Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Can't Wait Wednesday: Haunting License / Secrets of Rose Briar Hall / The Bitter Truth / Murder at the 42nd Street Library


The New
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight upcoming release we are excited about that we have yet to read.

Here are three upcoming releases that caught my attention and immediately ended up on my wish list I am looking forward to reading all of them. 

Haunting License
(A Haunted Haven Mystery #3) by Carol J. Perry

Release Date: June 25, 2024 by Kensington Cozies
When a fisherman is murdered, Florida innkeeper Maureen Doherty must cast a wide net to catch a killer—with a little help from her ghostly tenants . . .

It’s June in Haven, Florida, a “between seasons” time in the tourism business, and Maureen’s Haven House Inn is feeling the pinch. There are plenty of ghosts in residence, but Maureen needs living guests to pay the bills.

Inspired by an old brochure she finds in a trunk she inherited along with the inn from her mysterious benefactor Penelope Josephine Gray, she gets the brilliant idea to revive a June fishing tournament from twenty years ago, hoping to reel in anglers who’d love to catch the Gulf Coast’s popular kingfish and take home a trophy.

But one fisherman won’t make it to the tournament. While walking on the beach with her golden retriever Finn, Maureen discovers a body. When Officer Frank Hubbard arrives, he recognizes local charter boat fisherman Eddie Manuel.

Now it’s up to Maureen and her spirited sleuths to sort through the red herrings and bait a hook for a killer before someone else ends up sleeping with the fishes . . .
[Goodreads Summary]

Secrets of Rose Briar Hall
by Kelsey James

Release Date: June 25, 2024 by A John Scognamiglio Book
In this Gilded Age gothic homage to “Gaslight” starring Ingrid Bergman, a wealthy young newlywed in early 20th century New York is isolated within her opulent, yet ominously empty mansion by the charismatic and controlling new husband plotting to undermine her sanity…

1908, Long Island: For Millie Turner, the young and beautiful wife of a powerful New York stockbroker, Rose Briar Hall—a gleaming edifice of white marble on the North Shore—is more than a home. Every lavish detail speaks of Charles Turner’s status and wealth, and its stylish interior is testament to Millie’s sophistication. All that’s left is to prove her worthiness to be his bride. What better way than to throw a grand party for New York’s social elite?

After painstaking planning, the night of the event arrives and all is perfection—until Millie wakes to a cold, eerily quiet house, and a gray cloud where her memory should be. Can it be true that she has been in and out of consciousness for weeks, ever since the party took a terrifying turn? Millie recalls nothing. But her friends have shunned her, and it soon becomes clear that if she can't find out what really happened that night, much more than her reputation will be at risk . . .

As the house that promised so much happiness begins to feel more like a prison, Millie wonders whether a woman alone, even a wealthy one, can ever be entirely safe. And if she succeeds in finding the truth, will it bring relief, or shake her marriage, and her life, to the core?
 
[Goodreads Summary]

The Bitter Truth
by Shanora Williams

Release Date: June 25, 2024 by Dafina
An upstanding political candidate. A determined stalker. A shattering lost weekend. Now, when his worst secret comes calling, how far will one man’s elegant, all-too-devoted wife go to uncover the truth . . . or bury it?

For Jolene “Jo” Baker, the least she can do for her adoring husband, Dominic, is give unwavering support for his North Carolina gubernatorial run. He is not only the love of her life, he's also helping her prove that she's far more than just a pampered trophy wife. With huge crowds showing up at Dominic’s speeches and the polls consistently in his favor, she's never been happier to stand proudly by his side . . .

Until she and Dominic start seeing the same, strangely ominous woman turning up all along the campaign trail. Until their tour starts becoming a nightmare of botched events, crucial missed information, and increasingly dangerous “accidents.” Suddenly Jo can't get any answers from Dominic—or understand why he is acting so paranoid and terrified . . .

What Jo can do is start digging into his past—one she's never really questioned beyond his perfect image and dazzling accomplishments. What results is an alarming series of events that leave her Good friends turn into enemies, truths are revealed to be lies, and all clues lead back to one secret, shattering weekend that changes Jo’s entire life. With her world splintering into pieces, can Jo risk trying to set things right? Or will hiding the bitter truth by any means necessary destroy her as well?
 
[Goodreads Summary]

Do any of these books interest you? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to reading?


The Old(er) 
Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books has given me the perfect excuse to spotlight those unread books on my TBR in her Books from the Backlog feature, reminding me what great books I have waiting for me under my own roof still to read!

These past few months I have been featuring books on the losing end of my TBR List Poll, all books which are on my TBR shelves. This one was one of the options in my September 2016 poll that I have not managed to go to yet.

Murder at the 42nd Street Library
(#1) by Con Lehane

(Minotaur Books, 2016)
This first book in a series that introduces librarian and reluctant sleuth Raymond Ambler, a doggedly curious fellow who uncovers murderous secrets hidden behind the majestic marble fa├žade of New York City’s landmark 42nd Street Library.

Murder at the 42nd Street Library follows Ambler and his partners in crime-solving as they track down a killer, shining a light on the dark deeds and secret relationships that are hidden deep inside the famous flagship building at the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.

In their search for the reasons behind the murder, Ambler and his crew uncover sinister, and profoundly disturbing, relationships among the scholars studying in the iconic library. Included among the players are a celebrated mystery writer who has donated his papers to the library’s crime fiction collection; that writer’s long-missing daughter, a prominent New York society woman with a hidden past, and more than one of Ambler’s colleagues at the library. Shocking revelations lead to the traumatic events that follow―the reading room will never be the same.
 [Goodreads Summary]
Have you read Murder at the 42nd Street Library?  Does this book sound like something you would like to read? 


© 2024, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Weekly Mews: Middle of June Check-In

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by Kim of Caffeinated Book Reviewer and The Sunday Salon (TSS) hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz  where participants recap our week, talk about what we are reading, share any new books that have come our way, and whatever else we want to talk about. I am also linking It's Monday! What Are you Reading? hosted by Kathryn of Book Date where readers talk about what they have been, are and will be reading.

I am linking up Stacking the Shelves hosted by Marlene of Reading Reality a meme in which participants share what new books came their way recently.  



This is just a quick check in to let you know what I have been up to this past week and to see how you are doing. My agency has started back up the big in-person supervisor quarterly meetings, the first of which was this past week. There were a lot of new faces among the attendees. I think the last all-agency supervisor meeting we had like that was pre-pandemic. Mouse is enjoying her summer break so far. It isn't packed with activities like it has been in the past, and she's enjoying the extra downtime. Her Girl Scout Troop had their last meeting of the season, celebrating with a potluck. They are looking forward to a summer visit to Knott's Berry Farm this next month. 

Happy Father's Day to all the father's and father figures out there! We are celebrating my husband today. He's such a great dad to Mouse. We feel very lucky to have him in our lives!

Stretchy Nina
 
What have you been up to this week? 

This past week I read Locked in Pursuit (Electra McDonnell #4) by Ashley Weaver, a historical mystery set during World War II London. It's always fun to spend time with Ellie and Major Ramsey, and this latest installment in the series did not disappoint. I also finished Don't Look Now & Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier. This was a haunting collection of stories, and I am hard pressed to pick a favorite from the bunch. I am looking forward to trying her full length novels next. Thank you again to all who voted in my TBR List Poll for June. This month's selection was Murder Road by Simone St. James, which I enjoyed immensely. You can read my thoughts on it here.


My husband pointed out the other day that I was reading two books with the word "demon" in the titles. I hadn't noticed! However, once I knew I couldn't leave it at just two and decided to start a third (which I will likely finish before the other two because of the length and type of book it is). It takes at least three to make a pattern in a theme, after all. My current slow read (slow meaning I am stretching it out, reading a chapter or so  day over the next couple months) is Barbara Kingsolver's Demon Copperhead. Right from the start I saw the similarities to David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, which I read earlier this spring. I think I am really going to like this. I also decided it was time to jump back into Kim Harrison's urban fantasy series which I have been neglecting. I am about a quarter of the way into American Demon (Hollows, #14) now. I also am reading the young adult manga series Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-Kun, Vol. 1 by Osamu Nishi. My daughter got me hooked on the anime series and offered to loan me the manga series (at least those books she has). Okay, so I may have begged her if I could read them. I thought now would be the perfect time to start. 


What are you reading at the moment? Have you read anything recently you would recommend? 

New to my shelves:

Friday I asked my daughter if she wanted to go out for frozen yogurt after I got off work. She asked to go to the bookstore instead. I hadn't intended to go after having gone twice the week before, much less spend money on new books, but these things never seem to go as expected.
James by Percival Everett
The Wren in the Library by K.A. Linde
The Housekeepers by Alex Hay

Mouse had a gift card to spend and came home with these books (I may have to borrow a couple of them): 
Things in the Basement by Ben Hatke
Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising #1) by Susan Cooper

Cat + Gamer, Vol. 1 by Wataru Nadatani, translated by Zack Davisson
Alpi the Soul Sender, Vol. 1 by Rona


I discovered gift cards in an old card I received from 2022 recently and decided to spend it on a books that were on sale and a few others on my wish list:

Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance #1) by N.K. Jemisin
Ebony Gate (Phoenix Hoard #1) by Julia Vee an Ken Bebelle
Witch King (The Rising World #1) by Martha Wells
I'm Not Done With You Yet by Jesse Q. Sutanto

The Curious Secrets of Yesterday by Namrata Patel
Murder Knocks Twice (Speakeasy Mystery #1) by Susanna Calkins
The Angel Makers (Constance Piper Mystery #2) by Tessa Harris

The Library by Bella Osborne
Beechwood Harbor Magic Mysteries #1-12 by Danielle Garrett
Bearly Departed (A Teddy Bear Mystery #1) by Meg Macy

Have you read any of these books or authors? If so, what did you think? What books did you purchase or borrow this past week?


Yesterday my family and I went to see the musical Mrs. Doubtfire at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. It was funny, sweet and very well done. I think we were all a little unsure going in, not knowing much about the musical (although Anjin and I have both seen the movie with Robin Williams and Sally Field so we knew the story). Rob McClure made the perfect Daniel (aka Mrs. Doubtfire) and  Maggie Lakis was the perfect Miranda, the ex-wife. I was very impressed with Giselle Gutierrez's performance as Lydia, the oldest daughter. She has such a beautiful voice. Nik Alexander and Aaron Kaburick were adorable and funny. It was such a fun show. It was a great way to celebrate Father's Day weekend.

Our watching of Doctor Who continues and we are enjoying the Jodie Whittaker seasons. We just finished season 12, I believe. I love her three companions and will be sad when their time on the show comes to an end. 

What have you been watching lately?

I hope you have a great week! Let me know what you have been reading!

© 2024, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Where Is Your Bookmark: My Bookish Mewsings on Murder Road by Simone St. James (& Other Friday Fun)


Along with this mini review, I am linking to both Book Beginnings, a meme in which readers share the first sentence of a book they are reading, hosted by Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader and Friday 56 hosted by Anne of My Head is Full of Books, in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading. 
That July night seemed full of possibility, with the empty highway stretching out before us. [opening of Murder Road]
               ★                    
I stared blindly at the printout of account activity. A week ago, there had been several thousand dollars in the account. Then, a withdrawal of all of it. And now there was nothing. [excerpt from 56% of Murder Road] 

Murder Road
 by Simone St. James

A young couple find themselves haunted by a string of gruesome murders committed along an old deserted road in this terrifying new novel.

July 1995. April and Eddie have taken a wrong turn. They’re looking for the small resort town where they plan to spend their honeymoon. When they spot what appears to a lone hitchhiker along the deserted road, they stop to help. But not long after the hitchiker gets into their car, they see the blood seeping from her jacket and a truck barreling down Atticus Line after them.

When the hitchhiker dies at the local hospital, April and Eddie find themselves in the crosshairs of the Coldlake Falls police. Unexplained murders have been happening along Atticus Line for years and the cops finally have two witnesses who easily become their only suspects. As April and Eddie start to dig into the history of the town and that horrible stretch of road to clear their names, they soon learn that there is something supernatural at work, something that could not only tear the town and its dark secrets apart, but take April and Eddie down with it all.
 [Goodreads Summary]
 My thoughts: If it hadn't been for work, I likely would have finished Murder Road in one sitting. Instead it took two. From the very first page, I was glued to the pages. April and Eddie, both with their troubled pasts and very much deserving of some happiness in their lives (but nothing can ever be easy, can it?), won me over instantly. They each suffered childhood trauma along with other hardships, including Eddie's time in Iraq. April is the perfect narrator for this supernatural thriller. She is clever, resourceful and edgy. Trust has never come easy to her, and given her history, it's no wonder why. She never expected to fall in love, much less marry anyone. And yet, she and Eddie share a bond that cannot be easily swayed. I loved how they supported each other throughout the novel, even when faced with the worst.

Simone St. James has a way of portraying a real sense of place in her novels, and it was no different in Murder Road. I felt like I was right there in that small town in Michigan. I experienced the heat and occasional stormy weather right alongside the characters.

Murder Road was creepy and disturbing, and nearly always intense. I was just as suspicious of everyone in town as Eddie and April were, and I enjoyed seeing the pieces of  the puzzle fall into place the more the newlyweds learned. I found the mystery and backstories of the murders and different characters well developed and interesting. The couple get help from a few unlikely sources--and those characters became favorites too. 

Murder Road is my third Simone St. James novel and I have enjoyed every one. I am so glad I have more of her work to look forward to. 

Does this sound like something you would enjoy? If you have read it, what did you think?


Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. It is hosted by Linda Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell and Jen from That’s What I’m Talking About. Join in by answering this week's question in the comments or on your own blog.
Have your reading interests changed over time?

Yes! My reading interests have expanded over the years. I have always had eclectic reading tastes, but  entering the book blogging community all those years ago opened my life to many more books and authors I might not have heard of or tried otherwise. On a smaller scale, my reading interests do tend to ebb and flow, depending on my mood and what is going on in my life. I go through reading phases, sometimes ones that have a quick turnover and others that last longer. Mystery and Fantasy have long competed for the top place in my reading heart (although I very much enjoy reading other genres as well) and that hasn't changed. But I do tend to rotate through the subgenres, on which one or several appeals to me most at varying times. Although I read it again now, I went years without reading romance after burning out on the genre. A more recent example would be my gravitating more towards lighter books with humor and happy endings the last few years--thanks to the pandemic and other life events. I have only recently been finding myself enjoying darker and more serious books again.

What about you? Have your reading interests changed over the years?


Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.

What's your go-to book to start the summer, and why does it set the tone for the season? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

I wish I could tell you I enjoy starting the summer with books featuring beach settings or snowy climates (anything to avoid the reality of summer heatwaves), but that isn't the case. And it isn't to say these types of books don't make great summer reads because they most certainly do! I have heard summer is a good time to dive into that big book or a classic, which I sometimes do, but not really because it is summer time. I am not much of a re-reader and so do not have a go-to book to kickstart the summer season (although my husband did point out that I have read the latest Electra McDonnell mystery by Ashley Weaver at this time of year for the past four years--I would argue that I have read it in the spring, not summer, so it doesn't count). My reading choices are more random than planned when it comes to the start of summer generally. I haven't decided yet which book will be my first for this summer (I can't believe it officially starts next week!). I could be one of the books I am currently reading or another book entirely. Whatever it is, I hope it will be a good one!

Do you have a go to book to kick off the summer season? 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be sure and tell me what you are reading!


© 2024 Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Can't Wait Wednesday: Come Shell or High Water/ The Lions' Den / A Daughter of Fair Verona / Club Monstrosity


The New
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight upcoming release we are excited about that we have yet to read.

Here are three upcoming releases that caught my attention and immediately ended up on my wish list I am looking forward to reading all of them. 

Come Shell or High Water (A Haunted Shell Shop Mystery, #1) by Molly MacRae

Release Date: June 25, 2024 by Kensington Cozies
When widowed folklorist Maureen Nash visits a legendary North Carolina barrier island shell shop, she discovers its resident ghost pirate and the mystery of a local’s untimely death . . .

As a professional storyteller, Maureen Nash can’t help but see the narrative cues woven through her life. Like the series of letters addressed to her late husband from a stranger—the proprietor of The Moon Shell, a shop on Ocracoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina. The store is famous with shell collectors, but it’s the cryptic letters from Allen Withrow, the shop’s owner, that convince Maureen to travel to the small coastal town in the middle of hurricane season. At the very least, she expects she’ll get a good story out of the experience, never anticipating it could end up a murder mystery . . .

In Maureen’s first hours on the storm-lashed island, she averts several life-threatening accidents, stumbles over the body of a controversial Ocracoke local, and meets the ghost of an eighteenth-century Welsh pirate, Emrys Lloyd. To the untrained eye, all these unusual occurrences would seem to be random misfortunes, but Maureen senses there may be something connecting these stories. With Emrys’s supernatural assistance, and the support of a few new friends, Maureen sets out unravel the truth, find a killer, and hopefully give this tale a satisfying ending . . . while also rewriting her own.
[Goodreads Summary]

The Lions' Den
by Iris Mwanza
Release Date: June 25, 2024 by Graydon House
A missing boy. A corrupt system. A case that could change everything…

When young queer dancer Wilbess “Bessy” Mulenga is arrested by corrupt police, fresh-from-the-village rookie lawyer Grace Zulu takes up his cause in her first pro bono case. Presented with a freshly beaten client, Grace protests to the police and gets barred from accessing Bessy, who then disappears from the system—and the world—without a trace. As she fights for justice for Bessy, Grace must navigate a dangerous world of corrupt politicians, traditional beliefs, and deep-seated homophobia.

With the help of a former freedom fighter and the head of her law firm, who’s rallying for one last fight as AIDS takes its toll on him, Grace brings together a coalition of unions, students, and political opposition to take on the corrupt administration of President Kaunda. But will justice prevail in the face of such overwhelming odds?

The Lions' Den is a gripping and enduring novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. With unforgettable characters and a thrilling plot, Iris Mwanza has announced herself as a major new talent in fiction. 
[Goodreads Summary]

A Daughter of Fair Verona
by Christina Dodd

Release Date: June 25, 2024 by A John Scognamiglio Book
Knives Out meets Bridgerton in Fair Verona, as New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd kicks off a frothy, irreverent, witty new series with an irresistible premise—Romeo and Juliet’s daughter as a clever, rebellious, fiercely independent young woman in fair Verona—told from the delightfully engaging point of view of the captivating Rosie Montague herself…

Once upon a time a young couple met and fell in love. You probably know that story, and how it ended ( badly). Only here’s the That’s not how it ended at all.

Romeo and Juliet are alive and well and the parents of seven kids. I’m the oldest, with the emphasis on ‘old’—a certified spinster at twenty, and happy to stay that way. It’s not easy to keep your taste for romance with parents like mine. Picture it—constant monologues, passionate declarations, fighting, making up, making out . . . it’s exhausting.

Each time they’ve presented me with a betrothal, I’ve set out to find the groom-to-be a more suitable bride. After all, someone sensible needs to stay home and manage this household. But their latest match, Duke Stephano, isn’t so easy to palm off on anyone else. The debaucher has had three previous wives—all of whom met unfortunate ends. Conscience forbids me from consigning another woman to that fate. As it turns out, I don’t have to . . .

At our betrothal ball—where, quite by accident, I meet a beautiful young man who makes me wonder if perhaps there is something to love at first sight—I stumble upon Duke Stephano with a dagger in his chest. But who killed him? His late wives’ families, his relatives, his mistress, his servants—half of Verona had motive. And when everyone around the Duke begins dying, disappearing, or descending into madness, I know I must uncover the killer . . . before death lies on me like an untimely frost. 
[Goodreads Summary]
Do any of these books interest you? What upcoming releases are you looking forward to reading?


The Old(er) 
Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books has given me the perfect excuse to spotlight those unread books on my TBR in her Books from the Backlog feature, reminding me what great books I have waiting for me under my own roof still to read!

These past few months I have been featuring books on the losing end of my TBR List Poll, all books which are on my TBR shelves. This one was one of the options in my August 2016 poll that I have not managed to go to yet.

Club Monstrosity
(Monstrosity #1) by Jesse Petersen

(Pocket Star, 2013)
Natalie’s one of Frankenstein’s creations and works in a New York City morgue. So of course she needs therapy. She and her friends—er, fellow monsters—have formed the world’s most exclusive, most dysfunctional support group. What could go wrong?

Undetected in the modern world and under pressure to stay that way, Natalie Grey, Dracula, Bob the Blob, and others (including the fetching wolfman Alec) meet regularly to talk about the pressures of being infamous in the Big Apple. Topics include how long it’s been since their last sighting, how their “story” creates stereotypes they can’t fulfill, and—gasp—sometimes even their feelings. But when their pervy Invisible Man, Ellis, is killed in a manner reminiscent of the H.G. Wells novel, it’s clear someone’s discovered their existence and is down for some monster busting.

Led by Natalie—and definitely not helped by Hyde’s bloodthirsty tendencies—the members of Monstofelldosis Anonymous band together for security and a little sleuthing. And maybe—maybe—if they don’t end up dead, they’ll end up friends somewhere along the way. 
[Goodreads Summary]
Have you read Club Monstrosity?  Does this book sound like something you would like to read? 


© 2024, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Weekly Mews: The Latest Buzz on the Bees & More Author Events This Week

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by Kim of Caffeinated Book Reviewer and The Sunday Salon (TSS) hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz  where participants recap our week, talk about what we are reading, share any new books that have come our way, and whatever else we want to talk about. I am also linking It's Monday! What Are you Reading? hosted by Kathryn of Book Date where readers talk about what they have been, are and will be reading.

I am linking up Stacking the Shelves hosted by Marlene of Reading Reality a meme in which participants share what new books came their way recently.  



The temperatures have warmed up this week, and it sounds like they will continue to rise as we officially head into the summer season. It was a busy week with work and the usual activities. We celebrated Anjin's birthday this past week. We had dinner out and cake at home afterward. My mom was able to join us. There was also a little karaoke late into the night with just Anjin, Mouse, and me (they stayed up even later than me--I could only keep my eyes open so long). I attended two book signings this past week, one with my mom and the other with Anjin and Mouse. That was fun!

The bees have finally been evicted.  Initially, the bee person tried to get to the hive by cutting through the outside wall under the vent the bees were going in and out of. Unfortunately, there was solid wood behind the stucco wall, and so he decided it might be easier to get to them from the inside. He ended up cutting a nice size hole in our kitchen ceiling. From what my husband could see of the hive, it was in about four or so sections, each about an inch thick, a foot and a half long and 8 inches wide. We are not sure if the bee person found more--I don't think my husband asked for the exact count. I did see a partial view photo after though. It's amazing the intricacy of a hive and the honeycombs, and to imagine those little bees putting that all together on their own. I cannot tell you what a relief it is to have the bees out finally.
Nina an Gracie are waiting for their evening treats

Nina and Gracie will sometimes allow Gracie to groom her head,
just one or two licks,
and then it's a battle of the paws to see who will win the round this time. 

What have you been up to this week? 

This week I finished reading The Kiss Countdown by Etta Easton, which was a delightful contemporary romance. 


I am currently reading The Keeper by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, which Mouse recommended I read. She read it about a year ago, and it's one of her favorites. She's promised to let her grandmother read it next. I also recently started Locked in Pursuit (Electra McDonnell #4) by Ashley Weaver. It's the latest in one of my favorite historical mystery series set during World War II. I have my bookmark in Daphne Du Maurier's Don't Look Now & Other Stories, which I am enjoying as well. du Maurier definitely had a gift for writing disturbing tales! 


Next up, will be my TBR List Poll winner! Murder Road by Simon St. James won with an overwhelming 13 votes, followed by An Inheritance of Magic by Benedict Jacka with 8 votes. The Berlin Letters by Katherine Reay came in third place with 4 votes. I can't wait to start reading Murder Road

Thank you again to all who voted!


My TBR List is hosted by Michelle at Because Reading. The 1st Saturday of every month, I will list 3 books from my TBR pile I am considering reading and let you vote for my next read during that month. My review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise).  
New to my shelves:

My mom and I attended an author event for Trisha R. Thomas at our local indie bookstore this past week. 
I had read an e-copy of her historical fiction novel, The Secret Keeper of Main Street,  last month, but wanted to get a print copy for my personal library. Trisha Thomas shared with the audience her inspiration for her main character, Bailey, and about her own experiences as a seamstress, She and her character both found themselves in some interesting situations! She also talked a little about her ties to Oklahoma, the setting of the novel, including the long drives from California to Oklahoma to visit family and then back again every summer while she was growing up. She and her family were afraid to stop along the way due to the color of their skin and the rampant racism during that time. They would stop along the road when they needed to grab a gas can from the trunk to fill up the car and continue on their way. She shared a little about the three main female characters in her novel, reading passages from her book. It was a pleasure to meet and talk with the author afterwards. I am so glad my mom and I got the opportunity to go!


Then tonight, my husband, Mouse, and I attended an author event for Gary Phillips at the same indie bookstore. Anjin and I had heard him speak in our pre-Mouse days at the L.A. Times Festival of Books and are familiar with some of his work. Although he was there to talk about his latest historical crime fiction novel, Ash Dark as Night, the second in his Harry Ingram, news photographer series, he gave the audience background about his inspiration for his characters as well as the time period in both the first (One-Shot Harry) and second book. He also shared his plans for the third installment, which was exciting! I enjoyed hearing Gary Phillips talk about his father, and the influence his father had on the character of Harry. Although his dad was a World War II veteran and Harry is a Korean War veteran, the two have quite a bit in common. The author talked about his research, and the challenge of whittling 40 pages of research into two paragraphs, and about his experience writing graphic novels. I wasn't sure if Mouse would be all that interested in what he had to say, but she found it interesting too. A few of the people in the audience had read the first book in the series, One-Shot Harry, last year and voted it  as their favorite crime fiction novel of the year. They had a lot of good questions and comments. It was an honor to meet and talk with Mr. Phillips. My husband, Mouse, and I were all happy we were able to go. 

 

A couple other books I couldn't resist while we were at the bookstore: 

Mirrored Heavens (Between Earth & Sky, #3) by Rebecca Roanhorse
The Great Divide by Cristina Henriquez (thanks for the recommendationAnne!)

Have you read any of these books or authors? If so, what did you think? 

I hope you have a great week! Let me know what you have been reading!

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