Saturday, March 17, 2018

Saturday Seven: Books I Geek Out With

Saturday Seven

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews

Wednesday was Pi Day, a holiday I celebrate without shame. So, here are seven books to get your geek on.

-Geekerella by Ashley Poston

-Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

-The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

-Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

-Dating on the Dork Side by Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance

-I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maureen Goo

-The Boyfriend Thief by Shana Norris

What books do you geek out with?

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Saturday Seven: Books I Enjoyed as a Kid

Saturday Seven

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews

In honor of the new A Wrinkle in Time movie hitting theatres this weekend, I give you…

Seven books I read as a kid and loved.

-A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (my all-time favorite book)

-Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede

-Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

-The Hermit Thrush Sings by Susan Butler

-The Fifth of March by Ann Rinaldi

-Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

-Cinderella 2000 by Mavis Jukes

What book did you love as a kid?

Drop me a line on Twitter @desantismt

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Read Harder: HEART OF IRON by Ashley Poston

Heart of Iron (Heart of Iron, #1)Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read Harder Challenge: new-to-you ya or mg series

I first heard of Ashley Poston when Geekerella came across my radar. A modern Cinderella retelling about a geek girl and a movie star steeped in fandom? Yes, please. I read Geekerella very soon after discovering it. It wasn’t the geekily ever after/all my dreams came true I hoped it would be, but still, I enjoyed it. Poston went on my watch list.

At the beginning of February, Goodreads sent me the new books from authors you’ve read email for the month. Poston was right at the top with Heart of Iron. The premise looked intriguing, so I decided I’d try it when it came out at the end of the month.

And I’m glad I did. I’ve been on an intensive world-building kick lately, and Heart of Iron delivers in spades. The political setup of the universe, the descriptions of ships and planets, the entire goddess mythology—it was all so well done. Going in, I didn’t realize this was a series. Based on that and from the description, I expected a first-person narration from Ana with many declarations of undying love set against a scifi background. What I got was so much more than the romance I thought. Ana is just one of many points of view in this complex and brilliant tale. Everyone has something to lose, down to the most side minor characters, and the ending left me startled breathless at how this could even happen.

The characters in Heart of Iron are so real. Even D09, the Metal who supposedly cannot feel emotions (who can obviously feel emotions), is exquisitely three-dimensional. Ana’s crew is family, if not by blood, and their bonds are felt so strongly. Side note: I really want the captain’s hair.

Rob goes through such a transformation in this story, dealing with hard truths and really finding his own. I wanted to kill his mother and, for that matter, all the villains. They were terrible, horrible people I got behind hating easily. The lengths some of them went to…I won’t spoil. Just be prepared to glare a lot.

So, now that I know this is a series, I’m eagerly anticipating the next one.

And for my dopy moment of the month, I totally did not realize this was an Anastasia retelling until I saw something on Twitter. So, if you enjoy this, also read the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, which I realized were retellings before reading them. Carry on.

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Monday, March 5, 2018


It’s cover reveal day! (squeals like Anna from Frozen)

Stars and Stone Books
Featuring: M.T. DeSantis, A.E. Hayes, Serena Jayne, Cara McKinnon, Mary Rogers, and Kylie Weisenborn.

It's never easy to go through the fraught transition into adulthood, but the teens in this anthology have more to deal with than most: super powers, magic, illness, and prejudice against sexual orientation and gender identity. Fortunately, they all find love at the edge of seventeen.

M.T. DeSantis – “Be Null, My Heart” Teen love…with superpowers.

A.E. Hayes – “Her First Fever” Can a smart, stubborn girl look past the things she desires the most in life to help out her annoying, enigmatic biology partner – even if helping him comes with an emotional price?

Serena Jayne – “Dead Man’s Party” Despite formidable evidence to the contrary, Xander was magic.

Cara McKinnon – “Three Jagged Pieces” Boy meets girl meets boy.

Mary Rogers – “The Crayon Thief” The last time they talked, he stole her crayon. Now he wants to take her on a date. But why?

Kylie Weisenborn – “Now I Am” Annalyn is dead…so what is she waiting for?



~Attend the Facebook release party

~And check out the anthology website

Find Stars and Stone Books online:


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Saturday Seven: Series I Want the Next Book in RIGHT NOW

Saturday Seven

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews

Seven series for which I have grabby hands for the next book

-The Akata Witch series by Nnedi Okoraafor (ya/mg fantasy)

-The Wayward Children series by Seanan Mcguire (dark fantasy)

-The Upside-Down Magic series by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins (children’s fantasy)

-The Thousandth Floor series by Katharine McGee (ya dystopia/thriller)

-The Heart of Iron series by Ashley Poston (ya scifi retelling)

-The Her Royal Spyness series by Rhys Bowen (adult historical mystery)

-The Adventurer’s Guide series by Wade Albert White (middle grade fantasy)

What series do you love? Tell me. Feed my reading addiction…

Also, come hang out with me on Twitter.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Read Harder: THE PLOT IS MURDER by V.M. Burns

The Plot Is Murder (Mystery Bookshop, #1)The Plot Is Murder by V.M. Burns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read Harder Challenge Category: a mystery written by a person of color or lgtbq author

I’d had The Plot is Murder on my TBR since before it hit shelves. Burns and I are both graduates of Seton Hill University’s MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program, and I love seeing my fellow #shuwpf-ers become published authors. Throw in that this is a charming cozy mystery about a book lover who wants to open a bookstore, and you had me at hello. Mysteries aren’t my most common reading stomping grounds. The ones that grab me are light on the violence and of the following type: a). British in nature (i.e. Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness series); b). involve music/theatre (such as Joelle Charbonneau’s Glee Club books), and c). about books—hence, The Plot is Murder.

And Burns did not disappoint me. There are books! And Samantha Washington, our resident bookshop owner/protagonist, is a character I can get behind. Her voice is sharp and fun while also being heavily emotional. She’s still struggling with her late husband’s death, and opening her bookstore is the dream she wants to come true in his honor. Unfortunately, dead bodies don’t want the dream to succeed. But some amateur sleuthing combined with old-fashioned determination are on Samantha’s side.

And then there’s the clan of old ladies who are dead-set (pun intended) on helping Samantha solve the case. They are a riot and surprisingly useful in the murder-solving department. They know their strengths. When they decide to go somewhere, they are on the clock and doing whatever they’re best at to get info. It was a joy to watch this gaggle of gals participate in the case.

A bonus with this book is it’s Michigan setting. Being a new resident of the Great Lakes State—and having an S.O. who grew up here, moved for work, and has now moved back—I’m now interested in books set in my new home turf, as it were. Though, I asked my boyfriend and googled the book’s setting of North Harbor. The boyfriend says it’s not a real city, and google didn’t find it. Despite this, The Plot is Murder set me smack dab on the hand. Michiganders, you know what I mean, apparently.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

2018 Read Harder: Level Up

Level Up (Fandom Hearts #1)Level Up by Cathy Yardley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Riot Read Harder Category: A romance novel by or about a person of color

I had a very tentative book for this category. So when Book Riot sent out its list of books that would fill this requirement, I looked to see if there was something better/more interesting. A little ways down the list, I encountered Level Up. Given my propensity toward geeky romances, this struck me in all the right ways. I snagged it and read.

And I’m so glad I did. Level Up is adorkable with a capital K. Independent game creating office romance—yes, please. Tess and Adam’s relationship is so natural. He’s a gamer. She’s his very quiet, very introverted roommate, who also happens to work with him. She gets more social and grows a voice. He notices her…and that she’s a her. Sparks. The fandom references had me giggling like an idiot, and I laughed out loud many times. The chemistry is natural, and the circumstances that bring them together are wonderfully fun.

I enjoyed this so much that I went on to read book two, One True Pairing, and book 1.5, Hooked. I finished Level Up a few days ago and have been putting off writing my post—professional procrastinator here. Then I saw book 3, Game of Hearts, is out today, and I thought it was fitting to do my post. So, here it is.

Final note, the company where Tessa and Adam work has pickles in its name. I’m there.

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