Category Archives: Site News

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!

Update on Ivana’s Vision Problems

Ivana One EyeHi! Thank you everyone for all the well wishes! I’m back home and doing just fine. My eye problems should recover on their own in 2-3 months, so that’s good news! If you like medical stories, I’ll share mine below; but feel free to skip it if you don’t.

For those doctor-types, I have right partial third nerve palsy. If you’re not, that means my right eye isn’t aligning properly with my left, so instead of the two eyes working together to form a single 3D image, I’m seeing two images all the time, one slightly diagonal and tilted. Also, my right eyeball doesn’t move quite like it should, the pupil dilation isn’t quite normal, and my eyelid is drooping a little.

The doctors are very confused since I don’t have any of the normal risk factors for this kind of condition. The symptoms don’t quite add up normally, either; so they are at a loss to explain it. Many of them thought it could be an aneurysm, which is why they went to such lengths to find a cause.

Here’s what happened: On Tuesday morning around 11:00 a.m., I started having double vision. Since I was sitting at my computer at work, I got up and walked around a bit, looked at other things, closed my eyes for a while, etc. It didn’t go away, so I worked one-eyed for a while, thinking it would recover on its own. It didn’t. I figured if I was going to drive home, I’d better do it before rush hour traffic, so I went home early (driving was a challenge) and took a nap. I drank a lot of water and ate some protein; too, thinking it might be caused by dehydration, low protein, exhaustion, etc. But the double vision persisted until Tuesday morning.

I started out at an urgent care clinic on Wednesday morning at 8:00. It’s important to note here that, like a dummy, I didn’t eat breakfast before going. Urgent care sent me to Wolfe Eye Clinic. They did some really cool things to measure just how out of snyc my eyes were. They sent me to the ER for an MRI, concerned about a tumor, stroke or aneurysm.

So I had my first MRI. I’m not claustrophobic, but with as many people as freak out in MRIs, I was curious about my reaction. I did fine for most of the hour, until I started getting spasms in my low back. I was just about at the end of my tolerance when the tests were done, so I’m pretty proud of myself for that.

The MRI came back completely normal. But the ER doc was still really concerned about an aneurysm; so he wanted me to go to go—BY AMBULANCE about 2 hours—to a bigger hospital with lots of specialist. His goal was for me to see the Neuro Opthamologist. I almost refused, especially since the ambulance didn’t leave until about 6:30 in the evening (8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. by this time with no food). After I begged, the hospital did feed me a small turkey sandwich while I was waiting for the ambulance, since I hadn’t yet eaten anything and I was starving!

The doc was so earnest about me going; he even called my primary doc who said I should go. So I did. By ambulance. Hubby stayed home to take care of the dogs; he planned to meet me at the hospital in the morning.

So, by 8:30 p.m. I was in the ER at the bigger hospital. I saw two neurologists and another ophthalmologist. They all asked me the same questions I’ve answered multiple times already, ran the same little tests, and all get this really confused expression on their faces. I still couldn’t eat or drink in case they wanted to run more tests

At some point I fell asleep.  Around 3:00 a.m. they woke me up to finally admit me. I was barely awake and irritated because I still couldn’t eat or drink, I was put into a shared room (I didn’t think hospitals did that anymore), and I had to put on a stupid hospital gown so they could put a heart monitor on me. So, tired, hungry, and irritated, I finally fell back to sleep.

Thursday consisted of more doctors and more tests, including my first CT scan. Hubby showed up to keep me company, which was awesome. I still couldn’t eat or drink. The Neuro Ophthalmologist though they should do an angiograph — string a small camera through an artery to find the nerve damage and examine the area around it. The Neuro Interventionists who actually perform that procedure didn’t think it was necessary. So the doctors were duking it out while we waited, and waited, and waited. The docs compromise on a CT scan with the option to do the angio later if necessary. They didn’t make a decision about that by Thursday night, so we had to stay another night.  We hadn’t planned on that.

But, at least, after 48 hours of nothing but a small turkey sandwich, they said I could eat! I had the best pot roast and baked potato in the entire world. 🙂

Finally, on Friday, the team of doctors decided not to run the angiograph and they cut me loose with a, “we don’t know why this happened, but don’t die, okay?”

Since the MRI and CT scan came back completely clean with no indication of any possible aneurysm, the angiograph people didn’t feel it was necessary to do more tests. If there is an aneurysm, it would have to be smaller than 3MM, and they don’t treat aneurysms that small anyway. Normally, an aneurysm that small would not be capable of causing the symptoms I’m having; it wouldn’t cause any symptoms at all, actually. So their best guess is that a tiny blood vessel burst or was damaged in some way, which interrupted the blood flow to part of the third cranial nerve that controls parts of the eye. In this case, the vision problem will clear up on its own in 2 to 3 months with no intervention at all.

So, in the meantime I’m functioning one-eyed. I can work and read, but not for as long as normal. I’m not yet sure how this is going to affect the blog work or my goal of reading two books a week, but we’ll find out. If nothing else, I can review audio books! In 2 to 3 months, things should, thankfully, be all back to normal. It’s been an interesting and crazy learning experience for me.