Jun 30, 2024

Challenges Monthly Wrap-up: June

CHALLENGE 1: 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge

Wicked Ever After by Delilah S. Dawson (Blud)


Only one series this month, but still pretty good! I'm at 8/10! 

CHALLENGE 2: 2024 Discussion Challenge

Rating on Goodreads
Deluxe vs. Standard Editions
Deckled Edges
Writing Reviews
2024 Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Still going strong on this one! I currently have 33 discussion posts done! I guess at this point I might as well go for 41! I'd like to aim for 50...but I am not feeling that adventurous yet. Lol.

CHALLENGE 3: 2024 Beat the Backlist Challenge

Wicked Ever After by Delilah S. Dawson (10/5/15)
What the River Knows by Isabel Ibanez (10/31/23)
The War of Two Queens by Jennifer L. Armentrout (3/15/22)

I am now at 23/25 books read! Doing pretty good here too, not sure when I'll up it since I tend to have more new releases in the later half of the year that I look forward to. So we'll see.

Stacking the Shelves--Two Weeks of Chaos


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.


Hey all, I'm back! The last two weeks have been a little crazy. I had my one and only mini vacation which was lovely, but way too short. I finished my work program and it went well. I made it to the end with my group so we "graduated" and we did our presentation and I didn't trip up my words so that was a success! I also tried and once again failed to get Apollycon tickets. I swear every single time, I am right there trying to add my ticket to my cart, it does the processing thing and then kicks me out to put me into a line that only lets me out once every single ticket is sold out. So yeah. It sucks. I thought for sure this year I'd get one because my favorite author is not attending after attending the last 2 years. The indie author I was dying to meet has now sworn off large events and this is now my second time striking out on meeting her. So yes, this miss was absolutely devastating. I can't join the resale thread because I am not on Facebook and have no desire to join. And I mean, I feel doubtful of getting a ticket in sufficient time where I can get plane tickets, get a hotel room, get my request off work in time enough. There's just too many variables. I can't plan ahead for possibilities and I likely can't afford to travel on the spur of the moment as flights out of St. Louis are horrendous! Not only in price, but in availability. So yes, another sad year spent at home instead of at Apollycon. I tried to look up other events but none of them had any of the authors I read in attendance and I can't justify the same convention cost for meeting only new to me authors. I always judged RT by how many of my favorite authors were attending and it was always worth the cost. Seeing one or two for $300+ and then tack on convention fees isn't justifiable.

But anyway, while I didn't get tickets to the event I've been trying to get into for the last 5 years or so, I did get a whole big stack of books this week! And the most shocking thing of all, THIS WEEK'S B&N preorder arrived only 1 day late! But I still got it in release week so that was amazing!

Here's what I got:

A Fire in the Flesh by Jennifer L. Armentrout--SIGNED Apollycon edition
The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout--
SIGNED Apollycon edition

Icon and Inferno by Marie Lu
Two Sides to Every Murder by Danielle Valentine--
B&N edition; for some reason Goodreads did not have that edition up, that I could see at least and naturally, I assumed it would be as I didn't take my own picture.

Then I bought a few new Stephanie Garber editions:

A Curse for True Love by Stephanie Garber--UK pb
A Curse for True Love by Stephanie Garber--
Waterstones edition
The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber--
German edition

Then I got my Fairyloot edition of Heather Fawcett's second Emily Wilde book. Since they pictured it ahead of time I'll show the cover and edges but will the leave the rest as a surprise for others!

Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett--Fairy Loot edition


Then I picked up a few ebooks...I know! ME! One was a freebie and then I had won an Amazon gift card and I bought a few books that were better to get as ebooks since the real books were pricey and then I bought them on Friday where they had double Kindle points, so I thought might as well!


The Vampire's Former Flame by Kristen Painter--so behind in this series but I love it so much that I try to keep up with it by buying the ebooks!
Beauty and the Blade by S.C. Grayson--
a freebie one!
The Reordering by Vicki Pettersson--
I saw an older cover and I can't remember if I read it pre-Goodreads, but I figure it's a good in between book as it sets you up for...
Zodiac Rising by Vicki Pettersson--
the new generation of the Zodiac gang! I loved this series wayyy back when and I was excited to see it getting a sequel story!



Then I got the June YA Fairy Loot book and was sooo happy with this one! I won't share it here in case anyone is waiting on theirs still, but it's a beaut!  

Then for review from the publisher I received and started as soon as I finished my current read:

Known to the Victim by K.L. Armstrong

THANK YOU Doubleday Canada!

Then I received my Icon & Inferno preorder gift:

THANK YOU MacMillan!

And that was it for me! It's been a wild two weeks and I managed to survive them with only only one deep cut scar. How was your week? What books did you get?

Jun 29, 2024

2024 Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag


It's that time of year again where I survey what books I've read so far and deem worthy of being in the mid year wrap-up, what have you post! Lol. Still can't remember who originally created this tag but I borrowed the above image from Jeanna @ The Bucketlist Book Blog in a previous year and I just snagged that image again for this year!



Oh my that was hard! I've been reading to complete a lot of series lately and then I threw this one in since it was an ongoing series! It was a fun retelling of The Little Mermaid, albeit with a happier ending!


I enjoyed getting back to Valek's side of the Study Chronicles! So this was definitely fun, especially since he and Yelena were separated for almost the entire book!

FAVORITE SERIES FINALE (one I added last year and decided to do so again!):

I cannot say enough how much fun this series was! It was an absolute delight! We're talking nostalgia and still getting a new experience with a new set of Scoobies!


So many can be in this category! Lol. But I'll stick with Kelley's book since I am forever behind in her books!


Like you had to ask? Lol. Bet the lot of you just skimmed past this since you all knew the answer! this is actually my most anticipated release for 2024!


I mean I still liked it, but I chalk it up to not having read the first book since I read it as an ARC. So yeah, too much time away.


I wasn't sure what to expect with this one but was pleasantly surprised by how cute it was! A delightful little story filled with paranormal characters! My kind of read!


Obviously! lol. I already have the second book on my shelf and plan to buy the third one when it releases too!



Lowe for sure! I love me a sexy werewolf! Lol.


Definitely Clementine! She was just so much fun to read about! I can't wait for her story to continue. I'm curious to see how the next book will play out, with a new and different couple at the fore or still Clementine? She was one fierce gal and I loved her loyalty to her friends.


Well it takes a lot for a book to bring me to real tears and it is probably "cheating" choosing this one since it doesn't release until November, but I read an ARC and it was definitely one that got me the closest to crying for sure!



Back to this one again! That nostalgia was everything!


 Surprisingly, I haven't bought too many Stephanie Garber editions this year. I'm eyeing a few but shipping is so pricey so I am trying to decide if I should buy them or not. But I did get this on in January, it's the UK 5th anniversary of Finale by Stephanie Garber!


So far, I'm saying these two...but I am known to change my mind at the very last minute. In fact, my current read is not Royal Blood, but I will read that one next. I'm waiting to display my current one until Sunday when I show it in my StS post. I'm weird like that!

Jun 28, 2024

Book Blogger Hop #312


This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
This week's question is: Which do you enjoy doing more on the 4th of July: watching fireworks light up the sky or reading an inviting book? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

MY ANSWER: Well, this could be shocking, but I enjoy watching the fireworks! I feel like fireworks are kind of rare as they're generally a one time of year kind of thing with a maybe possible chance at New Year's Eve...but they are "rare" enough around my parts. So I do enjoy watching all the colorful displays.
To compensate I read during the daylight hours of July 4th and then at night I'll watch the fireworks! Of course this year it's a Thursday so I might have to go to bed early for work as I start pretty early! Lol.

Jun 27, 2024

Review--The War of Two Queens by Jennifer L. Armentrout


From the desperation of golden crowns…

Casteel Da’Neer knows all too well that very few are as cunning or vicious as the Blood Queen, but no one, not even him, could’ve prepared for the staggering revelations. The magnitude of what the Blood Queen has done is almost unthinkable.

And born of mortal flesh…

Nothing will stop Poppy from freeing her King and destroying everything the Blood Crown stands for. With the strength of the Primal of Life’s guards behind her, and the support of the wolven, Poppy must convince the Atlantian generals to make war her way—because there can be no retreat this time. Not if she has any hope of building a future where both kingdoms can reside in peace.

A great primal power rises…

Together, Poppy and Casteel must embrace traditions old and new to safeguard those they hold dear—to protect those who cannot defend themselves. But war is only the beginning. Ancient primal powers have already stirred, revealing the horror of what began eons ago. To end what the Blood Queen has begun, Poppy might have to become what she has been prophesied to be—what she fears the most.

As the Harbinger of Death and Destruction.

Well, it took me ages, but I finally read Jennifer L. Armentrout's The War of Two Queens! While I do enjoy Jennifer's books immensely, I always feel overwhelmed starting on her fantasy books because they are so long, which is nice, but when you're a slow reader, it makes it very daunting! I will try to keep this one short since I'm one of the last readers in the world to read this one! Lol.

We pick up where we left off with Casteel being a prisoner of Isabeth, Poppy's birth mother. Things are not great. Casteel has grown weak and risks losing himself to bloodlust if he doesn't feed soon, but he doesn't trust Isabeth at all. He's meant to be a lesson for Poppy and Isabeth is not above torturing him to just to get at Poppy.

Meanwhile, Poppy is determined to end the reign of the Blood Crown. She plans to take out Isabeth's followers one by one if she has to and will do whatever it takes to rescue Cas. Poppy is also adjust to her new abilities which is an experience of its own. She has a lot to learn and not nearly enough time to learn it all without having to do immediate battle, but she is a very determined young woman and woe to any who stand in her way.

While a decidedly thick read, this book is pretty well paced. Yes, there were some things that I felt like got drawn out a bit too much, but again, I chalk this up to my being a slower reader. Also, trying to read this series in a car--not recommended! Lol. But despite a bit of issue with pacing, I did pretty much enjoy every other second of this book.

There were quite a few bombshells in this one too! We learn quite a few life altering things and no one will be the same afterwards. What it will mean for the future has yet to be determined as we're still a ways away from the conclusion. It is definitely going to be a game changer, that's for sure.

It wouldn't be a JLA fantasy novel without some romance. I guess with this new Romantasy genre, this series definitely fits the bill. Romance is apart of the story, but it's not the central focus. Nothing can keep Poppy and Cas apart, so it stands to reason that there will be plenty of kisses and reunions within this story! And I finally did get to read the part that I have seen numerous fan art for and it all makes sense now! Lol. This is what happens when you are books and books and thousands of pages behind!

All in all, I will say that this was a fun read! Long, yes. If I didn't have to work all day, I would so be caught up in this series, but alas, I am still dreadfully behind, especially with another book coming out this year. There are some authors I swear who never sleep and Jennifer L. Armentrout is definitely one of them! Not much more to say about this one other than I am sorry I took so long to read it!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

Books from the Backlog #89


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's Random Life in Books!


Last fall, sixteen-year-old Camelia fell for Ben, a new boy at school who had a very mysterious gift – psychometry, the ability to sense the future through touch. But just as Camelia and Ben's romance began to heat up, he abruptly left town. Brokenhearted, Camelia has spent the last few months studying everything she can about psychometry and experiencing strange brushes with premonition. Camelia wonders if Ben's abilities have somehow been transferred to her.

Ben returns to school, but he remains aloof, and Camelia can't get close enough to share her secret with him. Camelia makes the painful decision to let him go and move on. Adam, the hot new guy at Knead, seems good for her in ways Ben wasn't. But when Camelia and Adam start dating, a surprising love triangle results. A chilling sequence of events uncovers secrets from Ben’s past – and Adam's. Someone is lying, and it's up to Camelia to figure out who – before it's too late.




So it took me a few years to realize that Laurie Faria Stolarz had a new series out! I wasn't savvy in my younger days to learn of author's new releases, but to be fair I wasn't really blogging in those times or I had checked the author's site at the time semi regularly and never saw updates so I moved on. Well, I learned during one of my many trips to Half Price Books that Stolarz wrote another series! I started picking up the series one by one as I found them, sometimes during sales on top of the half price already so that was always cool too! Especially when I know that at least one of these was a clearance book too! So that's how Deadly Little Lies came onto my TBR pile and why it's still there is yet another mystery...but not really. Lol. I do want to read it at some point and can happily binge the series!






Jun 26, 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.


An epic survival-thriller about four teens who get lost in the Paris catacombs for days—a gripping and propulsive story of love, danger, betrayal, and hope… even when all seems lost.

Ruby is terrified to cave to her feelings for Sean and risk him crushing her heart.

Sean is pumped to spend a week with Ruby in Paris on their senior class trip, and he’ll wait however long until she’s ready to take things further.

But when Ruby’s best friend sneaks out the first night to meet a mysterious French boy, Ruby goes after her with two classmates, but caves to another temptation: attending mystery boy’s exclusive party in the Paris catacombs, the intricate web of tunnels beneath the city, home to six million long-dead Parisians. Only they never reach the party.

Underground, as something sinister chases them, they get lost in the endless maze of bones, uncovering dark secrets about the catacombs… and each other. And if they can’t find a way out, they’ll die in the dark beneath the City of Light.

Aboveground, Sean races to find the girl he loves as a media frenzy over the four missing teens begins.


I keep meaning to start Urban's books but I haven't quite gotten to that point but I keep buying them because they all sound so good and exciting! This one sounds creepy and is going to make me want to go to Paris one day...just got to win that lottery! Lol.


TITLE: Under the Surface
AUTHOR: Diana Urban

PUBLISHER: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
GENRE: YA Thriller
RELEASE DATE: August 13, 2024



A teen girl’s attempt to make amends with her former friend group takes a sinister turn during a weekend getaway at an ancestral Irish estate in this atmospheric, literary horror from the author of Those We Drown.

There’s something in the lake at Wren Hall.

At least, that’s what the locals say. Not that Meg cares much about the rumors. When she’s asked to spend Halloween weekend at the Ireland retreat of the wealthy Wren twins, she recognizes the invitation for exactly what it her last, and only, chance to save her spot at Greyscott’s, the exclusive British art school she attended on scholarship until last summer. Clever, beautiful, and talented, the twins are the pride of Greyscott’s, and kindhearted Lottie Wren was once Meg’s closest friends. But not anymore.

None of Meg’s old friend group have talked to her since she left school—and they especially don’t talk about the incident that resulted in her suspension. Now, Meg is willing to do whatever it takes to earn their forgiveness.

But Wren Hall turns out to be far from the idyllic country manor Meg was expecting. The house is damp and drafty, the mirrors are all covered, and the weed-choked lake is at the center of legends that haunt the property to this day—a tainted legacy the estate seems unable to shake.

The truth is, people aren’t the only ones who keep secrets. Places can keep them too—and Wren Hall is drowning in them. When the past bleeds into the present and ancient sins rise to the surface, Meg must ask herself how well she really knows her one-time best friends...or whether any of them will survive the weekend.


I read Goldsmith's debut last year and LOVED it! It was the right kind of mysterious mixed with creepy and the whole WTF is going on?! kind of excitement! So I definitely have to pick up her next one! It sounds creepy weird too and I am all for it! And it's water based again too so I am pretty much never ever going in or on the water ever again! A perk of living in the Midwest! Though we do have lakes...and rivers...but I don't go in or on those either! But I am sure a pool horror will come up that will make me never ever go in any kind of water again too! Lol.


TITLE: Our Wicked Histories
AUTHOR: Amy Goldsmith

PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
GENRE: YA Horror
RELEASE DATE: July 30, 2024