Book Review: The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

The Sound of Stars is a beautiful love story that takes you on a journey of emotions. In most YA novels you can tell when the tables have turned and the heroes save the day. In this story, the characters come so close to death multiple times that I literally had to put the book down because I needed a minute to catch my breath. —Camia Rhodes

The Sound of Stars is set in a dystopian future ruled by the Ilori, aliens who consider themselves a superior race, one that is not ruled by their emotions. In order to subdue humanity, they have destroyed all forms of expression, such as art, music, and especially books.

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Flash Fiction Winner: My Dearest Lydia by Mackenzie Hicks

Please join us in congratulating the winner in Page Turner Magazine’s second flash fiction contest: “My Dearest Lydia”!

Mackenzie Hicks warmed—then shattered—our hearts with a tale of yearning and lost love. It is with the utmost of romantic melancholy that we present to you, “My Dearest Lydia”.

My dearest Lydia…

The words stood out in their blackness against the soft cream pages of the book. Lydia kept staring at them as she clipped the white roses, readying them for a vase. The clip of her silver scissors against the stems matched the jump in her heart as she tried to read past those three words.

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Flash Fiction Runner-Up: Spring Forever by Erudessa Gentian

Please join us in congratulating the runner-up in Page Turner Magazine’s second flash fiction contest: Love In Paris! Erudessa has penned a heartwarming tale about a love that transcends the vagaries of time and place. It is with the highest esteem (and not a small amount of wistfulness) that we present to you, “Spring Forever.”

Thin, wrinkled fingers turned the faded pages of her well-loved book with a strength that hadn’t failed for over sixty years. Frowning slightly, Rose glared toward the whirring machines in the room that would not stop their infernal beeping. At least the steady rhythm assured her worrywart niece that everything but her blasted leg was in top shape.

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An Interview with Tanaz Bhathena

Photo by Nettie Photography

Young adult author Tanaz Bhathena writes epic fantasy—including The Wrath of Ambar series—and #ownvoices contemporary YA. In her free time, Tanaz enjoys listening to music, traveling abroad, and watching Bollywood movies.

Tanaz Bhathena is a young adult author who has won numerous awards, including Best Book of the Year (CBC and USBBY) for Hunted by the Sky. Its sequel, Rising like a Storm, comes out June 22, 2021. She excels at writing strong female leads, like Gul in Hunted by the Sky. Tanaz speaks to us about the publishing and writing process, how social media plays into our lives as authors, and how to fit writing into our busy schedules.  —Emily Johnson

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Book Review: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

Lauren James’ Loneliest Girl in the Universe was recently recommended for me on Amazon. What made me put it in my cart was the cover. I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I liked how the color palette contrasted with the image of a girl sitting alone in a window. What finalized my decision was the title itself. Since quarantine began, the loneliness has really set in, and I thought this would be a good read to help with that. Camia Rhodes

In The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, Romy is the sole survivor onboard The Infinity, a spaceship headed towards Earth II. Her astronaut parents died en route five years ago, leaving her alone for the long journey. 

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An Interview with Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is a copywriter-turned-author who wants to make the world a lovelier place, one kissing story at a time. Her love of romance began when she was eight years old and she discovered her auntie’s stash of romance novels. When she isn’t perfecting her lumpia recipe, Sarah is the host of the writing-focused “Quick and Dirty Romance Podcast.”

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’re extremely delighted to share an interview with contemporary romance novelist Sarah Smith. Sarah is the author of the extremely delightful #OwnVoices rom-coms, Faker and Simmer Down (Berkley), which feature the sweet—and sexy!—romantic exploits of characters of Filipino descent. In this week’s Page Turner Magazine spotlight interview, Sarah was kind enough to chat with us about the need for multicultural romance novels, the unusual way she landed her literary agent, and how to handle manuscript rejections. —Maxine Shen

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An Interview with R.B. Wood

Bostonian R. B. Wood is a recent MFA graduate of Emerson College and a writer of both speculative and dark thrillers. His writing has appeared in Crystal Lake Publishing’s Shallow Waters anthology, SickLit Magazine, HorrorAddicts.net, and in the award-winning anthology “Offbeat: Nine Spins on Song” from Wicked Ink Books. R. B. also hosts The Word Count—a podcast featuring original flash fiction by new and upcoming writers.

Page Turner Magazine is delighted to present an interview with one of our own—recent Emerson College PopFic alum R. B. Wood, author of Bayou Whispers (Crystal Lake Publishing). The thriller, which hits bookstores on April 29, tells the story of a lawyer who returns to her New Orleans hometown to help the sheriff’s deputy-turned-thief who’d rescued her after she’d been held hostage twelve years ago and who now stands accused of murdering her captors. R. B. tips us off about the appeal of writing thrillers, how to handle feedback on a work-in-progress, and the best advice he picked up during his MFA.  —Maxine Shen

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Flash Fiction Winning Entry: The Dragon of Ják by Anna O’Connell

Please join us in congratulating the winning entry in Page Turner Magazine’s very first flash fiction contest: The Dragon of Ják! Anna had crafted a compelling narrative in which a clever priest finds himself pitted against a merciless dragon. Who will triumph, and who will meet their fate?

In the village of Ják, Father Peter was washing the soot from his hands, following Compline on the Day of Ashes. He had remained to extinguish the candles and stepped outside and over to the trough to the side of the door, where he poured water from a small pitcher over his fingers. He had a brief pang of hunger and allowed a sigh to pass through his lips, the wordless sound steaming in the frigid night. Outlined by the sliver of moonlight, the mist seemed to take on a deeper shadow. Rubbing his eyes, Father Peter blinked with a grimace as the grit worked across his face. 

Before him was a fearsome creature, a serpent with a flared, horse-like nose and great rooster claws. The beast bared its teeth at Father Peter, who, still scrunching his eyes, tripped onto the stone stair of the dormitory. He clutched the lintel as the beast spoke.

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Flash Fiction Runner-Up: Salmren’s Triumph by Will Nuessle

Please join us in congratulating the runner-up in Page Turner Magazine’s very first flash fiction contest: Dragon Fire! Will crafted a whimsical lyric paying homage to an oft-overlooked aspect of our scaly friends. So grab a tankard of your favorite potation and sing along with us as we celebrate Salmren’s Triumph.

Salmren’s Triumph – a drinking song

(to be enjoyed lustily and drunkenly if at all possible)

The songs they sing of a dragon’s wing – but who sings songs of the tail?

A leathery, cut-down-the-heathery thing – but who sings songs of the tail?

Now Salmren knew, was to him they flew, to show him the things only dragons shew,

Teburah the red and Ceejarno the blue – but who sings songs of the tail?

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An Interview with Jayci Lee

Jayci Lee lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. Semi-retired from her fifteen-year career as a defense litigator, Jayci now writes full-time. She loves food, wine, and traveling—and so do her characters.

This week, we’re excited to catch up with #OwnVoices romance novelist Jayci Lee, author of A Sweet Mess (Macmillan Publishers), a delectable romcom involving a small town baker, a celebrity food critic, a one night stand, and a big misunderstanding over a “Frankencake.” In addition to giving us the lowdown on why it was so important for her to feature Asian-American characters in her novels, Jayci also shared some inspirational advice for aspiring writers, what surprised her most about getting published, and her favorite page turner. —Maxine Shen

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