Bout of Books Day 3.1

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

As I said yesterday, I didn’t get as much reading done yesterday as I would have liked, however, I had today off work! I promised I’d catch up and catch up I did! I finished Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress and participated in the twitter chat and went blog hopping. I’m feeling pretty good ;-).


  • Read at least 2 hours every day – Check! And I caught up from yesterday ;-)
  • Read audiobooks whenever driving – didn’t drive today >.> still counts? lol
  • Finish at least two books this week – Finished Beggars in Spain today! 1/2
  • Spend at least one hour (OUTSIDE OF MY BLOG) communicating with the community – I participated in the Challenge today and the twitter chat and went blog hopping :D
  • Find 4 new blogs to follow :D – Done! My list is below :D

4 New Blogs Goal:

I’m very excited to have found all of these in the Book Blogger Directory under the sci-fi/fantasy section since I saw a lot of books I had read and liked reviewed on these blogs. I apparently have weird taste and have had trouble finding bloggers that like what I like, but I’m looking forward to reading the archives on these blogs :D.

Day 3 Challenge: 

Today’s challenge was Re-Title It at Books Devoured and I chose to do Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress since that was what was on my mind!

I think that a more sci-fi title would suit this book better since from the title I had no idea how awesomely sci-fi the plot would be. Therefore I proposed Those Who Never Sleep though I’m sure there are better sci-fi alternates out there ;-). Anyone have any other cool ideas?

How did everyone’s third day go? I’m nervous about the rest of the week since I’m going to be driving and packing for part of the day in a slow moving out process, but I’m definitely going to try for my goals anyway :D.

-AAnya from About The Story

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Bout of Books Day 2.1

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Oof, so work asked me to stay late today, so I didn’t get home until 9:30 pm which has severely cut into my read a thon time. I’m definitely not going to be able to keep up with all my goals today, but I have tomorrow off so I’ll make up for it tomorrow, that counts right? :D


  • Read at least 2 hours every day – not even close… stupid work
  • Read audiobooks whenever driving – done, yey!
  • Finish at least two books this week – still batting zero here…
  • Spend at least one hour (OUTSIDE OF MY BLOG) communicating with the community – I participated in Nyx’s Story Challenge at least :D My comment is below
  • Find 4 new blogs to follow :D – Still looking for more fantasy/sci-fi adult blogs!

Day 2 Challenge comment: 

I posted this story over in the comments on the day two challenge, but I’ll repost here ;-)

All right, so back before anyone knew what the heck Harry Potter was, I received the first book as a birthday gift and set it on my shelf because I had other things that I was reading/doing etc at that age. A few months later I was apparently feeling secretive in the way that young children sometimes do and so I decided that I was going to start reading this book about witches and wizards, but not tell my parents. I definitely knew that there was no reason to keep it a secret, but I apparently just found it fun to go out of my way to hide reading this book. I have no memory of when it went from this fun secret project to “OMG must read more right NAO” but Harry Potter definitely didn’t stay a secret long in my family after that first book ;-)

How’s the second day for everyone? Anyone else get the second day slump? I didn’t mean to D:

-AAnya from About The Story

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Bout of Books Day 1.2

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Updates from Day 1:

  • Read at least 2 hours every day – Pretty close! 1/2 hour off right now, might sneak it in ;-) Spent my time reading Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress on page 277 of 438 and omg I loooooove this book!
  • Read audiobooks whenever driving – As close as I could since I got a Nora Roberts audiobook only after work today :) But now I will!
  • New: Brave the new scary library and GET SOME AUDIOBOOKS NAO!!! >.> – Check! And it was scary >.> So quiet!
  • Finish at least two books this week (gulp… not really close on anything…) – Getting there, might be able to :D
  • Get at least one book from Goodreads to-read list from library -DONE :D Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress has been on the list for a while and it came into the library the other day and I GOT IT! :D
  • Spend at least one hour (OUTSIDE OF MY BLOG) communicating with the community – Pretty much done if you count going through my reader as 10 mins :D Link me if you want to be on my blog hopping list for tomorrow!
  • Find 4 new blogs to follow :D – Still working on this, not that there aren’t lots of awesome blogs, but I’m not very into YA and have trouble finding mostly fantasy/sci-fi adult book blogs, so if you have one please please please link me!!

Woot! Finishing up typing just as the boyfriend comes home from work, go me and my awesome timing! I had a headache when I came home from work today, so didn’t have as much fun on the first day as I would have liked, but I was able to drag my tired butt to the library which I wasn’t sure was going to happen. I’m really happy that I’m actually managing to stick with my goals so far, since I’ve had a lot of trouble with read a thons in the past when real life butts in. How’s everyone else doing? Anyone else succeeding with a read a thon for the first time? *high fives everyone* wooooot!

-AAnya from About The Story

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Bout of Books Day 1.1

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Yey Bout of Books time :D I have to work this morning, but I’m re-posting my goals and slightly adding to them for my own reminder and because the holiday weekend kept me from fully preparing for this :(


  • Read at least 2 hours every day (doesn’t count reading during lunch break because that’s hard to time ;-) )
  • Read audiobooks whenever driving (as soon as you get the stash of them)
  • New: Brave the new scary library and GET SOME AUDIOBOOKS NAO!!! >.>
  • Finish at least two books this week (gulp… not really close on anything…)
  • Get at least one book from Goodreads to-read list from library (DONE :D)
  • Spend at least one hour (OUTSIDE OF MY BLOG) communicating with the community
  • Find 4 new blogs to follow :D

So, the caps-lock sections are mostly new additions to further guide my blogging and reading ;-) and I think I’ll be able to meet all my daily goals today since my boyfriend and I are on opposite work shifts so he won’t be home to distract me! *shoos him away*

How’s everyone’s first day going???

-AAnya from About The Story

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Four Stars: Blooded by Amanda Carlson

Blooded by Amanda Carlson is a Jessica McClain novella telling the story of Jessica’s fight for freedom from an all-male werewolf pack when she is the only female human to have ever been born of a werewolf, a very over protective Alpha to be specific

I was lucky enough to catch Amanda Carlson on twitter when she was talking about Minnesota and was very excited to find a Minnesota author, since that’s my home state too. She was nice enough to offer me a review copy of her novella Blooded and I jumped at the chance :D.

Title: Blooded: A Jessica McClain Novella
Author: Amanda Carlson
Pages: ~63 (ebook)
Genre-ish: Urban Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★ – Fun story, minor flaws
Setting: Blooded takes place in a typical urban fantasy setting, with supernaturals of all kinds, including werewolves. The main thing that sets Blooded apart is that in this world all werewolves are male, and there is a myth that a female human born to a werewolf male will be the Daughter of Cain, pure evil and signify the beginning of the end for all werewolf kind, so it kind of sucks to be that female….
Premise: Jessica McClain just happens to have been born a female human to a werewolf Alpha, and being the only human in a pack of werewolves would be hard to begin with, that previously mentioned myth makes it all the better. Unfortunately for Jessica, her father is very over protective and won’t let her leave home even though she’s 19 and home is filled with savage werewolves who want to kill her. This leaves her just one option, to fight and prove to her father that she can make it in the real world better than in the pack.


  • An interesting premise and plenty of room and hints at a rich plot for the full novel
  • A female lead character who is human and willing to use her brain to take on werewolves? Sign me up!
  • Hints throughout at the richness of the world, including a werefox and mention of a lot of other supernaturals
  • Well described fight scenes, Carlson has either taken self defense or watched a lot of action movies ;-)


  • Blooded was nearly all fighting, since it was dominated by the two major fights, so if reading about fighting isn’t your thing, I’d say just skip to the full novel
  • At times the writing was a little wordy, and I felt that the central plot points of the myth and Jessica being threatened and unwanted didn’t need to be discussed too much, especially since getting the crap beat out of her shows that pretty well.
  • It was quite short, which is understandable being a novella, but I want to know more :D
  • Just a brief warning as well, if you are sensitive to violence against women, probably not the book for you, since the only female gets the crap beat out of her a lot….

A strong start to Jessica McClain’s story and I will be keeping my eyes out for a copy of the first novel. The premise is interesting and leaves a lot of room for a cool world and a lot of lore, which I very much hope Carlson develops in the series. I’m very interested to see where the series ends up!

Anya from About The StorySimilar Stories Reviewed:
Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs – Another awesome urban fantasy series
Fair Game by Patricia Briggs – And even more werewolves!

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Links Luau #3

Yey more awesome links!

Lord Voldemort interviewed Veronica Roth and I’m flabergasted that I never found this blog written by Lord Voldemort himself ( ;-) ) before! So funny!

This is the map for the Spring Carnival Giveaway and Hop which I think is such a fun way to do a blog hop and giveaway week :)

Fantasy Cafe does it again with a list of book recommendations to wrap up the women in Sci-Fi/Fantasy month!

I’m still learning SEO (in my vast amounts of spare time) and if it scares you too, check out this SEO resources for beginners from Daily Blog Tips

What other cool posts were out there this past week? I’m sure I missed something awesome, tell me

Anya from About The Story More Links to Enjoy:
Links Luau #1
Links Luau #2

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WWW Wednesday #7


What did you recently finish reading?

This week has been pretty busy since I work part-time at a floral store, and that has become more like full time with the spring we’ve been having. But, I spent my lunch breaks reading Anathema by Megg Jensen on my Kindle app and was able to tear through that, because it rocked! I also got in touch with Amanda Carlson author of Blooded a few weeks back because we’re both from Minnesota and she was kind enough to send me a review copy of the novella to check out, which I happily tore through as well! :D

What are you currently reading?


I’m still making steady progress on Song in the Silence  and Dogs and Goddesses which by the way should be called Dogs, Goddesses and Sex in my opinion because wow there are a lot of sex scenes, which are a little entertaining on audiobook… ha. I also always need a Kindle book, and had downloaded Loki a while back when I saw it was free, so started that just recently as well! I remember a time when I only read one book at a time… oh well!

What do you think you’ll read next?


As I said in a previous post, after reading Arthas (a World of Warcraft book) I needed a break from WoW lore, but I think I’ll be ready to try the next one on my shelf soon, The Well of Eternity. I’m also getting hungry for more non-fiction, so will tackle The Infinity Puzzle on a whim any day now ;-).

What are you reading past/present/future?
Anya from About The Story

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Four Stars: Frozen Prospects by Dean Murray (Free on Kindle!!)

Frozen Prospects by Dean Murray is a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid about a boy in another world orphaned and alone until his latent potential is discovered by a family of magic users called the Guadel; adventure, misfortune, young love and triumph ensue.

Note: This is a repost from my guest post on The Oaken Bookcase for those of you who didn’t catch it when it went up then :)
I downloaded this for my Kindle app and it’s still free on Kindle! So you really have no excuse not to go grab it right now, run run run! I dislike reading things on my phone, so it took me a while to finish this book, but I really enjoyed the story once I got used to the format in which I was reading it, and now I have to decide whether I’m going to spring for the next one!

Title: Frozen Prospects
Author: Dean Murray
Pages: ~180 pages
Genre-ish: Sci-fi/Fantasy Hybrid
Rating: ★★★★ – Really great story, minor flaws
Setting: Frozen Prospects is set on a planet different from our own where women are born with varying levels of magic powers. One of those powers is to go inside the mind of a male that trusts them (usually husband or student) and augment that male’s physical power magically. Only some boys are able to control their minds enough to allow this, however, creating an elite class of wise and powerful magic users called the Guadel.
Premise: Va’del is both an orphan and born of a lowlander mother (which is apparent from his skin color) and because of this hasn’t had the easiest childhood. The village he lives in is controlled by a jerk of a Headman, who doesn’t respect the visiting Guadel when they come to look for boys and girls with potential to join the magic using class. Fortunately for Va’del though, he is inspected and shows startling potential. Unfortunately for him, it isn’t a good time to be a Guadel in their land….


  • Really great characters, both the main character Va’del and all of the secondary characters, I really loved and connected with them all (including the pack animals Hungry and Sleepy :D )Va'del and a gurra from Frozen Prospects by Dean Murray
  • Great character development; Va’del transitions nicely from a scared orphan to a boy coming into his own, and no spoilers, but there is some awesome, and heartwarming, secondary character development as well!
  • Really interesting magic system; both the augmentation and healing powers of the Guadel, and they keep time with color spheres! How cool is that?
  • Moving and motivating plot; I cared a lot about what was happening and what was going to happen, and really want to know what happens next!


  • This book has a lot of typos that could have been caught with a good editor; for me they weren’t going to break the book, but if you are sensitive to those slip ups, this could be frustrating.
  • Similarly, there were sentences that just didn’t flow that again could have easily been fixed by an editor, though, again, I found it easy to accept that fact and move on to focus on the story ;-)
  • The middle is rather depressing, as in “oh God, no hope, why should I continue” depressing. :( But it gets better!!
  • The main character and secondary character (Jain) are both rather young, and that shows at times through annoying and childish reactions.

Several typos and jerky sentences are to be expected from a free Kindle version of a book and shouldn’t deter you from downloading Frozen Prospects right now and squeeing with me over its awesomeness! A really cool concept combined with some awesome characters makes for a great read for any sci-fi/fantasy hybrid lover like me!

I found this book completely randomly, has anyone else read it? I need teammates on the Team Va’del!

Anya from About The StorySimilar Stories Reviewed:
Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini – Another boy who loses his family only to find his hidden power
Mistborn by Brandson Sanderson – Spectacular Sci-Fi/Fantasy hybrid 

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Four Stars: Troll Hunters by Michael Dahl

Troll Hunters by Michael Dahl is a story of four children finding that their world sits on top of monsters of all kinds and that they are children of the stars; full of beautiful illustrations, this story is perfect for pre-teens and story lovers of all ages

This is my second NetGalley advanced copy and I had honestly no idea what to  expect. Troll Hunters by Michael Dahl was a very pleasant surprise. It is obviously aimed at pre-teens with it’s language and main characters, but was still very enjoyable for this 20-something to read. The best part though was the beautiful illustrations every few pages; seriously, wow. They are what really sold the story for me and make me recommend it to everyone; use any excuse you need to (children, neighbor’s children, your dog) to read this book when it comes out if you like fantasy at all. For those of you who have read the Percy Jackson books about Olympians, this book reminded me a lot of that series in terms of audience.

Note: The book is scheduled to be published Aug. 1 2012, mark your calendars!

Title: Troll Hunters
Author: Michael Dahl
Illustrator: Ben Kovar
Pages: ~320 as e-copy
Genre-ish: Children’s (Pre-teenish) Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★☆ – Really fantastic for its audience and fun for everyone else
Setting: Our world for the most part, this book takes place mostly on the outskirts (and under) a small country town; except that this town happens to be a good place for an ancient race of trolls to break out onto the surface….
Premise: Fortunately, humankind has defenders: the children of the stars. Four ordinary children are thrown into the path of these invading trolls and with the help of a friendly and mysterious Dr. Hoo, find out they have powers far greater than they imagined.


  • I can not say this enough: Beautiful illustrations every couple of pages; they really bring the story to life and are just wonderful to look at in their own right!Sketch of Dr. Hoo from the book Troll Hunters
  • A fun and interesting new idea for child heroes, these children’s powers come from constellations in the night sky
  • A nice spin on classic fantasy trolls, with lots of room for more development in future books
  • For adults it will be an easy read with fairly simple words, since it is at the level of pre-teen’s vocabulary
  • Good role models for children in the four main characters (two girls, two boys, various ages) and strong secondary characters
  • The action and peril was mature enough for me to be very engaged in the story, even though I was pretty sure it would have a happy ending


  • Given the pre-teen audience, the writing sometimes seemed a bit too simplistic for me
  • There are some scary parts, so if you are reading it with a child, be ready to reassure them that the trolls can’t come get them
  • There are also some sad parts, so be ready for that if reading with a younger audience
  • Again, given the audience it’s understandable, but some of the child-like logic and events made my interest start to wane

I really enjoyed this for what it is: an illustrated story aimed at a younger audience. As long as you go into it with that mindset, I highly recommend you find a copy when it comes out. The illustrations, as I keep saying over and over, are really impressive. It’s a concept that I think would have also made a great fantasy for an older audience, and definitely has potential to be another very popular children’s series.

Any other advanced copy readers out there? I’d love to see your reviews! Are you looking forward to this book’s release?

Also you may have noticed the little sketches I’ve thrown into the last two posts, thoughts? Annoying? Fun? Completely unremarkable? Comment!

Anya from About The Story

Similar Stories Reviewed:
His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman – Children as main characters, though aimed at a slightly older audience

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WWW Wednesday #6


I haven’t done a WWW in a while, mostly because I had other things I wanted to post on my Wednesday time slot, and because I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like to be :(. I blame it on trying to tackle some sizable books…. I’m looking at you George R. R. Martin!

What did you recently finish reading?

  Troll Hunters

I had sixteen-ish hours of sitting in a car last weekend as the boyfriend and I made a trip to Michigan to look for apartments for me. This meant that I was able to take a big bite out of A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin and then I finished it in the following week :). Reading a book that size that fast makes me feel accomplished! I also continued to make steady progress on Frozen Prospects by Dean Murray on my Kindle app and finished that! It’s still free on kindle and my review is coming soon. Finally I had been taking too long on my advanced copy of Troll Hunters by Michael Dahl, and am happy I was able to get that review to the publishers finally; it was a great children’s book and my review is coming soon.

What are you currently reading?


I went to the library for audio books for the trip and came away with a lot, including Dogs and Goddesses by Jennifer Cruise, Anne Stuart and Lani Diane Rich. I grabbed whatever looked interesting and wouldn’t put me to sleep, and it is definitely fulfilling those goals so far! I also grabbed a couple extra physical books just in case I got bored of A Game of Thrones on the trip, which I didn’t, but since I was craving dragons after finishing it (gee, I wonder why…) Song in the Silence  looked perfect! I also needed a new Kindle app book (since it’s my go to whenever I’m stuck somewhere waiting), I started the free version of Anathema that I had grabbed, and good news, it looks like it’s still free and awesome!

What do you think you’ll read next?

   Everything else….

This is what is on my to-read shelf physically, but I’m not feeling particularly strong about them, and so will probably end up trying out the other library book I grabbed before, or looking to see if the library has one of the books on my Goodreads to read shelf. I would also love recommendations :).

What are you reading past/present/future?
Anya from About The Story

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