A Mirror Mended-A Mini Review

Well hello beautiful people. It’s been over two months since I have done a book review. I think it’s time I rectified that, don’t you? Today I am reviewing A Mirror Mended by Alix E. Harrow, which is a follow up to the first book in the series, A Spindle Splintered. Also, if you haven’t read A Spindle Splintered but plan to, avoid this review as I include the synopsis, which has spoilers for that book. You have been warned!

Zinnia Gray, professional fairy-tale fixer and lapsed Sleeping Beauty is over rescuing snoring princesses. Once you’ve rescued a dozen damsels and burned fifty spindles, once you’ve gotten drunk with twenty good fairies and made out with one too many members of the royal family, you start to wish some of these girls would just get a grip and try solving their own narrative issues.

Just when Zinnia’s beginning to think she can’t handle one more princess, she glances into a mirror and sees another face looking back at her: the shockingly gorgeous face of evil, asking for her help. Because there’s more than one person trapped in a story they didn’t choose. Snow White’s Evil Queen has found out how her story ends and she’s desperate for a better ending. She wants Zinnia to help her before it’s too late for everyone.

Will Zinnia accept the Queen’s poisonous request, and save them both from the hot iron shoes that wait for them, or will she try another path?

This follow up to 2021’s A Spidle Splintered was a delight to read. We follow up with Zinnia as she is on her 48th (49th if you count her best friend’s) happily ever after. She’s grown a little weary of her life rescuing sleeping beauties until one day she looks into a mirror and the face she sees there isn’t her own, but that of an Evil Queen. Will Zinnia be able to help her make her own fate as she has for so many others?

Novellas aren’t usually my favorite, but this is the second one I have read this month that has impressed me. How the author packed so much complex character development into such a short story, I’ll never know, but she managed to do it. The Evil Queen fascinated me. She just wants to escape the fate that the story holds for her. Like so many fairy tales, it’s quite gruesome and she doesn’t want to meet her end that way. I mean, if you knew your ending was going to be something you could potentially change, wouldn’t you try?

Zinnia, our protagonist, is fed up with the way she lives, but knows if she stops, her life may be over as well, and she’s not ready for that. But she isn’t your typical protagonist, she does the rescuing, or helps others rescue themselves. She is complex and nuanced for existing in a book so short.

The world building is great, for all that you don’t spend a lot of time in just one world. This seems to be the year of the multiversal type properties and I don’t hate it (looking at you Everything Everywhere All At Once). One of the things I loved is that the set up for the way of traveling between worlds is described in such a way that seems wholly unique to me. I’ve never heard it’s like before, and I can appreciate that.

The ending was satisfying, and it did leave me wanting more, but in the good way. I definitely left the story feeling fulfilled.

That being said, this book wasn’t perfect. It had some problems with pacing, which I can almost understand given how short the story is.

At the end of the day I gave this tale a strong four out of five stars.

First Lines Friday: February 11, 2022

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Well hello! And how are you doing today? Me, I woke up with a migraine. I’m going to be gentle with myself today and take it easy. I don’t have as many migraines as I used to, thanks to medication, but yes, it used to be much worse. Thank you Doc!

But today’s First Lines Friday ticks a ton of boxes for me. Which is why it’s so surprising that I haven’t read it yet. Oh, let’s be honest, it’s not that much of a surprise, my TBR is huge.

The Lines:

I will die drowning; it has always been known. This was my first vision, long before I knew what it was, and I’ve had it so many time now that I know each instant by heart.


The Book:

Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian

Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come–for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.

On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends–countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.

When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.

As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change destiny–and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.

So can we take a moment to appreciate that the author put trigger warnings (suicide and mental health) in the front of the book? She also went so far as to put helpline numbers in there in case you need it! More authors need to do that!

Where do you stand on trigger warnings on books?

First Lines Friday-January 28, 2022

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Well hello, beautiful people! And how are you doing this fine Friday? I know for some of you it’s the weekend. Congratulations! You made it through the week! Double congrats if you made it through without killing your seven evil bosses! Points for you if you can name that movie.

Today is First Lines Friday. It’s always fun for me to look over the unread books on my TBR and pick one for this. It makes me want to read the book. Kind of the point I guess.

The Lines

Some people are born under a lucky star, while others have their misfortune telegraphed by the position of the planets. Casiopea Tun, named after a constellation, was born under the most rotten star imaginable in the firmament. She was eighteen, penniless, and had grown up in Uukumil, a drab town where mule-drawn railcars stopped twice a week and the sun scorched out dreams.


Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own. 

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

This is one of three books I own by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. The synopses of her books are all very appealing to me. Have I read any of them yet? Nope, but I need to before I buy more of her books!

Do you have an author you own multiple books of that you haven’t read yet? Please tell me I’m not alone.

Servant Mage-A Book Review

Thank you to NetGalley and Tordotcom for this copy of the Servant Mage by Kate Elliott. As always, I will provide you with an honest review.

They choose their laws to secure their power.

Fellian is a Lamplighter, able to provide illumination through magic. A group of rebel Monarchists free her from indentured servitude and take her on a journey to rescue trapped compatriots from an underground complex of mines.

Along the way they get caught up in a conspiracy to kill the latest royal child and wipe out the Monarchist movement for good.

But Fellian has more than just her Lamplighting skills up her sleeve…

I’m going to start this review off by saying that I have a soft spot for Kate Elliot. The Crown of Stars Series is some great reading if I do say so myself. That being said this book was not my favorite.

Fellian is a servant mage. A sort of indentured servant who is taken from her family and only taught the most basic of magic skills so as to be of use to the person who purchases her for work. When we first meet Fellian, she is engaged in an illegal activity, teaching someone how to read. When she is approached by those who appear to be soldiers, she knows her life will never be the same.

Fellian is swept away on an adventure knowing nothing about what’s happening, as a result, you as a reader know nothing about what’s going on as well. We learn as Fellian learns. And I found myself as frustrated as Fellian was by the little bits and pieces that she was being fed.

The other characters weren’t particularly compelling. This could be partly because of how Fellian sees them, but I feel they might have been more interesting if I felt any of the urgency towards saving them that she did.

I did find the magic system fascinating. It is elemental based, but not the same way we have seen in the past. For example, Fellian is a fire mage, she can create Lamps of light to guide the way, and Water mages can change their appearance. I enjoyed that each mage had a part to play, but I wish the gifts they possessed had been explored a little more.

Part of my issue with this book is because it is a novella. I found the plot to be interesting, but it could have benefited from some more fleshed-out world-building. What we do see of the world is intriguing, but not enough to hold my attention (full disclosure, I had COVID and COVID fog is real, but that wasn’t the full issue) for very long.

The ending was interesting. It was predictable, but not, all at the same time. You knew what was going to happen, but the reasons why were left a mystery until the very end.

After all was said and done, I had to give this book two stars.

What’s On My TBR? January 2022

Hello beautiful people! It’s time for me to tell you my lofty goals for my TBR. I’m pretty sure I’m going to fail again, but I really don’t care! My new philosophy for this year is “as long as I’m reading”!

So what, then, is the point of doing a TBR? Well, it’s fun for starters. It’s also nice to see where the reading gods take me, however far or close to my TBR that may be.

That being said, let us get the book club picks out of the way first!

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

Multiverse travel is finally possible, but there’s just one catch: No one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying—from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn’t outrun. Cara’s life has been cut short on 372 worlds in total.

On this dystopian Earth, however, Cara has survived. Identified as an outlier and therefore a perfect candidate for multiverse travel, Cara is plucked from the dirt of the wastelands. Now what once made her marginalized has finally become an unexpected source of power. She has a nice apartment on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. She works—and shamelessly flirts—with her enticing yet aloof handler, Dell, as the two women collect off-world data for the Eldridge Institute. She even occasionally leaves the city to visit her family in the wastes, though she struggles to feel at home in either place. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, Cara is on a sure path to citizenship and security.

But trouble finds Cara when one of her eight remaining doppelgängers dies under mysterious circumstances, plunging her into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and her future in ways she could have never imagined—and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world but the entire multiverse.

Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan

An American woman is summoned by a remote tribe of nomadic Aboriginals who call themselves the “Real People” to accompany them on a four-month-long walkabout through the Outback. While traveling barefoot with them through 1,400 miles of rugged desert terrain, she learns a new way of life, including their methods of healing, based on the wisdom of their 50,000-year-old culture. Ultimately, she experiences a dramatic personal transformation.

Mutant Message Down Under recounts a unique, timely, and powerful life-enhancing message for all humankind: It is not too late to save our world from destruction if we realize that all living things–be they plants, animals, or human beings–are part of the same universal oneness. If we heed the message, our lives, like the lives of the Real People, can be filled with this great sense of purpose.

And on to the non-book club books!

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Tom Hazard has just moved back to London, his old home, to settle down and become a high school history teacher. And on his first day at school, he meets a captivating French teacher at his school who seems fascinated by him. But Tom has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history–performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.

Unfortunately for Tom, the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: Never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society’s watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can’t have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.

This one is a library loan, so I have to read it quick!

Servant Mage by Kate Elliot

Fellian is a Lamplighter, able to provide illumination through magic. A group of rebel Monarchists free her from indentured servitude and take her on a journey to rescue trapped compatriots from an underground complex of mines.

Along the way they get caught up in a conspiracy to kill the latest royal child and wipe out the Monarchist movement for good.

But Fellian has more than just her Lamplighting skills up her sleeve…

I am reading this one because one, Kate Elliot, and two, I was approved for the ARC through NetGalley. A review is forthcoming. I just have to read the novella first.

A Letter to Three Witches by Elizabeth Bass

Nearly a century ago, Gwen Engel’s great-great-grandfather cast a spell with catastrophic side-effects. As a result, the Grand Council of Witches forbade his descendants from practicing witchcraft. The Council even planted anonymous snitches called Watchers in the community to report any errant spellcasting…
Yet magic may still be alive and not so well in Zenobia. Gwen and her cousins, Trudy and Milo, receive a letter from Gwen’s adopted sister, Tannith, informing them that she’s bewitched one of their partners and will run away with him at the end of the week. While Gwen frets about whether to trust her scientist boyfriend, currently out of town on a beetle-studying trip, she’s worried that local grad student Jeremy is secretly a Watcher doing his own research.
Cousin Trudy is so stressed that she accidentally enchants her cupcakes, creating havoc among her bakery customers—and in her marriage. Perhaps it’s time the family took back control and figured out how to harness their powers. How else can Gwen decide whether her growing feelings for Jeremy are real—or the result of too many of Trudy’s cupcakes?

Okay, this was totally a NetGalley cover pick. Also, I want to read more romantic comedies! But yes, there will be a review soon.

Fan Fiction: A Memnoir by Brent Spiner

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’ve been meaning to pick this book up since I bought it in October. It just sounds fun.

And there it is. My completely do-able, probably not going to happen, TBR!

JK, some of these books are rather short, so I should be able to do all of these no problem. Wish me luck!

All the Books I Read-December 2021

Hello beautiful people! I hope you are having a wonderful day so far. I’m doing pretty well, except for the weather. It either wants to be 19 degrees or 55 degrees outside. It’s great. Really great. Love it. So much.

Speaking of cold, I read 4 books, for a total of 1,206 pages, in December. It’s a small amount compared to months past, but I read, and that’s all that matters.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

A scientist and gentleman inventor in industrialized Victorian England claims to have irrefutable proof that time is not simply a concept—it’s a whole other dimension. When he reveals the prototype of a time-traveling machine to his peers, he’s met with skepticism at first . . . until he returns one week later, disheveled, bloody, and with a fantastic story to tell.

It’s classic sci-fi and I can see it absolutely entrancing people at the time it was written. That being said, the only female character was of a simple-minded race of people and that didn’t really sit well with me, alas the book is a product of its time. For that, I had to give the book 3 stars.

The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan

Laid off from her department store job, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. The prospect of spending Christmas with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered yuppie life does not appeal.

Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want her prickly sister Carmen there either. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs help revitalizing his shabby old bookshop. So Carmen moves in and takes the job.

Thrown rather suddenly into the inner workings of Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the picturesque streets of historic Edinburgh, Carmen is intrigued despite herself. The store is dusty and disorganized but undeniably charming. Can she breathe some new life into it in time for Christmas shopping? What will happen when a famous and charismatic author takes a sudden interest in the bookshop—and Carmen? And will the Christmas spirit be enough to help heal her fractured family?

I wrote a whole review of this book. I really liked it. It was a nice cozy read that really warmed my heart. Although I did call who she was going to end up with when we first met him, I really do read too many books. I gave it 4 stars.

Absynthe by Brenden P. Bellacourt

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.

I wrote a review for this book as well. I haven’t seen a lot of people talk about it, and it was so very, very good. It kept me guessing right up until the very end. This is no small feat, as I thought I had the twist figured out a few chapters in. I was wrong. I ended up giving this book 5 stars.

The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell—both critical to her success as a show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over.

With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a fun read, a little predictable, but still fun. If you are looking for a good holiday book for next year, this one will do. 4 stars!

And hey, look at that! Not a DNF in sight! It’s a rare month when that doesn’t happen. I’m pretty pleased with myself.

And now for my favorite part! The stats!

Mysterious, lighthearted, and adventurous all tied for first place with 2 books each!

It was a medium-paced month with one book being faster-paced.

When you read four books the pie charts come out so neat and orderly. Only one book is under 300 pages.

In an unusual twist, I read no fantasy this month! None, nada, zip zilch! It feels weird. But I’ll take it.

Does it seem odd to anyone else that I have no 1 star ratings this month? No? Just me? Okay then.

December was hectic. You can see when I had the most time to devote to reading, and it wasn’t as much as I would have hoped. It happens. We read when we can.

What did you read last month? Anything fabulous?

WWW Wednesday- January 5, 2022

Hello beautiful people! It’s WWW Wednesday! That most auspicious of days when we answer the three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next? It’s hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words but was previously hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm.

And how are you doing today? Me, I’m doing alright. Woke up to my cat’s screaming…again. She used to let me sleep, now she complains if I’m not up to pet her at an hour she deems appropriate. More time for doing things around the house I guess. Or I could just watch Encanto for the fiftieth time. It’ll probably be that last one because that movie is pretty awesome.

What are you currently reading?

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Alright, so technically this is a bit of a cheat as I haven’t started it yet. I finished my latest book last night before I went to bed and I need something new to read. This is a library hold through the Libby app so I have to give that a read. I was planning on starting it today anyway. And a story about immortals? I’ll read that.

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

I was hoping to be able to finish this as an audiobook because I like the narrator, I just don’t have the time to listen to it right now. I do have time to read it though, so I’ll be finishing the rest of the book through its physical counterpart. Also, yes, I know the holiday season is over. I started this before Christmas and just didn’t have time to finish it.

What did you recently finish reading?

Once More Upon a Time by Roshani Chokshi

This cute story is about a prince and a princess who fall in love, only for the princess to become ill and have a witch heal her. The price? Their love for each other. And that’s only the beginning of this novella. This is a story about rediscovering love through living life, and I loved it. It’s also about overcoming toxic families, because wow.

Servant Mage by Kate Elliot

I got approved for this novella through NetGalley and am so excited to read and review it for you. Magic and rebellion and assassination plots! It sounds like so much fun! I don’t know how the author is going to squeeze all of that into a 169 page book!

I still can’t believe I haven’t finished that Christmas book. Today my friends! Today!

All The Books I Read-November 2021

Well, wasn’t November special! I only read 5 books! 5! 5 is better than zero when you have a book blog though, so I’m not going to be too hard on myself.

I am, however, going to blame the new Animal Crossing DLC for taking up a good chunk of my time, as well as other general life things. I’d say Thanksgiving didn’t help, but I read 3 books while I was gone for the week, so yeah. That’s what happens when you leave your Switch at home I guess.

So here’s what I read in November.

You Feel It Just Below The Ribs By Jeffrey Cranor and Janinia Matthewson

So I reviewed this book, you can find that here, spoiler alert, I didn’t love it. In fact, I DNF’d it. This book helped me realize that I just don’t like dystopian stories set in the “real” world. That’s just another genre I’ll have to cross off my list, along with westerns.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

The story of Piranesi, who lives in a fantastical house that contains an ocean within its walls. He, along with the Other, is trying to unlock the mysteries of the house. I also reviewed this book. You can find that review here. When I initially reviewed this book I gave it 3 stars, but the more I sat with it, I feel it may be a 3.5 or 4 star read. It happens.

River Marked by Patricia Briggs

Book six of the Mercy Thompson series. Mercy, while on a much-needed vacation, encounters monsters and finds out the truth about her father. I loved this book, as I love all the books in the Mercy Thompson world. It was such a good entry into the series, and I really loved how it brought in small amounts of Indigenous lore. 5 stars!

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

The story of Ransom, who is abducted from Earth and taken to another planet to be offered as a sacrifice by the people there. I liked this one but couldn’t get past the bad science. yes, I know, C.S. Lewis was not a science guy, and yes, there is a lot we have learned since the 1930s, but it still bothered me. 3 stars. Good plot. But still, 3 stars.

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

The seventh entry in the Mercy Thompson series. In this one, the pack mysteriously disappears and it’s up to Mercy to find them. This book has an interesting twist in it, one that I already knew because I had read it before. Did it knowing the twist change my enjoyment? No. 5 stars!

And there you go. That’s the massive list of books I read last month. On to the stats!


I read 3 challenging books? I’d ask how that happened, but I read them, so I know how it happened.

This seems a little skewed, like maybe one of the medium books should be a fast-paced book, but that’s okay.

I didn’t realize how short Piranesi was. It comes in at just 250 pages.

I’m not really sure why I bothered to include this one when I knew that I had read nothing but fiction anyway.

It’s always fun for me to look at the genre breakdown. Classics is not something you see on here very often.

This one looks about right. Still not sure If I should go back and change Piranesi’s rating though. I’ll think about that one.

This newest of stats is a favorite of mine. You can really tell where someone reads. For example, I was useless at the beginning of the month. For at least the first 11 days. Then it picked up…ish.

And there you have my stats. If you want to see your own stats, why not get started on The Storygraph? It’s free and easy to start even if all your book reading data is on Goodreads. And no, this isn’t a sponsored post. I just like them that much.

How was your month of reading?

First Lines Friday- November 26th

It’s Black Friday peoples! This means I’m going to be busy sitting at home reading and eating leftovers for the most part. I’m sure if the deal on the books is good enough I will venture forth. Because books! But alas, I might not go anywhere but my couch.

I’m more of a Cyber Monday person anyway.

On top of it being Black Friday, it’s also First Lines Friday.

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

The Lines:

“Come on,” Mingzha begged. “Please, I want to see.”

Nezha seized his brother by his chubby wrist and pulled him back from the shallows. “We’re not allowed to go past the lily pads.”

“But don’t you want to know?” Mingzha whined.


The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

The war is over.

The war has just begun.

Three times throughout its history, Nikan has fought for its survival in the bloody Poppy Wars. Though the third battle has just ended, shaman and warrior Rin cannot forget the atrocity she committed to save her people. Now she is on the run from her guilt, the opium addiction that holds her like a vice, and the murderous commands of the fiery Phoenix—the vengeful god who has blessed Rin with her fearsome power.

Though she does not want to live, she refuses to die until she avenges the traitorous Empress who betrayed Rin’s homeland to its enemies. Her only hope is to join forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who plots to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new republic.

But neither the Empress nor the Dragon Warlord are what they seem. The more Rin witnesses, the more she fears her love for Nikan will force her to use the Phoenix’s deadly power once more.

Because there is nothing Rin won’t sacrifice to save her country . . . and exact her vengeance.

I’m embarrassed to say that this book has been on my TBR for two years and I haven’t picked it up yet. Heck, it’s been on there longer since I got the ARC for free from a bookstore. I really need to buckle down and finish this series. There are just way too many books out in the world.

Have you read The Dragon Republic? What did you think?

The Thanksgiving Book Tag-Part One

Hello beautiful humans! Welcome to Thanksgiving Week! Why is it a week, you may ask? Because this is one of the biggest travel weeks in America. And it’s anticipated to be extremely busy this year. Go us. There is also Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the biggest shopping days of the year. It’s a week of craziness!

To celebrate, I decided to do two Thanksgiving Book Tags. The first one you will find here!

The rules to this Thanksgiving tag are as follows:

Thank The Person Who Nominated You (um…no one nominated me, I found this on the interwebs)
Give Credit To The Creator (Annasbooknook)
Answer The Prompts
Tag Others If You Desire! 

Friends and Family: A Book With Characters That Feel Like Family

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

This group of put-together people is a found family if I ever read one, and you feel like you belong. This could be unfortunate, as this house holds a doorway to the afterlife and the proprietor is the ferryman that guides you there. I really enjoyed the family aspect of this group. Even the dog has a purpose in this book, and it’s just absolutely heartwarming…and heartbreaking.

Fallen Leaves: A Book That Fell Flat (Didn’t Meet Your Expectations)

Child of Light by Terry Brooks

This book, about a young woman who escapes a prison camp only to wind up in the hands of the fae only to find out she may be one of them, did not live up to my expectations of it. I had high hopes going in because it’s by Terry Brooks, but this book fell very short of those. I ended up DNF’ing it.

Thanksgiving Dinner: A Book You Want to Read Every Year During This Season

A Discovery Of Witches by Deborah Harkness

This book is right up there as one of my favorites of all time. It’s amazing. I know I just read it earlier this year, but the final season of the TV show comes out in January and I am currently thinking of re-reading the series again…this year! I’m not saying I have a problem, but I probably have a problem. And who doesn’t want to read a complicated love story between a witch and a vampire that isn’t a love triangle?

Turkey: A Book With A Bird In It

Dragon and Phoenix by Joanne Bertin

Does a mythological bird count? I’m counting it. The Dragonlord series is a lot of fun. Unfortunately, we only have three books set in this world, and the third book is more of a prequel than a sequel so we don’t get all of the characters we know and love from the previous two books. I still enjoy reading this series though. Especially because it deals with humans who can turn into dragons! Huzzah!

Ham: A Book That Made Your Eyes Glaze Over (Boring)

Outlawed by Anna North

Apparently, I just don’t like westerns because this one just…le sigh. I DNF’d it.

Dinner Rolls: A Book That Melted Your Heart and Made You Feel Warm

How Y’all Doing? by Leslie Jordan

I loved this audiobook. Something about Leslie Jordan makes you feel glad and happy to be here. His life wasn’t always easy, but his delivery of said life made you smile. Check him out on Instagram if you want a taste. He’s a hoot.

Mashed Potatoes: A Book With a White Cover

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

This grim-dark book series features white covers for all its books. At least for the hardcovers anyway. It’s a really good series if you’re looking for something dark to read.

Gravy: A Book You’re Not Totally Sure Why You Love, But You Do

Naked in Death by JD Robb

I have never been able to explain why I love this series so much. I have never been a big fan of this kind of mystery, or of romance, but I enjoy the heck out of these books! I’d say they are a guilty pleasure, but I feel no guilt reading them!

Pumpkin Pie: A Dessert Book That You Love

The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn

I guess I will always hype this book up as one of the sweetest books I have ever read. It’s so cute I bought both sequels, even though one seems absurd. Really absurd. I still bought it!

Bonus: Black Friday: The Top 5 Books On Your “I Want To Buy Them” List

In no particular order we have The Heartbreak Bakery by A.R. Capetta, Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man by Emmanuel Echo, What Once Was Mine by Liz Braswell, The Guinivere Deception by Keirsten White, and The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox. I just bought a whole bunch of books back in October, so it’s going to be a while before I can actually add these to my TBR pile. I might pick up the Holiday Swap in December…maybe.

So where does that leave me? Oh yeah, tagging people. Consider yourself tagged! Have fun with this tag. I know I did!

The next Thanksgiving Tag will be up on Thursday!