BBNYA Finalist Spotlight: Mercury’s Shadow by P.J. Garcin

Hello, reader!

Today on the blog, I have a spotlight for our 14th place finisher in last year’s Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA)! Mercury’s Shadow by P.J. Garcin is a science fiction that fought its way through tough competition to make it to the finals. I didn’t get a chance to read it, myself, but it certainly sounds like an adventure! But, before I tell you more about this novel, let me tell you about BBNYA.

BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.  If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website or Twitter @bbnya_official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

Now, let’s get to today’s spotlight!

  • Title: Mercury’s Shadow
  • Author: P.J. Garcin
  • Publication date: July 5th, 2020
  • Publisher: Rawktron Productions
  • Length: 308 pages
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Action Adventure
  • Age group: Young Adult/New Adult


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Top 5 Tuesday: Books by Black Authors

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!

For this week’s Top 5 Tuesday, we have a freebie when it comes to the topic! And since we’re at the beginning of Black History Month here in the States, I thought I would highlight five books by Black authors that I absolutely loved. This was actually kind of tough to narrow down because I’ve loved so many books written by Black authors. All the ones I’m featuring are more contemporary, which makes me realize I really need to expand my reading when it comes to Black authors of the past. Growing up, I feel like all I was ever exposed to were books by white authors, so I missed a lot of great literature. It’s time to rectify that.

All that aside, let me share the five books I’ve decided to feature today!

#1. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

If y’all have been around my blog for any length of time, you’ll probably be well aware of my deep love for this book. I reread it three times the year it came out, which is absolutely unheard of for me! I hardly ever reread and especially not in the same year. That’s how much this fantasy book had me wrapped up in it’s magic. The worldbuilding is top notch and Tarisai remains one of my favorite characters to this day!

#2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This modern classic got me to realize that I could, in fact, enjoy a young adult contemporary novel. I’m sure this is partly the subject matter, but it was mainly Thomas’ incredible writing. She has a way of weaving a story that makes it very difficult to stop reading! I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by her, but this is by far my favorite.

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February 2023 TBR

Hello, reader!

I’m back with another monthly TBR! The fact that I’m continuing with this in February should let you know how well it worked out in January. Spoiler for my January wrap up, but I read everything but two of the books on that TBR and I’m pretty proud of it! I also picked up quite a few books that weren’t on my TBR, but I really think having a structured list to refer to helped keep my reading on track.

That being said, it’s time to keep this TBR train running and let you know what I’m planning to read in February!

  • Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
  • Wildblood by Lauren Blackwood
  • The Guest List by Lucy Foley
  • Love Times Infinity by Lane Clarke (my 12 friends, 12 recommendations read of the month!)
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WWW Wednesday: Jan 25, 2023

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

  • Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson: I’m finally continuing with the A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series! So far, I’m enjoying the second book. I can tell it’s going to pull me in just as easily as the first book did. I had to set it aside to get some tour books read, but I’m eager to pick it back up! I’m only a few chapters in and things are already getting intense. I’m excited to see where this new story goes.
  • Slappy, Beware by R.L. Stine: I’ve finally picked up my first read off of my 12 friends, 12 recommendations TBR! I have all the books on that list in a TBR jar and this was the lucky one I drew out for January. I’m only a couple of chapters in, but the nostalgia is already hitting hard, haha. I was a big fan of R.L. Stine when I was a kid and this is bringing back memories! I don’t think I ever read any of the Slappy books (because evil puppets freak me out…) so it’ll be interesting to see how I like this one compared to the other Goosebumps books I’ve read.
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Top 5 Tuesday: Series I Will Start in 2023

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!

Happy Tuesday to you all. I’m here to bring you another Top 5 Tuesday post! This week is all about series I want to start in 2023 which I have plenty from which to choose, haha. I really should hold off since I’m in the middle of so many series, but I’m not known for making the best choices when it comes to my reading 😂 Besides, the five series I’ve decided to feature are series I’ve been wanting to start for awhile!

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

#1. The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

Robin Hobb is such a talked-about author in the book community and I still haven’t read any of her books! I’ve wanted to read Assassin’s Apprentice for ages, but I’m always intimidated by two factors. One: though this is only a trilogy, there are so many books in the full series of books set in this world. Two: this series seems to emotionally destroy people, haha. Still, this is such an iconic series and I want to know what all the hype is about.

#2. The Binti series by Nnedi Okorafor

I have mentioned I want to try and read more science fiction this year, so of course I gotta include this series about a Black girl fighting aliens. I mean, it’s about a lot more than that and that’s exactly why I want to read it! I’ve also read a few books by this author, now, and I’ve enjoyed every single one. Her brand of sci-fi is always fascinating and I’m excited to discover more.

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Blog Tour: Unanimity by Alexandra Almeida

Hello, reader!

It’s time for another tour run by the wonderful The Write Reads! Today, I’ll be reviewing an ambitious sci-fi that has a fascinating premise: Unanimity by Alexandra Almeida. This was such an interesting read that speaks to a lot of social issues as you flip through the pages, while also pulling you into a digital world that will blow your mind.

But, before I get to my review, I have people to thank. First, thank you to Dave @ The Write Reads and all of the crew for giving me a spot on this tour! Second, thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of the book so that I could participate in this tour. It is, as always, appreciated!

Now, let’s get the post!

  • Title: Unanimity
  • Author: Alexandra Almeida
  • Publication date: October 18th, 2022
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Age group: Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: Suicide, suicidal ideation, blood, violence, murder, substance abuse, torture, physical abuse


The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Shadow is a reluctant god with a broken mind and a death wish. He used to be Thomas Astley-Byron, an affluent young screenwriter whose creativity and idealism saved a world from the brink of collapse. Together with Henry Nowak, an AI expert, Tom created heaven on earth by inventing a Jungian simulated reality that helps humans confront their dark sides. The benevolent manipulation platform turned the two unelected leaders into beloved gods, but now everything is failing. The worlds suffer as a sentimental Tom descends into his own personal hell, becoming the embodiment of everything he despises and a shadow of his former self.

His journey from an optimistic, joyful Tom to a gloomy Shadow is paved with heartache and sinister interference from emerging technology. Humans and bots fight for his heart, but their aims differ: some want to own it, some to dissect it, and others to end its foolish beat. Still, the biggest threat comes from within—none of the sticky stories that steer Tom’s life end well.

Who’s pulling on Shadow’s heartstrings? Are their intentions malign or benign? It’s all a matter of perspective, and Shadow has none left.

Now, a young goddess—Estelle Ngoie—has been appointed to replace him, and unlike Shadow, Stella takes no prisoners, and her heart bleeds for no one.

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New Year’s Book Tag

Hello, reader!

It’s time for my first tag of the new year! I’m going to try to keep up with these in 2023 because I very much failed to do so in 2022 😅 This tag seems to be a perfect one for a fresh start. It’s the New Year’s Book Tag and I was tagged by the wonderful Ashlee @ Books Are 42. If you haven’t checked out her blog before, I highly suggest you do!

Alright, now let’s get to the tag!

How many books are you planning to read in 2023?

My goal for this year is my most ambitious yet. I’m hoping to read 100 books this year! I think it’s totally doable as I’ve read over 100 books the last two years. It’s still daunting to see that number sitting on my Goodreads homepage 😂

Name 5 books that you didn’t get to this past year but want to make a priority in 2023.

Hahaha, there are so many books that I wish I had gotten to last year. I had two whole TBRs that I left… quite a few books on. I would love to get to all of the books that were left behind, but these five are ones I am going to try and prioritize in 2023.

What genre do you want to read more of?

I’d like to continue my romance journey and delve more into the genre! I’ve really only been reading rom-coms, so far, and I wouldn’t mind dipping my toes into different romances. If I don’t like them, I can just retreat into my fluffy, rom-com world 😂 I’d also like to make a conscious effort to pick up more science fiction this year! I feel like I’ve been ignoring the SF side of my SFF roots, lately, and I want to get back into it.

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January 2023 TBR

Hello, reader!

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know that I don’t typically do TBRs. Mostly because I’m a mood reader and I had convinced myself that TBRs are not my thing. I discovered last year, though, that any month where I actually made a TBR (typically for a readathon) I not only read more, but I found it less daunting when deciding what to read next. So… dare I say that I might be jumping on the TBR train?

Well, clearly I am, else this post wouldn’t exist 😂

I’m excited to give TBRs a go in 2023 and see if it helps me to reach my bookish goals for the year. Now, I’m gonna say right now that there may be more books on this TBR than I’ll actually be able to get to in January, but I’m going to give it my best shot! And if I don’t manage to read them all, I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

All that being said, let’s get to what I’m hoping to read in January!

  • Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake
  • What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher
  • Slappy, Beware! by R.L. Stine (my 12 friends, 12 recommendations book of the month)
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First Lines Friday #68

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 (I cheat a little bit here *cough*)
  • Finally… reveal the book!

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

Hello, reader!

Welcome to my first First Lines Friday post of 2023! Today, I’m featuring a book that I’m reading for a tour hosted by The Write Reads. The synopsis sounds like it’s going to be intense, so I’m excited to get into it!

But first, let’s see if the first few lines can capture my attention.

The Line(s):

“No one should live past hope, and he was ready to die. The girl screamed as he walked away, death struggling to cull so much life, and so her agony lingered, and so did her screams.”

The Hints:

This is a science fiction that sounds heavy (check TWs!).

It will be my first indie published book of the year.

It features AI, virtual reality, and gods.

The Reveal:

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December 2022 Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

As we start to settle the new year, I figured I would wrap my last month of reading in 2022. Honestly, December was a bit of a blur for me. Mostly because of the holidays but also because I was trying to squeeze in books that I needed to read! This is why I need to stop procrastinating on my BBNYA reads… I love being a panelist but I really need to plan better 😂

Either way, I think that’s why my December reading felt a little all over the place and frazzled. I didn’t read nearly as much I did for most of the year and the ratings fluctuated a bit more, but I still had a good time. And I will say that I closed out the year with an absolute winner!

That being said, let’s jump into the wrap up.

Books Reads

  • The Reaper’s Quota by Sarah McKnight: This was my first BBNYA read for the final round. I don’t want to talk too much about it because there will be tours coming up for all our finalists, but I found myself really enjoying this book! It was interesting, dark, and humorous in the best way. It didn’t blow me away or anything but it was definitely a solid read. Stay tuned for my more in-depth thoughts once the tours begin! ★★★
  • Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead: I’m not a big historical fiction reader, but I continue to enjoy pretty much any historical fiction that Colson Whitehead writes. This book is no different! It focuses on a Black furniture salesman in Harlem during the 1960s and his fall into (and rise from) a life of crime. I loved following Carney on his journey and getting to know the varied personalities he runs into throughout this book. And I didn’t realize this was the first in a series, but I’m excited to give the next one a read! ★★★★
  • Lesser Known Monsters by Rory Michaelson: This was my second BBNYA read for the final round and I loved it! Again, I don’t want to talk too much about it because I want to save it for the tour, but this book totally sucked me in. I have so many angry notes about people being mean to Oscar, so you know I was invested in his story 😂 He is such a compelling character with flaws and nuances that makes him feel so real. I’ll tell y’all more once the tours start, but I highly recommend this one if you enjoy horror and would love to read one with strong LGBTQIA+ representation. ★★★★
  • Inheriting Her Ghosts by S.H. Cooper: And then I read my final BBNYA read for 2022 and it smashed it out of the park! I adored this gothic book so much! First of all, the main character is a middle aged woman and I’m here. for. IT. Second, she has two huge dogs that are her constant companions and I would die for them 😭 You know I’m going to be gushing about this book when the tours swing around, so stay tuned! ★★★★★
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