Kell's Reading Realm

Life is short, read fast! 


Met one of my very favorite authors yesterday - Kimberly McCreight

Kimberly McCreight was doing a book signing at my local Barnes & Noble yesterday and I was so excited. She is the author of Reconstructing Amelia and Where They Found Her. I absolutely loved both books. No one ever comes to my city so it was really cool. She talked about her process and her new book and she is really funny.



I purchased her new book Outliers and can't wait to start it. It takes place in Maine (which will work for my New England bingo square).  I highly recommend her books!!

Reign: Hysteria

Reign: Hysteria - Lily Blake

"France is aflame with rumors of witchcraft and treachery. Who will be burn for their transgressions? Find out in this haunting original novel based on the hit CW television show, Reign.


Something sinister has been sweeping the villages surrounding the French court. Rumors of Satan’s horsemen traveling the countryside and claiming the souls of villagers have sent the people reeling into a religious frenzy and soon fear and suspicion lead them to accuse a young girl of witchcraft. After the prisoner is brought to the palace for questioning, Mary, Greer, Kenna, and Lola work to prove her innocence. But there are others who will stop at nothing to see the girl and her secrets silenced forever… "


I wouldn't really call this a haunting original novel but it wasn't bad. I haven't quite finished the first season of the show (because *ahem* a certain Poldark got in the way) so there were some spoilers in this book concerning Lola (who btw didn't do anything to prove anyone's innocence). The characters are written close to the show and it was an interesting story of supposed witchcraft. I am falling more in love with Bash than I already was. I think he may be a favorite character of the writer. 


This of course satisfies the witch bingo square! 



I saw someone else who is partaking in bingo talking about how they must have the most squares without a bingo and I feel their pain. I do have one bingo but I've read 12 books. I must find direction. :) 

Reading progress update: I've read 20%.

Paul Clifford - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

This book is the first book to use the phrase "It was a Dark and Stormy Night" so I thought it would be fun to read it for that bingo square. Alas, I can't finish it. I feel like a failure but it's not catching my attention at all. :(  I do read classics (Pride & Prejudice is my favorite book of all time) but sometimes they are just not my taste. I feel bad... but I'll save it for another time.


I am going to take the recommendation of my friend, Jenn, and read (or listen to) And Then There Were None for the "It was a Dark and Stormy Night" square. I saw the movie and it was great.

Adventures of a Wimpy Werewolf: Hairy but NOT Scary

Adventures of a Wimpy Werewolf: Hairy But Not Scary - Tim    Collins

Luke Thorpe is a fifteen-year-old wimp. Excellent at math and terrible at sport, he’s not the sort of person you’d expect to see howling at a full moon. Yet he finds himself doing just that – and a host of hairier things – as he slowly discovers his true identity: against all odds, he is a teenage werewolf.


In this, his brilliantly funny diary, Luke describes his new condition and its embarrassing impact on his life, as well as embarking on an extraordinary adventure that brings him into contact with some pointy-toothed familiar faces … Will Luke triumph over a werewolf’s mortal enemies? There’s only one way to find out.  source



This is Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets vampires and werewolves. This is the third book in an extremely funny series for 8-12 year olds. A few years back my son was addicted to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and he didn't have anything new to read and still needed to get his AR points for school. I found this series at our library and he loved it!


The Wimpy Vampire series can be found here: Tim Collins Books


I highly recommend it if you (or your kids) are looking for something light and funny to read!


This fulfilled my Vampire v Werewolves square!


Reading progress update: I've read 50 out of 224 pages.

Adventures of a Wimpy Werewolf: Hairy But Not Scary - Tim    Collins

After the 500+ page book I just finished yesterday, I decided to jump into something a bit lighter. This is a re-read for me. My son and I read it a few years back. It is such a fun series and this one in particular is a funny take on the vampire v werewolf conflict.

Three Sisters, Three Queens

Three Sisters, Three Queens - Philippa Gregory

When Katherine of Aragon is brought to the Tudor court as a young bride, the oldest princess, Margaret, takes her measure. With one look, each knows the other for a rival, an ally, a pawn, destined – with Margaret’s younger sister Mary – to a sisterhood unique in all the world. The three sisters will become the queens of England, Scotland and France.


United by family loyalties and affections, the three queens find themselves set against each other. Katherine commands an army against Margaret and kills her husband James IV of Scotland. But Margaret’s boy becomes heir to the Tudor throne when Katherine loses her son. Mary steals the widowed Margaret’s proposed husband, but when Mary is widowed it is her secret marriage for love that is the envy of the others. As they experience betrayals, dangers, loss and passion, the three sisters find that the only constant in their perilous lives is their special bond, more powerful than any man, even a king.


Released 9 August 2016. (Philippa Gregory Site)


When an author decides to write in first person it really can be a slippery slope for their readers between sympathizing and loathing said character. This book is written from Margaret Tudor's point of view. It follows her from childhood, when she was a Tudor princess, to seeing her son grown and on the thrown.  Unfortunately, there is not much known about her but there is a lot known about the events of those times so Philippa tries to fill in the blanks. Historically, she was quite a woman of her times. She was handed over to her older husband, the King of Scotland, at age 13 and was forced in the middle of the conflict between England and Scotland many times.


This is also a story of the relationship between the three sisters, Katherine of Aragon, Mary, Queen of France (for a few weeks) and Margaret, Queen of Scots, all from Margaret's point of view. Although Margaret is a whiny, envious, materialistic character it is fascinating to read all the events that took place. The most prominent was when Katherine ordered King James killed and his body brought back to England to show off. She did not even let her sister-in-law have his body to bury. This was when it all began to fall apart for Margaret, so how she could even speak with her sister-in-law and brother again is beyond me, but apparently she did, even going to live with them for a time.


I wish better records would have been kept back then about the women of the time, but since they were not, we get a book like this that can only guess what was going on in the heads of these women.


It's a long book and you'll probably end up hating Margaret for a time, but if you love the Tudor era and would like a different perceptive of it, this is definitely a good book for that.


I am using this for "Fall into a good book," bingo square since a lot of it was set in the Autumn.



Reading progress update: I've read 208 out of 464 pages.

Three Sisters, Three Queens - Philippa Gregory

She stopped being envious and whiny and now she's back to it... Ugh. 

Reading progress update: I've read 142 out of 464 pages.

Three Sisters, Three Queens - Philippa Gregory

The royals of long ago would marry their daughters and sisters to make alliances with other countries but I don't know what they hoped to accomplish? Peace? I don't know if it ever did. Queen Catherine, as regent, ordered the body of James, King of Scots be brought to London as a trophy. While this book is fiction, there are truths scattered about. How could Queen Catherine do this to her sister's husband?  It becomes more painful to think about it when you are reading it from Queen Margaret's point of view, regardless if it's a work of fiction. What she went through we truly don't know, but it has to be awful to live through your brother and sister-in-law boasting of your husband's death and not even letting you have his body for burial.  

Public Enemies

Horrors of History - Eric    Scott, Farah Ahamed, Emma Ayres, KL Mabbs, L.D. Rose, Jacob Gerstel, Elizabeth Hawksworth, Lindy Spencer, Kevin Saito, Dominica Malcolm, Kristen Duvall, William Van Winkle, Robert J. Mendenhall, Stephen D. Rogers, Robert Davis

A short written by the talented L.D. Rose. This story is about two brothers who are on a bit of a crime spree and the witch ex-girlfriend of one of the brothers. Evie is actually a witch in all sense of the word. The brothers are not much alike but share a strong brotherly bond. They end up stopping in a town where the "dead's disappearing from their graves."  That definitely plays into the story. A great short with a surprise ending. Worth the read!


This satisfies my Genre: Horror square.


Reading progress update: I've read 118 out of 464 pages.

Three Sisters, Three Queens - Philippa Gregory

I had this book reserved at my library when I first heard it was coming out and it came in on Saturday. I wanted to read it straight away, but was disappointed that it was going to take time away from my Halloween Bingo. I was very excited when I got to the "Scotland, Autumn 1503" chapter. I believe, and correct me if I am wrong, that I can use this as my "Fall" into a good book square! Woot! 


"The trees grow down to the water's edge and rain their leaves on us as if we were in a parade and people were throwing flowers. The woods are all the colors of bronze and gold, red and brown, and the higher slopes of the hills are ablaze with the red of rowan trees." 


It presents a gorgeous picture. Now if Princess/Queen Margaret would quit being a whiny, annoying, jealous biotch, I could enjoy the book more than I am. :) 

Reading progress update: I've read 5%.

Paul Clifford - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

This one might be slow going. When I saw the bingo square for "It was a dark and stormy night," I decided to do some research regarding that particular little intro. I found that it was first used in the book Paul Clifford, a novel published in 1830 by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton. According to wiki, it tells the life of Paul Clifford, a man who leads a dual life as both a criminal and an upscale gentleman. The book was successful upon its release. It is the source of the famous opening phrase "It was a dark and stormy night;..."


I am only a little ways in but it isn't catching my attention at all. I am determined to stick with it.


Amazon has the download for free here: Paul Clifford Ebook



Halloween Bingo 2016 - Update #1



I got my first bingo!




Magical Realism -  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne

Black Cat - The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe

Diverse Authors Can Be Spooky Fun - The Lake by Tananarive Due

Ghost Stories and Haunted Houses - Mrs. Zant and the Ghost by Wilkie Collins

Young Adult Horror - The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Scary Women (Authors) - Cold Cold Heart by Karin Slaughter

Reads with (BookLikes) Friends - Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels 

Free Space - Reign: Darkness Rises by Lily Blake



Updated with my card.


The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

Finished! It's late here so I can't really write a review as I would like. It was a very interesting and unique book. My son was happy I finished. It was fun talking to him about it.


I used this for my YA Horror square!





Reading progress update: I've read 195 out of 311 pages.

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

Getting there!  I hope to be finished tonight so I can get in on the first drawing!

Working on my last bingo square for my first bingo!

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

I chose this book for "Young Adult Horror."  Since the book opens up with the murder of almost an entire family, I thought it fit. My 13 year old had to pick an award winning book to read last May for school so we looked up some popular ones and he chose this one.


Neil Gaiman won The 2009 Newbery Medal for this book. My son enjoyed it a lot and was pushing me to read it. He's happy I chose it for this square.


I love it so far!  

Cold, Cold Heart

Cold, Cold Heart - Karin Slaughter, Shannon Cochran, Inc. Blackstone Audio

Another great read by Karin Slaughter.  This is a story of a woman who thought she had it all until the truth comes out piece by piece and it unravels the life she thought she had. In the end she is able to take some control. It's a little late but she is satisfied with it.


I can't say enough good things about this author. So I chose her for the scary women (authors) square. She definitely writes wonderful psychological horror mysteries. There are times I have no idea how she can even come up with the horrific situations she puts her characters in. Some are so disturbing that I need to take a break from her books... but I always go back because she's that good!


One more book and I will have a bingo!! So excited. I just might make the deadline for the first drawing!