+

Why Diversity Is So Important In Young Adult Books

If you’re  even remotely familiar with the young adult genre you’ll know that in the last few years leaps and strides have been made in favor of including more diverse stories and voices in the main stream literary world. Angie Thomas’ book THE HATE YOU GIVE exploded on the scene a few months ago and rocked the world. The book, about a 16 year old who witnesses her friend being killed by a police officer, has graced the New York Times Best Sellers list for a whopping 34 weeks and it doesn’t look like it’s making an exit any time soon. Nic Stone’s debut DEAR MARTIN is another authentic diverse book that made it’s way onto the NYT Best sellers list. And Indian American Author Sandhya Menon blessed the book world with her YA hit WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI.

There are even movements sweeping the social media world calling for more authentic voices like #weneeddiversebooks & #ownvoices.

With all these amazing books shaking the foundations of everything that was the book world the question comes to surface. Why exactly is diversity such a big “hit” all of the sudden? I even came across an author ranting on twitter about how she’s sick of the diversity “trend” because it’s not always “realistic” in a story or real life.

That statement blew me out of the water because I didn’t know someone could possibly miss the mark so much.

Diversity isn’t a “trend” and as a person of color it is most definitely “realistic”. As an African American, Hispanic, & Native American woman I live, breathe, bake, & bathe in diversity. For me it is real life, just as it is for millions of Americans. While it’s been an amazing few years for books when it comes to including diversity it is far from a trend and has been long overdue.

Growing up on a Native American reservation there isn’t a lot to do, they are often far from big towns and stores. The nearest town was 30 minutes away from mine, so a kid could either hang around (usually getting themselves in the wrong kind of trouble), or find something to occupy themselves. I was a quiet child who loved to write, so naturally I loved books. We’d go to town and I would stock up on enough library books to last me until we went again. While I loved them and the journeys they took me on I was faced with a problem. It was always hard for me to identify with the amazing and heroic characters that leaped from the page. As much as I tried I couldn’t see myself as the blonde hair, blue eyed double agent from a suburban town in Idaho. Not only that but I rarely came across Native American characters. When I did? They were either the fumbling Natives that couldn’t speak English and threw Tomahawks or they were the sidekicks that weren’t capable of saving the day without the aide of their white heroes.

When all you see about your people on TV are stereotypical “redskins” who wear headdresses and gamble & all you read about your people in books is that they aren’t capable of saving the day themselves it starts to take a toll on you. You develop an identity crisis and wonder.

“Is that really how the world sees me?”

“Is that how I see myself?”

That is why diversity is so important, because millions of children pick up books every day and see people on the front that don’t look like them. They open the book and read stories that (while great) don’t resonate them. And on the off chance they are able to find a book with a diverse character it isn’t authentic because it’s written by someone who hasn’t walked in their shoes.

While I’m so excited for where the young adult genre is heading regarding diverse voiced and I love all the amazing stories that are emerging there is still a huge need for the Native American narrative to be included.

What are your thoughts on the new narratives being added to the book world?

picsart_11-03-09-48-09.png

+

How Readers Can Support Their Favorite Authors

1523984091694

Whether your favorite author is independently or traditionally published the truth is, the need and love support from their readers.

You might be thinking, what can I do? I’m only one person of the thousands that may be reading their books.

Believe me, one person can make a huge impact and make an authors day.

So for those of you looking for ways to show your favorite authors some loooove keep reading.

1.) Buy and Read their book

Whether their books are only available on Kindle, or are available everywhere books are sold sales are important. Even one sale can make an authors day, especially when they are first starting out. Sales boost ranks, make their books more visible, and of course, benefit them because it helps them continue to get paid to bring their stories to you.

2.) Review, Review, Review!

Review the book on every channel you have, (Kindle, Goodreads, Google, Their facebook page) and be honest! If you have some constructive criticism try putting it in a sandwich- one compliment, your criticism, then another comment.

And of course let them know how the book made you feel. Did you relate to it and feel less alone when you were reading it? Say it! Writing is hard, putting your writing out for the entire world to see is even harder. You never know what someone is going through. For all you know the author could be on the edge of quitting all together because they think their writing is horrible or isn’t reaching people the way they wished it would.

Reviews also persuade others to purchase their books, which means more profit for the author to continue doing what they love!

3.) Request their book at bookstores and libraries.

Libraries and book stores are tailored to their customers. If you request a book be ordered, chances are it’s going to happen. Not only does that mean you get to read it, it puts the authors work on their radar and increases the chances of others seeing it too!

4.) Tell people about their books

If you blog, write a blog review. If you go to a book club, share it with your bookworm friends. Call your little sister and recommend their book. The more you share it with people the more it benefits the author, and your family and friends get to read an awesome book and you can gush about it together!

5.) Take photos of their book

Take photos of their book or you reading it and share it with the world, tag them on social media and let them know what you think of it!

6.) Interact with them online

Follow their Instagram, twitter, etc. Not only do you get to keep up with what their doing, but they get to interact with people who love their books!

Whether your favorite author has sold 1 copy of their books or 1 million I promise they will appreciate you doing these things.

7.) Buy their merchandise

If you’re head over heals about their book and want the world to know, head over to their shop and grab a book bag or a book mark!

PicsArt_11-03-09.31.07

 

+

I’m back!

Heeeeeey everyone!

I have gotten so many messages, DM’s, and tweets asking where I had disappeared to.

If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or twitter you know that I hadn’t posted anything since the very last day of 2018! I didn’t know then, but after that my life got a little hectic and I decided to take a short break from the writing world (if you consider 4 months short). I started school to get a criminal justice degree and started blogging about other things and I got caught up in the “I can only have one path in life” mindset. After some soul searching I realized that’s not true! I still have a passion for writing books and connecting with people through storytelling. So I decided to take a leap and jump back in so here I am!

I don’t have any new releases for you guys or anything, and I can’t promise that I’ll have any soon (aside from maybe a few short stories) but I wanted to shout to the world that I’m back in the arena!

I’m going to start back up by continuing to write “Killer Code”. You can follow my social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) for updates and such.

And remember the lesson it took me a while to learn, keep going for the things you love even if they’re hard.

+

ONE OF US IS LYING – Book Review

Back at you with another book review! This week we’re going to take a look at ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen M. Mcmanus

I started this book a few weeks ago, and it admittedly took me quite a while to get through, unlike the last book I reviewed. Partly because it was thicker, partly because it was holiday season and I was occupied, but mostly because this book seemed to drag on.

Don’t get me wrong, the story line was pleasant and interesting, but it was chock full of overwhelming and unnecessary details.

The book is about a group of High school students all stuck in detention all for mysterious reasons. But when one of the students dies a mysterious death the others instantly become murder suspects. As the book goes on the mystery slowly, and I mean SLOWLY unravels. Out of 358 pages I would say you only get insight into the crime itself in the first and last 50 pages, leaving the other 250 pages to be filled with OVERLY informative aspects of the 4 students that we really don’t need to know.

The characters themselves were pretty three dimensional, and we got to know them pretty well but there’s a point where you have to stop and ask yourself how much is too much? I did, however, like how the author attempted to include multiracial characters.

Over all I would give the book a 2.5 out of 5. I would have liked a little more action and suspense as apposed to mundane every day life.

Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

Why I’m Staying Indie

Lately I’ve taken a step back from writing to work through some medical things as well as work out my career path (or even if I’d call this a career). Something that I wrestled with a lot is whether to stay Indie (independently publishing, marketing, and producing my own books) or to go the traditional route. As I’ve been toying with the idea I forgot why I went Indie in the first place. I’ve found while the possibility of going traditional has come up, I haven’t been able to write. Like, at all.

Why?

Because every time I get an idea my mind tears it apart.

Will an agent like it/believe in it?

Will a publishing house like it?

Is it too edgy?

Is it not edgy enough?

I haven’t been able to pick up the pen (or keyboard lol) because I’m trying to write for other people.

That’s not how I want this to go.

I don’t want to constrain my passion or snuff it out because someone else doesn’t see my vision.

I know there are readers out there who will, so I’m writing for them.

Sure it’ll be more difficult to market and spread the word by myself but its possible. This new fandangled internet thingy makes it so much easier.

So for now, I’m staying Indie and I’m going to be cranking out my best work in 2018.

If an agent comes across and shares my vision, all the better!

But if not I will continue to change the world with my words.

PicsArt_11-03-09.31.07

+

Book Review: THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a book for you all, but I’m back and this one is a doozy. I literally just finished reading THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE and I couldn’t wait to write about it. I needed to hop to keyboard while it was still fresh in my brain.

This book was amazing. It’s odd because I’m a wimp. I can’t handle scary movies or TV shows but this cover called to me from within the Barne’s & Noble book shelf. I mean, look at it, it’s PINK. A horror cover with a cute girly touch. It was practically whispering “Jazmyn, Buy me! Buy me!”

So I did, of course.

And I started reading it. Immediately from chapter one I was SHOOK. The scene she starts with along with the way she starts it grabs you and from page one you’re hooked. The murder scenes are basically painted with words for you. They’re grizzly and gruesome but it’s like a car accident you can’t look away from. Some of the eerie feelings you get you can’t shake and they make you want to step back and take a breath of reality but at the same time you HAVE to know how it ends to feel any sense of peace again.

(P.S. Forget about sleeping soundly until you finish it. LOL)

And while we’re on the subject of endings, the ending is so heart wrenching but satisfying at the same time. You know when a scary movie ends and you feel this sense of relief like you can finally breathe again, and you’re suddenly extremely pleased with your relatively normal life because at least a serial killer isn’t hunting down you and your friends?

That’s how you feel after turning the last page. The adrenaline slows and you feel this immense sense of relief. I like it. I’m weird like that.

On a scale from one to 10 this book is definitely a 10 and one of my new favorites.

If you haven’t picked it up yet you totally need to!

Have you read it? If so what do you think? Let me know in the comments!

PicsArt_11-03-09.31.07

YA Saved My Life

We’re going to travel back in time to 2010. I know, it feels like ages ago, but it’s important. Because that was the year that reading helped me cope- YA saved my life.

I wouldn’t say that I’ve had a particularly easy or laid back life. At 21 years old I’ve already gone through a lot of things that many people will never have to face in their lifetime. But I’m not a special case because there are a lot of people who have endured what I have- some even worse. But today we’re not talking about their story, we’re talking about mine.

I grew up in a broken home. I had an abusive father who routinely beat my mother and liked to sip a little too much (and I’m not talking about apple juice). When he was taken out of the equation my mother never remarried and I grew up fatherless. I don’t dwell on it too much though because my mother is an amazing and strong women who, despite facing hard times and poverty herself, raised me to be a strong independent woman who knew she was capable of chasing after her dreams.

Money was tight and we didn’t have a lot, of anything really. We could barely afford food and there were times that all we had to eat was plain bread. Again, I was a kid so I didn’t understand or mind. I enjoyed it and my siblings and I were happy. What we did have, though, was a library card. From before I could read I was fascinated with books. At the age of two I had completely memorized Cat in the Hat and read it back to my family. I was overly eager to learn how to read and at times cried because I couldn’t. Not only that I loved the art of story telling.  I would hold my mother and Grandparents hostage spinning elaborate tales and forcing them to write them for me.

Fast forward to my teenage years. We had relocated from the city we lived in to my tribe’s reservation. Being 30 minutes away from any sort of civilization there isn’t a lot to do, and many people fall into doing things they shouldn’t. I like to believe that contributes to the high rate of suicide, drug, and alcohol abuse. Because of that, I relied a lot on reading. Like I said, we were 30 minutes away from the nearest town and library, so when I went I stacked up enough to last me until we made another trip out. I barried myself in books and got lost in worlds light years away from the one I lived in. I was invigorated and empowered, saving species and battling enemies. I used it as an escape. Even when I was confused about my own life reading helped me come back with fresh eyes.

Then I entered one of the hardest periods in my life. I was going through a phase of teenage rebellion, hanging with the wrong crowd, trying to rush my childhood and swore I knew everything. Then I was sexually assaulted, taken out of school, had a stint with depression and multiple suicide attempts, and felt like I had lost myself.

I wallowed.

I didn’t understand who I was anymore and everything had been stripped from me. I had lost all my friends and didn’t know where to go from there. I hadn’t read in far too long, but I picked up a copy of The Maze Runner by James Dashner one day and I lost myself- in the best and purest way. After letting other things get in the way and convincing myself that I didn’t have the time to read I caved and fell back in love with the very thing that had called to me when I was just two years old crying because I couldn’t read. I fell madly in love with the rush of adventure and solace that were held between the pages. When I was down and felt the itch to return to my self harm I read. I read when I was happy and I read when I was sad. I read everything I could get my hands on. I can’t even name all of the books and words I spent time in. There were so many authors whose words picked me up and cradled me between their letters. Their books were a crutch and a hug all at once. That’s when I decided that was what I wanted to do with my life. Follow the passion that I had from the beginning and hope that one day it would reach the right person, maybe a teen in the same place I was. Someone looking for a healthy escape. I wanted to write characters they could be friends with when they felt like they had none.

So here I am building my career around that idea.

Writing for those who need it.

That’s how YA not only saved my life but breathed new breath into it.

Does anyone else have a similar story? I’d love to hear how reading helped you through hard times too ❤

PicsArt_11-03-09.31.07

Crown of Thorns Pre-order Cancelled and release on hold

Hey everyone. I’m writing today to share some sad news with you all. As of late I’ve been having some rough medical issues and it’s come to have an affect on my writing. I’ve haven’t been feeling the best due to some issues and to top it all off I just found out that I need to get surgery this friday. Because of all these things I need to put a halt on all releases and cancel Crown of Thorns’ pre-order. All of the people who pre-ordered will not be charged.

I’m still going to write while on this hiatus, but I’m not going to constrict myself to a release schedule. When a book is finished and ready I will simply launch it without collecting pre-orders. As of now there is no telling when that will be, but it’ll happen in it’s own time.

Thank you so much for understanding & keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

 

 

+

Why My Pre-orders Are Going Ghost

Hey everyone! There has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes & Crown of Thorns is all set for its December release! I’m not working on final editing and sending out ARC’s to reviewers!

But I’m here to talk about something else- why my future pre-orders have been taken down & what it means for my future release schedule.

The publishing company that I use to distribute my books has just announced that it is shutting down!

kFqNLZLr9H.gif

Which sucks for me on so many levels, but I can’t even imagine the reasoning and how much it must suck for them & their employees so I’m trying not to complain too much.

This means that everyone who pre-ordered The Invasion Game, Supers of Sanction City, & Killer Code will not be charged, but they won’t get the book. The books have been removed from all retailers and I’m in the process of relisting them using a different publisher.

It’s not all a loss, though. It’s given me a reason to examine my release schedule and make some changes!

I’ll make a blog post about those changes sometime soon.

Know this isn’t going to hinder or stop me from putting books out into the world!

Expect great things to come!

PicsArt_11-03-09.48.09

Asylum 54.0 Review

Asylum 54.png

Synopsis:

They left us behind. Some say it was a mistake, while others say it was a purge. As for me? Well, I say it was my damned liberation.

They call me Ari.

Three years after being captured by the Reapers, I am no longer human. With the Y-506 virus destroying what’s left of Silo, no one truly is anymore. We now work for them, these things that control us. We kill for them, warding off the black-eyed leviathans that roam the desert hills. In return, we get to keep some piece of our past.

But you see, not all of us are compliant. Not all of us could be changed. We haven’t forgotten. I’m different, and so is Jonathus.

There are much more like us.

They took my mother and threatened the life of my sister, forcing me into a life of exile. I am hellbent on my revenge. Taking back Silo one asylum at a time is our means to an end. Joining the Underground is only the beginning…

My name is Mathai Porter. The invasion starts now.

Review:

Let me just say that Nadege’ is an absolute writing goddess. Her writing is so clear and concise, but at the same time brilliantly descriptive. On the very first page the book leaps from the page and captivates you. She writes in a way that makes you really feel like you are the character. From then on you’re taken on a badass supernatural journey that you never wanted to end.

And it doesn’t have to because she recently announced the second book is on it’s way, and it’s cover is just as cool as the first!

Want to learn more about Nadege & her books?

 Check Out Her Facebook Page
Check Out Her Facebook
Buy The Book