Cover Reveal: The Echoed Realm (The Chaos Cycle #2) – A. J. Vrana

Hello!

Today I am delighted to be part of the Storytellers on Tour Cover Reveal Blitz for ‘The Echoed Realm’ the second book in The Chaos Cycle Duology by A. J. Vrana, a dark fantasy with more than a touch of horror and magical realism, which will be published on the 8th June 2021 by Parliament Press. I read and reviewed the first book in this series back in march (Here) and I am super-excited for the second book, so I hope that you will show the author and book a lot of love.

Grayscale Photo of Bare Tree

Book Summary:

Miya’s world ended in Black Hollow.

It’s been three years since the Dreamwalker upended her life and left her with a heavy burden. A fledgling to the ethereal realm, Miya stumbles into the nightmares of those haunted by spectres. Little does she know, one of them is coming for her, clutching a dark secret abreast.

Kai has found a new purpose with his companion, but the price is his freedom. Bound and beholden to Miya, he struggles to adjust to his new role as her vanguard.

Meanwhile, Mason discovers he may be a pawn trapped in a web of schemes. Was his time in Black Hollow an accident, or was it only the beginning of some greater machination?

As Black Hollow’s bloody stain spreads beyond its wooded borders, Miya fights to evade a past she barely understands. The Dreamwalker’s legacy is a vise grip, and it isn’t letting go. Primordial horrors draw near, fables come alive, and long-buried histories rise from the grave, ready to hunt.

Sharpen your claws and bloody your teeth. There’s fear to be sown.

***** ***** *****

Drum Rolls

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***** *****

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October Wrap-Up and What’s On for November

Hello!

So October has come and gone, in a somewhat different way than I had planned as I ended up spending two weeks in quarantine after coming into contact with colleagues who tested positive for covid. I didn’t have it or at least had no symptoms, I was just very bored for two weeks – and read a lot more because of it. I also had my birthday and was blessed with some lovely books and Final Fantasy VII remake which I have wanted for ages, and is currently driving me up the wall as I am stuck on a battle.

(Birthday books)

October also saw a little bit of rebranding, because as my blog nears it’s first birthday I decided a revamp was needed. So I changed up the background and created a new banner:

I also decided that come the New Year, I will be doing away with the star-rating system (apart from on netgalley and goodreads etc where it is required) and I will be replacing it with badges. I am still working on the design and details of these, so watch this space, but they are coming.

Continue reading “October Wrap-Up and What’s On for November”

August Wrap-up and September Plans

Hello!
Since we’re on the brink of September (and when did that happen?) I thought that I would do a wrap up post for August, before plunging into September where I will be participating in Self-Published Fantasy Month. You can find my TBR for that event here, I have added some to the list since then, but keeping them unofficial so that if I don’t get to them I won’t feel as bad.

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Book Review: The Vela – Yoon Ha Lee, Becky Chambers, SL Huang, and Rivers Solomon

Hello!

Today I am reviewing what is probably my favourite Sci-Fi read for this year – The Vela. This is one that I stumbled across on netgalley and was intrigued enough to request, and I am so glad that I was approved, because I loved this book and I find myself already wanting to read it again.

*Disclaimer – I received an e-arc via netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Book Summary:

In the fading light of a dying star, a soldier for hire searches for a missing refugee ship and uncovers a universe-shattering secret.

Orphan, refugee, and soldier-for-hire Asala Sikou doesn’t think too much about the end of civilization. Her system’s star is dying, and the only person she can afford to look out for is herself.

When a ship called The Vela vanishes during what was supposed to be a flashy rescue mission, a reluctant Asala is hired to team up with Niko, the child of a wealthy inner planet’s president, to find it and the outer system refugees on board.

But this is no ordinary rescue mission; The Vela holds a secret that places the fate of the universe in the balance, and forces Asala to decide—in a dying world where good and evil are far from black and white, who deserves to survive?

Continue reading “Book Review: The Vela – Yoon Ha Lee, Becky Chambers, SL Huang, and Rivers Solomon”

Top 5: Fantasy Music Artists

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Hello!
I thought that I would do something a little different today for Wyrd & Wonder and look at music. Some on the list are covers or versions of fantasy songs, others are music that I (and this is very much personal opinion) associate with fantasy whether through listening to it while reading/writing fantasy (I can’t work without background noise, and its usually music or Criminal minds), or just through the name. Of course, this list is highly subjective, and I am always find new music but here we go!

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Roll those Dice!

Hello!

So, today’s prompt for #WyrdAndWonder was Goblins, which for me meant Dungeons & Dragons and Critical Role. I had always wanted to play DnD, but I was too shy to approach the groups I knew about, and I had no idea where to start. Then I began to watch Critical Role at the start of Campaign 2, and I fell in love, while it was a game with rules and dice rolls it was the storytelling that caught my attention and got me hooked. A couple of episodes in and I was recommending it to some of my friends. Soon we were all watching it and talking about it, and it seemed like a natural progression when we all went ‘why don’t we play?’ We knew each other, we trusted each other, there was no worry about finding a group where we belonged, we already had that, and so the decision was made almost before the question was asked.

It’s not quite that simple, as while most of us had met at university via the Anime Society, we were now spread out across the UK and for some time the US and the Netherlands. So, we went online – a good thing really considering the current situation – and it has spiralled since then. We now have three campaigns so that we can keep playing even when one of the DMs (as several of us were/are still studying at postgrad), and oneshots where we can experiment with new stories and formats. Some weeks, I am DM and running around as Variant Human Fighter, other weeks I am a Tiefling Wild-Magic Sorcerer/Warlock (who may or may not have taken the party to the Shadowfell and Feywilds, and dropped a Fireball on her own head), or a Drow Rogue in the craziest party of the three. I’ve been a Firbolg Druid/Bard in a Firbolg only one-shot, a Tiefling Draconic-Origin Sorcerer in a Battle Royale which ended with my character trapping herself in a different dimension.

I love being able to create characters -my own and NPCs – and worlds, weaving together backstories and our own chaotic choices. I get to make maps, throw in character cameos – we had Gimli and Legolas running a tavern- and for four hours a week, I get to live in a fantasy. In fact, I love DnD and the material that exists around it so much that I currently have two projects on the go, a LitRPG-esque story, and another ‘secret’ project, which is my escape when I need an escape from more serious projects. As a result, I am hoarding DnD characters alongside my dice. And going back to Goblins – one of the characters for the second writing project is Kelp, a Goblin Paladin out in the world trying to do good.

I’m caught up with Campaign 2 of Critical Role, and I am now working my way through Campaign one – Vax may have stolen my heart – and I am eagerly awaiting the animated series. Each time I watch and rewatch episodes, I learn something new about DnD and storytelling, and every time I come away inspired to create stories that make me feel like Critical Role makes me feel.

Rowena

Proud Dice Goblin

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Blog Tour (Book Review): The Heron Kings – Eric Lewis

The Heron Kings banner

Hello!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Heron Kings’ by Eric Lewis, organised by Random Things Tours.  I was delighted to have participate in this tour, and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.

*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.’*

The Heron Kings Cover

Book Summary:

After a warlord slaughters her patients, Sister Alessia quits the cloister and
strikes out on her own to heal the victims of a brutal dynastic conflict. H er
roaming forest camp unwittingly becomes the center of a vengeful peasant
insurgency, raiding the forces of both sides to survive. Alessia struggles to
temper their fury as well as tend wounds, consenting to ever greater violence
to keep her new charges safe. When they uncover proof of a foreign
conspiracy prolonging the bloodshed, Alessia risks the very lives she’s saved
to expose the truth and bring the war to an end.

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Blog Tour (Book Review) – Trembleath – Ruth Shedwick

Trembleath banner
Hello!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Trembleath’ by Ruth Shedwick, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I was delighted to participate in this tour, and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.

*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*

TREMBLEATH Cover

Book Summary:

Amelia Scott is re-building her life in Southern England following a disastrous relationship. It was going to be an adventure, but when she hears news of a young girl found dead and another goes missing, she quickly begins to learn there is more to Creek Bay than she could ever imagine.

A village hiding a dark secret, two families at war, Amelia Scott gets caught up in a murder investigation with dire consequences.

Continue reading “Blog Tour (Book Review) – Trembleath – Ruth Shedwick”

Review: To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo

Hello!

Illness lay me low last week, so I am still reading ‘Into the Crooked Place’ by Alexandra Christo, and I’ve decided to split my reviews for that and ‘To Kill a Kingdom’ which I finished over the weekend. In addition, I also read ‘Where I Left My Soul’ by Jérôme Ferrari (4*), which was ‘beautifully written, and incredibly powerful. The entire book was incredibly thought-provoking, and some parts will stay with me for a long time. This was a book I’d picked up on a whim, and I am delighted that I did. I’ve also just purchased ‘The Eye of the World’ by Robert Jordan, so I will be giving the Wheel of Time a try for the first time after having it recommended to me several times.

In other book news, there are two announcements that I was excited about over the past week. First was the cover revealand opening of pre-orders for Sarah’s Chorn’s second novel ‘Of Honey and Wildfires’ – it looks beautiful, and I am love with her writing so I pre-ordered immediately and I am now counting the days until it is released. ‘Seraphina’s Lament’, her first novel, remains firmly at the top of my favourites list, and I can’t recommend it highly enough, and while this new book is in a different world, I am just as excited for it. This week also saw the announcement of a new trilogy from Anna Stephens, who is the author of the Godblind Trilogy, which is wonderfully dark and one of my favourite series of all time. Again, this is a new world, and I am excited to see what it will bring.

As a ‘valentine’s’ gift to myself, I have been to the bookshop to pre-order a bunch of books this week, all some of my most anticipated reads for this year: ‘The Empire of Gold’ by S.A. Chakraborty, ‘The Black Song’ by Anthony Ryan, ‘The Burning God’ by R.F.Kuang, ‘The Stone Knife’ by Anna Stephens, ‘The Court of Miracles’ by Kester Grant.

In other more personal news, I am aiming for releasing my first novella at the end of May – so there will be some more news and sneak peeks about that over the next few months, so stay tuned (I am both excited and terrified, and it is the most wonderful, nauseating feeling… and I still hate editing).

So, on to the review:

Continue reading “Review: To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo”

January Wrap-Up

Hello!

We’re in February already, when did that happen? We have Valentines’ hearts in the window at work, and Easter Eggs on the shelves and this year seems to already be passing quickly. It’s been a rather eventful week since my last post – Brexit happened (joy), I started a Patreon for some of my writing projects, had a run-in with a reposter who turned out to be nothing more than (I hope) a teenager looking for a fight who didn’t have a leg to stand on, and finally got through a scene in my novella that has been giving me no end of grief. I also spent a good ten minutes tangling with the word ‘them’ which I had written as ‘theb’ (got to love dyslexia and muddling letters), wherein I kept deleting the ‘b’ and then promptly typing it back in again – brain, why?

As such reading took a little bit of a back seat, plus I was still processing ‘The Wolf of Oren-Yaro’ by K.S. Villoso (Review here). I did, however, read ‘West’ by Carys Davies and ‘The Honjin Murders’ by Seishi Yokomizo – both of which I gave *** (3-stars) on Goodreads because while they were enjoyable enough reads and quick ones, they didn’t grasp me as fully as I would like. I also started ‘To Kill a Kingdom’ by Alexandra Christo, while I have decided for the time being to set aside ‘The Final Empire’ by Brandon Sanderson. I’m hoping that if I come back to it when I am in the right mindset, I will enjoy it more than I am at the moment, as it is one that has been highly recommended to me by several friends, and I have seen it on all the big ‘lists’, and I at least want to finish book one. But, not right now.

I also did some book therapy, I got these ones from work, hoping to expand a bit more beyond my fantasy reading (although I will always come back there)

 

Jan

Continue reading “January Wrap-Up”