The Life and Times of Angel Evans by Meredith Debonnaire — The Book Smugglers

Look it’s here it’s here it’s here! Publication day! You can now read my short story for free by following the link! Of course, if you are able to buy the eBook it is much appreciated, however do go ahead and enjoy it in whatever format works for you. And if you like it, tell all your friends 🙂

The Life and Times of Angel Evans by Meredith DebonnairePublished 09/13/2016 | 16,757 Words Doctor Who meets Good Omens in this new short story from Book Smugglers Publishing. When Angel Evans was born into her world, the event was beset with a troubling number of prophecies. Her magical future was so portentous that all of…

via The Life and Times of Angel Evans by Meredith Debonnaire — The Book Smugglers

Book Review: In the House of the Seven Librarians by Ellen Klages

in the house of the seven librarians by ellen klages

Once upon a time, the Carnegie Library sat on a wooded bluff on the east side of town: red brick and fieldstone, with turrets and broad windows facing the trees.

What an absolute delight this book is! A love-letter to libraries written like a fairytale. It is short at a mere 74 pages, however it is candid and warm and shot through with humour. When the library is closed, the seven librarians of the title stock up on tea and biscuits and close the doors from the inside. They stay there, continuing to do their jobs, while around the building the wood grows ever thicker. There is a certain magic at work in them, as there is with anyone who spends their life among books, and perhaps they would have simply gone on forever. Except, one day, there is a baby. Given in lieu of a fine for a vastly overdue copy of Grimm’s fairytales (and her arrival is a wonderful piece of writing!).

So the seven librarians find themselves raising a little girl, among books and the stacks and the break room. A little girl who grows up there, in this slightly wild, slightly alive, library. And really, that’s it. As I said, it is a short book. And it is beautiful. The attention to detail is wonderful; should the kitchen condiments be organised alphabetically? By the Dewey Decimal system? The characters are tangible and a little reminiscent of the books to which they tend. There is a lot in here for wordlovers, and for anyone who’s ever been lost in a library.

Rating: read this book. Go to a library, and read six more books…

Happy nine years to the booksmugglers

My lovely publishers turned nine recently – a very happy birthday to them! The shared post includes quite a few exciting announcements (and I am so looking forward to seeing what they publish this year – it all looks amazing), including an anthology of the Superhero stories! You can now get all five (including my story The Life and Times of Angel Evans) in one awesome anthology for $4.99 as epub and mobi. And for those of you who struggle with screens, I have heard that it will be out in paper edition at some point this year (date to be confirmed). Happy reading one and all!

HAPPY SMUGGLIVUS, EVERYONE! As part of our Smugglivus Celebrations, we took a retrospective look at 2016 yesterday. Today, as we turn 9 (NINE!), we look forward to 2017–and make a few exciting announcements! ALL THE PLANS FOR 2017 Gods and Monsters! 2017 is the year of Gods and Monsters! Like Subversive Fairytales, First Contact and…

via The Book Smugglers Present 2017 — The Book Smugglers

Guest post on the Booksmugglers Smugglivus

I was lucky enough to be invited to join in with Smugglivus – here is my guest post 🙂

Welcome to Smugglivus 2016! Throughout this month, we will have guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2016, looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2017, and more. On the last day of Smugglivus, our guest is Meredith Debonnaire, writer and reviewer, author of The Life and…

via Six Things That Made Me Happy in 2016 with Meredith Debonnaire — The Book Smugglers

Book review: The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor


Nobody really knows who wrote the Great Book.

If asked to describe The Book of Phoenix in one sentence, I would say that it is a cataclysm in the form of a book. Like the protagonist, the pages seem to burn and burn and burn until they are etched onto the heart. Every page is full; every page breathes life and death and rage and love, and I finish it feeling scorched and elated.

I could talk about the story, that of Phoenix Okore who was a genetic experiment and a captive, who became so much more (fugitive, villain, lover, sister, goddess, beacon, rogue) and who both escaped and accepted everything that she was. About the characters, a wonderful cast of people who are so very real even when they are able to eat metal, walk through walls or grow wings. About the fact that every time I was forced to put this book down, I found myself thinking about colonialism and racism and exploitation and modern slavery and what it means to be complicit; about all the ways in which we find ourselves accepting the unacceptable so long as we do not have to see it. About the world, which was simultaneously very different from ours (a mixture of magic and science-fiction) and so close that you could cut yourself on it. About the relationship between technology and nature. About the nature of stories.

I could talk about those things and I could talk for hours because The Book of Phoenix is an exquisitely crafted tale that holds all of those things (and more) together like a spiderweb. But I’m not going to, because this is a book that needs to be felt. It needs to be read and absorbed and allowed to shake you all the way down your spine. And then, then it needs to be talked about, and I don’t know quite how to do that on my own.

So, read this book; it is a beautiful and original piece of speculative-fiction full of all kinds of fire. It is the first thing I have read by Nnedi Okorafor, and I have every intention of finding all of her other work and reading it too, because if it is anything like The Book of Phoenix it will be worth my time and my money ten times over.

Rating: burn the house down and start a revolution.

Books I got at Christmas

Hello all, and a happy new year to you! I thought, just for fun, that I’d put up a little list of the books that various friends and family have given to me for Christmas (thank you friends and family!). I may not review all of them, but maybe you’ll see something you like the look of anyway.

  • The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor. Thoughts: I’ve just finished this and there’s a review upcoming – definitely read it!
  • Hurricane Heels by Isabel Yap. Thoughts: super excited about this one, and very glad I held off on buying my own copy (although I could have just given the extra one to a friend).
  • Memoirs of a Spacewoman by Naomi Mitchison. Thoughts: I’m looking forward to this – it seems like it’s going to be both thoughtful and funny (always a good combination).
  • Saints and Adventurers by Frances Gapper. Thoughts: I’ve not had much of a look at this, but it’s published by The Women’s Press so chances are I’ll enjoy it.
  • Utopia by Thomas More, Introduction by China Miéville, Essays by Ursula K. Le Guin. Thoughts: I’ll need a quiet week for this one, but it should be interesting.
  • The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again by A.C. Wise. Thoughts: I’ll probably save this one for when I need cheering up. It looks like a cheering up sort of book.
  • The Faber Book of Utopias edited by John Carey. Thoughts: another one that will need some free time for reading, but pretty excited for it 😀
  • The Second Mango by Shira Glassman (technically a pre-Christmas present). Thoughts: so. damn. lovely. I will probably review this properly at some point, but I can tell you that it is awesome. Feel-good fantasy brilliance with lesbians, Jewish culture, food intolerance and a horse that is sometimes a dragon…

And there we have it! I also did some re-reading over the holidays, notably Witch Child by Celia Rees (which I have loved since I was about thirteen and still do), Sorceress by Celia Rees (sequel to the above) and The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, which was just as wonderful and brilliant as the first time I read it.

Until next time, take care and enjoy this picture of me stealing my friend’s fantastic hat – it has lights!

Meredith debonnaire with fab hat

Over at Kirkus: A List of Hopeful SFF — The Book Smugglers

This is a really lovely list of hopeful sff, well worth a look at, pretty perfect if you’re currently feeling that the world is an unfriendly place. I’ve read a few of these; The Goblin Emperor is one I’ve been meaning to review for a while and is one of the more unique books I’ve read in recent years, and my over-excited review of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is on this very blog! Read and enjoy 🙂

It’s Friday Saturday, which means we are over at Kirkus! (Well, you know, usually we’re over there on Fridays, but still.) Today it’s Thea’s turn, and she tries to make sense of the world by turning to hopeful SFF… Check out the full list of titles over at Kirkus now. The post Over at Kirkus:…

via Over at Kirkus: A List of Hopeful SFF — The Book Smugglers

Baba Yaga’s guide to Feminism

I just found this awesome article on ravishly – it’s feminist tips from Baba Yaga. Baba Yaga is a very scary witch in (mostly) Russian folklore and fairystory, who flies around on a pestle and mortar, has a house that runs about on chicken legs and is sometimes on the side of the hero (but more often not). I always loved stories about her, so this article made me laugh a lot. Check it out for some really entertaining feminism tips such as ‘buy metal teeth’.

And I’ll be back some time next week with some more book reviews (probably) (maybe) (I mean you read my blog, yes? You know I’m terribly at updating) (So you know I could be lying about the next week thing) (then again, who knows? I might surprise you)..

Follow that link!

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