Bookish Travels—July 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 to. That includes places of fantasy too!!

Bon Voyage!!

Please let me know if you have read these books or traveled to these areas.

Countries I visited the most: United States, Greece, France

States I visited the most: New York, South Carolina, Kentucky, California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Washington, Hawaii, Nevada

Cities I visited the most: New York City, Athens (Greece), Hamlin, Paris (France), Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston


Asam, New Dehli

United States

Washington, D.C.
New York (New York City, Central Park)
Montana (Plentywood, Missoula), New York (New York City), Washington (Seattle)
Kentucky (Hamlin)
Connecticut (New Castle), Texas
Pennsylvania (Pittsburg)
New Hampshire (Nashua), South Carolina (Parris Island)
Kentucky (Paris)
New York (New York City), Nevada (Las Vegas), California (San Fransisco), Illinois (Chicago), Minnesota (St. Paul)
South Carolina (Greenbelt, Charleston, Beaufort), Florida (Jacksonville)
Kentucky (Lexington, Hamlin), New York (Queens)
New York (New York City), Michigan, California (Los Angeles)
Mississippi (Brant), New York (New York City), Pennsylvania (Woodland)
Louisiana (New Orleans)
Massachusetts (Meadowbrook, Revere)
New Hampshire (Moonville), Massachusetts (Boston)
Washington (Seattle, Ridley Falls)
California (Los Angeles, Malibu), Hawaii (Oahu)
Oregon (Cannon Beach)
Massachusetts (Boston)
Massachusetts (Cape Cod), New York (Newburgh), Hawaii
Washington D.C., California (Los Angeles), Nevada
New York (Norfolk Falls)




Dystopia United States







Aegean Islands (Samothrace, Mykonos)


Hong Kong




London (Soho Square), Glastonbury, Chelmsford, Hawkhurst
London (Mayfair)




French Polynesia

Bora Bora


Mexico City


Kabul, Herat


Puerto Rico

Vieques (Island), San Juan, Esperanza, Isabel Segunda



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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

So, that’s my catch-up.

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

What I am Reading Now:

This summer, meet your neighbors.

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

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

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

Books I plan on reading later this week:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Katharine Firestone is a bit of a mess.

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

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

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

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

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

“I never thought I would be in this situation, fighting for survival in a world turned upside-down. But here I am, doing everything I can to keep my daughters safe in this apocalyptic dawn. It’s hard to believe that just a few weeks ago, our biggest worries were school, soccer practice, and what to make for dinner.

Now, we’re living in constant fear. The pack of abandoned dogs we’ve taken in helps, but it’s a dangerous world out there. We’ve had to maintain a charade to keep looters at bay, by making our home, and the others on our street look like still occupied by our old neighbors. I live in fear every second of the day that someone will catch on. So far the ruse has worked, but for how long?”

July 2023 TBR

Books for Review:

The Voinico’s Slayer by Sallie Cochren (Not cover yet)

The StoryGraph Reading Challenge books

Buzzword Reading Challenge 2023—weather-related words in the title
2023 Sami Parker Reads Title Challenge—a book that has a day of the week in the title
Cover Scavenger Hunt 2023—Sky
The StoryGraph Reads the World 2023—Pakistan
The StoryGraph’s Genre Challenge—A fantasy novel written by an author of colour
Beat the Backlist 2023—an author writing under a pseudonym
Scavenger Hunt TBR Book Challenge 2023—find a book with the same exact pages as the last prompt in the challenge and read it.
Scavenger Hunt—A book translated from another language
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2023—A book with “Girl” in the title
2023 TBR Toppler—A book over 500 pages
2023 Monthly Theme—Books in the heat
2023 Reading challenge—A yellow book: either a yellow cover or the title is in yellow
2023 ABC Challenge—G
Romanceopoly 2023!—Young Adult/New Adult friends to lovers
2023 TBR Prompts—Longest book on my TBR

Goodreads Monday: Unbound (Dawn of Deception: Book 1) by A.R. Shaw

This is a weekly meme where anyone can choose and highlight a random book from their Goodreads TBR. This meme was formerly featured on LaurensPageTurners and was taken over by Budget Tales Book Blog.

From the bestselling author of Graham’s Resolution and Surrender the Sun series, A. R. Shaw brings you Dawn of Deception.

In a post-apocalyptic world, Sloane Delaney struggles to keep her daughters safe. With all her neighbors gone and her abusive second husband dead, Sloane and her daughters, Mae and Wren, maintain a dangerous charade to keep looters at bay from their neighborhood. When young Nicole shows up on their doorstep, nearly dead from dehydration and starvation as a result of her father’s growing paranoia, she joins the determined group as they adjust to life without most of the luxuries they had previously taken for granted. Aided by a pack of abandoned dogs, the women are able to project an image of an occupied and active neighborhood until corrupt FEMA agents arrive on the scene, threatening their hard-won sense of security. Fleeing their now-unsafe home, Sloane and her girls head for the woods and an abandoned old house Sloane is sure will be a safe haven for at least a few days. She doesn’t count on the handsome and helpful Dr. Kent having also taken refuge there. With her girls’ lives on the line, can Sloane learn to trust again in this dangerous new world?