Infinity Second by S.T. Rucker, serializing on JukePop and Wattpad

Everybody knows that everybody dies. But how many people can say they live twice but die only once? Nikelle Evans discovers she is a special kind of human called a Mortality. They are human in almost every way…except before they die and see their life flash before their eyes, they have one very long second in which to live an entirely separate life as a different person. After joining the Mortality Investigations Bureau, Nick/Nikelle unravels the secrets behind the death of her mother.

Infinity Second is now serializing on JukePop and Wattpad. I gave the novella a little momentum before continuing to talk about it on my blog, so it is now in Chapter Nine: The Throne of Chronos. In the latest installment, Nick is visiting the Mortality Investigations Bureau for the first time and enters the Throne of Chronos, a mysterious place inside the Bureau tied to the god of Time.

Oracle by S.T. Rucker is nearing completion so feel free to check out that full-length novel on both Wattpad and JukePop platforms as well.

–S.T.

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Presenting ‘Infinity Second’–2017 Summer Writing Project | JukePop + 1888

Read Oracle (Book 1) by S.T. Rucker on Jukepop

During the 2016 Summer Writing Project last year, my novel, Oracle, made the Top 25 entries for the contest. I was disappointed that it didn’t win but it is now six chapters away from completion, intended for a full length, three-book series, and more than I ever hoped for. So I’m glad and proud of what I’ve accomplished.

I’m still working on building my readership and Jukepop hasn’t worked out for me in the popularity department, so to speak. This is part of the reason I decided against participating in 1888 and Jukepop’s Summer Writing Project contest this year and also leaving JukePop for a different platform. But I changed my mind after asking the opinion of a friend. Also I had a story I wanted to let out so here we are. I may continue to publish on JukePop but I realize I need to branch out and find somewhere else to direct my energy.

I have absolutely no illusions about winning the contest but I’m submitting anyway. Without further ado, the novella that I am sharing for the 2017 Summer Writing Project is entitled INFINITY SECOND. Look forward to another update soon and the posting of the first chapters on JukePop

Nikelle Evans discovers she is a special kind of human called a Mortality. They are human in almost every way…only before they die and see their life flash before their eyes, they have one very long second in which to live an entirely separate life as a different person. After joining the Mortality Investigation Bureau–the M.I.B.–Nick/Nikelle unravels the secrets behind the death of her mother.

 

 

I made my book covers using the very helpful ebook templates on Canva.com. ^__^

 

 

 

Hey, I Read Something!: Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

The thoughts of a Writer Who Reads, utterly disenchanted with everything but trying to love reading again

Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1)Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Long story short, here’s what got this book two stars and almost got it one: The romance. Every five seconds, Kai is going ON AND ON about Avan’s collar bones, his touch, his mouth, his muscles, his back, his hands, his butt, his voice, or his spine. She does the same thing with Reeve, who is supposedly her brother. And almost the same thing with Mason. This romanticizing and sexualizing is discordant with the better aspects of the story. I would say this book is a YA dystopian fantasy fiction that tells its story using mythology. So having to read through Kai’s almost daydream-like fixations on Avan and Reev’s bodies is annoying as hell. The romance is not written in such a way that it is in step with the rest of story so it wasn’t welcomed in my mind.

Kai’s interactions with boys coupled with her lack of positive, meaningful interaction with anybody else was a huge issue for me. The only female characters really mentioned are mean girl types and “the prostitute”. “The prostitute”? Really? Come on now. And Hina is barely a character since Kai spends most of her time lodged up Reev and Avan’s butts as if they are the only people on the planet.

I was also looking forward to seeing more Infinite. Conquest, Strife, Death, and Famine–that’s what we get. That’s really depressing. All the Infinite can’t be such depressing figures.

Yes, the pacing was slow but that’s not what bothered me. The story is written in the first person, from prospective of Kai. I would ordinarily write off a character like Kai as a “d”-chasing airhead. Yet I gave the book a chance and read through the whole thing. I weep for the wasted potential of this story.

Giving Up On Romance?

*Heavy sigh* Recently, (as I’m working, teaching as a volunteer, dealing with life in general, writing fan fiction and crit fiction, and continuing to attempt to finish novels like Oracle) I read about five romance stories available on Amazon for my Kindle. All of them were by white writers and half of them were historical romances. At the behest of my friend, I also started reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. But for right now I want to talk about the romances I read.

I’m glad I didn’t pay for four of them. The fact that four of them were offered for free has no reflection on their quality. The fault lies in the genre of romance and the publishing market itself.

Romance, as much as I love it, appears to be a pitiful genre. A pitiful genre fluffed with toxic disappointments and ignorant white fantasies. I mean, J.R. Ward pretty much destroyed my desire to read anything for almost ten years. That’s not an exaggeration. I literally never wanted to pick up another book again, especially not a romance. It wasn’t just because of what Ward chooses to write in her books (and what she actively chooses to exclude), its because I lost all faith her as a writer because of things she posted on her blog and her cloud of brainwashed flunky readers backing up her every word. I lost faith in all authors at that point. Even myself.

With the extreme deficit of general love in my life, I’m not sure my brain is wired to want literature devoid of that sweet pulsing vein of erotic, romantic passion. As long as writers are pandering to a specific pattern, a marketable trend, romance can never be what I need it to be. And I’ll never be satisfied with the way things are.

Faced with an impossible choice: Ween myself off romance and find something more fulfilling? Or have faith that underneath all the crap there’s a few shining jewels of romantic literature worth the time its taking to find them?

Why I’m Not All That Interested in Rowling’s ‘Cursed Child’

Got this jacket from Hot Topic and I wore it religiously in high school.

Harry Potter’s at it again, this time with three kids of his own in tow in this…stage production, Harry Potter & the Cursed Child, now being called Book 8 in the series. Now, here’s the thing:

  1. At first they were saying Cursed Child wasn’t a continuation of the series, its a play written by somebody else. Now they’re saying it is a continuation of the series in the form of a script for the stage.
  2. I didn’t like the way Harry Potter ended in the first place. I deeply felt that Rowling excused Slytherin House’s legacy of hatred, elitism, racism, warmongering, and violence through Harry’s words to his son at the end of Book 7. And the fact that he names his son after Albus Dumbledore (don’t get me started) and Severus Snape, who is the architect of his own misfortunes with Lily Evans and, though he is a complicated character, he is certainly not someone I would name my child after.
  3. I don’t want to read about Harry’s angsty son and his heavy destiny. I’d rather be writing heartfelt, bad ass magical girl characters of my own than reading another story about another boy living in daddy’s shadow, or whatever the case is.

Every time a Harry Potter book came out, I was there. I pre-ordered my book and I was at the book release of the closest Borders Bookstore (before they shut down). I put on my Gryffindor tie and I would go to the midnight book release. After standing in line for hours,  I would promptly leave the store instead of participating in party activities so I could start reading in the car by book light on the way home. I wouldn’t stop reading until I was finished, only pausing to eat, use the bathroom, and sleep until I was awake again, then I’d rub the crust out of my eyes, crack the book open, and keep reading.  My room was virtually plastered in Potter paraphernalia. No one better dare say I wasn’t a fan.

At this point, I still can’t even accept the Book 7 ending and that’s why I won’t read or fangirl any further. I loved the structure of Rowling’s world, the fantastical and the norm all rubbing elbows and whatnot. But maybe I’ve outgrown the entire thing.

Thinking about wearing it today…but its probably hot…

Looking Back on Books

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I started collecting books from my childhood that I remember enjoying at the time. Many of them are out of print but I can find them used online. The Fairy Rebel, Companions of Night, The Enchanter’s Glass. The one I’m talking about here is The Taker’s Stone by Barbara Timberlake Russell, which I brought from my hometown of Atlanta to California with me.

Reading this book again, I wanted to know if Russell was still writing and what else she has published. A quick Google search led to another book of hers, Maggie Amerikay. Amerikay? Really. And also the cover looked suspect so I checked it out. The synopsis on Amazon reads like this:

Grade 2-5-The year is 1898, and Maggie McCrary has recently moved from Ireland to New Orleans, where her father hopes to one day buy land. […] He befriends a young Negro boy who yearns for the old cornet on the barrow. […] Nathan tells her of a job as a scribe for Daddy Clements, an old man who tells her stories about being taken from Africa to America, fighting in the Civil War, and his people’s fight for freedom. Maggie listens and learns, but also teaches him that her people had similar struggles. […] This handsome picture book reveals the plight of immigrants at the turn of the century while paying tribute to the city where jazz was born.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools (*editing by me*)

I don’t know Barbara Auerbach from New York City Public Schools but whoa. Wow. The history of the largely white Irish is definitely not the same as Black folks. Conflating them based on anything that they they might have in common is not only ignorant but dangerous. A derailment of the Black struggle is oftentimes signified by remarks like “Maggie listens and learns but also teaches him that her people had similar struggles”. It is much more respectful to talk about what these groups have in common without diminishing the differences and intensities that make them unique.

Even though I’m passionate about it, I try to avoid talking about racism on this particular blog because I know it’s a difficult topic for many people that is oftentimes passive aggressively glossed over and derailed. And I’d rather focus on what I’m writing honestly. Unfortunately for people who don’t want to hear it, race and my identity as a Black woman writer come into that. What these stories and even book descriptions might be telling children makes me worry–as a potential educator, a Black woman, an aunt, and a writer. I was horrified to learn that this book was published in 2006. It reminded me that mainstream publishers and writers are hardly qualified or dedicated to compassionately, fairly, and intelligently writing about race, especially when it comes to the reality of Black people. If I had to decide whether I wanted to buy Maggie Amerikay or put it on a reading list based off the synopsis by Auerbach, the answer is No.

Do I think people shouldn’t write because I think a synopsis or their book itself has issues? Part if me thinks, YES, DONT PUT ANYTHING OUT INTO THE WORLD THAT MAKES THINGS WORSE! Another part of me says, Write and let write. It’s not like you can stop them anyway and even if you could, would you?

Counterpoint-point–

The art cannot be separated from the artist, and the work of some writers gives me cause for concern.

[**Edited–so tired of my reader auto-correcting the wrong stuff as I’m typing.]

Cat Eyes

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Cat Eyes is a novella I released on Valentine’s Day this year.

I wrote Cat Eyes in high school. At the time, I was sure I had to write urban literature since that’s what it looked like other writers were doing and what my intended audience would be into.

I spent many days writing it by hand (but when it came time to type it up, I wasn’t too thrilled). I shared it with some acquaintances who were no strangers to Zane and was happy when it was received well and I was praised.

Since it was written during my formative years, I still feel very awkward about sharing it with anybody who bothered to look at it. Clicking that publish button on Smashwords was pretty hard…so was the editing. Reading words I wrote years ago is kind of hard for me because I decided somewhere inside to never look back, just keep going forward. I guess I’ve had sad, beautiful life.

I don’t think my main character’s life is sad at all. Harrowing maybe, brutal, violent but not sad. Persian Daniels keeps getting up no matter how many times she is knocked down. She feels her wounds but she doesn’t let it stop her from moving forward to her own wholeness and taking the love she wants.

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