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My Favorite books of 2020

Good Day Everyone!!

I had so many issues making the list of my favorite reads of 2020. There were many cases that I really loved multiple books in series but to keep this list from being really long I only included one book from that series.

I decided to put these books in the order that I read them.

Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse | (Mycroft Holmes and Sherlock #1) | Historical Fiction, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

Fresh out of Cambridge University, the young Mycroft Holmes is already making a name ​ ​for himself in government, working for the Secretary of State for War. Yet this most British of civil servants has strong ties to the faraway island of Trinidad, the birthplace of his best friend, Cyrus Douglas, a man of African descent, and where his fiancée Georgiana Sutton was raised.

Mycroft’s comfortable existence is overturned when Douglas receives troubling reports from home. There are rumors of mysterious disappearances, strange footprints in the sand, and spirits enticing children to their deaths, their bodies found drained of blood. Upon hearing the news, Georgiana abruptly departs for Trinidad. Near panic, Mycroft convinces Douglas that they should follow her, drawing the two men into a web of dark secrets that grows more treacherous with each step they take…


Lily for My Enemy by L.G. Rollins | (Lockhart #2) | Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

He’s from Lords. She sides with Commons.
Watch out London, sparks will fly.

Felix Lockhart is tired of balls, tired of musicales, and most especially tired of society only seeing him as the heir apparent to a powerful seat in Lords. Then, one evening he meets the witty Jocelyn Hunt—perhaps the only young lady in London who isn’t impressed with him.

Jocelyn Hunt will never hold a seat in the House of Commons herself, but she is no less an ardent supporter. When she meets the brooding Felix Lockhart, she is determined he understand that the House of Lords simply cannot continue to ignore the changing times.

Though they quarrel at first, both Felix and Jocelyn find themselves irresistibly drawn toward the other. But when their roles as heir apparent and daughter of a prominent man in Commons push them apart, can their undeniable connection be enough to bridge two groups determined to hate one another?


A Feast of Phantoms by Kat Ross | (Lingua Magika #1) | Fantasy, Steampunk | Add to Goodreads

THE JOB

It was supposed to be simple.

Help Marshal Sebastian Hardin escort his prisoner one stop on the railway to Charter Oak.

Just one stop.

But when that prisoner is a savant who talks to ghosts, even the simplest plans have a way of falling apart.

THE LAW

Sheriff’s Deputy Ruth Cortez always does the right thing. Lucky Boy is a company town, dependent on the rich and powerful Carnarvon family. Besides which, the charismatic Sebastian Hardin isn’t an easy man to say no to. When his transport derails in the middle of the prairie, Ruth begins a relentless manhunt that leads straight into the dark heart of the Carnarvon empire.

THE FUGITIVE

Lee Merriweather favors sharp suits and fast trains – especially when he’s stealing them. At the ripe old age of 18, he’s managed to become the most wanted criminal in three territories. Lee can’t resist playing cat and mouse with a small-town deputy, but what starts as a game becomes deadly serious.

THE FIXER

Sebastian Hardin is the Carnarvons’ right hand, loyal to the death and willing to keep any secret to protect the family. They want Lee alive, but with the young savant’s disturbing abilities it won’t be an easy proposition. Whoever catches Lee gets the keys to the kingdom and the Carnarvons aren’t the only ones hunting him down. Sebastian has enough problems without falling for Deputy Cortez – but you can’t always choose who you love.

THE PHANTOMS

They terrorized the settlers until Calindra Carnarvon learned to speak their language. Her empire relies on controlling their telekinetic powers, but Lee Merriweather could destroy it all. And not even Lee suspects the shocking truth of the phantoms’ real nature.


Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare | (The Last Hours #1) | Young Adult, Historical, Fantasy, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

Cordelia Carstairs is a Shadowhunter, a warrior trained since childhood to battle demons. When her father is accused of a terrible crime, she and her brother travel to London in hopes of preventing the family’s ruin. Cordelia’s mother wants to marry her off, but Cordelia is determined to be a hero rather than a bride. Soon Cordelia encounters childhood friends James and Lucie Herondale and is drawn into their world of glittering ballrooms, secret assignations, and supernatural salons, where vampires and warlocks mingle with mermaids and magicians. All the while, she must hide her secret love for James, who is sworn to marry someone else.

But Cordelia’s new life is blown apart when a shocking series of demon attacks devastate London. These monsters are nothing like those Shadowhunters have fought before—these demons walk in daylight, strike down the unwary with incurable poison, and seem impossible to kill. London is immediately quarantined. Trapped in the city, Cordelia and her friends discover that their own connection to a dark legacy has gifted them with incredible powers—and forced a brutal choice that will reveal the true cruel price of being a hero. 


The Ranger of Marzanna by Jon Skovron | (The Goddess War #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

When their father is murdered by imperial soldiers, two siblings set out on opposite paths—one will destroy the Empire forever and the other will save it—in this thrilling new Russian inspired epic fantasy from Jon Skovron.

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

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

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


Scarlet Odyssey by C.T. Rwizi | (Scarlet Odyssey #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

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

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

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

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


To Catch an Earl by Kate Bateman | (Bow Street Bachelors #2) | Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

A case of secret identities finds reunited lovers on opposite sides of the law in this fun, flirty Regency romance.

There’s only one case Bow Street agent Alex Harland, Earl of Melton, hasn’t cracked: the identity of the mysterious woman who stole a kiss from him before he left for war. He’s neither forgotten–nor forgiven–her for leaving him wanting. When he starts investigating the Nightjar, an elusive London jewel thief, he keeps running into the alluring Emmy Danvers, who stirs feelings he hasn’t felt in years.

Even though Emmy’s loved Alex for years, she can’t risk revealing her heart, or her identity as the Nightjar. With Alex on her case, Emmy knows that her secrets are in danger of being discovered. Their cat and mouse game heats up with every interaction, but when Emmy’s reputation–and life–is at risk, will Alex realize that some rules are made to be broken for love?


The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington | (The Licanius Trilogy #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

It has been twenty years since the end of the war. The dictatorial Augurs – once thought of almost as gods – were overthrown and wiped out during the conflict, their much-feared powers mysteriously failing them. Those who had ruled under them, men and women with a lesser ability known as the Gift, avoided the Augurs’ fate only by submitting themselves to the rebellion’s Four Tenets. A representation of these laws is now written into the flesh of any who use the Gift, forcing those so marked into absolute obedience.

As a student of the Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war fought – and lost – before he was born. Despised by most beyond the school walls, he and those around him are all but prisoners as they attempt to learn control of the Gift. Worse, as Davian struggles with his lessons, he knows that there is further to fall if he cannot pass his final tests.

But when Davian discovers he has the ability to wield the forbidden power of the Augurs, he sets into motion a chain of events that will change everything. To the north, an ancient enemy long thought defeated begins to stir. And to the west, a young man whose fate is intertwined with Davian’s wakes up in the forest, covered in blood and with no memory of who he is…


The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune | Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

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

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

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

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


The Patience of a Dead Man by Michael Clark | (The Patience of a Dead Man #1) | Horror | Add to Goodreads

He just spent everything on a house in disrepair, but he didn’t know someone was waiting inside. Tim Russell just put his last dollar on a handyman’s dream; a quaint but dilapidated farmhouse in New Hampshire. Newly single after a messy divorce, his plan is to live in the house as he restores it for resale. To his horror, as soon as the papers are signed and his work starts, ghosts begin to appear. A bone-white little boy. A woman covered in flies. Tim can’t afford to leave and lose it all, so he turns to his real estate agent Holly Burns to help him decide whether he has any shot at solving his haunted problem. Can they solve the mystery before he loses his investment…or maybe his life?


Elantris by Brandon Sanderson | (Elantris #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.

Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.

But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.

A rare epic fantasy that doesn’t recycle the classics and that is a complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantris is fleet and fun, full of surprises and characters to care about. It’s also the wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy.


To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini | Science Fiction, Space Opera | 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… 


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 …


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 . . . 


Oath of Destruction by Jennifer Anne Davis | (Reign of Secrets #5) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Allyssa was raised as royalty. Savenek had been trained as a spy. Alyssa grew up doted on by her parents. Savenek’s adoptive father had often shown his love through strict training and discipline. Allyssa died too soon, loved and mourned by her kingdom. Savenek is supposed to take her place, but struggles to win the hearts of the people and parents who don’t know him.

When Savenek finally settles in to life at court, Alyssa shows up alive, in time for their seventeenth birthday celebration. Everything in Savenek’s life feels like it’s exploding again. While Alyssa has managed to stop the war with Russek and form a powerful alliance, Savenek knows there is a greater danger surrounding them.

As Emperion teeters on the brink of war, a much more personal battle plays out between twin siblings. If Allyssa and Savenek want to save their kingdom from being destroyed, they must learn to work together, trust one another, and rely on each other. When duty, loyalty, and family clash, can there be room for two royal heirs? Especially when one is being a royal pain?


Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan | (Powder Mage #1) | Epic Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Field Marshal Tamas’ coup against his king sent corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brought bread to the starving. But it also provoked war with the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics, and greedy scrambling for money and power by Tamas’s supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces. Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail.

Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should… 


Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa | (Shadow of the Fox #3) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has given up the final piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers in order to save everyone she loves from imminent death. Now she and her ragtag band of companions must journey to the wild sea cliffs of Iwagoto in a desperate last-chance effort to stop the Master of Demons from calling upon the Great Kami dragon and making the wish that will plunge the empire into destruction and darkness.

Shadow clan assassin Kage Tatsumi has regained control of his body and agreed to a true deal with the devil — the demon inside him, Hakaimono. They will share his body and work with Yumeko and their companions to stop a madman and separate Hakaimono from Tatsumi and the cursed sword that had trapped the demon for nearly a millennium.

But even with their combined skills and powers, this most unlikely team of heroes knows the forces of evil may be impossible to overcome. And there is another player in the battle for the scroll, a player who has been watching, waiting for the right moment to pull strings that no one even realized existed… until now. 


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.


Did you read any of these books this year? If so what did you think about them?

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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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Reviews

Review: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

Book Review

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
Sci Fi, Space Opera

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Synopsis
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 . . .”

What I Thought
Thank you Macmillan Audio and Netgalley for giving me an audio copy of this book for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When I heard that Christopher Paolini wrote a Sci-Fi book I was on the fence. I really liked his Eragon series and I wanted to give it a chance; however, I have never been interested in space opera books before. Then I watched a live stream of an interview and when I saw him talk about the book I just knew that I had to give it a chance. I preordered my physical copy and then later found the audiobook on Netgalley and I just had to get it.

When you look at this book it is very intimidating but be assured it is well worth it. This book is a standalone so no worries that by picking this one up you are committing to something bigger. This book is a slow burn story. Yes, there are some action-packed scenes however, for the most part, the story stays at the same pace. Personally, I really enjoyed that I am this is a 32-hour audiobook so the constant pacing was welcome. Plus Jennifer Hale was an amazing narrator.

I felt that this book gave me everything a book this size should: serious content, humor, companionship, and everyday life. I never felt like I was missing something.

Now in regards to Sci-Fi tropes and themes, I can not help you there. This is the first “space” book I have ever picked up so I can not tell you if they are done with new spins.

All in all I really liked this book and it is something I can see myself going back and picking up again.

If this book interests you in any way bite the bullet and pick it up. I think you will enjoy it.

My Rating: /5

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Wrap Up

September 2020 Wrap-up

Monthly Wrapup

Hello you wonderful people.

Welcome to my September wrap-up.  September was not my best month just in general. I am hoping that October will be much better.

5 Star Reads

The Damned by Renée Ahdieh |(The Beautiful #2) | Add to Goodreads

Lycans and Legends by Melanie Karsak | (Steampunk Red Riding Hood #6) | Add to Goodreads

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

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

Monstress #28 by Marjorie M. Liu | (Monstress (Issues) #28) | Add to Goodreads

Monstress #29 by Marjorie M. Liu | (Monstress (Issues) #29) | Add to Goodreads

Monstress #30 by Marjorie M. Liu | (Monstress (Issues) #30) | Add to Goodreads

Adler #3 by Lavie Tidhar, Paul McCaffrey | (Adler #3) | Add to Goodreads

Chasing Stars Chapter 1 by Anadia-chan | Add to Goodreads


4.5 Star Reads

Awaken the Three by D.L. Jennings | (Highglade #2) | Add to Goodreads


3.5 Star Reads

Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim | (Scavenge the Stars #1) | Add to Goodreads


3 Star Reads

Altered Helix by Stephanie Hansen | (Altered Helix #1) Add to Goodreads


2 Star Reads

Arrowood by Mick Finlay | (Arrowood #1) | Add to Goodreads


How was your reading month?

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? October 5, 2020

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.

This past week went better than I expected! I am hoping that this week will be good as well.

Recent Books

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini | Science Fiction, Space Opera | 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 . . .”


Dead Woman Scorned by Michael Clark | (The Patience of a Dead Man #2) | Horror/ Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

She’s back, and they’ll regret what they’ve done.

Mildred Wells had a miserable life that carried over to a lonesome death. In the end, they betrayed her–played her the fool.

She was the last to know, but there’s still time to catch up. She’ll formulate her painful plan as they live their lives in blissful ignorance.

With no more family, only vengeance drives her; in fact, it’s all she has. She would have rather rested in peace, but for Mildred, dying isn’t so easy.


My Lady Quicksilver by Bec McMaster | (London Steampunk #3) | Victorian Romance, Steampunk | Add to Goodreads

Determined to destroy the Echelon she despises, Rosalind Fairchild is on seemingly easy mission. Get in. Uncover the secrets of her brother’s disappearance. And get out.

In order to infiltrate the Nighthawks and find their leader, Sir Jasper Lynch, Rosalind will pose as their secretary. But she doesn’t count on Lynch being such a dangerously charismatic man, challenging her at every turn, forcing her to re-evaluate everything she knows about the enemy.

He could be her most dangerous nemesis—or the ally she never dreamed existed.


Currently Reading

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

As of writing this post I am 16% through this one.

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.


The Hope of Christmas Past by L.G. Rollins | A Dickens of a Christmas Book 1 | Regency Romance, Christmas Story | Add to Goodreads

Belle Young has waited three years for Lord Wilkins to return from his travels abroad—and a full seven years since he first promised to marry her and carry her away from her aunt’s oppressive home. What better time of year for their reunion than Christmas? Belle is certain Lord Wilkins means to make good on his word—that is, until she’s introduced to the vibrant young woman who followed him home from America, at his invitation. Shocked and confused, Belle is determined to remind Lord Wilkins of his promise to her. After all, she needs this marriage. It’s either that or spend the rest of her life as a nobody, an unwanted ward of her aunt, alone and wholly unloved.

Mr. James Radcliff has never minded his lack of title or high standing among society. He is quite content with is status as gentleman and cousin to the exuberant Lord Wilkins. But then he learns that his cousin is not actually the son of the late earl; if the information ever got out, James would find himself earl and his cousin would be thrust from society. It may not be what most men would do, but James is determined to find the only proof of his cousin’s illegitimacy—and destroy it.

The Hope of Christmas Past is the first in A Dickens of a Christmas series. It is a clean and wholesome Regency Christmas romance; a story of goodness amidst adversity, holiday cheer, and, hope. Each book in this series is a stand-alone and can be read apart or enjoyed in proper order.

Book 1: The Hope of Christmas Past
Book 2: The Joy of Christmas Present
Book 3: The Peace of Christmas Yet to Come


Clash of the Demons by Joseph Delaney | (The Last Apprentice #6) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

“You can’t make alliances with witches and suchlike and hope to avoid being drawn toward the dark.”

As the Spook’s apprentice, Thomas Ward’s first duty is to protect the County from ghosts, boggarts, and other dangerous creatures. But now his mother has come back from her homeland to seek his help. One of the most dangerous of the old witches, Ordeen, is about to return to earth, bringing with her suffering and devastation. Tom’s mother has mustered a powerful army–including Tom’s friend Alice, the Pendle witches, and the assassin Grimalkin–to confront Ordeen. If Tom joins them, the Spook will refuse to take Tom back as his apprentice. What sacrifices will be made in the battle against the dark?


What are you hoping to read this week?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? September 28, 2020

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.

I really hope everyone had a great weekend! Sorry for completely disappearing last week. I it has been a rough few weeks and I just couldn’t bring myself to add anything to my days. I realized that if I kept pushing myself the way that I was I was going to end up making myself sick. I only finished one book in the last few weeks but I am slowly getting myself back on track with this “new” “new” normal that we now have. This time I am approaching things in a different way and making sure that I add some “me” time to the mix. I internalize everything so after so long you and your body can only take so much. Anyway you are not here to hear about me you are here for the books. So onto the book I read and what I am hoping to read.

Recent Books

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore | (A League of Extraordinary Women #2) | Regency Romance | 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…


Currently Reading

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini | Science Fiction, Space Opera | Add to Goodreads

As of writing this post I am 36% through this one.

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 . . .”


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

As of writing this post I am 16% through this one.

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.


Dead Woman Scorned by Michael Clark | (The Patience of a Dead Man #2) | Horror/ Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

As of writing this post I am 27% through this one.

She’s back, and they’ll regret what they’ve done.

Mildred Wells had a miserable life that carried over to a lonesome death. In the end, they betrayed her–played her the fool.

She was the last to know, but there’s still time to catch up. She’ll formulate her painful plan as they live their lives in blissful ignorance.

With no more family, only vengeance drives her; in fact, it’s all she has. She would have rather rested in peace, but for Mildred, dying isn’t so easy.


What are you hoping to read this week?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? September 14, 2020

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.

Recent Books

Lycans and Legends: A Steampunk Fairy Tale by Melanie Karsak | (Steampunk Red Riding Hood #6) | Fantasy, Steampunk, Retelling | Add to Goodreads

Someone is trying to assassinate the Queen.After stopping a mysterious preternatural assailant wielding an enchanted dagger, Clemeny is on the hunt. Why is someone after Victoria? To find answers, Clemeny Louvel must travel to the one place she’s been avoiding, the Summer Country. Among the mist and standing stones, secrets about her case-and herself-are hiding. An ancient grudge with roots deep in the heart of Britannia is about to unfold on the Victorian stage. Unless Clemeny can stop it first.Dive into the exciting final chapter of Clemeny’s adventures in Lycans and Legends. Journey to gaslamp London in the 19th century in this steampunk retelling of the classic Red Riding Hood fairy tale by New York Times bestselling author Melanie Karsak.


Awaken the Three by D.L. Jennings | (Highglade #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Beyond the Wastes of Khulakorum, a storm is rising . . .

The Shaper of Ages is gone, and along with her, the Breaker-yet gods are not the only threat to the peace of the living.

Aldis Tennech, the once-great general of the armies of Gal’dorok, finds himself in exile. His only hope of reclaiming glory lies in the hands of a self-proclaimed emperor, and the unearthly powers that put him there. Meanwhile, improbable alliances are forged in the north as unexpected enemies rear their heads and threaten ruin-with a single thread in common, connecting them all.

In the sequel to his award-winning novel Gift of the Shaper, D. L. Jennings once again brings to life an epic tale of war and chaos as earthly armies fight for otherworldly prizes. Ancient powers lying dormant must be called upon, bringing strength to those who need it and conquest to those who seek it; battles will rage and cities will fall, but only the most desperate or reckless would seek . . .

. . . to awaken the three.


Monstress #28 by Marjorie M. Liu | (Monstress (Issues) #28) | Comic, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Trapped in a burning city under siege, Kippa must survive against all the odds.


Monstress #29 by Marjorie M. Liu | (Monstress (Issues) #29) | Comic, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

On the battlefield, Maika confronts the ghosts of Constantine and Kippa tries to make amends.


Monstress #30 by Marjorie M. Liu | (Monstress (Issues) #30) | Comic, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Who will win this crucial first battle between the Federation and Arcanics? And whose side is Maika on, anyway?


Adler #3 by Lavie Tidhar, Paul McCaffrey (Illustrator) | Adler Comics #3 | Add to Goodreads

From the World Fantasy Award-winning writer Lavie Tidhar and artist Paul McCaffrey (DC’s Men of War, TMNT) comes an all-new story written in the vein of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen!

Irene Adler and her team of Victorian heroines encounter a mysterous villain, even more dangerous that Moriarty!


Altered Helix by Stephanie Hansen | (Altered Helix #1) | Mystery, Romance | 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.


Currently Reading

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini | Science Fiction, Space Opera | 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 . . .”


Ride the Wave by Elizabeth Briggs | (Her Elemental Dragons #4)| Fantasy, Romance, Reverse Harem | Add to Goodreads

The epic conclusion to the Her Elemental Dragons series!

The Black Dragon and her men may think they’ve defeated me and my mates, but we’re not giving up without a fight. We’re the only ones who can restore balance to the world, even if it means destroying my family in the process. This time we’re taking the battle to them and we will overthrow their oppressive rule—no matter the cost.

But what if the price of victory is my very soul?


What are you hoping to read this week?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

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