Saturday, December 31

Best of the Year

Welcome to the BC Awards!!! We will be showcasing our favorites from the year! We changed up the categories a little bit. We also did the top 3 TV shows (no order) since we had a hard time picking. 

Best Movie:

Blodeuedd's pick......Spider-Man: No Way Home

Carole's pick.......Prey (2022)

Best Show:

Carole's top 3 (no order).....

Blodeuedd's top 3 (no order).....

Best Book Cover:

Blodeuedd's pick.....Let It Be Me by Kate Noble

Best Audiobook:

Blodeuedd's pick...........Storm Echo by Nalini Singh

Carole's pick........Crowbones by Anne Bishop

Best Book (ebook, paperback, hardcover): 

Blodeuedd's pick........Lapvona by Ottessa Mosfegh

Best Re-read: 

Blodeuedd's pick......Heartstrikers by Rachel Aaron

Notable Mentions: 

Carole's pick......Inseparable by David Kruh

Blodeuedd's pick......Crowbones by Anne Bishop

And that is the end of the BC Awards. I am excited to see what 2023 has in store for us!!

Friday, December 30

2022 Book Stats per Goodreads


Thanks to Goodreads for providing this data and screenshots! 

Thursday, December 29

2022 Reading Challenge Updates


Can't believe it is this time already! 

Here are my updates on my reading challenges.

Reading Challenges

- Goodreads challenge: I wanted to read 140 books....and I did it! Accomplished

- ROMANCE READING CHALLENGE: My goal was to do every box....and I did it! Accomplished

- Audiobook Challenge: I planned on reading 75+ books....I failed. I only got to 62. Bummer!!

2022 Audiobook Challenge

- TBR Reading Challenge: Joined a little bit later on in January, but I decided to give it a try and read 12 books that have been sitting on my TBR list.....and I did it (barely). Last minute I was able to finish the year reading the final one. Accomplished!

Life Goals
It was a busy year between a new role at work, my wedding, and my honeymoon. I had a goal to try and post 4x a week. I feel I did this 95% of the time. Yayy! I didn't get to craft as much as I wanted or do fun projects, but with the wedding stuff done I can focus on that stuff in 2023. 

Wednesday, December 28

Audiobook Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Author: Rosamund Hodge
Narrator: Elizabeth Knowelden
Title: Cruel Beauty
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Paranormal Romance, Retelling, & Mythology
Format: Audiobook
Published: January 28, 2014
Where I got It: My shelf (Audible) 

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Final book of the TBR reading challenge I am a part of! Been meaning to dust this off for a while. 

Here we follow Nyx. Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom since she was born. Why? Because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. All her life she has been trained to kill her future her family...and the kingdom. When she arrives she finds herself drawn to the evil lord named Ignifex. She is also beguiled by his magical castle which is a shifting maze. Nyx will have to decide what is more important...her family and kingdom or the man she was never supposed to love. 

I was immediately sucked into the story. The summary doesn't do the book justice. There is a lot of complexity here between the characters and the plot itself. Things get muddy and there is no right answer. A world of grey. 

Nyx was cruel but her father made her that way. I felt so bad for her. I can't imagine knowing and being trained to be a weapon that will 95% likely not survive. Even if she kills the dark lord she may not survive when the castle crumbles. I can see why she was so cold-hearted and had a lot of resentment for her family....especially her twin who was spared. 

I had zero ideas how everything was going to be resolved at the end. Even in the end, I feel like the gods won't leave well enough alone. 

Speaking of which...I LOVED the mix of Greek mythology with Beauty and Beast! It was a wonderful blend and it worked great even with this being YA. Don't let it being YA scare you (not my fave genre either) because this was fun. 

Any issues? Maybe the end. I think we needed more. Maybe an epilogue or a promise of a book 2? I feel like we deserve to see the next steps for Nyx. There seems to be a lot more story to tell. Like I said earlier....I doubt the gods will leave things be. 

The narrator was pretty good. I felt her voice was a little too old for this 17-year-old. Maybe a younger-sounding voice would've fit a smidge better. Besides that...she did a good job.

In the end, I really enjoyed this. I loved the characters and the plot was so complex but enjoyable. You won't want to stop reading (or listening if you did the audio). The ending needed more but it is still worth the read. I'll give this 4 stars. 


- #62 for Audiobook challenge
- TBR Reading Challenge (#12)

Tuesday, December 27

Audiobook Review: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Author: Patricia Briggs
Narrator: Lorelei King & George Newbern
Title: Silence Fallen
Series: Mercy Thompson #10, Mercy Thompson World #14
Genre: UF, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: March 7, 2017
Where I got It: Borrowed from library

Mercy Thompson has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy’s bond with the pack—and her mate—is broken, she’ll learn what it truly means to be alone...
Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes—only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...
Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise...

This series is so addicting. Every time I say I'm going to take a break and focus on something else...I end up starting the next one. I love this world and these characters. 

Poor Mercy has the worse luck. She is attacked and abducted from her home territory while on a quick errand. She finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world. She is taken as a weapon to use against the alpha werewolf and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. Mercy happens to escape but finds herself without money, clothing, and utterly alone in the heart of Europe. Being this far she can't connect with her pack. On the other side, is Adam the alpha werewolf and Mercy's mate. His mate is gone and he can't reach her. Teaming up with some unlikely allies, they fly to Europe to find Mercy and meet face-to-face with a deadly foe. 

This was a different format than the others but it still was fun and worked. Here Adam actually gets some narrative and we get to see things from his POV. We even got to have another narrator step in for Adam's POVs. 

Mercy has the worst luck, but also the best. She is able to escape without much injury.  Buuuuut she has no money or clothing. She can't even fully connect with her pack or mate. She is alone navigating and trying to find her way home or safety. Poor Mercy, but it was nice seeing Mercy on her own in a different setting. It was refreshing. I also loved getting some one-on-one time with Adam. We got to learn a little more about him and see him deal with the baddies.

The ending did drag on a tiny bit. I just wanted everyone to resolve the issue and reunite. 

The duo narrators were a little jarring for me at first. I am so used to Lorelei King being the voice for everyone and I loveeeeeeeeee her narration. The additional one was a male and he was good, but it took a moment to warm up to him voicing Adam's part and a lot of the cast. Different for sure, but I enjoyed the change.

But yes, this was fun! Refreshing in a lot of ways. We got to see more of Adam and see a different setting. The baddie was good and fun. My only issue was that the ending seemed to drag on a tiny bit, but other than that I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Can't wait to read more. 4 stars from me. 


- #61 for Audiobook challenge

Monday, December 26

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Sweet Rogue of Mine

The Survivors, Book 9

By: Shana Galen

Narrated by: Victoria Aston

Series: Survivors , Book 9

Length: 9 hrs

Release date: 12-20-22

Historical romance / to review

This was grumpy meets sunshine. Pru was fun and Nash was filled with despair. Ok that sounds sad, but he came back from the war having lost his sight. He was a sharp shooter, and now he just feels lost and useless. He drinks too much and has turned his back on everyone. Pru has been left with the village priest since her parents are missionaries.

They meet in an amusing way. She can't stop thinking about him. People warn him, but she does not listen.

He can´t stop thinking either, but he knows his ptsd might him do things so he wants nothing to do with her.

There is the danger of what his family wants to do with him. All while they fall in love.

They truly belonged together. But they have some drama to get over first.

Great narration. I have listened to a lot of these now. It is a fun series

When a stray pistol ball from the battlefield took Nash’s sight, it also took his entire identity. He’s retreated to his father’s county home to lick his wounds, but his drinking and isolation have only made things worse. When Nash’s father, a powerful earl, threatens to send Nash to an asylum, his former brothers-in-arms call in one of their own to set Nash back on the right course. Nash fears he’s fallen too far and perhaps ending it all is the best solution. Until he encounters a woman in the garden signing a bawdy tune at the top of her lungs.

Prudence Howard has traveled the world with her missionary parents. But after the scandal she caused in Cairo, they’ve foisted her on a vicar in the small town of Milcroft and sailed to the Far East to evangelize without her. Pru doesn’t mean to cause trouble; it’s just that being good is so very hard. When she meets Nash Pope, she’s instantly intrigued. He might be hot-tempered, but he’s handsome and unusual and arouses her interest and passion like no one she’s ever met. He might not know he needs or even wants her help, but Pru has a plan to save him.

Nash is bewildered by the unconventional woman who keeps turning up on his doorstep. She tries to teach him night writing, claims a feral peacock is a momentous sign, and makes his toes curl when she kisses him. She refuses to give up on him. But though Nash finds it easy to believe in Pru, can he ever trust himself again? 

Saturday, December 24

Saturday Movie Review: Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery (2022)

This month we decided to review 'Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery'.

Blodeuedd is in red and Carole is in green.

Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery
Length:  52 mins
Released: 2022
Genre:  Comedy, Mystery, Crime
Rating: TV-MA
Where I Got It: Netflix

Our Detective is back with a critical case. Along with two celebrity guests, he's on a mission to solve who killed Santa? But the catch: Jason Bateman and Maya Rudolph aren't given the script. They have no clue what's about to happen.

Xmas movie time!


A different xmas movie this time. A murder mystery and not a straight face in the room. Hilarious

I loved shaking it up! A murder and humor and Holiday Spirit. 

Hehe, I liked how especially Santa had a hard time playing dead. It must have been so fun filming that movie

I’ve seen a couple episodes of the show so I was excited to watch the movie. They always have so much fun. I loved Santa esp when they tried to do CPR on him. I would’ve died laughing. 

It was crazy. But so fun! And throw in some Die hard and what not and perfect. Very funny

Yesss that reference was perfect! Had me laughing so hard! And that final guest? Didn’t see that coming. So great! Poor guest. Hahaha

I did not see that final guest coming either, but poor guest. That was evil lol. But well done

Indeed! It was perfect! I loved all their guesses on who they thought the murderer was. Which did you guess right? 

I never get it right! Damn it. You really have to pay attention

I was partially right but that was a surprise curveball! And yesss it is the little details. The show is like that too. 

I try to pay attention, but then I end up laughing and nope

Yesss it is hard not to be distracted by the comedy! I would love to be a guest on the show or next movie. Sadly I’m not a celebrity. I think it would be fun to have an average Joe and a celebrity on the next movie. LOL 

Sadly a normal person would not be as fun, but I would love to take part too!

I just want an episode or something where they have you and me be guest stars. Hahahaha. I don’t think I could keep a straight face but I would love every minute. 

I mean who could keep a straight face! I would just laugh myself silly

I would need a break! But yesssss so funny and such a good mystery!

I do not really have a lot more to say. Watch the tv series, watch the movie. It is funny!

You can def watch the movie without the show BUUUUT watch the show too. It’s all great. Funny and murder-y. 

I guess a short one this time 🙂

Ones we really like always tend to be short! Plus I do not want to give away any spoilers for this one ;) 

Friday, December 23

Giveaway & Book Review: Half Notes From Berlin

Author: B.V. Glants
Title: Half Notes From Berlin
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: ebook
Pages: 256
Published: October 4, 2022
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me for my honest and unbiased opinion)

Berlin, 1933. Hans believes he and his family are safe from persecution.

Then, he discovers his family's dirty secret: his maternal grandparents were Jews who converted to Christianity.

Driven by the desire to understand who he is and whether his mother's blood really is tainted, Hans befriends Rebecca, the only Jewish girl he knows. Perhaps if Jewish blood isn't evil, his mother will be ok.

To be a Jew in Hitler's Germany is dangerous. But to fall in love with one is unthinkable.

Desperate to keep both his family's true heritage and his love for Rebecca a secret, Hans attempts to navigate this terrifying new world. He's disconsolate when his Jewish mother is kicked out from the Berlin Conservatory. He's disgusted by his Aryan father's aims to acquire Jewish business on the cheap.

Worst, he must watch helplessly as his classmates target Rebecca with increasing violence and malice.

But when his school announces it will expel Jewish students, Hans is determined to fight for Rebecca — and for the lives and souls of his family.

Couldn't resist checking this one out when I read the summary. 

Here we follow Hans. He lives in Berlin with his parents and it is 1933. Things have changed. Germany now belongs to Hitler. Society is changing and to be a Jew is not safe. Hans thinks he is safe...until he overhears his parents and learns that his maternal grandparents were Jews who converted to Christianity years ago. Driven to understand more about his Jewish blood, he befriends Rebecca the only Jewish girl in his school. He soon realizes that he may have feelings for her but he must watch helplessly as his classmates target Rebecca with increasing violence and malice. 

I found this perspective very interesting and refreshing. Things are just beginning to get really bad. You could see some people wanted to be blind to it...some people saw the writing on the wall and left. It was sort of eerie seeing the poison of hate take over even the youths. It's tragic and scary how quickly it spread.

Honestly, I couldn't put this down!! I finished it in a day. Hans and his story had me drawn in right from this first page. 

One can't help but hope, but Hitler's Germany lives little room for hope and you know things will not go well for people who are Jewish or who sympathize with Jews.

The ending made me want more. There is a sense there might be a sequel. One can hope!!! I think we need one for sure because there felt like there were more stories to tell. I want to see more of Hans.

In the end, I really enjoyed this but it did make me it should. You can't help but want the best for Hans and Rebecca, but you know that bad things are heading their way. I would love to read a sequel. There seems like there are way more stories and adventures for Hans. I recommend this. 5 stars from me. 



Enter to win a paperback copy of Half Notes from Berlin by B.V. Glants! We have 10 copies up for grabs! 

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on December 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter. 

Thursday, December 22

Book Review: Totally Folked by Penny Reid

Author: Penny Reid
Title: Totally Folked
Series: Good Folk Modern Folktales #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: ebook
Pages: 444
Published: July 20, 2021
Where I Got It: Amazon

Jackson James follows the rules. He has to. He’s a sheriff’s deputy in a super small town with a super big personality. However, strict adherence to the law during the day has been enjoyably balanced by rakish rules at night. Jackson, typically happy to protect and serve (and serve, and serve), starts questioning the value of wayward evenings when getting laid starts to feel more like being waylaid. Could it be that Green Valley’s most eligible—and notorious—bachelor longs for something (and someone) real?

Mega movie star Raquel Ezra follows only one rule: always leave them wanting more. Studio execs, reporters, audiences, fans, lovers—no one can get enough of the smart, savvy, and sexy bombshell. But when “generous offers” begin to feel more like excessive demands, years of always leaving has the elusive starlet longing for something (and perhaps someone) lasting.

When Raquel abruptly returns to the quirky Tennessee hamlet, her path crosses with the delectable deputy with whom she spent one unforgettable night. Unfortunately, scandal and intrigue soon follow. Raquel and Jackson must decide which is more important: following their rules? Or, at long last, finding something real.

I've read a couple by this author and I saw this one come out. Looks like it is a spin-off from the Winston Brother series. I've read 2 or 3 from that series and I like it so far so why not try this one? 

Here we follow Raquel Ezra and Jackson James. Raquel is a movie star and she has one rule....always leave them wanting more. No one can get enough of this smart, savvy, and sexy bombshell. However, she is starting to burn out from the excessive demands. She is tired of always leaving and not having a relationship last. That includes Jackson James. He was a deputy from a small town where she spent one unforgettable night. She decides to return to that small and quirky town. However, scandal and intrigue will soon follow too. 

This seems to do okay as a standalone. There are a few references to the other series and a few characters show up. I think I did okay with only reading 2 or 3 of the original series. I'm sure there are characters or references I would've cared more about if I had finished the other series first. Oh well ;) 

Jackson was a hunk and nice. Raquel? Mmmmm...there is more to her pretty face but she was a rough character to really connect to. Don't get me wrong...I did like her, but she is a tough nut to crack. 

I did have a hard time really seeing the attraction and chemistry at first. It took a while for me to want to root for them. I personally think they didn't fit well. Closer to the end something in my head and heart did click for them and I could see it, but it took a LONG time for me. 

Minus that issue with the romance element...I enjoyed the story. I liked this as a people story and the intrigue was very intriguing. I had to know what was going to happen next/how everything was going to be fixed. 

All-in-all, I enjoyed the story even though I had some big issues with the romance piece. I do want to head back to the original series and finish that up before I continue with this one. So many little time! I'll give this 3 stars.

Wednesday, December 21

Book Review: Jasmine Nights by Julia Gregson

Author: Julia Gregson
Title: Jasmine Nights
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Adventure
Format: paperback
Pages: 416
Published: June 5, 2012 
Where I Got It: Dollar Tree

At twenty-three, Saba Tarcan knows her only hope of escaping the clamor of Cardiff Bay, Wales, lies in her voice. While traveling Britain, singing for wounded soldiers, Saba meets handsome fighter pilot Dom Benson, recovering from burns after a crash. When Saba auditions to entertain troops in far-off lands, Dom follows her to London. Just as their relationship begins to take root, Saba is sent to sing in Africa, and Dom is assigned a new mission in the Middle East. As Saba explores Cairo’s bazaars, finding friendship among the troupe’s acrobats and dancers, Dom returns to the cockpit once again, both thrilled and terrified to be flying above the desert floor. In spite of great danger, the two resolve to reunite.

When Saba learns that her position makes her uniquely qualified for a secret mission of international importance, she agrees to help the British Secret Service, concealing her role from Dom. Her decision will jeopardize not only her safety but also the love of her life.

Yet another one I am finally dusting off! I'm trying to complete my TBR reading challenge. I have one left after this and I have beat the challenge! Huzzah!

Here we follow Saba Tarcan. The only way she can escape Wales is with her voice. While traveling Britain to sing and entertain injured soldiers from the war, she meets Dom. Dom is a fighter pilot who was injured in a crash. They hit it off right away and there seems to be a bond there. Just as their relationship seems to be taking off. Saba is sent to sing in Africa and Dom is sent to the Middle East for a mission. They promise that if they both survive they will find each other again. However, Saba's gig gets much more dangerous when she learns that she will be part of a secret mission of international importance...this may jeopardize her safety and possibly the love of her life.

Soooooooooooo I did struggle to get into this at first. I couldn't really connect with the characters or the story. I did kind of like Saba but I was unsure about Dom. Once we got going I grew to really adore Saba. Dom? He seemed okay, but there was something about him that made me feel MEH about him. I didn't like him until the very end.

Once I got through the first few chapters and Saba and Dom were separated to do their own thing (is that bad that I was excited to see Saba go off on her own?), I started enjoying the story more. 

Ooooh! The author really does have a way of bringing the past to life. I loved the settings and the descriptions. I could feel the energy. I could hear the music and taste the food. I felt like I was standing right there! Fantastic. 

The last quarter of the book seemed to deflate for me. The middle 50% was just so good. I couldn't put it down. The last 25% though. Mmm. I did love the last made my heart jump. However, the rest of the end felt like it was missing something. It just didn't pull together for me like I would hope. For example, the scene with the German, the table singing, and then Sabba's reaction just seemed forced. It was supposed to be a big moment and it felt awkward and missing something. 

Overall, the author really does have a way with words. These different locations came to life. The music, the smells, the food, the feel, the war, the people....fantastic. The beginning and a good chunk of the ending fell a little flat for me. I wish I had liked Dom more too. I did end up warming up to him at the end, but it took too long. Loved Sabba though. Some good, some meh, but I did enjoy some of the ride. 2 stars. 

- TBR Reading Challenge (#11)


Tuesday, December 20

Audiobook Review: The Christmas Pawdcast by Emily March

Author: Emily March
Narrator: Andi Arndt & Jason Clarke
Title: The Christmas Pawdcast
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published:  December 2, 2021
Where I got It: Audible

Mary Landry and her pregnant rescue dog are on their way home for Christmas when the unthinkable happens: her car breaks down along a deserted stretch of mountain highway in the middle of a blizzard. Facing dire conditions, Mary seeks shelter from a lone cabin in the distance whose warm light beckons her like a Christmas star.

Nick Carstairs has one wish this season—to ride out his least favorite time of the year in peace while working on the latest episode of his hit True Crime podcast. The sexy-voiced podcaster didn’t plan to host a stranger and her pregnant dog, but he’s happy to help a traveler in need…it’s an extra perk that she’s gorgeous. Now if she would just stop trying to change his mind about Christmas.

As they spend time warming up by the fire—and an unexpected attraction roars to life—will Mary help Nick discover the wonder of the season after all?

Such a cute one for the holidays!

Here we follow Mary and Nick. Mary is fostering a pregnant dog and no one can babysit and all the boarding places are booked, so Mary is forced to go on a road trip with a very pregnant dog. Of course, her car breaks down along a deserted stretch of mountain highway in the middle of a blizzard. Facing dire conditions, Mary and the dog seek shelter in a lone cabin. That cabin belongs to none other than Nick who is a Grinch this year. He is alone this year and he wants it to stay that way. This will allow him to work on the latest episode of his popular True Crime podcast. When Mary and a dog come pounding on his door...he can't turn them away.

This was adorable. Mary has a heart of gold! That dog was cute...and Nick is a hunk. They snowed in together and she will try to make his Grinch heart grow. 

We learn why he is mad at Christmas this year. I would probably be in the same boat. I would want to take the year off too.

Very cute and full of Xmas joy. Some laughs. Some tears. Some puppy love. That ending will melt your heart. 

The narrators killed it for sure! They were perfect. I have heard the woman voice before. She was good in the past so I shouldn't be surprised. The guy voice was new to my ears, but he did great too. 

In the end, this is perfect for the holidays and for dog lovers. It for sure promotes adopting even ugly dogs. We all deserve a home and love. 5 stars from me. 

- #60 for Audiobook challenge