What I’ve Finished Wednesday 11/28

Toddlers Are A**holes by Bunmi Laditan

5 ** I listened to this as on an audiobook, from Scrib’d.  If you are parenting a little one who has either reached toddlerhood or is about to enter into that stage, read (or listen to) this book. It was funny, and relatable. If nothing else, it lets you  know that you are not alone and that you’re likely to survive this stage. It was funny and I finished it quickly.  Out of all of the experiences that I’ve had, I am glad to say that I have not found poop in my purse!

How to be a Pirate by Cressida Cowell

4 **** This was my son’s bedtime story.  It is a series that I keep saying that we were going to go back to and haven’t until now. I am not sure why, other than book distractions. It is funny and my son seems to enjoy them. This time it was about being a pirate and the woes of finding buried booby-trapped treasures. 

Angel’s Landing by Rochelle Alers

3.5 *** This is the second book in the Cavanaugh Island series. I originally read Sanctuary Cove for my February project, and I am just now getting to the rest of the series.  I listened to this on audio, via Scrib’d.  I really enjoyed it. It was a nice romance with a bit of a mystery to it. I can’t say it was very suspenseful, the resolution to everything was actually anti-climatic. At least where the mystery was concerned. But I enjoyed the romance part of it, it was a nice blend of sweet and sexy. 

How the Light Gets In By Jolina Petersheim

2.5 ** This is a review book, and while I did enjoy it, the ending changed my opinion of the whole thing. This was a book that I read at the right time, as it reflected the struggle that I was similarly in (raising two little kids with a partner that was busy working).  There is truth to be found here, and if I could pass this on to every struggling mom and  their spouses/significant others, I would.  As things begin to unfold things get uncomfortable and hard decisions are made. While I didn’t necessarily agree with them, I did respect the characters for making them. But then the ending came, and basically undid everything I experienced. I was mad and a bit bitter. In truth, I still am. 

Fowl Language: Welcome to Parenting by Brian Gordon

5 ***** Another book that I picked up because I needed some humor and parenting encouragement. Sometimes it’s all about knowing that you’re not alone. 

The Christmas Town by Donna Vanliere

4 **** This  is an audiobook that I found scrolling through Scrib’d looking for something since I was in the mood for Christmas. It was funny, and heartwarming. I found that I didn’t want to stop listening to the story, I wanted to be with the characters and in that town.  No, it’s not realistic in the littlest bits. But that’s the magic of Christmas, to see things and feel things as they should be. 

Begin Again: The Brave Practice of Releasing Hurt and Receiving Rest by Leeana Tankersley

3.5 *** This is a review book, and a full review will be posted sometime this week. Since this was an older review book, I chose to listen to it on audio, via Scrib’d. I finished it in one day, it was another book that I read at the right time. It was something that I needed to hear, permission for me to let go and feel and then move on. 

Currently Reading/Listening To

The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan
Let There be Love by Melissa Storm

What are some things that you have finished? What are you currently reading or listening to?

Always Shine!


What I’ve Finished Wednesday 11/14

I feel like I have gotten a lot of things read this week, and I kind of have. Quite a few of these have been books that I’ve read to my kids, but I’m still counting them.



2 *

I didn’t really like this. It was filled with a lot of potential. But it would have been better if the author had waited and worked on it a bit more. Instead it reads as a rough draft that was published too soon. 


1.5 *

This was the bedtime story for my daughter. I thought that this would be a great pick, it was a classic and everyone loved it. But then I picked it up, and I don’t know why people like this book. It was so boring.  The chapters were short and it was easy to read. But there wasn’t a plot. It was written from the perspective of the horse and all he really talked about was how cruel men were to horses. Over and over and in all sorts of ways. 


1.5 *

This was a review book, and it’s the second book in the series.  I do have a full review of this, posted here. In short, I didn’t like and didn’t think it was necessary. I thought that the first book was enough on its own. 



This was one of the read a-louds for our ocean unit in our homeschool. We enjoyed it, so much so that we decided to use this series as often as possible. 



I ended up really enjoying this one. There are about 4 threads of a story that was being unspooled, and I am hooked to them all. I can’t wait for the next book in this series. But I am also glad that Ting has a nice backlist that I can check out. 


3 *

This was my son’s bedtime story. We are slowly making our way through our Usborne books. This was a fun (and cold) story. We will be reading the rest of them. 



This was my daughter’s bedtime story. It was a cute story. Another USborne book that we wanted to read. It was cute, but I am not sure if we will buy the rest, it’s on our maybe stack. 


5 *

This is the second book in the Brooklyn Brujas series. This follows Lula and the mistake she made with her magic. I loved this one! I have a full review up on my sister blog here. I can’t wait for the next one. If you haven’t started this series, I definitely recommend it. 



This is a Christian historical romance that I received for review. I liked it a lot more than I thought that I would. I think I read this at just the right time. I will be going to check out the first in this series, and possibly other books by this author. 

Well, that’s all that I’ve read this week. I am not sure what I will be picking up next. Check back Friday to see what has caught my attention. In the meantime, tell me what you’ve finished or what’s currently got your attention. 

Always Shine!

Review: Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey

Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey 

River of Teeth #2

September 12, 2017 – Tor.com

192 pgs. – Fiction, Fantasy, Adult

Source: Publisher, Netgalley

1.5 stars 

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

If you want to read the summary, click here.

I liked the first novella, even though it was not what I was expecting. So when I started this one, I assumed I would like this one. Unfortunately, I didn’t. I found the second one pretty boring, and while I was interested in the characters in the first one. I didn’t really like them in this one. I am not sure what the difference was between the two, but I just didn’t really like it.

One of the biggest issues that I had was I didn’t think it was necessary. This picks up where the first one ended. The team is scattered and two are trying to find each other. A baby is kidnapped.  While it seems that there is a plot, it didn’t hold my attention.

While I would be happy to read something else by Gailey, I don’t think I will be continuing with this series (if anything else is written within it.)

Always Shine!

#FridayReads…..late but it’s here

I am trying to get things back on a regular-ish schedule. As you can see, I’m doing a bang-up job already. Because of Halloween and choosing to spend available time with my family, my reading is off. So this weekend I will be focusing on finishing the books that I am in the middle of (or nearly finished with) before moving on to anything new.

Two announcements: one I have a project going on that is bigger than I thought, so I am not sure if any of the books that I planned to read (Lady Vaults and The Faithful and the  Fallen read-a-long books, Nonfiction November picks) will actually get read, or if they will be read in a timely manner.

I have switched over to Riffle Books, and have moved away from  Goodreads. If you want to follow me there, you can by clicking here. I have a smaller TBR on Riffle, and I don’t plan on adding to it until I have finished reading the books that are already on there. My plan to not let that list get out of control. We shall see.

Books I planned to Finish:

 Shade of the Wicked by Jeanine Frost 

I received this from Harper Voyager for review, I started it earlier this week. I’m 44% finished and will finish it today. Or I’m hoping to anyway.

 Malice by John Gwynne 

This is the first book in the Faithful and the Fallen series, and I was supposed to finish it on the 31st and start Valor on the 1st. I didn’t but I am almost finished, I have 10% left and plan on knocking that out today as well.

 G eekomancy by Michael R. Underwood

This is an old Edelweiss title. And I have made a little more progress with it, enough to actually want to finish it and not begrudgingly as before. I am 40% into it and will focus on it tomorrow.

If by some miracle, I finish all three of this books then I would like to read

 Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

That would be a nice a cap to this weekend, it would also allow me to finish the trilogy and have one more series finished this year.


Always Shine!

Review: Slender Man by Anonymous

Slender Man

Slender Man by Anonymous 

October 23, 2018 – Harper Voyager

336 pg. – Fiction, Horror/Fantasy, Young Adult

Purpose: Review:

Source: Publisher

3 stars

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

If you want to read the Goodreads Summary, click here.

High school student, Matt is plagued by nightmares. So much so that his parents insists that he sees a therapist. Then his schoolmate and close friend, Lauren goes missing. Then the nightmares increase and pieces of a story that lines up with what is really happening begins appearing on his computer.

In a nutshell this is what the story is about. A boy who has heard and read about the Slender Man stories, but does not believe in the man itself. I have not read any of the Slender Man fiction, and I’m not really sure what the legend around him is. And you don’t really need to for this story.  There was an ebb and flow rhythm to this story, its written using Matt’s journal entries and the transcripts from police interviews and online chats. Because of that, it was a pretty quick read.  It is not explained why Matt is seeing a therapist, other than the fact that he is having nightmares.  Even in his journal entries Matt does not talk about what the nightmares are – until they shift into what he believes is communication from slender man.  The nightmares convince him that he has to do something to rescue his friend Lauren.

Overall, this was just an okay read for me. There were parts that were creepy and unsettling. But for the most part, it is a nice book for those who aren’t into being scared to death. I did have  a couple of problems with the story itself. One being the newspaper articles that are sprinkled throughout the book. As the media is covering Lauren’s case as the missing teen, the reporter sounds more interest in her dad- the gynecologist to the stars, and his infidelities. Also there were a few references to her being a “pretty blond” like that was vitally important information. Another issue is that while the therapist makes it clear that there is nothing seriously wrong with Matt -his nightmares are supposedly stress related – it is never really clear if he is completely sane during this whole event. The ending is another issue, it could have been better. Or maybe I was expecting something different.

While I did not enjoy it as much as I was hoping (I was looking for a good and scary Halloween book), I still enjoyed it. All in all it’s a good Halloween book for scaredy-cats 🙂

If this sounds like something you would want to check out (it’s worth it) you’re in luck, it released today!

Always Shine!

Review: A Long Day in Lychford by Paul Cornell

A Long Day in Lychford (Lychford, #3)

A Long Day in Lychford by Paul Cornell 

Lychford #3

October 10, 2017 – Tor.com

144 pg. – Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Novella

Purpose: Review

Source: Publisher, Netgalley

3.5 Stars 

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

If you want to read the Goodreads summary, click here.

This is the third book in the Lychford series. I did listen to the first two (as well as this one) and I enjoyed them. In fact, I enjoyed the first one and continued on before I realized that I had the third book for review.

While I don’t want to give away any spoilers, I do want to say that this novella had a different tone than the first two novellas. It affected my enjoyment of it a bit. In this installment, the three witches, Judith, Lizzie and Autumn are dealing with border issues. The problem is accidentally created by one of the three witches. Despite a falling out between two of them, they are forced to work together to fix it. In the end, they have a better understanding of each other and they are stronger for it.

This was just okay. And I am not sure if it’s simply because the tone was off from the rest if it was something else. The author incorporates what has happened with Brexit into the story, and I think that it works. That’s a relevant issue that would affect everyone and he deals with it nicely. I wish that I could pinpoint what it is, besides saying it’s the tone, but I can’t.

I do think that this is still a series worth checking out. I am hoping that this is not the last one. For one, I originally thought this was the conclusion of the series, but the way that it ended leads me to believe that it’s not. And another things, is that I actually enjoy the characters and their mix of personalities. I hope to visit Lychford again, and while it would be nice if they didn’t have monsters to fight, it wouldn’t really be Lychford without those monsters.


Always Shine!


DNF Review: To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin

To Be Honest

To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin

August 21, 2018 – Swoon Reads

304 pgs. – Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

Purpose: Review, #Offmybookshelf. Kindle


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

If you want to read the Goodreads summary, click here.

To be completely honest, contemporaries -especially young adult ones- are hit or miss for me. It is not my go to genre, and I usually have to be in the mood for it. I thought that I would like this one and was especially interested in it since the main character is a plus size character.

I didn’t finish it because Savvy was just plain annoying.  She was whiny and unable to stand up for herself.  She was living in denial and talked from both sides of her mouth. She always talked about her sister being her best friend,  and how she was going to follow her (like a puppy) to Indiana State, despite the fact that she could get in anywhere and her sister doesn’t want her there. But then she would talk about Grace and her being her best friend. Yes, I realize that one can have more than one best friend. But I think that Savvy was just ignorant about things. And that annoyed me.

Yes I am sure that George (who suddenly arrived on scene and quickly replaces Mateo as Savvy’s secret crush) helps her come out of that mess and into her own person. The romance blooms, Savvy grows as a character and she learns important life lessons. I just didn’t want to stick around for it.


Always Shine!