The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 5-12-24

Today is Mother’s Day in the United States and Canada, as well as a host of other countries. So Happy Mother’s Day if this is a day that you celebrate.

I may not have human children – and that ship has definitely sailed and is long over the horizon – I do have fur children. Here’s a picture of Luna being the prettiest Luna who ever Luna’ed.

Seriously, could anyone resist that face? Ever?

Moving on from really, really pretty to pretty damn good, this past week was a pretty damn good reading week. For ratings, for this reader and reviewer, the high bar for a book to get over is the leap from A- to Grade A. Lots of books make that A- for me because they are really, really good and I had a really, really good time reading them. For something to get the whole A, it needs to be near perfect, and neither life nor reading life manage that nearly as often. C’est la vie all the way around.

(In Our Stars wasn’t close to perfect, but that’s not why it got shifted to this coming week. It got shifted because it’s publication date isn’t until May 21, so now the review is only one week ahead instead of two. And I’m kind of glad I moved it so as not to break up this lovely week of A- and A books!)

Happy Mother’s Day!

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Come What May Giveaway Hop (ENDS WEDNESDAY!)
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Spring 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop

Blog Recap:

Grade A #AudioBookReview: Funny Story by Emily Henry
A- #BookReview: The Summer Swap by Sarah Morgan
A- #BookReview: Black Shield Maiden by Willow Smith and Jess Hendel
A- #BookReview: The Brides of High Hill by Nghi Vo
A- #BookReview: L. Ron Hubbard Presents: Writers of the Future, Volume 40 edited by Jody Lynn Nye
Stacking the Shelves (600)

Coming This Week:

How to Become the Dark Lord and Die Trying by Django Wexler (#BookReview)
Every Time We Say Goodbye by Natalie Jenner (#BlogTour #AudioBookReview)
In Our Stars by Jack Campbell (#BookReview)
Moms Rock Giveaway Hop
The Best Life Book Club by Sheila Roberts (#BookReview)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 4-28-24

There are two cats in this picture. Luna is obvious. Luna is seldom anything BUT obvious. However, do you see that shine among the black of the chair cushions? That’s a cat, specifically that’s a Lucifer cat. I have to be very careful about sitting in my own office chair as it is frequently occupied by a stealth Lucifer. A Lucifer who usually refuses to move his fuzzy butt so that I can have my chair back.

Because this was a week where I visited Overcommitment City, and was NEVER in the village of Running-on-Time. I spent a lot of the week in “kitten jail” with my door closed and barred by an unopened box of cat litter that has been sacrificed to this cause. (My office door pushes inward and doesn’t latch. All the cats are more than heavy enough to push it open one way or another – although Lucifer would rather sit outside the door and pout where I can see him through the glass than impinge upon his dignity that way.) Of course the minute I opened that door – the hordes rushed in. If you’re wondering whether only two cats constitutes a horde, the answer is yes, they can. And they are.

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Rain Drops on Roses Giveaway Hop (ENDS TUESDAY!!!)
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Spring 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop

Blog Recap:

B+ #AudioBookReview: Close to Death by Anthony Horowitz
B #BookReview: Judge Dee and the Limits of the Law by Lavie Tidhar
A- #BookReview: Chaotic Aperitifs by Tao Wong
B #AudioBookReview: Lovers at the Museum by Isabel Allende
A+ #BookReview: A Murder Most French by Colleen Cambridge
Stacking the Shelves (598)

Coming This Week:

Lost Birds by Anne Hillerman (#BookReview)
People in Glass Houses by Jayne Castle (#BookReview)
Come What May Giveaway Hop
Knightqueen by Anna Hackett (#BookReview)
My Dearest Mackenzie by Rachel Blaufeld (#BlogTour #BookReview)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 4-14-24

It’s time to bid this year’s Blogo-Birthday Celebration farewell. The posts have posted, the giveaways have all found winners, so it’s back to the usual here at Chez Reading Reality for another year.

Although the usual isn’t quite so usual this past week, as one of my rare ‘D’ graded reviews spewed itself over the blog earlier in the week. There have been a few books over the years that I detested every page but couldn’t put down – and then couldn’t get out of my head – and Space Holes absolutely was one of THOSE. Hence Wednesday’s rant-fest. I’ve heard that the audio makes it better, but I can’t even. I’d rather listen to something I’m actually enjoying – which I am at the moment with The Murder of Mr. Ma.

Staying with that enjoyment topic, we were treated to a rare sighting of the girl cats coexisting peacefully even as they are clearly exhibiting the traits that make that sight so very rare. Luna is looking up, all bright eyed and eager for any attention or her next adventure, while Hecate’s face is firmly fixed in a glower, declaring wordlessly but with a VERY speaking glance that she would much rather be alone – or at least alone with her humans and without any squeaky little interlopers harshing her not exactly mellow.

 

 

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Honey Bunny Giveaway Hop (ENDS TOMORROW!!!)
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Spring 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop

Winner Announcements:

The winner of ANY BOOK BY MARTY WINGATE is Betty
The winner of ANY BOOK IN THE BARKER & LLEWELYN SERIES is Leela
The winner of ANY BEST BOOKS OF 2024 SO FAR is Cali
The winners of the LUCKY 13 BLOGO BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY are Anne, Billie, Carolyn, Lisa, Shelly, and Susan

Blog Recap:

A- #BookReview: The House on Widows Hill by Simon R. Green
B #AudioBookReview: No One Goes Alone by Erik Larson
D #BookReview: Space Holes: First Transmission by B.R. Louis
Grade A #BookReview: A Short Walk Through a Wide World by Douglas Westerbeke
A++ #BookReview: Court of Wanderers by Rin Chupeco
Stacking the Shelves (596)

Coming This Week:

Mal Goes to War by Edward Ashton (#BookReview)
Rain Drops on Roses Giveaway Hop
The Practice, the Horizon, and the Chain by Sofia Samatar (#BookReview)
The Dead Cat Tail Assassins by P. Djèlí Clark (#BookReview)
What Cannot Be Said by C.S. Harris (#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
Goodreads

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: https://angryrobotbooks.my.canva.site/shoestring-theory.

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 3-3-24

I was in a murder-y mood again this week, so I pulled a couple of mysteries out of the virtually towering TBR pile to read until it passes. Also, the next book in the Wrexford & Sloane series, Murder at King’s Crossing, just popped up on Edelweiss and in yesterday’s Stacking the Shelves post, so it seemed like that might be a hint to catch up with the previous book in the series.

I couldn’t resist this shot of Luna artfully posing in the center of the gaming pillow. Lucifer likes to sit ON the pillow while the pillow is sitting around someone’s lap, but Luna has clearly found a much more artistic use for the thing. (BTW, if you are a gamer the pillow is surprisingly helpful. It gives you something to balance your arms and hands on while you’re playing and keeps you from leaning forward too far and messing up your back. A cat sitting on the pillow right in front of you makes it even more difficult to lean over too far – and the cat gets extra pets into the bargain!)

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

Winner Announcements:

The winner of the Love is in the Air Giveaway Hop is Heather
The winner of the Wish Big Giveaway Hop is Laura D.

Blog Recap:

A- #BookReview: Always Remember by Mary Balogh
Grade A #BookReview: Mastering the Art of French Murder by Colleen Cambridge
C #BookReview: Welcome to the Hyunam-dong Bookshop by Hwang Bo-reum, translated by Shanna Tan
A- #BookReview: Feed Them Silence by Lee Mandelo
Lady Luck Giveaway Hop
Stacking the Shelves (590)

Coming This Week:

Murder at the Merton Library by Andrea Penrose (#BookReview)
That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Human by Kimberly Lemming (#BookReview)
The Graveyard of the Hesperides by Lindsey Davis (#BookReview)
The Truth of the Aleke by Moses Ose Utomi (#BookReview)
The Butcher of the Forest by Premee Mohamed (#BookReview)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 2-11-24

I’m at the stage of this cold where I think I’m going to feel better in the morning. And I kinda do, but not nearly enough. So it’s another drippy day here at Chez Reading Reality – and I’m NOT referring to the weather.

It doesn’t help at all that when either of the humans in the house sneeze, ALL the cats jump and run away. If one happens to be the trampoline upon which said jump takes place, the whole operation is less than fun for everyone.

Although, speaking of fun, that’s a picture of a lazy Luna lounging on the gaming chair. It’s a VERY comfy chair. Someone should be getting the benefit of it!

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Heart 2 Heart Giveaway Hop
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Love is in the Air Giveaway Hop
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Winter 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop

Blog Recap:

B- #BookReview: The Holy Terrors by Simon R. Green
B #BookReview: A Murder of Crows by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett
A+ #BookReview: The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett
B+ #BookReview: A Quantum Love Story by Mike Chen
Love is in the Air Giveaway Hop
Stacking the Shelves (587)

Coming This Week:

The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles by Malka Older #BookReview
The Bezzle by Cory Doctorow #BookReview
At First Spite by Olivia Dade #BookReview
What Feasts at Night by T. Kingfisher #AudioBookReview
Wish Big Giveaway Hop

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 2-4-24

Well, that old groundhog did not see his shadow on Friday, so he’s predicting an early spring. YAY! Not that it has been all that terribly wintry here in Atlanta, but my friends up in Anchorage have seen over 100 inches of snow – SO FAR! There’s plenty of winter left for more to fall. (If you are wondering, and I wouldn’t be AT ALL surprised if you were, Anchorage gets 75 inches of snow in an average winter. It’s plenty cold up there, but the air is often too dry AND COLD for actual snowfall.)

Also if  you’re wondering, I miss my peeps up in Anchorage. The weather – not so much.

Speaking of chilly weather – or at least chilly enough for the leaves to fall, here’s a peek at the bare tree trunks in our backyard over Luna’s prettily posing purrson. Meanwhile, Hecate is in her favorite window perch, behind the probably empty can of sparkling water, looking on suspiciously and grumping at the world. As she does.

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Heart 2 Heart Giveaway Hop
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Winter 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop

Winner Announcements:

The winner of the Winter Wishes Giveaway Hop is Cindy M.

Blog Recap:

Spotlight + Excerpt: A Quantum Love Story by Mike Chen
A- #BookReview: A Body at the Séance by Marty Wingate
#BookReview: Remember Me by Mary Balogh
Heart 2 Heart Giveaway Hop
#BookReview: That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf by Kimberly Lemming
Stacking the Shelves (586)

Coming This Week:

The Holy Terrors by Simon R. Green (#BookReview)
A Murder of Crows by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett (#BookReview)
The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett (#BookReview)
A Quantum Love Story by Mike Chen (#BookReview)
Love is in the Air Giveaway Hop (#BlogHop)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 1-7-24

I think this is this coming week’s schedule. I’m sure about everything except the Patterson, mostly because this is not my first attempt at reading something by him, but previous attempts have resulted in DNFs. I’m hoping that the classic detective angle will get me to the end of this one, so I can say I finished one if I want to be judgy later. Which is a terrible attitude to be starting a book with, but it’s the one I’ve got.

The picture above is Luna on the catio, being very talkative about something. Or screaming. Or possibly both. I’ve had that expression on my face a LOT this week as I figure out Instagram – or more accurately, figure out the ins and outs of the graphics program (Canva) I’m using to create images for Instagram. Words I’ve got, images, not so much. Not to mention the whole hashtag game. But, as I said in yesterday’s Stacking the Shelves, I do believe I’ve made the transition from ONE step forward, TWO steps back, to TWO steps FORWARD and only ONE step BACK.

That’s progress, isn’t it? (Take a look and you’ll see. I hope…)

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the New Year New You Giveaway Hop
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Winter 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop

Blog Recap:

New Year New You Giveaway Hop
24 for 2024: My Most Anticipated Reads for the Year
A Review: Mislaid in Parts Half Known by Seanan McGuire (audiobook)
A- Review: The Night Island by Jayne Ann Krentz
B Review: The Twilight Queen by Jeri Westerson
Stacking the Shelves (582)

Coming This Week:

Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide to the Care and Feeding of British Dragons by Quenby Olson (review)
Holmes, Marple & Poe by James Patterson and Brian Sitts (review)
A Body on the Doorstep by Marty Wingate (audio review)
Wild and Distant Seas by Tara Karr Roberts (review)
That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon by Kimberly Lemming (review)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 12-24-23

Today is Christmas Eve. Once upon a time, this day would be a literal shopping hell on earth. I find myself wondering how much that has changed with online shopping being so ubiquitous.

Whether today is the official or unofficial start of your holiday, or merely part of your holiday weekend. Let me wish you Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas as appropriate for you and yours. (Galen will be doing the Xmas Day post, so this is my opportunity to wish you the very best of the holiday season.

Speaking of the very best, sometime this week I’ll be posting my Best Books list for the year. As soon as I finish Paladin’s Faith to decide whether or not it belongs on the list!

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Let It Snow Giveaway Hop
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Winter 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop

Winner Announcements:

The winner of the Fall 2023 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop is Sherry

Blog Recap:

A- Review: Death in the Dark Woods by Annelise Ryan
A++ Review: Fall by Tracy Clark
A- Review: Like Thunder by Nnedi Okorafor
Winter 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop
B Review: The Butterfly Collector by Tea Cooper
Stacking the Shelves (580)

Coming This Week:

Christmas Day 2023 (Guest Post by Galen)
Paladin’s Faith by T. Kingfisher (review)
Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman (review)
Murder at the Serpentine Bridge by Andrea Penrose (review)
Best Books of 2023 (feature)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 12-17-23

Let me start with this picture, because it explains everything a bit too well.

On the one hand, it’s adorable. Lucifer and Luna are sharing space, even if it’s not exactly a cuddle. (We miss seeing cuddle puddles, as this bunch just doesn’t cuddle with each other at all.) On the other hand, it’s kind of a metaphor for my schedule this week, with Lucifer serving as the immovable object, and Luna peeking over his ear with the somewhat semi-planned interruptions to that object. I’m about 3/5ths sure of the week ahead. The other 2/5ths, well, we’ll see…

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Fall 2023 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop (ENDS WEDNESDAY!!!)
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Let It Snow Giveaway Hop

Winner Announcements:

The winner of the Holly Jolly Giveaway Hop is Carl

Blog Recap:

B+ Review: We Are the Crisis by Cadwell Turnbull
B Review: The Good, the Bad and the Uncanny edited by Jonathan Maberry
A Review: Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey
A- Review: Seven of Infinities by Aliette de Bodard
A+ Review: To Kingdom Come by Will Thomas
Stacking the Shelves (579)

Coming This Week:

Death in the Dark Woods by Annelise Ryan (review)
Fall by Tracy Clark (review)
Like Thunder by Nnedi Okorafor (audio review)
Winter 2024 Seasons of Books Giveaway Hop
Paladin’s Faith by T. Kingfisher (review)