Category Archives: Site News

Thank You, Readers!

Hello, Everyone! Ivana here. Just wanted to give you a little update on what’s been going on at One Book Two for the past several months. We haven’t been as active as usual, so THANK YOU to those readers who have stuck with us!

Each of our reviewers has had some major shake-ups over the last year that have impacted our reading and reviewing ability. It’s surprising that it could happen to all nine of us at once, but it did. Some of the shake-ups were good and some weren’t. But everyone is dealing well and adjusting to their new norm.

Some of you may remember that I left the site back in March to avoid any conflict of interest with my job as a line editor. In all honesty, as I was learning a new job, and one that involved a lot of fiction reading, my capacity for reading for pleasure diminished greatly. However, I’m happy to say that I will be posting reviews again soon, with some limitations on what I can review so as to avoid those conflict-of-interest situations.

Again, we all just want to say thank you to those readers who have stuck with us over the past several months. We hope to start posting more great content for you very soon.

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An Update from Luna Lovebooks

Luna_Lovebooks_100

Greetings fellow fae and blog friends! Kat posted awhile ago about what she was up to and I decided that it would be a good idea to update you on my plans as well! There have been a lot of changes recently for many of the 1B2 members, both good and bad. My wings wilted a little but they are getting stronger each day!

Review Schedule!
Like Kat, I too have been working on getting my review TBR list organized and shortened to make room for more requests. I am trying to alternate between the hard copies and the e-books that have been patiently waiting for my attention. Here are the next ten that I have planned to read. If you are an author and do not see your work listed, please know that I am diligently working on getting to your tale and will read and post a review as soon as I am able.

Carnifex – D.P. Prior
Lost in Wonderland  – Nicky Peacock
Stork – Wendy Delsol
The Ghost Writer – Damon Norko
Hunting Prince Dracula -Kerri Maniscalco
War of the Staffs – Steve Stevenson
Garden of Her Heart – Shanna Hatfield
Rising Tide  – Lynn Steigleder
An Unsettled Past – C.L. Brees
Eden’s Wake – Lynn Steigleder

 

10765906Read-Along News
Unfortunately I will not be joining in on the current read along. I have too many plates spinning and even though both series are on my personal wish list, my personal TBR pile is starting to look like a certain famous tower and I don’t think my magic will keep it from toppling over. I opted to read a few of those in my spare time instead and get my new faerie dwelling finished (I’ve been here almost two months after all).

But you should definitely check out both series! Whether you join in the read along or not if you love urban fantasy you’ll enjoy these books!

Double-Triple Fae – Urban Fantasy 
August 4 – August 10 – The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams8200504
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

 

Writing News!!!
Like Kat, I also have the writing bug. And also like Kat I have not been able to keep up with it for quite awhile. I have always been more of a pantser when it comes to writing. angelFor those of you not familiar with the term it means I just fly by the seat of my pants and don’t really plan or outline. I plan to use my time to get more organized before I write. I have several half finished and/or barely started projects that need more structure before I can even put pen to paper again. I have three main projects that I really want to focus on, one of them being a fallen angel story. I hope I can get organized and share with you!

PS: This image is one that inspired my fallen angel story. Doesn’t he look like he has a story to tell?

 

So aside from working my mundane job as well as my faerie one, I have lots of exciting changes going on! I want to give a huge shoutout to our followers and fellow readers and authors! We wouldn’t be doing this without you! So keep reading and commenting!

With love and light,

Luna Lovebooks

Kat Mandu’s New Groove

Hello blog friends! You might have noticed it’s been rather quiet on the site lately. My fellow reviewers and I have had some ups and downs and well, occasionally life gets in the way of doing things you really love. So to be honest, a couple of us are behind on ALL THE THINGS. But eventually, we’ll get back to a groove again.

But because you haven’t heard from me lately, I’d like to update you on what I’m up to these days. Plus what you can expect from me in the next several months.

Review Schedule!
I’ve been frantically trying to get through my long queue of requests from authors whose books I’ve accepted. Here’s a list of ten coming your way – and if you’re an author waiting on a review from me, I promise I’ll get to it soon.

Novus – Crystal Marcos
The Dragon’s Playlist – Laura Bickle
Superheroes in Prose, V2 – Sevan Paris
Southern Bound – Stuart Jaffe
Starlight – William Stacey
The Last Dinner Party – Carly M Duncan
Doc Graystone: Masks of Mayhem – Nicholas Olivo
Their Solitary Way – JN Chaney
Demon Princess – Kassandra Lynn
Rebels & Fools – David Michael Williams

Upcoming Read-Along!!
Staring August fourth, you can join me and other readers in a read-along of two awesome urban fantasy trilogies. Check out the dates, books, and events below!

Double-Triple Fae

The Shadow Reader trilogy by Sandy Williams

The Shadow Reader – August 4- August 10
The Shattered Dark – August 11 – 17
The Sharpest Blade – August 18 – 24

The Abby Sinclair trilogy by Allison Pang

August 25 -August 31 A Brush of Darkness
September 1 – September 7 A Sliver of Shadow
September 8 – September 13 A Trace of Moonlight

 

 

 

 

 

Writing News!!!
Writing is another one of the things I haven’t kept up with lately. I hit a bad slump in my personal life in the last month and haven’t really had the motivation to work on my pain YA project. It’s a good news, bad news moment because I’ve had the inspiration to write a couple short stories in the meantime. You can find one of them – Trouble – on WattPad! I’m excited to introduce you to some of the first characters I’ve ever worked with. And if you like urban fantasy with touches of romance and humor, these stories might be for you. Trouble is currently halfway done – and I’ve got plans to bring two more novellas into the mx once it is.

Please feel free to let me know what you think! You can find it here!

In other writing news, I’ve got two other projects I work on.

For one, I’m a D&D dungeon master (Dungeons and Dragons for those of you unfamiliar with the term) and I’ve got a nice, magical (and maniacal) murder mystery that needs a lot of tedious planning and mapping. It’s a lot of work – but it’s also a lot of fun! Are you a D&D player? Tell me some of your experiences. I love hearing fun roleplay stories.

I’m also teaming up with my little brother and together we’re stepping out onto the machinima scene. Machinima is the method of making animated film using software similar to that designed for making video and computer games. For those of you who are gamers and might enjoy this type of filming, here’s a great example of machinima: Rooster Teeth’s Red vs Blue, a web-series based on the Halo games with a comical twist.

Granted, these guys rule the roost, so there’s no way our project will be that awesome. But it’ll be fun to make our own scripts and play around the cinematic effects. I’ll keep you updated on our progress (and give you a link to our YouTube channel) but in the meantime, enjoy a Red vs Blue clip (I’m a huge fan, in case you couldn’t tell).

So as you can see, I’m up to a lot lately. And I’m also working two jobs. But I wanted you guys to know I’m still here, so thanks to those of you who still read and/or follow the blog. I’m grateful for your support! Stay tuned for more upcoming reviews, writing posts, and other book stuff! Read on fellow readers, read on!

Kat Mandu

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.

What’s Coming In January?

One Book Two has a couple of neat things coming in January 2016 and beyond.  Here’s a quick peek!

Kitty Midnight HourRead Along

On January 1, One Book Two starts a read-along of the Kitty Norville series.  We’ll be reading one book a week, ending on Tax Day.  To participate in the read-along, join our Goodreads discussion group.  We’d love to have you join us.

Stand Out Award Badge22015 Stand Out Awards

One Book Two will be announcing the recipients of the 2015 Stand Out Awards on January 1, 2016.  Stay tuned to find out what we thought was the best of the best of the books reviewed this year!

Cinder Spires
Book Cover Artist Spotlight

In 2016, One Book Two will be doing a year-long spotlight on book cover artists.  On January 2, we’ll kick it off with an interview of Chris McGrath, book cover artist for the Dresden Files, October Daye series, Thieftaker series, Vampire Earth series, and more.  We’re very, very excited to have Chris join us, so stay tuned for this awesome interview.