Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Cage of Dreams by Rebecca Schaeffer ~ Book Spotlight #Giveaway! CageOfDreams @rrschaeffer @GoSparkPoint @ClarionBooks

Cage of Dreams by Rebecca Schaeffer
Fantasy, Young Adult, 368 pages 
Published September 26, 2023 by Clarion Books

In this thrilling sequel and conclusion to the City of Nightmares duology, Ness is forced to make a twisted deal with the Nightmare Phantom—only to find herself embroiled in the explosive fallout of the agreement when a botched assassination attempt unleashes chaos into the City of Newham.

Nineteen-year-old Ness used to have a vehement terror of Nightmares—people who’d been turned into their worst fears while they slept. Through two assassination attempts, an explosion, and a faustian bargain with a dream demon, she’s finally working through those fears.

Unfortunately, Nightmares aren’t the only dangerous thing in Newham. Working at a speakeasy where gunfights are common and death is a regular occurrence, Ness is forced to reckon with all her other fears—including her fear of mortality. It’s easy to die in Newham, but it’s hard to live.

So when the Nightmare Phantom—the monster that turns people into Nightmares—shows up, asking her another favor, she agrees, but only if he turns her into a Nightmare. One of her own choosing, something bullet proof and strong and able to live without fear.

But when Ness’s attempt to fulfill the bargain goes wrong, things start to spiral out of control. Now, Ness is in the crosshairs of enemies old and new, and this time, she can’t run from her problems. If she wants to survive, she’s going to have to conquer the most difficult enemy of all: herself

Editorial reviews for City of Nightmares

“Rebecca Schaeffer delivers another dose of morally ambiguous, delightful chaos--this time with a refreshing examination of how we view vampires.” — #1 New York Times bestselling author Xiran Jay Zhao

“So much fun readers will stay up all night to finish it.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A wonderfully grisly and darkly imaginative tale that will entertain its readers even as it draws them into its web of self-examination.” — School Library Journal (starred review)

"One of my favorite books of the year! Phenomenally fun, with a vivid, vicious world that's stuffed with monsters (both human and otherwise) and a heroine you'll root for. I absolutely loved it!"   — Sarah Beth Durst, award-winning author of The Queens of Renthia series

"Schaeffer’s worldbuilding is economical and inventive, and snappy dialogue, breezy first-person-present narration, and a quirky, ethnically diverse cast add levity, counterbalancing ruminations on fear." — Publishers Weekly

"Thrilling, atmospheric and wonderfully original! In a world where people become their worst nightmares, Ness has to contend with explosions, monsters, assassins – and a cute vampire boy! Rebecca Schaeffer’s City of Nightmares is a page-turning read full of twists and mysteries. I loved it!"— Vanessa Len, author of Only A Monster 

"Readers will welcome this is a series opener, as there is still far more to explore in this world that is mostly bleak but with just enough hope to make the bitter sweet." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Fascinating [and] gripping.” — Booklist Online


About the author

Rebecca Schaeffer is the critically acclaimed  author of Not Even Bones, Only Ashes Remain, and When Villains Rise. The Webtoon adaptation of the trilogy has garnered over a hundred million reads and nearly 2 million subscribers. Her next book, City of Nightmares, comes out in January 2023. ~ Author website

Connect with Rebecca

Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook



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Monday, October 30, 2023

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? October 30, 2023 #IMWAYR


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's an opportunity to visit other blogs and to comment on their reads. And ... you can add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are! 


Thanks for stopping by. I hope you all have a good week. 
Happy reading!

What I'm currently reading

The Star and the Strange Moon
by Constance Sayers
print ARC
Pub date ~ November 14

by Prince Harry
Narrated by Prince Harry
audiobook from my shelves
Published January 10, 2023

What I recently finished

The Wishing Bridge
by Viola Shipman
Pub date ~ November 7

Run and Hide: How Jewish Youth Escaped the Holocaust
by Don Brown
print from publisher
Published October 10

Murder at the Royal Ruby
by Nita Prose
Narrated by Jess Nahikian
audiobook from my shelves
Published July 25, 2023

The Mosquito
by B.A. Paris
Narrated by Will Watt
audiobook from my shelves
Published July 25, 2023

What I am going to read next

Hello Goodbye
by Kay Bratt
eARC from author
Pub date ~ November 16

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?


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Saturday, October 28, 2023

This OR That #Giveaway № 125 ~ Lots of Books, Lots of Winners!


I have sooooo many books!

The This or That Giveaway! feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to cull my collection and to share some of the many books I have. I get to clear off some of my shelves to make room for more books and give someone else the chance to enjoy these treasures.

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

Whoo hooo! Let's celebrate!!

This is giveaway number 125!

And I want to do something special to celebrate. 

So this time, I am going to pick 4 winners—just because I can. The books available to choose from will be ALL of the books I have offered in the past that I still have on my shelves. I made a special bookshelf on Goodreads where they are all listed. Some are ARCs, some are finished copies. The first name drawn will get their first pick, second one drawn gets second pick, etc.

or see them listed below.

The list is subject to change depending on what books are still available.



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Friday, October 27, 2023

New Release! Always Orchid by Carol Van Den Hende ~ My Thoughts #AlwaysOrchid @c_vandenhende @azinepress @GoSparkPoint

Congratulations Carol
on the recent release of
Always Orchid!

Always Orchid by Carol Van Den Hende
Contemporary Women's Fiction, 348 pages
Published October 24, 2023 by Azine Press

Shortlisted for the 2023 Hawthorne Prize for Fiction

He almost let her go. Her past could tear them apart. But a love like theirs is worth fighting for...

Phoenix Walker will never be the same. Nine months after a heroic act leaves him forever changed, he refuses to hurt Orchid Paige ever again.

Orchid is ready to forgive. Convincing her guy she still loves him, no matter his injuries, she works to rebuild their intimacy. But their move to her family's ancestral country unveils China's superstitions against people with disabilities. Worse, their friend's life has been upended by those prejudices.

Will Phoenix and Orchid find a way to beat the odds and turn discrimination into acceptance?

Always Orchid is the riveting third book in the Goodbye, Orchid contemporary fiction series, and can be read as a standalone. If you like relatable characters, surprising twists, and stories that pull on your emotions, then you'll love award-winning author Carol Van Den Hende's journey to unconditional acceptance.

My thoughts about Always Orchid ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First lines—"Hope is a finite resource for the homeless. Each handout and act of petty theft had whittled away Roy's dignity."

Always Orchid lives up to the wonderfulness of the other two books in this series. Written as book three of the Goodbye Orchid series, this can definitely be read as a standalone. The author does a great job of filling in the story but to experience the depth of the characters and their love, I would recommend reading all three. 

I love both Orchid and Phoenix. They have had their share of hardships and drama but they have a love that is meant to be, no matter what. I just wanted them to work through all the issues and get to their satisfyingly great love story! 

The introduction of a new character on the first page and seeing where his life went, helped satisfy that issue of the story for me. And I love how the author has taken up the cause to support disabled veterans. "The Goodbye, Orchid series came about as a way to pay homage to the wounded veterans who inspired me." (Carol Van Den Hende) 

Always Orchid is an emotional, fulfilling look at two people who are meant to be together, and the trials they go through to get there. Total star-crossed lovers. So much drama.... so much love. I love this series and all of the characters within the pages. I, honestly, am a little sad that the Orchid/Phoenix story is over. I highly recommend the entire series! 

And I have to say this as a parting comment—these covers are absolutely amazing, aren't they? Their beautifulness is what drew me in to begin with. Anyway, pick up these books, you will not be disappointed! 

I received a copy of Always Orchid from SparkPoint Studio and this is my honest opinion.

Book #1

Book #2


About the author

Carol Van Den Hende is the award-winning author of Orchid Blooming and Goodbye, Orchid which are inspired by wounded veterans and have won 20+ literary awards, including the American Fiction Award, IAN Outstanding Fiction First Novel Award, and 2020 Royal Dragonfly for Disability Awareness.

Buzzfeed, Parade, and Travel+Leisure named “heartwarming, heartbreaking” Goodbye, Orchid a most anticipated read. Glamour Magazine recommended this “modern, important take on the power of love.” The International Pulpwood Queens, selected Goodbye, Orchid as a 2022 Bonus Book-of-the-Month.

Carol’s mission is unlocking optimism as a writer, speaker, strategist, Board member and Climate Reality Leader. One secret to her good fortune? Her humorous husband and twins, who prove that love really does conquer all. ~ Goodreads

Please sign up for Carol’s newsletter at carolvandenhende.com/contact or linktr.ee/cvdh

Connect with Carol


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Thursday, October 26, 2023

Release Day! Long Journey Home by Ashley Farley ~ MyThoughts #LongJourneyHome @AshleyWFarley

Congrats Ashley
on the release today of
Long Journey Home!

Long Journey Home by Ashley Farley
Southern Fiction, Sister Fiction, 276 pages
Published October August 26, 2023 by AHF Publishing

An emotional rollercoaster of a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end!

From beyond the grave, Ashton’s mother leaves a mysterious legacy that upends her world. Eileen Darby, the heiress to the Merriweather fortune, has entrusted her oldest daughter with the family's waterfront estate on Catawba Sound in South Carolina's Lowcountry, bequeathing virtually nothing to her other three children. This lavish bequest is more than a gift; it's a cryptic message, a puzzle interlaced with the troubled history of their dysfunctional family. As Ashton embarks on renovating the old home, she finds herself haunted by secrets lurking in the shadows of her memory. What is her mother trying to communicate, and what will she uncover as she delves into the murkiest corners of the memories she can't recall?"

Ashton’s husband is a proclaimed financial wizard, a mastermind who claims to have turned her recent investment into a fortune. Yet, he refuses to provide the account statements to verify it. With their marriage teetering on the brink, Ashton's dwindling trust gives way to mounting suspicions. Is he genuinely the financial virtuoso he purports to be, or is there a more sinister game afoot? As her marital bonds unravel, Ashton finds herself ensnared in a tangled web of deception. Each thread she tugs unravels a path leading her ever closer to a truth she may not be ready to confront. When she loses her way, she looks to a friend from her past to help her find herself again.

In this thrilling journey of discovery and deceit, Ashton must confront the ghosts of her past and the demons of her present. Long Journey Home is a twisted labyrinth of mystery and betrayal, where every corner holds another clue and every path leads Ashton deeper into uncertainty.

My thoughts about Long Journey Home ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First lines—"I stand in the open doorway, staring out at the lush green grass of the fourteenth hole. I am not a fan of golf."

Long Journey Home has it all—family love, family dysfunction, greed, dishonesty, personal discovery and growth, betrayal, secrets, old friends, redemption—I could go on and on but you get the idea. Once again Ashley has created a world full of emotion, drama, and wonderfully memorable characters. I love everything about it!

This is book one in what I know is going to be a great series. Long Journey Home kicks off the series splendidly and I can't wait to see where these characters go from here. Book two, Echoes of the Past is scheduled to be released on January 23, 2024 and I am so excited!

I highly recommend Long Journey Home. Read it now so you're ready for book two. I have read and loved all of Ashley's stories so be sure to check out more of her books. 

I received a copy of Long Journey Home from the author and this is my honest opinion.

About the author

Ashley Farley

Ashley Farley writes books about women for women. Her characters are mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives facing real-life issues. Her bestselling Sweeney Sisters series has touched the lives of many.

Ashley is a wife and mother of two young adult children. While she's lived in Richmond, Virginia for the past 21 years, a piece of her heart remains in the salty marshes of the South Carolina Lowcountry, where she still calls home. Through the eyes of her characters, she captures the moss-draped trees, delectable cuisine, and kindhearted folk with lazy drawls that make the area so unique. For more information, visit www.ashleyfarley.com ~ Goodreads

Connect with Ashley


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Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Book Blitz! A Patch of Romance by J.C. Valentine ~ Excerpt and #Giveaway! #APatchOfRomance


A Patch of Romance by J.C. Valentine
(A Coffee Break Mystery, #4)
Publication date: October 25th 2023
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Romance

Callie’s status as a single mom is about to end when she meets up with local dad, Scott Prince, at the pumpkin patch. Love is definitely in the air…or is that just pumpkin spice? Either way, Callie is about to embark on a seriously satisfying journey. That is, until the mystery knocker comes knocking. Is it just a Halloween prank, or is someone trying to send her a message—the deadly kind?

As Callie and Scott traverse the dating life with one another and ring in the holidays with the hope of uniting them all as one big, patchwork family, the lingering question of who keeps knocking and what they want looms in the shadows, waiting to be answered. Will Callie and Scott reveal the truth behind the eerie knocking before something it’s too late? And will they ever get their happily ever after?

Follow Callie and Scott’s journey from wary strangers to soulmates in this feel-good holiday romance. With a friends-to-lovers romance, family bonding moments, cozy Christmas traditions, and a found family trope, this wholesome love story will get you in the holiday spirit. Curl up with a mug of hot cocoa and let the magic of the season bring this unlikely pair together one knock at a time.

Goodreads | Amazon



“Okay, you wild banshees, costumes are ready to go!” I called up the stairs. Instantly, I heard the pounding of little feet as Lily and Ethan raced down the stairs, with Lily predictably in the lead, eager to transform into their Halloween alter-egos.

“Beware the Headless Horseman!” Lily cried, tossing her hooded cape dramatically over her grinning face. Next to her, Ethan was assembling his white boxy Minecraft costume, complete with pixelated foam sword.

I knelt down and made the final adjustments, securing Ethan’s headpiece and Lily’s belt, then ushered them toward the door. “Let’s hit those sidewalks before all the good candy is gone!” I declared.

It was still light outside when we stepped out onto the porch. Ghosts, superheroes, princesses, and witches were already parading up and down the street as families got the trick-or-treating underway. The crisp air twinkled with magic and excitement as neighbors called out compliments on costumes, and I inhaled the heavenly, smoky scent of burning wood that several people were using to keep warm as they passed out candy.

We weren’t far into our route when I heard rapid footsteps approaching. Lily and Ethan’s faces lit up as Scott and his son came into view dressed in matching blow-up dinosaur costumes. I couldn’t help laughing as I watched their giant dino heads bobble to and fro as they swished toward us.

“Hey, guys!” Scott greeted, slightly out of breath. Since our pumpkin carving hangout, we’d been planning for the kids to do Halloween night trick-or-treating together too. I was relieved he was making it easy for me to take this second opportunity with no strings attached.

“Dad, can we go show Ms. Molly our costumes?” Lily asked eagerly.

I nodded indulgently, enjoying seeing my kids having a good time. After waiting a few moments for Lily, Ethan, and Stanley to run up the walkway to show off their costumes to their principal, we began a slow, easy walk from house to house, stealing pieces of candy here and there, as the kids ran back and forth down driveways and bonded with each other more.


About the author

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn't sorry.

Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and far too many pets. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor's in English and when she isn't writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.'s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

Connect with J.C. 

Website | Goodreads | Facebook 

 Instagram | Newsletter

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