Bookish Travels—February 2023 Desinations

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

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

Bon Voyage!!

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


Tanemba, Millory, Castle

United States

Connecticut (just outside Hartford)
New York (New York City, Long Island)
New York (New York City, Brooklyn), Pennsylvania (the Poconos), Indiana(Terre Haute, Indianapolis), Missouri (St. Louis, Kansas City), Oklahoma (Tulsa, Oklahoma City), Texas (Amarillo), Arizona (Bisbee, Tucson), New Mexico (Socorro, Las Cruces)
New York (New York City)
New York (New York City, Hudson Valley)
Massachusetts (Boston)
Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh)
Pennsylvania (Oak Plains, Pittsburgh), Georgia (Mapleville)
California (Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Santa Monica)
Alaska (Juneau), California (Los Angeles), New York (New York City)
Texas (San Antonio, Fort Hope, Fredericksburg, Austin, Stonewall, Johnson City)
Washington (Whidbey)
Illinois (Chicago), Pacific Northwest (Beckett Island)
Massachusetts (Waltham, Watertown, Boston), Montana
Kansas (Bishop)
Illinois (Chicago)
Massachusetts (Pilgrim Cove)
Unknown State (Ashdale)
Maine (Chapel Green)
Texas (Williamson County, Austin), California (Orange County)
Oregon (Lake Howling)
Texas (Houston)
Illinois (Chicago, Joliet), Ohio (Mercy)
Louisiana (Mandeville)
Massachusetts (Boston), New York (New York City)
New York (Crescent Cove)


Friar’s Ridge
Scottish Highlands, Glasgow, Ullapool, Lairg


Bagram Air Force Base



Beijing, Qincheng Prison, Wuhan





Regency London
Unnamed English village
Oxford, London


Pergamon, Aeolia, Malea, Aigiriossa












The Netherlands

Amsterdam, Jordaann





February 2023 Wrap Up

Here is what I read/posted in February.

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

Books I Read:

Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
From Author
ARC from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books
ARC from St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
From Author
KU Purchase—No Review
KU Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
From Author
Bought from Amazon Prime Reading
ARC from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books
ARC from St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
From Novel Cause
ARC from Blackstone Publishing
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
ARC from St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
KU Purchase—No Review
ARC from St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin
Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Free Kindle Purchase—No Review
Giveaway winner—No Review
Arc from author

Books I got from NetGalley:

Invite from SMP
Invite from SMP, Wednesday Books
Invite from SMP, Wednesday Books
Invite from SMP, Minotaur Books
Read Now from Crooked Lane Books
Invite from SMP, Wednesday Books
Invite from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Bantam
Invite from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Dell
Read Now from St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin
Read Now from St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin
Invite from St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books
Wish granted from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Dell
Wished granted from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Rey
Read now from Crooked Lane Books
Limited time Read Now from Sourcebooks Fire
Read now from St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books

Books I got from Authors/Indie Publishers:

From Novel Cause
From Novel Cause
From BookSirens

Giveaway Winners

Kindle—Won from Tordotcom
Kindle—Won from Goodreads

Books Reviewed:

Murder Up to Bat by Elizabeth McKenna—Review Here

Dead and Gondola by Ann Claire—Review Here

The Second You’re Single by Cara Tanamachi—Review Here

Jackal by Erin E. Adams—Review Here

The Drift by C.J. Tudor—Review Here

Not Your Ex’s Hexes by April Asher—Review Here

After the Music by Elena Goudelias—Review Here

Unnatural History by Jonathan Kellerman—Review Here

Take the Lead by Alexis Daria—Review Here

Once a Killer by Margaret Watson—Review Here

The Family Game by Catherine Steadman—Review Here

The Tracks We Leave by Maggie Maxfield—Review Here

Angeline by Anna Quinn—Review Here

Where Darkness Blooms by Andrea Hannah—Review Here

Reading Challenges

Buzzword Reading Challenge (Life and Death)—Death’s Queen—Finished 2-17-2023

Buzzword Reading Challenge (Verbs)—Deadly Awakening—Finished 2-18-2023

2023 Sami Parker Reads Title Challenge (book with direction in title)— Southern Rocker Boy—Finished 2-20-2023

2023 Sami Parker Reads Title Challenge (book with a season in title)—Summer’s Deadly Kiss—Finished 2-18-2023

Cover Scavenger Hunt (A Door)—Kurtain Motel—Finished 1-31-2023

The StoryGraph’s Onboarding Reading Challenge 2023 (Read a book you discovered via the community page)—Fine or PunishmentFinished 2-14-2023

The StoryGraph Reads the World 2023 (Columbia)—Lightlark—Finished 2-15-2023

The StoryGraph’s Genre Challenge 2023 (a nonfiction book about startups)—Lost and Founder by Rand FishkinFinished 2-2-2023

Beat the Backlist 2023 (cozy read or cover)—Her Long Walk Home—2-16-2023

Scavenger Hunt TBR Book Challenge (What color was on the previous prompt’s book’s cover? Read a book with the complimentary color on the cover)—The Demon Deception—Finished 2-3-2023

Scavenger Hunt (book written by a man using a woman’s perspective)—When They Came—Finished 2-9-2023

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2023 (A book you bought from an independent bookstore)—The Happy ChipFinished 2-3-2023

2023 TBR Toppler (The newest book you own)—A Duke for All Seasons—Finished 2-8-2023

2023 Monthly Themes (Fantastical February)—Nostalgic Rain—Finished 1-30-2023

2023 Reading Challenge (A red book. Can have red on the cover or in the title)—My Sister and IFinished 2-8-2023

2023 ABC Challenge ( B)—The Billionaire Shifter’s Curvy Match–Finished 2-11-2023

Romanceopoly 2023 (Free Choice)—A Guide to Being Just Friends—Finished 1-21-2023

2023 TBR Prompts (A book from an author you love)—Capture Me–Finished 1-14-2023

The Tracks We Leave (The Stepuli Chronicles: Book 1) by Maggie Maxwell


Date of publication: December 1st, 2022

Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery

Series: The Stepuli Chronicles

The Tracks We Leave—Book 1

Purchase Links: Kindle | B&N

Goodreads Synopsis:

Stasia is a woman unmoored. Abandoned as a baby, she has little sense of who she is or where she belongs in the world. Seeking the answers, she jumps at a job opportunity in Washington. There, she meets Jack, a mysterious neighbor who is raising his younger sister and brother. Stasia is charmed by the family next door but finds their walls may be too high to climb.

Jack is fighting against the mysterious US government organization trying to bury him and his family. Born to an alien heritage, he works against a corrupt treaty to raise his sister and brother the best he can. When a human neighbor moves in next door, he feels his families secret, and freedom, are threatened.

Jack and Stasia soon learn their similarities may eclipse their differences. That they may be exactly what the other needs. And the government will learn the unfathomable lengths both humans and aliens will go to for those they love.

First Line:

The probe moved inside me, invading me. Violating me. My lower abdomen cramped at the pressure.

The Tracks We Leave by Maggie Maxfield

Before I start my review, I am changing my review style again. I have been reading reviews published pre-Covid and liked how they flow. So, I am going back to that style. I might change it up again. Example of the writing style I am talking about, click here.

And now, onto today’s highly anticipated review!

Stasia has moved to Washington, hoping to find herself. Abandoned as a baby and shuttled from foster home to foster home growing up, she has no sense of who she is or where she belongs. So, accepting a nursing job at a small military base seems perfect for her. But, as she gets settled into her new job and life, she learns that the base and the island it is on have a secret. This secret is so explosive that the government will silence anyone with knowledge. And part of that secret is Stasia’s grumpy, hot next-door neighbor, Jack, and his younger brother and sister. What is the secret? How are Jack and his family involved?

There are trigger warnings in The Tracks We Leave. They are off-page childhood sexual abuse, child abandonment (off-page), death of a parent (s) (Jack and his siblings’ mother, Jack’s father), internment, medical trauma (moderate to explicit), medical content (moderate to explicit), mental illness (moderate), forced pregnancy, and forced insemination (graphic). I highly suggest not reading this book if any of these triggers you.

Stasia’s backstory broke my heart. What she had to overcome to get to the point she was at now was amazing. Her empathic abilities were showcased from the beginning of the book. It made sense why she went into nursing.

I understood why Jack was so angry all the time. He was dealing with pressure from the government, his family, and his community. He was forced to do things no normal person would be pressured into doing to keep his family safe. I got sick when I saw how life was for him and the others. And honestly, I had no issue believing that the government would do that.

The storyline with Stasia, her job, Jack, his family, and what was happening at the military base was exciting and heartbreaking. The day-to-day of her nursing job on the military base was interesting but boring. But it got very interesting when she got into the top-secret program. Add in her relationship (or lack thereof) with Jack and his family, and things get very interesting.

Jack’s backstory, relationship with his family and Stasia, and relationship with the government were fascinating. Jack was willing to do anything to keep his sister out of the program all of the island’s children entered. He also wasn’t very trusting of anyone outside of his community, leading to some unfortunate misconceptions about Stasia initially. His relationship with his siblings was strained because Jack had to be a mother and father to both of them, which led to some resentment. He hated the government, and with good reason. The things he was forced to do for the head honcho were disgusting.

There was a romance angle to The Tracks We Leave, but the author didn’t precisely focus on it initially. Instead, she chose to lay the groundwork for Stasia and Jack’s storylines. When that was finished, then the romance began.

The science fiction angle of The Tracks We Leave was unique. The author took the Roswell crash and put her spin on it. I would have believed it if I had heard about this on one of those UFO shows. That is how believable it was. I also had no issue thinking that the government was doing forced breeding to get a certain thing and that Stasia would be just another statistic to them.

The end of The Tracks We Leave left me pretty upset. There was a death that I didn’t see coming, and it shook me. I was a little suspicious about that person until a few scenes before. Then there was the scene with Stasia and what was revealed about her. My heart broke into a thousand tiny pieces over what was revealed. I’m not going to go much further into the ending. I will say this; I hope I get to read book two because I need to find out what will happen. The author left it on a cliffhanger, grrrr.

I would recommend The Tracks We Leave to anyone over 21. There is moderate to explicit violence, moderate language, and mild sexual situations. Also, see my trigger warnings.

Many thanks to Novel Cause and Magge Maxfield for allowing me to read and review The Tracks We Leave. All opinions stated in this review are mine.

If you enjoyed reading this review of The Tracks We Leave, then you will enjoy reading these books:

WWW Wednesday: February 8th 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?


I hope you all had a wonderful week last week.

My week was relatively drama-free, well, if you don’t count last Tuesday through Thursday…

Last Monday, I got an automated message from the school district saying that my older kids go to the high school was going remote for Tuesday. Why? Gas leak, and the school had to shut off the heat to repair it. I would have been OK if the call came earlier than 9 pm. When I told the dynamic duo, Mr. Z told me he wasn’t doing any schoolwork. Well, that wasn’t going to fly with me, and I ended up canceling an appointment I had for that day.

Remember the kitten we caught on camera, and I saw through on my back deck? We caught him (and yes, it’s a boy). I took him to the vet the same day (he had visible mouth and ear injuries). All of his injuries (including the eye one that I went back for on Friday) are consistent with him being thrown from a moving car/and being abused. He was very scared, and the vet had a tough time examining him (so the full extent of his injuries isn’t known). She was able to age him (from his teeth) and says he is between 8-10 weeks old. I am so angry that I can’t even talk about it. We also have pinpointed his breed. We believe that he is a purebred Ragdoll. According to the breed standards, males weigh at least 20 lbs, and I can believe it—this kitten has huge paws. He has a good home now and is slowly learning to trust us.

Shows I watched this week: The Last of Us and OnPatrol Live.

What I Cooked/Baked: Nothing. With the cost of food being what it is, I make new recipes every other week.


I have been shaving off books from my TBR. On the weekends, if I have finished the next week’s books, I pick a couple of books from my downloaded to Kindle shelf and read them. Also, like I said last week, being in the car rider line for over an hour is really helping with my reading.

The longest book I read this week: Actually, none. They were all pretty short books this week.

The shortest book I read this week: See above.

Other Interesting Bookish News: I will not do this since it is late here (almost 8 pm eastern time).

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:

What I am currently reading:

What books I think I’ll read next:

February 2023 TBR

January has flown by for me (I don’t know about you guys).

Indie Authors/Publishers

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


Reading Challenges: