Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The meme was originally the brainchild of The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Book Covers with Fall Colors/Vibes.
On my TBR
Cinders and Sparrows by Stefan Bachmann. Zita, an orphan, discovers she is the only living Brydgeborn, the last in a “powerful dynasty of witches,” and the sole heir to Blackbird Castle. But she’ll have to learn magic quickly to defend herself, the castle, and her newfound friends from the age-old evil that killed her family.
A Game of Fox and Squirrels by Jenn Reese. 11-year-old Samantha and her big sister Caitlyn are sent to live with their aunt because of their father’s anger issues. All Sam wants is to go home. When a character from a card game appears in her room and offers her whatever she desires in exchange for the Golden Acorn, Sam is drawn into a dangerous quest that blurs the lines between magic and reality.
The Haunted Season (Max Tudor #5) by G. M. Malliet. Vicar (and former MI5 agent) Max Tudor must contend with his new role as a father as well as a murder when murder strikes at nearby Totleigh Hall. I enjoyed the first few books in this series very much (see my review of book #1, Wicked Autumn), but I’m a couple of books behind at this point.
Haunt Me Still (Kate Stanley #2) by Jennifer Lee Carrell. “In this sequel to Interred with Their Bones, Shakespearean scholar and theater director…Kate [Stanley] becomes embroiled in a murder surrounding Macbeth, the Bard’s famously cursed play. As Kate and company begin rehearsals at the foot of Scotland’s Dunsinnan Hill, she discovers a local woman dead in circumstances that suggest ancient pagan sacrifice. Marked as both suspect and future victim, Kate undertakes a desperate race to find a dangerous, alternate version of Macbeth-reputed to be Shakespeare’s darkest secret.” [adapted from publisher blurb] The first book, Interred with Their Bones, was really good, and I don’t know why I haven’t read the second book yet.
Books I have read
Shadow Spell (Cousins O’Dwyer #2) by Nora Roberts. (Click title link for my review.) The middle book in the Cousins O’Dwyer focuses on the friends-to-lovers relationship of Connor O’Dwyer and Meara Quinn, his sister Branna’s closest friend since childhood. Connor is one of three descendants of Sorcha, the Dark Witch (good, not evil), who have inherited her power and are fated to confront, and hopefully defeat, the evil sorceror Cabhan, a quest that begins in Dark Witch and comes to a climax in the third book, Blood Magick. I love this series, and find myself rereading it almost every year.
Once Upon an Autumn Eve (Faery #3) by Dennis McKiernan. “Liaze, Princess of the Autumnwood, discovers a wounded knight has breached the boundary between her faery world and the land of mortal man-and recognizes him as the man her heart has been waiting for. But when he is snatched from her by a dark force, Liaze must undertake a perilous quest to retrieve her love.” [publisher blurb] The first book in this series of fairytale retellings, Once Upon a Winter’s Night, remains my favorite, but I enjoy the rest of the series as well. McKiernan adopts the language of fairytales and storytellers, cobbling several tales together into a longer narrative.
Hallowe’en Party (Poirot #39) by Agatha Christie. When a nasty teenager announces that she witnessed a murder and is then drowned in the bobbing-for-apples barrel at a Halloween party, it’s up to Poirot to find the murderer—or double murderer.
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White, illustrated by Megan Lloyd. Too Many Pumpkins has been a favorite in our house since Robin was little. We read it aloud every Halloween—and still do.
It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers #2) by Lisa Kleypas. Forthright, independent Lillian Bowman, an American soap heiress, can’t stand the arrogant, insufferable, and oh-so-proper Lord Westcliff. And Marcus considers her completly unproper and totally unsuited to be the bride of a British aristocrat. So why do they find each other so irresistible? This isn’t my favorite of the Wallflowers books (that honor goes to The Devil in Winter), but it’s delightful nonetheless.
Harvest Moon (Virgin River #13) by Robyn Carr. After Kelly Matlock collapses from a panic attack in the high-pressure kitchen of the high-class restaurant kitchen where she is a sous-chef—and is warned off by the wife of the famous chef with whom she is falling in love—she ends up at her sister Jillian’s house in Virgin River, to rest, recover, and figure out her life. Handsome screenwriter Lief Holbrook and his belligerent, rebellious teenage daughter Courtney are a distraction and a complication she hadn’t foreseen. Carr’s writing of the series began to flag a little after this book, but it’s still engaging in this installment.
Casting Spells (Sugar Maple #1) by Barbara Bretton. “Sugar Maple looks like any Vermont town, but it’s inhabited with warlocks, sprites, vampires, witches and an ancient secret. And Chloe Hobbs, owner of Sticks & String, a popular knitting shop, has a big secret too. She’s a sorcerer’s daughter in search of Mr. Right and she’s found him in Luke MacKenzie, a cop investigating Sugar Maple’s very first murder. Bad news is he’s 100% human, which could spell disaster for a normal future with a paranormal woman like her.” It’s so long since I read Casting Spells that I can’t remember what I liked and disliked about it, only that my feelings were mixed. But it’s definitely a witchy, atmospheric book for Halloween!
Death Overdue (Haunted Library Mysteries #1) by Allison Brook. (Click title for my review.) Librarian Carrie Singleton must solve the murder of retired policeman Al Buckley, poisoned at a library event. And she’s got the help of the library’s friendly ghost. This was a fun book, a good choice if you want a Halloween-themed cozy mystery.