Top Ten Tuesday: Essential Online Resources for Bloggers and Readers

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Online Resources for Book Lovers. These kinds of posts are always so informative. I always feel like there are so many resources out there that I just haven’t discovered yet and thanks to these posts, I get to see what everyone else is using to make life as a blogger and reader easier. I hope you are able to find some great resources from my list.

  1. Canva – Canva is essential for all us bloggers who aren’t graphic designers. Every graphic you see on my blog was designed in Canva. Everything I design on here makes me feel more professional and less embarrassed by my lack of graphic design skills. I think I blocked out what my blog used to look like before I discovered this website because it wasn’t pretty.
  2. Thesaurus – If you have been reviewing books for a while, you understand that sometimes finding the right word is so hard. I always have a tab open to a thesaurus to help me in those moments when the right word is so elusive.
  3. Evernote – Evernote is where I type out ideas for blog posts, it’s where I type out Instagram captions, and even where I write reviews when I am not at home. I always get my best ideas when I am out walking my dog and because I don’t have the best memory, having this app on my phone is essential.
  4. Snapseed – If you ever wondered what kind of editing app I use for my photos for Instagram, it’s Snapseed. I’ve tried multiple editing apps, but this is the one I always go back to.
  5. Photopea – I haven’t gotten a chance to explore this site a lot, but I heard that it is just like photoshop but free.
  6. Nightlight podcast – A few weeks ago, I was really craving horror, but I had a full TBR and couldn’t pick up any horror books, so I went online to search for some horror podcasts and came across this one which features stories from Black writers.
  7. Diversity in Horror Fiction – I just came across this blog this year and it is a great source if you are looking for diverse horror stories. There is a pretty exhaustive list of horror fiction by BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and disabled authors.
  8. Hoopla – So I just recently discovered that some libraries allow you to stream movies and music from this app. Amazing.
  9. San Jose Public Library – This year I also discovered that some libraries are issuing digital library cards because of Covid and after searching and searching, the first I came across was San Jose Public Library. If you live in California, you can sign up. This was such a blessing for me because my library does not have a very good selection of audiobooks but this one does! I’ve also had luck with the Anaheim Public Library and though I haven’t signed up yet, I believe Berkeley Public Library is also doing the same. I don’t know if this is something other states are doing, but it’s worth checking out.
  10. Fellow Bloggers – Don’t forget that though we are a small community, we are a great resource when it comes to books and blogging. If there is a certain kind of book you are looking for or you have a question about blogging, odds are that there is someone in the community who can help you out. If you ever have a question for me, do not hesitate to ask ❤

Do you also use some of these resources? What is your go-to app for blog graphics and photo editing? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own TTT posts, so I can visit!

October Fright: The Wicked Watch-List

Happy October, friends! One of my favorite things about this season is the horror movies. I absolutely love horror movies and even though I could watch a horror movie any time of year, there is always something extra special about watching them during October. Here is a look at a few films that I will be watching between now and Halloween. All of these are movies that I just haven’t gotten a chance to catch up with, but it is also not an exhaustive list. I have already watch a few horror movies and shows this month and will probably go beyond this list before October is over.

1. Attack the Block

I have been meaning to watch this movie for so long and it finally showed up on Hulu. I think this has more of a sci-fi feel than horror, but let’s call it a hybrid.

2. The Wailing

I really want to watch more foreign horror movies and I’ve heard really good things about The Wailing. I haven’t watched it yet because I know it’s on the long side and I have to set aside a bigger block of time to watch it.

3. Parasite

I can’t believe that I still haven’t watched Parasite. I really don’t know what this one is about beside a vague idea that it is a criticism of capitalism. I am always on board for something like this especially if it has a horror element.

4. Scary Stories

I heard this adaptation wasn’t very good, but I have been so curious for so long. I loved Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark as a kid, so at the very least this will give a hefty bout of nostalgia.

Are you a fan of watching horror movies during the month of October? What have you watched so far or what are you planning to watch? Let’s discuss in the comments!

Talk Chisme to Me: Recapping Latinx Heritage Month

Hello, friends. Today is the last day of Latinx Heritage Month. I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts I’ve put together in celebration this year. Hopefully, I’ve brought some books to your attention that you might not have heard of. Remember that you can support Latinx authors beyond this month. Thank you for joining me ❤ Here is a little wrap-up of what I read including my most memorable reads. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

Latinx Heritage Month Posts:

Click here to enter my Twitter giveaway for LHM (last day to enter!)

Talk Chisme to Me: Latinx Heritage Month 2021 TBR

Talk Chisme to Me: New Favorites from the Past Year

Talk Chisme to Me: All About Middle Grade

Talk Chisme to Me: Most Anticipated 2022 Releases

Books I read this month:

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Favorite Read This Month:

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I read so many amazing reads this month. I don’t think I’ve had so many five-star reads within such a short amount of time. I’m so glad I went with this particular TBR for LHM because I could not imagine it being any better than it was. That being said, if I had to pick a favorite for the month, I would have to go with How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland. I feel a certain kinship with Moon and fell in love with the writing in this book from page one. If you’ve ever read anything by Anna-Marie McLemore, I’d highly recommend this one because it filled me with a similar feeling I get from their books.

Favorite Instagram Photo:

This was difficult as I really liked all of the photos I posted on Instagram for Latinx Heritage Month, but I have a special place in my heart for middle grade, so I am going to go with this one. I absolutely adore all three of these books and would recommend all of them for fans of middle grade.

Favorite Audiobook:

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I was only able to read so many books thanks to audiobooks this year. If fact six of the ten reads I read this Latinx Hertage Month were audiobooks. Fun fact, I listened to more audiobooks this month than I have ever listened to in any given year. My favorite has to be Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam’s Punching the Air. There was something special about listening to this novel in verse as opposed to reading it. I love when narrators infuse real emotion and Ethan Herisse does an amazing job with this one.

What was your favorite read during Latinx Heritage Month? What’s a book by a Latinx author you’re planning to pick up before the year ends?

Talk Chisme to Me: Most Anticipated 2022 Releases

The bad news is Latinx Heritage Month ends Friday, the good news is you can support Latinx authors all year long! To help you, I’ve put together a list of fifteen of my most anticipated 2022 releases by Latinx authors. There are so many exciting books coming out next year from debut authors to seasoned veterans to all Latinx-authored anthologies! Some of my very favorite authors are releasing more books and it just feels like I’m going to have so many new favorite Latinx authors to scream about as well. Since I already spotlighted upcoming middle grade releases on a previous post, this list will exclude MG. Covers/Titles linked to Goodreads. Note that publication dates are subject to change.

Check out my previous posts in this series for LHM:

Click here to enter my Twitter giveaway for LHM

Talk Chisme to Me: Latinx Heritage Month 2021 TBR

Talk Chisme to Me: New Favorites from the Past Year

Talk Chisme to Me: All About Middle Grade


1. Ophelia After All by Raquel Marie
Release Date: February 8, 2022

      “A teen girl navigates friendship drama, the end of high school, and discovering her queerness in Ophelia After All, a hilarious and heartfelt contemporary YA debut by author Racquel Marie.
      Ophelia Rojas knows what she likes: her best friends, Cuban food, rose-gardening, and boys – way too many boys. Her friends and parents make fun of her endless stream of crushes, but Ophelia is a romantic at heart. She couldn’t change, even if she wanted to.
      So when she finds herself thinking more about cute, quiet Talia Sanchez than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, seeds of doubt take root in Ophelia’s firm image of herself. Add to that the impending end of high school and the fracturing of her once-solid friend group, and things are spiraling a little out of control. But the course of love–and sexuality–never did run smooth. As her secrets begin to unravel, Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantasy version of herself she’s always imagined or upending everyone’s expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.”


2. Lakelore by Anna-Marie McLemore
Release Date: March 8, 2022

      “In this young adult novel by award-winning author Anna-Marie McLemore, two non-binary teens are pulled into a magical world under a lake – but can they keep their worlds above water intact?
      Everyone who lives near the lake knows the stories about the world underneath it, an ethereal landscape rumored to be half-air, half-water. But Bastián Silvano and Lore Garcia are the only ones who’ve been there. Bastián grew up both above the lake and in the otherworldly space beneath it. Lore’s only seen the world under the lake once, but that one encounter changed their life and their fate.
      Then the lines between air and water begin to blur. The world under the lake drifts above the surface. If Bastián and Lore don’t want it bringing their secrets to the surface with it, they have to stop it, and to do that, they have to work together. There’s just one problem: Bastián and Lore haven’t spoken in seven years, and working together means trusting each other with the very things they’re trying to hide.”


3. Scout’s Honor by Lily Anderson
Release Date: April 5, 2022

      “Prudence Perry is a third-generation Ladybird Scout who must battle literal (and figurative) monsters and the weight of her legacy in this YA paranormal perfect for fans of Stranger Things and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
      Sixteen-year-old Prudence Perry is a legacy Ladybird Scout, born to a family of hunters sworn to protect humans from mulligrubs―interdimensional parasites who feast on human emotions like sadness and anger. Masquerading as a prim and proper ladies’ social organization, the Ladybirds brew poisons masked as teas and use knitting needles as daggers, at least until they graduate to axes and swords.
      Three years ago, Prue’s best friend was killed during a hunt, so she kissed the Scouts goodbye, preferring the company of her punkish friends lovingly dubbed the Criminal Element much to her mother and Tía Lo’s disappointment. However, unable to move on from her guilt and trauma, Prue devises a risky plan to infiltrate the Ladybirds in order to swipe the Tea of Forgetting, a restricted tincture laced with a powerful amnesia spell.
      But old monster-slaying habits die hard and Prue finds herself falling back into the fold, growing close with the junior scouts that she trains to fight the creatures she can’t face. When her town is hit with a mysterious wave of demons, Prue knows it’s time to confront the most powerful monster of all: her past.”

4. Inheritance by Elizabeth Acevedo
Release Date: May 3, 2022

      “No synopsis currently available.”


5. The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
Release Date: May 10, 2022

      “Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches…
      In the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father is executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost.
      But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined.
      When Rodolfo returns to work in the capital, visions and voices invade Beatriz’s sleep. The weight of invisible eyes follows her every move. Rodolfo’s sister, Juana, scoffs at Beatriz’s fears—but why does she refuse to enter the house at night? Why does the cook burn copal incense at the edge of the kitchen and mark its doorway with strange symbols? What really happened to the first Doña Solórzano?
      Beatriz only knows two things for certain: Something is wrong with the hacienda. And no one there will help her.
      Desperate for help, she clings to the young priest, Padre Andrés, as an ally. No ordinary priest, Andrés will have to rely on his skills as a witch to battle the malevolent presence haunting the hacienda.
      Far from a refuge, San Isidro may be Beatriz’s doom.”


6. Breathe and Count Back from Ten by Natalia Sylvester
Release Date: May 10, 2022

      “Verónica has had many surgeries to manage her disability. The best form of rehabilitation is swimming, so she spends hours in the pool, but not just to strengthen her body. Her Florida town is home to Mermaid Cove, a kitschy underwater attraction where professional mermaids perform in giant tanks . . . and Verónica wants to audition. But her conservative Peruvian parents would never go for it. And they definitely would never let her be with Alex, her cute new neighbor. She decides it’s time to seize control of her life, but her plans come crashing down when she learns her parents have been hiding the truth from her—the truth about her own body.”


7. Flirting With Fate by J.C. Cervantes
Release Date: June 14,2022

      “Jane the Virgin meets The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in New York Times bestselling author J. C. Cervantes’s charming, romantic YA debut.
      Ava Granados will never forgive herself for being late to her beloved Nana’s deathbed. For generations, blessings have been passed to the women in her family upon death, but due to a freaky flash flood that left Ava in a fender bender with a mysterious boy, she arrived seconds too late to for Nana’s blessing—instead, all she gets is the wash of regret on her sisters’ faces.
      Until Nana pops up with a challenge from beyond the grave. As it turns out, Nana did give Ava a blessing, but it missed, landing with the boy from the night of the storm. If Ava can’t straighten out the mistake, Nana will linger as a ghost forever, which she’s not exactly excited about. To help her on her quest, Ava will have her two older sisters and Nana’s rather bumbling spiritual guide, Medardus, who is, of all things, the patron saint of teeth.
      For solitary Ava, being asked to befriend some random boy is the last thing she wants to do. She’s gotten along just fine being wary and protecting her heart; keeping people at a distance is a great way to ensure no one ever hurts you. But as Ava and the gang embark on their mission to retrieve Nana’s blessing, she starts to wonder if what she might gain by getting close to thunderstorm boy is worth the risk.”

8. Valiant Ladies by Melissa Grey
Release Date: June 14,2022

      “Two teen vigilantes set off on an action-packed investigation to expose corruption and deliver justice in Valiant Ladies, Melissa Grey’s YA historical fiction novel inspired by real seventeenth century Latinx teenagers known as the Valiant Ladies of Potosí.
      By day Eustaquia “Kiki” de Sonza and Ana Lezama de Urinza are proper young seventeeth century ladies. But when night falls, they trade in their silks and lace for swords and muskets, venturing out into the vibrant, bustling, crime-ridden streets of Potosí, in the Spanish Empire’s Viceroyalty of Peru. They pass their time fighting, gambling, and falling desperately in love with one another.
      Then, on the night Kiki’s engagement to the Viceroy’s son is announced, her older brother―heir to her family’s fortune―is murdered. The girls immediately embark on a whirlwind investigation that takes them from the lowliest brothels of Potosí to the highest echelons of the Spanish aristocracy.”


9. A Girl’s Guide to Love & Magic by Debbie Rigaud
Release Date: June 14,2022

      “Perfect for fans of The Sun Is Also a Star and Blackout, this YA novel from Debbie Rigaud is a celebration of Haitian and Caribbean culture, and a story of first love, vodou, and finding yourself, all set against the backdrop of the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn.
      Cicely Destin, a Haitian American teen living in Brooklyn, loves the annual West Indian Day Parade that takes place in her neighborhood. The colors, clothes, tastes, sights, and sounds all celebrating Caribbean culture fill her with pride and joy. This year, the parade will be extra special: it falls on Cicely’s birthday, AND Cicely will get to hang out with her awesome aunt, Mimose, a social media influencer known for dabbling in Haitian vodou. But when Mimose’s dabbling becomes a little too real, and she seems to be possessed by a rogue spirit right before the parade, it’s up to Cicely, plus her best friend, Renee, and her crush (!), Kwame, to try to set things right. Cicely and her friends set off on a winding, thrilling scavenger hunt through Brooklyn to find the items that will undo the possession. But can Cicely help her aunt if she doesn’t fully realize her own powers just yet?
      This nuanced, joyful, and loving exploration of Haitian American culture, based on Debbie Rigaud’s own experiences growing up, is pure magic.”

10. The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Release Date: 2022

      “Pitched as a reimagining of The Island of Dr. Moreau, set in the volatile Yucatan in the 1800s.”

11. The Sun and the Void by Gabriela Romero Lacruz
Release Date: 2022

      “Full of twisted family politics, dark magic, and fantastical beings, THE SUN AND THE VOID transports readers into a lush world inspired by the history and mythology of 1800s South America.
      When Reina arrives at Aguila Manor, her heart stolen from her chest, she’s on the verge of death—until her estranged grandmother, a dark sorceress in the Don’s employ, intervenes. Indebted to a woman she never knew—and smitten with the upper-caste daughter of the house, Celeste—Reina will do to earn – and keep – the family’s favor. Even the bidding of the ancient god who speaks to her from the Manor’s foundations.”

12. The Wicked Bargain by Gabe Cole Novoa
Release Date: 2022

      “This #OwnVoices YA fantasy follows a trans masculine Latinx teen pirate hiding magical abilities who, after a deal with the devil comes to a violent end, is rescued by the Caribbean’s sole remaining pirate crew. But with the Spanish armada hunting the last of the pirates down, the magic they’ve been keeping secret may be their only redemption—or it could mean certain death.”

13. The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes
Release Date: 2022

      “Seventeen-year-old Yamilet Flores prefers drawing attention for her killer eyeliner, not for being the new kid at a mostly white, very rich, Catholic school. But at least here no one knows she’s gay, and Yami intends to keep it that way. After being outed by her crush and ex-best friend, she could use the fresh start.
      At Slayton Catholic, Yami has new priorities: make her mom proud, keep her brother out of trouble, and most importantly, don’t fall in love. Granted, she’s never been great at any of those things, but that’s a problem for Future Yami.
      The thing is, it’s hard to fake being straight when Bo, the only openly queer girl at school, is so annoyingly perfect. And talented. And confident. And cute. So cute. Yami isn’t sure if she likes Bo or if she’s just jealous of her unapologetic nature. Either way, she isn’t ready to make the same mistake again. If word got to her mom, she could face a lot worse than rejection.”

14. Our Shadows Have Claws edited by Amparo Ortiz and Yamile Saied Méndez
Release Date: 2022

      “Sarah Alpert at Algonquin has bought world rights to Our Shadows Have Claws, a YA horror anthology co-edited by Amparo Ortiz and Yamile Saied Méndez. The short stories feature mythical monsters and magical baddies from Latinx folklore, from el Chupacabra to La Llorona, the vampire and the werewolf, the pombero and Nahuelito, and beyond.”

15. Lucha by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Release Date: 2022

      “The YA fantasy novel follows Lucha Moya, a bounty hunter living on the border of an ancient, mythical forest—the only source of a highly addictive drug that’s destroying her community and her family. As the first member of her community in a generation to possess magic, she vows to defeat the evil that surrounds her. Publication is set for fall 2022.”

Which 2022 release by a Latinx author are you most looking forward to? Let’s discuss in the comments!