Tag: blogger

ARC Review: The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull

This novel is the fictionalised story of the American divorcée who captured Prince Edward’s heart before he abdicated his throne for Wallis Simpson.


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Title: The Woman Before Wallis

Author: Bryn Turnbull

Publisher: MIRA

Genre: Historical Fiction

Format: eARC from Netgalley

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Pub date: July 21, 2020


SYNOPSIS:

In the summer of 1926, when Thelma Morgan marries Viscount Duke Furness after a whirlwind romance, she’s immersed in a gilded world of extraordinary wealth and privilege. For Thelma, the daughter of an American diplomat, her new life as a member of the British aristocracy is like a fairy tale—even more so when her husband introduces her to Edward, Prince of Wales.

In a twist of fate, her marriage to Duke leads her to fall headlong into a love affair with Edward. But happiness is fleeting, and their love is threatened when Thelma’s sister, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, becomes embroiled in a scandal with far-reaching implications. As Thelma sails to New York to support Gloria, she leaves Edward in the hands of her trusted friend Wallis, never imagining the consequences that will follow.


MY REVIEW:

The Woman Before Wallis was a beautiful story about life, love, and heartbreak. I will start this by saying I enjoy a good historical fiction. I really respect the author for writing such a fantastic story and for making such a grand effort to have all the details from the actual story correct.

Thelma, is the main character of this story. She is a wonderful woman. Truly special. For her time she is independent, motivated, and just wanted something different for herself than what was the expectation. Her character took me on this whirlwind of an adventure that at times filled me with happiness and at other times filled me with sorrow. I would say I am a sucker for a love story and if you think this is going to be a love story – you are mistaken. There are relationships and yes, some love, but this is far from a love story. It is rather heartbreaking actually, but in a beautiful way.

Thelma is a divorcee, which during this time, is not well received. She then gets lucky and marries a new man (Duke Furness) and becomes part of the “high society” in England. Lucky lady, indeed. Throughout the rest of the story, Thelma is constantly fighting for happiness. While she marries a lovely man, she cannot stay happy. The instability of marriages during this time was unbelievable. Having affairs was more accepted than getting divorced. This part especially hurts Thelma. This leads to her meeting and ultimately, to her relationship with the Prince of Wales. Again, lucky lady! Again, she struggles with this relationship and many events occur throughout the rest of the book that are full of love and happiness and as well, full of sadness.

To be honest, I didn’t know whether or not I was even enjoying this book until I got about half way through. I was getting confused trying to keep up with the characters and the names. I had a hard time remembering the family names and keeping track of this “social map” of people. I can only imagine how stressful this would be in real life. It was exhausting keeping up. I found at the half way point it became easier and I started to feel very attached to some of the characters.

I was so drawn into the story. I read this book in 2 days. It sucked me in. I loved the fancy life of English royalty and upper class. It made me want that life. However, as scandals came up throughout, it made me realize that is NOT the life I want. I really did enjoy that part though. It was so fun to read about the fancy parties and events that these people had on a regular basis. I loved reading about the extravagant dresses and outfits as well. It was so dream like.

When it came to the end of the book I felt so mixed! I truly loved this story. Thelma has a special place in a heart. She was so strong and while at times did not make the best decisions, she sure stuck to her heart and that is very respectable. I wish it would have ended differently for her. It was a sad ending in my opinion, but not everyone gets a fairy tale ending. The only reason I did not rate this as 5 stars was simply because the ending left me asking questions and wanting to know exactly what happened. Of course, I understand that filling in the gaps would probably be an entire other book, but I felt almost cheated not know exactly the events that led to Wallis and David. I’m actually not too sure my heart could take it now that I’m thinking more about it!!

Overall, this was a fabulous book. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction in its truest form. It was a beautifully written story.


Do you like historical fiction?

Chat with me in the comments 😊

Mystery Blogger Award

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I was tagged for the Mystery Blogger Award by Books With Cassie! This is so fantastic! I am so excited about this. I have seen these around for so long now and I didn’t really know what it was all about. However, I am so happy to be nominated for this!

This award was created by Okoto Enigma to recognize “amazing blogs that haven’t been discovered” yet. How amazing is that???

Rules

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
  • Share a link to your best post(s).

3 Things About Me

  1. I love food!! I am actually pretty picky when it comes to food but I really love to eat haha! I think some of my fav meals would be mac and cheese, perogies, and tacos!
  2. I love to get my nails done! I’m really not much into “beauty stuff” but I NEED to have my nails done lol
  3. I have a kitty named Luna! She is about 9 months old and she is super cute but also quite violent 😂

Questions

What is your favorite thing about where you live (city, state or even country)?

I live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada! I love love love living in Canada. I have traveled outside of Canada to the US and Europe. I have to say that while Canada might not be the most exciting, it is full of wonderful people and amazing nature.

My favourite thing about living in BC is the weather. The rest of Canada gets these horrid winters and HOT summers. BC is more mild. We get a tiny bit of snow in the winter and get a decently hot summer. I just like that we get 4 seasons and that winter isn’t -40 degrees like the rest of Canada 🤷‍♀️What do you think about the color yellow? *This is my weird question

What do you think about the color yellow? *This is my weird question

I think yellow is a fun color. It makes me happy. It reminds me of the sun and just bright happy days! SO I would say, I like the color yellow haha. ALTHOUGH, I rarely wear the color yellow because my skin tone does not go well with it and my hair is blonde so I feel it clashes 🤷‍♀️ Little side note there hahaha

What’s something positive that you hope comes out of this pandemic?

I hope that the world sees how badly we have been treating the Earth and sees that it is possible to change the direction we are going regarding climate change and whatnot. I have seen around the world that pollution is down and water is cleaner. I REALLY hope that world leaders stand up and make changes once the world goes back to normal so all the positive changes that occurred during the pandemic aren’t for nothing!

How do you fit blogging into your routine?

I get every other Monday off work because we do “flex” time. I spend most of those Mondays creating blog posts and schedule them to release. I find the only way to consistently have posts is to schedule them ahead of time! This mostly works for me. But it can be tricky!!

I like to browse the blog world during my down time and at night to keep up with what everyone is up to!!

Who is someone you would love to meet, dead or alive?

This is such a hard question!!! I feel like I have never really thought about this ever in my life haha so I do not have an immediate answer to this.

I am going to pick 1 person that is alive and 1 that is dead!

So, my alive choice would be Taylor Swift. I KNOW this is probably lame and many of you may have met her before. However, I’m taking this question as more like actually meet her and get to know her, not just say hello to. So, that is my answer haha.

My dead option would be either Walt Disney because I love Disneyland and I feel like he would be a cool person to meet and for him to see what his empire became! OR Robin Williams. I think he was so funny, I loved all the movies he was in. I also feel like he could share some major insight into life just everyday stuff that could be eye opening and helpful! – Probably not normal answers to this question but here we are 😂


I Nominate:

Miranda Reads

Reading Rad Books

Elated Books

Tays Infinite Thoughts

My Honey Reads

Books Love Readers

ThatBookGal

Comfort Reads Book Blog

Our Book Boyfriends

Tessa Talks Books


My Questions

  1. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  2. What is some advice you would give to someone starting a blog?
  3. If you could time travel, when/where would you go?
  4. What is your all-time favourite book?
  5. WOULD YOU RATHER – Be covered in fur or covered in scales? (my weird/silly question)

Last thing – share a link to one of my best posts. Well, I’m not sure which post is my “best” but I did enjoy writing this one…. Middle Grade Books – What’s with the hype? so check that out out 😊


That is all for today everyone! As usual, thanks for stopping by!!

Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt Book Tag

Hello there all my bookish peeps!

So happy to be back with a super fun book tag AND even more fun that it is a “scavenger hunt” since its Easter weekend! I don’t know about you, but I loved waking up early to see what the crazy bunny left around my home. I was lucky enough to have parents that went to a lot of trouble to hide things everywhere (to the point that they have to take note of where things were for when I inevitably did not find them 😂).

Funny Easter Memes and Images for Sharing - Digital Mom Blog

I do miss the fun aspect of Easter. I mean, I still get the chocolate…. I just miss out on the hunt. Its somehow less fun when you know where you got the chocolate from and picked it out yourself…. STILL DELICIOUS but less fun. Oh well, I will have to find fun in something else. Too bad I don’t find cooking a large dinner for my family fun LOL.

FM104 - Waking up on Easter Sunday & looking forward to... | Facebook

Maybe you guys can share what you do for Easter and what you find fun about it! Give me some ideas so I can stop reminiscing of the good old days of Easter egg hunts 🤷‍♀️

So, I found this tag on Words About Words blog. It seems fitting and like a lot of fun! I always like an excuse to look through my book collection. So follow me on my journey around my bookshelf and see what I can find!!


1. Find an author name or title with a Z in it

Author: Suzanne Palmieri

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2. Find a classic

So I don’t actually have any classics on my bookshelf BUT I do have two coming in the mail from BookOutlet! Frankenstein and Treasure Island!

Frankenstein (Paper Mill Classics)

3. Find a book with a key on it

I don’t have a cover with an actual key on it!! The closest thing I have is “key” in the title and a keyhole on the cover!!

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

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4. Find something on your bookshelf that is not a book

So many things!! On my bookshelf I keep all my bookmarks, candles, fake plants, and random little knickknacks. I also have my box of recipe cards beside my cookbooks!

5. Find the oldest book on your shelf

This book was first published in 1993 which was 1 year before I was born… so this is definitely the oldest book on my shelf!

The Giver by Lois Lowry

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6. Find a book with a woman on it

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

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7. Find a book that has an animal on it

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

This book has a kitty on the cover!

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8. Find a book with a male protagonist

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Love this book series! I feel like I never get to talk about it but it was really fun to read! I really enjoy James Dashner. You cannot go wrong with a story about a virtual reality world in which people spend all their time. Michael, the main character, gets into some trouble in the virtual world and is on the run from the government. Super exciting book!

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9. Find a book with only words on the cover

All of my books have some sort of picture on the cover but the closest one I have to all words is….

A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee

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10. Find a book with illustrations in it

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Look at me – finding yet another place to talk about the Charlotte Holmes series!!! Love this series. At the beginning of the books there is a family tree outlining all the family members going back to Sherlock Holmes and a little information about them. Its quite funny!

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11. Find a book with gold lettering

House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin E. Craig

Such a pretty cover!! I especially like the font!

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12. Find a diary, true or fictional

The Dairy of A Young Girl by Anne Frank

I read this when I was probably 13 or 14 years old. It hit me hard and really opened my eyes to a lot of history. Ever since then I have LOVED history and am really drawn to historical fiction books.

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13. Find a book written by an author with a common surname (like Smith)

The Gone Series by Michael Grant

I feel like Grant is pretty common. I know a few people with this last name 🤷‍♀️

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14. Find a favorite childhood book

I don’t have any of my old children’s or middle grade books on my shelf as they are all at my parents house. BUT I know that I loved a few different series as a young reader.

Magic Tree House series

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Goosebumps series

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15. Find a book on your shelf that takes place in the earliest time period

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones

This book is based in the UK during 1818!

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16. Find a hardback book without a jacket

I don’t have any of these!! I never take the jackets off the hardcover books! But like I mentioned above, I am getting a couple classics in the mail soon. They are hardback without jackets!

Treasure Island (Paper Mill Classics)

17. Find a teal/turquoise colored book

Cocktails for Three by Madeleine Wickman

I picked this one up from the thrift store for like $2.00. This was at the beginning of my blogging journey. I needed more books to include in my pictures that were colorful. This one caught my eye right away! It has such pretty bright colors! I have to admit, I haven’t read it yet but maybe one day😂

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18. Find a book with stars on it

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This one was difficult for me! I had to look through so many books. I feel like this one works though – it has a starry sky on it!

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19. Find a non YA book

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

This was my first ever Goodreads win 😊

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20. Find a book with a beautiful cover

This one is not on my physical bookshelf but on my ebook shelf! This is my go to book when anyone asks about a beautiful cover. I LOVE this cover! It is so beautiful and colorful. Hope to get this in a physical copy sometime because I would love to have it displayed on my shelf.

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

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I tag:

But anyone can join in on the fun Easter book hunt 🥚📚


What do you think of my answers? Chat with me in the comments!

My BookOutlet Wish List + My Book Buying Problem

Hello there my fellow bloggers and book lovers!

I discovered BookOutlet like not even a year ago! I saw it on bookstagram one day and looked it up…. WOW I was missing out you guys! I immediately threw down my credit card and started mass buying everything because HOW CAN YOU TURN DOWN a book for like $4.00?!?!?! It was outrageous. I felt like I was unstoppable. I just found the best ever book website. Then, I sort of lost interest because well I bought like 12 books and then when they arrived I was like ‘Oh shoot… Now I have so many books and the desire to BUY MORE’ – I am a sucker for book buying, what can I say.

So, I have been pretty good recently. I haven’t bought any large amount of books since Christmas (which was done via gift card). I think I bought like 2 books from a used book store for cheap, so really, I’m pretty impressed with myself. However, that does not stop my wandering eyes from looking… from adding to my wish list… from just putting them in the cart and SEEING how much it would theoretically cost 😂 Guys – I’m pretty sure this is what people call an ‘addiction’ like what the heck is my problem LOL.

Anyways, I know I’m not the only one out there with this huge issue. I have seen many of you write similar posts about your struggle to not buy books. I see people going on “book buying bans” and to honest I should do that too but like I said, I’ve been good lately. Maybe soon I will deserve a reward in the form of more books 😈 My boyfriend already thinks I have a problem so he would not agree with me on that one!!

So here I am – Just a lonely little book blogger who wants to shower herself in new books and guess what???? I can’t, I shouldn’t, I won’t. So instead I am going to share with you a few books I have on my BookOutlet wish list so you can see what I’m dealing with!

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne ($7.69)

Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzzane Young ($7.09)

A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison ($3.73)

Anatomy of a Murderer by Tim Floreen ($3.73)

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather ($4.07)

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson ($9.25)


Well, that is like a third of my wishlist. I will save the rest for another day 🙂

What books are on your wish list? Any of these ones? Have you read any of these ones? Should I buy them? Chat with me in the comments!!

Life According to Literature Book Tag

I found this one one Bookish Me‘s blog!! This looks like a lot of fun. I am going to use books from the last full year (so from March 2019). Reason for that is I’ve only read like 12 books this year so far…. so this would be hard!!!


The Rules:

  • To answer the questions use only books you have read during the past year
  • Do not repeat any title
  • Tag some friends

Describe yourself: The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass

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How do you feel? The Dark Continent

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Describe where you currently live: Station Eleven

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If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Hotel for the Lost

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Your favourite form of transportation: The Turn of the Key

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Your best friend is: The Lanterns Ember

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You and your friends are: The Grave Keepers

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What’s the weather like? The Last of August

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You fear: The Institute

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What is the best advice you have to give? Don’t You Forget About Me

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Thought for the day: A Question of Holmes

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How would I like to die? A Spy in the House

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My soul’s present condition: The Sound of Stars

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Well, some of my answers simply made no sense haha!! I enjoyed this. This was a fun and cute book tag 🙂

I am tagging:

Krisha @ Bookathon

My Reading Escape

Alison @ Alison in Bookland

If anyone else is interested in doing this, you are tagged as well!!


  • Describe yourself:
  • How do you feel?
  • Describe where you currently live:
  • If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
  • Your favourite form of transportation:
  • Your best friend is:
  • You and your friends are
  • What’s the weather like?
  • You fear:
  • What is the best advice you have to give?
  • Thought for the day
  • How would I like to die?
  • My soul’s present condition:

Goodreads Monday – Mar 23, 2020

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. The meme is pretty easy to follow, to participate simply choose a random book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it!

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.


Why I Want To Read This

This book just sounds like a really fun ride that I want to be on! I saw this book at Chapters one day when I was just browsing and I thought it looked interesting so I took a picture of it so I wouldn’t forget and looked it up once I was home. I immediately added it to my Goodreads list! I was looking for something that would be a light read at the time and this just seemed to hit all the marks for me, plus it was like something I have never read before so I was intrigued.

Fast forward like a year and guess what…. I haven’t read it haha. I have thought about it many times and even saw it at the book store last time I was there and thought hmm.. maybe I should pick it up but again, I didn’t. Silly me!!!

I really enjoy stories about characters who are supposed to be a certain way but just won’t conform and end up just doing their own thing! I find those stories to be so entertaining and full of craziness! I am also up to romance at all times so this seems like a cute book I’d really enjoy 🙂


Let me know what you thought of this one!! Should I pick it up ASAP?

BOOK REVIEW: The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck

Welcome to a world where nightmarish creatures reign supreme. – Goodreads

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Title: The Lantern’s Ember

Author: Colleen Houck

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Paranormal

Format: Physical copy

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It’s difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So, he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern—one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal—or not-so-mortal—soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O’Dare.

Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack’s warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire—and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos. 


MY REVIEW:

This is a story about a lovely witch named Ember who goes on an unforgettable adventure into The Otherworld with the help of a handsome vampire, a lantern, and a mortal. The book has everything spooky! There are witches, ghosts, vampires, goblins, lanterns, even the Boogeyman! There is action and mystery throughout that doesn’t stop or slow down. I got some Halloweentown vibes from this one!! I honestly couldn’t get enough of this story.

Ember, the main character, is so wonderful. I found right away I was drawn to her rebellious and curious personality. She is so easily liked which is apparent throughout the story as many of the male characters are infatuated with her!! I had NO problems with Ember. She was smart and made good decisions. She wasn’t easily swayed by romance which was different! Normally female characters are so driven by romance. Not Ember. She was independent and while there is a romance in this story, it is not her that is leading it. I loved that aspect of the book!

Dev, the vampire that is involved in Embers adventure, was so handsome and interesting! He was everything a vampire should be (mysterious, dangerous, instinct driven) and everything a vampire shouldn’t be (caring, empathetic, and thoughtful). I LOVED Dev. He was fabulous. He saved the day several times and had such a deep and honest care for Ember that just made my heart melt into a puddle of love. He was probably my favourite character and I have to say I was a little bit disappointed that Dev didn’t get the ending I was hoping for!

Jack, the lantern, was a very intriguing character to me! First off, you are probably asking “what is a lantern?” So, Jack is basically immortal and essentially dead. He lives to protect the “crossroads” which are the spots that the mortal world and The Otherworld connect. He spends his days just watching and stopping humans from crossing and also stopping creatures from entering the mortal world. This is how he met Ember and that is where the real journey begins. Jack is a sweet character. It took me a little bit to warm up to him but once I did I was hooked. He is such a special character in this story and believe me, the ending will have you smiling ear to ear!

Overall story – LOVED IT!! The author took such a wildly fun idea and did an amazing job. There was not even one time that I couldn’t picture where the characters were. Everything was perfectly descriptive but not boring. There was a lot of background for the characters that helped bring them to life. The story is written in 3rd person point of view so everyone’s thoughts and feelings are quite out in the open throughout the story. I actually really enjoyed that because it gave me more information and everyone’s true intentions! Also, the ending had me a little shocked but also happy with some warm and fuzzy feelings!!

I saw a lot of mixed reviews about this book. There were some 1 star, some DNF reviews, but also some 4 and 5 stars. I had no idea what to expect so I just went into it with an open mind. I have to say I was so pleasantly surprised by this and really connected to the characters. I love spooky things so this fit so perfectly. By no means was this book scary or anything, just simply the idea of the story gave it those spooky vibes! I would recommend anyone who enjoys Halloween, witches, magic, or spooky creatures to read this book!


Do you like paranormal, spooky, fantasy reads? Have you read this one?

5 Irish Authors (and their books) to Check Out This St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! 🍀

I am not Irish (that I know of) but like many of you I enjoy celebrating this holiday! Such a fun time and who would turn down an excuse to wear all our bright green clothes and head to the bar and drink green drinks?!? Always a fab time!

I wanted to take some time to mention a few amazing Irish authors and give them the recognition they deserve 🙂 When I was looking for Irish authors I was super surprised to find some really popular authors are Irish! Who knew??

I think it is so cool that people stick with their heritage. My family is very much “Canadian” which means we have lost our heritage and history. All I know about my family history is that we are from England, Scotland, Germany, and possibly Sweden! Quite the range there haha! I love being Canadian and when I say that I am Canadian I say it with the same joy as people who say they are Italian or Irish or French or whatever background they may have! I just think that sometimes Canada doesn’t really have much of a “culture” per say and that being Canadian doesn’t come with many deep rooted traditions and practices. However, that is fine with me because I love where I come from and am proud just like everyone should be of their home 🙂 rant over!

Tana French

Tana is a very talented author. She has won many awards for her mystery/thriller books! She lives in Dublin with her family 🙂 Here are a few of the books she has written:


Anne Griffin

Anne Griffin is an Irish author. She was educated at University College Dublin. Anne has won awards in Literature and Writing. Anne’s debut book was published in 2019.

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Sinead Moriarty

Sinead is a very accomplished Irish author. Sinead started her career as a journalist and then switched gears to creative writing and ultimately as a published author.


Sally Rooney

Sally graduated from Trinity College. She has been quite successful as a author. Her books have been popular everywhere to the point there have been articles written about her called “The Cult of Sally Rooney” by Vox.


Cecelia Ahern

Cecelia was born and grew up in Dublin! She has published an array of successful books which have been published in as many of 50 countries! She has even had two of her book made into TV shows and movies!


Have you read any of these books or heard of these authors? What did you think about the books?

Comfy Corner: What’s the deal with giveaways + follow count

Hi there everyone! Welcome to my comfy corner of the internet where I can share my deepest darkest secrets (just kidding)! But really, this is the place where I can share my thoughts with people who might actually care which is PRETTY COOL!

So, as many of you know, I am also on IG (check me out I am fun and love to chat with people)!!

On IG I see people hosting giveaways all the time!! For a while I was like “what is this” and “why are people spending their own money to give things away.” Like most of you, I love to enter in the giveaways and obviously hope I win!! When I first started my IG I entered any one I could and ended up following a ton of people who never followed me back or interacted with my posts. So, slowly but surely I started to unfollow these accounts and stopped entering in so many giveaways – I will get more into this after.

There are like probably a million blog posts about how to do giveaways and why they are soooo amazing. I have read many of these posts in order to do my own giveaway and learned that people do these giveaways mainly for more followers and really no other reason. I wondered does this really work and if so, how well?

Something I learned: I did not realize that some of the accounts on IG “partnered” with other accounts and publishers in order to do the giveaways. This did not even cross my mind when I started!! Silly me!

I found I was looking into how these accounts were partnering with publishers and trying to figure out how they were hosting so many giveaways. To be honest, I never really found the answer I was looking for other than they have a lot of followers and publishers may contact them to feature the books/ other accounts contact them to partner on the giveaway to boost their followers. (This seems so obvious but little new bookstagram me had no idea).

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My own giveaway: So then when I reached around 1500 followers I decided I would join in and try this giveaway idea. I wanted to see if you gain a lot of followers and honestly I started to connect with a lot of cool people and it felt nice to give back to them especially since I won a few giveaways from them!

So, I searched high and low for the best way to host a giveaway. Do I pick a specific book, do I let the winner choose, do I go with a gift card or care package, do I surprise them with a book…… The options are endless. I decided to go with good old Book Depository and let the winner choose the book they wanted! This ended up being the best option in my opinion because that seems to get people more excited!

Did I get more followers? So, this question is difficult. Yes, I temporarily got more followers. NOT A LOT, but some. I’d say about half of those new followers were gone once the giveaway winner was picked. So, I don’t think it is really any better of option than simply following people and interacting with them on their pages. Maybe I simply don’t have enough followers for a giveaway to be super successful. I wouldn’t say it was a flop though. I would do one again but it wouldn’t be for the purpose of gaining followers 🤷‍♀️

What I like about giveaways: I think if done correctly, the giveaways are such a fun way to further connect with your followers and to give back to your friends. They can be relatively inexpensive or even free if you giveaway a copy of a book you already have. I enjoy when publishers do giveaways for ARC’s and newer books. I like to follow publishers anyways because of their announcements and different things they post!! So it works out!

What I don’t like about giveaways: I don’t like when a giveaway is hosted by several accounts and then I have to follow like 5 different accounts to enter for 1 book. 99% of the time those 5 accounts won’follow you back so now you end up just following a bunch of people for no real reason. The same goes for the accounts with 20k followers hosting giveaways. I follow a few big accounts because I truly enjoy what they post and enjoy their updates. However, I don’t want to follow someone who will have no interest in following me back just to enter a giveaway (like those 20k accounts who actually only follow 100 people…. no thanks).

Or, some giveaways require you to “repost” their post which I just simply won’t do because I like to keep my feed somewhat uniform with my own unique stuff! I don’t want to repost a giveaway post 🤷‍♀️

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Overall – my thoughts on giveaways are somewhat positive. I like the idea of them because who doesn’t like to win things?? Especially if it is something you want or enjoy. But, all the following and unfollowing that comes with it doesn’t seem totally worth it to me.. maybe if you are able to partner with a publisher and get the book for free then why not, but spending your own money for a few extra followers just isn’t my cup of tea!

I will continue to interact with my people and gain followers the old fashion way – by being consistent and working hard! May take longer but that’s okay, I’m not here for the followers, I’m here for the community (but followers are nice too haha).


What do you think about giveaways? Have you hosted them? Do you think they helped your follower count? Chat with me in the comments 🙂

Women’s History Book Tag

FINALLY I GOT TAGGED IN A BOOK TAG! You guys, this is great! For once I am not just picking book tags to participate in all by myself 😂 Thank you Lauren @ Narrativeparadise for the tag!!!

Margaret @ Weird Zeal created this wonderful book tag in honor of Women’s History Month which is now (March)! I am also posting this a couple days after International Women’ Day!! Everyday should be women’s day in my opinion haha!

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post.
  • Link to the creator’s blog in your post
  • Answer the questions below using only books written by women
  • Feel free to use the same graphics
  • Tag 8 others to take part in the tag
Rosa Parks
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning? – Goodreads

This is such an over used book I’m sure but honestly it is SO iconic and one of the first major female leads that made a huge impact! I read these books when I was in high school and absolutely loved them. When the movies came out I knew I needed to see them and I thoroughly enjoyed them and found them to be quite empowering and moving.


Ada Lovelace
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A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. – Goodreads

LOVE THIS BOOK! Charlotte is such an interesting character to me. She is the descendant from the great Sherlock Holmes ad solves all sorts of mysteries. She is so smart and sneaky! If you enjoy Sherlock mysteries then this would be for you! Its a series as well!


Queen Elizabeth 1
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One Blood Ruby by Melissa Marr

The Queen of Blood and Rage wants Lily to help broker peace with the human world, but Lily knows that harmony won’t come easily. After decades of waging war on the humans, who cost the queen her firstborn daughter, the fae are struggling to accept Lily, a half-human monarch. – Goodreads

I haven’t read this one but it seems like a really fun idea! You cannot go wrong with Queens and war!


Virginia Woolf
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The Witch of Little Italy by Suzanne Palmieri

When young Eleanor Amore finds herself pregnant, she returns home to her estranged family in the Bronx, called by “The Sight” they share now growing strong within her. – Goodreads

I personally did not end up enjoying this book very much for several reasons. I wrote a review about this book and gave it 2/5 stars. However, the writing in this book was so beautiful and artistic. I referred to it as being like a song, so smooth and well put together. Really wonderful writing. Worth checking out even though I wasn’t a huge fan!


Joan of arc
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The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

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. – Goodreads

I am waiting for this book to come out and just cannot wait to get my hand on it!! First off, this seems like an amazing book that will have such a strong female character. Second, I need to read more fantasy books I just don’t read them enough! Lastly, I love a book with a emperor and war and immortality… so fun!

Pub date: May 26, 2020


Mae Jemison
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Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhonda Belleza

The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, Rhee has spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne – and her revenge. – Goodreads

So my understanding is that this is about a princess who is going to war with the same people who killed her family! She sounds like one tough cookie to me!! Plus, the cover is beautiful!


Rosalind Franklin
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Hotel for the Lost by Suzanne Young

When Audrey Casella arrives for an unplanned stay at the grand Hotel Ruby, she’s grateful for the detour. Just months after their mother’s death, Audrey and her brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their grandmother, dumped on the doorstep of a DNA-matched stranger because their father is drowning in his grief. – Goodreads

This was a great book that was on my reading list for a very long time. I just kept putting it off when something new came out and really I am so disappointed I waited so long. It was lovely. Full of mystery, love, heartbreak, despair, and so many twists I didn’t see coming. This is a book I would re-read and I have NEVER re-read a book.


Marsha P Johnson
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The Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever. – Goodreads

I have not read this one but I have heard good things. It is a historical fiction about living in the 1950’s in Virginia and dealing with segregation and hardship due to sexuality. Two female characters are on opposite sides of the movements but start to fall for each other!


Amelia Earheart
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Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.Goodreads

I have had this book on my TBR for a long time now. Always thinking I’ll read it next month or I’ll get to it soon. I find I am so interested in reading it and have heard such amazing things but to be honest it touches on some really difficult topics and I never feel like I’m ready for it. Maybe some time soon.


Your Choice

Anne Frank!

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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. – Goodreads

That young girl has always stuck out to me as such a strong and powerful person. I have read her story and wow, was it heartbreaking. I think this is something every single person should read if not for the amazing young woman she was but for the history and understanding!


So many amazing women in this world! I loved this tag. It reminded me of the amazing women that have shaped my world today and to connect it to books makes it even better 🙂

I tag you! Anyone who wants to join in, please do!! I’d love to see your picks!