Casual Cosplay: Kyo Sohma

Kyo-kun is a character in the anime/manga Fruits Basket.  In this tale, an unlucky family is cursed by the spirits of the Chinese Zodiac (Juunishi), and they turn into their designated animal when hugged by a member of the opposite sex.  Kyo-kun is an outlier in the story–the cat.  Though not an official member of the twelve animals (according to legend, he was tricked by the rat), Kyo-kun is still cursed.  His curse is worse than the others.  If he doesn’t wear a special bracelet, his “true form” is revealed: the vengeful cat spirit.

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Kyo is feisty, angry, emotional, and neglected.  He’s a very sad character with a lot of baggage.  Which is why I love him so much (though Yuki-kun is my favorite).

For the casual cosplay, I took a pair of my husband’s pants and combined them with a black shirt, and a green hoodie.

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And I even had actual Kyo-kun cosplay beads that I got from my sister!

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Quick Review: Cover Me

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I just finished Cover Me, by L.A. Witt.  This novel was very solid.  Solid plot, characters, setting, even sex.

Nick Swain is a paramedic who has to make a tough call while working an emergency scene.  One patient is too far gone to even try to save, so he moves onto the next.  When the first patient winds up dying, the media attacks Nick for negligence.

Andrew Carmichael is an undercover cop whose partner wound up stabbed in an operation gone wrong.  When Nick successfully saves his partner’s life, he’s more than grateful.  Their interaction at the crime scene leads to them meeting at Nick’s apartment for decompression sex.  Naturally, feelings begin to grow from the originally physical-based relationship.

What I loved about this story was how Nick dealt with his stress in his own way.  He needed sex to let his mind and body relax.  His previous partners didn’t understand that sex–not talking–was what he needed to get past his traumatic day job.

Throughout the story, Nick wonders if he’s just fucked up.  If his way of cooping isn’t right.  During those moments, I wanted to yell at him that he was fine.  That he didn’t need to conform to what others thought was “normal.”  So, when Andrew came along–with an equally stressful and traumatic occupation–I loved how he and Nick fell into sync.  These two were perfect together.

The writing was great, the pace quick, the sex scenes amazing.  I immensely enjoyed this book from start to finish.

4/5

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Casual Cosplay: Vyse

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I fell in love with the game “Skies of Arcadia Legends” when it was released on the GameCube.  It was one of the most in depth RPGs I’d played up to that point.  I adored the story lines, the graphics, the characters, the scope of the game play.  To this day, I still enjoy playing this game!

Vyse, himself, is a wonderful character.  He’s cute, charming, and with a strong moral compass.  Though he’s an air pirate, he’s also a member of the Blue Rogues–a group that only steals from the wealthy armada ships of the Valuan Empire.

Anyway, I really wanted to try my hand at a Vyse casual cosplay.  It’s a pretty simple outfit, and easy to tweak for work-appropriate attire.

I wore a black skirt instead of leggings. I also had a blue sweater with a thin, brown belt.  Vyse’s scarf is small, but I only had a long, fluffy red one to wear.  I think it still worked.

Lastly, I paired it with a purple whale bracelet.   Since (SPOILER!) the Purple Gigas turned out to be Rhaknam, the large arcwhale, it seemed to fit my theme!

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I also wore a crystal necklace under my scarf because it reminded me of moon stones.

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Casual Cosplay: Victor Nikiforov

I’m back at it.  For this outfit, I was inspired by Victor in his early days.  This outfit–based on one Johnny Weir wore–is adorable!  My purpose, though, is to be fun, not flashy.  I had to tone this down.

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I had a white shirt with a stain, so I crafted it with gel glue into a feather/diamond motif.

I paired the shirt with blue jeggings, and hipster type shoes I thought Victor would wear.

To complete the look, I added in a flower tiara.

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And some cute bracelets to show off Victor’s love of the ice (snow), and his love for Katsuki Yuri (the piglet).

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Put them all together and you’ve got a complete look!

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Casual Cosplay: Luna

Here’s another casual cosplay outfit I was really proud of.  In the Sailor Moon S movie, Usagi’s magical cat, Luna, transforms into a human.  And she’s stunningly beautiful!

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My idea was to combined a yellow tank top–or spaghetti strap dress–with a black, flowy skirt.

I found a yellow tank top that suited my needs. To be appropriate for work, though, I paired it with a black shirt underneath.

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It’s hard to tell, but I attempted to do four buns (meatballs) on my head.  Since my hair is short, they didn’t turn out well.

I also wore my cute mouse shoes.  It seemed appropriate, as I was cosplaying a cat.

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Finally, I wore a golden moon necklace!

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I wish my shirt was a bit brighter, but it’ll do!

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Casual Cosplay: Misaki Takahashi

I love dressing up.  Any kind of costume makes me incredibly happy.  That’s my favorite part of Halloween, or Spirit Week at work, or even Comicon.  That’s also why I’m really into casual cosplay.

Casual cosplay–or everyday cosplay–is a normal outfit that resembles a character, or just takes themes of a movie, show, or book, and encompasses them into an outfit.  It’s all personal interpretation.  And since I’m doing to make myself happy, it doesn’t matter if anyone else recognizes it!

First up is Misaki Takahashi.  He is the main character in Shungiku Nakamura’s manga/anime “Junjou Romantica.”

For my cosplay outfit, I combined a few of his looks into one.  First, I started with his pinned back hair.

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He wears it like this in the first episode of the anime.  Since my hair is similarly short, I pinned mine back with bobby pins.

Next, I took an outfit from season three where he’s getting ready to practice for his job interview.  He wears a white button up shirt, a tie, and a blue cardigan.

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I mimicked the white shirt and the cardigan.

Also, Misaki famously (or infamously) wore a pair of socks with stars on them.  I think they are adorable, but many within the fandom don’t agree.

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I have similar socks, bought solely for this purpose.

Finally, I finished my look with a bunny necklace.  Misaki’s significant other is Akihiko Usami–with the nickname Usagi, which means bunny. (My necklace is actually a blown-glass Peep I bought at the Phoenix Comicon!)

These powers combine to form Misaki!

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Pipelines in Paradise Release

I’m so excited to announce the release of my debut novella, Pipelines in Paradise!

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This projected started out on a whim.  I saw the call for submissions from Dreamspinner Press’s States of Love Series, and I was inspired.  The stories I typically write are science fiction and fantasy, so a contemporary romance–set in a state I’ve never even visited–was outside my comfort zone.  However, pushing yourself is always a good thing.  I was happy to get to work on this story, the characters, the setting, the relationship.

I wanted the main character, Palmer Simpson, to be restarting his life.  I was reminded of a quote by the author Haruki Murakami in his short story “Man-Eating Cats.”  It goes, “Once you make up your mind to get rid of something, there’s very little you can’t discard. No–not very little. Once you put your mind to it, there’s nothing you can’t get rid of.”  I tried to channel this idea into Palmer. He lost everything, and with the absence of that fear, he picked up and moved on.

I enjoy the idea of new beginnings, or second chances.  I feel it’s never too late to reevaluate any situation and attack it from a new angle.  For Palmer, this manifested into a trip to Hawaii where he tries to reconnect with his childhood dreams of being a surfer.

Pipelines in Paradise is now available for purchase!  It can be bought directly from Dreamspinner Press, or from Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

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Quick Review: Healing Touch

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Newly released on Friday, Missy Welsh’s sci-fi novel Healing Touch, was an incredible read!

When Captain Noah O’Keefe and his crew get lost in space, the ship is captured by an alien race–the snake-like Tevian.  Tortured for information about his Human weapons, Noah wishes he could just die and end it all.  That is, until Vivek Korraay, an Aguadite healer, tends Noah’s wounds and helps him escape. Before they get free from the cells, though, Noah convinces Vivek to rescue another inmate, the child-like Bendel.

From there, the three need to get off the planet and allow Vivek to pass on sensitive information that may help prevent more war in the universe.

The story is very immersive.  The two point-of-view characters–Noah and Vivek–are each clearly defined.  In Vivek’s POV, it’s easy to see his way of thinking is different.  His responses, actions, and dialogue all reflect his alien mindset.  This really drew me in as a reader, making the world and races realistic and enticing.  And Noah, who is thrust into the middle of this situation, tries to act brave and strong, but we see how he struggles internally.

The relationship between the two is also endearing. Though Noah initially relies on Vivek to help him escape, the two quickly move past captor and savior and onto equal footing. They are a well suited match, despite the difference in their races. Each gives and receives in equal measure, which was a refreshing quality to have in the novel.

The quick pace of the story never let up.  It had me reading eagerly, moving through the novel as fast as possible.  The characters, worlds, and the alien races were all so interesting.  I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

5/5

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Quick Review: Alcatraz vs the Scrivener’s Bones

Continuing on the Alcatraz series, we have Alcatraz vs the Scrivener’s Bones.

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While the first story in the series was fun, lighthearted, hilarious, it was not too deep on plot.  The infiltration of the library–and Alcatraz learning about his lineage–took up most of the narrative.  That’s not a bad thing at all.  In fact, for the introductory book, it was perfect.  Giving some details but only hinting at others.

The second is when things get a bit more complex.  More of the Smedry family comes into play, and with them, the sudden quest to find Alcatraz’s lost father.

The humor is still there, possibly even better than the first novel.  But the added depth of character–of Alcatraz, Bastille, and the Smedry family–really make this book engaging.  The hidden plot lines, the intrigue of the Talents and their role in the world make the reader crave the next book.

One of the best parts, though also very tragic, is when Alcatraz does succeed in finding his father.  The abandoned child is finally reunited with his dad.  To see Attica hardly glance at Alcatraz is heartbreaking.  While so, so sad, I love the theme that sometimes families are fucked up.  That disappointment is part of real life.  It added a dash of reality to the crazy hi-jinks.

Sanderson is such an amazing author.  His writing abilities are so diverse, giving this childish and silly account of the world in one novel and the rich, details of dozens of societies in the Stormlight Archive.  Even building on Robert Jordan’s established world almost flawlessly.  I have yet to find a Sanderson book I haven’t enjoyed.  Though this series about Alcatraz and his Talent may be my favorite of the bunch (it’s a close call between this and Legion).  It’s so underrated and definitely needs to be given a chance by his devoted fans and fantasy readers alike.

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“Flight” Release

flight-fbbanner2-groupI’m so pleased to say that my first work is published!

New today is “Flight,” an anthology of 110 LGBTQ speculative flash fiction stories, brought to you by Mischief Corner Books.  The anthology comes from Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest, where authors are able to interpret the year’s theme as they see fit.  It features all sorts of characters, from aliens and AIs, to angels.

Though a printed version will be available soon, currently the eBook is on sale from any of these retailers:

 

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My contribution is titled “The Aviary” and is featured in the Paranormal section of the anthology.

Happy reading!

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