Tuesday, January 31, 2023

January Wrap Up

Haven't been keeping up? Here's a quick wrap up of the books I've read and reviewed this month, along with a couple games I've been playing too.

I started off the month by finishing A Court of Frost and Starlight. I haven't done an official review yet, but you can see what I thought of it on my Instagram feed here. It was a perfect solsticey Christmastime read, and I finished it on New Year's Day.  Snuggle up with a nice cup of tea, and a comfy blanket, it's a quick low stress read.

I finished A Delicate Betrayal and Lume right before the New Year but didn't get the reviews posted until right after. I thought both books were a worthwhile read.  Be sure to check out the reviews!

The Light Pirate was sent to me by Grand Central Publishing Company This one was a bit of a different read for me, but I also enjoyed it. It's a little bit of coming of age, mixed with a bit of environmental apocalypse. It's worth the hype!

My last review for this month is Well of Eida.  If you hurry over you can still grab the freebie! This book releases February 3rd.

I played and reviewed two cozy games for you this month. First was Unpacking, which was a fun easy little puzzle game. Just unpack the boxes and put the items away.  So relaxing! Second game was Potion Craft. This was so addictive, I really loved it.

New for February:

First, I've recently opened a new Etsy Store. I hope you'll check it out.  I'll be posting digital listings, and more.  My most recent listing is this cute desktop theme for Valentine's Day.  You can get it with or with out the calendar on the bottom. Click on the picture below to purchase. Also...the cutest Suriel here.

On my TBR this month is Emily Wilde's Encyclopedia of Faeries, Haunting Adeline, Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone, and The Cabinet of Dr. Leng. Games I'm checking out, and hope to review include Spirit Farer, and Little Witch in the Woods.

Lastly, if you don't want to miss February's wrap up be sure to join my Newsletter list, I don't send out emails often, I promise it won't clog up your inbox.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Game Review: Potion Craft Alchemist Simulator


New Cozy Game for this week.  Potion Craft.

Potion craft is an alchemist sim game, and when you say it like that it sounds really boring. There's a really nice relaxing rhythm to this game.  Check the garden, sell your potions, try to earn as much money as you can so you can buy and fix equipment..rinse repeat. 

I love that there's no action, or urgency. The music is relaxing as you sit and figure out the puzzle of how to make the potions the towns people require. The game starts out with a simple story of how you came to the town and an alchemist shop was currently vacant.  You move in and take over the business. There's a garden that provides some of the materials you will need once a day, and a book that helps direct you with tasks that you need to complete for each chapter.

The puzzle aspect was unique, in that you use the materials to navigate a map, while keeping your potion icon out of the skull areas so your potion doesn't fail. Initially the potions are simple and straight forward, but soon you will have to hunt around the map for the ingredient you need, each one getting further and further from your starting point and getting more and more challenging to reach. You can fill your book out with paper to save the potions you make, so you can go back to them with a click of a button instead of working the map again. 

Once you learn how to make potions, you can open your shop and sell to the townspeople.  They come in letting you know what ails them, and you have to figure out what kinds of potions they get. This is part of the puzzle, because if you place the wrong potion they won't want to buy it. Customer's get upset if you aren't able to provide the potion they need, or if you give them the wrong kind of potion too many times. When you turn away customers or make them upset it affects your reputation which affects the kinds of customers you get. 

As the game progresses, the puzzles you solve get more and more complicated.  You work on building your equipment in the basement to make even more complicated potions. The game feels endless, and after a number of hours I don't feel like I've come close to reaching the end.  It's pretty simple to figure out the game mechanics with little lengthy instructions to follow.   

Overall I've really enjoyed relaxing to this game. I think my favorite part about the game is the "Witcher" cameo. The cozy atmosphere, beautiful graphics, easy interface, and relaxing music make it an easy choice to relax to.

Difficulty level: Moderate

Publisher: Tinybuild

Release date: 12/13/2022

Genre: puzzle game/sim

Available on  Xbox, Playstation (spring 23), Switch (spring 23), PC (through Steam or Xbox).

Photo Credit: Potion Craft Press Kit

Friday, January 27, 2023

A Body Washes Ashore by Bradley Pay

A Body Washes Ashore is the heart-racing sequel to The Killings Begin and Death in a Dark Alley that you've been waiting for! Bradley Pay's signature blend of contemporary romance and psychological suspense will sweep you off your feet and into the thick of mortal danger.


Tracey's new group of friends seems perfect. For as long as he could remember he felt lik ean outsider, struggling to make connections, and living as an unknown serial killer certainly didn't help. Now he has discovered a circle of friends that begins to fill his need for close relationships. He's one step closer to living a "normal" life despite the cold-case investigators on his tail.

Remy Marin, one of Tracey's new friends, also bears scars on her damaged heart. She has vowed to only sleep with married men to protect herself from heartbreak. However, the stakes rise when she breaks her biggest rule and takes things too far. Now, she must deal with the consequences of her affair, whatever the cost.

My Thoughts:
A continuation of the Spectrum Series and a wonderful adventure. I love all the original characters.

Beginning with Jane’s dissertation proposal, I love the exploration of cheating and the potential of collateral damage as a theme throughout the book. Are the characters good or bad? Or are they just experiencing the collateral effects of the people and relationships around them?

As with the previous books, the settings are rich with the beauty and details of the various locations. The scents, flavors and scenery are visceral! Midway through my reading, I joined a friend for dinner who had just returned from a river cruise. As she described her travels, I realized that I was currently reading about the same route, and I longed to join the adventure.

And the ending!! I cannot wait for the next book in the series! The authors have done it again. I highly recommend this book!

Contirbuting Reviewer:

My name is Lissa I am a wife, mom aspiring author and new Florida transplant who loves all things books and coffee! Self proclaimed nerd who refuses to stop believing in Fairytales! If you want to follow along on my book review journey you can follow me on Instagram at @reviewsonwheels.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Well of Eida by KB Benson


Two years have passed since Ari was taken as a prisoner to the troll realm. Two years of blood staining her hands, killing as the troll king’s mercenary. In Eida, it’s kill or be killed, and Ari will do anything to survive.

But survival does not come easy in Eida, especially for a young woman with fire in her blood.

When Ari’s sold to one of Eida’s most notorious training masters, her survival comes with a price: unleash the monster she’s buried inside. A very real and very dangerous creature no opponent can defeat.

Ari expects to kill. She expects to survive. But she doesn’t expect her growing feelings for the man who has claimed her as his. Together, Ari and her master will cut down every opponent in the arena seeking to win a wish from their king.

Until a man from her past challenges her within those walls, and everything Ari has fought for crumbles. All for a man she once loved. But if she is to save her own life, she must take his.

After all, everyone dies in Eida.


What an emotional roller coaster you guys, I really enjoyed this book!!  There's betrayal, character growth, morally grey characters, plot twists, and surprises that really deepen this story.   The world building was gradual and brilliantly laid out. We learned more and more about this unique world as the story unfolded.

This book had me hating men at the beginning. Ari, our female lead, starts off so vulnerable, and she really comes into her own.  I initially really hated Graeden, and as soon as I started to like him he became a broody prick again.  I have to remember...he purchased her.  Gross. And then there was Tib, who was quite the opposite of Graeden.  KB Benson really didn't allow us to get attached to either man in the story, giving us reasons to doubt them both as the story went on.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, if you're looking for a fun fantasy read that keeps you guessing, then be sure to grab this book.

Well of Eida is scheduled to be released February 3, and will be available on Amazon.

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Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Sunday, January 15, 2023

The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton

A quick paced, apocolyptic coming of age story.


Florida is slipping away. As devastating weather patterns and rising sea levels wreak gradual havoc on the state’s infrastructure, a powerful hurricane approaches a small town on the southeastern coast. Kirby Lowe, an electrical line worker, his pregnant wife, Frida, and their two sons, Flip and Lucas, prepare for the worst. When the boys go missing just before the hurricane hits, Kirby heads out into the high winds in search of his children. Left alone, Frida goes into premature labor and gives birth to an unusual child, Wanda, whom she names after the catastrophic storm that ushers her into a society closer to collapse than ever before.

As Florida continues to unravel, Wanda grows. Moving from childhood to adulthood, adapting not only to the changing landscape, but also to the people who stayed behind in a place abandoned by civilization, Wanda loses family, gains community, and ultimately, seeks adventure, love, and purpose in a place remade by nature.

Told in four parts—power, water, light, and time—
The Light Pirate mirrors the rhythms of the elements and the sometimes quick, sometimes slow dissolution of the world as we know it. It is a meditation on the changes we would rather not see, the future we would rather not greet, and a call back to the beauty and violence of an untamable wilderness.


This book pulls you right in. I was so pulled into this book, in my first sitting I looked up and had suddenly read 80 pages. It is a high anxiety read, but not the kind you have to set down to breathe, but the kind where the pages keep turning.

The writing style was on point for me. We switched character point of views often, but each one was raw and real. I think that the story is told in present tense also adds to it's overall atmosphere.  As the story unfolded we heard their hopes, their regrets, and their sorrows as they happened.

Wanda's journey is dramatic coming of age story during a drastic period of climate change. Wanda was poorly named (after the hurricane that changed so many people's lives), sets the stage for her to be picked on.  She grows up watching her town constantly change, and slowly most of the people she knows leaves for higher ground as the sea rises.  It's a lovely, and terrifyingly dramatic story with a good balance of potential real science mixed in with enough bits of fantasy and imagination.

If you enjoy dystopian/apocolyptic stories, with a side of "this could be so real" and a bit of mystery I think you'd enjoy this book. 

Special thanks to Grand Central Publishing for the review copy!

The Light Pirate was published December 6, 2022 and is available on Amazon and Bookshop.

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Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Game Review: Unpacking

I'm sure it may come to no surprise, I don't spend all my time reading books. In 2023 I've decided to expand my reviews a bit to include video games. This is my first video game review, so hold on to your hats.  It's a relaxing cozy little game called  Unpacking by Witchbeam.


This is a puzzle game, and you follow the life of someone through context clues in what you're unpacking. Unpacking begins in their childhood 90's home, and we follow their life through each move, from college, to relationships, to break ups, and more. In each of these moves you have to upack the boxes and find a place for each item.  Items have a specific area they need to be placed...clothes in the closet, books on a shelf, etc. You also get a nice little relaxing ASMR affect as you put things away.


I love how Unpacking tells you a story with out using any words or text. You can tell with some sentimental items that you see packed over and over again. Their stuffed pig, the Eifle Tower..or even some posters that we keep seeing, but with a little wear each time we unpack it. The soccer ball that gets traded in for the weights and yoga mat, and the family pictures that were framed or put on the fridge. 

Gameplay and Graphcis:

The gameplay is easy. Just click on the box, an item pops out and you can place it.  Right click to turn it around. You can click on drawers, and cabinet doors to place items inside. You can also click to the neighoring room if the item doesn't belong in the room you're in.

The graphics are basic, nothing too elaborate. If you look closely at some of the books and videos you might see something that resembles familiar things. The music is calm and relaxing, and not too loud that you can still hear the statisfying sound of your items being put away.

Overall, Unpacking was a surprisingly enjoyable game. I finished the game in just a few hours, and felt it was clean enough to let me eight year old also play it. He didn't like it as much as I did though. Any one who is looking for a stress free, puzzle type, game to unwind with would enjoy this game.

Difficulty level: Easy

Release date: 11/2/2021

Genre: puzzle game

Available on  Xbox, Playstation, Switch, PC (through Steam).

Disclaimer: I purchased this game on my own, and gave it an honest review.  There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Lume by TM Ghent


The capital city of Lume is on the brink of chaos. A newly formed underground city begins a rebellion, threatening Lume's complacent king.

A Prince, content with a warm bed and a full glass, must choose between his family and his honor.

A Girl, buried beneath her past, must decide whether to risk everything she has for her dreams.

A Lawless, forged to be a leader among the rebels, must find a way to remain in control.

They never wanted to be heroes.

Ruled by old traditions, Lume is plagued with new technology it isn't ready for. In a world filled with betrayal, hard truths, and broken pasts, can Lume be saved or will it succumb to its eventual destruction?



Is this a fantasy book yes? Is this a sci-fi book? Also yes.

I love a good fantasy novel, and TM Ghent's debut novel did not dissapoint. The world building was done beautifully as she introduced us to her world, with it's unique economics, politics, and even different names for the seasons and the sun. Prince Rajveer hasn't had the easy life I think that most people assume he has.  They think he's a spoiled prince, except that while he may have money, his father is emotionally unavailable and abusive.  Theodora, our FMC is a strong independent lead but also has a vulnerability that she keeps locked away. Her ex-girlfriend, Danika, who is a satelle (think king's guard, or even a knight) was a brilliant way to show Theodora's growth. One of my favorite quotes from the book shows this growth.  Yesss, Theodora. 

There's also Maddox, which is a bit of a mystery, and love interest of Theodora's. They've known each other for most of their lives, and Theodora does her best to keep him and everyone else at a safe distance from her heart, but as they work together on a job for the prince she finds herself spending more time with him. 

This duology leaves us hanging a bit at the end so fair's a "to be continued" type of ending. Definitely looking forward to book two to see how this all plays out.

Lume is available for purchase at Amazon and Bookshop.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Monday, January 2, 2023

Delicate Betrayal by Jessaca Whillis

Viking Queen out to slay a dragon? Yes, please.


A marriage to save the kingdom. A betrayal to leave it in ruins.

When Aenwyn’s magic unleashes a reign of dragons upon the kingdoms, she agrees to marry King Everard to atone for the devastation she's caused.

Queendom proves to be as dissatisfying as their loveless marriage. Until the day that fate answers her pleas for adventure with a vision of flames and a chance at redemption.

When the ruggedly handsome knight, Ser Darius Graeme, sees Queen Aenwyn fleeing the castle, he is bound by his oath to the king to chase after her and bring her back unharmed.

But nothing will stop Aenwyn from slaying the dragon and claiming its heart—and perhaps the knight’s as well.


Viking Queen? Yes, please. This was a well paced, well laid out book with an original plot and storyline. Aenwyn's origins are difficult to empathize with, having seen her entire community die. Being the only survivor of her community, she lived alone for very long time, having been described as feral by those who found her. She was adopted by Baug the Bear, who was the leader of his clan.  She later enters into an arranged marriage partly due to her responsibility in accidentally hatching a dragon that has killed thousands of people. She seizes an opportunity to escape her controlling husand to go slay the dragon...and by chance, she is followed by and then aided by Ser Darius.

Aenwyn I felt was constantly trying to refind herself, and her strength in this story.  Her marriage to the king was contractual and loveless, and when they married the king bound her magic with a ring. For a year she submitted to him, wore the ring, and tried her best to be an obedient wife. She bubbled over with frustration, and on her journey with Ser Darius seemed to have found herself.  The love story between Aenwyn and Ser Darius has left me a bit confused. Other than being physically attracted to each other I'm struggling to see what else their connection is.  He seems pretty foolish at the beginning of the book, even if he is solidly a good guy. I felt the struggle of loyalties between him and the king, and the queen could have been done with more depth.  I hope that it's touched upon more in book two. 

There were lots of twists and turns, and plots that I didn't see coming. Overall I enjoyed the book and recommend for anyone in the mood for a forbidden romance with a Queen who finds her own badassery! 

A Delicate Betrayal is available on Amazon and Bookshop.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!