A Pause On Review Requests

I’M CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING REVIEW REQUESTS

It pains me to have to say this but I’m not accepting review requests for the time being. This really sucks because I’ve had some really good stuff come my way through review requests that have come through the blog and from requests I’ve put in to publishers myself.

Since February I’ve been swamped with work and family commitments which have kept me from completing any new reviews.  I’ve been putting in a lot of extra hours at work, staying later and working most weekends (which is when I prefer to write), and then there’s just been a lot of family events (kids’s extra curriculars, family time, Spring Break, family gatherings, etc). Later this week I’m off to Washington D.C. for the middle kid’s 5th grade field trip. It’s meant that when I do have free time my mind and/or body is too tired to sit down and write. I’ve been working on one review for a couple weeks, writing a paragraph here and there every so often. It sucks, but work pays the bills, and I won’t miss the family time – it’s too important.

Right now I’ve got at least four reviews to write on books I’ve already read, and three more books to read and review that I’ve already committed to. Until I knock these out I can’t really justify taking on any more. I’ve even changed up my reading list so I’m only reading books I don’t plan on reviewing until I get caught up. Hopefully work will ease up soon and I’ll find more time for reviews, and once summer comes along the kids won’t have as much going on. Once I’m caught up I’ll open the blog up to requests again.

Until then be on the lookout for some reviews to trickle out of here and let me know about all of your awesome new reads…because getting behind doesn’t mean I can’t add books to my WANT list.

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Still Around…Still Reading…

In case you were wondering, yeah I’m still here. As I mentioned a few weeks ago in my Is The Month Over Yet post things have gotten a little hectic around here. Between the kids’ extra-curricular activities and a crazy busy work schedule that hasn’t calmed down for nearly a month my average night lately has me sitting down to relax somewhere between 9:00 and 10:00 PM. At that point I just don’t have it in me to blog. The weekends haven’t been much better. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not really complaining…well maybe a little…but seriously I enjoy the kids’ stuff and being busy at work is good job security (in theory) so I’m only partially complaining.

Now, I may be too tired to blog, but I’m not too tired to read! Which means I’m starting to get way behind on reviews, not just random posts about anything book related. And I feel really bad about this guys. Most of what I’ve been reading lately are books I’ve either requested, or that have been sent to me by a publisher/publicist (which I agreed to accept)…which means I kinda owe it to them to get the reviews done. The only problem is my best time to write is on the weekend and I will probably be working the next couple of weekends. This sucks. But whatever, it is what it is.

Anyway, below is what I’ve been reading and what I hope to get reviews up about soon.

img_3604Smoke Eaters by Sean Grigsby

Dragons VS Firefighters. Need I say anything else? I really enjoyed this one. Fun sci-fi/fantasy mash-up with hints of Ghostbusters. If you don’t want to wait for the review just know that I really liked it and think you will too. Unless you don’t like dragons or firefighters, or ghostbusters…but then you’d just be weird.

 

 

img_3605-1The Song Of All by Tina LeCount Myers

Fantasy in a Scandinavian setting. Have I ever told you how much I like snow? I kinda love it. This book actually hit on a bunch of my reading goals for the year. Debut author…check. Non-western European setting…check. Independent/small press or self-published author…check. Books with snow…check. OK that last one wasn’t on the list but c’mon. I even ended up with an extra copy of this one and held my first book giveaway. The problem was I didn’t really like it. I’m still trying to figure out why and how I want to review it. Like is it just not for me or something else? Stay tuned…

IMG_3798.jpgApex Magazine: February 2018 Issue

One of my goals this year is to read more short fiction. One solution to that has been to buy more short story collections in book format. The other solution I hit upon…crazy I know…was reading some sci-fi/fantasy magazines. Then two things happened. I discovered Apex is published right here in Lexington, and I read one of the short stories for the month and absolutely loved it. So I bought the issue. This will be my first review of a magazine and I’m kind of excited about the different format.

img_3599Gedlund: A Tale Of The Verin Empire by William Ray

This is my current read and I’m about half-way through. So far I’m loving it. It’s blackpowder fantasy (which I thoroughly enjoy) with goblins, elves, and the undead. yeah.

Ray has also done his homework when it comes to some of the details of 19th century army life and it gives me all the feels. In a previous life I was a re-enactor (story for another day) and as I read I’m like “that! exactly that!” Ah memories. Anyway I’m really looking forward to the second half of the book.

Well that’s it for now. I’m gonna try really hard to get a new review up sometime in the next week.  But then again I had said I wanted to get one posted last weekend and it didn’t happen. We’ll see. In the meantime happy reading, and let me know what you’ve been enjoying lately.

Blood Of Assassins Review

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Author: RJ Barker
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 436

4.5 of 5 Stars

(I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

RJ  Baker delivers an action packed, mystery filled adventure in Blood Of Assassins. If you were worried about a sophomore slump following Age Of Assassins put your concerns aside and pick this one up immediately. Blood Of Assassins is even better than its predecessor. Continue reading

Is The Month Over Yet?

Sigh…here’s a quick update on what I’ve been doing…or rather not doing the past couple of weeks, and what’s to come. I’m a slacker – fine.

It’s been a long month. It’s been busy as hell at work and there’s always the family obligations (which I’m not complaining about, the fam comes before everything else…well I sometimes complain a little) and I’ve been worn out in the evenings and just too tired to do much. I’ve been reading but not at my normal pace. What that means for the blog is…well…not much has been written for the past couple of weeks in terms of reviews. I’m behind and I hate it, but this is supposed to be fun, not work so I’m not pushing it. Hopefully I’ll have at least one if not two reviews up sometime this weekend. Here’s what’s coming up…

IMG_3635.jpgBlood Of Assassins Review

Blood Of Assassins came out a couple of weeks ago now and I still haven’t go the review up and its ticking me off. Orbit sent me a review copy and I feel really crappy that I haven’t go this one done yet. I’ve started it but only have a few paragraphs written. My goal is to get this posted sometime Saturday if all goes well.

(I loved the book btw! Better than Age Of Assassins)

 

img_3605The Song Of All Review

This is the book I’m reading now. It was published on February 20th. My copy came a little late but I still feel bad I’m not done with it and haven’t finished a review. Hopefully I can finish reading it and post something by the end of the weekend. We’ll see. It’s got songs, and snow, and immortals, and well I’m almost half-way through with it so I’m not sure what else…I’ll let you know.

I actually received a second copy in the mail and ended up hosting a book give-a-way which was pretty cool, so yeah that happened. The winner was LeighAnn at MaMa’s Book Corner. Congrats LeighAnn! The book is on the way (mailed it today…cuz like I said crazy busy…sorry for the delay).

img_3604Smoke Eaters: Read and Review

My next read is Smoke Eaters. It’s got dragons and firefighters! I was hooked right there. I got this one from Net Galley but it came out this week so yet again I’m behind and it irks me. I probably won’t have this review up until next weekend sometime.

Anyway, that’s it for now. I know I’ve got to work at least one day this weekend and one of the kids has a school thing on Saturday but I promise to have that Blood Of Assassins review up at some point. I hope. ‘Till then happy reading.

Book Giveaway: The Song Of All

 

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The Song Of All was released yesterday February 20th and is the debut novel by Tina LeCount Myers, and published by Night Shade Books. I was sent a copy to review and then yesterday I inadvertently received a second book. I contacted the publicist who sent them to me and after throwing out options (send it back, use it as a paperweight, use it as a doorstop, use it as a slinky step) we settled on a book giveaway!

So, I’m sure you have questions. I’ve got a some answers below: Continue reading

My TBR Short Stack: 2/17/18

We’re in Pigeon Forge for the weekend celebrating my father-in-law’s birthday. We’ve got an awesome cabin but unfortunately no WiFi which means I’m writing this on my phone (yay data plan) and not typing it on my laptop so please bear with any formatting issues.

OK things are slightly out of hand. My TBR pile has grown so large it can’t really fit in the cabinet by my reading chair. I may have to buy a bookshelf for it. I blame no one but the authors who keep writing books for me to read. I mean I appreciate what you do for me authors, but I can only read so fast.

Anyway I thought I’d post a quick update on the books on my current short stack. These are the books I expect to read over the next month or so (I average about one a week). As always this list is subject to change and usually does. Continue reading

Mannethorn’s Key Review

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Author: Simon Lindley
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 8, 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 364

“Algarth Willowbrow is about to gamble everything. His once-powerful Order is in ruins, and he faces an unwinnable battle to save his life and his people. In a last, desperate attempt, he lures his arch nemesis deep within his keep, hoping to utilize him and reclaim a long-hidden magic, powerful enough to save the world – or destroy it.

Bartholomew Waxman, former derivatives broker extraordinaire has gambled everything – and lost. Bankrupt, unemployed and divorced, his only hope for salvation is to try and rebuild his self-inflicted shattered life. But at his first job interview, he is grabbed by a spell and thrust into the netherworld of Between. There, he is groomed to wield a power so vast that it will decide a world’s fate.

The land’s only hope is the reluctant and unprepared Bartholomew, the wizard Algarth whose powers are gravely in doubt – and the Key of Life, with its true power hidden from all.”

— Blurb from book cover

Continue reading

Age Of Assassins Review

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Author: RJ Barker
Publisher: Orbit
Published: August 2017
Format: Paperback
Pages: 393

When an attempt is made on the life of the heir to the Kingdom of Maniyadoc, Merela Karn and her apprentice Girton Club-Foot are called in to investigate. Queen Adran wants to know who hired the assassin and root them out before more arrive. Only Merela and Girton are no ordinary investigators; not members of the royal guard or local watch, they are in fact two people one would least likely to expect do this job. They are assassins themselves, employed not to take a life, but to save it.

“To Catch An Assassin, Use An Assassin.”

Age Of Assassins is like a smooth but complex red wine, easy and inviting to consume yet the mystery of its flavors keeps you wondering what comes next. It’s part grimdark fantasy, and part mystery novel with a slight YA feel but is definitely adult fiction. I wanted to drink from this bottle until it was gone and had to force myself to put it down or I’d have been up all night and missed work the next day. Continue reading

2018 Vintage Science Fiction Month Recap

Vintage SciFi

Well January has come to an end and with it another Vintage Science Fiction Month is in the books! I wanted to pop by with a quick update on how my month went…

This was my first year participating in Vintage SciFi month and I have to say I enjoyed it. Had I not joined in I probably would have put off reading the two books I read forever, which would have SUCKED and I wouldn’t have known it.

IMG_3372.jpgI kicked off the month with The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. You can read my review here. If you didn’t guess by reading the review (or if you didn’t read it) I absolutely loved this classic science fiction war story. My most succinct summary was simply “so. damn. good.” Not much else needs to be said. I’d been meaning to read The Forever War for a while but just never got around to it. Once I decided on participating in Vintage Science Fiction Month however I knew I couldn’t make excuses any longer. For this book alone I’m glad I took part. If you’ve never read it and decide to participate next year I highly recommend it. Continue reading

Senlin Ascends Review

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Author: Josiah Bancroft
Publisher: Orbit Books
Published: January 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 389

Senlin Ascends is simply wonderful; a fantastic, page turning debut masterpiece!

It’s the story of Thomas Senlin, “a reserved and naturally timid man who took confidence in schedules and regimens and written accounts” who takes his new bride Marya on a honeymoon to the Tower of Babel. The Tower, a mysterious edifice rising out of the Land of Ur with its top lost in the clouds draws people to it from every direction:

“The Tower of Babel is sometimes called the Sink of Humanity. Its immensity, the variety of its ringdoms, its mysterious and luxurious heights are irresistible to all comers. We are drawn to it like water to a drain.”

– Introduction to Everyman’s Guide to the Tower of Babel (Fourteenth Edition)

But once they arrive outside the tower Marya promptly disappears while going off in search of some underclothes. Senlin, the mild mannered school master waits for his bride into the next day then remembers his wife’s declaration that if they were separated they’d meet at the top of the Tower. Senlin sets off on a new journey into the Tower to find Marya, and in the process discovers more about himself than he ever anticipated. Continue reading