Book Blitz: Crazy Scottish Love by Jessie Donovan (excerpt, giveaway)

Crazy Scottish Love
Jessie Donovan
(Love in Scotland, #1)
Publication date: October 15th 2018
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance
Tired of the online dating scene and her nagging mother, Donella Spencer braves her eccentric extended family and heads for a month-long visit to Scotland to stay with them. As long as she keeps to herself and avoids her family as much as possible, it should be easy to relax, right?
What she doesn’t count on is running into Robbie Campbell, the guy who tried so hard to ditch her nearly twenty years ago that it took a search and rescue team to save her. Not only that, she doesn’t expect to fall for Robbie’s daughter’s big, brown eyes and agree to hold a themed costume party for Donella’s 31st birthday. One that involves her relatives dressing in nineteenth century safari garb and dusty, old animal outfits.
And none of that even begins to address her grandmother’s attempts to matchmake and marry off Donella within the month.
It’s going to be one long, trying summer in Scotland. However, sometimes the strangest situations can show what someone needs in life. Because if Donella falls in love with a man who can put up with her family, she may finally have her happy ending in sight.
Provided her relatives don’t drive her crazy first.

Top 10 Halloween Reads: A highly eclectic list

I thought it would be fun to do a post about our favorite Halloween reads. These could be books that are specifically about Halloween or Halloween-themed, or just books that get us into the Halloween spirit or that we get moved to read at that Halloween-y time of year. 

For your convenience, my (Elley Otter) bits will be orange and Peekaboo's will be purple (because those are Halloween colors to me, OK?) 

I'll start:

Howl's Moving Castle

There's nothing overtly Halloween-y about Howl's Moving Castle, but for whatever reason I always get the tingles to give it a reread around Halloween. Maybe it's the wizards and witches and fire demons, maybe it's that animated scarecrow with the turnip head giving me the fall vibes, but Howl's Moving Castle is always on my list of Halloween reads. 

Flight or Fright

I definitely go in for "read ALL the scary things around Halloween!", and this anthology, put together by Bev Vincent, and master of horror Stephen King, definitely fits the bill. They give us 17 short horror stories that take place on airplanes, spanning writers from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Joe Hill. The audiobook is also fantastic, by the way, and is narrated by multiple people including Stephen King himself. (Whose voice is way higher than I expected.) Maybe don't read or listen to this on a plane though. 


Hey, I'm getting closer with my choices! Sabriel is a great Halloween read because, hello, she's a reverse necromancer who runs around putting the dead back to rest while she tries to solve the mystery of what happened to her missing father, who is trapped somewhere in death. This series (because it's the first in a series, WINNING) still has the most amazing (and my favorite) system of death and what happens when you die that I've ever read, and I'm undecided whether this book or the next in the series, Lireal, is my favorite. 
Also it says it's YA, but I first read it as a teen and I still love it every bit as much as a 30-something-mostly-adul-most-of-the-time (and not in that nostalgic way, but in that it-stands-on-it's-own-as-a-legit-book-adults-can-love way).

The Haunting of Hill House

This Gothic classic by Shirley Jackson has been adapted into film, and most recently TV, but the original book is still totally fabulous. With it's classic "lab rats in a proverbial maze" story line, ghosties at every turn, possible gas lighting, and an unreliable (crazy? not crazy?) protagonist, this book is haunting and beautifully written. Also, look at that alt cover! Uggh! So pretty! 

Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel

Speaking of books adapted to film, how about the reverse? I haven't read it yet, but this year saw the release of Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel (could have used a catchier title, I'll be honest) and I'm hopeful based on the initial reviews that this will be one of my go-to Halloween reads going forward. Bonus, the sequel is supposed to have a pretty diverse cast of characters and is supposed to be pretty great! I have high hopes, and will be reading it in the next week or so, so watch for a review. ;)
Candy Corn Murder

Candy Corn Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Book 22) by [Meier, Leslie]This cozy mystery features catapulted pumpkins, a dead guy in a trunk, an old ghost story, and local reporter/amateur detective Lucy Stone who has to exonerate her husband and solve a murder. Guys. Not only is this one swimming with the Halloween spirit, there are catapulted pumpkins. Plus it's a cozy  mystery, which means no crazy violence/dismemberment/really scary stuff, so it's nice for those who like to enjoy the Halloween spirit without getting their pants scared off.

"Not His" series

Because what kind of romance reader/blogger would I be if I didn't have some romance on my Halloween book list, I really like this paranormal romance Not His series. While it's not overtly Halloween themed, it's set in a town with a heavy shifter community that has shifters of all sorts, from the local wolf shifter pack on down to rabbit shifters and right on up to the brooding artist dragon shifter. There are also curses, witches, vampires, and gargoyles, so what's not Halloweeny about that? 

Eek! Halloween! 

This adorable children's book by Sandra Boynton is the perfect Halloween read for you/your kids/your pets. Nervous chickens notice strange things are happening! A pumpkin with glowing eyes! An oversized mouse! A robot!! WHAT DOES IT MEAN!! 

Little Boo

This is a favorite of my two sons. Little Boo is about a pumpkin seed who wants so badly to be scary. it's so cute, and is the perfect length for a bedtime story. It's sweet, and repetitive enough in a few spots that my 4 year old sort of "reads along" while my 2 year old points to all the pictures he recognizes ("Moon." "Boot." "Bucket." "Snow." "Punkin'." Yes, yes. Shut up now and let Mommy read the story.) 

Mrs Jeepers' Scariest Halloween... EVER!! 

Do you remember the Bailey School Kids books from when you were little? The juvi series in which a group of elementary school kids are determine to figure out if various adults they encounter are in fact monsters like werewolves, ogres, Frankenstein, etc. There are nearly 70 of them. Fun reads, too! This book is one of the Super Specials, in which Mrs. Jeepers, their teacher, and possibly also a vampire, might be turning the kids in town into monsters, and our five intrepid heroes have to figure it out. (I always had a bit of a crush on Mrs. Jeepers, if I'm honest.) (Also the very first fanfic I ever wrote, before I even knew what fanfiction was was Bailey School Kids.) 

And there you have it! If that wasn't a wild and bizarre ride, well, I don't want to know what kind of weird stuff you do on the regular. ;) What are some of your favorite Halloween reads? Do you have favorites that you like to reread during this season?

Book Review: Wicked Nix by Lena Coakley

Wicked Nix

Author: Lena Coakley
Illustrator: Jaime Zollars
Publisher: Amulet Books (October 9, 2018)
Hardcover, 176 pages
Goodreads     |     Amazon     |     Barnes & Noble

Mischievous woodland fairy Nix is up to no good. His beloved fairy queen has gone away, leaving him with a very important job: He must protect the forest from a most dangerous enemy—humans.

When a determined invader trespasses on his territory, Nix’s skills are put to the test as he invents several wicked tricks to chase the sorry fellow away. But when his efforts don’t go quite according to plan, it becomes clear that this intruder—and this sprite—may not be at all what they seem.

Book Review: Vampires Like It Hot by Lynsay Sands

Vampires Like It Hot

Author: Lynsay Sands
Series: Argeneau, Book 28
Publisher: Avon (September 18, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Goodreads     |     Amazon


When Raffaele Notte pulls a barely dressed, disoriented woman from the ocean, the last thing he expects is for her to utter that word. The immortal has come to the island resort to help his cousin, but now, it seems, there are rogue vampires dining on unsuspecting tourists. And he soon realizes that not only is Jess a target, she’s also the life mate he’s been waiting for…

Vampires are real. Jess would’ve never believed it until she saw them with her own eyes. She knows she has to get off the island, and her gallant rescuer has offered to help. There’s something about Raffaele that’s unlike any man she has ever met, and his touch sends pleasure through her that is beyond all imagining. But when Jess discovers who he really is, will she risk life as she knows it for a chance of forever by his side?

Blog Tour: The Forever Christmas Tree by Sandra Hill (excerpt, teaser, giveaway)

The Christmas bells are chiming across the Outer Banks town of Bell Cove, North Carolina, but there’s one local ‘grinch’ who’s not listening . . .
He’s got bad-boy looks and a Bah Humbug attitude, so when the local paper asks the villagers to vote on the “Biggest Local Grinch” as a fund-raising project, Ethan Rutledge isn’t surprised to hear he’s made the ballot. He might own the local Christmas Tree Farm, but the holiday hasn’t been welcome in his home since Wendy Patterson left him heart-broken twelve years ago.
But now Wendy’s back, fresh from a tour of duty as a female Navy SEAL. She’s bold, beautiful, and has five Navy buddies trailing after her—as if she needs a bodyguard! And what’s all this about them wanting to start a treasure hunting company right here in Bell Cove’s failing bell factory? Then Wendy learns about how Ethan’s been nurturing the one thing he has to remember her by: a gorgeous Norway Spruce tree.
Can the magic of Christmas and the spirit of the town help rekindle the romance between two people who thought they’d left love behind years ago?

About the Book

The Forever Christmas Tree
by Sandra Hill
Bell Sound Series
Contemporary Romance
Avon Books
Publication Date
September 25, 2018
Purchase Your Copy Today!
Amazon  |  Avon Romance  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Google Play  |  iBooks

Blog Tour: Fragments of Ash by Katy Regnery (guest post, giveaway)

Fragments of Ash
Katy Regnery
(A Modern Fairytale #7)
Publication date: October 1st 2018
Genres: Fairy Tales, Romance, Adult
From New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery comes a dark and twisted retelling of the beloved fairytale, Cinderella!
My name is Ashley Ellis…
I was thirteen years old when my mother – retired supermodel, Tig – married Mosier Răumann, who was twice her age and the head of the Răumann crime family.
When I turned eighteen, my mother mysteriously died. Only then did I discover the dark plans my stepfather had in store for me all along; the debauched “work” he expected me to do.
With the help of my godfather, Gus, I have escaped from Mosier’s clutches, but his twin sons and henchmen have been tasked with hunting me down. And they will stop at nothing to return my virgin body to their father
…dead or alive.
** Contemporary Romance. Due to profanity and very strong sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.**
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Fragments of Ash is part of the ~a modern fairytale~ collection: contemporary, standalone romances inspired by beloved fairy tales.
The Vixen and the Vet (Beauty & the Beast) – available now
Never Let You Go (Hansel & Gretel) – available now
Ginger’s Heart (Little Red Riding Hood) – available now
Dark Sexy Knight (Camelot) – available now
Don’t Speak (The Little Mermaid) – available now
Sheer Heaven (Rapunzel) – available now
Fragments of Ash (Cinderella) – available now
Swan Song (The Ugly Duckling) – coming soon

#ARCtoberReadathon is this weekend! (Did you remember to sign up?)

#ARCtoberReadathon is this weekend! YAY! Who is ready to get their read on for readathon?

The Rules

#ARCReadathon has no hard start and stop time - it begins on Saturday Oct 13 and ends Sunday Oct 14. The goal is to read as much as you can (or care to) in that time, with a focus on getting through ARCs. So just for this weekend, set aside the library books and the new releases (sorry, Hocus Pocus: the all new sequel - I guess you'll have to wait until Monday to get read!) and get cracking on those ARCs!


Share your progress updates on Twitter using the hashtag #ARCtoberReadathon for the chance to win prizes. ;)  The more you tweet with the hashtag, the more chances you'll have to win. Oh, and make sure you sign up in the #ARCtober sign up post if you want your #ARCtoberReadathon tweets to be entered into the grand prize and the ARC book prize drawings!! If you're not signed up in the main post, I won't know if you're a US or INT entry. (Plus, it will warm my Hufflepuff heart and make me want to host more challenges if I can get a solid half-dozen people signed up for my very first challenge... Haha.)

Book Review: Consumed by J.R. Ward


Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Firefighters, Book 1
Publisher: Gallery Books (October 2, 2018)
Hardcover, 416 pages
Goodreads     |     Amazon

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed...

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn't believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again--until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.

#blogoween: Bookish Monster Bender (Anne of Green Gables)

I love this prompt for #blogoween! This one is hosted by Camilla @ Reader in the Attic, but I actually stumbled across the post on by Luna @ BookishLuna about Little Women (and zombie Beth) and was inspired to write my own Bookish Monster Bender post, so thanks Luna, Camilla, and the whole #blogoween crew! I love the direction Luna took this, with Beth dying as in the book but instead of staying dead she rises again as a zombie. Sort of like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! And as Luna says, it may not be exactly what the prompt calls for, but it's the direction in which I am going to take it... 

Bookish Monster Bender || You’re transported in various books but a bad surprise awaits you. Everything is horror and death, because a monster version has taken over the story. Prompt objective is to do a monster bender version of book characters. You can choose who you want and imagine a dark horror version of their novel (you can add or not your ideas about the horror – re-written blurb or “how things went wrong”) and themselves. But the main thing to do is create a monster out of bookish characters. I suggest you look up on the internet a bit of the videogame Bloodborne for monster aesthetic inspiration. Oh, and don’t hesitate to add yourself to the scenery, survival weapons included. Or die.
The first book that sprang to mind for me (perhaps prompted by Luna's choice of Little Women) was L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables

Only in this Monster-Bent world, Anne is a Hunter (think Dean and Sam from Supernatural). There wasn't really a mistake with the Cuthbert's "order" for an orphan boy - it's just that the boy they'd ordered had turned out to be a werewolf and Anne had to put a silver bullet in his heart. Then as she'd been hearing whispers of a nest of vampires in Avonlea, so decided to take the werewolf boy's place and set off for Green Gables. 
What Marilla, Matthew, and the people and of Avonlea take as an overactive imagination and flights of fancy are really calculated efforts to root out evil in the PEI. 
That mouse that drowns in the plum pudding sauce? A weremouse. 
Getting Diana drunk on red currant wine? She'd slipped holy water into the wine, making sure Diana wasn't a vampire. 
It wasn't croup Diana's little sister had, but an evil spell that Anne had to find and break. 
The list goes on, but suffice to say that all that time Anne was fighting evil and people thought she was just being whimsical. Of course, even if people believed half of what she said who could ever separate the real from the fantasy from a girl who does things like rename avenues "The White Way of Delight." (Oh, but the cherry tree outside her window? It truly was the spirit of a Snow Queen trapped inside of a tree, and Anne never did figure out how to free it.)

While I chose to write about Anne of Green Gables, my first thought went to dark/horror versions of fairy tales, of course. I seem to especially see a lot of horror versions of Alice in Wonderland that are done a lot. What do you think of horror versions of well known (or less well known) stories? Would you be up for reading a horror/monster "alternate reality" version of a novel?

Book Review: 100 Fathoms Below by Steven L. Kent and Nicholas Kaufman

100 Fathoms Below

Author: Steven L. Kent and Nicholas Kaufman
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing (October 9, 2018)
Kindle edition, 272 pages
Goodreads     |     Amazon

100 fathoms below ...The depth at which sunlight no longer penetrates the ocean.1983. The US nuclear submarine USS Roanoke embarks on a classified spy mission into Soviet waters. Their goal: to find evidence of a new, faster, and deadlier Soviet submarine that could tip the balance of the Cold War. But the Roanoke crew isn't alone. Something is on board with them. Something cunning and malevolent.Trapped in enemy territory and hunted by Soviet submarines, tensions escalate and crew members turn on each other. When the lights go out and horror fills the corridors, it will take everything the crew has to survive the menace coming from outside and inside the submarine.In the dark.Combining Tom Clancy's eye for international intrigue with Stephen King's sense of the macabre, 100 Fathoms Below takes readers into depths from which there is no escape. 

Book Review: Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ogre Enchanted

Author: Gail Carson Levine
Series: Ella Enchanted, Book 0.5
Publisher: Harper Collins (October 16, 2018)
Hardcover, 352 pages
Goodreads     Amazon

In this prequel to Ella Enchanted, which can stand on its own, young healer Evie is transformed into an ogre by the meddling fairy Lucinda. She’ll turn back only if someone proposes and she accepts!

Returning to the land and many of the characters from her beloved Newbery Honor–winning Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine has written a delightful tale about a clever and endearing heroine who is determined to defy expectations.

Evie is happiest when she is healing people, diagnosing symptoms, and prescribing medications, with the help of her devoted friend (and test subject) Wormy. So when Wormy unexpectedly proposes to her, she kindly turns him down; she has far too much to do to be marrying anyone. And besides, she simply isn’t in love with him.

But a certain meddling fairy named Lucinda has been listening in, and she doesn’t approve of Evie’s rejection. Suddenly, Evie finds herself transformed from a girl into a hideous, hungry ogre. Evie now has only sixty-two days to accept another proposal—or else be stuck as an ogre forever.

Blog Tour: Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis

Who needs mistletoe?
Most people wouldn’t think of a bad Santa case as the perfect Christmas gift. Then again, Molly Malone, office manager at Hunt Investigations, isn’t most people, and she could really use a distraction from the fantasies she’s been having since spending the night with her very secret crush, Lucas Knight. Nothing happened, not that Lucas knows that—but Molly just wants to enjoy being a little naughty for once . . .
Whiskey and pain meds for almost-healed bullet wounds don’t mix. Lucas needs to remember that next time he’s shot on the job, which may be sooner rather than later if Molly’s brother, Joe, finds out about them. Lucas can’t believe he’s drawing a blank on his (supposedly) passionate tryst with Molly, who’s the hottest, smartest, strongest woman he’s ever known. Strong enough to kick his butt if she discovers he’s been assigned to babysit her on her first case. And hot enough to melt his cold heart this Christmas.

About the Book

Hot Winter Nights
by Jill Shalvis
SeriesThe Heartbreaker Bay Series
Contemporary Romance
PublisherAvon Books
Publication DateSeptember 25, 2018
Purchase Your Copy Today!
Amazon  |  Avon Romance  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Google Play  |  iBooks

Book Review: Grilled Cheese and Goblins: Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector by Nicole Kimberling

Grilled Cheese and Goblins: Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector

Author: Nicole Kimberling
Publisher: Blind Eye Books (October 9, 2018)
Paperback, 317 pages
Goodreads     Amazon

Vampire Hunter. Leprechaun Fighter. Food Inspector. Keith Curry has his work cut out for him. NATO's Irregulars Affairs Division is a secret organization operating in thousands of cities around the globe. Its agents police relations between the earthly realm and those beyond this world, protecting citizens from both mundane and otherworldly dangers. Former chef turned NIAD food inspector, Special Agent Keith Curry found out about magic the hard way and is now determined to keep dinner safe for everybody. Includes the novellas Cherries Worth Getting, Magically Delicious and the never-before-published Bring Out Your Best plus bonus shorts and more!

#blogoween: Halloween Creatures 2.0 Tag

AH! So excited to be tagged for Halloween Creatures 2.0 Tag in #blogoween! Thanks to Patricia (or should I say "Bat-tricia"?) over at Bookish Geek for tagging me.

If you're not familiar, Blogoween is month-long blog event hosted by several different bloggers across the blogosphere with a month of prompts specifically celebrating Halloween and fall. There are three tiers to sign up under, and you can check it out here if you're interesting in learning more.

Witch : a magical character or book

Mildred Hubble from The Worst Witch series of books is the first most magical character that comes to mind for me.

Werewolf: a perfect book to read at night

As a mom of a couple of small goblins, most of my perfect books to read at night are books I read with them. A favorite of ours for this time of year is Little Boo. It's about a pumpkin seed who wants so badly to be grow up to be spooky, and it's basically the perfect bedtime story for Halloween. 

Frankenstein: a book that truly shocked you

Shoot the Messenger, for the same reasons that Kesh is the person I chose for the Skeleton category for someone I have a bone to pick with. BIGGEST PLOT TWIST EVER AND I JUST ABOUT PEED MY PANTS.

The Devil: a dark, evil character

...George R. R. Martin.

Grim Reaper: a character that never should have died

No spoilers, but if you've read Arrows Fall by Mercedes Lackey, then you know.

Zombie: a book that made you "hungry" for more

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant. I need more killer mermaids, please. Now please. *grabby hands*

"The seas did not forgive, and they did not welcome their wayward children home."

Gargoyle: a character that you would protect at all costs

Any MC written by Sally Thorne.

Vampire: a book that sucked the life out of you

The Grapes of Wrath, because someone forced me to read it and that's all it's good for - sucking life.

Ghost: a book that still haunts you

I am haunted by the friendly ghost of Anne of Green Gables. It speaks to me and sometimes random quotes and things come out, and nobody knows what I'm talking about. I suppose there are worse things than to be haunted by the spirit of Anne Shirley. (Boy, she'd sure like to think of her spirit haunting someone long after she's gone, giving them romantical ideas and suggesting ridiculous names for things. Imagine the scope for the imagination!)

Demon: a book that really scared you

Honestly, I don't know if there is one. I don't go in for horror much, and when I do it tends to be stuff I like and an acceptable level of scare-ability... Even Into the Drowning Deep was more like "cooooool!" than "AHHHHH!"

Skeleton: a character you have a bone to pick with

Kesh Lasota from Pippa DaCosta's Shoot the Messenger. Such utter and total BETRAYAL!

Mummy: a book you would preserve throughout time

Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand forever, even if other people don't understand my love of this play. 

Creepy doll: a cover too scary to look at

Nope, sorry, I don't do horror and if the cover is too scary to look at, I'm not looking at it. My Halloween is strictly lil' round ghosties, happy smiling pumpkins, and candy corn witches. I don't do the horror gore thrill factor, kthxbye.

The Monster Mash! 

It's fun to be with friends on Halloween! 

Tag your friends!

I tag:

Monthly Wrap-Up: September 2018

2018 Reading Challenge

Books read in September: 16

Books read in 2018: 140/175*
*Updated my challenge to 175 in August, since I was getting TOO CLOSE TO ACTUALLY ACHIEVING MY GOAL, and I'm apparently a glutton for punishment. x.X;;


Progress in September: 3
Total Progress: 19/21


hosted by Novel Knight
Progress in September: 1
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Total Progress: 6/20


Progress in September: 0

Total Progress: 23/26

Letters remaining: Q, X, Z (The hard ones!)


hosted by The Hufflepuff Basement group on Goodreads

Progress in September: 1
  • Fire - 
  • Chair/Throne - Grilled Cheese & Goblins (There's a stool, I'm counting it!)
 Total Progress: 9/24

Book Blitz: Crazy Scottish Love by Jessie Donovan (excerpt, giveaway)

Crazy Scottish Love Jessie Donovan (Love in Scotland, #1) Publication date: October 15th 2018 Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance Ti...