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20 October 2019

Why I Love Autumn Walks

Autumn is my favourite season for many reasons, and one of my favourite things to do when the season hits and I'm not reading is to go outside and go for a walk.

Why I Love Autumn Walks

Colour

I love the drama of the changing leaves, the richness of the colours. I love the way the landscape turns from green to a thousand shades of red and gold and brown and everything in between, and when the sun peeks through the cloud's it's so vibrant.

Nature

Whenever I walk through woods in Autumn, I always try to catch falling leaves. I look up and watch for a breeze and run forward with my hands out. It's childish, but it brings me joy when I succeed. I also like to watch waterfalls, and they're so much more dramatic after rain.

Drama

Whether it's pounding rain or crashing waves or a light mist settling over the landscape, I love it all. I love the first frost as Autumn ends, I love being soaked through by a downpour. Everything seems dialled up a notch and I love it.

Weather

I don't do too well in the heat, so the cool of Autumn is always welcome, especially when we've had summers like this year's! I am so ready to wrap up warm and layer up, see my breath come out in little puffs, wring the rain from my hair. There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices.

Quiet

When the weather's not the best, it tends to be quieter outside. When it's cold I love finding somewhere secluded to drink a hot cup of tea, wrapped up in a blanket. I love walking in deserted woods and climbing up deserted hills and searching deserted beaches for treasure. The quiet means that the sounds of nature are clearer.


Do you love autumn?



19 October 2019

Book Review: Reign: The Haunting by Lily Blake

My name is Cora and I am trash for Reign. This review and even the synopsis for the story contains spoilers for season one of the TV show.

Reign: The Haunting by Lily Blake coverAdd to Goodreads button

It has been months since the death of King Henry II and the French court has grown accustomed to the rule of the newly-crowned King Francis.

But while the people are excited by the prospects of a new reign, Francis struggles with his new place on the throne.

Plagued by frequent nightmares of his father, he grapples with his guilt and grief. But as his visions become more threatening, Francis must wonder: Is his father's ghost trying to tell him something? Or is Francis, like Henry, slowly going mad?

This is an original short story based on the hit CW television show, Reign, starring Adelaide Kane.



Source: Purchase

5 Words: Perfect length for a cuppa.

This is another tiny novella to fit in with the TV series Reign, and The Haunting comes in at 64 pages. But it's 64 pages that are well worth the 99p I spent because as we've established I'm absolute Reign trash.

As a companion to the TV series I thought that this was excellent. We really get to see what's going on inside the head of Francis surrounding the season one finale and a bit into season two.

The writing style in Reign: The Haunting retains the fairytale feel of the other two stories, which I absolutely adore. It makes it such a pleasant reading experience.

Like the first novella, it's a good little read when you need to pass the time, it doesn't really give you anything much to invest in but it's a fantastic little extra if you're a fan of the show. And if you're not a fan then you really need to get on it and watch Reign.

18 October 2019

Book Beginnings #82

For Book Beginnings, Rose City Reader invites us to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

For Friday 56, Freda's Voice asks you to turn to Page 56 in your book or 56% on your e-reader and pick a sentence.

I am currently reading Impossible Causes by Julie Mayhew .
Impossible Causes by Julie Mayhew cover
Nine granite megaliths set in a perfect circle. On one of them sits Viola Kendrick, teeth chattering, lips smudged red. The wet of the stone has leached through the quilting of her mother's long coat. The fleece of her pyjamas beneath is damp against her skin.
I am starting to read this as I type and I am intrigued! I was kindly sent a review copy of Impossible Caused by Bloomsbury Raven and I have high expectations. It's been compared to The Craft and The Crucible and I can't wait for all of the drama and betrayal and isolation. I'm expecting a dark read.

I love this beginning, the solid setting rising up, the introduction of Viola and of the mystery. I can't wait to find out what happens. I love the cover too, the simple braid, the pale runes. There's something about it that makes me stare.

And this tag line? Wow. Everything on the island of Lark is good. Everything.
Viola Kendrick sits in the Customs House and waits, a musty, blue blanket draped across her shoulders. In her grip is the walkie-talkie, at her feet lies Dot - curled up, chin on paws, making a damp print of herself on the sanded boards.
I can't wait to get to this part as it seems to be when everything starts coming together into the story. As I scanned page 56 of my review copy to pick out my lines for Friday 56, I got really excited about what is to come.

What are you reading this week?

17 October 2019

Book Review: The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox *AD gifted

HQ sent me a free review copy of The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox ahead of the blog tour.

The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox coverAdd to Goodreads button
A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of murder. Who can save Pale Harbour from itself?

1846. Desperate to escape the ghosts of his past, Gabriel Stone takes a position as a minister in the remote Pale Harbour, but not all is as it seems in the sleepy town.

As soon as Gabriel steps foot in town, he can’t escape the rumours about the mysterious Sophy Carver, a young widow who lives in the eerie Castle Carver: whispers that she killed her husband, mutterings that she might even be a witch.

But as strange, unsettling events escalate into murder, Gabriel finds himself falling under Sophy’s spell. As clues start to point to Sophy as the next victim, Gabriel realises he must find answers before anyone else turns up dead.


Source: Review Copy

5 Words: Isolation, romance, belonging, belief, mystery.

When I first started reading The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox I was expecting full on witch vibes and magic and a dark story. And while the story was certainly dark, it wasn't as witchy as I hoped so I was a little disappointed. But it was still an excellent and atmospheric read.

The story is pretty dark, the setting is grim, the characters pretty entrancing. It's a chilling tale that gets quite dark.

I think out of the two main perspectives, I preferred Sophronia's the most. I enjoyed the voice of her narrative. Although I was quite relieved when her name was shorted to Sophy as her full name is a  bit of a mouthful.

There is a romance in the story that I was a bit wary of at first, but I thought it was really understandable in how it progresses given what the characters had been through. There was such urgency to it, and it helped a lot in driving the pace of the story. I liked watching it develop.

The Widow of Pale Harbour is an excellent read, especially for this time of year. I loved the way the setting almost came alive on the page. I will definitely read the author's debut Witch of Willow Hall.

16 October 2019

Book Box Review: Witches Be Crazy - Fairyloot September 2019

I have been getting Fairyloot for years, so I figured it was probably about time to start reviewing my boxes, as so far I've only reviewed the books like Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha NganFlame in the Mist by Renee AhdiehThe Beholder by Anna Bright and A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer.

September's Witches Be Crazy Fairyloot Box was a mostly fandom-neutral box centered around the general theme. I really enjoyed that it was more theme based than fandom based, as I find that a lot of book boxes do the same few fandoms over and over (I'm not a huge Sarah J Maas fan if I'm honest) and I'm not really interested. This more general approach felt more inclusive, and it means I'm even more likely to use the items. Although with a box this good I was going to use all of the items anyway.


Book Box Review: Witches Be Crazy - Fairyloot September 2019

What was in Witches Be Crazy - Fairyloot September 2019?


So what was in the Witches Be Crazy box? A whole lot of awesome and a book that's been on my TBR since it was announced!
  • Canvas Tote Bag
  • Deck of Cards with Silver Edges
    • Inspired by Charmed, Sabrina, Throne of Glass and Serpent & Dove
  • Fluffy Witch Socks
  • Not Your Basic Witch Enamel Pin
  • Cauldron Bath Bomb
  • Stainless Steel Witch Straws
  • Just As Sane As I Am Sticky Notes
  • Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
    • Signed by the author, with shimmery sprayed edges and artwork on reverse of dust jacket
  • Collectible Tarot Cards
    • The High Priestess and the Ace of Cups inspired by Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  • Fairyscoop
    • Author Interview with Shelby Mahurin
    • Photo Challenge dates and prompts
    • Sneak peak at October's Love at First Bite theme
There we have it, the contents of September's Fairyloot box. Now, on to what I thought...


Book Box Review: Witches Be Crazy - Fairyloot September 2019


My Thoughts on Witches Be Crazy - Fairyloot September 2019


I think my favourite item was the tote bag, it's perfect for this time of year and I'm currently using it on the daily. It's a great size and well made, big enough for what I need at work and for any shopping I pick up on my way home. I absolutely love the design, it's so cute and quirky and Me.

The deck of cards is definitely coming with me next time I'm away for an evening or two - I do enjoy a game of cards. I'm also toying with using playing cards for tarot readings, although I think I need more time getting used to the cards in general.

The fluffy witch socks are so soft and cosy I can't even. They're super comfortable and cute and they photograph really well on my black and white instagram feed while keeping my toes warm.

The Not Your Basic Witch enamel pin is exactly the kind of pin I'd buy myself. I like the play on common conceptions and tropes, the design is pretty adorable, and it's a good size. It's definitely going into rotation for my denim jacket.

The cauldron bath bomb smells delightful, and although I am a little disappointed in the unnecessary plastic of the cauldron, I will put it to good use as a trinket holder and keep jewellery in it. I really enjoy Little Heart Gifts products and have received things from them before in boxes, and I appreciate their cruelty free ethics.

   

I really like the stainless steel straws, the design is lovely. The speckled spot design, the contrast, even the feel of them is great. They came in a little pouch with a straw cleaning brush and are perfect for keeping with you while you're on the move.

I think out of all of the items, I am least likely to use the Just As Sane As I Am sticky notes - I just don't generally have much use for them I am going to bring them in to work and keep them on my desk for notes and reminders. They are very pretty.

I'm only around half way through Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin and I am really enjoying it. I'm racing through and it's almost impossible to force myself to put it down. I love the design too, the gorgeous end pages, the shimmery sprayed egdes, the artwork on the reverse of the dust jacket - it's an exceptional book.

I'm not sure what I think of the collectible tarot cards - the art is gorgeous, I like how the fandoms change, but they're not consistently printed. I have them all so far and even the colours of the backs of the cards differ so even if I had a full oracle deck.

When it comes to the Fairy Scoop, I always find it an interesting read. I like the interview with the author, knowing the photo challenge prompts and dates ahead of time, and having a heads up of the dates for the readalong. It also starts my hype for the next month's box and I'm excited for October's Love at First Bite box, especially as it's going to be pretty fandom-neutral too.

Overall the September box was excellent. I loved pretty much everything in it, the way it didn't focus on fandoms especially much, and I love that I'm going to get a lot of use out of the items.

15 October 2019

Ten Extraordinary Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and is a chance for everyone to get to know fellow bloggers and share lists. I love lists. Every week is a different list.

Top Ten Tuesday
This week is Top Ten 
Extraordinary Book Titles
I'm keeping it short and sweet this week, but here we go! Ten books with titles that have really caught my eye.
  1. The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake
  2. Girls With Sharp Sticks
  3. The Twisted Tree
  4. A Curse So Dark and Lonely
  5. The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
  6. Into The Crooked Place
  7. The Girl The Sea Gave Back
  8. Prisoner of Ice and Snow
  9. The Extinction Trials
  10. Girls of Paper and Fire
Which books do you think have extraordinary book titles?

14 October 2019

Book Review: The Witch's Kiss by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr

Sometimes you just get the urge to reread a book, so when I felt the reread niggle for The Witch's Kiss, I didn't resist and picked it straight up. And I loved it even more than the first time I read it, and it truly put me in the mood for Halloween.

The Witch's Kiss by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr coverAdd to Goodreads button

Can true love’s kiss really save the day..?

Merry used to dabble in witchcraft and her gran runs the local coven – but, apart from that, she and her brother Leo are normal teenagers. So when Jack, a cursed prince, wakes beneath a nearby lake after fifteen hundred years, Merry is shocked to learn that she’s inherited the job of dealing with him.

Aided by Leo, Merry tries to manage her power and figure out a way of breaking the curse. But as she gets to know Jack she realises she wants to save him – not destroy him.

Will Merry lose her life as well as her heart? Or can true love’s kiss really save the day?


Source: Purchase

5 Words: Family, magic, expectations, evil, love.

I first read The Witch's Kiss a little over three years ago, and I remember enjoying it immensely. I decided to pick it up again this month as I was in a witchy mood and I think I loved it even more, especially as I now know how the trilogy ends. And it's one heck of a journey.

I think my favourite thing about this book was the sibling relationship between Merry and Leo. I loved their bickering and resentment and loyalty, it was so much like my own relationship with my sisters.

One thing I really loved about this book was the dual timeline - I loved the glimpses back in time, at the origins of the curse, and how it wasn't all as straight forward as it all seemed. I loved the slight mystery to everything, how I was never fully sure when it came to what was good and what was evil and what could make someone into something terrible.

The Witch's Kiss is excellently written - I love the writing style, the way nature almost intrudes as a character in itself and shifts to help build tension. It's a book where I find myself stopping and reading passages again. I love the steady build up to the dramatic ending, it took my breath away.

Now I can't wait to read The Witch's Tears again!