Another 24 Hourathon is Coming

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow. This is my 200th post! That’s awesome.

Okay, so another readathon is coming, specifically another 24 Hour Readathon. Again, this one is hosted by Kelli over at Kelli’s Book Spill and Dylan at dylanthereader5.  This time around the readathon is being held this Saturday, September 2nd. Now, typically the goal is to read as many books as possible in the 24 hour time period, and if that is what you want to do this time around then that is absolutely fine.

But this time Kelli and Dylan are actually planning the third and fourth rounds of the 24 Hourathon, with #3 being Saturday the 2nd and then #4 on Saturday the 9th. These two events are going to tie into each other quite nicely because they have issued a special challenge for the readathon: to read only book-to-movie adaptations. The idea is that for the 2nd you’ll read the books and then on the 9th you’ll have a movie marathon.

Now I don’t have many books that have been turned into movies on my most pressing section of my TBR so I think I’m just going to read as many books as I can. I have tried a couple week long readathons in the past and I’ve done just okay with them, but I find the 24 Hour Readathons to be better for me productivity wise. I only have to push myself to read for one day and not worry about squeezing in hours of reading each day for a week.

Plus, I’m going to have about half of Saturday to myself as my boyfriend has a regular Pathfinder game with some of his buddies. So I might as well spend my day reading.

And that means it is time to announce the books on my tentative TBR for this Saturday.

I realize that this is a fairly small TBR, but I may change it up based on my mood, or depending on how my reading goes over the next couple of days.

Anyway, that’s about it for today. I know it’s a short post, but I need to get back to reading so I can try and have some more review posts up soon. Tomorrow I’m posting my August Wrap Up and my September TBR, and I know I’m trying to write up a couple book tag posts and some more of those TBR purge posts so I can schedule them for the coming weeks.

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Review: the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace

Hey all, Dani here.

Look, I finished reading another book! Woohoo! Okay fine, it is a collection of poetry, with a number of them being rather short so it was something I knew I could read quite quickly. Plus I’ve been wanting to read a little more poetry. This book is one that I had seen recommended for people who liked Rupi Kaur’s milk and honey so I decided to give it a shot.

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Summary

“Ah, life- the thing that happens to us while we’re off somewhere else blowing on dandelions & wishing ourselves into the pages of our favorite fairy tales.”

A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

This collection begins with a trigger warning from the author for readers. Inside this book are poems about abuse, rape, self-harm, suicide, and more. So be aware of that before you pick up a copy for yourself or for someone else.

That being said, there were several poems in this collection I really liked, and primarily they were ones that did not focus on those darker elements of life. They spoke of the joy of a healthier romantic relationship and of finding your own worth and strength.

Oh and there was one delightful poem about what do with a degree in English that felt entirely relevant to me. Plus there was the one about millenials, which I guess I am technically a part of the millenial generation, though I don’t think of myself that way. Anyway, it was still an interesting poem.

Speaking of degrees in English, though I possess one, I have never been a fan of dissecting poems or stories to find every possible hidden meaning within the text. I much prefer to just let the words sink in and enjoy the reading experience.

So overall I liked this collection, though it did not quite have the same level of impact as milk and honey did when I read it recently. Still, I am glad that I picked this up at the store yesterday, and I’m glad that I was finally able to finish a book after a week of barely reading anything.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of the princess saves herself in this one from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. I actually found my copy at Walmart.

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

Hey all, Dani here.

I want to start this post by saying thank you to everyone who is following this blog. Yesterday I hit a big milestone by reaching 100 followers. Seriously, thank you all for joining into my discussion of books, bookish things, and other geeky odds & ends.

Today I’m bringing you another book tag. I most recently saw this posted by Sofii at A book. A Thought, so you can find her post here. Of course, this is a tag that has been circulating around for a while, so I’m sure you’ve all seen it somewhere either around book blogs or on BookTube.

Now, I feel like it needs to be said with unpopular opinion posts that just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean that you can’t love it. Not everyone connects with every book and that’s okay. Let’s just respect the fact that we all have our own opinions when it comes to books, and we can still all be book friends.

A Popular Book or Series That You Didn’t Like

Whew, okay, starting off with one that will probably make some readers upset…Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I read this as part of a book club several years ago and I was annoyed by it starting on the first page, and it didn’t improve much at all over the course of the novel. Now, I will say that lately I have wondered if I just wasn’t in the right mood to read and enjoy the book, so I do plan to give it a second chance. Also, I am really intrigued by Taylor’s newest release, Strange the Dreamer, so we’ll see what happens.

A Popular Book or Series That Everyone Seems to Hate But You Love

So, I don’t think everyone hates this book, but I do feel like you either fall in the “I don’t like it” camp, or you’re with me in the “this book is wonderful” camp. And that is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I just love the atmospheric descriptions of the circus and all of the acts, and I can’t help but be swept away by this story every time. But I get that since it isn’t exactly plot driven or plot heavy that some people find it to be a slow read. I find it to be magical.

A Love Triangle Where the Main Character Ended Up With the Person You Did NOT Want Them To End Up With, OR An OTP That You Don’t Like

Most of the time with love triangles, it is fairly obvious which person the main character will choose. And most of the time I just accept it. But when it comes to the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, I just don’t really feel like Mal is the best choice. I will always be team Nikolai, though I can also say that I would pick the Darkling over Mal as well. Then again, hey, with Nik not having a romance match, maybe there’s hope for a Nik-centric spin-off.

A Popular Book Genre That You Hardly Reach For

I primarily read fantasy and sci-fi books, though I’ve been known to read contemporary, romance, or historical. I very very rarely reach for mystery/thriller/suspense novels. I’m just not a fan of reading those genres. However, I do enjoy watching those types of movies and TV shows if the premise intrigues me.

A Popular or Beloved Character That You Don’t Like

Bella Swan. There, I said it. Yes I’ve read the whole saga. I just find her to be so lacking in personality. On the other end of things, I read Life and Death and rather enjoyed the gender swapped reimagining of the tale. Beau Swan was a character I liked.

A Popular Author That You Can’t Seem to Get Into

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I read Beautiful Creatures a few years ago and I liked it but I didn’t love it, and I just didn’t feel the need to continue the series. Maybe if either of the authors came out with a book that sounded interesting to me I’d give them another chance; I’m not someone who just completely gives up on an author because of one underwhelming experience, but for right now I just don’t see myself getting into the fandom.

A Popular Book Trope That You’re Tired of Seeing (ex: “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangle, etc)

As I mentioned before, when it comes to love triangles it is usually blatantly obvious which one the main character will pick, and so I find the whole trope to be unbelievable and frustrating. There have been so few books that have included a love triangle where I like both love interests and it makes the main character’s decision devastating either way because no matter what one of them is going to be rejected. If done well then I actually can enjoy love triangles, but 99% of the time they are just annoying.

A Popular Series That You Have No Interest in Reading

I suppose I answered this yesterday as part of my TBR purge, but the Fallen series by Lauren Kate is one that I’ve realized I have no interest in reading. The first book has sat on my shelves for five or six years now and I really have never been tempted to pick it up. Recently I saw the movie and it just reinforced the fact that I’m just never going to read this.

The Saying Goes “The Book is Always Better Than the Movie” But What Movie or TV Show Adaptation Do You Prefer More Than the Book

This is another question I feel like I’ve answered before, but most of the time yes, I do enjoy the books more. Movies leave out too much and I feel like TV shows manipulate story lines and time lines to try and make the overall story more exciting. But when it comes to iZombie, I feel like the TV series is doing a great job with it all. I read the first volume of the graphic novel compilations and it felt a bit disjointed to me. Yet in the show they upgrade the main character from grave digger in a cemetery to assistant medical examiner, and they allow her to keep her connections to friends and family from before being turned into a zombie. I feel like that all helps the viewer to connect with Liv Moore so much easier and I just adore the show.

Okay, well that’s it for my blog today. If you’d like to do this book tag, then consider yourself TAGGED! And if you do it, I would love to know so I can check out your answers as well.

Purging That TBR Pile

Hey all, Dani here.

I’m trying to finish reading some books and write up a few more reviews and book tag posts and such, but right now there are so many books that I really want to read that I can’t decide which to read first and it may be somewhat putting me in a tiny bit of a slump. I’m going to try and push through it though. We’ll see what happens.

To be fair though, I have read something like 19 or 20 books in August already, which is quite a lot.

Anyway, I’ve been seeing people joining the Down The TBR Rabbit Hole bandwagon and going through their TBR piles to cleanse it of books that you just aren’t interested in anymore or don’t see yourself reading, and while I wish that I could actually read all of the books I have marked as to-read on Goodreads, I realistically know that isn’t possible…you know, unless I could get paid to read/review full-time.

So, I’m going to do something similar. Now, the actual post/tag/whatever you’d like to call it has you put your TBR in ascending order by date and then look at the first 5 (or 10 if you’re adventurous) and decide to keep it or ditch it. This means you’re looking at the ones that have been on your list the longest.

At the current moment my Goodreads “Want to Read” shelf has 826 books on it. I think I’ll look at those first 20 (or maybe 26, why not?) and see if I can weed out this list a little bit.

And excuse the poor images I’m about to include here. When I decided to do this post I was already at work and ended up just taking photos of the computer screen so they are not the best quality. Anyway, let’s get started.

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Okay, so Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder. I loved the original Study trilogy and I really want to read the newest Study trilogy, but the Glass trilogy stands in the middle. I read the first one a while ago and it was just okay. I didn’t like Opal as much as I did Yelena, but I want to understand whatever part this trilogy might play in the newer books, so I’m going to have to read this one and the third in the trilogy at some point. I’m keeping this one.

Succubus Heat and Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead. I do enjoy this series and I have no idea why I haven’t finished it yet. I loved the first three. Have I been putting these off because I’m disappointed about the incomplete nature of Mead’s Age of X series? Maybe. I still want to read these though.

Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead. Why is the 3rd book of the series so high on the list? I haven’t even read the 2nd one yet. Weird. Again, I love Richelle Mead so I’m gonna keep this one. Eventually I do plan on reading it.

Cry WolfSilver Borne, and Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs. Do I own these books? Yes. Am I super behind on all things Patricia Briggs? Absolutely. I think I’ve only read two Mercy Thompson books and that’s it. At this point I’m thinking that maybe it is time to just admit that I just don’t have enough time to catch up on either of these series. I’m going to cut them from my TBR. But I still own the books, so if my desire to read these comes back then I’ll be ready.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson. Now, this one I’ve actually read the first couple hundred pages. I greatly enjoy all the books I’ve read by Sanderson. I just really miss one of the characters from the first Mistborn book so this one just isn’t bringing that same feeling. I will get back around to this one at some point.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I NEED to read this book. I bought a copy a few months ago so I could read it. Definitely keeping it. I want to read it and then watch the series.

The Once and Future King by T.H. White. I believe I added this during a phase when I was definitely wanting to indulge in my love of Arthurian legends. But then I never picked up the copy sitting on my shelves. I’ll maybe at some point be in the mood to read this, but for now I think I can take it off my Goodreads list.

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. I think this was a book that I read back in elementary school, but don’t remember well so I put it on here for a reread. I mean, it is a classic. But, since it is a reread I don’t have it as that much of a priority.

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. Another idea of a classic piece of literature that I read in childhood and thought of rereading. Ah, the idealized fantasy of being able to devour all of these classics. That was sort of still while I was in school and had quite a bit more free time than I do now. This may be another reread that I take off my Goodreads list.

Fallen by Lauren Kate. Hmm…I bought this back in the time when the Twilight craze was still pretty big and all these similar books were coming out and being talked about. It’s sat on my shelf ever since. I did watch the movie a couple weeks ago; it was as bad as I thought it would be. I don’t know. I just don’t see myself picking this one up anytime soon. I may be pulling it from my bookshelves at home too.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King. I really want to read this series, and go see the movie. I mean, I have read some of the graphic novels. This is a definite keep.

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. This one is also a reread. I made it like 5 or 6 books into the series years ago and then stopped. I want to reread the early books and then finish the series. I may try something like reading one a month until I finish the series. Maybe? If that sounds like something you’d like to join me for, then we can figure that out…perhaps start in 2018 and go until we’re done in 2019.

A Clash of Kings, A Storm of SwordsA Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin. Obviously I’m keeping these. I want to read them all (only read A Game of Thrones so far). I just need to be in the mood for them first.

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter. I really enjoyed the first book in this series and wanted to read the rest of them, but I think now maybe it’s been too long since I read the first one and I’m not really in the mood for this type of story right now. This one will come off my Goodreads list, but I may pick it up someday if I want a fun cute and easy to read story.

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews. I have so many unfinished urban fantasy series on my TBR list. I want to read this series, but much like with Mercy Thompson, I feel so behind. Unlike with Patricia Briggs though, I enjoyed this one more. I’ll keep the Kate Daniels series for a while longer. I’m not ready to give up just yet.

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Magic Strikes and Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews.

On the Edge and Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews. Unlike with the previous series by Andrews, I have not read anything in this particular series, so though I own the books, and I may eventually pick them up, for now I can safely remove these from my Goodreads TBR.

Fang by James Patterson. I liked Fang as a character when I read the Maximum Ride series in my high school years, but I just lost interest in the series, so I don’t think I’ll be getting around to this anytime soon. Bye.

Torment by Lauren Kate. Much like with the first book in the series, I can easily say goodbye to this one.

Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter. Again, I like Ally Carter’s writing and I enjoyed the first book, but for now I think I’m going to pull this series off my want to read list.

Being Nikki and Runaway by Meg Cabot, and Hunter’s Moon by Meg Cabot. I spent several years being a huge Meg Cabot fan and trying to read every single thing she wrote. The concept of the first Airhead book was interesting, so I’m inclined to want to finish the rest of the trilogy, but I don’t know if/when that will happen. With this other series though, a graphic novel spinoff of Avalon High, it just really didn’t impress me as much as the original novel. So for now I think I can take these books off my list, but if the mood strikes I may read Being Nikki and Runaway.

Whew, okay, well that was quite a list, and man, this was a bit longer of a post than I had originally planned on. I eliminated 16 books from my Want to Read list on Goodreads, and kept 13. That’s actually a lot better than I thought. This may be something I do again in the future. Like I mentioned earlier, this list is over 800 books long.

Review: The Geek’s Guide to Dating by Eric Smith

Hey all, Dani here.

This book was an impulse buy for me while I was at BookExpo this year. The cover looked cool and the concept sounded interesting. Did it matter that at the time I saw this book I was already two months into an amazingly geeky romance with my boyfriend? Not at all. I thought he would be amused by the book as well. It is all sorts of tidbits and advice for a player one looking for that compatible player two.

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Summary

You keep your action figures in their original packaging. Your bedsheets are officially licensed Star Wars merchandise. You’re hooked on Elder Scrolls and Metal Gear but now you’ve discovered an even bigger obsession: the new girl who just moved in down the hall. What’s a geek to do? Take some tips from Eric Smith in The Geek’s Guide to Dating. This hilarious primer leads geeks of all ages through the perils and pitfalls of meeting women, going on dates, getting serious, breaking up, and establishing a successful lifelong relationship (hint: it’s time to invest in new bedsheets). Full of whimsical 8-bit illustrations, The Geek’s Guide to Dating will teach fanboys everywhere to love long and prosper.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

Now I’ll start this review off by stating that this book is more specifically targeted towards a geek guy looking for a girl (geek or non-geek), but honestly I feel like most of the tips could be applicable to geek girls looking for a guy as well. The obvious exception being the tip about trimming up the beard, but anyway. The beginning of this book even acknowledges that the author is a man and so is writing from that perspective and he wouldn’t want to assume how a woman would think or feel in each situation so that is why it is not written as a more gender neutral book.

Still, I thought the format was cute, and the 8-bit graphics throughout were adorable. I highly recommend getting the hardcover and taking the dust jacket off, because it is a beautiful naked hardback.

There are sections about approaching and starting conversation with this potential player two, planning for the first date, planning beyond the first date, and even a leveling up the relationship section (which also includes a brief segment on dealing with heartbreak should the relationship end).

Considering where I am in my life and my relationship, most of this book did not apply to me, but I can see merit in the clean simple way the information is presented. And yes, several of the tips also talk about a respectful reining in on your geeky passions so as not to overwhelm or scare off your date. Luckily I found someone just as geeky as myself who actually enjoys seeing how love of a fandom excites me. Granted, I also enjoy seeing him geek out over things as well. So if you’re lucky enough to be able to let your geek pride fly free, then you have really hit the jackpot.

So yes, I would have liked there to have been more about the intricacies of inter-geek relationships, because a lot of the book seemed to imply that the partner you find wouldn’t be quite so geeky, but otherwise I enjoyed this.

At BookExpo I may have also bought a similar book, but geared towards geek parenting. So thank you Quirk Books for having titles that called out to me, just wanting to be read. I appreciate that you have several geeky titles in your arsenal. It makes my geek girl heart very happy.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this geeky guide from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

Review: Writing With Style: An Editor’s Advice for RPG Writers by Ray Vallese

Hey all, Dani here.

Today’s review is an interesting one, because it is a non-fiction book that is actually a grammar/style guide for writing up books for role playing games. Considering that I spend a lot of time with my boyfriend brainstorming and planning out the world and magic and overall story for our campaigns for both D&D 5th Edition and for Pathfinder, this seemed like a book that could be helpful for us.

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Summary

A Style Guide with Style

Writing With Style: An Editor’s Advice for RPG Writers presents 45 pages of concise tips on simple ways to make your roleplaying game writing cleaner and clearer. This guide doesn’t show you how to structure adventures, build stat blocks, or create worlds. Instead, Ray Vallese looks at some of the most common and easily fixable grammar and style issues he’s encountered in over twenty years of editing RPGs.

Rookie freelancers, industry veterans, and self-publishers alike can benefit from this (mostly) jargon-free guide, which addresses such topics as:

Recasting passive voice into active voice (and when you might not want to)
Dangling participles and other misplaced modifiers
Gender-specific and gender-neutral language
Commonly confused words, empty words, and clichés to avoid
Choice and possibility in player character actions
Final things to check before submitting your manuscript
Tighten and polish your text with these quick and easy tips!

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

This book gave me serious flashbacks to school. It was a whole 45 pages of grammar logistics. There were basically four pages alone going over common word swaps and homonyms. You know, the kind of mistakes that won’t be caught by the spelling and grammar check in Microsoft Word because the “misspellings” are actually words as well.

I can see this being a very helpful resource for attempts at writing up any of our stories into an RPG format. And again, as it is only 45 pages, it did not take long at all to read it. Now, I will say that most of the book was not quite as useful for me, especially when it reminded the reader to look at the style guides used by each company you plan to pitch your idea to. Having a degree in literature and also having worked for four years on my university’s newspaper, I am quite familiar with the popular style guides: MLA, APA, Chicago, AP. Also, being a writer and researching traditional publication paths, I already know that you should research a company before approaching them with a query or submission so you know what requirements they have. But for the average person these bits of advice are very helpful.

I actually appreciate the concise nature of this book though. After writing out an entire book or a campaign for an RPG, the last thing a writer would want to do is struggle through a lengthy and/or complicated book on writing and editing for RPGs.

What I think will be useful for me now is a book about the actual writing and plotting of a campaign book, as that seems to be something my boyfriend and I might be interested in attempting soon. So, if you have any recommendations on that topic, feel free to share them with me in the comments below.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of this book from Open Gaming Store or RPG Now.

Most Anticipated Releases Fall 2017

Hey all, Dani here.

The month of August has flown by, and now it is time to shift focus towards autumn/fall. Where I am we’ll get some cooler days but really it isn’t until mid-October or early November that we really start feeling the chill. Of course I don’t mind the cold all the time. It is really nice for curling up under the blankets and just reading.

That being said, I will put a caveat on my most anticipated list. There are probably some big releases that you will notice are absent from this list. I’m not showing off the upcoming releases where I already have an ARC to read, though I will list them below each month’s pictured titles.

First up we have the releases of September:

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (September 5), Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas (September 5), One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (September 19), A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess (September 19), and The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo (September 26)

Also included for this are: Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco (September 19), Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore (September 19), Null States by Malka Older (September 19), and Invictus by Ryan Graudin (September 26).

Next up is October:

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur (October 3), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling (October 3), Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan (October 3), Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson (October 10), A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne (October 17), The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman (October 19), and The Empress by S.J. Kincaid (October 31)

Also included in this month’s list are: The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli (October 3), All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater (October 10), and Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao (October 10)

Finally we come to the November releases I’m excited about:

Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman (November 7), Renegades by Marissa Meyer (November 7), Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines (November 7), and Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson (November 14).

Also included in this list are: Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (November 9), and The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty (November 14).

All right, well there you have it…all the books I’m eagerly anticipating for the next few months. Let me know in the comments what books you are looking forward to this fall.

Gen Con Wrap Up

Hey all, Dani here.

This past weekend was a crazy yet fun weekend of reveling in being a geek. Okay, I guess I should be specific and say that Saturday was a day filled with thousands of other geeks all trying to stock up on games and more in Indianapolis for Gen Con.

For those who don’t know, Gen Con is a gaming convention that started back in 1967 and was originally held in Wisconsin. Since 2003 though, it has been held in Indy and is scheduled to remain there at least through 2021. It brings together many companies and designers and such to celebrate gaming. There are panels and demos and such at the Indianapolis Convention Center, but there are also events going on in hotels and other buildings around the city, so that it is actually 4 complete days of gaming. Yes, you can find wonderful geeks playing games any time of day or night during the convention.

While I was in Indy during the weekend of Gen Con in 2016, I was there for a Dungeons & Dragons live stream, not for the convention itself. So this year was my first experience at this particular Con, and I was lucky enough to attend with my boyfriend and one of our other geek friends.

We woke up at 6:00 am on Saturday morning, loaded our things into our rental car and set off for the 3.5 hour drive to Indianapolis. After a pit stop at an IHOP for breakfast, and checking in at our hotel, we drove towards the convention center, parked the car at one of the many parking garages, and headed into the Con.

It was packed! Seriously, getting around the exhibitor hall was sometimes a bit of a struggle. Then again, this was the big 50th year of Gen Con. We did manage to see quite a few awesome booths, and collected a few business cards for the places we plan to shop from in the coming months, and of course we did buy quite a few supplies for D&D and Pathfinder. (And yes, I bought myself 7 new sets of dice. Did I need them? Not really. I already owned like 14 sets. But I wanted them and they looked really cool. Also, the one set is actually gemstone, turquoise to be specific).

When we were at the Lone Wolf Development booth, which also featured displays for Syrinscape and Kobold Press, we were actually approached by one of the new guys on the crew and he told my boyfriend and I that if we had any ideas for a book or a campaign to get in contact with him and pitch the idea. That naturally led to he and I exchanging business cards. So that was pretty cool.

We also made sure to stop at the booth for Green Ronin Publishing, and grabbed our pre-ordered copies of the Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting book based on the show Critical Role.

After several hours of wandering the floor and hauling bags that got heavier as we added more and more merch, it was time for us to go to Lucas Oil Stadium for the Critical Role signing. So we dropped our bags off at the car, grabbed a quick drink at Starbucks, and then headed over to a football stadium to wait in line for a few hours.

Waiting in line actually wasn’t that bad, honestly. Because we had purchased tickets in advance, the three of us were able to sit in the stands, and the Gen Con staff brought us down one row at a time to go through the signing line.

I know a bit about sports, but obviously I am not a huge follower of them. But I will say that it was so awesome to see the home of the Indianapolis Colts filled with geeks playing board games and talking about geeky things.

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Now, I had met most of the Critical Role cast last year during my trip to the live show, but Liam O’Brien was absent then. This year he was there, but Ashley Johnson wasn’t due to filming for the show “Blindspot.” So I was able to get Liam’s signature in my Player’s Handbook, completing my set. I also was able to get everyone to sign my Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting book.

And because the cast are amazing people and actually spent a minute or so talking with each of us, I was able to tell Matthew Mercer, the Dungeon Master for the show the story of my boyfriend and I getting together. You see, we met playing Dungeons & Dragons, with me as a player and my boyfriend as the Dungeon Master. But more than that, when we had our first date, I introduced him to the Mythica series of movies, and we watched all five of them on that date. This is relevant because Matthew Mercer played Szorlok, the villain in the series. And Matt being the amazingly big-hearted geek that he is, feels so touched when he hears stories like that.

Oh, and when I talked to Sam Riegel (who plays bard Scanlan Shorthalt in the show) again, I actually gave him a copy of a book I thought he’d enjoy. The book in question: Pop Sonnets. It is a collection of popular songs that have been turned into Shakespearean sonnets. What was really cool about that interaction was that Sam said he would use it for inspiration. See, bards have an ability where they can inspire other characters by playing music, singing songs, reciting poems, etc. And in the past Sam has used poetry books and books of jokes, so it’s entirely possible that he might use my gifted book on the show.

The cast (from left to right): Travis Willingham, Laura Bailey, Sam Riegel, Liam O’Brien, Marisha Ray, Taliesin Jaffe, and Matthew Mercer.

Needless to say it was an absolutely wonderful and geeky day, and myself, my boyfriend, and our friend are already planning to go for all 4 days of the convention in 2018.

AMA Answer Time!

Hey all, Dani here.

Thank you so much to Michelle and Elaina, who each asked me a question over the past few days. I really appreciate it. Let’s not waste any time with introductions. I’m jumping into the answers right now.

michelleltaylor94 asked: What are your must reads right now?

I think there’s two possible answers here: the must reads I can recommend for you all to read, and the must reads meaning books that I desperately need to read right now. For the first part, my go-to recommendations include: Dreamworld by Rachel E. Kelly, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. To answer the second part: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell, and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss are all books that I really want and need to read soon.

Elaina Lucy asked: What is the number one book that you’ve read that has the deepest emotional hold on you? It could be either that the book itself is amazing, or for other reasons (a gift from someone special, the first book you ever read, etc).

Wow, this is a fabulous question, and I’d love to know how all of you would answer it as well. Okay, so I’m going to try not to constantly answer with the same books, so I’m actually going to go with a non-fiction choice: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. This book was so lovely and inspirational for me. Follow that up with getting to meet her during her book tour for the paperback release (Yes, I own a first edition hardcover, and a first edition paperback of this book) and this book will always hold a special place in my heart. Meeting Felicia Day, considering how long I’ve followed her awesome nerdy career and how much I loved the book, is definitely one of the top moments of my life. You can read more about my fangirling and the signing at these links.

This was a fun idea, and I’ll probably try this again in the future, but if at any time you have a question, feel free to ask. I’m pretty much an open book.

Just for fun though, I’ll also throw in a few random fun facts about me, because I know sometimes people probably wonder about it.

Danielle Thamasa is a pen name. I chose it by taking all the letters from my legal birth name and rearranging the letters. (Okay, fine. I had to add in an extra ‘l’ and ‘e’ or else I would have been Daniel). I’ve been using this name for book related things on the internet for around a decade now so I answer to Dani as easily as I do my birth name.

Some of my other hobbies include board games, RPGs (like D&D, Pathfinder, Fantasy AGE, etc), LARPing, comic and gaming conventions, photography, ghost hunting, and traveling (though I don’t do as much as I’d like).

I’ve started watching anime and I’m enjoying it so far. I’m into My Hero Academia, Fairy Tail, Death Note, Trigun, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. When I was younger I watched Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Fullmetal Alchemist, and in college I watched Inuyasha because of my roommate.

I’ve already surpassed my original reading challenge goal on Goodreads. I started the year with a goal of reading 75 books, but now my goal is 100 because I have finished 77 books so far.

Okay, well that’s all for now. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about my time in Indianapolis over the weekend for Gen Con 50.

Ask Me Anything!

Hey all, Dani here.

I have been posting to this blog for almost two years now, which is awesome and a little crazy. In that time I’ve shared a lot of posts about books and other nerdy interests. And in the past few months I have watched as my comment counts and my follower counts rise and rise. Thank you for joining me here.

Anyway, I feel like sometimes it is good to take a step back and just chat. The book community is great and we spend a decent amount of time talking to each other.

With that in mind, I’m going to offer you lovely people the chance to ask me anything at all…about me, my writing, my reading, my hobbies, literally anything. Have you wondered how I came up with my pen name? How I choose books to read? Here’s your chance to ask whatever you’d like.

I’ll take questions from now until end of day Sunday, August 20th. Then I’ll have my answer post up on Monday the 21st.

Let’s spend some more time getting to know each other.


Oh, and this weekend I’m traveling to Indianapolis with my boyfriend and another friend of ours, to attend Gen Con. Sadly we can only make it for one day on Saturday, but it should be a great time, and I’ll be picking up a couple gaming books and some other gaming accessories and such, plus I’ll be getting the Critical Role cast to sign my new hardcover copy of the Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting book. So I’ll have a fun little convention wrap up post coming as well.