My Posts!

Book Reviews

The Fae Chronicles Review

He’s my drug of choice, and I don’t think there’s a rehab for it.”

Amelia Hutchins

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Short Synopsis of Overall Series

This series follows Synthia, an Enforcer of the Guild, as she navigates the human world and Faery. Her path crosses with Ryder, a sexy and powerful Fae male, as they work to solve a mystery. Throughout the seven books they have to constantly solve problems, work together, and save the world. There’s TONS of sexy times and lots of other action too! Through the fight for life, plot twists galore, and lots of magic, Synthis and Ryder do their best to fight for what they believe in, even if it’s two separate things.

My Thoughts

I’m going to format this review like I format my GoodReads reviews. Since I’m doing all seven books at once, and they’ve all jumbled in my brain, I’m just going to list things I loved and things I didn’t love. Easy enough!

Things I loved about this series:

  • If you ever need to read some good smut…this series is it for you. It starts with some serious sexual tension and it just gets more delicious as the books progress.
  • I was introduced to Fae in ACOTAR by Sarah J Maas, and this book just made my Fae expectations even higher. I love Rhysand from ACOTAR so much, but for me, Ryder just stole the limelight in my heart. What a creature he is. Oof.
  • I enjoyed the aspect of mystery in this series. There was plot that kept me interested when there wasn’t smut ensuing. I was invested in the storyline and the relationships and characters.
  • Ristan…I love this Demon so damn much. He is such a great character. He brings a sense of comic relief and definitely balances Ryder and Synthia.
  • The world Faery: I enjoyed how this world panned out. We start in Washington State and find out about this place called Faery which is where all the magical creatures live. The way AH builds this world caught my attention. In the first book, we only get glimpses of this world, usually through other POVs, but as we become more familiar with it in later books, it’s a very fascinating place.
  • I really enjoyed the plot twists that AH threw in throughout the series (even though some made me cry forever). It’s always nice to spice things up, especially when you have a long series like this one.
  • I highly appreciate that AH has in depth content warnings in the front of each book. Her books have some risky and uncomfortable topics that could definitley trigger some people. I wish more authors did this so that we didn’t have to search far and wide to figure out if the book is going to be okay for our mental health. So kudos for that.
  • Eliran…what a saint. I love this character. He’s Ryder’s trusted healer and he really just puts his heart into his work.
  • The Transition…wow. This was a fun twist I didn’t expect. I love how Fae start off as “human” looking and then hit puberty at around 21 and then turn into true Fae. It’s fascinating. The whole feeding thing that they have going on is very erotic also, and I’m here for it!

Things I didn’t like:

  • I didn’t know that there were companion series that went with this one, so when I got to book six I thought I missed a whole book. There’s some things that weren’t resolved at the end of chapter 5, that are magically okay at the beginning of book 6 and I was really confused. Apparently things get fixed in these companion books that I didn’t know existed.
  • Some of the writing isn’t great. There’s a lot of repetitive phrases that are used and could have easily been replaced with other words. There are also some chunks that the character says something and then repeats almost the same thing. I feel like some of these scenes could have been removed.
  • Occasionally, the POV changes to Ryders and the way he’s written in his own head is really cringey to me. He sounded very abrasive and it made me uncomfortable being inside of his head. Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be, but I wasn’t a fan of some of his chapters (there aren’t many).
  • There’s also one random chapter in one of the books in Adam’s perspective. This threw me off. I remember being pissed because I don’t like when the perspective changes a lot in a book…especially randomly. But then, we never got another chapter in his POV…I didn’t think it was necessary.
  • I noticed A LOT of similarities between this and ACOTAR (the Fae courts, names/characters, etc). I looked it up and this came out first. So I wonder if SJM was inspired by this at all. I don’t dislike that, but when things are really similar (Ryder and Rhysand, Morrigan, Eris, Fyre, Court of nightmares, winter/spring/summer/autumn courts) it’s interesting and I need more information.
  • Some of the names that were choses are SO similar to other names already in the book. Example: Ristan and Dristan….Ryder and Spyder. I think these name similarities irked me the most. Sometimes when I’m reading, I’d read Dristan as Ristan and then have to reread a chunk. Spyder also reminded me of the hyper kid at the end of the movie Holes.

Even with the things I didn’t like, I was so intrigued and engulfed emotionally into this series, I had to give each book 5 stars. They had everything I love: Fae, Smut, Mystery, so I couldn’t resist. I’m currently rereading chunks of each books so I’ll continue to add to this post as I go! Enjoy what I have so far…for now!

Tags

R.I.P It or Ship It Book Tag

I found this book tag on Dreamland Book Blog and just had to try it!

The Rules

  1. Write down a list of book characters. I wrote down 14.
  2. Put into a container of your choice: I chose a cup…it’s what I had closest to me!
  3. Pick two names at a time.
  4. Decide if you ship the relationship or if you want the relationship to cease existence! Easy enough!

Round One: Ship it!

Couple number 1 is: Castiel from From Blood and Ash and Morana from The Darkverse Series. Honestly…I think I ship this one! Both are badass and would challenge each other in the best ways possible. Morana kind of reminds me of a mob version of Poppy anyway, so I think it would work (at least for a bit anyway!)

Round Two: RIP it!

Couple number two is: Poppy from From Blood and Ash and Aren from The Bridge Kingdom. I can’t see Poppy with anyone but Castiel…I loved Aren, but I don’t know if it would work with them. Aren’s land is kind of secluded and Poppy has been secluded her whole life. I don’t see it being a thing…thank you, NEXT.

Round Three: Ship It!

Couple number three is: Bryce from Crescent City and Dex Foray from the Experiment in Terror Series. What personalities these two have! They would give each other a run for their money and the spice in the sheets would be *chef’s kiss*. Both like to have fun and do risky things, so they’re perfect!

Round Four: RIP It!

Couple number four is: Katniss from the Hunger Games and Perry from the Experiment in Terror Series. I don’t know how I feel about Katniss and Perry being together. I love Perry to death, and Katniss is great, but I don’t think they’d make a rockin’ couple. I don’t even know if they would be friends. I think Katniss would annoy Perry and it would get old real fast. Perry is also a lot like me and I don’t think I would enjoy being in a relationship with Katniss so…I’m gonna have to go with NO on this one.

Round Five: RIP It!

Couple number five is: River from Fables and Other Lies and Wrath from Kingdom of the Wicked. River has his own charm, but Wrath is the embodiment of sin (literally…look at his name). There would be a huge power struggle in this relationship, but I think Wrath would end up killing River in the end..so it probably wouldn’t work out. I wouldn’t mind watching them try though…I’ll make the popcorn!

Round Six: I Ship It…but it’s complicated

Couple number six is: Aelin from the Throne of Glass Series and Ryder from the Fae Chronicles. Holy crap. I would LOVE to see this happen. However, Ryder is super dominant and would try to get Aelin to submit and she would take absolutely none of his shit! She’d probably try to get him to submit, which isn’t in his vocabulary, so it would probably a hot mess (emphasis on hot). I think it would be a constant back and forth for power and Aelin would somehow end up on top, as she always does. Ryder would turn into a beast and it would get messy…but it would probably be worth it. Maybe…

Round Seven: Ship It…;)

Couple Number Seven is: Ristan the Demon from the Fae Chronicles and Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses. OH.MY.GOD. What a pairing! These two have such snarky personalities…I would LOVE to see them attempt a relationship. I can’t imagine how funny it would be to be friends with the both of them together. I need it to happen. High Lord of the Night Court and his Demon…we love to see it. Yes, please. The trouble they would get into together…I see lots of sexy adventures that they include all their friends in for…YAS.

That was more fun than I anticipated. I would love to do this with different characters too! I’m glad I stumbled across this tag!

Book Reviews

Fables and Other Lies Book Review

I pity those who can’t get lost in fictional worlds.”

Rating: 4/5 Cups of Tea (Stars)

Back of the Book Synopsis

Do you believe in curses?

I never did.

Not until that fated night, six years ago, when I sat in The Devil’s Chair and made a wish.

Not until it came true.

Not until I met River Caliban himself, heir to a fortune of curses. My fated sworn enemy.

I knew I should have stayed away from him. I should have run the other way when he called out my name, when he flashed that sinful smile of his, but instead, I walked toward him, leaving the light behind. Instead, I go against all reason, against all warning, and attended the gala of the year at his dark, allegedly haunted home at the top of the hill.

The moment I step foot inside I know I’m in trouble, but there’s something about River that magnetizes me, reels me in, and when he asks for the impossible, I find it impossible to turn him away.

My Thoughts

This was one of the last books I bought in 2020 and it was the first book I read of 2021. I was intrigued by the title, the cover, and the length of the book. I hadn’t intended to make it my first read of the year, but I’m glad that I did!

I loved the main character, Penelope (Penny for short). She told the story well and I was interested in the story she had to tell from the beginning of the prologue! Her friends were a fun add to the plot as well, as was the main male character, River Caliban.

The gothic storytelling and use of fables (and other lies) is something I don’t usually dive into. I really enjoyed how two feuding families, a curse, and everything in between played out. We just watched Holes, and it reminded me of the curse and families in the movie…which was ironic and funny. The supernatural aspect of the story was done well also. It wasn’t overwhelming but held enough of the plot to keep us moving through and engaged in the story.

The island that Penny grew up on celebrates Carnival once a year, for a whole week, and that’s when most of the book takes place. I would have liked to have more description of different activities that were happening because it was fun and interesting, but also because Carnival was a large part of the plot. The way the costumes and festivities were described was done very well and I had very vivid images of what was going on in my head.

The main part that left me unfulfilled in this book is the lack of romance. There is some, but it’s slow burn and pretty brief. With the book being a little over 200 pages long, the slow burn doesn’t really work and by the end, I was invested in the relationship and wanted MORE. The romance had so much potential because it was unique, but I was sad when it ended and I didn’t have all the sexy times I anticipated.

Later in the story there are a few chapters that switch POV. However, this switch also changes the writing from first to third person and that was quite jarring for me. The chapters were very short during these switches and I don’t know why the change from first to third happened. I didn’t necessarily feel like anything was gained by doing so, so I’d be interested to find out the author’s reasoning.

Overall, the plot and characters were fabulous. I have never read anything by this author and will definitely be checking out more! It’s an easy and quick read and was worth picking up. I’m happy to be starting 2021 on a high note!

Wrap-Ups

2020 Reading Wrap-Up

A book is a dream that you hold in your hands”.

Overview!

This year has been quite the reading year for me! I have ended 2020 with 108 books added to my “read” list! Technically it’s 97 different books with 11 being rereads (some are multiple). Never did I imagine that I would read 20 books this year…let alone over 100! Quarantine has been good for something!

I also started a book inventory the other day so I can keep track of all the books I own. I finished the two shelves in my craft room/ library room and am just over 300 books…I still have about 100 more scattered throughout the house to log (plus ones I have pre-ordered/yet to come in the mail). Before quarantine, I didn’t own enough books to fill a full row on my bookshelf….needless to say, I’ve spent A LOT of money on books and I don’t regret any of it!

Subscription Boxes

A lot of my money has also gone to book themed subscription boxes. I do the YA version of each and am obsessed. However…I think I may need to cancel some of the subscriptions (I already cancelled two). Below are the ones I’ve tried/still do.

  • Owlcrate: I love OC so much. They usually have great books/dust jackets and the authors write notes and sign the books. I haven’t loved all the merch that OC chooses, but most of the time they’re okay. I would like to see more small business support in their bookish goodies.
  • Bookish Box: This was the first one I subscribed to. It’s very similar to Owlcrate. I enjoy it a lot, but when compared with some of the other boxes, I don’t know if it’s worth the money.
  • Once Upon a Book Club Box: I only got two of these books. They’re formatted so that the goodies you get are hidden and tell you to open them when you get to certain pages. I am not patient enough for that…I also didn’t enjoy a majority of the items in these boxes and ended up cancelling.
  • Fae Crate: I only got one Fae Crate before cancelling. It wasn’t really my style. I’m glad I tried it out though.
  • Illumicrate: I’ve gotten two so far (I just got off the waitlist!). I LOVE Illumicrate! They have great items and great books. I’m a sucker for sprayed edges and they do them often! Highly recommend.
  • Fairyloot: I haven’t gotten one yet because I just got off the waitlist. My first box will be coming in January and I am SO excited. I have heard AMAZING things about FL and can’t wait to see what the first box I get is like. Their books are GORGEOUS and I know they do a lot of sprayed edges as well!

Overall, I think Fairyloot and Illumicrate may kick Owlcrate, Bookishbox, or both out of the running. I really shouldn’t be spending all that money for four subscription boxes a month anyway…oops…don’t tell my husband!

Favorite Books of the Year!

I have had quite a lot of five star reads. I’m going to list all of them and then figure it out from there!

  • Getting Down by Helena Hunting
  • Handle with Care by Helena Hunting
  • Shacking Up by Helena Hunting
  • Lingus by Mariana Zapata
  • House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas
  • Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas
  • Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas
  • A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
  • Smut by Karina Halle
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
  • Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas
  • With This Heart by R.S. Grey
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
  • The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
  • Beach Read by Emily Henry
  • Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
  • A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Gifting Me to His Best Friend by Katee Robert
  • The Mindfuck Series by S.T. Abby
  • Book 2-10 of the Experiment in Terror Series by Karina Halle

I obviously love each of these books for many different reasons! My top three are actually entire series and I hold each of them dear to my heart.

In third place for the year (and maybe ever) I have the From Blood and Ash Series. AKOFAF threw me into a rough reading slump after I finished it. I was so drawn into this world that JLA created and was in love with the characters, that when I finished I couldn’t pick up another book without wanting to read about Poppy and Cas. I am so excited for the new book coming in 2021!

In second place is the Experiment in Terror Series. I have never read nine books so fast in my life. I read a book a day and couldn’t stop until I devoured all of Karina Halle’s words. I became obsessed with this series in November and was SO stoked to hear that a new book was coming out December 11…well it came out a day early and you bet your booty that I bought it and read it that day! I was struggling in November with picking up books and this series sucked me out of that slump and threw me head first into an amazing paranormal realm with beautiful and enticing characters. I am so happy I came across this series!

In first place we have the ACOTAR series. My dear friend Sophie recommended me these books in January and I ended up finding them on clearance in Target. I tried the first chapter of ACOTAR and wasn’t feeling it. Fast forward a few month and add a bored, quarantined Allison, and I picked up the book again. This time I was intrigued. I got passed chapter one and was really vibing with the feeling of the book. I then became enamoured by Tamlin (ugh, ew) and couldn’t put the book down. Once I finished the first one I just had to dive into book two (which is my favorite of the series…I read it 5 times so far). I finished the series and all I wanted to do was read more SJM books….no, all I wanted to do was read. This series made me fall in love with reading again and I am so thankful that Sophie recommended them to me almost a year ago! I have my SJM shrine on my bookshelf and currently own 54 SJM books (a lot of duplicates and special editions….don’t judge).

2021 Reading Goals

For 2021 I plan to go with the flow and read whatever my heart desires. I don’t want to stress over my ever growing TBR list. I do have a handful of books that I will read when they’re released, but other than that, I want to freely roam my shelves and enjoy each page I read. I also want to become more comfortable with DNFing books. I struggle with this because I feel like if I paid for a book, I should read it. But…why read something I’m not enjoying? I plan to keep up with blogging and booktube more but we’ll see about that. Overall, I want reading to be fun and not a job (which some people I follow make it seem like one…). I read for me and no one else and that’s that!

So, thanks Sophie and SJM for helping me find something I’m passionate about this year! I’ve really gotten to visit some amazing realms and worlds through books and can’t wait to see where 2021 takes me!

Book Reviews

Experiment in Terror Book Series Review

“You’re the light in all this madness. You’re my light. “

So this review is going to be a smidge different than my normal format because it’s based on a whole series. I’m going to do my overall thoughts on the whole series and then do snippets from each of the main books. I’m not going to touch on the novella’s because this review may then become its own novella, but maybe in a different post I will! Buckle up…this fangirl is about to take you on a lust filled ride.

Overall Thoughts

When I say that I am OBSESSED with this series, I mean that I eat, sleep, and breathe the pages. I haven’t read anything else since finishing it and I am (im)patiently waiting for December 11th to roll around because that’s when book 10 comes out! I’ve never been more excited for a series to continue than I am for this one…I need more Dex and Perry!

Anyway, I bought the kindle version of Darkhouse because it was recommended on FB group I’m in. I’ve read one other Karina Halle book, Smut, and loved it entirely too much, so I figured I would give it a try. Though Darkhouse, and the first few books of the series, doesn’t have any smut in it, there is A LOT of sexual tension and I am 100% here for it! I also love that it’s a paranormal series and that I was legit scared so many times while reading. If you’re a smut lover like I am, don’t fret…once the smut starts later in the series, it does not disappoint!

Perry is curvy, plus sized woman and I vibe with that because I too, am a curvy plus sized woman! I was very excited to read a book with a plus sized main character that I could relate to. Perry’s thoughts often mirrored thoughts I’ve had about myself and I appreciated being able to have a main character that I could see myself as. I also love Dex Foray and I may or may not have already married him…who’s to say? He’s 32 years old and full of sex appeal and sarcasm, all while being a douchecanoe. At first he creeped me out and I wasn’t convinced of him, but he grew on me and now I will love him forever.

As for the plot of the series, I am obsessed. The whole paranormal aspect had me hooked. I love the premise of the stories and how each one built off of the others. I also liked that book 7 was in Dex’s POV…I don’t often read books with male main characters/narrators, but his book was just…wow. As I said above, I was truly creeped out in many parts of the series and I cannot wait to see what the 10th book is going to bring!

I think my favorite part about this series is that Darkhouse was the first book that Karina ever wrote, back in 2011. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her writing progress as the series went on and can’t wait to dive into more of her stories. Oh, Karina may also be my favorite smut writing author. I decided that after reading her book Smut, but these books just solidified that for me. Seriously…the smut in these books is to die for…the waiting and sexual tension/frustration is completely worth it!

Now, before I completely ruin the series….let’s get into some thoughts of each of the books! I’ll do my best not to spoil anything!

Thoughts on the Books!

4/5 Stars

Darkhouse, being the first book in the series (and the first book that KH ever wrote) had some progress to make. It did a great job at building Perry and Dex, but I wasn’t hooked into the story until I was about 80% done the book. I was tempted to DNF it until a later date but I am SO glad that I didn’t.

5/5 Stars

As KH’s writing progressed, my intrigue in the characters and plot did as well. I enjoyed the paranormal topic of this book and liked the addition of Maximus. The sexual tension is to die for and it only gets worse in the latter books! This book had a great trope too…pretending to be married! It only added to the tension!

5/5 Stars

This book genuinely terrified me…sweet baby Jesus! D’Arcy Island was scary and I was not a fan (in the best of ways). Per usual, the sexual tension between Dex and Perry was reaching astronomical levels and I literally wanted to reach into the book and write my own scenes so I could calm down. I’m not sure how Perry controls herself around Dex because I know I couldn’t…especially sharing a tent with him…oof. Can we also all agree that we hate Jennifer?

5/5 Stars

This book had my emotions all over the place. I finally got what I was waiting for and then had my heart ripped to shreds and was left with a cliffhanger. This one took us to an insane asylum and it was scary in itself…not to mention Abby…yikes. My favorite line from this book that may have killed me is “You’re not the only one who knows how to lie, Dex”…if you know you know. Sigh. I did enjoy seeing more into the lives of Dex and Perry though, outside of their show! Rebecca may be my third favorite character…I want her to be my friend. My hate for Jennifer also hit an all time high in this book. She is the nastiest skank bitch I’ve ever met.

5/5 Stars

This book was so well done I have no words. This book deals with demonic possession and it’s written in such a compelling and convincing way. I truly felt like I was in the character’s head seeing/feeling what they were feeling while watching themselves be possessed. I couldn’t put this book down. There’s also so steamy scenes, but I won’t say with whom! It’s action packed, heart wrenching, and scary all in one book! This is one of my top favorites of the series solely for the possession writing.

5/5 Stars

This book is just *chef’s kiss*. My love for Dex Foray skyrocketed (I didn’t know it could go any further but it did). I vibed with drunk Perry, big time, and really enjoyed the llama named Twatwaffle. Even though this book takes place in the freezing mountains, you won’t need a jacket because there’s enough tension between Dex and Perry to keep you warm…just how I like it. The ending of this book also warmed my heart and I may or may not have died a little when it ended. I had to start book 7 ASAP!

5/5 Stars

This book is in Dex’s perspective and sweet lord it will make you need a cold shower. That man is just a sexual force to be bargained with. This may be my favorite book in the series. It had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, all while exploring New Orleans. I would love to see into Perry’s mind for some of the scenes in this book, but Dex’s filthy mind will do. I may have cried A LOT reading this book (again…IYKYK) and was close to throwing hands. Karina outdid herself with Dex Foray…ugh.

5/5 Stars

Ashes to Ashes is back in Perry’s POV and is spooky in all the best ways. The way KH continuously builds the characters and makes them feel like real people is amazing. Perry’s mind is a beautiful place and I love every part of it. I find myself feeling like I am Perry in these stories. I personally think this book had some of the scariest scenes in it (it involves creepy children so of course it’s terrifying), but it also has some really awesome other scenes…just saying! This book ended on a HUGE cliffhanger and I am so thankful that I didn’t have to wait for book 9 to come out (coming late to the party has its perks!).

5/5 Stars

Book nine flip-flops from Perry and Dex’s POVs and I am extremely glad that it did. There is so much going on in this book and I love that we got to see into both of their heads. Traveling, possession (again, so well done), haunting pasts, plot twists, and more, KH really threw the punches with this book. Dust to Dust was a phenomenal way to end the series…OH WAIT! It’s not done (HALLELUJAH!). I loved this book so much and really appreciated seeing how far Dex, Perry, and their stories came from the first book. The character and plot building was so well done.

So…those are my thoughts on the Experiment in Terror Series. I would LOVE to fangirl with you over Dex Foray…and the books themselves, so please find me on Instagram (@the_crafty_reader) or Twitter (@thecraftyreader) and chat with me!

Huge shoutout to Karina Halle for writing this phenomenal series. I already have some tattoo ideas in my head that I want to get. I loved this series so much I need it permanently on my being. Also if you haven’t read up on KH, her story is ADORABLE. She found her own Dex Foray when shooting book trailers for the series and they fell in love and got married…HOW CUTE IS THAT!!?

Came Back Haunted comes out December 11th! Dex and Perry’s story continues and I am living for it! Ghosted (EIT 9.5) is a preview novella for the new book, so read that if you’ve read everything else…Book 10 is going to be amazing, I can already tell! Ada, Perry’s sister, also has her own series and it’s just as wonderful! Book one is called Veiled and book 2 will be out soon! Look it up and give it a read, it doesn’t disappoint!

Thanks for hanging in there through my review! I know it wasn’t 100% fabulous (I’m not a writer, after all), but it’s real and it’s me! See you soon!

Personal

Riding the Struggle Bus – Life Update!

Hi all! I know I’ve been slacking with reviews…but that’s because I’ve been slacking with reading! I thought that once the wedding was done that I’d be ready to read again, but I’ve found that I’m in a new slump. October was a great reading month, even with the wedding! We’re now 16 days into November and I’ve read one book and am working on a second. I just don’t have time or energy. Being a teacher in a virtual setting is exhausting. Once work is done for the day (3PM) I’ve been taking 2 hour naps and then I don’t want to do anything once I wake up. I try to read, but my eyes are just so tired from staring at a computer all day. I know, I know, I’m throwing myself a pity party….we’re allowed to do that once in a while!

While I may not be reading a lot, I have taken up a new crafting hobby. I’m hoping to add my new things to my Etsy shop in the new year! I’ve been working with resin and molds and designing some pretty cool things! My craft room (which is also my library) looks like a bomb went off in it! I’ve spent entirely too much money on resin supplies, but I needed some other outlet to focus on since reading isn’t working. I’m going to make a butt ton (that’s an accurate measurement right?) of Christmas gifts to nonchalantly use people as guinea pigs for my projects! Below are just a small fraction of the things I can make! I really love working with resin because the customization options are endless!

Some cute self-defense keychains!

Round and square coasters!

Trinket Trays

Some Misc things! I am in love with the cat ear ring (next the the green tree).

As I said, these are just a few things I can make! I’m waiting on a lot of molds to come in the mail, but will be making guitar pics, pendants, animals, ornaments, and whatever else I can get my hands on!

What have you been doing with your time? I’m hoping that once my Grad school semester is over I’ll be a little less stressed out. My goal is to read at least two more books by the end of the month…I think I can do it (especially with Thanksgiving break coming!).

Thanks for hanging in there with me as I ride the struggle bus to the end of 2020! Hopefully I’ll be more active soon!

xoxo Allison xoxo

Wrap-Ups

October Reading Wrap-Up

October was a much better reading month than September was (I read three books in September and didn’t even do a wrap-up). I was in a reading slump because life hit me full force for a bit, but October did me well. I was happy to have been able to read any books, so to have read what I did made me really grateful! So, without any more wasted time, let’s see what I read this month!

Stats:

  • Number of Books: 12
  • Genres: Fantasy, Romance/Contemporary/Erotica, Mystery/Thriller/Romance
  • Pages Read: 2,851
  • Authors Read: 5

What Did She Read?

All the books AND authors were new to me this month, so I was excited to dive into that. None of these books were on my TBR (oops) and all were read in the Kindle format. I tried picking up physical books to read and couldn’t do it for some reason. Below you will find the 12 books I read, their ratings, and a few thoughts (since I didn’t do many book review this month). Let’s get to it!

4/5 Stars

This book was an eARC that I read and I fell in love with it instantly. The characters and plot were intriguing and it was very well written. I ended up getting a signed copy in my October Bookish Box, which I was SO happy for! I can’t wait to read more by this author!

5/5 Stars for all 5 books. These books are super quick reads (literally…each is a little over 100 pages) and had my attention from the first page. They’re gruesome, dark, and disturbing, while adding a twisted love in the mix. I couldn’t put these down!
Each of these books earned 4/5 stars. I really enjoyed Callie and Des as well as their plots. Some of the fantasy themed aspects were familiar from other stories, but I was so invested I didn’t really mind. Book one and three were my favorites. I enjoyed the second one, but that one reminded me a lot of SJM books (some parts too similar…but I still liked the book). The steam in these books is also *chef’s kiss*.
4/5 Stars This is a novella to the Rhapsodic series that falls between books one and two. The beginning dragged, but I enjoyed the different POV and the second half enough to bump it to 4 stars.
5/5 Stars I don’t usually read straight erotica, but this was something else. Usually sex scenes make me giggle but I was so invested in the “plot” (ha!) that I didn’t have time to giggle.
4/5 Stars. This book was amazing. Some of the writing was iffy, but the characters, plot, and romance was amazing. I read the sequel in one sitting. Highly recommend if you like sexy, blue-eyed, mob men..I didn’t know I did until I met Tristan Caine!

It was a great month! All my books were four or five stars and I enjoyed each of them for different reasons. I flew threw some series, read some stand-alones, and even dipped into my first full erotica book (I regret nothing). To say it was a successful October is an understatement!

I like to end by sharing some other accomplishments from the month, so here it goes!

  • I got married! We had to revise our plans because of covid, but it happened and it was beautiful!
  • I researched resin and am thinking about expanding my Etsy shop.
  • I started Christmas shopping (oops).
  • I’m surviving…that’s what’s most important in these crazy times!

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I hope you’re well wherever you are in the world. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these books! Find me on instagram: @the_crafty_reader or Twitter @thecraftyreader to chat! Hopefully I’ll be more active in November!

Book Reviews

MindF*ck Series Rating

Each of these books is 5/5 for me!

Synopsis

Lana is seeking revenge for something terrible and revolting that she went through when she was a teenager. Logan is an FBI agent working on the case of a serial killer that mutilates alpha males. One day, Lana and Logan cross paths in a coffee shop. One thing leads to another and Lana and Logan end up romantically involved with one another. However, their relationship is hard because Logan’s job is demanding of his time, and Lana’s secret side gig, is also demanding of her time. However, they make what they have work.

The series builds upon their relationship as well as the case that Logan is working on and Lana’s fixation on her past. Things are tricky with Logan being FBI and Lana being, well, a herself. As the books go on, we see different cases that Logan is involved with and see why Lana is the way she is. Her past is haunting and brutal, but will Logan think the same when (or if) he finds out what happened 10 years ago in a small, creepy town?

My Thoughts (mild spoilers)

First, I wish there was more to this series. I could read about Logan and Lana forever. I also wish that the books were longer…they’re more novella length and I really wanted more. But, I’m more than pleased with what S.T. Abby blessed us with!

I’ll start with the characters. Lana is the definition of badass. Her past is awful and something that no one should ever have to go through, but she did. She survived (somehow) and is now seeking the ultimate revenge, with the help of her best friend Jake. Lana is sexy, smart, cunning, and able to defend herself better than any other human character I’ve ever read a book about. Her personality it relatable, she is human after all, and she has dreams and aspirations..albeit a bit different than my own, but she’s a goal setter!

Logan…woof. I was SO happy when Craig was not the main love interest in this series. I didn’t enjoy his character the first time we met him hitting on Lana, and wouldn’t have been able to make it through the series if he was who she fell for. Logan is passionate about his job and about his friends. He’s smart, patient, and, like any good male character that I enjoy; sexy. His job is interesting but demanding, so kudos to Lana for handling that. I don’t know if I could be with someone that could get called into work literally at any second, and then risks their lives and puts their loved ones at risk on top of it!

Hadley and Jake. These secondary, but awesome, characters are fabulous. I didn’t know what to think of Hadley at first, but I ended up really enjoying her snarky attitude. She’s protective and loyal, and I really liked the friendship she and Lana built. Jake is just a mastermind. I wish I had someone as awesome and technologically savvy as Jake. Hadley may be loyal but Jake is loyalty on steroids. I really did enjoy his back story and the frienship/pseudo-siblingship he had with Lana.

The creepy people from Lana’s past. Hate them all. They deserved everything they got. End of story.

The characters were great, but the fascinating plot is what made me run through these books. A serial killer dating the FBI agent that’s working her case. Who knew I would enjoy this so much? I really liked reading how Lana did everything that she did (is that concerning or…) and how Jake played a part as her partners. I also liked seeing how the author wrote from an FBI point of view; I bet that took a lot of research…as did writing the perfect serial killer.

S.T. Abby did a phenomenal job of moving the plot along. I didn’t feel like it dragged at any given points and, even though I wanted more story, I didn’t feel like I was missing any information. The books being short also helped to move the story along!

The only part that irritated me is how long it took Logan to realize what was right under his nose. Lana gave him enough information about her past, and then he got information on a case that kind of lined up with Lana’s story, but he didn’t connect the pieces. I don’t quickly connect the dots in stories, but when I beat an secret service agent, he was clearly blinded by love! On a lesser of two evils note, there were some editing errors in the books…but seeing as I’m nowhere near perfect in my writing (see this blog post for example) I can brush them aside. I always feel powerful when I find an error in a published book…just me or..?

Overall, I highly recommend this series. Lana’s whole back story is an extreme trigger, so make sure you know that going in (rape, torture, abuse) and then the details of her killing men is very graphic and triggering as well. For a mystery AND romance lover, this book was the perfect combination. It didn’t have a ton of sexy scenes, but I was more interested in the mystery part of the story to be honest (gasp)! I read all five books in three days, which for someone that’s been in a reading slump, I’d say that’s awesome! So, try out the series if you like mystery stories – I wish I had known about this series sooner!

Book Reviews

Kingdom of the Wicked Book Review

4/5 Candles (stars)

This book hasn’t been published yet and I am SO thankful to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me to read an ARC for an honest review! So, this review is going to look a little different than normal!

Synopsis

Kingdom of the Wicked follows Emilia, a young witch, on her journey to avenge her twin sister’s death. Her sister, Vittoria, never came home for dinner at her family’s restaurant one night, and Emilia stumbled across her dead body. Emilia doesn’t know who killed her sister, or why they did it, but her new purpose is to find out. She will do ANYTHING to set her sister to rest and get back at her murderer…so much so that Emilia ends up summoning Wrath, one of the seven Wicked princes of Hell.

For her entire life, Emilia had been warned to NEVER trust anyone from Hell, but Emilia thought the warnings were just an overreaction to keep her safe. On her journey, she partners with Wrath and ends up meeting his brothers, and quickly realizes they can’t be trusted and that they are very, very dangerous. Wrath has told Emilia that he is going to help her because they both want to understand and figure out who is murdering young witches. But, as she was warned for years, the Wicked aren’t always what they appear to be on the surface.

Thoughts

This is the first book that I’ve read by this author, and I loved it! I’ve been wanting to read her book Stalking Jack the Ripper, so I was very happy to read a book by her!

First, I really loved that a fantasy took place in a real location…for this book it was Sicily. KM did a great job describing the setting, from the food people sold to the vendors and booths on the street. I’ve never been to Sicily, but know people who have, and this sounds like what they experienced! I enjoyed that I didn’t have to wrap my head around a made-up world like we have to in most fantasy novels! Don’t get me wrong though! I do enjoy made-up worlds!

Emilia had moments when I wanted to strangle her, but she was a good character. I don’t think I could have read a book with a main character named Vittoria for almost 400 pages…so Emilia will do! Nonna was a favorite for me..I love a badass grandmother..especially when magic is involved! Then there’s Wrath…ugh I love him. I’m always drawn to the dark, brooding, villains. Speaking of Wrath, huge kudos to KM for the personification of the 7 deadly sins. I was so intrigued by the concept and loved how they were each portrayed. We didn’t get to meet all of them in this book, but I hope in future books that they’ll be around!

Overall, I appreciated the concept of this book. I was engaged and really into the plot and characters. I liked the bit of mystery feel that it had, as we tried to solve Vittoria’s murder. KM weaved magic and other fantasy beings into the story really well, too. The whole idea of Hell and the Wicked princes reminded me a bit of Supernatural (which I love) and really kept my interest. I may or may not have envisioned demon Dean Winchester as Wrath a few times. The main reason this didn’t get four stars for me is because it was young adult. We get some ‘innocent’ moments (I won’t spoil with who) between some characters, but I was hoping for more detailed scene (I like what I like). For a young adult book though, I still think there could have been a few more spicy moments…nothing crazy though. But, overall, I really enjoyed myself. As soon as I read the last sentence, the first thing I thought was “I hope there’s a book 2”!

So, if you like YA Fantasy novels, catch Kingdom of the Wicked, out October 27th!

Tags

The Anonymous Bookaholics Tag

Hello! I’ve been a bit MIA lately, and haven’t been reading much because work has started back full swing! That being said, I do have some time to do a fun book tag (we all know I love a good tag)! Thank you to Books are 42 for tagging me – let’s get to it!

  1. What do you like about buying new books?

Everything! I love coming home and finding a spot for them on my shelf. I love admiring the covers and the art word. The thrill of having new books to read is fantastic (yes, the thrill). It’s even more exciting when I buy them from used book stores or thrift shops/flea markets!

2. How often do you buy new books?

Too often…I probably buy a new book (or more) once a week. I went months without giving books a thought, but now they’re all I want to buy; well books and book related merch. I’ve tried to put myself on a book buying ban, but that ended in 30 new books…so I won’t be doing that again!

3. Bookstore or online book shopping: which do you prefer?

I like going to bookstores and physically holding the books, browsing the aisles, and whatnot. Then, when I’m done, if there’s something I didn’t find, I’ll do online shopping. I can typically find books cheaper online that in person, even at used book stores. I just feel like online book shopping isn’t the same, but I do get very excited when the books come in the mail!

4.  Do you have a favourite bookshop?

We have one really good used book store near us, and it’s called Ukazoo! I’ve been going to them for years. They have great prices, a big selection, and I can easily spend hours in there searching for books. I would love to go around and find more used book stores! I have a road trip to PA planned, there’s about five stores within minutes of each other…I just need the time to get to them!

5. Do you pre-order books?

I’ve always loved reading, but quarantine has really made me have a new appreciation (and obsession) with reading. This is the first time I’ve ever pre-ordered books. I have a VE Schwabb book pre-ordered and I pre-ordered ACOSF. I’m also into special edition things now and have a handful of them pre-ordered too…oops!

6. Do you have a monthly buying limit?

I should, but I don’t. I’d never stick to it, so what’s the point?

7. How big is your wishlist?

Fairly large. I have a lot of books that I want to read and a lot that I want to buy. I think I’d be poor if I bought them all.

8. Which three books from your wishlist do you wish to own right now?

Good Girl, Bad Blood; Madhouse, and the Dusty books (I’ve read them but need the physical copies).

If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged! I’d love to see everyone’s answers!