Finally. Now It’s Time to Get to Work…or Back To Work

I cannot adequately express my complete and unabashed relief at the announcement of victory for President-Elect Biden and Vice-President-Elect Harris.

This is a book review blog, it’s not political… yet, this is the most important election (in my opinion) for my country in a very long time.  I have friends on both sides of the aisle here.  Fortunately, we rarely (if ever) discuss politics.  I’m not into bashing anyone… that’s been done enough in the last 4 years.  But I am filled with such joy, so many runaway possibilities right now that my mind cannot even grasp them all.

My country has healing to be done, and that will not be an easy journey by any stretch of the imagination – yet, I believe it can be done, eventually.  It’s not going to be an easy task for the Biden/Harris administration to get done what must be done to heal us given the make-up of the political battlefront in place… but with compromise, it can be done.  (and I’m still hopeful for those run-offs in Georgia in the Senate elections)

But at this moment we have a President and Vice-President just weeks away from taking the official office who actually “SEE PEOPLE”.  If you aren’t one of the ‘invisible’ people in this world you cannot know just how incredible that feeling is.

I’m not foolish, nor naive… hate, bigotry, anger will still exist in our country (and I don’t know if that can ever truly be healed) but these are the first steps on a pathway that will lead out of the darkness of the last four long years… and for that alone (and so many other reasons) I will celebrate, laugh, smile, dance for joy, and pray for possibilities.  A new journey begins today…

…but for now, I need to get back to work on the things that bring me joy.  Books.  🙂

Be safe.  Be kind.  Wear a mask.

“May Her Memory Be A Blessing”

“May her memory be a blessing” is the traditional phrase to speak now of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, I’m told.  And in so many ways her memory and her life have been such a blessing already to so many.

There are no words to convey my sadness at the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg… affectionaly known as Notorious RBG to so many.

My thoughts on what her passing means to my country’s future will remain private – this isn’t the time for political ideologies… it is a time of mourning a loss of a great lady… and a time to celebrate the memory of a life so well lived that she will live on in history books and the decisions she made for equality for all.  She was a voice of logic, of common sense, of law, of the right thing to do – and her voice will be sorely missed.

Rest in Peace.  Rest in Power.  Rest knowing that there are thousands who will remember and be called to action in your memory.  And that is fitting for a warrior when cancer would be a factor in the length of the battle.

Weekly Wrap-Up Sunday Post #10

Another crazy week in paradise!  Kinda.  Sorta.

This post has been shared on The Sunday Post, a weekly recap from so many amazing blogs is hosted by Kimberly over at Caffeinated Reviewer. 

This word link and the graphic will take you to The Sunday Post meme for this week – enjoy.  🙂

Just Life:

It’s been rather quiet around the homestead this past week – no major events, just getting through this pandemic… and the political scene.  I swear I’m going to avoid Twitter for a full 24 hours just to get a cleanse going on from all the political crap.

Did get to social distance visit with my best friend this week, that was the highlight.  Well, it’s mentionable because she’s moving to Tennessee at the end of October – and this damned quarantine is keeping us from doing stuff together before she goes.  But we got to spend an hour together on my patio enjoying the sunshine (and the annoyance of shouting over the neighbor’s lawnmower – grr – of course he was done when she was ready to leave!).

Last week on the blog:

Reviews were kinda light, for a change.

Dead Man Talking by Jana DeLeon

The Cowboy and His Runaway by Kaci Rose (this one might have triggers)

A Nanny Called Alice by Barbara Hannay

The Haunting on Palm Court by Stephanie Edwards

Dawn with a Duke by Erica Ridley

Once Hunted, Twice Shy by Mandy M. Roth

A Cowboy’s Proposal by C. J. Carmichael

What Not to Wear to a Graveyard by Debra Sennefelder

The Watcher by Jennifer Pashley

New Books Added to the TBR:

I was actually pretty good this week.  I did add J.D. Robb’s newest, Shadows in Death – the next Eve Dallas & Roarke adventure is an absolute must for me.  And nothing from NetGalley (for a change).  A slow week in gathering books, but I’ve plenty to keep me occupied *looks at the Kindle* – yeah, I got books to read.  🙂

Have yourself a good week – read some great books – and stay safe.

 

Weekly Wrap-Up Sunday Post #9

Another crazy week in paradise!  Kinda.  Sorta.

This post has been shared on The Sunday Post, a weekly recap from so many amazing blogs is hosted by Kimberly over at Caffeinated Reviewer. 

This word link and the graphic will take you to The Sunday Post meme for this week – enjoy.  🙂

Just Life:

Quarantine life continues.  We had a small scare as one of our friends is sick and being tested for COVID-19.  Fortunately, she’d been off work for a week before her potential contact (with a doctor’s office nurse who was asymptomatic until a random sweep of the office personnel was done when she became sick), but it still sucks for her as she is now in total lockdown until she gets the results back.  This virus is so insidious.  You can have it and have not one single symptom yet pass it along to someone else.  Wash those hands, keep a social distance.  Mask up, people.  Yeah, it’s not comfortable but you’re protecting those you love and perfect strangers – and yourself -from this dangerous virus.  Not ranting, just pleading… be safe, and keep those around you safe as well.

In other home news, regarding my son.  He’s begun a new liquid oral medicine, Evrysdi (pronounced Ev-Riz-Dee) in place of the spinal shot with Spinraza (that nine-inch needle to the spinal column was always scary and painful… but it was the only treatment, at the time, for Spinal Muscular Atrophy).  I’m comfortable mentioning it as he’s shared this information with his Twitter followers and is truly all about helping others with information that might be helpful to them or someone they might know.  Any new direction in medical treatment is always a bit scary, yet the results from this have been good.  The chance to build stronger muscle with life-altering possibilities is something that has to be tried.  If this daily medicine will save his life, allow the possibility of affecting the strength of muscle… then I’m all for it, even as I hide that motherly concern behind a positive smile.  (I’m a mom, it’s part of my job description to worry about… anything.) 🙂

Reviews on the blog last week:

Continue reading “Weekly Wrap-Up Sunday Post #9”

Stacking the Shelves #21

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality.  If you’d like to take part simply click on those links or the graphic to discover what this fun event is all about.  This week’s Stacking the Shelves is linked in the graphic.

My Crazy Life This Week

I don’t know that this week is much different than any other since February 2020 – my family is still safe within our bubble, politics are still infuriating and dangerous, and people are still cruel to others just because they are different (and there are so many ways to be different aren’t there?).  I’ve been doing some research this week on ways to de-stress although I’ve never been a yoga or meditation person – but soothing hobbies, that I can handle.  We’ll see how that works out once I find something that draws me in.  In all – we’re surviving, and I’ll take that and run with it.  🙂

New Books This Week for Review

Christmas ARCs are upon us and I’ve started my Christmas reading list, plus a couple that sounds very interesting:

You Betrayed Me by Lisa Jackson – If The Boot Fits by Rebekah Weatherspoon – The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas (anthology) by Jodi Thomas & Sharla Lovelace & Scarlett Dunn  (Covers linked to Goodreads)

And that was it for this week.  My wallet was very grateful that I didn’t go on a buying spree – for once.  🙂

Hope you found some great titles this week – enjoy the reading adventures that await you.

Can’t Wait Wednesday

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally, they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, once hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  Find out more here.

I’m trying to get back into weekly bookish things, and ‘Can’t-Wait Wednesday‘ was one that I enjoyed sharing last year.  This year is more than a little crazy but I’m trying to find a new normal – and that is talking about books in any way that I can.  So, here we go again.  🙂

I read across so many genres that picking out one for this week is a bit of a challenge.  But I believe that I’m most looking forward to the release of a “debut author” who is actually using another pen name as she moves into another genre.  I’ll put the link to her new name website at the bottom.  It’s no true secret for she’s mentioned it on Twitter and her other author name is on her new site.

Pretty Little Wife” by Darby Kane becomes available on February 16, 2021

Debut author Darby Kane thrills with this twisty domestic suspense novel that asks one central question: shouldn’t a dead husband stay dead?

Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn’t what she seems.

A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila’s husband, Aaron, is also missing.

At first, these cases are treated as horrible coincidences until it’s discovered the student is really the third of three unexplained disappearances over the last few years. The police are desperate to find the connection if there even is one. Little do they know they might be stumbling over only part of the truth…

With the small town in an uproar, everyone is worried about the whereabouts of their beloved high school teacher. Everyone except Lila, his wife. She’s definitely confused about her missing husband but only because she was the last person to see his body, and now it’s gone.

Continue reading “Can’t Wait Wednesday”

Thoughts on My Book Ratings & Other Blogger’s Opinions

A few days ago a Tweet showed up in my Twitter feed.  One that I didn’t respond to, frankly because it infuriated me so much that I was afraid that the anger would come through before the logic did.

In short, basically this person states that they cannot trust a reviewer’s opinion when that reviewer gives a lot of 5 star ratings because they aren’t being honest about the flaws that every book out there has to one degree or another.

I was surprised, at the time, how many other reviewers/bloggers agreed with that statement.  Then the next day, and the day after I began to see others disagree… and that gave me the push to write this post.  It matters not little bit to me if anyone sees this post or agrees with me – it matters that I vent/rant and get this anger out of my system, because it’s not a good feeling at all.

I read what I love, what interests me, and me alone.  I do not buy, borrow or request e-ARCs of books that I’m not 90% certain that I’m going to enjoy.

At my age, quite frankly, I don’t have the time nor the interest to read the hottest best seller because everyone else is when it’s not a genre I love.  So my book choices, my book reviews, both of my book review blogs have mostly 3 – 3.5 – 4 – 4.5 – 5 star reviews ranging from a good book that I enjoyed to freaking amazing.  I have very few 1 or 2 star reviews because, again frankly, I DNF them without comment because of that time thing, I know I should but unless it’s an e-ARC I simply move on to the next book.  I do round up the .5s to the next full number on vendor sites/Goodreads.

There are no perfect books.  Let’s say that again – a perfect book without some flaw does not exist.  What that flaw is depends completely on each individual reader.  Yes, there are missed typos, and perhaps the wrong character’s name used that wasn’t caught.  It happens.  Any e-ARC I’m reading, well, I’m assuming any flaws will be found and corrected by that publishing house’s team.  In independently published books, well again, finding those mistakes are up to the author or their editing team.

Frankly, whether an author uses the correct coma throughout, if they miss where a coma should have been… Does Not Matter To Me.  What matters are those times when some action, something missed, some obvious mistake takes me out of the book and back into the real world.  That gets mentioned in a review.

I care about the story.  The world I’ve been invited into for a brief, shining moment.  That is where my enjoyment of any book gets it’s base.  And that experience has “good” – “very good” – “amazing” – and – “freaking awesome” ratings… and I will not apologize for my own rating system.

I angers me that someone has the goll to state with superiority that they would not trust someone who enjoys books enough to give out 5 star reviews about them.  Why?  Are people not allowed to be blown away by an author’s world to the point where they say “That was an awesome experience.”?

My blogs are for my enjoyment, my chance to share stories that I’ve enjoyed with others.  It’s not a huge, successful blog (I doubt it ever will be).  But it’s my blog, my reviews… and if I want to give every single book I read FIVE FREAKIN’ STARS – that’s my choice.  And another reviewer/blogger’s opinion is not going to change that.  Again, I’m old enough to no longer care about being a ‘popular’ reviewer – I do care about sharing my love of books, and I will continue to do that – My Way – until I can no longer read or until I’m in the ground and beyond reading that last book in a beloved series.

End of rant.

Weekly Wrap-Up #7

Another crazy week in paradise!  Kinda.  Sorta.

This post has been shared on The Sunday Post, a weekly recap from so many amazing blogs is hosted by Kimberly over at Caffeinated Reviewer.  This word link and the graphic will take you to The Sunday Post meme for this week – enjoy.  🙂

 

This week has been a year, hasn’t it?  For the last 10 days, I’ve been dealing with my life away from the keyboard, with events happening to friends, world events, and just plain depression.  No, I’m not afraid or ashamed to say that the world right now has me in a depressed state.  I’m excited to see changes happening, but they are long, long overdue and there is still so much more that needs to be addressed.  A world full of “Karens” has me even hiding from Twitter on most days now.

Probably what has hit me the most, which I am free to talk about is that my best friend is moving several states away… I am heartbroken, but it’s what she wants and needs so I’ll support her as always.  Friends don’t stop being friends just because of distance – but I will miss her like crazy, and it will take some adjusting to before I stop sending FB messages of “Hey, you wanna go get lunch and vent?”… in the days before the pandemic.  But, life has to move on, so I’ll be happy for her, and her new adventure, and do my best to keep my tears to a minimum.

So… book-wise, I’ve read a bunch but not reviewed yet, and I need to get to that for this coming week.  I did pick up London’s Most Elusive Earl by Anabelle Bryant due out in October from NetGalley – but that was as far as my book gathering went for this week (for Keeper Bookshelf).  I do have a completely Shifter blog called Shifter Haven that I might begin showcasing with a weekly wrap-up as well for that is my escape place, for I can always find a quick Shifter Romance on KU, or continue a series when all else fails me.

I did, however, spend far too much money on houseplants and have lost myself in repotting and arranging these new beauties – it’s cheap therapy and I’ll grab it with both hands smiling. 🙂  That’s it for me this week.  I may not even put this up at Kimberly’s Caffeinated Reviewer for there isn’t much here aside from whine – and not the drinkable kind.  Hopefully, I’ll yank myself outta this funk and be more productive this coming week.  *fingers crossed*

Rejected Again – So I’m Done Asking

As a book review blogger, I’m accustomed to being turned down for ARCs, and usually, it doesn’t truly faze me beyond a moment of disappointment and an “Oh, well, I’ll just buy it on release.” mindset.  Yet, I kept trying with one big publishing house for three years now – and still, the answer is No.

By their auto-response email definitions, I do meet their requirements for ARCs.  So, obviously, I’m missing something, not doing something… not good enough, not big enough, not “whatever” enough.  At this point, I’m just banging my head up against a wall – and I’m done with the headache, really, really done.

It would be easy to do the “reader revenge” thing by thinking “Ok, fine, I’ll just not buy any books from your publishing house ever again.  So there!  You’ve lost my significant money input.”  But the reality is I love so many of their authors, I’m hooked on so many series, I look forward to their new releases… and I don’t want to stop reading any of their books.

So.  Here’s the last “I’m so mad. So hurt. So disappointed.” post about the subject – and then, for my own well being, I’m simply letting it go and not asking again.  I think the world of today is playing heavily on my reaction.  I’m already somewhat depressed, antsy by being self-isolated for two months (so far) and that’s playing a part in how this simple rejection is affecting me.  I get that.  I acknowledge that.  But, sometimes I just have to say, “Ok, I tried.”  And let that be enough.

 

A Very Proud, Rather Personal Post

I rarely talk about my family’s private life on this blog.  After all, it’s about books, book plots, book reviews, and… well, reading.  So, I don’t often speak about my life outside of those books – sometimes, yes, but it’s not often.

Right now, because I’m so proud of the man my son has become – because of all the challenges he has met every single day of his life I’d like you to meet my kid (who will always be my kiddo but is now a fully grown man of his own).