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Holiday Gift Guide 2023: Books Edition (Books, Games, Collectibles & More!)
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  

Holiday Book Gift Guide 2023

It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means holiday shopping has begun and so have some really great sales. One of my favorite items to give and receive is books in all formats – print, eBook, and Audiobook – so putting together this annual guide is a real treat for me.

This year, I tried something a little different; I expanded the guide to include other items that are also commonly found in bookstores, such as puzzles, games, tarot cards, collectibles, and more. For some of the listings, I also included some links to related/similar items that might have been released prior to 2023 and these might be movies, action figures, housewares, and more.

So check out our expanded Holiday Gift Guide 2023: Books Edition for our favorite holiday gift picks for the readers in your life.

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Review: Cynthia Hart’s Victoriana Cats Collection: Jigsaw Puzzles, Sticker Book & Wrapping Paper
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Cynthia Harts Victoriana Cats puzzles stickers wrapper paper set

Cynthia Hart’s Victoriana Cats
Basket of Mischief 1,000-Piece Puzzle
Sewing with Kittens 1,000-Piece Puzzle
Set of 12 Wrapping Papers and Gift Tags
The Sticker Book: 300 Enchanting Stickers (Hardcover)
By Cynthia Hart
Publisher: Workman Publishing
Release date: October 17, 2023

I’m going to be honest with you: If you were to go back in time to tell my metalhead teenaged self that one day I’d be putting together 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles with a Victorian cat theme, I’d have laughed myself all the way home from the Slayer concert.

Well, here I am decades later: I’m still a metalhead; I still wear all black with studded bracelets and dragon jewelry; my home still has a skull-themed decor; I still headbang and attend heavy metal concerts. But, I’m also a crazy cat lady who just became a card-carrying member of AARP… who now also enjoys putting together Victorian cat-themed 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles, thanks to some new additions to Cynthia Hart’s Victoriana Cats collection.

...continue reading »
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Book Review: What Kind of Mother by Clay McLeod Chapman
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  

What Kind of Mother review banner

What Kind of Mother
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Clay McLeod Chapman
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: September 12, 2023

My grandma always says, “Where there’s a thought, there’s an image; where there’s an image, there’s an event.” If, like Grandma, you believe that thought projection leads to manifestation, then the events of What Kind of Mother will make perfect sense to you. If not, then when you get through the last third of this book by Clay McLeod Chapman, you’ll probably be like, “What the hell did I just read?!” Actually, you might think that either way, because wow does this story take a wild turn.

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Fall 2023 Book Recommendations
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  

Fall Book Recommendations 2023 banner

Fall is almost upon us! This is my favorite season of the year in general, but also my favorite time for reading. There’s always a plethora of titles being released for the season, many of which are perfect for Halloween and even the Christmas Horror subgenre. I always have so much fun putting together my Fall reading recommendations not only because of all the new titles I’m anticipating, but also so I can look back on what was released earlier in the year and read anything I might have missed.

Below are some titles — with accompanying links to the print, ebooks, and audiobooks editions — that I personally am looking forward to this Fall, presented here in order of release date, starting with those releasing in September 2023. After this main list, I’ve included some titles that came out earlier this year that you might have missed that would be appropriate to read this Fall. At the end, I included recommendations for themed Cookbooks, Crafts, Guides, Coloring Books Sourcebooks, and Tarot Decks that would be great to dive into during the spooky season.

Continue on to check out my Fall 2023 Book Recommendations…

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Book Review: The September House by Carissa Orlando
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The September House book cover banner

The September House
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Carissa Orlando
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: September 5, 2023

Bleeding walls, nightly screams, and mutilated apparitions are what Margaret and Hal are up against in their new home every September in The September House, the debut novel from Carissa Orlando. When the empty-nesters first moved in, this large, beautiful, and surprisingly affordable Victorian domicile was their dream home. But with their fourth September as homeowners fast approaching, Hal has had enough of this place and its eerie inhabitants. He wants his wife to move out with him, but Margaret refuses because as strange as it may seem, this is the only place she’s ever been able to call her own. Sure, the ghosts can be menacing and there’s some kind of evil lurking in the basement, but there’s also a live-in housekeeper… albeit a dead one, but she’s actually really good at her job. Margaret has figured out the “rules” of the house to follow in order to maintain the status quo and make it through to October; therefore, she’s staying put. But after Hal suddenly leaves, their daughter, Katherine, becomes suspicious. Where did her father go and why isn’t he answering her calls? When Katherine insists on visiting her parents’ new home for the first time during September of all months, Margaret struggles to keep up appearances as the hauntings become more frequently intense.

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