Connect Five Friday – Unique Gifts for Readers


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


Christmas is just over two weeks away! If you are still looking for a gift for a reader in your life, here are some links to ideas for the perfect gift – that isn’t a book!

  1. The Best Gifts for Bookworms


  1. Book-related Gifts Ideas for People who Love to Read


  1. Gifts that Book Lovers in Your Life Will Adore


  1. Novel Gifts for the Bookworm in Your Life


  1. Unique Gifts for Readers 2021   


Now, if anyone needs a hint from me, here are my top 5 choices (one from each of the places above):

  1. Bamboo Laptop Desk

2. Personalized bookmark

3. Library Card Tote Bag

4. Bibliophile Book Club Puzzle

5. Banned Book Socks

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?“, hosted at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

How things change from one week to the next. 2 weeks ago, we were celebrating the end of his receiving care from the visiting nurse. Then, this week – he spent 4 days in the ICU. He hadn’t been feeling two well Sunday and Monday. Thyen on Tuesday, when he got back from dialysis, I knew he had to go to hospital. He looked terrible. I ended up calling an ambulance. They knew it was an infection, but couldn’t find the source. Took til Friday to identify it as sepsis, probably related to the incision/surgery. He had been receiving high dose antibiotics all week. He came home Saturday – a lot weaker and sore. Let’s hope this is the end. His birthday is Wednesday – hope he is a bit stronger by then. Will definitely be a very low-key day.

So, my reading suffered, as I spent time at the hospital and at home, I flitted from book to book. Novellas worked best last week.

 What I Read Last Week

I read 3 books– a romance novella, an historical romance anthology with 3 novellas and a woman’s fiction.  

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Kissing Under the Mistletoe was a delightful historical romance anthology with 3 novellas:     

Great Scot by Suzanne Enoch

Christmas at Dewberry Hollow by Amelia Grey

My Mistletoe Beau by Anna Bennett

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Silver Bells by Jacquie Biggar. This was a free ebook and an enjoyable romance novella

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The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan. Loved this new novel by Morgan. A 5* read.

What I’m Reading Now 

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

What’s Up Next (Still determined to read these!)

5 Little Indians by Michelle Good

 Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Kindred Readers Book Club – Starting January 2022 With Year of Yes by Shonda Rimes

book club

Colletta from Colletta’s Kitchen Sink put out a call for help to start an online book club. I had participated in a teacher book clu several years ago and I was missing the discussion of books. So, I offered her help and she ran with it –:

-choosing a name: Kindred Readers Book Club (who hasn’t read Anne of Green Gables and her desire for kindred spirits?)

-choosing a first book – Year of Yes by Shonda Rimes. What a way to start 2022. May we all face this new year with positivity – especially after the past two years.

Year of Yes

–set up a facebook group, where we will share our thoughts about the books, discuss posted questions, get to know one another.

-inviting people to join.

I am excited to be part of the group and to discuss and share our readings. If you are interested, click HERE to join our facebbok group. We are looking forward to an enjoyable reading experience.

Connect Five Friday – Christmas/Hanukkah Book links


t’s time once again for Connect Five Friday hosted at Book Date by Kathryn – the meme where we share five book/reading things that connect in some way.

 Here are 5 links I discovered this week to celebrate the holidays,  thru books



2. 112 reader recommendations for festive holiday fiction

3 Best Christmas Books for Adults

4. Three Christmas Novellas

5. 18 Delightfully Jewish Books To Light The Way This Hanukkah

Guest Post by Robert Hoffman: as part of the WOW Blog Tour for “Blind Spot”


I am honoured to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for  Robert Hoffman’s book Blind Spot.

“Do I Have a Story to Tell” is today’s post by Robert Hoffman who recently released “Blind Spot”, a humorous novel readers are raving about!

Welcome Robert!

Do I have a Story to Tell?

          One cannot hope to do what one hasn’t dared to ponder.  Take Edgar Allen Poe for instance.  Think about how simple and yet how powerful this little statement he jotted down nearly 200 years ago truly is.  “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary.”  He is pronouncing to the world that he has taken the integral step towards accomplishing nearly anything there is to accomplish in this world by his assertion that he has indeed, pondered.  It can be argued that everything that follows after one has pondered is all gravy, and who doesn’t like gravy?

          It was the act of pondering that brought me to the concept of becoming a writer of fiction.  You see, I had been a blogger for the Times Union of Albany for nearly six years, and after a while, the experience was starting to feel a little stale.  When you have to sit and think about what to write as opposed to ideas coming to you, it probably means it’s time to move on as a writer.  I decided that perhaps it was time to explore the world of fiction.  Therefore, I turned to my eldest brother, who was a professional editor and is an English professor, as well as the editor for my novel, Blind Spot, and I asked him to turn me on to some of the great works of literature.  After I had read several of his recommendations, I decided, well, if Vonnegut, and Roth, and Fitzgerald, and Tolstoy could do it, why not Hoffman?

          Once I had decided to attempt my hand at fiction writing, I had to come up with an idea, and that was not going to be easy.  I’m not independently wealthy, and I can’t come and go as I please.  Therefore, if I was, let’s say, interested in writing the story of a mid-16th century Romanian cobbler who has a smoldering affair with the local wash lady, I wouldn’t have the luxury of traveling to Transylvania in order to live amongst the cobbler folk and learn their ways and means.  I also didn’t have endless time to sit in a Parisian patisserie, smoke clove cigarettes, and discuss existentialism with the village idiot in order to enhance my writing style.  No, this was going to have to be a topic that I could easily access from my quiet suburban existence.

          Fortunately, my wife sent me on an errand to the store one day where I saw an individual whom I knew and didn’t wish to talk to at that particular time.   I rushed out of the store, jumped in my car and almost went pedal to the metal—in reverse.  It was then that I caught myself, and realized that not only could I have hit somebody for being so foolish and careless, I could have hit the very same person I was trying to avoid. Hence, Blind Spot, my first novel, was born.

          The story of Doug Kaplan and his antagonist, the elderly German immigrant Trudy Fleischman who gets hit by his car, is not autobiographical, but let’s just say I can relate.  Doug isn’t a bad person, and he is fortunate to be surrounded by enough people in his life who see him as a flawed but salvageable individual.  Trudy is also flawed, but only Doug seems capable of recognizing it, while everybody else seems able to see  Doug’s flaws, with the exception of him.

          Like Beverley Baird, the individual responsible for this wonderful website, I am also a retired teacher, or at least semi-retired, teaching two classes in the morning at the same school I’ve taught at for nearly 30 years.  Writing has always been my passion, and in addition to completing and publishing Blind Spot—squeezing in my writing time for my novel between classes and marking papers—I have also partnered with another writer to submit a treatise for a television show.  In addition, we are now working on a screenplay.  Like Beverley, I am enjoying the journey.

Thanks so much Robert for sharing your journey with us.

Be sure to check out all the stops along the blog tour, especially for a chance to win a copy of his wonderful book.


November Reading Round-Up


Hard to believe we are nearing the end of 2021. One month left till we can leave this one behind.

November sped by. My hubby had finally recovered from his wound last week, only to be so unwell the past two days, that I had to call an ambulance to take him to hospital after dialysis tonight. I am still not sure whether they will admit him and I’m waiting to hear what they found. He’s had an x-ray, bloodwork, antibiotics (he has an infection but they don’t know where) and is having a CT scan in a couple of hours. So, wait I must.

Thank God for books. They provided a much-needed escape. I didn’t complete all my challenges but I did enjoy what I read! Lots of wonderful books this month and in many different genres.

It’s time to share what I have been reading this past month.

The total read for November was 29 books with the following breakdown:

Fantasy /Paranormal –4                      Romance – 7

Women’s Fiction – 2                              Historical romance – 6

Non-fiction – 3                                         Pix books – 4

Cozy mystery – 1                                      Classic – 1                   

Memoir – 1

I continue to record in more detail where the books originated – from the library, on my TBR shelves (bought/gifted or won) or an e-book. Here’s the breakdown

Library reads – 17       TBR/owned books –5        E-books –7 

Favourite Reads

My overall favourite read of the month as The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

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The rest of my top 10 reads are (with 3 series counting as 1 book choice each):

Series by Anne Bishop – Written in Red, Murder of Crows, Vision in Silver

Series by Johanna Lindsey: Man of My Dreams; Love Me Forever; The Pursuit

Series by Devney Perry: Quarter Miles, Forsaken Trail, Dotted Lines

Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh

The Santa Suit by Mary kay Andrews

Since I Fell for You by Bella Andre

Every Day is a Poem by Jacqueline Suskin

Lost and Found Family by Jennifer Ryan

How to Avoid Making Art by Julia Cameron

 I am participating in quite a few challenges (check here for my list) but I have a few that are my favourites and have done these for a few years. Here are the books read for these challenges:

POPSUGAR Ultimate Reading Challenge (Through Goodreads)

I only read 1 category for this challenge.  (Still have 5 books to read for this one)

#10- Bestseller of the 90s. – I read 3 books by Johanna Lindsey:

Man of My Dreams; Love Me Forever; The Pursuit

52 Books in 52 Weeks

I read 1 category for this challenge (have 5 more books to read for this challenge):

#4 Deceased author – Johanna Lindsay: Man of My Dreams; Love Me Forever; The Pursuit

Monthly Key Word Challenge

I used this key word this month: Since and read Since I Fell for You by Bella Andre

Monthly Motif

The theme this month was “a mystery”. I read a cozy fun paranormal mystery: The Vampire Knitting Club by Nancy Warren

Beyond the Bookends

The theme this month was “book with a blue cover”. I read: Family Reunion by Nancy Thayer and Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh

Emilie Richards Book Club

The theme was “written more than a century ago”. I read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

 Looking Ahead to December

I must read the remaining books for The Popsugar and 52 Books 52 Weeks Challenges. I hope to read more of my own books as well.

I am linking with the following:

Monthly Wrap-Up (At Feed Your Fiction Addiction)

Best of the Bunch (at A Cocoon of Books)

Inspire Me Monday (at Create with Joy)