Review | Rewritten by Tara Gilboy

After learning the truth about her own fairy tale, twelve-year-old Gracie wants nothing more than to move past the terrible things author Gertrude Winters wrote about her and begin a new chapter in the real world. If only things were going as planned. On the run from the evil Queen Cassandra, the characters from Gracie’s story have all been forced to start over, but some of them cannot forget Gracie’s checkered past.

Even worse, Gracie discovers that as long as Cassandra has her magical book, the Vademecum, Gracie’s story is still being written and none of the characters are safe, including her mom and dad. In a desperate attempt to set things right, Gracie finds herself transported into another one of Gertrude’s stories—but this one is a horror story. Can Gracie face her destiny and the wild beast roaming the night, to rewrite her own story?

After thoroughly enjoying the first book, Unwritten, I definitely wanted to pick this one up when it was available. This one pulls you right back into Gracie’s story not too long after the ending of the first book, and you quickly realize the different difficulties that the group is facing and the repercussions of the events of the first book. This book really becomes a discovery and acceptance of self for Gracie as they once again come up against Cassandra.

I really enjoyed Gracie’s journey in this installment, and while I didn’t really like some other character’s behavior, Gracie did come to internally work through the pain caused by a number of things and definitely grew up a bit in the process.

Happy reading!

Review | Crown Noble

Crown noble, the breathtaking debut by Bianca Phipps, navigates the crossroads of familial ties and forgiveness. Phipps ruminates on the ways we are shaped as humans. Is it nature or nurture? Is it fate or a happen chance? What teaches us to love our generational inheritance, no matter how harmful? Phipps takes us to the most intimate parts of family matters in hopes of underantdatning conflict as a means of overcoming. 

This poetry collection was an interesting mix for me. A lot of it is very stream of conscious style poetry, which I often enjoy. Some of those included in this collection didn’t flow for me, which can make this style quite hard to read. The content of the poems were written beautifully and had great metaphors and imagery, but the enjoyment was dampened when they became a little clunky in flow. That being said, if you enjoy poetry that really examines difficult familial relationships and how our upbringing can shape us, this has a lot of good content surrounding that.

Happy reading!

Review | Spells on Wheels

Kate Leth and Megan Levens team up for a magical new series! Spell on Wheels!

Three young witches head out on an east coast road trip to retrieve their stolen belongings and track down the mysterious thief before he can do any damage to–or with–their possessions.

As soon as I saw the premise for this graphic novel I wanted to pick it up. I loved Claire, Jolene and Andy as they went on an adventure to get back their belongings and figure who stole so many of their belongings. What follows is a series of escapades that are like mini episodes of shows like BtVS and Charmed. I loved their antics and personalities and overall it was a really enjoyable read.

The art style was full of rich color palettes and I loved the different settings that were created. Also each of the girls had a very clear and unique style, but they fit together and worked wonderfully together. You could tell that their friendship was solid and that they would help each other in turn.

Happy reading!

Sale Alert! | Harlequin Series ebook Sale

Today I’m excited to share a sale with you from Harlequin! From today, June 24th through June 30th they are offering 250 ebooks for the sale price of just $1.99!

The savings on these titles ranges from 40-70% off! It includes titles that were published between October 2010 and April 2020, so it’s a huge selection of books. You can buy books in this sale at Harlequin.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Google Play Books and Kobo.

Make sure to take this opportunity to check out some great books at an even greater price!

Writing Update | 6/23

Here we are almost to the end of June and my writing this year is not going the way I expected and I’ve found myself in a writing slump.

I think all of us are feeling certain effects from the events going on in the world, and have been. I’ve been dealing with my own issues and trying to maintain, but my writing and reading have definitely suffered as a result.

Still, while I haven’t written much in the last two months, I am going to do the Camp NaNoWriMo round in July, but I’m not going to set any huge goal. I’m going to simply aim to write, not do a large amount. As long as I make progress I’m going to be happy. I’ll probably do a good amount of editing and mat not even concentrate on new writing. I’m just going to gauge what feels right when the time comes.

How is everyone else’s writing going? Have you also had creativity blocks?

Review | The Tea Dragon Tapestry by Katie O’Neill

Join Greta and Minette once more for the heartwarming conclusion of the award-winning Tea Dragon series!

Over a year since being entrusted with Ginseng’s care, Greta still can’t chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. As she struggles to create something spectacular enough to impress a master blacksmith in search of an apprentice, she questions the true meaning of crafting, and the true meaning of caring for someone in grief. Meanwhile, Minette receives a surprise package from the monastery where she was once training to be a prophetess. Thrown into confusion about her path in life, the shy and reserved Minette finds that the more she opens her heart to others, the more clearly she can see what was always inside.

Told with the same care and charm as the previous installments of the Tea Dragon series, The Tea Dragon Tapestry welcomes old friends and new into a heartfelt story of purpose, love, and growth.

I won’t lie, I will probably read anything Katie O’Neill writes, her stories are filled with so much heart and her art style is beautiful. I really enjoyed how this installment brought all of the tea dragon stories together, but I did want more when I reached the end. I wish there was going to be more in the series/world simply because I feel like there was so much potential for more to be added to the story. Still, it was wonderful to see all of the characters again and see where they are in life and where life is taking them. While I did want more, I still loved the story overall and fell even more in love with tea dragons.

Happy reading!

Review | It’s Your Funeral

Marnie Winters was going to turn her life around; get out of the house, make friends, no more “Miserable Old Marnie!” Everything was going to plan, but then, of course, she died. Now, Marnie’s a ghost trapped on Earth, and the only one who can help her is the overenthusiastic, alien social worker, Xel, whose job is to help ghosts “close their file” and pass on. Are you ready for a sweetly nostalgic trip through Marnie’s life, correcting mistakes and righting what once went wrong? Well sorry, this isn’t that story! Xel has a much better idea to soothe Marnie’s troubled spirit: an internship in the hopeless bureaucracy of the trans-dimensional Department of Spectral Affairs!

This new do-gooder duo has their work cut out for them in a series of hilarious mishaps and misadventures throughout the space-time continuum (but mostly in and around the office) as Marnie finds pathways through her feelings of worthlessness by helping others.

A paranormal fantasy about healing, learning to love yourself, and being OK with being not OK, It’s Your Funeral is the cosmic office comedy you’ve been dying to read!

I loved the concept of this one, featuring Marnie, who quite suddenly finds herself a ghost suddenly meeting her case worker, Xel – at the Department of Spectral Affairs. They’re struggling to find her place in the afterlife so they end up working together in the DSA.

To me, Marnie was a very unlikeable character. While I understood she was upset, angry and miserable, she was often downright mean to those who were trying to help her. There were definitely lessons learned and I loved the overall messages about healing, but I would have enjoyed it more if she was dialed back just a little bit.

I did love all of the different characters and how Marnie got to know their unique personalities. I also really loved the different settings and the art style. Each characters had different styles/colors of text bubbles, so that was great when you might not be sure who is talking. Overall the story was fun and did have a number of messages conveyed.

Happy reading!

Kindle Deals | 6/20

It’s time for some Kindle deals again! I’m all for adding to my ebook TBR and there are currently some great books available. As always, make sure to check prices in your area as they may vary depending on date and location!

The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen ($2.99) – One way or another, we always feed the crows.

A future chieftain

Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

A fugitive prince

When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.

A too-cunning bodyguard

Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own?

Haunted (Harrison Investigation 1) by Heather Graham ($1.99) – Matt Stone doesn’t believe in ghosts. But there are those who are convinced his home, a historic Virginia estate that dates back to the Revolutionary War, is haunted. Pressured to get at the truth about some strange happenings at Melody House, he agrees to let Harrison Investigations explore the house.

But he isn’t ready for beautiful, intriguing Darcy Tremayne. As a paranormal investigator, Darcy has learned to believe in the unbelievable. And she’s given Matt fair warning: sometimes people don’t like the skeletons she finds. She never dreamed that warning would apply to herself. For she’s about to discover that Melody House holds much more than a simple mystery from the distant past. What it holds is a very real and lethal danger, one that will cast her into a struggle against the worlds of both the living and the dead.

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson ($3.99) – Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne’s Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox’s Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald’s The Drowner, and Donna Tartt’s A Secret History.

But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookstore in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. The killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.

To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects . . . and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape.

Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey ($2.99) – “That girl’s got more wrong notions than a barn owl’s got mean looks.”

Esther is a stowaway. She’s hidden herself away in the Librarian’s book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her—a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.

The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.

Happy reading!

Tactical Crime Division | Author Q&A with Nichole Severn

Perfect for fans of Criminal Minds and Blacklist…

Uncover the lives and loves of the FBI elite as they take on the toughest assignments. This is a new four-book miniseries featuring an ensemble cast of characters spread across 4 books, featuring 4 urgent cases, with one stellar team of crime solving experts. 

The Tactical Crime Division—TCD—is a specialized unit of the FBI. Because of the growing concerns and need for ever increasing response time to criminal events, the FBI created a specialized tech and tactical team combing specialists from several active divisions that include: weapons, crime scene investigation, protection, negotiation and IT. 

Midnight Abduction by Nichole Severn – For the Tactical Crime Division, no case is left cold. 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.

Purchase links | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Harlequin.com

  1. The Tactical Crime Division is a specialized unit of the FBI. Did you do any research before writing about this type of fast-paced, high-adrenaline lifestyle? 

A: I’ve written a few FBI characters throughout my career (one of my favorite kinds of novels to write!), but for Midnight Abduction, I really had to look into missing persons statistics and break that data down into manageable chunks.

As an agent trained in missing persons, my heroine has to know the probabilities of a parent being involved in the abduction (or someone the child knew), the child’s daily habits, schedule, and so much more than age, weight, height and a recent photo. It’s unbelievable how the smallest detail could contribute to her bringing home a missing child, and how quickly evidence can change the course of an entire investigation.

I also found the more attention I put into reviewing actual missing persons from the FBI’s website, the more conflict and mystery I was able to add to this book.

  1. The Tactical Crime Division series includes four books written by four different authors; what was it like to collaborate with other authors and how did you decide who got to write each storyline?

A: Thankfully deciding who wrote which book was completely up to our editors, but collaborating with three other authors really was a huge change of pace for me. Up to this point, I’ve been in control of every minute detail throughout my books and have never had to rely on another author for the story I’m writing. 

But the TCD series features multiple points of view in each book, including main characters from the other three. I’d say the most difficult part of working together was just trying to get each other’s characters right. We didn’t want to overstep, make these side characters do something out of character or get the details of their past wrong, but every author involved in the series was great about answering questions and updating our shared series bible. 

  1. Can you share a recent book you have read that you would like to recommend?

A: I’ve just finished Loreth Anne White’s IN THE DARK and could not put it down! The use of setting to add to the psychological mystery she’s created was so well done, I’m still thinking about it weeks later. 

Nichole Severn writes romantic suspense with strong heroines, heroes who dare challenge them, and a hell of a lot of guns. When she’s not writing, she’s injuring herself running and practicing yoga.

Review | Fangs

A new gothic romance story from the creator of the enormously popular Sarah’s Scribbles comics.

Vamp is three hundred years old but in all that time, she has never met her match. This all changes one night in a bar when she meets a charming werewolf. FANGS chronicles the humor, sweetness, and awkwardness of meeting someone perfectly suited to you but also vastly different.

As soon as I heard Sarah Anderson was coming out with something new I wanted to get my hands on it. Fangs is her typical short comic format, but this time we’re following a vampire and werewolf as they begin and grow their relationship. Many of the comics had the perfect combination of humor and heartfelt sentiments as they navigate their life together. There were as many moments that made me laugh as there were moments that made me say “awwwwww” This is a great addition to her collection of works and I look forward to seeing more from her in the future.

Happy reading!