Weekly Wrap-Up March 29, 2020

What a week. I mean, not that I did a lot or anything, but it still feels like it was a busy week. I’ve been really diligent about trying to keep myself busy and focused during my self-isolation. I vlog every day and post it on YouTube; not many people are watching, but it makes me feel less alone, so I’ll keep doing it. I exercise every morning, which helps keep my mood stable. I watch a lot of YouTube, but not as much Netflix and Disney+ as I was expecting. Maybe that will increase as time goes by. I also go for a walk every afternoon and I’m finally getting back into writing every day. That’s been the hardest part.

Overall, my mood’s been remarkably stable during this time. I think had I not done all that therapy over the summer, I’d be in a much darker place. For many reasons, I’m grateful I did that, and this is one of them.

I’m finally getting on track with reading and blogging again. I finished two or three books this week and have a bunch more to tackle. Of course, that’s not stopping me from ordering books to read as well. I’ve never had a TBR this big and I’m not helping myself by ignoring it to read other books. But, whatever; these are trying times.

Also, I cannot get WordPRess to work for me, so I won’t be posting my links to last week or what I’m doing next week. Is anyone else having trouble with WordPress?


Snippet Saturday

Part 1Part 2, Part 3

After his meeting with Morgan, Sebastian headed to a local bar called Superstitions. It was the most popular bar that catered to the supernatural sect, which made it a great place to network and meet contacts. Humans “in the know” mingled with demons, vampires, and other creatures of the night, and Sebastian often met clients there during the course of a job.

It wasn’t crowded when Sebastian arrived. He went to the bar, took an empty stool, and ordered his usual, a Scotch, neat.  He had to feed later in order to break it down.

He’d only been there a few minutes before Rob, the owner, appeared.

“Hey, Seb, how ya doing?”  He leaned against the bar next to Sebastian.

Sebastian swallowed the sip he’d taken. “Good. In the market.”

“Ancient weapons? Books? Talismans?” He blinked his red-orange eyes, slitted pupils elongating, showing his interest.

“A book. The Magic of Music. It’s supposedly very old and rare.”

“Who’s the client?”

“His name is Tristan Clearwater. He says he overheard his father talking about it when he was younger and is interested in finding it.”

Rob pursed his lips and leaned against the bar. He scratched a horn nearly hidden by bleached blond hair. “I know an elf that deals with magic books. His name’s Uni. Reclusive, though, doesn’t like new people.”

“How does he stay in business, then?”

 Rob shook his head. “He barely scrapes by.”

“Can you pass on my information?” Sebastian asked.

“Sure. You could also try Raquel. She’s mostly talismans, but it wouldn’t hurt to check her out.”

Sebastian nodded. “I thought about her. And Abrax. He got me a book once a few years ago. I was going to call him tomorrow.”

Rob raised an eyebrow. “And, of course, there’s always Jezbeth. They’re pricey, but…”

He made a face. “No. I’m not entirely comfortable with their practices. The last time I worked with them, they stole my client and got them addicted to demon blood. Client eventually died. Only got half my fee, too.”

“Spreading lies about my company again?” a new voice said.

Sebastian sighed and turned.

Ash Hartley was standing there, his usual smirk in place.

“It’s not a lie if it happened,” Sebastian said.

“It is when your information is wrong. Alex got addicted to dragon scales, not demon blood. And it was hardly our fault.”

“You took Alex to the party!”

“And they chose to try the dragon scales!”

“With your partner’s encouragement.”

“It was still their choice.” Ash shrugged. “My partner told Alex how addictive it was, but they wanted to try anyway. Not our fault.”

Sebastian lifted his drink to his mouth. “Still stole my client.”

Ash came to the bar, body close. Closer than necessary, in Sebastian’s opinion. The human smelled like soap and expensive cologne. It made Sebastian’s stomach tighten. While Ash wasn’t as breathtakingly beautiful as Tristan Clearwater, he was still unfairly handsome with big green eyes, long dark lashes, and sandy blond hair that had a slight curl. He was an itch that Sebastian refused to scratch, and the little bastard knew it. Hence the standing just a bit closer than he needed to.

“Well,” Ash said, “that’s just business. What are you looking for now.”

“Like I’d tell you.” Even if he wasn’t afraid of his client being stolen, he felt reluctant to expose Tristan to Jezbeth Incorporated. If Tristan was as powerful as he seemed to be, the company would find a way to exploit it. Exploit him. Sebastian didn’t want that on his conscience.”

“Ah, come on.” Ash smiled innocently. Well, as innocently as someone like him could. “You seal in blood now. We can’t steal your client.”

“You’d find a way, I’m sure.”

He flashed his dimples. “Your confidence in me is flattering.”

Sebastian snorted darkly. 

“Fine. But I bet I could find what you’re looking for. I’ve got an extensive network and resources you could only dream of. You have no idea how vast our network is.”

“I have some.” He downed his Scotch and turned to Rob. “Please pass my name to Uni. And if you hear anything…”

“I’ll let you know.” Rob nodded.“Thanks. See you.” He tossed his money on the bar and left.

Anonymous Bookaholics Tag

Photo by Mikey Dabro on Pexels.com

I saw this tag done on Kerri McBookNerd’s blog and thought it looked like fun. Not sure who originated it; if you know, let me know so I can update.

1. What do you like about buying new books?

I like the possibilities I’m bringing into my life. New worlds to explore, new characters to meet, new villains to hate (or love). If it’s a book I’ve already read, then it’s old, familiar characters I’m ready to go on adventures with again.

2. How often do you buy new books?

Every few weeks. I was trying to confine myself to just one book a month, but that’s just not happening.

3. Bookstore or online book shopping: which do you prefer?

I vastly prefer going to the bookstore. I like seeing the books and their covers, being able to pick them up and start reading them, and read as much as I need to in order to decide if it’s the book for me.

4. Do you have a favorite bookshop?

No. There aren’t many bookstores by me. I’ve been to the used bookstore in town, and it’s okay, but I don’t love it. I guess there are a few more indie bookstores by me, but I don’t know where they are.

5. Do you pre-order books?

I’m trying to get in the habit of it, since pre-orders are important to authors.

6. Do you have a monthly buying limit?

Not really. I mean, like I said, I was trying for one book a month, and then I modified that to say if they’re really cheap (like $.25), it’s okay to buy more, and now I’m just trying to keep myself entertained.

7. How big is your wish list?

I don’t really keep a wish list.

8. Which three books from your wish list do you wish to own right now?

All three books I wish I had right now aren’t out, and one isn’t even listed on Goodreads yet. I want A Stroke of Malice by Anna Lee Huber (and I did preorder it), Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody, and Relentless by Jonathan Maberry. I cannot wait to have all three.

Boom! You’re tagged!

Review: Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

Title: Archenemies
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Genre: YA, action, superheroes, scifi
Source: library
Publication Date: November 6, 2018

Nova is living a double life. In one, she’s Insomnia, a Renegade superhero dedicated to protecting the weak and maintaining order in Galton city. In the other, she’s Nightmare, and Anarchist determined to bring down the Renegades who once failed to protect her family.


Adrian is also living a double life. In one, he’s the leader of his Renegade patrol group, son of the leaders of the Renegades, and upstanding citizen. In the other, he’s the Sentinel, a vigilante determined to do good even if it means breaking a few rules.

Nova, Adrian, and the crew are faced with problems beyond secret identities as crime escalates in Galton City. They also have to deal with a new secret weapon being rolled out by the Renegade scientists, one with horrifying ethical implications. To top it off, Adrian and Nova’s feels for each other deepen, blurring the line between good and evil even further.

Oh, man, was this book a lot of fun. Nova is such a great character. Raised by evil super villains, she’s concerned with justice and integrity even more than the so-called superheroes. She isn’t blinded by her powers and and the idea that good is always right. She’s concerned with the people of the city, with ethics, and has a clearer picture of how power can be perverted. That’s not to say that she doesn’t have blindness of her own. Her uncle, Ace Anarchy, and the other villains, clearly don’t care about the people as she does. They want power for power’s sake, to be able to do what they want, and the freedom they enjoyed during the Age of Anarchy, when lawlessness ruled. But Nova, of course, is too young and naive to see that, which makes her story a tragedy.


I like Adrian well enough, but he’s not as interesting to me as Nova is. His power is the ability to bring drawings and paintings to life, and he’s used it to tattoo modifications on himself to turn him into the Sentinel. He’s willing to break the rules of that his parents follow, and he does have a point, but ultimately, he’s more of a child in his thinking. I do like the way he cares about everyone, especially Nova. His and Nova’s relationship is very cute and I like the way the came together.


I wish, though, more time had been spent on developing the “bad” Renegade patrol unit. They are exactly what Nova fears: superheroes that abuse their power and authority. I have no t trouble believing that they exist, but I would have liked them to be more complicated and less cartoonishly villainous. I would have liked to see some nuance. But, on the other hand, they contrasted with Adrian, who as Sentinel is abusing his powers and breaking the rules, but following a code that keeps his conscience clear, unlike Geinessa and her crew. So, maybe that’s where the nuance lies.

I highly recommend this book. It’s a great read on what the world might be like with superheroes where the world doesn’t fall apart like in Watchmen by Alan Moore. If you’re looking for an exciting escape from the world, this series is for you.

WWW Wednesday 3/25/2020

Hi everyone! Is anyone else losing time with their quarantine? I’m trying very hard to keep track of my days, but even so, Wednesday surprised me. As did Sunday; I completely forgot to post my weekly wrap-up. I was busy Sunday shopping, meal-prepping and doing chores. It felt like a normal day.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, participants are asked to answer three questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

I started both these books yesterday and am completely in love. Starcrossed by Allie Therin is an e-ARC and a sequel to Spellbound. Arthur and Rory are navigating their relationship in the face of vast class differences, an ex-lover of Arthur, and even more magical problems. I’m so in love with this book and am already half way through.

The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J. Archer is equally magical. India Steele’s father has recently died and, before his death, left his watchmaking business to India’s fiance with the assurance the finance would marry her. Instead, on the day of the funeral, he breaks off the engagement and steals the business out from under her. Destitute and unable to secure employment, she goes to the shop to discredit him where she meets a mysterious American looking for a specific watchmaker. They join forces and…. That’s as far as I’ve gotten. But, like the Ministry of Curiosities series I listened to early this year, it’s completely engrossing with great characters and sizzling chemistry between the two mains. I walked an hour yesterday just so I could continue to listen.

Oh, man, was Archenemies by Marissa Meyer great! Hidden identities, secrets and lies, superheroes… it’s just so well written. And the romance is sweet and frustrating all at once, in the best way. I cannot wait to read Supernova.

I know Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca has been on my “currently reading” list for the past month, but, truth is, I haven’t read it in awhile. So, after I”m done with Starcrossed, I’m going to sit down and read it. Really. And then, as a treat in these troubled times, I’m rereading Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. I definitely need something sweet and romantic right now.

What are you reading this week? Hope you’re staying healthy!

Top 5 Tuesday P-T

It’s Tuesday and that means another Top 5 Tuesday! This is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at the Bionic Bookworm. This week’s topic is authors P to T.

P is for Ashley Poston author of Geekerella and The Princess and the Fangirl. Awesome stories that retell both Cinderella and The Prince and the Pauper, only in modern times and the ball is a fan convention. Genius.

I literally have nothing for Q. Not even on Goodreads.

R is for Rick Riordan. This one was hard, because there are so many good R writers, but I’m going with Riordan because, according to Goodreads, he’s my most read author.

S is for Tara Sim author of the Timekeeper series. Such an awesome series about an alternative universe where time is a physical thing that controls everything. It also has a great romance.

T is for Allie Therin the author of Spellbound. This is a delightful m/m historical romance about a magic user and the man who wants to protect him at all costs. It’s set in 1920s New York and was a lot of fun. AND I GOT APPROVED FOR THE ARC OF THE SEQUEL!!!! So exciting. 🙂

That’s all for today. Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young People

Genre: YA, contemporary, coming of age, queer lit

Source: library (audio)

Publication Date: February 21, 2012

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison and an uncommunicative father who suffers from PTSD. Dante is a smart kid who is crazy about his parents. When they meet at the pool one summer, they soon become best friends. But where life and tragedy doesn’t separate them, Ari’s anger and uncommunicative nature may do it for them. They must learn to trust one another and themselves in order to discover the secrets of the universe.

This was a super sweet book, which is funny because the main character, Ari, is not a super sweet character. He’s very angry and closed off. Even though the book is told in his first person voice, he doesn’t share a lot about himself and his feelings. The entire book is very sparse and short in the way it’s written, echoing Ari’s nature.

But the relationship between the boys is magical. They are drawn together like magnets and their joy at being with each other just bubbles over. I loved watching them navigate their relationship and growing was wonderful. While there are definitely fits and starts and places where they stumble, but it’s a great journey that they make.

I read this book for two reasons. One, I knew it was queer literature and that’s my special interest. Second, the audio book was read by Lin Manuel Miranda. And both were great. Okay, I’m getting into kind spoilery territory, so if you don’t want any spoilers, don’t read below.

spoiler break

Reading this, I began to think that this was going to be a one sided love story. One of the characters falls in love with the other, but the other didn’t reciprocate. And that was disappointing to me, because I don’t like reading stories like that. I’ve been in that situation, and I want happy endings. But, in the end, it turned out the way I wanted, so it made me happy.

And, as always, Lin Manuel Miranda was great.

Yes, I recommend it. It’s a great coming of age story and a really good love story. I was almost in tears at the end. Happy tears. It’s a great book.