Book Reviews

Audiobook Review of Sweet Dreams by Beth Dolgner

Audiobook Review of Sweet Dreams by Beth Dolgner
Sep 08, 2023 by HL Bernabe

I love to listen to audiobooks while I work. It occurred to me that as an independent author, I should do more to support my fellow indie authors, especially for their audiobook productions, because they are so expensive to make! So I took to my writing groups to ask for suggestions on good audiobooks to listen to. Beth Dolgner suggested I try out her audiobook series.

I’m not usually into cozy mysteries, but sometimes they are fun to read. Her series has the added benefit of ghosts, and I love ghostie anything, really. I especially loved the book title and title of the series--Sweet Dreams: Eternal Rest Bed and Breakfast Cozy Mysteries, Book 1.

Picture a rainy day, curling up in an easy chair with a mug of hot chocolate and a lovely book. Perfection. Except that I live in the high desert. It’s summer, and hotter than Satan’s asshole. Smoke from the fires of hell fills the sky (technically from the forested mountains around us), so… what I’m envisioning in my mind is a much nicer scenario. Instead, I grabbed a large mug of iced mocha, pulled down my blinds, blasted the A/C and used my writer’s imagination to pretend it was fall weather already. Then I jumped on her book.

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie Larue

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie Larue
Apr 21, 2023 by HL Bernabe

Written by V.E. Schwab and published in 2020, Addie Larue isn’t a new book. But it was new to me, and I imagine there are some of you out there who haven’t read it yet, so I decided to review it, anyway. I’m glad I found it. It’s not my usual fare–I like books that have a lot of humor, or action, or are cosy, or… whatever this isn’t. But this book was so engrossing, I couldn’t stop listening to it.

The narrator, Julia Whelan, does a spot-on French accent, and a number of other accents, besides. I’ve always had trouble with female narrators taking on the male voice, but in this one, she does a wonderful job, and it doesn’t...

Book Review: The Wandering Inn

Book Review: The Wandering Inn
Mar 17, 2023 by HL Bernabe
Last week I finished reading The Wandering Inn by Pirate Aba. I have wanted to review more independent authors, and Pirate Aba wrote all of their works as a serial on their website. All nine volumes are available to read for free there, or you can read them in ebook format on Kindle. I read mine on the Kindle app on my iPad. The Wandering Inn came under my radar because of my search for comparative titles to my own work. I wanted to find characters and situations that were similar. This book has an inn and is a fantasy. Alas, other than that, there was very little in common with mine.But I read it anyway. This book is 1200+...

Grandfather Anonymous Review

Grandfather Anonymous Review
Jan 20, 2023 by HL Bernabe

I joined a Book Funnel promo with a bunch of other fantasy and sci-fi authors and we are collectively offering 73 different books, novellas, anthologies, and so on for free until the end of January (click to check it out). I checked out the offerings and downloaded probably 20+ books that were in subgenres I liked. From those, I recently finished reading Grandfather Anonymous. I may have gotten it free, but this was not one of those free book for a review type situations. The author and I don't know each other, and he doesn't even know I'm writing this. I just want to write more reviews of indie published books, because I want to boost authors whose books I've...

Portal Series by K. S. Wood Book Review

Portal Series by K. S. Wood Book Review
Oct 21, 2022 by HL Bernabe

K. S. Wood has written 15 books and novellas all set within the same world. Well, no, that isn't correct. This is portal fantasy fiction, so the books and novellas are all set in different worlds, all within the same universal setting.

I first read Halfling, because I have a halfling main character in Cooking Up Magick and I thought it would be fun to read another book about halflings. I was wrong in my assumption about the halflings—Wood's halflings are not the same as my halflings. My halflings are a race of people that are about half the size of humans, but are otherwise like them in every way. Her halfling in this novella was a half human, half...

Fall Into Fantasy 2022

Fall Into Fantasy 2022
Sep 16, 2022 by HL Bernabe
Sneak peek at the beautiful cover of the new anthology, courtesy of Andrew Farrell

I tend to write big. Like 350K+ words and still not done with my epic fantasy big. The idea of condensing a story into 5,000 words is crazy to me. So I've been trying to read more short stories, trying to figure out the magical mystery of what makes a good one.

Somehow I stumbled across Andrew Farrell of Cloaked Press and Fall Into Fantasy. I agreed to do an ARC read (that's an advanced reader copy) for the 2022 edition. From what I have found on Amazon, Cloaked Press has put out an anthology of short stories every year as far back as 2017. ARC readers...

The Sidekicks Initiative Audiobook Review

Aug 12, 2022 by HL Bernabe

Oh, my goodness. This book, y'all. I couldn't stop laughing. Now, just so you know, it is really hard to get me to laugh out loud while reading a book, even a funny one. Usually, I smile and nod, or maybe I'll do a small chuckle once in a while. But this book made me guffaw, snort, and laugh out loud—sometimes hysterically. And it did this to me many, many times over the course of the book.

Part of the hilarity comes from the premise of the book. The government comes calling on retired sidekicks after their heroes get murdered by an unknown villain of incredible power. The three sidekicks are: Sam (aka Kid Random) whose power is to change reality...

Legends and Lattes

Jul 15, 2022 by HL Bernabe
Book Review

Hey, all! I wanted to share with you this book I read by Travis Baldree. It's about a half-orc named Viv, who has been a barbarian mercenary for most of her life. She's tired of the killing, and she's very aware that the next adventure could kill her. She's had enough. Viv has a plan for her early retirement, though. She opens a coffee shop in a city that doesn't even know what coffee is.

This book is about her "adventure" in starting up her business when she has absolutely no business no-how. She hires people--a hob, a succubus, and a rattkin--with a few more clues than her, and the entire gang of characters are wonderfully written and interesting....