WWW Wednesday: What Am I Reading? #amreading

WWW Wednesday is a meme from Sam at Taking On A World Of Words

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’ve waited for this book for months, and I did plenty of happy dances (a sight you don’t want to see) when I received an ARC from NetGalley.  Schwab is one of my favorite authors and has never disappointed.

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Over the weekend I finished It Came From the Sky.  I’d hoped for a humorous read with this one, and it exceeded my expectations.  My review will be posted here next week, but I’ll tell you this was a treat to read – five stars.

From the author of The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett and As You Wish comes the unforgettable story of the one small town’s biggest hoax and the two brothers who started it all.

This is the absolutely true account of how Lansburg, Pennsylvania was invaded by aliens and the weeks of chaos that followed. There were sightings of UFOs, close encounters, and even abductions. There were believers, Truth Seekers, and, above all, people who looked to the sky and hoped for more.

Only…there were no aliens.

Gideon Hofstadt knows what really happened. When one of his science experiments went wrong, he and his older brother blamed the resulting explosion on extraterrestrial activity. And their lie was not only believed by their town―it was embraced. As the brothers go to increasingly greater lengths to keep up the ruse and avoid getting caught, the hoax flourishes. But Gideon’s obsession with their tale threatened his whole world. Can he find a way to banish the aliens before Lansburg, and his life, are changed forever?

Told in a report format and comprised of interviews, blog posts, text conversations, found documents, and so much more, It Came from the Sky is a hysterical and resonant novel about what it means to be human in the face of the unknown.

I waited months for Addie Larue, but the wait for this book has been nearly three years.  The second in the series, The Empress, destroyed me – I’m still not okay.  To say I’m anxious to get to Nemesis is a gross understatement.

In the heart-pounding conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Diabolic series, the Empire teeters on the edge of destruction as rumors spread that Nemesis is still alive.

Three years ago, Tyrus Domitrian shocked the galaxy by killing the woman he swore to love forever. The woman for whom he upended the Empire. The woman with whom he wanted to build a new and brighter future.

Now, the once-idealistic heir apparent has become the cruel Emperor Tyrus, wielding his authority with an iron fist, capable of destroying planets with a single word, controlling all technology with a simple thought. He has bent the Grandiloquy to their knees, and none has the power to stand against him.

But there is a muttering among the Excess. They say that Nemesis is not truly gone. They whisper of her shadow spotted in distant star systems. They say that Nemesis lives. That she will rise, and rally the people to topple the man who was once her truest love—and is now her fiercest enemy. 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Just a short post today.  My oldest son was here for a few days and instead of working on today’s post on Sunday per usual, I spent most of the day with him playing Xbox, catching Pokemon, and watching him play Friday the 13th (video game).  Saturday night, my youngest son was able to come for board games and dinner, so having both of them here was the best Mother’s Day gift I could ask for.  Well – that and the chocolate they gave me.  Have a great week and take care!


#GameNight, #YallStayHome, and a #BookSale

This weekend was a fun one.  Hubby and I had game night courtesy of Zoom with friends on Saturday.  We played Scattergories and Taboo while drinking our beverage of choice and laughed for two hours.  These are friends we get together with regularly, but times being what they are, we’ve really missed spending time with them.  Besides the games, we caught up with each other, talked about our kids (who are all close friends), and poked fun at quarantine beards.  A fantastic way to spend a Saturday night.

Y’all West, a young adult book festival more recently renamed Y’all Stay Home, was this weekend.  It was virtual (the new norm), and I watched two panels – Suckage is Part of Writing and Worldbuilding Beyond Wikipedia.  The first was moderated by Jay Kristoff – I’m so excited for the second book of his Aurora Rising series releasing next month!  His co-author of that series, Amie Kaufman, was also on the panel.  The second was moderated by Roshani Chokshi, author of The Gilded Wolves series – one of my favs.  Basically, all the authors admitted their first drafts suck – but that’s normal.  If you don’t get anything on the page, there’s nothing to edit and improve.  World-building is always interesting to me.  Where do writers begin?  How much do they research?  To what extent do they build?  Listening to other authors discuss their process always inspires me.

In honor of World Book Day, my publisher, Black Rose Writing, is having a 50% off sale on any order from their website HERE through May 3rd.  With a variety of genres, there’s something for everyone.  Use code IMAGINE50 to get the discount.

Take care and stay healthy!

Weekend, #BookClub, and Goodreads Challenge

How’s everyone doing – hanging in there?  We’re keeping busy here.  Spent the weekend pressure washing, mowing, finishing up the garage, and mopping the screened porch.  Bicycles that hadn’t been ridden in years were dragged out and ridden through the neighborhood – and that seat isn’t any more comfortable than the last time I rode it.  Still, it was a gorgeous weekend and nice to get out of the house.

My book club met last week!  On Zoom, of course.  We had about 14 members, and it was so good to see everyone and talk about books.  The first thirty minutes were spent just catching up and checking in on how everyone’s doing.  And our furry friends got to attend this meeting!  Dogs, cats, and one ceramic cat (she keeps plants, not pets) made appearances.  Bond was camera shy, which surprised me a little.  And there was wine (we usually meet at the library)!  The book topic this month was to read a retelling.  My choice was The Traitor Prince by C.J. Redwine – a retelling of an Arabian tale entitled The False Prince.  After more than two hours, fun was had by all and spirits were lifted.  And we plan to do it again next month – maybe even sooner.

Like most people, I’ve been getting a good bit of reading done.  This is probably the first time I’ve ever been ahead on my Goodreads challenge!  I haven’t made any progres on the sequel to Subject A36, but it’s coming.  I’m setting aside a couple hours tomorrow to read over what I wrote for NaNo.  It’s time my characters and I became reacquainted.

Stay safe and take care!

Garage Mysteries, #BloodDonation, #AmWatching

Hubby and I finally started on the garage this weekend and got a section cleaned out.  We discovered a huge Christmas tree storage bag, but where it came from is a complete mystery to both of us.  It’s brand new, still in the wrapper.  Maybe Santa just left it in the wrong spot his last trip here.  We also found serving platters/trays of unknown origins.  No idea where they came from.  One thing I came across was an olive oil dipping set given to me years ago by a dear friend who passed away recently.  That’s something I’ll treasure.

A friend and I donated blood last week.  We honestly didn’t know what to expect as far as turnout.  Would people take a chance and leave their homes?  Was social distancing even possible in that situation?  I was thrilled to discover people in our community showed up.  The Red Cross turned us away from the first place because they were so busy, but the second location was able to fit us in.  With only a few employees working, folks had to wait a little longer, but no one minded.  Everyone was in good spirits and seemed happy they could do something to help.  Traffic was steady while we were there, and chairs were placed far enough apart that social distancing wasn’t a problem.  Cookies and a juice box were waiting for me when it was over!

Ozark season 3 dropped on Netflix last week, so that’s on my viewing schedule for this week.  I had my doubts about the first few episodes of last season, but then the story took turns I didn’t expect, so I’m really excited to see what happens.

Take care and stay healthy!

Introverts, #AmWatching, and To-Do List

With most of us hanging close to home, both adults and kids may find themselves bored.  For us introverts, not so much.  I have a list of things I’ve been meaning to get to, and now looks like the perfect time.

Read books and more books (seriously, you had to see this one coming).  Maybe I can finally make a serious dent in the TBR pile.  Less errands to run = more time to curl up with good reads.

Clear out the Netflix list.  I’ve added several things I want to watch (still haven’t gotten to Witcher) but haven’t had time to get to.  I just noticed they added a second season of Altered Carbon, and season 3 of Ozark drops March 27th.  With Disney+, I’m still trying to watch The Mandalorian – technical difficulties have prevented my viewing so far.  ESPN+ is no problem – hubby and I are making our way through Peyton’s Places and loving it.

Our garage and storage area could use a good cleaning out.  We’re not hoarders by any means, but the boys have stashed sports equipment and art supplies they no longer need/use in the garage, college moves have resulted in unused/unwanted furniture, and hubby could probably open a golf store with what he has on the shelves.  Old Christmas decorations and some toys could be removed from the storage area.  Last time I was up there, I discovered the youngest son had added several boxes without telling us.  We just thought he finally cleaned out his bedroom.  Should have known better.

Don’t even get me started on the yard.  I bought weed killer a couple weeks ago, but we’ve had so much rain I haven’t been able to spray.  We also lost several bushes over the winter that need to be dug up, and others need to be trimmed.

The list goes on, but I won’t bore you with everything.

Last week before everyone hunkered down, the oldest son and I saw Ben Affleck’s new movie, The Way Back.  Affleck turned in a fantastic performance, and the story contained both comedic moments with the high school boys he coached and heartfelt situations involving his struggle with alcohol addiction and grief over the loss of a child.  We’d both recommend it.

Have a great week and wash those hands!

Subject A36 Features #YA #SciFi #Dystopia

Happy Friday 13th!  Some people may be wary of these Fridays, but when you have a son born on a Friday 13th and a black cat, I think they only bring good things my way.

Subject A36 has been featured on a couple of blogs recently, and I wanted to include the links here.  The first was an interview with sci-fi and fantasy author Phoebe Darqueling about world-building HERE.  While you’re there, take a look at Phoebe’s books.  Her latest release is No Rest for the Wicked, a historical fantasy novel.

The second came as a wonderful surprise to me on this dreary Friday morning.  I’m Featured On the Reef at Sarah Brentyn’s blog HERE.  If you haven’t read her books of short fiction/flash fiction, don’t deprive yourself any longer.  What Sarah conveys in so few words is astounding.  Also being a lover of chocolate, cheese, and wine, she’s good people.

Bond on Friends of #FurkidFriday #cats #catlover #catlife

I’ve mentioned my cat, Bond, many times here, and if you follow my Instagram, you’ve seen him in countless humorous poses and situations.  Today, he’s finally getting the attention and fame he deserves (his words, not mine) on Tori Zigler’s blog.  Lilie, her Westie, is interviewing Bond for Friends of Furkid Friday.  Hop over to read their interview HERE.  While you’re there, check out Tori’s extensive collection of children’s books and other interviews with authors’ furry friends.  And Happy Valentine’s Day!

#GuestAuthor Teri Polen on Her #NewBook Subject A36

I’m over at Marcia Meara’s blog today – she graciously offered her blog to help promote Subject A36. Drop by to read the latest about genetic engineering – it may give you chills. While you’re there, check out Marcia’s books. She’s written more than one highly-rated suspense series, and I’ll be starting the second book in her Wake Robin Ridge series soon.  I can’t wait to meet Rabbit – reviewers rave about him!

The Write Stuff

Happy Thor’s Day, everybody! I’m pleased to announce we have a guest blogger today on The Write Stuff, and I know you’ll all help me welcome author Teri Polen. Teri’s going to share a bit about her soon-to-be-released book, Subject A36, and I know you’ll be intrigued, and will want to let all your friends on social media know about this one. Thanks!

I love her skin tone. 

What I wouldn’t give to have hair that color.

I always wanted blue eyes the color of the ocean.

Most of us have coveted physical attributes possessed by others and have made similar statements.  It’s rare to come across someone who wouldn’t change something about their physical appearance if given the opportunity.  But what if there was a way? 

Genetic engineering is the direct manipulation of an organism’s genes using biotechnology.  Most of us know our food is genetically modified.  One…

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Holidays, #KnivesOut, and Subject A36 Excerpt

The holidays are over, and I’m glad to be staying home until the end of February when I’ll go to a book fest.  We traveled a good bit from Thanksgiving until the end of December, and my suitcase needs a break!  Yesterday was spent taking down Christmas decorations and buying a new microwave.  The old one still worked, but was falling apart a piece at a time, and I’m pretty sure the radiation inside was escaping and eating away at my brain cells.  That just can’t be good.

Upon the recommedation of several friends, and also because my book club was going, hubby and I saw Knives Out over the weekend.  It was fabulous!  I was always a Miami Vice fan, so it was good to see Don Johnson again.  And Daniel Craig with a southern accent?  Doing comedy?  Totally worth it.  If you haven’t seen it, we highly recommend it.

Subject A36 releases February 13th, so every Monday and some Fridays until then, I’ll be promoting it with an excerpt, graphics, or maybe a giveaway.  Today I’m featuring an excerpt from the first chapter.  Paperback pre-orders are available HERE.  Ebook pre-orders should be available soon.  I’ll keep you updated.


“Asher!”  Mom gripped the porch railing and called for me.  Her voice cracked and was laced with tears.  Dad vaulted over the porch railing, landed solidly on the grass, and frantically scanned our expansive yard. 

My stomach clenched.  Something was very wrong.  “Over here!”

Dad’s gaze locked on mine.  “Code Exodus!  Now, Asher.  Run!”

Was this another drill?  We’d practiced twice a week, the times always unexpected, without fail for as long as I could remember.  Drills were a regular part of our life, like eating, sleeping, and homework.  Protocol was pounded into our brains.  There could be no hesitation. 

But this felt different.  Dad’s expression was tight and urgent.  Tears streamed down Mom’s face, and I knew.  This was no drill.  It was real this time.  We’d been found.  Code Tribe—we leave together.  Code Exodus—we leave without our parents. 

Code Exodus rules.    

Find Cami and Elsa. 

Grab the backpack.

Leave immediately. 

Don’t stop for anything or anyone.

Run to the Wallaces.

When my sisters could no longer keep up, hide them and keep running.