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.

The Project by Courtney Summers

The picturesque background of upstate New York holds a mystery Lo Denham has been trying to unravel for six years. Where is her sister? Lo’s been working as an assistant to the head of SVO, and up and coming magazine, for a year and is finally ready to get her byline – by investigating the truth of The Unity Project, the community her sister Bea loses herself in shortly after their parents deaths.

Bea Denham joins The Unity Project, a cult to everyone else, that bases itself on love, acceptance, and faith. Her little sister was brought back to life by their charismatic leader, Lev Warren. She leaves Lo in the care of their great Aunt and begins a semi-reclusive life working to grow The Project’s outreach.

Foster worked in an emergency room, where by chance he has a run in with Bea in the hospital chapel after losing a young patient. He’s brought into The Project as the perfect soldier. He’s a young man searching for more than the hurt and death he sees daily.

Told from a shifting narrative, The Project by Courtney Summers entwines the lives of the lost, the lonely, and those searching for the truth in a fast paced thriller centering on how much damage one man with too many idealizations about himself can cause. I was a little skeptical going in. I saw the hype over this book on social media and I’ve read a book or two by the author in the past, but nothing that stuck with me. But after the initial set up I was hooked, reaching for it in-between Sunday tasks and checking the latest hurricane coverage. It’s gripping and raw, and I’ll be thinking about it for a long time.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern is a little bit Coville, a little bit Ende, a little bit Sendak, Carroll, and Lewis. It’s a lot of imagination, spirit, and wonder. You have to be prepared to undertake Morgenstern’s love letter to imagination, and that’s what it is. The kind of book you read through but can’t race through, love and cherish and keep. It’s beautiful for a display piece, but it’s meant be touched and highlighted and reread.

I started reading back when it was released but I wasn’t ready to undertake such an adventure. I’m glad I finally was.

The Starless Sea tells the tale of an underground labyrinth, housing a collection of stories only accessed through hidden doors around the world.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is about to finish his graduate studies when he finds a mysterious book in his college library, and that moment subsequently changes everything. One literary party later he finds himself swept up in a centuries old battle where he gets knocked out more times than I could keep up with, finds his Written in the Stars person, encounters the true love story of Fate & Time, and there’s cats. Lots of cats. Please don’t feed them.

Erin Morgenstern paints the most beautiful pictures with her words. She weaves them back and forth through time, switching narratives as easily as colors on a brush. She’s written an ode to tale as old as time, missed opportunities, adventure, and second chances.

They say all stories must end, but do they truly end if someone’s around to tell them?

an inn at the edge of the world

I’m currently sailing The Starless Sea and it’s taking much longer than expected. Since I appear to have visitors (which is a bit mind boggling) I figured I’d update that Erin Morgenstern’s lovely tribute to all things imagination is much more involved than I was expecting, so my weekend update will be missed.