It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme “It’s Monday! What are You Reading? “, at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

What I Read Last Week
I read books 6 books (3 of which were ebooks)– 2 contemporary romances, 2 historical romances, 1 non-fiction, and 1 MG fantasy.

Books I read:

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Like Some Old Country Song by S. J. McCoy I loved this romance, which involved an older couple (in their 50s) seeking a second chance at love.  So looking forward to reading more from this series, all with older couples.

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Lord of Temptation by Lorraine Heath. This historical romance was so good and is part of an equally good series. Loved it. Tristan was one of my favourite male leads.

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The Dragon Egg Princess by Ellen Oh. I did enjoy this MG fantasy novel and i am sure children will as well.

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To Jilt a Corinthian by Julie Donner. Another historical novel which I enjoyed.


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Nothing but Blue Skies by Christie Ridgway. I read this for a prompt, but was quickly caught up in the struggle of a blind astronaut and the owner of a B & B to find love despite their problems.

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The Checklist Book by Alex Franzen. THis was a nonfiction book which I am reviewing and I found it fascinating. Chapter 4 was my favourite – with big questions to answer!

What I’m Reading Now

Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas
The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue by Barbara O’Neal
The Black Tide by Keri Arthur (Book 3)

What’s Up Next – STILL! and determined to finish them before the endo of spring. Had to revise my timeline!
Keep it Moving by Twyla Tharp.
Becoming by Michelle Obama

Henry and Marigold – Week #3 – mix “n” Match Mini Writing Challenge

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Week #3 of the Mix “n” Match Writing Challenge brings a picture prompt with some choices. I chose to name the pair Henry and Marigold – with the plot point of making a friend. I know my word count is bit over 100, but the fun of this challenge is that we have fun with the prompt and just write. Which I did.

Here is my entry for Week#3.

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Henry and Marigold
“What’s the matter Marigold? Henry lay down in front of the little chick.
“I’m lost!”, sobbed Marigold.
“Not to worry. Climb aboard and I’ll get you home.”
Marigold hopped onto Henry’s leg, then made her way up, up, up to his head.
“Dig in your feet and hang on. Here we go.” Henry carefully stood up and walked forward.
“Oh, it’s beautiful up here!” Marigold chirped and wiggled.
It wasn’t long before they found the hen house.
“There’s my mom! Thank you, Henry. You are a wonderful friend.”
Henry once again lay down. Marigold quickly hopped down from Henry’s head, to his shoulder and down his leg. He watched as Marigold reunited with her family. There was lots of clucking and flapping of wings. Henry gave a happy woof.


May Reading Round-Up


Once again it has been a good month for reading – with stress, turning to books has been a godsend.
It’s time to share what I have been reading this past month.
The total read for May was 29 books, with the following breakdown:
Fantasy /Paranormal – 6
Historical Romance– 5
Romance – 13
Women’s Fiction – 1
Mystery – 1
Memoir/Non-fiction – 1
MG/YA – 1
Sci-Fi – 1
(Diverse books – (2)

I continue to record in more detail where the books originated – from the library, on my TBR shelves (bought/gifted or won), an e-book, or a charity read (Bought from a charity store). Here’s the breakdown
Library reads –11
TBR books –4
E-books – 14
Charity reads – 0

Here are the books read for my favourite challenges:

Popsugar Ultimate Reading Challenge (Through Goodreads)
I only read for 2 categories for this challenge, but I am still ahead.
#29 – Bird on the cover – The Witching on the Wall by Constance Barker
Advanced #3 – Character with Vision Impairment – read 2:
Real Murders by Charlaine Harris
Nothing but Blue Skies by Christie Ridgway

52 Books in 52 Weeks
I read 3 for this challenge – need to catch up a bit.
#7 – Local author – Erin Bow – The Scorpion Rules

#27 – On a form of transportation (ship) – Lord of Temptation by Lorraine Heath
#48 -Character wears glasses – Real Murders by Charlaine Harris

Monthly Key Word Challenge
The key words I used this month were: Sky and Blue – which were in both titles:
Big Sky Blue by Hildie McQueen
Nothing but Blue Sky by Christie Ridgway

Monthly Motif
The theme this month was “Author Intro – new authors to me”. There were several this month, mostly ebooks:
Hildie McQueen – Big Sky Blue 
Erin Bow – The Scorpion Rules
Constance Barker – The Witching on the Wall
S. J. McCoy – Like Some Old Country Song
Julia Donner – To Jilt a Corinthian

Diversity Reading Challenge
The theme this month was East Asian/Southeast Asian author
The Dragon Egg Princess by Ellen Oh

Diversify Your Reading
The theme for April was “Science Fiction”
Erin Bow – The Scorpion Rules

Favourite Reads
So many this month! Here are my top 11 (all rated 5 on Goodreads) +

3 books by Nora Roberts:
Bed of Roses
Savor the Moment
Happy Ever After

Lord of Temptation by Lorraine Heath

His Bride for the Taking by Tessa Dare
At Grave’s End by Jeanniene Frost
Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
How to Bake a Perfect Wife by Barbara O’Neal
How to Heal a Highland Heart by Julie Johnstone
Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews
Like Some Old Country Song by S. J. McCoy

Looking Ahead to June
I am taking part in 3 more reading challenges over the summer months:
20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge ( here for more info; here for my list/post)
2020 Big Book Summer Reading Challenge (here for more info)
2020 Summer Reading Challenge (here for more info)


I am linking with the following:


Monthly Wrap-up(At Feed Your Fiction Addiction)

BotB-logo (1)Best of the Bunch (at A Cocoon of Books)


Friendship Friday Blog (at Create with Joy)

Connect 5 Friday – Classics


It’s Friday once again and that means it’s time for Connect Five Friday, hosted at Book Date by Kathryn – the meme where we share five book/reading things that connect in some way.

While sorting through several bookcases last week, I found several books that I consider classics, that I had not read. I signed up for the “20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge” that starts June 1 and most of these I’ve put on my list of 20 books. But I hope to read them all before the end of the year.

5 Classics on My TBR shelves that I plan to read:

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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

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The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

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A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess


The Alchemist by Paul Coelho

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Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

The 20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge

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The 20 Books of Summer is a reading challenge that runs from June 1 to September and is hosted by Cathy@746books. Check out the rules here (as well as the linky), even tho Cathy admits they are slack. It is meant to encourage us to read at least 20 books over the summer.

I have so many books on my shelves that I need to read as well as quite a few I have started and for whatever reason, I have not finished. So, I plan to focus on those books first.

Here is my (tentative, but hope to complete) list, a mixture of fiction, non-fiction, memoirs and even scifi and fantasy:

Books I have started and not finished:

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A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (F)
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas (memoir)


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Into the Abyss Carol Shaben (NF)
Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce (historical)
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (YA Scifi)


Books on My TBR shelves:

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Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (YA)
There, There by Tommy Orange (fiction)
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein  (fiction)


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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (classic)
Susannah’s Garden by Debbie Macomber (Women’s fiction)
Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs (NF)


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Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Sci Fi)
Elevation by Stephen King (horror)
Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop (fantasy)


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Becoming by Michelle Obama (memoir)
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (classsic)
Open Hear, Open Mind by Clara Hughes (memoir)

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The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton  (YA/classic)
The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (inspirational)


It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

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It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme “It’s Monday! What are You Reading? “, at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.
What I Read Last Week
I read books 6 books (3 of which were ebooks)– 2 romances, 1 mystery, and 3 paranormal.

Books I read:


Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews. Loved it, again! After reading Iron and Magic last week (a look at the life of Hugh D’Ambray), I had to reread this to see how Hugh is portrayed. (Favourite read of the week)


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Real Murders by Charlaine Harris. I really enjoyed her Sookie Stackhouse series, but this one was just okay. And there are 10 (!) books in this Aurora Teagarden series. Not sure I will read anymore though. It met the criteria for one of my reading challenges (character wears glasses) and I did want to see what this series was about.


Love Bites by Cynthia St. Auben. A paranormal by a new author to me, which I really enjoyed (No listening on Goodreads – added it, but no photos)


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Ink Inspired by Carrie Ann Ryan. A romance novella, with some heat and tattoo artists. A quick read.


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Double the Heat, an anthology by 4 authors and it definitely had some heat! Quick, enjoyable reads though.


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The Witching on the Wall by Constance Barker. Another book that filled a criteria for a reading challenge, a paranormal mystery that was okay.

What I’m Reading Now

The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue by Barbara O’Neal

The Black Tide by Keri Arthur (Book 3)

What’s Up Next – STILL! and determined to finish them before the endo of spring. Had to revise my timeline!
Keep it Moving by Twyla Tharp.
Becoming by Michelle Obama


2020 Big Book Summer Reading Challenge


Summer is around the corner and there is a new reading challenge just for these lazy days of summer, especially as we are still sheltering (mostly) in place.

This challenge, hosted at Book by Book, involves reading books that are over 400 pages and as many or as few as you want. The challenge runs from May 22 to September 7th.

Check here for the rules and the incentives!

I have way too many books, and many over 400 pages. This is the kind of challenge I need to get them off my TBR shelves. I will post the books read at my end-of-the-month reading summary each month through the summer.

Join in the fun!



Hey Diddle Diddle – new version for Week 2 of Eenie Meenie Miney Writing Challenge


The second week of Susanna Leonard Hill’s “Eenie Meenie Miney Mini Writing Challenge” is almost over and I finally settled on a nursery rhyme.
As Susanna describes it “Eenie Meenie Miney Mini is a writing challenge for anyone who needs a little boost or a little encouragement to get writing. . . or maybe just a little fun during this bizarre stay-at-home”
Check here for more information on this 7 week challenge)
This week’s challenge was to write from another point of view, using a children’s nursery rhyme. It took me awhile to finally settle on “Hey Diddle Diddle”
Here it is as a reminder:

Hey Diddle, Diddle!
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog laughed
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

I imagined the moon reacting to the cow’s jumping ability. Here is my version (at 64 words):

Hey Diddle Diddle
“What is that thing? Another rocket? Another asteroid?”

“It’s heading straight for me! Stop! Turn around! Don’t get any closer!”

“Those hooves look dangerous. No closer! STOPPPPP!”

“OW! Now you’ve done it. You caused a crater in my nose! “

“Good riddance. Go away and stay away. What a ridiculous creature that was. Who ever heard of a cow in space?”


Connect 5 Friday – Starting Over

It’s Friday once again and that means it’s time for Connect Five Friday, hosted at Book Date by Kathryn – the meme where we share five book/reading things that connect in some way.

This week I began sorting through several bookcases, sorting out books I’ve read, ones I probably will never read and those I’d forgotten about and want to read. I take part in several reading challenges and wanted to find books that would apply to some of the challenges.
While sorting, I found three books that involved older women who were either starting over, after divorce or death of a spouse and/or regretted some of their choices. As one book was quoted:
“Never too late to begin the search for what life should have been all along.”
Love that – we can make changes, start over, no matter our age.

Here are 5 books (including the 3 I own), about women taking charge of their lives – books I haven’t read but plan to:


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If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison
From Goodreads: “Ramie finds herself back on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, with a second chance to see the people she’s lost and change the choices she regrets. How did she get back here? Has she gone off the deep end? Is she really back in time? Above all, she’ll have to answer the question that no one else can: What it is that she really wants from the past, and for her future? “


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Susannah’s Garden by Debbie Macomber
From Goodreads: “In returning to her parents’ house, her girlhood friends and the garden she’s always loved, she also returns to the past–and the choices she made back then. What she discovers is that things are not always as they once seemed. Some paths are dead ends. But some gardens remain beautiful…”



The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue by Barbara O’Neal
From Goodreads:” a heartbreaking discovery and a suddenly shattered marriage now has Trudy looking back on the choices she didn’t make—and where she might go from here.”


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The Little French Bistro by Nina George
From Goodreads: “Marianne is stuck in a loveless, unhappy marriage. After forty-one years, she has reached her limit, and one evening in Paris she decides to take action. Following a dramatic moment on the banks of the Seine, Marianne leaves her life behind and sets out for the coast of Brittany, also known as the end of the world.”


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Second Draft of My Life by Sara Lewis
From Goodreads: “Forty-two years and five books into her life, Charlotte Dearborn abandons her noncommittal boyfriend and her sinking-ship writing career, and becomes an elementary school teacher. Sure, she’s giving up her dream of being a famous novelist, but in exchange she’ll find a stable income, job satisfaction, and maybe even love. At least that’s how it’d work if she were a character in one of her novels.”



Have you read any of these books? Which should I read first??


Guest Post by Jason Kolinsky: The Writers Board Done Digitally (SAVE THE CAT!)


As part of the WOW blog tour for the Save the Cat! Writes a Novel and the Save the Cat! Structure Software, Jason Kolinsky has agreed to share with us how to use the software to create the writer’s board..

Welcome Jason!


The Writers Board Done Digitally

By Jason Kolinsky

Let’s talk about a writer’s tool that is just as important to a screenwriter and a novelist as pen, paper, and laptop, yet hardly spoken about: The Writers Board.

I like to think of the Writers Board as a therapeutic headache – pulling together the corkboards, index cards, push pins, and scotch tape on hotel walls when on a production—yet it reveals. It reveals both what’s working and where the holes are in a story. That’s why all professional writers have some version of the famed Board.  If an aspiring or individual writer doesn’t have a Writers Board… now’s the time to get one.

Don’t take it from me, take it from Blake Snyder, the author of the #1 bestseller, the bible of storytelling, Save the Cat!®, who called the Writers Board “the most vital piece of equipment a screenwriter needs.”

There is now software that allows the writer to take their board everywhere without the hassle of pulling the board down, moving it around, or recreating it on the road. Save the Cat! Story Structure Software is a virtual writers board with digital index cards to help writers organize and plot their story. Writers now can develop profiles of their characters and track their scene movements and emotional transformations… digitally. The software has the Save the Cat! hints throughout, including the 15 beats/plot points and 40 cards/scenes.

The digital Writers Board is therapeutic. It will lessen your headaches, but don’t worry, the software won’t eliminate your headaches—after all, choosing to become a writer means you’re a glutton for some punishment. 😊


About the Author:

Jason Kolinsky is a partner and the first Chief Marketing Officer for Save the Cat! Jason is a seasoned marketing leader who has won Cannes Lions and has held senior roles at world-class global communication agencies, McCann Worldgroup and BBDO/Proximity.


About Save the Cat!

Save the Cat!®  is the bestselling story methodology introduced by screenwriter Blake Snyder in 2005 with his first book, Save the Cat! The Last Screenwriting Book You’ll Ever Need. Snyder’s acclaimed ideas, methods, and software have provided thousands of writers with the resources they need to develop their screenplays and novels.


Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour!