WWW Wednesday: January 25th, 2023

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal:

I hope you all had a wonderful week last week.

I haven’t had the best week. There is too much to put here. The Reader’s Digest version of everything is that people suck and need to learn patience. Oh, and not to talk to me like I’m an idiot. While I might be laid back and quiet, it doesn’t mean that I put up with that. And that person got an earful yesterday…sigh.

I was so stressed and upset yesterday that I didn’t write the review for a Guide to Being Just Friends or write this post and schedule it. But it’s in the past, and things can only get better (and they have….karma came for that person I mentioned above).

Shows I Watched: Game of Thrones (we’re on Season 7) and The Last of Us.

What I Cooked/Baked: Miss R and I have been cooking together. This week, we made a kid-friendly Greek Lemon Chicken-Orzo Soup. Miss R enjoyed making this. I had her cut the lemons, squeeze the juice out of them (which she didn’t like), whisk all the ingredients together, crack one of the eggs, and add the orzo. BK had pre-shredded the chicken, and I separated two yolks from the eggs. It was OK. The kids said it was too lemony. I will not be keeping this recipe. Next week, we’re making pizza lollipops, cheesy pizza hot dogs (Miss B will be eating something else, she hates hot dogs), and grilled pizza roll-ups.

Reading:

I got a lot of reading done from Wednesday to last night. Being stressed out and not being able to sleep made me read. This contrasts with last week, when I couldn’t read because of what happened to Snickers.

The longest book I read this week: I didn’t get hung up or have long books this week. Everything was either short, a manga, or a novella.

The shortest book I read this week: The three I read last night. They’ll be mentioned below.

Other Interesting Bookish News: I am reordering my Goodreads Shelves again. I decided I had too many NetGalley shelves, so I removed the shelf that held the books I put under Will Not Give Feedback. Those books went back into my Want To Read shelf. I added a new shelf called Series and have started going through the remaining shelves (Read, Want to Read, Downloaded to Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, Indie Authors, NetGalley, and The StoryGraph Reading Challenges). Any book that is a prologue or book 1 (and is not free)goes onto the Want to Read shelf. The book is part of a series; I go through and add the series (making sure they are on Amazon. If not, I remove them.). If there are free books on any of those shelves from Amazon, I download them, and they go on the Downloaded to Kindle shelf. The other books stay either on Want to Read or, if they are on KU, go on that shelf. It doesn’t sound very clear, but it makes sense to me.

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

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


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Bought from KU/Read for The StoryGraph’s Genre Challenge

From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.

Bought for free from Amazon/Read for Beat the Backlist 2023

Hunted, shot, and without her memory, eighteen-year-old Ann Baker wakes in shallow water on a deserted Pacific Northwest island. She is soon approached by two young men claiming to be her friends. Something isn’t right, but when gunshots sound, Ann is left with little choice but to allow Devon and Archer to help her escape. Soon she finds herself in their North Bend mountain compound, where the higher evolved humans claim to be mind-readers. While Ann heals, she realizes they believe her to be one of the last and most powerful of all – The Lost One.

She’s welcomed by most with opened arms, but not everyone is happy about her arrival. A jealous adversary has plans for Ann, which spirals the entire Reader community into chaos.

As lies, murder, and betrayal threaten to rip apart the once harmonious mountain dwellers, Ann is thrust into making a decision that could save or devastate not only The Readers, but all of mankind. But there’s just one glitch: by doing so it may require her to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Won in a Goodreads Giveaway/Read for pleasure

She wants a favor. He has ONE condition.

The honeymoon is over…

When Veronica said “I do” to Sebastian Sinclair, Duke of Edgefield, she thought all her dreams had come true. He was dashing and doting, and she absolutely adored him—until he betrayed her trust, shattering their marriage, and her heart, into a million tiny bits. She hasn’t seen her husband in the two years since, and she’d just as soon make it twenty. But when she learns that her beloved grandfather’s dying wish is for her and Sebastian to attend the family’s Christmastide celebration, she swallows her pride and asks him a favor: to pretend they’re the happy couple they once were.

But the passion still simmers.

Sebastian is shocked to find his lovely duchess on his doorstep, but he’s ready and willing to play the part of a devoted husband for the Christmas season…if Veronica will grant him a favor in return. All he asks is that she share his bed every night. All night. And maybe even give him the heir he needs.

Could their love be the real deal?

Veronica must be mad to agree—especially since Sebastian seems intent on using every weapon in his arsenal to charm and seduce her. She knows it’s just pretend and yet, she can’t help but wonder if the falling snow and Christmas cheer will work a little magic. Maybe she and Sebastian will end up with more than either of them bargained for…


What I am currently reading:

ARC from NetGalley/Review is set for 2-2

Cheerfully irreverent, bitingly funny, and filled with romantic charm, The Second You’re Single is all about navigating the most romantic month of the year, and how love always seems to arrive when you least expect it.

Freelance writer Sora Reid believes in inertia. She’s the odd one out in a close-knit family of go-getters, including her Japanese-American mom, who hints about her need to lose weight, and her soon-to-be married, overachieving younger sister, who needs her to have a date for the wedding, since a wedding party couples’ dance with their Scottish great uncle Bob simply won’t do. For Sora, minimal input, minimal expectations is the way to go. She’d rather stay at home with her insufferable neighbor and her adorable pitbull.

The one thing that disrupts her inertia: an intense dislike for Valentine’s Day. What is it with the commercial love machine? Why do we pin our hopes on one romantic day, when staying home with a package of bacon and a bottle of tequila would be way better? Sora’s been betrayed and disappointed more than once and her heart is starting to feel like her Grandma Mitsuye’s antique Japanese ceramic bowl, with its many gold-filled cracks.

When her pledge to stay single in February inspires readers to #gosolo, Sora has a responsibility to empower her readers. But relationships aren’t built to last, so it shouldn’t be that hard. Right?

Enter Jack Mann. A muscle-bound baker who looks like he lifts logs on the weekends, Sora hasn’t thought of Jack since they were in elementary school together. When they see each other at the local grocery store and the attraction hits hard, Sora knows she has to shut it down, quick. She can’t #gosolo AND get the guy. She can’t let down her readers. And relationships always end, so why should Jack be any different–even though he’s confounding all her long-held expectations of love?


What books I think I’ll read next:

From author/review is set for 2-3

Bree Gordon looks nothing like a bodyguard. But the short, slender woman knows how to keep her principal safe. And one of her most potent weapons is her appearance. People see her and dismiss her. Their mistake.

Jameson Ford is a technical whiz who’s working on a program that’ll be a game changer. The military wants it. So does the CIA, along with some unsavory players. Someone close to him wants it, as well – one of the engineers in his lab.

When he reluctantly hires a bodyguard, he’s shocked when Bree shows up. But it doesn’t take long for him to appreciate her abilities. Will the attraction flaring between them be their salvation? Or will it be their downfall?

ARC from NetGalley/Review is set for 2-3

A young Black girl goes missing in the woods outside her white Rust Belt town. But she’s not the first—and she may not be the last. . . .

It’s watching.

Liz Rocher is coming home . . . reluctantly. As a Black woman, Liz doesn’t exactly have fond memories of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a predominantly white town. But her best friend is getting married, so she braces herself for a weekend of awkward and passive-aggressive reunions. Liz has grown, though; she can handle whatever awaits her. But on the day of the wedding, somewhere between dancing and dessert, the bride’s daughter, Caroline, goes missing—and the only thing left behind is a piece of white fabric covered in blood.

It’s taking.

As a frantic search begins, with the police combing the trees for Caroline, Liz is the only one who notices a pattern: a summer night. A missing girl. A party in the woods. She’s seen this before. Keisha Woodson, the only other Black girl in school, walked into the woods with a mysterious man and was later found with her chest cavity ripped open and her heart missing. Liz shudders at the thought that it could have been her, and now, with Caroline missing, it can’t be a coincidence. As Liz starts to dig through the town’s history, she uncovers a horrifying secret about the place she once called home. Children have been going missing in these woods for years. All of them Black. All of them girls.

It’s your turn.

With the evil in the forest creeping closer, Liz knows what she must do: find Caroline, or be entirely consumed by the darkness.

Bought for free from Amazon/Reading for 2023 Monthly Themes (Fantastical February)

What seventeen-year-old Leland finds in the abandoned basement of his house is something he will never forget.

Leland lost his father when he was seven. Since then, he has successfully adapted to the awful life of being a student, the man of the house, and a father figure to his two younger siblings. All of that changes when he and his best friends stumble upon a secret in his deserted basement, and fall into another dimension with three moons, foggy woods, and an ancient castle-Oremanta.

Learning who he really is, how he came to this remote planet, and the shocking, ugly mystery of Oremanta aren’t as bad as the quest he finds himself obligated to complete-killing someone he never thought he’d meet in Oremanta to save everyone.

Bought for free from Amazon/Reading for Cover Scavenger Hunt (a door)

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

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

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

Goodreads Monday: Sign of Portents (Greystone: Book 1) by Lou Paduano

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


Portents is a city like no other—and one that Detective Greg Loren can’t wait to escape. Since his wife’s death years earlier, Loren has looked forward to the moment he can leave the city of Portents for good—and never look back.

But fate has another plan for Loren. Called back to duty, Loren finds himself embroiled in a series of murders that has shaken the city. Together with Soriya Greystone, a young woman with unearthly powers, Loren must work quickly to find the otherworldly being that is killing citizens of Portents one at a time. Loren is tasked with deciphering the mysterious signs left at each of the crime scenes…even if it means traveling to worlds not his own to do so.

Fast-paced and thrilling, Lou Paduano’s debut novel Signs of Portents will leave you on the edge of your seat and turning page after page.

WWW Wednesday: January 18th, 2023

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal:

I hope you all had a wonderful week last week.

Mine was alright, super rainy, but alright until Saturday. What happened Saturday? Well, for one, BK was away on business but was coming home that morning. Second, I ended up in a veterinary ER for almost 4 hours. Settle in, and let me tell you what happened.

I was in the kitchen with my girls and 3 out of the 5 cats. Miss R decided she wanted to make sunny-side-up eggs with toast for breakfast, Miss B was going to make scrambled, and I was supervising Miss R. Vinnie, Tony, and Jesper were sitting on our chest freezer watching the girls crack eggs (I think they thought they would get some??). Meanwhile, Loki and Snickers were going between the living room, Miss R’s bedroom, and the dining room.

I heard a commotion, though nothing of it because Snickers and Loki have a love/hate relationship, and figured she was chasing him again. Then Miss B noticed the blood on the floor. We checked our feet (to ensure no one was cut), wiped up the blood, and then checked Vinnie, Tony, and Jesper. I hunted down Loki while Miss R walked toward Snickers, who was lying in her room. Miss R screamed, and I came running. Snickers’s left eye was full of blood. So, I called my regular vet (who wasn’t in), grabbed the big cat carrier, and took her to the emergency vet. Thankfully, that was only 5 mins away. To make a long story short, after 4 hours, the vet saw her and told us that the tear duct and a spot on her lower eyelid got lacerated. She didn’t need stitches, but I have to give her a medicated eye ointment every 8 hours. I’m also taking her to her regular vet on Friday to see if any other damage was done. I am beyond thankful that this emergency vet opened up during Covid. Because I have a feeling her eye would have gotten infected if we had to wait until Monday.

So that was the extent of my exciting weekend/week. I was so stressed out on Saturday that it ruined the rest of the day. And ever try giving a cat eye meds? Thankfully, she’s good about letting me do it, but I have gotten scratched.

Reading:

I got a lot of reading down until Saturday. Then that happened, and I couldn’t bring myself to read. I was too upset to concentrate. So, it set me back a little but not much. I picked up my Kindle on Monday, finished reading one book, and started another (see below).

The longest book I read this week: Hello, Stranger. I started reading it on Friday and expected to finish it on Saturday. Then…..well, Snickersapocolypse happened. It took me three days to finish.

The shortest book I read this week: The Things We Do To Our Friends. I finished it within a day of starting.

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

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


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Sadie Montogmery has had good breaks and bad breaks in her life, but as a struggling artist, all she needs is one lucky break. Things seem to be going her way when she lands one of the coveted finalist spots in a portrait competition. It happens to coincide with a surgery she needs to have. Minor, they say. Less than a week in the hospital they say. Nothing about you will change, they say. Upon recovery, it begins to dawn on Sadie that she can see everything around her, but she can no longer see faces.

Temporary, they say. Lots of people deal with this, they say. As she struggles to cope―and hang onto her artistic dreams―she finds solace in her fourteen-year-old dog, Peanut. Thankfully, she can still see animal faces. When Peanut gets sick, she rushes him to the emergency vet nearby. That’s when she meets veterinarian Dr. Addison. And she’s pleasantly surprised when he asks her on a date. But she doesn’t want anyone to know about her face blindness. Least of all Joe, her obnoxious neighbor who always wears a bowling jacket and seems to know everyone in the building. He’s always there at the most embarrassing but convenient times, and soon, they develop a sort of friendship. But could it be something more?

As Sadie tries to save her career, confront her haunting past, and handle falling in love with two different guys she realizes that happiness can be found in the places―and people― you least expect.


What I am currently reading:

Vikram Seth’s novel is, at its core, a love story: Lata and her mother, Mrs. Rupa Mehra, are both trying to find—through love or through exacting maternal appraisal—a suitable boy for Lata to marry. Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, A Suitable Boy takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves. A sweeping panoramic portrait of a complex, multiethnic society in flux, A Suitable Boy remains the story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation, the most delicate social etiquette and the most appalling violence.


What books I think I’ll read next:

Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans —though no one calls them that anymore.

His wife has left him, his father is sinking into dementia, and Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Then governments initiated the “Transition.” Now, eating human meat—“special meat”—is legal. Marcos tries to stick to numbers, consignments, processing.

Then one day he’s given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. Though he’s aware that any form of personal contact is forbidden on pain of death, little by little he starts to treat her like a human being. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost—and what might still be saved.

A Body Washes Ashore is the heart-racing sequel to The Killings Begin and Death in a Dark Alley that you’ve been waiting for. Bradley Pay’s signature blend of contemporary romance and psychological suspense will sweep you off your feet and into the thick of mortal danger. Tour Europe with Tracey’s new friend, Remy Martin, as she risks everything for the rush of true love.

Tracey’s new group of friends seems perfect. For as long as he could remember, he felt like an outsider, struggling to make connections, and living as an unknown serial killer certainly didn’t help. Now he and his new wife have discovered a circle of friends that begins to fill his need for close relationships. He’s one step closer to living a “normal” life despite the persistent cold-case investigators who refuse to ignore his murderous past in the US.

Remy Martin, a renowned professor of art history and one of Tracey’s new friends, also bears scars on her damaged heart. She has vowed to only sleep with married men to protect herself from heartbreak. However, the stakes rise when she breaks her biggest rule and takes things too far. But how can she resist? She never meant to fall in love or hurt anyone. Just like Tracey, though, she can’t erase her past. She must deal with the consequences of her affair, whatever the cost.

Don’t miss this landmark installation in the Spectrum Series saga, complete with the complex characters you love and a new romance you’ll never forget.

With the 80’s nostalgia of Stranger Things, this horror drama from NYT bestselling author Christopher Golden follows neighborhood families and a mysterious, lurking evil on one Halloween day.

It’s Halloween night, 1984, in Coventry, Massachusetts, and two families are unraveling. Up and down the street, horrifying secrets are being revealed, and all the while, mixed in with the trick-or-treaters of all ages, four children who do not belong are walking door to door, merging with the kids of Parmenter Road. Children in vintage costumes with faded, eerie makeup. They seem terrified, and beg the neighborhood kids to hide them away, to keep them safe from The Cunning Man. There’s a small clearing in the woods now that was never there before, and a blackthorn tree that doesn’t belong at all. These odd children claim that The Cunning Man is coming for them…and they want the local kids to protect them. But with families falling apart and the neighborhood splintered by bitterness, who will save the children of Parmenter Road?

New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning author Christopher Golden is best known for his supernatural thrillers set in deadly, distant locales…but in this suburban Halloween drama, Golden brings the horror home.

All Hallows. The one night when everything is a mask…

A playful and emotional romantic comedy from the author of Ten Rules for Faking It

Hailey Sharp has a one-track mind. Get By the Cup salad shop off the ground. Do literally everything possible to make it a success. Repeat. With a head full of entrepreneurial ideas and a bad ex in her rearview, her one and only focus is living life the way she wants to. No distractions.

Wes Jansen never did understand the fuss about relationships. With a string of lackluster first dates and the pain from his parents’ angry divorce following him around, he’d much rather find someone who he likes, but won’t love. Companionship, not passion, is the name of the game.

When Hailey and Wes find each other in a disastrous meet cute that wasn’t even intended for them, they embarrassingly go their separate ways. But when Wes finds Hailey to apologize for his behavior, they strike a friendship. Because that’s all this can be. Hailey doesn’t want any distractions. Wes doesn’t want to fall in love.

What could possibly go wrong? 

Goodreads Monday: Welcome to Sortilege Falls (Grape Merriweather: Book 1) by Libby Heily

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


Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn’t right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape’s life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.

Grape’s life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. Mandy’s friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models’ parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.

Book Blogger Hop—January 13th, 2023

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, it was relaunched on February 15, 2013, by Billy @ the Ramblings of a coffee addict. . Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book-related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.


This week’s prompt: Are there any new books you’re excited to read in 2023? 

Today’s prompt got me thinking about what book I am looking forward to reading in 2023. There was a lot since I love to read and look forward to every book on my shelf. After some time thinking (and staring off into space; it is part of my blogging process), I picked one book. I decided on one because I didn’t want this post to drag on forever. Short and sweet is a motto that I try to live by (just not with blogging).

And here it is!! Let me know if you have read this book and what you thought of it.


Founded by the mysterious genius known as the Designer, the archipelago of Prospera lies hidden from the horrors of a deteriorating outside world. In this island paradise, Prospera’s lucky citizens enjoy long, fulfilling lives until the monitors embedded in their forearms, meant to measure their physical health and psychological well-being, fall below 10 percent. Then they retire themselves, embarking on a ferry ride to the island known as the Nursery, where their failing bodies are renewed, their memories are wiped clean, and they are readied to restart life afresh.

Proctor Bennett, of the Department of Social Contracts, has a satisfying career as a ferryman, gently shepherding people through the retirement process–and, when necessary, enforcing it. But all is not well with Proctor. For one thing, he’s been dreaming–which is supposed to be impossible in Prospera. For another, his monitor percentage has begun to drop alarmingly fast. And then comes the day he is summoned to retire his own father, who gives him a disturbing and cryptic message before being wrestled onto the ferry.

Meanwhile, something is stirring. The Support Staff, ordinary men and women who provide the labor to keep Prospera running, have begun to question their place in the social order. Unrest is building, and there are rumors spreading of a resistance group–known as “Arrivalists”–who may be fomenting revolution.

Soon Proctor finds himself questioning everything he once believed, entangled with a much bigger cause than he realized–and on a desperate mission to uncover the truth.


I was super excited when the publisher granted my wish for this book. I had seen some reviews on it and what I had read was good. Then I read the blurb and I needed to read this book.

WWW Wednesday: January 11th, 2023

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal:

I hope you all had a wonderful week last week. Mine went ok. I started getting to the school at 2:30, and you know what? My anxiety dropped a ton. Plus, I was getting home by 3:30 instead of getting out of the parking lot at 3:30. Now, don’t get me talking about the parents who decided to walk in front of my car when I went around the side of the school.

Miss R had horseback riding last week (as she does every week). The lesson was fine, but when it came time to put the horse out to pasture, it was a cluster. The entrance to the mare’s pasture was muddy. I didn’t know that, and I almost lost one of my shoes….haha. Miss R went into the pasture to let the horse out (she needed to take off the halter) and sank to her knees. We were a sight. Thankfully, the mud washed off, and Miss R got a big laugh about it.

I have some sad news on Miss B’s front. She got kicked out of the dual college/high school program because she didn’t have a 2.0 average. Per her, she got overwhelmed and burnt out. I was a little ticked off by how they told her. When, you ask? She got an email sent to her early morning on January 5th, and her classes were changed before 8:30 am. When I talked to the guidance counselor (damn skippy, I did, Miss B was hysterical), she was just as pissed as I was. She told me that Miss B wasn’t even on the list of names sent over on January 4th, and the change was made after school hours. But there is a silver lining. She’s enjoying the classes she’s in now (personal finance, math 3, honor English 11, and creative writing) and is looking forward to raising her GPA and being less stressed.

We ended up moving Mr. Z and Miss B’s bedrooms on Sunday. We decided to move the bedrooms because Mr. Z was keeping Miss R up while talking to his D&D buddies online. Plus, she didn’t like his door closed and walked into a couple of embarrassing situations. This new setup is working out fine. Plus, our cats are loving it. Snickers now have free roam of Miss B’s room (including the bed), and they all go in there to lie in the afternoon sun. So a win-win.

Reading:

So, remember when I said I would catch up on reviews this weekend? Well, it didn’t happen. I got busy. Now, I am playing catch-up with reviews….sigh. Right now, I am behind by five reviews. To catch up, I will be writing reviews in the afternoon/at night until I am caught up. That is tricky because my kids have a sixth sense of when I am doing something, so keep your fingers crossed.

The longest book I read this week: Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries. This book started off so slow and didn’t get going until (and this is a guess) about 60-75% into the book. Once it picked up speed, I could read it rather quickly. But it took me three days to get through the first 60% of the book.

The shortest book I read this week: The Rom-Com Agenda. I finished it within a day.

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

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


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Evil isn’t always learned…sometimes it’s IN OUR BLOOD.

Nearly thirty years ago, Detective Jake Hawksworth and best-selling author Drew McCauley were brought together by a horrific crime. Jake, still reeling from the unsolved hit-and-run death of his wife, and Drew will be reunited once again when a crime from Drew’s novel-in-the-making becomes a devastating reality. Is the kidnapping of Drew’s son somehow linked to the murder Jake is investigating? Was Jake’s wife’s death really an accident? And could the person who has haunted both men for decades be responsible for these seemingly unrelated events? As Jake races to protect Drew’s family, they find themselves on a collision course with fate – derailed by a series of breakneck twists and turns that culminates at an isolated, snow-ravaged house. It is here that long-buried secrets are unearthed and Jake realizes, to his horror, that his hunches are not always right. That the keys to solving his wife’s death and a heinous, decades-old crime have been under his nose all along.


What I am currently reading:

What would you change if you could go back in time?

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .

Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s beautiful, moving story explores the age-old question: what would you change if you could travel back in time? More importantly, who would you want to meet, maybe for one last time?


What books I think I’ll read next:

Armed with only hazy memories, a woman who long ago witnessed her friend’s sudden, mysterious death, and has since spent her life trying to forget, sets out to track down answers. What she uncovers, deep in the woods, is hardly to be believed….

Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, mysteriously dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they’d been spending time with all summer.

Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret addiction that has allowed her to cope with what happened years ago, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time that she can’t account for. But her past comes rushing back when she comes across a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her Berkshires hometown to relive that fateful summer–the influence Frank once had on her and the obsessive jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey.

At her mother’s house, she excavates fragments of her past and notices hidden messages in her deceased Guatemalan father’s book that didn’t stand out to her earlier. To save herself, she must understand a story written before she was born, but time keeps running out, and soon, all roads are leading back to Frank’s cabin….

Utterly unique and captivating, The House in the Pines keeps you guessing about whether we can ever fully confront the past and return home.

Silver Wade has never been one to back down from a fight. Facing off against an organization imprisoning those with psychic abilities has become the biggest challenge of her life. The fact she’s also a shapeshifter would make her a unique specimen in their collection.

New to the world of spies and terrorism, she and her sister cross paths with three teens fighting to stay ahead of skilled assassins, intent on their demise.

Dacien McGreggor is well known among his peers for his calm demeanor in times of stress. When ex-detective Silver Wade crosses his path, his worldview is challenged.

Each member of the team is paired with another according to their psychic ability. Dacien and Silver must set aside their differences and work together in order to survive.

She’s an outsider desperate to belong, but the cost of entry might be her darkest secret in this intoxicating debut of literary suspense following a clique of dangerously ambitious students at the University of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh, Scotland: a moody city of labyrinthine alleyways, oppressive fog, and buried history; the ultimate destination for someone with something to hide. Perfect for Clare, then, who arrives utterly alone and yearning to reinvent herself. And what better place to conceal the dark secrets in her past than at the university in the heart of the fabled, cobblestoned Old Town?

When Clare meets Tabitha, a charismatic, beautiful, and intimidatingly rich girl from her art history class, she knows she’s destined to be friends with her and her exclusive circle: raffish Samuel; shrewd Ava; and pragmatic Imogen. Clare is immediately drawn into their libertine world of sophisticated dinner parties and summers in France. The new life she always envisioned for herself has seemingly begun.

And then Tabitha reveals a little project she’s been working on, one that she needs Clare’s help with. Even though it goes against everything Clare has tried to repent for. Even though their intimacy begins to darken into codependence. But as Clare starts to realize just what her friends are capable of, it’s already too late. Because they’ve taken the plunge. They’re so close to attaining the things they want. And there’s no going back.

What is the cost of an extraordinary life if others have to pay? Reimagining the classic themes of obsession and striving with an original and sinister edge, The Things We Do to Our Friends is a seductive thriller about the toxic battle between those who have, and those who covet–between the desire to truly belong, and the danger of being truly known. 

A FISHERMAN’S DAUGHTER
Miss Poppy Summers is determined to keep her family’s fishing business afloat. Her poor widowed father has fallen ill, and her foolhardy brother has moved to London, leaving her precious little time to read or pursue her own dreams. But she’ll do anything for her family, so she cheerfully spends mornings in her rowboat, casting her nets. The very last thing Poppy expects or wants to find tangled in them is a dangerously attractive man. Especially one with a head wound—who’s convinced he’s a duke.

AND A DUKE OUT OF WATER
Andrew Keane is the Duke of Hawking, but he’s having the devil of a time convincing his fiery-haired rescuer of that fact. The truth is he came to the seaside resort of Bellehaven Bay to escape his life in London. Unfortunately, someone in Bellehaven wants to kill him—and he intends to find out who. He implores Poppy to tend to his injuries and hide him on her beach, reasoning it will be easier to find his attacker if that man assumes Keane is already dead. She wants no part of the scheme but can’t refuse the generous sum he offers in exchange for food and shelter while he recovers. It’s a mutually beneficial business arrangement…nothing more.

ARE ABOUT TO MAKE WAVES
Under Poppy’s care, Keane regains his strength—and a sense of purpose. As they work together to solve the puzzle of his would-be murderer, he’s dazzled by her rapier wit and adventurous spirit; she’s intrigued by his mysterious air and protective streak. Though Poppy’s past gives her every reason to mistrust someone like Keane, the seawalls around her heart crumble in the storm of their passion. But when clues hint at the prime suspect in Keane’s attempted murder, Poppy must decide where her loyalties lie. Torn between the world she’s always known and the one she’s always dreamed of, she’ll need true love for a shot at her fairytale ending.

Goodreads Monday: Mind Strings by Ryan Julian

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


The near future. Social media is dominated by strings, which are experiences captured directly from the human mind. The technology responsible for this paradigm shift, string-tech, has become an inseparable addition to conscious thought. The human mind’s ability to detect deception initially made string-tech impervious to corruption, but a few unusual deaths revealed that string-tech had been hacked by someone with murderous intent. Quickly developing a taste for blood and with the ability to seamlessly alter reality, the madman sets in motion plans for an escalating agenda of chaos and destruction. Humanity’s best chance to stop him? –a hapless professor and an agent gone rogue from the FBI.

Book Blogger Hop—January 6th, 2023

 The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, it was relaunched on February 15, 2013, by Billy @ the Ramblings of a coffee addict. . Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book-related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.


Over the last few years, I have seen this Friday prompt show up on several blogs I follow. I decided right before Christmas that I would start participating after the new year. So, saying that here’s this week’s prompt!!


What was the first book you read this year?

I read this for The Cover Scavenger Hunt (through The StoryGraph) prompt. This was a reread for me too. I forgot how much I liked this book!!

WWW Wednesday: January 4th, 2023

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal:

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

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

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

Reading:

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

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

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

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

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

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


What I Recently Finished Reading:

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


What I am currently reading:


What books I think I’ll read next:

January 2023 TBR

December has flown by for me (I don’t know about you guys). I was stretched thin between my kids’ Christmas events, last-minute shopping, and the actual holiday. I hope January is less hectic and I can breathe again.


Indie Authors/Publishers

Novel Cause
Novel Cause
From Author
From Author

NetGalley