Writing, D&D and Maps

Hello!

Well the start of 2021 has been…interesting? I’m not sure that’s really the right word, but it’s the one I’m going with because it’s less complicated than some of the others. However, between lockdowns and everything else, our house currently being in disarray because the kitchen is being done (cooking in the living room is strange and I don’t like it, although the dog is loving in as it brings her closer to the food), and sheet ice making it very hard to get out and about for walks it has been incredibly hard to focus on writing. Instead, I’ve been reading – a lot – and I now I have a bunch of reviews to write, I’ve been doing some world-building for a new DnD campaign that I will be starting up at the end of this month, and I’ve managed to poke at my editing off and on.

I’m not quite at the point I hoped to be with my editing, but progress is being made. I managed to untangle a fight scene where I almost killed one of my main characters without intending too (I am terrible to my characters, but he isn’t supposed to die… ). I’m attempting to set up a schedule for the coming weeks (I miss work, and the structure it gives me), so hopefully I will be able to catch up, but considering *gestures at the world* I consider any and all progress to be good at the moment.

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December Wrap-up, January TBR and a Peek Beyond

Hello!

We did it, we survived 2020. I have to admit that 2021 doesn’t look so different at the moment, especially with what else happened last night at 11PM, but while we face an upward hike – I’m currently stuck at home and furloughed once more – I am optimistic. Life is too short to be any other way. And while 2020 was a hell year, it wasn’t without bright spots.

I started this blog and it has grown and gone much further than I ever imagined when I first started, I’ve made lots of friends through blogging, read lots of fantastic books and spent lots of wonderful hours under imaginary skies.

Continue reading “December Wrap-up, January TBR and a Peek Beyond”

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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***** *****

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

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.

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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.

Continue reading “Blog Tour (Book Review): The Heron Kings – Eric Lewis”

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”