The C.K. Beggan Bookish Blog

The C.K. Beggan Bookish Blog

Welcome to The C.K. Beggan Bookish Blog! If you’re looking for your next read, titles are listed alphabetically and divided by indie and traditional publishing. (If you look closely enough, you may even find some non-fantasy books.) And while you’re here, don’t forget to check out the author interviews and special features, which include book lists by theme!

Independently Published Books: C.K. Beggan‘s Indie Book Spotlight

Fiction

Reviews of the best (and my favorite) fantasy and speculative fiction novels I’ve come across so far, all by indie authors.

Atheist’s Angel (Anna Velfman)

Avalanche (Anna Velfman)

Between Jobs (W.R. Gingell)

The Borderlands Princess (Ophelia Wells Langley)

Bride of the Shadow King (Sylvia Mercedes)

The Cracked Slipper (Stephanie Alexander)

The Crown Plonked Queen (Andrew Einspruch)

The Cursebound Thief (Megan O’Russell) 

Cursed (Callie Pey)

A Darkness at the Door (Intisar Khanani)

The Daughter of Earth (Callie Pey)

Daughter of Shades (Silvia Mercedes)

Droplets of Magic (Emily Bybee)

The Eastie Threat (Andrew Einspruch)

An Enchantment of Thorns (Helena Rookwood & Elm Vince)

Enchanting Fate (Ashley Evercott)

The Fool and the Sparrow (Dana Fox)

The Fox and the Briar (Chesney Infalt)

Frozen Hearts and Death Magic (Day Leitao)

Guardian of Talons and Snares (Anastasis Blythe)

Heart of Cinders (J. Darlene Everly)

Her Dreadful Will (Rebecca F. Kenney)

Icedancer (Anna Velfman)

The Lily Gate (Hanna Sandvig) – coming soon

Maiden of Candlelight and Lotuses (Anastasis Blythe)

Married by Fate (Jenny Hickman)

Married by War (Sarah K.L. Wilson)

Married by Wind (Angela J. Ford)

Music of the Night (Angela J. Ford)

Of Heists and Hexes (S.L. Prater)

Of Roses and Rituals (S.L. Prater)

Of Silver and Secrets (Sylvia Mercedes)

Of Smoke and Shadow (Ophelia Wells Langley)

Phoenix Heart, Season One, Episode One: Ashes (Sarah K.L. Wilson)

The Prince and the Poisoner (Helena Rookwood)

A Promise of Thorns (Helena Rookwood & Elm Vince)

The Purple Haze (Andrew Einspruch)

Rise of the Fire Queen (Alisha Klapheke)

The Road to Farringale (Charlotte E. English)

Stolen by the Shadow King (Alisha Klapheke)

Sunbolt (Intisar Khanani)

Spindle (W.R. Gingell)

Sting Magic (Sarah K.L. Wilson)

Snowblind (Anna Velfman)

Tapestry of Night (Elm Vince)

The Thief and the Throne (Helena Rookwood)

A Trial of Thorns (Helena Rookwood & Elm Vince)

Throne of Sand (Helena Rookwood & Elm Vince)

To Carve a Fae Heart (Tessonja Odette)

Twelve Days of Faery (W.R. Gingell)

Warrior of Blade and Dusk (Anastasis Blythe)

Wish Marked (Lissa Bolts) 

Wizardom Legends: Thief for Hire (Jeffrey L. Kohanek) – coming soon

Nonfiction

Traditionally Published Books: Reviews of All My Favs

My favorite books in the fantasy, noir, literary and speculative fiction genres that have been released by traditional publishers.

Author Interviews: One Author to Another

A new category! In which I do my best to pose thoughtful questions to some of my favorite indie authors.

Anastasis Blythe, live October 1, 2022 – 11 Questions with Anastasis Blythe, author of Guardians of Talons and Snares

Chesney Infalt, June 3, 2022 – 10 Questions with Chesney Infalt, author of The Fox and the Briar

Anna Velfman, April 15, 2022 – 10 Questions with author Anna Velfman, author of Snowblind

Andrew Einspruch, May 25, 2021 – Questions with the hilarious, award-winning author of The Light Bearer

Helena Rookwood and Elm Vince, April 10, 2021 – Questions with the co-authors of An Enchantment of Thorns

Special Features: Authors, Books and Writing

From Ask an Indie Author to trivia to Book Lists, find blog posts featuring by topic, writing tips andIndie Author Spotlights.

Indie Author Spotlight: Tessonja Odette – August 2022

Of Thieves and Shadows cover reveal! (BOMM tour) – live 8/23/22

Rise of the Fire Queen is here! (Book News) (8/7/22)

Ask an Indie Author with Ashley Evercott – How I make my book covers shine on social media? (7/15/22)

Indie Author Spotlight: Anthea Sharp – June 2022

Six of Crows month content (June 2022)

8 Fantasy Books with Delicious Cliffhanger Endings (Including Six of Crows)

9 Fantastic quotes from the Six of Crows duology

10 Books to read after Six of Crows

Kaz Brekker and my Fjerdan heist level character hangover

Trivia: Do You Know Kaz Brekker?

Trivia: How well do you know Six of Crows?

Trivia: How well do you know the Six of Crows duology characters?

From Storm and Shadow cover reveal! (BOMM tour) – 5/30/22

16+ Awesome Asian-Inspired Fantasy Worlds – 5/27/22 – A book list with settings from the Middle East to the Pacific Islands

Weaver cover reveal! (BOMM tour) – 5/10/22

Vow of the Shadow King cover reveal (BOMM tour) – 5/4/22

A Throne of Shadows Cover reveal! (BOMM tour) – 4/28/22

A Darkness at the Door cover reveal – 4/22/22 – in which I discuss the Dauntless Path series and reveal the fabulous cover

Retellings to Thrill Any Fantasy Reader – A complete list of fairy tale and classic book retellings I’ve reviewed on the blog

Supporting Diversity in Fantasy – A mission statement for the blog, plus links to authors who feature diverse characters in their work

Lessons from Bestsellers Part I (Using Contrast to Create Depth) – Learning from Hannah and Leo in The German Girlby Armando Lucas Correa

Lessons from Bestsellers Part II (Using Contrast to Create Depth) – A look at the many sides of Ali in S.A. Chakraborty’s City of Brass

Lessons from Bestsellers Part III (Using Contrast to Create Depth) – A mystery and a terrible truth rounds out Bethany C. Morrow’s A Song Below Water

5 Awkward Situations to Make Your MC Shine – Examples of awkwardness that endear main characters to readers in some of my favorite books

Snow-Swept is up for preorder!

I have a Valentine’s Day surprise for you all. Snow-Swept, a sweet, no-spice fantasy romance between a gargoyle and human, is arriving on Amazon (and KU!) February 14, 2023.

The novelette is available for preorder from Amazon for 99c.

Check out the pretty cover!

Snow-Swept: A Gargoyle Romance Novelette, by C.K. Beggan (pale wings, snowflakes and intricate lacy designs over a background the color of night)

To learn more, please visit the book page for Snow-Swept.

And since word of mouth marketing is so powerful for an indie author like me, don’t forget to tell a friend or share on social media!

I came up with the idea for this story in a weekend and I’m so excited to share it with you all. This may just be a novelette, but it’s jam-packed with heart and emotion. I really hope you’ll love it!

Cheers!

CKB

Find your next Kindle Vella read!

The first Potions & Passions Kindle Vella promo is LIVE, my friends, and you can find it here. How excited am I?

This promo runs January 8 – February 7, 2023, and has scifi, fantasy, romantic fantasy and fantasy romance (aka romantasy!) titles. With 18 stories and 13 authors to choose from, the BookFunnel page will help you find your next Kindle Vella read!

You’ll also find my stories Stone Circles: A New Fairy Tale (based on Irish myth) and A Court of Swords and Sugar Plums (which I describe as The Nutcracker meets The Cruel Prince).

This is my first time creating a BookFunnel promo, and I look forward to helping everyone find some new Vella readers. As Vella authors, we’re usually scouring Facebook posts for readers with tokens to burn and interest in what we’re writing, so I think this makes a lot more sense for writers and readers both!

Wondering what the heck Kindle Vella is?

Potions & Passions Kindle Vella BookFunnel Promo January 8-February 7, 2023
Potions & Passions (Kindle Vella) inaugural promo

Kindle Vella is an Amazon platform for serial storytelling.

If you’ve never checked out Vella before, there’s a good chance you have some free tokens just waiting for you to claim them. Besides that, the first three episodes of every Vella story are always free to try. Pretty cool, right?

Every episode costs a certain number of tokens, depending on the length. As readers, you can like, follow (and even favorite, if you have paid tokens) the stories you love, so Vella incorporates a bit of social media into its platform in that way. You can still review stories, too!

Vella authors often break their stories up into “seasons,” which they may break up into separate stories (or not). Anastasis Blythe, whom I’ve interviewed and reviewed ARCs from, is a prolific romantic fantasy author on Kindle Vella, but there are LOADS of authors and genres to choose from. 

The only downside is that this is still a relatively new platform, so it’s only available to US Amazon users. (I know, I have quite a bit of readership outside the US, but authors always have the option of publishing their stories 30 days after removing them from Vella, which IS my plan).

That’s all for now!

Cheers,

CKB

We’re going on break!

The C.K. Beggan Bookish Blog is going on a break!

I need some time to catch up on some writing projects…plus I plan to migrate the book blog to its own site! (The current blog will become my author blog.) In the meantime, I’ll be taking some time off.

I hope you’ll join me at the revamped blog in 2023.

Cheers to you and yours, and a very Happy New Year!

-CKB

The Lily Gate review

A Review of The Lily Gate, by Hanna Sandvig

(Fairy Tale Romances #1.75)

YA Short Story, Fairy Tale Retelling, Romantic Fantasy

The Frog Prince retelling, clean fantasy, clean romance

What a cute the The Frog Prince retelling! This story is sweet to its bones and has a classic YA feel, and features non-magical trials for the princess’s hand.

Part of the fun of this short read is how obvious the identity of the frog is…to everybody but the main character. I also appreciated that the couple in this romantic story get time to fall in love, plus all the magical details of the setting. Fans of baking competitions will appreciate all the choux pastries, too!

This was a fun, adorable lower YA read.

My rating:
5/5
The Lily Gate mockup with candles

Oathbound review

A review of Oathbound, by Victoria McCombs (an image of the book, a vivid red rose with a sword through it, on a background of choppy ocean waves)

(The Royal Rose Chronicles #1)

YA fantasy, pirate fantasy adventure, romantic fantasy

Favorite quote: “‘Do you see how he looks at her as if he’s found a priceless pearl inside an oyster?’ Heat flooded my cheeks. I had noticed that.”

Note: I received a copy and this is an honest, voluntary review.

This book just got better and better as it went along!

Early on, Oathbound feels like historical fiction more than fantasy. Though it was on the slower side, I felt like I was on the Royal Rose. But the magic was still missing for me. Then came the magical creatures (and one creepy ghost ship) on the high seas. This book became a page turner for me from that point on.

The romance subplot is woven throughout the story and in the “friendship” between narrators Emme and Arn. It’s so lovely and subtle, a true slow-burn that goes beyond two friends having that conversation. With Emme’s distrust of pirates, Royal Rose captain Arn has a lot to prove.

I loved all the side quests and intrusions by magic and ghosts. Emme is also dealing with a congenital degenerative disease, so we see her struggling with mobility. Note that this book ends on multiple wicked cliffhangers. I can’t wait to read book two!

My rating:
4.5/5
A mockup of Oathbound, with a vivid red rose with a sword through it, on a background of a fuzzy white blanket, a candy cane, a pillar candle, a sparkly fake poinsettia, a snowman, a Himalayan salt votive, some stones and mini Christmas lights