Top Ten Tuesday – My Fall TBR List

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week, the topic is “Books on My Fall 2020 TBR”

At the start of each season, I enjoy creating a must-read list of books for the coming season, as well as a vision board of what I hope to accomplish.

Spring’s (and then summer’s) list looked doable – yet with all the upheaval, first with covid and then with my husband’s health issues (and ultimate long stay in hospital), I turned more to fantasy and romance.

With this new list for fall, I chose a few books from the previous 2 lists but most reflect books I want to read because of the upheaval.

Books on My Fall 2020 TBR

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A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley

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The Deadly Hours -anthology including Susanna Kearsley

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What You Wish For by Katherine Center

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The Switch by Beth O’Leary

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A Better Man by Louise Penny

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Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

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A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman

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Wild Country by Anne Bishop

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Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

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Embers by Richard Wagamese

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.

GOOD NEWS finally – my husband is now in rehab and doing well. Hopefully within a couple of weeks he will be home to stay!

What I Read Last Week

I had a slower week, as I started a writing course and was reading a lot of short stories. But I did read 5 books this past week – 3 contemporary romances, 1 non-fiction and 1 fantasy.

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Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop. Last in The Others’ series. Sad to see the end of this one. Such a fantastic series.

 

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Chesapeake Blue by Nora Roberts. Last in her Chesapeake Bay series and did enjoy this one a lot.

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The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr. Finally finished this book about writing memoir but found it very informative. Read as part of a book study.

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For Now, Forever by Nora Roberts. Another romance from Roberts and an enjoyable one.

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Million Dollar Date by Susan Hatler. So, enjoy Hatler’s romances and this was a good one.

 

What I’m Reading Now – (more Nalini Singh (still working on the next book in each of the 2 series)

Wild Country by Anne Bishop

A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley. A reread as a character in this novel is in her new anthology The Deadly Hours.

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

What’s Up Next

The Deadly Hours by Susanna Kearsley

The Summer That Made Us by Robyn Carr
What You Wish for by Katherine Center

Connect 5 Friday – Cookbooks

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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.

I collect cookbooks and love reading the stories behind the recipes in these books. I have many old favourites:(Just a note – all those with a double star, are Canadian cookbook authors!)

The Betty Crocker Cookbook – my first

**More Food That Really Schmecks by Edna Staebler.

**I have a large number of the Company’s Coming series by Jean Pare

**And a number of the cookbooks by sisters Janet and Greta Podleski. Love their LooneySpoons and Crazy Plates especially.

There are some cookbooks that I have acquired more recently that I bought for their difference – they weren’t just recipes but had an added appeal. Here are 5 that caught my eye:

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My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl. The idea of recipes that saved her life intrigues me and I have decided to follow her to try to reduce my stress. She begins with fall as will I next wee.

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Still Life with Menu Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. Not only are there vegetarian recipes but she has included her own original art.

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Jan Karon’s Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader. I loved her Mitford series and these recipes delight, along with the stories.

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**Yum and Yummer by Greta Podleski. I have tried so many recipes from this gorgeous book – the photos of the prepared food make the mouth water.

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**Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon. This was recommended by my daughter who is vegan. Even tho I am not vegan, there are so many delicious recipes.

Do you have a favourite cookbook?

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.

My husband is still in hospital but now it is just waiting for a bed for rehab – soon I hope. (Sept 9 marked 3 months in hospital)What I Read Last Week

I read 9 books this past week – 2 contemporary romances, 1 non-fiction and 4 fantasies and 2 picture books.

I reread the next 3 books in Anne Bishop’s The Others series (and loved them just as much as the time before!) Fantasy still is a huge stress releaser.

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Murder of Crows     Vision in Silver      Marked in Flesh

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Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh Still loving this fantasy series and still a lot to read!

The next 2 books in Nora Roberts’ Chesapeake Bay series

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Rising Tides             Inner Harbor

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Firstlight by Sue Monk Kidd. Really enjoyed this book of her early inspirational writings.

PBs: Both diverse and both excellent reads.

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The Train by Jodie Callaghan, illus. by Georgia Lesley. An important read about residential schools in Canada.

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 Golden Threads by Suzanne Del Rizzo, illus. by Miko Sato

What I’m Reading Now – (of course more Nalini Singh (working on the next book in each of the 2 series)
Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Chesapeake Blue by Nora Roberts

What’s Up Next
The Summer That Made Us by Robyn Carr
What You Wish for by Katherine Center

Connect Five Friday – Books About 9/11

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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.

It’s hard to believe it has been 19 years since 9/11 and the destruction of the towers and the loss of so many lives.

I still remember that day. I had been teaching and id not hear the news until I went for my break at recess. Parents were starting to come into the school for their children and I was truly shaken when I heard the news.

My daughter had been in a coffeehop across from her high school and she saw some of the first horrific images, which still haunt her to this day.

 

Here are some books I have read (the first 2) and some I plan to read about 9/11.

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The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede. 9/11 was a horrible disaster but it did bring out the best in so many, especially the people in Gander Nfld who housed, fed and cared for over 6,00 people from around the world who were stranded there when their planes were forced to land in Canada. Definitely a proud time to be Canadian.

This event inspired the musical “Come From Away”, a smash everywhere it has played.

 

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We All Fall Down by Eric Walters.  A YA book, and a searing description of trying to escape the south tower after it was hit. Excellent YA book

 

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Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson. From Goodreads:

“Thunder Dog allows you entry into the isolated, fume-filled chamber of stairwell B to experience survival through the eyes of a blind man and his beloved guide dog. Live each moment from the second a Boeing 767 hits the north tower, to the harrowing stairwell escape, to dodging death a second time as both towers fold into the earth.”

 

 

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The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M. Graff. As Goodreads says:

“The first comprehensive oral history of September 11, 2001—a panoramic narrative woven from the voices of Americans on the front lines of an unprecedented national trauma.”

 

 

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102 Minutes by Jim Dwyer. From Goodreads:

“The dramatic and moving account of the struggle for life inside the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, when every minute counted.
At 8:46 am on September 11, 2001, 14,000 people were inside the twin towers-reading e-mails, making trades, eating croissants at Windows on the World. Over the next 102 minutes, each would become part of a drama for the ages, one witnessed only by the people who lived it-until now.”

 

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.

My husband is still in hospital but I am hopeful he will head back to rehab this week. (Sept 9 he will have been in hospital 3 months!)

What I Read Last Week
I read 5 books this past week – 2 contemporary romances, 2 non-fiction and 1 fantasy.

I desperately needed a comfort read this week so chose the first book in the Others world – a reread.

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Written in Red by Anne Bishop. My favourite series of all!

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Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher. I needed a book about addiction and I’ve had this on my shelf for a long time. It was just okay.

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Let the Elephants Run by David Usher. A very interesting take on being creative, by a rock musician, writer, entrepeneur

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Love Comes for the Rock Star by Savannah Adams. A sweet romance

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A Second Forever by Suze Robinson. Second chance at love for a couple. Enjoyed it.

What I’m Reading Now – (of course more Nalini Singh (working on the next book in each of the 2 series)
Rising Tides by Nora Roberts (Book 2)

Two Summers by Aimee Friedman
On Writing by Stephen King

What’s Up Next
The Summer That Made Us by Robyn Carr
What You Wish for by Katherine Center

Six Degrees of Separation – from Rodham to Dreamspell

This is the first Saturday of the month which means that it is time for Six Degrees of Separation, the book challenge, hosted by Kate at Kate from Books are My Favorite and Best.

 

The starting point for all of us is Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

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This novel re-imagines Hillary Clinton’s life and what would have happened if she had not married Bill Clinton.

(After each book cover, is a summary from Goodreads)

1.     Josie Silver gives us a reimagining of Lydia Bird’s life, one with and one without her fiancé Freddie in Two Lives of Lydia Bird

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something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened. Lydia is pulled again and again across the doorway of her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once.

 

2.      A look at how a life can be changed in an instant, Aimee Friedman imagines the two futures of Summer in Two Summers

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When Summer Everett makes a split-second decision, her summer divides into two parallel worlds. In one, she travels to France, where she’s dreamed of going: a land of chocolate croissants, handsome boys, and art museums. In the other, she remains home, in her ordinary suburb, where she expects her ordinary life to continue — but nothing is as it seems.

 

3.     Another look at how one’s future could have been different with a different decision is offered by Jessica Brody’s In Some Other Life

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Kennedy Rhodes turns down an acceptance to an elite private school, instead choosing to stay at her high school and jump at the opportunity to date the boy of her dreams. Three years later, Kennedy walks in on that same boyfriend cheating with her best friend—and wishes she had made a different choice. But when Kennedy hits her head and wakes up in the version of her life where she chose to attend the private school, she finds that maybe it’s not as perfect of a world as she once thought.

 

4.     In Five Years by Rebecca Searle, the author offers another version of waking to a different future, this time through a dream.

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Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020.

 

5.     Dreams are the focus of The Heavens, of a past life, a novel by Sandra Newman. But here the dream threatens her present life.

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From their first meeting, Ben knows Kate is unworldly and fanciful, so at first, he isn’t that concerned when she tells him about the recurring dream she’s had since childhood. In the dream, she’s transported to the past, where she lives a second life as Emilia, the mistress of a nobleman in Elizabethan England.

But for Kate, the dream becomes increasingly real and compelling until it threatens to overwhelm her life. And soon she’s waking from it to find the world changed—pictures on her wall she doesn’t recognize, new buildings in the neighborhood that have sprung up overnight

 

6.     Both dreams and time travel are the focus Dreamspell by Tamara Leigh, but a time in the past, as well as what is true and what has been altered.

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When her research subject dies after trying to convince her he has achieved dream-induced time travel and her study is shelved, she enlists herself as a subject to complete her research. But when she dreams herself into 14th-century England and falls into the hands of Fulke Wynland, a man history has condemned as a murderer, she must not only stay alive long enough to find a way to return to her own time, but prevent Fulke from murdering his young nephews.

 

In this novel, we are presented with political power, history and a strong woman who must weave her own path through history and even the notion of how truthful is history, which reminds me so much of Hillary Clinton. And so, we are back to Rodham.

Connect 5 Friday – Books I Need to Read This Month

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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.

At the beginning of each month, I go over the reading challenges I participate in and decide which categories I will focus on that month. I have a few to catch up so decided to read these 5 for sure (info in italics from Goodreads):

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There There by Tommy Orange. Tommy Orange’s wondrous and shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize.

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Becoming by Michelle Obama. This has been on my TBR since last Christmas when I received it. A must read.

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer

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Hiroshima Boy by Naomi Hirahara. Retired L.A. gardener Mas returns to Hiroshima to bring his best friend’s ashes to a relative on a small island, only to be embroiled in the mysterious death of a teenage boy who was about the same age as Mas when he survived the atomic bomb in 1945.

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Two Summers by Aimee Friedman. ONE SUMMER in the French countryside, among sun-kissed fields of lavender . . . ANOTHER SUMMER in upstate New York, along familiar roads that lead to surprises . . . When Summer Everett makes a split-second decision, her summer divides into two parallel worlds. 

Top Ten Tuesday – Foodie Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl!This week, the topic is “books that make me hungry”.
I’m switching it up a bit, to – books that have food or words associated with food/eating in the titles.

The first 5 are books I’ve read this year:

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Secrets of the Chocolate House by Paula Brackston

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Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent

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Delicious by Ruth Reichl

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How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O’Neal

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Mistletoe and Cocoa Kisses by Stacy Eaton

These are books I want to read and I either have them on hold from the library or on my TBR shelf:

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Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg

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Kiss My Cupcake by Helena Hunting

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Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno’

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Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen

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A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

 

 

August Reading Round-up

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Here it is, the end of August and my hubby is still in hospital. His infections settled down, and he was transferred to a rehab centre – for a day! Then his platelets dropped so low they rushed him back to hospital, where he has been since. He has been there almost 3 months altogether! At least he is finally starting to feel better,  the infections have cleared and now it is a matter of getting his strength back. I am hoping he will be back to rehab by this coming weekend.
I continually turn to fantasy and there have been more excellent books this month to escape the stress.

It’s time to share what I have been reading this past month.
The total read for August was 31 books, with the following breakdown:
Fantasy /Paranormal –16
Historical Fiction/Historical Romance– 1
Romance – 10
Women’s Fiction – 1
Memoir/Non-fiction – 3
Pix books – 0

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 –25
TBR books –0
E-books – 6
Charity reads – 0

Here are the books read for my favourite challenges:
Popsugar Ultimate Reading Challenge (Through Goodreads)
I read 2 books for this challenge, so must do some catching up now.
#4 – About a book club – Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
#24 – About a subject you know nothing about – Medicine and Miracles in the High Desert by Dr. Erica Elliott

52 Books in 52 Weeks
I read only 1 for this challenge – need catching up
#37 – involving the medical profession – Medicine and Miracles in the High Desert by Dr. Erica Elliott

Beyond the Bookends
The theme this month was “Cozy British book”. I read 2 books:
Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters
I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Monthly Key Word Challenge
The key word I used this month was: “Kiss”.
Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh

Monthly Motif
The theme this month was “Creature Feature”.
Heartstone by Elle Katherine White (dragon)
This was a perfect time to discover Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series as I read the first 4 books in her series as well as her anthology, Wild Invitation

Blogger’s Bookshelf
The theme was “Sunshine or clouds on the cover”
The Beach Wedding by Lucy Kevin

Diversify Your Reading
The theme was “Contemporary”. I read several:
The Beach Wedding by Lucy Kevin
Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters
I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Diversity
The theme was “Mental Health/addiction”
Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

I’m taking part in 3 more reading challenges over the summer months.
Here are books read this month for these challenges:

20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge ( here for my list/post) none read – sad really. I do plan to read these but looks like it won’t be during the summer!

2020 Summer Reading Challenge (at The Messy Middle)
Completed! (Check here for my list – in the comments!)

2020 Popsugar Summer Reading Challenge (here for more info), H have read more than half now – still need 8 to finish – before Sept. 22)
#1 – Summer in the title – Perfect Summer by Katie Graykowski
#4 – About a vacation – My Heart Weeps by Pamela S. Thibodeaux
#6 – An item you’d find at the beach in the title – Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
#8 – Set at a resort or hotel – Beach House No. 9 by Christie Ridgway
#9 – Release date June, July August of any year – Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh (July 2009)
#11 – Summer romance – Beach House Beginnings by Christie Ridgway
#15 – Takes place in a beach town – The Beach Wedding by Lucy Kevin

Favourite Reads
Here are my top 10 reads (besides all the Nalini Singh books I read!):
Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Perfect Summer by Katie Graykowski
Beach House No. 9 by Christie Ridgway
The Beach Wedding by Lucy Kevin
Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters
I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
My Dangerous Duke by Gaelen Foley

Medicine and Miracles in the High Desert by Dr. Erica Elliott
This Messy Magnificent Life by Geneen Roth
Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine

Looking Ahead to September
I plan to continue reading through the 2 fantasy series by Nalini Singh and work to finish the Popsugar Summer challenge.

I am linking with the following:

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Monthly Wrap-up (At Feed Your Fiction Addiction)

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Best of the Bunch  (at A Cocoon of Books)

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Inspire Me Monday (at Create with Joy)

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Grammy’s Grid