Hauls

Book Haul: November 2020

Book Haul

Good Morning.

I decided to start doing book hauls again as a way to help keep myself accountable. The only way that I am going to be able to work on fixing my habits is if I have some kind of checks in place. In the month of December I received 3 books from authors, 2 books as gifts, I grabbed 1 for free, I was approved for 1 on Netgalley, 2 from subscription boxes, 2 were preorders, and I purchased 14.

I took some books and sold them this month so I used that to justify purchasing more than I probably should have.

Received from Authors/Publishers

The Joy of Christmas Present by L.G. Rollins | (A Dickens of a Christmas Book 2) | Regency Romance, Proper Romance, Christmas Story | Add to Goodreads

Helena Spencer will never forgive the Earl of Chapman for snubbing her so publicly. It wasn’t her idea that they get married, after all. She was practically a bystander to the whole debacle, yet she alone bore the brunt of society’s judgment. Snubbed by an earl? She’d likely never recover. But then she finds herself at the same holiday house party with Lord Chapman. What a way to ruin Christmas.

After his father’s sudden death, Lord Chapman had little choice but to step into a life he hardly felt ready for. He quickly learned that everyone had opinions about how an earl’s life should look, even the aging relative who tried to marry him off to a woman he’d never even met. Now he had to spend Christmas at a house party with his mother and sisters? What a wretched way to spend the festive season.

With their shared history, Helena and Lord Chapman are unlikely friends. But when circumstances continue to throw them together, Helena presses the earl to help repair the damage he inflicted on her reputation by aiding her attempt to snag a husband from among the gentlemen at the party. The only trouble? Lord Chapman is falling for Helena’s charms himself. Would that she allow the gentleman that wins her heart to be him.


The Peace of Christmas Yet to Come by L.G. Rollins | (A Dickens of a Christmas Book 3) | Regency Romance, Proper Romance, Christmas Story | 5 Stars | Add to Goodreads

Miss Martha Cratchit is barely making ends meet. As a woman who once belonged to high society, options to secure a better income are limited. Blessedly, the aging vicar agrees to pay Martha if she will clean the church house for him. He even agrees to keep her employ a secret, allowing her to keep what little standing she has left in society. Hopefully, the coin she earns will be enough to keep her and her two brothers housed and fed. It is a tenuous plan, but it is all she has.

Peter De Ath, Duke of Pembroke, hates everyone and everything; he has no qualms with his reputation as the Silent Duke. He’s been alone nearly all his life and is content to remain so. All he needs is a few minutes a week, alone in the church house, to commune with the one being who won’t judge him for his incurable stutter.

When a wisp of a young woman stumbles upon him in the church house, Peter finds his solitude shattered. Martha, for her part, is far too terrified of the Silent Duke to wish herself anywhere but far away from him. But fleeing isn’t an option; the cost of caring for her ailing grandfather is growing and she’s running out of options. It seems this Christmas may be the one that finally breaks her family apart.


Soothsayer by Kathryn Amurra | Ancient World Historical Romance | Add to Goodreads

Aurelia has always valued love and happiness over titles and power. Though her kind-hearted father has allowed her to turn away suitor after suitor in pursuit of a love she cannot yet define, when he dies her choices die with him. Knowing that marrying the elderly governor of a neighboring province can secure her mentally challenged brother’s safety, she gives up on her dream of finding love in return for his protection.

Cassius is the ill-fated captain of the governor’s guard tasked with escorting the Lady Aurelia and her unpleasant aunt to the governor’s estate. Since the soothsayer Tullia foretold an early death for him, Cassius wants nothing more than to keep his hands busy with labor and his heart free from any connections to the world he believes he will be leaving soon. As they work through a series of misfortunes on the road to the governor’s province, the words of the soothsayer start to make sense, and together they find the courage to allow their true destiny to unfold.


Free

The Empress by Laura Martínez-Belli | Historical Fiction | Add to Goodreads

It’s 1863. Napoleon III has installed a foreign monarch in Mexico to squash the current regime. Maximilian von Habsburg of Austria accepts the emperor’s crown. But it is his wife, the brilliant and ambitious Princess Charlotte, who throws herself passionately into the role. Known to the people as Empress Carlota, she rules deftly from behind the scenes while her husband contents himself with philandering and decorating the palace.

But Carlota bears a guilty secret. Trapped in a loveless marriage, she’s thrown herself into a reckless affair. Desire has blinded Carlota to its consequences, for it has left her vulnerable to her sole trusted confidante. Carlota’s devious lady-in-waiting has political beliefs of her own—and they are strong enough to cause her to betray the empress and join a plot to depose her from the throne. As Carlota grows increasingly, maddeningly defenseless, both her own fate and that of the empire are at stake.

A sweeping historical novel of forbidden love, dangerous secrets, courtly intrigue, and treachery, The Empress passionately reimagines the tragic romance and ill-fated reign of the most unforgettable royal couple of nineteenth-century Europe during the last throes of the Second Empire.


Rose Petal Graves by Olivia Wildenstein | (The Lost Clan #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Founded two centuries ago by a powerful tribe of Gottwa Indians, Rowan was a quiet town, so quiet that I fled after graduation. Staying away was the plan, but Mom died suddenly.
Dad said she suffered a stroke after she dug up one of the ancient graves in our backyard, which happens to be the town cemetery. Creepy, I know. Creepier still, there was no corpse inside the old coffin, only fresh rose petals.
As we made preparations for Mom’s burial, new people began arriving in Rowan, unnervingly handsome and odd people. I begged them to leave, but they stayed, because their enemies—my ancestors—were beginning to awaken. 

Netgalley

The Princess and the Rogue by Kate Bateman | (Bow Street Bachelors #3) | Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

A princess in disguise is forced to live with a rogue in order to protect her from danger in this fun, sexy regency romance.

Bow Street agent Sebastien Wolff, Earl of Mowbray, doesn’t believe in love―until a passionate kiss with a beautiful stranger in a brothel forces him to reconsider. When the mysterious woman is linked to an intrigue involving a missing Russian princess, however, Seb realizes her air of innocence was too good to be true.

Princess Anastasia Denisova has been hiding in London as plain ‘Anna Brown’. With a dangerous traitor hot on her trail, her best option is to accept Wolff’s offer of protection―and accommodation―at his gambling hell. But living in such close quarters, and aiding Wolff in his Bow Street cases, fans the flames of their mutual attraction. If Anya’s true identity is revealed, does their romance stand a chance? Could a princess ever marry a rogue?


Subscription Boxes

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson | History, True Crime | Add to Goodreads

Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book’s categorization to be sure that ‘The Devil in the White City’ is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair’s construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor.

Burnham’s challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous “White City” around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair’s incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, and Thomas Edison.

The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World’s Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims.


These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong | (These Violent Delights #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings | Add to Goodreads

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.


Preorders

A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova | (Married to Magic #1) | Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

The elves come for two things: war and wives. In both cases, they come for death.

Three-thousand years ago, humans were hunted by powerful races with wild magic until the treaty was formed. Now, for centuries, the elves have taken a young woman from Luella’s village to be their Human Queen.

To be chosen is seen as a mark of death by the townsfolk. A mark nineteen-year-old Luella is grateful to have escaped as a girl. Instead, she’s dedicated her life to studying herbology and becoming the town’s only healer.

That is, until the Elf King unexpectedly arrives… for her.

Everything Luella had thought she’d known about her life, and herself, was a lie. Taken to a land filled with wild magic, Luella is forced to be the new queen to a cold yet blisteringly handsome Elf King. Once there, she learns about a dying world that only she can save.

The magical land of Midscape pulls on one corner of her heart, her home and people tug on another… but what will truly break her is a passion she never wanted.

A Deal with the Elf King is a complete, stand-alone novel, inspired by the tales of Hades and Persephone, as well as Beauty and the Beast, with a “happily ever after” ending. It’s perfect for fantasy romance fans looking for just the right amount of steam and their next slow-burn and swoon-worthy couple.


Never Call Me Vampire by Tamara Grantham | Paranormal, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The world calls him vampire.
But that’s not who I know. He’s my fellow patient at Crimson Hollow, a facility for those infected with the vampire virus. He’s lived for more than a century and been called many things. Vagabond. Circus freak. Prisoner. Murderer. Now he’s the world’s most famous person. He receives blood transfusions to stay conscious and rarely leaves the facility. He’ll never be free. Except in death.

And that was what he wanted…until I arrived. All I wanted was a cure. I wasn’t planning to fall in love.

He knows too much about my secret. And I’ve learned too much about his past.
Someone is plotting to unleash a serum that will destroy the entire world as we know it. But to save everyone—we must sacrifice ourselves.

They call him vampire. But only he knows his true nature

And I may never be prepared to accept it. 


Purchases

Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan | (Gods of Blood and Powder #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

An epic newfantasy series from Brian McClellan, set in the world of his wildly popular Powder Mage trilogy.
A world on the cusp of a new age…
The young nation of Fatrasta is a turbulent place — a frontier destination for criminals, fortune-hunters, brave settlers, and sorcerers seeking relics of the past. Only the iron will of the lady chancellor and her secret police holds the capital city of Landfall together against the unrest of an oppressed population and the machinations of powerful empires.

Sedition is a dangerous word…
The insurrection that threatens Landfall must be purged with guile and force, a task which falls on the shoulders of a spy named Michel Bravis, convicted war hero Mad Ben Styke, and Lady Vlora Flint, a mercenary general with a past as turbulent as Landfall’s present.

The past haunts us all…
As loyalties are tested, revealed, and destroyed, a grim specter as old as time has been unearthed in this wild land, and the people of Landfall will soon discover that rebellion is the least of their worries.


Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang | Historical Fiction, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

New York City, 1899. Tillie Pembroke’s sister lies dead, her body drained of blood and with two puncture wounds on her neck. Bram Stoker’s new novel, Dracula, has just been published, and Tillie’s imagination leaps to the impossible: the murderer is a vampire. But it can’t be—can it?

A ravenous reader and researcher, Tillie has something of an addiction to truth, and she won’t rest until she unravels the mystery of her sister’s death. Unfortunately, Tillie’s addicted to more than just truth; to ease the pain from a recent injury, she’s taking more and more laudanum…and some in her immediate circle are happy to keep her well supplied.

Tillie can’t bring herself to believe vampires exist. But with the hysteria surrounding her sister’s death, the continued vampiric slayings, and the opium swirling through her body, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for a girl who relies on facts and figures to know what’s real—or whether she can trust those closest to her.


Mortmain Hall by Martin Edwards | (Rachel Savernake #2) | Historical Fiction, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

Next in the Rachel Savernake series, perfect for fans of the Golden age of mystery and readers of Anthony Horowitz and Sherry Thomas.

Framed for murder and with nowhere to go, Jacob Flint turns to an eclectic group of people on a remote estate to save him…

1930. A chilling encounter on London’s Necropolis Railway leads to murder and a man escapes the gallows after a witness gives sensational evidence. After this string of strange, fatal events, journalist Jacob Flint discovers that he has been framed for murder. To save himself, he flees to Mortmain Hall, a remote estate on the northern coast. There, an eccentric female criminologist hosts a gathering of eclectic people who have all escaped miscarriages of cruel justice. This strange group puts Jacob a little on edge, but they may be his only hope to clear his name.

When a body is found beneath the cliffs near the house, it seems this gathering might be an ingenious plot to get away with murder. Are these eccentrics victims or are they orchestrators of the great deception? Jacob must now set out to uncover the labyrinthine of secrets within Mortmain Hall, alongside Rachel Savernake, woman whose relentless quest for the truth might just bring down the British establishment…


The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang | (Theonite) | Fantasy | Add to Goodeads

A mother struggling to repress her violent past,
A son struggling to grasp his violent future,
A father blind to the danger that threatens them all.

When the winds of war reach their peninsula, will the Matsuda family have the strength to defend their empire? Or will they tear each other apart before the true enemies even reach their shores?

High on a mountainside at the edge of the Kaigenese Empire live the most powerful warriors in the world, superhumans capable of raising the sea and wielding blades of ice. For hundreds of years, the fighters of the Kusanagi Peninsula have held the Empire’s enemies at bay, earning their frozen spit of land the name ‘The Sword of Kaigen.’

Born into Kusanagi’s legendary Matsuda family, fourteen-year-old Mamoru has always known his purpose: to master his family’s fighting techniques and defend his homeland. But when an outsider arrives and pulls back the curtain on Kaigen’s alleged age of peace, Mamoru realizes that he might not have much time to become the fighter he was bred to be. Worse, the empire he was bred to defend may stand on a foundation of lies.

Misaki told herself that she left the passions of her youth behind when she married into the Matsuda house. Determined to be a good housewife and mother, she hid away her sword, along with everything from her days as a fighter in a faraway country. But with her growing son asking questions about the outside world, the threat of an impending invasion looming across the sea, and her frigid husband grating on her nerves, Misaki finds the fighter in her clawing its way back to the surface. 


The Last Moriarty by Charles Veley | (Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery #1) | Historical Fiction, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

A lovely young American actress from the D’Oyly Carte Opera Troupe comes to 221B Baker Street on a cold November morning, desperately seeking assistance from Sherlock Holmes. Inexplicably, Holmes agrees to help, even though the Prime Minister of England and his cabinet need Holmes to solve a murder case that could threaten a high-stakes meeting with John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan. The clock is ticking. Holmes will need all his physical and deductive powers to preserve innocent lives and prevent political and economic chaos on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet even Holmes cannot foresee how much the ultimate outcome will depend on a mother’s sacrifice, a daughter’s hopes, and on the true identity of the last Moriarty.


Legacy of Ash by Matthew Ward | (Legacy Trilogy #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

A shadow has fallen over the Tressian Republic.

Ruling families — once protectors of justice and democracy — now plot against one another with sharp words and sharper knives. Blinded by ambition, they remain heedless of the threat posed by the invading armies of the Hadari Empire.

Yet as Tressia falls, heroes rise.

Viktor Akadra is the Republic’s champion. A warrior without equal, he hides a secret that would see him burned as a heretic.

Josiri Trelan is Viktor’s sworn enemy. A political prisoner, he dreams of reigniting his mother’s failed rebellion.

And yet Calenne Trelan, Josiri’s sister, seeks only to break free of their tarnished legacy; to escape the expectation and prejudice that haunts the family name.

As war spreads across the Republic, these three must set aside their differences in order to save their home. Yet decades of bad blood are not easily set aside. And victory — if it comes at all — will demand a darker price than any of them could have imagined. 


Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson | (The Stormlight Archive #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Expected by his enemies to die the miserable death of a military slave, Kaladin survived to be given command of the royal bodyguards, a controversial first for a low-status “darkeyes.” Now he must protect the king and Dalinar from every common peril as well as the distinctly uncommon threat of the Assassin, all while secretly struggling to master remarkable new powers that are somehow linked to his honorspren, Syl.

The Assassin, Szeth, is active again, murdering rulers all over the world of Roshar, using his baffling powers to thwart every bodyguard and elude all pursuers. Among his prime targets is Highprince Dalinar, widely considered the power behind the Alethi throne. His leading role in the war would seem reason enough, but the Assassin’s master has much deeper motives.

Brilliant but troubled Shallan strives along a parallel path. Despite being broken in ways she refuses to acknowledge, she bears a terrible burden: to somehow prevent the return of the legendary Voidbringers and the civilization-ending Desolation that will follow. The secrets she needs can be found at the Shattered Plains, but just arriving there proves more difficult than she could have imagined.

Meanwhile, at the heart of the Shattered Plains, the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable. 


The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso | (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The spiral to madness begins with a single push. Abandoned by her people, Queen Talyien’s quest takes a turn for the worst as she stumbles upon a plot deeper and more sinister than she could have ever imagined, one that will displace her king and see her son dead. The road home beckons, strewn with a tangled web of deceit and impossible horrors that unearth the nation’s true troubles – creatures from the dark, mad dragons, and men with hearts hungry for power. To save her land, Talyien must confront the myth others have built around her: Warlord Yeshin’s daughter, symbol of peace, warrior and queen, and everything she could never be. The price of failure is steep. Her friends are few. And a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war.


An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie Klassen | (Tales from Ivy Hill) | Historical Romance | Add to Goodreads

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents unforeseen surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled . . . and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, joyous songs, and divine hope, work its magic in his heart . . . and hers as well?


The Princess Knight by G.A. Aiken | (The Scarred Earth Saga #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN

Gemma Smythe dedicated her life to the glory of battle. With her fellow War Monks, she worshipped the war gods, rained destruction on her enemies, and raised the dead when the fancy took her. Until her sister Keeley became the prophesied Blacksmith Queen, and Gemma broke faith with her order to journey to the Amichai Mountain and fight by Keeley’s side.

The Amichai warriors are an unruly, never-to-be-tamed lot, especially their leader-in-waiting, Quinn. But when the War Monks declare support for Gemma’s ruthless younger sister Beatrix, the immaturity of her key ally is the least of Gemma’s problems. She has to get to the grand masters, dispel their grudge against her, and persuade them to fight for Keeley and justice. If her conviction can’t sway them, perhaps Quinn’s irritating, irreverent, clearly unhinged, ferocity will win the day . . . 


Seduction on a Snowy Night by Madeline Hunter, Sabrina Jeffries, and Mary Jo Putney | Regency Romance, Christmas | 3 Stars | Add to Goodreads

A CHRISTMAS ABDUCTION by Madeline Hunter
Caroline Dunham has a bone to pick with notorious rake Baron Thornhill—and a creative plan to insure his undivided attention. Yet once in close quarters, she finds herself beholden to their smoldering connection.

A PERFECT MATCH by Sabrina Jeffries
Whisked away from a wintry ball by a commanding colonel, Cassandra Isles struggles with her feelings for Lord Heywood. For he is a man sworn to marry only for money—and Cass is an heiress who will accept nothing less than love.

ONE WICKED WINTER’S NIGHT by Mary Jo Putney
Dressed as a veiled princess, Lady Diana Lawrence is shocked to discover that the mysterious corsair who tempts her away from the costume ball is the duke she once loved and lost. Now ensconced with Castleton at a remote lodge, will she surrender to the passion still burning hotly between them?


Eventide by Sarah Goodman | Historical Fiction, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

MADNESS, SECRETS, AND LIES

Wheeler, Arkansas, 1907

When their father descends into madness after the death of their mother, Verity Pruitt and her little sister Lilah find themselves on an orphan train to rural Arkansas.

In Wheeler, eleven-year-old Lilah is quickly adopted, but seventeen-year-old Verity is not. Desperate to stay close to her sister, Verity indentures herself as a farmhand. But even charming farm boy Abel Atchley can’t completely distract her from the sense that something is not quite right in this little town. Strange local superstitions abound, especially about the eerie old well at the center of the forest. The woods play tricks, unleashing heavy fog and bone-chilling cold…and sometimes visions of things that aren’t there.

But for Verity, perhaps most unsettling of all is the revelation that her own parents have a scandalous history in this very town. And as she tries to unearth the past, sinister secrets come with it—secrets that someone will go to violent lengths to protect….

A haunting tale of long-buried secrets, small-town scandal, and single-minded vengeance by talented debut novelist Sarah Goodman.” 


A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem by Manda Collins | (A Lady’s Guide #1) | Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

England, 1865 : As one of England’s most notorious newspaper columnists, Lady Katherine Bascomb believes knowledge is power. And she’s determined to inform and educate the ladies of London on the nefarious-and deadly-criminals who are preying on the fairer sex. When her reporting leads to the arrest of a notorious killer, however, Katherine flees to a country house party to escape her newfound notoriety-only to witness a murder on her very first night. And when the lead detective accuses Katherine of inflaming-rather than informing-the public with her column, she vows to prove him wrong.

Detective Inspector Andrew Eversham’s refusal to compromise his investigations nearly cost him his own career, and he blames Katherine. To avoid bad publicity, his superiors are pressuring him to solve cases quickly rather than correctly. When he discovers she’s the key witness in a new crime, he’s determined to prevent the beautiful widow from once again wreaking havoc on his case. Yet as Katherine proves surprisingly insightful and Andrew impresses Katherine with his lethal competency, both are forced to admit the fire between them is more flirtatious than furious. But to explore the passion between them, they’ll need to catch a killer.

Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken | (Dragon Kin #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

It’s not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear–a lot–or else salute. It’s true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother’s soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.

Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly, and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe–a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fills her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn’t get any stranger.

She’s wrong. . .

And just wait until you meet the rest of the family. . .


How many books did you add to your TBR this month?

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Hauls

Book Haul: October 2020

Book Haul

Good Morning.

I decided to start doing book hauls again as a way to help keep myself accountable. The only way that I am going to be able to work on fixing my habits is if I have some kind of checks in place. In the month of October I received 3 books from authors, 1 books from giveaways, I grabbed 3 for free, 3 from Netgalley, 1 as a gift, 1 from subscription boxes, 3 were preorders, and I purchased 4.

Received from Authors/Publishers

One Flew Through the Dragon Heart by C.S. Johnson | (Favan & Flew #1) | Steampunk, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

A Chinese Legend.

A British Secret.

Star-Crossed Lovers with Incompatible Magic. 

Brixton Flew works as a professor of wielder instruction at Rembrandt Academy, hoping to erase the regrets of his youth along with the resulting debt. But when he comes face to face with his biggest regret—the woman who broke his heart, Adelaide Favan—Brixton soon realizes his troubles have only begun.

Unable to control her magic, Adelaide knew leaving Brixton was the only way to protect him when they were younger. Now she discovers he is the key to recovering the Dragon Eyes, a legendary treasure connected to her magic and her family’s disgraced legacy—and she knows the risk is great, to both his life and her heart.

With others seeking the power of the Dragon Eyes, Brixton and Adelaide must outwit their foes and face down their families to save London from an ancient legend that sleeps beneath the magic portal in their city.

But the renewed passion growing between them may prove to be the greater peril …


Unchosen by Katharyn Blair | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

For Charlotte Holloway, the world ended twice.

The first was when her childhood crush, Dean, fell in love—with her older sister.

The second was when the Crimson, a curse spread through eye contact, turned the majority of humanity into flesh-eating monsters.

Neither end of the world changed Charlotte. She’s still in the shadows of her siblings. Her popular older sister, Harlow, now commands forces of survivors. And her talented younger sister, Vanessa, is the Chosen One—who, legend has it, can end the curse.

When their settlement is raided by those seeking the Chosen One, Charlotte makes a reckless decision to save Vanessa: she takes her place as prisoner.

The word spreads across the seven seas—the Chosen One has been found.

But when Dean’s life is threatened and a resistance looms on the horizon, the lie keeping Charlotte alive begins to unravel. She’ll have to break free, forge new bonds, and choose her own destiny if she has any hope of saving her sisters, her love, and maybe even the world.

Because sometimes the end is just a new beginning.


Alpha’s Revenge by Catherine Stine | (Royal Alpha Wolves Club #3) | Paranormal Romance | Add to Goodreads

A heartbroken furious alpha, a forbidden childhood crush revisited.
Will karmic justice destroy them both?

From the languid, sexy heat of New Orleans, all the way to the icy Canadian Wilderness, supernatural creatures live shadow lives amongst mortals. But what if one of the most powerful and regal of beings—wolf shifters—found their packs disappearing through longstanding battles and vicious payback?

The Royal Alpha Wolves Club, a worldwide, ancient organization formed to keep order and secrets safe among werewolf packs is faced with this very dilemma. So, when the club leader gives the dire order for all royals to find a mate and produce an heir within a year it’s in the wolf shifters’ best interest. Wayland, though, is not on board.

Meet Wayland Leblanc—legendary royal alpha, hell-bent on revenge for his murdered mate. When the edict comes down from the leader in his new territory that all royals mate and produce an heir within the year or lose royal status, Wayland hits the road. He’s not ready. Instead, he charges up to Canada in his mini-camper, to wreak revenge on Thorn, the Tundra shifter who killed his mate Sabine and their unborn babe. He conscripts an army of coyote shifters in his revenge plot, and stuffs down his lingering heartache by partying with neighboring witches.

What he doesn’t plan for is falling hard for Stormy, Thorn’s mysterious sister. But pursuing a star-crossed Juliet to his Romeo just might cost Wayland and Stormy their lives. 


Giveaway

The Virgin Who Ruined Lord Gray by Anna Bradley | (The Swooning Virgins Society #1) | Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

Behind the doors of the Clifford Charity School for Wayward Girls, there lies a secret society of brilliant, fearless women who are bringing justice to London’s most corrupt aristocrats, one nobleman at a time…

Other young ladies might occupy their spare time with drawing or needlework, but Sophia Monmouth spends hers scaling rooftops and shadowing suspicious characters. Her objective: to gain information that will free a friend wrongly accused of murder. She hasn’t bargained on being spotted and followed back to the Clifford School by a mysterious earl who holds almost as many secrets as she does.

Tristan Stratford, Lord Gray, earned the nickname the Ghost of Bow Street because no man has ever escaped him. Sophia—all soft curves beneath her disguise—is a unique challenge. Determined to learn the truth about the Clifford School, he joins Sophia in a scheme that leads from Newgate’s cells to the pinnacle of power. But when desire is at odds with justice, succumbing to temptation may lead them both into the heart of danger… 


Free

Perfectly Impossible by Elizabeth Topp | Romance | Add to Goodreads

In this witty debut novel, Elizabeth Topp crafts a story that ventures behind the fanciful facade of Park Avenue and into the life of one lovable type A assistant.

Anna’s job is simple: prevent the unexpected from happening and do everything better than perfectly. An artist at heart, Anna works a day job as a private assistant for Bambi Von Bizmark, a megarich Upper East Side matriarch who’s about to be honored at the illustrious Opera Ball.

Caught between the staid world of great wealth and her unconventional life as an artist, Anna struggles with her true calling. If she’s supposed to be a painter, why is she so much more successful as a personal assistant? When her boyfriend lands a fancy new job, it throws their future as a couple into doubt and intensifies Anna’s identity crisis. All she has to do is ensure everything runs smoothly and hold herself together until the Opera Ball is over. How hard could that be?


Spellbreaker by Charlie N. Holmberg | (Spellbreaker Duology #1) | Historical, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

A world of enchanted injustice needs a disenchanting woman in the newest fantasy series by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician.

The orphaned Elsie Camden learned as a girl that there were two kinds of wizards in the world: those who pay for the power to cast spells and those, like her, born with the ability to break them. But as an unlicensed magic user, her gift is a crime. Commissioned by an underground group known as the Cowls, Elsie uses her spellbreaking to push back against the aristocrats and help the common man. She always did love the tale of Robin Hood.

Elite magic user Bacchus Kelsey is one elusive spell away from his mastership when he catches Elsie breaking an enchantment. To protect her secret, Elsie strikes a bargain. She’ll help Bacchus fix unruly spells around his estate if he doesn’t turn her in. Working together, Elsie’s trust in—and fondness for—the handsome stranger grows. So does her trepidation about the rise in the murders of wizards and the theft of the spellbooks their bodies leave behind.

For a rogue spellbreaker like Elsie, there’s so much to learn about her powers, her family, the intriguing Bacchus, and the untold dangers shadowing every step of a journey she’s destined to complete. But will she uncover the mystery before it’s too late to save everything she loves? 


Witches and Poppets: Steampunk Vasilisa the Fair: A Steampunk Fairy Tale Short Story by by Melanie Karsak


Netgalley

The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick | (Rook & Rose #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Nightmares are creeping through the city of dreams…

Renata Viraudax is a con artist who has come to the sparkling city of Nadezra — the city of dreams — with one goal: to trick her way into a noble house and secure her fortune and her sister’s future.

But as she’s drawn into the elite world of House Traementis, she realizes her masquerade is just one of many surrounding her. And as corrupt magic begins to weave its way through Nadezra, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled — with Ren at their heart.


The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk | Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction | Add to Goodreads

Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling.

In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice’s first kiss . . . with her adversary’s brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan.

The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries—even for love—she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken?


The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner | Historical Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Hard-drinking petty thief Dellaria Wells is down on her luck in the city of Leiscourt—again. Then she sees a want ad for a female bodyguard, and she fast-talks her way into the high-paying job. Along with a team of other women, she’s meant to protect a rich young lady from mysterious assassins.

At first Delly thinks the danger is exaggerated, but a series of attacks shows there’s much to fear. Then she begins to fall for Winn, one of the other bodyguards, and the women team up against a mysterious, magical foe who seems to have allies everywhere.


Gifts

The Tower of Fools by Andrzej Sapkowski | (Hussite Trilogy #1) | Historical Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Reinmar of Bielawa, sometimes known as Reynevan, is a doctor, a magician and, according to some, a charlatan. And when a thoughtless indiscretion finds him caught in the crosshairs of powerful noble family, he is forced to flee his home.

But once he passes beyond the city borders, he finds that there are dangers ahead as well as behind. Strange mystical forces are gathering in the shadows. And pursued not only by the affronted Stercza brothers, bent on vengeance, but also by the Holy Inquisition, Reynevan finds himself in the Narrenturm, the Tower of Fools.

The Tower is an asylum for the mad, or for those who dare to think differently and challenge the prevailing order. And escaping the Tower, avoiding the conflict around him, and keeping his own sanity might prove a greater challenge than Reynevan ever imagined. 


Subscription Boxes

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab | Historical Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.


Preorders

Darkness Unknown by S.A. Fenech | (Beshadowed Book 1) | Paranormal Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

You have been lied to.

Werewolves, vampires, ghosts … they aren’t what you think.

After the death of her mother, Everly Boderleth has to go back to her spooky hometown, Shroudhaven, and she has a plan to get in and out as quick as possible.

Step one, clear out the family home and antique store.

Step two, watch her childhood sweetheart die violently at the hands of an indescribable, horrific creature.

Wait, what?

That wasn’t part of the plan. But it was just a dream, wasn’t it?

As the evidence mounts that what she saw was real, a broken heart is the least of her problems.

Everly thinks she’s close to the truth, but nothing is as it seems.

What is really lurking in the dark?


Any Rogue Will Do by Bethany Bennett | (Misfits of Mayfair #1) | Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

He ruined her reputation―now he’s the only one who can save it.

For exactly one season, Lady Charlotte Wentworth played the biddable female the ton expected―and all it got her was society’s mockery and derision. Now she’s determined to be in charge of her own future. So when an unwanted suitor tries to manipulate her into an engagement, she has a plan. He can’t claim to be her fiancé if she’s engaged to someone else. Even if it means asking for help from the last man she would ever marry.

Ethan, Lord Amesbury, made a lot of mistakes, but the one he regrets the most is ruining Lady Charlotte’s reputation. He’s older and wiser now, but his attraction to Lottie never wavered. Going along with her charade is the least he can do to clean the slate and perhaps earn her forgiveness. And, if he’s lucky, her love.


Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 1 by Ryosuke Takeuchi | (Moriarty the Patriot #1) | Manga, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

The untold story of Sherlock Holmes’ greatest rival, Moriarty!

Before he was Sherlock’s rival, Moriarty fought against the unfair class caste system in London by making sure corrupt nobility got their comeuppance. But even the best-intentioned plans can spin out of control—will Moriarty’s dream of a more just and equal world turn him into a hero…or a monster?


Purchases

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu | Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Graphic Novel | Add to Goodreads

A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.


Once Dishonored by Mary Jo Putney | (Rogues Redeemed #5) | Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

A man who has lost his honor has nothing . . .

London, 1816. As a Royal Navy officer, Lucas Mandeville, Lord Foxton, has fought his share of battles on the high seas, followed by long years of imprisonment. But on this night, he’d rather be on the burning deck of a ship than in a ballroom, where it is just a matter of time before someone challenges him because of what happened on the Continent.

A woman who has lost her reputation is nothing . . .

When dark-haired beauty Kendra Douglas arrives, a whisper of scandal ripples through the ton. The disgraced divorcee’s entrance is an act of daring. Which is exactly why Lucas asks her to dance . . .

A couple who stands together has everything . . .

Unexpectedly, Lucas offers Kendra his aid in finding the evidence to regain her good name–and her beloved young son. Together they investigate the wicked conspiracy that destroyed her life, and in the midst of danger, find a deep love that will redeem them both–if only they can live long enough to build a future together.


A Raven’s Heart by K.C. Bateman | (Secrets and Spies #2) | Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

August 1815. The war with France is officially over, Napoleon’s an exile on St Helena, but Europe is still a very dangerous place to be.

Kidnapped and held for ransom at nineteen, ducal heir William Ravenwood knows the only person he can rely on is himself. Now part of a spy ring that includes his friends Nicolas and Richard Hampden, he’s the smuggler known as The Raven, a ruthless agent who specializes in rescuing hostages and prisoners of war from captivity.

Raven longs to discover the fate of his colleague, Christopher ‘Kit’ Carlisle, who’s been missing, presumed dead, for over two years. He’s also equally determined to stay away from the one thing he knows is dangerous to his health – the bane of his life, his best friends’ infuriating and provocative little sister, Heloise.

Heloise is a brilliant code breaker, one of the English government’s most valuable assets. She’s also loved Raven for years, but considering that he rejected her at sixteen, before her face was scarred rescuing her brother from an icy river, she’s certain he doesn’t want her now, despite his outrageous flirting.

But when Heloise decodes a message that proves Kit is alive and a prisoner in Spain, Raven realizes she’s in grave danger. With French agents determined to silence her, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe – even if that means taking her to Spain with him as an unwilling hostage.

As they face French deserters and Spanish freedom fighters, Raven and Heloise try to ignore the simmering attraction that’s been building between them for eight long years. The differences between them are striking but they’ve always had a strange underlying bond. Heloise might be scarred outwardly, but Raven’s wounds are all on the inside. He knows he’s not worthy of her love—a shadowed Hades pining for sun-kissed Persephone—but he’s not above showing her passion for the short time they’re together.

A master at decoding complex messages, Heloise finds Raven frustratingly hard to read, but as their lives hang in the balance she’s determined to unravel his secrets and unlock his dark, elusive heart… 


The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams | (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the realm of his storied ancestors falls to pieces – talk about a guilt trip. Better to be amongst the living, where there are taverns full of women and wine.

When eccentric explorer, Lady Vincenza ‘Vintage’ de Grazon, offers him employment, he sees an easy way out. Even when they are joined by a fugitive witch with a tendency to set things on fire, the prospect of facing down monsters and retrieving ancient artefacts is preferable to the abomination he left behind.

But not everyone is willing to let the Eboran empire collapse, and the adventurers are quickly drawn into a tangled conspiracy of magic and war. For the Jure’lia are coming, and the Ninth Rain must fall… 


How many books did you add to your TBR this month?

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Hauls

Book Haul: September 2020

Book Haul

Good Morning.

I decided to start doing book hauls again as a way to help keep myself accountable. The only way that I am going to be able to work on fixing my habits is if I have some kind of checks in place. In the month of September I received 5 books from authors, 2 books as gifts, I grabbed 1 for free, 1 from subscription boxes, 1 were preorders, and I purchased 2.

Received from Authors/Publishers

Altered Helix by Stephanie Hansen | (Altered Helix #1) | Young Adult, Dystopian, Paranormal Mystery, Novella | Add to Goodreads

I didn’t want to take the traditional path. First, I wasn’t ready for college. Second, I was going to live with my best friend, Tiff, and work at the Haunted House. Third, did I mention the hot guy Josh that works there too?

The most exciting thing about Austria’s new job, at a local haunted house, was the fact that the toughest looking people screamed the loudest. But when she meets the boy without a home, Josh, Austria’s life takes intriguing and eventful turns. Up until now, Josh has managed to hang with his Street crowd, but they’re in danger, and so is Austria, the girl Josh recently fell for. The group finds themselves joining forces with previously considered enemies who also now find themselves in danger.

Deeply compassionate and full of twists, Altered Helix captures the struggle of polarized people that must work together for the greater good.


Stranded Coil by Stephanie Hansen | (Altered Helix #2) | Young Adult, Dystopian, Paranormal Mystery, Novella | Add to Goodreads

For Austria, travelling to the Stranded Coil means she gets to see someone she believed was lost. She’s able to do this because she’s an Altered Helix. But doing so takes her away from her first true love, Josh. Josh is working hard to keep their Haunted House family safe on Earth, but seems to fall in love with Austria more with every second they spend together.

Austria and Josh face a devastating challenge, the mysterious appearance of Mutant Altered Helixes, and an enticingly dangerous answer to their questions.

Impulsive, caring, and full of surprises, this teenage love against the odds is well on its way to breaking even…maybe.


Paralleled Bond by Stephanie Hansen | (Altered Helix #3) | Young Adult, Dystopian, Paranormal Mystery, Novella | Add to Goodreads

When the only option left means losing someone you love, you have no options. How could you, how could you save one person you care about, when doing so would harm another? What if they weren’t even letting you choose but choosing for you? You’d have to intervene without letting them know, right?

To be an Altered Helix and put others in danger is the new reality for Austria. Luckily someone’s there to catch her when she falls, Josh, and fall she does, in love that is. While witnessing her family being put in danger, Austria’s haunted house family grows. Now that Austria has found a way to defeat Mutant Altered Helixes after her, a dangerous stream of events occur to those around her. Just when the family has finally come together, could they be ruined?

The amazing conclusion to the Altered Helix series, Paralleled Bond displays the results when polar opposites come together for the greater good.


The Best of No Small Thing – Mindful Meditations by Deborah Hawkins | Collection of Blog Posts/ Non-Fiction | Add to Goodreads

No Small Thing – Mindful Meditations (NoSmallThing.net) was launched in 2010 with the intention of reflecting on experiences that generated feelings of gratitude in order to create a positive mood and orientation to life. As of fall of 2019, over 500 reflections (mindful meditations) have been published along with over 100 tips that can be employed in a gratitude practice.

This mindfulness process is detailed in a companion book, Practice Gratitude: Transform Your Life. It emphasizes the creation of personal gratitude themes, one’s Grateful Dozen, which can help a person see things that spark grateful feelings in new situations. This is a collection of favorite blog posts that came out of this process.


Practice Gratitude: Transform Your Life: Making The Uplifting Experience of Gratitude Intentional by Deborah Hawkins | Add to Goodreads

For several decades, studies have supported the idea that gratitude has many positive benefits. It boosts optimism, a sense of personal control, and even enhances relationships. Keeping a simple gratitude journal, where daily entries are made identifying things that spark gratitude, has become a very popular. Deborah Hawkins, originator of NoSmallThing.net, goes beyond listing little boons to generate good feelings. In this book, she teaches techniques for mindfulness, self-inquiry, and writing to build memories that activate strong positive emotions. This guide and workbook helps readers understand what kinds of personal experiences prompt uplifting feelings of gratitude in them, develop broad themes that apply to these experiences, and then use these themes to see and experience gratitude in new situations. This approach can empower anyone to begin each new day with confidence that things they love and value are already present. A companion book, Best of No Small Thing – Mindful Meditations provides examples of posts that were written using this process.


Gifts

Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day by Jay Shetty | Non-fiction, self-help | Add to Goodreads

Jay Shetty, social media superstar and host of the #1 podcast On Purpose, distills the timeless wisdom he learned as a monk into practical steps anyone can take every day to live a less anxious, more meaningful life.

When you think like a monk, you’ll understand:

  • How to overcome negativity
  • How to stop overthinking
  • Why comparison kills love
  • How to use your fear
  • Why you can’t find happiness by looking for it
  • How to learn from everyone you meet
  • Why you are not your thoughts
  • How to find your purpose
  • Why kindness is crucial to success
  • And much more…

Shetty grew up in a family where you could become one of three things—a doctor, a lawyer, or a failure. His family was convinced he had chosen option three: instead of attending his college graduation ceremony, he headed to India to become a monk, to meditate every day for four to eight hours, and devote his life to helping others. After three years, one of his teachers told him that he would have more impact on the world if he left the monk’s path to share his experience and wisdom with others. Heavily in debt, and with no recognizable skills on his résumé, he moved back home in north London with his parents.

Shetty reconnected with old school friends—many working for some of the world’s largest corporations—who were experiencing tremendous stress, pressure, and unhappiness, and they invited Shetty to coach them on well-being, purpose, and mindfulness. Since then, Shetty has become one of the world’s most popular influencers. In 2017, he was named in the Forbes magazine 30-under-30 for being a game-changer in the world of media. In 2018, he had the #1 video on Facebook with over 360 million views. His social media following totals over 38 million, he has produced over 400 viral videos which have amassed more than 8 billion views, and his podcast, On Purpose, is consistently ranked the world’s #1 Health and Wellness podcast.

In this inspiring, empowering book, Shetty draws on his time as a monk to show us how we can clear the roadblocks to our potential and power. Combining ancient wisdom and his own rich experiences in the ashram, Think Like a Monk reveals how to overcome negative thoughts and habits, and access the calm and purpose that lie within all of us. He transforms abstract lessons into advice and exercises we can all apply to reduce stress, improve relationships, and give the gifts we find in ourselves to the world. Shetty proves that everyone can—and should—think like a monk.


The Lost Book of the White by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu | (The Eldest Curses #2) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

Life is good for Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood. They’re living together in a fabulous loft, their warlock son, Max, has started learning to walk, and the streets of New York are peaceful and quiet—as peaceful and quiet as they ever are, anyway.

Until the night that two old acquaintances break into Magnus’s apartment and steal the powerful Book of the White. Now Magnus and Alec will have to drop everything to get it back. They need to follow the thieves to Shanghai, they need to call some backup to accompany them, and they need a babysitter.

Also, someone has stabbed Magnus with a strange magical weapon and the wound is glowing, so they have that to worry about too.

Fortunately, their backup consists of Clary, Jace, Isabelle, and newly minted Shadowhunter Simon. In Shanghai, they learn that a much darker threat awaits them. Magnus’s magic is growing unstable, and if they can’t stop the demons flooding into the city, they might have to follow them all the way back to the source—to the very realm of the dead. Can they stop the threat to the world? Will they make it back home before their kid completely wears out Alec’s mom?


Free

The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids by Michael McClung | (Amra Thetys #1) | Fantasy, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

Amra Thetys lives by two simple rules—take care of business, and never let it get personal. Thieves don’t last long in Lucernis otherwise. But when a fellow rogue and good friend is butchered on the street in a deal gone wrong, she turns her back on burglary and goes after something more precious than treasure: Revenge.

Revenge, however, might be hard to come by. A nightmare assortment of enemies, including an immortal assassin and a mad sorcerer, believe Amra is in possession of The Blade That Whispers Hate—the legendary, powerful artifact her friend was murdered for—and they’ll do anything to take it from her. Trouble is, Amra hasn’t got the least clue where the Blade might be.

She needs to find the Blade, and soon, or she’ll be joining her colleague in a cold grave instead of avenging his death. Time is running out for the small, scarred thief.


Subscription Boxes

Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin | (Serpent & Dove #2) | Young Adult, Fantasy |Add to Goodreads

After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.

To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.


Preorders

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini | Sci-Fi | Add to Goodreads

Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds.

Now she’s awakened a nightmare.

During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move.

As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human.

While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity’s greatest and final hope . . .”


Purchases

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore | (A League of Extraordinary Women #2) | Regency Romance, Mystery |Add to Goodreads

A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution – but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.

Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.

As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…


Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown | Non-Fiction, Self-Help | Add to Goodreads

Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin?
Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized?
Are you often busy but not productive?
 Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas?

If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the EssentialistThe Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.  It is not  a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter. 

By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.

Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to learn who to do less, but better, in every area of their lives, Essentialism  is a movement whose time has come.


How many books did you add to your TBR this month?

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Hauls

Book Haul: April 2020

Book Haul

 

Good Morning.

I decided to start doing book hauls again as a way to help keep myself accountable. The only way that I am going to be able to work on fixing my habits is if I have some kind of checks in place. In the month of April, I received 3 books from publishers, 1 book from a subscription box, and purchased 4.

I did so much better this month!

Books from Author/Publishers

The Queen's Assassin
The Queen’s Assassin
by Melissa de la Cruz
(The Queen’s Secret #1)
Young Adult, Fantasy
Add to Goodreads

Caledon Holt is the Kingdom of Renovia’s deadliest weapon. No one alive can best him in brawn or brains, which is why he’s the Guild’s most dangerous member and the Queen’s one and only assassin. He’s also bound to the Queen by an impossible vow–to find the missing Deian Scrolls, the fount of all magical history and knowledge, stolen years ago by a nefarious sect called the Aphrasians.

Shadow has been training all her life to follow in the footsteps of her mother and aunts–to become skilled enough to join the ranks of the Guild. Though magic has been forbidden since the Aphrasian uprising, Shadow has been learning to control her powers in secret, hoping that one day she’ll become an assassin as feared and revered as Caledon Holt.

When a surprise attack brings Shadow and Cal together, they’re forced to team up as assassin and apprentice to hunt down a new sinister threat to Renovia. But as Cal and Shadow grow closer, they’ll uncover a shocking web of lies and secrets that may destroy everything they hold dear. With war on the horizon and true love at risk, they’ll stop at nothing to protect each other and their kingdom in this stunning first novel in the Queen’s Secret series.

Scarlet Odyssey
Scarlet Odyssey
by C.T. Rwizi
Young Adult, Fantasy
Add to Goodreads

Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in the coming battle, none of that will matter.

Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.

Salo’s queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe.

On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they’re being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo’s village. She may hold the key to Salo’s awakening—and his redemption.

Crave
Crave
by Tracy Wolff
(Crave #1)
Young Adult, Fantasy
Add to Goodreads

My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.

Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.

Which could spell death for us all.

Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally—as the bait.

 

Subscription Boxes

The Library of Legends
The Library of Legends
by Janie Chang
Historical, Fantasy
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 “Myths are the darkest and brightest incarnations of who we are . . .”

China, 1937. When Japanese bombs begin falling on the city of Nanking, nineteen-year-old Hu Lian and her classmates at Minghua University are ordered to flee. Lian and a convoy of students, faculty and staff must walk 1,000 miles to the safety of China’s western provinces, a journey marred by the constant threat of aerial attack. And it is not just the refugees who are at risk; Lian and her classmates have been entrusted with a priceless treasure: a 500-year-old collection of myths and folklore known as the Library of Legends.

The students’ common duty to safeguard the Library of Legends creates unexpected bonds. Lian becomes friends and forms a cautious romance with the handsome and wealthy Liu Shaoming. But after one classmate is arrested and another one is murdered, Lian realizes she must escape before a family secret puts her in danger too. Accompanied by Shao and his enigmatic maidservant, Sparrow, Lian makes her way to Shanghai in the hopes of reuniting with her mother.

During the journey, Lian learns of the connection between her two companions and a tale from the Library of Legends, The Willow Star and the Prince. This revelation comes with profound consequences, for as the ancient books travel across China, they awaken immortals and guardian spirits who embark on an exodus of their own, one that will change the country’s fate forever.

 

Purchased

To Have and to Hoax
To Have and to Hoax
by Martha Waters
DNF
Historical Romance
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In this fresh and hilarious historical rom-com, an estranged husband and wife in Regency England feign accidents and illness in an attempt to gain attention—and maybe just win each other back in the process.

Five years ago, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love, and got married. Four years ago, they had a fight to end all fights, and have barely spoken since.

Their once-passionate love match has been reduced to one of cold, detached politeness. But when Violet receives a letter that James has been thrown from his horse and rendered unconscious at their country estate, she races to be by his side—only to discover him alive and well at a tavern, and completely unaware of her concern. She’s outraged. He’s confused. And the distance between them has never been more apparent.

Wanting to teach her estranged husband a lesson, Violet decides to feign an illness of her own. James quickly sees through it, but he decides to play along in an ever-escalating game of manipulation, featuring actors masquerading as doctors, threats of Swiss sanitariums, faux mistresses—and a lot of flirtation between a husband and wife who might not hate each other as much as they thought. Will the two be able to overcome four years of hurt or will they continue to deny the spark between them?

An Inconvenient Duke
An Inconvenient Duke
by Anna Harrington
(Lords of the Armory #1)
4 Stars
Regency Romance
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Marcus Braddock, Duke of Hampton and former general, is back from war and faced with mourning the death of his beloved sister, Elise. Marcus believes his sister’s death wasn’t an accident and he’s determined to learn the truth, starting with Danielle, the beautiful daughter of a baron and his sister’s best friend.

Danielle is keeping deadly secrets of her own. She has dedicated her life to a charity that helps abused women―the same charity Elise was working for the night she died. When Danielle’s work puts her life in danger, Marcus comes to her rescue. But Danielle may not need rescuing…

The House in the Cerulean Sea
The House in the Cerulean Sea
by T.J. Klune
Fantasy
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A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

The Ranger of Marzanna
The Ranger of Marzanna
by Jon Skovron
(The Goddess War #1)
Adult Fantasy
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When their father is murdered by imperial soldiers, two siblings set out on opposite paths—one will destroy the Empire forever and the other will save it—in this thrilling new Russian inspired epic fantasy from Jon Skovron.

Sonya is training to be a Ranger of Marzanna, an ancient sect of warriors who have protected the land for generations. But the old ways are dying, and the rangers have all been forced into hiding or killed off by the invading Empire.

When her father is murdered by imperial soldiers, she decides to finally take action. Using her skills as a ranger she will travel across the bitter cold tundra and gain the allegiance of the only other force strong enough to take down the invaders.

But nothing about her quest will be easy. Because not everyone is on her side. Her brother, Sebastian, is the most powerful sorcerer the world has ever seen. And he’s fighting for the empire.

How many books did you add to your TBR this month?

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Hauls

Book Haul: March 2020

Book Haul

 

Good Morning.

I decided to start doing book hauls again as a way to help keep myself accountable. The only way that I am going to be able to work on fixing my habits is if I have some kind of checks in place. Be warned I said in my February Post that I was even worse this month.  So far in April, I am doing better.  I think these posts shamed me enough to control myself.

In the month of March I received 4 books from an author or publisher, 1 book from Subscription boxes, I won 2 books in a giveaway and purchased 16.

Books from Author/Publishers

A Heart in the Balance by L.G. Rollins | Add to Goodreads
A Feast of Phantoms by Kat Ross | Add to Goodreads
Champagne Charlie and the Amazing Gladys by B.G. Hilton | Add to Goodreads
Heart of Brass by Felicity Banks | Add to Goodreads

Subscription Boxes

The Kingdom of Back

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu | Add to Goodreads

Giveaway

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston | Add to Goodreads
Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri | Add to Goodreads

Purchased

Red as Blood and White as Bone by Theodora Goss |Add to Goodreads
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley | Add to Goodreads
The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski | Add to Goodreads
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare | Add to Goodreads

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews | Add to Goodreads
The Golden Key by Marian Womack | Add to Goodreads
Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams | Add to Goodreads
The Familiars by Stacey Halls | Add to Goodreads

The Foundling by Stacey Halls | Add to Goodreads
The Raven and the Dove by Kaitlyn Davis | Add to Goodreads
A Girl Like You by Michelle Cox | Add to Goodreads
Clockwork Fairy Tales: A Collection of Steampunk Fables | Add to Goodreads

The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall | Add to Goodreads
Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen by Alison Weir | Add to Goodreads
Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy | Add to Goodreads
The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons | Add to Goodreads

How many books did you add to your TBR this month?

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Hauls

Book Haul: February 2020

Book Haul

 

Good Morning.

I know I am so far behind I just hope that I will be able to catch up with my posts.  I had two months in a row where I failed my buy fewer books goal horribly.  I am a stress/anxiety buyer and I need to find a way to control that.  I am doing somewhat better but we will see what the upcoming weeks have in store.

In the month of  February, I received 5 books from an author or publisher, 1 book from BOTM,  and purchased 11.  Just a reminder my purchase limit is supposed to be 2 😦

Books from Author/Publishers

Eat Happy Too: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Low Carb Recipes For A Joyful Life by Anna Vocino | Add to Goodreads
Heir of Lies: Black Dawn Series 1 by Mallory McCartney | Add to Goodreads 
Lily For My Enemy: Lockhart Sweet Regency Romance by L. G. Rollins | Add to Goodreads

The Celestial Assignment by Theresa Braun| Add to Goodreads
Shadow of the Skytree by K.J. Taylor| Add to Goodreads

BOTM

BOTMYA - Ink in the Blood

Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal| Add to Goodreads

Purchased

Unnatural Magic by C.M. Waggoner| Add to Goodreads
Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller| Add to Goodreads

Spine of the Dragon by Kevin J. Anderson| Add to Goodreads
The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso| Add to Goodreads 
Sword of Fire by Katharine Kerr| Add to Goodreads

The Map of the Sky by Félix J. Palma| Add to Goodreads
The Arrangement by Sylvia Day, Minerva Spencer and Kristin Vayden| Add to Goodreads
Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan| Add to Goodreads

Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger| Add to Goodreads
The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houch| Add to Goodreads 
Wild, Wild Rake by Janna MacGregor| Add to Goodreads

How many books did you add to your TBR this month?

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Hauls

Book Haul: January 2020

Book Haul

 

Good Morning.

I decided to start doing book hauls again as a way to help keep myself accountable. The only way that I am going to be able to work on fixing my habits is if I have some kind of checks in place. In the month of January I received 1 book from an author, 1 book from BOTM YA, 1 was gifted one book and purchased 2.

Books from Author/Publishers

When Stars Are Bright
When Stars Are Bright
by Amber R. Duell

Historical, Retelling
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For Lina Holt, a Dutch seventeen-year-old with a flair for singing, 1930 is going to be her year. Her long-time boyfriend is about to propose and her mother will finally realize their relationship isn’t a passing phase. But when a stranger snatches her from her backyard, everything changes.

Lina is thrust into the spotlight of a New York vaudeville show where she’s paired with Nik, a mysterious pianist. The two bond during rehearsals and it doesn’t take long before Nik puts himself at risk to confess a hidden truth. Without Lina, the show is in its last season and there’s no way she’ll be allowed to slip through the owner’s fingers. Not when she carries fairy magic in her blood—an gift that turns her song into a dangerously addictive drug.

If Lina ever wants to return home, she must learn who to trust before she’s forced to remain a prisoner on stage forever.

WHEN STARS ARE BRIGHT is a historical Thumbelina retelling with a touch of magic.

BOTMYA

Woven in Moonlight BOTMYA
Woven in Moonlight
by Isabel Ibañez
(Woven in Moonlight #1)
Young Adult, Fantasy
Add to Goodreads

A lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history.

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa. 

Gifted

Mycroft and Sherlock
Mycroft and Sherlock

by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Anna Waterhouse
(Mycroft Holmes and Sherlock #2)
Historical, Mystery
Add to Goodreads 

Now a force to be reckoned with in the War Office, the young Mycroft Holmes is growing his network of contacts and influence, although not always in a manner that pleases his closest friend, Cyrus Douglas. A Trinidadian of African descent, Douglas has opened a home for orphaned children, while still running his successful import business.

When a ship carrying a cargo in which Douglas was heavily invested runs aground on the Dorset coast, Mycroft convinces his brother Sherlock to offer his services at the orphanage while Douglas travels to see what can be salvaged. Sherlock finds himself surprisingly at home among the street urchins, but is alarmed to discover that two boys show signs of drug addiction. Meanwhile Douglas also finds evidence of opium use on two dead sailors, and it becomes clear to Mycroft that the vile trade is on the ascent once again.

Travelling to China on the trail of the drug business, Mycroft and Douglas discover that there are many in high places willing to make a profit from the misery of others. Their opponents are powerful, and the cost of stemming the deadly tide of opium is likely to be high… 

Purchased

Scavenge the Stars
Scavenge the Stars
by Tara Sim
(Scavenge the Stars #1)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
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When Amaya rescues a mysterious stranger from drowning, she fears her rash actions have earned her a longer sentence on the debtor ship where she’s been held captive for years. Instead, the man she saved offers her unimaginable riches and a new identity, setting Amaya on a perilous course through the coastal city-state of Moray, where old-world opulence and desperate gamblers collide.

Amaya wants one thing: revenge against the man who ruined her family and stole the life she once had. But the more entangled she becomes in this game of deception—and as her path intertwines with the son of the man she’s plotting to bring down—the more she uncovers about the truth of her past. And the more she realizes she must trust no one…

Packed with high-stakes adventure, romance, and dueling identities, this gender-swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo is the first novel in an epic YA fantasy duology, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo.

The Map of Time
The Map of Time
by Félix J. Palma
(Translated by Nick Caistor)
(Trilogía Victoriana #1)
Historical, Fantasy, Steampunk
Add to Goodreads

This rollicking page-turner with a cast of real and imagined literary characters and cunning intertwined plots stars a skeptical H.G. Wells as a time-traveling investigator.

Characters real and imaginary come vividly to life in this whimsical triple play of intertwined plots, in which a skeptical H. G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time travel and to save lives and literary classics, including Dracula and The Time Machine, from being wiped from existence.

What happens if we change history?

I was good in January and kept to only purchasing 2 books.

How many books did you add to your TBR this month?

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