Top Ten Tuesday: Scary Books With Flowers on Their Covers


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

All of the books in this week’s list are from the suspense and horror genres. This is a trend that I don’t quite understand as flowers feels so sweet and innocent to me.

Maybe they are being included as a juxtaposition to the frightening things that often happen in mystery or horror novels? What do you all think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Toxic by Lydia Kang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. The Undead Truth of Us by Britney S. Lewis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. They Drown Our Daughters by Katrina Monroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. The Depths by Nicole Lesperance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Ghosted: A Love Story by Jenn Ashworth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.  Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Almost Insentient, Almost Divine by D.P. Watt

Top Ten Tuesday: Our Recent 5-Star Reads


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

For this week’s freebie topic, I’ve decided to highlight the books that the reviewers here at Long and Short Reviews have recently given five stars.

We don’t rate books that highly very often, so kudos to all of the authors who have earned this honor!

I included their genre or genres in parentheses as well.

This post was written a few weeks in advance, but I gathered up as many recent examples as I could find in our queue.

1. The Excitements by CJ Wray (Fiction)

2. Slaughterhouse by K.A. Lugo (Suspense/Mystery)

3. The Fog Ladies: Date with Death by Susan McCormick (Mystery)

4. Sally Mitts Finds a Home: The Story of a Shy Shelter Kitten by Shain Stodt (Children’s)

5. Dreams of Drowning by Patricia Averbach (Mystery, Paranormal)

6. All Rhodes Lead to Here by Mariana Zapata (Romance)

7. The Devil and Mrs. Davenport by Paulette Kennedy (Mystery, Paranormal)

8. Dogboy vs. Catfish by Luke Gracias (Mystery)

9. The Perfectly Fine Neighborhood edited by Kayleigh Dobbs, Stephen Kozeniewski, and Wile E. Young (Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror)

10. Embracing Amelia by Elaine Violette (Historical Romance)

For the fellow reviewers reading this post, how often do you give out five star ratings in your reviews?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Picture Books About Rain


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

One of my favorite moments as a Long and Short Reviews blogger and reviewer happens when review requests for picture books are submitted to us.

I try to request as many of them as I can because it’s wonderful to see what’s new in that genre and because I deeply enjoy spreading the word about the many beautiful picture books out there.

While I haven’t read any of these picture books yet, they do fit this week’s April Showers theme and they all look adorable.

If you’ve read any of them, please feel free to share your thoughts.

1. Hooray for Summer! by Kazuo Iwamura 

2. The Day It Rained Watermelons by Mabel Watts

3. Stormy Night by Salina Yoon

4. A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman

5. Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema

6.That Sky, That Rain by Carolyn B. Otto

7.Chirri & Chirra: The Rainy Day by Kaya Doi

8. McBroom the Rainmaker by Sid Fleischman

9. Rain Makes Applesauce by Julian Scheer

10. Pika Bunny and the Thunderstorm: Conejito Pika Y La Tormenta by Wendy Gilhula

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Spring 2024 TBR


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I hope all of these books will be great reads!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez

Release Date: April 2

Why I’m Interested: I have not seen many books talk about Reddit. This could be really good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The Titanic Survivors’ Book Club by Timothy Schaffert

Release Date: April 2

Why I’m Interested: The Titanic was such an interesting and tragic chapter of history. I’ve often wondered how the survivors coped with their memories from that time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. The Black Girl Survives in This One by Desiree S. Evans (Editor)

Release Date: April 2

Why I’m Interested: The title. Isn’t it fabulous and refreshing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.Late Bloomer by Mazey Eddings

Release Date: April 16

Why I’m Interested: Spring is a great time to read romance novels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Indian Burial Ground by Nick Medina

Release Date: April 16

Why I’m Interested: The horror and mystery genres work well together, and this sounds like it could be quite the adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.Home Is Where the Bodies Are  by Jeneva Rose

Release Date: April 30

Why I’m Interested: I like watching old home videos of myself and my loved ones. The thought of discovering an old while watching something like this is a cool twist on the mystery genre!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Lavash at First Sight by Taleen Voskuni

 

(The file for this cover was too large to upload for this book, but the link below will show it.)

8. Snowblooded by Emma Sterner-Radley

Release Date: May 9

Why I’m Interested: Some stories excel when they mix a lot of different genres and ideas together. I hope this is one of them as the assassin’s guild alone sounds like it would have plenty of plot twists to keep the characters busy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. My Darling Dreadful Thing by Johanna van Veen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. You Like It Darker by Stephen King

Release Date: May 21

Why I’m Interested: I try to check out everything Stephen King writes. Getting scared is fun!

Top Ten Tuesday: Weird or Funny Things I’ve Googled Thanks to a Book


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Since I recommended this topic to Jana, I thought I should be the one to write Long and Short Reviews’s response to it as well.

Here are ten funny or interesting things I’ve googled thanks to a book. Horror and mysteries are among the genres I read which is why some of these queries are about death and corpses.

1. How long does it take bones to decompose in a grave? Can you still tell something was once a grave if there are no bones left in it?

2. What do zombies think about when they’re not chasing people?

3. Why is the Chosen One so often a teenager instead of someone older and more experienced?

4. How did people figure out which mushrooms were safe to eat when a lot of wild mushrooms will kill you?

5. Why do so many romance novelists dislike big cities?

6. Why doesn’t character X have common sense?

(No, I didn’t actually expect an answer for this one. I was simply annoyed by a character who kept making terrible decisions for no reason).

7.  How long can you live on a spaceship before getting radiation poisoning?

8. Why do so many aliens want to destroy humanity?

9. Books written from a cow’s perspective.

(Because I’d never heard of such a thing and wondered if it existed).

10. Can you write a book without any tropes at all?

Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes About Love


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

For today’s Love Freebie theme, I’ve decided to share ten bookish quotes about love.

Some of them are about romantic love, but others are about the many other types of love that exist: platonic, familial, universal, practical, and more.

I believe this holiday can be used to celebrate all of them if you wish.

 

 

1. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

 

2. “Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.”
Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember

 

3. “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”
Mahatma Gandhi 

 

4. “Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.”
Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

 

5. “Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

 

6. “Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”
Maya Angelou

 

7. “How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet
“You don’t spell it…you feel it.” – Pooh”
A.A. Milne

 

8. “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband

 

9. “Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze. ”
Elinor Glyn

 

10. “There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”
Vincent Van Gogh

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Thank you for visiting our post today.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2023 but Didn’t Get To


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

There are a lot of them this week!

 

The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim

 

Organizing for the Rest of Us by Dana K. White

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holly by Stephen King

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldreee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Only One Left  by Riley Sager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dust Child by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nigeria Jones  by Ibi Zoboi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Secret Book of Flora Lea by Patti Callahan Henry

 

If you’ve read any of these books, would you recommend them?

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2024


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I’m going to be repeating a few of my goals from last year and then adding in some new ones.

1. Whittle down my TBR list. Sometimes I swear they grow by themselves overnight!

2. Visit nearby physical branches of my local library more often. I’ve read that being a librarian can be a stressful job at times, so I’d like to give them some friendly in-person experiences if I can. Also, not every book is available in digital form, so borrowing some of those paper books would help with my TBR list for sure.

3. Play more literary or bookish games on my phone.

4. Read short stories regularly. I need a break from the long (but good) novels I read last autumn and at the beginning of this winter.

5. Read more cozy mysteries. I tend go in spurts with this genre, and it’s been a while since I last visited it.

6. Take reading breaks. I am not always good at this, but it’s refreshing to step away for a little while and do something else. Maybe the spring will be a good time to do it if there aren’t too many forest fires and the weather is decent then?

7. Take a break from the fantasy genre. I’m a longtime fan of it, but I think I need to read other genres for a while. I’m finding it too repetitive, but I think it’s because I’m so well-versed in what typically happens in this genre.

8. Visit indie bookstores. I miss them so much.

9. Find cool people on Bookstagram who talk about science fiction, ghost stories, psychological horror, or other similar things.

10. Run away and go live in the woods. Or at least that’s what I’ve been threatening to do in order to have more quiet reading time. 😀 Fellow introverts, how do you carve out time to read?

Suggestions for how to accomplish any or all of these goals are quite welcomed!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the First Half of 2024


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I do not have any witty commentary for you all today. I’m simply feeling grateful for how many different options we all have when deciding what to read next.

Here are ten books I’m looking forward to checking out over the next several months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Four Eids and a Funeral by Faridah ÀbíkéÍyímídé 

Why I’m Interested: I like romances that include a lot of other plot lines, too. This one sounds like it has plenty going on with the story!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. In Utero by Chris Gooch

Release Date: January 23

Why I’m Interested: One word – aliens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. The Unquiet Bones by Loreth Anne White

Release Date: March 5

Why I’m Interested: There’s something to be said for digging up bones buried in the wrong place and hopefully solving the mystery of how that person died.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Canto Contigo by Jonny Garza Villa

Release Date: April 9

Why I’m Interested: High school romances can be so much fun to read about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.Pretty Furious by E.K. Johnston

Release Date: April 16

Why I’m Interested: Do I advocate seeking revenge in real life? Of course not! Reading about fictional characters getting revenge sounds awesome, though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Supplication by Nour Abi-Nakhou

Release Date: May 7

Why I’m Interested: This sounds really scary, and maybe too scary for me to actually read. If I do find my courage, it will be interesting to see how the main character escapes from the house where she is trapped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. The Honey Witch  by Sydney J. Shields

Release Date: May 14

Why I’m Interested: The fairytale aesthetic. Imagine being cursed to never fall in love again! I mean, I know some people never fall in love even once in their lives and are perfectly happy that way, but it’s quite a different thought for those of us who have had that experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton

Release Date: May 21

Why I’m Interested: The attention-grabbing title. A society without murder sounds appealing, but I’ll bet the catch to living there is going to be a big one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.Lies and Weddings by Kevin Kwan

Release Date: May 21

Why I’m Interested: This could be a nice refresher after some of the horror and other darker works on this list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.Becoming Who We Are: Real Stories About Growing Up Trans by Sammy Lisel

Release Date: May 28

Why I’m Interested: It sounds interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Blogfest: Thea Landen

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest.

Leave a comment for a chance to win one  ebook of Tangled In His Possession + 2 Thea Landen bookmarks (no shipping restrictions). 

Knitting and Crocheting Over the Holidays by Thea Landen

It’s that time of year again! Temperatures are dropping, the sun is barely making an appearance, and there may even be some snow and ice on the ground. While I do miss seeing the sun and I hate shoveling my driveway, part of me gets excited over colder weather because it means I can bring out all my handknit clothing and accessories! I first learned how to knit and crochet when I was in college, and I have drawers and closets full of cozy sweaters, socks, hats, and scarves. With the right gear, I suppose even the shoveling isn’t terrible.

Despite knitting and crocheting for many years, I’d never managed to work it into any of my books until recently. Maybe it goes hand-in-hand with a question authors are often asked, which is “are any of your characters secretly based on you?” While I may share some traits with a couple of my characters, I’ve never created one who is exactly like me, nor have I ever felt the need to write a story which incorporates that particular hobby of mine. Until, as I said, recently.

The basic plot of Tangled In His Possession is similar to a lot of popular TV movies: a high-powered sophisticated businesswoman has to leave the big city for Reasons and adapt to life in a small town, but it’s okay, because she’ll find love there when she least expects it. When outlining the book, I decided to have the main character Lucy take over her dead aunt’s yarn shop. (Complete with a cute guy running the occult shop next door, naturally. Oh, but he’s possessed by a demon. Oops.) While the story itself may not be about knitting/crocheting, I did put my knowledge to good use and added in some descriptions as a bonus for my fellow yarn lovers. For example, when Lucy is knitting the top of a sock while chatting with that cute guy next door, it’s clear her pattern starts with 1×1 ribbing and she’s using double-pointed needles.

It’s always the little details that make books come to life for readers, and I’m thrilled I could finally include this passion of mine in one of my stories. Regardless of whether or not it’s cold outside where you are, let the red-hot romance of Tangled In His Possession keep you warm this season!

 

When her great-aunt dies, leaving The Yarn Barn in need of new management, Lucy Hawkins jumps at the opportunity to quit her stressful sales job. She moves to the quaint tourist town of Willow Vale, ready for a fresh start when she takes over the business. While introducing herself to her new neighbors, she meets Zeke, the owner of the occult shop next door. Friendly yet reserved, Zeke piques her interest, but he turns down her suggestion of a date.

Late one night, a frightening incident causes Zeke to reveal why he doesn’t want to risk getting too close to Lucy: he is possessed by a demon, an evil spirit that killed his grandfather several years earlier. Though he has been able to prevent it from harming anyone else since, he agonizes over what could happen if he loses control. Despite his worries, Lucy persists, and ultimately persuades him to allow her to provide the companionship he’s been too afraid to seek out.

They embark on a romantic relationship, with Zeke becoming the doting, compassionate partner Lucy has always dreamed of. The demon within him, however, remains a lingering concern, especially when it comes to intimacy and his fear for her safety. After a traumatic outburst, he vows to rid the world of the malicious force, even if it costs him his life. Lucy accepts his choice, but there’s one thing she needs from him before he carries out his plan. Can she convince Zeke to share every part of himself with her, demons and all?

 

Thea Landen lives in New York with her husband and children. Though she’s dabbled in all romantic subgenres, she has a special love for sci-fi, fantasy, and adventure…anything that pushes the imagination beyond its usual limits. When she’s not writing, she’s either knitting or crocheting, playing video games, or pretending to enjoy cardio and squats.

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