Monday, May 14, 2018

Cover Reveal: Reckless Radiance by Kate Roth

Oh my darlings, you are in for a special treat today! If you haven't heard of the lovely Kate Roth, well then you might be missing out. Today one of her book babies gets a new look and I couldn't be more excited to share it with you all. Reckless Radiance is a touching story with a lot of heart. You'll want to add this to your TBR immediately.

Title: Reckless Radiance
Author: Kate Roth
Pub. Date: January 2014
Publisher: Kate Roth Writes
Formats: eBook
Pages: 401
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | ibooks | Kobo | B&N

After a heartbreaking loss, Valerie Gilmore ran away to start over. Her days are filled with regret and her nights are spent with a man who only helps to numb the pain.

Everything changes when a mysterious stranger named Russell walks into her life. He’s sweet, but odd and Valerie is sure he’s hiding something. She finds herself unnerved every time his familiar blue eyes seem to look straight into her soul.

She’s desperate to know his secret—who he is, what he knows and why he’s protecting her at all costs.

If you haven't figure out by now, I'm a big fan of Kate Roth. Her books introduced me to the wonderful world of romance novels and I've been an admirer ever since. You can grab this fabulous book for only 99 cents right now so what are you waiting for?! 
Published since 2012, Kate Roth is addicted to all things romance. Her passion for love stories, both traditional and unconventional, has led her to write in various sub-genres of romance including New Adult, Paranormal and Erotica. Kate is inspired by everything from music to the real-life romance tales she's heard through her years as a professional hair stylist.

One thing is certain, Kate Roth writes steamyconnections, sassy dialogue, and strong heroines & heroes.
Kate spends her time away from the keyboard with her insta-love husband, her sweet baby boy and faithful pound puppy.
Find her: Twitter | Facebook | FB Group

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day and Bout of Books eve!

Greetings my lovely reader friends! Long time no talk. For those that celebrate it, Happy Mother's Day! Being a mom is so rewarding in so many ways, unfortunately getting more reading/blogging done isn't one of those ways. I have two kids under 3 so my days are full and my nights are sometimes fuller. They bring a lot of joy to my life but I do miss those moments where I could curl up with a good book and just read  ALLLLLLL day long.

Luckily, every few months a fabulous read-a-thon event comes along that motivates me to TRY to read more. Bout of Books starts tomorrow so if you're looking for a laid back, self motivating, twitter chat happy read-a-thon than I suggest you join us! I won't be posting my updates here (see above for reasons why) but you can always find me on Twitter @mischievously.

As always, dear friends, thanks for your unending patience when our blog takes an impromptu hiatus but know that we will always be back. Keep reading and don't forget to treat yo self!

Bonus kid pic:

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Book Review: The Cleaner of Chartres by Salley Vickers

Media Type: Audio Book
Title: The Cleaner of Chartres
Author: Salley Vickers
Publisher: Viking
Pages: Hardcover; 304
Release Date: June 27, 2013
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Historical Fiction

HDB Rating: 2 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy slow moving historical fiction that has a very psychology heavy bend.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
From the author of Miss Garnet’s Angel, a story of the redemptive power of love and community in the famous French cathedral town

There is something very special about Agnès Morel. A quiet presence in the small French town of Chartres, she can be found cleaning the famed medieval cathedral each morning and doing odd jobs for the townspeople. No one knows where she came from or why. Not Abbé Paul, who discovered her one morning twenty years ago, sleeping on the north porch, and not Alain Fleury, the irreverent young restorer who works alongside her each day and whose attention she catches with her tawny eyes and elusive manner. She has transformed each of their lives in her own subtle way, yet no one suspects the dark secret Agnès is hiding.

When an accidental encounter dredges up a series of tragic incidents from Agnès’s youth, the nasty meddling of town gossips threatens to upend the woman’s simple, peaceful life. Her story reveals a terrible loss, a case of mistaken identity, and a cruel and violent act that haunts her past. Agnès wrestles with her own sense of guilt and enduring heartbreak while the citizens piece together the truth about her life.

I started out this book a little shaky, since I don't generally read a lot of Historical Fiction. However Agnes soon became a likable enough character that I was engaged. Although this isn't the quickest moving story, and perhaps it has more featured characters than necessary, I still found myself connected enough to Agnes that I wanted to finish this story. Her backstory unfolded a bit at a time and, even though I was fairly sure I knew where things were going, I wanted to see if I was right. I'll give Salley Vickers credit in that she created a very relatable and human character in Agnes. Her mistakes and successes were a beautiful thing.

What kept me from fully falling in love with this book though was how much it hopped back and forth in time, with little to no notice. I listened to the audio version of this, and so it made it even more difficult to get my footing every time we were thrown back to the days of young Agnes. On top of that, as the book neared its end, I felt myself becoming less and less interested in where things were headed. Agnes felt like she stalled in her growth as a person, and then the ending itself was far less than satisfactory. In fact, and this is coming from a reader who is very open minded, the ending left me with some really uncomfortable moral quandaries. I'm still not sure how I feel.

So, for a plot that kept my attention for the most part, a character whom I did enjoy, and a narrator who did a fairly good job, I'll give this two stars. I finished this book, and it was interesting journey. I just wouldn't read it again.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Monday, May 7, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (5/7/18)

Happy Monday, y'all! Yes, I actually mean that. Monday it may be, but I'm feeling pretty optimistic about it. As you can see, things have settled into a nice rhythm here at HDB, and that in itself means that things are in a good place. Huzzah!

Likewise, my reading has been doing so much better lately as well! I've been back into the swing of things, and my review roadblock has vanished. I've just kind of learned to let my brain do its thing. If it says that I need to take a break, I do. It makes things go so much more smoothly.

On to the books!

I've had a great run of reads these last few weeks. The Book Knights was an indie review book that I loved because of its ties to Arthurian legend. The Glass Spare was a random read that I picked up from the library, and ended up LOVING it. Sweep in Peace was me reading something comforting, that I knew I'd love, so that I could work my way out of that weird slump I was in. I'm happy to report, it worked.

I'm actually reading multiple books right now, per usual, but this is the one that I'm focusing on most ardently. In an effort to get myself out of my self-imposed genre prison, I decided to give The Cleaner of Chartres a try. It's been a little rough to get settled, but now I'm really starting to like the story! I can't wait to see where it takes me!

As I try to play catch up, this is my next Indie read on my list! The Beyond Now Device sounds fascinating, and I can't wait to dive in!

That's it for me! What are you reading this week?

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Book Review: The Book Knights by J.G. McKenney

Media Type: Print Book
Title: The Book Knights
Author: J.G. McKenney
Publisher: J.G. McKenney
Pages: Paperback; 272
Release Date: July 5, 2017
Source: Author
Content Screening: Mild Violence

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers looking for a fast paced mix of fantasy and a dystopian future.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon
When her parents are condemned to death by Morgan Fay for the crime of reading, Arti Penderhagen becomes a fugitive. Hunted by Mordred, the sadistic police captain who recites poetry to enhance his physical strength, Arti escapes to the Isle of Avalon, a sanctuary for outlaws. There she meets an old librarian named Merl who tells her about the Grail Tome, an ancient book in Morgan Fay's possession that can alter the course of history. Can Arti steal the book in time to save her family? 

THE BOOK KNIGHTS is a fantasy adventure in which knights wield words as weapons, librarians are wizards, and books can change the future.

Where to begin with this review? I won't deny that I had high expectations for The Book Knights. The fact that this story promised to merge together a dystopian world where readers are banned, and Arthurian legend, had me really excited. Can I please profess that I secretly loved every second a new character was introduced in this story? Their names were perfection and, set against the backdrop that McKenney created for them, they had me in their thrall. I was ready for an adventure, and I definitely had one.

Let me go ahead and start with the characters, since I've already touched on that. As I mentioned, each character has a name that ties them into the Arthurian legend that this book lovingly pulls from. Arti Penderhagen, our protagonist, is a reader who is forced to flee her family home during a  book raid. She instantly peaked my interest. Here was a young girl, taught to read from childhood, out in the world on her own. I was fascinated as I watched her navigate this new world, where being a reader is a death sentence. I think Arti was the easiest to connect with, because we were kindred spirits. Readers forever. It helped that she got the most face time here, since I really got to know who she was. While I loved all the other characters as well, I never got to know them as well as Arti. There wasn't time.  I would have loved some background into their personalities, and gotten to know more about their views on the world they live in.

As it stands, this is a very quick moving book. Characters are introduced in a way that feels natural, which was nice, but the plot moves along so speedily that I never quite felt like I had my footing in Arti's world. I had so many questions about Morgan Fay's motives. I wanted to know more about the general public, and what their opinions were on the world at hand. I also desperately wanted to know more about the Book Knights as whole, since the book had to give a whirlwind explanation in order to move back into the action. While I enjoyed this whole plot, I just honestly wished that the story was longer so that there was more time to get into the the thick of things. I like closure, and I crave world building. The Book Knights was a little shaky on both counts.

I suppose it all comes down to the fact that I just wanted more from this book than I received. The writing was great, the characters were well rendered even if they didn't have as much depth as I wanted, but I missed out on the sturdy world building that I'm so used to in Fantasy books. Arti's world was one that fascinated me, mainly because of how close we might actually be to living in it. I would have loved to see more background established. I wanted more details to help me understand why Arti's destiny was so important, and really color in the full picture.

As it stands, I'm happy to give this book a solid three stars. I enjoyed my time reading it immensely. I accidentally left this book when I went home to visit, and was absolutely devastated until I got it back and was able to finish it. That, my friends, is the mark of a good story. I eagerly await more.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Just breathe, and move forward.

This is what I've been trying to do lately. Truthfully most of my time and effort has been concentrated on just keeping things in this tenuous balance that I've built. It's like I'm holding this massive stack of very expensive plates on a really, really small pedestal. One false move, and the whole stack goes crashing to the ground. No pressure, right?

The nice thing is that it's been easier this time around. All the work that I've been doing on myself, and on the environments around me, has really helped me find a stronger center. It makes that scary stack of plates a little less daunting when I put it on a comfy chair temporarily, and escape into a video game or a book. I've been letting my body tell me what it wants to do, and I've been honoring that. It's working great.

I'm out of my reading slump too, which has been wonderful! This time around I'm taking it slow, savoring books instead of powering through them so that I don't burn myself out. Also I'm going to pick up some graphic novels again, because I really miss reading those.

So, that's me right now. I've been slowly and quietly working on some ideas for filler posts that I'll type up as I feel good about them. I'm reading through some wonderful Indie books that will hit the site with reviews soon. I'm happy.

Just breathing, and moving forward.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Book Review + Giveaway: Ray Vs the Meaning of Life by Michael F. Stewart

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Ray Vs the Meaning of Life
Author: Michael F. Stewart
Publisher: The Publishing House
Pages: 212, ebook
Publication date: May 15th 2018
Source: Xpresso Book Tours/Author
Genres: Young Adult, Coming-of-age

4 Keys to My Heart: Recommended for readers who enjoy an eclectic coming of age story and meme quotes about the meaning of life.
Grandma’s Last Will and Testament names Ray to inherit the trailer park. It’s a million-dollar estate with one hitch: to prove he’s not as aimless as he seems, Ray must discover the meaning of life by the end of the month. (She left the answer in an envelope.) If he fails, the camp goes to his estranged family.
How does anyone find the meaning of life while running a park full of misfit miners, would-be truck racers, and one demanding little girl? There’s a bear too. A grizzly. Maybe that’ll help?
Add it: Goodreads / Amazon

Ray is a typical teenager just trying to get through high school and find something he enjoys. He spends most of his time playing video games by himself and crushing on a neighbor girl. Then his grandmother dies and everything gets turned upside down. Ray finds himself suddenly responsible for an entire trailer park and all that it entails.

I'm a big fan of coming of age stories and this one does not disappoint. What seventeen year old is ready to discuss the meaning of life? I certainly wasn't. Ray's search for understanding leads him on a hilarious and sometimes disgusting path towards enlightenment. The author does not shy away from the muck that is part of the daily grind of running a camp full of miners and misfits.

I have to say one of my favorite parts of the story was the pool iceberg. The simplest of problems can become overwhelming if we don't manage our expectations of them, including how long it takes for ice to melt once the weather warms up. The symbolism of this and Ray's interactions with Penny really warmed my heart.

There is a lot of depth to this story, family struggles, helping those in need, taking responsibility and of course growing up. Ray's family is an eclectic group of misfits who motivate him, intentionally and not, towards finding his meaning of life. You'll want to join in on this hilarious "spiritual" journey.

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy a fun coming of age story with a lot of heart.

Michael F. Stewart embraces all forms of storytelling. In 2009, he created Bully For You for Scholastic Canada, a fully functioning social media platform with an embedded interactive story. He’s written graphic novels for Rubicon Publishing’s Boldprint series, illustrated early readers and novellas for Pearson (coming in 2019!), non fiction texts on Corruption and Children’s Rights; he even tried to convince the world that we needed a location based storytelling app with augmented reality (NARR8R)-we still do! He’s written adult horror, sci-fi, urban fantasy, and adventure. He’s even written books you’ll never find. But nothing is ever wasted. His most recent book, Counting Wolves, a contemporary YA, was named to Kirkus Reviews “Best Books of 2017” list. The Boy Who Swallows Flies (2018) won Killer Nashville’s Claymore Award, and the Assured Destruction Series won The Creation of Stories: Best YA Award at the Toronto International Book Fair. In 2016, Michael was selected to join the CFC/Entertainment One TV Adaptation Lab. Herder of four daughters, Michael lives to write in Ottawa where he was the Ottawa Public Library’s Writer in Residence and runs free writing workshops. To learn more about Michael and his next projects visit his website at or connect via Twitter @MichaelFStewart.


FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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