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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green

If you have received any book recommendations from me or ready any of my book reviews, you are aware of my affinity for quirky characters.  When I read the description of Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green, I thought it matched the quirky character trope – an odd used bookstore owner with family issues? Sign me up!

Fawn Birchill is a forty-something single woman who is partially estranged from her family. She owns a failing used bookstore in Philadelphia.  She believes that her store has been a cornerstone of her community for the past twenty years.  She is semi-happily single. She has a cat and also feeds the strays in her alley.  She believes her three loyal employees are happy working for her.  When a young, hip bookstore opens down the street, with comfy chairs, a coffee bar, knowledgeable employees and weekend evening entertainment, her world is turned upside down.  Now she must deal with her employees abandoning her, her cat dying (wait until you read THAT part), caring (?) for her elderly renter Jane, much needed repairs to the store, the strained relationship with her family, and the trials of online dating.  She also must figure out what to do about her pen pal, whom she has created a whole false identity for herself. Talk about getting caught up in a fantasy of your own making!!

I really wanted to like this book. I did finish it. The ending was kind of anticlimactic. I had a hard time liking Fern. I believe the character suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. For me this book fell short of my expectations just as Fern’s employees fell short of hers. 2.5 stars.

Prepping for a NEW YEAR

I haven’t stayed up until midnight on New Years Eve in years. Since 2020 has been such a dumpster fire, I have decided to stay up until midnight to make sure that 2020 actually ends. I’m sort of worried that I’m going to wake up tomorrow and see that the date is December 32, 2020. That would be so 2020!

During the month of December I have been working on plans for 2021.

  1. Health – I’ve started what, so far, is a helpful way to lose weight. NOOM. Someone I know lost 100 pounds using this service so I thought I’d try. So far I am down 6 pounds! It is a very different approach towards weight loss. More info to come in the new year as I chronicle my journey. Mike and I are also starting to exercise more and plan to make it a habit in 2021.
  2. Career – Since work has changed so much this year, I have been feeling uninspired and unfulfilled. I have decided to work on taking my passion for crafting to the next level. I’ve been listening to the “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” podcast and have really been inspired to find how I can make the world a better place through my passion of crafting. Things currently in the works:
    • Craft videos on YouTube in the hopes of getting a good enough following to monetize my craft videos.
    • Creating a plan to sell my crafts on Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, craft shows, etc. I am making a list of what to make in preparation for upcoming holidays and celebrations.
    • Planning a way to start doing at-home craft parties once we all get Covid-19 under control.
    • Collaborating with two friends on a really cool videography project.
  3. Reading – Increase my reading and book review blog posts by creating a calendar to remind myself to post reviews to my blog twice a month.
  4. Brainstorming on a podcast idea I have.

So, those are my big plans to make 2021 the best year ever.

What are your plans for 2021? Do you plan to stay up until midnight? Do you have a craft you would like me to create a video for? Do you have any book recommendations for me? How about a healthy recipe or an exercise for me to add to our getting healthy plan? Please drop me a note below and I promise to send you a great big thank you!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

The origin of my love of reading and a review of a heartwarming and funny book.

When you read advanced reader copies and post reviews, sometimes you get into a funk. Lately, even though I’ve been offered some good books to read, I have not been inspired by anything. Sometimes the best reads are recommended by your mom!

First, let me tell you about my mother. She is the one who shared her love of good books with me when I was a child. I have many happy memories of her reading to me and my three brothers when we were kids. A favorite of ours was the Poky Little Puppy. So many times my wonderful mother would fall asleep reading this book to us. All these years later, I still get sleepy and start to nod off when I see this cover.

So, my mom and I often talk about books we are reading, we want to read, or we have read. As we talk about them, our to be read piles grow exponentially. Some of the authors we have shared with each other – Preston & Child, Adriana Trigiani, Frederik Backman, Richard Adams – and so many more. The latest recommendation from my mom, Patricia, was The Tour by Jean Grainger. Mom told me how much she was enjoying the book and I immediately went onto Amazon and downloaded the e-book. I started reading on the evening of October 18, 2020 and finished in the wee hours of October 22, 2020. I devoured this book.

If you enjoyed all of Maeve Binchey’s books, you will love this story of a group of American tourist who are on a bus tour of Ireland. The characters in this story all seem so real. There is the easy-on-the-eyes and warm hearted tour bus driver, the snooty academic, the neglected housewife and her bombastic idiot of a husband, the mysterious Texan, two individuals who came to learn more about their Irish roots, the hot mess of a Mom who drags her antisocial musician son to Ireland to find a new sugar daddy, and the grieving, mousey widow trying to move on. This book is a masterclass in how to take a group of unrelated characters and have them change each others lives. I loved this book and can’t wait to read more in this series (YES!! There are more books in this series). I know I haven’t given many details about the book itself or what happens. I want you all to experience it yourself – no spoilers.

I think one of the reasons that this book resonated with me is the fact that I have been on a bus tour…with my mom. Yes, the same mom that recommended this book. Funny how that worked out, isn’t it?

In the 90s, Mom and I took a bus tour of South Dakota with the St. Joseph’s Indian School. This is a school that my grandmother started donating to when my mom was a child. We saw Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments, which were amazing. Even more amazing, the Black Hills and Badlands National Park. It was an inspiring and fun trip. As the youngest one the bus, I was so inspired by one particular tour member. She was in her 80s and only had one lung…yet she kept up with all of us. I don’t think I could do that NOW!

So, in this Covid-19 world, my suggestion is to do your traveling through books. Pick up The Tour and go on a bus tour of Ireland!!

I hope you all have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving.

Review – In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Dannie has a 5 year plan. In 5 years she will be a partner in her law firm and married to her fiancé. When she has a dream vision about her future, it is quite different from her 5 year plan.

Will Dannie marry her fiance? Or will the dream come true? To find out you will have to read the book. You will meet family, friends, and coworkers from Dannie’s life and see what actually happens In Five Years.

I really enjoyed the book. It touched on all the feels. The book releases on March 10, 2020, so keep an eye out at your local library, independent bookstore, or preorder at Amazon.

Thanks for reading.