Monday, January 29, 2024

Book review: a quick, fun fantasy with dragons and queer relationships

The Chase Begins: Catastrophe Incoming Volume 1
by Aimee Donnellan

Published by Aimee Donnellan on June 24, 2023

The good:

-Character tensions.

-Grounding of the city the whole story is set in.

-The select details for major characters that help them stand out.

-The protagonist's identity and complicated relationship was greatly appreciated

-Fun, fast read; easy to read along with weightier tomes.

The not so good:

-Description and language too sparse for my taste (that may just be me though; I've found most writing that the fiction market wants is too sparse for my taste).

-Book one is short and limited to one place, which was just too simple overall. There seemed so much more there to explore. Still, a chase through the one city provided just enough complications to work, if not enough to send us into deeper exploration.

The promising:

-The teaser for Book Two was great and makes me excited to read it. Hoping the chaos promised within brings deeper explorations than Book One. The range of characters introduced was exciting to see, especially getting the two main characters from another angle.

I'll definitely be checking out Book Two. The book was a fun read, and number two looks to be even more fun.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. Thank you to Aimee Donnellan and Book Sirens for the opportunity.

Aimee Donnellan's website:

Buy the book:

My review on Goodreads:

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

My Stories Published in 2023

Happy New Year!

It's been a very slow start for me. I certainly enjoyed the brief break. Could use more...hah. Regardless, I'm trying to play catch-up now and pick up the pace for whatever awaits me this year.

First off, my stories published in 2023. Go give them a read, if you haven't yet, and let me know what you think. Would love any feedback. Really enjoyed what I heard from some readers so far. And if you want anything signed or whatnot, just ask.

If anyone is reading for any awards out there, stories 1 and 2 below are free to read online, and for stories 3 and 4, I can send you a review copy if requested.

1) The Healing Moment Assigned by HR Central Stacks, universe-traveling librarian just wants a long vacay with her wife but first must handle baggage from the past and tentacular patrons. SF, aliens, queer-positive, fantasy adventurers. DreamForge Anvil Issue 14, December 2023, read the story here, the entire issue here, buy in paperback, too.

2) Choose a Star to Mend the Heart, space narwhal and friendship, SF, Tales and Feathers Magazine, November 2023, read the story here.

3) Memo from the Jolly Overlords, reprint (first time in physical print), a dark fantasy horror flash fiction about how brutal work is for the holiday elves, Cursed & Creepy (The Horror Lite Anthologies) by Angelique Fawns, November 2023, purchase a copy from Amazon

4) Puff a Golem Up for Drudgery, a fantasy short story about the application of golems among royalty and their overworked lasses and lads available in the anthology Triangulation: Seven-Day Weekend, July 2023 (order from Amazon)

Final Statistics Report on Submissions during 2023

Hi there. I'd like to share my final statistics for work submitted in 2023. For comparison's sake, the total submissions for 2022 came to 129. This year was a bit more...

Total times work was submitted in 2023: 477 (108 flash/drabble, 248 short/novelettes, 3 novella, 102 poem, 10 reprint, 2 pitch, 4 acceptance)

Accepted pieces: 4 (2 short stories, 1 poem, 1 reprint)

Writers of the Future results: Q1 R, Q2 R, Q3 HM, Q4 SHM 

Pending submissions at end of 2023: 100 (23 drabble/flash, 57 short story/novelette, 0 novella, 20 poem, 0 reprint, 0 pitch)

Rejections (total received in 2023): 392 (85 drabbles or flash, 204 short stories or novelettes, 3 novella, 87 poems, 10 reprints, 2 pitches)

Rejections (for subs made in 2023): 374 (85 drabbles or flash, 191 short stories or novelettes, 3 novella, 82 poems, 10 reprints, 2 pitches)

Rejected (for subs made in 2022): 18 (13 short stories or novelettes, 5 poems)

I don't track new stories and poems written each year, nor the time spent brainstorming, researching, reading, writing fragments, revising or expanding stories started in previous years. But I took a glance at my folders to check and the stats for new work written and finished (as much as a piece is ever finished) appears to be about as follows:

New work (written and finished in 2023): 22 (11 drabble/flash, 9 short stories/novelettes, 2 poems)

As you can see, submissions have become an addiction, a habit I hope to continue while getting more work done. Here's to more publications forthcoming.

R.J.K. Lee