I feel like I always have great intentions with this blog and then LIFE gets in the way. It’s been way too long since I have posted on here. Actually the last post I made was the beginning of 2020 (BLEH) and then I have some drafts that I never actually published.
While I was MIA last year I started a small business, Redhead Homestead, that is focused on sustainability and using what the Earth gave us. That is basically a fancy way for me to say that I make herbal salves, jams and jellies, natural lip balms, and other natural products for both you and your furry friends.
A lot of the products that I make are out of season right now because of Winter. I am very eager for my herb garden to begin sprouting so I can begin making some new products though!
With the new year and with things slowing down I am thinking about what I want from this platform and what kind of content I want to bring to all of you.
I’m also struggling with deciding if I should keep all my old content and posts up or if I should start from square one. What do you guys think? I would love to know your opinions and thoughts since I am providing this content for you guys! 🙂
While I wasn’t posting on bookstagram I was definitely reading. I read 71 books! That’s more than I’ve ever read before (that I have documented). That may be because of the pandemic or it may be because I took a step back from bookish media.
I think I am going to post a 2020 wrap up. It won’t be a bunch of review just the books I read and how I rated them. Let me know if that is something that you are interested in.
For this blog, my plans are to post all my book reviews on here. They will be a little bit more in depth than the once that I post on my Instagram. I try to keep my instagram reviews pretty spoiler free and I am debating talking about everything here. Spoilers. My feelings. What I loved and hated. Baring it all for you.
My big goals for this blog would be to reach new readers and get my stats up. I’m not really sure what that means for me but I know that I would feel good knowing that some of you are reading what I’m posting.
I’m not going to say that I have to post a certain number of times a week or a month because then I don’t really want to post anymore. Me and deadlines don’t get along. But I will say that I will genuine content and reviews as often as I can.
I hope you all are having a great start to your new year. Stay Healthy. Stay Safe. Stay You.
Listen, before I even get into this review I want to apologize because I am already 3 weeks behind on all of my stuff. However, it is what it is and I’m just rolling with it at this point.
Title: Regretting You
Author: Colleen Hoover
Published by: Montlake Romance (Amazon)
Read from 10/12/2019 – 1/2/2020 *
From #1 New York Times bestselling authors of It Ends With Us comes a poignant novel about family , first love, grief, and betrayal that will touch hearts of both mothers and daughters. Morgan Grant and her sixteen year old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike. Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body. With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person whole can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara. While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and ClRz turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.
I normally do not read romance at all, but I trusted my bookish ladies on Instagram and gave it a go. And Oh My Gosh I am so glad that I did. This book gave me all the feels!
What I mean by that is that I was actually feeling the emotions that Clara and Morgan were feeling. I was upset when terrible things happened and gleeful when excited new opportunities arose for them.
Regretting You did not make me cry, but there were times when my sorrow was so incredible that I had to walk away from the book and go find my boyfriend to be comforted because I could not imagine living in a world without the people that I loved the most.
That’s the thing about Colleen Hoover. She doesn’t write “normal” romance and I will say that time and time again. Her books are unlike any other romance book that I have ever read. I don’t just feel mushy and gushy but I feel sorrow, hurt, betrayal, and euphoria. Her writing is magnificent and if you haven’t read a Colleen Hoover book yet… well you need to. Trust me.
I absolutely recommended this book to romance lovers and haters alike.
I want to thank NetGalley and Montlake Romance for providing me with the ebook in exchange for my honest review.
Hello my dear Friends! I can hardly believe that we just said goodbye to 2019 and welcomed in the new year and a new decade!
With a new year comes new goals and resolutions and that is what I am going to be sharing you with today.
I’m just going to go ahead and jump right into it!
1. Goodreads Reading Challenge
Iv’e been on Goodreads since high school and I love the Goodreads Reading Challenge. There is just something about the little progress bar and comparing how many books I’ve read to that of my Goodreads friends that just gets me reading. Nothing like some good friendly competition.
Speaking of Goodreads Friends…if we aren’t Friends on Goodreads we should be! Click here to add me or drop your username in the comments.
This year I decided that I want to read 50 books.
Last year my goal was to read 35 books and I beat my goal and read 45 books!
I decided on 50 books because I wanted to give myself some wiggle room if I somehow become super busy or can’t read for a couple weeks. Basically I gave myself some room to let life happen. That’s important when you are setting new goals. Make sure they are actually obtainable even if life happens.
2. Review Every Book I Read
Well, well, well….this is where you my dear friends come in.
Since I am planning on reading 50 books this year and I want to review every book that I read that means that you will be getting at least 1 new book review from me a week!
I want you to hold me accountable. Go ahead and reach out to me on my Facebook page, DM me on Insta or whatever it is that you folks do and tell me that I suck and didn’t post a review that week. Well, maybe don’t tell me that I suck, but you get the picture.
You will be able to find my full reviews here, mini reviews on my instagram (@wine.tea._and_paper), and every month I will be doing a review video (or two) on my YouTube Channel (BookTube).
3. Read One Non-Fiction Book A Month
I was inspired by Non-Fiction November last year and decided that I need to read more of it in the new year!
So here I am, first month of January with no Non-Fiction read in sight…
So, If you lovely people have any recommendations leave them for me in the comments!
4. Read One Classic A Month
When I was in College I was reading Classics all the time. I was in several British literature classes and we read many many classics.
I feel empty now, being a college graduate and not reading these beloved books.
To fix this hole that has grown in my heart I will be reading one classic a month. Starting with one of my all time favorites, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
5. Get My NetGalley Rating to 80%
Currently my NetGalley rating is a sad and measly 18% and I have 34 titles that need reviewed…
6. Read Books that I Already Own/Book Buying Ban
This is probably going to be the hardest out of all of my goals which is why I saved it for last.
I have a lot of unread books both psychical and digital.
So, for the first quarter of the year (Jan – March) I will be on a book buying ban to force myself to read books that I already own.
At the end of March I will re-evaluate and see if I should continue my ban or not.
What are your reading goals this year? Let me know in the comments!
Hey friends! I have to admit that I kind of fell off the rocker here in my bookish internet world. But, as I said to my followers on Instagram, I am trying to get better!
However, I did enjoy my break! It was nice to just reset my mindset and start over in a way!
With that being said I am bringing you a very overdue book review of the Furies by Katie Lowe.
Overdue in the sense that I finished the Furies over a month ago. Please forgive me, friends
The Furies by Katie Lowe
The Furies by Katie Lowe
Ebook edition: 357 Pages
Published October 8, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press
Average Rating on Goodreads: 3.15 Stars (1,482 ratings)
This page-turning, harrowing debut is the story of a girl trying to fit in, whose obsessive new friends and desperation to belong leads her to places she’d never imagined…dark, dangerous, and possibly even violent.
“The Furies us a haunting tale of angry, young women, the fates they hold and the furies they possess. Katie Lowe steers her juggernaut through twists of madness, revenge and murder to a finish that resonates deeply. It still hasn’t left me.” – Peter Filardi, screenwriter of The Craft
In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead. She’s posed on a swing on her boarding school’s property, dressed in all white, with no known cause of death.Whispers and rumors swirl, with no answers. But there are a few who know what happened; there is one girl who will never forget. One year earlier: a new student, Violet, steps on the campus of Elm Hollow Academy, an all-girl’s boarding school on the outskirts of a sleepy coastal town. This is her fresh start, her chance to begin again in the wake of tragedy, leave her demons behind. Bright but a little strange, uncertain and desperate to fit in, she soon finds herself invited to an advanced study group, led by her alluring and mysterious art teachers Annabel. There, with three other girls – Alex, Grace, and Robin – the five of them delve into the school’s long buried grim history: of Greek and Celtic legends; of the school founder’s “academic” interest in the occult; of gruesome 17th century witch trials. Annabel does her best to convince the girls that her classes aren’t related to ancient rites and rituals, and that they are just history and mythology. But the more she tries to warn the girls off the topic, the more they are drawn to it, and the possibility that they can harness magic for themselves. Violet quickly finds herself wrapped up in this heady new world of lawless power – except she is needled by the disappearance of a former member of the group, one with whom Violet shares an uncanny resembles. As her friends’ actions take a turn for the darker and spiral out of control, she begins to wonder who she can trust, all the while becoming more deeply entangled. How far will these young girls go to protect on another…or destroy one another?
Rating: 3 stars
I had such high hopes for the Furies. Seriously this book had so many key terms that appealed to me.
– the occult
But, the whole thing just really fell flat for me. Violet, the main character, seemed to lack any real drive or characterization. She just kinda went with the flow and did anything to fit in to this new school. Including participating in murder??? Like hello?
Let me back up a bit. I am not here to bash this book, and clearly I did enjoy it a bit if I gave it 3 stars instead of 2.
I just feel that Katie Lowe could have done more with the story.
I wanted more magic. The synopsis talks about these girl harnessing this dangerous black magic but like….nothing really becomes of it? The deaths that we witness are not magically induced for the most part. They are “accidental” and just straight up murder.
If Katie comes out with a sequel, I will definitely read it in hopes that it expands upon some of my questions that the Furies left me with.
I need to know Annabel’s connection to everything, I definitely do not think that she is innocent in all of this.
I need to know more about the founder of the Academy and why that one teacher (I seriously forget his name already) was spending so much time researching the history of the school. There is no way that is just a coincidence.
I also just need to know more about Alex, Grace, and Robin. Seeing them through Violet’s eyes alone wasn’t enough.
I was left unsatisfied and needing more explanation for EVERYTHING.
Did you feel the same way? What did you end up rating The Furies?
* Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for my e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Welcome to my stop on the Fantastic Flying Book Club Tour for Tears of Frost by Bree Barton!
Please check out the other stops on this tour by clicking here
I am so beyond excited to share this book with you!
The electric second book in the Heart of Thorns trilogy explores the effects of power in a dark magical kingdom—and the fierce courage it takes to claim your body as your own. Mia Rose is back from the dead. Her memories are hazy, her body numb—but she won’t stop searching. Her only hope to save the boy she loves and the sister who destroyed her is to find the mother she can never forgive. Pilar is on a hunt of her own. Betrayed by her mother, and plagued by a painful secret, she’s determined to seek out the only person who can exact revenge. All goes according to plan… until she collides with Prince Quin, the boy whose sister she killed.As Mia, Pilar, and Quin forge dangerous new alliances, they are bewitched by the snow kingdom’s promise of freedom and opportunity. But with the winter solstice drawing near, they must confront the truth beneath the glimmering ice, as lines between friend, foe, and lover vanish like snowflakes on a flame.
As always, I will try to keep my review pretty much spoiler free and will warn you before I uh…spoil anything.
Before picking up Tears of Frost, I listened to the first novel in the trilogy, the Heart of Thorns on my commute. When I was listening to Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton, I found myself being able to predict major plot points. Which was really a let down in the plot department…BUT
In Tears of Frost, the sequel to Heart of Thorns, I couldn’t do that. In fact, there were a couple of times when I was reading Tears of Frost that shocked me and completely took me by surprise. In fact, I wasn’t able to guess any of the main plot points! Which is such a bonus for me when I am reading a complex fantasy novel such as this one.
Tears of Frost has all of the key things I look for in a fantasy novel that involves magic.
“Spooky” blood magic
Strong female characters
Complex world building
Different Countries or Kingdoms within the story
So, honestly this novel hit all of the items on my wish list and came through with amazing character development from the first novel to the second.
A lot of “smaller” characters such as Pilar and Angelyne become really, really important here. We meet some new faces such as Zai and Nelladinellakin (Nelladine or Nell).
I was most captivated by Barton’s universe and loved the snowy wonderland of Luumia, the Snow Kingdom. I can see Lummia becoming one of those litarary places that we all wish was real and make a bookish item for. Such as candles. But, I mean. I really need a Luumia candle. What do you think a Luumia candle should smell like to those of you that have read Tears of Frost already? Let me know!
I already need to learn more about the other Kingdoms! I am hoping that Bree will incorporate more of the other Kingdoms and introduce us to Pembuk, The Glass Kingdom.
I was so impressed by the way that Barton weaved Jyöltide, a winter solstice celebration, into the novel. I really wish I had more culture around Jyöl just because I found it so fascinating. I did appreciate the letters from Angelyne regarding the Seven Souls of Jyöltide, but I wanted to see more of the merriment and the people of Lummia celebrating.
I suppose a big reason why we didn’t get more merriment is because that’s when the big ending happens! (which isn’t a spoiler, there is literally a countdown to the solstice in the book)
I wish I could tell you what happens in the end, but I’m just not going to do that.
While a lot of my questions from Heart of Thorns have been answered, I have so many more questions now! I feel like the end happened all at once and I missed where some characters went, I can’t tell you who because even that is a spoiler.
Overall, I was very happy with this sequel and I love Mia Rose and Pilar so so much.
Thank you Bree for writing such wonderful characters!!
“I want to make music with you someday. Promise me we’ll play a duet-and I mean a real duet, on violin and piano, not the lovely song our bodies make together.” -Quin, the Prince
The FFBC is holding two giveaways! One for the US and one for International readers! All you have to do is enter HERE!
1stPrize: Win a TEARS OF FROST bundle: signed hardcover copies of HoT and ToF, HoT bookmark, ToF bookmark, HoT candle, ToF candle (US ONLY)
2ndPrize: Win a TEARS OF FROST goodies bundle: signed bookplate, HoT bookmark, ToF bookmark, and a customized poem in the style of the epigraph (INT)
Starts: October 30th, 2019
Ends: November 13th, 2019
About the author
Bree Barton is the author of Heart of Thorns (KT/HarperCollins 2018), the first in a series offierce feminist fantasy novels. Her books have been published in seven countries and four languages. When she’s not crafting a story, Bree teaches dance and writing to teen girls. You can find her on Instagram@SpeakBreely. She lives in Los Angeles but dreams of the northern lights.
Holly Banks could not have made a worse first impression on the seemingly perfect moms in her new affluent community, the Village of Primm. Turns out wearing pink piggy pajama bottoms while dropping off her kindergartener late to the first day of school wasn’ther best look.
Not to mention Holly’s worried her husband may be having an affair, she can’t get her daughter to stop sucking her thumb, her hard-won film degree is collecting dust, and to top it all off, the power-hungry PTA president clearly has it in for her…
To make matters even worse, Holly’s natural eye for drama lands her smack-dab in the middle of a neighborhood mystery—right as her own crazy mother shows up in Primm “to help.” Through it all, Holly begins to realize her neighbors may be just as flawed as—and even wackier than—she is, leaving her to wonder: Is there such a thing as a perfect mom?
I was very unsure when I started reading Holly Banks Full of Angst because I don’t typically read contemporary with a splash of comedy.
I was also worried that I wouldn’t connect to the story because I’m not a mom and I don’t have a kindergartner.
BUT I LOVED IT!! And Holly is so relatable even to me, a 24-year-old hot mess.
Holly Banks is delightful and hilariously relatable! Holly just wants the best for her family and herself and I can appreciate that so so much.
Besides Holly, the other characters are extremely entertaining.
Mary-Margaret can be a lot to swallow when you begin reading. But, she found her own special place in my heart.
My favorite moments (that had me belly laughing):
• Cookie fight
• the scrapbooking fiasco
• school drop off OTD (outfit of the day)
Moments that made me sad:
• dead topiaries
• Plume’s fate
Nothing can compare to this book. I am so happy that I picked it up and was able to review it for Julie!
Holly Banks Full of Angst comes out December 1 BUT if you have Amazon Prime you can select it as your Amazon First Reads choice! Which I highly recommend 😉
Thank you to NetGalley and Julie Valerie for my review copy!! But, all opinions are my own!
Hey friends 👋🏻 can you BELIEVE it is almost the end of the month?
This month has been super stressful for me and I had to make time for my mental health above all my commitments. But! I’m back and I’m going to bring you up to full speed.
To do just that, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite things and products this month that really helped me out and I want to share them all with you!
CBD oil for sleep – Calm by Wellness
I have the hardest time falling asleep and STAYING asleep. I work a 9-5 job in a law office then I come home and do reviews for products and books. Try to read so I can review more books. And then engage with my audience on multiple platforms.
At the end of the day I am EXHAUSTED, but when I lay down I can’t sleep.
Some of the lovely people over at Calm by Wellness reached out to me and asked me to try their products and let them know how it went for me.
YALL! Calm by Wellness was my angel in disguise 😇
Before this month I have never tried a CBD product but I was also curious about it since I was hearing so many positive results for people in the same situation as me.
Like I said I was having trouble sleeping which was also causing me not to preform the best throughout my day because I was still tired. On top of that, I suffer from anxiety which also messes with my sleep and energy levels.
I’ve been using Calm By Wellness’s Sleep cbd oil and it is like a complete miracle!
The first night I used it I had no idea what I was doing. So I googled how to use it online and just went for it.
The great thing about Calm by Wellness is that the CBD oil doesn’t taste funky. The one that I use for Sleep is blueberry lavender and I can smell it before I even open the bottle.
Please, please for the love of the universe give this baby a shake before you squirt it under your tongue! If you don’t I promise you it will not taste like blueberry. 😅
My favorite part about using this product though is how I feel the next day.
I get right out of bed and I’m MOTIVATED to start my day. I make coffee before leaving my house and I never forget anything walking out the door. If I forget to take my CBD the next morning is a disaster. And I know I don’t need to go into details 😂
I finished The Testaments awhile ago…like weeks ago. It took me awhile to sit on what I wanted to say and I still really don’t know what I want to say so I am just going to go for it. What could go wrong?
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Publisher: Double Day Books
In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.
When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her–freedom, prison or death.
With The Testaments, the wait is over.
Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.
“Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” –Margaret Atwood
To me, The Testaments, was like a hurricane.
Out of nowhere we see this book being whispered about in the corners of the internet. Maybe..possibly..just a rumor.
Then suddenly, everyone is talking about it. I saw the Testaments on every single social media platform. It was hard to believe. The Handmaid’s Tale FINALY has a sequel.
Then…it arrived at my house. I tried to protect myself from the onslaught of early reviews and opinions so I can form my own.
Once I was done reading…the Testaments faded back and disappeared.
The Testaments is a great example of an overhyped book. I was so so so excited to get my hands on the sequel to the Handmaid’s Tale and I couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed.
Let me explain why.
We get 3 different perspectives and NONE of them are June
The entire “Baby Nicole” thing seems to have been born from the Netflix series and felt just weird to me
I couldn’t discern what was a product of the Netflix series and what was truly the natural progression from the Handmaid’s Tale book
Almost a month later and I am so confused.
But, if I remove everything I know about the Netflix series (which is hard) from my mind and think of the Testaments as its own unique story then I found I could enjoy it.
I did enjoy seeing Gilead 14 years after where we left off with the Handmaid’s Tale. It was weird seeing Agnes and Nicole all grown up – but I feel like they would have been older than Atwood said they were.
Like this girl needs a timeline.
Forget putting a map on the front page give me a god damn time line!
(sorry, collecting myself)
The Testaments on its own was a very good, entertaining read and I was very happy with the way Atwood connected the 3 different povs at the end of the book.
However, I am upset with the Testaments as a sequel. And because of that, I gave it 4 stars.
While my review is (mostly) spoiler free…the comments may not be! Talk to me fam! What did you think? What are you disappointed about? What did you absolutely love?