Category Archives: Site News

Ivana Leaving One Book Two

Yep, you read that right. I am leaving One Book Two as a manager and reviewer. I’ll definitely be sticking around as a reader, though!

While working on One Book Two, I decided that I really wanted to work with books and authors full-time. In a decision that was part mid-life crisis, part job dissatisfaction, and part desire to pursue a new passion, I left a 20-year career in Training and Development to be a self-employed book editor. I created a company, built a website, and took on some wonderful clients. But to be honest, I didn’t enjoy the “running a business” side of running a business. I just wanted to edit.

So, now I am working with Red Adept Editing as a line editor, while the owner, Lynn McNamee, does the business stuff. What a sweet deal!

Red Adept Editing offers a variety of editing services to authors at very reasonable prices. All the Adepts are trained and experienced editors, so authors can be assured of quality work. I’m very excited and humbled to be joining the Red Adept family.

However, there is a conflict of interest in being both an editor and a reviewer. I wouldn’t want any author to feel my reviews were influenced by my editing work. So, to avoid that, I am leaving One Book Two in the capable hands of Nell and all our reviewers. I do have a couple of reviews that are scheduled to post over the summer months, but they were completed prior to now. Also, my icon will remain in the header of One Book Two.

I just want to say Thank You to all our readers, authors, reviewers—and to my blog partner, Nell—for making these two years with One Book Two so amazing. Working on this blog has opened the door to a whole new world, and I am extremely grateful.

Read Along Schedule For 2017

Kat_Mandu_100Hello fellow readers!

As we are drawing close to the end of the year and the end of a read-along, I’d love to share with you my 2017 Read-Along schedule. Here, you’ll discover what we have planned for you in terms of re-reads and fresh reads for the New Year!

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to ask or join the One Book Two Read Along discussion group on Goodreads! Here you’ll find discussions, polls, and giveaways of what we’re reading.

And without further ado, the promised schedule!

Queen of Hearts – YA High Fantasy Spree

December 1 – December 7 – The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
December 8 – December 14 – The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen
December 15 – December 21 – The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen
December 22 – December 28 – Defy by Sara B. Larson
December 29 – January 4 – Ignite by Sara B. Larson
January 5 – January 11 – Endure by Sara B. Larson
January 12 – January 18 – Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
January 19 – January 25 – Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch
January 26 – January 1 – Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch
February 2 – February 8 – The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
February 9 – February 15 – The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas
February 16 – February 22 – The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas
February 23 – March 1 – Stolen Songbird by Danielle Jensen
March 2 – March 8 – Hidden Huntress by Danielle Jensen
Mach 9 – March 15 – Warrior Witch by Danielle Jensen
March 16 – March 29 (*2 weeks) – Graceling by Kristin Cashore
March 30 – April 12 (*2 weeks) – Fire by Kristin Cashore
April 13 – April 26 (*2 weeks) – Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

The Last Dragon Chronicles – MG Fantasy
Hosted by Luna Lovebooks

May 15 – May 21 – The Fire Within by Chris d’Lacey
May 22 – May 28 – Icefire by Chris d’Lacey
May 29 – June 4 – Fire Star by Chris d’Lacey
June 5 – June 11 – The Fire Eternal by Chris d’Lacey
June 12 – June 18 – Dark Fire by Chris d’Lacey
June 19 – June 25 – Fire World by Chris d’Lacey
June 26 – July 2 – The Fire Ascending by Chris d’Lacey

Double-Triple Fae – Urban Fantasy 2×3

August 4 – August 10 – The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams
August 11 – August 17 – The Shattered Dark by Sandy Williams
August 18 – August 24 – The Sharpest Blade by Sandy Williams
August 25 – August 31 – A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang
September 1 – September 7 – A Sliver of Shadow by Allison Pang
September 8 – September 13 – A Trace of Moonlight by Allison Pang

Sci-Fi Spree

November 3 – November 9 – Red Rising by Pierce Brown
November 10 – November 16 – Golden Son by Pierce Brown
November 17 – November 23 – Morning Star by Pierce Brown
November 24 – November 30 – The Martian by Andy Weir
December 1 – December 7 – The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough
December 8 – December 14 – The Exodus Towers by Jason M. Hough
December 15 – December 21 – The Plague Force by Jason M. Hough

Book Expo America 2016

imageWow. Chicago, IL downtown. Ever been? It’s very pretty. Old buildings, pretty flowers and lots of traffic.  BEA took place at McCormick Center. It’s a huge convention hall and the exhibit hall was wall to wall business about books.

There were publishers, authors, book sellers, bloggers, press, librarians, promoters and other VIP’s that I can’t think of right now. The theme this year was mostly YA and children’s books, but there were plenty of romance artists there too. Oh, and adult coloring books were big. The most interesting adult coloring book was a paint by number piece except with stickers. I hear you say “Whaaaaa??” I know, right? It is soooo cool! Workman Publishing has brought us such a thing.  It’s called “Paint by Sticker Masterpieces” I preordered mine from Amazon just for fun. It’s kind of a trip back to childhood, you know?

I stood in line for author’s signatures. I was happy to get one imagefrom Jill Shalvis, Lori Foster, Robin Carr, Michael Connelly, Marcia Clark, Mary Burton, Heather Graham, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jade Lee, and Elizabeth Briggs. Each author was congenial and Robin Carr took my ranting about the conclusion the Virgin River series in stride. She just hung her head in defeat and said “I only had 20 in me!” She was fun to visit.

While getting his autograph, Michael Connelly talked briefly about the cancellation of ABC’s “Castle.” “Have you heard!?” He asks and then proceeds to commiserate with me over losing a greatly loved TV series.

Getting around was fairly painless. BEA had busses to herd their guests from point A to point B and it appeared everything ran smoothly.  I am still not able to navigate steps so I requested an ADA bus. It was driven by Robert Brooks and he was the NICEST man.

imageThe event was huge, but being handicapped as I am, I had no trouble at all.  The people were friendly and welcoming. The staff  at McCormick Place were especially nice. I would recommend going to BEA at least once for the experience. It was fun.

Happy First Birthday One Book Two!!

first birthdayWe are so pleased to announce that One Book Two, a site that was a tiny little flitter in Ivana’s mind three-hundred-and-some days ago, is now ONE YEAR OLD!  We  had a bumpy start; as with all things, ya gotta find your groove. Neither Ivana or Nell had any idea what they were doing in the beginning.  It all started as a joke to tease Nell about how she handles reading.  From there Ivana convinced Nell to give it a shot.  We have not looked back.  Not once.

In this post, we’ve rounded up many of our colleague reviewers to get their feelings on the One Year Anniversary.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana

I am astonished at how much two gals, some free technology, and a bunch of friends can accomplish. I’ve discovered some amazing books, developed a greater appreciation for the indie/self-published author, and made some truly awesome friends. I hope we really *have* made an impact on the success of a few authors, as that is what we set out to do.

I have also realized that we can’t help every author, and that’s sad.  Honest to God, there isn’t enough time in a lifetime to read all the requests we get let alone books we buy.  I hate thinking I’m overlooking a treasure.  Also honestly, not every book we buy or get sent is good.  The ease of self-publishing opens the doors to both good and bad, and too many authors release their book babies into the world without giving them the means to compete and survive.  That’s sad, too, because that’s a lot of hard work gone to waste.

I have never struggled with the fact that I am a consumer, not a creator.  I don’t want to write a novel. But I am thrilled to be of some use and support to those who have the drive to do so.  I’m finding great fulfillment through my work on this site and hope it continues far into the future.

Percy_Procrastinator_100Percy Procrastinator

My experience reviewing has been positive.  It didn’t start that way.  When we were taking direct review requests, I was feeling the pressure to read and review books.  While not bad, it’s not what I wanted and nearly pushed me away.  Moving to the model we have now has kept reading fun for me.  This is because . . .

I have learned I don’t read near as much fiction as I thought I did.  Maybe ten years ago, when I was still reading gaming fiction, I would read twenty five to thirty five books a year.  Now, though, I think if I reach twenty, that’s a lot.  I’m not reading less, just not reading as much fiction.  I have also learned to stop reading if I’m not enjoying a book.  Before now, I didn’t, and I think that stopped me from reading multi author series because I didn’t like one author.  I also have learned to push through on some books.  Nice contradiction, huh?  If I see potential in a story or character, though, I think helps me push to the end.  

I have been really happy with the response to the review site!  I didn’t realize how much a review could help an author, on many levels, and am glad to help with that.  I also learned the importance of author’s having an editor and someone to give them honest feedback.  Both of those help a book greatly. 

Ruby_Lee_100Ruby Lee

I had no idea the blog even existed until April.  Nell told me all about it during Easter dinner and approached me about writing a little for them as a guest reviewer.  One Book Two was just getting off the ground and attempting to find it’s voice.  It sounded simple enough so I jumped in.  I had no idea how the blog world or the publishing world worked so it was like taking a crash course in both.  Then there was learning to use twitter and word press, creating a profile, and understanding the lingo.  I’m not technology illiterate but there was stress for the first few months as things were constantly changing as we worked to develop the site.

Looking back at those days, I can say that it was all worth it.  I love what we have created and the work that we do.  I know I don’t get as involved as other members but I love sharing my ideas and introducing books that make me happy. One Book Two has really opened a lot of doors for me in the sense I am able to talk with my favorite authors and be a part of a world I never imagine existed.  I can see this continuing for a long time and I am excited to see where it goes. 

This whole thing would be nothing without Nell and Ivana.  They hold our team together. In fact, I think they are the only two people that knows the real names of all the other bloggers.  I am always astounded at how much work they do to keep everything running smoothly.

A lot can change in a year.  I can’t wait to see where we will be a year from now.  Thank you all your support!

Nervous_Nellie_100Nervous Nellie

I love having our site. I truly didn’t think we would take it this far. At first, I thought that we’d buy a book, read it, review it. Since Ivana and I always discussed books, writing down our conversation didn’t seem such a stretch. What I didn’t expect was the requests from authors to read their books. That, by itself, was mind blowing.

Before 1b2, I would have never, ever taken the chance on an indie author. Never. I would have also not stepped outside the box of my own making to experience a different genre, a totally unknown author or a self published book. My world has been opened exponentially. My box exploded outward in a flash of fire, shrapnel and ash. That’s not all. The people I have met makes the loss of my box a negligible thing. I have enjoyed myself beyond measure.

I have learned an incredible amount of work goes into writing a book. Yeah, yeah. I know writing a book takes a lot of work but after that it takes edits, cover design, promotion, interviews, asking for reviews and tons of other things. I learned a LOT through Ivana’s interview with Gene Mollica. I’ve conversed with authors, most very nice with a few having a sense of humor that left me laughing hysterically. All in all, I don’t foresee getting off this ride anytime in the near future – it’s too much fun.

Vagabond_Vahn_3-flipVagabond Vahn

One Book Two sprang forth from the minds of Ivana and Nell at precisely the right time for me.  True to my namesake I was on the way to another part of the country, embarking on the next phase of this journey we call life.  The hovel I have made my home came not with ample storage, but a blatant lack thereof.  My hundreds of books could not make this transition with me, and so I did something I never thought I’d do: I bought a Kindle.

That purchase opened the door to a world I’d only heard whisper of before.  Suddenly I had access to a wealth of Indie authors I had never been exposed to.  Recommendations would show up on the home page and draw me into the imaginations of peers whose existence was previously unknown to me.

The stories, the interviews, the roundtable discussions and armchair conversations with my fellow reviewers has enriched my life beyond measure.  The rapid success of One Book Two, leading to our inability to keep up with review requests, has been both wonderful and humbling.  Suffice to say, I have loved the experience and do not see that changing anytime soon.

Thank you to my fellow reviewers; to you, our readers; and to you, our authors.  You give us purpose, continue to challenge our imaginations, and provide endless hours of leisure to calm our otherwise chaotic modern lives.

Agent_Annie_100Agent Annie

Since I’ve begun reviewing for the site, I’ve read books that I wouldn’t have picked up on my own because authors asked to be reviewed.  I also noticed that I prefer to read, but I take much longer to write. When I am reviewing a book, I pay more attention to how the writing is created and the story crafted.  I want to take notes, but my habit of losing myself in the reading takes over and I’m not as good at keeping track of passages or quotes.  The e-reader makes it even more difficult since it’s so hard to “mark” a page to go back to later. 

As far as the industry goes, I’m even more thankful for editors and proof-readers.  Good books aren’t created in a vacuum.  There is so much that goes into the re-write, the edit, the refinement, etc that I highly recommend any writer serious about getting their work into the world, find themselves a professional “behind the scenes” team.  I think that’s why the acknowledgements in books have gotten so long.  Authors are recognizing all the help they receive and it truly makes the book a pleasure to read.

Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu

Writing is hard. Writers themselves will always tell you that. And reviewers come in handy when it comes time to getting down to the nitty-gritty details. Whether it’s providing free marketing with a great rating and review on Goodreads and Amazon, giving advice and constructive criticism to help out the author, or just purchasing the book in general to boost sales, readers and reviewers are the author’s biggest helpers.

Over the past year I’ve enjoyed being able to help an author get the attention they deserve. I’ve discovered I can read a lot more than I initially thought I could, multi-tasking two or three books at once even. I love digging into a book I’ve never even heard of and publishing a great review that will in turn, help the author out majorly, even if I received it for free.

It’s been fun and I can’t wait to read more this year!

Fickle_Fiona_100Fickle Fiona 

Although I haven’t been with you guys long, I’m glad I signed on! It’s thrilling to see your reviews in a place where many people can see them and writing these reviews helps improve my writing in general.

I learned that I will find ways to fit reading into my life even if it’s just a couple pages while waiting at the doctor’s office. I also learned that my purse is quite heavy with a book in it! I have a few books that I just couldn’t get into, but overall my book collection has grown and I look forward to many more books finding their way into my life. 🙂

I learned, much like Percy, that reviews can really help authors, editors, publishers etc to put books out there that people want to pick up. I too am glad to be a part of this process.

Teaser: Birthday Blast Giveaway

Ivana One EyeOne Book Two will be turning one-year old on March 9th. To celebrate, we’re giving YOU the presents! We are planning a huge Birthday Blast Giveaway. Some of our favorite authors are helping us celebrate by contributing paperbacks, ebooks, and audiobooks that we can give away to our readers. We’re still collecting the loot, but here’s what we have so far:

*Added 2/24/2016.

That’s just what we have in our hot little hands at the moment.  More items are coming in all the time, as they do, I’ll put them on Facebook and Twitter, so stay tuned.

The Birthday Blast Giveaway will start on March 9th and end on March 23rd. We’ll draw as many names as we have items, and each winner can pick their prize in the order drawn.  If you haven’t subscribed to One Book Two yet, now is the time!  And tell all your friends.  Don’t miss out on all these great free reads, listens, and art!