Emily - Customer Service Specialist

Magic. Mystery. Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I’m eclectic, a magpie collecting books, information, and Funko pops. I enjoy speaking in references and movie quotes, though sometimes struggle to make sure people around me recognize them. I’ve been getting lost in books since I was a little girl; one of my first memories is reading "'Berenstain Bears" with my Grandma. I like high fantasy, sci-fi, horror, thrillers, adventure, romance, and just about everything in between. Most recent fun fact I learned is that bubble wrap was originally invented to be wallpaper. 

Best of 2023

These were my top reads of 2023. Some of them I even read multiple times cause once just wasn't enough, and have lived rent free in my mind ever since. 

<p>This was a book I read on a chance after getting it from Book of the Month. I knew it would have magic, and gave it a shot. I devoured this book, and the audiobook. I read it again later in the year and loved it so much, I annotated a copy for a friend. The world building is amazing, the characters are all dynamic. There are romantic relationships, friendships, familial relationships, just a little bit of something for everybody.&nbsp;</p>
<p>This is the other book that I read multiple times, and it is another one that I checked out on a whim because we had copies available, and I heard it had dragons. This gave me all the feels of reading Divergent and Hunger Games back in the day, only there are dragons and magical powers, and enemies to lovers romance. Literally everything I could want in one book. Plus world building with nerdy history facts.&nbsp;</p>
<p>After I read Hide by this author I immediately went to see if she had any other books in the horror genre written, saw this was coming, and put it on my to be read list. Placed a hold as soon as I could. Read most of it on release day, and I loved it. This one has similar themes to Hide, but with a dash more religious trauma that had me sobbing by the end. Loved it.</p>
<p>I read this on a whim, deciding to give Rachel Hawkins a second chance after I didn't really care for a previous book, and I'm glad I did. This converted me to a devoted reader of hers, and sent me on a spiral where I read her entire back catalog too. Covering two different timelines, you see two different infamous murders happen at the same Italian villa, and at the end it's up to you to decide what just is real.</p>

Romance: Humans Optional

Everyone enjoys a good love story, but sometimes humans just get boring. This is for everyone who wants a little extra flair to the story.

We'll start off the list nice and easy with some shifters. This world that Suzanne Wright has created features more creatures, but this focuses on the Phoenix Pack of wolves, with this story seeing their alpha find his mate.
The Phoenix Pack story continues with Dante and Jaime. What happens when it is too dangerous for a shifter to give control to their inner wolf? How long can they go without shifting? Read to find out.
I love a good Christmas novella. They're fluffy and seasonal. This one throws in some purring cougars with a little kidnapping and light torture to keep the story dramatic.
Now we move on to Tamsin Ley. She writes about things like mermaids and centaurs. Her books are also quick to get into the spice.

Not Just for Children

These are the picture books that make me smile every time they come across the desk. They tackle subjects in fun ways, make jokes for the adults while still being funny for the kids, have great artwork, and are just all around must haves. 

A classic. You can't go wrong with any of the Laura Numeroff books. The repetition is good for kids, and the artwork is so fun. Warning: her books may make you hungry.
This has been a favorite since it first came across my desk. Who doesn't love a story with knights, dragons, and pizza?!
I dare you to read this without doing an Australian accent. It's impossible and so much fun. Also very informative!
I love the artwork and it teaches a great lesson in a fun way.

Love and Murder


These were some of the top murder mysteries I've read. These books are filled with more twists than a pretzel and love to see everyone through to the end. Or at least... almost everyone.


<p>"The Family Game" came across my radar because of the similarity to the movie "Ready Or Not." Both feature extravagantly wealthy families with a fondness for games and a girl marrying in who must win the game to survive. But, the execution of the story and ending are very different. The audiobook is read by the author, which was a fun twist. I look forward to reading this again in the future and seeing what I pick up on the second time around.</p>
<p>Daisy Darker has a little secret, and it ends up having rather large consequences. When the family gets locked on an island alone and start dying one by one, they have to struggle to survive until morning. While the twists and turns in this book were not the most original, I enjoyed how they played out. The characters all had their own flare, and (spoiler alert) the dog didn't die which is always a concern when there's one featured in a murder mystery.</p>
<p>I was the target audience for "Twilight" when it came out, and "The Chemist" also appealed to me in other ways. An ex agent for a shady government agency who specialized in poisons and torture has been on the run from said agency, but is offered true freedom if she'll do just one more job. Torturing one more bad guy shouldn't be so hard, right? Unless the bad guy is a cute, cinnamon roll school teacher who never did a thing bad in his life.</p>
<p>This book genuinely kept me guessing. From narrators that aren't always reliable, and so many different versions of the same story, it's so interesting to see how the story actually comes together. While most things are wrapped up in the end, there is still a slight question on if you are left with the actual truth, or just a version of it.</p>

BookTok Made Me Read These

TikTok was not something I expected to spend so much time on, but it sucked me in and BookTok was a large part of it. With minute-long videos featuring theme music and quotes, my TBR has quickly lost any sense of control. These are some of the titles featured on there that have taken up permanent residence on my bookshelf. These put spins of war and fantasy on your more traditional…

<p>I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a good Hades and Persephone story. The world set up by Neon Gods is a refreshing spin on familiar gods. Everyone fits the role they’ve been assigned but have their own personality as well. This is a the first in a series, and I look forward to seeing how the other couples vary from their classic counterparts. The adult themes lean more towards "Fifty Shades of Grey" in this book.</p>
<p>Another book that takes elements from classic tales and gives them a spin, bringing a world of faeries and magic to life. There’s war, enemies at every corner, including some you don’t expect. And, at the heart of it is a human girl trying to stay in the world of the living and not lose herself or her heart. A strong start to the series.</p>
<p>When I say I was devastated by the turn of events the start of this book took from where book one ended, I mean I didn’t want to read it for a bit. But, I’m glad I trusted and kept moving forward. Characters introduced in this book are some of my favorites in the series, and part of why I read through the rest of them as fast as I could.</p>
<p>The thrilling conclusion to the initial story started in "A Court of Thorns and Roses." There was laughter. There was crying. There was ugly depression curled up in my blanket trying to cope from the crying. I loved the answers that were given in this book and storylines wrapped up and was even more excited for the ones left to be answered in books to come.</p>

These Vampires Don’t Sparkle

I’ve always been drawn to vampires, studying how the mythology was born and evolved into the media frenzy that surrounded the elusive creatures when "Twilight" came out. These are some of the novels that have stood out from some of the others, particularly for their unique take on vampires. Or unique spin to the world vampires occupy.

<p>Hot off of BookTok, this book is first in a series and debuts two types of vampires, as well as werewolves and some other supernatural delights. The two types of vampires are also at war with one another, one is more traditional and stuck in the dark while the other is golden eyed and loves the sunlight. There is war and love, and most things in between in this tale, and nothing is as it first appears.</p>
<p>Vampires, ghosts, what else is missing from this college town? This is a fairly standard outcast girl goes to the new school, finds friends when she’s true to herself, ends up on the wrong side of some big bad vampires. Classic. What I like about these vampires is they don’t get all pretty when they’re turned. They look the same as when they were human, a nice twist.</p>
<p>Another school setting, this series features two and a half vampire species. Strigoi are the bad vampires, cut off from their souls, and Moroi are the vampires they used to be, still in touch with the magic of the earth. Dhampirs are half human and half vampire, and they protect the Moroi. These stories have politics of a hidden vampire world, different mythos drawn from vampire tales around the world, and of course a forbidden romance or two.</p>
<p>While werewolves and werecoyotes might be the main creatures in this series, you can’t disregard the vampires. This series takes place in Tri-Cities and the surrounding area which makes it particularly exciting to read. It was very cool to be reading and hear familiar land marks and towns mentioned, especially when I was by those places myself.</p>

Read To Me

These are the readers and audiobooks that I come back to time and time again.

<p>The reader for this book–and many of their earlier titles–is Scott Brick. I haven’t found a book yet that isn’t made better when read by Scott. He really shines with mystery adventures such as this one. With a mysterious treasure hunt, a charismatic New York reporter, and enough history lessons to leave you questioning what’s real and fiction, this story is one that draws you in and doesn’t let go.</p>
<p>This has been one of my favorite audiobooks for a long time. I'm pretty sure my family wore out a copy of it once. Nathaniel Parker makes these characters larger than life, even though the majority of them are smaller than the twelve year old leading boy. The play on leprechauns, and their pot of gold, made this book a winner from the start.</p>
<p>I’m not generally a fan of audiobooks read by women; they tend to force their voices too deep when pretending to be men, and it takes me out of the story. Jennifer Ikeda does not do that. She can flow between male and female characters with ease, and does a lovely French accent. This book is all about magic and the power of love in all its forms. Featuring witches, vampires, and a fair amount of history, there is something new I appreciate from it every time I listen.</p>
<p>A very quick audiobook, I get this one every November to help get me in the holiday spirit. Dennis Boutsikaris is just the right reader for this book. There are no frills or excitement, but all the characters come to life. With a good old fashioned rivalry helping to spur conflict along, some classic Christmas carols and the magic of a first snowfall, there’s a little something for everyone in this holiday tale.</p>