Weekly Update: Feburary 26th through March 5th 2021

This is my first weekly update in forever!! I put off doing these because I wasn’t doing a ton of reviews or getting any ARC’s. But now that I am back, I will start doing these again.

So enjoy!! And let me know if you have read any of these and if you enjoyed them!!


Books I Read This Week:

The Marsh King’s Daughter

The Marsh King's Daughter
Helena Pelletier has a loving husband, two beautiful daughters, and a business that fills her days. But she also has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin in the marshlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Helena, born two years after the abduction, loved her home in nature, and despite her father’s sometimes brutal behavior, she loved him, too…until she learned precisely how savage he could be.

More than twenty years later, she has buried her past so soundly that even her husband doesn’t know the truth. But now her father has killed two guards, escaped from prison, and disappeared into the marsh. The police begin a manhunt, but Helena knows they don’t stand a chance. Knows that only one person has the skills to find the survivalist the world calls the Marsh King–because only one person was ever trained by him: his daughter.

I was a little let down by this book. The Marsh King’s Daughter was in my top 10 books that I wanted to read and I was thrilled when it came off hold at the library. Then I started reading it and my excitement waned. It was mainly because of Helena. I couldn’t stand her. I did feel bad for her because she was extremely damaged but that was about where my tolerance of her ended.

Well Met by Jen Deluca

Well Met (Well Met, #1)
Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?

This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon, or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.

I loved this book!! It made me almost pee my pants laughing (Emily’s explaining of her lack of boobs to Simon had me rolling) to crying (basically the last couple of chapters and the epilogue). It also made me miss the Ren Faire. It was cancelled last year and I am looking forward to going this fall.

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

To Kill a Kingdom
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most–a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen and or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby–it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good–But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

This was another book that I loved. The characters (even the secondary ones) were vibrant and full of life. I was rooting for both Elian and Lira to accomplish their quests (I know, messed up because of what Lira had to do). I also loved the snarky references to The Little Mermaid. But, it was the end that made the book for me. I went from sorrow to horror to sorrow to joy and back.

Hidden Fury by Marie Flanigan

Hidden Fury (Annie Fitch Mysteries Book 2)
As a former cop turned private investigator, Annie Fitch hopes to never be in the line of fire again, so she’s expanded her business to include installing security systems. She’s thrilled to be hired by Preston Farr, a farmer with a vandalism problem on his family’s historic apple orchard and farm.

Preston’s roots in the community run deep. His family has held the same property in Leesburg, Virginia, since the 1700s. The two get to know each other over the course of the job. When Preston asks her out after the work is done, she accepts. After all, Annie’s on-again, off-again love affair with her childhood best friend, Ford, is currently off. Why should she mope until he decides it’s on again?

What she intended to be a fun, casual romp with Preston turns serious quickly when Annie’s newly installed security cameras record startling footage. Family secrets begin to unravel, echoing over two hundred years of heartache and violence.

Hidden Fury was an enjoyable read. Not going to say much about this book because I did write a review on it (see below). Everything I needed to say about it was said in the review.

House of Enchanted: The Revelations of Oriceran by Sarah Noffke, Martha Carr, and Michael Anderle

House of Enchanted: The Revelations of Oriceran (Soul Stone Mage, #1)
The Kingdom of Virgo has lived in peace for thousands of years…until now.
The humans from Terran have always been real assholes to the witches of Virgo. Now a silent war is brewing, and the timing couldn’t be worse. Princess Azure will soon be crowned queen of the Kingdom of Virgo.

In the Dark Forest a powerful potion-maker has been murdered.

Charmsgood was the only wizard who could stop a deadly virus plaguing Virgo. He also knew about the devastation the people from Terran had done to the forest.

Azure must protect her people. Mend the Dark Forest. Create alliances with savage beasts. No biggie, right?

But on coronation day everything changes. Princess Azure isn’t who she thought she was and that’s a big freaking problem.


Welcome to The Revelations of Oriceran.

A magical world tied to Earth, and nothing like it.

I wasn’t a huge fan of House of Enchanted which surprised me. I had gone into reading it thinking that it would be a cute adventure or be something like Piers Anthony wrote. Nope, nothing like his works and it wasn’t exactly cute to read. I was disappointed because I have read books by all three authors and enjoyed them.

A Cowboy Kind of Love by Donna Grant

A Cowboy Kind of Love (Heart of Texas #6)
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 have had a really bad turn of luck with the last 3 books I have read (the one before, this one, and the one after). They have all been “meh” to me. Now, I am not going to go into detail about what was “meh” about A Cowboy Kind of Love. There’s a review coming the end of April and it will explain everything.

Blue by H.J. Bellus

Blue
Blue Williams shines no matter the circumstance.
-Prettiest in her hometown
-Most talented cheerleader on her high school squad
-Valedictorian of the senior class
-Prom queen and runner up for Miss Teen Colorado
And the list goes on…


That’s until college, when she finds out nobody recognizes her, and if they do they couldn’t care less. Blending in is something Blue has longed for her entire life. Living in a dorm with a set of new friends is just what she needed to escape her stale life back home. For the first time, she’s seen for her talent and not her name or looks.

Cheer is her number one priority, considering a full-ride scholarship landed her at a prestigious university, and she intends to take advantage of it. A true beauty inside and out, Blue’s heart has always pumped competitive blood.

Until one night changes her forever…the beauty is gone, and all she has left are nasty, ugly memories. The man who saved her has a story of his own, with ninety percent of his body scarred.

What happens when the Beauty falls for the Beast?

This is the last of the trio of books that I mentioned above. I had a love/hate relationship with this book. I loved it because it showcased mental health (Blue’s declined over the course of the book), bullying, and positive body image (Tuck learning to love his body). But at the same time, I hated it. Blue acted like a child for 90% of the book. She pushed Tuck into doing things he didn’t want to (sexually and it left a bad taste in my mouth after that scene). Oh and the language bothered me. Now, I am pretty relaxed with cursing and all that. But to read a teenager using that language in conversations with her parents?!? Yeah, it didn’t anything for me.


Reviews that were published/written this week

Hidden Fury—Published March 2nd

A Cowboy Kind of Love—Review coming end of April


ARC’s I received this week

Bones of a Saint by Grant Farley

Bones of a Saint
Fifteen-year-old RJ Armante has never known a life outside his dead-end hometown of Arcangel, CA. The Blackjacks still rule as they have for generations, luring the poorest kids into their monopoly on petty crime. For years, they’ve left RJ alone…until now.

When the Blackjacks come knocking, they want RJ to prey upon an old loner. But RJ is at his breaking point. It’s not just about the gang who rules the town. It’s about Charley, his younger brother, who is disabled. It’s about Roxanne, the girl he can’t reach. It’s about the kids in his crew who have nothing to live for. If RJ is to resist, he must fight to free Arcangel of its past.

I was super excited when I saw that the publisher had granted my wish on NetGalley!!! I have been a few reviews for this book. Almost everyone had loved it. I hope I do!!!

When a Duke Love a Governess by Olivia Drake

When a Duke Loves a Governess (Unlikely Duchesses, #3)
Tessa James has worked and planned tirelessly to open her own millinery shop. All she needs now is a loan from the lord who sired and abandoned her. The only problem is, she doesn’t even know his name. What’s a woman to do to find him but enter the aristocratic world by becoming a governess?

Guy Whitby, the new Duke of Carlin, has returned to London after years abroad to discover that his young daughter Sophy has become a wild-child known for scaring away every governess who’s crossed his doorstep. When Tessa James applies for the job, he hires her in desperation despite his misgivings that she’s too bold and beautiful–and that she might be fibbing about her qualifications.


Their blooming attraction leads them on a completely unexpected path to love that neither wants to deny. But when an old enemy threatens Guy’s family, their forbidden romance goes up in flames. Can they still learn to love and trust each other as forces try to tear them apart?

I had been reading the Unlikely Duchess series and have been loving it. So, when I got the email from SMP asking to review it, I jumped on it. Hopefully it will be just as good as the first two books.


Weekly Posts

Six for Sunday

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: March 3rd 2021

IMG_1384-0

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

The Three Ws are:

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


Personal

The antibiotic worked!! My bladder infection is officially gone. I finished the last pill yesterday and did a happy dance around my living room (to the amusement of my kids).

Things are still the same for Miss R. She is still disliking virtual school and loving horseback riding. Last week, she was able to trot by herself. That is huge for her because she was afraid. Her instructor is thrilled with her progress. As for school, we’ve told her that she will be able to go back in 2nd grade (fingers crossed).

Miss B had her cardiologist appointment on Monday. She has heart palpitations but the Dr didn’t seem to think that they were serious enough for further treatment. He asked me to call if they get worse. We were both relieved!!

Mr. Z is enjoying his project free week. Of course, after I typed this, I went in and checked his powerschool. Guess what? He has two projects due in his Introduction to Office Productivity class (a required class in this school district). They are due by the end of the week.

BK is getting his Covid shot on Saturday. NC is allowing other essential workers to get their shots starting this week. Because of his job, he is considered essential. I am happy because he has to start traveling for work within the next couple of weeks. I probably won’t be able to get mine until later (even though I have an autoimmune disease).

I have gotten into watching Babylon 5. That is all BK wants to watch. On the rare occasion I get to watch TV, I watch Discovery Plus. I have watched 2 1/2 episodes of Fear Thy Neighbor.

I have been playing a lot of Black Desert Online and doing a lot of coloring on my phone (via coloring apps). I have preordered the PC version of Kingdom Hearts through Epic Games (here if you want to check it out). I am super excited for this.

I was going to make Slow-Cooker Rosemary-Garlic Beef Roast on Monday. I was exhausted, BK had the day off and he decided to do it for me (how sweet, right). It would have been perfect except…he left the crockpot on warm for 9 hours. We ended up eating McDonalds for supper and throwing everything out….lol. I am planning on remaking it on Friday. Next week, I am looking at making an Ina Garten recipe (not sure which one)

Blog:

I haven’t touched my old blog posts this week. To be honest, I was still feeling awful and I didn’t feel like doing it. I will be resuming that soon (maybe tomorrow??)

Reading:

I did better with reading last week. Actually, it was my most productive reading week since after Thanksgiving!! I read 4 books. Go me!!


I recently finished reading:

To Kill a Kingdom
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most–a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen and or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby–it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good–But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

I absolutely loved this book. I loved the snarky references to The Little Mermaid. I loved that it took Ancient Greek myths and gave them a dark spin. I couldn’t read it fast enough and was worth the wait (a month on hold at the library).


What I am currently reading:

House of Enchanted: The Revelations of Oriceran (Soul Stone Mage, #1)
The Kingdom of Virgo has lived in peace for thousands of years…until now.
The humans from Terran have always been real assholes to the witches of Virgo. Now a silent war is brewing, and the timing couldn’t be worse. Princess Azure will soon be crowned queen of the Kingdom of Virgo.


In the Dark Forest a powerful potion-maker has been murdered.

Charmsgood was the only wizard who could stop a deadly virus plaguing Virgo. He also knew about the devastation the people from Terran had done to the forest.

Azure must protect her people. Mend the Dark Forest. Create alliances with savage beasts. No biggie, right?

But on coronation day everything changes. Princess Azure isn’t who she thought she was and that’s a big freaking problem.

Welcome to The Revelations of Oriceran.

A magical world tied to Earth, and nothing like it.

I am a few chapters into House of Enchanted and I am liking it. I thought, by the description, this book was going to be one of those YA books where the heroine is super sugary sweet, the bad things happening are not that bad (Hell no to that one), and the mystery was no big deal. Yeah, well that is not the case. This book is turning into a dark YA fantasy that has some meat to it.


What books I think I’ll read next:

I am finally getting to those neglected books!! I have pushed these three books back so much that I did wonder if I was going to get to them. If I don’t have any books coming off hold from the library, I should be able to read these this week.

Blue
Blue Williams shines no matter the circumstance.
-Prettiest in her hometown
-Most talented cheerleader on her high school squad
-Valedictorian of the senior class
-Prom queen and runner up for Miss Teen Colorado
And the list goes on…


That’s until college, when she finds out nobody recognizes her, and if they do they couldn’t care less. Blending in is something Blue has longed for her entire life. Living in a dorm with a set of new friends is just what she needed to escape her stale life back home. For the first time, she’s seen for her talent and not her name or looks.

Cheer is her number one priority, considering a full-ride scholarship landed her at a prestigious university, and she intends to take advantage of it. A true beauty inside and out, Blue’s heart has always pumped competitive blood.

Until one night changes her forever…the beauty is gone, and all she has left are nasty, ugly memories. The man who saved her has a story of his own, with ninety percent of his body scarred.

What happens when the Beauty falls for the Beast?
Flesh and Blood (The Vampires of Shadow Hills #1)
“It’s like Riverdale meets Big Little Lies meets Romeo and Juliet, but with vampires!”
What if you can’t trust your own family?

Robyn’s parents are ruining her life. As if their constant bickering and embarrassing behavior wasn’t bad enough, they’ve forbidden her from hanging out with her crush just when a flirty new girl moves to their block. Strangely enough, Robyn’s parents look the other way when her big brother breaks curfew… even after a local girl’s violent murder.
With the neighborhood on high alert, strange sightings are on the rise and the accusations begin to fly. Between her brother’s nighttime excursions and her parents’ odd behavior, Robyn starts to worry that the killer may be living under her own roof. In a town where neighbor has turned against neighbor, deciding whom to trust with her dark fears could be a matter of life and death…
Flesh and Blood is the first book in a fun and frightening series of romantic paranormal mysteries. If you like terrifying thrills, flesh and blood characters, and vampires without the sparkle, then you’ll love Willow Rose’s tale of suburban terror.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

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


What I am Reading Now:

To Kill a Kingdom
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

I am so excited to read this book!! I had originally gotten turned down for the ARC on NetGalley. It took a couple of years to realize that I could take it out digitally from the library (yes, I am not that great with technology outside of gaming…lol).


What I plan on reading this week:

I did get some books off last week’s IMWAR. And by some, I mean 1. I ended up with two loans coming off loan from the library and an ARC that I needed to read (the review is due tomorrow). I do plan on getting to these books this week!!

House of Enchanted: The Revelations of Oriceran (Soul Stone Mage, #1)
The Kingdom of Virgo has lived in peace for thousands of years…until now.
The humans from Terran have always been real assholes to the witches of Virgo. Now a silent war is brewing, and the timing couldn’t be worse. Princess Azure will soon be crowned queen of the Kingdom of Virgo.


In the Dark Forest a powerful potion-maker has been murdered.

Charmsgood was the only wizard who could stop a deadly virus plaguing Virgo. He also knew about the devastation the people from Terran had done to the forest.

Azure must protect her people. Mend the Dark Forest. Create alliances with savage beasts. No biggie, right?

But on coronation day everything changes. Princess Azure isn’t who she thought she was and that’s a big freaking problem.

Welcome to The Revelations of Oriceran.

A magical world tied to Earth, and nothing like it.
Blue
Blue Williams shines no matter the circumstance.
-Prettiest in her hometown
-Most talented cheerleader on her high school squad
-Valedictorian of the senior class
-Prom queen and runner up for Miss Teen Colorado
And the list goes on…


That’s until college, when she finds out nobody recognizes her, and if they do they couldn’t care less. Blending in is something Blue has longed for her entire life. Living in a dorm with a set of new friends is just what she needed to escape her stale life back home. For the first time, she’s seen for her talent and not her name or looks.

Cheer is her number one priority, considering a full-ride scholarship landed her at a prestigious university, and she intends to take advantage of it. A true beauty inside and out, Blue’s heart has always pumped competitive blood.

Until one night changes her forever…the beauty is gone, and all she has left are nasty, ugly memories. The man who saved her has a story of his own, with ninety percent of his body scarred.

What happens when the Beauty falls for the Beast?
Flesh and Blood (The Vampires of Shadow Hills #1)
For fans of Twilight and A Shade of Vampire comes a new addiction impossible to put down.
“It’s like Riverdale meets Big Little Lies meets Romeo and Juliet, but with vampires!”
What if you can’t trust your own family?


Robyn’s parents are ruining her life. As if their constant bickering and embarrassing behavior wasn’t bad enough, they’ve forbidden her from hanging out with her crush just when a flirty new girl moves to their block. Strangely enough, Robyn’s parents look the other way when her big brother breaks curfew… even after a local girl’s violent murder.
With the neighborhood on high alert, strange sightings are on the rise and the accusations begin to fly. Between her brother’s nighttime excursions and her parents’ odd behavior, Robyn starts to worry that the killer may be living under her own roof. In a town where neighbor has turned against neighbor, deciding whom to trust with her dark fears could be a matter of life and death…
Flesh and Blood is the first book in a fun and frightening series of romantic paranormal mysteries. If you like terrifying thrills, flesh and blood characters, and vampires without the sparkle, then you’ll love Willow Rose’s tale of suburban terror.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Hope Santa Brings

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 post 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.


  1. What You Wish For by Katherine Center
  2. White Oleander by Janet Fitch
  3. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
  4. The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne
  5. The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
  6. The Shadows by Alex North
  7. The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski
  8. Havenfall by Sara Holland
  9. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
  10. LaRose by Louise Erdrich