Of The Wild Discussion Questions

Welcome to the Of The Wild Discussion Questions master post! Today we discuss the shapeshifter Aeris. But first, can you believe we’re over half way through 2021? We’ve got six books under our belts, and normally it would be fine for number seven! Instead we think a summer vacation is in order and are bringing freebies back! Be sure you drop your email over at our new GreatAce.Club page get them.

Alright, let’s talk about the Of The Wild Discussion Questions!

If you haven’t read alone with us you can get your copy here in ebook, paperback or free with kindle unlimited.

Description:

Aeris, a shapeshifter of the Wild, steals children from unloving homes and raises them as his own in an enchanted grove deep in the Woods. Under the protective eye of their new guardian, the children absorb the forest’s magic and grow more fey-like than human: some of them sprout mushrooms or flowers while others develop scales or wings.

But the reserve of magic that keeps Aeris and his forest home alive is inexplicably running dry. With his life waning and the dangers of the Wild creeping closer and closer, Aeris will do anything to protect his family, even set his hopes on an unlikely new arrival in the Woods: a human stranger.

Suggested Of The Wild Discussion Questions Schedule:

  • Week One: Chapters 1-5
  • Week Two: Chapters 6-10
  • Week Three: Chapters 11-14
  • Week Four: Chapters 15-17
  • Week Five: Chapters 18-End

Remember to always feel free to share your favorite quotes, book pictures, etc as we read on top of answering the discussion questions. You can join in the fun anytime with the #GreatAceClub hashtag.

Week One:

I’m personally a sucker for found family. Let’s get started to discover how they find each other and grow!

  • Why do you think found family often resonates with the LGBT+ community?
  • What do you think of what Aeris is doing for the babies and children he rescues?
  • How do we see magic already in these early chapters? What might change as the magic disappears? What might Aeris have to do to keep his children safe? What would you do in his place?
  • What type of parent does Aeris seem to be? How does he take care of his children?
  • What is the significance of the baby not changing?
  • Do you think that the Tall Ones have something to do with the disappearance of magic? Why might they be so interested in Aeris and his children?
  • What kind of world do you think Aeris rescues the children from? Is it a world like ours, a fantasy world, or something in between? Do you think one world is more forgiving than another?
  • Do you have any predictions about what will happen next? Why? What are you hoping to see?

Week Two:

Ready to continue Aeris’ journey to keep his family safe! Let’s get started and see what happens to the magic protecting his home and to his family.

  • What secrets do you think Aeris is keeping? What effect could these secrets have on his family?
  • What are we learning about the outside world from Aeris and the failing magic? What kind of world might his children have come from?
  • Share some predictions you have about William. What role could he have for The Woods?
  • How does the magic seem to work in this world?
  • How are both like regular human children and different? How does Aeris foster a sense of trust and love to help the children be more like regular children?
  • What do we learn about Aeris’ sexuality in this section? How do we learn it? Does his response feel similar to your own experiences?
  • What do you make of Aeris’ response to William? Does he seem to trust him? Why might he not trust him? Why might he grow to trust him?
  • How do magic and technology intermingle? What do you think of Aeris’ description of the city?
  • What do you make of Aeris’ and William’s conversation? What do we learn about each of them?
  • How are William’s fears about taking over for Aeris the fears that any future parent might face? How are they fears that anyone who steps into another role might face? Have you ever felt fear or nervousness like William does?
  • What significance does it have that William doesn’t feel like he deserves a family? Why might he feel that way?
  • How does Aeris’ analogy about family being a garden resonate with William? How do you feel about it? Would you agree or disagree with his sentiment?
  • What predictions do you have?

Week Three:
I’m still loving this book and am excited to finish everything with you! Let’s dive into some magical universes and forget about the strife of life!

  • What do you think the Tall Ones want with Aeris?
  • What kind of fairy tale motifs are present in this book? How does Aeris fit into those motifs? What kind of archetype does he represent? What about the Tall Ones? William?
  • Do you think that Aeris’ choice not to tell the children what is going on is a good one? Does it make sense? Do you think the children are better off not knowing, or should he share with them?
  • Should Aeris allow himself to be sad in front of the children? Why or why not?
  • How are Hori’s fears something all children worry about? How might it particularly resonate with queer people?
  • What do you think of the growing relationship between Aeris and William? How does Aeris appreciate William in ways he isn’t used to?
  • How do the children help William?
  • What does the fruit mean for the children? For William? For Aeris?
  • How is the relationship between Aeris and William changing? Do you have any predictions?

Week Four:

  • We’re moving through the rest of the book! What is going to happen between Aeris and William next? And the children? Will the Tall Ones make another appearance? Let’s read on and find out!
  • What do you think caused the change in William? How might Aeris have caused it?
  • How does Aeris’ magic help people become what they truly are? How is that reflected in children? In William?
  • What do you think Sen’s transformation means? How is it both like and not like the transformation William goes through? Like the children’s original transformation?
  • How do the Tall Ones’ reaction to William being Wild similar to what William has faced before as a trans man?
  • How does William’s Wild status change the way we perceive the story and its characters? Especially Aeris and his feelings for William?
  • How does Aeris help the children heal? What does his magic and steady presence bring them that they were missing before?
  • How does Aeris perceive himself and William that is so different from how William perceived him?
  • What do you think William realized? What solution does he see that Aeris is too close to perceive?

Week Five:

Ending on a cliff hanger is always a good way to make me excited to pick a book up again! Let’s see how William decides to solve Aeris’ magic issues!

  •  What do we learn about Aeris at the end of the book?
  • How does the author use different styles to express what is happening to Aeris? William? The Tall Ones?
  • How has Aeris been struggling without realizing it? What does he learn from William?
  • How does Aeris’ family continue to grow and change? What might he do differently with his children going forward?
  • How will William staying make the family stronger? How will Aeris and William likely balance each other?
  • What did you take from this book? What might others take from it?

VARIABLE CURRENT Cover Reveal

Can’t keep a good hacker down, Scott and Sonia are back! Check out the cover reveal for VARIABLE CURRENT by Rose Sinclair & Alexandra Tauber. Variable Current is the second novel of the .Exe duology that started with HELLO WORLD.

Ready to see the newest beauty for this series?!

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Variable Current Cover Reveal launch!


Book Description:
After the death of a tech giant, thousands of augmented workers fight for their place in the world.

Anonymity is a powerful level of protection, and now everyone knows Scott is the infamous Hello World hacker. But taking down UltSyn wasn’t enough; he gotta make a living legally or throw away the thread of sanctuary he’s been granted.

After following the rules for months, Scott realizes someone is aiming to bring back the human rights nightmare he worked so hard to take down. But when Sonia throws in her support for reform, he must convince everyone of the truth — before UltSyn returns.

Variable Current is the last book in the .Exe duology. This novel features an story about a queer hacker trying to go white hat, and living past the moment you get everything you want.

You can pre-order today and it will be automatically delivered to you on October 26th, 2021!

Unburied Fables Discussion Questions

Welcome to the GreatAce.Club round up, below you’ll find all the Unburied Fables Discussion questions. Also included is a suggested reading schedule, but as always these posts are designed so you can read at your own pace.

Suggested Reading Schedule:

Week One –  Handsome & the Beast, The Grateful Princess and Odd!

Week Two – Expectations, Li Chi and the Dragon, & Satin Skirts and Wooden Shoes

Week Three – Glass Mountains – Brenna – The Last Lost Boy

Week Four –  Dark Matters & The Suns of Terre

Handsome & the Beast
The first story in the anthology is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast!

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • One common aspect of fairy tales is repetition. What effect does the repeated line “Fate might have heard” have on the narrative?
  • How do the characters respect the rules of fairy tales? What rules did you notice?
  • What significance do the colors of the rose and uniform have?
  • How does Handsome grow and change?
  • How do the various rooms and dreams hint at the true nature of the castle and the Beast?
  • ”Sometimes there is more goodness in the hearts of Beasts than in those of people.” This is a significant quote in the story; what meaning does it have in a greater context? What is the significance of the person being perceived as a Beast? How does Handsome see through that? And how is it also significant that Handsome is handsome while the Beast is a beast?
  • What impact does Handsome’s speech have?
  • What kind of happily ever after does this tale have?
  • If you had to pick a moral for this tale, what would the moral be? Why?

The Grateful Princess
The second story in the anthology is based on an Estonian fairy tale called The Grateful Prince.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • What common fairy tale tropes do you notice? How does the author utilize them?
  • How do we see Tuline falling for Lind? How does the author take this common trope and make it gay?
  • How does this story utilize repetition? What effect does it have on the plot and pacing?
  • What role do strangers play in fairy tales? How is this a reflection on real life and how are characters’ various reactions to strangers a lesson for children?
  • How do Lind’s actions show her own feelings for Tuline?
  • What kind of happily ever after does this tale have?
  • Tell me about the life you imagine Tuline and Lind having together.
  • If you had to pick a moral for the story, what would it be? Why?

Odd
(Psst, Amy here. this is my story! :D) The third story int he anthology is based on the fairy tale Rumplestiltskin.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • Bragging is also a common fairy tale trope. What role does bragging play in the story? How could that trope be used to teach children lessons?
  • In what ways is the king very like men in positions of power? How does he use this against Sofia?
  • It is important for Sofia to remain true to herself in this story. In what ways does she defy the king, his expectations, and the expectations of society to stay true to herself?
  • How does Sofia’s curiosity help her?
  • What types of repetition do you see in this short story? How do they play into the plot?
  • What future do you imagine for Sofia?
  • What other fairy tale tropes did you notice? How did they impact the story?
  • What kind of happily ever after did this story have?
  • If you had to pick a moral, what would it be? Why?

While I know the questions are set up by story, I wanted to take a moment to talk about fairy tales and see what the three stories we’ve read so far have in common! Other than happily ever afters, of course!

  • What are common fairy tale tropes you see in all three tales? What predictions do you have for tropes we might continue to see?
  • Which tropes are your favorites? Which are less so? Why?
  • All three of the stories involve some kind of stranger; why do you think strangers feature so prominently in fairy tales? What lessons can be learned from the way the various tales deal with meeting strangers?
  • How do the various strangers act towards the protagonists? How do they act in return?
  • We often think of fairy tales as always ending happily, but they quite often do not. How do these tales create happily ever afters? What does that mean for the queer community?
  • How do fairy tales teach us to be true to ourselves? How is that important for the queer community and how do these three tales highlight the importance of being true to yourself?

Expectations

The next story in this anthology is a wave to many different fairy tales, but mostly The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • What common fairy tale elements and tropes are present in this story? How does the author change them to be LGBT+?
  • One of the things that frequently gets criticized in fairy tales is how female characters, or female presenting characters, are often more prop than person with very little agency. How do we see this in this story? How do we see the same lack of agency in Aldric?
  • One of the themes that seems to be in all of the stories so far is the importance of being true to yourself. How does Aldric embody this? Shireen? Giselle?
  • How does the phrase “money can’t buy happiness” apply to this story?
  • If you were going to choose a moral for this story, what would it be? Why?

Li Chi and the Dragon

The next story in the anthology is a retelling of the Chinese fairy tale, Li Chi Slays the Serpent

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • How does this fairy tale show some real life prejudices?
  • Characters in fairy tales often do well because they are clever and think outside the box. How does Chi do this? What are some other examples we have seen in earlier tales or in other traditional fairy tales?
  • How is love a common motivation in fairy tales? How does Li Chi’s love help her to volunteer and face the dragon?
  • What future do you imagine for Chi?
  • If you were going to choose a moral for this story, what would it be? Why?

Satin Skirts and Wooden Shoes

This story is based on Cinderella.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • What role do fairies, or the fair folk, often play in fairy tales? How do characters’ reactions in both traditional and modern fairy tales affect the fairies?
  • Like Expectations, Satin Skirts and Wooden Shoes features a person who could be twins of the main character. Why do you think this is a fairy tale trope?
  • How does everyone live happily ever after?
  • How do you think the characters’ futures might play out?
  • If you were going to choose a moral for this story, what would it be? Why?

Now that we have read six of the stories in this anthology, let’s take a moment to talk about them and about fairy tales in general!

  • One of the central themes that threads all the stories together so far is the need to be accepted and understood for who you are. Why do you think this resonates so much?
  • What other common tropes do you see in each of the stories?
  • Fairy tales often have a fairly predictable plot structure. How does that come into play with the retellings?
  • Many of the characters in these stories are aro/ace. One of the most common endings to fairy tales is the male and female characters falling in love and getting married. How does having aro/ace characters change this? What kind of endings are we seeing instead of love + marriage? How are these endings just as happy as the standard fairy tale?
  • What are some other fairy tales you want to see retold? What kind of queer endings would you want to see?

Glass Mountains
Glass Mountains is based on The Black Bull of Norroway, a Scottish folk tale.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • Magical elders are a common fairy tale trope and something we’ve seen a few times through this anthology. What do you think are the traditional reasons for this? What might magical elders mean to LGBT+ youths?
  • Fairy tales almost always feature morals, often about being kind to strangers. What do you think is the historical context of this? How do we see it play out in Glass Mountains?
  • Numbers play a role in this story, as well as repetition. What does this do for the narrative?
  • How does switching from past to present change the pacing of the story and answer questions before they’re asked?
  • How do the characters have a happily ever after?
  • What would you say is the moral of this story? Why?

Brenna
Brenna is a retelling of Ferdinand the Faithful and Ferdinand the Unfaithful, a German fairy tale.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • Why do you think the color red is so common in fairy tales?
  • Once again, we are experiencing an elder guiding a younger person on their journey. Why would this be important for younger LGBT+ youth? Is it something we have seen in previous fairy tales in this collection?
  • Quests are another common theme in fairy tales; what quests are Brenna given to complete? How does one influence the other?
  • How does this story have a happily ever after?
  • What would you say is the moral of the story? Why?

The Last Lost Boy
The Last Lost Boy is a retelling of Peter Pan.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • How does the author capture the spirit of Peter Pan through the character of the same name?
  • How does changing the setting to a modern setting change the story?
  • In what ways have neither Peter nor Will grown up?
  • How is this story different from some of the others in the anthology?
  • How do the characters have a happily ever after?
  • What would you say is the moral of this story? Why?

Now that we’ve read the short stories for this week, let’s talk about them as a whole!

  • Another common theme we’re seeing in some of the stories are elders who are either queer coded or at the very least are there to help guide the queer main characters. Why might this be? Why is this a fairy tale trope, but also why does this possibly mean so much to queer youth?
  • How do all the happily ever afters resonate? What similarities do they have? How are they different?
  • How do we see other common fairy tale tropes in these stories? How are they reworked into something new or utilized to help the characters get their happily ever after?
  • What are your thoughts on the stories we read this week? Do any stick out to you? What have been some of your favorites? What makes them your favorites?

Dark Matters

The second to last story in this retelling is a retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • How does this story combine science with fairy tale? What does that add to the overall narrative?
  • The main character goes on a journey to find something that feels “just right.” How could that be an allegory for coming out?
  • How does the author use some tongue-in-cheek humor and description to tie the fairy tale into gay culture?
  • How do the characters have a happily ever after?
  • What would you say is the moral of the story? Why?

The Suns of Terre

The last short story in this anthology is a retelling of Prince Darling.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • How is this story different from some of the others in this anthology? What makes it work as the final story?
  • The story deals a lot with what it means to be a good person. What do you think it means to be a good person? Do you think that something like the ring on the characters’ heads would actually work? What other ideas do you have?
  • What do you think of each of the characters’ actions? What were some good choices? Bad? How does that make the characters more human?
  • How do the characters learn to accept themselves and each other?
  • How is the theme of change and changing oneself essential to the LGBT+ community?
  • How do the characters end up with a happily ever after?
  • What would you say is the moral of the story? Why?

Now that we’ve finished the book, let’s talk about the last two stories and the collection as a whole!

  • What were some common themes and motifs that showed up in all or most of the stories? Why do you think those were so common? How are they important for fairy tales and also for the LGBT+ community?
  • Why are fairy tales a good medium to tell queer stories?
  • How do the last couple of stories differ from the rest in the collection? How do they still meet all the fairy tale criteria?
  • What were some of your favorite stories? Why?
  • What are some fairy tales you think could have a queer retelling? What makes some of those other stories perfect for this setup?
  • Why is it so important for queer people, and especially young queer people, to have stories with happily ever afters?
  • How are these stories a direct response to the “bury your gays” trope we see so often in media?
  • This anthology was released in 2016; how have things changed since then? How have they stayed the same?
  • Be sure to share some pictures or quotes you really enjoyed with the #GreatAceClub tag!

Lumberjanes Discussion Questions

May’s GreatAce.Club’s pick was Lumberjanes from an awesome writer/artist, Noelle Stevenson! If you’ve watched the new She-Ra, it’s the same person! We’ll be reading the first trade edition, which included the first four issues. Rather than try to divide up a comic book, we are instead going to break it down and take a look at different elements. We’ll be looking at:

  • Week One: Characters
  • Week Two: Setting
  • Week Three: Plot
  • Week Four: Tone, Theme, and other literary things!

I hope you’re as excited as I am for something new and different! Let us know what you think of doing comics; we would definitely love to do more and maybe even do another Lumberjanes trade edition!

Lumberjanes Chapter One Badge

I am absolutely a character driven reader; some of my favorite books may have a weak plot, but the characters are *chef’s kiss.* How do you feel about characters? Who is (or are) your favorites in these beginning chapters? Let’s talk about them!

-How are we introduced to the main characters? What do we immediately learn about them?

-How do the characters’ physical appearances match with their personalities? If you don’t think they match, how do they play against them?

-What are your initial thoughts about the Roanoke Cabin? Jen? Rosie? Barney and the other boys?

-What are some unexpected things we learn about each of the characters? Did anything really surprise you?

-The Lumberjane characters definitely do not suffer from sameface or tokenism. How are each of the girls different and how do they use their differences to be stronger together? How do they surprise each other and the audience?

-What are each girl’s strengths? Weaknesses? How do they lift each other up to overcome and grow together?

-Which characters seem to have the strongest relationships? Do you get a romantic sense from any of them? Share your shippy thoughts!

-”xxx to the max!” is a common quote the characters say. How do they each embody that quote? Do you think their friendship is “to the max”?

-What relationships do you want to see grow? Who do you want to learn more about?

The setting of a book can make or break it sometimes; is it a real place? If so, does the book meet the feeling of that place? Is it a made up place? Choosing where a book or comic is set can absolutely effect how the plot progresses and what types of conflicts the characters will face. Even in a fun comic series, the authors made choices about the setting and that’s what we’re going to discuss this week!

-Lumberjanes is set in a summer camp. What implications does this have for the plot? What kinds of imagery do we usually associate with summer camp and childhood?

-How does adding an element of scouting change the summer camp setting?

-The comic opens with a description of the Up All Night Badge; how does starting in the middle of the night set the scene? Set a tone?

-The camp sign has “hardcore lady types” nailed over the original name; is this significant? What does it mean for the camp? How does that change the expectations?

-Does the main cabin being called the Roanoke Cabin foreshadow anything?

-In what ways are the woods like normal woods? How are they different?

-How does the underground cave give each girl a chance to shine? What purpose could the challenges the setting presents have?

-What differences are there between the boys’ camp and the girls’ camp? Why are they potentially significant?

-How do the Lumberjanes react to each new place? Do you think their reactions are propper? Why or why not?

-What traditional camp settings would you like to see more of? Is there a place the girls have been that you want to learn more about?

-Did you notice anything interesting or fun in the background?

The plot of a book is, well, the book! It’s what happens! But there are always nuances; rises and falls before the climax, the falling action. Comics face the added struggle of needing to build on each issue to a larger climax, while often having smaller ones in individual issues. I chose to discuss the plot this far into May because I’m hoping everyone has had a chance to finish the first edition, so there shouldn’t be any spoilers!

-The comic starts out with an action scene. How does this set the tone for the rest of the plot? Do you think that it sets it up right and gets the reader ready for lots of action?

-How does Rosie introduce more of the mystery? What does she set up for the rest of the book?

-How are the badges a good way to frame each chapter? In what ways are the badges significant to the plot?

-How does each chapter build to the next?

-Most chapters are self-contained stories that are part of the greater plot. What other adventures do you think that the Lumberjanes will go on? What is the main plot? What do you think the Lumberjanes will find as they explore more?

-Book one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. How does the ending introduce new and interesting conflicts to the series?

-What do you think the central conflict is or will be? Do you think that it will end up being more of a person v. person, person v. nature, person v. supernatural, or do you think the central conflict will have more to do with the campers
growing as people?

-What do you hope to see in future issues?

-What, in your opinion, is the best part of the book?

There are a lot of little things in this series that I feel like we need to discuss! Noelle is known for their characters basically all being some form of queer; if you’ve seen She-Ra, then… yeah. She plants deliberate clues and being queer is often part of the theme he puts into their work. Themes of friendship, love, growth, and bonding are all important, as is the tone she chooses for the comic to have. Let’s talk about everything else about this comic!

-If you haven’t already, make sure you have read the Message from the Lumberjanes High Council. How does this message go along with organizations like the Girl Scouts? How are the Lumberjanes like a scouting group?

-Why is it important to have a group like this for young girls? How does our real life past of limiting women to being housewives and indoors impact the comic?

-What is substantial about the “then there’s a line about God” in the pledge?

-The Lumberjanes are not exactly a summer camp and are more than just a scouting program. What could be the significance of this? How does roping the supernatural in with scouting/camp add to everything?

-In what ways do the beginning chapters reference fairy tales? And how do they turn those tropes on their heads?

– How do the Field Manual pages help set the scene for each chapter? Do you read the page to get a sense of what the girls are doing or just jump right into the action? In what ways do they allow us to learn more about the Lumberjanes as a whole?

-How does the book turn common tropes on their heads? References?

-What significance do the three eyed animals have? How many did you notice?

-How are the boy scout characters a good foil to the Lumberjanes?

-Many instances in the comics do not go as expected, such as April being a great arm wrestler or the yetis being bribed with cookies. What does that do for the comic? How does it go along with our expectations in real life?

-What themes are you really enjoying about the comic? What do the writers and artists build into each issue and keep going?

-How would you describe the tone of the comic? Did you laugh a lot? Did it seem serious or mysterious?

-What kind of symbols are we seeing so far? What is significant about Molly getting the bow and arrow? How are bows and arrows a part of mythology and legend, or a part of the strangeness presented in the woods?

-What tropes are you enjoying? What tropes are you enjoying seeing turned on their heads?

Be sure to pick up Volume 1, new, used, kindle unlimited, or even check if your local library or comic shop has it!

We will see in you in the #GreatAceClub tag on tumblr, twitter, facebook, instagram, or goodreads. Basically wherever you wantta be your bookish self!

Cover Reveal: Other People’s Butterflies

I’m so excited to kick off pride month with an aro ace debut author’s cover reveal! Other People’s Butterflies is a story about Gwen, and her (mis)adventures before learning she’s aro ace. I deeply wish I had this book in high school. But so happy I can be a part of hyping it now. This cover is so sharp and bright.

Gwen Foster has never been kissed. But when she gets the chance to finally see what all the hype is about, it’s with her best friend’s crush. Embroiled in relationship drama she doesn’t understand, and ostracized from her friend group, Gwen escapes the angst by using her favorite femme fatale as a role model… and makes snooping on her classmates her new pastime. 

Gwen’s detective work appears to be going well, until an unknown social media account starts spilling all the scandalous personal details she’s uncovered. Now this wannabe spy must stop whoever is behind it before everyone’s dirty laundry is aired, and Gwen is forced to finish high school without any friends.

Other People’s Butterflies is a coming-of-age contemporary mystery about not needing to find your first love – but yourself – and how to mend the relationships that matter to you.

Check this book out in time for pride month. You can pre-order it today and have it delivered to your device on June 22nd!

Hello World – Great Ace Club Discussion Questions

The Hello World Discussion Questions are here! GreatAce.Club is our sister book club. It mostly reads asexual books by asexual authors for asexual readers, but has expanded to read really whatever our host Amy wants. Because great books are great books and aces can do whatever they please. April’s book was Hello World, the first in the .Exe series!

Brew up that cup of coffee because it’s discussion time!

GreatAce.Club - Coffee Time! - Hello World Paperback Discussion Questions

Suggested Reading Schedule:

  • Week One – Prologue through Chapter 4
  • Week Two – Chapters 5-11
  • Week Three – Chapters 12-19
  • Week Four – Chapters 20-26
  • Week Five: Chapter 27 through Epilogue

Hello World Week One Discussion Questions

Hello World deals a lot with technology, data, and what it means to be a person living with that. What do you think about the world we are currently living in?

What do you think is more important, convenience or privacy? How much privacy should society be willing to give up to feel safe? To have information and necessities at their fingertips?

It’s a common trope in media for a character to be motivated to save a loved one. How do you predict Scott will undertake this going forward?

Like all good techy books, Hello World takes pieces of technology that already exist and create logical extensions from them. What technology can you see existing now or in the near future that we’ve experienced in these first few chapters?

We are already getting a sense of what Scott and Sonia’s relationship will be. What can you pick up on how they will befriend each other, or more? What are your predictions about their relationship?

What sort of qualities do you think UltSyn wants for its HIDs?

Besides college job fairs, where do you think UltSyn looks for candidates?

Hello World Week Two Discussion Questions

Have I mentioned recently that I love Scott? Because I love Scott. Now that we are getting into the thick of things, there is so much more to discuss, especially as we start to see more discussion about Scott’s asexuality. Without further ado, let’s read!

As we begin to see more asexual characters in media (see: FuckYeahAsexual’s Character Database or even the Goodreads List), and as asexuality becomes seen more in the mainstream, creators may begin to think about how to incorporate asexual characters into their work. What do you think about how Scott talks about his sexual attraction? Does it match with your own feelings as being ace?

Sinclair and Tauber have so much deliberate representation in Hello World. How many casual LGBT+ characters can you pick up on? Is this something you think is going to continue in more mainstream books? Out of the characters mentioned in this section, is there anyone you want to learn more about? Anyone you want to see in future books?

HIDs are pieces of technology, but they are also people. This is definitely something that the people fighting against UltSyn have to deal with. Do you think that Scott or Terry or Jesse feel the same way about Sonia? What do you think about the morality of HIDs in general? If UltSyn is using them for nefarious purposes, what is the best way to fight back?

Discuss Scott’s choice to sell Sonia. Did it make sense at the time? What did Jesse get out of it besides money? Do you think Jesse is a double agent, or just in it for whoever pays more?

Scott almost immediately regrets his actions. What does this tell you about his character?

Sinclair and Tauber do a lot to humanize their characters, like Scott “pretending” to get a text. How does this make the book more relatable? When’s a time you’ve done something similar?

How many people in Hello World are “just doing their jobs” despite basically experimenting on other human beings? How is a reflection of the real world?

We finally get our first Sonia chapter! What do we learn about her from her actions in this chapter?

How is their relationship changing? What predictions do you have about them?

In between the fast paced action, Sinclair and Tauber insert moments of humanity, like shopping in Paris. How does that help us associate with the characters more? What can we learn about them in these moments of relative quiet?

What technology in this section have you seen happening in real life? What technology would you like to see?

What predictions do you have about the party? What are you hoping will happen?

GreatAce.Club - Hello World Paperback Discussion Questions

Hello World Discussion Questions Week 3

We left off last week with Scott and Sonia preparing to go to the fancy UltSyn party! What do you think they’re going to find there? Let’s read on to find out!

What do you think Scott found in the office?

Do you think all of Scott’s hijinks might spur UltSyn to tighten their security? What could this mean for Scott and Sonia in the future?

Could Scott’s background and experience with UltSyn and HIDs affect how he sees Sonia? Is seeing her as a person first different from how others would see and therefore treat her? Do you think Sonia is different from other HIDs? How could Scott’s treatment help her as well?

In what ways do Sinclair and Tauber use real life security hacks in Hello World? Which things stand out to you as something real people or companies should be concerned about?

After seeing this second HID, does to confirm any belief that Sonia is different? What do you think happened to make her different? What struggles might Scott have if this is how most HIDs behave?

It is easy to see that in universe, HIDs are not considered entirely human. Does this track with how real life humans act about each other? How might incorporating people and technology change society’s view of them?

What have we learned about both Scott and Sonia so far, using the humanizing sections of the book? How has this changed from the beginning of the book?

How does what UltSyn does match up with real world for-profit health care companies?

What do we learn about Scott’s motivations in this section?

Is Scott and Sonia’s relationship fair? Why or why not?

What might Sonia find in her search for her family?

We are ending on quite the cliffhanger! What predictions do you have about what will happen in Denmark?

Hello World Discussion Questions Week 4

Ready to pick up in Denmark? Who has time for an intro when there’s cliffhangers to get through!

How does Scott use his understanding of Sonia to track her? How does this compare to real life tracking and how could UltSyn also use this knowledge?

Do you think UltSyn sends people after Sonia who have knowledge of her life before being an HID? Would that help them or hinder them?

What are some possible meanings of Sonia’s tattoo?

Does one person ever have an obligation or right to withhold information about another from that person? Would you want to know bad information about your past or prefer to leave it there?

Is Sonia/Lydia’s reaction to losing her family appropriate? How might someone dealing with grief react to the promise of losing their memories?

What implications does Sonia’s background raise about HIDs? About UltSyn?

”Sometimes, one act of kindness can change everything.” How does this quote really describe Scott?

At this point and after having several Sonia chapters, how is she different from other HIDs? What might this do to Scott’s expectations about his sister?

What were your thoughts and emotions as the scene with Victoria played out? Should Scott or Sonia have seen this coming? What could they have done to prevent it?

How does almost losing someone we love bring out our feelings? How do we see that in Sonia taking care of Scott?

How much of what Scott is going through is related to his physical wound, shock, and the mental toll of Victoria? What do you think will help him the most?

What do we learn about Sonia with her actions while Scott is hurt? Is what she did brave, foolish, or some combination?

What do you think would help get Scott out of his despair? Is it possible that even knowing it would be hard, he didn’t realize how hard it would be? Is he too close to this situation?

What do we learn about the HID program and UltSyn from Sonia and Victoria talking?

Could the first step of HID deprogramming be developing sarcasm? 2/2 HIDs say yes!

We get an opportunity to see more of Scott’s asexuality. How do you relate to this?

We are leaving this section off in one of the humanizing areas. What are we learning about Scott and Sonia? Where could their relationship be going?

What predictions do you have for the end of the book? What role will Victoria and Sonia play in working against UltSyn? Scott got his sister back; now what?

Hello World Discussion Questions Week 5

Amy here again, I’ve fully learned how to hijack the publisher’s accounts after reading Hello World! 😉 You know the posts that are like “when everything is wrapped up but there’s still a lot of pages left”? Am I the only one feeling that way about Hello World? If we stop here, they can all just live happily ever after, right? Just kidding! Let’s read on to see how Scott’s motivations might change and how Victoria will play a part in that!

Scott throughout the book very much claims to work on his own and to be in it for himself; but is he really? If his actions cause consequences that expose UltSyn, does that mean he did something selfless, even if he didn’t mean to? How much of his actions are actually selfish?

How does having Victoria back change him? How does it change Sonia?

We get to learn more about Terry and his crew in the last part of the book. Who are you hoping to see again in the sequel?
What benefits are there in having a secure home base? How can it also be a liability?

How many people in UltSyn do you think know about the system? How could the people of UltSyn be exploiting the system for their own advancement? How do people in real life do that?

How does needing to take down a computer system change the narrative of taking UltSyn down? How does this change the central conflict of the series?

Scott finally tells someone he’s asexual in this final section. How does this confirm the behavior and thoughts we’ve already seen? How does his description match or not match with your experiences?

What does Sonia’s reaction say about her?

What are some benefits of Scott being part of a group now? What might be some drawbacks?

How is the system different than what they expected?

Do Scott and Victoria get a happily ever after? What does coming home mean to both of them? To their parents?

How could UltSyn exploit this? How motivated do you think they are to do so?

Share your favorite parts of the book; what did you love the most? What do you hope to see in the sequel? Do you have any favorite quotes or characters? We’d love to see them here or in the #GreatAceClub tag!

Did you see any overarching themes or tones you found while reading?

What does the teaser chapter hint at in the next book? What could this mean for Scott and Sonia?

Can we peer pressure Art Over Chaos Publishing (wait a second…) to release the next book sooner? (Warning: Amy’s peer pressure is coming from inside the house!!!) Be sure to sign up for the newsletter at GreatAce.Club to be the first to see what May’s read is!

We hope you found these discussion questions about Hello World helpful to your book club, or just yourself looking to connect with fellow readers at your own pace. If you haven’t picked up a copy of Hello World, there hasn’t been a better time. New cover, and new teaser for book two included in the updated version. Catch you all later!

GreatAce.Club - Hello World Discussion Questions

The Secret Is Out – The 8th Rank is Here!

HAPPY RELEASE DAY

Heat things up with Rose Sinclair’s newest romance! The Eighth Rank is the first in the spellbinding Big Bad Magic series. This fantasy novel features a cursed hero in search of redemption in a friends to lovers romance, ending with a happily ever after.

🔥Friends To Lovers Trope

🔥Fairy Tale Mashup

🔥”Villain” Hero


Please celebrate with us by pickung up a copy of The 8th Rank for yourself today!

An enchanted wolf familiar. A noble rebel. And a magic-fueled race to stop the murder of a queen.

Haunted by his missing memories, Mal wants answers. This Big Bad Wolf only knows he’s been wrongfully made a villain. When a magic mirror shows Robin Hood is searching for him, Mal hopes this man might be his long-lost home.

Mal must stitch together the pieces of his reclaimed past to find out who Robin was to him. All signs point to Robin being his childhood friend, but Mal is interested in being more than just friends now. Thankfully, Mal’s magical talents make him a valuable resource for any cause. And he’s willing to dedicate himself to one man: Robin.

Reunited in a hidden forest, Mal learns his desires to get closer aren’t so unrequited after all. With the kingdom overrun with chaos, it puts Mal and Robin’s relationship to the test. Can they overcome the obstacles in their path to find their happily ever after?

The Princess Saves Herself In This One (Book Club Discussion Questions)

I hope everyone is ready to get started! Please keep in mind the trigger warnings; if a poem triggers you, you are welcome to skip it! If it gives you a moment to think and reflect, share your thoughts with us on social media with #GreatAceClub. Like last month, these discussion questions are just to get the ball rolling. You are welcome to answer all, some, or none and encouraged to share your own thoughts and questions, or pretty book art! This post collected all of the topics into one post so don’t worry if you read at whatever pace is natural for you.

Here are some questions to chew on for section I.

the princess

Section one deals with the princess, which sets up the start of the arch of the collection. Based on the title and the section names, can you see a theme becoming apparent with this collection?

-Amanda Lovelace discusses a lot of her trauma growing up in this first section. Are you able to relate to her at all? If not, do the poems in this section speak to you differently?

-Most people agree that you experience and understand your life differently at different stages. I, personally, am past my teens and twenties so come at these poems and themes at a different stage of life than someone who is still in high school or starting out on their own. How do your personal life experiences influence your perceptions of the poems? How might your perceptions have been different if you read this when you were younger?

-How do the poems in this section go along with traditional fairy tale beginnings?

-Did any of the poems stand out to you? If you’re willing to talk about it, why?

-This section dealt heavily with childhood and teenage years. Do you think that teenagers and young adults feel things more strongly? Did/do you?

the damsel

-What, to you, is the difference between a princess and a damsel? Are princesses always damsels or vice versa?

-Your first love can leave a lasting impact on you. How do we see this in Amanda’s poems? Do any of them resonate with you specifically? If you’re willing, share some experiences from your own past and how they shaped you.

-Poetry frequently deals with love and heartbreak; how do Amanda’s poems continue that tradition? Do you think that poetry is a good medium to express those feelings?

-How do the poems in this section go along with being a damsel? Is love and heartbreak intrinsically linked to being a damsel?

-Does experiencing loss, whether through death or heartbreak, go along with the idea of being a damsel? Is there a way to escape either?

-What does destiny mean to you?

-There is a consistent saying that you need to experience pain to be an artist, that trauma and heartache fuel creativity. Do you believe this? Has your own background made you more or less likely to create?

-How has the theme of the poetry moved from being a princess to being a damsel? How do you think the queen will play a part?

the queen

– Amanda explores some less than positive emotions in this section. How do you feel about poetry as a means to express feelings of revenge, pettiness, and other “negative” emotions?

– How can we take so called negative emotions and use them to grow? How can we take trauma and bad life experiences and do the same? Does one need pain to be an artist or does one just need the ability to grow?

– Do you think there is a difference between first relationships and relationships later in life? Do you believe that first relationships can last and if so, what makes them do so? How do Amanda’s poems about her later relationships differ from her first ones?

– In what ways can a new relationship feel like poetry? How can a healthy relationship feel the same?

– Everyone comes into a relationship with baggage; what advice do you think is important for people to know to make relationships work? Whether it’s love or friendship, how can you tame your personal dragons? What advice can you get from Amanda’s poetry?

– How do you see Amanda’s growth into this section?

– In what ways has the theme of saving yourself progressed to the section of the queen? How are the poems queen-like?

  • – Do you think your own life has had a princess-damsel-queen progression? Or would you say it’s something different? What would you title the sections of your life so far?
  • – Do any of the poems specifically resonate?

you

We’re at the last part of the princess saves herself in this one! This section is advice for us, the readers. We can definitely see the progression of the themes Amanda has presented and see it come to a close. Let’s talk about it!

– Do you write? How does Amanda’s advice on writing as a poet resonate with you?

– There are people who do not like the style of poetry Amanda uses, which is a more modern type of poetry. What do you think poetry is?

– How is poetry used as a form of protest? As a way for unheard voices to be heard?

– Amanda references some famous women poets of the past; in what ways has poetry been a voice for women when we were often silenced before? Do you think that poetry can be a universal experience? Or is it a way for the unheard to be heard?

– Poetry exists for many different purposes. Do you think Amanda is solely speaking to us, the audience, in this section or do you think any of her advice is for her past self? What did you take from this section?

– Did any poems really stand out to you?

March is almost behind us! We finished the princess saves herself in this one; did you enjoy it? What were some of your favorite or least favorite parts? The below questions, as always, are open for you to answer as many or as few as you want and I would love to hear some of your other reflections on this book!

– What does poetry look like to you? What does poetry mean to you?

– What makes something a good poem?

– How can poetry be used to figure out your emotions? How is it a voice for the unheard or for emotions you cannot necessarily process?

– What kind of poetry format is your favorite? Are you a fan of modern poetry, or do you prefer something different? What do you think draws you to that type of poetry?

– What would you say are the central themes of the princess saves herself in this one and how does Amanda use the section headings to move that theme or those themes along?

– Were there any poems or themes that really stood out to you?

– Be honest, did you cry?

– How do you think Amanda could build on her themes in her later books?

If you haven’t already you can pick up The Princess Saves Herself In This One in ebook, paperback, or audio read by Amanda Lovelace. Or check out her other poetry books in the Women Are Some Kind of Magic series.

Our Bloody Pearl Discussion Questions

Greeting Friends! I wanted to make a post with all the discussion questions and a sample schedule so anyone can start reading whenever they were able. For February, Amy featured Our Bloody Pearl. So brew up some coffee and let’s dive in!

The ocean is uncontrollable and dangerous. But to the sirens who swim the warm island waters, it’s a home more than worth protecting from the humans and their steam-propelled ships. Between their hypnotic voices and the strength of their powerful tails, sirens have little to fear. — That is, until the ruthless pirate captain, Kian, creates a device to cancel out their songs. [Full Blurb]

If you want to participate, we’ll be reading the following each week:

  • One: Chapters 1-3
  • Two: Chapters 4-8
  • Three: Chapters 9-12
  • Four: Chapters 13-16

Use #GreatAceClub for updates and to see what other people are saying about Our Bloody Pearl. Add your own thoughts any time, about this book, other features, or books you’d like to see featured next.

Our Bloody Pearl Discussion Questions

Week One Questions:

  • Have you ever read other books about sirens or mermaids? What sorts of background understanding are you bringing to Our Bloody Pearl?
  • Siren songs are usually about wanting, luring people to the depths with longing. Often in popular culture, the songs have a sexual nature. What other types of longing do you think could lead people into the sea?
  • How does Perle match up to what you believe about sirens?
  • There is definitely a power dynamic at play; while Dejean doesn’t want to hurt Perle, he still has power over them. How do you see that power dynamic at play? Do you think he is actually kind or just wants to be? Can a person who inflicts violence to get what they want inherently be a good person? What about a person who keeps another hostage?
  • How does the sirens’ song and behavior match up with your background thoughts?
  • Perle says the sea rejects them; why do you think this is so? Do you think Perle is right, that they are rejected, or that Kian did something to them?
  • The conflict between humans and sirens seems to be at least partially due to a miscommunication. Do you think that the two can reconcile that?
  • What have you enjoyed the most about these opening chapters?
  • How do you feel about the representation in the book so far?

Week Two Questions

  • With the book being first person, we get to be a part of Perle’s thoughts and feelings about the tank that Dejean built for them; How do you think Dejean feels about it? Do you think he feels like he is helping Perle? Does Perle feel helped? How is this a microview into the larger miscommunication between humans and sirens?
  • What do you think Dejean dreams about?
  • How did what Kian do to Perle affect them? Is it a physical issue, as in Kian physically did something to Perle to make them not able to function as a siren should, or a mental issue, reacting to the physical and mental abuse? Do you believe it is something Perle can get over on their own or will they eventually need Dejean’s help to confront Kian? Why do you think that?
  • What can you tell about Murielle and Simone’s relationship based on her interaction with Perle? If you develop any headcanons, please share them!
  • Murielle and Dejean’s offer to help Perle with their tail brings to question how Sirens handle injuries in their own societies. In what ways are Perle’s reactions an indication of their experience with other injuries like theirs? How do you imagine Sirens handle their brethren becoming disabled or being born with a disability? In what ways could you imagine Sirens creating assistive devices to swim for Sirens who are injured?
  • Do you relate to Perle and Dejean’s discussion about gender and pronouns? How did Bryn pull from our world to describe Sirens’ genders?
  • In what ways are Perle and Dejean saving each other?
  • Is what happened to Storm justified? What does this mean for Perle?
  • Do you have any predictions about what will happen with Kian? Perle and Dejean think that the blocker she developed could die with her, do you agree?
  • What other predictions do you have?

Week Three Questions

  • How has being around humans changed Perle? How might cooperating change all the sirens? Would those changes be for the better or worse, in your opinion?
  • Perle talks about wanting to change the system rather than changing the individual. In what ways is this reflective of our society as a whole? What would you want to change about society?
  • Are the other human’s reactions to Perle justified or no? Why?
  • Sirens, specifically Perle, have their own ways of showing love, which Perle is learning to meld with the humans in their pod. In what ways does Perle show Dejean, Murielle, and Simone love? How do they show love in return?
  • Bryn makes a point of showing various sides of humanity; how do you feel about these depictions? What does the humans’ reaction to Storm and Perle say about humans in general? What about Dejean’s reaction?
  • How are Kian’s blockers worsening the relationship between the sirens and humans? If another human had made that discovery, do you think that the outcome would be any different?
  • How can Dejean and Perle fix the damage done by Kian? Do you think they can heal the rift between sirens and humans?
  • Do you have any predictions about the final week of reading?

Week Four Questions

  • How would you describe Perle at this point in the book? Stubborn, loving, willing to learn? How is that different from the beginning of the book?
  • How does Perle’s growth help them fight Kian?
  • Do you think Kian is a good villain? What makes her a good villain or a bad villain?
  • Do you feel Perle offering the choice was the right thing to do? Is it possible for monsters to change?
  • Now that we’ve finished the book, what are your thoughts and feelings about the representation? What might you want to see expanded on in any future books?
  • Our Bloody Pearl deals a lot with themes of change, forgiveness, and what makes a monster. How did you see each of the characters grow and change? How did forgiveness, or lack thereof, play into their characters?
  • What makes a monster? Are humans inherently monstrous? Are sirens? Is it possible for a perceived monster to be anything else?
  • Share any and all feelings you have about all things Our Bloody Pearl!

Be sure you tell us your thoughts and consider leaving review, especially if you liked this book! It helps authors and readers and only takes a minute or two. And PS GreatAce.Club’s next feature will be announced soon!

20 Minutes Into The Future – What has changed, and what hasn’t?

Hello World returns February 23rd 2021

20 Minutes Into The Future trope has us looking at technology and what it can hold for our futures.

It’s not super often I get to you write you to in first person about myself. But when it comes to our debut novel I feel as if it’s a most. Hello World was originally released just under four years ago. The original idea for this post was going to be about how futuristic technology that Scott used to run around menacing corporate tech giants in the book was now being sold mass market.

And in some ways that is true. Most notably is Amazon’s Echo Loop. Their design is exactly how I pictured Scott’s ace smart ring. And what is his own AI, Hallie, if not a private non-commercial version of Alexa that helps you do crime?

But the nature of the 20 minutes into the future trope isn’t about catching up. As Mystery Science Theater’s Tom Servo says, “Fifty years from now it’ll be three years from now”. Unlike other types of science fiction that predicted flying cards in the year 2000. Stories set 20 minutes into the future don’t predict. They tell you something that is already happening, or easily could be behind the scenes.

Turns out Hello World is as relevant as ever. A story about the interplay between technology and identity.

Now days, ‘being yourself’ is even more commercialized. You are your brand. If possible a corporations would kill off the idea of anonymous. And more often than not, it’s not some evil company directly enforcing that change. It’s us. It’s our digital interactions, self policing. Behavior adjustments we make in order to get more likes, just so we can be connected with others.

People like to think of that all being run by an algorithm. But it’s all from people in one way, shape, or form. The human element is the very thing that companies are unable to fully remove.

Hello World is a story about the actions of individuals. And together what changes the world.

A recent example of ‘internet culture’ banding together to change global markets is Wall Street Bets reddit’s interest in Game Stop stock. Their power was in the camaraderie within those memes that allowed them to group together. Without the digital connection among individuals outnumbering the normal rules of the game they’d be less hedge funds going bankrupt today.

If anything Hello World is even more important today than it had been yeas ago, because every day our digital shadow grows. Our lexicon of internet culture grows and just becomes culture. Especially during covid times where we are using technology to safety stay part, and safely connect, and hopefully continue to subvert those withholding freedom.

Be sure to preorder the new edition of Hello World in paperback and ebook. There’s new edits, formatting, and if I do say so myself the paperback is much better size. If that wasn’t enough there’s an exclusive preview to book two within it!