Review: The Island Deception by Dan Koboldt + Giveaway

Review: The Island Deception by Dan Koboldt + GiveawayThe Island Deception by Dan Koboldt
Format: eARC
Source: publisher via Edelweiss
Formats available: ebook
Genres: fantasy, portal fantasy
Series: Gateways to Alissia #2
Pages: 352
Published by Harper Voyager Impulse on April 11th 2017
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleKobo

What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas. But what happens after you step through a portal to another world, well…
For stage magician Quinn Bradley, he thought his time in Alissia was over. He’d done his job for the mysterious company CASE Global Enterprises, and now his name is finally on the marquee of one of the biggest Vegas casinos. And yet, for all the accolades, he definitely feels something is missing. He can create the most amazing illusions on Earth, but he’s also tasted true power. Real magic.
He misses it.
Luckily—or not—CASE Global is not done with him, and they want him to go back. The first time, he was tasked with finding a missing researcher. Now, though, he has another task:
Help take Richard Holt down.
It’s impossible to be in Vegas and not be a gambler. And while Quinn might not like his odds—a wyvern nearly ate him the last time he was in Alissia—if he plays his cards right, he might be able to aid his friends.

I loved last year’s The Rogue Retrieval, and when I finished it I found myself desperately hoping for a sequel that did not appear to be on the horizon. So when the author contacted me to request a review of that sequel I was hoping for but not expecting, I was all in.

Then I looked at the publication date and realized that introducing others to this world would make a perfect Blogo-Birthday giveaway, and the author and publisher graciously agreed. So first you’ll read a bit about what I loved about The Island Deception and the marvelous world of Alissia, and then you’ll have a chance to win a paperback of The Rogue Retrieval or ebooks of both The Rogue Retrieval and The Island Deception.

But first, my review…

The series title gives just a bit away. The Island Deception is the second book in the Gateways to Alissia, and that’s what this series is, gateway or portal fantasy. There is a gateway, or portal, between our post-industrial, non-magical world and pristine Alissia, which is seems to be just pre-industrial, (our 1600s or 1700s) and definitely magical.

Not just magical in the sense that everyone who travels through the gateway falls in love with the place and wants to stay, but also magical in the sense that magic works.

That’s where our hero comes in. Or came in for The Rogue Retrieval. Quinn Bradley is a stage magician in our world, who discovers in Alissia that the part he has been playing as a magician is surprisingly real. He may be a very late bloomer, but it looks like he might be a real mage. At least on Alissia.

He’s determined to get back there and find out. So when he gets called back to the gateway, this time he’s more than happy to go.

And CASE Global still needs him, because that rogue agent his group was supposed to retrieve in the the first book is still out there, and is gathering power at an astonishing rate. CASE Global’s original concern was that Richard Holt would reveal the existence of advanced technology, and contaminate the world they were studying.

Now it looks like he’s planning to do much more than that. It looks very like he has seized political control in Alissia for the express purpose of preventing CASE Global (and their competitor Raptor Tech) from using their advanced tech to take over Alissia and milk its resources for their own ends.

Or just fight over it until there’s nothing left to save. It doesn’t seem to matter to either of them. But it matters to Richard Holt quite a lot. And, as it turns out, to Quinn Bradley as well.

It looks like it’s time for everyone to decide whether someone else’s bad ends justify their own participation in horrible means, and figure out where their true loyalties lay.

Before it’s too late.

Escape Rating A-: I gave The Rogue Retrieval a B+, because as much as I really enjoyed the ride, the antecedents felt just a bit too clear for me to push it into the A’s. The Island Deception has done a much better job of melding its predecessors into a thing of its own. If you like any of what came before, you’ll like this too, but it also feels more like its own “whole” and not just the sum of its parts.

There’s still a lot of S.M. Stirling’s Conquistador in Alissia, but there are also significant differences. The high-tech world, our world, finds the less developed world in a much more primitive state than happens in Alissia. And the presence of people from the high-tech world is much more exploitative from the outset. It ends up being a place where exiles from our world go to practice deliberately exploitative forms of governance that have been overtly consigned to not the dustbin of history, but the garbage dumpster of history, here. Things like slavery. And apartheid. And the complete subjugation of women, natives, non-Christians and pretty much anyone with brown skin. Or any other color of skin than white.

Alissia, at least for most of our interaction with it, has been left alone to continue its native development, while it gets studied in depth by our world. That appears to be about to change, and could have been predicted to change from the very beginning, but it hasn’t happened yet, and could still be prevented.

The parallels between Alissia and L.E. Modesitt’s Imager Portfolio are much clearer in this book, particularly between the magician’s island on Alissia, The Enclave, and the Imager Collegium as portrayed in the latest Imager trilogy, beginning with Madness in Solidar. Alastor’s dilemma at the Collegium is very much the same as that of the head of The Enclave in Alissia. How does one provide a safe haven for a small but powerful population of magic users in a world where they are vastly outnumbered by mundanes who often fear or envy their powers? Is alliance with the powers that be safer than strict neutrality? And if so, what happens when the powers that be change their course? There are no easy answers, and Quinn Bradley finds himself caught in the middle between his desire to learn magic and his desire to protect his friends and comrades on both sides of the gateway.

Although there are other members of the team, the story rests on Quinn. Even though there are points where the action follows others and he is not present, it is his perspective that we return to, and his character that we know best – at least to the degree that Quinn knows himself. Quinn himself is a bit of a rogue, always sure that his glib tongue can get him out of any trouble. It’s only when both his glibness and his technology fail him that he is able to finally reach inside himself and find out what he is really made of.

But if you like your heroes touched with a spark (or snark) of anti-hero, Quinn is a gem. Whether he’s real or paste is anybody’s guess – sometimes even his own. I can’t wait to discover how Quinn’s adventure plays out (hopefully in The World Awakening next year), whichever side he decides he’s on.

~~~~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~~~~

And now for that giveaway. Dan and Harper Voyager are letting me give away the winner’s choice of a paperback of The Rogue Retrieval or ebook copies of both The Rogue Retrieval and The Island Deception (Island isn’t out in paperback yet!). So it’s your choice whether you want to whet your appetite with that paperback or get caught up on all the action in Alissia with ebooks of both. Enjoy the ride!

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Sixth Annual Blogo-Birthday Blast

On April 4, 2011, Reading Reality, as “Escape Reality, Read Fiction”, posted its first post. 2011 seems like the proverbial long time ago in the galaxy far, far away. Although it wasn’t THAT far away. At the time, we were living in Gainesville, Florida, and planning a move to Atlanta. Our first move to Atlanta.

Between 2011 and now, we moved to Seattle for a couple of years, and then right back here to the Atlanta suburbs. We even live in the same burb we lived in back then, just at a different address. It’s still near Galen’s work, and now mine as well. And we’re both immensely glad not to need to take the Atlanta not-so-Expressways to work every day, especially after that disastrous fire and collapse on I-85 last week. It’s going to take a long time to clean up that gigantic mess.

As much as we like living here, one of the big things I miss about both Chicago and Seattle is their efficient public transit systems. Maybe this will be a wake-up call for the Atlanta region, but I doubt it. We’ll see.

But this isn’t a traffic blog, or an Atlanta living blog. It’s a book blog. Six years and counting.

In those six years there have been over 2,500 posts, most of them reviews. And over 17,000 comments. I know I need to do way better at responding to comments. Ironically, I usually know just what to say when I’m reviewing a book, but still come over self-conscious when responding to an individual. We all have our quirks.

But speaking of reviews, this week I decided as a present to myself (my birthday is tomorrow) that  I would only review books I really, really wanted to read. So it’s all science fiction and fantasy this week, because those are still my go-to genres. Both The Lord of the Rings and Star Trek have a lot to answer for when it comes to my reading preference.

And, in the spirit of The Lord of the Rings, this is a hobbit birthday. Meaning that instead of getting presents, I will be giving out presents this week to you, my readers, followers and friends. I hope that you enjoy the books and gift cards every bit as much as I have enjoyed writing this blog.

Live long, and prosper! And read LOTS of books!

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Review: Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear + Giveaway

Review: Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear + GiveawayJourney to Munich (Maisie Dobbs, #12) by Jacqueline Winspear
Format: eARC
Source: publisher via Edelweiss
Formats available: hardcover, ebook, large print, audiobook
Genres: historical fiction, historical mystery
Series: Maisie Dobbs #12
Pages: 233
Published by Harper on March 29th 2016
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboBook Depository

Working with the British Secret Service on an undercover mission, Maisie Dobbs is sent to Hitler’s Germany in this thrilling tale of danger and intrigue—the twelfth novel in Jacqueline Winspear’s New York Times bestselling “series that seems to get better with each entry” (Wall Street Journal).
It’s early 1938, and Maisie Dobbs is back in England. On a fine yet chilly morning, as she walks towards Fitzroy Square—a place of many memories—she is intercepted by Brian Huntley and Robert MacFarlane of the Secret Service. The German government has agreed to release a British subject from prison, but only if he is handed over to a family member. Because the man’s wife is bedridden and his daughter has been killed in an accident, the Secret Service wants Maisie—who bears a striking resemblance to the daughter—to retrieve the man from Dachau, on the outskirts of Munich.
The British government is not alone in its interest in Maisie’s travel plans. Her nemesis—the man she holds responsible for her husband’s death—has learned of her journey, and is also desperate for her help.
Traveling into the heart of Nazi Germany, Maisie encounters unexpected dangers—and finds herself questioning whether it’s time to return to the work she loved. But the Secret Service may have other ideas. . . .

My Review:

It seems very fitting that I’m reviewing Journey to Munich right after The Murder of Mary Russell. If you take a look at the “Readers Also Enjoyed” sidebar for each book on Goodreads, they are effectively listed as “read-alikes” for each other.

And they are. Both feature young women as investigators in the post-World War I era. However, there are a couple of key differences. One is that Mary Russell always has her seemingly immortal partner and husband, Sherlock Holmes, at her side.

leaving everything most loved by jacqueline winspearMaisie Dobbs is singularly alone. She lost her first love to a bomb that exploded in the aid station they were working in. While he physically survived, mentally he was gone. In the interstitial period between Leaving Everything Most Loved and A Dangerous Place, Maisie married her second love, and he was killed while flying an experimental plane, causing Maisie to miscarry their only child.

Now Maisie is seemingly without hostages to fortune, which is one of the reasons why the British Secret Service is more than willing to recruit this indomitable and seemingly undauntable young woman. They have a specific job for her.

One of Britain’s most inventive engineering minds has been imprisoned by the Nazis at Dachau. Her mission is to pose as his daughter and bring him home. The diplomatic arrangements have already been made, or so everyone thinks.

But if things were that simple, the Secret Service wouldn’t need Maisie. And if there weren’t wheels within wheels, Maisie wouldn’t also be tasked with the sidejob of rescuing the woman who should have been piloting Maisie’s husband’s fatal plane from one too many errors of her own selfish making.

As Maisie dodges well-meaning British officials, secretive American agents, and brutal Nazi officers, she finally discovers something that has eluded her since the death of her husband and child. Now that she is in fear for her life, she comes to the dawning realization that she truly does want to live.

If she survives.

Escape Rating A: This is a hard review to write. The book is excellent, but the background of this story is frightening – as it should be.

This case takes Maisie to Nazi Germany in the late 1930s, just before World War II breaks into a hot war. Two of the framing events are the Anschluss, when Nazi Germany annexed Austria, and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s infamous “peace for our time” speech. It seems so obvious in retrospect that the peace he thought he had secured was utterly impossible. What is more, at least in this story that was obvious to many people at the time, people who gave warnings that were not heeded.

In the context of the story, both the British Secret Service and those agents who would form the OSS, the forerunner of the American C.I.A. were not only aware that war was coming, but were actively preparing for it. As were at least the power brokers in the British Army.

As were the industrialists, which in the end provides the motives for many of the events on the British side of this story.

At the same time, the background seems to be a human version of the old story about the frog and the pan of boiling water. It is clear that there is an increasingly fearful and oppressive atmosphere in Germany, but most people have managed to adjust most of the time. The water has risen in temperature so slowly that they are able to pretend they haven’t noticed it. Except for the two little girls that Maisie spies playing together in a back alley. If they want to remain friends and play together, they have to hide. One of those little girls is Jewish, and as we know now, will probably be taken to the camps and killed long before the end of the war.

It is also clear from the story that the British Secret Service at least knew perfectly well exactly what the already infamous Dachau was, and that more concentration camps were being built. It is also clear that they already knew that Jews were being systematically turned into “nonpersons” in preparation for the atrocities yet to come, and that there were many organizations working to get people out before the worst happened. As it did.

Ironically, in the midst of the death and darkness, Maisie’s story finally turns toward the light. She is able to forgive the family that caused so much of her grief and pain, and as she lives under constant threat of death, she finally realizes that she wants to live, and to have the chance to use her skills and talents for the greater good, and because working makes her feel alive. She has much to do and is finally ready to do it.

But seeing Nazi Germany through Maisie’s eyes, watching as a sensitive, intelligent, thinking, feeling person experiences some of the worst of humanity or its utter lack, gave this reader chills.

Reviewer’s Note: Considering publication schedules, this book was probably completed a year or so ago. However, for this reader at least, there is a tremendous resonance between the political climate related in this story and the current U.S. presidential campaigns. Your reading may be different, but for this reader, the parallels are difficult to miss.

~~~~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~~~~

As part of this week’s Blogo-Birthday Celebration, I am giving away the winner’s choice a copy of any book in the Maisie Dobbs series, including today’s review book, Journey to Munich. Books will be shipped by The Book Depository, so this giveaway is open to anyone who lives anyplace they ship. For those in the U.S., if you prefer an ebook, you can choose an ebook copy from either Amazon or B&N.

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This post is part of a TLC book tour. Click on the logo for more reviews and features.

Review: The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King + Giveaway

Review: The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King + GiveawayThe Murder of Mary Russell (Mary Russell, #14) by Laurie R. King
Format: eARC
Source: publisher via Edelweiss, publisher via NetGalley
Formats available: hardcover, ebook, audiobook
Genres: historical mystery
Series: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #14
Pages: 384
Published by Bantam on April 5th 2016
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboBook Depository

Laurie R. King’s bestselling Mary Russell–Sherlock Holmes series weaves rich historical detail and provocative themes with intriguing characters and enthralling suspense. Russell and Holmes have become one of modern literature’s most beloved teams. But does this adventure end it all?

Mary Russell is used to dark secrets—her own, and those of her famous partner and husband, Sherlock Holmes. Trust is a thing slowly given, but over the course of a decade together, the two have forged an indissoluble bond.

And what of the other person to whom Mary Russell has opened her heart: the couple’s longtime housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson? Russell’s faith and affection are suddenly shattered when a man arrives on the doorstep claiming to be Mrs. Hudson’s son.

What Samuel Hudson tells Russell cannot possibly be true, yet she believes him—as surely as she believes the threat of the gun in his hand. In a devastating instant, everything changes. And when the scene is discovered—a pool of blood on the floor, the smell of gunpowder in the air—the most shocking revelation of all is that the grim clues point directly to Clara Hudson.

Or rather to Clarissa, the woman she was before Baker Street.

The key to Russell’s sacrifice lies in Mrs. Hudson’s past. To uncover the truth, a frantic Sherlock Holmes must put aside his anguish and push deep into his housekeeper’s secrets—to a time before her disguise was assumed, before her crimes were buried away.

There is death here, and murder, and trust betrayed.

And nothing will ever be the same.

My Review:

This book felt like two stories for the price of one. With part of a third thrown in for added body and spice.

The first 55% of this book details the life of times of Mrs. Hudson before she became Mrs. Hudson. In the Holmes’ Canon, Mrs. Hudson springs fully-formed, as if from the Head of Zeus. Or Arthur Conan Doyle. In the first half of The Murder of Mary Russell, we finally get to know who she was before she became Holmes’ and Watson’s mostly unflappable landlady – and what a story it is.

As Mary finally discovers, the woman that Clara Hudson really is, well, is a much different person than the one that Mary has loved and taken for granted these last ten years. We never see our parental figures as they see themselves, but Mrs. Hudson’s revelations are much more of a surprise than the usual. Then again, little turns out to be usual in Sherlock Holmes’ and Mary Russell’s world.

Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventure of the Gloria Scott", which appeared in The Strand Magazine in April, 1893. Original caption was "'HUDSON IT IS, SIR,' SAID THE SEAMAN."
Sherlock Holmes in “The Adventure of the Gloria Scott”, which appeared in The Strand Magazine in April, 1893. Original caption was “‘HUDSON IT IS, SIR,’ SAID THE SEAMAN.”

But as we read about Clara’s early life, and as Mary eventually discovers, beneath the plaster saint that Mary has somewhat assumed Mrs. Hudson to be, there beats the heart of an adventuress.

In addition to the story of Mrs. Hudson’s early life, and the true tale of how she first met the young Sherlock Holmes, we also dive back into Holmes’ first case, The Adventure of the Gloria Scott. A whole lot of people get much-needed closure in this old case of bank fraud, mutiny and murder on the high seas, and blackmail.

But the resolution of that old case is part of the second half of the story, as Mrs. Hudson’s former life comes crashing into her current life, with nearly devastating results for everyone involved. When the smoke clears, a life is over.

Escape Rating A-: The Murder of Mary Russell, in spite of its alarming title, does not appear to be the end of the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series. But it certainly closes a chapter.

beekeepers apprentice by laurie r king new coverIt is also not the best place to start the series. If you have not had the pleasure, I enthusiastically recommend starting with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, where Sherlock Holmes meets a 15-year old orphan on the Sussex Downs, and first mistakes her for a boy. And second takes her as his apprentice.

But The Murder of Mary Russell does reach back into the past, and a past long before Mary herself comes into the picture. The story of Mrs. Hudson’s early life, while incredibly illuminating as regards a central figure in both the original stories and the Russell Kanon, just doesn’t have the same flair as is usual for this series. The complete and often sad story is necessary for the rest of the book, but it just doesn’t “sing”, or maybe that’s “zing” the way that Russell and Holmes usually do when they are together. When a very young Sherlock Holmes enters the story, just past the halfway point, the book suddenly picks up the dramatic pace, much as Holmes runs non-stop when he’s on the scent.

In other words, the first half of the story was interesting but a bit slow. The second half ran away with me, and I couldn’t put it down until I finished. Once all the players are finally together, the game is not merely afoot, but seems to sprint towards its climactic finish. The story, and the life and times of Mrs. Clara Hudson, wrap themselves up with both a literal and figurative “bang”.

For those who have followed this series from its beginnings, the end of this book, and the end of this chapter in all of their lives, is surprising and satisfying and sets the stage gloriously for more adventures yet to come.

I can hardly wait.

~~~~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~~~~

This is my birthday book. As in, when I saw the release date, I just about squeed in delight, because I have been waiting for this next book in the Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell series since the minute I finished the previous book, Dreaming Spies, last year. Because my birthday just happens to fall on a Tuesday, The Murder of Mary Russell is being released on my birthday. And what a marvelous present it turned out to be!

As part of my Blogo-Birthday Celebration, the publisher agreed to let me give away a copy of The Murder of Mary Russell to one lucky U.S. commenter. I love this series and hope that you do, or will, too!

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Fifth Annual Blogo-Birthday Blast

Blogo-BirthdayThe teddy bear and I welcome you to my fifth annual Blogo-Birthday celebration! I still have the original bear somewhere in the house. I’m sure he’s holding down a bookshelf somewhere, as he should be.


Today is Reading Reality’s 5th birthday. Tomorrow is my 50-something birthday. Here on the blog, I celebrate birthdays Hobbit-style, meaning that I give away presents instead of getting presents. Today’s prize is a $15 Gift Card or a book of the winner’s choice, up to $15 in value, shipped by the lovely folks at The Book Depository. The rest of the week I’ll be giving books away, either courtesy of the publishers, the authors or my own self. There should be something to tickle every reader’s fancy.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 whole years since I started this blog. And also the fact that none of this technology was even a gleam in an inventor’s eye when I was born, 50-something years ago tomorrow.

I helped build my first PC from a kit in 1979. The joke was that the first program most people wrote for their new computers was a program to calculate the payment schedule. Home computers were very much a niche item, and they weren’t cheap. The other joke was that one’s dream computer cost around $5000, and it probably still does. But we’re able to dream a lot bigger when it comes to computers than we used to be. And $5,000 isn’t what it used to be either.

I’ve written a lot of posts in 5 years, and a lot of book reviews. There have been over 2,000 posts on Reading Reality in 5 years, most of them written by yours truly. While I’m sure there’s a word counter somewhere in the Jetpack Site Stats, I’m not sure I want to know. There have been not quite 13,000 comments in 5 years. And over 120,000 page views. I’m not sure whether this is a “time flies when you’re having fun” kind of comment, or something about how big the numbers get if you just leave them alone awhile to multiply. It’s still staggering.

My best day, at least so far, was November 15, 2015. The Gratitude Giveaways Hop had just started, and that brought in oodles of traffic. My best month, at least since I got Jetpack, was January 2016. Hopefully there will be even better days in the year ahead. No matter how the stats add up, there’s no statistic that measures just how much fun it is to write every day, and how much joy (and occasional frustration) I’ve gotten from all the books I’ve read and all the comments I’ve received.

Thank you for coming along with me on this journey. Stay tuned for more exciting adventures and fun books in the year ahead!

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4th Annual Blogo-Birthday Celebration + Giveaway

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been doing this for four years!

On April 4, Reading Reality turned a proud four years old. And on April 5, I turned a few times that many. My birthday.

Which is where the term “blogo-birthday” comes from. The blog has a blogoversary, and I have a birthday and a new word is coined. Ta-Da!

I was kind of hoping to have a bloggish makeover to reveal, but since I didn’t think of that brilliant idea until mid-February, I couldn’t get on the waiting list in time. Soon. Soon-ish.

But this is definitely a day to celebrate. As usual, this is a Hobbit birthday. Which means I give presents to people who come to the party. Because it’s Reading Reality’s fourth blogoversary, I’m going to give away four $10 prizes. It will be the winners’ choice whether they want an Amazon or B&N Gift Card, or a book from The Book Depository, which makes this an international giveaway.

Because this is an anniversary for the blog, it’s time to look back and forward. The question in the rafflecopter will be me asking you for suggestions or pointers. What do you like? What sort of things would you like to see that maybe I don’t do, or don’t do often enough? I would love to hear your suggestions and comments!

Thank you so much for following Reading Reality, and especially for stopping by to celebrate with me!

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The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 4-5-15

Sunday Post

Today is my birthday. As is so often the case, my birthday is in the middle of Passover. As a kid, this was always a big pain, because, well, no cake. Also no party until after, because, well, no cake. Basically no cake. Now I’m a grownup and I can do whatever I want. I also prefer things like chocolate mousse or ice cream that are not cake. Not that I don’t like cake, but for one or two people, there are alternatives. A bunch of six or seven year olds want cake. With candles.

fool for love giveaway hopI would now need more than enough candles to set off the smoke detectors, if not the fire alarm. C’est la vie. Always happy to still be having vie.

Now if you want a present for my birthday, my annual Blogo-Birthday celebration and giveaway starts tomorrow. In the meantime, there are still a couple of days left in the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop.

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or book up to $10 in the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop
$25 Gift Card + ebook copy of The Kill Shot by Nichole Christoff
Paperback copy of Never Too Late by Robyn Carr

Winner Announcements:

The winner of the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop is Ed.

unbreakable by wc bauersBlog Recap:

A- Review: Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes
B Review: Never Too Late by Robyn Carr + Giveaway
Fool for Books Giveaway Hop
A- Review: Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers
B- Review: The Kill Shot by Nichole Christoff + Giveaway
Stacking the Shelves (129)




Coming Next Week:

blogo-birthday-april 6 take two-1024x5904th Annual Blogo-Birthday Giveaway
Wildfire at Larch Creek by M.L. Buchman (review)
The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons (review)
Doc by Maria Doria Russell (review)
Bite Me Your Grace by Brooklyn Ann (review)

Stacking the Shelves (129)

Stacking the Shelves

Today is the 4th anniversary of Reading Reality. 2011 seems like a LONG time ago. The official celebration (and giveaway) will be on Monday, April 6. I’m starting to measure my life in when we moved and where we were when “X” happened. When I started Reading Reality, we were living in Gainesville, FL. After that, we moved here to Atlanta. and moved again within Atlanta. Then Seattle, and we moved again in Seattle. Now we’re back in Atlanta. That’s a lot of moves to end up back in the same place. We often drive by that second place we lived in when we were here before. It’s hard to resist the impulse to turn in!

On the bookish front, Humble Bundle is currently offering a science fiction bundle that is pretty awesome. Check it out!

For Review:
Deadly Election (Flavia Albia #3) by Lindsey Davis
The Dismantling by Brian DeLeeuw
Dissident (Bellator #1) by Cecilia London
Finding Mr. Right Now (Salt Box #1) by Meg Benjamin
The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig
The State of Play edited by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

Purchased from Amazon:
The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files #1) by Charles Stross
Crushed (City of Eldrich #2) by Laura Kirwan
The Fire Seer and Her Quradum (Coalition of Mages #2) by Amy Raby
Impervious (City of Eldrich #1) by Laura Kirwan
Target of the Heart (Night Stalkers) by M.L. Buchman

Blogo-Birthday Celebration and Giveaway

blogo birthday one day

Today is, believe it or not, the third anniversary of the founding of Reading Reality. In other words, it’s my blog’s birthday!

Tomorrow, April 5, just so happens to be my own personal birthday. (Three years ago, this was a pretty busy week!)

As is my custom, I’m having a Hobbit birthday for us. That means that instead of getting presents, I’ll be giving some away. I want to share the joy.

I also want to share a few books that need to get out and be loved by some lucky reader. These are my review copies, but because I usually get ebooks from NetGalley or Edelweiss, these are all unread, and waiting for someone to read them.

So, how is this giving stuff away thing going to work?

I’m giving away a $15 Amazon or B&N gift card to the first prize winner. Second prize gets to pick 4 books, and third prize is three books.

Which books? Forgiving Lies and Deceiving Lies by Molly McAdams, Dash of Peril by Lori Foster, Retribution by Anderson Harp, and a signed copy of Tarnished by Karina Cooper. I also have 2 copies of The Clockwork Wolf by Lynn Viehl, so both winners get one copy.

In the rafflecopter, just let me know which book you would pick first if you get to choose!

And thanks for stopping by to celebrate with me!!

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The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 3-30-14

Sunday Post

Time passes so quickly. Reading Reality’s 3rd anniversary is this Friday. My birthday is Saturday, so this Friday I’m holding my annual Blogo-Birthday Celebration. By celebrate I mean giveaway! This year I’m planning to give away a gift card and some books from my recent collection. For international visitors, I’ll do a giveaway from Book Depository (I wish they did gift cards!!!)

But until Friday rolls around, here’s what else has been happening:

Current Giveaways:

The Accident by Chris Pavone (hardcover)
$25 B&N Gift card and an ecopy of The Cottage on Juniper Ridge courtesy of Sheila Roberts

Winner Announcements:

$10 Amazon Gift Card in the Leaping Leprechauns Blog Hop – Piroska B.

Accident by Chris PavoneBlog Recap:

B+ Review by Cass: A Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop
A+ Review: The Accident by Chris Pavone + Giveaway
C+ Review: Turned by Virna DePaul
B+ Review: The Cottage on Juniper Ridge by Sheila Roberts
Guest Post from Sheila Roberts about the REAL Icicle Falls + Giveaway
B+ Review: Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews
Stacking the Shelves (82)


Coming Next Week:

blogo birthday one dayThe Descartes Legacy by Nina Croft (review)
Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins (blog tour review)
Four Friends by Robyn Carr (blog tour review)
Duke City Split by Max Austin (blog tour review
Fool for Books Giveaway Hop
Reading Reality’s 3rd Annual Blogo-Birthday