Countdown to Christmas #14

holidays-1

Hello! I can hardly believe it, but it’s Christmas Eve, Eve, and the final Countdown to Christmas of 2018!! 🎄😱  Countdown to Christmas is a weekly feature where I recommend a different Christmas-y book each week to read this holiday season.

This week’s pick is Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost.

IMG_5059.JPGWhen Holly White’s fiance cancels their Christmas Eve wedding with less than two weeks to go, Holly heads home with a broken heart. Lucky for her, home in historic Mistletoe, Maine is magical during Christmastime–exactly what the doctor prescribed. Except her plan to drown her troubles in peppermints and snickerdoodles is upended when local grouch and president of the Mistletoe Historical Society Margaret Fenwick is bludgeoned and left in the sleigh display at Reindeer Games, Holly’s family tree farm. 
When the murder weapon is revealed as one of the wooden stakes used to identify trees on the farm, Sheriff Evan Grey turns to Holly’s father, Bud, and the Reindeer Games staff. And it doesn’t help that Bud and the reindeer keeper were each seen arguing with Margaret just before her death. But Holly knows her father, and is determined to exonerate him.The jingle bells are ringing, the clock is ticking, and if Holly doesn’t watch out, she’ll end up on Santa’s naughty list in Twelve Slays of Christmas, Jacqueline Frost’s jolly series debut.

Goodreads | Amazon  | B&N | Book Depository

Twelve Slays of Christmas is such a fun and festive read!  The mystery is well done and the atmosphere is so Christmas-y.  I could totally see this series becoming a movie series on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.  This book was so fun and enjoyable, and if you love cozy mysteries, I would definitely recommend this book!

Have you read Twelve Slays of Christmas?


 

Follow me on:

Bloglovin’ | Instagram Twitter Facebook Goodreads | Litsy (@thecalicobooks)

Buy from:

The Book Depository (I receive a tiny commission if you follow my BD links!)

Advertisements

Book Review | It’s A Wonderful Night | Blog Tour + Giveaway!

WONDERFUL NIGHT.jpg

Hello everyone and happy 1st day of Blogmas!  I’m so excited to kick off an entire month of daily blogging with my stop for the It’s a Wonderful Night blog tour.  Today I’m going to be sharing my review as well as how you can win a fun prize pack (UK only, sorry!)!

Alright, let’s get started:

It's a Wonderful Night-large.jpg

Title: It’s a Wonderful Night by Jaimie Admans

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Holiday

Published by: HQ Digital (Oct. 5th, 2018)

Summary

Georgia Bailey is closing up her little charity shop in Oakbarrow when she gets a mysterious late night call from a stranger, threatening to jump off the town’s bridge.

Something about the man’s voice is faintly familiar but all she can do is stay on the line and, after talking for hours and losing sense of time passing, coax him back from the edge.

The next morning, Georgia walks to work, buys a festive latte from Leo (who she’s had a crush on for months!) at the local coffee shop, and is shocked when she suddenly recognizes the voice from last night…

A heartwarming festive love story that reminds us that even in the darkest of times, hope is always just around the corner!

It’s a Wonderful Night

what i thought

*I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. A huge thank you to the author and Neverland Blog Tours!*

It’s a Wonderful Night is such a sweet, romantic, and festive story!  This book pulled me in at chapter one and left me glued to it until the end.  It was one of those story that just left me feeling all of the emotions.  There were some moments where I was literally laughing out loud and other moments where I found myself tearing up.  This novel was so completely well done!

The characters in It’s a Wonderful Night were just so lovely. I absolutely adored them all.  I loved seeing Georgia and Leo’s relationship grow, and I loved getting to know them individually.

Another thing that I appreciated about this book was that while it could be considered a romcom, it’s so much deeper than that.  It deals with mental illness in an incredibly honest way.

This book is also filled with so many references to It’s a Wonderful Life! Being that I’ve only seen the movie once, years ago, I’m sure I still missed many more of the references.  I will say, though, it really made me want to watch the movie now!

Overall, this was such a lovely novel.  It’s so charming and heartwarming.  Jaimie Admans did such an excellent job balancing the lightheartedness and seriousness of this story.  I would definitely recommend It’s a Wonderful Night to anyone looking for a sweet, romantic, and Christmas-y read!

4 and half stars 2


Purchase It’s a Wonderful Night at:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07D4679MT

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D4679MT

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/it-s-a-wonderful-night

Also available from all other ebook retailers!

 


giveaway

IAWN-giveaway.jpg

Click here to enter to win an It’s a Wonderful Night goodie bag (UK only)!! Goodie bag includes: 

*It’s a Wonderful Night notebook

*It’s a Wonderful Night fridge magnet

*A signed postcard of the cover

*A copy of It’s a Wonderful Life on DVD because this is the inspiration behind the story.

*An invisible spine Paris notebook because it’s where Georgia wants to go more than anywhere in the world.

*A light-up Christmas tree pen, because who doesn’t need a light-up Christmas tree pen at this time of year?!


about the author

Jaimie is a 32-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, watching horror movies, and drinking tea, although she’s seriously considering marrying her coffee machine. She loves autumn and winter, and singing songs from musicals despite the fact she’s got the voice of a dying hyena. She hates spiders, hot weather, and cheese & onion crisps. She spends far too much time on Twitter and owns too many pairs of boots.

She will never have time to read all the books she wants to read.

She is the author of chick-lit romantic comedies The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters, The Little Wedding Island, It’s a Wonderful Night, and Kismetology, and she has also written young-adult romantic comedies Afterlife Academy, Not Pretty Enough, and North Pole Reform School.

Connect with Jaimie Admans on:

 Website | Facebook | Twitter


Follow me on:

Bloglovin’ | Instagram Twitter Facebook Goodreads | Litsy (@thecalicobooks)

Buy from:

The Book Depository

(I receive a tiny commission if you follow my BD links!)

Book Review | The Grownup

the grownup.jpgTitle: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

Pages: 64

Genre: Thriller

Published by: Crown (Nov. 3rd, 2015)

Summary

A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

The Grownup
what i thought

The Grownup is the first book I’ve ever read by Gillian Flynn, so going into it, I didn’t quite know what to expect.  I knew her books were a wild ride, but I did not know quite how wild this book would be!

Continue reading

Bonded, Bewitched, Drowned

bonded bewitched drowned.png

Hello and Happy Halloween!! 👻🎃🍂

To celebrate Halloween and the last day of Blogtober/Blogoween, for today’s post I’m going to be playing Bonded, Bewitched, Drowned, which is the Halloween equivalent of Kiss, Marry, Kill!  This prompt was originally created by Fictionally Sam, and I was tagged by Mandy @ Devouring Books to do this fun challenge!

There aren’t really any rules for how you decide which characters to use, but all the books I’ve chosen for this challenge are completely randomized, and I’ve just decided to choose the main, male character from each book to make things easier.

Okay, here we go!

Round One

Okay, so the books I randomly picked for round one are:

Jack from Clara Snow

Joseph from The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

Todd from Christy Miller Vol. 4

Oh boy, this is a hard one!  When I read The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, Joseph was one of my favorite love interests of the entire year! Meanwhile, Todd is such a sweetheart, though.  And then there’s Jack Frost!  He experienced so much character growth in this book.

Bonded: Joseph

Bewitched: Todd

Drowned: Jack (Sorry Jack!)

 

Round Two

Ezra from Illuminae

Tarver from These Broken Stars

Adam from If I Stay

This round is slightly easier! I’ll be honest, I didn’t love These Broken Stars (I found it boring 🙊), so I don’t remember much about Tarver.  Because of that, it makes it a lot easier for me to do this:

Bonded: Ezra

Bewitched: Adam

Drowned: Tarver

 

Round Three

Gilbert from Anne of the Island

Jake from Angel Eyes

Sam from Emergency Contact

This one is actually pretty easy because while I love all three characters, there’s really no contest about who’s my favorite. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Bonded: Jake

Bewitched: Gilbert (we all saw that coming! 😂)

Drowned: Sam (Sorry Sam! I just like Gil and Jake more than you!)

 

Round Four

Christian from The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

Galen from Of Poseidon

Four from Divergent

I admit, it’s been so long since I’ve read Of Poseidon that I don’t remember the book, or Galen that well.  I almost thought I should pick another book, but then I realized that maybe it’s a good thing I don’t remember him. 😏😭

Bonded: Christian

Bewitched: Four

Drowned: Galen


This was such a fun post to create! I hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it. 🙂

I tag anyone who wants to do this, and if you decide to do it, please let me know so I can see your answers!!

Thanks so much for reading!

🍁👻HAPPY HALLOWEEN!🎃🍂


Follow me on:

Bloglovin’ | Instagram Twitter Facebook Goodreads | Litsy (@thecalicobooks)

Buy from:

The Book Depository

(I receive a tiny commission if you follow my BD links!)

Book Review | The Miniaturist

the miniaturist.jpgTitle: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Pages: 400

Genres: Mystery, Magical Realism

Published by: Ecco Press (Aug. 26th, 2014)

Summary

Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam–a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion–a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .”

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office–leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist–an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand–and fear–the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

The Miniaturist

what i thought

The Miniaturist is a book that I had been meaning to read for so long.  I’ve had this book for a couple years now, but just kept putting it off for one reason or another.  Well, thanks to the new mini-series, I finally decided to pick it up!

Going into this book, I didn’t know what to expect.  After finishing this book, I can say that it is unlike anything I’ve ever read before!

Continue reading

Halloween Creatures 2.0 Book Tag!

halloween creatures book tag 2.png

Hello! Today for Blogtober/Blogween, I’m going to be sharing my answers for the Halloween Creatures 2.0 book tag. I was tagged by Jessica @ Reading with Jessica and Mandy @ Devouring Books.  So, a huge thank you to the both of them for thinking of me! 🤗🎃

Alright, let’s get started!

Rules:

  • Answer all prompts.
  • Answer honestly.
  • Tag 1-13 people.
  • Link back to this post.
  • Remember to credit the creator. (Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward)
  • Have fun!

Also, just to be clear, all the graphics in today’s post are from Anthony, too!

BOWD2

Witch
A Magical Character or Book.

miss peregrine

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is such a magical and enchanting book.  It’s so mysterious with so many unique and magical characters.

Werewolf
The Perfect Book to Read at Night.

the dreadful tale of prosper redding

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding is such a fun book to read for Halloween.  It’s spooky and mysterious, but not too spooky, which makes it a perfect book to read at night, because I’m a scaredy cat and don’t want to read something super scary before bed!

Frankenstein
A Book that Truly Shocked You.

genuine fraud

This book was so twisty!  Genuine Fraud really took me by surprise and didn’t go at all how I expected.

The Devil
A Dark, Evil Character.

Black

The villain in Black really encompasses the whole “dark, evil character” for this one!

 

Grim Reaper
A Character that Should Never Have Died.

allegiant

If you’ve read this book, I’m sure you’ll agree.  That’s all I’m going to say.

Zombie
A Book that Made You “Hungry” for More.

the princess diaires

Pretty much every single Meg Cabot book leaves me “hungry” for more.  She is one of my favorite authors, and all her books are just so enjoyable and utterly readable!

Gargoyle
A Character that You Would Protect at All Cost.

anne of green gables

I love Anne Shirley with my entire bookish heart and soul.  She is my favorite and I would root for her and protect her always.

Vampire
A Book that Sucked the Life Out of You.

breakfast at tiffany's

I just did not care for Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  The writing style was not for me, and I felt so disconnected the entire time I read it.

Ghost
A Book that Still Haunts You.

On Pointe

On Pointe is a book that definitely haunts me, but in the best way possible.  This book really touched me.  Even though it’s been quite a few years since I’ve read it, it’s still one that I think about often.

Demon
A Book that Really Scared You.

the diviners

I know I’ve shared my story about hearing whistling in the night while reading The Diviners, but y’all, that freaked me out so much!! Hearing some random person whistling down the street at almost midnight, while the bad guy is in the book is doing the same does not make a good combo.  Not only that, but this book is just overall so creepy.

Skeleton
A Character You Have a Bone to Pick With.

unraveling

I don’t even know why, but the main character, Janelle, just rubbed me the wrong way.  Plus, the whole time I read this book, all I could think about was Jenelle from Teen Mom 2. 😂

Mummy
A Book You Would Preserve Throughout Time.

the secret of the old clock.jpg

Nancy Drew is my original favorite.  This series was the first one that I actually really fangirled with, and it will forever be my favorite.  So really, I would preserve any of the classic Nancy Drew books for all time so she would always be remembered!

Creepy Doll
A Cover too Scary to Look At.

in a dark dark room.jpg

Okay, yes, this cover isn’t too scary to look at, but as a kid I sure thought it was!  Plus, who wasn’t afraid of The Green Ribbon story in this book?!  Talk about traumatizing!

The Monster Mash
It’s Fun to Be with Friends on Halloween!
Tag Your Friends!

I tag:

Holly @ Nut Free Nerd

Lashaan & Trang @ Bookidote

Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books

Jill @ Jill’s Book Blog

Shalini @ Shalini’s Books & Reviews

Lilly @ Lair of Books

Laura @ Reading Sanctuary 

And, of course, anyone who wants to do this!

BOWD3


I hope you all enjoyed reading this fun tag, because I had so much fun sharing my answers!

Thanks so much for reading!

Top 5 Books About Witches On My TBR!

Top 5 Books About Witches.png

It is Day 4 of Blogtober and my first official post for Blogoween!  Today’s post is all about witches!  This blog prompt was created by Kaleena at Reader Voracious in honor of Blogoween, so be sure to check out her favorite books about witches, too! 🧙🏼‍♀️

The original prompt was supposed to be about sharing five of your favorite books about witches.  Well, when I went to write this post, I realized I had a lot more books about witches that I wanted to read than what I already had.  So, I decided to switch things up and share five books about witches that are on my TBR!

Continue reading

October TBR!

October TBR.png

Hey everyone, and welcome to the first day of Blogtober! In case you missed my announcement, I’m participating in Blogtober and Blogoween, which means you can expect a new post from me every single day during the month of October.

To start things off, today I’m going to be sharing some of the books I hope to get through this month.  I don’t typically have set, monthly TBR’s, but because it is October, and Halloween is just around the corner, I have several, festive books I really want to get through this month.

So, without further ado, here’s my October TBR:

And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

IMG_3418

I recently picked this book up from my library’s book sale, and was instantly intrigued by the synopsis.  I hadn’t heard of this book before, but it sounds so spooky and mysterious – perfect for the month of October!

 

Hocus Pocus & The All-New Sequel by A. W. Jantha

IMG_3419.jpg

Like many of you, I feel like Hocus Pocus is such a classic Halloween movie.  When I found out about this book, I was so excited.  This is going to be such a fun and festive book to read!

 

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

IMG_3420.jpg

I discovered this book while watching Mel to the Any’s Instagram stories.  She ended up loving this book, and hearing her talk about how good it was really made me want to read it!  Small Spaces looks like it’s going to be such a fun and quick, spooky read!

 

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

IMG_3423.jpg

I’ve totally been meaning to read this book for the past two Octobers, and I just end up never getting to it.  My fingers are crossed that this will be the year I actually read this book!  Also, how cool is the cover for this one?!

 

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

IMG_3426.jpg

Hallowe’en Party is another book I keep meaning to read and then never get to.  I love a good mystery, and I’ve actually really been in the mood for a mystery, so I’m hopeful this is the year I actually read this one!

 


And there you have it! I actually have hopes to read other books, too, especially during the Sbooktober Readathon, but these are the books I really hope to get to the most. So, please wish me good luck, and hopefully, I’ll be able to get to all of these and more! 🤞🏼

What are some of the books on YOUR October TBR? I’d love to know!

Thanks for reading!

 

 


Follow me on:

Bloglovin’ | Instagram Twitter Facebook Goodreads | Litsy (@thecalicobooks)

Buy from:

The Book Depository

(I receive a tiny commission if you follow my BD links!)