WWW Wednesday 1.19.22

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. I was pretty sick last week with a terrible sinus infection (I did take a Covid test just to be safe) and then we had family visiting for my little one’s birthday (he’s five!) so I didn’t get a lot of reading done. Last night I stayed up pretty late reading so I have made some pretty good progress the last couple of days.

What are you currently reading?

The Ex Husband by Karen Hamilton and Little Girl Gone by Amanda Stevens are both for blog tour posts coming in the next couple of days. I’m throughly enjoying both although Little Girl Gone has started to unravel a little for me.

I haven’t read anymore of Appointment with Death by Agatha Christie or A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James but I hope to finish Appointment with Death tomorrow.

Last night I finished another part of House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas and I am so happy that I decided to reread this before the second book comes out next month.

What have you recently finished?

Tall, Dark and Off Limits by Shannon McKenna

What do you think you will read next?

I was hoping to start this last weekend but I will definitely be starting it this weekend.

Synopsis:

How far would you go for happily ever after?

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings…until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing. 

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy….

~Cassie

WWW Wednesday 1.12.22

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve read the first part of Appointment with Death and so far it is more of a psychological study of a woman who has completely tyrannized her children. This is my least favorite Christie that I have read and I don’t particularly like any of the characters. I’m still hoping that the book will get better once Poirot gets involved in solving the crime.

I haven’t picked up House of Earth and Blood since I last read it but I am looking forward to reading some more tonight or tomorrow after I finish up the review book that I’m reading.

Last night I finished section three of A Brief History of Seven Killings and the more I read the more I’m blown away by Marlon James. His writing and his attention to detail is astounding. I also really love when authors play around with the way they tell a story which James has done masterfully.

I’m reading Tall, Dark, and Off Limits for a blog tour post tomorrow. I always enjoy the Harlequin category romances and the Desire ones are some of my favorites. The dynamic between the hero and heroine, Zack and Ava, is deliciously good and I can’t wait to see how Shannon McKenna wraps it all up. This book fills the She Mantis (book featuring a siren) prompt for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer edition of the PopCulture Readathon.

What have you recently finished reading?

The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan

My Darling Husband by Kimberly Belle

What do you think you will read next?

This is a book that I added on to my TBR to join an informal book club and it has been on my mind the last few days so I think I will try to pick this up this weekend.

Synopsis:

How far would you go for happily ever after?

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings…until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing. 

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy….

~Cassie

WWW Wednesday 1.5.22

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. This month I’m taking part in the PopCulture Readathon: Buffy the Vampire edition. I went a little crazy and created a TBR for all three bingo boards and I’m pretty happy to report that I am doing a decent job at actually reading all the things.

What are you currently reading?

For the prompt Kendra Young (a book by a Caribbean author) I am reading A Brief History of Seven Killings. This is actually a book I started last year and put down for some reason. Marlon James is an incredibly talented writer and the fact that he can take a large cast of characters and have a unique voice for each one of them is extraordinary. This book is told in parts so I plan on devouring a chunk of it and then moving on to something else (probably a review book) to keep my momentum up. I just read the main event that is covered in the synopsis so I’m really looking forward to diving back into this to see where the story is going to go next.

I’m rereading House of Earth and Blood in anticipation of the sequel coming out next month and also for the prompt Spike (a book with a lovable bad boy). I’m so glad I decided to reread this since I forgot a lot of the smaller details on how the world works. I will hopefully pick this book back up in a few days after I get some more of A Brief History of Seven Killings read.

I have my blog tour post for My Darling Husband tomorrow and I am just finishing up reading the book. This book is incredibly suspenseful and I was flying through it so fast because I was captivated from the end of the first chapter. I could have finished this yesterday but I wanted to savor the ending a little bit longer. This book fits the prompt Anya Jenkins (book with a revenge plot).

What did you recently finish reading?

The True Cowboy of Sunset Ridge by Maisey Yates (The prompt for this book was Angel: book with a brooding main character.)

I really enjoyed My Brother’s Husband Vol. 1 by Gengoroh Tagame but I think I will wait to review it until I read the second volume. The first volume cuts off right in the middle of the story so I can’t wait to find out how Tagame wraps up the story. I read this for the prompt Cordelia Chase (book with major character growth) and this was the perfect book for the prompt.

Buried Cold Case Secrets by Sami A. Abrams was my first read of the year and it was five stars! My blog tour post for this is scheduled to go up January 27. The prompt for this was Xander Harris (book with a loyal best friend) and it was another perfect book for the prompt. This is a Harlequin category romance that I think would work for a bigger audience than most of the ones I read would.

What do you think you will read next?

After I read some more of House of Earth and Blood and A Brief History of Seven Killings I think I will pick up the Agatha Christie that I put on my TBR. The audiobook of it is also on Scribd which I may read it that way. This is a book that I wasn’t planning on reading this month but it perfectly fits the prompt of The Mayor (book with a snake on the cover).

Among the towering red cliffs of Petra, like some monstrous swollen Buddha, sat the corpse of Mrs Boynton. A tiny puncture mark on her wrist was the only sign of the fatal injection that had killed her.

With only 24 hours available to solve the mystery, Hercule Poirot recalled a chance remark he’d overheard back in Jerusalem: ‘You see, don’t you, that she’s got to be killed?’ Mrs Boynton was, indeed, the most detestable woman he’d ever met.

~Cassie

WWW Wednesday 12.15.21

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?

I’m at the very end of this book and I’m loving it. Depending on how the ending goes this could be one of my top books of the year. Ernshaw’s writing is beautifully descriptive and atmospheric. She left breadcrumbs of a twist in the story and even though I knew it was coming I was completely caught up in the suspense of it all.

What have you recently finished reading?

One Christmas Wish by Brenda Jackson

What do you think you’ll read next?

This is due back at the library next week so I would really like to get to it soon. It’s a cozy mystery featuring baking/cooking which are my absolute faves to read about so it should be a good time.

Synopsis:

The witty new story from the bestselling author of The Secret Book & Scone Society series is perfect for bibliophiles who love a A Bookish Cook-Off with a little murder on the side… 

Six chefs are preparing to compete in an outdoor tent at Storyton Hall in Virginia for prizes that will boost their careers—but is there someone who can’t stand the heat? It looks that way when one of the contestants is found dead in a pantry packed with two centuries’ worth of cookbooks, among other treasures and rarities.

Could there be a connection to other recent events in town, like tampering with the costume of a local mascot? Jane isn’t sure, but after someone serves a second course of murder, the kitchen must be closed and the killer must be found . . .

~Cassie

WWW 12.8.21

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?

I just started this because I have a blog tour review for it tomorrow. I meant to read it last week but the Christmas romance I was reading was a pretty emotional one and I needed a bit of a break. Yesterday I picked up a Christmas cowboy romance that I read in practically one sitting and has rekindled my urge to read them.

Synopsis

“Jackson brings the quaint Southern town to life in a memorable holiday romance complete with affable characters.”—Publishers Weekly on One Christmas Wish

It’s Christmas in Catalina Cove, a time of promise and second chances. But when you’re starting over, love is the last thing you’re wishing for…

Vaughn Miller’s Wall Street career was abruptly ended by a wrongful conviction and two years in prison. Since then, he’s returned to his hometown, kept his head down and forged a way forward. When he is exonerated and his name cleared, he feels he can hold his head up once again, maybe even talk to the beautiful café owner who sets his blood to simmering.

Sierra Crane escaped a disastrous marriage—barely. She and her six-year-old goddaughter have returned to the only place that feels like home. Determined to make it on her own, Sierra opens a soup café. Complication is the last thing she needs, but the moment Vaughn walks into her café, she can’t keep her eyes off the smoldering loner.

When they give in to their attraction, what Sierra thought would be a onetime thing becomes so much more. Vaughn knows she’s the one. Sierra can’t deny the way Vaughn makes her feel, but she’s been burned before. With Christmas approaching, Vaughn takes a chance to prove his love, and it will be up to Sierra to decide if her one Christmas wish—true happiness—will come true.

What have you recently finished reading?

Midwinter Murder: 5/5

This was a fun collection of short stories featuring some of Agatha Christie’s beloved characters.

The Last Christmas Cowboy: 5/5

I flew threw this sweet and heartwarming Christmas romance. It has a forbidden romance element that I absolutely loved. I have read one other book in the Gold Valley series and I said then that I wanted to read all the books in this series and yet I never did. I really hope that I correct that next year.

Christmas in Rose Bend: 4.5/5

My blog tour review for this goes live next week but this was the emotional Christmas romance that I mentioned earlier. I teared up multiple times during this story.

How the Dukes Stole Christmas: 4/5

I had previously read three of the four stories and overall I give the collection four stars. These were all fun and cute Christmas historical romances.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend.

Called Pastoral, this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it… he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James.

Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.

Hauntingly beautiful, hypnotic, and bewitching, A History of Wild Places is a story about fairy tales, our fear of the dark, and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind.

~Cassie

WWW 12.1.21

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?

I picked this up today since I had previously read three stories so all I need to do is read the last one. I started this this afternoon and I only have fifty pages left. These are all fun historical romances although the one I’m reading right now by Joanna Shupe is probably my least favorite of the bunch.

What have you recently finished?

Christmas at Colt’s Creek by Delores Fossen

I’m only posting about The Matzah Ball here because I mentioned during my last WWW post. Unfortunately, the author decided to include a joke about the genocide of Palestinians during a flirty banter between her characters and for that reason I decided to not review the book. The way it was placed just felt very inappropriate to me.

I finished The A.B.C. Murders last night and I really loved it. Agatha Christie is the queen of crime for a reason.

Love at the Fall Festival was a super cute and atmospheric small town romance. I would love to read her Christmas Festival one this month!

Every Jason Reynold’s book I’ve read has been a five star read and Ghost was no exception. I didn’t realize that this is the first of a quartet and I will definitely be picking up the rest of them next year.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The holidays have never been her thing. But Christmas in Rose Bend has more than one surprise in store…

Grieving ER nurse Nessa Hunt is on a road trip with her sullen teen half sister, Ivy, and still reeling from her mother’s deathbed confession: Nessa’s dad wasn’t really her dad. Seeking answers, they arrive in Rose Bend to find a small town teeming with the kind of Christmas cheer Nessa usually avoids. But then she meets the innkeeper’s ruggedly sexy son, Wolfgang Dennison.

Wolf’s big, boisterous family is like a picture-perfect holiday card. Nessa has too much weighing on her to feel like she fits—even though the heat between her and Wolf is undeniable. And the merriment bringing an overdue smile to Ivy’s face is almost enough to make Nessa believe in the Christmas spirit. But with all her parental baggage, including lingering questions about her birth father, is there room in Nessa’s life for happy holidays and happily-ever-after?

~Cassie

WWW 11.17.21

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and all you need to do to participate is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently having a hard time concentrating on any book so I’m reading a little bit out of too many books which means not a lot of progress is being made. I’ve come to the realization the last few months that mental health is a huge aspect of living with a chronic illness and as I come up on two years since my first symptom I have been struggling a bit. However, I am loving all of the books that I am reading except for The Matzah Ball. The hero in that romance is not very likable but I am reviewing it next week so I anticipate finishing it soon. I did just start Love at the Fall Festival so I’m only a chapter in so I can’t speak much to how good it is yet.

What have you recently finished?

I shared my review of All the Feels by Olivia Dade yesterday.

I started and then DNF’d Thanksgiving by Janet Evanovich last Friday. I was in the mood for a romance centered around this time of year but the story started out ridiculous and then got progressively more ridiculous. I made it 32% before I decided I couldn’t take anymore. I then looked up spoiler reviews and was relieved I stopped when I did.

I had started The Lost Village by Camilla Sten last month but I didn’t get too far into it. I was in the mood for a good suspense story so I decided to pick this back up. It definitely hit the mark and I gave this five stars. I hope to have a full review up for this soon.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I honestly have no idea. But I hope nothing until I finish a few of the books that I’m currently in the middle of.

~Cassie

WWW 11.10.21

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and all you need to do to participate is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished?
  • What do you think you will read next?

What are you currently reading?

Since November started I have only picked up North and South once but I do hope to get back to it soon. I’m still really enjoying Gaskell’s writing and immersing myself in this world.

I started Real Life last night because it is due back to the library in a few days. Before going in I was a little worried I wouldn’t finish in time but I was instantly hooked on Brandon Taylors stunning way of writing. He has such a grasp of language and I love the way he describes events and emotions. So far this seems to be a very character driven novel as we follow Wallace who faces adversity and surprises during a weekend at college. I’m sure there will be more but for now there is a trigger warning for abuse (possible all kinds). I expect to finish this tomorrow since I really had to fight myself to do the things I needed to do today and not just drop it all and read this.

Loathe Thy Neighbor was a book I started for the Halloween Smutathon and I am loving it. This is a book that could easily be read in one sitting since it is equal parts hilarious and heartwarming. However, I am absolutely swooning over the romance and I’m trying to read it slowly so I can savor it.

I’m reading The Matzah Ball for a blog tour post at the end of the month and I am in love with this story. I didn’t know going into it that our main character has a chronic illness (chronic fatigue) and our hero’s mom had MS. This book has brought me to tears a few times with the way the author puts into words what the reality of these illnesses is like. I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it, but it is so incredibly important to see yourself reflected in the books, movies, shows, etc that we consume. Besides all of the important chronic illness representation this also has the beginnings of a sweet romance. The premise is that our Jewish heroine is not only obsessed with Christmas but she is also a secret bestselling author of Christmas romance books. When she shows up to a meeting with her editor and publishing house she is told that they want her to write a Jewish holiday romance or nothing at all. And this funny and zany story kicks off from there.

Recently finished

My oldest son is reading The Giver in school and he was talking to me about it and I could hardly remember it from when I read it in school so I picked up a copy at the library. It is a utopian book with simplistic writing but the themes of the story make it great for school. My son hasn’t finished it yet because his teacher has them working on a project or assignment that coincides with something that happened in each chapter but he is towards the end and doesn’t really like how dark the book became. I gave this 3.5 stars because it brings up important topics to think about but the writing is so simple and the pacing is way off.

I picked up Rick for Believethon (a month long middle grade readathon hosted by How to Train Your Gavin on YouTube). The prompt I picked had something to do with POC or LGBT+ rep and so I picked up Alex Gino’s next book in the George Melissa series. It isn’t really a series but Rick is a companion to Melissa and she is featured in both books. I think it was last week that Gino announced that their publisher has taken their advice to rerelease George under the more suitable name of Melissa. I’m so happy that Scholastic understood where Gino was coming from and decided to put the time and money into rereleasing Melissa. Rick is another important novel that focuses on asexuality and toxic friends. These books are so incredibly valuable and I highly encourage everyone to read them. I gave this five stars because the last third brought me to tears many times.

What do you think you’ll read next?

*My next Believeathon prompt is to read a contemporary and at first I was stumped and then I remembered my son gave me this book to read since he really enjoyed it.

Running. That’s all that Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But never for a track team. Nope, his game has always been ball. But when Ghost impulsively challenges an elite sprinter to a race—and wins—the Olympic medalist track coach sees he has something: crazy natural talent. Thing is, Ghost has something else: a lot of anger, and a past that he is trying to outrun. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed and meld with the team, or will his past finally catch up to him?

~Cassie

WWW 10.13.21

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and all you need to do to participate is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished?
  • What do you think you will read next?

What are you currently reading?

Last Monday I got both my second dose of the Covid vaccine and the flu shot and I felt ok until bedtime where I developed the chills and later a two day long fever. It really wiped my energy out last week and then my mom came to visit so I didn’t read anything for a week. When the month started I chose a book off of my Victober TBR and my Vampathon TBR(Agnes Grey and Blood & Honey) and I was making good progress with both but then hit the roadblock. I had started Keeper of the Night for a blog tour review the first weekend of the month and then never finished it. I’m also participating in the Victober readalong for Gothic Tales which I’m now two stories behind on. On Monday I slowly started reading again but I’m a bit in uncharted waters because I have never gone this long without reading without being in a slump. So I’m just reading a different book every time I sit down to read and slowly making my way through all of these and hoping to dig myself out of this hole soon.

What have you recently finished?

Nothing!

What do you think you will read next?

I have a blog tour post for this tomorrow but unless I somehow read this in one sitting tonight I will be sharing my review for it at a later date.

From the thrilling voice of Sacha Wunsch comes a heart-stopping psychological mystery in a world where memories can be shared—and one girl can’t trust any of them. 

Enhanced Memory changed everything. By sharing someone else’s memory, you can experience anything and everything with no risk at all: learn any skill instantly, travel the world from home, and safeguard all your most treasured secrets forever. Nova’s parents invented this technology, and it’s slowly taking over their lives. Nova doesn’t mind—mostly. She knows Enhanced Memory is a gift.

But Kade says Nova doesn’t know the costs of this technology that’s taken the world by storm. Kade runs a secret vlog cataloging real experiences, is always on the move, and is strangely afraid of Nova—even though she feels more comfortable with him than she ever has with anyone. Suddenly there are things Nova can’t stop noticing: the way her parents don’t meet her eyes anymore, the questions no one wants her to ask, and the relentless feeling that there’s something she’s forgotten…

~Cassie

WWW 9.29.21

This fun weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and all you need to do to participate is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished?
  • What do you think you will read next?

What are you currently reading?

I am around 300 pages into The Atlas Six and I am obsessed. This is a dark academia adult fantasy that has incredible magic and an enthralling competition and I love everything about it. I’ve been burned by endings lately so I’m crossing my fingers that this book doesn’t let me down. If the ending is as good as the rest of the story this might be my favorite book of the year.

I started reading Hummingbird Salamander a few months ago and I put it down about 30% through and I decided to pick it back up a few days ago to try to make some more headway with it. It took me a couple of days to get through part 1 and then I flew through the entirety of part 2 in one day. Part 3 has slowed down a bit for me but I am so hooked on the story now and I will definitely be finishing this tonight or tomorrow.

What have you recently finished?

This is one of the best YA books that I have ever read and I highly recommend. I borrowed my copy from the library but I will be buying my own copy soon because I think this a perfect read for teenagers (which I almost have). This book deals with topics that are so prevalent to teenagers in a way that isn’t preachy but informative in a subtle way.

What do you think you will read next?

*I’m not sure if I will read this tomorrow or not. It depends on when I finish my current reads. But if I do decide to read one more book from my September TBR it will be this one since it is relatively short and romance is easy to fly through.

A Modern Hades and Persephone Retelling

Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist.

Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible.

After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever.

The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows—and it’s forbidden.

~Cassie