New Year’s Book Tag

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I saw this short and sweet book tag on the Book Hooked Nook blog and thought I’d do it as well. Here we go…


1. How many books do you plan to read in 2019?

I’ve set my Goodreads goal to 50 books. I’m going to try to exceed that number but after last year’s struggle to read I want to keep it relatively low.

2. Name five books you didn’t get to read last year but want to make a priority in 2019.

These books kept on appearing on my month/readathon TBRs and I just never read them. I always ended up prioritizing ARCs over them. 😦

3. Name a genre you want to read more of.

Contemporary romance! In the past two years I’ve really gotten into it. Who doesn’t love a cute book that makes you feel all happy and warm inside?

4. Three non book related goals for 2019?

  • Stress less about work related things
  • Run at least one 10K race
  • Advance in my Spanish comprehension level

5. What’s a book you’ve had forever that you still need to read?

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I won this book 3 years ago during a Twitter chat. It’s another of those books that always end up on my TBRs but is never read. This year will be the year!!!

6. One word you’re hoping 2019 will be?

Adventurous! Every day with my baby girl has been an adventure. She’s so in awe of everything around her and that has really pushed me to try new things and move outside of my comfort zone. I really don’t want my fears or insecurities to hold me back.


If you have done or plan to do this tag let me know! I’d love to see your answers ❤

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Blitz: The Princess of Baker Street by Mia Kerick

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The Princess of Baker Street by Mia Kerick
Release date: January 22nd, 2019
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Genres: Young adult, contemporary, LGBTQ+

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“Always wear your imaginary crown” is Joey Kinkaid’s motto. For years, Joey, assigned male at birth, led the Baker Street kids in daring and imaginative fantasy adventures, but now that they’re teenagers, being a princess is no longer quite so cool. Especially for a child who is seen by the world as a boy.

Eric Sinclair has always been Joey’s best friend and admirer—Prince Eric to Joey’s Princess Ariel—but middle school puts major distance between them. As Eric’s own life takes a dangerous turn for the worse, he stands by and watches as Joey—who persists in dressing and acting too much like a Disney princess for anybody’s comfort—gets bullied. Eric doesn’t like turning his back on Joey, but he’s learned that the secret to teenage survival, especially with and absent mother, is to fly under the radar.

But when Joey finally accepts who she is and comes to school wearing lip gloss, leggings, and a silky pink scarf, the bullies make her life such a misery that she decides to end it all. Eric, in turn, must decide who he really is and what side he wants to stand on… though no matter what he chooses, the consequences with be profound for both teens, and they’ll face them for years to come.

Is there a chance the two teens can be friends again, and maybe even more?


Excerpt:

Life would be better if old houses didn’t make so many creepy noises. There’s a muffled scratching sound coming from somewhere over my head, and worse, the bedroom walls are creaking as if they’re alive. It’s like the cottage is talking to me, and it isn’t saying, “Welcome home, Eric. I’m here to give you comfort and joy.” Nope—it’s more like the cottage’s eyes are glowing red and it’s growling, “Get ooooout!”

And the weirdest thing is, although I never actually seen my backyard neighbor’s terrifying dog, Cujo, because he lives behind a tall wooden fence, I’m listening for the sound of his ferocious barking. Every now and then, when I think I hear it, I like it so much I smile a little. Cujo’s barking lets me know I’m not the only living being left on earth. Or on Baker Street.

It’s not like I plan what happens next. Tears don’t exactly ask permission to drip down somebody’s face. And they just start streaming down my cheeks like somebody turned a faucet on behind my stupid eyes. But nobody will ever know about how I’m wrapped up in my sheets, crying like a newborn baby who wants his bottle. Nobody can see me here in my bed, under my sheet. It’s like I’m invisible.

Crying feels good—it gives me a shit-ton of relief. I decide to let myself bawl until it turns into tomorrow.

And so I do.


About the Author:

miaMia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another a professional dancer, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son, heading off to college. (Yes, the nest is finally empty.) She has published more than twenty books of LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing scholarship essays. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it’s a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled people in complex relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to her wonderful publishers for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine, and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, a Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly Award for Young Adult e-book Fiction, among other awards.

Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Website | GoodreadsTwitter | Facebook


Giveaway:

Click here to enter a blitz giveaway. It’s international and you could win $10 Amazon gift card. Be sure to enter before January 31st. Good luck!

ARC Review: The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One by Amanda Lovelace

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

36297088The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One by Amanda Lovelace

Release date: March 5th, 2019
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genres: Poetry
Format: eBook

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The mermaid is known for her siren song, luring bedroom-eyed sailors to their demise. However, beneath these misguided myths are tales of escapism and healing, which Lovelace weaves throughout this empowering collection of poetry, taking you on a journey from the sea to the stars. They tried to silence her once and for all, but the mermaid’s voice returns in this one.

Once again I’ve been blown away by Amanda Lovelace’s poetry. I adored her past two collections and have recommended them to everyone I know. There’s just so much emotion and honesty in her poems that you can’t help but become fully invested in learning about the story behind them. This collection is a complete emotional rollercoaster. It’s divided into parts which explore topics such as abuse, self-harm, suicide and death, then moves onto the aftermath or fallout from the trauma of these and finally deals with healing. While all of her books so far have followed this format, I enjoyed how this time poems from other poets were also featured. Their words of healing, self-love and worth made Lovelace’s even more powerful. Plus, it introduced me to poets that I’ve never heard of before. I´m very much looking forward to picking up their books soon!

“she didn’t kiss frogs.
she kissed great white sharks.”

I cannot recommend this book (and the entire Women Are Some Kind of Magic series) enough. It’s an emotional journey that hits you right in the gut. You’ll cry, get angry, smile and probably have to put it down a few times but in the end, it leaves you with hope. I look forward to seeing what Lovelace will release next!


About the Author

15225448Growing up a word-devourer and avid fairy tale lover, it was only natural that Amanda Lovelace began writing books of her own and so she did. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can be found waiting for pumpkin spice coffee to come back into season and binge-watching Gilmore Girls. (before you ask: team Jess all the way.) The lifelong poetess and storyteller currently lives in New Jersey with her spouse, their bunnycat, and a combined book collection so large it will soon need its own home. She has her B.A. in English literature with a minor in sociology. Her first collection, The Princess Saves Herself in This One, won the Goodreads choice award for best poetry of 2016 and is a USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Tumblr

Top Ten Tuesday!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic this week is: Books I Meant to Read in 2018 but Didn’t Get To. These books kept on appearing on my month TBRs or I would list them as a book to read during a read-a-thon and then just never get to them. It’s kind of sad to see all of the books I got super excited about and then just didn’t read last year. I have a lot of catching up to do!

Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts on them?

Series to Finish Readathon

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Anna at Reader and Proud is hosting a readathon for her challenge called Series to Finish. It’s kind of last minute but I really think that it will motivate me to read a few books during the week. Ever since Bout of Books ended I haven’t really read anything. 😦 I’ll be posting my progress here and on my Twitter account.

The Rules:

  • The readathon will run from January 21st to January 27th.
  • The books should belong to a series that you are trying to finish.
  • ARCs do count for the challenge, as well as books published in 2019.
  • You can also include comic books and graphic novels.

My TBR:

My TBR is kind of ambitious. I don’t know if I’ll finish two novels and a novella but we will see! Fingers crossed that I’ll at least find the time to finish one. 🙂

Review: Highland Raven by Melanie Karsak

27506917Highland Raven by Melanie Karsak
Release date: July 1st, 2015
Publisher: Clockpunk Press
Genres: Historical fiction, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Destined to become Queen of Scotland.
Bound by blood to the Celtic gods.

Scotland, 1026 — Gruoch, descendant of the line of MacAlpin, should have been born into a life of ease. But fate is fickle. Her father’s untimely death, rumored to have been plotted by King Malcolm, leaves her future uncertain and stained by the prophecy that she will avenge her family line.
Escaping to one of the last strongholds of the old Celtic gods, Gruoch becomes an adept in arcane craft. Her encounters with the otherworld, however, suggest that magic runs stronger in Scotland than she ever imagined. Haunted by dreams of a raven-haired man she’s never met, Gruoch soon feels her fate is not her own. She is duty-bound to wed a powerful lord, if not the Prince himself; however, she’s not sure she can stop her heart when she meets Banquo, a gallant highlander and druid.

*sigh* Where do I even start with this review? This book….this book was not what I was expecting. Sometimes that’s a good thing but not here. This was a complete and utter letdown. A disappointment.

I was super excited to read this book. I love historical fiction and Scotland…so what could go wrong? It’s advertised as being for fans out Outlander (which I am) and stories about witches, magic and folklore. Plus, it’s supposed to be the story of Lady Macbeth’s life before the events that take place in Shakespeare’s famous play. However….it just ended up being a huge mess of a book with plot holes, confusing storylines and unlikeable characters.

Basically, the book tells the story of Gruoch (Lady Macbeth) who comes from a long line of nobles with close ties to traditional Celtic gods. Before being married off she is sent to an all-female camp in the woods to learn about magic and the old ways of life. She learns that she’s actually the reincarnation of a famous female Scottish warrior and goddess. Oh, and she falls in love with Banquo (who later appears in the play Macbeth). There’s magic involved, past lives and a strange sequence in a magical world? I’m still not really sure what happened in those chapters. The storylines were all over the place and chapters began not always taking into consideration what happened in the previous one. I. Am. Just. So. Confused!

And the characters did nothing for me. I felt no connection at all. Gruoch was one of those oh so perfect characters. Everyone loved her. She had no faults whatsoever. Magic came easily to her. She was stronger than everyone around her, even as someone new to magic and the old ways. Plus, the author used so many names to refer to her that I had such a hard time keeping them straight. Sometimes she was Gruoch but also Corbie, Cerridwen and Boudicca. Like why?

The first part of the book also rubbed me the wrong way. Every other page featured some kind of reference to sexual assault or physical violence against women. This added nothing to the story and seemed to have only been included for shock value. Both of these topics are extremely serious and shouldn’t be used to as a random plot point.

The book ended on a cliffhanger but I just really can’t be bothered to find out what happens next. I most definitely won’t be picking up the sequel or any of other books in the series. However, I am open to recommendations for historical fiction based in Scotland. Any suggestions?


About the Author

6539577Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, and The Celtic Blood Series. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

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Top Ten Tuesday!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic this week is: New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2018. So, I know that this is supposed to be a top ten list, but after looking through the books I read last year these were the only truly new authors I read books from. I’m also very glad that I discovered them! I enjoyed all of these books and have either already read or bought other books by them. 🙂

Have you read any books by these authors? If so, what did you think of them?