Randoms: November 2021 Reads

The Words in My Hands by Asphyxia

Photo from Author/Publisher

Part coming of age, part call to action, this fast-paced #ownvoices novel about a Deaf teenager is a unique and inspiring exploration of what it means to belong.

Set in an ominously prescient near future, All the Words that Matter is the story of Piper: sixteen, smart, artistic, and rebellious, she’s struggling to conform to what her mom wants—for her to be ‘normal,’ to pass as hearing, and get a good job. But in a time of food scarcity, environmental collapse, and political corruption, Piper has other things on her mind—like survival.

Deaf since the age of three, Piper has always been told that she needs to compensate in a world that puts those who can hear above everyone else. But when she meets Marley, a whole new world opens up—one where Deafness is something to celebrate rather than hide, and where resilience and hope are created by taking action, building a community, and believing in something better.

Published to rave reviews as Future Girl in Australia (Allen & Unwin, Sept. 2020), this unforgettable story is told through a visual extravaganza of text, paint, collage, and drawings that bring Piper’s journey vividly to life. Insightful, hopeful, and empowering, All the Words that Matter is very much a novel for our turbulent times.

My thoughts

The Words in My Hands by Asphyxia has already been nominated for awards so please do not take what I am about to say as anything to do with the actual words of this story. I received this book in an unformatted version which has made it impossible for me to review as the pages were cut in half, not compiled in the correct order, and imaged incorrectly.

What I can say from flipping through page after page is that the illustrator did a fantastic job of formatting. The use of different fonts, color, and design is very eye catching. It looks like watercolor mixed in with pencil and charcoal. Plus there are diagrams, drawings, and doodlings. The artwork is striking and memorable.

Pick up a finished copy of The Words in My Hands by Asphyxia and let me know what you think.

I received a free copy of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

A Swirl Of Pride (A Story from the A Wicked Night Anthology) by Arizona Tape

Photo from Author/Publisher


After a recent career change, glutton demon Demi has found herself mixing business with pleasure when it comes to the enchanting lust demon working as a chef at the Forked Tail.

Lana is used to keeping her feelings separate from her work, and this time is no different, even if Demi is charming and just as into food as she is.

With a Halloween party to plan, sin to harvest, an inspection to deal with, and their budding feelings to avoid, the demons have their hands full.

Enter the Forked Tail if you dare, and have a taste of delicious dishes made with just a swirl of pride…

A Swirl Of Pride is part of the Forked Tail series, a paranormal series filled with delicious recipes, mischievous demons, and an irresistible f/f romance.

My thoughts

I did not care for A Swirl of Pride. I think because I did not read the first book in the series and this is a story that is part of an anthology, I did not feel connected to the characters. I did not care whether they got together or not. There was no bonding other than Demi eating Lana’s food and that is not to say that cooking for someone cannot be a seduction – it can be. Demi also put herself out for Lana all the time. I just didn’t see a mutual connection between the two and therefore I didn’t care if they got together. 

I was actually more intrigued by the pickpocket that Arizona Tape kicked the story off with. I thought Demi and the pickpocket were going to get together. Then there was the guy Demi argued with about stealing from the pickpocket – I thought they were going to get together. (laugh) See where I am going with this? I love Tape as I have made plain many times, so I am assuming it is the lack of space or I missed the warning that I needed to read the first book in the “Forked Tail” series.  

I received a free copy of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

3 stars


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Skin Deep: a FF Steampunk Story by Violet Penrose

London, 1871. Dr. Alice Victor is an engineer of automata—advanced biomechanical constructs—a field dazzling in its possibilities but still in its infancy. When she meets the alluring Lady Glyde, her laboratory gains a benefactor and Alice a secret lover.

The lady and her husband have recently returned from Africa, and when Alice discovers they are secretly harboring members of a Malawian snake cult, it becomes clear that their ambitions for her work are far more sinister than it first seemed. Alice soon finds herself caught between pleasing her new lover and her loyalty to her colleague and best friend. As tension mounts, Alice must decide how far she is willing to go in her search for forbidden happiness.

Skin Deep is an intricate story of fantastical technology, desperate passion, mysterious rituals, and dark ambition that explores one woman’s quest for love in a society where her desires are taboo.4

My thoughts

I didn’t like this story based on a personal bias as Alice was tricked into a relationship she didn’t know she was entering into. I am a full believer in communication and consent and this is violated on multiple levels with Alice.



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