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Hi, everyone! October turned out to be another crazy month over here at Whispers & Wonder – it’s beginning to feel as though this blogging business is my second full-time job, and I’m loving every moment of it! I didn’t get to read as much as I’d hoped, but the books I did read were pretty incredible. We finally decided on our SPFBO finalist over at Fantasy Book Critic, which was no easy task. I participated in two separate cover reveal tours hosted by The Parliament House for a couple of books that were immediately added to the TBR (I know, it’s growing at an unhealthy rate). We were joined by Jenny Zemanek for the Windows Into Worlds artist spotlight, and also by Rami Ungar and Sharon Lynn Fisher for extra special author spotlights. And finally, can’t forget about the giffing shenanigans for Call to Arms!

In case you missed anything, this is what went on.


Reviews

It was a pretty diverse reading schedule this month. An intimate and modern new adult paranormal fantasy, a little bit of soul-crushing Afrofuturism, some racy vampire romance in a steampunk-inspired Victorian England, an emotional journey through Norse mythology, and a brutal grimdark debut set in a country in the bloody clashes of war. Each have some wonderful things to offer, so be sure to check them all out.


To Dream is to Die by Sarah LampkinTo Dream Is To Die is a uniquely creative and gripping paranormal fantasy tale of acceptance and loyalty. Its intimate and wonderfully portrayed setting, snarky characters, and exquisite weaving of seemingly unconnected mysteries make for an engaging read.SEE FULL REVIEW


The Deep by Rivers SolomonThe Deep is a crushing and beautiful tale mourning the past and paving the way for a brighter future. Immersive prose and precious moments of silent reflection make for a genuinely remarkable journey, where all things are dazzling and devastating in equal measure.SEE FULL REVIEW


Kiss of Steel by Bec McMasterKiss of Steel is a wonderfully creative and seductively riveting paranormal romance of chance and loyalty. A vividly imagined and beautifully rendered steampunk-infused Victorian London, racy romantic aspects, and engaging mysteries make this a definite page-turner. SEE FULL REVIEW


The Weight of a Soul by Elizabeth TammiThe Weight of a Soul is a tragic and emotionally raw journey of the soul, uniquely considering the concepts of death and the afterlife. A mystery steeped in mythological aspects kept me invested in story where sincere and authentic emotion are the key driving factors. SEE FULL REVIEW


Solace Lost by Michael SliterSolace Lost is a merciless and devastating character-centric grimdark debut focusing on strength when all hope is lost. An intriguing plot of bloody politics and war, brilliant character evolution, and a world rich in complex history, this is a perfect example of what this genre has to offer.SEE FULL REVIEW


SPFBO

After four months, thirty books, countless debates, and possibly a little bloodshed, Fantasy Book Critic has announced their finalist for SPFBO 2019! This was a brutal fight to the finish, as our semi-finalists were all pretty amazing. BUT – there can be only one! Check out the announcement on the FBC blog now!

FANTASY BOOK CRITIC
SPFBO 2019 FINALIST REVEAL


Cover Reveals

This month I participated in two cover reveal tours hosted by The Parliament House, and one of them was for a good friend of mine! It was really a great experience being able to take part in one of the most important steps in the publishing process. What’s more exciting than presenting the cover?! Ok, maybe seeing your books in the hands of people all around the world…but this is a close second!


The Infernal Machine by Clayton Snyder

Immortal clockwork hearts, cults, and death’s door?
Uh, yes, please.

THE JUICY DETAILS


Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski

Cursed princesses, killers, and an enigmatic witch?
Tell me more!

THE JUICY DETAILS


Windows Into Worlds

Windows Into Worlds continued this month with an extra special guest who’s a staple of the publishing industry, and a champion of the indie community. It was truly an honor to welcome Jenny Zemanek to Whispers & Wonder, and I’m grateful she allowed me to bombard her with all types of artsy questions.

Jenny Zemanek chats with us about how cover redesigns and fan art shifted her career path, why illustration is her favorite type of design style, walks us through her design process, and shows off one of her favorite artistic pieces.
SEE THE INTERVIEW


Author Spotlights

This month, I also got to interview two amazing authors, one specializing in horror, and the other in speculative romance. I enjoy asking a variety of questions, but there are a few I send everyone’s way, just to see how answers vary. The outcome is pretty interesting, all based upon the author’s writing style and their genre of choice. Check out the two spotlights below!

Rami Ungar chats with us about his fantasy-infused horror book Rose, his writing process, what he’s been colelcting lately, and gives us some great film recommendations perfect for the season.
SEE THE INTERVIEW

Sharon Lynn Fisher chats with us about her newly published The Absinthe Earl, her writing process, gives us a tour of her beautiful farm, and shares some great advice for aspiring authors.
SEE THE INTERVIEW



Alongside Blackstone Publishing, Sharon and I also ran a pretty awesome Trick-or-Read giveaway for two copies of her newly published novel The Absinthe Earl. Winners have been chosen and should be getting their loot soon!


Call to Arms

This month we had another couple of great contests. Two lucky winners snagged some pretty sweet loot after exhibiting their awesome gif game. You can see more details about the individual contests below, or you can check out the Call to Arms hub. Also visit our Circle of Champions, where the coats of arms of our winners will live on for all of time.


Guild of Tokens by Jon Auerbach
THEME: Epic Adventures

CHAMPION: Jennifer, AKA Bunnyreads 🐰
WINNING GIF:

MORE DETAILS


God of Gnomes by Demi Harper
THEME: Animal Buddies

CHAMPION: Angela Boord
WINNING GIF:

MORE DETAILS


Aaaand that’s all I got for you! I’ll be starting a new review series this month, which I’m super excited about. It initially began as a very specific month-long read-a-thon, but I realized there were just too many to choose from, so I think I’ll make it an ongoing ‘thing’. As always, thank you so much for stopping by – I’m immensely grateful for you continued support. Happy November! 🍂

Happy Reading!
🖤

Justine Bergman

Web developer by trade, ravenous reader, excited reviewer, dark fantasy enthusiast, mother of pups, drinker of strong coffee, and player of games. I'm also a contributor over at Fantasy Book Critic and The Fantasy Hive, and I love sharing the love.

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