Waiting On Self-Pub Fantasy Month: A Look At Some Ratings…


In my post Announcing Self-Published Fantasy Month I mentioned that I’d come to realize there’s some really great self-published fantasy out there. This after always believing  (and being told) that if a book was any good it would be picked up by a publishing house. My realization over the course of this year that I was so very wrong about self-published fantasy inspired me to celebrate it by devoting a whole upcoming month to it on the blog.

Well, I was reviewing some things on the blog last weekend and something made me take a closer look at the books I’ve reviewed this year and their scores. I was a little surprised and delighted by what I found because it fits perfectly with what I’ve been saying lately. Here’s what I discovered… Continue reading


The Poppy War Review


Author: R.F. Kuang
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date:  May 1, 2018
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Pages: 527

(I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher. I read it in May and did not take notes at the time so I’m lacking in some details I would have otherwise included. This review is also longer than normal as I address the YA controversy surrounding it.)

R.F. Kuang has delivered a gritty, dark, and violent debut to our fantasy libraries. Continue reading

Self-Pub Fantasy Month Update: Some Planning & Organizing


It’s been almost week since I announced plans for Self-Published Fantasy Month here on the blog. The announcement got a much better reception than I anticipated! Between likes and comments here and retweets over on Twitter it seems many of you are excited by the idea.

The last week kept me pretty busy and I had to drive the kids to their grandparents yesterday (9 hour round-trip) so I didn’t get to do as much work on my reviews or planning for next month as I would have liked, but I do have a few updates for you. Continue reading

Announcing Self-Published Fantasy Month


I’ve been hinting at this for about a month and I’m finally ready to take the plunge and announce that September will be Self-Published Fantasy Month here on Off The TBR! This is something I’ve been debating doing for the past couple of months even if I haven’t said much until recently. I’m pretty excited about it and I hope you will be too. I’m sure you have questions so let me answer a few… Continue reading

Month In Review: July 2018

Month In Review2

Well another month has come and gone!

Things are looking up here at Off The TBR. The really crazy hectic period at work came and went, and we hired another person in our department to help pick up some of the load which means I should be working less on the weekends which means MORE TIME FOR BLOGGING! This has already played out this month just in terms of reviews. I went from no reviews at all in June to posting two in July, and if it weren’t for a weekend long power outage across practically the whole city I might have posted a third.

So here’s what happened this month… Continue reading

The Song Of All Book Review

Song Of All Post

Author: Tina LeCount Myers
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Publication Date:  February 20, 2018
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 442

I received a copy of this book from the publicist agency Wunderkind PR in exchange for an honest review.

I had high hopes going into The Song Of All for a number of reasons:

  • Scandinavian setting – not your typical Western European one
  • Lots of snow (I LOVE snow)
  • Music as a subtext to the narrative
  • mortals vs. immortals (I like un underdog)

Unfortunately the muses didn’t call out to me on this one which is sad because I REALLY wanted to love it. Continue reading

Waiting On Wednesday: Bloody Rose

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and continued now by Tressa at Wishful Endings under the heading “Can’t Wait Wednesday” where readers and bloggers share and discuss books they are excited about reading and which have generally not yet been released. I’m sticking with “Waiting On Wednesday” just because I like the way it rolls off the tongue.


Author: Nicholas Eames
Publisher: Orbit
Series: The Band (Book 2)
Length: 510 pages (plus some extras)
Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

This week’s Waiting On Wednesday selection is Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames. And OK, I’m not really waiting on it as you can tell from the pic because I have it…but you should be waiting on it. I have to go ahead and thank Orbit now for sending me a copy. It came in the mail by surprise on Monday and I’m not gonna lie I squealed like a little girl. My boys thought I might have finally lost it.

Why all the excitement you ask? Well, as you can tell from my review of Kings Of The Wyld I absolutely loved book one of the series. In fact it went down as my favorite read of 2017 and one of my favorite fantasy books of all time. There was a lot of love going around last year for Kings Of The Wyld and it recently won two Gemmell Awards, the Morningstar Award for best fantasy debut and the Ravenheart Award for best cover art/design. And why not? It had great characters – characters who are old like me, it had heart, it was funny as hell, it paid homage to countless hours of D&D growing up, it had a 70’s rock band theme…and it even had a soundtrack. I could keep going. Oh…and I love those covers by Richard Anderson!

Eames picks up the story with a new generation of characters including the daughter of one of the original Band members from KoTW. Eames is keeping the rock band theme going but with a new generation we’ve moved on to 80’s rock and a whole new soundtrack you can find on Spotify. Bloody Rose has been my most eagerly anticipated book of 2018 and I can’t wait to dive in.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon and from the book cover:

“A band of fabled mercenaries, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, tour a wild fantasy landscape, battling monsters in arenas in front of thousands of adoring fans, but a secret and dangerous gig ushers them to the frozen north, and the band is never one to waste a shot at glory . . . even if it means almost certain death.

Live fast, die young.
Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.

When the biggest mercenary band of all, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, rolls into town, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants – and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.

It’s time to take a walk on the wyld side.

Did you notice that bit about the POV character? She’s gonna sign on as the bard…and you know what always happens to bard’s in the Wyld…well it’s like drummers for Spinal Tap. Life on the road is bound to be rough for our new friend Tam.

If you haven’t read KoTW yet I recommend you go out and get a copy today. Do it. Trust me. Read it. Then put in an order for Bloody Rose as soon as you can. If this is anywhere near as good as its predecessor you’re not gonna want to miss it. Don’t be the last one of your friends to read this series. Don’t be that guy! (or girl). Then let’s all gush all about it and sing together in classic girl punk fashion…

“Girls just want to have fun”

A Quick Update…

It’s been a crazy weekend here at Off The TBR. I’d hoped to get another review posted but alas it wasn’t to be. Friday afternoon we had some serious thunderstorms roll through the Bluegrass with wind over 70 mph. I was used to storms like that growing up in Florida but not here. The storms knocked down limbs and trees all over and here in Lexington alone there were over 70,000 customers without power starting around 4pm Friday afternoon. We didn’t get power back at my house until today (Sunday) at 2pm. It made for a long weary weekend with no AC, no way to charge my laptop, and kids complaining about no wifi. Well I was complaining too I won’t lie.

This came right when I was getting excited about starting to dig out of the hole I’d been in for months due to work. Last week I’d managed to finally get another review up for The Half Killed (I loved it, you should read it…the book, not the review…well maybe the review too). The storm set me back about a week but I’m still plucking along and I thought I’d give you a quick update on what I’m doing, and what to expect going forward. Continue reading

The Half Killed Review

The Half Killed

Author: Quenby Olson
Publisher: World Tree Publishing
Publication Date:  August 2015
Format: Paperback

The Half Killed will seduce you. It will whisper and draw you gently into its pages. Before you know it you’re in its clutches. This isn’t a wonton sexual seduction, all about the eyes and desire. No, this is the kind that entices your mind, playing on your emotions of safety and fear, telling you its going to be all-right while you know for a certainty something evil lurks around the corner but you can’t help but trust and follow into the shadows. It is a dark, intimate, and immersive Victorian horror story that will keep you turning pages. Continue reading

Waiting On Wednesday: Noumenon Infinity

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and continued now by Tressa at Wishful Endings under the heading “Can’t Wait Wednesday” where readers and bloggers share and discuss books they are excited about reading and which have generally not yet been released. I’m sticking with “Waiting On Wednesday” just because I like the way it rolls off the tongue.

One of my favorite book surprises last year was Noumenon, by Marina J. Lostetter. I read it back before I started the blog so I never wrote a full-on review, but I did include it in my Best Books Of 2017 post at the end of the year. Here’s what I said about it at the time:

“Noumenon is a story of humanity’s exploration of the stars. Or one star in particular. An anomalous star has been discovered that seems to defy the laws of physics. Astrophysicist Reggie Straifer proposes a plan to send a deep-space mission to investigate it and return home with its findings. The big catch however is the journey will take centuries. Generations of crew will live and die before the mission ever returns home. How will they do it while also ensuring a talented make-up for the thousands of crew spread across nine ships required for this undertaking? The answer…clones.

This book was nowhere on my radar until just about the time it was released. I read a few early reviews and picked it up. It was a lot more than I expected. I’d say it’s more social science fiction than hard science fiction. It explores what might happen on a scientific journey through space lasting centuries while retaining the same genetic make-up through the use of clones. What kind of society forms out of that pot? How does it evolve? What conflicts arise? What has to be shed from their previous earthly cultures? What remains? How do they return home? Will Earth even be home anymore?

There were times reading Noumenon that I felt joy and times I felt gutted. Lostetter did a fantastic job with her debut and I look forward to more.”

Well, more is coming! Noumenon Infinity drops on August 14th from Harper Voyager and I can’t wait to get a copy. The blurb is below, but if you haven’t read Noumenon maybe don’t look any further down the page than the cover as  it does give away a couple of minor plot points. If you haven’t read Noumenon I recommend you pick it up, then join me for Noumenon Infinity.


Continue reading