It has been a long week, and I am very much looking forward to the week off from work and school (my daughter's). It was a difficult week at work in more ways than one. If you have children, please check in with them. Make sure they are okay. I know it isn't as simple a solution as that, but please do it anyway. Some of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter may have already heard me talk about my coworker who lost his life because of COVID-19 on Tuesday. It feels like it happened so fast. Two weeks ago he was all smiles and his kindhearted positive self. It just doesn't seem real that he's gone. I also got news this week that my grandmother tested positive for the virus. You may remember me mentioning a few weeks ago about how it had been spreading around the long-term care facility in which she resides. You can imagine my concern for her well-being--and all the other residents and staff there. I know so many have been impacted by the pandemic, whether losing loved ones, suffering their own health (physical and mental) issues, or having financial difficulties. It all sucks. I hate it and I am tired. Oh so tired.
My daughter has been giving me an overdose in hugs (not a bad thing, mind you), which I appreciate. And I am taking comfort in my current read. It's an escape out of my head for a little while, anyway. It's my first Jasmine Guillory book, although I believe the 4th in the series. Each one stands alone well, so I wasn't worried about that. I am enjoying reading a Royal Holiday, and like that it features a romance between two middle-aged people. There's something refreshing about that. It is sweet so far, and I am enjoying it.
New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory makes her hardcover debut with a heartwarming Christmas romance.
Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie's work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can't refuse. She's excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn't expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain Private Secretary and his charming accent and unyielding formality.
Malcolm Hudson has been the Queen's Private Secretary for years and has never given a personal, private tour...until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.
Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy fling come New Year's Day...or are they? [Goodreads Summary]
A weekly meme where readers share the first sentence of the book they are reading and say what they think. Hosted by the amazing Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader.
Vivian nudged her daughter as they walked out of the customs area at Heathrow Airport."Um, Maddie? Do you think Ms. M. Forest and Ms. V. Forest are us?"Vivian gestured at the man in the suit, holding a sign with their names on it.Maddie turned in the direction Vivian was looking and grinned at her mother."Let's do this, Mom." [opening of Royal Holiday]
Initial thoughts: I like how the novel jumps right in with Vivian and her daughter arriving in England, and I'm right there with Maddie when she says, "Let's do this, Mom." I was ready!
A weekly meme in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading. Hosted by the wonderful Freda of Freda's Voice.
She never should have stayed. Why had she listened to her daughter? [excerpt from 56% of Royal Holiday]
My thoughts: Uh oh. What's happened?! As I write this, I have not reached this point in the book, and so I haven't a clue what is going on. Last I left Vivian, she was having a marvelous time. I must find out! Excuse me while I get back to my reading.
Have you read Royal Holiday? Does it sound like something you would enjoy?
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Stay safe and take care. Be sure and tell me what you are reading and are up to!
Following the example of Maria from ReadingMaria who started
the Last Year I Was Reading feature, I will be looking back to what
I was reading around this time last year and comparing it to what I am reading now.
A year ago this week my daughter and I were catching up on the Ivy + Bean series by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall. We also re-read this little gem, Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon written by Patty Lovell & illustrated by David Catrow. It is one of my favorites of Mouse's picture books about having confidence in oneself and celebrating our differences.
My daughter is much less interested in books meant for younger readers these days and so Molly Lou is out and Nikki Maxwell (Dork Diaries) is in. Fortunately for me, she still enjoys reading with me from time to time. She's been introducing me to Nikki and friends as we read through the Dork Diaries series together (her second time around and my first). We have read the first two books together so far. Whereas Molly Lou was full of confidence, Nikki has very little. But both girls learn the value of being true to themselves. Well, maybe Nikki in a more round about way . . .
And of course I am also reading this month's TBR List poll winner, Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory, which is proving to be a delightful read. It's quite different from Mouse's and my reading.
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Connect Five Friday is a weekly meme where readers share
a list of five books, read or unread, or bookish things, that
share a common theme. Hosted by the Kathryn of of Book Date.
Winter is coming. It is just a few days away. I am not the best at sticking with reading lists even as much as I enjoy making them. But this time of year seems like the time for making lists, and so here are five books I would like to read this winter. At least as of this moment.
A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.
Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.
When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.
As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of rebels…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to fear. [Goodreads Summary]
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child - not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power - the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. [Goodreads Summary]
An unforgettable true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to end mass incarceration in America — from one of the most inspiring lawyers of our time.
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit law office in Montgomery, Alabama, dedicated to defending the poor, the incarcerated, and the wrongly condemned.
Just Mercy tells the story of EJI, from the early days with a small staff facing the nation’s highest death sentencing and execution rates, through a successful campaign to challenge the cruel practice of sentencing children to die in prison, to revolutionary projects designed to confront Americans with our history of racial injustice.
One of EJI’s first clients was Walter McMillian, a young Black man who was sentenced to die for the murder of a young white woman that he didn’t commit. The case exemplifies how the death penalty in America is a direct descendant of lynching — a system that treats the rich and guilty better than the poor and innocent. [Goodreads Summary]
To this day, the low, thin wail of an infant can be heard in Keldale's lush green valleys. Three hundred years ago, as legend goes, the frightened Yorkshire villagers smothered a crying babe in Keldale Abbey, where they'd hidden to escape the ravages of Cromwell's raiders.
Now into Keldale's pastoral web of old houses and older secrets comes Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas Lynley, the eighth earl of Asherton. Along with the redoubtable Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, Lynley has been sent to solve a savage murder that has stunned the peaceful countryside. For fat, unlovely Roberta Teys has been found in her best dress, an axe in her lap, seated in the old stone barn beside her father's headless corpse. Her first and last words were "I did it. And I'm not sorry."
Yet as Lynley and Havers wind their way through Keldale's dark labyrinth of secret scandals and appalling crimes, they uncover a shattering series of revelations that will reverberate through this tranquil English valley—and in their own lives as well. [Goodreads Summary]
A dozen women join a secret 1850s Arctic expedition—and a sensational murder trial unfolds when some of them don't come back.
Eccentric Lady Jane Franklin makes an outlandish offer to adventurer Virginia Reeve: take a dozen women, trek into the Arctic, and find her husband's lost expedition. Four parties have failed to find him, and Lady Franklin wants a radical new approach: put the women in charge.
A year later, Virginia stands trial for murder. Survivors of the expedition willing to publicly support her sit in the front row. There are only five. What happened out there on the ice?
Set against the unforgiving backgdrop of one of the world's most inhospitable locations, USA Today bestsellng author Greer Macallister uses the true story of Lady Jane Franklin's tireless attempts to find her husband's lost expedition as a jumping-off point to spin a tale of bravely, intrigue, perseverance and hope. [Goodreads Summary]
Have you read any of these? What did you think? What books are you hoping to get to this winter season?
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Stay safe and take care. Be sure and tell me what you are reading and are up to!
© 2020, 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.
Hugs! It sounds like a lot of bad news at one go! I hope your grandmother recovers from COVID-19 without any issues!ReplyDelete
Eustacia - Thank you. It was an especially rough week in an already tense time.Delete
Oh I'm so sorry! And sending lots of well wishes and prayers for your grandmother as well! hang in there and I hope she makes a quick and sure recovery.ReplyDelete
I still need to read Circe.
Greg - Thank you. So far the news is good about my grandmother. Hopefully it will stay that way.Delete
I really hope I can get to Circe soon.
Sending prayers and positive vibes for your grandmother!ReplyDelete
Freda - Thank you!Delete
This book sounds delightful, and I also enjoy when a book starts out with two characters having a conversation. Here's mine: “DIRT”ReplyDelete
Laurel-Rain - It has been an enjoyable holiday read. :-) Thank you for visiting!Delete
here in florida, too many people act like covid is nothing. my mother is in a nursing home and had it at 88 and had no issues. we consider ourselves lucky with her. i am terrified of getting because i am high risk and had a bad case of the flu a couple years ago, having to go the er. i'm sorry to hear about your friend. it must seem very strangeReplyDelete
Sherry - I am so glad your mom is doing well. My husband and I are high risk too unfortunately. Stay safe, Sherry. Sending prayers your way.Delete
Royal Holiday sounds so fun :) I'm intrigued by The Black Witch as well. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your holidays :)ReplyDelete
Becki - Royal Holiday has been a fun read. I have been wanting to read The Black Witch since I first heard about it. I hope I get the chance this coming year. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
2020 does suck! I'm so sorry about your co-worker, and your grandmother, too. Sending prayers and virtual hugs your way! Hang in there.ReplyDelete
Lark - Thank you!Delete
I am so sorry to hear of your loss and that your grandmother tested positive. I will keep her up in prayer.ReplyDelete
My girls and I used to read Ivy & Bean and Dork Diaries. I miss those days.
Royal Holiday sounds like a nice story. The Artic Fury sounds good, too.
Hope you enjoy your books.
Cheryl - Thank you. I appreciate it.Delete
The Ivy & Bean books are fun as are the Dork Diary books. My daughter is not a big reader and so anything that gets her excited about reading makes me happy.
I'm sorry about your coworker and your grandmother. It is shocking the way Covid has infiltrated our society, friends, family.ReplyDelete
I loved Circe and really enjoyed The Black Witch. I've enjoyed Elizabeth George for years, and I liked the Magician's Lie by Macallister. Artic Fury sounds good because of that and because after reading The Terror, I read more fiction and nonfiction about the Franklin Expedition.
Jenclair - Thank you. Several of my coworkers have contracted the virus, unfortunately, but most seem to be managing. Our hospitals don't have the staff to care for all the cases coming in, which I'm sure is true in many other parts of the country right now too.Delete
I am glad you enjoyed both Circe and The Black Witch. I look forward to reading them.
I am so sorry to hear about both the loss of your colleague and your grandmother's positive result. I hope she doesn't get symptoms that are too awful. I'm glad you have Royal Holiday into which you can escape and I really recommend Just Mercy!ReplyDelete
Helen - Thank you. My grandmother is doing okay right now, fortunately. I look forward to reading Just Mercy.Delete
So sorry to hear about your co worker and your grandmother. Covid has certainly brought so much sadness and suffering, not only for those who get it but those who love them too. I have one Jasmine Guillory book on my Kindle waiting to be read, and Royal Holiday sounds great. Hope some of the winter books work out.ReplyDelete
Kathryn - Thank you for your kind words. Yes, COVID has really wrecked havoc on so many lives, both directly and indirectly. I hope we see some relief soon. Thank you for visting!Delete
I'm so sorry to hear about your co-worker and I hope your grandmother will be okay. My husband recently lost a client and that's the closest it has come to us but my heart is so heavy. I am trying to make our house cheerful for the kids for christmas time but it is very hard. Snuggle a cat and hug your kids and we all wish you well.ReplyDelete
Jeane - I am so sorry about your husband's client. Several of my coworkers have contracted the virus, but seem to be managing okay. It feels like this new wave has hit a lot closer to home than the others. Like you, I'm trying to keep things cheerful in our house so my daughter will have a good Christmas. Hang in there, Jeane. Stay safe.Delete
Wendy, I'm so sorry about the loss of your co-worker. So many losses. And hoping your grandmother will get through her positive diagnosis with minimal issues. Sigh. Big hugs to you. Hoping you three will have a peaceful holiday time and find some fun things to do. As to the books you listed above, I've read A Great Deliverance. I love that series and the TV adaptation is pretty good as well. Take care.ReplyDelete
Kay - Thank you. So far my grandmother is doing okay, thankfully. I have never seen the TV adaptation of George's series. I suppose that's a good thing so I have no pre-conceived notions. I hope you have a nice Christmas too.Delete
I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your co-worker and hope your grandmother will recover soon. Sending hugs.ReplyDelete
Royal Holiday is on my TBR, glad to hear it's been a comforting read in these trying times.
Lindsey - Thank you!Delete
Royal Holiday sounds good. I guess I didn't realize Great Delirance had a tv adaptation. I've been meaning to read the book and got it stashed away. Hope your holidays are joyful and you get outdoors.ReplyDelete
Trin - I had not known about the TV adaptation either. I hope you have a nice holiday too!Delete
So many people have been lost because of this virus as well from other things like cancer in the same time. It's a heartbreaking thing to go through and I feel for all the people who have had to lose someone this year.ReplyDelete
Mary - It has been a hard year for so many, especially you and your family. Sending hugs.Delete
I have to reiterate what everyone else has said, in commiserating with you on the loss of your colleague and I am adding my thoughts and best wishes for your grandmother's full recovery.
I have lost two friends to Covid, plus a work colleague, then right in the middle of one of our full country lockdowns, the husband of another of my colleagues suffered a massive stroke, from which he sadly never recovered.
This virus spares no one and doesn't take prisoners. As someone I know commented only yesterday, if everyone was made to understand that THEY are the person who is infected and who could potentially kill everyone they come into contact with, perhaps then the idiots out there who assume they are invincible just might think twice!
In times gone by, I probably wouldn't have looked twice at 'Royal Holiday', however recently I have read more contemporary romance and cozy mysteries, than at any other time in the past. I think we all need a bit of fun escapism right now.
I haven't read any of the 'Inspector Lynley' series, but that's because I watched every series which was made for television - several times over. the viewing was made so much easier on the eye, by the lovely Nathaniel Parker, who played 'Lynley'. With his cut glass English accent, I could have listened to him talk to me all day long :)
Enjoy your reading this week and Stay Safe :)
Yvonne - Thank you. I appreciate your kind thoughts and well wishes.Delete
I am sorry for your losses. It's been hard on so many. I wish people would take it more seriously. I wish more people would act responsibly and take the necessary precautions.
Yes, those cozies and romances seem to be what is keeping me sane some days.
I hadn't even known there were TV adaptations of the Inspector Lynley series until someone mentioned it here.
I hope you have a good week too! Happy Holidays!
I'm so sorry to hear about your co-worker. I hope your grandmother recovers soon.ReplyDelete
Royal Holiday looks really good. Hope you have a great week!
Yvonne - Thank you!Delete
I'm so sorry that you've been affected by COVID in this way. Any news on your grandmother's health? My friend's mom is 92 and had it pretty bad but recovered with proper care. I hope your grandmother's symptoms are mild and stay that way.ReplyDelete
Ti - Thank you. My grandmother is fairing okay, thank goodness. I am glad to hear your mom's friend was able to recover.Delete
I hope your grandmother is recovering.ReplyDelete
Lauren - Thank you. She is thankfully.Delete
So sorry about the loss of a colleague. I also hope your grandmother recovers soon. We are also in a lockdown situation here in Sri Lanka. Christmas is very low key, not even church services or rather services for only fifty people which is nothing at all. A bit depressing but we have to keep going. Happy Holidays. Stay safe all of you.ReplyDelete
Mystica - Thank you. I hope you are staying safe as well. We'll make the most of this holiday season, despite everything.Delete
Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear about all your bad news. I'll be praying for your grandmother. Hugs!ReplyDelete
Ashley - Thank you!Delete
I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother. She'll be in my prayers. And I'm so sorry to hear about your coworker. I can sympathize with being tired. I think that sums up about how I feel but I'm hoping this vaccine will be a ray of hope for all of us. I haven't read anything by Jasmine Guillory but it sounds like the perfect book for right now.ReplyDelete
Katherine - Thank you. I appreciate it. I imagine you are more tired than most with everything you have had to take on this year. I hope you and your family have a nice holiday. Enjoy being home. :-)Delete