Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Conventions, Graphic Novel, Manga, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Self-Published Books, Signal Boost

July Wrap Up and August TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Welcome to August. At the time this post goes live, I will probably be sitting in an Irish pub in Indianapolis, relaxing before the start of Gen Con. Why an Irish pub, you may ask? Well, as today is my birthday I got to choose where to eat dinner, and I just really wanted to hang out with my fiance and our nerd friends who came with us, and have a nice adult beverage…because I turned 30 today, so I can do that.

Also, heads up, sorry if I am not as quick at liking or responding to your comments over the next several days. Gen Con runs from Thursday through Sunday, and I will likely be soaking in all the nerd gear and books and gaming equipment, instead of playing on my phone. But I promise, I’m still here, and I will get back to you as soon as I am able.

Okay, let’s get started. First up, the books I read over the month of July. I feel like this past month was a pretty good one for reading. I participated in two different readathons and just generally was in a mood for devouring stories. As always, if I have a review up, I will include the link back to it, just in case you are interested or missed it.

The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead — 5 stars

All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor — 4 stars

Save the Date by Morgan Matson — 4.5 stars

Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone — 5 stars

Little Moments of Love by Catana Chetwynd — 5 stars

My Hero Academia Vigilantes, Vol 1 by Hideyuki Furuhashi — 4 stars

And I Darken by Kiersten White — 5 stars

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse — 4.5 stars

Blackened White by Brian W Foster — 4 stars

Terminal Alliance by Jim C Hines — 4.5 stars

Spellslinger by Sebastien De Castell — 5 stars

Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S Dawson and Kevin Hearne — 5 stars

Game of Secrets by Kim Foster — 4 stars

Vox Machina Origins by Matthew Coville, Chris Northrop, Olivia Samson, and Matthew Mercer — 5 stars

All right, and then there were the other stories I consumed over the month, namely movies and TV shows. I kept track of them just in case anyone was interested, and I guess I enjoy having a record of what I’ve seen, so this segment of my monthly wrap up may be here to stay.

Pokemon: the series — Sun & Moon (season 1) — 4 stars, Kung Fu Panda 3 — 4.5 stars, Ant-Man and the Wasp — 5 stars, The Princess Diaries (again) — 5 stars, Ella Enchanted (again) — 4 stars, Happy Gilmore (again) — 5 stars, The Mummy — 4 stars, The Mummy Returns — 4.5 stars, Journey to the Center of the Earth — 4 stars

Also, as usual I am still watching “Critical Role” each week and things got really intense and emotional in July. I am so looking forward to seeing the show live and in person this weekend. My fiance and I also started watching a summer show on the CW called “The Outpost,” and it is really interesting so far. The show is created by the same people who did the Mythica series of movies, and those movies are what my fiance and I watched on our first date, so obviously we feel a special connection to all five films. This new series actually has a couple of the same cast members and has a similar feel to the magic as Mythica, so I’m excited to see where it goes from here. Finally, my fiance and I decided that we had taken enough of a break to separate Avatar from Korra, so we started watching The Legend of Korra. We finished Books One and Two, and are almost finished with Book Three, and I am really enjoying it so far. So many of the characters are either connected to characters from the original series or act in a similar manner, and it is really entertaining to watch.

I do believe that is all for what I saw this month.

Next up is the book haul and OwlCrate unboxing portions of this post. This month is a little special because I am separating my fiance’s haul into its own section. There was a manga sale on Barnes & Noble and he decided to stock up on some reads and start prepping posts, because he is getting really excited about joining me here on this blog. He has figured out what name he wants to go by, because he doesn’t want to use his real name, so like me he has come up with a pen name, and now we are just figuring out his review policy and rating system. So his debut should be soon. Okay, let’s just get into his haul already.

There are a few of these manga volumes that I plan to check out as well, so we may see me switch to mini reviews on the manga when he starts doing his reviews.

Next up is my haul, and I also purchased some manga because that deal was too good to pass up. Plus I got a few other books I was pretty excited about. And I am so happy with the OwlCrate for July, though it was a book I had recently purchased, so I now have two copies. I actually do prefer the OwlCrate cover, so I may end up unhauling the original.

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Finally, there is my August TBR to announce. And I can honestly say that I haven’t exactly planned out a TBR really just yet for this one. Oh boy, I guess I need to go stare at my shelves and figure that out. Hold on a moment.

Okay, so the next volume of My Hero Academia will be released in August, as will the fifth volume of Rat Queens. I will most likely be getting and reading both of those. My most anticipated release of the year will be out in August, but not until the 28th, so I don’t exactly think I can include it on my TBR, but you can definitely expect Access Restricted by Gregory Scott Katsoulis to be on my September TBR. Oh, and the next round of the Manga Madness Readathon is taking place in August as well, so I will probably be reading quite a few volumes, but I’ll have a TBR announcement post up for that one soon.

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There, that seems like a decent TBR, though I could always change those up or add more, depending on how the month goes. And I do believe that is all for today. Thanks for reading and commenting and being awesome bookish friends. I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

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Books!, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Self-Published Books, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (24)

Hey all, Dani here.

So this past week…not as productive for reading as the previous week. Last week, I was needed for a different job/position at work, but it also required me to leave first shift for a week and go to second shift. The first half of that week I was doing great, getting a lot of reading done while at work, and I was feeling good. But then I started to get really tired because of completely wrecking my sleep schedule, and not really getting to see my fiance for more than perhaps 30 minutes or so a day.

To be honest, my sleep schedule is still completely off, but I’m hoping to adjust it back to normal before next week, so we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, in my last update, I was in the middle of the Summer Biannual Bibliothon, and I was talking about how I had finished three of my planned reads, and was starting the fourth one. Well, that isn’t exactly true. I meant to start the fourth one, but like I mentioned, I was also really tired. I didn’t read anything.

My current read is still Terminal Alliance by Jim C Hines, because I have made no progress at all on this read since last week.

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This also means that I haven’t even picked up Now I Rise by Kiersten White yet, but I do plan to read the rest of the trilogy very soon. It’s just that I had some anticipated releases and new book purchases that I really want to read as well, so those might take priority for now.

One of the books I’m hoping to start and finish very soon, possibly even tonight is Blackened White by Brian W Foster. I want to read it before I go to GenCon next week, and it is supposed to be a rather short book, so that shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, it is a lot of poems and essays and short stories. But Brian W Foster will be at the convention with the cast of “Critical Role,” so if I’m very lucky, maybe I can get him to sign his book. That would be pretty cool.

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Well, I guess that’s all for today. Hopefully I have a better post next week, especially since Dewey’s Summer Reverse Readathon is this weekend. I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Conventions, Cover Reveal, Self-Published Books, Signal Boost

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.

Books!, Recommendations, Self-Published Books

Recommendations: Classics

Hey all, Dani here.

Happy Thursday everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the US. Also, welcome back to another post in my series of book recommendations. We have made it to a topic that I haven’t really read much of the past couple years, at least by my definition of the term. Anyway, let’s get started.

First of all, when it comes to books, how do we define what is and is not a classic? Technically speaking, from a literary standpoint, a classic is a book that is generally accepted as noteworthy or exemplary. But the definition of a classic has shifted and evolved and been reassessed many times over the years. Some say that a classic is something we assume everyone has read. Others have said that classics are books that people want to say they have read, but they actually don’t want to read.

For those of us who have taken many literature courses in school, classics probably defined our existences for a while. We read them, discussed them, watched adaptations of them, analyzed them, compared them to other works of the time…and just when we thought we were done, we’d have to do it all over again with another book, another story, another poem, or just another class. I enjoyed about 95% of my assigned reading in college, and I’ve kept all of my literature textbooks in case I want to reread anything.

So, while this list could probably include some more recently published books that I could suggest as modern classics, for the moment I’m going to stick to some of my favorite literary classics from 30ish years ago or more. Basically nothing that has come out in my lifetime.

All right, let’s get started.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Obviously I have to start my list here. This book is still taught in a large number of schools. It has also made it on the banned books list many times. But obviously the issues of race contained within this book are still relevant today. Maybe we’d be a better society if we took the advice of understanding someone by walking a mile in their shoes.

1984 by George Orwell. Of course, Animal Farm could just as easily be on this list. Honestly, I think the portrayal of governments, politics, and power in these books are what makes them so important and relevant. Actually, I haven’t read either in quite some time. I think I’m very overdue for a reread.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding. On the other side of things, I think this book is important because of what it shows about not having proper rules of society, or technically not having consequences or punishments for wrongdoing. I remember reading this one back in school and then watching an old VHS film version of it. I think the movie was in black and white too. But it’s a story that sticks with you.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. This series was obviously a big part of my childhood, and I desperately need a reread of them all because it has been far too long. I loved visiting Narnia, even with the obvious issues and turmoil in the land. Plus they were just fun adventure stories. And how many of us started exploring every closet/wardrobe we came across in the hopes that the path to Narnia would reveal itself? I know I did.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. A classic staple of childhood, the tale of spider Charlotte and Wilbur the pig. Despite being two completely different creatures, it is clear that they looked out for one another and helped each other. This is another story I need to reread. Thank goodness I can just buy a copy and read it before donating it to my boyfriend’s little niece’s library collection. She may only be 5 months old, but I’ve made sure that she will have a good collection of books to appreciate for years to come. This will have to be one of them.

The Odyssey by Homer. I have to include this one. Come on, Odysseus has the longest trip ever trying to get back home, but he doesn’t give up. And he has to face a number of hurdles and roadblocks along the way. Patience and determination and perseverance can really help a person survive though. And hey, this is about as classic as you can get with a story.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker. How could I not include this book? I have had to read it a couple times for school and it is such a valuable read. There are so many issues covered in this book, and you can’t help but connect with Celie and hope for her to keep fighting and to find a better life for herself.

Matilda by Roald Dahl. This is about as close to my personal restrictions as you can get. Technically this book was released in 1988, which also happens to be the year I was born. I said I was just going to limit myself by not having books from my lifetime..but this is Matilda. It is the classic tale of an adorable bookworm who faces neglect and bullying and still manages to handle it all in a really cool way. How could I not recommend my favorite reader from literature?

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Another staple of my childhood. I don’t know how many times I read this book over the years, partly due to my obsession for horses. This book is important for its treatment of animals. Black Beauty is good to the people who are good to him, but does not do so well with those who are cruel or neglectful. And yet even when in not so good conditions, Black Beauty trudges on, and eventually things do get better.

Honorable Mentions

Okay, so I have a few others that aren’t quite high enough on my list to be full recommendations, but I still feel that they are worth mentioning.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. It may be obvious by now that I rather liked books with animals in them. This tale of a boy and his two hunting dogs has really stuck with me, but not in the way to where I could rattle off the details or events of the story. It’s more what I recall feeling when I read it. But I still think it’s a worthwhile read.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. This book did not make the list for one reason only–it was published in 1989. However, I read this book in 4th or 5th grade and it has stuck with me ever since. The tale of two girls, one who is Jewish while the other girl’s family is protecting her, during WWII was something that has been cemented in my mind for the past two decades. I definitely recommend this book. It isn’t very long, but I still think it’s important.

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K Le Guin. I had to include this one. I just think reading the classics of fantasy and science fiction can be truly beneficial to us in the modern day. Plus following around Ged as he learns magic and gets into all sorts of trouble and adventure is just rather entertaining.

Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Okay, yeah, another obsession of my childhood. I loved the family dynamics in this series, and I don’t feel like we see that as much at all in books. It’s sad how often a YA or MG book will just push parents etc into the background as if they don’t play a role in the lives of children and teens.

Anyway, those are just a few classic recommendations. I’m sure I could list off a whole lot more though. Notice how I did not include any Austen or Shakespeare, Doyle or Poe, or so many other authors we accept as being classic.

What about you guys? Do you have any classic books you’d like to add to my list? Let me know in the comments.

 

Book Review, Books!, Self-Published Books, Signal Boost

Review: Love and Other Things: Poetry & Prose by Michael Tavon

Hey all, Dani here.

I’m excited to be reviewing this collection today because it is one of a few posts I’m currently working on because of being contacted by the author. Also, this is a self-published book and last September I tried to make Self Publish September an event so I could celebrate those of us writers who don’t go the traditional publishing route, so this works as a throwback to that as well.

So thank you Michael for reaching out to me and gifting me a Kindle copy of your book. That being said, I will add the disclaimer that receiving this book did not alter my rating or opinion in the slightest; all thoughts are my own.

I was glad to accept this request from Michael because I have stated lately that I want to read more poetry. Since graduating with my degree in English Literature, I have not read much when it comes to poetry and I am trying to work to fix that. Okay, let’s just go ahead and jump into this review.

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Summary

Love & Other Things is the first poetry by Michael Tavon. The young author shares his sentiments towards: love, life, death, and heartbreak.

My Thoughts

Rating: 3.5 stars

This is a small collection of poetry, lyrics, and prose. All in all, the Kindle version is listed at 59 pages in length, so if you’re looking for a nice quick read, this might be up your alley. I will also say that the Kindle price for this book is currently $0.99 so now is the time to buy.

I’ll start by saying that even with some of the rudimentary rhymes, I still enjoyed the poems. Several I felt the need to read out loud just to listen to the rhythm of the words. There is definitely a nice beat poetry/song feel to the collection, which is cool.

Unfortunately I will also say that I noticed several spelling errors and it bothered me. Just about every time a word like ‘hell,’ ‘tell,’ ‘well,’ ‘all,’ ‘fall,’ etc would appear within the text it would be missing the second ‘l’. I’m not entirely sure if this is an issue on the author’s side of things or for Kindle. In the past I have read books where this sort of thing has happened before.

Now, I will say that the choice to utilize ‘u’ instead of ‘you’ for a vast majority of the book could have been a stylistic choice, but having said that, I will also say that sometimes that worked in the context of the poem but most of the time it felt off-putting and somewhat lazy.

A few times I also feel like a phrase would be missing a word, so perhaps another editing pass would have helped matters greatly.

Still, the point of poetry is to evoke some sort of reaction or emotion within the reader, and there were a few poems that certainly did that for me. “Come as You Are” was a poem I read a few times, just to make sure that the words truly sank into my mind. And with all of the lovely and somewhat hopeful poems about love, “HeartBroken Gentleman” was a stark contrast, which I found to be quite interesting. I will also say that the final poem in the section entitled love was a great way to wrap up poems on love. So definitely be sure to read “High off Love.”

After that the collection turns to other things, and this is where I feel the poems get more serious and have more of an impact. I definitely want to point out “Heaven on Earth,” as a poem to read a few times. Then there was the poem “If I Die 2nite,” and it was a poignant look at how some of us might think about or deal with death and everything that comes with it. Finally, I also have to mention “Anti-Motivation,” which might have been my favorite poem of them all, just because it resonated with me on a creator level. I definitely understand that problematic position of wanting to create and dreaming of living off of creative output, but then needing to work in some other field just to have the necessities of life.

So all in all I am glad I read this book, and again, thank you to Michael for sending me a copy. If you are looking to read more poetry, or want to read/support more self-published authors, then I will suggest checking out Love and Other Things: Poetry & Prose.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of this book from Amazon, CreateSpace, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Conventions, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, NetGalley, Reading Challenge, Self-Published Books, Signal Boost, Writing

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.

Books!, Conventions, Self-Published Books, Signal Boost, Writing

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.

Book Releases, Books!, Self-Published Books

New Release: Between Heaven and Hell

Hey y’all! For the first time, I think, it’s Signy here!

I’m not a great reviewer, and I also don’t read nearly as much as Dani because I’m awful, but hopefully I can change that in the future (the reviewing, I mean. I’ll never read as much as her!).

So I’m here to talk about my newest release, Between Heaven and Hell. This is a sort of follow-up to my first novel, Farther Side of Away. Between Heaven and Hell is a collection of short stories that take place before and during the events of Farther Side of Away. It includes 12 short stories from as short as about 900ish words to around 7,000 words.

I am intending this to be Vol.1 and hope to release a Vol.2 in the future. Originally, Farther Side of Away was to be a trilogy. As I was writing it I decided to condense it into just one book. But since I smushed it into one book, I had so many extra stories I wanted to tell, to further explain and expand on the world I created.

And so that is where Between Heaven and Hell comes in. While the majority of Farther Side of Away is from the POVs of Adam and Eve, several of the short stories in Between Heaven and Hell follow many of their children. I tried to show as many different perspectives as I could. When I get around to Vol.2, we’ll see the perspectives of humans as well during the long war.

For those unfamiliar with Farther Side of Away, it imagines the world in a slightly different. What if Adam was a werewolf and Eve was a vampire? The book follows the events of a long fated 7-year war between the werewolves and vampires to crown a winner who would rule the world for eternity. But Adam and Eve have a secret that only God and Lucifer know.

I released Farther Side of Away in 2013 and now 4 years later, Between Heaven and Hell is finally here.

You can buy the paperback through the Mousai Books Store. You can even buy a Farther Side of Away and Between Heaven and Hell bundle if you don’t already have the first book. I really wouldn’t recommend reading Between Heaven and Hell until you’ve read Farther Side of Away, otherwise you’ll be properly spoiled and probably confused. As always, you can also buy signed copies of any of our books for just a couple of bucks more.

You can also buy the paperback through Createspace.com or Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.

And for now, you can get it on Kindle. I’ll hopefully have it on Nook soon.

I will have a giveaway on Goodreads that starts July 28th. I’ll only be doing 2 copies, but if you’re interested, be sure to head over and check that out on the 28th.

I do hope y’all will check it out and if you do, please leave a review!

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Conventions, Self-Published Books, Signal Boost

BEA/BookCon Book Haul and Wrap Up

Hey all, Dani here.

Whew…it has been a crazy week. I am going to be recovering for a while from BookExpo and BookCon. There were so many books and I met so many wonderful bookish people. Plus I did a heck of a lot of walking…like everywhere. But it was a wonderful experience and I picked up a lot of books that I’m looking forward to reading over the next several months.

Okay, first up, when I arrived in New York, I had to wait a few hours for my hotel room to be ready, so I checked my bag and walked about a mile to go to Barnes & Noble. It was Tuesday, aka Book Release Day, and there was a book I really wanted to pick up.

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So the new release I had to have was Royal Bastards, and I picked up Mayim Bialik’s book because I knew she would be at BookCon (though sadly I was unable to meet her). Then I picked up The Last Wish and Blood of Elves because my boyfriend suggested that I might like to play the Witcher video games. I found out that they were based on a book series, so here I am, reading the books before I play the game.

Anyway, on to the rest of the week. The first day of BookExpo was Wednesday, but all that was open was a few panels, most of which seemed to apply to librarians, booksellers, and publishers, so I spent a few hours taking a bus tour of the city. It was really nice.

On Thursday is where all the book collecting really began. I had a lot on my schedule, and thankfully I met a few awesome booksellers and such in line and we were all able to talk books together. It helped me to feel a little less alone in the massive convention center. I managed to get in on several signings and found myself grabbing several other books during ARC drops. At the end of the day I looked over the books I had collected and thought there was no way I could match that on the final day. (Spoiler alert: yes, I could).

Signed books: The Naughty NinetiesZenithAll the Crooked SaintsClick’dInvictusAll the Birds in the SkyThe Glass Town GameNull StatesEnlightened, and All Rights Reserved

Unsigned: Zero Repeat ForeverHunting Prince DraculaGunslinger GirlThe Dreadful Tale of Prospero Redding: A Fiendish ArrangementBonfireThe Adventurers Guild

Friday was the last day of BookExpo, and I continuously heard from some of my new book buddies that BookCon would be a lot crazier. Take everything going on around the convention center and then add hundreds of screaming fangirls. It turns out that a lot of them don’t like to go to BookCon. What was nice about BookExpo is that they limited who was allowed to go in. There were only a few minors, and they were older teenagers accompanying a parent. So there was some civility and organization and consideration on the show floor. I really enjoyed BookExpo for my first experience, and I am looking forward to attending again in the future.

Signed books: Daughter of the Burning CityWarcrossWonder Woman: WarbringerRenegades (sampler), Mary McScary

Unsigned: The Last CastleUnearthedCaroline: Little House, RevisitedThe Last NamsaraForest of a Thousand LanternsThe City of BrassThings I’m Seeing Without YouNevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan CrowFirebloodLucky in LoveThe Legend of Shadow HighNyxiaThe Nowhere GirlsThey Both Die at the EndThe Language of Thorns (sampler), Jane, UnlimitedThere’s Something Inside Your House

Somewhat related to BookExpo, I guess I can put in my wrap up that I went and saw “Wonder Woman” on Friday night. It was awesome and I’m looking forward to seeing it again. When I got back to my hotel room afterwards, I grabbed my copy of Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer and read about a chapter before I fell asleep. The book is good so far, too. I was just really tired from all the running around and lugging around books.

Finally came Saturday, the first day of BookCon, and the only day I could attend. Because I had already picked up a lot of the books I wanted, including some I had penciled into my BookCon schedule, I actually had very little to do. That, plus the swelling crowds of readers, made the lines longer and the likelihood of getting books a lot harder. I completely understood why some people aren’t huge fans of BookCon. Yes, it is a large gathering of very excited readers, and it’s always nice to see that yes, there are still lots of readers in the world. But the chaos can be difficult to maneuver.

I managed to walk away with a signed ARC for Strange Practice, and I picked up a couple books that sounded interesting as well. Later I discovered that they too were signed: The Geek’s Guide to Dating and Geek Parenting: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us About Raising a Family. And of course I picked up several tote bags and other bookish swag, including a Carve the Mark power charging pack, and a desktop Skeeball game.

Basically it was an incredibly fun time and I’m glad I was able to go. Now I just have to figure out where to put all of these books because my bookshelves are already bursting at the seams. I guess I can go on a slight book ban for a while…not a full ban, but just keep my book buying limited to my most anticipated list.

Book Releases, Books!, NaNoWriMo, Self-Published Books, Signal Boost

Signal Boost: Second Life as a Bear by Josette Reuel

Hey all, Dani here.

Look at that, two posts in two days. I’m feeling awesome. Actually, I have an author friend with an upcoming book release, and since I like to support my fellow writers, I agreed to spread the word. Plus, shortly after I started this blog I started doing Signal Boost posts every Friday, so this is excellent timing.

I guess I should begin with stating the obvious…Josette is a friend, and she’s actually my co-ML for NaNoWriMo. And though I have yet to read this book, I’m sure it will be an enjoyable read. To be honest, I’ve only read the first book in the Dasreach Council series, so I really need to carve out time to read books two and three so I can read this one, because it sounds so interesting. And I’m not just saying that because I love characters named Tobias (though I really do have a thing for that name–I blame my childhood obsession with Animorphs).

Okay, okay, I’ll be honest, I’ve been reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood series lately, and that may have put me in a big paranormal romance mood. Of course the spring/summer weather we’ve been having lately has also put me in a bit of a contemporary mood as well.

Anyway, let me just give you all the details you need for this upcoming release. First, the book will be released on May 6, 2017! It is a paranormal romance, and this particular book focuses on a m/m relationship. Now, according to the author, you don’t necessarily have to have read the rest of the books to read this one, but she does recommend that you read this book before you jump into book 4. Thankfully that isn’t much of an issue considering that she is still writing the fourth book.

I should also briefly mention the first three books in the series, and based on what I’ve read so far of these books, they will be good picks for fans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, the Demonica series, the Lords of the Underworld series, the Psy-Changeling series, or the Immortals After Dark series.

The first three books are: Finding the DragonAccepting the Bear, and Releasing the Panther. What is also fun about these first three is that they basically all take place at the same time, so I do recommend you read these three in order.

You can find out more about these books, including purchasing them, by checking out Josette’s Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or web site, or by going to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, KOBO, or Smashwords.

About the Author

Josette Reuel spent many years in the corporate world writing stuffy computer software manuals, until one day a shape shifting dragon kidnapped her and drug her off to be his destined mate… as the words flowed on to the page, she realized that it was time to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a published author.

An avid reader from her earliest memories, Josette enjoys many genres; however her current passion is anything Romance. Her love of Fantasy and the Paranormal tends to come out in all of her writing with strong alpha heroes, each with a little something extra.

Josette writes paranormal romance of varying degrees of heat. She believes in LOVE in all of its forms and doesn’t discriminate or sensor her muse. If you enjoy reading a love story, if you enjoy paranormal creatures, alpha males, and the heroes/heroines that change their lives, then how about giving her books a try?

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Summary

After several years of Special Ops in the Navy and a FUBARed mission, Tobias was once again running. Running away from his past, from the doctors, and from his PTSD — put simply, Tobias was running from himself and was landing in deep shit.

A chance meeting places Tobias in the cross-hairs and he knows immediately that his life as he knew it is over. The big question, would he be allowed to begin a new life with the Dásreach?

Leo hadn’t run from his life, he had been pushed. For one hundred and fifty-seven years, he had been the black sheep of the family, forced to live alone or live a lie. The decision had been easy, that was until Malkum shows up on his doorstep dragging along a pain in the ass Enforcer that flips all of Leo’s switches.

Now both men are forced to reevaluate everything they ever thought they knew, decide what they really want, and figure out how to convince the other.

Will Tobias’ second life as a bear help the Dásreach acknowledge the ultimate truth — love is love — as well as, the magnitude of the changes occurring within their race?

(*NOTE* This story falls between DCN Book 3 and Book 4. It is highly recommended that you read this story before Book 4 in the series as this story will help support events in Book 4. This book is a M/M romance and can be read as a standalone — although both characters are introduced in Book 2.)

If you want to help spread the word about this book release, feel free to share this post with your friends, or you can even sign up for the Thunderclap or Headtalker campaigns. Seriously, sharing the details is very helpful for indie authors, and it is a great way to support an author even if you might not have the money to be able to purchase the books yet.

And luckily enough, Josette Reuel was kind enough to pass along a little snippet from her upcoming release, so you can check that out below. And remember, A Second Life as a Bear will be released on May 5, 2017, and you can pick up the first three books now.

Snippet

A Second Life As A Bear: Dásreach Council Novel 3.5 (M/M)

c) Josette Reuel UNEDITED EXCERPT —

Tobias paced the small room. His nerves forcing his feet to move even with so little area to cover and nowhere to run.

There were no windows and the room only contained a small round table with two chairs. The wooden furniture was worn with use but gleamed with a fresh shine. He now knew every inch of this room and that furniture. That’s what happened when you spent so much time in one place. He had spent hours tracing the grooves on the table top with his fingers. He had spent hours of waiting, hours of telling his story, and hours of questions since coming to this place.

This was something like the tenth time he had been brought to this specific room after he had helped Rogue escape the clutches of his boss. A good deed rewarded with knowledge he shouldn’t have — Tobias had watched a man turn into a bear and then back to a man again. If the woman hadn’t acknowledged the shifting figure of beast and man, Tobias would have talked himself into believing he was crazy — the doctors had told him he was on more than one occasion.

So now, he paced in his prison and waited.

The lack of windows and his back and forth movement… not to mention the waiting… and the waiting… cost him to lose all track of how long he had been kept in this room.

Once upon a time, he had prided himself on his ability to track the hours no matter the situation. Back then he was patient as stone when forced to wait for his targets to reach the perfect spot for him to complete his mission. Of course, that was before his country turned its back on him.

Tobias sighed and began another circuit of the room. The past was the past, he reminded himself.

He would have thought that his mind would be more freaked out, but instead, it was filled with a buzzing impatience. A feeling of something momentous about to happen. The last time he had felt this way was on the bus heading to basic training for the Navy.

Logically, Tobias knew he should be afraid. These men were something more than human, and he knew more than any one-hundred-percent-human should… he knew they existed.