THE HUNGOVER GAMES A True Story by SOPHIE HEAWOOD

The Hungover Games: A True Story by [Sophie Heawood]

What happens when you have an accidental baby on your own in your mid-thirties when you haven’t worked out how to look after yourself, let alone a baby?

This is a true story. A story of a woman getting knocked up by a musician and floundering around not knowing what to do. She is more the party type than a mommy. 

It came off for me as uninteresting and overly self-involved.

 

Netgalley/ July 7th

Waiting is always the hard part!

As we sit here waiting for our Covid test results, this collage is pretty much how we feel. Fevers, headaches, body aches, fatigue, no smell or taste, and very short fuses!

So yeah, that was bad. It still is. We are quarantined in our house. All because the folks in Houston and Iowa can’t stop coming here! So now half our staff is infected as well.

I have a ton of book reviews in the draft folder but even opening my eyes hurts as bad as breathing does. The doctor said to stay home. Luckily we are able to do that without too much trouble.

So stay safe. Don’t be an asshole and cover your mouth. For now that is all I can do.

xx P

YOU SUIT ME TO A TEA AND BOREDOM

It’s been a minute since we’ve talked. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.

The amount of tea that has been consumed in my house is ridiculous! And for some reason, we are really loving any Peach Ginger combinations. My favorite is Harney and Sons but Bigelow and Tazo have some nice ones as well. Baking seems to be a popular activity now that people have time at home. I went to the open-air farmer’s market last weekend and brought home such nice vegetables and fruits. Plus my baking lady had finally perfected her Snickerdoodle Bread. It’s a quick bread, like banana bread and such and it was good. After making some Chai to go with it I had a lightbulb moment and decided to do a Chai Bread. Brilliant.

I have a freezer full of baked goods and premade meals. My house is spotless, my car is clean, the refrigerator even got a scrub! From ceiling to floor, it’s been disinfected. I planted my garden and all of my herbs are doing great. Especially the mints.

We have been going camping every week. Leaving Thursday afternoon and returning on Sunday. We plan to visit every lake and state park. So far we have done Lake Murray, which is amazing. Shawnee Twin Lakes, Arbuckle Mountains and we have reservations for Ft. Cobb State Park for tomorrow through Sunday. We will meet up with the grands and do some boating and fishing. The SUV is packed and ready to go. All I need to do is pack the cooler and we are out of here.

The gym opened yesterday and we were the only ones there and it felt wonderful!

A sweet treat that is better than the one at Tropical Smoothie Cafe’. I tossed watermelon, mint from my garden and ice. Boom! Watermelon Smoothie.Full of Vitamin C and it is so good! We have made quite a few smoothies with strawberries we are getting now from Bootstrap Farm.

Today we are off to ride bikes. Stay safe and Be well!

xx P

 

THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS by STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES

The Only Good Indians

The Only Good Indians is the story of four American Indian men.

Something very disturbing happened to them when they were much younger. Something that haunts them to this day and puts them in danger of being killed by some entity bent on having revenge for the act they committed.

I am very familiar with the North Dakota reservations and the treatment of the Native Americans there. These men left their culture and lives behind to try and escape the bleakness of life on the rez.

This is a story of cultures lost, guilt, shame, and violence. It was at times difficult to read, but I did.

At times I was lost. At times I was terrified. And in the end, I cried.

NetGalley/ July 14th, 2020 by Gallery / Saga Press

 

A Sunday Visit from the Anxiety Fairy!

Good Morning, Sunday! While it was pretty frigid this morning, it’s warmed up nicely and the sun is shining.

This has been the strangest few weeks. We’ve had temperatures in the 90’s followed by a light freeze, back to the ’80s and then freezing rain. Even Mother Nature has lost her footing!

The thing that bothers me the most about this Quarantine thing is I never know what day it is. Everyone is home so it’s a bit confusing. By everyone I mean OU Boy. He’s been home 5 days now. It was on Day 4 that I sent him and all of his belongings to the hotel. I thought I wanted a divorce. Turns out I just didn’t want to hear him breathe while I tried to finish a book. By bedtime, he was home and this morning had to do the walk of shame at work to go get his meds! The bad news is he brought germs home. We both now have a fever, chills, aches and awful coughs. We just thought we were cured. Now we can’t taste anything or smell anything. I made some lunch and he said, It’s warm. We will find out tomorrow if we are dying or not. It feels like it. But then I whine a lot.

The word Compassion was on my mind this morning. People are getting downright mean! Our parks are closed and still, people are over there getting germs all over the equipment. Old ladies are yelling at people walking the track. Stop following me!!! Um, ma’am, it’s a circle. I’m trying very hard to be compassionate, I am, really. But I’ve discovered that when I’m sick, I’m rather testy myself. I’ve washed my hands with so much alcohol and soap that when I pee, I clean the toilet.

We’re going to take a nap now. Be Safe. Wash your hands. Don’t be a dick.

xx P

It’s Friday! What are you reading?

It is Friday. And what a week it has been. We have had the plague, tornado warnings, winter storms, and spring storms. It’s been insane. I don’t know how it is where you are, but you can let me know.

There is so much uncertainty surrounding our health and what is or is not open. Our company laid off half of the staff. They can all get unemployment right away. Then this morning one of the housekeepers CAME TO WORK to tell us she had been at the clinic yesterday on another matter and may have come into contact with someone who tested positive.  People, DO NOT DO THIS! Last I heard they are waiting for the clinic to get back to them. Luckily OU Boy did not have any contact with her and when he heard she was there, he locked his door! LOL. But really, don’t do that.

The library is closed, there is no toilet paper or alcohol-based sanitizers. One of our favorite restaurants, Whiskey Cake Cafe’, put this on IG.

I called them right then and placed an order. We drove over and picked up our stash. Everything they cook is locally sourced so we know where this stuff comes from. We received a gallon of whole milk, 2 sirloin steaks, 2 whole, seasoned chickens, 6 hamburger patties, a dozen oranges, 2 dozen eggs and 2 rolls of TP. What a brilliant idea. They can keep their vendors busy while helping us all out.

I went into stress baking mode.

I made Orange Cranberry Muffins, Banana Muffins, Espresso Brownies, Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache, Peanut Butter Protein Balls and Lemon Coconut Protein Balls. I roasted both chickens and separated the meat, then made stock with the bones and skin and dark meat.  I sent it all to work with OU Boy for those who had children at home.

I have cleaned house with alcohol, I made my own hand sanitizer with 2/3 cup of 91% rubbing alcohol and 1/3 cup of Aloe Gel, along with several drops of Tea Tree Oil. Boom! And if you are out of alcohol, I buy Everclear. It is like 98%.

My eye surgeon is closing her clinic today, but I still have to go have my pressure checked on Monday. Hopefully, I will be out of quarantine after that. Which is just for my own protection.

I feel like this isolation is right up my alley. I work from home. I hate crowds. I don’t like real people very much. And I love stuff delivered!

How are you all holding up? Especially all of you book bloggers? Is that TBR pile going down any? I am at 10 books on NetGalley!!!

Stay Well, and read a book.

xx P

Monday Rants and Revelations!

This is such a Monday! It’s been raining for days, the temperatures are having mood swings and that free HBO weekend was a joke! I mean come on, some of us have to stay home, I don’t want to see movies from the ’80’s I didn’t even like then!

Anxiety is at an all-time high every place you go. Yesterday morning we decided to go to Walgreen’s for some bleach before the church folks got out. Well, this has been an interesting thing to see, what people are stocking up on. The shampoo aisle was empty. Anything sanitizing was gone. I found one can of Lysol and the guy next to me was faster than I was. I did get a lot of Kleenex. And all the bleach. 2 bottles. Some of the stuff was just funny. Plenty of diapers and formula, but no water. I predict dog food will be next.

Saturday we split the list and went to Sprouts. In and out in no time with plenty of Almond Milk, fruits and vegetables. They were low on meat, but that was fine.

Since all of my meds go into my eye, things are pretty sterile in here. OU Boy coughs and he’s out. You know what wasn’t closed? The YMCA! We strolled in there and had the place to ourselves. Of course, we took our wipes and stuff as well, but I just called and they are open today as well. Of course, there are no youth programs right now so it’s just the die-hard work out folks. The old men in the racquetball court and that’s about it.

I read 4 books. We watched a lot of Prime and Netflix. I also found out from the ever-helpful Alexa, that Netflix and Chill means sex and a movie. So all those times I told y’all I was going to just Netflix and chill? It was a movie and a cold beverage. Seriously, how can I watch Pandemic and have sex??

Y’all stay safe, we have a few really good books coming out tomorrow so stay tuned.

xx P

 

PRIDE of EDEN by TAYLOR BROWN

Pride of Eden

The enthralling new novel from the acclaimed author of Fallen Land, The River of Kings, and Gods of Howl Mountain

Little Eden is a wildlife sanctuary on the Georgia coast. Rather low rent and shabby. Much like the ruins of an entire development that failed when the interstate moved locations.

Anse Caulfield runs the place. We aren’t sure how he manages that financially but he is a character. A veteran of Vietnam, Jockey, and lover of all wild animals. Especially Henrietta, his prized cat that Anse loves fiercely. When she gets out and is killed, he is obsessed with finding more, saving more animals and righting wrongs.

Anse and Tyler, a vet, live together at the sanctuary and she worries endlessly about Anse.  When another former soldier and animal activist, Malay, shows up looking for work, Anse hires her. She feels the same respect for the animals and the rage at how they are treated. Along with local friend Lope, they take on the smugglers, the back alley sellers of rare cats who are soon abandoned and left to die.

But someone else wants one of the cats they saved. And for a reason, you won’t believe until you read it!

If you read The Gods of Howl Mountain, you know Brown has a gift for weaving stories and characters that is magical. For me personally, my family is from Sapelo Island and St. Simon’s Island. We grew up speaking Geechee and running wild much like the feral cattle left to roam the island. This was very personal to me. The cruelty of people to raise an animal by hand and then let men come in a fenced area to kill it is mindboggling. What kind of person does that?  Turns out, a lot of them.

Thank you, Mr. Brown, for another brilliant read!

NetGalley/ March 17th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

 

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Happy Mardi Gras! My favorite time of the year. Parades, balls, King Cake, beads, everything purple, green and gold.

Today is a frenzy of people dragging their huge boxes of beads, cups and other throws onto a float with 40 other people dressed just like you. And one 5-gallon bucket in the closet for all of us to use. And since we have been drinking since that first Mimosa at 8 a.m., that bucket is in high demand.

While we all take our places and the parade rolls. Today we will roll once during the day and again at night. And then, Lent. Go to church and get your ashes and forget sugar for 40 days. That’s probably sacrilegious, but it’s true. And for once I am glad. We have the plague. Yep. That’s what it is. Why? Well, we went and hung out with adults who have children. Those little germ mongers are relentless.

Have yourself a fun time tonight and be safe!

xx P

Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen

Please See Us

Two young women, unlikely friends, both find themselves in Atlantic City.  Summer in AC used to be a time of packed boardwalks, casinos, and tourists. But no more. The only people out on the marshland are two dead women. Jane Does. Laid out behind a seedy hotel.

Clara, who is just a teenager, lives with her aunt and works as a boardwalk psychic to help pay the rent. The aunt was a real piece of work. When Clara begins having real visions after a visit from the father of a missing girl, she thinks the visions may be about her. And then more women go missing.

Lily, who used to work in the art gallery world, is just starting a job at the spa in town. She has had enough of her own drama to overcome but that won’t stop her from teaming up with Clara to find the girls who are still going missing.

But did they put their trust in the wrong person? Will they both come out alive?

This was eerie and heartbreaking. I loved the characters, even the wicked ones are done so well. Very good read!

NetGalley/ March 3rd, 2020 by Gallery Books