Wednesday, November 25, 2020

How has 2020 affected your blog?

So, 2020. 


Truly, I feel like a broken record this year. Every time I post I feel like I'm reiterating that I've been MIA, but that I promise I'll be posting more regularly. And then, I just don't. Because this year has truly been the biggest dumpster fire I've ever experienced.

Sometimes, I look around and feel like my blogging friends are all doing great! You're still posting regularly and interacting with the community and I genuinely wonder how it's possible. Please, allow me to share an infographic detailing my 2020. 
The funny thing about all of this is that I'm actually feeling okay overall. I'm reading and keeping up with my goals for the year for the most part. I'm enjoying hobbies and taking more time for self care. But it seems like something (what?) keeps me from sitting down and posting. I try, I really do, but as soon as I sit in front of the computer, I decide I literally just cannot. Can someone who understands psychology please explain this? 

But I know, I KNOW that there have to be people struggling as much as I am. So today I want to know how 2020 has impacted your blogging habits. Are you still reading and posting like you have every other year? Even MORE than every other year? Or have you, like me, dropped off the planet just a bit?

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday #284: Bookish pet names


Today's Topic: 
Characters I’d Name a Pet After

Happy Tuesday! This is such a fun topic! I already have dogs named after book characters: my 11-year-old Toy Fox Terrier is named Bella (don't judge), the 9-year-old Chiweenie is named Luna, and my little Kovu's middle name was Rhysand. Bookish puppies are the best puppies!  

Wolf | Perrin | Pippin | Kestrel | Grey
Echo | Galaxy | Nyx | Wrath | Rhysand

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Weekly Recap: 11/8 - 11/14


Hi, everyone! I hope everyone is still doing okay. I didn't make a post last Sunday because I was STRESSED following the election, etc. But I'm back, hurray! And because I skipped a week it looks like I did an extra lot of reading and shopping. :D During our post-election recharge, my husband and I have been researching puppies and think we may have found one we're really excited about. Of course, actually getting a puppy will have to wait until sometime next year, but yay! Another dog could never replace our Kovu, but we (I) desperately want another dog in the house. 

When it comes to bookish things in the last couple of weeks, I read a few dark adult fantasy books and then took a sharp turn into fantasy romance. I started with Kingdom of the Wicked (amazing!) and now I'm deep into The Bridge Kingdom (stress!). Next up will probably be A Deal With the Elf King. I've also been seriously thinking about creating a reading schedule to attempt reading multiple books at once. I got the idea from Erin @ As the Book Ends, but failed miserably the first time I tried it. Maybe next time it'll stick? 

In less exciting news, my brother had to go back into the hospital for emergency surgery at the end of last week due to an infection in his leg at the bone level. If you didn't know already, my brother was in a really bad climbing accident in the summer and suffered a compound fracture in his leg, which he's been recovering from. Hopefully this surgery will be his last! He's back at home now adjusting to this added complication. He does seem to be in good spirits though! He does have a GoFundMe and I also forced him to make a book wishlist (is smol) just in case anyone is able and has the desire to help him get back on his feet (and stay sane in the process). 






ARC review of The Fires of Vengeance
I shared a list of spooky books and movies for Halloween
The topic was bookish song titles for Top Ten Tuesday
Book review of Kingdom of the Wicked


Will it actually happen this week?

I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Thursday, November 12, 2020

Book Review: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Title: Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked #1)
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publication Date: October 27, 2020
Publisher: JIMMY Patterson
Pages: 448
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Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…

I will absolutely admit that I was skeptical of Kingdom of the Wicked. I read every book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, although I was unimpressed by all of them. Still, I was drawn to the promise of enemies-to-lovers romance with a Prince of Hell and could not resist. 

Kingdom of the Wicked is so completely different than Stalking Jack the Ripper and I couldn't be more pleased! While there is a murder mystery here, the fantasy elements of the Princes of Hell and their kingdom were at the forefront. Emilia is a strong (if reckless) heroine with a compelling story. I felt her devastation at the loss of her sister and sympathized with her desire to hold on to every piece of her. 

As usual, I was most concerned with the enemies-to-lovers romance, but I need not have been because this one was incredibly well written! The hatred between Emilia and Wrath was believable, as was Emilia's doubt as they grew to tolerate each other a bit more. Wrath was such a fascinating love interest! He managed to be both intimidating and gentle at the same time and I obviously ship it. The chemistry was SO good. We knew that it would be after Cresswell and Audrey Rose, but this was on another level. 

While the story was set in Italy, the witchy and Hell mythologies were incredibly well written. I am so hyped to see more of the Kingdom of the Wicked in the second book! Based on what was already introduced, I have a feeling the Princes' world is going to be amazing. 

I didn't realize until almost the very end that this book was the first in a series and promptly almost cried. The next book can't come soon enough! I am dying to find out what will happen after the cliffhanger this story ended on. I'll definitely be recommending this to all my dark-fantasy loving friends!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday #283: Bookish song titles


Today's Topic: 
Book Titles that Would 
Make Great Song Titles

Happy Tuesday! I'm actually posting and I'm so proud of me! Today's topic was a strange one, especially since I don't tend to listen to much music, but these are ten songs that I'd definitely listen to!   

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Books and movies for every Spooky mood

Happy Spooky Day, bookworms! This is the time of year when I love to make extra time for all things creepy, so today I wanted to share some favorite books and movies that are perfect for Halloween! Whether you're looking for creepy laughs, creature features, or something extra weird, there are books and movies here to fit whatever spooky mood you happen to find yourself in. 

I love a good slow burn, atmospheric horror story. Wilder Girls got some mixed reviews, but I loved how weird and atmospherically creepy it was. The Year of the Witching is another book that instantly transported me to another place where I felt a constant sense of wrongness. A Cure For Wellness sucked me in with its feelings of dread and ended up becoming one of my slow burn favorites!

My favorite movie genre of all time, there are also some pretty decent books in found footage or documentary style! Devolution is the newest book from the author of World War Z and was super tense and dread-inducing. Grave Encounters and Hell House LLC are two of the most underrated low budget found footage movies out there, in my opinion. I've watched both several times and they always freak me out!

Ghost stories are not my favorite kind of spooky story, but I've found some amazing ones over the years anyway. No ghosty list is complete without The Shining, of course. This book is one of the few King works I've really enjoyed and it's definitely terrifying. To absolutely no one's surprise, I found a way to include Crimson Peak on this list, which is one of my all-time favorites for a variety of reasons. And if you've made it all the way to 2020 without seeing The Sixth Sense, you need to stop what you're doing right now and go watch it!

I often feel that people as the monsters are so much worse than any of the supernatural variety, because they can actually happen. You is a story that most of us know from the TV series, but the book is equally terrifying. Don't Breathe took me totally off guard and had me glued to the edge of my seat, hoping that at least someone would be okay. Midsommar is in a class all it's own, but I will never not be disturbed by the people in the film and their actions. 

This kind of story is a horror classic - the terrifyingly possessed house or person. The Merciless is a book I have been raving about for years! I was as shocked as anyone to find a YA horror story that was actually pretty scary. Insidious, on the other hand, I absolutely expected to be terrifying and it was. Paranormal Activity is the only movie I've ever walked out of, but I've seen it many times since then and can testify that it's super scary until the very end! I'm sure we've all seen it by now though, right? 

No horror list is complete without monsters and no monster list is complete without Tremors. Seriously, the ONLY movie that absolutely needs to be on every single monster list ever. If you've never seen this masterpiece, why not? Sweetheart is definitely a hidden gem of a monster movie that's fairly new and deserves your attention. The Shuddering was one of the first books I read as a new blogger and it has lingered with me all these years. It is truly frightening! 

This is 100% my jam. I am always on the hunt for weird, mind-bending horror books and movies and luckily I've found some favorites over the years. A House at the Bottom of of a Lake is slow, but super weird and amazing. Pines will always be a favorite! It has a Shyamalan twist I did not see coming! The Endless and Coherence are two mind-bending horror movies that play with the time and Color Out of Space is an amazingly strange Lovecraftian horror. 

Another kind of monster, aliens are a horror genre all their own. The Last Astronaut was panic-inducing and claustrophobic with its alien spaceship setting. Cloverfield is one of my all-time favorite alien monster movies, also on the found footage list. Of course, Pitch Black had to be on this list because it's another masterpiece of modern cinema. I think Pitch Black was my first Vin Diesel film and teenage me was HERE for it!

What is your favorite kind of horror story?
What will you be reading or watching tonight?
Let me know in the comments!