Spring’s Calling by Sarah Biglow

A Book Review

As promised I finished the urban fantasy by Sarah Biglow. For me this is a new series, and Spring’s Calling is the first book. I’m tempted to compare this book with Kim Harrison’s first book but that would be unfair. Kim Harrison’s series is a little dark and edgy. Sarah Biglow’s series is not as dark or edgy but is very good.

In this series, Seasons of Magic, the main character, Ezri, is a newly promoted police detective in the city of Boston. Ezri has turned her back on the magical community, and has sworn to serve and protect. However, a series of brutal murders pulls her back to her magical counterparts for their help in solving the mystery.

The series is a cross between detective, mystery, and fantasy genres. I only have two complaints which are: the world seems small considering they’re in a big city, and there are very few members of the magical community that take part in the story. I am willing to accept these as part of being the first book where the author is starting to build the world. 

The magic system is very interesting where everyone’s magic leaves behind a unique scent. This enables Ezri to identify other magical practitioners. I did especially like this aspect of the world building. 

I loved Ezri. She’s strong, confident, and flawed. She’s carrying around a lot from her past, and the author does a great job of weaving that into the story. She is also smart and intuitive putting her high on my list of favorite characters. 

All in all I liked this book. I was drawn into the story, I was invested in the outcome, and I didn’t want to stop listening. I think I finished the book in two days. I’m also looking forward to the next book in the series. I give this book a four out of five. This is only due to the fact that it’s the first book. My rating may change with the second book. I’ll keep you posted.

I’ve been reading a lot lately. I just finished a book in Maggie Sefton’s A Knitting Mystery series. This is a long running series in the cozy mystery genre. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and I am anxious to read the next one. I’ll review that  in my next blog post. 

Until next time, I wish all of you blessings for a wonderful couple of weeks. 


P.S. I think Libby is going blind. She flinches a lot whenever I move or if she’s in the sunlight. It’s heartbreaking. For my part, I plan to help her as much as I can, and make things easier on her. She’s getting a lot more jerky treats! 

Image by Matt Bass from Pixabay

Abandoned In Death by JD Robb

Book Review

Abandoned in Death by JD Robb is her newest book in the In Death series. This book stands out for me because it’s told from three different points of view. The first sets the stage for our killer, the second adds the scenery, and the final is when the lead actor comes into the story—Eve Dallas. This is a bit different from her previous books in the series but as you read on you’ll find that each point of view is important. It also adds a fresh take on a long running series.

The story starts with a young woman and her son whose lives are a struggle. She has a drug habit, and he is only five years old and doesn’t understand their circumstances. A decision is made which starts a series of events that lead into the murder mystery. Eve Dallas is the lead detective on the case, of course, and all the usual cast of characters are present.

What I loved about this book was how JD Robb unfolds the mystery. She starts in an unusual manner but all the parts start to fall into place, and the reveal is a total surprise. At least to me. The antagonist is nicely fleshed out, and there are scenes that help you to understand their motive.

I’ll be honest, I don’t usually care for stories where scenes depict events from the suspect’s point of view, especially when they’re unsettling. So, there were times I did fast forward through some of them. It really didn’t detract from the overall experience, and I felt the story came together even without those scenes. I still didn’t like the suspect, I wanted them to be caught, and I was satisfied at the end. Keep in mind, this is my own opinion on murder mysteries. I don’t mind a little bit of the killer’s point of view but only a small amount, and not enough to be graphic. This book—for me—had some scenes that caused me to cringe a bit.

All of that being said I did thoroughly enjoy the book. JD Robb (Nora Roberts) is a great storyteller, and at no time does the story drag. She also includes those slices of life with the supporting cast that keep drawing you back to the books. One of the things I love about her writing is how she describes a character—short, sweet, and to the point. Some authors go on just a little too long. I also love how she sets a scene so you feel like you just physically walked into the room.

All in all I loved the book but then I’m a huge fan of the series. I look forward to the releases, and am grateful we get two books a year. How the author keeps up the pace is beyond me. I’ve read that she has a solid work ethic, and loves what she does. I give this book a five out of five.

I’m reading some other books at the moment. I’ve discovered a new urban fantasy author. I’m listening to the first book, and will probably be finished by the time this post is published. I’ll share my thoughts in my next post. So, my friends, please have a wonderful couple of weeks, and be kind to yourself. It is healthy to take time to do things you love and that feed your soul.


P.S. Libby is doing really well. She needs to go to the groomer but I’m waiting until I get her in for her annual exam because she’s due for her vaccinations. She’s gonna love that, she said with an eye roll. We used to go to other places where she could play with other dogs, but they’ve closed, and I’m really picky about other daycares. I don’t want her having a bad experience. So, now, she only leaves the house to go the the groomer and the vet. It’s a chase to get her into the car. Not something I look forward to, although it’s good cardio.

Image by Peter H from Pixabay

What I’ve Been Reading

It’s been a couple weeks and I’ve been reading—and listening—to some really good books. I’m going to talk about the two I’ve finished, and really enjoyed. They’re both cozy mysteries, which is my favorite genre. I’m actually in the middle of about three books right now, some cozy, some not. I’ll talk about those in a couple of weeks. Spoiler alert! One of them is the new JD Robb book, Abandoned In Death.

Devonshire Scream by Laura Childs

This is the next book in the series, and probably one of my favorites so far. I think I say that after each book! The book starts with a trunk show at Heart’s Desire Jewelry. The show is shattered when thieves break in, and chaos ensues. I won’t tell you any more because it is such a good book, and I don’t want to spoil anything. The book is filled with unique speciality teas held at the Indigo Tea Shop, which has influenced me to start drinking tea. I haven’t given up coffee! I just slip in a few cups of tea for a nice change of pace. All the characters that I love so much are present, and the mystery had me guessing right up until the end. It was a total surprise! Laura Childs’ writing is so well done it never drags or becomes tedious. I wanted to spend as much time as possible in the world she’s created in Charleston, South Carolina. If I had to pick one thing I didn’t like—and there is only this one thing—it would be the number of suspects. The list kept growing and I found myself a little confused. But that is a small nitpick. Once the suspects started to be eliminated, the sheer joy of the mystery unraveled satisfactorily. I give this one five out of five.

A Tale of Two Cookies by Eve Calder

This is the third book of the Cookie House Mystery series. Now, here’s the thing. I read the first book and thoroughly enjoyed every moment. I borrowed it from the library, and immediately put the next two books on hold—there are only three books in the series so far. Having done that, I waited for about two weeks, and the third book became available to borrow. I didn’t really want to read the third book first but I also didn’t want to wait the four weeks for the second book. I decided to read the third book and hope there weren’t too many spoilers. I was pleasantly surprised to find there were none. Oh, there were mentions of things that had happened in the second book, but Ms. Calder didn’t get into the details, much to my relief.

The book was excellent, and wasn’t a murder mystery, which was a nice change of pace. The center of the story is a missing person, and the efforts of our amateur sleuth, Kate, to find him. In this series, Kate McGuire, a trained pastry chef, has moved to Coral Cay, Florida to recover from a break up. She finds a job as a pastry chef at The Cookie House bakery. The books are a balance between solving mysteries, and the satisfying scenes of baking and socializing with friends who are murder mystery buffs. The second book, which came available yesterday, is still on hold because the hold time elapsed. I honestly didn’t see the notification. I am not a happy reader.

I love this series so far and Ms. Calder is an excellent writer. The main character is very lovable, and the supporting cast of characters are interesting and fun. Oh, and there’s a dog. Who doesn’t love a dog in a story. I highly recommend this series, and give this book a five out of five.


I’m listening to JD Robb’s newest In Death book and so far it’s pretty good. I’m also listening to the third book, Bedeviled Eggs, in Laura Childs’ Crackleberry Club cozy mystery series. I’m at the end of Pekoe Most Poison, the next book in Laura Childs’ Tea Shop Mystery series. I’m also reading A Curious Incident by Vicki Delaney. This is a book about the owner of a Sherlock Holmes bookshop and emporium who solves crimes in the fashion of the famous sleuth. It’s a good series, and a different take on Sherlock Holmes. I’ll write more about this book in my next blog post. I have a few other books I’m in the middle of but I think this list covers my current focus.

A little news, the next Robert Jackson Bennett book, third of the trilogy, will be coming out in June 2022. I’ve already put in my pre-order on Amazon. I’m very excited about this next book so I can learn how Mr. Bennett wraps up the story.

So, there you have it, what I’ve finished and what I’m in the middle of at this time. I’m enjoying my reading journey, and I’m happy to be back to blogging. I’ll have more books in two weeks, if my TBR is any indication. Until next time, snuggle up with a good book and take a break. We all deserve one.


P.S. Libby has been doing really well. We had a bit of a scare last Sunday. The D&D podcast I work on is doing some special segments for our 200th episode, one of which is a real life D&D game. I was playing online, Libby was a little freaked out, and she fell off the bed, which is pretty high. I panicked but she was fine, and she went downstairs to sleep in her bed in the powder room. I found her there four hours later looking very put out when I turned on the light. This Saturday we’re live streaming our episode for sixteen hours so Libby is NOT going up on the bed. No way!

Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs

I recently finished Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs. I thoroughly enjoyed this murder mystery. Let me tell you a little about it without spoilers.

The main character is Theodosia Browning, a small business owner who runs The Indigo Tea Shop, and is an amateur sleuth. The tea shop is atmospheric, comforting, and aromatic. Along with Theodosia are Haley, the magnificent baker extraordinaire, and Drayton, tea master and straight-laced ludite.

As the story opens, Theodosia, along with her boyfriend, Max, are attending a gala at the museum, where a new Chinese tea house has been installed. The guest list is the creme-de-la-creme of Charleston society. Of course a murder takes place, and Theodosia finds the body inside a photo booth. The story continues on from there, and is both fast paced and enthralling.

Laura Childs’ writing is beautiful. She can paint a picture with her words, and create a world you don’t want to ever leave. She brings Charleston to life with characters that are fun, quirky, and lovable. When I was reading this book I had already read the previous fifteen books in the series. To say I’m in love with the series is putting it mildly. I adore these books, and I love all the characters—even the bad guys are interesting.

I thought I had figured out who committed the murder, but I was wrong. I had some suspicions about the culprit but my mind had gone down a rabbit hole, which is a sign of a good murder mystery. I will say, the ending is exciting, and doesn’t disappoint. That’s all I’ll say because this is a book you should read. I recommend reading the first fifteen books first so you get to know the recurring characters and their storylines. I know that may seem daunting but honestly they are so good you will fly through them.

What didn’t I like? Nothing. I loved every moment I spent with Theodosia, Haley, and Drayton. I think if I nitpicked, I would say the book was short. I only say that because I read through it so quickly that I felt it didn’t last long enough. I just didn’t want to leave that world.

I highly recommend this book—and all the books. If I had to pick a favorite so far it would be the first book, oddly enough. Death by Darjeeling introduces you to the cast, the world, and Earl Grey, Theodosia’s rescue dog, turned therapy dog. He is a character all on his own.

In the end I give Ming Tea Murder five out of five stars. I’m ready for the next book, but because there are only a few more left I want to make them last.

I hope you’ll give The Tea Shop Mysteries Series a try. Trust me, time well spent. In the meantime, curl up with a favorite book, maybe do a re-read, and keep warm. Unless you’re in a warm climate, then stay cool. I’ll be back in two weeks with another post. Until then take good care my friends.


P.S. Libby is doing well. We had some snow yesterday—about an inch—and she was in heaven. We went for a short walk, and she was running the whole way. Pretty good for a fourteen year-old dog. When we returned, she gobbled down her food, had a sip of water, and snuggled into the bed for a long nap. Life is great when you’re a dog!

Image by Jasmin777 from Pixabay

I’m Back!

Well hello! I’ve been gone a long time. Wow! The time just got away from me. I’m embarrassed to admit this but I’ve been so consumed with looking for work, and working on my book, I lost sight of the blog. But I’m back and I’m ready to get back to work.

I’ve been reading a lot lately, mostly cozy mysteries. The world is in such a state, that I needed something that was fun and uplifting. Cozy mysteries fulfill that need. Having said that, I’m coming back to start providing reviews for all of you. I know I’ve reviewed fantasy, romance, and young adult books in the past but I’m making a few changes. First, I won’t be reviewing young adult books, second I will be adding cozy mysteries, and finally I will be no longer be reviewing anything too adult. I hope you’ll forgive me for the changes, but I feel there is enough negativity in our world today, I don’t want it in the books, or other forms of entertainment, I consume.

What are cozy mysteries? I can hear you asking from all the way over there. They are murder mysteries in which the lead character is usually (not always) a female small business owner, who is an amateur sleuth, and can sometimes be around when a murder is committed, and is then pulled into the mystery. What the books are not is full of cursing (none usually), graphic violence (someone dies but mostly off the page), and no graphic sex scenes (this also happens off the page). Oh! I almost forgot, they usually have a pet—a dog or cat, although cats seem to be more popular. I’m partial to the ones with dogs, but then you all know I have the most adorable dog on the planet (I’m not biased).

I still have other books I love to read. I’m currently listening to American Demon by Kim Harrison and loving it. It is definitely NOT a cozy mystery. But I love the series, and now that it’s coming back I’m very excited.

How does proofreading fit into all this? Another great question! You guys are on a roll. Writing a blog is great practice. I can write about what I love, books, and use the skills I’ve learned in a class I finished. I’m new, so be gentle. Simply put, you all are my test subjects. I hope you’ll be kind, and give me the room to grow.

The nuts and bolts of the blog are about the same. Every two weeks I review what I’ve been reading. I’ll be honest and open about what I like, and don’t like, about a book. I commit to being honest in my opinion. I’ll really try to be as diverse as possible but being honest I want to read what interests me, but if you’ve heard of a book and would like a review, post it in the comments. I will find it (hopefully in the library) and give it a try. If I can’t get through it, I’ll be honest about that as well. I hope this blog can be a place where we can have an honest dialogue about books, and what we all love to read.

That is what I popped in to say. I’m happy to be back, and I hope you’re happy I’m back. I have read a lot of books lately so I’ll have a post next week. Until then, my friends, find a little corner in your world, cozy up with a good book, and escape for a while. You are worth it!


P.S. Libby is sleeping on the bed with me right now. It is so cold here we’ve taken to cuddling under the covers. Having said that, she is a winter dog. She loves walking in the cold, and playing in the snow. I’m having to really bundle up to keep up with her.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.