Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Waiting on Wednesday #658

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Goodreads Description:

From Jade Fire Gold author June CL Tan, Darker by Four is the launch of an epic, sweeping contemporary fantasy duology that is the Shadowhunter Chronicles meets the Chinese underworld, drawing inspiration from diaspora folklore.

A vengeful girl. A hollow boy. A missing god.

Rui has one goal in mind—honing her magic to avenge her mother’s death.

Yiran is the black sheep of an illustrious family. The world would be at his feet—had he been born with magic.

Nikai is a Reaper, serving the Fourth King of Hell. When his master disappears, the underworld begins to crumble…and the human world will be next if the King is not found.

When an accident causes Rui’s power to transfer to Yiran, everything turns upside down. Without her magic, Rui has no tool for vengeance. With it, Yiran finally feels like he belongs. That is, until Rui discovers she might hold the key to the missing death god and strikes a dangerous bargain with another King.

As darkness takes over, three paths intersect in the shadows. And three lives bound by fate must rise against destiny before the barrier between worlds falls and all Hell breaks loose—literally.

Perfect for fans of This Savage Song and Only a Monster, Darker by Four will pull readers into a world of love and desperation and revenge—a world where every deal has a catch, no secret stays buried, and no one is exactly who they say they are.

Format: 400 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: April 1, 2024 by Hodderscape
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

I know, this book is already out. But I only got it after it came out, from Fairyloot :) And my edition is all kinds of gorgeous. So I'm sharing about it today, because it is a book that I am waiting to read. One day, haha :D As I'm a little nervous. Lots of art of two boys and one girl. Does it mean a love triangle? Ahh :) Tried to peek a little at reviews. Doesn't look like any triangles? So I'm hopeful. Book sounds so good :)
What are you waiting for on this dangerous Wednesday?

Saturday, May 25, 2024

In My Mailbox #655

Another week gone by super fast. Ack. Been a busy one too. I'm exhausted. But been a good week too. As you can see, I got all the mail this week, haha :D Love it all so much. <3 We finally got a warmer day on Thursday, which was nice. Sat outside in the sun for a few hours. Then it was hospital again on Friday. Ugh. It was such a long and exhausting day. Had a good time too, a little food, a little shopping. But yeah. My body is fully dead. Ugh. This coming week I need to take more photos for instagram outside. And will hopefully decide which book to read next :) Want something epic, haha. This week I'm waiting on Legend of the White Snake. <3 Hope you are all doing well :) I'm excited about warmer days next week, finally :D

The Temptation of Magic. The May Fairyloot YA book edition :D Not heard of this before. I'm curious :)
Empire of the Damned. Realized I had not bought any of the paperback editions, haha. Had to have it.
The Familiar. The International paperback edition. <3 Because of course I need all the versions, haha :)
Skyborn. Book two, german edition :D These covers are so beautiful. And I so truly loved this trilogy. <3
Silver in the Bone. My second copy of the new paperback edition :D Ha. Of course I needed more of it ;)
Dune 2. The 4K steelbook edition. I just couldn't help but buy this better version, ha. I so love this movie.
Miraculous Ladybug. See that red plush and ornament? It's adorable. A mystery thingy that I had to buy :)
Funko Europe. Whoops. I could not resist ordering more, haha :D The new Stitch mystery minis are just adorable. Ahh. And tried for more Stranger Things and Disney Princesses. Only doubles. Sigh. Love the four new Stitch regular pop figures. And all the new Sleeping Beauty ones :D Love the dragon the most.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Waiting on Wednesday #657

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Goodreads Description:

A snake spirit transforms into a boy and must hide his true identity after falling for a headstrong prince in this lush, romantic retelling of the traditional Chinese folktale.

When Prince Xian was a boy, a white snake bit his mother and condemned her to a slow, painful death. The only known cure is an elusive spirit pearl—or an antidote created from the rare white snake itself. Desperate and determined, Xian travels to the city of Changle, where an oracle predicted he would find and capture a white snake.

Seven years ago, Zhen, a white snake in the West Lake, consumed a coveted spirit pearl, which gave him special powers—including the ability to change into human form.

In Changle, Xian encounters an enigmatic but beautiful stable boy named Zhen. The two are immediately drawn to each other, but Zhen soon realizes that he is the white snake Xian is hunting. As their feelings grow deeper, will the truth about Zhen’s identity tear them apart?

Format: 352 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: October 15, 2024 by Quill Tree Books / HarperCollins
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

Ohh. This cover is so very beautiful. I just love it. I have not read many m/m romances at all. But I am going to give this one a try. As it sounds all kinds of wonderful and exciting. I think I will love this book :)
What are you waiting for on this legendary Wednesday?

Saturday, May 18, 2024

In My Mailbox #654

This week have been long. Ahh. But good too. Had a hospital visit, which was a bit of torture, but went okay :) Finally got a doctor to look at my none-healing wound, after 16 weeks. Got a different ointment. Now it is healing more. What. Fingers crossed for me :) I want this goddamn wound gone already. Ugh. May 17th was Norway's national day, and so I had family time with food and cake :) Had a spa bath this afternoon, so I'm a bit too tired right now, ha. I also watched part one of season three of Bridgerton last night. <3 And I loved it so much. Sigh. Polin is my favorite couple. But yeah. I want part two now. Hmph. Still got a bit too much mail this week, oops. But I love it all so much. <3 A couple of new blog posts, as I did read a book this week too, yay :D I'm unsure what to read next, though, and when to try it. Do need a little break, I think :) I shared my review of The Magic Paintbrush :) This week I'm waiting on Release the Wolves :D I hope you are all doing well. <3 It's finally getting more green. But snow tomorrow. Ha. Rude.

Lightningborn. New Julie Kagawa story :D And middle grade! I'm very excited to read this book soonish.
A Breath of Mischief.  The new US paperback edition. I so love this new cover :) It is looking very fierce.
The Isles of the Gods. US paperback edition :) And of course I'm collecting every version there is, ha. <3
Silver in the Bone. New US paperback edition :D Eee! I do love the new cover. <3 And love this book so.
Taylor Swift. The rest of my TTPD CDs have made it, eee :D A little damage. But the deluxe are perfect.
Funko Pop. I could not resist getting this on sale on amazon. Sigh. May have to take it out of the box, ha.
Bukowski Plushes. Bought these at the airport after the hospital visit :) Favorite brand of plush, eee. Love.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Waiting on Wednesday #656

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Goodreads Description:

A conquered land. An unstoppable horde of monsters released every seventy years. And one blacksmith’s apprentice on the run, determined to find his sister before the world ends again. An extraordinary novel about friendship, trust, power, and the monsters all around us, from internationally bestselling author Stefan Bachmann.

One thousand years ago, the Elduari conquered the country of Varen in a brutal war. Now, every few generations they subject their one-time enemies to a terrible tradition: bloodthirsty monsters are unleashed across the land, attacking indiscriminately, keeping the population in a perpetual dark age.

For Argo, fear of another Release is something he has always lived with. When his friend is killed by a monster during a routine patrol, Argo suspects that another Release is coming, and sooner than everyone thinks. But in a country built on fear, getting answers is dangerous. Elduari spies are hiding behind the most familiar faces, and any hint of disobedience could lead to the death of thousands.

As whispers of dissent circulate, rebellion grows in the villages. Argo's beloved sister Simna leaves town without warning. Masked figures stalk the alleys at night, offering dangerous gifts. When tragedy strikes a second time, Argo and his new ally, Ana—a mysterious monster hunter in disguise—set off on a dangerous journey to stop the next Release. But what if it’s already too late?

Format: 288 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: June 25, 2024 by Greenwillow Books
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

This book just looks way too awesome. And I must have it, haha :D The cover is so special and creepy. I love it. And I think the book sounds pretty great. I already own three books by Stefan that I haven't read yet. Oops. Only read the book that he wrote with several others, which I loved. Hope to read them all :)
What are you waiting for on this monstrous Wednesday?

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Review: The Magic Paintbrush by Kat Zhang with Eric Darnell and art by Phoebe Zhong

This was a book I knew I needed once I saw that stunning cover. It is so pretty and magical and I just knew I would like this story. And I did, but I did not love it like I had hoped to. So it ended up being a three star for me. It was such a quick read, though, and the writing was truly wonderful. The artwork was fully gorgeous.

This book takes place over just a few days. It's a story that is told mostly during the same moment. Which I did like, as it was such a fast read. But it also made me care less about everything. I felt like I didn't get to know the characters enough. It all felt a bit too rushed. But the story was still magical to me and I did truly like it.

I'm honestly not sure what to write about this book. I do not want to share spoilers. And this book was so short. But there are still some things that I can share, I think. As I mentioned, the writing was perfect. I also liked the main girl a whole bunch too. It is told from the point of view of twelve-year-old Amy. She's being forced to spend a week with her grandma, her Lao Lao, as her parents go off on an arctic cruise. She's not very close with her grandma, and so she is not all that excited to spent time with her. I did like how that changed, how Amy started to care more about her grandmother and how they then got closer. It was cute. With bonding over painting and art. So yes, I liked that a whole lot. But I did also feel like there was too little of it, with how short the book was. I would not have minded more family time. As I adored it.

Amy has a love for art. She loves drawing, mostly on her tablet, as she can then erase more easily. She used to draw more freely when she was younger. She was more creative then, drawing more fantasy and magical creatures. Now she's trying to be more grown up, and it's not as easy to draw for her. We get to know a little about her life, like her best friend Diego. I liked him too. They had been best of friends since they were small. Diego is in this book way too little, though. But I very much adored their easy friendship.

This book is about the week Amy has to spend with her Lao Lao. Her grandma encourages her to draw more, to show her what she's working on. While putting her stuff in the guest room, she comes across a paintbrush that looks different. She thinks she broke it. But when she puts the ends together, it becomes whole. Like magic. Which Amy does not really believe in. Still. She then uses this paintbrush to draw like her grandma told her to. So she draws her old imaginary friend, Luna. A mythical and magical creature.

And then he is suddenly alive. In her bedroom. Full sized and talking. I liked this twist, as it was pretty cute. I loved how her imaginary friend came to life. As you can see, he is on the cover. And Luna is truly beautiful. But this magical paintbrush is no easy thing. It's fully complicated. Especially when something else comes alive too, in a different part of the world. We get to read from the point of view of this young man. The villain, I suppose. I did not like him one bit. But he was also a bad villain, ha. Not at all scary.

I'm not going to say much more about this book. The story was so easy to read and I kind of wish it had been more complicated, haha. But it was a fan story even so. I loved how Amy and Luna became close. How Luna remembered being her imaginary friend for all those years. How quickly they bonded. It was cute. But yeah. There was a villain, who also wanted the magical paintbrush. It was a little silly at times, yet interesting too. And I really did enjoy reading this book. I only wish there had been a little more of it.

Thank you so much to PRH International for gifting me this free book to read as an eARC via Edelweiss. I'm so glad that I was able to read this story. While I did not fully love it, I found The Magic Paintbrush to be all kinds of magical. The story was sweet. A little dangerous at times for kids, which I liked. The family relationship was wonderful. And the artwork was truly stunning. I loved what was included in the book. It was just as pretty as the cover. I think you should all give this one a try. I'm glad that I read this cute story.

Goodreads - Blackwells - Amazon US - Amazon UK

Saturday, May 11, 2024

In My Mailbox #653

Hello. <3 Gods. I got the best book in the mail this week, eee :D I am SO EXCITED. <3 And so happy. So thankful. Sigh. My precious. So happy to own an ARC of The Mirror of Beasts. <3 It was my favorite book this year. I also read a book this week, The Familiar. It wasn't perfect, but I still loved it. Four stars. I have been walking more this week too, but it still hurts like hell. Yeah. So that sucks. Now been 15 weeks since my surgery. I'm not healed yet. It has stopped, again, for weeks now. So rude. I have a hospital visit next week, though, and going to try to find the doctor who did the surgery. Wish me luck. It's also finally getting a little warmer outside, eee. I got to sit outside in the sun for a while today, which was so good. Was more snow earlier this week, haha. But hoping for some spring feeling from now. I also got a bunch of mail this week too, oops. But a little less, haha. <3 A couple of new posts. I shared my review of The Familiar. <3 And this week I'm waiting on Lucy Undying :) Hope you are all doing well. <3 Do you have spring yet? :D

The Mirror of Beasts. AHHH! Thank you so much PRH International for this free book :D Eee! Precious. Gods.  I am so excited to have this ARC. Sobs. It's perfect. I loved it so much. Had to own this, eee. <3
Sound the Gong. Eeee. I adored this duology. Finally have the hardcover edition. <3 Signed to come :D
Return of the Vengeful Queen. Now I can finally read book one, ha :D Hopefully doing so this summer. <3
Taylor Swift. More of CDs have arrived. <3 One package is missing. But oh, I love the deluxe editions :D
Funko Europe. I had to place a new small order, haha. Love the LotR bitty pops. Love my Godzilla too. <3
Funko Nordic. Eeee! Thank you so much lovely people for this latest free ambassador gift :D I love it so :)

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Waiting on Wednesday #655

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Goodreads Description:

In this epic and seductive gothic fantasy, a vampire escapes the thrall of Dracula and embarks on her own search for self-discovery and true love.

Her name was written in the pages of someone else's story: Lucy Westenra was one of Dracula's first victims.

But her death was only the beginning. Lucy rose from the grave a vampire, and has spent her immortal life trying to escape from Dracula's clutches--and trying to discover who she really is and what she truly wants.

Her undead life takes an unexpected turn when, in twenty-first-century London, she meets another woman who is also yearning to break free from her past. Iris’s family has built a health empire based on a sinister secret, and they’ll do anything to stay in power.

Lucy has long believed she would never love again. But she finds herself compelled by the charming Iris, while Iris is mesmerized by the confident and glamorous Lucy. But their intense connection and blossoming love is threatened by forces from without. Iris's mother won't let go of her without a fight, and Lucy's past still has fangs: Dracula is on the prowl again.

Lucy Westenra has been a tragically murdered teen, a lonesome adventurer, and a fearsome hunter, but happiness always eluded her. Can she find the strength to destroy Dracula once and for all, or will her heart once again be her undoing?

Format: 464 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: September 10, 2024 by Del Rey
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

I am so curious about this book. Ohh. Read some books by Kiersten, though I still have many more to read. And I very much loved her Frankenstein re-telling. I'm hoping this Dracula one will be just as good. Fingers crossed. I liked the cover, at least, ha :D And it sounds all kinds of interesting. Can't wait for it :)
What are you waiting for on this seductive Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Review: The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo

This was a book full of everything. So much real history, most of it bad. A most amazing main girl. A stunning romance. Great side characters to read about. Fantastic writing. But it was also a little too much at times for me, so it is a four star. But I really enjoyed it. And I liked the ending too, felt like it was very fitting and good.

It is going to be difficult to describe this book for me. So I do not think my review will end up being that long this time. Though I'm going to try my best, of course. But my mind is a bit empty at the moment. This story was gorgeous. And interesting plus exciting. But also pretty sad and hopeless at times. Yet I adored most of it.

This book changes a bit between several point of views. But only small peeks at other people. As the story is all about Luzia. She is around twenty years old. She is a scullion, working for a family with more money than her. Her parents are dead and Luzia has just one living relative, her aunt. She meets her sometimes, but she does not really help her at all. I honestly did not like Hualit at all. She seemed to care for Luzia, yet not enough. And that truly bothered me. She could have taken her in, kept her from having to be a scullion and working for someone else. Hmph. Her life was kind of interesting to read about. Luzia had a small and not that great life. She did everything in the house she worked at, working for Valentina. I must say that at first I didn't like this woman at all. But she grew on me. And I ended up loving her greatly.

Luzia was such a great main character. I adored her so. She seems quiet at first, okay with her life as a servant. But she turns out to be all kinds of fierce and always wanting more. I loved that about her. And she is no ordinary girl either. She has a small magic. She uses it to heal burnt bread. Get more of small things. And she is living in hiding, also because of her being a Jew. I loved getting to know a little about her family history. How she knows a bit of her family language, a mix of Spanish and others. I loved it so.

Because Luzia is not living in a great time. I loved that it was part of real history, set during the Spanish Golden Age. I must admit to not knowing anything about it, haha. But now I know more, and I am curious about this time. It seemed awful to live during this time. Especially as a woman. And if you were different. If you were a Jew as well. And especially if you had a bit of small magic, like Luzia. Was either a gift from God. Or something from the devil. In which case they would torture you then burn you. Yeah. Not great.

I did like reading about this time period. But it was also a bit too much for me, as I grew a bit bored about all the history things. I did not care about much of it, to be honest. But still. The story was amazing and I liked reading about all the characters. I so adored Luzia. She gets caught doing her magic by Valentina. And she has her perform for her guests. So she can have a little better life. As Valentina did not have a great life at all. Her husband was a jerk. She was too, at first. Then she changed. I loved her very much.

Since Luzia begins using her magic more, claiming it as a gift from God, she is noticed by more powerful people. And she has to enter a tournament of sorts, where the winner will end up working for the king with their talents. This is how she meets Santangel. Whom does not seem like a normal man at all. He looks a little like death. I loved that, haha. I loved how he changed in this book too. Became better. He was a man of secrets. Also a servant. Tasked with teaching Luzia more about her small miracles, making her better.

I loved how they slowly became friends. I so adored reading about them together. Especially when they finally became more than friends. It took a while, but I loved it. And their romance was great. Sigh. A little doomed. Which I loved, ha. We get to know much about him too. He is kind of eternal. Have lived such a long life. With many stories to tell. I loved that. I hated what life was for him for so very long. And still was. I wanted him free. Which was no easy thing to get done. But I so loved that they tried to free him, at least.

There were other great characters in this book too. Not going to mention more of them, except for Teoda, the Holy Child. She claimed to have an angel whisper the future in her ear. And I adored her, ha. She was also a real miracle, in a way. I very much liked how Teoda and Luzia became friends, despite competing together. Honestly, Teoda was a joy to read about. I also enjoyed how Luzia and Valentina slowly became closer as well. Once a servant and master, now closer to friends. But I also wanted them together more.

There are still things I could say about this. But I'm not going to. It was a story about Luzia being part of a tournament. How that ended up going wrong. How she ended up having to fight for her life. And how all of that ended. I liked the ending. The Familiar ended up being such a stunning book for me. I enjoyed it very much. I did not fully love it, but I loved parts of it, and that's enough for me. The story was exciting to read about. A little sad, a little hopeful at times. A tiny bit of magical. Can't wait for even more books by Leigh.

Goodreads - Blackwells - Amazon US - Amazon UK

Saturday, May 4, 2024

In My Mailbox #652

It was my birthday yesterday :D I turned 31 years old. <3 Had a small celebration with my family, while some were missing. But had good food and cake. And some presents, though mostly just money, haha :) Had a good day, though. This week I got all the mail. Sigh. Help, haha. But oh, how I love it :D So many books. Many ARC trades; so happy. <3 I'm getting another ARC in the mail soon, and I just could not be happier. Sigh. And also got so many pop figures this week. Sobs. But they are so precious, ha :D I love it all. Also, my wound has not healed yet. Sigh. It's still just the same, no difference. I am so tired of it. Ugh. But I'm doing okay, somewhat. I still take my spa baths, and they are the best. <3 I shared my review of Red in Tooth and Claw. <3 And this week I'm waiting on The Lamplighter :) Hope you're all doing well. <3

Empire of the Damned. My personalized copy from Good Choice Reading :D B&N special too. Love it so.
Darker By Four. Fairyloot April YA book. <3 It looks so stunning. Never heard of it before, though, haha :)
Greymist Fair. Finally got to order this book :D Have been curious about it for a long time. Hope it's good.
Fangirl. I couldn't help but buy this new collector's edition of the book. I did love it back when it came out.
The Familiar. The UK paperback edition :) So excited about this one; reading my hardcover right now. <3
The Hurricane Wars + Winterkeep ARCs. Eee! A trade with Jess :D Thank you so much. I love them :D
Ninth House + The Heart of the World ARCs. Ahh :D A trade with Nicole. Thank you so much. <3 I am so happy with both of these. Sigh. I love Leigh. And cannot wait to read the book by Amy sometime soonish.
Fall of the School for Good and Evil ARC. Eee! Thank you Bailey for trading with me :) I so love this one.
Animal Crossing Graphic Novel. Book six. I own them all, haha. Still not sure if I'm going to read them :)
Taylor Swift. Some of my CDs have arrived. <3 I so loved The Tortured Poets Department, eee. Precious.
Funko Pop. This one I got from Amazon. Have been missing Piglet for a while, finally got him. Adorable.
Ray-Ban Sunglasses. Eee. Got these as a birthday gift from my mother. <3 I love them. Best sunglasses.

Funko Europe. Yeah. I got two big orders this week, oops. <3 I could not help myself, haha :D I love the new Godzilla x Kong pop figures; now I have them all. Final one coming next week. And that Stitch purse. Eeee. It's stunning. And new disney princess mystery minis :D I love them so. Still failed to get Max. Sigh.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Waiting on Wednesday #654

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Goodreads Description:

It’s an honor to bring light to the dark.

The nineteenth-century whaling village of Warbler is famous for its lucky ship figureheads—and infamous for people disappearing into the nightly fog. In this murky locale, the lamplighter is synonymous with safety and protection, and it’s a position Temperance assumes when her father is found hanging from one of the lampposts. Though Tempe proves competent, the town is still hesitant to let a woman handle this responsibility.

When a girl disappears after two lamps go out, Tempe’s ability to provide for her mother and younger sister hangs in the balance. She scrambles for answers, hindered at every turn by the village authorities’ call for her removal. As more villagers vanish under her watch, Tempe discovers unsettling truths about the famous Warbler figureheads and her own beloved father. But her warnings of a monster are ignored, even by her own family. Now she must follow the light out of her own fog of despair, as she faces the choice to look the other way or risk speaking out and possibly dooming herself and her sister to be among the lost.

Format: 304 pages, Paperback
Expected Publication: May 20, 2024 by Flux
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

I saw someone share this cover. And after that, I must have this book, ha :D It looks awesome. It sounds both creepy and exciting. I think I will like this one a lot. So I shall give this book a try when it comes out :)
What are you waiting for on this haunting Wednesday?