Hello! Long-time no blog, but as always, I’m back to share a reading update and my November TBR.
I am back full-time in school and working part-time, but finally, I am figuring out how to manage my time in order to get back into the swing of blogging.
Before I get into the reading update, I have been fairly active on my NEW blog where I chat about travel tips, share travel guides, etc. If that’s something you’re interested in, make sure you check it out: Travel and Tea Blog. (Right now, with everything going on, I’m focused on West Coast local travel.)
August was a great reading month for me. I did the bulk of my reading for the year that month (I’ve only read 12 books this year…) thanks to my amazing Kindle and the amazing thrillers I was picking up, such as One of Us Is Lying, Ace of Spades, and The Box in the Woods.
On the other hand, September was a super hectic month, but I did get one book read at least! That is, my millionth re-read of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I was in the mood for an easy and light read, and hadn’t visited this book and characters in a while. As expected, I flew through it in a matter of days.
Now it’s already October, which is crazy! But so far, it’s been pretty good reading-wise. I’m currently making my way through two books right now: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune and As Good as Dead by Holly Jackson. Since it’s spooky season, I’m focusing on As Good as Dead, since it is the third book in a thriller/murder-mystery series, but I am already over half way through The House in the Cerulean Sea. (And loving it!)
I was skeptical about As Good as Dead, but I am enjoying it just as much as the first two in the series. The plot line is vastly different and completely took me by surprise, which I can’t say happens too often. So, I have been flying through it to say the least, which is why I am already 85% through… I’ll definitely be able to finish before the end of the month.
Looking forward into November though, I don’t have a rigid TBR, but there are a couple books I would like to get to. November will be insanely busy with school, but hopefully, by reading on my Kindle, I’ll be able to get through at least one or two. (Who else reads insanely fast on their Kindle?)
Harry Potterby JK Rowling
I don’t know which Harry Potter book I will read, but come November, I would like to read some atmospheric books since winter is approaching. I’ll see which one I am feeling closer to the time, but I have a feeling it will be one of the first three since they are the shortest…
The Wicked King by Holly Black
Before diving into this sequel, I will need to watch or read a recap of the first book since it has been a hot minute since I read it. I’ve been meaning to read this book for a long time now and what better time than during chilly November? Fairy books always give me winter vibes and I have heard nothing but good things about this sequel.
There it is! My reading update and November TBR after rising from the dead.
What are you reading? Let me know down below in the comments ⬇️
Today I have an exciting post and it is an author interview with mystery, thriller, and paranormal romance author, Alicia Dean! I asked Alicia a series of questions about her writing process and her books, so I hope you enjoy 🙂
1. How did you first fall in love with writing?
When I was a child, I loved to read. And my own stories started forming in my mind, and I knew at an early age that I wanted to be a writer.
2. Is there a book or series that has shaped your writing?
There are many books that stuck with me and shaped my writing. Over the years, there have been different influences. One of my earliest influences, other than Pippi Longstockings and Amelia Bedelia, LOL, were Harlequins, then Sweet Savage Love. Although, I oddly have never written a Historical and don’t really read them now. I discovered Stephen King and Michael Connelly and my interest morphed to murder. 😀
3.What does your current writing process look like?
A haphazard mess. 🙂 I have difficulty being creative in the evenings, so my goal is to rise earlier than normal and spend at least an hour writing. But, as of late, I haven’t been able to stick to my goal. I at least try to write a minimum of 10 minutes a day, no matter what else is going on so that I at least accomplish something and stay connected to my story.
4. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
Traveling, watching MLB and NFL, reading, watching TV, hanging with my kids, friends, and family.
5. What is your favourite genre to write in?
Suspense/police procedurals. Though I also enjoy paranormal.
6. Do you have a favourite book of yours that you have written? Or at least, a current favourite?
I think Without Mercy might be my all-time favorite of my own books. Though I enjoyed writing Soul Seducer a great deal too.
7. You have several books being re-released. What inspired this decision?
I self-published them originally, because, at the time I wrote them, they didn’t fit in with what The Wild Rose Press was publishing. And, for some of them, they were written with a group of other authors for a specific project. Since that time, TWRP has begun accepting a wider variety of genres. I love being an author for The Wild Rose Press and I thought releasing them through TWRP would breathe new life into them.
8. Soul Seducer is the first book of yours being re-released this week on April 14. Can you give a summary of this story?
My heroine, Audra, is a nurse who has a near-death experience, which opens a portal, more or less, between her world and the world of reapers. She is able to see and communicate with grim reapers after that. One of the reapers is beyond evil and he takes people ‘before their time’ which is painful for the person and damns them to an eternity of torment. Another reaper, who becomes my heroine’s love interest, is trying to stop him. Everyone in Audra’s life is in peril, from her patients to her friends and family.
9. Your re-releases are getting brand new covers. Out of the ones that have been revealed, do you have a favourite?
It would either be Soul Seducer or Once Upon a Gothic. But it’s difficult, because I love them all.
10. Where can we find the re-releases of your books?
Once again, I have risen from the dead after three-and-a-half months of university and work to bring you my April and May TBR!
April is one of my favourite months because classes come to an end (finally! My last class is April 12th) and summer starts. While I will be working full-time all summer (life update to come!), I plan on spending a LOT of time reading and writing.
Around this time last year, I was in a horrible reading slump, but it is quite the opposite this year. I feel more inspired to read than ever lately, probably because I just finished Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare, which of course, I loved! Regardless, I have a fairly ambitious TBR for April and May and here are those books on it:
Archenemies by Marissa Meyer
The sequel to one of my favourite recent reads, Renegades, Archenemies is a book I had meant to pick up earlier, but as always, life seems to get in the way! Now, two months after I finished Renegades, I am finally diving into this book and am already around 100 pages in–and so far, I’m liking it.
Renegades takes place in a world like ours where superheroes or “Renegades” are part of reality and have established peace and order after the chaos of villains. Nova, a prodigy with allegiance to the villains, is on a mission to seek vengeance for the death of her family–which takes her to the Renegades headquarters where she will pose as one of them. However, she can’t help but grow close to one of the Renegades, a boy named Adrian, which complicates Nova’s overarching plan to take them all down.
The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes
One of my reading goals for this year is to read more Latinx-based books by Latinx authors (being part Mexican myself). The last few years, there has definitely been a surge in these books, which makes me SO happy. However, now I am just trying to keep up. The Storm Runner is inspired by Mayan mythology, but other than that I am going into it blind. The only other thing I know is that it’s published through Rick Riordan’s publishing house, so I’m sure it’s good!
Inanna’s Bargain by Claire Sulos
Another mythology-inspired book, Inanna’s Bargain has been on my reading list for around two months because it is inspired by Mesopotamian mythology, which is something I have never read before in YA. I am super intrigued to see what I think of it, and also learn about Mesopotamian mythology. The last time I read about Mesopotamia was in grade eight, so I don’t really remember much about it!
Inanna’s Bargain follows, Samri, a priestess of the goddess Inanna, and Kianu, a gala priest and an acclaimed dancer. The two are sent on a mission by Inanna to help the king intercept an evil that threatens them all before it is too late. This story is all about family love, as the two protagonists are half-siblings, dangerous quests, and magic.
After Hours (anthology) by AC Arthur
I have wanted to expand my reading taste lately, and since I have became an author assistant (more info in my life update!) for this romance author, it is the perfect time to do so. I know I will like romance, but with school and work, it has been hard to read more adventurously. However, I am a few chapters into this book already and I’ve been enjoying it. With summer around the corner, it is the perfect time to get into romance too!
After Hours includes multiple stories all following workplaces romances as well as sexual harassment, and how the strong female characters deal with it. I think this is really important to read about, especially with movements like Me Too coming into light, so I am looking forward to seeing how AC incorporates them into her stories.
The Sweetest Valentine by Lacey Baker
Another romance book on the list, and this one takes place around Valentine’s Day, but hey, there’s no rules for reading holiday-themed books! This book takes place at a wine and chocolate festival (yum!), bringing together Hollywood actor, Kelan, and Sweetland-native, Sydni. However, while their relationship runs smoothly at first, the threat of Sydni losing her shop and an unbelievable career opportunity endanger their love story. I’ve been in the mood for romance lately, so this will hopefully be a satisfying and quick read!
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This is by far my most anticipated release for the month of May and one of my most anticipated releases for the entire year. I am a huge fan of Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, as well as The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, so I am fairly certain I will absolutely adore this book.
This book takes place in Malibu in 1983 and follows the Rivas family, a fascination by everyone in Malibu being the family of famous singer, Mick Rivas. The story follows the children of this family: Nina, a talented surfer and supermodel; Jay and Hud, a championship surfer and a talented photographer; and baby sister, Kit. It is their annual end-of-summer party, however, by the end of the night, the party becomes completely out of control–leaving the Rivas mansion in flames and secrets slowly unravelling. (Did I mention how excited I am for this book…?)
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
While I have read this book before (and really enjoyed it), I never got around to picking up the sequel, The Wicked King. Recently, I snagged the sequel at the bookstore, only to realize I barely remember anything from the first book. Before I can dive into The Wicked King, I am going to re-read this very popular and hyped up book, which lucky for me, lived up to the hype. I am not complaining though because like I said, I really enjoyed this story and flew through it.
If you didn’t know, this book follows Jude, who when she was seven, her and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the Court of Faerie after their parents were killed. Ten years later, Jude still struggles to fit in amongst the fey, yet she wants nothing more than to achieve this. To win her place in the Court, she must defy the faeries who despise her and her sisters for being human, and channel her own faerie-like trickery and mischief.
Those are the 7 books I want to read during April and May. Let me know if you have read any of these before, as well as what your thoughts were if you have, and also what’s on your TBR! As always, I would love to know 🙂
This is a list of all the books I want to read before the new year, which I cannot believe is almost here.
Even though I am mostly out of my reading slump, I haven’t been reading very fast, or much at all, lately. I think I have been working on Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare for over a month now, however, in my defence, it is a beastly book. I have also started a few other books along the way which I will include in my TBR, but there are a couple new books that I am itching to pick up before 2021 too.
Fingers crossed that since school is wrapping up and I get a break from work for the holidays, I will be able to finish the year strong reading-wise!
Here is my final TBR of 2020.
Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
Last I checked, I have 250ish pages of this book left which I am fairly confident I can get done this December. I don’t know why I picked this book up after my reading slump because 1) it is my least favourite in The Dark Artifices trilogy, and 2) it is almost 900 pages! But, I have been enjoying myself as I always do when I am in this Shadowhunter world so that counts for something.
Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Robin Wasserman, Maureen Johnson, and Kelly Link
I call myself a massive Cassandra Clare fan, yet I haven’t picked this book up until now! Well, anyways, I have it and suddenly decided it was time to read it. While I am only 80 pages into it, I have been loving it. Reading more about the main characters in Chain of Gold is my new favourite past time because I am a huge fan of them all –especially Matthew. I have no doubts about finishing this book before 2021 because I have only sat down once or twice with it, and I am already almost 1/5 of the way through. However, like ALL of Cassandra Clare’s books, it is a chunky one.
The Round House by Lousie Erdrich
The Round House is a book I was assigned for school and even though classes are finished and I am supposed to be done this book by now, I don’t think I am even 100 pages into it. The thing is, it is such an amazing and important book. But, once again, it is the fact that I have to read it for school that is holding me back from picking it up and reading more than 10 pages at a time. That, and it deals with some very intense content matter. However, I do want to finish it. I am hoping that since school is almost over, I will be inspired to pick it up more often.
Renegades by Marissa Meyer
I may have splurged on books this past weekend and one of the books I picked up was Renegades: a book I’ve heard marvellous things about. I had no initial intent on buying this book, but it was a good price for the used copy and something suddenly inspired me to read it. This is another BIG book, which might come back to bite me later on when I am half done every single one of the books on this list and then suddenly it is January 1st… Although, even if that happens, I think I am okay with that.
Song of the Dryad by Natalia Leigh
Okay, this is a book I do not plan on finishing in 2020, but I really want to start it over Christmas break. I bought the ebook version (because I have been led to believe I am getting a Kindle for Christmas…) over Black Friday because I have been meaning to pick up this book. Natalia Leigh is an author and also a YouTuber (AuthorTuber) who I have been watching for years. I thought it was about time to support her writing and I am also just excited to see what I think of this book! Maybe I will even do a book review. We will see.
Those are all the books I plan on finishing, or at least will try to finish, before the new year. I am really excited to have more time to spend on reading because at first, I neglected it because I was in a slump and then I neglected it because I was just too busy! I want to end the year on a positive and productive note by spending time doing what I love, which is reading, in the hopes it will start 2021 on a positive note as well.
Make sure you check out recent blog post and follow me on social media; the links are all down below. Also, don’t forget to let me know what books you plan on reading this month! Thanks for reading 🙂
ANNOUCEMENT: In celebration of NaNoWriMo being (almost) over, I am once again offering 10% off any one editing service when you book for or during December. Take advantage of the discount HERE as well as my free 10-page sample edit if you are interested.
In a quick update, I am behind on NaNoWriMo but I am 23k into my first draft so it is not a complete fail at least. On the reading side of things, I have been chugging along with Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare and am just over 500 pages into it. Since the end is in sight, I thought it would be fitting to talk about my anticipated releases for the rest of this year (which is almost over?!) because these are likely to be some of the next few books I will pick up.
Here are my anticipated releases for the rest of 2020.
Inanna’s Bargain by Claire Sulos
I am a sucker for any mythology, ancient civilization-inspired fantasy which is why this book grabbed my attention. Also, the cover is absolutely GORGEOUS. Inanna’s Bargain is a historical fantasy novel set in Mesopotamia during 2,284 BCE. I have not read any Mesopotamia-inspired fiction, so I am super excited to get my hands on this book. It actually came out this past Saturday, so if you are interested in it as well, you can check it out HERE. Here is a short synopsis of the book:
Inanna, the goddess of love and war, sends our main characters who are half-siblings, Samri (a priestess of Inanna) and Kianu (a gala priest) to act as aid when a dire threat from the north appears. However, it is not a smooth journey to reach their king, and along the way, they encounter thieves, kidnappers, hybrids beasts, and much more. While their journey is dangerous, the two siblings grow closer along the way and this adventure-filled story highlights their love and familial bond for one another.
I cannot wait to read this book and it is not very long (298 pages), so I can already see myself flying through this story!
A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir
I did not register that this book is coming out in less than 10 days…and I haven’t re-read the second or third book in forever. I am not prepared! The past few days I have been juggling back and forth with the ideas of just reading/watching summaries on the series and then diving into it when it releases, OR re-reading the entire series first. The last few days of November will be crazy though, and part of December as well with school wrapping up so I don’t know what to do! Regardless, this is one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 hands down.
The first book, An Ember in the Ashes, follows Laia, a slave, and Elias, a soldier in this Roman-inspired militaristic empire. When Laia’s grandparents are killed and her brother kidnapped by the empire, Laia sets out to save him, disguising herself as a slave at the martial school in order to spy for the resistance that promises her brother’s freedom in exchange. There, she meets Elias, one of the best soldiers at the school but deep down, he dreams of being free of its chains. Eventually, their destinies intertwine and together, they threaten the entire age of tyranny they live in.
I love this series and I have since the first book came out four years ago. I cannot believe it is coming to an end but I am eager to see what happens! I follow Sabaa Tahir on Instagram and I already know she will not be easy on her readers.
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
This is another book that is already out; it came out earlier this week on Tuesday, I think, and also has such a stunning cover. I hadn’t heard much about it until recently, but once I did, I was really intrigued. When the Goodreads description said that it was “perfect for fans of the The Last Magician” I was like “that’s me!”…even though I haven’t read the sequel yet. This book has gangs and fueds and bloodshed and just sounds so good! I also believe it is inspired by Romeo and Juliet? I remember hearing the author doesn’t like the play so I am curious to see how that is transferred into the book.
For whatever reason, I had hard time putting this book into my own words so here is the Goodreads description:
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
Those are three books that have recently come out, or are about to come out, that I cannot wait to get my hands on! Hopefully, you are also excited for them and if you have any other anticipated releases, please share them in the comments below!
Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂
***Before I get into today’s post, I wanted to shoutout my Patreon that I recently launched. You can check out all the goodies I am offering HERE, or scroll down and click on the Patreon icon at the very bottom of the page. Thanks 🙂
This summer has been a looong one for all of us. I mean, I was supposed to finish school at the end of April and have a 4 month summer (which is very long in itself) but because of COVID-19, summer will be almost 6 months! You think with all that time, I would have read dozens of books by now. It has been 3 1/2 months at this point, yet, how many books have I read? 9!
I have not finished a book since the beginning of May, but I am over halfway through Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron. I am happy to report that I will definitely finish this YA fantasy and I am hoping it will encourage me to get back into the swing of reading since the annual Reading Rush is coming up and I want to participate in that (I will be sharing my TBR on Instagram so follow me @zoeiswriting).
And since I have been doing so many writing and creative entrepreneur-related blog posts, I realized it is time to talk about books! Even if I am not reading a lot right now.
Here are 6 books I want to read this summer.
1. The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
I am in the mood for some good ol’ fantasy, so when I was at the bookstore, I decided to pick up The Demon King. I know this is a spinoff (?) series in the world that another one of her series takes place in but you can read this series without reading those other books. However, I realized I own The Warrior King (the first book in that other series)! Maybe I will give that a read after The Demon King because for whatever reason, The Demon King is calling out to me. Do I know what it is about? Nope! But nonetheless, I am excited to dive into it sometime this summer. Let me know if you have read this book, or any of her others books in this world, and what you thought about them.
2. Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
One of my goals this summer is to find Vicious, the first book in this series, and buy it because that is one GOOD book. I also want to pick up the long awaited sequel, Vengeful because I know it will be just as good, if not better. When I think about Vicious, I get chills. It is one of those books that even none readers will love so if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.
In the first book, we follow Victor and Eli who are college roommates and both intelligent and ambitious characters. In their final year, they become fascinated with near-death experiences and supernatural events after experiencing some odd things in their own lives, and realize they have the power to give each other extraordinary abilities. But no one human should wield this type of power, and it is no surprise when things go extremely wrong. The book then jumps 10 years into the future and we follow the fight between Eli, who wants to be the only superhuman in the world, and Victor. Who will survive and whose ability will become their undoing?
3. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
To be honest, I cannot even tell you how long this book has been on my shelf. I know it is time to finally read it, not only because I have heard nothing but good things about it, and also because I need to get around to reading a Brandon Sanderson book. One reason I have put off reading this book is because I own the mass market paperback edition (it was super cheap, okay!). However, I have glasses for a reason! It is time to buckle up and dive into this long book. Once again, I have no idea what it is about, but I am very excited for some classic high fantasy.
4. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I know, I know. I’ve read this book two times already THIS year, but it is just so good. Also, I had no idea it was becoming a TV show! It already has a cast too and I am in love with it. Ever since I found out this exciting news, I have been itching to re-read it. I would have done it sooner, but I leant it to be boyfriend a few months ago and couldn’t get it back until I went and visited him 3 weeks ago. But now I have it back and it has been very tempting to re-read.
Daisy Jones and the Six is written in interview format and follows the rise and fall of a fictional band from the 70s (it is based off of Fleetwood Mac). If you are a music fan, especially a fan of rock from the 70s/80s, I highly recommend this book.
5. A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden
This is a book I’ve spoken about in the past because I was given it for review about a month ago. Since I’ve been in a reading slump, I haven’t gotten around to it yet unfortunately, but I want to get to it sometime this summer. This is a dystopian YA novel and takes place a thousand years in the future where humanity lives behind the walls of a totalitarian Kingdom. This is a genre I haven’t read in a while. I hope I love this book and it gets me back into re-reading some of my dystopian favourites since there hasn’t been too much dystopian releasing lately!
6. The Devil’s Thief by Lisa Maxwell
Back in April I read the first book, The Last Magician and I loved it, so I am looking forward to finally reading the sequel, The Devil’s Thief. This series takes place in New York during the 1920s, which means the atmosphere is amazing. There is magic and morally grey characters and deception…some of my favourite things to read about. My local library is opening back up in August which is very exciting and I hope that they have this book for me to borrow!
Before I can dive into this books, however, I have to break out of my horrible reading slump. It is like I am rising out of it slowly, because I feel that desire to read deep down…but I am getting distracted by other things too easily.
Here are some things I am doing to get myself out of this reading slump:
Make time to read a little every day (15-30 pages)
Abandon books I don’t want to read and only reading what I want to
Not pressure myself to read
Do other things I enjoy like writing, working out, and listening to music
Those are all the books I want to read during these last 2 months of summer and before the school year begins in full swing. Let me know in the comments below what books you want to get read in July and August, because I would love to know!
Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts and Patreon below. Thanks for reading 🙂
This book recommendations blog post will be a bit different then others because I will be recommending the books in a different way. This is inspired by Sasha Alsberg’s (abookutopia on YouTube) recommendation video “If you like this book then you’ll like this book.” Confusing? You’ll understand if you read the recommendations below!
If you like Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi then you will like Legend by Marie Lu. These two trilogies are both dystopian and have a similar feel to them, plus they are just amazing books and you will devour each and every one of them!
If you like Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell then you will like Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Again, these are the same genre (contemporary) but they are quite different yet there is a resemblance to the other. I love both these books so much and I know you all will too!
If you like Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas than you will like Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. These are both amazing fantasy books that will captivate you from the beginning! It takes me a bit to get into fantasy like this but once I did I could not put it down!
If you like Twilight by Stephanie Meyer than you will LOVE Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. I recently just finished the Vampire Academy series and it is amazing! And obviously if you like Twilight you will like Vampire Academy because they both have the same feel to them!
If you like The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy you will like Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout. These are both sci fi books that I personally adore and everyone else who reads them seems to love them as well so…Read them!!!
Those are a few recommendations and I hope you liked them!