October Update II: Study Breaks And Halloween Reads

 

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This is just a quick update/addendum to my last October post – October Update: Study Breaks And Halloween Reads where I discussed how I was procrastinating and not getting much studying for my certification exam done this month. Instead, I was doing something infinitely more enjoyable…reading. Well I’d be lying if I said I changed my ways. I did study a very little, but I mostly kept reading which is what this post is about. I’m coming down with a little head cold so I won’t be putting a lot into this post but I want to get it up before we get any further into November.

Btw it’s raining outside, it just isn’t cold. I can’t sing the song if it isn’t cold and raining… Continue reading

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October Update: Study Breaks And Halloween Reads

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It’s been a while since I last posted anything and I thought I’d give everyone a quick update on what’s been going on.

If you read my last post you’ll remember I was all excited about Self-Pub Fantasy Month and then that kind of fell by the wayside. That’s because I started a class to help me prepare for a certification exam for work. I work in Human Resources and I’m studying for the SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP exams(s). If I pass I’ll get some coveted letters after my name which in theory attests to the fact that I’m a professional in my career field. The exam (whichever I take) lasts 4 hours and costs like $400.00 and you can only attempt it twice a year. The CP exam only has a pass rate of about 67% and the SCP exam has a pass rate of about 57% so I need to take the class and all the reading (I’ve got four large books) pretty seriously. The class is three hours one night a week and then there’s all the reading and studying, the combination of which began to interfere with the latter half of Self-Pub Fantasy Month. I didn’t get to write the last two reviews I’d hoped to post or some of the additional things I wanted to do. I still plan on getting those reviews done…at some point.

This month though I’ve had a hard time focusing on the reading for the class. All I’ve wanted to do was read some fiction…which leads me to part two of this post… Continue reading

Self-Pub Fantasy Month In Review (And A Pause)

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Well September has come to a close and with it so has Self-Published Fantasy Month. It seems like it started with a bang and then finished with a whisper. That’s on me for some poor planning.

I only managed one review this month for The Great Restoration: A Tale of The Verin Empire by William Ray. I also posted my first ever author interview which you can read at Author Interview: William Ray.

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Waiting On Wednesday: The Family Blood

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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.

Fans of the blog will know how much I loved Quenby Olson’s supernatural/horror novel The Half KilledIf you’re not a regular follower check out my review in the link in the previous sentence. Here’s the blurb from the back cover of that one:

“Dorothea Hawes has no wish to renew contact with what lies beyond the veil. After an attempt to take her own life, she has retired into seclusion, but as the wounds on her body heal, she is drawn into a world she wants nothing more than to avoid.

She is sought out by Julian Chissick, a former man of God who wants her help in discovering who is behind the gruesome murder of a young woman. But the manner of death is all too familiar to Dorothea, and she begins to fear that something even more terrible is about to unleash itself on London.

And so Dorothea risks her life and her sanity in order to save people who are oblivious to the threat that hovers over them. It is a task that forces her into a confrontation with her own lurid past, and tests her ability to shape events frighteningly beyond her control.”

As I said in my review, it’s story that will seduce you. I absolutely love Olson’s dark, intimate, and immersive writing style and the Victorian setting. It was a five star read for me, and I’ve been waiting on a follow-up novel for months. Unfortunately this isn’t a Waiting On Wednesday post about book two in the series. From what I understand Olson is working on that story, but it isn’t ready yet. She did write a short story though…and that’s what this post is about Continue reading

Author Interview: William Ray

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Today marks the first ever Author Interview on Off The TBR! William Ray graciously accepted my interview request and I want to take a moment to thank him.

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Ray is the self-published author of the Tales Of The Verin Empire series which at this point consists of two full length novels, Gedlund and The Great Restoration and a short story, A Case of Eager Heirs . You can read my reviews of those novels by clicking on the links in the titles above. Continue reading

The Great Restoration: A Tale of The Verin Empire Review

My Post

Author: William Ray
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date:  2017
Format: Paperback
Pages: 483
(I received a copy of his book from the author in exchange for an honest review)

Gaslight, elves, goblins, secret societies, kidnapping, detectives, and black-powder fantasy. All of these come together as William Ray continues his Tales Of The Verin Empire series with The Great Restoration. Where Gedlundthe first book in the series was a mix of black powder fantasy mixed with sword and sorcery while on military campaigns at the boundaries of the empire, for this installment Ray took a different approach. In fact he kinda went with a slightly different sub-genre. The Great Restoration is a detective-mystery story set within both the heart of the empire and one if its recently acquired territories. Continue reading

Self-Pub Fantasy Month!

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Self-Published Fantasy Month is here!

If you haven’t been following along lately, September is Self-Pub Fantasy Month here on Off The TBR, and you’re invited to join in on the fun. This is a month where we’re going to celebrate and discuss all things self-pub fantasy. Some context behind the motivation for this month devoted to self-pub fantasy can be found in my post The 2018 #SPFBO (And Maybe A Self-Pub Fantasy Month).

So what can you expect to see here on the blog this month? Well, I’m still new to this so things won’t get too crazy. But you should expect to see the following:

  • Self-Pub Book Reviews: I mean that’s a given right? All of the reviews this month will be for self-pub fantasy. I’m working on one that I should have up this weekend.
  • Author Interviews: I hope to have at least a couple (maybe more) author interviews posted before the month is out.
  • Follow Fridays: I’ve got a few special Self-Pub Fantasy themed Follow Friday posts in mind.
  • Waiting On Wednesdays: I’d like to post some self-pub Waiting On Wednesday posts of upcoming books but I need to get some more information on these (if you know of any let me know!)
  • Updates from #SPFBO: Though what we’re doing for Self-Published Fantasy Month isn’t related to, coordinated with, or in any way a part of #SPFBO I may try to post updates from those reviews and reviewers who are part of Mark Lawrence’s great endeavor.
  • Other Stuff: I don’t know what goes here, but I’m leaving the door open for any new idea that I hadn’t thought of.

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Self-Pub Fantasy Month: Less Than A Week Away!

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I’m starting to have a little freak-out. I took a look at the calendar and realized September and Self-Pub Fantasy Month is less than a week away. It isn’t a huge deal – I’ve known for a while the basics of what I’m gonna do, but I’m now feeling the pressure of getting all my reading and blogging in. Thankfully I’ve already started the reading. Hopefully I’ll get that first review up on September 1 or 2 (if I can force myself to do some writing during the week). Continue reading

Bloody Rose Review

My Post

Author: Nicholas Eames
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date:  August 28, 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 512 (minus “extras”)

I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher.

Kings Of The Wyld was my favorite book of 2017. Hell it was my favorite fantasy book to come along in years. That meant I had really high expectations for Bloody Rose. In fact my expectations were so high that I’d decided it would be impossible Eames could meet them and produce something that would equal my love and excitement for KoTW. I was wrong. He freaking did it…and let me tell you…Bloody Rose is even better! Continue reading

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

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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