The Road So Far (2)

Hey all, Dani here.

Why mess with the tradition I started last year? I might as well keep using the awesome “Supernatural” reference for my retrospective over the last year. You can find my overview of 2016 here.

Today also happens to be my 2 year blogaversary. I started this blog in 2016 to help me cope with my paternal grandmother’s death. Well, technically that was the catalyst for starting it; I had been thinking of starting up a blog again for a while because I needed to talk about books with someone.

2017 was such a rollercoaster year for me, and yet, looking back I wouldn’t change any of the lows I went through. Not only because the highs really kept me afloat, but also because the lows allowed me to fully understand how great the highs were.

Anyway, in January I found out that I was approved for the vacation days from work that would allow me to go to Book Expo and BookCon. Though I knew I was going alone, I knew that I would have a fun time surrounded by other book lovers and getting to check out a bunch of upcoming releases.

Also in January, my parents separated after 30 years together, and started the process of getting a divorce. The drama and issues from this event would send shockwaves through roughly 2/3 of the year.

I lost myself in books, both reading them and buying them. I pushed myself to work more on my blog, and to start interacting more with other members of the book community. It was the start to me really feeling like a good book blogger. But in those early months it was also the way I had to cope with what was happening in my life. Well, my books and Dungeons & Dragons.

It was Dungeons & Dragons that introduced me to the man who I would start dating in April. As it turns out this would be the event that helped me get through everything else. Admittedly, I know some people in my real life got annoyed with how much I gushed about my guy and how great things were. I can’t help it that my life started to feel like I was part of a romance story.

After my trip to NYC for Book Expo and BookCon, my blog really started to take off. I reached 100 followers, and later in the year 200. I’m not sure when follower 250 came around, but it might have been just before 2017 ended. So thank you to each and every one of you who has joined me in this process. You are all amazing.

Even with my work and my relationship, I somehow managed to still keep up with all of my reading and blogging, and actually I started having posts go up every single day, something I never would have thought I would be able to do.

I participated in quite a few readathons over the course of the year, from both sessions of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathons, to a few other assorted events. All in all I think those helped me connect with more of you, and to read a bunch more books. The 24 Hour events always seem much more successful to me than the week long events, but I still keep trying with them. Hey, any excuse to read more, right?

I rekindled my fondness for manga in 2017, and I can honestly say that I am devouring so many of them. My list of manga reviews waiting to be written up is getting decently long.

Oh, and my boyfriend and I were able to go to Indianapolis in August with another friend of ours for a one day pass to Gen Con, which is a gaming convention. There we were able to get a lot of books, dice, and games, as well as to meet the cast of Critical Role. It was a really fun day.

For the 12th time I participated in NaNoWriMo, and managed to earn my 12th win, but I realize that the novel that came out is mostly incoherent. With any luck I’ll be able to start from scratch and re-write the book in 2018. I’d actually love to be able to share it with the world. And it would be nice to really get back into writing (and possibly publishing) again.

And I managed to do a TBR purge and go through a list of well of 800 books on Goodreads, taking it down to just over 400 books. I imagine this will be something I’ll have to do again soon, but I still feel pretty good with where I’m at now.

But, the greatest event of 2017 was towards the end of December. On Friday, December 22nd, on a day when we thankfully had a shutdown day at work, my boyfriend and I went shopping at Barnes & Noble where he both bought more books than me and spent more money than me. You guys, that rarely happens. You’ve seen my typical book hauls. I usually get a heck of a lot of books.

After that shopping trip, we made our way to the zoo, where we walked around for a couple hours, looking at all of the animals and then also checking out the massive holiday light display they put up each year. And it was while sitting on a bench overlooking Conservation Lake at the zoo, that my wonderful boyfriend sank down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was honestly just like a scene out of a Hallmark channel holiday movie, and I so look forward to seeing what our future will be like.

I hope you all had some moments of 2017 that were really nice as well, and I hope that we all have a very nice 2018.

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Cover Reveal and Review: Waterworld Vol 1 by Rachel E Kelly

Hey all, Dani here.

I am super excited today to get to reveal the cover and give an early review for the next installment in one of my all-time favorite book series. It was at Wizard World Ohio Comic Con in Oct/Nov 2014 that I was first introduced to the Colorworld series. At the time they were only a couple months away from the release of the third book and they were still just getting started with the convention tour.

I was quickly pulled into the story and the adventures of the characters, and from that one of the best friendships in my life began to form. Since then I have worked two conventions with Colorworld Books, and have been lucky enough to read Shadoworld and Dreamworld early (and now Waterworld).

I will be completely honest right now when I say that I am a part of Team Colorworld and am one of the copy editors for the books. But I don’t let that get in the way of my thoughts and opinions of the books. But thank you to Rachel Kelly for allowing me to be a part of the Colorworld story and journey, and for sending me digital copies of the books to read for review.

You can find the rest of my reviews for this series at these links: Colorworld, Teleworld, Lumaworld, Shadoworld, and Dreamworld.

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Summary

At Soldier Field in front of sixty-thousand, Gabe Dumas of The Human Movement (THM) delivered a gripping charge against Wendy Whitley of the Guild. To everyone watching, she conceded more than just the stage that day when she waived her speaking slot. No one knew what had happened behind the scenes, that Gabe’s plan to aid California was a result of a private communication between him and Whitley. No one realized that what appeared to be a widening of the gap between Whitley and Dumas was actually both THM and the Guild’s first acts of concession.

This wasn’t the only game-changing event happening behind the scenes in Chicago. That same day, unbeknownst to Wendy or Gabe, Ezra Whitley was enacting his own plan, demonstrating a power that, until then, everyone had thought was impossible. Moments after Gabe Dumas spoke his closing words, “Let us show them and ourselves what can be accomplished when Humans move!” the skies opened and rain drenched everyone inside the stadium… but not a single person outside of it.

This is Ezra’s story.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

First off, let’s talk about the cover. I was wondering what sort of cover we would get after the gorgeousness that was Dreamworld. I was hoping for some more white, because only Colorworld had that distinction and every other book has had slightly varied shades of black. So I was glad to see that this cover has some white and then I love the swirl of color from the bubble.

Second, let’s talk about how this particular book will be different from the others. Dreamworld was a massive book, and I loved every minute of it. But Waterworld probably would have been longer, as it covers 6 different POVs that interconnect a bit and everything will all converge by the end. But trying to get those individual stories positioned properly in one book can be difficult. So a decision was made, and now each one will come out as an individual volume. Then, after all six are out then a collected volume will be released known as The Six, and it will have all of them combined in one book.

So, basically, my Colorworld Books shelf in my library is going to expand greatly in the coming months. The Illustrated version of Dreamworld should be out this year, and I do believe the comic book should start being released sometime soon as well.

Wow, okay, so I’ve been blathering in this review section for a few paragraphs already and I haven’t actually started the review. This was a fun and interesting installment. It basically covers what Ezra was going through during the events of Dreamworld, and then the last several chapters take us past the end of the last book, which was really cool.

I like Ezra as a character; I have since the very beginning. He is such a wonderful geeky fanboy, and the way he supports Wendy’s “superhero” training and efforts is awesome. Also, he is known to have some clever and hilarious lines. But I don’t feel like he was as witty in this particular story…which honestly makes complete sense considering the situation he finds himself in. Though, I was highly amused whenever Ezra wanted advice from Gabe and so he started imagining what Gabe would say. Ezra did a rather good job at imitating Gabe.

This story is also heavily influenced by my absolute favorite character of this whole series. It has been a little while since I last read some of these books and I have missed the wisdom of Uncle Moby.

Oh, and watching Ezra’s math ability at work, as well as watching it grow and develop was pretty darn awesome. Yes, everyone, Ezra’s superpower is math, and I think that is wonderfully fantastic.

So basically, I yet again enjoyed reading the latest installment in this series and I cannot wait to see what other POVs we get. I’m betting one of them will be Kaylen and that is a story I have immensely been looking forward to.

Where to Buy

Right now you can pre-order Waterworld Vol 1 directly from Colorworld Books. This book is expected to be released on December 31, 2018.

On or after release day, you will be able to buy the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

I will always recommend buying from Colorworld Books, because then you can have lovely signed editions on your shelves.

Most Anticipated Releases Winter 2017

Hey all, Dani here.

I can’t believe that I’m already posting my most anticipated releases for the winter months. Pretty soon we’ll all be writing 2018 for the date. Anyway, I have quite a few books to talk about today, all of them releasing in December, January, or February.

First up: December

Obviously I am excited for a couple graphic novel releases because they are series I try and keep up with. Then there’s the newest Kasie West contemporary release. I’ve only read two Kasie West books, both of them this year, and I enjoyed them, so I’m curious to see what other cutesy romances she’ll come up with. Finally, there’s a sequel to a Russian folklore story I read at the beginning of the year, and I’m so excited to read about what happens next. The first one was a surprise favorite of mine.

Lumberjanes, Vol 7 (Dec 12), Love, Life, and the List (Dec 26), Ms Marvel, Vol 8 (Dec 26), and The Girl in the Tower (Dec 5). Now, I will say that for The Girl in the Tower I was granted access to an e-galley through NetGalley and then I was sent an ARC from the publisher, so expect a review very soon.

Next up is January, and oh boy, I have a lot of anticipated releases. I guess it’s a good thing that I mostly get B&N gift cards for Christmas. I have a few sequels to books I enjoyed, the newest installment in one of my favorite graphic novels, a handful of awesome sounding fantasy reads, and a couple contemporary stories. The way this anticipated list is looking, I don’t think I need to worry about coming up with a TBR list. I’ll have plenty to read over the month.

Everless (Jan 2), Sightwitch (Jan 23), The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 6 (Jan 16), The Hazel Wood (Jan 30), Thunderhead (Jan 9), The Cruel Prince (Jan 2), Love, Hate and Other Filters (Jan 16), Don’t Cosplay with my Heart (Jan 2), Reign the Earth (Jan 30), Zenith (Jan 16), Gunslinger Girl (Jan 2), and The Forgotten Book (Jan 2). Currently I was approved through NetGalley for Reign the Earth and The Forgotten Book, and I have ARCs from BookExpo for Zenith and Gunslinger Girl, so expect reviews for those coming in December and early January. I’m still really hoping to be approved by NetGalley for Love, Hate and Other Filters so we’ll see what happens.

Whew, and finally there’s February. There’s yet another graphic novel release, as well as the conclusion to the Falling Kingdoms series. Then, considering my Hamilton obsession, I had to add the book about his friendship with Peggy Schuyler. Of course, who could say no to an awesome lady gladiator book. Oh, and considering how much I loved Ashley Poston’s Geekerella, her newest release is definitely an auto-buy for me. Finally Rachel Caine has teamed up with Ann Aguirre for a science-fiction story that I’m really looking forward to.

Lumberjanes, Vol 8 (Feb 20), Honor Among Thieves (Feb 13), The Defiant (Feb 13), Heart of Iron (Feb 27), Hamilton and Peggy! (Feb 13), and Immortal Reign (Feb 6).

All right, I think that does it for my post today. What upcoming releases are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments.

2017 Bookish Resolutions

Hey all, Dani here.

The tradition this time of year is to make a whole bunch of resolutions for your life, and with a large number of the resolutions we all only make it a couple weeks before we slack or just stop all together. That’s actually why I stopped making lifestyle resolutions like eating better, exercising more, or losing weight.

But making book related resolutions typically works out quite a bit better for me, so I’m just going to run through a few of those I’ve made for myself in 2017.

First up: reading. My initial goal is to read 75 books. I know this is an easily achievable goal, but I also know that if I manage to devour a lot of books quickly I can always increase my goal number. I’ve changed my goal the past several years. In 2016 my goal went from 75 to 100 to 130. More than that, though, I plan to participate in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon in both April and October, because I really enjoyed my experience with the readathon in 2016.

Second: blogging. I will have at least one book related blog up each week. Right now I have several bonus posts figured out thanks to some of my egalleys and ARCs, but I am really going to work to make sure that I maintain my posting schedule.

Third: vlogging. I have been watching BookTube for a while now and have thought that is something I could do myself. I love talking about books with other people. This is going to be the most difficult resolution for me though, because I am so nervous about this. Taking pictures or video of myself has never felt natural or comfortable to me, but I’m going to work through those feelings. With a bit of repetition and practice, I’m sure I’ll start getting used to filming and editing videos. So I’m going to start…soon.

Fourth: writing. This is actually an area where I really did slack in 2016. I did write on a few different things, but I didn’t finish a project or release one to the world. This needs to stop. Writing needs to be a priority in my life too. So, I will get Project Death: Revelation finished and released in the next couple of months. Then I need to get my focus onto the third book in the series. I’d like to have both Revelation and Redemption out in 2017. I guess this is also the area where I mention that I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July, and NaNoWriMo in November.

Fifth: Bookstagram. I loved being an active part of the book community on Instagram in 2016, and I’d like to keep building on that. Book photography is actually pretty relaxing and fun. So in 2017 I’d like to keep building my account, participate in at least a few monthly photo challenges, and just enjoy connecting with all my new book friends.

Sixth: Conventions. For this year I plan to be at a brand new local author event being held by my public library in March. I also am really hoping to make it to BEA and/or BookCon this year. As always, I’ll be attending Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, where I’m looking forward to seeing which authors show up, because I usually come home with a nice haul. And for right now my only author appearance at a convention will be Cincinnati Comic Expo in September; Mousai Books will be teaming up with Colorworld Books and it should be a lot of fun.

Well, I think that’s it for my bookish resolutions. That’s quite a hefty list when you look at it all together. Thanks for being a part of the first year of this blog, and I look forward to talking about bookish and nerdy things with all of you throughout 2017. It’s going to be a great year.

Cover Reveal – Dreamworld by Rachel E Kelly

Hey all, Dani here.

I feel incredibly honored to be part of #TeamColorworld. Brad and Rachel Kelly are wonderful people and I am so inspired by their story and their dedication to creative endeavors.

Last year Rachel asked me if I would like to help with copy edits for Shadoworld, book four in the Colorworld series. Being a huge fan of the books and wanting desperately to know what would happen next, I eagerly jumped at the opportunity. And I was put through the emotional wringer with the book; it destroyed me in the best way possible, while also making me rather impatient for the fifth book.

Well, Dreamworld is almost out. Right now it is definitely looking like the book will be released by the end of 2016, which is great.

It also meant that once again I was approached about copyediting.

I received a digital copy of the book on Saturday and had to wait for my Kindle app to properly sync up so I could access the book. So, I opened it yesterday, and the document opened to the title page, so I had to scroll backwards to reach the cover page.

This is my absolute favorite cover of the series so far. I can’t stop staring at it. Seriously, it is gorgeous, and I want to share it with all of you.

So, without further ado, here is the cover for Dreamworld:

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Now I just really want to hold the finished paperback in my hands. But that will have to wait a couple more months. For now, I’m going to sink back into the Colorworld series and find out what will happen to Wendy and Co. next. I’ll also see about having a spoiler-free review of this book up in November or early December.

If you want to check out my reviews of the rest of the series, you can find them here: Colorworld, Teleworld, Lumaworldand Shadoworld.