Non-Fiction Stories | Waiting on Wednesday

Sometimes Non-Fiction stories are my go-to reads! Whether you wish to learn about current events or self-help material, these books are available! For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday, I came across a moving book relevant to these challenging times!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme that first originated with Jill at Breaking the Spine. It has now linked up with Tressa at Wishful Endings (under Can’t Wait Wednesday). You can view Tressa’s post here.

This Week’s Non-Fiction Pick

Moving Non-Fiction Alone Together: Love, Grief and Comfort in the Time of COVID 19; Edited by Jennifer Haupt Link: https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1592453456l/53342241.jpg

Alone Together: Love, Grief and Comfort In the Time of COVID 19; Edited by Jennifer Haupt

Alone Together is both thorough and emotional! Despite the difficult situation of the pandemic, poets and writers create a beautiful compilation. It details the challenges Americans face, as well as the strength communities hold when reaching out.

Synopsis

ALONE TOGETHER: Love, Grief, and Comfort During the Time of COVID-19 is a collection of essays, poems, and interviews. It serves as a lifeline for negotiating how to connect and thrive during this stressful time of isolation. It also provides historical perspective that will remain relevant for years to come. All contributing authors and business partners are donating their share to The Book Industry Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit organization that coordinates charitable programs to strengthen the bookselling community.

Furthermore, ALONE TOGETHER is divided into five sections: What Now?, Grieve, Comfort, Connect, And Don’t Stop. The overarching theme is how this age of isolation and uncertainty is changing us as individuals and a society.

Finally, Let’s Chat About Non-Fiction!

Do you like reading Non-Fiction? If so, what books are you waiting for release?

Feel free to Contact Me!

Stacked Shelves | Book Blogger Hop

Stacked shelves are a sign of happy bookish surroundings! We’ve all seen bookish content creators with their shelves filled with stories a mile high. Being an avid reader, I’m a little envious!

An owl flips through a book stack.
!

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer, in which you answer a prompt each week. It also helps you discover fellow contributors to check out and follow! You can view Coffee Addicted Writer’s post here.

This Week’s Question :

Do you look at your shelves and stacks of books and wonder how you have ever read so many books? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)

Hop

I feel like instead, the question is WHEN I’ll read the numerous books on my shelves! During high school, I had much better control of my reading abilities. I would read a book within days. In fact, if I enjoyed a story, I read it in one sitting. My reading life indeed thrived. How I yearn for those days again!

Let’s Chat About Stacked Shelves!

How are your book shelves? Do you have towering stacks filled with every genre? I myself have two small shelves, in which where I fill my modest collection!

Feel Free to Contact Me!

Also, view my previous Book Blogger Hop entry!

Cemetery Boys | Reflection & Review

Cemetery Boys Tour. File name: CemeteryBoysBanner.jpg

It’s my tour stop on the Cemetery Boys Book Tour! Thank you to Hear Our Voices Book Tours for letting me take part! Click on the banner above for more information.

Cemetery Boys: Book Information

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. File name: CemeteryBoysCover.jpg

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Length: 352 pages
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Acquired through Edelweiss
Release Date: September 1, 2020

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Google

Synopsis

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

Author Information

Cemetery Boys Author Aiden Thomas. File name: CemeteryBoysAuthor.jpg

Aiden Thomas is a YA author with an MFA in Creative Writing. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, OR. As a queer, trans, latinx, Aiden advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. Aiden’s special talents include: quoting The Office, Harry Potter trivia, Jenga, finishing sentences with “is my FAVORITE”, and killing spiders. Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color.

Their debut novel, CEMETERY BOYS, will be published September 1, 2020.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter

My ‘Cemetery Boys’ Reflection & Review

**I received a copy of Cemetery Boys through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

When I began reading Cemetery Boys, I knew that this was a special book. Everyone is anticipating its release in excitement, and for good reason! Yadriel, Maritza, and Julian are all the sweetest characters! I enjoyed the chemistry they had with one another. Each time one endured a struggle, the others were there to support immediately.

Strong Latinx Representation

I am here for the Latinx representation in this story! There are Mexican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican representation in Cemetery Boys. Maritza herself is both Puerto Rican and Haitian, and I love to see this rich blending in cultures. Being Puerto Rican myself, I immediately identified with Maritza’s character. For example, Maritza frequently negotiates with her strict family to socialize after school hours. I can surely relate to this situation! I also loved the fact that many of the families lived in intergenerational households. In the Latinx culture, we cherish our older generation just as strongly as our younger members.

Additionally, I love the rich history of Dia de Muertos throughout the book. All the brujx convene as a community for this sacred event. Younger members contribute and learn from both their older siblings and parents. Also, the respect of the deceased is stressed throughout the story.

Yadriel’s Personal Journey

Equally important in Cemetery Boys is the strong Trans representation. Yadriel is trans, and wants acceptance from his family. He knows in his heart that he’s a brujo, yet the anxiety of proving so is very large. It takes the unfiltered patience from Julian and Maritza to guide Yadriel in realizing his strength. He takes small yet profound steps in asserting his identity. There is a heartwarming scene in which Yadriel, with the help of Julian, discovers self-acceptance . This is a huge step in Yadriel’s journey toward openly embracing his true gender.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, I leave you with this: Cemetery Boys is wonderful! It’s a strong story that displays strong Trans and Latinx characters. There’s also an intense (and romantic) paranormal story line, and I live for it!

'Cemetery Boys' book tour
Purple Fern Leaf

Feel free to Contact Me!

First Lines Friday | August 21

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? You can view Wandering Words’ post here.

If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!
First Lines Fridays
Purple Fern Leaf

FIRST LINES:

I was a libertine in the
ante-room of love,
some remember black (earth?)
UnManageAble crux of femme
I dared myself to mark
something on papayri
hunk of flesh, salt meat, words…

Any guesses?

First Lines Friday; Zac Braff waving his arms in the air. 'No Idea' is in captions.
The Riot Grrrl Thing by Sara Larsen. A goddess is playing electric guitar.

The Riot Grrrl Thing by Sara Larsen

Book Blurb

Poetry. California Interest. Gender Studies. “To read THE RIOT GRRRL THING is to participate in what is, and can only be, the Riot Grrrl Thing–a condition of vivacious unlimiting. The brilliant Sara Larsen knows that thing firsthand; I can only know it imaginatively, linguistically, and in awed recognition of its exuberant, and it would seem ancient, power. Sappho did the Riot Grrrl Thing and she was not the first, nor will Kathleen Hanna or Janis Joplin or Kathy Acker be the last. Every bad-assed magnificent spirit refusing to serve as amusement or servant does the Riot Grrrl Thing as she rambunctiously plies incessant skepticism and supplies wild altruism. Larsen’s book is pissed off, playful, excessive, erudite, and free. Read it and feel the whole of it.”–Lyn Hejinian,

More First Lines

Want more? Check out last week’s First Lines Friday if you missed out!

Contact Me!

‘The Ancestor’ by Lee Matthew Goldberg | Book Tour

Blackthorn Book Tours Presents The Ancestor Book Tour, 21-24 August. File name: The Ancestor Tour Banner.png

Today is my tour stop for ‘The Ancestor’ by Lee Matthew Goldberg! Thank you so much to Blackthorn Book Tours for letting me take part! Click on the banner above for more information!

Book Information

Book Tour

The Ancestor by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Link: https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1594998797l/54552798._SX318_.jpg

The Ancestor by Lee Matthew Goldberg
Genre: Fiction
Length: 348 pages
Publisher: All Due Respect
Release Date: August 21, 2020

Purchase Link: Down & Out Books

Synopsis

A man wakes up in present-day Alaskan wilderness with no idea who he is, nothing on him save an empty journal with the date 1898 and a mirror. He sees another man hunting nearby, astounded that they look exactly alike. After following this other man home, he witnesses a wife and child that brings forth a rush of memories of his own wife and child, except he’s certain they do not exist in modern times-but from his life in the late 1800s.

After recalling his name is Wyatt, he worms his way into his doppelganger Travis Barlow’s life. Memories become unearthed the more time he spends, making him believe that he’d been frozen after coming to Alaska during the Gold Rush and that Travis is his great-great grandson. Wyatt is certain gold still exists in the area and finding it with Travis will ingratiate himself to the family, especially with Travis’s wife Callie, once Wyatt falls in love. This turns into a dangerous obsession affecting the Barlows and everyone in their small town, since Wyatt can’t be tamed until he also discovers the meaning of why he was able to be preserved on ice for over a century.

A meditation on love lost and unfulfilled dreams, The Ancestor is a thrilling page-turner in present day Alaska and a historical adventure about the perilous Gold Rush expeditions where prospectors left behind their lives for the promise of hope and a better future. The question remains whether it was all worth the sacrifice….

Author Information

Blackthorn Book Tours
The Ancestor Author
Lee Michael Goldberg. File name: LeeMichaelGoldberg.jpeg

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE DESIRE CARD, THE MENTOR, and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The second book in the Desire Card series, PREY NO MORE, is forthcoming in 2020, along with his first Sci-Fi novel ORANGE CITY.

His new endeavor will be as the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe Press and Fringe Digital, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box.

His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests.

After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

My Review

**I received a complimentary copy of The Ancestor from Blackthorn Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own**

What would you do if someone you’ve met–who bears a striking resemblance to you–claims that they’ve come from the past? What if this person also has some unfinished business? This is what Travis and Wyatt are faced with throughout The Ancestor. Lee Matthew Goldberg does amazing work as he takes us through the Gold Rush period in Alaska (Wyatt’s time), and the present day (When Travis and Wyatt come in contact).

Wyatt is a man with many questions about his predicament. He lives a life with many regrets, as his former life shared a family he neglected due to his quest for riches. During modern times, he makes an unlikely bond with Travis, a man who happens to share not only his likeness but some hidden conflicts of his own. Along the way we meet several characters who are rightly doubtful of Wyatt’s predicament, yet the theme of unresolved challenges remain.

The Ancestor takes us through the question: What if things happened differently? Wyatt and Travis both have issues that alters the lives of their loved ones. As Wyatt’s situation is slowly revealed, it becomes clear that all of the characters are experiencing a period of transition. It becomes a matter of realizing what’s truly important in life.

Book Recommendations

Readers will love The Ancestor if they enjoy:

  • Stories with a character seeking personal redemption
  • Historical fiction
  • Books with alternate timelines

Final Thoughts on The Ancestor

I enjoyed reading The Ancestor, as it was a revealing portrait of a man seeking answers to remedy his life. I also appreciated looking back at the Gold Rush period in America!

Thank you again to Blackthorn Book Tours for letting me take part in The Ancestor Blog Tour! Feel free to check out the other fabulous contributors throughout the tour!

A Blackthorn Book Tour of The Ancestor

Filename: The AncestorFinal Banner.jpg

Feel free to Contact Me!

The Story of Babushka | Book Tour

The Story of Babushka Blog and Review Tour
Turn the Page Tours
August 14-24

Today is my tour stop for The Story of Babushka by Catherine Flores! This is a heartwarming children’s tale about friendship, love and the meaning of life.
Thank you to Turn The Page Tours for letting me take part! Click on the banner about for more information.

Story of Babushka Information

The Story of Babushka by
Catherine Flores
File name: Babuska_Cover.png

The Story of Babushka by Catherine Flores
Illustrator: Ana Beatriz Marques
Publisher: ACL Creative Studio
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Length: 120 pages (with over 50 illustrations!)
Acquired through Turn The Page Tours
Release Date: July 29, 2020

Instagram | Facebook | Website | Amazon US/UK/CA/AU

Synopsis

Babushka wants to find out the meaning of life so she sends her bodies out of the forest and into the world to search for answers.

WHAT IS A BABUSHKA?

The babushka doll, also known as a matryoshka or Russian nesting doll, is a traditional Russian toy first made over 100 years ago. The doll has come to symbolise Russian folk culture, as well as the complex and beautiful layers of women. There are some babushka dolls with as many as fifty dolls nested inside.

This is the story of one very special babushka doll and her five bodies. There was the outermost body, Antonia. She was pure beauty. Everyone who saw her admired her good looks. Beneath that body of beauty hid Loretta, who was richly adorned. She wore gold ornaments, and her green robe was decorated with many different gems that glittered like the ocean on a sunny day Hidden within the rich body was Paula, the body that held all Babushka’s talents. Whatever Paula did, she was sure to succeed. She knew how to work and always did so with joy and determination.

Within the talented body was Viola, the body of wisdom. Viola knew a lot about the world and learned very quickly. She was always full of brilliant ideas and had clever solutions for every problem. The last body, the smallest of all, was Mary, the embodiment of love. Mary had a warm and compassionate heart and was very helpful. She could dry tears and mend broken hearts. Together, these bodies formed the complete Babushka.

Author Information

The Story of Babushka

Catherine Flores with her child. File name: CatherineFlores.jpg

Since quitting her full-time job at a branding communication agency in Zurich, Catherine has gone on to become a successful freelance designer and a children’s author. She lives on the small island of Madeira with her family, spending her time growing vegetables in her garden and working for clients around the world.

For the interactive website for “The Story Of Babushka” visithttp://www.thestoryofbabushka.com
You can also visit her website at http://www.catherineflores.ch or her design agency at
http://www.aclcreativestudio.com

Website | ACL Creative | Twitter | Instagram

Purple Fern Leaf

My Review

*I received a copy of ‘The Story of Babushka’ through Turn the Page Tours and the publisher, for exchange of an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

When I began reading The Story of Babushka, I thought I was going to read a quick story with an equally quick ending. However, I had no idea that this children’s tale would pull on my emotions! Babushka is comprised of five components: beauty, wealth, talent, wisdom, and love. One by one, each layer seeks out their personal happiness. As the years go by, they learn that the road to contentment is filled with one valuable lesson: community.

Each body has a special gift, yet each piece encompasses the whole self. They shine when sharing their blessings to others, yet without the other layers, they cannot prosper. I enjoy this lesson of teamwork that Babushka shares with its readers. Each body needs their support system in order to shine.

The Story of Babushka‘s Lovely Illustrations!

The Story of Babushka Illustration

Mary, the body of Love, gazes at the water at night. File name: BabushkaIllustrations.jpg

I was completely enamored by the illustrations throughout the book! Ana Beatriz Marques created stunning images, pairing nicely with a wonderful story. Adults can apply a Picture Walk with young children while learning about Babushka’s journey!

In addition to beautiful illustrations, Catherine Flores also offers coloring pages to accompany the story, which I will feature below!

Book Recommendations

While I feel that the length of the book would be suitable for older children, The Story of Babushka is valuable for all ages! As mentioned before, younger children would benefit from the visual aids given, such as the coloring pages and character cut-outs. While browsing through photos, you can ask children what each body of Babushka should do next!

Final Thoughts

The Story of Babushka is so valuable! It teaches the lesson that one needs a support system to manage life’s challenges. It’s a wonderful story for everyone!

Purple Fern Leaf

Book Trailer

The Story of Babushka Coloring Pages

The Story of Babushka Coloring Page: Group
The Story of Babushka Coloring Page: Viola with a young woman

Characters (Print to use as Cut-Outs)

Book Blog & Review Tour:
August 14-24
Turn the Page Tours
The Story of Babushka

Thank you for visiting! Come check out the other fabulous contributors on this tour!

Feel Free to contact me!

Sunday Sentence | August 16

What is the Sunday Sentence project?

‘Sunday Sentence‘ is hosted by David Abrams. Participants share their best lines read during the past week, ‘out of context and without commentary’. You can view the original link here.

‘Amber leaned back in her armchair and smiled. She felt Meredith’s appraising eyes on her, and noticed once again how everything about her screamed old money, from her double strand of pearls to the slightly worn camel jacket.’

Source: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Sunday Sentence:
Purple Fern Leaf

Any lines and/or phrases that caught your eye this week? Share them in the comments!

Sunday Sentence: Love and Life, Cathleen
File Name: Loveandlife.png

If you like suspenseful stories, check out my review for Until I Find You!

Book Blogger Hop | August 16

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer, in which you answer a prompt each week. It also helps you discover fellow contributors to check out and follow! You can view Coffee Addicted Writer’s post here.

This Week’s Book Blogger Hop Question Is:

How often do you visit your local library? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

Well, before the pandemic changed everything, I visited my library about once a week. My library is always my go-to place for curriculum materials. I can’t wait for everything to be safe enough so I could visit frequently once again!

Levar Burton & friend exploring a Library

How often do you visit your local library? Do you miss it even more during these chaotic times?

Love and Light, Cathleen

Contact Me

For more musings about Library Love, check out my post ‘Library Memories’!

This week’s Sunday Sentence was made possible by my library!

Saturday Reading Blog | August 15

This Saturday Reading Blog is coming to you from an overcast morning in Central NJ. It wasn’t supposed to be so cloudy! Hopefully your weekend has better weather, wherever you’re living!

I spent this week editing and submitting a piece for BOOKRIOT. I’m a contributor, and this is the first of two pieces I’m working on that’s poetry based. I love writing for this diverse publication!

Saturday Reading Blog
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas.
Link: https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1572631416l/51080074._SX318_SY475_.jpg

I’m still reading The Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. I’m at the halfway point, and things seem like they’re reaching a turning point between Yadriel and Julian. I’m really liking this book! I’ll share my full thoughts next week, on my Hear Our Voices BT tour stop.

I’m also going to begin The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine. I still have a few days to read it before my book club meeting!

What are you reading this weekend?

Contact Me

First Lines Friday | August 14

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? You can view Wandering Words’ post here.

If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

‘Amber Patterson was tired of being invisible. She’d been coming to this gym every day for three months–three long months of watching these women of leisure working at the only thing they cared about ‘.

Any guesses?

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine


Synopsis

Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more—a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted.

To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne—a socialite and philanthropist—and her real-estate mogul husband, Jackson, are a couple straight out of a fairy tale.

Amber’s envy could eat her alive . . . if she didn’t have a plan. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life—the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrishes and their lovely young daughters, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces.

With shocking turns and dark secrets that will keep you guessing until the very end, The Last Mrs. Parrish is a fresh, juicy, and utterly addictive thriller from a diabolically imaginative talent.

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