Blogtober: Wrap Up

Today is the final day of Blogtober and as such, Anniek & The Library Looter have requested a wrap up for the month. As far as blogging goes, I am proud to say that I was able to post every single day this month, so I successfully completed Blogtober!

As far as books I read, I finished the following during the month of October:

  • Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
  • Slasher Girls & Monster Boys – compiled by April Genevieve Tucholke
  • Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel by A. W. Jantha
  • Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero’s Journey Book Three by D. J. Milky
  • Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  • Donn’s Hill by Caryn Larrinaga
  • One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
  • There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
  • Payback’s a Witch by Breanna Hayse
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  • Slumber by Becky Bird
  • Dark Hearts by Gary Kittle

I also finished the following audiobooks during October:

  • The President is Missing by Bill Clinton & James Patterson
  • The Outsider by Stephen King
  • Drunken Fireworks by Stephen King

I started Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers last night on audiobook and I also have Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater going on audiobook. I started Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, but haven’t even read 100 pages yet. I need to get that read before November 5, but reading is hard when it hurts to move your eye. The library says I’ll get the audiobook in six months.

So all in all, I finished 12 books and 3 audiobooks for a total of 15 books read in October. I’ll be posting my November TBR post sometime tomorrow.

How did your October go?

Blogtober: Favorite Book of the Month

Well today’s prompt from Anniek & The Library Looter is favorite book of the month. I’ve read a fair number of books this month (13) , so you’d think picking a favorite would be difficult. Especially since I think I only gave two books I read this month five stars.

But I’d have to say that my favorite book was Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin. I just loved pretty much everything about the book and once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down. I especially love that there is a sequel and I’m fairly certain that Coco will play a big role in the second book, considering the title Blood & Honey alludes to something Coco says about her magic in Serpent & Dove.

So what was your favorite book of October?

Blogtober: Halloween Plans

So, for today’s Blogtober prompt, Anniek & The Library Looter are asking about Halloween Plans.

I’ll be honest… I don’t have any at the moment. Other than going back to the eye doctor for the scleritis that has majorly flared up in my right eye again. My eye seems to have put its Halloween costume on several days early and refuses to take it off. I have a photo, but I don’t want to gross people out.

It’s snowing again – it started Sunday evening, continued on to yesterday, and now it is snowing again. Although there isn’t any snow in the forecast for Wednesday or Thursday, it is likely that we won’t hand out candy as we haven’t bought any and it’s too cold to sit out on the porch with the candy bowl. We can’t let the kids ring the doorbell because we have a dog that goes ballistic whenever the doorbell rings.

I’ll probably curl up on my bed with a spooky book and read, or listen to an audiobook and crochet or knit. I’m so boring. Normally I’m not this boring for Halloween as it is my absolute favorite holiday. But this year, I just don’t have the oomph to do much with school, helping Sarah while she can’t walk on her right foot, and just not feeling all that great.

So what are your Halloween plans?

Blogtober: Local Ghost Story

Ok, this prompt from Anniek & The Library Looter made me think. Mostly because I’ve lived in Colorado Springs for about a year and a half but I don’t know of any local ghost stories. But… I have a kind of freaky ghost/paranormal story of my own to tell, so tell it I shall.

I lived in Texas from June 2001 to December 2005. I’d say the following happened in late 2003. A friend of mine had come over to the house after getting off work and I was fixing dinner for her, my mom, and myself. It was about 10:00PM. I was standing in the kitchen when I heard a helicopter overhead. The problem was, it was really loud. As in, I thought it was going to land on the roof, loud. So I went to the dining room which had a large picture window overlooking the backyard. Sure enough, there was the familiar searchlight shining in my backyard.

There were a couple of things odd about this. First, the searchlight was only in my backyard. The yards on either side of mine were completely dark. Not a hint of the light from the searchlight touched the other yards. Second, even after stepping outside, I couldn’t see a helicopter. To only shine the light in my backyard, it would have had to have dropped low – but there was no helicopter above my yard. Not to mention that we had trees which would have hindered the helicopter’s descent. Last, the leaves – there leaves on ground and they looked like they were trying to crawl away from the light. It was pretty damn creepy.

The kicker that night was that my mom and my friend were both right there with me, but neither of them heard the helicopter or saw the searchlight in the backyard. I chalked it up to my imagination until the next day when I went to lunch and grocery shop with my friend Sarah.

She told me that the night before, she’d heard screaming coming from the front half of the duplex that she owned and lived in. The front half was empty at the time but she went to investigate anyway. No one was there and she thought maybe it was the neighbors at the house next door to the duplex messing around in the front yard. A few minutes after settling back down, she started to smell smoke. She checked her half of the duplex, did another sweep of the front half, and then asked the neighbors if they’d lit their outdoor fireplace. They said no.

Then she heard the sirens. She asked them if they thought the shopping center behind the houses might be on fire. They said they didn’t think so and that they didn’t hear any sirens. Then she heard the helicopter and saw the searchlight in her backyard. But when she looked up, there wasn’t a helicopter. The sky was perfectly clear, no obstructions. But she heard the helicopter and she saw the searchlight in her backyard. The neighbors saw and heard nothing.

We’d known that the duplex had been the second home to be on that property. We also knew that the original house had burned down. That had been disclosed when Sarah and her husband bought the duplex. But Sarah and I now think that perhaps the house that burned down hadn’t been accidental and that maybe, just maybe, someone was murdered there and the house set ablaze to cover it up. Because otherwise, why a helicopter and searchlight?

The one thing we still haven’t been able to figure out is this: Why would the nonexistent helicopter move to my house, four blocks away, and shine on my backyard? I didn’t see/hear anything but the helicopter and searchlight. Sarah had the whole thing. Did the murderer/arsonist come to my house? Did he/she come through my backyard? Or did someone want me to get just enough to talk about it to Sarah, prompting her to tell the story.

The oddest part is, we looked for newspaper articles for the house burning down. There are none. You can search house fire and the address of the duplex all you want to, you’ll find nothing but an apartment fire down the street that happened over ten years after we moved out of Texas. I guess we’ll never know what happened, but we both think someone was trying to tell or show us something.

Cover Reveal: The Final Trail by A. A. Abbott

Today I am proud to bring you a cover reveal for A. A. Abbott’s The Final Trail. I’d also like to say Happy Book Birthday to this book because it was released today! Now for the cover:

Family feuds just got bloodier… A gripping thriller, and a great story of death, revenge and vodka.

To save glamorous Kat White’s life, Ben Halloran killed his gangster father. Now his brother wants to even the score.

The gripping Trail series of British crime thrillers reaches its dramatic conclusion in this compelling page turner.  

Amazon Purchase Link:




Birmingham has well and truly been put on the crime thriller map with the success of the TV series Peaky Blinders but for bookworms amongst us the popular Trail Series has long brought readers into the modern day 21st century with its tense storylines, murder and intrigue set in and around the city.

The Trail series features a vodka business, a cancer cure and obsessive killers. Every book is a good read in its own right – each is a great crime story with terrific twists to keep the tension mounting – but together, they follow the same characters over several years.

The Trail series author AA Abbott also known as Helen Blenkinsop, has been compared with the likes of Ruth Rendell, John Grisham and Jeffrey Archer.  She lived and studied in Birmingham for nearly 20 years and her passion and love for the city became the inspiration for the Trail series.

Now, after four successful editions the last storyline will be revealed in the publication of THE FINAL TRAIL which will be launched in Birmingham on 28th October.

In the last book …”Glamorous Kat White has built a successful craft vodka brand in Birmingham, but she has an uneasy relationship with her business partner, Marty Bridges. Her mother had previously supplied with poisonous vodka. Marty doesn’t trust Kat, resents having to depend on her for commercial success, and isn’t thrilled that his eldest son wants to marry her. That’s not his biggest problem, though. He’s trying to develop a cancer drug with Kat’s brother, Erik, and it’s draining money he doesn’t have. Just as he finds an investor with pockets deep enough to fund their research, Erik is lured to the former Soviet Union and thrown into jail. Meanwhile, Ben Halloran, who killed his father to save Kat’s life, is faced with the twin risks of a murder charge and his brother’s deep-seated desire for revenge. Can Ben escape with his life and liberty? And can Marty save both Erik and his business – and learn to trust Kat?”

Helen said “I’ve been writing about these amazing characters for over 5 years, so you can imagine, they have become a part of my life. It’s been a great journey and they have come through so many storylines that it feels right for them to achieve their dreams at last.”

Most of the action in THE FINAL TRAIL takes place across the city and features the famous Rose Villa Tavern and 1,000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter; The Mailbox, home to the BBC in Birmingham, Holloway Head by the famous Pagoda Island and locations in Harborne and Edgbaston.

Helen added “It’s going to be very sad to launch the last book as the stories and characters have built up such a following but it will give me the opportunity to weave new and exciting tales – I have so many ideas buzzing in my head.”

THE FINAL TRAIL is a perfect read for those who like a fast-paced crime thriller combined with suspense, humour and plot twists.  It’s ideal to take away on holiday and provides a great read during the autumn/winter nights. 

THE FINALTRAIL will be available to order from Amazon in e-book, paperback and  dyslexia-friendly format from Monday 28th October 2019.

Website:    Twitter:  @AAAbbottstories

Down the TBR #2

I picked this up from Dana at Devour Books with Dana, but it was started by Lost in a Story. I’m going to work on my “Want to Read” which serves as my TBR on Goodreads, to see if I can whittle it down some.

The Rules

  • Go to your Goodreads shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopsis of the books.
  • Decide: Keep it or should it go?

The Books:

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Kingdoms will collide.

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

Another Throne of Glass novel, so it’s gotta go.

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

A glorious empire . . .
A desperate quest . . .

Chaol Westfall and Nesryn Faliq have arrived in the shining city of Antica to forge an alliance with the Khagan of the Southern Continent, whose vast armies are Erilea’s last hope. But they have also come to Antica for another purpose: to seek healing at the famed Torre Cesme for the wounds Chaol received in Rifthold.

After enduring unspeakable horrors as a child, Yrene Towers has no desire to help the young lord from Adarlan, let alone heal him. Yet she has sworn an oath to assist those in need—and will honor it. But Lord Westfall carries shadows from his own past, and Yrene soon comes to realize they could engulf them both.

In this sweeping parallel novel to the New York Times bestselling Empire of Storms, Chaol, Nesryn, and Yrene will have to draw on every scrap of their resilience if they wish to save their friends. But while they become entangled in the political webs of the khaganate, deep in the shadows of mighty mountains where warriors soar on legendary ruks, long-awaited answers slumber. Answers that might offer their world a chance at survival—or doom them all . . .

*sigh* Another Throne of Glass on the TBR that just needs to go.

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

The final battle is here.

Aelin Galathynius has vowed to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. The knowledge that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, but her resolve is unraveling with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, friends and allies are scattered to different fates. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever. As destinies weave together at last, all must fight if Erilea is to have any hope of salvation.

Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an explosive conclusion as Aelin fights to save herself―and the promise of a better world.

Fortunately, with the way you set the TBR list, this is the last one of the Throne of Glass series for a while. Bye-bye.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Not interested. I tried once and just, no. I don’t even know why they’re still on my TBR.

The Prince by Kiera Cass

Before thirty-five girls were chosen to compete in the Selection…

Before Aspen broke America’s heart…

There was another girl in Prince Maxon’s life…

Don’t miss this thrilling 64-page original novella set in the world of the New York Times bestselling novel The Selection. Also features a teaser to The Elite, Kiera Cass’s hotly anticipated sequel to The Selection.

Nope… just nope. Again, I tried the series – in fact this was the first one I tried. But it just wasn’t for me. Bye-bye.

As I’ve said before, just because I remove it from the TBR doesn’t mean it won’t make an appearance on the TBR later on. Although some books may never return.

What do you need to get rid of?

Blogtober: Favorite Harry Potter Spells

Today Anniek & The Library Looter want to know our favorite Harry Potter spells. In full disclosure, I’ve only read the first three books all the way through. But I have watched all eight movies, so I know some of the spells, even if I don’t quite know how to spell them.

First up we have – Lumos! I mean, seriously, why wouldn’t being able to produce a reading light at the flick of a wand and a single word not be a favorite spell?

Next, Alohomora. I need this for when my hands are full and I can’t unlock the stupid door. Seriously…

Yep, I love expelliarmus. Who wouldn’t? Getting rid of a would-be attacker’s pesky weapons is a good thing. Making it fly out of their hand, scaring the living crap out of them? Priceless.

And my absolute favorite spell – expecto patronum. I love the patronus spell. I think it is because the result is personal to each person. Harry’s was his father’s animagus form. Luna’s was a bunny rabbit. Snape’s was the same as Lily’s – a doe.

So those are my favorite Harry Potter spells. What are yours?