The Cheesy Goodness Book Tag


Hello, reader!

It’s Thursday and that seems as good a day as any for another book tag! Today, I’m doing one that combines two of my favorite things: books and cheese! Makes me want to whip up a charcuterie board and have a snack whilst reading after I finish this post 😂 But maybe first I should tell you what it actually is… The Cheesy Goodness Book Tag!

Before I start, I must thank two incredible bloggers for tagging me! Shoutout to both Ashley @ Books Are 42 and Danni @ _ForBooksSake for thinking of me! You should definitely check out both of their blogs because they are fantastic. Lots of wonderful, bookish content!

Now, it’s time to get to the tag 😊


The Rules:

  • Pingback the original creator (Sydney at Fire and Rain books) so she can see all your cheesy goodness answers.
  • Pingback the person who tagged you or you stole this from (Thanks Ashley and Danni!)
  • Have fun!

The Prompts:

Cheddar – The Traditional Cheese: Name Your Favorite Classic Novel

Oh, it has to be The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas! I was so nervous about reading this book. Mostly because my experience with classics has been very hit or miss, but also partly because this book is THICK. Eventually, though, my curiosity won out and I picked up the audiobook. I absolutely fell in love with the king of all revenge stories! This was such an incredible novel and it made me want to explore more books by Dumas.


Swiss – A Hole-y Cheese: Name an Emotional Roller Coaster

I just finished Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley yesterday while I was at work. I probably should have held off until I got home because, dear lord, does this book pack a punch! My heart was in my throat for most of the last few chapters, from both joy and sadness. I was prepared for an intriguing thriller that kept me engaged. I was not prepared to have my feelings bounce around like a ping-pong ball 😂 Suffice it to say, I loved this book!


Blue Cheese – The Controversial Cheese: Name an Unpopular Book Opinion You Have

I’m slowly starting to realize that I’m not a fan of e-books 😬 I love the concept of them! I love that they make books more accessible and easy to bring wherever you go. But the actual experience of reading them? No thank you. I don’t know if it’s because I stare at screens all the time and adding one more screen to my routine is too much or if I just really prefer having a physical book in my hand, but they’re definitely my least preferred reading format.


Brie – The Favorite Cheese: Name an Author You Always Want More Of

Top of the list has to be Erin Morgenstern. She has written two of my favorite books of all time. She’s one of the few authors where I read one book they wrote and immediately added them to my ‘favorite authors’ list. And I cannot wait til whatever she’s working on next is announced! I just need more of her beautiful, lyrical writing and the fantastical worlds that she creates. Until then, I’ll just have to re-read The Night Circus and The Starless Sea until my books fall apart 😂

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WWW Wednesday: Jul 20, 2022


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

  • Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid: Not gonna lie, I only picked this book because it’s a book of the month pick for one of my Goodreads groups. Nothing about the synopsis really appealed to me because it sounded like it was just going to be a story of rich people making terrible decisions. Which… it kind of is, but it’s more so a story about family and familial bonds. And I’m kind of loving it!
  • Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert: I started this book yesterday and stayed up way too late because I did not want to stop! I loved the other books in the Brown Sisters series, but this book? This book is top-tier, chef’s kiss, cannot be beat. Eve and Jacob? Jacob and Eve?! I adore them so much and I want nothing but wonderful things for these precious beans. I’m currently deep enough into the book that I am dreading the probable third act breakup because why can’t they just be happy?! I mean… I know they will be in the end, but why can’t they be noooow 😭
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Top 5 Tuesday: Magic Systems


Top 5 Tuesday is a fun, weekly meme that asks you to pick 5 books that fit that week’s theme. It was created by Bionic Bookworm and is currently being hosted by Meeghan Reads. You should check out their wonderful blog for more details and the list of prompts!


Hello, reader!

I’m enjoying a day off this Tuesday and it’s been quite relaxing! I’m loving hanging out with the family and, of course, reading a ton. Now, it’s time for another Top 5 Tuesday! I’m excited for this week’s theme because I get to talk about my favorite magic systems. As a fantasy reader, good magic systems are like my life blood. Of course, it also means I had a hell of a time narrowing this list down to my top five 😂

All that being said, let’s jump into my list!


#1. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

We all knew this was going to be at the top of the list! This blog is a little bit of a Raybearer hype vehicle because I will talk about this book/series at any opportunity possible! That being said, the magic system is one of the reasons I adore this book so much. It was interesting and diverse, with tons of different abilities and a fascinating explanation of how they work. It makes sense, within this world, and I loved it!


#2. The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson

The magic system in the first Mistborn trilogy is one of the most unique ones I’ve ever read! I love that it’s based around different metals and how different metals give different powers. It makes for such an intriguing world. It also makes watching Vin learn all her powers that much more fun. I was definitely never bored as I was reading the first book! I still need to finish this trilogy, but I’m sure the last book will wow me just as much as the first.

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ARC Review: Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid


Title: Juniper & Thorn

Author: Ava Reid

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Genre: Gothic Horror/Fantasy

Content/Trigger Warnings: Gore, body horror, child sexual abuse, cannibalism, antisemitism, xenophobia, physical and psychological abuse, self-harm, suicidal ideation, bulimia, emesis, animal death

Rating: ★★★

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

Goodreads Synopsis

From highly acclaimed bestselling author Ava Reid comes a gothic horror retelling of The Juniper Tree, set in another time and place within the world of The Wolf and the Woodsman, where a young witch seeks to discover her identity and escape the domination of her wizard father, perfect for fans of Shirley Jackson and Catherynne M. Valente.

A gruesome curse. A city in upheaval. A monster with unquenchable appetites.

Marlinchen and her two sisters live with their wizard father in a city shifting from magic to industry. As Oblya’s last true witches, she and her sisters are little more than a tourist trap as they treat their clients with archaic remedies and beguile them with nostalgic charm. Marlinchen spends her days divining secrets in exchange for rubles and trying to placate her tyrannical, xenophobic father, who keeps his daughters sequestered from the outside world. But at night, Marlinchen and her sisters sneak out to enjoy the city’s amenities and revel in its thrills, particularly the recently established ballet theater, where Marlinchen meets a dancer who quickly captures her heart.

As Marlinchen’s late-night trysts grow more fervent and frequent, so does the threat of her father’s rage and magic. And while Oblya flourishes with culture and bustles with enterprise, a monster lurks in its midst, borne of intolerance and resentment and suffused with old-world power. Caught between history and progress and blood and desire, Marlinchen must draw upon her own magic to keep her city safe and find her place within it.

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Get to Know the Fantasy Reader Book Tag


Hello, reader!

It’s Thursday and that seems a good time to do a book tag. And what better tag for a fantasy lover like myself than the Get to Know the Fantasy Reader Book Tag! This is very much inside my wheelhouse 😆 Thank you to the wonderful Becky @ Becky’s Book Blog for tagging me!

Alright, now let’s get into the tag.


The Rules:

  • Make sure you give credit to the original creators of this tag – this tag was originally created by Bree Hill.
  • If you want to, pingback to the post you first saw this tag!
  • Have fun!

The Prompts:

What is your fantasy origin story? (The first fantasy you read.)

I’m sure there were fantasy novels I read before this, like Dahl, but Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede is the first one that I truly fell into. I devoured the Enchanted Forest series and legit made it my entire personality for a looooong time. I wanted to be Cimorene, I wanted to hanging out with the dragons, I wanted to go on adventures. This book/series is what really made me fall in love with fantasy and I still think about it all the time. It really is time for a re-read!


If you could be the hero/heroine in a fantasy novel, who would be the author and what’s one trope you’d insist be in the story?

Ooo, that’s a really good question! Hmm… and kind of hard to answer, lol. I think I would want Jordan Ifueko to write my story because she builds such beautiful, lush worlds. She has a way of writing that is so evocative, so immersive, that you can’t help to lose yourself in her stories. She’s also great at writing the ‘found family’ trope, which is the one I would absolutely insist on in my story.


What is a fantasy series you’ve read this year, that you want more people to read?

Okay, there’s only one book in this series, so far, but I still need everyone to read Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega! This was an incredible middle grade fantasy that I absolutely devoured. It has magic, it has an awesome friend group, and it tackles some pretty tough topics that I’m sure a lot of kids will relate to. I loved the writing in this and the world that Ortega created. My favorite part of this story, however, were our three main characters, Seven, Thorn, and Valley. I can’t wait to continue their story.


What is your favorite fantasy subgenre?

That’s another good question! I would have to agree with Becky and say folklore/mythology retellings. Retellings are some of my favorite stories, especially if it tends to focus on the characters that are usually in the background of such tales. I fell in love with Circe by Madeline Miller for that reason! I’ve also enjoyed Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and, recently, The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec.

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Cover Reveal: The Children of Chaos by Trudie Skies


Hello, reader!

I have a special post for y’all today that I’m really excited to share! Earlier this year, I had the priviledged of being on a blog tour for an incredible gaslamp fantasy that absolutely took my breath away. The Thirteenth Hour by Trudie Skies was one of my first five star reads of the year! It was a compulsively readable, fast-paced whirlwind of a book that I fell in love with completely.

Now, I’m super geeked to help with the cover reveal for the second book in the series, The Children of Chaos! This book picks up right where the last one left off, which is good, because the last book ended with quite the cliffhanger. I’m so eager to get the next book in my greedy, little hands, and, with this cover reveal, I feel one step closer.

But enough of my rambling. It’s time to take a look at the stunning new cover!



Book Links

Amazon::Goodreads

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Top 5 Tuesday: Books Set At School


Top 5 Tuesday is a fun, weekly meme that asks you to pick 5 books that fit that week’s theme. It was created by Bionic Bookworm and is currently being hosted by Meeghan Reads. You should check out their wonderful blog for more details and the list of prompts!


Hello, reader!

It’s time for another Top 5 Tuesday! This week, we’re focusing on books that are set at school. Going through my reads, I realized that, though I love picking up books that have school settings, I truly enjoyed only a handful 😅 That being said, some of my picks may be a bit of a stretch, but I think they work!

Let’s go ahead and dive in!


#1. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I’m sure almost everyone that follows my blog knows what this book is about. We’re following the story of a hero named Kvothe, as told when he is much older and owns an inn. But this first book in the series focuses on Kvothe’s origins and his time at a magical university. So that counts! I loved this book so much. It’s a thick one, but I was found myself flying through the story. It was completely immersive and just such a good time. I really need to continue on with this series.


#2. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

I had to get this series on this list! The first book in the Great Library series definitely focuses on the main character, Jesse, and his time at the training school of the Great Library of Alexandria. I loved following his schooling/training, but the best part was the relationships he developed while there. And the fact that he was totally supposed to be a plant for his black market, book selling family. This is such a great read!

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Down the TBR Hole #34


It’s time for a new round of Down the TBR Hole! This is where I go through my Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ shelf and do a bit of cleaning up. If you want to see the full description of what this post is all about, check out my first round HERE.


Hello, reader!

I may have recently gone on a book adding spree on Goodreads, so I think it’s time for another round of Down the TBR Hole before my ‘Want to Read’ shelf gets too ridiculous 😂 I don’t know what happened… I was just poking around Goodreads and, the next thing you know, my TBR grew from 712 books to 717 books! Which, to be fair, isn’t terrible, but it’ll definitely get out of hand soon if I don’t trim some older books off. Gotta keep that TBR fresh and, conceivably, manageable.

Ya know… if I read a book a day, every single day, for the next few years. Totally doable.


The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare

Ha, I don’t even remembering adding this book to my TBR. Seeming as I removed the one other Cassandra Clare book on my ‘Want to Read’ shelf, I see no reason why I should keep this one around. After all, I probably wouldn’t have much idea of what was going on, even if it’s the start of a new series in the same Shadowhunters world.

Verdict: Remove


The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye

Okay… on the surface, this book sounds like it could be interesting. A woman running from a shady past in the 1920s and ending up at Oregon hotel that has secrets of its own. But then I realized that the main character is white… in a hotel completely populated by Black people… and I get the feeling there’s gonna be a heavy dose of ‘white savor’ syndrome in this story. No thank you.

Verdict: Remove


Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

This science fiction about a creature found after the end of the world has always intrigued me. It seems like it’s going to be a dark tale with intrigue and lots of secrets. That’s the kind of sci-fi that is absolutely my kind of thing! I’ve only read a short story by this author before, but I enjoyed what I read. I’m certainly eager to read a full length novel with his writing. Also, I love this weird cover!

Verdict: Keep


Empress by Karen Miller

I went back and forth on this one. The premise certainly sounds interesting. This book features a woman who escapes slavery and forges her own way in the world. Then I started poking through the reviews and feel a bit more hesitant. I’m not a person who will hate a book just because the main character is unlikeable. The reviews seem to hint, though, that there’s nothing about the MC that makes you want to keep reading the story. But maybe I would like it? I’m intrigued enough to let it stay.

Verdict: Keep


The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick

This book gets an instant point for having on of my top-tier tropes: bookish themes! I love a book that is somehow centered around books and this certainly fits the bill. Our main character receives a book of fairytales from her long-thought dead grandma. Inside is a clue that she might not be as dead as previously believed. This sounds completely charming, so I think I’ll keep it!

Verdict: Keep

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Sundays In Bed With… The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien


Sundays in Bed With… is a meme that dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!


Hello, reader!

The weekend is almost over and it’s a busy one over here. Spent the day hanging out with family yesterday and running errands today. It’s been a busy but fun weekend! Now, I’m planning on spending the evening reading. I’ve recently started Jade City by Fonda Lee and it’s quite the ride already! But the book I’ll be talking about in today’s post is a re-read that I recently picked back up.

That being said, let’s get to the post!


My Sunday Read Is…

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

My husband and I recently picked up a beautiful illustrated copy of this classic novel. We picked it up specifically because we recently watched all of the Lord of the Rings movies and my 8 year old son was enraptured. So we thought he would love getting more of the world through The Hobbit! Now, it’s our evening read as we’re winding down for the day. We just started it yesterday and he seems to be loving it so far! I’m enjoying revisiting this story with my kiddo.

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Mini Reviews: Reading Challenge Edition


Hello, reader!

I am, once again, woefully behind when it comes to writing reviews these days. 2022 has been a busy year with loads of change happening and I’ve found myself with less and less time to sit and write reviews. Though I’ve been reading a ton! Perhaps that is the problem 😂

That being said, I thought I would try and catch up with some of my reviews by talking about three books I’ve finished from one of the year long reading challenges I’m doing in 2022. I’ve not been doing great with my 22 in 2022 TBR, but I’ve checked up a good amount from my 12 friends, 12 recommendations TBR! And, today, I’m going to finally review three of them.


Title: Battle Royal

Author: Lucy Parker

Publisher: Avon

Genre: Romance

CW/TW: Death of a parent (past), abusive familial relationship, emotional abuse (past)

Rating: ★★★★

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


This was such a delightful read! It made me realize that food + romance may just be my thing, because I loved the backdrop of this sweet story. Two rival bakers competing to bake a royal wedding cake while also working together on a hit baking competition is apparently the recipe to win my heart, haha. Not only did I get a cute (and sometimes steamy) romance, but I got to drool over delicious sounding desserts at the same time. Win-win!

I truly enjoyed the chemistry between Sylvie and Dominic, though Sylvie is hands-down my favorite character. Sorry, Dominic… but she has an enchanted forest in her bakery’s basement! That’s a default win! They were both wonderfully written and complex characters, though, and I truly enjoyed getting to know them throughout this book. There were a few plot points that stretched the imagination, but, overall this was a charming and fun romance that left me smiling from ear to ear.

And the steamy bits weren’t half bad, either 😈

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