TTT – Halloween Freebie!

Top Ten Tuesday is featured by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Theme: Halloween Freebie –  what spooky, witchy, wizardy books I’ve read…..but in pictures!

Spooky Halloween Tag!

I saw this spooky Halloween tag on Life of a Female Bibliophile blog and as its Halloween soon I thought I would get in on that action!

I have condensed it to 21 questions as I’m a scardey cat at heart and some of my answers would be totally yawn!

1. Favourite horror or Halloween-themed song?

Zombie by The Cranberries

Love this and you can watch (and listen!) to it here.

2. Favorite horror monster or villain?

Vampires all the way! 🧛‍♂️🧛‍♀️

3. The creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone?

I was fast asleep at my boyfriends house and he was out. Suddenly his CD player came on and started playing AT FULL BLAST and it was switched off. It was 2 in the morning and I put my clothes on and drove to my Mums!!!!

4. If you were dared to spend the night in a “haunted house”, would you do it?

No way!!!! 😭

5. Are you superstitious?

Yes and no! I salute magpies and love to blame Friday the 13th for stuff but dont believe in ghosts! 🙄

6. Ever made a potion of any sort?

With my son at a Harry Potter night!!! 🧴🧴

7. Do you get scared easily?

Yes! I am a proper scardey cat! 😿

8. Have you ever played Bloody Mary?

Absolutely not!!! ⛔

9. You’re home alone but you hear footsteps in your house, what do you do?

RUN!!!! 👟🏃‍♀️

10. If you got trapped in one scary movie, which would you choose?

None! I’d faint, poop myself and then probably die very quickly! 💩

11. If you could only wear one Halloween costume for the rest of your life, what would you be?

A witch…some of them got style!!!! 🧙‍♀️

12. Would you ever go to a graveyard at night?

No, no and again, no! ⚰

13. In a zombie apocalypse what is your weapon of choice?

A machete to lop those heads off!!!! 🔪

14. Would you rather go to a Halloween party or go trick or treating?

Halloween party! (As long as they have Halloween themed games!) 🎃👻

15. You’re in a horror movie. Are you the final girl, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

The skeptic….who also dies first!!! 🤦‍♀️

16. Favorite scary book?

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab.

17. How old were you when you saw your first horror movie?

7….me and my bestie watched Evil Dead….and then wished we never!

18. What was your first Halloween costume?

I cant actually remember. Probably a witch! On my sons first Halloween I dressed him as a pumpkin and he did not enjoy it! 🎃

19. What are you going to be for Halloween this year?

We are going to have some food food games here in the house. With covid I’m not sure people will want to open their doors but we shall see! 🧟‍♂️

20. If you could have a spooky Halloween pet (black cat, owl, bat, rat, wolf), what would you pick?

I’d love an owl! 🦉

What would your answers be? Comment below!

Review: Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Title: Iron Widow

Series: Iron Widow #1

Author: Xiran Jay Zhao

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

In an apocalyptic world, peasant girl Zetian sets out to avenge her sisters death by using her Qi to help power a fighting machine, a Chrysalises, for Huaxia in the war against the Hundans.

Qi is the vital essence that sustains everything in this world and keeps a boy/girl pair mentally connected in the war machines. Zetian is now the Iron Widow and gets a bit more than she bargained for in her new partner, Li Shimin, the Iron Demon.

Although I loved Zetian and her feminism, I actually thought she was a psychopath!! I loved her! I was out of breath reading it! Li Shimin I just wanted to cuddle all the time and along with them for the ride is Yizhi, calm, patient Yizhi.

The three of them and what grew into their relationship made my heart sing! The killer boy and the sweet boy and the psycho girl. A perfect triangle.

And that ending? Didn’t see that coming!

Review: Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Defy the Night

Series: Defy the Night #1

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

The kingdom of Kandala is on the brink of disaster. Rifts between sectors have only worsened since a sickness began ravaging the land, and within the Royal Palace, the king holds a tenuous peace with a ruthless hand.

King Harristan was thrust into power after his parents’ shocking assassination, leaving the younger Prince Corrick to take on the brutal role of the King’s Justice. The brothers have learned to react mercilessly to any sign of rebellion–it’s the only way to maintain order when the sickness can strike anywhere, and the only known cure, an elixir made from delicate Moonflower petals, is severely limited.

Out in the Wilds, apothecary apprentice Tessa Cade is tired of seeing her neighbors die, their suffering ignored by the unyielding royals. Every night, she and her best friend Wes risk their lives to steal Moonflower petals and distribute the elixir to those who need it most–but it’s still not enough.

As rumors spread that the cure no longer works and sparks of rebellion begin to flare, a particularly cruel act from the King’s Justice makes Tessa desperate enough to try the impossible: sneaking into the palace. But what she finds upon her arrival makes her wonder if it’s even possible to fix Kandala without destroying it first.

Set in a richly imaginative world with striking similarities to our own, Brigid Kemmerer’s captivating new series is about those with power and those without . . . and what happens when someone is brave enough to imagine a new future.

‘Mind your mettle, Tessa.’

What a vile world Tessa lives in, Kandala has a sickness that can only be staved off with moonflower petals so obviously they are a hot commodity and as usual, the rich prosper and the poor suffer. Tessa tries to put this right by stealing the moonflower, making a medicine and distributing to the poor.

But it all goes wrong…..well sort of. Every cloud has a silver lining and all that and in this case it like a sort of very pale silver of linings!

This was a story that hooks you straight in and makes you want more and more and I need that next book to see how this story continues!

Review: Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

Title: Vespertine

Series: Vespertine #1

Author: Margaret Rogerson

The dead of Loraille do not rest.

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.

Well again this author has done it! I was hooked and held onto this story with everything I had!

Artemisa is a young grey sister and helps cleanse the dead and prepares their bodies until one day her carefully isolated world is shattered and she takes a powerful spirit, a revenant. But is captured by Leander, a Clerisy Confesser.

So now Artemisa has to escape Leander, who has taken her and isn’t really the nicest of chaps!

I don’t want to say much more about the plot apart from that this book had such great secondary characters Charles, Rathie, Jean, Marguerite and a lovely horse called Priestbane.

There is one character who deserves a special mention and that’s the revenant. I loved him and, the same with all weird type things in books, I want one!! His dry, sarcastic sense of humour had me smiling all through this book!

‘If there’s one thing I’ve learned about humans, it’s that your kind loves to gossip. Nuns are no exception, by the way. The ancient and terrible knowledge I harbor about Sister Prunelle’s bunions would make even you beg for mercy.’

The world building was just enough and I loved the hierarchy of the spirits and their Order.

The ending isn’t a cliffhanger at all so I’m wondering where the next book will take us!

TTT – Online Resources for Book Lovers

Top Ten Tuesday is featured by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Theme: Online Resources for Book Lovers (what websites, podcasts, apps, etc. do you use that make your reading life better?)

When I was writing this I realised that I keep my book life organised with quite a few different things!

For romance releases…..
Maryse Book Blog – here.
Aestas Book Blog – here.

For Fantasy releases……
Novelknight – here.
Book Birds – here.

Of course there’s also…….
Instagram aka Bookstagram
Goodreads newsletters
Author newsletters 

I also use the following apps to keep up with everything…….
Countdown app (put future releases on!)
I keep pics of all the books I’ve preordered in a album on my phone!

What do you use?

Review: Ember of Night by Molly E Lee

Title: Ember of Night

Series: Ember of Night #1

Author: Molly E Lee

I’ve never been a stranger to the darkness. But when darkness comes knocking and looks that good, who wouldn’t invite him in?

Draven is mysterious, evasive, and hot as sin. The only thing more infuriating than how much he won’t say is how obnoxious he is every time he does open his mouth. But when a group of strangers attacks me and he fights back, causing them to vanish into a cloud of black dust, I know Draven is more than he seems.

He finally shows me there’s a veil separating the world I know from a world of demons living all around us. Turns out, good and evil are just words. Some of the demons don’t fall into either category. And I’m realizing just how easily I fit in among the ancient warlocks, the divine soldiers, and the twisted supernaturals…

There’s so much more to me. To my past. And to what I am truly capable of than I ever thought possible. So when all signs point to me having the ability to unleash Hell on earth? I’ll have to decide if I want to do the world a solid and save it, or give it one hell of a makeover.

Harley, our heroine, wants to reach 18 and take her sister Ray, who she basically has raised, away from the clutches of their abusive father but meets a dark, beautiful stranger and Harvey’s life changes. Like a lot!

Here we have great supernatural characters, a superb plot that was full of action, the writing was fab and was full of banter as well!

I’ve got to say that Harley is amazing, she is strong, loyal, protective and above all else, she has that survivor instinct. Another massive plus point for me was she loved books!  She also loves her sister above all else…..

‘Because Ray was an angel sent from heaven for me to protect. I’ll become her monster, and the evil of this world will have to go through me first.’

Now Draven, he was dark, delish and made me swoon! The romance made my heart sing!

‘Even an ember of night can be a beacon in the darkness.’

I really enjoyed this book and I guessed 2 of twists early on. I do love it when I’m right!!! Although the last line sort of came out of no where for me and I couldn’t quite get my head around it so want to dive into book 2 so I can see what transpires!

Books I Want Releasing in November…..

Here we go again, me wanting (or maybe needing!) more books when really I should be on a book buying ban so that I can pay for Christmas!

Luckily I have paid already for the three below (and I’ve read 2!) so now it’s just a case of finding somewhere to put them as I am out of room on my shelves *gasp*.

I need to do an unhaul and I am also getting my room decorated in January (the curse of not being able to do this myself!) so have made room for 2 more bookshelves, hooray!

Gilded by Marissa Meyer

Aurora’s End by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson

What books do you want that are releasing in November? Or are you trying to be good?!!