Friday, February 12, 2021

Weekly Reading Wrap Up

 Welcome to my brand new reading wrap up, now on Fridays.  I have decided to move my reading wrap up from Mondays to make room for Mystery Monday and also because it is easier for me to wrap up the week while I am still in the office instead of trying to post it first thing Monday morning. 

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Love on the Winter Steppes by Paris Wynters (Blog Tour)
The Whole Cat and Caboodle by Sofie Ryan (Mystery Monday)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Traitor's Blade
The Empress of Salt and Fortune
Barbarian Lord
Love on the Winter Steppes
Hades & Persephone: The Curse of the Golden Arrow
All the Wandering Light
A Touch of Stone and Snow

Currently Reading:
The Broken Spine by Dorothy St. James - ebook - on page 63 of 320
The Road to Shanhasson by Joely Sue Burkhart - Print - on page 186 of 395
Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore - Audio/Print - on page 235 of 528

Pages Read/ Time Listened
123:14 Hours Listened This Year(38:51 listened this week)
3,495 Pages Read This Year (969 Read this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Lives of Saints (Good Choice Reading - 2020 Purchase) - READ
Across the Green Grass Fields (Jan. Pre-Order) - READ
Winterkeep (Jan. Pre-Order)
A Vow So Bold & Deadly (Jan. Pre-Order)
Death Bee Comes Her (Jan. Pre-Order)
Stormbreak (Feb. Pre-Order)


Boy am I behind! I meant to start posting Friday wrap ups last week but in that short week I didn't get much reading done so pushed it off to today. Now I am super behind on writing reviews and getting posts up.  Only 2 reviews up in the past 2 weeks and only a couple other posts besides that. Now we are facing down February school vacation so my time will be even more limited as I juggle Munchkin while working in the office, poor kid, it is so unbelievably boring for an 8 year old to sit in the office for 8 hours a day but I don't have any other options. Anyway, I promise I will work on getting some reviews up for next week ahead of time, especially since I have been reading some really great books lately!  

 I finished off the Medieval-a-thon this week and I was super happy with how many books I read, I made it all the way to Empress and then again up to Queen in a second time through the rankings! I also managed to master both the Tailor and Bard Professions and came only 2 books shy of the Blacksmith mastery.  Now I am well into my FaRoFeb (Fantasy Romance February) and have read 2 books so far and am nearly done with my third book.  I haven't been able to participate as much as I would like in the panels and other events but it is nice to have a resource to find more fantasy romance books when I finish the ones I own already.  I am also working on preparing for Middle Grade March! I am so excited for this month long event again. 

Anyway, I am heading into the weekend hoping to finish the 3 book I have currently going and maybe one more short novella as well. Then next week it is full steam ahead into requested reviews and fantasy romance books (and maybe trying to get to the couple of books from my Medievalathon TBR that I didn't get to).

What are you reading this weekend?

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Indie Romance on My TBR




Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.  It is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and you can find the list of topics on her page HERE.

This week was a bit of a freebie topic with just a general Valentine's Day idea.  So I thought I would like to highlight some self-published/independently published romance books on my shelves.  Romance is a favorite genre of mine and I really like supporting self-published authors but it is often difficult to wade through all the searches to find those books.  I have a few that are waiting on my shelves to be read and here are the top 10 that I can't wait to get to. . .

This one came out last year and I was super excited about it but forgot about it since I have an ebook copy and don't check those very often, my physical shelves being more in my face.

The Green Mountain/ Butler Vermont series is one of my all time favorite romance series, and this is the most recent book to be released, in December, but due to the delays in the postal system it didn't get to me until mid January.  Hopefully now I can get the backstory on Linc & Molly Abbott.

This one doesn't even come out until later this month but you better believe it has been pre-ordered and is high on my TBR! I really enjoyed Erin Mallon's writing in the first book, Flirtasaurus, and I honestly hope that she narrates this audio book too because it made me laugh so hard!

I have had this book on my shelf for a couple of years now, but I have really enjoyed Marie Rose Dufour's books and need to get to this collection of stories. I am hoping there are a few in there with some favorite characters from a previous book.

I picked this book up during one of my Covid shopping sprees and it is so intriguing, a female Army Veteran on a mission to track down her man but it is no easy mission. It sound fun and cute and quite possibly full of some great banter.

A couple of years ago I picked up this whole series from one of my favorite local authors but I just wasn't in the mood for a shifter romance at the time. I think it is time to dive in now!

I won this book in a raffle a couple of years ago but don't know why I haven't picked it up; royalty turned cowboy and single dad on top of it, yes please!

I started this series by a local author several years ago and I have the next 5 books on my shelf ready to go.  I am thinking this will be a great binge series since the books are all fairly short and super enjoyable.

I picked this book up years ago after hearing the author discuss it and the way she dives into the relationship roles of Alpha and Beta (not shifter but personality) and I really wanted to read it. Hopefully I can get to it this year.

I met Eliza Carter at an event a couple of years ago and she is such a sweet and fun person to get to know, but I have yet to read any of her books. The second book in this series came out in November, so I really need to get caught up, and who doesn't love Vikings?!

So there are my Top 10 Indie romances on my shelf, putting them all together here makes me even more excited to pick them up.  I love supporting these authors who are putting so much on the line and self publishing their work.  Do you have any self published romances to recommend?

Monday, February 8, 2021

Mystery Monday: The Whole Cat and Caboodle by Sofie Ryan

 Welcome to a brand new feature series here on Eastern Sunset Reads!

In the mess that was 2020, one exciting thing that came about is my discovery of Cozy Mysteries.  Yes, I knew they existed before but I never had a desire to pick one up but last year I ended up reading 17 of them! Clearly they have become a regular thing for me to pick up and it is such a vast genre that I can't wait to dive into more of them.  So Mystery Monday has become a thing and will be a (at least somewhat) regular thing here.  So stop by on Mondays to see my reviews of new books I have picked up, new releases, chat about sub-genres and lots more.

For today my first Mystery Monday I have a review of the first book in a series that has piqued my interest.

Read for: Borrowed Book/ Audio Book

Synopsis: "Sarah Grayson is the happy proprietor of Second Chance, a charming shop in the oceanfront town of North Harbor, Maine. At the shop, she sells used items that she has lovingly refurbished and repurposed. But her favorite pet project so far has been adopting a stray cat she names Elvis.

Elvis has seen nine lives—and then some. The big black cat with a scar across his nose turned up at a local bar when the band was playing the King of Rock and Roll’s music and hopped in Sarah’s truck. Since then, he’s been her constant companion and the furry favorite of everyone who comes into the store.

But when Sarah’s elderly friend Maddie is found with the body of a dead man in her garden, the kindly old lady becomes the prime suspect in the murder. Even Sarah’s old high school flame, investigator Nick Elliot, seems convinced that Maddie was up to no good. So it’s up to Sarah and Elvis to clear her friend’s name and make sure the real murderer doesn’t get a second chance."

My Review: I have been wanting to try a new cozy mystery series and I had to pick this series up because of the cat, Elvis. I was kind of thinking Second Chance Cat meant it revolved around an animal rescue or something, but it ended up revolving around second hand/upcycle store. That was a bit of a surprise but at least we still get Elvis, the rough and tumble cat who has claimed his people and smarter than the average cat. I like how in this book, it isn't the main character who is spearheading the amateur investigation but is dragged into it reluctantly. This mystery had quite the interesting cast of characters, the elderly crowd was so entertaining and quirky, the side story of the younger generation trying to keep the older generation out of trouble was so entertaining. With the mystery itself, there were some pretty good twists throughout, we are definitely guided down a specific path to a suspect but as always small details throughout the story add up to the conclusion. I will definitely be trying more books in this series and hopefully more time in this small town will draw me in more.

My Rating: There were certainly some interesting characters, a great cozy companion and a nice small town atmosphere, all things I love in a book. So while it wasn't quite as I expected, that is my own fault for not reading the synopsis and just jumping to a conclusion. While I am not 100% hooked on this one, I am definitely willing to give the next book a shot, the good thing is if I do get hooked, there are only 7 books in the series so far, not too daunting of a backlist but also enough to keep me occupied for a while.  I give this one a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.