Third to Die by Allison Brennan- Blog Tour


#thethirdtodie #crimefiction #crimethriller #serialkillerfiction #harlequin #MIRAbooks


Hello and welcome back to another fabulous Blog Tour!! Thank you so much to Harlequin and MIRA Books for inviting me to participate in the Winter 2020 Mystery/Thriller Tour. It was so hard not to choose more than one book from this tour as I do love me some Thrillers! I am a huge fan of crime thrillers that have serial killer characters in them, so for me it was a no brainer to pick The Third To Die by Allison Brennan. I haven’t finished reading it yet but I’m almost halfway through and absolutely loving it!! I’m excited to bring you some more information about Allison and where to find a copy of her book, as well as an excerpt from the book. Let’s get this party started!!


The-Third-to-Die_Amazon-A-Images 970-x-300_Opt1


The Third to Die : A Novel 

Allison Brennan

On Sale Date: February 4, 2020

9780778309444, 0778309444


$26.99 USD, $33.50 CAD

Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense 

464 pages


About the Book:              9780778309444_RHC_PRD

New York Times bestselling author and gifted storyteller Allison Brennan’s new standalone thriller features a troubled female police detective and an ambitious FBI special agent who wind up at the center of a ticking-clock investigation into a diabolical serial killer.


Brennan’s novel will launch a book-a-year series featuring a fabulous cast of recurring characters. It’s the story of a troubled female police detective and an ambitious FBI special agent who wind up at the center of a ticking-clock investigation into a diabolical serial killer; and the bond they forge in this crucible sets the stage for the future books in the series.


Detective Kara Quinn is visiting her hometown of Liberty Lake, Washington, after being placed on administrative leave by the LAPD, when she comes upon the mutilated body of a young nurse during an early morning jog. The manner of death is clearly ritualistic; she calls it in. Meanwhile back in DC, special agent in charge Mattias Costa is meticulously staffing his newly-minted Mobile Response Team. One of his first recruits is the brilliant FBI forensic psychologist Catherine Jones. When word reaches Matt that the Washington state murder appears to be the work of the Triple Killer–it will be the first case for the MRT. Jones has done the only profile on this serial killer, but she is reluctant to join the unit, still shaken by the death of her sister a year ago under circumstances for which she holds herself responsible. But only she holds the key to understanding the killer’s obsessive pattern–three murder victims, three deep slashes a piece, each three days apart, each series beginning on a March 3rd–3/3, then a three-year hiatus before he strikes again.


This time they have a chance to stop him before he claims another victim strikes, but only if they can figure out who he is and where is is hiding.


About the Author:                     Allison Brennan - photo credit Brittan Dodd

Allison Brennan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of three dozen thrillers and numerous short stories. She was nominated for Best Paperback Original Thriller by International Thriller Writers, has had multiple nominations and two Daphne du Maurier Awards, and is a five-time RITA finalist for Best Romantic Suspense. Allison believes life is too short to be bored, so she had five kids. Allison and her family live in Arizona. Visit her at


Social Links:

Author website:

Facebook: @AllisonBrennan

Twitter: @Allison_Brennan

Instagram: @abwrites



Buy Links:


Barnes & Noble:;jsessionid=C1F1BD4B1DE6C665460E505FA5022816.prodny_store02-atgap03?ean=9780778309444 




Google Play:


Here is an excerpt from the book, I hope it grabs you as much as it grabbed me! I am dying to know how this book ends and am not so patiently waiting for the rest of this series. Allison Brennan has definitely become a new author on my “must read” list!!


Excerpt –

Wednesday, March 3 

Liberty Lake, Washington 

12:09 a.m.


Warm blood covered him.

His arms, up to his elbows, were slick with it. His clothing splattered with it. The knife—the blade that had taken his retribution—hung in his gloved hand by his side.

It was good. Very good.

He was almost done.

The killer stared at the blackness in front of him, his mind as silent and dark as the night. The water lapped gently at the banks of the lake. A faint swish swish swish as it rolled up and back, up and back, in the lightest of breezes.

He breathed in cold air; he exhaled steam.

Calm. Focused.

As the sounds and chill penetrated his subconscious, he moved into action. Staying here with the body would be foolish, even in the middle of the night.

He placed the knife carefully on a waist-high boulder, then removed his clothes. Jacket. Sweater. Undershirt. He stuffed them into a plastic bag. Took off his shoes. Socks. Pants. Boxers. Added them to the bag. He stood naked except for his gloves.

He tied the top of the plastic, then picked up the knife again and stabbed the bag multiple times. With strength that belied his lean frame, he threw the knife into the water. He couldn’t see where it fell; he barely heard the plunk.

Then he placed the bag in the lake and pushed it under, holding it beneath the surface to let the frigid water seep in. When the bag was saturated, he pulled it out and spun himself around as if he were throwing a shot put. He let go and the bag flew, hitting the water with a loud splash.

Even if the police found it—which he doubted they would— the water would destroy any evidence. He’d bought the clothes and shoes, even his underwear, at a discount store in another city, at another time. He’d never worn them before tonight.

Though he didn’t want DNA evidence in the system, it didn’t scare him if the police found something. He didn’t have a record. He’d killed before, many times, and not one person had spoken to him. He was smart—smarter than the cops, and certainly smarter than the victims he’d carefully selected.

Still, he must be cautious. Meticulous. Being smart meant that he couldn’t assume anything. What did his old man use to say?

Assume makes an ass out of you and me…

The killer scowled. He wasn’t doing any of this for his old man, though his father would get the retribution he deserved. He was doing this for himself. His own retribution. He was this close to finishing the elaborate plan he’d conceived years ago.

He could scarcely wait until six days from now, March 9, when his revenge would be complete.

He was saving the guiltiest of them for last.

Still, he hoped his old man would be pleased. Hadn’t he done what his father was too weak to do? Righted the many wrongs that had been done to them. How many times had the old man said these people should suffer? How many times had his father told him these people were fools?

Still, he hoped his old man would be pleased. Hadn’t he done what his father was too weak to do? Righted the many wrongs that had been done to them. How many times had the old man said these people should suffer? How many times had his father told him these people were fools?

Yet his father just let it happen and did nothing about it! Nothing! Because he was weak. He was weak and pathetic and cruel.

Breathe. Focus. All in good time.

All in good time.

The killer took another, smaller plastic bag from his backpack. He removed his wet gloves, put them inside, added a good-sized rock, tied the bag, then threw it into the lake.

Still naked, he shivered in the cold, still air. He wasn’t done.

Do it quick.

He walked into the lake, the water colder than ice. Still, he took several steps forward, his feet sinking into the rough muck at the bottom. When his knees were submersed, he did a shallow dive. His chest scraped a rock, but he was too numb to feel pain. He broke through the surface with a loud scream. He couldn’t breathe; he couldn’t think. His heart pounded in his chest, aching from the icy water.

But he was alive. He was fucking alive!

He went under once more, rubbed his hands briskly over his arms and face in case any blood remained. He would take a hot shower when he returned home, use soap and a towel to remove anything the lake left behind. But for now, this would do.

Twenty seconds in the water was almost too long. He bolted out, coughed, his body shaking so hard he could scarcely think. But he had planned everything well and operated on autopilot.

He pulled a towel from his backpack and dried off as best he could. Stepped into new sweatpants, sweatshirt, and shoes. Pulled on a new pair of gloves. There might be blood on the ATV, but it wasn’t his blood, so he wasn’t concerned.

He took a moment to stare back at the dark, still lake. Then he took one final look at the body splayed faceup. He felt nothing, because she was nothing. Unimportant. Simply a small pawn in a much bigger game. A pawn easily sacrificed.

He hoped his old man would be proud of his work, but he would probably just criticize his son’s process. He’d complain about how he did the job, then open another bottle of booze.

He hoped his father was burning in hell.

He jumped on the ATV and rode into the night.


Excerpted from The Third to Die by Allison Brennan, Copyright © 2020 by Allison Brennan. Published by MIRA Books. 


Thank you again for stopping by for another Blog Tour post. I am absolutely loving the opportunities that Harlequin has offered me and look forward to more to come! I am also excited for all of the books I have received advanced copies from through NetGalley. So keep your eyes open for some of my highly anticipated reads so you can get them on your watchlist.


Positive Vibes and Happy Reading!

Bitter Falls by Rachel Caine – Review


#NetGalley #BitterFalls #RachelCaine #StillhouseLakeSeries #crimefiction #serialkillerfiction


Welcome back to booksnbites for another review of what is quickly becoming one of my favorite crime series! Bitter Falls (Stillhouse Lake #4) by Rachel Caine is a riveting  4th book in a fantastic crime series. Each one of these books has been incredibly difficult to put down and either been a one sitting read for me or one that I couldn’t get back to fast enough. If you love crime fiction and a badass female protagonist, then these are definitely the books for you. Unlike other crime fiction series, you do need to read these in order!

  1. Stillhouse Lake
  2. Killman Creek
  3. Wolfhunter River
  4. Bitter Falls
  5. Heartbreak Bay (Coming March 2021)




Description – 

She’s investigating a cold case no one else could—by going places no else would dare.

In spite of a harrowing past still haunting her, Gwen Proctor is trying to move forward. Until a new assignment gives her purpose: the cold-case disappearance of a young man in Tennessee. Three years missing, no clues. Just Ruth Landry, a tortured mother in limbo. Gwen understands what it’s like to worry about your children.

Gwen’s investigation unearths new suspects…and victims. As she follows each sinister lead, the implications of the mystery grow more disturbing. Because the closer Gwen gets, the closer she is to a threat that looms back home.

In a town that’s closed its ranks against Gwen; her partner, Sam; and her kids, there’s no bolder enemy than the Belldene family—paramilitary, criminal, powerful, and vengeful. As personal vendettas collide with Gwen’s investigation, she’s prepared to fight both battles. But is she prepared for the toll it could take on everyone she loves?


My Review – 

Yet again another riveting tale in the saga of Gwen Proctor. She truly is one of my fictional heroes and reminds me a lot of another fictional character in a crime series by Ann Frasier, Elise Sandberg. Gwen has been through a lot over the past couple years and just when you think she’ll catch a break one more thing is hurdled at her. I absolutely love Gwen and her two kids, Connor and Atlanta, as well as the hunk Sam. These are characters that are extremely likable, relatable and very easy to get attached to. It was a fast paced book as always, and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page! As usual, I couldn’t put it down and am left with an ache for the next book of the series. I just don’t know how Rachel Caine does it, but I don’t ever want her to stop. If you haven’t read this series yet then I highly recommend!!


Thanks for checking out another one of my reviews here on booksnbites! If you’ve read any of these then please share with me what you thought in the comments. Same if you have another series or standalone that you think I might enjoy based off of the Stillhouse Lakes series.


Good Vibes and Happy Reading! 🙂

Don’t Read The Comments – Blog Tour


#dontreadthecomments #netgalley #InkyardPress #HarlequinPress #EricSmith #gamerfiction #gamerchicksrule #YAfiction #booknerd


Hey friends and welcome back for another one of my blog tour reviews!! First and foremost I want to thank Harlequin and Inkyard Press for the opportunity to read this book before it’s release date. This book is now in stores and available online for purchase, and I highly recommend that you get yourself a copy of Don’t Read The Comments by Eric Smith. It truly is a powerful and fun read! Parents, this would be a great book for you to read and share with your young teenage children (especially girls) who love to play online video games. It has such a powerful message with a heartwarming cast of characters.

I have been a big fan of Eric Smith just from following the Book Riot’s Hey YA! Podcast that he cohosts with Kelly Jensen. I was so incredibly excited to be able to read a new release of his. Eric has such an incredible passion for YA, and even Middle Grade literature, and it definitely shows in his writing. So, that being said, let’s tell you more about the book and then get to my review. 🙂


Don’t Read the Comments  

Eric Smith

On Sale Date: January 28, 2020

9781335016027, 1335016023


$18.99 USD, $23.99 CAD

Ages 13 And Up

368 pages



Slay meets Eliza and Her Monsters in Eric Smith’s Don’t Read the Comments, an #ownvoices story in which two teen gamers find their virtual worlds—and blossoming romance—invaded by the real-world issues of trolling and doxing in the gaming community.

Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.

Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.

At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…

And she isn’t going down without a fight.


Author Bio:

Eric Smith is an author, prolific book blogger, and literary agent from New Jersey, currently living in Philadelphia. Smith cohosts Book Riot’s newest podcast, HEY YA, with non-fiction YA author Kelly Jensen. He can regularly be found writing for Book Riot’s blog, as well as Barnes & Noble’s Teen Reads blog, Paste Magazine, and Publishing Crawl. Smith also has a growing Twitter platform of over 40,000 followers (@ericsmithrocks).


Buy Links:


Barnes & Noble:



Indie Bound:

Google Play:


Social Links: 

Author website:

Twitter: @ericsmithrocks 

Instagram: @ericsmithrocks

Facebook: @ericsmithwrites


My Review:

I instantly fell in love with Divya Sharma, our main character, and her passion for family and to fight back in the face of social injustice. There really is nothing that I love more than a fiery, young female protagonist and Eric Smith did just that with Divya. Her love and loyalty to her mother is so raw and endearing. Then we have Aaron, a passionate young man who just wants to make a go of it on his own to pursue his passion of writing scripts for video games, even if it’s not what his parents want for him. The two family dynamics really made this whole story incredibly relatable. I really loved that Divya is a live gamer and has such a huge following, yet Aaron just does it for fun. The game that they play, Reclaim the Sun, sounds so amazing that I really wish it was real. I’d love to play it!!

Then enter the issue of cyber bullying. This is always going to be an ongoing issue in our society, especially because the internet makes it so easy for cowards and psychos to hide behind made up internet personalities so they can target minorities. The issue of the target being a young girl of ethnic background helps bring the issue to the forefront. I did feel that the detective was a little hokie with her speech on creating a task force to take care of it in the area, but the focus was on the kids and the cyber-bullying so it was a minor irk of mine. I absolutely loved the ending, and without giving too much away because no-one loves spoilers, it had me jumping onto my feet and cheering! As I finished the last page I had a cheesy grin on my face, which I would expect nothing less from Eric Smith.

This is a great story about how no-one should put up with bullying, regardless of where it happens or who it happens to. It is not ok, and you have every right to speak up and get help! It’s too easy now a days for instances like this to happen online, and I felt that Don’t Read The Comments was a great way to bring issues like this to light and to show that gamer chicks totally rock! I gave this book a 4 out 5 star rating on goodreads, and have already recommended it to many of my bookish friends. I’ll be sharing this review on my facebook groups that I admin (The Reading Corner Book Lounger and Stay Bookish), as well as my Instagram. So, feel free to find me on all of those and give my posts some love!


Thank you for checking out another review for the many blog tours I signed up for. I would love to hear if you’ve read this book or have it on your radar, and if you do pick it up I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Positive Vibes and Happy Reading!

Jan 2020 Wrap Up


#januarywrapup #january2020books #booknerd #newyearnewbooks #myyearinbooks


I am absolutely mind blown that Today is the last day of January. It’s been a quick month full of positivity and struggles, but I survived and it can only get better from here. I’ll just keep repeating my new favorite mantra, Read Books and Be Happy! Speaking of reading books and being happy, I am very happy that this was a successful reading month for me. As of Today I have read a total of 13 books, which is my lucky number. I only read 1 five star book, 9 four star books and 3 three star books. I’ll list they out by rating below, and I’ll provide my review for the 5 star read. 🙂 My 4 star reads are books that I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend to all, and my 3 star reads just didn’t appeal to me/or were good but not amazing.


5 Star Read

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw


Description – Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.


My Review –  I absolutely LOVED this book in every way possible! It ate me up heart and soul. I thought the setting in the mountains played a huge factor to the witchy, spooky woods vibe. I was so enthralled with the stories of the walkers in Nora’s family, and kept wondering why she said she didn’t have powers. I’d even love to see a novella of all the history of past walkers and their spells, I think it’d be a great addition to the book. The relationship that Nora had with the trees in the woods was magical, and something I always wanted as a little kid growing up on acres of land. I couldn’t get enough of the relationship between Nora and Oliver, it felt very fresh and almost like a young star-crossed lover type. It was almost as if Nora knew something subconsciously without actually having learned it, and to watch the plot progress that feeling kept getting stronger and stronger for me until the plot twist happened. I never saw that coming! I have ranted and raved about this book to all my friends in the book community, and I can’t tell you enough how magical this book is! This is the perfect witchy, spooky book for anyone who loves a light fantasy standalone.


4 Star Reads

  • Husband Material by Emily Belden (blog tour read)
  • Wolfhunter River (Stillhouse Lake #3) by Rachel Caine
  • The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebbeca Raisin (blog tour read)
  • A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen (blog tour read)
  • The Night Country (Hazel Wood #2) by Melissa Albert (NetGalley ARC review)
  • Home (Binti #2) by Nnedi Okorafor
  • The Night Masquerade (Binti #3) by Nnedi Okorafor
  • The Cerulean by Amy Ewing
  • The Wives by Tarryn Fisher


3 Star Reads

  • Cari Mora by Thomas Harris
  • The Girl from the Other Side Vol 1 by Nagabe
  • They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera


I am about halfway through Bitter Falls (Stillhouse Lake #4) by Rachel Caine, and might finish it before midnight but might not, so that is all she wrote. LOL! So that is my month in books, I’d love to hear about what you read, or if you read any of the books I’ve listed and want to tell me your thoughts on them. Feel free to leave a comment, I love to get to know my readers better! 🙂


One thing that I am going to try and get better at doing is keeping up with my Bullet Journal and starting with back filling my January 2020 pages. So, while I nurse the rest of this monster migraine I’m going to go play with my pens and find some funs spreads for the pages of my bullet journal. Stay tuned for reviews and bujo posts!! If there is anything else you’d love to see in my posts please let me know, I’m open to suggestions.



Positive vibes my friends. Happy Reading!

Cast In Wisdom – Winter 2020 Blog Tour : Science Fiction & Fantasy


@Harlequin @MiraBooks #NetGalley #blogtour #Fantasy


Hey, hey I’m back again with another Blog Tour post!! So I apologize that I don’t have an actual review for this book yet. When I signed up to read it I was not aware that it’s actually the 15th book in a series, and although it sounds like it would be fine to be read as a standalone novel I have this thing where I absolutely do not read books out of order. Cast in Wisdom by Michelle Sagara is actually the 15th book in The Chronicles of Elantra, and it sounds absolutely amazing!! I’m looking forward to reading it eventually, so I’m making plans to start the series in the next couple months. However, I still want to share this fantastic sounding book with you, as I’m sure many of you will want to add it to your TBR!! 🙂




Author: Michelle Sagara

ISBN: 9780778309383

Publication Date: 01/28/20

Publisher: MIRA Books


Buy Links: 




Barnes & Noble 








Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @msagara

Facebook: @MMSagara



Author Bio: Michelle Sagara is an author, bookseller, and lover of literature based in Toronto. She writes fantasy novels and lives with her husband and her two children, and to her regret has no dogs. Reading is one of her life-long passions, and she is sometimes paid for her opinions about what she’s read by the venerable Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. No matter how many bookshelves she buys, there is Never Enough Shelf space. Ever.

Book Summary:

In the aftermath of the events in the High Halls, there are loose ends. One of those loose ends is the fieflord, Candallar. In an attempt to understand his involvement—with the Barrani, with the High Court, and with the much hated Arcanum—Kaylin has been sent to the fiefs.

She has mixed feelings about this. There’s nothing mixed about her feelings when she discovers a very unusual building in the border zone between two fiefs, and far more questions are raised than are answered. Her attempt to get answers leads her back to the Imperial Palace and its resident Dragon librarian, the Arkon.

Things that were lost in the dim past were not, perhaps, destroyed or obliterated—and what remains appears to be in the hands of a fieflord and his allies—allies who would like to destroy Kaylin’s friends, the Emperor, and possibly the Barrani High Court itself. This is bad.

What’s worse: The librarian who hates to leave his library has a very strong interest in the things that might, just might, have been preserved, and—he is leaving his library to do in person research, no matter what Kaylin, the Hawks, or the Emperor think.

He is not the only one. Other people are gathering in the border zone; people who believe knowledge is power. But power is also power, and it might be too late for the Empire’s most dedicated Historian—and Kaylin and her friends, who’ve been tasked with his safety.


Excerpt –

“You are such a coward,” Bellusdeo said when they’d reached the relative safety of the street. The roads in and around Helen were sparsely populated at the busiest of times, which this wasn’t. They would soon join roads that were crowded at the slowest of times, but Kaylin was dressed for the office. The Hawk emblazoned on her tabard encouraged people to make space. 

Had Bellusdeo hit the streets in her Draconic form, she’d have cleared far more of it—but some of that space would be created by panic, and panic could cause both accidents and the type of traffic congestion that caused the Swords to investigate. Also, it was illegal. 

“It’s not cowardice,” Kaylin replied, scanning the windows of the buildings above ground level. 

“What would you call it?” 


“Oh, please.”

“There’s no point in arguing with them now. Sedarias thinks it’ll be months before this ridiculous command performance occurs. We have months to attempt to talk her out of—” 

“Out of expressing any appreciation or gratitude?” 

Ugh. “You know they’re grateful. This isn’t about gratitude. It’s about rubbing that gratitude in the faces of the Barrani who attempted to brand you a—an army. An attacking army.” 

“I believe the term you want is Flight.” Bellusdeo’s eyes were orange. 

Hope squawked at the Dragon. Kaylin didn’t understand what he was saying. Bellusdeo did, but her eyes didn’t get any lighter. 

“You know as well as I do,” Kaylin said, emboldened by Hope’s entry into the discussion, “that this is not the time to visit the High Halls. I’m not sure the Emperor has ever been a guest there.” 

“We visited the Halls—more or less—when they came under attack, and the Barrani needed our help.” 

“From the outside. No one invited the Dragon Court in.” 

The chorus of Barrani voices that sometimes offered entirely unasked for opinions on the inside of her head maintained their silence for half a beat. The first person to break that silence was the fieflord. His words were tinged with amusement. 

You cannot expect that the cohort would suddenly cease to cause any difficulty, surely? 

I’m almost certain that the cohort understands why inviting a Dragon—any Dragon—to attend the High Halls would be a disaster. 

For the Dragons? 

For everyone. 

I believe some of the more conservative High Lords might be surprisingly supportive of such an invitation. 

Of course they would. It would be their best shot at killing Bellusdeo. If Bellusdeo died, there would be no new Dragons. No hatchlings. 

There’s no way the Emperor would give her permission to attend. 

Nightshade concurred. In his position, I would not. But I would be prepared, should I refuse to grant that permission, for all-out war. My brother has grown inordinately fond of her; living with you has made him reckless. 

He’s not— 

He has known Bellusdeo for even less time than you. He is willing to trust her in a fashion no one older would. And do not cite the Consort, please. 

Kaylin hadn’t intended to. The Consort seems to like her. 

Kaylin, the Consort “likes” me. But she does not trust me. 

She does. 

“Stop making that face, or it will freeze that way.” Kaylin reddened. 

I understand that you are attempting to avoid the Emperor’s ire. I consider this wise on your part. It is not, however, the ire of the Emperor that will be your most significant problem; he will do nothing to harm Bellusdeo. 

I know that. 

It is the ire of the High Lords. Sedarias is, I believe, genuinely grateful for Bellusdeo’s intervention. She does wish to honor her. But gratitude can be expressed privately—and in most cases, it is. Only rulers feel obliged to make that expression public because the public expression elevates those to whom one feels gratitude. It makes clear to witnesses that the aid tendered—in whatever fashion—is important and significant. The Emperor has codified such significance in public ceremonies and public titles, has he not? 

Kaylin shrugged. 

For Sedarias, however, genuine gratitude is not an impediment to political displays. She can be genuinely grateful and simultaneously, extremely political. She wishes to highlight Bellusdeo’s aid and import to Mellarionne. Why do you think this is? 

Kaylin thought about this. After a long pause, she said, She wants to thumb her nose at the rest of the High Lords, many of whom weren’t helpful at all? 

Nightshade’s silence was one of encouragement. 

Bellusdeo’s a Dragon. So…her presence means that even Dragons—with whom you’ve had a war or two— 


Fine, a war or three, were more helpful, or at least more of a genuine ally, than any of the Barrani. 

Yes. I believe that is some part of Sedarias’s intent. That’s not going to help Mellarionne any. 

Perhaps, perhaps not. She will do so as An’Mellarionne. It would be considered a very bold move—but there are those who would assume that Sedarias is confident in her own power, and they would hesitate to challenge her. 

“If you are speaking about me,” Bellusdeo said, her voice almost a whisper of sound, “I must insist that you include me.” 

Hope squawked. 

“Well, yes, that could cause some difficulty,” the Dragon replied. “But I dislike Kaylin’s worry. She is mortal.” Squawk. “The marks of the Chosen don’t matter. She’s mortal. I may be a displaced person in these lands; I may no longer have a home or lands of my own. But I am a Dragon.” 

“I’m not exactly worried about you,” Kaylin said. When one golden brow rose in response, she added, “Not about you specifically. But—there’s no way for Dragon and High Halls to combine that isn’t political. Explosively political. On your own, you can survive more than any of the rest of the cohort—or me. But you won’t be on your own. The cohort won’t abandon you.” 

It was the Dragon’s turn to snort. 

Kaylin reconsidered her words and chose better ones. “Most of the cohort wouldn’t abandon you. Annarion wouldn’t. Mandoran wouldn’t. I don’t believe Allaron would either, from what I’ve seen. And you know what the cohort is like. The minute one of them enters combat to save you, they’re all going to rush in. It doesn’t matter if they’re there for your sake or their friends’; they’ll be there. But this is political, and anything political is far above my pay grade.” 

“You don’t seem to find this insulting.” 

“I consider it one of the biggest advantages of my rank. Which is the lowest rank I could be given and still be called a Hawk.” 

“One of? What’s another one?” 

“I’m not in command. I don’t need to make decisions that might cost the lives of other Hawks. No matter what happens in an action, large or small, I won’t have their deaths on my hands.” 

“But you don’t like being a private.” 

“Well, I could be a corporal, and it would still be mostly true. And the pay is higher.” 

“It’s not much higher,” a familiar voice said. It was Mandoran’s. Of course it was. Kaylin didn’t miss a step. 

“I don’t suggest you try to enter the Halls of Law looking like that.” 

“Like what?” 

“Like thin air.” 

“Oh. That.” Mandoran caused other people some consternation as he materialized to the side of Kaylin that Bellusdeo wasn’t occupying. To be fair, most of the street didn’t notice; people always had their own problems and their own schedules. “I was going to follow Teela into the office, but Teela’s not heading there directly.” 

“So you followed us?” 

“Not most of the way, no. I decided to head straight here to wait, but I caught up because you’re doing the Hawk-walk.” He glanced at Bellusdeo. “For what it’s worth, I think insisting on your presence on the inside of the High Halls is suicidal.” 

“Oh?” The Dragon’s voice was cool. “For who?” 

Mandoran grinned. “Mostly Kaylin.” 

Kaylin watched as flecks of gold appeared in Bellusdeo’s eyes. Mandoran had, once again, managed to set Bellusdeo at ease. Kaylin wondered if that was why he’d chosen to speak when he had. He never treated the Dragon with respect; had the Emperor been present for most of their spats, she wasn’t certain Mandoran wouldn’t be a pile of bleeding ash. Well, ash, because ash didn’t bleed, but still. 

“You left the rest of the cohort behind?” Kaylin asked. 

“We had a vote, and Helen decided it was safest to send me.” 

“She was the tie-breaker?” 

“Ah, no. She didn’t consider the first choice viable. But— we can all see what I see anyway, so unless there’s an attack, having more than one person here is superfluous. If Teela had been coming directly to the office, someone would have followed Teela.” 

“Not you?” Bellusdeo asked. 

“I had to live with Tain for a few years. Compressed into a few weeks, I might add. He’s stuffy and remarkably straightforward. Also, he hates fun.” 

“He hates mess,” Kaylin said, as they approached the stairs that led into the Halls of Law. 

“Define mess. No, wait, don’t. The problem with Tain—at least for me—is that Teela might actually kill us if we’re indirectly responsible for his death. He’s not like the rest of us; we can’t speak to him without shouting, and even if we can, he doesn’t listen half the time. So…it’s a lot less safe to tail Tain.” 

“I imagine it’s safer to tail Tain than it is to tail Kaylin if you’re worried about Teela’s reaction,” Bellusdeo said, frowning slightly. 

“You need a better imagination.”


Excerpted from Cast In Wisdom by Michelle Sagara, Copyright © 2020 by Michelle Sagara. Published by MIRA Books.


I hope this book intrigues you as much as it does me! If you’ve read any of the books from The Chronicles of Elantra please let me know what you thought of them! Or, if you know that this absolutely 100% can be read as a standalone novel I’d love to know.


Happy Reading! 🙂





Binti Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor


#Binti #NnediOkorafor #YAscifi #scifi #ownvoice #amazingreads #booknerd #scifinerd

Hello friends and welcome back! As promised I’m posting more than just ARC and Blog Tour reviews!! This past weekend in the facebook group that I help Admin, The Reading Corner Book Lounge, we held an 8 in 48 Readathon. For those who don’t know what 8 in 48 stands for or what a Readathon really is I’ll provide a little breakdown. A Readthon an event set for a specific length of time, 24/48/72 etc, that you forget all of your adulating and just read!! There are some that are more strict and involved and some that are more lax (like in my facebook groups) and you can read as much or as little as you’d like. So, an 8 in 48 Readathon is where your goal is to read at least 8 hours in the 48 hour Readathon span. These tend to be a bit more popular than the others as we all have our own busy lives and can’t always spend every waking moment reading for 48 hours straight, even though I try my damndest!! LOL. Where was I? Oh yeah, so we held an 8 in 48 Readathon over at The Reading Corner Book Lounge facebook group and it was focused on reading diverse authors. I took it as a great opportunity to finally finish the Binti Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor and I’m so glad I did!! Shout out to my book bestie Danny for recommending this trilogy to me.


Trilogy Summary –

In her Hugo- and Nebula-winning novella, Nnedi Okorafor introduced us to Binti, a young Himba girl with the chance of a lifetime: to attend the prestigious Oomza University. Despite her family’s concerns, Binti’s talent for mathematics and her aptitude with astrolabes make her a prime candidate to undertake this interstellar journey.

But everything changes when the jellyfish-like Medusae attack Binti’s spaceship, leaving her the only survivor. Now, Binti must fend for herself, alone on a ship full of the beings who murdered her crew, with five days until she reaches her destination.

There is more to the history of the Medusae–and their war with the Khoush–than first meets the eye. If Binti is to survive this voyage and save the inhabitants of the unsuspecting planet that houses Oomza Uni, it will take all of her knowledge and talents to broker the peace.


My Review – 

I thought it unique that the first book was less than 100 pages, and each book after that got bigger by about 100 pages or so and each had very strategic endings. They made for incredibly quick but powerful reads. Not like anything I’ve read before! I was really intrigued by the familial structure of Binti’s family, and the concept of “the root” which is the name for their home, and the tribal communities. The Medusae are a very intriguing species and I loved everything about them from their jellyfish like bodies to the relationship they develop with Binti. I’d have loved to get to know more about them though, just not enough of the Medusae in the books to satisfy me. Although, it would be a great spinoff idea!

Some of the other aspects of the books I enjoyed were the bio-ships that transport Binti to and from the infamous Oomza University, where the brightest of all species come to study and learn and become great scientists and such in the galaxy. The whole concept of a Master Harmonizer is incredibly brilliant and the mathematical basis behind it far exceeds my math skills! In the third book we see Binti go on her pilgrimage that initiates them as women into their tribe. I loved the idea of this, in Australia it is known as a walkabout, in the Amish belief system known as the Rumspringa. Most cultures have a sort of “coming of age” celebration or ceremony and I thought the version in Binti was very creative, spiritual and full of self-awareness.

Overall each book got a 4 star rating from me. They were creative, exciting and had a very unique viewpoint. For anyone who loves #ownvoices reads, Scifi and strong female characters then this trilogy is 100% something I suggest you read. I think the story of Binti will most definitely stick with me throughout the years, and even will warrant a reread down the road.



Thank you to all who took the time to check out this review. If you’ve read the Binti Trilogy please share your thoughts on it in a comment. I’d love to hear what you thought of it. If you have other book recommendations you think I might like based off of enjoying the Binti books feel free to share those as well!  Like I mentioned in a previous review post, I’m trying to read more Sci-fi as it’s a genre I really enjoy but need to read more of on a consistent basis.


Until next time, Happy Reading! 🙂

The Night Country by Melissa Albert – Review


#NetGalley #TheNightCountry #HazelWood #YAFantasy #FlatIronBooks #review #darkfantasy #fairytales #favoritereads

Hi friends and Happy Sunday!! It’s been a snowy weekend here in Rochester, NY!! The perfect winter weather for staying, snuggling up and reading a good book. So many of you have heard me talk about The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. It was one of my absolute favorite reads in 2018 and I’ve continuously recommended it to everyone I know who loves a good fantasy read with a dark twist. Well, I got super lucky and got approved for an advanced ebook copy of the sequel, The Night Country by Melissa Albert!!! Thank you #NetGalley and #FlatIronBooks for the chance to read The Night Country prior to it’s release date. It is out in stores and available to purchase now, and I highly recommend you scurry to get a copy, or both books if you haven’t read The Hazel Wood yet either!! Also, the covers are absolutely BEAUTIFUL so they make great books to display on your shelves.




Description –

The instant New York Times bestseller! The Night Country is the highly anticipated sequel to Melissa Albert’s beloved, bestselling debut The Hazel Wood.

In The Night Country, Alice Proserpine dives back into a menacing, mesmerizing world of dark fairy tales and hidden doors of The Hazel Wood. Follow her and Ellery Finch as they learn The Hazel Wood was just the beginning, and that worlds die not with a whimper, but a bang.

With Finch’s help, Alice escaped the Hinterland and her reclusive grandmother’s dark legacy. Now she and the rest of the dregs of the fairy tale world have washed up in New York City, where Alice is trying to make a new, unmagical life. But something is stalking the Hinterland’s survivors—and she suspects their deaths may have a darker purpose. Meanwhile, in the winking out world of the Hinterland, Finch seeks his own adventure, and—if he can find it—a way back home…


Review –


I cannot tell you how excited I was to get back to Alice three times, Ellory Finch and the Hinterland Ex-Stories. I am a big sucker for dark fairy tales and twisted characters and this series is chock full of it. The start of The Night Country felt so smooth and like it picked right up from where we left off in Hazel Wood. Sometimes it takes a while for a reader to get into the sequel and figure out the chain of events, but this one was seamless.

We get to meet more of the Ex-Stories who followed Alice out of the Hinterland when she left and broke out of her story. I loved that they all lived together, and had meetings kind of like AA meetings. It was interesting to see how Alice interacted with them, and her struggle to decide if she was going to keep her life with them or forsake it all and run away with her mom Ella. The absence of Finch in Alice’s life was written so beautifully, and I loved how the chapters started to intertwine and we really got a great look at Finch’s character now that he’s found his own story.

The ending left me with a million questions, but in a good way!! It’s torture having to wait for the next book. I’m a sucker for torture though and love this feeling. The ending really picked up and was so action packed that I flew through the last 80 or so pages. I don’t think I even blinked! There wasn’t really any dull parts in the book, as any lulls were well written and enough to keep you moving along so as not to lose interest. My only grievance is that I didn’t love it more than Hazel Wood, but this isn’t a bad thing! I did rate The Night Country 4 out of 5 stars (Hazel Wood was a 5 star book for me), and definitely recommend all lovers of Hazel Wood to not skip this book!!



Thanks for tuning in for my review! I’ve got quite a bit on my agenda Today, but most importantly I do need to get some reading done. So I’m going to sign off for now, but stay tuned for my next blog tour posts and reviews!


Happy Reading! 🙂

A Beginning in the End by Mike Chen – Review


#AbeginningAtTheEnd #NetGalley #Harlequin #HarperCollins #BlogTour #scifi #postapocalyptic #booknerd #scifinerd #goodreads


Hello friends, It’s me, the book obsessed food loving Lauren! I’m back with another fabulous line up for a Blog Tour. I know, I know you’re probably thinking that I’m insane with all of these events I’m doing. Sometimes I think I am too, but I just can’t help it because I’m having so much fun! This will be the first of three reviews/excerpt posts for Harlequin’s Winter 2020 Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tours. I’m so excited to share my review with you, as I haven’t shared many reviews for Post-Apocalyptic or Science Fiction novels with you yet. There will be more coming, I have a lot of Scifi in my 2020 reading plans (tentative). Let’s get started with some information about A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen, and then I’ll wrap this post up with my review. Enjoy! 🙂


A Beginning at the End  

Mike Chen

On Sale Date: January 14, 2020

9780778309345, 0778309347


$26.99 USD, $33.50 CAD

Fiction / Science Fiction / Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic 

400 pages



An emotional story about what happens after the end of the world, A BEGINNING AT THE END is a tale of four survivors trying to rebuild their personal lives after a literal apocalypse. For commercial readers who enjoy a speculative twist, or their sci-fi with a heavy dose of family and feelings.

Six years after a global pandemic, it turns out that the End of the World was more like a big pause. Coming out of quarantine, 2 billion unsure survivors split between self-governing big cities, hippie communes, and wasteland gangs. When the father of a presumed-dead pop star announces a global search for his daughter, four lives collide: Krista, a cynical event planner; Moira, the ex-pop star in hiding; Rob, a widowed single father; and Sunny, his seven-year-old daughter. As their lives begin to intertwine, reports of a new outbreak send the fragile society into a panic. And when the government enacts new rules in response to the threat, long-buried secrets surface, causing Sunny to run away seeking the truth behind her mother’s death. Now, Krista, Rob, and Moira must finally confront the demons of their past in order to hit the road and reunite with Sunny — before a coastal lockdown puts the world on pause again.


Author Bio:

Mike Chen is a lifelong writer, from crafting fan fiction as a child to somehow getting paid for words as an adult. He has contributed to major geek websites (The Mary Sue, The Portalist, Tor) and covered the NHL for mainstream media outlets. A member of SFWA and Codex Writers, Mike lives in the Bay Area, where he can be found playing video games and watching Doctor Who with his wife, daughter, and rescue animals. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @mikechenwriter


Social Links:

Author website:

Twitter: @mikechenwriter

Instagram: @mikechenwriter

Facebook: @mikechenwriter


Buy Links: 



Barnes & Noble:



Apple Books:


Google Play:


My Review

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and a honest review and then some it shall receive! I cannot tell you enough how much I enjoyed reading A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen. I loved the world he built with the attention to detail to show what life in the US was like after the first global flu pandemic hit, and how believable it was. I’ve never read an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic novel that isn’t focused on death and destruction with crazy human mutations, zombies or other fictional creatures. The fact that this book focused more on the surviving people and how they try to cope with what happened and find a way forward in life was a really refreshing outtake. It was a bit of a slow burn, but then again what fantastic science fiction read isn’t? I did not find it difficult to keep track of the four main characters and how the storyline bounced between them. You can tell that there was a lot of thought and planning put into the creation of Rob & Sunny, Krista, and Moira to develop their stories pre and post pandemic. It actually had a really great flow to it, and I love the flashbacks and intermingling point of views to provide you all of the characters though processes at certain plot points. I’ve heard that this book has a similar feel to how Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel was written, which I unfortunately haven’t read yet (but will soon!). The ending felt like it wrapped up nicely so I don’t expect there to be a sequel, but I wouldn’t complain if there was!

I will definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good Scifi read, especially of the apocalyptic kind or to anyone who read and enjoyed Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I’ve already raved about it to some close bookish friends and they’ve added it to their TBRs!!


I’d like to give another big Thank You to Harlequin for inviting me to participate in this blog tour, and for partnering with NetGalley to provide me with a free ebook copy of A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen in exchange for an honest review. I can’t wait to read the next two books in the Winter 2020 Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour line up.


Until next time, Happy Reading! 🙂

My 2019 in Books!

Hi friends, I hope you’re all having a great day! I meant to get this post out shortly after the New Year, but I’m a little behind. It’s filing season and that means work is insanely busy. We’re almost done though!! Before I get too far into my 2020 reading adventures, I’d like to share my recap of 2019 with everyone!

At the start of 2019 I set my Goodreads Reading goal to 150 books, and I met my goal with exactly 150 books read! I surprised myself by reading that many books, but I read some really wonderful books! That being said, I’ve prepared my Top 10 favorite reads of the year and my 5 least favorite reads of 2019.

My Top 10 is sorted by 5 YA and 5 Adult, I tend to read more YA books than Adult. One of my goals this year is to read more of a mix. So here they are, my Top 10 reads of 2019!! 😊 Most, is not all, were ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ reads for me!!


Top 5 YA of 2019 (In no particular order)

  • Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan
  • The Folk of the Air Trilogy by Holly Black
  • Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford
  • The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

Top 5 Adult of 2019

  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
  • Turn the Other Way by Stuart James

Honorable mention to some other books that I wanted to put in my Top 10 but shared slots don’t always work….

  • Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
  • Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan
  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Next, my Least 5 Favorite of 2019. I disliked these books for many different reasons. Mostly they were just not my kind of book, didn’t wow me, or just had me confused the entire book. I don’t want my dislike of them to sway anyone from reading them, as there are many positive reviews for all 5 of these books.

Least 5 Favorite of 2019

  • Rising (A Mystical Slayer Prequel) by Michael W Huard.
  • The Last 8 by Laura Pohl
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth
  • Slenderman by Anonymous

It was more difficult than I though it would be making these lists. I loved so many books, and really didn’t want to give a “bottom 5” to any books. I’m not one to bash books, but to just say not for me. I am so excited for the bookish adventures that 2020 will bring. I’ve read 6 books already and have quite a few more on deck! Keep an eye out for my upcoming Blog Tours, Reviews and other adventures!!

Until then, Happy Reading! 🤓

Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin- Harlequin Winter 2020 Blog Tour



Hi friends!! I completely thought I had written my last blog post for the Winter 2020 Tour when I wrote my review for Husband Material by Emily Belden, but I was wrong!! Oopsies! This is my last and final review for the Harlequin Winter 2020 Romance & Women’s Fiction Blog Tour train. Thanks again #Harlequin and #NetGalley, I’ve had such a great time reading my selected books. This review is for Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin, and without further ado let’s dive in!!




Author: Rebecca Raisin 

ISBN: 9781335012500

Publication Date: 1/7/2020

Publisher: HQN Books


Buy Links: 




Barnes & Noble 








Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @JaxandWillsMum

Facebook: @RebeccaRaisinAuthor

Instagram: @RebeccaRaisinWrites



Author Bio: Rebecca Raisin is the author of several novels, including the beloved Little Paris series and the Gingerbread Café trilogy, and her short stories have been published in various anthologies and fiction magazines. You can follow Rebecca on Facebook, and at


Book Summary:


It’s The Holiday on the Champs-Élysées in a great big love letter to Paris, charming old bookstores and happily-ever-afters!

When bookshop owner Sarah Smith is offered the opportunity for a job exchange with her Parisian friend Sophie, saying yes is a no-brainer—after all, what kind of romantic would turn down six months in Paris? Sarah is sure she’s in for the experience of a lifetime—days spent surrounded by literature in a gorgeous bookshop, and the chance to watch the snow fall on the Eiffel Tower. Plus, now she can meet up with her journalist boyfriend, Ridge, when his job takes him around the globe.

But her expectations cool faster than her café au lait soon after she lands in the City of Light—she’s a fish out of water in Paris. The customers are rude, her new coworkers suspicious and her relationship with Ridge has been reduced to a long-distance game of phone tag, leaving Sarah to wonder if he’ll ever put her first over his busy career. As Christmas approaches, Sarah is determined to get the shop—and her life—back in order…and make her dreams of a Parisian happily-ever-after come true.



– My Review –


I immediately felt connected to the main character Sarah Smith when I found out that she is a huge bibliophile and owns her own bookshop!! It’s always been a dream of mine to either work in Publishing or to own my own Bookshop. Sarah and I are similar in more ways than just books though, we are both from a small town and we withdraw into fiction when we aren’t feeling a social connection in the real world. I absolutely LOVE that Sarah’s boyfriend is HQ material though, as I felt that it proves that any two people can fall in love regardless of their looks or professions.

The bookshop swap made for such a fun story, as a person’s assimilation into a foreign culture is an adventure within itself even without running a friend’s bookshop. The diversity of the characters was fun, quirky and endearing. The description of all the french foods Sarah tried had my mouth watering. I was ready to hop on the next flight to Paris! The ending of the book had my heart warmed and a smile on my face! It really was a very cute story. One that I would recommend to anyone looking for a happy read.



Until next time, Happy Reading! 🙂