the Wisps have been said to kill people, but when it starts to come true, will he have the bravery to face them? 5/5 stars

The Devil in the Details (Danielle Ackley-McPhail) -- I can't quite decide about this one. I liked it but it didn't quite stick in my memory. I also didn't quite get what the mom was supposed to be. 3.5 stars maybe

Glint Starcrost and the Ice Prison (Paul Regnier) -- Dashing rogue in mortal peril? Attempting to save the woman in the midst of the jailbreak? I probably shouldn't like this as much as I did. 4/5 stars

Hard s Watcher (Kerry Nietz) -- I liked the twist in this one. I was expecting it to be something super creepy at first. 4/5 stars

The Librarian Who Would be King (Teisha Priest) - Nothing super new with this one, but I liked it all the same. My soft heart always goes out to the wronged/framed person being saved at the last minute. And then selflessly saving other people on the way. 5/5 stars

The Brick (Jeffrey Lyman) -- mmmm This was a bit too space sci-fi for me. 3/5 stars

All in all, a nice read.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Introducing... #YouBeneathYourSkin by @damyantig @SimonandSchusterIN


Today I have the honour and privilege of introducing Damyanti Biswas' new book, You Beneath Your Skin!

Damyanti has been a great writer friend ever since I started talking about this writing thing online, so I'm really excited that her book is hitting the shelves today!

---

You Beneath Your Skin is a crime novel about the investigation of an acid attack on a woman from Delhi’s upper class, set against the backdrop of crimes against underprivileged women. They are assaulted, disfigured with acid, and murdered.

While the framework is that of a thriller, the novel threads together different narrative strands. The author tackles various social issues: crimes against women and why they occur, the nexus between political corruption, police and big money; the abuse of the underprivileged, be it adults or children.

Of these the issue of crimes against women is the strongest—why do men attack women? Why do they gang together? What happens when a woman tries to break the glass ceiling? Can toxic masculinity masquerade as benevolent patriarchy?

Parents would also find this novel fascinating: how do you bring up a good human being in today’s troubled times? How much do you know of your teenager’s life? If you’re the parent of a special child, what challenges do you face and what sort of support can you expect?

It is a whodunnit, but also a whydunnit, because violent crime unravels those affected: the people, the relationships, the very fabric of society, and we get a glimpse of what lies beneath. That’s why the title, You Beneath Your Skin.

The narrative of the book was researched and shaped during the author’s work with Project WHY, and some of the experiences generously shared by acid attack survivors from the non-profit Stop Acid Attacks. To return this debt of gratitude, all author proceeds from the book will go to these two non-profits.

---

Damyanti Biswas lives in Singapore, and works with Delhi's underprivileged children as part of Project Why, a charity that promotes education and social enhancement in underprivileged communities. Her short stories have been published in magazines in the US, UK, and Asia, and she helps edit the Forge Literary Magazine. You can find her on her blog and twitter.

All the author proceeds will go to Project WHY and Stop Acid Attacks.


Get a copy now: India | Outside India


Here's a preview of Chapter One!

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Preorder A Kind of Death!

Okay, so this has been kind of under wraps for a while, but preorders are now up so...


A princess who makes dangerous bargains with the afterlife. A man desperate to save his wife, no matter the cost. An uber driver for the undead.

Death, whether real or metaphorical, comes for us all. Yet it is not always the end. And in the depths of grieving can be the promise of hope and redemption.

The tales and poems in this anthology explore the depths of love, loss, and transformation. Whether in a reimagined folktale or a modern urban fantasy, A Kind of Death features a fine balance of tragedy and comedy, but always with a hint of wonder and hope.

As this anthology concerns matters of loss (all handled tastefully and without graphic depiction), certain stories might prove challenging for sensitive readers. Recommend reading with a hot beverage and/or a packet of tissues.

---

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X8P6636
Other Major Online Retailers: https://books2read.com/u/meB9Yg

Paperback Preorder: https://uncommonuniverses.com/product/a-kind-of-death-a-short-story-and-poetry-anthology-paperback/
Hardback Preorder: https://uncommonuniverses.com/product/a-kind-of-death-a-short-story-and-poetry-anthology-hardcover/

Note: paperback and hardback preorders will receive exclusive A Kind of Death swag!

---

Uncommon Universes Press is a traditional publishing company featuring fresh science fiction and fantasy stories with wonder, adventure, and sacrifice. Check out the links below to learn more!


Wednesday, 11 September 2019

#bookreview: The Resurrectionist of Caligo | Wendy Trimboli & Alicia Zaloga

The Resurrectionist of CaligoThe Resurrectionist of Caligo by Wendy Trimboli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Roger Weathersby is a Man of Science in a land ruled by magic--it's magic that lends legitimacy to the throne, passed down through the royal blood. He's skeptical about it, the way the royals are worshipped and deified, but when Roger is framed for murder, magic might be the only thing that can save him.

The Resurrectionist of Caligo delves into the slightly macabre, with Roger digging up dead bodies for a living, throwing us back into that bygone era were doctors were still learning about the human body. And of course, there's the murders--not just one, but the serial murders that Roger is framed for.

I picked up an advanced proof copy of this from the Angry Robot Books booth during Worldcon, so had no clue what I was getting into. This book surprised me from the very start!

The story is straight forward, barring a few surprising twists, and told in the third person from Roger and Sibylla's POVs. I appreciated this very much because Roger comes very close to being Too Stupid To Live at times. The distance afforded by the third person POV, less angst and more humour, plus the (mostly) altruistic motives, saved me from getting too annoyed. (I did think will you just shut up now, you're being an idiot a few times.)

But as I mentioned, the humour! This is the type of writing that I enjoy: snark and dry wit. I found myself laughing to myself quite a lot. I also do like the star-crossed lover scenario, made even better by the fact that it's not a new love, but a failed entanglement that is still getting in the way of them moving on.

There are some niggling "but why..." questions, but nothing that really detracts from the enjoyment of the story. Overall, a fun read!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

#bookreview: Kingdom of Souls | Rena Barron

Kingdom of SoulsKingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All Arrah wants is to have just a little magic. The way her parents have it, the way her Grandmother, the great Aatiri chieftain, wields it and sees visions of the future. But she doesn't, and when children start disappearing in Tarah, Arrah does the forbidden: exchanges years of her life for the taste of magic.

Kingdom of Souls is involved and complex. Gods walk the earth, the Demon King is manipulating humans for his freedom, and Arrah is caught in between, powerless. It's beautifully crafted, bringing you into a world of witch doctors and magic, an eternal battle of good vs evil--except who is good and who is evil? Barron turns your expectations upside down, creating a pantheon of gods who are both good and evil, powerful yet fallible. After all, they created this mess. Now they need to fix it.

Arrah is a compelling character--as she needs to be as the voice of this novel. It's fascinating to sink into her view of the world, the outsider always wanting to fit in, the outcast desiring the one thing that would finally make her accepted by her society. It's made even stronger as her most precious relationships are tested and tried, exploring the question, what is love? Does her mother love her even in the midst of her frigid nature and her pursuit of revenge? Can Rudjek really love her in the face of the opposition of both their families?

The gods come into it here and there, with brief interlude chapters that sound like monologues. It's a little jarring, but does give some context to everything that is taking place.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harper Voyager via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Kingdom of Souls releases on 19 Sept 19.


Sunday, 1 September 2019

Of Endings and Goodbyes

There’s always a sense of leaving.

Today I sit on the 607 to White City, to what may be my last Ealing write-in. I usually read on the bus, but today I watch the scenery and feel a sense of... nostalgia? A sense of saying goodbye? It doesn't make sense. It’s only been a year.

Not long enough to set down roots. Not long enough to belong. Not really.

But there is a sadness in saying goodbye. I’m maudlin. I don’t leave the UK until mid-December but I am moving away from this neighbourhood in West London down to the south.

Spotify croons You’re not finished yet. You’re not finished yet.



I’m not. I have an essay to hand in that I’m procrastinating on because of this finality.

These are neighbourhoods I’ve never explored, but have always thought one day, one day I’ll get off this bus at a random spot in between and I’ll see what you have to offer. 

I never have. Now I never will. They’re just shops. A suburb. I don’t do this back home. Maybe I should.


I take photos. It’s a beautiful day. I want to remember this place. It has been good to me.

You have been good to me.

~

I don’t write at the write-in today. I read and reread my essay, tweaking it to sound a little bit more academic, a little less like an irreverent Terry Pratchett-esque commentary. Deleting my snarky footnotes does the trick.

The discussion revolves around reasons to punch a priest and the differences between the Catholic Church and the Church of England. We should read more Austen to figure out what a parish is, one says.

I order the cream tea, telling myself it’s not the last cream tea I’ll have in England. I have another three months, more than enough time for tea and scones. I finish editing the essay, leaving only the references to be formatted. I have been putting off formatting the references for half a week now. What's another few hours?

I am restless. I'm always restless.



I leave early, at half-past four, to make it in time for church.

The Piccadilly is shakier than usual. I hate the Piccadilly line but the Metropolitan doesn’t serve Ealing. There doesn’t seem to be a direct train to Uxbridge coming anytime soon, so I take the Piccadilly to Rayners Lane and change to the Metropolitan there.

~

Church is a series of telling people that I'm done, I'm almost done, I'm leaving soon. I have plans, I don't know what my plans are, I'm working on plans. I hope to tour Europe before I go, I don't know if I will see you again.

It's a rash of goodbyes, some I take care to tell that it may be my last service, it will be my last evening service. Next week, my halls will kick me out at ten in the morning, so I'll have to wake up for the morning service. We have a life group BBQ after that, and then I'll be gone.


We have dinner.

I walk home in the gathering dark. It's getting dark earlier, there's a chill in the air. I've gone from complaining about the stifling heat to thinking I should close one of my windows. It's not that cold yet, 3/4 of my windows stay open. I don't use my scarf, though I brought it out.

I fix my references.

Submit my essay.

I'm done.


There's always a sense of leaving; all things come to an end.

You make all things new.

Friday, 30 August 2019

#Dublin2019 #AnIrishWorldCon in tweet threads

I was looking up my own notes for the panels I attended at Worldcon 2019, so here's a listing of the threads I made. Also so I can find it later on. lol. I dunno how this embedding thing works, I'm assuming you can click it to open the full thread.

We'll see.

























Why did I attend so many panels. hahaha.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

#bookreview: Skyward | Brandon Sanderson

Skyward (Skyward, #1)Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a brilliant, brilliant book, and the long reading time recorded is only because Worldcon came in between the first half and the second half of my reading!

Skyward was entrancing from beginning to end, driven by the sheer focus and desperation of Spensa (Callsign: Spin). She grates on you a little at times, but if you can see past the bluster, you feel how she hides her vulnerability and fear in the most outrageous fighting words she can utter--all in an effort to hide from what her father is said to be: a coward. Spensa is the only one who knows this cannot be true. Admiral Ironsides and the First Citizens must be hiding something. Whatever the truth is, Spensa is not going to let it stand in the way of the thing she wants the most: to be a pilot, fight the Krell, and see the stars.

There are shades of Ender's Game in this, where children are used in battle against the invading aliens, in a sheer war for survival. It's really the plot twist that makes this book, something I did not--and could not--have foreseen. It's a truth Spensa doesn't want to hear, but which propels her--and the book--into greater heights.

Sanderson writes a brilliantly, and I may actually like this one more than The Stormlight Archives, which sometimes drags out just a tad too much. This is perfect for what it is, an exciting adventure in the skies.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Gollancz via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

I picked up a free preview (the first chapter) of Starsight at Worldcon! SO EXCITED.



Get Skyward and preorder Starsight!

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

#bookreview: Speak No Evil | Liana Gardner

Speak No EvilSpeak No Evil by Liana Gardner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. Liana Gardner sure pulls at your heartstrings with Speak No Evil.

Melody Fisher has been shunted from foster home to foster home ever since the death of her mother and the disappearance of her father. Every time she has spoken up to defend herself, something even worse happens, so she gradually falls into silence. But now, she needs to speak again, to tell her side of why she stabbed Troy.

Gardner brings you on a journey of recovery through song and memory as Dr Kane, Melody's therapist, uses the one thing that holds Melody together to help her communicate again: music. She anchors each chapter in a song, using the lyrics--beautifully written by Lucas Astor-- to bridge Melody's present and her traumatic past. Melody's gift may be the gift of song, but Gardner's true gift is evoking the emotions of a vulnerable young girl and giving her voice through this story.

Melody's story isn't an unfamiliar one. Right from the beginning, I knew why she stabbed Troy. Discounting insanity--and Melody is definitely not insane--there can only be one reason why a young girl would attack a bright, promising young athlete. Only one reason why courts and public opinion would want to side with a promising, white jock against the word of a troubled, mixed-race girl. We've seen it in the news all too often. She must be lying. Gardner holds no punches, describing the things that happened, not in a voyeuristic, pornographic or erotic way, but in Melody's dark memories and trauma--take this as a content/trigger warning.

Yet, in the midst of the darkness, shines a beacon of hope:
It is not your fault.
You are more than your past.
You are stronger than you think you are.
You are a survivor.
We will stand with you.

If these are the words you need to hear, let Gardner whisper it to you again and again through Dr Kane's patience, Rebecca Prescott's persistence, and Quatie Raincrow's love and wisdom.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Vesuvian Books via Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

---

Speak No Evil releases on 1 October 2019.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

#bookreview: Claiming T-Mo | Eugen Bacon

Claiming T-MoClaiming T-Mo by Eugen Bacon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The most I can say about this book is that it wasn't quite what I was expecting. The narrative flits between the lives of the women in T-Mo's life and how his dual personality and subsequent disappearance impacted them.

It was interesting, in a way, but also felt disjointed as you jumped from his mother to his wife to his daughter and his granddaughter and it's really not about them, but it is. It's mostly still about him, in a roundabout way. It's also about abuse and abusive relationships and the perpetuation of it over generations, whether the self-serving coldness of Novic that sets T-Mo on his path, or the casual cruelty of Pastor Ike Drew that chased Salem into T-Mo's arms. And it's finally about freedom, about each woman chasing what it means to be herself in the lines of her life, whether in conjuction with or despite of her husband and her family.

At least, I think that's what it's about, between the jumping from person to person and the switches in POV and the alien things that are happening all over the place. I wish I had liked it much better.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Meerkat Press via Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

#bookreview: Pale Kings | Micah Yongo

Pale Kings (Lost Gods, #2)Pale Kings by Micah Yongo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pale Kings starts off slowly, picking up where Lost Gods left off. Yongo takes his time to orient you: The Shedaim Brotherhood is broken, magic is stirring once again, dark beasts have arisen… and gods now walk the land. Strange visions come upon Neythan, Sidon must navigate his way through court intrigue and betrayal, and Daneel and Josef wrestle with the choices that pull them in opposite directions. The slow-build and the changing POVs are slightly disingenuous though. As revelations build, so does the tension, until you’re gripped by the events unfolding before you.

If there were an overarching theme to Pale Kings, it’s trust and betrayal. Nothing is as it seems—and that’s the beauty of this novel. As layer upon layer of history and the hidden past are revealed, Neythan soon discovers that everything he once believed in may not be the truth—and the things he thought were myth and children’s stories may prove truer than fact. Visions and prophecies don’t add clarity either, muddying perceptions of what is to come. When everyone and every faction is working to their own purposes, hiding secrets from each other, each new piece of information necessarily forces a fresh evaluation of who can and should be trusted.

There’s so much more to be unpacked in this epic about the gods who once walked the land and seek to do so once again. And that ending sets up so much excitement for things to come!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Angry Robot via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Pale Kings releases on August 13! Preorder your copy here.

Read my review of Lost Gods here.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

#bookreview: Etania's Worth | M.H. Elrich

Etania's Worth (Daughters of Tamnarae #1)Etania's Worth by M.H. Elrich
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On the planet Tearah, where the various human races possess different Neuma, or powers and gifts granted by God, Etania doubts herself and her gift. Chosen to help save the world? Yeah, right. Cute bodyguard falling in love with her? Double yeah, right. Why would anyone, especially Melchizidek the God of Tamnarae, love or believe in her when she can't even keep the attention of her own father?

Etania's Worth is a Christian allegorical quest fantasy with coming-of-age and chosen-one themes, plus a side of clean romance. Elrich doesn't hide the allegory or the Christian themes--it's stated clearly in the glossary which characters/symbols are meant to reflect Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Melchizidek also obviously has twelve followers (disciples), one of whom betrays him. None of this detracts from the story, and whilst bits of the plot may seem rather apparent or predictable to people well-versed with chosen one or Christian/faith-based stories (whether Biblical stories or fiction), the way it unfolds is nevertheless interesting.

I especially love the extensive worldbuilding you catch glimpses of as Etania, Jakin and Kayel travel throughout Tamnarae on their quest. However, "glimpses" is a key thing here--it sometimes feels as though you're rushed through the world like a tourist without fully experiencing it, which ended up more than a little confusing at times. I guess what I'm saying is that I would have liked a little more immersion, if that makes sense. Still, the Glossary was stuffed with information you didn't know you didn't know so that helped a little.

One of the key themes Elrich addresses in Etania's Worth is the idea of self-worth and acceptance, but in the Christian sense. Etania and Keyel both doubt themselves, their gifts, and their statuses in society because of their youth, experiences, and past. Elrich works with the concepts of redemption as well as reliance on God to build their confidence in both their worth, value, and acceptance of self.

My major bugbear with this novel, which is probably inordinately affected by the fact that I'm currently doing my own edits, is that it could really, really do with another round of editing. The writing is clunky in parts and, whilst readable, could have been tightened up a lot more.

The book will probably suit female YA readers (aged 15 - 20-ish) the best. Whilst there is war and fighting aplenty, there's also a huge chunk of MAYBE HE LIKES ME MAYBE HE DOESN'T WHY WOULD HE EVER LIKE ME I'M UGLY AND TERRIBLE AND USELESS that may turn off teenage boys after a bit.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Thursday, 1 August 2019

#bookreview: The Escape Manual for Introverts | Katie Vaz

I know it's not my usual book review day! And also I've missed a couple of weeks. I've been away on a roadtrip and in my head, I thought I would have time to keep reading and reviewing. Obviously not. So I'll be slowly catching up a little over the next few weeks.

Here's a short one to tide you over until I actually get stuff done.

The Escape Manual for IntrovertsThe Escape Manual for Introverts by Katie Vaz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a cutesy, off-kilter "manual" on how to escape social situations you really don't want to be in. Not all of them will actually work* though they're sure to elicit a few laughs.

It's a quick read, so perfect for a short getaway from real life. Which is just what every introvert needs.

* not if you want to be an actual relatable, not-weird (adult) human being. And want to keep your job and your friends.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Andrew McMeel Publishing via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Monday, 22 July 2019

#guestpost: Why Writing Poetry is Valuable | Matt Nagin (@mnagin)

When I was 16, I wrote tons of poems. I must have filled up fifty notebooks with random scribblings. One day, completely entranced by my new hobby, I told my mother I wanted to be a writer. She was less than pleased. She goes, ‘Oh Matthew! Become a doctor and you can write prescriptions!’

I still write poems today, at 42 years old. Some say I have a bit of a Peter Pan Complex. I still live in a bachelor pad, I’m unmarried, no kids, still have many of the same habits I developed as a teen. This may be accurate. Not sure. But what I do know is that all these years of writing poetry have been valuable.


Poetry taught me to write better. To trust my voice. To listen. To hear. Poetry made writing fun for me. It filled me with a sense of possibility. It also taught me that the most important rule is to be willing to break them all.

A good poet can write cover letters, novels, screenplays, resumes, grant applications, graduate admissions essays, blog articles, contracts, advertising copy, speeches, you name it. It is insanely valuable. Ok. It’s not being a doctor. But it can enrich your life and help you succeed in a wide range of careers.

Am I sometimes disappointed in book sales? Definitely. But just because my newest book, ‘Feast of Sapphires,’ isn’t a best-seller, doesn’t mean I’m not glad I wrote it.

I’m an actor too. Many of the parts I’ve played, on television for example, have reached millions of homes. Still, if only a handful of people read my poems, it’s more rewarding to me. Because this is something I feel intrinsically connected to, something that feels necessary. I wouldn’t be happy without it.

So, no, you can’t trade poetry on the NYSE (Symbol: PTRY). Venture capitalists aren’t squabbling over every last stanza. Nor is Netflix paying billions to have poets read their work at The Beacon Theater. Still, poetry is insanely valuable. It can save your life. In certain ways, at least, it saved mine.

---

Matt Nagin is a writer, educator, filmmaker, and standup comedian. His poetry has been published in Antigonish Review, Oxford Magazine and The East Bay Review. Kirkus Reviews deemed his first poetry collection, ‘Butterflies Lost Within The Crooked Moonlight,’ ‘powerful verse from a writer of real talent.’ His second collection, ‘Feast of Sapphires,’ reached #12 on the Amazon Best Seller List. Matt has performed standup in seven countries, and acted in numerous film and tv productions. His first short film, Inside Job, won acting and directing awards on the festival circuit. More at mattnagin.com

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

#bookreview: Fight Write: How to Write Believable Fight Scenes | Carla Hoch

Fight Write: How to Write Believable Fight ScenesFight Write: How to Write Believable Fight Scenes by Carla Hoch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I once attended Carla Hoch's session in a Realm Maker's Conference, where she demonstrated various fighting techniques for a bunch of writers. This is kinda like that, in book form.

Fight Write is a great writing resource. It doesn't just give you basic information about various fighting styles and weapons, but it also directs you to think about how to write a fight scene, and what sort of stuff you should think about when writing it. (Tip: it's not so much about the technicalities that most readers won't know, but about how it feels).

Hoch is hilarious, both in person and in text, so this doesn't turn into a dry and boring textbook. It also goes a little into the psychology of fighting and how and why people react in different ways, gender differences, scene and environment... and how you can "test" fight scenes and scenarios without getting yourself actually beaten up. (Eg.: Never been punched in the eye? Think about how you reacted when you poked your eye; same reaction, just worse injury)

*bonus: there is a chapter on Fighting Aliens and Stuff if you're writing SFF. ;)

Biggest takeaway: When writing a fight scene, it's not just about the fight. It's about the people involved and their motivations.

I mostly read this because I've been struggling with some fight scenes in my WIP and I've bookmarked like a lot of things to re-read as I fix the WIP, so I can safely say this is a very useful book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Writer's Digest Books via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Purchase a copy here!

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

#bookreview: Native Tongue | Suzette Haden Elgin

Native Tongue (Native Tongue, #1)Native Tongue by Suzette Haden Elgin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In a future world where Linguists have cornered the market on the translation of Alien languages, the 19th amendment has been repealed in 1991 (okay, so this book is dated) and replaced with one deeming females as minors all their lives, with no rights. In this bizarre US society (it's generally implied that it's worldwide? But other than a few mentions of a few European countries, the rest of the world is quite non-existent), women are apparently smart enough to learn languages and be translators/linguists but not intelligent enough to have control of their lives. Wives are very much just well-trained pets.

Yet in a hard-kept secret and brilliant subterfuge, the Linguist women of the Barren Houses are creating a whole new women's language which will be the key to their freedom.

It's a story of misogynist society taken to an extreme and a really chilling read. Because some of the things said are views that I've seen online recently. So it's not a thing of the past, but something that's still going on. Men like this exist--and they shouldn't be in power.

The biggest problem with this book is its letdown of an ending. The story builds but seems to go nowhere. Nazareth, a brilliant linguist with the ability to see what needs to be done, is finally brought into the secret, things are moving, and Laadan exceeds their expectations... And then it fizzles out and I'm left going, "that's it?" All this trouble and the men just... I mean, it's entirely plausible. The way it's set out makes it a possible solution. It's just not very satisfying, fiction-wise.

Or maybe I just think that the ideal the women were striving for was quite lame.
There are apparently 2 more books in this series, but I'm not sure I'll read them.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Feminist Press at CUNY via Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Why Your England So Bad? World Englishes and the way forward for Malaysian writers

So. In the light of all the nasty debates over proper grammar and How English Standards Are Going Down The Drain in Malaysia, I figured I should post this online.

Now, to clarify, I used to be quite pedantic about my English and how perfect it has to be. It took reading a lot more local stuff that worked instead of the super-stilted Proper English Written by Malaysians (grammatically correct, but ugh) for me to figure out that no, actually...there is a rhythm and a beauty to the way we speak that actually makes sense. Malaysian English isn't quite standardised across races/states to be a proper creole, but there ARE rules to how we phrase things, which sometimes deviates a little depending on whether you're more influenced by Chinese, Malay, Tamil, or dll. Even pure bananas like me pick it up second-hand. And I don't speak any Chinese and my Malay is abysmal. haha.

It took me coming to study Creative Writing in London to figure this out. Who knew World Englishes is a Thing? They don't talk about it back home. BUT THEY SHOULD.

Anyway, I performed this at the The Decolonial Earth event in Goldsmiths, talking about my linguistic heritage. It starts with the monologue, titled 'Banana', and then continues with the rest of the essay.

DOWNLOAD MONOLOGUE

When I first started writing ‘Banana’, I had no idea what I wanted to say. It was something of a mishmash of thoughts and frustrations interspersed with some sort of a story. In a way, this monologue is a showcase of my ongoing confusion over who I’m supposed to be.

Technically, I know who I’m supposed to be. I’m ethnically Chinese, of Malaysian nationality. But it’s not quite that simple.

Like Karen, I often describe myself as a 100% Banana. Like, you would probably never find a less Chinese-speaking Chinese in Malaysia. And it’s a question I’ve been asked all through my life.

“Why don’t you speak Chinese?” 


I blame my father’s side of the family. (My dad is the one on the left.) My grandfather lost his parents to the Japanese occupation in Johor as a teen and my grandmother came to Malaysia alone also as a teen. Without family and community, both of them fell out of touch with their cultural heritage. They spoke Cantonese at home whilst living in Ipoh, but my dad 'forgot' how to speak Cantonese when he moved to Penang as a teen.

So, I grew up in an English-speaking Christian household (which means you don’t practice Chinese customs which are inherently Buddhist or Taoist) and attended a Sekolah Kebangsaan, or national school—but it was a Methodist school, which counted as “English-Ed”.



I lived in a very white-presenting bubble. Technically, we had all races—Malay, Chinese, Indian—but we spoke English to each other. And of course, enjoyed our banana leaf rice.

It wasn’t until I was in the US for a work thing that two things became very clear. For all I’m immersed in White culture, I’m too Asian to be White. Fair enough. And then I visited a Chinese-speaking church in San Jose and realised how un-Chinese I was, even though I was actually from and based in Asia.


Now, this is the hard thing—at least for me. If you are diaspora who grew up in Britain, or in Australia, or in North America, it’s easier to reconcile some of that dissonance. You’ve chosen the cultural affiliations associated with the country you or your parents migrated to.

I am very firmly rooted in Malaysia. What excuse do I have?

“Why don’t you speak Malay?”

This is where the bubble comes in—for all that the Chinese diaspora is so thoroughly Malaysian (and quite proud of it), it’s usually the food and celebrations that are highlighted. Not the language. Instead of Bahasa Malaysia being the common ground, we often just revert to English, especially in church bubbles.


I mean, technically, I’m bilingual. I learnt Malay for eleven years in school. I read the language better than I speak it. Yet for all practical purposes, I’m monolingual.



As a writer—and even before I started writing—language has formed a very core part of my identity. I count myself as a native speaker, English as my mother tongue, even though it won’t be officially recognised anywhere. Without it, I don’t know who I am. It’s a poor excuse, I know.

But honestly, I’m afraid. I’m one of those terribly timid people who won’t do a thing because of fear of embarrassment. And besides change, language is my biggest fear.

I only have one trick: my words, in English.

I’ve been reading books by people of colour recently—written in English, not translations—and I’ve come to realise this. English, as written by the whites, has become quite sterile. It’s dead, rooted in Shakespeare and the Bible, even if they’re not quite aware of it.

These books aren’t.

My reviews can be found under this tag: https://blog.annatsp.com/search/label/WNDB

They’re unapologetic about the words they use, about the cultural ideas they represent, and the languages they slip in. (Take notes! Read These Books!)

There is a level of acceptance of dialect and slang in literature, a sort of hierarchy of languages. As long as it’s a White dialect (Yorkshire, Irish, Midwest, Shakespearean) or Euro-centric (Latin, French, Italian)—maybe a little Spanish, but not too much—it’s okay. Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot is allowed his quaint sayings. Huckleberry Finn is “natural”.

But add in some Tamil or Malay or Chinese and it’s like oh my God, why do you have all these weird foreign words? It’s so unrelatable.

But diversity is what people are looking for now. People of colour are looking to see themselves represented in fiction—and it can’t just be the colour of their skin. Not just being the token brown guy. It has to also be the way they speak, the way they mix languages, the thoughts and feelings that cannot be divorced from who they are.

We read to make sense of the world, to discover who we are. But even more, we write to discover who we are, who we are becoming. Even if it’s only to say that we’re leaving parts of our heritage behind. It happens.

Language has always evolved. English is one of the stupidest, most annoying languages to learn whether spoken or written because it has absorbed and Anglicised so many 'foreign' words that they’re not even aware of it. There are many native Englishes because it’s spoken all around the world thanks to colonisation.

What we should be working towards now is to recognise the beauty of these variants and use them in fiction—to create works of art instead of upholding this so-called hierarchy of languages.

Stolen from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Englishes
Malaysia is part of the Outer Circle.

There’s a difference between a heart language and one that you’re using solely for communication. We need to allow the diaspora—they need to allow themselves—to write in their heart language, the one that comes out of them in their comfort zone, even if it’s a creole that only their community gets. To be empowered to tell their stories in their languages—even if it isn’t “proper” English!

When I think about a decolonial future, I think about these voices in Malaysia who switch from English to Malay to Chinese to Tamil with ease, who bask in bilingual puns, and poke fun at their own cultures, yet are united because of their security in their national identity, no matter what language they speak.


Oh yeah, and that one token white guy because we can.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

#bookreview: The End of the Line | Gray Williams

The End of the LineThe End of the Line by Gray Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been sitting on this review a little because I wanted to separate the book and my personal reaction to the themes. Because I started off the book with "ooooh MAGICAL LONDON! So exciting!" descended into "Ugh what is this creepy Exorcist stuff", nearly stopped reading it, and then pushed on with an overall "eh, not bad, not bad at all!"

(Let's say an average 3.5 stars? Excluding my squick moments.)

So content warning: There's demon summoning & possession in this book, which might be a bit too dark/scary/real for some readers. Then again I don't read horror for a reason, so maybe I'm just easily scared. If I could liken the paranormal stuff to something else, it reminded me of the Catholic exorcism novel I couldn't finish reading in my teens because it was too freaky. This isn't as freaky, but parts of it came close. Do not read alone in the dark.

At heart, The End of the Line is a high-stakes thriller/horror crossover with magical elements. Instead of a heist or a political coup, Williams gives you a criminal crew who manages to summon a demon for monetary gain, only to lose control of it with devastating consequences. Amanda Coleman hates Abras and magic with a passion--mainly because of what her Abra father did to her as a child--but she is the only one who can solve this, especially when her last remaining child's life is on the line. The body count is very high in this one.

The initial start is a little rough going. Williams throws you right in the action, jumping back and forth to the past as the narrative progresses. It's a little frustrating until you reach a certain point of understanding because there are a million niggling details that annoy you until you reach the bit where something is revealed and it hits you OH THAT'S WHY. ISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD US EARLIER. But that's suspense for you, and if suspense is your thing, this book has oodles of it.

Coleman comes across as cold and evil at times, her extreme hard-headedness and prejudice when it comes to magic a difficult thing to understand. But as events unfold and backstories are revealed, you also feel some sympathy for her and the choices she makes. Some, I say, because whilst I feel that the motivations and stakes are high enough for Coleman to react the way she does, I'm expecting it will garner a lot of "unsympathetic character" comments just because she is female. (Men are allowed to make hard decisions that end up in blood, women not so much. Go figure.) And since the story depends so much on Coleman, this is one of those books where if you don't like the main protagonist, you're just going to end up not liking the book.

All in all, Williams tells a great, if scary, story. There are layers upon layers, slowly unfolding as you travel with Coleman, Caleb, Skeebs, Steph and Reeves to Russia. Blink and you might miss them.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Canelo via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

The End of the Line releases on Monday, 8 July! Preorder now.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

AAAAANNNNNDDD Draft 2 is done

Technically, it was done on Wednesday, but I was too lazy to write a blog post.


Here are the stats in all their beauty!

I should write more but I am lazy. And hungry.

Next steps: send to betas, start edits.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

#bookreview: May It Be So: Forty Days with the Lord's Prayer | Infinity's Reach

May It Be So: Forty Days with the Lord's PrayerMay It Be So: Forty Days with the Lord's Prayer by Justin McRoberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The best thing about this book is that each thought is really bite-sized. It's not really one that sets out to "teach" you something, but one that asks you to reflect on something. Most of the thoughts are a short prayer or a picture. In between, there are longer pieces/anecdotes that tease out a thought or reflection from a line in the Lord's Prayer.

I didn't actually take that long to read it. I have the unfortunate habit of rushing things through--and that's where the downside of this book is: because some of them are so brief, there's a tendency to do more than one a day, so instead of being 40 days, you flip through in something like two weeks. That's not a bad thing either. It just shifts the timeline and maybe the impact, I guess.

Also, because I'm not a very visual person, the pictures didn't do that much for me. But the prayers were wow.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook & Multnomah via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

---

I kinda wanted to post this review but I already had the other one slotted so well, double review for you today. :)

Kinda related-ish maybe?

Infinity's ReachInfinity's Reach by Glen Robinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Infinity Richards, daughter to the most powerful man in America, is on a journey to reach her father in Camp Zion. But her pilgrimage across a dystopian America ravaged by war and hunted by the enemy isn't an easy one. To survive, she must throw off her previous life of ease, affluence, and privilege and learn how to survive out in the wild on wits and grit alone. And, of course, a gun.

The story is told in the first person from several POVs: Ellie, Infinity, Evangelist, Mack, and Damien; each chapter is labelled with the main POV and the day since the Event, so you have a clear time progression and a rather overall view of events happening. It's mostly centred around events that involve (or are related to) Infinity, so you get a bigger overview of the general world and what's happening without getting too scattered.

If you love dystopians, this would be a good read for you. It's dark and gritty, but heading towards a hopeful future and ending. I'm not sure if it's intended to be YA, but it's clean enough to be. (Minor allusions to sex and violence, nothing graphic)
Minor note of confusion: I'm not American, so when it seems like Infinity's father is the main target of the enemy plus the person coordinating the war efforts, I expected him to be the President, but he's the Secretary of State? I guess I'm assuming both the President and Vice President were killed at this point. (Or I don't understand American politics/cabinet.)

As a take on the Pilgrim's Progress for modern times, Infinity's Reach is fascinating. It isn't an exact parallel, though he follows what I (vaguely) recall of the overall storyline/places in Bunyan's classic. It's basically a story of personal character growth, with some spiritual allusions.
There are times where the symbolism fails though, especially in the parallels made with America/Christians vs the Enemy/Devil (which so happens to be some kind of Asian coalition)--in some places, it feels very rah-rah America is the Greatest Christian Nation--and God/Father. Though the secret code through the Bible is rather nifty.

Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Monday, 24 June 2019

#musicmonday: Take Over | Shane & Shane



Thirsty, I'm thirsty for you
In a dry land with no drink, I need you
I know you made a home, inside this heart of stone
So turn it into flesh, Spirit, soften it
I give you all I have, I'm holding nothing back
Jesus, I am yours Jesus, I am yours

Take over, Lover of my Soul
Take control
I surrender, there's nothing I want more
Than to know you, Lord
What am I supposed to do with all my kingdoms next to you
You're the Lord, You're the Lord
I could gain the world and more
It's all nothing next to you
My reward, my reward 

---

The Weight of Strength: Chapter 28.

The queen looks amused. “Oh please. Don’t think I’m that stupid. Your god won’t listen to you, not now that you’ve broken all your vows and there is no priest here to reconsecrate you. You’re impure and if there is one thing I know about your god, is that he doesn’t listen to those who aren’t holy enough for him.”

Ayahanda just keeps his hands up as he repeats the litany, more voices joining in. Until I join in. He turns at the sound of my voice and nods at me. 

“You who listen to the broken, hear my pleas now. I have fallen far away, I have spurned Your Word and Your call. Now You have chastised me, You have brought me to realise the error of my ways. You who are ever-gracious, ever-merciful, ever-forgiving, I pray, forgive me now. Forgive me my wandering, my fear, my doubt, my anger, my bitterness. Take it. Take it!” His voice is a broken roar, hoarse in its earnesty. 

“Oh Kudus…”

He doesn’t complete it, but every single Mahan in the hall takes up the cry, “Maha Esa, berkatilah hambaMu dengan kuasa ajaibMu.”

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Day 36: Not that far behind the #wordcountgoals, also #shakespeare

Writing comes in spurts.

I find that if I write for long hours and get about 5k to 8k in the day, I can't really write much the next day unless a) I'm under a really tight deadline, or b) it's a really exciting part of the story and I just have to keep going.

Right now I'm in the "I know what's supposed to happen but I don't know how to write it" stage so everything is just SO HARD. So I'm in procrastination mode.


Therefore, behold the great plateau.

It's getting better, though. I think. Because I HAVE A DEADLINE, so I'm panicking myself (needlessly) to actually get through writing it because once it's down I'll be able to actually edit it and make it work but as long as it's not written, it's just this nebulous cloud of idea. Or something.

---

To date I've watched three shows at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, because you can get cheap £5 tickets and stand like a peasant for 2 plus hours. It's not so bad. I have strong legs. haha.

The Merry Wives of Windsor was slightly confusing because I went in without any idea what the play was about. The second act was pretty good though. It's not quite the kind of comedy I like, but eh.

Comedy of Errors was much better, or at least I liked the storyline better, because it's more due to chance and honest mistakes rather than being... lewd. This is probably the most accessible of the plays so far. The cast for this was also very brilliant--better than the first.

Pericles was an aesthetic choice due to having read The Porpoise. If you did not have background knowledge of the myth or the source story, you'd just be very, very confused, especially since it jumps from royal family to royal family. There are also long bits of narration in between, in classic Greek drama style, so it's different, I guess.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

#bookreview: Roar | Cecilia Ahern

RoarRoar by Cecelia Ahern
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a brilliant, brilliant book and I want to recommend it to everyone on planet earth.

I didn't really know what to expect going in because I've never read anything by Cecilia Ahern before, and I'm mostly an exclusively SFF reader nowadays. But eh, short stories, bestselling author, about women, so why not?

Can I just say again that it's brilliant?

Because it is. Each story is a weird, sometimes too-literal, take on a common phrase, some of them quite general in nature, but all applied to a woman's life and their perceptions of the world. Like being kept on the shelf or eaten by guilt, the world is your oyster, having a strong suit and being pigeonholed.

It's a mix of normal life and mysticality, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much, because it is still very speculative in its own way. I mean, people don't ACTUALLY get swallowed up by the floor when they do something embarrassing, but one just opened up for The Woman Who Was Swallowed Up by the Floor and Who Met Lots of Other Women Down There Too, neither do they get actual literal bite marks when they're eaten by guilt in The Woman Who Found Bite Marks on Her Skin.

There's something in here for almost every woman, a myriad of perspectives of what it is like to be female in this broken and confusing world.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from HarperCollins via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

#bookreview: This Green and Pleasant Land | Ayisha Malik

This Green and Pleasant LandThis Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This Green and Pleasant Land is a beautiful take on the subtle and not-so-subtle racism that the Muslim community faces in Britain.

Bilal, a British-Pakistani, moves to the tiny village of Babbel's End to get away from the Pakistani community in Birmingham. All he wants is to fit in and be like everyone else, and he manages to do just that until the fateful day he decides to fulfil his mother's dying wish: to build a mosque in Babbel's End. With that one request, the people he has called friends and neighbours for the past eight years draw their battle lines, showing him their true faces: that they can only be friends if he totally repudiates his culture and his faith.

It's a very clever book. It's both very British and yet very Asian (at least, I relate to it in a multicultural, diaspora, Malaysian kind of way). It takes a hard look at the British's superiority complex, white fragility, racism, and colonialism, yet also leaves a space to air their concerns. Ayisha doesn't pull punches. Right from the start, she compares the building of this mosque to the work of Christian missionaries in foreign lands, telling Bilal that Babbel's End is his Africa (even though he doesn't want to convert anyone, he hasn't thought that far ahead).

My favourite character (and I rarely have any favourites) is Bilal's aunt, Rukhsana, who's referred to as Khala (aunt) even by people who are older than her, mostly because they keep thinking it's her name no matter how many times Bilal explains. With her terrible understanding of English and her kind and generous heart, Khala Rukhsana sets out to conquer Babbel's End, softening the heart of even Bilal's strongest enemy, Shelley Hawking, parish council chairwoman and churchwarden. Actually, she just sets out to make friends and understand this weird goya village she finds herself in now that she's staying with her nephew. And maybe feed them more zarda and wish them happiness.

All in all, Ayisha manages to tell a complex story about a very sensitive issue without casting anyone as an outright villain just for villainy's sake, highlighting instead the complexity and the nuances around religion, culture, and community. Unless, of course, you're a fragile white supremacist, in which case, you wouldn't enjoy this book.

After all these good bits, why only 4-stars though? Um, mainly because the jumping between POVs was a little jarring for me and took a while to get used to.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bonnier Zaffre via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

#bookreview: Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune | Roselle Lim

Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and FortuneNatalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This. This is the book I didn't know I needed to read and deserves like a million stars. Okay, a million minus maybe a few because Daniel Lee how could you. lol.

Natalie Tan finally returns home to San Francisco's Chinatown after seven years away upon the death of her mother. Tired of running, she's given the opportunity to pursue the one dream her mother had denied her: opening a restaurant. Natalie reconnects with a community she's long resented, makes startling discoveries about her Laolao and her Ma-ma, and stumbles upon her true purpose in life. Yet as trouble and disappointments start to pile up, she has to decide if this is truly what she wants and is willing to work for... or if she's going to take the easy way out by cutting ties and running. Again.

Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune is an endearing story of friendship and neighbourliness wrapped up in the comforts of food and music, entwining the legacy of her long-dead grandmother and her late mother's one passion. Steeped in Chinese superstition and culture, Natalie's journey of self-discovery echoes the cultural dissonance often experienced by Chinese diaspora around the world. Within the comforts of home and community lurks a larger worldview hidden beneath the surface. Cultural practices and expectations are known and yet unknown, simultaneously strange yet familiar.

There's magic in this book, but not of the normal Western fantasy type. There are no dragons or fairies, spells or incantations, no mighty demons to defeat or swords bandied about. Instead, you find Miss Tsai giving prophecies at midnight over a cup of tikuanyin, the subtle home magic of food made to solve problems--Steamed Dungeness Crabs to provide courage and bravery, Drunken Chicken Wings to reinvigorate love, Noodle Soup for luck--and Natalie's newfound ability to see the problems of her neighbours in threads of energy and light, all wrapped around the mystery of Qiao's magical recipe book.

It isn't a particularly fast-paced story. Grief is a big theme in the beginning, as is guilt, and Natalie sometimes wavers over her problems for a while before deciding what to do. Lim's explanations sometimes feel a little heavy-handed, as if she's trying too hard to clarify, yet may be necessary to bring to light the importance of other subtexts going on in the narrative. Nestled in the text are mouthwatering recipes that you just want to try making if you could bear to draw yourself away from the story. And the food metaphors. So much food. Everywhere.

Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune is a book of love. Love, food, and family--including the neighbours and community that become your family in strange and distant shores.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Berkley, Penguin Publishing Group via Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Monday, 3 June 2019

#musicmonday: Dry Bones | Gungor



My soul cries out
My soul cries out for you
These bones cry out
These dry bones cry for you
To live and move
'Cause only you can raise the dead
Can lift my head up

---

I actually can't believe I haven't posted this before.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

#bookreview: This Brutal House | Niven Govinden

This Brutal HouseThis Brutal House by Niven Govinden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This Brutal House is moving, visceral; Govinden makes you live every moment, each line evoking a mood, a world.

You are there with the Mothers as they sit in silent protest on the steps of City Hall.

You are Teddy growing up broken but driven, learning to lie in order to fix things, to quietly ease things for the Mothers, using his position in City Hall to try to find a resolution.

You walk the floor to the shade of the vogue caller, living the chaos of the balls, the noise and heat of the dance floor.

---

Where This Brutal House fails, for me at least, is in its clarity. It's not enough for me to feel it. I need more concrete details. I have the bare bones of the story, but as Govinden throws us between the Mothers, Teddy and the Vogue Caller, it feels like information is falling between the cracks.

I'm not of this world of Mothers and Children and balls and drag. I don't know enough to understand the underlying meanings, to read between the lines. I don't have the history to fill in the blanks.

At the end of the book, I am left slightly confused. Emotional but confused.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Dialogue Books via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Monday, 27 May 2019

#musicmonday: Even If | Mercy Me



This probably resonates with Mikal's mood:

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul

I know You're able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You'd just say the word
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone