Jun 30, 2023

Review--A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Born shrouded in the veil of the Primals, a Maiden as the Fates promised, Seraphena Mierel’s future has never been hers. Chosen before birth to uphold the desperate deal her ancestor struck to save his people, Sera must leave behind her life and offer herself to the Primal of Death as his Consort.   

However, Sera’s real destiny is the most closely guarded secret in all of Lasania—she’s not the well protected Maiden but an assassin with one mission—one target. Make the Primal of Death fall in love, become his weakness, and then…end him. If she fails, she dooms her kingdom to a slow demise at the hands of the Rot. 

Sera has always known what she is. Chosen. Consort. Assassin. Weapon. A specter never fully formed yet drenched in blood. A monster. Until him. Until the Primal of Death’s unexpected words and deeds chase away the darkness gathering inside her. And his seductive touch ignites a passion she’s never allowed herself to feel and cannot feel for him. But Sera has never had a choice. Either way, her life is forfeit—it always has been, as she has been forever touched by Life and Death.


Am I the slowest reader on Earth? Most likely! I finally got around to reading A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L. Armentrout! As much as I ADORE her books and these series, they are just SO intimidating with their size! I needed these books back in the day when I didn't work full time! Lol! Nevertheless, I persist, if several years behind! It's always so daunting to write a review for a much beloved book from a beloved series when you are so far behind the game! But let's give it a try!

A Shadow in the Ember takes place in the same world as From Blood and Ash, just years ahead of time. Sera has always known that one day, she would become the Consort for the Primal of Death--a godlike entity but more powerful as gods are another breed basically. Sera also knows that the only way to save her people from a terrifying plague called the Rot, is to become the Consort and then kill the Primal. But when the "big night" comes, the Primal rejects her and walks away.

For years later, Sera was treated a bit poorly. She hid her identity as a princess and became her mother's handmaiden despite her inner circle knowing the truth. There was always the hope that one day the Primal would come back for her, perhaps when she was more mature. As Sera goes about life, she has the tendency to locate trouble, usually to help other people out of danger. But when she starts seeing what looks like gods killing people for no reason, she knows she has to do something to stop it. And that's when she meets Ash, another god who always seems to be showing up at the most inopportune moments. There's definite heat brewing between the two despite Sera constantly trying to fight it.

Soon Sera's evil stepbrother becomes the king when her stepfather dies and his first act as king is to torture her. That is when Ash appears and shows his true colors as the Primal of Death. He has come to collect his Consort. Well, naturally, there's a bit more to that, but I'm going to leave it nice and vague should any new readers be reading this! 

Sera thinks that her time has finally come, that she can do what needs to be done to save her people and kingdom, but will she really be able to go through with it? Time will tell.

It always amazes me that Armentrout can write these ever so deliciously long tomes and yet, I never once find myself bored with so many pages. You would think there would be monotony and while there may be a few overly long descriptions of things or seemingly dull moments, they are few and far between.

Sera isn't your ordinary heroine either. She has a special gift that could either save herself or doom her soul in the long run. Prophecies run rampant in this one, and if you have a way better memory than myself, you might be better at connecting the dots between the two series, but since I am not that kind of person, I found everything to fresh and exciting and shocking! It's fun to be surprise when you have a poor memory! Lol.

The book was not without its romance either. Armentrout is known for her smoking hot heroes and lovable heroines and the two having absolute chemistry together. Well, nothing has changed here! I positively loved the banter between Sera and Ash in the beginning before we officially knew who he was. I felt like it was pretty clear who he was just based on the book's description so it wasn't all that surprising. And naturally, since we know what Sera has always planned to do, that a confrontation to end all confrontations would be forthcoming!

Mixed with a bit of predictability and surprises, this book was thoroughly entertaining from start to finish! Every time I start an Armentrout novel, I am always prepared for laughs, swoons, and jaw dropping moments of action and I've never been disappointed! At this point I feel like I can write any review for her books as simply, "it was a GREAT read! Read it!"

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

Book Blogger Hop


This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
This week's question is: What review rating system do you use? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)
MY ANSWER: Whoops! Had the wrong question there! Must have scrolled to the wrong month! I use a 5 star rating system that I keep along the side. It's all mostly positive ratings too, 1 being where it just wasn't for me and 2 I say is okay. I feel like Amazon and Goodreads versions of it are so hateful.

Jun 29, 2023

Books from the Backlog #37


Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks. This is a fun meme hosted by Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books.


There’s just something about Clare. Apart from the ghosts…...
When her eccentric aunt passes away, no-nonsense accountant Clare Cermac inherits more than just a small fortune. She receives the gift of communicating with ghosts. While Clare may not believe in spirits, it’s hard to overlook the shadowy talking dog appearing on her bed or spectral cowboys tipping their hats to her in the streets of Denver. And when she locks eyes with sexy—and living—Zach Slade, there’s certainly no ignoring him either.
A former deputy sheriff, Zach is leaving a painful past behind in Montana for a new life in Denver as a private investigator, a job that has him crossing paths with beautiful Clare. Not that she minds. After the restless ghost of a Wild West gunman demands her assistance, Clare finds herself needing Zach more and more—and not just for help.




I added Ghost Seer by Robin D. Owens to my TBR pile in November of 2014! The title, the description, it was love at first read! And yet...I still haven't read it yet! AND I just learned there were 5 books in the series and I only have 2! I'm terrified that I won't be able to track down the other 3 and that the ebooks will be around $15 like the last time I encountered my $8 MM paperbacks in their ebook form! It's SCARY! But since this is a new to me author (still), I'm a little afraid to track them down and buy them all now without even reading the first one! Perhaps if I read this one, stat, then I could justify buying the rest! I just have to find it in the neverending TBR pile!







Jun 28, 2023

Can't Wait Wednesday


Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.


Who is Mister Magic? Former child stars reunite to uncover the tragedy that ended their show—and discover the secret of its enigmatic host—in this dark supernatural thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hide.

Thirty years after a tragic accident shut down production of the classic children’s program Mister Magic, the five surviving cast members have done their best to move on. But just as generations of cultishly devoted fans still cling to the lessons they learned from the show, the cast, known as the Circle of Friends, have spent their lives searching for the happiness they felt while they were on it. The friendship. The feeling of belonging. And the protection of Mister Magic.

But with no surviving video of the show, no evidence of who directed or produced it, and no records of who—or what—the beloved host actually was, memories are all the former Circle of Friends has.

Then a twist of fate brings the castmates back together at the remote desert filming compound that feels like it’s been waiting for them all this time. Even though they haven’t seen each other for years, they understand one another better than anyone has since.

After all, they’re the only ones who hold the secret of that circle, the mystery of the magic man in his infinitely black cape, and, maybe, the answers to what really happened on that deadly last day. But as the Circle of Friends reclaim parts of their past, they begin to wonder: Are they here by choice, or have they been lured into a trap?

Because magic never forgets the taste of your friendship. . . .



I loved Hide so I am excited for Kiersten's next thriller which sounds incredible!


TITLE: Mister Magic
AUTHOR: Kiersten White
GENRE: Horror
August 8, 2023






Jun 27, 2023

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker

Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.


Well, I planned this post super in advance as I knew I would be traveling over the weekend. I honestly have no idea what I'm even reading since I'm writing this so early! Lol! So here's a teaser from either my current read or my last read!


"I'd left the iron blade on the rock, and that was most unfortunate because I knew what that feeling was. It was wholly recognizable, even if hard to explain, and it sent my pulse skittering.

I wasn't alone.

I was being watched." p 130







TITLE: A Shadow in the Ember
AUTHOR: Jennifer L. Armentrout

PUBLISHER: Blue Box Press
GENRE: Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: October 19, 2021

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


*in no particular order


This week's topic is: My Top Ten Most Anticipated Books Releasing During the Second Half of 2023

10. MISTER MAGIC by Kiersten White
9. MY ROOMMATE IS A VAMPIRE by Jenna Levine--
it sounds cutesy but it's also VAMPIRES!
super excited for another paranormal romance from Meg!!

7. GOOD GIRLS DON'T DIE by Christina Henry
5. MIDNIGHT AT THE HOUDINI by Delilah S. Dawson

4. THE RUINED by Renee Ahdieh--been a long wait for this one!
3. THRONE OF THE FALLEN by Kerri Maniscalco
2. THE SCARLET VEIL by Shelby Mahurin

1. A CURSE FOR TRUE LOVE by Stephanie Garber--I know I shocked you all! Lol!

Jun 23, 2023

Book Blogger Hop


This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
This week's question is: What questions would you ask any author if you had the chance? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)
MY ANSWER: I usually enjoy hearing how they went about their query letter, basically learning of their publishing journey for their first novel.

Other times I like asking what kinds of books they like to read! I sometimes find that some authors don't always like to read books in a genre they are writing in at the moment--which I totally get after hearing their explanations.

I like asking about normal things too, like what do they like to do if they aren't writing or reading...just anything really! I always love hearing them talk!
Oh, yes, thought of another one! On occasion when an author has killed off a favorite character of mine, I tend to quietly (for spoiler reasons) ask them WHY?! Once or twice one has admitted that they do regret killing someone off and that sometimes led to more tears! Lol.

Jun 22, 2023



Hey all! Just popping in to say that I will be MIA for the next few days as I take what is so far my one and only vacation for the year! Lol. I won't be around for my usual blog hopping/commenting but my posts will be up for the most part meme wise! I will be back in action again on Tuesday! See you then!

Books from the Backlog #36


Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks. This meme is hosted by Carole's Random Life in Books!


WARNING: These are SHORT STORIES written for established fans of the Jane True Series.

You know her, you love her, you wanted more of her…

Anyan can't wait to get Jane away for a romantic getaway to Bar Harbor--their first since the twins were born. But everything goes awry when Anyan catches Jane accidentally sexy dancing for another man...who happens to be quite dead. Jane, convinced there's been foul play, wants to investigate, but Anyan just wants to get it on. One naughty wager later and Jane gets her way...but will Anyan eventually get his way with her?





I was a huge fan of Nicole Peeler's Jane True series so when she wrote two novellas, one being The Hound of Bar Harborville, I immediately bought them in October of 2014...and then didn't read them. I actually think I read one of them but I still need to read this one! I just loved the Jane True world and thought it was such a fun place to read about that I really ought to read this one some time soon!





Jun 21, 2023

Let's Discuss: Flip-Flops or Slides?


Tis the season of summer! I am definitely not a fan, unlike 99.9% of the rest of the population in my city and state. Apparently I am the odd man out who loathes the increased heat and humidity, but everyone else basks in it apparently. Weird. Or I am I guess for hating it. But it is summer, which means it's sandal/flip-flop weather!

Flip-Flops or Slides?

So this is just a weird topic that came to mind since it's summer and I find myself shopping for new sandals and am struggling because my favorite brand changed their sizes on me! My regular size no longer fits as its too small and the size up is too big and they don't do half sizes. So I'm basically SOL.

But anyway, as I shop around for sandals my criteria is that there has to be, what I call, a toe-tong. Or you know basically a flip flop kind of sandal so my toes can essentially hold onto the shoe as I walk! Lol. I've also got really flat feet and what I liken to my health issues as a child growing up, my right foot is just slightly smaller than my left. So the toe-tong thing really helps on that front. 

The slides don't really work for me because I would almost need to buy two pairs of shoes in order for them to fit my feet. And that's still just a maybe. My right foot is just a touch smaller, and that kind of goes all around in circumference as well, I feel like. It definitely makes shoe shopping a struggle! It was worse as a kid when I was trying to find something to fit over the brace that was around my leg and foot, so basically whatever shoe fit that foot is the pair that I got! Lol.

But yes, when it comes to sandals I'm definitely more of a flip-flop/to-tong girl. I can't do the slides as they just don't fit my feet without them flying off! On a different note, I once wore a pair of slippers that were sort of slide like, but still had covered toes. Well, that wasn't smart as I was going down the stairs at home my slipper slid off my foot and I went tumbling down the last two steps. Not fun. So yeah, me and slides no longer hang. 


What is your preferred type of sandal? Do you have one? Do you like to wear sandals in the warmer weather?







Can't Wait Wednesday


Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.


A ghost haunting her boarding school uncovers a teen girl's best kept secrets in the Queen of Scream's deliciously terrifying new novel.

Everyone has heard the story of the Narrow. The river that runs behind the Atwood School is only a few feet across and seemingly placid, but beneath the surface, the waters are deep and vicious. It’s said that no one who has fallen in has ever survived.

Eden White knows that isn’t true. Six years ago, she saw Delphine Fournier fall into the Narrow—and live.

Delphine now lives in careful isolation, sealed off from the world. Even a single drop of unpurified water could be deadly to her, and no one but Eden has any idea why. Eden has never told anyone what she saw or spoken to Delphine since, but now, unable to cover her tuition, she has to make a her expenses will be paid in return for serving as a live-in companion to Delphine.

Eden finds herself drawn to the strange and mysterious girl, and the two of them begin to unravel each other’s secrets. Then Eden discovers what happened to the last girl who lived with she was found half-drowned on dry land. Suddenly Eden is waking up to wet footprints tracking to the end of her bed, the sound of rain on the windows when the skies are clear, and a ghostly silhouette in her doorway. Something is haunting Delphine—and now it’s coming for Eden, too.


Still need to read 2 more of her books but I've read 2 so far and loved them for their creepiness so I'm pretty much a sold fan! Lol!


TITLE: The Narrow
AUTHOR: Kate Alice Marshall
PUBLISHER: Viking Books for Young Readers
GENRE: YA Horror
RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2023