Stories for Coffee blog BLOG
Here’s another installment to my Who Tells Our Stories photo / interview series highlighting diverse readers and the diverse stories that represent their identities! Today I’m interviewing Shauna, to ask her about diverse literature and how she feels represented in the book she has chosen to be photographed with.
(A FULL EXPLANATION FOR THE PHOTO SERIES IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS INTERVIEW.)
Book title: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Shauna’s review of We Are Okay: https://b00kwitch.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/book-review-we-are-okay/
Halloween is just around the corner, and I thought it was the perfect time to recommend some of my favorite movies, shows, and books that get me into the spooky spirit. These recommendations center mostly around thrillers rather than horror because, frankly, horror doesn’t appeal to me at all. So here are some thrilleresque forms of media that I adore all year round, but especially in the month of October. More
DIVERSE READ: #Ownvoices Puerto Rican MC
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Synopsis: Gina Morales wants to win. It’s her fifth season on The Dance Off, a top-rated network TV celebrity dance competition, and she’s never even made it to the finals. When she meets her latest partner, she sees her chance. He’s handsome, rippling with muscles, and he stars on the popular Alaskan wilderness reality show Living Wild. With his sexy physique and name recognition, she thinks he’s her ticket to the finals—until she realizes they’re being set up.
Stone Nielson hates Los Angeles, he hates reality TV, and he hates that fact that he had to join the cast of the The Dance Off because of family obligations. He can’t wait to get back to Alaska, but he also can’t deny his growing attraction to his bubbly Puerto Rican dance partner. Neither of them are looking for romantic entanglements, and Stone can’t risk revealing his secrets, but as they heat up the dance floor, it’s only a matter of time until he feels an overwhelming urge to take the lead.
When the tabloids catch on to their developing romance, the spotlight threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their careers and their shot at the trophy. Gina and Stone will have to decide if their priorities lie with fame, fortune, or the chance at a future together.
My thoughts: Take the Lead is an adorable quick read centered around a celebrity dance competition and Gina and Stone’s quick connection that draws them closer together. Gina is a professional dancer, hoping to make it big in LA, and Stone is a gruff and quiet reality show celebrity who is only taking part in this competition to win money for his family. Together they form a bond that is indescribable and their chemistry is something they can’t ignore as they try their hardest to win the dance competition, against all odds.
DIVERSE READ: Latinx characters + Bisexual MC + Genderqueer side character
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, LGBTQIAP+
Summary: Love grows such strange things.
For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.
The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.
My thoughts: Hands down, this is by far the most beautifully written and atmospheric novel that I have ever read. This is my first McLemore novel that I have picked up and the prose and magical realism that was woven into this narrative gripped my attention and made me awestruck that someone can write a story so vividly as McLemore did. From the moment the story began, I fell in love with each Nomeolvides girl who used their fantastical powers in order to create endless amounts of flowers. I adored every second of this novel, simply because every scene was described in such a gripping and wondrous way that made me feel as though I were transported to another world. More
Synopsis: Kayla Sinclair is a saint and real life Angel.
She wears her heart on her sleeve and inspires me to be a better person.
Rescuing dogs, feeding the homeless, volunteering at the local food pantry are just a few of the ways she gives back to others, although no one has ever been there for her.
Falling for her was inevitable, losing her will destroy me.
Letting someone in didn’t come easy, but she made me want to try for the first time in years.
Her bubbling personality and kind spirit make it impossible to forget a girl like her.
But when tragedy strikes and she loses all memory that our relationship ever existed, my worst nightmare comes to life.
I’ll do anything to remind her of the love we shared. I know it’ll be an uphill battle, but I won’t walk away without a fight. Whoever said all is fair in love and war never played by my rules.
My thoughts: Kennedy Fox knows how to grip a reader and keep them on their toes, when reading a sequel. I loved following Logan and Kayla as they fell in love in This is Dangerous, and I loved seeing their relationship shift and develop in this novel as well. Logan was such a sweet character and I loved how Kayla grew and gained confidence while chasing her dreams. One thing I really enjoyed, besides the character development, was seeing Logan interact with his daughter who played a large role in the story. All the relationships shown in this novel were so wonderful to read about, and I only wish that I got to see more of their lives. More
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult
Summary: A Hotheaded Prisoner
They say she’s mad—made of madness, made of fire. In a cage by the sea, Flare dreams of escape. She yearns for the day when she’ll flee to a place only she knows, a hidden world of mystical waters and gilded sands.
The island is calling to her. And she won’t let anyone keep her from it.
Especially not him.
A Coldhearted Prince
They say he’s cruel—crowned of cruelty, as cold as ice. A prince whose gaze cuts like the incisions he administers within his lab. Jeryn has sailed beyond his kingdom for the Trade, to bargain for those wild, imprisoned fools that make his skin crawl.
By law, they’re subjects meant for experimentation. And easy to despise.
One in particular. A girl seething at him from behind bars, with burning eyes and ready fists.
A Mythical Shipwreck
But on the cusp of transport, the tide rages. That uncharted island awaits, a dark tangle of foliage where creatures slither in the mist and poisons lurk in the flora.
Stranded, the prince and prisoner must fight to survive. In this mysterious rainforest, they must band together . . . if they don’t slay one another first. Or become something more to each other.
Something just as dangerous.
*Second book in a duology: same universe, different couple. Can be read as a standalone, though it’s recommended to read TRICK first. Mature YA: sexual content and language. Intended for readers 17 and older.*
My thoughts: Dare uses one of my favorite tropes which is when two people who are polar opposites are stranded somewhere and have to rely on each other to survive. Specific, I know, but some books do use this trope, and Dare delivered it perfectly while also speaking out about society’s views of mental illnesses. It was such an interesting mix of survival and two characters learning and changing over the time they spent together on this mystical island. More
BOOK #3 IN THE NOLA NIGHTS SERIES
Genres: Romance, Adult, Contemporary, Erotica
Summary: From the New York Times bestselling author of the NOLA Nights series comes a rollicking, sexy tale of opposites attracting in the midst of wedding planning.
Alex DuMont is everything his brother Sol isn’t: regimented, serious, and devout. Between twelve-hour workdays, service to the church, punishing daily workouts, and bi-weekly therapy sessions, Alex is, as Sol once put it, “a kettle perpetually whistling as it boils itself to death.” So when Sol announces his marriage to Arianna Barrington, heiress and society sweetheart, Alex is the absolute worst choice to be his best man. Sol asks anyway and Alex reluctantly agrees. It’s only a week, after all, and Alex should be able to stop himself from throttling his big brother for a meager seven days. Probably. Maybe.
Theresa Ivarson is Arianna’s best friend and the maid of honor. A decorated photojournalist who interrupts her globetrotting to stand beside her friend, Theresa is beautiful, witty, and unafraid to speak her mind. So when she is faced with working with the best man from Hell, a Viking who doesn’t know how to smile, is bossy, and about as pleasant as a cactus, the sparks are bound to fly—and not in the good way. To make matters worse, Sol and Rain’s wedding planner was hit by a bus the week before their special day, and Alex and Theresa find themselves at the center of a list-ditch effort to pull the wedding together. But when you can’t decide if you want to kiss or kill someone, something’s bound to break.
My thoughts: The Lady of Royale Street is an adorable and quick read following the previous two novels in the NOLA Nights series by Thea de Salle. It centers around Sol and Rain’s impending wedding day and the mishaps that keep occurring beforehand. Alex, Sol’s reluctant best man and brother, must work together with Theresa, Rain’s snarky maid of honor, in order to get things running smoothly before the big day, if only they could get along for more than five minutes. More
Hello! Welcome to another installment in my Who Tells Our Stories photo series which highlights diverse readers and the diverse books that they identify with! Today I’m interviewing Camila, a very good friend of mine, to ask her all about diversity in literature and how she feels represented in the book she has chosen to be photographed with.
(A FULL EXPLANATION FOR THE PHOTO SERIES IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS INTERVIEW.)
Book title: Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi
Summary: How many times can you lose the person you love?
Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.
Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?
Maybe the next together will be different…
A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about time-travel, fate and the timelessness of first love. The Next Together is told through a mixture of regular prose, diary entries, letters, “original” historical documents, news reports and internet articles. More