Book Review: Last Call At The Nightshade Lounge

Another book crushed during the NEWTS! I know that it is now September but I am just getting around to writing the reviews for the NEWTS books now because I was so busy trying to read them all before August was over. This one was called Last Call At The Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger.

Synopsis: College grad Bailey Chen has a few demons: no job, no parental support, and a rocky relationship with Zane, the only friend who’s around when she moves back home. But when Zane introduces Bailey to his cadre of monster-fighting bartenders, her demons get a lot more literal. Like, soul-sucking hell-beast literal. Soon, it’s up to Bailey and the ragtag band of magical mixologists to take on whatever—or whoever—is behind the mysterious rash of gruesome deaths in Chicago, and complete the lost recipes of an ancient tome of cocktail lore.

This book was so good! When I heard about it through a booktuber named “Drums Of Autumn”, I knew I needed to have it. The concept of mixing drinks that enable the person to have superpowers alone is fascinating and I was instantly intrigued.

And then I start reading and find out that it is a diverse book with a mixed-race main character named Bailey and I love it even more. It is really enriching to see more diverse sets of characters in strong leading roles. There is also a Canadian character that I absolutely loved because they didn’t exactly show a stereotypical Canadian person with the “Sorry’s” and the “I love maple syrup” but gave them a multilayered personality that was just a joy to experience.

The book would end some chapters with drink recipes explaining what powers this drink gave you and the magical history behind how it was discovered among the bartenders and mixers. They had drawings of the drinks in an old victorian sketching style.

I normally don’t gravitate towards a book with historical elements (not a fan of historical fiction) but I would love to learn all about the mixing lore and the discovery of magical drinks.

There is a lot of action, some romance and a take on superpowers that I have never experienced before. It was very easy to get through and I found myself having a hard time putting this book down! I would recommend this book to anyone that wants a fun urban fantasy book that is very well-paced and honestly should be a series….hint hint….Paul, make another book like this!

Book Rating: 5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads!

Disclaimer: I was given this book as a gift and I read it because I wanted to. I was in no way compensated to give it an honest review.


It is finally September and I completed my NEWTS TBR but until I make that video, here is my September TBR where I talk about the books I will be reading this month and announce my giveaway winner!

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Book Review: X-men Necrosha

I took some time to myself and enjoyed a graphic novel in all the hustle and bustle of readathons because I felt like I deserved a little break. This one was called Xmen: Necrosha and it is made by Marvel and a bunch of their artists.

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Synopsis: The Necrosha event hits X-Men: Legacy! Selene’s master plan is clicking into place, but she got something she didn’t plan for when destiny was brought back to life. a major X-villain snuck back into the world of the living along with destiny, and now a who’s who of X-Men are being sent to Muir Island to deal with their resurrected foe. Join Nightcrawler, Colossus, Psylocke, Rogue and the X-Men’s newest member – the master of magnetism, Magneto – as they dive into Necrosha.

This was a quick and fun read for me. I picked it up on sale at a comic book shop and decided to read it one day on a whim. It was nice to get back into the world of X-men and to see some of the newer mutants that I was not aware of up until this point. The X-men team is ever-changing in leadership and this keeps it interesting. I like that some of the mutants powers continue to evolve and that the storylines for X-men and always so fun and intense!

Overall, I would suggest this graphic novel if you want to pick something up and jump right into the story without much buildup to the main event because this one starts you off right at the main event.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I bought this book with my own money and read it because I wanted to.


August has arrived and with it the Magical Readathon!! It is time to take my N.E.W.T.S! Watch this video to see which books I will be reading for my exams!

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Fid’s Crusade Book Tour Starts Today!!

Hey everyone! So a while back, I set up my first blog tour with David Reiss for his book Fid’s Crusade and today if the official start date! The tour will run from July 14th to July 20th so I encourage everyone to follow along and go check out all the blogger’s posts and Youtuber’s videos!!

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And David said that he will be doing a giveaway where you can win a physical copy of his book! The way he wants you to enter is by commenting on the blog posts and Youtuber’s videos! You can find everything you need at the Rafflecopter link!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5760930a11/?

I will be adding the blogger’s posts daily so that you will have the direct link to the correct post so keep checking back to get more entries!


Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday July 14th

 Shaye from A Reading Brit (blog) https://areadingbrit.co.uk/

Amanda from Amanda readsss (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcHl3RdpnJmuMP7ZZYdc-rA

Monday July 15th

Ross from Storgy (blog) https://storgy.com/

Hilary from Melted Books (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOatzzc3q5iTsRZkDPUEZig

Tuesday July 16th

Arden from the Phantom Paper (blog) https://phantompaper.wordpress.com/

Arts, Books and Other things (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkrXMPBy0z1CiJZCkBOFzjQ

Wednesday July 17th

Jenny from Tecsielity (blog) https://tecsielity.wordpress.com/

Savy (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9WShNx2HsXRGjj9F593HzA

Thursday July 18th

Sarah from Murder by Tomes (blog) https://murderbytomes.wordpress.com/

Kathy (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiN4woTQzWrciAcjIKQCzHA

Friday July 19th

Yes More Blogs (blog) https://yesmoreblogs.wordpress.com/

Toya – Reading Chemist (blog) https://thereadingchemist.com/

Scott from Book Invasion (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCADGZU0eRD4SpeFyxtPBrzg

Saturday July 20th

James from the Miramichi Reader (blog) http://miramichireader.ca/

Cheyenne from Novel Insights (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNzc9HZ0T0YQAUksJ7XtWOA


Here is my video where I talked about the book in my wrap up when I first read it!

I am so excited about this and am looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on the book! David is a great author and he wants to thank everyone participating as well.

Book Review: Wonder Woman Earth One

Hey bookworms! Over the past weekend, I went to a used bookstore and picked up a copy of Wonder Woman Earth One by Grant Morrison. It was a very quick ready and only cost me $9. How do you feel about used bookstores? I believe that we should support these amazing places that allow us to share our books with others who may not be able to afford new copies. Plus they are usually really fun to explore.

A graphic novel of Wonder Woman Earth One

Synopsis: For millennia, the Amazons of Paradise Island have created a thriving society away from the blight of man. One resident, however, is not satisfied with this secluded life—Diana, Princess of the Amazons, knows there is more in this world and wants to explore, only to be frustrated by her protective mother, Hippolyta. Diana finds her escape when Air Force pilot Steve Trevor, the first man she has ever seen, crashes onto their shores. With his life hanging in the balance, Diana ventures into the long forbidden world of men. The Amazons chase after her and bring her back to Paradise Island in chains to face trial for breaking their oldest law—staying separated from the world that wronged them.

Wonder Woman has made some amazing progress in becoming a present, modern superhero who is well known by all. She empowers females to be strong no matter who they are.

This graphic novel was good but a little slow. There was very little action in it and more play on justice and Wonder Woman’s rights to be who she chooses to be and live by the rules that she dictates. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good storyline. It just lacked that fun comic book vibe with the battles and team-ups.

It did have some funny characters though. There is one part where she saves a school bus of sorority sisters and they give her a makeover (essentially a lingerie suit that looks like her original suit).

I would still recommend this as a read for comic lovers as it is an origin story being part of the Earth One series. Just don’t get your hopes up for battles of glory or anything.

Book rating: 3/5

You can buy this graphic novel on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I bought this at a used book store with my own money and chose to read and review it.

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Book Review: Enigma In Time

Here is the review for the second graphic novel sent to us by Bad Aura. This one was called Enigma In Time by Chris Kostecka.

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Synopsis: A speck, the size of a drop of blood, driven mad by eons of silence, filled with unimaginable power senses its missing piece on earth. It finds this essence inside an unimaginably cruel human named Gordon. It sets off toward earth traveling across the universe destroying many planets, solar systems, and civilizations along the way.

Meanwhile, on earth, Neal, a seemingly ordinary boy witnesses the suicide of his father and is traumatized by this unexpected act. A frightening man in a red shirt stands over his father’s crushed body. 

Years later Neal is adopted by a loving family and his life changes for the better.

Eventually, the speck arrives at earth. Gaea, the earth’s sworn protector, is quickly overwhelmed by the speck and its power; in the last ditch effort to save the earth she merges with the speck empowering it with a conscience. Gaea redirects it from Gordon into Neal. Enigma in Time is a story about something that should not exist but does. It is a story about Set’s rebirth.

This was quite an interesting comic book. It was kind of an origin story but then kind of not at the same time. The main character Neal keeps going in and out of time (at least I am presuming that is what is happening) throughout his life growing up.  Sometimes he is in his bedroom then all of a sudden he is in medieval times.

Many events happen throught Neal’s life that are traumatic and he plays the part of a hero in a lot of them. He has this force inside of him that is always there and he can feel it but can’t access it.

The girl/woman he loves is also experiencing this time traveling which makes me curious to know if the two of them are tangled in the same time web and if they will come to play a more prominent part in each other’s stories.

I enjoyed the graphic novel overall but I wouldn’t say it was one of my favorites. The storyline gets a little confusing at times and the dialogue is very straight forward. That being said, I would be interested to see what happens in future issues as the ending insinuated that there would be more to come.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on the Bad Aura website.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in physical format by Bad Aura to read and give an honest review.

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Book review: The Mighty Thor – Lord of Asgard

Bookworms! I read a graphic novel as a little in between books break because we all need those every once and awhile. This one was called The Mighty Thor – Lord of Asgard by Dan Jurgens and Joe Bennett. This graphic novel collected Thor (1998) #44-50.

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Synopsis: Thor is called upon to fulfill his father’s legacy as lord and master of the Eternal Realm—leaving Earth’ protection in the hands of the untested Tarene! But an old foe of the Thunder God has embarked on a quest for immortality, one that may spell the end of both Midgard’s fledgling guardian and Thor’s new reign! And then it’s Thor, Lord of Asgard vs. Desak, Destroyer of Pantheons!

This review will be short and sweet because well it was a graphic novel so there is not much to say about it. I enjoy Thor as a hero but I must say that I prefer his brother Loki. He is very cunning and entertaining as he will always throw a loop into Thor’s plans which keeps the storyline flowing.

I feel like there could have been a bit more action and less narration in this comic but overall it was set up for future issues so that is understandable. The art was pretty great! I always marvel at the art in comic books. This style of art is what inspired me to go to school for Graphic Design so thank you Marvel (and all the other comic publishers out there ;P).

Book Rating: 4/5

You can find this book on Goodreads!

Disclaimer: I bought this book at a comic book shop for an amazing discounted rate and read it because I wanted to.

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Author Interview: Dan Jolley

Hey there bookworms! I took part in another blog tour for Dan Jolley’s trilogy. With aliens and genetic mutations in the series, the Gray Widow Trilogy encompasses science fiction, urban fantasy and superhero fiction. The covers for this series were done by Dark Horse Comics artist John Nadeau.

About the author:   Dan Jolley began writing professionally at age 19. Starting out in comic books, Dan has worked for major publishers such as DC (Firestorm), Marvel (Dr. Strange), Dark Horse (Aliens), and Image (G.I. Joe), and soon branched out into licensed-property novels (Star Trek), film novelizations (Iron Man), and original novels, including the Middle Grade Urban Fantasy series Five Elements and the Urban Sci-Fi Gray Widow Trilogy.

Dan began writing for video games in 2007 and has contributed storylines, characters, and dialogue to titles such as Transformers: War for Cybertron, Prototype 2, and Dying Light, among others. Dan lives with his wife Tracy and a handful of largely inert felines in northwest Georgia, and enjoys connecting with readers via his website (www.danjolley.com) and on Twitter (@_DanJolley).

And now for the moment you have all been waiting for ….. the interview 😛

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

  1. How did you start writing?

If you mean, when did I start writing in general? That would be, I’d say, eight or ten minutes after I learned to read, honestly. I’ve always made up stories, as far back as I can remember, and as soon as I figured out how to put words on a page, I started writing them down. (Brief aside: I didn’t go to kindergarten, and when I got to first grade, I couldn’t read. At all. I mean, I knew the letters of the alphabet, but I didn’t know how they fit together. So, for the first, I don’t know, two or three months, I was in the slowest “reading group” in my class. Then, one day, kind of in a huge epiphany, all the letters and words just *clicked*, and from one week to the next I got bumped up to the fastest “reading group.” I’ve never looked back.)

If you mean, when did I start writing professionally? That happened when I was nineteen and still in college. I met a girl in a video game arcade, asked her out, and subsequently got introduced to a few of her friends who were professional comic book artists. That connection led to my first writing contract. I didn’t actually get any money for that contract, because the company went under before they could pay me (or publish the story), but not long afterward I landed another comic book job that ended up providing a couple of terms’ tuition. I still write comic books, but over the years I’ve branched out into licensed-property novels, movie novelizations, original novels, and video games. I’m really not picky *what* I’m writing. As long as I’m writing *something*, I’m happy.

  1. Who is your favorite author?

It changes as I get older. I grew up reading Louis L’Amour westerns and Larry Niven hard sci-fi, and for a long time, they tied for my top spot. L’Amour and Niven eventually lost out to Dean Koontz, and later Koontz got thrown over for John Sandford, and I’d say lately my favorite is Jim Butcher. I don’t know. I’m about to start reading James S.A. Corey’s Expanse novels, so we’ll see what happens.

  1. What goes into your writing/planning process?

There are two general schools of thought about writing, especially writing novels, often referred to as “Plotters vs. Pantsers,” as in “people who carefully plot out a story” vs. “people who fly by the seat of their pants and make up the story as they go along.”

I’m the opposite of a pantser. I outline relentlessly. I usually use the twelve-point skeleton advocated by Christopher Vogler in his book The Writer’s Journey, expand that into a fairly beefy outline, and refer to that outline constantly as I’m writing a novel. It gets even more granular when I’m working on a comic book or a video game, since the space constraints on those are sort of draconian, and I’ll actually draw out a diagram in a big sketchbook that lets me visualize the whole story before I ever start in on the script.

A big part of this is that basically when you sign a contract with a publisher to create something for them, with the understanding that they’ll be paying you for this creation, they want to know what it is they’re paying for. So even if I weren’t already naturally inclined to plot everything out before the actual fingers-to-keyboard gets started, I’d have to anyway. No publisher anywhere is going to pay you if they don’t know what your story’s going to be.

  1. What do you like about reading?

When you become a writer, you can’t help but look at entertainment in a different way from what you used to. I can still enjoy a good movie or TV show or game or book, but every second that I’m taking it in, watching or playing or reading, I’m *analyzing* it. “How did the writer achieve that effect?” and “Wow, that’s powerful characterization, I’ll have to remember that technique.” and “Hey, there’s the break between Acts 2 and 3.”

So I never read a hundred percent for pleasure anymore, but at the same time, when I do read something great, it’s like my education as a writer continues. I never want to stop learning or stop trying to get better. Reading these days is part fun, part job research, but I’m fine with that.

  1. Where is your favorite reading spot?

I’ve got a nice comfy recliner in my office, set up across from a TV with my PS4 hooked up to it. That’s where I do all my reading and gaming.

  1. What words of advice do you give to the readers of your book?

Well, since GRAY WIDOW’S WAR is the third book in the Gray Widow Trilogy, I would advise readers to get their hands on the first and second books first. (I realize that comes off as shameless self-promotion, but the fact remains… if you just start with the third book, you’ll be kind of lost.)

GRAY WIDOW’S WAR is Urban Science-Fiction, and if it were a movie, it would definitely be rated R. It’s about a group of humans who, unbeknownst to them, become subjects in an extraterrestrial weapons experiment that alters their DNA and turns them into military combat archetypes—Reconnaissance, Infantry, Interrogator, Medic, etc.

The story concerns how this process affects these people, not just physically, but also mentally and, especially, emotionally. It centers on a young woman named Janey Sinclair, whose life has been marked by tragedy after tragedy, and her decision to use her “Augmentation” to try to prevent other people from experiencing the same kind of pain and anguish that she has. The real question becomes—even as she has to deal with issues such as bloodthirsty shape-shifters, mind-controllers, and huge armored aliens—can Janey ever truly heal herself?

The Gray Widow Trilogy involves some superhero tropes, but it dives pretty quickly into science-fiction and horror, and doesn’t shy away from sexuality. So, I would say, if you’re looking for a stupendously badass female protagonist, some emotional roller-coaster rides, and a heaping helping of horrifying violence, you’ve come to the right place. If, on the other hand, you normally watch Merchant-Ivory films and think the “Drama in Real Life” segments of Reader’s Digest are too stimulating… proceed with caution? I guess?


That wraps up another author interview! Make sure to check Dan Jolley out on Twitter and go see his website. And read his trilogy people! It’s pretty freakin sweet 🙂


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