Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Upcoming 2020 New Releases in Horror, Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Thrillers

I sure love a new reading year! I feel ambitious and swear I can read at least 500 books in the new year. These are the upcoming 2020 speculative fiction book releases I'm most hoping to read in the coming year. I will continue to update this page with new horror, fantasy, science fiction, and thrillers as the year goes on.

Jennifer

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Monday, December 30, 2019

My Favorite Books of 2019

2019 was such an amazing reading year. These are my favorite books that I read this year:

Favorite Horror Novel


Violet by Scott Thomas

Character driven horror is my favorite horror. Violet by Scott Thomas is a beautifully written, slow burn of a novel, and I just loved it.

Favorite Horror Novella


Of Foster Homes and Flies by Chad Lutzke

If you love coming of age horror, I highly recommend Chad Lutzke's Of Foster Homes and Flies. I hope to discover more of Lutzke's works in 2020.

Favorite YA Horror


Wilder Girls by Rory Power

I would love more books set in the world of Wilder Girls, but I'm looking forward to anything Rory Wilder writes in the future. This was an amazing debut.

Favorite Fantasy Novel


Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton is a fantasy, scifi, horror mashup that follows a crow and a dog through a zombie apocalypse. There is so much to love here!!

Favorite Fantasy Novella


Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma

Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma is a beautiful and heartbreaking coming of age fantasy novella. Priya Sharma is another author I will need to read more of in 2020.

Favorite YA Fantasy


In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire is my favorite Wayward Children book so far. I can't wait for book 5 next week!

Favorite MG Fantasy


Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

I loved the entire Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull this year.

Favorite Science Fiction Novel


Recursion by Blake Crouch

I seriously hope Blake Crouch keeps writing the style of science fiction he gave us in Dark Matter and Recursion. I am here for the fun science fiction that breaks my brain a little!

Favorite Science Fiction Novella


To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Blake Crouch

To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers felt like it was written just for me.

Favorite YA Science Fiction


Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson. How does he do it?! The Skyward series is so much fun.

Favorite Mystery/Thriller Novel


Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly

If you love both horror and thrillers, I highly recommend Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly. It's brutal, and it's fun.

Favorite Historical Fiction Novel


The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag (translated by Ebba Segerberg)

I'm so glad I took a chance on The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag (translated by Ebba Segerberg). It was a very dark, compelling read.

Favorite Fiction Collection


A Primer to Kaaron Warren

I really love the Exploring Dark Short Fiction series, and A Primer to Kaaron Warren was so good.

Favorite Poetry Collection


\Choking Back the Devil by Donna Lynch

Choking Back the Devil is a collection of horror poetry by Donna Lynch, and I loved it!

Favorite Nonfiction


Monster, She Wrote by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson

My favorite nonfiction this year was Monster, She Wrote by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson. I loved reading this, and I have so many books I need to hunt down now and read due to recommendations in Monster, She Wrote.

Honorable Mentions


These books were also five star reads and could easily be placed in my list of favorites.



The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling
The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons
The Institute by Stephen King

Have you read any of the books that made my favorites list this year? If you've posted your favorites list for the year, I would love for you to leave me a link!

Jennifer

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Friday, December 27, 2019

Lullabies for Suffering Preorder Promo

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas (if you were celebrating). If you are looking to fill up that new Kindle or spend some of that Christmas gift card on books (what else would you buy?!), Wicked Run Press is having a preorder promo on Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror. You may remember me raving on Garden of Fiends quite a few times in the past. This is the follow up anthology, and I can't wait to read it! Lullabies for Suffering contains novellas and novelettes from Kealan Patrick Burke, Caroline Kepnes, Gabino Iglesias, John FD Taff, Mercedes M Yardley, and Mark Matthews.

I offered Wicked Run Press some space to promote Lullabies for Suffering and here are the details they provided (a chance to win a signed book from one of the authors!)

Lullabies for Suffering - Kindle and Paperback

It’s happening! 
is now available for presale for Kindle on amazon.



I’m incredibly excited to unleash this work onto the world. I can’t wait for readers to feast their eyes on these Novellas & Novelettes. The table of contents includes:

                    Kealan Patrick Burke                   Caroline Kepnes
                    Gabino Iglesias                              John FD Taff
                    Mercedes M Yardley                     Mark Matthews



“Why preorder?” You ask. Two reasons:

A:  Save off the publication price. Just $4.99 to preorder for Kindle. 

B: Win a signed paperback copy from one of the writers on the table of contents. Yep! Signed copies from randomly raffled off.
Here’s what’s waiting: 
Signed Paperbacks

“How to win?” You ask. Two ways:  

A:  Email a receipt of proof of a presale purchase of Lullabies for Suffering (either paperback or Kindle version) to WickedRunPress@gmail.com with “contest” in the subject line.
(For best results, list your order of paperback preference, and 1st winner will receive top pick, 2nd winner will receive top available pick, etc..)

B: For an additional entry, send a screenshot of a Tweet, Facebook or Instagram post featuring this amazon link:  https://www.amazon.com/Lullabies-Suffering-Tales-Addiction-Horror-ebook/dp/B07Z5FXFJB/ with some variation of the phrase: “Come, listen to these Lullabies for Suffering” (or anything similar) (for a no-purchase necessary entry, simply email option B) 

Two ways to enter. Do one, or do both. 

Winners will be chosen at random on January 1st, 2020. Deadline is midnight on December 31st, 2019. Winning copies shipped shortly after.


There will be Six Paperback winners! 
Once again, Here’s what the treasure that awaits.

1. YOU, signed by author Caroline Kepnes
“Hypnotic and scary,” Stephen king said of YOU, now available as must-binge TV on Netflix. 
YOU, signed by author Caroline Kepnes

2. We Live Inside Your Eyes, signed by author Kealan Patrick Burke
His mastery of the short story is on display here, and this collection weaves the stories together with fantastic creativity. 
We Live Inside Your Eyes, signed by author Kealan Patrick Burke

3. Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, 
signed by author Mercedes M. Yardley
The whimsical, dark fantasist writes love stories like none other, and her Lullabies for Suffering story takes place within this same universe and includes a cameo by Montessa and Lulu.
Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love,   signed by author Mercedes M. Yardley

4. Little Black Spots, signed by author John FD Taff (plus Book one of The Fearing)
Includes the Bram Stoker nominated story, “A Winter’s Tale.” You also get a copy of Book One of The Fearing (unsigned, but a must read) if you win this copy. 
Little Black Spots, signed by author John FD Taff (plus Book one of The Fearing)

5. Garden of Fiends AND All Smoke Rises, signed by author Mark Matthews (one copy of both)  
“Tense, imaginative, and empathic, Matthews is a damn good writer, and make no mistake, he will hurt you. ”–Jack Ketchum
Garden of Fiends AND All Smoke Rises, signed by author Mark Matthews

6. Coyote Songs AND Zero Saints, signed by Gabino Iglesias
Win a signed copy of both Zero Saints and the ground-breaking, mind-blowing, beautifully lyrical, Bram Stoker nominated, Coyote Songs. Enter now! 
Coyote Songs AND Zero Saints, signed by Gabino Iglesias
Two options to win. 
1. A presale purchase receipt, of either paperback or kindle.

2. A screenshot of a social media post which includes amazon presale link  https://www.amazon.com/Lullabies-Suffering-Tales-Addiction-Horror-ebook/dp/B07Z5FXFJB/

Put “contest” in the subject line and email to: WickedRunPress@gmail.com

Do one or do both. (For best results, list your order of paperback preference, and 1st winner will receive top pick, 2nd winner will receive top available pick, etc.. )

Deadline is December 31st, 2019, when the clock strikes midnight and the decade ends. 

Sorry, continental US only.

That’s it! Thanks for listening, and may the odds be in your favor.



If you've already preordered or plan to order Lullabies for Suffering, be sure to send in your proof by December 31st and good luck!!

Jennifer

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Monday, December 16, 2019

Book Review | Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma

Ormeshadow is a fantasy novella by Priya Sharma.

Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma

Acclaimed author Priya Sharma transports readers back in time with Ormeshadow, a coming-of-age story as dark and rich as good soil.

Burning with resentment and intrigue, this fantastical family drama invites readers to dig up the secrets of the Belman family, and wonder whether myths and legends are real enough to answer for a history of sin.

Uprooted from Bath by his father's failures, Gideon Belman finds himself stranded on Ormeshadow farm, an ancient place of chalk and ash and shadow. The land crests the Orme, a buried, sleeping dragon that dreams resentment, jealousy, estrangement, death. Or so the folklore says. Growing up in a house that hates him, Gideon finds his only comforts in the land. Gideon will live or die by the Orme, as all his family has.

I'm so happy I took a chance on this novella. After seeing Tammy's praise for it and finding out it was a coming of age story with dragons, I had to have it.

The dragon elements are light in Ormeshadow, but they are so beautifully done. Ormeshadow is a dark, folklore kind of fantasy story, but also beautiful and heartbreaking. There was the perfect amount of darkness balanced by the perfect amount of imagination.

Priya Sharma is now an autobuy author for me. I must have more of her stories.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Jennifer

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Sunday, December 15, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | December 15

I skipped my update last week. My son was sick, and I was exhausted. I didn't have it in me to catch up on things so this post will cover the last two weeks!

This weekend was birthday weekend for my youngest. We took friends with us to one of the jump places, out to eat, and back to our house for a sleepover. I'm exhausted this weekend, too. 😂 It was a lot of fun, though. These are great kids!!

I'm trying to decide my TBR for the rest of the year. Everything seems so important! Do you have any "must reads" before the year ends? I definitely want to read the second novella in A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs. I also want to try Bunny by Mona Awad again before the year is up. And then there's Ninth House... You get what I'm saying.

Posted Last Week


I posted my ⭐⭐⭐★★ review of The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.

Finished Reading


The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time #1) by Robert Jordan Starsight (Skyward #2) by Brandon Sanderson Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #1) by Louise Penny
Summer Frost (Forward Collection #2) by Blake Crouch The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson

The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time #1) by Robert Jordan ⭐⭐⭐★★ - I finally finished my read of The Eye of the World. It was good, but I'm not sucked in to the series just yet.

Starsight (Skyward #2) by Brandon Sanderson ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ - This series is so much fun!

Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #1) by Louise Penny ⭐⭐⭐★★ - This month's book club read. I don't usually read cozy mysteries, but I enjoyed it.

Summer Frost (Forward Collection #2) by Blake Crouch ⭐⭐⭐★★ - Summer Frost was OK.

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ - I loved this!

Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I have so much love for this book.

Currently Reading


Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchaikovsky

My library purchased Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchaikovsky for me. 🎉 I'm really enjoying it!

Recent Acquisitions





The cover images link their Goodreads page. These are mostly a digital mix of ebooks and audiobooks with the exception of The Great Hunt. Some of these are still on sale, too.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading (or watching) this week or leave me some links!


This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

Jennifer

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Friday, December 6, 2019

Book Review | The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Eye of the World is the first book in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, and Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

I spent the last month reading this huge novel of epic fantasy. Even though the Wheel of Time series has been on my wishlist for the last almost 20 years, I don't know much about Robert Jordan or the background of this series. I plan to read the Tor.com series of articles (I've read the first few) and listen to the White Tower Pod podcast to gain more insight, but I decided to wait until after writing up my review.

My initial impression with The Eye of the World was it was extremely derivative of The Lord of the Rings. The first or second Tor article said Jordan did this on purpose to evoke the feeling of The Lord of the Rings. For me, it was beyond evoking a feeling. It was pretty much a rip off a LOTR, but I tried not to worry about it too much. The Wheel of Time series is HUGE. It can only be carried by LOTR so far. The amount of material taken from LOTR, however, did distract me heavily. I didn't start connecting with The Eye of the World until I was at least halfway through the book. (And it's 700 pages.)

I'm looking forward to becoming fully invested in the story. There were some great moments in The Eye of the World, but I don't think I'm there yet. I've already ordered book two, though, and I plan to continue with that one this month. I have a lot of hope for the series, and I'm happy to not only finally be reading it but happy to be reading it before the TV series is released, too. It was time!

I'm not recommending the series to anyone yet, but I'm anxious to see where the series goes. I'm also anxious to find out more about Robert Jordan and why he relied so heavily on existing fantasy tropes. If you have any spoiler free resources for The Wheel of Time series, please feel free to share!

⭐⭐⭐★★

Jennifer

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Sunday, December 1, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | December 1

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. December! Is anyone else panicking about the books you didn't get a chance to read this year? I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's best of lists this month! I'm going to get crushed by my TBR pile.

Posted Last Week


I posted my ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review of the Silo Series by Hugh Howey.

I shared a few books that recently made it onto my wishlist.

I shared my ⭐⭐★★★ thoughts on Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand.

Finished Reading



Skyward by Brandon Sanderson ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - So good! How does he do it?!

Currently Reading



I dove straight into Starsight when it arrived, but things were really crazy for my family throughout Thanksgiving and my concentration for reading did not exist. My goal is to finish The Eye of the World this weekend. Then I'll pick Starsight back up!

Recent Acquisitions




2nd and Charles had a Buy 5 Books, Get 5 Free sale for Black Friday. I found six books for me and four for my son. These are my six picks.

The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks
Greenglass House (Greenglass House #1) by Kate Milford
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn
The Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn
Stepping on the Cracks (Gordy Smith #1) by Mary Downing Hahn

Current Distractions



I loved Frozen II, I did not love Knives Out, and Klaus was cute.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading (or watching) this week or leave me some links!


This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

Jennifer

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