February 2021 Anticipated New Releases

Who thought February was going to be a slow publication month? THIS Gal right here! It took me by surprise when I looked at my Notes app and realized I had 22 titles listed for this month and that’s not including any of the BIG hyped up releases (lookin’ at you SJM) but I wanted to spotlight those many may have not heard about. As always, I scout out as many of the BIPOC books hitting the shelves in hopes you too will be as stoked as I am to read these new stories. Yesterday I actually finished reading one of the books on this list (The Project by Courtney Summers) and your girl is still shooketh! I also just received my copy of Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers in the mail from Book of the Month & will be squeezing it into my February “Possible Reads” If you make it to the end of this post, drop some love in the comment box. What new releases are you MOST excited for? any that aren’t listed here? Curious Bookworm here 😉


YA & SCI-FI

MUSE BY BRITTANY CAVALLARO (2/2) – YA Historical set in 1893 during the World’s Fair, we follow Claire who is the daughter of a famous genius inventor. Her father believes that her touch is what has granted him this gift and plans to use her as St. Cloud prepares for war however, Claire plans to claim her life for herself.

WHAT BIG TEETH BY  ROSE SZABO (2/2) – YA Horror/Paranormal pitched as perfect for fans of Wilder Girls this follows Eleanor who has been estranged from her wild family for some years. When an incident takes place at her boarding school she is forced to return home where she struggles to fit in with her monstrous family.

DARK AND HOLLOW STAR BY ASHLEY SHUTTLEWORTH (2/23) – YA Fantasy pitched as The Cruel Prince meets City of Bones, an Urban Fantasy set in the magical world of Toronto. We follow a queer cast of characters racing to stop a serial killer whose crimes threaten to expose the Faerie world to humans. THAT COVER!!! I’m glad this is one I know for sure will be in one of the book boxes I subscribe to *books shimmy*

ALL THE TIDES OF FATE (ALL THE STARS AND TEETH #2) BY ADALYN GRACE (2/2) – This is the sequel to All the Stars and Teeth (My Review) which was one of my favorite YA Fantasy books in 2020 & had I been able to come up with 20 faves in 2020, it would’ve certainly made the cut! Mermaids, Pirates, curses and a bad a** female heroin who trying to protect her Queendom. Amora is the unlikeable character I absolutely wanted more of, STOKED to pick this one up!

THE GILDED ONES (DEATHLESS #1) BY NAMINA FORNA (2/9) – West African inspired YA Fantasy, we follow a 16 year old MC who prays her blood will run red on the day of her ceremony. When it runs gold (the color of impurity) she must decide whether to stay in her village & live through the consequences or leave and join the emperors army of girls just like her. Near immortals with rare gifts who are the only ones able to stop the threat to the empire.

YESTERDAY IS HISTORY BY KOSOKO JACKSON (2/2) – I heard time travel featuring a m/m romance and decided that was all I needed to know! we have a MC who receives a liver transplant and before he knows it, is time traveling between present day Boston and 1969 where he meets his love interest. The family of the donor explains that time travel is a gift attached to the liver! Can anyone say ORIGINAL?!?! Hella intrigued!

REAPER OF SOULS (KINGDOM OF SOULS #2) BY RENA BARRON (2/18) – I have a non-spoilery review coming later this week but gahhH! if like me you loved Kingdom of Souls then this is an absolute MUST! it’s beautifully written with even more in depth unraveling of the Gods. This was an emotional rollercoaster with many twists and turns, slow to start but when it takes off there’s no getting off the ride!


YA CONTEMPORARY

LOVE IS A REVOLUTION BY RENÉE WATSON (2/2) – STOKED! a story where our female plus size black MC finds self love! Yes she does so while sorting out some lies she told her love interest who is an activist but STILL, we do NOT have enough or any self-love stories in YA. I’m READY!

FAT CHANCE, CHARLIE VEGA BY CRYSTAL MALDONADO (2/2) – Keeping on with the self-love reads, this a Latinx coming of age story where we follow a brown skinned fat MC who is done having to fit into the image everyone else has for her. Her BFF is the only one who fully accepts her for who she is but things get complicated when Charlie gets asked out by cutie in class Brian. The problem being that Brian asked Charlie’s BFF out first which now brings forth so many questions.

THE INITIAL INSULT BY MINDY MCGINIS (2/23) – First, let it be known I’ll read anything by Mindy Mcginnis! but to be blessed with a Duology is a real treat and to have it be inspired by Edgar Allen Poe? are we even worthy?!? Set in Ohio this one follows Tress & Felicity whose paths are bound to cross and it all is linked back to the disappearance of Tress Montor’s parents. Told in alternating POV’s this dark thriller sets the stage for an unraveling of a friendship that I’m sure I’ll be left reeling from.

THE PROJECT BY COURTNEY SUMMERS (2/2) – I was very lucky to have received a eGalley of this highly anticipated new book by the author of Sadie. HAUNTING AF Bookworms! SMH I have a full review coming over the next few days with a massive amount of content warnings. I haven’t read Sadie yet but after reading this book, I will absolutely read anything by Summers. If you’re interested in Cults & their inner workings as well as the emotional toll many people experience while being indoctrinated then this is a solid read. I gave it 5 stars but will save my thoughts for my review 😉

A PHO LOVE STORY BY LOAN LE (2/9) – The minute I saw this cover I thought about Tweet Cute which I adored! and then I read the synopsis & it was a no brainer, I NEED this book in my life! Really just pass along any baking/Foodie books because they offer up so much comfort. Here we have two MC’s who are complete opposites as they both work in their families respective Pho restaurants. “For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring pho restaurants. Bao and Linh, who’ve avoided each other for most of their lives, both suspect that the feud stems from feelings much deeper than friendly competition.” THIS!


CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE & FICTION

IT’S BEEN A PLEASURE, NONI BLAKE (2/23) – “Of all the women and men Noni Blake has pleased in her life, there’s one she’s often overlooked–herself. After the end of a decade-long relationship, Noni decides it’s time for that to change. She’s finally going to prioritize her wants and desires and only do things (and people) that feel good in the moment.” – This bit right here had me stop dead in my tracks! Having personally seen myself embark on a similar journey, this is one I had to add to my TBR. A 30 something year old woman who sees herself starting over while traveling around the world. This promises to be hilarious and relatable, sign me up!

FIRST COMES LIKE (MODERN LOVE #3) BY ALISHA RAI – This is here solely because I’ve just started reading The Right Swipe and can already tell I’ll definitely be binge reading this series in 2021. This one promises a Catfishing story between our love interests & I’m a sucker for a good love story over the interwebZ haha! Beauty Influencer meets Bollywood Soap Opera Star…BUT WAIT! he doesn’t know who she is or rather who would use his name to woo her over the net!

MAKE UP BREAK UP BY LILY MENON (2/2) – Second chance romance trope?!?! YES PLEASE! a Las Vegas fling between two dating app developers that ends up turning into a competitive race to win a contest that if won can keep their apps afloat. “Love, romance, second chances, fairy-tale endings…these are the things Annika Dev believes in. Her app, Make Up, has been called the “Google Translate for failing relationships.”High efficiency break-ups, flashy start-ups, penthouses, fast cars…these are the things Hudson Craft believes in. His app, Break Up, is known as the “Uber for break-ups.”

SERENA SINGH FLIPS THE SCRIPT BY SONYA LALLI (2/16) – A story about an independent strong woman who is trying to prove to her family and many aunties that domestic bliss is not needed in order to have a happy life. We follow Serena who works at a firm in DC as she navigates friendships and reconnecting with family & even her ex-boyfriend while also trying to hold onto her own self-reliance.

HONEY GIRL BY MORGAN ROGERS (2/23) – I’m MOST Stoked for this new release and have since adjusted my expectations to understand that this is NOT a Romance. It’s more of a late coming-of age story set in NYC after our MC impulsively marries another girl while on a girls trip to Vegas. I will MOST likely be reading this book this month cause the anticipation is KILLIN me!


ADULT FANTASY & SCI-FI

WINTER’S ORBIT BY EVERINA MAXWELL (2/2) – A SCI-FI Romance featuring A M/M romance between Royals marketed for fans of Red White and Royal Blue. Early reviews have this one described as more of a Romance set against a Sci-Fi back drop which is something to keep in mind if you’re looking at this as more of a Sci-Fi focused book cause that it is not. I just got my copy from Illumicrate & can’t wait to dive in!

THE WITCH’S HEART BY GENEVIEVE GORNICHEC (2/9) – Norse Mythology I HAVE MISSED YOU! this one is pitched for fans of Madeline Miller’s Circe which I’ve shamefully NOT yet read. We follow a Giantess who falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki and conceives three “unusual children” each with a. secret destiny. Since I scored a eGalley for this one I will be powering through this one later this week with a full RTC 😉

FIREHEART TIGER BY ALIETTE DE BODARD (2/9) – A Sapphic Novella (by Tor!) pitched as “The Goblin Emperor meets Howl’s Moving Castle” Mhmm! need I say more?!? I’m READY!

THE BLACK COAST (THE GOD-KING CHRONICLES #1)  BY MIKE BROOKS (2/18) – A new EPIC Fantasy series that promises War Dragons! This is a story about two different cultures who have to come together to maintain peace. This is a multiple POV Fantasy featuring queer characters and conversation on gender roles and sexuality. This is one I have high on my TBR.

THE ECHO WIFE BY SARAH GAILEY (2/16) – Pitched for fans of Big Little Lies? why, yes! Yes I am said fan *arms extended* Martine is a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn Caldwell’s award-winning research. She’s patient and gentle and obedient. She’s everything Evelyn swore she’d never be. And she’s having an affair with Evelyn’s husband. Now, the cheating bastard is dead, and the Caldwell wives have a mess to clean up. Good thing Evelyn Caldwell is used to getting her hands dirty. ” This honestly sounds like it would also make for a dope book to movie adaptation.


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WWW WEDNESDAYS 2/3/2021

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On a World of Words and to participate all you have to do is answer the three W’s listed below. Once you’ve posted your WWW, drop a link to your post in Sam’s comments <3’s!

The questions:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Day 3 of a snowy wintry setting in NYC and although I’m working from home, I’m still feeling that cold air in my apartment. Cozy socks & coffee are on, my window blinds are open while I watch the neighborhood help each other dig their cars out of the snow. I also have an ongoing list of “Possible Reads” cause who am I kidding with TBR’s at this point? absolutely no one smh. February is Black History Month however if you’ve been following my blog and/or my Bookstagram for some time now, then you know I read books by BIPOC authors all year long (as one should) and promote their works. I didn’t join any of the Readathons this year since reading has been touch & go for me while I juggle life and physical fitness but my intention is to amp up my reading this month. In case you’re interested in any of these Readathons (run by some of the MOST down to earth people!) I’ll bless ya with the links here:

Black Author Readathon (Check out Steps Romance Book Talk announcement Video)

Blackathon (Check out Jesse @BowtiesandBooks announcement video)

Black buck by mateo askaripour

I’m 30% into this audiobook from Libro.fm and I’ve already had some “the audacity” moments! this is a satirical take on one young black mans shot to stardom when he gets offered a “once in a lifetime” opportunity while working as a Manager at Starbucks. Darren is 22 years old and unambitious, the former Valedictorian of his class at Bronx Science. His mother who he lives with in their family owned Brownstone in Bedstuy wants nothing more than to see him live up to his potential. Rhett Daniels the CEO of Sumwun, NYC’s hottest tech startup sees that potential and is intent on getting Darren on his team. Darren joins and from day 1 is met with some quite infuriating white leadership who dish out every single stereotype there is about black people. I’ve lost track of how many times Darren has been asked whether he’s been told by anyone that he looks like MLK or Sidney Poitier. Darren’s inner monologue has me smiling at times and other times laughing, fast paced and thought provoking this book explores race and ambition through a different lens.

the project by courtney summers

I actually had started my eGalley before getting swept up in Black Buck so it’s on a slight pause for now. I’m sure when I do pick it back up I will breeze right through it since it’s based on cults and YA Thriller/Suspense novels tend to be inhale reads for me. I’ve never read anything by Courtney Summers but I do own the Sadie audiobook I shamefully have procrastinated on starting SMH! Hopefully it’s as good as many of my bookish friends are anticipating it to be *fingers crossed*

winter counts by david heska wanbli weiden

Also a audiobook from Libro.fm that is fantastically narrated! I finished listening to this one on Sunday morning and immediately 5 starred it on Goodreads & Story Graph. Set on an Indian Reservation in South Dakota, we follow Virgil Wounded Horse a biracial Lakota local enforcer who is hired to take care of criminals when the tribal council & American legal system look the other way. Things hit close to home when his 14 year old nephew gets swept up in the middle of cartel drug wars. Virgil must find a way to get him out and get rid of these bad guys who are selling heroine & hard pills to the youth on the reservation. This was a DARK challenging read at times that is mostly character driven. I have a full review coming here on the blog next week but also have a post up on Bookstagram.

Continuing on with my list of “Possible Reads” pretty much makes any of these three a contender for my next read. However, I will definitely be starting The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis next week since it is a buddy read with Melanie over @Meltotheany that I’m really looking forward to. Chances are this may change mid week since I have a couple of library holds that are looking mighty close to coming through…I’m looking at you The Right Swipe & Ring Shout cause y’all are about to throw a wrench in my reading plans haha!


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January 2021 Anticipated New Releases

Hello Bookworms! I decided to try something new (to me) here on the blog since I always have a running list going on my phone of anticipated new releases. It helps me be more aware of what’s coming out in the publishing world even though I don’t particularly like or stick to TBR’s. I debated this past weekend on whether this post should be quarterly or monthly and with the help of a friend decided monthly would be best. The reason being that I read across many different genres and a quarterly list would look Nanas & would probably end up missing a few titles that slip through the cracks. I’m a little late this month since I was unsure on the format but in the future these posts will go up the last week of the month in anticipation of the following months titles. January is typically a slow month in books seeing as we’re gearing up to be overwhelmed with ALL the books come February and I do mean ALL the books haha! So without further ado…


YA & MIDDLE GRADE

LORE BY ALEXANDRA BRACKEN (1/5/2021)-Putting aside the fact that this cover is STUNNING & will make anyone do a double take…this book features Athena the Goddess of wisdom, war and crafts aka my favorite of them all! as punishment for a past rebellion, nine greek Gods are forced to walk the mortal earth while being hunted by ancient bloodlines. Our MC has turned their back on said world until a wounded Athena crosses her path. This one is coming in one of my book boxes & will MOST def be a book I read in February.

ANGEL OF GREENWOOD BY RANDI PINK (1/12/2021)- Historical YA inspired by the Greenwood Massacre of 1921 in Tulsa aka Black Wall Street. We follow two teens with  opposing views on how black people should handle conflict & racism. Isaiah is a follower of WEB Du Bois & believes black people should rise up and claim their place as equals. Angel is a follower of Book T Washington and believes black people should take a slow peaceful approach w/out forced conflict. Things change when a white mob storms their community destroying the town and leaving its residents displaced.

CONCRETE ROSE (THE HATE U GIVE #0) BY ANGIE THOMAS (1/12/2021)- The prequel to the The U Give, here we get the story of Maverick Carter (Starr Carter’s Dad) and how he came to be a young father.  For Mav, life hasn’t been easy but he tries to juggle school and becoming a young dad while also making money on the streets as apart of a gang. Son of a former gang legend, Mav is left to care for his family while his mother works two jobs and his dad is in prison. He’s offered a chance to leave street life behind and go straight but it proves to be much easier said than done. This is Mavericks story of becoming the man we later see in The Hate U Give. STOKED! black men as a whole are under represented in books, Mav is a fictional father I absolutely loved when I first met him on the page!

BE DAZZLED BY RYAN LA SALA (1/5/2021)- After reading and really enjoying Reverie by this author, I knew to keep an eye out for future works. Dubbed as Project Runway goes to Comic con! this a queer m/m YA Contemporary with a MC who loves creating, bedazzling, sewing, stitching, pattern making etc. when he enters a Cosplay competition in hopes of winning a sponsorship. The problem is that his ex boyfriend has also entered the competition and unresolved feelings still linger when they’re partnered to work together! SIGN ME UP!

WINGS OF EBONY BY J. ELLE (1/26/2021)-A debut fantasy about a black teen from Houston Texas who witnesses the murder of her mother on her doorstep. She’s then separated from her sister by her father and whisked away to an island of magic wielders, Rue is half God/half human. On the anniversary of her mom’s death she wants only to return to Houston and see her sister. When she does, she finds that Evil has taken a hold of the black kids in her community and forced them into crime and violence. Rue must tap into her ancestral magic to try and save her neighborhood before the Gods burn it to the ground.

ROMAN + JEWEL BY DANA L. DAVIS (1/5/2021)-What if Romeo & Juliet got the Hamilton treatment? Yea that’s about all I needed to read to know I want to to read this tbh. Our MC Jerzie wants so badly to land the lead role in what is Broadway’s hottest new show featuring a diverse cast of characters and “modern twists” on the play. She ends up however, being cast as the understudy and also falling for the male lead. The problem is, the mega star who has been cast as the star lead has also set her eyes on him. DRAMA! haha!

AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS BY B.B. ALSTON (1/19/2021)- Quinton Peters who is living in low-income housing has received two full scholarship offers to Ivy League schools when he mysteriously goes missing. His 13 year old sister Amari wonders why it’s not made a bigger deal. When she discovers a suitcase in Quinton’s closet with an invitation for her to go to a summer tryout at the secretive Bureau of Supernatural Affairs she decides to answer. In search of answers on Quinton’s disappearance, Amari discovers a world of mermaids, dwarves, yetis, magicians and a weredragon as a roommate. Mari must compete against some of the nation’s wealthiest kids who’ve known about the supernatural world all their lives. This just sounds like it’s going to a be a fun time!


SCI-FI & FANTASY

REMOTE CONTROL BY NNEDI OKORAFOR (1/19/2021) –“She’s the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death. Beware of her. Mind her. Death guards her like one of its own.” An African Futurism Novella that features a MC named Fatima who has a fox companion she walks alone searching for answers on the object that fell from the sky changing her forever. STOKED to have a eGalley I’ll be reading tonight!

PERSEPHONE STATION BY STINA LEICHT (1/5/2021)-Dubbed as being for fans of The Mandalorian and Cowboy Bebop will pretty much get anyones attention! a Queer Sci-Fi space opera that takes place in a backwater planet called Persephone station where a bartender named Rosie serves two types of people: Those of the criminal class and those who seek to employ them. When Angel an ex marine and head of a semi-organized crew of criminal bent on doing the honorable thing gets hired by Rosie, she sees herself up against an army. The Serrao-Orlov Corporation is a corporation set on exploiting Persephone Station until met with Angel & crew. THAT COVER & PREMISE!!! ❤


fiction & romance

THE PROPHETS BY ROBERT JONES JR. (1/5/2021)- “A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence.” I received an ALC copy from Libro.fm that I’m pretty stoked to get to just from listening to the sample audio.

THE EX TALK BY RACHEL LYNN SOLOMON (1/26/2021)- hate to love romance? seems so. Shay, a producer for her Seattle public radio realizes things have gotten pretty stale on the air and the show needs a new concept.  Her newest colleague Dominic who has just attained a masters program in journalism thinks he knows all there is to know about radio. The idea is born to have exes come on the show and deliver relationship advice. Their boss decides they’re PERFECT to host the show since they already despise each other. This sounds innnnneresting haha!


What are some of the january titles you’re most looking forward to hitting the shelves? drop a comment down below & as always, happy reading <3’s!


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WWW Wednesdays 10/28/2020

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On a World of Words and to participate all you have to do is answer the three W’s listed below. Once you’ve posted your WWW, drop a link to your post in Sam’s comments <3’s!

The questions:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Don’t mind me, I’m just riding a high from a weekend I truly did NOT want to end and so this week has been a bit blue. The upside however is that I’m wanting to get my hands on all the books to read which hopefully means I’ll squeeze in another book before the month is over. My end of the month wrap-up is going to be a mixed bag of books read & hiking trails I’ve had the chance to explore so far. What I don’t have much of are movies watched so if you have any good recommendations please share down below. Also, what good books have you read OR are reading this week? 

SPOILER ALERT BY OLIVIA DADE

I’m 30% into Spoiler Alert which is a contemporary romance with a plus-sized MC who writes fan fiction for a super popular show, think along the lines of Game of Thrones. Alexis has been writing erotic fanfic for 2 years and during that time has met a fellow fan fiction writer she’s teamed up with for revisions and constructive criticism. Marcus is her go-to for all things Aeneas and Lavinia (characters from the show). What she doesn’t know is that Marcus is the lead role in the show since he uses an alias to write fanfic for these characters that otherwise would pose as a conflict of interest to the show runners. At the 30% mark I’ve just entered the fun & flirty stage where things are beginning to get more interesting. I’m enjoying seeing excerpts of their conversations on the Lavinia server. Marcus writes his fanfic much more broody and angsty which Alexis loves to tease him about. It has the potential to be a new favorite *fingers crossed*

BLACK SUN BY Rebecca Roanhorse

I have a full spoiler free review coming over the next few days (burning the midnight oil here LOL) and so I really don’t want to go into too much detail. This is the start to a new adult epic fantasy series featuring multiple POV’s with excellent character development, distinct voices & personalities. Tons of political intrigue, a prophesy at the core, rich culture and multi-layered world building topped off with an adventure at sea. This book is also beautifully queer & features a matriarchal society.

fable by adrienne young

I actually finished this audiobook on my commute home this evening & I’m still sorting out my thoughts & feelings. For now I’ve settled on a 4 star rating since I truly am a sucker for found families. My only issue if you’d call it that is that I felt it had some pacing problems. The last 30% of the book is where the action takes place & the story truly peaks but all throughout we’re sort of just waiting for the climax. There’s a great cast of characters we get introduced to and Fable is really a fun character to read from. I have a lot of questions but I’m grateful to have Namesake, the sequel in this duology to read as an arc from the publisher.

sacrifce by katee robert

Katee Robert won me over with Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains #1) & Your dad Will Do (A Touch of Taboo #1), I immediately signed up for her newsletter. When I saw the email for Sacrifice come through, I’ll be honest…I saw the words vampires and click clicked away for my pre-order of this novella. Coming in at 156 pages, this one will be a one sitting read tomorrow.

the invisible life of Addie LaRue by v.e. schwab

I’m mentally preparing myself to go into this one by palette cleansing with Spoiler Alert & Sacrifice. Coming in at 448 pages, this one is a chunky one I want to be in the mood for & for that reason alone have held off on reading. I have caught wind of positive reviews from some of my favorite bookish humans which further amps up my interest. Stay tuned…


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The Cozy Autumn Book Tag!

What’s this?!? a tag?!?! why YES, Yes it is! Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year, it’s when my spirits are at an all time high and I want to do all the cozy & outdoor things. This year I’m adding one new thing to my list of Fall things…hikes & trails! I’m a sucker for a scenic route and it only helps my efforts to get some cardio in on the weekends whilst also staying away from crowded city life. I’m slowly going to be working my way up to some tougher/longer hikes throughout New York State & hopefully I’ll get some good colorful Fall shots along the way. Of course, it wouldn’t be my favorite season without some fave autumnal reads…

🍂 Q U E S T I O N S 🍂

1. What book always reminds you of fall/autumn? Adriana Mather’s  Haunting the Deep #2 in the How to Hang a Witch series ALWAYS invokes Fall vibes. Set on the Titanic with a MC who is a direct descendant of a prominent figure in the Salem Witch Trials, this book with Its ghostly characters is a great way to kick off the Fall season.

2. What is your favourite autumnal book cover? This year it’s a toss up between Lobizona by Romina Garber (my review) & Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas (my review). They SCREAM autumn with their lush dark burgundy and orange colors. Cemetery Boys does take place around Dia De Los Muertos which only amps up this book as one to pick up this season. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

3. What is your favourite autumnal drink to read with? Currently…COVID has me staying away from Starbucks BUT I found their creamers at Target *jazz hands* specifically the Caramel or Cinnamon Dolce creamers with my home made coffee topped off with some ground cinnamon. Mhm…as you may have guessed, I love cinnamon!

4. Do you prefer to read late at night or early in the morning? Late nights used to be my JAM! but alas, no longer! neither are the mornings tbh cause of my hectic jam packed schedule. Evenings are when I get most of my reading in.

5. Halloween is coming! What is your favourite spooky read? Up until this tag, I did NOT think to choose a fave spooky read. However, going forward Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (my review) which is haunting AF! will be that read I go to for its horror noir vibes. UGH! this book my fellow bookworms…will make the hair on your neck stand.

6. What is the ultimate comfort read for you? This will always be the Romance genre as a whole. However, most recently I discovered Adriana Herrera who I HIGHLY recommend. Here to Stay (my review) sees our MC relocate from NYC to Dallas Texas & it just so happens to run into Thanksgiving. The cast of characters/friends in this story felt like home to me so much so that I truly didn’t want the book to end. I will continue reading Herrera’s books whenever I need that cozy feeling.

7. What is your favourite autumnal reading snack? although it has been WAY TOO LONG! for many years, I’ve loved Junior’s NYC Strawberry Cheesecake. Not just for the flavor but for the many sweet memories attached to this treat.

8. What is your favourite autumnal candle to burn whilst reading? In previous years, I did buy candles from bookish shops but not as of late. While I burn through my current collection, I’ve noticed Butterscotch, Hot Cocoa and Salted Caramel scents seem to call to me.

9. When you’re not reading, what is your favourite autumnal activity? Long outdoor walks paired with a hoodie\leggings & an engaging audiobook. If not, then it’s curling up in bed watching romantic comedies in fuzzy socks.

10. What is on your autumn/fall reading list? Ha! this may just be a bit ambitious but I’m sure going to give it a shot…


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August 2020 Book Haul

It’s Friday & I’m not posting a Friday Reads & Thangs because lots of non-bookish things are happening this weekend in my little corner. However, I come to you late my friends with my August Book Haul! This is actually one of my favorite stacks I’ve hauled in quite some time. I’m almost done un-hauling books from my shelves *book shimmy* that I’ve lost interest in, I’m sticking to only buying books that I’ve either read/loved OR have a STRONG inclination that the book will be a favorite new read. In this stack I have already read & 5 starred You Had Me at Hola (my review) & Lobizona (my review), these would be great additions to your TBR/shelves in the support of Latinx Heritage Month. Also, I am currently a host for a Latinx Heritage Month Giveaway over on Bookstagram. This is a weekly giveaway running through September, the winners are announced every Friday. To enter, keep an eye out for the Monday morning post each week 🙂

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HANDS DOWN | YOU HAD ME AT HOLA | VICIOUS SPIRITS | STAR DAUGHTER | RAYBEARER | THE FIRST SISTER | LOBIZONA | HOOD FEMINISM  (gift from Brittany over @DippedinColor)


WITCHES STEEPED IN GOLD | THE PROJECT | MUSE

Super thankful to Epic & Fierce Reads for the Edelweiss/Netgalley approvals, these are titles I’m looking forward to reading & reviewing here on the blog. Witches Steeped in Gold is already getting some early praise which absolutly heightens my curiosity.


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FRIDAY READS & THANGS…

Happy Friday Book Lovers! I’m a little all over the place today but I’m stoked to get the weekend started. This weekend I’ll be flexing my newly found green thumb skills as I expand my at home window garden. I really thought this was something I sucked at smh since my past experience with plants were TERRIBLE. Whelp! (many things I thought I would suck at have turned out to be quite the opposite, never doubt yourself luvs) I have managed to keep my succulent Leo alive since the start of this year. Many will ask themselves (like my good friend Taylor @Nerdnarration), how do you kill a succulent? well it happened to me 2 years ago & I was set on never letting it happen again. Leo is now ready for siblings & my BFF IRL is bringing me a seedling from his very own garden! excited for this & have already ordered a few things for their arrival. On the bookish front, I have started a contemporary set to be released in 2 weeks & a few single issue comics. I also have plans for some outdoor activities with my tiny humans in a safe social distancing space.

The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow #2) by Margaret Owen– I had no idea this was a duology but I’m so satisfied with how everything wrapped up! The world was further fleshed out as was the magic system & our MC’s were put through the wringer. I did NOT expect to finish it with tears in my eyes but it sure happened to be that way. I have a full review coming next week.

Wynd Issues 1 & 2 by BOOM Comics! – If you’re a fan of all things Fae then this will be one to keep an eye out for. I’m already craving more from this story & appreciate so much the plus size rep as well as there being POC characters. Wynd is a Fae Queer boy living in Pipetown where all with magic in their blood have been exiled. Wynd is in hiding, he was taken in by a family when he was just a baby left behind in a basket. The family has taken great risk in hiding him while the King has hired help to eliminate any found within his kingdom. There’s also talk of a land where those with magic live freely, can’t wait to read more!

A Man Among Ye Issues 1 & 2 by Image Comics– I love all things pirates but its the female pirate stories that have given me LIFE! this comic is based off of the real Irish Pirate Anne Bonny. We get a female MC who is very confident & just a bad a**! aboard Captain Jack’s crew. Other than Jack who may be a love interest, the crew is very sexist & anti Anne. Mutiny is definitely afoot. Now I’m not sure if she will remain on his crew or venture off based on how issue 2 left off. I am absolutely in need of issue 3 cause it seems we will be getting more female POC Pirates. I have a feeling this will be a favorite & I’m really hoping it gets a trade paperback *fingers crossed* 

The Roommate by Rosie Danan

House Rules:
Do your own dishes
Knock before entering the bathroom
Never look up your roommate online

This was about all I had read from the Goodreads Synopsis before I clicked on request on Netgalley. So far its been receiving really good reviews & I can see why. Since starting it last I found myself quickly going through the pages with no real want to put it down except for the much needed sleep. I’ve heard it’s a very sex positive read & that one of the MC’s has a profession not typically seen in books…I’m intrigued 😉

“She-Ra and the Princesses of Power tells the tale of Adora, a teenager who can transform into the heroine She-Ra and leads a group of other magical princesses in a rebellion against the evil Lord Hordak and his Horde.”

I’ve just started watching friends & can’t stop! thank goodness for slow work from home days amiright? haha! there are POC & plus size characters that I have absolutely been charmed by. These characters have quickly become faves! Final thoughts will be in my August Wrap-up.


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2020 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Hello Hello Book Lovers! I’m a bit past the mid-point of the year but I was reading some FAB books I couldn’t put down & risk them not making this list. I’m pretty sure there are still some new faves out there I’ve yet to read but I’m also very happy with the ones that did make the cut in this tag. The fact that we’re still finding joy in a hobby we love in such tough times is a blessing in & of itself. This tag took me just about a day to work through but while working on it I caught up with some Booktube videos as well as my binge of The Cold Case Files on Netflix.

Best book you’ve read so far this year

Without a doubt the honor goes to All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson! (My review) this book will forever stay in my heart & soul as a genuine collection of stories (essays) that are raw & powerful. George gives us a intimate look at life growing up as a queer black man in America. At times it was very hard to listen to & others I felt like an honorary guest at the kitchen table. Race, gender, sexuality, and socio-economic differences are all explored here. Poignant & life changing, this is a book you want to have read Luvs!

Best sequel you’ve read so far this year

Out of all the prompts in this tag, this is the one I can say was the reason for this tag going up past the month of June. I was honestly holding out to read a few more sequels that I’m pretty certain are going to blow my mind but for now I have selected Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan! (My review) This was 10 times darker than Wicked Saints & I was sort of anticipating this since I follow the author on Twitter. This book is more focused on Serafin but overall the character development was *chefs kiss* & the set-up for the final book which btw will be driven by a Malachiasz POV…was just A+! slower paced sequel & worth every page 😉

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson (Goodreads)🖤 First off I’ll start by saying that I love reading all things witchy, even before I had read the synopsis this book was in my cart. Described as a feminist fantasy with gothic vibes that takes on race, misogyny, religion and homophobia to name a few. I received my copy in the mail about a week ago & will be reading it in August!

 

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Wayward Witch (Brooklyn Brujas #3) by Zoraida Cordova the final book in a witchy series I absolutely fell in love with! This book will be following the youngest of the sisters Rose as she comes into her newfound powers. This is the third & final book so I’ll just leave it at that cause spoilers. If you’re looking for more Latinx Representation, Zoraida Cordova is such a talented writer who has become one of my top 3 favorite authors!

 

Biggest disappointment

This is the year I’ve re-discovered my love for reading & that’s partly because I’ve made it a priority to only read what my spider senses detect will be a hit. I’m sort of riding the wave between mood reading & arc timely reading if that’s even a thing. No disappointing reads to report as of yet and a gal is crossing her fingers it stays that way 😉

Biggest surprise

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria (Goodreads) When I first saw this book announced I knew that I had to read! not only for the Latinx representation but also because it’s centered around telenovela stars which I figured would be pretty nostalgic for me. This book was more than what I expected in the best of possible ways. We see two Latinx characters cast in a major telenovela that is set to break barriers & stereotypes for the Latinx community. This is also the first time I read a book with Latinx characters where the Spanish in text is not italicized which gave me a more organic reading experience. I have a review in the works but for those that are interested, some of the content warnings are PTSD, anxiety, talk of loss of a parent, Cancer, alcohol as coping mechanism.

Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)

I’ve recently fallen down the rabbit hole with buying all of anything written by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia with ZERO regrets! I read Mexican Gothic (review coming) this month while at the beach & was just teleported to High Place with its Gothic/Horror vibes turned all the way up! I’ve legit started collecting Moreno-Garcias books since I plan on binge reading for a future blog post. One thing I have noticed about this author is that she isn’t boxed into any particular genre. So far I’ve seen books she’s written under the Horror, Sci-Fi, Urban Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology, Magical realism genres. The one thing that makes Moreno a favorite for me besides the A+ writing is that her characters are all Latinx. I’m really looking forward to reading all of her back-list books.

Newest fictional crush

Artwork Credit: Hellhoneyy (Click on photo for artist website)

I’ll admit I’ve never had a fictional crush but then Talia Hibbert went & changed all that with Zafir Ansari in Take a Hint Dani Brown (My review) he is the perfect balance between sweet cinnamon roll & a knight in shining armor. Not that Dani needed one at all but he’s old school & seeing to his ladies needs/wants is at the top of his priorities. Zaf is attentive & nurturing, he’s also super supportive. To top it all off, he has. foundation where he helps young boys shed toxic masculinity by providing a safe space where they can talk about their feelings. Zaf has my heart!

Newest favorite character

Artwork Credit: Melanie Tranchemontagne (click on photo for artist Instagram)

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas (my review) was the last book I purchased before Quarantine in NYC & I LOVED it to pieces! There are so many stand-out characters but one in particular stole the show…Lehabah the small & curvy Fire Sprite. Lehabah is bashful & loves watching Fangs & Bangs. Her love for Fangs & Bangs is only rivaled by her love for our MC Bryce Quinlan. Lehabah fretted over Bryce & I just adored her!

Book that made you cry

This may come as a surprise but the book that made me cry was House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas (my review). If you’ve yet to read this one I’d suggest steering clear of the Goodreads synopsis since it’s VERY spoilery & in my opinion also takes away from the emotional reaction it may illicit. However, I will say what I loved most about this book is the awesome ride or die female/female friendship at its core.

 

Book that made you happy

Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters #2) by Talia Hibbert (My Review) was THE book that made me smile & just radiate happiness all over! Between Zafir being the ideal love interest & Dani being this independent bi-sexual witch Goddess, I was LIVING for their story! the body positivity & acceptance of personalities and differences is #GOALS If I’m being honest for favorite new to me author it was a tie between Sylvia Moreno-Garcia and Talia Hibbert. Love them both so much! but this is the book that put me in a happy place.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Mexican Gothic by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia is STUNNING!!! Noemi our MC is serving 1950’s glamor with a Gothic/Horror Vibe on the cover with what looks to be dead flowers in her grasp. I LOVE this cover & story so much that I have it on display on my bedroom shelves. It is legit a source of inspiration for some upcoming paint/artwork I have planned for my bedroom walls.

 

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

There are SO many wonderfully Diverse titles as well as some highly anticipated sequels hitting our shelves in the second half of this year that I absolutely can’t wait to read. These are just a few I plan on reading THIS year in an attempt to deliver my Top 20 of 200 by the end of the year…


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WWW Wednesdays 6/17/2020

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On a World of Words and to participate all you have to do is answer the three W’s listed below. Once you’ve posted your WWW, drop a link to your post in Sam’s comments <3’s!

The questions:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Hello Bookworms! I’m currently trying not to think of how many reviews I’m behind *failing* cause the urge the read has returned & so I’m finishing books at lightning speeds. I’m also thanking the universe for Librofm which has been the only thing to keep me actively reading. As I slowly make my way back to my TBR’s & eARCS, I have it in mind to read and boost black voices. Most importantly to read books that highlight intersectionality since we don’t see enough of these being spoken about in the bookish community. We have made great strides recently but that’s just the beginning, I will always do my part here on Lair Of Books to read, review & boost Diverse books. June being pride month means there are some amazing recommendations posts & videos in the community I encourage you to seek out.

Earlier this month, a friend reached out with the purpose of doing her part in boosting black voices with a Giveaway on my Bookstagram. This giveaway will be running through the month of June Internationally, five winners will be chosen to select from any of the books listed below. If you’re interested in entering, please click on the link below & see the original post on IG for details:

LAIR OF BOOKS

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon– I am about 40% into this audiobook having received an early copy from Librofm’s arc program. I was STOKED up until a few of my trusted bookish friends started giving mixed reviews. I didn’t let that deter me from starting my copy but I can honestly say that I agree so far with them. I love the friendship that forms between Somaya, London, and Taylor which is why I haven’t DNF’d. I say this because although it has a strong start, the mid-section dips & now I’m just kind of wondering if it’ll pick up again. We shall see…

The City of Brass (The Daevabad trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty– 70% into this wonderfully complex fantasy and loving every minute of it. I’ll admit I’ve been reading this book for a while now but tbh with the state of the world being what it is, escapism wasn’t something I felt I could indulge in. It wasn’t until recently when I took a step back for self care that I’ve managed to read this book in doses. It is no doubt worth all the hype it received back when it first released, full review to come.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta– I listened to this one on Librofm as well & loved it so much! narrated by the author, this is a coming of age story of a mixed-race gay teen. We follow Michael from childhood into college years where he finds a home within the Drag Queen club on campus. If you’re looking for more books with supportive families, this is definitely one to pick up. Full review to come.

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson– Another Librofm listen cause I will never not listen to an audiobook where the narrator is the author themselves. Here we have a memoir written as a series of short personal essays on the authors life as a black queer child up until his adult years. I cannot stress this enough! If you only read 1 book this year, please make it this one. I have a full RTC where I’ll try my best to get my reasons across for why this book is important. How there currently isn’t anything like this on YA shelves & yet there are many black queer teens who can & will relate to George Johnson. This is a definite for my Top 20 of 2020!

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson– I purchased this book from Librofm after hearing so many glowing reviews from my trusted few. I purposely didn’t read the synopsis but know this is a F/F contemporary that takes place in a small town in Indiana. Stoked to take this one on the road this weekend.

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick– This may seem like an odd selection for this month however I was granted an eARC by Simon & Schuster that I’d like to review in time for its publication date. This book hits the shelves on June 30th & other than it being a YA Thriller that is reccommended for those who loved the Podcast SERIAL (it me), I didn’t look into this one too much. I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy the read *fingers crossed* but we shall see…


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April Monthly Wrap-Up & Book Haul

April was a month FULL of bookish events online like the Social Distance Book Fest & YALLWEST that made it possible to attend Bookish events virtually. I personally was able to watch many panels for debut authors I’ve had on my radar as well as some favorites I’ve never had the opportunity to hear speak. For the Social Distance Book Fest, you can still watch the playlist on Youtube & they are ABSOLUTELY worth watching! My favorite panels included: Navigating Latinx Identity in Fantasy, New Voices in YA Science Fiction & Fantasy and Diversifying Romance. In the realm of books & what I watched, I’d say there really was NO method to my madness. I kinda just went with the flow & read when the mood hit vs. a more structured TBR. I also participated in Riley Marie & Ginger Reads Lainey weekend Smutathon as a last minute thing because by the end of the month my anxiety had seen a peak. Whenever this happens, I put the Fantasy heavy books to the side & go for some lighter reads. Now as far as what I watched…this has to be the STRANGEST month yet! Yes, Yes I did fall down the tiger hole that is the Tiger King & all things cats really smh! haha 😉

These are definitely not in the order I’ve read them but I figured I’d start with the steamy reads I p/u during Smutathon…

DESPERATE MEASURES – ✨5 STARS✨This reimagining of the Disney Princess Jasmine was NOT what I had expected at all in the best of ways! With her kingdom snatched away & her father thrown off the throne, Jasmine is at the mercy of Jafar who now claims ownership of their lands as well as Jasmine herself. This is a consensual non-consent steamy read that will never allow you to see Jafar in the same light again! I among fully invested in all Katee Robert books & can’t wait to read the follow up with Hades & Meg as the MC’s.

THEIRS FOR THE NIGHT – ✨4 STARS✨ Another Katee Robert novella, this was the Smutathon Group pick. HIGHLY enjoyable with A+ chemistry, this one sets the stage for a new series that features a M/M/F relationship. Our female MC is out for the night celebrating her birthday & trying to forget about her ever mounting debt. With her best wing mate she hits up a lounge where she meets two hella mysterious guys who look good enough to make her consider a threesome. SUPER intrigued to see where this goes seeing as there may also be a royal twist? we shall see!

YOUR DAD WILL DO – ✨4 STARS✨Ok so maybe it was an entirely Katee Robert weekend? SO WORTH IT! this author can write chemistry like no other! these short reads are packed with sparks that leave you wondering about the characters way after you’ve read the last page. This one features a taboo/age gap romance where the MC has just been dumped by her fiancé. Plotting her revenge she shows up at her exes dad’s house with a plan to seduce. That she does! but also she gets a lot more than initially planned. LOVED this!

MY DARK VANESSA -✨4 STARS✨ My darkest read yet! I don’t think any book has ever made me feel this uncomfortable. Following a MC in past & present tense, we get the story of Vanessa at the age of 15 as she is groomed by her teacher while at a boarding school. Present day Vanessa is still very confused about what to feel as she finds out she wasn’t the only one. That perhaps it wasn’t a special relationship she was having but actually a case of grooming. HEAVY trigger warnings for rape, suicide, drug & alcohol abuse.

RUTHLESS GODS – ✨4 STARS✨ (My ReviewThe follow up to The Wicked Saints took us to a very dark place! the characters we got invested in really show growth here & carry forth their battle wounds. The war between the Kalyazin & the Tranavians is reaching a climax with the underdog Kalyazin surprisingly flipping the script. There are some secrets that come to light & leave everyone questioning the Gods who may very well be more involved than ever. The war on land may just be a subplot to the real war taking place between the Gods. I’m READY for the final installment with will be mostly from Malachiasz’ POV…there is NO other villain in YA that currently holds a place in my heart like Mal! ❤

FROM TWINKLE, WITH LOVE – ✨3.5 STARS✨(My Review) This was an audiobook I’d say was just ok. I’ve heard from other fans of Sandhya Menon that this is their least favorite. I still plan on picking up When Dimple Met Rishi in the near future seeing as that’s an ongoing series with a strong fan base.

INCENDIARY – ✨5 STARS✨(My Review) Saving the BEST for last! Zoraida Córdova is my Favorite YA Fantasy author! bringing to our shelves Latinx representation in characters is something she’s been doing since the Brooklyn Brujas Trilogy. Here we have a Fantasy inspired by the Spanish Inquisition with a cast of characters that are being hunted & killed for their magical abilities. The Kingdom has turned its back on what they consider heretics & our MC Renata Convida at one point in her childhood was their most formidable weapon. Now that she’s back on the right side of the fence, it’s time to take down the Kingdom once & for all. BIG time page turner with tons of plot twists that will leave you jaw dropped!

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THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB’S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES | CHECK PLEASE! BOOK 2: STICKS & SCONES

 

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BEACH READ & VALENTINE

*These are all ebooks I found for either $1.99 or $2.99*

BLOOD HEIR | THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN | GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW | ONLY FOR A NIGHT | WHEN WE LEFT CUBA | DOMINICANA | XENI | RAFE | BRING ME THEIR HEARTS | KULTI 

What can I say about the circus that is the Tiger King on Netflix? this documentary-series made me lose track how many times I asked myself & friends…Is this real? LMAO! SMH Joe Exotic is quite the unforgettable character & this is the story of how his Zoo of Tigers was shut down starting with Carol Baskin who is cat activist on a mission to “save the cats” or is she? the jury is still out on Baskin. I binged this in two sittings not for quality but just entertainment.

This documentary is three episodes that are also highly binge worthy. We follow a group of cat lovers as they track down & help in the ultimate take down of a cat/serial killer. If anything this opened up my eyes at just how easy it is to track anyone down as long as they’ve left an internet fingerprint. The Facebook group that pieced together this puzzle as the killer released videos of him killing cats was PERSISTENT! it became a game of cat & mouse that as a viewer is hard to look away from.


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