Sunday, January 3, 2021

Indefinite Hiatus

To better focus on other interests and aspects of my life, I have decided to step away from blogging for a while. I may still post the occasional review, but until further notice I will no longer post on a regular basis. 

Thank you to my Followers for sticking with me all these years. Happy reading.

February 2021 Update: I'm still posting my review-esque thoughts (and notes on content) on Goodreads. You can Follow me on Goodreads here

Friday, November 20, 2020

SPELLBREAKER Official Blog Tour (Charlie N. Holmberg) - Ten Facts Guest Post + Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on the SPELLBREAKER Official Blog Tour, where you can discover ten facts about the latest magical novel from Charlie N. Holmberg and enter to win a copy! Interested in an excerpt, review, or more author content? Check out the rest of the tour, links below!


1. It was inspired by a line in Studio Ghibli’s adaptation of Howl’s Moving Castle, where the Witch of the Waste claims her talents only lay in breaking spells. 

2. It’s a late-Victorian fantasy, with a setting based on the series Lark Rise to Candleford

3. It’s in a similar vein as The Paper Magician Series. 

4. It’s a [clean] adult fantasy that’s suitable for teens. 

5. When a wizard is killed in Spellbreaker, their corpse turns into a spellbook . . . and anyone can use the spells contained within. 

6. There are four disciplines of magic: physical, rational, spiritual, and temporal. 

7. Part of the magic system was inspired by Dungeons & Dragons. 

8. It contains both a slow-burn romance and a cozy mystery. 

9. This novel touches on issues of class, gender, race, and disability. 

10. It’s the first book in a duology, with the second novel, Spellmaker, releasing March 9th, 2021.

A world of enchanted injustice needs a disenchanting woman in the newest fantasy series by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician.

The orphaned Elsie Camden learned as a girl that there were two kinds of wizards in the world: those who pay for the power to cast spells and those, like her, born with the ability to break them. But as an unlicensed magic user, her gift is a crime. Commissioned by an underground group known as the Cowls, Elsie uses her spellbreaking to push back against the aristocrats and help the common man. She always did love the tale of Robin Hood.

Elite magic user Bacchus Kelsey is one elusive spell away from his mastership when he catches Elsie breaking an enchantment. To protect her secret, Elsie strikes a bargain. She’ll help Bacchus fix unruly spells around his estate if he doesn’t turn her in. Working together, Elsie’s trust in—and fondness for—the handsome stranger grows. So does her trepidation about the rise in the murders of wizards and the theft of the spellbooks their bodies leave behind.

For a rogue spellbreaker like Elsie, there’s so much to learn about her powers, her family, the intriguing Bacchus, and the untold dangers shadowing every step of a journey she’s destined to complete. But will she uncover the mystery before it’s too late to save everything she loves? 

ISBN-10 : 1542020093
ISBN-13 : 978-1542020091
Publisher : 47North (November 1, 2020)
Paperback : 303 pages


“…romantic and electrifying…the fast-paced plot and fully realized world will have readers eager for the next installment. Fans of Victorian-influenced fantasy won’t want to put this down.” —Publishers Weekly

“Those who enjoy gentle romance, cozy mysteries, or Victorian fantasy will love this first half of a duology. The cliffhanger ending will keep readers breathless waiting for the second half.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Powerful magic, indulgent Victoriana, and a slow-burn romance make this genre-bending romp utterly delightful.” —Kirkus Reviews

You can purchase Spellbreaker at the following Retailers:

Photo Content from Charlie N. Holmberg

Charlie N. Holmberg is the award-winning author of the Numina series, The Fifth Doll, and many others. Her Wall Street Journal bestselling Paper Magician series, which includes The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician, has been optioned by the Walt Disney Company. Charlie’s stand-alone novel, Followed by Frost, was nominated for a 2016 RITA Award for Best Young Adult Romance. Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters, who also have boy names. She is a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and finally adopted a dog. She currently lives with her family in Utah. Visit her at her website.


NOVEMBER 18th WEDNESDAY A Court of Coffee and Books EXCERPT
NOVEMBER 19th THURSDAY Gwendalyn's Books REVIEW 
NOVEMBER 20th FRIDAY Author Kelly Risser EXCERPT 
NOVEMBER 20th FRIDAY Skye's Scribblings GUEST POST

NOVEMBER 26th THURSDAY Kalisbookishrambles REVIEW 
NOVEMBER 27th FRIDAY Books and Zebras REVIEW 
NOVEMBER 27th FRIDAY Reading Adventures of a Book Dragon REVIEW


Win one of two copies of Spellbreaker! Ends December 7, 2020.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 1, 2020

NaNoWriMo 2020

Does everyone know what month it is? It's National Novel Writing Month!!

This will be my 15th consecutive year participating (my crystal anniversary, apparently), and hopefully my 11th win. I had decided in early October that I would finally finish one of my already started and possibly more sellable novels this month, but then an intriguing YA sci-fi idea that's a mash-up of many of my favorite tropes burst into being in my brain this last week and so I think I might just try my hand at it instead. That said, I'm infamous for changing out my story within the first few days, so who knows what I'll finally end up working on.

Because I will be writing 1,667 words every day this month, I do want to warn, as I do every year, that my blog may go rather quiet during November. But I'll still try to post as much as I can (you can at least look forward to a blog tour post mid-month!), and I hope you'll stick with me for many more novel and manga reviews to come in December and beyond.

To those of you who are also participating in Nanowrimo: good luck to us all, and happy writing!

Monday, October 26, 2020

Paragraph Review: Tunnel of Bones (Victoria Schwab)

Title: Tunnel of Bones
Series: Cassidy Blake, Book 2
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Scholastic
US Release Date: September 3, 2019
Genre: Middle Grade Paranormal Thriller
Content Rating: Teen (scary and near-death situations, briefly disturbing ghosts)
Format Read: Paperback
Find OnGoodreads
PurchaseIndiebound | B&N | BookDepo | Azon

Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass's parents are filming their TV show about the world's most haunted cities. Sure, it's fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there's true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter -- and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she's unleashed could haunt the city forever.

*          *          *

: This is the second book in the Cassidy Blake series. As of October 2020 there are two released books, with a third to release March 2021. You can read my review of Book 1, City of Ghosts, here.

Young ghost-hunter Cassidy Blake returns for another chilling adventure in Tunnel of Bones, the second installment in the Middle Grade paranormal thriller series. This time she, her ghostly best friend, her paranormal investigator parents, and their cat visit Paris, France, a city of light and life aboveground but tunneled with darkness and bones beneath. While taking us on a brief but engaging tour of the city's more ghostly locales, Cassidy accidentally attracts the attention of a young poltergeist and is forced to quickly seek out his long-lost story to send him on and save Paris from his menace and mayhem. Along the way she makes curious new acquaintances, finally learns about Jacob's deadly (and mysteriously intriguing) past, and catches a glimpse of the creepy future that no doubt awaits her in the next book. As with City of Ghosts it was overall a quick and engrossing read with a spooky setting and entertaining story that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I'm so eager for Book 3, Bridge of Souls, that I may just resign myself to reading the hardcover (a great compliment indeed).  

Scribble Rating
4.5 of 5 Scribbles

Other Reviews That Might Interest: 

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Shutter by Courtney Alameda
The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot

Friday, October 23, 2020

The #FridayReads Review (10/23/20)


Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!

Servamp vol. 7 by Strike Tanaka (PBK)
Currently in the middle of bingeing the first 13 volumes of this series from the library. For a paranormal battle manga it hasn't been what I expected with its focus on emotional turmoil and very little actual battling, but I'm a sucker for "simple" protagonists and haunted immortal characters so I'm invested enough to read all volumes on hand. 

The Get To Principle by Ted Larkins (HBK)
3.5 Scribbles. "Get to" is such a simple and obvious mindset for a calmer and happier life yet most of us are mired in the miserable "Have tos" instead. I don't know if the concept needed an entire book - I must admit I skipped over a few chapters - but the chapters I read left me contemplative and inspired and I'm already feeling lighter by applying the "Have to/Get to" swap to my thoughts and actions. I'm glad this book caught my eye at the library.

(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
The Ancient Magus' Bride vol. 13 by Kore Yamazaki (PBK)
A new volume of this favorite series has finally released! I haven't been as enamored of the university arc, but with its fascinating world, intricate magic, and onion-layered characters I'm invested in this series until the very end.

So what are you reading this week?

Friday, October 16, 2020

The #FridayReads Review (10/16/20)


Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!

Snapdragon by Kat Leyh (PBK)
I've been excited by the surge in MG/YA graphic novels of late but haven't been keeping up with them as I should, so I only discovered Snapdragon last week. I just finished Part 1 of this diverse and currently contemporary story and am intrigued to find out in Part 2 if it's actually in fact magical realism...

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (HBK)
3 Scribbles. Re-read. I was feeling nostalgic (as I do in the fall) and randomly thought of this series again, so I picked up the first book from the library and found myself reading the entire thing in less than 3 hours. It was both what I remembered and not, unsettling yet playful but also surprisingly really simple as it barely hints at all the layers of dark secrets to come. I vaguely recall that I got a bit bored with the later books in the series and distinctly recall that I hated the last with its depressing end, but I couldn't help but put the second book on library hold and will be curious to see how far I end up diving into this disturbing children's series now that I've begun anew. Review to come.

(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
Servamp vol. 2 by Tanaka Strike (PBK)
The first volume was surprisingly good (if a little gory) with a unique premise and engaging characters - I couldn't believe I'd never heard of the series before now! I've put the rest of the released volumes on library hold (there are currently 13, I believe?) for a serious binge very soon.

So what are you reading this week?

Friday, October 9, 2020

The #FridayReads Review (10/9/20)


Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab (PBK)
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this ghostly MG series a few months ago (review) and once this sequel arrived I just couldn't hold off reading it in favor of more pressing titles. Just like City of Ghosts it is easy and engrossing with a chilling ghost story and lots of spooky atmosphere, and no surprise I'm already eager for the third book!

>> ON HOLD <<
The Language of Ghosts by Heather Fawcett (ARC)
The writing style was a lot thicker and the story a lot slower than I was expecting so I wasn't enjoying this as much as I'd hoped. I'm definitely still interested in reading it though, and plan to continue after Tunnel.

(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
Yokai Rental Shop by Shin Mashiba (PBK)
I was reminded of this series last week and discovering there are only four volumes, all released, I put them on library hold for an October binge. Possible review to come.

So what are you reading this week?