Hauls

March 2021 Book Haul

Book Haul

Good Morning.

My book buying this month was not horrible. and some of these books were held up in the mail from last month so all in all it’s not horrible. April is my birthday month so I am really going to try to be good. In the month of March received 1 book from publishers, 4 books as gifts, 1 from subscription boxes, 1 was from preorders, and I purchased 8.

I am very proud of myself for already reading a number of these books. 📖 means I have read it.

Received from Authors/Publishers

📖 Covet by Tracy Wolff | (Crave #3) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

I may have reached my breaking point. As if trying to graduate from a school for supernaturals isn’t stressful enough, my relationship status has gone from complicated to a straight-up dumpster fire.

Oh, and the Bloodletter has decided to drop a bomb of epic proportions on us all…

Then again, when has anything at Katmere Academy not been intense?

And the hits just keep coming. Jaxon’s turned colder than an Alaskan winter. The Circle is splintered over my upcoming coronation. As if things couldn’t get worse, now there’s an arrest warrant for Hudson’s and my supposed crimes—which apparently means a lifetime prison sentence with a deadly unbreakable curse.

Choices will have to be made…and I fear not everyone will survive.


Gifts

📖 Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare | (The Last Hours #2) |Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.

But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.

Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.


The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso | (Rooks and Ruin #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The mage-marked granddaughter of a ruler of Vaskandar, Ryx was destined for power and prestige at the top of Vaskandran society. But her magic is broken; all she can do is uncontrollably drain the life from everything she touches, and Vaskandar has no place for a mage with unusable powers.

Then, one night, two terrible accidents befall her: Ryx accidentally kills a visiting dignitary in self-defense, activating a mysterious magical artifact sealed in an ancient tower in the heart of her family’s castle.

Ryx flees, seeking a solution to her deadly magic. She falls in with a group of unlikely magical experts investigating the disturbance in Vaskandar—and Ryx realizes that her family is in danger and her domain is at stake. She and her new colleagues must return to the family stronghold to take control of the artifact that everyone wants to claim—before it destroys the world. 


The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart | (The Drowning Empire #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people.


The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec | Retelling, Fantasy, Mythology | Add to Goodreads

When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this moving, subversive debut novel that reimagines Norse mythology.

Angrboda’s story begins where most witches’ tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.

Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.

With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family…or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss, and hope for the modern age. 


Subscription Boxes

📖 The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner | Historical Fiction | Add to Goodreads

A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course

Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.

Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive. 


Preorders

Requiem Moon by C.T. Rwizi | (Scarlet Odyssey #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Salo must journey into the heart of darkness to find his way back home in the next epic book of C. T. Rwizi’s debut series.

Salo’s queen has finally accepted his desire to be a mystic despite taboos concerning men’s use of magic. But her acceptance is not support; it is strategy.

Under a disguise of the queen’s making, Salo enters Jungle City as a pilgrim to the Red Temple, only to find a magical barrier barring his entrance. Left at the mercy of the warring political factions that run the city, Salo faces a series of obstacles wrought by an unseen hand, knowing he cannot return home without completing his pilgrimage.

But Isa, King of the Saire clan, has her own plans for Salo. She needs his help to extract the Covenant Diamond from the Red Temple’s inner sanctum—an artifact with the power to end her tribe’s divisions, prevent a genocide, and even save herself from her fate. His new task in hand, Salo navigates a cursed maze of invisible authority—and when he encounters shocking revelations about the power residing in the depths of the undercity, he must wield his magic to finally bring the truth about his world’s history to light. 


Purchases

📖 Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 1 by Julietta Suzuki | (Kamisama Kiss #1) | Manga | Add to Goodreads

A divine comedy!

Nanami Momozono is alone and homeless after her dad skips town to evade his gambling debts and the debt collectors kick her out of her apartment. So when a man she’s just saved from a dog offers her his home, she jumps at the opportunity. But it turns out that his place is a shrine, and Nanami has unwillingly taken over his job as a local deity!

Nanami has all kinds of new responsabilities she doesn’t understand, dangers she’s unaware of, and a cranky ex-familiar who’s… actually pretty hot. What’s a new-fledged godling to do?


📖 Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 1 by Mizuho Kusanagi | (Yona of the Dawn #1) | Manga | Add to Goodreads

Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Soo-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when she witnesses her father’s murder!

Yona reels from the shock of witnessing a loved one’s murder and having to fight for her life. With Hak’s help, she flees the palace and struggles to survive while evading her enemy’s forces. But where will this displaced princess go when all the paths before her are uncertain?


📖 Inuyasha, Volume 02 by Rumiko Takahashi | (Inuyasha VizBIG Omnibus Series #2) | Manga, Fantasy, Historical | Add to Goodreads

In both the past and the present, Kagome and Inuyasha face new enemies while on their search for the shards of the Shikon Jewel. As they grow closer, Kagome learns that Inuyasha harbors a carefully guarded secret that makes him vulnerable with the rising of the new moon. Then an evil ogress plans to resurrect Kikyo. If Kikyo returns, will she seek vengeance against Inuyasha? And will Inuyasha be forced to choose between Kikyo and Kagome?


📖 Inuyasha, Volume 03 by Rumiko Takahashi | (Inuyasha VizBIG Omnibus Series #3) | Manga, Fantasy, Historical | Add to Goodreads

Sesshomaru returns for another attack, aided by the demon Naraku. Then a terrible ogress brings Kikyo back from the dead, but her soulless state drives her thirst for revenge against Inuyasha. Dealing with the ogress reveals a glimpse into Inuyasha’s true feelings for Kikyo and makes Kagome wonder just how he feels about her. The search for the shards of the Shikon Jewel brings Kagome and Inuyasha into conflict with strange enemies and even stranger friends!


📖 Inuyasha, Volume 04 by Rumiko Takahashi | (Inuyasha VizBIG Omnibus Series #4) | Manga, Fantasy, Historical | Add to Goodreads (Bought with a Gift Card)

The scheming demon Naraku has turned Sango against Inuyasha, and opening her eyes to the real danger won’t be easy. Meanwhile, Miroku has to wrestle with his past and the curse that is threatening to kill him. Naraku’s insight into his enemies’ personalities gives him an edge that they don’t have. As Naraku pulls the strands of his web of deceit tighter, Inuyasha and his friends find themselves having to avoid his deadly traps while struggling with their own emotions as well!


An Unexpected Earl by Anna Harrington | (Lords of the Armory #2) | Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

Twelve years ago, Brandon Pearce, former brigadier and now Earl West, had to give up the girl he loved, Amelia Howard. Now Teddy is a grown woman with a past she desperately needs to keep hidden in order to save her brother Frederick’s reputation. In an effort to avoid blackmail, Frederick needs to place a list of gentlemen into government positions, and for that, he’ll need an ally in Parliament―Pearce.

Pearce has been investigating a criminal group he believes is behind the government appointments. Pearce must pretend that he sides with the blackmailer, even though it means breaking Teddy’s heart. But Pearce is willing to do anything he can for a second chance with her, even when he discovers she’s been keeping secrets of her own. 


Limitless: Core Techniques to Improve Performance, Productivity, and Focus by Jim Kwik | Self-Help | Add to Goodreads ($1.99 – April book club book)

In this book, brain performance expert Jim Kwik will teach readers his core techniques so that they, too, can unleash their inner genius.

For the last 25 years, Jim Kwik has helped everyone from celebrities to CEOs to students improve their memory, increase their decision-making skills, learn to speed-read, and unleash their superbrains.

In Limitless, readers will learn Jim’s revolutionary strategies and shortcuts to supercharging their brains, with simple, actionable tools to sharpen the mind, enhance focus, and fast-track their fullest potential.


The Thinking Engine by James Lovegrove | (Sherlock Holmes) | Sherlockian, Mystery | Add to Goodreads (grabbed this one for $5.95)

March 1895. Hilary Term at Oxford. In the newly built extension to the University Galleries, Professor Quantock has put the finishing touches to a wondrous computational device which, he claims, is capable of analytical thought to rival that of the cleverest men alive. Indeed, his so-called Thinking Engine seems equal to Sherlock Holmes himself in its deductive powers.

To prove his point, Quantock programmes his machine to solve a murder in the Jericho area which has been baffling Oxford police. The Engine identifies a suspect who proves not to have a valid alibi for the night of the crime. The man is duly arrested and arraigned.

Sherlock Holmes cannot ignore this challenge. He and Watson travel to Oxford, where a battle of wits ensues between the great detective and his mechanical counterpart as they compete to see which of them can be first to solve a series of crimes. As man and machine vie for supremacy, it becomes clear that the Thinking Engine has its own agenda. Holmes’s and Watson’s lives are on the line as a ghost from the past catches up with them… 


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

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Hauls

Book Haul: February 2021

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 February received 1 book from an author, 1 book as a gift, I grabbed 1 for free, and I purchased 9.

Okay, I am supposed to be using restraint when purchasing books, but let me just say that I sold approximately 34 books (I stopped counting and didn’t realize until after they were sold.) I used this money to purchase 5 books for me and 3 for my daughter. Also, two of the books that I purchased this month are for a book club so I know they are going to get read in the immediate future. Oh and one of these books I found at the Dollar Tree.

Received from Authors/Publishers

Never Call Me Vampire by Tamara Grantham | (Legends of Crimson Hollow Paranormal Fantasy Series # 1) | Fantasy, Paranormal | 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.


Gifts

A ​Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas | (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4) | Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.


Free

Wings of Fury by Emily R. King | (Wings of Fury #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

My mother told me that men would speak about the Golden Age as a time of peace and happiness for all… However, the women of our age would tell a very different story…

Cronus, God of Gods, whose inheritance is the world. Among his possessions: women, imprisoned and fated to serve. The strong-minded Althea Lambros controls her own fate and lives to honor her dying mother’s plea to protect her two sisters at all costs. Althea’s journey toward crushing the tyranny has begun. It is a destiny foretold by the Fates. And she is following their visions.

On the southern isle of Crete, hidden among mortal women who have fled the Titans, is the Boy God, son of Cronus and believed dead. He shares Althea’s destiny to vanquish the Almighty—fate willing. Because Cronus has caught wind of the plot. He’s amassing his own forces against Althea’s righteous rebellion and all those who will no longer surrender or run. There will be war. If she’s to survive to write their history, the indomitable Althea must soar higher than any god.


Purchases

Ink and Shadows by Ellery Adams | (Secret, Book, & Scone Society #4) | Cozy Mystery | Add to Goodreads

Controversy erupts in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, when the owner of the local bookstore tries to play peacekeeper—but winds up playing detective instead…

Nora Pennington is known for her window displays, and as Halloween approaches, she decides to showcase fictional heroines like Roald Dahl’s Matilda and Madeline Miller’s Circe. A family-values group disapproves of the magical themes, though, and wastes no time launching a modern-day witch hunt. Suddenly, former friends and customers are targeting not only Nora and Miracle Books, but a new shopkeeper, Celeste, who’s been selling CBD oil products.

Nora and her friends in the Secret, Book, and Scone Society are doing their best to put an end to the strife—but then someone puts an end to a life. Though the death is declared an accident, the ruling can’t explain the old book page covered with strange symbols and disturbing drawings left under Nora’s doormat, a postcard from an anonymous stalker, or multiple cases of vandalism.

The only hope is that Nora can be a heroine herself and lead the Secret, Book, and Scone Society in a successful investigation—before more bodies turn up and the secrets from Celeste’s past come back to haunt them all . . .


The Wolves of London by Mark Morris | (Obsidian Heart #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Psychology professor Alex Locke is an ex-convict, forced back into the criminal underworld when his daughter is threatened. After he agrees to steal a mysterious Obsidian Heart, Locke is pursued by unearthly assassins known as the ‘Wolves of London’. Soon he discovers the heart can enable him to travel through time, and while it bestows him with his own dark powers, it also corrupts… 


The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso | (Swords and Fire #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

n the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled — taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army.

Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.

Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations. But fate has bound the heir and the mage.

War looms on the horizon. A single spark could turn their city into a pyre.


Wolves And Roses by Christina Bauer | (Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #1) | Young Adult. Fantasy, Retellings | Add to Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Bryar Rose has a problem. She’s descended from one of the three magical races—shifters, fairies, or witches. That makes her one of the Magicorum, and Magicorum always follow a fairy tale life template. In Bryar’s case, that template should be Sleeping Beauty.

Should being the key word.

Trouble is, Bryar is nowhere near the sleeping beauty life template. Not even close. She doesn’t like birds or woodland creatures. She can’t sing. And she certainly can’t stand Prince Philpot, the so-called “His Highness of Hedge Funds” that her aunties want her to marry. Even worse, Bryar’s having recurring dreams of a bad boy hottie and is obsessed with finding papyri from ancient Egypt. What’s up with that?

“Exciting and well-conceived” – Kirkus

All Bryar wants is to attend a regular high school with normal humans and forget all about shifters, fairies, witches, and the curse that Colonel Mallory the Magnificent placed on her. And she might be able to do just that–if only she can just keep her head down until her eighteenth birthday when the spell that’s ruined her life goes buh-bye.

But that plan gets turned upside down when Bryar Rose meets Knox, the bad boy who’s literally from her dreams. Knox is a powerful werewolf, and his presence in her life changes everything, and not just because he makes her knees turn into Jell-O. If Bryar can’t figure out who—or what—she really is, it might cost both her and Knox their lives… as well as jeopardize the very nature of magic itself.


Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins | Non-Fiction, Self-Help | Add to Goodreads

For David Goggins, childhood was a nightmare – poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse colored his days and haunted his nights. But through self-disciplinemental toughness, and hard work, Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man with no future into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world’s top endurance athletes. The only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller, he went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him “The Fittest (Real) Man in America.

In Can’t Hurt Me, he shares his astonishing life story and reveals that most of us tap into only 40% of our capabilities. Goggins calls this The 40% Rule, and his story illuminates a path that anyone can follow to push past pain, demolish fear, and reach their full potential. 


The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs | Fiction | Add to Goodreads

There is a book for everything . . .

Somewhere in the vast Library of the Universe, as Natalie thought of it, there was a book that embodied exactly the things she was worrying about.

In the wake of a shocking tragedy, Natalie Harper inherits her mother’s charming but financially strapped bookshop in San Francisco. She also becomes caretaker for her ailing grandfather Andrew, her only living relative—not counting her scoundrel father.

But the gruff, deeply kind Andrew has begun displaying signs of decline. Natalie thinks it’s best to move him to an assisted living facility to ensure the care he needs. To pay for it, she plans to close the bookstore and sell the derelict but valuable building on historic Perdita Street, which is in need of constant fixing. There’s only one problem–Grandpa Andrew owns the building and refuses to sell. Natalie adores her grandfather; she’ll do whatever it takes to make his final years happy. Besides, she loves the store and its books provide welcome solace for her overwhelming grief.

After she moves into the small studio apartment above the shop, Natalie carries out her grandfather’s request and hires contractor Peach Gallagher to do the necessary and ongoing repairs. His young daughter, Dorothy, also becomes a regular at the store, and she and Natalie begin reading together while Peach works.

To Natalie’s surprise, her sorrow begins to dissipate as her life becomes an unexpected journey of new connections, discoveries and revelations, from unearthing artifacts hidden in the bookshop’s walls, to discovering the truth about her family, her future, and her own heart.


The Last Days of John Lennon by James Patterson, Casey Sherman, and Dave Wedge | Biography, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

With the Beatles, John Lennon surpasses his youthful dreams, achieving a level of superstardom that defies classification. “We were the best bloody band there was,” he says. “There was nobody to touch us.” Nobody except the original nowhere man, Mark David Chapman. Chapman once worshipped his idols from afar—but now harbors grudges against those, like Lennon, whom he feels betrayed him. He’s convinced Lennon has misled fans with his message of hope and peace. And Chapman’s not staying away any longer. 
 
By the summer of 1980, Lennon is recording new music for the first time in years, energized and ready for it to be “(Just Like) Starting Over.” He can’t wait to show the world what he will do. 
 
Neither can Chapman, who quits his security job and boards a flight to New York, a handgun and bullets stowed in his luggage. 
 
The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it. Enriched by exclusive interviews with Lennon’s friends and associates, including Paul McCartney, The Last Days of John Lennon is the thrilling true story of two men who changed history: One whose indelible songs enliven our world to this day—and the other who ended the beautiful music with five pulls of a trigger.


Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson | (Malazan Book of the Fallen #1)| Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.

For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.

However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand…

Conceived and written on a panoramic scale, Gardens of the Moon is epic fantasy of the highest order–an enthralling adventure by an outstanding new voice.


Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse | Classic | Add to Goodreads

One of the most widely read novels of the twentieth century, Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha explores the struggle of the soul to see beyond the illusions of humankind and achieve a deeper wisdom through spirituality.

Born into wealth and privilege, Siddhartha renounces his place among India’s nobility to wander the countryside in search of meaning. He learns suffering and self-denial among a group of ascetics before meeting the Buddha and coming to realize that true peace cannot be taught: It must be experienced. Changing his path yet again, Siddhatha reenters human society and earns a great fortune. Yet over time this life leaves Siddhartha restless and empty. He achieves enlightenment only when he stops searching and surrenders to the oneness of all.

Rika Lesser’s new translation deftly evokes the lyricism and quiet beauty of Hesse’s novel, which first appeared in German in 1922. At once personal and universal, Siddhartha stands outside of time, resonating in the hearts of truth-seekers everywhere.


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

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Hauls

Book Haul: January 2021

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 received 4 books from authors/publishers, 1 book as a gift, I grabbed 1 for free, I was approved for 1 on Netgalley, 2 from subscription boxes, and I purchased 13.

I have accumulated way more books in January than I should have. I have learned this past year that I am a stress book buyer. I hope that I am able to control it more. One benefit is that I had Christmas money and I don’t think I paid full price for anything. I am not trying to justify by choices but I now have a reminder here for myself.

Received from Authors/Publishers

Tidepool by Nicole Willson | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

If ye give not willingly, the Lords will rise…

In 1913, Henry Hamilton disappeared while on a business trip, and his sister, Sorrow, won’t rest until she finds out what happened to him. Defying her father’s orders to remain at home, she travels to Tidepool, the last place Henry is known to have visited. Residents of the small, shabby oceanside town can’t quite meet Sorrow’s eyes when she asks about her brother.

When corpses wash up on shore looking as if they’ve been torn apart by something not quite human, Sorrow is ready to return to Baltimore and let her father send in the professional detectives.

However, after meeting Ada Oliver, a widow whose black silk dresses and elegant manners set her apart from other Tidepool residents, Sorrow discovers Tidepool’s dark, deadly secret.

With this discovery, some denizens of Tidepool—human and otherwise—are hell-bent on making sure Sorrow never leaves their forsaken town.


A Conventicle of Magpies by LMR Clarke | (The Bloodskill Duology Book 1) | Gaslamp Fantasy, Adventure, Steampunk | Add to Goodreads

What would you do to save your loved ones from slavery and a blood-draining serial killer?

Rook is an unapologetic thief, determined to do anything to ensure her mother and siblings survive the squalid and dangerous streets of Stamchester.

Rook slips, like a shadow, in and out of the homes of the ruling elite, the Avanish, and steals what she needs. She feels no regret, afterall, the Avanish have enslaved her people, the Saosuíasei, and worse, have now determined the Saosuíasei to be disposable and worthy of nothing other than death.

However, Rook is not the only shadowy figure in Stamchester. And far more deadly one haunts the filthy streets, striking fear into Avanish and Saosuíasei alike. A serial killer who drains every ounce of blood from his victims, and satisfies the elite’s demand for blood to burn in the magical art of Bloodskill and enhance their own natural, and sometimes unnatural, abilities.

How can Rook outfox the serial killer and raise her people from the ashes left by the Avanish oppression?


Die with Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life by Bill Perkins | Self-help | Add to Goodreads

A Common-Sense Guide to Living Rich….Instead of Dying Rich

Imagine if by the time you died, you did everything you were told to. You worked hard, saved your money, and looked forward to financial freedom when you retired.
 
The only thing you wasted along the way was…your life.
 
Die with Zero presents a startling new and provocative philosophy as well as practical guide on how to get the most out of your money—and out of your life. It’s intended for those who place lifelong memorable experiences far ahead of simply making and accumulating money for one’s so-called Golden Years.
 
In short, Bill Perkins wants to rescue you from over-saving and under-living. Regardless of your age, Die with Zero will teach you Perkins’ plan for optimizing your life, stage by stage, so you’re fully engaged and enjoying what you’ve worked and saved for.
 
You’ll discover how to maximize your lifetime memorable moments with “experience bucketing,” how to convert your earnings into priceless memories by following your “net worth curve,” and find out how to navigate whether to invest in, or delay, a meaningful adventure based on your “spend curve” and “personal interest rate.”
 
Using his own life experiences as well as the inspiring stories and cautionary tales of others—and drawing on eye-opening insights about time, money, and happiness from psychological science and behavioral finance —Perkins makes a timely, convincing, and contrarian case for living large. 


The Littlest Dinosaur by Bryce Raffle and Steven Kothlow | Children’s Book | Add to Goodreads

Ty, The Tyrannosaur just wants to make a new friend. Sadly, the other dinosaurs are all afraid of his sharp teeth!

So Ty must go on an adventure to find a dinosaur brave enough to be friends with a Tyrannosaur.


Gifts

Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker | Historical Fiction | Add to Goodreads

The prequel to Dracula, inspired by notes and texts left behind by the author of the classic novel, Dracul is a supernatural thriller that reveals not only Dracula’s true origins but Bram Stoker’s–and the tale of the enigmatic woman who connects them.

It is 1868, and a twenty-one-year-old Bram Stoker waits in a desolate tower to face an indescribable evil. Armed only with crucifixes, holy water, and a rifle, he prays to survive a single night, the longest of his life. Desperate to record what he has witnessed, Bram scribbles down the events that led him here…

A sickly child, Bram spent his early days bedridden in his parents’ Dublin home, tended to by his caretaker, a young woman named Ellen Crone. When a string of strange deaths occur in a nearby town, Bram and his sister Matilda detect a pattern of bizarre behavior by Ellen–a mystery that deepens chillingly until Ellen vanishes suddenly from their lives. Years later, Matilda returns from studying in Paris to tell Bram the news that she has seen Ellen–and that the nightmare they’ve thought long ended is only beginning.


Free

A Pendant for Trouble by Rosalie Oaks | (Lady Diviner #0.5) | Historical Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Miss Elinor Avely can’t resist the call of a large jewel mysteriously concealed at a ducal garden party. After all, if the Earl of Beresford isn’t attending, what else is Elinor to do with herself? Her talent for divining jewels can be an intriguing distraction for once, instead of a carefully guarded family secret.

Of course, her hunt for the jewel leads her straight into a mystery – and worse, an undignified encounter with Beresford. Yet when Elinor’s quest goes from unseemly to scandalous, he is the one who tries to save her.

The question is: will she let him?


Netgalley

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner | Historical Fantasy, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course

Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.

Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.


Subscription Boxes

The Dating Plan by Sara Desai | Romance | Add to Goodreads

Even with a step-by-step plan, these fake fiances might accidentally fall for each other in this hilarious, heartfeltromantic comedy from the author of The Marriage Game.

Daisy Patel is a software engineer who understands lists and logic better than bosses and boyfriends. With her life all planned out, and no interest in love, the one thing she can’t give her family is the marriage they expect. Left with few options, she asks her childhood crush to be her decoy fiance.

Liam Murphy is a venture capitalist with something to prove. When he learns that his inheritance is contingent on being married, he realizes his best friend’s little sister has the perfect solution to his problem. A marriage of convenience will get Daisy’s matchmaking relatives off her back and fulfill the terms of his late grandfather’s will. If only he hadn’t broken her tender teenage heart nine years ago…

Sparks fly when Daisy and Liam go on a series of dates to legitimize their fake relationship. Too late, they realize that very little is convenient about their arrangement. History and chemistry aren’t about to follow the rules of this engagement.


Anxious People by Fredrik Backman | Fiction, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

A poignant, charming novel about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix up their own marriage. There’s a wealthy banker who has been too busy making money to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in a motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.


Purchases

Lady Mechanika, Vol. 6: Sangre by Joe Benítez | (Lady Mechanika Volumes #6) | Graphic Novel, Steampunk, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Lady Mechanika journeys to Spain to protect a local Barón’s son from an alleged demonic entity, but were the young man’s injuries actually caused by supernatural forces, or by illicit experiments conducted by his own father? What sinister secret is the Barón trying to hide, and could it somehow be entangled with Lady Mechanika’s past? A dark tale that explores the devastating power of love…and hate.


About a Dragon by G.A. Aiken | (Dragon Kin #2) | Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

For Nolwenn witch Talaith, a bad day begins with being dragged from bed by an angry mob intent on her crispy end and culminates in rescue by–wait for it–a silver-maned dragon. Existence as a hated outcast is nothing new for a woman with such powerful secrets. The dragon, though? A tad unusual. This one has a human form to die for, and knows it. According to dragon law, Talaith is now his property, for pleasure. . .or otherwise. But if Lord Arrogance thinks she’s the kind of damsel to acquiesce without a word, he’s in for a surprise. . .

Is the woman never silent? Briec the Mighty knew the moment he laid eyes on Talaith that she would be his, but he’d counted on tongue-lashings of an altogether different sort. It’s embarrassing, really, that it isn’t this outspoken female’s magicks that have the realm’s greatest dragon in her thrall. No, Briec has been spellbound by something altogether different–and if he doesn’t tread carefully, what he doesn’t know about human women could well be the undoing of his entire race. . .


Shadow Knights by Jennifer Anne Davis | (Knights of the Realm #2) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

As a member of the Knights of the Realm, Reid swore an oath to protect her king only to discover he harbors a traitorous agenda.

Being a woman raised in a man’s world, Reid thought becoming a Knight would give her purpose and strength. So far, it has done nothing but give her trouble. The king ordered her to spy on the Axian royal family while she prepares for her marriage—a marriage neither she nor Price Dexter wants. Once in Axian, Reid realizes she’s being used as a pawn in a decades-old political match. With the king and Knights seemingly at odds, Reid’s allegiances are torn, especially when she finds friendship in the unlikeliest of places.

As the kingdom of Marsden teeters on the brink of civil war, Reid must decide whose side she’s on—even if that means betraying her king in order to save the kingdom.


Hidden Knights by Jennifer Anne Davis | (Knights of the Realm #3) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

With Prince Henrick dead, a foreign army in league with the king, and the palace taken, Reid must find a way to right the wrongs for the people of Marsden.

Reid never expected to find love, friendship, or her mother in the kingdom of Axian. She also never expected to become a leader for her people. With the king threatening to overthrow the dukes and take complete control of the kingdom, Reid realizes she may be the only one in a position to stop him. With the ring her father gave her, the commanders of the army at her side, and a master schemer in league with her, Reid just might be able to pull off the greatest upset in Marsden history—all she has to do in step into the role she was born for.

To protect her kingdom, Reid must outsmart them all. Luckily, she’s spent the last eighteen year learning the art of manipulation, and she isn’t above putting those skills to the test.


Soulkeeper by David Dalglish | by David Dalglish | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Devin Eveson is a Soulkeeper, travelling through remote villages as a preacher and healer. But when a dragon awakens – the size of a mountain and leaving great chasms in its wake – the veil is torn, flooding the land with ancient magic and forgotten races. Now Devin must set aside his words of peace and accept his new role: slayer of monsters and protector of the human race.

But not all the creatures that have re-awakened mean humanity harm. And as Devin slowly befriends people of these new races, his discomfort in his role grows. But Soulkeepers must slay without mercy. And even sympathisers risk their wrath.


King of Ashes by Raymond E. Feist | (The Firemane Saga #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The first volume in legendary master and New York Times bestselling author Raymond E. Feist’s epic heroic fantasy series, The Firemane Saga—an electrifying tale of two young men whose choices will determine a world’s destiny.

For centuries, the five greatest kingdoms of North and South Tembria, twin continents on the world of Garn, have coexisted in peace. But the balance of power is destroyed when four of the kingdoms violate an ancient covenant and betray the fifth: Ithrace, the Kingdom of Flames, ruled by Steveren Langene, known as “the Firemane” for his brilliant red hair. As war engulfs the world, Ithrace is destroyed and the Greater Realms of Tembria are thrust into a dangerous struggle for supremacy.

As a Free Lord, Baron Daylon Dumarch owes allegiance to no king. When an abandoned infant is found hidden in Daylon’s pavilion, he realizes that the child must be the missing heir of the slain Steveren. The boy is valuable—and vulnerable. A cunning and patient man, Daylon decides to keep the baby’s existence secret, and sends him to be raised on the Island of Coaltachin, home of the so-called Kingdom of Night, where the powerful and lethal Nocusara, the “Hidden Warriors,” legendary assassins and spies, are trained.

Years later, another orphan of mysterious provenance, a young man named Declan, earns his Masters rank as a weapons smith. Blessed with intelligence and skill, he unlocks the secret to forging King’s Steel, the apex of a weapon maker’s trade known by very few. Yet this precious knowledge is also deadly, and Declan is forced to leave his home to safeguard his life. Landing in Lord Daylon’s provinces, he hopes to start anew.

Soon, the two young men—an unknowing rightful heir to a throne and a brilliantly talented young swordsmith—will discover that their fates, and that of Garn, are entwined. The legendary, long-ago War of Betrayal has never truly ended . . . and they must discover the secret of who truly threatens their world. 


The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan | (Powder Mage #3) | Fantasy, Flintlock Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The capital has fallen…
Field Marshal Tamas returns to his beloved country to find that for the first time in history, the capital city of Adro lies in the hands of a foreign invader. His son is missing, his allies are indistinguishable from his foes, and reinforcements are several weeks away.

An army divided…
With the Kez still bearing down upon them and without clear leadership, the Adran army has turned against itself. Inspector Adamat is drawn into the very heart of this new mutiny with promises of finding his kidnapped son.

All hope rests with one…
And Taniel Two-shot, hunted by men he once thought his friends, must safeguard the only chance Adro has of getting through this war without being destroyed…


Ink & Sigil by Kevin Hearne | (Ink & Sigil #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails – and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, especially the Fae.

But he is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the written word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep dying in peculiar freak accidents. As his personal life crumbles around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to crack the secret of his curse.

But when his latest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play detective – while avoiding actual detectives who are wondering why death seems to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentice’s death will take him through Scotland’s magical underworld, and he’ll need the help of a mischievous hobgoblin if he’s to survive. 


The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh by Molly Greeley | Historical, Retelling, Romance | Add to Goodreads

In this gorgeously written and spellbinding historical novel based on Pride and Prejudice, the author of The Clergyman’s Wife combines the knowing eye of Jane Austen with the eroticism and Gothic intrigue of Sarah Waters to reimagine the life of the mysterious Anne de Bourgh.

As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh’s doctor prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day. Growing up sheltered and confined, removed from sunshine and fresh air, the pale and overly slender Anne grew up with few companions except her cousins, including Fitzwilliam Darcy. Throughout their childhoods, it was understood that Darcy and Anne would marry and combine their vast estates of Pemberley and Rosings. But Darcy does not love Anne or want her.

After her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her his vast fortune, Anne has a moment of clarity: what if her life of fragility and illness isn’t truly real? What if she could free herself from the medicine that clouds her sharp mind and leaves her body weak and lethargic? Might there be a better life without the medicine she has been told she cannot live without?

In a frenzy of desperation, Anne discards her laudanum and flees to the London home of her cousin, Colonel John Fitzwilliam, who helps her through her painful recovery. Yet once she returns to health, new challenges await. Shy and utterly inexperienced, the wealthy heiress must forge a new identity for herself, learning to navigate a “season” in society and the complexities of love and passion. The once wan, passive Anne gives way to a braver woman with a keen edge—leading to a powerful reckoning with the domineering mother determined to control Anne’s fortune . . . and her life.

An extraordinary tale of one woman’s liberation, The Heiress reveals both the darkness and light in Austen’s world, with wit, sensuality, and a deeply compassionate understanding of the human heart. 


Hall of Smoke by H. M. Long | (Hall of Smoke #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

An epic fantasy featuring warrior priestesses and fickle gods at war

Hessa is an Eangi: a warrior priestess of the Goddess of War, with the power to turn an enemy’s bones to dust with a scream. Banished for disobeying her goddess’s command to murder a traveller, she prays for forgiveness alone on a mountainside.

While she is gone, raiders raze her village and obliterate the Eangi priesthood. Grieving and alone, Hessa – the last Eangi – must find the traveller, atone for her weakness and secure her place with her loved ones in the High Halls. As clans from the north and legionaries from the south tear through her homeland, slaughtering everyone in their path, Hessa strives to win back her goddess’ favour.

Beset by zealot soldiers, deceitful gods, and newly-awakened demons at every turn, Hessa burns her path towards redemption and revenge. But her journey reveals a harrowing truth: the gods are dying and the High Halls of the afterlife are fading. Soon Hessa’s trust in her goddess weakens with every unheeded prayer.

Thrust into a battle between the gods of the Old World and the New, Hessa realizes there is far more on the line than securing a life beyond her own death. Bigger, older powers slumber beneath the surface of her world. And they’re about to wake up.


Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 2 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi | (Moriarty the Patriot #2) | Manga, Historical, 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?

After successfully establishing a foothold in Durham and cleansing the city of some of its corruption, William James Moriarty sets his sights on London. To make headway there, he needs the aid of his brother Albert. But while on his way to London, Moriarty is kidnapped by a gang of criminals! He needs Albert sooner than he thought, but will Albert be able to save him in time? 


In League with Sherlock Holmes | Mystery, Short Stories | Add to Goodreads

The latest entry in Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger’s popular Sherlock Holmes-inspired mystery series, featuring fifteen talented authors and a multitude of new cases for Arthur Conan Doyle’s most acclaimed detective.

Sherlock Holmes has not only captivated readers for more than a century and a quarter, he has fascinated writers as well. Almost immediately, the detective’s genius, mastery, and heroism became the standard by which other creators measured their creations, and the friendship between Holmes and Dr. Watson served as a brilliant model for those who followed Doyle. Not only did the Holmes tales influence the mystery genre but also tales of science-fiction, adventure, and the supernatural. It is little wonder, then, that when the renowned Sherlockians Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger invited their writer-friends and colleagues to be inspired by the Holmes canon, a cornucopia of stories sprang forth, with more than sixty of the greatest modern writers participating in four acclaimed anthologies.

Now, King and Klinger have invited another fifteen masters to become In League with Sherlock Holmes. The contributors to the pair’s next volume, due out in December 2020, include award-winning authors of horror, thrillers, mysteries, westerns, and science-fiction, all bound together in admiration and affection for the original stories. Past tales have spanned the Victorian era, World War I, World War II, the post-war era, and contemporary America and England. They have featured familiar figures from literature and history, children, master sleuths, official police, unassuming amateurs, unlikely protagonists, even ghosts and robots. Some were new tales about Holmes and Watson; others were about people from Holmes’s world or admirers of Holmes and his methods. The resulting stories are funny, haunting, thrilling, and surprising. All are unforgettable. The new collection promises more of the same!


Inuyasha, Volume 01 by Rumiko Takahashi | (Inuyasha VizBIG Omnibus Series #1) | Manga, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Kagome is a modern Japanese high school girl. Never the type to believe in myths and legends, her world view dramatically changes when, one day, she’s pulled out of herown time and into another! There, in Japan’s ancient past, Kagome discovers more t han a few of those dusty old legends are true, and that her destiny is linked to one legendary creature in particular–the dog like half-demon called Inuyasha! That same trick of fate also ties them both to the Shikon Jewel, or ” Jewel of Four Souls”. But demons beware… the smallest shard of the Shikon Jewel can give the user unimaginable power. 


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

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Hauls

Book Haul: December 2020

Book Haul

Good Morning.

The last book haul of 2020. This was quite a year. In the month of December received 1 book from publishers, 11 books for Christmas, 1 book from giveaways, I grabbed 1 for free, I was approved for 1 on a Galley site, 1 from subscription boxes, 1 was preorders, and I purchased 3. I just have to add that I have already read the three books that I purchased. I count that as a win for me!

Received from Authors/Publishers

Crush by Tracy Wolff | (Crave #2) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Everything feels off—especially me. I’ve returned to Katmere Academy, but I’m haunted by fragments of days I have no recollection of living and struggling to understand who, or what, I really am.

Just when I start to feel safe again, Hudson is back with a vengeance. He insists there are secrets I don’t know about, threatening to drive a wedge between Jaxon and me forever. But far worse enemies are at our doorstep.

The Circle is caught in a power play and the Vampire Court is trying to drag me out of my world and into theirs. The only thing Hudson and Jaxon agree on is that leaving Katmere would mean my certain death.

And not only am I fighting for my life, but now everyone else’s is at stake—unless we can defeat an unspeakable evil. All I know is that saving the people I love is going to require sacrifice.

Maybe more than I’m able to give.


Christmas

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman | (Practical Magic #0.1) | Historical Fiction, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.


The Emperor’s Wolves by Michelle Sagara | (Wolves of Elantra #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

As an orphan scrounging in the lawless slums, young Severn Handred didn’t have the luxury of believing in anything beyond his own survival. Now he’s crossed the river and entered the heart of the empire: the city of Elantra. When Severn is spotted tailing some lawmen of the Hawks–a not insignificant feat to go otherwise undetected–the recruiter for the Imperial Wolves thinks he should join their ranks. The Wolves are a small, select group that work within the Halls of Law, reporting directly to the Eternal Emperor. Severn hopes to avoid the law–he certainly had no intention of joining it.

In order to become a wolf–even on probation–Severn must face the investigators most dreaded throughout the Empire: The Tha’alani, readers of minds. No secret is safe from their prying, no knowledge can remain buried. But Severn’s secret, never shared before, is not enough to prevent the Wolves from adopting him as one of their own. All men have secrets, after all. Severn’s first job will be joining a hunt, but between the treacherous politics of the High Court, the almost unnatural interest of one of the Lords, and those who wish long-held secrets to remain buried forever, the trick will be surviving it.


The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke | (The World of Lore #1) | Folklore, Paranormal, Mythology | Add to Goodreads

They live in shadows – deep in the forest, late in the night, in the dark recesses of our mind. They’re spoken of in stories and superstitions, relics of an unenlightened age, old wives’ tales, passed down through generations. And yet, no matter how wary and jaded we have become, as individuals or as a society, a part of us remains vulnerable to them. Werewolves and wendigos, poltergeists and vampires, angry elves and vengeful spirits.

In this beautifully illustrated volume, the host of the hit podcast Lore serves as a guide on a fascinating journey through the history of these terrifying creatures, and explores not only the legends but what they tell us about ourselves. Aaron Mahnke invites us to the desolate Pine Barrens of New Jersey, where the notorious winged, red-eyed Jersey Devil dwells. Mahnke delves into harrowing accounts of cannibalism-some officially documented, others the stuff of speculation . . . perhaps. He visits the dimly lit rooms where séances take place, the European villages where gremlins make mischief, and Key West, Florida, home of a haunted doll named Robert.

The monsters of folklore have become not only a part of our language but a part of our collective psyche. Whether these beasts and bogeymen are real or just a reflection of our primal fears, we know, on some level, that not every mystery has been explained, and that the unknown still holds the power to strike fear deep in our hearts and souls.


The World of Lore: Wicked Mortals by Aaron Mahnke | (The World of Lore #2) | Folklore, Paranormal, Mythology | Add to Goodreads

Here are the incredible true stories of some of the mortals who achieved notoriety in history and folklore through horrible means. Monsters of this sort – serial killers, desperate criminals, and socially mobile people with a much darker double-life – are, in fact, quite real . . . including H. H. Holmes, the infamous Chicago serial killer; William Brodie, the Edinburgh criminal mastermind who inspired The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; and Bela Kiss, a Hungarian tinsmith with a most disturbing hobby: collecting women in gasoline drums.


The Light of All That Falls by James Islington | (The Licanius Trilogy #3) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Light of All That Falls concludes the epic adventure that began in The Shadow of What Was Lost, the acclaimed fantasy blockbuster from James Islington.

The Boundary is whole once again, but it may be too late.

Banes now stalk Andarra, while in Ilin Illan, the political machinations of a generation come to a head as Wirr’s newfound ability forces his family’s old enemies into action.

Imprisoned and alone in a strange land, Davian is pitted against the remaining Venerate as they work tirelessly to undo Asha’s sacrifice – even as he struggles with what he has learned about the friend he chose to set free.

And Caeden, now facing the consequences of his centuries-old plan, must finally confront its reality – heartbroken at how it began, and devastated by how it must end. 


The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan | (Powder Mage #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Tamas’s invasion of Kez ends in disaster when a Kez counter-offensive leaves him cut off behind enemy lines with only a fraction of his army, no supplies, and no hope of reinforcements. Drastically outnumbered and pursued by the enemy’s best, he must lead his men on a reckless march through northern Kez to safety, and back over the mountains so that he can defend his country from an angry god. In Adro, Inspector Adamat only wants to rescue his wife. To do so he must track down and confront the evil Lord Vetas. He has questions for Vetas concerning his enigmatic master, but the answers might come too quickly. With Tamas and his powder cabal presumed dead, Taniel Two-shot finds himself alongside the god-chef Mihali as the last line of defence against Kresimir’s advancing army. Tamas’s generals bicker among themselves, the brigades lose ground every day beneath the Kez onslaught, and Kresimir wants the head of the man who shot him in the eye. 


Sherlock Holmes and The Beast of the Stapletons by James Lovegrove | Mystery, Sherlockian | Add to Goodreads

1894. The monstrous Hound of the Baskervilles has been dead for five years, along with its no less monstrous owner, the naturalist Jack Stapleton. Sir Henry Baskerville is living contentedly at Baskerville Hall with his new wife Audrey and their three-year-old son Harry.

Until, that is, Audrey’s lifeless body is found on the moors, drained of blood. It would appear some fiendish creature is once more at large on Dartmoor and has, like its predecessor, targeted the unfortunate Baskerville family.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are summoned to Sir Henry’s aid, and our heroes must face a marauding beast that is the very stuff of nightmares. It seems that Stapleton may not have perished in the Great Grimpen Mire after all, as Holmes believed, and is hell-bent on revenge…


Unquiet Spirits: Whisky, Ghosts, Murder by Bonnie MacBird | (Sherlock Holmes Adventures #2) | Historical, Mystery, Sherlockian | Add to Goodreads

The new novel from the author of Art in the Blood. December 1889. Fresh from debunking a “ghostly” hound in Dartmoor, Sherlock Holmes has returned to London, only to find himself the target of a deadly vendetta. A beautiful client arrives with a tale of ghosts, kidnapping and dynamite on a whisky estate in Scotland, but brother Mycroft trumps all with an urgent assignment in the South of France. On the fabled Riviera, Holmes and Watson encounter treachery, explosions, rival French Detective Jean Vidocq…and a terrible discovery. This propels the duo northward to the snowy highlands. There, in a “haunted” castle and among the copper dinosaurs of a great whisky distillery, they and their young client face mortal danger, and Holmes realizes all three cases have blended into a single, deadly conundrum. In order to solve the mystery, the ultimate rational thinker must confront a ghost from his own past. But Sherlock Holmes does not believe in ghosts…or does he? 


The Devil’s Due by Bonnie MacBird | (Sherlock Holmes Adventures #3) | Historical, Mystery, Sherlockian | Add to Goodreads

It’s 1890 and the newly famous Sherlock Holmes faces his worst adversary to date – a diabolical villain bent on destroying some of London’s most admired public figures in particularly gruesome ways. A further puzzle is that suicide closely attends each of the murders. As he tracks the killer through vast and seething London, Holmes finds himself battling both an envious Scotland Yard and a critical press as he follows a complex trail from performers to princes, anarchists to aesthetes. But when his brother Mycroft disappears, apparently the victim of murder, even those loyal to Holmes begin to wonder how close to the flames he has travelled. Has Sherlock Holmes himself made a deal with the devil? 


The Manifestations of Sherlock Holmes by James Lovegrove | (Sherlock Holmes) | Historical, Mystery, Sherlockian | Add to Goodreads

A collection of Sherlock Holmes short stories from acclaimed author James Lovegrove. Including a brand-new Cthulhu Casebooks story.


The Devil’s Dust by James Lovegrove | (Sherlock Holmes) | Historical, Mystery, Sherlockian | Add to Goodreads

It is 1884, and when a fellow landlady finds her lodger poisoned, Mrs Hudson turns to Sherlock Holmes.

The police suspect the landlady of murder, but Mrs Hudson insists that her friend is innocent. The companions discover that the lodger, a civil servant recently returned from India, was living in almost complete seclusion, and that his last act was to scrawl a mysterious message on a scrap of paper. The riddles pile up as aged big game hunter Allan Quatermain is spotted at the scene of the crime when Holmes and Watson investigate. The famous man of mind and the legendary man of action will make an unlikely team in a case of corruption, revenge, and what can only be described as magic… 


Giveaway

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.


Free

The Marriage Code by Brooke Burroughs | Romance | Add to Goodreads

In Brooke Burroughs’s endearing debut novel set in vibrant India, enemies turned allies encounter obstacles in an unexpected multicultural romance only to discover that in the end, love is love.

Emma has always lived her life according to a plan. But after turning down her boyfriend’s proposal, everything starts to crumble. In an effort to save the one thing she cares about—her job—she must recruit her colleague, Rishi, to be on her development team…only she may or may not have received the position he was promised. (She did.)

Rishi cannot believe that he got passed over for promotion. To make matters worse, not only does his job require him to return home to Bangalore with his nemesis, Emma, but his parents now expect him to choose a bride and get married. So, when Emma makes him an offer—join her team, and she’ll write an algorithm to find him the perfect bride—he reluctantly accepts.

Neither of them expect her marriage code to work so well—or to fall for one another—which leads Emma and Rishi to wonder if leaving fate up to formulas is really an equation for lasting love.


Galley Site

The Lady Jewel Diviner by Rosalie Oaks | (Lady Diviner #1) | Historical Mystery | Add to Goodreads

Diamonds, Death, and Devonshire tea…

Miss Elinor Avely’s proper upbringing cannot prepare her for the tiny, spinster vampire who crashes into her sitting room and demands to be fed with a sheep.

Elinor already has enough troubles without having to catch ruminants. First, her secret gift for divining jewels has landed her in scandal, exiling her from London society. Second, a nobleman of dubious repute wants her to find a cache of smuggled jewels, hidden somewhere along the Devon coastline. Last – and worst – she is invited to cream tea at the local manor. And while the autocratic and magnificent Earl of Beresford might be there (and perhaps the jewels themselves too), Beresford is the last person Elinor wants to meet over cream tea.

When a dead body is discovered along the cliffs, of course, such delicate considerations become secondary. Fortunately, Elinor now has a small vampiric chaperone – even if said spinster has a habit of appearing stark naked – and together they are ready to risk the hard questions.

Where are the jewels hidden? Who killed the smuggler? And just when is the cream tea being served?


Subscription Boxes

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren | Holiday Romance | Add to Goodreads

One Christmas wish, two brothers, and a lifetime of hope are on the line for hapless Maelyn Jones in In a Holidaze, the quintessential holiday romantic novel by Christina Lauren, the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays. 


Preorders

All Down But Nine by Kat Ross | (Lingua Magika #2) | Steampunk, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

HARD TO CATCH. HARDER TO KEEP.

Lee Merriweather has fled across the line into Pedro Braga’s jurisdiction, an untamed desert too vast for even the ruthless Guardia Territorial to keep any semblance of order. The Carnarvons want him dead or alive – and with Lee’s attitude, the first seems most likely.

The trail south runs straight through two thousand miles of badlands. To find him, Ruth and Sebastian must survive sabotage, bloodthirsty bandits, and fresh horrors at the Reverend Jolly’s church in New Jerusalem. The hardships draw them into a passionate affair, but loyalties are put to the test when they finally reach the capital of Aguadulce and all hell breaks loose.

Ruth has privately vowed to stop Sebastian from killing Lee, even as the young savant seems bent on his own destruction. And he’s just a pawn in a game with higher stakes than anyone realizes. One that goes beyond empires. One that encompasses worlds.

The phantoms are the key. But can Ruth uncover the truth in time to save them all?


Purchases

The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells | Classic, Science Fiction | Add to Goodreads

A lonely island in the Pacific. The sinister scientist who rules it. And the strange beings who dwell there…

This is the scenario for H. G. Wells’s haunting classic, one of his most intriguing and visionary novels. Living in the late nineteenth century and facing the impact of Darwin’s theory of evolution, Wells wrote this chilling masterpiece about the characteristics of beasts blurring as the animals turn into men. Dr. Moreau, a scientist expelled from his homeland for his cruel vivisection experiments, finds a deserted island that gives him the freedom to continue torturous transplantations and create hideous creatures with manlike intelligence. But as the brutally enforced order on Moreau’s island dissolves, the true consequences of his experiments emerge, and his creations revert to beasts more shocking than nature could devise.

A genius of his time, H. G. Wells foresaw the use of what he called the “atom bomb,” the practice of gene-splicing, and men landing on the moon. Now, when these have become part of everyday life, his dark fable serves as a compelling reminder of the horrors that reckless experiments with nature can produce.


Sherlock Holmes & the Christmas Demon by James Lovegrove | Historical, Mystery, Christmas | Add to Goodreads

The new Sherlock Holmes novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Age of Odin and Firefly – Big Damn Hero.

It is 1890, and in the days before Christmas Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson are visited at Baker Street by a new client. Eve Allerthorpe – eldest daughter of a grand but somewhat eccentric Yorkshire-based dynasty – is greatly distressed, as she believes she is being haunted by a demonic Christmas spirit.

Her late mother told her terrifying tales of the sinister Black Thurrick, and Eve is sure that she has seen the creature from her bedroom window. What is more, she has begun to receive mysterious parcels of birch twigs, the Black Thurrick’s calling card…

Eve stands to inherit a fortune if she is sound in mind, but it seems that something – or someone – is threatening her sanity. Holmes and Watson travel to the Allerthorpe family seat at Fellscar Keep to investigate, but soon discover that there is more to the case than at first appeared. There is another spirit haunting the family, and when a member of the household is found dead, the companions realise that no one is beyond suspicion.


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?


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

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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 | 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 | 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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