I am always on the lookout for articles on this month’s best of list in genre’s I love to read, aren’t you? It’s hard to not click the link to see if I’ve read any of the books on the list or to discover a book that hadn’t been on my radar but looks too irresistible to overlook.
I’ve liked the Bookish page on Facebook and will admit to getting lost in their articles, must read lists and book giveaways. Did you know Friday March 8th was International Women’s Day? A day to celebrate women, a group I am proud to be one of, and I didn’t even know about it! I think women should always be celebrated but I guess I’m biased. Bookish created this very cool, empowered graphic to honor literary bookish women. I wanted to share it with all of my fellow book bloggers.
I may be a few days late, but as I said above, women should be celebrated every day! Happy International Women’s Day!
If you haven’t read Unearthed please know there are slight spoilers for that novel ahead.
At the end of Unearthed Mia and Jules were trapped aboard what was an abandoned alien spacecraft when suddenly it was no longer abandoned. The Undying stepped through a portal filling the ship to capacity. Mia and Jules are still trapped but this time living in the duct system trying to find a way to get off this ship and back home to warn everyone that the Undying were no longer extinct but were on their way to take over Earth.
Similar to Unearthed, Undying was very fast paced, full of action, and the budding romance of Mia and Jules. However, unlike Unearthed I found myself a little less wrapped up in the plot. Although this is a science fiction novel I think when the setting moved back to one I’m familiar with it became a little more mundane. Yes, they were trying to save their planet but instead of the focus being on two teenagers who were trying to survive, the introduction of so many adults to the plot subdued their ability to act immediately. Mia’s jump before you think nature was still in play, but her doubts about their ability to save the earth were tied to the fact that they were so young. When I read YA fantasy and science fiction I immediately throw away the thought that these are kids that have the responsibility to save the world. Kaufman and Spooner chose to make adults a larger part of this plot. By doing that it took me out of my head and made me start to ask those questions again. Why and how are this “kids” going to make everyone believe that the Undying are here already and trying to take over. It wasn’t a huge problem but it did stop me from enmeshing myself fully in the story. I didn’t have that problem in Unearthed. I went along for the crazy ride and really enjoyed it.
Mia and Jules were adorable as a couple. Their feelings were on display to the world and even though they had private moments of doubt their feelings were clear from the start. I also enjoyed the political nature of this novel. You have this other species trying to eradicate the existence of “proto” humans from Earth, but within that species is a faction that disagrees. It gave Dex, one of the Undying, depth and through his actions gave the Undying humanity. If you didn’t have that comparison you wouldn’t have cared at all for their existence.
I did enjoy this novel even though the pace was slower and bogged down in the middle. I think it was a fitting sequel to Unearthed although if I’d had my way they would have kept the action up in that space ship, but that would’ve been a totally different book. LOL. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere.
“Although I did enjoy it, unfortunately, I felt like this one fell a little flat. I mean, it was still enjoyable and I really loved the two main characters, but it was just missing the adventure and the mystery that I loved about the first book. ” The Chronicles of Danielle
“Unfortunately, I didn’t like this book quite as much as the first. I mean, Earth is simply a boring setting when you’ve been to another planet. There was also no thrill of characters falling in love with each other (because, well, they already had).” Brylie and Books
Bennett’s human citizens were wiped out by the terre indigene’s Elders in the purge after the Humans First and Last movement failed. It is being allowed to rebuild with a mix of humans, Intuits, and Terre Indigene who will run the town. When word gets out that it is being re-settled with people who will work a trade and run businesses, there is an influx of people who wish to live there. Will humanity rear it’s ugly head again? Well, this is an Others book, so yes, but the story is fascinating and our group of townspeople band together to eliminate the threat that may live among them.
Wild Country was one of my most anticipated books this year and it did not disappoint! A few characters were familiar from Lakeside, but their world that was shook up from the purge changed things dramatically. Humans are required to prove themselves with hard work and an unselfishness that does not come naturally to some of humanity. Our main characters are the exception and the way they rebuild trust is proof again that not all of humanity is corrupt.
There were so many sub plots running through Wild Country that it’s hard to choose a favorite. I loved human Deputy Jana’s need for approval from her Sheriff Virgil Wolfgard, who does not trust humans after his pack was slaughtered at their hands. When he starts to treat her as pack, and she allows and understands it, my favorite moment of this book is created. Another great sub plot is between Jesse, an older intuit woman who is treated with some honor by the terre indigene, and Tolya Sanguinati mayor of Bennett. Tolya, just like Vlad in the Lakeside Others series, is intrigued by some of the more basic emotions in humans and with Jesse there is a trust that has been developed by working together on this project. I’m not sure where their relationship will lead, but I’ll admit that I too am intrigued and can’t wait to find out. If there’s another book in this series that is!
All of the sub plots in this book eventually intertwine and lead to a final conflict that will again leave the question of how and will the terre indigene allow humanity to exist. Will the good folk in Bennett outweigh the bad? I really liked Lake Silence, the first novel in this new Others series, but Wild Country takes us back to why we love this world so much. Yes, humanity can be just awful, but these novels also shine a light on what makes humanity wonderful too. It’s those moments and contradictions that keep me coming back to this intriguing world. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a copy of this free ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“It was a pretty fun read, and was hard to put down, so I finished it in just about a day. I said to myself after not liking Lake Silence very much that it was probably just a dud and that I would continue one nonetheless because I love the world of the Others, and I think the terra indigine are brilliant beings to read about. Well, here I am, and I’ll definitely be sticking around here for the next in the series too! But I really hope that the bad guys of Thaisia start getting smarter. ” Superstardrifter
It was a short month but I still managed to read 16 books. Some of them were audio books that I listened to while driving or working out and yes, I am counting those too! Not all of them were talked about on my blog in February and some of them are posts scheduled for the future release dates.
What happened on my blog in February? Here’s a recap!
GREAT FEBRUARY READS!
Fall (VIP #3) by Kristen Callihan
“This was not a lighthearted novel. Yes, I did laugh, but I also cried a bit and stopped to think about how this portrayal could parallel a lot of people’s lives that read it. Not that we’re all rock stars, well at least outside my own head, but the fact that we all have moments of darkness and that dream that being needed and loved can help us overcome despair.”
On Thin Ice (Juniper Falls #3) by Julie Cross
“On Thin Ice explores a lot of tough subjects; bullying, depression, and suicide but the novel does a great job of putting a spotlight on these problems and allowing it’s characters to work their way to a solution in a very real, unforced way. “
Circle of the Moon (Soulwood#4) by Faith Hunter
“Circle of the Moon advances Nell’s journey away from her Churchwoman background towards a “city” life. Her magic gets stronger and she has to constantly fight the urge to kill for her land, Soulwood, but she is also in a more maternal role with becoming the guardian of her younger sister Mud, who also has earth magic tendencies similar to Nell’s. Her tentative feelings for Occam resolve into want and his feelings for Nell into love.”
BLOGGER TO BLOGGER SERIES
If you missed learning a little bit more about these two book bloggers, here’s your chance! They are both wonderful and very different from each other.. Click the link to take a look.
If you know what a Mash-Up is then you probably understood my other post in this category. A Mash-up in music is when you combine two different genre’s to create an original flavor of music. What I was shooting for in this next post was to describe a book blogger using the books they had read recently on their blog. If you missed this one click the link and let me know if I missed the mark or not.
I have started to contribute to a weekly Meme called It’s Monday, What are you Reading? I’ve always liked reading what my fellow bloggers are reading because I’m nosy and curious. My taste in books varies so much that I thought you may enjoy seeing what I’m reading each week. I created this graphic, so when you see it, come visit and let me know what you think about my book choices!
ELIMINATING MY TBR
I only read one of the books I listed in this category last month. Since I’m a mood reader it’s really hard to set a list and stick with it. Here are a couple I’m looking forward to reading in March.
A Dangerous Collaboration (A Veronica Speedway novel) by Deanna Raybourn
A bride mysteriously disappears on her wedding day in the newest Veronica Speedwell adventure by the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey series.
Lured by the promise of a rare and elusive butterfly, the intrepid Veronica Speedwell is persuaded by Lord Templeton-Vane, the brother of her colleague Stoker, to pose as his fiancée at a house party on a Cornish isle owned by his oldest friend, Malcolm Romilly.
But Veronica soon learns that one question hangs over the party: What happened to Rosamund? Three years ago, Malcolm Romilly’s bride vanished on their wedding day, and no trace of her has ever been found. Now those who were closest to her have gathered, each a possible suspect in her disappearance.
From the poison garden kept by Malcolm’s sister to the high towers of the family castle, the island’s atmosphere is full of shadows, and danger lurks around every corner.
Determined to discover Rosamund’s fate, Veronica and Stoker match wits with a murderer who has already struck once and will not hesitate to kill again.…
The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets
From the national bestselling author of Breaking Wild, here is a riveting and powerful thriller about a woman whose greatest threat could be the man she loves.…
Marian Engström has found her true calling: working with rescue dogs to help protect endangered wildlife. Her first assignment takes her to northern Alberta, where she falls in love with her mentor, the daring and brilliant Tate. After they’re separated from each other on another assignment, Marian is shattered to learn of Tate’s tragic death. Worse still is the aftermath in which Marian discovers disturbing inconsistencies about Tate’s life, and begins to wonder if the man she loved could have been responsible for the unsolved murders of at least four women.
Hoping to clear Tate’s name, Marian reaches out to a retired forensic profiler who’s haunted by the open cases. But as Marian relives her relationship with Tate and circles ever closer to the truth, evil stalks her every move.…
OK, I may be cheating a bit because both of these are ARC’s so I MUST read them! LOL. We’ll see if the month gets away from me again.
When I hop over to Charley’s blog I’m instantly transported. The beautiful stories about her travels, the pictures, and of course the books she reads and reviews are totally captivating. I’ll admit that I only found out how wonderful she was because of the name of her blog Books and Bakes. It turns out she and I share a love for CAKE! If you haven’t been to her blog, please click the link below, but come back and read her answers to my ten questions.
Blogging is universal and even though we inhabit the same community, we don’t always live in the same country. What country do you live in?
I live in the United Kingdom but my time is split between two very contrasting places: Stratford upon Avon and Hull. Stratford is William Shakespeare’s home town so he is referenced everywhere – even in the pavements which feature famous quotes from the playwright himself as well as his plays. Hull is basking in the afterglow of City of Culture, where the city has changed so much over the past couple of years. I’m incredibly lucky to be a part of both of these places.
What is the view outside your front door?
This depends very much on where I am! However, when I open both doors I see lots of green which I love. I’m also quite excited today as it’s a really sunny day. It feels like Spring is in the air.
Most blogs have a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blogs name and/or why you started blogging.
My blog name came to me quite naturally because it includes two things I absolutely love: books and bakes. I love reading and I love cake and I’m particularly happy if the two are combined! I came into blogging after reading 60 Postcards by Rachael Chadwick. Then it turned into a little space for me to write about all the things I’ve loved and enjoyed.
Describe where you write your blog.
I write my blog on my iPhone but this can be in a variety of places. Usually, it is on my sofa in the lounge. However, I have been known to write posts in my car as I’ve been travelling to and from different places. It really depends on when I feel the need to whip it out and start typing. Despite being ridiculously organized in my everyday life, I’ve never scheduled a blog post.
Most of us have a stack of books sitting next to our couch or bed waiting to be read. What books are in your stack?
I dedicate a whole bookshelf to the books I want to read (so much for a stack!) However, I am currently on holiday so I do have a stack. I find myself reading more non-fiction which is quite strange for me. Nevertheless, my stack is looking quite eclectic which I’m rather pleased about.
IN 1612 IN LANCASTER, ENGLAND, THE HUNT FOR WITCHES IS RAMPANT…
BUT IN A TIME OF SUSPICION AND ACCUSATION, TO BE A WOMAN IS THE GREATEST RISK OF ALL
1612 Pendle Hill
Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth is with child again. As the mistress of Gawthorpe Hall, she is anxious to provide her husband with an heir. But none of her previous pregnancies have come to term. Then she discovers a hidden letter from her physician that warns her husband that she will not survive another pregnancy.
Distraught over the frightening revelation, Fleetwood wanders the woods of Pendle Hill, where she meets a young local woman named Alice Gray. A midwife, Alice promises Fleetwood she can help her deliver a healthy baby. But soon Alice is drawn into the frenzied accusations of witchcraft sweeping the countryside. Even the woodland creatures, the “familiars,” are suspected of practicing the dark arts. Can Fleetwood trust that Alice is really who she says she is?
As the two women’s lives become intertwined, Fleetwood must risk everything to prove Alice’s innocence in order to save her own unborn child. The hunt for witches reaches fever pitch. Time is running out. The trials are about to begin. Both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.
Set against the Pendle Witch Trials of 1612, this rich and compelling novel draws its characters from historical figures as it explores the lives and rights of seventeenth-century women, ultimately raising the question: Is witch-hunting really just women-hunting?
If you have had a bad day and want to spend an hour reading a book, what is your go to genre or favorite book that will lift your mood?
I tend to pick up the book I am reading at the time. I’ll always deviate to Harry Potter though. Their just so magical to me still, I absolutely love them.
When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, Play, School?
Being an English teacher takes up 98% of my time so I’m usually at school quite late each day. When there are moments of free time I try and read or visit the theatre. I am also quite happy in the garden or talking long walks in the countryside. I’m a member of the National Trust too so I like to take advantage of that and go exploring.
What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written? Please include the link!
My favourite blog post is coincidentally my most popular post which was all about my visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London.
Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? If so, what did you say to them? Looking back, what do you wish you had said instead?
One of the first authors I ever remember reading was Jacqueline Wilson. I was a young girl, I really loved her stories and felt like I was friends with each and every character. I especially loved The Lottie Project, but was desperately sad that she wasn’t called Charley like me! I did meet her when I was about 6 or 7 years old. She was so so lovely and she even signed two books for me. I’ve kept them to this very day. Also, she is still the only author I’ve ever met.
If you could sit down with an author for a slice of cake and a question, who is the author, what kind of cake would you serve, and what is the first question you’d ask?
I’d love to meet J K Rowling. What a remarkable woman she is! I’d thank her immensely for not only my life, but every life who has been touched by Harry Potter in some way or another. We’d have hot chocolates, scones, cream and jam. Then we would follow with chocolate cake. The more cake the better in my opinion!
Wow, Charley, if I had that view outside either my front or back door I think I’d stare in a stupor out the door all the time. Gorgeous! I think you would have to stand in a queue to get a chance to sit down with JK Rowling. I’d be standing in it right along side you! She is so iconic, and I agree, the more cake the better! Thanks for participating in my series!
If you’re interested in being featured in Blogger to Blogger, please reach out! I’d love to hear your answers.
The setting is Elizabethan England when it is treasonous to be a practicing Catholic. Lady Katherine’s father is killed right before her eyes when he is discovered harboring a Catholic priest, his secrets revealed. Escaping imprisonment, Lady Katherine travels to London dressed as a young man intent on revenge against those responsible for her father’s death. Intent on killing the Queen of England. Overhearing Shakespeare and his players in a tavern talking about a secret play they will be putting on for a private performance for the Queen, Kit decides to try out and lands one of the leads. Little does she know that she is playing opposite a young man named Toby who is a spy and the mastermind behind the plan to catch those plotting to kill Elizabeth.
In Elizabethan England women’s roles in plays were played by men or boys so when Kit gets cast as Olivia in Twelfth Night the humor of her success at playing a boy playing a girl is remarkable in that no one has figured out that the girl is actually a girl. Our spy Toby who is trying to catch a potential killer finds himself drawn to Kit the boy a fact that is punishable by death and when Kit seems to return his regard? That is when the plot truly becomes interesting. Even as Kit is one of his suspects, are their feelings for each other more important than saving the Queen’s life?
I really enjoyed Kit’s evolution. As Katherine she was restricted to a woman’s life but as Kit so many things were available to her. I think this combined with her feelings for Toby helped her to make the decision revealed at the end of the book. No spoilers here, but the line between life and death was trod very closely and the conclusion was just as dramatic as one of the plots in a Shakespeare play.
I am a fan of historical novels and The Assassin’s Guide was right up my alley. A devious plot and a romantic sub-plot set in a Shakespeare play? It had me asking questions about the era and I used Wikipedia a few times to fact check my own knowledge. I was surprised by many things but nothing as much as how enjoyable I found this novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“..although it is unique and not at all a chore to read, there was something missing, the same thing that, if I remember correctly, was missing in The Witch Hunter too. The reason for my inability to give it four stars or more. And that thing is… seriousness.” Hit or Miss Books
“Overall, it was an okay-ish read for me! It was a decent YA historical novel filled with drama, conspiracies, and forbidden romance. I liked the ending part which is why I gave it a three and a half star instead of three stars. ” Dreamy Addictions
Rosie’s worked hard to become a Michelin starred sous chef and thought she and her also chef husband were happy in their marriage when she comes home to find him moving out and asking for a divorce. It seems he’s found someone else, someone less rigid and more carefree. Heart broken, Rosie gives it all up to travel the festival circuit in her fuchsia pink travelling teashop named Poppy. She learns to live in the moment, build friendships, and yes, finds love again.
I thought Rosie’s Travelling Teashop was sweet, romantic and surprisingly thought provoking. What would it be like to give up a successful career and start all over on a new venture? Rosie had to let go of over planning every stage of her life and when she did that she found a peace that had been missing. I found it really easy to identify with Rosie and I’d imagine a lot of other readers who feel they are plodding away in a job where they are no longer happy will too. I found this escape from my own life through Rosie’s adventures a fun way to spend the afternoon.
Max, Rosie’s love interest was just delicious! If there was a Max at the end of a life change I think there would be a lot more women willing to make this kind of move! LOL. It was fun to read he and Rosie’s verbal sparring and also see how he opened Rosie’s life to a world outside of the one she was used to living in. There was only one minor flaw in this novel regarding a sub plot with another male character. I thought it wasn’t needed and was frustrated with how that plot was resolved. I just wanted to scratch it from the story entirely, but overlooking that one minor thing, I really did enjoy this book. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a free ARC of this book for my honest review and it was honest.
It’s been a few months since I’ve read a science fiction novel. The Terrans was recommended to me a long time ago by my sister who is seldom wrong when it comes to book recommendations. I like science fiction but have to really be in the mood because sometimes the book may be more technical than I’m comfortable with, but The Terrans was a great balance of sci-fi imagery, technology, and a Star Trek like “going where no man has gone before” adventure.
Jacaranda MacKenzie finds herself drawn back into service after retiring to her home in the Hawaiian islands. Having strong psychic tendencies, language skills, and proven psychic fighting techniques she is now on a mission as an Ambassador because her face was seen in psychic precognitive visions as being important in a future war. On their first mission they come upon an alien life form called the Salik who have human captives that her team must save. After reaching out telepathically to the humans leader Li’eth, she gathers that the Salik are not friendly aliens and in fact are only looking for their next meal. Humans are a tasty treat, and live humans are their preferred meal. Saving Li’eth and his team who are human, but not Terrans, is the first contact with another life force that the Terrans have ever had. They realize pretty quickly that both races have qualities that are needed on the other side and can make them allies in the war against the Salik.
Jackie’s a really unique lady! She’s a linguist, and her thought process on how to quickly learn V’Dan (Li’eth’s planet, language, and people) teach the V’Dan her own language and then also the cultural proprieties could’ve been really time consuming. Thank goodness she was telepathic and could skip a lot of steps! She knew how to speak to people without being offensive, yet still be warm and welcoming. Underneath all of these kind of technical aspects to her personality was also the fact that she was mostly Polynesian. I don’t know that I’ve ever read a science fiction book that had a Hawaiian main character? It really added a level of depth to her understanding of body language due to her hula dancing training. Her ancestors way of story telling with body movements. I really enjoyed her character alot.
Li’eth was also what you’d want your hero to look and act like. As the Captain of his ship he had a commanding presence. Like Jackie, he knew how to act with other cultures. He and Jackie had to interact with each other quite a bit as they were the two highest ranking people on the ship. She “downloaded” his language and had to do a Spock type mind meld to get that done relatively quick. The two of them talked telepathically and developed a bond that drew them together. It was natural that they started to have feelings for each other, however their titles made it a politically bad choice.
As you would imagine with finding a new race of human’s there was a lot of political talk about how to handle what, who and how far. Even with that jargon, I still really enjoyed the story. I think as I read further into this series Jackie and Li’eth may grow on me even more. He did well in her world, I’m looking forward to seeing how Jackie handles immersion into his alien culture.
If you like science fiction, I’d really recommend the Terrans. It’s a pretty soft immersion into this genre and is more story than techno jargon. The characters were developed well, and I really wanted to know more about them and follow their growth into the next book. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!
Rosie’s Travelling Teashop by Rebecca Raisin
First Sentence: “You’re just not spontaneous enough Rosie…”
Wild Country (World of the Others #2) by Anne Bishop
First Sentence: A year from now, it would be called the Great Predation-those terrifying days when the Elementals and the Elders, the terra indigene who are Namid’s teeth and claws, came out of the wild country and brutally thinned the human herds in Thaisia.
Wow, these are two totally different kinds of books, aren’t they? LOL!