A February Book Cover of the Month Update

A February Book Cover of the Month Update

With just seven days left in this month’s bracket, it’s time to update you all on how things have been progressing.

As I type this, we have 1,176 votes so far. That’s not quite where we like to be around here. In fact, it’s about 1,000 votes away from where we want to be. We’re dangerously close to breaking the record for fewest votes ever, and I’d really rather not break that particular record.

51QO4TqqorLTrial of Chains
 by Sohan Ahmad has the number one spot. He’s taken the spot and held on despite a small number of votes and how close things are.

Most Voted on so far: Trial of Chains is getting a lot of votes, which is why he’s in the lead. He currently has 98 votes.

Least Voted for:  Painkiller  by Aery Leigh. This cover has 13 votes. I think Leigh’s book deserves more credit.

Sohan has a solid lead in the first round and the Sweet 16, but the Elite Eight is a challenge for him. He has a five-vote lead on A Black Fox Running by Brain Carter. A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybour is only 11 votes away in the Finals.


The trick here is there isn’t a lot of separation overall. At this point, any book cover that gets 14 people to vote it all the way through to the finals, and that might do the trick.

61LZkCgwUrLA quick reminder of how the tournament works. The easiest way to win is to have the most people vote for you in every round. The trick is you have to have the most people vote you through in each round, all the way to the final.  As an example, 100 people could vote someone through to the finals, but that doesn’t do a cover any good if he doesn’t win the first round. It’s not total votes. It’s not simple championship votes. The winning cover has to have the most votes in each round of the competition.

This will be the only update for this type of bracket. It’s been slow so far, so I hope readers start lining up to support their authors by voting, liking, and sharing the bracket with as many people as possible.  You can vote at this address!

I’ll announce the winner is just seven days!

Thanks for reading,


The February Book Cover of the Month Is Live!

The February Book Cover of the Month Is Live!

Feb_Cover_CollageHappy first everyone! As is now officially tradition here on my blog, it’s time to start a new book cover of the month competition.

Trial of Chains by Sohan Ahmand, Gravitas by Ben Mason, Symphony of Fates by JC Kang, and Burn the Ashes by Heather Shahan all join 28 brand new covers this month.

You can vote all the way through the tournament, supporting the covers you like best through each round. I like to make sure people get the credit they deserve, so please show your support. Please vote and share as much as possible to get people a chance to pick their favorite.

As always, I’d appreciate it if you tag the authors and artists if you know them. I try to tag or friend every author I can, but sometimes it’s hard to track someone down. Max participation is a huge deal to me. The more people who vote, the more recognition these authors and artists receive, and I want this to be as legitimate as possible.

If you are the author, let’s remember to be good sports! 1) Please feel free to message or contact me at any time. 2) Please feel free to like, share, text, ask for support, and call everyone you know. I absolutely want max participation. However, if you’re going to offer giveaways or prizes, please offer them for voting, not just voting for you.

Also, while your summoning your army of voting soldiers, please make sure you ask them to vote in every match. Part of the idea of this is to get exposure to as many artists and authors as possible. By all means, if you can get 1,000 people to vote for your book, do it. Just please also send some eyeballs to the other matches.

A final note to authors and artists: I currently have links to the books’ Amazon pages. If you’d prefer I switch that link to sign up for your newsletter or like your social media page or whatever, just send me the link and let me know. I want this to help you. I want this to be as helpful as possible, so whatever you need me to do to facilitate that, just let me know.

I hope you keep having fun. Please, vote, share, and discuss as much as possible.

All you have to do now is head over here to vote!

Thanks for reading,


Sharing the Joy: A Few Friends of Mine Won Some Awards!

Sharing the Joy: A Few Friends of Mine Won Some Awards!

I was surfing the social media waves today when I noticed a few friends of mine have earned some recognition. I love it when people I respect get some props, so what better way to offer my congratulations than to post a brief announcement for them on my humble little blog?

The Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews and Award Contest released their winners.  They give awards in pretty much every category you can shove a book in.

Without further chatter from me, let’s spread the good news.

21192864_10156178007845931_2953333170833284155_nAnaerfell by Joshua Robertson and J.C. Boyd: Winner of the contest’s bronze medal in the Young Adult – Fiction – Fantasy – Epic category. Just to point out a humble/not humble fact. Every book I’m about to mention was a book I discovered by it’s cover. Anaerfell was  put in my February Book Cover of the Month and is still one of the most voted on books in the bracket’s history. Joshua and I became friends during that bracket. To put a final touch on the coincidence, Anaerfell is actually next on my TBR list.

21272158_1316997008409745_2922550445147677218_nMagic Price by C.L. Schneider: Winner of the contest’s bronze medal in the Adult – Fiction – Fantasy – Epic category. A few years back now (has it really been a few years Cindy?), I was surfing the aforementioned social media waves when I saw the gorgeous cover. I sent a message saying as much.  We got to talking, and I tried her book out. Here’s the review on THAT particular book. That book’s sequel was actually one of the best books I read in 2016. This book’s magic system is flat-out awesome, and Ian is an amazingly sympathetic character. If you check out the reviews, not the content warnings on this. There’s some steamy stuff in there. As if that wasn’t enough, Cindy plucked another medal from the contest!

21230799_1316996651743114_8640255488860905993_nFlash Point by C.L. Schneider: Winner of the contest’s silver medal in the Adult – Fiction – Fantasy – Urban category. Flash Point was in my March Book Cover of the Month. I’ve read it. The review is actually scheduled to drop on this blog Wednesday. I didn’t read the book that won this category’s gold medal, but I’d stand behind how well Flash Point did. Flash Point is an urban fantasy with great mystery, action, and dragons. I’ve missed Dresden Files, and Flash Point filled that hole for me. Dahlia is a deeply complex character (a strength of Cindy’s). There are still four months left in the year, but this book is currently on my top three for the year.

These authors are wonderful people, and the books I’ve read are great. I expect Anaerfell to be equally enjoyable. Any time someone I care about gets credit or accomplishes something, I want to leap in the air an pump a fist. This is just blog version of that. If you haven’t tried these books out, add these awards to my firm recommendations.

Thanks for reading,

Book Review: The Unleashed by Bentz Deyo

Book Review: The Unleashed by Bentz Deyo
This cover was taken from Amazon.com for review purposes under fair use doctrine. The other images were taken from Mr. Deyo’s website for the same purpose.

Spoiler Free Summary:  This was the February Book Cover of the Month. I’ve already reviewed the December Book Cover of the Month, which you can find here, and the January Book Cover of the Month, which you can read here. In The Unleashed by Bentz Deyo, Leam Holt has already saved Harbing from destruction, but he begins this story with amnesia and in enemy territory. Trapped between two machinators, Leam is the linch pin for both of their plans. The forces of light work to free Leam, but they want to use him. The forces of darkness want to keep Leam, but they want to use him, too. What will he choose to do if/when his memory returns?

Character:  Leam is a strong lead character. His conflict is honest and real. By the end of the book, I was furious on his behalf for the number of things done to him for the sake of either side’s plans. Leam is earnest, and that earnestness is compelling when he’s being trained and encouraged to do awful things. Those issues get expanded upon when he realizes how terrible his actions really are. I’d also like to mention Eloa, who steals the show from my point of view. She spends a good portion of the story trapped, but she not exactly helpless. Her arch hinges on that situation, and it makes me appreciate her. Gideon, the antagonist, also has in interesting story line that I wanted to learn about.

Exposition: I actually could have used a bit more in this sense. This is the second book in a series, and I think reading the second book took away from the story. I grew to like Leam, but a lot of his arc depends on the reader already knowing what’s happened. That made it hard for me to connect, so if any of this book interests you, I’d strongly recommend buying and reading the first before you move on to this story. I’m of the opinion that doing so will limit questions and issues that I had.

bio-3Worldbuilding:  Despite the fact that I wasn’t really sure who some of these people were and why they mattered, one thing Deyo did do was ease the reader into this world and magic. Where the characters didn’t make much sense early on, the world grew on you, and that made the book a bit easier for me. There were some aspects I wasn’t sure about, but I’m not going to hold the fact that I didn’t read book one against book two.

Dialogue:  The dialogue worked, particularly in regards to developing character. A lot of my connection to these characters formed during conversations. Deyo used this technique with pretty much every character. What made it work is the dialogue didn’t feel like  a forced infodump. Instead, you learned about the characters’ pasts and their personality through genuine, realistic conversations.

Description:  It’s honestly been a while since I read this particular book. I got backed up with reviews and reading, so I’m not sure how fair I’m being to the book in this regard.  What I’ll say is I remember the actions the characters took and how they felt about them. I don’t remember much about what any of the characters looked like or what the settings were like. I remember appreciating the detail in the magic system and some of the intense scenes, but the overall description felt a bit vague in terms of the characters.

Overall:  This story was enjoyable by itself, but I think people would like it more with the context of the first book. Leam’s story was the most compelling part of the book. His arch is emotional, touching, sad, and tragic. I’ll admit this book wasn’t so good that I’d insist on going back and reading the first, but I’m glad I read it. The magic system is cool, and this plot has a nice little cat and mouse sort of “Spy vs Spy” feel that I really enjoyed.

Thanks for reading