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.

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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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

2016 Wrap Up and January TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Well, 2016 is officially over, and I honestly hope that 2017 is a better year overall. What I can be pleased on over the past year was my bookish accomplishments. I started this book blog and did a pretty decent job at consistent posting. I also managed to read 134 books over the year, most of which were amazing, and there were quite a few that were a deviation from my norm of fantasy and paranormal.

I guess the other part of 2016 I should mention is my end of year wrap up and book haul. Because of NaNoWriMo I didn’t do a November wrap up, but I did read three books while writing on my novel, and then in December I read seven books, so let’s jump into this wrap up.

November

Dreamworld by Rachel E Kelly (5 stars)

Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee (4 stars)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling (4.5 stars)

December

Let Your Heart Be Light by Crista McHugh (4.5 stars)

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick (5 stars)

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 4: Rising Action by Kieron Gillen (4 stars)

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything In Between by Lauren Graham (5 stars)

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid (5 stars)

Freeks by Amanda Hocking (3.5 stars) (ARC)

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (5 stars)

Next up on the wrap up for 2016 would be my last couple book hauls. Because of these, I have so many great books to look forward to reading. Between these and some of the releases I’m anticipating, I don’t know how I’m going to squeeze all these books into my reading time. Maybe I’ll just have to sign up for more readathons.

My November book haul was actually fairly small in size (for me). I was trying to keep myself in check, especially because of NaNoWriMo. I didn’t want to be tempted by too many great new books. But my December book haul was awesomely ridiculous. Between Christmas gifts, my subscription boxes, gift cards, and a random trip to Barnes & Noble, I ended up with quite a few awesome books. It makes me wish that I had just a bit more free time for reading. I’ll find a way to read all of these eventually.

Finally, there is my January TBR. Now, quite a few books I have on my reading list for the month will actually be released in January so I had to pull their cover images off the Internet, but there’s a few I have from recent book hauls.

I am so looking forward to reading these books, and I sincerely hope that I’m able to get through all of these in January.

All right, well I think that’s it for now. Did you guys get any really awesome books or bookish merch in December? Are there any books you are really looking forward to reading in January? Let me know in the comments.

Review: Dreamworld by Rachel Kelly

Hey all, it’s Dani.

I’m wishing a very happy book birthday to Dreamworld, the fifth book in the Colorworld series, that if you follow me at all anywhere on social media, you’ll have heard me rave about these books for the past couple of years. Before I get into the review and everything else, I’ll first add the disclaimer that I was one of the copy editors for this book, but that did not influence my review. I was glad to get my hands on the story early because I obsessively needed to know what happened next. And this book delivered.

Again, I’m getting ahead of myself. You can find my reviews for the rest of the series (Colorworld, Teleworld, Lumaworld, and Shadoworld) on the blog BUT, you do not need to have read any of the previous books to read this one. Seriously, it was written for both readers new and old.

So, yeah, let’s get into the stunning amazingness that is Dreamworld.

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Summary

A celebratory dinner on a Saturday evening with her younger brother, Ezra, is the last thing Wendy remembers. Last she knew, she was living in California, trying to stay on top of her college classes; provide for her brother; and cope with her ability to sense the emotions of others. She has no idea how she ended up in Missouri and what she’s been up to. No one, not even her brother, is around to tell her.

She only knows that years have passed, and the world is in the middle of an apocalypse. Society is steadily crumbling, and its only hope is a no-longer secret organization called the Guild made up of supernaturally gifted individuals called Prime Humans. Wendy learns that not only is she one of them, but she’s far more than an empath.

The Guild is not without opposition. The Prime Human Insurgency Alliance, led by ex-Guild member Andre Gellagher, is out to senselessly massacre all Prime Humans as well as those who support them.

The Human Movement, on the other hand, wants the Guild disbanded. They are led by the compelling and tireless Gabe Dumas, who demands that the Guild shed all secrecy to give humanity its best chance against the elements.

Wendy, who has found new purpose to her life within the Guild, is ready to fight for her world. And that means protecting the Guild, and bringing the opposition down.

**Dreamworld is the next chapter in Wendy’s story, which began with Colorworld, but Dreamworld can also be read as an introduction to the series as a whole. So even if you’ve missed the other 4 books, feel free to jump in right here! Happy reading!

My Thoughts

A big huge fantastic 5 stars for this book.

First off, can we discuss just how stunning that cover is? I mean, I know I already drooled over it in my cover review post like a month ago, but seriously, it is so dang beautiful. Definitely my favorite of the series so far.

Obviously the memory issues are what really helps this book succeed at being a great read for new readers to the series and us readers who have been around since the beginning. Now if you’re a returning reader you’ll get the bonus of picking up small details that make you think of events from the previous books, and you’ll get to see the relationships and romances of certain characters develop all over again, which is a really awesome experience.

As I told Rachel in a Facebook message, this book also completely delivers on my need to have more Mike Dumas in my life, because last year I declared Mike to be my book boyfriend, and he is still my top pick for this category. Seriously, I love Mike Dumas. Read this book yourself (or the whole series) and you’ll figure out why he’s so great.

So anyway, we have a new Wendy that develops in this book. She wakes up and doesn’t remember how she got where she is or what is going on, and soon she learns that over two years of her memory is just gone. So everything Wendy has learned over the course of this series has disappeared…she only remembers what amounts to the first couple chapters of Colorworld. This means that through the early stages of this book Wendy is forming new relationships with both brand new characters and ones that returning readers have met before but Wen is meeting for the “first time.”

Oh, I should also say that this book is an absolute behemoth. Considering I read on my Kindle app, I can’t say exactly how many physical pages it will be, but I think it’s probably about double Shadoworld…so I’m guessing somewhere in the 800-900 page range. However, the pace is good, and I just devoured this book in very little time at all.

Dreamworld also put me in a horrible writer’s block, which was unfortunate because NaNoWriMo had just started. I regret nothing. Dreamworld is the best book I have read in 2016, and I’m up to 126 books read for the year.

It was an amazing and emotional roller coaster, with such wonderful character growth, depth, and development. The Wendy and Mike partnership is fascinating to watch, and Wendy’s friendship with Shiah (and just Shiah’s ability and how she utilizes it) is just so intriguing, and of course, Wendy’s romance with Gabe all over again. It was fun to see them fall in love all over again, and to play out some conversations and scenes again in quite similar but slightly different ways.

The further into the book I got, the more the plot threads began to intertwine and when everything came together I was simply blown away.

There are some plot points I clearly can’t really get into for this review because of spoilers, but if you get a copy of this book (and you really should, dear readers because it is so worth it), and you want to talk about it with someone afterwards, feel free to find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or e-mail, and I will gladly discuss the book in more detail.

Honestly, all I can do is gush about how much Rachel’s writing has grown, how much these characters have grown, and just how complex and realistic all of this felt while I was reading it. After I read Shadoworld I questioned how exactly Rachel could top the impact it had on my life, but somehow she did it, and Dreamworld completely delivered and left me wondering where this series and these characters will go next.

There are two books left in the series, and man oh man, I can’t wait to get my hands on them…though first I must wait for Rachel to write them. So basically I’ll just be over here re-reading the series. Come join me in my favorite fandom. You won’t be disappointed.

Where to Buy

You can pick this up on Amazon right now, and it should be on Barnes & Noble soon enough. However, I highly recommend buying straight from Colorworld Books so you can get a signed edition.

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.