Still alive! Wattpad Creator, New Short Story, Reviews, and more

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L.B. Shimaira: News, Updates & More
In this issue:
  • Still alive! (COVID sucked)
  • Wattpad Creator
  • Art by Tori Goggin
  • Wattpad Stormy Nights Reading Challenge #WPSN22
  • Review: Blood Worth, by D.B. McKenzie
  • Short story: “Life, Death, and Consciousness” by L.B. Shimaira
  • EARLY ACCESS: Short story: “Her Bed” by L.B. Shimaira
In case you missed the previous issue, you can find it here.

Still alive! (COVID sucked)
To think it has been 7 months since my last newsletter… The newsletter I intended to do every month 😰 Sorry people!
Last time, I ended this section with: “Hoping to be fully back to normal by next week 🤞” Well, as you might guess, things were not back to normal the next week, or the week after that.
I got heart issues again. I even had an episode at work where I got unwell on the stairs and had to call for help. I went through the whole medical mill, again, got tests and saw the cardiologist. The good news is that, by now, all’s fine with my heart. But dear gods, even if the doctors can’t say anything for sure, I’m pointing my finger at that damn virus 😤
I’m still taking things slow and minding my rest to ensure I don’t have any relapse into any of my issues of the last 1.5 years. I suspect that the beginning of this year was actually my 2nd bout of COVID and I had my first in the spring of 2020… And that, because of all the work pressure and a book release, my body didn’t get to recover from the virus properly and it triggered the heart issues and burnout. The COVID of earlier this year made the heart issues return and reduced my spoons (which is why I left this newsletter to collect dust for so long), but I’m slowly trying to get back into things ♥
My advice to everyone would be, when possible, to take things easy after having had COVID. Even if it was mild! Please don’t push your body too much because more and more research is popping up about long COVID that shows just how nasty that virus is and how it’ll linger in various tissues. Don’t be like me 😩 Look after your body (esp your heart) and allow yourself rest ♥
So, what’s going to happen now?
Before COVID hit, I was working on Millennium, but that went on hiatus for the aforementioned reasons. So what am I working on next then? Well…
Wattpad Creator
Perhaps you’ve already seen others talking about it, but Wattpad has a new thing: Wattpad Creators! I was a Wattpad Star, but sadly that program is coming to an end. Luckily, I’ve been invited to join their new program and I’ve accepted.
I’m now a Wattpad Creator!
You can read more about the program here.
I’ll be working on editing and rewriting the story you might know as “In Sickness and in Hell” (I might change the title). I originally cowrote this story years ago with a friend, but I’ve recently been granted full rights, hence why I want to edit and rewrite this story 😊
If you enjoy some dreampunk horror with sapphic, asexual MCs, keep an eye out for future updates 💜
Art by Tori Goggin
And with that said, the wonderful Tori Goggin created some character art of my WIP featuring Devon and Tamesis 💜
If you like her style, be sure to check her out as she’s open for commissions!
Devon & Tamesis - art by Tori Goggin
Devon & Tamesis - art by Tori Goggin
Wattpad Stormy Nights Reading Challenge
A reading challenge you say?
Why yes! 🥰
Sandra (SheHopes), Leslie Lee (LLSanders) and Darly (Monrosey) are the grand masterminds and hosts behind the 2022 Stormy Nights Reading Challenge (#WPSN22), which is all about darker literature 🖤
TL;DR: The top three readers who read the most chapters will win prizes provided by the hosts of the 2022 Stormy Nights Reading Challenge.
✨ You can find the full rules, guidelines, FAQ and more in the official challenge book here 📚
My own short story, WANT, is part of this reading challenge. I’ve recently (Aug'22) edited it and added over 1k new content, so even if you’ve read it before in the past, it might be worth it to check it out again.
You can read the story, regardless of entering the reading challenge, here for free.
Cover of Want by L.B. Shimaira
Cover of Want by L.B. Shimaira
Review:
Cover of Blood Worth by D.B. McKenzie
Cover of Blood Worth by D.B. McKenzie
Whatever you’re expecting this book to be about: it’s not–it’s much more awesome and, honestly, more shocking!
TL;DR review:
BLOOD WORTH will take you for one wild ride. From a shocking beginning you dive into a deep mystery. Just why are the Centres collecting blood and paying people for their donations? And, as said before, it won’t be what you think! So if you like to be surprised: buckle up and enjoy this ride 😎
Longer, more in-depth review:
On mental illness:
I am seriously loving all these books featuring mental illness one way or another. The MC reveals pretty early on to have been admitted in the past for whatever ails him, though what exactly, you’ll have to figure out yourself when reading–I’m not going to drop any spoilers.
Still, his anxiety is really well written and if you’re familiar with that or PTSD, you might recognise yourself in places.
On LGBTQ+:
Warning: homophobia.
The MC is gay and this is the driving force for why the book starts with him on the move. Finding out what happened to him hurt, but his “found family” later helps heal that wound. Some people, like myself, are lucky to have family who accepts them, but some people are not that lucky. And while I know not everyone would want to read a book where homophobia is featured (even if only at the start), it is a sad reality for a lot of people and I therefore am of the opinion that more people need to read about this too–to raise awareness and how it shouldn’t be a thing. (Because not all queer books should be sunshine and rainbows when it comes to acceptance.)
If we want to normalise LGBTQ+, we need to feature this aspect too in novels and hopefully showing the pain and hurt not being accepted causes will change some people’s stance.
Also, a refreshing change: there is no sexual content nor is there any romance for the MC. Just friendship and that bit was so damn wholesome–I want more! 💚
On the mystery:
Oh boy, how to talk about this without spoilers… Let’s just say I went in expecting certain things from the blurb and as the story unfolded I kept adjusting my theories of what was going on–and all turned out to be wrong 😳 Which, honestly, made me really happy because this story was something else and I just LOVED that ♥
Also, the symbols used? Not your “standard” either, which also gives this story bonus points imo 😎
On style:
The book is written in third person, following the MC. McKenzie has a very accessible writing style that makes this book all the easier and faster to devour–and trust me, once things start to go down, you will want to finish this book in one go!
Final notes:
Amazing friendship, great mental illness representation, a mystery like I’ve never read before, and a reveal to make your jaw drop. (Honestly, mine did 🙈)
Also: I need a sequel! I need to know more about this world and what will happen to the characters we’ve come to love! (Honestly, I have so many remaining questions, I’m just doing grabby hands and hoping for the sequel to fall into them soon ♥)
~ While the story can be read as a stand-alone, I’m pretty sure we’d all love a sequel and get more of the characters and the mysterious world McKenzie created here 🤩 So… < turns to author > have you started writing that sequel yet? 😏♥
Short Story:
Life, Death, and Consciousness, by L.B. Shimaira
If you fancy yourself some existential dread, why not give this free short story a read? You can find it here.
Cover of Life, Death, and Consciousness by L.B. Shimaira
Cover of Life, Death, and Consciousness by L.B. Shimaira
EARLY ACCESS ~ Short Story:
Her Bed, by L.B. Shimaira
A brand-new horror short. Content warning for gore. (And for anyone wondering: there’s zero SA content.)
Cover of Her Bed by L.B. Shimaira
Cover of Her Bed by L.B. Shimaira
Perry carefully opened the door to his daughter’s bedroom and snuck inside on tiptoes. He moved to the window and opened the blinds to let the sunlight in. “Good morning!” he bellowed happily as he turned around. His gaze fell upon the bed and his smile faded as the colour drained from his face.
The sheets were crumpled and stained crimson.
He stepped forward, staring at the bump beneath the blankets. Carefully, he lifted the fabric.
No Sandra, only her plushies and shredded pyjamas.
And more blood.
Blood and…
He folded the blankets aside, nostrils flaring at the intense smell, and poked something a little too firm to be coagulated blood.
Flesh.
He jolted back and yelled, “Veronica!”
His wife appeared in the doorway faster than expected, especially considering how she was still rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
“I’m up, I’m up.” She yawned. “I had to pee so…” She fell silent as she noticed her husband staring at the bed. “What’s wrong?” She clicked on the light, illuminating the room further. Slowly, she moved to stand beside Perry. “What the…” She pulled the covers all the way off the bed.
More chunks of bloody meat and skin were revealed, along with a patch of brown, matted hair with a piece of scalp attached to it.
“How…” Perry started. “How is this possible?”
“Where’s Sandra?” Veronica turned to look around the room. “The window was closed, right?”
Perry nodded, his eyes still fixed on the gore-filled bed. The ceiling light made the carnage all the more visible, the early morning sun having hidden the worst of it in shadows. A pink bunny lay in the middle of the bed, limbs soaked and dark red while streaks of drying blood stained the rest a shade closer to brown. Something that looked like a human ear was partially tucked below the plush’s head.
“Sandra, sweety, where are you?” Veronica looked under the bed, then rose and turned to the closet. “Sandra…?” Slowly, she opened the door.
Hidden between shirts and dresses was a small, naked creature, purple skin covered with coagulated blood and bits of skin. Long, thin fingers held a strip of flesh, which it chewed happily. Noticing Veronica, it gazed up with big black eyes from the half-shadow and emitted a shrill squeak. It dropped its meal, which landed with a sickening squelch onto its leg before it slid onto the wood below.
“Oh, baby…” Veronica reached into the closet and picked the creature up, sullying her nightgown with gore. “You know you shouldn’t eat your own flesh after a changing—it’ll upset your stomach.”
Perry appeared beside his wife and sighed. “You scared your dad, you little rascal.” He jabbed a finger into his daughter’s side, getting a high-pitched giggle in reply. “I love you.” He planted a kiss on Sandra’s bloodied forehead.
“I love you too, daddy,” the little monster girl squealed back. 
~*~
Well, that’s it for this issue. If you have any feedback (things I can improve, things you like, anything really) please let me know 💜
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