Stolen Obsession Review

I would like to thank Prism Book Tour Group and the author Marlene M. Bell for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a written review.

 

Title: Stolen Obsession
Author: Marlene M. Bell
Publisher: Ewephoric Publishing
Publish Date: March 20, 2018
Number of Pages: 355
Price: Kindle: $2.99, Paperback: $9.99
Link to Amazon Here

 

Stolen Obsession is the story of Annalise, who works for a jewelry dealer, and the mystery behind at least 2 deaths that may be linked to a cursed, 500 year old necklace. At the opening of a gallery, Annalise notices the necklace in a case and notifies her friend, the owner of the gallery, of its age and curse. The owner is convince that the one in her case is a replica, but upon further analysis, Annalise knows this is the real deal. After the murder of her boss Annalise is reeling, trying to figure out who could have killed him. Then a near rape incurs with another coworker and when she heads back to her apartment to recover from all the stressful events, she realizes is has been vandalized, her computers have been taken, and worse yet, the man whom she is so obviously attracted to gets shot by the madman who had invaded her home. After Alec, the son of the gallery owner, a Greek playboy, and the man whose bed Annalise is trying to hard not to get into, whisks her off to Greece to lay low until the men hunting her – and the necklace – are caught.

The characters in this book seem so real and so obviously flawed in a good way. I loved this story which starts action packed and stays that way until the very end. Annalise and Alec,as well as the other characters in this book, have a pretense in your heart from beginning to end. I could not put this book down and ended up reading it in two back to back reading sessions. This book is an absolute adventure with a perfect mystery. I am so glad that this is going to be a series because I cannot wait for book two! I would recommend this book to mystery lovers who also like a little romance as well as fans of amateur sleuth plot novels. With the Kindle version of this book at only $2.99, you definitely need to add this to your collection.

Overall, I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

 

 

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The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

The Mid-Year book freak out tag has been making its way around Booktube lately and I thought it was really fun. I need to kick my butt in gear if I want to meet all my reading goals this year so let’s do this thing.

Best Book of the Year so Far

I have to pick one???? How about 2?

If I have to narrow it down to 2… really three… I would say Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow and the Caraval Series are my two favorite reads.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow is a middle grade fantasy novel about Morrigan who was born cursed. Bad things happen around her, but on the day she is suppose to die, she is whisked away to a magical land she didn’t know existed. To stay there, she has to discover secrets about herself and compete in 4 trials, or else she will be hunted down and killed.

Caraval and Legendary by Stephanie Garber is a series about 2 sisters who leave their father to go play the game of Caraval to see if they can uncover the secrets of their mother’s past, find love, and stay alive.

A New Release You Haven’t Read, but Want to

These three beauties are sitting on my shelf ready to read. I have Ace of Shades and Sky in the Deep ready to rock from back-to-back Owlcrates and I preordered War Storm as my second most highly anticipated book of the year. Honestly… the size of it is intimidating me. I will get to it soon.

Most Anticipated Releases for Fall/ Winter 2018

These are my most highly anticipated releases for the fall as of right now.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi is being released on October 16th.
For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig is being released on September 25th
and The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee is set to release October 2nd.

Biggest Disappointment of the Year so Far

A Court of Frost and Starlight

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas left something to be desired. I absolutely loved this series last year when I read it and I couldn’t wait to read it. It did its job as a novella, telling a secondary story to bridge two sub series together… but it wasn’t exciting, it wasn’t super fun, it just fell flat.

Biggest Surprise of the Year

The Widow's Watcher

The Widow’s Watcher by Eliza Maxwell was the biggest surprise of the year! I ADORED this book and its definitely in my top 5 favorites for the year.

New Favorite Author

Winter

After finishing The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, I need to read everything else she has written. I have Hearltess and Renegades on my TBR shelf. I love her writing style and storytelling ability!

New Favorite Characters

The Cruel Prince.jpg

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black is up there in my favorites of 2018 and Jude and Cardan are two of my new favorite characters. They are both super complicated characters and I am excited to see what they do in the The Wicked King.

A Book that Made you Cry

The Widow's Watcher

I am trying so hard not to do repeats but this is the only book I have finished this year that has truly made me cry. I loved the emotion that came out of reading this book and part of the reason I loved it so much is because I was able to feel the characters’ pain and grief so well.

A Book that Made You Happy

The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater made me unbelievably happy. I loved this book and its characters. I cannot wait to read the rest of this series.

The Most Beautiful Book so Far

And I Darken

Honestly, this was a cover read for me. I had no idea what it was about when I picked it up and read it. I ended up really liking it and its one of the only Historically inspired (twisted) novels I have ever read.

 

So, what have been your favorite and lease favorite reads in 2018 so far?

 

#FeatureFriday – Bookish Star Designs Owner and Bookstagrammer – Laura!

Hello! I wanted to start a Friday series where I interview some of my favorite small bookish companies and let them take over a post on Fridays. I have been friends with Laura since last June when I held my first rep search for BibliophilePrints. Laura has since been a huge inspiration within my store and one of my biggest cheerleaders and supporters. In turn, when she opened up her own shop BookishStarDesigns , I helped her start her Etsy page and brand her with her logo. We have shared so much more than just business tips and some nights we find ourselves talking wayyy too late and daydreaming about getting a chance to visit one another. (She is all the way in Minnesota, and I am down here in Texas – so far – *cries*) I am thankful to have her as a friend, supporter, and mentor in so many things that I am passionate about.

I did interview her over email, so here are the questions and answers I received!

1 How did you get started on Bookstagram? 
Riddles Tea Shoppe rep search. *laugh*  So, backstory..  I never ever thought I could be a bookstagrammer. I’d always admired the lovely photos and set up, and to be a rep for awesome bookish companies would be a dream come true, but to actually imagine myself doing it? I knew I wouldn’t be good enough to compete with the awesome accounts I saw. Well, my best friend saw my desire and encouraged me to give it a try. She believed in me, and thanks to her, I started.  It was hard at first. I had huge confidence issues, but everyone on bookstagram is so wonderful, awesome and supportive, I fell in love with the community and learned more and more as I went. It’s so fun to share my bookish love with others who instantly just “get it.” And nope, I still haven’t snagged that dream Riddles Tea Shoppe rep spot. Someday! 🙂
2. What was the inspiration for Bookish Star Designs?
Well, I had already been sewing rice bags as a fun way to earn money at local craft shops/shows, and I even had them featured in a store in my hometown, but it was always in the back of my mind, “Should I make an etsy shop?”  I talked myself out of it a few times, just due to all the unknowns, but finally in July, I took the plunge, and made my etsy shop.
I just love natural calming ways to relax, and I hoped others would love my rice bags & fandom prints, and you all do! It’s awesome and amazing.
3. You are famous for your #TeaTuesday posts, what is your favorite type of tea and do you have a favorite company you buy tea from?
It makes me smile that I’m now famous for #TeaTuesdays, because initially, when I started my little account, I wanted a way to be unique and stand out, and since I adore tea, and had a lot of pretty tea things, I decided to start a #TeaTuesday weekly post where I could feature my favorite teas, to share with others. I also figured it’d be a great place to practice my tea photos to hopefully get a tea rep spot, and it was! Plus, they’re some of my favorite photos to take. I just love them.
I am a sucker for any fruit teas. That’s really my jive, although I do love a strong cup of black tea with cream, and a delicious herbal or green tea with honey.  Some of my favorite tea companies on IG are Grimoire Tea, Bookish Teas, and Riddles Tea Shoppe.
4. If you were trapped on a desert island and had a limited library of ten books, what would they be? 
Oh man. Probably a few Harry Potter books, the Illuminae trilogy, ACOMAF, Mark of Athena, Everything Everything, and some Bardugo titles.
5. What are your future goals or dreams for your bookstagram, company, or other goals and dreams you hope to achieve in the bookish world? 
I actually LOVE to rep for companies, its one of my passions. Not just to get free stuff, but to get to know the fabulous owners, other reps, and to help them build & expand their business. I have a small list of companies I’d someday love to work with, so here’s hoping some of those get to happen someday. Especially a book box! I’d love that.
When I started my small account, I thought I’d finally “arrive” the day I was sent free books from companies and authors to feature on my page. And thanks so some awesome Book Tour companies, that’s started to happen, and I just love it. Free books are a great perk of bookstagram!
And honestly, my shop dreams have already happened. In October, my shop exploded with sales, and really took off, and I was SO not expecting that. To see so many people love my products was incredible. I recently reached 1,000 sales and still can’t believe it. I’m so thrilled & excited. But I’m excited to see what the future holds. I’d love to collab with a few more book boxes! That’d be really fun.
6. Do you have any hobbies that don’t get featured on Instagram as much?
I actually am a homemaker at heart, and I love to garden, can and preserve foods for my family of 6. We live on a small rural hobby farm, and I love all that comes with it. Well, maybe not watering my chickens in winter. That just stinks. *laughs*
I’m also a huge movie buff, and love any PBS and BBC dramas. I love to travel and explore new places, and am a huge aspiring foodie. I love trying foods from different cultures.
7. Imagine you are throwing a character dinner party. Which characters would you invite and why? 
Hm.. I’d love Nina Zenik & Nikolai, (Their one liners & sass are epic) Jace Lightwood (he’d be so fun to have at a dinner party!) Nik Malikov & Ella Malikova (their conversations would be epic) and Ginny Weasley, (she’s my fave HP character) I think that sounds like a crazy fun dinner!
8. You are a homeschooling mama to 4 kiddos, and as a teacher I understand how difficult that must be. What do you do to make homeschooling fun for you and for your kids? If you could recommend 5 books to teachers and parents for all kids to read, what would they be? (Sorry I know that is two questions…they just go together)
Yes, honestly as a 2nd generation homeschooler, ( my parents homeschooled me) I thought I’d have this homeschooling thing in the bag. But, wow.. it’s a lot more work & sacrifice than I thought. But it’s worth it to have my kids at home and know exactly what theyre learning, and to control the speed/timing/scheduling etc.  To make homeschooling fun, I do a lot of field trips, and we participate in a homeschooler’s co-op, which is a group of fellow homeschoolers who get together 2x a month for fun classes with their friends/peers & mom time for us.  It keep us all sane! haha.
As far as books, Harry Potter, Narnia and Percy Jackson books I will forever recommend to those starting with elementary readers, for parent read-alongs. I’m not much of a non-fiction reader, which might be horrible as a teacher, but I do love historical fiction, either kid or YA. Things like “Magic Tree House” “Dear America books” “American Girl books” and the like. It’s a great way to get kids interested in history and the world around them, while still being fun.  Just find something your kid loves and read it with them. It’s that simple.
9. Running a small business is so rewarding and so difficult at the same time. What is the best part about it for you, and the worst part?
I love having a small business, but my danger is letting it take over. I love it so much I’ll gladly put aside other parts of my life (housework, teaching, etc) to put my full self into it. So, I very occasionally just step back and do as much as I can, when I can. The best part also goes right along with it, is getting to choose your own hours, work when you want to, and meeting all my fabulous customers, and my reps, and hearing their reviews. It’s so worthwhile!
10. If you could give a newbie to #bookstagram some advice, what would it be? 
Your account should be a reflection of YOU. Do it your own way, at your own speed. And don’t worry about the quality of your first few photos, or compare yourself to other accounts that have been posting for years.  You WILL get better and learn more as you go. Have fun with it, and just enjoy this magical bookish community and your journey. We’re all here for you. Don’t let it stress you out. Bookstagram should be FUN. Enjoy it!
Please visit Laura’s Instagram page HERE and her shop instagram HERE to join in all the #bookstagram fun!
Laura also has a blog so step on over to check out what she writes about over on ToReadisToBreathe
Also go grab a ricebag from her whether or not you care about books because these things are HANDY.
All Photos from this post are from Laura’s Instagram! Thanks so much Laura.
Who would you like me to feature for a feature Friday?? Drop a comment below to let me know!

My January Book Challenge

So this year I am working on a number of challenges all at once.

I am trying to complete the Popsugar challenge for 2018 which can be found here.

I am also working on the A to Z challenge posted by a Goodreads group.

And for both lists I am reading from my current TBR pile which contains over 300 books. YIKES. This is part of #TheUnreadShelfProject2018 which you can find out more about on instagram.

There are also 20 bluebonnet nominees that I need to read found here. And my group of librarians will be picking 20 books for nominees for the Lectio Awards sometime soon. So I will need to read all 40 of those.

So I am breaking things down month-by-month and trying to read as many books as possible and cross referencing them to as many challenges as possible. This month, on instagram, @FoxandWit posted a fun January challenge with prizes if you finish.

FOXANDWIT

On the first of this month I finished Cruel Crown which is the novella Prequel to The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. That was before I had found this challenge and it didn’t really count towards anything. I picked the last challenge to complete first and finished This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab next. You can read my review here. 

This Savage Song

Next, I decided to just go ahead and make my list so I knew exactly what I was going to read.

I have been buddy reading the Lunar Chronicles with a group of bookstagrammers and have been loving it. The first half of this month they were reading Cress so I decided to read that for “A Retelling of a Fairy Tale or Legend You’ve Never Read. I had to order that one, so while I waited I picked up Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld for “A Steampunk Fantasy”.

Currently, I am about halfway through Cress so I still have three more categories and books which means I am about to start binge reading.

A Book with Snow in the Title: Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgewick 

A Book Published by an Independent Author: James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing by G. Norman Lippert

A Book that Sounds Interesting but has an Ugly Cover: Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan

January 3rd 2

I also need to read one middle grade novel for school this month and I started back to classes. I have 13 more days to read. Do you think I can do it?

Have you read any of the books I mentioned above?

Next month I am participating in Read-a-thin February hosted by the lovely Jessica. You can find information on her Youtube Channel here.

I have also been asked to join a Texas Writer’s Blog Group so look for information on that soon!

 

Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This Savage Song

This Savage Song takes place in a world where violence breeds monsters. August is one of the rarest form of monsters, created by only the most violent of acts. August desperately wants to be human and tries to force the monster in him to hide. Kate Harker is the daughter of a man who is scarier than the monsters he controls within the city. Kate has been getting kicked out of every boarding school her father has sent her to, trying to prove to him that she can come home and be a daughter he can be proud of.

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I love that this book ended with a clean wrap-up so that you wouldn’t HAVE to read the Sequel, but you definitely will want to.

Our Dark Duet

Victoria Schwab is a genius. Her writing style is so easy to follow and this world she has created is dark, demented, and bloody. I couldn’t wait to go to bed each night so I could just pick up this book and continue to turn the pages of it.

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The characters in this book are so relatable. Although August is a monster who eats the souls of people tainted with violence, he acts desperately human for the majority of the novel. Like any teen, he wants to fit in and be good. He has a hard time giving into his monstrous appetite.

Kate’s story, though she is human, is much darker than August’s. I enjoyed her story line more just because she knew how cruel and relentless she could be, yet she was desperate for attention from the one parent she had left. I also enjoyed her more and more as the story went on and she started to remember more about her childhood and what really happened the night her mother died.

Would recommend this to readers of dark YA fantasy novels or dystopain YA readers. Solid 5/5 stars for me!

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme brought to you by the lovely blog The Broke and the Bookish 

 

This week their Top Ten is *drumroll please*

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THE TOP TEN SERIES YOU HAVE BEEN MEANING TO START BUT HAVEN’T

  1. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
    Clockwork Angel
    Okay I read most of The Mortal Instruments but after City of Glass the series started falling short for me, so I never read book 6, and then I never picked up this series. Even though I have heard Book 6 is good and this series is better. I guess I got Cassandra Clare burn out. Someday Clockwork Angel, someday.
  2. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
    The Lunar Chronicles
    I have heard nothing but amazing things about this series. I actually have the first 2 books that I got with one of my classroom Scholastic orders. I tend to purchase books for myself from their YA catalog when my orders are close to being to the next reward level. This is actually quite dangerous for me as then I get over excited and tend to push to the next next level and spend over $50 on books that I never intended to spend. I never did actually read them though.
  3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
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    I am about an hour away from finishing ACOWAR and Throne of Glass is coming in the mail tomorrow, so tomorrow I will most likely start this series. I cannot get enough of Sarah J. Maas. I know I am going to be in a serious book slump after I am done with this series and have no more Sarah J. Maas books to read.
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  4. Legend Series by Marie Lu
    legend series.jpg
    I don’t know why I haven’t read this. They have amazing reviews, good covers, an interesting plot blurb. I have seen them so many times in the store. I have picked Legend up and then returned it to the shelf when I see something I want more. Maybe one day.
  5. Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan
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    Okay. HELLO. This is a lot of books. with a lot of pages. 15 books with nearly 12,000 pages. That is a large commitment. Plus there are companion books and novella e-books. It’s a lot. I am scared of these books TBH.
  6. Blue Blood Series by Melissa de la Cruz
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    I have all of this series in beautiful hardback that I got for $1 a book at HPB 2 years ago. Except for book 1. That’s why I haven’t read these.
  7. The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King
    dark-tower-covers1
    I can’t find the first book in a store. Plain and simple as that. I know I could order off Amazon but I have priorities on Amazon. I have a whole wishlist of priorities. Someday maybe this will be one of them. I will die next to a pile of books.
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  8. The Book of Ember Series
    book of ember
    This series of books has made me a hypocrite on many occasion because I actually have recommended this series to a lot of students without actually having read a single one of these books. I am all, “Oh yeah this series is GREAT. You would love this. Here check it out.” Actually personally I have no idea how good they are. I have only ever read reviews.
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  9. The Unbecoming of Maya Dyer Series
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    I keep hearing mixed things about this trilogy which is why I haven’t read it. From what I know book 1 is great and the rest sucks. So I haven’t bought it.
  10. DiscWorld By Terry Prachett
    discworld
    This is another huge undertaking like Wheel of Time. There are 41 full length books and several short stories. Plus the order in which to read these is so confusing that there are MULTIPLE charts and websites dedicated online to tell you how to read these. Just. What?

 

IN OTHER NEWS:

My DSLR camera came in. I haven’t figured it all out but I have taken some pics on it. My favorites are the portraits of my dog.

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ISN’T HE JUST BEAUTIFUL. My little kitty floofball won’t let me take his picture. Typical cat.