Week’s Wrap Up

Tea Corner (Blog)

This week in life

Last week, I was a little behind at work, but I finally caught up and oh boy was I excited. My manager even proposed I celebrate!

So naturally, I broke out the good tea leaves ❤

Other than that, this week was somewhat dull. There was no deep cleaning or going anywhere (besides work). I had planned to start and even finish the BBNYA excerpts, but I barely got around to reading my current read, let alone anything else. I did have a lot of fun on Thursday when my cousin, her kids (my niece and nephew) and my other cousin, stopped by our house. I was working [from home] for most of their visit, but their presence really helped break up the monotony of the shift.

Then, on Twitter, Thursday, I had thrown up a little tweet asking if anyone wanted to be featured on Cozy with Books. I’ve left links on tons of writer’s lifts, blog lifts, and comments (lift?) in the past. For such an amazing community, I figured it was high time to give back. If you’re interested, feel free to leave a link as well! Authors, publishers, bookish content creators, whatever! Throw down a link so I can share the love that’s been shown and given to me!

The links post is going up next Saturday.

I also made myself a little Beacons page. I guess, in retrospect, maybe my week wasn’t as boring as I thought, huh? Beacons is so much more colorful than LinkTree and I’m liking it a lot so far! Would you believe me if I told you I spent several hours picking out the right theme? Because I did.

This week in posts (this makes for my 20th day posting streak!)

I started this week off with a book review. Last week, I finished reading Sons of Valor by Brian Andrews & Jeffrey Wilson. I had broken it up across multiple work shifts because, for me, audiobooks are my work buddies. Despite a few small flaws (terms, slang, and acronyms flying over my head), I loved the book so much that I ended up buying the first book of the previous series Tier One.

On Tuesday, I followed the book review up with the usual bookish meme, a Teaser Tuesday post. After finishing up Sons of Valor, I had an empty feeling in my heart. I’m still new to audiobooks so my TBR list for them is sparse and book to book. If I finish one, I’d have to hunt down another one before my next in-office shift (at home, I can just listen to Youtube). I was pretty tired that day and mistook the audio excerpts button for the listen now button. My little happy mistake gave me what I needed to post for Tuesday and I even have an upcoming review for it! It was short and sweet and I’m more glad, of my little oops, than anything else.

Wednesday came the WWW wrap up post for the week. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m so behind on Tomorrow’s End that I’m a little worried about my next WWW, but hey, that’s next week Esther’s problem. As mentioned above, I finished True Loaf and Sons of Valor this week and still reading Tomorrow’s End. My plan for my next read is the next up Virgil Flowers book, Deadline by John Sandford, but I maaay take a break from books just to spend some time with the excerpts. Again, that’s next week me’s problem.

Once again, just as with last Thursday, I was struggling to come up with a Thursday post and, just like last week, my lovely friend, Danni, came in a pinch and I ended up with another tag post. This time, it was the Fantasy Tropes Book Tag and I had a blast with it. I think I’m going to spend a bit of time, today, to go read some other book tags out there and hope to return the favor for the upcoming Thursday 😉

For Friday, I had another bookish meme and it was the First Lines Friday post of this week. It was a nice little way to end the work week, but I barely registered it going up and the tweet going out because I was ever slightly frantically getting as much done as possible at work. It’s actually a book from the living room bookcases and I can’t recall its origins. It’s just a book we’ve always had in our possessions, but where we got it is a mystery. It’s a thriller so maybe I’ll get around to reading it one day.

My Saturday post came out of nowhere. I started a little “blog post ideas” note in my phone and yesterday’s post was actually supposed to be “Favorite places to read” but seeing as I purchased Tier One on Tuesday, ordered Rainbow Six which arrived in the post on Friday, and purchased Weapons Grade on Friday as well, I ended up making a book haul post instead.

Did you have an interesting week? How’s your upcoming week looking?

Book Haul

Tea Corner (Blog)

Whoever handed me a rectangular piece of plastic, with credits in it, needs to take it away from me. I am irresponsible with it (JKJK)
Look, I had an extra rough week (and Friday) and rough weeks merit um … a little bit of retail therapy okay?
There’s never not a good reason to go book shopping right?

( 📣 Go SEROTONIN GO~! 📣)
 ✺◟(^∇^)◞✺

In the last few days, I ended up purchasing three books, one physical and 2 ebooks/audiobooks. When I started this post, I originally had only two books in mind but forgot that I also purchased another book a little earlier in the week so that’s a total of three books that have now joined my TBR tower.


Rainbow Six (John Clark #2) by Tom Clancy

I came across this book looking for more military fiction because I’ve really enjoyed the last few ones I came across.

I’ve only ever heard of this title (as a video game, no less) so was a little surprised to see it as a book. Imagine if I could find Astral Chain as a book?!? Or Harvest Moon?!?

I know this is nowhere near the beginning of the suggested reading order, but people mentioned that it alright as a standalone, so, If I end up loving it, I might go back and actually make my way through the series.

The book I got was a used (Like New) book from Amazon and it came wrapped up in plastic, but there were these weird little orange stains on the top edge and I’m not sure what it is (foxing?), but I’ll be making sure to keep this as far from any more humidity as possible just in case. The inside pages are still perfectly fine, nearly pristine in fact.

The prologue was already really good so I’m extra excited to get started.


Tier One (Tier One #1) by Brian Andrews & Jeffrey Wilson

If you’ve read my last review, you know that I really enjoyed Sons of Valor by Andrews & Wilson. I copped the audiobook off of NetGalley and it was a really good read. Sure, at first I had to rewind a good chunk because my brain was refusing to register half the terms and acronyms thrown at me, but I ended up loving it.

Sons of Valor was only the first book of the Tier One-shared World Series, so to fill in the gap, as I wait for the next release, I figured to go back and check the original/previous/main series. The ebook was on sale(?) at $3.99 and adding in audio was $1.99 extra. I had greatly adored my newfound authors and narrator so…cha-ching.


Weapons Grade (Avery #1) by Ross Sidor

As I hit my latest purchase, I realize that my little haul/list here has a bit of a…theme. I guess I’m in a new mood huh? (Don’t worry I haven’t grown bored of the Cyberpunk mood just yet).

I don’t recall how I landed on this book’s Goodreads page (I think it was recommended by GR? It was on a side bar). As I was going through the list of [4] books by the author I was like, “Oh? Why are all four books the same cover? Are they the translated versions? But they have different English titles.”

And then, I realized that each cover had a different gun and I just need new glasses.

The first few pages were pretty good, it was 99¢, the GR page mentioned teams (and I’m in a huge squad/team mood) so clicking the dangerous 1-Click button was pretty easy.

My family is planning a trip next month so this will be my traveling ebook of choice.

How has your week been? Have you landed any new reads?

FIRST LINES FRIDAY

Tea Corner (Blog)

Happy Friday! This week went by much slower than the last, but I somehow did much less reading!
I’m hoping that I can fit in some more reading into this weekend.

Today’s lines come from a book I have owned for a long long time. I don’t even know where this book comes from, whether it’s from the old owner of a house I moved into or from a library book sale, but I definitely did not buy this because it spans back to before I started to read any thrillers. The first few pages and the synopsis sounded pretty interesting and since it’s a mystery thriller, I’m sure it’s something I’ll eventually pick up. Maybe.

First Lines Friday is a weekly book meme 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?

  • 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!

This week’s lines:

Whitehall Palace
January 28, 1547

Katherine Parr saw that the end was approaching. Only a few more days remained, maybe a mere few hours. She’d stood silent for the past half hour and watched, as the physicians completed their examinations. The time had now come for them to deliver their verdict.

Enjoyed that preview? This week’s book is…

The King’s Deception (Cotton Malone #8) by Steve Berry

Blurb

Cotton Malone is back! Steve Berry’s new international adventure blends gripping contemporary political intrigue, Tudor treachery, and high-octane thrills into one riveting novel of suspense.
 
Cotton Malone and his fifteen-year-old son, Gary, are headed to Europe. As a favor to his former boss at the Justice Department, Malone agrees to escort a teenage fugitive back to England. But after he is greeted at gunpoint in London, both the fugitive and Gary disappear, and Malone learns that he’s stumbled into a high-stakes diplomatic showdown—an international incident fueled by geopolitical gamesmanship and shocking Tudor secrets.
 
At its heart is the Libyan terrorist convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103, who is set to be released by Scottish authorities for “humanitarian reasons.” An outraged American government objects, but nothing can persuade the British to intervene.
 
Except, perhaps, Operation King’s Deception.
 
Run by the CIA, the operation aims to solve a centuries-old mystery, one that could rock Great Britain to its royal foundations.
 
Blake Antrim, the CIA operative in charge of King’s Deception, is hunting for the spark that could rekindle a most dangerous fire, the one thing that every Irish national has sought for generations: a legal reason why the English must leave Northern Ireland. The answer is a long-buried secret that calls into question the legitimacy of the entire forty-five-year reign of Elizabeth I, the last Tudor monarch, who completed the conquest of Ireland and seized much of its land. But Antrim also has a more personal agenda, a twisted game of revenge in which Gary is a pawn. With assassins, traitors, spies, and dangerous disciples of a secret society closing in, Malone is caught in a lethal bind. To save Gary he must play one treacherous player against another—and only by uncovering the incredible truth can he hope to prevent the shattering consequences of the King’s Deception.

The Fantasy Tropes Book Tag

Tea Corner (Blog)

Happy Thursday morning!
Today’s post is going to be another book tag!
I was tagged by the lovely Danni over at For Books Sake! Make sure you give her blog a visit too 💯
Thank you Danni for the tag ❤

Rules:

  • Mention the creator ( One’s Peculiar )
  • Answer the questions
  • Tag as many people as you like
  • HAVE FUN!

1 – The Lost Princess – A book/series you lost interest in halfway through.

Harry Potter.
I only made it up to book 5, I believe, though book 4 was my most vivid.

I quite enjoyed reading those books as a kid, not because they were particularly good books, but because I felt cool being this pint of a child carrying around a tome of a book. But by the time I was in high school, I started to find other books more fun (nonfiction science books and history books). Then I started college where I completely stopped reading (for fun) to focus on studying and by the time I finally picked up a book again, post graduation, I just simply lost interest with Harry Potter and didn’t care for the writing or plot anymore. I know how the series ends. I know who dies. And that’s enough to satisfy my curiosity.

2 – The Knight in Shining Armour – A hyped book/series you were swept up by.

You know what? I have such a backlog of books I want to read that I haven’t actually made it to the latest hype books that have been circulating BookTwt or BookTok! Though…Prince of Thorns was pretty popular and I loved Mark Lawrence’s Prince of Fools so I might enjoy Prince of Thorns. But for truly reading and getting swept up by a hyped up book/series? Not yet.

3 – The Wise Old Wizard – An author who amazes you with his/her writing.

A recent new discovery and new author for me, I quite enjoyed reading Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Shards of Earth, so much so that I’m sitting here eagerly waiting for the second book of The Final Architects series. The book and the writing blew me away. So, here I am, low-key stalking the series 👀

4 – The Maiden in Distress – An undervalued character you wished had a bigger storyline.

The Shattered Sigil Trilogy has two main POVs, first person (Dev) and third person (Kiran). Dev has a friend, that Kiran eventually grows closer to too, but I don’t believe she has her own POV chapters, or if she did, it’s not enough, compared to the main two (it’s been a year or two since I last read the books). I love the trio, though most of the books revolve around Dev and Kiran so it’s understandable. Still, I’d love to read more about Cara and hoping I’ll see more of her in the final book.

5 – The Magical Sword –  A magical item/ability you wish authors used less.

I don’t think I’ve ever wished for an item or ability to be used less so I’m not sure for this one.

6 – The Mindless Villain – A phrase you cannot help but roll your eyes at.

Is there anyone who is going to say anything other than the “Held a breath they didn’t know they were holding”? I used to think it was a YA thing but now I see that it’s everywhere. This phrase is haunting me!

7 – The Untamed Dragon – A magical creature you wish you had as a pet.

Ah, my favorite question on here!

When I was a kid, I drew up a continent map made up of countries, different religions, leaderships, different local delicacies (you name it)…and of course different creatures! Amongst them (albeit still rare) were cat sized dragons! They were the spicier versions of dogs, but less so than cats. One of my OCs had one named Apple, a runt even amongst his species of “micro-dragons” who loved eating apples, resting on his owner’s hair and using it’s tail as a scrunchie. His favorite place to sleep was in the fire of the fireplace. There’s a special orb that can change a mico-dragon into a much bigger one and my OC would ride it like a dragon rider, striking from Apple’s back with his lance and…and I could talk all day about it.

(Listen. I put nearly 2 decades worth of thought into my imaginary world!)

8 – The Chosen One – A book/series you will always root for.

[Not a fantasy series but] My favorite series that I’ll always love and definitely always root for would be the Virgil Flowers series by John Sandford. I’ve read 9 out of the 13 books and I hope they never stop coming.

Tagging:

WWW Wednesday

Tea Corner (Blog)

Going round and round and we end up here on a Wednesday again. Where did the rest of the week poof off to? No idea. I’m not sure how it’s already Wednesday again.

What are you currently reading?

This week’s current reads are split between Tomorrow’s End and BBNYA excerpts. I’m hoping to finish both before next Monday. Tomorrow’s End was in last week’s current reads, but I’m only a small way in. I’m loving it to pieces so far. The characters, the world…but I have to wait for the book review before I can start gushing and plus, I do have a lot of the book still left to go through.

What did you recently finish?

Two this time! Sure, one of them is super small, but I really loved and adored it. True loaf was actually published back in 2020, but the audiobook version is due to come out on the 27th of this month so I’ll wait until next week to throw up a little mini review of it.

I also recently finished and posted a review for Sons of Valor by Brian Andrews & Jeffrey Wilson (and narrated by Ray Porter). I LOVED the read and even found myself some new authors to follow. I even ended up downloading the first book of their other/previous series: Tier One Thrillers (with audio).

What do you think you’ll read next?

The same as last week. I’m still planning on reading Deadline by John Sandford next, but unless I find myself another audiobook on NetGalley, I may throw in Tier One in as the audiobook read of the week.

How’s your week looking?

Teaser Tuesday

Tea Corner (Blog)

I kid you not, I sat at my desk, Monday evening, agonizing over my Tuesday post, not knowing what book to pick up next because I was still reading my last week’s Teaser Tuesday book.

Of course, I ended up at NetGalley, poking around both the request and listen now tabs for my next audiobook (to take with me to work today) and somehow, my sleep deprived self managed to mistake the download button for the audio extract button. My clumsy hands literally found my next read for me before my brain could even process what I’d done. Is this a happy accident? Fate??

It’s a pretty short story (~16-17 minutes) but the cover was absolutely gorgeous and it’s probably what drew me in in the first place. I haven’t really read it yet, simply sliding to a random minute, but where I landed sounded like such a fairytale so I’m quite excited.

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker, where all you have to do is to grab your current read, pick a random page, and select a non-spoiler sentence or two (from somewhere on that page) to share! If you enjoy the teaser, you might even want to add it to your own TBR!

This week’s teaser is…

Riley was eager to find her plant and get home to a nice warm bath, but when she looked around the tree, all she saw was more forest. This better not be some type of trick or else I’ll be pissed! Feeling silly, she ran around the tree once, she peeked, still only endless forest.

Enjoyed what you read? This book is…

True Loaf by L. Austen Johnson

Look at this cover. LOOK AT THIS COVER!!

Blurb

A fun and enchanting modern fairytale.

When a strange man puts in a strange request at the bakery where she works, Riley must go on a mini-adventure to find one unusual ingredient. Along the way, she realizes that things are not always what they seem and that fae might just be real.

DURATION: 16 Minutes, 3 Seconds

Book Review: Sons of Valor by Brian Andrews and Jeffrey Wilson

2021, Book Reviews, By Year

Book Description

Title: Sons of Valor
Authors: Brian Andrews & Jeffrey Wilson
Edition: NetGalley > Audiobooks
Narrator: Ray Porter
Length: 12 Hours and 5 Minutes
Genre: Fiction, Military Thriller, Military Fiction
TW/CW: Death, violence, terrorisms, war, mentions of torture, graphic violence and death,

Disclaimer: An audiobook copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. This did not affect my review and all opinions are mine.

Blurb

Sons of valor …

Navy SEAL Keith ”Chunk” Redman has been one of the military’s top doorkickers since the day he pinned on his trident: loyal, single-minded, lethal. Tasked to lead a new, covert team of Tier One SEALs — the most elite special operators in the world — Chunk can no longer simply rely on the status quo. To safeguard America, he needs help to stay a step ahead of its adversaries.

Brilliant at spotting patterns in the data that others miss, ex-CIA analyst Whitney Watts sees evidence of a troubling link between illicit Chinese arms sales and an attack on a US military convoy in Afghanistan. If she’s right, it would portend not only massive casualties, but a devastating threat to global stability.

Sons of war …

From the ashes of a never-ending war, a new generation of terrorists has arisen: sophisticated, tech-savvy, and hiding in plain sight among America’s allies. Battered by the Taliban and by the West, they call themselves al Qadr — Power and Destiny — and they’re determined to wrest back control of their homeland. Armed with a powerful combat drone, they can strike with deadly precision at US forces in the region — but their ambitions reach far, far beyond that.

A new legacy …

The new Tier One’s first mission will require them to not only prove themselves, but to stop an enemy who’s using military tactics against them. Chunk and his team aren’t just the tip of the spear; they’re America’s first, last, and best counterterrorism defense. And they couldn’t have arrived at a more urgent — and perilous — time.

Review

Sons of Valor is a fiction; a military fiction and thriller. It’s also a spin-off from another series that came before, which I have not read yet. This book is an audiobook I picked up from NetGalley and now that I’m done with it, I am already invested enough that I have to go back and read the other books, because hot damn! With the exception of a few retrospective moments and a couple nods to old memories, I wasn’t ever lost, so even if you started here, like I did, you should be fine. By itself, the book stands very well even if you haven’t read the Tier One books. Not having read the other series didn’t make this one hard to read or follow in any way. However, there was a moment, a very suspenseful moment, towards the end where the main character was reminded of a similar incident happening previously and at that point, I knew I just needed to go back so I can read and catch up on the characters.

I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time and I’m now mildly obsessed with digging up more from both these two authors and other books from the same genre. Our two main characters here are Lieutenant Keith Redman (Chunk) and Whitney Watts (Heels), but there are others in this team (Ryker, Saw, Trip, etc). The main characters are real and very complex, with their own very strong personalities, histories, and demons that haunt them and the authors certainly didn’t slack on making sure the others in the team wouldn’t fall flat either.

Chunk, previously a character in the Tier One series, now stars in his own series, this spin-off. He’s an amazing character and a strong leader to his team, all of whom looks up to him and count on him. He’s a man with “arms of a gorilla” but beneath his gruff exterior is a very caring heart. He cares deeply for everyone, especially his team whom he considers family. He also takes care of Whitney because he really threw her into the deep end of the pool (and apologizes later with promises of better preparations next time) in this book. Chunk’s got his past haunting him and he’s determined to never make that mistake again. He’s not perfect and nobody in this book is, but he quickly becomes very likeable.

Whitney is a former CIA analyst, recruited to help out the newly reformed Tier One team. She’s a strong female character and I loved her because through her we, the readers, got to learn more of the action to which she was just as new too. There’s a point in the book where it was her first time shooting someone. She was dubbed “Heels” because she had shown up on her first day with her heels as opposed to something more field ready. She’s smart and thinks outside of the boxes and has better hunch hits than any other person I know, fictional character or real life. She’s got the right fire and resolve to fit into the group and her pace isn’t anything super human, because she has to learn to slowly fit into this group. Throughout the book and even right to the very end (epilogue) there were multiple times she doubted herself and whether she would fit into the team or not. Her previous job, as she had mentioned on several occasions, was to be an analyst! Physically being on the field and in danger is something new to her! However, it is thanks to her and her sharp wits, that the team uncovers so much and makes as great of a leap as they do because she’s so steadfast in her theories. While I thought that the team and Chunk were fantastic characters, I think Whitney would be my favorite out of everyone.

And speaking of teams, I love the team factor here. I’ve been looking for a squad/team book for a while and I finally feel like I hit a pot of gold. I love the slight banters between everyone and their conversations. I loved their teasing and at one point, when Saw mentioned that Chunk was a little green (due to his fear of Sharks and the fact that they were about to go swimming near them), Saw had started to hum while Ryker chimed in with the lyrics from Baby Shark and what a way to start a book.

The pacing was excellent and very fast paced. There were no major break time for anyone as Whitney was always coming up with and discovering new horrifying truths that would catapult the team to act quickly least many lives would be in danger. Most of the story was separated into their own little sections where the beginning consisted of training and introductions, followed by a hunch that was being investigated (leading to a waterfall of other clues and theories) and then finally, the action kicks in hard. It’s a pretty linear storyline and towards a certain point, there was just no going back.

I absolutely loved this book, though it’s not for the faint hearted. There was definitely a moment where I either held my breath or my pulse quickened. There was a particular scene that was life or death and had my heart in my throat because the writing was so vivid and the narration so realistic that I was terrified for the character. There’s heartbreak, there’s violence, and lots and lots of death. Everyone, protagonist and antagonist, are fighting for their own beliefs and goals. There’s nothing and nobody to hate because even the bad guys are written so well, their backgrounds full of tragedy and pain. Their own personal nightmares haunt them and lead them to their current path and roles in this story.

I had the audiobook version of Sons of Valor and the narrator was Ray Porter. As soon as the book opened up, I was already in awe. He did a fantastic job and, like I previously mentioned, it was also thanks to his narration and his voice – a slight quiver here or the sighs and exhausted conversations there – that brought the book’s scenes and characters right in front of me. It was thanks to his narrations that lead me to be petrified during that one scene and I felt close to tears because, had I been there, I probably would’ve really cried (which wouldn’t have mattered because I’d first have died). Ray did a great job and was always switching between accents and genders very smoothly. During dialogues, you can tell all the characters apart because he personalized a voice for every character present.
Despite my recent increase in audiobooks, I still haven’t read too many of them so Ray is still new to me, but I am already in love, just from this one book. He did a marvelous job at voicing the story and characters.

Military thrillers and fiction aren’t generally my go to, but in the few that I’ve read, they’ve all been enjoyable. The only worry I have towards the genre have always been missing on the jargon. Some books, and not just military fiction, would occasionally drop a small glossary towards the back while others would often string out a little paragraph or two explaining things, but there was just too much going on here to do that. A lot of the acronyms, words, slang and jargon, and weapons flew over my head. At first, my head swam and I was worried that I was going to either be very very lost or not going to enjoy the book because I was missing some of the “visuals” but as time went by, it really didn’t matter. Some terms I started to pick up very quickly and others were completely okay to miss. It didn’t really affect my ability to read or keep up with the book and by the end, it was hardly something I remembered being worried about.

This was a great read and both the authors, Andrews and Wilson, and the narrator did a phenomenal job with it. I’ll definitely be adding them to my favorites and will be reading more of their previous books as I await the next in this series to see how it pans out.

Week’s Wrap Up

Tea Corner (Blog)

Hey! I somehow managed to string together 12 days of posting. I think that’s a personal record!

This week in life:

It’s been a fairly busy work week with deadlines for financials and home life has been just about as busy.

I spent the entire yesterday cleaning, and this time, I was even motivated enough to take everything down (including all of the 80+ rubber ducks I own) gave every duck a little scrub to get the dust off, wiped down the shelves on my bookcase, and ran over most of the books with an alcohol wipe. I ended up reorganizing my shelf so that all of my books were on one shelf and the other stuff (binders, craft papers, etc) and ducks on the other shelf. Unfortunately, I ran out of duck room and all of the 16 winter themed ducks ended up back on the main book shelf. I even ended up fixing up my nightstand and threw some of my current read books there too.

I’d say, my weekend has been fairly productive and pleasant so far (minus the tornado warning that I was not expecting) and I even managed to get some reading in after a 4 day reading slump!

Some of my ducks. I have 16 winter/Xmas ducks that went to the book shelf along with 6 other random ones.
Most of them are gifts from my brother ❤

This week in posts:

I started Monday off with a Spotlight for Shadow Stained by Rachel Hobbs. The spotlight was for book 1 in which the 2nd book is to come out later this year!

Of course, I followed that with the usual Teaser Tuesday post. I started the book out confused and honestly, I’m still a little confused. There’s a lot of philosophy and a bit of religion in it and I’m honestly so mindblown and enjoying the book so much that a part of me is (slightly) fearing that the book is “too smart for me.” I sat there in the kitchen last night, tabbing and loudly commentating (and squealing), so reading’s going well for me so far 😂 This is the reason why I never sit and read in the library anymore. I’m too annoying!

I had just finished reading one of the last review request backlogged books last week and it was right on time for a WWW. I’m nearly finished with Sons of Valor and hoping to make it before the next WWW. I might open requests back up, but I think I’m going to take a little bit of time for myself and for BBNYA excerpts first.

Having finished that book for WWW, Thursday’s post was the actual book review for River Queens: Saucy boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America by Alexander Watson. I loved the book and was so happy to finally get to the book review.

For Friday, the last of my 5 posts that I had written and scheduled back last Sunday, I posted this week’s First Line Fridays for a book I recently got for free on Amazon and I’m stoked! I honestly can’t wait to read it and hope that I can get to it before the year ends.

Finally, yesterday’s post was a book tag for the Mid-Year Reading Check In tag. I was tagged by Danni from ForBooksSake and was so happy because I sat in my chair last Sunday wondering, “I have a post for the work week, but what the heck am I going to do for Saturday?” Thanks Danni for tagging me when I was stuck in a creative rut! You’re a mind reader ❤

That’s my week!

With Sons of Valor coming to a close, I’m hoping to keep up my posting streak. I quit last time, about a week in, but this time, I’m challenging myself to keep the streak up for as long as I can!

How was your week? Do you have any nice plans for the upcoming one?

Mid-Year Reading Check In Tag

Tea Corner (Blog)

Oh the grand weekend is here again!

Happy Saturday, everyone!
Today’s post is going to be my response to the Mid-Year Reading Check In Tag. Thank you so much to Danni over at ForBooksSake for tagging me! Make sure you take a look at her lovely blog too!

How much have you read?

I’ve read 11 books and my goal is 25 so I’m slightly behind schedule. With one of my audiobook reads coming to a close, I’m hoping that I can start closing that gap in the near future.

What have you been reading?

I’ve definitely started reading more audiobooks because I realized how great of a work companion they can be. They help make the workday go by at lightning speeds. I’ve also noticed that my latest reads have been mostly indie or self-published books and I’ve been really enjoying them.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2021

I’ve had a few solid reads this year, but I think I would have to hand this one to Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky, though The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King came in at a close second. Both books were from blog tours, too!

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021

I’ve only read one sequel this year and it wasn’t exactly a favorite of mine, though it wasn’t a bad book. Still, I didn’t read enough sequels to pit anything against each other.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

Most definitely, I’m most looking forward to digging into Ocean Prey by John Sandford. I’m putting it off until I catch up a little more of the series (almost there), but I’m really REALLY excited for it. It’s sitting in my bookshelf staring at me, everyday.

Most anticipated release for the second part of the year

I’m constantly finding new authors, so my TBR and anticipated reads usually tend to be for books that are already published or sometimes even long released. However, I do know that one of my favorite authors, Michael J. Sullivan, the author of the Riyria books, is coming up with a new series and book one is coming out [expected] August 3rd this year and I am really really excited about it. I’m looking forward to Nolyn, the first book of The Rise and Fall series by Michael J. Sullivan

Biggest disappointment

I haven’t been disappointed yet!
I guess that’s a pretty darn good thing! 😳

Biggest surprise

I really want to say that Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky and River Queens by Alexander Watson are my biggest surprise because they came from genres/subgenres that I rarely read (space opera and nonfiction, respectively), but if current reads count in this tag, seeing as I’m thhiiss close to finishing it, I think my biggest surprise would have to be Sons of Valor by Brian Andrew and Jeffrey Wilson because it’s been one of the two books that’s had my heart up at my throat with adrenaline and fear. Finished reads wise, I’d definitely have to give this one to Shards of Earth again.

New favorite author (debut or new to you).

I’ve discovered some amazing new authors this year! Some of my favorite includes Adrian Tchaikovsky and Rob Sinclair. Right now, I’m really enjoying Brian Andrew and Jeffrey Wilson and I adored Daniel James Sheehan’s writing.

Underrated gems you’ve discovered recently

River Queens! It’s a nonfiction book about boats and I absolutely loved it. It was definitely a gem.

Rereads this year

I haven’t finished it, but whenever I get a chance, I’ve been going back and rereading Dark of the Moon by John Sandford to rediscover the first time I was introduced to and fell in love with Virgil Flowers.

Newest fictional crush

I feel like I mentioned this somewhere or to someone, but I have definitely told at least one person that I have a new fictional book crush and that would be Idris from Shards of Earth 😊

Newest favorite character

*Ahem*…. Idris 🤭

Book that made you cry

While not comparable to some of the books, out there, that’s made me bawl my eyes out, River Queens: Saucy boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America came pretty close because there have been some beautiful moments and then some that were pretty sad and actually made me tear up. Overall though, I had a pretty tearless 2021.

Book that made you happy

I Am Not A Wolf by Dan Sheehan was humorous and satirical but the writing and the narrator put the biggest and goofiest grin on my face the entire way through the book.

Favorite book to film adaption

I don’t watch films or movies and I tend to stay away from book to film/movie adaptions because once I have my own mental image of the world and characters, using a real life cast kind of ruins that for me. I, also, can barely sit still long enough to read, let alone watch a film.

Most beautiful cover you’ve brought (or received) this year

A lot of my favorite and most beautiful covers are from previous years, but I definitely “judged based on the cover” and purchased (on a whim) The Romantic Poets, the Canterbury Classics flexibound version. I chose it because…of the glitter on the cover… I can’t find a picture on the internet that can do it enough justice than to physically hold its heft in your hand, to just feel the silky cover, and to look at the shiny glitter… Not to mention, the stunning endpapers…!

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I think I’ve mentioned this a couple times, but during a house move (and I’ve moved a lot in the past) I lost a really good Goodreads giveaway book but during another move, I unearthed it with some other books I thought were gone forever. I had started it and it was pretty good so I was pretty sad about it. I fully intend to restart and finish this before the end of the year.

Favorite post you have done this year?

I have a lot of favorite posts this year, but the other day, I posted my very first interview so it’s a pretty special post for me.
Author Interview: Nathan Timmel

Some of my other personal favorites:
Dragma’s Keep Review
The Lore of Prometheus Review
Shards of Earth Review
Sci-Fi (Cyberpunk) Want to Reads
Favorite Phone Apps

Favorite book community member

I have a lot of favorite book community members and sadly, I can’t name them all nor can I pick just one, but my favorite “communities” would be a particular group chat of mine that are always giving out free hugs and so much support be it book/blog related or life related. The United Weirdos of The Write Reads group chat is very special to me, but I love a whole lot of people from the book community and I wouldn’t be where I am without the lot of you ❤


Tagging:

First Lines Friday

Tea Corner (Blog)

Oh boy! It’s Friday! Happy Friday!
And happy Summer Friday to me! I might get out of the office a little earlier today which is a nice way to greet the weekend.
Today’s lines come from a book that I’ve recently added to my TBR when it went on sale (free) on Amazon. I actually saw it when the author had tweeted about it that day and then I discovered the free section of Amazon book deals.

That’s a scary place for my TBR, but at least it’s not a bad place for my wallet!

First Lines Friday is a weekly book meme 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?

  • 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!


This Week’s Lines:

No matter what century you live in, the world will always be filled with assholes.

“Watch the threads, man!” my prisoner cried as I led him roughly toward the booking officer’s workstation. The suit’s hands were cuffed behind his back. I put my hand on his shoulder and drove him face-first into the top of the metal desk.

Hard.

Enjoyed that preview? This week’s book is…

Bloodlines (The Guardian of Empire City #1) by Peter Hartog

Goodreads Blurb:

When former hotshot homicide detective Tom “Doc” Holliday is recruited to join Special Crimes, he trades in his boring desk job for a second chance to do what he does best, hunt down killers. And his first case doesn’t disappoint: a murdered woman with a bogus past, her body drained of blood, and two eyewitnesses wasted on the designer drug goldjoy claiming a vampire did it.

For Holliday is no stranger to the unusual. He wields the Insight, a fickle clairvoyance that allows him to see the dark and terrible things that hide upon his world. After all, when you live in Empire City, where magic and technology co-exist, and humanity endures behind walls of stone and spell-forged steel, anything is possible.

Saddled with a team whose past is as checkered as his own, Holliday embarks upon an investigation that pits them against bio-engineered vampires, interdimensional parasites and the magical masterminds behind it all.

From nightclubs and skyscrapers, to underground drug labs and coffee shops, Holliday’s search for the truth will uncover a shadowy conspiracy that spans the ages, and forces him to confront a destiny he never wanted.

Bloodlines is Peter Hartog’s debut novel, the first in the Empire City Special Crimes series. Scroll up to order your copy, and start reading today!