Bookish This or That!

My plan was to do a post about my favorite YA books that are holiday/Christmas themed. I should’ve taken a good long hard look at my shelves because I only have one? How? What? 🙃

So basically this post is a bust in the original idea department, so I’m sitting here in the dark drinking wine and winging this.

It’s currently 1:53AM Christmas Eve, though I guess now it’s actually Christmas Day! Merry Christmas! I can’t wait to see my families reactions to their gifts I got them.

But let’s get back to the purpose (or lack of purpose) of this quick post!

I’m going to do –

The Bookish This or That Tag (no I’ve not been tagged by anyone – remember I’m winging this because my shelves have betrayed me)

Audiobook or Textbook

Textbook? It’s not school… More often then not I read a physical copy. But I’m not opposed to audiobooks!

Paperback or Hardback

Paperback for reading, but hardcover for my shelves 🙈 that one was easy. Paperbacks are usually smaller, lighter and just overall easier to handle when reading. Whereas some of my hardcovers are behemoths that give me a workout just by lifting them!

Fiction or Non-Fiction

Fiction hands down. Next.

Harry Potter or Twilight

How do you compare them? Both. I’ll admit that I was a Twilight fan. I use “was” because it’s been A LONG TIME since I read the books or watched the movies, but I’ll forever embrace that period of my life when I was obsessed with Twilight. As for Harry Potter I will always love it.

Bookshop or Online

Convenience? Online. But it’s always fun to walk into a bookstore…search everywhere on the YA shelves only to not find the book and then go to customer service to ask them if it’s actually in store even if it says it is online. And then they go and look and either A. They find it and I’m just blind or B. The book is in multiple locations throughout the store EXCEPT FOR IN THE YA SECTION.

Standalone or Trilogy

Ugh I’m conflicted on this. If it’s a contemporary, then standalone (usually). For fantasy and/or science fiction then I definitely want more than one.

Sweet and Short or Heavy and Long

Again, contemporaries I prefer sweet and short, but for fantasy and/or science fiction I prefer heavy and long. But a short book is always a good thing if I just want to breeze through something really quickly.

Hot Chocolate or Coffee

COFFEE. Every day. (I’m not opposed to hot coco with milk and whipped cream though – especially this time of year.)

PHEW. That was fun and probably the easiest tag/questions post I’ve ever done. Usually I do these kinds of posts thinking they’ll be easy, quick and let me tell you, they never are!

With that being said, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a wonder holiday season! I *probably* won’t be posting again until after the New Year, with my Most Anticipated 2019 Books – so I’ll leave you with HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR AND MAY 2019 BE AWESOME! ❤️

Book Review: Last of Her Name

Last of her nameTitle: Last of Her Name

Author: Jessica Khoury

Pub. Date: February 26, 2019

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Sixteen years ago, rebellion swept the galaxy known as the Belt of Jewels. Every member of the royal family was murdered–down to their youngest child, Princess Anya–and the Union government rose in its place. But Stacia doesn’t think much about politics. She spends her days half-wild, rambling her father’s vineyard with her closest friends, Clio and Pol.

That all changes the day a Union ship appears in town, carrying the leader of the Belt himself, the Direktor Eminent. The Direktor claims that Princess Anya is alive, and that Stacia’s sleepy village is a den of empire loyalists, intent on hiding her. When Stacia is identified as the lost princess, her provincial home explodes into a nightmare.

Pol smuggles her away to a hidden escape ship in the chaos, leaving Clio in the hands of the Union. With everything she knows threading away into stars, Stacia sets her heart on a single mission. She will find and rescue Clio, even with the whole galaxy on her trail.

This will be a SPOILER FREE review – I was lucky enough to receive an ARC through #booksfortrade on Twitter.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book – I’m still in this weird semi reading slump where very little actually holds my attention, but this book was an exception. For some reason – probably stupidity on my part, this is the first Jessica Khoury book I’ve read, and I’m pretty sure I’ve been missing out. Or it could be that my TBR pile is a monster that never gets shorter and only ever gets longer.

It’s an Anastasia retelling…in space. A book that combines two of my favorite things – it’s just about the perfect book for me.

I have a few issues with the book, but again, overall, I really enjoyed it. Most likely I’d read this book again, and I will definitely be shoving it at all my friends to read, because I liked it THAT much.

I loved all the main characters – Stacia/Anya, Pol, Riyan…etc. BUT I wish there had been more time to get to know them. Which leads me to my biggest complaint. The book wasn’t long enough. I feel like it would have been better suited for a duology, rather than a single book. I was invested in them, but I wish I had more time to really get to know them.

I felt that the pacing was really rushed, and Stacia/Anya and Pol weren’t really on the run for very long before the final confrontation at the end of the book. If I remember correctly it’s just around a month from the beginning of the book to the big climatic end.

But as for the characters, I really like how unique they were – each had a very distinct personality. Stacia is an apprentice mechanic living a pretty simple life when it’s uprooted by the Union govt. and through the whole book, she just wants to figure out who she is.

Pol, he’s been an outsider since the Direktor Eminent took control, his people looked down upon, but he’s willing to do whatever it takes to help Stacia.

Riyan, another who’s people have been pushed to the outskirts, wants nothing more than to get his sister back, no matter the costs.

Each of them balanced each other out very well, and work well together. I liked their interactions with each other, they all felt pretty organic.

The worlds/systems that were introduced made me wish I could travel the stars the way these characters do. Actually, this book reminded me a lot of Veronica Roth’s Carve the Mark duology – which is one of my favorite sci-fi duologies ever, so thank you for reminding me of them.

Even though I felt the book could be longer, I found it so easy to picture the different worlds, the different people, it was all very vivid. I think that’s a testament to Khoury’s writing ability. She made this world – these worlds – feel so real, that even though we didn’t spend much time in them, they were right there in my mind’s eye and I could see them.

The action in this book is constant – which is probably why it’s so fast paced. The minute something happens and is resolved, and new thing pops up. There were times while reading that I thought I knew where the story was going and then PLOT TWIST in a new direction.

My biggest complaint – as I said before – is the pacing. I really feel like the book could have been split into two and slowed down a bit. I know it’s almost a 400-page book, but it was so fast paced that it felt too rushed.

Maybe it shouldn’t be called a complaint – I just want more of this world, these characters!

I devoured the book in a matter of hours over two days, and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I do wish it were longer.

I think that if you love space and you have a weak spot for Anastasia stories (like I do) you will definitely love this. It’s enjoyable and full of action with some romance, because OF COURSE, and it’s about trying to figure out who you are, who you want to be and coming to terms with your decision.

Last of Her Name comes out February 26, 2019, and you won’t want to miss it!










I can’t believe it’s 16 days until Christmas. Wasn’t it just Thanksgiving? Needless to say, life’s been a bit chaotic and it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in my day.

Between writing, decorating the house for the holidays, and getting gifts bought, I’ve had very little down time and it’s been spent binge re-watching True Blood. I hate Bill Compton, and I’m  all for Eric Northman – I could take an entire post about the show and my feelings, but I’ll spare you my rant-y feelings.

Let me backtrack a bit to NaNoWriMo – since I never got around to posting my final Weekly Wrap-Up for it.

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 11.06.37 PMI completed NaNoWriMo November 22, but didn’t finalize my win until the final day, and ended up with a little more than 55,000 words total. I haven’t really worked on that project since November ended. I jumped back into revisions/edits of my SF project and ended up replotting my Fantasy project. I realized that the climax of my fantasy project needed to actually be the end of the book.

Basically, my characters hijacked the story and my initial outline became voided very early on so I stopped looking at it, and just wrote whatever the characters decided to do. Now I have the first part of the book re-plotted and I’m going to start working on it, once I get a few more chapters revised/edited in my SF project.

I’ve talked before on this blog about how I’m not generally a plotter when it comes to writing, but for this story it’s definitely going to need an outline. But for now, I’m just letting the story pan out how it wants and then I’ll go from there.

I really enjoyed NaNo this year, and fell in love with the characters, the story and the world, and I will definitely be diving back into it soon. My characters genuinely surprised me, and my male main character ended up being WAY darker than I anticipated, but he’s dealt with a lot of crap, so it makes sense.

It felt so good to just create and get words on the page. For so long now I’ve been editing and revising different projects – mainly my SF – that purely creating, starting fresh felt amazing.


Writing aside, I’ve read one book since finishing Kingdom of Ash. I’ve started 4 others.

I’ll just put it out there, KoA was amazing, I need more, give me what happens after. I want all the happily ever afters for all the characters. I don’t plan on reviewing KoA. I don’t think I could accurately put into words what the book and the series as a whole meant to me. I’m also still a giant mess of emotions and denial that it was the last book, so there’s that.

I read Crimson Bite by Ben Alderson and Danielle Rose – I was fortunate enough to receive an early copy. It was an enjoyable, quick read that didn’t make me think about what I was reading. Overall, I liked it, and the ending made me want to read the second one – yay, for rapid release titles!

I’ve also started Sherwood by Meagan Spooner, Last of her Name by Jessica Khoury, Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris, and The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. img_2286Emily A. Duncan (author of Wicked Saints) convinced me to read the last one. Brigid Kemmerer convinced me to read the books the True Blood show is based off of. I’m not very far into any of these books, and it’s not that I’m not interested, or they aren’t good, it’s just that dreading book hangover bullshit. It’s probably why I’ve turned to True Blood – easy to get absorbed and lost in.

I also want to get back into reading Part of Your World by Liz Braswell – I just watched a stage performance of The Little Mermaid so of course I want to read that book.


img_2281And, I saw Anastasia (the touring cast) the other night, and Last of Her Name is basically Anastasia in space, so I want to read that as well. But nothing is truly holding my attention. It’s awful.

Though, Anastasia was amazing. I saw it back in 2016 before it hit Broadway, when it was still playing in Hartford CT. It was with the original cast, so watching it again, with the tour cast, I was a little nervous. It was just as amazing and as magical as it remembered it being, and now I need a live action movie. BUT I want Rasputin in the live action.

From a story telling perspective I wish a few things were different in both The Little Mermaid and Anastasia, I feel in both, the endings fall a little flat.

Bear with me a for a moment:

For The Little Mermaid – what I would want to for the live action would be basically the whole beginning of the stage production, and then the movie ending.

For Anastasia – I want Rasputin, and the ending of the movie. I’m still not a huge fan of Gleb’s character in the stage version, but if the live action had the stage version WITH Rasputin (there’s no reason to not have him, he’s too closely tied to the royal family for him not to be) but do the movie ending.

JUST GIVE ME THE SATISFACTION OF THE HAPPY ENDING THAT IS THE MOVIES. They just seem more climatic to me, the stakes higher, making the happy endings worth that much more.

Okay, I’m done ranting.

And I think that just about sums up what I’ve been doing, since I clearly haven’t been blogging.

Ah, one other thing.

I’m still most likely going to be pretty vacant on here for the rest of the year. Blogging has kind of burned me out, on top of all the writing, and right now, I want to focus on my WIPs, so that hopefully early next year I can start querying. I’m not going to say I’m not going to post and will try to at least post once a week. If not, then I’ll post when I have something I want to talk about or review.

As for the new year, I might drop down to posting two days a week, but I haven’t decided if they’ll be on set days, or just twice a week. I struggle to find things to post about when I’m not reading a lot. I’ve met some awesome people through blogging and writing, but right now, I really want to focus on finally (hopefully) getting my work out into the world. I think for so long I’ve been slightly terrified of people – other than friends and family – reading my work, but this past NaNo, I felt comfortable sharing bits, and the reactions those bits got boosted my confidence a bit. I know not everyone is going to like what I write, but that little confidence boost, I think it’s given me the drive, maybe the courage, to really work to get my stories out there. That’s why I’m focusing on my SF WIP, it’s the closest to being finished.

Phew. Even just writing that little bit made me a bit anxious.

Anyways! I’m going to either go read or more likely watch True Blood, until I’m ready to crawl into bed!

Book Review: Crimson Bite (Hillcrest Supernaturals #1)

Crimson BiteTitle: Crimson Bite (Hillcrest Supernaturals #1)

Author(s): Danielle Rose & Ben Alderson

Pub. Date: December 25, 2018

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

In the sleepy town of Hillcrest, supernaturals need not hide in the shadows…

Savannah Danvers is concerned with one thing: keeping her life as a blood-sucking, human-killing vampire a secret. But as the memories of her latest kill cloud her mind, she finds herself on werewolf land during a full moon. After she stumbles upon a bloodbath, Savi must decide if she’s willing to risk her life to defend the treaty enacted centuries ago by the town’s Elders.

George Alcott’s insidious past has remained buried for far too long, but when tragedy strikes, he must tap into his birthright. As his dark magic consumes him, he risks everything to save a lost soul. Now, haunted by demons he thought no longer existed, George must enlist help from an unruly ally and former love.

With the town’s Elders close to discovering their monstrous secrets, Savi and George must cover up their crimes before they too are burned at the stake.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This will be a spoiler free review.

I’ve been a reading slump since finishing Kingdom of Ash and nothing had been holding my attention for more than a few chapters. This book was just what I needed to get back into reading. I really enjoyed it overall. The writing was great, the characters where interesting and I liked how we were basically plopped into the middle of this world, these lives and continued on.

This was the book I didn’t know I needed to read. I guess I’d been wanting something supernatural, vampire filled, and this book didn’t disappoint. For me this was a pretty quick read – finished it in about four or five hours over the course of three days.

About the characters – we meet a lot of key players, George, Savi, Chad, George’s mom. I liked George and Savi’s friendship and felt that they balanced each other out pretty well. I’m not a huge fan of George’s mom, but I think her character was written well, because I really don’t like her and I’m having actually angry feelings about her. As for Chad, he played a bigger role in the latter half, and so far, I like him, and I like that he’ll do anything to protect his sister. I hope he gets a bigger role in book 2.

I’m not sure I’d ever want to go to Hillcrest, but the writing made it very easily to visualize the town and layout. Besides the vampires, witches and werewolves running about, it kind of reminded me of a Stars Hollow or Bluebell.

It wasn’t just the town that was easy to visualize, but everything in this book was a clear image in my mind. Sometimes when you get a book that’s been co-authored, the writing doesn’t flow right, and you can tell that two people have written it. I didn’t feel that with this book. I think Danielle Rose and Ben Alderson melded their writing styles together pretty seamlessly and because of that I was able to fully focus on the story.

My only reservation about the book is that it felt a little like the show True Blood. Now, I’m currently watching the show, so maybe it’s just me. It probably is. I don’t think this is a bad thing, and there weren’t blaring similarities, and to be honest, what I know about vampires comes from the books I read and shows I watch – I’ve done no history on lore or anything. But even with a few similarities, I don’t really think it’s a bad thing, it’s familiar and if anything made it so much easier to create a picture in my head.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I am definitely interested in what happens in the next one, especially after that ending. Thank goodness for rapid release!

If you’re looking for a quick, enjoyable supernatural read, then you should definitely check out Crimson Bite when it comes out December 25!