A New Look and A New Blog

You may have noticed the blog looks a little bit different. I’ve been working on updating it to make it easier to navigate, and find posts and pages. I like the new look and feel like I’m making progress in creating something I’m proud of. I want to thank a very good friend of mine who has been helping me with the ins and outs of WordPress. His help has been invaluable.

Where have I been? I’ve been struggling to find the next phase of my life. If you’ve been following my blog you know I’ve been unemployed for over a year and with the state the world is in finding a new one is proving to be difficult. No matter how much I’ve tried or how many jobs I’ve applied for I haven’t been successful. It got pretty demoralizing. I finally sat down and had a good think. Where was my life going? What was I going to do with the rest of my life? How would I live my life going forward? I’m sure there are a lot of people going through similar circumstances and hopefully, for all of us, things get better soon.

So where am I going? Long ago, when I was a young girl of eighteen, a friend’s mother put a book in my hands that changed my life. I have always been a reader but this was my first “adult” book and it was eye opening. The years and years that followed I devoured just about everything I could get my hands on. If you asked my nieces I spent our summer vacations at the cottage sitting on the beach or on the back porch reading. Along the way I thought I might want to be a writer someday and took some creative writing classes in college. A professor inspired me with words that I still remember to this day. Later some friends and I formed a writers group and we spent time reading our short stories to each other. It was an amazing time in my life. Now I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to follow my dream.

I’ve started writing again. I’ve written a couple stories, which stay on my computer because I’m not ready to share them yet. I did enter a contest and I’m waiting to see if I won. If I don’t it’s no big deal because the experience is what is important. I’ve started writing a fantasy novel. I have the outline written and six chapters. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve written so far but it’s the first draft so I don’t expect it to be super fantastic! I took the advice of David Eddings and what he said about writing: write a million words then throw it away. Then you’re ready to start. I had a love story I was writing but realized since my few relationships had failed I didn’t have enough experience to write a story about romantic love. So I threw it away. Now I’m starting over in the fantasy genre which is my absolute favorite. The outline just wrote itself. Now to put flesh to the bone.

I am a writer. In my heart I always have been and that professor from long ago said I had a gift and I needed to share it with the world. Now is the time and I am ready to take this next step in my life. I hope you’ll stay with me.

I still plan to write some reviews and share my life with Libby. I also plan to share some tidbits from my work in progress but not until after the first draft is done and I’m on to the editing and making it pretty. I also have a presence on Reedsy and plan to post short stories on Inkitt. I will also post my short stories on this blog as well. I have a lot to share.

Libby, of course, fully supports my decision mostly because we spend so much time together. Even as I write this in the early morning hours she is softly snoring on the couch content and peaceful. Life is slowly dawning into a new normal and hopefully we’ll also know some peace.

I don’t know when my next post will come out. I’m still working on a schedule but until then, stay safe and follow your dreams my friends.

Therese

Postscript: The short story I submitted was accepted and has been posted on the Reedsy website. If you’re interested here is the link. The results of the contest will be announced by the end of the week.

Book Review: Year One by Nora Roberts

Did you ever start a book and knew you disliked it right away? A couple years ago Nora Roberts announced she was writing a new book that was different from stories she had written before. I was excited! Nora Roberts. One of my favorite authors. Year One was released and I happily downloaded the audiobook and started listening. In the beginning of the book there is a sickness that starts to decimate the world’s population. Wait! This is not going to be “the world is coming to an end and let everyone turn to cannibalism” story. Shoot! Not my kind of story. At. All. So I returned the audiobook and moved on with a great deal of disappointment. 

Fast forward to a few days ago and I was looking for a book to listen to with a story that would captivate my imagination. I don’t know why (divine guidance?) but as I was searching through the books on Audible I came across Year One again. I had just finished a Nora Roberts book and thought “hey what the heck let’s give it a second chance”. Wow. Am I glad I did. What a story! I think with the recent pandemic my mind was in the right space to get into this subject. It became much more real.

The book is the story of many people but specifically Lana Bingham and her lover Max. When the sickness hits New York they watch in horror as their city is wiped out. They both are witches with a little bit of power but with the rise of the sickness, which also has a supernatural element to it, their power becomes stronger. The story also follows other characters as well all running away from cities and towns that are being overrun by people who were always mean and ugly and those who are being tempted to the darker side of the magic that has been unleashed. 

There is a lot going on in this book as Nora Roberts builds a world that is both hopeless and hopeful and she does this very well. She also has created characters that you love immensely and fear for and those who you truly hate and just flat out fear. And the story is just getting started in this book. There are two more books which, by the way, are currently available. Once I finished the first book I immediately downloaded the second book and have started listening because I wanted more of this world and of these characters.

Is there anything I didn’t like about the book? No. Just no. I loved this book. When Nora Roberts crafts a sentence to set a scene the picture forms in your head so beautifully. She uses an economy of words to great effect and you’re right there in a room, a field, a car. It doesn’t matter, you’re there. I’ll be honest I thought “oh no this isn’t going to be like Stephen King’s The Stand is it?” That thought stuck with me for a bit and there were somethings that were similar but about halfway through you realize while the idea is the trope she turns it on it’s head and brings it to another place full of magic and madness. 

Do I recommend this book? Absolutely! It is a great read and will touch your heart and your mind. So, if you want an engrossing story, some urban fantasy and a whole lot of heart then read Year One, you won’t regret it.

Did you ever look at your dog and see them laying in their bed and their head is hanging down over the side and think “how can she breathe?” Well, that’s the thought in my head right now. Libby is sound asleep with her nose touching the floor. I can’t believe that’s comfortable at all. Dogs. Sheesh!

It was one week ago I had the thrill of going to the beauty salon and getting my hair done. A chorus and angels sang hallelujah! Honestly quarantine hair was ruining my life. Now I look in the mirror and smile with simple pleasure.

One note, real life has changed a little bit so instead of posting on Wednesdays I will be posting on Thursday afternoons instead. 

So, that’s it for this week and it’s been a good one. I’m really excited about the next book in the Chronicles of the One series because I think things are going to get good. I’ll review that next week. Have a safe and healthy week my friends.

Therese

So Much Going On!

First I want to apologize for being late with this post. There is so much going on. Some of it is of my own making and some is a result of reentering life as it is today. 

I have been listening to audiobooks but I can’t seem to settle into one that lights that fire. This comes from reading two really good books back to back and having a reading hangover. That happens when you have trouble finding a book after you’ve been in a world you loved to inhabit and searching for another place where you feel that again.

What have I listened to so far? First MARKED by Benedict Jacka. This is the book that will bring me current with the series. It is a good book but I don’t want to be in that world right now. Second, THE CRUEL PRINCE by Holly Black.  I tried to read the physical copy of the book a couple months ago and had a hard time with the violence involving children. I thought that since some time had gone by that perhaps I could listen to the book and get through it. Nope. Still can’t stomach children being treated with some much cruelty. I returned that book to the library. Finally, I am listening to THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS by N.K. Jemisin. I’m about 3 hours in and so far I do like it and I will keep with it mostly because I’m beginning to like this world. I hesitate to commit to a review of any of these books because I don’t know which one will be THE ONE. 

Another impediment to reading is a couple games I’ve been playing. The Sims 4 on the Playstation 4 is pretty cool. My one complaint, and this is with all games on the PS4, is the text is so small that if I’m not sitting right in front of the TV I can’t read it and that takes away my enjoyment. The other game that just released is Summer on Mara. This is an Indy game that has been released by Nintendo for the Switch. It is really fun and very addicting. I am a gamer so sometimes it is hard to break away to read. It is very hard to have two hobbies that you love equally.

So, this is me struggling to focus. Struggling to find that one book that will ignite my passion and finding the willpower to put aside my games so I can read. I need to make some changes. 

I’m so glad that I was able to write this post on my blog. I thought about skipping it this week but deep down inside I really couldn’t because I enjoy it so much and because I care about you and didn’t want to let you down.

Good news…I got my hair colored and cut yesterday afternoon! I cannot express how good it feels to look in the mirror and see my hair. I was feeling really raggedy. Libby is scheduled for her grooming appointment next Wednesday and she really needs it. She is a yorkie poodle mix and so her hair gets long and wavy. It is also very thick around her scruff and even though I brush her she can look scraggly within a minute. One good shake and all that brushing is gone. She’s also very warm with all that hair and we’ve been having very warm weather. I am so grateful she’s going in next week.

That is the week in a nutshell. Not very productive unless you count getting a five star rating on my island in Animal Crossing New Horizon. I will hopefully have a blog post next week in which I review a book. That would be nice! 

So, until next week my friends I hope your reintegration into the world is going well and that you’re having positive experiences. Thanks so much for reading my blog and I will have more next week.

Therese

Book Review: Hideaway by Nora Roberts

I am a huge Nora Roberts, JD Robb fan. My mother gave me four of the In Death series books a few years before she passed away and when I finally got around to reading them I fell in love. At the time I didn’t know JD Robb was actually Nora Roberts so when I found out I picked up an audiobook and fell in love again. This month her new book, Hideaway, was released, something I had been looking forward to so I thought I would review it here as a book by an author I would recommend if you want to get into adult romance novels.

The story is about Caitlyn Sullivan who is a member of the Sullivan family who are Hollywood royalty. The story starts with Cait being kidnapped from the family estate in Big Sur. She does escape and when she runs away she finds the Cooper ranch where she meets Dillion Cooper. Both of them are children and Dillion helps to calm Cait down and get help for her from his mother and grandmother. As the story goes on we follow Caitlyn and Dillion through their college years and into adulthood where they come together again.

This is an adult romance novel with a touch of mystery and suspense. I really loved this book. From the start I fell for Caitlyn and her big, loving family. I was right there with her when she was being held for ransom and rooted for her through the years that followed. 

Dillion is a great male lead. He is strong, knows what he wants, and loves animals (especially dogs). What’s not to love? He and his family have been ranchers for generations and even when he is forced to go away to college his heart remains with the ranch. 

The story is strong. It’s a typical Nora Roberts format in that boy meets girl and so on and there is an element of danger. Caitlyn becomes a fearful child but through the love of her family grows into a strong and loving adult. The supporting cast of characters are all well developed and everyone has a purpose in the story. There are no throw away characters. The mystery itself was a little easy to figure out but then this isn’t a James Patterson novel. Things are laid out logically but are very transparent. This does not take away from the enjoyment of the book. As a matter of fact it adds to the charm of the book. It’s lighter fare and meant to be candy for the brain.

As I said, I loved this book. It was like a cool breeze on a hot summer day. I felt uplifted and refreshed. I did listen to the audiobook and January Levoy, who does a lot of Nora’s books, was fabulous as always. She can really bring the story to life. I give this book a 5 out of 5 and if you’re looking to dip your toe into the adult romance genre then I highly recommend picking this one up.

Libby and I have really settled into a nice little routine. I will be sad when I go back to work and can’t spend the day with her but I will look back on this time with her with a great deal of gratitude. I’m waiting impatiently for the hair salons to open on June 15th. I am in desperate need of a haircut. I wear it short and it’s down to my collar now and driving me nuts. Soon. That is my mantra now.

I am currently listening to Marked by Benedict Jacka which will catch me up on the Alex Verus series. So far it’s good. I’ll review that next week. After that I’m not sure. I started to listen to The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab but the narration was horrible. I have the ebook on hold and I’m hoping to get it soon. 

That’s it for this week. I know the world is starting to ramp back up so I hope all goes well for you both professionally and personally. I’m curious to see what the new normal is going to be. Until next week my friends, stay safe and stay healthy.

Therese

Book Review: Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett

I’m struggling to come up with the start of this review. I have so much to say about this book. I’ll start with a brief synopsis without spoilers and then get into the review part of this post.

If you haven’t read Foundryside, the first book, then I highly recommend you do and you can also read a mini review I did on February 18th. In the first book, which was awesome, the main characters, Sancia, Beranice, Orso and Gregor all come from different backgrounds but are united in a common goal. I hesitate to write about the first book because I don’t want to spoil anything but it’s been out since 2017 so I’ll leave it at this, they are trying to stop a house from bringing back the first hierophant which could potentially destroy Trevanne. 

Shorefall picks up three years after the events in the first book. Sancia, Beranice, Orso and Gregor have formed a small firm that is dedicated to sharing information so they can bring down the big houses. They’ve set up shop in the Commons where the poor and disenfranchised live and many scrivers have left the big houses to start their owns firms in this area. 

In the beginning chapters the main characters are at the Michiel campo and are going to share a scriving that will enable the Michiels to twin their lexicons. What they are not aware of is what the true plan is and this leads to bigger and bigger things as the book goes on.  That’s really as much as I can share about the story without spoiling the book.

So, let’s start with what I didn’t like. The story suffers a little from a lag after a great opening. I realize this had to happen in order to set up the things that follow but I struggled to stay engaged. It is a short part of the overall story so if you’re reading and find yourself a little underwhelmed stick with it. The rest of the story makes up for this in a big way.

Ahhhh now what did I like. The book did not suffer from middle book syndrome where you feel like the story is flat and uninteresting. Just as in the first book the story builds and builds and moves from one challenge to another as the stakes grow and grow. Each step the characters take seem to fail as they fight an enemy that is so powerful it seems impossible to make any headway in defeating it. They are also in alignment with another being of power whose true purpose is unknown but makes promises to help defeat the main antagonist. Normally I don’t care for the big bad being so big and powerful because it seems almost impossible for the protagonists to be victorious but in this case it was essential to make the challenge this big because Sancia had also grown in her power. The author brings back the city of Trevanne we inhabited in the first book and it is just as well written as it was in the first book. We also are treated to a particular character that I loved in the first  book who brought a little bit of humor coming back into the story. This reunion with the other characters is bittersweet as the magnitude of the situation and the plans of the antagonists are revealed. The ending was spectacular and leaves you with a desire to read the next book right now. I can only hope that is coming out soon. This is what I hate about reading a series as it’s being written. The wait is a killer!

I truly loved this book from start to finish. Even with the little lag I still enjoyed the ride. I am thrilled the second was even better than the first and left me feeling satisfied and a little sad that I had to leave the wonderful and scary world and come back to reality. I give this book a big 10 out of 5. Yep, that’s how good it was. I can highly recommend this book.

Libby and I are doing pretty good. She now wants to go up to the bedroom about two hours before bedtime to lay in front of her furry bed and snuggle with it like it’s another dog. It’s hilarious! I wish she would actually sleep IN the bed but if she’s happy then I’m happy as well. 

I recently borrowed Near Witch by V.E. Schwab from the library. It’s the audiobook and I’m looking forward to reading it next. I haven’t found any challenges on Booktube yet but I am on the lookout for one. I know I said I would wait but I feel like I’m almost ready for one. 

In our state the stay at home order has been provisionally lifted so I can actually go out and shop a little bit. I’ve gotten back into art journaling and would like to go to a craft store or the dollar store and browse for interesting supplies.

So, that’s it for this week. I hope my review was enough for you to decide if you want to pick up this book and give it a read. I hope you all stay safe as we start to enter into what is sure to become our new normal. Until next week my friends.

Therese

What I’ve Been Reading This Week

I thought I would write about what I’ve been reading over the past week and share my thoughts on each book. It’s been a good week of reading and I’m ahead of my Goodreads challenge for the year. I might have to increase the number of books I’ll read this year.

So, let’s get started.

BOUND by Benedict Jacka

This is the eighth book in the Alex Verus series and it was really good. Alex and Anne are now in service to Mordan and Alex is the liaison between the light council and the dark mages. Alex is acting as the second for Mordan who holds a seat on the white council as a representative of the dark mages. Alex only does this because Mordan threatens to kill everyone Alex knows. Alex is given no direction on what he is expected to do and finds himself in conflict with the other mages who are also seconds for light council mages. I think it’s safe to say that this is my favorite in the series. The characters have all matured and the relationships are solidified. Mr. Jacka not only hit the ball, he knocked it out of the park. I think the only thing I didn’t like about this book is the fact that one of the characters has something happen to them that has happened in other books. I sort of felt like this is a well that has run dry. What did I like? It kept me on the edge of my seat and I felt truly invested in the outcome. I loved that things resolved but not in the way I expected. I have one more book to read and I’ll be caught up and have to wait for the next book. I give this book a big 5 out of 5.

BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE by Evie Dunmore

This is an adult romance novel that takes place in England during the 1800’s. In the book the main character, Annabelle, has been offered a scholarship by the Women’s Suffragette movement to attend Oxford University. Sebastian is the Duke of Montgomery who is cold and cynical. He is trying to get his family castle back after his father lost it in a bet. I know….tropes….but they work and Ms. Dunmore brings a fresh feeling to the story. I would have liked to see Annabelle a tad bit less wishy washy in her decisions about Sebastian. After a while it just got irritating. As for Sebastian his character growth was endearing and a little difficult to read about. As you can probably figure out I didn’t really care for this book. I decided to read it based on a recommendation from someone who was new to the romance genre. That should have been a warning clue because I’ve read my fair share of romance novels and this one doesn’t really stand out. So in my honest opinion if you want to try reading romance I can recommend other authors that would be a good start. I give this book a two out of five.

SHOREFALL by Robert Jackson Bennett

This is not a review. Not yet. I decided that I would get the audiobook by spending one of my credits on Audible. So, now I’m listening to the book and reading the physical copy. I can listen while I’m walking Libby, making dinner, doing dishes or taking a shower. More reading time! So far I’m pretty happy with the book. I’ll be writing a full review on the book for next week’s blog.

So, that’s what I’ve been reading over the last week. I read something really good and then something I just really didn’t like. That’s the way it goes sometimes. I’m still pretty excited because I know Shorefall is good. 

In my state the governor has eased the restrictions on veterinary hospitals. My vet has a groomer and Libby is on the waiting list. She needs to be groomed so badly. I’ve trimmed her face twice so far and she still looks like a wild child. Our Stay Safe, Stay at Home has been extended to June 12th. I also need to get groomed! I need a color and a cut so badly that I’ve taken to wearing a hat out in public. I just remind myself that others are struggling with the same thing and quarantine hair isn’t just happening to me. 

That’s been my week and all in all it’s been pretty good. So until next week my friends, stay safe and stay healthy. 

Therese

Book Review: Our Dark Duet by V.E. Schwab

As promised here is my review of Our Dark Duet which is the second book in the Monsters of Verity duology. The book picks up right after the events in the first book. Kate has moved to another city, Prosperity, where there are not any monsters however, that doesn’t last very long and Kate becomes a monster hunter. All of this happens in the first couple pages of the first chapter so no spoilers.

In Prosperity a new monster has emerged that is very powerful and it actually attacks Kate leaving her marked. From Kate the monster learns of Verity and so Kate returns to Verity following the new monster. 

August has become alpha of the FTF in Verity and has the voice of his brother in his head telling him what he must do. August fights against it but feels guilty and follows what he thinks is the path he needs to take given the fates that befell his sister and brother in the first book. Again, no spoilers.

This is the beginning of the book and what transpires is life changing for both our main characters. One of the things I love about this author is she doesn’t pull any punches with her characters. They are not spared hardship and are always in danger. This is a very dark story and very violent so be warned.

So, what didn’t I like about this book? Not much to be honest. I think if I HAD to pick something I would say there were times Kate had tunnel vision which caused a lot of problems. Did she grow over time? Yes, a little bit but given all she was dealing with it fit into the story.

What I loved about this book was the relationship between August and Kate. Even with their differences they came together and found common ground. Kate was placed in a position where she learned what it was like for August to fight against the monster part of himself and that understanding drew them closer together. There was also the conflict between August and a new Sunai called The Sorrows who sees the world in black and white. Kate challenges August to live in the grey and as he struggles with this his role as the leader of the fighting force starts to change. I am NOT going to talk about the ending of this book because I want you to have the same experience and feelings I had. I will say it is worth reading both of these books to get to this ending,

I am so happy I decided to read this duology. I was a fan of V.E. Schwab and now I can say she is my favorite author. These books successfully killed my reading slump. I give this book 5 out of 5. 

Since we’re talking about V.E. Schwab I though I would share a little news. I follow V.E. Schwab on Instagram and recently she posted an update of her “To Write” list. Here is what she talked about that has me very excited.

There will be a “Threads” series which are the next three books in the Shades of Magic series. Holy cow!!

There will be a book after Vengeful. So that’s book three. I’m very excited to see where the story goes next. If you haven’t read the first two books I highly recommend them. 

TBR: I just finished Bound by Benedict Jacka. I have two more books to read to catch up on the series. I’ll write a review on this book for next week. Why this book and not Shorefall? Well I’m still reading that book and I don’t want to commit to a review and then go back on my word. I respect you too much to do that so I ask for your patience. I have read 60 pages so far and I will say it is very good. My plan is to get in some solid reading time this weekend so I’m hopeful I can finish. It’s not a hard book to read. It’s the complete opposite. I just have had other priorities that required my attention. 

Libby is fast asleep right now. I’m sitting in my bed typing and she’s on the floor snoring away. She had a tough couple of days this week because we had some thunder and she doesn’t do very well with noise. But I put on her Calming Collar and now she’s sleeping peacefully. Thankfully the sun is out today. Maybe we can take a little walk later on.

I hope you enjoyed this review. I really enjoy writing this blog because I am able to read some good books and share my love with all of you. So, until next week, stay safe and stay healthy my friends.

Therese

Book Review: This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab

This is the first book in the Monsters of Verity duology. I listened to the audiobook and I’m really glad I did because the narrator, Therese Plummer, was wonderful. She brought individual voices to the characters and so much emotion to them as well. If you get the chance I highly recommend listening to the book. 

Word of warning: The main characters are teenagers but the situations in the story are definitely adult in nature. So this is not a YA book. It is an adult fantasy book.

This is a duology about August Flynn and Kate Harker and the books are told from their point of view. August is a monster who fights to retain his humanity and Kate is a human fighting her demons. In this book the world is established. There are two families, the Harkers and the Flynns. There was a long war during which a truce was made and split the city of Verity in half. The Flynn’s are in the south and the Harkers are in the north. 

In the south Henry Flynn leads his people and utilizes a special type of monster, the Sunai, who have the ability to use music (either via an instrument or their voice) to bring a human’s soul to the surface. A red soul indicates a sinner and the Sunai reap those souls to not only feed but also ensure monsters are not resurrected from them. 

In the north Callum Harker leads his people and utilizes Malchai to control the city. These monsters are vicious and have no problem killing humans to feed themselves.

The book starts out with Kate Harker getting kicked out of the sixth boarding school because she sets fire to a chapel. August lives with his adopted family, the Flynn’s, and wants to be a part of the war against the monsters. Kate is the only daughter of Callum Harper but August is one of three Sunai and is considered Henry’s son. During the story Kate and August meet and become frienanemies out of necessity.

This all happens in the beginning of the book so I’m not spoiling anything. I just want to give you a foundation so you can decide for yourself if you want to read the book.

I’ll start with what I didn’t like about the book. I would have liked a little more about Henry Flynn and Callum Harker. These were the heads of their families and the leaders of their part of the city of Verity. I wanted to understand more about them and their motivations. This is a very small nitpick on my part and doesn’t take away for the story at all.

Here’s what I liked about the book. The world was so richly developed and built that I was drawn in right away. The city of Verity is a very dangerous place and V.E. Schwab does a wonderful job of depicting the ever present darkness that rules. I also loved Kate and August and their growth. They are both in high school and thrown into circumstances that are intense and violent. I loved the overall story because it was so compelling. Everything makes sense and builds on itself as it progresses. I immediately cared about the characters and hated the ones I was supposed to based on their actions. The ending makes sense and I guessed correctly at what would happen but there is a little twist that sets up the next book that I didn’t consider. All the pieces were there in the story I just didn’t put it all together until that moment.

I think you can tell by how much I’ve written that I loved this book. I went through it very quickly because I literally couldn’t stop listening. I was hooked at the first sentence and it was a thrill ride all the way through. I immediately downloaded “Our Dark Duet” (the second book) and as of this writing have already finished it. I’ll review that next week. I give “This Savage Song” five out of five and highly recommend the book. 

TBR: I’ve already read “Our Dark Duet” and am now reading “Shorefall” by Robert Jackson Bennett. I thought I would finish that last weekend but I had somethings I did with friends online so I couldn’t read as much as I wanted. I just started listening to “Bound” by Benedict Jacka, the next book in the Alex Verus series. I would also like to catch up on the series this month if possible.

Libby has been such a silly girl. She has started getting her head under the blanket that sits on the ottoman and then rolls around rubbing up against it. I have to say I giggle and laugh which feels really good after so much time on my own. She is my blessing.

In my state the stay at home order has been extended to May 28th. The governor is allowing manufacturing to reopen with some very strict procedures. Manufacturing makes up 19% of our economy so it’s important to get that up and running again. I’m a little disappointed with the extension but I also understand why it has to happen in our state.  There is a six phase plan to get to the new normal and that will take time and patience.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review of “This Savage Song”.  I will talk with you next week with my review of “Our Dark Duet” and look for my review of “Shorefall” the following week. Please stay safe and healthy my friends.

Therese

I’ve Been All Over The Place!

Yes, I have been all over the place. The library has had books becoming available like crazy and I wanted to listen/read them so I checked them out. In my head I’m thinking “sure I can listen to two books at once no problem”. In reality that just doesn’t work. So, I’ve started a couple, returned them promising not to take out anymore books but something else comes available. You see where I’m going with this. So, I haven’t finished a book. That’s really what it comes down to but I am listening to some really good books so I’ll tell you about those.

First, Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore is really a good story. Definitely an adult romance as there are some pretty steamy scenes. I only have a couple hours left on the book and enjoying the ride. I think I talked about the overall plot in my last blog post so I won’t go into that here but I am wondering where this is all going to end. Usually there is a marriage proposal at the end but things don’t seem to be going that way as an ending. I love Ms. Dunmore’s writing style. It’s very light and very easy to read without a lot of flowery language. 

Second, I started the Obelisk Gate by N K Jemisin and listened to about 3 hours. It was good but getting a little too depressing and dark. Honestly, I just wasn’t in the mood for that type of story so I returned it and will come back to it at a later date because I do want to find out what happens next in the trilogy. 

Next, I started reading Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L Armentrout. This is the second book after White Hot Kiss. I still have the book on loan and have read about 31 pages. It takes place immediately after the end of book one and Layla is dealing with the emotional consequences. I plan on reading the rest of the book but only have 3 days left on my loan.

I am also listening to This Savage Song by V E Schwab (my favorite author right now). This is the story of Vincent and Kate, one is human and the other is not. Their families are rivals and are sharing control of V City. There is a truce in place but tensions are high. Vincent and Kate meet in school and form a friendship of sorts. Things take a turn and they find themselves depending on the other even after Kate learns the truth about Vincent. Ms. Schwab has written another story that is engaging and flows so wonderfully that I am 72% of the way through the audiobook and it’s only been 2 days. I will definitely be finishing this book.

Then today I got Happy Mail. Robert Jackson Bennett’s new book Shorefall was delivered and I am setting up a weekend of binging this book. His first book was magnificent and I did review it in one of my earlier blog posts. I am in book heaven. I am really looking forward to this weekend. 

So, that’s been my week. Like I said, all over the place. So many stops and starts. I’ve since deleted my holds in the library app and made a list of the books I want to read. When I’m almost done with one I’ll put one of those on hold. I think that will help a lot.

Libby was super cuddly this morning. I was sitting in my chair and she jumped right into my lap, put her paws on my chest and started licking my face. You might be thinking, well yeah, she’s a dog and that’s what they do. Not my dog. She almost never sits in my lap. She just wanted attention I guess. I have to be better about that. 

I will have a book review next week for sure probably on This Savage Song since I’ll be done with that this week. I don’t want to do a dual review with Shorefall because I know it’s going to warrant it’s own blog post. So, until next week my friends. I hope you read lots of books, spend time with your family safely and I will talk with you next week.

Therese

O.W.L.S. Week 4: And We Come To The End

I finished this read-a-thon with a whole new appreciation for some great authors that I thought I wouldn’t like and some that I knew I would love. 

The end of the read-a-thon came down to WHITE HOT KISS getting finished so I could claim a success. I had 5 days left and then received a notification from the library that my book was due in just 2 days and I had 100 pages to finish. I put everything aside and sat down to finish the book. This meant no Animal Crossing which was really hard to do because I love the game. I was also binging NUMB3RS on Hulu and stopped watching it so I could read. Everything was put on hold. I usually don’t like to read under those circumstances but I had committed to finishing the read-a-thon. 

On Sunday I sat down with my Kindle Fire and focused. I only had a day before it was time to return it to the library. I did, in fact, finish and I’m so glad I did. It was a great story with some solid characters with complicated relationships. Layla is half demon and half warden and must constantly fight against her demon side so that the Wardens, who adopted her when she was a child, do not send her to hell. Layla has two guys she’s interested in. Zayne, who is a Warden and the boy she grew up with, and Roth, the demon who tempts her with his sensuality. What makes this romance interesting is Layla has the ability to suck the soul out of people so she can’t kiss anyone. This makes for some interesting angst between her and Zayne. She comes up against a truth that changes her life forever and sets the course for a story that is intense and thrilling at the end. There were some things I guessed right about but there was another I didn’t see coming. I really enjoyed this book and plan on reading the other three books in the series. 

So, the read-a-thon is complete and I’m so proud of myself. I started out with a reading slump and finished on a strong note. I don’t think I’ll do another challenge for a while. I would like to read for pleasure and not because I’m taking place in a challenge. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the read-a-thon, I did, it’s just I didn’t enjoy the pressure I put on myself. 

I am very excited about another book I started. THE OBELISK GATE by N.K. Jemisin became available via the Libby app. This is the second book in The Broken Earth series and I’m a little over three hours into the audio book and am so happy that I actually understand what is going on. It has just two main characters, Essun, from the first book, who was the main focus of the story and her daughter, Nassun, who has been taken by her father. The story is not only about a world coming apart but of how they both struggle through The Fifth Season to survive and find each other. I was really happy when the book became available. I did have to put aside BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE to focus on the library book. BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE is an Audible book I own so I can take my time.

I also borrowed the next book in the The Dark Elements series, STONE COLD TOUCH, which should be good. I just need to know what happens next to Layla.

The stay at home order in my state has been extended until May 15th so I plan on getting some reading done and playing Animal Crossing, which I am loving so far. So much to do! Libby was very patient this morning while I was reading. She slept on the couch and every once in a while she would check in just to say Hi. I’ve been cooking a lot and for the first time in a long time enjoying it. Just a little bit about the life of a blogger.

So, until next week my friends stay healthy and stay safe. 

Therese