Tag: blogmas

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_

Week One of Vlogmas

Well, the first week of vlogmas and blogmas is done. I’m amazed I’ve managed to keep up with videos so far. Fingers crossed for the next two weeks 🤞 This week I posted my December TBR, November Wrap Up, Cloak and Dagger Christmas TBR, The Nightmare Before Christmas tag, Decorating my Christmas Tree, and 2018 Travel Diary.

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There’s still time to avail of Amazon’s Audible offer until December 14th.  Join Audible for £3.99/month for the first four months instead of the usual £7.99/month.

I think this is such an amazing offer! Check it out here.

Audible Black Friday 2018 Offer

With your Audible membership, you get a monthly credit that can be used to get any audiobook no matter what length or price AND you get to keep the book for life even if you cancel your membership.

November Wrap Up

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove, #5)Racing Hearts Box Set 1: First HeatSpinning SilverA Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1)Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1)Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles, #2)Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles, #3)Image result for chimes at midnight audiobookThe Winter Long (October Daye, #8)Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War IA Christmas CarolOnce Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane, #12.6)The Bite Before Christmas

I mentioned in my November TBR that I wanted to read more fantasy this month and I definitely managed it. I barely read anything else! I read Poison Princess for the group read in My Vampire Book Obsession and got totally sucked into the world and devoured the next two books as well. I’m trying to pace myself now and wait till closer to the release of the final book in the series next year.

Nonfiction November was happening this month too but I didn’t manage to read anything for it. I very much enjoyed my little fantasy binge though.

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Audiobooks

Image result for Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa DareDo You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare ★★★★☆

Historical Romance

Very enjoyable historical romance with a mystery thrown in for good measure. The story follows Charlotte (who has crossed over from Dare’s Spindle Cove series to Castles Ever After) who attempts to warn Piers (who has crossed over from Dare’s Castles Ever After series to Spindle Cove) of her mother’s scheming ways but instead they end up entangled in a scandal and a mystery.

 

Image result for a night to surrender by Tessa DareA Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare ★★★☆☆

Historical Romance

This is the first book in Dare’s Spindle Cove series and it’s a bit lacking. It’s not as well written as her later books but works fine as an intro. The story follows Susanna who essentially runs a safe haven for women who are sick of society or don’t blend well into it and Victor who finds himself saddled with a position in the area.

 

Image result for spinning silverSpinning Silver by Naomi Novik ★★★☆☆

Fantasy

I had super high expectations for this one that it didn’t quite meet but it was still a very good book. It’s a retelling of the Rumplestiltskin tale but with a lot more going on. My main issue with this was the number of points of view. There were a few occasions where I wasn’t sure who was speaking and it took me out of the story for a bit while I figured it out. The story closely follows Miryem who is a money lenders daughter that gains a reputation of being able to turn silver into gold which attracts the attention of this fairy being and Irina who’s father is scheming to marry her off to a tsar who isn’t quite what he seems.

 

Image result for chimes at midnight seanan mcguireChimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire ★★★★★

Urban Fantasy

This is the 7th book in McGuire’s October Daye series and it was fantastic! This book follows Toby trying to deal with the goblin fruit problem when she receives a serious amount of backlash from the Queen of the Mists. One of my favourite things in this book is the mystical library they visit to do research. Magical libraries are the best!

The Winter Long (October Daye, #8)The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire ★★★★★

Urban Fantasy

Fantastic again! This book picks up some plot points from the first book and expands on them. I can’t really mention what happens in it without spoiling so much of the series but it’s great!

The Bite Before ChristmasThe Bite Before Christmas by Lynsay Sands ★★★★☆

Paranormal Romance, Short Story

I actually only read the first story The Gift by Lynsay Sands from this because the story from Jeaniene Frost that’s included is ahead of where I am in the Night Huntress series. The Gift is a sweet fluffy kind of story following vampire Katricia and chief of police Teddy. They both get snowed in over Christmas while staying in a mountain cabin.

Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War ILast Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb ★★★★★

Historical Fiction

This was fabulous. It’s an epistolary novel consisting of letters and telegrams between friends and lovers during World War 1. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking and made me shed a few tears at the end. I just loved it. The story focuses mainly on the romance between Evie and Thomas. Thomas has gone off to fight while Evie stays home and writes a column about the war from a woman’s perspective.

Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane, #12.6)Once Upon a Christmas by Elizabeth Hoyt ★★★★☆

Historical Romance, Short Story

This is another fun fluffy read for Christmas. Adam Rutledge is travelling with Grandmother to the country for Christmas when their carriage breaks down and they are stranded in the snow. They take refuge in Sarah St. John’s home while they have several guests visiting for the holidays.

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ★★★★☆

Classic

You must know this story!! It’s a pleasant read but one I’m so familiar with I can’t say that it stirred anything in me… It’s just a nice story to read.

 

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eBooks

Image result for racing hearts first heatRacing Hearts: First Heat by Ruth Gowan ★★★☆☆

Contemporary Romance

I received a copy of this collection in exchange for a review. Each one centres on a different couple in the world of rally racing. The stories were good but the writing was lacking especially in the first book.

 

Image result for poison princessPoison Princess by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia

I LOVE Kresley Cole but I had been putting off reading her YA series cause I just couldn’t see her writing YA. Her books are very mature normally but she really makes it work here. We do get her usual alpha male stuff but I’m totally fine that 🙂 Poison Princess is the first book in The Arcana Chronicles which is about a group of teenagers that each represents a card from the major arcana in tarot in a battle to the death after an apocalyptic event. With this book, we follow mainly Evie and Jack in the days before the flash and 6 months later when the world is completely different and Evie discoveries she has strange powers.

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via Wattpad

 

Image result for endless knightEndless Knight by Kresley Cole ★★★★★

Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia

Book 2 in Cole’s Arcana Chronicles picks up immediately after Poison Princess and we get a lot of world expansion in this one especially with the other Arcana characters. We learn a lot about Death in particular. There’s a definite love triangle in the series from this point but it isn’t annoying.

 

Image result for dead of winter kresley coleDead of Winter by Kresley Cole ★★★★★

Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia

Book 3 in the Arcana Chronicles and the love triangle gets annoying but I still loved this book. I really got invested in the characters and oh my god the cliffhanger at the end of this!!! I’m trying to pace myself with the books from here though or I will go insane waiting for the final book to be published.

 

Image result for red queenRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard ★★★★☆

Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia

Red Queen is the first book in Aveyard’s Red Queen series. It’s YA dystopia about a future earth where certain humans have developed silver blood and powerful abilities. Regular red-blooded humans still exist but they are subservient to the silvers. We follow Mare, a red, who discovers she has an ability and is taken by the silver king to conceal her true identity from the people. She finds herself caught up in a world of political intrigue on the cusp of a red rebellion.

I enjoyed this way more than I expected to as well. This always happens me with YA I have got to stop saying I’m not a fan of it cause I almost always end of enjoying the books!

Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard ★★★☆☆

Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia

This book picks up directly after Red Queen. I was a bit disappointed with this one. I found it be even more predictable than the previous book and it felt like mostly filler. In this one Mare discovers how far reaching the Red Guard actually is and she looks for more people like her to join the fight.

 

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What did you read this month? Did you take part in Nonfiction November?

 

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