Contemporary Fantasy General Posts, Non Reviews Paranormal Thrillers Young Adult

September Unblogged Book Thoughts

I normally don’t do wrap up posts but I read quite a few books in September that I don’t plan on reviewing in depth, so here is a super quick summary of my reading month! If anyone searches for the titles at least it will show up somewhere now 😂


1) Dreams of the Dying ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- I took the time to read the appendices and extras and therefore counted it as a September read.  Review here. Also the author is doing an extra special Sunday Brunch Series this month 😍


2) Loves of Shadow and Power – ⭐⭐⭐⭐ review here. A good adult Asian mythology. Author Edith Pawlicki also did a wonderful SBAIS interview here!

3.  The Diviners by Libba Bray – ⭐⭐⭐⭐ loved it.  A fantastic audiobook. Review here


4. Ringlander: The Path and the Way by Michael S. Jackson – ⭐⭐⚡ so I was part of a book tour for this one and truly just didn’t understand more than the bare bones of what was happening due to lack of background, plus the editing really ruined it for me. The book was a good idea though and did have some high points. I interviewed him for my tour stop and never posted a review.

5. Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I really wanted to review each of these individually but it became too hard without spoilers.  Plus I binge read them so they all melded into one another.  Book 3 finally brought things together and I have a lot more respect for each of the queens.  Katharine is actually not a bad queen crowned and the others are each pulling their weight now.  Love all the plotting and sub plots and more plotting, plus lore and legends

6. On the Winds of Quasars by T.A. Bruno – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ this series is definitely my top sci-fi pick of the past two years. Only good things to say

7. The First Christmas by Steohen Mitchell ⭐⭐⭐⚡ – a different perspective on the nativity, stripped away the Christian lens to present a real/magic realism. Review here


8. Speechless by Ava Cates ⭐⭐⭐- the author hates me for this one but I just can’t read books where high school kids go from class to class anymore. The editing on the Kindle version made it hard for me too, it was hard to tell chapter breaks and such. I think a little more supernatural background might have carried it for me but the details were slow coming. Either way this is a quick, high school age appropriate read with deaf rep. I think younger readers will love it!

9. The Job by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg ⭐⭐⭐ I know I have been writing up reviews for the rest of the books in this series but this third installment was my least favorite so far. The chemistry and banter totally carried the book since I really didn’t think the case and con were as interesting as the others. They lost me on the fake sunken treasure scheme and trying to understand how it worked. They had a point about men and shiny beepy consoles though 😂 I just love O’Hara’s dad and his fixation with weaponry, but overall this one fell flat

10. The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I am actually going to blog this one next so hold my thoughts. It’s a beautifully wonderfully dark YA debut that made me so sad but it’s perfect for fall

11. Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake ⭐⭐⭐⭐ haha ok I really liked what she did with the ending. Each queen finally bucked up and put their big girl pants on and did what they had to do for the island and the people.  We finally got some main character deaths and I am more or less onboard with who Blake chose to off vs. keep alive! She commented on my Instagram post too so that’s amazing!

 11.5 The Young Queens by Kendare Blake – I liked the novella a lot! It was good to get more background into the raising and separations and early lives of the queens.  Mirabella and Luca stole the show in this one, I would have seen them in a totally new light having read this novella before the books. I would either read it after the second or third if it were me again

General Posts, Non Reviews

A New England Literary Tour, Plus Some Cool Books

Title says it all, right? I spent the past week with mom driving from WNY to Boston, seeing the sights, cheering on the Patriots in peace, and of course hitting some literary landmarks.

Here are a few things that I hope book nerds can appreciate!

Our first stop was in Middlebury, VT, at Monroe Street Books! The largest used bookstore in Vermont! The shelves were towering almost to ceiling height and there were ladders to reach the high shelves! Great prices and dollar bins outside with plenty of great titles. Verdict: a must visit, bring a friend in case you need your ladder held! 



General Posts, Non Reviews Thrillers

Kiss the Girls, Read the Books (Review and Other Thoughts)

In between ARCs and requests, I have fallen back on some older,”fluff” reads this month.  I don’t always blog about them but I have a few things to say about the community right now and this review is a good gateway to that.

Not that James Patterson’s early books are fluff – ten years ago they were way way WAY too graphic for me, but now I just freaking love the danger, edgy violence, crazy serial killers, and all the psychology that Patterson crammed into those early Cross books.

Before the review I just want to say that there are plenty of things that bar access to literature – money, poverty, education, geographical location, random sociopolitical issues, transportation, books that are banned and unavailable in some regions, out of print/rare books ….etc etc etc.

The one thing I firmly believe is that PEOPLE are not an acceptable barrier.  Guilt should not be a barrier.  Read what you want, whether it’s romance, liberal, lgbtq, conservative, religious, fantasy, wizards, or even James Patterson (who gets so much hate! Like why!).  Don’t let hate stop you! I had someone tell me I must be stupid for reading him and – I just laughed, scrolled on, and said “well they’re missing out but that’s their choice”.  This is what bookstagram has devolved into! Literary snobs and the woke mob mentality are both wildly unacceptable to me but I’ve long since learned to just. keep. scrolling.

Point is – read books and enjoy your short time on Earth because hate, guilt, ostracism in any form is not an acceptable barrier to literature. 

Crap now that I typed all that I don’t care about the review anymore, but here it is:

Bookish Quick Facts:

  • Title: Kiss The Girls
  • Series: Alex Cross #2
  • Publisher: originally Little, Brown and Company, 1995
  • Length: 462
  • Rating:  🌟🌟🌟🌟 not for the squeamish

Remember two years ago I was going to read the Cross books in order like I started to with the Prey books?  Yeah me neither, but I keep trying to make time for it anyway

I am an utterly shameless JP freak and I love these early books. This is easily one of the ones that would have made me cringe as a teenage or new adult reader but now … sign me up.  Casanova is a serial kidnapper/murderer/rapist hunting the Chapel Hill, NC area. The Gentleman Caller is another serial killer on the west coast and appears to be getting sloppy. Alex Cross’ niece goes missing and all of a sudden he is thrown into this insane jurisdictional kerfuffle to catch one or both of these men that appear to be either cooperating, competing, or worse

Action packed, graphic, truly scary, and you know that (once again) I totally picked the wrong bad guy, although I was closer than I usually am.  I love the constant feeling of danger, fast pace of the book, and how much Cross loves his family.  The psychology is interesting too, and there is plenty of it.  Cross got a little more vulnerable in this one too which was nice to see, a character progression from Along Came a Spider.

Docked one star for the creepy description of Casanova, Patterson got a little weird there describing the 🍆 and even for the 1990s, it seemed like poor taste to put that descriptive sequence into Cate’s point of view.  I damn know that poor women wasn’t thinking “oh my, what a large and bright 🍆 he has” …. … Bright? What, like a lightbulb? Flashlight? Rudolph the red nosed penis? 😳 l*rd almighty.

Cate was such a bad ass though, so tough, she got away and saved the others.  She’s one of my favorite Cross side characters out there.

It was even weirder listening to Michael Kramer say it because he narrates the Wheel of Time books and I just couldn’t stop laughing every time he said “tick cock”.  I think I was in actual tears when the “Hickory, dickory, cock” line happened.  Is that the most quoteable thing from this book? I really gave it a very strong four stars!

I do recommend both the Cross series for thriller, detective, psychological thriller fans, and Michael Kramer as a narrator if anyone is into audiobooks.  He can be a little hard to understand but I just keep him at 1.25 speed and

Heck I’m sorry this was the longest post ever, stay tuned for more ARC reviews and current reads this week!

From the book blurb:

From the Back Cover

This time it’s personal for Cross. The most elusive of killers has abducted Cross’s niece, Naomi, a talented law student. Only such a devastating blow could bring the detective back – this time to the Deep South, where old slave prisons are buried in the forests, and houses of horror can disappear as in your worst nightmare. Naomi’s kidnapping rips Alex Cross away from his kids and his jazz piano and sends him south with several questions burning in his mind. Why did the police wait seventy-two hours before beginning their search? And what is the head of the FBI doing at the scene of a small-town crime? Meanwhile, somewhere out there Casanova is living a secret fantasy. In his private hideaway, the world’s greatest lover has assembled seven of the South’s most extraordinary young women for his personal use. It’s an accomplishment he can share with only one other soulmate – and that’s definitely not his wife back in suburbia. But Casanova doesn’t count on the exceptional abilities of one of his harem – or having Alex Cross as a nemesis.

General Posts, Non Reviews

Something Different: The Never Have I Ever Book Tag!

First, the rules:
Link back to the original creator! (Madame Writer)
Link back to the person who tagged you! (Thank you Carol @ Reading Ladies)
Answer all prompts.
Add one more prompt of your own.
Tag at least five people.
Don’t lie.
Have fun!

Never have I ever… read a later book in the series before reading the first book.
I do this, but only if they can be read as standalones!  I do it with detective series like the Prey or Cross books all the time, but books in true series… Very rarely.

Never have I ever… burned a book.
I have really wanted to, but never burned a book 😂

Never have I ever… read a book I knew I would hate.
I have for review purposes, although I have learned how to say no and pick and choose more carefully now!

Never have I ever… written a fanfiction about my favorite books.
Never! I don’t like reading fanfic and have never written any

Never have I ever… loved a book when I was young, yet hated it when I got older.
I used to read weird books like The Celestine Prophecies and beat generation writers, now I don’t love those or speculative fiction so much.  My taste in fantasy is pretty much the same though!

Never have I ever… dressed up like one of my favorite literary characters.

I have been Harry Potter and Karigan Gladheon for Halloween before😂

Never have I ever… hated a book by an author I loved.
I have HATED the past two Green Rider books, which kills me because the first four books are my entire life

Never have I ever… gone into a bookstore to buy one book and came out with many more.
Not so much new books but I have been known to stack up at discount and used places

Never have I ever… read the end of a book before reading the beginning.
Only skip to the end when I start getting bored with thrillers or suspense 😂 not before I start though

Never have I ever… read the book without the dust jacket.
All the time, gotta keep it safe! Put it back on afterwards!!

Never have I ever… skim read half the book.
At that point I’ll just DNF, life is too short

Never have I ever… seen the movie before reading the book.
I have, many times. Sometimes I don’t even realize a movie has a book, most recently Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Never have I ever… had a book boyfriend.
I latched onto Yates from Green Rider,and will NEVER forgive Britain for that.  Also Sevro from the Red Rising books. Also who didn’t want to just hug, then fight besides HP?

Never have I ever… read a history book or a biography for fun.
Oh boy, yeah I read a lot of U S. history for fun

Never have I ever… picked up a book based on the cover alone.
Yes but I DO confirm the synopsis as readable first 😂

Never have I ever… bought multiple books in a series without having started it.
Yes but only because I like to have the first few ready before I start a new series

Never have I ever… kept reading a series even if I didn’t love the first book.
This is happening to me right now, but holy cow is The Great Hunt about a thousand times a better book than The Eye of the World. I’ll keep going until hopefully Sanderson doesn’t destroy it

Never have I ever… kept buying books even though my bookshelves are full of unread books.
Guilty, although right now I’m only buying new books to complete series that I’m waiting on.  99% of new titles are like… Blah right now.

Never have I ever… bought/read a book because of a booktuber/book blogger.
Not booktube but I have a few trusted bookstagrammers that I’ll take recs from!

 Never have I ever… ruined a book for a book blog post, bookstagram picture, or booktube video.
I’ve accidentally dropped a few that resulted in grass smears and once, water damage 😭

Alright seeing as I don’t blog with many people, if you see this you’re tagged 😂

General Posts, Non Reviews

At least 2020 was a good year in books!

The healthcare world might be in a state of total trainwreck, but I managed to have a pretty great reading year in 2020!  I managed to read 150 books at 54,834 pages!  Roughly four thousand more pages than in 2019, and I think I credit the difference to audiobooks while driving so much for work this summer.


I have always been a reader but 2020 was my second full year of reviewing and blogging.  At first, reviewer trends almost turned me off to the entire business, but I managed to find a core of sane reviewers and bloggers to surround myself with that lead me in a better, more focused direction in 2020.  That very small, very loud group of kids that do nothing except scream about content from their high horses….? No thanks.


I found my best ratings this year in adult fantasy books, plus some older YA ones.  Newer YA, with the exception of The Silvered Serpents, and I had a huge falling out this year due to writing and publishing trends.  I feel like quality is out the window in exchange for repetitiveness, sexual expression, and political agenda, which I will die on the hill saying doesn’t belong in YA.  


As far as certain books – I definitely (despite my YA falling out) enjoyed at least half of The Raven Boys books, but Will Patton as the audio narrator had a huge impact on that.  Will Patton literally changed books for me this year because he is such an amazing narrator.  I reread the Harry Potter books with my BF which was pretty special and highly enjoyable.  I also listened to The Golden Compass books again and really, really enjoyed the full cast audio’s phenomenal performance.  

Some other highlights were Jeff Wheeler’s conclusion to The Grave Kingdom series (Christian fantasy), Tears of Alphega by WN Cleckler, and Dragon Blood by Mary Beesley of the same genre.  Other great fantasies this year were Tuyo by Rachel Neidermayer and Ritual of Bone by Lee Conley. One of my last reads of the year, Open Heart by Gregory D Williams was probably my non-fantasy favorite of the year.Screenshot_20201231-133315

Reading some older thrillers was also a thrill – I started rereading my all time favorite Prey series by John Sandford, some early James Patterson, Narnia, and of all things reading the Star Trek: TNG books from the beginning.

The Love Your Shelf Challenge was a huge help in reading older books.  So was the Bookish First monthly Bingo, certain buddy reads, and my stubborn resistance to people trying to tell me what new books to read.

In 2020 I learned that the more that people scream at me to read certain content, the absolute less likely I am to read it.  Just stop, we all have preferences. 

It was also great to have the new blog designed and brought to life!  My own spooktober holiday bingo was a huge success.  Other great fun things were some buddy reads and group reads!

It is hard to talk about 2020 without mentioning my home library finally coming to fruition after four years of dreaming!


Oh 2021, what will you bring? I signed on with a couple of amazing book tour companies and work with some amazing publishers that have my January fairly well booked, but then I want to go back and read my anticipated release books that I meant to read in 2020 😭

Chiefly those are: Igniting Darkness by Robin Lafevers, and Call of the Bone ships by RJ Barker. I have still yet to read Darkdawn, and need to finish up The Conqueror Saga finally. Maybe February will be my Valentine month with these books ❤

All the best and all the power if you are still reading this post, did you meet your 2020 reading goals!!?


General Posts, Non Reviews

A Good Month of Reading.. June Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to the handful of new followers that came off of my Bookstagram giveaway! This is a post about reading in general, one of my first that isn’t explicitly a book review.

What causes a good or bad reading month for you?

I managed to read 14 books this past month, when my average has been 11 so far this year. When thinking about the factors., usually bad weather and time off causes me to read more, but I hit an interesting point in my life this June where I was in between work contracts for three weeks, uncomfortable in a new place, and my horse is injured so she is hanging out in a pasture, not requiring much as much time as usual. Normally I would travel during my time off but I think my anxiety kicked in just enough to keep me productive, but local. One other factor was that I read through two very good trilogies which kept me going through the books a little faster.

This month in books: (Also, yes, don’t get used to this – I don’t normally give out this many stars but the books were mostly amazing this month!

1) Finale by Stephanie Garber – 1*- I read about two chapters a day so I could tolerate it, and finished mid June

2)Siege and Sacrifice (Numina, #3) by Charlie N. Holmberg – 5* – Everything an ending should be. My favorite read this month ❤

3)The Queen’s Poisoner (Kingfountain #1) by Jeff Wheeler – 4*- Oh gosh, Owen and Evie

4)The Thief’s Daughter (Kingfountain #2) by Jeff Wheeler – 5* – Tied for favorite book this month

5) Evelyn, After by Victoria Helen Stone – 2.5*- a “thriller” with a lot of potential but did not deliver anything remotely thrilling

6)The King’s Traitor (Kingfountain #3) by Jeff Wheeler – 5* – Love, love, love love love this series

7) Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah – 4*, not my jam but a great book. Bonus points for absolutely NAILING how nurses act in the hospital some times 😀

8) And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga #1) by Kiersten White – 4* – A great choice for a buddy read this month. Give me book 2 now please!

9) One Little Secret – Cate Holahan – No spoilers at all, come back for my blog tour spot on July 26th!!

10)A Nearly Normal Family by MT Edvardsson – 3* – a Swedish procedural mystery, was supposed to be a thriller but I was not too surprised or thrilled, but did enjoy the way the book was presented

11) The Phoenix Grail by Helen Savore – I will admit to mixed feelings. I am doing an author interview with Helen here on the blog, on JULY 9TH, so definitely come back for that because Helen is a character!

12) Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young – 4* – beautiful overarching theme of enemies to allies and overcoming your (not so) differences. I liked the Viking esque time period!

13)The Sound of Rain by Gregg Olsen – 3.5* – great start to a thriller series and a thoughtful look at addiction as well

14) A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – 3.5* -mixed feelings but by no means disliked it.

I would love to talk about any of these books if anyone wants! Some may appear in reviews once I get caught up! Thank youuu and happy July reading!