My Dewey’s TBR for October 2020!

It’s that time of the year again – Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon! I’m super excited for this one. I’ll be about a week quit of smoking then and reading all day will be a nice reward. This time I’m going for the goal of reading for 10 hours again. Yeah, I didn’t get it last time, but I wanna try again. I have to have sleep so 24 is out of the question. lol

So what am I going to read this year? That’s the question I’ve been pondering for a while now and I’m still not one hundred percent sure. I think I may just crack open Deathly Hallows to finish up my 2020 reread of HP. Though, I’ve been putting it off because well… You know. If you don’t just Google J.K. Rowling + transphobia. Yeah. I’m trying not to let her ruin it for me, but eh… We’ll see how it goes.

My other option is just to finish up whatever book I’m reading when it lands on that day, plus finish up my group read for the month since that’s our last discussion day, and then jump back into my reread of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series. Honestly, I’m just not sure. I’m usually a mood reader and while I’m going through nicotine withdrawal that’s truer than ever. So, my TBR is TBA. lol I am going to try for 10 hours of reading during the 8AM-8AM period, though.

Happy Reading!


My Favorite Reads of September 2020

I don’t normally do this sort of blog, but since I’m reading so much I figured I might as well share a few favorites. I’ve always held back, because I don’t read a lot in my genre. It’s just a thing about needing variety in my life. If I write and read it – where’s the spice? I do read gay romance and general LGBT romance, but they don’t always make my top books for any given month.

This month I read 13 books in total. (Squeezed one more in last night after all.)

I’ve challenge myself to pick my top 3 favorites only. I could probably ramble long blogs about half the books I’ve read this month, but I don’t want to bore you guys. So in no particular order here are my favorite reads of September 2020.

  1. Will My Cat Eat My Eye Balls? By Caitlin Doughty

This one was a work of non-fiction by a youtuber I stumbled upon. She’s a funny and goth mortician and she’s freaking adorable if way morbid! Well, okay, not morbid. She just talks about death and death related things in a way we can all understand. This book addressed and answered questions children asked her about death. It was freaking awesome.

2. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo


This was a YA coming of age almost romance about a high school senior named, Emoni. She faces not only the challenge of being a very young teenage mother in a racially divided place. She lives in what she self describes as the ghetto and attends a less than stellar school. She has a real gift for cooking and works her butt off to study abroad for two weeks in Spain. I adored this girl and her story. I listened to this one as an audiobook and the narrator did a wonderful job of bringing Emoni to life.

3. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

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I’m not gonna lie- when I first bought this book it was the beautiful cover that caught my attention. Then the blurb stole my morbid ghost loving little heart.

This book blends the past and the present in a beautiful way. The blurb tells it better than I ever could – because I can’t even… I loved this book.

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.


How Reading and Writing Entwine

Since my move earlier this month I’ve read less than in the previous months of this year. There’s been so much to do and it’s eating into my downtime. Sure, years before I’ve read a lot less. Though, I’ve definitely noticed a link between how much I read and how much I write. If I read more I write more.

I always describe this as the feeling I’ve poured all of my words out of my fingertips and onto the blank page. Reading is like going to the gas station and getting a refill. I like variety in my life – so I tend not to read a lot of romance. I just need something different in those two entwined but very different parts of my life. Still, I know if I’m having a hard time writing I need to do some heavy-duty reading. Like sit down and read half the day and repeat until I feel normal. I think it’s partially the downtime of things. I think the other part is that reading gives me my motivation back.

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I’ve never struggled for ideas. They’re everywhere in my life – my brain, my notebooks, my bulletin board, and sometimes on the back of napkins or in my phone notes. I’m never reading for ideas. I have those! lol

I believe reading a really good story reminds me of why I write in the first place. I grew up reading and the stories were at times my best friends and confidants. I grew up in a toxic and abusive environment. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but the one thing I brought away from it that’s 100% freaking awesome is my love for reading. I read to explore new ideas/places/worlds I’d never visit otherwise. I read to make sense of the world around me and to feel connected to something bigger than myself. I write for those same reasons. Sometimes, I just need to be reminded of that by a good story.

My average for 2020 so far is 15.22 books. I’ve read 12 books this month. I’m a quarter of the way through another and I might finish it today if everything lines up, but most likely not. I know it’s only 3 books less than normal, but now that I’ve reestablished that reading habit – I can feel the absence of those books.

No worries – next month I will more than make up for it with Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Happening. I’m already excited for that one and trying to figure out which approach I want to take to for this one. I really liked using the last one as a jumpstart for reading IT. Though, I don’t know if I’m ready to tackle another book of that size or if I’m in the mood for it. I still have plenty of time to decide, though.


7 Ways to Read More Books

#1. Stay inside and at home all the time because you’re terrified of catching the plague that is COVID19.

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Ha. Ha. All kidding aside, I have read more this year than I have in many years. That started before COVID19 was a national emergency here in the states. I decided to go for 100 books on the GoodReads Challenge this year. I hit it pretty early. I’m at 122 for the year now.

My new goal is 162 for the year. That’s a very exact number, Maggie! What’s going on with you? If I succeed at my goal it would mean I read double the books I did last year. That’s something to celebrate.

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So, how do I really read more? (Besides the obvious I’m happily single and childfree by choice and I work from home) I just do it. Not everyone wants to read 100s of books a year. Not everyone needs to either. If you’re looking to read more here are some things I’ve discovered over the last few years that have upped my reading numbers.

I won’t be discussing how to read ‘faster.’ I encourage everyone to read at the pace they enjoy. That means, I’ll be focusing mostly on the other factor- TIME. The one thing none of us ever seem to have enough of.

  1. Be honest about how much time you can invest in reading.
Shallow Focus of Clear Hourglass

Seriously, don’t plan to attempt 500 books if you’re juggling chainsaws. Metaphors aside, if you know you have a busy work and home life, you’re going to want to set a realistic goal for yourself. Audit your free time. Do you spend two hours a day scrolling through social media? Nix that and read. Even if it’s broken up in 5-10 minute increments you can get a lot read in two hours.

2. Audit your free time.

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I touched on this briefly above, but if you want to read more that time has to come from somewhere.

3. Prioritize reading.

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No, don’t starve your kids or skip your dog’s walk. That’s not what I’m talking about. Cancel your streaming and cable for a month and see how much more you read. Give up gaming for a month if that’s your thing. Ideally, we’d all have time to do all the things we love, but time is limited. You only have so many hours left earth and so many hours in a day.

4. Join a book club!

Pile of Hardbound Books With White and Pink Floral Ceramic Teacup and Saucer

Talking about the books I read has led to me reading more books! Not just from recommendations, though I’m gotten some great ones this year. But more reading overall. Discussing the books I read makes it feel as if it’s part of my introverted social life.

I’d recommend checking out Reddit’s r/52book and r/bookclub. I participate almost every month in r/bookclub. In September, I’m participating in both choices – Madeline Miller’s Song of Achilles and the older Age of Innocence. Come over and join us! We have some great discussions there.

5. Audiobooks!

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Don’t groan at me! I know that look! Up until last year I hated audiobooks. It wasn’t ‘reading!’ How was I supposed to pay attention to the story? Well, there’s a couple options here.

I listen to audiobooks while I clean the house, workout, play Stardew Valley, design my book covers, and while I craft. Depending on the length of the audiobook this can add 4 books to my total every month.

Can’t get into fiction audiobooks? I have friend with that problem. She listens to memoirs and other non-fiction audiobooks that perk her interests. Got a long commute? Turn off the radio. The news is depressing anyway! Listen to an audiobook! Scribd is my current go to.

6. In a reading rut?

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Reread an old favorite!

7. Don’t make yourself read books you don’t like!

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Quarantineathon Readathon Week 3 Wrap-Up

This has been a slow reading week for me. I’ve been so busy working on Sky’s book (It’s almost ready for the editor! Finally!) I’ve only finished two books this week. Which I know is still good reading, but it’s been slow for me.

This week’s prompt for the readathon was to read a book about an essential employee. I was suggested a book by a friend. It was a memoir of a medical examiner. I was weary of reading it because I can be squirmy with blood and guts in a medical setting.


This book did make me feel squirmy with all the talk of heart disease. Yep, it was that part that got to me. Not the horrible accidents or anything like that.

I found the writer’s voice enjoyable. She has a beautiful way of explaining graphic details in a way that’s both understandable in plain English and also sometimes entertaining. She talked about stuff tough she saw during her time as a NYC medical examiner and used humor at times to make it easier to swallow.

The most difficult part for me to read was the chapters where she discussed working as part of a team to identify bodies of victims of the 9/11 attacks. As someone who was a child during that time it was difficult to know more.

She handled other tough causes about hit and runs and helped the police solve murderers and bring several criminals to justice. She’s kick ass in my humble opinion.

This week the prompt is to read a book about something you miss the most about the before covid19 normal world. I miss my shows. I miss new episodes of Call the Midwife. So I’m reading Jennifer Worth’s Shadow of the Workhouse this week. I’m looking forward to it. It’s the third book I’ve read from her of the books which inspired the show.

Stay safe and healthy out there. I’m still enforcing my own rules with myself to stay home and keep any trips out as no contact as possible. Curbside grocery pick ups and saying no to all gatherings. This won’t last forever, but I’m staying put for now.


My Quarantineathon Readathon Week 1 Wrap Up.

Howdy again! Welcome back to my little neck of the woods full of books. Literally full of books. If this is your first time dropping by I’m an indie author (Check out the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga on Amazon.) and a book worm.

I’ve chosen for many reasons to remain in self-isolation through the month of May. This means I still have plenty of time to read. I mean, I always make time for it, but reading is the perfect distraction for when I’m not writing.

Last month I participated in the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon and this month I’m participating in #Quarantineathon. It’s a lot shorter than the O.W.L.s, which I really appreciate. One book a week. That’s it. Good thing for me too, because for the first week I choose an almost 600 page book. I started it on the 5th and just finished it about an hour ago. I thought I might not get through it tonight and almost regretted reading a shorter unrelated book earlier in the week.

The prompt for the readathon this week is to read a book about humanity’s hard times to remind us that we will get through this.


I read a lot of WWII fiction and non-fiction when I’m in the mood. This whole book is just haunting. It’s beautifully written but that adds to just how haunting it is. The story follows the fictionalized lives of children in a Nazi hospital and some of the staff too. So many parts of this book broke my heart.

Part of me wishes I would’ve chosen a shorter book or a book about a different hardship, because this was a difficult read for me: in length, subject matter, and the translated language. It was worth it, though. I won’t be forgetting the images from this book any time soon.

I’ll be back to talk about the readathon next weekend. The prompt for this coming week is to read a book about someone who would be high risk for COVID19 and to stay home for them.

I love these prompts. I was searching out May readathons to participate in and found this one on a new Youtube channel. Well, new to me. Getting Hygge With It is freaking fantastic. I’ve watched so many of her videos this week. If you’re into the BookTube Community of Youtube you should definitely check her out.

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My O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon TBR

It’s almost April and you know what that means! It’s time for my second attempt at the O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon. Last year my O.W.L.’s were flawless. My N.E.W.T.s not so much. So, this year I won’t be going after writer/journalist again. I”m going the healer career path. While also going for the add-ons of Animagus Training and Legal Defense of Fantastic Beasts.

That’s 8 books which is more than doable with my reading record this year. (32/100 books so far as of 3/21/20.)

To accomplish my career and side courses I’ll need to accomplish the following.

Herbology: Mimbulus Mimbletonia: A title starting with M

See the source imageThis book is a reread for me, but it was the first book that came to mind when I read the prompt. It’s a really good series that I hope eventaully to reread in its entirety just not next month. lol

Charms: Lumios Maxima: A book with a white cover.

One thing that helps me in readathons is to leave some of the books up to what I feel at the time. This is one of those. Just glancing at myself I can see 6 books that have white covers. I have plenty to choose from and will when the time comes.

Defense Against the Dark Arts: Grindylows: A book set at sea or the coast.

See the source imageThis is another reread for me, but I haven’t read it since I was a teenager. I know Nicholas Sparks if famous for breaking hearts, but I really love some of his books.

Potions: Shrink Solution: A book with less than 150 pages

See the source imageI swear not every book for the readathon is a reread! There are some I haven’t read yet! BUT of course this is another reread. My copy of the Christmas Carol has about  125 pages. It’s an easy read I can finish in a setting and assure I get my potions O.W.L.

Transfiguration: Animagus Lecture: A book/series with shifters.

See the source imageThis is another reread from a favorite series. It’s not my favorite in the series that is Micah, but Micah was one of the books left with a friend after I moved. We were planning to ship everything soon, but… COVID19. My stuff can live where it is for now.

Arithamancy: Magical Qualities/Balance/Opposites.

Paris with You (Camden Cove #4)I read all over the place, but one genre I don’t read a lot of is sweet adult romance. I’ve read the other books in this series slowly over months, because they’re a nice change of pace but not my favorite by far.

Care of Magical Creatures: Hippogriffs: A creature with a beak on the cover.

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I’ve heard really good things about this one and it’s set on my shelf long enough. Time to finally crack it open. lol

History of Magic: Witch Hunts: A Series with a witch or wizard.

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Those of you who know me know this one is going to be an HP book. I’m doing a reread through the series this year as I’m in the mood for it. I don’t think I’ll start the next one (Order of the Phoenix) before next month so I can save it for this prompt.

That’s my TBR for next month. If I finish early (Which I might. I’m averaging 10 or 11 books a month this year I might try to add in some of the other prompts too just for the extra O.W.L.s

Are you participating in O.W.L.s Magical Readathon next month?


Ringing in a New Decade (Writing, Read, 7 More)

2019 has NOT been the best year of my adult life. Looking back, I think it might win the title for the most hectic and dramatic, though. I’m looking forward to a new decade and a new perspective on life.

This year hasn’t been all bad. I practice rapid publishing – meaning I’m constantly writing, editing, publishing, rinse and repeat. It’s my full time job. This also means I published 8 books this year. I hope to match or beat the number next year. I don’t have as many distractions now. I’m currently working on a standalone novel that will be my first book of the year.

As far as reading goes it’s 12/29/19 and I’ve read 78 books this year. That’s 3 over my goal of reading 75, but I feel like I haven’t read as much as I’d like to this year. So, in 2020, I’m putting reading back on the front burner now that I live alone.

My aim is to read 100 books next year, but more than that I’m going to make an honest effort to read every day. I know, it’s unlikely that I’ll make it reading 366 days in a row. (Yep. 2020 is a leap year.) Real life happens. But that is my reading goal for this year. I’m going to be nice to myself and count audiobooks too – as long as I listen for at least 30 minutes a day. It’s not the same as burying my nose in a book, but I do think it’ll make me more likely to stick to the goal.

I likely won’t compile a huge list of what I read. I won’t track reading time or anything like that. That (for me) takes the joy out of reading. The point of reading every day for a year is to ensure I slow down and remember to enjoy myself in between hectic moments of adulting.

What’s your reading goal for 2020?