Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s topic is…

Books I Meant To Read In 2018

Guys…that’s every book I own!  Haha, no, but really…I had every intention of reading the books I had on hand.  So…I suppose I shall make this list with the books that first come to mind that I really, really, intended on reading, but, for one reason or another just got pushed back…in no particular order here we go!



Big Woods by May Cobb

I purchased this on October 22, 2018 and really, really wanted to read it.  I got it for a steal at 99 cents and before I know it, it’s January 2019 and I still haven’t read it yet!  This will be a must for me soon!



Winter Street Series by Elin Hilderbrand

I fell in love with Elin Hilderbrand in 2018 so I decided I would buy her Winter Street series and have a binge read in December…well, I bought the books…guess what I will be reading in December this year (and if I’m not YELL AT ME)!



Closer Home by Kerry Anne King

I had this book checked out for a month from the Kindle Owner’s Library and did I read it?  No.  So I finally just purchased it because I love her writing and this story line has me so intrigued.  I’m still kicking myself over not reading it when I had it checked out! Grrrrr…



The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

I bought it!  It has been on my list to read since it came out and I finally bought it in 2018!  Each time I saw a review of this book or saw it on social media I thought, I’m going to read it now…yet, here I am…



The Fifth Juror & The Advocate by Lori Lacefield

I won a super sweet contest from Lori Lacefield where I won a $100 Amazon gift card and a new Kindle Paperwhite.  I bought her books (naturally) and I actually went to read these, however, I was slightly miffed that when you buy a box set on the Kindle, it all stays together.  I had every intention of reading the first book, another book inbetween, and then the second book, but, they were together, meaning, when it showed me how many pages and percentage was left, it was for BOTH books.  I had hoped that a box set would show as the 2 separate books but now I know and even if I save a few bucks, I will never buy a box set again on the Kindle!



Brain On Fire by Susannah Cahalan

I refound this book when I unpacked a stray box from our move in March 2017.  It went right to the top of my TBR pile, but, I never picked it up.  I would like to note that my day job is working with students with moderate, severe, and profound disabilities so this book really has me curious and will be one that I will read this year.


Well…it looks like I have a LOT of reading to do and I should get off of here and get to it!  Are any of these still on your TBR list?  Have you read any?  Any I should stop what I’m doing and read right away?

Book Review: Slay Bells

Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review. I apologize for the late holiday review (yes, I finished this in 2018), but, I’m still watching Hallmark Christmas movies.  I love the holidays!

This was my first cozy mystery read.  I will warn you right now, I am apparently not a cozy mystery genre fan.  I found this book to be too cheesy at times and lacked some substance for me.  However, I can look past what makes a cozy mystery a cozy mystery and provide an honest review about the overall writing. 

Despite all the cheesiness, I was hooked in to this book.  The premise is a troupe of performers stay at Plum Cottage while they perform nightly during the Christmas Festival in Christmas Village.  There are a lot of characters introduced in the beginning, to the point where it’s overwhelming, and are quite eccentric.  Mrs. Claus helps her friend who owns Plum Cottage and suddenly one of the troupe members is murdered.

What intrigued me was how the murder happened and who did it.  I could not forecast how exactly the murder happened nor could I figure out who did it (until much later in the book).  A second murder also occurs which is also as equally puzzling as the first; this is why I kept reading.

The premise of the murders was so mind boggling that I ignore the cheesiness of the book just to figure out how they were committed.  Mrs. Claus has a lot to do with solving the murders, which is something that is a bit bizarre.  And yes, there are references to her husband who is very busy this time of year, along with her pet ferrets, coincidentally named after famous reindeer.  I would have preferred a more realistic storyline instead of a happier, light one, but, to each their own.

I will say I was shocked with how both murders were committed.  I was not surprised at who did it, the author alludes to who did it as the book progresses.  However, those murders!  I really could not figure out in my head how they were committed and just wow.  The first body is found in the snow with no footprints around it.  I will say that how the murder occurred is revealed at the very end and blew my mind.  The second murder is crazy in its own right as well.  If not for the uniqueness of these murders, I doubt I would have kept reading.

Overall, I would rate this book 3.5 stars (which ultimately rounds up to 4 stars on Goodreads and Amazon).  I would recommend this book if you’re into a puzzling murder case around Christmas time and can look past an overly cheesy barrage of characters and storyline.  If you know you do not like cozy mysteries, don’t pick this book up.  If you are curious, go ahead and try it, just know that I warned you.



Title: Slay Bells: A Christmas Village Mystery

Author: T.C. Wescott

Publisher: Better Mousetrap Books

Release Date: November 23, 2018

ISBN-10: 1732135819

Quick Link To Amazon Here