Book Blogger Hop | July 27

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

This Week’s Question

What are the top books on your TBR pile? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

Book Blogger Hop:
The Last Mrs Parrish by Liv Constantine. Link:
Book Blogger Hop
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

The top books on my TBR pile at the moment are ‘The Last Mrs Parrish’ by Liv Constantine, and ‘The Wedding Date’ by Jasmine Guillory!

What stories are at the top of your TBR pile? Feel free to share in the comments!

Love and Light, Cathleen

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Cover Reveal | The Skald’s Black Verse by Jordan Loyal Short

I’m very excited to take part in ‘The Skald’s Black Verse’ Cover Reveal! Thank you to Storytellers on Tour for allowing me to take part!

Cover Reveal: The Skald's Black Verse, The Dreadbound Ode Book 1, by Jordan Loyal Short. Text written in gold. a man with antlers stands in the center of a red and gold background.
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The Skald’s Black Verse by Jordan Loyal Short
Book 1 in The Dreadbound Ode series
Genre: Epic Gridmark Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
Release Date: August 6, 2020 (re-release)


When a soldier’s murder sparks rebellion in the tiny village of Skolja, Brohr’s past marks
him as the prime suspect. Haunted by his brother’s ghost, and drawn into a web of dark
pacts and tangled loyalties, Brohr must choose between the path of vengeance set
before him, and a chance to forge his own fate.

From the shadows, an all but extinct race of alien demigods have begun the end game
of their millennia-spanning war, and one has chosen Brohr for his closing gambit.
But Brohr’s grandfather harbors a dark secret that will change everything.

Above it all, a dread portent looms in the sky, spelling the death of Brohr’s world. With
doom spiraling toward them, Brohr must lead an unlikely rebellion, unearth disturbing
family secrets, and tame the raging ghost that haunts him. Can Brohr lead his people
out of darkness, or will he succumb to his own terrifying bloodlust, and destroy the very
people he has sworn to save?

Author Information

Jordan Loyal Short is a debut author of epic fantasy. His first novel, The Skald’s Black
Verse, is a dark and beautiful story about families, cultures, and beliefs at war with
themselves. The protagonist, Brohr, must navigate the tangled loyalties and unforgiving
biases of a planet conquered by invaders from another world. Using black magic, and
the bizarre bond he shares with his stillborn brother’s spirit, Brohr unravels the truth
about himself and an eon spanning war that has reached its end game. Jordan has
worked in a variety of industries, as a waiter, bartender, copywriter and more. He lives in
Washington state with his wife where he is currently daydreaming about the end of the world.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Are you excited about the return of ‘The Skald’s Black Verse’? I can’t wait to learn more about this adventurous read!

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Book Tour | Come Join the Murder by Holly Rae Garcia: A Review

Book Tour
Blackthorn Book Tours: Simply reviews...
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Today is my tour stop on the ‘Come Join the Murder’ Blog Tour! Thank you to Blackthorn Book Tours for allowing me to take part! Click on the banner above for more details.

Book Information

Come Join the Murder by Holly Rae Garcia
Publisher: Close to the Bone
Length: 239 pages
Genre: Suspense/Horror
Release Date: March 27, 2020

Amazon | Goodreads


“This is a novel I would read and reread and recommend to others. Fans of vigilante and desperado
revenge will delight in this horror story.” — Horror Tree.

Rebecca Crow’s four-year-old son is dead, and her husband is missing.

Divers find her husband’s car at the bottom of a canal with their son’s small, lifeless body, inside.
The police have no suspects and nothing to go on but a passing mention of a man driving a van.
Guilt and grief cloud Rebecca’s thoughts as she stumbles towards her only mission: Revenge.

James Porter knows exactly what happened to them, but he’ll do anything to keep it a secret.

James didn’t plan to kill Rebecca’s son, but he’s not too broken up about it, either. There are more
important things for him to worry about. He needs money, and his increasing appetite for murder is
catching the attention of a nosy detective.

About the Author

Holly Rae Garcia’s debut novel, Come Join the Murder, was released on March 27th, 2020
by Close to the Bone Publishing (UK). Her short fiction has been published by Siren’s Call, The Bookends Review, Rue Scribe, Pen to Print, The Australian Writers’ Centre, and Trembling With Fear along with a few anthologies. Holly lives on the Texas Coast with her family and five dogs.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

My Thoughts

**I received a complimentary copy of Come Join the Murder through Blackthorn Book Tours. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Reading Come Join the Murder was quite a wild experience! Holly Rae Garcia eloquently communicates Rebecca and James’ despair as they navigate their struggles through the story. She clearly describes Rebecca’s dark descent as she seeks out her son’s killer. No longer having a family, Rebecca is left to pick up the pieces of her life while piecing together what happened that fateful night on the bridge. In her quest to seek out answers, she loses touch with reality. Garcia also details James’ complicated predicament. The need to protect his loved ones, paired with his knowledge of that fateful evening, causes him to careen down an inhumane path of his own.

Come Join the Murder was a difficult read at times, as the story continually draws back to the night her son Ollie was killed. It highlights Holly Rae Garcia’s stunning ability to describe the horror of a child being murdered, and the drastic lengths a parent might go through to seek justice. Her writing sets up the stage of the night in question, slowly drawing you in before the unspeakable horrors unravel. Rebecca’s quest for truth (and her gradual descent into madness), will keep you engaged until the shocking ending!

If you like stories about revenge with a thrilling twist, then you’ll really love ‘Come Join the Murder’!

If you would like to check out the other amazing contributors, here is the Tour Schedule!

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Sunday Sentence | July 19

What is the ‘Sunday Sentence‘ project?

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

‘Maeve believed that medical school was my destiny and Celeste believed that she was my destiny and both of them were wrong.’

Source: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Love and Light, Cathleen

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Book Blogger Hop | July 12

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer, in which you answer a book related prompt. The Book Blogger Hop, 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 bring along books when you go on a vacation? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

I always bring books when I go on vacation! They’re great to relax with on the beach or poolside. My husband also brings his Kindle when we go on vacation. We read anywhere!

Do you bring books when you’re on vacation? Feel free to share in the comments!

Love and Light, Cathleen

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Saturday Reading Blog | July 18

I’m currently reading Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. I’m so glad to read Dani’s story of romance, even if it began unexpectedly! I’ve grown to love Hibbert’s characters, especially the men. They have such a soft spot for romance!

I also began reading Tank’s Forever Home by Carol Kim. It’s a middle grade story about some children helping a Bull Mastiff find the home of his dreams! It’s such an endearing read!

What books are you reading this weekend? Feel free to share down in the comments!

Love and Light, Cathleen

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First Lines Friday | July 17

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!

‘Esther’s hand raced over the paper as if the colored pencils might be snatched from her, the quivering inside her wild, foreign, thrilling. All this time she hadn’t known that ‘blue’ was actually seven distinct shades, each with their own name…’

Any guesses?

Jerusalem Maiden by Talia Carner

I read this for my local library’s book club last year, and I thought it was pretty good, Esther had a complicated life!


In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, a young Orthodox Jewish woman in the holy city of Jerusalem is expected to marry and produce many sons to help hasten the Messiah’s arrival. While the feisty Esther Kaminsky understands her obligations, her artistic talent inspires her to secretly explore worlds outside her religion, to dream of studying in Paris and to believe that God has a special destiny for her. When tragedy strikes her family, Esther views it as a warning from an angry God and suppresses her desires in order to become an obedient “Jerusalem maiden.”

But when a surprising opportunity forces itself on to her preordained path, Esther finds her beliefs clashing dangerously with the passions she has staved off her entire life forcing her to confront the most difficult and damning question of all. To whom must she be true, God or herself?

What do you think of Jerusalem Maiden? Feel free to share in the comments!

Love and Light, Cathleen

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Book Review | The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Publisher: Harper
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: eBook
Release Date: September 24, 2019


“’Do you think it’s possible to ever see the past as it actually was?’ I asked my sister. We were sitting in her car, parked in front of the Dutch House in the broad daylight of early summer.”

Danny Conroy grows up in the Dutch House, a lavish mansion. Though his father is distant and his mother is absent, Danny has his beloved sister Maeve: Maeve, with her wall of black hair, her wit, her brilliance. Life is coherent, played out under the watchful eyes of the house’s former owners in the frames of their oil paintings.

Then one day their father brings Andrea home. Though they cannot know it, her arrival to the Dutch House sows the seed of the defining loss of Danny and Maeve’s lives. The siblings are drawn back time and again to the place they can never enter, knocking in vain on the locked door of the past. For behind the mystery of their own exile is that of their mother’s: an absence more powerful than any presence they have known.

Told with Ann Patchett’s inimitable blend of humour, rage and heartbreak, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale and story of a paradise lost; of the powerful bonds of place and time that magnetize and repel us for our whole lives.

My Thoughts

The Dutch House is a story told through Danny Conroy’s perspective, yet it features the pain of two individuals throughout the decades. The setting begins in a small town in Pennsylvania, as The Dutch House is the only life Danny’s ever known. Danny and his sister Maeve are removed from their home by their stepmother shortly after Danny’s 15th birthday. Although the siblings make attempts to move forward in their lives, they’re always drawn back to their childhood home, constantly reminising on a carefree life interrupted. This frequent pull to the past throws many complications in their personal relationships.

The timelines in The Dutch House constantly jump around, yet this nicely sets up the stage in describing the meager beginnings of Danny’s parents living in New York City. The book nicely shows the progression of a life rich in luxury, only to lose it through mistrust. Through the memories of his sister and lost family friends, Danny slowly pieces his parent’s life together in a complicated puzzle.

This story also highlights Maeve’s difficulties as she lives with Type 1 Diabetes. Living with T1D myself, I could completely identify with Maeve’s feelings of frustration as she manages her blood sugar. It truly is a daily balancing act!


If you love Historical Fiction stories centered around complex sibling bonds, then you will really love The Dutch House!

Are you interesting in reading The Dutch House? Feel free to share in the comments!

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The Summer Vibes Book Tag

Summer is now in full force, which means it’s time for The Summer Vibes Book Tag! Thank you so much Ashlee @ Books are 42 for tagging me! Although many of us are still restricted to our homes, the sun is shining (along with the heat!) in Central NJ. I would say that calls for Summer fun!


  • Mention the creator and link back to the original post! (Deanna @ The Comfy Reader)
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you
  • Answer all the prompts below however you see fit
  • Tag some friends!
  • Feel free to use the graphics

The Beach: A Book Set Somewhere Tropical

I think of Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. Part of the story is set in the Dominican Republic, which is always very warm and tropical!

Music Festival: A Book with a Focus on Music

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This is a rock documentary style novel, featuring a young singer and the band that changed her life.

Watermelon: A Book with a Juicy Secret

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. This historical fiction tale carried quite a plot twist!

Water Park: A Book Set Near or on The Water

All the Stars and Teeth by Adelyn Grace. This story centers on a world of water!

Ice Cream: A Book or Genre That is a Guilty Pleasure

I would say that Love, Art, and Other Obstacles by Sadira Stone was a guilty pleasure read for me!

Picnic with Friends: A Book About Friendship

I would say The Gilded Wolves and The Boyfriend Project are excellent stories about close friendships!

Road Trip: A Book that Takes You on an Adventure

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto is quite an adventurous story!

Sunburn: A Book that you Regret Reading

Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon.

Summer Dress: A Book that is Light and Cute

Christmas by Accident by Camron Wright. I absolutely loved it!

Mosquito: A Book with an Annoying Character

Elena Richardson from Little Fires Everywhere. Did not like her at all!


Books Best Blog

Bri at Books and Shadows

Star is All Booked Up

Love and Light, Cathleen

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Waiting on Wednesday | July 15

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 Post

The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune

The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune

It’s all about excitement, first love, and superheroes in this debut novel from TJ Klune! This sounds like a very heartwarming read!


Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. TJ Klune’s YA debut, The Extraordinaries, is a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves.

Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right?

After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick’s best friend (and maybe the love of his life).

What are your thoughts on The Extraordinaries? Fell free to share down in the comments!

Love and light, Cathleen

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