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Mailbox Monday #510

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

Happy Christmas from the Darcys by Barbara Silkstone, a Kindle freebie.

A Cozy Holiday Feel Good Tale ~ Book 7 in the Mister Darcy Comedy Mystery Series.
~*~
With the best of intentions Elizabeth Darcy plans a surprise Christmas Eve for Fitzwilliam Darcy at their London penthouse. How much chaos will little urchin Annie and her seven siblings, plus the entire Bennet clan, bring to One Snyde Park? Add two basset hounds, one borzoi, a shaggy otter hound, and a disheveled nun who bears a striking resemblance to Caroline Bingley; then stir in some holiday magic and you have a Happy Christmas wish from the Darcy home to yours.
***Contains an excerpt from MISTER DARCY’S CHRISTMAS… or how Darcy and Lizzie met little urchin Annie.

Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane: Words and Music by Patti Smith, an Audible freebie.

Patti Smith: Words and Music features live audio of performances captured over three evenings at the Minetta Lane Theatre, woven into a single, one-of-a-kind audio event.

On September 22, 23, and 24 of 2018, pioneering artist and writer Patti Smith took to the stage to perform original spoken-word stories from her life, interwoven with the music of her beloved catalog played live by Smith, her son and daughter – Jackson and Jesse Paris Smith – and longtime collaborator Tony Shanahan. What transpired was a personally revelatory showcase, an intimate portrait of an icon, focusing on family and taking stock of a near to 50-year career devoted to artistic integrity.

Have a Nice Day, a free Audible collection of essays.

Have a Nice Day features a live multi-cast script reading captured over two evenings in October of 2018 at Audible’s Minetta Lane Theatre in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.

Tony and Emmy Award-winner Billy Crystal leads an all-star cast including Oscar winner Kevin Kline (President David Murray) and four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening (First Lady Katherine Murray) in a performance of this hilarious and poignant story about a man desperately scrambling to put his affairs in order: to save his presidency, his marriage, his relationship with his daughter – and possibly his life.

President David Murray starts the day in crisis. He’s lost control of Congress, has to decide whether to run for a second term, and his wife and teenage daughter are barely talking to him. What’s more, the Angel of Death has sent a rather inept “repo man” who is at the foot of his bed, giving him only one more day to live.

Cast members include Justin Bartha, Irene Bedard, Annette Bening, Chris Cafero, Dick Cavett, Auli’i Cravalho, Billy Crystal, Rachel Dratch, Darrell Hammond, Christopher Jackson, Robert King, Kevin Kline, and Robin Thede.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #509

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

Elizabeth’s Deception by Sophia Grey, a Kindle freebie.

As Mr. Bennet lies upon his deathbed and the Bennet family faces the imminent entailment of Longbourn, he asks something unthinkable of his favorite daughter… to impersonate another relation, one who would supplant Mr. Collins as heir to his meager fortune and the estate.

Elizabeth can not deny her father his last wish, but the trouble with secrets is that they have a way of revealing themselves in time… and Elizabeth discovers that she must defend her claims against an unexpected adversary: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.

5 Secrets of Story Structure: How to Write a Novel That Stands Out by K.M. Weiland, a Kindle freebie.

If you’ve read all the books on story structure and concluded there has to be more to it than just three acts and a couple of plot points, then you’re absolutely right! It’s time to notch up your writing education from “basic” to “black belt.” Internationally published author K.M. Weiland shares five “secret” techniques of advanced story structure.

In the multi-award-winning Structuring Your Novel, Weiland showed writers how to use a strong three-act structure to build a story with the greatest possible impact on readers. Now it’s time to take that knowledge to the next level.

Pride and Prejudice and Passports by Corrie Garrett, a Kindle freebie.

In the summer of 2016, Elisa Benitez heads home from college to help her family clean cabins. When her older sister falls hard for one of the elite guests, Elisa foresees heartbreak. Her sister is a Dreamer, an undocumented immigrant, and he’s a state representative.

Even worse is his infuriating friend Darcy! He’s arrogant and rude, and an overheard comment sounds racist, too. If her sister is right that he’s hitting on her, well, that makes it worse.

Darcy certainly didn’t intend to fall for a beautiful, opinionated Latina on his short vacation to the mountains. Elisa would sooner turn off his hot-water heater than agree with him about anything. Why is debating with her more fun than agreeing with anyone else?

But to Elisa these issues aren’t theoretical, and the debates aren’t fun. When her little sister runs away, and her parents are scared to go to the police, Darcy realizes just how serious she is.

And how serious his own feelings have become.

Being Mrs. Darcy by Elizabeth M. Bridges, a Kindle freebie.

Charlotte Lucas once said that a happiness in marriage was entirely a matter of chance.

Elizabeth Bennet takes her friend’s words to heart and when Mr Darcy proposes to her in Hunsford, she doesn’t reject his hand. She decides to put her feelings aside and responds in a more reasonable manner.

Flattered at his affection and devotion, Elizabeth is drawn to Mr Darcy, realising that they are both well-matched in a sense, and their tempers are complementary to each other. Nevertheless, his condescending attitude and pride still trouble her.

And the gentleman himself is indeed very proud of his excellent bride and the mistress of his home. And being very selfish in his love for Elizabeth and grateful to her for his happiness, Mr Darcy doesn’t recognise her true sentiments. And he isn’t aware that he is forcing his wife to acknowledge that she is depending on him for her finances, her social status, and even her name.

Their marriage is just the beginning of getting to know one another. Therefore, the misunderstandings between the young couple increase and their felicity in marriage is soon to be threatened…

Pride And Prejudice – Variations And Continuations by Lindsay Beaudine, a Kindle freebie.

When Mr Darcy invites the entire Bennet family to Pemberley, nobody is more surprised than Elizabeth. And with good reason considering their recent conversations.

However, it is Georgiana’s birthday soon and she wants very much for Lizzy and her sisters to celebrate with her. She is very persuasive and Darcy relents, even to the point of inviting Mr and Mrs Collins

But why does he invite Charles Bingley even though Georgiana did not mention him?

At Pemberley, Darcy reveals an ancient legend and tells them the tragic story of the White Lady of Pemberley.

The following evening, Mr Collins is sure he has seen the phantom. Two other guests also claim they have seen the ghost.

Why does Lizzy not believe them?

And the night after the splendid birthday celebrations what does she see outside the library? Is it the White Lady of Pemberley? And why does the figure beckon to her? Is she trying to give Lizzy some kind of warning?

Elevation by Stephen King, which I purchased.

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #508

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep from my Scribbler box.

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.

Blood Echo by Christopher Rice for review in 2019.

Kidnapped and raised by serial killers, Charlotte Rowe suffered an ordeal that made her infamous. Everyone in the world knew who she was. But no one in the world has any idea what she’s become…

Charlotte is an experiment. And a weapon. Enabled by a superpower drug, she’s partnered with a shadowy pharmaceutical company to hunt down and eliminate society’s most depraved human predators. But her latest mission goes off the rails in a horrifying way. Unsettled by her own capacity for violence, Charlotte wants some time to retreat so she can work on her new relationship with Luke, a sheriff’s deputy in the isolated Central California town she now calls home.

If only the threats hadn’t followed Charlotte there.

Something sinister is evolving in Altamira, California—a massive network of domestic terrorists with ties to Charlotte’s influential and corrupt employers. As a vast and explosive criminal conspiracy grows, the fate of Charlotte’s hometown hangs in the balance. With everyone she cares about in danger, Charlotte has no choice but to bring her powers home.

Charlotte Rowe has been triggered, and now she’ll have to take matters into her own powerful hands.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #507

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what my daughter received in the last two months from her Scholastic book fair and order form:

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown

Jasper Rabbit loves carrots—especially Crackenhopper Field carrots.
He eats them on the way to school.
He eats them going to Little League.
He eats them walking home.
Until the day the carrots start following him…or are they?
Celebrated artist Peter Brown’s stylish illustrations pair perfectly with Aaron Reynold’s text in this hilarious picture book that shows it’s all fun and games…until you get too greedy.

Dogman: Lord of the Fleas by Dave Pilkey

When a new bunch of baddies bust up the town, Dog Man is called into action — and this time he isn’t alone. With a cute kitten and a remarkable robot by his side, our heroes must save the day by joining forces with an unlikely ally: Petey, the World’s Most Evil Cat. But can the villainous Petey avoid vengeance and venture into virtue?

Money Math: Addition and Subtraction by David Adler, illustrated by Edward Miller

Trusted team David A. Adler and Edward Miller continue their series of popular math books. Amusing cartoon versions of American presidents guide children through this lively introduction to currency values and adding and subtracting money. Topics covered include an introduction to American units of money; the many ways these units combine to make a price; basic money symbols such as the dollar and cent signs; and the math inherent in shopping. After reading this, kids will be confident with their pocket change! A Junior Library Guild Selection.

Kitty’s Magic 4: Star the Little Farm Cat by Ella Moonheart

Kitty has always thought she was allergic to cats, but during a midnight sneezing fit at a sleepover, she learns that the truth is far more magical–Kitty is able to turn into a cat! She eagerly takes her place as the Guardian of the local cats’ Cat Council, using her human knowledge to help them solve their feline problems.

Kitty is going to her cousin’s farm for the weekend! There are lots of animals to meet, including Daisy, an adorable black and white puppy, and Star, the old farmhouse cat. Star’s job is to chase mice away from the strawberry harvest–but it’s become hard now that he’s older. Daisy wants to help, but cats and dogs can’t be friends . . . can they? Will Kitty be able to solve her toughest problem yet–without the help of the Cat Council?

The Sun Is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk

Oh hey, guess what? The Sun never stops working to keep things on Earth running smoothly. (That’s why it’s been Employee of the Month for 4.5 billion years.) So why does the Sun get to be the center of attention? Because it’s our solar system’s very own star!

This funny and factual picture book from Awkward Yeti creator Nick Seluk explains every part of the Sun’s big job: keeping our solar system together, giving Earth day and night, keeping us warm, and more. In fact, the Sun does so much for us that we wouldn’t be alive without it. That’s kind of a big deal.

Each spread features bite-sized text and comic-style art with sidebars sprinkled throughout. Anthropomorphized planets (and Pluto) chime in with commentary as readers learn about the Sun. For instance, Mars found someone’s rover. Earth wants the Sun to do more stuff for it. And Jupiter just wants the Sun’s autograph. Funny, smart, and accessible, The Sun Is Kind of a Big Deal is a must-have!

Dork Diaries 1-6 by Rachel Renée Russell

Let your inner dork shine bright with these six—count ’em, six!—bestselling Dork Diary books, now together in one dorktastic boxed set.

Join Nikki Maxwell as she navigates the halls of middle school, mean girls, BFF drama and first crushes in this collectible boxed set that includes books one through six in the wildly popular New York Times, USA TODAY, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Dork Diaries series!

This boxed set includes:
Dork Diaries #1: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life
Dork Diaries #2: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl
Dork Diaries #3: Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star
Dork Diaries #4: Tales From a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess
Dork Diaries #5: Tales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All
Dork Diaries #6: Tales from a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker

101 School Jokes by Lisa Eisenberg , Katy Hall

Jokes poke fun at aspects of school life such as teachers, homework, lunch, and report cards.

 

 

Spy 101: Codes and Ciphers by Kris Hirschmann

The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Princess Magnolia is excited. Excited and nervous. She’s going to the Interkingdom Science Fair today to present her poster about seeds and plants, and when she arrives, she sees that her friends are there too! Princess Honeysuckle made a mole habitat, Princess Sneezewort has built a blanket fort, and Tommy Wigtower has a talking volcano that’s saying “EAAAAT!” Wait, what? A surprise goo monster makes this a job for the Princess in Black, and the Princess in Blankets is on the scene to lend a hand. But will two masked heroes be enough to save the science fair? A little scientific problem-solving — and a lot of princess power — will make the sixth entry in the New York Timesbest-selling series a smash hit.

How to Catch Santa by Jean Reagan, illustrated by Lee Wildish

After waiting for days and days and days, it’s finally Christmas Eve. And that’s when you can try to catch Santa. . . .

From Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish, creators of the bestselling HOW TO… series, comes a delightful new offering, written again in a hilarious instructional style. Two sibling narrators give clever tips for “catching” Santa (be crafty! be clever! be gentle!) on Christmas Eve. Filled with humor and holiday warmth, this is a jolly read-aloud for the whole family to enjoy!

The Christmas SElfie Contest by Rosie Greening and Clare Fennell

Santa is holding a Christmas selfie competition, and one particular elf is determined to win! But what will he do when things don’t go to plan?

Shimmer and Shine: Kitchen Magic

All throughout the genie world, there are delicious dishes to make and eat—and Shimmer, Shine, and Leah are ready to try them all! From Rainbow Pizza and Sparkle Cakes to Beautiful Noodles and Bela Beach Coolers, there are tons of tastes to explore.
Shimmer, Shine, and Leah’s magical morning begins with a healthy best friends’ brunch, including Egg Cups Divine, Pretty Pet Portraits on toast, a Brrr-eakfast Sundae (a healthy smoothie), and Pizza Pancakes. Then the girls hop on their magical carpet to discover the many tastes of Zahramay Falls: They drink a Bela Beach Cooler, and then taste Zahramay Zucchini Fries and Cheesy Noodle Flowers (made with lasagna noodles) at the Genie Market. They have Gooey Gummy Genie Jelly (fruit juice gummies) as a snack on their way to the Azar Bazaar in Rainbow Zahramay, where they taste Fruit Stripe Delight, Beautiful Noodles (which change color right before your eyes!), and Rainbow Pizza. They join Princess Samira for a tea party, complete with Teenie Tea Sandwiches, Sparkle Cakes, and Cinnamon Tea. The day ends with a super sleepover, where they make Genie Bling Apple Rings for a snack, Fish Stick Tacos for dinner, and Cutie Pies for dessert.

Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas by Kimberly and James Dean

Pete and his friends are rockin’ and groovin’ while counting down the days to Christmas! Who needs five golden rings, when you can have five onion rings?

Join Pete and the gang for one-of-a-kind holiday cheer. He adds a cool-cat spin on a well-known Christmas carol, bringing a hip and energetic spirit to the season.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #506

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

National Geographic: The Poetry of US edited by J. Patrick Lewis for review.

Celebrate the gift of language and the vibrant culture of the United States with this collection of classic and never-before-published poetry. Poems are arranged by region, from coast to coast, and among them you’ll find works by Langston Hughes, Dorothy Parker, Robert Frost, Naomi Shihab Nye, Walt Whitman, and more. From the familiar to the surprising, subjects include people, places, landmarks, monuments, nature, and celebrations. Designed for sharing, but geared to younger readers, this beautifully illustrated treasury is a must-have for the whole family.

National Geographic Kids: Fly with Me by Janet Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple, Adam Stemple, and Jason Stemple for review.

This thoughtful and beautifully curated collection of our flying, feathery friends highlights the role birds play in human life from centuries ago to present day. While it’s beautiful, it’s also full of valuable real science about these wondrous creatures. From history and behavior to spotting and photographing, there’s sure to be something for every bird fan in your flock. Young birders will learn all about migration and the importance of habitat conservation. They’ll find stories about bird rescues and fun facts about the fastest, strongest, and tiniest fliers. They’ll also discover the best bird nests, sweet songs to sing, ways to listen for and identify the birds around them, and more. Paired with stunning art and photography and beautiful design, this treasury is sure to become a classic for bird enthusiasts of all ages.

Fly with Me was created to help celebrate Year of the Bird, National Geographic’s 2018 initiative to bring awareness to the plight of birds around the world.

Thomas & Friends: Hero of the Rails, which my parents got for their granddaughter.

Little kids ages 3-6 will love this charming Little Golden Book that captures all the fun, friendship, and adventure of the Thomas the Tank Engine DVD Hero of the Rails. Thomas discovers a long-lost engine and attempts to save him from the scrap yard by repairing him in secret. The plan works perfectly—until that meddlesome engine Spencer gets involved!

Wild Embers by Nikita Gill, which I purchased.

In this magical poetry collection, Nikita Gill unflinchingly explores the fire in every woman and the emotions that lie deep in one’s soul. Featuring rewritten fairytale heroines, goddess wisdom, and verse that burns with magnificent beauty, this raw and powerful collection is an explosion of femininity, empowerment, and personal growth. In these words, readers will find the magnificent energy to spark resistance and revolution.

The Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins, which I purchased.

The Rain in Portugal—a title that admits he’s not much of a rhymer—sheds Collins’s ironic light on such subjects as travel and art, cats and dogs, loneliness and love, beauty and death. His tones range from the whimsical—“the dogs of Minneapolis . . . / have no idea they’re in Minneapolis”—to the elegiac in a reaction to the death of Seamus Heaney. A student of the everyday, Collins here contemplates a weather vane, a still life painting, the calendar, and a child lost at a beach. His imaginative fabrications have Shakespeare flying comfortably in first class and Keith Richards supporting the globe on his head. By turns entertaining, engaging, and enlightening, The Rain in Portugal amounts to another chorus of poems from one of the most respected and familiar voices in the world of American poetry.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #505

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

Being Mrs. Bennet by Alexa Adams for review.

Can fandom go too far?

Alison Bateman adores Jane Austen, especially Pride and Prejudice. Within the book’s pages she finds escape from everyday strife, that is until she becomes one of its characters. Instead of the beloved heroine of the novel, Alison transforms into her silly and ineffectual mother, Mrs. Bennet. Not one to be idle, she uses her new role to try and curb the unruly behavior of the youngest Bennet daughter, never suspecting the consequences her meddling will have on the romance at the heart of the novel. A story of survival in a fictional universe, Being Mrs. Bennet is a lighthearted take on Austen’s classic tale.

Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes by James Dean and Kimberly Dean, which we purchased. My review.

Pete the Cat and his friends are busy as can be baking cupcakes for a party, and Pete can’t wait to perform with his groovy band. But some of the cupcakes have gone missing! Who could have taken them?

In this hardcover picture book adventure by New York Times bestselling authors James and Kimberly Dean, Pete and the gang solve the mystery of the missing cupcakes and learn that it’s cool to be kind.

Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie by James Dean and Kimberly Dean, which we purchased.

Join Pete the Cat in a brand-new story from New York Times bestselling author-illustrator team James and Kimberly Dean! Pete is learning a new dance—the Cool Cat Boogie! When he hears a groovy beat, he’s full of happy in his feet. But when Grumpy Toad tells him, “Pete, you dance all wrong!” Pete is determined to become a better dancer. With the help of his friends and some wise words from Owl, Pete learns that he’s his grooviest when he’s being himself. Includes step-by-step dance moves so readers can dance along with Pete!

Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex, which we purchased.

It’s bedtime in the cold gray tomb with a black lagoon, and two slimy claws, and a couple of jaws, and a skull and a shoe and a pot full of goo. But as a little werewolf settles down, in comes the Goon determined at all costs to run amok and not let any monster have his rest.

A beloved classic gets a kind-hearted send up in this utterly monsterized parody; energetic art and a hilarious text will have kids begging to read this again and again.

Parkland Speaks edited by Sarah Lerner for review in January/February 2019.

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School share their emotional journeys that began on February 14, 2018, and continue today. This revealing and unfiltered look at teens living in the wake of tragedy is a poignant representation of grief, anger, determination, healing, and hope.

The intimate collection includes poetry, eyewitness accounts, letters, speeches, journal entries, drawings, and photographs from the events of February 14 and its aftermath. Full of heartbreaking loss, a rally cry for change, and hope for a safe future, these artistic pieces will inspire readers to reflect on their own lives and the importance of valuing and protecting the ones you love.

Passion Planner, which Ti at Book Chatter has recommended a number of times (similar to the one from Amazon, but better since mine is dated). I got the atrium red.

I’ve tried Bullet Journaling for the last couple of years, but this last year was an epic fail. I just don’t have the time to sit with it and set it up from scratch. I’m hoping this planner is a winner.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #504

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza from my first Scribbler box.

In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head.

A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike.

The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer?

As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line.

Sleepover at the Museum by Karen LeFrak, illustrated by David Bucs for review in January.

Imagine spending your birthday at the museum! Join Mason and his friends on their scavenger hunt through all the exhibits that make any natural history museum so special. The perfect birthday gift for museum lovers and adventure-seekers alike!

Mason couldn’t wait to celebrate his birthday with a sleepover at the museum of natural history–his favorite place to visit.

Armed with headlamps for the dark hallways, a map, and a list of clues, Mason and his two best friends take off on a scavenger hunt through each hall of the museum. But they aren’t just trying to solve the clues. They’re scouting for the best place to spend the night.

Sleeping next to a T. rex in the Hall of Dinosaurs felt too scary. And sleeping with the monarch butterflies would probably tickle. This decision isn’t as easy as Mason thought it would be….

Wherever they end up, the museum at night is the best place for a birthday adventure!

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel from Audible.

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

But Seriously by John McEnroe from Audible.

He is one of the most controversial and beloved athletes in history, a tennis legend and a volcanic, mesmerizing presence. But after reaching the top of his game – what came next? Fifteen years after his international number-one best seller You Cannot Be Serious, John McEnroe is back and ready to talk.

Now the undisputed elder statesman of tennis, McEnroe has won over his critics as a brilliant commentator at the US Open, Wimbledon, and other Grand Slam tournaments – with outspoken views on the modern game, its top players, and the world of 21st-century sport and celebrity. Who are the game’s winners and losers? What’s it like playing guitar onstage with the Rolling Stones, hitting balls with today’s greats, confronting his former on-court nemeses, getting scammed by an international art dealer, and raising a big family while balancing McEnroe-size expectations?

In But Seriously, John McEnroe confronts his demons and reveals his struggle to reinvent himself from champion and tennis legend to father, broadcaster, and author. The result is a richly personal account, blending anecdote and reflection with razor sharp and brutally honest opinions, all in McEnroe’s signature style. This is the sports book of the year: wildly entertaining, very funny, surprisingly touching, and 100 percent McEnroe.

Yuletide Happily Ever Afters: A Merry Little Set of Regency Romances by Jenna Jaxon, Angelina Jameson, Nadine Millard, Tabetha Waite, Annabelle Anders, Anna Bradley, a Kindle freebie.

Christmas is a time of celebration as well as family and friends. Join these six award winning and best selling Regency authors as they share with you the season for romance

Married by Christmas by Jenna Jaxon
After two miserable Seasons, Miss Marianne Covington is determined not to have a third and enlists the help of longtime friend William Stanley to assist her. Will wagers he can find her a husband before Christmas. But when none of the suitors suit, he is ready to do something drastic for the woman who’s become more than just a friend.

The Christmas Wager by Angelina Jameson
Lord Chastain, darling of the gossip sheets, has seven days to turn a lady’s head. Lady Iris, aware of the wager, finds the earl hard to resist. As the pair spend the holidays together, Chastain finds his own head turned and Iris discovers you can’t believe everything you read.

His Yuletide Bride by Nadine Millard
Daniel, Duke of Darthford, had pined for Sarah Starling since her disappearance three years ago. When Daniel and Sarah unexpectedly cross paths again, it’s no surprise that sparks fly once more. Could this Christmas bring two hearts back together, again? And can love truly conquer all?

Twelve Gifts by Christmas by Tabetha Waite
When Lady Philomena Wallace, the Countess of Lipscomb, receives a gift from a secret admirer, she imagines it’s a lark. It isn’t until a stranger from her past abruptly returns that she has to make a choice between a mysterious suitor – and a second chance at love.

Hell Hath Frozen Over by Annabelle Anders
The Duchess of Prescott, now a widow, fears she’s experienced all life has to offer. Thomas Findlay, a wealthy industrialist, knows she has not. Can he convince her she has love and passion in her future? And if he does, cans she convince herself to embrace it?

Boughs of Folly by Anna Bradley
He’s a scandalous rake who needs a respectable wife. She’s a notorious actress who was once a lady. Will they give in to the passion between them, or will it take a Christmas miracle to bring them together?

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #503

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

Dog Man, Unleashed, A Tale of Two Kitties, Dog Man and Cat Kid by Dav Pilkey

New from the creator of Captain Underpants, it’s Dog Man, the #1 New York Times bestselling, crime-biting canine who is part dog, part man, and ALL HERO! And he’s ready to take on Petey the Cat, the felonious feline who’s always hacking up harebrained schemes.

In the first caper, Chief is in trouble and it’s up to Dog Man to save the day! Not only does he battle Petey the Cat, but he also takes on an entire army of hot dogs. Next, Dog Man faces three conniving crooks — including a mysterious stranger — and seeks to unleash justice. And in the third adventure, Dog Man is up against two Peteys: one is the world’s most evil cat, and the other is… his clone!

With Flip-O-Rama and how-to-draws in each book, this epic Dog Man collection is sure to make readers howl with laughter!

Pippa by McKenna Bray for review.

Pippa is a little girl with a guitar in her hand and a song in her heart.

Using the gift she has been given, she travels all throughout the town turning frowns upside down.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #502

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

Pansy Cottage by Barbara Silkstone, a Kindle freebie.

~ A Light Jane Austen Comedy ~
Lizzie plots a secret garden wedding for her sister, Jane and Charles Bingley. Can she outsmart Mother Bennet or will the gorgon prevail? With her nerves in high gear, Mrs. Bennet plans the marriage of her eldest daughter. Behind the scenes, Lizzie races against the clock to design a small garden wedding ahead of her mother’s over-the-top ball. Can Darcy cart the unsuspecting Mrs. Bennet to the garden ceremony? Will Mr. Bennet cooperate with Lizzie’s plans, or does Pansy Cottage still cast a long shadow in his memories?

Forbidden by Syrie James and Ryan James, which I purchased when it was on sale.

When Claire Brennan begins to get psychic visions and mysterious warnings that she’s in danger at the start of her junior year, she isn’t sure what to think. But the truth is stranger than anything she could have imagined.

Alec MacKenzie has fled his duties as a Watcher angel and come to L.A. in search of normalcy. He never dreamed he would find a half-angel at his school, or that he would fall in love with her.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #501

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

Our Situation by W. Luther Jett, which I purchased.

Couched as they are in exquisite hope (“the canticle of sparrows/ assures me we are constant as the grass”), we find in these poems “the trumpet’s blare” and … resistance. The range is wide.Yeats, Epimenides, the ancient prayer to do with the opening and closing of the gates recited on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, all make their appearances in this work, and somehow enter the context of our present lives — “small boat pitched/ on the dark sea—One child/cast up on the cold shore.” –Myra Sklarew, author of A Survivor Named Trauma, forthcoming

The palace is burning. My country is dying. As prophets of old, W. Luther Jett reveals in tones magisterial and lyrical our situation. Not your situation. Not mine. Ours. He asks us to consider what led us to Charlottesville, to Aleppo. Our failure is blindness. “If you don’t see the wolf on my back—how can I describe the wolf lurking on your own shoulders?” We are all in the same boat, “lost between ocean and sky with nothing to hold but each other.” These poems are meant to advise and guide us. Jett implores us to open our eyes. And listen. –Barbara Goldberg, Series Editor, International Editions , the Word Works

The anger pulls you in. Frustration holds you rapt. But, the balm of a promised dawn-view dandles you. Luther Jett’s Our Situation beautifully helps us hike up the current hard-rough trail, all with a whispered hope of vistas around the bend.–Hiram Larew

How do we name, process, and react to the perils of the world we live in and the constant barrage of troubling news? With fierce compassion, W. Luther Jett’s Our Situation impels us to do just that while reminding us of how much we have to lose should we fail. This is a collection that needs to be read. –Lucinda Marshall founder of the DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading series

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #500

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

Pride and Proposals by Victoria Kincaid, narrated by Erin Evans-Walker, from Audible.

What if Mr. Darcy’s proposal was too late?

Darcy has been bewitched by Elizabeth Bennet since he met her in Hertfordshire. He can no longer fight this overwhelming attraction and must admit he is hopelessly in love. During Elizabeth’s visit to Kent, she has been forced to endure the company of the difficult and disapproving Mr. Darcy, but she has enjoyed making the acquaintance of his affable cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam.

Finally resolved, Darcy arrives at Hunsford Parsonage prepared to propose – only to discover that Elizabeth has just accepted a proposal from the colonel, Darcy’s dearest friend in the world. As he watches the couple prepare for a lifetime together, Darcy vows never to speak of what is in his heart.

Elizabeth has reason to dislike Darcy but finds that he haunts her thoughts and stirs her emotions in strange ways. Can Darcy and Elizabeth find their happily ever after?

In Good Conscience: The Final Adventure by Cat Gardiner, a paperback surprise gift from the author. Read my review here.

No man has loved a woman as much as Fitzwilliam “Iceman” Darcy loves his wife Elizabeth. His love is indestructible, insatiable, and his Achilles’ heel.

Since the whirlwind and dangerous adventure in Paris and Moscow in Without a Conscience, life at Pemberley has been a combination of idyllic repose and focused preparation and defense. Darcy’s enemy is still out there—a hair’s breadth from delivering revenge for his father’s assassination.

When the enemy strikes first, Iceman’s world comes crashing down kick starting a firestorm. How far will the gelid warrior go to protect all his loved ones? Just how much is the former Navy SEAL willing to sacrifice? Is his attritional warfare blind rage?—or are his extreme actions in good conscience?

This emotional, wild ride will take you on a breathless, white-knuckle international journey from heartbreak and revenge to survival and enduring bliss because …

No woman has loved a man like Elizabeth Darcy loves her husband Fitzwilliam. Her love is invulnerable, unyielding, and her strength.

What fell into your mailbox this week?

Mailbox Monday #499

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward, a gift for my mother.

With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence.

Fear is the most intimate portrait of a sitting president ever published during the president’s first years in office.

Owl Diaries: Eva’s Big Sleepover (book #9) by Rebecca Elliott, a purchase for my daughter.

This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

It’s almost Eva’s birthday, and she can’t wait for her super-special sleepover. But one of her friends, Sue, doesn’t seem to want to come. It won’t be right without her there! Does Sue really not want to come? Or could she be having first-sleepover jitters? Eva will need to help Sue tackle her fear in time for the big party!

What did you receive?