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.

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? 

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.

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:

WWW Wednesday: December 28th, 2022

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 will not go into a day-by-day breakdown like I usually do. It will take up too much time, and my brain is still fried from Christmas.

Christmas was good. I got a Kindle Scribe which I was thrilled about. I had the Oasis, and it was beginning to die (was freezing, and I had to reset it frequently). So this was needed. I love being able to take notes. But the main thing is that I can easily read at night without my glasses on. I had an issue with the font being too small on the Oasis (even with adjusting everything).

We didn’t do a ton of presents for Christmas. BK got a deep fryer with an oil filtration system. Miss B got Air Pods (to replace the ones I washed), an iPhone 14, and some other smaller things she wanted. Mr. Z got a gaming mouse and gaming monitor, a lot of books, and a hardcover comic book. Miss R got an iPad (along with an otter box and a drawing pencil), a box set of Dav Pilkey graphic novels, a National Geographic book about horses, and a 3 Bayers horse sets (all separate) she wanted (Quarter Horse, Morgan, and Appaloosa).

I did have some excitement on Christmas Eve. Someone got my Best Buy credit card number and tried to buy themselves an Apple Air Pod. Fortunately (or unfortunately for the guy), I checked my email before going to bed and was able to cancel the order. I also changed my password and added two-step verification. I checked again on Christmas morning and saw that they had tried so many times that my account had been locked, and that was a quick fix….lol.

Reading:

I have read a ton since the kids have been out of school. I finished all but one book that I had gotten on Kindle Unlimited. Since I am starting to read my review copies/reading challenges books next week, I am enjoying this break.

The longest book I read this week: First Do No Evil. It wasn’t a long book, but I wasn’t a fan of the first 60% of the book. But the last 40% was fantastic, and I was able to finish it quickly. It took me a couple of days to read.

The shortest book I read this week: It is a tie between The House in the Cerulean Sea and Little One. I read each within a couple of hours of downloading them.

I am also finished going through my Want to Read shelf and adding books to either the Kindle Unlimited shelf or the Downloaded to Kindle Shelf. I think I have around 280 books left. My next project going through the books on my Read shelf. Wish me luck with that because I am sure that my Want to Read/Kindle Unlimited/Downloaded to Kindle shelves will increase tenfold. I will add the next books in the series (or previous ones).

I am still behind with writing reviews. I have four reviews to write before New Year’s Eve and two due the first week of January. So, I am behind by six reviews. I’m not sweating it, though. The only ones that must be written by a specific date are the two in January.

So that’s the essential things for this past week. How was your week?

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


What I Recently Finished Reading:

“Take my hand, little one.”

Fran finds her standing by the swings. A little girl, Esther, no older than seven years old, by herself in the dead of night, her pretty but old-fashioned yellow dress covered in grass stains and her hair dishevelled. She says she’s waiting for Father, and that strikes Fran as particularly odd.

After Esther is reunited with her family, Fran can’t stop thinking about this pious child whose imaginary friend is God. Fran’s instincts tell her something is very wrong. Why does Esther keep running away from home, and how did she get that bruise on her leg?

Fran’s husband warns her not to get too close, but one morning, Esther and her family disappear. Where did they go? Why did they leave their furniture behind?

Fran knows in her gut that something terrible is going to happen to that child, and she can’t stand by while it happens. No matter the cost.

After all, she found her. But can she save her?


What I am currently reading:

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.


What books I think I’ll read next:

for Cover Scavenger Hunt 2023

Could you survive on your own in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love.

ARC

A device that can save a life is also one that can end it

Kadence, a new type of implanted defibrillator, misfires in a patient visiting University Hospital for a routine medical procedure—causing the heart rhythm problem it’s meant to correct. Dr. Kate Downey, an experienced anesthesiologist, resuscitates the patient, but she grows concerned for a loved one who recently received the same device—her beloved Great-Aunt Irm.

When a second device misfires, Kate turns to Nikki Yarborough, her friend and Aunt Irm’s cardiologist. Though Nikki helps protect Kate’s aunt, she is prevented from alerting other patients by the corporate greed of her department chairman. As the inventor of the device and part owner of MDI, the company he formed to commercialize it, he claims that the device misfires are due to a soon-to-be-corrected software bug. Kate learns his claim is false.

The misfires continue as Christian O’Donnell, a friend and lawyer, comes to town to facilitate the sale of MDI. Kate and Nikki are drawn into a race to find the source of the malfunctions, but threats to Nikki and a mysterious murder complicate their progress. Are the seemingly random shocks misfires, or are they attacks?

A jaw-dropping twist causes her to rethink everything she once thought she knew, but Kate will stop at nothing to protect her aunt and the other patients whose life-saving devices could turn on them at any moment

for Scavenger Hunt TBR Book Challenge

Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a year.

Despite living next door to each other, they exist in separate worlds of grief. Cora is still grappling with the death of her beloved sister in a school shooting, and Quinn is carrying the guilt of what her brother did.

On the day of Cora’s twelfth birthday, Quinn leaves a box on her doorstep with a note. She has decided that the only way to fix things is to go back in time to the moment before her brother changed all their lives forever—and stop him.

In spite of herself, Cora wants to believe. And so the two former friends begin working together to open a wormhole in the fabric of the universe. But as they attempt to unravel the mysteries of time travel to save their siblings, they learn that the magic of their friendship may actually be the key to saving themselves.

for 2023 TBR Toppler

Alec Harbinger, Preternatural Investigator

I’m the guy you come to when your spouse gets bitten by a werewolf, or your honey is kidnapped by a demon. I’m the guy who knows how to save your ass when an evil sorcerer casts a curse on it.

At least, I was that guy until the Society of Shadows sent me to Dearmont, Maine, a sleepy town that had a zero rating on the supernatural occurrences scale.

My plan was to spend my days sitting in the office with nothing to do except drink coffee and eat apple bakes made by Felicity, my new assistant.

But when a woman hires me to find out if her son has been possessed by a demon at a rich kids’ party, and a young man comes to the office insisting he’s been bitten by a werewolf, Dearmont goes from zero to hero.

Oh, and did I mention that someone in the Society wants me dead?

Time to sharpen the swords and go to work…

WWW Wednesday: December 21st, 2022

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:

Thursday: I didn’t do much of anything. I think I waited around for my last Christmas present to come. It was a pretty boring day.

Friday: Miss R had her first dance. It was the school’s first-ever winter social. She wasn’t impressed with it. After we picked her up, she told us that she would have rather been horseback riding….lol.

Saturday and Sunday: Miss B got her glasses on Saturday. She was (actually is) thrilled with them. We also went grocery shopping on Saturday and bought ahead for Christmas dinner. Other than that, it was a pretty low-key weekend.

Monday: I had a stressful day and was running around all day. Plus, it was Monday….enough said.

Tuesday: It was alright. I did get talked to by one of our local police officers while I was waiting in the school pick-up line. He wanted me to move (which I couldn’t) and ended up yelling at me. It stressed me so much that I am getting to the school extra early and sitting in the parking lot until 320 next year. And when she’s in 4th grade, she’s taking the bus home.

Reading:

  • The longest book I read this week: Mind Strings. I couldn’t get into the book, and it took me a couple of days to read.
  • The shortest book I read this week: Signs of Portents. This book was fantastic, and I couldn’t read it fast enough!!
  • I am still going through my want-to-read shelf. I am still adding books to Kindle Unlimited or Downloaded to Kindle shelves. It’s a bit tedious, but all the books will be separated once I’m done.
  • I have decided to read some of my TBR books (see the previous paragraph). I have a few KU books I don’t need to review, plus everything on my Kindle shelf. I’ll start reading my January TBR later on next week.

So that’s the essential things for this past week. How was your week?

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


What I Recently Finished Reading:

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.


What I am currently reading:

Love isn’t always pretty. Sometimes you have to break the thing you love in order to put the pieces back together again.

“Life is all about choices. Do I want pizza or a hamburger for dinner? Should I wear a red skirt or blue slacks to work? Do I take a million dollar check and divorce the love of my life to keep my baby brother out of jail? In case you’re wondering, I took the check. Now my ex is back in my life. He’s still angry and…he’s my new boss.”

Pretty Broken Girl is the passionate retelling of a marriage gone wrong.

From the boardroom to the bedroom, Dakota Atwell and Samuel Seaforth are locked in a battle of wits and desire. One of them will break. One of them will pay. Both of them want to win. Neither of them expects to fall in love…again.

This is Book 1 of a five book series. It contains adult language, adult situations, and hot steamy sex with a HFN ending. Although it can be read as a standalone, it will be much more enjoyable when read with the other books in the series.

Reading as a paperback

Snowpiercer meets The Hunger Games in a gripping near-future dystopian.

Welcome to the Arcadia.

Once a luxurious cruise ship, it became a refugee camp after being driven from Europe by an apocalyptic war. Now it floats near the coastline of the Federated States – a leftover piece of a fractured USA.

For forty years, residents of the Arcadia have been prohibited from making landfall. It is a world of extreme haves and have nots, gangs and make-shift shelters.

Esther is a loyal citizen, working flat-out to have the rare chance to live a normal life as a medic on dry land. Nik is a rebel, planning something big to liberate the Arcadia once and for all.

When events throw them both together, their lives, and the lives of everyone on the ship, will change forever . . .


What books I think I’ll read next:

Rock bottom.

They say the only way to go from there is up, but what is “up” when you’re born into someone else’s rock bottom?

At ten, football became my first love. It’s what got me out of the house away from my self-destructive family. My love for football landed me at Las Vegas University with a full ride scholarship, and the orange on my jersey was my favorite color… until my eyes landed on the red dress Fallyn wore the night we met.

At twenty-one, I jumped off the cliff into the unknown the second Fallyn McIntyre danced in my arms at a party. I had the greatest girl in the world and the opportunity to play college ball every Saturday. My rock bottom was looking up, thanks to my two first loves.

Parties, sex, and football—life was perfect. But one drink too many, and my world came crashing down. When I chose pills over my second love, my head told me it was the best decision I ever made. The pills keep me warm and protect me from the distance Fallyn created. Percs don’t judge me. They make me feel alive.

Threes.

They say the best things come in threes, but one leads to a stable future, one is my salvation, and the other drags me to hell—a hell I’d willingly burn in for eternity… if it weren’t for my second love.

Olson lives in a city that has been sealed from the outside world. He’s an Eleven Year and close to citizenship. His life is upended when one of the few adults who cares about him commits suicide – or so it appears at first. While investigating, Olson meets a girl named Natalie snooping around his school. He soon learns that one of her friends died under similarly mysterious circumstances. Together, they start looking for answers, and end up discovering the city’s darkest secrets.

Warning: Contents include: One heart-melting hero—good luck getting this delicious detective out of your head. One reluctant heroine—wielding a Glock was never on her to-do list. One crazed villain—an entire flock of baa baa black sheep won’t be enough to put you to sleep. And a lifesaving vaccine with one deadly side effect—murder.

There’s a killer lurking in Dr. Skylar Novak’s family tree: the gene for breast cancer. That’s why her brilliant brother invented the Bella vaccine. But even if the miracle drug protects her from the cancer that took her mother’s life, it can’t save Sky from the flesh and bone evil stalking her in secret.

When the killer strikes, detective Daniel Benson finds himself in the wrong place at the right time. The bold detective manages to save Sky’s life…just in time for her to return the favor. Survival leads to seduction, and Danny risks everything—his career, even his life, to keep Sky safe. But will the buried sins they uncover cost him her heart?

Danny’s strong arms may hold her close, but only Sky can stop the terror that’s coming next.

I wanted to give up.
I wanted to give into the hurt and not look back.
I wanted to let my demons win and succumb to the pain.
I didn’t want to live because leaving would be easier than dealing with it all.
But leaving wasn’t an option. Not when my best friends held onto me for dear life, and not when my heart had found one more person to beat for.
I was going to fight. I was going to love.
I was Daysie Flores and I was going to find every reason in the world to live—to stay.

Note: This book contains graphic scenes with physical and verbal abuse, as well as alcohol and drug use.

WWW Wednesday: December 14th, 2022

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:

  • Thursday: Miss B accidentally washed her Air Pods. Well, she forgot to take them out of her pants pocket, and I, in a rare moment of not checking, washed them. I was so mad when I took the laundry out of the washer, and they fell out. But, in a way, it was a good thing. We got her another pair for Christmas. And she has strict instructions not to leave them in her pockets.
  • Friday: Miss R had an unmounted lesson at her barn. She came out very excited. Her instructor told her that she is almost ready to join a program they have. Kids who are eligible work in the barn over the summer and get points. The points can add up to anything barn-related but, more importantly, free and extra lessons. I still have to talk to the barn owner, but Miss R will do that this summer.
  • Saturday and Sunday: We did nothing. BK changed the van’s oil, and I cleaned the house. But other than that, nothing.
  • Monday: Mr. Z had a concert. He performed, with the rest of the orchestra, in Grace Chapel at Lenoir Rhyne University. The chapel was beautiful!! The orchestra played wonderfully too. I saw friends and a few of Mr. Z and Miss B’s middle school teachers.
  • Tuesday: Mr. Z had an early orthodontist appointment. I ended up dragging all three kids with me. Not exactly what I wanted to do at 8 am, but he needed to have them checked. His next appointment is in February, and he’s getting the Herbst device installed.
  • The longest book I read this week: Hello, Summer. It just dragged for me. I couldn’t get into it.
  • The shortest book I read this week: NetGalley’s Book Advocate Tool Kit. It took me 20 mins to read, and I got many great ideas!!
  • I decided to go through my want-to-read shelf and move any books marked Kindle Unlimited to a shelf named Kindle Unlimited on Goodreads. I am not even close to done, but I have found many books on KU. So, worth it!!
  • I have finished my December TBR list!! I can’t even believe that I finished all of those books. Now, I have to write six reviews, but those should be easy.

So that’s the essential things for this past week. How was your week?

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


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Synopsis was taken from Amazon

Hope Turner is the ideal human-hunting assassin, and she is damn good at her job. A daughter of the Chakal, a race of hybrid demons lacking physical sensation and emotion, Hope was always brutally efficient in her work. She never struggled with a case, that is, until she was assigned to take down Ciaran O-Connor – a stubborn, strong-willed bodyguard with a dark past and severe PTSD.

He also happens to be her soulmate.

When the omaeriku – an inescapable soulmate bond – takes hold of her, Hope is hit with a wave of emotion and physical sensation for the first time in her life. Finding herself unable to kill Ciaran and ending up on her former boss’s hit list, Hope and Ciaran must escape into hiding. Immediately, the chemistry between Hope and Ciaran is electric. However, they must try to direct their focus on finding a way to take down Marcus Dentry, their newfound common enemy, who was both Hope’s former boss and Ciaran’s former captor and torturer.

However, as they spend more time together and succumb to their physical desire for each other, the newfound emotion and pain brought forth by the soulmate bond begin to overwhelm Hope. Can Hope learn to handle her sudden emotions, both the good and the bad, before it drives her away from the only person who can make her feel? And can Hope and Ciaran track down Marcus and exact their revenge before he gets to them first?


What I am currently reading:

No review (was a giveaway book)

Detective Jackson Forge can hardly wait to marry the street-sly swindler who’s turned his life upside down. Kit Turner is equally excited to wed the handsome detective, and what better way to show her love than providing him with a gift any man of the law would love? She determines to bring to justice the men who years ago maimed his brother—despite Jackson’s warning to leave the past in the past. As she digs into the mystery of what happened, she unwittingly tumbles into her own history and endangers her future happiness with Jackson.


What books I think I’ll read next:

Cover Scavenger Hunt 2023

Could you survive on your own in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love.

Review coming January 3rd

End-of-life care—or assisted death

When her elderly patients start dying at home days after minor surgery, anesthesiologist Dr. Kate Downey wants to know why. The surgeon, not so much. “Old people die, that’s what they do,” is his response. When Kate presses, surgeon Charles Ricken places the blame squarely on her shoulders. Kate is currently on probation, and the chief of staff sides with the surgeon, leaving Kate to prove her innocence and save her own career. With her husband in a prolonged coma, it’s all she has left.

Aided by her eccentric Great Aunt Irm, a precocious medical student, and the lawyer son of a victim, Kate launches her own unorthodox investigation of these unexpected deaths. As she comes closer to exposing the culprit’s identity, she faces professional intimidation, threats to her life, a home invasion, and, tragically, the suspicious death of someone close to her. The stakes escalate to the breaking point when Kate, under violent duress, is forced to choose which of her loved ones to save—and which must be sacrificed.

Perfect for fans of Kathy Reichs and Tess Gerritsen

While the books in the Kate Downey Medical Mystery Series stand on their own and can be read in any order, the publication sequence is:

Fatal Intent
Misfire
 (coming January 2023)

Review coming January 5th

A device that can save a life is also one that can end it

Kadence, a new type of implanted defibrillator, misfires in a patient visiting University Hospital for a routine medical procedure—causing the heart rhythm problem it’s meant to correct. Dr. Kate Downey, an experienced anesthesiologist, resuscitates the patient, but she grows concerned for a loved one who recently received the same device—her beloved Great-Aunt Irm.

When a second device misfires, Kate turns to Nikki Yarborough, her friend and Aunt Irm’s cardiologist. Though Nikki helps protect Kate’s aunt, she is prevented from alerting other patients by the corporate greed of her department chairman. As the inventor of the device and part owner of MDI, the company he formed to commercialize it, he claims that the device misfires are due to a soon-to-be-corrected software bug. Kate learns his claim is false.

The misfires continue as Christian O’Donnell, a friend and lawyer, comes to town to facilitate the sale of MDI. Kate and Nikki are drawn into a race to find the source of the malfunctions, but threats to Nikki and a mysterious murder complicate their progress. Are the seemingly random shocks misfires, or are they attacks?

A jaw-dropping twist causes her to rethink everything she once thought she knew, but Kate will stop at nothing to protect her aunt and the other patients whose life-saving devices could turn on them at any moment

Scavenger Hunt TBR Book Challenge 2023

Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a year.

Despite living next door to each other, they exist in separate worlds of grief. Cora is still grappling with the death of her beloved sister in a school shooting, and Quinn is carrying the guilt of what her brother did.

On the day of Cora’s twelfth birthday, Quinn leaves a box on her doorstep with a note. She has decided that the only way to fix things is to go back in time to the moment before her brother changed all their lives forever—and stop him.

In spite of herself, Cora wants to believe. And so the two former friends begin working together to open a wormhole in the fabric of the universe. But as they attempt to unravel the mysteries of time travel to save their siblings, they learn that the magic of their friendship may actually be the key to saving themselves.

WWW Wednesday: December 7th, 2022

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:

Thursday: Not a lot happened around here. I started getting my kids big Christmas gifts in and trying to find good hiding spots. I found out that two games I play (Disney’s Dreamlight Valley and Planet Zoo) are having updates. Disney’s was today (and it was free!!) and Planet Zoo’s is next week (hello armadillos!!!). Also, BK is getting me the Kindle Scribed for Christmas. I can’t wait!! I am getting him a deep fryer that cleans and recycles the oil.

Friday: Miss R didn’t have horseback riding. Her instructor went to a trainer conference, and we rescheduled for Sunday. Miss B went to her winter formal. She had a blast!!

Saturday: We took Miss B to Sams Club to finally get her glasses prescription filled. She was thrilled. Other than that, we hung out all day.

Sunday: Miss R had horseback with the older (think 15-17) girls. She did well and cantered. She is still too unsure to jump the rails.

Monday: I spent all day Monday fighting with Tony. He decided that he belongs outside and jets whenever the front door opens. Super frustrating, but I know he will grow out of it. I also spent some of it breaking up fights between Snickers and Loki. She has decided not to like him this week. Which means she chases him down every time she sees him.

Tuesday: Miss R had an orthodontist appointment. We found out that she might be getting her braces off soon. Also, on a sadder note, her main orthodontist is retiring. I was very sad about that. He did wonders with Miss B’s teeth. But the other orthodontist is just as good.

The longest book I read this week: Was a tie between The Bandit Queens and Cathedral of Time. I couldn’t get into The Bandit Queens at first. The Cathedral of Time was long for a different reason. It is connected to an app that scanned a QR code at the end of each chapter. It was very interesting and time-consuming (which is great for younger kids)

The shortest book I read this week: Was The Bodyguard. Someone told me that I would love this book and laugh at it. I did!!!

So that’s the essential things for this past week. How was your week?

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


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Ghostly sightings of a legendary murderer. The discovery of a hidden stash from a bank robbery. The disappearance of a well-known TV personality, and the most prominent family in town entangled in all of it. Makayla Brown’s ideal life is about to be blown to smithereens. She’ll need to race across space and time, plunging herself into another world in hopes of saving her own. When Makayla disappears off the face of the Earth, the dedication of her two best friends, Tanner and Andrew, will be tested as they attempt to follow her trail through a dangerous new world and encounter beasts and beings the likes of which they’ve never seen. Will they reach Makayla in time to rescue her from certain death and bring her safely home, or will they be doomed to spend eternity in their new world, sealed by the rule of the fates?

Author Stephen Austin Thorpe, the son of a school teacher who made magic with her words by varying intonations and playing with pronunciation to add dramatic flare, grew up loving words. But it wasn’t until he sat down to document the flow of a video game he planned to create that he realized how much he loved to write. And so Cathedral of Time, the first in The World of Agartha series, was born. Stephen’s love for Ancient Rome, and history in general, grew from his service as a 19-year old missionary in modern-day Rome. Stephen lives in Utah with his wife Maria and daughters Jenny and Mary.


What I am currently reading:

Cover is from Amazon.

Newly single, Julia Dunphy is back in San Francisco with her kids. Julia’s new work in an aquarium shop unearths old memories of a whale watching business she once imagined, and of William Quinn, the man she imagined it with. When she learns that William has made a success of their ideas, she wonders if it’s too late to finally make a success of their relationship. But Julia’s already blown her first two chances at happiness with William, so a third one seems like wishful thinking. Then she learns that William’s family is drowning in medical bills, and she uses her prowess as a former paralegal to stick it to the insurance company. When William shows up to thank her, she dares to wonder – is a third chance with him possible, after all?


What books I think I’ll read next:

Bailey Flynn has always been the resident country music star in her small town of Oak Plains, Pennsylvania. But ever since tragedy struck six years ago, she hasn’t sung a single note or picked up her treasured guitar.

Bailey returns home to find an open slot at the annual summer concert waiting for her to fill it. Her past makes her hesitant to rise to the occasion, despite her sister’s insistence. It isn’t until she sees a familiar face from high school that she begins to let hope—and music—into her heart again. He might just be the fresh start she needs…or a bitter reminder of the past she’s worked so hard to forget.

Five children in prison, five sets of parents who would do anything to protect them, one chance to break them out.

It’s 2037 and after a nationwide campaign following the increase in prisoner death rate, the system has gone fully automatic. Every inmate is on their own with each cell a box of isolation. The juvenile correction facilities are functional, cold and impersonal yet impecable, a stark contrast to the adult institutions where suicide and collapse of mental health for the youth transfering is almost inevitable.

With an iminent transfer date, the clock is ticking. But with an impenetrable prison, long standing feuds and skeletons in the closet, will these strangers ever be able to work together to formulate and execute a plan to save their children whilst keeping their families intact?

Son of the Poison Rose marks the second installment of New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry’s epic, swashbuckling Kagen the Damned series.

The Silver Empire is in ruins. War is in the wind. Kagen and his allies are on the run from the Witch-king. Wild magic is running rampant everywhere. Spies and secret cabals plot from the shadows of golden thrones.

Kagen Vale is the most wanted man in the world, with a death sentence on his head and a reward for him—dead or alive—that would tempt a saint.

The Witch-king has new allies who bring a terrible weapon—a cursed disease that drives people into a murderous rage. If the disease is allowed to spread, the whole of the West will tear itself apart.

In order to build an army of resistance fighters and unearth magical weapons of his own, Kagen and his friends have to survive attacks and storms at sea, brave the haunted wastelands of the snowy north, fight their way across the deadly Cathedral Mountains, and rediscover a lost city filled with cannibal warriors, old ghosts, and monsters from other worlds. Along with his reckless adventurer brothers, Kagen races against time to save more than the old empire… if he fails the world will be drenched in a tsunami of bloodshed and horror.

Son of the Poison Rose weaves politics and espionage, sorcery and swordplay, treachery and heroism as the damned outcast Kagen fights against the forces of ultimate darkness.

Perfect for fans of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series and Keri Lake’s
Nightshade, Affinity for Pain is a dark paranormal romance that is steamy,
action-packed, and full of emotional intrigue.

Hope Turner is the ideal human-hunting assassin, and she is damn good at her job. A daughter of the Chakal, a race of hybrid demons lacking physical sensation and
emotion, Hope was always brutally efficient in her work. She never struggled with a case, that is, until she was assigned to take down Ciaran O-Connor – a stubborn,
strong-willed bodyguard with a dark past and severe PTSD.

He also happens to be her soulmate.

When the omaeriku – an inescapable soulmate bond – takes hold of her, Hope is hit with a wave of emotion and physical sensation for the first time in her life. Finding herself unable to kill Ciaran and ending up on her former boss’s hit list, Hope and Ciaran must escape into hiding. Immediately, the chemistry between Hope and Ciaran is electric. However, they must try to direct their focus on finding a way to take down Marcus Dentry, their newfound common enemy, who was both Hope’s former boss and Ciaran’s former captor and torturer.

However, as they spend more time together and succumb to their physical desire for each other, the newfound emotion and pain brought forth by the soulmate bond begin to overwhelm Hope. Can Hope learn to handle her sudden emotions, both the good and the bad, before it drives her away from the only person who can make her feel? And can Hope and Ciaran track down Marcus and exact their revenge before he gets to them first?

Inspired by the works of authors like Robin McKinley and Neil Gaiman, Affinity for
Pain is a great next read for smut-lovers seeking a romance that includes action,
intimate vulnerability, and electric chemistry. Click “Add to Cart!” today!

WWW Wednesday: November 30th, 2022

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:

Thursday: Well, obviously, it was Thanksgiving….lol. It was also Miss B’s birthday. She’s 17 (and no, I can’t believe it!!) We had brined turkey, ham, potatoes, stuffing, turnips mixed with carrots, and rolls. For dessert, we had pumpkin pie. We enjoyed the parade and the dog show (a tradition in our house), and we chilled for the rest of the day.

Friday: We didn’t do much of anything. We went to Sams Club (I needed gas in my car). Miss R had an abbreviated horseback riding lesson (half hour) and that was it.

Saturday: BK and I packed Miss R and Miss B up and drove to the mountain outlet shops. Miss B has a winter formal on Friday, and she needed to get clothes for it. She also needed long sleeve shirts. Miss R needed leggings (or jeans) and shirts. After we got home, we put up our tree and decorations.

Sunday: Another chill day. But it was also a day of keeping Tony and Vinnie out of the tree. I’ve gotta say, in all my years of owning cats, I have never had a cat climb my Christmas tree until Tony. He is a TERROR. The lower branches are broken, which is fine because we were going to get a new one anyway. But still. I am hoping the newness of it wears off soon.

Monday: That is the only day this week without an appointment. I finished Love and Anarchy (not a fan of the end of that season) and started Uncoupled. I love Neal Patrick Harris, and I am enjoying the show.

The longest book I read this week: The Beholder. I couldn’t get into it, and it took me a couple of days to finish.

The shortest book I read this week: Shadows Wake.

I joined Kindle Unlimited this week. I have meant to for a while but have been putting it off. BK and I already have Audible (he shares the books with me), so I won’t have an issue finding books to read (or listen to) in the future.

This week’s list might look the same as last week’s. I decided not to read ARCs and instead cleaned up some other books on my list. So, I will have almost the same books listed for this week.

So that’s the essential things for this past week. How was your week?

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


What I Recently Finished Reading:


What I am currently reading:


What books I think I’ll read next:

WWW Wednesday: November 23rd, 2022

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:

Thursday—Nothing too much happened. I started watching Love and Anarchy (a Swedish series) on Netflix. It is hilarious but also VERY raunchy. A lot of sex going on in this show.

FridayMiss R marched with her 4H Club in our city’s Christmas parade. It is a massive affair for our city, bringing hundreds of people downtown. Miss R did a great job throwing candy and marching. She can’t wait to do it next year. Miss B was a little jealous. Last year, she marched with the now-defunct Junior ROTC. But, still, we had a good time.

Saturday—We went to Sam’s Club and then Food Lion. We needed to pick up the last odds and ends for our Thanksgiving dinner. After that, we hung out at home and watched TV.

Sunday—-It was Mr. Z’s birthday!! He turned 15. We had cake (no ice cream since 3 out of the 5 people in our family are lactose intolerant) and presents. He got a coffee mug that turns into his favorite anime when hot, The Stand by Stephen King, and a couple of gift cards from my brother, his family, and my parents. He also got a cookie basket from BK’s mom, a Keurig machine purchased last week, plus a jacket/jeans/pants bought at Sam’s on Saturday.

Monday—It was busy, believe it or not. I had a parent/teacher conference with Miss R’s teacher. She’s doing great but needs to stop doodling. Our leaf service (provided by the city) came by and sucked up the leaves we raked/blew to the curb. There were many (we have 3 huge oak trees in the yard). After I got Miss R from school, we headed to a local barn to work with mini-ponies. The owner uses them as therapy horses and is looking to implement an educational program. The kids will read out words/read to them/or do math equations with the horses. It is supposed to help the kids with retention. Miss R loves doing it and interacting with horses that are small than her. Her riding instructor (who is involved) thinks it is a good way to get her confidence up with the bigger horses.

Tuesday—Nothing too much happened. It was almost like the calm before the storm (with Thanksgiving coming up on Thursday). I did a bunch of laundry and cleaning.

The longest book I read this week: The Boy in the Mirror. It took me all weekend to finish. I couldn’t get into it.

The shortest book I read this week: The Prisoner by B.A. Paris. I devoured this book. I started it last night and finished it this morning (I read it while eating breakfast).

I decided to make a Giveaways shelf on Goodreads. It is mostly for me to track what I have won. I did win one book this week, The Stranded by Sarah Daniels.

I haven’t been updating my old posts. I have been too busy watching Love and Anarchy during the day and The Game of Thrones at night (with On Patrol Live on Friday and Saturday nights). I am going to try and squeeze in time.

I am still behind on reviews, but I am not sweating it. I am getting the reviews for my indie authors done in the promised time frame. The reviews for my NetGalley books are also getting done, but it varies. I am either ahead or behind. Depends on the book’s publication date. But, to repeat myself, I am not stressing over it.

So that’s the essential things for this past week. How was your week?

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


What I Recently Finished Reading:


What I am currently reading:


What books I think I’ll read next: