15 Minutes of Flame by Christin Brecher

Side note: This is the 3rd book in a series. If you want to pick up the other two, they are also available from this link.

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 11/1/20

How I Found It: Once Upon a Book Club

This is the Sweet Halloween Box from Once Upon a Book Club. I haven’t opened anything in this box yet, but compared to the Spooky Box, the package was smaller and there is one less gift in this box.

Gift One

“When the candle hit the half-hour mark and extinguished, I gasped.”

15 Minutes of Flame, page 204

So this weird contraption is a set up for a candle timer. Using two identical candles, you can mark how far down the candle is a set time, and by using the pins, you can create an “alarm” from the pins falling out of the candle. It is a cool idea, even if the set up looks a little strange.

Gift Two

“As I took a sip from my glass, my eyes fell upon Leigh’s bag. Specifically, I noticed a coffee cup from The Bean, shoved into a side pocket. It was safe to the assume the drink had been given to her by Fontbutter, as part of his contribution to the morning. What I found interesting, however, was a marking on its side: HN.”

15 Minutes of Flame, page 240

Yes! Yes! A million times yes! New favorite coffee mug, 100% putting my cold brew in this in the mornings, I can’t form anything but fragments because I am happy. Thank you OUABC, you won me over!

Gift Three

“…said Andy, pulling the cobwebs off our [killer].”

15 Minutes of Flame, page 283

Okay, no one taught me how to get a picture of a table runner, so my bad. Also, I went through an entire process to try and get a better picture and the picture deleted off my phone, so whoops. Anyway, it’s a big spider web with spiders and stars on it, and it looks pretty dope.

Right, so story. Stella finds a dead body from the 1800s in the wall of an antique house. With that discovery, forensic anthropologists come out to assess to the bones, and based on that information, it leads them to another potential body from the same time period. At that excavation site, the head anthropologist is killed. Stella start piecing together who could have murdered him, which leads to a lot of antics.

Okay, storywise, it reminded me a lot of Sue Grafton’s books (keeping in mind that I have only read ABC, and not the entire alphabet. One day I will, I promise). It has a quality of cheap drugstore mystery, but is also very good. I don’t have a lot to say about the book itself, other than I don’t think it is the greatest thing in the world, but it also was an enjoyable read. I am going to put this one at a solid 3 out of 5.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates

Side note: Since I give you guys a link to purchase the book, I was surprised to see that she has written a bunch of these haunting books. If you are into this sort of thing (weirdos), there are a bunch of options to choose from! Happy reading!

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 10/31/20

How I Found It: Once Upon a Book Club

Well, well, well. Welcome to the first of the Halloween themed boxes from OUABC. This one, based on the cover, is the spooky version of this box, so I am hoping I can get through this one in a day, or else the nightmares are going to be rough tonight. TRIGGER WARNING: This book is a horror novel, so it features paranormal events, such as ghosts and occult things. Read at your discretion.

Gift One

“Adrienne lowered Wolfgang to the porch and tore open the envelope containing her key.”

The Haunting of Ashburn House, page 14

These things are super heavy. Fun fact about my family, we don’t really celebrate Halloween. As someone who has a birthday within a week of Halloween, my family has always made the holiday more about me than the spooky scary stuff, which like God bless. Anyway, I am going to be gifting these keys to someone who I think will enjoy their aesthetic, but these super heavy things are currently just noisemakers to confuse my dog.

Gift Two

“But she couldn’t stop herself from turning toward the next painting. Edith.

There was no terror in the child’s face, only a flat, cold focus. She stared directly ahead, intense attention squared on the observer, the muscles in her face tight but not from fear.

… The painted eyes blinked.”

The Haunting of Ashburn House, page 253

I cannot express to you how nauseous I am at this current moment. Also, if that painting is actually attached to the frame, I am going to have to burn it, it is the only way. Despite my body’s natural reaction to a very creepy lady, I will put this one at a 7/8 out of 10 on the spooky standard. I’ve read worse, but I also am trying to speed read this book at midnight so I won’t have to deal with this tomorrow.

Gift Three

“Adrienne pressed the flashlight against the windowpane to shine its light in the car’s path. The beam was too weak; it didn’t reach past the forest’s edge….

An idea struck her. Adrienne pulled the desk’s drawer open… to find the magnifying glass she’d seen while looking for batteries….

Adrienne shoved the window open and reached the magnifying glass outside. She then pointed the flashlight at the magnifier so that its beam passed through the glass.”

The Haunting of Ashburn House, page 273

Okay, this magnifying bookmark is super cool. Firstly, it is ACTUALLY magnifying. Secondly, it just looks dope. The tube looking thing is a flashlight, and I am not in the general vicinity of batteries, or I would try it out.

Gift Four

“Adrienne moved to the fire, placed a new log on the blaze, and picked up the novel propped on the little side table….

The woman in the mirror folded her hands tidily in her lap and smiled as Adrienne opened the novel and began to read aloud.”

The Haunting of Ashburn House, page 329

Oooof, it’s over. And listen, this might be the greatest book in the world, but right now is not the time for me to try it out. I NEED A BREAK. I am still determined that this painting they have given me is cursed and I am genuinely afraid for my family that I have this in my house. As for this story, it got me. It was creepy enough that I knew I couldn’t just stop halfway through, and I can pretty much guarantee that my sleep tonight isn’t going to be great, but that’s the point of horror, right? I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I HATE GHOSTS. Every year I buy this spooky box knowing I am going to be pooping my pants, and I never learn. So, I hope you enjoyed my insanity.

As for what happens in this book, Adrienne moves into the Ashburn House after it was left to her from her great aunt. The Ashburn House is known for being haunted, but Adrienne is hoping that her Aunt Edith’s life as a recluse is the main cause of that. As she accustoms herself to the house, more strange things start happening, causing Adrienne to consider the paranormal. Quickly, things fall apart, and Adrienne has to fight for her survival.

Personally, I hate this book, so I’m going to give it a 1 out of 5 star rating. But, in the effort of being fair, I will give this book a 3.5 star rating, and do know that the little girls face in the painting will haunt my dreams tonight (yes, I cannot get over the painting thing).

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Print

Dates Read: 12/30/19-12/31/19

How I Found It: Once Upon a Book Club, Book of the Month

Hey guys! If this is your first time on this blog, I am obsessed with books. And I also have zero self control, because obviously. Since I knew that I had this box at home, and also trying to do the noble thing and clean the house and definitely not for selfish reasons, I am going to be opening and reviewing this box!

Page 25

Okay, here’s the thing. I am never going to do anything with this rabbit’s foot thingy. I don’t want it, and I am super grossed out by it. I had a pretty big feeling when I was listening that I was going to be getting this, but this thing freaks me out.

Page 102

Not sure if this is supposed to be a universal passport holder or if it is meant to hold a notebook, or what, but I’m still not sure if I am going to keep this. It is extremely nice quality, just not something I can see myself using.

Page 110

Okay, so this is where I got after my 8 hour work day. There is a lot I don’t understand about this book, but I will try and explain as much as I can. So there’s this girl, Libby, who finds out that she was the baby that was left after a suicide pact. She gets her parent’s house as she comes of age, and she is trying to process what happened. When she was at the house, she heard something that sounded like a cough coming from upstairs, but I don’t remember much coming from that yet. Also, there’s this lady, Lucy, who has 2 kids and a dog, that is stuck in France, but I think that she was there when the suicide pact happened. My guess is that she was the daughter of the parents who died (aka Libby’s sister), but I am completely speculating at this point. And we follow Henry, Libby’s older brother, during the events for the family leading up to the suicide pact.

Page 179

We all know by now that there is one gift in every OUABC box that is just a piece of paper or something that came right off the printer. This is that gift for this box, so moving on!

Page 265

Yooooooooooo! This is soooo nice! I am probably going to start using this wallet! I have nothing more to say, this is one of the coolest things I have gotten in these boxes!

Page 268

Another successful day at work and this is where we are at! Firstly, one of the things I dislike about the audiobook is that it doesn’t give you the time of Henry’s story so it’s hard to get a sense of time in his sections.

As for the story: Okay, there is a lot I didn’t talk about in the first section because I didn’t think it would be relevant but now it is. Okay, so originally in the house, the Lamb family was made up of Henry Sr., Martina, Henry Jr. and his sister, whose name I can’t remember being given, but I am not sure on that. When the family starts to run low on money, Martina allows Birdie and her partner, Justin, to come live in the house. Eventually, she also allows David and Sally Thomsen and their two children, Phineas and Clemency.

Over time, Henry Sr. began to lose control of the house after a stroke leaves him debilitated. David soon begins to take over the house routines, including switching everyone to a vegan diet and taking away all their liberties. Phineas begins to rebel against his father, often taking Henry Jr. down with him.

Libby seeks help from Miller Roe, the journalist that wrote about her family’s history. They end up finding out who produced the cough upstairs, Phineas. And then they get stuck in his Airbnb and get drugged in the process? IDK man, that got weird fast.

Oh, and Lucy! She ended up killing a man to get her and her kids to the house in Chelsea. We know she spent a lot of time there, but not much else.

Final Thoughts

Once I sat down and wrote down what I knew from listening all day, I realized that I had a pretty good idea about how it would end. It truly is just about putting all the pieces together, and more importantly, realizing that what you have is pieces. There were obviously things that surprised me, but if you pay attention and realize the significance of all the details, you can easily figure it more or less out.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style, and if I wasn’t pushing myself to read this one, I probably wouldn’t have finished it. But I do think that it is purely because of my preferences and not because the book isn’t good. I will go ahead and say that this book is a 4 out of 5 stars, plus or minus half a star depending on how you enjoy the writing style.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 11/28/19-

How I Found It: Amazon/ Audible/ Once Upon a Book Club

Happy New Year everyone! Today, I get to read a book that I bought 3 different times, and had to return 3 different times. Despite all of that, I’m not sure I know what is going to happen, so once again, I am going in blind! So I will see you all really soon!

Special New Year Box Gifts

Page 49

Alright guys, so Morgan met Chris when she was in high school. Having no parental supervision, and being attached to her sister and her sister’s boyfriend, the 4 of them were always together. While attending a party, Morgan realizes that her period is late and that she is most likely pregnant. 17 years later, we meet that child, Clara and we follow Clara and Morgan as they process the things around them, including boys and their futures.

This whiteboard is kinda the perfect size and fits the New Year theme, so I am all for it!

Page 349/End

Okay, so this one is kinda weird but so sweet. So Morgan’s sister, Jenny, has been having an affair with Chris. That revelation comes into fruition for Morgan and Jenny’s fianceé, Jonah (also the boyfriend from high school), when Jenny and Chris die in a car accident after spending the day at a hotel together. Now Morgan, Clara, and Jonah need to process everything and come to terms with their new realities. Clara found her support system through Miller, the son of the town bad guy, and their mutual passion for film and acting. As we follow everyone’s path through grief, we are confronted with the importance of family and time.

I feel like I need to really look at this gift, which I haven’t had the time to really do yet. From what I can gather, it is a camera, but that it only captures small tibbits at a time, but I am not completely sure. It is the only technology gift that I have ever gotten in these boxes, and probably one of the coolest, so hopefully you will be hearing back from me soon about what it does!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

A Royal Christmas Wish by Lizzie Shane

How I Read It: Audiobook/Ebook

Dates Read: 12/23/19-12/25/19

How I Found It: Once Upon a Book Club

Hey guys! I have been putting off reading this one, but we finally got here! In an effort to read it as quick as possible, I started listening to it through Audible (since it is a free book under Audible Escape). Despite the gold circle on the cover of the book, I was still shocked to discover the Hallmark has a publishing house. Once I realized that this is a Hallmark book, my expectations for the story quickly became the passionate love story. Based on the title, I am guessing that this has something to do with a royal family, but that is all I know going in.

Page 68

Okay, so I am actually about 120 pages in after my work day, so I’m going to give you the full spiel of the story so far. Jenny is just out of college and trying to find her niche in the world. She works odd jobs to get by, but still tried to give back to people (and animals) that need it. After a really poor interview, Jenny seeked solace from Prince Harry, the puppy (which if I was in that position, the puppy’s name would be Prince Hairy), and a playdate in the park. After a game of fetch gone wrong, Jenny ends up running into a man jogging along the running path named Dom. They had an easy repertoire, and Jenny couldn’t get him out of her head. During her job as a cocktail waitress that night, Jenny runs into Dom again where she learns that he is the prince of a small country between Switzerland and France.

During the party, Jenny had met a woman associated with Dom who had a snowflake bracelet on. She ended up finding the bracelet and returning it to the woman. As a thank you, the woman granted Jenny’s wish of having a fairytale Christmas. The next day, Jenny woke up in a palace with maids, obligations, and a husband. She then has to play the role of princess, which is surprisingly harder than she thought it would be.

This particular gift is super cute, but broken. Literally. The chain attachment to the snowflake was broken before I opened the gift, so this is probably trash at this point.

Page 272 and the End

Okay, so this is exactly how you think it is going to go. Despite having difficulty right away, she soon comes into her own as a princess. But her wish only lasts for a short amount of time, and she must make the most of it before the clock strikes midnight.

As for the candle. I am slightly concerned because it doesn’t initially smell strong, but I won’t know until I start burning it. But the scent is right up my alley, so I can’t wait to start burning it!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Once Upon a Book Club Advent Calendar Day 12

Merry Christmas for all who celebrate and Happy End of Advent Day for everyone else! Today’s gift is one of those that you just don’t really know what to do with it. Since I currently live in a tiny bedroom, I just don’t really have a place to put a clock, so I am going to be giving this one away, but still an incredibly beautiful clock.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Once Upon a Book Club Advent Calendar Day 11

Based on the synopsis, it seems like a novel about coping with grief after a disappearance of a family member. The cover of this one is so beautiful that I just want to hang it up on my wall! One of the reasons I love getting boxes like these is that I find books that I would never purchase for myself!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Once Upon a Book Club Advent Calendar Day 10

OH. MY. GOD. I have received from them water bottles before, but none of them were full-sized. I absolutely love the simplicity of this one, and I am so excited to bring it to work with me today!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Once Upon a Book Club Advent Calendar Days 1-7

FINALLY! After almost 2 weeks of waiting (plus the month before we reached shipping date) I have finally gotten my advent calendar in the mail. And while it may be my puppy’s birthday, I managed to get the most gifts *hair flip*. So today, let’s go on a journey of the past 9 days.

Day 1

When I first heard about this box, I thought that they were going to do poems, but I really enjoy this story. Unlike last year, this advent calendar has an overarching story instead of a bunch of short stories, which requires SO much creativity, so hats off to the ladies at Once Upon a Book Club!

As for this book! From what I understand of the synopsis, this book weaves fact with fiction as we learn about the woman behind a famous painting. I can guarantee that I NEVER would have picked this book out for myself, but that’s one of the major reasons I love these types of subscription boxes.

Day 2

I am slightly concerned by these mittens because I got some big hands (story of my life). I can get them on, but they don’t feel that great on me. But they are adorable, and now I have to make some tough decisions.

Day 3

Already this keychain is on my keys! I am so happy with this one! Firstly, it is my colors, and secondly, look at it! Ugh, I am in heaven over here!

Day 4

From what I can tell from the synopsis, Ernest Young was sold at the 1909 World’s Fair in Seattle. He ended up at a brothel where he found a sense of security. But the secrets of his past stay secret until 50 years later when the next Seattle World’s Fair comes to town. I am super confused by the synopsis, but it sounds really interesting, so I’m excited to try it out!

Day 5

Truly my favorite gift so far! I have showed it to every single member of my family! The light is slightly on the bluer side, which I don’t like to read under, but it is so freaking cute, so worth it?

Day 6

Yes. Yes yes yes. I literally just bought myself a locket in the shape of the box, so brilliant minds think alike!

Day 7

From what I understand of the synopsis, women in 1881 attended a college in Illinois to become physicians. In an effort to have a “sisterhood” between these women, Beth Carrington sets out to open a fraternity. But she receives a lot of backlash from the people who think women should go to school for secretary jobs. As she continues to fight for the fraternity, she learns a lot about the school, friendship, and love.

I think out of all the books in this post, I am the most excited for this one! I love 1) reading literature about women being awesome, and 2) I love books about women going into the sciences.

Once Upon a Book Club Advent Calendar Days 8/9

Hey! During the making of the last post, WordPress stopped working on Day 8, so here are the last 2 days to get all caught up!

Day 8

I’m not as excited about this one, but that could be because I am not at peak adulthood yet. Check back in a few years to see if I am into this one!

Day 9

I am hesitant to use wood bookmarks because unless the book is a paperback, the book doesn’t really close, but it is still super cute. Plus, I am guessing that is the theme for this year’s advent calendar, which is super sweet. Ugh, I am so happy!

Alright guys! Thank you for being patient with me, and I will see you all tomorrow!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!