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  1. Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda - Review by Eanna

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    Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda:

    This was one of those beautiful moments in life when you discover a book that will give you a lasting impact, but only came across it by pure chance. I was at the train station one day and forgot to bring my book with me (much to my utterly horrifying dismay). So, I popped into the bookstore at the station and picked this one up. It has some of the best characterisation ever, with a character that isn’t perfect and has her own flaws. Billie Sangreal is an amazing hero and I love her so much she feels a like a part my life. I needed this book when I read it, so it was definitely fated that we met. However, the author, Sarwat Chadda, takes an awfully long time to write instalments to this. I know this shouldn’t be a problem, but I forgot that I had this book and almost forgot about the sequel when it came out. I nearly missed my chance! I give this am 8/10.

  2. Shadows, Amy Meredith - Review be Eanna

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    Shadows by Amy Meredith:

    Here’s a novella series that’s at its pinnacle of its genre. With clichéd characters and a really cool plot, this is one of the best typical YA dark fantasy books I have ever read. It follows characters that might be clichéd, but are definitely believable. You feel as though you could be these characters, because they’re placed in scenarios that are relatable. The plot is also well thought out and planned very well, with the pacing never faltering. I have read the whole four-book series a few times now and never get tired of its awesome mix of action, teenage angst, romance, and demons. I give this a good 7.5/10 stars.

  3. Poison Study by Maria V Snyder - Review by Eanna

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    poison study 

    Poison Study by Maria V Snyder:

    This is one of my favourite books, as its action flows better than any other book I’ve read. The author, Maria V Snyder, has even given workshops on the topic. I was lucky enough to receive the notes. J It has an awesome story with a really emotionally capturing set of characters. The tension and increased pacing has been beautifully crafted. My only criticism is that the rest of the series is a massive let down. The characters are not consistent, and I like consistent characters because I become attached to them, so to have them separate and almost never see again was a major disappointment. I feel as though POV jumping could have used to bridge the gap created by this. This gets a good 7/10 stars for me. I can’t give it higher due to the rest of the series, but I always come back to this book for a light and enjoyable read.

  4. #MeToo by Donna

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    WARNING - The very nature of this article can evoke thoughts and feelings at a very personal level which can result in the expression of strong and sometimes extreme opinions.

    As women we wear many hats and have many roles. We are mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. We work in business, government, entertainment, healthcare, and many other industries. We are a diverse lot and maybe tall or short, full-figured or twiggy. We are approximately 50% of the world's population.

    Sadly, we have one more thing in common. Many of us will experience sexual assault in our life-times. One out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. (, for full citation.) Let that sink in for a minute, one out of every six American women. Think about all the women in your life. Your mom, sister, daughter, wife, or a friend. Apply the statistic. Sobering isn't it?

    During the recent presidential race in America, a 2005 tape was released in which then candidate Donald J. Trump was heard vulgarly describing kissing and groping women without their consent. Since then, one cannot it seems turn on the T.V. Or open a newspaper without hearing about another titan of industry or high ranking government official being accused of sexual assault. Following the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Alyssa Milano tweeted out a call to action using the hashtag, #MeToo.

    She called on women to break free from the misplaced guilt, shame, and fear that kept them silent and share their story or simply declare, Me Too.

    And boy did they ever respond. All of this piqued my curiosity about what art work may have been inspired by this social media. A search of social media turned up several interesting projects and artistic responses and I am honored to be able to share them with you. I found the following works of art to be as unique as the artists that created them but all have lent their talents and voices to supporting women in saying me too.

    Artist LaetitiaKy, a hair sculptor, used her hair to create a silhouette of a male lifting a woman's skirt. KY(@laetitiaky) She uses her own hair to create amazing sculptures. Check her out on Instagram!

    I found her work particularly poignant given that symbolically hair has often represented a woman's identity, femininity, and even her liberation.

    Erin Gallagher, trained as a graphic artist, put those skills to work creating unique works that help us visualize the sheer number of women who tweeted MeToo using the hash tag. She collected about twenty-five thousand tweets tracking the hashtag over 31 hours beginning 10/16/2017. She then used an open sourced visualization software to create her work (http// Finding Beauty in Pain. Seeing One artist's Breathtaking visualization of the viral #Me Too Campaign)

    Perhaps the moving piece though, was Tara Subkoff's , Synaptic Fatigue/ Dear in Headlights, interactive performance at this year's Art Basil in Miami. No, I did not mean deer. The performance took place on the rooftop of the Edition hotel. Pairs of women were staged in matching black leotards. They were instructed to think about their personal, #Me Too experience(s), and just allow themselves to feel the emotions brought up. The women were blinded by spotlight. During the hour long performance, opera singer, Rebecca Ringle weaved among them playing compositions with themes of women dealing with despair, rape, and sorrow. Like the music, the women's expressions evidenced emotions of sadness, some wept, rage, fear and humiliation. One of the women participating was the actress Selma Blair. (https/news.artnet)

    These artists have started the conversation. It is up to each of us to keep the momentum going. We must do better. For our mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. For half of the world”s population. Who do you know that tweeted or could have tweeted #Me Too?

  5. Introducing Amy Lombard by Donna

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    AMY LOMBARD Cover Story

    Quick! By a show of hands how many of you are on Instagram? Facebook? Twitter? Yep, thought so. Social media is a fact of life today, and while many have lamented the negative effects it has had on communication,( on social media, of course) and the building of community, photo journalist, Amy Lombard argues that it can and does have many positive effects as well.

    Amy hails from Philly, but moved to the Big Apple in 2008 in order to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Fashion Institute of Technology, which she obtained in 2012. While she was working on her degree, Amy worked as an editor at Time focused mostly on Social Media and Technology.

    In 2013, she found herself at a gathering of pug owners. She originally thought this will be a story about our connection to animals but then inspiration struck and Amy was fascinated with the idea that so many people were brought together by the net. People who would otherwise never have met were here, in a stranger's living room, in the Bronx and their little dogs too! On her website, Amy says she was a shy child whose interests, at the time, were not those of others her age. She credits chat rooms and such with helping her find her tribe, where she fits in, in this world. Social Media makes it easier for those with unusual or very specific hobbies to connect with like minded souls.

    That led to her eventually publishing a book, Connected, in 2016,having received a VSCO Artist Initiative grant, that showcases the diverse groups that met off-line after originally making the connection on -line. Wikipedia defines “CommunityBuilding” as follows:

    {CommunityBuilding is a field of practices directed toward the creation or enhancement of Community among individuals within a regional area, (such as a neighbourhood) or with a common interest...

    That definition is a bit too narrow for me and so I was naturally pleased and drawn to Amy's work. Just as the term, family has expanded, to become more inclusive, so too must the meaning community. Amy argues that while social media has grown and changed what we mean by community, it has not killed it.

    FMD could be a case in point. Without social media my team mates and I would not have met over our shared passion for creative endeavours. Many of my team mates are across the pond or across the country from me, but like me they are trying to balance work, family, and self idealization into a meaningful life. Social media has allowed us to come together, share dreams, and work cooperatively towards mutual goals. Isn't that the meaning of community? Each of us contributes our talents and develops our gifts while benefiting from those of our peers.

    But what about actual face time detractors ask? Amy, in prior interviews, has suggested that while we may make on-line connections due to a specific interest or goal, that over time we bond and our connection becomes more than that, deeper. Then too, my peers and I feel that social media allows more face time with those we love. So for me, I was drawn to Amy's work because it expanded my definition of community and helped me appreciate the uniqueness of others while, at the same time, emphasized our shared humanity.

    A self professed workaholic, Amy's passion for what she does led to her being named one of PDN's 30 new and emerging photographers to watch in 2016. Her work has been featured in many publications including Time, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Wired.

    I recently caught up with her, via social media, of course and asked her if she would share any upcoming projects with us. She informed that her work-in-progress is a huge undertaking on Square Dancing in America. Amy told me that though at one time this dance was such a cultural force that it drew thousands to a single dance it has been on the decline since the 80's. It will be a very comprehensive as Amy has been working on it for years. She states that while no one has seen it yet, she has been photographing square dances with unique themes such as pyjama and bears themed as well as a naked square dance and flash mob square dances. I for one can't wait to see these images knowing Amy's flair for bold, quirky, fun photographs that capture her human subjects at what they do best, being human. Amy has tentatively named the work, United Squares and may be finished with it sometime in the next year.

    Till then, go Get a copy of her work, Connected, here. Flip through the more than 375 photographs and enjoy the smile you are sure to get. Then visit here at FMD Magazine and let us know what you think. We would love to connect with you!

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