2020 Reading Challenges – Three-Quarters Update

Welcome to another reading update from the very weird 2020!  I hope you are staying safe and well, and enjoying many great books.  I’m still staying home and reading a lot.  That’s good for my overarching goal of the year, to read more, aiming for 125 books.  I’m at 104 books so far, putting me well on target.

Here’s my monthly totals:

January: 14 books
February: 11 books
March: 7 books
April: 12 books
May: 9 books
June: 9 books
July: 11 books
August: 14 books
September: 10 books
October: 7 books (so far)

Now onto the specific challenges…

The Phantom of the Opera Reading & Viewing Challenge
Host: Tales of the Marvelous
Goal: Lon Chaney Level

I posted the update for this challenge just yesterday (share your updates if you have them!) and I’m on track for my goal.  Just to need to watch a Phantom movie still.

Continue reading “2020 Reading Challenges – Three-Quarters Update”

Blog Hop: A Halloween Alternative


Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Would you consider giving out books to trick-or-treaters instead of candy?

That’s a cute idea, but I’m not sure how actually feasible it would be.  My first thought was that books, as a rule, cost much more per unit than candy, so it’s not that economically feasible.  But on the other hand, in my neighborhood it’s a busy Halloween if we get a dozen trick-or-treaters, so that may not be that much of an issue after all.

The possibly bigger trouble is that it’s impossible to predict the age, gender or interests of the kids who show up at the door, so having the right books would be a challenge.  People talk about liking “books” generically, but the truth is that pretty much everyone has a limited selection of books they actually like, and kids of different age groups are even more complicated.  While not every kid likes every type of candy, it’s much more universally appealing.

And then there’s the issue of expectations – we all know what the kids are coming to the door for, and it’s not books.  I wouldn’t really blame a kid who wasn’t happy to not get chocolate, or even assume that they don’t like books – only that they’re here looking for chocolate!

I think books could be an awesome party favor, and I give lots of books as gifts, but it makes more sense in a situation where you know more about the numbers and the identities of the recipients.  So probably not the best choice for trick-or-treaters!

Friday Face-Off: Mist on the Moors


It’s time again for the Friday Face-Off meme, created by Books by Proxy, with weekly topics hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.  The idea is to put up different covers for one book, and select a favorite.

This week’s theme is: Mist/fog – “A thin grey fog hung over the city, and the streets were very cold; for summer was in England.”

I immediately thought of Sherlock Holmes for this one, and then narrowed down to look at covers of The Hound of the Baskervilles.  It’s my favorite Holmes novel, and seemed the most likely to be misty too!  Fun trivia: Hound actually saved Holmes’ life.  Doyle killed him off at the Reichenbach Falls, and for years wrote no new Holmes stories, swearing he was done.  Finally (and no one really knows why), Doyle wrote Hound, but it was set earlier than Holmes’ death.  It was so successful that Doyle ended up writing Holmes back into life and continued additional stories and novels about him.

Okay, onto the mist and the covers!

This is one of the few covers that incorporates every element I’d like to see – Holmes, Watson, a possibly supernatural hound and, of course, the mist.  Too bad Watson looks too old and the art style is a little cartoony.  I like the “hand-written” author name though.

Continue reading “Friday Face-Off: Mist on the Moors”

Friday Face-Off: Font Fun


It’s time again for the Friday Face-Off meme, created by Books by Proxy, with weekly topics hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.  The idea is to put up different covers for one book, and select a favorite.

This week’s theme is: A Standout Font

To be honest, nothing immediately came to mind for this concept…but I did just read a rather awful collection of short stories inspired by Oz, and rather than looking up covers for that I decided to go look at covers from the original: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.  Sure enough, there were many, many covers, and some had pretty cool fonts.

I really like the font on this one, and how the green picks up the Emerald City.  Too bad I don’t like the art style at all, especially the characters’ proportions and the lion on his hind legs.  I know he walked upright in the movie, but this doesn’t really evoke that, and just feels very off!

Continue reading “Friday Face-Off: Font Fun”

Catching-Up + A Small Favor Request

So it’s been a little quiet around here recently…! I put Accompaniment out, and got promptly distracted by the rest of life. Good things going on, but I’m hoping to get back to a more regular schedule around here too. I’ve been reading a lot with a few books I hope to review soon, and I’m moving ahead with a couple new writing projects: I’m putting together a companion book of essays and bonus material to my Guardian series that I plan to put out in 2021, not to mention finishing up the final edits for Book 3, due out in December!

In another fun thing, my book cover from Nocturne is up for Cover of the Month at AllAuthor. The public gets to vote on best covers to move it up through the elimination rounds, so if you can take a moment to go cast a vote I’d love that!

Here’s the link to the voting page. It’s possible to vote at first without creating an account, though eventually that option will go away. Whatever you can do to help boost my cover will be so appreciated! And I’ll be sure to tell you if I win 😉