JeanBookNerd Storytellers BOX

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Axie Oh

XOXO Official Blog Tour

Sean Penn


Robert V.S. Redick


Tom Bilyeu

Impact Theory

Bethany C. Morrow


William L. Myers Jr.


BonHyung Jeong


E.E. KNight


Robert McCaw


Gregg Olsen


Josh Duhamel


Lucinda Roy


Evie Green


E.J. Mellow


Sara Fujimura


Friday, July 23, 2021

Breakaway by Craig Alanson

Listening Length: 19 hours and 22 minutes
Author: Craig Alanson
Narrator R.C. Bray Release Date: June 01, 2021
Publisher: Podium Audio
Program Type: Audiobook

Best Sellers Rank #143 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#1 in Military Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#4 in Space Opera Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#4 in Military Science Fiction (Books)

The Expeditionary Force saga continues with Breakaway, the eagerly awaited sequel to number-one Audible-ranked and New York Times best-selling Brushfire, from an epic sci-fi writer at the top of his game. Join the millions of listeners who have enjoyed R.C. Bray’s hilarious portrayal of Joe, Skippy, The Merry Band of Pirates and so many other unforgettable characters.

The Merry Band of Pirates offered the bad guys a ceasefire. We won’t mess with them, if they don’t mess with us. Easy, right?


The aliens chose to do things the hard way. So, the Pirates are racing around the galaxy to clean up the threat to Earth. The infant UN Navy has their own mission with the Alien Legion: get humanity some allies in the fight. And the Ethics & Compliance Office might have to do something...ethical. Unless they can find a way around it.

You can purchase Breakaway at the following links below.

Photo Content from Craig Alanson

Craig Alanson used to create financial reports for a large IT services company. Writing fiction at nights and on weekends, he finally independently published three novels on Amazon. Within 6 months of his first ebook release, he was able to quit his day job and pursue a full-time writing career. The breakout success of Columbus Day (Expeditionary Force, Book 1) reached new heights when Podium Audio released it in audio format, narrated by Audie Award Winner R.C. Bray. The Columbus Day audiobook was a huge hit, and a finalist for an Audie Award as Audiobook of the Year. 

The ExForce series, as it is known to fans, has gone on to 10 books/audiobooks, many of which have hit the NYT best-seller list, with a 11th book releasing June 2021 and 14 books planned. Craig has also published a spin-off series, ExForce: Mavericks; an ExForce audio drama, Homefront; a fantasy trilogy, Ascendent; and a young adult space opera, Aces. Craig lives in Virginia with his wife, who loves him even though he perpetually refuses to clean the garage.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Susan Schoenberger Interview - The Liability of Love

Photo Content from Susan Schoenberger

Susan Schoenberger is the award-winning author of A Watershed Year and The Virtues of Oxygen. With a linotypist as a grandfather, she has ink in her blood and worked as a journalist and copyeditor for many years, including The Baltimore Sun and 12 years with The Hartford Courant. She currently serves as Director of Communications at Hartford Seminary, a graduate school with a focus on interfaith dialogue. She lives in West Hartford, Connecticut, with her husband Kevin. They have three grown children and a small dog named Leo.


Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Storytelling is how we learn what it means to be human. The experiences I offer in a story might help you understand your own experiences, or put your experiences into a different context. Artists of all kinds are trying to tap into the universal by telling a specific story, whether it’s on a canvas, in a song, through dance, or in a novel.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I used to think I would love being the author at the podium, reading from my work or talking about the writing process. But it’s been much more rewarding to hear from readers who find resonance in something I’ve written. I save every one of those emails, which mean much more to me than a Goodreads or Amazon review, even though I’m supposed to ask for those.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’ve started a novel about a hyperpolyglot, someone who speaks an extraordinary number of languages. It might end up being about something very different, though. I’m never sure where my stories are going to go.

Can you tell us when you started THE LIABILITY OF LOVE, how that came about?
I started writing this book in 2014, just after I finished my second novel. I had an idea about rewriting The Wizard of Oz with a male character in the lead, but it evolved into something completely different. It was originally called Under the Rainbow.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
On one level, I don’t want them to think about the writing. I want them to get swept up in the story and turn pages to see what happens. But on another level, I want them to enjoy the sentence structure, the metaphors, and the word choices that mean so much to me as a writer. So maybe read it twice?

What part of Margaret did you enjoy writing the most?
Margaret is a complicated character. She’s not someone you love right away, and I struggled a bit to make her relatable. I most enjoyed working on her scenes toward the end of the book when she takes back some measure of control.

Did you learn anything from writing THE LIABILITY OF LOVE and what was it?
I learned a ton from writing this book, mainly that I will never be able to stick to an outline, no matter how much I think it works.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
That’s a great question. I would introduce the character Fitz from The Liability of Love to the character Owen Meany from John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany, one of my favorite novels. Physically, they’re opposites – Fitz is too big for his age, Owen too small for his. But temperamentally, I think there are some great parallels. Both have huge hearts and a sense of destiny.

  • 1) It received a starred Kirkus review, which means “highly recommended.”
  • 2) I spent six years writing it.
  • 3) You will fall in love with Margaret, Fitz, Douglas, and Brenda, the four characters who tell the story.
  • 4) It’s set in Hartford, CT, a hotbed of liability (the Insurance Capital of the World).
  • 5) It’s set mainly in the 1980s, so you can feel superior about the fashion.
  • 6) It’s not too long (284 pages).
  • 7) You’ll get a kick out of Ollie and Tiffany, Margaret and Douglas’s oddball neighbors.
  • 8) Per the Kirkus Review, it’s full of “pithy observational gems.”
  • 9) It’s coming out in July, so “beach read.”
  • 10) It’s funnier than it might appear.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
That the only thing I can control is the writing. So many other aspects of being an “author” have nothing to do with whether or not a book succeeds, or whether it’s even published.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Attempt to read Ulysses.

Best date you've ever had?
Probably hiking Mount Washington with the boyfriend who would eventually become my husband.

What was the first job you had?
When I was 14, I worked in a bus terminal cafeteria. We would play board games until a bus came in, then we would work like mad, clean up, and go back to the board games.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
That would be three incidents – the births of my children. Even though they’re grown, I think differently as a parent than I would have without them.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
The lake district of Patagonia in Argentina.

What were you doing the last time you really had a good laugh?
Talking to a friend with cancer. When life is precarious, laughter seems like the only thing that matters.

First Heartbreak?
A middle school crush who didn’t know I was alive.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
If you’ve read anything I’ve ever written, you’d know the answer is true love.

Margaret Carlyle is searching for an epic love as she heads to college in 1979 after the loss of her beloved mother to cancer. When a charismatic boy named Anders rapes her on their first date, she wants nothing more than to forget it ever happened. But as the years pass, each life decision she makes seems driven by what happened that night.

When Anders becomes famous as an actor, Margaret can no longer ignore her past--and she must make choices that will affect everyone around her, most notably her husband, Douglas, and Fitz, the man who has loved her patiently since college.

This deeply moving novel is a window into class and privilege, the mysteries of marriage, and the destructive power of secrets--and an examination of what happens when we try to bury the past, as well as the consequences of confronting it.
You can purchase The Liability of Love at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you SUSAN SCHOENBERGER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Liability of Love by Susan Schoenberger.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Andrew Rowe Interview - The Torch that Ignites the Stars

Photo Content from Andrew Rowe

Andrew Rowe was once a professional game designer for awesome companies like Blizzard Entertainment, Cryptic Studios, and Obsidian Entertainment. Nowadays, he's writing full time. When he's not crunching numbers for game balance, he runs live-action role-playing games set in the same universe as his books. In addition, he writes for pen and paper role-playing games.

Listening Length: 17 hours and 21 minutes
Author: Andrew Rowe
Narrator: Nick Podehl Release Date: May 11, 2021
Publisher: Podium Audio
Program Type: Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language: English

Winner of the 2020 Stabby Award for Best Self-Published/Independent Novel
#492 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#2 in Humorous Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#8 in Humorous Fantasy (Books)
#13 in Action & Adventure Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
This is going to vary from person to person. For some, it’s pure escapism — a means of getting out of their reality in order to find safety or entertainment. For some, it can serve as a social or bonding activity. For still others, it purely a mental exercise, a way of imagining people and situations outside of a normal day-to-day context.

One important element of all these is it can allow people to conceptualize things outside their usual day-to-day life. This can help people learn about things they might not be otherwise exposed to — other religious belief systems, other political systems, or things like the marginalization of groups the reader doesn’t belong to.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
It’s hard to pick just one, but I don’t think anything could make me prouder than seeing how happy my parents were the first time I could hand them a signed book.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m currently wrapping up a secret novella project. After that, I have several things in the works. The first item on my agenda is the fourth Arcane Ascension book, but beyond that, I’m working on my fourth Weapons & Wielders book and a variety of other new novels. I’ve described one of them as a combination between Peter Pan and a Chinese cultivation novel, for example, and another focuses on the background of one of my most famous side characters.

Can you tell us when you started THE TORCH THAT IGNITE THE STARS, how that came about?
Torch is the third book in one of my interconnected series. Since it’s a sequel, the genesis was fairly straightforward: it picks up right where the second Arcane Ascension book left off. The most notable distinction is that I chose to set the book during the vacation between the semesters at the university the protagonists attend, which was set up in the ending of the second book, but it’s a bit of a controversial choice. I used it as a chance to explore some parts of the characters and world that wouldn’t work as effectively while the characters were on the campus, but the structural change from writing a “winter vacation” book was too significant for some readers.

​What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
That depends on the context of any given scene, really. I try to explore a broad variety of different themes in my works. In general, though, I have a lot of content related to things like neurodivergence, found family, corruption in power structures, dehumanization, general ethics (in both real world and fantasy contexts), flaws in educational systems, and how magic might be explored by society in a setting where it’s able to be studied and quantified.

Which of your characters do you feel has grown the most since book 1 and in what way have they changed?
Corin, my central protagonist, is gradually learning to heal from many years of abuse. He’s figuring out who he can trust and how to value himself, his abilities, and his own accomplishments.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I think Corin would benefit immensely from meeting a warm and genuine superhero, like All Might from My Hero Academia.

  • a. I’ll never stop loving Hyrule from the Legend of Zelda games. It’s basically my childhood home.
  • b. Similarly, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Lufia franchise. Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals had some iconic characters, moments, and imagery that I’ll never forget.
  • c. Star Trek generally shows us a better future, where humanity has generally worked to build a post-scarcity, post-ethnic world. I see it as a positive, heartwarming potential future, especially TNG-era trek. (Yes, it’s generally considered sci-fi, but I don’t draw a hard line there, and entities like Q are basically magic.)
  • d. Final Fantasy 7 was hugely influential on the JRPG genre as a whole, popularizing the urban fantasy with magic mix that helped shape numerous works to come. I’m also thrilled with how they’ve been handling the remake.
  • e. More recently, the recent games in the Legend of Heroes franchise (from Trails in the Sky forward) have shown a similar magi-tech style setting to Final Fantasy 7, but with vastly more world building over the course of more than ten games in the same general universe and timeframe. From this, we get numerous perspectives on the setting, tech development, different counties, etc. I consider it a major inspiration.
  • f. Warcraft was hugely influential on my early writing career and I’ll always have a soft spot for it.
  • g. The manga/anime Hunter x Hunter has one of the best magic systems I’ve ever read, and I’d consider it a huge inspiration for how I think about magic in general.
  • h. The manhwa Tower of God is one of the best examples of the “tower climbing” genre that Arcane Ascension belongs to and serves as one of my many sources of inspiration for it, alongside earlier inspirations like the SaGa games, Tower of Druaga, etc.
  • i. Sarah Lin’s The Brightest Shadow has a setting with a beautiful deconstruction of the traditional hero vs. dark lord narrative, where both are absolutely terrifying forces of nature. I wouldn’t want to live there, but it’s an amazing setting.
  • j. One of my recent favorites is the setting for Forge of Destiny. It’s an incredibly well-developed world based on Chinese xianxia fiction, but with some western influences as well. Everything about the world and the magic helps stimulate my imagination.
Tell me about a favorite event of your childhood.
I used to love going out to live-action role-playing games with my friends. One of my best experiences was my first time carpooling with friends up to a game across the state and getting totally immersed in a new role-playing environment.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Rethink their biases.

Best date you've ever had?
Most of my favorite dates have involved simply reading something with my partner and trying to guess what is going to happen next, analyze what the protagonist should be doing in any given situation, etc.

What was the first job you had?
Writing for role-playing game books for White Wolf. I used that experience to work my way into working full-time in the gaming industry, then circled back around to books later in my career.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Realizing that virtually every major hero I’d grown up with was a straight white male.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never
loved before?

I think true love is generally an absurd concept that puts a specific style of romantic love on a pedestal. Love comes in many forms, many of which require investment and work. Love can be mutual and blissful, but it’s generally messy. I generally don’t have a lot of interest in stories about true love.

Where can readers find you?
The easiest place is my blog, I’m also extremely active on reddit, especially on r/climberscourt and r/progressionfantasy.

After concluding their first year at Lorian Heights, Corin and his friends catch a train from their native Valia to the distant country of Caelford.

For most, this would be a simple vacation. Corin has other plans:
  • Meet Anabelle Farren, the eccentric owner of Farren Labs, and learn about artificial attunements.
  • Seek out Warren Constantine, a previous Arbiter, for training and a potential alliance.
  • Find the visage Ferras herself to seek a cure for Sera's condition.
Of course, Corin is Corin, and there's absolutely no chance he's going to be able to stick to a list. Even if he miraculously developed a sense of focus, he isn't the only one with plans....

The Blackstone Bandit. Everyone's favorite mysterious book entity. The aforementioned Farren. A vacationing professor. The mirror of a figure from Keras' past. When their plots intersect, Corin and his friends are, predictably, stuck at the center.

It's going to be a long vacation.

You can purchase The Torch that Ignites the Stars at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you ANDREW ROWE for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Each of the First Book and Swag in the Series.
JULY 23rd FRIDAY Movies, Shows, & Books INTERVIEW
JULY 24th SATURDAY Crossroad Reviews GUEST POST

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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E.J. Mellow Interview - Song of the Forever Rains

Photo Content from E.J. Mellow

E.J. Mellow is an award-winning and best selling author of five novels. She grew up in a household of artists, surrounded by three sisters who were often found traipsing through the small grove of trees near their home. There they morphed into wolves and wild horses, escaping capture from many foe. Today, E.J. has taken her imagination to the page where readers have said her "lyrical, vibrant, and imaginative" writing sweeps them into "stunning worlds". She is also the co-founder of She Is Booked, a literary themed fundraising organization that supports women’s charities.

Residing in Colorado, E.J. is working on the release of her newest dark fantasy novel, Song of the Forever Rains, out from Montlake Romance July 1st, 2021


Publisher ‏ : ‎ Montlake (July 1, 2021)
Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 1, 2021
Language ‏ : ‎ English


“A spellbinding read…A dark, lyrical fantasy that merges vast worldbuilding with the best of romance tropes.” —Kirkus Reviews

“It’s so easy to lose yourself in Mellow’s evocative and engaging prose. Song of the Forever Rains blends excellent world building, wonderful character dynamics, and slow burn romance. I’m already looking forward to the sequel.” —Charlie N. Holmberg, Wall Street Journal bestselling author

“A story so immersive, it will haunt you long after the last page.” —Staci Hart, bestselling author

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
For empathy. With the rapid globalization of the world, it’s created large pockets of misunderstandings, which can ultimately lead to fear and possible violence. By telling our stories, sharing them, I believe we can open up more paths of learned conversations and healing.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Nothing can ever beat an excited reader taking time to reach out and tell me how much they love one of my books. The fact that my characters or worlds or story, which have filled up my heart and mind for so long, can do the same for another is extremely rewarding.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m gearing up for the release of the second standalone book in my Mousai Series, Dance of a Burning Sea. It releases this October and follows the middle sister, Niya, who holds the hypnotic and spellbinding gift of dance. It also follows a certain notorious pirate who I loved exploring.

Can you tell us when you started SONG OF THE FOREVER RAINS, how that came about?
At a high level, my three sisters inspired me to write this series. We are incredibly close and, in fact, each book is dedicated to one of them. The way we can fight and make up in the same breath, as well as how loyal and supportive they have been my whole life had me wanting to write a story about sisterhood for a while. At a more myopic level, I had been waiting to write a book about magic and things not being as they seem for an even longer while. A book that was both dark and incredibly bright. The concept that you could spin a tale that had merciless stops along a reader’s journey, mixed in with things that sparkled and shined, tricked and trapped, all leading up to a happily ever after fascinated me. I wanted to make up my own fairytale of sorts, except this story would not be fit for a child’s bedtime but for an adults.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
Readers can expect to find beauty in between the brutal and love for characters who believe they aren’t deserving. I wanted to write a story about how complex the concept of “good” vs “evil” can be and how a hero’s journey might just have to be through deadly deeds.

I hope for readers to walk away after reading feeling like they just experienced an epic bedtime story. I want adults to have their imagination and love of make-believe reawakened. And I want them to be hungry for more of this world, for I certainly am hungry to keep writing in it.

What part of your characters did you enjoy writing the most?
Hands down the sisterhood dynamic. My relationship with my sisters is so much fun to experience, so it was a joy to pull this inspiration into SONG OF THE FOREVER RAINS.

Did you learn anything from writing SONG OF THE FOREVER RAINS and what was it?
Darius and his history with his stepfather was a particularly delicate and nuanced experience to write about. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but to tell a story about an individual who has gone through what he had and to build his character arc into one that was hopeful was a challenge and pulled at my heartstrings the entire way. With the help of my editor, sensitivity readers, and talking with friends who have lived through similar situations helped me tell Darius’s story in a way that I hope respects as well as resonates with readers who might relate.

Tell me about a favorite event of your childhood.
I’m one of four girls and grew up in a household of artists. Being around such creativity as a young child definitely shaped my identity and need for imagination and storytelling, whether visually or with words.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Travel to another country. The perspective of experiencing another culture I believe is priceless.

Best date you've ever had?
The first date with my husband. I didn’t believe in love at first conversation until that moment.

What was the first job you had?
Babysitting. But if we are talking “official” first job where taxes were taken out, I was a lifeguard and those were some of the best summers of my life.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Becoming a mother. Every worry or stress or thing I thought was important before, seems to have become a spec of a concern after having my son. Every day he puts so much into perspective for me just by looking at his smiling face.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
True love with a guarantee of heart break. As the saying goes, ‘better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all’. I believe this. Though heartbreak is a hard experience, there is so much learned from hindsight. And to experience love is beautiful.

From the award-winning author of the Dreamland series comes a new dark romantic fantasy about a young woman finding hope in her powers of destruction.

The Thief Kingdom is a place hidden within the world of Aadlior. Many whisper of its existence, but few have found this place, where magic and pleasure abound. There, the mysterious Thief King reigns supreme with the help of the Mousai, a trio of revered and feared sorceresses.

Larkyra Bassette may be the youngest of the Mousai, but when she sings her voice has the power to slay monsters. When it’s discovered the Duke of Lachlan is siphoning a poisonous drug from the Thief Kingdom and using it to abuse his tenants, Larkyra is offered her first solo mission to stop the duke. Eager to prove herself, Larkyra accepts by posing as the duke’s potential bride. But her plans grow complicated when she finds herself drawn to Lord Darius Mekenna, Lachlan’s rightful heir. Soon she suspects Darius has his own motivations for ridding Lachlan of the corrupt duke. Larkyra and Darius must learn to trust each other if there is to be any hope of saving the people of Lachlan—and themselves.

Welcome to the world of Aadilor, where lords and ladies can be murderers and thieves, and the most alluring notes are often the deadliest. Dare to listen?

You can purchase Song of the Forever Rains at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you E.J MELLOW for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of SONG OF THE FOREVER RAINS by E.J. Mellow
1 Winner will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card
JULY 22nd THURSDAY #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog EXCERPT
JULY 23rd FRIDAY The Momma Spot REVIEW
JULY 23rd FRIDAY A Bookish Dream REVIEW

JULY 26th MONDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW
JULY 29th THURSDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW
JULY 30th FRIDAY Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW
JULY 30th FRIDAY Discover Elysian REVIEW

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