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What I'm Reading

Creepy Cat Vol. 1 by Cotton Valent

"A full-color young adult graphic novel series that originated as a webcomic about a beloved ghostly cat! Flora moves into a mysterious mansion and finds it inhabited by a strange creature—Creepy Cat! Thus begins her strange and sometimes dangerous life with a feline roommate. This Gothic comedy brings the chuckles...and the chills! Since 2014, Cotton Valent's hilarious webcomic Meawbin The Creepy Cat has charmed online audiences across the world. Enjoy this full-color graphic novel series for audiences new and old!"

I finished this cute webcomic in a few hours and enjoyed all of it. From Flora, the creepy cat(s), and the police officer, it was all so cute!

I had never heard of Creepy Cat or the author/artist Cotton Valent, but now I have her webcomic bookmarked just so I can read more.

She also has another webcomic called "Glitch" which looks amazing as well.

Fiction

The Fox's Tower and Other Tales Ha Lee, Yoon

Thank you Edelweiss and the publisher for providing this book for me to read.

I enjoyed this book immensely and enjoyed finding stories that were modern fairytales.

I was going to write a list of my favorite stories that I read, but then realized that I had liked them all.

Fiction

A Lullaby for Witches by Hester Fox

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this e-arc. All opinions are my own.

When I first saw this title I was pretty excited to request it. I had enjoyed "The Pale Orphan of Cemetery Hill". Matter of fact it had broken me from a reading slump. So when I was approved for this one, I made it the next book on my tbr.

I didn't like it.

I couldn't care less for the characters. This story is told in two separate timeliness 1880's and present day. Margaret lives in the 1880's and is the wild child of a prosperous New England family. She is also a witch who falls in love and becomes pregnant. I couldn't stand her character and found her to be an annoying know it all.

Then there's Augusta. A flat boring character that was written as we should pity her but I found her insufferable. She goes on for chapters about how she is just staying with her boyfriend cause it was convenient, but after she finally decides to go tells the new crush how much of a manipulator he was. It was all talk and no show for her character.

There was nothing spooky about this book.

Fiction

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this e-arc in exchange for an honest review. This is such a lovely heart warming story and paired with "Altruism" by Matthieu Ricard made me question a lot of how I act towards others. I loved Hugo, Mei and especially Granddad and Apollo. Honestly I don't think I've read such a bittersweet story. Days later I've come back to add that I still think about the ending, the epilogue.









Spoiler if you don't want to keep reading about the ending - - - - - - If I had my way I wouldn't have had granddad and Apollo move on. It felt emptier in their household in the end without them and my vision of that world felt sadder without their presence.

Fiction

Weep, Woman, Weep by Maria DeBlassie

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed this story very much. I don't know if it's because I was also reading "The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep" at the same time, but I at moments felt a really deep connection with Mercy and could visualize Mercy's Farm and the feeling of joining her on her couch to read.

Anyways, it's a good tale of overcoming loss and finding what it is to learn to love oneself and allowing others into your life.

Not so much horror though.... I would have loved it if La Llorona were a little more present in the story.

Fiction

How To Get Advanced Reader Copies Of Books

https://www.netgalley.com/ - This one is my favorite and have used the longest. This site is easy to use and has the same books offered as Edelweiss. You will have to read some of the lesser known authors to build your rapport, but once you get going you will find publishers will add you for auto approval. Just don't make the same mistake as me and request more books than you can possibly read in a month. My current TBR on there is twenty three books! Twenty three! Netgalley will send you an email when you've been approved for a book, along with weekly updates and reminders.

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https://booksirens.com - Fairly new to the scene it's easy to use like Netgalley. What I loved about this site though is they have stats. You feed your Goodreads profile in there and you get neat stats like this.

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https://www.bookishfirst.com/ - I don't know if it's luck or maybe the site isn't popular, but I won the very first book I asked for. The nice thing about this site is if you review books that you've read you gain points towards redeeming books that you want.

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https://www.edelweiss.plus/ - I don't use this site, even after I got over how horrendous the user layout is, it's like a crap shoot of actually getting books approved.

The Night Is Deep and Wide Review

This is a very nice book to read to babies. The use of black, white and red, along with the repetitious words would make this a great story to read to children two years and younger at night.

Childrens

The Sun Down Motel Review

There's mystery! There's murder! There's (most important to me during the spooky season) GHOSTS! I enjoyed this book very much. I liked all of the characters and felt that excited to pick the book back up. When I got down to the last hundred pages I may even have grumbled at my family for being too loud while trying to read it.


The only con, and it's a big one, is the ghosts. The ending with the ghosts felt rushed, not well planned, and flat. Actually it doesn't even make that much sense, and super lackluster, but the story was still enjoyable.

Fiction

The Bone Maker Review

This is hands down the best book I have read this year. I loved it so much! There's so much story and adventure packed into this book, that by the midway point it felt that other books would have just been ending. There is not a single bit of boring storytelling in this and I found myself really taking the time to imagine the scenes (I know it's sort of lazy I guess when I don't, but in other fantasies I have read it's just tedious).

I had started reading this after trying to read two other popular fantasies and being immediately put off by the main character being eighteen years old. I get it, YA is having a time right now and that's great, but I wanted a story where the heroes are my age and this book was it. It is so refreshing to read a book this good, in the fantasy genre, that had characters in their thirties/forties!

The story is about five friends who have already saved the world and must do so again. Kreya, the logical leader who makes bone constructs (think bones and whatever other material that can be combined to make a robot, whether it's wood, fabric, or metal). Jentt her husband who acts as the thief and scout for the group. Zera her best friend who can carve talismans from bones to make people and constructs fly, gain speed, be stealthily. Stran their big lovable boulder of a friend and finally Marso, their bone reader who can read the future and past in the bones.

Zera is my favorite character, her personality was fun, sassy, loyal, heart warming. Honestly I'd love to see another story in this series and if not based on the Five, then based solely on her.

Below are some quotes I pulled out.

As she descended the spiral stairs, she paused on the third level to check on her husband. He lay, as always, carefully wrapped in white linens. “Tomorrow, we’ll watch the sun rise together,” she told him. “You’ll say something that will make me laugh, and I’ll make willow tea that you’ll ruin with too much honey. And then we can do whatever you want. Walk in the woods. Mend that step you’re forever tripping over. We’ll have time.”

It was comforting to be surrounded by so many books, as if the past experience of all the authors could protect her from the unknown future.

Although I have never felt protected, who can't say they haven't felt comforted by being surrounded by books?

Twisting in the saddle, Zera tried to check, but the horse’s fur blocked her view.The horse snorted until she pulled herself back up.“You’re a fussy one.” She decided that meant it was a boy.
Opening her eyes, Kreya noticed that the other rag dolls were clustered around, some on the bed and some by her feet. She gathered them into her arms, and they swarmed all over her, patting her hair and stroking her back.
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She looked down at the little crushed scout in her arms.

Why did these little creatures have so much personality to them? I wanted to cry reading that!

Without thinking about whether he could or not, she asked, “Marso, any predictions?” “Death and doom,” he replied. “I don’t need bones for that.”

Thanks to the author Sarah Beth Durst, Avon and Harper Voyager, and NetGalley for the review copy. All opinions are mine.

Fiction

The Haunting of Beatrix Greene Review

Around 100 pages this little book packs a nice scary punch. The story telling is centered around Beatrix a phony medium, Harry her oldest friend, James the disbeliever, Amanda Reynolds, and Stanhope. James hires Beatrix to spend one night in Ashbury Manor, a home infamous for the killings that occurred there.

I enjoyed this book, but a few things that were jarring was the three separate authors. I hadn't noticed it at first, but then when I noticed the author under each new chapter it put me in mind of a new story. The anger between the two main characters and then them falling in love felt forced. If this book were a little longer and the story a little more developed I would have liked it more.

Fiction

Bear Review

This is probably one of the prettiest books I've read. The panels are delightful to look at and anyone would benefit from reading this story.

Bear is a guide dog for Patrick, when suddenly he loses his sight and loses his purpose. What follows is an epic adventure where he learns more about his purpose in life.

Thanks to the author Ben Queen, BOOM! Studios, and NetGalley for the review copy. All opinions are mine.

Childrens

This Is the Path the Wolf Review

This Is the Path the Wolf Took by Laura Farina is about a little boy who loves to tell his sister stories, really safe stories. The sister definitely wants more adventure and tells her big brother so. The boy realizes that the safe stories are just a little too boring and with the help of a wolf makes his stories bolder. Elina Ellis does fantastic illustrations and the pictures in this book were fun to look at. Thanks to the author Laura Farina, Kids Can Press, and NetGalley for the review copy. All opinions are mine.

Childrens

House of Salt and Sorrows Review

This story is such an interesting retelling, with just the right about of spookiness to kick off the season.

“You can, of course, but do you remember what we talked about before the funeral? You know Eulalie isn’t here anymore. She’s with Mama and Elizabeth now, in the Brine.” I felt her nod. “She keeps pulling my sheets off, though.” I blinked once before turning to snatch it up. When I left, the door slammed shut after me, as if pushed by unseen hands
“It works that way on the mainland,” he allowed. “But on the islands, estates are passed to the eldest child, regardless of sex. Many strong women have ruled over the Salann Islands. My grandmother inherited Highmoor when her father passed away. She doubled the size of the Vasa shipyard and tripled the profits.”
How refreshing for this line to be delivered from the father/husband - current head of the household? Too many stories are set where it’s the son who inherits and I’m here for this new way. The one downside I had with the story was that even by the end I still had no real idea of all the sisters, not really caring to remember their names.

Fiction

Gods of Jade and Shadow Review

I liked Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia very much. Without any spoilers the ending surprised me and left me a little heartbroken. Tweeting that to the author I don't expect to hear anything back, but I hope she read it and maybe feels a little bad for it (doubtful she reads it). I am convinced though that she could write a manual at this point and I'd read it. She has such a way of words that describe things that I have felt and never have been able to express.

Martín, who had a rather atrophied imagination, incapable of considering for long periods of time anything that was not directly in front of him as worthy of interest, could understand this reaction.

LOL! I thought this was a great diss. Like really, her way with words (chef’s kiss).

He was there all of a sudden, right by her side, like a fallen piece of the velvety sky, like a nocturnal plant that unfurled and greeted her, his hand touching her shoulder, shielding her from any threats with that quick gesture.

I physically felt this.

“Dreams are for mortals.”

“Why?”

“Because they must die.”

Somehow this made a perfect sort of sense

For real though, how beautiful is this idea?

“I’m better now,” she said, picking an innocuous comment to distract them both. “We could fetch ourselves supper.”

I do this all the time and this bit stuck out to me. It's something so small that I do and yet to see it written out on the page like that was a bit startling.

“The world was young then, it smelled of copper and brine,” Vucub-Kamé told her, almost wistfully, and she thought even though he stood before her, he wasn’t there, his eyes far off, gazing into the land of his memories.

Just another example of some beautiful writing I wanted to include here.

The phantom image they built of the palace was nothing but that, a fragile creation of the imagination, and yet it was solid. Casiopea saw the palace and she knew she pictured its true likeness even though she had never walked its hallways

How amazing is this right here? I don't know how many times I have pondered my imagination. Where do these images come from exactly? How can I see a place so clearly when I have never been there?

Honestly, I haven’t read such beautiful writing in a long time. As I said, I’m not great with expressing myself and through writing these reviews I hope to hone my ability to write. This story had so many passages to it where I was caught of guard by her wording and I’m afraid I’m not doing her any justice.

Fiction

Cursed Objects Review

Cursed Objects: Strange but True Stories of the World's Most Infamous Items by J.W. Ocker, read by Tim Campbell.

This is super perfect book to read or listen too during the spooky season. The narration was spot on and honestly he hit accents perfectly and was appropriately snarky where written. There are well over forty different cursed objects discussed in this book. Objects that range from ones that are popular to ones a little more unknown. I was going to make a list of all the objects discussed but after thirty decided the list would be too long. So instead I will go over my four favorite items discussed.

Black Aggie
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Black Aggie is an unauthorized replica by Edward Ludwig Albert Pausch based/stolen from Augustus Saint-Gaudens who made the Adams Memorial as a grave marker for Marian Hooper Adams and Henry Adams. The creepy thing about it is that the forgery apparently rests not too far from Marian Hooper Adams last known residence.

The curse is said to cause a pregnant woman to miscarriage is she walks through the shadow. Online sources even tell that if you sat in the replica’s lap you would die.

The Bronze Lady
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The Bronze Lady sat in between two trees, opposite the mausoleum as if guarding the door to make sure no one should leave. It is said that if you slap or insult the statue you will suffer misfortune.

The Conjured Chest

Jacob Cooley was a plantation owner who had his slave Hosea make a chest of drawers for him. Jacob Cooley didn’t like it and beat Hosea to death. What resulted was curse that stated that it would be fatal for anyone of that family to use the chest.

0888 888 888

It’s said that anyone who owns this number dies. To date there has been only three owners, one being the CEO, who died of cancer. The second owner Konstantin Dimitrov was in the mafia and promptly assassinated. The third and final owner Konstantin Dishliev was gunned down outside a restaurant. The number has been disconnected since the previous death in 2005.

Mexican Gothic Review

I have never read anything by Silvia Moreno - Garcia before. Her story telling is so smooth guys. I also am not one to read too much past my bedtime. I favor sleep over a good book, siding with caution on having more energy for the next day. This story though... I had 100 pages left and thought to myself, “Whatever! I need to know what happens!”. It was worth it.

“Shush. They can hear you,” Catalina said and went quiet, her eyes bright as polished stones.

“Who can hear me?” Noemí asked slowly, as her cousin’s eyes fixed on her, unblinking.

Catalina slowly leaned closer to her, whispering in her ear. “It’s in the walls,” she said.

Noemí is sent to visit her newly married cousin at an English manor in the Mexican mountains. The town - small, the road to the house - terrifying, the manor - creepy and neglected. It even has it’s own graveyard. You couldn’t ask for a better ghost story setting than this.

Noemi's father said she cared too much about her looks and parties to take school seriously, as if a woman could not do two things at once.

I am nothing like Noemí. I don’t care for dresses, or parties, and yet I absolutely love her character. She’s smart, and although vain, it’s no more than what I think an average person is. She is not a shallow person and holds to her morals fairly well throughout the book.

You think the story is meant to go on one path, but it doesn’t! Is Catalina (Noemí’s cousin) going insane? Are there ghosts in the house? The twist at the end was surprising enough that I messaged my husband mid read to tell him about it.

Apparently Silvia Moreno - Garcia writes in multiple genre’s, which is great since I find getting over book hangovers requires a different genre.

Fiction