Just One Of The Boys: Gender and the Modern Girl

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Although I mostly review books that explore gender through body swaps and magical changes, I also find it fascinating when authors explore gender through the roles a character plays and the ways society treats them.  Such is the case with teen age Alice Bell, who loved hockey more than anything and hopes to keep playing by joining the all-boy’s Chicago Falcons, where the level of play is high enough that professional scouts regularly visit to look for professional prospects.

Through a k-drama series of events, she ends up joining the team as a boy named Al.

Having dedicated her life to the sport, Alice wants to play with and against the best, to have a chance to prove herself.   In the world of hockey, her identity trends pretty much dude, with her concerns being sports, eating whole pizzas and winning.   She barely even sees the other players as having any sexual identity, other than the star player Hayden Trembley, who much to her horror she finds herself crushing on.

Now, where this story gets interesting and I feel reflects the reality of many women today, young and not so young, is how embarrassed she feels whenever she feels or is forced to act in traditionally feminine.  In addition to her hockey, for example, her mother insists she participate in some figure skating, and she hates the dresses and the make-up, wondering what her hockey playing team mates would think if they saw her in a sparkly little dress and fake eyelashes.

She relates to Trembley dude to dude, repressing her romantic feelings because, yes, she is pretending to be a boy, but also because he is her team mate, and she feels that getting close to him romantically would be bad for the team, and also, I feel, because since her relationship with him is based on her being a dude, she worries what will happen if she acts or looks feminine.  In fact, she has to work to hide her femininity: the way she sits, talks and uses her hands.

It’s all good fun, but I also feel reflects the lives of contemporary girls who shift and morph from competing as athletes to getting all dolled up for the home coming dance, or who pretty much dress like dudes most of the time– hoodies and jeans and sneakers– but then feel the need to dress “girly” for certain occasions, or maybe when they want to get the attention of certain guys.

This story deals with all that, and it even offers a resolution, though I won’t what.  It is also at heart a very modern rom com, and a fun read.  Check it out!

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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Check out all my stuff at Amazon.com

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway! Tweet to Earn Chance for Free Book!

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https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/617e82253d99af0b

Enter now for a chance to win a free copy of It Girl!  What?  I am so excited about this book and so hoping people get a chance to read it I am even going to give some copies away for FREE!!!!!

Tweet it up, people!  The world wants your tweets, and I want to give you my book!  It’s a glorious day!!!!

 

I will make your dreams come true!

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Sort of.  What I mean is that for a limited time, I will take commissions, writing up a story to your specifications!  This would need to be a YA story, and include no illegal content.

Why am I open to commissions?  Because I just finished a massive revision of the book formerly released as Brain Biters.  This is one of those cases where I put the book out too fast.  I was so excited by the characters and the story that I just launched it into the world and said–  this is done enough!

But it wasn’t done enough.  The middle of the cake was still raw, and the more I thought about it the more I realized that I had betrayed the characters and not fully told their story, especially that of my main character, Dylan, who finds his world turned upside down thanks to an casual wish upon a star.

So, I began cutting and adding, finessing and developing until I turned what had been a sleek 45,000 words story into a still sleep 60,000 word story, and now i feel my characters really get to speak and truly reveal themselves to the world.

It will be out soon, and then in a few weeks I begin to write the sequel to Brother Bewitched.  In the meantime, if you ever wanted a story written, I charge 5 cents per word, plus I sell the story on Amazon.   If you are interested, contact me at tgkadee@gmail.com!

Turtles All The Way Down

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Oh, my, this book did make me cry.   A good cry, and so that alone earns it five stars.  I know.  Big surprise. A John Green book is good.  Not news.

But still.  I want to talk about it, and promise no spoilers.   Here are some things I loved about this book:

A great first person narrator.  Aza is smart, too smart, and her intelligence causes her to ask a lot of questions about life, identity, self, relationships.  She also has issues, and ones that make her very difficult to friend.   I identified with this character, and reading her story reminded me of so much I had forgotten about myself that it was like finding an old box of pictures and seeing images of me from the past and thinking– wow, that used to be me, and then, that still kind of is me.

I went to a holiday party just a day ago as of this writing, and I sat down at a table with a group of people, and I couldn’t have felt more like an alien.  They were all having fun, talking about nothing, just babbling, and I couldn’t enter the conversation.  I have no small talk game at all.  It’s not something good or bad, but my mind was full of the books I was reading, books I was writing, and I wanted to ask people about them, about their work and their dreams and their lives, and when I did they just looked at me like I was the biggest weirdo in the world.

So, yeah, I get Ava.

As in many of these books, we have missing adults.  Aza and her romantic interest have both lost parents.  And it has a mystery in the form of another parent who had vanished.  But those are all just McGuffins.   What this book really explores and what hooked me is a very earnest and well bred human being searching for answers, trying to understand who she is and why and how to get through the day without freaking out.

It’s a glorious, messy and inspiring.  I’ll leave others to complain about this or that or the other.  I fell in love with the characters and their struggles to just find a way to be people, and I recommend this book to anyone who has ever stopped to wonder.