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.

35604954

Continue reading

Advertisements

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.

williamray_headshot

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

img_4063

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

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.

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