Top Ten Tuesday: Places in Books I’d Love to Visit

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

How it works:

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


I get my best travel ideas from reading. Because of that, I have a list of countries and cities that I am burning to visit. So, here are my top 10 places that I want to visit that have been inspired by the books I have read.

Let me know if you have visited/want to visit any of these places!! Also, let me know if you have read the book!!

Enjoy!


1. Seattle, Washington — Forget Me Not by Alexandria Oliva

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2. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

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3. Regency England – Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

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4. Scotland – MacFarland’s Lass by Glynnis Campbell

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5. Nigeria – The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

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6. South Korea – Please Look After Mom by Shin Kyung-Sook

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7. The Yukon Wilderness in Canada – City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

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8. Modern Day England – Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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9. Ireland – Shearwater by D.S. Murphy

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10. Iceland —Sucked by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (I read the translated version)

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WWW Wednesday: FEBRUARY 10th 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:

I have been sick and it stinks. It isn’t the Rona, instead I stupidly decided to let a simple UTI go for too long and it turned into a bladder infection….sigh (sorry if TMI). I got a lecture from my Dr and a script for a strong antibiotic. Now, I am feeling better from the infection but the antibiotic side effects are kicking my ass :(. Teaches me to put something off for months (yes, about 3 1/2 months).

Miss R is going to her first horse show in a week!! Her trainer/instructor told me that she thinks she’s ready to start showing. They are going to enroll her in a part of the show where they judge on how the kids sit and how they control the horse. She is super excited and to be honest, I am too.

Mr. Z is plugging away at his Black History Month project. He’s almost completed it, just needs to film the video. He is stressed out about it. He has 2 more social studies project, an introduction to office management (a required class here) and 2 science projects due by the end of next week. That’s too much, if you ask me.

Miss B is still walking to the beat of her own drummer. She does her own thing. She has a ton of projects too but they are spaced out. The funnest one that she’s doing: She is making a clay model of the Colosseum for her World History class. All she has to do is add detail and she’s done.

I haven’t watched a ton of TV this past week. I have been watching Jeopardy regularly. At night, we’ve been watching shows from Discovery +. We are going between Bizarre Foods and Expedition Unknown. BK has been watching Babylon 5 on HBOmax.

Blog:

Nothing too much going on with my blog. So this is going to be a small section.

Reading:

I read next to nothing from Thursday to Tuesday of this week. I am hoping to knock some of my books off my currently reading stack. I am currently 8 books behind on my Goodreads challenge. Hopefully I can catch up!!


I recently finished reading:

How to Train Your Earl (First Comes Love, #3)
A roguish earl must fight using his honor and not his sword to win his lady’s hand in How To Train Your Earl, the third book in the First Comes Love trilogy from bestseller Amelia Grey.

Brina Feld has settled into a life devoted to helping others since the sinking of the Salty Dove left her widowed. She has no need for a man in her contented life. But when the notorious and handsome Lord Blacknight returns and awakens her desires, her peace and serenity vanish. If she agrees to an alliance with him, she knows she will have to battle her heart to keep from being snared under his spell.

Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, was never supposed to inherit the earldom, so he didn’t much care to lead a respectable life before then. Fistfights, card games, and drinking are the order of the day. Now he’s determined to change his rakish ways and he knows the proper lady who can help him. There’s just one problem: He’s already bet he’ll win her hand before the Season is over. With her resolve to out-scheme him, how can he show her that his love is true?

I was a little disappointed with How to Train Your Earl. I didn’t connect with Brina or Zane. There was definite sexual chemistry but that was ruined for me by Brina’s attitude. Her attitude sucked. She jumped to conclusions (mainly at the end) and flipped out.


What I am currently reading:

A Private Heaven
Helicopter Adventure
Prison Survival
Family Struggle


A Private Heaven is an adventure-filled drama based on a true story. Like Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It, this is the story of two brothers as opposite as Cain and Abel.

When Dave, the impulsive, younger brother completes his tour of duty in Vietnam, he moves his young family to Newfoundland, where he embarks on a challenging, often dangerous career as a helicopter pilot. Dave’s older brother, a six-foot-four, muscle-bound convict, has Hollywood good looks, a charming smile, and a serious penchant for violence.

With the stunningly beautiful island of Newfoundland as one backdrop and the Oklahoma State Penitentiary as the other, A Private Heaven is brimming with helicopters, rescues, icebergs, poachers, a prison rodeo, and even a prime minister’s wife.

Dave quickly learns the harsh realities of bush flying and wonders what will explode first-his fragile marriage or his beat-up, antique helicopter.

This is a different type of book for me to read. I am absolutely enjoying this book. It was wonderfully written and the dual plotlines are compelling. Also, I like that it is semi-autobiographical. I am about halfway through reading this book and should finish it up tonight.


What books I think I’ll read next:

I am hoping to read the first 3 books by next week’s WWW Wednesday. The other ones are a maybe.

MacFarland's Lass (Scottish Lasses #1)
(Formerly published as Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan)

SCOTTISH LASSES

Meet the lasses in the world of Mary Queen of Scots…Like the Scottish thistle, they’re lovely yet tough, beautiful yet prickly, and only the strongest and wisest heroes are able to elude their thorns to discover the tender blossom within.

MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)

A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.
Exploited (The Dark Redemption #1)
WARNING: This book contains some dark, dirty and dangerous situations before ending in a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. The debauchery will continue in the second book in the series, Redeemed.

I’m going to hell, and my angel’s about to lose her wings.

For years I’ve left a path of death and destruction wherever I go. I promise myself that after one last job I’ll have the money I desperately need to quit taking lives. That’s how I find myself back in my hometown of Lexington.

So beautiful and innocent, I unknowingly end up saving the life of the one girl I was supposed to keep silent…the one girl I was supposed to end.

She’s my fallen angel sent from above.

I can’t resist staining her pure white wings with my darkness when I use her. Defile her. Deceive her.


The two of us were both ruined by our pasts when they intersected. Pasts that we’re still trying to escape with the hounds of hell on our heels.

Fate brought us together. Now, I’ll do anything to protect my angel from the demons that haunt her. I won’t stop until I slay the devil himself to keep her safe, the man who ruined both of our lives.

The only problem is, my silent angel is keeping secrets from me – the biggest of which is that I’m not the only one who wants to exploit her.
The Last City of America
A virus stole fertility from many people long ago, ending society over several generations. The United States became the Seven Cities of America.

Chicago, cut off from the other cities, ruled in darkness, is home to the scientist who created the virus. Hateful of humanity, hateful of himself, the dying scientist passes his knowledge on to his apprentice, who he believes will use it to damn all life to everlasting misery.

The apprentice, Harold, his own past stained with unforgivable acts, does not share his master’s hatred. But he wants this knowledge, and would shamelessly kill innocents to get it. But to what end, he struggles to realize— all the while wondering if humanity, worthless as it seems, deserves compassion more than he deserves omniscience.

As Harold struggles with his future and his identity, Chicago’s ruler, the host, learns of the knowledge he has. Harold is has to flee his home.

The host, Grakus, is on a journey of his own— to prove that humanity should never have existed, to guide it to its destiny of self-destruction. He will not allow the apprentice to thwart his delicate plan to do so.

But the apprentice will not allow the host to steal his decision before he’s had the chance to make it.


The Last City of America is a character-driven epic touching every corner of America, exposing every level of its beauty. The individual emulates humanity, and humanity’s faults are written in the individual. The two walk with one another into the final decision. Cities fall one-by-one to man’s ignorance. The world is ending. This time forever. Two hands reach out to save it: good and evil.

This is the story of how we will be remembered.
 
A Cowboy Kind of Love (Heart of Texas #6)
Who wants to rodeo again?

Jace Wilder has been rebuilding his life since the love of his life, Taryn, up and left town unexpectedly. But when she mysteriously returns, Jace’s dependable world comes crashing down. Taryn is hiding a dangerous secret, and no matter how hard he tries, Jace can’t stay away―especially when Taryn is at risk. And especially when the attraction he thought he’d buried long ago is back and hotter than ever. Will he be able to trust Taryn again?

The Show Girl: A Novel by [Nicola Harrison]
Nicola Harrison’s The Show Girl gives a glimpse of the glamorous world of the Ziegfeld Follies, through the eyes of a young midwestern woman who comes to New York City to find her destiny as a Ziegfeld Follies star.

It’s 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more—even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along the way.

Then she meets Archie Carmichael. Handsome, wealthy—the only man she’s ever met who seems to accept her modern ways—her independent nature and passion for success. But once she accepts his proposal of marriage he starts to change his tune, and Olive must decide if she is willing to reveal a devastating secret and sacrifice the life she loves for the man she loves.

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 here 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.


What I am Reading Now:

How to Train Your Earl (First Comes Love, #3)
A roguish earl must fight using his honor and not his sword to win his lady’s hand in How To Train Your Earl, the third book in the First Comes Love trilogy from bestseller Amelia Grey.

Brina Feld has settled into a life devoted to helping others since the sinking of the Salty Dove left her widowed. She has no need for a man in her contented life. But when the notorious and handsome Lord Blacknight returns and awakens her desires, her peace and serenity vanish. If she agrees to an alliance with him, she knows she will have to battle her heart to keep from being snared under his spell.

Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, was never supposed to inherit the earldom, so he didn’t much care to lead a respectable life before then. Fistfights, card games, and drinking are the order of the day. Now he’s determined to change his rakish ways and he knows the proper lady who can help him. There’s just one problem: He’s already bet he’ll win her hand before the Season is over. With her resolve to out-scheme him, how can he show her that his love is true?

I am having a really hard time getting through this book. Brina and Zane are not vibing with me. He has been coming across as pushy and somewhat stalkery. She has been coming off as almost too independent for the era (did I just say that!!!). There is sexual chemistry and Brina’s backstory with mental illness is interesting. So, yes, I am disappointed. But I am holding out for the book to become good (is that a thing?).


What I plan on reading this week:

Because of my illness (which started on Thursday), I didn’t read anything last week. I also added a couple of books to the pile that needs to be read this week….sigh. I am hoping to at least get through 2 (and if I’m lucky 3), this week. So, here’s my list. I am doing these books in priority order.

A Private Heaven
Helicopter Adventure
Prison Survival
Family Struggle


A Private Heaven is an adventure-filled drama based on a true story. Like Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It, this is the story of two brothers as opposite as Cain and Abel.

When Dave, the impulsive, younger brother completes his tour of duty in Vietnam, he moves his young family to Newfoundland, where he embarks on a challenging, often dangerous career as a helicopter pilot. Dave’s older brother, a six-foot-four, muscle-bound convict, has Hollywood good looks, a charming smile, and a serious penchant for violence.

With the stunningly beautiful island of Newfoundland as one backdrop and the Oklahoma State Penitentiary as the other, A Private Heaven is brimming with helicopters, rescues, icebergs, poachers, a prison rodeo, and even a prime minister’s wife.

Dave quickly learns the harsh realities of bush flying and wonders what will explode first-his fragile marriage or his beat-up, antique helicopter.

This is outside of books that I usually read. But the author had emailed me with a review request and the blurb caught my attention. So, here’s to hoping that I like it!!

MacFarland's Lass (Scottish Lasses #1)
(Formerly published as Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan)

SCOTTISH LASSES

Meet the lasses in the world of Mary Queen of Scots…Like the Scottish thistle, they’re lovely yet tough, beautiful yet prickly, and only the strongest and wisest heroes are able to elude their thorns to discover the tender blossom within.


MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)

A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.

I have pushed this book off so many times that I am starting to feel bad about it. So, I have made a pledge to myself: I will read this book this week. Here’s to hoping that I can keep it…lol.

Exploited (The Dark Redemption #1)
WARNING: This book contains some dark, dirty and dangerous situations before ending in a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. The debauchery will continue in the second book in the series, Redeemed.

I’m going to hell, and my angel’s about to lose her wings.

For years I’ve left a path of death and destruction wherever I go. I promise myself that after one last job I’ll have the money I desperately need to quit taking lives. That’s how I find myself back in my hometown of Lexington.

So beautiful and innocent, I unknowingly end up saving the life of the one girl I was supposed to keep silent…the one girl I was supposed to end.


She’s my fallen angel sent from above.

I can’t resist staining her pure white wings with my darkness when I use her. Defile her. Deceive her.

The two of us were both ruined by our pasts when they intersected. Pasts that we’re still trying to escape with the hounds of hell on our heels.

Fate brought us together. Now, I’ll do anything to protect my angel from the demons that haunt her. I won’t stop until I slay the devil himself to keep her safe, the man who ruined both of our lives.

The only problem is, my silent angel is keeping secrets from me – the biggest of which is that I’m not the only one who wants to exploit her.

Again, another book that I keep putting off. I am hoping to get to it at some point this week.

The Last City of America
A virus stole fertility from many people long ago, ending society over several generations. The United States became the Seven Cities of America.

Chicago, cut off from the other cities, ruled in darkness, is home to the scientist who created the virus. Hateful of humanity, hateful of himself, the dying scientist passes his knowledge on to his apprentice, who he believes will use it to damn all life to everlasting misery.

The apprentice, Harold, his own past stained with unforgivable acts, does not share his master’s hatred. But he wants this knowledge, and would shamelessly kill innocents to get it. But to what end, he struggles to realize— all the while wondering if humanity, worthless as it seems, deserves compassion more than he deserves omniscience.


As Harold struggles with his future and his identity, Chicago’s ruler, the host, learns of the knowledge he has. Harold is has to flee his home.

The host, Grakus, is on a journey of his own— to prove that humanity should never have existed, to guide it to its destiny of self-destruction. He will not allow the apprentice to thwart his delicate plan to do so.

But the apprentice will not allow the host to steal his decision before he’s had the chance to make it.


The Last City of America is a character-driven epic touching every corner of America, exposing every level of its beauty. The individual emulates humanity, and humanity’s faults are written in the individual. The two walk with one another into the final decision. Cities fall one-by-one to man’s ignorance. The world is ending. This time forever. Two hands reach out to save it: good and evil.

This is the story of how we will be remembered.

This is that last book that I have put off for a couple of weeks. While I expect to start it this week, I do not think I will finish it. The book is 647 pages long. It is going to take me at least 2 days to get through (and I am a fast reader).

A Cowboy Kind of Love (Heart of Texas #6)
Who wants to rodeo again?

Jace Wilder has been rebuilding his life since the love of his life, Taryn, up and left town unexpectedly. But when she mysteriously returns, Jace’s dependable world comes crashing down. Taryn is hiding a dangerous secret, and no matter how hard he tries, Jace can’t stay away―especially when Taryn is at risk. And especially when the attraction he thought he’d buried long ago is back and hotter than ever. Will he be able to trust Taryn again?

Taryn Hillman’s world fell apart one horrifying night, and it’s never been the same since. When she sees a small chance at untangling herself, she takes it, though it means returning to Clearview – and seeing Jace again. But when he vows to protect her, will Taryn take a chance, and this time, never let him go?

I am a huge Donna Grant fan and when SMP contacted me to review this book, I jumped on it. Now, I might not get to this book this week but I will be reading it as it is an ARC.

The Show Girl: A Novel by [Nicola Harrison]
It’s 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more—even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along the way.

Then she meets Archie Carmichael. Handsome, wealthy—the only man she’s ever met who seems to accept her modern ways—her independent nature and passion for success. But once she accepts his proposal of marriage he starts to change his tune, and Olive must decide if she is willing to reveal a devastating secret and sacrifice the life she loves for the man she loves.

This was another review request from SMP that I almost likely will not get to this week. Saying that, I cannot wait to read it. It sounds fantastic!!

WWW Wednesday: February 3rd 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:

I skipped doing all bookish meme’s last week and Sunday of this week. I have a couple of reasons. The first one being: I was busy. I had appointments almost every single day last week and by the time I got home, I wasn’t in the mood for sitting at the computer and blogging. The second reason: A lot of the weekly memes were repeating themselves. I don’t know how many times I could answer what books/authors I want to read in 2021. So, I made the decision to skip them until February.

Miss R has to get braces on her top teeth. We had an orthodontist appointment yesterday and he had made the decision that she needs them. The oral surgeon removed too many teeth on top and they all shifted. Now, she doesn’t have enough room for her canines to come through. Add to that they are coming in sideways. I feel that I am going to get judged because she’s only 7. Sigh.

Mr. Z has an interesting project that he’s doing for social studies. To celebrate Black History Month, his school does a wax museum featuring prominent and famous African Americans. For this project, he has to dress up and deliver a speech about his chosen person. The person he chose was Thurgood Marshall. We got glasses (which Mr. Z wears anyway) and a fake mustache. On the list of what we need to get: a robe (Thurgood Marshall was a Supreme Court Justice), a collared white shirt and a tie.

Nothing to say about Miss B. She’s doing well in school (right now: A/B honor roll) and is generally loving life.

I finished His Dark Materials last week. I was NOT happy about how it ended and wanted to scream!!!! I also have made it to episode 5 of Bridgerton. The end of the episode was….memorable. If you’ve watched it, you know what I’m talking about….lmao. I’ve also started Titans on HBOMax. Talk about a darker take on the Teen Titans!!! I’m also thinking of restarting Raised by Wolves. BK and I watched episode 1 but never resumed the series.

Blog:

Like I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I started taking review requests again. I posted 1 review request last week (along with 1 review of a book that I had on my TBR). I have two upcoming reviews this week. It feels good to be back reviewing!!!

I still need to clean up my previous posts. I did start on my Tag/Categories section last weekend but got sidetracked by cleaning and family stuff. I plan on doing more at some point.

Reading:

I had a good reading week last week, for the most part. I finished 4 books last week.


I recently finished reading:

The Death of Vivek Oji
What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.

Reading The Death of Vivek Oji destroyed me. It destroyed me in a good way. I was in no way prepared for the range of emotions this book put me through. Now, saying that, there were some parts of the book the made me go “eh“. I’m not going to go into it now (wait for my review) but that did not affect how I viewed the book.


What I am currently reading:

How to Train Your Earl (First Comes Love, #3)
A roguish earl must fight using his honor and not his sword to win his lady’s hand in How To Train Your Earl, the third book in the First Comes Love trilogy from bestseller Amelia Grey.

Brina Feld has settled into a life devoted to helping others since the sinking of the Salty Dove left her widowed. She has no need for a man in her contented life. But when the notorious and handsome Lord Blacknight returns and awakens her desires, her peace and serenity vanish. If she agrees to an alliance with him, she knows she will have to battle her heart to keep from being snared under his spell.

Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, was never supposed to inherit the earldom, so he didn’t much care to lead a respectable life before then. Fistfights, card games, and drinking are the order of the day. Now he’s determined to change his rakish ways and he knows the proper lady who can help him. There’s just one problem: He’s already bet he’ll win her hand before the Season is over. With her resolve to out-scheme him, how can he show her that his love is true?

I just started reading How to Train Your Earl and I am loving it. The way Zane and Brina were introduced was funny (and a little scary) and I am a little irritated by how Zane’s family treated him (if you read the first few chapters, you know what I’m talking about). I am hoping to have this read by Friday and the review up on April 27th.


What books I think I’ll read next:

MacFarland's Lass (Scottish Lasses #1)
(Formerly published as Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan)

SCOTTISH LASSES

Meet the lasses in the world of Mary Queen of Scots…Like the Scottish thistle, they’re lovely yet tough, beautiful yet prickly, and only the strongest and wisest heroes are able to elude their thorns to discover the tender blossom within.

MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)

A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit
their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.
Exploited (The Dark Redemption #1)
WARNING: This book contains some dark, dirty and dangerous situations before ending in a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. The debauchery will continue in the second book in the series, Redeemed.

I’m going to hell, and my angel’s about to lose her wings.

For years I’ve left a path of death and destruction wherever I go. I promise myself that after one last job I’ll have the money I desperately need to quit taking lives. That’s how I find myself back in my hometown of Lexington.

So beautiful and innocent, I unknowingly end up saving the life of the one girl I was supposed to keep silent…the one girl I was supposed to end.

She’s my fallen angel sent from above.

I can’t resist staining her pure white wings with my darkness when I use her. Defile her. Deceive her.

The two of us were both ruined by our pasts when they intersected. Pasts that we’re still trying to escape with the hounds of hell on our heels.

Fate brought us together. Now, I’ll do anything to protect my angel from the demons that haunt her. I won’t stop until I slay the devil himself to keep her safe, the man who ruined both of our lives.

The only problem is, my silent angel is keeping secrets from me – the biggest of which is that I’m not the only one who wants to exploit her.
The Last City of America
A virus stole fertility from many people long ago, ending society over several generations. The United States became the Seven Cities of America.

Chicago, cut off from the other cities, ruled in darkness, is home to the scientist who created the virus. Hateful of humanity, hateful of himself, the dying scientist passes his knowledge on to his apprentice, who he believes will use it to damn all life to everlasting misery.

The apprentice, Harold, his own past stained with unforgivable acts, does not share his master’s hatred. But he wants this knowledge, and would shamelessly kill innocents to get it. But to what end, he struggles to realize— all the while wondering if humanity, worthless as it seems, deserves compassion more than he deserves omniscience.

As Harold struggles with his future and his identity, Chicago’s ruler, the host, learns of the knowledge he has. Harold is has to flee his home.

The host, Grakus, is on a journey of his own— to prove that humanity should never have existed, to guide it to its destiny of self-destruction. He will not allow the apprentice to thwart his delicate plan to do so.

But the apprentice will not allow the host to steal his decision before he
‘s had the chance to make it.

The Last City of America is a character-driven epic touching every corner of America, exposing every level of its beauty. The individual emulates humanity, and humanity’s faults are written in the individual. The two walk with one another into the final decision. Cities fall one-by-one to man’s ignorance. The world is ending. This time forever. Two hands reach out to save it: good and evil.

This is the story of how we will be remembered.
A Cowboy Kind of Love (Heart of Texas #6)
Who wants to rodeo again?

Jace Wilder has been rebuilding his life since the love of his life, Taryn, up and left town unexpectedly. But when she mysteriously returns, Jace’s dependable world comes crashing down. Taryn is hiding a dangerous secret, and no matter how hard he tries, Jace can’t stay away―especially when Taryn is at risk. And especially when the attraction he thought he’d buried long ago is back and hotter than ever. Will he be able to trust Taryn again?

Taryn Hillman’s world fell apart one horrifying night, and it’s never been the same since. When she sees a small chance at untangling herself, she takes it, though it means returning to Clearview – and seeing Jace again. But when he vows to protect her, will Taryn take a chance, and this time, never let him go?

I am hoping to read at least 3 of these books by the next WWW. I think I can do it (without late nights hopefully). I am also hoping to knock some books off my reading challenges (3 out of the 4 are on there).

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 here 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.


What I am Reading Now:

The Death of Vivek Oji
What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.

The Death of Vivek Oji had been sitting on my NetGalley shelf for months before I decided to download it. I had originally wished for it but then went on my hiatus shortly afterwards. During that time, my wish got granted (go figure, my wishes NEVER get granted from there….lol). So, this book breaks my self-imposed NetGalley ban and I am glad to be back. I should be posting the review next week!!

What I plan on reading this week:

How to Train Your Earl (First Comes Love, #3)
A roguish earl must fight using his honor and not his sword to win his lady’s hand in How To Train Your Earl, the third book in the First Comes Love trilogy from bestseller Amelia Grey.

Brina Feld has settled into a life devoted to helping others since the sinking of the Salty Dove left her widowed. She has no need for a man in her contented life. But when the notorious and handsome Lord Blacknight returns and awakens her desires, her peace and serenity vanish. If she agrees to an alliance with him, she knows she will have to battle her heart to keep from being snared under his spell.

Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, was never supposed to inherit the earldom, so he didn’t much care to lead a respectable life before then. Fistfights, card games, and drinking are the order of the day. Now he’s determined to change his rakish ways and he knows the proper lady who can help him. There’s just one problem: He’s already bet he’ll win her hand before the Season is over. With her resolve to out-scheme him, how can he show her that his love is true?

How to Train Your Earl was a publisher request that I decided to accept last week. This is my first ARC review since I went on break and I am excited about it!! I am a huge Regency/historical romance fan, so it was a no-brainer that I was going to accept this book. Since this is an ARC, my review will not be published right away. Look for it around April 27th!!

MacFarland's Lass (Scottish Lasses #1)
(Formerly published as Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan)

SCOTTISH LASSES

Meet the lasses in the world of Mary Queen of Scots…Like the Scottish thistle, they’re lovely yet tough, beautiful yet prickly, and only the strongest and wisest heroes are able to elude their thorns to discover the tender blossom within.


MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)

A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.

MacFarland’s Lass has been sitting on my TBR shelf on Goodreads since 2018. I was supposed to get to it a couple of weeks ago but got sidetracked by review requests/library books coming off hold.

Exploited (The Dark Redemption #1)
WARNING: This book contains some dark, dirty and dangerous situations before ending in a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. The debauchery will continue in the second book in the series, Redeemed.

I’m going to hell, and my angel’s about to lose her wings.

For years I’ve left a path of death and destruction wherever I go. I promise myself that after one last job I’ll have the money I desperately need to quit taking lives. That’s how I find myself back in my hometown of Lexington.

So beautiful and innocent, I unknowingly end up saving the life of the one girl I was supposed to keep silent…the one girl I was supposed to end.

She’s my fallen angel sent from above.


I can’t resist staining her pure white wings with my darkness when I use her. Defile her. Deceive her.

The two of us were both ruined by our pasts when they intersected. Pasts that we’re still trying to escape with the hounds of hell on our heels.

Fate brought us together. Now, I’ll do anything to protect my angel from the demons that haunt her. I won’t stop until I slay the devil himself to keep her safe, the man who ruined both of our lives.

The only problem is, my silent angel is keeping secrets from me – the biggest of which is that I’m not the only one who wants to exploit her.

Exploited is another book that has been sitting on my Goodreads TBR shelf since 2018. I got it in a mass purchase of free books with MacFarland’s Lass and The Last City of America.

The Last City of America
A virus stole fertility from many people long ago, ending society over several generations. The United States became the Seven Cities of America.

Chicago, cut off from the other cities, ruled in darkness, is home to the scientist who created the virus. Hateful of humanity, hateful of himself, the dying scientist passes his knowledge on to his apprentice, who he believes will use it to damn all life to everlasting misery.

The apprentice, Harold, his own past stained with unforgivable acts, does not share his master’s hatred. But he wants this knowledge, and would shamelessly kill innocents to get it. But to what end, he struggles to realize— all the while wondering if humanity, worthless as it seems, deserves compassion more than he deserves omniscience.

As Harold struggles with his future and his identity, Chicago’s ruler, the host, learns of the knowledge he has. Harold is has to flee his home.

The host, Grakus, is on a journey of his own— to prove that humanity should never have existed, to guide it to its destiny of self-destruction. He will not allow the apprentice to thwart his delicate plan to do so.

But the apprentice will not allow the host to steal his decision before he’s had the chance to make it.

The Last City of America is a character-driven epic touching every corner of America, exposing every level of its beauty. The individual emulates humanity, and humanity’s faults are written in the individual. The two walk with one another into the final decision. Cities fall one-by-one to man’s ignorance. The world is ending. This time forever. Two hands reach out to save it: good and evil.

This is the story of how we will be remembered.

The Last City of America is the last of my 2018 trio that are on this list. This is a HUGE book (647 pages) and I am hoping that I can at least start it by the weekend.


Have you read any of the books on my list? Let me know!!

WWW Wednesday: January 20th, 2020

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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:

Some of you might have noticed that I skipped last week for WWW. It wasn’t because I wanted to. No, I overbooked myself with appointments. I had 2 on Wednesday….sigh. By the time I got home, I was too tired and too grumpy to blog. Instead, I logged onto Sims 4 (after supper) and took my frustrations out there.

I have been watching His Dark Materials (based on the Golden Compass books) on HBO Max and Bridgerton (based on the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn)on Netflix. I am loving both of them!!!

Blog:

I started to go through my past posts and fix broken links. I think I got to about 20 of them before getting sidetracked. I plan on starting that back up shortly. I can’t stand it when I stop something and don’t complete it. It drives me absolutely NUTS!!

Over the weekend, I have made the decision to start accepting reviews again. That means I need to put up my contact info page again and redo my review policy and rating system pages. That is something that I have been putting off doing for a while and it is the push I need to start posting reviews again. I am going to cap my reviews at 6 a month (Thursdays and Fridays are going to be book review days). That way, I don’t feel rushed or pressured into accepting/writing reviews. It also means that I will have time to read books that I like.

Reading:

I am reading steadily. I did take a small break last week, on Wednesday (see above), but started reading again on Thursday. I had only one book come off hold. I added Alex, Approximately and that book looks like it should come off hold shortly (I am number 2 out of 6 people waiting for it).


I recently finished reading:

Fire and Sword (Sword and Sorcery, #1)
Condemned to hang for their crimes, they’ll march instead to perish as heroes, or live as free men.

A broken nation in need of a savior – ravaged by plague, decimated by dark magic, infiltrated by a foreign evil seeking to dominate from within. Three will rise to save the beleaguered land. But will they be enough?

Three men condemned to die: Aldous Weaver, a heretic monk turned sorcerer, imprisoned for accidentally incinerating the leader of his order. Kendrick the Cold, an infamous crusader turned fugitive, is a villain who knows he can never be a hero. Theron Ward, an aristocrat with a penchant for slaughtering monsters, and a legend in his own mind.

When the kingdom of Brynth is threatened by a far greater evil, the unlikely trio must make a choice — seek to escape this land that cries for their execution, or find the true heroes within themselves. And then, armed with fire and sword, march together against the forces of darkness. But can three such disparate warriors ever prevail?

I enjoyed reading Fire and Sword. It wasn’t your typical fantasy. All 3 main characters were very flawed. One was a teenaged monk who finds out he is a sorcerer. The next one is a soldier who gained an infamous reputation during a genocide but lives with mind numbing guilt every day. And the last main character is a man who is an aristocrat who slaughters monsters but who has a dark secret. The plotline was fast moving and the characters were engaging.


What I am currently reading:

Ghost Detective (Myron Vale Investigations, #1)
Everybody dies. Nobody leaves … Award-winning author Scott William Carter returns with his tenth novel, a spellbinding tale of a man who bridges both sides of the great divide.

After narrowly surviving a near-fatal shooting, Portland detective Myron Vale wakes with a bullet still lodged in his brain, a headache to end all headaches, and a terrible side effect that radically transforms his world for the worse: He sees ghosts. Lots of them.

By some estimates, a hundred billion people have lived and died before anyone alive today was even born. For Myron, they’re all still here. That’s not even his biggest problem. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t tell the living from the dead.

Despite this, Myron manages to piece together something of a life as a private investigator specializing in helping people on both sides of the great divide–until a stunning blonde beauty walks into his office needing help finding her husband. Myron wants no part of the case until he sees the man’s picture … and instantly his carefully reconstructed life begins to unravel.

I am about halfway through reading Ghost Detective and I am loving it. I have read a few mysteries that involve a person that can see ghosts but this one is the most original. My only issue is that the flashback scenes are not clearly marked. So, I have been getting confused when it goes back and forth. Other than that, loving it!!!


What books I think I’ll read next:

MacFarland's Lass (Scottish Lasses #1)
SCOTTISH LASSES

Meet the lasses in the world of Mary Queen of Scots…Like the Scottish thistle, they’re lovely yet tough, beautiful yet prickly, and only the strongest and wisest heroes are able to elude their thorns to discover the tender blossom within.

MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)


A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.
Once Removed (Blackhawk Security, #1)
When Lainey becomes trapped in a burning building with her almost-divorced husband’s body, Brody rescues her just in time. And when she realizes the killer is now after her, she takes refuge at Brody’s Montana ranch.

Lainey and Brody have been fighting their attraction for years. But as the barriers between them fall, Lainey rescues Phoebe, a runaway teen, from the compound where her husband died. Now they’re forced to focus on Phoebe and an invisible threat.

Whoever murdered her husband has eyes on Lainey. Will their fragile new family survive a desperate predator? Can they protect Phoebe, identify the killer and find their happily ever after?
Once Burned (Blackhawk Security, #2)
After a number of threatening incidents, Chef Julia Stewart seeks help from Blackhawk Security. They recommend bodyguard Nico Elliott. The Seattle chef is reluctant, but finally agrees. To stay close, Nico poses as a busser in her restaurant.

As the dangerous incidents escalate, Nico and Julia grow closer. Nico keeps Julia safe, but they need to figure out who’s trying to kill her. And why.

Amid rising threats, their attraction flares out of control. With everything at stake, Julia faces her tormenter. Will he kill her? Or will the truth destroy her first?
Alex, Approximately
Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.
Exploited (The Dark Redemption #1)
WARNING: This book contains some dark, dirty and dangerous situations before ending in a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. The debauchery will continue in the second book in the series, Redeemed.

I’m going to hell, and my angel’s about to lose her wings.

For years I’ve left a path of death and destruction wherever I go. I promise myself that after one last job I’ll have the money I desperately need to quit taking lives. That’s how I find myself back in my hometown of Lexington.

So beautiful and innocent, I unknowingly end up saving the life of the one girl I was supposed to keep silent…the one girl I was supposed to end.

She’s my fallen angel sent from above.

I can’t resist staining her pure white wings with my darkness when I use her. Defile her. Deceive her.

The two of us were both ruined by our pasts when they intersected. Pasts that we’re still trying to escape with the hounds of hell on our heels.

Fate brought us together. Now, I’ll do anything to protect my angel from the demons that haunt her. I won’t stop until I slay the devil himself to keep her safe, the man who ruined both of our lives.

The only problem is, my silent angel is keeping secrets from me – the biggest of which is that I’m not the only one who wants to exploit her.
The Last City of America
A virus stole fertility from many people long ago, ending society over several generations. The United States became the Seven Cities of America.

Chicago, cut off from the other cities, ruled in darkness, is home to the scientist who created the virus. Hateful of humanity, hateful of himself, the dying scientist passes his knowledge on to his apprentice, who he believes will use it to damn all life to everlasting misery.

The apprentice, Harold, his own past stained with unforgivable acts, does not share his master’s hatred. But he wants this knowledge, and would shamelessly kill innocents to get it. But to what end, he struggles to realize— all the while wondering if humanity, worthless as it seems, deserves compassion more than he deserves omniscience.

As Harold struggles with his future and his identity, Chicago’s ruler, the host, learns of the knowledge he has. Harold is has to flee his home.

The host, Grakus, is on a journey of his own— to prove that humanity should never have existed, to guide it to its destiny of self-destruction. He will not allow the apprentice to thwart his delicate plan to do so.

But the apprentice will not allow the host to steal his decision before he’s had the chance to make it.

The Last City of America is a character-driven epic touching every corner of America, exposing every level of its beauty. The individual emulates humanity, and humanity’s faults are written in the individual. The two walk with one another into the final decision. Cities fall one-by-one to man’s ignorance. The world is ending. This time forever. Two hands reach out to save it: good and evil.

This is the story of how we will be remembered

Going to be truthful here, I am thinking that I am going to read only 2-3 of these books. Maybe 4, if I really push it. I give myself 6 as a challenge to see if I can actually do it, read 6 books in a week. So far, I haven’t been able too. Maybe this will the week.

So, that’s it. My WWW for this week. Hope you enjoy and please leave yours in the comments below!!

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 here 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.


What I am Reading Now:

Fire and Sword (Sword and Sorcery, #1)
Three men condemned to die: Aldous Weaver, a lonely heretic monk turned sorcerer, is imprisoned for accidentally incinerating the leader of his order. Kendrick the Cold, an infamous crusader turned fugitive, is a villain who knows he can never be a hero. Theron Ward, an aristocrat with a penchant for slaughtering monsters, is a legend in his own mind.

A broken nation in need of a savior: Ravaged by plague, decimated by dark magic, Brynth is infiltrated by a foreign evil seeking to dominate from within.

An unlikely bond forged in the furnace of chaos: Three criminals become comrades when faced with the choice to escape the land that cries for their execution or, with fire and sword, march forth against the greater evil.
Ghost Detective (Myron Vale Investigations, #1)
Everybody dies. Nobody leaves … Award-winning author Scott William Carter returns with his tenth novel, a spellbinding tale of a man who bridges both sides of the great divide.

After narrowly surviving a near-fatal shooting, Portland detective Myron Vale wakes with a bullet still lodged in his brain, a headache to end all headaches, and a terrible side effect that radically transforms his world for the worse: He sees ghosts. Lots of them.

By some estimates, a hundred billion people have lived and died before anyone alive today was even born. For Myron, they’re all still here. That’s not even his biggest problem. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t tell the living from the dead.

Despite this, Myron manages to piece together something of a life as a private investigator specializing in helping people on both sides of the great divide–until a stunning blonde beauty walks into his office needing help finding her husband. Myron wants no part of the case until he sees the man’s picture … and instantly his carefully reconstructed life begins to unravel.
MacFarland's Lass (Scottish Lasses #1)
(Formerly published as Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan)

SCOTTISH LASSES

Meet the lasses in the world of Mary Queen of Scots…Like the Scottish thistle, they’re lovely yet tough, beautiful yet prickly, and only the strongest and wisest heroes are able to elude their thorns to discover the tender blossom within.

MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)


A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.

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 here 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.


What I am Reading Now:

The Sun Is Also a Star
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
The Last Descendant (Sanyare Chronicles, #1)
A woman torn between honor and survival…

Rie is only human. The high elves have made that very clear. Even training as an elite fighter isn’t enough to earn the respect she craves. Her only allies are the fierce carnivorous pixies who travel by her side, yet still she clings to the hope of one day earning her place in the Upper Realm.

When she’s attacked by assassins from the enemy Shadow Realm, Rie’s martial prowess keeps her alive…and frames her as a traitor. Facing execution at the hand of a merciless king, Rie must forsake her oaths and flee into enemy lands to prove her innocence. What she uncovers may threaten more than her honor or even her life…for war is looming in the nine faerie realms.

I am about 20-25% into Sanyare: The Last Descendant. I would have been finished with it by now (and moved onto the next book on my list) but I had two books come off hold from the library: Girls of Paper and Fire (which I LOVED and read in 1 day) and The Sun is Also a Star. As soon as I am done with The Sun is Also a Star, I will resume reading Sanyare: The Last Descendant.


What I Plan on Reading This Week:

I think I bit off more than I can chew when selecting all of these books….lol. I am going to try and knock at least 2, maybe 3, books off this list. Wish me luck. And please, let me know what you’re reading this week!!

Three Seconds to Rush (Piper Anderson Legacy Mystery, #1)
Tara Shiloh knows she’s not a drug addict. She’s positive she’s a good mother and hard worker. So why is she in an alley with a needle in her arm? Waking up in the hospital without her son is terrifying. Being told she can’t have him back nearly crushes her. With her memory spotty and the circumstances incriminating, Tara must fight to learn the truth and wrestle with the idea that maybe her son is better off without her.

Reid Holliston defends guilty people for a living and it’s slowly killing him. He’s certain there is no such thing as a truly blameless client anymore. When his phone rings with a voice from his childhood his jaded views make him certain Tara is just one more criminal claiming innocence. But even his skepticism isn’t enough to keep him away.

Best friends from a lifetime ago, the two must find a way to trust each other again in spite of how the years apart have changed them. Can a promise made in childhood be enough to save them both?
Killer for Hire (Killer Trilogy, #1)
Bruno:

I sacrificed everything for her. When I saved her from the mafia, I traded my freedom for hers. I’ve never regretted it. Never looked back. I cut her out of my life to keep her safe. She never even knew what I traded for her.

I did everything I could to protect her from the retribution of the Italian Mafia, but it wasn’t enough. They’re after her again, and all that’s standing between her and the darkest fate imaginable is me.


Serena:

It’s scary the things you can close your eyes to. Even after I was rescued from men who wanted to do the worst things to me, I went on with my life. I forgot all about the threats of the mafia, about what they forced me to do, and even the man who saved me from them.

But now, my hero has returned, and just in a nick of time. Because the mafia is coming for me, and this time, I don’t know if we’re going to get out of this alive.
Knocked Up By The Billionaire
Brady Shaw is the sole heir to a billion-dollar oil empire in Texas. However, he has no desire to take over the family business. He’s too busy pandering in women, booze, and all of life’s other temptations.

When his father shuts down the flow of money, Brady is presented with an ultimatum: marry and produce a grandchild within a year, or spend the remainder of his life like the rest of the world—poor as fuck.

Dana Sommer is a hard-working college student down on her luck. After losing her scholarship due to budget cuts, she now must find a way to, not only pay her tuitions, but also get her hands on $50,000 to settle her brother’s gambling debt, or she could lose the only family she has left.

To resolve her impasse, she answers a Craigslist ad with a very unusual offer that could solve all her problems—marry a rich, spoiled playboy for one year and bear his child. The reward? Half a million dollars.
Book of Shadows: Volume #1: Casting
What would you do if you found your late grandmother’s book of shadows – a witch’s spell book and journal – and learned that you’re a natural born witch? You’d try one of the spells, of course! And that’s exactly what 16-year-old Emma McGlinchey does. To her amazement, the candle lighting spell she picks actually works.

Naturally, Emma has to recruit best friends Lia and Shar into starting a coven.

Soon the girls cast a spell to make everyone like them at the religious high school they’re being forced to attend for the first time. Unfortunately, it fails to make an impression on a group of zealots who set about bullying Lia and Shar for being an openly lesbian couple.

Meanwhile, a love spell they cast for Emma gets the boy of her dreams to ask her out, but the school guidance counselor comes onto her, too. The girls attempt to deal with these problems using other spells, but will they be able to set things right before something catastrophic ensues?
Fire and Sword (Sword and Sorcery, #1)
Three men condemned to die: Aldous Weaver, a lonely heretic monk turned sorcerer, is imprisoned for accidentally incinerating the leader of his order. Kendrick the Cold, an infamous crusader turned fugitive, is a villain who knows he can never be a hero. Theron Ward, an aristocrat with a penchant for slaughtering monsters, is a legend in his own mind.

A broken nation in need of a savior: Ravaged by plague, decimated by dark magic, Brynth is infiltrated by a foreign evil seeking to dominate from within.

An unlikely bond forged in the furnace of chaos: Three criminals become comrades when faced with the choice to escape the land that cries for their execution or, with fire and sword, march forth against the greater evil.
Ghost Detective (Myron Vale Investigations, #1)
Everybody dies. Nobody leaves … Award-winning author Scott William Carter returns with his tenth novel, a spellbinding tale of a man who bridges both sides of the great divide.

After narrowly surviving a near-fatal shooting, Portland detective Myron Vale wakes with a bullet still lodged in his brain, a headache to end all headaches, and a terrible side effect that radically transforms his world for the worse: He sees ghosts. Lots of them.

By some estimates, a hundred billion people have lived and died before anyone alive today was even born. For Myron, they’re all still here. That’s not even his biggest problem. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t tell the living from the dead.

Despite this, Myron manages to piece together something of a life as a private investigator specializing in helping people on both sides of the great divide–until a stunning blonde beauty walks into his office needing help finding her husband. Myron wants no part of the case until he sees the man’s picture … and instantly his carefully reconstructed life begins to unravel.
MacFarland's Lass (Scottish Lasses #1)
MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)

A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.

WWW Wednesday: January 6th 2020

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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:

Christmas break is over and my kids are back in school, well virtually back in school. COVID is really bad here and I opted to keep Mr Z and Miss R home for the rest of the school year. Miss B is still on the 1 week on/1 week off schedule (this is her off week).

Miss R is trotting by herself and semi-jumping in horseback riding lessons. What I mean by semi-jumping is that the instructor lays a pole on the ground and has the horse walk over it while Miss R goes into point (how they sit while jumping).

Miss B got her braces off and her teeth look fantastic!! She does have to wear retainers (top and bottom) but only at night. She has also been eating gum like it is going out of style. Seeing that she had some sort of hardware in her mouth from the age of 10, we’re indulging her.

Mr Z got the Oculus for Christmas. He loves it and is getting a ton of exercise. My issue is that he doesn’t set his guardian boundaries and is walking into walls/doors.

Blog:

I started work on my blog (as per my New Year’s Resolution). I went through and deleted over 805 posts (Yikes!!). My next step is to go through my posts and fix links/pictures…etc. I started doing that a couple of years ago and stopped. Now that I deleted my “excess” posts, checking the links should be more manageable.

I am also going to update my pages, at some point. I have been toying with the idea of putting my contact info up again but I am still undecided about it.

Reading:

I have been reading steadily since Christmas. I realized that I have been mostly reading YA/NA, dystopia, and horror. The one exception was a book I read called Please Look After Mom (which I read for the Reading Writers of Color Challenge). That was contemporary fiction.

I have a bunch of books on hold at the library. Right now, I am waiting for The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski to become available. Other books on hold: The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christos, The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne, The Night Swim by Megan Goldin, and The Shadows by Alex North (there is a wait of at least 6 months for this book. I’ve had the request in since September 16!!).


I recently finished reading:

Portal Zero (Apocalypse Gate #1)
Where were you when the lights went out and the monsters came?

In the near future, a government experiment out of control opens gateways to other worlds and dimensions all over planet Earth, plunging everyday people into a nightmare of grim survival against the horrific and bizarre…

Portal Zero. The beginning of the end.

– In Colorado Springs, CO, young family-man Arthur can’t find his wife and young sons when all electronics and vehicles in the city are disabled. But the EMP is the least of his worries. When the city quickly turns to looting and anarchy, he sees much darker dangers in the shadows with glowing blue eyes…

– In Geneva, Switzerland, Chad is a naive cameraman working for a news network filming the opening of Portal Zero, mankind’s first experiment with ‘Dimension Drive’–an attempt at inter-space travel. Barely out of his internship, Chad is forced to survive the terrifying creatures that emerge from the gateway when everything goes wrong. When the slaughter in the deep-underground lab begins, how will he survive, trapped and isolated from the surface?

– Meanwhile, in Zion National Park, UT, Megan is a fit and self-made woman on vacation with her boyfriend when a mysterious thunderclap kills all of the electronics in the park. When a strange, golden obelisk appears in the middle of the park, a mysterious and unseen force begins transforming the tourists around her.

– Harvey is an alcoholic, disgraced police officer in Las Vegas, NV, recently imprisoned after failing at his spree of vigilante justice on the unpunished. But when the city’s power fails and the precinct over his cell is breached by an army of nightmares, it seems that Hell itself is invading the city of sin, and the Strip is burning.

– Kayleen is a young college student and art major at PSU in Portland, OR. She doesn’t really care about much more than Veganism and the boy she secretly has a crush on. But when a weird, alien environment follows an EMP-induced city-wide blackout one night while she’s at an off-campus party, what will Kayleen find out about her values when everyone’s focus turns to survival?

– Tommy and Jody are two young children in Flagstaff, AZ, living with their mom and dad and enjoying a stable childhood, when a town-wide power outage becomes a call for concern when it’s not fixed by the next morning. When the family hears the police fighting against invading monsters in the business district nearby, and they are all forced to evacuate their home because of a spreading wildfire, the children have no idea that their lives are about to change forever…

In a year much sooner than you think, while scientists and politicians argue about global warming and lack of resources, the United Nations has reorganized itself into the UEA, the first serious attempt at a world government. “Dimension Drive” is being developed for wormhole-based space travel in Europe by the UEA to expand human civilization into the stars. But the UEA development team responsible for Dim Drive has no idea that they’re about to lose control of the portal they’re trying to harness because of a massive, unforeseen EMP, ushering in the end of the world as we know it.

In America, one of the last superpowers holding out against joining the United Earth Alliance, several individuals across the country are going about their lives, unaware that UEA scientists are quietly conducting the first real test of their new Dimension Drive technology that will change everything…

Do you love guns, tactical realism, and monsters? Are you a fan of cosmic horror and dark fantasy / sci-fi? Love the Mist and Cabin in the Woods? Lovecraft? Doom? Stranger Things? EMP and Prepper Survival? This story is full of terror, suspense, and bad language. If you can dig it, strap in for a ride to Hell!

I liked Portal Zero but at the same time I didn’t like it (if that makes sense). The book was well written and the horror/suspense was there. The characters were well written and fleshed out. But, there were things that drove me nuts about the book. There were random words italicized. There was no reason behind it either. My other complaint is that each chapter ended on a cliffhanger. I HATE it when a book ends like that. So imagine how I felt when the chapters ended like that. I do want to read the other books in the series so I will suffer through what I don’t like.


What I am currently reading:

The Last Descendant (Sanyare Chronicles, #1)
A woman torn between honor and survival…

Rie is only human. The high elves have made that very clear. Even training as an elite fighter isn’t enough to earn the respect she craves. Her only allies are the fierce carnivorous pixies who travel by her side, yet still she clings to the hope of one day earning her place in the Upper Realm.

When she’s attacked by assassins from the enemy Shadow Realm, Rie’s martial prowess keeps her alive…and frames her as a traitor. Facing execution at the hand of a merciless king, Rie must forsake her oaths and flee into enemy lands to prove her innocence. What she uncovers may threaten more than her honor or even her life…for war is looming in the nine faerie realms.

I am so excited to be reading this book. I have had it in my TBR pile since November of 2018!! Took me 2 years to get to it. I am only a chapter into the book, but so far I am liking it. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the book is!!


What books I think I’ll read next:

Three Seconds to Rush (Piper Anderson Legacy Mystery, #1)
Tara Shiloh knows she’s not a drug addict. She’s positive she’s a good mother and hard worker. So why is she in an alley with a needle in her arm? Waking up in the hospital without her son is terrifying. Being told she can’t have him back nearly crushes her. With her memory spotty and the circumstances incriminating, Tara must fight to learn the truth and wrestle with the idea that maybe her son is better off without her.

Reid Holliston defends guilty people for a living and it’s slowly killing him. He’s certain there is no such thing as a truly blameless client anymore. When his phone rings with a voice from his childhood his jaded views make him certain Tara is just one more criminal claiming innocence. But even his skepticism isn’t enough to keep him away.

Best friends from a lifetime ago, the two must find a way to trust each other again in spite of how the years apart have changed them. Can a promise made in childhood be enough to save them both?
Killer for Hire (Killer Trilogy, #1)
Bruno:

I sacrificed everything for her. When I saved her from the mafia, I traded my freedom for hers. I’ve never regretted it. Never looked back. I cut her out of my life to keep her safe. She never even knew what I traded for her.

I did everything I could to protect her from the retribution of the Italian Mafia, but it wasn’t enough. They’re after her again, and all that’s standing between her and the darkest fate imaginable is me.

Serena:

It’s scary the things you can close your eyes to. Even after I was rescued from men who wanted to do the worst things to me, I went on with my life. I forgot all about the threats of the mafia, about what they forced me to do, and even the man who saved me from them.

But now, my hero has returned, and just in a nick of time. Because the mafia is coming for me, and this time, I don’t know if we’re going to get out of this alive.
Knocked Up By The Billionaire
Brady Shaw is the sole heir to a billion-dollar oil empire in Texas. However, he has no desire to take over the family business. He’s too busy pandering in women, booze, and all of life’s other temptations.

When his father shuts down the flow of money, Brady is presented with an ultimatum: marry and produce a grandchild within a year, or spend the remainder of his life like the rest of the world—poor as fuck.

Dana Sommer is a hard-working college student down on her luck. After losing her scholarship due to budget cuts, she now must find a way to, not only pay her tuitions, but also get her hands on $50,000 to settle her brother’s gambling debt, or she could lose the only family she has left.

To resolve her impasse, she answers a Craigslist ad with a very unusual offer that could solve all her problems—marry a rich, spoiled playboy for one year and bear his child. The reward? Half a million dollars.
Book of Shadows: Volume #1: Casting
What would you do if you found your late grandmother’s book of shadows – a witch’s spell book and journal – and learned that you’re a natural born witch? You’d try one of the spells, of course! And that’s exactly what 16-year-old Emma McGlinchey does. To her amazement, the candle lighting spell she picks actually works.

Naturally, Emma has to recruit best friends Lia and Shar into starting a coven.

Soon the girls cast a spell to make everyone like them at the religious high school they’re being forced to attend for the first time. Unfortunately, it fails to make an impression on a group of zealots who set about bullying Lia and Shar for being an openly lesbian couple.

Meanwhile, a love spell they cast for Emma gets the boy of her dreams to ask her out, but the school guidance counselor comes onto her, too. The girls attempt to deal with these problems using other spells, but will they be able to set things right before something catastrophic ensues?
Fire and Sword (Sword and Sorcery, #1)
Three men condemned to die: Aldous Weaver, a lonely heretic monk turned sorcerer, is imprisoned for accidentally incinerating the leader of his order. Kendrick the Cold, an infamous crusader turned fugitive, is a villain who knows he can never be a hero. Theron Ward, an aristocrat with a penchant for slaughtering monsters, is a legend in his own mind.

A broken nation in need of a savior: Ravaged by plague, decimated by dark magic, Brynth is infiltrated by a foreign evil seeking to dominate from within.

An unlikely bond forged in the furnace of chaos: Three criminals become comrades when faced with the choice to escape the land that cries for their execution or, with fire and sword, march forth against the greater evil.
Ghost Detective (Myron Vale Investigations, #1)
Everybody dies. Nobody leaves … Award-winning author Scott William Carter returns with his tenth novel, a spellbinding tale of a man who bridges both sides of the great divide.

After narrowly surviving a near-fatal shooting, Portland detective Myron Vale wakes with a bullet still lodged in his brain, a headache to end all headaches, and a terrible side effect that radically transforms his world for the worse: He sees ghosts. Lots of them.

By some estimates, a hundred billion people have lived and died before anyone alive today was even born. For Myron, they’re all still here. That’s not even his biggest problem. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t tell the living from the dead.

Despite this, Myron manages to piece together something of a life as a private investigator specializing in helping people on both sides of the great divide–until a stunning blonde beauty walks into his office needing help finding her husband. Myron wants no part of the case until he sees the man’s picture … and instantly his carefully reconstructed life begins to unravel.
MacFarland's Lass (Scottish Lasses #1)
(Formerly published as Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan)

SCOTTISH LASSES

Meet the lasses in the world of Mary Queen of Scots…Like the Scottish thistle, they’re lovely yet tough, beautiful yet prickly, and only the strongest and wisest heroes are able to elude their thorns to discover the tender blossom within.


MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)


A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.

All of these books have been on my TBR since 2018 and have survived numerous TBR purges. I plan to read at least 2, maybe 3, in the week ahead…unless my books come off hold from the library.