TAG TUESDAY! The Nightmare Before Christmas Tag

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone’s week is going well so far. As can be expected, the weather here is typical fall: one day sunny and 81, the next rainy and 45. One never knows when its fall in the midwest!! I’m hoping I’ll have the chance to go outside and shoot some photos soon. Fingers crossed! Oh, and here is a link to the creator’s original tag. Here we go…

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1. Sally –loves someone a lot and gets them in the end … The first book that came to mind when I read this prompt was the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. This series, of course, is love triangle central and I won’t give away the resolution of who Alina finally ends up with, but I will tell you there is a lot of wanting and of course, someone(s) gets a HEA.

2. Jack – a character that longs for more … For this one, I’m going to go with Stalking Jack the Ripper. Audrey Rose is always wanting more training, more cases, more reasons to voice her opinions about women’s rights. She is a perfect example of a Jack-like character and how she sometimes got carried away with her wanting.

3. Zero – side kick character … My new favorite is Jacob from Victoria Schwab’s City of Ghosts. First off, I loved this book. Second, Jacob not only saved Cassidy’s life, but thereafter he was her best friend and stuck by her at all times. They understood each other so well and help each other through everything.

4. Oogie boogie – a book with a wicked villain … I’m going to go a little off a limb and go with Geekarella on this one. I finally got around to reading this book this summer and it was so cute and so fun that again, I don’t know why I waited so long! So the ‘wicked villain’ here is Elle’s mom and one of her stepsisters. In this modern world, it is just disgusting and cruel to treat someone the way that Elle is treated.

Regular_Final_-_8-21-20175. Halloween town – a book with a creepy theme … Anna Dressed in Blood. I feel like I don’t need to do a lot of explaining on this one. The title is rather creepy in and of itself. I didn’t love this book, but it was set up for the sequel and by the end of the book, things picked up and I was intrigued by that ending! So maybe someday I’ll get to the sequel.

6. Christmas town – a book that left you feeling warm and fuzzy … All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover. In some ways, this book was a tough pill to swallow. At times, I thought I might be walking away from this book, which is weird for me because I LOVE CoHo. However, by the end, I was crying happy love tears.

557682e7-6ea0-42bb-9a54-e662382233e57. What is this – book that took you by surprise …. I have to say Children of Blood and Bone for this one and here’s why: I was skeptical about the hype around this one. So much so that I almost didn’t even pick it up to read, but I’m so glad that I did! COBAB was so amazingly good and it moved so quickly, I was just in love with it from beginning to end.

So that’s that my friends. If you need some seasonal, bookish entertainment, then I tag you for this book tag! Have fun!!

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October Reads: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

alex-geerts-424409-unsplashOctober is absolutely my favorite month (and tends to be my most motivated month) to read in. I gather the biggest TBR–whether by accident or design–and read as much as I possibly can. I also sign up for as many challenges as I can find….and it seems like there are more challenges around as well. There are spooky challenges, trick-or-treating challenges, movie-themed challenges, classic book challenges, just everything under the sun. And I LOVE IT!!!! So as of now, we’re not even halfway through the month and already I have completely finished two books and I am halfway through another, and more than 100 pages into a monster of a horror novel (Stephen King’s “It”), which I probably won’t finish until next Halloween. Ugh. However, now that I’m decompressed post-wedding for the most part, I am going to be posting more with reviews and what I am getting myself into this fall (there is so much to DO!) and whatever else needs to go into the blog. So without further ado: my first review of the month!

October read number 1 was City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab. I’ve had my copy since it released in late August but I was waiting for October to read it (that, and…uh….wedding). This book was spectacular! City of Ghosts is about a girl named Cassidy, whose beachy summer vacation plans are going out the window because her parents are about to start shooting a ghost hunting show abroad in SCOTLAND!!! Add on top of that the fact that Cassidy can not only see ghosts, but her best friend IS a ghost, and we have the makings of an amazingly fun story!

I am always wary of reading middle grade books for fear that they will be too slow (yes, I realize that I am an adult and I acknowledge that this is a risk that I take…that’s exactly my point here). The book has its moments of defining ‘vocab’ words that a MG reader may not know, but those moments are few and far between. Ultimately, I wasn’t bothered.

43951950_2159170047735147_2880454404434034688_nProbably my favorite part was how Schwab seamlessly wove history into the story as well. In no way does it feel like we’re reading a history novel, but there is so much history all around the characters in Edinburgh and its fascinating to hear about it and even see it! And creepy at times too. I am SO glad I read this book in October. It was the perfect spooky read to kick off the month.

Which leads to my next perk: the spook effect! There definitely was some creep factor in this book! References to hangings, shootings, drownings, etc. I mean, it wasn’t all out gory or violent, but it wasn’t exactly a bedtime story either. The family and camera crew travels to graveyards and what used to be execution grounds and an old prison. I don’t say this to be spoiler-ey, but it these truly freak you out, be warned! Most of it is narrated in a pretty historical way and our ghost friend is always there to coach that its okay to be afraid of things (he’s the scaredy cat in these scenarios).

Ultimately, I can’t recommend this book enough. This is going to be one of those books that I re-read at least once or twice in Octobers to come, and I recommend that you do too. I am so glad to see that this is book #1 of more to come because I can see Schwab setting Cassidy and Jacob and her parents with their show in other historical/ghostly locations and I absolutely cannot wait!!

Book soundtrack: Mordred’s Lullaby by Heather Dale

Game on! I’m back!

Hello! Not that anyone probably missed me but just in case you did….I’m back!! Its been almost a month and I took the time away to do this little thing with my best friend…

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It was, of course, an exciting time and a beautiful day. Everything came together so wonderfully, we really couldn’t have asked for anything more. We (I) did choose to do a lot of things “DIY” so there did end up being quite a bit of work, as well as set-up involved, but again, we were so blessed to have so many people willing to help with tear down so that my husband (I still squeak a bit saying that word) and I could enjoy our night.

So now things are winding down and we’re doing the last bits of getting our lives back on track (I requested a day off work in a couple weeks to get my name changed and do all of that running around). A lot of my reading was put on hold and slowed way down for a month so according to my Goodreads tracker, I am “9 books behind” and that has my blood pressure way up! HOWEVER, Dewey’s 24-hour readathon is coming AND October is usually a big reading month for me so I am optimistic!

That being said, if you are still following me, thanks for hanging in there. I have a couple of reviews to catch up on, and I have already finished one amazing October read so I am excited to get that review up. Until next time…ciao!

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Blog Tour: Escaping Houdini

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Escaping Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalo
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Release date: September 18, 2018
Genre: YA – Historical Fiction, Mystery

Synopsis: Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon | Book Depository

greathoudiniescaperoombackground1Hello, book #3, I am so glad you are finally here!! There are many other small attributes that are appealing about this book right off the bat. Take, for instance the characters and their banter. Thomas and Audrey play off each other so well…or maybe its just Thomas. Second, the setting was so neat. Set on a ship! In my mind I wanted it to be the Titanic, of course, but hey, we can’t always get what we want. Kerri still did a great job. And third, probably the most complex murderer of the series so far. This time around, the murderer is killing his victims and staging them like playing and tarot cards. Fascinating!

And of course, no review would be complete without mentioning….Mephistopheles! He and his mysterious Midnight Carnival crew bewilder audiences, but also inspire suspense. I do wish we would have seen more of Houdini himself. I mean, the man is in the title! Too much to ask apparently.

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14584166Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

Her first novel in this series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.

Check out more reviews from the Fantastic Book Blog Tour Here!

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Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Hands down, favorite book of 2018. So glad I picked it up…I highly recommend it!!

40603053_252614982058477_5801272868566204416_nSo the biggest question surrounding this book–and I know that I am not the only person asking this, because friends in the bookish community have asked me this, and I have seen this discussion multiple times–is: is it worth the hype? My opinion, of course, is ABSOLUTELY! But of course, everyone really must choose for themselves. All hype aside, though, this book grabbed me from the start and had me spellbound all the way through. I loved all of the characters, I loved the magic system, I loved the writing, I loved….EVERYTHING!!! And yes, I almost let hype stop me from reading this but I’m so glad I didn’t! This book is SO worth reading. Plus, Tomi Adeyemi is everything. I love following her on social media. Her soul is in this book, you can just tell. Its just so beautiful. So beautiful.

In case you don’t know much about the book yet, here is a link to the Goodreads summary. I highly, highly, highly recommend you get on reading this one. My mom even read this one and enjoyed it. Hey, Jimmy Fallon recommends it! Ha! So give it a shot (or another shot?) and enjoy!

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Tag Tuesday: Reader Problems Tag

Hi everyone! I am sorry I’ve gone pretty quiet on here! There has been so much activity in my real life. We have sent out all of our wedding invitations and have gone into heavy duty decoration-making mode so things have started getting really busy! But I’m still reading as much as possible and now things will hopefully die down a little bit. In regards to this tag, it was originally created by About to Read.

1. You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next? I’m a mood reader and an impulse reader. Also, based on the release date of ARCs that I need to read for NetGalley or blog tours.

2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed? I’ve gotten better about embracing the concept of “Life is too short to read books that you don’t enjoy.”

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how? The end of the year is always crunch time it seems! I read shorter cozy mysteries and romances. And its really not a burden because I love holiday books!

4. The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope? Cry and whine and buy them anyway and pray that someday they will match!! I hate non-matching covers!

5. Every one and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings? There have to be people out there who also don’t like the book. I will find them!

6. You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal? I will cry. If its cry-worthy, the dam will break and the tears will flow. Probably not as ugly as if I am at home, but it will happen.

7. A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!?!?!? If I truly loved the first book, I will re-read. If a book was just ok and I am about to jump into a sequel then I will probably browse Goodreads and/or my past blog posts and reviews for thoughts.

8. You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask? Give recommendations on places to buy the book at a good price or find ebook bargains.

9. Reading ADD. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump? Keep trying until I find one that hooks my attention. I have this so frequently, I WILL find one eventually.

10. There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy? As much as I want to BUY ALL THE BOOKS, I try to limit it to only buying 1-2 at a time, 3 at the most. Plus sometimes I pre-order books that I really want so there are those also.

11. After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them? I am ashamed to say that usually I get really excited about a book release, go out and buy the book, and then they sit for a long time. I have to finish whatever I’m currently reading, and then I have to wait to be “in the mood” for it.

If you’ve followed my blog, you know how I roll with my tags. If you’re reading this and you’re interested in doing this tag, consider yourself TAGGED!! Just answer these questions on your own blog and link back to my blog and you’re good to go! Hope you’re having a great week!

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BLOG TOUR: These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

52b-2bcover2bwith2btaglineHappy release day to Sara Raasch and her epic new book, These Rebel Waves!! We also know Sara from the Snow Like Ashes trilogy, so here is the start of a new fantasy series about a soldier, a prince, and a raider.

Now, I want to start off right now and address this pirate debate going on. Devereux (or “Vex” as he is known) is the character in question. The synopsis refers to him as a pirate. Thus far in book one, we really don’t see him pirating. We see him ashore, in more of a “raiding” state. In the very beginning, it says he needs to take time to think and form his plan. A guy is allowed to do that right? Ms. Raash can have a master plan up her sleeve and have some pirating saved for later, right?? (I don’t know this for sure, granted, but I can guess!) The very title has nothing to do with pirates…it does say rebel and the book does have a rebellious/outlaw feel going on. So really, while there aren’t really high seas adventures and swashbuckling battles in this book, there is much plot to be read. No gay pirates and rounds of rum or whatever, but I was fine. I didn’t have all of those expectations, I just read many, many, MANY reviews of bookworms who apparently did. Sorry, friends. You set yourself up.

So what did this book have, if not pirates? Well, a trio of very different characters living in a corrupt society in a Jamaican-esque setting of Game of Thrones with a Herbology class from Harry Potter. Our main characters are Vex (previously mentioned off-duty pirate/raider), Adeluna (this daughter of two former revolutionaries turned politicians, we call her Lu), and Benat (Ben for short, the crown prince). Together these three set out to find magic, a missing diplomat, and peace for their country. Along the way, they discover new love, their sexuality, and much about their past.

I admit that it took me a while to get into this book. I was super confused in the beginning because the nicknames were all unfitting to me and I couldn’t keep track of the POV switches. It really took me a while to figure things character-wise and it got a bit frustrating. That being said, though, once I figured things out, everything really fit like a glove. Also, for a fantasy series, I felt that I did expect a bit more adventure and action. There was just so much political and religious drama it took a lot of patience and thought and determination to get through. But overall I thought it was worth it. There was a plot twist and WHOA. Talk about keeping readers on our toes! Loved it!

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks

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Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, the first in a trilogy, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.

Book Soundtrack: “I’ll Fly Away” by Flatfoot 56

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Tag Tuesday: Harry Potter Book Tag

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARRY!! Did you know that today, July 31st, is Harry Potter’s birthday? Yep! Its almost sad that I know that, but I do. Our little hero was born on this day in 1980. So in honor of that, of course I must do a tag in his honor!

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Favourite book – Growing up my favorite book was Prisoner of Azkaban. I still really like that book but now that I’m older I think Deathly Hallows is my favorite. I think it has more depth to it, which I appreciate more.

Favourite movie – Half Blood Prince for sure! Although I enjoy watching Goblet of Fire much more than I used to.

Least favourite book – Chamber of Secrets I think. Probably my least favorite movie as well. Which is a shame because I love Kenneth Branagh!!

37da4a94ad2dfe0a275634a5ed212b8eParts of the books/movies that made you cry – Oh come on! Dobby. The raising of the wands for Dumbledore. Those are the biggest moments.

If you could hook up with any Harry Potter character who would it be? Either of the Weasely twins. 😉

Favourite character – Prof. McGonagall, Molly Weasley, Sirius, Dumbledore

What would your Patronus be? A dog.

Which of the Deathly Hallows would you choose? Wand.

What House would you be in? Ravenclaw.

If you could meet any member of the cast who would it be? Alan Rickman.

lhp1_featuredHave you played any of the video games? Lego Harry Potter for the WIN!!

If you were on the Quiddich team which position would you play? Spectator.

Were you happy with the ending? Yes, minus the “Fifteen years later” part. I hate when authors do that. I just don’t need that in a book….

How much does Harry Potter mean to you? I have many memories associated with the books, the movies, merchandise, and hopefully someday the theme parks. I plan on making more with future children and other family members. I don’t see HP fading from my life anytime soon. ❤

So if you’re reading this and you’re a fan of HP and want to wish him a happy birthday too, or just want to have a bit of fun with this tag, then consider yourself tagged! 😉

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Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton + GIVEAWAY

35720690Heart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns #1)
Publisher: Katherine Teagan Books
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 464

Synopsis: In the ancient river kingdom, touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war. Seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood.

Not women. Demons. The same demons who killed her mother without a single scratch.

But when Mia’s father suddenly announces her marriage to the prince, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Only after the wedding goes disastrously wrong does she discover she has dark, forbidden magic—the very magic she has sworn to destroy.

Goodreads   |   B&N   |   Amazon   |   iBooks   |   Book Depository

The first thing I need to say about Heart of Thorns is that this book is 446 pages long (which I was a little intimidated by at first) but it absolutely flew by! The chapters are relatively short and there is so much action and movement happening from the very beginning. I never felt bored by the characters or the plot, and things never felt rushed. I instantly liked Mia…but then again, any characters who are speaking anatomy and are trained huntresses are pretty awesome in my book. I was a bit concerned about cliche plot-to-escape-marraige-to-the-prince trope, but the bigger picture really is vengence for her mother’s death.

My hat is off to the author, Bree Barton, for doing an excellent job diversifying a medieval fantasy world! I am in awe of your skills! I mean, its relatively subtle, but its there. There are references to different skin colors on the people, different abilities, and different sexualities. Read closely, its there. Thank you, Bree!

So how about the reason we’re all here….the magic. So in this trilogy only women can possess magic and every woman is suspected of having it. The men, of course, view them as demons and teach the children to view this ability as such as well. The overall magic system in this book (without delving too much into things and spoiling everything) is actually tied to a deeper mythology, and boy do we get information about it! Mia, you’re in for an education! Ironically, the magic is also how she ends up meeting (and injuring/healing) the love interest, Quin and then its all downhill from there. Their relationship is honestly one of the most dynamic that I have read in a while. I very much enjoyed it.

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CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY VIA RAFFLECOPTER

  • Hardcover copy of HEART OF THORNS
  • US Only
  • Please read the rules in the Rafflecopter before entering
  • Go to any stop on the tour to enter!!

14112802Bree Barton is a writer in Los Angeles. When she’s not lost in whimsy, she works as a ghostwriter and dance teacher to teen girls. She is on Instagram and YouTube as Speak Breely, where she posts funny videos of her melancholy dog.

On those parting words, I will leave you to decide whether you think this book is worthy of your time. I know I will be picking up book #2 when it comes out. Happy reading!

Book Soundtrack: “Queendom” by AURORA

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#24in48 = One of my FAVORITE read-a-thons is HERE!!

If you follow my blog, you know that I LOVE read-a-thons!! Long, short, genre-themed or general, I just adore them! Just in case you are new to the blogging or bookish world, a read-a-thon (or you might see it abbreviated as RAT) is when we bookworms ‘get together’ for a certain pre-determined period of time and read as much as we can in said time. Some RAT’s have a group or buddy read, some have a theme (Halloweenathon [fall books], Alphabethon [each round they read a different letter of the alphabet]), some do prizes, some are a quick 24 hours and some last a full week or more. I love being part of a community that has a common goal that I love (books!) and then dedicating time to do pretty much nothing but read.

So, what am I reading for this weekend’s 24 in 48? Well, I have several books up on deck. First up, I have two that I am planning on finishing up and those would be The Wicked Deep and Children of Blood and Bone. I am really enjoying both of these so as much as I don’t want these books to end, I am looking forward to knocking these both out!

After that I will be picking up two new books and these will be one new audiobook and one new ebook for a book tour. So these will be Then She Was Gone and Heart of Thorns. Ever since I finished The Last Time I Lied, I’ve been craving more good thrillers so I went right into The Wicked Deep which is spooky and now Then She Was Gone which I heard is a good mystery/thriller and I love the cover! So I’m pretty excited about that one!!

Also, I went to the library today and picked up way more new release YA fantasies than I can chew as well so….who knows what trouble I can get myself into this weekend. Hopefully lots! Let me know if you are participating in this or any other challenges or read-a-thons this weekend….or just what you’re reading! I always love to know! Happy reading!!

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