Mar 31, 2024



Happy Easter! 

I hope everyone celebrating today has a GREAT holiday!

I've probably used this picture one times too many but I just love the cute little bunnies I can't help myself! Lol!

And because we all come from different walks of life and you aren't celebrating today, I hope you have a GREAT day too!

Hoppy Days for all today! Yes, hoppy, because bunnies!
*go to the 30 second mark*

Stacking the Shelves


Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Reading Reality.


It was another week! And wow, did it fly by! I started the week off with a lovely author even with Scarlett St. Clair! I had met her two times before but when an author returns to St. Louis, I go regardless...of course the one time this did happen it was a blue moon because there was ANOTHER author signing that same night and since I hadn't met that author, I had to skip the one who returned...but I did order a signed copy of that book to keep myself up to date which thankfully was the only one I needed signed! Lol. After that it was a week of blah. I did FINALLY get my replacement copy of my lost book which I sadly think will be forever waiting for carrier pickup. Shockingly enough, the replacement copy came super fast! Like freaky fast! I had to wait until Wednesday morning to tell them about not getting the book and they ordered the replacement, so doing the math of how long it takes them to ship a book, I assumed I'd get it next week. It came on FRIDAY! After being sent out on Wednesday! It was a direct UPS shipping too! No passing STL to KC to go from UPS to USPS! It was wonderful! I mean why can't they do this all the time?! It came out of NJ which is where 99% of my orders usually come from. Every now and then it's somewhere else! So yeah, it's possible for them to get the books here in the shorter end of time membership shipping promises instead of getting to me PAST the longest amount of time.

I'm now looking at a long line of nothing now. I've no book signings in the near future...or future for that matter. I keep eyeing what what was supposed to be a Young Adult author conference/event but every author that has been mentioned writes MG and Children's...yet they are still calling the event a YA one. So that's weird. Nothing against MG and Children's I just find it odd that they are doing this...especially when they had a Children's one earlier this year. So yeah. Nothing to look forward to as of now.

But anyway, it was still a decent week all in all! I got my one book, a FL book and some preorder goodies!

Cursed Cruise by Victoria Fulton & Faith McClaren--I read Horror Hotel last year and loved it! It was a little bit cheesy but still perfectly creepy and thrilling kind of read! When I heard the dynamic duo was writing another book with the same characters I was ecstatic! I cannot wait to read this one!!

Destroy the Day by Brigid Kemmerer--Fairy Loot edition! I honestly just love how small these FL hardcovers are of this series! They are so cute! Lol. I was hoping that the stained pages would've been another color as the bring yellow just doesn't seem to fit. I guess I thought maybe a pink or light orange would've looked better, but oh well.

Then I got my preorder swag for What Monstrous Gods:

I got an art print of the characters & a SIGNED bookplate!

THANK YOU Rosamund!!

Then I got my preorder gift for Fate Breaker! I still need to start this series, and since Aveyard's last series made me regret reading as they released I thought it better to wait. Plus they are super long and never found time for them based on other things going on in life! Lol.

For some reason I got 2 patches...I reached my hand into the bubble mailed and pulled out 2 and was like oookkkaaay. Lol. So if any US person missed out on this gift and wants one, hit me up! I'll mail it to you! Got plenty of stamps to slap on a card so it's no biggie!

THANK YOU Epic Reads!

And then I finally received my latest cupcake pins from A Touch of Magic Designs! I fear I will have to reach out again about my damaged art print from October, but I know things have been crazy for her lately and then I think she had to find a new US supplier so I just got the pins for my last two orders. 

It was another Crescent City pin and a Jurassic Park one! I have to admit, even when I don't care for the fandom, the cupcakes are still just so darn cute! But this is definitely the last "series" I'll do for the whole set. I can't bring myself to stop now when there's only like 3 left! Lol.

And that was it for me this week! What all did you get?

Mar 30, 2024

Challenges Monthly Wrap-up: March

CHALLENGE 1: 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge

A Touch of Chaos by Scarlett St. Clair (Hades and Persephone)

I managed to get caught up and finish this series just in time for my signing this month! It was pretty good too! I could've done without some of the heavier romance parts, but I know what to expect when I pick up a book in the genre! Lol. 

I'm currently at 4/5 series...not sure if I am upping my goal just yet. I might eventually, but want to give myself a lead before I do! Lol. As I said, I've sooo many series that I need to start AND finish that it's getting trickier! Lol.

CHALLENGE 2: 2024 Discussion Challenge

Cover Appeal, but Otherwise Nope!
My Kindle & Me
Does Hype Kill Your Enjoyment?
Blogging Habits & Reminiscing
Which Feeling is Better?

I had a rough start this month, but then the last two weeks or so I had a storm of ideas! Lol. I think I said 25 discussions was my goal? I forgot to notate it on my actual challenges page, but I think I'm doing pretty good in my category regardless! I'm up to 16 so I'm averaging 5 discussions a month so far!

CHALLENGE 3: 2024 Beat the Backlist Reading Challenge

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James (3/6/12)
A Touch of Malice by Scarlett St. Clair (5/25/21)
A Game of Gods by Scarlett St. Clair (7/25/23)
Bewitched and Betrothed by Juliet Blackwell (6/25/19)

Currently at 12/20 so I'm doing really good this year with reading TBR books!

Mar 29, 2024

Book Blogger Hop #299


This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
This week's question is: Which has more power over readers: a book blogger or a professional critic? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

MY ANSWER: Without a doubt: BLOGGERS! I do not care whatsoever for "professional critics'" opinions. I remember every single time I saw a movie and loved it, I'd glance at the reviews in the paper and they always HATED the ones I loved and the ones that were stupid looking and slow and boring, they would be praising like crazy! They have zero taste! Lol. When it comes to critics for books, I don't trust the professionals because they were likely paid to say whatever praise. Or maybe not. I honestly don't know. But on rare occasions I have seen some bloggers say they were paid for some reviews and that is when I will stop reading the review. I basically don't trust a review that had to be bought.

To me, bloggers are real people. They read for the love of it and post a review to help other readers out who may be curious about certain books. So bloggers opinions are really the only ones I can trust!

Mar 28, 2024

Review—Bewitched and Betrothed by Juliet Blackwell


A supernatural force on the loose in San Francisco and a family reunion keeps witch and vintage storeowner Lily Ivory on her toes as she prepares to walk down the aisle...

When Lily Ivory stumbles on the uniform of a former prisoner from Alcatraz and SFPD inspector Carlos Romero’s cousin is kidnapped, Lily suspects something dangerous has been unleashed on the ghost-ridden island of Alcatraz. She'll have to sleuth out the culprit—when she’s not busy entertaining her visiting relatives and resolving romantic conflicts as her wedding date approaches. Could recent omens be pointing to the magical threat in her adopted city? If so, she'll have to line up her allies to change the fate of the Bay Area. Because no matter what, Lily's determined to celebrate her marriage with her friends by her side—even if it means battling a demonic foe before she can make it to the altar.



Bewitched and Betrothed continues Juliet Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mystery series that follows Lily Ivory’s journey. Lily has come a long way since she arrived in San Francisco so many books ago, but the mysteries and magic keep on coming! This series has been a delightful read and is one I highly recommend for those wanting a little magic to their cozy mysteries.

Lily and Sailor are in wedding planning mode, or more ceremonial handfasting mode. It’s a more spiritual ceremony and one that is more special for her and Sailor than going through a regular wedding. But naturally, Lily’s plans are halted when something strange happens. When her friend, Maya brings in some old clothes for Lily to sift through for sales, Lily uncovers an old shirt, but what’s particular about this shirt is that it looks like one a prisoner would wear…from a very long time ago, as in Alcatraz!

Yes, Lily has found a shirt that a possible escapee from Alcatraz would have likely been wearing. Of course the question is, did the prisoner survive or was this recovered later on? Blackwell being a nearby resident clearly did her research for these little tidbits and it shows very well. It is decided that Lily will donate the shirt that gives off bad vibes to the Alcatraz park that is the island. Having called the local rangers, one of which is Carlos’ cousin, she readily hands over the shirt with a few cautionary warnings.

But even more shocking is that as the rangers leave, Elena, Carlos’s ranger cousin, is kidnapped along with the shirt. An investigation starts and Lily is eager to help in any way she can, feeling like she should’ve done more about the shirt instead of just handing it over.

Meanwhile other things are happening under the radar in the city. Lily still suspects that Renee the Cupcake Lady is up to something shady that threatens the safety of San Francisco. Lily is also trying to help her gobgoyle familiar, Oscar, help locate his mother who could be hiding anywhere in the world as a gargoyle statue. Through all the chaos Lily remains ever positive and vigilant. She’s a tough person to bring down despite her gentle nature. She’s a force to be reckoned with.

There was still of course a nice sprinkling of romance! After just finishing a set of hardcore romance books, it was nice just to have some casual kisses and more mystery dynamics involved with the plot! I enjoy romance, but I like it as a side element. This one was truly a breath of fresh air after my latest reads.

Mystery wise, I felt like things were good. I didn’t really foresee the whodunnit all that well, but I feel like in the long run, we were meant to be floundering a little for suspects and motives. The answers that we got were logical and sound, perhaps if I remembered more from the previous books, the shock factor would’ve held more effect, but alas my poor memory just had me agreeing with what was presented! Lol.

All in all, Bewitched and Betrothed was a fun and magically delightful read! I always enjoy diving into what I call cozy paranormal reads, ones that are light on the paranormal dynamics but are still clearly apart of the story. This is a fun mystery series too and I always love traveling the streets of San Francisco with Lily and her friends. It’s probably because of these books that the city is on my Bucket List! I highly recommend this to just about any cozy mystery reader as well! 

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars






Books from the Backlog #76


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!


A prince.

A ball.

A glass slipper left behind at the stroke of midnight.

The tale is told and retold, twisted and tweaked, snipped and stretched, as it leads to happily ever after.

But it is not the true Story.

A dark fortress.

A past forgotten.

A life of servitude.

No one has ever broken free of the Godmother’s terrible stone prison until a girl named Pin attempts a breathless, daring escape. But she discovers that what seems to be freedom is a prison of another kind, one that entangles her in a story that leads to a prince, a kiss, and a clock striking midnight. To unravel herself from this new life, Pin must choose between a prince and another—the one who helped her before and who would give his life for her. Torn, the only thing for her to do is trade in the glass slipper for a sword and find her own destiny.


I added Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas to my TBR pile in September 2015 and there it remains. This book was rocking the fairy tale vibes and I was all over that! It sounded incredible and is still one I want to read at some point! Fairy tales are where I started off with my reading days, they were my first form of magical tales and it evolved into a love of paranormal beings and that spun off into thrillers with monstrous human beings! So fairy tale retellings or books with fairy tale essence always snag my attention!






Mar 27, 2024

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.


From the New York Times bestselling author of Ninth House, Hell Bent, and creator of the Grishaverse series comes a highly anticipated historical fantasy set during the Spanish Golden Age

In a shabby house, on a shabby street, in the new capital of Madrid, Luzia Cotado uses scraps of magic to get through her days of endless toil as a scullion. But when her scheming mistress discovers the lump of a servant cowering in the kitchen is actually hiding a talent for little miracles, she demands Luzia use those gifts to better the family's social position.

What begins as simple amusement for the bored nobility takes a perilous turn when Luzia garners the notice of Antonio Pérez, the disgraced secretary to Spain's king. Still reeling from the defeat of his armada, the king is desperate for any advantage in the war against England's heretic queen—and Pérez will stop at nothing to regain the king's favor.

Determined to seize this one chance to better her fortunes, Luzia plunges into a world of seers and alchemists, holy men and hucksters, where the line between magic, science, and fraud is never certain. But as her notoriety grows, so does the danger that her Jewish blood will doom her to the Inquisition's wrath. She will have to use every bit of her wit and will to survive—even if that means enlisting the help of Guillén Santangel, an embittered immortal familiar whose own secrets could prove deadly for them both.


I am sooooo behind on Leigh's books but that doesn't stop me from adding them to my TBR pile! This one sounds amazing, naturally, and I can't wait to read it!


TITLE: The Familiar
AUTHOR: Leigh Bardugo

PUBLISHER: Flatiron Books
GENRE: Historical Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: April 9, 2024



For a disgraced reporter, unraveling a conspiracy of murder could mean redemption in a powerful novel of suspense by the bestselling author of Out of the Ashes . Reporter Lee Ellerin’s investigation into a young woman’s unsolved murder gained national attention―only for her to lose everything due to a tragic mistake. After being publicly ridiculed for causing a suspect’s death, Lee is forced to leave her career behind. Five years later, pregnant college student Amanda Hartley lies in a coma. The police say she attempted suicide, but the details don’t add up. Where is the father? Who was paying for Amanda’s Manhattan penthouse? Why did Amanda have a note with Lee’s name in her backpack? There’s also one alarming Amanda was last seen on Dune Road in the Hamptons―where the murder victim in Lee’s previous investigation disappeared. As she’s pulled back into the still-unsolved case that destroyed her career, Lee sees the chance to amend the mistakes of her past. But finding a killer and unearthing Amanda’s secrets sends her down a darker path than she has ever walked before.



I still need to read Kara's first adult debut, I don't think these two are related...but I wasn't reading the description just in case of minor spoilers and whatnot! Lol! Goodreads doesn't have them linked together so I think it's safe to say they are both standalones!


TITLE: Lost to Dune Road
AUTHOR: Kara Thomas

PUBLISHER: Thomas & Mercer
GENRE: Thriller
RELEASE DATE: April 16, 2024






Mar 26, 2024

Let's Discuss: Which Feeling is Better?


So one of the rare moments I hopped on Threads...I still haven't quite gotten used to posting or reading through all the posts on that app yet...I mean even with Twitter I would just pick up where they left me and scroll to the top and skim the tweets. I don't really use Twitter too much but for a few things. Trying to make Threads my go to app, but yeah...haven't really read through all the Threads. I think because they start me at the top and I have to scroll down to "wherever" I might have left myself. I'd rather start where I ended and go to the most recent one. But yeah, that's a rant for another day...which really, that was the sweet and short of it!

But ANYWAY--Lol--I was on Threads for some reason or another and saw Penguin Teen posting a poll or it could've even just been on Instagram now that I think about it...yeah, off topic again! But they had a poll and I found myself unable to vote as I felt like there were good reasons to each choice and Penguin Teen seemed to agree based on their comment!

Which Feeling is Better: Starting a Book or Finishing a Book?

And I was presents different kinds of feelings for myself! Lol. Both are pleasant so I mean, how do you choose from one happy feeling from another? It's like which of your favorite desserts is better? All are equally wonderful!

I LOVE starting a new book because you're entering a new world! You're meeting new characters and experiencing all sorts of new things and it's all just sparkly and new! Even if you're returning to a favorite series, I mean it's still new characters from whatever your last book was. Unless you're binging reading a series...that then kind of deflates this whole discussion, so let's not discuss that option! Unless you're going to compare WHOLE series start to finish feelings vs feelings from finishing the book before the series binge! Lol. You see, I'm always overthinking things like that!

But yes, starting a book just brings about joyful new beginnings and you're thinking of all the adventures you're going to have with these characters--even if it's just the one adventure in a standalone, there's still mini events and happenings to make minuscule adventures. I feel like I keep adding these little "add on" descriptors because that little nagging voice we sometimes have is trying to contradict myself. Lol.

But finishing a book...! That just brings about great feelings of accomplishment! Even when you're an avid reader, you're like YES! One TBR book down and only another 592 to go! And yes, that's my current TBR number according to Goodreads, although I have been known to forget to add a book, and who knows what's on my Kindle that I haven't marked as "to read" here as that's a scary dusty mess! So 592 is a safe number, but we could round it up to 600 as I've a stack of "maybe" books, mostly from book boxes that I haven't decided if I'm going to read or sell/donate.

See, I get started on a topic here and I sidetrack myself. I can easily say that it's very likely that I would be doing this if we were talking in person too! I get on one subject, sidebar over to another topic that relates to what I'm talking about and then jump back on track after that! Finishing a book just brings me such joy too! There's the feeling of accomplishment but also contentment. That hurray! I did just read yet another book from the TBR mountain! I'm tackling that beast one book at a time...even though I know there's several books on there that border the 1,000 page count! We're talking multiple books with 800+ pages! That's daunting! Especially when you read slow like I do!

Now since both scenarios are joyful occasions, it's hard to say which feeling is "better." I mean seriously, how do you choose between two things that bring you equal amounts of happiness to declare a winner? It feels too full circle to me. You get the joy of starting a new book and reading it and all the joy and wonder that comes from it! Then you finish it and you start that cycle of joyful emotions and THEN you get to start the whole cycle of feelings all over again! It's really a tremendous feeling!

I really can't liken it to anything else, because there's that voice that will say one can still be better than the other. Like you love vanilla and chocolate cake but don't you sometimes love one more than the other? Perhaps cravings come into consideration.

Starting and finishing a book isn't like that to me. Besides, for me, it's vanilla cake all the way! Now if you say vanilla cake and yellow cake then yeah, I'm like they are both equally great! I'll take whichever you got! But I went with the first scenario as it seems more likely to resonate...maybe, unless you're not a cake person or you do prefer one over the other? I honestly couldn't think of two things that are the same but not the same. Because even when you bring in brands of the same thing there still might be a taste difference and preference comes about. Like Peter Pan peanut butter vs Jif peanut butter. Is that a better example maybe? Peanut butter is peanut butter after all when you go with it like that. Let's not get into the chunky vs creamy vs that natural kind. (Creamy all the way though! lol)

I actually don't like chocolate cake. Yeah, I'm weird. But I love brownies so go figure! Different texture though! And now I've gone way, way off course, again! Sorry folks!

But yes, I feel like the overall feelings I get from starting a book and finishing a book are both so overwhelming happy and positive that I can't really say one is better than the other. While one gives me a sense of excitement for a new adventure, the other gives me such a feeling of accomplishment that I'm giddy either way!

What about you? Which feeling do think is better? Or do you, too, think that they are both equally happy feelings? Even if you ended up not liking the book overall, don't you still feel a little bit accomplished for giving it a go? I didn't want to dive into those negative feelings where we felt "ehh" for the book or DNF'd it. That obviously brings about other feelings from starting it and ending it wherever we ended it! 

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.


"'Heh. "Forbidden,"' Oscar snickered. 'Yeah, right. Why would you call a place "forbidden"? Doesn't that just make you itch to go there?'" p 45









TITLE: Bewitched and Betrothed
AUTHOR: Juliet Blackwell

GENRE: Paranormal Mystery
RELEASE DATE: June 25, 2019

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. 

This week's topic is: Top 4 Movies/TV Shows That Would Have Made Amazing Books (submitted by Sabrina @ Notes from a Paper Plane Nomad)


Top 6 Favorite Novelizations of Movies/TV Shows!

*in no particular order
**OMG! This was SOOO hard! So many of my all time favorite movies and shows did actually have serialized novels! Nearly every FAVORITE I could think of, I remembered, yup, that one had a novelization!
***not entirely sure that my picks didn't have novelizations either. Mainly fuzzy on Are You Afraid of the Dark. I feel like if they had books they would've rivaled with Goosebumps. The Brothers Grimm was another one that I can't really recall if it had one or not.

4. THE BROTHERS GRIMM--yes, yes, this was a movie based on the brothers who wrote the fairy tales. It's a tricky one, but basically I think a novelization of this movie would've been great! I don't think there was one though. A Google search showed me movie pictures and then pictures of actual Brothers Grimm books. So yeah, it's a tough one to locate if there was one!
okay, this I am fuzzy on! I loved the show as a kid and the reboots from a few years ago were pretty awesome too! I don't think they had books based on the ghost stories "extra" ghost story novels. I think it would've been hard to compete with Goosebumps.
this is one of my guilty pleasures! This is such a trash movie, but it is HILARIOUS! It's basically a parody of the first two Twilight movies and other "hyped" things at the time. I was laughing so hard at the theaters--luckily, I had the theater to myself! But yes, this would be fun as a book, but some jokes might hit better seen rather than read, but still, I'd read it!

1. THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON--and I mean a book based on this original movie! A quick Goodreads search showed me what looks like erotica takes on the storyline. Yeah...not looking for that! I think a book made more in lieu of this movie would be fun!


since I couldn't think of many movies that would be great books without having already been novelized, I decided to pick my actual favorites that I read!

6. UNDERWORLD by Greg Cox--yup! The Underworld movies were made into books too! There was actually a prequel novel before they made the prequel movie. It had the same storyline for the most part, but there were some differences that I can't really recall, but I still remember that there were differences! Lol.
5. SUPERNATURAL by Keith R.A. DeCandido--
I sadly did not keep up with this series as it came around the height of the paranormal book explosion! Plus it was also before I started blogging and before I was savvy enough to keep up with book releases. From the looks of things there were different authors for each book too, some repeated of course, but I honestly would not have known how to keep up with release knowledge on this one!
4. ROSWELL HIGH by Melinda Metz--
I did learn that this book series came first and I was addicted to the show when it started so I thought, I'll read the books! Of course at that time I didn't know the books were first and had a slightly different storyline, just little things really. Liz had a sister who died...and other little changes. The Roswell books did keep coming with "added" episode kind of features, some that picked up past episode storylines and then there was a beautiful set that picked up where the show left off!

3. THE 10th KINGDOM by Kathryn Wesley--does anyone else remember this mini series? I'm showing my age because I remember when this was on TV and I was sooo sucked into it! I remember begging my mom to buy the "at home" package where you got the movie, the book, and the soundtrack! The book did have some differences, like a different first kiss moment and the at the end, words were exchanged but weren't as heartfelt as they were in the TV series. So yeah, differences were there! I still have it storage, but it's there!
2. VAN HELSING by Kevin Ryan--
in my youthful days, when I loved a movie, I would check to see if there was a book adaptation! That way I could enjoy the movie again in a different way while I waited for the DVD release! Lol. This was one I read as I LOVED the movie. I still remember that my friend accidentally spoiled its ending for me, but even as I watched it I kept thinking, it's not gonna happen! He must have been teasing me...but alas, it did happen. Happened in the book too.
1. VERONICA MARS by Jennifer Graham--
I still need to read the second book but I was so psyched that there were at least 2 added mysteries that took place after the movie. We don't mention the Hulu reboot. That one is not canon. The story ends with the movie and/or these books. And AFTER that disastrous ending they didn't even do another season! So he angered fans for NOTHING!