Tag Archive | Heather Dixon

In Bookish News! (November 2018)

Hey, dear pagelings!

If I vanished from the face of the earth (or at least from my blogs. *cough*) for the last couple of weeks, it’s because NaNoWriMo has been eating my already extremely busy life. Seriously, I’ve been running non-stop all month. XD

But it’s been good too! (Like, I’m-ahead-on-my-wordcount-AND-FINISHED-WRITING-MY-steampunk-fantasy-NOVEL-THE-SIREN-AND-THE-SKYSHIP-AAAAHH!!! type of good.)

Anyway, today I’m popping in real quick to share the bookish news going on this November — or at least the bookish news I remembered/kept track of. A lot of things are falling through the cracks for me right now so bear with me. *nervous laughter*

NEW RELEASES

(All titles link to Goodreads.)

Here are a few I missed in last month’s post from October:

  • The Enchanted Sonata – Heather Dixon Wallwork — Thanks to reader Mikayla for telling me about this one! AAHH how did I miss it?? :O THE Heather Dixon (now writing under her married name and self-publishing this one!), who wrote Entwined and Illusionarium (both of which I absolutely ADORED), has a new book out! It’s a Nutcracker retelling and looks super cute and I want it. XD
  • Flourish (Green Princess #3) – H.L. Burke — The Green Princess Trilogy is now all released and I still haven’t read the first one! Heidi writes way too fast and we love her for it. Anyway, this one looks awesome and I must read the whole series now. Because two smol floofs fall in luuuurve and I hear there’s plant magic and also lots of feels.
  • The Rose and the Briar – J.M. Stengl — I haven’t read any of the Faraway Castle books yet but they look neat and this Sleeping Beauty retelling just came out. 🙂

NOVEMBER RELEASES

  • Mark of the Raven – Morgan L. Busse — This one came out last week and it’s so shiny and I’m currently reading it and very intrigued! Coincidentally, there’s a shiny readalong with prompts and stuff over on Instagram @fantasyreadalong. (They also just reposted one of my pics for their Ravens prompt and excuse me while I die happy. ❤ )
  • Void Born – RJ Metcalf — I haven’t read the first one yet (Renegade Skyfarer) but I’m DYING TO because steampunnnnk. (I’m in a very steamunky mood because that’s the genre of the novel I just finished writing!) But this sequel just released and it looks awesome! There’s a Facebook party for this one this week on November 16! (Also, RJ is THE NICEST OF HUMANS because she sent me a surprise care package with tea and cough drops and stuff for my cold because I was sick before NaNo. She is the nicest. Thanks, RJ! ❤ )

  • A Royal Masquerade – Allison Tebo — I read this one and it was SO MUCH FUN. It’s a Goose Girl retelling featuring everyone’s favorite Fairy Godfather, Burndee, and antics he and Prince Colin get up to. It’s a riot and I’m reviewing it this week as part of the blog tour so stay tuned!
  • The Mortal Word (Invisible Library) — I’ve only read the first Invisible Library book but obviously need to catch up. But hey, there’s another one releasing — yayy. 😀
  • Rothana – Sarah Delena White — This is the sequel to Halayda which I squealed about muchly and was one of my top 15 reads of last year. AND AAAHH I’M SO NOT EMOTIONALLY PREPARED FOR THIS ONE. Half of me wants to not even read it because I’m SO SCARED FOR MY PRECIOUS CHARACTERS. But half of me also really really needs it, because Taylan and Zad and co. We’ll see. I might get myself a shiny Rothana for Christmas or something. *shifty eyes* ANYWAY it’s coming out in a couple of weeks and there’s a preorder sale and stuffs.
  • Antiheroes – Phoenix Fiction Writers — This is a cool ebook anthology releasing from the Phoenix Fiction authors. I haven’t read all of the stories in it, but I did read the one by Kyle Robert Shultz (called The Wolf at the Door) and it was sooo spooky but also brilliant and involved Little Red Riding Hood. The rest sound cool and I kind of need Nate Philbrick’s at least. >.> (Also, totally subscribe to their newsletter because it’s always funny and so it’s one of those newsletters I always read. XD)

There are probably others but I haven’t been keeping as good track as I should because I’ve been so busy with NaNo and life! But there are quite a few, anyway. 😛

OTHER NOVEMBER NEWS

There’s a big Black Friday sale some authors (Perry Kirkpatrick, Kate Willis, and Victoria Lynn) are putting together — so if you’re a blogger who wants to share the news or an author who wants to get in on it, you can check it out here! (I think signups end tomorrow, November 14?)

And it’s not quiiite November news, but Five Poisoned Apples is releasing on December 1st! :O

MY READING NEWS

Between a roadtrip in October and NaNoWriMo this month, I haven’t had a lot of time for reading . . . Here are the books I read last month, though. (You can always stalk, erm follow my reading progress on Goodreads here.)

  • Read my review for Armor of Aletheia and Blood in the Snow (AAHH MY FAVE!) if you missed them.
  • King’s Warrior and Arbrook Huxley and the Starcrossed Lovers were both re-reads aloud. SO FUN. ❤
  • The False Prince was my roadtrip read and it was SO MUCH FUN. I’m reading the second book now. 🙂
  • A Royal Masquerade review coming in a couple of days but basically READ IT! ❤ (Because Burndee.)
  • And the Kyle Robert Shultz short stories were LOADS of fun and are currently available free on his website here!

We’ll see if I make some time for reading in the next couple of weeks! *fingers crossed*

I also mayyy have gone to a huge sale at a Half Price Books in October, and a library sale in November, so I kind of ran out of bookshelf space and it’s a problem. BUT BOOKS. (I’d share pics but I kind of already ferreted them away on my bookshelves/dresser here, there, and everywhere and would have to go on a scavenger hunt to find all the right ones again and then possibly sell my soul in order to fit them back where they were SO YEAH. *cough*)

And I’ve been having loads of fun posting bookish pics over on my Instagram, so if you’re on there and don’t follow me yet, I do stuff over there even when I don’t find time to blog, so. 😉

That’s what I have for you guys today! Anything you’re excited about? Thanks for reading! 🙂

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The Birthstone Book Tag

BirthstoneBookTag

Grace @ Fictionally tagged me once upon a time for The Birthstone Book Tag — thanks so much, Grace! 🙂 These look fun, and also difficult…

Here we go!

1: January Garnet: Name a character that you think is evil/dark.

Rupert de la Mare from Plenilune by Jennifer Freitag. He’s my go-to villain for questions like this.

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Plenilune Cover Single

2: February Amethyst: Name a book you think of as regal.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, because it’s the best. ❤

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3: March Aquamarine: Name a character you think of as weak, or as more of a follower.

Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey is more of a follower, methinks.

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4: April Diamond: Name a book that you love, but isn’t very well known.

Broken Glass by Emma Clifton in the Five Glass Slippers anthology. It’s perfection and I love it SO MUCH and everyone should read it. And while I’m at it, I’m going to also add Corroded Thorns by Emma Clifton, because it’s the sequel and I consider them one story and it’s also a top favorite of mine. Steampunk fantasy retellings of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, they’re just perfect. ❤

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5: May Emerald: Name two characters who balance each other out.

Jonathan and Lockwood from Illusionarium by Heather Dixon. Jonathan’s all smart and cautious (usually) and Lockwood’s daring and reckless. Plus they just make an excellent pair.

Illusionarium

6: June Pearl: Name a character that is loyal.

Ky from Orphan’s Song and Songkeeper by Gillian Bronte Adams. ❤ HE IS SO INCREDIBLY LOYAL. It’s the best.

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7: July Ruby: Name a book that aggravates you/makes your blood boil.

The End by Lemony Snicket, final book in A Series of Unfortunate Events. Just… NO.

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8: August Peridot: Name a supporting character you preferred to the main character.

Blaze and Anvil from Twinepathy by C.B. Cook! They’re epic. ❤

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9: September Sapphire: Name a book that you found to be calming.

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit. Love that one!

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10: October Opal: Name a book with a pretty cover.

Entwined by Heather Dixon. I believe it speaks for itself…

entwined

11: November Topaz: Name a book with a resilient protagonist.

I’m going to go with Ginger from Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal. She’s fabulous. ^_^

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12: December Blue Zicron: Name a fictional friendship you would love to be a part of.

Howl, Sophie, Calcifer, Michael — that would be a group I would just love being a part of. ❤ *spontaneously teleports to Wales in the hopes of finding a portal into Ingary*

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So what think ye? Do you have picks for any of these? Agree with any of mine? Feel free to steal the tag if it looks fun! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Ten Books I Enjoyed Last Year Outside My Typical Reading Zone

Here’s a list of books I read last year that were not what I typically read, but which I enjoyed all the same… mostly contemporary stuff because I’m not big into the genre but dabbled in it more recently. (Fantasy of a vaguely medieval nature is pretty much my genre, so some things outside it I just consider “weird.)

(Please note that I almost included several Diana Wynne Jones books, because they pretty much defy genre… but Diana Wynne Jones is a distinct category/genre herself in my mind, so that doesn’t count as being outside my typical reading zone, because I’ll read anything with her name on it. So I’m excluding those. We’ve got to be fair to the other poor books…)

The first six are Contemporary, but I’m dividing them into straightforward contemporary fiction, and contemporary fantasy. I don’t know why, but there’s somehow a HUGE difference…

CONTEMPORARY

heist society

Heist Society / Uncommon Criminals / Perfect Scoundrels / Double Crossed (free short story on Kindle) – by Ally Carter

5starratingI know, I’m cheating slightly with a series… But I have to put them all here together in place of one. These were so much fun. YA heist/con-artist books, clean and fun, and well-written — the writing is sort of humorous and just… yes. I quite enjoyed them and wish there were more! Also notable for a certain character, namely Hale, who is awesome. (What is his first name?? We may never know…)

31ThePenderwicksInSpring

The Penderwicks in Spring – Jeanne Birdsall

5starratingI waited so long for this book and was delighted with it. In a sense, I almost SHOULDN’T have liked it because some of it was sad or bittersweet, but it was also so hilarious and awesome and PENDERWICK-y, even though it’s set several years after the other books. Also all of the myriad of characters were so distinct and their storylines were seamlessly juggled and just gaaah, can I sign up somewhere to write this well??

CONTEMPORARY FANTASY

bookofsight

The Book of Sight (5 stars) / The Broken Circle (3 stars) / The Secret Source (4 stars) – by Deborah Dunlevy (On Goodreads)

Again with the contemporary… but I just really enjoyed these, especially the first one. For absolutely no reason. But just… it makes me happy. A group of friends and their interactions with various fantastical creatures/happenings. I’m dying to read the fourth one, still… whyyy have I not found time to read it yet?

whitecat

White Cat / Red Glove / Black Heart (The Curseworkers Trilogy) – by Holly Black

4starratingOh my goodness, how do I even start? Um. These are super dark YA, I don’t even think they should be considered YA? But despite the darkness/content and stuff, I couldn’t help really having a blast with them. (They’re even in first-person-present-tense, which I generally hate? But I just forgot while I was reading.) The hero, Cassel, is just so snarky and hilarious and unfortunate, and the series is… I don’t know. It’s mafia crime family con-artists with magic. WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE. The magic is fascinating — like, there’s four or five different “types” and people are born with different kinds, and everyone wears gloves because the magic comes from the touch of hands. These books I feel like could teach me a lot about pacing and stakes and stuff, for my writing, because just everything comes at our poor hero all at once! My goodness. I can’t fully recommend them due to content, but I really enjoyed them aside from that. But yes, definitely outside my genre/comfort zone; but I’m glad I read ’em all the same. I picked up the first one on the sole recommendation of Cait’s review on Goodreads… After I read it, I thought I didn’t need to bother reading the other two. …Then the next day I realized I was really MISSING this world! Ack. So I got the other two from the library as soon as I could, and devoured them both in a day. Sigh. Addiction is bad, isn’t it? *shakes head at self* I really hope the author will write sequels or spinoffs or something, but I doubt she will…

37TheGrimmLegacy

The Grimm Legacy – Polly Shulman

4starratingThere’s a sort of lending library of magical artifacts from fairytales, in modern-day New York… This one was fun, I enjoyed it, though I feel like it had potential to be more, if you know what I mean? But it was good. Also Aaron.

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Scepter of the Ancients (Skulduggery Pleasant #1) – Derek Landy

4starratingThis was so bizarre but I adored it all the same, because of the fantastic witty banter/dialog/snark from Skulduggery Pleasant himself. It’s set in modern-day Dublin, which is so cool, and Skulduggery is awesome, even if IS a… erm… skeleton. He’s also a detective and has the best lines and this was just rather fun even though it was also kind of scary.

…STUFF

39Illusionarium

Illusionarium – Heather Dixon

5starratingI’m considering steampunk odd/outside my general reading because I’ve only read a handful. This was my first, and I loved it so so much. (For those who haven’t, you can read my incoherent fangirl babbles on this book on my other blog.) But briefly: steampunk and alternate worlds and science-y/magic-y illusion things and sarcastic footnotes by the narrator, our hero Jonathan who’s wonderful, and then of course my favorite thing about it, the character named Lockwood who is just the best ever.

53Plenilune

Plenilune – Jennifer Freitag

5starratingUm… it’s a historical-fiction 1800s turned epic medieval fantasy on the moon story? That’s… not exactly a genre I read a lot of, since it kind of doesn’t exist. It was way too long and exhausting to read because it was so beautifully written, but a lot of it was brilliant all the same, and I really love one and a half of the characters. (Dammerung is the best ever, okay? And Rupert and I have a complicated relationship. BUT DAMMERUNG. <3)

10SkinMap

The Skin Map – Stephen R. Lawhead

5starratingOh my goodness, so much genre mashing in this one too! It defies category… It starts out Contemporary England, and then becomes some odd mix of sci-fi/fantasy with time-travel and alternate time-lines and it’s a mess and I love it so much. I need to read the rest of this series… Also it’s brilliantly written and at times hilarious and so exciting and edge-of-your seat, and the CHARACTERS are just the best.

20Frederica

Frederica – Georgette Heyer

5starratingI don’t read regency romance that often, but this one was so much fun. The family dynamics in this were the best, it was sort of like E. Nesbit meets Jane Austen sort of thing… But the hero, Lord Alverstoke, was one of those kind of awful characters you love all the same (looking at YOU, Howl…) and he and the heroine and her siblings were just… awwwk, the best. *flails around* There is also a hot air balloon. What is not to love. Shenanigans and romance ensue. It’s fabulous and I need to read more of this author.

Do you have a comfort zone/genre of books that you tend to read? Do you step out of it sometimes and are the results good or bad?

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer