Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Ticklemore Christmas Toy Shop by Liz Davies REVIEW

 The Ticklemore Christmas Toy Shop

by Liz Davies


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Synopsis:

You're never too old to fall in love...

There is a disturbance in the force and octogenarian Hattie Jenkins can feel it in her water. Still active and spritely, she guesses that the miserable-looking gentleman sitting morosely in the cafΓ© where she works, might be the reason.


Widowed Alfred Miller has recently moved in with his daughter because she is worried that he's becoming too frail and forgetful to look after himself. And he's not in the least bit happy about it, especially since his home is soon be cleared and sold.

But when he enlists Hattie's help to save some of his precious belongings, he doesn't realize that Hattie's mission is to save more than a few sticks of furniture. She's on a mission to save him, too.

Purchase Links:
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ticklemore-Christmas-Toy-Shop-warming-ebook/dp/B08H5V7Z74
US - https://www.amazon.com/Ticklemore-Christmas-Toy-Shop-warming-ebook/dp/B08H5V7Z74
CAN - https://www.amazon.ca/Ticklemore-Christmas-Toy-Shop-warming-ebook/dp/B08H5V7Z74

Review:

Thank you to Liza Davies and Rachel from Rachel's Random Resources for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

This story couldn't have gotten any sweeter! When Alfred has to move in with his bossy and controlling daughter, he is upset about having to give up his home and belongings. Things are looking bleak for Alfred when he meets Hattie in a cafΓ©. The two slowly become friends and maybe a little bit more just in time for Christmas.

Alfred and Hattie are delightful main characters. I really enjoyed getting to know them and seeing their relationship progress. Their relationship was refreshing and adorable. I really enjoyed reading a romance that featured older characters. The writing was fun and entertaining. The pace was good for the story, it wasn't dragged out or rushed, it was just right. 

What I disliked most about the book was Alfred's daughter. I hated the way she spoke to her dad. It kept being passed off as just her being worried but I still thought she was just the worst. She was controlling and rude in an extreme way. With that being said, I think Liz Davies did a great job on creating a consistent and believable character. 

Overall, I'd recommend this to anyone looking for an adorable, clean, Christmas romance. I really enjoyed this one and I think others will too.

Author Bio


Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love. She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat-she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat),and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days. She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper can and travel the world in it.

Social Media Links:
Website: https://lizdaviesauthor.wixsite.com/home
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizDaviesAuthor1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lizdaviesauthor

My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix REVIEW

 My Best Friend's Exorcism
by Grady Hendrix


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Synopsis:

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act….different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

Purchase Links:
CAN - https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B014BQVMGE
US - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014BQVMGE

Review:

First, I want to take a minute to appreciate that cover! The cover and the title that had me wanting to read this book from the moment I laid my eyes on it.

While I can honestly say that I really enjoyed this book, I didn't find it creepy. I found myself to be grossed out more than scared. I mean the story itself was actually really good, it just wasn't scary for me. I really enjoyed the writing. The detailing was perfect as I was able to visualize the story without it being too much. The pace was perfect! I know I mention pace a lot in my reviews but it's a "make or break" thing for me.

Abby and Gretchen's friendship was so beautiful. I love how it was far from perfect right through their lives, but they stuck together. The ending of the book had me in tears because of these two.

This is would make a good read for Halloween if you're looking for something in a creepy setting that won't scare you too much.

This was my first time reading Grady Hendrix and I was not disappointed. I ended up adding some of his other books to my TBR. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Titanlord: A Thousand Ashes by M.G. Darwish REVIEW

 Titanlord: A Thousand Ashes
by M.G. Darwish


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Synopsis:

No one thought the Gods would descend. Plucked from his reality, Griffyn never thought that the Gods would be so terrified of him even when a Titan stood before them. The Red Hand entrusted him with the only sword that allows him to fight back: the Masamune.

Now that the Gods have sworn to eliminate humanity, the Empire has fallen, ravished and turned to dust. The Magmars are no more, and he alone holds the key to salvation.

He has endured many losses, but will he succumb and accept his fate? Or will he rise from beneath a thousand ashes?

To win, he must quell the Titans within him and tame them. But every time he uses their power, he risks losing himself.

Book 2 of the Titanlord Series. A direct sequel to Titanlord: of Death & Sacrifice

Purchase Links:

CAN - https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B08GJ8NP5W/
US - 
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08GJ8NP5W/

Review:

Thank you to M.G. Darwish for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Last year I read Titanlord: Of Death and Sacrifice, book 1 in the Titanlord series. I absolutely loved it. It ended up being in my top 10 reads of 2019. I have been anxiously waiting this sequel ever since so when I got an email with an offer of an advanced copy I may have had to do a small happy dance before responding.

I am thrilled to say that Titanlord: A Thousand Ashes exceeded my expectations! Packed with tons of action and epic battles, Darwish took me on another adventure that had me at the edge of my seat. I was truly captivated within the story and managed to read it in two sittings. It would have been one but I had to sleep.

I absolutely love Griffyn! He has changed so much throughout this series. I'm looking forward to what happens in the next book.

Overall, I loved this book! It was so well written. Darwish is an amazing storyteller and I can't wait to get my hands on his next book!

Sunday, October 11, 2020

They Threw Us Away by Daniel Kraus REVIEW

 They Threw Us Away

by Daniel Kraus



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Synopsis:

Welcome to The Teddies Saga, a gripping new middle grade trilogy from New York Times-bestselling author Daniel Kraus.

When Buddy wakes up in the middle of a garbage dump, filled with a certain awareness: he’s a teddy bear; he spent time at a Store waiting for his future to begin; and he is meant for the loving arms of a child. Now he knows one more thing: Something has gone terribly wrong.

Soon he finds other discarded teddies―Horace, Sugar, Sunny, and Reginald. Though they aren’t sure how their luck soured, they all agree that they need to get back to the Store if they’re ever to fulfill their destinies. So, they embark on a perilous trek across the dump and into the outer world. With ravenous rats, screeching gulls, and a menacing world in front of them, the teddies will need to overcome insurmountable challenges to find their way home.

Equal parts Toy Story and Lord of the Flies, They Threw Us Away is the unforgettable start of a captivating series.

Purchase Links:
CAN - https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1250224403
US - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1250224403

Review:

Thank you to Daniel Kraus and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

They Threw Us Away is the first book in The Teddies Saga. It's a dark middle grade story about five teddies who wake up to find themselves at the dump. Buddy is the first teddy we meet and he becomes the leader of the small group of teddies. We soon meet Sunny, Horace, Sugar and Reginald and our adventure begins. 

You would think a story about little teddies would be sweet, this one isn't. This book has a dark twist infused throughout a lost teddy bear story.

I have to say I really enjoyed it. There's nothing more delicious than a dark fairytale. It got a little "creepy" (I guess would be the best word) at times but it was really enjoyable. It was like being in the dark side of childhood. I wouldn't call it graphic but there are some teddy deathsq that are... let's just say not quick and painless. I would say it would be good for kids ages 9-12 but of course that depends on the child and what they are reading already.

Friday, October 2, 2020

All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson REVIEW

 All Boys Aren't Blue

by George M. Johnson


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Synopsis:

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren't Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson's emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.

Review:

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

All Boys Aren't Blue is a YA memoir by activist George M. Johnson where he tells us stories about his life as he grew up. From coming home beat up as a child to finding a frat house that gave him brotherhood, Johnson takes us through his personal journey of ups and downs. It's one I think everyone should read.

What I loved most about this book is that it isn't a collection of stories from a boy who didn't have love and support from his family. Although I believe those are also important, these are stories from a boy who was loved by his family but still had struggles, showing that love and money can't stop someone from suffering. Johnson talks about the struggles of being queer, being black and being queer and black. I think he did a fabulous job telling his story. I think it's so important to show that these struggles can come at you even if you do have the support and love your family. Johnson was blessed, yet he struggled.

I absolutely can't recommend this book enough. I can't even think of anything bad to say about it. I smiled, I cried and I was captured for every minute of this book.

There are sensitive topics discussed in this book so if you're someone who needs trigger warnings here they are: sexual manipulation, teenage sex between minors with questionable consent. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

A Christmas Carol Murder by Heather Redmond REVIEW

A Christmas Carol Murder
by Heather Redmond


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Synopsis:

London, December 1835: Charles and Kate are out with friends and family for a chilly night of caroling and good cheer. But their blood truly runs cold when their singing is interrupted by a body plummeting from an upper window of a house. They soon learn the dead man at their feet, his neck strangely wrapped in chains, is Jacob Harley, the business partner of the resident of the house, an unpleasant codger who owns a counting house, one Emmanuel Screws.

Ever the journalist, Charles dedicates himself to discovering who's behind the diabolical defenestration. But before he can investigate further, Harley's corpse is stolen. Following that, Charles is visited in his quarters by what appears to be Harley's ghost--or is it merely Charles's overwrought imagination? He continues to suspect Emmanuel, the same penurious penny pincher who denied his father a loan years ago, but Kate insists the old man is too weak to heave a body out a window. Their mutual affection and admiration can accommodate a difference of opinion, but matters are complicated by the unexpected arrival of an infant orphan. Charles must find the child a home while solving a murder, to ensure that the next one in chains is the guilty party . . .


Review:

Thank you Heather Redmond and Netgalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Being a big fan of A Christmas Carol I thought I would enjoy this murder mystery retelling, however, I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Set in December 1835, Charles and his love Kate, are out caroling when they witness the body of Jacob Harley falling out of a window wrapped in chains. Charles just can't let this murder go unsolved so he dedicates himself to discovering who killed Jacob Harley and why. With a series of twists, turns and unexpected events this Christmas mystery will have you entertained on every page.

I absolutely loved this book! It had everything! From scandals and secrets, to murder and missing individuals, to a fresh take on well known and loved characters. In this world created by Heather Redmond, Charles Dickens is brought to life with a mix of fact and fiction that had me hooked from the first page to the last. I think Redmond did a brilliant job twisting and twirling the characters from the original Christmas Carol into this Sherlock style masterpiece.

I'd like to quickly point out this is the 3rd book in the A Dickens of a Crime series. Personally, I found this book did great as a standalone, however, others who have read the whole series may have a differing opinion.

I'd recommend this book for fans of A Christmas Carol, fans of Charles Dickens, fans of Sherlock type mysteries, and anyone else who enjoys and good whodunit murder mystery!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Looking For Normal by Karen Harmon

 Looking For Normal

by Karen Harmon


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Synopsis:

It's been said that we cannot choose our family members, but what do you do when the drama they bring becomes more than you want to deal with? You hop on the train that will take you to the land of promise, an alluring place across the mountains, called British Columbia.

Looking for Normal is an account of two people, each struggling to leave the desperate and dysfunctional circumstances of life, to establish themselves in a completely different environment and location. It is a sometimes humorous, sometimes sobering, yet always intriguing true story of family drama, and love found in the midst of heartache, addiction, and mental illness. It takes us through the Depression Era of the 1930s, on through the War and Post-War years of the 1940s and '50s, to the Free Love of the 1960s and '70s.

Against all odds, Vincent and Frances find each other in the land of promise, and begin the adventure of creating a new and better family experience, one filled with laughter, hope, and undying love.

They find that family is not far behind, and through each new adventure of dysfunction, they create a lasting legacy of strength, hope, and love within their own children.

This is a heartwarming true story that will encourage all of us to look on the lighter side and enjoy all that life brings, to treasure our family regardless of the struggles.

Review:

Thank you to Karen Harmon for a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I enjoyed reading this sweet memoir. Inside we follow the lives of Karen's parents starting from when they were quite young. Reading through Look For Normal was like watching a video of these people growing up and creating lives of their own. It was really nice to see Vincent and Frances overcome all the struggles in their lives.

The writing was really well done. Karen knows how to tell a story thats draws you in. I enjoyed the writing style.

Overall, if you're a fan of memoirs this is something you may enjoy. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

One Woman's Treasure by Jean Copeland REVIEW

 One Woman's Treasure

by Jean Copeland


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Synopsis:

After Daphne accidentally “steals” a family heirloom from Nina’s front lawn thinking it’s junk left for trash pickup, she learns she’s wanted by the police for questioning. Once the dust settles, Daphne and Nina form a friendship inspired by their mutual love for antiquing and a desire for a fresh start in their lives.


As they grow closer, their attraction moves way beyond friends. But who will be brave enough to confess her feelings first? Daphne, the self-conscious procrastinator who’s working hard to get her new business off the ground, or Nina, the newly-out mom whose priority is creating a stable life for her son? Before they can take a chance on becoming lovers, they’ll have to decide if love is worth the risk.

Review:

Thank you to Netgalley and Jean Copeland for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

I really enjoyed the beginning and middle of this story. I thought it was well paced with the perfect amount of conflict to keep me hungry for more. Where the story fell short for me was the ending. I felt like the pace totally changed and put in fast forward mode. I feel like the story could of really benefited from the ending being drawn out a little more.

For the most part, I enjoyed the characters. I found Daphne to be an annoying character. She was just a bit too winey for me. Nina was interesting enough. She came with her own set of obstacles and it was good to watch her face them. My favorite character in the whole story was Sophie. Sophie is a side character who really stood out to me and I would of loved to of seen more of her within the book. She was sassy and fun and really added something to the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good adult f/f romance. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Pretty Things by Janelle Brown REVIEW

 Pretty Things

by Janelle Brown


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Synopsis:


Two wildly different women--one a grifter, the other an heiress--are brought together by the scam of a lifetime in a page-turner from the New York Times bestselling author of Watch Me Disappear.

Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her wily Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. Nina learned from the best: Her mother was the original con artist, hustling to give her daughter a decent childhood despite their wayward life. But when her mom gets sick, Nina puts everything on the line to help her, even if it means running her most audacious, dangerous scam yet.

Vanessa is a privileged young heiress who wanted to make her mark in the world. Instead she becomes an Instagram influencer--traveling the globe, receiving free clothes and products, and posing for pictures in exotic locales. But behind the covetable façade is a life marked by tragedy. After a broken engagement, Vanessa retreats to her family's sprawling mountain estate, Stonehaven: A mansion of dark secrets not just from Vanessa's past, but from that of a lost and troubled girl named Nina.

Nina, Vanessa, and Lachlan's paths collide here, on the cold shores of Lake Tahoe, where their intertwined lives give way to a winter of aspiration and desire, duplicity and revenge.

This dazzling, twisty, mesmerizing novel showcases acclaimed author Janelle Brown at her best, as two brilliant, damaged women try to survive the greatest game of deceit and destruction they will ever play


Review:

Thank you to Janelle Brown and Netgalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Nina is a grifter, Vanessa is an heiress. Their lives have crossed before and now they will cross again, only this time it's serious Told from the alternating perspectives of Nina and Vanessa Pretty Things weaves an intricate web of lies, revenge and pretty faces. 

The writing in this novel was so good! There are so many delicious twists and turns perfectly placed throughout it. The two main characters are both bad ass women. It's hard to decide who you want to cheer for. While you could say that it starts off a little slow, the ending is certainly one worth continuing for.

Overall, I thought this was a great read. I'd definitely recommend any thriller lovers giving this one a shot.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Flamer by Mike Curato REVIEW

 Flamer

by Mike Curato


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Synopsis:

Award-winning author and artist Mike Curato draws on his own experiences in Flamer, his debut graphic novel, telling a difficult story with humor, compassion, and love.

I know I’m not gay. Gay boys like other boys. I hate boys. They’re mean, and scary, and they’re always destroying something or saying something dumb or both.

I hate that word. Gay. It makes me feel . . . unsafe.


It's the summer between middle school and high school, and Aiden Navarro is away at camp. Everyone's going through changes—but for Aiden, the stakes feel higher. As he navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can't stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance.

Review:

Thank you to Macmillan Children's Publishing and Mike Curato for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

This is one of the best graphic novels I've ever read. The story really grabs you right in the feels. It made me laugh, and then it made me cry, and then it made me smile from the inside out.

Our main character of this story is Aiden. He is chubby, half Asian and just a little bit different. When the story takes place Aiden is at summer camp to enjoy his very last summer before high school. While calling Aiden a complete outcast would be a stretch, he does have his share of bullies to deal with. Throughout the book we watch as Aiden takes a journey of self discovery and learns what it means to accept yourself. 

The artwork in this graphic novel is so fitting to the story. The color scheme added that flare and really brought the fire aspect of the book to life. 

Overall, I love this book! It was touching. I think it will relate to a lot of tweens/teens who are going through similar situations. 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

The Murder of Minnie Callan by Tom Gruchy

 The Murder Of Minnie Callan

by Tom Gruchy


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Synopsis:

The Murder of Minnie Callan is the dramatic memoir of retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer Thomas Gruchy. It tells the story of a criminal investigation that changed the lives of many, including the author, forever.

Sixty-year-old Minnie Callan, wife, mother, and grandmother, was an innocent bystander when an attempted crime was aborted nearby in her hometown of Norman’s Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador, on March 13, 1986. The intended victim escaped unharmed, but sadly, Minnie Callan lost her life during the encounter. When Thomas Gruchy, one of nine RCMP officers stationed at the nearby Whitbourne Detachment, received the call, he had no idea how shocking a discovery he would find in the sleepy town of Norman’s Cove, nor how much of a toll the investigation would take on him and his fellow police officers.

Purchase Link:

US - https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Minnie-Callan-Tom-Gruchy-ebook/dp/B07HCQB5N4

Review:

In a little community of Newfoundland murder is a rare occurrence, so when one woman is found beaten and left for dead the town is shook to its very core. The night of Minnie Callan's murder RCMP Officer Tom Gruchy is called in to investigate an anonymous call, what he found has stayed with him to this day. In The Murder of Minnie Callan Tom Gruchy takes us through his experience from the very beginning. We read through as he receives that phone call and then finally until the end of the trial.

The story of Minnie Callan's murder absolutely broke my heart. I found myself shedding a tear for Minnie and the fate she suffered. What happened to Minnie could only be described as heartless and evil. 

The writing itself was good. I found it read like it was being told straight from the Officer's mouth. I didn't find it to be polished like most true crime books and I think that it really added to the story and gave it an authentic feel. After all, the author, Tom Gruchy, is also the RCMP officer who was called in to investigate the anonymous call, found Minnie Callan, and stayed on the case to the end. You can feel his connection to the case through his writing. There wasn't a lot of overly descriptive writing throughout the book, which if you're like me you appreciate something that is short and to the point. There's enough description in the story to create a visual of what is happening without the info dump. 

Overall, I thought this book was extremely well done. I recommend it to any who enjoys true crime or even anyone who would like to experience a true crime novel through the eyes of the officer who was there.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray COVER REVEAL

 Everything is Beautiful

by Eleanor Ray



Hi everyone, today I have a wonderful treat for you! Today we have a COVER REVEAL and I have to say, it's a really beautiful cover. I can't wait to show you I'll stop rambling and get to it!

Synopsis:

Sometimes it’s impossible to part with the things we love the most…

When Amy Ashton’s world came crashing down eleven years ago, she started a collection. Just a little collection, just a few keepsakes of happier times: some honeysuckle to remind herself of the boy she loved, a chipped china bird, an old terracotta pot . . . Things that others might throw away, but to Amy, represent a life that could have been.

Now her house is overflowing with the objects she loves – soon there’ll be no room for Amy at all. But when a family move in next door, a chance discovery unearths a mystery long buried, and Amy’s carefully curated life begins to unravel. If she can find the courage to face her past, might the future she thought she'd lost still be hers for the taking?

Perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant and The Keeper of Lost Things, this exquisitely told, uplifting novel shows us that however hopeless things might feel, beauty can be found in the most unexpected of places.



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Pre-order Links:

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everything-Beautiful-Eleanor-Ray/dp/0349427437
US - https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Beautiful-Eleanor-Ray-ebook/dp/B087ZDNZM8/

Publication Date: 4th February 2021

Author Bio


Eleanor Ray has an MA in English Literature from Edinburgh University and works in marketing. She lives in London with her husband and two young children.
Eleanor was inspired to write Everything is Beautiful by the objects her toddler collects and treasures - twigs, empty water bottles and wilting daisies. She is currently working on her next novel.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @EleanorRayBooks
Facebook: @EleanorRayBooks
Instagram: @EleanorRayBooks



Monday, August 31, 2020

September TBR

September TBR

Hi all, thank you for stopping by! Today I wanted to give you guys a break down of my TBR for September.

This month I'm planning on taking part in two readathons. One is called Becca's Bookopolathon and the other is called Buzzwordathon. When doing my TBR I will be doing my best to pick books that I can use for both TBR's.

Becca's Bookoplathon is a month long readathon based on Becca's TBR game. For her monthly TBR Becca uses a board she created based on the Monopoly game. For this readathon we get a special board created just for this readathon. There are some rules you should be aware of so I'll link Becca's announcement video below.


So I chose to do 5 rolls. In order to pick my chance books, I created a wheel instead of using the printable chance cards because my printer doesn't have any ink in it.


Roll 1: 7 - Chance
Girls Made of Snow & Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Roll 2: 7 LGBT Rep
One Woman's Treasure by Jean Copeland

Roll 3: 8 - Chance
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Roll 4: 10 - Set In the Present
Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

Roll 5: 6 - Most Recent Purchase
Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Becca's Announcement Video: https://youtu.be/FMvFcCE3X_8

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Next up we have the Buzzwordathon hosted by Booksandlala. This round her lovely co-host is Paolo. I'll link both of their announcement videos below.  So the buzzword for this round is "Night". I didn't really have that many books with "Night" in the title but I was able to come up with 5 to add to my TBR.

1. Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon

3. The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein Knight

4. The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales of Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo

5. The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah

Booksandlala: https://youtu.be/jTiRK0rmPbI
Paola: https://youtu.be/15Y9lIDLOu4

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Along with all these great reads I also have a couple books I would like to get to this month. 

1. The Third Twin by C.J. Omololu
This is for a monthly book club I do with my mother and sisters. 

2. Looking For Normal by Karen Harmon

3. Where is My Happy Ending? By Karen Harmon
Both of these are books that have been sent to me for review. I'm really excited to read them.

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So tell me, what are you reading plans for September? Are you taking part in any readathons? Have you read any of these books? If so  what are your thoughts?

Thank you for reading everybody! 

See you on the moon! Xo

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler REVIEW

 Twenty Boy Summer

by Sarah Ockler


Synopsis:

According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.

Review:

I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful and well written this book was. I was drawn in from the very beginning. For me, this was the type of story I could get lost in. It was heartbreaking, beautiful and full of the kind of love that can never really be broken or forgotten.

Anna and Frankie are best friends. Frankie doesn't know before her brother Matt died, a romance started between him and Anna. With this secret still hidden from everyone, Anna is still figuring out where she fits into the grieving process and the value of her grief. When Anna is invited to go along on Frankie's family summer vacation they make a plan to make this the best summer ever with the Twenty Boy plan. With hopes, dreams and secret loves Anna and Frankie find themselves and each other. 

I absolutely adored this story. For some reason I expected something more fun and upbeat, however, this was so much different than I expected. It was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. I experienced so many emotions throughout this book. It had me smiling, on the verge of tears and completely anxious over and over. It was a roller coaster of the very best kind. 

This story isn't always pleasant, it's not always easy to read but it is totally worth the read. It will make you believe in the type of love that is rare and beautiful in all its forms. It's a story of friendship, healing, and growing up.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Kiss Me Every Day by Dena Blake REVIEW

Kiss Me Every Day

by Dena Blake



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Synopsis:

Wynn Jamison is turning thirty. Her career has made her rich, but her love life is sorely lacking. She’s okay with that until she spends her birthday dinner with the woman who could’ve changed it all. There’s only one problem. She’s married to Wynn’s sister.

Carly Evans is tired of her wife ignoring her needs to put her career first. Family has always been important to her, and Jordan just doesn’t seem to care.

A freak thunderstorm rages during the night, and Wynn finds herself catapulted back in time to the day she made the worst decision of her life―stepping aside to let her sister romance Carly. Reliving the day over and over again, Wynn must decide what is most important: success, loyalty, or love. Given a second chance at happiness, will she take the opportunity and change her destiny?

Review:

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Wynn is crazy about Carly, who just so happens to be her sister-in-law. It's not her fault though, she was interested in Carly before she married Wynn's sister Jordan. Now Carly and Jordan are unhappy together and Wynn can't help but wonder what would she do differently if she could relive that day over... and over and over again.

I adored Wynn as a main character. Yes, she was far from perfect but I really enjoyed following her throughout the story. She is fun and sweet. We get to watch her grow so much as a person through the course of this book. I couldn't help but root and cheer for her every step of the way.

I thought the pace of this story was perfect! It wasn't rushed but it wasn't dragged out either. It carried itself out so that I was completely entertained the entire time, yet on the edge of my seat during the end. I think Dena Blake did an amazing job with this one. I really enjoyed it a lot.

There were definitely some cheesy moments and some moments that made me cringe, but overall I absolutely adored this book. If you're looking for a cute f/f romance with just a touch of drama, I strongly recommend checking this one out.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Nowhere on Earth by Nick Lake

 Nowhere On Earth

by Nick Lake


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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Nowhere On Earth begins with the plane crash already having taken place. There are three survivors; the pilot, a teenage girl and her little brother. They are soon on the run from "something" but I can't tell you what.

The story was pretty average for a young adult. It went smoothly with all conflict promptly solved. The twist is obvious from the very beginning. The characters were well developed. While I found the characters to be likeable enough, I really didn't care about them or how their story ended.

While there are certain parts I did find enjoyable about this book, for the most part it was just okay. If you're a fan of young adult sci-fi then you would probably enjoy this book. 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

The Shadows by Alex North

 The Shadows

By Alex North

Narrated by Hannah Arterton

& John Heffernan



Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I was super excited to read The Shadows by Alex North, so when I had the chance to grab the audiobook from Netgalley I jumped it... mistakes were made!

I found the first half of this book difficult to get into. I found myself bored and just wanting to turn it off and find another audiobook. Thankfully, the story did pick up and I found myself quite satisfied with the ending.

The writing style was fine. The story itself gave off major IT vibes (but thankfully this was a lot shorter). The characters were fine, during the second half if the book I definitely grew to like them more than I had for the first half.

So what did I really dislike about this book? Well, The Shining, The Stand and Pet Semetary are all mentioned in this book. And by mentioned I mean details were given about endings... This bugged me so badly as I have only read 1 of these and the other 2 are on my tbr. Also, I didn't enjoy the narrators of the audiobook. I can't give a real reason why as they simply just didn't work for me. I really think I would of enjoyed the book more had I of just read a physical copy myself.

Overall, I ended up enjoying the ending. While I can't recommend the audiobook (for obvious reasons) I do think that if The Shadows was on your tbr you should still check it out.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Greenbecker Gambit by Ben Graff REVIEW

The Greenbecker Gambit
by Ben Graff


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Synopsis:

‘I only feel truly alive when the chess clock is ticking and the patterns on the squares in front of me are dancing in my head. Very little else gives me the same feeling. Nothing else, that does not involve a flame.’

Tennessee Greenbecker is bravely optimistic as he sets out to claim what he sees as rightfully his – the title of world chess champion. But who is he really? Is he destined to be remembered as chess champion or fire-starter? Either way, might this finally be his moment?

Purchase Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Greenbecker-Gambit-Ben-Graff-ebook/dp/B08774SJYN
https://www.amazon.ca/Greenbecker-Gambit-Ben-Graff-ebook/dp/B08774SJYN
https://www.amazon.com/Greenbecker-Gambit-Ben-Graff-ebook/dp/B08774SJYN

Chess and Bridge
https://shop.chess.co.uk/The-Greenbecker-Gambit-Ben-Graff-p/cb07811.htm

Review:

Thank you to Ben Graff and Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

The only thing Tennesee loves as much as chess is fire. He is determined he will be remembered forever, possibly as a chess champion, possibly as an arsonist. 

Tennessee Greenbecker is probably the most delusional character I have ever read about. Reading from his point of view made me continuously go back and forth from being extremely annoyed by him to being completely fascinated by his cluelessness. Graff did a great job in creating such a steady character. 

The Greenbecker Gambit was certainly a creative piece of work. It was interesting to watch things unfold and finally see how things ended. The writing was good and the pace was good for the storyline. I think this story would be enjoyed by chess lovers everywhere. 

This book is sure to keep you reading, even if it's only to see what delusion Tennessee will come up with next.

About Author

Ben Graff is a writer, journalist and Corporate Affairs professional. He is a regular contributor to Chess and Authors Publish. He is not a grandmaster but did draw with one once.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: GreenBGambit
LinkedIn: Ben Graff



Tuesday, July 14, 2020

I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn REVIEW

I Love You So Mochi
by Sarah Kuhn


Synopsis:

Kimi Nakamura loves a good fashion statement.

She's obsessed with transforming everyday ephemera into Kimi Originals: bold outfits that make her and her friends feel like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother disapproves, and when they get into an explosive fight, Kimi's entire future seems on the verge of falling apart. So when a surprise letter comes in the mail from Kimi's estranged grandparents, inviting her to Kyoto for spring break, she seizes the opportunity to get away from the disaster of her life.

When she arrives in Japan, she's met with a culture both familiar and completely foreign to her. She loses herself in the city's outdoor markets, art installations, and cherry blossom festival - and meets Akira, a cute aspiring med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. And what begins as a trip to escape her problems quickly becomes a way for Kimi to learn more about the mother she left behind, and to figure out where her own heart lies.

In I Love You So Mochi, author Sarah Kuhn has penned a delightfully sweet and irrepressibly funny novel that will make you squee at the cute, cringe at the awkward, and show that sometimes you have to lose yourself in something you love to find your Ultimate self.

Review:

It is so hard to write a thoughtful review when all I want to do is gush about how much I loved everything about this book. I'll give it a shot but I can't promise anything more than heart eye emojis. 

Ok, I absolutely loved this book! The relationships were so sweet, I couldn't help but gush over practically every page. We get to see all different kinds of relationships and they are all beautiful and unique, each with its own issues and charms. The writing is engaging. I was drawn in from the very beginning. The story plays out well with a steady pace that fits with the story line. The context of the story is beautiful. The author uses humor and drama in a way that compliments and shapes the story to give its readers maximum impact. When I reached the end I wanted it to continue. Kimi was a wonderful main character. She was charming, delightful and had this spark that made her easy to cheer for. While the ending was well done, it was hard to say goodbye to these characters that I have fallen in love with. 

So that's it I guess, there's my review. I loved every bit of I Love You So Mochi and it's one of my favorite books ever.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin

What Unbreakable Looks Like
by Kate McLaughlin


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Synopsis:

Lex was taken – trafficked - and now she’s Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a distant memory. But when the girls are rescued, she doesn’t quite know how to be Lex again.

After she moves in with her aunt and uncle, for the first time in a long time, she knows what it is to feel truly safe. Except, she doesn’t trust it. Doesn't trust her new home. Doesn’t trust her new friend. Doesn’t trust her new life. Instead she trusts what she shouldn’t because that's what feels right. She doesn’t deserve good things.

But when she is sexually assaulted by her so-called boyfriend and his friends, Lex is forced to reckon with what happened to her and that just because she is used to it, doesn’t mean it is okay. She’s thrust into the limelight and realizes she has the power to help others. But first she’ll have to confront the monsters of her past with the help of her family, friends, and a new love.

Kate McLaughlin’s What Unbreakable Looks Like is a gritty, ultimately hopeful novel about human trafficking through the lens of a girl who has escaped the life and learned to trust, not only others, but in herself.

Review:

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

This book wasn't perfect, but it was pretty dam close. What Unbreakable Looks Like is the story of Lex and her life after she is rescued from her life of prostitution. Picking up where Lex left off before her life in the sex trade is extremely difficult. With severe trust issues, fear of being sucked back into her old life and dealing with her new high school Lex is in for a fight if she hopes to take her life back.

What Unbreakable Looks Like is gritty, harsh, raw and completely captivating. Reading about Lex's recovery was heartbreaking while also hopeful. I felt this book was able to find a perfect balance in getting the imagery of life as a forced sex worker without being overly graphic. I think even if you do have a rough time getting through books that deal with mature, graphic topics such as this you should still be able to get through it. The writing was captivating; I found myself drawn into the story from the very first page. While the story was hard to read it was also difficult to put down. For me this is a definite must read.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

What Momma Left Me by Renee Watson

What Momma Left Me
by Renee Watson


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Synopsis:

How is it that unsavory raw ingredients come together to form a delicious cake? What is it about life that when you take all the hard stuff and rough stuff and add in a lot of love, you still just might have a wonderful life? For Serenity, these questions rise up early when her father kills her mother, and leaves her and her brother Danny to live with their kind but strict grandparents. Despite the difficulties of a new school, a new church, and a new neighborhood, Serenity gains strength from the family around her, the new friends she finds, and her own careful optimism. Debut author RenΓ©e Watson's talent shines in this powerful and ultimately uplifting novel.

Review:

Ok.. this book was amazing! Throughout its pages my heart was broken to pieces and slowing pieces back together.

Why do women and girls keep such horrible secrets?

Serenity and her brother Danny are sent to live with their grandparents after the tragic death of their mother. Moving into their grandparents house means starting over; new house, new friends, new school and new church. The only thing Serenity takes with her are the secrets she's been taught to keep. When the secrets become too much Serenity must decide if keeping them is better or if she should let them go and give herself a chance to heal.

What Momma Left Me is so much more than your average story. With characters you can't help but falling in love with and writing that draws you in from the beginning, Watson takes you on a journey of pain, love and healing that you won't soon forget. Serenity is such a sweet main character. You won't be able to help adoring her. The situations she faces and works through at such a tender age will make you cheer her on long after the story has ended.

You can't truly enjoy a happy ending if you skip through all the bad parts.

I feel like this book would be good for about 10 years and older. While there is mature content, it is not graphic or detailed. We are given enough detail to break out hearts without it being graphic.

Purchase Links:

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

May by Kelli Green REVIEW

May
by Kelli Green


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Synopsis:

Marianna spent a lot of time doing her own thing on her own time, but when she turned 16, her parents gave her a surprise that would change the course of her life forever. Refusing to let her parents choose her destiny, she launched herself into the real world. Young, opinionated, naive, and strong-willed, Mariana makes friends, enemies, and quick decisions that set the stage for her life. One thing is certain. When Marianna chose to step out of her parents’ home, she stepped into her role as a woman; ready or not.

This fictional story is the first full-length novel in the Green Ivy Series, a series of short stories and novels written by, Kelli Green. If you've read, Elizabeth: A Short Story by Kelli Green, then you already know a few of the characters. This story takes place around the same timeline of, Elizabeth; but not to worry, reading Elizabeth only gave you a small peek into the world.

Purchase Link:

CA - https://www.amazon.ca/May-Novel-1-Green-Ivy/dp/B085HM89LY/

US - https://www.amazon.com/May-Novel-1-Green-Ivy/dp/B085HM89LY/

Review:

May is the story of 16 year old Marianna. Marianna is expected to do as she's told and just be happy with the life she's been given. However, as a strong-willed girl who knows what she doesn't want she is not going to lay down and accept anything. Marianna is not afraid work, she's not afraid of her parents and she's not afraid of the future she is struggling to create. 

I absolutely adored this book! I simply couldn't get enough and was reading it every chance I got. It took me less than 48 hours to go from start to finish. During this book I laughed, I cried and I cheered. Green managed to break my heart and then slowly put it back together again. The characters were all extremely well done, even though they are not all likeable. 

While there are a couple minor editing issues, I still can't help but give this book 5 stars. The story was simply wonderful, and had Green of added another 100 pages just to continue with Marianna's story I would of happily read until the end. Kelli Green is a story teller and I can't wait to read her next work. 

Author Bio

Kelli Green is a writer and history lover, and music and movie fanatic living in Pensacola, Florida. She loves writing, learning, reading, and listening to people's stories.

Social Media Links:
greenscenespirit.com
https://twitter.com/keloggs8495plus
https://www.instagram.com/keloggs8495plus/
https://www.facebook.com/keloggs8495plus/

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A Good Demon Is Hard to Find by Kate Moseman REVIEW

A Good Demon Is Hard To Find
by Kate Moseman


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Synopsis:

Sometimes, a date from hell is just what you need...

When Erin thoughtlessly lays a curse on Mark, her cheating ex-husband, she doesn’t expect a well-dressed Great Earl of Hell to show up in her kitchen to fulfill the curse (and make damn good coffee while he’s at it).

Andromalius specializes in wickedness and revenge. He’s ready, willing, and able to rain down hell on Erin’s ex—but when Mark announces a hasty new marriage, Erin needs more than just revenge.

She needs a date to the wedding.

Fans of Good Omens, Lucifer, and The Good Place will love this wickedly funny paranormal romantic comedy!

Purchase Link: http://mybook.to/agooddemon

Review:

Witches and demons and love oh my!

This was exactly what I needed! Erin's husband Mark has left her to be with another woman, so what could Erin do besides possibly place a curse on that evil ex? So when Andromalius, a powerful Great Earl of Hell who just so happens to know how to make a great cup of coffee appears in her kitchen one morning to fulfill the curse, things get evil and fun very quickly!

Our main character Erin changes so much throughout out story. We watch her grow from a sad, angry ex-wife to a hot, rocking single woman. Her transformation is entertaining to watch and easy to enjoy. Andromalius is everything you could ever need in a demon sidekick. He is funny, charming and simply evil. The story line was great and well paced. The writing was also really good. It was simply a joy from start to finish. I would definitely read more by this author. 

This was a perfect pallet cleanser! I was hoping for a fun and enjoyable romance and that is exactly what I received. A Good Demon Is Hard To Find is a story that is as fun and cute as it's cover! It you want something to make you laugh and fall in love with just a touch of evil then you should definitely give this one a try.

Author Bio


Kate Moseman is a writer, photographer, and recipe developer who lives in Florida with her family and enjoys going to theme parks as frequently as possible.

Social Media Links:

https://www.katemoseman.com
https://www.facebook.com/katemosemanauthor/
https://twitter.com/KateMoseman
https://www.instagram.com/katemoseman/
https://www.pinterest.com/katemosemanauthor/




Friday, May 22, 2020

An Implacable Woman by K.T. Findlay REVIEW

An Implacable Woman
by K.T. Findlay


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Synopsis:

If a tooth costs a tooth and an eye costs an eye
When a man hits his wife, then it’s his turn to die


Furious that the courts and police can’t prevent respected surgeon John Kirby from beating his wife, Sally Mellors steps in to save her. Permanently…

But Grace Kirby isn’t the only one who needs saving and Sally quickly discovers she’s taken on a much bigger job than she’d thought.

With her unique ability to blend justice with fun, Sally sets joyfully about the business of removing the monsters from women’s lives, but is she in danger of becoming a monster herself?

As her friends in the police get ever closer, Sally has some serious questions of her own to answer.

Additional Maps of where An Implacable Woman is set: https://ktfindlay.com/an-implacable-woman-maps/

Purchase Links

US – https://www.amazon.com/K-T-Findlay/e/B07Z5CL9YS
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/K-T-Findlay/e/B07Z5CL9YS
India - https://www.amazon.in/K-T-Findlay/e/B07Z5CL9YS

Review:

Sally Mellors has had enough of men abusing their wives. The cops can't protect them, the women can't protect themselves so it's up to her to end the violence... by disposing of these horrible husbands. In An Implacable Woman Sally takes matters into her own hands and plays on the fine line of being a protector and being an equally evil monster. 

Sally Mellors is our anti-hero in this story. She does bad things, but she does them for what she believes is a good reason. It's so hard not to root for her, even if you don't support what she is doing. I thought this story was well told and very interesting to read. I loved how the conflicting thoughts and emotions of some of the characters were displayed, especially from the police who felt compelled to catch her but not really wanting to because they hadn't been able to protect the women Sally was defending. The writing was good and descriptive. I would read more by this author.

Overall, I thought this was a pretty good read. It kept me interested enough where I was able to get through it within a couple days.

Author Bio


K.T. Findlay lives on a small farm where he dovetails his writing with fighting the blackberry and convincing the quadbike that killing its rider isn’t a vital part of its job description.

Social Media Links:

Webpage : www.ktfindlay.com
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0UIrcFBnHtHXQzbr37Ay-Q
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/KTFindlayauthor
Twitter : https://twitter.com/ktfindlay



The Ticklemore Christmas Toy Shop by Liz Davies REVIEW

  The Ticklemore Christmas Toy Shop by Liz Davies πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ‘ Synopsis: You're never too old to fall in love... There is a disturbance in...