OwlCrate March 2020 unboxing: Music of the Night

I received my March OwlCrate box a few days ago, and I’m so happy to share the items I received with you! This box marks OwlCrate’s 5th anniversary!

OwlCrate exclusive wireless speaker
Goblin Grove candle inspired by Wintersong, created by Flick the Wick
Phantom of the Opera poster print, illustrated by Anne Lambelet
OwlCrate exclusive Socks
Wooden art print inspired by Monsters of Verity, designed by Emilee Rudd
Bella’s Lullaby Lip Scrub, created by Fairytale Bath Company
ExLibris bookplates, designed by @veresknatasia_art
Monthly enamel pin, designed by Fable and Black
OwlCrate exclusive signed edition of Marie Lu’s The Kingdom of Back, with letter from the author!
This special edition book comes with sprayed silver foil edges!

January 2020 Book Haul

I didn’t pick up a large amount of books last month, but I love the ones I purchased!

Here are the books I picked up last month:

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Whispers by Greg Howard

Taina by Ernesto Quinonez

Those are the books I picked up last month! What stories did you get in January?

Reading Blog: January 23

This week I began reading ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern. I’m nearly 100 pages in the story, and I’m really liking it. The development of the characters Celia and Marco is being performed very meticulously, as their life paths were orchestrated to play a part in an intricate game. So far the story jumps from a firmly established entity, to one just beginning to take shape through midnight discussions.

I’m also waiting on a copy of ‘Little Fires Everywhere’, by Celeste Ng. This is the next selected read for the book club at my local library. I’m hopeful to have this book in my hands by the end of the week. I also borrowed a cozy mystery novel, ‘Kneaded to Death’, which I hope to begin very soon!

Reading Blog: Collateral Damage

I’m about a quarter of the way through Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason. I’m so happy that Revell Reads provided me a copy to review, since this is a eye-opening story about war-torn Afghanistan. Although this is a fiction story, I appreciate the fact that there are stories out there featuring people living their lives in times of war and conflict. There is also the issue of PTSD as a focal point in the main characters’ story arcs. I can’t wait to see what happens in this story as I continue to read it!

January 2020 New Releases

A new month always promises fun new books to discover and enjoy! Here is a short list of new book releases for the month of January:

January 7:

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

One Of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus

January 14:

Infinity Son by Adam Silvera

The Conference of Birds by Ransom Riggs

January 21:

The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

January 28

Blood Countess by Lana Popovic

Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith

These are just a few of the wonderful titles coming out this month!

Blogmas Day 19: New Christmas Decorations

It’s so exciting to see people put up decorations in their homes during the holidays! I’m featuring some new pieces of Christmas decor that I added to my collection. My Blogmas post for last year’s Christmas decorations can be found here.

Here are my new pieces:

Mini Stocking with ‘last name’ initial
Peanuts Gang Light Up Musical Table Piece
Snowy Own Ornament
Red String Christmas Lights

I hope you all have fun with your Christmas decorations/displays!

Blogmas Day 5: Books Themed Around Christmas

Hi everyone! In this Blogmas post, I’m going to list some books with a Christmas/holiday theme. I can’t wait to tackle some of these this month!

Christmas by Accident by Camron Wright

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

25 Days ‘Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander

A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan

Let it Snow by Sue Moorcroft

The Dogs of Christmas by W. Bruce Cameron

Of course, there are sooo many more titles, but I’ll leave this list at a few selections.
Let me know about you favorite Christmas stories in the comments!

Note: I will also have a post listing books celebrate other holidays later in the month!

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron/A Review

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
Publisher: Forge
Purchased through Barnes & Noble
Length: 319 pages
Genre: Fiction
Release Date: July 2010 (1st edition)

A Dog’s Purpose is a loving, heartwarming story about life told through the eyes of a dog and the many lives he experiences. Bailey just wants to fulfill his calling in life: to make his owner happy no matter what. Every moment in this story is a discovery, and you learn about locations and life events as told through this adorable character. As the reader, I was left to figure out exactly where the events are unfolding, but I also found this process very enjoyable (and humorous in some instances, especially when Bailey is up to some mischief)!

While reading A Dog’s Purpose, I found myself fondly remembering my past fur babies. I am a dog lover, and I’ve had some special loved ones share my life. I’ve had a chihuahua and German Shepherd with my family, and I shared a Beagle with my husband until recently. There were many joyous memories with all of these lovable creatures, and the sadness brought upon their loss was strong.

Much like it expertly covers an animal’s humorous moments, A Dog’s Purpose also covers the end of life just as emotionally. I was in tears in several moments of the book, especially towards the middle of the story (the moment I knew what was coming, there were tears). As sad as their losses were, this encompasses the brief life cycle of an animal. They enter our lives, make discoveries, provide happiness, and (hopefully) live out their lengthy (yet brief) lives.

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron was such a beautiful story about love and life. I truly recommend this book!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

NetGalley ARCs for this week

This week I received one eARC from NetGalley, a site where you can request to receive digital ‘advance reader copies’ of books in exchange of an honest review.

‘Knot On Your Life’ by Betty Hechtman
Beyond the Page Publishing
A Yarn Retreat Mystery (Book #7)
I’m such a lover of yarn crafting, so when I saw this book available on Net Galley, I put in my request immediately! It looks like that it combines knitting and solving a crime in the plot line, so I can’t wait to begin reading this!

The yarn retreat group visiting scenic Vista Del Mar has already planned their own activities, so part-time dessert maker and retreat host Casey Feldstein is looking forward to a stress-free weekend. But the rustic locale is also playing host to a mindfulness retreat for Silicon Valley start-up entrepreneurs along with a flock of bird-watchers, and soon everyone at the resort is getting wound up. And when Casey discovers the dead body of one of the tech gurus on the rocky shore of the Pacific, she begins to suspect that what looks like an accident is actually a calculated murder.

With so many suspects to choose from and mysterious connections emerging between members of the groups, Casey will have to knit together a colorful array of clues as she wrangles with Vista Del Mar’s prickly manager and the curmudgeonly local police lieutenant. And as she closes in on the likely culprit, she’ll have to tie up the loose ends of her investigation before the killer can stitch her full of holes . . .

ARC Book Haul

This week I received two ARCs! One is a Historical Fiction, and the other is a Romantic Suspense novel. I would also like to add that these two are my first physical ARCs! I’m so excited!

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry
From the author of the widely acclaimed She Weeps Each Time You’re Born, a comic tour de female force about a 1980s field hockey team.

In the coastal town of Danvers, MA, home of the original 1692 witch trials, the 1989 Danvers Falcons will do anything to make it to the state finals — even if it means tapping into some devilishly dark powers. In chapters dense with ’80s iconography–from Heathers to “big hair”–Quan Barry expertly weaves together the individual and collective journeys of this enchanted team as they storm their way to the championship. Helmed by good-girl captain Abby Putnam (a descendant of the infamous Salem accuser Ann Putnam) and her co-captain Jen Fiorenza, whose bleached blond “Claw” sees and knows all, the DHS Falcons prove to be wily, original, and bold, flaunting society’s stale notions of femininity in order to find their glorious true selves through the crucible of team sport and, more importantly, friendship.

I received this ARC from Penguin Random House and Pantheon Books (thank you for the copy!). The moment I first came across We Ride Upon Sticks, I knew that I wanted to learn more. A novel covering a female sports team trying to become successful in the 80s sounds very riveting to me. The face that it also involves supernatural powers is a definite plus! We Ride Upon Sticks is scheduled to come out during March 2020.

Deadly Deceit (Harbored Secrets #2) by Natalie Waters
When journalist Vivian DeMarco’s boss dies under suspicious circumstances, her only hope for finding the truth is Deputy Ryan Frost. The deeper they dig, the more twisted the truth becomes, and someone called The Watcher forces Vivian to decide what she’s willing to lose for the sake of a headline.

I received a copy of Deadly Deceit from Revell Books, as part of a blogger tour stop coming soon (thank you for the complimentary copy!). Although I haven’t read Book 1, I’m hopeful that I won’t need it to get into this story! Deadly Deceit comes out on November 5th.