Tag: blogmas 2018

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day – Seanan McGuire Review

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or DayTitle: Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day

Author: Seanan McGuire

Genre: Paranormal

Series: n/a

Goodreads Rating: 3.83/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis: When her sister Patty died, Jenna blamed herself. When Jenna died, she blamed herself for that, too. Unfortunately, Jenna died too soon. Living or dead, every soul is promised a certain amount of time, and when Jenna passed she found a heavy debt of time in her record. Unwilling to simply steal that time from the living, Jenna earns every day she leeches with volunteer work at a suicide prevention hotline.

But something has come for the ghosts of New York, something beyond reason, beyond death, beyond hope; something that can bind ghosts to mirrors and make them do its bidding. Only Jenna stands in its way.

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_ & @elaine_reads_romance

What I thought about the book: Loved this!!! Can Seanan McGuire do any wrong?! Her books are so good! I just wish there was more of this world to come. It was so interesting and had a fair amount of world-building despite its length and the fact that it’s standalone.

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My Rating: ★★★★★

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository 

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Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

Cloak & Dagger Christmas Readathon TBR

Cloak and Dagger Christmas is a mystery genre readathon hosted by Kate HoweCarolyn’s Reading Ramblings, The Novel Nomad, and Mel’s Bookland Adventures.

The books don’t have to Christmasy but they do need to be mystery. I don’t really read a lot of mystery but I really liked the sound of this readathon. I’m due to receive Cocaine Blues (the first book in Karen Greenwoods Phryne Fisher series) from the library this month which I reserved in October so I might as well join in. There are four prompts for the readathon but they’re not to be taken as tasks and can be interpreted however you like.

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-Prompts-

Prompts can be interpreted any way you like

🗡 Sugar and Spice

For this prompt, I’m thinking a cosy mystery would suit. Since I’ve been patiently waiting on Miss Fisher I’ll read Cocaine Blues for this one. I think Phryne is a bit of a spicy character as well.

Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher, #1)Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher #1) by Karen Greenwood

The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honorable Phryne Fisher—she of the gray-green eyes and diamant garters—is tiring of polite conversations with retired colonels and dances with weak-chinned men. When the opportunity presents itself, Phryne decides it might be amusing to try her hand at becoming a lady detective in Australia. Immediately upon settling into Melbourne’s Hotel Windsor, Phryne finds herself embroiled in mystery. From poisoned wives and cocaine smuggling, to police corruption and rampant communism—not to mention erotic encounters with the beautiful Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse—Cocaine Blues charts a crescendo of steamy intrigue, culminating in the Turkish baths of Little Lonsdale Street.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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🗡 Summer and Winter

For this one, I’m thinking of reading Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris because it’s set in a hot place and it’s winter while I read it… I’m taking this prompt a bit loosely but feck it, it works for me. This will actually be a reread for me but it’s been about 10 years since I read it the first time so I don’t remember much.

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1)Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) by Charlaine Harris

Sookie Stackhouse is just a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. Until the vampire of her dreams walks into her life-and one of her coworkers checks out….

Maybe having a vampire for a boyfriend isn’t such a bright idea.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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🗡 Old and New

With old and new I’m thinking a paranormal mystery with an old ass vampire and a modern PI should work nicely.

Blood Trail (Victoria Nelson, #2)Blood Trail (Vicki Nelson #2) by Tanya Huff

For centuries, the werewolves of Toronto have managed to live in peace and tranquility, hidden quietly away on their London, Ontario farm. But now, someone has learned their secret—and is systematically massacring this ancient race.

The only one they can turn to is Henry Fitzroy, Toronto-based vampire and writer of bodice rippers. Forced to hide from the light of day, Henry can’t hunt the killer alone, so he turns to Vicki Nelson for help. As they race against time to stop the murderer, they begin to fear that their combined talents may not be enough to prevent him from completing his deadly plan.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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🗡 Home and Travel

Home for me is Ireland and mystery set in Ireland tends to border a bit too closely to modern crime fiction which I’m not really in to (though I have heard great things about Tana French’s books). So I had to hunt down something for this and I found a cosy mystery series set in the 1900s about an Irish woman who travels to New York. Perfect 🙂

Murphy's Law (Molly Murphy Book 1)Murphy’s Law (Murphy’s Law #1) by Rhys Bowen

Meet Molly Murphy, a resourceful young woman who lives by her own set of laws…

Molly Murphy always knew she’d end up in trouble, just as her mother had predicted. So when she commits murder in self-defence, she flees her cherished Ireland for the anonymous shores of America. When she arrives in New York and sees the welcoming promise of freedom in the Statue of Liberty, Molly begins to breathe a little easier. But when a man is murdered on Ellis Island, a man Molly was seen arguing with, she becomes a prime suspect in the crime.

If she can’t clear her name, Molly will be sent back to Ireland where the gallows await, so using her Irish charm and sharp wit, she escapes Ellis Island and sets out to find the wily killer on her own. Pounding the notorious streets of Hell’s Kitchen and the Lower East Side, Molly undertakes a desperate mission to clear her name before her deadly past comes back to haunt her new future.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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I’ve chosen only four books but there are other things I want to read this month as well. I may not even read all of these. I’d be happy with just reading Cocaine Blues since I’ve been waiting for it for so long.

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Do you read mystery books? Are you taking part in any readathons in December?

The Nightmare before Christmas Tag

 

Making Christmas, making Christmas
Is so fine
It’s ours this time
And won’t the children be surprised
It’s ours this time

I found this tag on Motherbucker Blog (such a good name!)


 

Related image Sally – A book with a character who loves someone so much and actually gets them in the end

Well, a lot of romance books would fit this one. Since it’s Christmas I’m going to go with a Christmas book, An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne. This is a really sweet friends to lovers Christmas romance about a girl who is told by a psychic that she has already met the man she will be with forever so she assumes it’s one of her exes. Turns out it’s her best friend who’s madly in love with her!

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An Ex for ChristmasShe’s making a list—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes? The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with a charming friends-to-lovers rom-com.

When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark.

Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants has been right in front of her all along.

Get the book: Amazon 


Image result for Jack Skellington gifJack – A book with a character who longs for more

I’m not entirely sure how to interpret this one. I’m taking it as someone who feels like there’s something missing from their life so I’m picking Touch the Dark by Karen Chance. This is the first book in Chance’s Cassie Palmer series which is about a clairvoyant young woman who becomes the supernatural world’s chief seer. I picked her for this one because she lost her family at a very young age and ended up alone and on the run from a vampire mob boss. She’s left feeling distanced from human connection and loving relationships and she strives to change this as an adult.

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Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, #1)Cassandra Palmer can see the future and communicate with spirits-talents that make her attractive to the dead and the undead. The ghosts of the dead aren’t usually dangerous; they just like to talk…a lot.

The undead are another matter.

Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking Mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with vengeance on his mind, she’s forced to turn to the vampire Senate for protection.

The undead senators won’t help her for nothing, and Cassie finds herself working with one of their most powerful members, a dangerously seductive master vampire-and the price he demands may be more than Cassie is willing to pay…

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


Image result for zero nightmare before christmas gifZero – a book with a loyal sidekick

I could really say Cassie Palmer for this one too cause she has a very loyal ghost sidekick which is the perfect answer for this one but I’ll pick another book. Ok, I’m going with Storm Born by Richelle Mead. This is the first book in Mead’s Dark Swan series which is an urban fantasy series that centres on the fae. The main character, Eugenie Markham, is a powerful shaman working as a mercenary. Her sidekick isn’t exactly loyal but he obeys orders. She has enslaved a demon to do her bidding who swears he will decapitate her the second he’s set free but, hey, he does what he’s told. For now.

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Storm Born (Dark Swan #1)Just typical. No love life to speak of for months, then all at once, every horny creature in the Otherworld wants to get in your pants…

Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl’s got to eat. Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite. Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy—one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie’s first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it.

Now Eugenie is a hot target for every ambitious demon and Otherworldy ne’er-do-well, and the ones who don’t want to knock her up want her dead. Eugenie handles a Glock as smoothly as she wields a wand, but she needs some formidable allies for a job like this. She finds them in Dorian, a seductive fairy king with a taste for bondage, and Kiyo, a gorgeous shape-shifter who redefines animal attraction. But with enemies growing bolder and time running out, Eugenie realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it lies in the dark powers that are stirring to life within her…

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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Image result for oogie boogie gifOogie Boogie – A book with a wicked villain

Ok, I was going to pick a demon or some other devilish bad guy for this but I’ve decided to go with Written in Red by Anne Bishop. This is the first book in Bishop’s The Other’s series which follows the mostly preternatural residents of the Lakeside Courtyard. In the world of this series, supernatural creatures are dominant over humans which the humans are not too happy about. This series really shows just how wicked and cruel people can be especially when they’re hungry for power.

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Written in Red (The Others, #1)As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others. 

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


Image result for nightmare before christmas gifHalloween Town – A book with a weird or creepy theme

Oh, my god, I live by weird and creepy! It took me a while to pick something for this but I settled on The Lesser Dead by Christopher BuehlmanThis book is set in 1970’s New York and follows a group of vampires who live in abandoned subway systems under the city. It’s horror, not urban fantasy and has some of the creepiest vampires I’ve come across. They are vampire children that terrorize the vampires already in the tunnels.

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The Lesser DeadThe secret is, vampires are real and I am one.

The secret is, I’m stealing from you what is most truly yours and I’m not sorry—

New York City in 1978 is a dirty, dangerous place to live. And die. Joey Peacock knows this as well as anybody—he has spent the last forty years as an adolescent vampire, perfecting the routine he now enjoys: womanizing in punk clubs and discotheques, feeding by night, and sleeping by day with others of his kind in the macabre labyrinth under the city’s sidewalks.

The subways are his playground and his highway, shuttling him throughout Manhattan to bleed the unsuspecting in the Sheep Meadow of Central Park or in the backseats of Checker cabs, or even those in their own apartments who are too hypnotized by sitcoms to notice him opening their windows. It’s almost too easy.

Until one night he sees them hunting on his beloved subway. The children with the merry eyes. Vampires, like him…or not like him. Whatever they are, whatever their appearance means, the undead in the tunnels of Manhattan are not as safe as they once were.

And neither are the rest of us.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


 

Related imageChristmas Town – a book that left you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside

This one has to be The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. It gave me all the warm fuzzies! It’s sweet and funny and has such a perfect happily ever after ending. If you’re ever feeling glum, pick it up!

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The Hating GameNemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


Synopsis and book cover from GoodreadsImages via Giphy

Blogmas 2018

I may be biting off more than I can chew but this year I have decided to take part in Blogmas. What is Blogmas? It’s kind of like an advent calendar of festive blog content posted every day for 25 days in December. I’m not sure I will be able to write 25 interesting Christmas themed posts but I should be able to post every day for 25 days. There just might be the odd bit of regular content thrown in.

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via Giphy

Vlogmas is another option for the season. It’s the same as Blogmas but on YouTube with video content. I would love to try this but I seriously doubt I’d be up to the challenge. I struggle with getting a single video a week up.

So, even though I’m unsure of my ability I do have a few ideas for posts. These would work for Vlogmas and Blogmas.

Blogmas/Vlogmas Post Ideas

  1. Bookish Christmas Gifts
  2. Christmas Gifts under €20
  3. Stocking Fillers
  4. How to make Christmas Cards
  5. How to make a Christmas Wreath
  6. Christmas Cake Recipe
  7. Favourite Christmas Books
  8. Christmas Books for Kids
  9. DIY Christmas Decorations
  10. Christmas Book Reviews
  11. Hot Chocolate Recipe
  12. Christmas Cocktail Recipe
  13. How We Celebrate Christmas
  14. My Christmas Wishlist
  15. My Christmas Watchlist
  16. Christmas Movies on Netflix to Watch
  17. Festive Reading List
  18. Festive Reading Vlog
  19. Christmas Cosy Reading Night
  20. Christmas Readathon
  21. Christmas Day Menu
  22. Christmas Printables
  23. Christmas Instagram Templates
  24. Christmas Plans
  25. Stephen’s Day Plans
  26. Christmas Vlog
  27. Annual Wrap-Up
  28. Christmas Tree Decorating Vlog
  29. Christmas Playlist
  30. Anticipated Reads for Next Year

If you have more ideas (and are willing to share) I would so love to hear them. I will add them to the list and credit you 🙂