These Deadly Games

Let’s play a game.

You have 24 hours to win. If you break my rules, she dies. If you call the police, she dies. If you tell your parents or anyone else, she dies.

Are you ready?

And this sets the stage for a YA thriller/gamer story.

Crystal is not just a gamer. She is obsessed with the game Mortal Dusk and is gearing up for the biggest game of her life. With millions in prize money, she and her friends will compete against each other for spots. Getting in game time is the only thing that matters to these kids.

When a message comes across her phone telling her that her sister is tied up and will die if she doesn’t agree to play a game. Some of it was just dares. Steal a test, bake some brownies, things that seem random and a bit bizarre. But the video of her sister is so real, she can’t stop.

When she realizes her actions are killing her friends, she has to question why this is happening. Is it another gamer trying to eliminate her team? Or is something much worse at play?

This was a YA book and I do not normally read that genre. There were twists and turns and even I wasn’t ready for that ending!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ February 1st, 2022 by Wednesday Books

Craftedleaf Tea Review!

Recently I was introduced to Craftedleaf-Tea on IG. They sent me so many great samples and the packaging is wonderful. I have been searching for a good Puerh that doesn’t taste like dirt. The tea in our area is almost always in a bag looking like dust and tasting like dust.

Not this company! The type of tea is handwritten on each resealable pouch. The leaves are big and plentiful. My first try was the 2017 Ba Da Shan Wild Tree Raw Puerh. On the back is a label telling me this came from Yunnan. Picked in the Spring of 2017 at an altitude of 1800m. The bud to leaf ratio is 1 bud: 1/2 leaf. Caffeine is less than 20 percent of coffee.

There are directions for the Gong Fu Style and the Western Style. I followed the directions and let it steep 3 minutes. Took a sip and let it steep for another minute.

It was so mellow. The grassiness with the floral notes was perfect. It was the best I have ever tried. I was able to get 6 steepings out of it without any of the quality of flavor being lost. So yes, this is a winner!

And so is this book Ascenders by C.L.Gaber!  A high school for the undead? Yep!

Have a great Thursday and try something new today!

xx P

before I let go by Marieke Nijkamp

Before I Let Go

Corey and Kyra have always been best friends. Living in the tiny town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey’s mother moves the family to Canada, Corey promises to come back.

But things like school, a new town, new friends get in the way of the past and by the time Corey returns, it is for Kyra’s funeral.

The town is no longer home to Corey. She is now an outsider. She doesn’t believe Kyra would have killed herself and no one is giving her any answers. All Kyra wanted was to get out of this town and Corey is going to find out what happened to her and why everyone in town is acting so bizarre.

This book was told from past to present and I am really not sure how I feel about it. Kyra is bi-polar. I find it hard to believe that even in the backwoods of Alaska that having it would be so polarizing that she would be shunned.

This felt more like a ghost story that got way out of hand.

Netgalley/Sourcebooks Fire


The Leaf Reader

Maybe, occasionally, some of the pictures I saw in teacups were not for the tea drinkers. Maybe some of them were for me.

Marnie Wells knows that she creeps people out. It’s not really her fault; her brother is always in trouble, and her grandmother, who’s been their guardian since Mom took off is…eccentric. So no one even bats an eye when Marnie finds an old book about reading tea leaves and starts telling fortunes. The ceremony and symbols are weirdly soothing, but she knows—and hopes everyone else does too—that none of it’s real.

Then basketball star Matt Cotrell asks for a reading. He’s been getting emails from someone claiming to be his best friend, Andrea Quinley, who disappeared and is presumed dead. And while they’d always denied they were romantically involved, a cloud of suspicion now hangs over Matt. But Marnie sees a kindred spirit: someone who, like her, is damaged by association.

Suddenly the readings seem real. And, despite the fact that they’re telling Marnie things about Matt that make him seem increasingly dangerous, she can’t shake her initial attraction to him. In fact, it’s getting stronger. And that could turn out to be deadly.

Marnie is an odd duck. It seems the entire family shares that trait. And you won’t find out why until near the end.

This is a YA Fiction and it is not the genre I read, however I have read some of Emily’s books before and enjoyed them so I gave it a try. Honestly because I thought it was going to be about tea and reading leaves.

It’s pretty much your basic teenagers doing what teenagers do. They lie. A lot. And they are horribly angst ridden over every little thing. There was too much whining and lying for me.



Accidental Cinderella by Emily Evans

Accidental Cinderella (Accidental, #6)

Accidental Cinderella by Emily Evans

First can we just talk about what a lovely cover this book has! And the inside is as lovely as the outside!

Ella Marie Aschen has no idea how she received a scholarship to the elite boarding school in Massachusets.
Ella as been through a lot in her short time on earth. Her mother has died, leaving her with a step-father who remarries giving her a step-mother also. Ella doesn’t know anything about her father.

When an invitation/scholarship arrive at her door along with a trunk of uniforms, she is more than curious, but also more than ready to be gone!
Ella’s goal is to just stay under the radar. Don’t do poorly and don’t do outstanding. Just middle of the road, not attracting attention. She knows she doesn’t belong at this school, with these privileged students and she would just like to fade into the background.
That however is not meant to be. She isn’t the only one hiding things, keeping secrets.
And the biggest secret of all will send her head spinning.

Ella is a great character and I can see young adults loving this author and this story.
I don’t usually read YA fiction, but someone asked me to read this and I did. And I am really glad I did!
I would feel very comfortable recommending this book.

Emily Evans writes fun, young adult romance. She holds a BA in Psychology from Texas A&M University and an MFA in Creative Writing from American College Dublin. A native Houstonian, she loves travel, movies, and books and may be found at


21 Dares

It’s all fun and games until someone dies…

Two months into college, Abbie Reed is about to turn 21. Not expecting a big deal as she really has no friends unless you call her cat, Clem, a friend, which she does. Her roommate is older and although they share an apartment, they haven’t made any attempts to get to know each other.

Daily calls from her father, going to classes and seeing a very odd shrink 2 days a week is pretty much all she’s doing.

Until the day she notices someone following her. Every day. Every where. When her shrink suggests she use her birthday as an opportunity to be more social, she isn’t interested in the least. The day before her birthday, she receives a call from a girl she knew back home. When McKenzie would come to visit her Grandmother, she and Abbie would spend time together, but Abbie does not consider her a friend. Abbie and her father lived with her Grandparents, having moved from Tampa after a traumatic event.

The title 21 Dares, relates to the game that McKenzie and Abbie’s roommate, Susan have set up. But why would someone she barely knows throw her this bizarre birthday party and game. She receives the dares by text and as the night goes on it becomes obvious that this is not a game for one of the participants. It is revenge. Sick and twisted, revenge. But for what? And finally she will come face to face with the mysterious man following her. But can she believe him?

I liked the premise of the story, if some of the characters were a bit lacking in personality and we didn’t know much about any of them except Abbie.

But it was a nice easy read and good for a YA book!

Book Release for September 1st

Heartborn by [Maggert, Terry]

We made it to the end of summer! I spent yesterday cleaning up my reading lists and turning in reviews as this is the end of my fiscal year. This year I have read 192 books. Some good, some great and some not so hot!

I think if I had to hear about another Epic Dystopian Fantasy or the YA triangle of vampire/werewolf/angst ridden teen girl I would throw up! Seriously guys not everything is Epic. All of my other genres are fine, plenty of diversity and imagination but that YA category was sorely lacking in those categories. Until September 1st.

As soon as I started this book I knew it was a different. It is a YA/Fantasy book but not like anything I have read. It is fresh and the subject matter is new and different and I loved it.

Finally a YA book I would recommend. I hope you will give it a read and let me know what you think.

Off to start a new year of reading!  xx P


Heartborn by Terry Maggert


Book Blurb:

Her guardian angel was pushed.

Keiron was never meant to be anything other than a hero. Born high above in a place of war and deception, he is Heartborn, a being of purity and goodness in a place where violence and deceit are just around every corner.

His disappearance will spark a war he cannot see, for Keiron has pierced the light of days to save a girl he has never met, for reasons he cannot understand. Livvy Foster is seventeen, brave, and broken. With half a heart, she bears the scars of a lifetime of pain and little hope of survival.

Until Keiron arrives.

In the middle of a brewing war and Livvy’s failing heart, Keiron will risk everything for Livvy, because a Heartborn’s life can only end in one way: Sacrifice.

Fall with Livvy and Keiron as they seek the truth about her heart, and his power, and what it means to love someone who will give their very life to save you.


The book blurb tells you quite a bit about the story to come. This YA/Fantasy book by Terry Maggert is without a doubt the best YA book I have read. Just when I had resolved never to read YA books, due to the usual triangle of odd boyfriend/girlfriend and some type of paranormal activity, Mr. Maggert gave me Heartborn.

In case any of you are wondering what a good YA book looks like, this is it. The story is fresh and full of characters that are interesting and that I wanted to know more about. There are surprises around every corner! The writing is so fluid and easy to read that before you know it you are at the end.

A book about love, sacrifice, and family in this world and the one above.

On Earth, Livvy was born with half of a heart. Above, her guardian angel, Keiron, is about to have his wings cut off and get tossed below by his own brother. He has a mission and Livvy is it.

While his family above is getting ready to defend themselves for allowing Keiron to leave, Keiron and Livvy enter a relationship that will change both of their lives forever. Will he save her? Is anyone and anything what Livvy thought? You will just have to read it and see!

This book was hard to review. Really all I wanted to say was ” You have got to read this book!”  Release Date is September 1, 2016


Left-handed. Father of an apparent nudist. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. I’ve had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of– well, for a while. Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. Nine books and counting, with no end in sight. You’ve been warned.


The Book or The Movie?

Making news this month are all the books being made into movies! I wonder how many people read the books first and then see the film? Or how many people knew there was book before the film? Some of these have already been released  but they are on my list still.

The Martian

 The Martian by Andy Weir. Published in 2011.  Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.  Now he’s sure he will be the first person to die there. Left for dead by is crew with no way to signal Earth, things look grim. But Mark isn’t ready to throw in the towel quite yet.

The Film version starring Matt Damon was released Sept. 2015

Which one did you prefer? Was anything lost in translation for you?


The Circle

THE CIRCLE By Dave Eggers was published in 2013.

The book chronicles tech worker Mae Holland as she joins a powerful internet company which starts out as an incredibly rewarding experience, but as she works there longer things start to fall apart.  The Circle, a powerful technology company run by the so-called Three Wise Men.  Mae quickly climbs the company ladder, but is the Company really what it seems?

There were definitely tones of Huxley and Orwell in this one.  The film adaptation, starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks has a release date of 2016.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)

Published in 2011, this YA horror, dark fantasy book is a tale of a boy who, following a horrific family tragedy, follows clues that take him to  an abandoned orphanage on a Welsh island.  The story is told through a combination of narrative and vernacular photographs from the personal archives of collectors listed by the author.  It seems with this book people either love it or hate it. I’ll leave you to make up your own mind about it.

As of now, the film adaptation, directed by Tim Burton, will be out in late September of 2016. Cast includes: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Chris O’Dowd, Alison Janney, Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson and Ella Purnell.

The Silent Wife

The Silent Wife was published in 2013.

Having nothing left to lose changes everything. Todd and Jodi have been together for more than twenty years. They are both aware that their little world is in crisis, though neither is willing to admit it.

Todd is living  a dual existence, while Jodi is living in denial. When it becomes clear that their affluent Chicago lifestyle could disintegrate at any moment, Jodi understands that  everything is at stake. It is only now she will discover just how much she is truly capable of, and just how much she enjoys settling scores. It is a chilling look at the lengths that people will go to protect themselves.

I haven’t been able to squeeze much information about this one. So far all I can confirm is that Adrian Lyne is directing and Nicole Kidman is set to play Jodi. Release date is 2017.


Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Published in 2012.

Bernadette Fox is notorious. to her Microsoft guru husband she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to her fellow private school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15 year old Bee, she is a best friend and just Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears.  Bee sets out to find her using everything she can think of. Emails, correspondence, secret messages, what ever she can find out. 

There is a lot of humor along with a fascinating story of one womans retreat from the world.

Things are pretty tight lipped on this one and all I know is that Cate Blanchett is in talks to  star in the film version sometime in 2017.

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)

Published in 2012 and promoted as a Romantic Novel.

If you’ve been anywhere on Social Media lately you can’t help but run across this one!

I thought it was going to be a soppy romance story of the genre I typically do not read! Shockingly, I was wrong! I know, I’m rarely ever wrong! Right?  I laughed, I cried, I didn’t want to  stop. Our main character, Lou, knows a lot of stuff. She knows she likes her job and she thinks she may not be in love with her boyfriend, Patrick. She lives a small life until she takes a job working for Will.

Will, knows that his motorcycle accident took a lot from him.Used to living large and taking everything to the extreme, he doesn’t think he can live the life he has been dealt. And he has a plan to take care of that. As a boss, he is moody, bossy and just a pain!

Lou is not giving in to the pity party and treats him just as she would any other guy. And somewhere along the way her feelings for him become more than just professional. Once she finds out what he has been planning she sets her own plans into motion, showing him that life can be different but still full and worth living.

The film is set for release in August of 2016. Director: Thea Sharrock The Cast: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin as Lou and Will.


Scarlet Memories Vol.2: Metamorphis by Jessica Ozment


Metamorphosis is the second book of the Scarlet Memories books.

Sam and Ian have now been confined to Atlanta’s CDC for over a year being experimented on by the government in hopes of finding a cure for the zombie outbreak that has taken over. Kept in the dark and tired of being used they decide to find a way out. But they aren’t the only ones looking for a way out and when the opportunity arises to go they take it.

It’s been over a year since they’ve seen the outside world. Will they make it? Where will they go? Can they outrun the hideous creature hunting them? And why exactly is he hunting them? Is anyone to be trusted?

Ms.Ozment has given us characters that we quickly become invested in. They are vulnerable and afraid but they just keep going, it’s hard not to cheer for them. There is a lot of action and twists and turns and I definitely did not see the ending coming

I honestly thought I had had enough of zombies and wasn’t interested in any more of them. But this book doesn’t focus on the zombies, but instead focuses on the characters. Their thoughts, their fears, what they are willing to do for each other to find out what is going on and to protect their little family. I enjoyed it so much I read it twice. Once I started it I couldn’t stop, I raced through, so I read it again slowly and came to the same conclusion. This is good!

I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to see what is next from this author.