Monthly Wrap Up April

Monthly Wrap Up: April 2020

Is it just me, or April really went by fast? It definitely seemed shorter than March. Weird. I definitely had more good days this month, so that’s a plus. I also worked on some secret stuff, which was fun. In an “OMG, what the hell am I doing?” way, lol. I also discovered The Unbelievable Truth series on Audible, and since I’m starting my days with audiobooks, I figured listening to something that makes me laugh would actually do some good for me. I’m only 2 days in, but so far it seems to be working. *shrug*

Alright, let’s see what we were up to in April!

Book Reviews

In case you missed any of our reviews in April you can read them by clicking on the title! 🙂 We had a lot of reviews this month, so it was easy to miss one or two.

Kitsune by Nicolette Andrews – 3/5

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Jen read and reviewed this Little Mermaid retelling with a twist.

“I don’t mean to sound like I only have complaints – there is a lot to love about Kitsune, and though the story might need a little ironing out here and there, it was a very cool retelling of The Little Mermaid. This would be worth checking out if you are at all interested in retellings, or just looking for some fun stories involving yokais.”


The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary – 4/5


This was definitely an impulse read on my part. Got a newsletter, saw this title, checked out, seemed interesting and finished the audiobook in like 3 sitting I think…

“If you are looking for a lighthearted romcom and don’t want to think too much, The Flatshare is a perfect pick me up book. With loveable characters – there is a lovely, mishevious little girl, and a hippie older lady who happens to be a rebel -, heavy topics and a budding romance with laugh out loud moments. Beth O’Leary‘s debut novel is definitely worth a read.


The Narrows by Travis M. Riddle – 3.5/5


Another review from Jen this month. I’m almost caught up with posting her reviews… sorry for the delay. Anyway, she read yet another novel from Travis.

“Like with Balam, Spring, I was left with this sense of sadness in the final pages. But it was a good sadness. The kind that comes from closure and knowing the characters will heal and move on and find happiness. That’s when I know that the characters are done right, if on the closing of the final page I feel they will be ok.”


The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot by Josh Gottsegen – 4/5


True to form, I’ve read more books that weren’t on my plans than books that were… The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot, a Middle Grade fantasy was one of the former. But apparently that’s what I needed, so… no complaints whatsoever.

“If you are in need of a bit of lighthearted fun, plenty of adventure and important life lessons, The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot might be just exactly what you are looking for. It’s just as enjoyable for adults as it’s rewarding for kids.”



SPFBO5 has come to an end! We finished our reading and reviewing and we also have a winner in The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang! Congrats to everyone who made it to the finals! We’ll have a post soon with our final thoughts.

If you missed anything during Phase 1, you can check out everything that happend with us on my SPFBO 5 Phase 1 page and you can get to know the team better here! If you’d like to see how we did in the Finals, then my SPFBO 5 Finals page is for you!

Spark City by Robert J Power – 5/10

Team RockStarlit BookAsylum’s ratings are the following:

Belle: DNF   Jen: 5.5/10   Nick: 5/10   Timy: DNF

Read our official review(s) here!

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The Hunt is Coming.

Despite his warriors’ lineage, Erroh would rather waste his potential stumbling alone from one tavern to the next, drinking and gambling. Fate, however, has greater plans for him.

After decades of peace, a great war draws near, and though he doesn’t know it, he is standing in the way of the first wave. What is more, and very much to his dismay, he’s about to find out he’s not entirely alone either. But Erroh has a plan, a simple plan.

It’ll never work.

A reluctant coming of age epic packed with heroic sword fights, fierce battles and slow-burn romance.

Fortune’s Fool by Angela Boord – 7.5/10

Team RockStarlit BookAsylum’s ratings are the following:

Belle: 7   Jen: 8.5/10   Nick: 8/10   Timy: 6.5

Read our official review(s) here!

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A secret affair. A disfiguring punishment. A burning need for revenge.

Kyrra d’Aliente has a bad reputation and an arm made of metal.

Cast out of the safe and luxurious world of silk to which she was born, played as a pawn in a game of feuding Houses, Kyrra navigates a dangerous world of mercenaries, spies, and smugglers while disguising herself as a man.

War destroyed her family and the man she loved.

Vengeance is within her grasp.

But is she willing to pay its price?


The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang – 7.5/10

Team RockStarlit BookAsylum’s ratings are the following:

Belle: 8   Jen: 9.5/10   Nick: 6.5/10   Timy: 6.5

Read our official review(s) here!


A mother struggling to repress her violent past,
A son struggling to grasp his violent future,
A father blind to the danger that threatens them all.

When the winds of war reach their peninsula, will the Matsuda family have the strength to defend their empire? Or will they tear each other apart before the true enemies even reach their shores?

High on a mountainside at the edge of the Kaigenese Empire live the most powerful warriors in the world, superhumans capable of raising the sea and wielding blades of ice. For hundreds of years, the fighters of the Kusanagi Peninsula have held the Empire’s enemies at bay, earning their frozen spit of land the name ‘The Sword of Kaigen.’

Born into Kusanagi’s legendary Matsuda family, fourteen-year-old Mamoru has always known his purpose: to master his family’s fighting techniques and defend his homeland. But when an outsider arrives and pulls back the curtain on Kaigen’s alleged age of peace, Mamoru realizes that he might not have much time to become the fighter he was bred to be. Worse, the empire he was bred to defend may stand on a foundation of lies.

Misaki told herself that she left the passions of her youth behind when she married into the Matsuda house. Determined to be a good housewife and mother, she hid away her sword, along with everything from her days as a fighter in a faraway country. But with her growing son asking questions about the outside world, the threat of an impending invasion looming across the sea, and her frigid husband grating on her nerves, Misaki finds the fighter in her clawing its way back to the surface.


Blade’s Edge by Virginia McClain – 7/10

Team RockStarlit BookAsylum’s ratings are the following:

Belle: DNF   Jen: 7.3/10   Nick: 7/10   Timy: 7/10

Read our official review(s) here!


Mishi and Taka live each day of their lives with the shadow of death lurking behind them. The struggle to hide the elemental powers that mark the two girls as Kisōshi separates them from the other orphans, yet forges a deep bond between them.

When Mishi is dragged from the orphanage at the age of eight, the girls are unsure if or when they will find each other again. While their powers grow with each season-cycle, the girls must come to terms with their true selves–Mishi as a warrior, Taka as a healer–as they forge separate paths which lead to the same horrifying discovery.

The Rōjū council’s dark secret is one that it has spent centuries killing to keep, and Mishi and Taka know too much. The two young women have overcome desperate odds in a society where their very existence is a crime, but now that they know the Rōjū’s secret they find themselves fighting for much more than their own survival.


Kalanon’s Rising by Darian Smith – 8/10

Team RockStarlit BookAsylum’s ratings are the following:

Belle: 8/10   Jen: 8/10   Nick: 8/10   Timy: 8/10

Read our official review(s) here!

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Solve the murder. Stop the war. Save the world.
Sir Brannon Kesh spent years building a new life as a physician, leaving the name Bloodhawk and the war that spawned it behind. But when the King’s cousin is murdered, duty calls him back. The crime scene suggests dark magic and the evidence points to the ambassador of Nilar, an alluring woman with secrets of her own, who sees Bloodhawk as little more than a war criminal.
As bodies pile up and political ramifications escalate, Brannon must join forces with a vain mage, a socially awkward priest, and a corpse animating shaman to solve the murders and prevent another war. But who can he trust when the phases of a bigger plan take shape?
The Risen are the greatest danger Brannon has ever faced. If he and his team cannot stop the killer then all of Kalanon – and the world – will descend into darkness.


Other Bookish Posts


Mike Shackle

Originally from London, Mike Shackle has wandered the world before settling in Vancouver, with his wife and two children. His other constant traveling companions around the globe have been his comic books, his favorite fantasy novels and an army of super-hero statues. He more often than not can be found daydreaming over a cup of tea.

Read my interview with Mike


To Be Continued…

10 weeks, 5 authors, 1 story. In To Be Continued… I asked 5 authors (self-published and traditionally published alike) to write a story together based on my prompts, without knowing about each other. They each had 2 weeks to write their part before I forwarded it to the next person to continue. Each part is somewhere between 500 – 1000 words long. The first such story got the title of The New Sound and its MC is a panda as per my request. The last 2 out of 5 parts were posted in April as follows:

Part 4 by Devin Madson (author of The Reborn Empire series, published by Orbit)

Part 5 by T. Frohock (author of the Nefilim series, published by Harper Voyager)

Storytellers On Tour

The Bookshelf Symphony Orchestra by Austin Farmer

The Bookshelf Symphony Orchestra

Our very first tour was a blast. 10 bloggers joined us to promote this awesome concept. The Bookshelf Symphony Orchestra is an instrumental concept album created for readers and writers. Over the course of 2 years, Austin Farmer teamed up with brothers Addam and Heath Farmer to help produce, coarrange, and mix/master the album, bringing over a decade of experience in the music industry to the
project. Every song is titled after the novel it was inspired by and couldn’t have been created without those stories.

Check out my tour encore and what our awesome Rodies posted during it!


Under Ordshaw by Phil Williams

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We had another succesful blog tour in April. We were celebrating the upcoming audiobook release of Under Ordshaw by Phil Williams, which by the way is available now on Audible! Once again it was my role to close the tour with a spotlight and collecting what our Roadies had to say during the tour!

Check out the Under Ordshaw Blog Tour Encore post!


Other Posts

Does Disability Define Me?

So, during April I’ve only wrote one A Week In My Head post, then went and decided it should have been a thing on its own based on the topic. Namely, disability. I somehow ended up writing a pretty personal post about my own disabilites, how I’m not dealing with it and how it effects my writing. I’ve been learning a lot about myself in the past couple of years and though I still don’t have all the answers to my questions, at least I’m on my way to find them.

Read my post about disability and whether it defines me or not!

Music Musings

Music Monday

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

I think that’s it for April. I hope to see you all in May!