A Spooky TBR-October 2021

Well, here we are. Trying another TBR. I didn’t do so badly last month. Especially considering I read a few books that weren’t on the TBR, because I can!

This month I am focusing on spooky themed books, cause October. I’ve never been a big fan of the horror genre, and this month I’ve committed myself to reading quite a few of them.

So that’s going to be fun.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

A group of Final Girls get together to, well, support one another after surviving their own harrowing tales. Until one by one they are starting to be picked off. I loved A Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, so I have high hopes for this one.

Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark

The Klan’s ranks have grown thanks to dark forces and it’s up to resistance fighters, led by Maryse Boudreaux, a Hellfighter, to stop them. This sounds great!

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

Tom delivers a book to a shop and that opens his entire world to the occult. I’ve heard good things about this book so I have high hopes.

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill

Noah Turner sees monsters. So does his father. His dad built a horror park dedicated to them. Noah just lets them into his life. But why does this sound terrifyingly cute?

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

Vivienne laid a curse on her ex-boyfriend 9 years ago. She didn’t think it would stick. Now he’s back in town and everything is going wrong. It’s a romance and I bought it? Yes! Have I read it already because I couldn’t wait? Also yes! I’ll have a review up on Thursday the 21st.

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

Immanuelle Moore does her best to follow the will of the Prophet of Bethel. But when she is lured into the forest outside Bethel, the spirits of the forest offer her her mother’s diary, and her whole life changes. This was one of my book clubs pick for this month and I’m so excited because this was the book I put up for voting! I had been holding onto this one since last year waiting patiently for October to arrive so I could suggest it. Yeah, I regret that decision.

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

This fifth entry in the Mercy Thompson series is all about the Fae. I won’t go into details, because yeah, fifth in the series. But given that I’ve read it before, I know it will be good.

So yes, I know. There are 7 books on my TBR. What am I thinking? I’m thinking that several of these are shorter books so I should be able to get through those, at least, fairly quickly.

Will I get through every book? No idea. Am I hoping to? Of course I am.

Book Haul- September 2021

Well after August’s book buying extravaganza, you would think that I had no room for more books in my budget.

But books, much like life, find a way.

Mind you, I didn’t buy near as many books as I did in August. Praise be to Simon the god of hairdos.

On to the books!

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

What if Dr. Jekyll had a daughter? Oh, and Mr. Hyde too? And they teamed up with Watson and Holmes to solve some murders? That’s what this book is about, among other things. I picked it up for a book club pick.

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender

I’m pretty sure this book about a woman whose family was murdered by colonizers is going to be great. Also, it was on sale for like, $2.99 on Kindle. Gotta love those sales.

The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

This audiobook, about Dream, who was imprisioned by a cult for decades, is free with an Audible membership until October 22, 2021. It features James McAvoy as the titular Dream, and a world class cast of other actors in these colorful roles. Get it now while you can!

Forever Young: A Memoir by Hayley Mills

I picked up this book with my audible credit. I love listening to memoirs, especially when the author reads them. They always inject little things into them that aren’t in the book.

How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas by Jeff Guinn

Using the true story of 1647 Puritanical England as it’s backdrop, this story tells how, well, Mrs. Claus saved Christmas. This is the sequel to the much loved (at least by me) The Autobiography of Santa Claus. I saw this on Thriftbooks for $3.00 and had to pick it up.

The Great Santa Search by Jeff Guinn

So this one is about Santa Claus getting fed up with all the fake Santas until he finally can’t take it anymore and enters a reality tv show to find the “real” Santa. I might be gearing up for my holiday reads. Can you tell? Also, this was on Thriftbooks for 4 bucks. I love when they have decent copies for cheap.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

The authors story of her childhood and coming of age in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution. I’ve wanted to read it for a while, and when I saw it on the list of banned books for my banned books week post, I knew I had to have it.

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

Vivienne Jones cursed her ex. She knows she shouldn’t have, but she used a scented candle so it shouldn’t take, right? Of course, when Rhys comes back to town everything starts to go wrong for him. I honestly forgot I pre-ordered this one until I got the shipping notification. I have issues. Also, I laughed when I saw it on Book of the Month’s list for October reads and I had already purchased it!

Well, that wasn’t too bad. 8 books. Several of which I had gotten at discounts! Or for free! Huzzah!

Child of Light-A Book Review

Thank you to Netgalley for providing this copy for review. I shall be honest in my review as a result!

Child of Light was written by the incomparable Terry Brooks and releases on October 12, 2021.

Update: The release date for Child of Light has, since I wrote this review, changed to October 19th.

Auris was a prisoner for as long as she could remember, which wasn’t long given her memory loss at the age of fifteen. She escapes the Goblin prison where she has been held and runs straight into the Fae, one of whom happens to think she might just be one of them.

I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t like this book to the point where I DNF’d it.

Is that good for a reviewer? Probably not. But I told myself I wasn’t going to read things I don’t like.

Let me tell you why I don’t like it.

The writing was stiff and unwieldy. The author regularly used three words were one would do. And that wasn’t even when characters were speaking. Speaking of the dialogue, it had no flow to it. It was almost like the words for this book didn’t come easy to the author, and given that Terry Brooks has been writing good books for longer than I’ve been alive (I’m 41) this simply shouldn’t be the case.

So yes, my biggest complaint is with the writing. I just couldn’t get past it. I wasn’t enjoying myself at all. Which is not what I expected going into this book, as I loved the Landover series.

Now let’s talk about the other thing I have a problem with. Auris goes through something terrible at the beginning of the book, but what racks her brain when she’s rescued? How hot her rescuer is.

Sure, she thinks of the terrible thing now and again, but she thinks about how she is attracted to said rescuer more. Why does the author think this is something a 19-year-old girl fresh out of a traumatic experience needs to do?

Le sigh.

It bothered me a lot, okay?

It’s a 1 star DNF for me.

Every Book I Read- September 2021

Another month has gone by and it’s finally spooky season!

Let’s be honest, it’s been spooky season since September 1st, some of us (the Hubs) have just been in denial.

On to the books I read!

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

Mary Jekyll and other daughters of monsters team up with Holmes and Watson to bring down a secret society of scientists. I just found this to be okay. 3 stars.

Forgotten in Death by J.D. Robb

I finally got to this one! A homeless woman is found dead in the dumpster of a construction site and another body is found in an adjacent construction site. Eve and Roarke must do what they do to solve both murders. I really enjoyed this, the 53rd book in this series. I’m probably biased towards the books cause I’ve been reading them for twenty years, but I gave it 4 stars.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

The first in a series about Mercy Thompson, a mechanic who just so happens to be a werecoyote surrounded by werewolves, vampires and fae. I love this series. It’s fast paced and fun to read. 5 stars.

The Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn

The story of Rohan, a prince of the desert, and Sioned a Sunrunner. It’s grand, it’s epic. And I love every minute of it. Oh, and it’s available on Kindle for $2.99. 5 Stars.

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

The story of Wallace, who realizes he’s dead when he sees his body at his own funeral. I reviewed this heart warming story and couldn’t help but give it 5 stars. A new favorite book.

The Hike by Drew Magary

The story of a man who goes for a hike. And that’s pretty much when everything goes wrong in the most crazy and fantastical of ways. I did not like this book at all and DNF’d. Which is a shame, because I really enjoyed my last read by the author, The Postmortal. 1 Star.

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Mercy owes a vampire a favor, and he calls to collect. This is the sequel to Moon Called, the first book in the series. And, as always with these books, I thoroughly enjoyed it! 5 stars!

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

The third in the Mercy Thompson series. When her mentor and former boss, Zee, asks for her help, Mercy doesn’t hesitate to give it. Of course this leads to all kinds of trouble. Naturally, I loved this book and gave it 5 stars.

Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

The fourth in the Mercy Thompson series. Mercy goes to help her friend Amanda with a ghost. Of course, things go horribly wrong. I really enjoyed reading this. Ghost stories with a twist are always fun. 5 stars.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

This is the story of a woman’s journey from childhood to her coming of age in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution. This story has great reviews, but I just didn’t like the writing style of this graphic novel. It didn’t land with me. I DNF’d it. 1 star.

I did okay with my TBR. I’m still working on The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. I have about 8 hours left in the audiobook. And I started The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson, but starting a big, epic fantasy while I was in the middle of one and had just finished another didn’t really appeal to me. So I’m going to save that one for November. I am determined to read it this fall!

So, now comes one of my favorite parts, the stats!

Moods

As always, adventurous (8 books) were my most common mood, follow closely by mysterious (4 books) and emotional (also 4 books).

Pace

Since I read ten books, the pace stats kinda speaks for themselves. You know, if stats could speak.

Page Number

I wasn’t surprised by these stats. Chugging through those 4 Mercy Thompson books really edged the stats one way, for sure.

Genres

I read a lot of fantasy last month. Big shocker there. That’s usually all I read.

Star Rating

Don’t act surprised by all those 5 star ratings. You know I give those out like Halloween candy.

Average Pages

Storygraph added a new stat this month, how many pages you read between which days. I don’t think this is entirely accurate, but I like seeing it all laid out like this.

I have to say it was a great reading month, with ten books read! I hope I can keep up this momentum!

More New October 2021 Releases

You thought I was done with new releases for the year, didn’t you?

To be fair, so did I. But I have since learned about/remembered some books that you might want to know about. I even double checked with my spreadsheet to make sure there are no duplicates!

Brace yourselves, because there are quite a few books here. It really would have taken two posts last month!

Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson- Oct 5th

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.

This book is getting a lot of buzz on booktok. Might be worth checking out.

Payback’s A Witch by Lana Harper- Oct 5th

Emmy Harlow is a witch but not a very powerful one—in part because she hasn’t been home to the magical town of Thistle Grove in years. Her self-imposed exile has a lot to do with a complicated family history and a desire to forge her own way in the world, and only the very tiniest bit to do with Gareth Blackmoore, heir to the most powerful magical family in town and casual breaker of hearts and destroyer of dreams.

But when a spellcasting tournament that her family serves as arbiters for approaches, it turns out the pull of tradition (or the truly impressive parental guilt trip that comes with it) is strong enough to bring Emmy back. She’s determined to do her familial duty; spend some quality time with her best friend, Linden Thorn; and get back to her real life in Chicago.

On her first night home, Emmy runs into Talia Avramov—an all-around badass adept in the darker magical arts—who is fresh off a bad breakup . . . with Gareth Blackmoore. Talia had let herself be charmed, only to discover that Gareth was also seeing Linden—unbeknownst to either of them. And now she and Linden want revenge. Only one question stands: Is Emmy in?

But most concerning of all: Why can’t she stop thinking about the terrifyingly competent, devastatingly gorgeous, wickedly charming Talia Avramov?

I’m sorry, but this little witchy romantic comedy sounds cute!

The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling- Oct 5th

Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his crumbling family manor outside of town.

Yet on their wedding night, an accident strands her at his door in a pitch-black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified, paranoid man—one who cannot tell reality from nightmare, and fears Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him. By morning, Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has so hastily bound her safety to.

This is another book that has a lot of buzz around it. Like, a lot. I’ve seen a few reviews for it and they are all raving, but I haven’t read it, so go forth and seek out the reviews!

Sistersong by Lucy Holland- Oct 5th

My sister’s heart broke on the river—and the river took it and bore it away.

In the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia, there is old magic to be found in the whisper of the wind, the roots of the trees, and the curl of the grass. King Cador knew this once, but now the land has turned from him, calling instead to his three children. Riva can cure others, but can’t seem to heal her own deep scars. Keyne battles to be accepted for who he truly is—the king’s son. And Sinne dreams of seeing the world, of finding adventure.

All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold, their people’s last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. However, change comes on the day ash falls from the sky. It brings with it Myrdhin, meddler and magician. And Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear them apart.

Riva, Keyne and Sinne—three siblings entangled in a web of treachery and heartbreak, who must fight to forge their own paths. 

Their story will shape the destiny of Britain.

But why does this sound so good? Because it sounds great! I’m adding this to my Christmas wish list.

The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker- Oct 12th

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.

This sounds like a fantastic anime.

The Brides of Maracoor by Gregory Maguire- Oct 12th

Volume one, The Brides of Maracoor, finds Elphaba’s granddaughter, Rain, washing ashore on a foreign island. Comatose from crashing into the sea, Rain is taken in by a community of single women committed to obscure devotional practices.

As the mainland of Maracoor sustains an assault by a foreign navy, the island’s civil-servant overseer struggles to understand how an alien arriving on the shores of Maracoor could threaten the stability and wellbeing of an entire nation. Is it myth or magic at work, for good or for ill?

I never expected another book set in Oz and parts thereabout, but here we are. And I want it!

Jade Fire Gold by June CL Tan- Oct 12th

In an empire on the brink of war . . .

Ahn is no one, with no past and no family.

Altan is a lost heir, his future stolen away as a child.

When they meet, Altan sees in Ahn a path to reclaiming the throne. Ahn sees a way to finally unlock her past and understand her lethal magical abilities.

But they may have to pay a far deadlier price than either could have imagined.

But I want to know more about this YA adventure!

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw- Oct 19th

A Heian-era mansion stands abandoned, its foundations resting on the bones of a bride and its walls packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company. 

It’s the perfect venue for a group of thrill-seeking friends, brought back together to celebrate a wedding. 

A night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare as secrets get dragged out and relationships are tested. 

But the house has secrets too. Lurking in the shadows is the ghost bride with a black smile and a hungry heart. 

And she gets lonely down there in the dirt. 

This sounds so creepy. Like a great Halloween read!

Femlandia by Christina Dalcher- Oct 19th

Miranda Reynolds always thought she would rather die than live in Femlandia. But that was before the country sank into total economic collapse and her husband walked out in the harshest, most permanent way, leaving her and her sixteen-year-old daughter with nothing. The streets are full of looting, robbing, and killing, and Miranda and Emma no longer have much choice—either starve and risk getting murdered, or find safety. And so they set off to Femlandia, the women-only colony Miranda’s mother, Win Somers, established decades ago.

Although Win is no longer in the spotlight, her protégé Jen Jones has taken Femlandia to new heights: The off-grid colonies are secluded, self-sufficient, and thriving—and Emma is instantly enchanted by this idea of a safe haven. But something is not right. There are no men allowed in the colony, but babies are being born—and they’re all girls. Miranda discovers just how the all-women community is capable of enduring, and it leads her to question how far her mother went to create this perfect, thriving, horrifying society.

This sci-fi ish dystopian sounds very intriguing.

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen- Oct 19th

Once upon a time, there was a horrible girl…

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.

This is also getting a lot of buzz on the interwebs, so go forth and seek out those reviews!

The Color of Dragons by R.A. Salvatore and Erika Lewis- Oct 19th

Magic needs a spark.

And Maggie’s powers are especially fickle. With no one to help her learn to control her magic, the life debt that she owes stretches eternally over her head, with no way to repay it.

Until she meets Griffin, the king’s champion, infamous for hunting down the draignochs that plague their kingdom.

Neither has any idea of the destiny that they both carry, or that their meeting will set off a chain of events that will alter every aspect of the life they know—and all of history thereafter.

I’m not gonna lie, I haven’t read a single R.A. Salvatore book, so why do I want this one so badly?

Well, there you go. Another list of October New Releases. There are quite a few new releases this month, so I hope this helps with making you Holiday wish lists/pre-order lists!

Have fun book shopping!

Monthly Wrap-Up: September 2021

Howdy do everyone! Are you enjoying Banned Books week? I’m avoiding reading a book that I started, Brandon Sanderson’s The Well of Ascension, by playing massive amounts of Animal Crossing and watching Lucifer.

Nothing wrong with the book, I just have ADHD that reared it’s ugly head this week and focusing on this long of a book seemed like an impossible task, so I just didn’t.

Anyway…on to the wrap up!

WWW Wednesday-Sep 1st: The first post of the month was a little different. It was a WWW Wednesday post! I’m really having fun doing these, you know, when I have books to share.

Every Book I Read (Sorta)-August 2021: I love sharing my monthly reads and stats with you. It makes me happy.

All The Books I Bought In August 2021: Um, I’m not gonna lie, this wasn’t a short list. But it sure was fun purchasing all of them. My pocketbook would disagree with me though.
TTT-Books Guaranteed To Put A Smile On Your Face: I’ve also really been enjoying the TTT Tuesday Meme This was a good list, if I do say so myself.

WWW Wednesday-September 8th: A nice list of what I was reading at the time.

What A Month For New Releases-September 2021: September was a great month for new books. Like, really good.

A Very Ambitious TBR-September 2021: Did I succeed or did I fail? Stay tuned to my “what I read” post in a couple of days to find out.

WWW Wednesday-Sep 15th: What was I reading this week? Click here to find out.

Under The Whispering Door-A Book Review: Did I love it, or did the author’s writing make me want to throw this book across the room? Read the review to learn more. Or, just look at the Instagram photo below.

A Word Of Warning For Holiday Book Shopping: I’m being ominous here, but avoid the shortage and get your pre-orders in now!

TTT-Books On My Fall To Read List: Yes, I made yet another TBR. But this one is for the entire Fall? Let’s see how this mood reader does.

WWW Wednesday-Sep 22nd: The first day of fall has arrived in this WWW Wednesday!

New Releases for October 2021: Due to the potential issues with books this year, I decided to get a jump on the new release lists for the rest of the year, starting with Octobers.

It’s Banned Books Week: I shared with you the book I was reading for Banned Books Week!

November (and December) 2021 New Releases: This post is also due to the potential shortage of books this year, but this time it’s November’s and December’s offerings!

TTT-Books I’d Gladly Throw Into The Ocean: This particular Top Ten Tuesday was a freebie, so I picked a previous topic. Boy was it fun picking ten books I would yeet off a boat.

WWW Wednesday-Sep 29th: I’ve enjoyed managing to do these all month, even if I didn’t stick to the “what will I read next” category as often as I’d like.

It’s always fun to look back at the month and see what I’ve accomplished in blogland. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a cup of tea to drink and some Animal Crossing to play…again.

TTT-Books I’d Gladly Throw Into the Ocean

Well, this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie! You can do what ever you want. From a topic that you make up to a previous TTT topic, the sky is the limit!

I chose to go with a previous topic, seeing as how I just recently discovered this meme.

Just to recap, as I will do every month, as credit is due, “Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018″.

So basically this week it’s a list of my top ten DNF’s, or books that just weren’t doing it for me that I actually finished. Let’s get started!

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

I read this book years ago. Like 20 something years ago. It’s not a flex. I never told anyone I was reading it because it was awful. I don’t remember anything about it. You could be talking about it in front of me and I would go blank. It took me a year to read (which may be part of the problem) and I have since blocked it out of my mind apparently.

The Road Not Taken by Susan Rubin

The premise of this book sounded so interesting. A woman meets someone who looks exactly like her, and discovers whole new dimensions and versions of reality. I didn’t make it past page 25 when I picked it up. The book just didn’t flow and the main character just accepted something way, way to easily. It irked me.

Dune by Frank Herbert

I’ve tried to read this book twice and I just can’t seem to connect with the authors writing style. What makes this really funny is that I love all the Hollywood adaptations and can’t wait to see the new movie. I may be insane.

Crave by Tracy Wolff

I really tried to read this one, and it just didn’t work out for me. In fact, according to the blog post I featured this in, it reminded me why I stopped reading YA for so long.

Bow Legged Buccaneers From Outer Space by David Owain Hughes

This book was a chaotic mess and I did not enjoy it. At all. I’m sure there is an audience out there for this, but it is not me.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I finished this one because I was on a trip, but I didn’t like it. It just didn’t seem like it knew where it was going. Yeah, this one wasn’t for me.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Apparently I don’t like a lot of books that are insanely popular. Go figure. I’m sorry if you love this but I just couldn’t get into this series. This is one instance where I thought the movie was actually better. I’m gonna go hide now.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

I still don’t understand how this book got as popular as it did. And this great big feminist book of women with fantastical powers is on so many best of lists. Why? I know way to many people who didn’t like it for it to be proclaimed that good.

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

This book is like if someone with ADHD took speed and had a bad trip all at the same time. It’s full of frantic energy, which would be fine, but my brain was not happy with this book. It made me dizzy, and not in the fun way.

Outlawed by Anna North

I have come to the conclusion that the only reason I didn’t like this book is because I don’t like westerns. I have no evidence to support this hypothesis, just my gut instinct. So yeah. I disliked this book.

And there are ten books I would yeet off the side of a boat if I could. Which of these would you save from the briny depths?

November (and December) 2021 New Releases

Have you gotten your pre-orders in for October?

Yes?

Good.

Now it’s Novembers turn. With a little bit of December thrown in.

BTW, if your wondering why I’m stressing pre-orders now, instead of towards the beginning of this particular month like I usually do, go read this post.

On to the books!

A Marvelous Light by Freya Marske- November 2nd

Robin Blyth has more than enough bother in his life. He’s struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and the harried baronet of a seat gutted by his late parents’ excesses. When an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, he discovers what’s been operating beneath the unextraordinary reality he’s always known.

Now Robin must contend with the beauty and danger of magic, an excruciating deadly curse, and the alarming visions of the future that come with it—not to mention Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly counterpart in the magical bureaucracy, who clearly wishes Robin were anyone and anywhere else.

Robin’s predecessor has disappeared, and the mystery of what happened to him reveals unsettling truths about the very oldest stories they’ve been told about the land they live on and what binds it. Thrown together and facing unexpected dangers, Robin and Edwin discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles—and a secret that more than one person has already died to keep.

Well this sounds fun. I mean really, magical societies? I’ll read that.

Lore Olympus Vol 1 by Rachel Smythe- November 2nd

Persephone, young goddess of spring, is new to Olympus. Her mother, Demeter, has raised her in the mortal realm, but after Persephone promises to train as a sacred virgin, she’s allowed to live in the fast-moving, glamorous world of the gods. When her roommate, Artemis, takes her to a party, her entire life changes: she ends up meeting Hades and feels an immediate spark with the charming yet misunderstood ruler of the Underworld. Now Persephone must navigate the confusing politics and relationships that rule Olympus, while also figuring out her own place—and her own power.

If you at any time read Lore Olympus online, you know how good it is. And here is your chance to finally own it! This collects episodes 1-25 of the web comic. I highly recommend picking this up.

Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen- November 2nd

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 all is not as it seems. 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.

This YA tale sounds like a good time. And that cover art is stunning.

Noor by Nnedi Okorafor- November 16th

Anwuli Okwudili prefers to be called AO. To her, these initials have always stood for Artificial Organism. AO has never really felt…natural, and that’s putting it lightly. Her parents spent most of the days before she was born praying for her peaceful passing because even in-utero she was “wrong”. But she lived. Then came the car accident years later that disabled her even further. Yet instead of viewing her strange body the way the world views it, as freakish, unnatural, even the work of the devil, AO embraces all that she is: A woman with a ton of major and necessary body augmentations. And then one day she goes to her local market and everything goes wrong.

Once on the run, she meets a Fulani herdsman named DNA and the race against time across the deserts of Northern Nigeria begins. In a world where all things are streamed, everyone is watching the “reckoning of the murderess and the terrorist” and the “saga of the wicked woman and mad man” unfold. This fast-paced, relentless journey of tribe, destiny, body, and the wonderland of technology revels in the fact that the future sometimes isn’t so predictable. Expect the unaccepted.

I have high hopes for this next book by the author of Binti.

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger- November 9th

Nina is a Lipan girl in our world. She’s always felt there was something more out there. She still believes in the old stories.

Oli is a cottonmouth kid, from the land of spirits and monsters. Like all cottonmouths, he’s been cast from home. He’s found a new one on the banks of the bottomless lake.

Nina and Oli have no idea the other exists. But a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls Oli’s best friend, will drive their worlds together in ways they haven’t been in centuries.

And there are some who will kill to keep them apart.

This sounds so good. Like, really good.

Roxy by Neal and Jarrod Schusterman- November 9th

The freeway is coming.

It will cut the neighborhood in two. Construction has already started, pushing toward this corridor of condemned houses and cracked concrete with the momentum of the inevitable. Yet there you are, in the fifth house on the left, fighting for your life.

Ramey, I.

The victim of the bet between two manufactured gods: the seductive and lethal Roxy (Oxycontin), who is at the top of her game, and the smart, high-achieving Addison (Adderall), who is tired of being the helpful one, and longs for a more dangerous, less wholesome image. The wager—a contest to see who can bring their mark to “the Party” first—is a race to the bottom of a rave that has raged since the beginning of time. And you are only human, dazzled by the lights and music. Drawn by what the drugs offer—tempted to take that step past helpful to harmful…and the troubled places that lie beyond.

But there are two I. Rameys—Isaac, a soccer player thrown into Roxy’s orbit by a bad fall and a bad doctor and Ivy, his older sister, whose increasing frustration with her untreated ADHD leads her to renew her acquaintance with Addy.

Which one are you?

This take on the modern drug crises sounds so good. And harrowing.

Year of the Reaper by Makaii Lucier- November 9th

The past never forgets . . .

Before an ambush by enemy soldiers, Lord Cassia was an engineer’s apprentice on a mission entrusted by the king. But when plague sweeps over the land,leaving countless dead and devastating the kingdom, even Cas’ title cannot save him from a rotting prison cell and a merciless sickness.

Three years later, Cas wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget past horrors. But home is not what he remembers. His castle has become a refuge for the royal court. And they have brought their enemies with them.

When an assassin targets those closest to the queen, Cas is drawn into a search for a killer…one that leads him to form an unexpected bond with a brilliant young historian named Lena. Cas and Lena soon realize that who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. They must look to the past, following the trail of a terrible secret–one that could threaten the kingdom’s newfound peace and plunge it back into war.

I can just see the main character showing up back home trying to get all the people the heck out of his house.

Eldar Race by Andrian Tchaikovsky- November 16th

Lynesse is the lowly Fourth Daughter of the queen, and always getting in the way.

But a demon is terrorizing the land, and now she’s an adult (albeit barely) with responsibilities (she tells herself). Although she still gets in the way, she understands that the only way to save her people is to invoke the pact between her family and the Elder sorcerer who has inhabited the local tower for as long as her people have lived here (though none in living memory has approached it).

But Elder Nyr isn’t a sorcerer, and he is forbidden to help, and his knowledge of science tells him the threat cannot possibly be a demon…

I’m curious to see what a fantasy by Andrian Tchaikovsky looks like, because he is really know for his sci-fi offerings.

You Feel It Just Below the Ribs by Jeffrey Cranor and Janina Matthewson- November 16th

Born at the end of the old world, Miriam grows up during The Great Reckoning, a sprawling, decades-long war that nearly decimates humanity and strips her of friends and family. Devastated by grief and loneliness, she emotionally exiles herself, avoiding relationships or allegiances, and throws herself into her work—disengagement that serves her when the war finally ends, and The New Society arises.

To ensure a lasting peace, The New Society forbids anything that may cause tribal loyalties, including traditional families. Suddenly, everyone must live as Miriam has chosen to—disconnected and unattached. A researcher at heart, Miriam becomes involved in implementing this detachment process. She does not know it is the beginning of a darkly sinister program that will transform this new world and the lives of everyone in it. Eventually, the harmful effects of her research become too much for Miriam, and she devises a secret plan to destroy the system from within, endangering her own life.

But is her “confession” honest—or is it a fabrication riddled with lies meant to conceal the truth?

I’m not gonna lie, I singled this one out because of Jeffrey Cranor. He’s the co-creator of Welcome to Nightvale. I’m assuming this will be a little out there as a result of that.

Absynthe by Brendan P Bellacourt- December 7th

Liam Mulcahey, a reclusive, shell-shocked veteran, remembers little of the Great War. Ten years later, when he is caught in a brutal attack on a Chicago speakeasy, Liam is saved by Grace, an alluring heiress who’s able to cast illusions. Though the attack appears to have been committed by the hated Uprising, Grace believes it was orchestrated by Leland De Pere–Liam’s former commander and the current President of the United States.
 
Meeting Grace unearths long-buried memories. Liam’s former squad, the Devil’s Henchmen, was given a serum to allow telepathic communication, transforming them into a unified killing machine. With Grace’s help, Liam begins to regain his abilities, but when De Pere learns of it, he orders his militia to eliminate Liam at any cost.
 
But Liam’s abilities are expanding quickly. When Liam turns the tables and digs deeper into De Pere’s plans, he discovers a terrible secret. The same experiment that granted Liam’s abilities was bent toward darker purposes. Liam must navigate both his enemies and supposed allies to stop the President’s nefarious plans before they’re unleashed on the world. And Grace is hiding secrets of her own, secrets that could prove every bit as dangerous as the President’s.

Alternate history mixed with magical realism. Sounds great!

The Midnight Girls by Alicia Jasinska- December 7th

Karnawał season is a time for mischief and revelry. For the next few weeks, all will be wintry balls, glittery disguises, and nightly torch-lit sleigh-parties.

Unbeknownst to the merrymakers, two uninvited girls join the fun. Zosia and Marynka are drawn to each other the moment they meet, until they discover they’re rivals, who both have their sights set on the prince’s heart. If one consumes a pure heart, she’ll gain immeasurable power. Marynka plans to bring the prince’s back to her patron in order to prove herself. While Zosia is determined to take his heart and its power for her own.

Their ambition turns into a magical contest with both girls vying to keep the prince out of the other’s grasp, even as their attraction to one another grows. But their attempts on his life draws the attention of the city that would die for him, and suddenly their escalating rivalry might cost them not just their love for each other, but both their lives.

I’m sorry, but “let’s carve the heart out of the nice guy prince” sounds amazing.

Spin Me Right Round by David Valdes- December 7th

All Luis Gonzalez wants is to go to prom with his boyfriend, something his “progressive” school still doesn’t allow. Not after what happened with Chaz Wilson. But that was ages ago, when Luis’s parents were in high school; it would never happen today, right? He’s determined to find a way to give his LGBTQ friends the respect they deserve (while also not risking his chance to be prom king, just saying…).

When a hit on the head knocks him back in time to 1985 and he meets the doomed young Chaz himself, Luis concocts a new plan-he’s going to give this guy his first real kiss. Though it turns out a conservative school in the ’80s isn’t the safest place to be a gay kid. Especially with homophobes running the campus, including Gordo (aka Luis’s estranged father). Luis is in over his head, trying not to make things worse-and hoping he makes it back to present day at all.

One of the blurbs said it had Back to the Future vibes and I was like, yes please.

And there you have it. All the November and December new releases that sound interesting to me. There are several sequels that are also coming out, like the Bone Shard Emperor on Nov 9th, or Jade Legacy on Nov 30th, but I don’t usually include sequels. I did feel like you should know about them though.

And as of writing this, these are the current publication dates, though that could change.

Happy Pre-ordering!

New Releases for October 2021

If you saw my previous post about the predicted book shortage, you are like me and want to know all the new releases so you can start prepping now.

Ask for those gift cards early!

Let your family know it isn’t a ploy to get more books now, and have them pre-order for you so they can give the books as gifts! 

I’m doing a little of both.

I know I said I was going to create a master list, but with all the books coming out in October, I am having to split this into two blog posts. So here is the list of Octobers new releases so you can get started on those pre-orders!

Once More Upon A Time by Roshana Chokshi- October 5th

Once upon a dream, there was a prince named Ambrose
and a princess named Imelda who loved each other…
But alas, no more.
“What a witch takes, a witch does not give back!”
their friends and family warn.
They resign themselves to this loveless fate…
A year and a day pass.
And then their story truly begins…

Embark on a perilous journey with Imelda and Ambrose as they brave magical landscapes and enchanted creatures on their quest to reclaim their heart’s desire…But first they must remember what that is…

This sounds adorable and fun. We could all use a little fun in our lives right now.

Fan Fiction: A Mem-Noir: Inspired by True Events by Brent Spiner- October 5th

Set in 1991, just as Star Trek: The Next Generation has rocketed the cast to global fame, the young and impressionable actor Brent Spiner receives a mysterious package and a series of disturbing letters, that take him on a terrifying and bizarre journey that enlists Paramount Security, the LAPD, and even the FBI in putting a stop to the danger that has his life and career hanging in the balance.

Featuring a cast of characters from Patrick Stewart to Levar Burton to Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, to some completely imagined, this is the fictional autobiography that takes readers into the life of Brent Spiner, and tells an amazing tale about the trappings of celebrity and the fear he has carried with him his entire life.

I had to pre-order this one, as I am a life long Trekkie. Also, it just sounds fun.

The City Beautiful By Aden Polydoros- Oct 5th

Chicago, 1893. For Alter Rosen, this is the land of opportunity, and he dreams of the day he’ll have enough money to bring his mother and sisters to America, freeing them from the oppression they face in his native Romania.
 
But when Alter’s best friend, Yakov, becomes the latest victim in a long line of murdered Jewish boys, his dream begins to slip away. While the rest of the city is busy celebrating the World’s Fair, Alter is now living a nightmare: possessed by Yakov’s dybbuk, he is plunged into a world of corruption and deceit, and thrown back into the arms of a dangerous boy from his past. A boy who means more to Alter than anyone knows.
 
Now, with only days to spare until the dybbuk takes over Alter’s body completely, the two boys must race to track down the killer—before the killer claims them next.

This YA story sounds like an interesting fantasy murder mystery.

Briarheart by Mercedes Lackey- October 5th

Miriam may be the daughter of Queen Alethia of Tirendell, but she’s not a princess. She’s the child of Alethia and her previous husband, the King’s Champion, who died fighting for the king, and she has no ambitions to rule. When her new baby sister Aurora, heir to the throne, is born, she’s ecstatic. She adores the baby, who seems perfect in every way. But on the day of Aurora’s christening, an uninvited Dark Fae arrives, prepared to curse her, and Miriam discovers she possesses impossible power.

Soon, Miriam is charged with being trained in both magic and combat to act as chief protector to her sister. But shadowy threats are moving closer and closer to their kingdom, and Miriam’s dark power may not be enough to save everyone she loves, let alone herself.

It’s a YA Mercedes Lackey book. How could I not mention it?

A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow-October 5th

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.

I’m not saying I pre-ordered it, but I pre-ordered it.

Child of Light by Terry Brook- October 12th

At nineteen, Auris Afton Grieg has led an . . . unusual life. Since the age of fifteen, she has been trapped in a sinister prison. Why? She does not know. She has no memories of her past beyond the vaguest of impressions. All she knows is that she is about to age out of the children’s prison, and rumors say that the adult version is far, far worse. So she and some friends stage a desperate escape into the surrounding wastelands. And it is here that Auris’s journey of discovery begins, for she is rescued by an unusual stranger who claims to be Fae—a member of a magical race that Auris had thought to be no more than legend. Odder still, he seems to think that she is one as well, although the two look nothing alike. But strangest of all, when he brings her to his wondrous homeland, she begins to suspect that he is right. Yet how could a woman who looks entirely human be a magical being herself?

I have an ARC for this, so a review is coming next month. But still, new Terry Brooks!

The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield- Oct 12th

1973: a final, top-secret mission to the Moon. Three astronauts in a tiny spaceship, a quarter million miles from home. A quarter million miles from help.

NASA is about to launch Apollo 18. While the mission has been billed as a scientific one, flight controller Kazimieras “Kaz” Zemeckis knows there is a darker objective. Intelligence has discovered a secret Soviet space station spying on America, and Apollo 18 may be the only chance to stop it.

But even as Kaz races to keep the NASA crew one step ahead of their Russian rivals, a deadly accident reveals that not everyone involved is quite who they were thought to be. With political stakes stretched to the breaking point, the White House and the Kremlin can only watch as their astronauts collide on the lunar surface, far beyond the reach of law or rescue.

Full of the fascinating technical detail that fans of The Martian loved, and reminiscent of the thrilling claustrophobia, twists, and tension of The Hunt for Red October, The Apollo Murders is a high-stakes thriller unlike any other. Chris Hadfield captures the fierce G-forces of launch, the frozen loneliness of space, and the fear of holding on to the outside of a spacecraft orbiting the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour as only someone who has experienced all of these things in real life can.

Everyone’s favorite singing astronaut has written a sci-fi mystery book. No, I’m not excited for this at all.

The Heartbreak Bakery by A.R. Capetta-October 12th

“What’s done is done.”
Unless, of course, it was done by my brownies. Then it’s getting undone.

Syd (no pronouns, please) has always dealt with big, hard-to-talk-about things by baking. Being dumped is no different, except now Syd is baking at the Proud Muffin, a queer bakery and community space in Austin. And everyone who eats Syd’s breakup brownies . . . breaks up. Even Vin and Alec, who own the Proud Muffin. And their breakup might take the bakery down with it. Being dumped is one thing; causing ripples of queer heartbreak through the community is another. But the cute bike delivery person, Harley (he or they, check the pronoun pin, it’s probably on the messenger bag), believes Syd about the magic baking. And Harley believes Syd’s magical baking can fix things, too—one recipe at a time.

This sounds so cute! I had to include this adorable YA fantasy romance.

Any Sign of Life by Rae Carson- October 12th

Paige Miller is determined to take her basketball team to the state championship, maybe even beyond. But as March Madness heats up, Paige falls deathly ill. Days later, she wakes up attached to an IV and learns that the whole world has perished. Everyone she loves, and all of her dreams for the future—they’re gone.

But Paige is a warrior. She pushes through her fear and her grief and gets through each day scrounging for food, for shelter, for safety. As she struggles with her new reality, Paige learns that the apocalypse did not happen by accident. And that there are worse things than being alone.

This sounds really depressing. And slightly spooky.

Inhibitor Phase by Alastair Reynolds- October 12th

For thirty years a tiny band of humans has been sheltering in the caverns of an airless, crater-pocked world called Michaelmas. Beyond their solar system lie the ruins of human interstellar civilization, stalked by a ruthless, infinitely patient cybernetic entity determined to root out the last few bands of survivors. One man has guided the people of Michaelmas through the hardest of times, and given them hope against the wolves: Miguel de Ruyter.

When a lone human ship blunders into their system, and threatens to lead the wolves to Michaelmas, de Ruyter embarks on a desperate, near-suicide mission to prevent catastrophe. But an encounter with a refugee from the ship—the enigmatic woman who calls herself only Glass—leads to de Ruyter’s world being turned upside down.

Well that all sounds…terrible. Which of course makes me want it.

The House of Rust by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber- October 19th

The House of Rust is an enchanting novel about a Hadrami girl in Mombasa. When her fisherman father goes missing, Aisha takes to the sea on a magical boat made of a skeleton to rescue him. She is guided by a talking scholar’s cat (and soon crows, goats, and other animals all have their say, too). On this journey Aisha meets three terrifying sea monsters. After she survives a final confrontation with Baba wa Papa, the father of all sharks, she rescues her own father, and hopes that life will return to normal. But at home, things only grow stranger.

This one sounds so good. Consider me intrigued.

Hench by Natalie Zina Walchots- October 19th

Anna does boring things for terrible people because even criminals need office help and she needs a job. Working for a monster lurking beneath the surface of the world isn’t glamorous. But is it really worse than working for an oil conglomerate or an insurance company? In this economy?

As a temp, she’s just a cog in the machine. But when she finally gets a promising assignment, everything goes very wrong, and an encounter with the so-called “hero” leaves her badly injured.  And, to her horror, compared to the other bodies strewn about, she’s the lucky one.

So, of course, then she gets laid off.

With no money and no mobility, with only her anger and internet research acumen, she discovers her suffering at the hands of a hero is far from unique. When people start listening to the story that her data tells, she realizes she might not be as powerless as she thinks.

Because the key to everything is data: knowing how to collate it, how to manipulate it, and how to weaponize it. By tallying up the human cost these caped forces of nature wreak upon the world, she discovers that the line between good and evil is mostly marketing.  And with social media and viral videos, she can control that appearance.

It’s not too long before she’s employed once more, this time by one of the worst villains on earth. As she becomes an increasingly valuable lieutenant, she might just save the world.

I’m sorry, but I love the premise for this one so much it made my Christmas wish list this year.

Flowers for the Sea by Zin E. Rocklyn- October 19th

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.

Ooh…an Ark. Consider me curious.

Far From the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson- October 26th

The colony ship Ragtime docks in the Lagos system, having traveled light-years to bring one thousand sleeping souls to a new home among the stars. But when first mate Michelle Campion rouses, she discovers some of the sleepers will never wake.

Answering Campion’s distress call, investigator Rasheed Fin is tasked with finding out who is responsible for these deaths. Soon a sinister mystery unfolds aboard the gigantic vessel, one that will have repercussions for the entire system—from the scheming politicians of Lagos station, to the colony planet Bloodroot, to other far-flung systems, and indeed to Earth itself.

This one sounds pretty good too!

And as of writing this, these are all the current release dates, though that could change. Get those pre-orders in now!

It’s a month of great releases to be sure.

WWW Wednesday-September 22nd

Happy Fall Y’all!

Although it doesn’t quite feel like fall in Texas yet, we are almost there. It’s 82 degrees today. But don’t let that fool ya. It’s supposed to be in the 90’s later this week.

Hooray.

Anyhoo…it’s time for WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is a bookish meme that was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and reanimated at Taking on a World of Words.

It asks three simple questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

So on to the answers!

What are you currently reading?

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

Huzzah! I have finally gotten to this book. And it’s only 780 pages long. I’m excited to read it, and I know the hubs is happy for me to read it as well.

What did you recently finish reading?

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

I’d been meaning to re-read this series for a while now, so finishing this in a few hours was fun. The Mercy Thompson series is great if your looking for a five star, entertaining, fast paced read. Also werewolves, vampires, and werecoyotes. So there’s that.

Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn

This re-read was a long time coming. I mean a long time. The story of Rohan, a desert dwelling prince, and Sioned, a magically gifted Sunrunner. I have loved these books since I was in high school. This series also launched my “see a Michael Whelan cover, pick up that book” spell I went through. That period didn’t always pan out.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Forgotten in Death by J.D. Robb

This is the 53rd installment in the In Death series. I’m not gonna lie, I have no idea what this book is about. I’m gonna guess a murder that Eve has to solve with her colorful cast of characters, plus her handsome (and rich) husband, Roarke. I got this on the 6th, and to my shock and amazement, haven’t read it yet. Usually I go through these titles in a day or two as soon as I get them.

And there ya go, my answers to WWW Wednesday. What are you planning on reading next?