It’s Monday: What Are You Reading—August 28th, 2023

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet 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, 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-lit focus. 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.


  • The heat is finally gone. After two days with a heat index between 105-110, it finally cooled down yesterday (it was still hot but not nasty hot). It is supposed to be in the high 70s/low 80s until the weekend. And…it is going to rain. Normally, I am not excited about rain, but in this case, I am. My poor AC will get a break, and my electric bill will too.
  • We had open houses for school last week. It was nice to meet the kids’ teachers, but I am glad it’s done. I told BK that next year, he needs to be home (he had a business trip in NJ).
  • Today is the first day of school. Miss B and Mr. Z were supposed to take the bus, but it didn’t show. I ended up driving all three kids to school. Miss R is taking the bus home. I drilled into her head the bus number, and we drove by the bus stop yesterday.
  • Miss R’s barn is not moving. The deal with the barn they wanted fell through. So, they are still looking.


  • I was doing good with putting a dent in my ARCs until Friday. Then I got widgets from publishers that I couldn’t say no to.
  • I am actually on track with reviews. I have two that I need to write but their publication dates aren’t until September (early and mid).
  • Still not on track with my reading challenges. But, I did a quick look and it looks like I have a few that I will be finishing soon. That will cut down on those books by a ton.


  • I haven’t cooked anything in almost two weeks. I blame the weather and the fact that I was being a little lazy.
  • I plan on having Miss B make one meal a week, for practice. For Sunday dinner, she made Chicken Alfredo with a homemade alfredo sauce. It was delicious (and I don’t like chicken alfredo, go figure).
  • I also plan on baking once a week. Growing up, my mother always had brownies, cookies, pies, and cakes waiting for us after school. I realized that I hadn’t done that at all. So, Operation Mom Makes Cookies is underway (well, it starts next week).

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:

In this new installment of Tasha Alexander’s acclaimed Lady Emily series set in the wild Scottish highlands, an ancient story of witchcraft may hold the key to solving a murder centuries later.

Lady Emily, husband Colin Hargreaves, and their three sons eagerly embark on a family vacation at Cairnfarn Castle, the Scottish estate of their dear friend Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge. But a high-spirited celebration at the beginning of their stay comes to a grisly end when the duke’s gamekeeper is found murdered on the banks of the loch. Handsome Angus Sinclair had a host of enemies: the fiancée he abandoned in Edinburgh, the young woman who had fallen hopelessly in love with him, and the rough farmer who saw him as a rival for her affections. But what is meaning of the curious runic stone left on Sinclair’s forehead?

Scotland, 1676. Lady MacAllister, wife of the Laird of Cairnfarn Castle, suddenly finds herself widowed and thrown out of her home. Her sole companion is a Moorish slave girl who helps her secretly spirit out her most prized possessions from the castle: her strange books. Her neighbors are wary of a woman living on her own, and when a poppet—a doll used to cast spells—and a daisy wheel are found in her isolated cottage, Lady MacAllister is accused of witchcraft, a crime punishable by death.

Hundreds of years later, Lady Emily searches for the link between Lady MacAllister’s harrowing witchcraft trial and the brutal death of Sinclair. She must follow a trail of hidden motives, an illicit affair, and a mysterious stranger to reveal the dark side of a seemingly idyllic Highland village.

Books I plan on reading later this week:

Night of the Living Queers is a YA horror anthology that explores a night when anything is possible exclusively featuring queer authors of color putting fresh spins on classic horror tropes and tales.

No matter its name or occasion, Halloween is more than a Hallmark holiday, it’s a symbol of transformation. NIGHT OF THE LIVING QUEERS is a YA horror anthology that explores how Halloween can be more than just candies and frights, but a night where anything is possible. Each short story will be told through the lens of a different BIPOC teen and the Halloween night that changes their lives forever. Creative, creepy, and queer, this collection will bring fresh terror, heart, and humor to young adult literature.

Contributors include editors Alex Brown and Shelly Page, Kalynn Bayron, Ryan Douglass, Sara Farizan, Maya Gittelman, Kosoko Jackson, Em Liu, Vanessa Montalban, Ayida Shonibar, Tara Sim, Trang Thanh Tran, and Rebecca Kim Wells.

As first contact transforms the Earth, a group of gifted visionaries race to create a new future in this wondrous science fiction novel from the award-winning author of The Best of All Possible Worlds.

The world is changing, and humanity must change with it. Rising seas and soaring temperatures have radically transformed the face of the Earth. Meanwhile, Earth is being observed from afar by other civilizations … and now they are ready to make contact.

Vying to prepare humanity for first contact are a group of dreamers and changemakers, including Peter Hendrix, the genius inventor behind the most advanced VR tech; Charyssa, a beloved celebrity icon with a passion for humanitarian work; and Kanoa, a member of a council of young people from around the globe drafted to reimagine the relationship between humankind and alien societies.

And they may have an unexpected secret weapon: Owen, a pop megastar whose ability to connect with his adoring fans is more than charisma. He has a hidden talent that may be the key to uniting Earth as it looks towards the stars.

But Owen’s abilities are so unique that no-one can control him, and so seductive that he cannot help but use them. Can he transcend his human limitations and find the freedom he has always dreamed of? Or is he doomed to become the dictator of his nightmares?

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