Friday, April 30, 2021

Book Spotlight - Aru Shah and the City of Gold by Roshani Chokshi + Giveaway


About the Book:

Title: ARU SHAH AND THE CITY OF GOLD (A Pandava Novel Book 4)

Author: Roshani Chokshi

Pub. Date: April 6, 2021

Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 400







Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindleAudibleB&

Aru Shah and her sisters--including one who also claims to be the Sleeper's daughter--must find their mentors Hanuman and Urvashi in Lanka, the city of gold, before war breaks out between the devas and asuras.

Aru has just made a wish on the tree of wishes, but she can't remember what it was. She's pretty sure she didn't wish for a new sister, one who looks strangely familiar and claims to be the Sleeper's daughter, like her.

Aru also isn't sure she still wants to fight on behalf of the devas in the war against the Sleeper and his demon army. The gods have been too devious up to now. Case in point: Kubera, ruler of the city of gold, promises to give the Pandavas two powerful weapons, but only if they win his trials. If they lose, they won't stand a chance against the Sleeper's troops, which will soon march on Lanka to take over the Otherworld.

Aru's biggest question, though, is why every adult she has loved and trusted so far has failed her. Will she come to peace with what they've done before she has to wage the battle of her life?



“Touching, riotously funny, and absolutely stunning.”--Kirkus


Praise for Aru Shah and the End of Time:

“An imaginative novel that puts girl power and diverse protagonists front and center.”

Entertainment Weekly


“[An] engrossing adventure tale.”Teen Vogue


“Roshani Chokshi spins a modern-day fairy tale that adults and children will love.”-Bustle



Grab the first 3 books in the series!

Aru Shah and the End of Time (A Pandava Novel Book 1)

Aru Shah and the Song of Death (A Pandava Novel Book 2)

Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes (A Pandava Novel Book 3)



About Roshani:

Roshani Chokshi ( is the author of the instant New York Times best-selling books in the Pandava series, Aru Shah and the End of Time, and its sequel, Aru Shah and the Song of Death. She also wrote the New York Times best-selling YA books The Star-Touched Queen and The Gilded Wolves. She studied fairy tales in college, and she has a pet luck dragon that looks suspiciously like a Great Pyrenees dog. The Pandava novels were inspired by the stories her grandmother told her as well as Roshani's all-consuming love for Sailor Moon. She lives in the south and says "y'all," but she doesn't really have a Southern accent. Her Twitter handle is @roshani_chokshi.


Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon


Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of ARU SHAH AND THE CITY OF GOLD, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:


A Dream Within A Dream



Lisa-Queen of Random


Week Two:


BookHounds Ya



For the Love of KidLit



Kait Plus Books








Week Three:


Emelie's Books



What A Nerd Girl Says



Little Red Reads






Amani’s Reviews


Week Four:


Moonlight Rendezvous






Feed Your Fiction Addiction



The Momma Spot



I'm Shelfish


Week Five:


Book Briefs



Confessions of a YA Reader



The Book Nut : A Book Lovers Guide



The Book Dutchesses



Two Points of interest


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Book Review - This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf



Nearly twenty-five years ago, Eve Knox, a young sixteen-year-old is found dead in the caves near her home in Grotto, Iowa. Eve's body was discovered by her best friend, Maggie, and Eve's sister, Nola. The police have a handful of suspects including Eve's boyfriend, Nick, but they lack solid evidence to convict anyone. The case has gone cold for years until one eventful day.

Maggie has been haunted by Eve's death and finding her body. Maggie is now a detective and seven months pregnant when she is thrust back to that night when new evidence emerges. Maggie is assigned to the case when it is reopened. As she begins to investigate, she discovers that someone knows more than they are letting on and they will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.

I was really torn while reading this book. I didn't care for any of the characters and I didn't find the plot to be believable. When reading the book, I had a hard time believing Maggie was a detective. There was an incident that happened to her and it was never explained who was behind it and the book just chalked it up as "we will never know".  And then one of her neighbors in the community, she knows they are a pedophile that targets young girls and she knows that people like that never change but, she does nothing to try and stop it. The novel moves very slowly until a "bombshell" is dropped but, even then it doesn't redeem this tedious book.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Book Review - The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal


In London in 1850s, the Great Exhibition was being built in Hyde Park. The spectacle brings a huge crowd of people which causes two strangers to be meet by chance. Iris is an beautiful aspiring artist who doesn't think much of this fleeting moment. However, for Silas, a curious collector is enchanted by the meeting and intrigued by Iris.

Iris is asked to model for artist Louis Frost but, before she agrees she asked him to teach her to paint. Iris finds her world expanded beyond the doll shop she was working in. She loves everything the new creative world has offered to her but, she has no idea of the evil that is lurking in the shadows. Silas has been unable to stop thinking of anything other than Iris and his thoughts are turning darker.

I didn't really care for the gruesome and disgusting details in this book. I felt like this has put me off on liking this book. I thought the book was  a bit boring and the ending felt incomplete. I wish there was background on some of the characters and less details on gruesome stuff. This book was a complete miss for me.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

April 2021 Haul Part 2!


What the month is already almost over? It felt like it just started not to long ago. Ugh, I definitely feel like the year has flew by!

As always, I ended up buying way too much this month. Definitely more than I would finish with in the upcoming months...but, we already established that I have a problem.

I got a quite a few new masks that I am excited to try.  I tried quite a few Facetory masks and I got their new banana mask. The packaging looks so cute! I like Dr. Jart+ masks but, I haven't used them in awhile. They tend to be quite pricey. I splurged and bought the rubber mask to brighten my skin. I have tons of dark spots all of my chin that I can't seem to get rid of. I like TonyMoly's and Simply When's masks and bought a few new variety. They always consistently deliver great results. And while heating eye masks don't really have a skin benefit (at least one I have noticed) I got a few from the MediHeal line because I just like the way they feel.

I love taking both baths and showers. In addition to a few new Lush bath bombs and bubble bars, I decided to up my soap and shower gel game. I got a few bars of soap from TJ Maxx. They didn't seem to have a specific brand name but, they had a nice pine-y scent that I liked. I got two new body washes from Elemis and BBW. The Elemis has frangipani monoi extracts and smells like a dream. The BBW has eucalyptus and spearmint which would make it perfect for bedtime.

I got a new watermelon mask by Milk. I am very interested in the stick application because its perfect when you are traveling. I am going to keep this when I visit my brother. I got a new facial oil from Rain Organics. I love the name of the oil - "I am Enough". I wonder if that applies to the user or the product? I got a new serum from Balance Me to help with my acne prone skin. Hopefully, I can stop getting breakouts...that's a dream..

Have you gotten anything new recently? Anything you are excited to try?

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Book Review - Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh


When girls get their first period, they are able to take part in the lottery. The young women report to a station and they learn what kind of woman they will be depending on the ticket they get. If they get a white ticket, they can have children and get married. A blue ticket allows them to pursue a career and be free of family duties. This system relieves the burden of choice from a young woman's shoulder. One of the rules of the lottery is that once you receive your ticket, there is no going back.

Calla has received a blue ticket and she questions her fate. She decides to go on the run and live the life she wants. Calla will need to rely on the skills she learned and question those around her. She will have to find a way to escape as the system pits women against her. During her journey, Calla must decide if the lottery knows her better than she knows herself and what the consequences are for going against the lottery.

I was not a fan of this book. I read more than half of the book before I just dumped it. The book lacked world building details. They would share details about certain things but, fail to go into details. I found it hard to understand certain things without understanding the "why".  The writing style felt bland and flat and it was hard to connect to Calla. She came across as cold and clinical. It was hard to put myself in her shoes and feel anything for her plight.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Book Review - The Folcroft Ghosts by Darcy Coates


When their mother suffered an accident, Tara and her brother, Kyle, were sent to live with their estranged grandparents. May and Peter Folcroft seemed like the perfect grandparents. Their house is quaint and its hidden in the base of the mountains. 

They noticed that strange things keep happening. Furniture keeps moving around and there are figures in the fog. Tara and Kyle believe that the house might be haunted. A brutal storm cuts down their only line of communication into the outside world. 

May becomes obsessive with them and rarely lets them out of her sight. They try to pretend that they are a happy family. But, when they discover a locked room and a forgotten journal, they know they need to escape.

I read quite a few of the author's books and found this book to be enjoyable. It had a very creepy quality to it. The twist was interesting but, it was hinted at. I liked that they included a few short stories by the author that were interesting to read. I wished that they were fleshed out a bit more into their own novels. If the author released a collection of short stories, I would definitely read them because she seems to have a knack for writing creepy stories.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Book Review - Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard


Special Agent Jack Tanner left the FBI to become a detective in Montana. During a search and rescue mission, he comes across a body in the national forest. He is determined to find the killer, even if he has to work with his ex-girlfriend,  US Forest Service Special Agent Terra Connors.

Terra discovers the victim had ties to a dangerous person who is trafficking artifacts. As the duo investigates, the investigation takes  a deadly turn and it hits too close to home. Terra feels that she doesn't have the courage to face what she needs to do next. However, Jack is determined to protect Terra at all costs. He felt that he has let her down before and he isn't willing to do it again.

I thought the novel was an interesting read with a few twists and turns. I didn't find that the novel was at the edge of my seat suspenseful even though it had a few unexpected twists. I felt like there was a few things that weren't really resolved and it seems the second book in the series are new characters.  While the characters were interesting, I felt like they were a bit dull for my tastes. I would still be open to reading other books by the author.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Book Review - Miriam's Song by Jill Eileen Smith


During her life, Miriam held many different statuses for different people. She was an old sister to her brothers but, a prophetess to many. Miriam has always dreamed of freedom and she longed to be loved. This epic story follows Miriam as she navigates the challenges of building a family during incredible hardship, serving as a leader, while holding on to hope.

This was my second novel by the author and I can't say I enjoyed this one. I read more than half of the book and felt that it was moving very slowly for my taste. I felt at times that the story felt fragmented and I stopped reading halfway through. Readers who are more familiar with the story might enjoy this more than I did.

 **Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.**

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

April 2021 Empties!


April is almost half way over! Honestly, I am not sure what I am counting down for but, the year has gone by incredibly quick. I felt like I barely did or accomplished anything for the last year and half....I can't even say I been finishing up things. Well, this month I finished a few things but, not much.

I bought a few of these aromatherapy bottles from BBW and I am really loving them. The bottles are gorgeous and they smell amazing. I love putting on this cream at night and just breathing it in. I finished a Juice Beauty pore refining mask and it was okay. I am not sure it really did much but, it didn't irritate my skin which was nice.

I love the nose strips from Me Factory. They were easy to use and I loved seeing all the yuckies on the nose strip afterwards. I been trying to do these once every month. I definitely noticed a difference on my nose. I tried the SF lip mask and that was just okay. I am not sure if the gold pattern had any effect.

Did you finish something that you loved? Anything you are planning to rebuy?

Here is everything I finished - 

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
Yuni My Om World Calming Aromatherapy Mist
Commodity Rain Rollerball
Juice Beauty Bamboo Pore Refining Mask
BBW Inspire Violet, Sandalwood, and Eucalytpus Body Lotion
SF Sun's Out, Pouts Out Gold Foil Lip Mask
OOTD Aloe Vera & Avocado Ice Cream Mask
Bonvivant Botanical Mask Pack Sodium Hyaluronate + Lotus
Skip the Spa Brightening Firming Sheet Mask 24k Gold
Me Factory Nose Strips
Bonvivant Botanical Mask Pack Chamomile + Tea Tree
Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment
Furterer Lumicia Shampoo

Monday, April 12, 2021

Book Review - The Indebted Earl by Erica Vetsch + Giveaway


Captain Charles Wyvern owes Major Richardson his life as the man died protecting Charles. Charles knows the best way to honor Richardson is to honor his dying wish. Rich asked Charles to watch over and protect his fiancée along with telling her how much she is loved. As Charles tries to fulfill his duty to Rich, he learns that his uncle has died and he will become the new Earl of Rothwell.

When Charles and the women arrive to his new manor home in Devon, they discover the estate is need of repair. He finds that he is the guardian of three orphan girls.  Charles feels overwhelmed because he knows how to handle the affairs of war but, not young women or being on land. Charles wishes to provide for Sophie so, he proposes a marriage of convenience.

Sophie goes along with Charles's plan to help care for her ailing mother-in-law along with the orphans while giving her freedom. The marriage will give the captain a chance to repay his debt while allowing Sophie to grieve. As a part of their arrangement, Sophie will stay behind to oversee his property and the children while he returns to the sea.

As they try to move on, the captain is arrested for smuggling. As Charles waits in jail, Sophie realizes how much she loves him. She is willing to put everything on the line to protect their freedom and gain his love. 

This was the third book in the series and it was an enjoyable read. The novel could be read as a standalone. I was a bit disheartened that characters from the other books didn't really make much of an appearance. I am curious to know which character will be the next focus.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.**


Can Captain Wyvern keep his new marriage of convenience all business--or will it turn into something more?

Captain Charles Wyvern owes a great debt to the man who saved his life--especially since Major Richardson lost his own life in the process. The best way to honor that hero's dying wish is for Wyvern to escort the man's grieving fiance and mother safely to a new cottage home by the sea. But along the way, he learns of another obligation that has fallen on his shoulders: his uncle has died and the captain is now the Earl of Rothwell.

When he and the ladies arrive at his new manor house in Devon, they discover an estate in need of a leader and a gaggle of girls, all wards of the former earl. War the new earl knows; young ladies and properties he does not. Still wishing to provide for the bereaved Lady Sophia Haverly, Charles proposes a marriage of convenience.

Sophie is surprised to find she isn't opposed to the idea. It will help her care for her betrothed's elderly mother, and she's already fallen in love with the wayward girls on the Rothwell estate. This alliance is a chance to repay the captain who has done so much for her care, as well as divert her attention from her grief. When Wyvern returns to his sea commission, she'll stay behind to oversee his property and wards.

It sounds so simple. Until the stalwart captain is arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and Sophie realizes how much he's come to mean to her. Now she'll have to learn to fight, not only for his freedom but also for his love.

About the Author

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling author and ACFW Carol Award winner, and has been a Romantic Times top pick for her previous books. She loves Jesus, history, romance, and watching sports. This transplanted Kansan now makes her home in Rochester, Minnesota.

Learn more about Erica at or find her on Facebook.


Saturday, April 10, 2021

Book Review - The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan



Bridget Bishop was accused of being a witch and was hanged for her crimes. Two hundreds years later, her legacy lives through two different lines. One woman is using her power to try to help women in need. The other woman is using her power to get more power and prestige by whatever means necessary.

Annis is a young woman in Gilded Age New York who finds herself caught in between a family feud.  Annis realized that she doesn't want to be a pawn and in the middle of feud. She decides she would use her own power for what she wants. Annis will have to find her own power without succumbing to the siren call of darkness.

The novel started off well and was very interesting. However, around the halfway part of the novel, I felt like the story was dragging on for a bit and felt boring. The novel had a slow burn and there wasn't much story wise. The book was filled with tons of historical details, details about horses, strong female leads, and bits of spells. If you like reading a cozy novel about two witches, then this would be your type of read.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Book Review - The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard



Teenagers Colt and Julia has secretly spent the entire year together and no one ever knew, not even her boyfriend. They felt like they needed to keep their love a secret because they were from two different backgrounds. Julia's family was rich and was surrounded by opulence while Colt's family wasn't.

One weekend, Colt's life changes when he hears that Julia dies in a car accident. He is devastated but, he can't mourn in public because their relationship was kept a secret. Colt feels like he played a role in her demise.  When Colt receives Julia's journal, he relives their romance through her words. Will be able to move on?

I am not sure what the point of this book was. I felt like if you read the blurb of the book, you already knew the most potent parts of the books and the rest is just filler. There was barely any character development or backstory and the plot barely progressed. I didn't bond with any of the characters in the book and felt like this book was an epic waste of time.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Book Review - The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton


Lila Benntett has spent her life making one bad choice after another. Now, her bad decisions has caught up to her and split her life into two.

In one life, she is taken hostage by a stranger who knows intimate details about her life. She is trapped in a dank concrete cell and her kidnapper forces her to acknowledge what she has done or face the consequences. In her other alternate life, Lila manages to escape her captor but, someone is intent on destroying her life. They expose secrets that she has kept carefully guarded.

Everything that Lila holds dear to her is in jeopardy. She decides to take stock in all the secrets and lies she has told to decide who she has wronged. Will Lila be able to figure out the culprit before it's too late?

I thought the book had an interesting premise and it was interesting to see what happened in both realities. I can't say that I really care for Lila as a person. However, the reasoning behind Lila's kidnapping seems weak and that the person is desperate to punish someone. I felt like she was singled out in what was a series of unfortunate events. The book dragged on and the ending was expected. I might be opened to reading other books by the author but, I wouldn't go out of my way.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Book Review - House of Secrets (House of Shadows #2) by Darcy Coates


Sophie and Joseph barely managed to escape from Northwood. However, their happiness is short-lived when they realized the beast survived and has attached itself to Elise. Garrett writes to the couple and begs for their assistance. They travel to Kensington, an abandoned mansion that overlooks a dead town.

The abandoned house's original owner dedicated her life to researching the Grimlock. The group is hoping that she left behind some clues to defeat the monster that inhibits Elise. As the group begins to peruse the reading material left behind, they notice something dangerous in the air. Their carriage left and it has left them trapped in the house. Will they be able to survive the house or will it consume them?

The book was an interesting read. I felt like the book was a bit slow and there wasn't much going on. Sophie spent most of the book reflecting on how Joseph feels about her. I didn't feel that there were many spooky or scary elements to this novel.  The book felt more like a romantic read than a ghost story. I wasn't fond of this series and I am glad it is over. I am still looking forward to reading her other books.

Friday, April 2, 2021

April 2021 Haul!



It's April already! I am looking forward to warmer weather. This month I definitely went overboard even though I finished only a handful of things, you know, my usual MO.

I got quite a few new masks and I am really looking forward to using those nose strips for blackheads. I got one from SpaLife and the other from MeFactory. I love using these types of strips and seeing all the gunk that is removed. I got a new mask from MediHeal that has acupuncture points on the mask and you have to press those spots to add another level of relaxation.

As always, I bought tons of lip products even though I can't really wear them without dirtying my mask. I got this lovely red lipstick from MAC in Russian Red and Lotus Night, Julep's Lady in Red lipstick, and YSL red lip stain. I got this pretty pink champagne color from Marc Jacobs in Pink Parade. I got this beautiful tinted lip color from Ilia in Arabian Nights. I heard so much good things from this brand and I am really excited to try it. Charlotte Tilbury is another cult favorite product and I got a beautiful nude brown in Bond Girl. I got a new Fenty beauty lip paint in Unlocked.

I love scalp shampoos and I am really looking forward to the Living Proof one. I have used their leave-in creams and they made a noticeable difference. I also got the one from Sachajuan which also got really good reviews. I got a new facial oil from Malin + Goetz. I have used a few products from this brand and always had good results. I got a new bamboo serum from this Korean brand which seems cool. I also got a few Perricone MD products that promise to help with my acne. 

I got a bunch of other things that I am really excited to try. Is there anything you are excited to try this month?