B is for Backworlds + Beneath The Rainbow + Blood Fugue

B - 2016Welcome to the annual A to Z Challenge.

My theme: showcasing bloggers books, novellas, short story collections, poetry collections and some non-fiction books. The letters of the alphabet will correspond with the book title. I’ll be posting a link to my review of each book. I also have two questions for the author, just to spice things up a little.

Hopefully, visitors to my blog will be able to increase their reading lists and also get ideas for their wish lists.

Backworlds by Mary Pax. Read my review HERE.



Genre/Category: Science fiction/space opera adventure.

The book character you want to have coffee with is: Spartacus. He may spit the coffee at me, but there are a lot of questions I have about the times he lived in.

What would you name the autobiography of your life? The Everyday Adventures of M. Pax.



Beneath The Rainbow by Lisa Shambrook. Read my review HERE.

Beneath The RainbowGenre/Category: YA, but it also fits as a stand alone in Literary Fiction.

The book character you want to have coffee with is: The book character I would love to have coffee with is Lirael from Garth Nix’s The Old Kingdom books, she’s an oddity and I relate to her beautifully fascinating nature! Her world is one of magic and adventure and I want to join her.

What would you name the autobiography of your life? Right now I would name my autobiograpy: ‘From Gossamer Dreams…’ as my imagination and dreams have always been the driving force behind my writing. Dreams give you hope, and hope gives you courage, and with courage you can achieve your dreams!   

Blood Fugue by E.J. Wesley. Read my review HERE.

Blood FugueGenre/Category: Urban Fantasy/Adult.

The book character you want to have coffee with is: (If it’s from my own story…) Jenny, the heroine from Blood Fugue. She’s tough, funny, and will say anything to anyone. Makes for an entertaining coffee date! 🙂 (From any story…) Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series. He’s so smart and charming, plus you know he’d have great stories to tell.

What would you name the autobiography of your life? A Tale of Two People–because I grew up in a very rural/small town in Oklahoma but my adult life has been marked by travel and living in new places. (My wife is in the Air Force and we are approaching our 7th move in 12 years of marriage. LOL) I’m a very different person at 38 than I was at 18.

Book 1 of The Backworlds is free on Amazon. E.J. Wesley will hook one lucky winner up with the entire series to date (books 1 to 6) of the Moonsongs novellas, in the digital medium of your choice (epub/mobi/Amazon etc.) The second lucky winner can choose between a signed paperback or e-book of Beneath The Rainbow. Please leave an e-mail address after your comment by Thursday 07th April, if you wish to to be entered in the giveaway. Winners will be announced on Friday 08th April.

Do you read science fiction/space opera…or urban fantasy…or literary fiction? Have you tried to read/write a different genre, or do you prefer to stick to one book genre? If you had to choose a legendary figure from a bygone era as your coffee date, who would it be? If you are an artist, what is the driving force behind your writing/painting? Am I the only person who has never read a Harry Potter book? I really need to find time to read one of these books? What am I missing?


  1. Hilary on April 2, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Hi Michelle – great we’ve got your reviews to read … and at some stage I look forward to reading all three. Great idea to introduce us to bloggers we may know .. or new ones via their publications … cheers and have fun with the A-Z … thanks for your comment – Hilary

  2. Emma on April 2, 2016 at 8:49 am

    I’ll be looking out for these on rnib talking books; I love book recommendations. #AtoZ Challenge http://mscalling.Blogspot.com

  3. Nicola on April 2, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Another set of great reviews, Michelle. Not really into reading science fiction but there is no reason why I shouldn’t give it a go. Have a lovely day.

  4. Nilanjana Bose on April 2, 2016 at 10:50 am

    I was not that into sci-fi, am warming to it lately, but family are serious fans. I have read the whole Potter series. Fun reads, except one book in the middle somewhere which dragged on and on, I forget the title.


  5. Nick Wilford on April 2, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Backworlds and Blood Fugue are great shouts. Beneath the Rainbow is new to me so that’s going on my list. I try to embrace all genres and have even read the odd romance! We can learn things from any genre, after all lots of books contain a romance even if it’s a dystopian sci-fi.

  6. Alex J. Cavanaugh on April 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Mary, hope no one spits coffee at you.
    I’ve read Mary’s book (it’s great) and I have EJ’s, although not with that cover.

  7. Yolanda Renee on April 2, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Love the way these play out! And your questions, perfect!
    No you aren’t the only one who hasn’t read Harry Potter. I figure sometime in my old age. LOL
    I’ve not read the ‘gray’ stuff either. 🙂

  8. Rowena on April 2, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    You are not the only one who hasn’t read a Harry Potter Book. You can add me to the list, although I do have the first one by my bed. I am quite caught up with researching for the challenge. I wrote a letter to AA Milne yesterday and re-read “Winnie the Pooh”. I couldn’t remember so much of it from my childhood. Then, I found a metre high Eeyore at the op shop and drove home with him in the front seat…a 45 minutes trip. That was interesting…!
    Hope you’re enjoying the challenge xx Rowena

  9. Jen on April 2, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Genre is a constant battle with me. I have all these ideas rolling around in my mental filing cabinets and they run the gammet between fantasy to dystopian steampunk, from horror to southern humor. Geez…I wonder what it would be like to combine them all? ACK!

    A legendary figure to have coffee with? Mmmm, Joan of Arc.

    Love your posts so far!

    Jen Chandler was Here

  10. Anne on April 2, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    I’ve read at least a little bit of everything, but I have a soft spot for urban fantasy lately because there is so much great stuff coming out in that genre. This is a great idea for the A-Z challenge! I have read Harry Potter. Actually I got the last book at midnight of release date at Barnes and Noble (which is kind of funny because my extremely conservative sister was protesting Harry Potter in front of the state capitol earlier that night.) It takes all kinds to fill this beautiful world!
    Character I’d most want to have coffee with: Vanyel from the Last Herald Mage trilogy by Mercedes Lackey. Interesting question. Have a great April!

  11. Amy Willoughby-Burle on April 2, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Michelle! I love this theme and I love the questions for the authors–how fun! Great books too! I just love how many wonderful titles and authors there are out there that we might not know about if we’re only shopping within the limited of the bookstore. This is a great theme and a great beginning!

  12. Liesbet on April 2, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Wow, Michelle, you provide a lot of food for thought with your questions. I am focusing on the driving force behind my work. As a freelance writer and full time traveler, I find that aspects of my own life create enough material for my non-fiction articles and book. “Write what you know about” seems to be working the best for me (since I don’t like research and love sharing our adventures). 🙂

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

  13. E.J. Wesley on April 2, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks so much for featuring one of my titles, Michelle! I’m in a great company as I’m a huge fan of M. Pax and the Backworlds series. 🙂

    Just a heads up to anyone who might be interested in checking out my Moonsongs series, the first three are now free on Amazon, Kobo, B&N, and iBooks. They are novellas, and quick-action-packed reads. So it’s good sample of my style and the tone of the series. http://www.amazon.com/E.J.-Wesley/e/B009GI10B0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1459609974&sr=8-1

  14. L. Diane Wolfe on April 2, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    No, you’re not! I’ve never read a Harry Potter book.

    You featured a great selection of books.

  15. Pat Garcia on April 2, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I usually read anything that is not going to keep me up late at night because of a bad dream. I like Science Fiction and may try one of these.
    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

  16. i b arora on April 2, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    crisp book reviews, i like the way you review the books. thanks for visiting my blog

  17. L.G. Keltner on April 2, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Another great selection of authors and their books! I am now stuck with an image of Spartacus spitting coffee on M. Pax. She could write a story about the experience afterwards.

  18. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor on April 2, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    I love reading sci/fi, space opera, mysteries, literary fiction and historical fiction, among other genres. I’m currently doing the Around the World in 80 Books and pick up a lot of books to read at my local marina’s book exchange. What I’ve found is that I read things in genres that I wouldn’t normally pick up and end up liking many of them, much to my surprise.

    I’ve read one of M. Pax’s books and loved it. (Which reminds me that I should write up a review in Amazon!)

    I’m always up for a giveaway – thecynicalsailor (at) gmail (dot) com

  19. Liz Brownlee on April 2, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Hello! You’ve put loads of work into this, how fabulous. I did an MA on writing for young people, during which I had to write for every age group and in many genres, but my main manuscript was poetry, as I am a poet through and through. Having said that, I do write about animals and provide facts about them, so I guess I also write non-fiction prose… I do have one story published for children in an anthology. Great fun, your blog! ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

  20. Kathleen Valentine on April 2, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Always happy to find book recommendations. Some stunning covers there, too.

    Blogging the #AtoZchallenge: http://www.kathleenvalentineblog.com/

  21. Susan Gourley on April 2, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    I love space opera and science fiction and the world does too if you look at the numbers for Star Wars. Glad to see ladies writing it.

    Susan Says

  22. Sophie Duncan on April 2, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    I have read all of the Harry Potter books, I prefer the earlier ones to the later ones. I have only seen one of the movies, though.

    I have a kindle and I have found I have been reading more widely from time to time, I read chick lit the other week, which I never thought would be a genre I’d read – although my fav books are about ghosts and haunting, I’m hooked on the Ellie Jordan Ghost Trapper books at the moment :).

    Sophie’s Thoughts & Fumbles | Wittegen Press | FB3X

  23. J.H. Moncrieff on April 2, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    I love to write in different genres. Though I bill myself as a horror writer, I’ve also written mysteries and psychological thrillers, and am currently working on a romance when I have time.

    I’ll be attempting a cozy this summer. Looking forward to it!

  24. Joy on April 2, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Very fun; love the title you’d use for your autobiography.
    – Joy (The Joyous Living)

  25. Mary Pax on April 2, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you, Michelle, for being awesome and making my day brighter. 🙂 Truly appreciated!

  26. betty on April 2, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Never heard of urban fantasy as a genre for books; now I’ll have to look it up 🙂 I don’t usually read out of my genre; I’m pretty modern day fiction I guess, not sure how else to describe it 🙂


  27. Silvia Villalobos on April 2, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    It’s good to increase the list, Michelle. I read several books at any one given time, some I make it all the way through, some not. But I can’t do without books, so the more the better. I read science fiction from time to time, although I’m not a reliable fan of the genre. I do give everything that comes recommended a chance, and all books here look good. Thank you for taking the time to break things down.
    My best,

  28. C. Lee McKenzie on April 2, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Great line up of B books you have here!

  29. Jessica on April 3, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Well, I’ve spent probably 40 minutes reading here and even went to Amazon to check some out… then ended up reading a lot of your reviews on Amazon. You’re such a faithful reader/reviewer. I’m impressed! Great site.

  30. joylene on April 3, 2016 at 1:09 am

    I haven’t read the Harry Potter books either! I keep meaning to. I think my reason is I’m lazy. I read War and Peace, though, and it was fabulous! Great review of Mary’s Book!

  31. WriterlySam on April 3, 2016 at 1:24 am

    Two of my favorite ladies, Lisa and Mary. Both amazing writers! I’d totally join E. J. on the Dumbledore coffee date–I’ll bring the butterbeer.

  32. M.J. Fifield on April 3, 2016 at 1:26 am

    Loved the Backworlds books. Haven’t read the other two titles (yet…But they’re on my list!)

    I personally love the Harry Potter books. I even own complete sets in multiple languages. (Some of which I can even read…)

  33. dSavannah on April 3, 2016 at 4:14 am

    My goodness ~ that’s a LOT of questions, and I’ve already forgotten most of them by the time I got to where I could post my comment.

    So, I think they go:
    ~I read all kinds of genres. I don’t much like erotica or horror or thrillers or hard-boiled mysteries.
    ~How do you define “legendary figure”? Plus, they all put their pants on one leg at time, just like us. 🙂
    ~ Driving force? It is in my blood to create. I can’t NOT create. It’s like breathing. If I don’t create, I get a little crazy(er).
    ~Harry Potter. I read the first three, then got bored and never looked back. Never seen the movies, either.

    Thanks for the link to the free book!

    @dSavannahCreate from
    #AtoZChallenge2016 theme: dSavannah Defects

  34. Tasha Duncan-Drake on April 3, 2016 at 9:29 am

    I read any sci-fi and fantasy I can get my hands on, but literary fiction has never really been my thing. I’ve read all the Harry Potter books and a ton of the fanfiction too 🙂 Thank you for the recs.
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  35. Sarah on April 3, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Did you see I’ve nominated you on my blog?

  36. Margaret on April 3, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Oh dear me, you’re going to make my reading list EVEN LONGER! Haha, that’s never a problem, actually. Great post! I enjoy reading books of many genres, from historical fiction to fantasy to scifi to literary. I also enjoy reading the classics that I never got to in school. Let’s see–it’s so hard to choose a legendary figure! I’m going to go with Robin Hood. That story has always intrigued me, especially since some of my ancestors are from Nottingham!

    When I write, it is because I must. It’s like breathing–breathing life into characters who then demand my attention. They’re quite needy, really! Where nonfiction is concerned, my driving force is to educate. To prompt discussion. To invite people to think, to write with purpose. Where my physical art is concerned (paper crafts and bookmaking), I enjoy solving the puzzles and problems of physical creation. It allows me to exercise a different part of my mind, and sometimes I have sparks of inspiration for writing while I am crafting. I enjoy making books by hand because it connects me to the past–which always inspires my writing.

    As for Harry Potter, you are missing an imaginary world that is so complete, so magical, and so immersive. I would not say the series is written particularly well–the text is full of cliches and Rowling often tells when she ought to show. However, this does not take away from my own enjoyment of the series, which I read multiple times before handing the books off to my nephew. You should read them–the movies are fun but as always, the books are better than the films.

  37. Bish Denham on April 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    I’ve enjoyed all the Backworld books I’ve read (haven’t read them all yet) and was THRILLED when I learned the name of one of the characters was inspired by my name.

  38. Vanessa Hancock on April 4, 2016 at 12:54 am

    Hello Michelle! Thanks for dropping by my blog, and I love your theme. I’ll be back!

  39. Lisa Shambrook on April 4, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks for including Beneath the Rainbow, Michelle, loving these and your questions! The driving force behind my writing is nature and emotions x

  40. Aura with writing on April 4, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    You are not alone! I did not read Harry Potter books either and I’m not sure if I’m missing something. May be because I’m not much of a fiction person. Thanks to you for introducting me to Urban Fantasy. Will check that out. Well my driving force for a painting or writing would be reality and emotions. Beacuse I find these more fascinating over fantasy. By the way, I ended up reading your reviews and you are amazing! 🙂

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