Lights Out by R.L. Stine Review and Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge Check-in.

Wow. January has been a busy month. Luckily I am doing pretty good on my reading goals. I am participating in the Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge this year. I am a big mood reader so to make sure I still get to read everything I want to read I complete a prompt a month. Some people try to complete the challenge as quickly as possible and that is awesome. However, for me I know that if I push myself to only read for the challenge I won’t ever complete it. I tend to procrastinate.

That being said my prompt this month was to “Read a Book Published the Decade You Were Born.” I was born in the 90s. When I think of 90s reads I immediately think of R.L. Stine. I was nostalgic so I knew I had to go for a Fear Street novel.

I love to camp so my favorite Goosebumps and Fear Street novels usually involve camping. Somehow I had missed this one. I haven’t read a Fear Street novel since I was in 6th grade so I was concerned that I had outgrown them. I had forgotten how great of a writer R.L.Stine is. The plot was pretty complex. He does a great job of making you suspicious of everyone. I will say I was shocked at how gory this was. I can’t believe I read these as a preteen. It explains so much about my reading taste as an adult lol. It was a campy, fun horror novel that made me reminiscent of old horror movies. I really enjoyed my time reading it.

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw Review

My Goodreads Rating: 5 stars

After reading The Wicked Deep I knew I had to pick up Winterwood. I liked it even better than The Wicked Deep.

Deep within the magical woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven lives Nora Walker. The Walker Women have roamed these woods for centuries. This deep connection leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman. He disappeared from a boys camp week ago. He should be dead. Yet he is found by Nora only missing the memory of what happened to him. With mystery surrounding him, Nora knows she has to find the truth of the night he went missing.

Nora is an interesting character. She is a witch who has not found her power. A majority of the book is told from her perspective, but we get sections of Oliver’s perspective to fill us in. Another interesting source of information is the spell book. Throughout the story there are pages of the spell book included to give us the history of the Walker Women.

I knew to expect a twist from Shea Ernshaw. I found myself slightly disappointed when I guess the first plot twist. Little did I know that wasn’t the last. I loved how the story ended with the entry written in the spell book about Nora. This was such a fun atmospheric read that further proves I need more of Shea Ernshaw’s work.

Books I am Buying for My Birthday

Today is my birthday so I am definitely treating myself. I have a few books that are on my yearly tbr that I still don’t own so I am going to get them.


Mia Corvere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Destined to destroy empires, the child raised in shadows made a promise on the day she lost everything: to avenge herself on those that shattered her world.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, and Mia must become a weapon without equal. Before she seeks vengeance, she must seek training among the infamous assassins of the Red Church of Itreya.

Inside the Church’s halls, Mia must prove herself against the deadliest of opponents and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and daemons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Church is no ordinary school. But Mia is no ordinary student.

The Red Church is no ordinary school, but Mia is no ordinary student.
The shadows love her.
And they drink her fear.

I have wanted to read this for a while. I am shopping with Book Depository for the first time because I want the UK edition. I am not generally picky about what edition I buy but I love this one.

Synopsis: A remarkable young woman blazes her own trail, from the backwoods of Russia to the court of Moscow, in the exhilarating sequel to Katherine Arden’s bestselling debut novel, The Bear and the Nightingale. Katherine Arden’s enchanting first novel introduced readers to an irresistible heroine. Vasilisa has grown up at the edge of a Russian wilderness, where snowdrifts reach the eaves of her family’s wooden house and there is truth in the fairy tales told around the fire. Vasilisa’s gift for seeing what others do not won her the attention of Morozko–Frost, the winter demon from the stories–and together they saved her people from destruction. But Frost’s aid comes at a cost, and her people have condemned her as a witch. Now Vasilisa faces an impossible choice. Driven from her home by frightened villagers, the only options left for her are marriage or the convent. She cannot bring herself to accept either fate and instead chooses adventure, dressing herself as a boy and setting off astride her magnificent stallion Solovey. But after Vasilisa prevails in a skirmish with bandits, everything changes. The Grand Prince of Moscow anoints her a hero for her exploits, and she is reunited with her beloved sister and brother, who are now part of the Grand Prince’s inner circle. She dares not reveal to the court that she is a girl, for if her deception were discovered it would have terrible consequences for herself and her family. Before she can untangle herself from Moscow’s intrigues–and as Frost provides counsel that may or may not be trustworthy–she will also confront an even graver threat lying in wait for all of Moscow itself. Praise for The Girl in the Tower “[A] magical story set in an alluring Russia.

I read The Bear and the Nightingale and loved it. I can’t wait to dive into the sequel.


The intoxicating and bloodthirsty finale to the New York Times bestselling The Cruel Prince, nominated for the CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL 2019, and New York Times bestseller The Wicked King

After being pronounced Queen of Faerie and then abruptly exiled by the Wicked King Cardan, Jude finds herself unmoored, the queen of nothing. She spends her time with Vivi and Oak, watching reality television, and doing odd jobs, including squaring up to a cannibalistic faerie.

When her twin sister Taryn shows up asking a favour, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan, who she loves despite his betrayal. When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and break the curse, or risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world.

I can’t believe I haven’t read this yet. I have procrastinated a little. Nonetheless, I am excited to finish reading The Folk of the Air series.

The Winter Sisters by Tim Westover Review

I don’t want to jinx my luck, but I have read a lot of great books recently. The Winter Sisters was definitely one. I loved it from the beginning. The chapters titles are great. Chapter one is titled, “Hot Damn and Pass the Pepper Sauce.” My husband and I thought it was hilarious.

Dr. Waycross is a doctor based in science. The kind of doctoring that was around in 1822. Bleeding and blistering are his relied on remedies until he is called to Lawrenceville, Georgia. His patients favor the healing of the Winter sisters even if they fear they are witches. When rabies comes to town, Doctor Waycross realizes he has a lot to learn from these herbal women.

In the beginning, Dr. Waycross is pompous and self righteous. He believes his way is the only way to heal and all other is superstition.He has a fall from grace and becomes more open minded toward the Winter sisters’ cures.

The book is dual perspective of Dr. Waycross and the sisters. The way Sarah was introduced was hilarious. I wished there was just a little more from the sisters’ perspective though. I loved them as characters.

This is a story that caters to a specific audience. It is historical fiction and deals with a lot of superstition. But more than that, it deals with medicine. If you don’t already know the history of medicine and the practice of bleeding to balance humors you would think Dr. Waycross was outlandish. However, that was common medical practice of the time. Since I already have a knowledge of herbal medicine I found several parts humorous. Without that knowledge it would have lost its charm. In once part Waycross was going to bleed himself to cure his chronic headache. Rebecca offered him willow bark and he went through a monologue of how silly and unscientific it was. Since I knew willow bark was the predecessor to aspirin I thought this was hilarious. Rebecca also treated infection with molded bread. Penicillin is an antibiotic made from bacteria that can be found on molded bread.

There was a mysterious event between Effie and Rebecca that happened in the past. When it was revealed it felt slightly anti-climatic. I already guessed what had happened.

The ending was shocking. It took a turn I did not expect. Effie was a mystery through the entire book and the end really focused on her.

The Winter Sisters was a unique read. I have never read anything like it and I loved every minute of it.