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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!

13 October 2019

Window Shopping: Bookworm Candles and Crafts

Window Shopping is a new feature where poor little me fantasy shops on various website, because I may be skint, but there's a lot on my wishlist and it's too beautiful not to share. I am not in any way paid or compensated for this post, it's just me sharing things I covet.

Window Shopping: Bookworm Candles and Crafts

I've been buying from Bookworm Candles and Crafts for a few years now, and I love their constantly changing ranges and creativity. Each jar candle has a cute decoration on it, whether it's a ribbon and charm or a little knitted band. They also do enamel pins and adorable bookmarks, and they feature fandoms that you don't see often.

I have worked with Bookworm Candles and Crafts last year when they sent me their Book Blogging candle from the  Just A Little Bookish Candle range, and I do buy from then regularly but...

Here is my current wishlist...

I have just finished reading Practical Magic and now I need to get my hands on this candle! It promises to smell like blood bonds, midnight margaritas and spells, and I think it sounds enchanting.

Bookworm Candles and Crafts: The Owen Sisters Inspired Candle
Image copyright Bookworm Candles and Crafts

Beauty and the Beast Inspired Enamel Pin
I just really love Beauty and the Beast, okay? And this pin is gorgeous, I love the subtle glitter on the rose.

Bookworm Candles and Crafts: Beauty and the Beast Inspired Enamel Pin
Image copyright Bookworm Candles and Crafts

I have a bit of A Problem when it comes to enamel pins in that I have far too many. I just can't stop myself. At present I usually have a handful of them on my denim jacket and rotate which ones every so often, but other than that they're hidden away in a box. This would change things and give me somewhere to display some of them.

Bookworm Candles and Crafts: Enamel Pin Display Hoop Cushions
Image copyright Bookworm Candles and Crafts

I think this is one of the more unique enamel pins that I have seen floating around and I think it's adorable. I love the colours and the unique design.

Bookworm Candles and Crafts: Mermaid Egg Enamel Pin
Image copyright Bookworm Candles and Crafts

I'd get this for my bestie as she's a huge ACOTAR fan and this bookmark with its quote from Rhysand is gorgeous. Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don't feel anything at all.

Bookworm Candles and Crafts: A Court of Thorns and Roses Quote Bookmark
Image copyright Bookworm Candles and Crafts

Do you have a favourite candle, pin, or bookmark?

What would be on your wishlist?

12 October 2019

Autumn Reading

Autumn Reading

Reading for as little as six minutes a day can help reduce stress by a staggering 68%. So just imagine how amazing you'll feel if you spend your whole evening with your nose stuck in a book. Definitely worth it.

As the evenings stretch out longer, I crave comfort. Cue the blanket nest, the comfort food, and the hot drinks. And the books, of course.

I have an embarrassing amount of blankets and cushions, and I have to admit that most of them are from Asda because they're cheap and cheerful, and also the cushion covers I get in Fairyloot and Illumicrate boxes fit them perfectly.

I like to set a bit of an ambiance, and Netflix has a surprising amount of content that's perfect for cosy feels and background noise. I especially love the Crackling Birchwood Fireplace and the Oceans and Waterfalls episodes of Moving Art when it comes to setting the scene. I set the fireplace video going on my kindle, and somehow it makes me feel warmer, even if it's just a video, and I love hearing the crack of the logs.

I love treating myself every so often to a bar of chocolate to munch on and an indulgent hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows. The mugs that Illumicrate have included in some of their boxes recently are gorgeous, and I love Rosie's papercraft art.

When it comes to picking the book, I'm up for anything. In October I especially love anything witchy, and I think I'm on a bit of a roll at the moment. In the past couples weeks I've read five witchy books, and I'm currently reading another two, including the fascinating feminist Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery

Books and hot chocolate

11 October 2019

Book Beginnings #81

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 Carmilla by Kim Turrisi.

Carmilla by Kim Turrisi cover
The day I've been counting down to has finally arrived. I'm moving into my college dorm. Being an only child has its advantages, trust me, but the invisible shield that my overprotective father has had around me is getting old. I'll be free of the chains once I land in my dorm. Silas University, I'm all yours.
Queer vampires? Yes please.

I'm not going to lie, this is one of those rare books where it was the description that had me picking it up. Usually I judge on covers or pick at random, but Carmilla by Kim Trussi has been compared to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, and Welcome to Nightvale so I was sold on it. It's an adaptation of a web series based on the classic gothic vampire story so I have high hopes.

Also I'm trash for drama and this promises it in spades.
I'm captivated.
Short and sweet. I love this sentence from 56% through the ebook, the way it sits in the rest of what's going on.

I'm excited.

What are you reading this week?

10 October 2019

Five Favourite Quotes from A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I thought that I knew what I was getting in to when I picked up A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. I received it in February 2019's Beauty and the Beast themed Fairyloot box and then just didn't pick it up for months for Reasons. Then when I finally picked it up in July for my last minute #OWLsJuly2019 I absolutely loved it and couldn't put it down.

Today I'm sharing my five favourite quotes from this excellent books, and I'd like to see them plastered across all kinds of merch please.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer cover

Today I'm sharing my five favourite quotes.

I have to look away. Once, this coiled tightness in my chest would have been arrogance. Now it is shame.
My father once said we are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose—just as a poor hand can win—but we must all play the cards fate deals. The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.
A feeling has begun to grow in my chest, blossoming so slowly I almost do not notice it. It is not love, not yet, because that seems too far outside my grasp. It is more than lust and attraction, though. Something deeper. Something more real.
The day is too beautiful for us to be hunting a monster.
Just because you couldn’t save everyone doesn’t mean you didn’t save anyone.

Hopefully these quotes will convince you to read A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, but if you need another push then check out my spoiler free review.

09 October 2019

Book Review: Reign: The Prophecy by Lily Blake

As you know from my review of Reign: Darkness Rises, my name is Cora and I am trash for Reign. And the books that tie in with the series.

This review contains mild spoilers for series one of Reign, as this book is set around the events at the end of the series.

Reign: The Prophecy by Lily Blake coverAdd to Goodreads button

An original novel based on the hit television series, Reign.

Since Mary, Queen of Scotland was a child, the English have wanted her country and her crown. She is sent to France to wed its next king--to save herself and her people.

It's a bond that should protect her, but there are forces that conspire... Forces of darkness, forces of the heart.

Mary's rule, and her life, has never been safe.

Find out what happens to Mary, Francis, Bash, and the rest of the French court after the season one finale.

Long may she reign.

Source: Purchase

5 Words: Love, secrets, plotting, death, royalty.

To read these you kind of have to have seen the show, or you will have no idea what is going on. Reign: The Prophecy directly ties in with the end of season one of the TV show.

If you have seen the show then you'll know it's wildly historically inaccurate and fantastical. And sometimes that's just what I need. I love Reign and now that it's finished I need more. This book was a nice companion to the TV show, and expanded on some story lines that were not really explored on screen.

This book is not so good if you ship Francis and Mary, because although there's plenty of love between them there is also a huge dose of Francis and Lola (boo, hiss). But it almost felt like this was deleted scenes from the show itself, the story offers a greater depth to the characters and the story arc from the show, and it did make me consider it differently.

I liked the pace of this story. It was a lot faster than I was expecting, and there was a sense of urgency in the writing that really emphasised this. As with Darkness Rises, there was a fairytale quality to the writing and the story which made it a lovely read.

If you enjoyed the show, read this. It's a pleasant, easy read that further explores the motivations of central characters.

08 October 2019

Top Ten Characters I've Read This Year

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 
Character Traits I Love 
Characters I've Read This Year
Yup, there I am, disregarding the prompt again. But to be honest I just wasn't feeling it, and I couldn't really think of anything. So I'm changing it up and talking instead about my favourite characters that I've read this year. So far.
  1. Cara from The Year After You by Nina de Pass
    As much as she was unreliable and frustrating at times, I adored Cara in The Year After You by Nina de Pass.
  2. Evelyn from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    I very almost picked Monique from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but how could anyone resist the allure of Evelyn herself? Wow.
  3. Jana from Meat Market by Juno Dawson
    I cared so much for Jana that it actually hurt me a little to read Meat Market. I felt like I was breaking with her.
  4. Rhiannon from Sweetpea by CJ Skuse
    Screwed up and dark AF, I couldn't stop reading about Rhiannon in Sweetpea. Despite her abhorrent actions I ended up fully on her side.
  5. Laura from Beauty Sleep by Kathryn Evans
    I loved how inquisitive she was, how she didn't take everything at face value. I loved how she pretty much owned her vulnerability too.
  6. Imogen from The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake by Sif Sigmarsdóttir
    Imogen was my favourite out of the two lead characters in the Sharp Edge of a Snowflake, and I loved her story and seeing inside her mind.
  7. Selah from The Beholder by Anna Bright
    Selah was such a darling and I adore her. She was an absolute delight to read, and so good and pure, that I couldn't help but fall in love.
  8. Mena from Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young
    Mena was very unreliable, but I absolutely loved reading about her. I loved her drive, how very much she wanted to live.
  9. Harper from A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
    She's such a Hufflepuff I want to squee. Kind and generous and loyal, with tenacity and drive.
  10. Emily from No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter
    Emily is such a freaking babe, and so relatable it almost hurt. I wish I'd had her as a character to read about when I was younger.
Who is your favourite character this year(so far)?

07 October 2019

Five Random Questions

Last year, inspired by Jenny in Neverland's Random Questions Generator post, I posted my own Five Random Questions. And it was so much fun that I'm back to do it again.

I'm using the same website as last year, and I have to admit that I did cheat a wee bit and refresh the page a few times as I kept getting prompts I'd already done. We all know that my favourite Disney Movie is Beauty and the Beast.

Five Random Questions

Which do you like better, coffee or tea?
Tea. Obviously. I mean, I am the Tea Party Princess. Although I do have a soft spot for Costa's Gingerbread & Cream lattes in winter, and I enjoy them so much that I sometimes contemplate buying a Tassimo machine so I can have them year round.

Have you ever burnt your hair?
Accidentally? Yes.
Intentionally? Also yes.

What is your favorite clothing brand?
I don't think I have a specific favourite brand, but this summer I bought a pair of Acai Activewear Skinny Outdoor Trousers after being swayed by them constantly appearing in ads on my feed and talking to fellow chunks who had bought them. And I fell in love and I'm no contemplating a thermal pair for winter.

What are your favorite albums?
At the moment I love listening to Human by Dodie and Ludovico Einaudi's Islands.
I have probably listened to Human daily since it came out, I honestly can't get enough of it. It may only be seven tracks, but I love the story that the album tells and I don't think I could pick a favourite track.
Islands is an album that makes me feel like star-gazing and waterfall chasing and treasure hunting. I have it playing in the car whenever we go on an adventure and it chills me right out.

Where did you get your name?
My mum got sick of people asking her what she'd call her baby and joked that if I was a boy I'd be named after the nearest river, the Clyde, and if I was a girl I'd be named after the Corra Linn waterfall. After a pretty traumatic birth, she came to to discover that my dad had taken her joking seriously and been down and registered my birth, naming me after the nearest landmark. With an incorrect spelling, of course.

Again, this was so much fun. It made me stop and think a bit and brought up some nice memories.

Would you do a random Q&A?

06 October 2019

Book Review: The Family by Louise Jensen *AD Gifted

HQ sent me a free review copy of The Family by Louise Jensen ahead of the blog tour.

It has been years since I read Louise Jensen's first book The Sister, and I remember liking it, so I was eager to read The Family, especially since it had such an intriguing blurb. And I was not disappointed, it's a really thrilling read.

The Family by Louise Jensen coverAdd to Goodreads button
Laura is grieving after the sudden death of her husband. Struggling to cope emotionally and financially, Laura is grateful when a local community, Oak Leaf Organics, offer her and her 17-year-old daughter Tilly a home.

But as Laura and Tilly settle into life with their new ‘family’, sinister things begin to happen. When one of the community dies in suspicious circumstances Laura wants to leave but Tilly, enthralled by the charismatic leader, Alex, refuses to go.

Desperately searching for a way to save her daughter, Laura uncovers a horrifying secret but Alex and his family aren’t the only ones with something to hide. Just as Laura has been digging into their past, they’ve been digging into hers and she discovers the terrifying reason they invited her and Tilly in, and why they’ll never let them leave…

Source: Review Copy

5 Words: Family, belonging, money, safety, love.

Content Warnings: Sexual assault, rape, blackmail, coercion, manipulation, cult, violent crime, bullying.

I went in to The Family knowing that I'd like it - I'm a sucker for a cult story and Oak Leaf Organics had cult written all over it. So take notice of those content warnings because I was not fully prepared for how dark this book got.

First off I have to say that I loved the writing style. As you can see from my Book Beginnings, it is lush and almost lyrical, and it really brought the settings to life.

I really liked the way the narrative jumped between characters, especially when Laura and Tilly would present the same scenes in such different ways. It made the familial resentment feel more real, I had a great sense of empathy for the two of them. I could really feel their desperation, and especially at the start when everything was first falling apart in their world.

I wasn't such a fan of Alex's take on everything, but then again I don't think you're meant to be a fan of Alex at all. He's a source of darkness in the story.

The Family does have some twists and I didn't see all of them coming, especially as we got to the end of the story. There was a certain amount of predictability, but I feel that with most thrillers nowadays. It's fast paced and I flipped the pages quickly, eager to see how it all panned out.

Ultimately I enjoyed this book, although it was a bit predictable. I did think that the predictable elements made it somehow more enjoyable, like in my mind it was "AH HA yes I was right". It's a perfect thriller for long autumn nights. I just wish there had maybe been some warnings about the on page sexual assault and perhaps some helpline numbers in the back, because it was brutal.

05 October 2019

The Autumn Tag

I love a good book tag, and this Autumn tag is excellent! I love the mix of prompts, and it is giving me all of the autumn feels.

The Autumn Tag

The Autumn Tag

The Rules

Answer the questions
Link back to the creator Jenniely
Tag other people!

The Tag

Hot Chocolate – what is your comfort book?
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, it's my ultimate favourite and never fails to bring me comfort.

Pumpkin Carving – what is your favourite creative outlet?
Knitting. I'm even that good at it, but I have garter stitch down and can knit scarves for days. This year I'm going to try and knit a hat for winter so wish me luck.

Falling Leaves – changes that appear bad but you secretly love?
Book covers. Now, hear me out. When book covers change on book seven of a seven book series then yes it's shit. Because your books don't match. But sometimes the original covers are bit... Shit. So once it's finished and it's rereleased I am all over those pretty new covers.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte – something you love that others tend to judge
Mills & Boon. There's still so much snobbery in some corners of the bookish community, and honestly they need to do one. Over 200 million Mills & Boon are sold every year, so those snobs can get in the bin and let people who enjoy romance be happy.

Bonfire Night – what makes you explode with joy?
Being with the people I love, because I'm sappy AF.

Fright Night – favourite scary book or film
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson is the start to a fantastically creepy series! I love it so much, and the ghosts and thrills make it perfect for this time of year.

Halloween Candy – favourite thing to eat
I love sitting down with a cup of tea and a packet of custard creams.

Scarves – your autumn ‘must have’ accessory
Oddly enough, it is scarves. When I taught myself how to knit I just went wild and made myself about then. And also some snoods because I realised how easy knitting in the round was.

Fire – a book or film that burns your soul
Lucas by Kevin Brooks. It's one of the books I love most in the world and it brings about all kinds of emotions from me. It make me cry, mostly. It absolutely breaks my heart, but it's beautiful.

Toffee Apples – a book or film that seems one thing but really has a different inside
Cracks. It's one of my favourite films and although it's pretty slow it has a fantastic story and stars Eva Green and I stan.

I'm Tagging

The Prompts

  • Hot Chocolate – what is your comfort book?
  • Pumpkin Carving – what is your favourite creative outlet?
  • Falling Leaves – changes that appear bad but you secretly love?
  • Pumpkin Spiced Latte – something you love that others tend to judge
  • Bonfire Night – what makes you explode with joy?
  • Fright Night – favourite scary book or film
  • Halloween candy – favourite thing to eat
  • Scarves – your autumn ‘must have’ accessory
  • Fire – a book or film that burns your soul
  • Toffee apples – a book or film that seems one thing but really has a different inside

04 October 2019

Book Beginnings #80

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 The Family by Louise Jensen.

The Family by Louise Jensen

It all unfolds with cinematic clarity; the gunshot, the scream. Every detail sharp and clear. Time slows as her eyes plead with me to help her. In my mind I bundle her behind me, shielding her body with mine, but she is too far away and I know I cannot reach her in time.
I love these first lines. I love the drama,the imagery, the pace. I can tell just from these lines that The Family by Louise Jensen will be a book that I will race through and enjoy.

I love the darkness of the cover too, it's pretty chilling and I love the feeling of isolation and confinement around it.
An ominous thunder cloud hung suspended over the impossibly tall fences spiked with razor wire. Padlocked chains twisted around the metal gate.
This little paragraph from page 56 just pretty much stopped me in my tracks - it's striking and foreboding and I can picture everything so clearly.

This book is subtly chilling, and this feeling is only growing with each page I read. I can't wait to see how it all ends.

What are you reading this week?

03 October 2019

Book Review: Reign: Darkness Rises by Lily Blake

My name is Cora and I am trash for Reign, of course I was going to buy the short stories related to the series.

Reign: Darkness Rises by Lily Blake coverAdd to Goodreads button

Find out how the Darkness rose to power in this digital original short story based on the hit CW television show, Reign.

Long before Mary's reign, another power ruled over France. Born from blood and terror, it was called the Darkness.

Now the Darkness has returned, and Bash is determined to stop it from spreading through the land before it can destroy the people he loves most.

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.

First off, this wee novella is tiny. It's only around 48 pages. And as it is about The Darkness, it has a definite horror edge, making it perfect for this time of year, and not really similar to the source TV show. But, it's only 99p and I think that was money well spent.

Now, I am Reign trash. I have watched it so many times on Netflix that I'm surprised I haven't had a message popping up to ask "r u ok, hun?" and a gentle recommendation to watch something else.

This was a nice companion to the TV series Reign, and delves a little deeper into the backstory of a very dark character. If you haven't finished Season One of the TV series then do not read this novella, because there are (mild) spoilers!

This short story has a very definite fairytale feel to it, which helped to emphasise the plot, and was overall it was a very enjoyable story. It's a good little read when you need to pass the time, nothing to really invest in, while still giving a bit extra to the TV show that I am absolute trash for.

Darkness Rises is a great look at whats makes someone evil and what can cause people to change so drastically. I loved getting that bit of insight into the past of The Darkness and it made me even feel a bit sorry for him.

That said, despite there being so few pages, there was some fierce character development, which I thought was quite an achievement! It's wonderfully written for such a short novella.

02 October 2019

My October 2019 TBR

When I set out my September TBR, I did a little experiment and I sectioned out my books into sections around 5 chapters long. And that actually worked out really well for me - I read at least a section a day and I smashed my TBR and it felt amazing. I only missed out on finishing one book, but that's because it was an anthology and a few of the stories just weren't for me and made me feel a bit slumpy.

This month I'm going to do the same with a few books, especially the review copies that have worked their way on to my list. It helped to motivate me, gave me something I could actually see to work towards.

My October 2019 TBR

The Books On My October TBR

I don't feel like I have a huge amount of books on my October TBR, and it's mostly me just having fun and reading witchy books in the run up to Hallowe'en. I think I'll probably do pretty well, as long as I stop re-reading Outlander, which definitely did not help last month. It's gonna be tough though, I'm hoping the grim weather is an encouragement.

  • The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
  • Carmilla by Kim Turrisi
  • The Deathless Girls Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  • The Family by Louise Jensen
  • Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery edited by Christopher Golden & Rachel Autumn Deering
  • Impossible Causes by Julie Mayhew
  • Monster, She Wrote by Lisa Kröger & Melanie R. Anderson
  • Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
  • The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox
  • The Witch's Kiss by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr
  • The Witch's Tears by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr
  • The Witch's Blood by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr

I don't realistically feel like I'll get to The Beautiful, because I'm expecting it in a book box that ships very late in the month. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll manage the rest of them!

What's on your October TBR?

01 October 2019

Ten Blogtober Post Ideas for Bookworms

I somehow managed to complete Blogtober last year, still no idea how I managed it, but it was so much fun that I knew I'd be doing it again. I loved to be that little bit extra creative, and it made me a lot more enthusiastic about blogging in general. It also led to some new opportunities for me, and I couldn't be more thankful.

Ten Blogtober Post Ideas for Bookworms

If you're thinking about taking part in Blogtober but have no idea where to start, why not use these post ideas as a starting point? They're great mixed in between Book Reviews and Book Tags, and features like Top Ten Tuesday or Book Beginnings.

This post very handily fits in to That Artsy Reader Girl's Top Ten Tuesday, even if it doesn't fit the theme this week of book titles with numbers in them.

Bookish Blogtober Post Ideas

  1. Autumn TBR
    Autumn is in full swing, so why not talk a bit about those books you're planning to read and share your Autumn TBR?
  2. Favourite Horrors
    Halloween is just around the corner, so why not share your favourite horror books and films.
  3. Get Crafty
    The long evenings are perfect for crafting. Share some of your projects in blog posts.
  4. Autumn Essentials
    What do you keep in your bag in autumn? What's your must have for the chillier weather that's upon us?
  5. Keeping Cosy
    How do you keep cosy when you read as the nights draw in?
  6. Self Care
    The shorter days and longer nights, the rain and the wind, it all takes it's toll. Share your rituals, how you take care of yourself.
  7. Reading Playlist
    Share your autumnal soundtrack or even just music that reminds you of the book you're currently reading.
  8. A Random Q&A
    I found a random Q&A generator last year, it it brought up some interesting questions that I had fun answering
  9. Shelf Tour
    Show us nosy people your bookshelves! I love seeing which books people have on there, usually adding at least 5 new books to my own TBR in the process.
  10. Wrap Up
    I love reading warp-ups and seeing what people have read or watched or visited throughout the month. They make me feel a little less guilty for not completing my TBRs too.
So there we have it! Ten ideas to help you with your Blogtober posts.

Are you taking part in Blogotber this year?