Crackle and Fire by Russ Colchamiro | Book Tour

It’s my stop on the Crackle and Fire Book Tour! Blackthorn Book Tours is behind this amazing project! Click on the image below for more information.

Crackle and Fire Book Information

Crackle and Fire by Russ Colchimiro. An Angela Harkwicke Sci-Fi Mystery.

Crackle and Fire by Russ Colchimiro
Publisher: Independently Published
Release Date: September 1, 2020

Synopsis

Angela Hardwicke isn’t just any private eye.

She’s a PI from Eternity, the cosmic realm responsible for the design, creation, and maintenance of the Universe.

When accountant Gil Haberseau hires her to find an intern with stolen corporate files, Hardwicke soon finds herself embroiled in a deadly case of lies, intrigue, and murder. Additionally, Angela clashes with vengeful gangsters, MinderNot rallies, and a madman who’s come a long way to get what he wants.

In Russ Colchamiro’s thrilling Sci-Fi mystery Crackle and Fire, Angela Hardwicke learns an important lesson. When it comes to being an intergalactic private eye, there’s no telling what threats she may face on-realm and off… including the demons that lurk deep within her soul.

“Crackle and Fire elegantly combines PI noir with science fiction and fantasy.” — John L. French, author of The Magic of Simon Tombs

“Angela Hardwicke is one of the most memorable characters in detective fiction.” — Sawney Hatton, author of Everyone is a Moon

Crackle and Fire: Author Information

Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline. He also pens the zany SF/F backpacking comedy series Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza. He is also the editor of the SF anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem. All publications are with Crazy 8 Press.

Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two ninjas, and crazy dog Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies. His works include Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, Altered States of the Union, Camelot 13, TV Gods 2, They Keep Killing Glenn, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Camelot 13, and Brave New Girls.

Currently, Russ is working on his first novel in a new series featuring his hardboiled private eye Angela Hardwicke, as well as the first of three collaborative novella projects.

My Review

**I received a complimentary copy of Crackle and Fire from Blackthorn Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review.**

Crackle and Fire was a very fulfilling story! This book covers both Sci-Fi & Crime, which makes an intriguing combination. I loved the unique world building, as it blends space adventure with classic mystery. While the setting doesn’t fit one genre niche, I love the creative risks taken to bring this story to life!

Further, Angela Hardwicke is an eccentric lead character! We truly learn about her fiery persona as she solves the mystery at hand. Angela is no-nonsense in her approach, and we love to see it! Additionally, the side characters that assist her in solving the mystery are enjoyable. These actions certainly sets the stage for future books in the series.

To sum up, Crackle and Fire is a very strong introduction to Angela Hardwicke’s adventures. It features both an exciting world and a strong main character. You’ll certainly want to check it out!

My Blog: Woven From Words

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi | Review

The Silvered Serpents is Roshani Chokshi’s highly anticipated sequel to ‘The Gilded Wolves’! Severin, Laila and friends venture to Russia for a coveted treasure. However, deep trauma and guilt lingers!

The Silvered Serpents: Book Information

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi. Link: https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1579631436l/45044785.jpg

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Length: 416 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Book 2 of ‘The Gilded Wolves’ trilogy
Release Date: September 22, 2020

Synopsis

They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.

Séverin and his crew successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.

Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.

As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.

The Silvered Serpents: My Review

**I received an eARC of ‘The Silvered Serpents’ through NetGalley and Wednesday Books, in exchange for an honest review.**

‘The Silvered Serpents’ was such a great read. Roshani Chokshi’s follow up to The Gilded Wolves did not disappoint!

We continue months after the harrowing events that occurred in Book 1. Severin and his crew venture into Russia for an important mission. They seek an object said to call upon the power of the gods. Even though Severin, Laila and the crew band together, the wounds from losing a loved one is still fresh. Each character struggles to move on with life. Relationships are severely strained, thus making the task of working together very complicated. However, they face any struggle encountered in Russia seamlessly. Indeed, their talents create a beautiful puzzle in piecing together the objects’ mystery.

I live for Severin and Laila’s chemistry! Roshani Chokshi added more layers to their characters in The Silvered Serpents. Further, their backstories blended magic into their individual journeys. Despite the severe complications and struggles this friendship circle endures, they persevere when working together. Insecurities run rampant, yet their bond strengthens as the story progresses.

Also, that cliffhanger? Huge! You’ll certainly want to read until the end. Then have your emotions torn to pieces as a result!

Final Thoughts on ‘The Silvered Serpents

In conclusion, ‘The Silvered Serpents’ is an excellent follow up to ‘The Gilded Wolves’! My pre-ordered copy is coming in the mail. I’m also anxiously awaiting Book 3!

Additional Links

Check out my review for The Gilded Wolves!

First Lines Friday: Love and Light, Cathleen. File name: LoveandLight.png

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi. If the frosted light of the sleeping palace reminded her of stars crowding the night, then Severin appeared amongst them like an eclipse. File name: TheSilveredSerpents_Available-Now.png

First Lines Friday | September 18

First Lines Friday is a weekly bookish feature, hosted by Wandering Words. Picture this: instead of judging a book by its cover, author or prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? What a amazing concept! Click here to view Wandering Words’ original post.

This Week’s Friday Lines

Yadriel wasn’t technically trespassing because he’d lived in the cemetery his whole life. But breaking into the church was definitely crossing the moral-ambiguity line.

Any Guesses?

FIrst Lines Friday. A woman shrugging her shoulders. Link: https://media.giphy.com/media/cIh6lhWd1kJEvgISv9/giphy.gif


Frist Lines Friday. Amy Sosa throwing her hands in the air. Link: https://media.giphy.com/media/efybOiajs3kZjueHWf/giphy.gif


Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. Link: https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1594059624l/52339313._SY475_.jpg

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

Let’s Chat!

Would you place Cemetery Boys in your TBR? I definitely enjoy this paranormal tale!

First Lines Friday: Love and Light, Cathleen. File name: LoveandLight.png

Looking for more First Lines? Check out my previous post!

My Cemetery Boys Reflection & Review

International Book Recs | Book Blogger Hop

International books capture snapshots of life from different world perspectives. They offer a more well rounded view of culture. While I enjoy reading books detailing current American events, I also appreciate stories set in other countries.

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week, readers answer a different bookish prompt. It also helps you discover fellow contributors to check out and follow! You can view Coffee Addicted Writer’s post here.

This Week’s Question: International Books

Do you read books by authors from outside your country? Any book recommendations? (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)

Of course! I enjoy books from authors of all countries! In spite of the current intolerant climate, I seek out books written by international authors.

I enjoy books written by Haruki Murakami and Talia Hibbert. The Brown Sisters trilogy is an addictive rom-com series. I’m counting down the days to Act Your Age, Eve Brown!

Let’s Chat!

Finally, I would love to know about your International Book Recs! Which authors are your faves? Please share in the comments!

First Lines Friday: Love and Light, Cathleen. File name: LoveandLight.png

Looking for more? Check out my last Book Blogger Hop entry!

The Skald’s Black Verse | Book Tour

I’m here to talk about The Skald’s Black Verse by Jordan Loyal Short, a fantasy tale with action! Thank you Storytellers on Tour for letting me take part. For more information, click on their tour link!

The Skald’s Black Verse Book Information

The Skald’s Black Verse by Jordan Loyal Short
Genre: Epic Gridmark Fantasy
Book 1 in The Dreadbound Ode Series
Age Group: Adult
Length: 330 pages
Re-released on August 6, 2020

Goodreads | Amazon

The Skald’s Black Verse Synopsis

When a soldier’s murder sparks rebellion in the tiny village of Skolja, Brohr’s past marks him as the prime suspect. Haunted by his brother’s ghost, and drawn into a web of dark pacts and tangled loyalties, Brohr must choose between the path of vengeance set before him, and a chance to forge his own fate.

From the shadows, an all but extinct race of alien demigods have begun the end game of their millennia-spanning war, and one has chosen Brohr for his closing gambit. But Brohr’s grandfather harbors a dark secret that will change everything.

Above it all, a dread portent looms in the sky, spelling the death of Brohr’s world. With doom spiraling toward them, Brohr must lead an unlikely rebellion, unearth disturbing family secrets, and tame the raging ghost that haunts him. Can Brohr lead his people out of darkness, or will he succumb to his own terrifying bloodlust, and destroy the very people he has sworn to save?

Author Information

The Skald's Black Verse Author, Jordan Loyal Short. FIle Name: JordanLoyalShort.jpg

Jordan Loyal Short is a debut author of epic fantasy. His first novel, The Skald’s Black Verse, is a dark and beautiful story about families, cultures, and beliefs at war with themselves. The protagonist, Brohr, must navigate the tangled loyalties and unforgiving biases of a planet conquered by invaders from another world. Using black magic, and the bizarre bond he shares with his stillborn brother’s spirit, Brohr unravels the truth about himself and an eon spanning war that has reached its end game.
Jordan has worked in a variety of industries, as a waiter, bartender, copywriter and more. He lives in Washington state with his wife where he is currently daydreaming about the end of the world.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

My Review

**I received a copy of The Skald’s Black Verse from Storytellers on Tour, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Brohr’s journey in The Skald’s Black Verse is dark from the start. His world is painted in great stress and conquest, and he and his companions fight to free themselves. The village itself is wonderfully detailed. You can see that Jordan Loyal Short took great lengths to describe Brohr’s story. While the first chapter is a bit uncomfortable (Brohr’s birth is the product of conquest), it leads into the bleak situation he’s embroiled in.

The Skald's Black Verse. File name: LucasPezeta.jpg Photo by Lucas Pezeta from Pexels

Highlights in ‘The Skald’s Black Verse’

  • Extremely detailed. The world is both rich and layered. You know that Brohr Anders and Lyssa fight in a battle that’s bigger than their circle.
  • Anti-hero. Brohr is indeed on a personal journey to redemption. Despite his questionable past, Brohr and his companions fight to make things right for their world.
  • Complex characters. Indeed, Anders and Brohr’s story originate from not-so-honorable causes. The Skald’s Black Verse follows Brohr’s quest to prove himself. He is plagued by a ghost that uses his vessel for rage. However, Brohr learns to (eventually) trust his instincts. While Lyssa’s development is not strong, she provides a good dynamic in this quest.

Content Warnings: The opening chapter is indeed tough to read. During Brohr’s birthing scene, you’re clued in that he’s the product of conquest/rape.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, I thought The Skald’s Black Verse is very thorough and complex. Additionally, it shares Brohr’s journey as a man embattled with rage while doing right for his people. I recommend this story for those who enjoy epic fantasy while learning about a character overcoming obstacles!

The Skald’s Black Verse Tour Schedule

Below is the tour schedule for The Skald’s Black Verse, featuring all of the fabulous contributors!

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First Lines Friday: Love and Light, Cathleen. File name: LoveandLight.png

Contact Me for any Questions and Comments!

Shadow Debt by William Ray | Cover Reveal

The Shadow Debt cover is here!

Shadow Debt Cover Reveal. A woman is very excited. Link: https://media.giphy.com/media/5oGIdt1xapQ76/giphy.gif

I’m so excited to share this with everyone. Yes, I’m here with another great Storytellers on Tour feature! This time, I bring you the cover for Shadow Debt by William Ray!

Shadow Debt Cover Information

Shadow Debt: A Tale Of the Verin Empire by WIlliam Ray. File Name: ShadowDebtCover1.jpg

Shadow Debt by William Ray
Tales Of the Verin Empire (Book 3)
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
Published: September 2020
Cover Art & Design: Ramona Marc
Interior Chapter Illustration: Tom Parker

Ramona Marc’s Website | Tom Parker’s Patreon

Shadow Debt Synopsis

Glynn Sorley is sheriff of Keat’s Field, a tiny settlement in an otherwise lawless frontier. With the discovery of diamonds, her town is flooded with fortune-hunters looking to strike it rich. It’s also a target for competing colonial powers, savage goblin tribes, and outlaws.

Then, a rustler on the run from the law stumbles across his father’s mysterious legacy – a weapon of immense magical power. He uses it to ravage across the territory as the notorious outlaw Gentleman Jim.

But the weapon’s power comes at a terrible cost, and Keat’s Field may just have to pay the price…

This third Tale of the Verin Empire returns us to the world of Gedlund and The Great Restoration. It explores a frontier trapped between competing nations, where goblins reign and a lone sheriff fights to keep the peace.

Drawing inspiration from L’Amour’s  Comstock Lode, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and our own late 19th century, Shadow Debt continues William Ray’s bold, critically acclaimed reinvention of classic fantasy in a world of memorable characters and unique perspectives.

Author Information

Author William Ray. File Name: WilliamRay.jpg

William Ray is the author of the Tales of the Verin Empire; including Gedlund (named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2016), The Great Restoration and the forthcoming Shadow Debt.

Originally from North Carolina, he currently lives in Reston, VA with his wife and dogs. A graduate of Ithaca College, and Wake Forest’s School of Law, he has worked in television, retail, patent prosecution, trademark law and other irrelevant nonsense. To paraphrase Lloyd Alexander, however, if being a life-long lover of fantasy literature qualifies one to write it, then he is well qualified indeed.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Shadow Debt Illustrations

Finally, Let’s Chat!

What do you think of Shadow Debt? Are you ready to travel through Keat’s Field? It certainly looks like a grand adventure! Thank you Storytellers on Tour for letting me take part in this reveal!

First Lines Friday: Love and Light, Cathleen. File name: LoveandLight.png

Feel Free to Contact Me!

The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson | Book Tour

Today is my stop on The Lost Sentinel book tour! Thank you Storytellers on Tour for having me take part! For additional info, please click on the Storytellers on Tour link.

The Lost Sentinel Book Information

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The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson
Silent Sea Chronicles (Book 1)
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
Length: 363 pages
Release Date: June 16, 2017

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Blurb

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.

The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.

Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic. When her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains, she must leave her old life behind.

On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.

Tei joins the exiles’ search for the new Sentinel – the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.

Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache and sacrifice to succeed, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic?

Follow Tei’s journey through the magical land of Kalaya and the Astral Plane in The Lost Sentinel – Book 1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles.

Author Bio

The Lost Sentinel Author: Suzanne Rogerson. File Name: SuzanneRogerson.jpg

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon | Bookbub | Goodreads | Newsletter

Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her husband, two children and a crazy puppy.

Her writing journey began at the age of twelve when she completed her first novel. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave Suzanne the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Now an author of four novels including the recently completed Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy and a Czech translation of her debut, Visions of Zarua, Suzanne hopes the dreaded ‘W’ word will never rear its ugly head again!

She loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

Suzanne collects books, is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles and old ruins whilst being immersed in the past. She likes to combine her love of nature and photography on family walks, but most of all she loves to escape with a great film, binge watch TV shows, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

My Review

**I received a copy of The Lost Sentinel from Storytellers on Tour, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

The Lost Sentinel pulled me in right from the start! This story indeed has equal parts action and adventure. Tei and her companions escape from persecution and ignorance in order to save Kalaya’s soul. They fight to restore the magic once plentiful in their island, now fighting a disease of neglect.

Narrow Pathway Near Trees. Link: <span>Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@jplenio?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Johannes Plenio</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/fantasy?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a></span>

Characters and Setting

Kalaya’s world building is captivating. Its landscapes and mythology instantly pulled me in! Additionally, you knew that you were transported to a special place that needed saving! Equally important are Rogerson’s characters. Tel and her companions were both likable and engaging. While I wished I learned more about Tei’s new ‘found family’, I’m also intrigued to find out in Book 2!

The Lost Sentinel’s Quest Trope

Suzanne Rogerson beautifully writes about Tei’s quest that both she and her companions embark on. Kalaya is certainly under attack by ignorance, so Tei and her friends embark on a wild journey. They are on a mission to save their world and stop dark influences. It kept me reading to the end!

Book Tour: The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson. Link: <span>Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@rockpapercynic?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Peter Chiykowski</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/magical-quest?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a></span>

The Lost Sentinel: In Conclusion

In conclusion, I recommend The Lost Sentinel for those seeking action packed fantasy! It’s a great start to the Silent Sea Chronicles. I look forward to learning more about Tei and her friends in the future!

Also Available: Silent Sea Chronicles Box Set!

The Lost Sentinel: Silent Sea Chronicles Box Set. File name: SilentSeaChronicles.jpg

Box Set Includes:
The Lost Sentinel (Book 1)
The Sentinel’s Reign (Book 2)
The Sentinel’s Alliance (Book 3)

Goodreads | Amazon

Finally, click the banner below to view the tour schedule and the other fabulous contributors!

The Lost Sentinel Tour Banner. File Name: TheLostSentinelTourBanner.jpg

Questions or Comments? Contact Me!

First Lines Friday | September 4

First Lines Friday is a weekly bookish feature, hosted by Wandering Words. Picture this: instead of judging a book by its cover, author or prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? What a amazing concept! Click here to view Wandering Words’ original post.

This Week’s Friday Lines:

‘Today our neighbor at Mill Grove paid us a welcoming call. Belatedly, I might add. Had not my father met him Monday hunting on our woods, would he have come at all?’


Any guesses?

First Lines Friday: Dr. Who shrugging her shoulders, stating 'No Idea'. Link: https://media.giphy.com/media/5BYs1vZVQiqEkrR9lP/giphy.gif


First Lines Friday: A young girl shrugging her shoulders. Link: https://media.giphy.com/media/LLZJNCgdKLofEqgXIg/giphy.gif


Now, This Week’s Book!

First Lines Friday: 
Link: https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1576600201l/49365476.jpg

Audubon’s Sparrow by Juditha Dowd

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

What does it mean to sacrifice for someone else’s art?

Audubon’s Sparrow answers this question by way of a verse biography of Lucy Bakewell. Lucy is the intrepid and largely unsung wife of the artist and naturalist John James Audubon. The story is set in the early decades of the 19th century, an era of dramatic growth and expansion in America.

Audubon’s Sparrow follows Lucy and John James as they fall in love, marry, and set off to make a life on the western frontier. Additionally, Juditha Dowd weaves together lyric poems, imagined letters, and diary entries in Lucy’s voice. Furthermore, this also includes excerpts from Audubon’s journals and published works (which many believe Lucy helped to write and edit) to offer an intimate exploration of the thoughts of a young wife and mother.

Moving from port to port along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, Lucy struggles to square the family’s poverty with her husband’s desire to abandon business and pursue his passion for nature. In a time when women are rarely permitted to work outside the home, Lucy draws on her education and musical talents to become a teacher. This allows Audubon to travel abroad, seeking a publisher for The Birds of America.

Thus, Lucy’s natural confidence and independence emerge, along with a very different life from the one she expected. This, in fact, is an uplifting turn as she wards off financial ruin!

Nimbly written and sympathetically rendered, Audubon’s Sparrow is an enchanting blend of research and imagination!

Friday Lines: To Conclude

In conclusion, would you place Audubon’s Sparrow in your TBR pile? I immediately placed it in mine!

First Lines Friday: Love and Light, Cathleen. File name: LoveandLight.png

Looking for more First Lines Friday posts? Click here:
First Lines Friday | August 28

‘When Life Gives You Mangos’ by Kereen Getten | Book Review

Book Review: When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten

When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Length: 208 pages
Genre: Children’s Fiction (Middle Grade)
Release Date: September 15, 2020

Synopsis

For fans of deeply poignant middle grade about friendship and loss like The Thing About Jellyfish, comes the story about a young girl who can’t remember anything from her previous summer after a hurricane.

Twelve-year-old Clara lives on an island that visitors call exotic. But there’s nothing exotic about it to Clara. She loves eating ripe mangos off the ground, running outside in the rain with her Papa during rainy season, and going to her secret hideout with Gaynah–even though lately she’s not acting like a best friend.

The only thing out of the ordinary for Clara is that something happened to her memory that made her forget everything that happened last summer after a hurricane hit. Sometimes things come back to her in drips like a tap that hasn’t been turned off properly. Other times her Mama fills in the blanks…only she knows those aren’t her memories and it is hard feeling like she is not like everybody else.

But this summer is going to be different for Clara. Everyone is buzzing with excitement over a new girl in the village who is not like other visitors. She is about to make big waves on the island–and give Clara a summer she won’t forget.

My Thoughts

*I received a copy of ‘When Life Gives You Mangos’ through NetGalley and Delacorte Press, in exchange for an honest review*

My heart went out to Clara in ‘When Life Gives You Mangos’! All Clara wants is to repair her complicated friendship with Gaynah. The face that Gaynah isn’t supportive of her memory lapses doesn’t make things easier! Clara has an exciting cast of characters in her island community: a nagging matriarch with a heart of gold, an uncle known for his ‘eccentric past’, and a new girl with fashionable clothes with an eye for Clara’s well being.

The road to Clara’s memory recovery is indeed a struggle, as she comes to grips to the events that led her to that predicament. Her community is very supportive and protective, going to great lengths to keep secrets for the sake of security. It isn’t until a adventurous playdate in the neighborhood that Clara begins to discover there is more to her friendships than what she’s aware of.

I love Clara’s island community, for it has two identities. For many, it’s an exotic place, where tourists visit to admire for days at a time. However, Clara’s island is home. Her island brims with her community’s rich identity. Neighborhoods flow with beautiful trees and vibrant homes, their history dating back centuries. It’s where Clara feels the safety of her family, holding her close when times grow difficult.

This is a middle grade novel, and it does an exceptional job handling the topic of traumatic events to a young audience. The story begins with a storm impacting the community, yet it doesn’t go overboard with graphic details. The takeaway is always a community uniting together in order to support each other. Clara goes through rough patches with her memory loss, yet her community is there to support on of their own.

I would recommend When Life Gives You Mangos for those wanting stories about friendship and recovering from trauma. Such a heartfelt story!


Would you want to put When Life Gives You Mangos in your TBR? Feel free to share in the comments!



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August 2020 OwlCrate Unboxing

August…the final days of summer! A slow year, yet the days flew by!

Today I realized that I almost forgot to post my August OwlCrate unboxing. I’m very excited to show everyone what I received!

Theme: Written In the Stars

Spoilers Ahead!

August OwlCrate: Star shaped bottle with push pins.
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Star shaped bottle with push pins. A Team OwlCrate exclusive!


Strange the Dreamer bandana, designed by Fern and Ink. File name: wp-15989222842625028983889271609700.jpg

Strange the Dreamer inspired bandana, designed by Fern and Ink


The Starless Sea inspired booksleeve, designed by Quirky Cup Collective. File name: wp-15989222846777413968056097040950.jpg

The Starless Sea inspired book sleeve, designed by Quirky Cup Collective


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Aurora Rising inspired clipboard, designed by Daphna Sebbane
Team OwlCrate metal star pen


August OwlCrate Enamel Pin, designed by Band of Weirdos. File name: wp-15989223739229207472439778715875.jpg

Monthly enamel pin, designed by Band of Weirdos



Star Daughter by Sheveta Thakrar, with sprayed purple edges!

(Synopsis from Goodreads) The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. Pretending to be “normal.” But when an accidental flare of her starfire puts her human father in the hospital, Sheetal needs a full star’s help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago.

Sheetal’s quest to save her father takes her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows. She must take the stage as her family’s champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens–and win, or risk never returning to Earth at all.

This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy.

Entire August OwlCrate box. File name: wp-15989224433306838297573311093070.jpg

OwlCrate offers wonderful items!

Feel free to Contact Me!