New Releases

July 2021 Books I’m Excited About

Books I'm Excited About

Hey Everyone!

A new month a new set of releases.  There are 3 books that are coming out this month that I am excited about.

July 6, 2021

Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 4 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and Hikaru Miyoshi
(Moriarty the Patriot #4)
Genre: Manga, Sherlockian

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

Before he was Sherlock’s rival, Moriarty fought against the unfair class system in London by making sure corrupt nobility got their comeuppance. But even the most well-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?

MI6 issues a top secret mission to take the British Empire out of the Afghan War. Moriarty believes Colonel Moran, who once fought in the war, to be the right man for the job. But will old memories from Moran’s past haunt him during the mission? Meanwhile, more dark figures lurk in London’s nobility, spreading further chaos in the country…


Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian
Fantasy, Retelling

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The Lady of Shalott reclaims her story in this bold feminist reimagining of the Arthurian myth from the New York Times bestselling author of Ash Princess.

Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come–for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.

On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends–countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.

When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.

As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change fate–and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way. 


July 20, 2021

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
(The Radiant Emperor #1)
Historical Fantasy

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“I refuse to be nothing…”

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…

In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.

When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.

After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother’s abandoned greatness.


Are there any books that you are looking forward to this month?

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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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New Releases

April 2021 Books I’m Excited About

Books I'm Excited About

Hey Everyone!

A new month a new set of releases.  There are 6 books that are coming out this month that I am excited about. One of these is a repeat from last month since it has been pushed back.

Please Note that these release dates are subject to change. While doing this post I realized that some of the dates I had have been moved.

April 6, 2021

Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 3 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi, Hikaru Miyoshi
(Moriarty the Patriot #3)
Manga, Sherlockian

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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?


The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell
Regency Romance

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An artist stumbles upon a naked duke and an unlikely love story begins in this captivating Victorian historical romance.

When Royal Academy painting student Lucy Coover trips over a naked man passed out in an East End alley, she does the decent thing. She covers him up and fetches help. Trouble is, she can’t banish his muscular form from her dreams as easily. She finds herself compelled to put every detail down on canvas. What she doesn’t know is that she’s painting the infamous Duke of Weston, and that her life will never be the same.

A second son, Anthony Philby thought he could flee his brutal family legacy and become his own man. Forced back to London by his brother’s death, he inherits a fortune… with strings attached. One scandal will sink his bid for independence. It’s in his best interest to burn Lucy Coover’s shocking painting and pretend he never met the bewitching young artist. Instead, he finds himself offering a devil’s bargain. He’ll save her aunt’s dressmaking shop from ruin, if she’ll seek out his missing sister, Effie.

As they work together, an unexpected passion ignites between them. But the hunt for Effie leads to unexpected danger, and soon they find themselves risking everything… for a love that might destroy them both.


April 13, 2021

The Three Locks by Bonnie MacBird
(Sherlock Holmes Adventures #4)
Historical, Mystery, Sherlockian

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A heatwave melts London as Holmes and Watson are called to action in this new Sherlock Holmes adventure by Bonnie MacBird, author of “one of the best Sherlock Holmes novels of recent memory.”

In the West End, a renowned Italian escape artist dies spectacularly on stage during a performance – immolated in a gleaming copper cauldron of his wife’s design. In Cambridge, the runaway daughter of a famous don is found drowned, her long blonde hair tangled in the Jesus Lock on the River Cam. And in Baker Street, a mysterious locksmith exacts an unusual price to open a small silver box sent to Watson.

From the glow of London’s theatre district to the buzzing Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge where physicists explore the edges of the new science of electricity, Holmes and Watson race between the two cities to solve the murders, encountering prevaricating prestidigitators, philandering physicists and murderous mentalists, all the while unlocking secrets which may be best left undisclosed. And one, in particular, is very close to home.


The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner
Historical Fantasy

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An evocative combination of fantasy, history, and Jewish folklore, The Light of the Midnight Stars is fairytale-inspired novel from the author of The Sisters of the Winter Wood.

Deep in the Hungarian woods, the sacred magic of King Solomon lives on in his descendants. Gathering under the midnight stars, they pray, sing and perform small miracles – and none are more gifted than the great Rabbi Isaac and his three daughters. Each one is blessed with a unique talent – whether it be coaxing plants to grow, or predicting the future by reading the path of the stars.

When a fateful decision to help an outsider ends in an accusation of witchcraft, fire blazes through their village. Rabbi Isaac and his family are forced to flee, to abandon their magic and settle into a new way of life. But a dark fog is making its way across Europe and will, in the end, reach even those who thought they could run from it. Each of the sisters will have to make a choice – and change the future of their family forever.


April 20, 2021

The Queen of Izmoroz by Jon Skovron
(The Goddess War #2)
Fantasy

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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. 


April 27, 2021

Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most by Greg McKeown
Self-Help

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Is there a goal you want to make progress on, if only you had the energy? Do you assume that anything worth doing must take tremendous effort? Have you ever abandoned a hard but important activity for an easy but trivial one? Are you often overwhelmed by the complexity that’s expanding everywhere?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be making life much harder for yourself than it needs to be.

In the New York Times bestseller Essentialism, Greg McKeown urged readers to eliminate nonessential activities and focus on the few that truly matter. He’s since talked with thousands of readers about the challenges they face in putting those ideas into practice. The problem, he’s found, is that the complexity of modern life has created a false dichotomy between things that are “essential and hard,” and things that are “easy and trivial.” But what if the trivial tasks became harder and the essential ones became easier? If the important projects became enjoyable, while the trivial distractions lost their appeal entirely?

In Effortless, McKeown offers proven strategies for making the most important activities the easiest ones. For example:
Streamline your process by mapping out the minimum number of steps.
Prevent problems later by solving them before they happen.
Let Go of perfectionism by finding the “courage to be rubbish.”
Accelerate your learning by leveraging the best of what others know.

By making the toughest tasks just a little bit easier, we can accomplish more of what matters, without burning out.


Are there any books that you are looking forward to this month?

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 3 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and Hikaru Miyoshi

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:

Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 3 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and Hikaru Miyoshi
(Moriarty the Patriot #3)
Genre: Manga, Sherlockian
Expected Publication: April 6, 2021

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?

Are you looking forward to this book too?

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Hauls

Book Haul: January 2021

Book Haul

Good Morning.

I decided to start doing book hauls again as a way to help keep myself accountable. The only way that I am going to be able to work on fixing my habits is if I have some kind of checks in place. In the month of January received 4 books from authors/publishers, 1 book as a gift, I grabbed 1 for free, I was approved for 1 on Netgalley, 2 from subscription boxes, and I purchased 13.

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

Received from Authors/Publishers

Tidepool by Nicole Willson | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

If ye give not willingly, the Lords will rise…

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Gifts

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

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

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

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


Free

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

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

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

The question is: will she let him?


Netgalley

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

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

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

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

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

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


Subscription Boxes

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Purchases

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

An epic fantasy featuring warrior priestesses and fickle gods at war

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

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

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

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


Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 2 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi | (Moriarty the Patriot #2) | Manga, Historical, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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Wrap Up

January 2021 Wrap-up

Monthly Wrapup

Hello you wonderful people.

Welcome to my January 2021 wrap-up.  I can’t believe that the first month of this year is already over. I had a pretty good reading month. I am expecting my reading to slow down as I move through the year, since I have some really big books coming up on my TBR. I completed 12 books in January and I am accepting DNFing books without guilt.

5 Star Reads

Monstress: Talk-Stories #2 by Marjorie M. Liu | (Monstress (Issues)) | Comic, Fantasy, Steampunk | Add to Goodreads

Return to Honor by Brian McClellan | (Powder Mage #1.5) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

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

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

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

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

Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 2 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi | (Moriarty the Patriot #2) | Manga, Historical, Mystery | Add to Goodreads


4.5 Star Reads

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


4 Star Reads

Warrior of the Altaii by Robert Jordan | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

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


3 Star Reads

Ripper by Stefan Petrucha | Young Adult, Historical, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

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


DNF

The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood | (The Serpent Gates #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Tree of Ages by Sara C. Roethle | (Tree of Ages #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

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


How was your reading month?

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New Releases

January 2021 Books I’m Excited About

Books I'm Excited About

Hey Everyone!

A new month a new set of releases.  There are 5 books that are coming out this month that I am excited about.

Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 2 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and Hikaru Miyoshi
(Moriarty the Patriot #2)
Manga, Historical, Mystery
Expected Publication: January 5, 2021

Add to Goodreads

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

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

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


The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner
Historical Fantasy
Expected Publication: January 12, 2021

Add to Goodreads

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

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


Hall of Smoke by H.M. Long
Historical Fantasy
Expected Publication: January 19, 2021

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

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

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

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


The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick
(Rook & Rose #1)
Fantasy
Expected Publication: January 21, 2021

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Nightmares are creeping through the city of dreams…

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

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


Unchosen by Katharyn Blair
Young Adult, Fantasy
Expected Publication: January 26, 2021

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For Charlotte Holloway, the world ended twice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because sometimes the end is just a new beginning.


Are there any books that you are looking forward to this month?

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