Storms (HighTower Fairytales) by Jacque Stevens

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Book Cover

Publisher: sjacquebooks

Date of publication: November 11th 2021

Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Young Adult

Series: HighTower Fairytales

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen—Book 1 (review here)

Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 2

Lone Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 3

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 4

Between Dog and Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 5

Wolves at Bay: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 6

Depths—Book 7

Graves: A Tale of the Little Mermaid—Book 8

Storms—Book 9

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 10 (Review Here)

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 11

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 12

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 13 (Review Here)

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 14 (Review Here)

Purchase Links: Amazon


Goodreads Synopsis:

I once thought I might kill a prince. In another glance, I thought I would marry him. But then came a day I never expected.

The day I would kill a god.

When Arianna freed the soul of the prince from a dark god and shattered the underworld, she assumed she could bring peace to the world above. But there are consequences to the powers she gained and a war brewing between the provinces that will require all her magic and heart.

To master her gifts and save her home, Ari climbs to the top of Olympus and fights a war with gods on either side.


First Line:

The Prince of Solis talked so much, not even death could shut him up.

storms by jacque stevens

I am a huge fan of Jacque Steven’s books. Something about them calls to me. Maybe because she doesn’t add anything extra to the plotline, or perhaps because I can easily picture the characters and plotline in my head when she writes them. Either way, I love her books. So when she sent out the ARC for Storms, I accepted it.

Storms is the 3rd (and final) book that is based on The Little Mermaid. I will warn you that you do need to read Depths and Graves before you read Storms. I didn’t, and I was a little lost at the beginning of the book. She does explain, briefly, the backstory. But, I strongly suggest that you read the first two books first. It will make understanding what is going on in this book a lot easier.

Storms is a relatively short book (127 pages), and because of that, I could read it within a day. It is a fast-paced book, with the storyline progressing quickly. As I mentioned above, the author keeps to the storyline, and there is almost nothing extra going on or secondary characters added at the last minute. That made it a delightful book for me to read.

I wasn’t too sure what to think of Ari during the book. I went between respect and disbelief. I am sure if I had read the previous books, I would have had a better opinion of her. I will say that Ari in siren mode was scary, and I didn’t blame Jonas for running away. I did doubt her humanity at specific points in the book. But once the middle of the book rolled around, her humanity was no longer in doubt. It took a lot of courage to do what she did, and by the end of the book, I was amazed by her.

I wasn’t too sure about the end of the book. On the one hand, I was happy about how Ari’s life turned out. But on the other hand, I did have a “what if” moment when someone made an appearance.

I would recommend Storms to anyone over the age of 16. There is violence, but otherwise is a clean book.

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest (HighTower Fairytales) by Jacque Stevens

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Publisher: sjacquebooks

Date of publication: September 23rd 2021

Genre: Fairy Tales, Young Adult, Fantasy

Series: HighTower Series

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen—Book 1 (review here)

Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 2

Lone Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 3

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 4

Between Dog and Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 5

Wolves at Bay: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 6

Depths—Book 7

Graves: A Tale of the Little Mermaid—Book 8

Storms—Book 9 (review here)

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 10 (review here)

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 11

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 12

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 13 (review here)

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 14

Purchase Links: Amazon


Goodreads Synopsis:

Who is the man who holds her heart?

After playing Robin Hood for months, Marian is starting to wonder how well she knows Robin of Locksley. Her husband could just be depressed, returning from a war that should have claimed his life. He could just be adjusting to their new life in the forest. Marian wants to be patient, but after surrendering Locksley to the sheriff and his men, the villages need Robin Hood more than ever.

When a fight for a king’s ransom costs much more than gold, everything boils to the surface. How can Marian continue to take the name or even stay married to a man she now despises?

And who will wear the hood in the end?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and non-stop twists and turns, this action-packed fantasy retelling is for you.


First Line:

Ballads of Robin Hood have spread through the English countryside like wildfire, becoming greater and more fantastic with every pass.

marian’s man by jacque stevens

I enjoy reading fairy tale/myth retellings. Each fairy tale retelling that I have read has been different and exciting. Though, I haven’t read a retelling about Robin Hood and was immediately interested when Robin’s Hood came out. Then I read the blurb for Marian’s Man, and I couldn’t wait to read it!!

Marian’s Man takes place shortly after the events at the end of Robin’s Hood. Rob and Mare have been reunited. Mare is prepared to keep wearing the hood, but Rob doesn’t want her to, and he takes on the Robin Hood persona. While Mare isn’t happy, she understands. During one of her forays into the village, Mare discovers that the Queen will be riding through the village on her way to pay the ransom for King Richard. She also finds that the sheriff and his cronies have a plan to rob the Queen. What will happen? Will Robin Hood come to the rescue? Or will the ransom be taken? And can Rob and Mare reconnect, or will Rob’s demons take over?

Marian’s Man is a fast-paced book that kept my attention the entire book. It is a short book (183 pages), and with the fast pace, it took me a couple of hours (broken up over the day) to read. There was no lag, and the author kept up the fast pace of the entire book.

Marian’s Man is told from both Rob and Mare’s POV. I loved that!! I liked being able to see Rob’s take on everything that was going on. It made the book much more interesting to read.

I felt terrible for Rob. He suffered while in the Middle East. I wasn’t surprised that he was having flashbacks, and I wasn’t surprised when he started to deal with his demons the way he did. I was a little surprised at how much he didn’t want to be Robin Hood. He hated the hood, which was a direct contrast to how Mare felt about it. I also liked seeing how honest he was with himself about how he felt about Mare. It was refreshing to see a man lay it all out.

I liked Mare in Marian’s Man. She was determined to stand by Rob, no matter what. While she was confused by how he acted (the flashbacks made him do awful things), she was there for him. She wasn’t happy about not being Robin Hood. She loved wearing the hood and outsmarting the sheriff. So, I wasn’t surprised by what she did towards the end of the book.

Mare and Rob’s romance was a slow burn throughout the book. I did get aggravated with them during certain scenes. They were madly in love with each other, and then they would act a fool because of jealousy. But other than that, I enjoyed their romance.

This is a clean book. There is no sex, and there is a handful of kissing scenes. The chemistry between Mare and Rob is palpable, and I can’t wait for them to finally get down and dirty.

There is a hint of a love triangle, which I didn’t like. I felt that it could have been left out of the book because it added nothing to it.

The end of Marian’s Man was excellent. While it didn’t take me by surprise, it shocked me a little. I cannot wait to read the next book and see what happens then!!

I would recommend Marian’s Man to anyone over the age of 16. There is no sex (some kissing scenes), but there is violence.

WWW Wednesday: November 17th 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal

After a hectic past two weeks, I am enjoying a quiet week. Only one appointment and plenty of time to sit on the couch and relax while the kids are at school – well minus the housework and laundry.

Miss B has learned her lesson with her retainers and is wearing them every night. What might help is that I watch her put them in and take them out in the morning…lol. She had her pre-ACT’s (like SAT’s) yesterday and thinks that she did well in everything except math.

Mr. Z had an accident that broke the charger for his Chromebook (he needs it for school and homework). He dropped the Chromebook while it was charging and it snapped the charger off (thankfully, it didn’t harm the Chromebook). He got a new one from school and we are out $37…pfft.

Miss R has been having some issues with a girl in her class. It is borderline bullying and I am keeping an eye on it. The girl told a couple of other girls not to talk to Miss R and to mock her if she came near them. I told Miss R that she needs to leave them alone but she wants to be friends with them. If it escalates, then I will talk to her teacher. Thankfully, Miss R is very open about what happens at school and tells me everything.

I have finished my Thanksgiving shopping (yay)!!! All I need to get are apples, potatoes, and asparagus. We are having ham and turkey breast, potatoes, asparagus, stuffing, and for dessert: apple pie, pumpkin pie, and a couple of store-bought pies.

I have also finished my Christmas shopping. All I need to get is stocking stuffers and I am done. Of course, if I see any last-minute gifts, I am picking them up.

Reading/Blog

I have really amped up my reading over the past week. I have finished maybe 3 books since Friday and I have written the reviews for them.

Nothing new with the blog. I still need to update posts. I plan on doing that soon.


What I Recently Finished Reading:

What if surviving a murder attempt, a heartbreak, and the loss of the family business wasn’t the hardest thing you ever faced?

Carol is the sole heir to a broken empire, Ricardo the newest celebrity in the rock world.
When they came together, their fire blazed. When their past caught up, they were left burned, scorched to the ground.


When a psychopath decides its payback time, Carol is faced with an impossible choice – save her son or sell her life.

Ricardo wants nothing to do with the woman who played him for a fool but finds himself moored by circumstances, half-truths, and memories of the past.
They say time can heal anything. So far, time’s brought nothing but complications.

This is a standalone romantic thriller told in alternating timelines and points of view. Warnings include character overdose and mentions of child abuse.

I just finished this book last night and oh my goodness, was it good!! I couldn’t put it down and stayed up past my bedtime to finish it. My review won’t be live until December 21st, so look for it then


What I am currently reading:

Polly Carmichael has a secret, one shared by her two aunts and all the women of her line, and it means that marriage is not an option for her. Adam Finlay left the vet practice he was working for when cost cutting led to animals suffering. He would love to open a one-man practice of his own, but all his savings went to his ex wife in her battle against cancer. He’s still getting over the divorce, and he doesn’t have anything to offer a woman at the moment anyway.
Adam’s sister has set him up in a rental house in the small seaside town of Kauri Bay, not far from the family farm, and he soon notices Polly, the manager of the Beach Front Cafe. Polly knows she can’t get interested in the handsome young vet, she really mustn’t, but her heart flutters every time he’s near her. The two young people find themselves in an impossible situation – or is it? Not when help comes from a completely unexpected source. A clean and wholesome romance, set in an inspirational community.

I haven’t technically started this book yet but I plan on starting it today. I am looking forward to it. I haven’t read too many romances based in New Zealand. Plus, from the blurb, it seems like it is going to be a nice, easy read.


What books I think I’ll read next:

I still have a ton of books on this list. I added all of the NetGalley books that are past their publication date and it expanded the list. Like last week, I am hoping to read at least 3 of them before next week’s WWW Wednesday. The 3 books after Storms have been on my TBR for months and they are my top priority.

I once thought I might kill a prince. In another glance, I thought I would marry him. But then came a day I never expected.

The day I would kill a god.

When Arianna freed the soul of the prince from a dark god and shattered the underworld, she assumed she could bring peace to the world above. But there are consequences to the powers she gained and a war brewing between the provinces that will require all her magic and heart.

To master her gifts and save her home, Ari climbs to the top of Olympus and fights a war with gods on either side.
Who is the man who holds her heart?

After playing Robin Hood for months, Marian is starting to wonder how well she knows Robin of Locksley. Her husband could just be depressed, returning from a war that should have claimed his life. He could just be adjusting to their new life in the forest. Marian wants to be patient, but after surrendering Locksley to the sheriff and his men, the villages need Robin Hood more than ever.

When a fight for a king’s ransom costs much more than gold, everything boils to the surface. How can Marian continue to take the name or even stay married to a man she now despises?

And who will wear the hood in the end?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and non-stop twists and turns, this action-packed fantasy retelling is for you.

MARIAN’S MAN is the direct sequel to Robin’s Hood, a gender-bent twist on the legends of Sherwood.
Get ready for the final installment of the Faerie Files Trilogy!

I can’t believe Logan’s been my partner for over a year. Actually, he’s been more than that for half as long.
I know he’ll always have my back.


But when a routine monster eviction goes horribly wrong, he’s furious that I didn’t run when I had the chance.
What’s his deal? The way I see it, the FBI didn’t hire me to run away.


They hired me to get the job done.

Plus, I’m not the type to run from anything. I did it once when I was a kid and I’ve regretted it to this very day.
I suppose that explains why I’m taking this latest case so personally.

Funny how some things come around full circle…especially when you least expect it.

*´¨)
¸.*´ ¸.**´¨)¸.**¨
(¸.*´ (¸.*` The Faerie Files is purrr-fect for readers who enjoy enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, or forbidden romance. And cats. If you’re not a cat person, you WILL be after reading this series! Ideal for fans of Annette Marie, McKenzie Hunter, Deborah Wilde, Helen Harper, and Shannon Mayer
.
It’s not every day an obscure orphan girl becomes a fae queen.

Crysta and her companions have found the diadem and stone, but just when it looks like the tide has finally shifted in their favor, Crysta is sucked into Terise’s sleeping curse with no way of escape and nowhere to hide from Titania’s ruthless attacks.

And now she is permanently bonded…to the wrong fated mate.

Jareth is not only heartbroken at the loss of his fated mate bond, his mating frenzy is in overdrive, preventing him from functioning. He and Kheelan must overcome their differences if they hope to free Crysta, but they are faced with more setbacks as Titania takes faerie captives by the hundreds, building her army and growing her powers.

And the diadem, the key to Moridan and Titania’s undoing?


Tainted by Titania’s curse.

But a cursed relic isn’t the only surprise the wicked queen has in store for Crysta. The battle for control over the minds and hearts of the fae is one Titania intends to win by any means necessary.

Can Crysta and Jareth unite the Unseelie and Seelie Courts before Titania and Moridan destroy the Fae Realm?
A college student reluctantly attends a family chili cookout that turns into a never-ending nightmare. A man desperate for job skills uses a brain implant to help him learn, but it malfunctions and leaves him sexually attracted to shadows. A private investigator is hired to discover who keeps befouling the walls of convenience store bathrooms. Two deer engaged in combat find that they are unable to unlock from one another’s antlers after the fight is over. A single mother spends 2020 battling an evil landlord, a fascist neighbor, national political chaos, and a global pandemic. These are the strange stories told by regulars at the local bar on Christmas Eve, stories which each began with a phone call from someone who announced “you don’t know me, but we’re cousins.”
A small Wisconsin town is shaken to its core when four high school boys stumble upon an unexpected discovery. As past and present secrets are exposed, more unsolved mysteries are revealed, leading to more danger than anyone could have ever imagined.
A young woman takes a job as a nanny for an impossibly wealthy family, thinking she’s found her entre into a better life–only to discover instead she’s walked into a world of deception and dark secrets.

Nanny needed. Discretion is of the utmost importance. Special conditions apply.

When Sarah Larsen finds the notice, posted on creamy card stock in her building’s lobby, one glance at the exclusive address tells her she’s found her ticket out of a dead-end job–and life.

At the interview, the job seems like a dream come true: a glamorous penthouse apartment on the Upper West Side of NYC; a salary that adds several zeroes to her current income; the beautiful, worldly mother of her charge, who feels more like a friend than a potential boss. She’s overjoyed when they offer her the position and signs the NDA without a second thought.

In retrospect, the notice in her lobby was less an engraved invitation than a waving red flag. For there is something very strange about the Bird family. Why does the beautiful Mrs. Bird never leave the apartment alone? And what happened to the nanny before her? It soon becomes clear that the Birds’ odd behaviors are more than the eccentricities of the wealthy.

But by then it’s too late for Sarah to seek help. After all, discretion is of the utmost importance.
The most wonderful time of the year has arrived for this cowboy in New York Times bestseller Donna Grant’s newest novel, Home for a Cowboy Christmas.

Tis the season—for everyone except Emmy Garrett. She’s on the run after witnessing a crime. But when it becomes clear that trouble will continue following her, the US Marshal in charge takes her somewhere no one will think to look–Montana. Not only is Emmy in a new place for her protection, but now, she’s stuck with a handsome cowboy as her bodyguard…and she wants to do more than kiss him under the mistletoe.

Dwight Reynolds left behind his old career, but it’s still in his blood. When an old friend calls in a favor, Dwight opens his home to a woman on the run. He tries to keep his distance, but there’s something about Emmy he can’t resist. She stokes his passion and turns his cold nights into warm ones. When danger shows up looking for Emmy, Dwight risks everything to keep her safe.
Layla Hilding is thirty-five and recently divorced. Struggling to break free from the past—her glory days as the lead singer in a band and a ten-year marriage to a man who never put her first—Layla’s newly found independence feels a lot like loneliness.

Then there’s Josh, the single dad whose daughter attends the elementary school where Layla teaches music. Recently separated, he’s still processing the end of his twenty-year marriage to his high school sweetheart. He chats with Layla every morning at school and finds himself thinking about her more and more.

Equally cautious and confused about dating in a world that favors apps over meeting organically, Layla and Josh decide to be friends with the potential for something more. Sounds sensible and way too simple—but when two people are on the rebound, is it heartbreak or happiness that’s a love song away?

From the bestselling author of The Girl He Used to Know comes a love song of a story about starting over and second chances.
In The First Christmas, Stephen Mitchell brings the Nativity story to vivid life as never before. A narrative that is only sketched out in two Gospels becomes fully realized here with nuanced characters and a setting that reflects the culture of the time. Mitchell has suffused the birth of Jesus with a sense of beauty that will delight and astonish readers.

In this version, we see the world through the eyes of a Whitmanesque ox and a visionary donkey, starry-eyed shepherds and Zen-like wise men, each of them providing a unique perspective on a scene that is, in Western culture, the central symbol for good tidings of great joy. Rather than superimposing later Christian concepts onto the Annunciation and Nativity scenes, he imagines Mary and Joseph experiencing the angelic message as a young Jewish woman and man living in the year 4 bce might have experienced it, with terror, dismay, and ultimate acceptance. In this context, their yes becomes an act of great moral courage.

Readers of every background will be enchanted by this startlingly beautiful reimagining of the Christmas tale.

WWW Wednesday: November 10th 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal

I know that I have been persona non grata on the blog since about mid-October and I apologize for my absence. I thought with school being in, that I would have a ton of free time to read and blog. Yeah, that didn’t exactly work in my favor. I have been super busy since the week of October 18th and I finally have been able to sit down.

Most of my time was taken up with appointments. My kids had numerous orthodontist, Dr, and therapy appointments (Miss R had a very hard time adjusting to lockdown and it resulted in behavioral issues). I like to challenge myself and double-booked appointments on certain days…smh. So, by the time afternoon rolled around (after I pick up Miss R and Miss K from school), I wanted nothing to do with this blog or reading. This is the first week that I have finished three books in what seems like forever.

I also ended up buying a new computer. I got an Alienware Aurora R10 gaming computer. I had ordered it on September 11th and got a delivery date of October 31st, which got pushed back to November 4th. Because it is a super expensive tower, I needed to be there when Fed Ex dropped it off. I didn’t want a porch pirate taking off with it.

I went to the eye Dr for the first time in 3 years and he prescribed me bifocals. Yes, at 44 I got bifocals. Again, another learning curve that left me with some pretty bad headaches until I got used to them.

I ended up taking Skittles (my long-haired diluted calico) to the vet 2 weeks ago. Around her eye had turned red and weepy. Turns out that she got scratched on her eyelid and it got infected. Ever try to put eye medication on a cat that already hates to be touched? Yeah, it sucked and I got scratched up pretty bad but her eye is fine now.

We think that Jesper (my tuxedo kitten) is either deaf or extremely hard of hearing. BK noticed that he overstartles if approached from behind, he purrs and meows super loud, and (this is the most important) he has no reaction if you rip paper or jingle keys behind his head. I do plan on bringing it up to our vet but his being hard of hearing/deaf makes no difference on us owning him. We just need to keep an extra eye on him and make sure he doesn’t go outside.

Miss B was on my shit list for the last week or so. See, she wears upper and lower retainers. Well, she should have been. Over the summer, she decided that she didn’t want to wear them anymore and it caused her bottom teeth to shift. So, almost $500 later and me telling the ortho no to lower braces, we have new retainers.

Speaking of braces, Mr. Z will be getting upper braces after the first of the year. He also will be getting lower braces at some point, along with a Herbst device (look it up). His teeth are a mess and he might need surgery to correct everything that is wrong if the braces aren’t working.

Miss R is doing well. She was sent home from school on Monday because of a cold. She did have a Covid test and it was negative but I thought that she should stay home yesterday to get over it. She did go back today. Weird thing, though. The nurse told me that runny nose, congestion, and cough is also a side-effect of the Covid vaccine in kids her age (she got hers on Saturday). So I really don’t know if she had a small cold or a reaction to the shot.

So that’s it. I am hoping to read a couple more books off my TBR this week. I do have 3 reviews to write and will be working on those as soon as I publish this post. Look for them in the upcoming days!!


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Kasyapa is the bastard child of a king and a village girl. On his mother’s untimely death, he is plucked from his tiny village and brought to the royal palace. Shunned by his father, the king, this lonely little boy is raised by royal courtiers. As an adult he is sidelined, but fate intervenes. The villainous Migara, the chief of the army and Kasyapa’s nemesis, murders the king and implicates Kasyapa in this hideous crime. Even though his lowly birth denies him the right to the throne, Kasyapa must act to save the kingdom. What events unfold next that drives him to build Sigiriya and rule as a god-king?

This is also the story of Amira, a beautiful red-haired, blue-eyed girl, who is only twelve years old when her father sells her into slavery. At eighteen, she is traded for a hundred pearls and joins Kasyapa’s harem. Here, she is transformed into an alluring concubine. Amira soon infatuates the king with her stunning beauty, wide-eyed innocence and good heart.

Set fifteen hundred years ago and based on real people and events, Sigiriya is a hauntingly beautiful story of palace intrigue, passion, deceit, betrayal, and tragedy. It reminds us that little has changed over the centuries. Good and evil, love and hate, decency and cruelty are ever-present. But some, by the sheer strength of character and determination, rise above their stations and do great things.

This was a book that was out of my comfort zone for reading. I will say that I absolutely enjoyed reading it and learned so much about Indian culture during that time period. It was also beautifully written. I will be writing my review today and be on the lookout for it in the near future.


What I am currently reading:

Told by a tart-tongued young woman with a love of Bruce Springsteen, Lies in Bone is at once a mystery and coming-of-age tale fueled by dark secrets involving love, murder, and the truths worth lying for.

On Halloween 1963, eleven-year-old Chuck Coolidge and his brother Danny are lost in a toxic smog covering the steel town of Slippery Elm, Pennsylvania. When the smog lifts, half the town is sick and twenty people are dead. And Danny is missing.

Now, over twenty years later, Chuck’s teenage daughter Frank plots escape from this “busted and disgusted” town. When a murdered child is found in the river, investigators link the crime to the disappearance of Danny in ’63, and Frank’s life is turned upside down. In the face of her worst fears, she must uncover her family’s dark past if she wants to keep her sister Boots from the hands of The State. Led to discover the unimaginable truth about Danny’s disappearance, Lies in Bone culminates in a shocking eleventh-hour reveal and an emotionally charged finale.

I started Lies in Bone last night and so far I am liking it. I am hoping that it delivers on the blurb.


What books I think I’ll read next:

I know that I have a ton of books here. I am hoping to read at least 3 before next week’s WWW Wednesday. I am also hoping that some of these books are quick reads (which will make the list go down faster). All of these books are books that indie authors have approached me for reading and I am hoping to have their reviews up and published soon.

I am a girl. I am a monster, too.

Each summer the girls of Deck Five come back to Marshall Naval School. They sail on jewel-blue waters; they march on green drill-fields; they earn sunburns and honors. They push until they break apart and heal again, stronger.

Each summer Margaret and Rose and Flor and Nisreen come back to the place where they are girls, safe away from the world: sisters bound by something more than blood.

But this summer everything has changed. Girls are missing and a boy is dead. It’s because of Margaret Moore, the boys say. It’s because of what happened that night in the storm.

Margaret’s friends vanish one by one, swallowed up into the lies she has told about what happened between her and a boy with the world at his feet. Can she unravel the secrets of this summer and last, or will she be pulled under by the place she once called home?
In Transylvania’s History A to Z, a collection of 100-word stories sprinkled with breathtaking photographs, Patricia Furstenberg uses the confining rules of the 100-word story form to stirringly capture Transylvania, Romania’s historical and geographical region.

Transylvania’s unspoiled natural beauty, its tumultuous history, and the people who touched it are depicted in this book.
Written as snapshots, tall tales, and descriptive narratives, these 100-word stories are the espresso of creative writing.

A – Z, 100-Wors Stories are inspired by Transylvania’s history, from the Paleolithic Period to WW1
Each 100 Words Story is followed by a brief historical reference

The unique beauty of a 100-word story is in the way the words are strung together, each one a gem, and in the spaces left between the words, and between the sentences. So much can be told, with little words. It is a challenge for the writer, and a thrill for the reader, as each time the tale is read, a new detail springs to mind.

“As an armchair historian, I love researching lost tales, traveling, exploring hidden corners, and unearthing new facts, forgotten characters, or hidden clues. I love to give them a voice and to bring them into the light in my tales. Be it people, animals, or the land and its architecture, no detail is too small, no voice is too soft. What was once overlooked now brings history alive in my historical or contemporary fiction books and short stories, such as the 100-Word Stories based on the history of Transylvania.” (Patricia Furstenberg)
Watch out, vampires! There’s a new girl in town!

Nicoleta has never taken a life before, but she will have to make her first kill soon. Typical of girls her age, her concerns are boys and college. But when she takes a trip to Romania with several of her classmates to celebrate graduating from high school, Nicoleta is going to discover who she really is. When Nicoleta learns that she is adopted and that her biological parents live in Romania, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Finding out that her birthright is hunting and killing vampires, Nicoleta has to decide if she will remain in Romania and fulfill her destiny or if she will return to America and try to forget about the nightmare of a world that she has been thrown into.


Adding to Nicoleta’s problems, a notorious vampire named Varujan has been waiting for Nicoleta’s arrival. Her parents are called voinicos because they survived being bitten by a vampire. By birth, a voinico’s child becomes a vampire hunter, also known as a vanator. Varujan has known that the voinico’s daughter would eventually return to Romania, and he is looking forward to meeting her and killing her. With his vampire mistress, Antanasia, Varujan seems unstoppable.

Is Nicoleta ready to face Varujan and Antanasia? The other vanators have been training to kill vampires since they were children. Will Nicoleta be able to catch up with her training and be ready for the battle that is inevitably coming? Can she keep herself and her friends safe, or will they become the vampires’ victims before their trip is over? Whatever happens, one thing is for sure. Nicoleta’s life is never going to be the same again!
What if surviving a murder attempt, a heartbreak, and the loss of the family business wasn’t the hardest thing you ever faced?

Carol is the sole heir to a broken empire, Ricardo the newest celebrity in the rock world.
When they came together, their fire blazed. When their past caught up, they were left burned, scorched to the ground.

When a psychopath decides it’s payback time, Carol is faced with an impossible choice – save her son or sell her life.

Ricardo wants nothing to do with the woman who played him for a fool, but finds himself moored by circumstances, half truths, and memories of the past.
They say time can heal anything. So far, time’s brought nothing but complications.

This is a standalone romantic thriller told in alternating timelines and point of views. Warnings include character overdose and mentions of child abuse.
When a young man’s world is turned upside down, some things become clear and others blurred. Jacob Schitz’s plain life in Florida quickly erupts into a series of drastic events as he navigates young adulthood and a bleak future. When the biker gang, The Panteras, enters his life as a third obstacle, he will begin to truly understand himself and the violent world of underground crime as their paths become intertwined.
It’s not every day an obscure orphan girl becomes a fae queen.

Crysta and her companions have found the diadem and stone, but just when it looks like the tide has finally shifted in their favor, Crysta is sucked into Terise’s sleeping curse with no way of escape and nowhere to hide from Titania’s ruthless attacks.

And now she is permanently bonded…to the wrong fated mate.

Jareth is not only heartbroken at the loss of his fated mate bond, his mating frenzy is in overdrive, preventing him from functioning. He and Kheelan must overcome their differences if they hope to free Crysta, but they are faced with more setbacks as Titania takes faerie captives by the hundreds, building her army and growing her powers.

And the diadem, the key to Moridan and Titania’s undoing?

Tainted by Titania’s curse.

But a cursed relic isn’t the only surprise the wicked queen has in store for Crysta. The battle for control over the minds and hearts of the fae is one Titania intends to win by any means necessary.

Can Crysta and Jareth unite the Unseelie and Seelie Courts before Titania and Moridan destroy the Fae Realm?
I can’t believe Logan’s been my partner for over a year. Actually, he’s been more than that for half as long.
I know he’ll always have my back.

But when a routine monster eviction goes horribly wrong, he’s furious that I didn’t run when I had the chance.
What’s his deal? The way I see it, the FBI didn’t hire me to run away.

They hired me to get the job done.

Plus, I’m not the type to run from anything. I did it once when I was a kid and I’ve regretted it to this very day.
I suppose that explains why I’m taking this latest case so personally.

Funny how some things come around full circle…especially when you least expect it.
Who is the man who holds her heart?

After playing Robin Hood for months, Marian is starting to wonder how well she knows Robin of Locksley. Her husband could just be depressed, returning from a war that should have claimed his life. He could just be adjusting to their new life in the forest. Marian wants to be patient, but after surrendering Locksley to the sheriff and his men, the villages need Robin Hood more than ever.

When a fight for a king’s ransom costs much more than gold, everything boils to the surface. How can Marian continue to take the name or even stay married to a man she now despises?

And who will wear the hood in the end?
I once thought I might kill a prince. In another glance, I thought I would marry him. But then came a day I never expected.

The day I would kill a god.

When Arianna freed the soul of the prince from a dark god and shattered the underworld, she assumed she could bring peace to the world above. But there are consequences to the powers she gained and a war brewing between the provinces that will require all her magic and heart.

To master her gifts and save her home, Ari climbs to the top of Olympus and fights a war with gods on either side
.
A college student reluctantly attends a family chili cookout that turns into a never ending nightmare. A man desperate for job skills uses a brain implant to help him learn, but it malfunctions and leaves him sexually attracted to shadows. A private investigator is hired to discover who keeps befouling the walls of convenience store bathrooms. Two deer engaged in combat find that they are unable to unlock from one another’s antlers after the fight is over. A single mother spends 2020 battling an evil landlord, a fascist neighbor, national political chaos, and a global pandemic. These are the strange stories told by regulars at the local bar on Christmas Eve, stories which each began with a phone call from someone who announced “you don’t know me, but we’re cousins.”

November 2021 TBR

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Just like October 2021 TBR, I have a ton of books to read before the end of the month. But, unlike October, I am not overbooked with appointments. So, I will have plenty of time to catch up with what I am behind on and read the TBR’s for this month.

So, here’s my list. Let me know if you are reading or have read these books. I will put next to them if they are part of the backlog from last month.


Nanny Needed by Georgina Cross (part of the backlog from October)

I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin (part of the backlog from October)

Home for a Cowboy Christmas by Donna Grant (part of the backlog from October)

Lies in Bone by Natalie Symons (part of the backlog from October)

The Judas Robe by Larry Rodness (part of the backlog from October)

Hexes & Hairballs by Emigh Cannady (part of the backlog from October)

Heard it in a Love Song by Tracey Garvis Graves

The First Christmas: A Story of New Beginnings by Stephen Mitchell

Transylvania’s World History A to Z: 100 Word Stories by Patricia Furstenberg

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest by Jacque Stevens

Sigiriya: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, Betrayal, and Tragedy in the Royal Family by Senani Ponnamperuma

Intertwined: A Biker’s Tale by Andrew Hartman

The Sisters Sweet by Elizabeth Weiss

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest (HighTower Fairytales: Book ) by Jacque Stevens

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Publisher:

Date of publication: January 1st, 2021

Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tale Retelling, Fantasy

Series: HighTower Fairytales

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen (Review here)

Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 1

Lone Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 2

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 3

Between Dog and Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 4

Wolves at Bay: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 5

Depths—Book 6

Graves: A Tale of the Little Mermaid—Book 7

Storms—Book 8

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 9

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 10

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 11

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 12

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 13

Purchase Links: Amazon

Format Read: ARC

Received From: Author


Goodreads Synopsis:

The King of Thieves is dead. Long live the Queen.

Orphaned at five and widowed at sixteen, Marian is the sole heir of Locksley keep and the Earldom of Huntingdon. Her husband, Robin of Locksley, never returned from the crusades, leaving her at the mercy of the sheriff. He chooses her a new husband among his brutal lackeys and taxes her people to rags and starvation.

Marian is sidelined and powerless, but rumors spread of a charismatic thief who could change everything. Clever, brave, and strong, his followers claim that the hooded rogue is Robin’s spirit back from the grave.

Only Marian knows the truth. Her husband is dead, but under his hood, she could be invincible.

ROBIN’S HOOD is the first novella in the High Tower Robin Hood YA medieval fantasy series. If you like strong female characters, friends-to-lovers romance, and non-stop twists and turns, then you’ll love this gender-bent twist on the Legends of Sherwood.


First Line:

I have heard ballads of our adventures already. A few favor the sheriff, saying we’re all cutthroats and devil worshipers, but most speak of the merry outlaws doing clever deeds.

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest by Jacque Stevens

Out of all the fairy tale retellings I have read, I don’t think that I have read a retelling of Robin Hood. So, when I saw that Jacque Stevens had written a feminist retelling of Robin Hood, I was intrigued and I decided to read it. I am glad that I did because Robin’s Hood was a homerun for me.

I liked seeing a woman in the role of Robin Hood. It threw an exciting spin on the myth, one that, truthfully, I haven’t bothered to imagine. I was always stuck on Robin Hood being a man. I never thought to imagine a heartbroken woman who was trying to do what she thought was right in the role. The author was able to do that and more.

Robin’s Hood is set in medieval England, and the book reflects that. Women were often viewed as property and treated as such. So, I wasn’t too surprised to learn that Marian’s guardian decided to marry her, at 5, to his eight-year-old son. He did that to secure his son’s claim to her lands. I also wasn’t too surprised when the Sherriff of Nottingham decided to marry her to his cousin (for the same reason). There are also other examples. A woman was sent to a convent for her “confinement” (women were not allowed to be seen during pregnancy). Marian’s maid was beaten when she refused the advances of the Sherriff of Nottingham.

I enjoyed reading about Marian’s exploits as Robin Hood. I loved how she recruited her band of merry men. That one scene with Little John made me laugh, including how she tried to save him after knocking him into the river. The same goes with her scenes with Friar Tuck. I think he had no clue who Marian was because he was toasted 95% of the time.

The last few chapters of Robin’s Hood did send me into a tailspin. Everything happened so fast!!! But I still loved it. The author wrapped up most of the storylines for this book but left them open enough for the next one.


I enjoyed reading Robin’s Hood. This story was an enjoyable retelling of the myth.

I would recommend Robin’s Hood to anyone over the age of 13. There is mild violence.

WWW Wednesday: July 14th 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I Recently Finished Reading:

An aircraft carrier adrift with a crew the size of a small town. A killer in their midst. And the disgraced Navy SEAL who must track him down . . . The high-octane debut thriller from New York Times bestselling writing team Webb & Mann—combat-decorated Navy SEAL Brandon Webb and award-winning author John David Mann.

The moment Navy SEAL sniper Finn sets foot on the USS Abraham Lincoln to hitch a ride home from the Persian Gulf, it’s clear something is deeply wrong. Leadership is weak. Morale is low. And when crew members start disappearing one by one, what at first seems like a random string of suicides soon reveals something far more sinister: There’s a serial killer on board. Suspicion falls on Finn, the newcomer to the ship. After all, he’s being sent home in disgrace, recalled from the field under the dark cloud of a mission gone horribly wrong. He’s also a lone wolf, haunted by gaps in his memory and the elusive sense that something he missed may have contributed to civilian deaths on his last assignment. Finding the killer offers a chance at redemption . . . if he can stay alive long enough to prove it isn’t him.

I DNF’d this book last night. The writing was good but it was very technical and used a lot of Navy jargon that I didn’t understand. I made it to 23% before throwing in the towel on it.

When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…

This book was amazing!!! I was sucked into it right from the beginning and couldn’t put it down.


What I am currently reading:

The King of Thieves is dead. Long live the Queen.

Orphaned at five and widowed at sixteen, Marian is the sole heir of Locksley keep and the Earldom of Huntingdon. Her husband, Robin of Locksley, never returned from the crusades, leaving her at the mercy of the sheriff. He chooses her a new husband among his brutal lackeys and taxes her people to rags and starvation.

Marian is sidelined and powerless, but rumors spread of a charismatic thief who could change everything. Clever, brave, and strong, his followers claim that the hooded rogue is Robin’s spirit back from the grave.

Only Marian knows the truth. Her husband is dead, but under his hood, she could be invincible.

ROBIN’S HOOD is the first novella in the High Tower Robin Hood YA medieval fantasy series. If you like strong female characters, friends-to-lovers romance, and non-stop twists and turns, then you’ll love this gender-bent twist on the Legends of Sherwood.

So far, I am enjoying this retelling of Robin Hood. I am only 10% into the book but I am 100% team Marian. She had been dealt a tough hand in life. I can’t wait to see how she will be as Robin Hood!!


What books I think I’ll read next:

These are all ARCs. One indie author, one paperback (which I won in a giveaway), and the rest are ARCs I received from NetGalley.

2017: 19 year old Tallulah is going out on a date, leaving her baby with her mother, Kim.

Kim watches her daughter leave and, as late evening turns into night, which turns into early morning, she waits for her return. And waits.

The next morning, Kim phones Tallulah’s friends who tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a party at a house in the nearby woods called Dark Place.

She never returns.

2019: Sophie is walking in the woods near the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started work as a head-teacher when she sees a note fixed to a tree.


‘DIG HERE’ . . .

A cold case, an abandoned mansion, family trauma and dark secrets lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s remarkable new novel.
Lisa Jamison has done well for a single mom who got pregnant at fifteen.
She’s a reporter at a well-respected newspaper and her teenage daughter is both an athlete and honors student. Though their relationship is rocky these days, Lisa has accomplished what she set out to do. She has given her daughter the kind of life she never had.
But all that changes when Lisa sees her daughter in the eyes of a dead man.
The cops call it a drug killing, but Lisa doesn’t believe it. She knows her ex-boyfriend was no drug dealer even though she hadn’t seen him in sixteen years. Lisa ignores warnings from her medical-examiner friend. She fails to heed barely veiled threats from the sheriff of a neighboring county. Instead, she risks her life and the lives of her daughter and their closest friend on a dangerous quest for answers.
The investigation leaves Lisa fighting for her family in a morbid, black market world she never knew existed. She learns that trust is complicated and that she, despite her cynical nature, has been blind. She trusted the wrong people and now she might have to pay with her life.
Tessa James has worked and planned tirelessly to open her own millinery shop. All she needs now is a loan from the lord who sired and abandoned her. The only problem is, she doesn’t even know his name. What’s a woman to do to find him but enter the aristocratic world by becoming a governess?

Guy Whitby, the new Duke of Carlin, has returned to London after years abroad to discover that his young daughter Sophy has become a wild-child known for scaring away every governess who’s crossed his doorstep. When Tessa James applies for the job, he hires her in desperation despite his misgivings that she’s too bold and beautiful–and that she might be fibbing about her qualifications.


Their blooming attraction leads them on a completely unexpected path to love that neither wants to deny. But when an old enemy threatens Guy’s family, their forbidden romance goes up in flames. Can they still learn to love and trust each other as forces try to tear them apart?
Eyes aren’t the windows to the soul. Emails are.

Cassie Woodson is adrift. After suffering an epic tumble down the corporate ladder, Cassie finds the only way she can pay her bills is to take a thankless temp job reviewing correspondence for a large-scale fraud suit. The daily drudgery amplifies all that her life is lacking–love, friends, stability–and leaves her with too much time on her hands, which she spends fixating on the mistakes that brought her to this point.

While sorting through a relentless deluge of emails, something catches her eye: the tender (and totally private) exchanges between a partner at the firm, Forest Watts, and his enchanting wife, Annabelle. Cassie knows she shouldn’t read them. But it’s just one look. And once that door opens, she finds she can’t look away.

Every day, twenty floors below Forest’s corner office, Cassie dissects their emails from her dingy workstation. A few clicks of her mouse and she can see every adoring word they write to each other. By peeking into their apparently perfect life, Cassie finds renewed purpose and happiness, reveling in their penchant for vintage wines, morning juice presses, and lavish dinner parties thrown in their stately Westchester home. There are no secrets from her. Or so she thinks.

Her admiration quickly escalates into all-out mimicry, because she wants this life more than anything. Maybe if she plays make-believe long enough, it will become real for her. But when Cassie orchestrates a “chance” meeting with Forest in the real world and sees something that throws the state of his marriage into question, the fantasy she’s been carefully cultivating shatters. Suddenly, she doesn’t simply admire Annabelle–she wants to take her place. And she’s armed with the tools to make that happen.
Got a faerie problem? I’m your girl.
Magic gone awry? Not a problem.
But when kids go missing and the search comes up dry, my boss decides I need a partner.
The pain in the ass kind.
Now I have a problem.

As a field agent in the FBI’s ultra-elite Occult Crimes Division…aka the OCD, it’s my job to investigate cases of the magical variety. I’m the best at it, but it seems my employer doesn’t share my confidence when he pairs me up with the bureau’s newest golden boy. Turns out he’s the biggest tool I’ve ever met.

Logan Hawthorne.
Arrogant. Attractive as hell.
Oh yeah–and human.


I don’t have time to teach this smug & straight-laced suit about the shadow realm of faerie that exists below our feet. I’ve got a list of missing kids a mile long and no time to waste in finding the creature who’s snatching them.

Now if only there was an explanation for this talking cat…
I have one rule: Never mix business with pleasure.
I was never much good at following rules.

Alright, so my new partner isn’t the worst. It doesn’t hurt that Logan is big, tall, and smokin’ hot. I started out hating him, but this human hunk is starting to grow on me…when we’re not fighting like cats and dogs. Even our co-worker thinks there’s something going on between us. Is there something between us? Humans like him and faeries like me don’t usually click, but we’re on a case in Arizona and things are getting pretty freakin’ hot. I’m so tempted to break the rules on dating people at work, but there’s a catch —

I’m under review.


Well…that’s not completely true. The entire Occult Crimes Division is under review, as in me, my partner, my boss, Jake from IT…everybody. Evidently, hunting ghosts is kind of expensive, and now the accountants are asking questions. If Logan and I can’t prove to these hard-asses how vital our work is to the FBI, the OCD will cease to exist.

No pressure or anything. I just have to save my entire department from impending doom.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – July 12th 2021

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.


Happy Monday (well, as happy as a Monday can be…lol) everyone and I hope you all had a great weekend!!

I decided to take a small break from doing my weekly posts last week. I had two reasons. One was that I got busy. The other reason, I needed to catch up on my TBR list and writing reviews.

Miss B had her Drivers Ed class last week. She went Monday-Thursday, 9-5. She passed the class. Now, we are waiting for them to contact me to set up her 6 hours of driving. Then after that, she goes for her level one license (aka learners permit). In order to get her level two (or provisional license), she needs to drive 60 hours and hold the permit for a year. So, she will be 17 by the time she will be able to drive by herself.

What also kept me from posting last week is that we rescued a kitten. My neighbor had called me and said that they had found a young kitten who wasn’t doing well. By the time I got home, he had let it back out. I told BK and the kids that they could look the next day (they looked but he was gone). They found him on Saturday and we took him in. He was in really bad shape. He had zero body fat, you could feel his ribs, spine, hip, and butt bones. He slept the first two days and was super weak. To be honest, I thought we had brought him in to die, that’s how bad he was. But, he improved. He gained weight and is acting like a crazy kitten. His name is Jesper (bonus points if you know what character he is named after). I believe he was an owner dump. He had been handled and knew how to use a litter box. Add on to that, he had zero fleas and look like he had been dewormed (no worms).

I was in a bit of a reading slump (which also factors into me not posting last week). But, I got myself out and finished 5 books between Thursday and Sunday. I started reading at night again and for a couple of hours in the afternoon.

I found out that my all-time favorite TV show is on HBO Maxx, Cold Case. So, guess what I am going to start binging when BK is away on business!!

This week for suppers I am making breaded pork chops, crockpot sweet and sour short ribs, and pork chops/apples/stuffing. I know, a lot of pork chops. But, in my defense, I had taken some out to defrost, then BK went and bought a pork loin and cut that into pork chops.


What I am Reading Now:

The moment Navy SEAL sniper Finn sets foot on the USS Abraham Lincoln to hitch a ride home from the Persian Gulf, it’s clear something is deeply wrong. Leadership is weak. Morale is low. And when crew members start disappearing one by one, what at first seems like a random string of suicides soon reveals something far more sinister: There’s a serial killer on board. Suspicion falls on Finn, the newcomer to the ship. After all, he’s being sent home in disgrace, recalled from the field under the dark cloud of a mission gone horribly wrong. He’s also a lone wolf, haunted by gaps in his memory and the elusive sense that something he missed may have contributed to civilian deaths on his last assignment. Finding the killer offers a chance at redemption . . . if he can stay alive long enough to prove it isn’t him.

What I plan on reading this week:

The King of Thieves is dead. Long live the Queen.

Orphaned at five and widowed at sixteen, Marian is the sole heir of Locksley keep and the Earldom of Huntingdon. Her husband, Robin of Locksley, never returned from the crusades, leaving her at the mercy of the sheriff. He chooses her a new husband among his brutal lackeys and taxes her people to rags and starvation.

Marian is sidelined and powerless, but rumors spread of a charismatic thief who could change everything. Clever, brave, and strong, his followers claim that the hooded rogue is Robin’s spirit back from the grave.

Only Marian knows the truth. Her husband is dead, but under his hood, she could be invincible.

ROBIN’S HOOD is the first novella in the High Tower Robin Hood YA medieval fantasy series. If you like strong female characters, friends-to-lovers romance, and non-stop twists and turns, then you’ll love this gender-bent twist on the Legends of Sherwood.
Lisa Jamison has done well for a single mom who got pregnant at fifteen.
She’s a reporter at a well-respected newspaper and her teenage daughter is both an athlete and honors student. Though their relationship is rocky these days, Lisa has accomplished what she set out to do. She has given her daughter the kind of life she never had.
But all that changes when Lisa sees her daughter in the eyes of a dead man.
The cops call it a drug killing, but Lisa doesn’t believe it. She knows her ex-boyfriend was no drug dealer even though she hadn’t seen him in sixteen years. Lisa ignores warnings from her medical-examiner friend. She fails to heed barely veiled threats from the sheriff of a neighboring county. Instead, she risks her life and the lives of her daughter and their closest friend on a dangerous quest for answers.
The investigation leaves Lisa fighting for her family in a morbid, black market world she never knew existed. She learns that trust is complicated and that she, despite her cynical nature, has been blind. She trusted the wrong people and now she might have to pay with her life.

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella (HighTower Fairytales: Book 15) by Jacque Stevens

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Publisher: sjacquebooks

Date of publication: January 1st, 2021

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Series: HighTower Fairytales

Winter Falls—Book 1 (review here)

Cry Wolf—Book 2

Lone Wolf—Book 3

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing—Book 4

Between Dog and Wolf—Book 5

Wolves at Bay—Book 6

Depths—Book 7

Graves—Book 8

Storms—Book 9

Robin’s Hood—Book 10

Marian’s Man—Book 11

Lion’s Heart—Book 12

Letters by Cinderlight—Book 14 (Review Here)

Wishes by Starlight—Book 15

Purchase Links: Amazon

Format Read: Published Book

Received From: Author


Goodreads Synopsis:

I, Elya Pavlovna, went to the prince’s Maslenitsa celebration, and I’m still not sure who I am or what will happen next.

After running from a fairy and a prince, Elya is on her own for the first time. The unknown wilds are dark and dangerous, but she knows that if she is found she could be used to destroy everything she has come to love.

But with her sisters asking for her help and her beloved prince in distress, hiding might no longer be an option.

The slipper fits, now will she wear it?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and untrustworthy fae, this romantic fantasy retelling is for you! One-click now to start the magic, romance, and heart-wrenching emotional journey!

Wishes by Starlight is the direct sequel to Letters by Cinderlight, a twist on the Cinderella story based in Slavic mythology and full of magical fairies with stories of their own.


First Line:

Elya,

Valiant says you ran, that no one forced you to go.

Wishes by Starlight by Jacque Stevens

I was very excited to start reading Wishes by Starlight. After the cliffhanger ending of Letters by Cinderlight, I needed to know what would happen to Elya and if she would get her happy ending.

Elya’s character had a lot of growth during the course. I loved watching her realize her worth and overcome the trauma of the abuse she suffered. That first started when she stopped local boys from teasing her stepsisters and continued throughout the book. I had tears in my eyes when she finally faced Charming.

Charming was the real MVP of the book. He did what the people of her village couldn’t or wouldn’t do; he stood up for her. He also gave her time (well, kind of) while writing letters in the magical book to Elya. I believe he would have waited forever for her if Lady Mother hadn’t done what she did.

The author ended the storyline with Elya’s abuse in a very satisfying way. Finally, Lady Mother got what she deserved. I cheered when Elya did what she did. Lady Mother deserved it.

The end of Wishes by Starlight was terrific. Finally, everyone got their happy endings. I loved when Lada showed up and validated everything. What she said as she left made me laugh (and made me wonder if she would be a regular appearance in their lives).


Wishes by Starlight was a great book to read. It kept my attention, and I loved seeing Elya find her happy ending.

I would recommend Wishes by Starlight to anyone over the age of 16. There is mild violence.

WWW Wednesday: June 30th 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I Recently Finished Reading:

I, Elya Pavlovna, went to the prince’s Maslenitsa celebration, and I’m still not sure who I am or what will happen next.

After running from a fairy and a prince, Elya is on her own for the first time. The unknown wilds are dark and dangerous, but she knows that if she is found she could be used to destroy everything she has come to love.

But with her sisters asking for her help and her beloved prince in distress, hiding might no longer be an option.

The slipper fits, now will she wear it?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and untrustworthy fae, this romantic fantasy retelling is for you! One-click now to start the magic, romance, and heart-wrenching emotional journey!

Wishes by Starlight is the direct sequel to Letters by Cinderlight, a twist on the Cinderella story based in Slavic mythology and full of magical fairies with stories of their own.

I loved this book!! Elya was a very sympathetic character. She had years of abuse to get over and needed the time to come to terms that Charming loved her. And the ending of the book was perfect!!


What I am currently reading:

Los Angeles, 1943. As the Allies beat back the Nazis in the Mediterranean and the United States military slowly closes in on Tokyo, Walt Disney cranks out wartime propaganda and the Cocoanut Grove is alive with jazz and swing each night. But behind this sunny façade lies a darker reality. Somewhere in the lush foothills of Hollywood, a woman floats, lifeless, in the pool of one of California’s trendiest hotels. When American-born secret agent and British spy Maggie Hope learns that this woman was engaged to her old flame, John Sterling, and that he suspects her death was no accident, intuition tells her he’s right. Leaving London under siege—not to mention flying thousands of miles—is a lot to ask. But John was once the love of Maggie’s life . . . and she won’t say no.

Maggie is shocked to find Los Angeles as divided as Europe itself—the Zoot Suit Riots loom large and the Ku Klux Klan casts a long shadow. As she marvels at the hatred in her home country, she can’t help but wonder what it will be like to see her lost love once again. But there is little time to dwell on memories once she starts digging into the case. As she traces a web of deception from the infamous Garden of Allah to the iconic Carthay Theater, she discovers things aren’t always the way things appear in the movies—and the political situation in America is more complicated, and dangerous, than the newsreels would have them all believe.

So far I like this book. The mystery is good (who killed Maggie’s ex-flame fiancee) and I like that it is set against WW2. But, this is book 10 in a series and I worry that I might get lost (if the books have to be read in order). So, we’ll see.


What books I think I’ll read next:

I am putting the books in the order I am reading them. They are all ARCs and I will reading the indie authors books first, then the books by major publishers. There are a couple that I am looking forward to read. They are What We Devour and The Search for Synergy.

“The Search For Synergy” is the story of two young men who are brought together by design to help save the world from the evil that lurks in the void. Rome and Julian will have to join their fledgling powers and become a fighting duo as knight and dragon working to fulfill a primordial destiny. This will be especially hard for Rome, who up until now, thought he was merely human.
All’s great for sixteen-year-old actor Dalton Black as he portrays a teen killer on a crime reenactment show. That is, until he realizes someone is stalking him. When that someone turns out to be Homer Lee Varney, the man convicted of the murder, things take a dark turn, and Dalton is afraid for his life. What does Varney want? Some sort of twisted revenge? Or something even worse?

Can Dalton and his drama friends discover the truth, before they become the killer’s next victims? Stay tuned to find out!
Lorena Adler has a secret—she holds the power of the banished gods, the Noble and the Vile, inside her. She has spent her entire life hiding from the world and her past. She’s content to spend her days as an undertaker in a small town, marry her best friend, Julian, and live an unfulfilling life so long as no one uncovers her true nature.
But when the notoriously bloodthirsty and equally Vile crown prince comes to arrest Julian’s father, he immediately recognizes Lorena for what she is. So she makes a deal—a fair trial for her betrothed’s father in exchange for her service to the crown.
The prince is desperate for her help. He’s spent years trying to repair the weakening Door that holds back the Vile…and he’s losing the battle. As Lorena learns more about the Door and the horrifying price it takes to keep it closed, she’ll have to embrace both parts of herself to survive.
The moment Navy SEAL sniper Finn sets foot on the USS Abraham Lincoln to hitch a ride home from the Persian Gulf, it’s clear something is deeply wrong. Leadership is weak. Morale is low. And when crew members start disappearing one by one, what at first seems like a random string of suicides soon reveals something far more sinister: There’s a serial killer on board. Suspicion falls on Finn, the newcomer to the ship. After all, he’s being sent home in disgrace, recalled from the field under the dark cloud of a mission gone horribly wrong. He’s also a lone wolf, haunted by gaps in his memory and the elusive sense that something he missed may have contributed to civilian deaths on his last assignment. Finding the killer offers a chance at redemption . . . if he can stay alive long enough to prove it isn’t him.
When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…