Today, let’s look back on October and look forward to November.

Favourite October reads

I read 12 books in October and DNF’d two. I had a bit of a weird reading month—I hit a book slump and couldn’t get into anything, so my list of favourites this month is very small. Those few are below. Just click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Amazon page.

I mentioned last month that I’ve been burning my way through the audiobooks of SJ Himes’s Beacon Hill Sorcerer series. I completed the series earlier this month, and I have to say, it’s one of my favourite series out there. The most recent addition, Love Springs Eternal, was awesome!

The Lights on Knockbridge Lane by Roan Parrish was very sweet and cute and lovely and full of Christmas magic. Although I wish there was a little less focus on Gus, one of the characters’ daughter, and more on the romance, this ultimately made me smile throughout and made my heart happy.

I first read Frances Hogdson Burnett’s The Secret Garden when I was 12 or 13. I remember adoring it, so a few weeks ago, I purchased a limited edition that comes with a slip case, a ribbon bookmark, has original illustrations and sprayed edges. And since I was in a book slump and gay romances weren’t doing it for me, I decide to give it a read. 20+ years later and I can officially say that I still adore this book. It’s so wholesome and beautiful and heartwarming, and it makes my small list of favourite books ever. If you love this book as much as I do, check out the special edition I purchased at Litjoy Crate.

I’m a fan of Brigid Kemmerer’s Cursebreakers series, so I was excited to get my hands on Defy the Night, the first in a new series. This YA fantasy has royalty, rebellion, and hidden identities in a story about a kingdom divided by corruption and the girl who sets out to take it down.

Books I’m looking forward to reading in November

I’ve been enjoying Anyta Sunday’s Love, Austen series, each of which is a retelling of a Jane Austen novel, so I’m looking forward to diving into her most recent one, Elliot, Song of the Soulmate.

The follow-up to S.E. Harmon’s Chrysalis, which released in September, is coming on November 3. I can’t wait to read Cross and find out how this duology ends.

Jackie Keswick has a holiday book releasing on November 10 and I’m so excited for it! I’m a huge fan of Jackie’s works. Check out Cosy & Chill. Doesn’t it look like the perfect winter holiday book? According to Jackie, it’s got knitting, ice cream, and a matchmaking fae.

Jenn’s Burke second novel in her Ashes & Dust strilogy releases November 16. I’m looking forward to more of Evan and Colin in House on Fire.

Excuse me, can we take a moment to acknowledge the gorgeousness that is the cover of These Hollows Vows ? This YA fantasy is billed as “a sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously seductive princes.” Not gonna lie, I’m excited to read this first book in Lexi Ryan’s new duology, but I’ve been sucked in by pretty covers before only to be left disappointed. Cross your fingers for me, will you?

TBR Wrap-Up: October

On last month’s High Five Friday post, the books below were on my TBR. Here’s what I thought about them.

I liked it well enough but some of the side characters were so irritating and it really impacted my enjoyment.

I loved the previous book in this m/f romance series, but sadly, I DNF’d this one. It was very slow and I wasn’t connecting with the characters.

One of my favourite October reads! So full of Christmas magic that I smiled throughout.

I hit a gay romance book slump when I started this book, so I’ve set it aside for now and hope to get back to it at a later date.

This middle-grade novel isn’t my usual genre, but I really enjoyed this adventure fantasy featuring the mysteries of the deep ocean.

On the writing front

Two-Man Team (Stick Side #5) released on October 20 to amazing reviews and I’m thrilled with its reception among readers. Everyone seems to love Kris and Rory, and I couldn’t be happier about that!

Out now

One wrongful arrest ruined Kris Xappa’s image—and made his NHL team look bad. Now, with orders to keep his head down, the last thing he needs is to develop feelings for his younger teammate—and best friend’s brother. The fact that he can’t stop thinking about their one illicit kiss doesn’t mean anything.

Rory Stanton is perfectly capable of taking care of himself and doesn’t need his brother’s best friend keeping an eye on him. Sure, he likes having Kris’s attention, but he’d rather have it for entirely different reasons. Too bad that one kiss they shared wasn’t enough to convince Kris to take a chance on him.

When an injury lands Rory in Kris’s care, will these teammates be able to see past the obstacles to become a two-man team?

Audiobook news! My Stick Side series narrator, Adam Lawrence, is working on producing The Nature of the Game (Stick Side #2) in audio! Adam is a full-time high school teacher, and he’s got a couple of other audio projects to finish first, so I’m looking at a release date of November or December… possibly even early 2022. I’ve heard the first couple of chapters, though, and they sound great. Chapter two especially made me LOL!

And speaking of The Nature of the Game, it released in Italian on October 5. Get it here.

Since we’re talking about audiobooks… I’m producing Keeping Casey in audio! This will be narrated by fresh new voice, Michael Franklin, and he’s doing a great job brining Ethan and Casey to life. Not sure of a release date yet, but I anticipate sometime in the next three months.

In other book news, Chasing Sunsets is with my copyeditor! This novella is a small town, second chance romance featuring Dane, an NHL player hanging out in his hometown in the off season, and his college sweetheart, Grant, who now co-manages Dane’s family’s hotel. (Psst. There’s a special appearance from one of the guys from Keeping Casey!) Chasing Sunsets will greet your e-readers in early 2022. Look for a cover reveal and blurb coming in the next couple of months.

You might remember that I mentioned I’d been hit with burnout on last month’s High Five Friday post and that I hadn’t written anything new in a while. Well, I still haven’t written anything new, BUT I am working on character backgrounds for my next book, which I hope to start writing the first week of November. I don’t want to say too much about it yet in case my muse ends up going in a different direction. More on this on next month’s High Five Friday post!

What’s your favourite Halloween candy? Leave a comment below!