A Proxy Wedding by Toni Shiloh // Mini Review

A Proxy Wedding by Toni Shiloh // Mini Review

Saying I Do was more than they bargained for.

Carly James values loyalty and friendship above all. So when her best friend calls asking her to be a proxy bride, she says, ‘yes.’ How hard can it be to say ‘I do’ so that her best friend can be with the one she loves? Only, Carly never counted on the feelings that began to swirl around with the proxy groom.

Damien Nichols likes life lined up from A to Z, but when his best friend calls in a favor, disorder begins to reign. Instead of taking a quick flight to the proxy wedding, he has to take a road trip with the proxy bride. Carly’s free-spirit attitude bumps heads with his meticulous approach to life. As Damien discovers the woman underneath the carefree façade, his emotions become involved. (from Goodreads)

My Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Not gonna lie, the concept of a modern proxy wedding (??!) drew me in immediately, and I knew my favorite author could pull off something fabulous. It ended up being so cute and sweet with a surprising amount of character development, arc, and relationship testing in such a short novella. I really enjoyed it. 😉 Definitely like a Hallmark movie, in all the best ways.

CW: Mentions of relational trauma from a family of origin and an ex-spouse. The main characters have strong chemistry that is often in their thoughts but it is handled well and never crosses a line.

A Smol Christmas Giveaway

A Smol Christmas Giveaway

Christmas just keeps getting closer, my jollies, and to celebrate I’m giving away a very cute bundle. 😉

Prize includes: Sincerely, Jem paperback, a book sleeve from Needle X Stitch Co., a (very) small illustrated copy of The Nutcracker, and chocollllllate

International alternate prize: 2 author-written ebooks of your choice

Entry options:

  1. Comment your favorite Christmas tradition
  2. Comment whether you love or hate snow
  3. Blog your Christmas book recs (link back to this post)
  4. Follow this blog (comment “done!”)
  5. Share this giveaway (link back or comment)

(For more entry options, go to my IG post)

Prize ships to US only. International winner will be awarded alternate prize and another winner drawn. Giveaway also runs on Instagram. Giveaway runs 12/12 through 12/17.

Merry entering. 😉

Should We Tell Her? by Lillian Keith // Review

Should We Tell Her? by Lillian Keith // Review

“Mommy’s in Africa,” You kept saying, and you smiled for the first time since Mom hadn’t come home.

And suddenly, I didn’t want that smile to disappear. I didn’t want to hear your pleading voice asking over and over when Mom would come home. And I didn’t want to see the disappointment in your eyes anymore.

When summer turns to tragedy, twelve year old Aspen and her younger sister Wren struggle to cope. But how can they when their youngest sister can’t understand what is happening? Will they be able to pull together to help each other or will they fall apart?” (from Goodreads)

My Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐

From the cover onwards, this book was adorable and heartfelt. I was especially delighted by how many illustrations there were (#illustrationsarecool), and they set the tone for the book perfectly.

I really liked the second person point-of-view of the story, and the main concept was properly well-meaning, sweet, and double-edged. Some of my favorite moments were when Aspen realized how important the postcards were to her and why. 😭😭 And any scene in the art shed was great.

I also loved how cute everyone’s names were. 🥺

I spent a lot of the story very frustrated with the adults, but I ended up really liking how that turned out. 😉

CW: Discussions of a traumatic accident (not detailed) and possible death. A few scenes of emotional distress, PTSD, and hospital setting. The story concept is based around a well-meaning lie that is flawed but ultimately justified.

Altogether, I really enjoyed this sweet read, and I think anyone who loves close-knit family stories will too. 💙💜

I need a fairy garden now.

A Very Exciting Cover Reveal!

A Very Exciting Cover Reveal!

(First things first, thank you to everyone who helped celebrate Rebekah last week and entered the giveaway! A winner has been chosen and displayed on the Rafflecopter, and Rebekah will be contacting her soon. 😉 )


Lately, there have been some very exciting things in the works. Some very bookish pastel things. 👀 I’ve been getting to experiment with graphic design for the best reasons possible, and today I finally get to share one of the projects with you. *squeals and dances like a small chipmunk*

Are you ready?

You may think you’re ready, but are you actually sure? 😉

Okay, I’ll stop teasing…

A Very Bookish Easter anthology arrives early 2023! (Go mark it as TBR on Goodreads. 👏) Five classics-inspired stories set during Easter with themes of hope and redemption from some of my favorite indie authors ever. 😉

Yours truly also gets to participate this time around, and absolutely can’t wait to share my story with you. 😉 It’s inspired by Heidi by Johanna Spyri and my own experiences growing up in a small, rural town. I don’t have much to spill about the story yet, but the characters are absolutely adorable and I hope you love it. 😁

Have a great week!

Gift from the Storm by Rebekah A. Morris // A Review

Gift from the Storm by Rebekah A. Morris // A Review

(admit it, you knew I had to talk about this book)

One cold, dark evening a young stranger appears outside the Morgan home with two small children. Injured and on the verge of complete exhaustion, she will only say that her name is “Amy.”
Where did she come from? Who is she? And what has she been through? Dr. Justin Morgan and his family look for answers as they struggle to minister life and health to the needy ones in their midst.
(from Goodreads)

My Review

I fell in love first with the author’s writing style, then with the vibey cover, and then with the story. (I even read it aloud to a sister right after finishing it, it was that good. 😉 ) Since then, it’s become one of my top favorite indie books, and I talk about it often on my blog and to anyone who will listen.

The cozy, sometimes Christmassy (yes, I’ve chosen to obsess over that part 😉 ) mountain cabin setting was so accurate and beautifully descriptive, it made this country girl right at home. I loved all the characters (Justin the most of course), and Danny was hilarious.

Amy was a very interesting main character. I hadn’t read many books with the amnesia trope (still haven’t) at this point, so I was completely drawn in by her struggles and the slowly unfolding mystery. I loved seeing the Morgan family support her so well and how their ordinary faithfulness and family culture was used by God to bless her so mightily.

My favorite scene was when Amy is holding a glass of water. *chills*

CW: danger, amnesia, grief, off-screen death, speculation about if a character is an unmarried mother.

This intriguing, cozy, and wonderful Christian mystery is forever a favorite. 😉

Add on Goodreads // Buy on Amazon

(Don’t forget to enter the ebook giveaway!)

The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd // Review

The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd // Review

Everyone in Emma’s family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians–every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream.

For Emma, her own dream can’t come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she’d do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn’t want to let her mother down.

But when Emma’s dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task–finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town’s cemetery. If Emma fails, she’ll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that’s been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost? (from Goodreads)

My Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This beautiful, beautiful book left tears in my eyes and a feeling of home in my heart. I soaked in every gorgeous word, every “spooky” encounter, every message of treasure and destiny and love. ❤️

I kept reading over some passages because they were so beautifully written, and part of me wants to journal some of the best quotes. The characters were very sweet and quirky, and I would like a Grandma that cool and tough, please. Also, I’m going to need my own “kitchen ghost”. 😂😂

Speaking of ghosts… They play a big role in this story but it’s not dark or terrifying in the least. Instead it’s more like a metaphor for the ancient, enduring memory of small towns and the comforting feeling of having your history near. I loved it.

One of the best portrayals of grief and coming of age I’ve ever read.

CW: death, graveyards, ghosts. Mentions of the Civil War and slavery. A boy has a near-death experience.

Absolutely recommended. ❤️

Kate’s Case Files by Sarah Holman // Mini Reviews

Kate’s Case Files by Sarah Holman // Mini Reviews

(prepare yourself for infite fangirl mode) (are you ready?) (I love this series)

This series fits the perfect balance of clean fiction, hard topics, intense action, Christian themes, and entirely lovable-to-the-max characters. I read the first few in a row, and then have been reading the others as they come out. My siblings helped me complete the series in paperback, just in time for the new release. 😉

Here are my mini reviews…

1.

Started off with a literal BANG and catapulted me into a world I never want to leave. I loved the characters from the beginning, and their quirks made them memorable and lovable. Also, SPY STUFF.

2.

All the political details were insanely interesting and the ship (you have to ship them, sorry, I don’t make the rules) gets even cuter. Pretty insane climax too…

3.

A big one for character arcs and a more subtle but interesting case. 👏 I also love how each book brings a city I don’t know much about to life.

4.

(Can we appreciate the gorgeous colors of this cover??!) This one is set in my home state, which was absolutely fabulous and made me connect to the high stakes of this one a lot more. Some tougher life topics are handled in this one, but with so much grace.

5.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, yessssss. Also some scenes that made me declare this probably a favorite of the series, though I probably say that about each one at some point in time, so my fangirlness cannot be trusted. 😛

6.

Another gorgeous cover, and they look absolutely adorable, arrrghhh. (Sorry, the shipping just gets worse.) This one was a gamechanger, for better or worse, depending on what you think of some bold story choices. It was so tragic but so healing, and I’m happy to have read it.

7.

Better come soon!!! *does fangirl grabby hands*

Have you read this series? Which book is your favorite?


Enter the giveaway, booknerds! It ends soon.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs // A Review

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs // A Review

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience.

As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

As Jacob explores its bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine’s children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. (from Goodreads)

My Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐

No one told me that this book was so unapologetically Jewish. 😍 That it was structured around real vintage photographs. That the more horror-like elements were secondary to a deliciously written, fantastically bizarre story.

If anyone had, I probably would have read this a lot sooner. Instead, a $1 thrift store copy and the ghost of JessetheReader convinced me to give it a try.

It is so strange, you all. Really quite out of my usual genre, but it drew me in immediately with the mystery that spanned generations of a family, the strange yet really quite ordinary children (though it was hard to keep them straight), and the growing realization of eventually what was going to happen.

I did find Jacob rather selfish (felt so bad for his dad), but as I grow more trauma informed, I understand why he did the things he did and I can only hope his continuing character arc shows growth towards health.

CW: mentions of the Holocaust, WW2 violence, kissing, drinking. PG-13 language, though infrequent. Includes a theme of not being able to trust adults and medical professionals.

The story does center around magical/supernatural abilities (including reanimation, the child with this power uses animal organs) and monsters (the description of which may be disturbing to some readers). A couple very disturbing descriptions of wounds/corpses.

Altogether, I’m very glad I gave this a shot. As of now, I am very satisfied with the ending but I may continue the series at a later date. 😉

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant // A Review

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant // A Review

Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life. She’s rarely seen herself reflected in the pages of the romance novels she loves. The only place she’s a true leading lady is in her own writing—in the swoony love stories she shares only with Caroline, her best friend and #1 devoted reader.

When Tessa is accepted into the creative writing program of a prestigious art school, she’s excited to finally let her stories shine. But when she goes to her first workshop, the words are just…gone. Fortunately, Caroline has a solution: Tessa just needs to find some inspiration in a real-life love story of her own. And she’s ready with a list of romance novel-inspired steps to a happily ever after. Nico, the brooding artist who looks like he walked out of one of Tessa’s stories, is cast as the perfect Prince Charming.

But as Tessa checks each item off Caroline’s list, she gets further and further away from herself. She risks losing everything she cares about—including the surprising bond she develops with sweet Sam, who lives across the street. She’s well on her way to having her own real-life love story, but is it the one she wants, after all? (from Goodreads)

My Review ⭐⭐⭐

You might never guess it, but I actually quite love a good fluffy novel, and I’m always on the lookout for one that will fit my tastes.

I immediately fell in love with the aesthetic and concept of this book, and you better believe I “blind-bought” a copy from Target as soon as I could. 😍 (I love you, Target books section.)

I don’t think I was properly prepared for what this book was going to be like, and I was mostly reading it so I could get to the second, but wowza.

THIS BOOK IS STRESS, Y’ALL. I probably found it that way because I’m not used to this genre, but I have another theory I’ll get to later.

I related to Tessa in some big ways, but I especially appreciated the ways I cannot. The everyday experiences of being a Black woman, creative, and sister to a disabled sibling were naturally woven through the story, and I need more of this in my reading life.

I related to Tessa’s imposter syndrome and writer’s block (*cries in two year long dry spell*), but the anxiety rep was the best I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I’ve understood what my anxiety does to me, beyond the occasional panic or often overthinking, but this story showed how its icky tendrils can spread throughout our lives affecting every conversation, decision, etc. I think this book made me feel more stressed than your average reader because it’s so close to how my brain works. I haven’t been dealt the same hand in life (or as debilitating anxiety symptoms), but this portrayal made me feel seen.

I’ve mentioned it before, but the aesthetic of this book is really the cutest, down to that muffin on the front cover. ❤️ Seriously, every food Sam baked had me drooling or at least curious what it would taste like.

My hands-down two favorite scenes were THAT declaration of love and her lunch date with Mom. I literally cried my eyes out. 😩😍

Best quotes: “Well, then it will come back. You don’t just lose something that you love like that,” he says softly. I don’t know how he can sound so sure about something that definitely isn’t.

Sam scoffs, scrunching his nose. “Sounds like a stupid line to me.” “Yeah, well, who cares? Maybe I want to be someone who guys say lines to. Is there anything wrong with that?” It comes out harsher than I intend.

CW: Mentions of sex, anatomy, innuendos, some lying. The main character experiences multiple micro-aggressions and bullying that may be distressing to some readers. PG-13 language, including multiple F-bombs.

I would love to attend a creative writing class that cool. 😍

Will I or won’t I read book two? 🤔 

5 Ways You Can Help Celebrate Kiera!

5 Ways You Can Help Celebrate Kiera!

Release day for the second edition of Kiera is less than one month away! (#runsaroundscreaming #inexcitementandterror #whosideawasthisanyway #ahhh) I cannot wait to share the gorgeous new hardcovers with you, and I think you’re going to love the bonus content. 😍🙌

If you’re bursting with excitement and would like to help celebrate, here are five ways you can…

1. Pre-order your copy in ebook or hardcover. Hardcover bundles include some pretty sweet bonus goodies, fyi. 😉

2. Join the release week celebration team! Whether you’re an Instagrammer, blogger, or reviewer, I’ve got something you can help out with. 🤩🤩 (Join here.)

3. Mark the book as TBR on Goodreads. This helps spread the word, and Goodreads will also send you a release reminder email, which is kind of fun. 😉

4. Tell a friend! If you know someone who might enjoy Kiera, tell them a little bit about why you liked it or are looking forward to it.

5. Pray that everything with the release would go well and on schedule. 💙💙

Thank you all for your support and excitement! I can’t wait to share this with you. 💙