Bookish Merchandise I’d Love to Own

Hello beautiful people! It’s a beautiful day outside today in the Dallas area and I have been out running errands on this blue sky day. But it’s Top Ten Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is all about bookish merch I would love to own…hence the title.

This T-Shirt from TeeTurtle

I think it accurately displays how we all feel after the end of a good book. We get the sads cause it’s over. Sometimes we get the sads becuase it really made us cry! You can find the shirt here.

This T-Shirt from Out of Print

This book sparked a love of Greek mythology that still lives inside of me. You can find the shirt here. Bonus points to Out of Print for using the sales of their shirts to fund literacy programs across the country.

This T-Shirt from Etsy

I really want this one, given where I now work. You can find it here.

This Book Sleeve

I found this one whilst scrolling the interwebs a while ago. I feel it rings true. You can find it here.

This Sticky Tab Set

I really want to try to annotate my books, especially those I want to review that aren’t on my Kindle. This seem like good tabs to use for that. Also, there is about 480 of them. You can find them here.

This Bookish Puzzle

This pretty puzzle looks as frustrating as it does fun. it would look great spread out on my coffee table. Until my cat knocks it over. You can pick it up here.

This Bookish Embroidery

Embroidery is one of those hobbies you can do while listening to an audiobook. I love it. And I want this kit. You can find it here.

This Car Decal

I just got a new car, so I’m a little hesitant about this one, but it looks like something I would have on my vehicle. It’s available here.

This Unique and Adorable Bookmark

I love the way this adorable little bookmark looks. And you get eight of them! You can pick them up here.

This Magnet

I want this for my TBR cart, not my fridge. But I love it so much! You can find it on ETSY here.

Is it cheating that three of my bookish things are t-shirts? I don’t think so, as I want them all. What’s really funny is there were a few things I went to go add and I realized I had already purchased them. Oh well.

Authors I Haven’t Read but Want To

Hello beautiful people! The family has departed and I’m excited to be back to my normal routine, if there ever was such a thing. But hey, it’s Tuesday! That means it’s Top Ten Tuesday!

It’s Top Ten Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic, if you haven’t guessed from the title, is all about authors I haven’t gotten to yet, but want to.

Diana Gabaldon

I have yet to pick up this series, despite owning this book in three formats. And given that all she has really written is the Outlander series, I have to at least give these novels a try.

Naomi Novik

So despite owning three books set in three different worlds by this author, I have yet to read a single one. I need to work on that, I think.

Neal Shusterman

I also own a few books by this author and have read none. Are we noticing a pattern here?

Octavia E. Butler

I can’t believe I have never read any of her work! From what I understand, her writing was incredibly prophetic.

Sarah J. Maas

This is another example of “I own all the things and have never read them”. I have gotten several of her books, on sale because bargains, and just haven’t gotten around to them. I have problems.

N.K. Jemisin

We just picked up The Broken Earth trilogy a few days ago from our used book store (huzzah!) and The Hubs is reading it right now. He’s on book two, so I have high hopes.

Sara Douglass

So I bought this entire series based on the covers, and haven’t read them yet. I mean look at that art! I have no idea what to expect, of course, but that cover!

Fredrick Backman

I’ve heard amazing things about Backman’s writing. And I own Anxious People. I have high hopes based on everything I have heard about him.

Ta-Nehisi Coates

I have heard nothing but good things about this author’s writing. I need to get to it sooner rather than later.

Jennifer L. Armentrout

I own the first book in this particular series but haven’t read anything else by the author either.

And there is my list. What does your list look like?

Books With an Adjective in the Title

Well hello, beautiful people! Today has been another busy day for me, what with the running of errands. The search for comfy shoes has been a long, hard, road. But isn’t it always?

It’s Top Ten Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s list is all about books that have adjectives in the title!

Neon Gods by Katee Robert

Ah yes, the gods of neon. Those who shine brightly in their glittering city above all. This is a Hades and Persephone retelling of the spicy variety. I enjoyed this one enough to pick up the sequel. Which of course, I still haven’t read.

Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite by Various

This short story collection all about vampires was a four-star read for me. It takes typical vampire lore and tropes and reimagines them with a modern twist. And there are some pretty good stories in here.

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Malloy

I had rated this book two stars. It left such an impression on me that I had to look up the description on Goodreads, as I had completely forgotten what it was about.

The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso

The second book in the Swords and Fire series. I gave this one four stars. I have really enjoyed this series, which totally explains why I haven’t finished it.

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler, art by Frank Miller.

This King Arthur retelling focuses on Nimue, the lady of the lake. I really enjoyed this tale and gave it five stars. I haven’t finished the Netflix adaptation, and I probably won’t, if I’m honest.

The Four Profound Weaves by R.B. Lemburg

This story features some interesting trans rep and has a very unique magic system. That being said, the writing style felt a little flat for me, and I ended up not finishing this novella. I gave it one star.

To be Taught, if Fortunate by Beck Chambers

This novella features a very interesting ending and I highly recommend you check it out. It’s a story about a mission to discover life on alien worlds, and asks the question, what kind of world will they find when they go home? I gave it four stars.

The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall

This story was written by the author of Boyfriend Material and I absolutely loved this book. Unfortunately, it’s a standalone, and there are currently no plans for a sequel. I would love to see more in this world. I did give it five stars. If you love fantastical retellings and enjoy Sherlock Holmes you may get a kick out of this.

Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Okay, but how nice is this cover? That’s not why we are here of course, but it has to be said. This is the 5th book in the Alpha and Omega series which is a Mercy Thompson spin-off. I thought this book was just okay, if the three-star rating I gave it is anything to go by.

Dark in Death by J.D. Robb

The 46th entry into the In Death series finds Eve having to solve crime. Go figure. Like all the In Death books, I really had a good time reading this one, although the series is suffering a little from series fatigue. It’s a hazard when you write this many books. Four stars.

And there it is. My list of books with adjectives in the title. Have you read any of these?

Books on My 2022 Spring TBR

Well hello, beautiful people. It’s been a few days. I needed a mental health break, so I took some time off from blogging and did some other things, like playing board games with the Hubs.

But today is Top Ten Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week it’s all about your spring TBR.

I made the winter one and never read a book on it, so let’s see if I can keep to this one, shall we?

The Impossible Us by Sarah Lotz

I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley. It sounds like a very cool premise. Love through parallel worlds? Yup. I’ll read that.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

A story about men who have a secret book club where they read romance novels to help them in their love lives. Um, but why does this sound like both a train wreck and adorable all at once. It also happens to be the first book in a series, and we all know how good I am at finishing those.

The Lost Girls by Sonia Hartl

I love the idea of vampires that are frozen in time and can’t escape the frizzy hair of the 80s! I also love that it’s a revenge story.

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

The story of the current geological age as told in personal essays. It’s been on my TBR shelf (let’s be honest, it’s shelves) for a while now and I want to get to it soonish.

Malice by Heather Walter

This story of Sleeping Beauty told from the villain’s point of view. The sequel is coming out later this year, and I want to get to this one before Misrule releases.

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Mass

I bought this one without knowing what it was about, and I still don’t know. But it’s a chonky book, and I want to get to it, as the sequel just came out this month.

Various In Death Books by J.D. Robb

It’s kind of cheating to put this on here, but I’m only counting it as one, so it’s not cheating, right?

All The Feels by Olivia Dade

Another sequel, this one to my favorite book of the year so far. I have to get to it, and soon.

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Now, I didn’t like the first book I read by this author, but I have heard that this one was way better. So here’s hoping. Especially because she has a book coming out this year that I like the sound of.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

I really enjoyed the last book by this author, so I have high hopes for this one. Hopefully those won’t be dashed.

Now, let’s hope I can actually read all the books on this TBR this season. I’m going to cross my fingers!

Books With Your Favorite Trope/Theme

Well hello, beautiful people! It’s Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s TTT is all about your favorite trope, but I don’t have one favorite trope, I have several. So I thought I would give you a few examples of my favorite ones!

Top Ten Tuesday, by the way, is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Trope One: The Chosen One

So you may notice a theme in my chosen one trope. Yes, they are all King Arthur re-tellings. He’s my favorite literary chosen one. I think I saw The Sword in the Stone one too many times as a child, but I love the idea of the chosen king. One day he shall live again!

Trope Two: Time Loop/Groundhog Day

The time loop has been a favorite trope of mine for years. Recursion did it beautifully, and if you want to have your mind twisted, give it a read. If you’re not familiar, the time loop/groundhog day trope is what happens when a specific character (or group of characters) repeats the same day (or a specific period of time) over and over again until the goal or purpose is achived.

Trope Three/Four: The Grump-Sunshine Trope/Fake Dating Trope

Okay, so I know I’m new to the romance genre, but I have been completely taken in by these tropes. The idea of the grumpy guy getting together with the sweetheart girl. I’m also really in love with the fake dating trope. I have no idea why these two tropes appeal to me so much, but they do.

Trope Five: Enchanted Object/Weapon

This enchanted sword actually appears in several books in the Valdemar verse and I love it so much. There are other famous enchanted objects, but I ran out of books to use!

And there it is! A few of my favorite tropes and the ten books in therein! I had fun hunting these titles down. I was having issues and could remember the name of Recursion. I kept typing Remember into the search bar. Right idea, wrong title.

What is your favorite trope?

Top Ten Dynamic Duos

Well hello, beautiful people! Pardon the lateness of my arrival with this post. I got a headache yesterday (It was seventy-five degrees!) and I still have a headache today (it’s thirty-five degrees!) because the Texas weather has gone nuts! We are also supposed to get freezing rain tomorrow! What! I can’t with this.

But despite all of that, the world still turns, and it’s Tuesday. It’s the two-est of Tuesdays! And that means it’s Top Ten Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about Dynamic Duos. Interpret that as you will. It could be as duologies or pairings or friends or all of the above! I haven’t read very many duologies, so we won’t be focusing on that aspect of it, but friends and lovers? Heck yeah!

Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter by, well, you know.

For all I don’t like the author, the books are timeless. And Ron and Hermione are a big part of that. Watching their relationship grow over time in both the books and on-screen was quite fun. You were rooting for them since the first book.

Legolas and Gimli from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

This is a classic friendship that is about more than just becoming friends through hardship. It’s about two parties overcoming deep-seated prejudices to see the best of each other and form a lifelong bond. I loved seeing it on screen, but it’s also more moving in the books when you read the appendices and learn how this friendship ends.

Rohan and Sioned from The Dragon Prince Trilogy by Melanie Rawn

Rohan and Sioned are my favorite fantasy romance paring…so far. They balance each other well. Sure, it’s insta-love, but they face hardships as a couple and fight for their relationship. Their unshakable bond is forged through communication and respect. Also a healthy dose of sneaking away from their responsibilities to spend some quality time together.

Marcus and April from Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

I wrote a gushing review of this book just yesterday! Marcus and April, while flawed, are a couple that is built on love and respect. I loved watching them discover each other and grow together.

Eve and Roarke from the In Death series by J.D. Robb

These two are constantly surprising one another. I enjoy watching them discover who the other is, and find new depths to their partner and themselves. It also helps that they are both willing to go out of their comfort zones for each other.

Mercy and Adam from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs

Mercy and Adam are two different species, he is a wolf she a cotoye, yet the love and respect (it starts as a need to irritate) they have for one another is outstanding. There is no length they won’t go to keep each other, and their pack/family, safe. This often leads to each of them thinking they know what’s best, which leads to poor communication, which, eventually, gets resolved.

Addie and Henry from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Addie and Henry are complicated, to say the least. When she meets him, she is almost desperate for his attention, as he is the first person in over 300 years to remember her. What forms is a sweet and enduring relationship.

Ryland and … from Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

I can’t really say much about these two without giving it away. But this friendship is so pure. I love it so much.

Matthew and Diana from The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

I’ve made no secret of my love for this series, and at the heart of that lies Matthew and Diana. The story of a witch and a vampire who have to defy a centuries-old law just to be together. There isn’t anything they aren’t willing to do to be together. And it’s a beautifully written journey.

Amelia and Zaira from the Swords and Fire Trilogy by Melissa Caruso

At first, these two have a contentious relationship that builds into a begrudging trust. It’s made all the more complicated by the fact that Zaira wants nothing to do with the institution she finds herself inextricably bound to.

And there it is. My list of dynamic duos. I can actually think of several more but managed to narrow the list down to these ten. It’s a miracle!

Who is your favorite dynamic duo?

TTT: Books Too Good To Review Properly

It’s Top Ten Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Hello beautiful people! And how are you today? Me, I have about two books that I want to read right now, and I can’t concentrate on either of them. Tomorrow’s WWW Wednesday is going to be interesting. That’s all I’m saying.

But today is all about Top Ten Tuesday! This week it’s all about books that are too good to review. I’m going to try and keep this list to books I haven’t actually reviewed, that’s going to be fun.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

I had been a fan of Jenny Lawsons for years when this book came out. I didn’t have a book blog at the time and wasn’t writing reviews on Goodreads, but I was telling everyone and their mother about this book. Even if they wouldn’t listen. You could say I was persistent.

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Allie Brosh wrote (drew? designed?) a book that spoke to my mental health-ridden soul. I don’t talk about it very often on here, and I should, as this graphic novel is perfection. She tackles the topic of depression so well. This also happens to be so funny to read.

Recursion by Blake Crouch

This mind-bending book about memories was wonderfully complex and twisty and weird. I loved every minute of it. It’s also a bit mysterious, which I also loved!

A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers

This is a gentle story about a robot and a non-binary tea monk. The robot, Mosscap, emerges from the forest to ask Dex, the tea monk, what is it humans need? Of course, this is not a question with a straightforward answer. It was so very good.

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

The story of a traveling cleric, Chih, and their recording of the story of the Empress who had previously been imprisoned in the fortress. This is such a great novella (it’s only 124 pages!) and a lot of story is pressed inside this tiny tome.

Snug by Catan Chetwynd

An adorable collection of comics from internet sensation Catana Comics. These heartwarming pages are filled with mini-stories about life with your, well, bestie. I can relate to a lot of these.

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler, art by Frank Miller

A King Arthur retelling from Morgan LeFay’s point of view. And not at all a traditional retelling either. I enjoyed this refreshing and dark take on the classic story. I was not crazy about the Netflix adaptation, though.

This Place: 150 Years Retold by Various

This poignant collection of well-drawn stories is equal parts fascinating and heart-wrenching. The beginning of each chapter is headed up with facts of the indigenous experience in Canada. Some of the stories and facts brought me to tears. It’s absolutely worth the read.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien

Does this book need any explanation? I mean it’s perfection. Kind of. Not really. But the nostalgia is real, and that’s why it’s always going to be a top-tier book for me.

Exiles: The Ruins of Ambrai by Melanie Rawn

This trilogy stopped at two books. We may never have the ending of it. But this first book was perfection. The story of three sisters torn apart by politics and magic, I ate it up when I first read this 25 years ago. Even though it may never be finished, I still highly recommend it.

What books would you have a hard time reviewing because they are just that good?

TTT: Books With Names/Character Names in the Titles

It’s Top Ten Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Well hello beautiful people! It’s going to be an interesting day for me today. I’m preparing for inclement weather that may, or may not, happen. There are some very cold temps heading my way and with that comes snow and/or ice. Maybe. See, I live in the south, so when the weather calls for snow and ice, there is a 75% chance it won’t happen. But you have to act as if it will happen because we are ill-prepared for the poor weather. As evidenced by how last year’s storms wiped out our power grid.

It was…fun.

But today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about books with names in the titles. As I was trying to focus on books I actually own, I honestly thought this was going to be harder to complete, as I read mostly fantasy, and that genre doesn’t often use names in the titles. But I managed to find more than ten! Huzzah!

Some of these will be on my TBR pile, and some will be books I have already read!

The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield

A TBR pile book. The Apollo in the title is an obvious reference to the Apollo missions which saw American Astronauts land on the moon. It took place between 1961 and 1972, with the first crewed flight being in 1968. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

Le Morte d’Athur by Sir Thomas Mallory

I have read part of this book, gotten distracted by other books, and not finished it. It’s a dense thing. These are the stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. My illustrated copy is 800 pages long. This book was originally written in the late 1400s and Mallory was not a nice guy, having been imprisoned for a variety of violent crimes, including attempted murder. The things you find out when you get curious.

Scarlet by Stephen R. Lawhead

This second book in the Raven King Trilogy is named after Will Scarlett, this series is all about the fictional hero of Robin Hood. I say fictional hero as there is no actual evidence that Robin Hood actually existed. From what I was able to find, the first written account of him was in the late 1300s. Apparently, today is history day.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

This is also a book on my TBR. I picked this book, named after its main characters, years ago at McKay’s in Nashville. Weighing in at 865 pages, I have just avoided picking it up. Because of time. And weight. That book is heavy.

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan

This book on my TBR pile was a total cover buy. I have since learned that it is number one in a series of five, so that could be fun. From what I understand, the whole series is told in memoir form, told from Lady Trent’s point of view.

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova

A BOTM pick that made its way onto my TBR. I love the idea of inheritance, magic, and mysterious circumstances leading you back home. Should be a fun read, you know, when I get to it.

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

Oh, look, another book on my TBR. This book has all the praise and that cover is gorgeous. This book is named after its main character and she has a ghost dog! A ghost dog!

The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown

I read this book years ago, and I liked it. I thought the first book, Angels and Demons, was so much better. This book really isn’t about Leonardo Da Vinci, but it’s a fun read if you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller to read.

Polgara the Sorceress by David and Leigh Eddings

I read this book twenty years ago. I’ll be honest, I don’t really remember much about it, so I should probably re-read it. I do know it’s the final book in a series that I have never read another book in. This was a recommendation from a friend in my college days.

Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The story of the mysterious head of the Dark-Hunters, Acheron. It took 14 books to get to his story, and it was well worth it. In my opinion, it was the best of the Dark-Hunter novels up until this point. I really need to re-read this series. That will have to come later!

Honorable mention to Willow, the novel based on the movie. I found it listed on Amazon for $700, so yeah, no. Suffice it to say that one is out of print.

I had a lot of fun trying to find all these books. Looking of my bookshelves at all the books I own reminded me how very lucky I am to be able to have reading as a hobby. So very, very lucky.

Do you have a favorite book with a name in the title?

TTT: New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2021

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Hello beautiful people! How are we doing this fine Tuesday? Me, I’m fine. I seem to finally be over being sick, which is wonderful. The way things were going I thought I would be sick forever. Seriously. I’m still having some lingering COVID fog, but it is nowhere near as bad as it was when I was sick. Thank goodness. I can read again!

Speaking of reading, this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is all about authors you discovered in 2021. I read quite a few books by new to me authors, so I figured I could give this a shot!

Brendan P Bellacourt

This isn’t the author’s debut novel, as it’s a nom de plume and he normally writes under the name Bradley Beaulieu. I absolutely loved this book. And the more I think about it, the more I think this is one of my favorite books of last year. I loved the writing and the way he left me guessing all the way until the very end.

Hannah Whitten

This is a debut novel for this author, so I discovered her along with everyone else. She wrote a rich and wonderful world that was full of compelling characters. Yes, I have preordered the second book.

Gail Carriger

This new to me author was such a fun read. I enjoyed watching this world unfold. I haven’t finished the series yet, I got distracted by other books, it happens with me. But I have purchased this full series.

TJ Klune

I read two TJ Klune books this year and fell in love with his writing style. It made me curious to see if his other books are just as well done. I’m hoping to read more by him in the future.

Matt Haig

This book was a great read for me. The concept and the writing style felt really fresh. I really loved the character growth. It just spoke to me. Another book that makes me want to read more by the author.

Erin Sterling

This is author Rachel Hawkins’s pen name. I’ve never read anything else by her, but some of her books do sound interesting. Not sure if I will pick them up, but I did really enjoy the writing and the story of The Ex Hex.

Garth Nix

This colorful romp around London was exactly the book I needed at the time. It entranced me with its world-building and colorful characters.

Jenny Colgan

The Christmas Bookshop was a surprise hit for me last year. I had never heard of this author before, and I now hope to read more by her. Her characters were unexpectedly nuanced and complex. I loved the setting. And apparently, I’m a sucker for a Christmas book.

Lana Harper

Another pen name, this time for YA author Lana Popovic. I really enjoy the world and characters the author created. The plot was also pretty fantastic too. I might have pre-ordered the sequel already. Maybe.

Maggie Knox

Maggie Knox is the name of the writing duo Karma Brown and Marissa Stapley. This also happens to be their debut novel, and I enjoyed the heck out of it. It was a perfect holiday read and I can’t wait to see what they do next!

Turns out I read a lot of books by authors I already knew in 2021. I’m going to make an effort to read more new to me authors in 2022. I have quite a few of them that I want to pick up!

Did you pick up any of these authors for the first time this year?

TTT-2021 New Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and originally created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Well hello, beautiful peoples! I’m back from my quarantine! I have not fully recovered from my bout of illness, but we followed all of the doctor’s instructions and the Hubs never got sick! Huzzah!

Alas, I did have the COVID fog, so I wasn’t able to do much reading like I had hoped. That’s life, I guess.

But that does lead me to today’s Top Ten Tuesday! This is not only a list of books from last year, it’s also a list of books I’m hoping to get to this year.

The Mask Of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick- January 19, 2021

FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD. MAGIC FAVORS THE LIARS.

Ren is a liar and a thief, a pattern-reader and a daughter of no clan. Raised in the slums of Nadežra, she fled that world to save her sister. Now, she has returned with one goal: to trick her way into a noble house, securing her fortune and her sister’s future.

But in the city of dreams, her masquerade is just one of many. Enigmatic crime lord Derossi Vargo, stony captain of the guard Grey Serrado, dashing heir Leato Traementis, and the legendary vigilante known as the Rook all have secrets that could unravel her own.

And as corrupt nightmare magic begins to weave its way through the city of dreams, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled—with Ren at their heart.

Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell- February 2, 2021

Prince Kiem, a famously disappointing minor royal and the Emperor’s least favorite grandchild, has been called upon to be useful for once. He’s commanded to fulfill an obligation of marriage to the representative of the Empire’s newest and most rebellious vassal planet. His future husband, Count Jainan, is a widower and murder suspect.

Neither wants to be wed, but with a conspiracy unfolding around them and the fate of the empire at stake they will have to navigate the thorns and barbs of court intrigue, the machinations of war, and the long shadows of Jainan’s past, and they’ll have to do it together.

So begins a legendary love story amid the stars.

The Guilded Ones by Namia Forna-February 9, 2021

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox-February 9, 2021

Taryn Cornick believes that the past–her sister’s violent death, and her own ill-conceived revenge–is behind her, and she can get on with her life. She has written a successful book about the things that threaten libraries: insects, damp, light, fire, carelessness and uncaring . . . but not all of the attention it brings her is good.

A policeman, Jacob Berger, questions her about a cold case. Then there are questions about a fire in the library at her grandparents’ house and an ancient scroll box known as the Firestarter, as well as threatening phone calls and a mysterious illness. Finally a shadowy young man named Shift appears, forcing Taryn and Jacob toward a reckoning felt in more than one world.

Malice by Heather Walter-April 13, 2021

Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who, in an act of vengeance, cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love’s kiss.

You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily ever after.

Utter nonsense.

Let me tell you, no one in Briar actually cares about what happens to its princesses. Not the way they care about their jewels and elaborate parties and charm-granting elixirs. I thought I didn’t care, either.

Until I met her.

Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar’s throne. Kind. Gracious. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am Alyce, the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Humiliated and shamed by the same nobles who pay me to bottle hexes and then brand me a monster. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though a power like mine was responsible for her curse.

But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating—and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps together we could forge a new world.

Nonsense again. Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I—

I am the villain.

Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa-May 11 2021

IN THIS WORLD, THERE IS NO DESTINY BUT THE ONE YOU MAKE. 

In the ancient city of Bassa, Danso is a clever scholar on the cusp of achieving greatness—except he doesn’t want it. Instead, he prefers to chase forbidden stories about what lies outside the city walls. The Bassai elite claim there is nothing of interest. The city’s immigrants are sworn to secrecy.

But when Danso stumbles across a warrior wielding magic that shouldn’t exist, he’s put on a collision course with Bassa’s darkest secrets. Drawn into the city’s hidden history, he sets out on a journey beyond its borders. And the chaos left in the wake of his discovery threatens to destroy the empire.

Beyond by Mercedes Lackey-June 15, 2021

Within the Eastern Empire, Duke Kordas Valdemar rules a tiny, bucolic Duchy that focuses mostly on horse breeding. Anticipating the day when the Empire’s exploitative and militant leaders would not be content to leave them alone, Korda’s father set out to gather magicians in the hopes of one day finding a way to escape and protect the people of the Duchy from tyranny.
 
Kordas has lived his life looking over his shoulder. The signs in the Empire are increasingly dire. Under the direction of the Emperor, mages have begun to harness the power of dark magics, including blood magic, the powers of the Abyssal Planes, and the binding and “milking” of Elemental creatures
 
But then one of the Duchy’s mages has a breakthrough. There is a way to place a Gate at a distance so far from the Empire that it is unlikely the Emperor can find or follow them as they evacuate everyone that is willing to leave.
 
But time is running out, and Kordas has been summoned to the Emperor’s Court.
 
Can his reputation as a country bumpkin and his acting skills buy him and his people the time they need to flee?  Or will the Emperor lose patience, invade to strip Valdemar of everything of worth, and send its conscripted people into the front lines of the Imperial wars?

Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian-July 6, 2021

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.

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao- September 21, 2021

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.
 
When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​
 
To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

Fanfiction by Brent Spiner-October 5, 2021

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 actually got each of these books with the full intention of reading them last year, but that didn’t happen. I’m hoping with my focus being put on my TBR backlog this year that I’ll be able to get to most, if not all of them. I do have a year, so I should be good. But I’m me, and TBR’s never go quite as planned.