Review | The Avalon Chronicles Vol 1: Once in a Blue Moon

When Aeslin Finn was a little girl, her parents read to her from a magical book called The Avalon Chronicles. But that was a long time ago. Now a teenager, Aeslin is about to discover just how magical she and that book really are. Transported to the world of Avalon, she discovers a kingdom in need of a Dragon Knight – and the last dragon, Blue Moon, is waiting for her!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

While I felt this was a good start to a new series, it didn’t quite live up to what I was expecting. I really liked the premise and the twist regarding the books, but while the beginning and ending went really fast for me, the middle dragged a bit. I didn’t really feel like I could connect with many of the characters and their motivations. Still, for someone looking for a hero’s journey type fantasy quest in a graphic novel, they would probably really enjoy it. For me it was just ok and I probably won’t be continuing with the series.

Happy reading!

Review | Buffy the Vampire Slayer Vol 1: High School is Hell

Go back to the beginning as the critically acclaimed pop culture phenomenon Buffy The Vampire Slayer is reimagined under the guidance of series creator Joss Whedon!

This is the Buffy Summers you know, who wants what every average teenager wants: friends at her new school, decent grades, and to escape her imposed destiny as the next in a long line of vampire slayers tasked with defeating the forces of evil…only this time around, her world looks a lot more like the one outside your window.

Eisner Award winner Jordie Bellaire (Redlands) and Russ Manning Award winner Dan Mora (Go Go Power RangersHexed), along with series creator Joss Whedon (Marvel’s The Avengers), bring Buffy into a new era with new challenges, new friends, and a few enemies you might already recognize. But the more things change, the more they stay the same as the Gang faces brand-new Big Bads, and the threat lurking beneath the perfectly manicured exterior of Sunnydale High confirms what every teenager has always known: high school truly is hell.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Whoa. Going into this I knew that it was a modernization and that it was remixing the BtVS universe a bit, but there are a LOT of changes. You could honestly go into this with no knowledge of the existing Buffy universe and enjoy it, but there are tons of references and Easter eggs if you are a fan of the canon universe. I did really love the modernization but definitely spun for a loop with some of the events that happen in this volume. I’m both excited and scared to see what happens next!

Happy reading!

Haul | Powell’s Book Haul

Hey everyone! I’m currently on a little overnight trip with my partner because we had to travel for a medical appointment and since we were in Portland, Oregon anyways, we decided to pop into the Powell’s location at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton. I didn’t have time or the energy to go to the main Powell’s location (and honestly, I wanted to go to a store that I knew would likely be less crowded than the main store) and I’ve been to the one in Beaverton before and found it to be plenty big on it’s own.

Now that we’re back to our AirBnB and I’m exhausted I was wondering what I should share with you when Rich said “show them what you got at Powell’s!” – so I’m going to do just that.

To be fair, I had saved up a good chunk of money for this possible trip, so while there’s a lot I still stayed within my budget. Here’s what I got!

My travel Caticorn says hi! He goes on every trip with me to help with my anxiety and give me something to hug should I need it.

I also got a few fun goodies from the impulse aisle, because of course I did!

So there you have it, that’s what I got! I won’t be going to a huge book store again anytime in the near future, so since I budgeted and stayed within said budget, I’m ok with that. I definitely have plenty of reading material to hold me over!

Happy reading!

Review | Midnight Abduction by Nichole Severn

When Benning Reeves’s twins are kidnapped, the frantic father knows who can help: the Tactical Crime Division and Ana Ramirez. Even though Ana once shattered Benning’s heart, the special agent is the only one he can trust. But Ana is still tormented by the unresolved case that brought them together years before — a case somehow entangled with Benning’s children. It’s up to the TCD and Ana to discover why…before it’s too late.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was sucked into this one immediately because the action started from the get go. This was definitely a second chance romance, but the suspense was at the forefront. I felt like it never really slowed down or stopped since there were so many twists and turns, tons of danger and a lot of revelations. It was also a great plot point to see Ana harboring a lot of guilt over what had happened in the past, and then working through it and learning to forgive herself. Definitely pick this one up if you’re looking for tons of action with some romance/tension/chemistry mixed in. It was a great ride and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Happy reading!

Can’t Wait Wednesday | 6/9

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings based on the meme Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking the Spine. In this weekly post people share a book that they’re excited about being released.

I was browsing Goodreads and came across this book – I immediately wanted to read it!

Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones nursed her broken heart like any young witch would: vodka, weepy music, bubble baths…and a curse on the horrible boyfriend. Sure, Vivi knows she shouldn’t use her magic this way, but with only an “orchard hayride” scented candle on hand, she isn’t worried it will cause him anything more than a bad hair day or two.

That is until Rhys Penhallow, descendent of the town’s ancestors, breaker of hearts, and annoyingly just as gorgeous as he always was, returns to Graves Glen, Georgia. What should be a quick trip to recharge the town’s ley lines and make an appearance at the annual fall festival turns disastrously wrong. With one calamity after another striking Rhys, Vivi realizes her silly little Ex Hex may not have been so harmless after all.

Suddenly, Graves Glen is under attack from murderous wind-up toys, a pissed off ghost, and a talking cat with some interesting things to say. Vivi and Rhys have to ignore their off the charts chemistry to work together to save the town and find a way to break the break-up curse before it’s too late.

Happy reading!

Writing Update | 6/8

Hey everyone! I wasn’t expecting to be making any sort of writing update anytime soon, possibly not until July, but here I am. Shortly after my last update where I said I was going to take some time and just not push myself my muse returned and I’ve actually made some headway.

The story that I’ve jumped back into is one that I’ve been stuck on for a while – I had pretty much written myself into a corner because I was worried things were advancing too quickly and didn’t know how to slow it down without it seeming to move at a crawl or be too fall of minute things.

I knew a bunch of scenes I wanted to happen later but couldn’t figure out what to fill the space from A to B with. Well, that issue is at least partially corrected. I still have work to do, but at least it is somewhat flowing.

I know that I could just skip and come back to it, write the scenes I already have in my head – but I really try to not do that if I can. I like my first very rough pass to be pretty linear and don’t like to hop around too much. Of course that also means that when I get stuck on one story I have the habit of just jumping to another one.

So, progress report is that hey, there are new words and I’m enjoying the process again. I don’t know how long this will last, or if this will be what I work on for Camp Nano, but this is at least the current state of things.

How is everyone else’s writing going?

Happy writing!

Cover Reveal | So You Think You’re a Match by Michelle Hazen

So You Think You’re a Match?
Michelle Hazen
Publication date: August 24th 2021
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

A “wickedly funny” friends-to-lovers romantic comedy. Fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne will swoon their way through this romp from the friend zone to forbidden love.

Harlow’s an ambitious career woman who always plays by the rules. Bishop’s a happy-go-lucky bad boy who will bend any law to save his sick sister. Why, then, did their dating app declare them a match? The man is fifty shades of wrong. Sure, he makes her laugh, but there’s more to relationships than laughter, right?

She should definitely stop texting him. Yup. Any day now.

Soon, they’re making fun of all their app matches to each other. One bad date rescue later, they’re roommates with accidental benefits.

Harlow’s having too much fun to slow down, and things only get better when she’s tapped for her dream job…as long as everyone in her life passes a background check. No problem. Except Bishop is hiding a huge secret about how he pays for his sister’s cancer treatments.

And it’s about to change everything.

“Complex characters strive with serious issues, and yet the story glimmers with charm, romance, and laugh-out-loud humour.” -India Holton, author of The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels

“You’ll have a smile on your face for the whole read.” -Kristin Wright, Amazon-bestselling author of The Darkest Flower

“The chemistry is amazing and Michelle Hazen is so wickedly funny you won’t be able to put this book down!” -Devri Walls, author of the Venators series

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


Author Bio:

Award-winning author Michelle Hazen is a nomad with a writing problem.

Years ago, she and her husband ducked out of the 9 to 5 world and moved into their truck. She found her voice with the support of the online fanfiction community, and once she started typing, she never looked back.

As a result, she’s written most of her books in odd places, including a bus in Thailand, an off-the-grid cabin in the Sawtooth Mountains, a golf cart in a sandstorm, a rental car during a heat wave in the Mohave Desert and a beach in Honduras. Even when she’s climbing rocks, riding horses, or getting lost someplace wild and beautiful, there are stories spooling out inside her head, until she finally heeds their call and returns to her laptop and solar panels.

She’s currently addicted to The Walking Dead, hiking, and Tillamook cheese.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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Review | Where Hope Comes From by Nikita Gill

In Where Hope Comes From: poems for a broken world, Instagram superstar and poet Nikita Gill returns to her roots with her most personal collection yet. Sharing a number of poems that she wrote when the world went into lockdown, this collection will include the phenomenal Love in the Time of Coronavirus which was shared across social media over 20,000 times, as well as her poems of strength and hope How to Be Strong and Silver Linings. This collection will be fully illustrated by Nikita with beautiful line-drawings, and moves her into an exciting new space in the market as she tackles themes such as mental health and loneliness.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Nikita Gill is pretty much my favorite modern poet, so it was no surprise that I pre-ordered this as soon as I heard it was coming out. As someone who was also deemed high risk who has stayed home for the last 15 months to protect myself, this one hit especially close to home for me. This collection hit on so many things I thought, felt and went through in the last 15 months. It highlights not just depression, anxiety, loss of loved ones and more, but also the loneliness and isolation many people have felt. I loves the language she used and the range in poems, as well as the wonderful watercolor illustrations. This is a very hard hitting collection, so it talks of the subjects I mentioned are triggering for you I would proceed with caution, but it’s a wonderful read.

Happy reading!

Kindle Deals | 6/5

Hey everyone! I know Prime day is coming and there will likely be lots of deals, but I still wanted to share a few I found. Please double check the prices when you look at them as they may have changed or be different in your region.

A Curious Beginning ($2.99)London, 1887. After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron, who offers her sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker, a reclusive and bad-tempered natural historian. But before the baron can reveal what he knows of the plot against her, he is found murdered—leaving Veronica and Stoker on the run from an elusive assailant as wary partners in search of the villainous truth.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely ($3.99) – In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

The Serpent’s Secret ($4.99)MEET KIRANMALA:
INTERDIMENSIONAL DEMON SLAYER

(Only she doesn’t know it yet.)

On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey . . . until her parents mysteriously vanish and a drooling rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents’ fantastical stories-like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess and how she comes from a secret place not of this world.

To complicate matters, two crush-worthy princes ring her doorbell, insisting they’ve come to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and battle demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld and the Rakkhoshi Queen in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it . . .

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | Just Pretend by Tori Sharp | Review + Playlist

Fans of Real Friends and Be Prepared will love this energetic, affecting graphic memoir, in which a young girl uses her active imagination to navigate middle school as well as the fallout from her parents’ divorce. Tori has never lived in just one world.

Since her parents’ divorce, she’s lived in both her mom’s house and her dad’s new apartment. And in both places, no matter how hard she tries, her family still treats her like a little kid. Then there’s school, where friendships old and new are starting to feel more and more out of her hands.

Thankfully, she has books-and writing. And now the stories she makes up in her head just might save her when everything else around her—friendships, school, family—is falling apart.

Author Tori Sharp takes us with her on a journey through the many commonplace but complex issues of fractured families, as well as the beautiful fantasy narrative that helps her cope, gorgeously illustrated and full of magic, fairies, witches and lost and found friendships.

Book Links | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I was really enamored with this graphic memoir from the start because I was able to identify with the way Tori coped with what was happening in her life. While I didn’t have the same experiences as her when I was her age, writing and reading were my escapes when I dealt with my own issues, so it was something that really resonated with me. That 7-9th grade range is a difficult time for many kids, especially when you have so many different issues going on. I really enjoyed the mix of seeing Tori’s life and day to day mixed with her stories when she escaped into them. The story lines in some ways had parallels as Tori navigated her real life and attempted to survive and juggle everything going on. The art style was bright and vivid and perfectly suited both the real life and the fantasy.

Tori Sharp is a Seattle-based author-illustrator and swing and blues dancer with a BFA in sequential art from SCAD. You can find her online at http://www.noveltori.com and on Twitter @noveltori. Just Pretend is her debut graphic novel.

Author Links | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

I also had fun putting together a playlist on Spotify with some songs that I felt fit some of the feelings I had when reading this book. I’ve included it below!

Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour too! Happy reading!