Monday, March 30, 2020

Music Monday: Blackmill


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.


Happy Monday everyone!  This week I'm spotlighting three favorite songs from Blackmill.  I'm so glad I just happened to stumble upon to this music via Pandora recently.  Give The Drift, Miracle, and Redemption a listen below:







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Friday, March 27, 2020

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson + 50/50 Friday




On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.


Happy Friday everyone!  This week I'm spotlighting one of my current reads, Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson.  I've had this on my shelf for ages and I've finally decided to give it a try.  The concept sounds really cool what with the main character being a dreamwalker and all.

Beginning:

Afterward, Dea blamed it all on Toby.  She knew it wasn't nice to blame a cat.

56:

She shoved Toby over and he got up, yawning, before settling down again six inches from where he'd been last sitting.


50/50 Friday: Best/ Worst Bookish Vampire Mythology


Best - Strange Practice (Dr. Greta Helsing #1) by Vivian Shaw - I love this series so much and it's so unique.  I've got my fingers crossed that we'll see these characters again in the future even though the series has already ended.


Worst - A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness - I wanted to love this, but the romance overpowered it all for me.


What are you reading this weekend?  Have you read any of these books?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Future Standalone Fantasy Classics


Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the Top Ten Tuesday now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is a genre freebie.  I feel like I don't talk about standalone novels enough, so I featuring Future Standalone Fantasy Classics this week.  Here we go, in alphabetical order by title:


Alex McKenna & The Geranium Deaths by Vicki-Ann Bush


The Black God's Drums by P. Djeli Clark


The Deep by Rivers Solomon with Daveed Diggs, Willian Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes


Finna by Nino Cipri


Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia


Middlegame by Seanan McGuire


The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow


The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry


Unnatural Magic by C.M. Waggoner


Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey


Have you read any of these books?  What are some of your favorite future classics?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Music Monday: Magic Giant


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.


Happy Monday everyone!  This week I'm spotlighting music from Magic Giant.  I just happened to catch these songs on my local alternative radio station in the last couple of weeks and I've gotten hooked on their sound.  Give Set On Fire and Disaster Party a listen:





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Click here to enter

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sunday Funday: Sensational (Spectacle #2) by Jodie Lynn Zdrok (ARC) - Review



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I won an ARC from the author via Twitter.

The 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris is full of innovations, cultural displays, and inventions. Millions of visitors attend over the course of several months...so no one would notice if a few were missing, right? Maybe—but someone is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the guillotine with a display of their own: beheaded victims in some of the Exposition's most popular exhibits. Nathalie Baudin’s ability to see murder scenes should help, but she's suffering the effects of her magic more than ever before. Fortunately she has other Insightfuls to team up with—if they can be trusted.

Sensational (Spectacle #2) by Jodie Lynn Zdrok is a perfect send off for Nathalie and company. I don't know why I put off reading it once it arrived in my mailbox because it's ended up as one of my favorite 2020 YA releases so far. This duology absolutely deserves all the love it can get. I will say though that I'm sad it's over because I'll miss the setting of fin de siècle Paris, the creepy mysteries, the clever core cast, and Zdrok's brand of historical fantasy. I wouldn't say no to a future spin-off revisiting Nathalie in the future or a prequel focusing on Aunt Brigitte. I quite enjoyed Spectacle, but I truly loved every second of this finale.

Overall, Sensational is more than worthy conclusion to Nathalie's story arc. I have a feeling you will absolutely love this duology if you're also a fan of Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, The Diviners by Libba Bray, Jackaby by William Ritter, and Enchantée by Gita Trelease. I can't wait to see what Jodie Lynn Zdrok will do next.



Sensational (Spectacle #2) by Jodie Lynn Zdrok was released on February 11, 2020 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

The Temple of the Eye (The Bards of Bedlam #1) by Ryan Husk - Review


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I received an ecopy from Reedsy in exchange for an honest review.

Cael and Sid are two rogues and musicians with a knack for trouble and solving crimes. In a fantasy world of medieval charm, Cael uses logic and science to uncover murders and mayhem, while Sid, his trusty friend, sidekick, troubadour and doctor, accompanies him, as long as there is a pretty lady or coin involved. Follow their exploits through the rough city of Bedlam, as the motley group of musicians pit themselves and their friends against a beast-worshiping cult.

The Temple of the Eye by Ryan Husk is quite a pleasant surprise. I'm so glad I took the opportunity on this The Bards of Bedlam series opener via Reedsy Discovery. At the time I selected the novel for review, I was just coming down from watching The Witcher on Netflix and I think that's what inspired my choice since this story is led by friends Cael and Sid, two bards who have a talent for trouble and solving crimes as it turns out. All I really had to hear was bards solving crimes, probably since Jaskier was my favorite character from The Witcher (which I'm still just as excited about now since I've finally started in on the novels that act as the source material for that show). Anyway, all that said, I've got a couple of new favorite bards in my life with Cael and Sid in this book. What I love about the two characters is that there's more to them than what you would initially expect in regards to their type of character. Cael has a level head and keeps scientific principles and concepts in mind when he and his friend get pulled into a mystery, and Sid is also a doctor as well as being a troubadour. I really appreciated our two leads, especially Cael, but I wasn't all that interested much of the rest of the cast since I was so attached to our two bards. I do have a question about the pronunciation of Cael's name. I guessed that it was sounded a lot like Chaol from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Finally, I just want to note that this fantasy mystery is fairly slow placed, but it's well worth the build up to the pay off and that Husk's world-building pretty good as Bedlam practically becomes a character in its own right.

Overall, The Temple of the Eye is a fun read and it's shows a lot of potential for future installments. I can't wait to see more of Cael and Sid's adventures in the future. Thank you again to Reedsy for this fantastic opportunity.


My review can also be found on Goodreads and Reedsy.

Friday, March 20, 2020

ARC Mini Reviews - The Secrets We Bury, The Lies We Tell, & The Darkness We Hide


Today I'm sharing three mini ARC reviews with you: The Secrets We Bury (The Undertaker's Daughter #1) by Debra Webb (released April 19, 2019), The Lies We Tell (The Undertaker's Daughter #2) by Debra Webb (released September 17, 2019), and The Darkness We Hide (The Undertaker's Daughter #3) by Debra Webb (available March 31, 2020).  I received all of these ARCs from NetGalley via the publisher in exchange for honest reviews.  Read on to see my thoughts on them:


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The Secrets We Bury by Debra Webb has a lot of potential as a series opener. What initially caught my eye was the series title The Undertaker's Daughter and the fact that this is a suspenseful mystery. Plus, there's the part where the lead character grew up and now lives in the family funeral home. For some reason I had Prodigal Son, which is one of my favorite new shows, in the back of my mind while I was reading this. It's not quite like that in the ways it counts (at least for me) but the lead character was a profiler and there's a serial killer plot in this novel as well. While there's a lot to like here, it wasn't quite what I was looking for. I wasn't all that interested in any of the cast members and it wasn't nearly the page turner I was expecting. Overall, it's not a bad read in the least but just somewhat underwhelming in terms of what I was looking for.

My review is also on Goodreads.



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The Secrets We Bury didn't particularly impress me, but I'm glad I decided to stick with The Undertaker's Daughter series since the first book had quite a bit of potential. Luckily, The Lies We Tell tell begins to pick up the slack where the first left off. I began to get more invested in Rowan and the rest of the cast a little more this time which was a major issue for me in the first novel. I didn't feel quite as out of the loop as if I missed something this time either. I did like the creepiness of this story which really works with considering that the lead is an undertaker. My main issue is that the mystery isn't much of a mystery since it's fairly obvious that who did what. Overall, though, I did enjoy this sequel a little more and I'm looking forward to seeing where book three goes.

My review is also on Goodreads.



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The Darkness We Hide by Debra Webb is another case of being glad that I decided to stick with The Undertaker's Daughter series. I particularly enjoyed just how twisted this installment was, even I had to work to suspend my disbelief of some scenes a little more than I generally prefer to in a non fantasy or sci-fi story. I also enjoyed that we finally got some downright shocking family secrets out in play. My only complaint is that sometimes the writing can alternate between quite beautiful to somewhat uneven and choppy throughout the course of the novel. Overall, I'm glad I decided to pick this up. If you're interested in a suspenseful series, you may want to give this a series a try.

My review can also be found on Goodreads.



What have you been reading?  Do plan on trying any of these novels?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!