Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Bisexuality + Mental Illness = A Knapsack of Yikes - Guest Post

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Some or most of you guys may know, last week was Bisexual Awareness Week. Where us bisexuals got together and had a big bi party. But alas, that wasn't the case. We celebrate this week to show the world that we're out there and can't be dismissed. Being bisexual has many positive and negative sides. But today, I have author Tristina Wright talking about what it means to be a bisexual, and the impact it has on your mental health.

The In Between. That sometimes peculiar, sometimes liberating, sometimes weird space between boxes. Those alternating slices of shadow and light that fill the alleyways between boxes filled with Just So.

Western Society (well…America) loves their boxes. If they could neatly put everyone in one of those boxes, they’d be pleased as punch. But not everyone wants to be in a box. Not everyone can fit into a box. Some of us wander those alleyways and turn them into community gardens and parks for kids to play in. We build our own homes in those spaces, brightly lit and welcoming no matter how many times people from the boxes on either side smash our porch lamps.

Identifying as Bisexual is a house in one of those alleyways. It’s not worse or shameful. It’s just different. It’s carving out a space in a world that wants us to be in the Homo Box to the left or the Hetero Box to the right. However, almost at the same time, neither box actually wants us.

You’re really straight.
You’re really gay.
You’re lying.
You’re confused.
You’re trying to trick people.
You just want everyone for yourself.
You don’t belong here.

It’s a tired refrain played outside the windows of our little bungalow nestled between two perfect boxes.

The queer community faces discrimination from the outside world on a daily basis. It took until 2015 for the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. And even then, some states still fight it to this day. Cities and entire states are passing laws which legalize businesses discriminating against members of the queer community, prevent transgender people from using the correct bathroom, and a host of other hate-filled actions.

Now imagine discrimination from not just the outside world, but also the very community you’re supposed to be a part of. Bisexual (and really all polysexual people) receive discrimination from the queer community as well. Bisexual people in “straight” relationships are jeered at Pride celebrations. We’re told in casual conversation that we’re not good enough to be dated because we’ll definitely cheat. Bisexual women are shunned by lesbian women because “a penis has been there.” Bisexual men are shunned by gay men because “ew vagina.”

It’s isolating because when it gets right down to it, we have no community of our own. We’re shunned from the straight community. We’re shunned from the queer community.
Members of the queer community already suffer from mental illnesses at an alarmingly higher percentage than straight people because of the ostracizing, hate, and discrimination we face on a daily basis. PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, and Depression are the three most common.

Now imagine being bisexual and having a mental illness. A report done in 2014 by BiNet USA and the Bisexual Resource Center (http://www.lgbtmap.org/understanding-issues-facing-bisexual-americans) showed that bisexuals are six times more likely to hide their orientation than gay or lesbians. Six times.
Bisexual women experience far more sexual violence than straight or lesbian women, according to the report. When a bisexual woman comes out, the stereotypes play into everyone’s response. She’s expected to indulge in threesomes. She’s expected to be easy. She’s asked how many partners of various genders she’s had. She’s subjected to lewd comments, jokes, and even imagery. She’s asked personal and invasive questions which amount to little more than sexual assault. Bisexual women also reported getting little to no help from their HR departments at work simply because they were out and bisexual. The hate crime laws and discrimination policies may state gay and lesbian, but they’re not for bisexuals.

The saddest statistic in the report was the fact that bisexuals are four times as likely to commit suicide than gays or lesbians. Two times as likely than straight people. This is because of fear of being out to anyone in any community. Even health care providers don’t even consider their patients could be bisexual. They’ll ask sexual history for one gender only. They never ask for multiples and you’re left with the decision of whether or not to tell them. Most opt not to tell them, which means they may not get the right treatment for what they have.

When you’re pushed out on both sides, it damns you to exist in loneliness. Many bisexuals, because of this, don’t accept the label until much later in life because they had no community to guide them as they figured things out. You’re either gay or straight – no in between. 
And even when we learn the word bisexual, we’re met with stereotypes and assumptions borne from media and inaccurate representation in books. Many don’t want to or cannot deal with that, so they eschew the label because it’s simply easier. It’s safer.

I’ve been lucky to form an online community of bisexual and pansexual people. Folks who understand the microaggressions and the othering that can occur in any space. But many of us don’t have that community because we’ve been told time and time again we’re too gay to be straight and to straight to be gay.

But we aren’t either. We’re bisexual. 
About the Author

Tristina Wright is a blue-haired bisexual with anxiety and opinions. She’s also possibly a mermaid, but no one can get confirmation. She writes YA SFF about queer teens because they deserve the spotlight. She married a nerd who can build computers and make the sun shine with his smile. Most days, she can be found drinking coffee from her favorite chipped mug and making up stories for her two wombfruit, who keep her life unpredictable. Her debut short story, The Siren Son, will be published in Lightspeed Magazine. Her debut novel 27 HOURS (Entangled Teen) will be published Fall 2017.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Personal Motivation

Hey guys,

You've probably been wondering where I've been and what I've been up to. The truth of the matter is I've just had no motivation to do anything. For the longest time, I've just felt stuck. Between not being able to find work, and school being an unknown variable for the longest time; I felt depressed. Now I have been fighting depression for a while now, but I am taking care of it; but I also have a great support system. My girlfriend has been a tremendous help for me despite us living apart.

Now I'm happy to say this post isn't a Debbie Downer, things have been coming into place for me. I'm happy to say I'm back in school finishing up my Business Administration diploma at the local College. I'm financially stable, and can just focus on school at this point; which you can imagine the relief that is for me.

Lastly, on the book front, I'm back to reading on a regular basis. While I wasn't working, which was most of the last year; I was reading. I read a lot but I never felt the desire to share my thoughts on anything; I'm not sure if it was the motivation or just felt like work. getting them to the computer was a struggle. I had a lot of post ideas mentally thought out, but the thought of writing them felt like a chore, so i just didn't write. Now I hope that I'll get to writing them soon, but I won't force myself. I'm currently finishing up The Bone Season, and I'm happy to say that a post about the book should be going up soon. I don't want to give myself a deadline due to school being in the works.

I want to thank you guys for the support this far, and do stick around as this page is about to get a lot more active.

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Friday, 9 September 2016

Labyrinth Lost Blog Tour - Review & Giveaway

Series: Brooklyn Brujas #1
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Pub. Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks 

"Enchanting and complex. Every page is filled with magic."-Danielle Paige, New York Times best-selling author of Dorothy Must Die

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can't trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...

Welcome my fellow brujas and brujos, I’m here to tell you about a story full of magic, family and love. A journey of self-discovery and acceptance. Bruja Zoraida Córdova wrote this tale and it’s called Labyrinth Lost. Her heroine Alex just wants to be normal, as I’m sure every bruja can relate to every once in a while. But at what cost does it take to achieve this normalcy? Our bruja is preparing for her Deathday Celebration, so as any person who wants to be normal, she goes through any cost to stop the process. Even though it meant trusting a brujo boy she had only just met.

Our dear bruja, Alex comes from a magical family and they’re close to the dead, literally. But she’d rather hang with her friend. But in her defense she has a good reason. When your dead aunt comes and talks to you as a child, knowing you come from a magical family can make you want to shit yourself. I loved Alex, she was real, relatable and most of all loveable. 

Loving a character is crucial for the most optimal reading experience. I felt her struggle and her anxiety about what she’s getting into. I guess what I’m trying to say is that she felt real.
I want to discuss the world building in this book. Now I haven’t read Zoraida’s other books, but damn girl, you good! When we were down in Los Lagos, I felt like I was in a world that was a mix of Jim Henson and Tim Burton. The eeriness, spectacular scenery both dark and light, the creatures and most importantly The Devourer was creepy as f.

What I enjoyed about this story besides the world building is the drive that Alex had throughout the book, even in the beginning she was determined to not accept her gifts during the celebration. Then she carried on after she realised what she had done. Says something about a person if they can do that. What makes the journey different than some other stories is that not only did Alex have Nova, the brujo boy who is helping her, but her best friend Rishi also follows her to save her family. Which shows that family is more than blood.

I always feel giddy whenever there’s an lgbt theme to a story, no matter how it big of an impact it has on the storyline. For this story I was glad to know it was there but it didn’t overpower the rest of the story and the importance of what was happening in the plot.

I’m finishing off my review with one of my favourite lines from the book. I think it’s something we all need to remember.

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
8/29/2016- Brittany's Book RamblesInterview
8/30/2016- 125Pages- Review
8/31/2016- Once Upon A TwilightGuest Post
9/1/2016- Owl Always Be ReadingReview
9/2/2016- Me, My Shelf and I-Guest Post

Week Two:
9/5/2016- Emily Reads EverythingReview
9/6/2016- The Book NutGuest Post
9/7/2016- Take Me Away To A Great ReadReview
9/8/2016- Wandering Bark BooksInterview
9/9/2016- Lost in Ever AfterReview

About the Author
Zoraida Córdova is the author of The Vicious Deep trilogy, the On the Verge series, and Labyrinth Lost. She loves black coffee, snark, and still believes in magic. She is a New Yorker at heart and is currently working on her next novel. Send her a tweet @Zlikeinzorro

3 winners will receive a finished copy of LABYRINTH LOST, US Only.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Book Nerd Bites #1


Book Nerd Bites is an original monthly feature created by Becca at Becca and Books, Cyra at Rattle the Pages, Me, Natasha at A Binding Attraction, and Valerie at He Said Books or Me as part of the Book Blogger Creativity Project hosted by Nori at Read Write Love 28. Each month we will be sharing exciting recipes inspired by some of our favorite books. Feel free to join in, but please make sure you link your post back to us so we can enjoy your favorite bookish delights as well!

When I think of books, I also think of libraries and how I dream of my own gorgeous library to have of my own. With this thought in mind, I felt the only natural book to showcase was about a book involving libraries. Let me introduce you to Air Awakens.


A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond...

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

When the ladies and I first started this project, I immediately started making a mental list as to what books/authors I was going to contact. So when I contacted Elise about featuring Vhalla's story, Elise talked about how when she was writing the story she ate a lot of Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake. Which, when I read, I'm pretty sure I made a sour face thinking about how many pieces she has probably eaten in that time. But in eating all that cake, she modeled Vhalla's favourite food off that cake and just simply called it "Lemon Cakes". So because there wasn't a specific recipe that Elise referred me to, I just went on good old Pinterest and searched.

Now, like some of the other ladies on the team, I unfortunately had little time to make these Lemon Cakes for myself. However, I did find an amazing recipe that I plan on making when I have free time. I will definitely post pictures during next months post as to the end result of this loaf. But I expect nothing but delicious results.


Better Than Starbucks Lemon Loaf


1½ c. flour
1 (3.4 oz.) package, instant Lemon pudding mix
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. lemon extract
⅓ c. fresh lemon juice
½ c. oil
¾ c. plain Greek yogurt
zest of one lemon

3 Tbsp. Butter, soft but not melted
1½ c. powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 5 x 9" loaf pan with a piece of waxed paper. (With a pencil, trace the bottom of the pan on a piece of waxed paper and cut out with scissors.) Spray the pan, and waxed paper with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, pudding mix, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With a stand or hand mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon extract, lemon juice, oil and yogurt. Mix until evenly combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the lemon zest, and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes, or until center is fully set, and a toothpick inserted comes out crumb free.
  3. After baking, let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the pan, invert and remove from the pan, removing the waxed paper from the bottom. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
  4. For the frosting: Combine the butter, lemon juice and lemon extract with hand or stand mixer. Gradually add the powdered sugar, and beat until smooth and creamy. Evenly spread the frosting over the top of the loaf. Refrigerate to let frosting set completely before slicing. Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container.
Well I'm just sitting here drooling thinking about this loaf feeling excited about getting into the kitchen and making a loaf. Until next month, happy reading and bon appetit!

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

BROOKS Release Day Blitz

Today we are celebrating the release of BROOKS by Chelsea M. Cameron. This book is a new adult, contemporary romance novel. It kicks off the new standalone series, Benson Brothers. Check out the buy links below.

Add BROOKS to Goodreads

BROOKS by Chelsea M. Cameron
Benson Brothers #1

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance


Brooks Benson is bored, stuck and miserable. When both his parents were unable to continue running the variety store, he dropped out of college and came back home to help. It’s been almost two years and he’s tired of making pizzas and selling scratch tickets to the locals of Hope Harbor, Maine. But as the second oldest Benson brother, he’s the one that stepped up. Now all he can see is a gray future in front of him.

Remington “Remi” Tate is disappointed, frustrated and out of options. After dropping out of college and trying to make a go of it in New York, she’s forced to come back home to live with her parents in Hope Harbor. Totally humiliating. Things are looking pretty grim until she starts baking again and runs into Brooks when she visits Benson Variety to ask if they’ll sell her whoopie pies, cakes, and cookies.

What was once a high school crush is now something much more mature that hits both of them like a ton of bricks. Brooks is game, as long as they keep things physical. which is just fine with Remi. She’s not planning on sticking around Hope Harbor forever and Brooks is definitely a lifer. They’re just two different to ever build something that could last.

Life rarely goes according to plan and what starts as just sex soon turns into something that splashes color into their once-drab lives. For the first time, they find peace and security in one another. But will it last? Or will everything crumble into pieces, leaving them with nothing?


The screen inner door banged open and I looked up, hoping no one was staring at the girl with the purple hair and the Tupperware container she had balanced in her hands.

Fortunately, the place was empty.

Except for one person.

Brooks Goddamn Benson. Goddamn wasn’t his middle name, but it might as well have been. We’d graduated the same year, but we’d never been friends. Not even close. What was he doing here, anyway? Last I heard he was off earning a master’s degree, in a land far, far away from Hope Harbor.

He looked up and I locked eyes with him. Mine narrowed and he just sort of… kept staring. Brooks was one of those guys who looked at you like he might be picturing you naked.

He cleared his throat. Not my type. Not at all

He scratched his ear. “What can I do for you?” I thought about just turning around and walking out, but I’d already come this far and if he was back in town too, I was probably going to keep running into him.

“I was just wondering if you’d be willing to sell some of my baked goods here on commission. But I haven’t had any luck, so I’ll just leave,” I said, but he was looking down at the container.

“Did you bring some samples?” he asked. I set the container down, crossed my arms and nodded. I didn’t want this dude eating anything I’d put effort into, but if it would help me get away from my parents’ house, fuck it. I’d do it.

“Yeah. So you can judge their quality.” I didn’t mean to sound so sarcastic. I was really blowing this. I needed better people skills.

“Do you mind?” Hey, at least he asked. I nodded again and he opened the container. I stood there as he tried each item.

“Wow,” he said when he got to the cupcake. “That’s amazing. Where did you learn how to bake?” I was not making small talk with him.

“My mom,” I said. He finished the whole thing in three bites. There was some frosting on his nose. I wanted to wipe it off for some reason. Thankfully I caught myself and forced myself to stop looking at his face.


Chelsea M. Cameron is a New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car, tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman) and playing fetch with her cat, Sassenach. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

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