Friday, May 20, 2022

Book Review - Heathen: The Complete Series Omnibus by Natasha Alterici + Giveaway

 

 

Aydis is a viking woman warrior but, she is also a heathen and an outcast. She was born into a time of constant wars and suffering along with the being treated as a second class citizen because she was born a female. Aydis was banished from her village after breaking one of their rules. She decides to destroy the god-king Odin to end his tyrannical reign over humans and immortals. As she makes her journey, Aydis crosses paths with many people who take an interest in her journey.

This has been probably one of my favorite graphic novels I have read this month. The story was interesting and captivating and keep me rooting for Aydis. Unlike other graphic novels, I felt like I could easily follow along and that I wasn't missing some backstory or that they made references to something that I didn't quite get. I thought the drawing style was different and thought it was cool for the most part. I liked the appendix with the collection of covers at the end of the book. If you like reading about badass women who rock, you will like this graphic novel.

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

Title: HEATHEN: The Complete Series Omnibus Edition

Author: Natasha Alterici, Ashley A. Woods (Illustrations), Rachel Deering, Morgan Martinez

Pub. Date: May 17, 2022

Publisher: Vault Comics

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 336

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

WOMAN. WARRIOR. VIKING. HEATHEN. OUTCAST. 

THE GODS MUST PAY…

Born into a time of warfare, suffering, and subjugation of women, and exiled from her village for kissing another woman, the lesbian Viking warrior, Aydis, sets out to destroy the god-king Odin and end his oppressive reign. She is a friend to many as she is joined by mermaids, immortals, Valkyries, and the talking horse, Saga. But she is also a fearsome enemy to the demons and fantastic monsters that populate the land. 
Heathen – The Complete Series Omnibus Edition trade paperback collects the entire twelve-issue series.

Soon to be movie directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Red Riding Hood, & Lords of Dogtown)

Perfect for fans of Monstress, Helheim, and Northlanders.

Reviews:

“These declarations of self from women and queer characters fit so elegantly into the mythology Alterici uses to weave her tale, it reminds us that these narratives belonged there all along.”- The Mary Sue

“I want epics with female leads, and fortunately HEATHEN fulfills that desire in a big way, while also adding its own unique touch with themes that are as contemporary as they are timeless.”- Women Write About Comics

“One look at the cover and I knew this book was right up my alley. If you are into Norse mythology and aching for a lesbian angle, then this book is for you. If you want a love story that is more than a romance, a heroine that is truly honourable and fierce, then I urge you to pick this … up.”- The Lesbian Review

“Natasha Alterici's Heathen, has single-handedly redeemed the disaster that pop culture has been making of Norse mythology. It’s a smart, funny, feminist, queer and sex-positive take on the Viking world; one with a wide cast of diverse and endearing characters. Heathen is a must-read for comics (and mythology) lovers of all sorts and those in quest of superb queer and feminist comics in particular. RATING: 10/10”- Pop Matter

 

About Natasha Alterici:

Natasha Alterici is a writer and artist living in Tulsa, OK who has been working as a freelance artist for over ten years. Works include Heathen (Vault Comics), Dinosaur Project, Gotham Academy: Yearbook, Grayson Annual, The Lez Film Review, Mixed Signals, Lovers and Other Strangers, Transcience, and a number of others. When not drawing, she enjoys watching cooking shows with her wife and their two cats, Cheshire and Louise.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

 




About Ashley A. Woods:

Ashley A. Woods is a comic book artist, writer, & creator from Chicago known for her work on the "Niobe", "Ladycastle" and "Tomb Raider" series. She got her start through self-publishing her action-fantasy comic series “Millennia War” which led to her career in comics and TV. After earning her degree in Film and Animation from IADT, she traveled to Kyoto, Japan where she presented her work in a gallery showcase called, “Out Of Sequence”. Recognized for her female illustrations and designs, her most prominent work is "Niobe: She is Life" with Stranger Comics.

Her latest work can be seen on HBO's "Lovecraft Country", DC’s “Wonder Woman Black & Gold 2” and "Jupiter Invincible" with Pulitzer Prize winning author Yusef Komunyakaa which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival June 2021.

Website | Twitter | Instagram

 

Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive a finished copy of HEATHEN, US Only.

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

5/1/2022

Never Hollowed By The Stare

Guest Post

5/2/2022

Writer of Wrongs

Guest Post

5/3/2022

Wottaread Blog

Excerpt

5/4/2022

Pages_and_Procrastinaton

Review/IG Post

5/5/2022

The Girl Who Reads

Review/IG Post

5/6/2022

Rajiv's Reviews

Review/IG Post

5/7/2022

@lexijava

Review/IG Post

Week Two:

5/8/2022

Sadie's Spotlight

Guest Post /IG Post

5/9/2022

See Sadie Read

Review/IG Post

5/10/2022

Celia's Reads

Review/IG Post

5/11/2022

Emmiepooh2

IG Review

5/12/2022

Bri's Bookish

IG Review

5/13/2022

Nonbinary Knight Reads

Review/IG Post/TikTok Post

5/14/2022

A Bookish Dream

Review/IG Post

Week Three:

5/15/2022

Lifestyle of Me

Review

5/16/2022

Fyrekatz Blog

Review

5/17/2022

BookHounds YA

Review/IG Post

5/18/2022

The Book View

Review/IG Post

5/19/2022

Nerdophiles

Review

5/20/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

5/21/2022

two points of interest

Review

Week Four:

5/22/2022

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt

5/23/2022

Two Chicks on Books

Guest Post

5/24/2022

@jaimerockstarbooktours

IG Post

5/25/2022

Nagma | TakeALookAtMyBookshelf

IG Review

5/26/2022

@coffeesipsandreads

IG Review

5/27/2022

Fire and Ice

Review

5/28/2022

Lady Hawkeye

Excerpt/IG Post

Week Five:

5/29/2022

More Books Please blog

Review/IG Post

5/30/2022

@thebookishfoxwitch

IG Review

5/31/2022

@drewsim12

IG Review/TikTok Post


Thursday, May 19, 2022

Book Review - The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain

 

In 1965, Ellie Hockley was raised in a well-to-down of Round Hill, North Carolina, to be a certain type of proper Southern lady. She is enrolled in college and is in a committed relationship with a bank manager. However, Ellie wants more out of life. She decides to spend her summer break helping to register black voters. As Ellie fights for her ideals and the civil rights of the marginalized, her parents are scandalized by her behavior and her own neighbors turn against her. Things become worse when Ellie falls in love with a fellow volunteer and realizes the frightening true nature of the people she once knew.

In 2010, architect Kayla Carter and her husband designed and bought a beautiful house for themselves in Round Hill's new development, Shadow Ridge Estates. It was supposed to be the perfect place for them to grow old and raise a family together. However, after an accident Kayla's husband died and leaves her and their three-year-old daughter behind. A mysterious woman who knew about his death has warn Kayla against moving in. People have claimed that the woods and lake behind the property is haunted and her house has been targeted by vandals. When Kayla meets her neighbor, Ellie Hockley, Kayla realizes that Ellie knows some of the long buried secrets and the dark history of the land.

I have a few books by the author but, this was my first book by the author. At first, the book moved a bit slowly and I did find some parts of the book to be predictable but, I found that the story stayed with me long after I finished the book. I like reading about Ellie and reading about her experiences with SCOPE and how she bonded with families she was helping. Overall, it's a heartfelt book and I look forward to reading more books by the author.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Book Review - The Other Girl by Erica Spindler

 

Miranda Rader is a police officer for Harmony, Louisiana and she is known for her ability to work under pressure and for her integrity and honesty. This wasn't always the case when she was growing up in Jasper. She grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and she worked hard to earn the respect of her coworkers and community.

Miranda and her partner, Jake,  is called to investigate the murder of a beloved college professor. When they arrived to the scene of the crime, they are unprepared for the brutality of the scene. She thought she saw the worst of it until she finds a piece of evidence that shakes her to her core. She finds an article about the terrible night that happened fifteen years ago that Miranda has tried to forget. She tried to bury the memories of that night as well as the girl she once was. 

Now another person has turned up dead. He was the cop who took Miranda's statement that night. His murder was different than the professor and nothing links the two of them except for Miranda. Will Miranda be able to find out who is behind the murders?

I thought the novel started off interesting then slowly descended to being unbelievable to boring. I found Jake's and Miranda's relationship to be tedious and confusing. Jake claims he loves her and trusts her but, then goes behind her back and discloses her secrets to other people time and time over again. And then she forgives him and takes him back repeatedly. Somehow, the two of them claim that they both love each other but, I don't see a single reason why they feel that way towards each other. Then in the end Jake mysteriously puts together all the clues and is able to solve the mystery behind the murders when he was supposedly off the force and visiting his family. The author hints that Jake might be hiding something else about his family but, we never get to know more. 

The plot is completely predictable. I am not sure how Miranda was able to guess so quickly how one person was tied to her past but, then forget another major player from that event until the last possible moment. It was fairly easy to guess who was behind the murders and their motive. I am not sure how this novel is billed a suspense or thriller as the story was slow and barely moved along at times. I also think the title gave away the twist to the end of the novel.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

May 2022 Empties!

 

Wow, I can't believe it is already the middle of May! I feel like the time has come and went by so quickly. I didn't really get to finish a lot of stuff this month but, I did finish a few things but, nothing really noteworthy.

I used a few masks this month and I liked the Vitamasques Vegan Collagen Eye Brighten & Firm. I felt like it left the eye area softer and smooth. I didn't even need to follow up with moisturizer.  I tried two Miss Spa eye masks and didn't care for them. While they stayed in place, I didn't notice or feel any difference on my skin after removing the mask.

The Kopari Exfoliating Crush Scrub is a new product and I was on the fence with it. It smelled nice and left my skin super moisturized because of the coconut oil. However, I had to use the entire container to cover my body and it left a mess in my tub. It clogged my hair catcher and left it look kind of disgusting.

Here is everything I finished this month -

Aloederma Aloe Brightening Mask
Vitamasques Vegan Collagen Eye Brighten & Firm
Miss Spa No Slip Future So Bright
Miss Spa Eyes on the Prize
Vitamasques Vegan Collagen Lip Mask
Fascy Sunshine Moisturizing Foot Mask
Hopehealth Invigorate Grapefruit Tangerine Shower Steamers
Patchology Beauty Sleep Hydrogel Restoring Night Face Mask
Kopari Exfoliating Crush Scrub
Skin & Co Roma Truffle Therapy Illuminating Skin Refresh Mist
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner
The Body Shop Lip Butter - Coconut
Dr. Hauschka Facial Toner
Farmacy Lip Balm in Strawberry Basil
Bioderma Micellar Solution
Aroma Stream Shower Streams
Dermae Blue Light Shield Spray
Veriphy 20/20 Eye Cream
Karuna Lights Out Cream
Tetraforce Wash Off Mask

Friday, May 13, 2022

Book Review - I Survived the Galveston Hurricane, 1900: I Survived, Book 21 by Lauren Tarshis

 

The book details the fictional story of one child surviving the horrible Galveston Hurricane of 1900. Galveston is located in Texas and it was a booming city. It's on an island off the southern coast of Texas and was founded in 1830s. The city was prosperous and boats from all over visited it's ports. When the storm started brewing on September 8, 1900, no one believe that it would be anything worst than they normally had. They thought it was impossible for a hurricane to hit the town. However, when the huge waves comes crashing down into the city, hundreds of homes were destroyed and eight thousand people were dead. The once bustling city has all but disappeared.

This was my first book in the series and I thought it was an interesting read. The horrific hurricane and the destruction it caused was toned down a bit for young readers though. I liked that the author included a section on hurricane facts, Galveston facts, along with tips on how to stay safe during a hurricane. I liked that they also included why they were interested in covering this topic. The book was a quick and easy read and it would be perfect for young readers who have an interest in history.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Book Review - Black Girls Must Be Magic by Jayne Allen

 


Tabitha Walker is thrown into a head-spin when she finds out she is pregnant after being told she might not be able to have biological children. She devotes herself to becoming a "single mother by choice". She is exhausted from going to doctor's appointments, her job, and preparing for the baby. And that's before her boss at the new station started receiving complaints from viewers about her natural hair.

After an unexpected turn of events, her on and off again ex-boyfriend, Marc, makes an entry back into her world with surprising demands. When the situation at work escalates and her livelihood and her identity is threaten, Tabitha needs to make some tough decisions for her and her baby’s future. Tabitha knows it takes a village to raise a child and turns to the women who have been there for her.  Will Tabitha be able to harness the energy from her village to help maintain order in her life?

This was the second book in the series but, it can be read as a standalone. I thought it was an entertaining read but, a few times there were some "eye-rolling" moments.I felt the ending was also a bit abrupt and felt rushed. I feel like the author left it open for a third novel but, I wasn't interested in the series to continue reading as some of the characters felt flat. Overall, it was a quick read with interesting topics but, not much story.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Book Review - Dragon Legend (Dragon Realm, #2) by Katie Tsang

 

Billy Chan and his friends travel to the Dragon Realm to save Dylan from the Dragon of Death. They will need to collect eight magical pearls to have a chance against the super powerful immortal Dragon of Death. They will need to travel through the Frozen Wasteland and to the imperial palaces of Ancient China to collect the pearls.

I thought the second novel was more entertaining than the first one. However, I still feel like the team dynamic is lacking and most of the time the characters are just adding to Billy's train of thought instead of being independent people. I am not the target demographics so, younger readers might not notice slight faults between character development and team building between characters. I did like that this book contained more humor than the previous novel. Young readers who are fascinated with dragons would enjoy this book.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Book Review - Fault Lines by Emily Itami

 


Mizuki is a Japanese housewife with two children, a hardworking husband, and a beautiful Tokyo apartment. She has everything that many people wishes they could have but, some days she feels like throwing herself off the balcony than spending another minute talking to her husband.

One rainy night she crosses path with Kiyoshi, a successful restaurateur.  When she spends time with him she rediscovers her lost freedom, friendship, and everything she used to love about the Tokyo. As she continues to spend more time with Kiyoshi, she realizes she is living two lives and she will have to decide which one she wants more.

The novel gives a humorous glimpse into the life of a young woman who is managing the needs and wants of herself and her family. The book is steeped with details about the rich and interesting Japanese culture. I did enjoy reading some parts of the book but, other times it felt that the narrator was so unhappy but, she doesn't really do anything to change her life. The novel is filled with lush  and vibrant details that it almost distracts the reader from realizing there really isn't much of a story going on. It's a fun and funny read with a warm ending.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

May 2022 Haul!

I can't believe how quickly the year has blown by! I did trim down some of my purchase, just kidding!

I got a few things this month that I am excited to try. I got this new lip oil from Butter London that looks like it would hydrating and moisturizing. No matter how many times I use lip balm on my lips they still get dry. I got a new top coat from ORLY which I am excited to try. I have used their rubber base coat and it works wonders to keep my nail polish lasting longer.

I got two new soaps from Nopalera and they both smell amazing. One is lemongrass and the other is jasmine scented. I am looking forward to using them. Speaking of scented products, I got this new facial mask from Evolve beauty that looks and smells like chocolate. I can't wait to rub this all over my face and enjoy the decadence. 

I got this interesting rinse free facial cleanser from Rain Organica which promises to remove makeup with using a towel/wipe/or a reusable makeup round. I have mixed opinions because sometimes, they leave a residue on my skin or my face still feels dirty. I am excited to have a new body creme from Ouai. Their products always smell amazing and I been trying to hydrate my skin often. I been noticing the condition of my skin has been improving.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Book Review - The Arc by Tory Henwood Hoen

 


Ursula Byrne is a thirty five year old VP of Strategic Audacity at a branding agency in Manhattan. She is a successful, witty, smart, and single woman. She tried all the available dating apps and is left underwhelmed by her options. She wants to find love but, isn't willing to sacrifice herself in the process. She wished that there was a more bespoke way for users to be tailored to who they are and what they want in a life partner.

Ursula learns about The Arc and is curious to learn what they can offer.The Arc is secretive sophisticated matchmaking service that utilizes different assessments and algorithms to determine partnerships that will last. However, the catch is that the price tag is high but, they promise that you and your partner will have lifelong compatibility.

Ursula is paired with Rafael Banks, a forty two year old lawyer. From the moment they met, they felt electric and an unwavering bond between them. It felts like love that they been searching for their entire lives. As their relationship begins to progress, they realize that true love is never a guarantee and that relationships are never predictable.

The book started off interesting and it was filled with wit and humor. However, I felt like the story just dragged and I didn't really care for any of the characters. I liked Rafael but, he was overshadowed a lot by Ursula. I felt like Ursula was very annoying at times and didn't even really know what she wanted. I felt like the story plodded along with very minute details about their lives that I really didn't care for.  I stopped reading when I had a little less than seventy  pages as I realized there wasn't much story or plot going on.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Book Spotlight - Shadows in the Mind’s Eye by Janyre Tromp + Giveaway



Charlotte Anne Mattas longs to turn back the clock. Before her husband, Sam, went to serve his country in the war, he was the man everyone could rely on--responsible, intelligent, and loving. But the person who's come back to their family farm is very different from the protector Annie remembers. Sam's experience in the Pacific theater has left him broken in ways no one can understand--but that everyone is learning to fear.

Tongues start wagging after Sam nearly kills his own brother. Now when he claims to have seen men on the mountain when no one else has seen them, Annie isn't the only one questioning his sanity and her safety. If there were criminals haunting the hills, there should be evidence beyond his claims. Is he really seeing what he says, or is his war-tortured mind conjuring ghosts?

Annie desperately wants to believe her husband. But between his irrational choices and his nightmares leaking into the daytime, she's terrified he's going mad. Can she trust God to heal Sam's mental wounds--or will sticking by him mean keeping her marriage at the cost of her own life?

Debut novelist Janyre Tromp delivers a deliciously eerie, Hitchcockian story filled with love and suspense. Readers of psychological thrillers and historical fiction by Jaime Jo Wright and Sarah Sundin will add Tromp to their favorite authors list.

About the Author

Janyre Tromp is a historical novelist whose loves spinning tales that, at their core, hunt for beauty, even when it isn’t pretty. She’s the author of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye and coauthor of It’s a Wonderful Christmas.

She’s also a book editor, published children’s book author, and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her family, two crazy cats, and a slightly eccentric Shetland Sheepdog. And if you ever meet in person, you pronounce that first name Jan-ear.

You can find her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and her website, www.JanyreTromp.com (where you can grab a free copy of her novella Wide Open).

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Book Review - The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

 

Lynette Tarkington survived a massacre which makes her a final girl. For more than a decade, she and five other final girls have been meeting their therapist in a support group. The women all have experienced unthinkable horror and they are working to put their lives back together. One day, one of the women misses a meeting and they expect the worst to happen. Someone knows about the group and they are determined to finish where the other monsters left off. However, they thing they don't know about final girls is that no matter how bad the odds seem, they will never give up.

I thought the book was an entertaining and engrossing read. However, I didn't care for any of the characters. I had a hard time connecting and rooting for them as the main character was very unlikable and we barely got to know the other women. I also felt like during the middle of the novel, the story just plodded along. Overall, it was a decent read for people who like reading about final girls and horror/slasher movies.


Friday, April 29, 2022

Book Review - Poiko: Quests & Stuff by Brian Middleton

 

Poiko and his best friend, Ken, like to go on adventures while delivering their packages. There is no average or boring day for the kingdom's most reliable courier. The world can be scary but, when you have good friends by your side, you can conquer it all.

I thought the book was a cute read. It was beautifully illustrated and had tons of heart. The book dealt with death, helping others, what it meant to be a friend, and how to be yourself while managing other people's expectations. I am looking forward to reading more of Poiko's adventures!


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

About The Book:

Title: POIKO: Quests Stuff

Author: Brian Middleton, Rebecca Taylor (Editor)

Pub. Date: April 12, 2022

Publisher: Wonderbound

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 128

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

 

A new adorable anthropomorphic adventurer awaits, and his name is Poiko! Perfect for fans of Mouse Guard, Little Robot, and Hilda!

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN “AVERAGE” DAY FOR POIKO!

Have you ever had to deliver a care package to a dragon with allergies? Have you ever been waylaid by a school of space fish? That’s just an average day for Poiko, the kingdom’s most reliable courier. The world can be a big, scary place, but it can also be wondrous. Sad things can happen, but there are always good friends to turn to, or new friends to make. And no matter what, there is always, always someone who could use your help. Poiko learns all these lessons and more every time he brushes his tail, pulls on his hoodie, and steps out into a new adventure. The philosophical whimsicality of Calvin & Hobbes meets the fantasy-scapes of Adventure Time in this modern-day classic.

“In this sincere and exuberant fantasy adventure … Fanciful, visually engrossing backdrops and the sprawling cast of characters bring to mind classic Sunday comic aesthetics.”  -- Publishers Weekly

#1 Weekly pick from Good Comics for Kids!

Reviews:

“In this sincere and exuberant fantasy adventure … Fanciful, visually engrossing backdrops and the sprawling cast of characters bring to mind classic Sunday comic aesthetics.”― PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"Poiko: Quests and Stuff will delight young readers and drop them into a world that’s magical and interesting while reflecting something incredibly human in the way the characters interact with their community." -- Eliza Viera ― Gate Crashers

Download DIGITAL ITEMS (Bookmarks, Digital Wallpapers, and Poster), HERE!

https://www.readwonderbound.com/books/poiko-quests-and-stuff/


About Brian Middleton:

Brian Middleton has been telling stories in one form or another for his whole life. His first comic book (published by his brother's 4th grade teacher and the school's copy machine) sold out at the distributor level. After that there was no looking back! He continued drawing as the years went on and wrote several short stories. Eventually he married the woman of his dreams and together they started a family. At this point his mind began to drift back to his first creative passion: comic books! After dipping his toe in the water with a handful of self-published and work-for-hire comics he decided to take the deep dive and create his first series, Wulfborne. The three issue mini-series, published by Scout Comics, released in February 2019 to rave reviews. The comics review site, Reading With A Flight Ring, called the book "an understated masterpiece of fiction" and called Brian "a madman, a fool and a genius", which, as far as anyone knows, is all true. With the creation of Wulfborne complete Brian has turned his creative attention toward his next project, Poiko: Quests and Stuff. The rest of his attention is focused squarely on his one wonderful wife, two beautiful daughters and six (feel free, dear reader, to fill in here the adjective of your choice) cats.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads