The German House by Annette Hess – NetGalley Review

#NetGalley #GermanHouse #historicalfiction #worldwar2 #booknerd #readingislife #bookreview #goodwinterread




Description (from NetGalley)-

Set against the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963, Annette Hess’s international bestseller is a harrowing yet ultimately uplifting coming-of-age story about a young female translator—caught between societal and familial expectations and her unique ability to speak truth to power—as she fights to expose the dark truths of her nation’s past.

If everything your family told you was a lie, how far would you go to uncover the truth?

For twenty-four-year-old Eva Bruhns, World War II is a foggy childhood memory. At the war’s end, Frankfurt was a smoldering ruin, severely damaged by the Allied bombings. But that was two decades ago. Now it is 1963, and the city’s streets, once cratered are smooth and paved. Shiny new stores replace scorched rubble. Eager for her wealthy suitor, Jürgen Schoormann, to propose, Eva dreams of starting a new life away from her parents and sister. But Eva’s plans are turned upside down when a fiery investigator, David Miller, hires her as a translator for a war crimes trial.

As she becomes more deeply involved in the Frankfurt Trials, Eva begins to question her family’s silence on the war and her future. Why do her parents refuse to talk about what happened? What are they hiding? Does she really love Jürgen and will she be happy as a housewife? Though it means going against the wishes of her family and her lover, Eva, propelled by her own conscience , joins a team of fiery prosecutors determined to bring the Nazis to justice—a decision that will help change the present and the past of her nation.


My Review –

This story peaked my interest as soon as I read the description. It’s not your usual World War II historical fiction story. What interested me was that this takes place many years after the war and involves the Frankfurt Trials. The multiple sub-plot lines keep the story moving forward, and intertwine in the most creative way. I really enjoyed the personality of the protagonist, Eva Bruhns. At times, I felt like giving her fiancé a piece of my mind. I couldn’t stand how controlling he came across, but then I have to remind myself that this was how men acted back in the 60s. The time period was so well written, with mentions of The Beatles on their claim to fame. Ironically, this book takes place around Christmas time, and that is when I ended up reading it. That I think that definitely helped me relate more to the story, and had me in the mood for it. I highly recommend reading The German House during the winter, it has a lot of snowfall mentioned, so if you’re somewhere snowy and you love historical fiction then read this!!! 🙂

I tend to get tired of WWII historical fiction, it’s a very heavy time period and can wear on one’s soul. This was a refreshing perspective, and I enjoyed it! I’m so thankful to have been approved for an ARC of The German House through NetGalley, and thank you to HarperCollins Publishing as well. I will definitely be looking to read more books by Annette Hess, especially if she writes more historical fiction with unique perspectives. It’s a genre I’d like to read more of, but also a genre that has so many set during WWII and not enough set during different periods in time.



Until next time, Happy Reading! 🙂

Husband Material – Harlequin Holiday Blog Tour – Winter 2020


#HarlequinPublishing #NetGalley #HusbandMaterial #romance #lovestory #booknerd #blogtour #reallifestruggles


Hey, hey book nerds!! I’m back with my final review for Harlequin’s Winter 2020 Holiday Blog Tour and I just have to say, this has been so much fun! Thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing for this opportunity to be a part of the Blog Tour fun! I’ve read some pretty cute stories from this tour and they were all books that took me outside my comfort zone. I never believed myself to be a fan of romance reads, I think I had a stigma that they were always sicky sweet like Hallmark movies. But, since I’ve started this Blog Tour I’ve changed my opinion, especially with this last read. I felt that it focused so much more on women’s real life struggles than just another love story. So without further ado, here we go!!


Husband Material : A Novel 

Emily Belden

On Sale Date: December 30, 2019

9781525805981, 1525805983

Trade Paperback

$15.99 USD, $19.99 CAD

Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy 

304 pages



Told in Emily Belden’s signature edgy voice, a novel about a young widow’s discovery of her late husband’s secret and her journey toward hope and second-chance love.

Twenty-nine-year-old Charlotte Rosen has a secret: she’s a widow. Ever since the fateful day that leveled her world, Charlotte has worked hard to move forward. Great job at a hot social media analytics company? Check. Roommate with no knowledge of her past? Check. Adorable dog? Check. All the while, she’s faithfully data-crunched her way through life, calculating the probability of risk—so she can avoid it.

Yet Charlotte’s algorithms could never have predicted that her late husband’s ashes would land squarely on her doorstep five years later. Stunned but determined, Charlotte sets out to find meaning in this sudden twist of fate, even if that includes facing her perfectly coiffed, and perfectly difficult, ex-mother-in-law—and her husband’s best friend, who seems to become a fixture at her side whether she likes it or not.

But soon a shocking secret surfaces, forcing Charlotte to answer questions she never knew to ask and to consider the possibility of forgiveness. And when a chance at new love arises, she’ll have to decide once and for all whether to follow the numbers or trust her heart.


Author Bio:

EMILY BELDEN is a journalist, social media marketer, and storyteller. She is the author of the novel Hot Mess and Eightysixed: A Memoir about Unforgettable Men, Mistakes, and Meals. She lives in Chicago. Visit her website at or follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @emilybelden.

Advance Praise for Husband Material

“Tackling thorny questions of widowhood and dating after trauma, Belden’s second novel is witty, full of heart, and blindingly au courant. Packed with pop-culture references, it will appeal to fans of Sophie Kinsella, Rosie Walsh, and Plum Sykes. Belden writes twists and turns to keep readers hooked.” Booklist

“Charming.” Publishers Weekly

“Sensitive, thoughtful, and touching.” —Library Journal

“In this touching, witty, and timely book, Emily Belden deftly explores the complexities of human relationships in our increasingly tech-obsessed world. By turns heartbreaking and laugh-out-loud funny, Husband Material beautifully demonstrates that you can’t reduce love to a bunch of 1s and 0s.”

—Kristin Rockaway, author of How To Hack a Heartbreak


Buy Links:





Barnes & Noble:


Indie Bound:




Google Books:


Social Links:

Author website:

Twitter: @emilybelden

Instagram: @emilybelden

Facebook: @emilybeldenauthor


– My Review –

I picked Husband Material by Emily Belden as my first read of 2020. I wanted to start the year off with something fun and light, and I am so glad I did because I really enjoyed it. Husband Material was such a dynamic story with heartbreak, heart melting moments, and humor. Within the first couple pages I was close to spitting my drink out from a funny line I read. Those are my favorite moments in books, where something is so funny you can’t help but physically react. There were a couple twists that threw me off (but in a good way!) and kept me intrigued needing to know what happened next. I loved the characters, especially the roommate Casey who had a totally opposite personality from Charlotte and added great character dynamics, as well and Charlotte’s Mother-in-law who actually surprised me by the end of the book.

I really loved seeing how Charlotte grew from the first page to the last. She overcame some really big life struggles that were completely relatable, and I felt that the ending was all wrapped up beautifully and tied with a bow by the end. It’s never fun when a book has a sloppy ending leaving you with questions, which this wasn’t one of those. The writing was easy flowing, almost to a point where I felt like I had a movie playing in my head. I love when that happens, don’t you? I will definitely be adding Emily Belden to my list of top authors to read! I can’t wait to read more of her books this year. If you’re looking for a lighter, endearing read then I definitely recommend Husband Material!!

Thank you for tuning in for my latest blog tour installment here at booksnbites! I have a review for another NetGalley ARC posting tomorrow, as well as my 2019 year in books.


Happy Reading! 🙂


Ruthless Gods by Emily A Duncan – Review

Hey there friends!! I hope everyone had a safe and joyful Holiday, and that you aren’t working too hard. I’m finally back in my humble abode and going back to work tomorrow. It was a long and short 6 days off, if that can even be a thing. LOL! I didn’t get as much reading done as I’d hoped, but I finished the important book… Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy #2) by Emily A. Duncan! I’ve almost finished an audiobook as well, but that will come in a later discussion!! So without further adieu, here is my review!!


#NetGalley #ruthlessgods #stmartinspress #wednesdaybooks #darkfantasy #yafantasy #booknerd #awesomereads #somethingdarkandholy #readgoodbooks

Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy #2) by Emily A. Duncan

Description –

The stunning sequel to instant New York Times bestseller, Wicked Saints

Ruthless Gods opens the door to a world of fallen gods and eldritch horrors… Gruesome, grotesque, and so, so glorious.” – Erin A. Craig, New York Times bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. Their paths are being orchestrated by someone…or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

In her dramatic follow-up to Wicked Saints, the first book in her Something Dark and Holy trilogy, Emily A. Duncan paints a Gothic, icy world where shadows whisper, and no one is who they seem, with a shocking ending that will leave you breathless.

Ruthless Gods will leave fans demanding the final installment in the trilogy.” – Christine Lynn Herman, author of The Devouring Gray



MyReview – 

Gruesome, grotesque and glorious is such a perfect way to describe this outstanding sequel to Wicked Saints, and Erin A Craig (author of House of Salt & Sorrows) couldn’t have said it better! Wicked Saints set the scene perfectly and left you needing to know more, all while nursing a broken heart. I immediately started Ruthless Gods because I needed to know what happened to Nadya and Malachiasz, Serefin, and the rest of their unique group of travelers. Immediately I was drawn to the darkness surrounding Malachiasz, the leader of a Tranavian heretic cult known as the Vultures. His attempt to ascend from mortal to god was such an intriguing subplot, intertwined with Nadya’s struggle with her duties as a cleric and her belief in faith vs what her heart desires.

The character development was so intricate in Ruthless Gods, as we learned more about some of the secondary characters and met some new characters. The progress of the paths of the divine trio, which is what I like to call Serefin, Malachiasz, and Nadya, is so full of tension and action packed that it’s nearly impossible to pick which one to root for, let alone pick a favorite. There is never a lull in the plot line which can sometimes happen in sequels, but not in this one! The scenes in the divine forrest were absolutely horrific in all the best ways! Remind me never to go walking in the woods and especially at night, even if I’m with a group of people or not. The folklore included in the story was spooky and created the perfect mood. I don’t know about you, but monsters that scream and can impersonate those close to you with a single strand of hair are absolutely terrifying!!

I have so many questions after that ending, but I’m confident they will all be resolved in the third and final installment of the Trilogy. I hate that it’s so far away for the third book to come out, but that’s the downside to reading ARCs. It’s really not a bad thing at all though! Ruthless Gods has definitely left me heart broken, or rather absolutely shattered, and I LOVE it!! Having the emotional reaction to fictional characters in this way is always a sign of an amazing book in my opinion. I highly recommend that everyone who has read Wicked Saints reads Ruthless Gods, I promise you’ll like it more than the first book!! If you haven’t read either of these books yet then chop, chop!!! Go on, get it now!!! These are the perfect YA Dark Fantasy books in a series built around Russian cultural influences, Gods and monsters.


A HUGEEEE Thank You to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Wednesday Books for approving my request for this eARC!!! I had an absolute blast reading this book and have been talking it up to all of my friends and facebook book groups!


Until next time, Happy Reading!!

Dec 2019/End of Year Wrap Up



Hi friends! It’s nearly Christmas and I just can’t believe how quickly time has flown. This has been quite a month, and a year, but all full of good things! With just about a week left I’ve been reflecting on what an amazing reading year I’ve had. Of course, the year isn’t over and I still have some books that I need to finish, and some I would like to finish.  Taking a look at my stats with the 2019 Goodreads Challenge goal I set for myself, I’ve read a total of 146 books so far this year, which leaves me with only 4 more to complete my challenge of reading 150 books. In 2018 I set myself the goal of reading 60 books (double my 2017 total) and I surprised myself by reaching that by midyear. I ended up bumping it to 100 books and completed the 2018 year with a total of 102 books read. I thought 150 books in 2019 would be a stretch, but it’s proven to be fairly easy. I probably would have exceeded my goal by now, but I had quite a reading slump starting around the end of September and stretching into early November. I only just got my groove back! I’ve also taken on a few bookish projects these past few months, having been accepted as an Ambassador for Celadon Books to review early ARCs, as well as being invited to participate in a lot of Blog Tours for Harlequin Publishing and all associated presses. It has been quite a blast!


Here is what I’ve read so far this month….

  1. Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs by Jennifer Finney Boylan – 5 stars
  2. Tater Tot at the Chase: A Happy Helper by Laura Holman Byrne (gift for my nephew) – 4 stars
  3. Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev (gift for my nephew) – 4 stars
  4. An Alaskan Christmas (Wild River #1) by Jennifer Snow – 4 stars
  5. Christmas in London by Anita Hughes – 3 stars
  6. Shark’s Edge (Shark’s Edge #1) by Angel Payne & Victoria Blue – 4 stars
  7. The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater – 4 stars
  8. The Secret Zoo (The Secret Zoo #1) by Bryan Chick (gift for my niece) – 4 stars
  9. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera – 4 stars
  10. Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan – 5 stars




These are the books I still have in progress and hope to finish….

  1. The Girl in Red by Christina Henry – 5% in
  2. Patterns: Rise of Gods (The Patterns Trilogy #1) by Dark Ashton – 10% in
  3. The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library #1) by Genevieve Cogman – 4% in
  4. The German House by Annette Hess – 50% in – Plan to review for NetGalley**

If I finish these I will meet my goal!!! Yay!!

But….. I have a couple books I haven’t started yet that I still need to read this month.

  1. Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy #2) by Emily A. Duncan – ARC from NetGalley for a review **
  2. Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva – a group read for a facebook group I help Admin
  3. A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1) by Brittany Cavallaro –  a group read for a facebook group I help Admin




I have set some high goals for myself for the last 9 days of the year, but I’ll be on Christmas Vacation starting Tuesday and it’s going to be a nice low-key vacation. I’ll have plenty of reading time! I’m really looking forward to spending the holiday with my family and getting some rest and relaxation before I come back to work to complete the crazy season!! These last couple weeks have been tough between being very sick, and working overtime.

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Holidays! My wish for you is that you are able to spend time with family and friends, have a hot meal and get to put your feet up for even a little while. Remember to take some time away from social media distractions and cherish time spent with those around you, as we quite often take it for granted. Merry Christmas!!


Coming Soon in 2020….

  • Blog Tour Review for Husband Material by Emily Belden
  • 2020 Reading Goals
  • Review for Net Galley ARC of The Night Country by Melissa Albert
  • Blog Tour Review for Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebeca Raisin
  • Reviews for The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
  • Review for Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw
  • Review for Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
  • Blog Tour Review for A Beginning At The End by Mike Chen
  • Blog Tour Review for Cast in Wisdom by Michelle Sagara
  • Review for NetGalley ARC of Bitter Falls by Rachel Caine
  • Review for NetGalley/MacMillan ARC of Ten Days Gone by Beverly Long
  • Blog Tour Review for Don’t Read The Comments by Eric Smith
  • Review for NetGalley ARC of Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson


Happy Reading!!

An Alaskan Christmas – Harlequin Publishing Holiday Blog Tour – Winter 2020


#HarlequinPublishing #AnAlaskanChristmas #JenniferSnow #HolidayBlogTour #ChristmasRead #cuteholidaybook #booknerd #falalalala #tistheseason


Thank you to Harlequin for inviting me to join in the Winter 2020 Holiday Blog Tour. Due to the time of year being crazy season at work and me working 10 hours of overtime a week or sick, I only signed up for the one book An Alaskan Christmas by Jennifer Snow. All the books sounded cute, so make sure to check out the other tour posts!! You can search by using the keywords of Harlequin Holiday Blog Tour, searching the book titles, and such! 🙂





Jennifer Snow



Author: Jennifer Snow

ISBN: 9781335041500

Publication Date: 9/24/2019

Publisher: HQN Books


Buy Links: 




Barnes & Noble 








Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @JenniferSnow18

Facebook: @jennifersnowbooks

Instagram: @jensnowauthor



Author Bio: Jennifer Snow lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and four year old son. She is a member of the RWA, the Alberta Writers Guild, Canadian Authors Association and Her first Brookhollow book was a finalist in the Heart of Denver Aspen Gold contest and the Golden Quill Award. More information can be found at



Book Summary:

In Alaska, it’s always a white Christmas—but the sparks flying between two reunited friends could turn it red-hot…

If there’s one gift Erika Sheraton does not want for Christmas, it’s a vacation. Ordered to take time off, the workaholic surgeon reluctantly trades in her scrubs for a ski suit and heads to Wild River, Alaska. Her friend Cassie owns a tour company that offers adventures to fit every visitor. But nothing compares to the adrenaline rush Erika feels on being reunited with Cassie’s brother, Reed Reynolds.

Gone is the buttoned-up girl Reed remembers. His sister’s best friend has blossomed into a strong, skilled, confident woman. She’s exactly what his search-and-rescue team needs—and everything he didn’t know he craved. The gulf between his life in Wild River and her big-city career is wide. But it’s no match for a desire powerful enough to melt two stubborn hearts…



My Review –

I really enjoyed this book, with a strong female character who felt very real and who was very career focused. I found it easy to relate to Erika. I loved that Reed’s career was in search and rescue, that’s one of my favorite things to read about. There was great witty banter, and adorable dog, and real life family and personal struggles to over come. The plot moved along well, with some tense scenes and some moments where you just want to strangle the character! I laughed, snorted, sighed in frustration and squeaked with joy! This book was more than I expected and was the perfect December read. I’m so glad I’ve been expanding my horizons to include more romance books to break up the monotony of Fantasy, Thriller and Horror books that I normally read. I definitely recommend getting yourself a copy of this book to read this Holiday season! It’ll leave you with a happy heart for sure.


Thanks for taking the time to read my Blog Tour Post! Stay tuned for more to come, my next Blog Tour is on December 30th. I’ll try to post in between with some reviews and such, it’s been hard with my crazy schedule but I really miss sharing my reading adventures. So have a great day, enjoy the holiday season and Happy Reading!! 🙂

Good Boy : My Life in Seven Dogs by Jennifer Finney Boylan – Review

#CeladonBooks #partner #JenniferFinneyBoylan #petstories #memoir #amazingreads

Thank you to Celadon Books for surprising me with book mail and a copy of Good Boy!! This made an happy end to a hard day, and it gave me another book that I didn’t know I needed in life. Being a dog lover and dog mom, I immediately perked up at the sight of this book. I’m a day late posting my review, and for that I am so sorry!! None the less, here it is!!!

Description –

From bestselling author of She’s Not There, New York Times opinion columnist, and human rights activist Jennifer Finney Boylan, Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs, a memoir of the transformative power of loving dogs.

This is a book about dogs: the love we have for them, and the way that love helps us understand the people we have been. 

It’s in the love of dogs, and my love for them, that I can best now take the measure of the child I once was, and the bottomless, unfathomable desires that once haunted me.

There are times when it is hard for me to fully remember that love, which was once so fragile, and so fierce. Sometimes it seems to fade before me, like breath on a mirror.

But I remember the dogs. 

In her New York Times opinion column, Jennifer Finney Boylan wrote about her relationship with her beloved dog Indigo, and her wise, funny, heartbreaking piece went viral. In Good Boy, Boylan explores what should be the simplest topic in the world, but never is: finding and giving love.

Good Boy is a universal account of a remarkable story: showing how a young boy became a middle-aged woman—accompanied at seven crucial moments of growth and transformation by seven memorable dogs. “Everything I know about love,” she writes, “I learned from dogs.” Their love enables us pull off what seem like impossible feats: to find our way home when we are lost, to live our lives with humor and courage, and above all, to best become our true selves.

My Review-

I am so thankful to Celadon Books for sending me a copy of Good Boy by Jennifer Finney Boylan. Good Boy is one of those books that you read and when you finish it you realize it was a book you didn’t know you needed in your life! This book came to me at the perfect time in my life, so close to the holiday season. Not only is Good Boy a memoir about life events and how certain dogs benchmarked those periods in Jennifer’s life, but it’s a story of love and how it prevails. It also shows us how dogs teach us many important life lessons. I’m a dog lover and dog mom myself, so I really related to a lot of aspects of the book. I adored the stories in this book and the intimate details that Jennifer shared. It was as if the reader had come upon a window and peeked into a specific point in her life. This book speaks volumes and will always have a special place in my heart. I hope everyone else who reads this book can relate to it in one way or another, and marvel in how special our relationship with dogs are. They truly teach us many things!

Day Zero by Kelly DeVos – Blog Tour: Inkyard Press Winter 2020


#InkyardPress #Winter2020BlogTour #DayZero #NetGalley #YAread #booksarelife

Hey, it’s YA!! Surprisee!!! I’m changing it up thanks to Inkyard Press inviting me to join on their Winter YA 2020 Blog Tour! Today’s stop is for Day Zero by Kelly DeVos and I am so excited to bring you an excerpt and some author information! This sounds like such a fun, different survival story with a bit of humor. My kind of read!! It is definitely on my list to devour in the next couple weeks, and so far I’m really enjoying it!



Author: Kelly deVos

ISBN:  978-1335008480 

Publication Date: 11/12/19

Publisher: Inkyard Press


Buy Links: 




Barnes & Noble 







Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @kdevosauthor

Facebook: @kellydevosbooks

Instagram: @kellydevos



Author Bio: KELLY DEVOS is from Gilbert, Arizona, where she lives with her high school sweetheart husband, amazing teen daughter and superhero dog, Cocoa. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. When not reading or writing, Kelly can typically be found with a mocha in hand, bingeing the latest TV shows and adding to her ever-growing sticker collection. Her debut novel, Fat Girl on a Plane, named one of the “50 Best Summer Reads of All Time” by Reader’s Digest magazine, is available now from HarperCollins.

Kelly’s work has been featured in the New York Times as well as on Salon, Vulture and Bustle.


Book Summary:


Don’t miss the exhilarating new novel from the author of Fat Girl on a Plane, featuring a fierce, bold heroine who will fight for her family and do whatever it takes to survive. Fans of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It series and Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave series will cheer for this fast-paced, near-future thrill ride.

If you’re going through hell…keep going.

Seventeen-year-old coder Jinx Marshall grew up spending weekends drilling with her paranoid dad for a doomsday she’s sure will never come. She’s an expert on self-heating meal rations, Krav Maga and extracting water from a barrel cactus. Now that her parents are divorced, she’s ready to relax. Her big plans include making it to level 99 in her favorite MMORPG and spending the weekend with her new hunky stepbrother, Toby.

But all that disaster training comes in handy when an explosion traps her in a burning building. Stuck leading her headstrong stepsister, MacKenna, and her precocious little brother, Charles, to safety, Jinx gets them out alive only to discover the explosion is part of a pattern of violence erupting all over the country. Even worse, Jinx’s dad stands accused of triggering the chaos.

In a desperate attempt to evade paramilitary forces and vigilantes, Jinx and her siblings find Toby and make a break for Mexico. With seemingly the whole world working against them, they’ve got to get along and search for the truth about the attacks—and about each other. But if they can survive, will there be anything left worth surviving for?


Dr. Doomsday’s Guide to Ultimate Survival

Rule One: Always be prepared.

I exhale in relief when MacKenna pulls the car into the Halliwell’s Market parking lot. Because of the Sugar Sales Permit waiting list, old stores like these are the only places that carry Extra Jolt soda. I have to buy it myself, because Mom won’t keep any in the house.

She thinks too much caffeine rots your brain or something. Halliwell’s is a squat brown building that sits across the street from the mall and is next door to the town’s only skyscraper.

The First Federal Building was supposed to be the first piece of a suburban business district designed to rival the hip boroughs of New York. The mayor announced the construction of a movie theater, an apartment complex and an indoor aquarium. But the New Depression hit, and the other buildings never materialized.

The First Federal Building alone soars toward the clouds, an ugly glass rectangle visible from every neighborhood, surrounded by the old town shops that have been there forever. Most of the stores are empty.

We park in front of the market.

Our car nestles in the long shadow of the giant bank building.

Charles gets out and stands on the sidewalk in front of the car.

MacKenna opens her door. She hesitates again. “Listen, I know you might not want to hear this or believe it. But my book report wasn’t about hurting you or getting revenge. I’m trying to get you to see what’s really happening here. That Carver’s election is the start of something bad. We could use you at the rally. You’re one of the few people who understands Dr. Doomsday’s work. You could explain what he did. How he helped Carver cheat to win.”

“I’ve been planning this raid for months,” I say. My stomach churns, sending uncomfortable flutters through my insides. I don’t know what it would mean to talk about my father’s work. What I really want to do is pretend it doesn’t exist. Pretend the world is normal and whole.

I reassure myself with the reminder that there’s no way MacKenna is going to the rally either.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Charles give us a small wave. Before MacKenna can say anything else, I get out and grab my backpack.

Inside Halliwell’s, I pick up a blue basket from the stack near the door. The small market is busy and full of other people shopping after school or work. The smell of pine cleaner hits me as we pass the checkout stations. They are super serious about germs and always cleaning between customers.

I leave MacKenna and Charles at the Click N’Grow rack near the door to check out the seed packets that my brother collects. Dad got Charles hooked on this computerized gardening that uses an e-tablet and a series of tiny indoor lights to create the ideal indoor planter box. Each week, they release a new set of exclusive seeds. Their genetic modifications are controversial.

All the soda is in large coolers that line one of the walls of the market. They keep the strange stuff in the corner. Expensive root beers. Ramune imported from Japan. And! Extra! Jolt! I put a few bottles of strawberry in my basket. I snag some grape too. For a second, I consider buying a couple of bottles of doughnut flavor. But that sounds like too much, even for me. The chips are in the next aisle. I load up on cheese puffs and spicy nacho crisps.

MacKenna and Charles are still at the rack near the door, and I try to squeeze by them without attracting any notice. I usually don’t buy unhealthy snacks when I’m with my brother. I smuggle them in my backpack and have a special hiding space in my desk.

My brother has type 1 diabetes, and he’s supposed to check his blood sugar after meals. He can have starchy or sugary snacks only when his glucose level is good or on special occasions.

MacKenna grimaces at a packet of seeds in her hands. “I still don’t like this one. It’s pretty. But still. It’s…carnivorous.”

I have to hand it to her. She really does have a look. She’s pale and white, like me, but she manages to seem like she’s doing it on purpose and not because she’s some kind of vampire- movie reject. Her glossy black hair always rests in perfect waves, and if the journalism thing doesn’t work out, she could definitely have a career in fashion design.

Charles smiles at her. “It’s a new kind of pitcher plant. Like the Cobra Lily.” He points to the picture on the front of the seed packet. “Look at the blue flowers. That’s new.”

“It eats other plants,” MacKenna says.

“You eat plants.”

“But I don’t eat people,” MacKenna says. “There’s got to be some kind of natural law that says you shouldn’t eat your own kind.”

Charles giggles.

So far so good. Until.

My brother trots up behind me and dumps a few packs of seeds in my basket. His gaze lands on my selection of soda and chips. “Can I get some snacks too?”


I freeze. “What’s your number?”

Charles pretends he can’t hear me. That’s not a good sign.

“Charles, what’s your number?”

He still doesn’t look at me. “I forgot my monitor today.”

“Well, I have mine.” I kneel down and dig around for the spare glucometer I keep in the front pocket of my backpack. By the time I get it out, MacKenna has already pulled Charles out of his blazer and rolled up the sleeve of his blue dress shirt. I wave the device over the small white sensor disk attached to my brother’s upper arm.

After a few seconds, the glucometer beeps and a number displays on the screen.


Crap. Crap. Crap.

“Charles! What did you eat today?”

My brother’s face turns red. “They were having breakfast-for-lunch day at school. Everyone else was having pancakes. Why can’t I have pancakes?”

I sigh. Something about his puckered up little face keeps me from reminding him that if he eats too much sugar he could die. “You know what Mom said. If you eat something you’re not supposed to, you have to get a pass and go to the nurse for your meds.”

My brother’s shoulders slump. “I couldn’t go to the nurse. Hummingbirds were visiting the Chuparosa and…”

Charles is on the verge of tears and frowns even more deeply at the sight of my basket full of junk food.

“Look,” I say. “There are plenty of healthy snacks we can eat. I’ll put this stuff back.”

“That’s right,” MacKenna says, giving Charles’s hand a squeeze. “We can get some popcorn. Yogurt. Um, I saw some really delicious-looking fresh pears back there.”

“And they have the cheese cubes you like,” I add.

We go around the store replacing the cheese puffs and soda with healthy stuff. I hesitate when I have to put back the Extra Jolt, but I really don’t want to make my brother feel bad because I can drink sugary stuff and he can’t.

We pay for the healthy snacks and the seed packets.

I grab the bags and move toward the market’s sliding doors.

I end up ahead of them, waiting outside by the car and facing the store. The shopping center behind Halliwell’s is mostly empty. The shoe store went out of business last year. Strauss Stationers, where everyone used to buy their fancy wedding invitations, closed two years before that. The fish ’n’ chips drive-through is doing okay and has a little crowd in front of the take-out window. Way off in the distance, Saba’s is still open, because in Arizona, cowboy boots and hats aren’t considered optional.

I watch MacKenna and Charles step out of the double doors and into the parking lot. Two little dimples appear on MacKenna’s cheeks when she smiles. Charles has a looseness to his walk. His arms dangle.

There’s a low rumble, like thunder from a storm that couldn’t possibly exist on this perfectly sunny day.

Something’s wrong

In the reflection of the market’s high, shiny windows, I see something happening in the bank building next door. Some kind of fire burning in the lower levels. A pain builds in my chest and I force air into my lungs. My vision blurs at the edges. It’s panic, and there isn’t much time before it overtakes me.

The muscles in my legs tense and I take off at a sprint, grabbing MacKenna and Charles as I pass. I haul them along with me twenty feet or so into the store. We clear the door and run past a man and a woman frozen at the sight of what’s going on across the street.

I desperately want to look back.

But I don’t.

A scream.

A low, loud boom.

My ears ring.

The lights in the store go off.

I’ve got MacKenna by the strap of her maxidress and Charles by the neck. We feel our way in the dim light. The three of us crouch and huddle together behind a cash counter. A few feet in front of us, the cashier who checked us out two minutes ago is sitting on the floor hugging her knees.

We’re going to die.

Charles’s mouth is wide-open. His lips move. He pulls at the sleeve of my T-shirt.

I can’t hear anything.

It takes everything I’ve got to force myself to move.



Leaning forward. Pressing my face into the plywood of the store counter, I peek around the corner using one eye to see out the glass door. My eyelashes brush against the rough wood, and I grip the edge to steady myself. I take in the smell of wood glue with each breath.

Hail falls in the parking lot. I realize it’s glass.

My stomach twists into a hard knot.

It’s raining glass.

That’s the last thing I see before a wave of dust rolls over the building.

Leaving us in darkness.


Excerpted from Day Zero by Kelly deVos, Copyright © 2019 by Kelly deVos. Published by Inkyard Press.




If you like heart pounding survival stories then this sounds like the perfect choice! The family loyalty and dependency on survival is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. Let me know if you’ve read it or plan to read it and we can compare notes. 🙂

The Princess Plan – Blog Tour: Romance & Women’s Fiction Winter 2020


#NetGalley #JuliaLondon #HarlequinTradePublishing #Winter2020 #BlogTour #romance #womensfiction #ThePrincessPlan

Thank you all for joining me Today on my stop for Harlequin’s Winter 2020 Romance & Women’s Fiction Blog Tour for The Princess Plan by Julia London. This was such a fun read and was for sure a one sitting book! I’m excited to bring you some information about the author and where you can get a copy of the book for yourself, as well as my review. Let’s get this party started!!



The Princess Plan

London, Julia


Mass Market | HQN Books | A Royal Wedding

On Sale: 11/19/2019



$10.99 CAN



Princes have pomp and glory—not murdered secretaries and crushes on commoners

Nothing gets London’s high society’s tongues wagging like a good scandal. And when the personal secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia is found murdered, it’s all anyone can talk about, including Eliza Tricklebank. Her unapologetic gossip gazette has benefitted from an anonymous tip about the crime, prompting Sebastian to take an interest in playing detective—and an even greater one in Eliza.

With a trade deal on the line and mounting pressure to secure a noble bride, there’s nothing more salacious than a prince dallying with a commoner. Sebastian finds Eliza’s contrary manner as frustrating as it is seductive, but they’ll have to work together if they’re going to catch the culprit. And when things heat up behind closed doors, it’s the prince who’ll have to decide what comes first—his country or his heart.


Julia London is a NYT, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical and contemporary romance. She is a six-time finalist for the RITA Award of excellence in romantic fiction, and the recipient of RT Bookclub’s Best Historical Novel.







Apple Books

Barnes & Noble


Google Play




My Review of The Princess Plan by Julia London

I’ve been branching out recently and incorporating more women’s lit and romance into my repertoire, and The Princess Plan was the perfect choice! I’d just got done reading some heavy fantasy books and this was the perfect cheery palate cleanser for me.

I absolutely love the setting in England where women still aren’t equal to men, not that it stops Eliza from demanding equal treatment. Eliza is the perfect female protagonist, full of spunk and life, determined to live her life the way that makes her happy regardless of how society or others think she should behave. Prince Sebastian is as handsome as a fictional character can get and definitely not a flat character at all, especially with the abyss of his green eyes. I enjoyed the mischief that Caro, Eliza and Hollis got up to, especially the humor they provided along the way. The plot line moved along well, and the character development was just perfect.

A great twist on mystery and Romance, and an enjoyable book for anyone who needs a laugh and a happy heart at the end of the day! I will definitely recommend this to many of my friends, even if they try to tell me Romance isn’t their thing. This is a book that is worthy of a reread for sure.



Thank you all for checking in for my stop on the Harelquin Winter 2020 Blog Tour for The Princess Plan by Julian London. Stay tuned for upcoming tours and of course my usual bookish shennanigans!


Happy Reading!

ARCs Galore and More!

Hello friends! I’m back with news! I hope you all are doing well, we’ve finally had the first snowfall of the year and I love it! Baxter has made sure to shove his face in every square inch, coming out with a snow beard every time. We can finally snuggle up in warm blankets with tea and spend the weekends reading without feeling guilty about wasting nice weather days inside! 😃 It’s so cozy and perfect for enjoying lots of reading! Ok, let’s get to my news!!!

First up is that I am no longer in a book slump. Yaaayyyy!!! Thanks to finishing Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, I am reading all the wonderful books again. This was a perfect book to suck me in and get me obsessively reading again. Thank god, because an almost two month slump was torture. Plus now I’m behind schedule, but I’ll make due!

I’ll post my review of Ninth House soon! I have quite a few books to review here, so I’ll most likely do a post of multiple reviews and keep them short. A review blitz, Ohhh I like the sound of that! 😉

Until then, my second bit of news is that I have been receiving ARCs like crazy!!! Between blog tours and Bookish First, and now being a #partner for Celadon Books I am just so incredibly excited to bring you sneak peeks of books coming soon!!

My most recent ARC that I received from #CeladonBooks #ReadGoodBoy , is Good Boy : My Life in Seven Dogs a memoir by Jennifer Finney Boylan

I am really hoping to read this book this weekend. I’m feeling the urge to read a heartwarming book about dogs that will give me all the feels! It’s a fairly short book too, which is perfect for Readathon weekends. I know, I know, you’re probably asking yourself “Isn’t she always doing a Readathon on the weekends?”. It feels like that sometimes but I usually only have them once or twice a month.

Other ARCs I’ve been receiving are ones that I’ve won or earned from a website called Bookish First. I’ve won 2 physical ARCs so far, 1 I have already and 1 is on it’s way! I also was able to redeem points for an ARC!

  • Shark’s Edge by Angel Payne & Victoria Blue
  • Followers by Megan Angelo
  • The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey (not pictured as it’s on it’s way!)

So, thank you so very much to everyone who has sent me an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of all of these books! To my readers, stay tuned for reviews and for my upcoming Blog Tour posts on Monday November 18th for A Princess Plan by Julia London, and on Sunday November 24th for Day Zero by Kelley DeVos! I am super excited to read all of these books! 📚

Ok friends, I’m off to finish my current read of The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater! Happy Reading and have a lovely Saturday! 🤓

Meant To Be Yours by Susan Mallery : Harelquin Trade Publising Blog Tour: Romance & Women’s Fiction Winter 2020


#blogtour #harlequinpublishing #meanttobeyours #susanmallery #romance #womensfiction #happyreads #wittybanter #lovestory

Welcome friends to my very first stop on a Blog Tour! Thank you so very much to Harlequin Trade Publishing for allowing me this opportunity!! I have had so much fun reading Meant To Be Yours by Susan Mallery, and I am beyond anxious to share my review with you. Without further ado, here we go!!


Author: Susan Mallery

ISBN: 9781335041494

Publication Date: 10/22/19

Publisher: HQN Books


Buy Links: 




Barnes & Noble 








Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @susanmallery

Facebook: @SusanMallery

Instagram: @susanmallery



Author Bio: SUSAN MALLERY is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations,” and readers seem to agree—40 million copies of her books have 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.


Book Summary:

In Happily Inc, love means never having to say “I do”…

Wedding coordinator Renee Grothen isn’t meant for marriage. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, plan. But she never could have planned on gorgeous, talented thriller writer Jasper Dembenski proposing—a fling, that is. Fun without a future. And the attraction between them is too strong for Renee to resist. Now she can have her no-wedding cake…and eat it, too.

After years in the military, Jasper is convinced he’s too damaged for relationships. So a flirtation—and more—with fiery, determined Renee is way too good to pass up…until his flame becomes his muse.

Renee is an expert at averting every crisis. But is she finally ready to leap into the one thing that can never be controlled: love?



My Review – Meant To Be Your by Susan Mallery

Right off the bat I was sucked into this compelling, funny at times, and heartwarming story. Susan obviously knows what she’s doing by including a dog within the first 15 pages. As a proud Dog Mom of my adorable rescued Bichon Frise, Baxter, I felt an immediate connection to the main character Jasper, a veteran and author. As the story progresses you meet more endearing, comical, and dynamic characters. I absolutely love Renee, the wedding planner. She is super spunky, but vulnerable and strong. Something about a strong female character that is just so satisfying. One of my favorite book tropes ever is witty banter, and I definitely enjoyed the banter in this book. I find a romance to be extremely enjoyable when there are realistic relationships, ups and downs, and banter. There is no way a relationship is perfect all the time, so I was very relieved when the relationships in Meant To Be Yours were refreshingly real.

The atmosphere of the adorable town, Happily Inc, is so magical and quaint that it makes you long for it to be real so you can go visit. The shops, and the bar that everyone gathers at on Monday nights for games remind me of places I’ve visited before. This is one of those books that will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions, but leave you craving more to the point where you blink and realize you’re halfway through the book already! I got total Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts vibes reading this, which is one of my absolute favorite romance series… yes sometimes I am a mush! I will definitely be reading the rest of the Happily Inc books, as Susan Mallery’s writing style is something that I have fallen in love with. Such a flowy, engaging form of story telling. Definitely a feel good pick me up kind of book!

Thank you for checking out my stop on the Harlequin Trade Publishing Romance & Women’s Literature Blog Tour for Meant To Be Yours by Susan Mallery! Don’t forget to go get your copy today, and enjoy the read!! 🙂