Introducing the Best Fantasy Books Subgenre Reading Challenge!

With reading challenges galore, I decided to make my own this year. I had a chat with BestFantasyBooks.com, and they have been gracious enough to let me use their site name and their subgenre lists to define this challenge!

Introducing the BEST FANTASY BOOKS SUBGENRE READING CHALLENGE!

65 fantasy subgenres = 65 fantasy books in a year, including ones you’ve heard of (high fantasy, epic fantasy, paranormal fantasy) and ones you haven’t (weird west fantasy, flintlock fantasy, prehistoric fantasy). The list of books has already been chosen by yours truly through consulting BFB’s subgenre lists, both the lists by BFB and the crowd-ranked lists on their site. There will be a poll for a couple of subgenres, so you’ll get to pick the read for them. Currently we’re reading The Eye of the World, an epic fantasy classic from The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.

Why am I doing this challenge? For two reasons: (1) to become much more familiar with the fantasy genre as a whole and (2) to help force myself to increase my pleasure reading speed. More details in my video introducing this reading challenge:

If you’d like to read some of our selections, come join the Goodreads group! You don’t have to read all 65 subgenres to be part of the group. You can read however much you want. Hope to see you there!

Happy New Year!

Happy new year

First of all, I wish you a happy and healthy new year full of good books, whether you’re reading or writing them!

Second, today is the first day of the Best Fantasy Books Subgenre Reading Challenge – 65 subgenres in one year. Come join the Goodreads group here. And don’t forget, you don’t have to participate in the challenge of reading 65 books in order to join the group. You can join if you’d like to read just a couple or if you’d like to discuss fantasy books in general. Our first read is Eye of the World, the first book in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, so we’ll be off to an exciting start!

My Holiday Read Recommendations

This year I wanted to read a multitude of holiday books, but my plans got derailed when my dog went in for major surgery. I haven’t had enough time to read more than one book at a time, and I can’t read it very fast either. I’d already started developing a list of holiday books back in October that I wanted to read this December, so I’m going to have to save them for next year. I’ve found Christmas-centric, Hannukah-centric, but no Kwanza-centric yet. If you have a Kwanza-centric book to recommend that isn’t for children, let me know!

I’ve got two very different (read: opposite) books to recommend to you for this holiday season:

1. The Yuletide Angel by Sandra Ardoin ($0.99)

The Yuletide Angel

This is the most warm, comforting, enjoyable book ever. It’s a novella that I can read year after year in winter and fall in love with all over again. Ardoin deserves every bit of praise she’s gotten for this book. Taking place in Victorian times, the Yuletide Angel “itself” takes a back seat to the main characters in the book, Hugh Barnes and Violet Madison, who seem destined to be together regardless of his painful shyness and her strong will. For a novella, a whole lot is packed in, and I had to force myself not to read it all at once so I could enjoy it for a little while. Find my full review on Goodreads here.

2. Fall From Grace by J. Edward Ritchie ($0.99)

This novel is the opposite of the previous one, and I haven’t finished it yet, but I can already recommend it. I can’t say I know the story of the fall of Satan from heaven, except for the very basics. I can say that this book has inspired me to read the original text. Fall From Grace reads as if it were the real text. Well, maybe a little more pumped up, but it just sounds so…real. I never expected to say that about something classified as fantasy, but I feel as if I’m reading the true story of what happened, like I’m watching it from a hidden corner. I can’t wait to read the actual text and see how close – or not close – they are.

Leave your own holiday read recommendations in the comments so I can read them next year. I’m looking to continue building my list!

Book ThanksGiveaway: Danny Boyle and the Ghosts of Ireland

We’ve reached the final week of ThanksGiveaway, and the surprise prize is William Graham’s Danny Boyle and the Ghosts of Ireland! Come read my review of this fun and adventure-filled middle grade audiobook read by Patte Shaughnessy and enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter.

This week you can enter in multiple ways, and some entries can be done once per day for bonus entries. Enter to win an audiobook of Danny Boyle and the Ghosts of Ireland today through Monday, December 7.

ThanksGiveaway Schedule

Monday, November 2 – Monday, November 9: PDF copy of Anatomy of a Darkened Heart
Monday, November 9 – Monday, November 16:  signed and personalized paperback copy of Eva Lesko Natiello’s The Memory Box (U.S. entries only)
Monday, November 16 – Saturday, November 28: 2 U.S. and 2 U.K. audiobook copies of Josh de Lioncourt’s Haven Lost, the first book in The Dragon’s Brood Cycle series
Monday, November 23 – Monday, December 7: one U.S. audiobook copy of William Graham’s Danny Boyle and the Ghosts of Ireland

Click here for my review and the Rafflecopter giveaway of Danny Boyle and the Ghosts of Ireland.

What readers are saying:

“The series is written for a younger audience, but older readers like myself will like the different adventures that come Danny’s way.” – Amazon Reviewer

“This is a great book for those young readers who are just getting into chapter books… The storyline has lots of action and excitement and I loved the setting.” – Amazon Reviewer

Twelve-year-old Danny Boyle and his sister Melinda are on vacation in Ireland with their parents. Their holiday adventure is turned upside down when they begin to see ghosts in their hotel. Soon, Danny and Melinda are asked by the good ghosts of Ireland to help them fight the powers of the evil spirits. Danny and Melinda now find themselves caught up in a thrilling and chilling adventure that they had not bargained for.

Click here to view the review and find the Rafflecopter giveaway of Danny Boyle and the Ghosts of Ireland. (US entries only!)

Book ThanksGiveaway: HAVEN LOST

We’ve reached week 3 of ThanksGiveaway, and the next prize is Josh de Lioncourt’s Haven Lost. Come read my 5-star review of this fantastic audiobook read by Reay Kaplan and enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter.

This week you can enter 8 different ways, and some entries can be done once per day for bonus entries. Enter to win an audiobook of Haven Lost today through Monday, November 16.

ThanksGiveaway Schedule

Monday, November 2 – Monday, November 9: PDF copy of Anatomy of a Darkened Heart
Monday, November 9 – Monday, November 16:  signed and personalized paperback copy of Eva Lesko Natiello’s The Memory Box (U.S. entries only)
Monday, November 16 – Monday, November 30: 2 U.S. and 2 U.K. audiobook copies of Josh de Lioncourt’s Haven Lost, the first book in The Dragon’s Brood Cycle series
Monday, November 23 – Monday, November 30: surprise giveaway!

Click here for my 5-star review and the Rafflecopter giveaway of Haven Lost.

What readers are saying:

“Haven Lost is a joy to listen to… The author does an exceptional job describing the remarkable world that is the setting for this story.” – Audible Reviewer

“Text you wanna ride from start to end with twist and turns along the way. So much love for this book.” – Audible Reviewer

“This novel captured my imagination right from the start.” – Amazon Reviewer

 

Sixteen-year-old Emily Haven, heroine of the girls’ hockey team at Lindsey High, has spent her young life keeping two secrets: her rapidly deteriorating home life and the seemingly supernatural power that makes her a star on the ice. When she begins seeing visions of a lost and ragged boy reflected in mirrors and shop windows, a series of events unfolds that tears her from 21st-century Minneapolis and leaves her stranded in another world with horrors to rival those she has left behind. Lost amidst creatures of fantasy and legend, she’s forced to confront the demons of both her past and future to unravel the riddle of the mysterious boy and embark upon a journey to uncover long forgotten histories and the dark, cloaked figure in the shadows behind them all. Caught between opposing forces of a war she doesn’t understand, Emily must find new strength within herself and, above all, the will to remember her friends.

Click here to view the review and find the Rafflecopter giveaway of Haven Lost (US AND UK entries welcome!).

Permanent Spot with Marnie Cate!

It’s an honor to have a permanent page on YA fantasy author Marnie Cate’s website, which, by the way, is beautifully designed. An excerpt from Anatomy of a Darkened Heart and a description of the Dark Victoriana Collection along with what you have to look forward to is neatly arranged on the page. Here it is!

And don’t forget to wander around her blog, check out her other awesome author pages, and see her YA Protectors of the Elemental Magic book series!