2019 Reading And Blogging Goals VI: Read More Self-Pub Books

2019ReadingAndBlogginGoals

At the beginning of the year I posted about my 2019 Reading And Blogging Goals. I listed ten things I wanted to do this year. Wow ten. I didn’t realize it was that many until I counted it. Huh. Anyway, I listed ten things I hope to accomplish this year:

Because this isn’t simply a book review blog (I mean mostly yeah but not completely), it’s also my thoughts on books and reading and the blog in general, I’ve decided to take some time to address each one in more detail because I know you’re all riveted by it. OK, truth be told this is really to help me keep on task. Anyway, here’s the sixth deeper dive into my goals. Continue reading

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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

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

SelfPubFantasyMonth

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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Continue reading

Author Interview: William Ray

SelfPubFantasyMonth

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: Less Than A Week Away!

SelfPubFantasyMonth

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…

SelfPubFantasyMonth

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

Self-Pub Fantasy Month Update: Some Planning & Organizing

SelfPubFantasyMonth

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

May 2018 Month In Review

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these…

If you follow this blog even superficially you’ve noticed my output has been down the last few months. As I’ve mentioned before I’ve been swamped at work – working late, working weekends, and I’ve had a lot of family commitments with kids in ballet, and baseball practice, and just needing to spend what little free time I’ve had with the wife and kids. That’s all meant my blogging has taken a hit. I even had to stop accepting review requests. I’ve still been reading but the reviews have been slow in coming. Things may not change much until July but hopefully I’m seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

That being said, I did manage to get a couple of reviews out (if you go back to the end of April) and I posted my first Waiting On Wednesday post. So here it is, my May 2018 (and end of April) month in review: Continue reading

Gedlund: A Tale Of The Verin Empire Review

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Author: William Ray
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date:  December 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 627

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

Black powder weapons, railroads, steamships, spear chucking goblins, zombies, vampire lords, lightning giants and magic.

That was a list, not a sentence, but did it get your attention?

In Gedlund, William Ray takes blackpowder fantasy and merges it with sword and sorcery. What he produced is a war story set in a fantasy world that seems almost real. You know, except for the goblins and vampires and whatnot. So let’s get to it… Continue reading