Bookish Travels—September 2022 Destinations

I saw this meme on It’s All About Books and thought, I like this!! So, I decided to do it once a month also. Many thanks to Yvonne for originally posting this!!

This post is what it says: Places I travel to in books each month. Books are wonderful and take you to places you would never get a chance to go. That includes places of fantasy too!!

So….enjoy!! Please let me know if you have read these books or traveled to these areas (other than the fantasy….lol).


Here’s where I traveled in September:

United States:

Jackson County, somewhere in the Midwest or South/Portland, Oregon/Chicago, Illinois/ Louisiana/ Midwest
San Jose/Napa, California
Danville Heights/Sandry Lake, Unknown state
Denver, Colorado/Chicago, Illinois/Morganton, North Carolina
Denver, Colorado/NYC, New York
Denver, Colorado
Emerald Springs, Historical West (maybe Montana??)
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Shadow Geirolf Pack Land, unknown state
Harleyville, unknown state
Seaton Falls, Michigan
Los Angeles, California
New York City, New York/Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Greece

Greek Islands, Santorini

Mozambique

Lourenco Marques

Portugal

Libson, Madeira

South Africa

Johannesburg, Durban

United Kingdom

London, England
St. Pirran’s Island, Cornwall, England
London/Chelsea, England

France

Marseille
Paris

North Atlantic Ocean

The Bermuda Triangle

Zargothia

Little Zargothia

Russia


Persian Gulf/Pacific Ocean

USS Abraham Lincoln, aircraft carrier

Grattiara

City State of Grattiara

Sea

Durazzo Sea

Giva

Givan Islands

WWW Wednesday: September 28th, 2022

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:

  • Miss R had a better week at school. Her teacher only called me once, and that was to let me know that she was begging to go home (which I said no to because she wasn’t sick). She wasn’t my biggest fan for a couple of days but got over it.
  • Wires were crossed last week. What do I mean by that? Well, I pick up a little boy from school and drop him off at his mother’s work Monday-Thursday. I don’t mind doing this because a) I have known her for over 6 years (Miss R and this boy played t-ball together), and b) I am not going out of my way to drop him off. On Thursday, she never texted me to let me know her husband was picking him up. So, I grabbed him and ignored the horn blaring behind me (people are very aggressive to others waiting in the pickup line. It’s an issue). The secretary, who was directing traffic, made me stop and told me that his dad was behind me. I told her that I would pull over at the first safe area, which was beside the school, in the bus lane. Thankfully his dad was super nice and kept apologizing to me. He also said I would hear from him if he picked up his son other than Friday. I was so embarrassed. BK told me I shouldn’t be and was doing what I was supposed to. That the boy’s mother was to blame for not telling me.
  • Miss R has gotten her groove back with riding. She finally cantered last week, and if you all could see the look on her face!! Her instructor was very excited and told me she hoped to keep this up. I told her that I do too.
  • I don’t know if I mentioned this, but Miss B is on her high school’s prom committee (along with several of her friends). She is very excited about prom (it is a combined junior/senior prom). They are also having a winter dance but no homecoming (this school isn’t included in that for some reason).
  • I am still ahead with reading. I have dipped into the first couple of books on my NetGalley list that I have mentioned. So far, I knocked two off (go me!!). I am hoping to get those reviews posted fairly soon.
  • Loki and Vinnie had their vet appointments on Monday. Loki weighs a lot less than I thought (10lbs). Both are in perfect health!!

So that’s the essential things for this past week. How was your week?

As always, let me know if you have read or are planning to read any of these books!!


What I Recently Finished Reading:

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 am currently reading:

A god wages war—using all of humanity as its pawns—in the unforgettable conclusion to the Founders trilogy.

Sancia, Clef, and Berenice have gone up against plenty of long odds in the past. But the war they’re fighting now is one even they can’t win.

This time, they’re not facing robber-baron elites, or even an immortal hierophant, but an entity whose intelligence is spread over half the globe—a ghost in the machine that uses the magic of scriving to possess and control not just objects, but human minds.

To fight it, they’ve used scriving technology to transform themselves and their allies into an army—a society—that’s like nothing humanity has seen before. With its strength at their backs, they’ve freed a handful of their enemy’s hosts from servitude, even brought down some of its fearsome, reality-altering dreadnaughts. Yet despite their efforts, their enemy marches on—implacable. Unstoppable.

Now, as their opponent closes in on its true prize—an ancient doorway, long buried, that leads to the chambers at the center of creation itself—Sancia and her friends glimpse a chance at reaching it first, and with it, a last desperate opportunity to stop this unbeatable foe. But to do so, they’ll have to unlock the centuries-old mystery of scriving’s origins, embark on a desperate mission into the heart of their enemy’s power, and pull off the most daring heist they’ve ever attempted.

And as if that weren’t enough, their adversary might just have a spy in their ranks—and a last trick up its sleeve.

What books I think I’ll read next:

A hair-obsessed serial killer…
A flesh-eating motorway pileup…
A grotesque holiday illness…

Forget what you think you know about the human body. In Rob Ulitski’s debut short story collection, get ready for a thrilling, gut-churning ride through death, disease and destruction.

Boasting thirteen unique stories and a whole host of brutal bodily afflictions, ‘Fleshed Out’ explores the fragility of flesh and blood, and the gruesome ways our bodies can twist, contort and transform into our worst nightmares.
Alice Daniels has a problem. Her reflection keeps misbehaving when she looks in the mirror–and the longer she ignores it, the harder it tries to get her attention. On her eighteenth birthday, she learns why: she is a huntress, someone gifted with the power to enter mirrors and the magical world that exists beyond. But with this power comes immense responsibility, for in the Mirror Realm lurks an evil that has infected the human race for centuries: demons. It is up to her and her three huntress sisters–with the help of one handsome and overbearing protector–to hunt and banish this evil one demon at a time, thereby keeping the chaos in check. But when an ancient god pays Alice a visit that turns deadly, it is clear the Mirror Realm is more than it seems, and she soon finds herself in a race against time to save the life–and soul–of the one man the gods are determined to never let her have.

The Last Huntress is a story of redemption and sacrifice, the bonds of true sisterhood, and the impossible, sometimes frightening, things we’ll do for love.
Emma Makepeace is about to spend the longest night in her life.

She’s on her first operation with a shadowy organisation known only as ‘The Agency’, assigned to track down and save an innocent man wanted by the Russian government.

All Emma has to do is bring him in to MI6 before sunrise, and before an assassination team gets to him first.

But the Russians have hacked the city’s CCTV cameras. There are spies all over London searching for the two of them. And her target, Michael Primalov, doesn’t want to be rescued.

As London sleeps, a battle is taking place on its streets as Emma fights to keep Michael alive.

But what sort of reception await them if and when they get to MI6?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Fall 2020 Reading List

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re welcome to join her and create your list of top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.). Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


I have a lot of books on my TBR at the moment and keep adding more each day. But these books that I am going to showcase here are books I will be reading this fall. Some you might see reviews for, some you might not. Some might be books sitting on my TBR shelf, some might be author/publisher request book reviews, and others might be books I took off my NetGalley Will Not Give Feedback page. But, I plan to read all of these books this fall (and I will let you guys know under which category these books fall).

As always, let me know if you have read any of these books and what you have thought of them!!


1. Nightmares & Daydreams by Dominic J. Anton (author request)

Nightmares & Daydreams unravels the dark consequences of suppressing one’s innermost traumas and pain. Kalim, a 27 year old songwriter living with his boyfriend in Marseille, becomes tortured by nightmares, hallucinations and out of body experiences, as the trauma from his past starts to ripple from the depths of his subconscious. An entity starts to emerge through the fog of his tortured mind, haunting him within his nightmares.

After violent nights and dark days of suffering and relapsing into volatile vices, Kalim is forced to follow the ominous entity as his final hope for salvation. Dominic Anton’s third book and first paranormal fiction thriller further comprises a section of poetry expanding on the theme’s of addiction, trauma, loss of faith, and shedding the skin of the past.

2. The Lost Son by Aidan Lucid (Author Request)

A NEW EPIC FANTASY ADVENTURE BEGINS!!

It’s November 5th, 1945. Captain Edward Johnson and Sergeant Conor MacCall are flying somewhere over the Bermuda Triangle. What should have been a routine patrol mission turns into a fight for their lives when they are attacked by two dragons! After barely escaping, they think the worst is over. It’s not.

Fast forward to present day America and seventeen-year-old Henry’s life is turned upside down when he finds a magical gold coin. It takes him to Zargothia. There he meets the US Airforce pilots and Jasper the cat. Together they learn that they have been chosen to free King Argoth and the people of Zargothia from a cruel oppressive race known as the Sadarkians. With King Argoth’s army being vastly outnumbered, however, will Henry and his friends succeed?

In this fast-paced fantasy adventure, danger lurks around every corner and nothing is what it seems.”

3. The Man without Shelter by Indrajit Garai (author request)

Lucy, a young lawyer, is on fast track to partnership in her firm. Arnault, a convicted felon, leaves prison after two decades through a piece of evidence in his favor. The two of them come together during a rescue operation at the centre of Paris, and then they go on with their separate lives.

Months later, their paths cross again at a camp for migrants on the edge of Paris.

4. Fleshed Out by Rob Ulitski (author request)

5. The Genesis of Evangeline by Rachel Jonas (from TBR pile)

Wolves, dragon shifters, and a fallen kingdom destined to rise again.

Evie Callahan is positive there’s something strange going on in Seaton Falls, her new home. The locals are bigger, stronger, and faster than most. That includes Nick, the boy next door who’s become her silver lining in this godforsaken town.


She wants to trust her instincts–about Nick, about what she suspects in Seaton Falls–but rumors of wolves and dragon shifters makes it hard to tell what’s real. With a history of odd dreams and the nagging sense that she’s never belonged, Evie fears she’s losing touch with reality. Her concern only grows when someone who’s haunted these dreams is suddenly tangible… and claims to hold the key to unlocking her true identity.

Finding out her entire life has been a lie is scary enough, but what’s downright terrifying is discovering who she’s destined to become.

Evie’s much more than your average, seventeen-year-old girl.

And this is her genesis.

6. Dirty Blue by N.E. Henderson (from TBR pile)

D R A G O   A C E R B I

I’ve known his name a long time. You’d have to live under a rock not to know of the heartless and cruel reputation the Acerbi family has established. They are monsters cloaked in suits and ties, or so my colleagues in blue have said. Being on the job, you quickly learn to watch your back, trust no one, and as much as I hate to admit this, sometimes that includes a fellow badge.


But to want to kill your own child for being born? Now that’s monstrous. Unjust. And something I will not stand for. I’ll take him down before I allow an innocent to be harmed.

Even if that means not only taking on the most dangerous family in Southern California but bringing down the drug lord they’re in bed with too.

7. Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner (NetGalley Will Not Get Feedback)

Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.

Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.

A sparkling novel about the complexities of female friendship, the pitfalls of living out loud and online, and the resilience of the human heart, Big Summer is a witty, moving story about family, friendship, and figuring out what matters most. 

8. Steel Fear by Brandon Webb and John David Mann (NetGalley Will Not Give Feedback)

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.

9 Locklands by Robert Jackson Bennett (NetGalley Will Not Give Feedback)

A god wages war—using all of humanity as its pawns—in the unforgettable conclusion to the Founders trilogy.

Sancia, Clef, and Berenice have gone up against plenty of long odds in the past. But the war they’re fighting now is one even they can’t win.

This time, they’re not facing robber-baron elites, or even an immortal hierophant, but an entity whose intelligence is spread over half the globe—a ghost in the machine that uses the magic of scriving to possess and control not just objects, but human minds.


To fight it, they’ve used scriving technology to transform themselves and their allies into an army—a society—that’s like nothing humanity has seen before. With its strength at their backs, they’ve freed a handful of their enemy’s hosts from servitude, even brought down some of its fearsome, reality-altering dreadnaughts. Yet despite their efforts, their enemy marches on—implacable. Unstoppable.

Now, as their opponent closes in on its true prize—an ancient doorway, long buried, that leads to the chambers at the center of creation itself—Sancia and her friends glimpse a chance at reaching it first, and with it, a last desperate opportunity to stop this unbeatable foe. But to do so, they’ll have to unlock the centuries-old mystery of scriving’s origins, embark on a desperate mission into the heart of their enemy’s power, and pull off the most daring heist they’ve ever attempted.

And as if that weren’t enough, their adversary might just have a spy in their ranks—and a last trick up its sleeve.

10. The Last Huntress by Lenore Borja (Publisher Request)

Alice Daniels has a problem. Her reflection keeps misbehaving when she looks in the mirror–and the longer she ignores it, the harder it tries to get her attention. On her eighteenth birthday, she learns why: she is a huntress, someone gifted with the power to enter mirrors and the magical world that exists beyond. But with this power comes immense responsibility, for in the Mirror Realm lurks an evil that has infected the human race for centuries: demons. It is up to her and her three huntress sisters–with the help of one handsome and overbearing protector–to hunt and banish this evil one demon at a time, thereby keeping the chaos in check. But when an ancient god pays Alice a visit that turns deadly, it is clear the Mirror Realm is more than it seems, and she soon finds herself in a race against time to save the life–and soul–of the one man the gods are determined to never let her have.

The Last Huntress is a story of redemption and sacrifice, the bonds of true sisterhood, and the impossible, sometimes frightening, things we’ll do for love.

WWW Wednesday: June 22nd, 2022

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:

Here’s what has gone on since last week’s WWW Wednesday:

  • Actually, nothing too much happened over the past week. Well, nothing worth talking about.

So that’s the major things for this past week. How was your week?

As always, let me know if you have read or are planning to read any of these books!!


What I Recently Finished Reading:

A reality star and a cupcake-baking football player pretend to be a couple in order to save his bakery in this sweet and sexy romance from Jamie Wesley, Fake It Till You Bake It.

Jada Townsend-Matthews is the most reviled woman in America after turning down a proposal on a reality dating show. When she comes home to lick her wounds, Jada finds herself working at San Diego’s newest cupcake bakery, Sugar Blitz, alongside the uptight owner and professional football player Donovan Dell.

When a reporter mistakenly believes Jada and Donovan are an item, they realize they can use the misunderstanding to their advantage to help the struggling bakery and rehabilitate Jada’s image. Faking a relationship should be simple, but sometimes love is the most unexpected ingredient.

Fake it Till You Bake It is a sweet confection of a novel, the perfect story to curl up with and enjoy with a cupcake on the side.

What I am currently reading:

A god wages war—using all of humanity as its pawns—in the unforgettable conclusion to the Founders trilogy.

Sancia, Clef, and Berenice have gone up against plenty of long odds in the past. But the war they’re fighting now is one even they can’t win.

This time, they’re not facing robber-baron elites, or even an immortal hierophant, but an entity whose intelligence is spread over half the globe—a ghost in the machine that uses the magic of scriving to possess and control not just objects, but human minds.


To fight it, they’ve used scriving technology to transform themselves and their allies into an army—a society—that’s like nothing humanity has seen before. With its strength at their backs, they’ve freed a handful of their enemy’s hosts from servitude, even brought down some of its fearsome, reality-altering dreadnaughts. Yet despite their efforts, their enemy marches on—implacable. Unstoppable.

Now, as their opponent closes in on its true prize—an ancient doorway, long buried, that leads to the chambers at the center of creation itself—Sancia and her friends glimpse a chance at reaching it first, and with it, a last desperate opportunity to stop this unbeatable foe. But to do so, they’ll have to unlock the centuries-old mystery of scriving’s origins, embark on a desperate mission into the heart of their enemy’s power, and pull off the most daring heist they’ve ever attempted.

And as if that weren’t enough, their adversary might just have a spy in their ranks—and a last trick up its sleeve.

What books I think I’ll read next:

Two girls went into the woods. Only one came back. . . .

Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens is on the trail in this explosive crime novel from the acclaimed author of She Lies in WaitWatching from the Dark, and Lie Beside Me

Jonah Sheens is enjoying a moment of peace in a pub garden on his day off when a teenage girl wanders out of the woods. She’s striking, with flame-red hair and a pale complexion. She’s also covered in blood.

When Jonah races to help, the girl insists she’s fine. Then she smiles. It’s her sister he needs to worry about. Keely and her sister, Nina, disappeared from a children’s home a week ago. Now Keely is here–but Nina’s still missing. Jonah is sure Keely knows where her sister is–but before she tells him anything, she insists, he has to listen to her story from the beginning.

Is she witness, victim, or killer? And if Jonah follows the trail of clues in her story, will they lead him to the missing girl–or distract him until it’s too late?
The discovery of a missing Amish bishop’s remains leads chief of police Kate Burkholder to unearth a chilling secret in The Hidden One, a new thriller from bestselling author Linda Castillo…
You want to walk away from the things that were bad for you and never look back.

That’s what Corinne Callahan wants.


Cast out of the fundamentalist church she was raised in and cut off from her family, Corinne builds a new life for herself. A good one. But she never stops missing the life—and the love— she’s left behind.

It’s Enoch Miller who ruins everything for her. It was always Enoch Miller. She’ll never get him out from under her skin.

Set over fifteen years and told with astonishing intimacy, Rebecca Morrow’s Corinne is the story of a woman who risks everything she’s built for the one man she can never have.
The sleepy little farm that Laurel Early grew up on has awakened. The woods are shifting, the soil is dead under her hands, and her bone pile just stood up and walked away.

After dropping out of college, all she wanted was to resume her life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist and try not to think about the boy she can’t help but love. Instead, a devil from her past has returned to court her, as he did her late mother years earlier. Now, Laurel must unravel her mother’s terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her future and the fate of everyone she loves is doomed.

WWW Wednesday: June 15th, 2022

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:

Here’s what has gone on since last week’s** WWW Wednesday:

** I know that I missed two WWW Wednesdays since my last post. But I am lazy and didn’t want to mess with what I had originally written (I copy/paste it)

  • School has officially ended here in NC. I am proud to say that all 3 of my kids passed to the next grade. So, starting in August, I will have 9th, 11th, and 3rd graders!!
  • While I am on the subject of school, Mr. Z got back the results of his state tests. He got 4’s and 5’s (which put him in honors classes in August). Miss B got back her results too and she did very well. With the exception of math, she scored 3’s and 4’s (math, she scored a 2 but I wasn’t surprised, it was hard for her this year)
  • I attended Miss R’s end-of-school picnic. It was the first time in 2 years that they had it and it was a hit. Miss R was thrilled that I was there and I got to meet her friends. I also became the mom who adopted 4 kids because their parents couldn’t make it. We all sat on our towels and I listened to 2nd-grade gossip…lol.
  • The school is doing something different for school supplies this year. They set up an account for all grades with this company called School Kidz. This company packs a box filled with essential school supplies and sends it to the school. It cost me $41 (with no shipping, that the school covers) but Miss R will have waiting for her this list: wide-ruled paper, #2 pencils, dry erase markers, folders, 3 ring binder, composition notebooks, regular notebooks, glue sticks, crayons, pencil case, scissors (but in Miss R’s case, she needs lefty scissors so I will have her give the one that comes with the kit to the teacher), earbuds with case, and personalized ID labels. I am happy to have that done with and wish that the high school would do the same.
  • We went away on a glorious vacation to Fl for an entire week. We went to Legoland Waterpark, Animal Kingdom, saw my MIL, and spent a few days at the resort. It was a much-needed vacation and I read a ton of books (it was a 10-hour drive to and from).
  • Unfortunately, as soon as we got home, Miss R and I got sick. Miss R actually had a bad cold at the beginning of the trip (not COVID, we tested) that she passed to me. I had a miserable 4 days of coughing, laryngitis, and a sore throat. I ended up taking Miss R to the Dr last Wednesday because I thought she had swimmers ear. Nope, she had double ear infections and is still currently taking antibiotics.
  • We are hunkering down during this heat wave and my kids hate it. I hate it because we have a small pool (inflatable) and a slip and slide that Miss R loves but hasn’t used since the weekend. It is just too hot and humid. We have one more day of super-hot temps (tomorrow is supposed to get over 100 with a real feel of 105-107…..yuck) and then it will cool down slightly.
  • I signed Miss R up for a day camp at her barn today. It is next Friday, 9-4 and she will be with the other girls she knows (plus some that she doesn’t). She has a lesson right after and I am expecting her to be exhausted (actually I am planning on it). I figure since her surgery is on July 1st, I was going to squeeze as much stuff as I could for her before it.
  • Reading-wise, I am all caught up with my backlog and I am actually reading ahead of where I should be. I am super excited about that!! Now, I am furiously writing reviews and trying to get them posted. I am about 8-9 reviews behind where I want to be. But it’s better than being 8-9 books behind. Like I said above, I got a ton of reading done while on vacation.

So that’s the major things for this past week. How was your week?

As always, let me know if you have read or are planning to read any of these books!!


What I Recently Finished Reading:

In the first book of a visionary fantasy trilogy with its roots in the mythology of Africa and Arabia that “sings of rebellion, love, and the courage it takes to stand up to tyranny” (Samantha Shannon, author of The Priory of the Orange Tree), three women band together against a cruel empire that divides people by blood.

The Final Strife is the real deal: epic fantasy turned on its head in the most compelling way imaginable.”—Kalynn Bayron, bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead and This Poison Heart

ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Book Riot


Red is the blood of the elite, of magic, of control.
Blue is the blood of the poor, of workers, of the resistance.
Clear is the blood of the slaves, of the crushed, of the invisible.


Sylah dreams of days growing up in the resistance, being told she would spark a revolution that would free the empire from the red-blooded ruling classes’ tyranny. That spark was extinguished the day she watched her family murdered before her eyes.

Anoor has been told she’s nothing, no one, a disappointment, by the only person who matters: her mother, the most powerful ruler in the empire. But when Sylah and Anoor meet, a fire burns between them that could consume the kingdom—and their hearts.

Hassa moves through the world unseen by upper classes, so she knows what it means to be invisible. But invisibility has its uses: It can hide the most dangerous of secrets, secrets that can reignite a revolution. And when she joins forces with Sylah and Anoor, together these grains of sand will become a storm.

As the empire begins a set of trials of combat and skill designed to find its new leaders, the stage is set for blood to flow, power to shift, and cities to burn.

Book One of The Ending Fire Trilog
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What I am currently reading:

A reality star and a cupcake-baking football player pretend to be a couple in order to save his bakery in this sweet and sexy romance from Jamie Wesley, Fake It Till You Bake It.

Jada Townsend-Matthews is the most reviled woman in America after turning down a proposal on a reality dating show. When she comes home to lick her wounds, Jada finds herself working at San Diego’s newest cupcake bakery, Sugar Blitz, alongside the uptight owner and professional football player Donovan Dell.

When a reporter mistakenly believes Jada and Donovan are an item, they realize they can use the misunderstanding to their advantage to help the struggling bakery and rehabilitate Jada’s image. Faking a relationship should be simple, but sometimes love is the most unexpected ingredient.

Fake it Till You Bake It is a sweet confection of a novel, the perfect story to curl up with and enjoy with a cupcake on the side.

What books I think I’ll read next:

A god wages war—using all of humanity as its pawns—in the unforgettable conclusion to the Founders trilogy.

Sancia, Clef, and Berenice have gone up against plenty of long odds in the past. But the war they’re fighting now is one even they can’t win.


This time, they’re not facing robber-baron elites, or even an immortal hierophant, but an entity whose intelligence is spread over half the globe—a ghost in the machine that uses the magic of scriving to possess and control not just objects, but human minds.

To fight it, they’ve used scriving technology to transform themselves and their allies into an army—a society—that’s like nothing humanity has seen before. With its strength at their backs, they’ve freed a handful of their enemy’s hosts from servitude, even brought down some of its fearsome, reality-altering dreadnaughts. Yet despite their efforts, their enemy marches on—implacable. Unstoppable.

Now, as their opponent closes in on its true prize—an ancient doorway, long buried, that leads to the chambers at the center of creation itself—Sancia and her friends glimpse a chance at reaching it first, and with it, a last desperate opportunity to stop this unbeatable foe. But to do so, they’ll have to unlock the centuries-old mystery of scriving’s origins, embark on a desperate mission into the heart of their enemy’s power, and pull off the most daring heist they’ve ever attempted.

And as if that weren’t enough, their adversary might just have a spy in their ranks—and a last trick up its sleeve.
Two girls went into the woods. Only one came back. . . .

Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens is on the trail in this explosive crime novel from the acclaimed author of She Lies in WaitWatching from the Dark, and Lie Beside Me

Jonah Sheens is enjoying a moment of peace in a pub garden on his day off when a teenage girl wanders out of the woods. She’s striking, with flame-red hair and a pale complexion. She’s also covered in blood.

When Jonah races to help, the girl insists she’s fine. Then she smiles. It’s her sister he needs to worry about. Keely and her sister, Nina, disappeared from a children’s home a week ago. Now Keely is here–but Nina’s still missing. Jonah is sure Keely knows where her sister is–but before she tells him anything, she insists, he has to listen to her story from the beginning.

Is she witness, victim, or killer? And if Jonah follows the trail of clues in her story, will they lead him to the missing girl–or distract him until it’s too late?
The discovery of a missing Amish bishop’s remains leads chief of police Kate Burkholder to unearth a chilling secret in The Hidden One, a new thriller from bestselling author Linda Castillo…
You want to walk away from the things that were bad for you and never look back.

That’s what Corinne Callahan wants.

Cast out of the fundamentalist church she was raised in and cut off from her family, Corinne builds a new life for herself. A good one. But she never stops missing the life—and the love— she’s left behind.

It’s Enoch Miller who ruins everything for her. It was always Enoch Miller. She’ll never get him out from under her skin.

Set over fifteen years and told with astonishing intimacy, Rebecca Morrow’s Corinne is the story of a woman who risks everything she’s built for the one man she can never have.

February 2022 Wrap Up

And another month has ended. As with the previous months, February seemed to fly by. It was like I blinked and it was over. Of course, not helping, is that February is a short month.

I have made strides with my reading but I am still behind. I finished all of my indie authors read and have started on my impossibly large NetGalley TBR. Wish me luck with that…lol.

I am doing alright with reviews, only about 2 books behind, considering that I hurt my arm in mid-February.

As always, please let me know if you have read any of these books!!


Books I got from NetGalley

In the first book of a visionary African and Arabian-inspired fantasy trilogy, three women band together against a cruel Empire that divides people by blood.

Red is the blood of the elite, of magic, of control.

Blue is the blood of the poor, of workers, of the resistance.

Clear is the blood of the slaves, of the crushed, of the invisible.

Sylah dreams of days growing up in the resistance, being told she would spark a revolution that would free the Empire from the red-blooded ruling classes’ tyranny. That spark was extinguished the day she watched her family murdered before her eyes.

Anoor has been told she’s nothing, no one, a disappointment by the only person who matters: her mother, the most powerful ruler in the Empire. But dust always rises in a storm.

Hassa moves through the world unseen by upper classes, so she knows what it means to be invisible. But invisibility has its uses: It can hide the most dangerous of secrets, secrets that can reignite a revolution.

As the Empire begins a set of trials of combat and skill designed to find its new leaders, the stage is set for blood to flow, power to shift, and cities to burn.
Logan Ramsay is about to get the brain he always dreamed of. But will he be transformed into something more than human…or something less? The mind-blowing new thriller from the ‘New York Times’ best-selling author of ‘Dark Matter’ and ‘Recursion’.

When the SWAT team gives the all-clear and Logan Ramsay steps into the basement, he has no idea that everything’s about to change.

Then there’s the hiss of aerosol. The explosion. The shrapnel that punctures his hazmat gear. Logan wakes up to find himself in a hospital bed, attended by doctors in their own hazmat suits, his wife and daughter looking on from behind the glass.

The doctors say he’s been infected by a virus–one designed not to make him sick, but to modify his very genetic structure. In a world where the next-generation gene-editing tool known as Scythe is widely available–and has already reaped disastrous consequences–the possibilities are too many and terrifying to count.


Except that after the fever, the pain, the fear…the virus is gone. And according to his government bosses, Logan’s got a clean bill of health.

But the truth is that with each day that passes, Logan’s getting smarter. Seeing things more clearly. He’s realizing that he’s been upgraded in ways that go beyond even Scythe’s capabilities–and that he’s been given these abilities for a reason.

Because a holy grail of genetic engineering–one that could change our very definitions of humanity–has just been unearthed. And now it’s up to him to stop it from falling into the wrong hands.

Logan’s becoming something more. Something better. Even with the whole world hunting for him, he might be able to outthink his opponents and win the war that’s coming.

But what if it’s at the cost of being himself?
Ohioana Book Award finalist Ruth Emmie Lang returns with a new cast of ordinary characters with extraordinary abilities.

Five years ago, Nora Wilder disappeared. The older of her two daughters, Zadie, should have seen it coming, because she can literally see things coming. But not even her psychic abilities were able to prevent their mother from vanishing one morning.

Zadie’s estranged younger sister, Finn, can’t see into the future, but she has an uncannily good memory, so good that she remembers not only her own memories, but the echoes of memories other people have left behind. On the afternoon of her graduation party, Finn is seized by an “echo” more powerful than anything she’s experienced before: a woman singing a song she recognizes, a song about a bird…


When Finn wakes up alone in an aviary with no idea of how she got there, she realizes who the memory belongs to: Nora.

Now, it’s up to Finn to convince her sister that not only is their mom still out there, but that she wants to be found. Against Zadie’s better judgement, she and Finn hit the highway, using Finn’s echoes to retrace Nora’s footsteps and uncover the answer to the question that has been haunting them for years: Why did she leave?

But the more time Finn spends in their mother’s past, the harder it is for her to return to the present, to return to herself. As Zadie feels her sister start to slip away, she will have to decide what lengths she is willing to go to to find their mother, knowing that if she chooses wrong, she could lose them both for good.
The Seven―the Divine beings meant to protect the world―just declared war. On me. They took Ray, my baby sister, and now they’re using my boyfriend to do their dirty work.

Well, screw that.

I may not be able to wipe them off the face of the earth now, but I know what can.

Thanks to an Ather connection, I know about the Seven Scrolls. An ancient incantation made by the Creator to counteract the Seven’s great power, scattered into pieces across the world.

With the help of my new crew, we’re on the hunt. And with each located scroll, I face new battles, bloodier and harder than I’ve ever known before. But now the stakes are even higher, because Ray has always been my bright light in the darkness, and Draven is my hope when all seems lost, and if I don’t get them back?

Well, then I might just become the scariest legend the world has ever known.
A reality star and a cupcake-baking football player pretend to be a couple in order to save his bakery in this sweet and sexy romance from Jamie Wesley, Fake It Till You Bake It.

Jada Townsend-Matthews is the most reviled woman in America after turning down a proposal on a reality dating show. When she comes home to lick her wounds, Jada finds herself working at San Diego’s newest cupcake bakery, Sugar Blitz, alongside the uptight owner and professional football player Donovan Dell.

When a reporter mistakenly believes Jada and Donovan are an item, they realize they can use the misunderstanding to their advantage to help the struggling bakery and rehabilitate Jada’s image. Faking a relationship should be simple, but sometimes love is the most unexpected ingredient.

Fake it Till You Bake It is a sweet confection of a novel, the perfect story to curl up with and enjoy with a cupcake on the side.
A god wages war—using all of humanity as its pawns—in the unforgettable conclusion to the Founders trilogy.

Sancia, Clef, and Berenice have gone up against plenty of long odds in the past. But the war they’re fighting now is one even they can’t win.

This time, they’re not facing robber-baron elites, or even an immortal hierophant, but an entity whose intelligence is spread over half the globe—a ghost in the machine that uses the magic of scriving to possess and control not just objects, but human minds.


To fight it, they’ve used scriving technology to transform themselves and their allies into an army—a society—that’s like nothing humanity has seen before. With its strength at their backs, they’ve freed a handful of their enemy’s hosts from servitude, even brought down some of its fearsome, reality-altering dreadnaughts. Yet despite their efforts, their enemy marches on—implacable. Unstoppable.

Now, as their opponent closes in on its true prize—an ancient doorway, long buried, that leads to the chambers at the center of creation itself—Sancia and her friends glimpse a chance at reaching it first, and with it, a last desperate opportunity to stop this unbeatable foe. But to do so, they’ll have to unlock the centuries-old mystery of scriving’s origins, embark on a desperate mission into the heart of their enemy’s power, and pull off the most daring heist they’ve ever attempted.

And as if that weren’t enough, their adversary might just have a spy in their ranks—and a last trick up its sleeve.
he Davies and Montgomery families have been locked in an ancient feud. But it’s a thin line between love and hate in Kate Bateman’s A Daring Pursuit.

TWO ENEMIES
Carys Davies is doing everything in her power to avoid marriage. Staying single is the only way to hide the secret that could ruin her—and her family—if it was revealed. For the past two seasons she’s scandalized the ton with her outrageous outfits and brazen ways in a futile bid to deter potential suitors. Outwardly confident and carefree, inside she’s disillusioned with both men and love. There’s only one person who’s never bought her act—the only man who makes her heart race: Tristan Montgomery, one of her family’s greatest rivals.

ONE SCANDALOUS BARGAIN
Wickedly proper architect Tristan needs a respectable woman to wed, but he’s never stopped wanting bold, red-headed Carys. When she mockingly challenges him to show her what she’s missing by not getting married, Tristan shocks them both by accepting her indecent proposal: one week of clandestine meetings, after which they’ll go their separate ways. But kissing each other is almost as much fun as arguing, and their affair burns hotter than either of them expects. When they find themselves embroiled in a treasonous plot, can they trust each other with their hearts, their secrets…and their lives?
Extraordinarily tense and deliciously mysterious, Anna Downes’s The Shadow House follows one woman’s desperate journey to protect her children at any cost, in a remote place where not everything is as it seems.

A HOUSE WITH DEADLY SECRETS.

A MOTHER WHO’LL RISK EVERYTHING TO BRING THEM TO LIGHT.


Alex, a single mother-of-two, is determined to make a fresh start for her and her children. In an effort to escape her troubled past, she seeks refuge in a rural community. Pine Ridge is idyllic; the surrounding forests are beautiful and the locals welcoming. Mostly.

But Alex finds that she may have disturbed barely hidden secrets in her new home. As a chain of bizarre events is set off, events eerily familiar to those who have lived there for years, Alex realizes that she and her family might be in greater danger than ever before. And that the only way to protect them all is to confront the shadows lurking in Pine Ridge.
From Lynda Cohen Loigman, the bestselling author of The Two-Family House and The Wartime Sisters, comes a heartwarming story of two extraordinary women from two different eras who defy expectations to utilize their unique gift of seeing soulmates in the most unexpected places in The Matchmaker’s Gift.

Is finding true love a calling or a curse?


Even as a child in 1910, Sara Glikman knows her gift: she is a maker of matches and a seeker of soulmates. But among the pushcart-crowded streets of New York’s Lower East Side, Sara’s vocation is dominated by devout older men—men who see a talented female matchmaker as a dangerous threat to their traditions and livelihood. After making matches in secret for more than a decade, Sara must fight to take her rightful place among her peers, and to demand the recognition she deserves.

Two generations later, Sara’s granddaughter, Abby, is a successful Manhattan divorce attorney, representing the city’s wealthiest clients. When her beloved Grandma Sara dies, Abby inherits her collection of handwritten journals recording the details of Sara’s matches. But among the faded volumes, Abby finds more questions than answers. Why did Abby’s grandmother leave this library to her and what did she hope Abby would discover within its pages? Why does the work Abby once found so compelling suddenly feel inconsequential and flawed? Is Abby willing to sacrifice the career she’s worked so hard for in order to keep her grandmother’s mysterious promise to a stranger? And is there really such a thing as love at first sight?

Books I got from Authors/Indie Publishers

Meet Kara Hartman, a photojournalist who is hiding her magic from the world. Traumatized by her brother’s death, she wants nothing more to do with magic. But just when she thought she could neglect her gift, it becomes apparent that the universe has other plans for Kara. When she discovers that an old foe has broken out of prison, hellbent on destroying her new life, Kara has no choice but to embrace the only power that can stop her.
A psychopath with size 16 shoes, nursing home hookers and an irreverent Las Vegas homicide detective with a gambling habit set the tone for this off-beat tale of revenge and retribution.

Blackjack addict Frank Savic is deeply in debt and facing family problems when he’s asked to delay his retirement to catch a vigilante killer who murders other murderers in a manner the veteran cop has never seen.

While dead bodies stack up in quick succession, the motorcycle-riding policeman gets reluctantly involved with a desperate mother who will do anything to get justice for her dead son.


Savic, his investigation complicated by a suspected FBI coverup and a prison bribery scandal, is also unaware that the quirky murderer might also be the solution to his own financial and domestic dilemma.

Add the brooding backdrop of Venice, Italy…and a vengeful killer who reads Shakespeare, and you have a teasing psychological thriller where surgical bone saws and spiders are just tools of the trade.
The sweetness of first love…

Could a fiercely independent cop’s heart be stolen by the guy who makes her favorite doughnuts? Will a maid who used deceit to snare a mail-order husband get a dose of her own medicine? Can her handsome neighbor rescue a modern-day “princess” from a tenacious ex-boyfriend? Can two strangers in a rideshare be honest enough to fall in love for real? Can you remember your first love? How about your second? Third? Fourth?

Featuring the talents of Linda Budzinski, Melissa Maygrove, Michael Di Gesu, Sylvia Ney, Katie Klein, Kim Elliott, Templeton Moss, S.E. White, Denise Covey, and Sammi Spizziri. Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will touch your heart and rekindle lost feelings. Prepare to return to that first love…
Life on the street molds emotional athletes.

Three years ago, her brother’s death marked the beginning of Kendra’s new life, an existence with no friends, no family, and no home.

Her new identity crumbles when a specter from her brother’s past demands a package she doesn’t possess. There’s only one person who could know its location. For Kendra, re-entrance into polite society comes with a deadly price, as betrayal comes from both sides of the grave.

Conner Crofton, ex-military, fights his own demons. Failure to protect a teammate on their last covert mission takes penance as a promise to safeguard a family member, a girl he’d unknowingly remanded to a world of darkness and uncertainty, deception and psychopathic stalkers.

The past haunts them both while forgiveness, betrayal, and passion interweave a destiny formed long ago. Romantic suspense with a twist.

Books Read and Reviewed

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest by Jacque Stevens (read but need to write review)

Druid’s Moon by Deniz Bevan (read and review will be published in September)

The Insect Room by Felicity Hughes (review here)

Rose: Future Heart by Jazalyn (review here)

Shadow Guard by Reily Garrett (review here)

Crystal Vision by Larry Rodness (review here)

The Devil’s Whispers by Lucas Hault (review here)

Heir of Blood and Secrets by Linda Xia (review here)

The Counterclockwise Heart by Brian Farrey (review here)

vViIrRuUsS: I Never Forget by Jazalyn (review here)

Stocking the Shelves: February 6th through February 12th 2022

Welcome to Stocking the Shelves. Every Saturday, I will be posting what books I got this week. Stocking the Shelves is hosted by Reading Reality. So, here is my list. Let me know if you have read any of these and what you thought!!


From the Author/Indie Publisher:

Book Cover
A beautiful and charismatic but blowsy and lonely rose faces external turbulences and internal battles of life and love, but She overcomes them filtering the positiveness and the negativeness, and She becomes the future heart deep down inside She always was.
Book Cover
Meet Kara Hartman, a photojournalist who is hiding her magic from the world. Traumatized by her brother’s death, she wants nothing more to do with magic. But just when she thought she could neglect her gift, it becomes apparent that the universe has other plans for Kara. When she discovers that an old foe has broken out of prison, hellbent on destroying her new life, Kara has no choice but to embrace the only power that can stop her.

From NetGalley:

Book Cover
Jada Townsend-Matthews is the most reviled woman in America after turning down a proposal on a reality dating show. When she comes home to lick her wounds, Jada finds herself working at San Diego’s newest cupcake bakery, Sugar Blitz, alongside the uptight owner and professional football player Donovan Dell.

When a reporter mistakenly believes Jada and Donovan are an item, they realize they can use the misunderstanding to their advantage to help the struggling bakery and rehabilitate Jada’s image. Faking a relationship should be simple, but sometimes love is the most unexpected ingredient.

Fake it Till You Bake It is a sweet confection of a novel, the perfect story to curl up with and enjoy with a cupcake on the side.
Book Cover
A god wages war—using all of humanity as its pawns—in the unforgettable conclusion to the Founders trilogy.

Sancia, Clef, and Berenice have gone up against plenty of long odds in the past. But the war they’re fighting now is one even they can’t win.

This time, they’re not facing robber-baron elites, or even an immortal hierophant, but an entity whose intelligence is spread over half the globe—a ghost in the machine that uses the magic of scriving to possess and control not just objects, but human minds.

To fight it, they’ve used scriving technology to transform themselves and their allies into an army—a society—that’s like nothing humanity has seen before. With its strength at their backs, they’ve freed a handful of their enemy’s hosts from servitude, even brought down some of its fearsome, reality-altering dreadnaughts. Yet despite their efforts, their enemy marches on—implacable. Unstoppable.

Now, as their opponent closes in on its true prize—an ancient doorway, long buried, that leads to the chambers at the center of creation itself—Sancia and her friends glimpse a chance at reaching it first, and with it, a last desperate opportunity to stop this unbeatable foe. But to do so, they’ll have to unlock the centuries-old mystery of scriving’s origins, embark on a desperate mission into the heart of their enemy’s power, and pull off the most daring heist they’ve ever attempted.

And as if that weren’t enough, their adversary might just have a spy in their ranks—and a last trick up its sleeve.
Book Cover
The Davies and Montgomery families have been locked in an ancient feud. But it’s a thin line between love and hate in Kate Bateman’s A Daring Pursuit.

TWO ENEMIES
Carys Davies is doing everything in her power to avoid marriage. Staying single is the only way to hide the secret that could ruin her—and her family—if it was revealed. For the past two seasons she’s scandalized the ton with her outrageous outfits and brazen ways in a futile bid to deter potential suitors. Outwardly confident and carefree, inside she’s disillusioned with both men and love. There’s only one person who’s never bought her act—the only man who makes her heart race: Tristan Montgomery, one of her family’s greatest rivals.

ONE SCANDALOUS BARGAIN
Wickedly proper architect Tristan needs a respectable woman to wed, but he’s never stopped wanting bold, red-headed Carys. When she mockingly challenges him to show her what she’s missing by not getting married, Tristan shocks them both by accepting her indecent proposal: one week of clandestine meetings, after which they’ll go their separate ways. But kissing each other is almost as much fun as arguing, and their affair burns hotter than either of them expects. When they find themselves embroiled in a treasonous plot, can they trust each other with their hearts, their secrets…and their lives?

Shorefall (Founders: Book 2) by Robert Jackson Bennett

5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray

Date of publication: April 21st, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Founders

Foundryside—Book 1 (Review Here)

Shorefall—Book 2

Where you can find Shorefall: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

The upstart firm Foundryside is struggling to make it. Orso Igancio and his star employee, former thief Sancia Grado, are accomplishing brilliant things with scriving, the magical art of encoding sentience into everyday objects, but it’s not enough. The massive merchant houses of Tevanne won’t tolerate competition, and they’re willing to do anything to crush Foundryside.

But even the merchant houses of Tevanne might have met their match. An immensely powerful and deadly entity has been resurrected in the shadows of Tevanne, one that’s not interested in wealth or trade routes: a hierophant, one of the ancient practitioners of scriving. And he has a great fascination for Foundryside, and its employees – especially Sancia.

Now Sancia and the rest of Foundryside must race to combat this new menace, which means understanding the origins of scriving itself – before the hierophant burns Tevanne to the ground.


First Line:

“The gates are just ahead,” said Gregor.

Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett

My Review:

I was pretty pumped when I got the email from Del Ray/Random House asking if I wanted to review Shorefall. I had loved Foundryside and was wondering when the next book was going to be published. So, it was a no brainer what my answer was going to be.

Shorefall is the 2nd book in the Founders trilogy. I would highly recommend reading Foundryside first. You would better understand the world, the houses, Sanica, and everything else in the book.

Shorefall takes place three years after the events of Foundryside, and Orso, Sanica, Berenice, and Gregor have founded their scriving business. They have become a sort of Robin Hood to the poor but they give out scrives instead of money. After an excursion to steal one of the remaining Houses lexicons, Sanica is contacted by Valeria. Valeria has a warning. Her Maker is coming, and he is getting ready to destroy Tevanne. Sanica and her crew must prepare to fight Valeria’s Maker. But are they prepared for the toll it will take upon the group? And with the lines between good and evil blurred, will Sanica make the right choice?

Shorefall’s plotline was fast-paced. Seeing that this book takes place within a week or so of Valeria’s Maker arriving in Tevanne, there were no dropped plotlines or characters. The writing flowed beautifully when the book had to change from Sanica. There was no awkwardness either. That alone made me love the book.

It did take me some time to read Shorefall. But, and I want to stress this, it wasn’t because the book was awful and I was putting it off. Nope, it was the complete opposite. I slowed down my reading pace so I could savor this book. The writing, the language, the characters were beautifully written.

I can’t get much into the storyline or characters of Shorefall without giving away spoilers. I will say this; the characters blossomed in this book. And the storyline was fantastic. The details that the author thought to include was terrific.

I will touch upon Clef, Valeria, and Valeria’s Maker. There is a massive twist in the plot that I didn’t see coming that involves them. Looking back, it makes total sense. But when I was reading it, I was shocked. I ended up putting my Kindle down and saying, “No freaking way.

The end of Shorefall made me cry. Again, I can’t say why, but it does involve Orso and Gregor. My heart broke into smithereens during those scenes. With the way the book ended, I am not sure what is going to happen and now will be impatiently waiting for the final book!!


I would give Shorefall an Older Teen rating. There are mentions of sexual situations (no details). There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Shorefall. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Foundryside (Founders: Book 1) by Robert Jackson Bennett

Foundryside (Founders, #1)

4 Stars

Publisher: Crown Publishing

Date of publication: August 21st, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk

Series: Founders

Foundryside – Book 1

Where you can find Foundryside: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself–the first in a dazzling new fantasy series from City of Stairs author Robert Jackson Bennett. 
 
Sancia Grado is a thief and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle. 
 
But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims. 
 
Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them. 
 
To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s underway—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

My review:

This was my first time reading anything by Robert Jackson Bennett. I didn’t know what to expect from Foundryside. So wasn’t I surprised when I realized I was reading fantasy with steampunk elements in it. I don’t know if I had mentioned it on this blog before, but I am a huge steampunk fan. I love it. I rarely read it. Even more rarely do I review those books. So yeah, I was a pretty happy person.

Image result for fantasy italian village

What I also liked about Foundryside was the place that Tevanne was modeled after. Foundryside was set in a jungle on an unnamed continent. The book is set in the city. I say almost because Sanica’s memories take us back to the plantation that she was a slave at. That was on an island, which was owned by one of the Houses. Other than that, it was pretty much well contained. I liked it because I had to only remember the name of the city and the houses it was carved into. The houses in the city reminded me of Italian cities. Italian cities that have fallen onto bad times but the likeness was there.

Foundryside starts off slow. While it doesn’t creep like some books, it also doesn’t gain momentum until the middle of the book. I would be complaining about it but it worked in this case. In doing this, the author allowed me to get to know the main characters and the city. Everything was explained, which I liked too. In my experience with books this size, there are plotlines that are dropped or holes in the plot. Not in this case.

Going with what I said above, the characters were filled out. What I liked is that they weren’t all likable. That they all had their flaws and that the author didn’t try to hide those flaws. Instead, he took them and made those flaws a part of each character’s personality.

Image result for fantasy runed wheels

I also liked how the author explained scrivings. Scrivings are industrial made magic that is used in everything in this society. Foundations, carriages, wheels…etc, they were all scrived. The only thing that couldn’t scrived is humans. It was forbidden. Until Sanica. Sanica is the only scrived human in Tevanne. Or so she thought. There is another scrived human and it blew my mind because of who it was.

I want to get into what Clef was but it is almost too hard to explain. A key that talks only to Sanica don’t even begin to touch the surface with him. He was one of my favorite characters.

Image result for butterfly shaped key

While Foundryside was a bloody mess in the 2nd half of the book. While I was expecting a little death, I wasn’t expecting how many people died. It did turn me off the book a bit. But I do think that the book couldn’t be written any other way. People had to die for Sanica to have her transformation. They also had to die to expose Estelle as the insane woman that she was.

I loved the end of Foundryside. I loved Orso giving Ofelia Dandolo what amounted to the middle finger. I also liked what Orso sprang on Sanica. But my favorite was the very ending of the book with the meeting between Ofelia and her prophet. It gave an interesting twist on things as well as opening things up for a 2nd book.

What I liked about Foundryside:

A) fantasy/steampunk combination

B) filled out characters

C) How the author explained what scrivings were.

What I disliked about Foundryside:

A) How slow the book was at first

B) How the book was a bloody mess during the 2nd half of the book

C) What happened to Sanica at the plantation

I gave Foundryside a 4-star rating. This was a well-written book with fleshed out characters. The book is slow to start and it does get bloody the 2nd half of the book. But I liked it. It was a good read.

I would give Foundryside an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is graphic violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Foundryside. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Crown Publishing for allowing me to read and review Foundryside.

All opinions stated in this review of Foundryside are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**