New Years Day 2021

Everyone is saying that they can’t wait for 2020 to be over and I’ll admit, I feel the same. The bad certainly outweighed the good. If I dig deep there are some good that also came out of 2020. Really.

  1. Working from home- I know, I miss people from work too. That personal interaction is great but my quality of life has improved. I spend more time with my family, helping to cook in the evening instead of eating whatever has been cooked. I feel more involved in their lives.
  2. Not spending as much money- We didn’t go on expensive vacations. I didn’t have to update my wardrobe although I did buy more sweats, shorts, and nice t’s. Our food bill did go up because we were eating every meal at home so that may have balanced the lack of expensive vacations and clothes.
  3. Decorating early for every holiday. Our block has a lot of spirit! Who knew that we had that many Halloween enthusiasts or that everyone actually owned an American flag? All of the decorations certain uplifted our spirits.
  4. Spending time with our pets- It’s so nice to be able to walk the dog when it’s light out then just jump into the shower and check emails and answer messages while getting ready in the morning.
  5. Getting an extra half hour of sleep- again not having to dress up for work saves time in the morning for other things like drinking coffee, walking the dog, or having conversations with the hubby. It’s nice. It feels a little slower and less rushed.

There are many more positive things like having a bigger world view, paying more attention to local politics, making decisions that don’t just affect me but other people as well. All of these thing happened this year. Not all of them were good, but I want to be optimistic and hope that some of the things we’ve learned we’ll take with us when we can return to some kind of normalcy. Even if it’s not what life used to look like.

I wish for all of us that 2021 will bring with it good health, happiness, and good fortune for everyone.

Happy New Year everyone!

Deborah

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases- Jan ’21

Without sounding like I’m on repeat, Friday is January 1st, the start of a new month and a much needed and wanted new year. Since I’m not re-capping the horrors and highlights from 2020… yet, I’ll just get on to the books I’m looking most forward to being released next month.

#5 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

This novel set in 14th century England is a mix of fantasy and reality. I’m looking forward to reading how this author brings those fantasy elements to life in this Wild Swans re-telling!

Synopsis:

Where there is wealth and power, there’s always someone willing to do anything to take it.

England, 1381: Delia’s idyllic life as daughter of an earl is shattered when her father dies and his wife accuses Delia’s seven brothers of treason and murder. The youngest is only ten years old, but this doesn’t stop the guards from hauling them off to the Tower of London. There they await a grim fate, as child-king Richard II is executing anyone who poses a threat to his throne. Delia is their only hope for pardon and freedom.

Sir Geoffrey did not expect his first assignment as captain of the guard to be the arrest of boys so young. He dutifully imprisons the brothers, but he can’t ignore the sense, rooted in personal experience, that injustice and treachery are at work.

Determined to rescue her brothers, Delia secures a position as a seamstress for the queen. Her quest is all but impossible as the executions continue. Sir Geoffrey offers to be her ally, but should she trust him in a court where everyone has an agenda?

From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes a tender retelling of “The Wild Swans,” where the virtues of loyalty and love face a harrowing showdown with power and fear.

Click this link to purchase! Court of Swans (A Dericott Tale)

#4 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I don’t know why I haven’t read the previous novels in this series, but I love Jill Shalvis and there’s something about this synopsis that makes me think this will be the perfect escape from reality.

Synopsis:

When Maze returns to Wildstone for the wedding of her estranged bff and the sister of her heart, it’s also a reunion of a once ragtag team of teenagers who had only each other until a tragedy tore them apart and scattered them wide.

Now as adults together again in the lake house, there are secrets and resentments mixed up in all the amazing childhood memories. Unexpectedly, they instantly fall back into their roles: Maze their reckless leader, Cat the den mother, Heather the beloved baby sister, and Walker, a man of mystery. 

Life has changed all four of them in immeasurable ways. Maze and Cat must decide if they can rebuild their friendship, and Maze discovers her long-held attraction to Walker hasn’t faded with the years but has only grown stronger.

Click this link to purchase! The Forever Girl: A Novel (The Wildstone Series Book 6)

#3 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

The first book in this series made me an instant fan and I can’t wait to read Enjoy the View and catch up on my favorite characters from Moose Springs, Alaska. These novels are rom-com’s with a lot of heart and the characters are nutty, gritty, and genuine. Sarah Morgenthaler is a new find and an author you want to share with everyone.

Synopsis:

Former Hollywood darling River Lane’s acting career is tanking fast. Determined to start fresh behind the camera, she agrees to film a documentary about the picturesque small town of Moose Springs, Alaska. The assignment should have been easy, but the quirky locals want nothing to do with River. Well, too bad: River’s going to make this film and prove herself, no matter what it takes.

Or what (literal) mountain she has to climb.

Easton Lockett may be a gentle giant, but he knows a thing or two about survival. If he can keep everyone in line, he should be able to get River and her crew up and down Mount Veil in one piece. Turns out that’s a big if. The wildlife’s wilder than usual, the camera crew’s determined to wander off a cliff, and the gorgeous actress is fearless. Falling for River only makes Easton’s job tougher, but there’s only so long he can hold out against her brilliant smile. When bad weather strikes, putting everyone at risk, it’ll take all of Easton’s skill to get them back home safely…and convince River she should stay in his arms for good.

Click this link to purchase! Enjoy the View (Moose Springs, Alaska, 3)

#2 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I really enjoyed this author’s previous novel Tweet Cute which put her on my radar for her next book release. Also a YA novel, this plot is reminiscent of Parent Trap or at least a cousin to it. What secrets would be revealed if you found out you had a long lost sister?

Synopsis:

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents ― especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.

Click this link to purchase! You Have a Match: A Novel

MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE OF JAN’21!

For those of you who know me well, it won’t come as a surprise that Ilona Andrews newest release is my #1 pick for the month. This writing duo never disappoints and I’ve so been looking forward to Julie’s story!

Synopsis:

Atlanta was always a dangerous city. Now, as waves of magic and technology compete for supremacy, it’s a place caught in a slow apocalypse, where monsters spawn among the crumbling skyscrapers and supernatural factions struggle for power and survival.

Eight years ago, Julie Lennart left Atlanta to find out who she was. Now she’s back with a new face, a new magic, and a new name—Aurelia Ryder—drawn by the urgent need to protect the family she left behind. An ancient power is stalking her adopted mother, Kate Daniels, an enemy unlike any other, and a string of horrifying murders is its opening gambit.

If Aurelia’s true identity is discovered, those closest to her will die. So her plan is simple: get in, solve the murders, prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, and get out without being recognized. She expected danger, but she never anticipated that the only man she’d ever loved could threaten everything.

One small misstep could lead to disaster. But for Aurelia, facing disaster is easy; it’s relationships that are hard.

Click this link to purchase! Blood Heir (Kate Daniels World Book 1)

I’ll admit, any time a book is released by Ilona Andrews I drop all plans to give myself a day to immerse myself and just read. I can’t wait.

What’s books are you looking forward to reading next month? I’m sure there are some great one’s on your own TBR, please share!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Deborah

*Amazon Associate- If you purchase one of the above books through their respective links I’ll receive a small stipend.

Merry Christmas!

I hope that wherever you live you are celebrating this holiday and the end of a very challenging year. If you are with your family gather your loved ones close and enjoy this time together. If you are by yourself reach out with a phone call or Zoom. Celebrate virtually, you are not alone!

This time of year can be challenging but this year we all have stresses that we have not seen in years past that may cause depression. Please make contact, reach out, talk to someone.

I am hoping to relax with a good book, de-stress, and maybe eat some leftovers. most of all I am going to hold my loved ones close.

Merry Christmas’s everyone!

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: A second love…

OK, it’s confession time! I have another love in my life besides books. Well, and my husband, dog, cat, and family. Alright, I do have a lot of loves in my life, but I do have another! It’s time for my confession.

I have never been a girly girl. I was a tomboy growing up and I loved to play sports. I wore jeans all the time and didn’t like to wear dresses. My mom despaired of my ever wearing a dress anywhere besides church! So, two years ago when a friend approached me on Facebook and asked me to join her group. I was curious. What is this VIP group? I’ll admit, I’m a cynic so I wondered what she was selling. I have a ton of friends who are in direct sales and I do my due diligence purchasing products in small amounts but this VIP group was a new thing! I joined to support her and found myself among ladies who laughed, played games, and looked at these cute nail strips that came in all these different colors and designs. To support my friend I purchased Color Street’s Buy 3 Get 1 free sale and I was hooked.

I hated painting my nails! BUT these strips were so easy, I just stuck them on, stripped the excess off with my thumb and vôilá! I had chick nails! So, this year in the pandemic this VIP Group became my bright spot. So, I decided, what the heck I’m going to try to sell them! I became a Color Street Independent Stylist and I created my own VIP group. I hope I’m bringing some joy into other ladies lives, like my friend Jennifer did in mine.

If you are on Facebook (USA), please feel free to join. Click the picture below and ask to be invited in! I’ll accept. I don’t discriminate, so if any gents would like to join please feel free, however if you become obnoxious I’ll give you the boot. LOL

Click here to join my VIP Group!

If you would like to check out Color Street nails because you’re curious but don’t want to join my VIP Group I totally understand! Here is that link, please check it out!

https://www.colorstreet.com/DebKehoe/products (also only ships in the USA, sorry!)

So, how does this tie to my love for books? Well, other than I can see my hand in pretty nails holding that book, it really doesn’t. BUT I’m going to tie them together for this very special blog feature! (Oh, and a big shout out to Rachel and Martina who are also Independent Stylists and created these book graphics!)

I thought it would be fun to pair a nail strip set (100% real nail polish dry sets) with an answer to the question in the graphic on the left.

Well, I love romances that take place in tropical islands, but I’ll admit I read a great thriller that was set in the Antarctica and that locale was totally fascinating! I’m going with the exotic!

This one is totally easy! My mom read The Hobbit and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to me at night when I was little. She would voice all of the characters and to this day I love fantasy novels! I tend towards romantic fantasy now like Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, and Anne Bishop.

Well, it’s not Lord of the Flies! LOL. I think a Nancy Drew novel might be fun. At least I wouldn’t be bored because I’d have a mystery to solve!

I like them both, but I’ll admit that as I get older and my eyesight gets worse the light on an e-book helps me read late into the night.

Right now I’m listening to the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter. They are filled with action, Jane is a strong female lead, and there’s a hot love interest. Khristine Hvam does an amazing job too!

Is that even possible? Hmm. Maybe Lord of the Rings because it wasn’t quite as long? I did love those movies!

I have two favorites, really but when mixed together they are my go-to! Romantic-Fantasy!

What’s not on my TBR pile should be the question! I’m really looking forward to reading Alexa Martin’s new book Snapped! and C.L. Polk’s The Bargain, but I’ve also been delving back into reading some comfort novels. I just finished a Kristen Ashley novel I read years ago called Knight. It was still pretty good!

I absolutely do! There’s nothing I hate more than when the cover doesn’t give credence to the plot in the book. Or makes it seem like a rom-com when it’s actually a pretty dark novel! A couple of my favorites are:

Well, any of the above four to start!

Please don’t ever bend the corner of a page as your bookmark! Tear off a scrap of paper, use a Starbucks sleeve, use an actual bookmark, there are so many pretty ones you can buy and get for free! This is a pet peeve of mine. Also bending back spines, but don’t even get me started on that topic.

Oh boy, I have so many and every time I read a book I gather more favorite couples. So, I’m going to go with a couple who had had longevity. Around 47-48 books I think? Eve and Roarke from J.D. Robb’s In Death series. I don’t know how she does it, but these books are rarely bad. And there are so many of them!

How did I do? I thought this exercise was pretty fun!

Have a great day you all!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Finding the Rainbow

Six months in and I find that I have little patience for things that don’t bring me pleasure, uplift my mood, or god, just entertain. When I’m reading a book if it doesn’t immediately grab me, I put it down. If a show on TV isn’t interesting I turn the channel. If food doesn’t taste good I stop eating it. Well, that last one certainly hasn’t been the case! I’ve put on 12 lbs despite my daily exercise. Is anyone else having a tough time just being happy?

When I say happy I don’t mean joyful, exuberant, or laugh out loud. I don’t really know what I mean, but life just still feels so unsettled. Here are the few minor things that have brought me even a modicum of happiness.

My dog- Nash. He’s also the reason I’m exercising every day. 🙂

My sister’s great cooking! Also the reason why I’ve gained weight. This was my bday spread below, it’s not always so fancy.

Audiobooks! For some reason I’m enjoying listening more than reading. My reading has slowed down a LOT.

Today’s audiobook is:

I might as well put Ilona Andrews on the happy list too. I wish I could clone them so they’d put out a book a month!

Growing vegetables this summer! Our biggest harvest came from our tomatoes and cucumbers. We have had so many caprese salad’s it’s not even funny.

Birdhouses, Birds, and Hummingbirds! Who knew I’d become a birdwatcher! We also bought a couple of hummingbird feeders and I’m enjoying watching them fight over their territory. I don’t have a picture of this one, sorry!

Anyway, you can see it’s the very small things that are bringing me pleasure. I can’t wait for our lives to return to normal and for my brain to let me relax but in the meantime, I’ll go enjoy another caprese salad on the back porch while I listen to an audiobook and watch the birdfeeders. 🙂

What’s keeping you sane?

Take Care,

Deb

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (7/27/2020)

It’s almost August! I feel like that needs to be shouted to the world because even though life seems to be at a crawl at the same time it’s flying by. The heat has definitely hit Nashville and I’m spending more time indoors in the cool air conditioning catching up on my reading. This last week I slowed my reading down so I could thoroughly enjoy the novel I just finished. Let’s get to it so I can tell you a little bit more!

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

A series that has quickly become a favorite, I was excited to sit down and read this urban fantasy novel. Do you know how there are some books that you read quickly and others where you slow your pace wanting to live in all of those anticipatory moments? This series is one of those for me. It’s so intricate, the emotions so real, I spent one week reading this novel. It comes out Tuesday and I’ve already purchased the audiobook so I can read it again!

JUST STARTED

I’m changing pace again and picking up this interesting sounding women’s fiction novel. I’m looking forward to reading a novel about a woman who may be a little closer to my age, still learning things about herself, and may possibly find a bit of romance.

What book are you reading today to help you get through this week?

Happy reading!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: How will I fill my time without Facebook?

My husband and I have agreed that we’re going to try to take a month off of Facebook. It’s so easy to get caught up in surfing that feed and getting frustrated or angry at people who have a difference of opinion than my own on the importance of wearing a mask, or the incompetence of our President. My husband is even worse than I am and peppers his “friends” with shared posts delivering scientific facts that he hopes will change their minds. He’s currently unemployed and I could see him spiraling into an unhealthy aggravation that we can easily avoid. So, we have agreed to call it quits with Facebook for one month. One week in and how are we doing?

Well…. I do check in on my blog Facebook page to make sure my posts are delivering but I have not gone through my feed. So I think that’s a success! I think he’s done even better and truthfully I can see a difference in both of our attitudes. We’re a little calmer, and much happier not re-hashing what so and so said and getting ourselves amped up over the stupidity of people we haven’t seen in thirty years.

Why do we still traverse the Facebook universe? I’ll admit, I do get some comments on my The Reading Chick page and I have a friend who has a group for her home business Color Street nails and she plays games and posts photo’s of manicures which sound stupid but are really fun to look at. Other than those two things I can’t say I want to go back. Then, if you throw in Zuckerberg’s views about not policing fake content, do you really want to support that? I’m mulling that one over still.

What are the things I’m turning to instead of Facebook?

1)My husband and I spend $12 a month on the NY Times digital subscription where with that subscription we also get the NY Times Crossword puzzle app. We do a LOT of crosswords. LOL.

2) I also scroll through my Twitter feed, but gosh the book nation on Twitter is just as political as the Facebook nation. Everyone is so opinionated about EVERYTHING. So, I may cut back a little on the Twitter account as well.

3) Pinterest! I love looking at pictures, reading nails, and looking at clothes I’ll never wear because I’m in t-shirts and shorts 24/7 working from home.

4) Tending our family garden. This is probably one of my favorite activities at least once or twice a day. If I need a break from work? Check and see if the tomatoes are turning red. If our cucumber crop is about to need picking- look up cucumber recipes on Pinterest! Did you know you can make cucumber bread? Yeah, kind of like zucchini bread. Funny! Who knew!

5) Bake/Cook- I made some awesome Cardamon, Orange, Dark Chocolate Chunk shortbread cookies that were to die for. I’m really interested in odd flavor combo’s lately and this one was great. Look it up on Pinterest and give it a try. Also, last night was Greek night in our household. We had all the cucumbers to make Tzaziki dip, Cucumber dip, we made hummus, cantaloupe, grilled some beef and home grown zucchini and voila! Greek night. It was pretty damn good. 🙂

6) Read more books on my TBR and watch some Netflix and chill. Pretty self explanatory, right?

You get my point though. We don’t need to do things that make us crazy. For me and my husband that was trolling Facebook. If you find yourself getting aggravated, I think you should give it a try. If you need help finding something to do I’ve got this great recipe for Green Tomato Salsa Verde I can share if you’ve got some time to burn.

Taking care of yourself means taking care of your mental health too!

Stay safe, stay calm, and reach out if you need to talk.

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: A Mental Health Check In.

Here in Tennessee we are three months into our new lives. Most of us are working from home if we are working at all. If you’re not working you’ve filed for unemployment where you hope that you’ll receive that $200+ check weekly to help you put food on your table, but will certainly not pay your mortgage. You watch the local news and wonder what your city is thinking, going to bars and restaurants without masks with the numbers still climbing. The national news isn’t much better and you shake your head in disbelief over the inadequacies of the people in charge, and wish you could also go out and protest along with those brave enough to voice that black lives matter.

Will life ever get better? When it comes to the coronavirus, it seems that it won’t for a really long time. The country? Only if we get leadership who stops thinking of themselves and starts thinking of others. Will black lives matter protests make a difference? In some ways, yes, because technology has made it impossible to ignore injustices and horrible actions as well as made it impossible for white people to act as some always have, with bigotry and hate. Big brother is watching in the form of IPhone camera’s that will always be turned on and will show all injustices. We need that switch flipped in the minds of all of our citizens that all people should be treated equally and that includes black people. I have hope.

So, how do we navigate the next few months if you care about the people around you, still practice social distancing, and remain at home for the majority of the hours in our days? How do we take care of our mental health? I am lucky because I live with my family which totals six people. We see each other every day, eat dinner together, and generally drive each other crazy. However, we know how each one of us is feeling. We discuss a multitude of politics, food, work, our friends, who we’ve talked to, what books we’ve read lately, shows and movies we’ve watched, etc. But, I know that my situation is not normal. A LOT of people live on their own or are elderly and are scared and isolating. Here is how you can help:

  1. Put on a mask and knock on your neighbors door then take three big steps back. Have a conversation through the screen. Check on them, see if they need groceries, or some veggies from your garden.
  2. Pick through your library and take a stack of feel good books around to all of the Free Little Libraries in your neighborhood. Take one to your neighbors, lend it to a friend.
  3. Set up Zoom or Scype calls with your friends and engage, make a cocktail, and have fun for an hour. You can still talk to people even if it’s not in person.
  4. If you have any elderly people you know from church or a book club, etc. Set up a calling chain and make sure those older friends know they aren’t alone and make sure they are healthy and sound.
  5. Take walks, visit a local park, go on drives and see what’s changed in your neighborhood. Just because you need to social distance and wear a mask doesn’t mean you can’t take in the scenery.

There are so many things we can all do to make a mental health check on ourselves and on others. I believe we have a long road in front of us and many things are going to happen that we will find unbelievable, be disgusted with, and eventually some that may fill us with hope. Grab onto that feeling of hope, this time will pass. We, as a community, can get through this if we all work together.

If you read to the bottom of this post, thank you. I hope you know I’m thinking of all of you, and if you need to chat please reach out.

Take Care,

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: The Mid Year Book Freak Out 2020

Hi! It’s that time of year when we all look back on the books we’ve read and evaluate our favorite’s least favorite’s, etc. I’ve done this book tag for the last couple of years and it’s always fun to write and remind myself, yes, I did read all of those books. With all that’s happened in the world this year I’ll admit that my concentration and ability to read quickly has deserted me and I’m only 46% to my goal of 180 books, and I lowered my goal at the beginning of the year by 20 books to give myself time to read. I’m not going to stress about it and just keep on reading what draws my eye and mind to try to escape from the all of the stresses.

Here are my answers to the Mid Year Book Freak Out book tag.

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2020

There were a few books that I’ve really liked this year but Emily Henry’s Beach Read was my favorite. You know when you have that perfect storm of being in the right mood, having the quiet time to read and not be rushed, and loving all of the emotions the characters make you feel? This book was that for me.

Click this link for my review: Beach Read

Click this link to purchase!* Beach Read

Best Sequel of 2020 So Far

I think the definition of a sequel is the second book in a two book series, right? Well, I’m stretching that definition to be any book after the first, in a series. Why Kings Confess is the 9th book in the Sebastian St. Cyr historical mystery series. Each book finds Sebastian solving a murder and those are great, but the way this author evolves these characters keeps me coming back for more, and that’s saying something when I’m listening to the audiobooks. Davina Porter is the narrator, and she’s fabulous, but they are like 14 hours each! This is my favorite so far because of the love that has developed between Sebastian and his wife Hero. His words to her? Sigh….

Click this link to read my review: Why Kings Confess

Click this link to purchase!* Why Kings Confess (Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery Book 9)

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

I eagerly bought this book and it has sat on my coffee table since March. Why? I don’t know! I love this series about Veronica and Stoker, the mysteries they solve, and their developing love and friendship for each other. I need to read it stat!

Click this link to purchase! A Murderous Relation (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery)

Most Anticipated Release of the Second Half of 2020

Well, anything by Ilona Andrews would be in this category for me and Emerald Blaze in the Hidden Legacy Series is next up!

Pre-order your copy here! Emerald Blaze: A Hidden Legacy Novel

Biggest Disappointment

I had heard so many great things about this author and was so, so disappointed that this was my first peek at her work. I really disliked it. I hate to remember how much, actually.

Biggest Surprise

A straight fiction novel is such a big departure for me. Especially lately when I only try to read books I know will have a happy ending. The Big Finish had characters with great heart and I shed a boatload of tears, but I also smiled a lot too.

Click here to read my review- The Big Finish

Click this link to purchase this novel!* The Big Finish

Favorite New Author (Debut or New to You)

When I submitted a request to read Blitzed by Alexa Martin I did it not knowing it was the third book in the series so I checked out Intercepted and Fumbled and read those, then Blitzed, all in one weekend. They were funny, irreverent, and sexy. Just what I needed to read that weekend. I LOVE this author and will snap up her next one as soon as it gets released!

Check out her bio on Penguin’s website and click HERE

Click this link to purchase the first book in this series. Intercepted (Playbook, The)

Newest Fictional Crush

I really don’t do fictional crushes so this one was difficult for me. You see, for me, it’s all about the fictional couple and their story. How they find each other and fall in love. BUT, if I had to pick one for this year, it would be Gus Everett. Although, I LOVED him with January.

Newest Favorite Characters

This book takes place in a small town in Alaska and centers around Zoey and Graham, BUT the cast of characters also shone and I can’t wait to read their stories as well! If you haven’t read this one and you need a pick me up, pick IT up!

Read my review by clicking this link- The Tourist Attraction

Click this link to purchase!* The Tourist Attraction (Moose Springs, Alaska)

Book That Made You Cry

Pretty much all books have made me cry this year but Her Last Flight was the most recent book to do that. It was fabulous.

Read my review here- Her Last Flight

Click this link to purchase this book!* Her Last Flight: A Novel

Book That Made You Happy

I was so happy to be back in the Hollows with Rachel, Ivy, Trent, and everyone! This series had been finished and years later she puts out another. It was soooo good!

Click this link to read my review- American Demon

Click this link to purchase this book!* American Demon (Hollows)

The Most Beautiful Book Cover You Bought or Received

It really is pretty, isn’t it?

What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of This Year

Too, too many to mention all but here are a few.

If you read all the way down to this point, thanks! Feel free to mention any books that are on your must read for 2020. I always like to keep an eye out for good books!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Road Trips, Audiobooks, and Scenic Routes

My husband and I found ourselves with two weeks without jobs. He was laid off and I was put on a furlough for two weeks. For those of you that don’t know a furlough is where you are not paid for the time you’re out, can file for unemployment, and are guaranteed a re-entry into your old job. In my case two weeks. Instead of sitting on our butts at home and playing it safe, we decided to play it as safe as possible on the road. We are visiting a bunch of National Parks and site’s that we’ve always wanted to see, but never had the time. What does this have to do with books? Well, not a whole hell of a lot except we’ve listened to a couple audiobooks, visited a cool mural in Kansas City, and been inspired to write about the gorgeous scenery we are seeing in the great U.S. of A.

Honestly, we’ve seen so much in the past week that it’s hard to put it all down on paper, but I’ll give you some highlights, and of course show you some photo’s. Consider this our generations slideshow that when I was a kid we’d make visitors sit through when we returned from our vacation.

First night- Kansas City! Honestly this was just a stop on the road after driving for 8 hours from Nashville, but I knew I wanted to eat BBQ and take a picture in front of their library.

Our goal was to drive through South Dakota to get to Mt. Rushmore. A national monument I’d always wanted to see and a state I was supremely curious about. I fell in LOVE. What a beautiful state! Now, granted, we were seeing it in June and the weather was pleasant. This is an area that gets a TON of snow. I think we came at the right time of the year.

We passed Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home as we listened to an audiobook about the History of Bourbon. Yes, I know it’s not my normal reading, but I knew it would be something my husband would be interested in hearing. It was a little dry, but a really interesting topic!

While listening to this book I looked at this scenery. Truly glorious, isn’t it?

Maybe I was silly, but the grass was blowing and it was just enchanting.

Can you imagine viewing this prairie and thinking about pioneer’s, wagon trains, and whether you yourself would have the fortitude to make that trip? In a car it took us 11 hours to make the drive from Kansas City to Rapid City, SD. That would equate to what, a couple of weeks, months? So no. Definitely not.

We did make a stop in the Badlands where we saw our fist buffalo, some amazing scenery and a prairie dog.

We did finally get to Mt. Rushmore, and it was splendid. In fact, after visiting that park we went to Custer National Park and on the drive there, you could see Mt. Rushmore from many different vista’s. Here’s my favorite, and yes, we wore masks the WHOLE time! I wish I could say the same for everyone else.

Because we were making things up as we went along, we stopped at a geological site and saw some Mammoth skeleton’s, went to Vail Colorado for lunch, and again enjoyed all of the different scenic vista’s of the country we were driving through. As we entered Utah and the desert, I popped in a new book that I thought my husband might enjoy. It was Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. There was actually quite a bit of humor in these tales and even though I imagined Chris Hemsworth as Thor, every time his stories were told I grew less enthralled with that character. He was really not a very bright god! In the end my imagination took me from Chris Hemsworth to a more fit (and more hair) Homer Simpson. I much prefer the movie version, but it passed the time and my husband enjoyed the stories.

We went through Arches National Park in Utah and drove down through Monument Valley on our way to the Grand Canyon, where I am right now. I haven’t seen it yet, but will let you know my thoughts! Here are a few photo’s of the previous places mentioned. I would totally recommend Arches National Park, and even the drive through Monument Valley, although I’d wait until post COVID. It was hard to find a pit stop because the Navajo and Indian nation’s have been hit pretty hard and most store’s/restaurants were closed.

Arches National Park
Monument Valley
The Arizona Highway

One last thing! We got to Tusayan tonight and as we were heading out to dinner say this visitor walking towards us on the street. Freaked me out! It’s an elk, by the way, not a moose, and yes that is my commentary. Like I said. I was freaked!

This was our first six days on the road. I did leave some photo’s out, but gave you quite a few to ruminate over! I hope you enjoyed my slideshow, 2020 style!

Have a great Sunday! I know I will. I’ll be in California Visiting my Dad for Father’s Day. 🙂

Deb