Sunday, July 30, 2023

Farm News - July 30, 2023


So today would have been my dad's 73rd birthday.  It's been 10 years since we lost him and special days ae still hard to manage at times.  I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge him before getting started. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!

So, it's been an extremely hot and humid week here at the farm.  And along with that, we've had pop-up storms, including a horrible one that blew in rather suddenly Friday afternoon.  I'm really glad Mr. Barb was home from work because our canopy tent out back decided to work itself lose and started to fly over the fence and onto the neighbor's car but luckily, we were able to catch it in time.  However, the metal snapped in half and it's beyond repair. And to top it all off, we both got really soaked in the process and it probably wasn't super safe to be outside in that kind of weather.  Thank heavens Apollo had the good sense to stay inside when we bolted out the door.  Mr. Barb took the whole thing as a sign to order the Georgia Bulldog canopy he has been eyeing and it should arrive next Friday. Have I mentioned I hate storms?

Since I didn't really share any books last week, I have quite a few to mention this week.  I finally caved and ordered a copy of Fourth Wing which arrived early in the week.  I need to see if the hype is real on this one.  I am using it for a Fall Reading Challege so it will be a few months before I read it but I hope I'm not disappointed.

I was also provided several ARCs.  I've been seeing Night of the Witch around and am curious to see if I enjoy it.  Isn't that cover awesome? The Dead Pennies looks really creepy and I think it was be a great October read.  And I was THRILLED to get a copy of Hex Education, especially after so recently featuring it on my Feed Your TBR feature.

I am also preparing for some fun Christmas reads.  It's the one time of year I love holiday themed books and I added ARCS of Christmas at Corgi Cove, The Christmas Cafe and Along Came Holly.  I've read two other holiday books by Codi Hall and they are some of my faves so I can't wait to see how this one measures up.

It hasn't been a great movie week, but we did watch God is a Bullet which is based on a true story.  It's about a sheriff who infiltrates a Satanic cult to get his daughter back.  I really enjoyed it, but it was the most brutal movie I've seen in ages.  I do recommend it if you like that type of story though.  

So that's about it other than work and daily chores which never seem to end.  I hope everyone is surviving whatever weather you are experiencing where you live.  Did you read any good books this week or watch anything I need to check out?

Thursday, July 27, 2023

2 Bloggers 1 Book - The Housemaid


At the beginning of the year, Stormi stated she wanted to read more thrillers in 2023 and asked if I was game for some additional buddy reads.  I'm always up to reading more with Stormi but lately we've felt like this little endeavor was a complete bomb.  I am happy to say this saved our negative streak a tad.  So read on for my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's to see what she thought as well.

TITLE: The Housemaid
AUTHOR: Freida McFadden
PUBLISHER: Bookouture
PUBLISHING DATE: April 26, 2022
PAGES: 329   
SOURCE: Kindle Unlimited


“Welcome to the family,” Nina Winchester says as I shake her elegant, manicured hand. I smile politely, gazing around the marble hallway. Working here is my last chance to start fresh. I can pretend to be whoever I like. But I’ll soon learn that the Winchesters’ secrets are far more dangerous than my own… 
Every day I clean the Winchesters’ beautiful house top to bottom. I collect their daughter from school. And I cook a delicious meal for the whole family before heading up to eat alone in my tiny room on the top floor. 
I try to ignore how Nina makes a mess just to watch me clean it up. How she tells strange lies about her own daughter. And how her husband Andrew seems more broken every day. But as I look into Andrew’s handsome brown eyes, so full of pain, it’s hard not to imagine what it would be like to live Nina’s life. The walk-in closet, the fancy car, the perfect husband. 
I only try on one of Nina’s pristine white dresses once. Just to see what it’s like. But she soon finds out… and by the time I realize my attic bedroom door only locks from the outside, it’s far too late. 
But I reassure myself: the Winchesters don’t know who I really am. 
They don’t know what I’m capable of…

MY THOUGHTS: This thriller was a fast-paced fun read and I will definitely be grabbing the sequel.  Especially since it's on Kindle Umlimited and I'm trying my best to justify that monthly expense.  

Mia recently lost her job a the local bar and is living in her car when she goes to interview for a housekeeping job in a ritzy neighborhood.  She would love to get it because it is a live-in position, but she fears once a background check is done, she doesn't stand a chance.  Mia is on probation and has a questionable past.  However, she soon gets the job and that's when Mia's problems REALLY begin.

This book is told in 2 parts and I really can't discuss it a lot or else it will give a lot away.  Let's just say they are terrible, twisty people doing terrible twisty things. I will add that this is also a terrible twisty child thrown in for good measure as well.  This is a good example of where I didn't really like any of the characters but I loved the book anyway.  The author had just enough twists and turns to keep me on my feet and even after learning the major plot twist, I was still quite invested in what might happen at the end.

I believe this book has gotten both positive and negative hype but I am pleased to say it really worked for me. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun summer read.


Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Feed Your TBR - Unleashed Holiday


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Kill at Breaking the Spine. 

September 26, 2023

FROM GOODREADS: When an old rival reappears right before the holidays, a professional dog trainer must decide if the melting frost between them can make up for their ruff past, from the USA Today bestselling author of Dog Friendly.

Chelsea Higgins is doing just fine. She’s heading into the holidays at the helm of a thriving dog training business, and she’s got a mellow senior dog at home to keep her warm at the end of the day. What more could she need? Enter certified gym bro Andrew Chelsea’s former nemesis, and now the newest neighbor in her business complex, who also wants to expand into the vacant space Chelsea’s been eyeing for months. Who cares if it’s the season of joy? Let the turf war begin.

When an unfortunate (and literal) run-in with Andrew’s lawless dog leaves Chelsea with a bum wrist, the two strike a Andrew will help Chelsea rehab the injury if she’ll work with him to train his adorably uncivilized boxer.

Their typical bickering soon turns to bantering, and Chelsea finds herself inexplicably drawn to the man she thought she had nothing in common with. As she gets to know Andrew and his parents, she realizes she needs to refocus on her own family, especially with a milestone Christmas speeding toward them. But Chelsea can't help wondering if she and Andrew are training for keeps, or if this unexpected Christmas gift is just too good to be true.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT: I've been trying to plan out some holiday reads so when I saw this one, I knew it was going on the list.  Dog trainer and a senior dog at home?  Sounds like some of my favorite elements in a holiday read.


Sunday, July 23, 2023

Farm News - July 23, 2023


So I'm doing some blog revamping now that I've actively gotten back into it.  I wanted to make sure my attempt stuck before doing too much.  So my question today is what do you think of the new Farm News graphic?  Do you prefer the old one better?  I'd really appreciate your feedback. I never really loved the one i was using recently.  Now on to the update!

This week has been hot and humid. We've had the occasional stray thunderstorm here and there but luckily nothing too bad or that caused too much damage.  I've been talking Apollo for walks before work and on my morning break because in afternoons, it's just been too much for him.  Bandana summer has now become a permanent thing as the poor boy just doesn't look right without one.  I actually snagged him some new Halloween ones this past week and it's a great way to honor Cassius's memory.

We spent a lot of the evenings this week watching 1923, one of the Yellowstone spinoffs.  I feel in love with the characters and even though Alexandra drives me nuts at time, her and Spencer Dutton's love story is one for the ages.  I may like this one better than the original show but we've now finished all 8 episodes and who knows when Season 2 will arrive.  We also watched the series finale of Mayans, Inc.  Mr. Barb has always been more interested in the show than I have but I have to admit, it did become rather addictive.  I am glad it has ended though as I've had about all I can take, and it never did measure up to Sons of Anarchy for me.

I was able to do some reading this week and hopefully get more done this weekend (I usually draft these posts on Friday evening).  I read a romance which was good but was a tad too long which took up some time but now I'm engrossed in a thriller and they usually read faster for me.  I did haul some books this week but will gather them up to share next weekend.  I do want to showcase a beautiful hardback Kensington sent me.  The Exorcism was one of the first movies Mr. Barb and I rented and watched when we started dating (yes I remember VCR rentals) and it scared me to death - and I loved it.  I'm excited to learn more about the film and the filming experience.

So how was your week?  Did you watch or read anything you think I should check out?

Friday, July 21, 2023

An Action-Packed Romp... with Rats!


Stormi and I knew we had to buddy read this when we saw it was being released.  Shea is a favorite author for both of us and I'm proud to report this book didn't disappoint.  So read on to see my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's at Storm Reads to see hers.

TITLE: Manrattan
AUTHOR: Hunter Shea
PUBLISHER: Severed Press
PUBLISHING DATE: July 11, 2023
PAGES: 160   
SOURCE:Own Library


New York city is on the brink of destruction. 
First, millions of rats crazed from consuming an enhanced poison, Degenesis, devoured citizens too slow to escape their frenzy, and chased off the rest. Next came the pandemic, shutting the metropolis down just as it started to recover. 
Man always has a plan. But nature, and science gone awry, are one step ahead. 
Husband and wife exterminators, Chris and Benita Jackson, thought their nightmare was over. The scars of their narrow escape run deep, and fear is their constant companion. 
The rats are back. Only this time, there are no hordes of hairy, whip-tailed vermin barreling down the streets. The next generation is bigger, stronger, more unstoppable than ever. And they are about to go up top! 
Tapped by the military to help control the rising tide of death and destruction, Chris and Benita end up fleeing for their lives in the city that never sleep’s deadliest night. From Times Square to the Statue of Liberty, no one is safe from the feral evil determined to conquer the big, rotten apple. 
New York, New York. It’s a hell of a town.

MY THOUGHTS: First things first - this novel is a follow-up to Shea's Rattus New Yorkus, which was part of a collection of creature novellas released in 2018.  To be honest, you can probably read this book without having read that one but come on, why wouldn't you read that one first?

So Chris and Benita Jackson were major players in cleaning up a New York overcome with rats in 2018.  Since then, the exterminators have sworn off dealing with the pesky rodents.  A friend of theirs contacts them one day and asks for help roping up a capybara running lose in the basement of a rundown apartment complex.  Since Benita wants to see the cute little critter, they decide to help.  Little do they know their friend has actually come across a giant rat who is hellbent on feeding on human flesh.

I don't want to give much more away but let's just say that what ensues in a fast-paced, action-filled tale filled with giant rats, bird ladies, the military, the mafia and pizza.  This book is worth reading alone just to see how these giant rats were created which is a definite testament to what I would say is Shea's twisted sense of humor.  I loved the interaction between Chris and Benita and their fun banter and sarcasm only added to the enjoyment I felt reading this.  

I never knew I'd have so much fun reading about flesh-eating, pizza-eating giant rodents.  Shea is one of my favorite go-to authors for what I can consider creature-feature books and I had definitely went too long without my "fix."  If you looking for lots of carnage, look no further!


Cute capybara - NOT a flesh-eating giant rat!

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Feed Your TBR - Hex Education


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

September 19, 2023

FROM GOODREADS: Beauty, grace, and a resting witch face…

Bewitched meets Yellowjackets in Maureen Kilmer’s Hex Education when a former coven reunites to stop their lives from going up in flames.

On the outside, luxury realtor Sarah Nelson looks like every other mom in the neighborhood—running errands, navigating the school pickup line, and begrudgingly volunteering at the high school concession stand. Yet she has an edge that others don’t: She’s a witch! She uses light magic in secret, small ways, almost like an enchanted personal assistant. And absolutely no one knows about it.

Except her estranged ex-coven. In college, when she and two friends, Katrina and Alicia, first uncovered the magic, it didn’t take long before they used it to improve their lives. Yet, they made a mistake one night, and their dorm went up in flames and burned to the ground. After that terrible night, the coven scattered. And no one ever found out that the fire was their fault. Their secret was safe, until the three reunite at a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the fire. Suddenly, the magic doesn’t seem to want to stay small any longer. Her familiar—an overweight orange tabby cat named Katy Furry—begins to argue with her. Her self-brooming broom goes full Martha Stewart. Her fridge overdoes it and stocks thirty pounds of sliced turkey for school lunches.

As it grows more and more difficult to hide the magic and the past, Sarah, Katrina, and Alicia once again gather to harness their power, and keep their secrets safe…before they find out if polite society still burns witches.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I had a blast reading Surburban Hell last year so when I'm definitely grabbing this one when it releases.  I love witches and come on, a familiar named Katy Furry - that's classic!

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Want a Rollercoaster Ride????


TITLE: The Last Word
AUTHOR: Taylor Adams
PUBLISHER: William Morrow
PUBLISHING DATE: April 25,2023
PAGES: 340   
SOURCE: Library


After posting a negative book review, a woman living in a remote location begins to wonder if the author is a little touchy—or very, very dangerous—in this pulse-pounding novel of psychological suspense and terror from the critically acclaimed author of No Exit and Hairpin Bridge. 
Emma Carpenter lives in isolation with her golden retriever Laika, house-sitting an old beachfront home on the rainy Washington coast. Her only human contact is her enigmatic old neighbor, Deek, and (via text) the house’s owner, Jules. 
One day, she reads a poorly written—but gruesome—horror novel by the author H. G. Kane, and posts a one-star review that drags her into an online argument with none other than the author himself. Soon after, disturbing incidents start to occur at night. To Emma, this can’t just be a coincidence. It was strange enough for this author to bicker with her online about a lousy review; could he be stalking her, too?
As Emma digs into Kane’s life and work, she learns he has published sixteen other novels, all similarly sadistic tales of stalking and murder. But who is he? How did he find her? And what else is he capable of? 

MY THOUGHTS: I can't really remember back to when I read a more frustrating book!  Emma and her Golden Retriever, Laika are house-sitting on the Washington coast.  Emma is clearly running from something in her past and she is content to spend her days alone with only Laika and her books for company.  Although there is a reclusive neighbor whom Emma communicates with via notes back and forth on a white board with both parties using binoculars to read the messages.  One day, Emma downloads and reads a horror novel from a little-known author and leaves him a 1-star review.  This leads to an online argument with the author and eventually escalates to a game of cat and mouse where Emma has very few people to rely on.

First and foremost, the dog lives.  I had to look up that spoiler before I even started the book, but I will tell you, there were times reading when I felt like I had been lied to and that poor Laika was sure to meet her demise. Throughout the novel, the readers get some brief flashbacks from Emma which provide clues as to why she has basically shut herself off from the outside world, but the majority of the book is Emma trying to outsmart the disgruntled author.  

So up until about the last 15% of this book, I was pretty sure I myself would be providing a poor rating for The Last Word.  I felt such anxiety worrying about Laika, or Space Dog as Emma often refers to her, that I didn't think I could continue reading. I also found the book somewhat predictable at times, and at other times such a hot mess that it was hard to predict anything.  Then I reached the last 15% and my anticipated rating bounced around so much I felt like I was riding a rollercoaster.  It went from 2 stars, to 1 star, to a brief moment where I was contemplating 4 stars and even now, I'm not sure what to give it.  And overall, I'm not sure it really matters.  I'm not sure if Adams is the author for me though.  I really enjoyed No Exit, but this one and Hairpin Bridge kind of fell short for me. If you like thrillers with lots of twists and turns, this might be the one for you.


The BEST part of the whole book!

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Farm News - July 16, 2023 (In which books were bought and I cried)


Welcome or welcome back!  I hope everyone had a great week.  Things here at the farm were good overall.  We did have a few nasty storms but nothing like a lot of other areas in the US and part of the time was spent just anticipating storms which never happened but were predicted.  I have to admit I am a tad afraid of storms but learned to keep my anxiety under control when we had pups that were terrified of them because I learned they were picking up off my emotions on top of theirs.  Apollo could honestly care less overall unless there is a LOUD thunderclap, and then he just looks at me like "What the hell was that?"

So let's get the crying portion of this post out of the way and it's not what you might expect.  In fact, it's all because we watched Guardians of the Galaxy 3 last weekend.  OMG!  Who thought animal cruelty was great for a Marvel movie?  It was gut wrenching and I sobbed!  Even Mr. Barb, who might normally joke and give me a hard time said the movie gave him a serious case of "the feels" as well.  Overall, it was good, and I highly recommend it just be prepared.  

Apollo is still sporting his bandanas and to be honest, I can see it being an all the time thing now because he looks forward to picking one out every morning and then prancing off.  Here is a picture I took of my "co-worker" lounging on the job one day while I was working hard.  I do think I like darker colors on him the best although it's hard to tell anything from this angle.  Crazy dog!  

So as I mentioned, I also bought books this week.  More than I had in a while.  I ended up finding two books fairly cheap on Pango that I had been wanting and the seller was awesome enough to throw in one for free.  I don't purchase from Pango often but admit that it is the first place I check now when I am wanting a physical copy of something.

I also ordered a couple of physical copies from Amazon because I had a gift card and because I wanted them - sorry, not sorry 😆.  I prefer to read anthologies in physical format and was really curious about the other two after seeing so many people read them for the Summerween reading event on Booktube the first week of July.

And finally, there were a few Kindle grabs and you might see a couple show up as buddy reads with Stormi later this month.  

So how was your week?  Did you read or watch anything good?

Thursday, July 13, 2023

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Virgin River


So Stormi and I are getting closer to the end.  Two more books in this massive series and we are hoping to finish up in September.  As excited as I am to finish it, I have to admit I will miss the town and the characters.  We are already looking for a series with similar vibes so if you have any suggestions, let us know.  You know the drill, read on to see my thoughts and then and then hop over to Stormi's at Storm Reads to see her's.

TITLE: Sunrise Point (Virgin River #17)
AUTHOR: Robyn Carr
PUBLISHING DATE: April 24, 2012
PAGES: 378   
SOURCE: Hoopla


Former Marine Tom Cavanaugh’s come home to Virgin River, ready to take over his family’s apple orchard and settle down. He knows just what the perfect woman will be like: sweet, decent, maybe a little naive. The marrying kind. 
Nothing like Nora Crane. So why can’t he keep his eyes off the striking single mother? 
Nora may not have a formal education, but she graduated with honors from the school of hard knocks. She’s been through tough times and she’ll do whatever it takes to support her family, including helping with harvest time at the Cavanaugh’s orchard. She’s always kept a single-minded focus on staying afloat...but suddenly her thoughts keep drifting back to rugged, opinionated Tom Cavanaugh. 
Both Nora and Tom have their own ideas of what family means. But they’re about to prove each other completely wrong... 

MY THOUGHTS:  I really liked the plot in this installment and Nora was a treat.  However, I won't lie I'm not the biggest fan of Tom.  He is more likeable at the end, but it was a bumpy road getting there.

Nora has two small children thanks to an unreliable college boyfriend of questionable character.  She also has no family support as she was raised by a mother with concerning parenting techniques and a father who split when she was six.  So, Nora has learned to be independent, and she wants to start standing on her own two feet when she takes a job very few think she can do harvesting apples in the local orchard.  Tom is a former Marine who has come home to run the family business along with his grandmother, who raised him.  Needless to say sparks between the two immediately fly and Tom does everything he can, including dating a uppity woman he has little interest in, to put out the flames.

I felt at times Tom was just too darn judgmental.  He made a lot of assumptions about Nora right off the bat and even when he started to get to know her and the two became friends of a sort, he was STILL concerned about her being an unwed mother.  The best part about this book in my opinion is Nora learning what really happened with her mother and father and watching her build a relationship with him and welcoming him into her life.  I also really liked Tom's grandmother Maxie, who has no difficulty saying what is on her mind.

This was another great addition but due to the reasons I mentioned, and the fact that there is BEAR MURDER, I just can't give it a full 5 star rating.  However, I did enjoy it for the most part and am anxious for the next one!


Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Feed Your TBR - Assistant to the Villain


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

September 5, 2023

FROM GOODREADS: ASSISTANT WANTED: Notorious, high-ranking villain seeks loyal, levelheaded assistant for unspecified office duties, supporting staff for random mayhem, terror, and other Dark Things In General. Discretion a must. Excellent benefits.

With ailing family to support, Evie Sage's employment status isn't just important, it's vital. So when a mishap with Rennedawn’s most infamous Villain results in a job offer—naturally, she says yes. No job is perfect, of course, but even less so when you develop a teeny crush on your terrifying, temperamental, and undeniably hot boss. Don’t find evil so attractive, Evie.

But just when she’s getting used to severed heads suspended from the ceiling and the odd squish of an errant eyeball beneath her heel, Evie suspects this dungeon has a huge rat…and not just the literal kind. Because something rotten is growing in the kingdom of Rennedawn, and someone wants to take the Villain—and his entire nefarious empire—out.

Now Evie must not only resist drooling over her boss but also figure out exactly who is sabotaging his work…and ensure he makes them pay.

WHY I CAN"T WAIT: I am not sure what exactly drew me to this book it sounds rather funny and hey, sometimes I just need a comical read.


Monday, July 10, 2023

This Was So Much Fun!


TITLE: In Nightfall
AUTHOR: Suzanne Young
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
PAGES: 384   
SOURCE:Own Library


In the quaint town of Nightfall, Oregon, it isn't the dark you should be afraid of—it's the girls. The Lost Boys meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this propulsive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Treatment. 
Theo and her brother, Marco, threw the biggest party of the year. And got caught. Their punishment? Leave Arizona to spend the summer with their grandmother in the rainy beachside town of Nightfall, Oregon—population 846 souls. 
The small town is cute, when it’s not raining, but their grandmother is superstitious and strangely antisocial. Upon their arrival she lays out the one house rule: always be home before dark. But Theo and Marco are determined to make the most of their summer, and on their first day they meet the enigmatic Minnow and her friends. Beautiful and charismatic, the girls have a magnetic pull that Theo and her brother can't resist. 
But Minnow and her friends are far from what they appear. And that one rule? Theo quickly realizes she should have listened to her grandmother. Because after dark, something emerges in Nightfall. And it doesn’t plan to let her leave. 

MY THOUGHTS: While recently off on vacation, I really wanted to read something which might be light and fun.  I had tracked this book down on Pango recently as my library never got around to obtaining a copy so one night, I grabbed it on a whim.  I am so glad I did.  Not only was it the fun read I was looking for, but it is also in my opinion, a perfect summer read.

After throwing an out-of-control party at the end of school, Theo and Marco are forced to travel with their father to visit a grandmother they have never seen in a little Oregon town called Nightfall.  Not only do they consider a summer in a small town a death sentence, but they also have tons of questions about why they've never met their grandmother before, why she has so many rules and odd superstitions, and why she wants they home before dark.  Theo and Marco begin to break the rules almost suddenly and are quickly welcomed into the inner circle of some glamorous townies.  However, they may have "bit" off more than they bargained for.

If you have ever seen Lost Boys, then you will probably be able to see everything coming in the novel long before it materializes.  This has to be the author's love letter to that movie because it's basically just a gender-swapped version of it.  All that is missing is the kick-ass soundtrack which if you've seen the movie as much as I have, you'll hear it in your mind as you are reading.  But since I ADORE the movie, I had a blast with In Nightfall.

I will add that there were a few standouts for me.  The relationship between Theo and her brother Marco is awesome and so fully developed.  She has so much trouble accepting what is happening to him and has such a drive to rescue him as the book progresses.  Young really fleshed out the special bond these 2 siblings had.  Also, the grandmother, loving called Nonna, is such a treat.  She's odd and mysterious and definitely not one to mess with. She is definitely going on my favorite character list.

So if you are craving a fun, vampy read, definitely consider giving this book a chance.  I couldn't have picked up a better time to read it and it will remain a fond memory of the Summer 2023 Stay-cation!


Sunday, July 9, 2023

Farm News - July 9, 2023

So I didn't get a post up last weekend as I was on vacation and preparing for our annual 4th of July cookout.  I've been off all week and thought it was about time to catch up and touch base.  

The cookout went well even if it was a tad hot.  Mr. Barb overcooked as usual, and everyone brought extra food so we've pretty much been living on leftovers the rest of the week.  Apollo enjoyed the extra attention and even got a new fancy cooling mat so he could be outside with us the majority of the day.  Speaking of Apollo, Bandana Summer is still going strong.  He has yet to miss a day or wear a repeat.  I promise to have more pictures next week.

For a switch, I actually got a lot of reading done while off.  Usually, my reading falls to the wayside for some reason when I'm off but I finished 5 books and am starting 3 news ones today.  I can't make up my mind.  Here are the three I'm currently going back and forth between to see which one sticks the best.

We didn't really watch any great movies as it seems there wasn't much to stream.  However, I'm typing this on a Saturday evening, and we are planning to watch Guardians of the Galaxy 3 tonight so I'll give you an update next weekend.  

I was approved for a few exciting arcs this week.  Where He Can't Find You releases November 7, 2023 and I'm really curious how Darcy Coates is able to write and publish so much in a year's time.  Let Him In sounds like a really exciting new horror novel and it releases on October 3, 2024.  Just in time for Halloween. And finally, Zeus: Water Rescue is the start of a new middle-grade dog series by Bruce W. Cameron.  I'm always interested in whatever he comes out with.  It releases August 29, 2023.

I'm trying to gear up to get back in the groove with work Monday which isn't all that bad when you work from home 95% of the time.  Wish me luck! Hope you all had a wonderful week as well.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Feed Your TBR - The Bride


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

FEBRUARY 6, 2024

FROM GOODREADS: A dangerous alliance between a Vampyre bride and an Alpha werewolf becomes a love deep enough to sink your teeth into in this new paranormal romance from the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis.

Misery Lark, the only daughter of the most powerful Vampyre councilman of the Southwest, is an outcast-again. Her days of living in anonymity among the Humans are she has been called upon to uphold an historic peacekeeping alliance between the Vampyres and their mortal enemies, the Weres, and sees little choice but to surrender herself in the exchange. Again . . .

Weres are ruthless and unpredictable, and their Alpha, Lowe Moreland, is no exception. He rules his pack with absolute authority, but not without justice. And, unlike the Vampyre Council, not without feeling. It's clear from the way he tracks Misery's every movement that he doesn't trust her. If only he knew how right he was . . .

Because Misery has her own reasons to agree to this marriage of convenience, reasons that have nothing to do with politics or alliances, and everything to do with the only thing she's ever cared about. And she is willing to do whatever it takes to get back what's hers, even if it means a life alone in Were territory . . . alone with the wolf.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I've never read this author before but when I saw she was coming out with a paranormal romance featuring my two favorite creatures, vampires and werewolves, I HAD to add it to my wishlist.


Monday, July 3, 2023

Am I Becoming a Romance Girlie?????


TITLE: Unfortunately Yours (A Vine Mess #2)
AUTHOR: Tessa Bailey
PAGES: 384   


A down-on-her-luck Napa heiress suggests a mutually beneficial marriage of convenience to a man she can't stand... only to discover there's a fine line between love and hate. 
After losing her job and her fiancé in one fell swoop, Natalie Vos returned home to lick her wounds. A few months later, she's sufficiently drowned her sorrows in cabernet and she's ready to get back on her feet. She just needs her trust fund to finance her new business venture. Unfortunately, the terms require she marry before she can have the money. And well, dumped, remember? But Natalie is desperate enough to propose to a man who makes her want to kill him--and kiss him, in equal measure. 
August Cates may own a vineyard, but he doesn't know jack about making wine. He's determined to do his late best friend proud, no matter what it takes. Except his tasting room is empty, his wine is disgusting (seriously, he once saw someone gag), and his buddy's legacy is circling the drain. No bank will give him the loan he needs to turn the business around... and then the gorgeous, feisty heiress knocks on his door. Natalie has haunted his dreams since the moment they met, but their sizzling chemistry immediately morphed into simmering insults. 
Now, a quickie marriage could help them both. A sham wedding, a few weeks living under the same roof, and then they can go their separate ways--assuming they make it out alive. How hard could it be? There's just one thing they didn't account for: their unfortunate, unbearable, undeniable attraction.

To answer the above question - no.  However, I do fancy myself a mood reader and currently, I seem to be in a romance phase.  It also doesn't hurt that I discovered how much I love this author last year and that she has a healthy backlist as well as new books coming out all the time.

This book is actually the companion to Secretly Yours and it's hard to tell which one I enjoyed more.  In this one, Natalie has come back home after losing her high-profile finance job in New York.  She desperately wants to return and start her own firm but will need access to her trust first.  There's one hitch, she has to be married first.  August moved to town wanting to start a profitable vineyard to honor a former Navy Seal who was his best friend and who died in battle.  Trouble is he knows nothing about wine.  These two will need to team up to get what they want.  But there is one problem, they hate each other.

I love the enemies to lovers trope and it is in full force in Unfortunately Yours.  The back-and-forth banter, coupled with an undesirable attraction, make this an almost perfect read.  I really only had two small issues with the book.  One, at times August has almost a caveman attitude when it comes to Natalie and although cute at times, it really went overboard at others.  Also, Natalie deep down is her own worst enemy and there were moments I wished she would get out of her own way and allow happiness to happen,

Overall, this was a fun read and delivered everything I have come to expect from Tessa Bailey.  If you are looking for something light, fun and sometimes steamy, then I would definitely recommend you check this book out.  You don't have to necessarily read Secretly Yours first, but I do think it adds more to this one.  Oh, and Secretly Yours has dogs so why would you skip it?