Top 10 Tuesday – New YA

It’s Tuesday and I thought I would do a list of 10 new or new-ish YA books I’m looking forward to reading. I don’t read as much YA as a lot of bloggers do, but I do like some, so here goes!


The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo. This sounds like a fun book with an #ownvoices author and diverse characters. It’s not available until May, but the reviews are really positive, so I think this one will be worth reading.


Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis. Again, a YA contemporary with #ownvoices representation. I was sold on this because the description, a girl moving in with an estranged parent into a religious household. This one also releases in May.


Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed. I love the cover on this one! I follow this author on Twitter and this story of a Pakistani girl forced into servitude sounds really compelling. I think this one will get a lot of attention. Out in May.

A Blade So Black by L L McKinney. This one has been getting a lot of buzz, not all of it positive, because of some controversial statements by author about race. However, I’m intrigued enough by the idea of Alice in Wonderland as a POC that I’m willing to wait until the September release and then decide for myself.

Veins of Gold by Charlie N. Holmberg. This one comes out in July, and it sounds like a Western fairy tale kind of thing. I like this author enough to put this on my list right away, without waiting for reviews.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Earnshaw. Finally we come to a book that is actually available now! A stand alone book about three sisters who are witches and some creepy stuff going on. Reviews are good and it sounds like a cool setting.

Last Dragon Standing by Rachel Aaron. Unlike the others, this one is the final book in a series that I’ve already read and enjoyed. Set in a future or parallel world where dragons live among humans and basically rule the world, I really hope this wraps up all the conflicts and has a satisfying ending. Also available now, but I haven’t downloaded it yet.

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton. I am a sucker for Shakespeare retelling and this one sounds promising. Add magic in, give the sisters more of a personality than in the play, and then a creepy poison ritual (according to the book description) and it’s no surprise that this goes onto my list.

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson. This one came out last month and the reviews are a little mixed, but I think it sounds interesting enough that I want to give it a try. I haven’t read all the descriptions, because everyone says it’s better to just jump in with this one, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. A Viking- inspired story with a female MC. How cool is that? She’s fierce, and she’s angry, and there’s an girl holding an ax on the cover! OK, shallow maybe, but I’m still going to read it.

And one more, because I’m excited about this one and I just barely heard it was coming out!


Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. I loved Uprooted, and it sounds like this one is set in the same world, although with different characters. I can’t tell for sure, but it sounds like there’s a Jewish MC, which you don’t see a lot (like ever?) in fantasy, and I think that’s really cool. But even if I’m wrong, I can’t wait to read it. But I have to, because it’s not out until July.

Wow, I’m kind of surprised that I was able to come up with 10 books for this list; I was afraid I would only have 4 or 5. But it looks like I will have plenty of YA to keep me happy, not to mention all the hundreds of other books on my list and the books I have piled up literally in every room of my house. What new books are you looking forward to reading? Let me know! Happy reading!


Monday – What Are You Reading?

Hey all! How was your weekend? Mine was pretty good – time with the kids, made it to church, and my son tried out a new recipe for chocolate cake. It wasn’t perfect, but it was still pretty yummy. Oh, and I finished a bunch of books.

Right now I am just reading one book, The Room by Swedish writer and actor Jonas Karlsson.


You might be able to guess from the briefcase that this is set in an office. However, even if you haven’t worked in an office, I’m sure you’re familiar enough with the basic environment that you could enjoy the book. I’m finding it really funny. Bjorn is the narrator and he is troubled that none of his coworkers are as good at their jobs as he is. In fact, they are pretty dismal, while he is doing most of the work. Then he finds a secret room at work where he can relax for a few minutes and get away from their annoying habits.

The writer is an actor who has won some awards in Sweden. I think his drama background shows because I could easily imagine this as a play. It works great as a book though. It’s really short, although it has 65 chapters, most are only a couple of pages long. I can’t wait to see how it ends.

What are you reading right now? Are you enjoying it? Let me know in the comments.

The Manual of Detection – a Review

The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry

Found at the library

In this tightly plotted yet mind-expanding debut novel, an unlikely detective, armed only with an umbrella and a singular handbook, must untangle a string of crimes committed in and through people’s dreams

I’m not really sure how to describe this one. It starts when lowly clerk Charles Unwin finds himself unexpectedly promoted to detective but given no cases. Instead he decides to solve a disappearance, but he has no clues.

I’m the one hand he just sort of bubbles through the investigation, but on the other events unravel in such unpredictable ways that I never knew where this story was going. I couldn’t even figure out what it was about for a really long time. I am sure though that whatever it was I just read, it was truly original and I’m glad I read it.

You can find a better synopsis, but I would avoid them. If this description appeals, just give it 50 pages and then decide if you like it. I’ll be interested to see what this author does next.

Early weekend?

How’s your week been? Mine has been, well, kinda off. For instance, I made it to therapy this Wednesday to discover that I was an hour late. I still hadn’t changed my bedroom clock ⏰ to daylight savings time. 😒 And now I have a little stomach thing and I don’t feel up to doing a long post. Can we just start the weekend now?



I was wondering why I hadn’t been getting any query requests. I haven’t been on the desktop computer as much lately, since my son is obsessed with his new games. I’ve been doing all my blogging and internet on my tablet. But it does some things better than others.

Yesterday I grabbed the desktop and started trying to sort through my Google mail. After a few tries, I found that all my query related mail has been sent to a new folder than I forgot about. I’m slowly going through it all, but I wanted to apologize if you wrote me regarding a review and never got an answer. I don’t answer every email, but I try to. And if I agree to read something, I try to finish it. Sometimes it just doesn’t work for me and I don’t finish though. And sometimes the files get buried and are hard to find. Just so you know where we are! Thanks for your patience!


This is not me. Just FYI.

I just read two fun books in a row, both YA, both ones I would recommend.

The first is The Plastic Magician by Charlie M Holmberg. I’ve blogged about her before, even did a giveaway of one of her books. (Speaking of which, I should do another giveaway soon!) So it’s no secret that I enjoy her writing. This book is an add-on to her Paper Magician series, but introduces an entirely new main character. Here’s the synopsis.

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Charlie N. Holmberg returns to the enchanting world of The Paper Magician.

Alvie Brechenmacher has arrived in London to begin her training in Polymaking—the magical discipline of bespelling plastic. Polymaking is the newest form of magic, and in a field where there is so much left to learn, every Polymaker dreams of making the next big discovery.

Even though she is only an apprentice, Alvie is an inventor at heart, and she is determined to make as many discoveries—in as short a time frame—as she can. Luckily for her, she’s studying under the world-renowned magician Marion Praff, who is just as dedicated as Alvie is.

Alvie’s enthusiasm reinvigorates her mentor’s work, and together they create a device that could forever change Polymaking—and the world. But when a rival learns of their plans, he conspires to steal their invention and take the credit for it himself.

To thwart him, Alvie will need to think one step ahead. For in the high-stakes world of magical discovery, not everyone plays fair…

My take:

Alvie is a young German American woman who can’t wait to learn magic. She’s even chosen her field – The newly emerging study of plastics. She gets chosen for a very prestigious apprenticeship in England and sets off. Not a lot of plot going on here, but Alvie was so much fun as a character and the world was so engrossing that it didn’t bother me that the villain was really obvious. There was a light romance – very light – but it was a sweet one. I would recommend it to lovers of light fantasy.

Which brings me to my second book, The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. I saw this recommended by a Good Reads friend, so when I saw a copy at the library, I had to grab it. It’s based on this extra-dimensional library that maintains the language and literature of the worlds. Cool, right? Here’s a synopsis.

Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure from a spectacular debut author. One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction…

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it’s already been stolen.

London’s underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested–the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something–secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself. Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option–because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself.

My verdict:

A fun romp that goes completely over the top. Vampires and airships and far and alternate worlds all combine in this crazy little book. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but I was in the mood for slightly goofy fun and this book was just what I needed. Irene and Kai are great characters and there’s still plenty of mystery left for the next book. It’s the first in a series, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest.

Book Haul


I love new books! 💓💖💕💟💞 Nothing like nice new books to make you to get all the books you are supposed to be reading, right? I am working on a Net Galley book right now, but that didn’t stop me from getting a few new ones for myself.

A Dead Liberty by Catherine Aird. I have mentioned this author before. She writes dry little English police mysteries that I really love. Her older books have been out of print for a while, but they are available now on Kindle so I’m slowly buying the backlist. This one is about a woman who may have poisoned her lover, but the police can’t get her to talk.

The Clever Woman of the Family by Charlotte Yonge. This was described as an early feminist satire on marriage and courtship. I don’t know much more about it, but this edition was free, so I thought it was worth looking at.

Trespassing by Brandi Reeds. This was my Kindle First pick of the month. Some of those have been great, some not so much. This book sounds like a creepy domestic thriller. I’m not totally sold on it, but it appealed to me more than the other choices, so we’ll see.

Beasts and Queens by Suzanne Roundtree. I follow this author on Twitter, so when she shared this collection of fairy tale retellings I was interested. The settings are all different, but they sound really good.

I know these are not the super popular books everyone is reading, but maybe some  of them will appeal to you too! What have you bought recently?


Major Lord David, a review

Major Lord David by Sherry Lynn Ferguson

Decades of war with France are over and Napoleon Bonaparte is safely confined on Elba. Yet Major Lord David Trent finds his homecoming far from peaceful. His father, the Duke of Braughton, is determined to see his son wed, and he has a very specific bride in mind: his neighbor’s daughter. David cannot recall that the neighbor even has a daughter, much less one he might find appealing! And after years spent fighting on the Peninsula, he is in no mood to be ordered to court anyone.

Wilhelmina Caswell has always been in love with Lord David, as her family is well aware. Her preference, and the designs of both their fathers, would seem to make the match inevitable. But as the spring of 1815 advances along with an emboldened Bonaparte, a looming battle threatens thousands of lives and one growing love at Waterloo.

It’s funny how sometimes when you’re reading, all your books 📚 sort of align. I’m listening to a book about Napoleon in Egypt and then I started this one, which is about an English officer in the war against the French, and the in Touch there was a section about his life in Egypt.

This is a neat little historical romance between two lovers who grew up as neighbors and then fell in love. 💓 My problem though was that the conflict between the two was more annoying than believable. Billie was too afraid of her feelings or something to admit them. I got tired of that. It was really sudden on David’s part, but too slow on hers.

Some reviews mentioned not liking the descriptions of war in a romance book. I didn’t have any problem with that. The synopsis made it pretty clear that was was a major theme in the book. I’ve read other books set in the era that have similar passages, notably The Spanish Bride by Georgette Heyer. If you wanted pure romance, then this will probably not satisfy. I thought it was good enough that I want to read the next book in the series. All of these so far have been clean as far as sexual content, so if you like it steamy this book is not for you.

Touch – a Review

Touch by Claire North

Kepler had never meant to die this way — viciously beaten to death by a stinking vagrant in a dark back alley. But when reaching out to the murderer for salvation in those last dying moments, a sudden switch takes place.

Now Kepler is looking out through the eyes of the killer himself, staring down at a broken and ruined body lying in the dirt of the alley.

Instead of dying, Kepler has gained the ability to roam from one body to another, to jump into another person’s skin and see through their eyes, live their life — be it for a few minutes, a few months or a lifetime.

Kepler means these host bodies no harm — and even comes to cherish them intimately like lovers. But when one host, Josephine Cebula, is brutally assassinated, Kepler embarks on a mission to seek the truth — and avenge Josephine’s death.

This book is a case of where the idea 💡 was better than the execution. First of all, if I hadn’t read the synopsis, I might have enjoyed the slow reveal a little more. As it was, the description doesn’t really match the spirit of the book, IMO.

As it was, I wish there had been more time in each “skin” before jumping into the plot. I liked the idea a lot, but the ending fell flat for me. I will admit that I found myself thinking about the book for a long time, wondering what I would have done differently