Saturday, December 23, 2023

New Reading Journal & MORE Tracy Clark

Baby, it's 6:12pm and I am making it happen. I'm 100 pages into Tracy Clark's second Harriet Foster Thriller, Fall. This one has my full attention, without a doubt. The story centers around the mayor of Chicago (fictional, I might add) and a group of aldermen who conspired to commit a crime. A co-conspirator took the fall and was recently released from prison. All of a sudden, the others are getting killed. One strange thing about their murders is that dimes were placed without bodies. 

Harriet Foster's police procedural is woven with that of the numbered criminals surrounding the crime as well. The question is: whodunit? I'll save those ideas for later; I've got to keep reading during vacation.


Meanwhile, I've just closed out my original reading journal that I started in March of 2022 and came prepared with my new (again Sailor Moon-themed) journal. Overall, I'm having fun at home with my candles, wax warmers, coffee, double-layered socks, and blanket. With groceries in the house and bills paid, you can’t tell me a thing. I live for moments like this where I can just relax, be content, and read my books without worrying about where I need to be the day after and what I need to do. My time is my own. And… well… books own my time as well.

And I’m cool with that.

Let the vacation (and PlayStation 5 later this evening) continue. I honestly think I’m going to target another 50 pages of Fall by Tracy Clark. I see that happening tonight… along with another bite of this monster...






Late Night Friday Reads


 

Monday, December 4, 2023

Another Currently Reading...

 

"Fifteen-year-old Justin Billings wants nothing more than to break the destructive chain of enmeshment clouding his deliberately sheltered adolescence. However, autonomy is fiercely chastised in the Billings household. Justin's newfound dignity threatens his scheming single-mother Wendy's benefit scam, of which Justin's fabricated autism diagnosis serves as an integral cog.

Whether forced into spending time with unsavoury babysitters, or following Wendy on her endeavours, Justin lives a burdensome life. Never fully welcome, wherever he goes. Being the only kid at school without a mobile phone only adds to his isolation.

Determined to flee Wendy's unbearable psychological abuse, Justin wittingly enters the north Wales care system. Unbeknown to him, only compounding his brittle vulnerability. While desperate for independence, engrained self-abhorrence sees him perpetually preyed on by society's wolves. Local tearaway and fellow resident, Darcy Quinney, sniffs his diffidence from a mile off, and gleefully assumes Wendy's puppeteer role."

GRAB YOUR COPY ON AMAZON BY CLICKING THE LINK HERE!

CHOP IT UP: Slay by Laurell K Hamilton

 


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Got the NEW Patricia Cornwell Kay Scarpetta Book...


Unnatural Death
, BABY! Happy Release Day! Can't believe I've been reading Kay Scarpetta's crime-filled adventures for fourteen years now. Never missed a book since 2009! And why should I when Kay Scarpetta is my literary aunt in my head. 

Anyway, I'll never forget that night in July 2009 where--after having bought the book the year previous--I laid across my bed and read The Body Farm in its entirety during one long night. I've been hooked on the series since! 

I've held out throughout the not-so-great "hard" books. Loved time spent during Kay's revival era ten years ago. And love Kay in her newfound era where more of the peculiar is fused into her medical examiner cases. Such as the illusion of Bigfoot trampling over two rogue government officials taking refuge in the Virginia woodlands.

Or... so it all seems...

CHOP IT UP: Spirit of the Wood by Kristen Britain


 

Sunday, November 19, 2023

A Relaxed Reading Update of the Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time


Anyway, two two-way ways to support the channel... Books mentioned in the video are (Amazon affiliate link): 1. The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart 2. The Hot Rock by Donald E. Westlake 3. The Firm by John Grisham *** Though it's to be fully determined after I finish my own project (currently in the works); I am an affiliate with BookBud.ai and welcome you to check out the site via my affiliate link above ***

 

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

How My Reading Kitchen Table Be...

 

BOOK 

✅BURNING CANDLES

✅READING JOURNAL AND LAPTOP

SAILOR MOON BLANKET

SAILOR MOON STUFF IN GENERAL

✅CURRENT TBR PICKS

✅PEACE & HARMONY WITHIN MY LIFE DESPITE LIVING IN A SOCIETY THAT WANTS YOU TO CONSTANTLY BE SOMEONE OR SOMETHING THAT YOU'RE NOT JUST TO BE ACCEPTED BY SOMEONE ELSE'S STANDARDS

Thursday, November 9, 2023

CHOP IT UP: They Shoot Horses, Don't They by



They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1935) follows the story of an aspiring movie director named Robert. It also follows an aspiring actress (film extra) named Gloria. The story begins with Robert on trial for Gloria's murder, the circumstances of which revert back to when the two met each other outside of Paramount Studios. At the studio gates, both appeared hoping to run into someone who would give them access to their dreams and desires (though Gloria is trying to catch a bus up out of there). 

Nevertheless, where Robert is still ambitious and hopeful, Gloria is the exact opposite. She is overtly pessimistic, depressed, and downright bitter. Regardless, as an increased effort to be seen by the big wigs of Hollywood, the two enter a dancehall marathon. Surely "Hollywood" would be in the audience looking for new talent, right? Well, more or less. Within this dancehall marathon the story spirals, resulting in Gloria's murder by Robert. And it's her murder that doubles as the answer to the book title's question: They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

I actually enjoyed the book. But not for the reason many might think. Yes, the book hosts subtle (and some cases, not so...) racial overtones, bigotry, sexism, and a host of other issues that cropped up from this book written in the 1930s. Most of that is to be expected for an American noir piece of its time. However, I think what might make many readers wince is the insistence of the character of Gloria's desire to be dead. 

And, yet, with her every utterance and aggressive behavior on display, I found her both fascinatingly relatable and—quite frankly—funny. She had a lot of gall because she spoke truth to other characters. She was just so abrasive. So pessimistic. So, what I've gathered that hit home to me: TIRED OF EVERYTHING. Or, as exemplified by the metaphor of the dancehall marathon, she was tired of spending her life in circles trying to find a way out. 

Meanwhile, Gloria saw through how many of the other characters laid into their facades, such as the two older ladies who interrupted the marathon to preach about the morality of the contestants. According to Gloria, in regards to these ladies' daughters (she assumed they had daughters):
…”That’s generally what happens to daughters of reformers,” Gloria said. “Sooner or later they all get laid and most of ‘em don’t know enough to keep from getting knocked up. You drive ‘em away from home with your goddam lectures on purity and decency, and you’re too busy meddling around to teach ‘em the facts of life—“
That was one of many examples of Gloria.

Anyway, love her or hate her. She was a character.

In the end, Gloria ruined Robert's life. But did she, really? The two had a choice. Gloria could have chosen to keep living. And Robert did not have to kill Gloria to set her free of her suffering. And, one could say, of his suffering from her insufferable presences and thirst for her own death as a release. In the end, Gloria won. As she corrupted and ruined his life and got the death that she wanted.

The funny thing about such final thoughts is that--like the dancehall marathon--the reader could go in circles about it. Still, I understood Gloria. I got it. She was hurt. Broken. Bitter. Tired. And just wanted out. It's depressing.

As someone who absolutely loved the character of Gloria, what can I say? Other than I feel like her sometimes myself. The shit just made sense, Gloria. It made sense. (And I'm leaving this on a fun note.)

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

First November 2023 New Releases are in...


November is already feeling kind of spicy and exciting. Don't quite know where to start. But these are at least four books on my November 2023 Reading Menu! FYI. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros made a surprise TBR visit, after having been recommended/suggested to me multiple times by different people since its release back in May. For once--which rarely EVER happens--I decided to bite the bullet and see what all the hype is about. Either way, let's go NOVEMBER Reading!

Edit: I'm about to go finish playing Alan Wake II while I'm between books!

November 2023 TBR Menu

Naturally, as all readers understand, this is fairly tentative. The idea is to read all the new releases I'm looking forward to, catch up on a series I gorged on back in July, and support an independent author. With that said, I just thought the whole dang thing was cute. You know, putting said TBR (tentatively) onto a makeshift wedding menu. How classy we've gotten lately.

FYI. The ultra-popular Rebecca Yarros book is on there because I kept hearing good things about it. While I'm not into dragons, I kind of decided I'd give it a try. See what all the fuss is about. Which is SO not like me. Anyway, bon appetit!

Monday, November 6, 2023

3 authors I would like to have lunch with…

...and the single question I would ask them...


1. Toni Morrison

1987’s Beloved blessed you with a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. Do you think the esteemed and prized recognition you received for Beloved put pressure on your following efforts? I ask this because I have always had a difficult time finding myself immersed in your books post-Beloved. Due to this overwhelming feeling with trying to reach for the stories and plots behind the heavier prose. Sometimes I--as the reader--would just like the know what's going on.


2. Sue Grafton

How did you manage to get inside of my head to create a literary figure (as well as mystery genre icon) somehow incredibly relatable to me as Kinsey Millhone? Her wit, no-nonsense attitude, inconsistencies, and loner-ish-ness is so ME!



3. Mercedes Lackey

You come up with some great fantasy ideas. However, I sometimes tend to love your storytelling, while struggling with some of the directions you take with your plot. Then, on occasion, it’s the other way around where the plot supersedes your storytelling. So my question is how often do you allow your characters to dictate your story to release yourself from a functioning, well-rounded plot? Some of your books often leave great storytelling potential on the table [plot]. Such as the mother in the first Bardic Voices book.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

My Favorite Bookmarks I Own

Man, I love bookmarks. But, at the same time, know I can't own (nor necessarily use) all that I come across. Regardless, the last thing I do when I go to a bookstore is look through the bookmarks. Shoot!, sometimes I be knocking them all over the floor trying to find one I like. Overtime I've collected more than a much needed few. And these are my favorite bookmarks I alternate with--per whatever book I'm reading at the time. 


Sometimes I kind of place a book's theme with an adjacent bookmark. Like if I'm reading fantasy with a young woman in lead, I'll use my Alice in Wonderland bookmark. Or say I'm reading a mystery; Buffy's my go-to. It's not a strict kind of thing, but just something fun I like to do.


It's clear that I'm a Golden Girls fan. As for my Jacob bookmark from the Twilight series, clearly it's been around for a longggggg time.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Top 100 Mystery Reading List Interlude: In Need of a Fantasy Book

I’ve decided–after all–that I just might need a break from my reading “challenge” of the Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time. Seriously, I just finished The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins–a conclusive experience that begs for a break in reading genres. However, I wasn’t listening to my reading spirit and went forth to read The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart and The Hot Rock by Donald E. Westlake post The Woman in White. I was dedicated to my "challenge". I was determined to extend my reading of mysteries on into September.


Unfortunately, in keeping consistent with the Top 100 Mystery Novels list, I’ve tried to read The Circular Staircase TWICE in my life and have recently failed again. Somewhere around the 25% mark, I consistently grow bored with the story. Plus, I never seem to like the first-person narrative (for several reasons I’ll hold back from sharing at the moment). It’s crazy to me, because I figured The Circular Staircase would be a fantastic book to read for a mystery lover such as myself. But, nevertheless, I can never seem to get into it. Therefore, The Circular Staircase is being bounced off my reading attempts in regard to the Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time.

Second to that, I proceeded forth to try to read Donald E. Westlake’s The Hot Rock. 25% into the book, and I’m honestly not feeling it. It’s too, dare I say, goofy in its tone. Yet, I’m still hoping to return to it after I finish reading…

…the interlude book/genre…

The Soprano Sorceress by L. E. Modesitt Jr. Finally, FINALLY pulled this off my shelf. My reading spirit kept calling me to this book; put aside the mysteries for a break and read some high fantasy. I'm about 250 pages in and am sold. It's not the greatest high fantasy. Certainly not the deepest high fantasy. Though completing The Wheel of Time tempered me on how to read high fantasy books such as this. But it's kind of what I need. Just an epic, magical adventure involving a portal fantasy traveling woman who uses her voice to summon storms (of all things). Alongside the many forces trying to either control her and her powers, or destroy her.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey Book Haul

Finally ordered all the Lord Peter Wimsey books I needed to own the whole of Dorothy L. Sayers' series. Though, I have to mention, I passed on the short story collections. Nonetheless, I was so won over by my reading of The Nine Tailors that I had to have more at my own avail!




LET'S READ!

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Top 100 Mystery Novels Haul

While I "dedicated" August to tackling some of the books featured in the Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time list, it is now September and probably time to move on. Part of me wants to push forward in September with the list. And part of me has been craving for something far removed from mystery novels altogether (my Mercedes Lackey fantasy books seem to be calling me from afar). 

Whatever I decide to do, I remain vigilant in collecting some of the future reads presented on this list–throughout the month of August. So, here are some of the books I found throughout the month in preparation for my next excursion in tackling the Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time list. And I must reiterate how HARD it is to find many of these books, short of ordering them online. However, these books I found at various thrift stores, used bookstores, friends of the library sales, and so forth. So, per the picture, the books I managed to acquire are…

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone #36 Has Been Announced

It's about time. We've been waiting since 2021's release of Ice and Stone for the next Sharon McCone mystery. Welp. Here it is... (Amazon affiliate link below)


Release Date: April 23, 2024 
(so we got a minute to wait)

"San Francisco is home to more than 200 privately owned streets. Most are alleyways, but a select few look torn straight from the pages of a magazine. Lined with mansions and elaborate gardens, the properties are luxurious and perfectly maintained; security guards patrol the grounds to keep the curious at bay. Few know of these exclusive enclaves, but those who do prowl for availability, ready to make a grab for the precious real estate if opportunity strikes.

When several such streets are targeted in a series of so-called pranks, Sharon is hired by a coalition of concerned owners to investigate. But as things escalate—an attempt on Sharon’s life, an explosion at a meth lab, and a shocking murder—Sharon realizes far more is at play than a few misdemeanors gone wrong.

The case takes a sudden turn when one of McCone & Ripinsky’s most trusted employees is implicated, and Sharon will have to dig deep to save her agency—and her life."

Monday, August 14, 2023

(a defunct goal) Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Times Raymond Chandler Library Haul


First, I have to be super clear. This video is pretty much obsolete at this point. I happened to have filmed it right behind my last video and have since then tried to read The Big Sleep for the third time before deciding to pass on Chandler's work. But considering I had already filmed and edited this video, there was no way I was going to let it just sit in a vault. Therefore, I've uploaded it and still invite those who have read Chandler to pass me a good word. I'm just not as encouraged as I thought. FYI: This video might be exclusively on my blog. You win some. You lose some. Personally, I want to read more Dorothy L. Sayers. After reading The Nine Tailors, the craving for more Peter Whimsey has taken over.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Ultimate Mercedes Lackey Fantasy Reading Haul

 

I had zero business buying all these Mercedes Lackey books I found in a used bookstore out of town. But, as we all see, I bought them anyway. Mercedes Lackey isn’t even all that of a fantasy writer to me; her books always seem to be missing something or another. However, these are books I’ve been kinda-sorta hunting around for a while now. So, I struck gold–as far as I’m concerned. I guess the thing is that once I get my reading spirit into a certain something, I tend to devour and go for all it has to offer.

But my GOD do I also just love these early-to-mid nineties Mercedes Lackey fantasy covers as well. They, quite literally, begged my ass to read them. So here I am. And here’s what I came across and grabbed…


Monday, July 17, 2023

Unread Titles Shelf Detoxification

Many got to stay. Many had to go. I got a huge summer shelf unread books detox going on strong right here. So sick of hanging on to books year after year; I did a fairly complete shelf detox where I combed through unread books I’ve either lost interest in, don’t feel the knack for even trying, don’t have the right series entry to start with, or have read and just don’t feel the need to keep. This is the result.

Now, to keep track of the matter, I’ve saved and placed in a digital folder all that I could onto my Handy Library app. Those filed in this folder are available at my public library. Therefore, essentially, they can hold the book while I maintain space on my shelves. So, if ever I get the urge to read them, I know where they’re available.


Ah, what a relief.


I have some stipulations regarding many of the books I did question but decided to keep. However, I probably won’t hold myself to it for too long. I kind of got the detox bug and am ready to go for round two if need be. Regardless, adios to these here. Down to the donation center you all go! Thanks for the good times—OR NOT!

Friday, June 16, 2023

3 Rare (For Me, Anyway) Book Finds

I went to this amazing out of town discount bookstore Tuesday to do what I do when it comes to used bookstores–scour EVERY shelf for hidden and rare treasures. And this visit did not disappoint. Never would I believe I would find a hardback version of Susan Wittig Albert’s first Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter cozy mystery books. A rare treat, indeed. Second to that is the first book in Robin Paige’s Victorian Mystery series, Death at Bishop’s Keep. Now, now, now, and now. To be clear, Robin Paige is Susan Wittig Albert’s penname. Regardless, I’ve always had a hard time finding this book (without ordering it online and all that extra jazz).

Lastly, who would have thought Robert Jordan’s (writing as Reagan O’Neal) Fallon books still existed in hardcover. The Fallon Legacy concludes the trilogy, leaving me in need of just the second book at this point. Nevertheless, this copy of The Fallon Legacy is more than a decent copy, as it is in excellent condition. I practically ripped it from the shelf the second I spotted it in a pile of sleepers.

Anyway, these are all rare, sought after finds for me. Got lucky this go ‘round.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Thinking About Some Boys-Boys in Space #PRIDE Readings

This is going to be interesting. LGBTQ. Space Opera. Drama. Princes. Romance. And sinister, conniving villains. At least I think these two books have that much in common. Regardless, I’ve always kept my eye out on reading them both, in the hopes that I will enjoy them and proceed forward in each individual series. I got a good word for Bonds of Brass from the librarian who checked me out. She commented that I had “good taste in books”. She was remarking about how much she enjoyed Bonds of Brass herself. She and I were both unsure of Winter’s Orbit but were optimist that it would be a blast to read as well. I've made it my job to return to her with a good or bad word about the book.

Well, here goes…

I might skip reading Michael Nava's Rag and Bones from my TBR for now. To, of course, immediately get into these space operas.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

In Death Covers Getting a Makeover in 2024

Looks like J. D. Robb's In Death series are getting a makeover next year. Check out the cover art for Random in Death, release on January 23, 2024.


Do you like it?

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Stormlight Archive Boxset

While the truth is I was more or less moved by my completing of reading The Way of Kings back in October, I still wanted (at some time or another) to give Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive series more chances. I understood from some readers how the second book, Words of Radiance, really set the tone of this epic fantasy. The issue is that I just didn’t know when exactly I wanted to try more of the series–-to jump in further within Kaladin, Shallan and Dalinar’s journey. It’s one of those epic fantasy series that continues to stay in the back of my mind, with a part of me ready to find precisely what is the draw of the series overall.


Then, right on time, I happened to come across the complete boxset on BookOutlet and could not believe it. $42 for the complete Stormlight Archive series in hardcover (with an original price tag of about $140 dollars). I couldn’t believe it; there was zero hesitation in my taking advantage of this opportunity and purchasing the boxset.

So, I don’t know exactly when I will be jumping back into the series. However, as seen, I’m prepped and ready to see what else the series has to offer. I want to find what makes this series such a beloved staple in the high fantasy genre. What is all the rage? What is all the fuss? And, as a The Wheel of Time lover, will I ever find my Nynaeve in Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere Universe?


We’ll see. Soon. At some time. Lots to get through here. But, as when I took on reading The Wheel of Time, I believe I can do this. 


Tuesday, May 9, 2023

T. A. Barron's Adventures of Kate 20 Years Later Re-Reading

Here it is and here I go. Finally, finally doing a rereading (because I’m not great at doing so). Though this is a twenty-years-later type of rereading. While I won’t get into all these long “historical” details, I simply must express how–for whatever reason–I suddenly wanted to read T. A. Barron’s three Kate Gordon fantasy books. Two decades later, by the way. Anyway, I’ve held on to them for so long and am now ready to answer this strange calling. So… here we go…

The reading order is:


  1. Heartlight

  2. The Ancient One (my personal favorite/introduction and one I read for the first time years before the others)

  3. The Merlin Effect


So the month of May is dedicated to going on adventures with Kate again. From the distant planet in her physics journey in Heartlight. Her falling deep into the past wrapped in an indigenous-themed tragedy in The Ancient One. And, finally, the deep sea quest found in The Merlin Effect.


I’m not interested in examining how these middle-grade books that were published in the earlier 90s stand today. Nor gauged them for how much I’ve grown as a reader. I’m here for just pure, relaxing, fun, ADVENTURES.




Wednesday, February 22, 2023

The Cover of Payback in Death by J. D. Robb is OUT!

(Amazon affiliate link)


"Lt. Eve Dallas is just home from a long overdue vacation when she responds to a call of an unattended death. The victim is Martin Greenleaf, retired Internal Affairs Captain. At first glance, the scene appears to be suicide, but the closer Eve examines the body, the more suspicious she becomes.

An unlocked open window, a loving wife and family, a too-perfect suicide note―Eve's gut says it's a homicide. After all, Greenleaf put a lot of dirty cops away during his forty-seven years in Internal Affairs. It could very well be payback―and she will not rest until the case is closed."

Yay. The new cover of Payback in Death by J. D. Robb is out. It's really different. I love the red and blue in particular. Anyway, it's out wayyyyyyy away on September 5th. I still haven't gotten through the last book, Encore in Death, yet. But, naturally, I'm still looking forward to Payback in Death.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Gifted Myself a Wacom for my Birthday

 

I finally, finally bought a Wacom One beginners drawing tablet! Now I just must learn how to draw something in the digital realm. Old millennials problems, I guess. It’s just hard to wrap my head around growing up going to Michael’s and Hobby Lobby to collect art supplies and now everything I need is pretty much a click away. Anyway, my hope is to reinvigorate drawing some more cartoon art. New age. New time. New device. New purpose.


I stopped by 2nd & Charles and grabbed some books, too. Though I’ve tried to avoid doing so, I gave myself a pass today. These are the books. Luck was on my side when I found a copy of The Monsters We Defy by Leslye Penelope. I’ve been wanting to read this book since it came out. More Mercedes Lackey and a Steven Saylor Ancient Rome mystery.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

New Book Release Alert

Of courseeeeeeeeee, J. D. Robb’s new release, Encore in Death, would be on this list. Of course, chile. Of course. Nevertheless, Eve Dallas’ latest case has us readers falling into the cyanide poisoning affair of the husband of a celebrity couple. Now, anybody who is familiar with me know I can hardly stand mysteries involving celebrities, film sets, actors, so on. But if anybody can sell and deliver me on such a setup, it’s J. D. Robb.

Second, our Patricia Raybon is back with her second Annalee Spain Mystery, Double the Lies. So off to the 1920s we go to solve another mystery with our professor.


Monday, February 6, 2023

Afternoon at a Cafe

 


Spent an afternoon at the cafĂ© “studying” my way through my long-term journey reading The Feeling Good book by David D. Burns, MD. An absolute GREAT book that looks at treating depression and anxiety with a practical approach. I first discovered this book as far back as 2006 and have always kept it around because of how simple and reasonable Burns addresses mental health roadblocks and how we can conquer them. Either way, it's always good to just get out of the house on a nice day!

Other than all that, look what I got earlier today...









Wednesday, February 1, 2023

CHOP IT UP: One Visit by George Veck

 

"In sleepy, rural North Wales, Frankie Gibbs, a recently laid off, aimless twenty-year-old on Universal Credit, wants nothing more than to keep his younger brother out of the care system. He single-handedly takes this upon himself while their alcoholic, cocaine-addict, single-parent father, Guy Gibbs, heaps misery on their lives through systematic abuse and his never-ending wild parties. After Guy is sent to prison, Frankie is coerced into opening his home to Justice, an acquaintance from his school days now turned drug dealer, while his own addiction and self0worth spiral beyond recognition."

Taking in the synopsis alerts the reader how One Visit is set to be a rather dark–and some might say–depressing read. Usually when a book such as One Visit crosses my path, I have to wonder what will be the resulting message in the work. So seeing how the book centers around the subjects of abuse and addiction, I end up asking myself a few things. One: how much of the story will center around the dark premise in itself, leaving an avalanche of despair by its end? Two: how much will center around the theme in hopes that a message of hope will result in its conclusion? Of course, I'll leave that up to you–the reader–to arrive to. Yet, while I found the ending fairly gratifying, it was the journey forward that was tough. From a technical standpoint.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Amelia Peabody Series is Wrapped

"Banned forever from the eastern end of the Valley of the Kings, eminent Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson's desperate attempt to regain digging rights backfires—and his dream of unearthing the tomb of the little-known king Tutankhamon is dashed. Now Emerson, his archaeologist wife, Amelia Peabody, and their family must watch from the sidelines as Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter "discover" the greatest Egyptian treasure of all time.

But the Emersons' own less impressive excavations are interrupted when father and son Ramses are lured into a trap by a strange group of villains ominously demanding answers to a question neither man comprehends. And it will fall to the ever-intrepid Amelia to protect her endangered family—and perhaps her nemesis as well—from a devastating truth hidden uncomfortably close to home . . . and from a nefarious plot that threatens the peace of the entire region."



The day is over. The Amelia Peabody series is over. Or, at least, my journey reading them. I closed out and finished the final entry–per the proper timeline–Tomb of the Golden Bird. I can not say it was the best entry in the series, but it had all the fixings to be one with the opening of King Tut's tomb. And for once, Amelia Peabody actually went into a tomb and explored. I stress this because it always frustrated me how Amelia was not also slipping into a tombs. Instead she often stayed outside and sifted through debris. Stuff like that, anyway. Though, of course, Amelia Peabody is so much more than all those things combined. Otherwise, I wouldn't have stuck with reading the series for nine years.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Vanille Caught Something New Today



"Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, New York: Lyndsay Murray is opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family, and it’s everything she’s ever wanted. The West Indian bakery is her way to give back to the community she loves, stay connected to her Grenadian roots, and work side-by-side with her family. The only thing getting a rise out of Lyndsay is Claudio Fabrizi, a disgruntled fellow bakery owner who does not want any competition.

On opening day, he comes into the bakery threatening to shut them down. Fed up, Lyndsay takes him to task in front of what seems to be the whole neighborhood. So when Claudio turns up dead a day later―murdered―Lyndsay is unfortunately the prime suspect. To get the scent of suspicion off her and her bakery, Lyndsay has to prove she’s innocent―under the watchful eyes of her overprotective brother, anxious parents, and meddlesome extended family―what could go wrong?"

Author Olivia Matthew's NEW RELEASE is out TODAY. You can grab a copy on Amazon (affiliate link) HERE

I have a lotttttt of new releases to catch up on. Boy, I tell ya. Life of a bibliophile.

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