Monthly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up: October 2018

Wait. What happens with time? Someone speed it up! It can’t be November already! Where is my October??? Give me a moment while I panic, will you?


Okay, I’m better now. I’m a bit behind on posts because I had become sick after returning from the UK, so a review and my post about said UK trip will be up later this week, thus they will count as November posts. So, let’s see what I had in store for you in October:

Book reviews

In case you missed any of my reviews earlier this month you can read them by clicking on the title! 🙂 Once again I’ve read more books than I reviewed, but there are reasons for that. I swear.

An American Weredeer in Michigan by C.T. Phipps – 3.5/5

an american weredeer in michigan

The sequel to I Was a Teenage Weredeer by C.T. Phipps. I’m still not enterily sure I’m the right audience for this series, but I was able to enjoy it more than I did the first book.

“Who liked the first book of the Bright Falls Mysteries or C.T. Phipps’ other books, will find this one just as entertaining and full of deer puns which you’d think is impossible. If you are looking for some easy read, and Urban Fantasy with a comedy streak and a story with some moral lessons, shapeshifters and mages, the Bright Falls Mysteries might be up your alley.”

The Great Hearts by David Oliver – 3.5/5

the great hearts

I quite liked this book, it stayed with me for quite a long time. It has some nice ideas, a few WTF moments, lots of killing. And a giant black panther.

“The Great Hearts is an interesting debut dark fantasy book, which needs a bit of polishing, but otherwise has some nice qualities: it’s a coming of age story with intriguing characters, gritty scenes and a great potential. It’s far for being perfect, but I’m interested what will come out of this series.”

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix – 5/5

we sold our souls

We Sold Our Souls is easily one of my favorite reads this year. I don’t read horror much, but the moment I laid eyes on the cover (and the blurb after that), I knew I had to read it. OMG it’s such a great book!

“This book has everything you might wish for: a dark tale, gritty scenes, a crazy road trip, monsters, relatable characters and metal. We Sold Our Souls is the perfect bland of prose, characters, the darker side of the world and so many great quotes that I had to restrain myself to use them all. This is one of those books I would like to shout about to anyone who listens to me, because I loved the ideas, the atmosphere, the details Hendrix crammed into this one.”

The Endless Ocean by Toby Bennett – 3.5/5

the endless ocean

This was a genuine surprise. One of those gems SPFBO was created for. Not a big surprise it had become one of FBR’s semi finalits. It was one of the few books I had a good feeling about and man, I wasn’t wrong.

“This book is a rough diamond which needs some polishing, but man, you can see it shine anyway. The Endless Ocean is a tale of a great adventure to fantastical worlds, pirates, ancient creatures. Sinbad’s adventures meets legends of the ancient era, giving birth to an epic fantasy worth your time.”

Grimdark Magazine #17 by Adrian Collins – 4/5

gdm 17

This month was exciting. I had become part of GdM’s reviewer team and two of my reviews already appeared on their website! Hopefully many more will follow in the future, so stay tuned!

“The Seventeenth issue of Grimdark Magazine (GDM) features a nice selection of authors with stories or various articles. It features short stories from Devin Madson, Amanda J. Spedding and Brian Staveley, two interviews with Sebastian de Castell and Jen Williams, two book reviews about City of Kings by Rob J. Hayes and Chasing Graves by Ben Galley, plus an article from Anna Stephens which makes this magazine a complete and highly enjoyable brief read.”

Author Spotlight

My mission to feature FBR’s SPFBO authors continued this month and resulted in interesting interviews and articles. Don’t forget, you can find everything SPFBO related on my dedicated SPFBO4 page! We already have 6 semi-finalists: Hero Forged, Symphony of the Wind, City of Shards, Revenant Winds, The Endless Ocean, Behind the Vale.


steven mckinnon

Symphony of the Wind is Steven McKinnon’s debut fantasy novel, and is Book One of The Raincatcher’s Ballad. The Fury Yet To Come is a prequel novella set in the same world.

His first book — the true-life tale Boldly Going Nowhere — was released in 2015. In the same year, his short story, The Vividarium,was featured in anthology dedicated to Sir Terry Pratchett, entitled In Memory, for which all proceeds go to Alzheimer’s UK.

Steven is 32 years old, and was born in the bathroom of a Glasgow flat in the year 1986.

He has since moved out.

Symphony of the Wind is one of our first SPFBO semi-finalists! We’ve talked about SPFBO adn a few other things besides in this interview!

mike shelton 1

Mike Shelton was born in California and has lived in multiple states from the west coast to the east coast. He cannot remember a time when he wasn’t reading a book. At school, home, on vacation, at work at lunch time, and yes even a few pages in the car (at times when he just couldn’t put that great book down). Though he has read all sorts of genres he has always been drawn to fantasy. It is his way of escaping to a simpler time filled with magic, wonders and heroics of young men and women.

He also enjoys hiking, discovering nature, playing a little basketball or volleyball, and most recently disc golf. He has a lovely wife who has always supported him, and three beautiful children who have been the center of his life.

Those who like YA fantasy, I would totally recommend checking out his books! He is a friendly guy and had a lot to say about his SPFBO entrant book, TruthStone.

scott kaelen

Scott Kaelen writes in the genres of fantasy, poetry, sci fi and horror. His latest published work is the novel The Blighted City. His current project is a second novel in the Fractured Tapestry series. Scott’s interests include etymology, psychology, prehistoric Earth, the Universe, cRPGs, and reading and watching sci-fi, fantasy and horror. His favourite shows are Stargate, Farscape, Star Trek and Red Dwarf.

He is still waiting for the results of our choosing, but he stopped by anyway to talk about The Blighted City and writing adn other things.

Guest Posts

mitchell hogan

When he was eleven, Mitchell Hogan received The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and a love of fantasy novels was born. He spent the next ten years reading, rolling dice, and playing computer games, with some school and university thrown in. Along the way he accumulated numerous bookcases’ worth of fantasy and sci-fi novels and doesn’t look to stop anytime soon. For ten years he put off his dream of writing; then he quit his job and wrote A Crucible of Souls. He now writes full-time and is eternally grateful to the readers who took a chance on an unknown self-published author. He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife, Angela, and his daughters, Isabelle and Charlotte.

Read an excerpt from his brand new book, Shadow of the Exile!

aderyn wood

From high fantasy to paranormal, Aderyn Wood‘s stories cover the broad spectrum of Fantasy. Inspired from childhood by the wonder and mystique of Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising and the adventures in Tolkien’s The Hobbit, her love of the Fantasy genre has been life long. As a writer, Aderyn brings characters and places to life in stories filled with magic, mystery, and a good dollop of mayhem.

Aderyn studied Literature, History and Creative Writing at university, travelled the world, and taught English before becoming a full-time writer. She is also a part-time farmer passionate about self-sufficiency and poultry. She lives in a cosy cottage on a small farm in Victoria, Australia with partner Peter, their dog, cat, and a little duck called Snow.

Read an excerpt of her SPFBO entrant book, Dragonshade!

Music Musings

Music Monday

If you missed any of them, give them a listen and read my personal notes/thoughts/ramblings regarding them 🙂

See you all in November! 🙂