I read ten self-help books and took away various insights, some of which are helpful. I summarise the helpful ones and the others here.
At their best, self-helps books are amazing because they literally teach you how to help yourself, and inspire you to do so. Want to become a millionaire by sitting on your couch playing video games? There will be a self-help book for that.
However, some self-help books would have been better if they’d remained blog posts, and some should never have been written at all.
I’ve been a fan of D. Wallace Peach since I beta read one of her books several years ago. Now her new fantasy novel, Liars and Thieves, is out, and it just jumped to the top of my TBR list.
Liars and Thieves
Behind the Veil, the hordes gather, eager to savage the world. But Kalann il Drakk, First of Chaos, is untroubled by the shimmering wall that holds his beasts at bay. For if he cannot cleanse the land of life, the races will do it for him. All he needs is a spark to light the fire.
Three unlikely allies stand in his way.
A misfit elf plagued by failure—
When Elanalue Windthorn abandons her soldiers to hunt a goblin, she strays into forbidden territory.
A changeling who betrays his home—
Talin Raska is a talented liar, thief, and spy. He makes a fatal mistake—he falls for his mark.
If you enjoy zany humour you might enjoy Gobbelino London & a Scourge of Pleasantries by Kim M. Watt, a hilarious urban fantasy about a cat private investigator. If you hate cats, you might not.
I finally got around to reading the first Gobbelino London, PI book by my prolific and talented friend, Kim M. Watt. (Did I mention I interviewed Kim recently?) This book has been on my to-be-read list for some time now, but you know how devious and ever-expanding those lists are.
Anyway, boy am I glad I did.
As we talked about before, I know you won’t believe any of my gushings about a book written by a friend, so instead of gushing I’m going to talk about who might and might not enjoy this book.
“Tigers. Snakes. Alligators. Tears in the skin of the universe.” Susan shrugged. “I think I saw a kraken in the sink, too.”
Find a missing book.
That was the job the woman in the Doc Martens gave us. Easy money, right?
Only now it seems she’s actually an ancient, powerful sorcerer, and the book is a Book of Power that doesn’t want to be found. It wants to tear reality apart at the seams, and it’ll use anyone it can to do it.
So now we’ve got one spectacularly displeased sorcerer, a hungry, still-missing book, a dentist with bad hygiene, and a neighbourhood having some reality issues to deal with. Plus about a day before the book turns our world – and us – inside out.
We’ve totally got this. I hope.
This is the first book in the Gobbelino London, PI urban fantasy series, centred around the adventures of a mercenary feline PI and his human sidekick. It contains snarky cats and other gods, many bad jokes and terrible puns, plus a large serving of mythological and real creatures behaving badly. It will appeal to anyone who likes their fantasy funny, modern, and filled with friendship rather than romance – and also to those who suspect their cat may be living a great and secret life when they’re not looking.
Which, of course, they are.
Who might enjoy this book?
* Anyone who needs a zany, hilarious escape from 2020. I think everyone can agree 2020 has major personality problems, but don’t fret, here’s the escape you need. I laughed out loud so many times reading it. Sure, it’s ridiculous at times (okay, most of the time), but in a way that oddly makes sense. It’s urban fantasy with a capital F.
* Cat people. Yes, the main character is a cat. Smart, opinionated, and a little too knowledgeable about life. He’s probably more intelligent than his human sidekick, but he can still put on a brainless cute kitty act when cornered by a livid dentist. And he understandably hates getting wet. If you don’t fall in love with him, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.
* People bored with your average fantasy book that takes itself way too seriously. Gobbelino London (the cat, that is) does take the world very seriously, and that makes his snarky comments all the more funny. His world of Leeds, however, has seriousness (as well as reality) issues. Or maybe that’s just the Book of Power, bent on making the world a better place… before it destroys it. Enter pastel coloured rats, bewildered penguins, and so much more.
* People who enjoy physical humour in their books. Sure, the cat private investigator of the title does some cerebral sleuthing, but a lot of the laughs (and there are many) come from Gobbelino’s attempts to save the world while being, well, a cat. I would so love to see this book as an animated movie. Rich friends, where are you?
Who might not enjoy this book?
* People who hate cats. What can I say? Such incomprehensible people should go back to their dog parks and play catch with Rover.
* People who hate long book titles. I admit I didn’t think too much about the title before I read the book. But looking back now it’s kind of perfect–apart from being long. Leeds is facing a wave of transformations that make it a nicer place… but nothing so nice comes without a cost. (And sometimes it tries to eat you.)
* People whose hearts stop every time a cat runs across a road without looking both ways. I mean, I love you, Gobbelino, but please stop giving me heart attacks. I don’t care what you’re running from. Be more careful crossing the road.
* People who are offended by blasphemy. It’s not extreme by any measure, but it’s understandably there. I mean, you try teaching a cat polite language.
Have you read any of the Gobbelino London books? (Shortly there will be three!) Do you want to now, or are you a dog person?
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The talented Gregory Josephs shares his secrets about writing, dreaming big, and of course his new speculative fiction book, The Confluence.
My kind and delightful friend Gregory Josephs has a book coming out tomorrow–speculative fiction with mystery! suspense! LGBT characters!–and he shared all his deepest, darkest secrets about publishing and being a published author with me.
Maybe not deepest, darkest secrets.
Things he hasn’t told anyone.
Okay, he probably told some other people, but I came up with the questions all on my own, so you won’t find these answers anywhere else.
Here we go! (All in his own words, with just a few extra paragraph breaks.)
I read the YA fantasy novel A Song Below Water by Black author Bethany C. Morrow. It’s a powerful book, but the oppression it portrays might not make it the best escapist read right now.
As part of my recent mission to read a string of books by Black authors, I read A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow. Sebastian and Rain had strong opinions about it. I’ll let them explain.
In case you missed it, last week I wrote about A Song of Wraiths and Ruin. I’m thinking of renaming my WIP so it has “song” in the title.
Rain: I get to start this time! This book was such a weird mix. It’s set in the real world, which I don’t approve of, but it had all these mysterious magical elements that I loved so much. There’s only one gargoyle in Portland, and it lives on the roof of the main characters’ house. Sirens are real–they’re always Black women–but they look like people and live like anyone else, and there are magical elokos who also look like people and are universally adored, sprites whose pranks occasionally go too far–
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