My Top Ten Books of 2018

10. Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

I really loved this story. It’s a mystery, but also a story of acceptance and finding out who you are, where you’re from, and where you fit in. 

You can read my more of my review here:

9. Darkstorm by M.L. Spencer

M.L. Spencer’s beautiful prose, world building, and character development breathe life into this tale of love, betrayal, determination, and intrigue.

You can read more of my review here:

8. Ella Dethroned by Brandon Barr

Brandon’s ability to bring his characters to life and bring out their emotions is what makes Brandon’s writing intriguing and addicting. Brandon’s ability to create worlds and take us on an engaging adventure is truly remarkable.

You can read more of my review here:

7. Infestation by William Meikle

This story took me back to the B horror movies that I loved as a kid! Fantastic story, and I definitely recommend it! 

You can read more of my review here:

6. The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

This is a horror mystery with so many twists and turns. It kept me engrossed.

You can read more of my review here:

5. The Apples of Idunn by Matt Larkin

Excellent plot involving Odin of Norse mythology.

You can read more of my review here:

4. Pursuit of Shadows by J.A. Andrews

Instead of your usual trope, J.A. has given us a story of one man’s determination, and hope in finding his sister, therefore adding something new to the fantasy genre.

You can read more of my review here:

3. Hero by C.F. Welburn

This is the best of the books, so far. There is more action than the other books, which was an unexpected treat!

You can read more of my review here:

2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The writing is beautiful, and with the addition of the vintage photographs, it made the story even more believable. 

You can read more of my review here:

  1. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

I have never heard any Russian fairy tales, so this was quite the treat.

You can read more of my review here:

I read some familiar authors and discovered new authors. I love discovering new authors. I hope you all can discover some new authors, too. I read some really good books this year and I hope to read more good books in 2019. As for my best of post, this was such a hard decision, but I did it. Feel free to give some of these authors a shot, if you haven’t already. Wishing you all the best for your reading goals in 2019! Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

End of year musing.

End of year musing.


It’s been a weird year overall in the writing. Financially, its been one of the best I’ve had since going full time and marks ten full years of not starving, which is nice.

But the year has also seen the end of some dreams. The Sigils and Totems mythos idea has stalled, perhaps fatally, and for all that I considered it to contain some of my best work, it’s not sustainable for a jobbing writer like me to keep expending energy on it in its present form, so it’s on the back burner.

Similarly, much as I like writing for Sherlock Holmes, the return on investment of time and energy just isn’t worth it. So he too has been put away.

To some of you this might see like putting money before art, but as I said, I’m a jobbing writer, and there’s certain realities I can’t afford to ignore…

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Review: Death at Dusk by Joshua Robertson #ifaholidaychallenge

4/5 stars

Death at Dusk by Joshua Robertson is a stand alone novel in the Thrice Nine Legends Saga. The princess’s life is in danger. Can Teodor Bacheva of the Crimson Sun keep her safe from Brenn Dardrogan and Dusk Legion?

This is a great addition to Thrice Nine Legends Saga. This story is full of political intrigue, and emotions run high. I thoroughly enjoyed Robertson’s writing. The characters are well fleshed out, and the world building is good. I’ll be reading more of this author’s work. I definitely recommend this story.

Buy it here:

Book Review – The Ashen Levels: Fledgling, by C.F. Welburn

Book Review – The Ashen Levels: Fledgling, by C.F. Welburn

Another glowing review for The Ashen Levels: Fledgling, by C.F. Welburn! I just love this author. I’m glad to see his name coming up!

Dawn of Eternity

The Ashen Levels Fledgling

Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Fantasy





Fledgling is the first book of five in The Ashen Levels, and tells the story of Balagir, a man who has woken amidst a strange world and even stranger company.

Bereft of any useful memories, he finds himself thrown down a path etched out by cunning and dangerous tasks.

Discovering that he is an ‘Ashen’ only adds to the pile of mysteries he must sort through, and it is through this toil that the story reveals itself.


In Fledgling, the plot for me started out small and gradually grew in intensity as the story unfolded, something I enjoyed and thought worked well.

The presentation of details useful for the reader followed this pace too, and I think was done in a way that fit the overall theme of the book; I could definitely grasp the reality of Balagir having to…

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Review: Paragon by C.F. Welburn #ifaholidaychallenge

Paragon by C.F. Welburn is the final installment in The Ashen Levels Saga. We follow Balagir on his final journey for questions to be answered.

I loved this series so much and am not liking that it is over. Balagir is one of my favorite characters of all time from a new author, no less. The writing is superb, and the characters are very well fleshed out. The ending threw me for a loop, though. I definitely wasn’t expecting this ending, but Welburn tied up everything, albeit a bit too tidy for me. I would have liked one more book (just one more, please?) added to this saga, but overall, it was a great way to end this series. I most definitely recommend this series. It has races that I have never heard of, which was a treat, and I can’t say enough about Welburn’s writing style.

I’m giving this book 4.5 stars because of the too tidy an ending, for me personally. Goodreads doesn’t have the option of half stars, so I’m rounding up to a 5.

I’m looking forward to more stories from C.F. Welburn.

Buy it here:

Review: Hero by C.F. Welburn #ifaholidaychallenge

Hero by C.F. Welburn is the fourth book in The Ashen Levels series. Balagir ends up in a war he tries to prevent.

This is the best of the books, so far. There is more action than the other books, which was an unexpected treat! I wish there was a ten star option on Goodreads, because this book deserves it! I’m surely going to miss this series when I’m done with the fifth and last book in this series. Well done, Welburn!

Buy it here:

Review: Adept by C.F. Welburn #ifaholidaychallenge

Adept by C.F. Welburn is the third book in The Ashen Levels series. This book picks up where the second book leaves off. Balagir is on his search to find the meaning of his life and if being an Ashen has a purpose. 

Balagir is one of my most favorite of characters I’ve ever gotten to know through a story. I love the way Welburn has brought Balagir to life. His struggles keep me rapt, hoping for the best for Balagir. 

I just love Welburn’s writing style, and I love this world that he has created. This story is definitely different than your usual fantasy story in that it’s more about the character than the usual tropes.

Easily one of my favorite stories, and am looking forward to reading the rest of this series.

Buy it here:

Review: Journeyman by C.F. Welburn #ifaholidaychallenge

Journeyman by C.F. Welburn is the second installment in The Ashen Levels series. This story picks up where the first book left off. We travel with Balagir as he alights on a journey of self discovery.

This is easily one of my favorite series of all time. Welburn’s storytelling is superb, and he drew me in and kept me rapt as the story unfolded. Welburn brings his characters to life and the world building is impressive. If you like character driven stories, I highly recommend this series.

Buy it here:

My Granddaughter’s 2018 Goodreads Challenge

I’ve been doing the Goodreads challenge since 2015. My granddaughter had me create her a challenge for the first time in 2016, and she has been doing the challenge every year since. She is now eight and she’s proud she finished her challenge with a lot of chapter books because, “Chapter books are for big kids.” I’m proud of both my grandchildren for completing their Goodreads challenges. If you’d like to check out her previous years, you can do that here:

2017 Goodreads challenge:

2016 Goodreads challenge:

And without further ado, here is my granddaughter’s completed Goodreads challenge:

So, there you have it. My granddaughter’s completed Goodreads challenge. I hope you all got a kick out of my granddaughter’s challenge and I can’t wait to do the 2019 Goodreads challenge with her. Happy reading, everyone!

My Grandson’s Goodreads Challenge

My grandchildren have their own Goodreads accounts that I maintain for them. They are proud to have finished their Goodreads challenge, so I have posted my grandson’s challenge here for anyone who might be interested. My grandson is four, and loves reading at bedtime. This is his first year on Goodreads, so without further ado, here is his challenge:

There you have it. My grandson’s Goodread challenge. I can’t wait to get to the 2019 challenge with him! Happy reading, everyone!