WWW Wednesday: February 1st, 2023

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 hope you all had a wonderful week last week.

My week after Wednesday was pretty good. My drama from earlier in the week went away, and I got an apology from a higher-up.

Miss R had horseback riding, and she did pretty well. I had a long talk with her trainer, and we are revising a plan to work on her nervousness about jumping.

I spent the weekend just chilling at home. Saturday, we returned to the shelter to look at what they had for dogs and cats. One stood out to me. Her name is Dolly, and she is a 1-year-old pit mix. She was so sweet!! Both Miss R and I want her. But she is still on medical hold (weaning eight puppies, and she had just been spayed) and will be on hold until she is healed and the babies are weaned.

Monday, BK came into the living room and swore he saw a tiny kitten on our back porch. I called BS until I checked our Ring. Yup, there was a kitten, and I saw it on Tuesday, eating the food we set out for the two ferals we feed. It looks to be between 6-8 weeks old, and it appears to be at least half Lynx-Point Siamese. There is no way that a young kitten would wander away from its home. I am thinking it was dumped. We’re going to bring it in, clean it up (and sex it), and then take it from there—which means it will join our family.

Shows I Watched: Secrets of the Zoo: Tampa (it was on NatGeo), OPLive (on Reelz), and The Last of Us (on HBO Max). This week’s The Last of Us episode had me in tears. I’m not going to give spoilers, but that was a great storyline and the acting (chef’s kiss).

What I Cooked/Baked: Miss R and I made Pizza Lollipops Monday night. I wasn’t too sure how they were going to turn out. But 2 out of the three kids liked them. If you are going to make these, I recommend 450 for 10-15 mins (check after 10). 450 at 25-30 mins would have burned them. And a big shout out to Hobby Lobby for having popsicle sticks!!

Reading:

I am getting a lot of reading done these days. Sitting in the car rider line for an hour helps with that.

The longest book I read this week: Jackal. I had difficulty concentrating while reading this book, and it took me longer than usual to read.

The shortest book I read this week: The Healing. It was a short book, and I finished it within a couple of hours.

Other Interesting Bookish News: I am still reordering my Goodreads Shelves. It’s time-consuming, but it needs to be done. I bought The Joy of Cooking (the 2019 edition). I figured it is a must-have for the house.

How was your week? Read anything good? Did you do anything exciting? Watch anything new? Cook anything good?

As always, let me know if you have read or are planning to read any of these


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Bought free from Kindle/Read for the Cover Scavenger Hunt Challenge

“Confess!”
Patrick Lahm is down on his luck. Late for his book signing, out of gas and stuck in a storm. He hitches a ride to the Kurtain Motel where he is forced to spend the night. The small motel seems harmless enough at first, but as the night drags on, Patrick and the other guests slowly begin to realize there is a lot more to their temporary lodging than meets the eye.

Something evil is at work at the Kurtain Motel; something that creeps into the deepest, darkest corners of your mind and tugs at the chords of sanity until they finally break. On the longest night of his life, Patrick soon finds out that there is a reason why skeletons are kept in closets. He realizes that your sins always find a way to catch up with you, no matter how hard you try to run.

Welcome to the Kurtain Motel, where all your nightmares come true.

From author and bought through KU/Review set for 2-6

When the past collides with the present…

It was an ordinary day in Friar’s Ridge when Jess took a wrong turn on the way home and, on the spur of the moment, acquired a book at the local market. When she discovers a photograph of a woman within, an indomitable spirit in the form of a small boy enters the life Jess shares with her seven-year-old son, Jonas.

A friendship develops between Jonas and the ghost boy, but something darker is lurking beneath the boy’s friendly demeanour. Meanwhile, Jess oscillates between reality and that of another dimension, her protective nature compromised by a dark and mysterious realm.

She begins to search for the lady in the photograph, who she believes is the ghost boy’s mother. Little did Jess realise that this would lead her to the heart of an undiscovered abhorrent crime, but who was responsible?

And what really happened that fateful hot summer’s day by the park lake?


What I am currently reading:

ARC from NetGalley/Review coming 2-7

Three ordinary people risk everything for a chance at redemption in this audacious, utterly gripping novel of catastrophe and survival at the end of the world, from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man

Hannah awakens to carnage, all mangled metal and shattered glass. During a hasty escape from a secluded boarding school, her coach careened over a hillside road during one of the year’s heaviest snowstorms, trapping her inside with a handful of survivors, a brewing virus, and no way to call for help. If she and the remaining few want to make it out alive, with their sanity–and secrets–intact, they’ll need to work together or they’ll be buried alive with the rest of the dead.

A former detective, Meg awakens to a gentle rocking. She is in a cable car suspended far above a snowstorm and surrounded by strangers in the same uniform as her, with no memory of how they got there. They are heading to a mysterious place known to them only as “The Retreat,” but when they discover a dead man among their ranks and Meg spies a familiar face, she realizes that there is something far more insidious going on.

Carter is gazing out the window of the abandoned ski chalet that he and his ragtag compatriots call home. Together, they manage a precarious survival, manufacturing vaccines against a deadly virus in exchange for life’s essentials. But as their generator begins to waver, the threat of something lurking in the chalet’s depths looms larger, and their fragile bonds will be tested when the power finally fails–for good.

The imminent dangers faced by Hannah, Meg, and Carter are each one part of the puzzle. Lurking in their shadows is an even greater threat–one that threatens to consume all of humanity.


What books I think I’ll read next:

ARC from NetGalley/Review set for 2-9

In April Asher’s next Supernatural Singles novel, Not Your Ex’s Hexes, a one-night-stand between a willful witch and a broody half-demon conjures an adventure that wouldn’t be complete without several magical mishaps.

For her entire life, Rose Maxwell trained to become the next Prima on the Supernatural Council. Now that she’s stepped down, it’s time for this witch to focus on herself. And not think about her impulsive one-night stand with Damian Adams, a half-Demon Veterinarian who she can’t get out of her head. Neither of them is looking for a relationship. But when Rose is sentenced to community service at Damian’s animal sanctuary it becomes impossible for them to ignore their sparking attraction. A friends-with-benefits, no feelings, no strings arrangement works perfectly for them both.

After a sequence of dead-end jobs, it’s not until Rose tangos with two snarly demons that she thinks she’s finally found her path. However, this puts Damian back on the periphery of a world he thought he left behind. He doesn’t approve of Rose becoming a Hunter, but if there’s one thing he’s learned about the stubborn witch, it was telling her not to do something was one sure-fire way to make sure she did.

Working—and sleeping—together awakens feelings Damian never knew he had…and shouldn’t have. Because thanks to his ex’s hex, if he falls in love, he’ll not only lose his heart—but his humanity.

ARC from author/Review set for 2-10

Speak of pain, and I’ll tell you of the Time who stole it away…

Besieged by war, ravaged by monsters, and crawling with the undead, the land of Okarria is dying. Seventeen-year-old Emara survives by using her modest healing gift to save as many as she can while eluding the invaders who thirst for her enchanted blood.

So when a cursed cat saves her life and reveals Emara is the legendary Time Heir the necromancer king’s been searching for, she agrees to act as bait in a plot to destroy him. But when the plan goes horrifically awry, Emara must discover how deep her powers go, what she can change…

And what she cannot.

Unfortunately, Time Heirs have a history of getting killed, and with Okarria’s future on the line, Emara may have no choice but to follow in her ancestors’ footsteps.

Free Kindle Purchase/Reading for the Scavenger Hunt TBR Book Challenge

Eli likes uncomplicated. Kill the Vampire Coven Master, save the little girl, simple and uncomplicated. That changes with a phone call. Life gets complicated quickly when Eli finds out that he has to work with his most dangerous foe, a beautiful demon succubus. When Good and Evil have to work together against a common enemy, Eli has to wonder, who’s going to put the knife in his back, his enemies, or his allies.

Free Kindle Purchase/Reading for the Popsugar Reading Challenge 2023

You feel ecstatic! Until you kill yourself.

The Happy Chip is the latest nanoengineering wonder from the high-flying tech company, NeoHappy, Inc.

Hundreds of millions of people have had the revolutionary nanochip injected into their bodies, to monitor their hormonal happiness and guide them to life choices, from foods to sex partners.
Given the nanochip’s stunning success, struggling science writer Brad Davis is thrilled when he is hired to co-author the biography of its inventor, billionaire tech genius Marty Fallon.

That is, until Davis learns that rogue company scientists are secretly testing horrifying new control chips with “side effects”—suicidal depression, uncontrollable lust, murderous rage, remote-controlled death, and ultimately, global subjugation.

His discovery threatens not only his life, but that of his wife Annie and their children. Only with the help of Russian master hacker Gregor Kalinsky and his gang can they hope to survive the perilous adventure that takes them from Boston to Beijing.

An edge-of your-seat thriller, The Happy Chip spins a cautionary tale of unchecked nanotechnology spawning insidious devices that could enslave us. It dramatically portrays how we must control our “nanofuture” before it’s too late.

November 2022 Wrap UP

Here is what I read/posted in November.

As always, let me know if you have read any of these books and (if you did) what you thought of them.


Books I Read:

No review
No review
No Review
No Review
Review coming December 1st
Review coming December 27th, 2022
No Review
Review coming January 3rd, 2023
Review coming January 10th
Review coming December 9th
No Review
No Review
No Review
Review coming December 2nd
Review coming December 10th
No Review
No Review
No Review
No Review
Review Coming December 3rd
Review Coming December 4th

Books I got from NetGalley:

Publisher Invite
Publisher Invite
Publisher Invite
It was a limited-time Read Now book
It was a limited-time Read Now book
Publisher Invite
Publisher Invite
Publisher Invite
SMP/Minotaur Influencer Program
SMP Widget invite
SMP Widget Invite

Books I got from Authors/Indie Publishers:

From Author
From Novel Cause
Author Request
Author Request
Author Request
From Novel Cause
From Novel Cause

Goodreads Giveaway

Paperback

Books Reviewed:

The Last Huntress by Lenore Borja (review here)

Alias Emma by Ava Glass (review here)

A Broken Clock Never Boils by C.J. Weiss (review here)

The Art of Prophecy by Wesley Chu (review here)

A Sliver of Darkness by C.J. Tudor (review here)

Shadowed Intent by Reily Garrett (review here)

Death in a Dark Alley by Bradley Pay (review here)

Conviction by Michael Cordell (review here)

The Wilderwomen by Ruth Emmie Lang (review here)

Wicked Bleu by E. Denise Billups (review here)

A Maiden of Snakes by Jane McGarry (review here)

Mostly Human 2 by D.I. Jolly (review here)

Shampoo & Condition by M.L. Ortega (review here)

Spies Never Lose by M. Taylor Christensen (review here)

The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez (review here)

A Sliver of Darkness by C.J. Tudor

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books

Date of publication: November 8th, 2022

Genre: Horror, Short Stories, Fiction, Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Short Story Collection, Fantasy, Suspense

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | Alibris | Powells | IndieBound

Goodreads Synopsis:

The debut short story collection from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man, featuring ten bone-chilling and mind-bending tales

Timeslips. Doomsday scenarios. Killer butterflies. C. J. Tudor’s novels are widely acclaimed for their dark, twisty suspense plots, but with A Sliver of Darkness, she pulls us even further into her dizzying imagination.

In Final Course, the world has descended into darkness, but a group of old friends make time for one last dinner party. In Runaway Blues, thwarted love, revenge, and something very nasty stowed in a hat box converge. In Gloria, a strange girl at a service station endears herself to a cold-hearted killer, but can a leopard really change its spots? And in I’m Not Ted, a case of mistaken identity has unforeseen, fatal consequences.

Riveting and explosively original, A Sliver of Darkness is C. J. Tudor at her most wicked and uninhibited.


First Line:

She often dreamed of drowning.

End of the Liner, A Sliver of Darkness by C.J. Tudor

I like reading anthologies. Sometimes my brain isn’t able to process longer books (my attention span can be shot at times). But I wouldn’t say I like reviewing them. I write long reviews because I want to cover each story and give it the attention I think it deserves. I am not going to do that with this review. I am a little crunched for time (I am writing this on Halloween and I have a bunch of things to do/get ready for on top of my usual Monday morning routine). So, this review is going to be short.

A Sliver of Darkness had an exciting mix of short stories. The author did keep my attention because these stories were not cookie-cutter. Also, the author did something that I wasn’t expecting. She wrote a little forward to each story to explain why she wrote it. I loved it!!

I had two favorite stories out of the eleven that were published. They are End of the Liner, and I’m not Ted. My least favorite one was Gloria, only because I hadn’t read her featured book.

This short story collection would have been perfect for reading in October. Each story was creepy in its way.

I would recommend A Sliver of Darkness to anyone over 21. There is language and violence but no sex.


If you enjoyed A Sliver of Darkness, you will enjoy these books:

October 2022 Wrap Up

October was a busy month for me reading/writing reviews. I finally feel that I am getting back to where I was preCovid!!

Here is what I read/posted in October.

As always, let me know if you have read any of these books and (if you did) what you thought of them.


Books I Read:


Books I got from NetGalley:


Books I got from Authors/Indie Publishers:


Books Reviewed

Nightmares & Daydreams by Dominic J. Anton (review here)

The Lost Son by Aidan Lucid (review here)

The Man without Shelter by Indrajit Gara (review here)

Fleshed Out by Rob Ulitski (review here)

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner (review here)

Steel Fear by Brandon Webb and John David Mann (review here)

The Last Huntress by Lenore Borja (review coming November 1st)

Alias Emma by Ava Glass (review coming November 2nd)

Locklands by Robert Jackson Bennett (review here)

A Broken Clock Never Boils by C.J. Weiss (review coming November 3rd)

A Sliver of Darkness by C.J. Tudor (review coming November 8th)

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Freebie

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

How it works:

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


I can’t believe that Halloween is almost here!! So, I will showcase 10 books with creepy/spooky covers in celebration of Halloween. All of these books will be off my Read shelf on Goodreads.

Enjoy!!


1. The Prisoner of Fear by Chad Miller

2. A Sliver of Darkness by C.J. Tudor

3. Fleshed Out: A Body Horror Collection by Rob Ultiski

4. The Black Tide by K.C. Jones

5. Daughter by Kate McLaughlin

6. The Devil’s Whispers by Lucas Hault

7 Liar: Memoir of a Haunting by E.F. Schrader

8. Golem by P.D. Alleva

9. Our Trespasses by Michael Cordell

10. Evil Eye: A Slasher Story by April A. Taylor

WWW Wednesday: October 5th, 2022

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:

  • Thursday was Miss R’s birthday. She turned 9 years old. We didn’t do anything big for her, just a few presents and a cake. Speaking of that, I forgot to order her birthday cake. So much was going on over these last couple of weeks; it slipped my mind. Thankfully, she was OK with a mini cake and a bunch of cupcakes.
  • Miss R’s horseback riding lesson moved to Wednesday afternoon because of Hurricane Ian. Noting too much to talk about there except she fell, hit the horse on the muzzle, the horse reared up, and then stepped on her foot. Thank God for pasture boots!! Her foot wasn’t even bruised.
  • They canceled school on Friday due to Ian. Of course, the kids were thrilled. Me, not so much…lol. And Ian didn’t hit us like they thought it would. We barely got rain and wind.
  • We went to our local Comic Con on Saturday. 2 out of 3 kids were happy that we went. The 3rd one was a grouch. We got some knick-knacks, and I got this awesome picture. One of the girls that go to school with Miss B drew it. I think she is very talented.
  • We finally got our insurance cards. Now I can breathe easy, and the kids can get sick…lol.
  • I haven’t been updating my old blog posts lately. I haven’t had the time, and honestly, at night, all I want to do is go to bed. But I do plan on starting it up again shortly.
  • Wednesday, I took Jesper to his yearly vet appointment. There, I got it confirmed that he is deaf. I think my vet was worried that I would relinquish ownership of him because she told me that she could put me in touch with a rescue if I wanted. I was like, “No, I just need to know to put it on his chip information and for you to have it at the office.” That sweet cat isn’t going anywhere.

So that’s the essential things for this past week. How was your week?

As always, let me know if you have read or are planning to read any of these books!!


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Alice Daniels has a problem. Her reflection keeps misbehaving when she looks in the mirror–and the longer she ignores it, the harder it tries to get her attention. On her eighteenth birthday, she learns why: she is a huntress, someone gifted with the power to enter mirrors and the magical world that exists beyond. But with this power comes immense responsibility, for in the Mirror Realm lurks an evil that has infected the human race for centuries: demons. It is up to her and her three huntress sisters–with the help of one handsome and overbearing protector–to hunt and banish this evil one demon at a time, thereby keeping the chaos in check. But when an ancient god pays Alice a visit that turns deadly, it is clear the Mirror Realm is more than it seems, and she soon finds herself in a race against time to save the life–and soul–of the one man the gods are determined to never let her have.

The Last Huntress is a story of redemption and sacrifice, the bonds of true sisterhood, and the impossible, sometimes frightening, things we’ll do for love.


What I am currently reading:

Emma Makepeace is about to spend the longest night in her life.

She’s on her first operation with a shadowy organisation known only as ‘The Agency’, assigned to track down and save an innocent man wanted by the Russian government.

All Emma has to do is bring him in to MI6 before sunrise, and before an assassination team gets to him first.

But the Russians have hacked the city’s CCTV cameras. There are spies all over London searching for the two of them. And her target, Michael Primalov, doesn’t want to be rescued.

As London sleeps, a battle is taking place on its streets as Emma fights to keep Michael alive.

But what sort of reception await them if and when they get to MI6?


What books I think I’ll read next:

The debut short story collection from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man, featuring ten bone-chilling and mind-bending tales

Timeslips. Doomsday scenarios. Killer butterflies. C. J. Tudor’s novels are widely acclaimed for their dark, twisty suspense plots, but with A Sliver of Darkness, she pulls us even further into her dizzying imagination.

In Final Course, the world has descended into darkness, but a group of old friends make time for one last dinner party. In Runaway Blues, thwarted love, revenge, and something very nasty stowed in a hat box converge. In Gloria, a strange girl at a service station endears herself to a cold-hearted killer, but can a leopard really change its spots? And in I’m Not Ted, a case of mistaken identity has unforeseen, fatal consequences.

Riveting and explosively original, A Sliver of Darkness is C. J. Tudor at her most wicked and uninhibited.

An epic fantasy ode to martial arts and magic—the story of a spoiled hero, an exacting grandmaster, and an immortal god-king from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lives of Tao.

It has been foretold: A child will rise to defeat the Eternal Khan, a cruel immortal god-king, and save the kingdom.

The hero: Jian, who has been raised since birth in luxury and splendor, celebrated before he has won a single battle.

But the prophecy was wrong.

Because when Taishi, the greatest war artist of her generation, arrives to evaluate the prophesied hero, she finds a spoiled brat unprepared to face his destiny.

But the only force more powerful than fate is Taishi herself. Possessed of an iron will, a sharp tongue—and an unexpectedly soft heart—Taishi will find a way to forge Jian into the weapon and leader he needs to be in order to fulfill his legend.

What follows is a journey more wondrous than any prophecy can foresee: a story of master and student, assassin and revolutionary, of fallen gods and broken prophecies, and of a war between kingdoms, and love and friendship between deadly rivals.

Ohioana Book Award finalist Ruth Emmie Lang returns with a new cast of ordinary characters with extraordinary abilities.

Five years ago, Nora Wilder disappeared. The older of her two daughters, Zadie, should have seen it coming, because she can literally see things coming. But not even her psychic abilities were able to prevent their mother from vanishing one morning.

Zadie’s estranged younger sister, Finn, can’t see into the future, but she has an uncannily good memory, so good that she remembers not only her own memories, but the echoes of memories other people have left behind. On the afternoon of her graduation party, Finn is seized by an “echo” more powerful than anything she’s experienced before: a woman singing a song she recognizes, a song about a bird…

When Finn wakes up alone in an aviary with no idea of how she got there, she realizes who the memory belongs to: Nora.

Now, it’s up to Finn to convince her sister that not only is their mom still out there, but that she wants to be found. Against Zadie’s better judgement, she and Finn hit the highway, using Finn’s echoes to retrace Nora’s footsteps and uncover the answer to the question that has been haunting them for years: Why did she leave?

But the more time Finn spends in their mother’s past, the harder it is for her to return to the present, to return to herself. As Zadie feels her sister start to slip away, she will have to decide what lengths she is willing to go to to find their mother, knowing that if she chooses wrong, she could lose them both for good.

Two warriors shepherd an ancient god across a broken land to end the tyrannical reign of a royal family in this new epic fantasy from the author of The Vanished Birds.

ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Tordotcom, BookPage, LitHub

The people suffer under the centuries-long rule of the Moon Throne. The royal family—the despotic emperor and his monstrous sons, the Three Terrors—hold the countryside in their choking grip. They bleed the land and oppress the citizens with the frightful powers they inherited from the god locked under their palace.

But that god cannot be contained forever.

With the aid of Jun, a guard broken by his guilt-stricken past, and Keema, an outcast fighting for his future, the god escapes from her royal captivity and flees from her own children, the triplet Terrors who would drag her back to her unholy prison. And so it is that she embarks with her young companions on a five-day pilgrimage in search of freedom—and a way to end the Moon Throne forever. The journey ahead will be more dangerous than any of them could have imagined.

Both a sweeping adventure story and an intimate exploration of identity, legacy, and belonging, The Spear Cuts Through Water is an ambitious and profound saga that will transport and transform you—and is like nothing you’ve ever read before.