5N5 Round 1 Wrap-Up

Yay! I finished my first round of 5N5 and I have to admit, I actually like reading this way.  For this round, 4 of the 5 print books were books that came from my bookshelves. Digitally, 4 out of 5 of the books were library books. I DNF’d 1 out of the 10 books that I read.  If the books will have (or already has) a full review, I will link it and will probably not say much in the wrap up.


Del Toro Moon Del Toro Moon by Darby Karchut -5 stars This is a book that I received for review, and I really enjoyed it. It is a middle grade story, father and sons fighting monsters with heart.

The Ghost Line The Ghost Line by Andrew Neil Gray and J. S. Herbison -DNF- This is a tor.com novella. Honestly, I may have continued on with this one if I did not have a bunch of other books that I was more interested in. It was slow -for me- and I quickly lost interest.

Written in Red (The Others, #1) Written in Red by Anne Bishop – 5 stars – This is a re-read for me.  I enjoyed this one just as much as I did the first time. It was as if I was reading it for the first time. And it was great.

A Christmas by the Sea A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson- 2 stars-   I enjoyed the writing and will check out more by this author. But, I personally did not enjoy this novella. The ending was abrupt and everything wrapped up too neatly.

The Wide-Awake Princess (Wide-Awake Princess, #1) Wide Awake Princess by E.D. Baker – 4 stars – This is a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. And while most of the characters are the normal fairy tale trope, Princess Annabelle is not. She is immune to magic, so she doesn’t have any special powers. But she is brave and courageous and is willing to do what it takes to save her kingdom.

Digital – 

Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab, #1) Midnight’s Daughter by Karen Chance – 4 stars- Dori is not your typical heroine. While she is a dhampir and has superhuman strength and senses, she is not the strongest of them. What really appears to be her superpower is the ability to face death in various ways and survive the encounter.

Mapping the Interior Mapping the Interior by Seth Graham Jones – 3 stars – This was supposed to be a horror novella, It started out that way, but once I figured out what was going on it was just kind of creepy. It is about grief and family and the sins of the father. It was good, enjoyable and I will look for more from this author.

The Cost of Betrayal: Three Romantic Suspense Novellas The Cost of Betrayal by  Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey and Lynette Eason – 3 stars – Three authors come together for 3 romantic suspense novellas. Each was enjoyable and was a nice glimpse into the bigger series for each author. This is another book that I received for review.

Hondo Hondo by Louis L’amour -4 stars – This is something that I picked up for some research. This is a western written by a great writer. This is a novelization of the movie, but I really enjoyed the writing. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

Blood Valley (Cotton Pickens, #1) Blood Valley by William W. Johnstone – 4 stars – This is another western that I picked up for research. Johnstone is notorious for his westerns, but he writes out of this genre. I, unexpectedly, enjoyed this. It was funny, and the characters were fun and just the right amount of complex.


Well, this was my first 5 N 5! And as I mentioned above, I liked reading this way. I am working on the next round, an hope to read more of my own digital books. But, we’ll see.


What about you? How was your reading?

Always Shine!


June Wrap-Up

In the middle of June I decided to do a 5N5 TBR so that I would balance my time between both my print and digital shelves. And if you have checked in recently, you  know that I suck and changed some of those books. My monthly wrap-ups will consist of books that do not fall under the 5N5 (classics, audios and read alouds). But for June, these are the books that I read that will not be covered in the first 5N5 wrap-up (coming soon!) *Click the image to go to Goodreads*

This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America 4 Stars This is an essay collection that I listened to on audio book. I enjoyed it and would recommend it.

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl 5 Stars –  A celebrity memoir that I listened to on audio. This was funny, real and made me interested in her work. Definitely recommend.

As the Tide Comes In 3 stars – Christian fiction, contemporary with romance. I enjoyed this one.

FIYAH Literary Magazine, Issue 6: Big Mama Nature 5 Stars- A science fiction and fantasy magazine focusing on works by black speculative fiction authors. I love this magazine and would definitely recommend.

Little Sister Is Not My Name (Sassy, #1)  4 stars – This is a book that I read aloud to my daughter. We enjoyed it, and I thought that it was a cute story with substance. I am looking forward to continuing on with this series.

The Sasquatch Escape (The Imaginary Veterinary, #1) 4 stars – This is a book that I read aloud to my son, we enjoyed it. An adventure with imaginary creatures. Will definitely continue with the series.

Solo 5 stars – A novel told in verse. I listened to this on audio and really enjoyed it. This was my first book by Alexander, but it won’t be my last. I will be adding his collection of books to my own library.

I Can Only Imagine: A Friendship with Jesus Now and Forever 4 stars – A kids book that I received for review. It was cute, the pictures were bright and it had a good message. (Christian fiction)


Twintuition: Double Trouble 4 Stars- Enjoyed it and will continue the series.

Sky in the Deep 4 stars – Listened to the audio, will definitely read more form this author.

A Study in Honor 4 stars – A review book that I requested. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next one.

Sea Creatures from the Sky 5 stars – A children’s book sent to me for review. I loved it. Pictures are beautiful and a brand new perspective.

My So-Called Bollywood Life 5 stars – I listened to this on audio, one of those books that you listen to at just the right time. I enjoyed and will be looking for more from this author.

Dragons and Marshmallows (Zoey and Sassafras Book 1) 3 stars Another book that I read aloud to my daughter. It was cute and we will be continuing the series.

The Poet X 5 stars –  I listened to this one on audio and loved it. I will be adding this one to my personal library as well. It was fantastic!

Well that’s it for now. The rest of the books that I read will be in my 5N5 wrap-up. And I am hoping that July’s monthly wrap-up won’t be this long with the new format.


What did you read last month?

Always Shine!



Book Haul Revisit (1)

I watch a lot of  Booktube, and maybe you do too. If you do, you’ve probably seen several booktubers do this. But I saw it first with Books and Lala.

But because I haven’t been tracking my incoming books until this year, I can’t revisit everything. My online purchases are tracked for a year with Books-A-Million, so that’s what I’m using. In July of 2017,I bought 6 books. My intentions are to pick at least one of the books to read each month. Books purchased were:

Heroine Worship (Heroine Complex, #2) The Shadow of What Was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy, #1)

32968540 The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth, #3)

How to Train Your Dragon (How to Train Your Dragon, #1) How to Betray a Dragon's Hero (How to Train Your Dragon, #11)

Out of these six, the only one that I have read is How to Train Your Dragon by  Cressida Cowell.  3 books come later in the series, so I know that I won’t get to them this month.  That leaves either Akata Warrior or The Shadow of What Was Lost to pick from. Both of which I want to read, and both of which I could read for the O.W.L.S.

But I think I am going to go with . . . . (drum roll please). . .

Akata Witch!

Honestly, it has been on my TBR for the longest and it is shorter than The Shadow of What Was Lost by a lot. And I have a lot of books that I am trying to get through this month.

What about you? What are some books that you’ve purchased but have yet to read? Tell me in the comments!

Always Shine!


Children’s Book Review: I Can Only Imagine by Bart Millard

I Can Only Imagine: A Friendship with Jesus Now and Forever

I Can Only Imagine: A Friendship with Jesus Now and Forever by Bart Millard

March 13, 2018 – Thomas Nelson

32 pgs. – Children’s Fiction, Inspirational, christian

Purpose: Review, #offmybookshelf

Source: Publisher

5 Stars 

I was given a copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.

This was another beautifully illustrated story that we received this month. The pictures are bright and fun. The story takes you through a series a questions that allows you to reflect on what you know about Jesus and imagine what it would be like to be with him daily, in the small ways.  It is very appropriate and engaging for kids. My daughter enjoyed looking at the pictures and my son enjoyed the rhythm of the story itself.


Always Shine!

Children’s Book Review: Sea Creatures From the Sky by Ricardo Cortes

Sea Creatures from the Sky

Sea Creatures From the Sky by Ricardo Cortes

April 3, 2018 -Akashic Books

48 pgs. – Children’s fiction, animals, sharks

Purpose: Review, #offmybookshelf

Source: Publisher

5 stars

I was given a copy of this book, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

I saw this in the Akashic Books catalog and was intrigued. Mainly because my son loves sharks. This is a beautiful children’s book that is not only full of wonderful illustrations, but has a unique story. This is a shark’s first encounter with man -written from the shark’s perspective.  Seeing how most people are afraid of sharks and often think of them as monsters, it is interesting the voice that Cortes chose to give the shark. Because that is not the impression that we are left with. This was fun and both of my kids enjoyed it.

Always Shine!



Review: Fiyah Literary Magazine Vol. 6- Big Mama Nature

FIYAH Literary Magazine, Issue 6: Big Mama Nature

Fiyah Literary Magazine edited by Justina Ireland and Troy L. Wiggins

Volume 6: Big Mama Nature

April 1, 2018

Purpose: Review, #Kindlecleanup

Source: Fiyah Literary Magazine

I was given a digital copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

I can’t believe that I was given a chance to review this magazine again. With all of the short stories that are available, and the literary magazines that are available, it may be a bit overwhelming to find the right fit, or to find the gems. Somehow, Fiyah has done it. They have found gems and have put them together for the readers. This is a great way to get to know a lot of authors that you probably haven’t encountered but wish you had.

This edition was about nature and was another great showcase of talent.  (I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but at the end of each edition is a highlighted indie/ self-published title. Another way to find the jewels in the masses. I think that this is a great feature!)

The Sower by Takim Williams : This appears to be a bit disjointed. Each segment twining around the next into a whole. It’s written in lyrically, acting as a magnet-in some moments it attracts and in others it repells.

Furious Girls  by Juliana Goodman: (This is my favorite!) This story has a lot and definitely makes me want to read more from Goodman. Normally, fury and rage are bad and disastrous feelings, Goodman does a great job of showing this side. But, she doesn’t only use this side to tell he story. She flips it over and shows the usefulness and beauty .

Valley Fieldwork by Stefani Cox: This is one of those stories that’s about one thing but also about something more. While this was a nice glimpse into something much bigger, but I wanted more.

The Other Side of Otto Mountain by Ivy Spadille: This story meandered through the man’s past and alongside his future. It was well written but it left me with an odd feeling that I am struggling to put my finger on.

This edition ended with a poem, A Combustible Illness Clots the Blood by Terrance Brown. Poetry is one of the things that I find hard to review, but I liked this one.


Always Shine!




Guess What’s Out?!!

This is another surprise that made my day. I have been wanting to read something by this author for a while. But he has been writing novels that is connected to the same world for the longest time, so it’s a lot of books to catch up. But he has a brand new series and it’s the perfect place to start (and motivation to read his backlist of books?) What should appear on my porch? Thanks to Harper Voyager….

First book in a  new series. 5 years after the final book in previous series. We have:

King of Ashes (Firemane, #1)

King of Ashes by Raymond E. Feist 

The War of Five Crowns #1

May 8, 2018 – Harper Voyager

From Goodreads:

The first volume in legendary master and New York Times bestselling author Raymond E. Feist’s epic heroic fantasy series, The Firemane Saga—an electrifying tale of two young men whose choices will determine a world’s destiny.

For centuries, the five greatest kingdoms of North and South Tembria, twin continents on the world of Garn, have coexisted in peace. But the balance of power is destroyed when four of the kingdoms violate an ancient covenant and betray the fifth: Ithrace, the Kingdom of Flames, ruled by Steveren Langene, known as “the Firemane” for his brilliant red hair. As war engulfs the world, Ithrace is destroyed and the Greater Realms of Tembria are thrust into a dangerous struggle for supremacy.
As a Free Lord, Baron Daylon Dumarch owes allegiance to no king. When an abandoned infant is found hidden in Daylon’s pavilion, he realizes that the child must be the missing heir of the slain Steveren. The boy is valuable—and vulnerable. A cunning and patient man, Daylon decides to keep the baby’s existence secret, and sends him to be raised on the Island of Coaltachin, home of the so-called Kingdom of Night, where the powerful and lethal Nocusara, the “Hidden Warriors,” legendary assassins and spies, are trained.

Years later, another orphan of mysterious provenance, a young man named Declan, earns his Masters rank as a weapons smith. Blessed with intelligence and skill, he unlocks the secret to forging King’s Steel, the apex of a weapon maker’s trade known by very few. Yet this precious knowledge is also deadly, and Declan is forced to leave his home to safeguard his life. Landing in Lord Daylon’s provinces, he hopes to start anew.

Soon, the two young men—an unknowing rightful heir to a throne and a brilliantly talented young swordsmith—will discover that their fates, and that of Garn, are entwined. The legendary, long-ago War of Betrayal has never truly ended . . . and they must discover the secret of who truly threatens their world. 


I do have plans to read this one this month, so I will post a review as soon as I finish. But until then, you can get your copy on May 8th!


Always Shine!