Wrap Up

October 2020 Wrap-up

Monthly Wrapup

Hello you wonderful people.

Welcome to my October wrap-up.  I know that I have not been consistent with these, but 2020 has been just one fire after another. So I am trying to make an effort to deliver constant posts to you guys.

I am very happy with what I read this month. I created a TBR for October even though I am a mood reader for a few reasons. 1) I have a number of books for reviews that I want to try to get finished before the end of the year, 2) I decided to do a month long read-a-thon for October because it just sounded like fun, and 3) I had quite a few of library holds that were coming to me in October. I was able to finish all of my books but 1, however I had to add a book to my TBR that was sent by an author for a tour in November.

Before I get to the books that I finished I want to tell you about some podcasts that I have been enjoying.

  1. On Purpose
  2. The Hidden Djinn
  3. Lore
  4. Cabinet of Curiosities
  5. The Morbid Curiosity Podcast

On Purpose

On Purpose podcast brings fascinating conversations with some of the most insightful people in the world straight to viewers all over the world. Listen to new episodes on Mondays and Fridays anywhere you get your podcasts. Live life today On Purpose!

The Hidden Djinn

Ancient, powerful, and hidden from the human eye, djinn lore spans continents and centuries. Join host Rabia Chaudry every week as she takes you into the world you never even knew existed, the world of The Hidden Djinn.

Lore

Lore is a podcast about non-fiction scary stories. Each episode examines historical events that show the dark side of human nature and is presented in a style that’s been compared to a campfire experience.

Cabinet of Curiosities

Cabinet of Curiosities is an audio tour of the unbelievable, the unsettling, and the bizarre. Each episode features two short tales about the most amazing things found in the pages of history.

The Morbid Curiosity Podcast

The Morbid Curiosity Podcast Morbid Curiosity Podcast. A podcast for the morbidly curious. From serial killers to ghosts, ancient curses to obscure medical conditions, let us satisfy your curiosity. (Some episodes may not be appropriate for children.

5 Star Reads

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

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


4 Star Reads

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

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

Nocturne by Kat Ross | (The Fourth Talisman #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig | Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

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

Elemental Links by M.A. Leon | Steel and Magic | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Midnight Temptation by Shari Nichols | (Ravens Hollow Coven) | Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads


3 Star Reads

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

Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel by A.W. Jantha | Young Adult, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson | Science Fiction | Add to Goodreads

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

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

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


How was your reading month?

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? October 12, 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

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?


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


Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel by A.W. Jantha | Young Adult, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

Hocus Pocus is beloved by Halloween enthusiasts all over the world. Diving once more into the world of witches, this electrifying two-part young adult novel, released on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1993 film, marks a new era of Hocus Pocus. Fans will be spellbound by a fresh retelling of the original film, followed by the all-new sequel that continues the story with the next generation of Salem teens.

Shortly after moving from California to Salem, Massachusetts, Max Dennison finds himself in hot water when he accidentally releases a coven of witches, the Sanderson sisters, from the afterlife. Max, his sister, and his new friends (human and otherwise) must find a way to stop the witches from carrying out their evil plan and remaining on earth to torment Salem for all eternity.

Twenty-five years later, Max and Allison’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Poppy, finds herself face-to-face with the Sanderson sisters in all their sinister glory. When Halloween celebrations don’t quite go as planned, it’s a race against time as Poppy and her friends fight to save her family and all of Salem from the witches’ latest death-defying scheme.


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

A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

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

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

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


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.


Nocturne by Kat Ross | (The Fourth Talisman #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Nocturne, a wilderness of eternal night.
Solis, a wasteland of endless day.

Nazafareen is a Breaker, a mortal who has the rare ability to shatter spell magic—although her power carries a high price. With the memories of her former self erased and nowhere else to turn, she comes to Nocturne hoping to start a new life under the triple moons of the darklands.

But when an assassin forces Nazafareen to flee to the sunlit mortal city of Delphi, she finds herself embroiled in a deeper mystery whose origins lie far in the past. Why was the continent sundered into light and dark a thousand years before? And what really happened to the elegant but ruthless creatures who nearly reduced the world to ashes? The new Oracle might know, but she’s outlawed magic and executes anyone caught practicing it. Nazafareen must hide her powers and find a way out of the city—before it’s too late.

As the net slowly tightens, something ancient and vengeful begins to stir in the arid death zone called the Kiln. A dashing daeva named Darius is pursuing Nazafareen, but so are a multitude of enemies. War is brewing again. Can she stay alive long enough to stop it?

So begins the first installment of an epic new fantasy series from the author of the Fourth Element Trilogy! 


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 …

One Flew Through the Dragon Heart is the first book in a new steampunk series by C.S. Johnson, blending together history, romance, mecha-dragons and magic against the glittering backdrop of 1880’s Victorian London.


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? 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!

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

Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? June 29, 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

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

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

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

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

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


The Familiars by Stacey Halls | Historical Fiction, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraft.

Is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Fleetwood must risk everything to prove her innocence. As the two women’s lives become intertwined, the Witch Trials of 1612 loom. Time is running out; both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

Rich and compelling, set against the frenzy of the real Pendle Hill Witch Trials, this novel explores the rights of 17th-century women and raises the question: Was witch-hunting really women-hunting? Fleetwood Shuttleworth, Alice Grey and the other characters are actual historical figures. King James I was obsessed with asserting power over the lawless countryside (even woodland creatures, or “familiars,” were suspected of dark magic) by capturing “witches”—in reality mostly poor and illiterate women.


The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu | (The Eldest Curses #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation.

A lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who, against all odds, is finally his boyfriend. It doesn’t seem like too much for the centuries-old High Warlock to ask for. But no sooner have they settled in Paris than an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.


Wrath of the Bloodeye by Joseph Delaney | (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles #5) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Horror | Add to Goodreads

‘The moment of danger is close. Very soon our enemies will be here.’

As danger increases, the Spook sends his apprentice, Tom, to be trained by another spook whose methods are harsh and tough.

But faced with a powerful water witch, Tom’s new master makes a fatal mistake, leaving Tom to face his enemies alone.

Can the Spook get there in time to save Tom?

Together can they beat such terrible dark power?

And will the Spook’s own mistakes give final victory to the dark?


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?


Currently Reading

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café by Jodi Thomas | (Honey Creek #1) | Mystery, Romance | Add to Goodreads

Piper Jane Mckenzie, mayor of Honey Creek, won’t let a major scandal rip her quirky hometown apart, or jeopardize her dream of one day running for higher office. So she’s willing to welcome undercover detective Colby McBride, hired to help solve the mystery behind her wannabe fiancé’s disappearance. Colby’s cover? That he is an old boyfriend now begging Piper for a second chance–always when there are plenty of townsfolk around to witness his shenanigans.

Piper hardly knows whether to laugh or cry, especially when she finds herself drawn to the handsome rascal. He’s not the only newcomer she has to deal with. There’s a new interim preacher in town, Sam Cassidy. Drifting from one assignment to another since his one love died, Sam isn’t sure he’s the right fit for Honey Creek. But as Piper knows, this is a place chock-full of surprises. And if she can keep her town–and her heart–from going completely off the rails, there may be a sweet, unexpected future in store. . . 


Champagne Charlie and the Amazing Gladys by B.G. Hilton | Steampunk, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Hungover aristocrat Edward “Charlie” Decharles awakens in the back of a steam-cab, only to discover that the driver has been murdered. Unused to feeling responsible for anything, he feels compelled to find the killer. As he investigates, he meets “The Amazing” Gladys Dunchurch, a stage magician’s assistant whose employer has disappeared – and not in a good way. They form an alliance – Charlie will help Gladys with his considerable resources and Gladys will help Charlie with her even more considerable brains.

Soon they discover that their respective mysteries are not only connected to each other, but related to other seemingly unrelated strangeness transpiring in London – the murder of an astronomer, an attack on a patent medicine factory, a mysterious cult in an idyllic town, and reports of deadly creatures in the London sewers.

Charlie and Gladys find themselves pitted against dead-eyed assassins, murderous pirates, wingless flying machines, and perhaps even creatures from beyond this Earth. And lurking behind it all lies a sinister cabal that knows the secret origin of the steam-powered society that powers their world. Can our heroes save the day, or will the fallout from that secret destroy two worlds?

Champagne Charlie and the Amazing Gladys is a fun, witty Steampunk adventure yarn, featuring a cast of eccentric characters.


What are you hoping to read this week?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

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