Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Book Review - Palace of the Drowned by Christine Mangan

 

In 1966, Frankie Croy decides to take a trip to Venice and stay in her friend's empty palazzo. She needed a break after her recent novel didn't garner as much as success and attention as her first novel. After a scathing review was published, and having a public breakdown, Frankie decides she needs a change of scenery.

In Venice, Frankie crosses path with Gilly. Gilly is a young admirer and is eager to become friends with Frankie. Gilly tries to insinuate herself in Frankie's exiled time in Venice. As Frankie spends more time with Gilly, she feels that Gilly is hiding something from her.

This entire novel was a complete waste of time. The author left a lot of questions unanswered but, answered a few random ones. I also don't understand why Frankie kept entertaining and spending time with Gilly when she was having her own reservations about the girl. Frankie mentioned that she felt uneasy around her but, yet she continue to spend time with her. I also didn't like how the author sprinkled Italian words without giving context to their meanings. I can't say I liked any of the characters and I am struggling to find a story/plot for this novel.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Book Review - And There He Kept Her by Joshua Moehling

 

Two teenagers decide to break into a house on a remote lake in search of prescription drugs. It started out as a simple burglary but, instead turns into a nightmare to everyone involved. Emmett Burr has a secret he has been keeping in his basement for over two decades and he will stop at nothing to keep it hidden from others. When Emmett gets an upper hand on the burglars, the lines between victim and abuser becomes blurred.

Police officer Ben Packard returns back to the small Minnesota town of Sandy Lake for a fresh start after a personal tragedy. Packard is leading the investigation into the missing teens because he is related to one of them. Packard is struggling to find a clue to the teens' whereabouts as time is running out. Will Packard be able to find them before it's too late?

I thought this was an okay read. I found the book to be predictable and boring at times. The title of the book gave away most of the story and the bad guy was revealed very early on. I didn't really connect with any of the characters except, the few bits of humor that Gary, the dog trainer, provided. I didn't like that the author teased about Ben's past but, didn't really delve into it. I assumed that the book would be made into a series but, I wasn't really that interested in this novel to read more books by the author.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Book Review - When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

 

Sydney Green was  born and raised in Brooklyn but, her beloved neighborhood seems to keep changing everyday. Neighbors who she knew her entire life are disappearing, for sale signs are popping up, and new condos are sprouting up everywhere. Sydney feels that her community is losing it's past and present. She decided to create a walking tour to encourage others to learn about the community's history. She finds an unlikely assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block and her neighbor, Theo. As Sydney and Theo begin to research the community's history, they realize something darker is lurking beneath the surface.

I thought this was going to be an interesting book but, it turned out to be a flop. The book took forever to get to the plot. I read more than sixty percent of the book and I decided that the book was no longer worth the effort. The author slowly builds up the story and starts to hint where the story goes but, it just took to long to get there. I didn't care for any of the characters and didn't like that Sydney was mean to Theo when he was trying to be nice to her.  Theo did do some silly things but, I don't think some of it warranted Sydney's venom at times. I thought the author's writing style was off-putting during some parts of the novel.  However, I did like learning the interesting facts about Brooklyn and I actually ended up researching it some more and taking my own walking tour.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Book Review - Monogamy by Sue Miller

 

Graham and Annie seem like a golden couple to their friends and acquaintances. They been married for nearly thirty years and have a seemingly effortless devotion to each other. Graham is a bookseller who loves life. He is a big man who loves to entertain people and is eager to please. Annie is a photographer and is the more reserved one in the relationship.

After a six year lull, Annie is about to have her first gallery show. She was worried that her best years of her career has passed. The pair has two adult children; Lucas, Graham's son from his previous marriage and Sarah, who lives in San Francisco. Frieda was Graham's first wife and remains an integral part of the couple's life. While, Annie loves Frieda, Annie knows that she will be Graham's last and greatest love.

When Graham suddenly passes, Annie is lost because Graham had a strong presence in her life. She tries to figure out how to exist without him. While she is mourning Graham, she discovers a secret that makes her question if she ever truly knew Graham.

Honestly, I picked this book because of the cover. I thought it was quite beautiful and I didn't even bother to read the complete blurb for the book. I am sorely disappointed in myself for not taking the time to read the blurb because this book was an utter waste of time. This book was long winded and boring. I felt like there was absolutely no story and it was just rather pointless. I am genuinely surprised this book so many rewards and mentions as this entire book is a long drawn out conversation from someone you would ignore because they go into pointless details about everything.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Book Spotlight - The Seven Hungers: Rise of the Crimson King by Morgan Quaid + Giveaway

 

About The Book:

Title: THE SEVEN HUNGERS : Rise of the Crimson King

Author: Morgan Quaid

Pub. Date: April 20, 2022

Publisher: Morgan Quaid

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 357

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle

Read for FREE with a Kindle Unlimited membership!

"Jaw-Dropping action, a great blend of investigation and horror, I've never quite read anything like it!"

Censured Crown sorcerer Ambrose Drake is hired to investigate a bizarre emergence in a city halfway across the world from his native London. Drake soon learns that a being from one of the Seven Hungers beneath our world is attempting to cross over. Flanked by his ex-lover and betrayer, Agent Karen Winter and a young acolyte with a severe lack of magical ability, Drake must plunge once more into the depths to save humanity.

The Seven Hungers is a fast-paced fantasy thriller which blends sorcery, horror elements and the exploration of dark new worlds with intense emotional struggle.

Perfect for fans of Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files, Charles Stross's Laundry Files, and the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka.

 

About Morgan Quaid:

Morgan Quaid is an Australian-based writer of speculative fiction, fantasy and horror, specializing in fast-paced page turners set against expansive fantasy backdrops. Quaid writes comics, graphic novels, short stories volumes and novels.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 





Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive a finished copy of THE SEVEN HUNGERS, US Only.

2 winners will receive an eBook of THE SEVEN HUNGERS, International.

Ends September 6th, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

8/1/2022

Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt

8/2/2022

@jaimerockstarbooktours

IG Spotlight

8/3/2022

Beers Books Boos

Excerpt/IG Post

8/4/2022

@allyluvsbooksalatte

IG Spotlight

8/5/2022

BookHounds

Guest Post/IG Post

Week Two:

8/8/2022

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt

8/9/2022

Writer of Wrongs

Excerpt

8/10/2022

A Dream Within A Dream

Excerpt

8/11/2022

Lisa-Queen of Random

Excerpt/IG Post

8/12/2022

@jael_and_jenessa_reads

Review/IG Post

Week Three:

8/15/2022

Epic Book Society

Review/IG Post

8/16/2022

Rajiv's Reviews

Review/IG Post

8/17/2022

@jodieangell_author

Review/IG Post

8/18/2022

@enjoyingbooksagain

IG Review

8/19/2022

Lifestyle of Me

Review

Week Four:

8/22/2022

@jypsylynn

IG Review

8/23/2022

GryffindorBookishNerd

IG Review

8/24/2022

Wanderingwitchreads

TikTok Review/IG Post

8/25/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

8/26/2022

Two Points of Interest

Review

Week Five:

8/29/2022

@jacleomik33

IG Review

8/30/2022

History from a Woman’s Perspective

Review

8/31/2022

Locks, Hooks and Books

Review


Tuesday, August 23, 2022

August 2022 Empties Part 2!

 


I think it has been a while since I did an empty post but, I managed to finish a few things this month. Most of the stuff I finished though were okay but, a few things I did like and I  would buy back on sale.

I bought a set of soaps from Ilya and they were creamy and left my skin feeling soft. The bars were a bit smaller than my normal bars of soap. I believe the soaps are made in Turkey and they are hand made. I got these off Amazon and I am surprised by the quality since a few no name branded items were sketchy in quality and performance. 

I got a body scrub from Olivia in Coco Champagne. The scrub smelled nice and rubbed in easily. It left my skin soft and hydrated but, it was on the oily side and made my tub a danger zone after washing off the scrub.

Corpus shower gel in Vert smells so good and lathered so well. A small squirt lasted so long and the scent stayed on my skin. It smelled like I was wearing perfume even if I wasn't. The  only downside is that the shower gel wasn't very moisturizing and I wasn't sure if it was because of the extreme heat  but, I noticed product would bubble up towards the top of the dispenser.

I bought two different shampoos from the brand Otaci Labs from Amazon. I have their conditioner that I am still currently using but, most of the shampoo and conditioners have this luxurious herbal scent that reminds me of the spa. Although, compared to traditional drugstore brands these were more expensive and I had to use more product to get similar results. I would still re-purchase them though if they were on sale again.

Year round I get itchy and scratchy skin. I have used Boscia products before so, I was excited to try their Cica Soothing Universal Cream. The cream can be used both on the body and the face. I have tons of face products so, I thought I would use it on body mostly. The cream had a pleasant scent and it had a gel cream texture. It applied easily but made my skin feel a bit tacky which I didn't care for. 

Is there anything you finished this month that you enjoyed?

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Book Review - Just One Look by Lindsay Cameron

 

Cassie Woodson feels like her life is adrift after a mistake causes her to lose her prestige job at a law firm.She has to take a temporary job to help her pay her bills at another law firm. As she reviews the correspondence in a fraud suit, she realizes that her life is lacking stability, love, and friends. Her new job leaves her with time on her hands which  she spends ruminating on how she ended up in her current position.

While doing her daily mindless task of reviewing emails, something catches her eye and heart. She reads a tender and intimate exchange between a partner at the law firm, Forest Watts, and his wife, Annabelle. Cassie knows that she should be ignoring the message but, she can't help looking and finding herself entranced with their lives.

Everyday, Cassie looks forward to reading more emails between Forest and Annabelle. As Cassie falls deeper into their world, she finds a renewed purpose and happiness. She follows their lives with a fine tooth comb and decides to greedily follow their lifestyles. Cassie feels that she knows everything about Forest and Cassie.

Her admiration of the couple turns into a full blown obsession.  She wants to have their lives and she believes if continues to follow them, that it will turn into a reality. When Cassie tries to meet Forest in person, she realizes that Forest and Annabelle's marriage might be in trouble. Cassie is devastated to learn her fantasy is shattering. She decides that she will take Annabelle's place.

The book was boring and had almost no twists. I didn't care for any of the characters. The story slowly moved around and had too many eye roll moments for it to be enjoyable for me to read. The book had too much filler before it got to the main point of the story.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Book Spotlight - How to Speak Animal by Aubre Andrus + Giveaway

 

About The Book:

Title: HOW TO SPEAK ANIMAL

Author: Aubre Andrus & Gabby Wild

Pub. Date: August 16, 2022

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Pages: 176

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N, TBD, Bookshop.org

Learn about the secret language of wild animals in this exciting and informative guide from the experts who brought you How to Speak Cat and How to Speak Dog.

We know animals can’t speak and express themselves in the same way as humans … but even the smallest and quietest animals have incredible ways of communicating with each other. With wildlife veterinarian expert Dr. Gabby Wild as a guide, How to Speak Animal helps kids understand how animals communicate through sound, body language, and behavior. It’s full of expert insights and real-life stories of humans exploring ways to “talk” to animals, from teaching great apes sign language to speaking “dolphin.” Packed with super-engaging animal photography that helps illustrate key concepts, this fascinating bookprofiles more than 60 different creatures―from birds to mammals to reptiles and more―and their amazing ways of communicating with each other.

If you’ve ever wondered why gorillas beat their chests and make hooting noises, what it means when chameleons change color, or why some elephants twist their trunks together, this is the book for you!



About Aubre Andrus:


AUBRE ANDRUS is an award-winning children's book author with dozens of books published by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, American Girl, Disney, Scholastic, and more. She has also ghostwritten books for young YouTube stars. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her family. Visit her website and portfolio at www.aubreandrus.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 





About Gabby Wild:

DR. GABBY WILD earned her bachelor of science and doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degrees at Cornell University. She completed her veterinary internship training at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital in Akron, Ohio, and received her master’s of public health (MPH) from the University of Minnesota. She is a published genetics researcher and uses her research background to screen zoonotic disease transmission among wildlife, domestic animals, and people. To help maintain a healthy planet, she monitors herd and individual health for rising epidemics. Dr. Wild balances her Western medicine practices with traditional Chinese medicine in an effort to blend both methodologies. Acclaimed for her role as “the veterinarian” on Animal Jam, the world’s largest online “playground,” with 54 million players, she creates educational videos and teaches children internationally about wildlife conservation and medicine. When not in the wild, Gabby works as a Wildlife Health Program veterinarian for the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo and is a training veterinary surgeon at the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island. She lives in New York City. 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of HOW TO SPEAK ANIMAL, US Only.

Ends September 6th, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

8/1/2022

BookHounds YA

Excerpt/IG Post

8/2/2022

A Dream Within A Dream

Excerpt

8/3/2022

@allyluvsbooksalatte

IG Post

8/4/2022

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt

8/5/2022

Lisa-Queen of Random

Excerpt/IG Post

8/6/2022

Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt

Week Two:

8/7/2022

100 Pages A Day

Review

8/8/2022

Little Red Reads

Review

8/9/2022

@jaimerockstarbooktours

IG Post

8/10/2022

Girls in white dresses

Review

8/11/2022

GryffindorBookishNerd

IG Review

8/12/2022

Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Review/IG Post

8/13/2022

Bea's Book Nook

Review

Week Three:

8/14/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

8/15/2022

hauntedbybooks

Review/IG Post

8/16/2022

Do You Dog-ear?

Review/IG Post

8/17/2022

One More Exclamation

Review/IG Post

8/18/2022

Ya Books Central

Excerpt

8/19/2022

Nerdophiles

Review/IG Post

8/20/2022

Lady Hawkeye

Excerpt/IG Post

Week Four:

8/21/2022

Rajiv's Reviews

Review/IG Post

8/22/2022

Two Points of Interest

Review/IG Post

8/23/2022

pickagoodbook

Review/IG Post

8/24/2022

Momfluenster

IG Review/FB Post

8/25/2022

Nonbinary Knight Reads

Review/IG Post

8/26/2022

@jypsylynn

IG Review

8/27/2022

froggyreadteach

IG Review/Read Part of Book Out Loud

Week Five:

8/28/2022

@enjoyingbooksagain

IG Review

8/29/2022

@crystal.z.lee

IG Review

8/30/2022

@just_another_mother_with_books

IG Review

8/31/2022

A Backwards Story

Review/IG Post


Friday, August 19, 2022

Book Review - Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

 

Mexico City is filled with vampires and drug lords who are all fighting for piece of the drug trade. Domingo is a teenager who is living on the streets collecting trash and trying to survive the heavily policed streets. When Domingo meets Alt, an Aztec vampire, he becomes mesmerized by her.

Atl is on the run from another enemy vampire clan who is relentless in their pursuit of her. She is desperate to find a way to escape and has no interest in Domingo who is intent on follow her. Against her better judgment, she finds herself warming up to Domingo. As bodies start to pile up, does Atl and Domingo stand a chance?

The book was filled with lush details and the author did a great job at world building in the novel. However, the story line fell flat. At times, I felt there was barely any story and it was very boring until the very end. I can't say that I really cared for Atl and Domingo and had a hard time connecting with them. I enjoyed reading about the different types of vampires and the excellent world building but, everything else was poorly executed. 

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Book Review - Bloody Fool for Love by William Ritter + Giveaway

 

Spike and his family has returned to London and he wants to bask in his newfound glory. He is well known to be a slayer killer. However, things don't go exactly to plan. His new home is a dank basement and one of his fellow family members, Angellus, has abandoned them. Drusilla, Spike's love, is heartbroken and spends her time reading her tarot cards. She is planning for the next family dinner where they will all be reunited.

Spike is desperate for Dru to realize that his love for her should be enough. He decides to steal a powerful relic to snap her out of her melancholy. He had the perfect plan until a monster named Gunnar, the leader of the demon underworld, steals the item first. Spike decides to join up with a few other underworld creatures to steal back the relic. Will Spike be able to get the relic?

I have heard of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" but, I had no interaction with the franchise. However, it didn't seem that not knowing the show would prevent you from enjoying the book. I did feel like there were some characters nuances I might have missed but, the book was enjoyable overall. Spike was fun and charismatic character. I loved his witty jokes and his style. I feel like I would enjoy reading more of Spike's adventures. If you are a fan of "Buffy", then you will enjoy this book.

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


About the Book

Title: BLOODY FOOL FOR LOVE: A Spike Novel

Author: William Ritter

Pub. Date: August 2, 2022

Publisher: Disney Publishing Group

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 256

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org

Bloody Fool for Love from New York Times best-selling author William Ritter marks the beginning of an all-new series that explores prequel stories about fan-favorite Buffy characters. 

A verified villain. A slayer killer. A god among vampires. And most of all? A hopeless romantic...

Spike just wants to enjoy the spoils of his new badass reputation. He’s now a legendary slayer killer, and he’s returning to London—the greatest city in the world. Unfortunately, his new abode is far from ideal (a dank basement), and the rest of his strange little “family” is reeling from the fact that their patriarch, Angellus, abandoned them. Spike’s love, Drusilla, seems especially heartbroken and spends her time lost in her tarot cards and planning their next gruesome family dinner when they all can be reunited. 

Desperate to break Dru out of her melancholy, Spike vows to steal a powerful relic that will help her focus on their dark future together. It’s the perfect plan—that is until a monster named Gunnar, leader of the demon underworld of London, steals the relic first. Forced to form his own ragtag group of underworld denizens, Spike plans an epic heist against a ruthless gang of undead criminals. As he navigates paranormal plots, royal black ops, and breaks for teatime (they may be abominations, but they’re British abominations, thank you very much), Spike soon realizes that his homecoming is about to get bloody. 

This rompy, action-packed novel inspired by one of Buffy’s most infamous bad boys is part Bonnie and Clyde, part Sherlock and Watson, with just a bit more bloodsucking. 

Reviews:
"Ritter introduces several charismatic new side characters and nails the fan favorites’ voices, from Spike’s wisecracks to Dru’s hilariously bizarre musings. The tone―a mashup of funny, dark, and thrilling―fits perfectly with the show...This entertaining story will please Buffy fans and is easily accessible to newcomers who appreciate charming paranormal baddies...A diverting Buffyverse tale."―Kirkus Reviews

 

About William Ritter:

William Ritter is an author of YA and MG fantasy who made his debut in 2014 with the New York Times best-selling Jackaby series. He is also an Oregon educator and a proud father of two.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 






Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of BLOODY FOOL FOR LOVE, US Only.

Ends September 6th, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

8/1/2022

Lisa Loves Literature

Review/IG Post

8/2/2022

Lisa-Queen of Random

Excerpt/IG Post

8/3/2022

Kait Plus Books

Excerpt/IG Post

8/4/2022

Fyrekatz Blog

Review

8/5/2022

Ya Books Central

Excerpt/IG Post

8/6/2022

GryffindorBookishNerd

Review/IG Post

Week Two:

8/7/2022

@jacleomik33

IG Review

8/8/2022

A Dream Within A Dream

Review/IG Post

8/9/2022

BookHounds YA

Excerpt/IG Post

8/10/2022

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt

8/11/2022

Book & Coffee Addict

Review/IG Post

8/12/2022

hauntedbybooks

Review/IG Post

8/13/2022

My.Bookish.Mind

IG Review/TikTok Post

Week Three:

8/14/2022

@jypsylynn

IG Review

8/15/2022

The Book Nut

Review/IG Post

8/16/2022

Beers Books Boos

Review/IG Post

8/17/2022

@amysbooknook8

IG Review

8/18/2022

Lifestyle of Me

Review

8/19/2022

Two Points of Interest

Review/IG Post

8/20/2022

Wanderingwitchreads

TikTok Review/IG Post

Week Four:

8/21/2022

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Review/IG Post

8/22/2022

pluvioreads

Review/TikTok Post

8/23/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

8/24/2022

BookBriefs

Review/IG Post

8/25/2022

A Bookish Dream

Review/IG Post

8/26/2022

PopTheButterfly Reads

Review/IG Post/TikTok Post

8/27/2022

The Bookwyrm's Den

Review/IG Post

Week Five:

8/28/2022

Confessions of a YA Reader

Review

8/29/2022

The Clever Reader

Review/IG Post

8/30/2022

laura's bookish corner

Review/IG Post

8/31/2022

onemused

IG Post