Fireborn by Aisling Fowler

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Fireborn

Author: Aisling Fowler

Book Series: Fireborn Book 1

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For…: children’s books, middle grade, fantasy

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

Genre: MG Fantasy

Recommended Age: 12+ (violence, slight gore, some scary moments, monsters, grief, kidnapping TW)

Explanation of CWs:

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pages: 384

Synopsis: Lyra. Lucy. Percy. Once in a generation, a hero emerges whose story enthralls readers worldwide.

Ember is full of monsters. Twelve gave up her name and identity to train in the art of hunting them–so she says. The truth is much more deadly: she trains to take revenge on those who took her family from her. But when Twelve’s new home is attacked, she’ll find herself on an unexpected journey, where her hidden past is inescapably intertwined with her destiny–and the very fate of her world.

Review: I absolutely loved this book! It was so much fun and I had a lot of fun reading it. The characters were well developed. The world building was amazing. I loved the characters and I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

The only issue I had with the book is that the beginning is a little slow and the main character isn’t that likeable for a little bit, but I think this character will speak well to a lot of younger kids who suffer from trauma and anger.

Verdict: It was amazingly well done!

The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Lighthouse Witches

Author: C.J. Cooke

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3.5/5

Recommended For…: fantasy, paranormal, horror, thriller

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

Genre: Paranormal Horror

Recommended Age: 16+ (death, violence, gore, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, grief, trauma)

Explanation of CWs: There is a lot of mention of death, violence, and there is some gore. Sexual abuse scene. Abuse in both physical and emotional. There is also grief and some trauma shown.

Publisher: Berkley

Pages: 367

Synopsis: When single mother Liv is commissioned to paint a mural in a 100-year-old lighthouse on a remote Scottish island, it’s an opportunity to start over with her three daughters–Luna, Sapphire, and Clover. When two of her daughters go missing, she’s frantic. She learns that the cave beneath the lighthouse was once a prison for women accused of witchcraft. The locals warn her about wildlings, supernatural beings who mimic human children, created by witches for revenge. Liv is told wildlings are dangerous and must be killed.

Twenty-two years later, Luna has been searching for her missing sisters and mother. When she receives a call about her youngest sister, Clover, she’s initially ecstatic. Clover is the sister she remembers–except she’s still seven years old, the age she was when she vanished. Luna is worried Clover is a wildling. Luna has few memories of her time on the island, but she’ll have to return to find the truth of what happened to her family. But she doesn’t realize just how much the truth will change her.

Review: Overall, I liked the story to an extent. It was well plotted and it was an interesting story. I also enjoyed the world building.

However, the book is almost excruciatingly slow and it’s hard to stay into the book. Mid-way through the book I had to stop and read another book because it was still very slow, but I was determined to finish the read. It was a bittersweet ending, one that I saw coming a bit. The characters, while developed, are also hard to connect with. There was also some oddball moments in the book, like with the 2021 numbers where everyone was wondering if they were a mysterious number. It was just a very odd and slow book.

Verdict:

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan

Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Daughter of the Deep

Author: Rick Riordan

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Bundeli Indian MC, Autistic character, Portuguese character, Black Mormon character

Recommended For…: children’s books, middle grade, fantasy, retelling, science fiction, mythology

Publication Date: October 26, 2021

Genre: MG Retelling

Recommended Age: 8+ (slight violence and gore, some scary moments)

Explanation of CWs: There are moments in this book that might frighten some younger children.

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Pages: 352

Synopsis: Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a five-year high school that graduates the best marine scientists, naval warriors, navigators, and underwater explorers in the world. Ana’s parents died while on a scientific expedition two years ago, and the only family’s she’s got left is her older brother, Dev, also a student at HP. Ana’s freshman year culminates with the class’s weekend trial at sea, the details of which have been kept secret. She only hopes she has what it’ll take to succeed. All her worries are blown out of the water when, on the bus ride to the ship, Ana and her schoolmates witness a terrible tragedy that will change the trajectory of their lives.

But wait, there’s more. The professor accompanying them informs Ana that their rival school, Land Institute, and Harding-Pencroft have been fighting a cold war for a hundred and fifty years. Now that cold war has been turned up to a full broil, and the freshman are in danger of becoming fish food. In a race against deadly enemies, Ana will make amazing friends and astounding discoveries about her heritage as she puts her leadership skills to the test for the first time.

Review: I never thought I needed a retelling of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea but here we are and I loved it! I thought that the book was well done. There was a good mix of diversity in this book, including autism. The book also explores a variety of languages and cultures and commentates about evil, greed, and corruption of coroporations alongside the exploitation of technology. The book also does well to develop all of the characters and the world building is absolutely amazing. I also enjoyed the slights at JKR and the HP world and this book will definitely be featured as an Anti HP recommendation.

However, I do have to say that the book is predictable. The book was well written, but I could see the twists a mile away. While it didn’t deter my enjoyment, I did find it a little boring once all my theories were confirmed.

Verdict: Highly enjoyed this one!

I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas by Tiffany Schmidt

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas

Author: Tiffany Schmidt

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 4/5

Recommended For…: young adult, romance, holiday

Publication Date: October 26, 2021

Genre: YA Romance

Recommended Age: 13+ (grief, parent death, romance, fatphobia, dieting TW, vomiting TW)

Explanation of CWs: Grief and parent death are discussed and grief is shown in the book. Romance is enemies to lovers without sexual content. Fatphobic comments and dieting and vomiting are shown in the book and discussed).

Publisher: Amulet

Pages: 336

Synopsis: Noelle Partridge is known for three things: being the best ballet dancer, babysitter, and person with the most Christmas spirit in her small town. But lately she’s bored by the lessons at her dance school, and her friends and father are more bah humbug than Hallmark movie marathon. So when her favorite babysitting clients ask her to accompany them on a ski trip over winter break, she packs her bags for the slopes. It helps that they’re offering double her rate—she’ll need the money for Beacon, an elite ballet academy that’s granted her an audition. 

Noelle is ready to “Deck the Halls” and have fa la la la fun, until Wyatt, the older half-brother of her babysitting charges, decides to surprise his family for the holiday. He’s one of the best dancers at Beacon, and makes Noelle’s head spin faster than pirouettes. Unfortunately, she also manages to step on his toes—spoiling his surprise and complicating his secret plans. After a few missteps, Noelle and Wyatt begin to thaw toward each other and bond over the big decisions looming in each of their lives. With enough Christmas magic, Noelle might just start the New Year with lots of babysitting cash in her pocket and a chance with the pas de deux partner of her dreams.

Review: For the most part I enjoyed the book! It’s corny and punny with the usual holiday sayings. It’s done great with the character development and the world building. The book is also well written and it’s one of the cutest cozy holiday reads I’ve read recently. I also liked the message behind the book about confronting your problems head on instead of running from them.

However, Noelle as a protagonist is a bit pushy and it took me a long time to warm up to her.

Verdict: It was good!

Tristan Strong Keeps Punching by Kwame Mbalia

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Tristan Strong Keeps Punching

Author: Kwame Mbalia

Book Series: Tristan Strong Book 3

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Black MC and side characters, African myth and lore

Recommended For…: children’s books, middle grade, fantasy, mythology)

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

Genre: MG Fantasy

Recommended Age: 10+ (violence, gore, some scary moments, trauma, grief)

Explanation of CWs:

Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents

Pages: 400

Synopsis: After reuniting with Ayanna, who is now in his world, Tristan travels up the Mississippi in pursuit of his archenemy, King Cotton. Along the way they encounter new haints who are dead set on preventing their progress north to Tristan’s hometown of Chicago. It’s going to take many Alkean friends, including the gods themselves, the black flames of the afokena gloves, and all of Tristan’s inner strength to deliver justice once and for all.

Review: I highly enjoyed this book! The character development is great and the world building is sound. I loved the story and I love that the author does not shy away from talking about society or how life is for our main character. Now only is this an important voice for children to read about, I believe that the more talked about these issues that Tristan faces are, the more tools we give children to change the future for the better for all.

The only issue I had with the book is that the beginning of the book is slow and it takes a second for me to remember everything from the previous two books, but I highly recommend this book!

Verdict: Highly recommend!

Fan Club by Erin Mayer

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Fan Club

Author: Erin Mayer

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5

Diversity: Latinx side character

Recommended For…:  psychological, thriller

Publication Date: October 26, 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Recommended Age: 17+ (depression, stalkerish behavior, cult-like behavior)

Explanation of CWs: Depression is shown, but not named. The MC and side characters have stalkerish and cult-like behavior in their obsession with the celebrity and it’s a bit much.

Publisher: Mira

Pages: 336

Synopsis: In this raucous psychological thriller, a millennial office worker finds relief from her crippling ennui in the embrace of a cliquey fan club, until she discovers the group of women is bound together by something darker than devotion.

Day after day our narrator, a gloomy millennial, searches for meaning beyond her vacuous job at a women’s lifestyle website—entering text into a computer system while she watches their beauty editor unwrap box after box of perfectly packaged bits of happiness. Then, one night at a dive bar, she hears a message in the newest single by child-actor-turned-international-pop-star Adriana Argento, and she is struck. Soon she loses herself to the online fandom, a community whose members feverishly track Adriana’s every move.

When a colleague notices the extent of her obsession, she’s invited to join an enigmatic group of adult Adriana superfans who call themselves the Ivies and worship her music in witchy, candlelit listening parties. As the narrator becomes more entrenched in the group, she gets closer to uncovering the sinister secrets that bind them together—while simultaneously losing her grip on reality.

Review: Overall, this was an ok book. The book was interesting and it had some really well written parts about celebrity obsession and how harmful it can be to the obsessed and the obsesse. I also thought the book had well done world building and the plot is really interesting.

However, the book is weirdly written and we never find out who the actual main narrator is because the book focuses on the obsession with celebrities. The book is also slow in pace and I just couldn’t connect with the narrator or the storyline at all. The ending was also flat. I don’t think I connected well with this book because I’ve never been obsessed with celebrities and generally don’t care about them.

Verdict: It was ok, but not for me.

October Book Box Guesses

Will be updated as more themes are announced!

Beacon Book Box

The Keeper of Night (The Keeper of Night, #1)

Death is her destiny.

Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, Ren Scarborough has been collecting souls in the London streets for centuries. Expected to obey the harsh hierarchy of the Reapers who despise her, Ren conceals her emotions and avoids her tormentors as best she can.

When her failure to control her Shinigami abilities drives Ren out of London, she flees to Japan to seek the acceptance she’s never gotten from her fellow Reapers. Accompanied by her younger brother, the only being on earth to care for her, Ren enters the Japanese underworld to serve the Goddess of Death… only to learn that here, too, she must prove herself worthy. Determined to earn respect, Ren accepts an impossible task—find and eliminate three dangerous Yokai demons—and learns how far she’ll go to claim her place at Death’s side.

Beacon Book Box Special Box

This Christmas Eve… no creature was stirring…

Except, maybe, a mouse.

At long last, can true love break the Nutcracker’s curse?

For Clara Stahlbaum, this Christmas means the end of her youth. A daughter of the aristocracy, Clara is expected to give up her dreams of adventures and the extraordinary for more normal days as the wife of a cruel Viscount.

But when magical Uncle Drosselmeyer returns with his wondrous, dancing contraptions, and one…special gift for Clara, she is beckoned to the land of Winter Dream, where she is thrust into the greatest adventure of her wildest dreams. But will she be able to break the Nutcracker’s curse?

Uncle Drosselmeyer’s apprentice, Anton, is handsome as he is mysterious. But what is it about him Clara finds so alluring?

Winter Dream is a phenomenal retelling of The Nutcracker from the eyes of Clara Stahlbaum with all the magic of the Holiday season. If you loved S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong, you’ll fall in love with this stunning tale of love, war, redemption, and Christmas magic.

Belle Book Box

See September post for details

Book Box Club

Skin of the Sea

A way to survive.
A way to serve.
A way to save.

Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wata–a mermaid–collecting the souls of those who die at sea and blessing their journeys back home.

But when a living boy is thrown overboard, Simi does the unthinkable–she saves his life, going against an ancient decree. And punishment awaits those who dare to defy it.

To protect the other Mami Wata, Simi must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends. But something is amiss. There’s the boy she rescued, who knows more than he should. And something is shadowing Simi, something that would rather see her fail. . . .

Danger lurks at every turn, and as Simi draws closer, she must brave vengeful gods, treacherous lands, and legendary creatures. Because if she doesn’t, then she risks not only the fate of all Mami Wata, but also the world as she knows it.

Book Hooked Box

See September post for details

The Bookish Box Adult Box

Once More Upon a Time

Once upon a time, there was a king and queen in a land called Love’s Keep who once loved one another, but alas, no more. Without love, they were doomed to be ousted from their kingdom at the end of a year and a day.

A year and a day passed.

This is where their story starts.

Imelda and Ambrose can’t remember why they got married. A year and a day ago, Ambrose consulted a witch, trading their love to save Imelda’s life – and they’ve been stuck with one another ever since. When that same witch pays them a visit on the day they lose their kingdom, she promises to make their deepest wishes come true in exchange for a simple favor and a short journey. With nothing left to lose, Imelda and Ambrose agree. But, over the course of their enchanted road trip peppered with a delirious cloak, cannibals, and at least one honey badger, something magical happens…little by little, step by step, they regain what they had forgotten.

They remember why they fell in love.

When the end of their journey nears and they confront parting ways forever, a new decision faces them. Will Imelda and Ambrose choose their deepest wishes, or will they choose each other – again?

No Words (Little Bridge Island, #3)

Jo Wright always swore she’d never step foot on Little Bridge Island—not as long as her nemesis, bestselling author Will Price, is living there.

Then Jo’s given an offer she can’t refuse: an all-expense-paid trip to speak and sign at the island’s first-ever book festival.

Even though arrogant Will is the last person Jo wants to see, she could really use the festival’s more-than-generous speaking fee. She’s suffering from a crippling case of writer’s block on the next instalment of her bestselling children’s series, and her father needs financial help as well.

Then Jo hears that Will is off-island on the set of the film of his next book. Hallelujah!

But when she arrives on Little Bridge, Jo is in for a shock: Will is not only at the book festival, but seems genuinely sorry for his past actions—and more than willing not only to make amends but prove to Jo that he’s a changed man.

Things seem to be looking up—until disaster strikes, causing Jo to wonder: Do any of us ever really know anyone?

The Bookish Box Young Adult Box

Vespertine

The dead of Loraille do not rest.

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.

The Bookish Box Exclusives

Rhapsodic (The Bargainer, #1)
A Strange Hymn (The Bargainer, #2)
Dark Harmony (The Bargainer, #3)

Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear.

Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want… at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects.

But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more.

For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken.

If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)
Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)
Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners, #3)
The King of Crows (The Diviners, #4)

SOMETHING DARK AND EVIL HAS AWAKENED… Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult. Evie worries her uncle will discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer. As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho is hiding a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened… 

Caffeine and Legends

Light from Uncommon Stars
Credit to Jennifer from the comments who helped figure out this book! Thank you so much!

Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six.

When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka’s ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She’s found her final candidate.

But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn’t have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan’s kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul’s worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline.

As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found.

Dark and Shimmer

On sale October 13, 2021. Boxes Ship Out December 2021. Will put theme for November 2021.

Enchanted Fandoms Book Box

bimonthly box, check November’s box

Enchanted Fandoms Drinking Vessel

We are excited to announce October’s Drinking Vessel box will be 
Nightmare Before Christmas inspired.

This vessel will be a Glow in the Dark Tumbler cup!

Fable Crate

Lakesedge (World at the Lake's Edge, #1)

There are monsters in the world.

When Violeta Graceling arrives at haunted Lakesedge estate, she expects to find a monster. She knows the terrifying rumors about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster are what they seem.

There are monsters in the woods.

As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake. A creature to whom Leta is inexplicably drawn…

There’s a monster in the shadows, and now it knows my name.

Now, to save Rowan—and herself—Leta must confront the darkness in her past, including unraveling the mystery of her connection to the Lord Under.

Faecrate

book of the month:

Kiersten White meets Tomi Adeyemi in this Ethiopian-inspired debut fantasy retelling of Jane Eyre.

Andromeda is a debtera—an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, Andromeda quickly realizes this is a job like no other, with horrifying manifestations at every turn, and that Magnus is hiding far more than she has been trained for. Death is the most likely outcome if she stays, but leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option. Evil may roam the castle’s halls, but so does a burning desire.

ebook:

Of Light and Darkness (Of Light and Darkness #1)

Raised among a secret society of Witches, Shifters, and Elves, human-born Charlotte Ruzikova finds that she is the freak in her world of magic and monsters. When she stands before an army of impossible obstacles, the likelihood of survival in this coming-of-age modern fairy tale is slim. After Charlotte captures the attention of the young Elven prince, her scorn results in an all-out war between light and darkness.

Charlotte knows no other home than the one nestled deep in the woods of the Czech Republic, where Witches draw spells of enchantment, Shifters throw tea parties, and Elves are the closest in kin. But as genocide and war threatens life as she knows it, Charlotte will fight for what she believes in…truth, bravery, and most importantly…love. Fighting with a coven of rogue monsters is tougher than it seems, but she will stop at nothing to save them…and she’ll do it before the sun comes up and light takes over forever.

Filled with Slavic folklore, Of Light and Darkness is the first part of an epic series not to be missed!.

Fairyloot

Evangeline Fox was raised in her beloved father’s curiosity shop, where she grew up on legends about immortals, like the tragic Prince of Hearts. She knows his powers are mythic, his kiss is worth dying for, and that bargains with him rarely end well.

But when Evangeline learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, she becomes desperate enough to offer the Prince of Hearts whatever he wants in exchange for his help to stop the wedding. The prince only asks for three kisses. But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’s pledged. And he has plans for Evangeline that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…

Feminist Book Club Box

We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence

Dive into a true crime narrative of an unsolved 1969 murder at Harvard, of obsession and love for a girl who dreamt of rising among men.
You have to remember, he reminded me, that Harvard is older than the U.S. government. You have to remember because Harvard doesn’t let you forget.

1969: the height of counterculture and the year universities would seek to curb the unruly spectacle of student protest; the winter that Harvard University would begin the tumultuous process of merging with Radcliffe, its all-female sister school; and the year that Jane Britton, an ambitious twenty-three-year-old graduate student in Harvard’s Anthropology Department and daughter of Radcliffe Vice President J. Boyd Britton, would be found bludgeoned to death in her Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment.   Forty years later, Becky Cooper a curious undergrad, will hear the first whispers of the story. In the first telling the body was nameless. The story was this: a Harvard student had had an affair with her professor, and the professor had murdered her in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology because she’d threatened to talk about the affair. Though the rumor proves false, the story that unfolds, one that Cooper will follow for ten years, is even more complex: a tale of gender inequality in academia, a ‘cowboy culture’ among empowered male elites, the silencing effect of institutions, and our compulsion to rewrite the stories of female victims.

We Keep the Dead Close is a memoir of mirrors, misogyny, and murder. It is at once a rumination on the violence and oppression that rules our revered institutions, a ghost story reflecting one young woman’s past onto another’s present, and a love story for a girl who was lost to history.

Fox and Wit Adult Lit & Tunes

Note: There are 2 books in this month’s box:
A Spindle Splintered (Fractured Fables #1)

It’s Zinnia Gray’s twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it’s the last birthday she’ll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one.

Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia’s last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.

Flowers for the Sea

We are a people who do not forget.

Survivors from a flooded kingdom struggle alone on an ark. Resources are scant, and ravenous beasts circle. Their fangs are sharp.

Among the refugees is Iraxi: ostracized, despised, and a commoner who refused a prince, she’s pregnant with a child that might be more than human. Her fate may be darker and more powerful than she can imagine.

Zin E. Rocklyn’s extraordinary debut is a lush, gothic fantasy about the prices we pay and the vengeance we seek.

Fox and Wit Special Mini Edition

 This special MINI edition will include⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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↠ EXCLUSIVE HARDBACK edition with a brand new cover design for the series!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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↠ bonus material plus a map not included on the original edition.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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↠ sprayed edges.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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↠ an enamel pin AND woodwork inspired by greek mythology/the book.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Pre-orders will take place in tiers:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Oct 9th: active box subscribers⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Oct 10th: email subscribers⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Oct 11th: general public⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Emails are scheduled for 8 am CST.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Pre-orders close October 23rd.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, #1)

KINGDOMS WILL RISE AND FALL FOR HER…
BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT

Catalia “Cat” Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods-and her homicidal mother-have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.

Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm-until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin’s fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.

Fox and Wit YA Mini Parcel Box

That Dark Infinity

By night, the Ankou is a legendary, permanently young mercenary. By day, a witch’s curse leaves him no more than bones. Caught in an unending cycle of death and resurrection, the Ankou wants only to find the death that has been prophesied for him, especially once he begins to rot while he’s still alive….

After the kingdom of Kaer-Ise is sacked, Flora, loyal handmaiden to the princess, is assaulted and left for dead. As the sole survivor of the massacre, Flora wants desperately to find the princess she served. When the Ankou agrees to help her find the princess, and to train her in exchange for her help in breaking his curse, she accepts. But how can she kill an immortal? Especially one whom she is slowly growing to understand—and maybe even to love?

Together, they will solve mysteries, battle monsters, break curses, and race not only against time, but against fate itself.

Illumicrate

Iron Widow (Iron Widow, #1)

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

The Librarian Box

Little Thieves
Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother’s love–and she’s on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja, the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, was Princess Gisele’s dutiful servant up until a year ago. That was when Vanja’s otherworldly mothers demanded a terrible price for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back… by stealing Gisele’s life for herself.

The real Gisele is left a penniless nobody while Vanja uses an enchanted string of pearls to take her place. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to an untimely end: turning into jewels, stone by stone, for her greed.

Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and make her getaway. And with a feral guardian half-god, Gisele’s sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja’s tail, she’ll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life.
Kingdom of the Cursed (Kingdom of the Wicked, #2)

After selling her soul to become Queen of the Wicked, Emilia travels to the Seven Circles with the enigmatic Prince of Wrath, where she’s introduced to a seductive world of vice.

She vows to do whatever it takes to avenge her beloved sister, Vittoria…even if that means accepting the hand of the Prince of Pride, the king of demons.

The first rule in the court of the Wicked? Trust no one. With back-stabbing princes, luxurious palaces, mysterious party invitations, and conflicting clues about who really killed her twin, Emilia finds herself more alone than ever before. Can she even trust Wrath, her one-time ally in the mortal world…or is he keeping dangerous secrets about his true nature?

Emilia will be tested in every way as she seeks a series of magical objects that will unlock the clues of her past and the answers she craves…

Nerdy Book Box

Hades (Contemporary Mythos, #1)

Stephanie Costas has always had a passion for humanity. As a digital forensics examiner, she fights bad guys from the technical front. When a closed cold case is dug up, she finds herself becoming consumed to set things right. No amount of eighties music or repeated viewings of her favorite movie Dirty Dancing were enough to distract her. She needed a vacation in the worst of ways.

When she set foot in the gorgeous tropical resort in Greece, she had no idea she’d meet a man claiming to be Hades, god of the Underworld. And she certainly had no idea that he was telling the truth. Her Greek vacation was about to become very…interactive.

Special Edition Boxes ✨

We have had so many people reach out to us and ask for previous month’s boxes. We didn’t know how to cater to these individuals, until we worked with our authors and came up with the idea to offer special edition boxes! These boxes will feature the other books in the series, and IF you missed the very first box…you’ll be able to get BOOK ONE of the series, too! We are offering two options:

BOX 1: Receive Book 1 and 2, plus all goodies for $59.99.
BOX 2: Receive Book 2, plus all goodies for $49.99.

The boxes are currently on pre-order and will likely ship in November/December, right before the holidays. We will make these boxes available for all authors that we have had in our Nerdy Book Box before (at their discretion).

We are beyond excited to work with our authors again and bring you the continuation of their stories in a totally EXCLUSIVE way! Snag your box soon. They are ON SALE NOW!

Preorders will close OCTOBER 31, 2021!

Blurb:

The stakes are higher, new questions will surface, and more blood will spill in the thrilling sequel of the Guardians of the Maiden fantasy series.

Reeling from Cassiel’s confession, Dyna struggles to understand what the Blood Bond means for them both, all the while trying to stay one step ahead of a newfound enemy. When reuniting with a familiar sorceress, she realizes the only way to defeat Tarn is to find her Guardians—all of them.

Cassiel never meant to tie himself to a human, especially one that inexplicably draws him. But then the bond develops a startling change, and it puts into question everything he thought he knew.

Zev straddles the line between human and wolf, unsure if his dark thoughts truly belong to the Madness. It’s growing stronger, determined to take over—and he may just let it.

The journey to get the answers they each need will test them all. But what Dyna doesn’t know is that it comes with a price, and it may cost more than she bargained for.

No Shelf Control Book Box

The Traitor Spy (Court of Elves, #1)

The elven Court of Stone has many spies, and Kenna is one of its most prized ones. Being a half-elf, she is skilled, dangerous, and beautiful. She’s also a traitor. Desperately yearning for freedom, she blackmails people for ransom behind the back of the elven prince who holds her leash. But one day, she takes it too far. When she accidentally goes after someone from a neighboring court, she is cornered by its prince. The feared Prince of Shadows gives her an ultimatum: spy for him on her own court or her master will learn of her illegal activities.

At the same time, a legendary weapon resurfaces that Kenna has to find for the Prince of Stone. But when things don’t go according to plan, he discovers that there is a traitor in their midst and calls in his most trusted spy to root out the hidden enemy. Kenna now has to maneuver between two lethal elven princes, a ruthless spy turned traitor hunter, and a mission to seduce an unwitting member of a third court before a magical dagger is used to kill the King of Elves. All while still trying to blackmail her way to freedom.

Death awaits her on all sides should she fail. Will she survive this dangerous game? Or will her head–and her heart–lead her straight to ruination?

NovelTea Chest

Obsidian Moon Crate

See September post for details.

Once Upon A Book Club Box Adult Box

In Another Light

The death of a look-alike stranger leads a grieving woman down a troubling path in this riveting novel by A. J. Banner, bestselling author of The Poison Garden.

Three years ago mortuary cosmetologist Phoebe Glassman lost her husband in a tragic accident. No longer the hopeful wife and mother she once was, Phoebe is disappearing into her grief and into the quietude of her job—restoring to the dead the illusion of life. Then the body of a woman named Pauline Steele arrives in the mortuary, and for Phoebe, everything changes.

Pauline is unmistakably Phoebe’s mirror image and bears an alarmingly familiar tattoo. Even more startling is that among Pauline’s effects is a faded photograph of Phoebe. Aided by an eccentric colleague, her curiosity sparked, Phoebe investigates her doppelgänger’s life and death—and uncovers surprising clues to a shared past.

Phoebe’s emotional journey soon leads to shocking revelations about those closest to her…and even herself. When she’s driven to the brink, how much of what she discovers can she trust?

Once Upon A Book Club Box Young Adult Box

Bluebird

In 1946, Eva leaves behind the rubble of Berlin for the streets of New York City, stepping from the fiery aftermath of one war into another, far colder one, where power is more important than principles, and lies are more plentiful than the truth. Eva holds the key to a deadly secret: Project Bluebird — a horrific experiment of the concentration camps, capable of tipping the balance of world power. Both the Americans and the Soviets want Bluebird, and it is something that neither should ever be allowed to possess.

But Eva hasn’t come to America for secrets or power. She hasn’t even come for a new life. She has come to America for one thing: justice. And the Nazi that has escaped its net.

Once Upon A Book Club Box One-Time Halloween Box

Midnight Spells Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery Book 2)

Spirit Canyon’s annual Spirit Spooktacular weekend is on, and for local amateur sleuth Zo Jones, it’s boomtime for business at her Happy Camper gift shop . . . until a murderer drops in for a browse.

To celebrate Halloween at the Happy Camper, Zo schedules a talk by successful author and self-proclaimed witch Marianne Morgan. Although Marianne’s benign brand of witchcraft is more about feminine empowerment than black magic, her presence is still not welcomed by everyone. Then on a midnight stroll home, Zo spots what seems to be a new Halloween decoration propped up outside the Happy Camper. What she finds is not a mannequin but a dead Marianne, her lifeless body dressed in traditional witch’s garb. But why would someone send this good witch back to the spirit world permanently?

Soon Zo realizes that plenty of folks have motives for murdering Marianne. What’s worse, nosy TV newsman Justin Castle plans to broadcast a report associating Marianne’s murder with the Happy Camper. Zo calls on her partner in sleuthing, local forest ranger Max Harrington, to help her find the culprit before Justin’s report airs. Otherwise Zo’s business just might go bust. But to catch this killer, Zo will have to risk much more than just her reputation . . .

The Haunting of Leigh Harker

Sometimes the dead reach back…

Leigh Harker’s quiet suburban home was her sanctuary for more than a decade, until things abruptly changed. Curtains open by themselves. Radios turn off and on. And a dark figure looms in the shadows of her bedroom door at night, watching her, waiting for her to finally let down her guard enough to fall asleep.

Pushed to her limits but unwilling to abandon her home, Leigh struggles to find answers. But each step forces her towards something more terrifying than she ever imagined.

A poisonous shadow seeps from the locked door beneath the stairs. The handle rattles through the night and fingernails scratch at the wood. Her home harbours dangerous secrets, and now that Leigh is trapped within its walls, she fears she may never escape.

Do you think you’re safe?

Once Upon A Book Box Special Box (Pre-Order)

The Love Hypothesis

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

Pride Book Crate

The Great Godden

Everyone talks about falling in love like it’s the most miraculous, life-changing thing in the world. Something happens, they say, and you know …

That’s what happened when I met Kit Godden.

I looked into his eyes and I knew.

Only everyone else knew too. Everyone else felt exactly the same way.

This is the story of one family, one dreamy summer – the summer when everything changes. In a holiday house by the sea, our watchful narrator sees everything, including many things they shouldn’t, as their brother and sisters, parents and older cousins fill hot days with wine and games and planning a wedding. Enter two brothers – irresistible, charming, languidly sexy Kit and surly, silent Hugo. Suddenly there’s a serpent in this paradise – and the consequences will be devastating.

Rainbow Crate Book Box

Summer Sons

book of the month: Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom with bleeding wrists that mutters of revenge.

As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble, letting in the phantom that hungers for him.

ebook:

Shepherd of Souls: A Book of Illygad

It’s been fifteen years since he helped save his best friend from an ancient Goddess, and High Sorcerer Etienne wants nothing to do with the Gods—old or new—any longer. But when the lost spirit of a young noblewoman needs his help, Etienne finds himself pulled back into a world of dark magic, pirates, and Old Gods.

Ryou is loyal to his Queen, the ruler of pirates and thieves, but when he is sent to assist Etienne with unraveling the mysteries of missing ships and walking dead, he finds his loyalties tested. Is the sly mage just a distraction or something more?

Satisfiction Box

bi-monthly, see September’s post.

Spearcraft Book Box

The Keeper of Night (The Keeper of Night, #1)

Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, Ren Scarborough has been collecting souls in the London streets for centuries. Expected to obey the harsh hierarchy of the Reapers who despise her, Ren conceals her emotions and avoids her tormentors as best she can.

When her failure to control her Shinigami abilities drives Ren out of London, she flees to Japan to seek the acceptance she’s never gotten from her fellow Reapers. Accompanied by her younger brother, the only being on earth to care for her, Ren enters the Japanese underworld to serve the Goddess of Death… only to learn that here, too, she must prove herself worthy. Determined to earn respect, Ren accepts an impossible task—find and eliminate three dangerous Yokai demons—and learns how far she’ll go to claim her place at Death’s side.

The Big Book Box

Once Upon a Broken Heart (Once Upon a Broken Heart, #1)

Evangeline Fox was raised in her beloved father’s curiosity shop, where she grew up on legends about immortals, like the tragic Prince of Hearts. She knows his powers are mythic, his kiss is worth dying for, and that bargains with him rarely end well.

But when Evangeline learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, she becomes desperate enough to offer the Prince of Hearts whatever he wants in exchange for his help to stop the wedding. The prince only asks for three kisses. But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’s pledged. And he has plans for Evangeline that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…

Iron Widow (Iron Widow, #1)

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

Midnight in Everwood

There’s nothing Marietta Stelle loves more than ballet, but after Christmas, her dreams will be over as she is obligated to take her place in Edwardian society. While she is chafing against such suffocating traditions, a mysterious man purchases the neighbouring townhouse. Dr Drosselmeier is a charming but calculating figure who wins over the rest of the Stelle family with his enchanting toys and wondrous mechanisms.

When Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate set for Marietta’s final ballet performance, she discovers it carries a magic all of its own. On the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, she is transported to a snowy forest, where she encounters danger at every turn: ice giants, shadow goblins and the shrieking mist all lurk amidst the firs and frozen waterfalls and ice cliffs. After being rescued by the butterscotch-eyed captain of the king’s guard, she is escorted to the frozen sugar palace. At once, Marietta is enchanted by this glittering world of glamorous gowns, gingerbread houses, miniature reindeer and the most delicious confectionary.

But all is not as it seems and Marietta is soon trapped in the sumptuous palace by the sadistic King Gelum, who claims her as his own. She is confined to a gilded prison with his other pets; Dellara, whose words are as sharp as her teeth, and Pirlipata, a princess from another land. Marietta must forge an alliance with the two women to carve a way free from this sugar-coated but treacherous world and back home to follow her dreams. Yet in a hedonistic world brimming with rebellion and a forbidden romance that risks everything, such a path will never be easy.

Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire, #1)

It has been twenty-seven long years since the last sunrise. For nearly three decades, vampires have waged war against humanity; building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own. Now, only a few tiny sparks of light endure in a sea of darkness.

Gabriel de León is a silversaint: a member of a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending realm and church from the creatures of the night. But even the Silver Order could not stem the tide once daylight failed us, and now, only Gabriel remains.

Imprisoned by the very monsters he vowed to destroy, the last silversaint is forced to tell his story. A story of legendary battles and forbidden love, of faith lost and friendships won, of the Wars of the Blood and the Forever King and the quest for humanity’s last remaining hope:

The Holy Grail.

Little Thieves
Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother’s love–and she’s on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja, the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, was Princess Gisele’s dutiful servant up until a year ago. That was when Vanja’s otherworldly mothers demanded a terrible price for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back… by stealing Gisele’s life for herself.

The real Gisele is left a penniless nobody while Vanja uses an enchanted string of pearls to take her place. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to an untimely end: turning into jewels, stone by stone, for her greed.

Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and make her getaway. And with a feral guardian half-god, Gisele’s sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja’s tail, she’ll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life.

Unplugged Book Box Adult Box

When it comes to contacting the dead, it’s easy to go a step too far

Every year, as the anniversary of 9/11 inches closer on the calendar, Kit Capriol scans the memorials published in the New York Times. It’s a simple thing to look up a name and phone number, to reach out to surviving family members who might still be yearning for connection with their lost loved one… to offer assistance. After her husband went down in the north tower, Kit scraped by as an actress, barely supporting herself and her daughter. But now Zoey is in the hospital, bills are due, and the acting work has dried up. Becoming a medium is almost too easy for someone used to pretending for a living—and desperate clients aren’t hard to come by.

Now, though, something has changed. The seances Kit holds in her apartment are starting to feel unsettlingly real, and the intriguing man she met at a local bar could be more complicated than he seems. As the voices of the dead grow louder in her head and the walls of her apartment close in, Kit realizes that despite her daughter’s absence, she hasn’t been quite as alone as she thought… 

Unplugged Book Box Young Adult Box

Every November, the people in Wolf Ridge are overwhelmed with a hunger for violence–at least that’s the town rumor. Last fall Wyatt Green’s mother was brutally murdered, convincing Wyatt that this yearning isn’t morbid urban legend. but rather a palpable force infecting her neighbors.

This year, Wyatt fears the call of violence has spread to her best friend Cash–who also happens to be the guy she can’t stop wanting no matter how much he hurts her. At the same time, she’s drawn to Cash’s nemesis Porter, now that they’re partners on an ambitious project for lit class. When Wyatt pulls away from Cash, and spends more time with Porter, she learns secrets about both of them she can’t forget.

And as the truth about her mother’s death begins to emerge from the shadows, Wyatt is faced with a series of hard realities about the people she trusts the most, rethinking everything she believes about what makes people decide to hurt each other.

Unplugged Book Box Special Boxes

A Wedding in December

In the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie’s whirlwind Christmas wedding. First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret of their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.

Rosie’s older sister, Katie, is also dreading the wedding. Worried that impulsive, sweet-hearted Rosie is making a mistake, Katie is determined to save her sister from herself! If only the irritatingly good-looking best man, Jordan, would stop interfering with her plans…

Bride-to-be Rosie loves her fiancé but is having serious second thoughts. Except everyone has arrived—how can she tell them she’s not sure? As the big day gets closer, and emotions run even higher, this is one White family Christmas none of them will ever forget!

The Christmas Dress

When hopeful fashionista Meg Julliard must return to her hometown of Chicago to manage her late father’s apartment building, she thinks her dreams of making it in the fashion business are over. Add in her father’s eclectic roster of tenants who all need Meg’s attention (ASAP!), a host of building related disasters, and a handsome handyman she keeps embarrassing herself in front of, and this has all the makings for the worst Christmas she’s ever had.

Ellie Wade, one of the building’s longtime residents, is also not feeling the Christmas Joy this year. She is preparing to move into a nursing home (reluctantly), and is in the process of sorting through her belongings to downsize. Every corner of her apartment holds memories, some good, some bad. But there’s one dress she hesitates to pack up as it represents both the best and worst night of her life.

Ellie and Meg strike up an unlikely friendship and the story of Ellie’s dress comes out. Ellie gifts the gorgeous dress to Meg, hoping that it will bring her more luck, on the condition that she wear it to the building’s Christmas party.

The dress magically fits, and while it eventually leads to the best night of Meg’s life, it also acts as inspiration for Meg to follow a life-long dream of her own, a dream that will help save the crumbling Parkview West, and restore it to its former glory, and keep it as a safe home for all of the current tenants.

The dress and the magic of the holiday season helps both Meg and Ellie find their own happy endings.

The Outlaws Scalett and Browne by Jonathan Stroud

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne

Author: Jonathan Stroud

Book Series: The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne Book 1

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For…: dystopian, young adult readers, apocalyptic

Publication Date: April 1, 2021

Genre: YA Dystopian

Recommended Age: 15+ (animal death, death, violence, gore, medical experiments/torture)

Explanation of CWs: There is an animal death shown in the book. There is violence and gore. There is also some medical experiments/torture shown.

Publisher: Walker Books

Pages: 400

Synopsis: Set in a fragmented future England, The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne introduces us to a world where gunfights and monsters collide, and where the formidable outlaw Scarlett McCain fights daily against the odds. When she discovers a wrecked coach on a lonely road, there is only one survivor – the seemingly hapless youth, Albert Browne. Against her instincts, Scarlett agrees to escort him to safety. This is a mistake. Soon, new and implacable enemies are on her heels. As a relentless pursuit continues across the broken landscape of England, Scarlett must fight to uncover the secrets of Albert’s past – and come to terms with the implications of her own.

Review: Overall, this was a great book! I loved the dystopian world in this book. It’s probably one of my faves now! I loved the character development and the world building was also well done. The book had an interesting premise and it hooked me immediately. I also loved how well written the book was overall.

The only issue I had with the book is that sometimes it was a bit slow in the pacing, but overall it was very well done.

Verdict: I loved it!

Ekleipsis: The Abyss Book Tour

ekleipsis copy

Welcome to the book tour for Ékleipsis: The Abyss by Tamel Wino. I cannot think of a better book to read for Halloween! Read on for details and a chance to win signed copies of both installments of the Ékleipsis anthologies!

cover-final

Ékleipsis: the Abyss

Expected Publication Date: October 29th, 2021

Genre: Horror/ Anthology

Ékleipsis: The Abyss is the second short story collection by the award-winning author.

Tales of depravation and insanity are woven together with unrelenting style and depth, scrutinizing human nature’s degeneration when compromised by tragic, vicious circumstances.

These complex, wretched individuals and the irremediable conditions they are desperate to claw out of—or into—invoke the unfathomable question: What devastation are we truly capable of when left with no way out but down . . . into the obscurity of the abyss?

It is at times appalling, strange and outright frightening, but Wino’s way with character development is outstanding. The display of artistic creativity and character creation really sets “Èkleipsis: The Abyss” apart in the field of short story collections.”
Reader Views

“The stories are well-packaged and generally have the feel of watching a syndicated crime drama. Fans of this form of entertainment will likely enjoy these well-crafted stories about everyday people whose lives are shattered by lunatics.”
The US Review of Books

“Wino’s writing is vivid, unsettling and filled with brilliant hints that contribute to the exhilaration of its pacing. Ékleipsis: The Abyss is a clever and creative horror offering worth checking out.”

Independent Book Review

” Tamel really captured that essence of society and the dark side of people. Readers will appreciate the dark undertones of this horror anthology. Ekleipsis: the Abyss will surprise you more that you can imagine.”

Literary Titan

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Tamel Wino is a Canadian fiction writer from the resplendent British Columbia whose works focus largely on degeneration of sanity and morality. He studied Health Sciences and Psychology, which only furthered his interest in human nature.

With inspirations including Alice Munro, Joe Hill, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood and Edgar Allan Poe; Tamel’s expositions are strongly grounded in traditions of dark fiction. Yet, with his bold narrative voice and incisive plot construction, Wino is paving a new movement within the space.

When he’s not reading or scribbling away on his laptop, Tamel loves listening to jazz, rewatching good ol’ classic shows and traveling.

Ekleipsis | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway: Signed copies of Ékleipsis and Ékleipsis: The Abyss

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ekleipsis copy

Book Tour Schedule

October 25th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Latisha’s Low-Key Life (Spotlight) https://latishaslowkeylife.com/

October 26th

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

Phoebe’s Randoms (Spotlight) https://phoebesrandoms.wordpress.com/

Stine Writing (Spotlight) https://christinebialczak.com/

October 27th

@tiny.bibliophile (Review) https://www.instagram.com/tiny.bibliophile/

@bookaholic__reviews (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bookaholic__reviews/

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

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October 28th

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October 29th

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Sacaran Nights by Rachel Emma Shaw

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Sacaran Nights

Author: Rachel Emma Shaw

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 4/5

Diversity: Asexual side character

Recommended For…: dark fantasy, dystopian, new adult readers

Publication Date: October 28, 2021

Genre: NA Dystopian Dark Fantasy

Recommended Age: 14+ (violence, gore, parental death)

Explanation of CWs: Some violence and gore. There’s also death

Publisher: Self Published

Pages: 330

Synopsis: Legacy is everything in Sacara. Those few who inherit live only to keep theirs alive, protecting the ghosts of their ancestors from the corruption seeping into every corner of the city.

Dagner longs to leave – to create a legacy for himself and see the world beyond – but he is trapped by an inheritance that was never meant to be his. When a figure from his past returns to claim the legacy Dagner has sworn to protect, he must decide if he will forge his own path, or stay and make the sacrifices needed to save the city of the dead.

Review: I really liked this book overall. The book had well developed characters and world building. The book is unique and something I don’t think I’ve read before. The book is also well plotted and the book hooks you in within a few chapters.

However, I did think that some of the book was confusing. There’s a lot of information about the fungi and it gets confusing to keep them separated in your mind without using the guide. The beginning is also a little off-putting as it’s very confusing and chaotic.

Verdict: It was good!