Haunted and Hexed (Blackwood Bay Witches #1) by Misty Bane

Dru Rathmore Davis can’t seem to catch a break. She’s been in Blackwood Bay for less than 24 hours, and in that time she’s found out she’s a witch, her dead grandmother’s estate is being compromised by an impostor, and she can see ghosts. She should have stayed in Las Vegas.

Granny is dead. While that’s generally not cause for glad tidings, it has brought Dru to Blackwood Bay. With the Living Trust her grandmother has left her, she plans to start a new life away from what she knows. She’s giving up being a private investigator to run a bookshop in a small town, living above it in Granny’s old apartment. But immediately upon arrival she meets a handsome police sergeant, a handful of people that knew Granny well, a ghost girl, a potential stalker, and Fake Dru – someone equally new to town that wants the living trust to themself. Dru now has to rely on her old detective skills to solve two murders and claim what’s rightfully hers.

Haunted and Hexed by Misty Bane is a cute, cozy little book to while away an afternoon with while sipping cider and watching the leaves fall. If you like paranormal, witchy vibes + mysteries, this one’s for you. The first in a series, I’m excited to see what happens next in Blackwood Bay.

And I’m a little jealous that Dru can converse with her cat.

Goodreads rating: 2 of 5 stars

Would I read it again? Probably not.

Creepy cover art is okay

I was looking for a quote I wanted to talk about and found this book cover instead. The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring debuted in 2019, and I have no idea what it’s about. But LOOK AT THE COVER. It practically screams I’ve got a story to tell. It’s gorgeous. I suppose the fact that I think it’s gorgeous is disturbing to some. But let me explain.

The cover art is creepy and ominous and pretty much says READ ME. I might have to rearrange my planned reading to start this ASAP. Don’t you love when that happens? We’re taught to not judge a book by it’s cover (and I know it’s not meant in the literal sense) but I judge cover art all the time. And this one is oozing Halloween and October and Made for this Time of Year. So I might pick up a bottle of wine and curl up with a copy this weekend.

Has anyone read The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring? Don’t spoil it, but if you loved it let me know. If you didn’t love it, let me know! I’d love to chat about it.

It’s Spooky Season – October TBR

I love fall.

Being from the east coast, I grew up with seasons. There’s lots of snow in the winter, spring brings flowers and allergies, and summer is hot and humid. And there’s bugs. I hate bugs more than anything. Since we had the hottest summer on record in the last few years, I am more than ready for sweaters and candles and much, much cooler weather.

This also means I’m ready for fall and Halloween themed books! I like Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween as much as the next person, with Hocus Pocus being one of my all time favorite movies, but there’s something about a book set against a backdrop of colorful leaves and pumpkins that gives me a thrill.

I’ve been compiling a list of books I’m planning to read this October and thought I’d share it here.

The Ex Hex, formally (Hocus Pocus but they F)

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling, who is also former YA author Rachel Hawkins. Releasing September 28th, I don’t know much about this book other than I made a promise to read every book the author puts out. Rachel Hawkins is my spirit animal. And truly, she had me at Hocus Pocus but they F. (A/N – I scheduled this post before winning a giveaway copy of this book. If you want to read my review, check it out here!)

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Previously reviewed here, this is an interesting gothic novel involving murder, magic, and two sisters willing to take their secrets to the grave. Fun fact, I live near a preschool called Merricat’s Castle, which is both awesome and terrifying at the same time.

Hell House by Richard Matheson

Another reread, and one that will likely be saved for Halloween night, is one of the most terrifying books I’ve ever read. A physicist and two mediums are paid handsomely to spend time in a sealed Maine mansion in order to figure out what comes after death. Together, they find out the secrets the abandoned Belasco manor holds, and why the townsfolk call it Hell House.

The Blackwood Bay Witches Mystery series by Misty Bane

This might be an overly ambitious amount to try and get through in October, but a challenge I’m willing to take on.

I pose a question to anyone who reads this: what are your favorite fall/Halloween books? What are you hoping to read this October?

Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare

THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT PITY.

THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT REGRET.

THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT NUMBER.

THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING.

Hidden in the mountains of Wales, rows of tin soldiers, automatons, are waiting. The Magister’s great creation is finally ready, with the unwilling help of Tessa Gray, to slaughter the Shadowhunters. An army is coming, metal on metal with the souls of demons, ready to battle without feelings or emotion. The Infernal Devices have consciousness now, and are set to destroy.

Benedict Lightwood is a worm. I’d forgotten this part. A great, serpent-like thing, his dalliances with demons have take away his humanity and transformed him into a monster. The Lightwood brothers are disturbed, disgusted, and horrified by what’s become of their father and take refuge in the London Institute, under the care of Charlotte Branwell.

Jem Carstairs is dying. He’s been dying, but his addiction has accelerated due to wanting to live – and love. After taking a year’s worth of yin fen in eight week’s time, his life force is quickly draining and there’s no more of the drug to be found. It’s heartbreak for his loved ones.

Tessa Gray is finally in The Magister’s possession. She learns of her true parentage and how she fits into his grand scheme. With only her Clockwork Angel to protect her, she must fight for her life, and everyone else she loves, in this final installment of The Infernal Devices.

One thing that bothers me is Consul Wayland’s hatred of Charlotte being head of the Institute, as well as the new Consul when Wayland steps down. Can a man be so blinded by thinking women are inferior that he’d risk his entire people because someone with ovaries is making sense? Possibly, and it keeps with the time, but I wish that had been further explained instead of being stopped with a blade.

I am glad I decided to reread this series. The non-stop pace, engaging stories, and lovable, albeit heartrending characters made quick reads throughout otherwise gloomy days. I hope one day Cassandra Clare writes more about Tessa and Will as adults. While they are involved in her most current series, The Last Hours, which was a wonderful surprise, I’m definitely craving more of their love story. Clockwork Princess’ ending had me bawling like it was 2013 all over again.

While I want to pick up the other books in this world and reread those as well, I definitely need a break. And just in time for some fall reads, which I’m also excited about. Until next time, nephilim.

Goodreads rating: 5 of 5 stars

Would I reread it again? Yes!

Our Secret Selves

I love this quote from The Walls Around Us by Niva Ren Suma. Oftentimes we spend a lot of the day presenting ourselves as a certain kind of person. At work, I’m relatively quiet, speaking only when spoken too. A coworker recently looked at me in surprise when I cracked a joke during a Teams meeting. In reality, my questionable taste in music is generally blasting in my ear buds, and I tend to see the humor in even the most mundane of things. And I talk to myself, a lot. Usually in my head, but sometimes things slip out.

I think my bookshelf represents the multiple facets of a person well. Is it full of fantasy? Classics? David Sedaris? Is it organized in the full Monica Geller or is it in the always trendy rainbow?

Mine is a mix of different genres and I like to think a quick perusal shows my personality if you know how to look for it. Urban fantasy mixed with childhood classics, adult lit and YA meet cute shmoop, sexy vampires and paranormal vibes, travel books raging from the Amalfi coast to the North Pole to the Eastern State Penitentiary. And they’re all organized by genre and then series, and if there’s no series, alpha order.

What do you think of this quote and what do you think your bookshelf says about you? Let me know!