Sunday, March 31, 2024

Sunday Post - 3/31/24

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Happy Resurrection Day! This was a good week. The big kiddos went to Gatlinburg, TN with my parents for the week. They had loads of fun. Husband was off work this week to try to get some projects done around the house. We both accomplished a lot, but neither of us got everything we wanted done. I'm beginning to think that's just life. There is always more to be done. I don't even remember what we did on what day since we were out of our usual routine. We played outside. We went for walks. Husband replaced our salt water chlorinator on our pool that went out last year. He worked on landscaping the front yard. He worked on our lawnmower and our brother-in-law's that he borrowed. We got the hanging rod and shelf installed in Little Boy's closet and started working on Big Boy's closet. I mopped and did a bunch of general cleaning and organizing. I did clean out Big Boy's room and closet. I took a load off to donations. Also, I finally did Easter shopping for the kiddos. The kids came home a day early, Friday evening because my dad's back was really bothering him and he was starting to have some sinus issues. Yesterday, we dyed eggs and did a small hunt with my great-nephew and our kids.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge - March Wrap Up
Wednesday: Can't Wait for A Casualty of the Heart by Rachel Kelley Stones
Thursday: Review of How to Plot a Payback by Melissa Ferguson (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of The Lady He Lost by Faye Delacour
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday?

Don’t forget to link up for the 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2024 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

NEW BOOKS:

Queen of Roses (Blood of a Fae, # 1)

By: Briar Boleyn

Publication: April 15, 2023 by Starwater Press

361 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--A doomed love, a dangerous mission, and a kingdom on the brink of war...
A cast-off princess…

Born into a life of duty and sacrifice, Morgan Pendragon’s destiny has never been her own. Rumored to carry the tainted blood of the fae in her veins, her birthright is stolen from her when she is a mere child. Growing up in the shadow of her brother the king, she has been promised to the goddesses when she comes of age. So, when her brother commands that she seek out a fae weapon of legendary power, Morgan seizes the chance to break free from the chains of her fate.

A dangerous temptation…

As she travels, Morgan finds herself drawn into a strange group of outcasts, led by a dark and enigmatic warrior whose sharp wit and fierce beauty set her heart ablaze. But while Morgan struggles to reconcile her desires with her duty, she and her new comrades discover dangers that await them beyond anything in their wildest nightmares.

A slumbering kingdom awoken by blood…

Believed to have vanished generations ago, a fae kingdom dreaded by mortals is ascending once more, bound to reclaim what was lost by violence and bloodshed. As the fae world, with its intricate web of lies and mysteries, is slowly revealed to Morgan, she is led to the terrible realization that the secrets she carries in her blood make her a greater threat than she could ever have imagined.

The first in an action-packed new series brimming with magic, danger, and spellbinding slow-burn romance, Queen of Roses is perfect for fans of Holly Black, Jennifer L. Armentrout, and Sarah J. Maas.

Court of Claws (Blood of a Fae, # 2)

By: Briar Boleyn

Publication: June 30, 2023 by Starwater Press

409 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Bound to a man she hates more than she ever thought possible...

Everything Morgan Pendragon knows and loves is gone as she wakes in the dangerous court of the Siabra. The man she was falling in love with is dead, and in his place is a man she barely knows. Surrounded by liars and knives in the dark, all Morgan wants to do is run the other way but Kairos Draven is determined to keep her by his side.

As Morgan and Draven's lives become even more irrevocably entwined, little do they know the sins of the past are coming for them both…

Empress of Fae (Blood of a Fae, # 3)

By: Briar Boleyn

Publication: October 25, 2023 by Starwater Press

407 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Divided by Oceans but Eternally Bonded

Morgan Pendragon has another name now: Morgan Le Fay. As her true heritage slowly emerges from the mists of the past, Morgan renounces one possible future as the new ruler of the fierce Siabra fae and the wife of the Prince of Claws and vanishes through a portal–returning to Camelot and the Rose Court where her friends and younger brother lie in mortal peril from Arthur's cruel wiles.

But back in the Court of Claws, Kairos Draven won't allow his beloved to disappear from his life so easily. His bond with Morgan goes beyond blood, love, life, and even time itself and neither one of them can relinquish its power or its pull.

Yet Morgan is no ordinary woman. Not only is she beginning to manifest remarkable abilities, but the powers of the gods themselves run through her veins, bestowing her with an unimaginable power and an unthinkable claim over all of Aercanum and beyond...

A claim which some will stop at nothing to put a halt to.

Knight of the Goddess (Blood of a Fae, # 4)

By: Briar Boleyn

Publication: March 31, 2024 by Starwater Press

410 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--The fourth and final book in the bestselling Blood of a Fae series…

“I see forever with you by my side. Because long after these scars have faded away to nothing, I'll still be standing beside you. You and I? We're eternal.”

Beware the dread curse of Three…

In the aftermath of the war between Pendrath and its neighbors, peace has finally come to Camelot. But for Morgan Le Fay and her friends, the calm is short-lived. A storm grows on the horizon. As a terrible evil that has been waiting hundreds of years begins to sweep through the land, Morgan and Draven must race to the aid of their allies, leaving their youngest and most vulnerable new family member in the care of trusted friends.

The sword, the spear, the grail’s mystery…

As the tide of war takes them across kingdoms and into greater peril, Morgan and Draven embark on a quest to destroy the three objects of untold power–the grail, the sword, and the spear. Together, the pair will find answers to questions lost in the mists of time. Answers to questions so terrible, they never even thought to ask.

Blood calls to blood, the dark shall rise,

Forged by the gods under sacred skies.

For the love between these bonded mates is not just an everlasting one forged in blood.

You might even call it divine.

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (The Wingfeather Saga, # 1)

By: Andrew Peterson

Publication: March 10, 2020 by WaterBrook

304 pages

Genre: Children's, Middle Grade, Fantasy

Source: Borrowed from the elibrary

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Now in hardcover for the first time, featuring all-new illustrations! Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog, Nugget.

Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice. The Igibys hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.

Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers' groups are sure to enjoy discussing for its many layers of meaning. Extra features include new interior illustrations from Joe Sutphin, funny footnotes, a map of the fantastical world, inventive appendices, and fanciful line art in the tradition of the original Frank L. Baum Wizard of Oz storybooks.

Haunted Ever After

By: Jen DeLuca

Publication: August 13, 2024 by Berkley

352 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--It's love at first haunting in a seaside town that raises everyone’s spirits in this new series from USA Today bestselling author Jen DeLuca.

Small Florida coastal towns often find themselves scrambling for the tourism dollars that the Orlando theme parks leave behind. And within the town limits of Boneyard Key, the residents decided long ago to lean into its ghostliness. Nick Royer, owner of the Hallowed Grounds coffee shop, embraces the ghost tourism that keeps the local economy afloat, as well as his spectral roommate. At least he doesn’t have to run air-conditioning.

Cassie Rutherford possibly overreacted to all her friends getting married and having kids by leaving Orlando and buying a flipped historic cottage in Boneyard Key. Though there’s something unusual with her new home (her laptop won’t charge in any outlets, and the poetry magnets on her fridge definitely didn’t read “WRONG” and “MY HOUSE” when she put them up), she’s charmed by the colorful history surrounding her. And she's catching a certain vibe from the grumpy coffee shop owner whenever he slips her a free slice of banana bread along with her coffee order.

As Nick takes her on a ghost tour, sharing town gossip that tourists don't get to hear, and they spend nights side-by-side looking into the former owners of her haunted cottage, their connection solidifies into something very real and enticing. But Cassie's worried she’s in too deep with this whole (haunted) home ownership thing…and Nick's afraid to get too close in case Cassie gets scared away for good.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, March 28, 2024

How to Plot a Payback - Review

How to Plot a Payback

By: Melissa Ferguson

Expected Publication: April 2, 2024 by Thomas Nelson

336 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--She’s been muddling his plans for years—now he’s the writer for the beloved character she plays on television, and it’s time for payback. Murders have just become so tedious . Finn Masters has been in the business of murders for five years. Writing murders for the television drama Higher Stakes , that is. And he’s more than ready to move up the corporate ladder until, ideally, he gets his own show about almost anything else. So when an unbelievable offer is presented to him—becoming the supervising producer in none other than the nation’s most popular ongoing sitcom, Neighbors —it’s an opportunity he can’t pass up. Despite the fact that the star of the show and of America’s heart is Lavender Rhodes. And everybody loves her. Except him. And for good reason. Because Lavender Rhodes is generous to everyone. But there’s a figurative price to pay for the fortune she bestows time and time again upon those in need, and the one who always ends up “paying” it, unbeknownst to her, is him. Finally, after she unknowingly destroyed his acting career, accidentally wrecked his relationship with the love of his life, and inadvertently begins to tear his new job to shreds, he’s had enough. He’s now the writer for the beloved character she plays on television. And it’s time for payback.

Melissa Ferguson is a bit up and down for me. I have never out and out-disliked her books, but I go from blown away to meh. I struggled to get into How to Plot a Payback, and I was a little confused partway through. Finn's list of things Lavender has ruined for him was funny but confusing. I must have read through his list wrong because I thought he said he'd had a three-year relationship with Lavender and almost proposed when she suddenly dumped him. But when they met at work, and she didn't even recognize him or his name I was thoroughly confused. Turns out, they went to high school together but haven't seen each other since.

Poor Finn. He was negatively impacted by some major coincidences involving Lavender. And she was completely unaware of them. I loved how the way he perceived her was nearly the exact opposite of who she was. And I also truly loved how every attempt on his part to pay her back in big or small ways always turned out to backfire on him.

Lavender is a sweet person without a bone of malice in her body. She loves those closest to her and cares for them, even to the detriment of herself. I found myself laughing at the shenanigans of her dog Bernie because my sister-in-law recently got a Bernese Mountain dog, and he is absolutely huge and not even a year old. Over a hundred pounds already. Plus his fur is fluffy and all over the place. They've just started obedience school for him, but the lack of obedience so far has me completely picturing the antics that Bernie gets up to.

I loved Melissa Ferguson's Meet Me in the Margins because it felt like a love letter to stories, to writing, to readers. And similarly, How to Plot a Payback was also about the love of writing. Just this time, the medium was film and not books. While I do appreciate a good TV show, I didn't get into the creative process as much with this book as the other I mentioned. I am curious if they could take a show (that seems to be fashioned after Friends) and turn that into a crime/mystery show with the same cast. It seems impossible, but I'd like to see it happen now. Like Friends alternate universe, and Phoebe turns out to be a serial killer.

Favorite quotes:

-She's so good at ruining my life that of course I should've suspected she could ruin my payback.

-"No, Lavender. I very much do not deserve your forgiveness." "Maybe, maybe not," I say, "but that's the beauty of forgiveness. You don't get the say. I do. And I say"--I shrug-- "I forgive you. Life's much too short for me to hang on to resentment, especially as none of us is perfect."

How to Plot a Payback was a good book. I loved the romance. I especially love the story of Finn realizing that Lavender was never the villain he made her out to be. I loved Lavender's goodness. I liked the animals, Miles and Bernie especially. The ode to writing in the film sense versus books was good but not as well done as her previous book Meet Me in the Margins. And I was confused a time or two--probably my own fault, but it still adjusted my experience of the book. How to Plot a Payback gets 4 Stars. Have you read How to Plot a Payback? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Can't Wait for A Casualty of the Hearth

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

A Casualty of the Heart

By: Rachel Kelley Stones

Expected Publication: May 7, 2024 by Covenant Communications

240 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Her first London Season has arrived, but Clare Compton is far from enthusiastic. In fact, she finds the experience positively nauseating, and when her first ball ends in disaster, the consequences threaten to upend her entire Season. She wants nothing more than to retreat to her country home away from Society’s judgmental stares. Instead, respite comes from a most unexpected source. Patrick Milton, Clare’s childhood enemy, offers a cunning he will serve as her escort for the final five weeks of festivities to help repair Clare’s reputation. The plan seems foolproof. But can she repair her reputation without forfeiting her heart?

Patrick has more than Clare’s welfare in mind when he proposes his ruse. He needs to stay close to the ballrooms of the ton, where he can keep an eye on his wayward twin brother—and serving as Clare’s escort offers the perfect pretense, with the added advantage of saving himself from matrimonial matchmakers. But as the weeks fly by in a whirlwind of candlelit ballrooms and dizzying dances, Patrick’s scheme takes on a life of its own, forcing the now friends to navigate feelings they never expected.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, March 25, 2024

2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge - March Wrap Up

Time for our Monthly Wrap Up for the 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Neither Sandy nor Holly finished any series enders this month.

Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the March giveaway runs from March 25th - April 25th. On April 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries from the entire year to pull a grand prize winner.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Sunday Post - 03/24/24

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

I missed last Sunday Post because Saturday I spent the day helping my parents move, and that's when I normally prep my Sunday Post. I won't review the week two weeks ago as I usually would when I miss a Sunday Post this time. Honeslty, I just don't have the energy at the moment. I did take a blog break that week so there's not much blog wise to recap anyway. This past week Big Boy ended up running fever all day Monday. I didn't think much of it until his temperature got up to 104.4. I did call the afterhours number for our pediatrician's office. I absolutely love the doctor I spoke to and he told me exactly what he thought it was and the pattern he expected the virus to follow (which it did exactly as he said). We did go to the doctor to be checked out on Tuesday. No surprises there. Wednesday, he was perfectly normal. Thursday, we spent the day at my parent's new house. It's so nice having them much closer to us and their house is really nice too. Friday was our last day of school before spring break. Unfortunately, Baby Boy ended up running fever. I assume he got big brother's sickness...considering he drank after him twice while was sick before I could stop him, I wasn't surprised at all. Saturday, my big kids left with my parents to go to Gatlinburg, TN. My parents love being able to take them, and they love going. It's a special trip between them all. I'm so thankful for my parents having such a close relationship with my kids.

THE PAST WEEK:

Tuesday: Top Ten Spring 2024 TBR List
Wednesday: Can't Wait for A Thousand Broken Pieces (A Thousand Boy Kisses, # 2) by Tillie Cole
Thursday: Review of With a Little Luck (Fortuna Beach, # 2) by Marissa Meyer (4 Stars)
Friday: Homeschool Friday - I Survived: The Wellington Avalanche, 1910 (I Survived, # 22) by Lauren Tarshis (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge - March Wrap Up
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday?
Thursday: Review How to Plot Payback by Melissa Ferguson

Don’t forget to link up for the 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2024 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

NEW BOOKS:

The Book Swap

By: Tessa Bickers

Publication: September 3, 2024 by Graydon House

336 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon *Current on sale )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Still reeling from a recent tragedy, Erin Connolly knows she needs to start living, but has no idea how. When she accidentally donates her favorite book—a heavily annotated copy of To Kill a Mockingbird containing a memento she can’t be without—to a local Little Free Library, she’s devastated. But then the book turns up a week later, back in the library with fresh notes in the margins, along with an invitation in a copy of Great Expectations to meet her newfound pen pal.

A life-changing conversation, written only in the margins of beloved classic books, begins between Erin and her Mystery Man. Following each other through the pages of their favorite novels as the book exchange continues, they both begin to open up, falling into a friendship…and maybe something more.

But Erin and her pen pal have a shared history that neither of them has guessed. Faced with painful reminders of the past—and the one person she swore never to forgive—Erin finds herself at a crossroads. One that could change her life forever.

A book-lovers dream! References to the following classics can be found in The Book Swap.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
GREAT EXPECTATIONS
WUTHERING HEIGHTS
MANSFIELD PARK
THE GREAT GATSBY
MIDDLEMARCH
BELOVED
ON THE ROAD
THE BELL JAR

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Friday, March 22, 2024

Homeschool Friday - I Survived the Wellington Avalanche 1910

Homeschool Friday is a feature here at Somewhere Only We Know that showcases books my family reads during homeschool and provides a mini-review for each.

I Survived the Wellington Avalanche, 1910 (I Survived, # 22)

By: Lauren Tarshis

Publication: September 6, 2022 by Scholastic Inc.

144 pages

Genre: Children's, Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, Adventure

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--The Wellington snow slide of 1910 was―and still is―the deadliest avalanche in America’s history. Lauren Tarshis's story of one child surviving the frozen nightmare pounds with page-turning action and heartwarming hope. The snow came down faster than train crews could clear the tracks, piling up in drifts 20 feet high. At the Wellington train depot in the Cascade Mountains, two trains sat stranded, blocked in by snow slides to the east and west. Some passengers braved the storm to hike off the mountain, but many had no choice but to wait out the storm. But the storm didn’t stop. One day passed, then two, three . . . six days. The snow turned to rain. Then, just after midnight on March 1, a lightning storm struck the mountain, sending a ten-foot-high wave of snow barreling down the mountain. The trains tumbled 150 feet. 96 people were dead. The Wellington avalanche forever changed railroad engineering. New York Times bestselling author Lauren Tarshis tells the tale of one girl who survived, emerging from the snow forever changed herself.

Since I started homeschooling my kids, I have been looking for ways to increase the time we spend on books while also trying to get my 6-year-old son interested in reading. Audiobooks have helped us a lot. We mostly listen to them in the car while we're jetting around running errands. And it helps to cut down screen time and boredom in the car. I'd seen the I Survived series, but this was the first one I got for us to listen to. And it was a good choice.

Lauren Tarshis starts this book at the actual avalanche to build intensity and suspense. And then she backtracks seven days. Our main character is Janie, who is an orphan being used by a crime boss to run stolen goods for him. She doesn't have many choices as she has no other family or means of providing for herself. Her handler gets arrested, and Janie uses this opportunity to try to escape like her friend Bash did a while back.

The other passengers think it is odd for a young girl to be riding the train unaccompanied, and several take Janie under their wing. She befriends a young boy about her age named Frederick. She still has the stolen jewels on her, and she hasn't figured out what to do with them yet.

My kids asked me if Janie was a real person. Because this was my first experience with the series, I didn't think so, but I wasn't sure. Lauren Tarshis does explain what was fact and what was fiction in her author's note at the end of the book, which we listened to as well. I wanted my kids to hear about how much work goes into creating a story like this in hopes that they might learn that things they might think are easy aren't always so.

My son did ask me to find a book with a male main character for our next book, and I think I've found just the one. Even with Janie being a girl, her storyline of jewel thief would appeal to readers of both genders. My children (minus the three-year-old) certainly enjoyed the story. I give I Survived: The Wellington Avalanche, 1910 4 Stars. Have you read (or listened to) this book? If so, what do you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Can't Wait for A Thousand Broken Pieces

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

A Thousand Broken Pieces (A Thousand Boy Kisses, # 2)

By: Tillie Cole

Expected Publication: June 20, 2024 by Penguin

317 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--CAN TWO BROKEN HEARTS MAKE A WHOLE . . . ?

After losing her beloved sister three years ago, Savanna Litchfield has been living half a life. When Savannah's therapist suggests joining a trip around the world for grieving teens she agrees to go clutching tightly to the unread journal her sister left behind.

Seventeen-year-old Cael Woods is angry. One year after losing his older brother his life has spiraled. Once the most promising hockey player in the junior league, Cael can no longer step onto the ice. When his parents sign him up for a trip abroad no part of him wants to go.

As Cael and Savannah embark on a journey they begin to find solace in each other. As they start to heal piece by broken piece, could this be the start of a love they never thought they'd feel again?

A Thousand Broken Pieces is a beautiful and life-affirming novel about grief, love and friendship from the international bestselling phenomenon Tillie Cole

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Top Ten Spring 2024 TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week's topic is Top Ten Spring 2024 TBR List
  1. A Drop of Venom by Sajni Patel
  2. The Getaway List by Emma Lord
  3. Dirty Thirty (Stephanie Plum, # 30) by Janet Evanovich
  4. I Wish You Would by Eva Des Lauriers
  5. Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by John Gottman & Julie Schwartz Gottman
  6. Tree. Table. Book. by Lois Lowry
  7. Watership Down: The Graphic Novel by James Sturm
  8. The Outlaw Noble Salt by Amy Harmon
  9. Fairest of Heart (Texas Ever After, #1) by Karen Witemeyer
  10. Love, Just In by Natalie Murray

Which books are you hoping to get to this spring? Let me know!

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Sunday Post - 03/10/24

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Monday was martial arts night for Big Girl and basebally practice for Big Boy. Tuesday, we went to the library and met up with some other homeschool families at the park. Then we did grocery pickup. The big kids had belt testing in martial arts that night. They don't know whether they passed or failed yet. Belt ceremony is Tuesday of this week. Wednesday was probably our best day this week for school. Everyone just got in there and did lessons without complaining about anything. Thursday, we ran to my parents to hang out. They're moving this week. Thursday night was baseball and softball practices. Friday was nice because the kids got to play outside off and on, and we had that windy weather that comes before a storm. It did rain Friday evening and all through the night. The big kids camped out in our tent in the living room Friday night and Saturday night. Husband and I were both surprised they stayed all night. Saturday, Big Girl had softball practice at an indoor facility since the fields were soaked. We also played in the yard when we got home. I'm usually booked pretty far in advance on reviews. I do have several review books that are already prepped for April and beyond, but it slipped up on me and I don't have anything prepared to post for this week. But hey, it never hurts to take a few days off.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Appointment in Bath (Somerset Stories, # 4) by Mimi Matthews (4 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Serpent Sea (Spice Road, # 2) by Maiya Ibrahim
Thursday: Review of With a Little Luck (Fortuna Beach, # 2) by Marissa Meyer (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: No blog post - Taking a personal break this week.
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday?

Don’t forget to link up for the 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2024 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

NEW BOOKS:

Eight Dates

By: Dr. John Gottman & Dr. Julie Schwatz Gottman

Publication: February 5, 2019 by Workman Publishing Company

231 pages

Genre: Adult, Self-Help, Relationships, Non-fiction

( Goodreads | Amazon *Current on sale )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Strengthen and deepen your love with a fun, ingenious program of eight life-changing conversations—on essential topics such as money, sex, and trust—from two of the world’s leading marriage researchers and clinicians.

Navigating the challenges of long-term commitment takes effort—and it just got simpler, with this empowering, step-by-step guide to communicating about the things that matter most to you and your partner. Drawing on forty years of research from their world-famous Love Lab, Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman invite couples on eight fun, easy, and profoundly rewarding dates, each one focused on a make-or-break trust, conflict, sex, money, family, adventure, spirituality, and dreams.

Interactive activities and prompts provide motivation to stay open, stay curious, and, most of all, stay talking to each other. And the range—from the four skills you need for intimate conversation (including Put Into Words What You Are Feeling) to tips on being honest about your needs, while also validating your partner’s own emotions—will resonate, whether you’re newly together or a longtime couple looking to fortify your bond. You will discover (or rediscover) your partner like never before—and be able to realize your hopes and dreams for the love you desire and deserve.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, March 7, 2024

With a Little Luck - Review

With a Little Luck (Fortuna Beach, # 2)

By: Marissa Meyer

Publication: February 13, 2024 by Feiwel & Friends

368 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--After being magically gifted with incredible luck, a boy discovers this gift just may be a curse when it comes to love, in this YA novel by #1 New York Times -bestselling author Marissa Meyer.

Jude is determined to fly under the radar. He just wants to draw his comics, host regular D&D night with his friends, work at his parents’ vinyl record store, and escape high school as unscathed as possible. That is, until the night he comes across a mysterious twenty-sided dice and finds himself inexplicably gifted with a bout of supernatural good luck.

Suddenly, everything Jude has ever wanted is within reach. His first art submission is accepted to his favorite fanzine. He helps his friend’s song become a finalist in a songwriting competition. And he’s the 100th caller to a local radio contest, winning him a pair of coveted concert tickets, which he uses to ask out the popular girl he’s been crushing on since elementary school. For a few blissful weeks, he feels invincible.

But when he loses the magic dice at a local music festival, his luck takes a turn for the worse. He struggles to reclaim his good fortune while fighting off long-buried feelings for his best friend―who is definitely not the girl he’s supposed to be in love with. Can Jude risk stepping into the spotlight long enough to win the true girl of his dreams? Or is he doomed to be unlucky in love forever?

The description gives too much away about With a Little Luck. But that also means that I don't have to keep all of that out of my review which makes things easier for me. I got the audiobook for With a Little Luck for review. And I have to say that I was stoked. I've reintroduced audiobooks into my life over the last couple of years, and I'm so thankful because I can probably increase the number of books "read" in a year by a third. At first, I was bummed to be denied the egalley of With a Little Luck, but this type of story is one that I enjoyed on audio probably more than I would have liked reading a physical copy of it. Stacy Carolan was the narrator, and he did an outstanding job.

I don't remember ever reading a contemporary book written solely from the male point of view. Usually, if a male voice is included, it is at least written as a dual or multiple narrative. Marissa Meyer's choice of writing only Jude's voice is probably best as it would have given too much away to have written from either Ari or Maya's perspectives.

As the description states, Jude finds a 20-sided dice, and his luck becomes undeniably good. He wins every coin toss. He is the 100th caller in a radio contest and wins tickets to a concert for the favorite artist of the girl he's been crushing on since elementary school. She agrees to go to the concert with him. And beyond that, they seem to have a great time. And even more, she's interested in joining his D&D group. I'm sure I'm missing a few other things that Jude's good luck provides him with, but you get the gist.

Things seem to be going well for Jude. While Jude is getting to spend time with Maya, his long-time crush, it's obvious to the reader that Maya just isn't interested in Jude the way that Jude wants her to be, even with the extra luck. On the other hand, Jude is helping his best friend Ari with a songwriting competition. She earns a spot to go to a live festival, and Jude, Maya, Ari, and Ezra (Jude's complete opposite, kind of friend, but also kind of nemesis) decide to go as a foursome. At the competition, Jude loses his dice. And his luck goes with it.

Of course, things were going too smoothly for Jude. And no story would be complete without conflict to overcome. I sure was beginning to feel sorry for Jude. His bad luck was almost worse than any of the good luck he ever had. In the end, Jude discovers that his crush on Maya was masking deeper feelings that he has for Ari. And I loved the idea that even bad luck can be good if it leads us to good results. Removing luck from the equation, this is how I believe God works in our lives. He works all things out for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

With a Little Luck was a fun read/listen. Jude's family is endearing, and I loved his relationships with each of his sisters. I am a sucker for tropes, and a good best friends to lovers trope is such a good one. I couldn't help but root for Jude and Ari...especially Ari. Bless her. With a Little Luck gets 4 Stars. Have you read (or listened to) With a Little Luck? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Can't Wait for Serpent Sea

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Serpent Sea (The Spice Road Trilogy, # 2)

By: Maiya Ibrahim

Expected Publication: September 17, 2024 by Delacorte Press

512 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--As a Shield Immani is sworn to protect her land from the monsters across the city but as the Harrowlanders begin preparing supplies, horses and their greatest weapon—spice magic—she knows it is only a matter of time before the invasion begins…and it will be a losing battle. But Immani also knows that the only true way to fight magic is with monsters. If she can restore Qayn’s stolen powers, together they can summon an army to save Sahir. Forming an alliance with a former King turned monster might seem like the riskiest thing she can do but things are made even more dangerous by the fact that his magic is in the form of three jewels that once were encrusted in his crown but are now hidden beyond the dessert.

A forbidden quest to find the jewels might be the only way to combat the Harrowlanders but as Immani journeys across the sea, she will discover serpentines and other scaled creatures warriors have only heard about in myths…and that can strike at any moment. One wrong move could cost her life—and everyone she loves. But Immani may find there is more than meets the eye crossing the serpent sea…and betrayal cuts deeper than any dagger.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, March 4, 2024

Appointment in Bath - Review

Appointment in Bath (Somerset Stories, # 4)

By: Mimi Matthews

Publication: June 27, 2023

288 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Clean Romance

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--A chance meeting between the sheltered daughter and the forward-thinking son of rival Victorian families sparks a forbidden romance in USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews's fourth book in her acclaimed Somerset Stories series.

Shy and stammering Meg Burton-Smythe has spent the whole of her life living on the fringes of local society. She's more comfortable with her daydreams than she is with people. But when a dashing, golden-haired hero rides to her rescue one morning, she dares to hope that her dreams might finally come true. There's only one her handsome rescuer is the son of her father's sworn enemy.

Ivo Beresford doesn't believe in clinging to the past. Freshly returned from a lengthy grand tour, he's looking to the future, eager to spearhead the building of a new railway extension in Somersetshire. But an unexpected encounter with Meg Burton-Smythe, the isolated only daughter of his parents' oldest foe, sets the past and the future colliding.

Resolved to put ancient grudges to rest-at least where innocent young ladies are concerned-Ivo encourages lonely Meg to embark on a secret friendship. After all, what harm can a friendship do? It isn't as though there's any danger of the two of them falling in love...

I've been looking forward to Appointment in Bath since reading Return to Satterthwaite Court since Ivo and Meg's story overlaps with Kate & Charles's. Plus, Mimi Matthews is one of my auto-buy authors. Knowing the backstory between Maggie, Nicholas, and Fred, my immediate reaction to a relationship between a Beresford & a Smythe-Burton was that it could never work. So, of course, I needed to find out how Mimi Matthews would make this work.

Meg couldn't be more likable. She starts the book as meek and shy. But I love it when she discovers her backbone. She avoids the extreme of following in her father's footsteps of plain meanness or vindictive behavior. Meg is a strong female lead even when she doesn't seem that way. Her stammer and uncertainty about how others view her causes her to appear weak, but that's surface level. When the rubber meets the road, Meg stands up for herself against those closest to her and those she wants closest to her. She knows when she deserves to be treated better.

Ivo is almost singularly focused on progress. He's a visionary. He sees where improvements could be made all around him. And his two biggest visions are on moving forward and leaving the past between his parents and Meg in the past and planning a railroad expansion into their home village. Ivo's tunnel vision gets him in trouble when he doesn't notice the feelings of others that he's steamrolling right over.

Fred is probably the biggest curiosity. What will his reaction be to Meg having a relationship with a Beresford? Surely, he has to respond in some underhanded way, either regarding the relationship itself or Ivo's business venture. I won't give things away, but I liked how Mimi Matthews handled things in this area.

Favorite quotes:

-"It's because you'll have faced what you feared. Every time we do so, we emerge stronger for the experience. It's a proven fact."

-"The important things are often difficult to say."

-"He m-may not love me, but he doesn't strike me. He doesn't lock me away in the tower." "A low bar."

-"Is love not something you need?"

-"But he m-might say things. He m-might lose his t-temper." "So what if he does. His words can't harm me."

-"I must blame the mistletoe. Potent stuff, that."

-"You're more than your circumstances."

-"Humans have an infinite capacity for change. We've no need to fear it. To change is to survive."

As always, I enjoyed Appointment in Bath and read it in about two days. Mimi Matthews is one of my favorite authors. Her characters are always deep and multi-layered. Meg and Ivo were no different. And I enjoyed getting to see Fred in quite a sorry state. Our actions do have consequences after all. And now I can't wait for James and Hannah's story, coming soon. Appointment in Bath gets 4 Stars. Have you read Appointment in Bath? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Sunday Post - 03/03/24

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This was a quick week. Hopefully this is our last one double timing extra-curricular activities. Monday, I kept Baby Boy home from MDO. He was coughing pretty bad. No fever thankfully. I took Big Girl to martial arts and Husband took Little Boy to baseball. Baby Boy woke up at 4 am coughing. After getting up several times, I ended up putting him in the bed with us. We didn't sleep peacefully the rest of the morning, but we did get to sleep a little late. Tuesday, we did our normal grocery pick up. We were a little lazier than normal because I wasn't feeling well either. Big kids had martial arts. Wednesday was a normal day. Thursday was a lot. First I took the big kids to my parent's house. Then I took Little Boy with me to the doctor for his 3 year checkup. All went well there. They did tell us that his blood work showed he was fighting a virus which makes sense considering his symptoms. We went back to my parent's house to hang out until time to come home. Then the big kids had martial arts. Immediately from there, Big Boy had baseball. Big sister had to hang out until her softball practice after. Her practice got cut short due to temperatures. Friday, I had to run an Amazon return to the UPS store. Then we had school as normal. It was raining all day so the kids couldn't get outside to get their energy out which meant for a loud day. Both kids were supposed to have ball practices on Saturday but the rain drenched the fields and practices were cancelled. I don't mind, but it does mean Big Boy has had almost two weeks of practices more than Big Girl. I finished two books this week and I've made a pretty big dent on another one.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of For Letter or Worse by Esther Hatch (4 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for To Love the Brooding Baron by Jentry Flint
Thursday: Review of Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, # 1) by Scott Reintgen (4 Stars)
Friday: January & February 2024 EOM Wrap Ups

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of An Appointment in Bath (Somerset Stories, # 4) by Mimi Matthews
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday?
Thursday: 13th Blogoversary

Don’t forget to link up for the 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2024 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

NEW BOOKS:

These Hollow Vows (These Hollow Vows, # 1)

By: Lexi Ryan

Publication: July 20, 2021 by HMH

448 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fae

Source: Borrowed from the e-library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From New York Times best-selling author Lexi Ryan, Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously seductive princes.

Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she'll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.

Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie's only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm.

Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart.

Kiss Me, Catalina (Queens of Mariachi, # 2)

By: Priscilla Oliveras

Publication: November 1, 2022 by Montlake

280 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal kindle library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Dreams come true for an untamable rising star and a mariachi idol in a rousing romance about passion, fame, and family by USA Today bestselling author Priscilla Oliveras.

Ambitious San Antonio singer Catalina “Cat” Capuleta gets the chance of a lifetime when she joins superstar heartthrob and fellow mariachi Patricio Gal├ín on his seven-week concert tour. Demanding and arrogant, Patricio challenges Cat on every level, as an artist and as a woman. But headstrong Cat is determined to be his match. No matter how seductive Patricio’s baritone voice, Cat’s eyes are only on the success and making her familia proud.

No woman gets under Patricio’s skin like Cat. Her talent mesmerizes. Her passion is thrilling. And her drive, stemming from an old unhealed family wound, exposes a vulnerability he secretly recognizes in himself.

When the duo hits the road, the sparks don’t just fly—they detonate. Stage by stage, as each reckons with the past—and with each other’s quick-fire personalities—they bring crowds to their feet, and Cat’s long-held dreams come true. Will their road romance go up in flames? Or could making music together kindle the most rapturous love song of their lives?

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Friday, March 1, 2024

January & February 2024 EOM Wrap Ups

January

I read 6 books (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
The Duke and I (The Bridgertons, # 1) by Julia Quinn
Trial of the Sun Queen (Artefacts of Ouranos, # 1) by Nisha J Tuli
Rule of the Aurora King (Artefacts of Ouranos, # 2) by Nisha J Tuli
Rocky Mountain Promise (Sister of the Rockies, # 2) by Misty M Beller
Appointment in Bath (Somerset Stories, # 4) by Mimi Matthews
How to Plot Playback by Melissa Ferguson

I have reviewed 7 books (not including mini reviews of children's books). *These qualify for the 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Calling on the Matchmaker (Shanahan Match, # 1) by Jody Hedlund
The Duke Knows Best (The Duke's Sons, # 5) by Jane Ashford
The Lily of Ludgate Hill (Belles of London, # 3) by Mimi Matthews
Blood and Steel (The Legends of Thezmarr, # 1) by Helen Scheuerer
Rocky Mountain Promise (Sisters of the Rockies, # 2) by Misty M Beller
The Adventures of Captain Underpants (Captain Underpants, # 1) by Dav Pilkey
Silver Dollar Duke (Hearts of Arizona, # 1) by Sally Britton

Other Posts:
Sunday Post - 01/07/24
Sunday Post - 01/14/24
Sunday Post - 01/21/24
Sunday Post - 01/28/24
Top Ten Books I Read in 2023
Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of Q1/Q2 2024
Top Ten Books I Didn't Get to in 2023
Top Ten New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2023
Can't Wait for Lonely Hearts Day by Kasie West
Can't Wait for Finally His Bride (Bride Ships: New Voyages, # 1) by Jody Hedlund
Can't Wait for If the Boot Fits (Texas Ever After, # 2) by Karen Witemeyer
Can't Wait for The Outlaw Noble Salt by Amy Harmon
Can't Wait for A Debt of Honor (The Leighs, # 4) by MA Nichols
2023 EOY Wrap Up
2023 EOY Book Survey
2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge - January Wrap Up

Febraury

I read 6 books (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, # 1) by Scott Reintgen
The Viscount Who Loved Me (The Bridgertons, # 2) by Julia Quinn
All's Fair in Love and War (Miss Prentice's Protegees, # 1) by Virginia Heath
Beneath These Cursed Stars by Lexi Ryan
With a Little Luck (Fortuna Beach, # 2) by Marissa Meyer
The Design of Us by Sajni Patel

I have reviewed 9 books (not including mini reviews of children's books). *These qualify for the 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Flame and Ember (The Kingsleys, # 1) by MA Nichols
The BFG by Roald Dahl
West Side Story (Queens of Mariachi, # 1) by Priscilla Oliveras
The Sport of Matchmaking (Clavering Chronicles, # 3) by Jennie Goutet
A Regrettable Proposal (Memorable Proposals, # 1) by Jennie Goutet
A Faithful Proposal (Memorable Proposals, # 2) by Jennie Goutet
A Daring Proposal (Memorable Proposals, # 3) by Jennie Goutet
For Letter or Worse by Esther Hatch
Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, # 1) by Scott Reintgen

Other Posts:
Sunday Post - 02/04/24
Sunday Post - 02/11/24
Sunday Post - 02/18/24
Sunday Post - 02/25/24
Can't Wait for Highcliffe House by Megan Walker
Can't Wait for A Provincial Peer (Georgian Gentlemen, # 6) by Sian Ann Bessey
Can't Wait for A Rocky Mountain Journey (Sisters of the Rockies, # 3) by Misty M Beller
Can't Wait for To Love the Brooding Baron by Jentry Flint
2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge - February Wrap Up

Goals:
I'm a few days ahead on my Bible-in-a-year plan.
I've read 12 out of 52 books (not including children's books).
I've read 0 out of 5-10 series enders.