Monthly Wrap Up: December 2018

2018 was an amazing year for me in many ways. I’ve read more than ever (61 books overall including one manga and a few audiobooks), I started this blog, added Jen to my team, I got involved in SPFBO, I was asked to proofread/beta read (which I want to continue to do in 2019), attended several awesome concerts, had 3 trips to the UK, met a lot of amazing people both online and offline and at last but not least, got a boyfriend. Of course there were hardships, and bad periods, fights, doubts, tears, but overall 2018 was, I think, the best year of my life considering everything.

I’ve grown as a person and I am greatful to every one of you for following and supporting me on this journey. A special thanks to Dyrk Ashton for nominating RockStarlit BookAsylum for an r/Fantasy Stabby Award on Reddit. If you like my blog, please take a moment and vote for me here.

Before I talk about all the books and awesome stuff I posted in December, please let me share a few stats with you. These aren’t big numbers, but they still blow my mind, because I never expected to get this much in my first year, so thank you! Considering everything, December was the best month out of the 10. In 2018 I had overall 6.058 views on my site from 3.789 visitors. I had 196 posts plus my SPFBO page which was the most visited page after my home page. The most popular article was my 6 month celebratory book giveaway (although my favorite was How Blogging Changed Me), and the most viewed bookreview was Symphony of the Wind by Steven McKinnon. My music related posts didn’t do really well, and one of my plans for 2019 is to have more quality content there. The most popular, of course, was my Barry Kerch interview, who is Shinedown’s drummer.

Okay, enough about random stuff, here is what happened in December:

Book reviews

In case you missed any of my reviews earlier this month you can read them by clicking on the title! 🙂 With the holidays and life in general, this was a slow reading month. I managed to read 3 books and only review 1 myself. Oops. Fortunately Jen saved the month with her reviews and I had a lot of other content for you too!

Sworn to the Night by Craig Schaefer – 4/5

Sworn to the NightThe first book of The Wisdom’s Grave Trilogy, which also had become an SPFBO finalist. I guess that’s reason enough for you to want to check it out.

” …this book really has everything you can think of: a murder mystery, magic, super evil villains, a secret underground community which deals with a drug called ink, forbidden romance, countless dead (and mutilated) bodies, unforgettable scenes and a few twist you never see coming. A wonderfully intriguing and delightfully brutal story after which you won’t be able to resist grabbing the sequel. Schaefer brings urban fantasy to a whole new level mixing it with mystery, classical fantasy elements – witches and knights – and wrapping it into a brilliant, although totally crazy read.”

Straight Outta Fangton by C. T. Phipps – 4.5/5

Straight Outta FangtonJen’s review about C. T. Phipps’ fun urban fantasy vampire story 🙂 If you’ve read Phipps’ other books then you already have an idea what to expect from this one 🙂

“From start to finish this book was full of action, some gore (it is a vampire book after all) witty dialogue, every bit of vampire lore and pop culture you can think of and some really fun characters. I particularly enjoyed Peter and David’s relationship and I have to appreciate that with a cast this large, I didn’t have one issue telling the characters apart, which for me is a big deal.”

Masters of Deception by JC Kang – 4/5

Masters of DeceptionAnother Jen review, this time about JC Kang’s book which takes place in the Legend of Trivia/Dragon Songs world.

“Masters of Deception is twisty fast-paced storytelling at its best. The world feels alive, chaotic in color, sounds, food, people and culture. I never felt that there was a bubble that this story took place in and knew that if I was to leave the city, there would be a huge world beyond.”

An Imperial Gambit by Jeffrey L. Kohanek – 4/5

An Imperial GambitJen reviewed the 3rd book in The Wardens of Issalia series, which was just released right after Christmas.

“Each book has opened this world up a little more, as we learn more of the world and the people, it gets harder to tell whose side is right and whose is wrong. The series itself is just a whole lot of fun and has been a nice little breather between dark and grim. I think this is the strongest one so far. “

 

 

Author Spotlight

I planned to post a few more SPFBO interviews, but turned out only one was left. James Tivendale from Fantasy Book Review and I had fun putting together a list of questions for none other, than Mark Lawrence himself.

Interviews

Mark Lawrence

Mark Lawrence is married with four children, one of whom is severely disabled. His day job is as a research scientist focused on various rather intractable problems in the field of artificial intelligence. He has held secret level clearance with both US and UK governments. At one point he was qualified to say ‘this isn’t rocket science … oh wait, it actually is’.

Between work and caring for his disabled child, Mark spends his time writing, playing computer games, tending an allotment, brewing beer, and avoiding DIY.

We asked Mark about SPFBO, his books and his future plans among other things 🙂

 

Other Bookish Posts

Advent Book Calendar

To have fun in this Christmas season I came up with the idea of revealing one book every day I read and enjoyed this year. Jen joined in the fun, so we split the load and we picked 11-12 each. On the 24th we revealed our top 5 reads of the year. You can check out all 24 “windows” in the main post:

Check out our Advent Book Calendar!

Cover Reveal: A Ritual of Bone by Lee C Conley

I had the honour to host the cover reveal of the rebranded first book of The Dead Sagas! The cover is gorgeous. But then I knew it’ll be since I’ve got a glimpse of in in Bristol 😉

Check out the cover and the blurb of A Ritual of Bone!

Music Musings

Music Monday

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

 

Personal Events

This time around I won’t write a blogpost about my latest UK trip, because it was just way too personal for that. Suffice to say, although we had some ups and downs, at the end of the week, we had quite a lot of fun 🙂 We visited a haunted hotel, went to some pubs and pool places, met several people and heard heartwarming stories. At the hotel there was an old couple: the man was English, the woman German. When they met they didn’t speak each other’s language. Even so, they somehow made their relationship work out and eventually learned to communicate. They were in Dudley visiting their (the man’s?) son, who a few years before had a car accident and was paralized waist down.

It was overall a fun experience and I learned quite a lot about myself which made definitely worth it 🙂

That’s it from me now. Hope to see you all in 2019! 🙂

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