Category: reasons I’m not writing

What I Read in May (2020)

Books Read in May: 33

Books Read for the Year: 132 /200

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey (TBR). I’m mad this has been sitting on myself for over a year…but glad I also had the rest of the trilogy waiting, as I finished this in three days.

Gilt Hollow, by Lorie Langdon (TBR). This felt like a standard YA book to me. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t stand out.

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (classic). It’s been a while since I re-read this one, and I loved it all over again. It brought me so much joy! (And the P & P memes on Pinterest are hysterical.)

Lioness Arising, by Lisa Bevere (spiritual). Loved this! Very empowering and motivating.

Dorothy Must Die, by Danielle Paige (TBR). I enjoyed this, apart from how everything in Oz was flipped. Dorothy is evil? That may have been a bit much for my The Wizard of Oz-loving self.

For Review: 

the summer house

The Summer House, by Lauren K. Denton (review forthcoming). Okay, I’ll just say it: Lauren K. Denton is an automatic, must-read for me. Seriously. I’ve loved everything I’ve read of hers. If you haven’t read any, you’re missing out. Also:  LOVED this cover!

the jane austen society

The Jane Austen Society, by Natalie Jenner. I enjoyed this so much! It’s about a diverse group of people from Austen’s home town who fight to save her legacy. This novel actually had the feel of an Austen novel.

of literature and lattes

Of Literature and Lattes, by Katherine Reay. I’ve read a couple of Reay’s novels and enjoyed them very much. I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much, but it was a solid read. There were too many points-of-view I think to make this truly great (to me). I love the feel of this small town, but Alyssa, the MC, was…almost unlikable. Frankly, she was whiny, sat around feeling sorry for herself, and was mean and ugly to everyone around her.

the girls weekend
Image belongs to Crooked Lane Books.

The Girls Weekend, by Jody Gehrman (review forthcoming). This was an interesting closed-door mystery. I really had no idea who did it, but I thought not telling the cops they’d been drugged and cleaning up the house/crime scene was a bad idea.

a study in murder

A Study in Murder, by Callie Hutton (review forthcoming). This was a fun cozy mystery/romance, and  I enjoyed this new series a lot.

Private Lessons

Private Lessons, by Cynthia Salasay. So…the main character was pretty unlikable for me and she just sort of let life happen to her, so I wasn’t a fan.

the grim reader

The Grim Reader, by Kate Carlisle (review forthcoming). I haven’t read any of this series, and I found things a little too good to be true, putting me squarely on the fence with this one.

red sky over hawaii

Red Sky Over Hawaii, by Sarah Ackerman (review forthcoming). I very much enjoyed this tale set in Hawaii around the time of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Very well done!

the talking drum

The Talking Drum, by Lisa Braxton. This is a vividly multicultural tale set in the 1970s and is a solid historical read.

what unbreakable looks like

What Unbreakable Looks Like, by Kate McLaughlin (review forthcoming). I thought this was a fantastic read, about a girl rescued from human trafficking and how she heals and starts living again.

a royal kiss and tell

A Royal Kiss and Tell, by Julia London (review forthcoming). I didn’t care for either of the MCs through most of the book, finding them entirely too self-absorbed and superficial, but there was a lot of character growth towards the end.

the woman in the green dress

The Woman in the Green Dress, by Tea Cooper (review forthcoming). I enjoyed this novel set in two time periods in Australia, although it took a bit to get going. A female taxidermist, a hunt for opals, and a mystery all round out the action here.

juniper jones

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen (review forthcoming). A poignant read dealing with racism in the south in the 1950s.

more than enighbors

More than Neighbors, by Shannon Stacey (review forthcoming). This was a solid romance featuring next-door neighbors.

that summer in maine

That Summer in Maine, by Brianna Wolfson (review forthcoming). I didn’t care for these characters and found the whole set-up a bit unbelievable.

the mountains wild

The Mountains Wild, by Sarah Stewart Taylor (review forthcoming). Loved the Irish setting, and I never figured out who the killer was. I ended up enjoying this a lot.

birth of the fae

Birth of the Fae: Locked out of Heaven, by Danielle Orsino (review forthcoming). I enjoyed the unique explanation of the origins of the fae.

she's faking it

She’s Faking It, by Kristin Rockaway (review forthcoming). This reminded me vaguely of Flirting with 40. I enjoyed it and it made me laugh out loud several times.

the dilemma

The Dilemma, by B.A. Paris (review forthcoming). I found the wife to be absolutely self-centered and selfish, and, while I liked the husband, the whole idea behind this story was a bit hard for me to believe (Okay, a lot hard for me to believe.).

dark august

Dark August, by Katie Tallo (review forthcoming). This was an interesting thriller, but unlike anything I’ve read before. I’m still not sure what I think about it.

the last curtain call

The Last Curtain Call, by Juliet Blackwell (review forthcoming). I’m new to this series, but that wasn’t really a problem. This was an easy read with some amusing bits, but I probably won’t read more of this series.

death of a wandering wolf

Death of a Wandering Wolf, by Julie Buckley (review forthcoming). This is the second in a series, and I can’t wait to read the first one, and whatever’s next. Loved the Hungarian culture in this, and it was just a fun read!

the finders

The Finders, by Jeffrey B. Burton (review forthcoming). This is the start of a new series, and one I’m eager to continue reading. Of course the dog, Vira, is the star, but I enjoyed her bumbling yet determined owner as well.

crushing it

Crushing It, by Lorelei Parker (review forthcoming). This is like all my worse fears come to life…with an audience. A fun read with some excellent character growth. And I want to live in this neighborhood.

Dwarf Story Cover

Dwarf Story, by W.W. Marplot (review forthcoming). This is a middle-grade fantasy adventure that was a so-so read. And it’s not listed on Goodreads that I can find, so I can’t point you in that direction. I don’t read much middle-grade, so this may just be a case of being the wrong reader for the book.

Just Because:

The Infinite Sea and The Last Star, by Rick Yancey. I ended up binging these two in one day after I enjoyed the first book so much. I didn’t really like how it ended, but the ending made sense with the story.

Left Behind, by Tim LaHaye. This is a re-read for me. Just because.

Stopped Reading/DNF:

The End of the Day, by Bill Clegg. Though the writing was excellent, I just could not get into this.

The Second Home, by Christina Clancy. Again, excellent writing, but I couldn’t get into it.

Born of Mist and Legend, by Kat Bastion. Sometimes I can jump into a series without having read the first book..but this was not one of those cases.

The Joyce Girl, by Annabel Abbs. This just did not capture my interest.

Little Creeping Things, by Chelsea Ichaso. Unreliable narrators are hit or miss for me. This was a miss, as there were off-hand mentions of the fire in the past…but no explanation, so I was clueless as to what was going on.

Sundays are for Writing #73

I am continuing to take a break from writing—except for four book reviews. I did type the summary ending to the King Arthur story into the draft, and thought about some of the problems with the draft, but that’s it. I’m brainstorming my next story and re-reading a draft I want to edit and polish next.

Sundays are for Writing #71

Well, this will be a short update. I did exactly zero fiction-writing this week, and only three book reviews. I’m not very happy with my current WIP—stalled out—and I feel like pushing through is just creating words without quality. Hopefully, I’ll feel up to writing next week. On the positive side, I have been re-reading a draft that I really want to polish and send out into  the world before the end of the year.

Sundays are for Writing #70

I had four fiction-writing sessions planned this week, but I only did three.

However…I wrote eleven book reviews this week, too. I finished reading all the books I’m reviewing in May during April…and all the reviews are written, too. And my sister-in-law went into labor and I have a new nephew, so I’m fine with that level of productivity!

Book Review: The Little Bookshop on the Seine, by Rebecca Raisin

the little bookshop
Image belongs to harlequin/HQN.

Title:  The Little Bookshop on the Seine
AuthorRebecca Raisin
Genre:  Women’s fiction
Rating:  5 out of 5

Sarah Smith loves her little bookstore in tiny Ashford, Connecticut. She swears her books talk to her, and she’s happy with her life, her tight-knit group of friends—and their pastries—and her boyfriend, globe-trotting journalist Ridge. Except he’s gone so much, and Sarah is a little bit bored. So, when her Parisian friend Sophie offers a six-month bookshop exchange, Sarah finds herself flying to Paris to take care of Once Upon a Time, a famous, and popular, bookstore on the Seine.

But Sarah’s dreams of quiet time spent reading, forays to explore Paris, and getting to see Ridge as he travels the world fade quickly once she arrives in Paris. The staff at the bookshop are suspicious and uncooperative. The customers are rude. There’s barely time to breathe, much less read. And instead of spending time with Ridge, their relationship is reduced to occasional quick phone calls. But Sarah has had enough. Christmas is coming and she is determined to get things sorted out, no matter what.

I loved this book! I didn’t realize until I finished it that Rebecca Raisin also wrote Rosie’s Traveling Tea Shop, which was also a lovely read…but it all makes sense now. The Little Bookshop on the Seine made me want to visit Paris, which has never been on my Places to Go list, but I’d pack right up for a chance to work in Once Upon a Time, and Sarah, with her love of books and reading contrasting with her desire to experience life is so me that I related to every page. I highly recommend this!

Rebecca Raisin loves books. The Little Bookshop on the Seine is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Harlequin/HQN in exchange for an honest review.)