Wrap Up

May 2021 Wrap-up

Monthly Wrapup

Hello you wonderful people.

Welcome to my May wrap-up.  I read more in the month of May than I thought I did. as a whole it was a pretty good reading month. I finished 17 books and I DNF’d 5.

5 Star Reads

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

Admonition by Kathryn Amurra | (Soothsayer’s Path, #2) | Historical Romance | Add to Goodreads

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison | (The Goblin Emperor #1) | Fantasy, Steampunk | Add to Goodreads

An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington | (The Licanius Trilogy #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Audacious Miss Eliza by Laura Rollins | (Daughters of Courage #1) | Historical Romance, Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

Monsters Don’t Wear Underpants by Isaac Stewart | Children’s Book | Add to Goodreads

Dark One by Brandon Sanderson, Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Nathan C. Gooden, and Kurt Michael Russell | (Dark One #1) | Graphic Novel, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Clockwork Planet, Vol. 1 by Yuu Kamiya | (Clockwork Planet Manga #1) | Manga, Steampunk, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson | Mistborn Saga – The Wax & Wayne Series #1 | Steampunk, Fantasy, Flintlock Fantasy | Add to Goodreads


4 Star Reads

The Apothecary Diaries Manga, Vol. 1 by Natsu Hyuuga | (The Apothecary Diaries (Nekokurage) #1) | Manga, Mystery, Historical | Add to Goodreads

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint | Fantasy, Mythology, Retelling | Add to Goodreads

Ember of Night by Molly E. Lee | (Ember of Night #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn | (Heroine Complex #1) | Urban Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Selkie Scandal by Rosalie Oaks | (Lady Diviner #1.5) | Historical Fantasy, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison | Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs | (Mercy Thompson #1) | Urban Fantasy, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads


2 Star Reads

Temple of Ice by Christian Cura | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads


DNF

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

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt | Historical Fiction, Crime, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse | Classic, Philosophy, Spirituality | Add to Goodreads

The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell | (The Legacy of the Mercenary Kings #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova | (Loom Saga #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk | Add to Goodreads


How was your reading month? Take to me below I would love to hear from you!

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? May 17, 2021

It's Monday What are you reading.png

Good Morning,

It’s the start of another week. It’s Monday! What are you Reading is hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind.

So I am going to compile the last 2 weeks into this post. There has been a lot going on lately and there was just no way that I was going to be able to get last Mondays post up so here are the books that I have read in the last two weeks.

Recent Books

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

The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it.
 
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.


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. 


See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt | Historical Fiction, Crime, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling. 


Admonition by Kathryn Amurra | (Soothsayer’s Path, #2) | Historical Romance | Add to Goodreads

Sabina is a young noblewoman who, based on her soothsayer aunt’s prediction, believes her words are dangerous and will hurt those she loves. Following the death of her beloved husband, she takes a vow of silence to protect others from suffering the same fate. Ignored and scorned by those around her, who believe her to be cursed by the gods who took her voice, she is content to live in the shadow of her former life, avoiding society as best she can and staying away from the politics and drama of Rome’s inner circles.

Lucius is an unwilling front-runner to inherit the title of Emperor from Rome’s childless leader, Trajan. Although the soothsayer warns him to steer clear of a pretty face that hides a cursed soul, Lucius cannot help but be drawn to the silent and beautiful Sabina. After learning her secret, he is as determined to help her shed her cloak of silence as she is to keep him at a safe distance. But when Lucius becomes the target of a political plot, Sabina must decide whether breaking her silence will save his life or merely seal his fate.

Admonition was winner of the Georgia Romance Writers’ 2020 Maggie Award for Excellence in the Unpublished Historical Romance category.


Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse | Classic, Philosophy, Spirituality | 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.


The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison | (The Goblin Emperor #1) | Fantasy, Steampunk | Add to Goodreads

Maia, the youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.

Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend . . . and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne-or his life. 


An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington | (The Licanius Trilogy #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Davian has won a victory for the Augurs, but treachery surrounds him and his allies on all sides in the second book of the acclaimed Licanus Trilogy, in which “fans of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson will find much to admire.” (The Guardian)

Following a devastating attack, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs–finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against the land of Andarra.

The Augur Davian and his new allies hurry north toward the ever-weakening Boundary, but fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late.

The new Northwarden, his ally in the Capital, contends with assassins and politicians and uncovers a dangerous secret. Meanwhile, their compatriot Asha begins a secret investigation into the disappearance of the Shadows.

And Caeden races against time to fulfill a treacherous bargain, but as more and more of his memories return, he begins to realize that the two sides in this ancient war may not be as clear-cut as they first seemed…  


Temple of Ice by Christian Cura | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Meet Tama, an adept winter mage of Khione, a beautiful, dangerous land. Bloodthirsty monsters roam the frozen wilderness, and the unforgiving elements are a constant. Tama and her friends—Kachina and Masou—are on the cusp of completing their education at the temple where they have trained for the past four years. They need only to do one more thing: earn the Goddess Tira’s final anointing. But to do that, they must fight through hordes of corrupted creatures and endure the perplexing obstacles within Mount Orodani.

The road before them is long and bloody, and Tira’s evil sister, Malsumi, won’t stop sending her minions until she is strong enough to break free of her prison. Tama fights valiantly to defend herself and her people from these twisted monsters. But she will soon discover the real threat is much closer than she initially thought… 


The Apothecary Diaries Manga, Vol. 1 by Natsu Hyuuga | (The Apothecary Diaries (Nekokurage) #1) | Manga, Mystery, Historical | Add to Goodreads

After breaking a “curse” on the imperial heirs, a palace servant with training in herbal medicine is promoted up the ranks to food taster…and right into the thick of palace intrigue in this lushly illustrated period mystery series!

Maomao, a young woman trained in the art of herbal medicine, is forced to work as a lowly servant in the inner palace. Though she yearns for life outside its perfumed halls, she isn’t long for a life of drudgery! Using her wits to break a “curse” afflicting the imperial heirs, Maomao attracts the attentions of the handsome eunuch Jinshi and is promoted to attendant food taster. But Jinshi has other plans for the erstwhile apothecary, and soon Maomao is back to brewing potions and…solving mysteries?!


Currently Reading

The Audacious Miss Eliza by Laura Rollins | (Daughters of Courage #1) | Historical Romance, Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

As it turns out, a London Season is the worst place to find love.

Eliza Mulgrave never expected to make her bows to society. Yet here she is, dancing at Almacks and riding through Hyde Park. It would be perfectly delightful if it weren’t for the whispers and scornful glances. She certainly never sought to quit her place in society as a tradesman’s daughter. At least then she had known who she was and how to act; now, she’s completely lost.

Adam Lambert has been raised to be a viscount and though the time has come sooner than expected he is confident stepping into this new life. Until he meets his Father’s best kept secret—a little girl. And now she’s Adam’s responsibility. Surely someone ought to have told him about her before now.

After stumbling through an initial meeting, Adam and Eliza both find in the other what they most need this Season—a sincere friend. But society is not often willing to grant two people room to learn for themselves who to be, or who to love.

As the first stand-alone novel in a new series by author Laura Rollins, The Audacious Miss Eliza begins the Daughters of Courage series. This charming story is a light-hearted, clean and wholesome romance set in the Regency era.


Ember of Night by Molly E. Lee | (Ember of Night #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

I am a weed.

Unloved by my abusive, alcoholic dad. Unwanted by my classmates. Unnoticed by everyone else.

But I’d suffer anything to give my kid sister a better life—the minute I turn eighteen, I’m getting us the hell out of here. And some hot stranger telling me I am the key to stopping a war between Heaven and Hell isn’t going to change that.

Let the world crumble and burn, for all I care.

Draven is relentless, though. And very much a liar. Every time his sexy lips are moving, I can see it—in the dip of his head, the grit of his jaw—even if my heart begs me to ignore the signs.

So what does he want?

I need to figure it out fast, because now everyone is gunning for me. And damn if I don’t want to show them what happens when you let weeds thrive in the cracks of the pavement…

We can grow powerful enough to shatter the whole foundation.


Ariadne by Jennifer Saint | Fantasy, Mythology, Retelling | Add to Goodreads

As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything.

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne’s decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover’s ambition?

Ariadne gives a voice to the forgotten women of one of the most famous Greek myths, and speaks to their strength in the face of angry, petulant Gods. Beautifully written and completely immersive, this is an exceptional debut novel.


What are you hoping to read this week? Let’s chat in the comments below!

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Reviews

Review: Temple of Ice by Christian Cura

Book Review

Temple of Ice by Christian Cura
Fantasy

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis
Meet Tama, an adept winter mage of Khione, a beautiful, dangerous land. Bloodthirsty monsters roam the frozen wilderness, and the unforgiving elements are a constant. Tama and her friends—Kachina and Masou—are on the cusp of completing their education at the temple where they have trained for the past four years. They need only to do one more thing: earn the Goddess Tira’s final anointing. But to do that, they must fight through hordes of corrupted creatures and endure the perplexing obstacles within Mount Orodani.

The road before them is long and bloody, and Tira’s evil sister, Malsumi, won’t stop sending her minions until she is strong enough to break free of her prison. Tama fights valiantly to defend herself and her people from these twisted monsters. But she will soon discover the real threat is much closer than she initially thought…

What I thought
I received a copy of this book from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I really wanted to like this book and when I accepted it I really thought I would. Sadly this book was not for me. I tried I really did but the story did not grab me in anyway. When I realized that I was trying to find reasons not to read this book I realized that it was not for me.

If you have read my reviews before you probably know that I am a character driven reader. I need to like someone in the book at the very least and in this case I did not like anyone. The main character Tama is like Jekyll and Hyde, there was one scene where she just flipped out on a character that wasn’t mentioned until she flipped. I had to go back to see if I missed something because it caught me so off guard. What was really off putting about all of this is that she does it repeatedly to the people that are supposed to be her closest friends.

The other thing in the book that I just did not like was any of the action/battle/I don’t know what to call them scenes. To me they felt flat. No tension was built, there was nothing that made me feel anything during these so I was not invested in the outcome at all.

I am not saying that this was a bad book or anything. It just was not for me. I could not connect to it in anyway and that is okay because we all can not like every book out there.

If the synopsis appeals to you and you want to give it a shot the e-book is only .99 right now on Amazon.

Have you read this book? If so what did you think? Tell me in the comments below.

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Hauls

Book Haul: April 2021

Book Haul

Good Morning.

My birthday was in April so I am getting rid of the categories and I am just going to list all of the books. These books came from a number of places and this is just easier

Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 2 by Mizuho Kusanagi | (Yona of the Dawn #2) | Manga, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

A red-haired princess loses her family and her kingdom… Now she must rise and fight for her throne!

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, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family!

While on the run, Yona and Hak head to Hak’s hometown, where she attempts to heal her broken heart. However, she can’t rest there for long once she discovers that Su-won may soon become king! What will Yona choose to do in the wake of this news?


The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell | (The Legacy of the Mercenary Kings #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

In this brilliant debut fantasy, a story of secrets, rebellion, and murder are shattering the Hollows, where magic costs memory to use, and only the son of the kingdom’s despised traitor holds the truth.

Michael is branded a traitor as a child because of the murder of the king’s nine-year-old son, by his father David Kingman. Ten years later on Michael lives a hardscrabble life, with his sister Gwen, performing crimes with his friends against minor royals in a weak attempt at striking back at the world that rejects him and his family.

In a world where memory is the coin that pays for magic, Michael knows something is there in the hot white emptiness of his mind. So when the opportunity arrives to get folded back into court, via the most politically dangerous member of the kingdom’s royal council, Michael takes it, desperate to find a way back to his past. He discovers a royal family that is spiraling into a self-serving dictatorship as gun-wielding rebels clash against magically trained militia.

What the truth holds is a set of shocking revelations that will completely change the Hollows, if Michael and his friends and family can survive long enough to see it. 


The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson | Mistborn Saga – The Wax & Wayne Series #1 | Steampunk, Fantasy, Flintlock Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will.

After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs. 


Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft | (The Books of Babel #1) | Fantasy, Steampunk | Add to Goodreads

The first book in the stunning and strange debut fantasy series that’s receiving major praise from some of fantasy’s biggest authors such as Mark Lawrence and Django Wexler.

The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he’ll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassins, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.


Malice by John Gwynne | (The Faithful and the Fallen #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The first book in acclaimed epic fantasy author John Gwynne’s Faithful and Fallen series, Malice is a tale of blind greed, ambition, and betrayal set in a world where ancient monsters are reawakening — and a war to end all wars is about to begin.

The world is broken. . .and it can never be made whole again.

Corban wants nothing more than to be a warrior under King Brenin’s rule — to protect and serve. But that day will come all too soon. And the price he pays will be in blood.

Evnis has sacrificed — too much it seems. But what he wants — the power to rule — will soon be in his grasp. And nothing will stop him once he has started on his path.

Veradis is the newest member of the warband for the High Prince, Nathair. He is one of the most skilled swordsman to come out of his homeland, yet he is always under the shadow of his older brother.

Nathair has ideas — and a lot of plans. Many of them don’t involve his father, the High King Aquilus. Nor does he agree with his father’s idea to summon his fellow kings to council.

The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Now, the stones weep red and giant wyrms stir, and those who can still read the signs see a danger far worse than all that has come before. . . 


The Black Coast by Mike Brooks | (The God-King Chronicles #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Black Coast is the start of a series filled with war-dragons, armoured knights, sea-faring raiders, dangerous magic and battle scenes.

When the citizens of Black Keep see ships on the horizon, terror takes them, for they know who is coming: for generations, Black Keep has been raided by the fearsome clanspeople of Iwernia. Saddling their war dragons, the Naridans rush to defend their home only to discover that the clanspeople have not come to pillage at all. Driven from their own homeland by the rise of a daemonic despot who prophesies the end of the world, they have come in search of a new home. Meanwhile the wider continent of Narida is lurching toward war. Black Keep is about to be caught in the cross-fire of the coming war for the world – if only its new mismatched society can survive.


Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala | (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery #1) | Mystery | Add to Goodreads

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant and has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Jennifer Crusie romp to an Agatha Christie joint.

With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case.


Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 3 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi | (Moriarty the Patriot #3) | Manga, Sherlockian | 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?

Just as everything appears to be going Sherlock Holmes’s way, he finds himself arrested for a murder he did not commit! He soon escapes police custody and sets out to clear his name. The victim, Lord Drebber, wrote Sherlock’s name in blood before he died, but why? Will Sherlock be able to solve this puzzle and save himself?


A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova | (Married to Magic #1) | Young Adult, 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.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Illustrated Edition) by J.K. Rowling | (Harry Potter #4) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The fourth book in the beloved Harry Potter series, now illustrated in glorious full color by award-winning artist Jim Kay.

Harry Potter wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. Unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal – even by wizarding standards. And in this case, different can be deadly.

With dazzling illustrations from Jim Kay, this new fully illustrated edition of the complete and unabridged text of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is sure to delight fans and first-time readers alike. 


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

From the New York Times bestelling author of The Age of Odin comes a brand new Sherlock Holmes mystery in which Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson must infiltrate a mysterious cult to save a woman s life.

London, 1895, and a widowed gentleman comes calling at 221B Baker Street. Due to his preoccupation with his grief at losing his wife, Fitzhugh Woolfson’s daughter Hannah has become estranged from him, and has disappeared from the family home. Woolfson begs Sherlock Holmes to find her. Holmes and Watson soon discover that Hannah has joined a religious sect known as the Elysians – led by the charismatic Sir Philip Buchanan – which conducts secretive rituals in the countryside derived from Ancient Greek myth and religion. Hannah’s friend Sophia has disappeared after becoming embroiled with the Elysians, and foul play is suspected. The companions must infiltrate the mysterious cult to discover the terrifying truth…”


Sword of Rage by Jennifer Anne Davis | (Reigning Kingdoms #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Harley has three goals—stay alive, avenge her brother’s death, and overthrow the traitorous king.

When Harley receives an invitation to the royal castle for her cousin’s birthday, she’s elated at the offer. As the queen’s niece, she’s expected to make an appearance, but this will also be her first time attending a formal function as a married woman. However, what starts as an elegant party quickly turns into a nightmare. One that flips Harley’s world upside down.

Ackley’s mission should have been simple—arrive in Melenia, submerse himself in battle, and retake the kingdom for his sister’s newly betrothed, the rightful king. Instead, he finds the land ravaged and a young woman who could be the key to his undoing. When forced to choose between family, honor, and love, he realizes all of his years training to be an assassin, knight, and prince never prepared him for this. Ackley always thought he’d die by the sword. But what he never realized was love could be the most dangerous weapon of all.

This is the first book in a new series by Jennifer Anne Davis. Filled with romance, battles, and espionage, this book will immerse you into the world of her previous books like you’ve never before imagined! 


Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World by Amy Stanley | Biography, Historical, Nonfiction | Add to Goodreads

A work of history that explores the life of an unconventional woman during the first half of the 19th century in Edo—the city that would become Tokyo—and a portrait of a great city on the brink of a momentous encounter with the West.

The daughter of a Buddhist priest, Tsuneno was born in a rural Japanese village and was expected to live a traditional life much like her mother’s. But after three divorces, she ran away to make a life for herself in one of the largest cities in the world: Edo.

In the book we experience the drama and excitement of Edo just prior to the arrival of American Commodore Perry’s fleet, which transformed Japan. During this pivotal moment in Japanese history, Tsuneno bounces from tenement to tenement, marries a masterless samurai, and eventually enters the service of a famous city magistrate. Tsuneno’s life provides a window into 19th-century Japanese culture—and a rare view of an extraordinary woman who sacrificed her family and her reputation to make a new life for herself, in defiance of social conventions. 


We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson | (The Reborn Empire #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

In the midst of a burgeoning war, a warrior, an assassin, and a princess chase their own ambitions no matter the cost in Devin Madson’s visceral, emotionally charged debut.

War built the Kisian Empire. War will tear it down.

Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when a shocking betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighboring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.

In Kisia, Princess Miko Ts’ai is a prisoner in her own castle. She dreams of claiming her empire, but the path to power could rip it, and her family, asunder.

In Chiltae, assassin Cassandra Marius is plagued by the voices of the dead. Desperate, she accepts a contract that promises to reward her with a cure if she helps an empire fall.

And on the border between nations, Captain Rah e’Torin and his warriors are exiles forced to fight in a foreign war or die.

As an empire dies, three warriors will rise. They will have to ride the storm or drown in its blood.


Temple of Ice by Christian Cura | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Meet Tama, an adept winter mage of Khione, a beautiful, dangerous land. Bloodthirsty monsters roam the frozen wilderness, and the unforgiving elements are a constant. Tama and her friends—Kachina and Masou—are on the cusp of completing their education at the temple where they have trained for the past four years. They need only to do one more thing: earn the Goddess Tira’s final anointing. But to do that, they must fight through hordes of corrupted creatures and endure the perplexing obstacles within Mount Orodani.

The road before them is long and bloody, and Tira’s evil sister, Malsumi, won’t stop sending her minions until she is strong enough to break free of her prison. Tama fights valiantly to defend herself and her people from these twisted monsters. But she will soon discover the real threat is much closer than she initially thought…


The Audacious Miss Eliza by Laura Rollins | (Daughters of Courage #1) | Historical Romance, Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

As it turns out, a London Season is the worst place to find love.

Eliza Mulgrave never expected to make her bows to society. Yet here she is, dancing at Almacks and riding through Hyde Park. It would be perfectly delightful if it weren’t for the whispers and scornful glances. She certainly never sought to quit her place in society as a tradesman’s daughter. At least then she had known who she was and how to act; now, she’s completely lost.

Adam Lambert has been raised to be a viscount and though the time has come sooner than expected he is confident stepping into this new life. Until he meets his Father’s best kept secret—a little girl. And now she’s Adam’s responsibility. Surely someone ought to have told him about her before now.

After stumbling through an initial meeting, Adam and Eliza both find in the other what they most need this Season—a sincere friend. But society is not often willing to grant two people room to learn for themselves who to be, or who to love.

As the first stand-alone novel in a new series by author Laura Rollins, The Audacious Miss Eliza begins the Daughters of Courage series. This charming story is a light-hearted, clean and wholesome romance set in the Regency era.


Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 3 by Mizuho Kusanagi | (Yona of the Dawn #3) | Manga, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

A red-haired princess loses her family and her kingdom… Now she must rise and fight for her throne!

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, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family!

Yona and Hak set out on a journey to find a priest who can see the future. After they get severely injured falling from a cliff, a boy named Yun and his guardian Ik-su nurse them back to health—and Ik-su happens to be a priest! When Yona tells him that she wishes to protect the lives of those who are precious to her, what path will Ik-su show her? 


The Queen of Izmoroz by Jon Skovron | (The Goddess War #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Sonya has brought a foreign army to free her country from imperial rule, but her allies may have other goals in the second book of this thrilling epic fantasy trilogy from Jon Skovron.

The first battle is over, but war yet looms on the horizon. Sonya and her allies–the foreign Uaine and their armies of the undead–have beaten back the imperial soldiers from the capital city. Now they have the rest of the country to free.

Meanwhile, her brother the famed wizard Sebastian has retreated with the imperial forces to regroup and lick his wounds. Betrayed by his sister and his wife, the beautiful noblewoman Galina, he will regain control of his life and his country at any cost. 


The Way of Kings Prime by Brandon Sanderson | (The Stormlight Archive #0.5) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Way of Kings Prime is the original draft of The Way of Kings written in 2002. It is completely different to the version released back in 2011, and is not canon to the Cosmere universe. Brandon Sanderson released this version as a extra goodie during The Way of Kings 10th Anniversary Leatherbound Edition Kickstarter

“The Way of Kings Prime, was written in 2002 and is basically an alternate version of The Way of Kings, which was published by Tor Books in 2010. The Way of Kings Prime is very different from the published book. Think of it as set in a different universe with a completely different plot. If you haven’t read the 2010 canonical version, please read that one first.” — from author’s website (emphasis mine)


Dawnshard by Brandon Sanderson | (The Stormlight Archive #3.5) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

When a ghost ship is discovered, its crew presumed dead after trying to reach the storm-shrouded island Akinah, Navani Kholin must send an expedition to make sure the island hasn’t fallen into enemy hands. Knights Radiant who fly too near find their Stormlight suddenly drained, so the voyage must be by sea.

Shipowner Rysn Ftori lost the use of her legs but gained the companionship of Chiri-Chiri, a Stormlight-ingesting winged larkin, a species once thought extinct. Now Rysn’s pet is ill, and any hope for Chiri-Chiri’s recovery can be found only at the ancestral home of the larkin: Akinah. With the help of Lopen, the formerly one-armed Windrunner, Rysn must accept Navani’s quest and sail into the perilous storm from which no one has returned alive. If the crew cannot uncover the secrets of the hidden island city before the wrath of its ancient guardians falls upon them, the fate of Roshar and the entire Cosmere hangs in the balance.


Women of the Pleasure Quarters: The Secret History of the Geisha by Lesley Downer | Nonfiction, Historical, Japan | Add to Goodreads

Ever since Westerners arrived in Japan, they have been intrigued by Japanese womanhood and, above all, by geisha. This fascination has spawned a wealth of extraordinary fictional creations, from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly to Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha. But as denizens of a world defined by silence and mystery, real geisha are notoriously difficult to meet and even to find. As a result, their history has long been cloaked in secrecy.

Lesley Downer, an award-winning writer, Japanese scholar, and consummate storyteller, gained more access to this world than almost any other Westerner, and spent several months living in it. In Women of the Pleasure Quarters, she weaves together intimate portraits of modern geisha with the romantic legends and colorful historical tales that shape their fascinating past. Contrary to popular opinion, geisha are not prostitutes but, literally, “arts people.” Accomplished singers, dancers, and musicians, they are, above all, masters of the art of conversation, soothing the worries and stroking the egos of wealthy businessmen who can afford their attentions. Looking into such traditions as mizuage, the ritual deflowering that was once a rite of passage for all geisha, and providing colorful descriptions of their dress, training, and homes, Downer transforms their reality into a captivating narrative, and reveals an enthralling world unlike any other.


Geisha by Kyoko Aihara | Nonfiction, Historical, Japan | Add to Goodreads

This book takes the reader into the enigmatic world of Kyoto’s geisha. These elaborately dressed, heavily made-up Japanese women have held a fascination for the Western world for many years. Many have misconstrued their role as purely sexual when, in fact, the life of a maiko (apprentice) or geiko (geisha) is far more complex. The book covers the diverse artistic skills they develop; the distinctive look they adopt, and how it is achieved through make up, dress and hair styling; the rituals and traditions they observe and their relationships with other sections of Japanese society. The last section looks at the role of the geisha in modern society and how their position has been affected by economic crises, war and occupation and the impact of Western perceptions of geisha. Written by a Japanese writer who has had unprecedented access to Kyoto’s geisha community, this is a unique study of these enigmatic women.


Geisha: The Life, the Voices, the Art by Jodi Cobb, Ian Buruma | Nonfiction, Historical, Japan | Add to Goodreads

Here, brought vividly to life, is an icon of Japanese culture and custom—the geisha in her role as human work of art and perfect woman.

A hundred years ago geisha numbered eighty thousand; today there are a thousand at most. Happily, Jodi Cobb is able to show us—before they vanish—both the ceremonial world of the geisha in Tokyo and Kyoto and their private world as few outsiders have ever seen it.

Many of the older women we meet here were forced into this world by hardship; the young women were drawn to it by their dream of a
romantic life or their love of traditional arts. We see geisha in their daytime routines: fine-tuning their breathtakingly lavish wardrobes; perfecting the art of makeup; training maikos (apprentices); and preparing for annual dance performances.

But as we watch the geisha at night, as they entertain (for huge sums) at private parties, their art takes a different form. Their purpose is to provide a dream—of luxury, romance and exclusivity. As the men sit at dinner, geisha position themselves at their elbows to serve them sake and delicacies and practice a brilliantly honed art of conversation. As the alcohol flows and the guests relax, geisha play party tricks and sing songs. Geisha have for centuries studied the male ego. They tend it like a garden—and we watch men bloom.

This long-hidden world is revealed here both in superlative photographs and in a fascinating text that includes the voices of the geisha themselves. These women have created a life of beauty, making themselves an embodiment of Japanese culture, tradition and refinement—a life that is captured exquisitely in this remarkable book.


The World of Lore: Dreadful Places by Aaron Mahnke | (The World of Lore #3) | Folklore | Add to Goodreads

Captivating stories of the places where human evil has left a nefarious mark, featuring stories from the podcast Lore–now a streaming television series–including “Echoes,” “Withering Heights,” and “Behind Closed Doors” as well as rare material.

Sometimes you walk into a room, a building, or even a town, and you feel it. Something seems off–an atmosphere that leaves you oddly unsettled, with a sense of lingering darkness. Join Aaron Mahnke, the host of the popular podcast Lore, as he explores some of these dreadful places and the history that haunts them.

Mahnke takes us to Colorado and the palatial Stanley Hotel, where wealthy guests enjoyed views of the Rocky Mountains at the turn of the twentieth century–and where, decades later, a restless author would awaken from a nightmare, inspired to write one of the most revered horror novels of all time. Mahnke also crosses land and sea to visit frightful sites–from New Orleans to Richmond, Virginia, to the brooding, ancient castles of England–each with its own echoes of dark deeds, horrible tragedies, and shocking evil still resounding.

Filled with evocative illustrations, this eerie tour of lurid landmarks and doomed destinations is just the ticket to take armchair travelers with a taste for the macabre to places they never thought they’d visit in their wildest, scariest dreams.


Geisha: Beyond the Painted Smile by Peabody Essex Museum | Nonfiction, Historical, Japan | Add to Goodreads

Renowned throughout the world as purveyors of beauty, mystery, and allure, geisha have come to represent the epitome of Japanese elegance and chic. The rich 250-year history of these performance artists is vividly presented in this volume, taking the reader behind the masklike makeup and into the studios where they train and rehearse and the teahouses where they entertain.

The contributors to this book, all prominent specialists on Japanese culture, each consider a particular aspect of geisha tradition and aesthetics, from their music and dance to misperceptions of the profession by foreigners, from the portrayal of geisha as recurring characters in theater and film to profiles of talented women who choose this life and work today. Illustrated with woodblock prints and paintings as well as historical and contemporary photographs, this groundbreaking study also explores the dynamic tension between image and reality in the art of these exquisite entertainers.


Manners and Monsters by Tilly Wallace | (Manners and Monsters #1) | Historical Romance, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

A lady never reveals the true extent of her decay…

Hannah Miles lives a quiet existence, helping her parents conduct research into a most terrible affliction – until a gruesome murder during her best friend’s engagement party pulls her from the shadows. With her specialist’s knowledge and demure disposition, Hannah is requested to aid the investigation.

Except Hannah discovers her role is to apologise in the wake of the rude and disgraced man tasked with finding the murderer. The obnoxious Viscount Wycliff thinks to employ Hannah purely as a front to satisfy Whitehall, but she’ll have none of that.

The two must work together to find the murderer before the season is ruined. But the viscount is about to meet his greatest challenge, and it’s not a member of the ton with a hankering for brains. 


Clockwork Planet, Vol. 1 by Yuu Kamiya | (Clockwork Planet Manga #1) | Manga, Steampunk, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

AS THE WORLD TURNS

Naoto is a brilliant amateur mechanic who spends his days tinkering with gears and inventions. And his world is a playground—a massive, intricate machine. But his quiet life is disrupted when a box containing an automaton in the shape of a girl crashes into his home. Could this be an omen of a breakdown in Naoto’s delicate clockwork planet? And is this his chance to become a hero?


The Black Song by Anthony Ryan | (Raven’s Blade #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

A matchless warrior is pitted against a near-God in the second epic installment of the Raven’s Blade series.

It has long been our lot in life, brother, to do what others can’t.

Vaelin Al Sorna was known across the realm as the greatest of warriors, but he thought battles were behind him. He was wrong. Prophecy and rumor led him across the sea to find a woman he once loved, and drew him into a war waged by the Darkblade, a man who believes himself a god–and one who has gathered a fanatical army that threatens all of the known world.

After a costly defeat by the Darkblade, Vaelin’s forces are shattered, while the self-proclaimed immortal and his army continue their terrible march. But during the clash, Vaelin regained some of the dark magic that once gave him unrivaled skill in battle. And though the fight he has been drawn into seems near unwinnable, the song that drives him now desires the blood of his enemy above all else… 


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

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Read-a-Thon · TBR

My Kinda May 2021 TBR

Welcome to my May TBR. I am carrying over some books from last month that I didn’t get finished before the month was over. Otherwise my TBR this month is a lot more manageable than what I had picked out last month.

The Selkie Scandal by Rosalie Oaks | (Lady Diviner #1.5) | Historical Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

A royal ransom, a dangerous rescue, and the famous Beresford jam…

England, 1804: the Earl of Beresford has his morning interrupted by naked selkie royalty. The seal-woman in question wants Beresford to find her brother, the High Prince of Skerry, who has been taken hostage for two thousand guineas.

Lord Beresford knows the coast better than he knows his own cravat—but his wits alone may not be enough to stop a war and save a selkie prince from death. Thankfully, he also has a whole case of the famous Beresford Jam.

Who stole the seal prince? How will Beresford find him? And what really happened at the royal birthday party?


The Audacious Miss Eliza by Laura Rollins | (Daughters of Courage #1) | Historical Romance, Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

As it turns out, a London Season is the worst place to find love.

Eliza Mulgrave never expected to make her bows to society. Yet here she is, dancing at Almacks and riding through Hyde Park. It would be perfectly delightful if it weren’t for the whispers and scornful glances. She certainly never sought to quit her place in society as a tradesman’s daughter. At least then she had known who she was and how to act; now, she’s completely lost.

Adam Lambert has been raised to be a viscount and though the time has come sooner than expected he is confident stepping into this new life. Until he meets his Father’s best kept secret—a little girl. And now she’s Adam’s responsibility. Surely someone ought to have told him about her before now.

After stumbling through an initial meeting, Adam and Eliza both find in the other what they most need this Season—a sincere friend. But society is not often willing to grant two people room to learn for themselves who to be, or who to love.

As the first stand-alone novel in a new series by author Laura Rollins, The Audacious Miss Eliza begins the Daughters of Courage series. This charming story is a light-hearted, clean and wholesome romance set in the Regency era.


Admonition by Kathryn Amurra | (Soothsayer’s Path, #2) | Historical Romance | Add to Goodreads

Sabina is a young noblewoman who, based on her soothsayer aunt’s prediction, believes her words are dangerous and will hurt those she loves. Following the death of her beloved husband, she takes a vow of silence to protect others from suffering the same fate. Ignored and scorned by those around her, who believe her to be cursed by the gods who took her voice, she is content to live in the shadow of her former life, avoiding society as best she can and staying away from the politics and drama of Rome’s inner circles.

Lucius is an unwilling front-runner to inherit the title of Emperor from Rome’s childless leader, Trajan. Although the soothsayer warns him to steer clear of a pretty face that hides a cursed soul, Lucius cannot help but be drawn to the silent and beautiful Sabina. After learning her secret, he is as determined to help her shed her cloak of silence as she is to keep him at a safe distance. But when Lucius becomes the target of a political plot, Sabina must decide whether breaking her silence will save his life or merely seal his fate.

Admonition was winner of the Georgia Romance Writers’ 2020 Maggie Award for Excellence in the Unpublished Historical Romance category.


Temple of Ice by Christian Cura | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Meet Tama, an adept winter mage of Khione, a beautiful, dangerous land. Bloodthirsty monsters roam the frozen wilderness, and the unforgiving elements are a constant. Tama and her friends—Kachina and Masou—are on the cusp of completing their education at the temple where they have trained for the past four years. They need only to do one more thing: earn the Goddess Tira’s final anointing. But to do that, they must fight through hordes of corrupted creatures and endure the perplexing obstacles within Mount Orodani.

The road before them is long and bloody, and Tira’s evil sister, Malsumi, won’t stop sending her minions until she is strong enough to break free of her prison. Tama fights valiantly to defend herself and her people from these twisted monsters. But she will soon discover the real threat is much closer than she initially thought…


The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri | (Burning Kingdoms #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Author of Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne, beginning a new trilogy set in a world inspired by the history and epics of India, in which a captive princess and a maidservant in possession of forbidden magic become unlikely allies on a dark journey to save their empire from the princess’s traitor brother.

Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.

Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides.

But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire. 


Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse | Classic, Philosophy, Spirituality | 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.


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 Echo of Things to Come by James Islington | (The Licanius Trilogy #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Davian has won a victory for the Augurs, but treachery surrounds him and his allies on all sides in the second book of the acclaimed Licanus Trilogy, in which “fans of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson will find much to admire.” (The Guardian)

Following a devastating attack, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs–finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against the land of Andarra.

The Augur Davian and his new allies hurry north toward the ever-weakening Boundary, but fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late.

The new Northwarden, his ally in the Capital, contends with assassins and politicians and uncovers a dangerous secret. Meanwhile, their compatriot Asha begins a secret investigation into the disappearance of the Shadows.

And Caeden races against time to fulfill a treacherous bargain, but as more and more of his memories return, he begins to realize that the two sides in this ancient war may not be as clear-cut as they first seemed…


Geisha: A Unique World of Tradition, Elegance and Art by John Gallagher | Nonfiction, History, Cultural, Japan, Geisha | Add to Goodreads

Take a fascinating peek into the geisha’s world of tradition and ritual with the help of a most unique book. Four see-through vellum sections, of four layers each, begin with a “naked” geisha; they show, stage by stage, how her distinctive costume and make-up are assembled. You’ll view the subtle changes of appearance through the round of seasonal events, and the elaborate array of equipment in the geisha’s wardrobe, as well as everything she needs to do her demanding jobs. Equally revealing is the incredibly detailed information about the women’s training, lives, and history.


See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt | Historical Fiction, Crime, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling. 


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

The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it.
 
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.


What are you hoping to read this month?

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New Releases

Dreams of Fire and Thunder of Dreams by Christian Cura

Today I am bringing to you 2 books by Christian Cura.  Dreams of Fire his debut book is out now and later this year its sequel Thunder of Dreams will be out. Below you will find a synopsis for each book and an excerpt for the upcoming Thunder of Dreams!

DOFpaperback

Dreams of Fire by Christian Cura
Genre:  Fantasy, Paranormal, New Adult
Published:  December 5, 2019
Pages: 167

Meet Kara Hartman, a young painter living and working in D.C. She would love to let you believe she is just an ordinary young woman with a dream of sharing her art with the world. But she is hiding an astonishing secret: Kara can wield magic, the most powerful force in the universe. Traumatized by the loss of her brother, she wants nothing more to do with magic. But when an old foe resurfaces, hellbent on destroying all that she loves, Kara has no choice but to embrace the only power that can stop her.

Purchase on Amazon | Add to Goodreads

DOTfrontback2

Thunder of Dreams by Christian Cura
Genre:  Fantasy, Paranormal, New Adult
Expected Publication:  December 2020

Magical outlaws roam free on the West Coast. The Enforcers are stretched thin in their efforts to stem the tide of chaos. The Council Headquarters is on the brink of assault and the lives of the Council members hang in the balance. At the center of it all, is Saba Qureshi, a woman scorned by the draconian measures of the Council. They executed her grandfather and robbed her family of their status and fortune. Now Saba is coming for them and she’s not alone…

DOTexcerpt

Author Bio

Christian Cura is a new author who just recently published his debut novel Dreams of Fire. Ever since he read Lord of the Rings as a teenager, it has been his dream to write and publish a novel of his own. His favorite authors include J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and Robert Jordan. Christian lives in Northern Virginia where he lifts weights at home and creates artwork.

When he is not writing, he can be found drawing or getting beaten up at his MMA gym.

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