Island of Fire: A review!

Island on Fire by Sophie Schiller

Publication Date: March 15, 2018 Paperback & eBook; 270 Pages ISBN-13: 978-1986210782 Genre: Fiction/Historical/Thriller

In the lush, tropical world of Martinique where slavery is a distant memory and voodoo holds sway, Emilie Dujon discovers that her fiancé, a rich sugar planter, has been unfaithful. Desperate to leave him, she elicits the aid of a voodoo witch doctor and is lured into a shadowy world of black magic and extortion. When the volcano known as Mount Pelée begins to rumble and spew ash, she joins a scientific committee sent to investigate the crater. During the journey she meets Lt. Denis Rémy, an army officer with a mysterious past. At the summit, the explorers discover that a second crater has formed and the volcano appears to be on the verge of eruption. But when they try to warn the governor, he orders them to bury the evidence for fear of upsetting the upcoming election. As the pressure builds, a deadly mudslide inundates Emilie’s plantation and she disappears. With ash and cinders raining down, chaos ensues. Left with no choice, Lt. Rémy deserts his post and sets off on a desperate quest to rescue Emilie. But with all roads blocked, can they escape the doomed Pompeii of the Caribbean before it’s too late?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

One seldom thinks of a volcano as being an interesting object to help time a story. But in this book, it does precisely that as well are dropped into Martinique in 1902. Our main character, Emilie, feels trapped. She wants to break off her engagement to a rich sugar planter since he was unfaithful to her. One can’t blame her because when you read about him, “dastardly” is the word that comes to mind. I can’t say I fault Emilie for seeking out a VooDoo doctor. Having been raised in a land where Voodoo practitioners are as common as sugar, she knows the risks of going to see him and making a request.

In the midst of this, she hears about a group going to see if the volcano is going to erupt and she convinces her parents to let her go. She meets Lt. Denis Rémy, who she gets to know on the excursion. Of course, I’m sure you can gather what happens there. When the volcano begins to write, Emilie is nowhere to be found and he abandon his post to search for her.

And I will stop right there because…spoilers!

Ripe with vivid descriptions of the landscape and of the culture, it’s very easy to be drawn in and to forget your own surroundings. I admit the pacing was a little fast but its a quick but enjoyable read.

About the Author

Sophie Schiller was born in Paterson, NJ and grew up in the West Indies. She loves stories that carry the reader back in time to exotic and far-flung locations. Kirkus Reviews called her “an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer”. Her latest novel is Island on Fire, a thriller about the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century. She was educated at American University, Washington, DC and lives in Brooklyn, NY. For more information, please visit Sophie Schiller’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 6 Review at Pursuing Stacie Tuesday, August 7 Review at Oh, October Wednesday, August 8 Review at Bri’s Book Nook Feature at Just One More Chapter Thursday, August 9 Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective Friday, August 10 Feature at Books and Wine are Lovely Saturday, August 11 Interview at Passages to the Past Monday, August 13 Review at What Cathy Read Next Tuesday, August 14 Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a copy of Island on Fire to one lucky reader! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US residents only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. Island on Fire


WWW Wednesday!

I know I said something similar last week, but does it freak you guys out how fast this year is going by? It’s August already! And I’m a month and one day away from birthday number 32. I’m just in awe. I mean…where is time going? Granted, I’m looking forward to things happening–it’ll be primary day here and I can’t wait to vote. Make sure you’re registered! Your voice counts! And I’m, of course, looking forward to my birthday. Yearly trip to Books-A-Million!

I’m dying to get started on this one. It looks so good and I’m just over the moon to finally have it. I tried to get an ARC but that didn’t pan out. But it’s a-okay because Book of the Month had it. 😀

I finished MJ Rose’s Tiffany Blues! My review comes soon and I have an interview with her soon. Color me excited!

I am so in love with this story. I’ve had it on my shelf for a while but I had other books to read and I kind of forgot it. I would have finished it last night more than likely, but I was cross-eyed tired. But let’s just say, I am so grabbing up the rest of this series when I hit up Books-A-Million next month.

Cover Reveal: Park Avenue Summer!

I feel so very fortunate in that I get to share some amazing covers with you lately! I am quite a fan of Renee Rosen and her work; I featured her with White Collar Girl when it released in 2015. So I am delighted that I get to feature her again with her lovely new cover, the synopsis of the book and of course, pre-order links. The cover alone tells a story! We’re in for a treat, that I can tell you! 

Also, she has a blurb from Kate Quinn, whom I also adore and think is fantastic. So a stamp of approval from Kate usually means I’m in. So, without further ado…


It’s so pretty!

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Pages: 480

Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada as Renée Rosen draws readers into the glamorous New York City of 1965 and Cosmopolitan magazine, where a brazen new editor-in-chief–Helen Gurley Brown–shocks America and saves a dying publication by daring to talk to women about all things off-limits…

New York City is filled with opportunities for single girls like Alice Weiss, who leaves her small midwestern town to chase her big-city dreams and unexpectedly lands the job of a lifetime working for the first female editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, Helen Gurley Brown.

Nothing could have prepared Alice for the world she enters as editors and writers resign on the spot, refusing to work for the woman who wrote the scandalous bestseller Sex and the Single Girl, and confidential memos, article ideas, and cover designs keep finding their way into the wrong hands. When someone tries to pull Alice into a scheme to sabotage her boss, she is more determined than ever to help Helen succeed. While pressure mounts at the magazine and Alice struggles to make her way in New York, she quickly learns that in Helen Gurley Brown’s world, a woman can demand to have it all.

“A timely behind-the-scenes look at the glamorous and cutthroat world of Cosmopolitan magazine in the 1960s, Park Avenue Summer is a smart and sexy homage to Helen Gurley Brown and her ‘girls’–a generation of women taking New York City by storm and inspiring those who came after them. Filled with wit, heart, and verve, Rosen’s novel dazzles and empowers. Simply wonderful!”–Chanel Cleeton, author of Next Year in Havana

“Renée Rosen is my go-to for whip-smart heroines who love their work. Park Avenue Summer is a delightful summer cocktail of a read!”–Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

“Renee Rosen’s delightfully clever novel is full of heart and hope with a perfect dash of sass. Through the wonderfully depicted Helen Gurley Brown, struggling in her appointment as editor ofCosmopolitan magazine, and Alice Weiss, Gurley Brown’s loyal secretary, Rosen delivers a cast of complex and ambitious female protagonists to truly root for. The Devil Wears Prada meets Mad Men, Park Avenue Summer is pure joy from cover to cover. I loved it.”–Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home

“Once again Renée Rosen works her magic, transporting us to the offices of Helen Gurley Brown’s Cosmopolitan in 1960s New York, and the result is a delight. In Park Avenue Summer, Rosen brings the original Cosmo Girl, the people who surrounded her, and the era itself to fizzing, addictive, and fabulously entertaining life. Rosen’s command of historical detail is masterful; so, too, is her ability to create fictional characters, among them her heroine Alice, who are as fully realized and compelling as the beguiling Brown herself.”–Jennifer Robson, internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France

“A breezy, delightful novel that celebrates female friendship and ambition. With Park Avenue Summer, Renée Rosen brings legendary magazine editrix Helen Gurley Brown back to life and captures a beloved bygone era with acuity, wisdom, and heart.”–Jamie Brenner, bestselling author of The Forever Summer and The Husband Hour

“Pussycats, Renée Rosen brings Helen Gurley Brown to life with all her cunning, vision, and shocking frugality. Park Avenue Summer is both a breezy Girl-Takes-Manhattan fairy tale, and a crackling account of how a brazen editor–against her bosses’ better judgment–invented iconic Cosmopolitan Magazine. This novel perfectly captures the zeitgeist of 1965.”–Sally Koslow, author of Another Side of Paradise and bestselling author of The Late, Lamented Molly Marx

Books-a-Million || Barnes & Noble || Amazon || Indie Bound

Renée is the bestselling author of  Windy City Blues, White Collar Girl, What The Lady Wants and Dollface, as well as the young adult novel, Every Crooked Pot.  She lives in Chicago where she is currently working on a new novel about Helen Gurley Brown to be published in 2019 from Penguin Random House/ Berkley.

Happy Release Day to Fiona Davis!

In her latest captivating novel, nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis takes readers into the glamorous lost art school within Grand Central Terminal, where two very different women, fifty years apart, strive to make their mark on a world set against them. For the nearly nine million people who live in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. But for Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, it represents something quite different.

For Clara, the terminal is the stepping stone to her future, which she is certain will shine as the brightly as the constellations on the main concourse ceiling. It is 1928, and twenty-five-year-old Clara is teaching at the lauded Grand Central School of Art. A talented illustrator, she has dreams of creating cover art for Vogue, but not even the prestige of the school can override the public’s disdain for a “woman artist.” Brash, fiery, confident, and single-minded—even while juggling the affections of two men, a wealthy would-be poet and a brilliant experimental painter—Clara is determined to achieve every creative success. But she and her bohemian friends have no idea that they’ll soon be blindsided by the looming Great Depression, an insatiable monster with the power to destroy the entire art scene. And even poverty and hunger will do little to prepare Clara for the greater tragedy yet to come.

Nearly fifty years later, in 1974, the terminal has declined almost as sharply as Virginia Clay’s life. Full of grime and danger, from the smoke-blackened ceiling to the pickpockets and drug dealers who roam the floor, Grand Central is at the center of a fierce lawsuit: Is the once-grand building a landmark to be preserved, or a cancer to be demolished? For Virginia, it is simply her last resort. Recently divorced, she has just accepted a job in the information booth in order to support herself and her college-age daughter, Ruby. But when Virginia stumbles upon an abandoned art school within the terminal and discovers a striking watercolor hidden under the dust, her eyes are opened to the elegance beneath the decay. She embarks on a quest to find the artist of the unsigned masterpiece–an impassioned chase that draws Virginia not only into the battle to save Grand Central but deep into the mystery of Clara Darden, the famed 1920s illustrator who disappeared from history in 1931.


downloadF  I  O  N  A  
 began her career in New York City as an actress, where she worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater. After getting a master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down as an author of historical fiction. She’s a graduate of the College of William & Mary and is based in New York City.

Follow Fiona on Goodreads.

And reader? I thank you.

August 7th, 2014.

A blank screen awaits words to be typed. Staring at the screen is a twenty-eight-year-old female who tries somewhat desperately to come up with cohesive paragraphs to articulate how she’s feeling. She’s just finished a book and her frustration is absolutely palpable. It needs to be expressed. It needs to be let out; to fester, to free her chaotic mind. Short, stubby fingers hover over the keys reminiscent of a pianist who awaits the moment to begin playing. Knitting her brow, two dark brows furrowing in thought, she is finally struck with inspiration.

“Let me begin by saying that I wanted so very much to love this book and I did at first but then it began to drag on…and on…and on. I cannot possibly imagine enduring all the suffering that she did. She certainly did go through a lot and as a person suffering from bipolar disorder, it could not have been easy. I do understand the frustrations of bipolar disorder, being diagnosed with it myself. I sympathize with her entirely.”

Sitting back, she felt pleased with herself. Words had left her. Honest words. Adjusting her position at her keyboard, she begins to type, her fingers moving effortlessly. A blog post is written.  A new passion is born. Here’s to the future.

Dear Reader,

That was me. And my first review. Yes! That means that today is my four-year Blogversary! Holy crap! And I wanted firstly, to thank you–YOU–for sticking with me. Whether you’ve followed me the whole time or just joined in hearing my madness, I welcome you and I thank you. I never for a million years thought that this would last for as long as it has. I have made some lovely new friends, I have read so many good books and found new inspiration. I have come to become a better writer and reader; I have…there’s so much that I want to say has formed me into the blogger I am today. You have widened my horizons, made me into a more open-minded reader and I am thankful.

I was going to make this a long, drawn out post, but there is no need. I simply wish to say thank you for hanging with me, dealing with my occasional absences and just being awesome.

Stay tuned; I may do a giveaway soon! xx


Happy Release Day to Susan MacNeal!

Wishing a very happy release day to Susan Elia MacNeal who is the creator of the Maggie Hope mystery series! This is number eight in the series, of which I am a huge fan. I hope you guys will give this a chance if you love history and mysteries. Maggie is a plucky, determined heroine and it’s just a brilliantly done series. Both well researched and vivid. If like me, you’re a fan of the show Agent Carter, which starred Hayley Atwell, you’ll likely adore this series. I can totally see Peggy and Maggie teaming up to work together.

Happy Release Day, Susan! ❤

books_tpitcA series of baffling murders among a group of imprisoned agents threatens the outcome of World War II in this chilling mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Mr. Churchill’s Secretary.

World War II is raging, and former spy Maggie Hope knows too much.

She knows what the British government is willing to do to keep its secrets.

She knows the real location of the planned invasion of France.

She knows who’s lying. She knows who the double-crossers are. She knows exactly who is sending agents to their deaths.

These are the reasons Maggie is isolated on a remote Scottish island, in a prison known as Killoch Castle, out of contact with friends and family.

Then one of her fellow inmates drops dead in the middle of his after-dinner drink—and he’s only the first. As victims fall one by one, Maggie will have to call upon all her wits and skills to escape—not just certain death . . . but certain murder.

For what’s the most important thing Maggie Hope knows?

She must survive.

 IndieBound ||  Amazon ||  Barnes & Noble || Books-a-Million

Advance praise for The Prisoner in the Castle

“The colonel sums it up best on page ten: ‘If you take a pretty girl and teach her how to kill, it can cause problems.’ Not just problems—electrifying action and nonstop surprises. I loved this book!”—R. L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series

“Perfectly paced and brimming with intrigue and rich historical detail, The Prisoner in the Castle is an extraordinarily satisfying novel. Susan Elia MacNeal proves once again that she is a master, both at crafting characters and creating suspense.”—Tasha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Emily mystery series

The Prisoner in the Castle had me at ‘a new Maggie Hope mystery,’ but once you add And Then There Were None and a Scottish castle, how could any mystery reader resist? Darkly atmospheric, enchantingly macabre, and as beautifully woven as a clan tartan.”—Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author of The English Wife

The Prisoner in the Castle is a double agent of a novel! At the outset, it appears like a clever riff on Agatha Christie, but a few quick turns prove it to be an utterly modern, gripping thriller. Maggie Hope is smarter than ever, and Susan Elia MacNeal is truly at the height of her powers.”—Sujata Massey, author of The Widows of Malabar Hill

The Maggie Hope Mysteries


Susan Elia MacNeal is the author of The New York Times, Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today-bestselling Maggie Hope mystery series, starting with the Edgar Award-nominated and Barry Award-winning Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, which is now in its 22nd printing. She is currently at work on The Prisoner in the Castle, the eighth novel in the series.

Her books include Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, His Majesty’s Hope, The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent, Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante, The Queen’s Accompliceand The Paris Spy. The Maggie Hope novels have been nominated for the Edgar, the Macavity, the ITW Thriller, the Barry, the Dilys, the Sue Federer Historical Fiction, and the Bruce Alexander Historical Fiction awards. The Maggie Hope series is sold worldwide in English and has been translated into Czech, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Turkish. It is also available in large print and audio. Actress Daisy Ridley (Star Wars, Murder on the Orient Express) has bought the film and television rights to the series.

Susan graduated from Nardin Academy in Buffalo New York, and also cum laude and with honors in English from Wellesley College. She cross-registered for courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course at Harvard University. Her first job was as the assistant to novelist John Irving in Vermont. She then worked as an editorial assistant at Random House, assistant editor at Viking Penguin, and associate editor and staff writer at Dance Magazine in New York City. As a freelance writer, she wrote two non-fiction books and for the publications of New York City Ballet.

Susan is married and lives with her husband, Noel MacNeal, a television performer, writer, and director, and their son in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Happy Release Day to M.J Rose!


NYT bestselling author, M. J. Rose crafts a dazzling Jazz Age jewel–a novel of ambition, betrayal, and passion with TIFFANY BLUES. TIFFANY BLUES is now available! Check out the excerpt below, and pick up your copy of TIFFANY BLUES today!



New York, 1924. Twenty‑four‑year‑old Jenny Bell is one of a dozen burgeoning artists invited to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s prestigious artists’ colony. Gifted and determined, Jenny vows to avoid distractions and romantic entanglements and take full advantage of the many wonders to be found at Laurelton Hall.

But Jenny’s past has followed her to Long Island. Images of her beloved mother, her hard-hearted stepfather, waterfalls, and murder, and the dank hallways of Canada’s notorious Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women overwhelm Jenny’s thoughts, even as she is inextricably drawn to Oliver, Tiffany’s charismatic grandson.

As the summer shimmers on, and the competition between the artists grows fierce as they vie for a spot at Tiffany’s New York gallery, a series of suspicious and disturbing occurrences suggest someone knows enough about Jenny’s childhood trauma to expose her.

Supported by her closest friend Minx Deering, a seemingly carefree socialite yet dedicated sculptor, and Oliver, Jenny pushes her demons aside. Between stolen kisses and stolen jewels, the champagne flows and the jazz plays on until one moonless night when Jenny’s past and present are thrown together in a desperate moment, that will threaten her promising future, her love, her friendships, and her very life.


Grab your copy of TIFFANY BLUES here!

Amazon | Kindle | iBooks | B&N | Nook | Google Play

Kobo | Book Depository | IndieBound




March 13, 1957

Laurelton Hall, Laurel Hollow

Oyster Bay, New York

Once the present turns to past, all we have left are memories. Yes, sometimes we can stand where we stood, see our ghost selves, and relive moments of our life. See the shadow of the man we loved. Of the friend we cherished. Of the mentor who made all the difference. Our memories turn specific. The terrier that played by the shoreline, joyously running in the sand. We can remember the smell of the roses. Look at the azure water and see the glimmer of the sun on the opposite shore and hear a fleeting few bars of jazz still lingering in the air.

If you were the only girl in the world… Staring into the remains of what is left, I see ghosts of the gardens and woods, the gazebo, terraces, rooms ablaze with stained glass—everywhere we walked and talked and kissed and cried. With my eyes closed, I see it all in my mind, but when I open them, all of it is gone, up in flames.

Mr. Tiffany once told me that there is beauty even in broken things. Looking back, there is no question I would not be the artist I am if not for that lesson. But would he be able to salvage any beauty out of this destruction?

No, I never dreamed I’d come back to Laurelton Hall. The Xanadu where I came of age as both a woman and a painter. Where I found my heart’s desire and my palette’s power. Where depravity bloomed alongside beds and fields of flowers, where creativity and evil flowed with the water in the many fountains. Where the sun shone on the tranquil sea and the pool’s treacherous rock crystals reflected rainbows onto the stone patio. Where the glorious light streaming from Mr. Tiffany’s majestic stained glass illuminated the very deep darkness that had permeated my soul and lifted me out of despair. And where I found the love that sustained me and remained in my heart even after Oliver and I parted.

Standing here, smelling the acrid stench, looking at the felled trees with their charcoal bark, the carbon-coated stones and bent metal frames that once held the master’s windows, at the smoky, melting mess that was one of the greatest mansions on Long Island’s Gold Coast, I know I never will see it again, not how it was that magical and awful summer of 1924.

The fire is still hot in spots, and a tree branch snaps. My reverie is broken. Leaves rustle. Rubble falls. Glass crushes. Twigs crack. Then comes a whisper.


But it can’t be. The wind howling through a hollow tree trunk is playing a trick. Fooling me into thinking I am hearing his sapphire voice, its deep velvet tone.

As I listen to the repeated whisper—Jenny—I raise my hand to wipe at my tears and tell myself that it is the smoldering ash making my eyes water. The charms on my bracelet jingle as I lower my arm. And again the whisper… and again my name—Jenny.


“A lush, romantic historical mystery…a heroine to root for.” –Kristin Hannah, NYT bestselling author of The Nightingale




Add it to your Goodreads Now!


“[M.J. Rose] transports the reader into the past better than a time machine could accomplish” (The Associated Press).



About M. J. Rose

New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Her most recent novel TIFFANY BLUES (Atria/S&S) was chosen as an Indie Next Pick and takes place during the Jazz age at Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Long Island mansion/ art colony.

Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors –

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers.

Website | Facebook


Clarissa Explains It All: Blogging.

Cue the cheesy theme music.

I’ve officially sold out. I swore I’d never write a post like this, where I would use the name of that show.

My gym teacher in 7th grade and assistant principal in high school, Ms. Mulroy, still calls me that. She’s the only one I really don’t complain about because she’s awesome and she was my teacher, so I’m not going to be rude, haha. Anyway, this is going out to the new bloggers and some of us who need reminding.

I saw a few posts where several of you were being really hard on yourselves about how your pictures weren’t so great or your posts suck or…blah blah.

Stop. Stop! Seriously. Cut it out. [Have another 90’s reference! ;)]


Let’s talk posts. There are no wrong, world ending ways to do things. You have to do them in your unique style. That’s what is going to draw people in. Be yourself. Be unique. Even if we are all doing similar memes, your unique style is what keeps people reading. Use your creativity. What would keep you coming back? Think about that and apply it to your blog. Make it something that you’d want to read.

Don’t be afraid to be honest. Say how you feel about something. If you didn’t like ‘x’ about a book, say so. But say why. Constructive criticism is a good thing. If you love it? Say so. Flail. Use pictures, use gifs, whatever! Get your point out in a comfortable, fun manner. Don’t be rude to be rude.

For your photos, if you want to edit them and you don’t have PhotoShop, Photofiltre and GIMP are free alternatives. Time and patience are great teachers. You will make mistakes. It’s OK though. Nobody is perfect. We have all been there. I’m still learning!

Often if I don’t know how to do something in PS, I look on DeviantArt because firstly, they have free resources that can help you to make things pop. And secondly, some have posted out thorough tutorials. Help is out there. I also recommend looking at other blogs to see what people have. It might strike your creative muse and hatch an idea.

Pixlr, PicMonkey, and Lunapic are three sites for quick, easy fixes. I love Pixlr. It’s my go to. I even have the app on my phone.

Don’t be afraid to laugh at your mistakes. Been there, done that. Some mistakes are funny! Don’t react like I did the first time, which wasn’t too amusing. I admit, I cried, when I saw that I had made a huge error. But now, you laugh at yourself, you fix it, you move on. Don’t let it effect you to the point that you quit or think you’re not good good enough. No one is perfect. Don’t add that pressure to yourself.

I don’t think I can add more to this than just remember to have a lot of fun. The moment this becomes a chore, go on a break. Come back if you want to. You just have to have a lot of fun because that’s what this is about.


Panic! At The Book Tag?!


I can’t say that I’m a hardcore Panic! At the Disco fan, but I do enjoy their music. When I saw this tag on Jemma’s blog, Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them (endlessly jealous of the name!!), I decided to take part. I am listening to their new album as I write this and well, I think I may rectify my not listening regularly! I remember the first time I got a glimpse of Brendon Urie, in the ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ video. He’s so whimsical and fun. Anyway…

1. The Death of a Bachelor – A Romance book
I don’t read a lot of romance books, honestly. They don’t really appeal to me. I admit, I like when there’s a little romance in a book, but the whole thing? Nah. I just…I can’t quite get into that. I’m probably the only chick I know who doesn’t really dig it.

EDIT: Me Before You.
It was bittersweet. I cried.

2. High Hopes – A book you’re really excited for
I am really excited for Sarah J. Maas’s Catwoman book and also the next in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.

3. Miss Jackson – A book with betrayal.

I’d say Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince where Snape kills Dumbledore. I mean, it got explained but damn, the rage I felt was real!

. Girls/Girls/Boys – A LGBTQ+ book
I am looking for a good one! Please use my contact form and recommend some to me? Or comment below!

5. I Write Sins Not Tragedies – A book featuring a wedding

C’mon, Game of Thrones weddings are legendary. 😀

6. Don’t threaten me with a good time – A book featuring a partying protagonist or a party scene

Gone With The Wind! Where Scarlett is at the Bazaar and Rhett bids on a dance with her. But she was in widow’s weeds and technically wasn’t allowed to dance, as it would go against society’s rules. They danced the whole evening and it was wonderful.

7. Say Amen (Saturday night) – A book with an unapologetic narrator

The gospel of Loki. Hands down. Loki gives no f**ks, he knows he’s a bit of a butt sometimes and he lives with it, even when he realises his choices and treatment of others have pretty much caused fire to rain from the sky and his world to be destroyed he totally owns it.

Holy shit. Someone else read this book. I am leaving Jemma’s answer because that’s perfect! I can’t wait for the next in the series.

8. This is Gospel – a book from a trilogy

Miss Peregrine and the Home For Peculiar Children. I read the book in one sitting and I may read the whole series again before Book 4 comes out this fall. I’m absolutely delighted for it. I loved the series and I was sad that it ended. I hope we get a bit more of Miss Peregrine herself. I will never not picture her as Eva Green now. I think the cast was perfect, actually. I read the books after the movie came out, but I only saw the movie just the other day.

Despite the changes from book to film, I still enjoyed it greatly. I hope maybe to see it back on screen.

9. Emperor’s new clothes – A hardback that looks beautiful naked.

Honestly, I seldom look at the covers of my books. Isn’t that terrible?

10. Victorious – An empowering book
The Exact Opposite of Okay. This book felt super empowering and helped me to address a lot of issues I think I had previously tried to ignore for the sake of pleasing everyone. This book made me realise I can’t do that and I shouldn’t have to.

Again, this is Jemma’s answer but it’s on point!

11. Impossible Year – A really sad book

Me Before You.
Goddamn you, Will Traynor.
How dare you get into mine and Lou’s hearts and then…ugh.

12. King of the Clouds – A prize-winning book

I pick…The Alice Project by Kate Quinn. I copied the honors from Amazon. The book was out of this world; absolutely brilliant. I think she ought to have gotten more awards, but there’s always hope for the next one! 🙂

One of NPR’s Best Books of the Year!
One of Bookbub’s Biggest Historical Fiction Books of the Year!
Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick!
The 2017 Girly Book Club Book of the Year!

13. Hey look Ma, I made it – A debut author

Blogger Tag!

This looked like a fun tag! The Original creator of the tag is Amber Elise @ Du Livre. I figured I could get one more post in tonight before I called it quits for the night. So, here we go, let me get going!

When did you start blogging and what was your first review?

Almost four years ago exactly. August 7th, 2014!

Who/what inspired you to start blogging?

I have answered this in other posts but I started on a whim, actually. I was bored and I was in the midst of a book that I wasn’t enjoying at all. I wanted to rail at it, to scream and rant and rave…and I did so. I found I liked trying to put into words what I was feeling and voila! It was actually author Susan Elia MacNeal who pointed me to NetGalley and well, from there…as they say, ‘the rest is history!’

What is a blog-related goal that you have?

The answer that was here previously was to ‘have fun’. And that’s the goal here too. To have fun. The day this stops being fun and feels like a chore, I’m probably going to take a break or I may write up my ‘Farewell’ post. Fortunately, I’ve only one had one break and I have no inclination to stop.

What is one thing you wish someone told you about blogging?

Oh gosh. That other people may have posts that look better than mine. But not to let it get to me. (I’m insecure, what can I say?)

What was your biggest blog-related accomplishment?

I think that I’m close to 400 followers is pretty spiffy!

What types of posts do you enjoy writing?

I love to do there bookish-memes! I like to write reviews too, haha. Spotlights…I don’t think there’s any type of post that I don’t really enjoy doing.

Where do you usually blog? What does your setup look like?

I have a recliner out in the living room and I sit there on my laptop. It’s a bit messy at the moment, so I won’t share a picture, but usually my dog, Tessie, is scampering around the room, my mother is watching TV and my aunt is on her laptop or in her office working on her jewelry and Tupperware sales. I usually have my headphones on, a million web tabs open, Spotify playing (I love to blog listening to classical music) and Discord on, so I can talk to my friends. Yes, if you ask, I do have ADHD, ya’ll. 

What was your last 5-star read?

C.W. Gortner’s ‘The Romanov Empress.’

What was your last 1-star read?

I believe that was Lili de Jong. Ugh. I gave it a one star and that was because I liked the cover, I think. I know that’s mean, but I’m not going to sing the praises of a book I did not enjoy in any way, shape or form.

What are three words that make you pick up a book?

Fiction, adventure, interesting.

What is your Hogwarts House?
Did you not take note of my house badge? No?

What is your favorite reading environment?

My Bed!

What advice would you give to new bloggers?

Have fun. Keep an open mind. Pace yourself. ❤