3 Ways You Can Have a Fun Halloween In This Year

Planning on staying in for Halloween but not sure how to celebrate? I got you covered!

This year is weird. You know that, I know that, the whole world knows that. And Halloween is a bit different. Trick-or-treating may be affected in your area. You may not have the normal costume parties you’re used to this time of year. You may be wondering how you can enjoy the season if you plan to stay in for the holiday.

And that’s why it’s time to figure out how we can have a fun, safe, bookish Halloween. So today, let’s look at three ways you can embrace the season without leaving your house – and do it in a way that celebrates books! I know I plan on enjoying some good media, setting my mood up, and dressing the part!

So let’s dive right on in!

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through the purchase links on this page. However, the things I have chosen to share either I have tried and enjoyed myself or it’s something I would buy for myself!)

Set the Mood

The easiest way to get into the spirit of the season is to surround yourself with things that put you in that spooky frame of mind.

Personally, I think the biggest thing you can do to set the mood is find a smelly thing. Before I met my husband, my favorite fall candle was Warm Caramel Cider from Bath and Body. But it turns out he doesn’t like that scent so much, so I’ve been burning my last one in bits and pieces when he’s not around.

Ultimately, that led me to seek out some new scents. High on my list are Yankee Candles – they have good burn times, and they’re super fragrant, so the scent fills the room really well. They have a couple that are on my list to replace my Warm Caramel Cider: Mulled Cider and Apple Cider. I’m hoping one of those will be agreeable to both hubs and me!

But more than smelly things, you need some good decorations. Last year, my sister got married in the fall. That meant I had the chance to get about a million (this is an exaggeration) pumpkins for her shower. I highly recommend checking out your local dollar store for pumpkins to display around your house. Or, if you don’t want to get out of the house for decorations, you can find some options on Amazon.

Another of my favorite things is placing battery-operated candles everywhere. When you have a lot of them, you can turn off all the lights and still have enough to wander in the spooky atmosphere without keeping your lights on. Though, if you get to the entertainment section and need a lamp to read… well, that’s ok, too.

Dress the Part

Once the mood is set, I like to dress for the season. Last post, I shared a cozy cardigan that I absolutely love. You can certainly wear that here, too!

But I’m also thinking things like jewelry and shirts (unless you want to wear a costume, in which case, GO FOR IT.). Personally, I love the shirts at Tee Turtle, and this year I finally got myself a couple of fall ones. Both with foxes, because foxes.

But besides that, I LOVE accessorizing, particularly with earrings. And if I don’t feel like wearing a costume to celebrate Halloween, I definitely wear earrings. Here are a couple sets that look like fun to me (unfortunately my current sets don’t have great options on Amazon, but they are simple clear orange fall maple leaves!).

Find your Entertainment

I know we’re all here because we love to read (and I’ll get to some book recs soon!), but I also know that some of us have overwhelming TBRs or need a break from reading. That’s why I say to find your entertainment, whether it’s a game with a housemate or close friend/family, a movie night, or books.

Games!

So let’s start with a game. I have the game Unstable Unicorns, a silly, fun card game all about building a unicorn army. And it has so many expansion packs, including some that would work great for Halloween! I have only played the base game, though, so I can only personally vouch for that one. But my family loves the game, and I bring it to family gatherings often.

Another great option (with a ton of versions) is Munchkin. My family also loves to play this one, which is a card version of role-playing games that goes to ridiculous lengths. Basically, you explore a dungeon, kill monsters, get better equipment, and try to be the first to make it to level 10.

Or, if you want something a little scarier, there’s Betrayal at House on the Hill. I only watched this one being played, but IT IS SCARY. Def a good Halloween game.

And/or Watch a Movie!

But, if games aren’t your thing (or if, like me, you like things on in the background), there are a ton of Halloween movies. But today I will share my own favorite: The Little Vampire, all about a little boy who moves to Scotland with his family, only to find an entire family of vampires and an ancient curse. It’s so cute and so seasonal, and every year I want to watch it.

I also have a dear place in my heart for Disney’s Coco. It’s a great watch and has such an important, positive view on death. It’s so great for Halloween night or your own celebration with friends and/or family.

And, finally, BOOKS!

First, check out last year’s picks for spooky reads here (note: none of links in last year’s post are affiliate links; they link only to Goodreads. However, all the links on this page with the exception of The Patch at the bottom, are affiliate links. Be aware I NEVER use an affiliate link to my own books).

And here are my new recommendations!

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

I read this over the summer, and I have two words: murder mermaids. If you’re looking for something horror-y, this is a great pick! It’s so spooky and scary and exciting! It also has a lot of good representation, including neurodiverse and LGBT+ characters. It’s a long one, though, so if you plan to read this, you may need to block off a few days of binging!

Ghost Academy by E.C. Farrell

This is, just as it sounds, academy fiction, but with ghosts. There’s a lot to take in here, but if you want a little less spook with your spirits, grab this one! It’s got a lot of good characters, strong storylines, and an interesting take on the afterlife.

Dead Girls Don’t Dance by h.g. Lynch

If you’re looking for something quicker to read, how about a short story based in Day of the Dead mythology? Follow the main character as she wakes up dead and has a mystery to solve and her own death to come to terms with before she can move on.

Are you ready yet?

Those are my biggest recommendations for celebrating a safe, fun Halloween IN. I hope you’ve found some entertainment, decorations, and/or attire to put you in the mood and let you enjoy the season, no matter what is going on in your community right now.

I know I don’t talk about the outside world often, but holidays are hard. I know. I understand. I’ve lost events and celebrations, too. But keep strong, keep safe, and take care of each other. And, just maybe, these little tips I’m sharing with you can give you some bright lights, some joy, in the midst of whatever you’re facing. I want you to know that I sincerely care about you guys. I know how rough it’s been; I’m in it with you.

So let’s enjoy October, do things that make us smile, and celebrate, safely, together. ❀

~~~

PS! I just submitted the final version of The Patch (this is not an affiliate link) to all retailers today! If you want to know when it’s up for purchase (hopefully within 3 days), subscribe to the newsletter! (You’ll also get two free short stories just for signing up, and you’re free to unsubscribe at any time).

The Patch (this is not an affiliate link) is my spooky Halloween novella all about a girl desperate to save her family’s farm… and a mysterious magical pumpkin patch filled with ghosts and a hundred-year-old curse.

Don’t forget to subscribe for updates!

5 Ways You Can Have a Cozy Bookish Fall

Wondering how to max out your cozy factor with reading this fall? I got you.

So. I have this thing about being cozy. The first thing I did whenever I moved into a new place was hang things on the walls and pile blankets and pillows all over the place. And then light a nice, warm-smelling candle. It was all about the cozy.

In fact, that was one thing my now-husband loved about my apartment when we met: I had made it a place to be comfortable and at peace. And, of course, I applied my own personal rules of cozy to his house!

So now that fall is in full swing and spooky season is upon us, why not discuss five things you can do right now to have a cozy bookish fall?

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through the purchase links on this page. However, the things I have chosen to share either I have tried and enjoyed myself or it’s something I would buy for myself!)

1. Choose a cozy book.

I mean, this is the first requirement of a bookish fall, right? You have to find yourself the right book! Ideally, this book should evoke all the warm fuzzies you could imagine and take you on an adventure of your choice.

Not sure where to start? No problem. I can get you started with 3 recommendations.

Pumpkin Everything by Beth Labonte

I’m currently reading this on my ereader, and it is so full of everything autumn! The fall foliage, the chill in the air, and, of course, everything pumpkin. This is great if you’re looking for a sweet adult romance, and even better, it’s the first book in a series set in Autumnboro, the self-proclaimed capital of the New England fall season!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This is one of my all-time favorite books! It’s young adult, but college-age, and it follows the story of Cath as she navigates her first year of college, new separation from her twin sister, the finale of her super-popular fanfic, and her first real relationship. This book has such a rollercoaster of emotion, and it always leaves me with warm, happy feelings when I finish it! (yes, I’ve read it 3+ times) Also, it’s coming out in manga form! (for those of you who don’t like sex or swearing in your fiction, maybe pass on this one)

Pumpkinheads by rainbow rowell

And even though I haven’t read this one, it’s been on my list for ages! Same author as Fangirl, but it’s a graphic novel format and of course is set during the fall! It follows two teen seasonal workers in their last year… the year they say goodbye. I love Rainbow Rowell, and I’m so excited to read this one!

2. Set the mood.

Once I got my own apartment and didn’t have dorm restrictions anymore, I developed a love for candles and wax/oil burners. Scent is so deeply tied to memory (neuroscientist here) that it can be easy to set a mood with smells, relive old memories of fall, or create new associations.

This year, my husband bought me a candle I love so much that I’ve been savoring it. It’s especially great if you don’t have a fireplace, like us, because it’s campfire scented and has a wood wick, so crackles. I also love the shiny, charcoal-like appearance of the wax. Seriously, I love this candle, and wood smoke is one of the scents I always link to fall! You can check it out here.

But if candles aren’t your thing, I also recently came across a few different autumn oil blends. In particular, this maple one! Like, how cool is that? I haven’t gotten to try this one, but it sounds fantastic.

Whatever you decide to use, just make sure it is a scent you find warm and welcoming!

3. Get a drink!

I love picking out special things to drink while I’m reading or relaxing at home. There are a few good choices, depending on your tastes. For example, I switch between coffee, tea, and super sweet Duplin wines, like their Toil and Trouble mulled wine for fall…which they sadly don’t have this year πŸ˜₯ . But especially when it gets colder, warm drinks are a must to cozy up!

Last winter I had gotten the Victor Allen mix of winter coffee K-cups, and this fall I found their autumn version! There are so many warm, autumn flavors that I’m super excited about. Or, if tea is more your thing, how about a cinnamon, orange, and clove black tea? It sounds spicy and warm, all good flavors for the season!

And since we have a wood fire going with the candle already, how about a camp-style mug to drink out of? I’m so happy these are on trend right now. When I was in undergrad, I won a camp-style mug from the school, and I got another when I went to grad school to stick with the theme. They just remind me of the camping trips I went on with my family when I was a kid. Simpler times… and one of those trips especially was super cold!

4. Find some snacks.

I don’t know about you, but I am a snacker. It may be a bit of a problem. But this is a great season for snacks! I particularly like sweet snacks, like little cakes, or savory like special cheeses or simple chips and popcorn.

One good option is the Pepperidge Farm pumpkin cheesecake cookies. I’ve had these, and they’re such a sweet twist on autumn cookies! I love the cheesecake bites in them and the spiciness of the season.

Another favorite of mine is Cake Bites, though I’ve had them in the Italian Rainbow cake flavor (husband comes from an Italian family and introduced me to them). But now they have their own pumpkin spice version! These cakes are sweet, moist, and delicious! Great for whenever you have a sweet tooth but don’t have a whole cake.

Whatever snack you go with, I highly recommend preparing it together with your drink before you move on to the next step…

5. Snuggle up!

Yesss, my favorite part! First, you have to find the perfect place to nest. For me, I prefer to snuggle into my spot on the couch. I have enough surfaces around it to hold my drink and snacks, and there’s our fluffy Costco blankets and the heated blanket (another luxury my husband introduced to me). The Sunbeam washable versions are the kind we have, and they have 3 settings for you to adjust your level of toast. And if your feet also get cold, I like to wear my thick socks. I can’t find the ones I have, but I love the pattern of these wool socks!

I also bought myself a super cozy, bulky, sweater cardigan for around the house. It was so handy when I was working from home and quarantined back in May, and I’m so happy I have it now. It’s so comfortable and warm! I got it in antique violet because I’m a fiend for all things purple, but it comes in a bunch of different colors.

Final Thoughts

With the weather getting colder up here in Pennsylvania, I’m so excited for cozy season! Today I shared some of my favorite ways to have a cozy, bookish fall. Once you’ve performed all five steps, you’ll find yourself snuggled and ready for a super cozy, warm, and peaceful reading session! Whatever choices you make for your own bookish fall, just make sure they’re right for you! And I’d love to hear your suggestions, too. πŸ™‚

What do you do to snuggle up? What are your favorite cozy reads?

Also, you may notice that the format of this post is a little different. That’s because I’m trying a new thing. Instead of just throwing a list of books at your likely already monstrous TBR, I wanted to help you curate an experience. Feel free to let me know your thoughts on this as well!

Talk to you in the comments, and until next time, stay cozy!

5 Fantastic Books to Welcome Fall

Need some fall reading? I got you covered.

Hello, readers! This weekend has felt more like fall than any other day yet! And I am so happy about it. ❀ In fact, hubs and I have been burning fall candles (Pumpkin Apple Chai and Smoked Pumpkin Apple) nonstop all weekend, and I pulled out the leggings, maple leaf earrings, and fall leaves t-shirt, too. AND I decorated the main floor of the house and am sipping a pumpkin spice coffee.

So yeah. I love fall.

I also love to read things that put me in a fall mood. So today I’m going to share a few of those books! And don’t worry; I’m not going to be overlapping with last year’s books for Halloween post… though there may be an update on that next month!

And now: 5 Fantastic Books to Welcome Fall.

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through the links on this page. However, I have selected these books because I personally read and enjoyed them or am looking forward to reading them. Please note that NO associate links are ever linked to my own books.)

Ghosted by H.L. Burke

I beta read this little story just last week, and it was delightful! Imagine a world where ghosts must haunt to have energy to exist. Now imagine that you’re a ghost assigned to someone un-scare-able! And you have Ghosted. πŸ™‚

Ghost Academy by E.C. Farrell

I read this one over the summer, but there’s a couple reasons it’s a good fall book: 1) it’s an academy story, and 2) all ghosts! Not bad to start welcoming spooky seasons with some ghosts! The story was fun and engaging and there’s a fox shifter ghost… I have such a weakness for foxes!

Bones of the Witch by A.L. Knorr

This is part of the Earth Magic Rises trilogy, an extended series related to A.L. Knorr’s Elementals book, and follows Georjie, our Earth Wise. She has some really cool powers linked to plants, healing, and, of course, earth, and in this series she accidentally awakens an evil witch bent on consuming the power of all Wises. I won’t say more to avoid spoilers, but if you want something atmospheric (set in Scotland with all the cozy fires and cold weather of fall) and spooky, this is a great read!

The Raven Cycle Series by Maggie Stiefvater

Ok, I cheated here. This is 4 books. And they fit in a lot of seasons. But we’ve got some fascinating magic realism here and four academy boys who become friends with the daughter of a clairvoyant. And they’re searching for a lost Welsh king who, according to legend, is buried somewhere nearby and full of magic. I would also describe this as atmospheric, and the whimsy and exploration of nature and bits of school sprinkled in here feel like fall to me!

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

And speaking of spooky, how about a dark carnival story? The main character of this story has magic of illusions and is part of a traveling dark carnival. There’s so much more to it than that, including mystery, danger, and maybe romance, but I can’t give away too much. You’ll have to read it yourself!

Bonus unread story!

Pumpkin Everything by Beth Labonte

So, I came across this one just this week in one of the free book newsletters I get. It’s set in New Hampshire, the main character is a horror novelist, there’s a failed fall wedding… yeah, I’m all over this one. I can’t wait to get to it after finishing the ebook I’m currently reading and wanted to pass this romance along to you as well!

Bonus: Seasons of Magic!

(This section DOES NOT contain affiliate links)

Pumpkin Spice Pie-Jinks by Selina J. Eckert

How could I talk about welcoming fall without talking about Pie-Jinks??? There’s a baking contest at a harvest festival, the Autumn Court of Fae, some sweet, cute romance, and mischievous sprites! And of course, all things pumpkin spice.

Here’s a special hint from me to you: I may or may not be working on a full urban fantasy series to start coming out next fall…

The Patch by Selina J. Eckert

And guess what else is on its way??? The next Seasons of Magic is coming in October! For now, be sure to add it to your Goodreads, but if you sign up for the newsletter, I’ll be able to send you the cover reveal and announce when it comes out (I also just shared a brand new short story prequel for the This Curse series… free to my subscribers! You can still get it for signing up!).

For now, The Patch is a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk and involves a haunted pumpkin patch and a ghost cat…

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I hope you guys find some new favorites in today’s list of books, and if you have any other suggestions for books for me to read, let me know in the comments! Until next time, happy reading! ❀

5 Great Books for Halloween

Need some seasonal reading material? I got you covered.

You may or may not have noticed that last week’s post is a bit late. Well, hubs and I took a vacation to Peru! However, I forgot to schedule the post ahead of time. But instead of skipping, I wanted to make sure to post before Halloween so we can talk about some good books to read this time of year!

(Side note: if you’d like to see a few pics from our trip, make sure to subscribe to the newsletter!)

Without further ado, five great books to read this Halloween!

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken

I’m currently reading this one, and it is so far delightful! This is a middle grade story about a boy who lives in a New England town where his ancestors struck a deal with a demon…and then broke it. If you want the atmosphere of the season, there are plenty of bright leaves, atmospheric locations, and special treats to be had!

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

In this young adult fantasy, find yourself in a town that worships its founders ever since they locked a terrifying, dangerous beast away in the Gray. But the beast is growing more powerful, and the powers the founders have may no longer be enough to keep it contained. This book is several parts spooky, magical, and chilling, perfect for a Halloween read!

Garden of Lilies by Eli Constant

Warning for those of you who read clean fiction: this is not what you’re looking for. But if you want an engaging, raw, and chilling adult urban fantasy, pick this indie up.

Victoria is a necromancer…one of the last of her kind. Necromancers were killed and outlawed after they inadvertently caused The Rising, a zombie apocalypse, years before. But now Victoria works at the family morgue, which makes it a little harder to stay hidden, especially when one of her clients reanimates and begs for help. This book drew me in, and I had so much trouble putting it down!

Must Love Ghosts by Charity Tahmaseb

This one is another indie and a little bit different. Instead of a novel, this series is written like a TV show, and each book is a season of “episodes” revolving around a central arc. The tales are both spooky and cute, and there is plenty of coffee and tea to go around! If you want cute and spooky, this is the one for you.

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

This is another traditionally published young adult fantasy, written by one of the descendants of the players in the Salem witch trials. In the story, a descendant of Cotton Mather returns to Salem where she is immediately seen as the enemy…and targeted by the all-too-real witches who still live in the town. This was definitely a spooky read, and its suspenseful telling is just creepy enough for this time of year.

Bonus: Pumpkin Spice Pie-Jinks by Selina J. Eckert

Finally, for a cute little bonus, I have this novella written specifically to celebrate the fall season. Reese is a pie witch: a woman who bakes magical pies in her own little bakery. But when two autumn sprites show up at her door demanding pie, her entire world is thrown into chaos. This tale inspired by Hansel and Gretel is fully of candy, autumn vibes, cute romance, and PIE.

And guess what? It’s out on Halloween! Don’t forget to pick up your copy and soak in the season!

~~~

So what about you? Do you have any books you love to read in the fall? What are they? Help me, and your fellow bibliophiles, find some new seasonal books! ❀

Series I NEED to Finish

Two weeks ago, we discussed why book series appeal to readers and writers, and last week I spent a lot of time diving into some of my favorite series that I’ve finished reading.

But what about all those lost, lonely stories I haven’t gotten around to completing yet??? I mean, the series are completed, so what am I waiting for?

Let’s not put it off any longer. Here are the book series I’ve started and absolutely NEED to complete. (PS, did you know I read such varied series? Lots and lots of genres represented this week and last week!)

Unlike last week, unless I know they are absolutely adult, I cannot provide content ratings since I haven’t finished the series. Read at your own risk!

The Bone Witch, by Rin Chupeco

This is a wonderful, intense, and rich fantasy series for young adults that follows a girl who accidentally found out she was a necromancer when she raised her brother from the dead. It’s got lots of magic woven into society and a great sibling relationship, as well as political intrigue and revenge! (Young adult)

Alpha Girl, by Aileen Erin

I started this with a free book, and I honestly loved it. It’s an indie fantasy about a girl who accidentally gets turned into a werewolf, except she was already a bruja…a forbidden combination. (Young adult)

Ivory and Bone, by Julie Eshbaugh

This is historic fantasy? I’m not sure. But it’s got a really big Ice Age vibe going and is told in second person. Very cool storytelling and captivating story! (Young adult)

Firebird, by Claudia Gray

This is a sci-fi with alternate dimensions and science! The main character uses a device created by her father (I think?) and travels into another dimension. I only got to read book one so far, but it’s so different, and the covers are GORGEOUS! (Young adult)

Dreamblood, by N.K. Jemisin

This is a really unique fantasy about dream-based magic, and it has a non-European fantasy setting, which was really cool. Can’t wait to finish it! (Adult)

Portland Hafu, by K. Bird Lincoln

I started this one with a free book as well, and it is an indie urban fantasy about a girl who finds out she is a dream eater (takes the dreams of people she comes in contact with). This awakens some ancient forces, and danger ensues! (Adult-ish? College age)

A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas

These are very good, but they are bricks. Like, so long. And I’m actually really intimidated by long books. They are based mostly in Fae courts, but the main character is a human thrown into all kinds of unwinnable situations. Caution: these are marketed as young adult, but they are very much NOT. Very graphic.

Mark of the Lion, by Francine Rivers

I only have one left, but it follows a different character than the first two, so I keep putting it off. But these are Christian historical fiction set in the early days of the church in…Rome? I think? Very good, very emotional. (Adult)

The Fourth Element, by Kat Ross

Another indie, yay! These books follow an interesting non-European mythology that I kind of fell in love with. I’m not sure what the age range is, and I don’t know how to explain it. Follow the link, sorry! XD

Monsters of Verity, by Victoria Schwab

This is a duology in which monsters actually exist in the city, sometimes brought about by violence and horrible circumstances…but you really start to question who the real monsters are. (Young adult)

Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor

This is a high fantasy with a very interesting cultural setting in which “gods” appeared in a floating city, tormented the people, and then the people lashed out and killed them…all except a small group of half-god children. (Young adult)

Concluding Thoughts

As you can no doubt see, I have started many series. But I have trouble binging an entire series at once, so now I have many incomplete series. Woo!

What series are you currently reading? Are you loving them? Hating them? Let’s talk in the comments!

Series I’ve Completed (and Loved!)

Last week, I talked a bit about the appeal of a book series to both readers and writers. We discussed the learning curve of a story, binge culture and episodic fiction, and the love of a world, as well as a few models authors can use to take advantage of reader habits.

This week, I want to dive into some of my favorite completed series. I have finished more series than these, but today I only want to discuss the things I love. There have absolutely been series I completed that I didn’t love, but I don’t believe in calling those out. It’s not so fair to the author, and everyone has their own taste in fiction!

So without further ado, my favorite series (that I’ve completed). Buckle up, ‘cuz we are going to talk about a TON of books this month! Check out the end of each description to learn about the age level and/or how clean it is, if that concerns you.

Passenger, by Alexandra Bracken

This is a duology about a violinist who just happens to also be from a time-traveling family. The main character gets tied up in the evil-doings and excitement of the time travelers, moving from time and place while trying to find her way home again. This is young adult and pretty clean.

The Darkest Minds, by Alexandra Bracken

Okay, so I LOVE Alex Bracken. She writes great stories, and she is such a nice human. This is the series that first introduced me to her (yes it was a movie, but trust me, the books are much better!). If you don’t know, this is about a plague that sweeps through the US, killing most children. The ones who survive develop psychic abilities, and this is their story, one of fear and struggle and triumph! This is young adult and fairly clean to read.

Weather Warden, by Rachel Caine

This is one of my favorite urban fantasy series! The earth is protected and controlled by wardens and their enslaved djinn…only the djinn are tired of being trapped. Every book gets better and better, and I am in love with this world and magic system! Caution: for older readers (includes on-page sex).

Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer

I started this series way back in middle school and completed it in college, and it is absolutely delightful! It follows child evil genius Artemis Fowl and his tricks on the fairy folk. Middle grade, clean for all ages.

Diamond of the Rockies, by Kristen Heitzmann

This one was from my Western/historical fiction craze when I was younger. It follows the journey of an Italian-American woman as she moves out West to the frontier and ends up starting her own restaurant…while also dealing with a bothersome, cranky man. Some adult situations, but is Christian fiction.

Elemental Origins, by A.L. Knorr

This is a delightful indie urban fantasy series intended for young adults. Each book in this series follows a different character with a different elemental ability, starting with mermaids. Clean and good for all ages.

Cheney Duvall, M.D., by Lynn & Gilbert Morris

I must have read this series three times through, at least. This is a Christian historical fiction starring Cheney Duvall, one of the first female doctors, and follows her around the country with her trusty nurse, ex-pugilist Shiloh Irons! Cheney is from a well-to-do family but struggles to be recognized as a real doctor while struggling to understand people who don’t belong to her class. It’s so, so good! There’s even a few books in a spinoff series, The Inheritance. Hmm, may be time for another read-through… Clean, but there are marriage situations/discussions as the series progresses.

Ashfall, by Mike Mullin

By far, this is one of the best trilogies I have read. It’s a sci-fi that takes place after the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, and the main character is separated from his family and must find his way in a new, and incredibly dangerous, world. It also has one of the BEST endings I’ve ever seen in a series. Young adult, but very adult dangers. You have been warned.

Zenta and Matsuzo, by Lensey Namioka

This is a middle grade, but it’s historical fiction. It follows a ronin (masterless samurai) and his sidekick as they solve mysteries in feudal Japan. I loved reading these in the summer and eventually collected the whole series. Clean reads for kids!

The Cooper Kids, by Frank Peretti

This is a Christian middle grade that follows the two children of an archaeologist. My dad used to read these to us, so it’s got some great sentimental value to me. I loved all the adventures they had and the places they got to visit. Clean read!

Lost Voices, by Sarah Porter

This is BY FAR one of my favorite mermaid series. It follows a girl who gives up on the world, so the sea changes her into a mermaid. Now, she must learn this new life and deal with her fellow mermaids, their hatred of humanity, and humanity’s hatred of them. Fairly clean, but some discussion related to adult situations.

Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling

I don’t need to explain this, but of course it had to be on the list. I didn’t read these until college, but I was sucked into the world like everyone else and was actually surprised to find so many moral and religious themes sprinkled throughout, particularly in the last book. Clean, but gets darker as the series progresses, in case you didn’t know.

Tales of Goldstone Wood, by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

This is a Christian high fantasy series that was slated to have another book or two, but I’m not sure if that’s going to happen, so I’ve included it as complete. It’s a traditional feeling fantasy, but each book follows different characters and stories (with a few consistent characters woven throughout) and has plenty of warm, Christian themes. One of the best fantasy series I’ve ever read! Clean!

The Raven Cycle, by Maggie Stiefvater

I. Love. This. Series. I’d call this a young adult magic realism. It follows Blue, the non-psychic daughter of a psychic who meets a group of boys from the nearby school and joins in their quest to find an ancient lost Welsh king supposedly buried somewhere in the area…and if you find him, he’ll grant you a wish. Clean!

Saga of the Sierras, by Brock & Bodie Thoene

This is another from my Western days. It’s a Christian historic fiction and follows a bunch of different characters out in 1800s California, through all the danger and intrigue they face, as well as dealing with living on a frontier. Clean!

The Castle in the Attic, by Elizabeth Winthrop

Finally, this one is another childhood favorite. Much like The Indian in the Cupboard, it involves a tiny toy that turns out to be real! The children get to visit the castle kingdom by visiting a toy castle in the attic, and they have adventures! Yay! Clean!

Concluding Thoughts

These are only a fraction of the series I’ve finished. If I wrote them all here, it’d take us forever to get through it! I did enjoy other series as well, but these are some that really stand out to me, even years after I read them.

So tell me below: what series have you completed and loved? Are there any I’m missing out on?