Mug Monday & New Books Talk

Mug Feature                                                                                                                                             IKEA – Black Mug

Book Topic & Book Feature                                                                                                                New Books & Belle by Cameron Dokey

 

Happy Mug Monday!

 

So, what has this little book blogger been up to since her last Mug Monday post? Ha! I´ve been procrastinating. Alright. Fine. If you want to know the truth- I´ve been physically lazy and mentally working overtime.

Ever since my short break I´ve had time to think. Of course, I´ve read a few books, too, but that´s secondary at the moment.

I´ve noticed a shift in my reading tastes. I´m not sure if this has something to do with the lack of good romances being published or if it´s just a phase. I cannot stomach another sappy love story.

Don´t get me wrong. I still love the romance genre. I also still make a beeline towards the women’s fiction aisle in a bookstore and I still search for new romance titles online in hopes for finding something good ( See? I´ve even lowered my book standards ).  But do I find anything worth reading? Not at the moment. It´s as if authors are bored with the genre and just publish romances for the heck of it. That´s probably not true. But give a girl a break. Book hunting is exhausting at the moment. Especially when it´s scorching 35°C ( 95°F ) outside.

 

So, this means a few things. I could:

a) Continue to tackle the TBR list

b) Wait for a miracle to happen

c) Move on

d) Visit Netgalley

e) Go on another creative break

f) Do garden work

g) Contact friends I promised I´d call… 2 months ago

 

I contacted the friends- I´m forgiven. I don´t need ANOTHER creative break. Garden work is the greatest punishment ever. My TBR list can kindly go to hell.  I cannot foresee any miracles happening soon so that leaves me with Netgalley.

Netgalley. It´s been a while since I last stepped foot on Book Catalogue Land. Well, it´s been exactly 14 hours ( before that, 3 years ). Since romance isn´t feeding my needs I decided to check out what´s available on Netgalley.

I was successful. Greedy and successful. SO MANY BOOKS. So many non romances. And now, I have loads of Netgalley reads, a giant TBR list and the books I got while on vacation.

 

Sometimes I really do believe I have fruit missing from my fruit bowl.

 

Well, at least I have books to read, right? My worries for the romance genre are currently put to rest for the time being. I´ll be occupied with mermaids and pirates, kingdoms and witches now.

 

Speaking of new books and reading… I just finished this beauty ( pun intended ).

belle

`Belle` ( A retelling of Beauty and the Beast ) by author Cameron Dokey. Did I love, like, enjoy or hate it? Well, I´ll tell you that I fell in love with the cover. The rest of my thoughts will be available in the upcoming review.

The mug is nothing special. Just your typical IKEA mug that probably won´t last long ( they never do in my house ). The cold chocolate milk topped with whipped cream was divine, though.

 

That´s it for this week, lovies. Now you know I´ve dug my own grave and will now endure a massive and glorious reading marathon.

Hope you enjoy your Monday!

Don´t forget to share the book ❤

Warm hugs,

Morgana <3<3

 

 

 

 

Religion In Romance Novels

This is a topic I´m not all too happy to write about because… Well, there are topics you just don´t discuss. Sadly though, I feel the need to get this off my chest.

Back in the day my first boss gave me some valuable piece of advice:

Never talk about religion, politics or money with a customer. Later in life I added the “raising kids” topic to that list because that´s also something people can easily argue over. A simple fact. I´ve lived by the “Never Discuss….” rule ever since.

 

After a happy shopping spree on Amazon I spotted a beautiful book cover with a great book title. When I saw the author´s name my excitement grew. Mia Sheridan.

more than words

One of my favorite romance authors published a new book! `More Than Words` was published June 12th! WOOP!

I didn´t hesitate with reading a few Amazon reviews. This one was what sealed the deal for me.

 

Wow. First off, I think the review was well constructed and perfectly written. The reviewer, despite her non religious beliefs, rated the book with  4.5 stars, whereas I….

… I wouldn´t have been so generous.

Some may see the review as a spoiler. I see the review as helpful.

I´m an atheist. A happy one, at that. I, too, respect and accept other people´s beliefs and would never judge them publicly for what they think exists or not just as I would never want people to judge me openly for not believing in God.

The reviewer is right: Some people think love and religion go hand in hand. I believe religion should stay far away from love and from romance novels. Unless you´re an author writing epic stories about badass vampires and demons who reveal just how twisted and corrupted the religious world is  (  Read Hedoschism by Lindsey Clarke on Wattpad  )… you shouldn´t really include religion in a romantic story.

Of course, there are many  subjects readers avoid, such as: adultery, erotica in general, rape, M/M, F/F, M/M/F, fetish, etc. But none are as controversial as religion.

I´m fully aware that authors will never reach everyone´s hearts with their writing, no matter what they write about or what topic they include. Opinions vary. Why shouldn´t authors be allowed to include religion in their romance novels, right?

Exactly.

But for me, the happy atheist who wants to read a new Mia Sheridan romance novel, it´s disappointing to find out there´s religion included. I won´t buy the book.

Yes. One single review had the ability to influence my book purchase. GOOD! That´s what reviews are for.

I´m actually grateful for the reviewer´s insight because if I had bought the book without knowing about the “issue” that bothered the reviewer I would have been a very unhappy book blogger.

Because I don´t believe in God. Because religion doesn´t make sense to me. Never has and never will.

Now, you´re probably asking what happens when I accidentally stumble upon a romance novel that has religion included.

Due to my lack of interest on the subject I immediately DNF a romance novel that has religious characters in it.

And I also bet you´re asking why I accept religion in paranormal / fantasy novels and not with romance novels?

The answer is simple: Fantasy or paranormal stories are basically modern-day fairy tales drawn out to extreme levels. There´s creativity in world building, character forming and storytelling. For me, God and the Bible fit perfectly in that niche.  It´s make – believe. It´s not real.

Whereas romance novels are set in realistic worlds and characters deal with realistic issues. God and the Bible do not fit in a world I can relate with.

I struggle to believe God and contemporary romance novels could ever go hand in hand.

I´ve probably offended many people with my opinion on the subject, even though I´ve tried my best not to discriminate religion or people who believe in God.

But just as religious people have the right to openly love and praise their God ( and those who do praise God do it rather loudly ), I am also allowed to do the unthinkable and state my opinion on how I think religion is nothing more than a waste of time. Seeing religion in romance novels does not sit well with me.

 

What are your thoughts on the subject? Are you bothered by religion in romance novels? Do you even care if religion is included in any story? Are you delighted to see authors including religion in romance novels?

Do not hesitate to leave a comment. I´m ( thankfully ) one of those people who agree to disagree.

NOTE FOR OVERLY RELIGIOUS MEMBERS OF SOCIETY: I´m happy. Please do not tag me in any religious posts on social media and do not pray for me. If you feel the need to block / unfollow / unfriend me due to our religious differences then I will not stop you.

 

 

 

 

Book Review- The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

synopsis 2

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself. 

 


 

My Thoughts 2

This is another case of “It´s not the book. It´s me.” Or, maybe the book is my problem…

I liked loved the synopsis. It´s captivating and just screams at a reader to buy the book.

Because it sounds interesting. The story sounds dark and mysterious. It appears to have that certain witchy atmosphere. A promise of legends and curses mixing with reality and…. above all, there´s a promise of something magical.

I can´t say that `The Wicked Deep` by author Shea Ernshaw was a complete the wicked deepdisappointment because there were quite a few parts I really enjoyed about the story. But the other parts? 40% of the story wasn´t as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be.

Was the story dark and mysterious?
Well, it did have a nice dark atmosphere and it did offer a hint of mystery in the beginning. But since the story was predictable the mystery part was flushed down the drain and that made my reading experience less enjoyable.

`The Wicked Deep` is a full blown cliché. While the writing is great the story is rather flat and shallow.

The threat was there but it felt restricted. As if the author didn´t want to go too far with her characters.

I would have liked for the “witches” ( as they were so lovingly sold to the readers ) to have had more spotlight. It wouldn´t have hurt if they had been included in more scenes. They drowned on land as they did when they were forced to drown in the pacific ocean.

As for the main characters- I would have appreciated if Penny hadn´t felt robotic. Bo was a Hero I´d consider to be 2 dimensional. Present but transparent, lacking depth.

As for the end of the story…. It won a smirk from me.



 

Would I recommend this book? I would. I´m sure there are many readers who would appreciate this type of witch book. It´s a nice standalone that´s not too high-toned.

Would I re – read this book? Nope.

 

The Cover – 5 stars ( The cover is stunning. Simple, colorful and the title is catchy.)

The Story – 3 stars ( While there were parts I loved I couldn´t get over the stuff I didn´t enjoy. If it´s said that witches are involved then I´d appreciate reading about witches. If there´s a curse then I would like that curse to have some magical background.  )

The Characters – 2 stars ( All had their own voices. I find it odd, though, when MC are less emotional than sub characters. I also find it worrying when sub characters have more depth. When MCs don´t stand out ( as they should) then I lose interest)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Indifferent.

3 stars

Buy `The Wicked Deep`

 

Morgana´s Book Box Instagram Feature

 

 

10 Dreamy Reading Nooks

Readers are dreamers.

We dream about the great stories we´ve read and the ones that have yet to be written. We dream about the adventures we´ll probably never go on and the places we long to visit.

And then we dream some more.

We imagine ourselves locked in a bookstore and smelling and feeling all the books we´d love to have. We dream of having our own personal library filled with all sorts of printed treasures.

But that´s just the problem. For most of us readers – our dreams remain dreams.

That is, unless someday we turn into Disney´s Belle.

 

That´s fancy day dreaming for you. Or, should I say – for us readers.

Since we can´t be Belle from Beauty and the Beast and we also can´t live in a bookstore or library ( although, I believe it should be allowed to have sleepovers in bookstores ), us normal foot folk opt for something that´s more realistic. Something that comes close to a library or a bookstore for readers.

Reading nooks.

Reading nooks are a readers own little private reading spaces where we can curl up with a good book and surround ourselves with all sorts of coziness and… books!

Okay. Okay. Reading nooks aren´t the Bodleian library and they´re certainly not our favorite bookshops. But they´re cute. They´re costumized and they belong to us! A huge bonus about book nooks are: they´re at home. Readers can get comfortable in lounge wear and just plop down with a nice cup of tea / cocoa / coffee and don´t have to worry about having to put a book down when nature calls. That, alone, beats everything else!

 

So, why don´t us readers all have a book nook? And, why don´t I have one? Clearly, they´re not that hard to set up. And thankfully, the internet is filled with beautiful book nook inspirations for us to copy and transform our reading nook – less rooms into stunning Pinterest worthy reading heavens!

 

Alas. Here are the 10 most dreamy reading nooks that will have a readers heart beating wildly!

 

 

Simple Style

Not particularly child friendly ( unless for teenagers ) with the white and beige but still a cute eye catcher.

Am I the only one who can visualize the future chocolate smears all over that nook?

nook 9

 

 

 

The Wooden Dream

A rustic niche with floor to ceiling wood work. This reading nook gives off a super cozy vibe with it´s soft lighting. All that´s missing is a miniature fireplace.

nook 6

 

 

 

Reading Nook / Floor

Wide, open space with a beautiful view outside. Books left and right with a built-in bench and a ladder. 

It´s definitely the ladder that does it for me.

nook 3

 

 

 

A Feminine Reading Nook

Women don´t need a library. We need a tiny corner, a bookshelf and a cushioned seat placed between windows. I can literally feel the coziness just by looking at that chair. Very lovely and homey.

nook 8

 

 

 

A Small Person´s Nightmare

Or perhaps a small person´s dream? Thank goodness for the little footstep or else anything below 5`2 would never be able to enjoy this charming piece of reading heaven.

A definite winner for me: the extra lighting.

nook 2

 

 

A Door-slide Entrance

It doesn´t get any simpler than with this plain yet stunning reading nook. 2 over – door book shelves, 2 shabby chic slide doors and a fluffy white heaven on the other side. Do readers need anything else? Well, maybe more bookshelves…..
Personally, if that belonged to me then I´d never leave the house.

nook 1

 

 

 

An Invitation To Relax

The wooden frame gives this spacious reading nook it´s magical appearance. Pros: A reader has room to stretch and can take full advantage of the natural light from the windows. Con: The lamp.

When you have space to move you can get into more comfortable positions and easy fall asleep. A never ending beautiful book battle.

nook 4

 

 

Old School Reading Nook

This definitely looks like something I´d find at my parent´s house. Comforting and functional with drapes. 

nook 10

 

 

A Bohemian Fort

Super simple. Super stylish. Super inexpensive. This beautiful reading nook shows you don´t need to have a picture perfect reading nook.

My personal favorite. I might never be able to stand again but if that´s the price I´d have pay for being able to read in this beautiful piece of artful mess then so be it.

nook 16

 

 

Functional Perfection

Rumor has it that we spend 1.5 years of our lives in the bathroom.The average person goes 6 times a day! An avid reader reads as much as they can.  The damage this book nook / book toilet nook is able to do….. Readers might suffer from having a permanent ring on their backsides.

I don´t care what negative opinions people have over this. There´s no ignoring the fact that this person is a genius. Whoever came up with this brilliant idea needs to be given a hug. Books and a toilet. What more can a reader ask for? A dream come true.

nook 17

 

 

Thank you for checking out the 10 dreamy reading nooks!

Which reading nook is your favorite? Let´s chat about book nooks. 

 

Much love,

Morgana ❤

 

 

 

 

 

Mug Monday & Tea Talk

Mug

Glass tea cup

Book

The Brother´s Grimm Fairy tales

 

Happy Mug Monday! ( okay, fine. Happy belated Mug Monday )

For years I´ve been listening to my friends rave about tea.

“The health benefits!”

“It´s better than coffee.”

“There´s nothing better than having a cup of tea while reading a good book.”

 

 

I have no doubt that tea has great health benefits. And, I´m sure it´s better than coffee, too ( although, I wouldn´t know. I don´t drink coffee ). But the point about tea and books being a fab combo? That, I wasn´t so sure about.

The truth is- Tea never did anything special for me. Which led to me being a non tea drinker.

Even my best friend, Mirjam, who also happily considers herself to be a tea nazi, tried to convince me about the perks of tea. ( I said she´s my best friend. I didn´t say we always share the same sense of humor )

“Come on over tomorrow and I´ll make you the perfect tea.“, she said. So, I went to her house the next day and tried her tea. Mind you, I never tried black tea before. It always had an odd smell to me but she promised me she´d be careful and teach me how to “water” my tea down with milk and sugar.

tea three
Mirjam & Morgana´s Afternoon Tea Party

An hour and 1 cup of black tea later I ran home with massive stomach cramps. To this day I´m convinced she wanted to poison me with her version of the perfect black tea.

After that fateful day I decided to never drink anything tea – ish ever again.

Until a new tea shop opened in the nearby village.

While I´m anti – tea, my daughters….aren´t. Both love their fruit tea ( a blend of forest berries and green tea ).

Anyway- My oldest spotted the new tea shop and before I was able to protest she was already inside the shop, looking around. Just my luck.

To make a long story short, I spent half a fortune on 6 different loose teas.

tea two

My senses were clouded by a wonderful mixture of fruity / herbal smells, plus the tea lady gave me a full-blown lecture on ingredients and benefits and water temperature and and and…. I had no other choice but to cave.

Here are the blends my daughters picked.

 

Eve & Lillian´s Tea

tea

White Peach

( Apple, pineapple, rose hip, peach, lemon, rose blossom, Columbian blossom )

Berry Power

( Apple, rose hip, white hibiscus, chokeberry, blueberry, Columbian blossom )

Peach Garden

(Apple, hibiscus, rose hip, peach, redbush, rose blossom, cinnamon )

Pina Colada

( Coconut, pineapple, passionfruit, blackberries, lemon, rose blossoms, orange )

Hibiscus

( cranberries, hibiscus, lemon, cinnamon, rooibos )

 

The stuff I bought isn´t even worth mentioning but I´ll still add my pathetic Peppermint and Chamomile loose tea, just for good measure. Oh, and the chocolate powder, as they had a new blend of cocoa from Spain. How can I resist a new brand of cocoa?

 

The Sum Up

I dared myself to try some of my daughter´s tea. Pina Colada spoke to me in my dark moment and… to tell you the truth? I didn´t suffer from stomach cramps! In fact- I actually like the fruity tea version of my favorite cocktail.

The spanish cocoa wasn´t for me, though.

I most definitely haven´t been turned into a tea drinker but thanks to my daughters I have a new-found appreciation for the subtle tasty water.

Do I think books and tea go hand in hand? After my pina colada tea, I´d say yes.

 

I´m pretty sure most of you aren´t like me and have already been drinking tea for the last few decades so my question is:

What kind of tea do you drink? What blends do you prefer? 

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Much love,

Morgana ❤