The Curious Mind of a Scientist: Melodie Winawer


P.S.A I know it’s been a while, folks. But bear with me for just a few more days. Today, Melodie Winawer shares her inspiration for her debut novel, The Scribe of Siena. I absolutely loved this novel and reading about what inspired her to write this book only takes it a bit further. You can read my 5-star review here. 


My ideas for writing creep up on me—sometimes I wonder whether they come from me at all. When I started Scribe I hadn’t even been planning to write a novel. That isn’t entirely true—I’d been thinking about writing a novel for more than thirty years. What made me decide to write this novel at that particular moment? We’d just sold our house and bought a new house but it needed renovations so we moved into my mom’s apartment with our three kids. I was between books—not reading anything, and missing the feeling of being in an absorbing story, at the same time as being in a limbo of life stages too, between homes. During those few strange months where I was longing to be absorbed in a deep, compelling imaginary world, it came to me that I wanted to MAKE my own story, not READ one. So that’s what I did.

There were actually two inspirations at the heart of The Scribe of Siena. One was the history—or mystery— of Siena’s exceptional devastation and failure to recover from the Plague of 1348. The other beginning was more personal.

In addition to being a writer, I’m a neuroscientist and neurologist. The way I do scientific research goes something like this: I come up with a question I don’t know the answer to. If I don’t find an answer in easily accessible sources, I look harder. If I still don’t know the answer, I ask colleagues with special expertise. If no one knows the answer, or even better, if I find disagreement or controversy, that’s when I know I’ve found my next research project. That happened with The Scribe of Siena. The minute I started thinking and reading about Siena, I encountered an unanswered question. I learned that Siena had fared particularly badly in the great Plague of the 1340s—worse than many other Tuscan cities, Florence in particular. And I realized that a single clear answer didn’t exist to explain Siena’s decline during and after the Plague, a decline that eventually led to Siena’s loss of independence and subservience to Florentine rule under the Medici regime decades later. To make things more interesting, Florence was Siena’s arch-enemy for centuries, and in the 1340s a plot backed by Florentine nobles to overthrow Siena’s government had been attempted but failed.   Together, these details gave me that hair-raising moment, the moment I know so well from science.   I’d found my unanswered question—and that became the heart of the story. Or at least one of the hearts.

When I was in medical school, I helped take care of a 32-year-old neurologist who came for treatment of a breast lump. Medical students usually have more time to listen to patients than full-fledged doctors, and we talked for hours. Her breast biopsy was benign, but a colonoscopy showed a mass that was likely colon cancer. She was terrified and I was terrified for her. I was scheduled to assist in the operating room the next day, but I was not ready. I was afraid I couldn’t marshal the appropriate remove to allow my hands to do what they needed to do in the O.R. I’d grown too close.

I had to figure out how to get control of this empathy, rein it in enough so I could give my patient, who had begun to feel like my friend, the support she needed, without losing myself. For my new friend, the outcome was good; the cancer was removed. But that experience left me more aware of the danger, the far edge of empathy, uncontrolled. How far could it go–the ability to feel what someone else is feeling? Could it extend to the written word, or even to words written hundreds of years ago? Or blur the boundaries not only between self and other but between two times?

My experience of a physician’s empathy and its dangers led me to create my protagonist Beatrice. For Beatrice, a neurosurgeon who enjoys the great privilege of working inside patients’ brains with her hands, empathy—and its consequences—come unbidden, and unravel her orderly life. I set the book in Siena because I love the city and its history, and could imagine spending years thinking and writing about it. Siena is simultaneously modern and medieval, a city where the past and present coexist. So it became the perfect place for me to set this story of a woman who, at first against her will, and then by desire, loses her place in time.


Thank you so much, Melodie. I’m especially delighted to learn about Melodie’s seemingly enhanced empathic ability and where it came from. In my experience, a genuinely sympathetic doctor is one that I’ll always come back to. And I suppose being too involved in your patient’s well-being is one of the hazards of the job. That’s one of the things I loved about Beatrice. Besides the fact that she’s eternally curious, resourceful, and tenacious. 

Your love for the city of Siena shone through with every careful description of the medieval culture, food, and the overall mise en scène captured in your novel. Definitely on the ever-growing bucket list!

FIND MELODIE HERE:

Twitter | Website | Timeless Tour | Facebook

[715]: The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer

A sensory overload that shows the dark romanticism of the medieval past.


The Scribe of Siena
by Melodie Winawer

Debut novelist Melodie Winawer takes us to 14th century Italy right on the cusp of the Black Plague contagion.

A neurosurgeon in the contemporary time, Beatrice Trovato never knew what was lying in wait for her when she came to Italy. Having just lost her brother unexpectedly, the decision to honour his legacy by continuing on with his work was something she inherited.  He was on the verge of discovering the genesis of the Black Plague. And because it was a blight in the history of Siena, local historians didn’t take too well on Beatrice’s intrusion. But she persevered. Especially when she discovered the journal written by a local artist from hundreds of years ago.  The journal that will transport her to the year before the spread of the Black Plague.

Set in the backdrop of a period in history ripe with conspiracy and political intrigue, The Scribe of Siena is a languid tale of time travel, medical mystery, romance, and murder. Melodie Winawer is a scholar at heart – and it shows with every delicate and intricate detail. Though at times verbose, the writing showed intelligence and industrious research. I, for one, was caught almost immediately by page one. Through her words, I felt like Beatrice seeing Italy in a way that she’s never seen before. She tasted foods that are, in a lot of ways, culinary magic in their simple, most organic form. And the way she showed how art was preserved all through these years made me want to pack a bag and book the next flight to any countries that were cradles of civilization.

Beatrice is an incredible character. She was resourceful and clever; persistent and untiring. I love her passion in medicine and in helping people. I also love her relationship with her brother who became her father figure when they both lost their parents. It was sadly cut short, but readers can tell how big of a role he played in her life. She also seems to have a knack for adapting to any situations in which she was forced. To find herself in medieval Italy and not break down in tears of desperation was admirable to me. Some may find this unbelievable but I thought Melodie has done such a great job in character development that I was convinced Beatrice was such a person who effectively compartmentalized emotions and situations that help her deal with any trauma in a calm manner. (It’s the neurosurgeon in her, I think.)

Beatrice also has this uncanny and very pronounced emphatic ability. It’s almost like a sixth sense that enabled her to detect any grave diseases in her patients that technology is, otherwise,  unable to detect. A great mystery and mysticism that only enhanced my admiration for her.

Gabrielle, on the other hand, dealt with his own grief the only way an artist know how. (He lost his wife while giving birth to their stillborn son.) He threw himself in his work and never lost faith in the Divine (as evidenced by his work). Their romance was gentle and tentative on the whole. Part of this is Beatrice’s uncertainty with her future or very distant past, as it were.

This book didn’t incite boredom. I was captivated, intrigued and for an entire weekend, completely immersed. I was curious right along with Beatrice to see a place from a different perspective. Apologies for this supremely long winded gushing. But if you’ve not the time to read this review in its entirety, then there are only two words that you need to know: READ THIS.

Read this for the romance.

Read this for a peek at a period in Italian history unlike anything you’ve read before.

Read this for Beatrice – who is easily one of the coolest, bad-ass chick I’ve read in a while.

Whichever reason you picked for trying this book on for size, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I have.

On the Night Table [47]: Some Leftovers


The Murderer’s Ape by Jakob Wegelius | The Rising by Bairbre Tóibín | Exit West by Mohsin Hamid | The Only Child by Andrew Pyper


I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend. The nice weather that I was looking forward to on Friday didn’t happen but we did have a warm Saturday at least. I was able to do a lot of indoor work so the backyard Spring cleaning was postponed until next weekend.

I did a lot of projects inside the house which included revamping my living room to make it cozier. If you remember, last year, I embraced the minimalist style of home decorating so I had very limited decorations and uniformly subdued colours. Lately, though, I’ve been finding that the beauty in the eclectic mixing of colours, patterns, and textures. One of these days, I might just have to show you what I did. I took great delight in unearthing a bunch of my old home decors packed in boxes in the basement. Oddly enough, they worked splendidly well with what I was trying to achieve. Anyway, enough about that. Let me give you an update of my reading week.

This week’s pile.

I have been trying to get to a couple of books on my pile this week since they’ve been on my night table for weeks now. Sadly, I have not been getting too many for review books as of late – which is all right, I guess. I have plenty enough to read. And I really want to get rid of these so I can tackle some Net Galley books that have been sitting in my Kindle for years.

Last week.

Well, I read quite a few books last week. I managed to read 5 – it was a long weekend, after all.

The Improbability of Love started out good but it turned out to be a huge disappointment. Alex, Approximately was so awesome. Easily one of my favourite reads this year! Geekerella was fun. Mister Moneybags was a hoot. Alter Egos was interesting but I ended up raging after everything is said and done.

That was my week. How was yours?

Timeless Tour Discussion Questions

Hello. As you know, I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of Simon & Schuster Canada’s Timeless Tour endeavor. It features three books depicting stories from three time periods. As a fan of Historical Fiction, this was a great experience for me as it allowed me to see three stories from different eras. So today, I’d like to share with you what I’ve thought so far.


What was your favorite historical time period among the Timeless Tour reads? Did you know anything about this period before you began reading the book?

As a creature of comfort, it would be easy for me to dream about living in Versailles where excess was rampant and decadence was the norm. But I supposed living it up in that time period would depend on the hierarchy of my social status. There’s also that language barrier thing that limits my knowledge to French numerals and days of the week. So I don’t think living in that time period would work out so well for me. 

In Promises to Keep, I was shown the idyllic lives of the Acadian people in the East Coast during the 17th century. It offered a bountiful farmland and an abundant sea. It shows a life that left most of its inhabitant cocooned in contentful simplicity. That is until the English invaded and ruined the party. What happened next was immeasurable hardship and loss for the Acadian people. Resilient though, as they may be, I can’t say the same for myself.

Now, who wouldn’t want to live in historic Siena, Italy? The entire country is on my bucket list so it would be easy to assume that I’d pick the 15th century to time travel to, right? Besides the fact that I wouldn’t know the first thing about living life in medieval times (that creature of comfort thing is very inconvenient), this is the Black Plague period, y’all. Where people died in the thousands! So no, I wouldn’t want to go back to this era only to suffer the same fate.

So I’m faced with a conundrum. If given the choice, which era can I truly find myself living in? Well, since all three presents different challenges, I supposed I’d pick the one where I’ll be able to control my destiny and choose Versailles. I can learn a trade and work if my social caste falls below what’s considered bourgeois. And the language barrier thing is not really all that challenging. If it can be learned, I can handle it.

How did the historical events in each book influence the character’s choices and personalities?

The one thing that the heroines in all three books have in common is resilience. It would be easy to write off Jeanne (The Enemies of Versailles) as one who’ve used the basest form of feminine power to influence her stature in life, but regardless of the method, she did what she could to change things with nary a thought to propriety. Don’t get me wrong, she realized that she was being used by the dubious and powerful Du Barry but in turn, she found a way to use this to her advantage.

Amongst the three, Amelie, perhaps was a person who characterized resilience and strength in the most obvious way possible. The incredible struggle she and her family went through during the Expulsion of the Acadians didn’t lessen her resolve to hope, to believe, and to live. And though at times she seemed like she’d reached the end of her rope, this girl just kept strengthening her resolve until she found renewed courage.

Beatrice, on the other hand, was propelled by the love of her brother who had become her father since they were orphaned when he was only 17 years old. She was also very intelligent (neurosurgeon) and very brave for continuing her brother’s quest despite having the odds stacked against her. She found a way to delay her grief if only to fulfill her brother’s legacy. Finding herself in the 13th century with no means to get back to the present didn’t faze her. She worked with what she knew and used her intelligence to survive.

If you could invite one of the Timeless Tour leading ladies (Beatrice, Jeanne, or Amelie) to dinner, who would you choose and why?

I feel like Beatrice would have a lot of stories to tell. Besides the fact that she knows a great deal about the human brain, her stint in the Middle Ages must’ve given her a different perspective about the world in general. Even though she’s a Scientist first and foremost, I can tell she’s a thinker as a whole. And the lady never stopped learning. She’s very intuitive, curious, and completely adaptable.

The Scribe of Siena starts in the present before Beatrice is transported back in time to 1347, whereas Promises to Keep and Enemies of Versailles are firmly rooted in one timeline. How did this change your reading experience?

I don’t think there’s no other way for this story to begin but at the present time. I mean, considering time travel is a key element to this novel, starting it in the past wouldn’t nearly have the same effect. I love this book. It’s perfect the way it is. 🙂

In the past, powerful women have been written out of textbooks. How do the protagonists of the Timeless Tour novels challenge the misconception that women in history were passive, submissive and dependent?

The women in the three novels were all resourceful and resilient creatures. They found ways to overcome obstacles even while restrained by the ties that bind them. Jeanne used her beauty to change her station in life; Amelie stood up to the soldiers that were holding her family hostage. With each loss she suffered, she picked herself up because she had a family who was dependent on her. Beatrice’s quest to continue her brother’s work was met with resistance from the local scholars who seemed to have their own agendas working in the background. Not to mention, her courage shown when she was transported to the Middle Ages. So time and time again, these women exuded strength, fierceness, and audacity unheard of the time period which they belong.


Thank you for joining me today and I’m sorry this took a bit long. I wanted you to see the fierceness of these women with whom I had the pleasure of reading. 

The Comment Section


Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

(From A Psalm of Life, Henry Wordsworth Longfellow)

This is Longfellow basically telling y’all that life is short so don’t waste it. Yesterday, I found myself engaging in a debate on social media again. Sometimes, I get by with a shrug of my shoulder and move on. But there are times when I let it get to me. Yesterday was the latter. Which sucks because it ruins my day completely. Do you remember when you started caring about politics? I was thinking about that on Sunday when I was strolling the aisles of the grocery store. I remember going to Arizona with my hubby years ago and engaging with the service car driver about American politics. Fortunately for me, we shared the same opinions. Her son was serving in the military and was gay. (I was surprised when she shared this to me as well). Her family was happy that President Barrack Obama was pursuing the elimination of “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell” rule. I don’t really remember how we got started talking about politics, to be honest. Anyway, just a great example of why we shouldn’t readily dismiss a person because of their political opinions. You don’t know who’s behind the keyboard or their motivation as to why they voted one way or another.

I think it was Lin-Manuel who said as a reminder to “not get stuck in the comment section of your daily life”. And the worst way to do that is to waste a beautiful day in a war of words with some unknown person hundreds of miles away from you.

[714]: Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

An action-packed ending featuring an unpredictable enemy.


Etched in Bone
by Anne Bishop

 After each painful wait for consecutive installments, we sadly come to the end of this perennial favorite. We’ve come to know everything about this world; the valuable and vulnerable blood prophets, The Others who reign all that is natural and supernatural; the humans who hate them, and the humans who are smart to enough to know what it will cost to make enemies of them.

Anne Bishop has always been a household name in the annals of the Fantasy genre. But it’s only through The Others that she broke through mainstream Urban Fantasy. I, for one, would’ve never known about her books had I not read Written in Red years ago, and that’s all thanks to the prodding of my reader friends. It’s always tough to say goodbye to a well-loved series. Especially if it had become an annual event religiously marked on your calendar.

*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***

So after five books of waiting for the Meg/Simon thing to happen, I’m a little disappointed with what we’ve gotten. I don’t know much about how Ms. Bishop handles romances in her books, but I’m not a fan of the spic and span cleanliness of the bedroom antics (or lack thereof) here. To some extent, I understood. I get that Meg is virtually a child when it comes to matters of the heart. I also understand that Simon wouldn’t know the first thing about having a relationship with a human. However, I wish we saw more of their struggle to figure shit out. But, I digress. Perhaps I’m focusing on the wrong thing here. Perhaps this is paranormal first among everything else. Even before romance. I can at least agree that Anne Bishop gave me something even better than everything I’ve come to expect from this genre. Something worthwhile. The world itself is a gift. And the characters, equally amazing.

But besides the fact that the romance left me unsatisfied, I also felt like the antagonist in this final book was anti-climactic. Don’t get me wrong, the bad guy featured here was thoroughly convincing. He was one without scruples, conscience, and basic human decency. However, I firmly believed that it would’ve served the series better if the HFL were defeated here instead of in the fourth book. In all honesty, I felt like this was nothing but an addendum or a means to unnecessarily extend a series. Because the bad guy here seemed to have come from nowhere. Throughout the series, I thought he was only a hazard to his family and would not pose a grave danger to Meg, least of all The Others. So to see him play a major role in the series-ender was on the wrong side of unexpected surprise. After all, how could the ever powerful Others be defeated by a selfish, insipid idiot who took advantage of his family’s terror-induced generosity? The HFL at least had a movement and had the support of the minority of the human population.

Despite those two misgivings, The Others will remain one of my favorite Paranormal/Urban Fantasy series. Each installment provided mystery and suspense; dark humor and fantastical elements; action and heart-warming moments. There was never a dull moment all thanks to the even pacing, interesting cast of characters, and plot lines that never fail to incite curiosity and anticipation.

 If you were to ask me a question in which fictional world I’d choose to live, I’d readily pick this one.  Where the supernatural beings have the power to rid Earth of evil humans in one fell swoop. Where the balance of power greatly rests on the beings that know more about what’s good for the environment than the big corporations. Because now more than ever, we could use some lessons about greed, power-hungry politicians, gluttony, and excess.

Hoarders, Books Edition: Episode 203


The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley | The Chosen by J.R. Ward | You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner | Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik | Geekerella by Ashley Poston | Literally by Lucy Keating | Exit West by Mohsin Hamid | Saga Volume 7 by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughn


Hello!

How was your weekend, y’all? Well, good news! They offered me a full-time, permanent position! Thanks to all of you who wished me good luck. My boss finally talked to me on Friday and asked me if I wanted to stay on. I’m so relieved, you guys! To not have to worry about going on job hunts and interviews make me so happy. I’m basically keeping the position I was doing and the person I did the maternity relief for is assuming a different role when she comes back in a week. So good news all around since I don’t have to train for another position. My boss did say they’re going to cross-train me in other areas sometime in the future so I’m looking forward to that.

This Weekend.

I started my Spring cleaning on Saturday. I aerated the soil on my front and back lawns in time for Spring growth, then I managed to talk my husband into cleaning out the garage. We got rid of a bunch of stuff and donated it to our neighborhood charity shop. Next weekend is a long weekend which means I’ve already got a few things lined up on what to tackle next. I’ve got some lawn furniture and planters to spray paint and a laundry room to organize. I also want to tackle the dirt and grime on our patio blocks, as well, the caked-on grease on hubby’s barbecue. I’m exhausted just thinking about what’s ahead. Lol. But adulting is exhausting as you know. 🙂

We had such a warm day on Saturday (it got up to 19 C) then the temperature plummeted to -2 the next day. Egad. I had to break out my winter coat again because the bitter cold wind was whipping all day yesterday. It’s supposed to stay frigid for the next two days. Let’s hope it’ll be warm by the time long weekend rolls in.

I went thrifting and found these:

I’ve always wanted to read a Tana French novel but I’ve yet to find the time. I found this Broken Harbor copy which looks practically brand new. Also a huge fan of Linda Howard so I try to find her backlist of books. They’re a rarity at my charity shop so really surprised to score these!

R  E  A  D    L  A  S  T     W  E  E  K

Promises to Keep was a learning experience. Strange the Dreamer was freaking amazing. The Unexpected Everything and I did not get along. The Chosen was really good.

 So that was my week. How was yours? 

[713]: Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham

Today’s post is my stop for Genevieve Graham’s latest, Promises to Keep for Simon & Schuster Canada’s Timeless Tour. For more details, follow the link here.


Promises to Keep
by Genevieve Graham

One of the best things I love about Historical Fiction is that it awakens a hunger in me to learn more. It’s an appetite that forces me to go beyond the storylines and seek the basis of the novel.

After devouring this in practically one sitting, I’ve come to realize that I don’t know much about the history of this great nation. I didn’t go to school here; even though I’ve been living here for 20+ years now. Other than the brief history I needed to learn in order for me to get my Canadian citizenship status; the current events, political or otherwise, my knowledge about this great country of mine is pretty paltry. Thanks to this book, I’ve developed an interest in the Expulsion of the Acadian people in the 17th century. 

On the surface, Promises to Keep is a story about the romantic entanglement between an Acadian and English soldier. But on the large, it’s about the resiliency of the Acadian people at a time when they were forced out of their land and imprisoned in a ship on their way to exile. It is also about the fierce relationship between the Mi’kmaq people and the French Canadians. This was an especially curious interest to me the most.

Over the course of history, all we’ve ever known about the relationships between the indigenous people and the invaders of their land was how it was ripe with contempt and ill will. But the Mi’kmaq people and the French had developed a friendship that left the English confounded. Perhaps it was in this resulting uncanny camaraderie that the Acadian hoped for a better outcome of the invasion.

The Acadian people wanted to believe that they can live in harmony with the English soldiers. They showed little to no resistance; they fed them even. But they would soon realize that the dictates of war offer no such euphony. The English would leave them homeless first, then confined in the bellows of a ship sailing the perilous Atlantic Ocean towards the South.

Before the invasion, Genevieve depicted the idyllic life of the Acadians set in the backdrop of a lush farming land and the giving sea. There were conviviality and togetherness in the small population of Grand Pre. Unfortunately, the serenity would not last. Through her words, she also conveyed their hardship during the invasion. The more often hopelessness of their situation: the hunger, the filth they had to wade through, and their resolve to see through their plight no matter how desperate their situation. 

And amidst this struggle, was the budding and tremulous romance between Amelie and Connor MacDonnell. It’s one that’s forbidden, dangerous but all the more important because their entanglement was the flint the Acadian needed to spark their resistance. MacDonnell was first burdened with a choice between doing his duties as a soldier and doing what’s right for Amelie’s people. But given his history with the British Army, this choice soon became less of a burden but more of the end justifying the means. 

He was once a victim of the English invasion as well. He’s a Scot who had seen and tasted what the English were capable of when they marauded Scotland. After his entire family was killed during the war, he was left with no other choice but to become a soldier in service of the Queen. Even if he was full of hatred for the English. Which is why the decision to betray them even it means his death came to him easily. 

Amelie was a strong woman who had to make hard decisions as well but never did she wallow or second guessed herself knowing what was at stake. She had a fierce love and loyalty to her family; a sense of belonging with the Mi’kmaq people, and love for her land that had given them so much over the years.

I started reading this book at noon on a Sunday. I finished reading it on my ride to work the following day. If you’ve ever considered Historical Fiction boring, Promises to Keep was far from it. Genevieve Graham rendered the most romantic landscape of the East Coast amidst the imperious haze of a brewing war. This book was a measly 300+ pages. But it offered so much perspective and connection to the characters and the history.


Genevieve’s Website | Twitter | Facebook

Waiting on Wednesday [13]: April Releases

Welcome to this month’s list of new releases that I’m dying to read.

Letters to the Lost
by Brigid Kemmerer

Publication Date: April 4th, 2017

I’ve been wanting to read this since I’ve since it floated around the blogosphere. It’s bound to break me but I’m so ready. It’s certainly been getting some great reviews so far, so let’s hope the hype machine is on point with this one.

 

 

Alex, Approximately
by Jenn Bennett

Publication Date: April 4th, 2017

Jenn Bennett has written a number of books before The Night Owls (a.k.a The Anatomical Shape of A Heart). But she’s recently broken the YA center stage with her contemporary release. I love, love The Night Owls. So, of course I needed to pick up a copy of this one. Lucky for me,  it was out early.

 

 

Waking Gods
by Sylvain Neuvel

Publication Date: April 4th, 2017

Sleeping Giants was one of my favorite Science Fiction reads of all time. And it’s because for once, I never found it to be dry nor daunting. It was such a smooth read that I never once felt like it was Sci-Fi at all. I saw this on Net Galley but I knew I had to read it in its physical form. Dying to get started.

 

 

The Chosen
by J.R. Ward

Publication Date: April 4th, 2017

This is the 15th installment for The Black Dagger Brotherhood. I’ve looked forward to reading Xcor & Layla’s story since they’ve first been introduced. I know many have asked for her to end this, but I’m not one of those begging for its death. Lol. I love this series, no matter what. If I had a choice, I wish this could be as long as JD Robb’s In Death series. Lol.

 

Mister Moneybags
by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

Publication Date: April 10th, 2017

I’ve recently become a fan of this writing duo. This quasi-series, in particular, is one of the best ones. I love the romances in each book. And I find that there is always some distinction to their characters. These books are such fun! And phew, are they ever steamy!

 

 

At Attention
by Annabeth Albert

Publication Date: April 10th, 2017

I can never resist a good M/M romance. I just found this series recently, actually and I haven’t read the first book. But I’m a huge fan of men in military! I’m also quite fond of Ms. Albert’s work so looking forward to reading this one.

 

 

So that’s all the books I’m looking forward to reading this month.
What’s on your list?

Hoarders, Books Edition: Episode 202

Welcome to the latest edition of my hoarding madness. These are the books I got this week.


Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel | Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor | The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren | Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett | Worst. Person. Ever. by Douglas Coupland | Paper Girls Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang and Matthew Wilson


Hello.

LIFE LATELY

How was your weekend? Since hubby usually has the Fridays off, I took it off as well to spend time with the kids because it’s their last day of Spring break.  I thought we would make a family day out of it. Unfortunately, nothing I wanted to do panned out. My husband had a work meeting from 8 to 10, then my daughter made plans with one of her friends. My boy didn’t want to go see Beauty and the Beast with me because he thinks the movie is “lame”. So I pretty much hung out in my bedroom for most of the day until everybody got home.

I wasn’t there when my boss had a meeting with HR about my position. So my office mate sent me a text while I was having lunch with hubby that there’s some good news waiting for me when I get in on Monday (sometime later today, I guess). Wish me luck! I love the people there. Most of them are lifers, pretty much but they treated me like I’m part of their family since day one. Admittedly, this job is not that challenging but I don’t really mind. It’s time I start thinking about retirement and since they offer a good package, I think I’m going to stick it out.

BOOKS AND THINGS

I met briefly with Kristie of Lost in Ever After to borrow her ARC of The Love Interest on Friday. I started reading it right away. I wish I can say this is worth all the hype but unfortunately, it’s not looking good. My review will probably be up in the next couple of weeks but it’s a dud so far. So disappointing.

I started reading Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. You guys. This book is so good. The world-building is astoundingly vivid; the characters are larger than life and the plot, simply amazing. I don’t know how else to explain this book but man, you have got to read it! Yet again, I find myself loving a fantasy book. I’ve been having such a great time immersing myself in worlds that are more often, beyond my imagination.

Ackkkk Alex, Approximately. You don’t know how much I’ve pined for a copy of this book! I wish I can read it right now but I have a few obligations and books I’ve started that I need to finish. Dying. Dyingggg to read this book! Also, Waking Gods. Whelp.

I’m reviewing Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham on the blog on Tuesday as my stop for Simon & Schuster Canada’s Timeless Tour. I hope you’ll stop by.

Well, that’s it for me. I hope you’ll have a great week!