I am wife and mom who enjoys reading. I created this blog to share the books I read and give reviews on them. I also enjoy watching my favorites shows such as Supernatural, NCIS, Midnight Texas. I enjoy all sorts of music.
Welcome to my promo spot for Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours.
About the Book
Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing Date: February 16, 2021
Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.
Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title. But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out.
Jennifer Gruenke is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, where she studied communication and writing. She grew up among the redwoods of Northern California, and now lives in Charlotte with her books and the houseplants she hasn’t killed yet. If she’s not writing or reading, you’re most likely to find her in a cafe, music venue, or the aisles of Trader Joe’s.
Welcome to my stop on the tour for Woods of Silver and Light (Storyteller’s Series #2) by Victoria McCombs hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. Check out this beautiful cover!
Woods of Silver and Light (Storyteller’s Series #2)
By Victoria McCombs
Publishing Date: February 9, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Retelling
Ronin’s son is dead, and Maid Marion is gone. But a sorceress banished to the Woods can bring his son back if he and his Silver Raiders are willing to do something for her first. She finds there’s nothing Ronin Hood won’t do for his son…
Anika finds herself drawn to the mystery of the Woods and the thieves who live within, but the cost of associating with the Silver Raiders becomes higher than she’s willing to pay. The darkness of the Woods seeps into the Raider’s hearts, blurring the lines between hero and villain, until Anika’s fight for freedom turns into a fight to survive the magic of the trees that should have never been awoken.
Some of the things I love most in this world are peppermint hot chocolate, peanut butter ice cream, golfing dates, Jesus, and game nights with family. And of course, books.
Fairytales were my first love. I became obsessed with the idea that if one was brave enough, they could defeat dragons, and that true love was real. I met my true love in college, and together we raise out two boys. I have my dad to thank for teaching me to love writing, and my mom to thank for allowing us to keep a wall of medieval weapons in the house, which curated my love for that time period.
My dream is to write vivid worlds and charming characters that will leave an imprint on my reader’s hearts, the way that so many books have done for me.
Welcome to my spot on the book tour for The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. I received a copy of the book last year and I was excited to finally get a chance to read it.
The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1)
By Namina Forna
Publishing Date: February 8, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.
But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity – and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.
Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki-near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.
Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city hold many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be-not even Deka herself.
Namina Forna is a young adult novelist based in Los Angeles, and the author of the upcoming epic fantasy YA novel The Gilded Ones. Originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, she moved to the US when she was nine and has been traveling back and forth ever since. Namina has an MFA in film and TV production from USC School of Cinematic Arts and a BA from Spelman College. She works as a screenwriter in LA and loves telling stories with fierce female leads.
I have taken off of reading fantasy books because I was getting burned out on the YA fantasy being written with the same theme and it was getting a little too boring for me so I was a little worried that The Gilded Ones would be the same. I am glad to say that it isn’t, I really loved this book. It was refreshing to read a story that had diverse strong female characters.
The story is high fantasy but it does have a lot of topics which deals with racism, misogyny, inequality, abuse, feminism which has diverse empowering characters. The main character Deka is put through hell when it is discovered that she is a demon that was heartbreaking and was hard to read at times. But with everything she went through, we see her grow into a strong female.
Forna did a great job with developing the world and showcasing all of the characters in the story. Even though there were a lot of cringeworthy parts of the story, it is something that was necessary for the story because it shows how these female characters were treated by their male counterparts and how they became stronger to get passed those misogyny beliefs.
The best part of the book for me was friendships between Deka and her bloodsisters. Their friendship deveolped to be strong and they had each other backs. It was refreshing to see it a YA fantasy because they weren’t there to compete with each other but to be there to uplift each other.
I really loved this book and I am looking forward for the next book in The Deathless series.
Click the picture to go to the book tour schedule and checkout the rest of the bloggers posts.
Also please check the below virtual tour schedule for The Gilded Ones.
Welcome to stop for the blog tour Fat Chance, Charlie Vega hosted by Hear Our Voices Book Tours. I was excited to see they were doing another book tour for Puerto Rican’s author because I don’t see them often. I don’t usually read contemporary books but this interested me and I wanted to read what it was about and I am glad I did.
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
By: Crystal Maldonado
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Genre: YA Fiction
Coming of age as a Fat brown girl in a white Connecticut suburb is hard. Harder when your whole life is on fire, though.
Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.
People sometime have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom, Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it’s hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn’t help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter.
But there’s one person who’s always in Charlie’s corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with a cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing — he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now official a MESS.
A sensitive, funny, and painful coming-of-age story with a wry voice and tons of chisme, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega tackles our relationships to our parents, our bodies, our cultures, and ourselves.
Crystal Maldonado is a young adult author with a lot of feelings. Her debut novel, FAT CHANCE, CHARLIE Vega (Holiday House), will be released on Feb. 2, 2021.
By day, she is a social media manager working in higher ed, and by night, a writer who loves Beyonce, shopping, the internet, and being extra. She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and dog.
Growing up as brown, glass wearing girl, I would have loved to have a book that the main character represented me in the story. I was not fat growing up but I did relate to how Charlie felt when her mom would nag her about her weight and make comments that were hurtful. My grandma (loved her) would always make comments about my weight and about how big my butt and hips were which she would always say that I needed to try harder to lose more weight. She didn’t just do it to me, she would do it to her daughters, cousins and she even did it to my 5 years son at the time. That is when I finally told her that she needed to keep her remarks to herself and that she needed to look in mirror when remarking on anyone being fat. It is the reason why my mom had ED growing up because her mom (grandma) would make those comments to her constantly and it is the reason why my mom didn’t do it to me and my sister growing up.
One of the other areas that I related to Charlie when it came to her self-esteem, even though I was not overweight I still struggle with how my appearance was and how kids would bully me because I was brown, had glasses, didn’t dress well and was a complete nerdy tomboy growing up. I was a really introvert person who would shy away from people because I didn’t want see them pass judgement about me without even getting to know me first. Middle Grade was the worse but when I went to Catholic high school where we all had to wear uniforms and I was finally attending a school where my cousin/best friend was going too, I started to feel a lot more confident about myself and started to realize that I didn’t need to be just like everyone. I started to realize that being different is ok and being unique was great and I kept that mindset as an adult.
I did have a great relationships with my cousins compare to Charlie, I always looking forward to getting together and having parties with them. It was the highlights of growing up for me and especially look forward to summers because we always had my family gatherings. Also, I miss my mom’s making Puerto Rican food and me eating it. It is something that regret that I never learn her recipes.
This book is great and I would definitely recommend it brown girls that are struggling with their weight, their self-esteem and struggling with their relationship with their parents to pick up this book because it will give the encouragement to not only be yourself but to accept yourself for being who you are met to be.
I really loved Charlie Vega and the rest of characters but I didn’t really care much for her mom because she reminded me to much of how my grandma would make comments about weight, it brought back some memories that I had forgotten about.
I am looking forward to seeing what other books that Crystal Maldonado brings to us.
“I’ve seen what’s it like to be a true outcast, and I just don’t want to give anyone ammunition to make that my reality, so I only let them know a perfectly controlled version of me and my life.”
“What I mean is a book specifically about a fat Puerto Rican girl with glasses. I’ve never once read a story about one, and something about that has always made me feel devastatingly alone.”
“I think about my body, about all of its imperfections, and I don’t necessarily see beauty. Yet. But I’m working on it.”
Hello! February is here and it is getting colder out too. Below is my TBR for February…lately I have been letting my mood to select what I want to read. I am a burn out on YA Fantasy right now and I am trying to put more books into my TBR that I know I would like to read and not give up on the book.
I do have some e-ARCs that I will be reading this month for blog tours.
In the Garden of Spite by Camilla Bruce
All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda (TBR and Beyond Book Club Monthly Group Read)
The Vanished Bride (Bronte Sisters Mystery #1) by Bella Ellis
The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1) by Namina Forna (TBR and Beyond Tours Blog tour)
TBR and Beyond Book Club monthly challenge is about finding your one true bookish love. It is like the Dating Game with 6 doors that hold bookish character. There is still time to sign up for the group and the game.
For the challenge I selected contestant #6.
Prompts for contestant #6:
Read a book with a murder or about a serial killer:The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Read book with a supernatural element: Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan
Read a Historical Fiction: In the Garden of Spite by Camilla Bruce
Read book with a strong female character: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Hoping to get these books done before the end of February so I can move onto another prompt.
Reading Rivalry is a monthly theme reading challenge. This month theme is fantasy and I am in the The Kingdom of Grimdark.
For this challenge, I am going to use books from my TBR that I am reading this month.
What are you going to be reading for February? Are you doing any reading challenges?
Happy Belated New Year! I am back from taking a break before the New Year, I was going to post a wrap up for 2020 and 2021 goals but my grandmother passed the week of Christmas and I needed to take a break. But I am back and hoping to be more active with my blog this year compare to last year. I decided not to really setup many reading goals or blog goals for 2021 because I never met them but I am going to try to read 100 books this year for Goodreads challenge, I did go over the 50 books goal in 2020. I am hoping to at least get to 100 books and so far I am doing pretty good with reading.
January 2021 End of Month Reading
I read 5 books in January 2021, which is pretty good and if I can at least keep reading at least five books each month, I think I will be able to meet my 100 reading goal.
One by One by Ruth Ware: This book was for TBR and Beyond Book Club December group discussion that I was the lead for it. I was hoping that I would like this book because I do enjoy reading mystery/thriller books but I really didn’t like it. I would have DNF if I was leading the discussion for the group. I ended up staying up until 1:00 am just to get it finished because if I had put the book down, I wouldn’t have pick it back up. I know a lot of people enjoy her books but I don’t think her writing style is for me. Rating: 💙💙
The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson: The book is the 3rd book in the Truly Devious series and I really loved this book and series. I was introduce to the series by one of Admin/friend in TBR and Beyond Book Club (Samm) and the series doesn’t disappoint. If you enjoy YA Mystery books, then I would recommend picking up this series. It delivers on the mystery and the way Stevie (main character) solves both crimes in two different time period. I am looking forward to the next book in the series called The Box in the Woods coming out 25 May 2021. Rating: 💚💚💚💚💚
Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco: I finally decided to pick up the last book in Stalking Jack the Ripper series that follows Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell trying to solve crimes. The series is YA historical fiction and each book introduces true crime serial killers at that time in history. I was sad to see the series ended because I really do love Audrey Rose and Thomas and reading about their adventure. I hope that Kerri would some day revisit Audrey Rose and Thomas or gives us a book with Thomas’ sister and her lover (I think that would be an interesting book). Rating: 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco: Other another Kerri’s book, this is her new series which is YA Historical Fiction about twin witches and the Princes of Hell. This book is for TBR & Beyond Book Club January Group Read. I really loved this book…I couldn’t put it down if it wasn’t for work I would have had read it in one sitting. The book starts out slow but it does pick up and it keeps going and guessing on who killed Emilia’s sister and the other witches. We get introduce to some of the Princes of Hell and Wrath is the one that Emilia summons to find out who murdered her sister.
You can see the chemistry between Emilia and Wrath even though both of them fight it tooth and nail. The other Princes were intriguing too but Wrath definitely keeps staying in your mind the whole time you are reading the book even when he is not in the scene.
Overall, I loved this first book in the series and I can’t wait for the second one, Kingdom of the Cursed comes out later this year. I need to know what happened with Emilia and Wrath. Rating: 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado: I will be posting my review which is part of Hear Our Voices blog tour next week – come back to find out what I thought about the book.
So, those are the books I read in January. Notice that I only had one YA Fantasy book that I read, that is due to be being a little burn out with YA Fantasy books and I am trying to read more mystery/thriller and books with supernatural beings in them.
Here are the books I got in January.
What books did you read this month and which ones were your favorite reads? Brought any books this month?
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Bitterwine Oath by Hannah West hosted by TBA and Beyond Tours. Thanks to TBR and Beyond Tours and publisher for the opportunity to the read. I didn’t know about this book until the tour sign up was sent out and I thought it would be a book I would like to read and I was definitely not wrong.
The Bitterwine Oath
By Hannah West
Published Date: December 1, 2020
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Synopsis: Every fifty years, a cult claims twelve men to murder in a small Texas town. Can one girl end the cycle of violence – and save the boy who broke her heart?
San Solano, Texas is a quaint town known for its charm, hospitality, and history of murder. Twice now, twelve men have been brutally killed, and no one knows who did it. A shadowy witch? A copy-cat killer? Or a man-hating murderess? Eighteen-year-old Natalie Colter is sure that the rumors about her great-great-grandmother’s cult of wronged women are just gossip, but that doesn’t stop the true crime writers and dark tourism bloggers from capitalizing on the town’s reputation. It’s an urban legend that’s hard to ignore, and it gets harder when Nat learns that the sisterhood is real, and magical. And they want her to join.
The more Nat learns of the Wardens’ supernatural history, the more she wonders about the real culprits behind the town’s ritualistic murders. Are the Wardens protecting San Solano from even darker forces? As the anniversary of the murders draws near, the town grows restless. Residents start getting “claimed” as this year’s planned victims, including Levi Langford, the boy whose kiss haunted Nat for a year.
Nat knows that no one is safe. Can she and the sisterhood stop the true evil from claiming their town?
Hannah West is the author of young adult books including The Nissera Chronicles series and The Bitterwine Oath. She’s been writing fantasy since kindergarten, when she penned her first tale about a princess who ran away and lived at the top of a flagpole with two loaves of bread. But it wasn’t until she studied abroad in Orléans, France during college that the premise for her first novel materialized. The fairy tale castles, the snowy winter days, and a Disney princess pencil that arrived in a care package from her parents provided the inspiration that allowed her to wrangle all her untold and unfinished stories into a novel.
Hannah currently lives in the Dallas area with her husband and their two rambunctious rescue dogs.
The story started out at a slow pace in the beginning of the book but then it pick up speed after 100 pages. The slow paced didn’t bother me because West took time with introducing the characters and background between the two events that happen in different times that help understand what was happened.
The main character Natalie is learning about how her great-great grandmother is connected to murders that happened 100 years ago and trying to find out what and why the murders are happening again to find a way to stop them.
I really like this book especially the way West execution the world building with different genres mix together in the story where you get paranormal (ghosts), witches and horror in one story was done well. She created characters that you wanted to know more about and trying to figure out what they were hiding. The magic system and emphasis on the female friendship was done really well and how important the friendship were for the community.
Overall, it was good book to read and the way it ended makes me think that we might get another book to find out what is going on with Natalie and the small town of San Solano, TX.
Welcome to December! This year has gone fast and not the best year either, looking forward to 2021 and hoping it will be a better one. I am hoping that I will get a lot of reading done this month since we will not be travelling for the holiday.
The books I selected for my TBR this month are going to used for two monthly reading challenge this month. The two challenges are TBR and Beyond Book Club’s Do You Want to Build a Snowman Reading Challenge and Reading Rivalry monthly reading challenge which Harry Potter’s Hogwarts House theme. I only have two more books to read to reach my Goodreads reading goal.
Here are the books that I am planning to read this month, these might change depending on my mood.
Welcome to my spot on the cover reveal for Hunt (North #3) by Alexandria Warwick hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours.
Hunt (North #3)
by Alexandria Warwick
Publishing Date: Fall 2021
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Deep within the frozen tundra, darkness is stirring. Nanuq, master of all polar bears, seeks a terrifying power that would grant him control over all who inhabit the North – both animal and man. Slowly, he builds his forces. Slowly, he moves his pawns.
Salvation lies with young Apaay. After being separated from her family, she finds herself deep in enemy territory, navigating a world of violence and cunning. But her quest for truth is only the beginning. The path laid before her will test her loyalties, beliefs, and even her own identity. For if Apaay is to live in a free world, she must embrace a destiny greater than anything she has ever known.
In this breathtaking third installment of the North series, Apaay discovers just how far she’ll go to protect those she loves, and to claim her place in a changing world.
In second grade Alexandria started a book writing club with her two friends where they made homemade t-shirts and published (i.e. stapled together) two books about camping our and throwing rocks at some boys when they stole their swings on the playground. The books were “gripping”, “earth-shattering,” and “like nothing you’ve seen before.” Said my parents.
She has never outgrown her love of crafting stories. In addition to writing, she is a classically-trained violinist. She also dabbles in watercolors from time to time. She feels most free when she is creating, it’s safe to say.
Hi Everyone! It is the end of November! Hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had a good one and safe one too. This month I read 6 books, not as many I was hoping to get read but it is still not bad. I am almost close to reaching my Goodread Reading Challenge goal, just have two more books to reach it which will get done in December and I might be able to go the goal number by the end of December.
The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson: Second book in the Truly Devious series. the book left off with Stevie being sent home after the incidents at the school but then she returns with the help of a man she dislikes, Edward King convinces her parents that it is safe for her to return to the school but there is catch for his help. She will need to keep being friends with David and keep him from trouble. Of course there is still crimes from the present and past that need to be solve and Stevie is all willing to do so.
I really like this book, lately I have been burned out on fantasy and I decided to go back to reading mystery/thrillers again. This was perfect start of getting back into reading them again. I am definitely reading the next one in December. Rating: 💜💜💜💜💜
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin: ***TW: sexual assault, rape, victimization*** On her way to cover trial in North Carolina for Rachell Krall’s true crime podcast, the trial she is covering is trial of college swimmer accused of raping a 16-year-old girl. While on the road to the trial, Rachel is left a message on her dashboard asking her to look into possible murder that happened 25 years ago to girl named Jenny. The person that left the note is Jenny’s sister Hannah who wants and needs answers on what happened to her. Instead of Rachel covering the present case, she ends up looking into the past case.
This is the first book I have read from Goldin, the book was one of TBR and Beyond Book Club Group reads for November. This book is pretty dark and it has a very a strong message on how society perceived and treat victims of rape. I enjoy the book even though there were times I felt like I couldn’t get through it. I really enjoy the way the podcast was included in the book and I also listen to the audiobook. The audiobook made you feel like you were really listening to a true crime podcast. I am hoping we will get more story with Rachel and her podcast in the future. Rating: 💜💜💜💜
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James: This was another group reads for TBR and Beyond Book Club. This is the first time that I read a book from St. James but I was looking forward to it because I heard a lot about it. It definitely didn’t disappoint, it is a creepy, spooky thriller. I really enjoy it a lot and I didn’t mind the back and forth of the timeline. Rating: 💜💜💜💜💜
The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White: Find my review and rating, posted here.
Born at Dawn by Christina Davis: Find my review post and rating, posted here.
Lie Like Poison by Chelsea Pitcher: Find my review post and rating, posted here.
I did enjoy this months books…next month I am hoping to top my read count (hopefully).
How did you all end your November month? Did you have a good month of reading?