#SPFBO7 Elimination: Ryswyck by L.D. Inman

This is just a quick post to share my first cut of #SPFBO7 for team Before We Go Blog. I know I’ve not posted in over a week and that’s due in part to being busy with work and other things, and in part to focusing only on reading #SPFBO entrants for the past couple of weeks.

If you’re new to #SPFBO here’s a link telling you all about it: The Self Published Fantasy Blog Off

Our initial batch of 30 books was divided among the team and Ryswyck was my first read for the contest and the first book I cut from my batch. Since Beth Tabler’s Before We Go Blog site is the official blog for our team you can find the full post there using the link below. It was originally posted June 11th and you may have already seen me post it on Twitter. I hope you’ll follow our team and the full competition as we move along. In the future I’ll try to cross-post links my reviews once they’ve first been posted to the team blog.


Book Haul: May 2021

Banner image featuring covers for the books Unsouled by Will WIght, The Pariah by Anthony Ryan, Catalyst Gate by Megan E. O'Keefe, and The Colour of Vengeance by Rob Hayes. Text reads Book Haul and Off the TBR

I’ve been quiet lately here on the blog. That’s mostly because I’ve been busy reading my first allotment of books for SPFBO, and I haven’t had any new reviews ready to go. I’ll be working on some SPFBO reviews you’ll be able to find over at Before We Go Blog, and may have some regular ones here as well in the near future. In the meantime I thought I’d share my latest book haul update with you.

My last Book Haul post was like two months ago for books I’d hauled in March. That’s not a big deal, I just didn’t realize that much time had passed. And unsurprisingly I’ve not yet read a single one of the books from that haul. One of them doesn’t come out until the fall so I’ve got time for it and one is a SPFBO entrant so I may end up reading it as part of the competition. We’ll see.

But adding books to my TBR and not reading them hasn’t stopped me from continuing to add more books. And if you are anything like me the same applies to you. So we can both revel in our book hauling, TBR building habits together.

Which leads me to this post and my haul for May. I’m really excited about all of the books I picked up last month and am trying to figure out how to work them into my schedule for the coming months. So what did I bring home? Well…take a look…

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New Blogging/Reviewing Goal Reached

Banner Image for SPFBO competition. Text reads "SPFBO" and "300 Books 10 Judges 1 Winner"

If you follow me on Twitter or here on the blog you know I’m a big fan of self-published fantasy. What started out with a couple self-published author requests to read and review their books soon turned into hosting Self-Published Fantasy Month over the last three years. But there’s one major thing I haven’t been a part of as it relates to blogging and self-published fantasy. That my friends is participating in SPFBO. Sure I’ve followed along over the last few years, and I’ve tried to read the finalists, but nothing more than that. Well, that’s now changed because…

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Book Haul: March 2021

Banner collage of book covers for Legacy of The Brightwash by Krystle Matar, City of Shattered Light by Claire Winn, Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, and Tower of Mud And Straw by Yaroslav Barsukov.

It has been AGES since I did a book haul post. Ages like as in last October…for books I’d hauled last August. I’d promised a post about my September hauls and never got around to it. Or any others since then for that matter.

One of my blogging goals for 2020 was to be to be more intentional about Book Haul posts and I’d like to continue that this year. I realize we are a quarter of the way through the year and this is the first one but better late than never. I’m also still aware that it’s possible nobody cares about the books I’ve bought or received, but I kinda like when bloggers post these because it not only puts new books in front of my eyeballs that I might not be aware of, but they also give me an idea of the blogger’s tastes. For my purposes a Book Haul post can include any book I’ve come to possess, not just those I buy, so arcs requested or just sent from publishers will be listed as well.

I don’t plan to recap all the books I’ve hauled so far this year, I’m just gonna start with March. So here we go…

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Book Review: Oh That Shotgun Sky

Post banner featuring cover of Oh That Shotgun Sky superimposed over zoomed in and blurred portion of cover. Text reads "Book Review" and "Off The TBR"

Do you ever read a book, series, or author because you intentionally want to be wrecked? That seems weird right? Like it’s one thing for a book to wreck you and to enjoy how good it was, and it’s another to seek it out because you want it. I feel like that with Sarah Chorn’s books. I know what to expect now and eagerly look forward to what they will do to me. I think that’s because Chorn writes about pain and emotion so well. She has a way of getting into the soul of her characters and into yours. And all the while she protects the reader so they feel safe on the journey. It’s a marvelous skill I’m not even sure she’s aware she possesses. Sarah Chorn has quickly become one of my favorite authors and is on my auto-buy list. If you haven’t started reading her books you should rectify that situation.

Today I give you my review of Oh That Shotgun Sky, book 1.5 in the Songs of Sefate. An exploration of fate through pain, emotion, and trauma…with a glimmer of hope and healing.

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What I’m Reading: Oh That Shotgun Sky

Blog post banner. Cover of Oh That Shotgun Sky by Sarah Chorn Superimposed over zoomed in and blurred image of same cover. Text reads "What I'm Reading" and "Off The TBR."

After a short break where I was reading a couple traditionally published novels I’m right into the swing of things with a self-published offering. If you read my recent goals post you know I’m hoping to even out my traditionally published reads with self-published reads to be about 50/50 this year. The book I’m about to start is one I’ve been looking forward to and dreading. I’ll explain why below.

So What am I reading? Well…it’s Oh That Shotgun Sky by Sarah Chorn.

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Book Review: Kings of Paradise

Blog Post Banner: Cover of Kings of Paradise superimposed over zoomed in and blurred portion of same cover. Text says "Book Review" and "Off The TBR."

Kings of Paradise was my first read of the new year, and it set the bar high for everything to come after. I can’t tell you just how much I enjoyed this book. This is dark, epic, and intimate fantasy that will linger with you for a while. It will give you thrills and make you shudder; it will pose questions and make you ponder them.

This is self-published fantasy at some of it’s best. I just wish I’d read it sooner…

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Book Review: Vultures

Banner pic for Vultures gook tour with cover image and reading "Luke Tarzian, Vultures, Book Tour Feb 7th - 13th.

Today I bring you an encore performance of the Vultures tour hosted by Storytellers On Tour! That’s right…the band had left the stage but you stuck around hoping there might be more. And your devotion paid off because today I give you one last review from this epic tour.

Ok…in reality this is a non-sanctioned encore performance because I got behind on my review due to work and an ice storm and then I got sickly, and I couldn’t get it posted on my scheduled date. But I promised everyone involved I would get it done as soon as I could and here it is. After reading the review please be sure to scroll down for more information about Luke Tarzian and where you can find the book and a giveaway. And though the tour is already over be sure to check the tour schedule for other reviewer sites to read what they had to say. The giveaway is U.S. only of two paperback copies of Vultures that as of the time of my post still has a few hours left in it, so be sure to enter for a chance to win.

Now, on with the show…

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Book Review: Rise of One

Banner for Rise of One book tour. Image taken of eye and zombies taken from book cover. Text says Dixon Reuel Rise of One. To Face The Apocalypse One Must Rise. Book Tour Jan 31st - Feb 6th.

Welcome to my stop on the Rise of One tour hosted by Storytellers on Tour! After reading the review be sure to scroll down for more information about Dixon Reuel, where you can find the book, additional stops on the tour, and a chance to enter to win a free copy of the book!

The Review

With a somewhat atypical twist on the vampire and zombie genres, Dixon Reuel delivers a fresh take on each with Rise of One. I was initially drawn to this book and the tour because (A) I like vampire stories, and (B) I like zombie stories. So what about a book that combines the two? I’ll tell you now that Rise of One wasn’t what I was expecting.

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