Oddball (Sarah’s Scribbles #4) by Sarah Andersen

The fourth book in the enormously popular graphic novel series, the latest collection of Sarah’s Scribbles comics explores the evils of procrastination, the trials of the creative process, the cuteness of kittens, and the beauty of not caring about your appearance as much as you did when you were younger. When it comes to humorous illustrations of the awkwardness and hilarity of millennial life, Sarah’s Scribbles is without peer.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As someone who has followed Sarah’s work for a long time, I was excited to see she has another collection coming out. In it we have a collection of Sarah’s webcomics covering a range of topics from being an introvert, living in the time we live in, being artistic and more. I especially love her comics that highlight awkwardness and of course cats. This collection also highlights a few that are references to how hard the last couple years have been. Sarah does not disappoint with this collection and it is a great addition to the series.

Happy reading!

Blitz | Monster Hunter for Hire: Super Beast by L. West

Monster Hunter for Hire: Super Beast
L. West
Publication date: September 18th 2021
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

After a run-in with the Sebring Beach police department where a vampire’s servant ended up dead, Helena Graves is offered two choices – help the local PD chase down wanted monsters or spend the next ten years in prison.

Since she has a teenage daughter to raise, it was an easy decision for her to make.

Between running a somewhat controversial business, tense teacher conferences, and killer supernaturals on the loose, there’s never a dull moment in Sebring Beach or Helena’s life.

And for the first time in decades, her love life is about to get very interesting.

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Grab the first story of this series,
Monster Hunter for Hire: Filthy Creatures,
for FREE!

EXCERPT:

“Someone in your pack is rabid?” Henry asks, his face and Amos’s both equally horrified.

“Yes,” I answer for Calvin when he turns away to wipe his damp face with the collar of his tee.

“Is the pack going to put him down?” Amos questions Calvin, who shakes his head. “Why the hell not?” he grumbles.

“We voted on it, and almost everyone said no, to leave it up to someone else. Right or wrong, whoever ends his life will be shunned in the pack by the rest of the wolves. They may as well put the gun to their head when it’s over!”

Henry is already shaking his head when he gets to his feet. “No, Lena!” I take a step back as he comes closer. Frowning after I retreated from him, he stops advancing. “You have to let someone else go after the wolf!”

“I didn’t take the job,” I assure him. “His parents came to me tonight. They want me to track him down so they can see if the vaccine is working.”

“Nothing will save him now, not even a vaccine,” Amos says gravely. “Sorry, Calvin, but a quick death is the best the wolves can hope for now. That’s the only option before he infects other shifters and starts killing humans.”

“You’re sure?” I ask him.

“Yes!” Henry and Amos both adamantly agree.

“Well, who is going to be able to handle taking on something like this?” I ask the shifters. “The police sure as hell can’t.”

“I honestly don’t know,” Henry replies, hands on his hips in thought, drawing my attention to the scratches again. “Maybe I can talk to my dad about getting a bounty hunter from out of town to come in and track him. It’ll need to be a sniper, though, someone who doesn’t have to get close to kill him.”

I wince as I glance over at the still-pale Calvin, who walks out of the locker room without another word.

“You guys could be a little more sympathetic around him,” I tell the alphas as I start to back away. “What if it was someone in your pride, Henry, or your sleuth, Amos?”

“Sorry, Helena,” Amos mutters.

“Yeah, I’m sorry too, Lena,” Henry agrees. “But this isn’t your problem. The shifters will handle it. A rabid wolf would tear you into pieces, sweetheart.”

Author Bio:

L. West is the pseudonym of husband and wife writing duo, Lane Hart and D.B. West.

They’re excited to invite you into their supernatural world in the new Monster Hunter for Hire series!

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Blitz | Beneath the Destiny Stone by Sarah Charles

Beneath the Destiny Stone
Sarah Charles
Publication date: September 6th 2021
Genres: Adult, Time-Travel

A medieval Scottish blacksmith and a millennial from Detroit walk into a bar…

By the age of six, Fiona could sink a bank shot.

By eight she could mix a perfect Manhattan.

By twenty-two, she had a business degree and a concrete plan to save her grandfather’s failing bar.

Then she was pushed through a time-portal.

Now Fiona is stuck in fourteenth-century Scotland with no way home. There’s a good chance time-soldiers are after her. And Henry, the guy she’s shacked up with, is a grumpy son-of-a-bitch who doesn’t get her at all.

He is hot, though.

And brave.

And most definitely the love of her life.

If the two of them can stop bickering long enough, Fiona just might be able to have it all—the tavern of her dreams and the first man who can actually keep up with her. That is, if they can survive the battles, murder, and mayhem of the Middle Ages and the time-soldiers who have a hand in it all.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

**10% of book sale profits and 100% book merchandise profits go to The Three Penny Project, Sarah’s charity working to plant food-bearing, perennial plants throughout Toledo!

EXCERPT:

My granda once met the devil himself.

At least, that was the story he was telling his friends. They sat at their usual corner table of the Caledonia Club—Old John, William, Robert, and Granda. Above them, an olive-green lamp illuminated a haze of cigar smoke and dust motes. A Scottish flag hung behind their heads, and on a pedestal in the corner sat a bust of Robert Burns, there to remind them what becomes of the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men.

His voice carried across the club to my spot behind the bar, and I smiled to myself. Of all Granda’s stories, I loved this one most.

“There I was, storming the shores of Normandy, gunfire blazing on all sides.” He paused for dramatic effect. “But it wasna the bullets I feared. Nay. It was the man standing before me with fire in his eyes.” He stared each of his friends in the eye. “Auld Clootie.”

Jones, the Caledonia Club’s shift manager and sometimes cook, laughed beside me as he counted out cash for the till. “What the fuck is a clootie?”

I gave the bar a final wipe and tossed the rag into sanitizing solution. “It’s a Scottish thing. They don’t like to say devil, so they’ve got a bunch of nicknames for him.”

Jones smirked. “You sure they’re not talking about their Depends? I bet John’s wearing an old clootie right now.”

I laughed despite myself. “Don’t start. It’s already bad enough I have to deal with that lot.”

As if to punctuate my point, William knocked over his drink, and the rest of the table hooted and hollered.

Jones jotted down the register balance in an old-fashioned paper ledger and bumped the drawer closed with his hip. He raised an eyebrow. “You sure you want to do this now?”

I glanced at the old men and sighed. “Better now than after they’ve cashed that bottle of Glen Livet.”

He put a hand to my shoulder. “I have complete and utter faith in you. You’ve got this!” He yanked his phone from his pocket. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to check out some job sites for completely unrelated reasons…”

I flicked him in the forehead and snickered. “Dick.” He handed me the ledger, and I headed from the bar to join the old men.

“…so, I shot off his horns and shamed him back to hell,” Granda finished with a grin. The old men laughed and nodded in approval.

“It takes bigger stones than Auld Clootie’s to take on a Highlander,” said Old John.

“Aye. Aye. True enough.” William nodded.

I pulled a chair from a neighboring table and squeezed in next to Granda. He flashed me a wide grin. “Ah, Fiona, love. I was just tellin’ the lads about the time—”

I gave him a quick peck on the forehead. “I heard you, Granda.”

He patted my cheek. “Such a bonnie lass.” He beamed at his friends. “Isna my granddaughter the bonniest lass ye’ve ever seen?”

Robert raised his glass in salute. “Stunning.”

William winked. “Like a young Audrey Hepburn.”

I rolled my eyes. Sure, I looked exactly like Audrey Hepburn, except for my face full of freckles and head full of curls. I supposed we were both brunettes, though, so there was that.

“Oi, Poof.” Old John waved an empty whisky bottle at Jones. “We need another.”

I grimaced at John’s words snatched the bottle from his hand. “What did I tell you?”

His brows crinkled. “What? I just said—”

I glared down the bridge of my nose at him. “Do I have to call your wife and make her come get your old homophobic ass?”

Jones sauntered to the table with a fresh bottle. “It’s all right. We all know why he likes to suck on them cigars all day.” He winked at Old John and set the bottle in front of him.

Everybody burst out laughing, except for Old John who flushed purple. I slid the ledger in front of Granda.

He held it at arm’s length and squinted at the numbers. “What am I lookin’ at?”

I gnawed on my cheek. “We didn’t break even this month.”

He gave a half-hearted shrug. “Aye, well…business’ll pick up.”

I took a deep breath. “No, it won’t. We have three customers, and they’re all at this table.”

William lit a cigar. “Aye, but Robert drinks as much as five men.”

“Used to say the same o’ your mum,” Robert shot back, and the old men cackled.

I looked Granda in the eye. “We need to bring in a younger crowd.”

“How should we do that? Turn the place into a disco?” Granda gestured around the empty bar. “Bring in a few go-go dancers?” The old men laughed.

I narrowed my eyes. “Be serious.”

Author Bio:

Sarah Charles is the author of Beneath the Destiny Stone, a book she wrote to keep from going insane while recovering from a spinal injury. (It mostly worked). A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, Sarah graduated suma cum laude with degrees in Psychology and German. Since then, she’s worked in the mental health field, owned a custom cake business, and given birth to three future super villains. She currently spends her days writing and working to bring food forests to Toledo through her charity The Three Penny Project. In her rare moments of free-time, Sarah dabbles in all things craftsy. She particularly enjoys wood-burning, rehabilitating old furniture, gardening, baking, and playing with clay.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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Review | Oh My Gods! by Stephanie Cooke, Insha Fitzpatrick and Juliana Moon

Karen is just an average thirteen-year-old from New Jersey who loves to play video games with her friends and watch movies with her mom. But when she moves to Greece to live with her eccentric, mysterious father, Zed, suddenly everything she thought about herself—about life—is up in the air.

Starting a new school can be difficult, but starting school at Mt. Olympus Junior High, where students are gods and goddesses, just might take the cake. Especially when fellow classmates start getting turned to stone. Greek mythology . . . a little less myth, a little more eek! And if Karen’s classmates are immortal beings, who does that make her?

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This graphic novel was a cute take on the Greek gods and what would happen if Zeus had a daughter that knew nothing about the gods and suddenly has to move in with him in Mt. Olympus. It was a fun modern story of Karen suddenly being among the gods and goddesses in a high school setting with a mystery that they band together to solve. I really liked Karen’s developing relationship with her father and how she bonded with some of the gods she met. It was an adorable story all in all.

Happy reading!

Cover Reveal | First Bride to Fall by Ginny Baird

First Bride to Fall
Ginny Baird
Published by: Entangled: Amara
Publication date: June 28th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The bestselling author of The Duplicate Bride is back with a fresh, fun-filled new take on the wedding genre! When the three Delaney sisters make a wager to see who can get engaged first—with the last one standing being forced to marry their family’s business rival to complete a merger—little does Nell Delaney expect to end up in a battle of fake-engagement wits with her old high school crush, Grant.

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order


Author Bio:

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Ginny Baird writes sweet contemporary romance with a dash of humor and a whole lot of heart. She is the author of the Blue Hill Brides Series: The Duplicate Bride (2020) and The Matchmaker Bride (2021) from Entangled Publishing and current and upcoming works from Hallmark Publishing: An Unforgettable Christmas (2019) and On Christmas Avenue (2021), as well as several independent titles including her newest novella: A Christmastime Homecoming (2020). Visit Ginny’s website to learn more about her and her books: http://www.ginnybairdromance.com.

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Can’t Wait Wednesday | 9/15

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.

Ever since reading Eric Smith’s book Don’t Read the Comments I have been eagerly awaiting this book. Look forward to a review in the future!

No one ever said love would be easy…but did they mention it would be freezing?

Adam Stillwater is in over his head. At least, that’s what his best friend would say. And his mom. And the guy who runs the hardware store down the street. But this pinball arcade is the only piece of his dad that Adam has left, and he’s determined to protect it from Philadelphia’s newest tech mogul, who wants to turn it into another one of his cold, lifeless gaming cafés.

Whitney Mitchell doesn’t know how she got here. Her parents split up. She lost all her friends. Her boyfriend dumped her. And now she’s spending her senior year running social media for her dad’s chain of super successful gaming cafés—which mostly consists of trading insults with that decrepit old pinball arcade across town.

But when a huge snowstorm hits, Adam and Whitney suddenly find themselves trapped inside the arcade. Cut off from their families, their worlds, and their responsibilities, the tension between them seems to melt away, leaving something else in its place. But what happens when the storm stops?

Happy reading!

Review | Beneath the Moon: Fairytales, Myths, and Divine Stories from Around the World by Yoshi Yoshitani

Powerful and universal retellings of seventy-eight divine stories, legends, and myths from around the world, each accompanied by a gorgeous illustration from acclaimed artist Yoshi Yoshitani.

Many of the lessons we learn are shared stories passed among cultures and generations. In this riveting collection of fables and folktales from cultures across the globe, characters from beloved fairytales, cultural fables, ancient mythologies, and inspirational deities are brought to life, including Sleeping Beauty (Italy), Rapunzel (Germany), Jack and the Beanstalk (England), Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexico), Sun God Ra (Egypt), the Crane Wife (Japan), and dozens more.

Lesser-known stories introduce characters such as the volcano goddess Pele from Hawaii; Mwindo, the wise and powerful king of the Nyanga people; and the strong and resilient Yennenga, mother of the Mossi people in Burkina Faso. The recurring themes of conquering evil, overcoming adversity, and finding love and companionship are woven throughout this collection.

Yoshi Yoshitani’s art style is fresh and unique, featuring diverse and multicultural characters. Each story will be featured opposite a correlating illustration, both lush and vibrant.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book is a collection of fairy tales, legends and divine stories from cultures all over the world. Each one is condensed to one page, so it’s a good taste of a wide range of stories. Each story also has an accompanying illustration, which is absolutely stunning. I really enjoyed the mix of cultures and regions that the stories come from, some that I had already heard of and many that I had never heard. Though some could argue that the stories needed more detail or fleshing out, I think this was a great way to share as many stories as possible, give a good foundation and make these stories accessible to a wider audience.

Happy reading!

Review | It All Comes Back to You by Farah Naz Rishi

After Kiran Noorani’s mom died, Kiran vowed to keep her dad and sister, Amira, close. Then out of the blue, Amira announces that she’s dating someone and might move cross-country with him. Kiran is thrown.

Deen Malik is thrilled that his older brother, Faisal, has found a great girlfriend, even if it’s getting serious quickly. Maybe now their parents’ focus will shift off Deen, who feels intense pressure to be the perfect son.

When Deen and Kiran come fact to face, they silently agree to keep their past a secret. Four years ago–before Amira and Faisal met–Kiran and Deen dated. But Deen ghosted Kiran with no explanation. Kiran will stop at nothing to find out what happened, and Deen will do anything, even if it means sabotaging his brother’s relationship, to keep her from reaching the truth. Though the chemistry between Kiran and Deen is undeniable, can either of them take down their walls?

Rating: 5 out of 5.

From the premise of this book I thought I would definitely enjoy it, but I didn’t know just how much I would enjoy it. I would definitely label this one as coming of age in a way, as Deen and Kiran grapple with each other in present day while also dealing with their own issues. The flashbacks to their past relationship definitely flesh out the background of their story and lays a foundation for their characters in general. I especially loved the way the ‘I hate you in person but we’re best friends online without knowing’ trope was used. It’s always fun when it’s done the right way and in this story I felt it really was done the right way. Definite trigger warnings in here for drug use, death of a parent and grief. Also, the writing style was so easy to read and made the book just fly by as we follow Deen and Kiran through their hijinks and journey.

It All Comes Back to You comes out tomorrow, September 14th – so make sure to pick up a copy. Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book for review!

Happy reading!

Review | Rebel Girls Champions

Rebel Girls Champions: 25 Tales of Unstoppable Athletes celebrates the stories of 25 phenomenal women in sports all written in fairy tale form. It is part of the award-winning Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series.

This paperback collection showcases some of the most beloved stories from the first three volumes of the New York Times best-selling series Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. It also features brand new tales of game-changing athletes and their drive, resilience, and sportsmanship. In Rebel Girls Champions, young readers can win the World Cup with Megan Rapinoe, flip and tumble with Simone Biles, and land breathtaking snowboard tricks with Chloe Kim. 

Coming out directly after the Tokyo Olympics, Rebel Girls Champions will include the most thrilling anecdotes from the 2021 Games.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book followed the same format as the other Rebel Girls books, highlighting different girls who excel in their field, in this case athletes. While most of those featured in this volume are contemporary athletes, it was nice to see a few from the past who acted as pioneers either for their sport or for women in their sport. The variety of sports was really broad, as well as the nationality of the athletes. This is a great addition to the series and I think perfect for any aspiring athletes to take inspiration from.

Happy reading!

Review | Horribly Mutilated: The True Story of Atlanta’s Jack the Ripper by Troy Taylor

With this “Extras” offshoot of his acclaimed “Dead Men Do Tell Tales Series,” author Troy Taylor expands on his more than three decades of research into American crime with a true, unsolved mystery from Atlanta in the early 1910s. During the decade that followed the first murder, more than 25 women became victims of a serial killer that would earn the name of the “Atlanta Ripper.” It became one of the most prolific murder sprees in American history and yet few people have heard about it. These savage crimes not only remain unsolved, but they are largely unknown more than a century later.

Why? That answer is both simple and tragic – because all the women were black.

At first, when young black and mixed-race women began showing up brutally slain, it wasn’t cause for much concern in the local newspapers. Circulated largely among white readers, and staffed exclusively by white reporters and editors, the three city newspapers were far more concerned about other things. Neither the press nor the police paid much attention, at least not as first.

But after one mutilated body after the next began to be found along streets and railroad tracks in the poor sections of Atlanta, they began to take notice. The press called the killer “Jack the Ripper,” ignoring the fact that the body count was four times higher than the original “Jack” who had wreaked havoc in the squalid alleys of Whitechapel in London in 1888.

As the body count continued to rise, terror rippled through the local black community. For years, young women were afraid to leave their homes after dark, and some feared to even walk the streets during the daytime. Black community leaders began to unite in their insistence that the Atlanta Police Department commit as many resources as possible to tracking down the killer – or killers – and bring an end to the murders.

But they were helpless to stop the slaughter. As months turned to years, the murders continued, although with less frequency as time passed. By the time it was over, two dozen women were dead, and their killer had vanished into history, leaving a mystery behind.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

If you’re a fan of true crime shows, podcasts or stories (especially historical) I would recommend picking this one up. Taylor’s writing style is easy to read and follow, while delivering carefully researched accounts of what happened in Atlanta in the early 1900s. This book is not just about the brutal murders that were committed in Atlanta at the time (at least a number of them by the “Ripper”) but also about the ripple effects of the systemic and constant racism at the time, which really played a part in how these murders were handled by the press, those in authority positions and the differing reactions from the white and black communities respectively.

Happy reading!