February Wrap Up
Before I get into the five books, some favorites, and the causes I suggest you check out, a little self promotion:
My small business is having a really neat sale between now and March 15th! Buy two (or more) items and automatically get 20% off your total! That means you could pick up two 8oz Cozy Comfort Collection candles and two 2oz wax melts (my returning customers know that I just throw extras in sometimes) for $40.00! That's it, shipping is always free and on me. You can click here to check it all out or check the "Handmade Shop" menu tab on the home page. I hope to be sending some super scented goodies your way soon.
Commercial over, lets get into the month!
Upon a Burning Throne by Ashok A. Banker
Adult Epic High Fantasy that spans 30+ years at a brilliant pace.
Follows the multiple points of view in a royal family wherein all paths are are interesting.
Gods and Goddesses are prominently interfering in human lives.
Absolutely devastating drags given in the most eloquent fashions. Iconic.
Highly Recommend to lovers of fantasy, military drama, and political drama.
I gave this five enthusiastic stars for both craft and reader experience. I understand if some found it long winded, but I loved every single page. This was recommended to me by my good sis Rae at BookmarkChronicles and I'm convinced she gives the best recommendations now. Check her out!
Hybrid read via Scribd and hardback copy. They aren't sponsoring me and honestly they should be by now based on how often I sing their praises.
The Wolf and The Woodsman by Ava Reid
This is an Adult High Fantasy with a lot of real world application. I went in not knowing anything and came out horrified by the gore but feeling great because love found a way.
Interesting in-world lore that was written into the fabric of the story well (read: without large exposition dumps). Obviously there will be explanation for things, but there weren't many disorienting breaks in plot to do so. Love that.
Again, I was shocked by the gore, if you cannot deal with that, please know it's in this book.
Not necessarily my favorite of the month (pacing and some choices threw me), but certainly not a bad read at all. I will read Ava Reid again mainly for how well she crafts characters.
Recommend with a solid 3.5 stars.
Exclusive listened to the audiobook via Scribd.
Night Hawk by Beverly Jenkins
I am in love with the love interest and he has ruined all my expectations for love.
Amazing steamy scenes.
Western romance might be my new favorite thing. Honestly, the way Queen Beverly Jenkins wove in historical context was so seamless that I started googling just to find out more. We love a learning moment.
The heroine is such a badass, love her.
Highly recommend with five stars and I look forward to weaving more Beverly Jenkins backlist into my reading schedule. If you like romance novels, there is no reason not to be collecting her books.
Exclusively listened to the audiobook via Scribd.
So Many Beginnings by Bethany C. Morrow
This is part of the Remixed Classics Collection released by Macmillan Childrens Group last year and, I'm going to shock everyone, I've never read Little Women and I truly have never felt the urge to. This story, however, had me legitimately tearing up at parts and once again reflecting on how little we as American might actually know about the Civil War Era.
Quick paced Young-Adult Historical Fiction centered around four sisters and their mom. There is happiness, love, heartbreak and loss.
Bethany C. Morrow very legitimately has structure down to a science and I want all her secrets.
I think everyone, no matter their background, would find at least one sister to relate to or find their own siblings in.
Once people get more comfortable talking about more aspects of "those" times, the more we can discuss the nuances of many during that time. Between Night Hawk (review above) and this book, I had a lot to chew on as an American and as a Black Woman.
Enthusiastically recommended this to everyone and looking forward to checking out more from this Remixed Classics Collection. My rating as consistently stayed between 4.5 and 5 so, just say it's a five. My notes have "is the pacing too fast?" and, in hindsight, I didn't actually care about it too much.
Hybrid read via Scribd and Hardback copy that was provided by Macmillan Childrens Group and the Queen herself, Bethany C. Morrow.
The Boy With Fire by Aparna Verma will have it's own post as my Indie Spotlight of the month. That will be posted either later this week or early next (I'm in the middle of moving and very distracted). I also only DNF'd one book this month! Rejoice!
Vox Machina - I have never played DnD but by golly the urge to try has never been higher. This show was so funny, so unexpectedly touching, and genuinely enjoyable from top to bottom. I've always been a sucker for crass and anachronistic takes on fantasy and this gave it to me in every way. Also a gnome has a penis laser... do with that information what you will. Highly recommend and I want to see books with this humor stat!
Love is Blind Season 2 - if you follow me on twitter then you know once a new season of Love is Blind drops, y'all gon' be sick of me! This season started out with lackluster connections and ended with me knowing, in my soul, that therapy should be free for people and all therapists should be treated a community leaders because whew chile, these people. As of this blog post, all episodes have aired (from pods to wedding day shenanigans) and we are waiting on the sure to messy reunion episode. I don't watch a lot of reality T.V but I would watch twenty season of Love is Blind easily.
Cause to get behind
There is a war going on and it is every persons duty to get educated on facts about it. Ukraine needs our support in this. This is not about right or wrong (but it's clear Russia is wrong), it's about protecting all the innocent lives that are being affected by this. Russian citizens are being arrested for speaking out against this and Ukrainians are literally fighting to protect their fleeing families. This is not about your glorified politicians (you shouldn't idolize them AT ALL), this is about human rights. Here is a twitter thread of all kinds of organizations working to get aid into Ukraine right now.
I come from a long line of veterans and we, as a unit, donate to Purple Heart Service Foundation at least once a year. They work closely with veterans and veteran service organizations to ensure that basic needs are met. No civilized country should have homeless veterans and they are doing what they can to stop the numbers from going up. Check the link, schedule a pick up of items you no longer need, set it all out and forget it. Their team will grab the items and leave a tax receipt! It is super simple.