The Friendship List- Blog Tour

#thefriendshiplist #contemporary #romance #womensfiction #susanmallery #harlequin #bookishlife #beautifulstories

Hello, hello my beautiful friends! I’m back with such a beautiful story to share with you. I was lucky enough to have read and reviewed one of Susan Mallery’s books back in Winter, Meant to be Yours, so when I got invited for The Friendship List I jumped on it! Thank you Harlequin for allowing me the chance to have read such a beautiful story about life, relationships and being a parent. Now let’s get into some details!!!!

The Friendship List : A Novel 

Susan Mallery

On Sale Date: August 4, 2020

9781335136961, 1335136967


$26.99 USD, $33.50 CAD

Fiction / Romance / Contemporary 

384 pages


Already a worldwide success in mass market and trade paperback formats, Susan Mallery’s newest hardcover is an emotional, witty, and heartfelt story about two best friends who are determined to help one another shake things up and live life to the fullest…only to discover that possibilities are everywhere–especially in the most unexpected of places.

Ellen and Unity have been best friends basically since birth, but they couldn’t be more different. Unity married her childhood sweetheart just after high school and became an Army wife, moving from base to base…until her husband’s shocking death in the line of duty leaves her a widow. Grief-stricken, it’s time for Unity to come back home to Ellen—the only person she can trust to help her rebuild her life. But Ellen has troubles of her own. Boys never seemed to notice Ellen…until one got her pregnant in high school and disappeared. Her son is now 17 and she’s wondering what to do with herself now that he’s heading off to college and he’s literally her entire world.

But now that Ellen and Unity are reunited, they’re done with their stale lives. It’s time to shake things up and start living again, knowing that they’ll always have one another to lean on. So they create a list of challenges they have to accomplish–everything from getting a tattoo to skydiving to staying out all night. And whoever completes the most challenges is the winner. But with new adventures and love just around the corner, there’s no such thing as losing…


SUSAN MALLERY is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship and romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations,” and readers seem to agree—forty million copies of her books have been sold worldwide. Her warm, humorous stories make the world a happier place to live.

Susan grew up in California and now lives in Seattle with her husband. She’s passionate about animal welfare, especially that of the two Ragdoll cats and adorable poodle who think of her as Mom.


Twitter: @susanmallery

Facebook: @susanmallery

Instagram: @susanmallery

Author website:



Barnes & Noble


Indie Bound



Google Play

Apple Books




My Review-

Right from the start we are introduced to characters that are so relatable, full of emotion, and down to earth. I found myself feeling like I was talking with the characters as the story unfolds, not reading about them! The friendships and life struggles that they navigate are profound and realistic, which I usually find makes for a very powerful read. Susan Mallery creates characters that come to life with valid stories that anybody can relate to!

This was such a lovely story, that brought emotion and wisdom to the surface. Sometimes in life you have to want more for yourself, and sometimes you have to rely on your friends to show you what you truly deserve. If you love stories about friendship, family, and life, then this is a must read! You never really can go wrong with a book by Susan Mallery!

If I’ve piqued your interest so far, then please read this excerpt from The Friendship List by Susan Mallery!!

Chapter One

“I should have married money,” Ellen Fox said glumly. “That would have solved all my problems.”

Unity Leandre, her best friend, practically since birth, raised her eyebrows. “Because that was an option so many times and you kept saying no?”

“It could have been. Maybe. If I’d ever, you know, met a rich guy I liked and wanted to marry.”

“Wouldn’t having him want to marry you be an equally important part of the equation?”

Ellen groaned. “This is not a good time for logic. This is a good time for sympathy. Or giving me a winning lottery ticket. We’ve been friends for years and you’ve never once given me a winning lottery ticket.”

Unity picked up her coffee and smiled. “True, but I did give you my pony rides when we celebrated our eighth birthdays.”

A point she would have to concede, Ellen thought. With their birthdays so close together, they’d often had shared parties. The summer they’d turned eight, Unity’s mom had arranged for pony rides at a nearby farm. Unity had enjoyed herself, but Ellen had fallen in love with scruffy Mr. Peepers, the crabby old pony who carried them around the paddock. At Ellen’s declaration of affection for the pony, Unity had handed over the rest of her ride tickets, content to watch Ellen on Mr. Peepers’s wide back.

“You were wonderful about the pony rides,” Ellen said earnestly, “And I love that you were so generous. But right now I really need a small fortune. Nothing overwhelming. Just a tasteful million or so. In return, I’ll give back the rides on Mr. Peepers.”

Unity reached across the kitchen table and touched Ellen’s arm. “He really wants to go to UCLA?”

Ellen nodded, afraid if she spoke, she would whimper. After sucking in a breath, she managed to say, “He does. Even with a partial scholarship, the price is going to kill me.” She braced herself for the ugly reality. “Out-of-state costs, including room and board, are about sixty-four thousand dollars.” Ellen felt her heart skip a beat and not out of excitement. “A year. A year! I don’t even bring home that much after taxes. Who has that kind of money? It might as well be a million dollars.”

Unity nodded. “Okay, now marrying money makes sense.”

“I don’t have a lot of options.” Ellen pressed her hand to her chest and told herself she wasn’t having a heart attack. “You know I’d do anything for Coop and I’ll figure this out, but those numbers are terrifying. I have to start buying lottery scratchers and get a second job.” She looked at Unity. “How much do you think they make at Starbucks? I could work nights.”

Unity, five inches taller, with long straight blond hair, grabbed her hands. “Last month it was University of Oklahoma and the month before that, he wanted to go to Notre Dame. Cooper has changed his mind a dozen times. Wait until you go look at colleges this summer and he figures out what he really wants, then see who offers the best financial aid before you panic.” Her mouth curved up in a smile. “No offense, Ellen, but I’ve tasted your coffee. You shouldn’t be working anywhere near a Starbucks.”

“Very funny.” Ellen squeezed her hands. “You’re right. He’s barely seventeen. He won’t be a senior until September. I have time. And I’m saving money every month.”

It was how she’d been raised, she thought. To be practical, to take responsibility. If only her parents had thought to mention marrying for money.

“After our road trip, he may decide he wants to go to the University of Washington after all, and that would solve all my problems.”

Not just the money ones, but the loneliness ones, she thought wistfully. Because after eighteen years of them being a team, her nearly grown-up baby boy was going to leave her.

“Stop,” Unity said. “You’re getting sad. I can see it.”

“I hate that you know me so well.”

“No, you don’t.”

Ellen sighed. “No, I don’t, but you’re annoying.”

“You’re more annoying.”

They smiled at each other.

Unity stood, all five feet ten of her, and stretched. “I have to get going. You have young minds to mold and I have a backed-up kitchen sink to deal with, followed by a gate repair and something with a vacuum. The message wasn’t clear.” She looked at Ellen. “You going to be okay?”

Ellen nodded. “I’m fine. You’re right. Coop will change his mind fifteen more times. I’ll wait until it’s a sure thing, then have my breakdown.”

“See. You always have a plan.”

They walked to the front door. Ellen’s mind slid back to the ridiculous cost of college.

“Any of those old people you help have money?” she asked. “For the right price, I could be a trophy wife.”

Unity shook her head. “You’re thirty-four. The average resident of Silver Pines is in his seventies.”

“Marrying money would still solve all my problems.”

Unity hugged her, hanging on tight for an extra second. “You’re a freak.”

“I’m a momma bear with a cub.”

“Your cub is six foot three. It’s time to stop worrying.”

“That will never happen.”

“Which is why I love you. Talk later.”

Ellen smiled. “Have a good one. Avoid spiders.”


When Unity had driven away, Ellen returned to the kitchen where she quickly loaded the dishwasher, then packed her lunch. Cooper had left before six. He was doing some end-of-school-year fitness challenge. Something about running and Ellen wasn’t sure what. To be honest, when he went on about his workouts, it was really hard not to tune him out. Especially when she had things like tuition to worry about.

“Not anymore today,” she said out loud. She would worry again in the morning. Unity was right—Cooper was going to keep changing his mind. Their road trip to look at colleges was only a few weeks away. After that they would narrow the list and he would start to apply. Only then would she know the final number and have to figure out how to pay for it.

Until then she had plenty to keep her busy. She was giving pop quizzes in both fourth and sixth periods and she wanted to update her year-end tests for her two algebra classes. She needed to buy groceries and put gas in the car and go by the library to get all her summer reading on the reserve list.

As she finished her morning routine and drove to the high school where she taught, Ellen thought about Cooper and the college issue. While she was afraid she couldn’t afford the tuition, she had to admit it was a great problem to have. Seventeen years ago, she’d been a terrified teenager, about to be a single mom, with nothing between her and living on the streets except incredibly disappointed and angry parents who had been determined to make her see the error of her ways.

Through hard work and determination, she’d managed to pull herself together—raise Cooper, go to college, get a good job, buy a duplex and save money for her kid’s education. Yay her.

But it sure would have been a lot easier if she’d simply married someone with money.


“How is it possible to get a C- in Spanish?” Coach Keith Kinne asked, not bothering to keep his voice down. “Half the population in town speaks Spanish. Hell, your sister’s husband is Hispanic.” He glared at the strapping football player standing in front of him. “Luka, you’re an idiot.”

Luka hung his head. “Yes, Coach.”

“Don’t ‘yes, Coach’ me. You knew this was happening—you’ve known for weeks. And did you ask for help? Did you tell me?”

“No, Coach.”

Keith thought about strangling the kid but he wasn’t sure he could physically wrap his hands around the teen’s thick neck. He swore silently, knowing they were where they were and now he had to fix things—like he always did with his students.

“You know the rules,” he pointed out. “To play on any varsity team you have to get a C+ or better in every class. Did you think the rules didn’t apply to you?”

Luka, nearly six-five and two hundred and fifty pounds, slumped even more. “I thought I was doing okay.”

“Really? So you’d been getting better grades on your tests?”

“Not exactly.” He raised his head, his expression miserable. “I thought I could pull up my grade at the last minute.”

“How did that plan work out?”

“No bueno.”

Keith glared at him. “You think this is funny?”

“No, Coach.”

Keith shook his head. “You know there’s not a Spanish summer school class. That means we’re going to have to find an alternative.”

Despite his dark skin, Luka went pale. “Coach, don’t send me away.”

“No one gets sent away.” Sometimes athletes went to other districts that had a different summer curriculum. They stayed with families and focused on their studies.

“I need to stay with my family. My mom understands me.”

“It would be better for all of us if she understood Spanish.” Keith glared at the kid. “I’ll arrange for an online class. You’ll get a tutor. You will report to me twice a week, bringing me updates until you pass the class.” He sharpened his gaze. “With an A.”

Luka took a step back. “Coach, no! An A? I can’t.”

“Not with that attitude.”

“But, Coach.”

“You knew the rules and you broke them. You could have come to me for help early on. You know I’m always here for any of my students, but did you think about that or did you decide you were fine on your own?”

“I decided I was fine on my own,” Luka mumbled.

“Exactly. And deciding on your own is not how teams work. You go it alone and you fail.”

Tears filled Luka’s eyes. “Yes, Coach.”

Keith pointed to the door. Luka shuffled out. Keith sank into his chair. He’d been hard on the kid, but he needed to get the message across. Grades mattered. He was willing to help whenever he could, but he had to be told what was going on. He had a feeling Luka thought because he was a star athlete he was going to get special treatment. Maybe somewhere else, but not here. Forcing Luka to get an A sent a message to everyone who wanted to play varsity sports.

He’d barely turned to his computer when one of the freshman boys stuck his head in the office. “Coach Kinne! Coach Kinne! There’s a girl crying in the weight room.”

Keith silently groaned as he got up and jogged to the weight room, hoping he was about to deal with something simple like a broken arm or a concussion. He knew what to do for those kinds of things. Anything that was more emotional, honest to God, terrified him.

He walked into the weight room and found a group of guys huddled together. A petite, dark-haired girl he didn’t know sat on a bench at the far end, her hands covering her face, her sobs audible in the uneasy silence.

He looked at the guys. “She hurt?”

They shifted their weight and shook their heads. Damn. So it wasn’t physical. Why didn’t things ever go his way?

“Any of you responsible for whatever it is?” he asked.

More shaken heads with a couple of guys ducking out.

Keith pointed to the door so the rest of them left, then returned his attention to the crying girl. She was small and looked young. Maybe fifteen. Not one of his daughter’s friends or a school athlete—he knew all of them.

He approached the teen, trying to look friendly rather than menacing, then sat on a nearby bench.

“Hey,” he said softly. “I’m Coach Kinne.”

She sniffed. Her eyes were red, her skin pale. “I know who you are.”

“What’s going on?” Don’t be pregnant, don’t be pregnant, he chanted silently.

More tears spilled over. “I’m pregnant. The father is Dylan, only he says he’s not, and I can’t tell my m-mom because she’ll be so mad and he said he l-loved me.”

And just like that Keith watched his Monday fall directly into the crapper.


Keith left work exactly at three fifteen. He would be returning to his office to finish up paperwork, supervise a couple of workouts and review final grades for athletes hovering on the edge of academic problems. But first, he had pressing personal business.

He drove the two short miles to his house, walked inside and headed directly for his seventeen-year-old daughter’s room.

Lissa looked up from her laptop when he entered, her smile fading as she figured out he was in a mood. Despite the attitude, she was a beauty. Long dark hair, big brown eyes. Dammit all to hell—why couldn’t he have an ugly daughter who no guy would look at twice?

“Hi, Dad,” she said, sounding wary. “What’s up?”

“Spot check.”

She rolled her eyes. “Seriously? There is something wrong with you. I heard what happened at school today. I’m not dumb enough to date a guy like Dylan who would tell a tree stump he loved it if it would have sex with him. I’m not sleeping with anyone and I’m not pregnant. I told you—I’m not ready to have sex, as in I’m still a virgin. You’re obsessed. Would you feel better if I wore a chastity belt?”

“Yes, but you won’t. I’ve asked.”

“Da-ad. Why are you like this? Pregnancy isn’t the worst thing that could happen. I could be sick and dying. Wouldn’t that be terrible?”

“You can’t win this argument with logic. I’m irrational. I accept that. But I’m also the parent, so you have to deal with me being irrational.”

He pointed to her bathroom. She sighed the long-suffering sigh of those cursed with impossible fathers and got up. He followed her to the doorway and watched as she pulled the small plastic container out of the bathroom drawer and opened it.

Relief eased the tension in his body. Pills were missing. The right number of pills.

“You are a nightmare father,” his daughter said, shoving the pills back in the drawer. “I can’t wait until I’m eighteen and I can get the shot instead of having to take birth control pills. Then you’ll only bug me every few months.”

“I can’t wait, either.”

“It’s not like I even have a boyfriend.”

“You could be talking to someone online.”

Her annoyance faded as she smiled at him. “Dad, only one of us in this house does the online dating thing and it’s not me.”

“I don’t online date.”

“Fine. You pick up women online, then go off and have sex with them for the weekend. It’s gross. You should fall in love with someone you’re not embarrassed to bring home to meet me.”

“I’m not embarrassed. I just don’t want complications.”

“But you do want to have sex. It’s yucky.”

“Then why are we talking about it?” He pulled her close and hugged her, then kissed the top of her head. “Sorry, Lissa. I can’t help worrying about you.”

She looked up at him. “Dad, I’m taking my pills every day, not that it matters because I’m not having sex. I’m not. I’ve barely kissed a guy. Having you as my father makes it really difficult to date. Guys don’t want to mess with you and risk being beat up.”


She smiled even as she hit him in the arm. “You’re repressing my emotional growth.”

“Just don’t get pregnant.”

“You need to find a more positive message. How about ‘be your best self?’”

“That, too. Gotta go.”

“I’m having dinner with Jessie tonight. Remember?”

“No problem. Be home by ten.”

He got back in his truck but before starting the engine, he quickly texted Ellen. I need a couple of beers and a friendly ear. You around tonight?

The response came quickly. Only if you bring fried chicken. I have beer and ice cream.

You’re on. See you at six.

Excerpted from The Friendship List by Susan Mallery, Copyright © 2020 by Susan Mallery, Inc.. Published by HQN.

Positive Vibes & Happy Reading!!

The Hollow Gods- Release Takeover

#thehollowgods #chaoscycle #supernatural #folklore #contemporaryfantasy #literaryluminati #parliamentbooks #parliamentpress #ajvrana #spookybooks

Hello friends! Back again with our other half of Today’s double feature!! Happy Release day to The Hollow Gods by AJ Vrana, presented by Parliament House Press. I received my copy from NetGalley, but was so graciously accepted to do a tour post and review! I was super excited to read this book, and am even more excited to share it with you.


Black Hollow is a town with a dark secret.
For centuries, residents have foretold the return of the Dreamwalker—an ominous figure from local folklore said to lure young women into the woods and possess them. Yet the boundary between fact and fable is blurred by a troubling statistic: occasionally, women do go missing. And after they return, they almost always end up dead.

When Kai wakes up next to the lifeless body of a recently missing girl, his memory blank, he struggles to clear his already threadbare conscience.

Miya, a floundering university student, experiences signs that she may be the Dreamwalker’s next victim. Can she trust Kai as their paths collide, or does he herald her demise?

And after losing a young patient, crestfallen oncologist, Mason, embarks on a quest to debunk the town’s superstitions, only to find his sanity tested.

A maelstrom of ancient grudges, forgotten traumas, and deadly secrets loom in the foggy forests of Black Hollow. Can three unlikely heroes put aside their fears and unite to confront a centuries-old evil? Will they uncover the truth behind the fable, or will the cycle repeat? “

My Review-

I absolutely love a good spooky story steeped in folklore, and The Hollow Gods delivers perfectly on that. Based on Slavic Folklore we stumble upon this quaint little town that has a dark secret at it’s core. It’s here in this town that we meet our three main characters Kai, Miya, and Mason. Each of their journeys leads us one step closer to the truth.

The world building and finite details of the setting and history are so beautifully crafted that I almost felt like I had stepped through time to an alternate universe and into a reality that was this book. You almost start to sink into the hysteria with the townspeople as young women start disappearing only to reappear and die shortly after. It’s hard not to suspect some grisly curse or fate settled on the town, or som other dark culprit.

Miya, Kai and Mason are fantastic characters! I truly felt for Mason and his story, he reasoning for escaping city life is truly heartbreaking. Meanwhile, can I just get a round of applause for the sizzling tension between Kai and Miya? I absolutely adored Kai’s character. Lone wolf, bad boy ego with a dark secret…. yess pleaseee! Excuse me while I drool a little. I felt that Kai’s character was so well crafted, I’d never read a werewolf character like him before!!

All in all I have The Hollow Gods a solid 4 stars!! I couldn’t put it down, it grasped my interest right and I simply cannot wait for the finale to this dark and fantastical duology!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope I’ve been able to add another book to your TBR. If you go to this link you can still get a signed copy!!

Positive Vibes & Happy Reading !

The Storyteller’s Daughter – Blog Tour

#parliamenthouse #literaryluminati #storytellersdaughter #victoricamccombs #retellings #rumpelstiltskin #fantasyretellings #yafantasy #bookoftheday #parliamentbooks

Hello my lovelies, I’m here with another fantastic book from Parliament House Publishing to share with you! Thank you so, so much to Parliament for letting me be one of their secret pledges. I thoroughly enjoy working with them and the fantastic authors they have. Today I’m bringing you THE STORYTELLER’S DAUGHTER by Victoria McCombs, her debut YA Fantasy retelling. I could not love this book more, and I hope that shows as I continue to tell you more about the book and author.

THE STORYTELLER’S DAUGHTER is a Rumpelstiltskin retelling that will satisfy fans of Gail Carson Levine’s ELLA ENCHANTED, as well as Jessica Day George’s DRAGON SLIPPERS and PRINCESS OF GLASS, and Cameron Dokey’s THE WORLD ABOVE.

THE STORYTELLER’S DAUGHTER, BY VICTORIA MCCOMBS:“His shadowed face lit by flames,Rumpelstiltskin is my name…

For as long as anyone can remember, every child in Westfallen has been born with a Gift, and these Gifts defined them.

Then Cosette is born, Giftless.

An attempt to hide her misfortune brings her before the King, who entraps her to use her Gift as a pawn in his war.

Caught in a lie, Cosette desperately searches for a power strong enough to free her. Intrigued by whispers of an old king and a dark curse, she calls upon Rumpelstiltskin and finds him trapped in a magic deeper than she bargained for. Now, Cosette must fight to reclaim her freedom from the King and break Rumpel’s curse. When time runs out, she’ll lose more than her heart. She’ll lose her life.

My Review-

“..I had complied as Fate handed me twists and turns…I wouldn’t wait for Rumpel’s curse to end before I figured out how to take care of myself. I was going to fix my problems on my own.”

This was definitely a book that I could not put down. As we are introduced to all the characters I found myself wanting to know more about each of them and had to keep reading to see what I’d find out. I have always been a fan of the story of Rumpelstiltskin, and I felt that this was a well done retelling. I like the author’s take on it, and felt like it was a fresh version. I would have enjoyed Rumpel to have been portrayed as a little darker, but there were other components that made up for that. Cosette was a very interesting young woman, and it took me a while to warm up to her but eventually I really admired her bravery in the face of danger and how she stands up for herself. I felt like Cosette’s character development was the highlight of the story, as we see her grow and mature and really find what she wants in life. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the love story too and one of my favorites quotes is, “He pulled back and his eyes shone like stars as he looked over me. I held his gaze as a sigh escaped my chest. This moment felt fragile, and I wanted to hold onto it for as long as I could.”. Talk about heart throb!

My overall rating of this books was 5/5 stars and I based this on characters, the world building and the fact that the story held my attention from start to finish! I found myself seriously invested in the story and the fate of Rumpel and Cosette. I really enjoyed the back story of how magic came to the land, and how it presented itself in the people at present day. Truly a magical book!

For anyone who wants to follow Parliament Press and Victoria for future news, here is where! THE STORYTELLER’S DAUGHTER is available July 14th for sale, so get your copy!!

Parliament Press:
Instagram: @theparliamentpress
Twitter: @parliamentbooks
Facebook: @theparliamenthouse
Victoria McCombs:
Instagram: @victoria_mccombs
Facebook: victoriamccombs

Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out my post. Please leave your thoughts and let me know if you’ve read this!

Positive Vibes & Happy Reading!

Voice of War – Blog Tour

#storytellersontour #voiceofwar #epicfantasy #adultfantasy #magic #fantasylover #zackargyle #bookblogger #bookishgirl #lovetoread #favoritereads

Hello and welcome friends! As promised I’m back with another EPIC blog tour, and I owe a huge thank you to Timy and Justine from StoryTellers on Tour for this fantastic opportunity. These ladies do such a fantastic job putting these tours together and making sure authors get the publicity they deserve. I’ve loved every tour I’ve participated in. It truly has been a pleasure to read, review and praise Voice of War by Zack Argyle. To say this was a fantastic read would be an understatement, and I am so giddy to be able to share this book with y’all. This will by far be one of my favorite books of 2020 and I am so eager for the rest of the series.

Please make sure to take a gander at the other stops on the tour, there is different content in each stop. 🙂

Book Information

Voice of War by Zack Argyle
Published: March 19, 2020
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 370

Book Links


Book Blurb

While preparing for the birth of his first child, Chrys Valerian is tasked with uncovering the group responsible for a series of missing threadweavers—those able to see and manipulate threadlight. With each failure, the dark voice in his head that began during the war grows louder, begging to be released.

Laurel lives in Zedalum, a secret city in the center of the Fairenwild. During her most recent messenger run, Laurel veered off course to explore the streets of Alchea. She never expected that her journey would end in chains.

When Chrys learns who is responsible for the missing threadweavers, they come for him and his family. He must do everything in his power to protect those he loves, even if it means trusting a strange girl or the dark voice in his mind.

Author Information

Zack Argyle was raised with a wonderful family motto: don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. What better way than to write fiction? He spends his days writing code and his nights writing epic stories about family, love, loss, friendship, and pain all intermixed with a heavy dose of the fantastical.

Author Links


My Review –

Where to start, where to start…. Voice of War is AMAZING!! I could not put it down, I could not stop thinking about it, and I could not stop staring at the gorgeous cover. Need I say more? OK, ok I guess you want some more logistical details. Right from the start Zack Argyle immerses the reader in a gorgeous, magical complex world. There is magic in certain people, if you’re born lucky, and there is harshness in the world if you’re not. You meet some very strong characters right off the bat, and I immediately became invested in their stories. I love the cat and mouse game that happens throughout the first half or so of the book, where you think you have an idea what’s going to happen and then you read on and you’re wrong. That kind of plot just sucks me in and drives me crazy until I get to the very last page. I don’t want to give too many details, as this is just too fantastic of a read for spoilers. So, if you love fantasy and adventure, good guys and bad guys, complex magic systems and mysterious villages of people who were things of myths, then you need to read this book! This will easily make my Top 10 of 2020 list, and I’m saying this in JULY. It’s only July guys and I have just read a TOP 10 BOOK OF 2020. I hope that shows how much I loved this, haha, if not then please just read Voice of War by Zack Argyle and then you’ll understand. 🙂

Thank you again for stopping by! Please feel free to show some love with a like or a comment, and if you, or someone you know, will like this book then grab a copy. You won’t be disappointed! 😉 Until next time my loves!

Positive Vibes & Happy Reading!

July TBR- Update

#tbr #books #booklover #readinggoals #bookish #readingplans #bloglife #bookblogger #readingrush #readathon

Hello and Happy Saturday!! It’s the middle of July and as usual I’m bringing you my July TBR late. Oops!! Well, at least I managed to get it up before the end of the month, right? For context, I’m late with my TBR post because I’ve spent many of the past weekends at my family’s lake house enjoying hanging out with the family. I’ve been limiting social media those weekends, hence late TBR post. I’ve already made some progress on my TBR, and will go into details with that as soon as I show you what I plan to read this month!

  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hanna
  • The Alcazar (Cerulean #2) by Amy Ewing
  • The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
  • The Storyteller’s Daughter by Victoria McCombs (ARC+Blog Tour)
  • The Hollow Gods by AJ Vrana (ARC+Blog Tour)
  • Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1) by Janella Angeles
  • The Traitors Kiss (The Traitor’s Circle #1) by Erin Beaty
  • Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren
  • Beyond The Black Door by A.M. Strickland
  • Bone Crier’s Moon (Bone Grace #1) by Kathryn Purdie
  • Dark Angel (Night World #4) by L.J. Smith
  • Voice of War (Threadlight #1) by Zack Argyle (Blog Tour)
  • Woven in Moonlight (woven in moonlight #1) by Isabel Ibañez

So there we have it! I broke it down by platform that I’m going to read them on. I love having a mix of audiobook, ebook and physical book. I find that audiobooks and ebooks are always faster reads for me, but I sure do love the smell and feel of physical books.

Books I’ve already finished on my TBR are Dark Angel, The Nightingale and The Alcazar. Two of those were 5 ⭐️ reads and the other was a 3.5 ⭐️ read. The Nightingale and The Alcazar were my 5⭐️s and Dark Angel was 3.5 ⭐️. I’ll be posting a review blitz post next weekend, as I’m hoping to have a few more books to add to the read pile.

So what’s up next on booksnbites? Are you ready for this? There will be two Blog Tours coming up this week.Woohooo we love blog tours! On Tuesday 7/14 I will be showcasing The Storyteller’s Daughter by Victoria McCombs, and on Friday 7/18 I will be showcasing The Voice of War by Zack Argyle. I also have a blog tour for The Hollow Gods by AJ Vrana at the end of the month on 7/28. I am so excited for the books I signed up to read and review for Tours this month! I also have a great Tour lineup for Fall, so stay tuned!!

What I’m really excited to announce, is that I signed up for my first year ever of The Reading Rush!!! What is The Reading Rush you ask? Well, let me tell you! “The Reading Rush is a week long readathon for book lovers all around the world. For one week readers gather together to read as much as they possibly can and to participate in challenges and giveaways online. Starting in 2019 the Reading Rush introduced a website, in order to allow anyone taking part in the readathon to track their reading statistics and come together in a central place.” – from

I know what you’re thinking…. How the heck are you going to do a week long Readathon when you work full time? Well, it runs from July 20th – July 27th, so there is a weekend in there. I also plan on staying up very late each night to read! I know, I know…. I’m crazy! I have my special TBR all planed out, and have a post coming specifically for that! I am happy to just be participating and it’s ok if I do my read my whole TBR. Maybe next time I can take time off for it!

So there you have it! That is all that is coming up on booksnbites for the rest of July. Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you in my next post!!

Positive Vibes and Happy Reading!

June 2020 Wrap Up

#booksread #junewrapup #bookishadventures #booklife #booknerdigans #bloglife #bookish

Hello friends! I seriously cannot believe that June is over and we are halfway through 2020. This is crazy!! Someone pinch me, am I dreaming? Well, I closed out the mid year with a bang and my biggest reading month yet in 2020. I am mighty proud of myself and had such a blast! I hope you were able to read a few books as well. ☺️

What constitutes as my biggest reading month, you ask? I’ll tell ya! I read 18 books in June! Yes, that’s right… you heard me. 18 BOOKS!! *gasp* *round of applause* I really have no idea how I managed that, but I’m quite pleased. To say the least, I’ve shed my slump and found my reading mojo again and am chomping at the bit for more books. I need my books more than ever right now, what with no end in sight with coronavirus. We are seeing many states spike drastically right now, so I’ll be continuing to stay home as much as possible and live vicariously through books. They truly are the best adventures!

I’m sure you’re all dying to know which books I’ve read, so please enjoy these shoddy graphics I created. LOL! You’ll have to forgive me, as I’m still learning the art of graphics and I promise I’ll get better. So, in no particular order here are the 18 books I read in June 2020!

  • Most surprising read – The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
  • Most disappointing read – The Mermaid by Christina Henry
  • Most enjoyable read – She’s Faking It by Kristin Rockaway & My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Let me expound on the above statements a little.

The Alice Network was my most surprising read of June because I’m not big into the Historical Fiction genre. I truly loved this book! I listened to it on audio (Thanks Greece Public Library for having it available through Hoopla!!) and the narrator was fantastic. The characters were so vibrant, realistic and complex that I found myself quickly becoming attached. The dual storylines were very easy to follow, yet captivating and I just couldn’t get enough. I have already recommended this book to some friends and I highly recommend it to all.

As for my most disappointing read, The Mermaid by Christina Henry was a good story and I don’t really have any faults with it other than I was just expecting more from it. What that more is I’m not entirely sure, but the writing was beautiful and the characters were fun. Amelia was the perfect mermaid, and I loved that she wasn’t portrayed as some Disney perfect mermaid. I would definitely suggest this book to anyone who is looking for a fairytale type retelling, as this is very much a retelling of The Little Mermaid.

I equally enjoyed two books the most, and I’m rating them that way because they made me laugh and were really fun to read. Both of them are contemporary romance books, or rom-com as I like to call them, but with substance and relatable situations. She’s Faking It and My Favorite Half-Night Stand both make great summer reads or if you need a feel good pick me up.

What’s coming up?! Well, I have another great lineup of ARCs for the month of July and an overly ambitious TBR! You really wouldn’t expect anything less from me, right? If you’re on Instagram head over and check out my corresponding account, lots of great content goes up there almost daily. My handle is @booksnbites13. If you could give me a follow and like some of my posts, in return I’ll give you a shoutout in my story. 🙂 My July TBR post will be going up in the next couple days, so stay tuned and if you’ve subscribed to follow my blog you’ll get the notification as soon as it’s live. I’ve got some coffee to drink and a book to read, so until next time friends!

Positive Vibes & Happy Reading!

She’s Faking It – Blog Tour

#shesfakingit #romance #harlequin #bookishlife #summerreads #bloglife #bookdragon #kristinrockaway

Hi friends, and welcome back to my final stop on the 2020 Summer Reads Blog Tour with Harlequin. This stop is for She’s Faking It by Kristin Rockaway and what a great book to end the summer tour program with! I really hit the jackpot with my choices for summer reading, especially with She’s Faking It. Harlequin really puts such lovely tours together and it’s so hard not to sign up for every book offered. I hope you enjoy this post, and maybe even add to your TBR list.

She’s Faking It 



Trade Paperback | Graydon House Books 

On Sale: 6/30/2020 



$19.99 CAN


You can’t put a filter on reality.

Bree Bozeman isn’t exactly pursuing the life of her dreams. Then again, she isn’t too sure what those dreams are. After dropping out of college, she’s living a pretty chill life in the surf community of Pacific Beach, San Diego…if “chill” means delivering food as a GrubGetter, and if it means “uneventful”.

But when Bree starts a new Instagram account — @breebythesea — one of her posts gets a signal boost from none other than wildly popular self-help guru Demi DiPalma, owner of a lifestyle brand empire. Suddenly, Bree just might be a rising star in the world of Instagram influencing. Is this the direction her life has been lacking? It’s not a career choice she’d ever seriously considered, but maybe it’s a sign from the universe. After all, Demi’s the real deal… right?

Everything is lining up for Bree: life goals, career, and even a blossoming romance with the chiseled guy next door, surf star Trey Cantu. But things are about to go sideways fast, and even the perfect filter’s not gonna fix it. Instagram might be free, but when your life looks flawless on camera, what’s the cost?


Kristin Rockaway is a native New Yorker with an insatiable case of wanderlust. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she traded the city for the surf and chased her dreams out to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of software. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, and planning her next big vacation.


 Facebook: /KristinRockaway

Twitter: @KristinRockaway

Instagram: @KristinRockway 




Apple Books

Barnes & Noble


Google Play



My Review –

My initial impression was that Bree was an absolute train wreck in the most hilarious way! Then as I kept reading I was able to start see past her flippant exterior and see more into her character. I loved the theme of the book, as I feel anything social media centered is extremely relatable to the majority. I know that it definitely hit home for me, and made me think about my intention with what I post and focus on with my social media accounts. I’ve never been one to care about follower count, although I do know some people who are obsessed with it. Watching Bree on her bumpy journey was a treat, and the ending made me so very happy. Corny, I know, but that’s the purpose of these cute romance stories! This was a fantastic read, meaningful with a great touch of humor. I highly recommend this read to anyone in their mid 20s to mid 30s as it will be more relatable to that age range, but enjoyable to any reader regardless.

Positive Vibes and Happy Reading!

Wire Wings – ARC Release

#wirewings #parliamentbooks #literaryluminati #scifibooks #artificialintelligence #5starreads #bookdragon

Hello friends, I’m here with another fabulous book review/Spotlight for you! I am just minutes after finishing Wire Wings by Wren Handman and wondering how I’m going to keep from slipping into a book hangover. I am so grateful to The Parliament Press for the chance to read and review before release, which happens to be tomorrow!! This is not a paid review, just an exchange for an honest review.


Graciela does as she’s told: she cowers beneath the towering intellect of her parents, goes to school, toes the line. But in the Waves, a virtual reality world, Graciela can be anyone, anywhere, anytime. Free.
In the real world, Graciela is drowning. Her best friend recently passed away, she’s suffering from crippling panic attacks, and her only connection to life is Khaiam, who keeps trying to draw her back to reality.

But how can he compete with the Waves? There, she can be whoever she dreams. And in that world, there’s Thomas, the stunning stranger with haunted eyes she’s only ever met online. Thomas seems to be able to defy the rules of the Waves, and he holds secrets of his own—about the origins of his creation, the nature of AI, and about Gracie’s own past. He will lead her on a dangerous road to truths she isn’t ready for, and the ultimate decision between acceptance and identity, duty and love, life and freedom.

Review –

What an imaginative scifi story that isn’t just some cool read about the creation of an AI being, but a story that shows that living with grief can be tough. That dealing with loss, and losing your sense of connection with others and the world around you, can be devastating and invisible to people close to you.

Graciela is dealing with the loss of one of her best friends and immersed herself in the digital world of the waves and diving with her link. It’s her escape from reality, from her grief. With her father’s upcoming press release of their creation of an AI life form, things get a little tricky when Graciela has a chance encounter with it on a dive that turns into much more than a brush with the renegade Charlie. Graciela starts spending more time with “Thomas”, the new name she’s given AI Charlie, and less time in the real world with her friend Khaiam and his friends from school. The struggle of trying to be more connected to people in the real world, versus spending time with Thomas present the most challenging struggle yet.

Such beautiful writing of loss, grief and learning to lean on those around you. This story will draw you in and take you on a roller coaster of emotions. I hope you’re sitting down as you come to the end, because it will be a hard stop that leaves your stomach flipped. I dearly hope that there is a sequel because I am dying for more of the story!

This book would be a great read for anyone who is a fan of The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan, as it deals in similar topics/themes of dealing with grief. If you like scifi then you’ll love Wire Wings, or if you’re looking to dip your toes into the genre then this is a book I’d definitely recommend starting with. This was such a fantastic treat to read and definitely a story I will think about often. I hope your summer is going well and that your reading is adventurous.

Positive Vibes and Happy Reading!

Spit and Song – Blog Tour

#spitandsong #travismriddle #storytellersontour #fantasy#bookdragon #epicreads #bookish #bookishblog #read #favoritereads

Hey friends, glad to be bringing you yet another fabulous book tour! I am so excited to present a spotlight on Spit and Song by Travis M Riddle, a magical book that will take you on an adventure of your lifetime. This is an Indie published Adult Fantasy, and is definitely one that you should grab if Fantasy is your jam! I am a lover of big fantasy books, and Spit and Song definitely checks that box. It also delivers an amazing world that is so unique and different, that I tend to fall through the pages as I’m reading and lose track of my surroundings. I’m about halfway through the book at the moment and I can’t get enough! Really looking forward to kicking back at the lake house this weekend and finishing this adventure. Let me tell you more about it! 🙂

Book Information

Spit and Song by Travis M. Riddle

Published: November 19, 2019

Genre: Fantasy Adventure

Age Group: Adult

Book Blurb

Kali is a merchant who yearns to leave the harsh deserts of Herrilock and travel across the sea, trading goods and soaking in the sights and cultures. With a new potion on the market undercutting her profits, though, her seabound dreams are put on hold indefinitely.

Failed musician Puk hits rock bottom after yet another catastrophic performance. Wandering the city streets in search of any sip of booze or whiff of fire-spit he can get his hands on, he resigns to the fact that he’s stuck in the desert with no way back home to Atlua.

Until one day, their paths cross with an illicit job opportunity. With its hefty payday, Kali and Puk could afford to finally escape the desert heat and set sail across the gulf.

The black market job would see them travel endless dunes on a road made from a massive dead beast’s ribs and out to a mythical city in the sea, scuffling with monsters and thugs in search of a long-lost book that might be the most dangerous object in the world.

How hard could it really be?

Author Information

Travis M. Riddle lives with his pooch in Austin, TX, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University. His work has been published in award-winning literary journal the Sorin Oak Review.

— — —

Author Links


Sounds intriguing right? How cool would it be to have a city built in the skeleton of some mythical creature?!? Wishful thinking, but if that captured your attention then let me share a peek of the story with you because I am seriously loving it!

– Excerpt from Spit and Song by Travis M Riddle –

The cordol was quite literally taking the bait. 

Now was her chance. Kali’s heart and lungs heaved in her chest as she dashed toward the pile of pale orange eggs, huddled together and nestled snugly into the sand.

She didn’t bother to look over her shoulder to find out what Puk was doing. She needed to concentrate, to act as quickly as possible. 

Kali came to a sliding stop before the eggs and saw that their mother hadn’t yet reached the bait. 

Plenty of time. 

She gathered two of the eggs in her arms and held them close to her chest. Two should be enough to satisfy Puk’s acquaintance in Myrisih. It was a more than generous offer, she thought. 

Kali turned on her heel and started toward Bella. Puk had not made it back yet with his unimpressive stride, but he wasn’t far off. 

To her left, she saw the cordol had arrived at the bait and was busy devouring the miniscule amount of food. It would only be a handful of moments before it curved around and returned to its eggs. She urged her legs to move faster.

Puk was leaning one arm against Bella’s side and panting heavily when Kali made it to them. 

“Two?” he wheezed. 

“Two,” she said. 

He shrugged. 

She unclasped the empty sack that had come with Bella. The added space was incredibly useful, granting them an entirely empty bag to house the eggs without fear of them smashing against their other belongings. As she closed it tight, Puk uttered a swear. 

“What?” Kali turned around and saw what had elicited his alarm.

Somehow, the cordol had already made a speedy return to its den and discovered two of its eggs missing. It reared up and began to sniff the air for its stolen offspring. 

There was no time to waste. 

Without warning, Kali reached over and grabbed Puk under the armpits then hoisted him up onto Bella’s back. The qarm yelped in surprise and righted himself. 

They had to move faster. The cordol had spotted them. 


It slithered toward them with ferocious speed. Bella let out a soft whine. 

Kali and the cordol moved in tandem. 

She leapt up onto the saddle at the same moment the cordol propelled itself into the air. As Kali kicked at the ayote’s sides to take off, the cordol slammed into the ground and burrowed into the sand.

Shit, Kali thought again. 

Maybe she hadn’t memorized the bestiary front to back like her sister, but she knew enough about cordols and ayotes to be fully aware that there was no chance they could outrun the beast. 

But she had to try. 

Better that than give up or resort to violence. 

It was a good thing Bella was so young and hated being cooped up. Those factors combined with her fear of the approaching cordol injected her with an absurd amount of energy. 

Kali had never seen an ayote run so fast. They were a blur. 

Puk’s arms found their way around her waist again, and Kali had to lean forward to avoid being knocked back by the intense wind. 

Their mount instinctively weaved side to side, charting a semi-unpredictable path, but it wasn’t enough to outsmart the cordol. It burst from the ground directly in front of Bella, who skidded to a halt, causing Kali and Puk to tumble forward over her head. 

Kali crashed head-first into the sand, her legs accidentally whacking Bella on the face. The ayote yipped in shock, but seemed otherwise unharmed.

Puk had absorbed most of the momentum and was flung right into the cordol, knocking the huge, thick worm onto its back. 

He scrambled to stand up, but the cordol was faster. 

It whipped its lower half into his torso and sent him flying again, screaming “Fuck!” as he careened through the air. 

If the stakes weren’t so high, Kali would have laughed at the ludicrous sight. But as it were, she pushed herself up off the ground and swiftly backed up to her knapsack which hung from the saddle beside the bag carrying the eggs. 

“Shit,” she muttered aloud this time, distraught that it had come to this.

She extracted her antique dagger from the bag and gripped its hilt.

Just in time, too, as the cordol slid past Bella and rammed into Kali. She braced herself and held on to either side of the beast’s head, stabbing the blade into what amounted for its neck. 

It gnashed its rounded teeth and roared with fury, rolling away from her and Bella. As it rolled onto its left side, it pushed the dagger in deeper.

Unfortunately, the beast was undeterred by the weapon sticking out of its body. Once righted on its stomach, it reared up again and charged toward Bella, who held the bag that contained its babies. The scent was probably all over her. 

Puk was still many feet away, struggling to rise and rejoin the fray.

Kali needed to do something.

But the cordol was fast. Faster than she could have imagined. It smashed its head into Bella’s side, sending the ayote crashing down.

The egg bag slammed against Bella’s side as she landed, but mercifully it was the bags on her other side that had been crushed by her weight. Hopefully Puk wasn’t carrying anything too valuable. 

A line of blood trailed from where the cordol had rolled over to where it now slithered around Bella’s frantically kicking body. It might be more concerned about retrieving its eggs than the dagger in its head, but apparently, the weapon was causing some damage.

That was good. 

Kali tried to leap forward but slipped on the shifting ground, once again slamming her face into hot sand. 

She looked up, spitting sand out of her mouth and blowing it from her nose, to see Puk running past her toward the fight. 

“Hey!” he called in a feeble attempt to wrangle the cordol’s attention. “Look at me! Look at me, I’m a big fat idiot!” 

His self-inflicted insults naturally did not register with the cordol aside from earning a passing glance. It quickly turned back to the bag where the smell of its eggs was strongest. Blood streamed from the wound in its head. 

Puk stopped running. 

Curiously, he reached down and began to undo his boot.

Kali got to her feet and rushed past him as he continued to mess with his shoe. With more preparedness, she jumped forward and grabbed hold of the egg bag.

The cordol roared at her as she tried in vain to pull it free from the saddle. The stablemaster had done too good of a job securing it. 

Suddenly Puk’s boot zoomed through the air and lodged itself in the cordol’s throat while it was preoccupied with another intimidating roar. 

The beast began to choke and sputter, which was Bella’s cue to get the hell out of there. She scrambled to her feet and took off straight ahead, dragging Kali along behind her as she held on to the egg bag. Bella’s wiry tail whipped her face twice before Kali decided to let go. 

She rolled a few times before coming to an awkward stop. Up ahead, Bella continued to run for several feet, but soon came to a halt and looked back at her companions. 

Good girl. 

Kali spun herself around in the sand and witnessed what was possibly the stupidest death ever orchestrated. 

Puk too stood motionless, stunned by his own handiwork. 

The cordol was still choking on the boot he’d thrown. It thrashed about wildly, kicking up its own tiny sandstorm as it tried to dislodge the sturdy footwear. 

Finally, the animal’s body slowed, and it lay down in the sand before coming to a complete stop. Kali watched its body bob up and down in a handful of halting, beleaguered breaths before it ceased. 

Puk was astonished. 

He was standing on one foot to protect the naked one from the heat, and he hopped to face Kali. 

“I killed it!” he yelled, relief and amusement in his voice. “Killed it with a shoe! Dumbass!”

I hope you enjoyed that snippet, it sure is an exiting part of the book! If you’re wanting to know where you can get your hands on a copy, click any of the links below and enjoy.

Book Links



Book Depository:

Thank you so much for stopping by for my Spotlight of Spit and Song by Travis M Riddle on the blog tour. I promise I’ll post a full review once I’ve finished reading the book, but until then check out some of the other blogger’s stops on our tour. They’ve got some exciting reviews and spotlights for you.

Dates: June 14th–June 20th

Schedule Link:

Positive Vibes & Happy Reading!

Queen of Nod – Release Takeover

#queenofnod #balanceseries #parliamenthousepress #literaryluminati #parliamentpressbooks #aliceretellings #darkfantasy #fantasy #darkreads #bookdragon

Hi bookish friends, welcome back for Part 2 of Tuesday’s book tours. We’re going to take a little bit of a turn towards the dark and the mad, but I guess you can say “We’re all mad here”! Many of you know that I love all things Alice in Wonderland, and that includes The Balance Series by C.W. Snyder. This series is a beautiful dark blend of Wonderland, the Land of Nod, mythology, biblical beings, fairytales and the stuff of nightmares. Obviously it’s my jam! This is the 2nd book in the Balance Series, and another fabulous adventure.


“Alice hoped to find peace after the death of the Red Queen. Instead, she faces a new foe: a plague of madness that threatens to bring Nod to its knees, shaking the foundations of the afterlife.
Forced to flee from her home and abandon her throne, she is led on a journey that has the potential to remake or break her. From the forest world of the Fae to the expanse of the multiverse, Alice and Zee search desperately for a cure before it’s too late.

Along the way, they meet new companions and enemies – the powerful and deadly Magi, the changeling princess Maggie, and the Triad, a sinister trio of brothers who would stop at nothing to subjugate all they see.

The fate of Nod hangs in the balance, and the key might just lie in the one place Alice has never dared to go – the depths of her own mind.”

My Review:

I enjoyed Queen of Nod almost as much as Child of Nod. It was a half a star difference, and really the only reason for that was I was a little lost at the beginning of the book with the introduction of the new characters. Overall this was a 4.5 star read for me!

The plot is solid and moves right along, and the characters are phenomenal, creepy, mad, and very likable! I love that there are lessons that Alice and other characters learn throughout the books, it really gives that classic fairytale feel to it. I think the blend of multiple stories and myths adds to the dark and intricate world that CW Snyder has built, especially with the real world and other worlds intertwined. I found the concept of being twin-souled really intriguing to me, and I would love to see more of that type of character or state of being in other stories. Another concept I enjoy, is that everything comes with a price. I see that with magic in stories, but this was even more of a favor or help given for a trade. Kind of a Rumpelstiltskin type bargain, in some ways at least. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, but I don’t want it to end!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my review for Queen of Nod (Balance Series #2) by C.W. Snyder. If you like Alice retellings, or dark fantasy then this is definitely a series you need to pick up! Plus, who doesn’t want some gorgeous covers on your shelves! If you’ve read the the first two books, then please leave me a comment and let me know how you’re liking them!

Positive Vibes & Happy Reading!