Caught up in The Shattered Isles!

Taylor Galen Kadee

I am getting a lot of writing done on Brother Bewitched II, and for me that means my thoughts and even dreams are filled with my characters and their struggles and mistakes and triumphs and fears!  Scenes keep coming to me, and my biggest challenge it to write, write write while the visions are still clear in my mind.

It’s so fun seeing them all again, catching up with Serren and Pattenia, Bucket and Danalia, Nemeria and Asryn!  They keep surprising me, and I hope that fun and surprise will come through to my readers.

So, for now, here’s a possible cover concept for the second book.  I would love your feedback!

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Brother Bewitched II: Begins!

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I am excited to announce that I have begun the sequel to my YA Fantasy novel Brother Bewitched!   For those who haven’t read it– and if you haven’t, why not?  Brother Bewitched is a gender bending fantasy novel I describe as Game of Thrones meets Freaky Friday.

Reviewers called it “Perhaps the best book in this genre” and “My favorite book of the year!”

I have actually been writing this book in my head ever since the first edition came out last summer, but now the keys are clacking and the scenes and the story are taking shape on paper.   What can you expect in book two?  Here are just some overviews without giving away any major spoilers:

Open War!

The House of Ansey, which ended the first book in revolt against the rule of Pattenia Denae, the Girl King, will musters its armies and navy, seeking all-out war to throw down Pattenia and the followers of the goddess Progenita.  More diabolically, Ansey and their allies among the priests of Maxis have spies and assassins everywhere, and they seek to turn all in the kingdom against Pattenia.

Who can she trust?  Who might betray her?

Pattenia seized the crown, and now as she turns 18 she must lead her nation to war even as she tries to build a relationship with Asryn, the man she loves.

Serrenina

Once the crown prince of The Shattered Isles, Prince Serren, now Princess Serrenina, finds himself sidelined as the war looms.  Having faced misogynistic violence and discrimination after his transformation into a woman, he now has to figure out what to do with his life and how to make a future for himself.  Will he find some way to regain his manhood and even his crown? Or will he find some other path to power?  Serren does not know who he is anymore, or what he might become.

Intrigue!  Magic!  Gods and goddesses!  Look for it by this summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Nature: Sneaky Good!

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Amazon

How would a man and a woman from our world change if they found themselves in an upside down world where women had all the privilege and men faced constant objectification?  Would they?  Are we who we are, or the products of our environments?

Amanda (Collette Wolfe) and Brett (Sam Huntington) into a world where traditional gender identity and roles are reversed.  Women are aggressive and emotionally stunted, while men are passive and sensitive.  At first, each character just finds it weird, and they search for a magic mirror which can switch them back to their own world.

But, as times passes, Amanda (notice the irony of her name?) finds she likes living in a  world where the deck is stacked in her favor.  She is now the boss at her company, and is considered a shoe-in to win her race for mayor simply because he opponent is a man.  Meanwhile, the constant barrage of sexism Brett faces wears on him, and he finds himself become more emotional and insecure in response to the way he is treated.

For a time, the movie has fun playing with the flipped world.  Amanda loves telling her male subordinates to go and get pedicures on the company, slapping men on the butt and going to Peckers, where the wait staff consists entirely of men in tiny little shorts, their outfits clearly patterned on Hooters.  Brett, meanwhile, finds he can’t go into a bar without being pestered by aggressive women, who bombard him with lame come on lines, grope him and try to get him to kiss other guys for their amusement.

Amanda also begins to confront the way the stereotypes cut both ways.  A friend asks her is she’s a lesbian because she has been “acting like a boy” and she starts to feel that winning the election just because she is a woman negates the achievement.  Ultimately, she decides that the gender flipped world is just as bad as her own, and that she is against privilege and discrimination in any form.  Did I make the sound a little too noble?  It doesn’t come across that way in the film.  It just came across as a human being who was tempted to become the thing she hated and refused.

One of the nicer moments in the film involves a scene between Amanda and Brett when they are driving together after being stuck in upside down world for a week.  Brett is frazzled, demoralized, insecure, and he complains about the way he is treated in this world.   Amanda says something like,  “Only here a week, and look at what it’s done to you.”

“Don’t,”  Brett says.  ‘This is all an exaggeration of the way things are in our world.”

“It really isn’t,” Amanda says, and she is speaking to all those who have not faced objectification.

This is a good watch.  Collette is especially fun as she finds herself on top and for a time just kind of becomes a callous dude reveling in the privilege.  She doesn’t come across as vengeful or bitter or any other stereotype, and in fact pretty much seems like the female version of a bro– content and amused and happy to have it all easy due to her sex.  Sam does well showing how his character is demoralized by the sexism.   Watch it!

New YA Paranormal Thriller!!!!

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Yeeeesssss!!!  It’s here!  You can buy or sample my new paranormal thriller, Brain Biters, now!  On Amazon!  All over the world!

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Synopsis

What if when we fell in love, we really did lose ourselves in the other person?

Mort doesn’t care much about anything. He finds his town lame, his high-school boring, and even though he can see that his girlfriend, Cassie, is pretty awesome, he’s just not that into her.

Then, a strange new girl with flaming red hair comes to town, and he finds himself crushing on her like he’s never crushed on anyone. He loves her smile, her laugh, and he wants to get to know her, really know her, to the point that he even starts reading the books she reads. But then, he finds out that she is what’s known as a brain biter, and to know her is to become her.

Soon, Mort finds his life descending into crazy town as more brain biters appear and two of them fight over his body, but not in the way he’d hoped! This is a paranormal action story with romance, humor and mystery!

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Crosswind (Spoilers)

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With story by Gail Simone and Art by Cat Staggs, Crosswind features the kind of body swap that gets me all tingly and excited; a macho hit man trades bodies with a mousy housewife.  I love these kinds of switches because not only do the main characters exchange bodies, but they are forced into lives with distinctly different gender roles.

Even better, the force that switched them orders them to fully immerse themselves in their new lives.   The hit man, for example, finds himself ordered to cook, clean and a be a perfect hostess when his husband’s boss comes over for dinner the night of his swap.   He is told unless he embraces his role, he will be stuck as a woman and a housewife forever.

Now, for those of us who love body-swaps and forced- femme stories, it couldn’t get much better.   How will this tough guy deal with being a housewife, step-mom and hostess?

Well,this is where the story lost me because he just does it.   We see him go shopping for groceries, cook and clean, deal with his bratty step son and then cut to him wearing a sexy dress as he plays housewife.   There is no conflict whatsoever.   He just does it all as comfortably as if he’d been dressing as a woman and playing the supportive little wife his whole life, and he handles other situations with ease as well– for example, being sexually harassed by a couple teenagers, who he just beats up as if he were still a man– although it is a little funny as he does it with a frying pan.

The hitman finds it so easy to be a woman that he even says at one point that it’s kind of fun and not hard at all.

The woman, meanwhile, rapidly gets over her “icky, blood and murder” reactions, quickly dropping into the male role and seeming to have little problem with her sudden life change.

Now, I read only the first three issues so far, and it is very possible that the story lines may develop more and involve more awkward struggles– but right now it is a story that does very little to really explore the radical life changes these characters have experienced.

The art is gorgeous, and the story moves very fast.  I still find myself intrigued, but it feels a little too easy for the main characters so far as they each seem largely unphased by their new sex and role in life.

Review: New World Rising!

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Jennifer Wilson’s New World Rising, the first in a series of dystopian novels, manages the careful balance between honoring the conventions of a genre while still delivering something fresh and readable.

The world she creates is deep and feels lived in, and her vision of a dystopian world where elites live inside a protected bubble while the rest of humanity wars endlessly over scraps in a polluted and devastated wasteland sadly echoes our reality in the contemporary world.

As the story unfolds,Phoenix, a loner who trusts no one and would rather read books than talk to another person, finds herself drawn into a web of politics and intrigue that comes along with attention from a pair of hunky dudes.

Wilson keeps the plot moving as she reveals her world and unravels layers of history and intrigue.   Who were Phoenix’ parents?  Were they traitors?   And who is the mysterious Mouse, and why is she so important?

Sadly, and this is my one complaint, this book answers none of those questions.  Not a stand alone story at all, it is just the first part of a longer work, and ends on major cliff hangers with everything unresolved!   So, I do say– READ THIS!  But you should also be ready to commit to the rest of the series as well.

Thanks for reading!  Would love some comments!