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Book Ishness + Hiatus (May 2019)

Happy May Day! Which always makes me think of Howl’s Moving Castle. πŸ˜€

I have a few bookish things to share with you, including what I’ve been reading, and I’m also announcing a bit of a blogging/social media hiatus for May. So let’s get to it!

MAY RELEASES

Either I’ve been terribly remiss about keeping track of upcoming releases (not unlikely, given how crazy April was with Camp NaNo etc.), or people haven’t yet announced some of the things coming out in May, or there’s just nothing coming out in May. XD

But these two lovelies at least are releasing!

  • Voyage of the Pequod is a short tale from E.B. Dawson, featuring Moby Dick in space. GUYS. THIS STORY IS INCREDIBLE. I got to read an advance copy of it and I was absolutely floored and breathless! It’s so brilliant! I totally recommend checking it out, even if (like me) you only have a vague grasp of Moby Dick and don’t read much sci-fi. XD
  • If you live under a rock you might not know about Nadine Brandes’ Romanov releasing this month but otherwise I’m pretty sure everyone knows. XD Historical fantasy Anastasia sounds fascinating! I may not have been the hugest fan of Fawkes (sorry! unpopular opinion!) but I’m still intrigued by this one!

OTHER NEWS

The Fairy Tale Central’s fairytale theme for May is Rapunzel! Check out what’s coming soon from them! πŸ˜€

Jill Williamson Audiobook Kickstarter

If you haven’t heard, Jill Williamson’s kickstarter was fully funded, which means that there will be audiobooks of all three books in this series! I’m SO excited! πŸ˜€ (If you were interested in supporting it for the chance at getting the audiobooks for a low price, or for the limited-edition hardcovers of the series, the kickstarter is open just a couple more days until May 3, I believe.)

And… yeah, I’m drawing a blank.

Not a lot of news I can think of offhand, but I did do my last Book Ishness News fairly recently, and I could just be in the clouds from finishing Camp NaNo and my novel. XD


MY READING NEWS

This was April’s nightstand:

And I finished all of them in April except Cress! *does little happy dance*

My currently-reading “stack” looks like this:

  • An ebook of Flower of the Underworld (an urban fantasy Hades & Persephone retelling which I shared about last week and is so much fun so far! XD)
  • And of course my ongoing audiobook listen of Cress. (Speaking of Rapunzel. XD) I put it on hold while I listened to The Electrical Menagerie last month, but I’m hoping to get back to it this month!

After that, I don’t have specific plans and I’m not setting up a “nightstand” for this month.

I’ll be on hiatus, and other than catching up on some review books (hopefully), I’m not making plans for my reading.

I’ll just wing it and see what happens!

April Reads

  • 2 nonfictions (who am I? At least they were short? XD)
  • 3 re-reads (Howl’s Moving Castle, Second Son, and The Electrical Menagerie — all much beloved! <3)
  • 1 beta-read novella (the coverless one, which is called Spindle Dreams by Kirsten Fichter, sequel to The Rose and the Balloon which I LOVED. This one is a Sleeping Beauty retelling and it should be coming out fairly soon. It’s loads of fun! <3)
  • 5 short scifi-ish stories by E.B. Dawson which I binge-read and ADORED. I totally recommend all of them and will review them at some point, but AWK. SO GOOD. (I’m not a sci-fi person. But these were AMAZING.) I 100% recommend!
  • 1 book-club read, Spindle by W.R. Gingell, with the Fellowship of Fantasy bookclub (my favorite bookcluuub!), which was a BLAST. XD I adore this series and need to read the rest! ❀
  • 1 audiobook, namely The Electrical Menagerie, which I just reviewed!

Kind of a mish-mash of reading fare, but all really good! And I was happy to (mostly) finish off what I was in the middle of reading so I can more-or-less start fresh.

May Hiatus

A couple of days from now after I wrap some stuff up, I’m going to take a blogging/social media break this month, but I’ll be back after May!

I’m just really tired and need to take a step back after an exhausting (but good!) April and catch up on some stuff. Thanks for understanding!

Drop me an email or contact me if you need to get in touch. πŸ™‚ Love you all! ❀

What are you reading right now? Let me know in a comment! I hope you have a splendid month!

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Book Ishness/News! (April 2019)

Good day, my Pagelings!

I have a whole passel of bookish news and book ishnesses to share with you today, and you’re not going to want to miss these freebies, a giveaway, some exciting books releasing, and my March Magics wrapup, as well as a look at my current nightstand of books I’m reading!

Giveaway!

Firstly, in case you missed it, I’m giving away a paperback of The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead, and there’s still two days left to enter to win it, so hurry and enter here! (US only, ends midnight 4/17/18)

Vote for your favorite fantasy!

If you’ve read 2 or more of the 20 books that made it to the semi-final round of the fan-voted Alliance Awards hosted by Realm Makers, then you can vote for whichever ones you’ve read using a star-rating system! You still have a week left to vote — get it in before April 23! Vote here!

They include (titles link to my reviews if I have them): The Story Peddler (Lindsay A. Franklin), The Electrical Menagerie (Mollie E. Reeder), Spice Bringer (H.L. Burke), Song of Leira (Gillian Bronte Adams), Renegade Skyfarer (RJ Metcalf), Mark of the Raven (Morgan L. Busse), Fawkes (Nadine Brandes), Bitter Winter (Jaye L. Knight), Common (Laurie Lucking), and many others! So go check it out!

Jill Williamson Audiobook Kickstarter

Jill Williamson launched a kickstarter to fund audiobooks of her stellar Blood of Kings fantasy trilogy, and it has cool rewards if you support it! The first goal is fully funded, which means there WILL be an audiobook of By Darkness Hid, but there’s still a little to go to reach the first stretchmark (for an audiobook of To Darkness Fled) and it would be amazing if it could get even beyond that, so go check it out and see if it’s something you’re interested in! (I love this series and Jill was one of the first authors I got to meet, so the idea of this coming to audiobook is exciting to me. ^_^) [EDIT: The audiobook of book 2 is now funded! EEP! We need your help to get the final book in the trilogy funded too! :D]

Fairy Tale Central is live!

If you missed when I shared about it, the new website Fairy Tale Central, hosted by some of my dearest fairy tale loving pals, has been absolutely ROCKING it with reviews and commentaries and all sorts of fairy tale goodness, focused on the fairy tale of the month, Rumpelstiltskin. Sound like fun? IT IS! Be sure to check it out if you haven’t!

(And while you’re at it, check out the new website of one of the founders, Christine Smith, who moved from Musings of an Elf to a new and even more gorgeous site, ChristineSmithAuthor, and if fairy tales or fantasy or writing is your thing, you NEED to check out her blog!! <3)

APRIL RELEASES

So much coming out this month, and I feel like I’m even missing a few!

  • H.L. Burke has a new book out, Match Cats, three short tales of cats and love — can’t wait to read this one!
  • Flight of the Raven is coming AT LAST!! I adored the first book in this series by Morgan L. Busse (Mark of the Raven) and have been dying to read the sequel ever since. It’s arriving April 30th and I could not be more excited!
  • Encircled, a collection of six fairytale retellings by six authors, including Laurie Lucking, J.M. Hackman, and Jebraun Clifford, released TODAY and is so pretty sitting shiny and new in my Kindle. I can’t wait to check it out!
  • I just read Shadow Figure, which is a short story releasing in just a few days from E.B. Dawson. It’s the sequel to Government Man (another short story), kinda dystopian and sooo intense but I loved it! I’ll be reviewing several stories by this author soon. πŸ˜€
  • Cait at Paper Fury has a new book out, The Boy Who Steals Houses, and it sounds like a fabulous contemporary novel!
  • This Cursed Flame by Selina J. Eckert, releasing April 27, is available for preorder and features a mix of urban and portal fantasy, elemental magic, genies and djinn, some fabulous female friendships and delightful characters, stunning settings that feel straight out of Pinterest fantasy art boards (in the best possible way), and a talking ocelot! I loved this one, and totally recommend it! (Disclaimer: I did edit it. But. You know. It’s still unbiased-ly good. ;))
  • A Greater Strength from Rebecca P. Minor (who runs the Realm Makers writers conference) also released today! I haven’t read the first book yet but it’s FREE at the moment and features elves, so I’m looking forward to reading it — plus, just look at the gorgeous cover of this sequel! :O
  • The Fourth Musketeer (Part 2) just came to Patreon from Kyle Robert Shultz, with more Julio and the Three Musketeers and a certain other fan-favorite character. It’s so, so good! (One of these days the Patreon stories will come to a collection for other readers, but for now, there they are.) (And I did edit this one as well.)
  • Speaking of things I’ve edited and also speaking of Kyle, he has two nonfictions releasing this month! (Yes, this boy has been busy. XD) The 10,000-Word Secret is a short nonfiction book available for free to subscribers of his new nonfiction-and-writing related newsletter, and Not Write Now is a hilarious and brilliant reverse-psychology book on writing, which I totally recommend! It. Is. Perfect. XD It’s releasing April 30th and is up for preorder too, and you can check out his post about both of these.
  • And finally, Hazel B. West (author of my favorite Modern Tales of Na Fianna books) is coming out with an urban fantasy retelling of Hades and Persephone called The Flower of the Underworld which I NEED IN MY LIFE. I’ll be sharing about it for the blog tour when it releases next week on April 23!

Wait, not quite finished!

C. M. Banschbach has a new short story out, free for subscribers to her newsletter! It’s a short story prequel to something you may have heard me flailing about as “The Mountain Baron” which is now going to be TWO books, the first of which, Outcast’s Oath, is releasing this summer (and features the character I call my smol floof of anger management issues, Rhys the Mountain Baron). I’M SO EXCITED. ❀

Definitely check out the short story! πŸ˜€ (Because it’s free and I beta-read it so I know it’s amazing, and you need this snarky Scottish-like epicness in your life. YOU JUST DO.)


MY READING NEWS

APRIL NIGHTSTAND

Oh, look, we’re halfway through April already. Wonder how that happened . . . *nervous laughter*

Instead of making lofty reading goals that I knew I wouldn’t make, I just took a photo of all the books I was currently reading when April hit (pictured above) and have fit in a couple of small things since.

  • I actually read TWO nonfictions this month (*gasp* Three if you count reading The 10,000-Word Secret again, since I edited it.) Odyssey of a Texas Sailor — a true story of a Texan man attempting to sail from England in a boat by himself in 1985, told in his journal which is highly amusing, and gathered by his daughter and published. Larger than life, fun, and absolutely fascinating! And Oh Snap! I’m Making Money . . . Now What? by Chris Morris, which is the only accounting book with a sense of humor, apparently, and was useful. πŸ™‚
  • I finished my 6th read of Howl’s Moving Castle (left over from March Magics) and I REGRET NOTHING. I love that book so, so much!
  • I’m listening to The Electrical Menagerie on AUDIOBOOK and having a blast! I’ve been meaning to reread that one since I finished it last year, so this is a treat. πŸ˜€ I’ll be reviewing the audiobook when I finish, so stay tuned! (CARTHAGE AND HUXLEY FOREVER. ❀ )
  • I’m also listening to Cress, though I am not very far in yet and have sort of put it on hold until I finish The Electrical Menagerie . . . but I love it so far and am looking forward to returning to it. πŸ™‚
  • And I finally got back to my re-read aloud of Second Son, and am loving that! BRANT! ❀
  • I’m halfway into the ebook of Spindle by W.R. Gingell, Fellowship of Fantasy Bookclub book of the month. I ADORE IT SO FAR! It’s like Sleeping Beauty with a Howl’s Moving Castle flavor. πŸ˜€
  • I’ve also been beta-reading and copyediting, and recently binge-read a whole handful of sci-fi short stories by E.B. Dawson and got ADDICTED to them. They’re so good, halp! (And I don’t even read sci-fi??) I’ll be reviewing those soon because I MUST FLAIL.

So! There’s the first half of my reading for April. πŸ˜€

MARCH MAGICS Wrapup

Yes, hello, March ended over two weeks ago and I haven’t shared about how my March Magics went! (But don’t worry, wizards are never late, and I was reading about a lot of them, so clearly I’m immune to lateness too.)

Here are the Pratchett and Diana Wynne Jones books I finished in March — not very many, but so delightful!

  • The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett was SO SO GOOD. I adored it. πŸ˜€ (Those Nac Mac Feegle, though! XD) Plus, the illustrated copy I found at my library was the coolest. O_O
  • My reread of Reflections by Diana Wynne Jones was absolutely delightful. ❀ I loved revisiting her thoughts on fantasy, writing, children’s books, and of course her own works. So much gold!
  • And Hexwood was brilliant and I still love it SO MUCH — plus it was fantastic to read it now that I knew what was actually going on. XD I think it’s going to need at least a third read at some point! (AND MORDION. I HAVE SO MANY FEELS.)
  • And I read about half of Howl’s Moving Castle, which I finished in April, and is still my FAVORITE BOOK EVER. ❀

March Reads

I didn’t read much in March that wasn’t March-Magics related, but let’s see . . .

  • Healer’s Bane was a fascinating novella with a gaslamp/dystopian type flavor. I really enjoyed it and have many feels! Read my review.
  • The 10,000-Word Secret I already mentioned and it’s pretty cool (and free!).
  • And also This Cursed Flame! I guess when I edit things and then they come out the next month, it’s handy, since I know they’re good and can tell you to go look them up! πŸ˜‰
  • So yeah, those and March Magics books are all I managed to read in March, but I guess it’s still a reasonable number of books, and they were all really good, so. πŸ˜€

Whew! I think that’s it on the news front. So much exciting bookishness going on! What book things are you excited about? Let me know in a comment! Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

Bookish News Roundup/March Magics 2019!

Once upon a time, a blogger used to blog. This was a long time ago, but there were likely fearsome, lengthy, time-consuming, important quests involved and totally valid reasons for her absence of many moons. Fortunately, this blogger is back today to share bookish happenings, releases, cover reveals, a free book, and of course March Magics!

Once upon a time (even longer ago), a fabulous author named Diana Wynne Jones wrote some of the best fantasy ever to grace the page. This month is all about celebrating her work (and that of another fabulous fantasy author, Terry Pratchett) and even if I’m approximately two-thirds of a month late posting about this, I have been doing things to celebrate when time allows. XD

So.

It’s March.

I’m not quite sure how this happened?

But I do l love March. It’s my birthday month (I had a FANTASTIC bookish one!) and Diana Wynne Jones month and St. Patrick’s Day and spring (happy Spring, as of yesterday!) and all things good. ❀ Particularly Diana Wynne Jones March. πŸ˜‰

So here’s how I’m celebrating one of my favorite events of the year, and all the other March madness! (It’s a good madness, I promise.)

MARCH MAGICS

March Magics is hosted by Kristin @ We Be Reading and this year the theme is Riches Well-Told. Which means we get to re-read our favorites! I’m totally down for this. πŸ˜€

There’s also a readalong for Howl’s Moving Castle (YESSS! Hoping to do that this week) and for The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett — which I just read and was delightful!

Here’s my stack!

Status update on these!

  • The only new-to-me book in this stack is The Wee Free Men, which I read this month (about the only book I’ve finished, but you know. XD) and it was SO SO FUN! I loved it so much! πŸ˜€ It felt totally different than the other Discworlds I’ve read but I LOVED it. The Nac Mac Feegle are the best. XD And I managed to find a GORGEOUS fully-illustrated edition at my library, so reading that was just magical.
  • I’m about a third of the way through my Hexwood re-read (which I loved the first time) and I’m sooo enjoying it! Especially now that I know what actually happened. XD I can’t wait to finish. (MORDION. MY FEELS.)
  • I’m reading an essay per day, more or less, of Reflections: On the Magic of Writing. I’m loving it! I read this collection years ago but I appreciate it so much more now that I’ve read more of DWJ’s work, and I think most of her things are best on a re-read. Even if I don’t agree with every thing in it, there are SO many gems in here about fantasy, writing, and her own work. I ADORE IT. I think I’m on track to finish by the end of the month. If you’re a writer or a fantasy fan or a DWJ enthusiast, you HAVE to read this. I don’t read much non-fiction but this one is phenomenal.
  • I’m definitely planning to pick up Howl’s Moving Castle this week for my sixth read and I can’t wait! πŸ˜€ In the years since I discovered it, I’ve re-read it almost every year (just missing two years, one of which was last year), so it’s definitely time! (I almost always read it in the spring for some reason! It just seems a spring-y kind of book. Maybe because spring cleaning. Or May Day…)
  • I’m SO hoping I will find the time to dive into my first re-read of Fire and Hemlock, but if not, I will definitely have to do it next month. I’ve adored this one for ages but been a little afraid to reread it (while also been wanting to reread it ever since I closed the final page). I’m SO looking forward to it.
  • And if I get a minute, I’m totally planning to re-read Mort, which is one of my favorites. XD A Guards! Guards! re-read would not go amiss either, but looking less likely. But hey, I’ve read The Wee Free Men this month and that was totally awesome, and I’m in the midst of re-living some DWJ magic, so anything else I get done, or don’t, it’s all good. πŸ™‚

So there’s an update on my DWJ and Pratchett reading/goals!

I haven’t made any specific plans for March Magic-ish posts (being too busy to blog on this or any other topic) but I’m still holding out hope that I’ll do something more — maybe I’ll Howl myself into writing one or two before the month is out. πŸ˜‰

Meanwhile, check out my DWJ page where I’ve collected some DWJ-ish things.

And enjoy this quote, which I’ve been thinking a lot about lately as I don’t allow myself time to take care of myself between all the busy things . . . *cough*

Onward to the non March-Magics Marchness!

MARCH RELEASES

  • A Dream Within a Dream by Kristina Mahr β€” I still need to read book one, but look, another gorgeous book from Uncommon Universes Press!
  • Hertz to Be a Hero by Bryan Davis β€” I just picked this up at a homeschool convention I went to for my birthday. I’m so excited to read it! Middle-grade superhero novel? Yes please! Check out my review of book one, Wanted: A Superhero To Save the World, which you should totally read!
  • Healer’s Bane by Hope Ann β€” I’m reading a review copy of this fantasy novella and enjoying it so far, so expect a review for it in late March! (I mean, later than it already is. *cough*) It’s got a dash of gaslamp and semi-dystopian and it’s fascinating.
  • Betrayal by Blood by RJ Metcalf β€” Prequel to the steampunk-fantasy book Renegade Skyfarer! I need this in my life!
  • The Door to Camelot by Suzannah Rowntree β€” This is actually a re-release, which I share about later in the post under gorgeous-cover-reveals but YAY ARTHURIAN!
  • The Road to Bremen by Kelsey Bryant β€” This one actually released at the end of February, but I had to include it! Lovely retelling of the Bremen Town Musicians, with adorable illustrations! I love it so much. ❀
  • The Fourth Musketeer (Part 1) by Kyle Robert Shultz β€” This is a fabulous novella retelling of The Three Musketeers, featuring dragon-shifter Julio Aquino from Horseman and . . . another surprise character from the Afterverse. πŸ˜‰ The first part is up on Kyle’s Patreon and the second half is coming April 2. (If you’re not on Patreon, the stories he puts up there will someday be collected in anthologies available elsewhere, just so you know!) I edited this and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve read in a long time. XD
  • Elapse by Sarah Holman β€” Pictured below since it’s not on Goodreads yet, but this is another short story in the Tales of Taelis series and it just released! πŸ˜€

OTHER MARCH NEWS

(a.k.a. a free book and some gorgeous covers!)

Free through March 22

Retrieve by Sarah Addison-Fox is currently free on Kindle! (You may remember my review for it from before the gorgeous cover change!)

Coversss

Speaking of gorgeous covers, in case you missed it . . .

The Electrical Menagerie has an epic new cover! And an audiobook! AAAHH! You need it in your life. ❀

There was also a cover reveal for an upcoming fairytale anthology called Encircled, featuring stories by Laurie Lucking (author of Common), E.J. Kitchens, J.M. Hackman, Jebraun Clifford, and others! It’s sooo pretty and sounds amazing!

Sarah Holman has a new Tales of Taelis short story out! I love this cover and can’t wait to catch up on the series! πŸ™‚

Also, guys! Suzannah Rowntree is re-releasing her book, Pendragon’s Heir, as a TRILOGY with shiny new titles/covers! IT’S EXCITING. And a good reminder I need to get around to reading this!

What if King Arthur had a daughter?
Blanche was an ordinary girl in 1900 England…until the knight crashed through her door. Now, her guardians say she’s a princess lost in time.
Now, her father’s enemies want her dead.
Raised in the wild, Perceval has never known his father. Hoping for answers, he sets out to pledge his sword to the legendary King Arthur Pendragon. But dark forces threaten Camelot. And darker secrets fester behind the legend.
Sparks fly when Perceval steals a kiss from the strange damsel he finds in the forest. Blanche doesn’t trust this brash young knight…but as assassins close in, he might be her only chance of survival.
If you love Narnia and Middle Earth, you’ll be enchanted by this beautifully crafted Camelot! The Door to Camelot is Book One of Pendragon’s Heir, an acclaimed new Arthurian retelling now being re-released in three volumes.
Get it now (99 cents) β€’ Goodreads

MY MARCH NIGHTSTAND

Or, the non-March-Magics part of it

I’m sort of laughing at myself right now since this is the photo I took at the beginning of the month, of what I wanted to read this month, and I’ve done none of them. I just haven’t had time to read and it’s BREAKING MY HEART but you know, life. *cough* Look at pretty books because they are pretty:

I’ve listened to all of fifteen minutes of Cress so far (no time for life! Aagh!) but so far it’s neat and Cress is adorable.

Haven’t touched the rest so far. *cries* I need a vacation dedicated to reading. πŸ˜›

I’m also still totally planning to read a couple of ebooks which might take precedence. So. You know. That might happen, they’re just less easy to take pictures of. XD

MY READING NEWS

Other than, you know, a lack of reading this month . . . *cough* Here’s stuff I read last month!

February Reads

I talked about some of these in my February Ishness post on my other blog, but these were mostly fun. Beneath the Haunting Sea would be my favorite, with The Gilded Wolves being least-favorite. Scarlet is super fun as an audiobook! Also, I will be sharing a review for Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares as soon as my brain has a coherent moment between life things!

And there you are, my pagelings! Are you doing anything for March Magics? Do you have a favorite book by Diana Wynne Jones, or have you not read her yet? (This is an excellent time to remedy that!) And are you ready for Spring? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

Book Ishness! (Feb. 2019)

Happy Groundhog Day!

Time for a look at all the book ishness this month! Things I read in January (featuring micro reviews!), my February TBR nightstand, and book releases and other fun!

I’m pretty sure ALL the books are releasing this month, though. O_O

FEBRUARY RELEASES

Alphabetical by author . . . (Find them on Goodreads HERE.)

  • Receive – Sarah Addison-Fox — The final book in the Stormers Trilogy! I loved book one, and this reminds me I should hasten to read book 2 which is patiently awaiting me on my Kindle app!
  • Honor: A Quest In – Kendra E. Ardnek — Another Bookania book, featuring Robin Hood!
  • Whispers from the Depths – C.W. Briar — Don’t know a lot about this one but it’s from Uncommon Universes Press and features the sea!
  • To Court a Queen – H.L. Burke — Watching the author write this one via snippets on Facebook has been so fun. I’m excited to read about a knight and a cat-fairy!
  • Castle on the Rise – Kristy Cambron — Sequel to The Lost Castle, this is set in Ireland and the first book was gorgeous, so I know what I’m getting from the library next chance I get . . .
  • The Warrior Maiden – Melanie Dickerson — Hagenheim plus Mulan!
  • If Wishes Were Curses – Janeen Ippolito — I don’t read a lot of urban fantasy (silly, really, since I write it from time to time) but I’m cautiously excited about this one . . . πŸ˜€
  • In the Land of the Everliving – Stephen R. Lawhead — This reminds me I should read book one of this series which came out last year!
  • The Blood Spell – C.J. Redwine — I don’t know a lot about this but it’s a Cinderella retelling and I “met” the author at a Facebook party recently. I’m curious about this one! (She’s also going to be teaching at Realm Makers. I’m not 100% sure I’ll be able to go but I’m so so hoping!)
  • King’s Ward – E. Kaiser Writes — This sounds super fun and I’ve enjoyed this author’s work before!

Not Pictured

  • Run – Kyle Robert Shultz — Crockett and Crane short story coming to Patreon in February; I just read this one and it’s funny and super spooky! :O
  • Daughter of the River – Catherine Jones Payne — More mermaids!
  • Flare – J.M. Hackman — Sequel to Spark, which is on my TBR!

I TOLD you everything was coming out this month! :O

OTHER FEBRUARY NEWS

Second Son Readalong

The Second Son readalong is continuing so if you want hop in there’s always time! Check out the info HERE!

#FantasyMonth

You can check out all the fantastic Fantasy Month goings-on HERE! I’m not officially joining in on the posts and stuff (#becauselife) but I hope to join in on this fun #FantasyMonth hashtag game! (Either on social media or as a blog tag. Which do you think is more fun?)

Giveaway

Check out Allison Tebo’s giveaway for young readers! Closes on Valentine’s Day.

MY FEBRUARY NIGHTSTAND

Here’s what I’d love to read this month, though of course I have no idea how many of these I’ll actually make it through. XD

  • The Book of Lost Tales 2 and The King’s Scrolls are for my personal challenge to read one book in each of these series per month. (Don’t tell but I’m not quiiiite done Lost Tales 1, but I’m close so I’m putting this one in. ;))
  • Second Son is a reread aloud for the readalong. Really enjoying it!
  • In the Shadow of Croft Towers is a review book so that one is up soon!
  • Rothana is the Fellowship of Fantasy bookclub read for February and I am excited! (Also terrified, but hey.)
  • Beneath the Haunting Sea I snagged from the library because I adored this author’s Echo North. I don’t have time to read it but I’m going to MAKE time because I need it in my life! ❀
  • The Gilded Wolves I also libraried and am joining the Fantasy Readalong with Gillian Adams and Jill Williamson on Instagram. (@fantasyreadalong)

There are ebooks I should read too, and I always have oodles of other books staring puppy-eye-pleadingly at me, so we’ll see what the month’s reading actually looks like — especially since I doubt I will have time to even read all of THESE! But I’m going to try, and I’m excited for all the awesome books, and will be happy with whatever I do get to read! πŸ™‚

Any of these on your lists? Which one should I read first?? And what are you reading this weekend?

(If you’d like to join in on Nightstand Books, you can do so here.)

MY READING NEWS

January Reads

  1. Mirrors and Pearls by Lea Doue — Snow White with dragons! Fun novella. 4 stars
  2. A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones — Elio! BUTTER PIES!! 5 stars
  3. On Stories by C.S. Lewis — Some excellent essays on books and writing, mixed in with some I didn’t “get” much. (When he talks about books I haven’t read, it can be difficult to follow.) I love his style and profound thoughts on writing and story! 5 stars
  4. One Flew Over the Gryphon’s Nest by Kyle Robert Shultz — Short Beaumont and Beasley story featuring Nick and co. being psychoanalyzed at an insane asylum, in audio-drama form. So fun! XD 5 stars
  5. My Fault by R.J. Conte — I needed a random fluffy ebook novella and this was that but had surprising deeper, darker themes as well. Picked it up because the author’s a Realmie. Not my usual genre but kept me absorbed. 3 stars
  6. Resistance by Jaye L. Knight — Yes, I FINALLY read this! XD I already felt like I had, since I’ve been following the series forever (and my sis tells me about them) but hadn’t actually gotten through it. Yes, I really like Rayad and Jace and co. Minor quibbles but really enjoyed it! Felt kinda classic. ^_^ 5 stars
  7. The Fall of Gondolin by J.R.R. Tolkien — GORGEOUS. Loved Alan Lee’s illustrations, Tolkien’s writing at various stages (so cool!), and Christopher Tolkien’s commentary. Bittersweet as the last one he’s planning to put out. 5 stars
  8. Beast in the Machine by E.B. Dawson — Enchanting Beauty and the Beast short tale with a dash of sci-fi and a spirited heroine. LOVED the descriptions! Read an ARC so I’ll give a full review at some point. ^_^ 4 stars
  9. The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame — Re-read. I say read but it was an audiobook. I still think it’s one of the most fun little tales EVER! I could be biased due to the audiobook’s fabulous British accents. XD But I LOVE the Dragon! And the Boy, and St. George. And all the shenanigans. πŸ˜€ 5 stars
  10. Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones — It was okay. More of a picture book, actually, and one really shouldn’t attempt to illustrate DWJ. Interesting though! 3 stars

So there you are! All the Book Ishness! Sorry I kind of disappeared off the face of the earth. *cough* I’ve had internet issues and lacking motivations and other fun stuff like that. πŸ˜› Also, another reason I keep forgetting to blog here is sharing bookish stuff on Instagram. But I’ve missed blogging so hopefully I can get back to it! ❀

What are you reading? And are you excited about any of these? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

2019 Bookish Resolutions + January Nightstand/News!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Today I’ve got a list of 10 of my bookish goals for the new year, plus new books releasing this month, what I’m reading, and other bookish news like free books! Shall we dive in?

Tolkien’s Birthday!

First order of business! Today (January 3) is J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday, so I simply have to say: happy birthday to the Professor! He was born 127 years ago and changed the world of fantasy fiction forever. ❀

I’m hoping to dive into starting The Fall of Gondolin (Christmas present!) and The Book of Lost Tales today to celebrate. πŸ˜€

10(ish) Bookish Resolutions/Goals/Dreams

No idea how these will go (last year’s were . . . something of a hit-or-miss), but at least I’ll have something to try, yes?

  1. Catch up on review books and reviews and then stay on top of them (hehehe).
  2. Work through the History of Middle-earth series (and some other Tolkien).
  3. Catch up on a couple of other series (like the Ilyon Chronicles) which I hope to do by reading one per month.
  4. Read the books I’ve won in giveaways.
  5. Read more by Diana Wynne Jones, Lawhead, and Heyer.
  6. Read more Steampunk (research!).
  7. Some non-fiction (mostly writing-related).
  8. Try audiobooks more often! Incorporating it with my exercise plan. (I may talk about that another day.)
  9. Read more things I really want to read, not just that I “should.” (This is harder than you might think for me. *cough*)
  10. Remember that reading is fun and try not to stress about it. (Which should go without saying, but it doesn’t. :P)

JANUARY RELEASES

  • In the Shadow of Croft Towers – Abigail Wilson (Jan. 15, Thomas Nelson) — I just stumbled across this one and it’s a regency mystery that sounds super exciting. I need it in my life.
  • Echo North – Joanna Ruth Meyer (Jan. 15, Page Street) — If you missed it, I just reviewed this and am offering a giveaway for an ARC paperback copy (open through Jan. 6) so check that out! You absolutely MUST READ THIS BOOK! It’s one of my top favorites in a looong time and I adore it. ❀
  • Black Blood – S.D. Grimm (Jan. 29, Enclave) — I haven’t read the first two books in this series (I know! I’m behind!) but I have it on good authority there are cliffhangers, so obviously it’s actually a good plan of mine to wait until this releases. πŸ˜‰ *cough*
  • Shadowkeeper – Hope Ann (Jan. 25, Writing in the Light Publishing) — This is a Hades and Persephone, Castor and Pollux novella retelling and sounds intriguing.
  • Retreat – Sarah Addison-Fox (Jan. 26, Double Edged Sword Publishing) — This is the second Stormers book (I reviewed book 1, Retrieve), and I need this one because cliffhangers! :O
  • Illuminate – Sarah Addison-Fox (Jan. 9, Double Edged Sword Publishing) — And a magical NA fantasy from this prolific author!

Not Pictured

  • The Road to Bremen – Kelsey Bryant — I beta-read this one and IT’S PRECIOUS. It should be coming out in the next month or so. πŸ™‚ I’ll be sharing more about it, so stay tuned!
  • I hear that W.R. Gingell has a third City Between book, which obviously means I must get on reading the first two books ASAP. XD (I loved Masque, so I’m determined to read more from this author!)

FREE STUFF/OTHER JANUARY NEWS

Mirrors and Pearls — Free!

Mirrors and Pearls by Lea Doue is free on Amazon through today only (Jan 3) and is the Fellowship of Fantasy book of the month for January! (For those who don’t know, that’s my favorite bookclub and you should totally join if you’re on Facebook and like fantasy.)

This is actually my first read of 2019! (The only one I’ve finished so far. XD) I read it on New Year’s Day and it’s a charming novella-length retelling of Snow White — with dragons! Check out my mini-review on Goodreads.

Second Son — Free! + Readalong

Jenelle Schmidt is hosting a readalong of her awesome fantasy book Second Son, and it’s free on Amazon through January 5, so grab yourself a copy!

I read this one a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it, so I’m excited to join in on the readalong. I plan to read it aloud to my younger siblings. It’s going to be epic. πŸ˜€

(Also, some might think it’s the second book in the series, but it’s a prequel so chronologically it’s FIRST. So you can read it first without having read King’s Warrior. If you’re curious about them, you can read my reviews for both.)

Check out the readalong info HERE!

February Fantasy Month

Speaking of fantasy awesomeness and Jenelle . . . She’s once again heading up February Fantasy month, so if you want in on this awesome bloggish event, she has a sign-up form on her blog if you’d like to join!

Giveaway + Blogiversary

I’ve mentioned it already but I’m going to again! πŸ˜‰ I just celebrated my third blogiversary on this blog (yay!) and I’m kind of excited so I’m giving away an ARC of Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer, one of my top 15 reads of 2019! (I’ll share all of them soon.) So go enter that! (Open through Jan. 6.)

MY JANUARY NIGHTSTAND

There are quite a few other books I’d like to read this month (aahh! So much to read! So little time!) but we’ll see how much my over-ambitious reader self can tackle. πŸ˜‰ Anyway! Here are some I’m reading/hope to read this month! And I also have a handful of ebooks for review that I’m working through. And I’ll probably read some other random things because I’m terrible at predicting my reading. XD

(If you’d like to join in on Nightstand Books, you can do so here.)

MY READING NEWS

December Reads

  • When Santa Fell to Earth — Adorable!
  • The Spellcoats & The Crown of Dalemark — Rereads. ❀
  • Once Upon a December & Someday at Christmas — Fantastic short stories from Kyle Robert Shultz.
  • Dragon Lyric and Threadbare — Intriguing short stories; the former was too dark for me and the second wasn’t my usual genre, so neither were my favorite, but they were well-written/thrilling.
  • Kate’s Conundrum — Another fun FBI mystery with some fave characters! ❀ (Mini review on Goodreads.)
  • The Villain Who Saved Christmas — PRECIOUS. (My review.)
  • Retrieve — So exciting! (My review.)
  • Fawkes — Kinda disappointed me; not my thing. *cough* Review to come.
  • Echo North — THE BEST EVER. ❀ ❀ ❀ (My Review.)

For more info on these, you can find them at the top of my 2018 Reading Challenge on Goodreads!

December book haul

I got a lot of books last month. XD

  • Got for myself: A new Chicago Manual of Style, because editing, and The Seven Drawers by Kendra E. Ardnek.
  • GIVEN: Afterverse books I edited, & Emmeline for helping with the Vintage Jane Austen website. (Thanks to Kyle Shultz and Sarah Holman!)
  • WON: Fellowship of Fantasy anthology I can’t wait to finish and A Touch of Gold. (Thanks to H.L. Burke and Michele Israel Harper.)
  • ARC: Echo North (with thanks to the publisher).
  • CHRISTMAS: The Fall of Gondolin by Tolkien (yessss), C.S. Lewis On Stories, A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones, and one I already read and loved: Blood in the Snow by Sarah Pennington! ❀

I talk a lot about my bookish shenanigans over on my Instagram, so if you’re not following me on there you can check it out. πŸ™‚

Okay! There’s the bookish news of the month. I hope it was enjoyable and/or helpful! Do you have any bookish resolutions or books you’re excited about? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

March Magics 2018: Wrapup

I know this is a bit late, but bear with me as I wrap up my reading etc. for March Magics!

(via webereading.com)

Books Read

For March Magics 2018 (all new reads this year for me) I managed to read:

  • The Game – Diana Wynne Jones — This was a quite short novella, so I wish there’d been more, but what there was I LOVED. The idea of the Mythosphere was AWESOME, I loved Flute and Fiddle and Troy, and there were some great references (like the one about The Lord of the Rings and the One Ring. XD). Loved it! 5 stars
  • Dragons at Crumbling Castle – Terry Pratchett — This was a collection of shorter stories by young Terry Pratchett, which were published in a paper when he was in his teens. I loved them! XD The illustrations were actually kind of distracting/annoying to me (and definitely made the book seem like for a younger audience than it needed to be), but most of the stories themselves were downright hilarious, and simply sheer fun! In a way, I enjoyed it even better than some of his fiction for older readers, because sometimes you just want to enjoy yourself. πŸ˜› 5 stars
  • The Homeward Bounders – Diana Wynne Jones — Um. OKAY THEN. O_O This one was fascinating and very different. It’s in first-person (I ended up really loving Jamie, the narrator boy) and… well… let’s just say that DWJ wasn’t all that into happy endings apparently at this time? *cough* It was kinda bittersweet, though at the same time I don’t know how else it COULD have ended. It was like Dogsbody in that way. ‘Twas scary too! But really addicting. And the world-hopping was fascinating. There were also a couple of characters I loved. XD I felt like it was a lot more serious at first and didn’t get really funny and DWJ-ish until the second half, but I really started to enjoy it then. OH. BUT ANCHORS. O_O So, since I was reading this for the first time, and I also had A Blink of the Screen by Pratchett out from the library, I was NOT okay with the Doubleday anchor on the side of that book (see picture above). NOT OKAY, I TELL YOU. (If you’ve read The Homeward Bounders, you will know why. O_O) Anyway, I read it finally and liked a lot of it. 5 stars because I couldn’t not.
  • Yes Dear – Diana Wynne Jones (picture book; not in the above photo) — This was a cute little picture book I read quickly while visiting a library during the month. Not a lot to it, but it was fun. πŸ™‚ 4 stars
  • A Blink of the Screen – Terry PratchettShort story anthologies are always a huge hit-or-miss with me. A lot of these I just didn’t “get,” connect to, or care for, particularly some of the stranger or more sci-fi ones. But I did enjoy some of them! Particularly the one about English queues, the one about Father Christmas, and a couple others I don’t recall just now because I don’t have the book handy at the moment. So some of those are 5 stars and I loved them. XD It’s funny to me that I loved his short fiction from when he was younger (i.e. the Dragons at Crumbling Castle book) better than the ones when he was older and “a better writer.” XD I think I may go back to Pratchett’s longer fiction, and Discworld in particular. πŸ˜› 2.5 stars overall; ratings varied
  • A Sudden Wild Magic – Diana Wynne JonesNot my favorite DWJ book — it’s an Adult book (very, very specifically) and this is why I feel like she should have stuck with children’s books. XD I don’t recommend it for younger readers, and feel like a lot of my friends simply wouldn’t care for this due to some of the content. (Definitely don’t start out with DWJ with this one — start with Howl’s Moving Castle, because it’s the best. :D) This was an interesting read, and while I didn’t care for some of it, it was gripping and fascinating as always — I’m pretty sure DWJ can’t write a terrible book; just not her best. And the car stuff was pretty funny. XD And I liked some of the characters at times (just… less than usual…) and some of it was fun. And centaurs. πŸ˜€ Anyway, not a must-read, but I’m glad I got around to reading it in my continuing journey to read all of DWJ’s books. 3.5 stars

Other March Magics Ishness

This month I also picked up a copy of Pratchett’s The Carpet People when I was visiting a book shop for my birthday… so I’ll get to read that one at some point too.

I will definitely have to still get around to reading DWJ’s Unexpected Magic anthology, which I intended to try but it was out at my library, so I did not get the chance to read it this month, sadly… But sometime!

Posts

As far as posts, I shared these reviews (click covers to visit their posts):

And, on my other blog, I shared a post about some of my favorite Diana Wynne Jones quotes and talked a little bit about them:

Diana Wynne Jones: 6 Quotes to Live By

(the rest are in that post)

Anyway, those were the festivities for this March Magics, for me.

I had fun and I’m looking forward to next year, as always. πŸ™‚

Thanks to Kristin for hosting!

Did you read any Diana Wynne Jones or Terry Pratchett books this March? And have you read any of the ones I mentioned? Let me know your thoughts!

(P.S. What do you think of my new blog header??)

Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

Bookish Post! (a.k.a. I Travel from NaNo Land to Book Land + Bookish News + Mini-Reviews)

Oh, hi, world! I’m baaack!

It’s been a wee bit quiet around here because it’s awfully hard to read/review books while you’re madly writing one of your own. But as I have now won my EIGHTH NaNoWriMo, I am back in the world of books — and my first thought (besides “ACK, I CAN READ AGAIN!”) was “Time to pop onto my poor neglected book blog!” πŸ˜‰

So this is kind of a mashup of OH HI I HAVEN’T REALLY POSTED MUCH AROUND HERE LATELY BECAUSE NANO and stuff I’ve been reading and stuff going on/releasing, and all of the bookish things. *nods*

Books I Read Lately

October

Here’s what I read in October, which was a busy month and I barely managed to squeeze these in… I award them all 5 stars because though all different, I loved them each in their own way.

  • Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith – Shaun Hume — I lived in this book world and loved the characters and setting, and though it was a little long and not my usual thing, it was different and fun. Review to come!
  • Spellsmith and Carver: Magicians’ Reckoning – H. L. Burke — SO MANY FEELS. :O This almost got a star knocked off BUT it ended reasonably better than I thought it might and yes. MY FEELS. But a good conclusion to the Spellsmith and Carver Trilogy. Review to come!
  • Second Impressions: A Collection of Fiction Inspired by Jane Austen – edited by Hannah Scheele — Adorable short stories based on Jane Austen things. Loved this collection! {My Review}
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen — This was a re-read. It was the first Jane Austen novel I read, AGES ago, and I hadn’t read it since, so it was lovely to read it again. I really enjoyed reading along with Season of Humility’s readalong. Mr. Darcy is the best, okay? πŸ˜‰
  • The Last Days of Lady Cordelia – Kyle Robert Shultz — This novelette had MANY FEELS and some humor and parallel world stuff and delightful references to Kyle’s main Beaumont and Beasley series! In a way I don’t know how I feel about it, but in another way I loved it so much I read it twice, so… XD

November

Wait, who is this crazy person who READ BOOKS during NaNoWriMo?? :O These were all very short, quick reads, which I consumed between my crazy writing because I needed to relax occasionally. *gasp* I enjoyed them all and give them all 4 stars. πŸ™‚ My mini-thoughts…

  • Saffron’s Big Plan and Other Stories – Kendra E. Ardnek — I had the pleasure of meeting the delightful Kendra herself this month, and picked up a couple of her short story collections when I did. (She’s super fun, FYI! ;)) What fun little tales! πŸ™‚ I read them all in a sitting and they were just the light little read I needed just then. Three original fairytales, and one retelling of Puss in Boots — very unique! I loved the style. πŸ™‚
  • The Woodcutter Quince and Other Stories – Kendra E. Ardnek — What fun stories! The Woodcutter one was my favorite — fantastic! πŸ˜€ The CinderEddy twist on Cinderella was awesome too. XD Most enjoyable. πŸ™‚
  • Coloring Christmas Devotions – Thomas Nelson Publishers — This is my first Adult Coloring book, and while I haven’t colored all the pictures yet, I did read through all the devotionals and colored some. This was a book for review from BookLook, and I’ll be reviewing it on my other blog soon.
  • Fire and Ice Cream – K. M. Carroll — AWK. SO GREAT. ^_^ Super original modern fantasy, with a murder mystery in an ice cream shop in Arizona, where shapeshifting dragons (fire-breathing) and shapeshifting drakes (ice-breathing) are a part of normal life — and in fact the heroine is one! So cool. πŸ˜€ (I read this for the Fellowship of Fantasy Bookclub’s book of the month for November.)
  • No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days – Chris Baty — A fairly quick, light read, sometimes amusing with a few helpful ideas, in general of interest to those who have or would like to participate in NaNoWriMo or otherwise write a novel in a month, and about writing in general. There’s some language, and the humor is of a particular type you need to be in the mood for, so it’s not for everybody, and has stuff/advice that hopefully nobody takes seriously, because it’s intended to be tongue in cheek. XD But otherwise it was enjoyable and a nice distraction so I could feel like I was being NaNo-ish when I should have been writing words for NaNo. πŸ˜› And besides, it felt vaguely appropriate to read it this month. Anyway, I enjoyed it, rather. πŸ™‚

If you’re curious to learn more about any of the books I’ve been reading, you can always find them linked in my Goodreads Reading Challenge.

Releases

The Stroke of Eleven by Kyle Robert Shultz, which is the third Beaumont and Beasley book, came out today and I’m ridiculously excited for more Nick and Crispin and Cordelia and fairytale humor. I CAN’T WAIT. ❀

The sequel to Masters and Beginners by Daley Downing (which I loved) is now out at B&N and it’s called Rulers and Mages and I love the cover! I beta-read this, really enjoyed it, and can’t wait to read the final version. πŸ™‚

The final Vintage Jane Austen book, Presumption and Partiality by Rebekah Jones, which is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice in 1930s Arizona, also released this week in ebook and paperback, and the Kindle version is 99 cents on Amazon this week only — I just snagged my copy over there and I’m excited to read this one too! πŸ™‚

Hannah Scheele continues to outdo herself with each new VJA cover. ❀

Speaking of covers…

Upcoming Cover Reveal

(image by DJ Edwardson)

DJ Edwardson (of Silmarillion Awards fame) is about to reveal the cover for his upcoming first fantasy novel, The Last Motleyso go join his awesome newsletter so you can see it this week! πŸ˜€ (I’m ridiculously excited.)

Reviews on the Horizon?

I’ve been somewhat quiet on the review front, as I just haven’t had the energy to write any what with NaNo… But now that NaNo is over, I’m hoping (key word: hoping) to get back into reading and reviewing, particularly catching up on a few that I was hoping to before November but just didn’t find time for. (And some other kinds of posts on my other blog, as well!)

So you can reasonably hope to expect some reviews (like for Ewan Pendle, Magicians’ Reckoning, Coloring Christmas Devotions, The Fatal Tree) soon-ish… And a couple of beta-reading books, and reviews books (like Disowned by Sarah Addison-Fox) which I hope to read/review soon! And hopefully for those new releases I just mentioned too. XD

Basically, I should have National Book Reading/Reviewing Month (NaBoReReMo… no? Not catchy enough?) but we’ll see how much I have energy for. πŸ˜›

It’s been a CRAZY couple of months in my life lately and hopefully I can finally breathe/relax a little, with some reading and blogging on the side…

I thought about sharing a Nightstand Books kind of thing but I have so many I WANT to read this month, and have no idea what I’ll get to during December, so I’ll just say I WILL READ ALL THE BOOKS THAT I CAN. XD

Anyway!

I think that’s it on the bookish news, and what’s been up with me. What about you? And have you read/want to read any of the books I mentioned? Chat with me, fellow page-dreamers! πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll