Nailing Jess by Triona Scully. Advance Reader Copy (eARC) from the author included. No affiliate links used. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
How different would things be if Adam, not Eve, had taken the first bite? This is the premise of Triona Scully’s debut novel Nailing Jess; it’s a matriarchy where the gender roles are reversed.
DCI Jane Wayne has been reprimanded, again, for her inappropriate behaviour toward her colleagues. As result she has been replaced as the lead on a serial killer case by DI Ben Campbell. Wayne does not take this well. Demotion is one thing but taking orders from a man, and an ugly one at that, is an entirely different matter.
As a fan of crime fiction, I’ve given more than a little thought to how women are, more often than not, depicted within the genre. Nailing Jess shines a light on this by asking the reader to it view from a different perspective. If things are unsettling and jarring when they happen to men, why do we barely bat an eyelid when they happen to women? It’s an interesting experiment, well written and full of humour.
I’m in a funk, have been for a while. It’s annoying, but it’ll pass. Here’s the thing about living with a mental illness though, it makes being in a funk stressful. The second guessing, the over-thinking, the ever watchful eye checking to see if my mood has turned into something other than a run of the mill funk. When is a funk no longer a funk? At what point do I really get concerned that this is an episode of depression or the beginning of a hypomanic phase? I often lack motivation before I’m suddenly full of the stuff, in the worst possible way. It has taken work, but I’m pretty in tube with my mental health and this doesn’t feel like anything than a funk. Yet, the thought is still there. This is why having a mental illness is exhausting, even when you are well you’re on the lookout for signs that you might not be. This is just a funk, I know that, but I wish it would bugger off.
The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel. Advance Reader Copy (eARC) from the author included. No affiliate links used. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
The Summer that Melted Everything is an incredible piece of literary fiction. That it is a debut novel makes it even more so. Tiffany McDaniel’s writing is evocative, complex and full of confidence.
The summer of 1984 brings an intense heat wave to Breathed, Ohio. It also brings the devil. Things will never be the same again. Fielding Bliss has never forgotten that summer and it is through his eyes that we learn what happened. The novel alternates between 1984 and an unspecified year in the future.
The Summer that Melted Everything is a thought-provoking novel that deals with religion, racism, homophobia and mob mentality amongst other things. My words cannot do it justice, but it’s a novel I’ll be recommending for a long time to come. Seriously, you need to read it.
Thanks to Tiffany for taking the time to answer my questions.
Hi there! Want to receive musings in your inbox once a month about books, feminism and life? Yes! Well, you’ve come to the right place. Sign up below and on the last Monday of every month I’ll send you 800 words about what I’ve been up to or an issue that’s important to me and some book recommendations. We’re talking feminism, activism and figuring out who I am.
How is this different to the blog?
That’s a valid question. This is content that won’t appear on the blog. Why? Think of it as an experimental version of Cornflakegirl’s Musings. I’ll be exploring different writing styles, both fiction and non-fiction.
There’s something rather intimate about newsletters and it’s not just the lack of a have comment sections. This blog hasn’t had a comment section in years. It’s sharing moments via a medium we view as routine. It’s making the routine special. It’s looking at email in a new light. OK that sounded pretentious as hell, but hopefully you understand what I’m trying to say!
What do you get when I sign up?
Me, in your inbox once a month! Seriously, though, you’ll receive a personal essay about feminism with some feminist non-fiction recommendations.
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“Write hard and clear about what hurts” – I’ve had this Hemingway quote stuck in my head for months. There’s this thing I’ve been struggling to write. No, that’s not quite true. There’s this thing I’m writing that I’ve been struggling to make sense of. This week I realised that it’s actually multiple things and I’ve been trying to push words together, even when they don’t fit. Last Friday I took myself out for lunch, trusty notebook in hand, and I wrote and I wrote. It felt good not to stare at a screen for a while. It felt good to remember what it’s like to write by hand. It feels good to finally make sense of things that haven’t made sense in a while. It feels good to have my faith in my ability to write restored.
My marriage equality referendum memories are bittersweet. We did it, it passed and that’s brilliant but it came at a high price to a lot of people. LGBTQ+ people literally had to knock on doors and ask for the right to get married, which was humiliating even when the canvass was positive.
The ‘No’ side were given airtime and column inches to spout hateful nonsense and lies, but we weren’t allowed call it homophobia because “balance”. Let that sink in.
On a personal level, the realisation that bi-erasure was a deliberate tactic by the ‘Yes’ campaign and not an oversight was difficult to swallow. Bi+ and trans people were made to feel at worst, like their experiences didn’t matter and at best, like allies in a campaign that directly affected them. So many bi+ and trans people worked their arses off, despite having their critiques silenced, because that’s how important the referendum was.
These experiences meant that the joy of the result was tinged with relief, sadness, frustration and anger for some LGBTQ+ people. I am delighted marriage equality passed, but (a) it never should have come to a referendum and (b) solidarity wasn’t there for the entire LGBTQ+ community.
Underneath by Anne Goodwin. Advance Reader Copy (eARC) from the author included. No affiliate links used. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
I love picking writer’s brains about their writing process(es). It’s such a personal thing and different approaches work for different people, so there is always something new to learn. When Anne Goodwin asked me to take part in the blog tour for her latest novel, Underneath, I jumped at the chance to ask her about writing and the role social media plays in promoting her books.
Thanks to Anne Goodwin for taking the time to answer my questions.
The Mysterious Bakery on Rue de Paris by Evie Gaughan. No Advance Reader Copy (ARC) included. No affiliate links used You can read my full disclosure policy here.
One of the many reasons I love social media is that it introduces me to people I wouldn’t otherwise meet. Evie Gaughan is one of those people. I don’t know when Evie first crossed my Twitter radar, but I remember devouring her blog and rushing off to download her books shortly afterwards.
Thank you to Evie Gaughan for taking the time to answer my questions.