The Battle For Verdana (The Talisman Series: Book 4) by Brett Salter

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Publisher:

Date of publication: July 19th, 2020

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Series: The Talisman Series

The Search for Synergy—Book 1 (review here)

Riders of Fire and Ice—Book 2 (review here)

Windy City Ruins—Book 3 (review here)

The Battle for Verdana—Book 4

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

Goodreads Synopsis:

What’s REALLY hiding in the forests of the Pacific Northwest? Could it be The Tyrant King’s army of Darkbrands? Could it be more of Mr. Jones’s liaisons? Or could it be the solution to the problem vexing our favorite heroes? Whatever mystery it is, you can guarantee the boys from Georgia are sure to find themselves deep in the thick of it.


Could it really be possible that Rome found himself stuck in his human form, with his dragonic powers completely stripped of him, and trapped on another arduous airplane flight?

the battle for verdana by brett salter

I couldn’t wait to read The Battle for Verdana. I wasn’t disappointed!! With the way that Windy City Ruins ended, I needed to know what would happen to Rome and Julian.

The Battle For Verdana is the 4th book in The Talisman series. As with the other books in this series, readers cannot read this book as a standalone. It would be best if you read books 1-3 first. I can’t stress this enough. If you do decide to read this book as a standalone, be prepared to be confused. Trust me on this!!

The Battle For Verdana takes place immediately after the ending of Windy City Ruins. Rome, Julian, Jericho, and Clay are traveling to Chicago to meet with Beacon and Mrs. Case. They are looking for another talisman to replace the one that Julian had. While there, they get a clue where another talisman could be….in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Not sure what they will find, the boys set out there. Will they find what they are looking for? Or will the Darkbrands beat them to it?

Rome was still my favorite character, with Julian being a close second. I loved seeing how his character grew throughout the books and how that growth continued in The Battle For Verdana. He went from a hacky-sack-loving typical teenage boy to this young man wise beyond his years.

Julian did annoy me during parts of the book, but I could understand why he was acting the way he acted. Not only was he a teenager, but he wasn’t in control. I wish I could say more, but it would be giving away a considerable part of the plot. I did like how he handled his father (even though the old-fashioned speech did give me a headache). Their interactions pained me and made me laugh.

I liked that Jericho and Clay were a big part of this book. I was still a little iffy about them after Windy City Ruins but got over that. Jericho showed over and over that he was to be trusted. Plus, I liked how he could get rid of Nocturne throughout the book. That was a pretty handy spell to have (even though it did mess with the talisman).

I enjoyed the discovery of the forest dragons towards the middle of the book, and I empathized with them. I understood why Larkspur was so angry (of course, there was a twist to that which made sense afterward), and I also understood why the other dragons were on the fence.

Of course, the end of the book was the best part!! There was a huge battle sequence that the author amazingly wrote. I was holding my breath during several parts of the battle. I did think, at one point, that the Darkbrands would finally beat the group, but that was put to rest when a particular something happened.

I am looking forward to reading book 5 (yes, there will be a book 5). I can’t wait to see if my feelings about Julian’s father are true, what will happen now that “it” happened, and if there are other dragons that the boys will meet.

I would recommend Windy City Ruins to anyone over the age of 13. It is a clean book (no sex, no kissing). There is mild violence and very mild language.

WWW Wednesday: November 10th 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal

I know that I have been persona non grata on the blog since about mid-October and I apologize for my absence. I thought with school being in, that I would have a ton of free time to read and blog. Yeah, that didn’t exactly work in my favor. I have been super busy since the week of October 18th and I finally have been able to sit down.

Most of my time was taken up with appointments. My kids had numerous orthodontist, Dr, and therapy appointments (Miss R had a very hard time adjusting to lockdown and it resulted in behavioral issues). I like to challenge myself and double-booked appointments on certain days…smh. So, by the time afternoon rolled around (after I pick up Miss R and Miss K from school), I wanted nothing to do with this blog or reading. This is the first week that I have finished three books in what seems like forever.

I also ended up buying a new computer. I got an Alienware Aurora R10 gaming computer. I had ordered it on September 11th and got a delivery date of October 31st, which got pushed back to November 4th. Because it is a super expensive tower, I needed to be there when Fed Ex dropped it off. I didn’t want a porch pirate taking off with it.

I went to the eye Dr for the first time in 3 years and he prescribed me bifocals. Yes, at 44 I got bifocals. Again, another learning curve that left me with some pretty bad headaches until I got used to them.

I ended up taking Skittles (my long-haired diluted calico) to the vet 2 weeks ago. Around her eye had turned red and weepy. Turns out that she got scratched on her eyelid and it got infected. Ever try to put eye medication on a cat that already hates to be touched? Yeah, it sucked and I got scratched up pretty bad but her eye is fine now.

We think that Jesper (my tuxedo kitten) is either deaf or extremely hard of hearing. BK noticed that he overstartles if approached from behind, he purrs and meows super loud, and (this is the most important) he has no reaction if you rip paper or jingle keys behind his head. I do plan on bringing it up to our vet but his being hard of hearing/deaf makes no difference on us owning him. We just need to keep an extra eye on him and make sure he doesn’t go outside.

Miss B was on my shit list for the last week or so. See, she wears upper and lower retainers. Well, she should have been. Over the summer, she decided that she didn’t want to wear them anymore and it caused her bottom teeth to shift. So, almost $500 later and me telling the ortho no to lower braces, we have new retainers.

Speaking of braces, Mr. Z will be getting upper braces after the first of the year. He also will be getting lower braces at some point, along with a Herbst device (look it up). His teeth are a mess and he might need surgery to correct everything that is wrong if the braces aren’t working.

Miss R is doing well. She was sent home from school on Monday because of a cold. She did have a Covid test and it was negative but I thought that she should stay home yesterday to get over it. She did go back today. Weird thing, though. The nurse told me that runny nose, congestion, and cough is also a side-effect of the Covid vaccine in kids her age (she got hers on Saturday). So I really don’t know if she had a small cold or a reaction to the shot.

So that’s it. I am hoping to read a couple more books off my TBR this week. I do have 3 reviews to write and will be working on those as soon as I publish this post. Look for them in the upcoming days!!


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Kasyapa is the bastard child of a king and a village girl. On his mother’s untimely death, he is plucked from his tiny village and brought to the royal palace. Shunned by his father, the king, this lonely little boy is raised by royal courtiers. As an adult he is sidelined, but fate intervenes. The villainous Migara, the chief of the army and Kasyapa’s nemesis, murders the king and implicates Kasyapa in this hideous crime. Even though his lowly birth denies him the right to the throne, Kasyapa must act to save the kingdom. What events unfold next that drives him to build Sigiriya and rule as a god-king?

This is also the story of Amira, a beautiful red-haired, blue-eyed girl, who is only twelve years old when her father sells her into slavery. At eighteen, she is traded for a hundred pearls and joins Kasyapa’s harem. Here, she is transformed into an alluring concubine. Amira soon infatuates the king with her stunning beauty, wide-eyed innocence and good heart.

Set fifteen hundred years ago and based on real people and events, Sigiriya is a hauntingly beautiful story of palace intrigue, passion, deceit, betrayal, and tragedy. It reminds us that little has changed over the centuries. Good and evil, love and hate, decency and cruelty are ever-present. But some, by the sheer strength of character and determination, rise above their stations and do great things.

This was a book that was out of my comfort zone for reading. I will say that I absolutely enjoyed reading it and learned so much about Indian culture during that time period. It was also beautifully written. I will be writing my review today and be on the lookout for it in the near future.


What I am currently reading:

Told by a tart-tongued young woman with a love of Bruce Springsteen, Lies in Bone is at once a mystery and coming-of-age tale fueled by dark secrets involving love, murder, and the truths worth lying for.

On Halloween 1963, eleven-year-old Chuck Coolidge and his brother Danny are lost in a toxic smog covering the steel town of Slippery Elm, Pennsylvania. When the smog lifts, half the town is sick and twenty people are dead. And Danny is missing.

Now, over twenty years later, Chuck’s teenage daughter Frank plots escape from this “busted and disgusted” town. When a murdered child is found in the river, investigators link the crime to the disappearance of Danny in ’63, and Frank’s life is turned upside down. In the face of her worst fears, she must uncover her family’s dark past if she wants to keep her sister Boots from the hands of The State. Led to discover the unimaginable truth about Danny’s disappearance, Lies in Bone culminates in a shocking eleventh-hour reveal and an emotionally charged finale.

I started Lies in Bone last night and so far I am liking it. I am hoping that it delivers on the blurb.


What books I think I’ll read next:

I know that I have a ton of books here. I am hoping to read at least 3 before next week’s WWW Wednesday. I am also hoping that some of these books are quick reads (which will make the list go down faster). All of these books are books that indie authors have approached me for reading and I am hoping to have their reviews up and published soon.

I am a girl. I am a monster, too.

Each summer the girls of Deck Five come back to Marshall Naval School. They sail on jewel-blue waters; they march on green drill-fields; they earn sunburns and honors. They push until they break apart and heal again, stronger.

Each summer Margaret and Rose and Flor and Nisreen come back to the place where they are girls, safe away from the world: sisters bound by something more than blood.

But this summer everything has changed. Girls are missing and a boy is dead. It’s because of Margaret Moore, the boys say. It’s because of what happened that night in the storm.

Margaret’s friends vanish one by one, swallowed up into the lies she has told about what happened between her and a boy with the world at his feet. Can she unravel the secrets of this summer and last, or will she be pulled under by the place she once called home?
In Transylvania’s History A to Z, a collection of 100-word stories sprinkled with breathtaking photographs, Patricia Furstenberg uses the confining rules of the 100-word story form to stirringly capture Transylvania, Romania’s historical and geographical region.

Transylvania’s unspoiled natural beauty, its tumultuous history, and the people who touched it are depicted in this book.
Written as snapshots, tall tales, and descriptive narratives, these 100-word stories are the espresso of creative writing.

A – Z, 100-Wors Stories are inspired by Transylvania’s history, from the Paleolithic Period to WW1
Each 100 Words Story is followed by a brief historical reference

The unique beauty of a 100-word story is in the way the words are strung together, each one a gem, and in the spaces left between the words, and between the sentences. So much can be told, with little words. It is a challenge for the writer, and a thrill for the reader, as each time the tale is read, a new detail springs to mind.

“As an armchair historian, I love researching lost tales, traveling, exploring hidden corners, and unearthing new facts, forgotten characters, or hidden clues. I love to give them a voice and to bring them into the light in my tales. Be it people, animals, or the land and its architecture, no detail is too small, no voice is too soft. What was once overlooked now brings history alive in my historical or contemporary fiction books and short stories, such as the 100-Word Stories based on the history of Transylvania.” (Patricia Furstenberg)
Watch out, vampires! There’s a new girl in town!

Nicoleta has never taken a life before, but she will have to make her first kill soon. Typical of girls her age, her concerns are boys and college. But when she takes a trip to Romania with several of her classmates to celebrate graduating from high school, Nicoleta is going to discover who she really is. When Nicoleta learns that she is adopted and that her biological parents live in Romania, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Finding out that her birthright is hunting and killing vampires, Nicoleta has to decide if she will remain in Romania and fulfill her destiny or if she will return to America and try to forget about the nightmare of a world that she has been thrown into.


Adding to Nicoleta’s problems, a notorious vampire named Varujan has been waiting for Nicoleta’s arrival. Her parents are called voinicos because they survived being bitten by a vampire. By birth, a voinico’s child becomes a vampire hunter, also known as a vanator. Varujan has known that the voinico’s daughter would eventually return to Romania, and he is looking forward to meeting her and killing her. With his vampire mistress, Antanasia, Varujan seems unstoppable.

Is Nicoleta ready to face Varujan and Antanasia? The other vanators have been training to kill vampires since they were children. Will Nicoleta be able to catch up with her training and be ready for the battle that is inevitably coming? Can she keep herself and her friends safe, or will they become the vampires’ victims before their trip is over? Whatever happens, one thing is for sure. Nicoleta’s life is never going to be the same again!
What if surviving a murder attempt, a heartbreak, and the loss of the family business wasn’t the hardest thing you ever faced?

Carol is the sole heir to a broken empire, Ricardo the newest celebrity in the rock world.
When they came together, their fire blazed. When their past caught up, they were left burned, scorched to the ground.

When a psychopath decides it’s payback time, Carol is faced with an impossible choice – save her son or sell her life.

Ricardo wants nothing to do with the woman who played him for a fool, but finds himself moored by circumstances, half truths, and memories of the past.
They say time can heal anything. So far, time’s brought nothing but complications.

This is a standalone romantic thriller told in alternating timelines and point of views. Warnings include character overdose and mentions of child abuse.
When a young man’s world is turned upside down, some things become clear and others blurred. Jacob Schitz’s plain life in Florida quickly erupts into a series of drastic events as he navigates young adulthood and a bleak future. When the biker gang, The Panteras, enters his life as a third obstacle, he will begin to truly understand himself and the violent world of underground crime as their paths become intertwined.
It’s not every day an obscure orphan girl becomes a fae queen.

Crysta and her companions have found the diadem and stone, but just when it looks like the tide has finally shifted in their favor, Crysta is sucked into Terise’s sleeping curse with no way of escape and nowhere to hide from Titania’s ruthless attacks.

And now she is permanently bonded…to the wrong fated mate.

Jareth is not only heartbroken at the loss of his fated mate bond, his mating frenzy is in overdrive, preventing him from functioning. He and Kheelan must overcome their differences if they hope to free Crysta, but they are faced with more setbacks as Titania takes faerie captives by the hundreds, building her army and growing her powers.

And the diadem, the key to Moridan and Titania’s undoing?

Tainted by Titania’s curse.

But a cursed relic isn’t the only surprise the wicked queen has in store for Crysta. The battle for control over the minds and hearts of the fae is one Titania intends to win by any means necessary.

Can Crysta and Jareth unite the Unseelie and Seelie Courts before Titania and Moridan destroy the Fae Realm?
I can’t believe Logan’s been my partner for over a year. Actually, he’s been more than that for half as long.
I know he’ll always have my back.

But when a routine monster eviction goes horribly wrong, he’s furious that I didn’t run when I had the chance.
What’s his deal? The way I see it, the FBI didn’t hire me to run away.

They hired me to get the job done.

Plus, I’m not the type to run from anything. I did it once when I was a kid and I’ve regretted it to this very day.
I suppose that explains why I’m taking this latest case so personally.

Funny how some things come around full circle…especially when you least expect it.
Who is the man who holds her heart?

After playing Robin Hood for months, Marian is starting to wonder how well she knows Robin of Locksley. Her husband could just be depressed, returning from a war that should have claimed his life. He could just be adjusting to their new life in the forest. Marian wants to be patient, but after surrendering Locksley to the sheriff and his men, the villages need Robin Hood more than ever.

When a fight for a king’s ransom costs much more than gold, everything boils to the surface. How can Marian continue to take the name or even stay married to a man she now despises?

And who will wear the hood in the end?
I once thought I might kill a prince. In another glance, I thought I would marry him. But then came a day I never expected.

The day I would kill a god.

When Arianna freed the soul of the prince from a dark god and shattered the underworld, she assumed she could bring peace to the world above. But there are consequences to the powers she gained and a war brewing between the provinces that will require all her magic and heart.

To master her gifts and save her home, Ari climbs to the top of Olympus and fights a war with gods on either side
.
A college student reluctantly attends a family chili cookout that turns into a never ending nightmare. A man desperate for job skills uses a brain implant to help him learn, but it malfunctions and leaves him sexually attracted to shadows. A private investigator is hired to discover who keeps befouling the walls of convenience store bathrooms. Two deer engaged in combat find that they are unable to unlock from one another’s antlers after the fight is over. A single mother spends 2020 battling an evil landlord, a fascist neighbor, national political chaos, and a global pandemic. These are the strange stories told by regulars at the local bar on Christmas Eve, stories which each began with a phone call from someone who announced “you don’t know me, but we’re cousins.”

Top Ten Tuesday: Last 10 Books I Added to my TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


I decided that I didn’t want to do this week’s prompt. I have a sick kid home (she has a cold, thankfully not Covid, was tested yesterday) and I can’t concentrate enough to look up book quotes. So, I give you my fallback —-the last 10 books I added to my TBR.

Let me know if you have read or reviewed any of these!!!


1. Picture Perfect: A Hart Land Holiday Cozy Romance by Chris Kensington

I entered a giveaway on Goodreads and it was automatically added to my TBR list. I love the cover and it made me want to start decorate for Christmas.

2. A Stranger’s Game by Colleen Coble

Another book that I entered a giveaway for. I have read several Colleen Coble books and enjoyed them. I hope that I can get to this one!!

3. Into the Mist by P.C. Cast

I saw this book on someone’s blog (can’t remember who) and decided that I wanted to read it. So, it got added to my huge TBR.

4. The Risk Taker by Tara L. Ames

Another book that I saw on someone’s blog and decided I wanted to read. I am not a big fan of military-themed romances, so hopefully, I’ll like it once I get around to reading it.

5. The Looking Glass Goddess by Amanda Hughes

Another book I saw on a blog and decided I wanted to read. I was really taken in by the blurb and the cover!!

6. Royal Games by T.K. Leigh

I can’t remember where I saw this book (going to say a blog) but I fell in love with the cover. Seeing that it is book 4 in a series, I might have to read the previous 3 before I start on this one.

7. Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Another book I saw on a blog and I decided I wanted to read. I was taken in by the cover and the blurb. I am hoping that I get to this sooner than later because it looks like it could be good!!

8. The Killer Across the Table: Unlocking the Secrets of Serial Killers and Predators with the FBI’s Original Mindhunter by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker

I am a huge true crime buff and when I saw this book, I knew that I needed to read it at some point.

9. Outwitting the Gestapo by Lucie Aubrac

I am also a huge WWII buff and I try to read everything about it that I can. So, when I saw this book, I immediately added it to my TBR.

10. Fence: Disarmed by Sarah Rees Brennan

I have been wanting to read this series ever since I saw Fence: Striking Distance show up on my blog. So, it (along with book 1) went onto my TBR.

The Brightest Star in Paris by Diana Biller

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Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of Publication: October 12th 2021

Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Paranormal, France, Ghosts, Doctors

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

In Diana Biller’s The Brightest Star in Paris, love is waiting; you only have to let it in.

Amelie St. James, the prima ballerina of the Paris Opera Ballet and the people’s saint, has spent seven years pretending. In the devastating aftermath of the Siege of Paris, she made a decision to protect her sister: she became the bland, sweet, pious “St. Amie” the ballet needed to restore its scandalous reputation. But when her first love reappears, and the ghosts of her past come back to haunt her, all her hard-fought safety is threatened.

Dr. Benedict Moore has never forgotten the girl who helped him embrace life again after he almost lost his. Now, he’s back in Paris after twelve years for a conference. His goals are to recruit promising new scientists, and, maybe, to see Amelie again. When he discovers she’s in trouble, he’s desperate to help her—after all, he owes her.

When she finally agrees to let him help, they disguise their time together with a fake courtship. But reigniting old feelings is dangerous, especially when their lives are an ocean apart. Will they be able to make it out with their hearts intact?


First Line:

The Palais Garnier was three days away from dress rehearsals.

the brighest star in paris by diana biller

When I started reading The Brightest Star in Paris, I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that I had met Amelie and Benedict before. As the book went on and the story unraveled, that feeling intensified. Then Alma was introduced, and I went, “Ooooh, that’s where I remember Ben from!” What book was it? The Widow of Rose House. It took me almost to when Alma came to Paris (with Sam and the rest of the family) to realize that.

The Brightest Star in Paris isn’t officially part of a series but is connected to The Widow of Rose Haven. If it were part of a series, it would be book 2. It also could be read as a standalone. While the Moore family is a large part of the book, they do not take it over. Instead, the focus is on Amelie and Benedict, with the Moores’ staying in the background.

The plotline for The Brightest Star in Paris was fast-paced and well written. There was very little lag. The only lag that I noticed was right after Amelie’s collapse on stage. It didn’t last long, only about a chapter, and didn’t derail the book. Instead, it gave me a moment to collect my thoughts and prepare myself for what the rest of the book would bring.

I will admit, I didn’t know much about Edwardian Paris when I started reading The Brightest Star in Paris. I didn’t know about the invasion, the thousands of “rebels” that were killed, or the rebuilding that went on afterward. I was alternately shocked and in tears by what Amelie went through and what she did to survive. To see her gradually break free of the constraints that she put upon herself was a wonderful thing but heartbreaking at the same time.

I don’t remember much about Benedict from The Widow of Rose House, only that he was a surgeon in the Civil War and came back sick. Now, when they said ill, I thought it was a physical illness. Instead, the author painted a picture of a teenager who went to war and returned with PTSD. The author wrote about what happened to Benedict and how he dealt with his PTSD (which wasn’t a thing back then). He was right to say that Amelie saved his life the day she met him. Later on in the book, he became the rock that Amelie leaned on when her world shattered.

I liked Amelie, but I did wish that she let Benedict in sooner than she did. Or at least told him about what her sister’s father was trying to force her into doing. Her seeing ghosts and communicating with them did come as a surprise, but I did like that she didn’t freak out (much) when she realized that they were dead. She resolved two of her ghosts’ issues, and the third ghost decided to tag along with her. There was a neat twist to that plotline that I should have seen coming. Instead, it surprised me, along with Amelie, and it made so much sense.

There is romance in The Brightest Star in Paris. That romance was Amelie and Benedicts. Of course, Amelie almost messed it up, but the way she resolved it was pretty awesome!! This was a second chance romance, and I thought it was super sweet.

The end of The Brightest Star in Paris was pretty good. The author was able to resolve all of the storylines in a way that I liked. She also hinted at another book with either Benedict’s foster brother or younger sister (well, perhaps both??). I can’t wait to read that book!!

Goodreads Monday: How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days (The Embraced: Book 1) by Kerrelyn Sparks

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This is a weekly meme where anyone can choose a random book from their Goodreads TBR and highlight it. Once you choose a book, make sure you link and reference @LaurensPageTurners.


This week’s selection:

Click on Picture to go to Goodreads

Synopsis:

Luciana grew up on the Isle of Moon, hidden away because of her magical powers. But when her father arrives, he offers her a choice: remain on the island or return with him and marry the Beast of Benwick in order to save their legacy—and her father’s life.

Lord Leofric, the Beast of Benwick, has not been touched since he was a child. Born with the power to harness lightning, he is a danger to everyone he touches. When he meets his betrothed, he expects a loveless, lonely marriage…until he discovers she’s vastly more powerful than he realized. But is she strong enough to withstand his touch?

If they can survive, their love will alter the future of the kingdom. But will their extraordinary powers cost them everything?


I fell in love with this series when I read Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon. Honestly, even if I didn’t review that book, I would have still picked it up. The cover and the title (for all the books) caught my eye. So, they got added to my TBR pile. I am looking to next year before I get to read this book.

November 2021 TBR

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Just like October 2021 TBR, I have a ton of books to read before the end of the month. But, unlike October, I am not overbooked with appointments. So, I will have plenty of time to catch up with what I am behind on and read the TBR’s for this month.

So, here’s my list. Let me know if you are reading or have read these books. I will put next to them if they are part of the backlog from last month.


Nanny Needed by Georgina Cross (part of the backlog from October)

I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin (part of the backlog from October)

Home for a Cowboy Christmas by Donna Grant (part of the backlog from October)

Lies in Bone by Natalie Symons (part of the backlog from October)

The Judas Robe by Larry Rodness (part of the backlog from October)

Hexes & Hairballs by Emigh Cannady (part of the backlog from October)

Heard it in a Love Song by Tracey Garvis Graves

The First Christmas: A Story of New Beginnings by Stephen Mitchell

Transylvania’s World History A to Z: 100 Word Stories by Patricia Furstenberg

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest by Jacque Stevens

Sigiriya: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, Betrayal, and Tragedy in the Royal Family by Senani Ponnamperuma

Intertwined: A Biker’s Tale by Andrew Hartman

The Sisters Sweet by Elizabeth Weiss

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

October 2021 Wrap Up

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October flew by!! It seems like I blinked and yesterday was Halloween.

I had a full month in October with a lot of indie authors contacting me to review their books. I also picked up a lot of books on NetGalley (I know, it’s a sickness, I am trying to cut back but it is hard).

I did fall behind with reading and reviews. As of today (11-1) I am behind 1 review and 5 books (not including the 4 books that I need to read and review by Friday…smh). I am planning to sit down and read this weekend but still…sigh. I am going to read the indie authors first and then work on the NetGalley ARCs. Hopefully, I at least get the reviews for the indie authors done by the weekend.


Books I got from NetGalley:

Reputation by Lex Croucher

Girls Before Earls by Anna Bennett

The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson

Kagen the Damned by Jonathan Maberry

Wake the Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne


Books I got from Authors/Indie Publishers

The Voinico’s Daughter by Sallie Cochren

From Fame to Ruin: A Romantic Thriller Standalone by Jina S. Bazzar

Sigiriya: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, Betrayal, and Tragedy in the Royal Court by Senani Ponnamperuma

Intertwined: A Biker’s Tale by Andrew Hartman

Transylvania’s History A to Z: 100 Word Stories by Patricia Furstenberg


Books Read and Reviewed

Not Your Average Hot Guy by Glenda Bond (review here)

Three Sisters by Heather Morris (review here)

The Sultan’s Court by R.A. Denny (review here)

Our Trespasses: A Paranormal Thriller by Michael Cordell (review here)

The Brightest Star in Paris by Diana Biller (no review written….yet)


That’s it!!! Not what I wanted for books read and reviewed but I’ll deal!! Let me know if you have read any of these books.

Goodreads Monday: The Christmas Cowboy Hero (Heart of Texas: Book 1) by Donna Grant

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This is a weekly meme where anyone can choose a random book from their Goodreads TBR and highlight it. Once you choose a book, make sure you link and reference @LaurensPageTurners.


This week’s selection:

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant returns to Texas, where a small-town legend just might find the greatest gift of all in The Christmas Cowboy Hero…

’Tis the season for ex-Navy SEAL Clayton East to come home for the holidays―even if the mood at home is anything but festive. His father is ill. The East Ranch is in financial trouble. And now it’s on Clayton, the prodigal son, to make sure his family doesn’t lose everything.

Headstrong Abby Harper is like a mother to her younger brothers, who she’s helped raise since she was a teenager. Keeping them in line is no small task while she’s also working toward her college degree. And now that one of her brothers has been arrested for stealing cattle at the East Ranch, Abby is at her wits’ end. But there is a silver lining: Clayton East. He believes in second chances and is willing to give one to her brother this Christmas. Letting beautiful Abby―and the inescapable longing in his heart―off the hook, however, is a whole ’nother story. Could it be that the woman of this local hero’s dreams has been back at home all along?


I have read almost the entire Heart of Texas series. I say almost because I didn’t read book 1 and book 5. I didn’t read book 1 because I wasn’t reviewing for St. Martin’s Press when it was published and I didn’t read book 5 because I took a hiatus in 2020 (due to the pandemic).

I really want to read The Christmas Cowboy before Christmas this year. But, with the way my reading is going (very slowly), I don’t expect to read it until some point next year.

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