TBR: The Eye of Everfell by Bard Constantine

In a world where history has become myth, legend returns in sinister fashion. When a malevolent race of powerful beings reveals their existence, humanity must suffer the consequences.

An immortal lord risks everything to cure his people of their terrible curse, yet the cost may be that of his very soul. A newly anointed seeress discovers an artifact that may hold the key to an ages-old conflict, but her discovery may be her destruction. And a fallen knight pursues a path of vengeance, despite repercussions that threaten to consume all that he has suffered for.

Their lives will intersect with others: men who shift their shape with a thought, an ambitious and brutal warlord fixated on conquest, a cunning agent with duplicitous loyalties, a crimson-eyed mistress whose name means Death, and a band of skilled fighters who dare to hunt the immortal. The resulting maneuvers for position and power will sweep the entire kingdom into a war where no outcome is predictable, and even the best intentions can go horribly awry.

The Shadow Battles have begun.


I, too, am crimson-eyed when I haven’t gotten enough sleep. I, too, have a name that means death if you wake me from my freakin’ nap.

Read more on Goodreads. 

TBR – CALL A SPADE by D. M. Griffin

CALL A SPADE is set in the near future, in bombastic President Charles Wolfe’s America. Eight year old Jasper Brown has Apert’s Syndrome, a genetic condition that results in severe physical deformities and numerous other health issues. That’s why, when his family receives word that he has been accepted as a participant in a new medical trial run by famed French geneticist Jean Thierry-Delvoix, they rush to accept. What Jasper and his parents don’t know is that this medical trial could potentially change the course of history.

In fact, Thierry-Delvoix’s new form of genetic therapy produces very different results than anyone expects – results such as telekinesis, telepathy, and even the ability to spontaneously produce raging fireballs and lightning bolts. But this inevitably draws the attention of people in power – people like Charles Wolfe, who will do anything to add these capabilities to his already-vast arsenal of weapons. Jasper, who is the reluctant leader of his peers, must find a way to deal with Wolfe while simultaneously guarding against a far more potent threat – one that neither side has anticipated. When the clash between these forces inevitably takes place, Wolfe’s wish to “see some fireworks” is granted – in spades.

Sounds like fun.  Reminds me of the book Geek Love.

Buy on Amazon.

TBR – The Year of Uh by Jud Widing

For the first time in their lives, nineteen year-old Nur De Dernberg and her younger sister Deirdre are leaving Seychelles, Africa. They’ve come to Boston for a year, but not to party with the college kids – they’re here to learn English. Nur, trapped by her inability to speak the language and her sister’s inability to speak in anything other than clipped wisecracks, finds herself in a strange country with nobody to talk to; she is dreadfully, existentially alone.

Until, that is, she goes to language class and meets Hyun-Woo. Despite sharing no common language, Nur feels something distinctly spark-like between them. Thus commences an awkward courtship…maybe? Is it a courtship? Does he feel for her the way she feels for him? Does he know how she feels? Then again, does she? Nur is beset by questions that would be easy to ask, if only she had the words. Those words are coming slowly, though, while her feelings for Hyun-Woo are thundering along at a more breakneck pace.

This sounds uhhhh-mazing.

View on Goodreads.

TBR – This Modern Love by Ray Hecht

American love isn’t what it used to be.

Roommates Jack and Ben are complete opposites when it comes to romance. For Jack, a mere waiter, it’s easy to use to the latest to app meet a new girl every weekend. But Ben, even though he’s a programmer, can’t seem to figure out how to maneuver online dating.

On the other side of town, sisters Andrea and Carla have their own issues. Andrea is a bit of a wreck, stumbling from one dramatic episode to the next. Carla is more concerned with blogging than dating, though she does get lonely at times. In an age of narcissism and alienation, it’s just so hard to meet someone.

Over the course of one day, these thoroughly modern men and women keep passing each other by. From yoga class to the club – all in a haze of drugs, sex, and selfies – opportunities for true love come and go, and no one notices because they were too busy staring at their phones.

Welcome to the 21st century.

Well, it has some good Amazon reviews.

Buy it on Amazon.

TBR: Subversive by A. Deen

In a not so distant future, an unprepared humanity barely managed to repel the Locusts when they invaded Earth. But the long war left its mark on mankind and the Establishment was founded to ensure it would never come so close to destruction from an alien force again. Now, decades later, the world is run by this single governing entity. Loyalty is rewarded. Disloyalty is met with corrective action.

As an inquisitor for the past twenty years, Gemson used torture and interrogation to root out subversives. He’d worked hard to earn his cold, hard reputation. Now he finds himself on the subject’s side of the interrogation table. Loyalty? Some bonds transcend the laws of state.

Insurrection is a five-part novelette series. Each installment is told from the perspective of a single character, each interconnected with the others and humanity’s ultimate fate.

Ohhhh Aliens.

Buy on Amazon.


BOOK REVIEW: The Trickster’s Lover by Samantha MacLeod

Surviving Graduate School ~ Falling in Love ~ Preventing Ragnarök

Graduate student Caroline Capello has always been more comfortable with books than people. She’s just moved to the University of Chicago to become the world’s foremost authority on Norse mythology, making her the only member of her family to leave San Diego, and the family business.

But she’s wondering if she’s just made the biggest mistake of her life.

When Loki, the enigmatic and irresistibly sexy Norse trickster god, appears in her studio apartment, Caroline is forced to question everything she’s learned.

Do the gods exist? Are the legends about Ragnarök, the apocalyptic battle that destroys the gods and ends the Nine Realms, actually true?

Or is she losing her mind?

I chose this book because I am really really really into mythology. And MacLeod really seems to know her stuff. And it’s funny that in the book the Italian MC, Carol, makes a point of expressing the irony of not being into Roman myth.

This book, however, is more heavy on the romance and light on the mythology. I was hoping it would be more myth with romance sprinkled in. Not the case.

I probably wasn’t the reader for this book. But if you like the romance genre and are interested in Norse myth, this one is for you. I think it was also a bit too lengthy for what it wanted to do and suffered from insta love (Loki basically sexually assults her to tell her he likes her but she’s OK with it?). But again, I am not the reader for this book and the length and automatic attraction seems like it would fit in the genre anyway.

I also loved that all the “Norse” words had their proper accent marks in the book. Great stuff.

An good choice for any librarians looking to grow their indie books, romance, or sf collections.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

TBR – Curse of Stars

Sabi Perez is the last Diamond Crier, only she doesn’t know it. Not until a crazed ruler from another world comes to collect her priceless tears and won’t take no for an answer.

Living in New York, Sabi’s seen some nasty things, but the lengths to which her captor will go to keep his crown are things found only in the darkest nightmares. Afraid and

alone, Sabi finds solace in her cellmate, Anya, and Cabal, a fellow Crier who also has powers, a rare combination that buys his favor from the ruler, only it’s a favor he doesn’t want.

In a fit of rage, power erupts out of Sabi, the same power Cabal has, and a spark of hope

You cry diamonds and don’t know it? You’ve never been sad before? I gotta know more.

Book Review: The Size of the World by Ivana Skye

There are seven Seas, and Theia will cross them all. There is the Darkness beyond the Seventh Sea, and Theia will reach it.
But, in the Second Land, there is also Tellus. And soon Tellus is not only offering her skills as a guide to Theia, but following her out of her city … and kissing her.
Now this journey belongs to both of them. And soon they may belong to each other.

I was pitched this book as a novella, so when it came to me looking like a thick novel-length book I was a bit surprised. But then when you look inside you see that the pages are more flash fiction. And they read like poetry. Prose poetry, perhaps.

There is a lack of detail that makes you continually curious. It leaves you wanting more and lets your imagination fill in the purposeful blanks. I’m still not entirely sure what I just read, though it feels like an allegory–something with deeper meaning. I can’t really tell you how to interpret something like this, because I’m not an authority on anything it covers. My best guess is that it is an expansion on “I would cross the seven seas for you” but instead of “for” it’s “with”? Maybe it’s commentary on something else. Or nothing at all (in which case I would be bothered).

It starts with a girl who wants to cross the seven seas. And she meets another girl along the way and they fall in love. And some people think she is the Messiah. And the concept of “names” is very prevalent: the girl Theia falls in love with (Tellus) has the most names. Like Gandalf in LOTR, she has more than one, yet names have an oral magic to them. Some names she only tells to certain people. That concept was very interesting.

Ivana Skye is a linguist, which is pretty cool and it made the whole book make sense. The things she does with language and the lack thereof–the restraint of telling–is very beautiful.

The formatting and layout in the book is very pretty as well–there are alien-like gears decorating the pages like on the cover. Speaking of alien-like, I couldn’t tell if this was really fantasy or science fiction. It seemed like we were on another planets. Maybe the gears were affecting me. But it was interesting how you could interpret the story both ways–the seas could be the space and stars between planets; the ships they use as space ships. I don’t know if I’m taking too many liberties here, but that’s just where my mind went sometimes. Like Disney’s Treasure Planet.

There is a heavy dose of romance in the book, so if you don’t like that (which I normally don’t) this book isn’t for you. Yet it always comes off as more poetic than cheesy. Sex scenes are not explicit, just implied.

A very easy, quick read. Recommended for teens and up. Also recommended to librarians to build their LGBTQIA and Indie collections.

View on Goodreads.

Buy on Amazon.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Panda turds: Collected droppings to 12/10/16

TBR: The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum

The story of how Jesus was tricked into thinking he was the son of God by a shape-shifting monster known as the Rauschmonstrum.
It is a tale about love, cruelty, misunderstanding, agonizing despair, walking on water, healing the sick, and one unusual case of a person being impersonated after their death.

Sounds plausible.  Sounds irreverent. Sounds worth reading.

The story reminds me of all those Bible specials on the Discovery Channel or History Channel or whatever Wasting Time Channel where they try to blame biblical events on Aliens.

I’m calling it “Jesus fanfiction.”

Really is on my TBR pile.

It’s a novella at 163 pages.

Buy it on Amazon.