Off The TBR’s Best Reads of 2018

Well it’s time for another best of list. You didn’t think the year would end before having to read mine did you? You could skip it I guess…but that would make you a sucky person and you’re not a sucky person right? I mean if you’re really tired of these then go ahead and skip it, but I’m taking the time to compile it so yeah I’d love for you to at least skim for the results and pics.

This was another great year for speculative fiction. Unfortunately for me I didn’t get to read as many as I would have liked and I reviewed even less. You’ve read all my rants and moans about my schedule this year so I won’t rehash it, but I’m disappointed I didn’t get more reviews posted. That being said here’s my “Best Of” list for 2018. This isn’t strictly a best of books published in 2018, but rather the my best reads for the year regardless of publication date.

If I’ve kept an accurate count I read 40+ books so far this year. One was a Beta read that I can’t talk about yet. The first five books in this list are my five star reviews that I actually wrote up. The last six are books that either were a 4.5 – 5.0 most of which were read during a time I didn’t have the bandwidth to post a review. Finally I have a couple of short-stories I fell in love with that I have no choice but to add to my best of list.

And as you scroll down notice how many self-pub/indie books made the list. Yep…I’ve become a fan. Continue reading

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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

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

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

Month In Review: July 2018

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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 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

Month In Review: June 2018

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Wow is it already July? Half the year has already gone by. That just feels crazy. Well, it’s time for another Month In Review And A Look Ahead, and this one is pretty interesting. To me at least.

June was a pretty spectacular month at Off The TBR and at the same time not much happened. I didn’t post a single book review and I had the best month ever in terms of traffic on the blog along with the single most viewed post I’ve ever had. Now, that isn’t saying much since this little ole blog has only been around since November 2017, but I’m kinda excited about it. Ok…here’s what happened… Continue reading