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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading—July 17th, 2023


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kid-litfocus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in those genres – join them.


I know that I have been MIA for this post for a while. But I do have a good explanation. First, BK took a vacation, and we weren’t home for 90% of the week of July 4th. We would get up and hit the ground running. The next week, the girls had dentist and hair appointments, Snickers (my old girl) got her Solensia shot, plus she was given a once over by the vet because Miss R felt a lump (Snickers was very grumpy and didn’t want that so she’s getting sedated next month), and Mr. Z had an emergency orthodontist appointment. Add to that, there is some sort of URI going around with my other cats, which meant taking them all to the vet (at different times, of course), and I was barely able to sit down and type out reviews.

Before I get into the rest of the post, I want to bring something up. When I logged onto my blog this morning, I was greeted with some of the nastiest, vile comments I have ever seen in my ten plus years of blogging (and I have seen a lot). I will make this perfectly clear to trolls: Your comments are seen by nobody but me. I have learned a few things in my blogging experience (remember, 10 years here), and one was how to moderate comments. I also want to make it crystal clear that my blog is a place for people to feel safe. I could care less about your sexual orientation, gender, political affiliation (for those in the US), or color. I treat people the same regardless. And yes, that message bothered me only because of its hatred against the LGBTQIA+ community. Bigotry isn’t a good look on anyone, and before accusing someone of being a sheeple and being brainwashed, have a good, long look in the mirror. Also: My kids and SO are real. I chose not to put their identities out there because of shit like this.

Stepping down from my soapbox, here is the rest of the post.

The dishes I made a few weeks ago were weirdly evenly spread out with likes, neutral, and dislikes. My kids hated the enchiladas, loved the slow cooker cowboy baked beans, and were neutral on the southwestern chicken parmesan and rice. This week, I am making:

  1. Cilantro-Lime Chicken
  2. Diner-Style Patty Melts
  3. Speedy Skillet Beef and Broccoli

So, that’s my catch-up.

Anything exciting or different happen this week? Make anything good this past week or plan on making it this week? Read anything new? Read anything on this list? Let me know!!

What I am Reading Now:

This summer, meet your neighbors.

The residents of the exclusive cul-de-sac on Alton Road are entangled in a web of secrets and scandal utterly unknown to the outside world, and even to each other.

On the night of the annual Summer block party, there has been a murder.

But, who did it and why takes readers back one year earlier, as rivalries and betrayals unfold—discovering that the real danger lies within their own block and nothing—and no one—is ever as it seems.

Books I plan on reading later this week:

Montserrat has always been overlooked. She’s a talented sound editor, but she’s left out of the boys’ club running the film industry in ’90s Mexico City. And she’s all but invisible to her best friend, Tristán, a charming if faded soap opera star, though she’s been in love with him since childhood.

Then Tristán discovers his new neighbor is the cult horror director Abel Urueta, and the legendary auteur claims he can change their lives—even if his tale of a Nazi occultist imbuing magic into highly volatile silver nitrate stock sounds like sheer fantasy. The magic film was never finished, which is why, Urueta swears, his career vanished overnight. He is cursed.

Now the director wants Montserrat and Tristán to help him shoot the missing scene and lift the curse . . . but Montserrat soon notices a dark presence following her, and Tristán begins seeing the ghost of his ex-girlfriend.

As they work together to unravel the mystery of the film and the obscure occultist who once roamed their city, Montserrat and Tristán may find that sorcerers and magic are not only the stuff of movies.

A music critic stuck in a spiral of epic proportions targets her teenage crush for a career comeback and a chance at revenge. What could possibly go wrong?

Sammy Espinoza’s life is a raging dumpster fire. Her desperate attempt to win back her singer ex-girlfriend has landed her in hot water at work, and she has one last chance before her editor cuts her column. Luckily, Sammy has a plan to redeem herself, but it won’t be easy.

Rumor has it that Max Ryan, the former rock god, is secretly recording his first-ever solo album years after he dramatically quit performing. And it just so happens that he and Sammy have Right before Max got his big break, he and Sammy spent an unforgettable night together.

Exclusive access to Max’s new music would guarantee Sammy’s professional comeback and, even better, give her the opportunity to serve some long-awaited revenge for his traumatic ghosting.

But Max lives in Ridley Falls, Washington, and Sammy has history there as a family that never wanted her and a million unanswered questions. Going back would mean confronting it all—but what else does she have to lose?

Katharine Firestone is a bit of a mess.

Between an acting career that’s never quite made lift-off to stardom, a pathetic love life of online-dating-app losers, and a maxed-out balance on every one of her credit cards, things can’t get much worse. So, when she’s plucked from relative obscurity to land a lead role in Hollywood’s next big blockbuster, Kat is sure she’s finally on the right track.

Until she meets her co-star, Grayson Dunn… and all her plans are completely derailed.

Grayson is everything you’d expect the hottest actor alive to be — charming, disarming, and cocky as hell. As their characters slowly spiral into love on screen, Kat struggles to keep herself from falling for real. She knows handing Grayson her heart and expecting him not to break it would be the biggest mistake of her life. Yet the deeper she’s immersed in his glamorous world, the more blurred the boundaries between scripted affection and sincere passion become… and the harder it is to deny that their on-camera chemistry has crescendoed into a behind-the-scenes love affair…

What happens when you fall for someone who’s guaranteed to shatter you into pieces? Do you walk away? Or do you let him break you because, even broken, there’s simply no way you can’t stay?

THE MONDAY GIRL is a messy contemporary romance about a mixed up girl who falls for the wrong boy. It is the first part of a duet. The second installment, THE SOMEDAY GIRL, will be released a few weeks later, in early 2017. Each installment is approximately 95,000 words. Recommended for readers ages 17+ due to strong language, sexual situations, drug use, and other mature elements.