Bookish Travels—January 2023 Destinations

I saw this meme on It’s All About Books and thought, I like this!! So, I decided to do it once a month also. Many thanks to Yvonne for initially posting this!!

This post is what it says: Places I travel to in books each month. Books are lovely and take you to places you would never get a chance to go. That includes places of fantasy too!!

So….enjoy!! Please let me know if you have read these books or traveled to these areas (other than the fantasy….lol).


Panem

District 12, Capitol

United States

Florida
Ohio (Chestnut)
Maine (Dearmont)
New York (New York City, upstate New York)
Crooked Tree (unknown state)
New York (Willow Cove)
Massachusetts (Boston, Riverton)
Massachusetts (Pittsfield, Boston, Amherst)
Florida (The Everglades)
California (Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Pasadena, Studio City)
Texas (Houston)
North Carolina (Raleigh)
Washington D.C.
Massachusetts (Coventry)
California (San Verde)
Wisconsin (Fontana, Lake Geneva)
Florida (Accident)
Colorado (Last Word)
Washington (North Bend, San Juan Islands, Seattle), Montana
Illinois (Chicago)
Pennsylvania (Johnston)
Iowa (Ames, Sibley), Minnesota, South Carolina (Columbia),
Alabama (Summerland, Hell), New York (New York City)
Illinois (Chicago), New York (New York City), Montana

Ljosland

Hrafnsvik

Japan

Tokyo

Guatemala

Guatemala City

France

Limoges, Perigueux
Giverny

Scotland

Edinburgh
Edinburgh, North Berwick

England

Hull
London
Bellehaven Bay, Regency London
Essex, London, Kent

India

Delhi, Kanpur, Calcutta, Brahmapur

Argentina


Italy

Ostia, Padua, Port of Civitavecchia, Palmro, Sicily, Florence, Rome, Milan, Pompeii, Amalfi, Tropea

Hungary

Budapest

Slovenia

Ljubijana

Germany

Berlin

Austria

Vienna

January 2023 Wrap Up

January was a busy reading month for me. Because of that, I could complete all my reading challenges for the month!! Woot!!

It was also a busy month, personally, for me. The highlights of this month are:

  • Miss B left her dual high school and college credits program.
  • Snickers going to the emergency vet with a bloody eye. She came home with a torn tear duct and a torn lower lid.
  • BK going back to traveling each week
  • And my not-so-great, horrible week last week.

BK and I have been watching Game of Thrones (we’re on season 7), and we started watching The Last of Us.

I have been experimenting with new cooking recipes. I made a Greek Lemon Chicken Orzo soup with Miss R last week.

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:

KU Purchase—No Review
From Author
Kindle PurchaseNo Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
From Publisher—Review coming February 17th
From Publisher
From Publisher
From Publisher
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
KU Purchase—No Review
From Publisher
From Author
From Publisher
From Publisher
From PublisherReview coming July 11th, 2023
KU Purchase—No Review
Kindle Purchase—No Review
From Author
Kindle Purchase—No Review
From Publisher
From Publisher
From Publisher
KU purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
From Author
From Publisher
Kindle Purchase—No Review
From Publisher—Review Coming February 2nd
From Publisher—Review coming February 3rd
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
From Author—Review coming February 3rd

Books I got from NetGalley:

Wish Granted from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine/Bantam
Limited Time Read Now from SMP
Read Now from Crooked Lane Books
Read Now from John Hunt Publishing
Invite from SMP
Read Now from Crooked Lane Books
Read Now from Crooked Lane Books
Read Now from Crooked Lane Books
Read Now from Crooked Lane Books
Read Now from Crooked Lane Books
Wish Granted from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine
From SMPG
Invite from SMP
Read now from Crooked Lane Books
Wish Granted from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Rey
Wish granted from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine/Del Rey
Limited Time Read Now from St. Martin’s Press/St. Martin’s Griffin
Invite from Saint Martin’s Press

Books I got from Authors/Indie Publishers:

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

A Paroxysm of Fear by Chad Miller

From Author

Giveaway Winners

Paperback—Won from a giveaway. Not sure which one….lol
Kindle—Won from Goodreads Giveaway
Kindle—Won from Goodreads Giveaway

Books Reviewed:

Fatal Intent by Tammy Euliano (review here)

Misfire by Tammy Euliano (review here)

The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff (review here)

The Family Game by Catherine Steadman (review coming February 17th)

All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham (review here)

The Nightmare Man by J.H. Markert (review here)

The Rom-Com Agenda by Jayne Denker (review here)

Son of the Poison Rose by Jonathan Maberry (review here)

Emily Wilde’s Encylopedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett (review here)

The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes (review here)

Shadowed Visions by Reily Garrett (review here)

The Things We do to Our Friends by Heather Darwent (review coming February 27th)

The Devil You Know by P.J. Tracy (review here)

Hello Stranger by Katherine Center (review coming July 11th)

A Body Washes Ashore by Bradley Pay (review here)

All Hallows by Christopher Golden (review here)

A Guide to Being Just Friends by Sophie Sullivan (review here)

One Duke Down by Anna Bennett (review here)

Murder Up to Bat by Elizabeth McKenna (review here)

Dead and Gondola by Ann Claire (review here)


Reading Challenges

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (for Cover Scavenger Hunt 2023—a bird)Finished 1-1-2023

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (for The StoryGraph Onboarding Challenge—-Read a book with more pages than the longest book you read in 2022)—Finished 1-17-2023

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica (for The StoryGraph Read the World—Argentina)—Finished 1-17-2023

The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O’Neill (for The StoryGraph’s Genre Challenge—a contemporary or literary fiction novel with disability rep)—Finished 1-24-2023

The Reader by M.K. Harkins (for Beat the Backlist 2023—a backlist book)—Finished 1-24-2023

The Shape of Thunder by Jasmine Warga (for Scavenger Hunt TBR Book Challenge—Read the most recently added book to your TBR)—Finished 1-3-2023

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (for Scavenger Hunt—a book written by a woman using a male perspective)—Finished 1-19-2023

The Nightmare Man by J.H. Markert (for Popsugar Reading Challenge 2023—a book you meant to read in 2022)—Finished 1-5-2023

Lost Soul by Adam J. Wright (for 2023 TBR Toppler—a TBR vet)—Finished 1-3-2023

In Our Blood by William J. Goyette (for 2023 Monthly Themes—books that make you feel cold)—Finished 1-10-2023

Before the Coffee Get Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (for 2023 Reading challenge—a translated work)Finished 1-11-2023

All Hallows by Christopher Golden (for 2023 ABC Challenge—A)—Finished 1-19-2023

The Family Game by Catherine Steadman (for Romanceopoly 2023!—read a thriller or mystery where one of the main characters are a detective or private investigator)—Finished 1-3-2023

Hello Stranger by Katherine Center (for 2023 TBR Prompts—a 5-star prediction)—Finished 1-16-23

WWW Wednesday: January 4th, 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 everyone had a great (and safe) New Year’s Eve!! I didn’t do much. BK made food, and we watched Hoda and Jenna’s New Year’s Eve special on NBC. We didn’t even stay up until midnight; we ended up in bed at 10 pm….lol.

The kids had a good break. I decided to finish the school year by picking up Miss R from school (there were a couple of incidents with the police in December). But next year, she’s taking the bus home. I need to get to the school at 2:30 to get in line. I think it’s ridiculous that I have to do this, but at the same time, I don’t feel like getting a ticket.

I don’t know if I have mentioned this yet, but I feed a couple of stray cats on my back deck. The black cat (around a year old) was dumped in the storage area behind my house. The grey cat (around six years old) was left when his owners were evicted from the house across from me two years ago. Well, I got to pat the grey cat yesterday, twice, and he rubbed on my leg!! This is big because he’s semi-feral and very skittish. So yay me.

Reading:

I finished going through my want-to-read books earlier this week. I have added a ton of books to both my Kindle Unlimited shelf, and my downloaded to Kindle shelf. While doing that, I found some books I had downloaded from Prime Reading or bought while free and never shelved. I might have an addiction here. Haha.

I didn’t do a ton of reviews doing the break. I plan on catching up this week (or try to, at least). I have two reviews that need to be written by tomorrow and one by Friday. I have one review that I was able to move up a week, one that I am waiting for the publisher to send me an ebook (never got a publication date for that one), one where I couldn’t find the book anywhere (was supposed to get a paperback copy and never got it), and one that I forgot to write (yup, I forgot). But I am not sweating it. The two that need to be done tomorrow are both halfway written. The other reviews, I will get to when I can.

The longest book I read this week: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. This book had been on my must-read list since I first saw it blogged about. Then I read it, and I was “meh” about it. So “meh” that it took me three days to read.

The shortest book I read this week: The Family Game by Catherine Steadman. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I devoured this book!!

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

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


What I Recently Finished Reading:

I usually don’t comment about books under the prompts, but this book DESTROYED me. I was in tears for 90% of the book. I told Miss B that this is a book that middle and high schoolers should read. It is a book about the after-effects of a school shooting and showcases one of the victims’ families and the shooter’s family, mainly the younger sister. It is not an easy read but definitely worth it.


What I am currently reading:


What books I think I’ll read next:

The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman

Book Cover

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books

Date of publication: June 8th, 2021

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Contemporary

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | WorldCat

Format Read: Unedited ARC

Received From: Publisher


Goodreads Synopsis:

A British actress discovers the dark side of Hollywood when she is the only witness to the sudden disappearance of a woman she meets at an audition in this psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Something in the Water and Mr. Nobody.

Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio looking to fill the rosters of their new shows enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls, anxious, desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the hoard of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive and faceless world of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily is friendly and genuine and reassuringly doesn’t seem to be taking any of it too seriously. She stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor turns dark when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her, and the woman who knocks on Mia’s door the following day claiming to be her new friend isn’t the woman Mia remembers at all.

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once . . . and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity as the truth goes beyond anything she could ever have imagined.

Actress and author Catherine Steadman has written a gripping thriller set in a world close to home that asks the question: In a city where dreams really do come true, how far would you go to make the unreal real?


First Line:

Have you ever asked yourself what kind of story the story of your life is?

I usually don’t read books that are written by famous actresses/actors. I have read a few books that have soured me on even picking books up by them. The books I have read were awful, and I felt that they were published because of the name associated with them and not because the book was good. So, I was surprised when I saw that Catherine Steadman had starred in two of my favorite British dramas: Downton Abbey and The Tudors. And that made me very apprehensive about reading The Disappearing Act.

I was surprised when I started reading The Disappearing Act, and I was enjoying it. It hit everything I like in a mystery/thriller/suspense novel. I won’t go as far as to say that Ms. Steadman changed my mind about reading books written by famous actresses/actors, but it has made me more open to trying them.

The Disappearing Act occurs mainly in L.A., briefly being set in London at the beginning and end of the book. I felt that the author captured the frantic pace and the darkness under the glittery facade perfectly.

The Disappearing Act is a medium-paced book for the first half of the book. The author spends a lot of time building up Mia’s backstory and her first week or so in L.A. It might get tedious, but it is well worth the wait. The second half of the book zips right along.

I liked Mia but felt she was very naive for someone in her profession. She was almost too nice at various points in the book. I mean, she kept a stranger’s keys and fed a meter for nearly two days. She was also too trusting. There were parts in the book where I just wanted to shake her and tell her to stay away from so and so. But I couldn’t, and I had to watch her get more and more involved in this mystery.

Speaking of mystery, the author did a great job of keeping what was going on under wraps until the end of the book. I was shocked when specific facts came out. And I was even more shocked with how the book ended. It was not what I expected at all.

There is a small romance introduced as the book’s plot started to take off. Again, I wasn’t sure where it was going, and I was surprised when it was mentioned at the end of the book.

The end of The Disappearing Act was interesting. I say interesting because it wasn’t how I expected the book to end. I thought that it was going to end like your typical mystery/thriller. I wasn’t upset by it, but it did confuse me.


I enjoyed reading The Disappearing Act. It took some time to get the plot going, but it was terrific once it did.

I would recommend The Disappearing Act to anyone over the age of 21. There is violence and mild language.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? June 21 2021

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 er… 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 kidlit 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.


Happy Monday (well, as happy as a Monday can be…lol) everyone and I hope you all had a great weekend!!

This weekend was OK, even though it didn’t start off that way.

Miss R has horseback riding lessons on Friday. It was super hot out. Miss R was on a new horse, who was being a jerk and refused to go straight for her. He kept going in circles. She was well-hydrated but after the lesson, she started not feeling well. By the time the horse was untacked and fed, she was complaining of a headache and feeling sick to her stomach. By the time the horse was put out to pasture and she got to the car, she was sweating and saying she was going to throw up. I had to run back to the barn to get her helmet and in that 5-minute walk, she had a potty accident. She has NEVER had an accident and she was so upset. She also started to dry heave. I turned the AC on super high, refilled her water bottle, and drove like the devil home (she already peed her seat, I was afraid she was going to throw up). A shower, some time in the AC at home, snuggles, and more water later, she was feeling better.

Saturday, we decided to go to Carowinds for the day. We had bought season passes and decided Saturday would be a wonderful day to visit. It was hot (93) but cloudy. The kids had a blast and we are hoping to go back at some point this summer.

Sunday was Father’s Day and we spent it hanging out. We watched the director’s cut of The Justice League (4 hours!!) and played video games. It was relaxing.


What I am Reading Now:

Book Cover
Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio looking to fill the rosters of their new shows enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls, anxious, desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the hoard of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive and faceless world of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily is friendly and genuine and reassuringly doesn’t seem to be taking any of it too seriously. She stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor turns dark when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her, and the woman who knocks on Mia’s door the following day claiming to be her new friend isn’t the woman Mia remembers at all.

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once . . . and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity as the truth goes beyond anything she could ever have imagined.

Actress and author Catherine Steadman has written a gripping thriller set in a world close to home that asks the question: In a city where dreams really do come true, how far would you go to make the unreal real?

I am about halfway through The Disappearing Act. I am not too sure what I think about it. And I am pretty sure that I think I know what is going on with Emily’s disappearance.


What I plan on reading this week:

This week, I have 2 ARCs and 2 library books that I need to read.

Book Cover
Katherine Vareck is in for the shock of her life when she learns upon her husband Meri’s accidental death that he had married two other women. Her entire business, along with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a royal supplier, is everything she’s been working for and now could be destroyed if word leaks about the three wives.

Meri’s far more upstanding brother, Christian, Duke of Randford has no earthly clue how to be of assistance. He spent the better part of his adult years avoiding Meri and the rest of his good-for-nothing family, so to be dragged back into the fold is…problematic. Even more so is the intrepid and beautiful Katherine, whom he cannot be falling for because she’s Meri’s widow. Or can he?

With a textile business to run and a strong friendship forming with Meri’s two other wives, Katherine doesn’t have time for much else. But there’s something about the warm, but compellingly taciturn Christian that draws her to him. When an opportunity to partner in a business venture brings them even closer, they’ll have to face their pasts if they want to share each other’s hearts and futures.
Book Cover
I, Elya Pavlovna, went to the prince’s Maslenitsa celebration, and I’m still not sure who I am or what will happen next.

After running from a fairy and a prince, Elya is on her own for the first time. The unknown wilds are dark and dangerous, but she knows that if she is found she could be used to destroy everything she has come to love.

But with her sisters asking for her help and her beloved prince in distress, hiding might no longer be an option.

The slipper fits, now will she wear it?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and untrustworthy fae, this romantic fantasy retelling is for you! One-click now to start the magic, romance, and heart-wrenching emotional journey!

Wishes by Starlight is the direct sequel to Letters by Cinderlight, a twist on the Cinderella story based in Slavic mythology and full of magical fairies with stories of their own.
Book Cover
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron’s fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.

When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.

The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.
Book Cover
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra — who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.


But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents — including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more — Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

WWW Wednesday: June 16th 2021

IMG_1384-0

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:

It was a very boring week in my household. Nothing too much going on here.

Nothing too much going on with the kids. They are enjoying sleeping in late and basically doing nothing.

Blog:

Same old thing going on with the blog: Nothing. I haven’t been motivated to start working on the stuff that needs to be worked on.

Reading:

I have read 3 books since last week’s WWW Wednesday. It would have been 4 but I got a headache last night and went to bed early. I finished 1 library book and 2 ARC’s. I am needing to write the review for the ARC’s and plan on doing that tomorrow (if my kids allow it).

Watching:

Still watching Blacklist. We are on Season 7 right now and I am going to have to wait for Season 8 to end and come on Netflix. I started watching Shadow and Bone on Monday and all I have to say is “Wow“!! We also gave up on watching Game of Thrones. My kids have a six sense when we are watching adult TV and they had been popping into the living room. So, it’s on the backburner. I also started watching Ragnarok on Sunday. I am very intrigued by it. BK doesn’t like dubbed or subtitled shows/movies but I do (it’s in Norwegian).


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Book Cover
I am a weed.

Unloved by my abusive, alcoholic dad. Unwanted by my classmates. Unnoticed by everyone else.

But I’d suffer anything to give my kid sister a better life—the minute I turn eighteen, I’m getting us the hell out of here. And some hot stranger telling me I am the key to stopping a war between Heaven and Hell isn’t going to change that.

Let the world crumble and burn, for all I care.

Draven is relentless, though. And very much a liar. Every time his sexy lips are moving, I can see it—in the dip of his head, the grit of his jaw—even if my heart begs me to ignore the signs.

So what does he want?

I need to figure it out fast, because now everyone is gunning for me. And damn if I don’t want to show them what happens when you let weeds thrive in the cracks of the pavement…

We can grow powerful enough to shatter the whole foundation.

I absolutely loved this book!! Harley’s story absolutely broke my heart and when Draven came into the story, I knew it was going to get good. And oh boy, did it.


What I am currently reading:

Book Cover
Around the world, twenty-two people have been murdered. The victims fit no profile, the circumstances vary wildly, but one thing links them all: in every case the victim is branded with a number.

With police around the globe floundering and unable to identify any pattern, let alone find a killer, CIA Analyst Quinn Mitchell is called in to investigate.

Before long, Quinn is on the trail of an ice-hearted assassin with seemingly limitless resources – but she’s prepared for that.

What she isn’t prepared for is the person pulling the strings…

I just started reading Scorpion on Monday. I meant to finish it yesterday, but I got a headache/borderline migraine right before bed and decided to put it off until today. What I did read got my curiosity up and that created the itch to read it. If my kids behave, I might sit on the couch and read a couple of chapters (stress if, they have been at each other’s throats today). If not, then reading in bed it is.


What books I think I’ll read next:

This week, I have all ARCs on my to-read list. I do have a couple of library books that **might** come off hold. But I’m not sure. Also, and this is weird, but I have a ghost book on the list. The author contacted me today to review it. It’s still being edited and is in draft form on Amazon. As soon as she gets it published, she’s sending me the link. I am going to prewrite the review and publish it when she contacts me.

Book Cover
Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio looking to fill the rosters of their new shows enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls, anxious, desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the hoard of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive and faceless world of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily is friendly and genuine and reassuringly doesn’t seem to be taking any of it too seriously. She stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor turns dark when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her, and the woman who knocks on Mia’s door the following day claiming to be her new friend isn’t the woman Mia remembers at all.

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once . . . and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity as the truth goes beyond anything she could ever have imagined.

Actress and author Catherine Steadman has written a gripping thriller set in a world close to home that asks the question: In a city where dreams really do come true, how far would you go to make the unreal real?
Book Cover
Katherine Vareck is in for the shock of her life when she learns upon her husband Meri’s accidental death that he had married two other women. Her entire business, along with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a royal supplier, is everything she’s been working for and now could be destroyed if word leaks about the three wives.

Meri’s far more upstanding brother, Christian, Duke of Randford has no earthly clue how to be of assistance. He spent the better part of his adult years avoiding Meri and the rest of his good-for-nothing family, so to be dragged back into the fold is…problematic. Even more so is the intrepid and beautiful Katherine, whom he cannot be falling for because she’s Meri’s widow. Or can he?

With a textile business to run and a strong friendship forming with Meri’s two other wives, Katherine doesn’t have time for much else. But there’s something about the warm, but compellingly taciturn Christian that draws her to him. When an opportunity to partner in a business venture brings them even closer, they’ll have to face their pasts if they want to share each other’s hearts and futures.
Book Cover
I, Elya Pavlovna, went to the prince’s Maslenitsa celebration, and I’m still not sure who I am or what will happen next.

After running from a fairy and a prince, Elya is on her own for the first time. The unknown wilds are dark and dangerous, but she knows that if she is found she could be used to destroy everything she has come to love.

But with her sisters asking for her help and her beloved prince in distress, hiding might no longer be an option.

The slipper fits, now will she wear it?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and untrustworthy fae, this romantic fantasy retelling is for you! One-click now to start the magic, romance, and heart-wrenching emotional journey!

Wishes by Starlight is the direct sequel to Letters by Cinderlight, a twist on the Cinderella story based in Slavic mythology and full of magical fairies with stories of their own.

What are HighTower Fairytales?

HighTower Fairytales lean more toward the original sources (NOT Disney) with rich semi-historical settings. They have magic. They have scary monsters. And, most importantly, they have unique and complex characters who are trying hard to improve themselves.

They also include plenty of humor and all the heroes marry their prince/princess charming and live happily ever after at the end!


Basically, these stories meant to inspire, but have a very difficult and occasionally dark tower to climb. They are conservatively marked at 14+ and are appropriate for teens and young adults.

Currently these stories include:

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen (2017)
Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast (2020)
Depths: A Tale of the Little Mermaid (2020)
Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella (2021)
Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest (2021)

And more on the way!!!

Love You to Death by Reily Garrett (the ghost book)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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 er… 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 kidlit 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.


Happy Monday (well, as happy as a Monday can be…lol) everyone and I hope you all had a great weekend!!

This weekend was a wash. Saturday, it stormed out. It started raining around 2-230pm and didn’t stop until early Sunday morning. We also had strong thunderstorms. So, it ended up being a stay in and do nothing day.

Sunday was better. I was able to sit outside while the kids used the pool. It was also a lot less humid and hot. Loved it!!


What I am Reading Now:

Book Cover

Having reached 34, Angelique Santoro finds herself feeling trapped and deeply unhappy within the constraints of traditional relationships.
Uneasy to perform the role of life partner or girlfriend in the way society has designed for all women.

Finally, she takes the courage to break free and becomes single for the first time in 15 years. Breaking away from the ties that bind us. Breaking away from the fear of being alone and lonely to become what she was always meant to be.

Diary of a contemporary woman follows Angelique in her new life, her adventures. Utterly compelling, beautiful, honest, and bold.
Angelique will have you laughing and crying at the same time, willing her on to find happiness and that rare calm within.

I am almost finished with Diary of a Contemporary Woman. It is a funny book that has teared me up during certain points of the book. I have been rooting for Angelique to find herself and can’t wait to see what the end of the book is like.


What I plan on reading this week:

This week is all about the ARCs’. I have 3 more that need to be read/reviewed and then I am caught up. I do have a couple of library books that are close to coming off hold.

Book Cover

I am a weed.

Unloved by my abusive, alcoholic dad. Unwanted by my classmates. Unnoticed by everyone else.

But I’d suffer anything to give my kid sister a better life—the minute I turn eighteen, I’m getting us the hell out of here. And some hot stranger telling me I am the key to stopping a war between Heaven and Hell isn’t going to change that.

Let the world crumble and burn, for all I care.

Draven is relentless, though. And very much a liar. Every time his sexy lips are moving, I can see it—in the dip of his head, the grit of his jaw—even if my heart begs me to ignore the signs.

So what does he want?

I need to figure it out fast, because now everyone is gunning for me. And damn if I don’t want to show them what happens when you let weeds thrive in the cracks of the pavement…

We can grow powerful enough to shatter the whole foundation.

Book Cover

Around the world, twenty-two people have been murdered. The victims fit no profile, the circumstances vary wildly, but one thing links them all: in every case the victim is branded with a number.

With police around the globe floundering and unable to identify any pattern, let alone find a killer, CIA Analyst Quinn Mitchell is called in to investigate.

Before long, Quinn is on the trail of an ice-hearted assassin with seemingly limitless resources – but she’s prepared for that.

What she isn’t prepared for is the person pulling the strings…

Book Cover

Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio looking to fill the rosters of their new shows enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls, anxious, desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the hoard of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive and faceless world of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily is friendly and genuine and reassuringly doesn’t seem to be taking any of it too seriously. She stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor turns dark when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her, and the woman who knocks on Mia’s door the following day claiming to be her new friend isn’t the woman Mia remembers at all.

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once . . . and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity as the truth goes beyond anything she could ever have imagined.

Actress and author Catherine Steadman has written a gripping thriller set in a world close to home that asks the question: In a city where dreams really do come true, how far would you go to make the unreal real?

WWW Wednesday: June 9th 2021

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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:

Surprisingly, nothing too much is going on in my personal life right now. So, I really don’t have too much to put under this section. This is weird because I usually have something going on. I’ll give it a week.

Nothing too much going on with the kids either. They are all enjoying their summer vacation so far. There are the usual squabbles but I deal with that by separating them. The two older kids go to their rooms and Miss R sits in the living room with me.

Blog:

I haven’t gotten much done on the blog. I didn’t take my laptop with me on vacation. So everything is still the same. I do plan on working on it when the kids are swimming and it isn’t too hot out (I can do it at the table by the pool).

Reading:

I didn’t get a ton of reading done when we were on vacation. I get carsick if I read while the car is moving and once we got to FL, I was too busy to pick my Kindle up. But, once we got home, that was a different story. I finished 4 books from Thursday-Tuesday. 3 were ARCs and one was a library book. I am pretty happy with myself for that.

Watching:

BK and I have been watching Blacklist. I admit to having a bit of a crush on James Spader…lol. We also started watching Game of Thrones on HBO Max last night. I have watched the first episode and had to warn BK that it was a bit racy. He didn’t believe me until Tyrion Lannister’s first scene. Then he said, “Oh, guess we shouldn’t watch this around the kids.” No kidding…lol. I also am going to start watching Shadow and Bone once BK starts traveling again. I really wanted to read the series first but that isn’t going to happen any time soon.


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Book Cover

Kate and Lauren meet for Sunday lunch every week without fail, especially after the loss of their father–but a knock at the door is about to change everything. A young woman by the name of Jess holds a note with the results of a DNA test, claiming to be their half-sister. As the fallout starts, it’s clear that they are all hiding secrets, and perhaps this family isn’t as perfect as it appears.

I didn’t care for this book, which is surprising because I love thrillers and mysteries. But the main characters, Kate and Lauren, didn’t gel with me. Lauren was too much of a pushover (I would NOT deal with what she dealt with from her husband) and Kate was very confrontational and abrasive. But, the mystery was good (I did figure 90% of it out by the middle of the book) and I liked the ending.


What I am currently reading:

Book Cover

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

I am super excited to read These Violent Delights. This book has been on my must-read list for months and I was lucky enough to get it from the library (after a small wait). A good majority of the reviews I have read have been favorable and I can’t wait to dive into it.


What books I think I’ll read next:

I have 4 books that I would like to finish by next week’s WWW Wednesday. These books are all ARCs and a couple of them are overdue for a review.

Book Cover

I am a weed.

Unloved by my abusive, alcoholic dad. Unwanted by my classmates. Unnoticed by everyone else.

But I’d suffer anything to give my kid sister a better life—the minute I turn eighteen, I’m getting us the hell out of here. And some hot stranger telling me I am the key to stopping a war between Heaven and Hell isn’t going to change that.

Let the world crumble and burn, for all I care.

Draven is relentless, though. And very much a liar. Every time his sexy lips are moving, I can see it—in the dip of his head, the grit of his jaw—even if my heart begs me to ignore the signs.

So what does he want?

I need to figure it out fast, because now everyone is gunning for me. And damn if I don’t want to show them what happens when you let weeds thrive in the cracks of the pavement…

We can grow powerful enough to shatter the whole foundation.

Book Cover

Having reached 34, Angelique Santoro finds herself feeling trapped and deeply unhappy within the constraints of traditional relationships.
Uneasy to perform the role of life partner or girlfriend in the way society has designed for all women.

Finally, she takes the courage to break free and becomes single for the first time in 15 years. Breaking away from the ties that bind us. Breaking away from the fear of being alone and lonely to become what she was always meant to be.

Diary of a contemporary woman follows Angelique in her new life, her adventures. Utterly compelling, beautiful, honest and bold.
Angelique will have you laughing and crying at the same time, willing her on to find happiness and that rare calm within.

Book Cover

Around the world, twenty-two people have been murdered. The victims fit no profile, the circumstances vary wildly, but one thing links them all: in every case the victim is branded with a number.

With police around the globe floundering and unable to identify any pattern, let alone find a killer, CIA Analyst Quinn Mitchell is called in to investigate.

Before long, Quinn is on the trail of an ice-hearted assassin with seemingly limitless resources – but she’s prepared for that.

What she isn’t prepared for is the person pulling the strings…

Book Cover

Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio looking to fill the rosters of their new shows enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls, anxious, desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the hoard of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive and faceless world of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily is friendly and genuine and reassuringly doesn’t seem to be taking any of it too seriously. She stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor turns dark when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her, and the woman who knocks on Mia’s door the following day claiming to be her new friend isn’t the woman Mia remembers at all.

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once . . . and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity as the truth goes beyond anything she could ever have imagined.

Actress and author Catherine Steadman has written a gripping thriller set in a world close to home that asks the question: In a city where dreams really do come true, how far would you go to make the unreal real?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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 er… 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 kidlit 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.


Happy Monday (well, as happy as a Monday can be…lol) everyone and I hope you all had a great weekend!!

As you all can tell, I am back from vacation. We had an awesome time…except for almost getting heatstroke in Epcot. It was super hot and they had zero cooling centers open. And we got burnt.

Over the weekend, we worked on the yard. Fun fact: Did you all know that aboveground and quick set pools are very hard to find? That there has been some sort of weird over buying of them? Its true. We couldn’t find any of those types of pools at Walmart, Target or Amazon. We ended up getting one at Big Lots. There were two 14ft pools left and 3 of the quick set pools. I’m happy that we got one. Now, we’re on the search for chlorine (there’s a shortage). We also got this huge gazebo (that took us 4 hours to set up but that’s another story) and a firepit. We also finished off the patio area, added a pathway to the pool, and set up the firepit area.

I forgot to mention, my finger is better and I obviously can type. BK took my stitches out last Monday. I wore a bandage (with the antibiotic ointment) for a couple of days afterwards. But, I am able to type and cook again. I am going to have scar, though.


What I am Reading Now:

Book Cover

Kate and Lauren meet for Sunday lunch every week without fail, especially after the loss of their father–but a knock at the door is about to change everything. A young woman by the name of Jess holds a note with the results of a DNA test, claiming to be their half-sister. As the fallout starts, it’s clear that they are all hiding secrets, and perhaps this family isn’t as perfect as it appears.

The Half Sister is a book that came off hold from the library when I was on vacation. I am looking forward to reading it. So far, I am liking it.


What I plan on reading this week:

The first book on this week’s list is a library book that I have been waiting for. Then rest are ARC’s. I got a little behind on my ARC’s because of my finger and vacation. I am hoping to catch up with them this week.

Book Cover

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

Book Cover

Having reached 34, Angelique Santoro finds herself feeling trapped and deeply unhappy within the constraints of traditional relationships.
Uneasy to perform the role of life partner or girlfriend in the way society has designed for all women.

Finally, she takes the courage to break free and becomes single for the first time in 15 years. Breaking away from the ties that bind us. Breaking away from the fear of being alone and lonely to become what she was always meant to be.

Diary of a contemporary woman follows Angelique in her new life, her adventures. Utterly compelling, beautiful, honest and bold.
Angelique will have you laughing and crying at the same time, willing her on to find happiness and that rare calm within.

Book Cover

I am a weed.

Unloved by my abusive, alcoholic dad. Unwanted by my classmates. Unnoticed by everyone else.

But I’d suffer anything to give my kid sister a better life—the minute I turn eighteen, I’m getting us the hell out of here. And some hot stranger telling me I am the key to stopping a war between Heaven and Hell isn’t going to change that.

Let the world crumble and burn, for all I care.

Draven is relentless, though. And very much a liar. Every time his sexy lips are moving, I can see it—in the dip of his head, the grit of his jaw—even if my heart begs me to ignore the signs.

So what does he want?

I need to figure it out fast, because now everyone is gunning for me. And damn if I don’t want to show them what happens when you let weeds thrive in the cracks of the pavement…

We can grow powerful enough to shatter the whole foundation.

Book Cover

Around the world, twenty-two people have been murdered. The victims fit no profile, the circumstances vary wildly, but one thing links them all: in every case the victim is branded with a number.

With police around the globe floundering and unable to identify any pattern, let alone find a killer, CIA Analyst Quinn Mitchell is called in to investigate.

Before long, Quinn is on the trail of an ice-hearted assassin with seemingly limitless resources – but she’s prepared for that.

What she isn’t prepared for is the person pulling the strings…

Book Cover

Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio looking to fill the rosters of their new shows enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls, anxious, desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the hoard of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive and faceless world of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily is friendly and genuine and reassuringly doesn’t seem to be taking any of it too seriously. She stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor turns dark when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her, and the woman who knocks on Mia’s door the following day claiming to be her new friend isn’t the woman Mia remembers at all.

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once . . . and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity as the truth goes beyond anything she could ever have imagined.


So, this is what I am planning on reading this week. Let me know if you have read any of these!!