#5OnMyTBR – White Cover

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!


Hello, reader!

Happy Monday and Martin Luther King Jr day for those in the United States. I’ve spent the day with my family, playing with our puppy and generally relaxing as much as possible. It’s been really nice taking time to just unwind. Now it’s time to get to my 5 On My TBR post for the day! This week’s theme focuses on books with white covers. I have a surprising amount of white books on my TBR, so picking out five that I wanted to feature was… a bit tough, lol. But here are five books on my TBR with white covers that I can’t wait to pick up!


#1. The Burning God by R.F. Kuang

This one is kind of a no-brainer. After being destroyed in 2020 by The Poppy War and starting 2021 being destroyed by The Dragon Republic, this book is very high on my TBR! Because I like pain, apparently. Seriously, though, this series has been incredible, so far, and I can only imagine what this final installment has in store. Beyond heartbreak. I know there will be heartbreak. I’m sure to get to this one sooner rather than later.

#2. Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston

Though admittedly the cover that I actually own isn’t white, I had to include this book on my list! This is one of those “That cover is so pretty I have to read it” books, lol. It sounds like something I would love, though. There’s a mysterious woods and adventure, so I’m in! I haven’t really heard a lot about this book from my bookish friends, so I’m going into this not knowing what to expect, but I’m excited to give it a try!

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First Lines Friday #4

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!

We’ve made it to Friday and, even though I’m working this weekend, I’m pretty stoked! This week has been such a blur it feels like. Partly because I got my first dose of the Covid vaccine on Tuesday and one of the possible side effects is fatigue. I’m tired all the time anyways, so of course the one side effect I get makes me even more sleepy! I was a zombie all day Wednesday and have slowly been getting back to normal. Still, I’m excited to be on my way to being vaccinated!

Annnnyways, let’s get to the post, shall we? For today’s First Lines Friday, I’ve picked a middle grade that has recently captured my imagination. All of you that are a part of the Middle Grade Marvels group will instantly know what I’m talking about 😉 For everyone else A) you should totally come join us and B) let’s see if you can guess which book it is!


The Line(s):

“The prisoner gazed out her window. It was one of four in Crowstone Tower, the tall stone cage in which she was being held.
Here, if she kept her eyes up, she could pretend that the prison walls far below did not exist, and that she was looking upon the world from a castle, or perhaps a mountain.
But today she was done with make-believe; pretending she was in a dream, pretending someone was going to save her.”


Any Guesses?

This is a middle grade fantasy featuring three sisters…

…three magical items…

…and a family curse

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Blog Tour: Fly Free by Allison Rose

Hello, reader!

Welcome to my first blog tour of 2021! It seems fitting that my first tour would be with the first tour company I ever joined. Storytellers on Tour does a fabulous job of highlighting indie fantasy and science fiction writers and I’ve always enjoyed working with them. Those are two of my favorite genres, after all! Today on the blog, I’ll be highlighting a fantasy story focused on the twisty world of faeries called Fly Free.

Before I jump into my post, I want to thank Storytellers on Tour and the author, Allison Rose, for providing me with a free copy of her book in exchange for participation with this tour! It was much appreciated, as always! I’m only one stop on this tour, of course. There are a lot of incredible bloggers and Bookstagammers participating from January 10th – 16th! You can check out the banner below to see the schedule or click it to be taken to the SoT website where links should be available.


Synopsis


“In the land of Faerie, lies are easily disguised as truths.

They were raised like sisters, the heir to the Court of the Day and her guardian.

And as rebellion darkens the land of the Day—and the faeries of Court fall under a dark magic that disconnects them from the land, dooming them to a slow, agonizing death—they will question all they know to be true.

Sevelle, the Light of the Day, is destined to rule one day. She possesses a rare form of magic, the ability to heal the powerful connection between faeries and the magic in the land, the connection that gives them life—if only she could figure out how to use this magic, or even find it within herself.

Jae lives in the shadows, watching over Sevelle as her guardian and listening to the whispers of Court brought to her by the winds. She longs for a life outside of Court, but knows her duty to Sevelle is more important than her own desires.

But when an unexpected proposition comes from none other than Lex, son of the rebel leader, Sevelle and Jae realize their lives will never be the same—and that evil may be within their own court more so than in the rebels that oppose them.

Walking paths far different than they imagined separates the sisters, but then a secret is revealed that may break them apart forever.

Fly Free is the first installment of the Light of Faerie series. Enter a land of magic in the midst of a power struggle, where all is not as it seems and love may be found in the most unlikely places.”

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#5OnMyTBR – Graphic Novels

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!


Hello, reader!

It’s time for my first 5 On My TBR of 2021 😁 I was pretty excited when I saw the theme for this week because it’s a genre that I’ve been getting into more and more lately. We’ll be talking about graphic novels! I was almost afraid I wouldn’t be able to do this post, though, because my TBR is woefully lacking. I literally only have five graphic novels currently on there, lol. I would like to blame the fact that, as I mentioned, I’m newer to the genre and I’m still getting a feel for what I like. That being said, I am totally up for any suggestions you all might have!

As it is, here are the five graphic novels that have already made the list.


#1. V for Vendetta by Alan Moore, David Lloyd (Illustrator)

I’ve definitely mentioned this graphic novel on the blog before. I’ve wanted to read it since seeing the movie and discovering that it existed! I had no idea it was a thing before the movie. I also enjoy the story and the art looks like something that will appeal to my tastes. I’m not really sure what’s prevented me from picking this up before now. Besides my massive TBR of books I can’t possibly get through before I die, lol. Perhaps I’ll try and make it more of a priority this year. I do want to delve into the graphic novel genre more!

#2. Bloom by Kevin Panetta, Savanna Ganucheau (Illustrator)

I will fully admit that I saw pictures of this on someone’s Booktube and immediately wanted to read it just because I liked the art! It’s just so cute and I love the blue tones. That aside, I’ve also heard great things about the story told in the novel. There’s a cute romance and the backdrop is a bakery! This is just built for me to love it. It looks summery, too, which is always a vibe I enjoy. Hopefully I’ll be getting to this one sooner than later.

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First Lines Friday #3

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 my first First Lines Friday of 2021! In an attempt to get on more of a blogging schedule but not burn myself out at the same time, I’ve decided I’m going to try and post at least three times a week. And, having started doing these posts, they are definitely ones I want to keep.

This week’s post is focused on a mystery that I’m rather excited to read. Let’s see if you can guess which one it is!


The Line(s):

“Mrs. Ferrars died on the night of the 16th-17th September — Thursday. I was sent for at eight o’clock on the morning of Friday the 17th. There was nothing to be done. She had been dead some hours.”


Any Guesses?

Seeming as this is a mystery novel, I thought I would drop my own clues to what it may be.

This was written by one of the most famous mystery authors out there.

It is part of a series featuring a famous detective.

Murder is not only in the book, but in the title.


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December 2020 Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

We’ve made it to 2021 and I, for one, couldn’t be happier! I know the changing of the year on the calendar doesn’t instantly mean all the bad things from last year are gone, but I still feel like a weight has been lifted. It’s a fresh new year with fresh possibilities and I’m excited to make the most of it! Before we can move on to 2021, however, it’s time to wrap up my last reading month of 2020.

December was a busy month that had me going a mile a minute. Work was a mile a minute, getting ready for the holidays had me stressed, and we got a new puppy who has been keeping us busy! Thankfully, though, the books I read really ended the year on a high note!


Books Read


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

  1. The Cousins by Karen M. McManus::★★★★★::My review
  2. Check Please Book 2 by Ngozi Ukazu::★★★★
  3. Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston::★★★★★::My review
  4. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia::★★★★★
  5. Winterling by Sarah Prineas::★★★
  6. The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton::★★★★

Challenges


Popsugar Challenge prompts completed: 1

  • A book with a pun in the title (Check, Please Book 2: Sticks & Scones)

Not a strong end to the year, is it 😅 I’ll be going over my 2020 challenge stats in a later post!

Highs and Lows


This is a tough one because I had three five star reads in December! It’s hard choosing the one that I loved the most. As I think about them, though, there is one that stands out just a bit from the other two. They were all incredible, but this book had one of my new favorite characters of all time! My high this month is…

Tristan is such a phenomenal character that I just have to pick his book to be my favorite of December. I’d been wanting to read Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky for quite some time and I’m glad I finally did because it’s now a new favorite. I adored Tristan and I adored seeing legends that featured Black people being retold in this contemporary middle grade fantasy. It was interesting and beautifully written and I really need to write my review because there’s a lot I want to say! I’m so thankful to Middle Grade Marvels for finally compelling me to read this fantastic book.

Funnily enough, my low for the month was also a Middle Grade Marvels read, heh 😅 It was my only three star read last month and, while I enjoyed it, I think it suffered from being read in a month of truly incredibly books. My low this month is…

Like I said, I did enjoy this book, but it didn’t love it as much as I had imagined I would. I liked the story, I thought the plot was fine, and Fer was a great character. At the same time, I wish we had gotten to see more of the magic and been able to see more of Fer after she figured out who she was. The fae magic was the most interesting thing in the book and I felt like we didn’t get nearly enough. Still, since this is the beginning of a series, I am interested in continuing as I think we’ll get more of that in the subsequent books.

Reflections


2020 was… a year and I feel like December was a concentrated dose of all the insanity we’ve experienced throughout the year. I’m so glad that, overall, my reading was an incredible escape! I read so many fantastic books in the last month of 2020 and I’m thankful I ended my reading year on such a high note.

Now, I didn’t do so hot with the challenges this month and I didn’t read a ton. And I may have headed into January feeling a little burnout and slumpy, but that had nothing to do with the quality of the books. I think that was due to my trying to do ALL THE THINGS at the end of the year. Though I never officially stated I was doing Blogmas, I was trying to post every day before Christmas. I almost got there, too! I pushed myself a little more than I probably should have and, as a result, I entered the last week of 2020 and the first week of 2021 not wanting to write anything. I think I’ve rounded the bend and am feeling the blogging love again, though! Going into the new year, I need to find a posting schedule that will keep my blog lively, but won’t make me want to hide from my laptop 😂

Overall, I think this was a pretty stellar reading year. I read a ton of great books and I became more active in the bookish community. I met some fantastic people and discovered the joy of buddy reads. Although 2020 was a bit of a dumpster fire, I will always be thankful for the books and the bookish community because they made this year pretty great 💖 Now on to 2021!


How was your reading in December? Did you find a new favorite? Make any progress on some challenges? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

Year End Wrap Up: Five Star Predictions

Hello, reader!

Happy New Year! I hope your holiday season was amazing and that the first few days of 2021 have been treating you well. I’ve been trying to struggle out of a lovely bout of burnout that hit me right before Christmas. I have all these posts I want to do to wrap up the end of the year and absolutely no energy to do them! It’s really quite frustrating 😅

I’m buckling down today, though, to bring you one of those many posts. In 2019, I did a Top Ten Tuesday all about my five star predictions for 2020. Now, I want to go back to see A) whether I actually read the books I put on my list and B) if I loved them as much as I thought I would!


Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia

Did I read it?: Yes!

My rating: 5 stars

Starting off strong here! I did end up reading and loving this book so much. It was dark and weird and just my perfect kind of book. It also made me want to pick up more of Kate Racculia’s books! You can read my review here!


The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen

Did I read it?: Yes!

My rating: 5 stars

We’re two for two! Though this was a pretty easy prediction as I loved the first book in this series so much. I will say I was nervous about reading this one. I was going in with high expectations and that has the potential to not end well, lol. Thankfully, I needn’t have worried, because this sequel was incredible. You can read my review here!


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Blog Tour Spotlight: A Sparrow Alone by Mim Eichmann

Hello, reader!

Today on the blog, I’m doing something a little different. I’m doing a spotlight for a book on a #TheWriteReads tour! I’m excited to be able to share some information about a beautiful looking book called A Sparrow Alone by Mimi Eichmann. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, stick around for more details.

Thank you, as always, to Dave @ The Write Reads for letting me participate!


Synopsis


“1890’s Colorado. Desperate following her mother’s sudden death, thirteen-year-old Hannah Owens apprentices as domestic help with a wealthy doctor’s family in Colorado Springs. When the doctor declares bankruptcy and abandons his family to finance his mistress Pearl DeVere’s brothel, however, Hannah is thrown into a vortex of gold mining bonanzas and busts, rampant prostitution, and the economic, political and cultural upheavals of the era. Two of Cripple Creek’s most colorful historic characters, Winfield Scott Stratton, eccentric owner of the richest gold mine in Cripple Creek, and Pearl DeVere, the beautiful madam of The Old Homestead, come to life as this old-fashioned, coming-of-age saga unfolds, the first of two historical fiction novels by debut author Mim Eichmann — a tribute to the women who set the stage for women’s rights.”

Book Details


  • Author: Mim Eichmann
  • Publisher: Living Springs Publisher
  • Publication date: April 15th, 2020
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Age group: Adult

Book Links

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

Author Details


A graduate from the Jordan College of Music at Butler University, in Indianapolis, IN, Chicago-based author Mim Eichmann has found that her creative journey has taken her down many exciting, interwoven pathways as an award-winning published lyricist and songwriter, professional folk musician, ballet choreographer and now, historical fiction author. Her debut historical fiction novel, “A Sparrow Alone”, published by Living Springs Publishers on April 15, 2020, has met with extremely enthusiastic reviews and “Muskrat Ramble” which will be published on March 23, 2021, is its much-anticipated sequel.

Author Links

Website::Twitter


If the synopsis intrigues you, definitely consider checking this book out! It sounds like it could be an interesting read!

Year End Wrap Up: Top Ten Books of 2020

Hello, reader!

It has been a minute, hasn’t it? I took a little bit of a Christmas week break. Nothing planned but I was working the holiday and it has been busy because people can’t be bothered to follow Covid protocols 🙃

(For context, I work in a lab that runs Covid tests. I feel like I eat, sleep, and breath Covid at this point.)

All that aside, I couldn’t close out the year without a few year-end posts, could I? 2020 has been… something else, but, mixed up with all the pandemic strangeness and the stress that was the 2020 elections in the United States, I read a lot of fantastic books! That made creating my top ten list a tiny bit difficult, as you can imagine. There are just so many books I loved this year! For the sake of this post (and my typing fingers), I had to make some tough cuts, but just know that this list is by all means not the limit of all the books I adored in 2020. These are just the shining stars that stand out for one reason or another!

Okay, okay… enough with the suspense. Time to show you my favorite books of the year!


#10. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

This is a recent favorite that I haven’t even had a chance to review. I read it as part of the Middle Grade Marvels group and absolutely adored it! It has a mix of humor and heart that I found incredibly endearing. The inclusion of legends that I grew up with, legends that featured people who look like me, made me love it even more! I think my favorite aspect, however, is Tristan Strong. He’s a young, Black boy who is depicted as just that. He has insecurities, he isn’t afraid to be open about being afraid, and we get to experience his joy right alongside his pain. He’s a fantastic character and the reason this book has ended up on my list!


#9. Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

The number nine spot goes to another recent read, though I read this one as part of a blog tour run by Dave @ The Write Reads! Dave is always sending incredible books our way, so I’m not surprised one of them ended up on my top ten list. Even though this won’t be published until 2021, I’m so happy I read it early enough to include it here! This book is absolutely magical. I felt transported to the world in which Amari is searching for her missing brother in a secret society that deals with the supernatural. I loved every bit of this book from beginning to end! And, yet again, we have a book with a young, Black protagonist that isn’t featuring The Struggle. Here’s a book that I would have loved to have a young kid, to see that Black people can have magical adventures, too. You can read my full review here.


#8. All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Books were definitely my shining beacon during this pretty hellish year. One of my favorite moments was being introduced to the wonder that is Murderbot! I read this book during the Trope-ical Readathon for the A.I. prompt and had to resist the urge to complete the entire series! I would die for Murderbot and they would be thoroughly confused as to why, but I would still do it! I loved this novella with all my being and am looking forward to continuing the Murderbot Diaries in 2021. Though I did resist the urge to read them all, I couldn’t resist getting the entire series on my Kindle 😬


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12 Days of Christmas Book Tag

Hello, reader!

There’s just three more days until Christmas and I realized I haven’t done a single Christmas book tag! Thankfully, there is a plethora of them floating around the blogosphere right about now. One that caught my interest was the 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag!

I’ve seen it on quite a few blogs that I follow, but it was originally created by  Lizzie Loves Books. It’s based on the song “12 Days of Christmas” and you have to pick a book for each of the days. It looked like a lot of fun, so I decided to give it a go! Some of the questions definitely had me scratching my head, but I tried to mix it up and mention some books I haven’t talked about a lot on here.

With that said, let’s jump in!


ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE.

The partridge stood alone in the pear tree. What is your favorite stand alone?

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia

Though I’ve mentioned this book on my blog before, I feel like I don’t talk about it nearly enough. It was such a random find that I ended up loving! It’s spooky, it revolves around Edgar Allan Poe, and there’s puzzles! I thought this was such an interesting book and I was completely invested in it from page one until the end. Puzzles in books are the way to get me, I tell ya. This is also one of the few standalones I five starred this year.


ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: TWO TURTLE DOVES.

Love is in the air! Who is your one true pairing?

Kit and Jett from The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton

I’m not a hug OTP person. I don’t tend to read books for romance (excluding romances, of course), but I do enjoy when romance is included. And yet I don’t have a book couple that I would absolutely ride or die for. That being said, I thought the relationship between Kit and her best friend, Jett, was the cutest! It was a nice side story to the main plot and it made my heart happy 💖


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