Tuesday, December 3, 2019

My Top 5 Favorite Podcasts Part II

As promised (not that anyone remembers lol) here is part two of my favorite podcasts. They're arranged in no particular order and you can find all the podcasts on pretty much all platforms.
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Voices for Justice

This is a true crime podcast that focuses on the case of Alissa Turney who went missing in 2001 when she was 17 years old. The podcast is hosted by her sister Sarah Turney. I've been following this case for a while now and it breaks my heart, honestly. I'm not totally caught up yet with the podcast but I'm working on it and so far it's been really interesting. I would highly recommend you to read on on this case and of course listen to Sarah's podcast.


Culpable

This is another true crime podcast about a case I really care about. This case is about Christian Andreacchio who was found dead in his bathroom and after a investigation of only 45 minutes it was ruled a suicide. Everything about this case is so unjust but this podcast is topnotch. Definitely worth listening.


Crime After Crime

More true crime because why the hell not. This podcast is a little less heavy than the previous two if you're more into that, with episodes like Sana Claus Crimes, Crazy Craigslist Crimes, World's Worst Alibi, etc... It's hosted by Danelle Hallan and John Lordan who are both true crime Youtubers with their own channels that I enjoy watching videos from. They post only once at the start of each month but their podcast is one of my absolute favorites. You can also watch the podcast on Youtube.


Ancient History Hound

This is a podcast I only recently started listening to but so far I've been loving it. The topics are my kind of thing (ancient history duh). The first episode was about bees in the ancient world and I thought right away how fascinating that was. I highly enjoyed that episode and all the others I've listened to so far. Very well done.


Next Door Villain

This podcast is hosted by Joe and Tiana where they talk about a different villain each episode. I really love this podcast and think it's definitely the most underrated one I know. It's not only interesting to hear the hosts talk about villains but also really fun. Some episodes include The Joker, The Wicked Witch of the West, Cersei Lannister and Don Draper (there's more though!). Once again very highly recommended!
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If you also listen to podcasts: what are your favorites? 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Monthly Wrap-Up — November 2019

I absolutely can't believe it's December already. The months from September to December have gone by so fast. No complaints though because December is my favorite month. I didn't read as many books in November as I usually do but I read some really good ones so I'm glad about that. Also, THE FOWL TWINS! ♥


Learn My Lesson by Katee Robert — 4/5
A Scarcity of Condors by Suanne Laqueur — 5/5
The Dog Who Lost His Bark by Eoin Colfer & P.J. Lynch — 4/5

Britain in the Age of Arthur by Ilkka Suvänne — DNF
Tales From Cushman Row by Suanne Laqueur — 4/5
Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle — 2/5

The Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer — 5/5★ (Review)
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Favorite book of the month:

Criminal genius runs in the family... Myles and Beckett are eleven-year-old twins, but the two boys are wildly different. Beckett is blonde, messy and sulks whenever he has to wear clothes. Myles is fanatically neat, he has an IQ of 170, and he wears a fresh suit every day like his older brother, Artemis Fowl.

Perhaps you have heard of the Fowl family and their adventures?

This Fowl adventure is filled with the most unusual of individuals: an immortal duke, a miniature troll, a nunterrogator and a Police Specialist that's 42% elf. And of course, the Fowl twins - one a certified genius with a criminal leaning, and the other possessing an unusual talent that has not been fully explored... yet!

Here begins the second documented cycle of Fowl Adventures.

The first in a breath-taking new series from global superstar Eoin Colfer. Set in the multi-million bestselling world of ARTEMIS FOWL.

I don't think anyone is surprised that The Fowl Twins ended up being my favorite book of November. I've been looking forward to it for so long and it ended up being everything I wanted. I really couldn't have been happier with this book.
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What was your favorite book of November?

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Once a Myth by Pepper Winters

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read.
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Once a Myth by Pepper Winters

·Goddess Isles #1
·Dark Romance
·Coming early 2020 with a release every month thereafter.
·Five books in the series.

“There was a boy once. A boy who wasn’t strong enough to save me when I was taken.”

There was a girl once. A girl called Tess Snow who sat with me in the dark waiting to be sold.

There was an owner once. An owner who bought me, entrapped me, and made me his unwilling goddess.”


Eleanor Grace is a naïve dreamer. Trusting and young, she believes her book-loving boyfriend can save her when her freedom is snatched and sold. Squirrelled away to an island at dawn, delivered to a man even darkness won’t touch, she’s bound by a contract.

Four men.

Four fantasies.

Four pieces of her soul.

Sullivan Sinclair is the giver of fantasies. Any wish, any desire—he is the master at quenching even the filthiest appetites. His private paradise and perfectly trained goddesses are there for one purpose: to ensure every guest is extremely well satisfied.

He bought her.

He trapped her.

She belongs to him.

I don't think it's a surprise that I'm a big fan of Pepper Winters. I've read and reviewed her books for years here on the blog but I must say that I'm EXTRA excited for Once a Myth! I'm just so happy that with this series she's going back to dark romance à la the Indebted series and that the books are going to be released once a month + Tess Snow is mentioned in the synopsis so I'm hoping she and Q (from the Monsters in the Dark series) will make an appearance at some point. So yes I'm super excited for this book!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Review: The Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer

Title: The Fowl Twins
Author: Eoin Colfer

Series: The Fowl Twins #1
Publication: November 5th 2019 by HarperCollins Publishers
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: 5/5

Criminal genius runs in the family...
Myles and Beckett are eleven-year-old twins, but the two boys are wildly different. Beckett is blonde, messy and sulks whenever he has to wear clothes. Myles is fanatically neat, he has an IQ of 170, and he wears a fresh suit every day like his older brother, Artemis Fowl.

Perhaps you have heard of the Fowl family and their adventures?

This Fowl adventure is filled with the most unusual of individuals: an immortal duke, a miniature troll, a nunterrogator and a Police Specialist that's 42% elf. And of course, the Fowl twins - one a certified genius with a criminal leaning, and the other possessing an unusual talent that has not been fully explored... yet!

Here begins the second documented cycle of Fowl Adventures.

The first in a breath-taking new series from global superstar Eoin Colfer. Set in the multi-million bestselling world of ARTEMIS FOWL.

"Fowl and fairy, friends forever."

The Artemis Fowl series has always meant a lot to me and it has also always been my favorite series ever. So it's not surprising that The Fowl Twins was my highest anticipated book of the year. Ever since this book was announced I was beyond excited to get back to the magical world of Artemis Fowl. But of course there's always that tiny voice inside the back of your head thinking, what if this spin-off book is not as good as the original series or what if it's just a disappointing book in general and so on. I should've known not to doubt Eoin Colfer one bit because I absolutely loved The Fowl Twins. It was one fantastic read!

At the start of this book I didn't think it would be a 4 star read. I was a little bit sad about Artemis being on a space mission to Mars. It took me a chapter or three to really get into the story, but once I did I was hooked and didn't look back. So this story is obviously about the Fowl twins, Artemis' 11 year-old younger brothers who are named Myles and Beckett. Myles and Beckett are both very different characters even though they're twins. Myles is the genius out of the two, resembling Artemis and Beckett is the energetic, silly action-taker. But their twin bond is unbreakable. Personally I really liked Beckett especially.

In typical Eoin Colfer style we have some baddies with hilarious names that are out to get magic, money, both and even more. So of course we have a new fairy character coming to the twins rescue. This new character is called Lazuli Heitz and she is an elf and pixie hybrid called a pixel. I really missed Holly Short (even though I shouldn't have fretted so much about her absense...), did really love Lazuli. She was the perfect addition to the twins and the three of them made a pretty good team.

Overall, The Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer was an action-packed story, laugh-out-loud funny and full of magic. It was a real page-turner and I can't wait to see where the Fowl twins' adventures will take them next. 

About the author:
​Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen) was born in Wexford on the South-East coast of Ireland in 1965, where he and his four brothers were brought up by his father (an elementary school teacher, historian and artist of note) and mother (a drama teacher). He first developed an interest in writing in primary (elementary) school with gripping Viking stories inspired by history he was learning in school at the time!

After leaving school he got his degree from Dublin university and qualified as a primary school teacher, returning to work in Wexford. He married in 1991 and he and his wife spent about 4 years between 1992 and 1996 working in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Italy. His first book, Benny and Omar, was published in 1998, based on his experiences in Tunisia; it has since been translated into many languages. A sequel followed in 1999, followed by some other books (see below). Then in 2001 the first Artemis Fowl book was published and he was able to resign from teaching and concentrate fully on writing.

He says, “I will keep writing until people stop reading or I run out of ideas. Hopefully neither of these will happen anytime soon. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Monday, November 18, 2019

Mini Review: Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

Title: Romancing the Duke
Author: Tessa Dare
Series: Castles Ever After #1

Publication: January 28th 2014 by Avon
Genre: Historical Romance
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: 4/5

In the first in Tessa Dare's captivating Castles Ever After series, a mysterious fortress is the setting for an unlikely love . . .

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.

And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.

Ugly duckling turned swan?
Abducted by handsome highwayman?
Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?

No, no, and… Heh.

Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?

This one.

Romancing the Duke was just so wonderful! It's my third Tessa Dare book (The Duchess Deal was the first and the short story of How to Catch a Viscount was the second.) I can say that so far I'm loving the way the author writes her heroines. I just adore them.

I pretty much went into this book blindly but I was so very pleased with what I read so I'm definitely continuing the series. The story was so swoon worthy, hilarious to the point where I was laughing out loud and the writing was fantastic as well.

I loved Izzie and Ransom together so much. I was rooting for these two right from the start. They were very different from one another but that made them even more perfect together, in my opinion. And there was so much banter between them. Gah! I loved it!

About the author:
Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty historical romances.

Mixing wit, sensuality, and emotion, Tessa writes Regency-set romance novels that feel relatable to modern readers. With her bestselling “Spindle Cove”, “Castles Ever After”, and “Girl Meets Duke” series, she has had great fun creating heroines who defy the conventions of their time—engaging in “unladylike” pursuits that range from paleontology to beer-making—and dreaming up the strong-willed, sexy heroes who find their hearts ensnared by them.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Book Blitz: A Whole New Duke by Samantha Holt + Giveaway (INTL)


A Whole New Duke
Samantha Holt
Publication date: November 10th 2019
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

The Dark Duke they call him.
And he certainly matches up to his name. From his looks to his constantly furrowed brow, Miss Beatrice Edgerton is under no illusions as to the status of their arranged marriage.
It will be very much one of convenience. With him conveniently providing the title her family so desperately wants and her family bringing in plenty of money for his dilapidated home. She is simply grateful he is younger than her first husband.
Lord Morton, Duke of Hartwich, is only a little perturbed by the vibrant Beatrice. After all, he sets her straight from the very first day of their marriage—this is one of mutual benefit. In one way only. She can expect no affection or romance from him.
Because, frankly, he is incapable of such things. Being a one-legged duke with a slightly dark past brings enough challenges without him having to worry about a wife too. His days of concern for anyone are long gone.
Unfortunately, It is not only the duke’s dark demeanor she has to deal with. Someone is trying to cause trouble for them but they cannot fathom who or why.
Grace is determined to make the best of the situation, even whilst spending Christmas with the duke alone in the eerie Hartwich Hall. Why, perhaps she might even be able to change the duke’s mind about their relationship.
Especially after they share a fiery kiss…or three…
EXCERPT:
Straightening her shoulders, Bea marched toward Adam. She kept her chin lifted and her gaze set upon her target. Nothing was going to dissuade her today. After all, she had spent too many days watching him ride in the crisp morning air with a pang of jealousy. It was high time she learned to ride too.
And her husband was going to teach her whether he liked it or not.
He glanced her way and she saw his shoulders stiffen. He said something to the groom, who retreated into the shadows of the stable block, leaving them alone in the bitter morning. If it did not snow by Christmas, Bea would be surprised indeed.
Most mornings, a hard frost lay upon the ground, lit by bright, misty sunshine. All it needed was a little warmth in the air and snow would be upon them. She was rather looking forward to seeing what Hartwich Hall looked like in the snow. Would it appear more attractive? Less harsh and ancient?
“What can I do for you, Bea?”
She met his gaze firmly and squared her posture as though readying herself for a fight. Which it would likely be. Though they had managed not to argue since the night they shared a bed, it was only a matter of time, and she doubted he would be excited about sparing the time to teach her.
However, she was a duchess, and it seemed correct that she should know how to ride. Not to mention, she envied his freedom. Whilst she enjoyed a good walk—especially now she knew where she was going—the speed and excitement of riding seemed enthralling. She had been deliberately getting to know the horses to overcome any lingering fears just so she could ask Adam this…
“I would like to learn to ride.”
The corners of his lips curved. “You do not even like horses, Bea.”
She scowled at this. “I did not like horses. I do now that Persephone and I have bonded. And I wish to learn how to ride. I think you should teach me.”
He shook his head. “No.” He turned on his heel and marched over to the water pump, setting a bucket underneath it.
“No?” she repeated, hastening after him. “What sort of an answer is that?”
He spared her a quick glance as he began to pump. “A negative one, I believe.”
She exhaled. “I think it proper that I should learn.”
“Many women do not ride. I think it quite proper that you do not.” Adam worked the pump vigorously, drawing her attention to the muscles in his arms as they flexed against the pale white of his shirt.
A tiny shiver ran through her while she recalled that very arm being wrapped around her the other night when she had been so cold. Sometimes, she could swear her husband was two different men. The one who was determined to ignore and frustrate her at every turn and the gentleman who could be soft and even kind at times. For all his frustration with her, at least she was damn well predictable.
Forcing her gaze away, she propped her hands on her hips. She could not allow him to distract her. “If you do not teach me, I shall find someone else who will.”
He shook his head again. “No one will teach you, be assured of that.”
“Because you will tell them not to? Because you will threaten their jobs?”
He smiled. “Precisely.”
“You are…just…just awful sometimes.”
He hefted up the bucket. “Don’t I know it.”
Bea followed him as he took the bucket into the stable block and poured it out into a trough. “It would be simple enough to teach me, surely? Just think, if I can ride, I will not have to plague you so much.”
“A welcome prospect indeed but you are not riding, Bea, and that is final.”
He moved past her and out of the building as though she did not exist. She followed him out to the water pump again. “You cannot dictate what I do, Adam.”
“I am your husband. I can do precisely that,” he said.
“I shall learn, one way or another. I shall just climb up on a horse and hope for the best.”
His jaw tensed and dropped the bucket to the floor and faced her fully. “You damn well will not.”
“I absolutely will.”




Author Bio:
USA Today Bestselling author Samantha Holt lives in a small village in England with her twin girls and a dachshund called Duke. If you’re not sure where to start why not try…
Amelia and the Viscount (Bluestocking Brides #1) for a fun, slightly hot shorter length read. Meet the Chadwick sisters and follow their adventures in each of their standalone stories.
You’re the Rogue That I Want (Rogues of Redmere #1) is a longer read with heat, witty dialogue, a feisty heroine and adventure. All books in the series are standalone.
Sinful Confessions is the first in the Cynfell Brothers Series. These are all novella length and standalone–ideal for a quick dip into the world of the sexy Cynfell brothers.
Wake Me With a Kiss is a sweet, fairytale romance. Twists on Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are also available if you love a clean, fun read.
To Steal a Highlander’s Heart is a full length dive into the world of sexy highlanders. For those who love braw Scots, some steamy scenes, and medieval romance, this series is a perfect escape.


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Monday, November 11, 2019

Cover Reveal: Once A Myth by Pepper Winters

Hello and happy Monday! I'm very excited to share the cover reveal of Once A Myth, a new upcoming dark romance book by the amazing Pepper Winters. I'm so excited for this book and the rest of the series!
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ONCE A MYTH by Pepper Winters (Book One of Goddess Isles)

Dark Romance

Coming early 2020 with a release every month thereafter.

Five books in the series.

“There was a boy once. A boy who wasn’t strong enough to save me when I was taken.”

There was a girl once. A girl called Tess Snow who sat with me in the dark waiting to be sold.

There was an owner once. An owner who bought me, entrapped me, and made me his unwilling goddess.”


Eleanor Grace is a naïve dreamer. Trusting and young, she believes her book-loving boyfriend can save her when her freedom is snatched and sold. Squirrelled away to an island at dawn, delivered to a man even darkness won’t touch, she’s bound by a contract.

Four men.

Four fantasies.

Four pieces of her soul.

Sullivan Sinclair is the giver of fantasies. Any wish, any desire—he is the master at quenching even the filthiest appetites. His private paradise and perfectly trained goddesses are there for one purpose: to ensure every guest is extremely well satisfied.

He bought her.

He trapped her.

She belongs to him.

PREORDER:
ONCE A MYTH
Amazon: Coming Closer to Release
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2MtLbEl
Nook: Coming Closer to Release



About the Author:
Pepper Winters is a multiple New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today International Bestseller.
After chasing her dreams to become a full-time writer, Pepper has earned recognition with awards for best Dark Romance, best BDSM Series, and best Hero. She’s a multiple #1 iBooks bestseller, along with #1 in Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, and Erotica Thriller.
Connect with the Author:
Never miss an update! Sign up for Pepper’s newsletter today!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Title: The Couple Next Door
Author: Shari Lapena
Publication: April 20th 2017 by Corgi

Genre: Thriller
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: 3/5

You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone.

You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

It took me a couple of chapters to really get into The Couple Next Door but it wasn't long before I was thoroughly hooked. I don't generally read a lot of thrillers like this one so I thought it was a nice change of pace as well compared to my usual reads. I've seen plenty of movies that were a little similar though, so I'm hoping this will be turned into a movie someday. I would totally watch it!

To keep it short, the story is about a couple who leaves their six month old baby home alone, because their babysitter canceled to attend a dinner party next door with their neighbors. They thought it would be fine because they were taking a baby monitor with them and checked on the baby every half hour. But then they get home and the baby isn't in her crib anymore. 

Basically the suspense started right away and I was so invested in the story because I really wanted to know if the baby was alive or who abducted her. I can say that it didn't take until the very last end to find out who was responsible for the baby being gone in the first place. And I gotta say I didn't see it coming but also, there was a lot more to the story than just that. 

For the most part I thought this book was going to be a solid four star read but towards the end the story started going downhill a lot for me. It started getting a bit chaotic and confusing. I also thought some of the characters were acting a bit over the top. And the ending was just a little bit weird to me. Not bad weird, though... I guess I just still don't really know what to think of it all.

Overall, The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena was pretty unputdownable. I managed to read the book in only two days which is damn fast for me. I would definitely recommend it even though I had my doubts over the last few chapters. It was still a good thriller to me.  

About the author:
Shari Lapena is the internationally bestselling author of The Couple Next Door, A Stranger in the House, and An Unwanted Guest. She was a lawyer and an English teacher before turning her hand to fiction.
She lives in Toronto.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Monthly Wrap-Up — October 2019

Even though my reading month of October had a rocky start it quickly picked up and ended being a killer reading month. I had a lot of favorites! It definitely was a way better month than September. Hopefully November will be just like October!


The Emperor's Assassin by Autumn Bardot —1/5
Say Cheese and Die! by R.L. Stine —3/5
When God Had a Wife by Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince —4/5★ (Review)

The Duchess in His Bed by Lorraine Heath —4/5
The Living Canvas by Pepper Winters —4/5 (Review)
Dark Matters by Michelle Diener —5/5★ (Review)

The Octopus Curse by Salma Farook —5/5★ (Review)
Desperate Measures by Katee Robert —4/5
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo —5/5

Celtic Way of Life by Curriculum Development Unit —3/5
The Earl Takes a Fancy by Lorraine Heath —4/5
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I usually pick my favorite book of the month but I had so many that I really can't pick just one favorite. It's way too hard. But I'll mention the ones that I really had a soft spot for.

The Duchess in His Bed by Lorraine Heath
Dark Matters by Michelle Diener
The Octopus Curse by Salma Farook
Desperate Measures by Katee Robert 
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
The Earl Takes a Fancy by Lorraine Heath

Like I said MANY favorites. What a month! :D
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What was your favorite book of October?