Amanda’s September Wrap Up

Hello, lovelies! I’ve been feeling really distant from reading and blogging these last two months. I think because I had everything scheduled ahead of time for the move. I’m not sure. But I’m getting the itch to write new posts. So, stay tuned to see what I come up with for Blogtober.

I didn’t read all that much this month. I’m still struggling to integrate reading into my routine with a now very mobile seven-month-old. I am fairly sure he will be walking by nine months old with the rate he’s going. I’ve also been trying to get out and explore the area a bit more. Our new city seems to be super family-friendly. I’ve already visited the zoo and the library. We have plans to return to the zoo and visit some of the children’s museums that are around. I’m excited, but it means there’s a bit less time for me to read. Like I said above, I’m trying to find good places to add reading into my routine.

Physical Books
Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin

eBooks
The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal

Audiobooks
Frostbite by Richelle Mead
The Counselors by Jessica Goodman

I ended up DNF’ing quite a few books this month after reading almost 50%, so that wasted a lot of my reading time this month. What did you read in September?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer the three questions to share you’re weekly reading update!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston and I’m listening to The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling.

Antonia- I’m currently reading A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin.

What did you most recently finish reading?

Amanda- I think The Counselors by Jessica Goodman is still the last book I finished.

Antonia- I most recently finished Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo.

What will you be reading next?

Amanda- Next, I really want to read The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Antonia- Next I think I’ll read Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts.

What are your answers this week?

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Typographic Book Covers

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. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is typographic book covers (book covers with mostly words on it).

What book covers did you pick this week?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Books Amanda Expected to Love, But Didn’t

Hello, lovelies! I’ve had this idea on the back burner for a while. I wanted to share some books that I really thought I was going to totally love, but didn’t. These won’t be books that I actively disliked, just books that I thought I was going to like more than I did.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
I think maybe I didn’t get this one. It was weird and not in a fun, creepy way.

Yesterday is History by Kosoto Jackson
I felt like this book was too short. I didn’t feel like I got to know the characters well enough to believe anything they were doing or feeling.

Horrid by Katrina Leno
I hated the ending. I liked everything else about this book but the ending absolutely ruined it for me.

Majesty by Katherine McGee
I really liked the first one, but this one had so much girl hate and drama that I just didn’t want to even finish it.

Eve of Man by Giovanna Fletcher & Tom Fletcher
I dont remember what I specifically didn’t like about this. But I remember wanting to DNF it and being disappointed that I didn’t.

The Best Laid Plans by Cameron Lund
I liked this one well enough. It was just a little forgettable.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
The ending ruined this book for me. I think I buddy read this with my friend Alana and she felt the same way.

H2O by Virginia Bergin
This was okay, but definitely felt like early 2000s dystopian YA.

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
I think maybe I’m over the zombie books, honestly.

The Mall by Megan McCafferty
I wanted to love this one so badly. A scavenger hunt in the mall in the 90s? It sounds perfect, but it fell flat for me.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
I did like this one. But I liked her other popular book better and this felt like another fae story.

Are there any books you thought you were going to love and ended up just liking or feeling ‘meh’ about it?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Five Blogging Tips Amanda Relies On

Hey, lovelies! I’ve been thinking about writing a ‘blogging tips’ post forever. But I never felt like someone that was qualified to talk about that. I realized that my tips are just things that work for me. Not everything that helps me succeed will work the same for you, but I want to share the things I’ve found really work for me after 7 years of blogging.

Schedule Your Posts

This is honestly the biggest thing that helps me post continuous content. I work on blog posts and reviews when I have free time, but I’m usually working a month ahead. So, since it’s September. I’m currently working on Blogtober posts and maybe even some things for #SciFiMonth in November.

I like to work ahead. It’s really great if I don’t end up having time (my kids certainly keep me busy), for a week or more to work on the blog, I usually have plenty of posts scheduled ahead of time to allow me that time.

Choose a Set Posting Schedule

I think it’s a great idea for anyone who blogs to have a consistent posting schedule. I post every day Monday through Friday, which is more than usual, I think. Each week here on the blog, we share Top Ten Tuesday, WWW Wednesday, a book review on Thursday (usually), and Monday & Friday I share recommendations or TBRs or other list-like posts.

Having this plan makes it easy to know what I’m going to post each week. I have what I call ‘post skeletons’ saved to my computer so once a month or so, I can copy that skeleton and just paste it as a new post for WWW Wednesday and Top Ten Tuesday. Then Antonia and I can just add in our book selections as needed.

Plan Your Content

This sounds really similar to the above information, but since we know what kinds of things we will post M-F, I have a list of post ideas that I add to whenever I have a new idea. I keep this in my notes app, so I can add to it anywhere. This running list is really useful when I work on my Monday and Friday posts because often I’ll have made my entire list already (deciding which books to include in each post is what takes the longest for me), and then I just have to add the covers and descriptions.

I also want to talk about the recurring weekly posts we do. Top Ten Tuesday and WWW Wednesday are two read posts to participate in each week. Top Ten Tuesday gives us some of our highest number of views. These posts are great for any blogger, but I think especially for any new bloggers or anyone struggling to come up with bookish content to share.

Choose Topics That Interest You

This feels like it should be obvious but write and talk about the books and genres and things that interest you. It definitely comes across when I’m blogging just to get posts out compared to when I work really hard on posts I’m interested in and excited about sharing with the world.

Don’t buy and read only the popular books unless that’s what you’re really interested in reading and writing about. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like I can tell when someone is only reading popular books because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do, but they’re consistently not enjoying those books.

Read and write about things you’re interested in and passionate about. If you don’t, blogging will become another chore you have to check off your to-do list.

These are my few simple tips for anyone that wants to read them. I feel like I’ve been a blogger for so long that I should have more to say, but that’s all folks.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer the three questions to share you’re weekly reading update!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently listening to The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling. I’m in the middle of The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper and The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal, but I haven’t picked either of them up in a while.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo.

What did you most recently finish reading?

Amanda- I most recently finished The Counselors by Jessica Goodman.

Antonia- I most recently read When Darkness Falls by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory.

What will you be reading next?

Amanda- I don’t know what I’ll read next. I have a few spooky season audiobooks borrowed from my library, so probably one of those.

Antonia- Next I think I’ll read A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin.

What have you been reading?

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Fall 2022 TBR

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 Books On My Fall 2022 To-Read List

Pahua and the Soul Stealer by Lori M. Lee

Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim

The Storm Runner by J. C. Cervantes

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace

The Empire of Gold by S. A. Chakraborty

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

What books are on your Fall TBR?

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Fall 2022 TBR

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. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is books on my fall 2022 TBR list.

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May

Wildwood Whispers by Willa Reece

We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu

The Body Scout by Lincoln Michel

Silver Under Nightfall by Rin Chupeco

When Life Gives You Vampires by Gloria Duke

The Scratch Daughters by Hannah Abigail Clarke

These are some of what I’m hoping to read this fall. Whats on your list?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Autumn Book Recommendations

Hello, lovelies! Since my favorite season (summer) is coming to an end, I thought I would kick Autumn off with a list of books that give me all the fall feels. Though, I don’t have any of those at the moment because it’s still 90 degrees out every day where I live. So, as usual, don’t ask me to explain why, but these books are ones I think give off that mood I want for Autumn. A warm hug, snuggling with a loved one, or a nice hot apple cider, you know what I mean if you’ve ever lived where it gets cold.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
“Centuries before, robots of Panga gained self-awareness, laid down their tools, wandered, en masse into the wilderness, never to be seen again. They faded into myth and urban legend. Now the life of the tea monk who tells this story is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of “what do people need?” is answered. But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how. They will need to ask it a lot. Chambers’ series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?”

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams
“Widower Mukesh lives a quiet life in the London Borough of Ealing after losing his beloved wife. He shops every Wednesday, goes to Temple, and worries about his granddaughter, Priya, who hides in her room reading while he spends his evenings watching nature documentaries. Aleisha is a bright but anxious teenager working at the local library for the summer when she discovers a crumpled-up piece of paper in the back of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s a list of novels that she’s never heard of before. Intrigued, and a little bored with her slow job at the checkout desk, she impulsively decides to read every book on the list, one after the other. As each story gives up its magic, the books transport Aleisha from the painful realities she’s facing at home. When Mukesh arrives at the library, desperate to forge a connection with his bookworm granddaughter, Aleisha passes along the reading list… hoping that it will be a lifeline for him too. Slowly, the shared books create a connection between two lonely souls, as fiction helps them escape their grief and everyday troubles and find joy again.”

Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist
“Med school dropout Lena is desperate for a job, any job, to help her parents, who are approaching bankruptcy after her father was injured and laid off nearly simultaneously. So when she is offered a position, against all odds, working for one of Boston’s most elite families, the illustrious and secretive Verdeaus, she knows she must accept it—no matter how bizarre the interview or how vague the job description. By day, she is assistant to the family doctor and his charge, Jonathan, the sickly, poetic, drunken heir to the family empire, who is as difficult as his illness is mysterious. By night, Lena discovers the more sinister side of the family, as she works overtime at their lavish parties, helping to hide their self-destructive tendencies . . . and trying not to fall for Jonathan’s alluring sister, Audrey. But when she stumbles upon the knowledge that the Verdeau patriarch is the one responsible for the ruin of her own family, Lena vows to get revenge—a poison-filled quest that leads her further into this hedonistic world than she ever bargained for, forcing her to decide how much—and who—she’s willing to sacrifice for payback.”

Fresh by Margot Wood
“Some students enter their freshman year of college knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives. Elliot McHugh is not one of those people. But picking a major is the last thing on Elliot’s mind when she’s too busy experiencing all that college has to offer—from dancing all night at off-campus parties, to testing her RA Rose’s patience, to making new friends, to having the best sex one can have on a twin-sized dorm room bed. But she may not be ready for the fallout when reality hits. When the sex she’s having isn’t that great. When finals creep up and smack her right in the face. Or when her roommate’s boyfriend turns out to be the biggest a-hole. Elliot may make epic mistakes, but if she’s honest with herself (and with you, dear reader), she may just find the person she wants to be. And maybe even fall in love in the process . . . Well, maybe.”

The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
“Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves. Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right. That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.”

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
“Alice Alexis Queensmeadow 12 rates three things most important: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. Father disappeared from Ferenwood with only a ruler, almost three years ago. But she will have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is Oliver whose own magic is based in lies and deceit. Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.”

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
“Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues—a bee, a key, and a sword—that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians—it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose—in both the mysterious book and in his own life.”

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
“Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born. She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild. Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.”

These are just some that jumped out at me. I think these would all give me the same feeling that I’m looking for this Autumn. Do you read seasonally at all?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda Recommends Tropes: Second Chance Romance

Hello, lovelies! I had so much fun writing my ‘friends to lovers’ trope recommendations. Before I was even finished writing that post (find it here!) I was already drafting this one in my head. Second-chance romances are one of my favorite tropes. I really love a romance story that has its characters reuniting after years apart. I think this probably stems from the fact that my real-life romance trope is a second chance romance (as well as friends to lovers). Can you tell why these are my favorite tropes yet?

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
“The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.
Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.
Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.
Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.”

Blood Magick by Nora Roberts 
“County Mayo is rich in the traditions of Ireland, legends that Branna O’Dwyer fully embraces in her life and in her work as the proprietor of The Dark Witch shop, which carries soaps, lotions, and candles for tourists, made with Branna’s special touch. Branna’s strength and selflessness hold together a close circle of friends and family—along with their horses and hawks and her beloved hound. But there’s a single missing link in the chain of her life: love… She had it once—for a moment—with Finbar Burke, but a shared future is forbidden by history and blood. Which is why Fin has spent his life traveling the world to fill the abyss left in him by Branna, focusing on work rather than passion. Branna and Fin’s relationship offers them both comfort and torment. And though they succumb to the heat between them, there can be no promises for tomorrow. A storm of shadows threatens everything that their circle holds dear. It will be Fin’s power, loyalty, and heart that will make all the difference in an age-old battle between the bonds that hold their friends together and the evil that has haunted their families for centuries.”

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker
“Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway. On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus, she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day. Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group Industries, and coincidentally the first love of her life. The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counsellors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name. Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is not only alive but stronger than ever, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.”

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
“Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him. Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare. But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves–and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.”

Beach Read by Emily Henry
“Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast. They’re polar opposites. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block. Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.”

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting
“Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran quite literally into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either…Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can’t help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn’s new celebrity client, there’s even more at stake than Dax’s custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she’ll be promoted to partner. The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?”

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
“Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:
– Nude pics are by invitation only
– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice
– Protect your heart
Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears. Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…”

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters
“Five years ago, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love, and got married. Four years ago, they had a fight to end all fights, and have barely spoken since. Their once-passionate love match has been reduced to one of cold, detached politeness. But when Violet receives a letter that James has been thrown from his horse and rendered unconscious at their country estate, she races to be by his side—only to discover him alive and well at a tavern, and completely unaware of her concern. She’s outraged. He’s confused. And the distance between them has never been more apparent. Wanting to teach her estranged husband a lesson, Violet decides to feign an illness of her own. James quickly sees through it, but he decides to play along in an ever-escalating game of manipulation, featuring actors masquerading as doctors, threats of Swiss sanitariums, faux mistresses—and a lot of flirtation between a husband and wife who might not hate each other as much as they thought. Will the two be able to overcome four years of hurt or will they continue to deny the spark between them?”

The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting
“Lilah isn’t sure what hurt worse: the day Ethan left her to focus on his hockey career, or the day he came back eight years later. He might think they can pick up just where they left off, but she’s no longer that same girl and never wants to be again. Ethan Kane wants his glory days back. And that includes having Lilah by his side. With her, he was magic. They were magic. All he has to do is make her see that. Just when Lilah might finally be ready to let him in, though, she finds out their reunion has nothing to do with her and everything to do with his game. But Ethan’s already lost her once, and even if it costs him his career, he’ll do anything to keep from losing her again.”

Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur
“Margot Cooper doesn’t do relationships. She tried and it blew up in her face, so she’ll stick with casual hookups, thank you very much. But now her entire crew has found “the one” and she’s beginning to feel like a fifth wheel. And then fate (the heartless bitch) intervenes. While touring a wedding venue with her engaged friends, Margot comes face-to-face with Olivia Grant—her childhood friend, her first love, her first… well, everything. It’s been ten years, but the moment they lock eyes, Margot’s cold, dead heart thumps in her chest. Olivia must be hallucinating. In the decade since she last saw Margot, her life hasn’t gone exactly as planned. At almost thirty, she’s been married… and divorced. However, a wedding planner job in Seattle means a fresh start and a chance to follow her dreams. Never in a million years did she expect her important new client’s Best Woman would be the one that got away. When a series of unfortunate events leaves Olivia without a place to stay, Margot offers up her spare room because she’s a Very Good Person. Obviously. It has nothing to do with the fact that Olivia is as beautiful as ever and the sparks between them still make Margot tingle. As they spend time in close quarters, Margot starts to question her no-strings stance. Olivia is everything she’s ever wanted, but Margot let her in once and it ended in disaster. Will history repeat itself or should she count her lucky stars that she gets a second chance with her first love?”

Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead
“Lee Stone is a twenty-first-century woman: she kicks butt at her job as a communications director at a women-run electric car company (that’s better than Tesla, thank you) and after work she is “Stoner,” drinking guys under the table and never letting any of them get too comfortable in her bed…That’s because Lee’s learned one big lesson: never trust love. After four major heartbreaks set her straight, from her father cheating on her mom all the way to Ben Laderman in grad school—who wasn’t actually cheating, but she could have sworn he was, so she reciprocated in kind. Then Ben shows up five years later, working as a policy expert for the most liberal governor in Texas history, just as Lee is trying to get a clean energy bill rolling. Things get complicated—and competitive as Lee and Ben are forced to work together. Tension builds just as old sparks reignite, fanning the flames for a romantic dustup the size of Texas.”

These are some books that have a second chance romance in them that I really enjoyed. Do you have any recommendations for this trope that I don’t have on my list?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer the three questions to share you’re weekly reading update!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo.

What did you most recently finish reading?

Amanda- I most recently finished, and enjoyed, The Counselors by Jessica Goodman.

Antonia- I most recently read When Darkness Falls by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory.

What will you be reading next?

Amanda- I want to pick up something spooky to get me in the mood for spooky season.

Antonia- I’m not sure yet but I’ll be on vacation for the next week so I’ll have to see what my Kindle has to offer.

What are your answers to this week’s questions?

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Books With Geographical Titles

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. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is books with geographical titles.

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

The Weeping Tide by Amanda Foody

The Valley and the Flood by Rebecca Mahoney

All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal

These are my picks this week, what are yours?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda Recommends Books to Read in One Sitting

Hey, lovelies! I’m back with another recommendations post! This one is some books I’ve read this year that I read in one (or two, since I have a small baby) sitting because I was so hooked I just couldn’t put the book down. Some of these I listened to the audiobook, some I read physically, and some I read the eBook.

Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin
“Iris Gray knows witches aren’t welcome in most towns. When she was forced to leave her last home, she left behind a father who was no longer willing to start over. And while the Witches’ Council was lenient in their punishment, Iris knows they’re keeping tabs on her. Now settled in Washington, Iris never lets anyone see who she really is; instead, she vents her frustrations by writing curses she never intends to cast. Otherwise, she spends her days at the wildlife refuge which would be the perfect job if not for Pike Alder, the witch-hating aspiring ornithologist who interns with them. Iris concocts the perfect curse for Pike: one that will turn him into a witch. But just as she’s about to dispel it, a bird swoops down and steals the curse before flying away. If the bird dies, the curse will be unleashed―and the bird is a powerful amplifier, and unleashing the curse would turn not just Pike, but everyone in the region, into a witch. New witches have no idea how to control their magic and the consequences would be dire. And the Witches’ Council does not look kindly on multiple offenses; if they found out, Iris could be stripped of her magic for good. Iris begs Pike to help her track the bird, and they set out on a trek through the Pacific Northwest looking for a single bird that could destroy everything.”

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy
“A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life.
Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income. In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.
Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.”

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers
“After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home.
They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe.
Becky Chambers’s new series continues to ask: in a world where people have what they want, does having more even matter?”

The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal
“The Earth is coming to the boiling point as the climate disaster of the Meteor strike becomes more and more clear, but the political situation is already overheated. Riots and sabotage plague the space program. The IAC’s goal of getting as many people as possible off Earth before it becomes uninhabitable is being threatened. Elma York is on her way to Mars, but the Moon colony is still being established. Her friend and fellow Lady Astronaut Nicole Wargin is thrilled to be one of those pioneer settlers, using her considerable flight and political skills to keep the program on track. But she is less happy that her husband, the Governor of Kansas, is considering a run for President.”

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
“Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.
Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air. Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?”

Off the Grid by Tess Sharpe
“This action-packed Middle Grade Novel features Maisie Lockwood on all-new adventures along with everyone’s favorite dinosaurs from Jurassic World Dominion—roaring into theaters June 10, 2022!
This original hardcover novel tells the all-new adventures of Maisie Lockwood as she navigates a world filled with dinosaurs both ferocious and friendly.”

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston
“Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and a puritanical administration at Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny. But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.
On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. There’s also Smith, Shara’s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Shara’s bad boy neighbor with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Shara’s trail of clues and find her. It’ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair-and-square. Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybe—probably not, but maybe—more to Shara, too.”

Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead
“Lee Stone is a twenty-first-century woman: she kicks butt at her job as a communications director at a women-run electric car company (that’s better than Tesla, thank you) and after work she is “Stoner,” drinking guys under the table and never letting any of them get too comfortable in her bed…That’s because Lee’s learned one big lesson: never trust love. After four major heartbreaks set her straight, from her father cheating on her mom all the way to Ben Laderman in grad school—who wasn’t actually cheating, but she could have sworn he was, so she reciprocated in kind. Then Ben shows up five years later, working as a policy expert for the most liberal governor in Texas history, just as Lee is trying to get a clean energy bill rolling. Things get complicated—and competitive as Lee and Ben are forced to work together. Tension builds just as old sparks reignite, fanning the flames for a romantic dustup the size of Texas.”

Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer
“Alyssa Farshot has spent her whole life trying to outrun her family legacy. Her mother sacrificed everything to bring peace to the quadrant, and her uncle has successfully ruled as emperor for decades. But the last thing Alyssa wants is to follow in their footsteps as the next in line for the throne. Why would she choose to be trapped in a palace when she could be having wild adventures exploring a thousand-and-one planets in her own ship? But when Alyssa’s uncle becomes gravely ill, his dying wish surprises the entire galaxy. Instead of naming her as his successor, he calls for a crownchase, the first in seven centuries. Representatives from each of the empire’s prime families—including Alyssa—are thrown into a race to find the royal seal, which has been hidden somewhere in the empire. The first to find the seal wins the throne. Alyssa’s experience as an explorer makes her the favorite to win the crown she never wanted. And though she doesn’t want to be empress, her duty to her uncle compels her to participate in this one last epic adventure. But when the chase turns deadly, it’s clear that more than just the fate of the empire is at stake. Alyssa is on her most important quest yet—and only time will tell if she’ll survive it.”

The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon
“Paige Mahoney has eluded death again. Snatched from the jaws of captivity and consigned to a safe house in the Scion Citadel of Paris, she finds herself caught between those factions that seek Scion’s downfall and those who would kill to protect the Rephaim’s puppet empire. The mysterious Domino Programme has plans for Paige, but she has ambitions of her own in this new citadel. With Arcturus Mesarthim – her former enemy – at her side, she embarks on an adventure that will lead her from the catacombs of Paris to the glittering hallways of Versailles. Her risks promise high reward: the Parisian underworld could yield the means to escalate her rebellion to outright war. As Scion widens its bounds and the free world trembles in its shadow, Paige must fight her own memories after her ordeal at the hands of Scion. Meanwhile, she strives to understand her bond with Arcturus, which grows stronger by the day. But there are those who know the revolution began with them – and could end with them…”

The Mask Falling is the fourth book in a series and I flew through all of them, but it’s the most recent one in the series I’ve read. The Relentless Moon is the third in a series, but it can be read as a standalone. I really enjoyed all of these and read them so, so quickly. Are there any books you’ve read recently that you read in one sitting?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Traveling Library: My New Public Library

Hi, lovelies! I’ve officially moved and unpacked and I’m a little sad to see this feature coming to an end. So, I wanted to come back one last time and introduce you to my new local library system!

Now, I’m not going to give all the details. But this is what I know so far, like my last library they use Libby and Hoopla. They also have a few libraries in the system to visit. I haven’t seen too much for events and activities (my last library was amazing with the activities and stuff they put together).

I decided to visit the branch closest to me with my littlest one to sign up for my library card. The location I visited had an amazing children’s section. There was such a wide selection of children’s books. I’m very excited to try out their story time with both of my kids.

The young adult section looked good, full of new and diverse titles. But there were some high schoolers studying at the table in that area, so I didn’t want to bother them. I’m also not reading as much YA lately. I didn’t end up checking out any books, but I did browse the adult sections. There seems to be a really great selection of books and I’m really hoping to try to use the library for physical books more instead of buying.

Do you visit your local library? What’s your favorite thing about your library?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer the three questions to share you’re weekly reading update!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth.

Antonia- I just started Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo.

What did you most recently finish reading?

Amanda- I most recently finished Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin.

Antonia- I most recently read When Darkness Falls by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory.

What will you be reading next?

Amanda- Next, I want to get back into The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal.

Antonia- Next I think I’ll read Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts.

What have you been reading recently?