Delicious Java: A love story

I made a video of a delicious cup of Java.

Delicious Java: A love story

Fae Hunted by Rose Garcia

I enjoy a well written dual world fantasy novel so I just could not pass up the chance to read Rose Garcia’s Fae Hunted. This is book one of the Fae Bloodlines Legacy duology.

Gabriella is the daughter of a Fae princess and a human witch. Her parents fled the Fae world, Faevenly, after a traumatic event that they would not tell her about. They raised Gabriella as a human but did tell her a little about her Fae and witch backgrounds, but not much.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

One day her mother and father were called back to Faevenly to deal with a challenge to the Fae throne. While there, the soul vampire Draven escapes the dungeons and attacks Stronghaven. After the attack, it is discovered that her parents are missing. As the heir apparent, she must travel to Faevenly to try and find her parents, capture or kill Draven, and meet the challenge to her throne.

The author does a great job world building and showing the differences between the human and Fae worlds. The book ends with a cliffhanger that made me want to read the next book NOW!

if you are looking for an escape from the human world, you should give Fae Hunted a try.

I received a review copy of this book through BookSirens in exchange for my honest review.

Thanks for reading.

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl

Since the new year began, I’ve made a goal to post a review every Saturday. This week, I didn’t actually finish any books this week but I came close on this one. I don’t often read autobiographies. For some reason, The Storyteller jumped out at me.

So far, I have really enjoyed the book. Since Dave Grohl is only a few years younger than I am, I experienced the same time period he did growing up. As the last generation of kids that had the chance to play outside, drink water from a garden hose, burnt their legs on a hot metal slide we grew up tough.

When you read this book you will hear the story of a young boy who started guitar lessons but quit them and taught himself. From joining the band Scream at 17 to the death of Nirvana band mate Kurt Cobain and on to his current projects, Grohl tells about the experience without the salaciousness of other rock autobiographies.

I’m 3/4 of the way through the book and when I finish, I will add an update to this post.

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Pexels.com

People who grew up in the 70s and 80s will most likely appreciate this book.

Thanks for reading.

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocum

Ray McMillan loves playing classical music on his great-grandfather’s violin.  There have been many obstacles to his pursuit of a professional music career.  His mother thinks he is wasting his time and should get a “real job” at a local fast-food restaurant.  As a Black Classical musician, he has had to fight racism from the Classical music community as well as the Black community that thinks he shouldn’t be playing Classical music.

Ray is an exceptional violinist and has entered the Tchaikovsky Competition – the Olympics of Classical Music.  The evening before the competition his heirloom violin is stolen.  The violin, which was given to Ray’s great-grandfather by the man who owned his family, turns out to be a priceless Stradivarius.

As the pressure from the competition mounts, Ray is determined to get his violin back.  Unfortunately, some of his family members as well as the descendants of the slave owner are both claiming the violin belongs to them.  

Will Ray find the violin in time to play in the competition? Who stole the violin and why? To find out the answers to these questions, you will need to read The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocum.

The book releases on February 1, 2022.  You can pre-order it at Amazon or your local independent bookstore.

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGally in exchange for my honest review.

Thanks for reading.

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

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I have to admit that I picked up a copy of the Sanatorium based on the creepy cover alone. The building on the cover looked as it was described in the book, remote and ominous.

Detective Elin Warner is taking time off the job to celebrate the engagement of her estranged brother. He has been fixing up an old abandoned sanatorium in the Alps to create a luxury hotel. The sanatorium has a terrifying history, which adds to the dark atmosphere.

When her brother’s fiancé disappears, Elin thinks he had something to do with it. As a Winter storm moves in and strands them at the hotel and strange things begin to happen, the guests become more rattled.

The horrifying history of the sanatorium is explained and the surprising ending made this a decent read.

I believe this is the first book the author wrote with Elin as the main character. If you want a creepy but not too creepy book to read, try out The Sanatorium.

Pick up a copy of The Sanatorium on Amazon or at your local independent book store.

For more info about the author, visit her website at Sarah Pearse.

Thanks for reading.

Diary of an Angry Young Man by Rishi Vohra

Sometimes I get emails from authors asking me to read and review a book. They often offer a free copy of the book for me to read. If the book has not been published, I will check out the author and the book to decide if I want to read and review it. If the book has already been published and I am interested in reading the book, I purchase a copy for myself. This was the case with Diary of an Angry Young Man. Mr. Vohra’s pitch drew me in immediately. I ended up reading the book in two days.

Raghav is a boy living with his family just outside of the slums of Colaba in Bombay in 1992. His father barely scrapes enough money together for their family of four to live.

The was a lot of unrest in India during Raghav’s childhood. The different religious factions were always fighting. One day, Raghav heard a commotion in the street. It was a mob of angry people attacking a young boy. Raghav was shocked that people of his religious sect were attacking this boy. He saved the boy by hiding him in his house and switching clothes with him so he could get away.

When his mother had a severe asthma attack, Raghev was left home while the family took her to the hospital. During this time, he was assaulted by the local creepy guy. When his family returned and told him that his mother was dead, Raghav’s anger at his assault and losing his mother came to a head. He ended up hanging in the local slums.

Photo by ritesh arya on Pexels.com

From the street kids, prostitutes, policemen, and other interesting characters, Raghav finds a kind of family. When he attempts to help an orphan, he starts on his road to redemption and out of the deep anger he holds within himself.

The story of Raghav drew me in and kept me reading late into the night. I needed to know how his story ended. I really enjoyed the book and will look for more from this author. You can find this book on Amazon or from your local independent book store.

For more info about the author, visit https://rishivohra.com.

Amazon link: Diary of an Angry Man

Thanks for reading.

2021: My year in review (don’t get too excited)

This year started with a very busy time at work. I was working on a team creating How To Festival videos that aired in January as well as a Centennial video celebrating Charlotte County’s 100 year anniversary. It was nice to wrap those projects up and get them out to the public.

Things seemed to be calming down when my Mom got really sick. I really can’t write about that yet. I am still grappling with the fact that I didn’t make it home to see her before she passed at the end of April. I have kind of just been surviving since then. I miss her like crazy.

I have enjoyed being closer to my brothers and my Dad during the aftermath of losing her.

Had some work disappointments in the second half of the year. I will not dwell on them. Instead of wallowing in my misery, I found a new job. I started in September and it has been really good for me. I actually feel like I am able to contribute to our mission. It is a great feeling.

To finish off 2021, I thought I’d join in and catch Covid. I was sick over Christmas break and I am almost finished my quarantine. I’ll be able to head back to work on Monday January 3, 2022.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Thanks for reading.

The good, the bad, and the WHAT??

It’s December and time for my annual “the good, the bad, and the WHAT??” of my 2021 reading life.

I’ll admit that I have not been as avid a reader this year. Between the state of the world, being burnt out at work, and losing my Mom, I have not been reading like I used to. That being said, I don’t have a very long list of favorite books I read this year. So, let’s get started.

My favorite book that I read this year will shock you, since it is not my normal genre.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir – Only the second sci-fi book that I can recall reading.  The first was The Martian by the same author.  Project Hail Mary tells the story of Ryland, a science teacher who somehow gets chosen to join a team of astronauts that are traveling through deep space to try to save humanity.  When Ryland wakes from his induced sleep, he finds that his two companions have perished and he is alone in space with just a medical bot.  At least he thinks he is, until another ship arrives. I listened to the audiobook and I’m so glad I did.  This book was so good that I occasionally think about it six months after I finished reading it.

There were some books I read or tried to read in 2021 that I would like to mention. Of course you will find some are filled with the quirky characters I love.


The Paper Palace by Miranda Crowley Heller – This book was hyped so much that I thought “it must e great”. I however, was unable to get into it. When I read a book the characters must have some redeeming qualities. This was just nasty people doing terrible things to each other. I tried three times to start and finish the book and so far it’s a big ol’ cuppa nope for me.

The Making of Robert Mooney by Jane Gilley – QUIRKY CHARACTER ALERT!!! Robert hasn’t had things easy.  He sleeps on the couch in his home because his mother moved in with him and basically threw him out of his bedroom.  He puts up with a lot of abuse from her while she pretends to be in poor health.  His life takes a swift turn when he has a life changing encounter with Brett. As Robert gets pulled into the antics of Brett and his family, who just happen to be small time thugs, he not only finds friends, his own voice, and the strength to stand up to his mother.  A laugh out loud romp that was almost my favorite book that I read this year.

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson – QUIRKY CHARACTER ALERT!!! As you may know, until three months ago, I worked in a public library. This book was the perfect read for me as I transitioned out of library employment. June Jones, works as a library assistant where her deceased mother used to be the librarian. Shy and reclusive, June has never left the sleepy village where she grew up. When the village council threatens to close the library and sell the building, June and several of her regular library patrons decided to fight back and occupy the library and refuse to leave. While fighting for her library, she finds the strength to come out of the protective shell she engulfed herself in after her mother died. With all the changes in how libraries are run, it is refreshing to know that there may still be people out there who cherish their libraries.

If you read any of these books, let me know your thoughts. Thanks for reading.

The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis

I love it when I read an advance copy of a book by an author I’ve never read before and love it. I love it even more when I find out that they have MORE BOOKS for me to read! This is what happened when I received an advance copy of The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Twenty-one year old Lillian Carter has been modeling for artists since she was fifteen. Under her mother’s guidance, she became Angelica, the most sought-after artist model in New York City. When her mother succumbs to the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1919, she is lost. When her landlord’s wife is found murdered with a flirtatious note Lillian sent her husband, she is wanted for questioning. Instead of complying, she runs with hopes to get out to Hollywood to become a movie star.

Lillian stumbles into a job interview for the personal assistant of Miss Helen Frick of the daughter of the infamous industrialist, Henry Clay Frick. She manages to not only get the job but become a valued member of the Frick household. When the patriarch of the family dies, Lillian is caught up in a scandal unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

This book, with it’s many detailed descriptions great art, New York society and it’s landmarks, was an interesting look at how life would be for a young woman with a so called scandalous profession at the time. Flashing back and forth between 1919 and 1966, the book manages to tie up all the missing pieces without being trite.

If you like historical figures and locals mixed with a good fictional story, this book is for you.

The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis is scheduled for publication on January 25, 2022. You can preorder from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent book store.

Thanks for reading.

Trying to get back on track

After several stressful months, I think I might be ready to get back into the swing of blogging. I hope that 2021 has been good to you, kind reader. It has been quite the year and it still has a month and a half to go!

So many things happened and/or changed in 2021. First, my wonderful mother fell ill and sadly passed away. After six months, I am still having a hard time with her passing. Not a day goes by that I don’t think “Oh…I should call Mom and tell her about this” or “I wonder if Mom knows how to do that”. I really miss her.

Work changed A LOT. In the past three years I went from covering supervisor duties (banking, training, programming, etc.) to not having any responsibilities at work. It’s not a demotion because I was not promoted to supervisor or even paid for those extra duties. Once they finally hired someone and I trained them…that was it. So, I found another position within the company and I am happy and loving it.

The crafting video YouTube that I started with two friends has been put on hold due to the friend with the studio selling her house and moving. I’m working on setting up something at home but it is going to take some time. I will probably blog, with pictures, some craft projects until I’m ready to go with the videos again.

Last month Mike and I went to Orlando for vacation. We met up with family and went to several Disney parks. If you have been a Disney park visitor in the past and plan on coming back, be prepared for massive changes. We are not happy with the way things are going there, so it will be a long time before we visit again. It will take years for us to save up because of their new ticketing and Genie+ charges. Needless to say, it was NOT the happiest place on earth when we were there.

So, friends, I think I’ll be back to writing book reviews and commenting about life here in the blogosphere. Looking forward to interacting with everyone again.

Thanks for reading.