It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?—July 24th, 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.


Last week was interesting in my personal life. But, first off, let me apologize for my rant about comments on my blog. I usually don’t get like that, but I was upset. Now onto my week (it will be bullet-pointed):

  • I don’t think I mentioned the baby raccoons in last week’s post. A quick catch-up. We had baby raccoons show up on our back deck a couple of weeks ago. I was concerned with how small they were (tiny) and that they were out during the day. So, I called animal control and was told it was normal; they would go away if I kept the cat food (for the outdoor cat) put up. It worked, for the most part. I have only seen one twice since AC was called out. The last time was Saturday, and all 6 of my cats were lined up at the back door, watching it eat. Baby raccoons are adorable, but I don’t want them on my back deck…lol.
  • Construction is done on my street. What does that mean? The NCDOT changed the traffic pattern at the top of my street. Instead of having it be a straight shot down, they moved the entrance and made it a curve. So, the speed demons that fly up and down must slow down before they get on the main road. I kinda wish they had made it a dead end. I loved not seeing people flying down the street (it’s 35, and people go at least 50 past my house).
  • We changed internet providers. Our city has been having MetroNet installed since earlier this year. Last month, they were on my street, laying the cables. We got the OK to ask for service about 2 weeks ago, and they came out on Friday. There have been a few hiccups, but for the most part, I’m happy with it. The upload and download speeds are insanely fast (faster than the cable company). All I am waiting for right now is for them to come, dig up the lawn, and bury the cable.
  • Miss R’s barn couldn’t renew its lease, and they are looking for a new home. So, until then, we are having lessons at the house of one of the instructors. Miss R is very upset and nervous. She’s afraid she cannot ride the horse she usually does for lessons (even with me and the instructor saying that the horse is going to that instructor’s house).
  • I updated my phone!! After 3 years, I figured it was time. We went to the T-Mobile store yesterday, and I got a lavender iPhone 14 Plus with a glitter case. Miss B was super jealous (she has the standard regular iPhone 14).

The dishes I made last week were 2 to 1. BK and the kids disliked the cilantro chicken and patty melts but loved the beef and broccoli. This week I am making:

  1. Shepard’s Pie
  2. Tater-Toterole
  3. Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti

I am also doing something new and making a dessert each week. This week’s dessert is:

  1. Easy Southern Banana Pudding

I want to tell you that I don’t follow or use everything in the recipes. I also substitute ingredients.

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:

Mosaic Press published The Celine Bower Chronicle One in 2020 which established Carly Brown as an original voice in this genre. She was awarded the Winner Readers’ Choice Niagara Falls Review , 2020, The reviews were unanimous in their overwhelming critical praise. The highly anticipated Chronicle 2 is schedule to be published in 2022.

“I couldn’t put this book down! It kept me on the edge of my seat…Can’t wait for Part 2.” —Kara Foster

“I devoured this book! If you love a badass female protagonist overcoming all odds, this book is for you! From start to finish, this book keeps you riveted on Celine, her palatable need to over come her trauma, and on what will happen next. Can’t wait to see more from this author.” —Nicolle McKinnon200 pages, Paperback

Books I plan on reading later this week:

A young woman with amnesia falls under the influence of a powerful doctor in Paris’s notorious women’s asylum, where she must fight to reclaim dangerous memories—and even more perilously, her sanity—in this gripping historical novel inspired by true events, from the bestselling author of Wunderland.

“I didn’t see her the day she came to the asylum. Looking back, this sometimes strikes me as unlikely. Impossible, even, given how utterly her arrival would upend the already chaotic order of things at the Salpêtrière—not to mention change the course of my own life there.”

When Josephine arrives at the Salpêtrière she is covered in blood and badly bruised. Suffering from near-complete amnesia, she is diagnosed with what the Paris papers are calling “the epidemic of the age”: hysteria. It is a disease so baffling and widespread that Doctor Jean-Martine Charcot, the asylum’s famous director, devotes many of his popular public lectures to the malady. To Charcot’s delight, Josephine also proves extraordinarily susceptible to hypnosis, the tool he uses to unlock hysteria’s myriad (and often sensational) symptoms. Soon Charcot is regularly featuring Josephine on his stage, entrancing the young woman into fantastical acts and hallucinatory fits before enraptured audiences and eager newsmen—many of whom feature her on their paper’s front pages.

For Laure, a lonely asylum attendant assigned to Josephine’s care, Charcot’s diagnosis seems a godsend. A former hysteric herself, she knows better than most that life in the Salpêtrière’s Hysteria Ward is far easier than in its dreaded Lunacy division, from which few inmates ever return. But as Josephine’s fame as Charcot’s “star hysteric” grows, her memory starts to return—and with it, images of a horrific crime she believes she’s committed. Haunted by these visions, and helplessly trapped in Charcot’s hypnotic web, she starts spiraling into actual insanity. Desperate to save the girl she has grown to love, Laure plots their escape from the Salpêtrière and its doctors. First, though, she must confirm whether Joséphine is actually a madwoman, soon to be consigned to the Salpêtrière’s brutal Lunacy Ward—or a murderer, destined for the guillotine.

Both are dark possibilities—but not nearly as dark as what Laure will unearth when she sets out to discover the truth.

Someone is playing deadly games. Lieutenant Luke Pittman lies in the hospital in a coma after being attacked by one of their own. Veronica Manes, Burning Lake’s most respected modern-day witch, is dead, her murder left unsolved. Natalie Lockhart has become embroiled in a case with threads that become increasingly difficult to untangle.

Now, a new horror is uncovered, one that shocks the town as never before, and the dark, shadowy path forward for Natalie is paved with challenges that haunt her past―Veronica’s unsolved case. Her sister’s traumatic murder. The long-lost disappearance of her old best friend. Natalie’s obsession with finding the truth leads to a twisted, elemental struggle between good and evil―and nothing will ever be the same again.

The woods have secrets.

The trees are carved with curses.

There’s something wicked in Burning Lake.

The Yellowstone Caldera, the most dangerous hot-spot on the surface of the earth, erupts with a series of 11.2 earthquakes and spews volcanic ash high into the atmosphere. Six hundred miles away a 9.45 quake under Puget Sound causes massive destruction to Seattle as a tsunami strikes and destroys most of the waterfront.

The Fort Peck Dam in Montana on the Missouri River fails as does the Jackson Dam on the Snake River. The power grid in the Western United States quickly disintegrates, with utility companies fending for themselves. Power outages reach the East Coast.

The Beginning of the End is a page-turning novel with readers following eight characters as they scramble out of harm’s way on Day One of the Yellowstone Conundrum; everyday people put into extraordinary situations, with the President of the United States and his cabinet scrambling in the background to find how to escape from lose-lose scenarios.

The Columbia Generating Plant on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation suffers great damage and begins a meltdown. Bridges in Portland collapse. Infrastructure in the NW is severely damaged and thousands are killed; Salt Lake City, Boise, Denver and every city, town and village in the Pacific Northwest are affected.

The massive Death Cloud from the Yellowstone explosion sends volcanic ash into the jet stream, which then begins to carry the heavy ash south across Wyoming, over Denver until it catches up with a low pressure system advancing across Texas.

Follow army vet Ray Spaulding as he survives the crash of a WSDOT ferry in the tsunami, then manages to save, then lead a handful of everyday people who rally together to save the Seattle Public Library from destruction by gangs.

University of Washington professor Denny Cain and student Karen Bagley vow to get out of Seattle, only to find themselves in a firefight as the local Seattle gangs attempt to claim the night.

Skier Penny Armstrong fights her inner demons by skiing north toward Billings in an attempt to avoid the Death Cloud.

Long-distance trucker Cameron Hedges is forced to step out of character as he first rescues Betsy Jamison, then convinces an entire town to move out of harm’s way.

Robert and Nancy O’Brien, both up-and-coming managers within the Department of the Interior are separated by their jobs, then by the earthquake and explosion.

The President of the United States must deal with his own Kobayoshi Maru, with a series of impossible lose-lose scenarios as the power grid in the United States collapses.

They went on vacation. Not everyone made it back.

The Palmers went to the lake for a week of fun in the sun. But Alex Palmer had an agenda. He wanted his brother to reconcile with their hypercompetitive father. He wanted his daughter to break up with her shady boyfriend. Most of all, Alex wanted them to be a family one more time before he faced his predicament at home.

Evil incarnate and a brutal double murder shifted Alex’s focus from wants to needs. He needed to keep his family safe. He needed to find her. He needed to know what happened at the lake.

His pastor often said, “God won’t give you more than you can bear.”

This had nothing to do with God.

Buy this twisty page turner to find out what happened at the lake.
Adult language and explicit sexual violence.

3 thoughts on “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?—July 24th, 2023

  1. You had quite a week, Jolie. I have been extremely busy and am way behind with my blog hopping, so I didn’t read your rant. I hope the riding instructor finds a place to call home so Miss. R can settle. All you books sound interesting. I have the Alice Blanchard one to read, so I hope we both enjoy it. I make Shepherd’s Pie often and it is a hit around here, but we are Scottish. I need to know what the attraction is to Banana Pudding. I know it is a Southern thing, but I don’t get it. Have a wonderful week!

    1. Thank you Carla!! You have a wonderful week too. We’re all Scottish (my husband is 2nd generation, his grandmother came over through Ellis Island) but Shepherd’s Pie isn’t made very often here. My youngest is extremely picky eater. Banana Pudding is just good. I grew up eating it (my grandmother was from the Deep South) and I figured everyone did. Found out that people on the NE are grossed out by banana’s, banana flavored pudding, Nilla wafters, and Cool whip all together. It just tastes delicious but needs to be eaten cold.

      1. 2 of my grandparents were born in Scotland and 1 was first generation Canadian. The fourth came from Sweden, so I am pretty much Scottish. I will have to find a recipe for Banana Pudding and give it a try.

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