ARC Review: Pandora’s Jar

Hello, fellow readers!

It has been quite some time since I’ve posted. A combination of life, work, and an epic reading slump contributed to my lack of blogging, but I am determined to pick things up in 2022.

Today’s review is a witty look at women in Greek myths. Let’s get to it.

  • Title: Pandora’s Jar: Women in the Greek Myths
  • Author: Natalie Haynes
  • ISBN: 9781509873111
  • Genre: History, Adult Non-Fiction
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Pages: 320
  • Release Date: March 1, 2022

The tellers of Greek myths—historically men—have routinely sidelined the female characters. When they do take a larger role, women are often portrayed as monstrous, vengeful or just plain evil—like Pandora, the woman of eternal scorn and damnation whose curiosity is tasked with causing all the world’s suffering and wickedness when she opened that forbidden box. But, as Natalie Haynes reveals, in ancient Greek myths there was no box. It was a jar . . . which is far more likely to tip over.

I took a few ancient history classes in college, so I’ve read many of the stories referenced in this book. Though I love some of the characters and stories of Greek mythology, the translations are often so difficult for me to get through. Natalie Haynes, on the other hand, makes these stories approachable.

It was very interesting how the stories of these Greek women morphed depending on the writer and the time in which they written. For example, Pandora originally had a jar, but it eventually became the box with which we are familiar today.

No doubt, a lot of the topics touched on in Pandora’s Jar are difficult. As Haynes reminds readers often, it’s a mistake to apply our modern standards to these characters. Readers must be prepared to face stories of murder, kidnapping, and rape. The Greek gods and goddesses often misbehaved, as did the mortals. While this book is often entertaining, it can also be difficult to read.

I love Natalie Haynes! Her witty commentary, her writing style and her general love for all things Greek made Pandora’s Jar such an enjoyable read. Yes, there were some difficult topics, but Haynes handled them with an equal amount of respect and levity.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

ARC Review: Miller Avenue Murder

Hello, fellow readers! Hope you’re having a fabulous week. Today I’m bring you a thriller/murder mystery review.

Let’s get into it.

  • Title: Miller Avenue Murder
  • Author: Nenny May
  • Series: The Campbell Murder Series, Book 1
  • Genre: Crime Fiction
  • Publisher: Self Published
  • Pages: 282
  • Publication Date: September 15, 2021

Indie Author Nenny May though quite young writes psychological and legal thrillers, romantic suspense and mystery novels. Her books are nail-biting page-turners. Her titles include Missing, The Perfect Father, and Miller Avenue Murder that is due to release September 15th, 2021.

Nenny May is currently in the works of attaining a degree in Law. She lives with her parents and two siblings in a cozy home in a small sleepy town where she continues to weave her words for her audience.

Tillamook county, Northwest Oregon had been lulled, a slumber gradually trailing the brisk night when an unthinkable tragedy sends a tremor through the district. Blake Campbell an antique storekeeper had been found lacerated in a threadbare wedding dress in the heart of her late husband’s home on Miller Avenue.

And four women find themselves tied to the investigation.

Detective Rachel Olson believes it’s a wedding night gone wrong. Criminal law professor Claire Fisher thinks it’s the ex-wife. Psychologist Lisa Patterson is convinced it’s the disturbed son. And District Attorney Regan Sinclair has her money on the governor.

Four perspectives and a killer on the loose.

Nenny May brought a stunning whodunnit with a bit of romance, and kept me guessing until the final pages. I love when a book makes it difficult to guess the killer, and Miller Avenue Murder makes it near impossible. I never could have figured it out.

I did enjoy the multiple perspectives, though I found it a bit hard to follow at times. Rachel Olson was probably my favorite character to read.

The victim being found stabbed to death in a wedding dress added to the mystery of this story. Why would a woman who clearly had no reason to wear a gown be murdered in one? I like that Nenny May brought something unique in this story.

I just going to make a brief comment on the sexual content – I didn’t really feel that it brought much to the story, but I’m never really a fan of sex scenes. Some people may enjoy reading it, but it’s just not for me. The scene was well-written and descriptive.

I was impressed by Nenny May’s Miller Avenue Murder. It is a well-crafted mystery that will keep readers guessing until the end. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the Campbell Murder Series!

I received an advanced review copy of this book for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Review: How the Witch Stole Christmas

Greetings, fellow readers! I hope you’re having a great week. With the Hallmark Ornament Premiere and “Christmas in July” everywhere, I was feeling a little festive. So here’s a holiday cozy mystery from a fantastic author, Dakota Cassidy.

Let’s get into it.

  • Title: How the Witch Stole Christmas
  • Author: Dakota Cassidy
  • Series: Witchless in Seattle, Book 5
  • ISBN: 9781944003883
  • Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
  • Publisher: Book Boutiques
  • Publication Date: December 2016
  • Audiobook Narrator: Hollie Jackson

Ex-witch Stevie Cartwright is thrilled that the holiday season has arrived in Ebenezer Falls, Washington. She’s planning a holiday party for her parents, her familiar Belfry, and her ghostly spy pals. On top of it all, she’s planned the best holiday display guaranteed to knock the socks off the judges. But when Stevie returns home to find her lawn overrun with bikini-clad carolers, pink flamingos, a gigantic Easter Bunny, and a dead chef in her nativity scene, she soon realizes that someone has set out to ruin her Christmas.

I love this series! It’s laugh out loud funny at times, and the characters are all quirky in their own right. Stevie continues to grow in her ex-witch role.

The holiday twist on this story was definitely fun! I can imagine how flustered one would be after planning a Christmas display for months only to find that someone had changed everything. The girls in corsets throwing beads off the balcony were a particularly interesting touch lol.

I can’t say enough about how good Hollie Jackson’s narration is. Each voice is easily recognizable, but my absolute favorite is Belfry. That squeaky little bat voice brings me so much delight!

If you enjoy paranormal cozies with not so much romance, this might be a series you’ll enjoy. I’ll definitely be checking out the next book.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Corpse Reviver

Good Evening, fellow readers! I hope you’ve had a great week and are looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Up today is a new mystery that I finished while floating in the pool. I found a waterproof pouch for an iPad mini and it is perfect for my Kindle! I’ll link it here.

All right, let’s get into it.

  • Title: Corpse Reviver
  • Author: G R Jordan
  • Series: Contessa Munroe Mystery
  • Genre: Cozy Mystery/Women Sleuths
  • ISBN: ‎978-1914073182
  • Publisher: Carpetless Publishing
  • Pages: 230
  • Release Date: March 14, 2021

Contessa Catronia Munroe is taking a cruise in the aftermath of her husband’s untimely death. Accompanied by her niece, Tiff, a smart girl on the Autism Spectrum, Cat is looking forward to a getaway. But when the owner of the ship dies in a mysterious gun accident, Cat and Tiff are thrown into a deadly situation.

I enjoyed Cat and Tiff as a crime-solving team, though Tiff is the obvious Sherlock. But like the famous detective, Tiff needs Cat to balance her. They made a good team, but sometimes Cat lacks patience and understanding with her niece. She’ll need to work harder on that.

On the same note, Tiff’s autism was often treated with scorn, as though she just didn’t act correctly. I just thought the author could have done a better job of explaining Tiff’s abilities to the other characters and not have them brush her off as just “other”.

The mystery was very well written, and I had no idea who the killer would be. The author did a fabulous job of giving each character motive. It was hard to figure out who was an enemy and who was an ally. There was definitely enough action and intrigue to keep me interested!

I really look forward to reading more of Cat and Tiff’s adventures!

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Want to purchase a copy of Corpse Reviver? Follow the link below to purchase on and support Indie Booksellers!

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of and I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Book Review – The Skinny on the Jinni

Good morning, fellow readers! And a Happy 4th of July to all those celebrating today.

I have a fun new cozy to share with you – let’s get into it.

  • Title: The Skinny on the Jinni
  • Author: Gloria Lesher
  • Series: Paranormal Case Files
  • Genre: Paranormal Mystery/ Cozy Mystery
  • ISBN: 978-1736775318
  • Publisher: Heather Gardens Press
  • Publish Date: March 29, 2021
  • Pages: 230

Blythe Golightly is a retired professor with an interest in all things paranormal. When her friend, Poppy, reaches out because her granddaughter has been kidnapped by the girl’s Saudi Arabian father, Blythe jumps into action to get her back.

But after the girl is recovered, Blythe finds herself facing off against not only the girl’s father, but a Jinni he sent to control the girl. And when someone winds up dead, everyone will be a suspect.

I really enjoyed the premise of this book. This is the first paranormal cozy I’ve read with a Jinn. It was very unique.

This is also a classic whodunnit – everyone has a motive for murder. Blythe can’t even trust that she didn’t commit the murder. I enjoyed trying to figure out who actually did it.

I do wish that Gloria Lesher had included more background information on Jinn. Blythe is a paranormal researcher- it would have been nice to have had more of her research included in the story.

Overall, The Skinny on the Jinni is a unique and enjoyable cozy mystery. I will definitely check out the next book in the series, In a Black Monk Funk.

Want to purchase The Skinny on the Jinni? Follow the link below to find it on!

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of and I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Bookish Confessions: Sometimes I Don’t Want to Read

Hey there, fellow readers! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Sorry about that, but I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately. Either everything I’ve read has not been blog-worthy, or I simply didn’t feel like reading.

I’m a big fan of book challenges, but I’ve found that I often try to get involved in everything. I get overwhelmed with having to read certain things and I lose all the joy in reading.

Here’s a short list of the reading challenges I’ve gotten myself into this year:

  • #FoodandLit – read books from a certain country and make a recipe from that country
  • AuthorAMonth – read books by a certain author each month
  • BookSpin Bingo – make a list of books and read as many as you want each month
  • LittenListen – an audiobook readathon
  • Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge
  • Goodreads Challenge – 250 Books

And if those weren’t enough, I’m also involved in three book clubs, a pen pal club, and take on review books. And let’s not even get started on my Book of the Month backlog.

I must admit, it gets exhausting at times and I’ve found myself avoiding reading. I’ll sit my book beside me, but get lost in TikTok or playing on my Switch or (worst habit ever) shopping for more books. And I could listen to an audiobook while I browse, but I always forget my headphones or lose interest in the book very quickly.

So what do I do in these times? I often switch books or go back to an old favorite. And when those strategies don’t work, I’ll read a comic or manga. Something simple helps get me back on track.

I hope to have a new review up soon – if I can put my phone down and pick up the book currently being used as a pillow by my dog lol.

Happy Reading!!!

ARC Review: Black Jade (A Daiyu Wu Mystery)

Hello, fellow readers! I’m back with a cozy mystery review. Let’s get into it!

  • Title: Black Jade
  • Series: Daiyu Wu Mystery
  • Author: Gloria Oliver
  • Publisher: Dimension Palace Publishing
  • Publication Date: June 20, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781733951173
  • No. of Pages: 246

Daiyu Wu is a rarity in 1930s Texas: she’s Chinese and she’s blind. Though her parents have tried to shelter her from the worst of it, Dai is well aware of the fear surrounding the “Yellow Terror”. Many Chinese immigrants have left the area due to the prejudices against them.

But Dai doesn’t let her blindness or her heritage hold her back. She’s very curious about many things, and with the help of her friend and driver, Jacques, and her faithful pup Prince Razor, she sets out to solve the mystery of an arsenic-laced dress.

The use of an arsenic-laced ball gown as a murder weapon was a unique and interesting plot. I enjoyed trying to figure out how it was done, and what motive there could have been. Also, starting with the murder weapon, then having to find the body was a fun change to the cozy genre.

Though I enjoyed the story from Jacques’ perspective, I think it would be more interesting to have Dai as a narrator. Though she can’t use her eyes, she uses her other senses to her advantage. It would have been fun to be inside Dai’s head during her investigation.

The guilty party wasn’t hard to determine, though many of the characters had motive. I enjoyed the way that Gloria Oliver presented the clues through Dai and Jacques’ experiences.

Overall, I found Black Jade to be an enjoyable cozy mystery. I look forward to reading more in this series.

Black Jade will be available on June 20, 2021.

Thank you to Gloria Oliver for providing me an ARC of Black Jade. I received a copy of this book for free and am leaving this review voluntarily.

Author Q & A: Sedition

Hello fellow readers! I’ve got something special for you today. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to review Sedition by E. M. Wright. It’s a great story about identity, growth, and revolution.

I was so excited about the book that I had to reach out to E. M. Wright and ask a few questions about her work. I hope you enjoy this Q & A!

EM Wright is an author from Portland, OR. When she’s not writing, she can be found daydreaming, taking long walks with her husband, or working on a musical-in-progress with a friend. She writes books in the hopes of inflicting her imaginary friends on other people so she can eventually sleep in peace. Sedition is her first novel.

Q: What was your inspiration for Sedition?

Sedition came from a bunch of places all at once. I was obsessed with Sherlock Holmes. I’d recently discovered the steampunk aesthetic and was eagerly diving into that. I’d read Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan, Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron, and Richard Harland’s Worldshaker in quick succession. And one day this scene with two characters popped into my head, squabbling over a clockwork mask and the concept of a time machine. That scene was cut in a fairly early draft, but the characters became Taryn and Royal, and the story became Sedition.

Q: What draws you to the steampunk genre?

Steampunk is a combination of the romanticism of the past and the longing for technology that never was. I love the potential of working impossible technology into the Victorian aesthetic. But it’s also a punk genre, which means I get to push against the cultural norms of the world I’ve created and see what gives. Sedition does a little of both, I think. It has all these fun fantasy elements: the clockwork cyborgs, the airships. But it’s also fundamentally about unjust systems and finding the strength to resist.

Q: Did you do any research for Sedition? What resources did you use?

I read a lot of Victorian literature. Most of my research involved fact-checking though. When was this or that invented. What kind of material would they have used to make X. That kind of thing. The fun thing about steampunk is you can kind of fudge what happened when, since you’re playing with the technology, but I also wanted to make sure the technology that I didn’t invent was realistic and time-period accurate.

Q: Who was your favorite character to write about in Sedition?

I really enjoyed writing Ace! He’s such a complex character and I loved peeling back his layers to discover what made him tick and what his motivations were. But of course, I can’t answer this question without also mentioning my MC, Taryn. She’s so much the protagonist I needed when I was in high school, and I hope other girls can connect with her too.

Q: What was your favorite scene to write?

My favorite scene I wrote is a spoiler, so I’m not going to list it here! But besides that scene, I loved writing anything aboard the Dauntless. There’s something about a pirate ship in the sky that really ticks all the boxes for me.

Q: Are you currently working on anything?

When am I not? You can always find me working on half a dozen projects. I like to talk about them and share snippets on Twitter! You can find me @EMWrightWrites.

Thanks so much to E.M. Wright for giving me the opportunity to read her book and for taking time to answer some questions!

Sedition will be available Tuesday, May 18th.

Audiobook Review: The Grave Digger

Hello, fellow readers! Wishing you the happiest of Tuesdays!

Today I’m bringing you a middle grade ARC review of Rebecca Bischoff’s The Grave Digger. Let’s dig in!

  • Title: The Grave Digger
  • ISBN: 1948705524
  • Publisher: OrangeSky Audio
  • Publication Date: April 25, 2021
  • Narrator: Mark Sanderlin
  • Genre: Children’s Fiction

Rebecca Bischoff spins a tale of family and loss in The Grave digger. Young Cap Cooper is an inventor by day and a grave robber by night. His mother has many medical bills and bodies for dissection being a good price. Along with his father and other shady characters, Cap spends his night digging up those who won’t be missed – or at least the government won’t care. But his whole life changes when one of the corpses comes back to life at his touch.

I’ve always been fascinated by this period of grave robbing and the underground sale of bodies to medical schools. Bischoff did a good job with this subject. It was normally those with lower social standing and few or no relatives that made their way to the dissection tables of universities. Bischoff touches on this quite often throughout the book.

I also found the narration by Mark Sanderlin enjoyable. Sometimes narrators for children’s fiction can be a bit grating, but Sanderlin delivered an entertaining performance.

If you enjoy not-too-scary middle grade books, such as Small Spaces, you may enjoy The Grave Digger.

I received a copy of this audiobook for free via NetGalley and am leaving this review voluntarily

I hope you have a lovely week, fellow readers. Happy Reading!!

ARC Review: Sedition

Hello all! I’m so excited to bring you a new review post today! Thank you so much to E.M. Wright for providing me with an ARC of her debut novel, Sedition.

I’m trying out some new formatting and graphics on this post as well – I hope you enjoy the changes!!

All right, let’s get started.

  • Title: Sedition
  • Series: Children of Erikkson, Book 1
  • ISBN: 9781953539847
  • Publisher: The Parliament House
  • Publication Date: May 18, 2021
  • Genre: YA, Steampunk

In an alternative Victorian England, the upper class takes advantage of Biomatons, humans that have been given clockwork enhancements. Believing that the clockwork makes them less than human, biomatons are used as a labor force, and the dampers installed in their heads keep them completely obedient.

But Taryn Roft was not built for slavery – she was built for rebellion. She is Sedition, even if she can’t remember anything before her 12th birthday. Threats of exposure will bring Taryn to the brink of becoming who she was built to be.

I love a steampunk novel! Victorian England is one of my favorite historic periods to read about, and the steampunk twist just makes everything so much better.

E. M. Wright does a fantastic job painting a picture of Taryn’s world. Everything from the outfits to the people to the settings are all so beautifully described. I can even see the intricate clockwork in my mind.

Every issue Wright addresses in her writing is multi-layered. For instance, the biomatons we viewed as the lowest in society, but Emmett, a French immigrant, is not looked down upon much less. Classism, sexism, ableism, and even racism are prevalent themes in Taryn’s world.

Wright also spins a great mystery around Taryn’s creator, Lord Anthony Erikkson. It’s explained that she was built for rebellion, but Erikkson’s motives for creating his biomatons are unclear. What motivates Erikkson to build such unique biomatons? And what will he do with Sedition?

All in all, E. M. Wright has written a fantastic debut. Taryn is a dynamic character, the world building is wonderful, and the plot is addictive. I look forward to reading more from E. M. Wright.

Thank you so much to E. M. Wright for providing me a free copy of her book and the opportunity to review it. Sedition will be released May 18, 2021.

Here’s a bit of what to look forward to in the coming weeks:

  • I’ll have a Q & A with the author of Sedition, E. M. Wright
  • I’m brainstorming some new features – look forward to some new content coming soon!

Happy reading, friends!

Want to purchase Sedition? Click the link below!

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of and I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.