Book List · Book Meme · Down the TBR Hole

Down the TBR Hole ★ 3

Down the TBR Hole is a bookish meme created by Lia @ Lost in a Story.

Down the TBR Hole 411

Down The TBR Hole is a meme that revolves around cleansing your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it all to know what’s actually on there.Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:
• Order on ascending date added.
• Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
• Read the synopses of the books
• Decide: Keep it or should it go?

 
 
We’re back again with Down the TBR Hole! I hope you enjoy the journey, please fasten your seatbelts and remember, if I add to your TBR, you cannot summon any demons to curse me. We’re all in this TBR spiral together. If you’ve noticed the new graphic, yes, I did away that colourful disaster I created on the fly and made this lovely one from a stock photo. It has lilacs! Yes, I did make matching graphics for everything. I match and you have no idea how pleased my OCD is with this new development. I’ll be going back later and editing things so I’m totally matching throughout the memes but I’m lazy.
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
I’ve been in love with GPF for months, I’ve got a beautiful copy on my shelf and one on my kindle and I haven’t opened either because I’m terrified it won’t be as amazing as I believe it to be. I have issues. This is staying on my TBR and, hopefully, it will make it onto my ‘read’ list soon!
 
The Post-It Note Affair by Justine Avery
I think I one-click added this to my TBR, thinking it was similar to a book I’d read on WattPad that I adored. Unfortunately, it’s not and it doesn’t really sound like a book I’d enjoy. I’m going to remove this one from my TBR.
 
A romance with an asexual biromantic leading lady? I’ll even say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ for this one! I’m keeping this one on my TBR!
 
I actually forgot about this book and I’m so mad at myself for that. I’m keeping this one on my TBR and hopefully, I’ll be able to pick up a copy somewhere along the way!
 
Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this via Goodreads Giveaways, but I was 8 chapters into it when everybody started comparing it to Romeo & Juliet and y’all do not know the level of hate I hold for Romeo & Juliet. So, I stopped reading it because I started hating the book just for that comparison. I recently passed it on to a deserving high school bookworm so it has a good home and someone with no real access to money or library (no address, no card), has a book. I’m removing it from my TBR, but I have a kindle copy so I’ll probably end up reading somewhere along the way.
 
Your One & Only by Adrianne Finlay
Okay, #fatgirlconfession time. I added this for the synopsis and the cover. I thought this was a chocolate heart encased by a white chocolate heart. Please, judge me. Anyways, the synopsis is really weird, a world of cyborgs and one human and a glitched cyborg develops a fascination with the human? Is it love? Is it an error in the code? I still need to know so this is staying on my TBR.
 
Out of The Ice by Ann Turner
This still sounds like something I’m probably going to fall in love with so it’s going to stay on my TBR and I’m going to go find a copy! I have no self-control.
 
 
I’m just pulling a plug on this journey down the TBR hole, because I’m not removing much of anything. Today has been counterproductive! Facebook crashed, Instagram crashed (do you know what day I put this post together?), and my autoposting program, Hootsuite also crashed because it’s Facebook-owned. Nothing has caught fire, nobody has died, but my stress level is sky-high and I just want to curl up with a big bowl of ramen. Until next time, readers, have a happily ever after!

Book List · Book Meme · Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday ★ 2

Look! I made a pretty lilac graphic for this and it is gorgeous!
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to The Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

I assign each Tuesday a topic and then post my top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join me and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information. You’ll find the schedule of upcoming TTT topics below so you can plan ahead. I’ll post a Linky here on the blog each week so you can link up your post (if you want). If you don’t have a blog, post your picks in the comment section below! Have tons of fun talking books and getting to know your fellow bloggers!

NOTE: If a weekly topic is listed as a “freebie”, you are invited to come up with your own topic. Sometimes I will give your topic a theme, such as “love”, a season, or an upcoming holiday. That just means that you can come up with any topic you want that fits under that umbrella.

 – Jana of The Artsy Reader Girl
Books on My Spring 2019 TBR List

Welcome to my second foray into the book meme that is Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s topic is Books on My Spring 2019 TBR List. I’m not working off of a seasonal schedule. My system consists of sticky notes in my planner so I can change my mind on a whim. And I do, a lot. But, I’m going to give you a look at my planner’s TBR list. It’s basically my 2019 TBR Definite Reading List. Also, when I saw the prompt for this week, I actually had to ask Cortana if it was Spring already. Shockingly, it’s true. Tomorrow is the first day of Spring!

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
 
A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.
Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.
It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…
Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…
Tidbit
I’m trying to conquer my fears of books not holding up to my high expectations, I’ve been in love with The Kiss Quotient for a very long time. A romance where the female protagonist is an aspie and the author is as well? And there is Asian representation in the book because the author is Vietnamese? Y’all. I actually cried when I heard about this book. There are books with main characters like me and they make me so happy that I cry! So, yes, I own a copy, but I’m terrified it isn’t as amazing as I think it is. (There should be a name for this, if there is and you know it, let me know) But, I am working on it by putting this down in my planner!
City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender
Five hundred years ago, magi created a weapon they couldn’t control. An infestation that ate magic—and anything else it came into contact with. Enemies and allies were equally filling.
Only an elite team of non-magical humans, known as sweepers, can defuse and dispose of infestations before they spread. Most die before they finish training.
Laura, a new team member, has stayed alive longer than most. Now, she’s the last—and only—sweeper standing between the city and a massive infestation.
Tidbit
I stumbled across this when I was going through one of my insomnia periods and the cover just kills me. Then, I won a pick-your-book giveaway on Twitter and look what’s sitting on my shelf and it is just as gorgeous in person, y’all!
Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle
In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…
As a Motorcycle Club member and firefighter, Ian Walsh is used to riding the line between the good guys and the bad. He may owe the Club his life, but his heart rests with his fire station brothers…and with the girl he’s loved since they were kids, Rory Sorenson. Ian would do anything for Rory. He’d die for her. Kill for her. Defend her to his last breath-and he may just have to.
Every con in the Rockies knows Rory is the go-to girl for less-than-legal firearms, and for the past few years, she’s managed to keep the peace between dangerous factions by remaining strictly neutral. But when she defends herself against a brutal attack, Rory finds herself catapulted into the center of a Motorcycle Club war-with only Ian standing between her and a threat greater than either of them could have imagined.
 
Tidbit
Did y’all think I stopped with the Katie Ruggle love? No! I just needed a break because I was wanting to move to the Rocky Mountains and find myself a life out there too! I’m only, like, 40% kidding.

The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets
From the national bestselling author of Breaking Wild, here is a riveting and powerful thriller about a woman whose greatest threat could be the man she loves.…
Marian Engström has found her true calling: working with rescue dogs to help protect endangered wildlife. Her first assignment takes her to northern Alberta, where she falls in love with her mentor, the daring and brilliant Tate. After they’re separated from each other on another assignment, Marian is shattered to learn of Tate’s tragic death. Worse still is the aftermath in which Marian discovers disturbing inconsistencies about Tate’s life, and begins to wonder if the man she loved could have been responsible for the unsolved murders of at least four women.
Hoping to clear Tate’s name, Marian reaches out to a retired forensic profiler who’s haunted by the open cases. But as Marian relives her relationship with Tate and circles ever closer to the truth, evil stalks her every move.…
Tidbit
I won an ARC of The Last Woman in the Forest from a Bookish giveaway and as you’re reading this, I’m scheduled to be reading it but who knows what I’m actually reading given what’s going on. But I’m really looking forward to reading The Last Woman in the Forest. It sounds like a book that would have been right up my alley before I got stuck in a book rut a few years ago. Let’s wait and see!
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.
Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.
On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…
After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other… 
They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…
 
Tidbit
The Wedding Date was actually one of my very first requests to read as an official blogger and reviewer and I was approved for it. But it was via Penguin First Reads and I was told that my kindle app would read a PDF. It didn’t. It showed it and it let you zoom in on it and it was not me-friendly. So I couldn’t read it. BUT! I swore I would. And I’ve got a copy of the book and here I am scheduling it and everything.
Tiger Eye by Marjorie M Liu
He looks out of place in Dela Reese’s Beijing hotel room- exotic and poignant, some mythic, tragic hero of an epic tale. With his feline yellow eyes, he’s like nothing from her world. Yet Dela has danced through the echo of his soul and knows this warrior will obey her every command.
Hari has been used and abused for millennia. But he sees, upon his release from the riddle box, that this new mistress is different. There is a hidden power in Dela’s eyes- and with her, he may regain all that was lost to him. Where once he savaged, now he must protect; where once he only knew hatred, now he must embrace love. Dela is the key. For Dela, he will risk all.
Tidbit
Okay, so I first stumbled across this series when I was ummm 16 or so in a used bookstore and I had to buy it because my last name is actually Liu too and Margaret and Marjorie are similar and it was just really funny to me. So I bought and loved these books, but I haven’t read them since I was 19. I think I’m due for a reread, don’t you?
Here is what happens when your mother dies.
It’s the brightest day of summer and it’s dark outside. It’s dark in your house, dark in your room, and dark in your heart. You feel like the darkness is going to split you apart.
That’s how it feels for Tiger. It’s always been Tiger and her mother against the world. Then, on a day like any other, Tiger’s mother dies. And now it’s Tiger, alone.
Here is how you learn to make friends with the dark.


Tidbit
I recently got news that I’ll be receiving a review copy in the post so I’m going to be adding this darling into my schedule somewhere along the way. Somewhere.

Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep
Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance.
In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.
But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.
Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.
But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.


Tidbit
I received this as a review copy, read it, got really distracted by being shoved in an MRI tube. I’m rereading and reviewing, so be on the look out for that one!

The Start of Something Good by Jennifer Probst
An enriching story of family ties, broken hearts, and second chances from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.
When Ethan Bishop returns to the Hudson Valley, his body and spirit are a little worse for wear. As a former Special Forces paratrooper, he saw his fair share of conflict, and he came home with wounds, inside and out. At his sisters’ B & B and farm, he can keep all his pain at a safe distance. But quiet time isn’t easy when a fiery woman explodes into his life…
It’s business—not pleasure—that brings Manhattan PR agent Mia Thrush reluctantly to the farm. Tightly wound and quick tempered, Mia clashes immediately with the brooding Ethan. Everything about him is irritating—from his lean muscles and piercing blue eyes to his scent of sweat and musk.
But as the summer unfolds and temperatures rise, Ethan and Mia discover how much they have in common: their guarded histories, an uncontrollable desire, and a passion for the future that could heal two broken hearts. But will their pasts threaten their fragile chance at a brand-new future?
Tidbit
I actually signed up for the release tour of the third book in this series and didn’t realise it wasn’t a standalone. So I’m reading the series! Y’all can tag along for the ride.
A librarian’s discovery of a mysterious book sparks the journey of a lifetime in the delightful new novel from the international bestselling author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper.
Librarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people–though not for lack of trying. She keeps careful lists of how to help others in her superhero-themed notebook. And yet, sometimes it feels like she’s invisible.
All of that changes when a book of fairy tales arrives on her doorstep. Inside, Martha finds a dedication written to her by her best friend–her grandmother Zelda–who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. When Martha discovers a clue within the book that her grandmother may still be alive, she becomes determined to discover the truth. As she delves deeper into Zelda’s past, she unwittingly reveals a family secret that will change her life forever.
Filled with Phaedra Patrick’s signature charm and vivid characters, The Library of Lost and Found is a heartwarming and poignant tale of how one woman must take control of her destiny to write her own happy ending.

Tidbit
I’m attempting to step outside the box with my books. This looks like something I’d enjoy, so I requested it and lookit, I got it. And I also found out the test results on Zeus at the same time. Things backslide. But it’s out next week and I’m reading and buying it. And review will be coming! Look at me, getting things done!

Okay, y’all. I’m off. This was fun and laborious, I hope y’all enjoyed a peek at my schedule. How do y’all say ‘schedule’? I say shed-yule, but my family says ‘sked-jule’. I don’t know why I’m weird, but I am. Again, I don’t know what is going on with the formatting on wordpress. My main blog does not have such a horrible mess going on.
Until next time, have a happily ever after!

 

Book List · Book Meme · Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves ★ 2


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
 
I’m going to be taking part in the weekly book meme, Stacking The Shelves, because I seem to be acquiring a lot of books and I want to share all the books. I’ll be sharing a few of my recent(ish) acquisitions here every Sunday and if you want to join in the fun, you can click the link above and get all the info about Stacking the Shelves.
As always, clicking each book cover will take you to its Goodreads page and I’ll give you the Goodreads synopsis with each book because I care about you and the books. I’m a total book pimp.

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.
From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.
The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets
From the national bestselling author of Breaking Wild, here is a riveting and powerful thriller about a woman whose greatest threat could be the man she loves.…
Marian Engström has found her true calling: working with rescue dogs to help protect endangered wildlife. Her first assignment takes her to northern Alberta, where she falls in love with her mentor, the daring and brilliant Tate. After they’re separated from each other on another assignment, Marian is shattered to learn of Tate’s tragic death. Worse still is the aftermath in which Marian discovers disturbing inconsistencies about Tate’s life, and begins to wonder if the man she loved could have been responsible for the unsolved murders of at least four women.
Hoping to clear Tate’s name, Marian reaches out to a retired forensic profiler who’s haunted by the open cases. But as Marian relives her relationship with Tate and circles ever closer to the truth, evil stalks her every move.… 
Her heart has to break before it can open.
When star soccer player Peyton Rios receives an offer from her first-choice college, senior year starts off exactly as planned. But when Peyton uncovers her boyfriend’s dark secret, she confronts him―and finds herself falling down a flight of stairs. Peyton’s knee―and maybe her dream of going pro―is shattered. Everyone is talking: Was she pushed, or did she fall? Peyton knows the truth, even if no one believes her.
He has to let someone in before it’s too late.
With her future on the line, Peyton goes to stay with her uncle in a small Tennessee town to focus on her recovery. Dating is the last thing on her mind―until she meets sweet, sexy Owen Law.
But Peyton doesn’t trust her heart, especially when she senses that Owen is hiding something. When their secrets are finally exposed, Peyton has to decide if love is worth fighting for.
Meet Me in Outer Space by Melinda Grace
Smart and unflinching, this #OwnVoices debut contemporary novel stars an ambitious college student who refuses to be defined by her central auditory processing disorder.
Edie Kits has a learning disability. Well, not a learning disability exactly, but a disability that impacts her learning. It isn’t visible, it isn’t obvious, and it isn’t something she likes to advertise.
And for three semesters of college, her hard work and perseverance have carried her through. Edie thinks she has her disability under control until she meets her match with a French 102 course and a professor unwilling to help her out.
Edie finds herself caught between getting the help she needs and convincing her professor that she isn’t looking for an easy out. Luckily for Edie, she has an amazing best friend, Serena, who is willing to stitch together a plan to ensure Edie’s success. And then there’s Hudson, the badly dressed but undoubtedly adorable TA in her French class who finds himself pulled into her orbit…
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, Meet Me in Outer Space is a sweet, heartachingly real story of love and college life by debut author Melinda Grace.
Nolan Grant is sixteen, gay, and (definitely) still a virgin. He’s never had a boyfriend, or even been kissed. It’s not like Penn Valley is brimming with prospects. And when his big sister stages an elaborate “prom-posal” so Nolan can ask out his not-so-secret crush, Nolan freezes. He’s saved from further embarrassment by bad boy Bern, who, for his own reasons, offers to fake-date Nolan.
Nolan thinks it’s the perfect way to get Daphne off his back and spend the rest of the year drawing narwhals, tending to plants, and avoiding whatever died under his bed a few weeks ago. What he doesn’t think about is Bern’s ex-girlfriend, who seriously wants to kill him.

Okay, that’s it for this episode, y’all. I’m off to the DMV tomorrow to transfer my license over to Florida because I apparently need a state ID to chaperone field trips. Whoops! Talk amongst yourselves, I guess?

Book List · Book Meme · Down the TBR Hole

Down the TBR Hole ★ 2

Down the TBR Hole is a bookish meme created by Lia @ Lost in a Story.

Down the TBR Hole 411

Down The TBR Hole is a meme that revolves around cleansing your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it all to know what’s actually on there.Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!
It works like this:
• Order on ascending date added.
• Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
• Read the synopses of the books
• Decide: Keep it or should it go?
We’re back again with Down the TBR Hole and I’ve got some more books to glean from the herd! Sorry, I was raised in farm country. I’ve got books for the journey and we’ve time’s a-wasting, let’s get to it!
As always in my meme posts, clicking on the book cover or the title will take to its goodreads page!

The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland
I’m pretty much here for any book that involves inked and/or pierced bookworms like myself, so that’s why I put this on my TBR list. Add in a mysterious bookshop and I need one those bibs you put on a Newf for their drool. This book’s staying and I’m adding it to my purchase list for the next time I accidentally wind up in Barnes & Noble.
Wanted by Nick Stephenson
I actually added this to my TBR to remember to buy for my brother since it sounded like something he might read. I’m removing it from my TBR and sending my brother a link to it to see if he wants me to order him a copy at Barnes & Noble.
Suviving Cyril by Ramsey Hootman

Oh my deities. This sounds like some psychological drama, please, book gods, tell me why this book is on my TBR? I have enough head issues as it is, I do not need to add to them. This is getting cut from my TBR, sorry.

I’m sorry. I have to apologise for this. As in, I apologise for not reading this sooner. The cover for this book is amazing, the synopsis gets me all types of emotional, and when I finish it, I can donate it to my mom’s classroom library. Yeah, this is staying on my TBR list.
This book sounds like a hot mess for poor Emma and my evil gawk-at-accidents-as-I-drive-by side needs to read this. It’s staying on my TBR until I buy more popcorn so I can sit in my closet and cackle at Emma’s misfortune. (I am sorry, but schadenfreude is my literary jam)
 
Seeing Red by Sandra Brown
I had this added to my TBR to buy for my grandmother. I’m sorry, I give books to people for gift-giving events. So, this is being removed from my TBR because I did buy it for her.
The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian
The Flight Attendant sounds mildly interesting but I’m also reminded a bit of a Murder, She Wrote episode I watched when I was maybe 7. So, I have an inkling of how this book should play out and I’m pretty much not a fan of that episode, so I’m taking a pass on this book and removing it from my TBR.
Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
This is off the TBR, I was lured in by the fact that Jennifer Lawrence is in the movie and well, I’ve got a celebri-crush on her. I’m not really about spy novels. They make my head hurt. Jennifer Lawrence is not in the books.
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
I totally just bought this so it’s staying on my TBR and I’m probably going to turn into a fangirl because this sounds like something GUNDAM-y and I love GUNDAM. Just, please be GUNDAM.
I own a copy of this and I keep putting it off because I’m afraid it’s not going to be as good as I hope it will be. So it’s sitting on my shelf looking pretty. It’s staying on my TBR, I’ll probably wind up reading it when I’m stuck in hospital for something.
That’s it for this journey and I hope y’all enjoyed the trip. Let me know if you’ve read any of these! And since Autism Acceptance Month is coming up, please remember, Autism Speaks is not an #ActuallyAutistic supported group. We consider them a hate group since they want to eradicate the autism gene. If you do feel the need to contribute to an autism charity, please do not support Autism Speaks. Thank you. Have a happily ever after!
Book List

Book List ★ 8 Standalone Novels On My TBR List

This was going to be my second post for Top Ten Tuesday but I couldn’t meet the topic! The topic was “Standalone Books that Need a Sequel” and I kept wracking my brain and could only think of a handful of books I’ve read in my lifetime that were true standalones and, after a short period where I couldn’t put two words together to cry foul, I chose to abstain from T3 and, instead, work on compiling a list of books I can read this year to alter my dilemma. I’m also trying a new formatting for this book list so I have no idea exactly how well it will transfer over to everybody’s viewing apparatuses. 
As always, clicking on the book title will take you to its Goodreads page. Enjoy!
8 Standalone Novels On My TBR List


Watermelon Snow by William A. Liggett
A climate scientist uncovers a long-held secret, triggering a series of tragic events that threaten her research, her career–and the lives of everyone around her.
Deep within the melting Blue Glacier in the Washington wilderness, climate scientist Dr. Kate Landry makes a remarkable discovery. Determined to conceal it from colleagues eager to steal her work, she must somehow distract the behavioral scientist NASA sends to study her team.

From the moment he sets foot on the ice, Dr. Grant Poole finds himself in a strange world of unexpected beauty but fraught with extreme dangers he has tried his whole life to avoid. Greeted with suspicion, he soon realizes Kate is hiding something.

When a mysterious illness strikes her crew and an intense storm engulfs their tiny research station, Kate can no longer shield the truth from Grant. Thrown together in a struggle to survive, they are trapped between keeping Kate’s secret and protecting the lives of thousands, even millions.

Time is running out. Can they find a way to save everyone and still preserve Kate’s discovery?

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer

Can you love someone to death?

Some would say Becky Gerard is a devoted mother and would do anything for her only child. Others claim she’s obsessed and can’t stop the vicious circle of finding a cure at her daughter’s expense. 
Fifteen-year-old Meghan has been in and out of hospitals with a plague of unexplained illnesses. But when the ailments take a sharp turn, doctors intervene and immediately suspect Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare behavioral disorder where the primary caretaker, typically the mother, seeks medical help for made-up symptoms of a child. Is this what’s going on? Or is there something even more sinister at hand?




The Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle

Emilie Day believes in playing it safe: she’s homeschooled, her best friend is her seizure dog, and she’s probably the only girl on the Outer Banks of North Carolina who can’t swim.

Then Emilie’s mom enrolls her in public school, and Emilie goes from studying at home in her pj’s to halls full of strangers. To make matters worse, Emilie is paired with starting point guard Chatham York for a major research project on Emily Dickinson. She should be ecstatic when Chatham shows interest, but she has a problem. She hasn’t told anyone about her epilepsy.

Emilie lives in fear her recently adjusted meds will fail and she’ll seize at school. Eventually, the worst happens, and she must decide whether to withdraw to safety or follow a dead poet’s advice and “dwell in possibility.”

 

The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody

Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year.

She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.
But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her.
And his name is Xander.
When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.
Ryn can’t move on.
But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

American Panda by Gloria Chao

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

Pretty Girls Dancing by Kylie Brant
Years ago, in the town of Saxon Falls, young Kelsey Willard disappeared and was presumed dead. The tragedy left her family with a fractured life—a mother out to numb the pain, a father losing a battle with his own private demons, and a sister desperate for closure. But now another teenage girl has gone missing. It’s ripping open old wounds for the Willards, dragging them back into a painful past, and leaving them unprepared for where it will take them next.
Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent Mark Foster has stumbled on uncanny parallels in the lives of the two missing girls that could unlock clues to a serial killer’s identity. That means breaking down the walls of the Willards’ long-guarded secrets and getting to a truth that is darker than he bargained for. Now, to rescue one missing girl, he must first solve the riddles that disappeared with another: Kelsey Willard herself. Dead or alive, she is his last hope.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…
Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

Now, to the best of my knowledge these are standalone novels but if they aren’t I’ll probably be in it for the long haul. I usually end up that way. I’m also resolving to search out standalones to read because, apparently, I don’t have many on my TBR either! If you have any standalone book suggestions, let me know! Again, I apologise if the formatting is less than stellar, it looks great on my main blog and wordpress hates me.

Until next time, readers, have a happily ever after!

Book List · Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves ★ 1

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
 
I’m going to start taking part in the weekly book meme, Stacking The Shelves, because I seem to be acquiring a lot of books and I want to share all the books. I’ll be sharing a few of my recent acquisitions here every Sunday and if you want to join in the fun, you can click the meme banner or either link above and get all the info about Stacking the Shelves. I’m starting out with just five books because I did my posts backwards in drafts and didn’t realise that the first post of Stacking the Shelves was RIGHT NOW when I finally got here and now, I’m just really tired and sore and I need to go to the post office to pick up my birth certificate.
As always, clicking each book cover will take you to its Goodreads page and I’ll give you the Goodreads synopsis with each book because I care about you and the books. I’m a total book pimp and I make no apologies if I add to your TBR.

Tell the truth. Or face the consequences.
Clue meets Riverdale in this page-turning thriller that exposes the lies five teens tell about a deadly night one year ago. 
One year ago, there was a party.
At the party, someone died.
Five teens each played a part and up until now, no one has told the truth.
But tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion in the hills, expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Of course…some things are too good to be true. They were each so desperate for the prize, they didn’t question the odd, rather exclusive invitation until it was too late.
Now, they realize they’ve been lured together by a person bent on revenge, a person who will stop at nothing to uncover what actually happened on that deadly night, one year ago.
Five arrived, but not all can leave. Will the truth set them free?
Or will their lies destroy them all?

Five hundred years ago, magi created a weapon they couldn’t control. An infestation that ate magic—and anything else it came into contact with. Enemies and allies were equally filling.
Only an elite team of non-magical humans, known as sweepers, can defuse and dispose of infestations before they spread. Most die before they finish training.
Laura, a new team member, has stayed alive longer than most. Now, she’s the last—and only—sweeper standing between the city and a massive infestation.

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.
Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, one of a handful of sisterhoods of highly trained elite warriors. Armed with blades whose metal is imbued with magic and guided by a strict code of conduct, the Orders are sworn to keep the peace and protect the people of Asiana. Kyra has pledged to do so—yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her murdered family.

When Tamsyn, the powerful and dangerous Mistress of Mental Arts, assumes control of the Order, Kyra is forced on the run. She is certain that Tamsyn committed murder in a twisted bid for power, but she has no proof.

Kyra escapes through one of the strange Transport Hubs that are the remnants of Asiana’s long-lost past and finds herself in the unforgiving wilderness of a desert that is home to the Order of Khur, the only Order composed of men. Among them is Rustan, a disillusioned Marksman whose skill with a blade is unmatched. He understands the desperation of Kyra’s quest to prove Tamsyn’s guilt, and as the two grow closer, training daily on the windswept dunes of Khur, both begin to question their commitment to their Orders. But what they don’t yet realize is that the line between justice and vengeance is thin . . . as thin as the blade of a knife.

Evie Black and her demon imp partner, Cass, are two of the most fearsome supernatural bounty hunters on the West Coast. But when Evie’s beloved grandmother dies, her world shatters.

After finding the bottom of a bottle of tequila, Evie breaks the one rule she knows better than to ignore: Never hook up with a werewolf.

Especially when he’s the local alpha who, oh, by the way, happens to be her gran’s sworn enemy.

Yeah, complicated doesn’t even begin to cover what happens next.

*Adult urban fantasy novel with sexual content and adult language.

Now, tell me! Do we share book tastes? Did I add to your TBR? Does anybody actually read this stuff?

ARC Book Review · Book Reviews

Review of The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons

The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons
Vale Hall #1
Published 5 February 2019 by Tor Teen
Pretty Little Liars meets Ocean’s 11 in this intrigue-filled contemporary drama from acclaimed author Kristen Simmons.
Welcome to Vale Hall, the school for aspiring con artists.
When Brynn Hilder is recruited to Vale, it seems like the elite academy is her chance to start over, away from her mom’s loser boyfriend and her rundown neighborhood. But she soon learns that Vale chooses students not so much for their scholastic talent as for their extracurricular activities, such as her time spent conning rich North Shore kids out of their extravagant allowances.
At first, Brynn jumps at the chance to help the school in its mission to rid the city of corrupt officials–because what could be better than giving entitled jerks what they deserve? But that’s before she meets her mark–a senator’s son–and before she discovers the school’s headmaster has secrets he’ll stop at nothing to protect. As the lines between right and wrong blur, Brynn begins to realize she’s in way over her head.
I was lucky enough to win a contest Kristen Simmons had going on a few months ago involving Vale Hall acceptance letters for a handful of winners and one signed ARC for some unsuspecting fan, me. The fact that I received an ARC in no way influenced this review (I’d already sent in an order for a copy for my kindle!) but the FTC requires us to tell you if we receive review copies. I WAS GOING TO REVIEW THIS ANYWAY, FTC! But, look at my cute photo of the ARC and the promotional Vale Hall patch. 
I honestly didn’t want to finish The Deceivers, I didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters or leave Vale Hall. So, I procrastinated and made Manatee a Vale Hall bandana to wear while he’s working using a promotional Vale Hall patch that I was sent for the book’s publishing day.

I first learned about The Deceivers when I stumbled across a tweet by Kristen Simmons about some ill-informed reviewer who accused her of pandering to the people and overloading her book with diverse characters for “diversity brownie points”. I swore then and there, I was going to buy a copy and scream about all the diversity brownie points that I love. And look, here I am, with a virtual bullhorn.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading The Deceivers, this entire book centres around The Con and is a veritable Gordian’s Knot of cons. From the opening scene where our protagonist executes a simple 5-minute con on three dance students and comes away two hundred dollars richer, to the humdinger of a con that made me exclaim “what the hell, dude?!” at 2AM and the cons the students of Vale Hall learn in class and apply on their assignments, you will not be bored reading this.
Brynn is a mixed girl from Devon Park, a no-income area of Sikawa City. She has a plastic pencil case box in her hollowed-out mattress that she stashes away cash that she earns conning people uptown, all of it’s for college and getting the hell out of Devon Park. As someone who lives the Devon Park lifestyle, I know exactly where Brynn is coming from except, I stash my money in my bookcase. I’ll be honest, if some random arsed old white guy offered me a golden ticket to a bright shiny future and freedom from my past, I wouldn’t even question those nasty little puppet strings he’s tying onto my limbs. But Brynn’s moral compass isn’t as charcoal grey as my own, that girl questions everybody and everything.
I was in love with the concept of a private boarding school for budding young con artists because, like I’ve mentioned before, half of my childhood dream jobs were not very law-abiding in nature. I was, however, a tad disappointed that there weren’t more Con 101 lessons, but I understand why from the Responsible Adult viewpoint. If y’all want more Crime 101, watch Leverage and White Collar re-runs or something. Don’t lie, I know you love them as much as I do.
Brynn is assigned the task of getting close to a Senator’s son and finding some dirt, any dirt. And as the con goes on, the lines start to blur for Brynn who’s used to running short cons, not long cons. She struggles with maintaining her multiple covers as Sarah, the bad girl who’s caught Grayson Sterling’s roving eye at a party, Brynn Hilder, the newest student at the prestigious boarding school who left Devon Park behind, Brynn Hilder, the girl being hunted down by her mom’s drug dealer boyfriend, and just Brynn. Y’all. I’m pretty much here for Brynn and her ability to balance The Con, starting a new life and trying to keep track of her old life and all its drama and still remembering that she is not a bad person at her core. I can barely remember to put on pants before walking the dogs in the morning. Two words, readers, door pants.
The Vale Hall Ravens are comprised of no more than twenty students at one time, but the story centres around the newest addition the Vale Hall, Brynn Hilder, as she goes about acclimating herself to her new life as a Raven. She forms friendships with a few of her new classmates/teammates but she’s also wary of fully trusting any of them as she knows that if her past catches up with her and her cover as a student at a prestigious prep school is blown, she’s screwed with nowhere to land since she burned her bridges back in Devon Park. And I can understand it, she doesn’t want to go back to her dead-end school in her dead-end life and end up working at the sports bar with her mom for tips and go to a dead-end community college for a less-than-stellar diploma that won’t hold up against someone else’s fancy uni degree. Oh, look, that leads us to characters! I do love dishing about characters!
I found the central characters of The Deceivers well-developed and I had separation issues when it came to the end of the book. I just didn’t want to say goodbye to them. Brynn was your not-so-typical scrappy mixed-race protagonist with a burning desire to get the hell out of her neighbourhood and go to college and never come back. I totally related with her. My favourite character after Brynn was Henry, I love puppy dogs and Henry is the loyal pup you rescue from the pound and he smothers you with love and affection no matter what. He’s loyal to Caleb and loyal to Brynn and he’s ecstatic when he sees a smidgen of a connection between the two and will play cupid any chance he gets – any. Speaking of Caleb, Caleb is another mixed-race character and a pretty good chameleon. He goes from adorkable to not-bad boy hottie in seconds and I’m still not sure which I like better. Either way, that boy is Campbell’s Soup. (Yes, I did put that. Judge away. I never said I was cool.) Next, we have Charlotte. Charlotte is Brynn’s friend, dorm neighbour, and a mentor of sorts for her as well as she struggles to get her feet under her at Vale Hall. And I just want to make Charlotte some of my Chocolate Addict Cookies and set her in front of the telly for a Gilmore Girls session, okay?
My least favourite characters in The Deceivers were Geri, Dr Odin, and Pete. Geri is Vale Hall’s resident Mean Girl, she could have made Regina George cry. She was just flat-out horrid to Brynn from the get-go. And Dr Odin was a shark disguising himself as a friendly dolphin. He acts friendly, but time and time again, there were little hints of the teeth. And what kind of grown man sends kids out into dangerous situations with sketchy people to find dirt for him in exchange for whatever the kid desperately wants or needs? This is classic abuser grooming behaviour and I’m honestly afraid for the Ravens’ and how Dr Odin would react if they were to fail him in a major fashion. Pete is Brynn’s mom’s abusive dirtbag boyfriend who’s a drug dealer and he’s all sorts of nasty and I would just really enjoy setting that offal-masquerading-as-a-human-being on fire.
I did love the diversity we saw in the characters and in some of the scenes (you’ll know when you read!). There are POC and culture and it isn’t a ‘trying too hard’ thing. It is having characters of colour and letting them be themselves. This book is colourful, and I love it for that! Kids like myself and the author need books that have main characters that are like ourselves, just like everybody else, mixed and living their lives, some of us basking in our various cultures and others just acknowledging their heritage occasionally. It’s all good and that’s some representation I adore. And that’s my little soapbox moment.
Now, The Deceivers was born from Norse mythology (it is not a retelling, people, listen!) and there are so many obvious nods to the lore throughout the book. The biggest nod of all is, of course, The Con, since Norse deities were famous for tricking one another. Okay, they were famous for the bloodshed too, but we’re talking cons. The Con is the theme, okay. Our protagonist is Brynn Hilder and she gets her name from the famed Valkyrie, Brynhildr. The god, Odin, the all-father, would send his ravens, Huginn and Muninn, out to collect information for him so he could become the wisest of all. Likewise, Dr Odin sends Vale Hall’s Ravens out to collect secrets for him to use to make the world a better place. I shan’t go further on this vein though, because I want you to dive into The Deceivers and see if you can spot other nods to the pantheon and the legends surrounding them.
Now, this is a rather long review and I apologise, I apparently had a lot to say and I’ve rewritten this a few dozen times trying to shorten it but we’re over 1400 words (1433!) and I’m saying we’re done before y’all start finding some pitchforks and torches. I’m giving Kristen Simmons’ The Deceivers 5 stars of gloriousness because I loved this book from start to finish and Ms Simmons managed to slip a con past me when I thought I knew everything. So, I tip my hat to her.
I recommend this book to anybody who is looking for a YA read that is a smidgen romantic, a bit of a mystery, a little reminiscent of Leverage (if you haven’t seen Leverage, we need to talk, honey), and is a definite thriller. Also, have a random weird gif because I’ve been very gif-less of late and I apologise.

Kristen Simmons is the critically acclaimed author of the ARTICLE 5 series, THE GLASS ARROW, METALTOWN, PACIFICA, and THE DECEIVERS. She has worked with survivors of abuse and trauma as a mental health therapist, taught Jazzercise in five states, and is forever in search of the next best cupcake. Currently she lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, where she spends her days supporting the caffeine industry and chasing her son.

You can follow Ms Simmons on social media at the following links: InstagramFacebookTwitterGoodreads

Photograph taken by Sasha Ledney Photography

This post’s charity of choice is Children’s Literacy Initiative which is a non-profit working with pre-k through 5th-grade teachers to improve early literacy instruction so that children from disadvantaged backgrounds can become powerful readers, writers, and thinkers. If you’re of a mind to make a donation and possess the means to do so, I’m sure CLI would put it to good use. As always, darling readers, have a happily ever after!
Book List · Book Meme · Down the TBR Hole

Down the TBR Hole ★ 1

Down the TBR Hole is a bookish meme created by Lia @ Lost in a Story.

Down the TBR Hole 411

Down The TBR Hole is a meme that revolves around cleansing your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it all to know what’s actually on there.Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:

• Order on ascending date added.

• Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.

• Read the synopses of the books

• Decide: Keep it or should it go?

This is my first time participating in Down the TBR Hole and I doubt it will be my last seeing as my TBR list won’t stop growing and I can only read so much. I made my own DTH graphic just because I wasn’t sure how the original graphic would look with my blog’s theme.
As per usual, each book cover will link back to Goodreads. And, I’m going against the guidelines. I’m not going from the very bottom of my list. I’m putting it into ascending order, and tapping the scroll button on my mouse. Wherever we land, we land. We’ll cull the herd that way for now. I added my Amazon buy list to Goodreads when I first made my account, I already know I want to read the very first books on my TBR list.
Vampire Girl by Karpov Kinrade
Honestly? The reaction of my ex-girlfriend to the Twilight series (she decided that she was a vampire and it got really bad and yeah), it ruined 98% of books that centre around a vampire. I read maybe three series involving vampires, three. Why is this even on my TBR list? I’m going to remove this one and spend the next week trying to figure out how it made it on there in the first place.
Eragon by Christopher Paolini

I have been wanting to read this book since I saw it on a Wal-Mart shelf way back when I was 16 years old. I’ve seen the movie, it’s one of my nephew’s favourite books, my sister adores the movie (she’s 10), I’m contractually obligated to read this book. I finally bought it over the holidays so I’m committed now. Eragon stays.

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

I bought this for the kickass cover at Barnes & Noble on a Holiday Shopping High for Christmas 2017. I mean, look at that cover. I own the book and I even bought a kindle copy so I can keep the physical copy nice and pretty. I’m keeping this one on my TBR and also putting it in my planner’s TBR so it’s concrete To Be Read This Year.

Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins
I’m actually conflicted on this one. I already own it, but I think it was a freebie  or 99¢ book on Amazon and I bought it when I was laid up after my ankle was destroyed? It sounds interesting-ish, but it also sounds like a lot of family drama and, y’all, I have lived through more than enough of that in my life. Do I really want to read about it too? I think I’ll remove it from my TBR and if I happen to read it, I read it.
Deadly Silence by Rebecca Zanetti
I’m flat out keeping Deadly Silence on my TBR list. Rebecca Zanetti and I need to get acquainted. Her books have been teasing me left, right, and centre and I have had it. So I am going to read her stuff. Starting with the Sin Brothers series. Because I honestly have no real idea where to start! Somebody help! Okay, seriously. Deadly Silence is staying on the TBR list, as well as every other Zanetti book until I figure out whether I like her writing or not.
By a Charm and a Curse by Jaime Questell
I honestly got sucked up into the Book Twitter hype on this one, I don’t know why I did it, but I added it to my TBR. I hate carnivals with a passion. I read about P.T. Barnum and his exploitation of ‘freaks’ when I was 9. I’ve hated all things carnival ever since. I have a copy, so I might one day read it, but it’s off my TBR.
Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff
Raise your hand if the title of this reminded you of those books like Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging? Just me? Oh, well. Y’all missed out in your tweens. Anyways, that may have been why I clicked on the book, but the synopsis is definitely what made me add it to my TBR and it’s what’s making me keep it there. Just for the prospect of reading this one future rainy Florida day somewhere, I’m keeping this darling book on my TBR and who knows, I might just slip it on the blog later on.
Winner Take All by Laurie Devore
I think I got interested in this because a friend who shares the same book interests as myself wrote a favourable review of Winner Take All, but looking at the synopsis, I’ll paraphrase Marie Kondo for this one and say “this book would not give me joy, I shan’t keep it any longer.”
Magic, Madness, and Mischief by Kelly McCullough
I actually stuck this one in my TBR to check out before I bought it for my nephew who was 11 at the time. I knew he liked to read a lot, but I didn’t know his reading level. My 13-year-old nephew is reading whatever he can get his hands on, well beyond middle grade books. So this one is exiting the TBR list.
True North by Scarlett Andrews
I think this was a Goodreads Giveaway add, but I’m not sure. All I know is, I’m buying the whole quartet. This is staying on my TBR and it’s being added to my planner’s TBR list.
So what do you think? Did I accidentally add to your TBR? Do you think I made a mistake keeping or removing a book? Did you just discover Down the TBR Hole? I want to know! Leave me a comment and we can discuss!
Until next time, darling readers, have a happily ever after!
Book List · Book Meme · Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday ★ 1

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to The Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

I assign each Tuesday a topic and then post my top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join me and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

You’ll find the schedule of upcoming TTT topics below so you can plan ahead. I’ll post a Linky here on the blog each week so you can link up your post (if you want). If you don’t have a blog, post your picks in the comment section below! Have tons of fun talking books and getting to know your fellow bloggers!


NOTE: If a weekly topic is listed as a “freebie”, you are invited to come up with your own topic. Sometimes I will give your topic a theme, such as “love”, a season, or an upcoming holiday. That just means that you can come up with any topic you want that fits under that umbrella.

 – Jana of The Artsy Reader Girl

Top Ten Characters I’d Like to Switch Places With

 
This week’s topic is Top Ten Characters I’d Like to Switch Places With and I’m jumping in with both feet. I’ve no idea how to go about it, so I’m just going to list Five to get the concept down this week. Pardon the rocky start!
 
1. Jack and Annie from the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osbourne
This is more of a sibling activity thing. I grew up reading these to my brother whilst I kept us hidden til our mum got home, then he learned how to read them on his own. But we never stopped wanting to be Jack and Annie as kids. We had a tree house, we just didn’t have Morgan Le Fay to come magick us away. I still wouldn’t mind a trip or two in a magic tree house to experience some amazing historical events and I guess I could take my brother along for the ride.

2. Hermione from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
While I’m all for Viktor Krum and his scrumptiousness, I put Hermione on this list for S.P.E.W. (the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare) and how Hermione was totally robbed in the movies by, um, everybody. Hermione was a brilliant young woman in the books, she was an activist for everything, she could cast amazing magick that left opposition quaking in their robes – especially a certain illegal animagus reporter she kept in jar for a school term, and, say what you will about Rowling, Hermione is definitely what many of us women today were looking for in many a book. Also, Hermione was trying to make the magic world a better place by knitting hats. I am totally here for that.

3. Acorna from Acorna: The Unicorn Girl by Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball
Okay, yes, I’m naming the titular character, but guys. Acorna was an intergalactic unicorn humanoid alien who could use her horn to purify the polluted environment. I spent a good many days as a child playing pretend as Acorna going on different adventures to help save her people and the known universe. Such a hero complex for a 9-year-old.

4. Celaena from Throne of Glass by S.J. Maas
I’ve avoided all spoilers of the entire series so don’t kill the suspense for me. I’m taking this series slowly. But my childhood career goals were split between President, Marine Biologist who lived on a boat all the time (my dogs would be toilet-trained, as I informed everyone who asked), World Renowned Art Thief, or Assassin for Hire. Celaena is pretty much what my 5-year-old self had in mind for goals, minus the whole prison work camp thing. I still wouldn’t mind a career change if I could get rid of the whole moral dilemma I have if I jaywalk. 

5. Rikki Sitmore from Water Bound by Christine Feehan

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, may the book gods smile on you, you’ll know exactly how much I love Water Bound and Rikki. If I had the opportunity to switch places with Rikki, I’d do it in the blink of an eye. Just thinking about it makes me tear up a little bit. But in case y’all haven’t read that review (I’m hurt), Rikki is an autistic sea urchin diver who lives in Christine Feehan’s fictional seaside village, Sea Haven, with her sisters of the heart, on their communal farm. Rikki possesses a special affinity for water and has a telepathic link to Lev Parenskii. Sign me up!

That’s it for my very first Top Ten Tuesday (which was only Top Five) and I hope it wasn’t too horrible of an experience. I’ll be skipping next week (the 12th) because the theme for it is ‘Standalone Books That Need a Sequel’ and I can’t for the life of me think of more than one standalone that I’ve read in the past year. That Top Ten list would probably look pretty empty.

Anyways! Do y’all have special characters you’d love to switch places with? Did I name any of them? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, darling readers, have a happily ever after!

Book Reviews

Review of Don’t Bait Me

Don’t Bait Me by Jackie May
Nora Jacobs #3
Published 16 January 2019 by Bluefields Publishing
 
Now that Nora has been outed as an underworlder, all she wants to do is lay low, figure out how to hide her fey heritage and decide if she wants to date any of the men in her life. Unfortunately, fate has other plans.  
Just one week after the werewolf fiasco, Terrance is nearly killed by an unknown attacker. He’s not the only victim. Fey all around the city are being murdered and with Nora’s reputation for solving cases, they’re looking to her for help. What choice does she have but to get involved? Not only does being fey maker her a target, but the killer went after her troll. He’s going to pay for that. 
This is the third installment of the Nora Jacobs series. These books must be read in order. 
 
The husband and wife duo writing under the nom de plume, Jackie May, is back again with another Nora Jacobs story and it doesn’t disappoint – at all. If I hadn’t been running all over Central Florida this past weekend with almost no sleep whatsoever, I would have read Don’t Bait Me in one delectable sitting at once.
Nora Jacobs is back and she is ready to take on the Underworld as her newly discovered Siren self. But this girl cannot get a moment’s peace it seems, not even for Turkey day. Her faerie trollfather (ha!), Terrence, is attacked and left to die outside of Whole Foods as he’s loading up his car with Thanksgiving feast groceries – because Nora forgot her coup can’t fit the kitchen sink. When Nora and her menfolk convene at Detroit’s FUA headquarters to have Enzo heal Terrence, Nora learns that FUA can’t touch the case because the Fae never signed the treatise recognising FUA’s authority as a peace-keeping agency. After FUA’s Director West reminds Nick and Ren that they can’t touch Terrence’s attack and other members of the fae community grudgingly ask her for her sleuthing assistance based on her past meritorious conduct, she goes for it. And the guys are okay with it, so long as Parker tags along to watch her back. Nora stumbles her way through playing detective again and somehow manages to do the thing without dying.

Something that I haven’t seen in my many years of RH reading is how the Jackie May duo approaches the construction of Nora’s harem. Jackie May acknowledges that love doesn’t haven’t to be of the romantic variety to be all-important. What we’ve already seen from the series is that, in addition to the romantic interests, Nora’s harem consists of Terrence who’s a total father figure to Nora, going so far as to Claim her as Clan and Ren who is gay and loves Nora as a friend or sister, Nick loves Nora as a kid sister (I know, we all love Nick Gorgeous but if anybody knows the big brother vibe, it’s me), and hell, Cecile is even in there if you want to make folks uncomfortable “a girl in the harem! le gasp!” Cecile’s basically adopted Nora as a little sister and the world is just going to have to deal with that awesomeness. Then there’s Wulf and I’ll admit, I’m still a bit keen on him joining his brother in the romantic harem but most folks are going to freak out right there so that’s probably not going to happen. But yeah, Wulf is part of the expanded harem as he’s always been right there for Nora since Day One and I honestly can’t get a real read on what sort of love he’s got going on inside that wolfish mind of his, but I’m totally #TeamWulf.

On to characters, yay! Mmkay. We have a veritable Underworld UN going on in this book and I love it. We have a mermaid, selkies, brownies (the fae, not the delicious food), gargoyles, elves, and, of course, Henry the skeevy prick that should really get staked. Like I’ve said before, I’m not a big vampire fan, but I’m not even mean enough to class Henry as a vampire. He gives vampires a bad name. Yes, he’s influenced by Nora’s weird lure, but that just magnifies his actual personality. A douche is a douche is a douche. They also add one more member to Nora’s romantic harem, I’m not saying this new member is the final addition because #TeamWulf.

Ren, Terrence, Nick, and Cecile seem to share some basic knowledge of siren anthropology. Y’all. Sharing is caring. Ha, that’s funny. Seriously, if y’all know something about your friend who is grasping for any little tidbit about their Origin Story, be a friend and tell them. Especially if they’ve spent their entire lives believing themselves to be human and suddenly discover that to be false and there are no known members of their species around to clue them in to their particular type of weird. I’d be one ticked off chick if my friends did that to me.

Something that I truly love about Jackie May’s writing of the Nora Jacobs series is how they approach Nora’s Traumatic Past, she starts her journey in Don’t Cheat Me as pretty traumatised, understandably, but through the series, she and her friends have been working through her issues. The author duo is breaking the stigma of therapy by bringing it up Nora’s techniques. Nora forces herself to work through her wrecked headspace, something I greatly admire as I’ve struggled with this same issue over the years and I know how hard it is to trust anybody. Nora is literally pushing herself time and time again through these books to break free from the hold her past has on her.

Now, because this isn’t an ARC, I can share two of my favourite quotes with y’all. The others contain spoilers and I have a hard stance against spoilers.

“Demons don’t have families. We’re solitary, unless we join a horde.” He shuddered. “That’s more like joining a gang than a family.”

Nora invites all of the members of her Made Family to her Thanksgiving feast, including Ren and it makes our gaybie incubus a tad emotional because he’s never had a family to share it with either. Seriously. If you meet me and I like you, you’re going to be fed. And if I like you, there’s probably going to be books and handknits involved. Ren and anybody else is welcome at my table any time. Also, as someone who has had experience with both gangs and families, they’re pretty similar in my experience. But I think hordes would fall in that grey area in the in-between. Hopefully, we can have a look into the demon thing in the next book so we can see?

“Any Hallmark or Netflix Christmas movie,” I answer. “The cheesier the better.”

Nora cements herself as one of my favourite heroines when she tells this to Rook because same. My mom and I have a ritual where we have a Girls Weekend and we binge on x cheesy trope movies. It’s been our tradition since I was about 12 years old or something. We’ve seen them all. Welcome to the cheesy trope club, Nora. You’re totally welcome, honey.

I do have to warn y’all, Don’t Bait Me ends on a smidgen of a cliffhanger, so I’m chomping at the bit to read the next in the series and I don’t know when it will be out. It’s not an earth-shattering cliffhanger but more of a “well, that just happened and things are sure to be happening” cliffhanger.

I’m going to rate Don’t Bait Me a solid 4 stars and 2 flames for sexy times, because Nora’s actually starting to make inroads there. Nothing scorch-worthy but hey, progress is progress. Don’t Bait Me is available through Kindle Unlimited, so it’s only available on Amazon at this time.

Jackie May is a pseudonym for a husband and wife writing team. Josh and Kelly live in Phoenix, Arizona with their four children and their cat, Mr. Darcy. Jackie May is their only daughter. (And she keeps asking for her cut of the profits since we’re using her name.)
The author duo can be found on their goodreadsinstagramtwitter, and facebook.
 
Other books by Jackie May that I’ve reviewed include Don’t Rush Me and Don’t Cheat Me.

As always, I’m ending my review post with a charity. Normally, I’d try to pick a charity that works with the book I reviewed but my mum has some special kids that she’s working with and they’re pretty amazing, in my opinion, and I’ve heard a lot of hard luck stories from the teachers of Hillsborough County about their students. We actually go shopping at Sam’s Club every month, to pick up foodstuff for a teacher-stocked student food bank because some of these kids don’t have food at home. I’m an overly emotional mess when it comes to hard luck kids, okay. But HCPS has an overabundance of these kids and I CANNOT HOLD BACK THE TEARS! Anyway, there is a charity called Oasis Network which takes donations of new and gently used items and money in order to buy things for students of Hillsborough County and social workers that work within the schools can come in and pick up things for kids in need. Now, I’m going to go find some Kleenex because my allergies have me tearing up.

Happy reading and be on the lookout for my next post which is already in the works because I’m doing the thing! Whoo!