January Book Haul

I’m trying not to add to my tbr this year, at least not physical books. And I’m wanting to save money, so my primary goal is to read the books I already own and only buy books from favorite authors or ones that are series continuations. Let’s just say that for January I succeeded and failed. I set my book budget for the year at $250, that gives me $20.83 per month to spend on books, but I also want to have no spend months. This month I acquired two paperbacks and three ebooks, and spent $3.97. So what did I buy, and why did I buy it? (This post contains affiliate links.)

1. Hex Appeal by Kate Johnson

After reading The Ex Hex series, small town witchery romances became my jam, and I’m a sucker for illustrated covers. This gives me all the vibes I’m looking for, and I snagged it with a BookBub deal for $0.99. You just can’t beat that price with traditionally published books.

This spooky season curl up with the perfect witchy romcom for fans of Gilmore Girls, Hocus Pocus and Charmed. An absolute must-read if you love Erin Sterling’s The Ex Hex and Lana Harper’s Payback’s a Witch!

It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus…

Essie Winterscale lives in a huge and ever-changing house in the village of Good Winter, in deepest, darkest Essex. She lives with various witches of various ages, one of whom is still a bit salty about being hanged in the 1700s, one who keeps accidentally casting fertility spells, and one who knits things that create the future.

All Essie ever wanted was to have a normal life but in the end she found herself drawn back to Beldam House because she just can’t stop her witchiness (although the ability to instantly chill wine is pretty awesome, even she has to admit).

Into this coven of chaos stumbles gorgeous, clueless Josh, their new landlord – and he’s just discovered his tenants haven’t paid rent since the 1700s! As Josh is drawn further into the lives of the inhabitants of Beldam House, Essie is determined to keep him at broomstick’s length. That is, until a family secret, lying hidden for centuries, puts Josh firmly under her spell…

‘Funny, smart and sassy…No one creates such brilliant worlds quite like Kate does’ Julie Caplin

Readers have been bewitched by Hex Appeal:

‘If I could rate this book 10 stars I totally would’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘SO much fun… a must read for spooky season’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Great characters, a wonderful setting and a story that will keep you engaged to the very end’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Genuine laugh-out-loud moments’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Charming… I loved the close-knit coven’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

An amazing and fun ride… the story just sucked me in’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Fast-moving plot, sharp humour… compulsively readable’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘So much fun, definitely a good read for fall’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘I love all the witchy vibes’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Full of magic and cosy comfort… gripping and entertaining’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Enemies to lovers with magical and witchery powers’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

2. When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting

Don’t ask me why, but I also see this author’s cute covers and thank she’s Sally Thorne, who wrote The Hating Game. She’s not, so I figured I should finally give this author a try. I got it for $1.99 with a BookBub deal.

Charming, hilarious, and emotional…When Sparks Fly is Helena Hunting at her very best!

Avery Spark is living her best life. Between her friends, her sisters, and Spark House, the event hotel her family owns, she doesn’t have much time for anything else, especially relationships. She’d rather hang out with her best friend and roommate, Declan McCormick, than deal with the dating scene. But everything changes when she is in a car accident and needs someone to care for her as she heals.

Declan avoids relationships, giving him a playboy reputation that he lives up to when he puts a one-night stand ahead of a promise he made to Avery. While he may not have been the one driving the car, he feels responsible for Avery’s injuries and is determined to make it up to her by stepping into the role of caretaker.

Little did they know that the more time they spend in compromising positions, the attraction they’ve been refusing to acknowledge becomes impossible to ignore. When they finally give in to the spark between them, neither is prepared for the consequences. Their love is fragile and all it will take is a blow from the past to shatter it all.

3. Realm of Midnight Anthology by Various Authors

I got this anthology simply because one of my favorite authors, who happens to my bestie CM Haines, will have a werewolf beauty and the beast retelling in it. And there are over 30 full length new novels in this thing for a whopping $0.99. This is a pre-order that won’t hit my kindle till October 17th, 2023, but that means you can still get the deal yourself if you read this post before the release.

At the stroke of midnight, creatures of the realm come out to prowl.

Beyond the witching hour, darkness and light collide in this limited edition paranormal and fantasy romance collection. These sweet to spicy stories will sweep you off your feet and sate your fantasy cravings. Gods, shifters, fated mates, enemies-to-lovers, alpha heroes, angels, demons, and so much more.

Gargoyles watch silently over the realm where alpha shifters hunt, mighty dragons soar, dark fae wreak havoc, and powerful witches own the night. Enjoy over 30 full-length novels, filled with paranormal creatures and fantasy romance. Heart-stopping heroes and alluring anti-heroes rule the land of midnight.

You won’t find these exclusive novels anywhere else, so don’t miss your chance. These USA Today and international bestselling authors as well as up and coming authors bring you more than 10,000 pages at less than a nickel per book. This collection is a steal, but it will only be available for a limited time. Don’t miss your chance to enter the Realm of Midnight.

4. So Compassionate It Hurts by Tzemah Yoreh

I got this book through a goodreads giveaway, so I didn’t pay a cent, and it’s a paperback. I win a lot of ebooks, so I don’t even mention them in post, not to mention all the free BookBub books, but there’s something special about free physical copies. Now, I’ll admit I hardly ever enter for nonfiction, but the title of this one caught my eye. Not only is there religious representation, but also autism rep, so I’m ready for this one.

My name is Tzemah Yoreh, and I am a congregational rabbi on the autism spectrum.

How is that possible? How can I thrive in a profession that is pastoral, that rewards extroversion, that seems mostly for those who intuitively grasp social dynamics?

It’s rare that I can understand the emotions and dynamics of my closest family members, let alone a room full of people whom I know only peripherally.
And yet I have thrived in my role as a rabbi.

Along with the deficits of being on the spectrum, there are precious gifts that being neuroatypical bequeath me. But, to be honest, it took me a while to find them. In So Compassionate it Hurts: My Life as a Rabbi on the Spectrum, I share my personal journey of being a religious leader on the spectrum, how I’ve used my gifts to positively impact my congregation (and, in turn, myself), and stories that I hope can inspire those with similar challenges to keep pushing and pursue their passions.

5. Girls Like Girls by Hayley Kiyoko

Speaking of books with diverse representation, I won this one from goodreads as well, and it has LGBT rep. I don’t own many F/F romances, so this is a welcomed addition to my shelves.

Trailblazing pop star, actor and director, Hayley Kiyoko debuts her first novel, a coming-of-age romance based on her breakthrough hit song and viral video, GIRLS LIKE GIRLS.

It’s summertime and 17-year-old Coley has found herself alone, again. Forced to move to rural Oregon after just losing her mother, she is in no position to risk her already fragile heart. But when she meets Sonya, the attraction is immediate.

Coley worries she isn’t worthy of love. Up until now, everyone she’s loved has left her. And Sonya’s never been with a girl before. What if she’s too afraid to show up for Coley? What if by opening her heart, Coley’s risking it all?

They both realize that when things are pushed down, and feelings are forced to shrivel away, Coley and Sonya will be the ones to shrink. It’s not until they accept the love they fear and deserve most, that suddenly the song makes sense.

Based on the billboard-charting smash hit song and viral music video GIRLS LIKE GIRLS, Hayley Kiyoko’s debut novel is about embracing your truth and realizing we are all worthy of being loved back.

And there you have it. Those are the books I either won or purchased that I wanted to tell you about. Which of these sounds the most interesting to you? Did you buy or win any books in January? Let me know in the comments.

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