Heartbeat Monthly [38]: September 2023 + book signing

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on October 8, 2023 | 0 Comments

September haul


  • Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törz
  • That Self-Same Metal by Brittany N. Williams
  • Find Him Where You Left Him Dead by Kristen Simmons (signed)
  • Forged by Blood by Ehigbor Okosun (LitJoy)
  • Gryffindor Squishmallow (Kroger)
  • Illumicrate ‘What Lies Beneath’ box items – Plant pot, Daughter of Smoke and Bone book organizer, Witch King metal bookmark, Whispering Dark phone grip
  • Illumicrate ‘In the Dark’ box items – Mia’s dagger replica, blackout journal, Monstress metal bookmark, Goddess of Night teacup & saucer


  From publisher
  • Schrader’s Chord by Scott Leeds
  • Fragile Threads of Power by V.E. Schwab
  • The Dead Take the A Train by Cassandra Khaw and Richard Kadrey

A HUGE thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the Empire of the Damned ARC, I screamed when it showed up! I’m still beside myself that I was able to get a copy of it!

Thank you so much to Tor for the other three books!

  • Flaunt your fandoms tote + $10 Joseph Beth gift card

September Wrap Up

Books I read

20 books finished, 1 book DNFed

  • Blood Heir by Amelié Wen Zhao  – ★★★
  • The Honeys by Ryan La Sala  – ★★★½
  • None of This is True by Lisa Jewell  – ★★★★½
  • Garden of the Cursed by Katy Rose Pool  – ★★½
  • Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands (Emily Wilde #2) by Heather Fawcett – ★★★★½
  • Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher  – ★★★½
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart  – ★
  • Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young  – ★★★½
  • Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer  – DNF
  • Starter Villain by John Scalzi – ★★½
  • Ebony Gate by Julia Vee & Ken Bebelle  – ★★★
  • Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törz – ★★★★★
  • Sons of Ares vol. 3 by Pierce Brown  – ★★★★
  • Impact Winter by Travis Beacham  – ★★★★½
  • Red Rising (dramatized version) by Pierce Brown (RR)  – ★★★★★
  • Impact Winter Season 2 by Travis Beacham  – ★★★★½
  • The Serpent Bride by Sara Douglass (RR) – ★★★★★
  • The Blighted Stars by Megan E. O’Keefe  – ★★★½
  • Blood Red Road by Moira Young (RR)  – ★★★★½
  • Four Psychos by Kristy Cunning  – ★★★
  • The Twisted Citadel by Sara Douglass (RR) – ★★★★★

Pages read: 7,075
Average rating: 3.7
Favorite book read in September: Ink Blood Sister Scribe
Least favorite book read in September: We Were Liars

Books I reviewed

Other posts


What I’ve been up to this month

Kristen Simmons signing

I drove down to the Cinci Joseph-Beth on September 26 for the launch of Find Him Where You Left Him Dead! Kristen is a local author and I’ve forged a friendship with her over the years because she’s at the Cinci JB so often. I’ve attended pretty much every one of her launches since the Article 5 series!

I had so much fun! Mindee Arnett was there – she usually is – and because I see her so often there she knows who I am. We said hi and were chatting a bit before the event, and she mentioned that she was wanting to go over and sit in one of the two big wing-backed comfy chairs at the side/front of the audience seating. I said “doooo iiiit” and she was like, “you should join me” so I sat in the VIP seats with Mindee Arnett ya’ll XD It was so cool! They had a pile of tote bags to hand out to people who asked a question, and three of them had JB gift cards in them. I asked a question (I don’t remember what it was, oops) and I managed to score one with a $10 gift card! I was pretty stoked because I never win anything haha.

A few highlights from the panel discussion:

  • Kristen has a background in mental health
  • Because of that, she likes writing about trauma and survivor stories
  • The idea of the book stemmed from her son – she spends Tuesdays with him teaching him Japanese culture and they were learning about yokai, which made her want to write about it (I think this may have been my question)
  • She had ten years of rejections before getting published
  • The character’s names in Find Him spell out the game, Meido – Maddy, Emerson, Ian, Dax, Owen. Awesome, right?!


In the month of September I participated in Battleathon hosted by Mel Lenore Reads! It ended up being a really amazing challenge and I hope she does it again next year! I decorated my Kindle in a dragon theme for the challenge :D

I was on team Black Dragons and we ended up coming in at second place. I felt like I did pretty good for this challenge with 20 books finished and 2 DNFs!

The point system was based on rating – 5 star = 500 points and so on. My team’s bonus prompt was that the book was written by an author that I’d previously given 5 stars to (for an additional 10 points).

Week one books read (bonding week, not for ratings – just do bonding prompts for 10 points):
Blood Heir (+20), The Honeys (+10), None of This is True (+10)

Week two books read (for rating):
Garden of the Cursed (+300), Map of the Otherworlds (+510), Thornhedge (+410), We Were Liars (+100), Assistant to the Villain (DNF, +50), Spells for Forgetting (+400), Starter Villain (+300), Ebony Gate (+400)

Week three books read: Ink Blood Sister Scribe (+500), Sons of Ares vol 3 (+410), Impact Winter (+500), Red Rising (+510), Impact Winter season 2 (+510)

Week four books read: Serpent Bride (+510), Blighted Stars (+300), Blood Red Road (+510), Four Psychos (+400), Twisted Citadel (+510), Book of Azrael (DNF, +50)

Level up prompts, books read (+10 ea): Blood Red Road, Red Rising, Map of the Otherlands

Total points I scored: 7,280

Everything Else

What else did I even do in September?! The month was such a blur! I can’t think of anything else exciting that happened, which is kinda sad but here we are lol.

Current obsessions

I didn’t find many new exciting new things in September :(

Food: I tried City BBQ for the first time and it was delicious!!

Crafts: I’ve been making book ornaments for every year of reading with tiny books in them! It’s super addicting and I’m excited to go back through past years as well.

Things I’m looking forward to

I get to see Alix E. Harrow the first week of October, ahhh! I got a hotel room with my bookstabestie Christy (@cbookaddition) and we will be attending the event together. I’m actually a little more excited to see her than Alix because I haven’t seen her since YALLfest in 2018! By the time this post goes live I will have attended the event. Stay tuned for a recap!

I’m also going on vacation Nov. 1 and it’s basically all I can think about, lol!


See anything you like? What did YOU get last month? Link me up!

Jessi (Geo)

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