“Love is the most powerful magic. Above all else, remember that. It will always guide you where you need to go.”
Sister story! 👯♀️ Twins! It’s dark. Vittoria and Emilia are streghe- one of 12 witch families secretly living in Palmero. Vittoria is impossibly blasphemous, bold, and brazen. And D-E-A-D, dead. Emilia is…not any of those things. But you betcha, she will avenger her sisters death, since she was the one to find her mutilated body. Cringe! Dark magic has been long prohibited but Emilia is desperate and willing to do anything. Then she meets the Prince of Wrath, general of war, and one of the feared Seven. Buonasera, Wrath 🔥. Beautiful. Rare. Lethal. Death and rage and fire. Undeniably pleasant 😍 to look at. Realizing Wrath could be useful to her quest for justice, the pair align themselves, set aside their less than appealing qualities, and work together to stop a murderer from slaughtering more witches. However, the Malvagi are selfish creatives and should be feared, never trusted🙈. Emilia’s current desires centered on two things: finding out WHO murdered her twin, and WHY? Trapped in a terrible nightmare and left with simmering rage, will Emilia come out a victim or a victor? Benediximus- good luck! 🤞🏼
Kingdom of the Wicked IS FANTASTICO! Kerri Maniscalco FTW! First, I would like to take a trip to Sea & Vine. You had me at loaf of crusty bread and a platter of antipasto.
Salivating 🤤. Seriously craving Italian food right now. Wrath’s love for some sweetened ricotta…ADORE that Kerri’s LI’s have a fondness for confections. And the romance. Chef’s kiss! Intoxicating and forbidden. I was rooting for my guy! Can you see that hungry gleam in my eyes? I’m ravenous for more of what Kerri is serving us! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Revenge! Justice! Vengeance! Betrayal! EEK! If you are devoted to the SJTR series 🙋🏼♀️ then you have to read Kingdom of the Wicked! I cannot wait to see where Wrath and Emilia end up in the sequel! All the praise to Kerri Maniscalco! 👏🏼 phenomenal! 👏🏼🖤
Grazie to Jimmy Patterson Books and Kerri Maniscalco for allowing me to DESTROY an advance reader copy. 🤟🏼👏🏼
🎶 song: Which Witch by Florence + The Machine 🎶
Nonna Maria’s Scampi
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
4 TBSP salted butter
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 TBSP lemon juice (or half a fresh lemon, squeezed
1 LB. large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Salt, black pepper, and pecorino to tase*
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Next, add shrimp and sauté until they start turning pink on each side. Remove shrimp and set aside.
Add salt, pepper, and wine (or broth if you prefer) and simmer for 2-4 minutes. Tip: you’ll know it’s getting close when the wine is reduced by almost half.
Add the shrimp back in, then the lemon juice and parsley. Toss together and simmer for another minute before removing from heat.
Sprinkle pecorino to taste (like Nonna). Serve with your choice of pasta or crusty bread. *Pecorino isn’t traditional, but the Maniscalco family loves the flavor of it with the garlicky butter sauce.
“Time doesn’t change people, Highness. What happens to them while it passes does.”
Dark Skies follows Lydia (Teriana’s BFF), scholar and adopted daughter of the patrician family Valerius. Her father’s position gives him a seat in the Senate, which is the body that governs Celendor. Marked for death by murder, she flees by way of xenthier path (think: portal). Lydia is the opposite of damsel in distress. She’s no fighter, but she’s a warrior in her own way. She made a mistake. She was careless and it cost people their lives. She must go back to rectify it. How will she make it back? The old rock and a hard place dilemma.
Killian Calorian is a Marked One. Woe to those who dare cross paths with the Dark Horse of House Calorian. Disgraced after failing to keep Mudamora safe from the Corrupted, Lord Calorian swears his sword to protect the crown princess, Malahi. The only way for Killian to redeem himself is by winning the war and driving back the Corrupted One, Rufina, the Queen of Derin.
With Mudamora under siege, Killian strikes a deal with Lydia and the pair (Lydian) work together to save the people they love. The duo share a weight of guilt and they’re two peas in a pod. Truths are revealed and loyalties questioned. Will the sacrifices be worth it in the end?
I love this series! There’s a scene where princess Malahi is very much a queen, but then she be meddling. Oh, no she didn’t! Nobody mess with my OTP. Adore Lydia! Several scenes that made me feel for her. But she’s clever. Fierce! Selfless! Tough cookie. And the dashing Killian Calorian. So chivalrous. The last 100 pages are unputdownable and the ending is insert any exclamation phrase. And the ending is also immediately opens amazon app to preorder Gilded Serpent. Dark Skies is a YA fantasy series, bridging a dozen nations with various cultures, races, and religions. Fantasy fanatics, this series is for you!
For Mudamora and the Six!
song: Gannicus V. Cesar by Joseph Loduca
The 411 : Dark Shores and Dark Skies are parallel stories, meaning you can read in any order. Mariana (Marcus + Teriana) and Lydian’s (Lydia + Killian) stories will converge in the third book, Gilded Serpent.
“I’ve taken someplace unfamiliar and made it into a home. And I think that’s special. It’s really special.”
If you’ve read book two, then you KNOW how it ends. Book three picks up with the last line! 👏🏼THE. 👏🏼LAST. 👏🏼LINE! 😱
It is the final week of Miss America’s exchange in London. CRYING! 😭 Harry Brooks is still smitten and Noah is fond of Mallory too. Harry wants their relationship to progress; however, is he truly ready? He’s got a first class ticket on the hot mess express 🚂 regarding his family. His life is a complicated 🙈 mess. But 💣 BOMBS 💣 be dropped in LP3!
🥰 I nominate myself as president of the Noah William’s Fan Club! 🥰 JK. I’ll share the duties with all the Team Noah ladies. 😉 Mal and Noah have been dancing around each other like magnets. Noah is all grumpy and brooding and deep. And he’s also super thoughtful. Noah and Mal have some precious moments and some that will leave you SCREAM TYPING to your book bestie (Thanks, Joee- Team Noah).
You WILL feel a RANGE of emotions while reading this story: jealousy, heart break, boiling anger, frustration, sadness, joy, hope. Jillian does an AMAZING job keeping you on-your-toes-HOOKED! 👏🏼 I literally cannot fathom how she can write a story that evokes so much emotion. 👍🏼Props! Big ups, Jillian! 👏🏼 You’ll experience strong feelings for the characters in this story. There are scenes that will have you looking at your chest wondering if it has cracked open. I highly suggest googling “defibrillator for sale” because you will absolutely need a shock to your heart! That cliff hanger! 😱😭 I’m SHOOK! Reeling! 😱 How do I go on with my life? I don’t want to see Mal leave these three boys (don’t forget Mohammad- he’s a good friend!). Tears! 🥺London Prep: Book Three is full of drama, angst, first love, and London adventures. I’m desperate for the conclusion! LP4! 👏🏼🇬🇧
BIG, huge, thanks to Jillian Dodd for allowing me to peruse an advanced reader copy. I cannot wait to squeeze hug the physical book! 🤟🏼
“I would only ever want the best for you because that’s what love is. Love is the lyrics to someone else’s melody.”
Oy! Somebody mop me up because I am in a PUDDLE…on the floor… at my feet. Erin Hahn. I really like you🥰. Your story-telling mind is bloody brilliant👏🏼. I am grossly in love with this book and these characters. 🥰
Eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and is like nope. 🙅🏼♀️ Hard pass. His shyness is crippling some days. However, readers will fall in love with the British cupcake that is Luke 😍 Greenly. He makes my heart flip-flop in my chest. This boy. Gah! Back to cool and calm and not at all flustered by Luke. He prefers to stay behind the scenes, composing music, and co-hosting his podcast (The Grass Is Greenly) with his twin brother, Cullen. Double the disgustingly alluring British accent. He also has a pretty big secret. He has a major (like deep-seated, years-long feelings) unrequited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell. 👩🏼💻
Vada’s one of those girls that has a five-year plan (Loud Lizard dive bar, Behind the Music blog, Liberty Live concert series, prestigious music journalism program, Rolling Stone internship) and Luke Greenly is definitely not making the cut. Buuuut he could be part of the plan. Right? 😉 He’s v charming and he understands her music nerdiness. The duo make each other feel off-balanced and slightly mad (British mad). To top it off, Cullen releases a bootleg recording of Luke singing about a mystery girl. Who cares that Vada wants it to be about her? Will Luke and Vada give love a shot?
Me with this book.
More Than Maybe is an exceptionally FUN, YA novel that will make you want to dance💃 (see: Sheppard “Geronimo”) and will totally leave your eyeballs teary, watering from sweetness 🥺 (see: Vance Joy “I’m with You”). Some of my fave heart-squeezing scenes: Pinball Pete’s x “99 Luftballoons”, the old-fashioned dance gesture x “What It Is”, all the characters contained in one space x “Just Like Heaven”, grand-gesture magic x “Break for You” (I need this song to be real). Hahn’s characters (Vada, Luke, Cullen, Zack, and Meg) are so dang likable… I’m sunk! The OTP are extremely swoon worthy (insert moony eyes). I adore how the duo text each other songs, revealing tiny pieces of themselves. If you are a music enthusiast, you HAVE to read More Than Maybe. Get your Spotify or YouTube app open. GO! Ps. Friendly advice…take two Mortin for your inevitable book hangover.
Shout out to MTV’s Teen Wolf.
‘Kiss, Marry, Kill’…Scott, Derek, and Stiles. Shoot (finger gun). Kiss Derek, marry Stiles, kill Scott. I know, I know- no respect for the True Alpha. (#whataboutIsaac).
“Kiss me if I’m wrong, but dinosaurs still exist, right?”
“‘Yer ticket fer Hogwarts,’ he said. ‘First o’ September – King’s Cross – it’s all on yer ticket.’”
Are you even a book blogger if you don’t post about (said in best British accent) Mr. Potter? Happy September first!
#BackToHogwarts. As Harry Potter fans know all too well, on the first of September, Hogwarts Express leaves King’s Cross Station at 11 a.m., bringing students to Hogsmeade Station where Harry attended Hogwarts for the very first time. And we’ve all been celebrating this eponymous wizarding world date ever since.
“You’re a little scary sometimes, you know that? Brilliant … but scary.”
“You can laugh, but people used to believe there were no such things as the Blibbering Humdinger or the Crumple-Horned Snorkack!”
“He can run faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo.” — Fred Weasley
“How neat things are in my books-in romance books on the whole. We guarantee a happy ending. That’s one of the tenets of romance. There has to be a happy ending. Real life? That’s a whole other beast.”
I adore Kitty Valentine! She’s a drama queen and a good person and sweet and loving. And continuing to write on-trend romance for her next best seller. Okay, inspiration. Kitty needs to pen the hero of her current book… Speaking of which, Hayley has the spinner all ready and waiting. SQUEAL! The subsequent trope reveals….drum roll….A firefighter! 👨🏻🚒 There’s something painfully masculine and rugged and generally hot 🔥 about a firefighter. And guess who just so happens to know where to find an entire roomful of likely firefighters to choose from? Kitty’s salty and sassy grandmother. Where? At a bachelor charity auction, of course.
Wait. Who is that I see? Matt Ryder! Is that you? Well, you clean up 😍 nicely (huge understatement). I love that we got to see more of him in this story. He’s turning on the charm. He’s a catch! Perfect on paper. Can we get a Kitty Valentine Dates an Investment Manager? *wink* 😉 Back to the auction. With a hefty dose of surprise! Bachelor Bryce Nichols, the bane of Kitty’s humiliating childhood, is chosen for Kitty by her grandmother (one of my fave characters- energetic and sharp-witted) who has everything under control. Sort of. Not really. This isn’t good. Is it possible for a person to turn things around? Is there more to Bryce than what Kitty remembers? Kitty isn’t extremely picky but she’s definitely the queen of over-thinkers. And she needs to learn all things fire fighting in order to base her popular character on. MUST read to find out what happens with ultimate risk taker Bryce and considerate Kitty. The KV series is ideal for rom-com lovers!
BIG thanks to Jillian Dodd for giving me the opportunity to dive into an advanced reader copy. Much love and happy release day!
“A deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos” – GoodReads synopsis.
“What I mean to say is, I see you, Thomas Cresswell. I placed a gloved hand to his face in the barest hint of touch. “And I think you are truly incredible. Sometimes.”
Welp, I guess I need to work on my 🕵🏼♀️ sleuthing skills because I did NOT figure it out. Working on my deduction technique like…
Audrey Rose Wadsworth flees London and its memories of the horrible discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity. Together with Mr. Thomas Cresswell they attend the Academy of Forensic Medicine and Science in Romania. Can you see my doe eyes 😍 for Thomas? Be still my thawing, dark heart. That devilish flirt. Their banter goes like this: Audrey Rose being horrified by Thomas’s impropriety and Thomas being completely wicked. SO scandy for 1888! Thomas is fluent in sarcasm but he’s terribly valiant. I LOVE HIM. The creep factor is this story is EEP! Bats 🦇and spiders 🕷and secret tunnels. Vampires🧛 and werewolves 🐺and malevolent forces. Soon after their arrival, they discover two vastly different murders with the promise of more on the way. Plus all the castle intrigue. Of course, curiosity is a disease that plagues Audrey Rose. The duo live for the exploration of the dead. The life of forensic studies. Vlad the Impaler’s thirst for blood is legendary or is this just a copycat killer? Has the immortal prince Dracula returned? The couple are players in a morbid game. My fave scenes were for sure all the clandestine moments. And the folklore lessons. Investigators will be engrossed this story! Without hesitation, to America!
“Our tricks might appear sweet, but I promise they are not treats,” he whispered. “Are you brave enough to survive? Perhaps you’ll be another who loses their heart and their head to my mid-night minstrel show. Only you can decide. Until then?”
✨ Welcome to the Moonlight Carnival! ✨
To New York! 🗽 It’s the start of a fresh year. A new chapter. The marauders of truth duo. Partners in crime and debauchery. (Thomas Creswell + Audrey Rose Wadsworth = Cressworth), embark on a seven-day, fairytale 🚢cruise… which if you’ve been reading the books, you’ll know that is the first indication a nightmare lurked on the horizon. Eep! Of course, the enchanted voyage turns into a fantastical nightmare. You might lose your life, your very soul, to this magical traveling show. Thrills and chills and spills…. of 🩸blood! Yeah, so families start reporting their daughters missing and they turn up dead. What’s going on? Another career 🔪murderer? Is someone taking their theatrics to a murdering level? The killer is taunting Audrey Rose. Time for Cressworth to piece together the gruesome investigation. The events in this story are utterly thrilling and horrible. And I loved it more than I care to admit. I LOVE IT! FAVE of the series thus far!
Thomas. 🥰 Oh, Thomas. Wickedly enchanting, Mr. Thomas James Dorin Cresswell.
He’s impossible. Impossible not to adore! So handsome that it MUST be a criminal offense. His charm and well-timed quips = I’m dead. The OTP’s mischievous banter and sarcasm gives me life. They’re delightfully cruel and horrendously flirty! The innuendos will make you 🤣 snort laugh. The pastry scene left me giddy. “Don’t be jealous of pastry, my love. It’s golden crust and buttery taste cannot compare to your delectable personality. Much.” How magnanimous. Do prepare your heart for a glimpse of the boy who never truly believed he could be loved🥺. (But I love you Thomas). And Mrs. Harvey, the capricious chaperone. What a hoot! I adore her antics. “Have some wine, it soothes the nerves.” How can we get her traveling tonic recipe?
“I love when you look at me that way.”
I searched his eyes. “How?”
“Like you might possibly love me in the same extraordinary way that I love you.”
Can’t wait for Capturing the Devil. EEE! If you crave mystery and danger, magic and mayhem, chaos and discord, secrets and manipulation, you must read Escaping from Houdini. A story of jealousy, love, loss, betrayal, and revenge.
“Beyond life, beyond death. My love for thee is eternal.”
“That’s beautiful. Was it in the letter?”
“No, it’s how I feel about you.”
One more case! Unleashed terror in NY & Chicago. Be warned… Nefarious acts have been preformed on the deceased. Corpses that are nearly unrecognizable as human. 😳🙈 EEK! Something is oddly familiar. Another murdering machine with more practice and altered methods. The White City Devil = a monster. But Audrey Rose would become his nightmare. Shall we see the duo solve another gruesome murder? 🕵🏼♀️ Together as a united front! Go save the world, Cressworth! Ps. I actually figured it out this time. Yay, me! 👏🏼
My feelings re: the ending of this series is going to have me deep in my cups tonight 🍷 (edit: my husband thinks I sound like a lush but it’s from the book!). Meeting that annoying student in the laboratory last autumn turned out to be one of the best chance encounters of Audrey Rose’s life. AR is the queen of death. A princess of corpses. Mr. Thomas Cresswell – my insufferable yet most decidedly charming partner in crime. Oh wait. I mean Audrey Rose’s partner in crime. Thomas is beyond precious. Yes, yes, and incredibly handsome. He’s shamelessly addicted to reading romance novels. You see the OTP’s bond strengthen in CtD. They don’t complete each other; they complement each other. They see each other for who they are- flaws and all. Forewarning….guard your heart from snapping in half, wholly broken. A mistake will be made in this story and it will need to be rectified at once! Cling to this: Thomas and Audrey Rose’s love is a constant in a sea of unknown variables. Their brash flirtations will be missed. 🐱 Sir Isaac Mewton. 🤣 Dead. I love AR’s grandmama. Mrs. Harvey and her traveling tonic. Thomas’ love for cinnamon and sugar and butter. I am besotted over these characters! The shocking finale to the Stalking Jack the Ripper series is a must have for readers who enjoy mystery, forensics, and historical fiction with a side of a wonderfully bloody romantic escapades!
“When things get tough, you have two options. Pass the buck or stand up to the plate and go to bat for the person you love.”
Oh, you’re interested in more adorable and cute and fun YA romances? Said no one. Me…
Fuller freaking James, captain of the basketball team and idiot responsible for Wren Carter’s hideous nickname, “Wrentainer”. The king of Magnolia High. Ugh, he looks like he just stepped off the pages of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog. Fuller James makes Wren’s blood boil! Well, he’s failing AP Lit and will be benched if he can’t pull his grade up. Wren is asked (read: forced) to tutor Fuller AND keep it a secret in order to protect the team’s morale. To make matters worse, Fuller digs himself into a deep(er) hole by making a bet with his friends. But with all the time the duo spend together, Wren realizes there’s so much more to Fuller than his jerkwad cocky attitude. I think I’m starting to like Fuller too 🥰! They’re two completely different people, with a tragic commonality. Back to the bet…a stupid bet that could only end one way-badly🙈. Enter grand sweeping gesture moment!
That scene was my favorite! Swoon! Lots of cheesin’ 😆 (top row teeth smiling) and LOL moments 🤣! Wren can SCHOOL Fuller in all things basketball 🏀. Swish! Their bond over b-ball was 👏🏼🥰👌🏼. I Hate You, Fuller James is a charming YA enemies-to-lover romance! Seeing if I can get my hands on some Nerds so I can settle down and binge Princess Bride and Say Anything.
“I have a secret. It’s not dirty or little or some cutesy catchphrase. It’s caustic, noxious, burning me from the inside. I killed Zoe.”
🎶. Plays Pink Panther theme. 🎶
Anna Cicconi arrives to Herron Mills, the Hamptons…. no, not a bougie vacay… she travels to the small village for fresh start. To turn a new leaf. She wants to escape the reckless girl she used to be. Anna takes on a summer job as a nanny to a precocious and charming 8 year-old-girl. What she finds is a community on edge after the January (NYE) disappearance of beloved, Zoe Spanos. Mental math: that’s SIX 🖐🏼☝🏼 months ago. Anna bears an freaky resemblance to Zoe. It can’t be a coincidence- this job, her mysteriously missing doppelganger. Cue creeped-out 🙈😬 vibes. Anna’s fate and Zoe’s fate have oddly intertwined. With a chilly finger of curiosity tinged with fear, Anna goes all Nancy Drew 🕵🏼♀️ on the town, starting by listening to Martina Green’s Missing Zoe podcast. Undeniably weird things keep happening to her and she becomes convinced that she is seriously connected to Zoe. Anna concedes to the Herron Mills PD and is charged with second-degree manslaughter. Martina, the 🧐 sleuth, has determined that there are lot’s of things that don’t add up about Anna’s confession. Her gut says that Anna is lying🤨. Okay…Who has an alabi? Who has motive? Anyone with villainous capabilities? The need to know who killed Zoe Spanos burns inside, intense and center-of-the-sun ☀️ HOT. Can you crack this unsolved mystery? Justice for Zoe✊🏼! I Killed Zoe Spanos is a CAPS LEVEL MUST READ! Addictive! Fun and twisty! Perfect for fans of Karen M. McManus and Holly Jackson.
“I want to kiss you some more.” “Sounds great to me,” he says, as simple as two plus two. “Is that your way of saying you want to be mine?” “Yeah….and you’re mine.”
Every May 7th the students from Coffee County High take a class trip. Thanks, super rich alumni, Jim Worthington for that endowment. On to the OTP! Alex Rouvelis. He’s serious about pizza, his dog, and the Atlanta Braves. Baseball is on his brain. Twinkling brown eyes. And his smile. Swoon. Alex is popular. Really popular. Our heroine is Louise (Lulu) Wells. She’s pretty, friendly, and smart. Loathes science. Nicknamed “Garden Girl”. Vegan. Writing/drawing a graphic novel. The duo go through break-ups, make-ups, and dating other people; however, they have an undeniable connection and every field trip forces them to confront that connection. There are flashback throughout the years that details their backstory. Are they meant to be together? Or are they better apart? It goes this like…
Alex and Lulu are basically a real-life, enemies-to-lovers story. The class trip is to… wah wah… the Science Museum. The planetarium moment. ENDLESS HEART EYES. Then the pair get stuck in an escape room. That was a SUPER fun scene. Freshman year is hilarious!
Stepping. It. Up. Coffee County! To Six Flags we go! But wait… what happened to our OTP? This class trip had me feeling like I got punched in the gut. I felt ALL the emotions with and for Alex and Lulu. My heart hurt so bad.
New York, New York! Alex has some work to do. I’m talking grand-gesture type work. I’m rooting for them!
London’s calling! The pair have come a long way since their freshman year trip. “I gaze around at my laughing friends, smiling under the bright lights of London.” Senior year felt super nostalgic…closing one chapter and beginning another. But it doesn’t matter where you are-maybe it’s who you’re with.
Four Days of You and Me was super entertaining and ultra cute! I adore YA stories like these! Kept me on my toes! I was like that gif of the baby speed reading a board book. LOL! Whew, that was a GOOD read!