Audiobook (CDs) Giveaway!

Heldig is absolutely ignoring me while Claudie snoozes on.

Heldig is absolutely ignoring me while Claudie snoozes on.

About a week ago I received a package in the mail and it was a box of audiobooks! Hooray! But wait! Not all these books were intended for me. So I have decided to share.

Now first, I want to tell you about this awesome audiobook site where you can request audiobooks in exchange for an honest review. This site is Audiobook Jukebox. I have been working with this site for years and the two people who run it (Susan and Jeff) are awesome people since they keep this site rolling on their volunteer time alone. If you want to get into audiobook reviewing, this is a great way to do it. You don’t have to have a blog, but you do have to post your review somewhere and then share a link to that review with Audiobook Jukebox. Easy peasy. Also, I think you will be impressed with the large selection of books for review.

So I requested a book from Dreamscape Audio via Audiobook Jukebox and their shipping department inadvertently sent me 5 books, 4 of which were intended for other audiobook reviewers. When I contacted Dreamscape, they told me to keep all 5 books and they would reship the audiobooks to the correct reviewers. That’s really cool of them.

So I am offering up 3 different audiobooks in this giveaway. You’ll see a different Rafflecopter for each one. You can enter all 3 or just the ones you’re interested in. Due to shipping costs, I will have to limit this to North America (Canada, US, or Mexico).

First up is Five Minutes Alone by Paul Cleave (regular audio CD – 12 discs). I actually requested the MP3 CD version of this (which came in the box with this one). I have read several Paul Cleave books and have enjoyed them all. Narrated by Paul Ansdell.

Book Blurb for Five Minutes Alone:

CleaveFiveMinutesAloneIn the latest thriller by the Edgar-nominated author of Joe Victim, someone is helping rape victims exact revenge on their attackers, prompting an edge-of-your-seat, cat-and-mouse chase between old friends, detectives Theodore Tate and Carl Schroder.

Carl Schroder and Theodore Tate, labeled “The Coma Cops” by the media, are finally getting their lives back into shape. Tate has returned to the police force and is grateful to be back at home with his wife, Bridget. For Schroder, things are neither good nor bad. The bullet lodged in his head from a shooting six months ago hasn’t killed him, but, almost as deadly, it’s switched off his emotions.

When the body of a convicted rapist is found, obliterated by an oncoming train, Tate works the case, trying to determine if this is murder or suicide. The following night, the bodies of two more rapists surface. It’s hard to investigate when everyone on the police force seems to be rooting for the killer.

There’s a common plea detectives get from the loved ones of victims: When you find the man who did this, give me five minutes alone with him. And that’s exactly what someone is doing. Someone is helping these victims get their five minutes alone. But when innocent people start to die, Tate and Schroder find themselves with different objectives, and soon they’re battling something they never would’ve expected: each other.

To enter the giveaway for this book, do the rafflecopter thing below or answer these questions in the comments: 1) What country do you live in? 2) Which book or books would you like and why? 3) Leave a way to contact you (if your wordpress login email is good, then no need to leave it in the comments). Due to shipping costs, I will have to limit this to North America (Canada, US, or Mexico). Giveaway ends Nov. 25th, 2016 at midnight.

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Second is The Once in a Million Boy by Monica Wood (regular audio CD – 9 discs). This one looks like an emotionally heavy book, which can be good if I’m in the right mood for it. Narrated by Chris Ciulla.

Book Blurb for The Once in a Million Boy

WoodTheOnceInAMillionBoyThe story of your life never starts at the beginning. Don’t they teach you anything at school?

So says 104-year-old Ona to the 11-year-old boy who’s been sent to help her out every Saturday morning. As he refills the bird feeders and tidies the garden shed, Ona tells him about her long life, from first love to second chances. Soon she’s confessing secrets she has kept hidden for decades.

One Saturday, he doesn’t show up. Ona starts to think he’s not so special after all, but then his father Quinn arrives on her doorstep, determined to finish his son’s good deed. The boy’s mother is not so far behind. Ona is set to discover that even at her age the world can surprise you, and that sometimes sharing a loss is the only way to find yourself again.

To enter the giveaway for this book, do the rafflecopter thing below or answer these questions in the comments: 1) What country do you live in? 2) Which book or books would you like and why? 3) Leave a way to contact you (if your wordpress login email is good, then no need to leave it in the comments). Due to shipping costs, I will have to limit this to North America (Canada, US, or Mexico). Giveaway ends Nov. 25th, 2016 at midnight.

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The third and final book is Dare to Serve: How to Drive Superior Results by Serving Others by Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes’ Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. (regular audio CD – 3 discs). Narrated by the author, Cheryl Bachelder.

Book Blurb for Dare to Serve:

BachelderDareToServeCheryl Bachelder joined an ailing restaurant chain and turned it into the darling of the industry – by daring to serve the people in her organization well. When Bachelder was named CEO of Popeyes in the fall of 2007, guest visits had been declining for years, restaurant sales and profit trends were negative, and the company stock price had dropped from $34 in 2002 to $13. The brand was stagnant, and relations between the company and its franchise owners were strained.

By 2014 average restaurant sales were up 25 percent, and profits were up 40 percent. Popeyes’ market share had grown from 14 percent to 21 percent, and the stock price was over $40. The franchisees were so pleased with the turnaround that they began reinvesting in the brand, rapidly remodeling restaurants and building new units around the world. The difference maker, Bachelder says, was a conscious decision to lead in a new way.

She and her team created a workplace where people were treated with respect and dignity yet challenged to perform at the highest level. Silos and self were set aside in favor of collaboration and team play. And the results were measured with rigor and discipline. Servant leadership is sometimes derided as soft or ineffective, but this audiobook shows that it’s actually challenging and tough minded – a daring path. Bachelder takes you firsthand through the transformation of Popeyes and shows how a leader at any level can become a Dare-to-Serve leader.

To enter the giveaway for this book, do the rafflecopter thing below or answer these questions in the comments: 1) What country do you live in? 2) Which book or books would you like and why? 3) Leave a way to contact you (if your wordpress login email is good, then no need to leave it in the comments). Due to shipping costs, I will have to limit this to North America (Canada, US, or Mexico). Giveaway ends Nov. 25th, 2016 at midnight.

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Interview: Richard Storry, Author of The Cryptic Lines

StorryTheCrypticLinesEveryone, please welcome Richard Storry to the blog today. I really enjoyed his suspenseful book, The Cryptic Lines, which is perfect for this season! A big thank you to Jess at The Audio Book Worm for setting up this book tour. Swing by the tour page to catch more interview, reviews, and guest posts.

What makes you fall in love with a story?

A story needs to grab me during its first page or, at least, its first chapter. The kind of subjects which appeal to me are things which are mysterious, with explicit or implied suspense.

What has been your worst or most difficult job? How does it compare to writing?

For a number of years I was working five evenings a week as a cocktail pianist in hotels and restaurants. It helped to pay the bills, but it was a thankless task. Writing is much more satisfying and rewarding.

Who or what are your non-writer influences?

It would have to be the combination of certain teachers of years gone by (both academic and musical) together with the music of certain composers, such as Bernstein, Copland, Gershwin, Richard Rogers and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

If you could own a famous or historical art work, what would it be? Would you put it on public display or keep it privately?

Any painting by John Constable. All his works are amazing and capture the essence of their images perfectly – though I would probably keep mine for private viewing only!

StorryTheCrypticLinesGraphicIs there a book to movie/TV adaptation that you found excellent? How about book to stage adaptations?

Although it’s an old one, “Gone with the Wind” made the transition from book to movie brilliantly. Regarding book to stage…forgive me if I appear a little self-obsessed, but I was delighted with the adaptation for the stage of my novel “The Cryptic Lines” which was done by Pete Gallagher. He made a very fine job of it!

If you could sit down and have dinner with 5 dead authors, who would you invite to the table? What would they order?

Charles Dickens (Christmas turkey), Agatha Christie (Anything fine dining), Victor Hugo (Escargots), Robert Burns (Haggis), Shakespeare (Roast pheasant).

Side characters can make or break a story. What side characters have you enjoyed in other works? What side characters in your own work have caught more attention than you expected?

I’ve always loved the assistants – Dr. Watson, Captain Hastings etc. In my latest book, “A Looming of Vultures” (being published soon) a side character called Lukas was introduced just to provide some companionship to one of the main characters – but he ended up having a pivotal role to play as the story neared its conclusion.

What is the first book you remember reading on your own?

‘A’ is for apple, ‘B’ is for ball(!)


RichardStorryAuthorAbout Richard Storry:

Richard is the author of four published novels, with his fifth “A Looming of Vultures” due for publication in 2017. Prior to writing his first novel, “The Cryptic Lines” he was very busy in the theatrical world: He composed the incidental music to Chekhov’s Three Sisters, seen in London’s West End, starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Eric Sykes, and subsequently broadcast on BBC4 television. His musical adaptation of “The Brothers Lionheart” premiered at London’s Pleasance Theatre, followed by a successful run at the Edinburgh Festival where it was voted Best Childrens’ Play. “The Cryptic Lines” has now been adapted for both the stage and screen.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~Facebook ~ GoodReads

Synopsis of The Cryptic Lines:

StorryTheCrypticLinesSet in a sprawling gothic mansion in a remote coastal location, somewhere in the British Isles, the elderly recluse Lord Alfred Willoughby is deciding what is to become of his vast fortune after his death. Whilst his head is telling him to leave nothing at all to his wastrel son, Matthew, his heart is speaking differently. After much deliberation, in a last-ditch attempt to try and show to his son the importance of applying himself to a task and staying with it to the end, he devises a series of enigmatic puzzles cunningly concealed within the lines of a poem – the cryptic lines. If he completes the task successfully and solves the puzzles he will inherit the entire estate; but if he fails he will receive nothing. However, from Lord Alfred’s Will it emerges that Matthew is not the only interested party. The mysterious old house holds many secrets, and nothing is as it first appears…

Audible        Amazon

About the Narrator Jake Urry:

JakeUrryNarratorJake Urry is a British actor and audiobook narrator, and also co-founder of Just Some Theatre. Since graduating from an Acting degree course in 2012 he’s toured with Just Some Theatre as an actor and producer, worked on a number of commercial voice over projects and most recently started producing Audiobooks. Jake has produced over 10 titles since March 2016 and has rapidly found himself at home narrating Thriller, Horror, Mystery and Suspense titles. His audiobook work includes dark psychological thrillers White is the Coldest Colour and Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl, occult mystery series The Ulrich Files by Ambrose Ibsen, and gritty Sci-Fi novel Shadows of Tomorrowby Jessica Meats.

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ GoodReads ~ Voices ~ Soundcloud

The Cryptic Lines by Richard Storry

StorryTheCrypticLinesNarrator: Jake Urry

Publisher: Richard Alan Storry (2016)

Length: 4 hours 13 minutes

Author’s Page

Lord Alfred Willoughby has finally passed away. His solicitor, Charles, must see to his will, which holds quite the surprise! Once Willoughby’s adopted son Matthew views the will, then the race is on for cryptic poems to be deciphered, more clues discovered, and hopefully the final fortune to be won before the time limit is up. Set in a Gothic mansion somewhere in the British Isles, this tale holds much suspense and a little bit of trickery.

This was a delicious suspenseful book, perfect for the Halloween season. The story opens with a rainy storm and the death of rich, old Lord Willoughby. James, the butler, helps Charles to find Willoughby’s important papers. Eventually, Charles finds a film, which is actually Willoughby’s recorded will. After viewing it, they track down Matthew, Willoughby’s wayward son. From there, the story turns into a treasure quest. Poems contain clues and those clues lead them all over the sprawling estate. This tale is complete with hidden passage ways, an actual crypt, and nearly forgotten family secrets.

While the 4 main characters are all male, there are two more characters, Mrs. Gilkerry (housekeeper/cook) and Meg (retired maid) who are more than they seem. First, I really enjoyed Mrs. Gilkerry’s cooking. The descriptions of her meals made my mouth water. Who says English cooking lacks flavor and zest? Meg doesn’t come into the story until much later so I won’t reveal too much about her. However, I will say that the discussions with her provided some humor in the middle of this tense book.

This treasure hunt reveals much about the natures of not only Charles and Matthew, but also Lord Willoughby. In a way, Charles learns more about his client’s private life through this quest than he ever would through his legal duties. Matthew has a long history of being a bit of a scoundrel, only returning home when he gets into more trouble or debt than he can manage. This hunt provides a background to show his true mettle: misunderstood man who made some mistakes or a man who truly lacks a moral compass? The ending has more than one secret to reveal! The winding suspense was excellent and I quite enjoyed taking an afternoon to read this. My only wish is that I had enjoyed it on a dark and stormy night.

I received this audiobook at no cost via The Audio Book Worm.

The Narration: Jake Urry was a really good choice of narration for this book. I loved his proper English accents along with his range of voices for all the characters. I especially loved his voice for Meg. Here and there, the characters reveal some emotion and Urry portrayed those emotions quite well. 

What I Liked: The Gothic mansion setting; Lord Willlougby’s clues and poems; James’s never-ending politeness; Meg’s less than sharp wit; Mrs. Gilkerry’s meals; the suspense of the hunt; the final reveals; excellent narration. 

What I Disliked: Nothing – this is a delicious, suspenseful tale!

What Others Think:

The Audiobook Worm

Shelves of Knives

Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh, My!

My Book Hype

The Audio Book Reviewer

The Page Turner

Kushiel’s Mercy Part III

Streak being calm & snuggly.

Streak being calm & snuggly.

The read along continues with Kushiel’s Mercy, Book 3 of Imriel’s trilogy! Everyone is welcome to join in. Here is the SCHEDULE for the read along.

This week, Emily at Emma Wolf is our host. We’re covering Chapters 23-35, so be prepared for spoilers below!

1. Imriel spends the night at Melisande’s before Solon is to do his spell. Melisande tells Imriel that she would like it if, after all this, he would find it in his heart to come visit her again. Do you think he will? What would that reunion be like?

Perhaps in the far future, if all turns out OK with Imriel and Sidonie, they might arrange some clandestine meeting when Imriel and Sidonie are making some royal progress in Alba or Aragonia or such. I can see Melisande arranging it anyway and just popping in on them. If the two of them ever reproduce, then Melisande might find it impossible to stay away forever despite their wishes. I think the initial reunion could be really awkward. But if Sidonie can find it in her heart to forgive, or at least find conclusion (recognizing that Melisande’s punishment for the Skaldi invasion is permanent exile), then I think they could all move forward and just be what they are – a messed up family that do care about each other.

2. Solon tells Imriel to “put Imriel away” and “make him small…like a tiny, tiny seed.” How much of Imriel remains inside “Leander” once the spell is complete?

We see flickers of him even from day one, like when he says goodbye to Melisande. Later, when the chamber maid makes it clear that she wouldn’t mind a dalliance, Leander/Imri holds back and Leander has to explain it away to himself. So obviously Imri is still in there and he does have an influence on the actions his body takes.

3. Sidonie and Leander/Imriel meet and court again. What do you think of this and the echoes of their past courtship? How much of Imriel does Sidonie actually remember, if anything?

I think the rose petals cause an echo of past memories to serve. Also it’s kind of sweet to see Leander/Imri bumbling along with the flirting. I think we can see flickers in Sidonie but to her Leander is a stranger, so she’s not going to reveal her concerns about her memory or pieces into quite fitting together yet. She has all the training in royal poise going on. It will be interesting to see these two learn to trust each other all over again.

4. What do you think of Leander/Imriel’s cover story of how he came to be in the service of Solon and sent to Carthage? What do you think of Carthage generally?

Leander, like any good spy, is sticking as close as he can to the story. However, he has to leave out or alter anything that might remind Sidonie of Terre D’Ange. I think he will find that harder to do than he expects. In general, I think the cover story is enough. After all, both Bodeshmun and Astegal (I’m assuming) have to realize that various spies will wiggle their in close to try to learn how they pulled off this big magic with Terre D’Ange.

Carthage in general seems to be an old and vibrant city. I like it even if I don’t agree with everything (like the life-long slavery). And while I like the look of palanquins I too find them ridiculous. Unless you’re having sex while your slaves carry you around the city. That’s what I would use a palanquin for. And mine would be steampunked up, with some sort of automatons carrying me and my harem around town. Maybe the automatons would be in the shape of armadillos, because I really like them but, alas, they carry the the leprosy virus. So no live armadillos for me.

5. We see Sunjata and Bodeshmun, this time through Leander’s eyes. Has your impression changed?

Since this is a reread for me, I was really looking forward to seeing Sunjata again. I love that Leander is in a on/off relationship with him. I felt that Sunjata was, in general, a gentle soul even from the beginning, even when he stuck Imri with the madness needle. So it’s nice to see that expanded upon here.

Bodeshmun is an arrogant man, just like folks have told Imri. I’m glad to see it as that could be a key to his undoing. Tho I do believe he’s very dangerous and has the power to remove Leander’s eyes.

6. Why did Leander/Imriel choose Kratos, Ghanim, and the brothers? Was it more Imriel or more Leander who did the choosing?

I think it was more Imriel doing the choosing here. He picked men that he knew would end up in hard labor and it would probably kill them. He chose well. I expect these men will serve him loyally.

Also, wasn’t it hard to watch Leander/Imri agonize over the Aragonian boy? Jacqueline Carey sure does know how to jerk the emotions out of me!

Other Tidbts:

I love that Leander/Imri brought Sidonie a chess set!

Seeing Imri through Leander’s eyes has been very interesting. I think this is what many D’Angelines think about Imriel to one degree or another.

Also Leander’s ideas about Imriel’s hunt for his mother to bring her to justice were interesting.

I think it’s interesting that Sunjata wanted to see Leander/Imri totally naked, thereby seeing Imri’s true body.

And here is the current list of participators:
Allie at Tethyan Books
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Emily at Emma Wolf
Susan (me) at Dab of Darkness

We also have a Goodreads Group started for SF/F Read Alongs in general, and there is a specific folder for this read along. You are welcome to follow the fun there as well. If you want to be on the weekly email, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email with KUSHIEL’S MERCY in the subject (

The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade

SladeTheHunchbackAssignmentsChupaNarrator: Jayne Entwistle

Publisher: Listening Library (2009)

Length: 7 hours 15 minutes

Series: Book 1 The Hunchback Assignments

Author’s Page


Set in the 1800s in England, the story starts off with Dr. Hyde working on his latest formula. It has rather gruesome side effects. Meanwhile, Mr. Socrates is looking for the unusual and he finds it in a very young boy named Modo who can, to some extent, change his appearance. Skipping ahead several years, Modo’s first true test comes when he’s left on his own in London. There he finds a way to make enough money for food and lodging, which leads him to meet Miss Octavia Milkweed. Together, they get pulled into a devious plot, one that has Dr. Hyde at the center.

This was a very fun story that gave a new twist to some old classics. Of course there is Dr. Hyde, who I think obviously comes from the story The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Then there is Modo himself. His full first name is Quasimodo, which is the important character from The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Plus there’s a bit of The Wolf Man (a classic 1940s movie) going on too. And if I want to stretch things a bit (there’s the need for Modo to wear mask sometimes), perhaps there’s a touch of The Phantom of the Opera as well. Slade has done a great job of plucking certain elements out of these classics and spinning them into an entertaining tale set in a steampunk Victorian England.

Modo and Tavia (short for Octavia) were the stars of the show. We get to see snapshots of Modo growing up in the care of Mr. Socrates. He’s a stern figure and Modo gets most of his human contact from Mrs. Finchley, a governess and care taker, and Mr. Tharpa, his Indian fighting instructor. Although Tavia comes into the picture later, we learn about her upbringing through remarks she makes or her inner dialogue. Both of these kids (who meet when they are in their teens) have interesting backgrounds and Mr. Socrates is obviously shaping them for bigger things. I really liked that we aren’t sure for most of the book whether Mr. Socrates’s goals are good, bad, or simply selfish.

Dr. Hyde is one of those evil characters you enjoy hating on. He’s totally self-absorbed, running these cruel experiments solely for his own ends. He’s not the only evil one. There’s a fascinating lady with a steampunked mechanical arm and also a crippled man made whole by metal and gears. I do have to say I was a little disturbed by Dr. Hyde’s experiments on the dogs. Oh, how that made me want to see him ended!

The steampunk elements are definitely well in place with this Modo/Tavia adventure. I have read one of their other adventures, a graphic novel called Ember’s End, that was described as a steampunk western but had very little steampunky goodness in it. In contrast, The Hunchback Assignments does not disappoint in this aspect. There were small touches here and there throughout the story, and then the larger elements such as replacement body parts.

Modo himself is quite charming. His upbringing is not your standard schooling with extracurricular activities. His unusual looks could easily be called ugly but his morphing abilities give him some lee-way in fitting in. He’s clever and strong but also very shy about who sees his real face. There’s a lot to relate to in this kid. Tavia is also a treat, in different ways. She’s had to learn to be clever to avoid the pitfalls of street life, but she’s a different kind of clever than Modo. She’s also quite pretty and she knows it, which allows her to use her beauty to gain information. I was very glad to learn, as the story progresses, that she can also be a very loyal friend.

All told, this was a excellent start to a YA steampunk adventure series. I look forward to reading more of the series.

Narration: Jayne Entwistle was better than I thought she would be. I think because I eyeball read the graphic novel Ember’s End, I already had certain voices for Modo and Tavia. Entwistle hit Tavia’s voice perfectly. However, I was expecting a deeper voice for Modo as an adult. Now since he’s not an adult in this book, but ranges from a toddler to a 14-year-old, I think Entwistle did a really decent job. Also, she did have deeper male voices for the older men like Mr. Socrates. I loved her English accents. Also she was excellent at portraying the emotions of the characters.

What I Liked: Victorian England; steampunky goodness everywhere; Dr. Hyde is a true villain!; Tavia is clever and extroverted; Modo is a different kind of clever and rather shy; references to classics sprinkled throughout the book; Mr. Socrates is a little bit of an enigma. 

What I Disliked: I was expecting a deeper voice for Modo but I think I can come to enjoy Entwistle’s portrayal of his character. 

What Others Think:

Two Readers Writing

My Bookish Ways

Jenny Martin

The Book Zone

Steampunk Scholar

Amy’s Marathon of Books

Book Reviews and More

Literary Treats

Teens Read and Write


A Time Travel Tagging

I was recently tagged by Lynn over at Books & Travelling with Lynn. The subject is all about books and time traveling, in one way or another. I really enjoy these tag posts as they often give me something to talk about without having to use a lot of brainpower. Here are the Q&A.

SummersOwlDanceWhat is your favorite historical setting for a book?

It’s hard to pick just one. I’ve read plenty of stories set in ancient Greece (Mary Renault), Roman murder mysteries & ‘celebrities’ (John Maddox Roberts, Conn Iggulden), and the 1800s of the American West (David Lee Summers, Cherie Priest). Also, the Tudor era attracts me. In fact, I’m currently wrapped up in Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory.

AsimovStarsLikeDustWhat writer/s would you like to travel back in time to meet?

Isaac Asimov is near the top of my list. His books feature prominently in my childhood/teen years. I read his Lucky Starr series but also many of his adult novels. For kicks, I’d love to meet Homer and put to rest the age-old argument on whether Homer was male or female or collection of authors. I wouldn’t mind meeting Pearl S. Buck. Her novel, The Good Earth, was required reading in both the 5th and 9th grades (I moved and changed school districts, so that’s why I got hit twice with this classic) and I loved it both times. She had a very interesting life and it wouldn’t just be her books I’d pester her with questions about, but also her travel and years living in China.

LynchTheLiesOfLockeLamoraWhat book/s would you travel back in time and give to your younger self?

There’s so much good stuff out today! Apart from a few classics, most of the ‘safe’ or required reading I had access to as a kid was boring and often felt fake or like it was missing a big element of life – you know, all the gooey, messy bits that make all the good parts that much better. Luckily, I had full access to any SFF novel in the house and there were plenty of those. So to supplement my childhood bookshelf, I would give myself Andy Weir’s The Martian, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series, and The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.



What book/s would you travel forward in time and give to your older self?

I would speed ahead to my future self and hand her a copy of Robert E. Howard’s stories. His writing is some of the best I have enjoyed and yet several of his stories, Conan or otherwise, have certain sexist and racist elements that really repel me. This book would remind me that humans, including myself, are flawed and that things change over the years, such as views on a woman’s proper role in high fantasy adventure. Yet despite these shortcomings, a person can still love a story, or a person, or a country, etc.

ChaneyTheAmberProjectWhat is your favorite futuristic setting from a book?

I always enjoy closed systems and several feature in SF stories. These are domed cities (Logan’s Run by Nolan & Johnson), underground villages (The Amber Project series by JN Chaney), underwater towns (Lucky Starr & the Oceans of Venus by Isaac Asimov), very large space stations (The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey), etc.. There’s the wonder of discovering these places, seeing how they are supposedly working and will go on working forever, and then watching it all come apart in some horrible way that means death for most of the people in the story. Yeah, welcome to my little demented side.


Grahame-SmithAustenPrideAndPrejudiceAndZombiesWhat is your favorite book that is set in a different time period (can be historical or futuristic)?

For fun, I wouldn’t mind visiting Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I really like the idea of making polite ball jokes, decapitating zombies, working out in the dojo, and politely trading British insults over tea. Honestly, I think that is the only way I would survive the Victorian era.

RobertsTheKingsGambitSpoiler Time: Do you ever skip ahead to the end of a book just to see what happens?

Back when I was eyeball reading printed books (I do mostly audiobooks now) I had a ritual. I would start a book and at that moment that I knew I was hooked, that I had fallen in love with the story, I would turn to the last page and read the last sentence. Most of the time this didn’t spoil anything, but every once in a while there would be a final line that gave away an important death or such.

PriestMaplecroftIf you had a Time Turner, where would you go and what would you do?

Actually, I do have a Time Turner. My husband bought it for me at the start of September while he was at an SCA event. It was right after we learned that I was quite sick but a few weeks before we learned just how sick. So, lots of bitter sweet emotions tied up with that piece of jewelry.

Anyhoo, if I had a working one, I would go everywhere and do everything. I would start with planning things that Bill and I have wanted to do together (like celebrating Beltane in a pre-Christian era) and then add in things that I have always wanted to do but which my be a big snooze fest for Bill (such as Charles Darwin’s Beagle voyage).

JonasAnubisNightsFavorite book (if you have one) that includes time travel or takes place in multiple time periods?

Currently, I’m enjoying the Jonathan Shade series by Gary Jonas. Time travel really becomes an element in this urban fantasy series in the second trilogy with Ancient Egypt featuring prominently. I also adore Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I finally read a Stephen King novel, 11-22-63. The characters were great even as the underlying premise was only so-so for me. The Dinosaur Four by Geoff Jones was a fun, crazy creature feature.

ButcherColdDaysWhat book/series do you wish you could go back and read again for the first time?

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, for sure. I’ve read the early books several times each and I get a laugh out of them each time. Also I would like to experience Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey all over again for the first time. That book showed me how prudish some of my ideas were when I first read it. I wonder what it would show me now? Perhaps the same thing, if indeed this book has had as big an impact on who I am as I think.

Tagging Other People

So in general with these fun tagging posts, I never want anyone to feel obligated to play along. As usual, if any of you want to play along, I definitely encourage you. You can answer any of the questions in the comments or you can throw up your own blog post and then let em know about it so I can come read it. Here are some people who I think would like this particular time travel subject:

David Lee Summers

Under My Apple Tree

Beauty Is A Sleeping Cat

On Starships & Dragonwings

Guest Post: Inkitt, The First Readers-Driven Book Publisher

Discover Inkitt: The First Readers-Driven Book Publisher

By Eleanna Sbokou, Team Lead at Inkitt Publishing

Since the invention of the movable printing press back in the 13th century, the publishing industry has never stopped evolving. Especially when eBooks were introduced in the mid-90’s, things changed substantially: it was a major move aiming to satisfy readers’ changing habits and preferences when it comes to selecting and buying books.

However, if we think about the decision-making process regarding which books deserve to be published and which are left in the dark, things have remained the same for centuries. The task of predicting the next bestsellers is assigned to editors and literary agents who select books based on their experience of past market behavior, their gut feeling and personal view on whether there is an audience out there for that specific book. As a result, Harry Potter and Twilight initially got rejected 12 and 14 times respectively before seeing the light, and Carrie by Stephen King got 30 rejections. This is just the tip of the iceberg though and luckily those authors did not lose their courage; they kept trying till they made it. But think about all those new writers that send out their manuscripts and after a series of rejections feel that they’ve just hit the wall: there’s so many talented and potentially bestselling authors out there whose work never reaches the surface because they get frustrated and discouraged to keep trying to break the barriers of the traditional publishing process.

This is exactly what we’re aiming to change at Inkitt: We’re a Berlin-based startup and the world’s first data-driven book publisher, on a mission to democratize publishing by putting the decision in readers’ hands.

Predicting future bestsellers with the Inkitt algorithm

We’re living in the age of data: there’s so much information available out there that we no longer need to make unfounded assumptions and rely on hunches. If we want to find out whether readers are going to love a book or not, all we need to do is observe them while reading it: Inkitt has developed an algorithm which captures data and analyses over 1,200 reading behavior dimensions to understand how strong a potential a novel has to become the next bestseller. This is a far more objective and accurate way to predict future trends.


Data-driven decisions can and will transform traditional processes that have so far been accepted as the standard for the publishing industry. Artificial Intelligence and algorithms like the one we have developed at Inkitt help us better understand readers’ preferences and also make the publishing process more democratic and fair, especially for up and coming authors trying to make their first steps.

Helping emerging talent get found

In just 18 months since launch, Inkitt has attracted 700,000 members: fiction lovers looking to discover great new novels and new writers who want to share their work and kickstart their career. Apart from a readers-driven publisher, Inkitt is a great platform for authors looking to find an audience for their work and get honest and constructive feedback for free. We also hold writing contests regularly where the winning authors get a publishing deal.


In addition to the above, Inkitt offers a variety of resources to support and guide emerging writers: from AMAs with published authors, to writing groups and articles where writers can find tips and guidance on the writing craft and the road to publishing your work.

If readers love it, it gets published: The revolution has started

Inkitt’s founder and CEO, Ali Albazaz, has one vision: to make sure great books will never again miss the opportunity they deserve. And the best toolset available for that is to analyse behavioral data and understand what readers want: that’s the only way to ensure publishers will never again reject a great novel.

The first book selected by Inkitt’s algorithm, Erin Swan’s Bright Star will be published by Inkitt and Tor in 2017. Back in September, Inkitt published Charlotte Reagan’s YA novel Just Juliet and a month after that, Emily Ruben’s I Was A Bitch followed: both of them immediately became bestsellers in their respective category: a clear sign the Inkitt algorithm ‘has an eye’ for best selling novels.

And this is just the beginning; there’s many more books in Inkitt’s publishing pipeline for the next few months.


We’ve made the first steps in our journey to revolutionize publishing. And the response we’ve seen so far from both our authors and readers gives us even more strength to carry on: It’s so rewarding to have a community of hundreds of thousands who share your vision!

Inkitt is here to help new talent rise and bring great novels to book lovers looking to discover new authors.

If you have questions or want to find out more about Inkitt, please send your email to Thanks for reading!