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Mar 17, 2021

Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Chain of Iron, book 2 of The Last Hours 
Available March 2021

(The silhouettes will appear randomly in the Kindle version) 
LitJoy Crate did a special edition with an added bonus of this Cordelia Carstairs print.
The LitJoy edition comes with a gorgeous slipcase and this quote is on one side. 


The Shadowhunters must catch a killer in Edwardian London in this dangerous and romantic sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling novel Chain of Gold, from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Cassandra Clare. Chain of Iron is a Shadowhunters novel.

Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.

But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.

Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.


OK so last year I fell in love with Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunters.
I have read everything on this list except for the last two in red & Ghosts of the Shadowmarket which is a short story collection. Those last two in red were co-written so I am not in a rush for those.

Chain of Gold is the last one on this list, and not yet shown on the list is Chain of Iron which is book two in The Last Hours series. Technically you can read The Last Hours series after you have read The Infernal Devices series (shown in green) but I recommend that you read her books in the same way shown in the graphic.

It is hard to review a book that is like #19 that I have read from this Shadowhunter world but I felt like I needed to write about it just because I have enjoyed being devoted to this unique world. 

It's Young Adult, fantasy, angels, demons, all-inclusive and delightful fun. Werewolves and vampires. 

The love interests are verrry slow burn but mostly worth it.. HOWEVER in Chain of Iron I felt ready to throw the book. It was slightly predictable with the build up of tension and SO MUCH MISCOMMUNICATION that it was stressing me out. 

But of course I will have to pray it resolves itself in the next book but I will have to wait a year. 

My all time favorite character is still Tessa from The Infernal Devices. I love that this universe is modern times and also Victorian England depending on the series, but I love most of all the saga of all the intertwining families. 

Find me on Facebook or Instagram for any questions about these books! 

Mar 9, 2021

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin

Tuesday, March 09, 2021
When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin 
Revell Baker Publishing February 2021

Munich, 1938. Evelyn Brand is an American foreign correspondent as determined to prove her worth in a male-dominated profession as she is to expose the growing tyranny in Nazi Germany. To do so, she must walk a thin line. If she offends the government, she could be expelled from the country--or worse. If she fails to truthfully report on major stories, she'll never be able to give a voice to the oppressed--and wake up the folks back home.

In another part of the city, American graduate student Peter Lang is working on his PhD in German. Disillusioned with the chaos in the world due to the Great Depression, he is impressed with the prosperity and order of German society. But when the brutality of the regime hits close, he discovers a far better way to use his contacts within the Nazi party--to feed information to the shrewd reporter he can't get off his mind.

This electric standalone novel from fan-favorite Sarah Sundin puts you right at the intersection of pulse-pounding suspense and heart-stopping romance.

I have read a few of Sarah Sundin's novels and she is an expert at World War II historical romance. Her passion for accurate detail and for telling a compelling story shines through in her newest novel When Twilight Breaks.

Firebrand Evelyn is a wonderful character to root for, eager to break glass cielings, while Professor Peter is a kind man focused on law and order in Germany.

Unfortunately it is 1938 and tensions are running high with Hitler's regime which both Evelyn and Peter realize that they are not safe among the fascists. They try to gather information about their anti-semetic friends but time is not on their side.

I enjoyed the story inasmuch the setting is harrowing and the love angle that was a little tedious but a thrilling end made it worthwhile. The small reminders of trusting in the Lord were also well placed. 

Thank you to the publisher for providing me a copy of the novel in exchange for this review. 

Feb 20, 2021

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Random House Ballantine, June 2021
Women's Fiction/Saga, 384 pages
eGalley via publisher, thank you

From the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six . . . Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever. 
Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.
The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.
Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.
And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.
By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface.
Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.

I have read a few titles by Taylor Jenkins Reid previously so I knew I would enjoy Malibu Rising where us normal people get a salacious look inside the overly rich and famous/other people in this universe/ and I was not disappointed. Reid's newest book reminded me a bit of her Daisy Jones and The Six due to the number of characters and the going back and forth between their characters, but this time Malibu Rising focuses not only on the siblings but also dips into their parents' pasts so we can get a bigger picture of the proverbial Ferris Wheel of family matters that will either make or break you.

Her mother had screwed up almost as much as she'd succeeded.

Malibu Rising definitely has a message even from the title, and the first pages of the book eludes to Malibu burning and you can't help but think of the phoenix rising from the ashes. When we think of people living in their multi-million dollar mansions we automatically assume that life must be so easy for them yet this book quickly takes that impression away. The family of siblings Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit have definitely not had a spectacular life even though their dad was a rock star but yet the family knew how to stick together and truly look out for each other, with most of the work being done by Nina. The plot's current timeline is focused on the famous Nina Riva Party but we keep getting pulled back in time to learn how these characters actually made it this far. 
 June was gone. Yet here she was living on through her children.
It was a very intriguing story, although very depressing when you look at how parenting is portrayed here. Lots of sex, scandal, drugs and crazy things going on all culminating in a tearful ending that still leaves you wanting to see what happens after.  Taylor Jenkins Reid succeeded once again in providing an addictingly fabulous story with bonus eccentric characters that really fleshed out the entire saga. You will definitely want to add this to your summer reading list for 2021.

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Feb 13, 2021

Cosmic Health by Jennifer Racioppi

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Cosmic Health: Unlock Your Healing Magic with Astrology, Positive Psychology, and Integrative Wellness by Jennifer Racioppi
Little, Brown and Company
Religion & Spirituality
Pub Date 12 Jan 2021
(Thank you to the publisher for providing me a copy of the eGalley in exchange for this review)

“A life-changing way to apply astrology to your health and well-being.”—Colette Baron-Reid, author of The Map: Finding the Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life

2020 was not a great year in so many ways for us here in the United States. As 2021 began I realized all my hope for change/renewal was not going to happen automatically and would require a bit of soul searching for me to get started on this journey of self-care and well-being. No one is going to be able to take better care of myself than myself, but I lack the necessary tools to do so. Combined with my interests in the more esoteric fields of everything from astrology to tarot to crystal healing, this new Cosmic Health book was the perfect book to get me started on my quest.
Examples of titles of sub-chapters: Healing Through Self-Compassion, Can You Really Have What You Want?, Jupiter: Harbinger of Joy and Abundance, Cultivating Your Awesome

This book took me two weeks to read because it is jam packed with facts and tools/exercises for you to follow along with. You need to go into this book knowing how to find out your natal chart, and have an intention. Do you require healing from trauma? Do you need to find the willpower to change a habit? Start a new one? Follow along with Jennifer's thinking and look to the stars. You need to find a balance in your life? The planets will help you, or thwart you depending on your natal chart. In easy to understand text the author will bring you through topics from mythology to moon rituals and Mercury retrograde to help you learn how to apply a form of medical astrology. 

Astrology is a very vast field and as I said, two weeks for 416 pages is quite a long time for me to get through a book. While there are many more books out there to dive deep into any special niche, Cosmic Health by Jennifer Racioppi is an absolute gem to women who need a little direction in understanding how many elements of our solar system pull on your psyche.

Some favorite takeaways from Cosmic Health: Relentlessly commit to your future self. You are here to learn sovereignty and how to self-authorize without needing approval from others. Using the natal chart and your astro-individuality you can find insight into what you're innately excellent at as well as what drives you and why.

While I was able to enjoy this book via the eGalley, due to the images and format within the text I would recommend purchasing a hard copy for the illustrations alone. This is definitely a book that would be a useful tool to look back through as your personal situations arise. Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with the eGalley for this review and getting me on my way to a higher state of well-being.

Just for fun, here's my natal chart, courtesy of Cafe Astrology!! I am a Cancer Sun, Virgo Moon and Virgo Rising. My true north is in Capricorn. 

As a Cancer, I can be touchy and indirect, and my Virgo Ascendant makes me come across as shy and aloof. This Virgo ascendant also makes me super sensitive to the pain I feel from my endometriosis and since Cancer is ruled by the moon I need to channel my moon energy to work for me as opposed to against me. Jennifer's Cosmic Health has specifics on each of my planet's placements and ideas on how to harness this energy to propel me towards a better understanding of my place in this amazing solar system. We are star dust and it is time to honor that!