Review: Kingdom of Souls



Arrah is a young woman from a long line of the most powerful witch doctors in the land. But she fails at magic, fails to call upon the ancestors and can’t even cast the simplest curse.

Shame and disappointment dog her.

When strange premonitions befall her family and children in the kingdom begin to disappear, Arrah undergoes the dangerous and scorned process of selling years of her life for magic. This borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal and a danger beyond what she could have imagined. Now Arrah must find a way to master magic, or at least buy it, in order to save herself and everything she holds dear.”


Strong female characters, complex villain, considered and developed love interest, incredible world building

Blogtober Day 6: Spooky Middle Grade

“After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.”

Small Spaces is Arden’s middle grade debut.

Pretty much read this one in one sitting. Forgot that I was supposed to be reading it with the family. I found the story engrossing and definitely look forward to reading the second book “Dead Voices” with my little tribe.

Now Available!

Blogtober Day 5: Disney Villains

Most of us grew up on Disney movies. For as much as we rooted for the little guy to have his day or the princess to be rescued by her knight in shining armor, some part of us was cheering the antics of the villain. Let’s be honest here, they create the drama. Bad guys keep things exciting. So here goes my list of the 5 top Disney villains:

#5 – Scar from The Lion King

This deposed brother just couldn’t let bygones be bygones. His seething jealousy leads him to murder, deceit and betrayal.

#4 – Dr. Facilier the “Shadow Man” from The Princess and the Frog

This “Doc” is not above using voodoo to gain power and riches. When it comes to getting what he wants, he doesn’t care whose life or soul is at stake.

#3 – Ursula from The Little Mermaid

In order to gain dominion over Atlantis she tricks Princess Ariel into trading her voice for human legs.

#2 – Cruella DeVil from 101 Dalmations

Notorious heiress who kidnaps and skins puppies in order to fashion her fur coats.

#1 – Malificient

With hardened heart, this vengeful fairy seeks retribution from an entire kingdom.

Blogtober Day 3: Bookish Autumn Bucket List

1. Read a book with Autumn leaves on the cover.

2. In honor of Latinx heritage read a book by a Latinx author.

3. Read a book off of the “Super Rooster” list.

Every year The Morning News hosts the Tournament of Books between a few of the most inventive and thought provoking literary works from that year. Just think of it as March Madness for books with the winner taking home the coveted “Rooster” award.

This year there will be enough previous winners to hold a “Super Rooster” tournament where the “Best of the Best” face off in a bookish battle royale.

4. The Man Booker award will be presented this month. Read a book off of the shortlist.

5. Visit an independent book store.

6. Cuddle up with your boo while watching a book adaptation.

7. To celebrate Halloween read a book that features either witches, demons, vampires or ghosts.

8. Listen to an audiobook from Amazon Original Stories Disorder collection.

About the Collection

“Something disturbing is going on here. From small-town witch hunts to mass incarceration to exploitations of the flesh, this chilling collection of twisted short stories imagines the horrors of a modern world not unlike our own. What have we done?”

Blogtober Day 2: Anticipated October Reads

October is all about the girls. Our courage, our tenacity, our strength and our loyalty are celebrated in these three Fierce Fictions.

Release date: October 1st

“Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this stunning fantasy adventure from debut author Charlotte Nicole Davis. Aster, the protector. Violet, the favorite. Tansy, the medic. Mallow, the fighter. Clementine, the catalyst. THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS

The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls—they know their luck is anything but.

Sold to a “welcome house” as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen. When Clementine accidentally kills a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things.

Pursued by Arketta’s most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe. It’s going to take more than luck for them all to survive.”

Release date: October 15th

“Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther-inspired Nigeria.

The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky.
In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life.

Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together.
And they’re willing to fight an entire war to get there.”

Release Date: October 29th

“Ordinary Girls is a fierce, beautiful, and unflinching memoir from a wildly talented debut author. While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Jaquira Díaz found herself caught between extremes: as her family split apart and her mother battled schizophrenia, she was surrounded by the love of her friends; as she longed for a family and home, she found instead a life upended by violence.

From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, every page of Ordinary Girls vibrates with music and lyricism. Díaz triumphantly maps a way out of despair toward love and hope to become her version of the girl she always wanted to be.”

Blogtober Spooky TBR

A book that sure to elicit spine tingling chills.

Goodreads blurb: “From the New York Times bestselling author of The Other Girl and Justice for Sara comes a thrilling psychological drama about a woman who believes she escaped a brutal murder years ago—but does anyone else believe her?

Sienna Scott grew up in the dark shadow of her mother’s paranoid delusions. Now, she’s returned home to confront her past and the unsolved murder that altered the course of her life.

In her mother’s shuttered house, an old fear that has haunted Sienna for years rears its ugly head —that it was she who had been the killer’s target that night. And now, with it, a new fear—that the killer not only intended to remedy his past mistake—he’s already begun. But are these fears any different from the ones that torment her mother?

As the walls close in, the line between truth and lie, reality and delusion disintegrate. Has Sienna’s worst nightmare come true? Or will she unmask a killer and finally prove she may be her mother’s look-alike, but she’s not her clone?”

Honestly it was the skull cover that did me in on this one.

“Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn’t share his brother’s appetite for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living – and whom he does it for.

With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters – losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life – and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West, and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.”

I’m super excited for this debut horror novel.

A supernatural thriller in the vein of A Head Full of Ghosts about two young girls, a scary story that becomes far too real, and the tragic–and terrifying–consequences that follow one of them into adulthood.

Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face…

In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that, until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real–and she could prove it.

That belief got Becca killed.

It’s been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night–that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She’s done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn’t seen since the night Becca died.

The night Heather killed her.

Now, someone else knows what she did…and they’re determined to make Heather pay. “

This will be my first year joining @Anniekslibrary and @Librarylooter in the #Blogtober Challenge. Please join me throughout the month for lots of Fall Festive Reading fun!

Recap: Retelling-a-thon

ReTellAThon 2019

One week, 6 books, 5 classics reimagined.

In Will Williams Namwalli Serpell puts an urban contemporary twist on the Poe classic about a man tormented by his doppelganger.

Man Booker International Prize Frankenstein in Baghdad. Shell-shocked, aggrieved and weary Hadi collects the body parts of the dead and assembles them into one body. His intention is that the corpse now whole can be seen as human; the dead respectfully honored and buried rather than cast aside as waste.

A Dream So Dark is L.L. McKinney’s debut foray into Wonderland. In this version Alice is a kick-a$$ sword -wielding heroine that slays monster by night and a teenaged girl navigating a world besieged by violence during the day.

Windward Heights by Maryse Conde refashions Bronte’s story into one that not only deals with the cost of revenge but the generational curse of slavery and racism.

Man Booker Longlist 2019 Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson Told from the perspective of the past and the possible near future this novel examines such thought provoking topics as transhumanism, gender and identity politics.

Set in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, Ibi Zoboi’s Pride examines gentrification, class and community.

“Do you believe that art is a dangerous illusion?”

Self-Portrait with Boy

Self Portrait With Boy by Rachel Lyon

“Do you believe that art is a dangerous illusion, that art obscures truth? — or do you allow that by witnessing art the viewer experiences catharsis?”

Lu Rile’s answer to this question was “I don’t believe there is any relationship between art and morality.”  As a young photographer yearning to be recognized Lu Rile is is barely scraping by.  Squatting in an artists’ residence she makes do by stealing food from the health food store where she works.  Socially awkward and reclusive the only support system she can count on is her ailing father.  While working on a series of self portraits, she stumbles upon her “accidental masterpiece” when she inadvertently captures her neighbor’s son falling to his death.  The juxtaposition of her flying against him falling for her is the perfect rendition of failure — flying as a “constant negotiation” between resisting the currents that weigh us down and adapting as we fall.  Despite her answer to this question, she cannot get past the morality issue.  Although she wants acclaim for her work, a part of her knows it is wrong to put this portrait on display when she is now becoming friends with the mother of the deceased boy.  Yet she still earnestly pushes for it to be showcased.  She evades her dilemma and loses sight of the bigger picture — that Kate has lost her only son.  Lu cannot seem to wrap her head around the fact that seeing his death captured in the moment would utterly devastate her.  She keeps telling herself that Kate would see the beauty in her art.  Self Portrait with Boy takes you through Lu’s inner turmoil and asks what is the purpose of art.  Is it to stir you out of your complacency?  Is it to comfort the troubled mind?  At what point do we forsake morality and kinship for beauty?