Bookish Travels—August 2023 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 initially posting this!!

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

Bon Voyage!!

Please let me know if you have read these books or traveled to these areas.

Countries I visited the most: United States, England, Scotland

States I visited the most: New York, California, Washington, Montana, Georgia, Oregon

Cities I visited the most: Los Angeles, Seattle, London, Malibu

United States

New York (Burning Lake)
Washington (Bainbridge Island, Seattle, Richland), Colorado (Golden, Denver), Washington D.C., Wyoming (Yellowstone National Park, Mayoworth, Wright), Montana (West Yellowstone Village), Oregon (Portland), South Dakota (Watertown), California (Los Angeles), Arizona (Phoenix), Montana (Glasgow, Fort Peck, Boyd), Georgia (Atlanta)
New York (Brooklyn), Illinois (Chicago), New Jersey (Secaucus)
New York (Belmont Park), Massachusetts (Cambridge)
Pennsylvania (Harrisburg), Maryland (Baltimore)
Maine (Mistletoe)
Connecticut (Clover Ridge)
New York (New York City)
Alaska (Ryba Harbor)
Florida (Daytona Beach)
Colonial Massachusetts (Hinkapee, North Hinkapee)
Idaho, Utah (Bliss)
California (Malibu, Laguna, Los Angeles), Hawaii (Makaha)
Unknown State (East Kent, Samhattan)
Washington (Seattle)
Montana (Big Sky), Washington (Anacortes), California (Los Angeles)
Georgia (Savannah)
Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
Oregon (Bandon)
Texas (Pleasance)
Ohio (Dayton), California (Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Barbara)




Horwich, Rivington
Lyndhurst Heath
Newcastle, London
Colchester, Devon, Ilfracombe




Saigon, Dong Ha, Da Nang

Outer Space

Jupiter (New Jupiter Station 1, New Jupiter Station 2)

Post Apocalyptic America








Port Harcourt, Lagos

South Africa

Cape Town


Vancouver Island (Crescent City)

August 2023 Wrap-Up

Here is what I read/posted/bought in August.

As always, let me know if you have read any of these books and (if you did) what you thought of them.

Books I Read:

Books I got from NetGalley:

Books I got from Authors/Indie Publishers:

Giveaway Winners

Ignite the Magic by Donna Grant

Books Reviewed:

The Shadow Girls by Alice Blanchard—review here (3 stars)

Ride for Glory by Ann Hunter—review here (4 stars)

Gone Tonight by Sarak Pekkanen—review here (3 stars)

The Gullfather: Birdsy Seagull: Vol 1: A Seahawk Situation—review here (4 stars)

Stalking Around the Christmas Tree by Jacqueline Frost—review coming October 17th

Overdue or Die by Allison Brook—review coming October 10th

A Clue in the Crumbs by Lucy Burdette—review here (4 stars)

The Hundred Loves of Juliet by Evelyn Skye—review here (4 stars)

Dark Corners by Megan Goldin—review here (4 stars)

Assault: Girl With a Knife by James T. Hogg—review here (4 stars)

Mister Magic by Kiersten White—review here (4 stars)

California Golden by Melanie Benjamin—review here (4 stars)

A Killer in the Family by Gytha Lodge—review here (4 stars)

Spin a Black Yarn by Josh Malerman—review here (4 stars)

North of Nowhere by Allison Brennan—review here (4 stars)

The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon—review here (2.5 stars)

In the Wick of Time by Valona Jones—review coming October 17th

Marry Me by Midnight by Felicia Grossman—review here (4 stars)

Unexpecting by Jen Bailey—review here (3 stars)

One Night by Georgina Cross—review here (3 stars)

The Body in the Back Garden—review here (4 stars)

A Dragon’s Dyne by Brett Salter—review coming September 5th (4 stars)

Reading Challenges:


Scavenger Hunt TBR Book Challenge (find a book with the same amount of pages as the last book and read it)—Woman Scorned

Scavenger Hunt (a book translated from another language)—Anxious People

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2023 (a book with “Girl” in the title)—The Fireproof Girl

2023 TBR Toppler (a book over 500 pages)—The Yellowstone Conundrum

2023 Monthly Themes (books in the heat/summer)—What Happened at the Lake

2023 Reading Challenge (a book with a yellow cover or yellow title)—A Worse Secret

2023 ABC Challenge (G)—Girl with No Fingerprints

Romanceopoly 2023! (Adult or New Adult friends to lovers)—Anything for Love

2023 TBR Prompts (longest book on my TBR)—The Needle House


Buzzword Reading Challenge 2023 (body-related words: the body itself or body-related works like heart, skin, liver, flesh…etc)—Broken Heart Syndrome

2023 Sami Parker Reads Title Challenge (a book with a wild animal in the title. Common companion animals like dogs, cats, ferrets, fish, snakes, lizards, and horses do not count)—The Wolf Within

Cover Scavenger Hunt 2023 (a heart)—Lost Shadows

The StoryGraph Reads the World (South Africa)—The Warning Bell

The StoryGraph’s Genre Challenge (a nonfiction history book about an LGBTQIA+ issue or person)—Gender Queer

Beat the Backlist 2023 (fairy/folktale you haven’t heard before)—Splintered

Scavenger Hunt TBR Book Challenge (find another book with a title that has the same amount of letters as the last book and read it)—The Beginning

Scavenger Hunt (a book from my least favorite genre that I might like)—the sun and her flowers

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2023 (a celebrity memoir)—Stories I Only Tell My Friends

Books I bought:

Bite Me by Lisa Renee Jones

My Favorite Night by Claudia Burgoa

Tales from a Magical Teashop: Stories of the Tea Princess Chronicles by Casey Blair

Mercury’s Shadow by P.J. Garcin

Sensibly Wed by Kasey Stockton

Runaway Love by Melanie Harlow

Home Game by Lisa Suzanne

Spooning My Chuchunya by Marilyn Barr

Veronique’s Journey by Patti Flinn

The Bond by Robin Kirk

Constantine: A History by Donna Grant

Moon Kissed by Donna Grant

Where Lost Girls Go by B.R. Spangler

One Man by Lisa Renee Jones

Intrigued by Z.L. Arkadie

Shopaholic on a Honeymoon by Sophie Kinsella

Just for Show by Tawna Fenske

When You Return to Me by Dana Morton

The Prince’s Prisoner by Quinn Blackbird

Engelstatt by Samuel Church

Wormwood by D.H. Nevins

It’s in His Kiss by Bria Quinlan

Stay by Chelsea Camaron

Bunny Hearts Bear by V. Vaughn

That’s Why the Lady is a Tramp by Merry Farmer

The Fairy Tale Bride by Kelly McClymer

Duke Looks Like a Groomsman by Valerie Bowman

Il Padrone by Leigh Kenzie

Seaside Sweets by Melissa Chambers

Mystery of the Tea Cup Quilt by Jodi Allen Brice

Herbs and Homicide by Carly Winter

Dancing with Danger by Kerrigan Byrne

Killing Time by K.J. Waters

The Doctor by Nikki Sloane

WWW Wednesday: August 23rd, 2023

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?

Here is what I am currently reading, recently finished, and plan to read from Thursday to Wednesday.

Let me know if you have read or are planning on reading any of these books!!

Happy Reading!!

What I am currently reading:

Things have gone from weird to blatantly absurd in Rome and Julian’s quest to preserve the boundary between the Earth realm and The Void. With Darkbrand numbers growing at a terrifying rate, the escape of Beliarahm, the fiercest Nocturn yet, and the struggle to make ANY headway with the Elementals and all their tomfoolery, The Alliance has hit a veritable wall. Even with the promise of the light Talisman to oppose the forces of darkness, there’s just no telling how or where to find it. All the other Talismans are collected, but that doesn’t necessarily give our heroes any comfort, because to this point, these magical items seem to have served more as crosshairs than protection. Maybe they need something more than the Talismans. But what could that be?

What I recently finished reading:

In this queer cozy series debut perfect for fans of Ellen Byron and Ellery Adams, Luke Tremblay is about to discover that Crescent Cove has more than its fair share of secrets…and some might be deadlier than others.

Crescent Cove, a small hamlet on Vancouver Island, is the last place out-of-work investigative journalist Luke Tremblay ever wanted to see again. He used to spend summers here, until his family learned that he was gay and rejected him. Now, following his aunt’s sudden death, he’s inherited her entire estate, including her seaside cottage and the antiques shop she ran for forty years in Crescent Cove. Luke plans to sell everything and head back to Toronto as soon as he can…but Crescent Cove isn’t done with him just yet.

When a stranger starts making wild claims about Luke’s aunt, Luke sends him packing. The next morning, though, Luke discovers that the stranger has returned, and now he’s lying dead in the back garden. To make matters worse, the officer leading the investigation is a handsome Mountie with a chip on his shoulder who seems convinced that Luke is the culprit. If he wants to prove his innocence and leave this town once and for all, Luke will have to use all his skills as a journalist to investigate the colorful locals while coming to terms with his own painful past.

There are secrets buried in Crescent Cove, and the more Luke digs, the more he fears they might change the town forever.

What I think I will read next (I will definitely get to the ARCs on this list. The reading challenge books will be read if I have finished the ARCs.):

The StoryGraph’s Reading Challenge’s Genre Challenge 2023

In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia’s intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma of pap smears. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity—what it means and how to think about it—for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.

Beat the Backlist 2023

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Scavenger Hunt TBR Book Challenge

From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself. Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms. this is the recipe of life said my mother as she held me in her arms as i wept think of those flowers you plant in the garden each year they will teach you that people too must wilt fall root rise in order to bloom

Scavenger Hunt

A wryly funny and surprisingly moving account of an extraordinary life lived almost entirely in the public eye

A teen idol at fifteen, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at twenty, and one of Hollywood’s top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-seventies Malibu, where he embarked on his unrelenting pursuit of a career in Hollywood.

The Outsiders placed Lowe at the birth of the modern youth movement in the entertainment industry. During his time on The West Wing, he witnessed the surreal nexus of show business and politics both on the set and in the actual White House. And in between are deft and humorous stories of the wild excesses that marked the eighties, leading to his quest for family and sobriety.

Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last twenty-five years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.


In this new installment of Tasha Alexander’s acclaimed Lady Emily series set in the wild Scottish highlands, an ancient story of witchcraft may hold the key to solving a murder centuries later.

Lady Emily, husband Colin Hargreaves, and their three sons eagerly embark on a family vacation at Cairnfarn Castle, the Scottish estate of their dear friend Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge. But a high-spirited celebration at the beginning of their stay comes to a grisly end when the duke’s gamekeeper is found murdered on the banks of the loch. Handsome Angus Sinclair had a host of enemies: the fiancée he abandoned in Edinburgh, the young woman who had fallen hopelessly in love with him, and the rough farmer who saw him as a rival for her affections. But what is meaning of the curious runic stone left on Sinclair’s forehead?

Scotland, 1676. Lady MacAllister, wife of the Laird of Cairnfarn Castle, suddenly finds herself widowed and thrown out of her home. Her sole companion is a Moorish slave girl who helps her secretly spirit out her most prized possessions from the castle: her strange books. Her neighbors are wary of a woman living on her own, and when a poppet—a doll used to cast spells—and a daisy wheel are found in her isolated cottage, Lady MacAllister is accused of witchcraft, a crime punishable by death.

Hundreds of years later, Lady Emily searches for the link between Lady MacAllister’s harrowing witchcraft trial and the brutal death of Sinclair. She must follow a trail of hidden motives, an illicit affair, and a mysterious stranger to reveal the dark side of a seemingly idyllic Highland village.


Sailor Moon meets Cinder in Guardians of Dawn: Zhara, the start of a new, richly imagined fantasy series from S. Jae-Jones, the New York Times bestselling author of Wintersong.

Magic flickers.
Love flames.
Chaos reigns.

Magic is forbidden throughout the Morning Realms. Magicians are called abomination, and blamed for the plague of monsters that razed the land twenty years before.

Jin Zhara already had enough to worry about—appease her stepmother’s cruel whims, looking after her blind younger sister, and keeping her own magical gifts under control—without having to deal with rumors of monsters re-emerging in the marsh. But when a chance encounter with an easily flustered young man named Han brings her into contact with a secret magical liberation organization called the Guardians of Dawn, Zhara realizes there may be more to these rumors than she thought. A mysterious plague is corrupting the magicians of Zanhei and transforming them into monsters, and the Guardians of Dawn believe a demon is responsible.

In order to restore harmony and bring peace to the world, Zhara must discover the elemental warrior within, lest the balance between order and chaos is lost forever.


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes a warmhearted and empowering new novel about love, family, friendship, secrets, and a life-changing journey.

Thirty-three-year-old Abby Stern has made it to a happy place. True, she still has gig jobs instead of a career, and the apartment where she’s lived since college still looks like she’s just moved in. But she’s got good friends, her bike, and her bicycling club in Philadelphia. She’s at peace with her plus-size body—at least, most of the time—and she’s on track to marry Mark Medoff, her childhood summer sweetheart, a man she met at the weight-loss camp that her perpetually dieting mother forced her to attend. Fifteen years after her final summer at Camp Golden Hills, when Abby reconnects with a half-his-size Mark, it feels like the happy ending she’s always wanted.

Yet Abby can’t escape the feeling that some­thing isn’t right…or the memories of one thrilling night she spent with a man named Sebastian two years previously. When Abby gets a last-minute invi­tation to lead a cycling trip from NYC to Niagara Falls, she’s happy to have time away from Mark, a chance to reflect and make up her mind.

But things get complicated fast. First, Abby spots a familiar face in the group—Sebastian, the one-night stand she thought she’d never see again. Sebastian is a serial dater who lives a hundred miles away. In spite of their undeniable chemistry, Abby is determined to keep her distance. Then there’s a surprise last-minute addition to the her mother, Eileen, the woman Abby blames for a lifetime of body shaming and insecurities she’s still trying to undo.

Over two weeks and more than seven hundred miles, strangers become friends, hidden truths come to light, a teenage girl with a secret unites the riders in unexpected ways…and Abby is forced to reconsider everything she believes about herself, her mother, and the nature of love.

August 2023 TBR

Books for Review:

The StoryGraph Reading Challenge books

Buzzword Reading Challenge 2023 (body-related words in title)

2023 Sami Parker Reads Title Challenge (A book that has a wild animal in the title)

Cover Scavenger Hunt 2023 (a heart)

The StoryGraph Reads the World 2023 (South Africa)

The StoryGraph Genre Challenge 2023 (a nonfiction history book about an LGBTQIA+ issue or person)

Beat the Backlist 2023 (fairy/folk tale you haven’t heard before)

Scavenger Hunt TBR Book Challenge (Find another book that has the same amount of letters as the last book and read it)

Scavenger Hunt (A book from your least favorite genre that you think you might like)

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2023 (A celebrity memoir)

2023 TBR Toppler (A book by a LGBTQIA + author)

2023 Monthly Themes (Books with a setting in Asia)

2023 Reading Challenge (Book in my least read genre)

2023 ABC Challenge (H)

Romanceopoly! (Contemporary romance with an illustrated cover)

2023 TBR Prompts (A feel good book)