WWW Wednesday: January 12th 2022

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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 I haven’t done a personal section for a while but I decided to do one today. I have just been too busy.

So, what has been going on? Well, a whole lot. The kids went back to school on January 5th. I spent that day deep cleaning my house (I have 3 kids and they are messy…need I say any more). January 6th, I get a text from the mother of the girl I keep before/after school and drive to/from school that she was sick. No biggie. 15 minutes later, I get a text saying that she tested positive for Covid. No sooner than I got that text, I got a call from the school, asking if I can pick Miss R up and that they would test her there. So I did. I also called the middle and high schools to let them know. The high school tested Miss B (I didn’t need to sign a consent form because she’s 16) but the middle school didn’t test Mr. Z. Thankfully, Miss R and Miss B tested negative and were able to rejoin her class (Miss B) and go back to school the next day (Miss R). They just had to mask up for 5 days (they are vaccinated. Unvaccinated would have been a 10-day quarantine with testing on the 5th day). But Mr. Z didn’t get tested. The middle school didn’t offer it to him (and BK didn’t ask). Instead, because he wasn’t boosted, he was put on a 5-day quarantine and I had to bring him to the school on Monday to get tested. Thankfully, he tested negative but still. His grades suffered because he wasn’t in person (the were worksheets the teachers passed out that he didn’t get but are making up today). The little girl I watch is feeling better and should be back at school next week (if she tests negative).

Reading:

I have finally read the books I was behind on for November. Now, I am working on December’s backlog. Thankfully, it is only one book and I should finish that one tonight. Then my backlog for January (which is 3 books as of right now) and, if I am lucky, I should be caught up.

I am behind on writing reviews. Right now, I need to write 3 reviews, with a possible 4th. I am not worried about that, though. I should have all 3 reviews written and scheduled by this weekend.

Watching:

BK and I finished watching The Wheel of Time over Christmas break. I highly recommend it. I am trying to watch The Stand on Paramount + but it won’t start (even with troubleshooting). So, I went back to Prime and started watching A Discovery of Witches. So far, I like it but I am not understanding some things portrayed (I need to read the books).

Making:

Last week, I made brown sugar glazed pork chops (served with stuffing and corn). I had gotten the recipe off Yummly, so I don’t have the recipe. But the kids loved it. Miss R and Miss B (my picky eaters) ate seconds, which never happens.

This week I am making Honey Pineapple pork chops. They are marinating in the fridge right now and I am going to cook them up when Miss B gets home from school.


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Book Cover
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a deeply moving novel about the resilience of the human spirit in a moment of crisis.

Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galápagos—days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time.


But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her, since it would be a shame for all of their nonrefundable trip to go to waste. And so, reluctantly, she goes.

Almost immediately, Diana’s dream vacation goes awry. The whole island is now under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen. Completely isolated, she must venture beyond her comfort zone. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to Diana, despite her father’s suspicion of outsiders.

Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself—and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.

This book broke my heart and brought back some bad memories from the beginning of the pandemic. But, I was riveted to it and was rooting for Diana.


What I am currently reading:

WHAT A GIRL WANTS

To survive her difficult childhood, Miss Hazel Lively relied on two things:a tough outer shell and a love of books. Now, at the age of twenty-eight, she’s finally realized her life-long dream of opening a school for girls. She’s hoping that the wealthy families who flock to the shore for the summer will entrust their daughters to Bellehaven Academy―and help pay the way for less fortunate students. All Hazel must do is maintain a flawless reputation and raise a good deal of money. It’s a foolproof plan…till a sinfully handsome earl strides into her office.

WHAT AN EARL NEEDS

Gabriel Beckett, Earl of Bladenton, has had a monstrous headache since the day his teenaged niece became his ward. She’s been expelled from two London boarding schools and is doing her damnedest to scare off his potential fiancée. But Blade has a plan of his own―enroll his niece at Bellehaven Academy, where she’ll be out of town and out of his hair. He just needs to convince the buttoned-up headmistress with the soulful brown eyes to take on his niece.

LEAD TO AN IRRESISTIBLE DEAL

When Blade makes a generous offer to the school, it’s impossible for Hazel to refuse. But she has one non-negotiable condition: the earl must visit his niece every other week. Soon, Blade discovers there’s much more to Hazel than meticulous lesson plans. In moonlit seaside coves and candlelit ballrooms, their sparring leads to flirtation…and something altogether deeper. But the passion that flares between them poses a threat to Hazel’s school and Blade’s battered heart. They say a good thing can’t last forever, but true love? Well, it just might…

I am a sucker for historical romances. I am also a sucker for romance books that are punny. I read the first few pages last night and I am thinking that I am going to really like this book!!


What books I think I’ll read next:

In order, my list of books are ARC, ARC, ARC, indie ARC, ARC, ARC.

Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.

Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.


But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?

A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.
When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Stuck in a dead-end job in Hawaii, and longing to travel the world after a family tragedy, Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure. She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape.

Shimmering on the horizon after days at sea, Meroe Island is every bit the paradise the foursome expects, despite a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. But what they don’t expect is to discover another boat already anchored off Meroe’s sandy beaches. The owners of the Azure Sky, Jake and Eliza, are a true golden couple: gorgeous, laidback, and if their sleek catamaran and well-stocked bar are any indication, rich. Now a party of six, the new friends settle in to experience life on an exotic island, and the serenity of being completely off the grid. Lux hasn’t felt like she truly belonged anywhere in years, yet here on Meroe, with these fellow free spirits, she finally has a sense of peace.

But with the arrival of a skeevy stranger sailing alone in pursuit of a darker kind of good time, the balance of the group is disrupted. Soon, cracks begin to emerge: it seems that Brittany and Amma haven’t been completely honest with Lux about their pasts––and perhaps not even with each other. And though Jake and Eliza seem like the perfect pair, the rocky history of their relationship begins to resurface, and their reasons for sailing to Meroe might not be as innocent as they first appeared.

When it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in on them. And when one person goes missing, and another turns up dead, Lux begins to wonder if any of them are going to make it off the island alive.
When Kayla Carter’s husband dies in an accident while building their dream house, she knows she has to stay strong for their four-year-old daughter. But the trophy home in Shadow Ridge Estates, a new development in sleepy Round Hill, North Carolina, will always hold tragic memories. But when she is confronted by an odd, older woman telling her not to move in, she almost agrees. It’s clear this woman has some kind of connection to the area…and a connection to Kayla herself. Kayla’s elderly new neighbor, Ellie Hockley, is more welcoming, but it’s clear she, too, has secrets that stretch back almost fifty years. Is Ellie on a quest to right the wrongs of the past? And does the house at the end of the street hold the key? Told in dual time periods, The Last House on the Street is a novel of shocking prejudice and violence, forbidden love, the search for justice, and the tangled vines of two families.
If you could read someone’s mind, what would you do with the truth?

Hunted by both the military and her own personal stalker, Dani conceals her psychic abilities and hides in plain sight. Within her mind is the ability to change the landscape of nations. For that, a branch of the government would lock her away—to ensure her safety.

Marc Crofton left his black-ops unit to join his brothers’ private investigative after discharge. A chance meeting with the quiet, unassuming spitfire in his veterinarian’s office sends his world in a tail spin involving spies, both domestic and international.

Each must rely on the other to survive a world where betrayal and deception, desire and trust, weave a fabric that transcends time.
Interior Design School? Check. Cute house to fix up? Check.

Sexy, grumpy neighbor who is going to get in the way of your plans? Check. Unfortunately.

Grace Travis has it all figured out. In between finishing school and working a million odd jobs, she’ll get her degree and her dream job. Most importantly, she’ll have a place to belong, something her harsh mother could never make. When an opportunity to fix up—and live in—a little house on the beach comes along, Grace is all in. Until her biggest roadblock moves in next door.

Noah Jansen knows how to make a deal. As a real estate developer, he knows when he’s found something special. Something he could even call home. Provided he can expand by taking over the house next door–the house with the combative and beautiful woman living in it.

With the rules for being neighborly going out the window, Grace and Noah are in an all-out feud. But sometimes, your nemesis can show you that home is always where the heart is.
Book Cover
A biting novel from an electrifying new voice, Such a Pretty Smile is a heart-stopping tour-de-force about powerful women, angry men, and all the ways in which girls fight against the forces that try to silence them.

There’s something out there that’s killing. Known only as The Cur, he leaves no traces, save for the torn bodies of girls, on the verge of becoming women, who are known as trouble-makers; those who refuse to conform, to know their place. Girls who don’t know when to shut up.

2019: Thirteen-year-old Lila Sawyer has secrets she can’t share with anyone. Not the school psychologist she’s seeing. Not her father, who has a new wife, and a new baby. And not her mother—the infamous Caroline Sawyer, a unique artist whose eerie sculptures, made from bent twigs and crimped leaves, have made her a local celebrity. But soon Lila feels haunted from within, terrorized by a delicious evil that shows her how to find her voice—until she is punished for using it.

2004: Caroline Sawyer hears dogs everywhere. Snarling, barking, teeth snapping that no one else seems to notice. At first, she blames the phantom sounds on her insomnia and her acute stress in caring for her ailing father. But then the delusions begin to take shape—both in her waking hours, and in the violent, visceral sculptures she creates while in a trance-like state. Her fiancé is convinced she needs help. Her new psychiatrist waves her “problem” away with pills. But Caroline’s past is a dark cellar, filled with repressed memories and a lurking horror that the men around her can’t understand.


As past demons become a present threat, both Caroline and Lila must chase the source of this unrelenting, oppressive power to its malignant core. Brilliantly paced, unsettling to the bone, and unapologetically fierce, Such a Pretty Smile is a powerful allegory for what it can mean to be a woman, and an untamed rallying cry for anyone ever told to sit down, shut up, and smile pretty.

8 Comments

  1. Tammy says:

    I’m sorry about all the covid testing and nonsense. It’s just part of life these days, I guess. I woke up sick over the weekend and waited in line 2 1/2 hours to get a rapid test, but luckily came back negative. I really loved Such a Pretty Smile!

    1. Jolie says:

      I am so glad that it was negative!! I just had the same conversation with a friend about an hour ago (about it being a part of life). She was heading down to the health department to get tested in order to go back to work.

      I can’t wait to read Such a Pretty Smile!!!! It is one of my top books to read this month.

  2. Tessa says:

    Glad everything came out okay but shame your son had to stay out of school. That does hurt the learning process.

    I loved Wheel of Time and am getting ready to start the new season of Discovery of Witches ❤️❤️❤️

    I’ve read most of your reading next books and enjoyed them all. Happy reading!

    1. Jolie says:

      I was relieved when they all tested negative. I felt bad for him. He came home from school yesterday, sat at the dining room table, and burst into tears. He had so much make up work plus everything they worked on that day. The teachers weren’t cutting him any slack. I ended up emailing them and asking for an extension (I got it because I am a force of nature when it comes to my kids).

      Where is the new season of Discovery of Witches being shown? I have a friend who wants to watch and she said it was only on HBO. I told her to try HBO Max but she said it wasn’t on there.

      Happy reading to you also!!!! I have read your reviews for almost all of those books and I can’t wait to read them all :).

  3. Carla says:

    I am glad all is well with your kids, Jolie. My niece, her husband and 3 kids all tested positive and said it feels like a bad cold. They have all been vaccinated but the kids only had their first shots. I have heard that everyone will probably get the Omicrom variant because it is highly transmissible, but if you have been vaccinated it shouldn’t be bad. I love all your upcoming books and have read two and have two on my TBR. I hope you enjoy them all.

    1. Jolie says:

      Mr. Z is getting his booster on Saturday. He was supposed to get it last week but I cancelled it because of quarantine.

      I heard the same thing about Omnicrom and said the same thing to a friend of mine yesterday. At this point, I am expecting my family to get it.

      I hope you enjoy your books also!!!

  4. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader says:

    COVID has sucha way of disturbing our lives!!! Also I have hear great things about The Maid!

    1. Jolie says:

      It does. You would think that I would be used to it by now…sigh. The Maid has been on my top 10 books to read since I got it last year. I started it last night, so crossing my fingers!!

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