blogmas

Blogmas Day 10 – Books I gifted in the past 🎁📚

Hello lovelies!

My love language is book giving and I thought it would be interesting to make a list of the books I have already gifted in the past and why. My thought process when I give books is essentially seeing first what type of reader the receiver is, that means: if they regularly read books or if they’re more of an occasional reader and then I try to figure out the person’s reading tastes from what they’ve told me. To be honest, I mostly give people books I have read and enjoyed because it’s safer but other times I just trust other people’s reviews or if the synopsis catches my eye.

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blogmas · To Be Read (TBR)

Blogmas Day 7- 📚 5 Books on top of my TBR for 2022

Hello lovelies! 🥰

This is going up a day late, because my scatterbrained self forgot to click on “schedule” for yesterday’s post and I put it in my draft instead!

I love lists of books and going back to posts to see my own growth, and I’m hoping to do a “what are my thoughts” wrap-up on the books featured here and if they lived up to my expectations.

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blogmas

Blogmas Day 4 – 5 cozy books perfect for Winter 📚🎄☃️

Hello lovelies!

With this post I’m hoping to convey all the warm, cozy and fluffly atmosphere that I can. Here’s a list of books that make you want to curl up under a blanket on your couch, in front of a crackling fireplace or a window, listening to the rain with cup of hot cocoa. Are you there with me?

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blogmas · To Be Read (TBR)

Blogmas Day 2- 5 Christmas books on my TBR 📚🎄

Hello lovelies!

Welcome to day 2 of Blogmas! I love reading “season-related books”, ie: spooky books for Halloween, Black stories during black History Month, and Christmas related books during Christmas time! Last year I only read Faking Under The Misteloe which I loved and I’m hoping to find new favourites too! WIthout further ado, here are 5 Christmas books on my TBR!

The Misteloe Motive by Chloe Liese

Synopsis: He loathes the holidays. She loves them. She’s full of festive cheer. He’s brimming with Bah, Humbugs. Besides unreasonably seasonable names, the only thing Jonathan Frost and Gabriella Di Natale have in common is a healthy dose of mutual contempt. Well, that and the same place of employment at the city’s most beloved independent bookstore, Bailey’s Bookshop. But when the store’s owners confess its dire financial state, Jonathan and Gabby discover another unfortunate commonality: the imminent threat of unemployment. With the Baileys’ requests to minimize expenses, win new customers, and make record sales dancing in their heads, Jonathan and Gabby conclude—barring a financial Christmas miracle—one of them will soon be cut from the payroll. Neither are willing to step down from their position, so they strike a bargain: whoever has more sales in December gets to stay on in the new year; the loser will resign. With a lifetime’s worth of festive tricks up her sleeve, Gabby should easily outsell her nemesis, except the unreadable Mr. Frost’s every move seems purely designed to throw her off her game. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Gabby’s deceptive ex won’t quit pursuing her, and her anonymous online friend suggests they take a break. Worst of all, as the pressure mounts to save the bookshop and her job, Gabby meets a new, tender side of Jonathan. Is this the same man she’s called her cold-hearted enemy? Maybe he’s got a motive she just can’t figure out—or maybe Jonathan Frost isn’t as chilly as she once thought. Maybe Jonathan and Gabby already know—and love—each other in ways they never thought possible. This is an #OwnVoices story for its portrayal of autism by an autistic author.

Why I want to read it: Chloe Liese is one of my favourite romance authors and the synopsis and representation are made for me!

Continue reading “Blogmas Day 2- 5 Christmas books on my TBR 📚🎄”
blogmas

Blogmas Day 1 – October and November Wrap-Up + Rankings/ Book Awards 🏆🎄

Happy December lovelies!

Can you believe we’re going to be in the new year in just a month?? 2021 was a blur. It isn’t over but I can confidently say 2021 has been my best reading ever in terms of number and favourites. I have discovered so many new authors, tropes, genres and i have finally figured out what my reading tastes are. Since I took a hiatus, I thought that a fun way of doing this Wrap-Up would be to do A “Monthly Awards” inspired by Books With Wings with my favourite characters, plots, etc! You can see her amazing posts where she explains the concept here!

  • Best character: Pippa “Pip” Fitz-Amobi from A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. Pip is a rock star. I love her to bits; I love how unapologetically herself she is; how she is proud of who she is and uses it to her advantage. She’s determined, obsessive, witty and methodical and I really enjoyed reading the book through her eyes.
Continue reading “Blogmas Day 1 – October and November Wrap-Up + Rankings/ Book Awards 🏆🎄”
Life Update

Life Update – Unexpected hiatus and Blogmas announcement!

Hello lovelies!

Long time no see. I don’t really know how it happened, but I took an unexpected hiatus which is a shame since I read a lot of books that I genuinely adored and wanted to share. I read more books than I ever have, but November is always synonymous with seasonal depression for me and I also had a test that I have been preparing for, for years and I couldn’t bring myself to write a single word because I was so stressed or unmotivated. I guess that explains why I took left, but I still enjoyed reading so many amazing posts by the bookish community. I am happy to see that November is ending because all of these things are now over and I can finally breathe. I really missed posting and since I had such a good time doing it last year, I will be participating in Blogmas from December 1 to December 24 !

Continue reading “Life Update – Unexpected hiatus and Blogmas announcement!”
blogmas

Blogmas Day #24 – Merry Christmas Eve and happy holidays!

Hello lovelies!

I simply wanted to wish you all a merry Christmas (Eve) and happy holidays!! I know it’s hard to feel festive this year and so many people have lost loved ones and are in a difficult situation so my heart goes out to you.

It has been a true joy to come here everyday for blogmas and share my posts with all of you. You have made my December better and I thank you all for your kind words and your support throughout the month.

Christmas is not always a happy time for my family and I but this year we’re all just very happy to be safe and together. I send all my love to you. Be safe, eat well and get some well-deserved rest.

I will see you soon!

Book Mail · Book Review

Blogmas Day #23 – Faking Under the Mistletoe by Ashley Shepherd – Book review. Aka the best Christmas book ever!

Hello lovelies!

Welcome to day 23 of blogmas! I’m going to talk about the latest book I gave 5 stars to: Faking Under the Mistletoe by Sara Shepherd!

Title: Faking Under the Mistletoe

Author: Ashley Shepherd

Synopsis: Olivia Langley is the human embodiment of Christmas cheer, and she has absolutely no problem spreading it around for all to hear.Christmas sweaters? She has twenty. Christmas cookies? She’ll take three dozen. Christmas movies? Yeah, she’s seen them all. So it’s no surprise when she’s put in charge of Loveridge & McGowan’s holiday festivities. Secret Santas? Yep. Ice skating? Of course. Holiday trivia? Duh. Christmas-themed bar crawl? That’s one big jingle bell hell yes. Kissing her boss at a Christmas tree lighting in front of his ex-girlfriend? Well… it is the season of giving. And Olivia does not come with a gift receipt. No exchanges. No returns. No refunds. All sales are final. In an effort to ungrinch the grinchiest man she’s ever met, Olivia enlists herself, Santa’s Executive Helper, to scheme up a plan that includes sleigh rides, snow days, and one too many mistletoe kisses, which certainly gets Asher’s tinsel in a tangle. She’s pretty sure that she sleighed this whole fake dating thing. Well… until she realizes there’s nothing fake about her feelings for Asher, and suddenly tangled tinsel, unsolicited Christmas trees, and celebrity heartthrobs are the least of her worries. (Goodreads).


5 stars: Persephone – Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring. Persephone is my favourite goddess because she is full of contradictions – she represents both strength as queen of the underworld and a softness as a floral maiden. She teaches me how it’s okay to be both. If Persephone appears, that means that the book was one of the best books I’ve ever read, that it holds a particular place in my heart and that it is now part of my favourite books ever.

Iris– Goddess of rainbows. Nothing new here, we all know that rainbows represent the LGBTQ+ community so this Goddess will be featured whenever a queer relationship or character appears. Here: secondary characters (married lesbians with a child, gay grandmother?)

Medusa – Gorgon. She is mostly known for being a monster, but before she was a monster, she was a beautiful mortal woman with beautiful hair who has been sexually assaulted by Poseidon in a temple dedicated to Athena. As a punishment she was transformed into a monster. This goddess will be featured whenever sexual assault is mentioned in a book. It will also be a trigger warning. CW: mentions of sexual assault.


This book was the best Christmas book ever. It’s the Love Actually of Christmas books. I read it in a day and almost pulled an all-nighter for it (I still went to sleep at 4am). I couldn’t put it down. I nearly turned down watching a Christmas movie to keep on reading (I still watched the Princess Switch and it was cute).

There are so many things that I loved about the book.

The writing style was superb. I mean there were cute and funny pop culture references, the banter was incredibly witty and the characters are all fleshed-out and endearing. What more could this girl need? There were so many moments in the plot that could have been caricatural and cliché especially since the main character, Olivia thinks she’s in a Hallmark movie, but it went way beyond that. Usually, in the fake dating trope, when the couple tries to make an ex jealous, the ex is usually caricatural and two-dimensional. Here, the author chose another route and actually decided to show women supporting each other, being kind and have a healthy relationship with one another. It felt like a breath of fresh air. The women stood together and helped each other, especially when there was a situation of sexual assault and I nearly cried. The whole talk about men taking advantage of women, treating them like sexual objects was so refreshing and I wanted to hug the characters and clap. This book was so much deeper and more profound than I thought it would be and it nearly brought me to tears because of some things that were said and done.

The chemistry between Asher and Olivia is incredible. The banter, the banter, the banter!! It was amazing. It showed how much the love interests were in sync and it was delectable. This book confirmed that I love the fake dating trope – that moment when the characters realize that this is not pretend and that they’re falling in love for real? Yes, yes yes.

Olivia was a true delight; I would kill to have a friend like her. Her confidence is so inspiring and I wish I were like her. She has a lot of things going against her and she faces so many bad things but she lets herself feel them. She’s still a positive person and tries to see what’s beneath appearances. She gave me so much hope.

Asher was really unique. He made me laugh so much. He is brave, demanding and weird but he knows what he wants and he is so loving and attentive. I loved reading about all the small gestures he did quietly and secretly. It made my heart stop.

The other characters were all relevent and I grew attached to them all.

I loved the first person narrative oh so much.The writing style is very fluid and makes the story easy to follow. I think that’s why I couldn’t put it down because everything was coherent and moved perfectly. The dialogue was fantastic and all of the characters had their own distinguishable voice and it gave the story authenticity. I almost wish I hadn’t read it so fast because it was so good and I don’t know what I should do with my life now. This book is perfect if you’re looking for a funny, cute and deep Christmas story!

Have you read this? What are some of your favourite Christmas movies/ Tv shows?

Let me know in the comments!

Karla xx

blogmas

Blogmas Day #22 – My Bookish Christmas list

Hello lovelies!

I hope you’re all well and that you manage to feel festive and merry in these very weird times. Since Christmas is three days away, I thought I would share my bookish Christmas list and give a shoutout to some shops on Etsy. Enjoy!

Booksleeves

I have wanted to buy a booksleeve for the longest time. The problem was finding a good and pretty one with decent shipping fees to France. Luckily I found some beautiful booksleves that ship to France.

The ones that I personally want are from THEBookSleeve on Etsy. Two designs caught my eye:

The Van Gogh one because he’s one of my favourite painters (yes, I’m basic) and it’s inspired by a Doctor Who episode with Van Gogh which is one of my all-time favourites.

I also like the Flamengo one because pink is one of my favourite colours and I think if I were in a reading slump, seeing this bright booksleeve would probably make me want to pick up the book more.

Bookmarks

I’m calling myself out on this but I actually dog-ear my books…yes, I’m a heathen and I’m so sorry. But I’m trying to do better and so I asked for bookmarks this year. I discovered the beautiful Etsy shop that is Museumcurio on Instagram and even asked for a custom bookmark. Sarah makes the most beautiful resin bookmarks (and other bookish stuff) such as this one inspired by Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor.

Books, duh

I obviously asked for books this Christmas and some books that I asked for are the following:

I hope my sister reads my blog and sees the multiple hints I’m not so subty throwing at her.

Bookish candles

I love love love candles and some great shops that I previously ordered on closed this year so I have been looking for new shops.

The first candle is from ruthlessheroines and the second one is from CozyCharmingCandles! Sadly these also have very high shipping fees to France but I can’t find French bookish candles boutiques on Etsy with a large selection. My favourite scents are cinnamon, pine, vanilla, citrus and wind (if that makes sense). Still looking for my perfect candle.

Bookish stickers

I usually buy my stickers on RedBubble inspired by my favourite characters. I want to start a reading journal in 2021 so these stickers might come in handy!

(You can click on each picture to be directed to the link of the shop.)

What have you asked for this Christmas? I’m curious! Let me know in the comments!

Karla xx

blogmas · Book Tag

Blogmas Day #18 – Book beginnings weekly meme

Welcome to day 18 of blogmas lovelies!

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Gilion @Rose City Reader. The idea is to share the beginning of a book.

You pick up a book and read the first few sentences. Will it hook you straight away? Does it have significant meaning that will be revealed later? Good. Book. Beginnings. Are. Crucial.


Title: An Extraordinary Union

Author: Alyssa Cole

As the Civil War rages between the states, a courageous pair of spies plunge fearlessly into a maelstrom of ignorance, deceit, and danger, combining their unique skills to alter the course of history and break the chains of the past . . .

Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom in Massachusetts, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South—to spy for the Union Army.

Malcolm McCall is a detective for Pinkerton’s Secret Service. Subterfuge is his calling, but he’s facing his deadliest mission yet—risking his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia.

Two undercover agents who share a common cause—and an undeniable attraction—Malcolm and Elle join forces when they discover a plot that could turn the tide of the war in the Confederacy’s favor. Caught in a tightening web of wartime intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, Malcolm and Elle must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost—even if it means losing each other . . . (Goodreads)

Prologue

April 1861

Baltimore, Maryland

“It will be an easy assignment, a simple passing on of information. One that even a girl such as yourself should be able to handle.” Elle suppressed a bitter laugh as she recalled her Loyal League master LaValle’s briefing from a few days before.

Easy?

Either her superior had dreadfully underestimated the Southern male’s love of an opportunity to do violence, or he’d purposely set her in the middle of danger.

I have to begin this post by saying that this was one of my favorite books of the year. I think I will do a reread soon because I can’t get this out of my head; and that is telling because I usually don’t reread books.

I knew when I read these lines “Either her superior had dreadfully underestimated the Southern male’s love of an opportunity to do violence, or he’d purposely set her in the middle of danger.” that this book would ruin me. I think the plot is incredibly unique and I love seeing Black main characters in historical fiction. The characters are spies so the anticipation and adrenaline kept me on the edge of my seat every page. I liked the whole forbidden love trope and the complicated aspects of the interracial relationship especially during the civil War. The book is full of wit and sarcasm and I love Elle more than anything. She’s an amazing female character. This book tackles so many stereotypes from both sides and treats them brilliantly.

I initially gave this book 3 stars because it was more triggering than I thought in terms of racism and slavery but I decided to give it five stars a few months later because I couldn’t get it out of my head. Also now that I know what happens, I don’t think I will be as stressed as I was when I first read it. Anyway these first lines are crucial in terms of plot and you can see just how good and subversive the author’s writing style is. I highly recommend this book!