The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 4-7-24

Today is the start of National Library Week. As a part of this commemorative week, tomorrow is Right to Read Day, when the list of the 10 most challenged books of 2023 will be released. For most book lists, I would say I’m looking forward to the list – but not in this case, because there is nothing to look forward to in a list of books that have been challenged – especially in a year when challenges have risen so much and are so obviously pointed at books by or about people of color and LGBTQIA+ people.

On a lighter note, my annual Blogo-Birthday Celebration took place last week. The giveaways will be open until this Friday, April 12 and the winners will be announced in next Sunday’s Sunday Post. And again, my deepest and sincerest thanks to all who participated and everyone who has followed along on this journey.

Last but certainly not least, this week’s cat picture features a brightly orange George on a brightly colored comforter playing ‘pawsies’ with Galen.

Current Giveaways:

Any book by Marty Wingate in the Blogo-Birthday Celebration
Any book in the Barker & Llewelyn series by Will Thomas in the Blogo-Birthday Celebration
Any book from the list of Best Books of 2024 so far in the Blogo-Birthday Celebration
(1) $25 Amazon Gift Card and (4) $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Cards in the Lucky 13 Blogo-Birthday Giveaway
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Honey Bunny Giveaway Hop
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Spring 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop

Blog Recap:

Honey Bunny Giveaway Hop
A- #BookReview: A Body at the Dance Hall by Marty Wingate + #Giveaway
A+ #BookReview: The Black Hand by Will Thomas + #Giveaway
LUCKY THIRTEENTH Annual Blogo-Birthday Celebration and #Giveaway!
Blogo-Birthday Birthday Book Celebration and #Giveaway!
Stacking the Shelves (595)

Coming This Week:

The House on Widows Hill by Simon R. Green (#BookReview)
In the Shadow of the Greenbrier by Emily Matchar (#BookReview)
Space Holes: First Transmission by B.R. Louis (#BookReview)
A Short Walk Through a Wide World by Douglas Westerbeke (#BookReview)
Court of Wanderers by Rin Chupeco (#BookReview)

Cover Reveal: Shoestring Theory by Mariana Costa

Cover Reveal: Shoestring Theory by Mariana CostaShoestring Theory by Mariana Costa
Formats available: paperback, ebook
Genres: fantasy
Pages: 400
Published by Angry Robot on October 1, 2024
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboBookshop.orgBetter World Books

A queer, madcap, friends-to-lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers time travel romance with the future of the world at stake, this charming fantasy tale is sure to satisfy fans of Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree.
The kingdom of Farsala is broken and black clouds hang heavy over the arid lands. Former Grand-Mage of the High Court, Cyril Laverre, has spent the last decade hiding himself away in a ramshackle hut by the sea, trying to catch any remaining fish for his cat familiar, Shoestring, and suppressing his guilt over the kingdom’s ruin. For he played his part – for as the King, Eufrates Margrave, descended further and further into paranoia, violence and madness, his Grand-Mage – and husband – Cyril didn’t do a thing to stop him.
When Shoestring wanders away and dies one morning, Cyril knows his days are finally numbered. But are there enough left to have a last go at putting things right? With his remaining lifeblood, he casts a powerful spell that catapults him back in time to a happier period of Farsalan history – a time when it was Eufrates’s older sister Tig destined to ascend to the throne, before she died of a wasting disease, and a time when Cyril and Eufrates’s tentative romance had not yet bloomed. If he can just make sure Eufie never becomes King, then maybe he can prevent the kingdom’s tragic fate. But the magical oath he made to his husband at the altar, transcending both time and space, may prove to be his most enduring – and most dangerous – feat of magic to date…
Featuring a formidable Great Aunt, a friends-to-lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romance, an awkward love quadrangle and a crow familiar called Ganache, this charming story is imminently easy to read and sure to satisfy fans of fanfiction who like their fantasy lite.

This is Luna’s SHOUTY face, because she can’t resist talking about it. After all, there’s a CAT in it – or there was and there will be. A cat named Shoestring and his person Cyril. Mustn’t forget Cyril, because he’s the one who catches Shoestring’s fish. When there ARE any fish, which is part of the problem.

Since George eats shoestrings (and sometimes even the shoes they’re attached to), so we’re ALL hoping he sleeps through this COVER REVEAL for Mariana Costa’s upcoming book Shoestring Theory. It’s about a mad king, a guilt-ridden mage, and a cat familiar who gives his life so his person gets off his duff and fixes things. Even if that fix needs to take them all back in time to a time before things went so horribly wrong that there are no fish left for Shoestring.

So here are Lucifer and Tuna, proudly displaying the complete, utterly gorgeous cover for Mariana Costa’s Shoestring Theory, coming on October 8, 2024 from Angry Robot Books. Preorder links are available HERE:

Just in case Lucifer’s implacable stare overwhelms the picture above, here’s a better picture – of the book cover at least!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to meet Shoestring!

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 3-24-24

It turned out to be an excellent reading week this week – although I did have a ‘flail and bail’ along the way. I have to admit that the later parts of this coming week are looking a bit shaky as well.

The week after this one, however, is sure and certain and celebratory, because April 1-5 will be Reading Reality’s Lucky 13th Blogo-Birthday Celebration with giveaways every day for the whole week. Come celebrate with me!

I’m celebrating, hopefully you’re celebrating, but George and Tuna are cats so they are much more blasé about the whole thing. Here they are out on the catio with Tuna clearly on overwatch checking out what the neighbors are doing.

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Spring 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop

Winner Announcements:

The winner of the Winter 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop is Anne P.

Blog Recap:

A- #BookReview: The Graveyard of the Hesperides by Lindsey Davis
Spring 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop
A+ #BookReview: The Hellfire Conspiracy by Will Thomas
A- #BookReview: Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
A- #BookReview: The Citadel of Weeping Pearls by Aliette de Bodard
Stacking the Shelves (593)

Coming This Week:

What You Are Looking For Is in the Library by Michiko Aoyama (#AudioBookReview)
A Cast of Falcons by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett (#BookReview)
Shoestring Theory by Mariana Costa (#Spotlight + #CoverReveal)
The Emperor and the Endless Palace by Justinian Huang (#BookReview)
To Slip the Bonds of Earth by Amanda Flower (#BookReview)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 3-10-24

First, the BIG NEWS! The week of April 1-5, Reading Reality will be celebrating its “LUCKY” 13th Blogo-Birthday. If you’re new to these pages, you might be wondering what a “Blogo-Birthday” could be. It’s simple, really. Reading Reality dropped its very first post on April 4, 2011 – thirteen years ago. My own birthday is April 5, making the portmanteau word “Blogo-Birthday” as its both the Thirteenth Blogoversary AND my birthday.

It’s a celebration all week long, and I’ll be giving things away (books and/or gift cards to places that sell books – or both) every day that week. Please come and celebrate with me!

In other news, news that’s kind of big. Or at least Tuna is kind of big. The Big Tuna finally figured out that YES! he can fit through the cat flap to the catio. So he’s on the left in this pic, while George is sitting very handsomely on the right. They’ve also become buddies all of a sudden, which is wonderful – although it is a bit startling when the two of them come hurtling through a room in full chase mode as they are 14 pounds of cat EACH!

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Lady Luck Giveaway Hop
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Winter 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop

Blog Recap:

A- #BookReview: Murder at the Merton Library by Andrea Penrose
B #BookReview: That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Human by Kimberly Lemming
A+ #BookReview: The Truth of the Aleke by Moses Ose Utomi
B #BookReview: The Butcher of the Forest by Premee Mohamed
A- #BookReview: The Fox Wife by Yangsze Choo
Stacking the Shelves (591)

Coming This Week:

The Floating Hotel by Grace Curtis (#BookReview)
These Fragile Graces, This Fugitive Heart by Izzy Wasserstein (Joint #BookReview with Amy Daltry)
A Midnight Puzzle by Gigi Pandian (#AudioBookReview)
Fury Brothers: Burn by Anna Hackett (#BookReview)
The Graveyard of the Hesperides by Lindsey Davis (#BookReview)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 2-25-24

Today’s picture may be George at the vet, but George isn’t the cat who actually went to the vet this weekend. That would be Mr. Lucifer, who gets a shot every month to help him with his arthritis – along with a claw trim because he’s not doing that job nearly well enough himself in his senior years. And he’s a sweet old man and doesn’t protest at all when the vet does it – although he probably would mightily if we did.

George was actually FINE during this visit – he just believes that he’s been betrayed because he got taken in and wasn’t happy about it. Neither was the vet because George is so salty and spicy at the vet’s that they need to drug him to do the exam. George is just a LOT and has a lot of sharp and pointy bits to protest with when he wants to. Lucifer, at this point in his life, just can’t be bothered.

Speaking of things that should be bothered with this week, the Love is in the Air Giveaway Hop ends TOMORROW! and the Wish Big Giveaway Hop ends on Thursday – just in time for the Lady Luck Giveaway Hop to begin on Friday.

Believe it or not – and I’m having a bit of trouble believing it myself – Friday is the first day of MARCH. It feels like this year is already flying by. Also flying by, the number of years that Reading Reality has been part of my life – and hopefully yours as well. Reading Reality’s Lucky 13th Blogo-Birthday Celebration Week begins one month from Friday, on April 1, 2024. Time really does fly when you’re having fun!

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Love is in the Air Giveaway Hop (ENDS TOMORROW!!!!!!)
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Wish Big Giveaway Hop
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Winter 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop

Blog Recap:

Presidents’ Day 2024 (Guest Post by Galen)
B #BookReview: Village in the Dark by Iris Yamashita
A- #BookReview: The Kamogawa Food Detectives by Hisashi Kashiwai, translated by Jesse Kirkwood
Grade A #BookReview: The Lantern’s Dance by Laurie R. King
B #AudioBookReview: Glory Be by Danielle Arceneaux
Stacking the Shelves (589)

Coming This Week:

Always Remember by Mary Balogh (#BookReview)
Mastering the Art of French Murder by Colleen Cambridge (#Blogtour #BookReview)
Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett (#BookReview)
Welcome to the Hyunam-dong Bookshop by Hwang Bo-Reum (#BookReview)
Lady Luck Giveaway Hop

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 1-28-24

This week’s cat picture is George, curled up into the tightest kitty-ball his long-legged self can manage. Which is surprisingly small for the size of the cat.

George squeezes himself into this position when the world gets overwhelming and he’s doing his best to cut off the ‘whelm’. It works for him. I wish I could join him but at the moment I can’t bend that way because of last week’s epic fall. My leg is the same color as my hair – which is PURPLE. It’s a great color for hair, not so good for human skin. It is getting better but it’s not been the best week, all things considered. I think my brain finally rebooted around Wednesday, so things are looking up!

This week’s reviews are going to be interesting – for select values of that word as well. I’ve been in a bit of a murder-y mystery mood this year so far, but this week’s reviews have turned out to be nearly all romances – going with the theme of Thursday’s Giveaway Hop and Valentine’s Day later in the month. Although I’m wondering if that will hold – because I’m really enjoying that story about the body at the seance so far. We’ll see as the week goes on.

One other thing to see, or I’m seeing, or however best to put that. I have a question for you all. I’ve started putting the review rating in the title of the post, which is great for Instagram as I work my way through that den of complexity. But I’m struck by how awkward it looks when a book gets a plain ‘A’, no pluses or minuses. Just typing ‘A #BookReview: Title by Author’ tho’ also looks weird because whatever grade it gets its always ‘a book review’ as that’s the whole point.

Anyone have any better ideas? Thanks for following and keeping up with the cat pictures!

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Winter Wishes Giveaway Hop
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Winter 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop

Blog Recap:

Grade A #BookReview: The Missing Witness by Allison Brennan
A- #BookReview: Port in a Storm by Rhys Ford
Grade A #BookReview: Gryphon by M.L. Buchman
A- #BookReview: The Hero She Wants by Anna Hackett
A+ #AudioBookReview: The Bell in the Fog by Lev AC Rosen
Stacking the Shelves (585)

Coming This Week:

A Quantum Love Story by Mike Chen (spotlight + excerpt)
A Body at the Seance by Marty Wingate (review)
Remember Me by Mary Balogh (review)
Heart 2 Heart Giveaway Hop
That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf by Kimberly Lemming (review)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 9-10-23

I’m sure about every day this week except Wednesday. I’ve already read or listened to all the books, but I didn’t write up Mammoths at the Gates for Reading Reality back when I reviewed it for Library Journal, so I need to do at least a re-skim for this week. It was lovely and adorable and so much fun – like every book in the Singing Hills Cycle so far – but my round tuit just wasn’t fully polished that weekend.

Turning to something  – or someone – else that is rather round, take a look at this recent picture of Luna, Tuna and George. Luna and George are out on the screened-in catio, while Tuna is looking on mournfully from the inside side of the cat door. George and Luna spend a LOT of time out on the catio, especially George, but Tuna doesn’t go out there. We don’t think he actually CAN – or at least that the width of his whiskers is telling him that he won’t fit through the door. Lucifer doesn’t go out because he doesn’t wanna, Hecate doesn’t go out because she’s a grumpy little girl who would much rather be an only child, but it’s pretty clear from Tuna’s face that he wants to REAL BAD but thinks he can’t.

So his sister and her buddy tease him unmercifully about it!

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Glam and Glits Giveaway Hop
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Summer 2023 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Hello Autumn Giveaway Hop
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Holiday Kickoff Giveaway Hop

Blog Recap:

Labor Day 2023
B Review: Payback in Death by J.D. Robb
Hello Autumn Giveaway Hop
Holiday Kickoff Giveaway Hop
B Review: Forgotten History by Christopher L. Bennett
Stacking the Shelves (565)

Coming This Week:

9/11 (Guest Post by Galen)
Fury by Anna Hackett (review)
Mammoths at the Gates by Nghi Vo (review)
An Unsuitable Heiress by Jane Dunn (blog tour review)
Prophet by Sin Blaché and Helen MacDonald (audiobook review)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 8-13-23

If you take a look at last Sunday’s Sunday Post, you can see that I intended to finish out this week with three thrillers in a row. Which was not terribly good planning on my part, as, while I like the occasional thriller, particularly by authors I’m already familiar with, that’s well, a bit much in one week for me. Some genres I can read all week long, but horror or thrillers, and this would have been both, one at a time is enough. Hence the week ending flail.

This week may be the same, although for different reasons. I’m sure about the first three days, because they’re already done. Thursday and Friday – not so much. We’ll see.

And on a lighter note that began as a heavier note, I call this picture ‘Return of the Monster Vacuum’, in tribute to Purina’s Dear Kitten videos – which have been rebooted – so if you love cats and haven’t seen them, they’re awesome and they’re back. In the Dear Kitten series, an older cat is passing on his words of wisdom to a kitten he’s not too sure is worth the trouble but he thinks so highly of himself (as they do) and enjoys expounding so much that he can’t resist the impulse. In those videos the older cat teaches the kitten about, among many other things, the dreaded ‘MONSTER VACUUM’. This picture was taken during the monthly houseclean, as Lucifer, Hecate and George instinctually ‘treed’ themselves in the cats’ room while the Monster Vacuum did it’s terrible work.

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Apple A Day Giveaway Hop (ENDS TUESDAY!!!)
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Back to School Giveaway Hop
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Summer 2023 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop

Blog Recap:

B Review: The Archive Undying by Emma Mieko Candon
Back to School Giveaway Hop
A- Review: Blind Fear by Brandon Webb and John David Mann
A- Review: Who Buries the Dead by C.S. Harris
B- Review: Shark Heart by Emily Habeck
Stacking the Shelves (561)

Coming This Week:

Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher (audio review)
Wild Spaces by S.L. Coney (audio review)
Old School Giveaway Hop
A Right Worthy Woman by Ruth P. Watson (review)
Witness by Jamel Brinkley (review)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 7-9-23

When last we left our heroes – or at least when we left the cats for our trip – Tuna and George were getting along a bit better but not all the way towards peace in our time. There must have been more trauma-bonding going on while we were gone, as we’ve seen them playing together since we’ve been back, and this picture seems to show something like peaceable relations. Howsomever, it’s equally possible that Tuna is preparing to dump George on the floor by pulling the support brackets down from the window seat!

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Summer 2023 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop

Blog Recap:

A Review: The Third to Die by Allison Brennan
Independence Day! (Guest Post by Galen)
B Review: The Housekeepers by Alex Hay
B Review: The Last Drop of Hemlock by Katharine Schellman
Christmas in July Giveaway Hop
Stacking the Shelves (556)

Coming This Week:

A Disappearance in Fiji by Nilima Rao (review)
Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose (review)
The Wayward Prince by Leonard Goldberg (review)
Montego by Brian McClellan (review)
The Only Purple House in Town by Ann Aguirre (review)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 5-21-23

It’s kind of been one of those weeks, and not just reading wise. Twitter no longer accepts tweets directly from Jetpack, so I have to remember to tweet my posts first thing in the morning. I am NOT a morning person, so it’s going to take a while to make that part of my normal routine as I’m ingesting my caffeine for the day. C’est la vie.

The end of last week’s schedule fell completely apart, hence my desperation move of combining two books I did not like into one relatively short review explaining why they did not work. Then the audiobook I was listening to was turning out to be a bit of a rage listen, so I bailed on that and switched to print. In the end, that worked better, more of a case of it wasn’t a book for me as opposed to please decide who your book’s first person voice is and stick to it. Your reading mileage may definitely vary. (Yes, that’s a Star Trek book coming up tomorrow. I got really frustrated this week.)

(The Bandit Queens is excellent so far, it’s just a bit longer than I was anticipating.)

But someone is having an excellent week. Here’s George, sunning himself on his catio. Although we’ve seen both Luna and Tuna go through the cat flap, it’s clearly become George’s territory and he’s very proud of himself about it!

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop (ENDS THURSDAY!)
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Moms Rock Giveaway Hop

Winner Announcements:

The winner of the Come What May Giveaway Hop is Bea

Blog Recap:

A- Review: Big Trouble on Sullivan’s Island by Susan M. Boyer
Moms Rock Giveaway Hop
A Review: The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann
C/D+ Reviews: Short and Unsatisfactory: Books and Reviews 
B- Review: You Are Here by Karin Lin-Greenberg
Stacking the Shelves (549)

Coming This Week:

Watching the Clock (Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations #1) by Christopher L. Bennett (review)
Red Team Blues by Cory Doctorow (review)
Dioramas by Blair Austin (review)
Dear Chrysanthemums by Fiona Sze-Lorrain (review)
The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff (review)