WWW Wednesday: Aug 4, 2021

It’s time for another WWW Wednesday! This is a bookish meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where bloggers answer the 3 Ws:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

If you’d like to learn more about any of these books, click on the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page.


Current Reads

  • Changeling by Matt Wesolowski: The Six Stories readalong continues! I’ve literally just started this one today and I’m already getting sucked into the story. I already had this one on my Kindle, but I’m really eyeing the audiobook 👀 I just keep hearing such great things about it! Maybe for book four… Anyways, I’m excited to get more into this one and see where it leads.
  • The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo: And then we have a book that’s not even on my TBR for this month, lol. What can I say, I saw it at the library, it’s super short, and one of the librarians said it was awesome. How could I not check it out?? I’ve read just a few pages, so I don’t have any real impressions as of yet, but I’m hoping I’ll love it.
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July 2021 Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

We’ve made it to a new month, which means it’s time to wrap up my reading for the last month! July both flew and dragged by and, though I’m happy we’ve moved on the August, I’m also shocked that it’s already the eighth month of the year. I will say, though, that July was definitely a much better reading month than June! I ended up reading 11 books and I found myself really enjoying all of them! I also got away from the weird reading mood I had been in all of June. I think the fact that I was, for the most part, reading whatever I wanted certainly helped with that. I even picked up a couple books that weren’t for blog tours or buddy reads!

But enough rambling. Let’s take a look at what I got to read in the month of July.


Books Read


Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page

Book: Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

Rating: ★★★★

Thoughts: My Rivers of London readalong with some of the TWR gang continues! This was the most recent full-length novel I read in the series since we’ve started diving into the graphic novels and novellas. I really liked it, though I wish there had been more Nightingale. What can I say? He’s my favorite! Still, this was a solid addition to the series.


Book: Rivers of London: Night Witch by Ben Aaronovitch

Rating: ★★★★

Thoughts: Speaking of Rivers of London graphic novels, this was the next book I completed in July. Though I found myself not loving this one as much as Body Work, I still had a fun time with it. The story just felt a bit disjointed, but, once I got into the flow, I enjoyed the ride. Also, it was interesting learning a bit more about a certain Night Witch.


Book: Gargantis by Thomas Taylor

Rating: ★★★★

Thoughts: Aaahh, I loved this book!! I honestly can’t decide whether I enjoyed this one more than the first book in the series, Malamander. It was such a fun, eerie, exciting read and it made me anxious to snatch up the third book once it comes out. I need more Herbie and Violet adventures!

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Book Review: Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Title: Take a Hint, Dani Brown

Author: Talia Hibbert

Genre: Romance

Source: Borrowed (library)

Content/Trigger Warnings: For a list of content and trigger warnings, please check out BookTriggerWarnings.com

Rating: ★★★★

Book Links:
Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::
Goodreads

One Sentence Synopsis

Dani Brown is a woman focused on academia who doesn’t have time for relationships but, when she asks the universe for the perfect fuck-buddy, she gets more than she bargained for in the university security guard she loves to flirt with, Zafir.

Favorite Quote

“Major or minor, if something keeps you human when pressure makes you feel like a volcano, hold on to that thing by whatever means necessary.”

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Trope-ical Readathon TBR: Round Five

Hello, reader!

As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not usually one to do a monthly TBR. One of the few exceptions to this rule is when I’m participating in a month-long readathon. And one of my favorite readathons happens to be having a round in August! That’s why today’s post is going to be all about my Trope-ical Readathon TBR!

So what is this readathon all about? As I’m sure you can probably guess from the name, it’s where you read books that feature certain tropes. Ya know, like “The Chosen One” or, one of my faves, “found family”. This is a competitive readathon, so the books you read count for a certain amount of points and there are different teams representing a variety of genres. I’m bad at describing the rules, so you can read all about them here!

I had a tough time choosing my team this round because I always tell myself I should rep my fave genre (Team Fantasy!), but I’ve been on the same team the last two times I participated in the Trope-ical Readathon (Team Mystery/Horror/Thriller!). I do love my fantasy, but, once again, I went with the spooky team, lol. Now, there are different challenges for each individual team as well as a group of general challenges for all to enjoy. As I’m not 100% sure I can get through over ten books in one month, I’ve chosen to focus on the team challenges and sprinkle in a couple of books for the general challenges. I have picked a book for each challenge, but we all know I’m not getting to all of them 😂

Alright, now it’s time to show what I’m actually planning to read!


Team Mystery/Horror/Thriller Challenges

As I mentioned, I’m mainly focusing on the challenges for my team. Here are the three books I’ll be reading to accomplish them!

Team Book

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

I can’t express how much I’m excited to read this book! As soon as I saw it as one of the team book choices for Team M/H/T, I knew I was going to be participating this round, lol. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this book and I’ve been craving some more horror in my life. I’ve also not really delved into YA horror, so I’m eager to give this one a go!

“Is It Supernatural?”

Wicked Little Deeds by Kat Ellis

This challenge is focusing on the trope of the characters (and the readers) not knowing if whatever is causing spooky happenings is an actual supernatural baddie or just a Scooby Doo villain. I’m not 100% sure this book counts, but the synopsis does say that our main character starts to wonder if “the local legends are true”, so I think that counts! I’m reading this book for a The Write Reads blog tour and I can’t wait!

“Locked Room Mystery”

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

I’ve been wanting to read something by Lucy Foley for a long time, so I thought this was the perfect time! I suppose this is less of a “locked room” and more of a “stuck on island” mystery, but it counts. The premise makes me think of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, which is my favorite Christie, so I’m hoping to love it. And, if I do, I have a new mystery author to explore!

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Blog Tour: Kings and Daemons by Marcus Lee

Hello, reader!

I feel like it’s been a minute since I’ve done a blog tour post. After having multiple tours every month since the beginning of 2021, it’s weird to have a month where I only have one, lol. My one tour for the month of July is being hosted by the ever wonderful The Write Reads and I’m happy to report that it turned out to be a great time, too! Kings and Daemons by Marcus Lee is a dark fantasy novel that features magic, action, and, as promised in the title, daemons.

Before I get into the post and my review, though, I want to thank Dave @ The Write Reads and the author for providing me with a free e-book in exchange for my participation with this tour. As always, it is very much appreciated!

That being said, let’s get to it!


Synopsis


If you like fantasy tales of conquest, dark kings, daemonic heroes, and magic, you’ll love ‘Kings and Daemons’ by Epic Fantasy author, Marcus Lee. This is a spellbinding Dark Fantasy novel which will enchant you with its plot of ambition, revenge, love, and tragedy. What the gods give with one hand, they take away with the other, for if you are gifted, you shall also be cursed.

—–

Over fifty years have passed since Daleth the seemingly immortal Witch-King, and his army conquered the Ember Kingdom.

Now, with the once fertile lands and its enslaved people dying around him, the Witch-King, driven by his insatiable thirst for eternal youth, prepares his forces to march on the prosperous neighbouring Freestates. It will be the beginnings of a conquest that could destroy nations, bringing death and destruction on an unimaginable scale. Then, when a peasant huntress whose rare gift was concealed from birth is exposed, it sets in motion a chain of events that could alter the destiny of generations to come.”

Book Details


  • Author: Kings and Daemons
  • Series: The Gifted and the Cursed #1
  • Publication date: May 25th, 2020
  • Genre: Dark Fantasy
  • Age group: Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: For a full list of potential content and trigger warnings, check out this book’s page on BookTriggerWarnings.com

Book Links

Amazon::Goodreads

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First Lines Friday #16

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!


Hello, reader!

It’s time once again for First Lines Friday! I’m especially excited it’s Friday because I’m off this weekend, woo! It’s been a busy week and I’m looking forward to some down time. But, first, let’s get to my favorite bookish meme! This week, I’ve chosen a book that I’m really excited to get into. I’m buddy reading it with a group of my bookish friends and it’s also on my Trope-ical Readathon TBR (look for that post coming soon!).

Let’s get to those first few lines, though, before I completely give away what it is, lol.


The Line(s):

“The golden bell above my doorframe bobs twice. I roll my shoulders against the needling ache that settles at the base of my neck whenever that damn thing sounds. After nearly a decade of hearing it, I’ve come to despise the bell’s shrill, tinny clang almost as much as the message it carries: A patron is coming.”


The Hints:

This is a dark retelling of Sleeping Beauty…

… from the perspective of the evil sorceress…

… and it’s sapphic!!


The Reveal:

Click the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page

Goodreads Synopsis

A princess isn’t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this darkly magical retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,” true love is more than a simple fairy tale.

Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who, in an act of vengeance, cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love’s kiss.

You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily-ever-after.

Utter nonsense.

Let me tell you, no one in Briar actually cares about what happens to its princesses. Not the way they care about their jewels and elaborate parties and charm-granting elixirs. I thought I didn’t care, either.

Until I met her.

Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar’s throne. Kind. Gracious. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am Alyce, the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Humiliated and shamed by the same nobles who pay me to bottle hexes and then brand me a monster. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though it was a power like mine that was responsible for her curse.

But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating—and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps, together, we could forge a new world.

Nonsense again.

Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I—

I am the villain.”


Did those first few lines capture your attention? Did they make you want to read the rest of the story? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

The Last Ten Books Book Tag

Hello, reader!

It’s time for another book tag and this one looks like a lot of fun! I’ll be doing the Last Ten Books book tag, which just asks ten questions about some of the last books you picked up. I was tagged by the awesome Danni @ _ForBooksSake what feels like ages ago and I’m just now getting around to it 😅 Danni runs a fabulous bookish blog (where she just surpassed posting every day for the last year!) and she’s also an incredible artist. You should definitely check out her blog when you get the chance. I’m not 100% sure who originated this tag. If you know, please let me know so I can properly credit them.

And now, the questions!


The Questions:

The Last Book I Gave Up On

Heh… please don’t come at me for this one. But it’s definitely Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart.

Look, I haven’t given up on this book, necessarily. But of the books I’m currently reading, this is the one I would reach for last. I don’t think it’s the book’s fault, though. It has a bit of a slow start and I started it during my weird June reading mood, so I just couldn’t get into it. I’ve heard it gets more exciting as you go, so I do plan on finishing eventually. It’s just not on the top of my priority list right now.

So I guess I kind of cheated, but that’s all I got!

The Last Book I Reread

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko! I recently re-read this for two reasons:

  1. I have the audiobook and hadn’t listened to it yet.
  2. I wanted to re-read it before I start the e-ARC for the sequel!

I loved it just as much as I did the other two times I read it. Also, the audiobook was incredible! Makes me want to pre-order the audiobook for Redemptor…. like I need another copy of that book, lol. I really don’t.

…Or do I?

The Last Book I Bought

I just bought a bunch of books because my work gave me an $100 Amazon gift card and I went wild, lol. One of the many books I got was The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass! I’m so excited to read this creepy sounding YA horror! Which may or may not have influenced my team choice for the Trope-ical Readathon, even though you can read any of the team books 😅 I’m just loathe to move away from Team Mystery/Horror/Thriller!

Anyways, this book sounds incredible and I’m excited to read it next month!

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Mini Reviews: Agatha Christie Edition

Hello, reader!

In an attempt to catch up on my vast backlog, I’ve decided to start doing more mini reviews. Especially for books that I’ve enjoyed but didn’t necessarily blow me away. With that being said, I thought I’d start with the madame of mystery herself, Agatha Christie! I’ve been reading the Hercule Poirot books this year with a group of bookish friends and it has been an absolute blast. I really enjoy Christie mysteries, but I love being able to discuss with the group at the end the most. Buddy reads are the best, y’all!

Though we’re deep into our Poirot readalong, I’m only going to review the first three books that I’ve read with the group. Spoiler alert: it’s not the first three actually Poirot books because I may have skipped the short story collection that should have been read number three 😬 I do plan on reading it (at some point…) but probably during a month where I don’t have a ton of blog tours going on. So… maybe in like three months, lol.

Alright, enough rambling, time for the reviews!


Title: The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Genre: Mystery

Source: Borrowed (library)

CW/TW: For a full list of content and trigger warnings, please check out BookTriggerWarnings.com

Rating: ★★★

Links: 
Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

Though this wasn’t the first Hercule Poirot book I read, I think if it had been, it would have been a fabulous introduction to our egg-headed detective. This was a quick and interesting mystery that got the reader familiar with Poirot and his many mannerisms in the best way. I thought the set-up was great and the mystery itself was intriguing. Though I guessed at some things, I still found myself reveling in the reveal at the end. Poirot just has a way with laying everything out that is so much fun! But let’s not forget our favorite bumbling sidekick. This is the first time we get to meet Hastings and, though he can be a bit dense and maybe too preoccupied with a pretty face, I find myself missing him when he’s not around. Christie certainly has a way of getting you attached to her main characters!

Word of warning, there are a couple of racial slurs randomly dropped in this one. Though it didn’t detract from the overall story, it definitely jolted me out of the book for a minute.

That being said, this was a solid read and definitely a solid beginning to the Poirot legacy.

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First Lines Friday #15

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!


Hello, reader!

It’s time once again for another First Lines Friday! But this Friday is a little different as I’m also participating in Self-Published Authors Appreciation Week. The idea for this came from an incredible blogger, Jodie @ Witty and Sarcastic Book Club and it’s been a blast seeing all the posts celebrating authors who sometimes don’t get the recognition they deserve. In the spirit of the week, I’ve decided to feature a self-published author this First Lines Friday. This is a book that is part of a blog tour I’ll be participating in, as well, so keep an eye out for that post later on this month!

But for now, let’s check out the first few lines!


The Line(s):

“The moon shone fiercely, brushing aside any attempt by the clouds to diminish its radiance. Usually, the glow would have brought comfort, a respite from the night’s black embrace, but not this night.
Instead, it brought everything into stark contrast, creating shadows in which evil spirits might lurk waiting to snatch the unwary who were foolish enough to walk the streets at this hour.
Except, there was nobody left to walk these particular streets.”


The Hints:

This is the first book in an epic fantasy trilogy.

It features a huntress who could change the fate of the world.

There’s magic and daemons, so you know I’m sold!


The Reveal:

Click the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page

Goodreads Synopsis

“If you like fantasy tales of conquest, dark kings, daemonic heroes, and magic, you’ll love ‘Kings and Daemons’ by Epic Fantasy author, Marcus Lee. This is a spellbinding Dark Fantasy novel which will enchant you with its plot of ambition, revenge, love, and tragedy. What the gods give with one hand, they take away with the other, for if you are gifted, you shall also be cursed.

—–

Over fifty years have passed since Daleth the seemingly immortal Witch-King, and his army conquered the Ember Kingdom.
Now, with the once fertile lands and its enslaved people dying around him, the Witch-King, driven by his insatiable thirst for eternal youth, prepares his forces to march on the prosperous neighbouring Freestates. It will be the beginnings of a conquest that could destroy nations, bringing death and destruction on an unimaginable scale.
Then, when a peasant huntress whose rare gift was concealed from birth is exposed, it sets in motion a chain of events that could alter the destiny of generations to come.”


Did those first few lines capture your attention? Did they make you want to read the rest of the story? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

Book Review: Red Blood by Kaitlyn Legaspi

Title: Red Blood

Series: Card Holders #1

Author: Kaitlyn Legaspi

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Gifted (author)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Violence, death, blood

Rating: ★★★

Book Links:
Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

One Sentence Synopsis

After years of surviving as a vigilante with superpowers, Neela is forced into a competition to determine who the next ruler of the domain she lives in will be.

Favorite Quote

“Let’s see, to me I guess [the stars] represent the souls of those we’ve lost. Well, the souls of the good people, at least.”
“What happens to the souls of the bad people then?”
“They become part of the darkness the stars shine so brightly against, their punishment being hidden from the eyes of the living humans below.”

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