The Sunshine Blogger Award Tag

Tea Corner (Blog)

A huge thank you to Tabitha over at Behind the Pages and Mònica over at Nightingfae for tagging me in this award. Please take a moment to take a look at both of their amazing blogs as well 💓

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

How does it work?

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Tabitha’s Questions

Why did you become a blogger?

I was bored during quarantine and with all of my friends starting their own little quarantine projects, small businesses, and art projects, I wanted to have my own little project too. Blogging wasn’t the first thing to pop in my mind, but I knew I wanted to spend more time reading.

What is your favorite part about blogging?

Meeting new people that share the same interest. I don’t get to chat about books (and their subsequent book hangovers) much with my friends so it’s nice to have people that understand why you’re sobbing over a character or book.

What is your least favorite part about blogging?

Putting your heart into a post that gets maybe 10 views. Going in, I never thought about the whole behind-the-scenes aspect of blogging, so it never really occurred to me to look into this whole SEO thing until now. Funny enough, this doesn’t bother me as much anymore.

What book are you looking forward to reading the most off of your to read pile?

I’m looking forward to re-reading the first book of the Chronicles of the Black Company and another book that I had recently unearthed (long thought to have been lost forever), Dome City Blues. I’m currently going through a bit of a mercenary and cyberpunk phase.

Who is the latest author you’ve added to your favorites list?

Amanda Prowse because her book, The Day She Came Back, had me crying nearly every other chapter. I’ve never cried so much, while reading, before!

What was the last book you finished reading? Did you like it?

The last book I read was “The Contractor” by David Scott Meyers and while it wasn’t bad, I didn’t particularly LIKE it either. Still, I’m invested enough to keep going (I want to see how it ends.)

What advice do you have for new bloggers?

Make sure to take breaks when you need them. Don’t feel pressured to stick to a posting schedule and have fun!

What is your favorite social media to interact with fellow readers?

TWITTER!

How do you overcome a reading slump?

Fanfictions and Ao3 always gets me back into the right mood. I don’t know where I’d be without fanfictions in my life. I also regularly “treat” myself to a book in a favorite series if I’m in a slump or just came out of a bad book.

What is your preferred way to read?

Physical at home, on my phone if I’m out on errands (those loonnngg lines!), and on my Kindle if I’m commuting.

Describe yourself with a book title.

Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child 😭

Mònica’s Questions

What’s the origin of your blog name?

I literally changed my blog name several times in the beginning. There’s no cool origin story other than throwing some words together. Fun fact, the first name I had given my blog was “Good Fish” (a play on Goodreads) or “Good Fish Reads,” Why? NO idea. I kind of wish I kept it 🤔

When and why did you decide to become a blogger?

I think it was around March or April of this year (2020)? It was during my work-from-home period. I saw all of my friends starting their own passion projects and, being bored out of my mind, I had nothing else to do so…I went for it! (Best decision all year!)

What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?

Shockwave by John Sandford. I can’t explain why this is my default book to recommend when people ask for a book rec, but the adrenaline I felt with this book blew me away (pun intended).

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Who’s in your top 3 of favourite authors?

Oof. This is a hard question! I’d have to say Lee Child, John Sandford and Michael J. Sullivan. Lee got me into my favorite genre (Mystery Thrillers), Sandford for my favorite series (Virgil Flowers), and Michael for my favorite Fantasy series (Riyria).

Which character you hate/dislike the most, and why?

I’m pretty sure I have a big a** crush on Virgil Flowers. Why? He’s a good looking cop, I like his sense of humor, and has pretty decent morals. He always tries his best to avoid violence. I also LOVE Prince Jalan from the Red Queen’s War series because he’s a loveable coward with shitty luck. Jalan comes in for a very close second place!

If you could meet one character, which one would it be, and why?

Kiran from Whitefire Crossing. He’s a bloodmage who is trying to run from his horrible master. I want to meet him just so I can give him a hug. That boy needs a hug.

Do you prefer second-handed or new books?

New books, but I truly don’t mind second hand as long as they’re in pretty decent shape. For example, my Black Company omnibus came in great condition. It’s a paperback with no creases, no dogears and the binding is great. Now…if only it didn’t smell like VOMIT…(apparently that’s from poorly kept books with acidic pages??).

My all-time favorite books are books off library carts(or sidewalk cardboard boxes) with the sign, “Take me! Free books!” Now those books become my favorite books and it feels like I’m adopting a book, ya know? While new books are fantastic (who doesn’t want new books?) in retrospect, I guess I really do tend to lean more towards second-hand books.

Which is your favourite book-to-movie/TV series adaptation?

I don’t think I’ve seen a book to movie/TV series show before (besides HP). I think I’ve mentioned in another tag post, once I’ve established my own mental images of characters, I refuse to have them re-casted. It would ruin the book for me and so…none for me 😂 (I also…don’t watch TV or have Netflix/Hulu/Etc.)

Do you have more than one copy of a book? If yes, which one?

Yes 😅 Both the Kindle and the Paperback version of the first omnibus (first 3 books) of the Chronicles of the Black Company.

Do you create playlists for your favourite books? Share them if you do!

No, unfortunately 😦
However, I can share my favorite relaxation (type? format? method?)! It’s a two tab, two video at once deal! One is a bar ambience video on loop (doors opening, people chatting, glass clinking, etc.) and the other is what I like to call “Cafe Jazz.” Together, they help create a nice little café mood setting.

My Questions

  1. If you could wipe your mind of ONE book/series, just so you can experience it for the first time again, what books/series would it be for?
  2. Do you have a favorite book couple? Who are they?
  3. Pick your favorite book setting and then pick your favorite real life setting. What are they?
  4. If you could meet a character and interview them, what are your top three questions?
  5. If your favorite character was granted three genie wishes, what would they wish for?
  6. If YOU had three bookish wishes, what would YOU wish for?
  7. What is your favorite type of blog post?
  8. Do you enjoy writing your posts in the morning or night?
  9. Would your favorite book/series make for a good video game? How about a movie or TV show?
  10. You’re stuck in jail with the last character you read. What’re your chances of breaking out?
  11. What is your favorite genre to read?

I Tag

Caroline over at Page-Turners – Book Reviews by Caroline
Madeline over at Mad’s Books
Colleen over at Colleen’s Conclusions
Vee over at Vee_Bookish
Pam over at The Picky Bookworm
Isabella over at The Shaggy Shepherd
Raji over at Worlds Unlike Our Own
Mani over at Mani’s Book Corner
Kimberly over at My Bookish Bliss
John over at Tales from Absurdia
Peyton over at Word Wilderness

August TBR [Maybes]

Tea Corner (Blog)

I finished July in a burst of last minute adrenaline. Three books took everything out of me so I’m hoping August will be a little less busy. While my list here is a bit extensive (for me) and maybe pushing it, I’m hoping that I can get through at least 2 or 3 of the books on this TBR and hopefully, if miracles can happen, I might finish the first book of WoT too 😅

Not Tonight, Josephine: A Road Trip Through Small-Town America by George Mahood

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Cover from Goodreads. Link to book description >HERE<

Again, I went on a Amazon hunt for any new “Free to Read” books. The first of the two books I picked out, for this month, is “Not Tonight, Josephine: A Road Trip Through Small-Town America” by George Mahood. I know nothing else about this book besides that it’s a book about a road trip between two British guys and the last time I read a travel book, I loved it, so I might as well try another one.

Goodreads Summary:

Two Brits, George and Mark, set off from New York City to explore the back roads of America. In this calamity-ridden travel tale, George sets out in true clichéd fashion to discover the real America.
Throw in plenty of run-ins with the police, rapidly dwindling finances and Josephine – the worst car in the world – and you have all the ingredients for a classic American road trip. Will George and Mark make it all the way to California?
And then there is Rachel, George’s girlfriend, left back in England. Would travelling to the United States without her turn out to be the stupidest decision he had ever made?

The Light in the Hallway by Amanda Prowse

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Cover from Goodreads. Link to book description >HERE<

I loved my first Amanda Prowse book, “The Day She Came Back” which also happened to be my first Netgalley read. It was the first time I cried so much that I started to keep a cry count (not even kidding). The first chapter made me cry, the last chapter made me cry, every other chapter in the middle made me cry, the book was Niagara Falls inducing!

So when I found an Amanda Prowse book on the Prime Reading list, I was overjoyed. This is one of the books I really hope I can get to during this month!

Goodreads Summary:

When Nick’s wife Kerry falls ill and dies, he realises for the first time how fragile his happiness has always been, and how much he’s been taking his good life and wonderful family for granted. Now, he suddenly finds himself navigating parenthood alone, unsure how to deal with his own grief, let alone that of his teenage son, Olly.
In the depths of his heartbreak, Nick must find a way to navigate life that pleases his son, his in-laws, his family and his friends—while honouring what Kerry meant to them all. But when it comes to his own emotions, Nick doesn’t know where to begin. Kerry was his childhood sweetheart—but was she really the only one who could ever make him happy?
And in the aftermath of tragedy, can Nick and his son find themselves again?

The Milan Job by Krista Cagg

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Cover from Goodreads. Link to book description >HERE<

The most exciting part of August is here! I’ll be taking part of my first book tour hosted by Psst Promotions! I’ll be sharing an excerpt and a review for this book towards the end of August so look forward to it (because I sure am!!) Finally a Steampunk book that suits my extra picky tastes :’) I’m…really…REALLY excited…! I read the first few pages and already have this bubbly giddy feeling in my tummy.

I’ve been craving a steampunk-like book for a long long time and it’s been an even longer time since I last read a book with a decent female protagonist that doesn’t fall into my least favorite trope where the female protagonist starts out strong…only to need rescuing by her love interest (I’m 80% sure it’s called the “Damsel in Distress” trope). The book comprises of five episodes in roughly 200 pages. I’m gearing up for a good time reading these shorts (which I’ve come to discover that I love). Paired with one of my favorite tropes (the “ragtag bunch of misfits”) I can only expect an exciting and adventurous read.

Goodreads Summary:

Meet Captain Alexandria de Sade, the proud and once loyal captain of Naviwerks chrono-ship #25. When she learned the truth about how the company was fleecing their customers she turned her back on the promotion they offered her, left the man she loved without a word, and disappeared with her ship.
With a plan in mind to undermine Naviwerks’ business of artifact and heirloom retrieval, Captain Alex hired on several like-minded misfits to crew her chrono-ship which she re-christened The William’s Hunt. They are: An awkward but genius Horotech, an irascible ex-marine, a flamboyant playboy, a churlish physician, and a hot-shot pilot.
Their first venture: go to Milan, Italy 1490 and retrieve the working model of Leonardo da Vinci’s Gran Cavallo before Naviwerks does. What should have been a simple snatch and run mission for the newly formed band of pirates goes south nearly immediately. In their struggle to recover, they learn that there is much more behind Naviwerks’ actions. Captain Alex and the crew of The William’s Hunt are the only ones that stand a chance of putting things right,and it seems as if her crew’s every step takes them deeper and deeper into discovering just how nefarious Naviwerks truly is.
All five of the monthly episodes of the maiden voyage of The William’s Hunt are collected here in The Milan Job! Follow Captain Alex, Laurence Kane, Geri Reynolds, Nigel Wellington, Dr. Hennessey, and Angel Flynn as they try to stay one step ahead of Naviwerks and Agent Nash, all the while making a grab for the swag that will keep The William’s Hunt in operation.

Walks with Sam: A Man, a Dog, and a Season of Awakening by David W. Berner

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Cover from Goodreads. Link to book description >HERE<

My Netgalley selection of the month is another, “Read Now” book. I had waltzed into the wrong section earlier, my exhaustion-cloud hazed eyes and my cotton candy brain had mistook the humor section for the horror section (again!) and went through 3 scary summaries before realizing I was in the wrong section and promptly hopped right off. I spent a good few seconds in the humor section before giving “Nature and Outdoors” a try. to my surprise, the genre isn’t all “garden guides” like I had assumed…An ARC with a publication date of August 28th, I hope to finish this before then and get a review up maybe a day or two beforehand.

Goodreads Summary:

A man, his dog, and a long walk can lead to unexpected discoveries. In the tradition of many literary walkers, David W. Berner sets out on foot hoping to reexamine his life, look back and forward, and most importantly, through the help of his young dog, Sam, try to find harmony in new beginnings and the uncertainties of the present.
In a series of chapters, each dedicated to one walk during a summer of hiking, the author finds that it is his beloved pet that allows him to awaken to a new spirit of mindfulness, finding beauty, wonder, and comfort in the ordinary, and to see a life, a neighborhood, and even a country with brand new eyes.

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

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Cover from Goodreads. Link to book description >HERE<

Now this one is really pushing it. Every time I look up recommendations for epic fantasies, the same few series keep popping up and one of them is The First Law series. I’ve read a Mark Lawrence book (Prince of Fools) and commented about how much I loved the witty dialogue and writing and someone (on Reddit) had mentioned that this book had a similar witty writing style. SOLD. I actually have no idea what the book is about. I never made it past the first two chapters before I fell into an affair with maybe 10 other books, but I’m hoping to get back into this one and give this well hyped book a try. Maybe not this month…it’s 500+ pages…so I’ll throw it into the “very much hopeful, but extremely unlikely to start or finish” pile.

Goodreads Summary:

Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian – leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.
Nobleman Captain Jezal dan Luthar, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.
Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.
Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he’s about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glokta a whole lot more difficult.
Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.

Note: None of these books are in reading order… I simply grouped up the Prime Readings up top because there’s two of them. I’m going to tackle the ones that have “deadlines” first (Milan and Sam).

The Adventures of an Air Force Medic [Book Review]

2020, Book Reviews, By Year

Book Name: The Adventures of an Air Force Medic
Series: [Standalone] Book # N/A
Author: Dave Ives
Book Type: Ebook > PDF (Netgalley)
Obtained: Netgalley > Read Now
Pages: 486 (PDF)
Genre: Fiction > Historical Fiction, Romance
Start Date: 07.22.2020
End Date: 07.31.2020
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Disclaimer: An e-book copy of this book was provided to me for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. A big thank you to Netgalley, the author and publishing company; all opinions are of my own.

Cheers to my third NetGalley read! I picked this one because I knew there was no way I was going to finish the first book of WoT by the end of July and I wanted to squeeze in at least one extra book in there (somewhere). This book had an amusing cover and summary so it was a quick pick with no regrets.

Link to the Goodreads Page: >HERE<

Netgalley Summary:

Imagine ‘The Shaw Shank Redemption’ meets ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ in a crazy, fast paced, action, drama, comedy, romance.
Sean Mitchell finds out, ‘The needs of the air force come first, and the air force needs you to become a medic.’ 
Sean’s visions of high flying aircraft, exciting missions and flight line glamour are shot down. Instead, after six short weeks training in north Texas, he’s assigned to Mather Air Force Base Hospital, near Sacramento California, as a medical service specialist; commonly known as medic; derisively known as ‘bedpan commando.’ 
Sean’s situation turns hopeful when he discovers the air force ‘needs’ engineers more than medics. He locks on to the dream of building an ‘escape route’ from medic to engineer. The dream supercharges him into action causing fellow medics to wonder, ‘What’s wrong with him? Does he work for the CIA? Is he a spy?’ 
In his bid to ‘escape’ the air force medic world, Sean discovers something amazing – his life as a medic is more adventurous than he ever imagined. 
The Adventures of an Air Force Medic is based on Dave Ives’ personal experience as an air force medic in the early 1980s. He brings to life the crazy military hospital world; a world full of exotic characters; a world of mixed up romance; a world of tragedy and pain; a world of offside humor; a world unknown to the outside world.

Review:

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. I needed a book and, with a brief glance at a few covers and summaries, this was the one that peeked my interest the most and I just grabbed and went with it. No regrets there.

The Adventures of an Air Force Medic is a story based on Dave Ives’ (author) time as an air force medic. Thus, while this book has an overall plot and goal that the main character is working towards, most of the chapters and stories are told in a chronological and anecdotal manner with a focus on “a day in the life of” an air force medic. The book is told in the first person point of view of Sean Mitchell. Having dropped out of college and working at an electronics firm as a “no skill” laborer, he was having trouble making ends meet financially. He ended up at the armed forces recruiters office where he was talked into joining the air force on two choices; guaranteed job (your pick of jobs but could take anywhere from six months to a year) or open general (three months with the down side of not getting a guaranteed job; you do what they assign you). Desperate for a job and a way out of his troubles, Sean sees open general as his quickest way in landing a gig and ends up as a medic.

I had a great time with this book. I got some laughs in, some tears, some cringe, and lots of other in between emotions. A very humorous book, we join Sean through his adventures of joining the air force medics and quickly doing everything in his power to get right back out; in his case studying like a madman to get into the AECP (Airman Education and Commissioning Program). A highly competitive program, you would have to study rigorously to be selected, sent off to a major civilian university (tuition and books included) and have three years to graduate. After graduation, you’d be sent to Officer Training School and eventually you’ll be a commissioned second lieutenant. It’s an awesome deal and all he’s got to do is study hard and make it in!

The majority of the book’s main plot would revolve around Sean studying to get his pre-req classes out of the way, take the AFOQT (Air Force Officer Qualifying Test), his SATs, and send in an application. The rest of the book revolves around his time as an Air Force medic. As someone who initially went into the military, sold on the fame and glory of it all, he’s disappointed to be placed as an air force medic. However, he knows it’s his own doing. Multiple times through the story he reminds himself that he’s there because that was the deal. Sean had chosen to get a job as soon as possible with the trade off being that he wasn’t going to get to choose what job he was going to get (open general) and that means he was going to take whatever was thrown his way; no complaints…seriously…Sean never seems to complain.

The book doesn’t go too in depth with characters and sometimes my memory of individuals meld together. It’s a story to recount his days in the air force as a medic and thus is written like so. Occasionally you might see sentences like “To this day, I won’t go to San Francisco unless I’m packing…packing heat…in the form of warm clothes” (Page 291). His friends are more like acquittances during his stay. It’s an interesting read, however, because despite that, everyone is still so vibrant. Sean’s interactions with his co-workers, friends, lovers, and patients is the main theme in a lot of the chapters. Each story is a retelling of something in the past or stories of his daily life as a medic. He listens as his friends and patients recount their own stories to him; how they are doing, what they’d experienced in life and the diversity here is vast! Every chapter reads like it’s own short story, with some minor details popping up again throughout the later chapters like recurring characters or when you read a sentence like, “And, I heard one of the guys killed, one of the trainees, has a wife here in the hospital, wonder who that is?” (Page 326) and immediately it clicks and you go “Ohh…shit…😢…oh no…I know who he’s gossiping about…”

My favorite thing about Sean is that he’s down to do anything. You give him orders and he will do his best to get it done. In fact, he didn’t even know that refusing to do a task was a possibility. You scold him for a wrong doing that he couldn’t have possibly known about (missing a meeting because he wasn’t told there was one) and he’ll apologize with an “I’ll accept any punishment.” Too nice and too honest, chill on the outside even when getting yelled at (I suppose they train you to toughen up?) I sometimes read and admire Sean. Trouble now, deal with it now. Trouble over, no point pondering on it.

I especially enjoyed the formatting of this book. (Mostly) short and written in an easy to digest language (as opposed to some flowery and lyrical/poetic writing styles [which I love too]) I was able to fly through the book without going, “Wait, wait, wait…read that again? And again? One more time…I still can’t understand that sentence” and it’s pretty refreshing.

The chapters start off with a main chapter title in bold. I read a lot of books, nowadays, where most of the chapters are either not titled (blank) or just numbers and reading titled chapters gave me a special kind of joy I can’t explain… With each chapter title, you get a chapter excerpt; literally a sentence ripped off from somewhere in the chapter and plastered underneath the bolded title and then italicized. It became a game for me to read the sentence and go hunting for it in the chapter. Sometimes I would come across a particularly interesting excerpt and try and guess what the chapter would be about just based off the one measly sentence I get for a clue. Already a fun and humorous book (there are tearful scenes too), the excerpt hunts made it an even more entertaining read. I’d love to see more of that in other books!

If there was anything negative I found about the book it would be the handful of typos and minor proofreading errors. I didn’t know if it was alright to mention them because I don’t know if it’s an ARC thing (as it’s already released on Amazon with the Kindle preview edition retaining the same errors, so I don’t know). I figured to at least mention it. A lot of times, they are hardly noticeable, but it’s enough to go, “Oh, another one.”

The errors aren’t glaringly distracting and most of the time they’re easy to brush aside. After all, they didn’t take away anything from the story. The biggest distraction came in the first chapter and I couldn’t figure out if it was a play on words and meant to be written as “Wecome to California” or it was actually “welcome” spelled wrong…I think that one simply stuck out the MOST because it was smack on the title page of chapter one and it just bugged me the entire way through the book.

Overall? Yes, I loved this book! I loved the humor, I loved the interaction between Sean and the other characters (and the other characters interacting with others as well), minor annoyances with dorm life, the ups and downs of medic life, coping mechanisms, seeing repeated patients, Sean’s inability to find a partner, and him studying like hell to get into uni. Sean is a competent worker who is honest and quite a humble person whom people love to work with. I held my breath, with him, when he finally gets his results and his letter back from a college.

An engaging read with each chapter, a story of its own, this book is captivating and filled with laughs, tears, struggles, successes, and camaraderie; medics watch each others backs. The quote that stuck out to me the most was “We can fix broken, but we can’t fix death.” Sometimes, you have to push past the fear of giving someone broken bones if it means that you can ultimately save them. A longer read than I had expected (almost 500), I still flew through the book because it was written in an easy-to-read and easy-to-digest way, no fancy flowery language, just what’s happening as it is. It flowed well and if there was ANY medical or military tech/terminology that I didn’t get, no worries Sean/Dave would never leave the reader to guess what the word or acronym means; it’s almost always quickly followed up with an explanation. Some of the times, I hop on Google to look up a term only to feel mighty silly with the definition right there…a few sentences later. Never once did I feel lost because I didn’t understand hospital talk.

A great way to past the last few days of my July wrap up, thank you for a wonderful time, Dave Ives. I had an amazing read and would recommend this to anyone that enjoys a book that has a larger theme and plot but with chapters that are written in an individual short story-like manner.

Current Reads [07.28.20]

Tea Corner (Blog)

*Chugs enough caffeine to overdose on*
*Inhales*
HAPPY MONDAY!
*Exhales*

Usually on Fridays, I treat myself to a little drink (either Vietnamese Iced Coffee or Bubble Tea) as a “Good job for surviving your hectic work week” but the last few Fridays had involved lots of rain and I rather not trudge out into chilly mushy wetness just to grab an iced drink when I’m already cold and drenched enough. Today during break, I finally returned victorious with a medium cup of Vietnamese Iced Coffee ready to deal with more work.

I’ve been thinking about this drink all weekend and I’ve never been more excited for Monday to roll around than today. Thanks coffee.

July Reading Goals: 3 books
Current Count: 2 books read, 2 books in current reads

I had the perfect plan at the beginning of the month; I would read two smaller books (200-300 pages each) and have the remaining days in July to get through WoT. I picked up and finished the 2 smaller books (“An Invisible Client” and “The Family Journal”) and indeed had plenty of time to tackle the first book of The Wheel of Time, “The Eye of the World.” I can power through contemporary fiction (and mystery thrillers) in days but when it comes down to epic fantasies, it always takes me almost a month (sometimes more!) because I just want to enjoy and slowly let the tour bus and guide cruise me through the worlds; “And here, to your left, you will see the colors worn by the men of this village, but only during festivals! To your right, you will see lots of braid tugging ladies and in some places, braided hair means you’re of marriageable age.” I had gotten through the first half of my plan and I was perfectly on track until my train derailed down a small canyon and currently awaiting the SOS of an air rescue team.

So I picked up a 4th book off of Netgalley (because that’s the logical thing to do when behind on reading). Don’t get me wrong, WoT has been amazing so far. It’s engaging and I’m capable of following the events; I’m not feeling lost like I do with some fantasy books that just drop you in the middle of nowhere with just a granola bar of information to keep you company. In just the first few chapters I can see why there’s a lot of love to the series, but the book I had nabbed off Amazon was the mass market paperback copy; ~800 pages of small print squeezed into a 4.2 x 7.5 inches book; it was a brick…and bricks don’t fit into my work purse. No WoT during breaks for me (which is the most mentally active point of my day as I tend to leave work pretty tired) :[

Most likely WoT#1 won’t be making it into my July wrap up. But hey! No rush! I’m liking the book too much (so far) to rush through it only to hate myself for rushing through a book and barely knowing what happened. If I don’t meet my July goals, so be it! No need to turn a hobby into another piece of anxiety inducing deadline, right?

My latest/new current reads is:

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Cover from Goodreads

Book Name: The Adventures of an Air Force Medic
Series: [Standalone] Book # N/A
Author: Dave Ives
Book Type: Ebook > Doc (Netgalley)
Obtained: Netgalley > Read Now
Pages: ~416
Genre: Fiction > Historical Fiction, Romance
Start Date: 07.22.2020
End Date: 07.31.2020

I went on NG to look for a book that could serve as a more portable way to get my reading done; to hopefully meet my July reading goals. I would have something fun to do during the hour on break and then I would have another fun little something to look forward to when I get home! Nothing was sparking my interest until I hit this one and I think it was the title that drew me in and then the cover that solidified my decision. I was expecting a quick and easy read (200-300 pages), not realizing it’s a 400+ page book, but so far I’m adoring it! It’s written in a very easy to digest way without fancy words or overcomplicated plots. The writing is humorous and I’ve had a good few laughs already, so I’ll be looking forward to the rest of it soon.

An Invisible Client: Review

2020, Book Reviews, By Year

When I first got Prime, I went on a little spree to look for whichever books were “Read Now for Free” and came out with two Kindle books, one of them being “An Invisible Client.” Like the other book, “The Family Journal,” I was in a bit of a rush (it was the morning before my shift began) as I had “run out” (the fancy way of saying I’m ‘not in the mood for my current TBR’) of Kindle books and needed something to keep me company during lunch break and the commute to and from work. I normally would have pulled out Goodreads or Amazon and read a few reviews to see if a book suited my tastes or was a good enough match for me so that I wouldn’t end up DNFing, but this time I had about 20 minutes before my alarm went off again and I went with whatever looked decent.

And so…

My very first legal thriller book 😎 (I’ve watched legal dramas before, namely Suits).

Sections

Book Details

Title: An Invisible Client
Series: [Standalone] Book # N/A
Author: Victor Methos
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Book Type: Ebook > Kindle (Comes with audio)
Obtained: Purchased
Pages: 240
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Legal Thriller
Start Date: 07.02.2020
End Date: 07.12.2020

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️


Trigger Warning: Death of a child, death, mentions of rape, childhood abuse (alcoholic parent).

Goodreads Summary

Link to Book’s Goodreads Page: >HERE<

For high-powered personal injury attorney Noah Byron, the good things in life come with a price tag—cars, houses, women. That’s why he represents only cases that come with the possibility of a nice cut of the action. But as a favor to his ex-wife, he meets with the mother of twelve-year-old Joel, a boy poisoned by tainted children’s medicine. While the official story is that a psycho tampered with bottles, the boy’s mother believes something much more sinister is at work…and the trail leads right back to the pharmaceutical company.

As Noah digs deeper into the case, he quickly finds himself up against a powerful corporation that will protect itself at any cost. He also befriends young Joel and breaks the number one rule of personal injury law: don’t make it personal. Faced with the most menacing of opponents and the most vulnerable of clients, Noah is determined to discover the truth and win justice for Joel—even if it means losing everything else.

Review Summary

When personal injury attorney, Noah Byron, gets a phone call from his ex-wife, he finds himself taking on a case that already looks like a lost cause. 12 year old Joel had taken a dose of children’s cough medicine that caused him to become horribly ill; his prognosis: poor at best. With two other children who previously came up with the same symptoms after taking the medicine, there’s no surprise a lawsuit comes up. However, Pharma-K is locked up behind doors of secrecy with the gates heavily guarded by their very own attorneys, powerful lawyers that even Noah finds hard to win against.

I loved this book and had a fantastic time with it. As my first legal thriller book, it’s worlds away from the other thrillers I have read where people are being gunned down or where the police are chasing a serial mad man. Here, the only bullets fired are the words out of attorney mouths and justice is never a guarantee. The side that wins is the side that makes the least mistakes and the side that wins the hearts of the jury. Anything can happen and solid evidence and witnesses can become trash in seconds as lawyers easily claw through people during cross-examination. This book talks a lot about how unfair the world is and just how powerful corporations can be. With the right amount of money, things can go hush hush really quickly! But as Noah slowly warms up and becomes dangerously attached to the case, things become personal and he’s not about to just let Pharma-K get away with this. Sure, there’s no solid evidence that Pharma-K has done any crimes, hiding behind the guise of “an external mad-man has tampered with our goods”, but something shady is going on behind those guarded closed doors, and Noah is going to get to the bottom of this. It’s a huge gamble with wildly unfavorable outcomes…but Noah is willing to take the case, willing to take the risk, and willing to bet his entire firm and everything else on winning.

Thoughts and Review

When 12 year old Joel takes an innocent looking enough cough medicine and ends up in the hospital, his mother, Rebecca, does everything in her power to get the corporation to answer her questions. Each time she tries to get ahold of someone from the company, there’s barely a response, but when Pharma-K finally shuts her out and begins to just direct her to their attorneys (who won’t say anything either), Rebecca has no choice and tries to get ahold of her cousin, Tia’s, ex-husband, a personal injury attorney, Noah Byron.

Initially turning down the case, after a quick calculation of just how much money this case would cost them considering how little evidence, information, and chance they have against Pharma-K, Noah slowly changes his mind after meeting Joel in his hospital room. While it’s mostly just to appease Rebecca at first, he does keep his promise and goes over to at least talk to Pharma-K. When an ambush awaits him at his meeting, Noah begins to see how sketchy and shady this company is acting. Pharma-K is scared, terrified even, and Noah knows this isn’t just a crazy man tampering with grocery store medications. It’s something internal, and it’s something bad.

“An Invisible Client” is my first audio book and first legal thriller book. I’ve passed by a good few legal fictions before, but they had mostly meh summaries and it was a genre that I didn’t particularly have a taste for. Legal dramas were okay enough, but courts were always pretty boring places (to me). So, when I was came up a little bored for the first half of the book, I wasn’t particularly surprised. I did raise a brow over how much the word “bullshit” is used in both Suits and this book and am starting to wonder if that’s just a legal drama thing…or if lawyers really throw that word out like Halloween candy.

The real heart pumping thrill comes during the final trial, as is expected. Most of the beginning of the book was just a lot of pushing between the plaintiff and the defendant. Plaintiff tries to bring the case to trial for the [internal] contamination of the drugs produced by Pharma-K and Pharma-K tries to make the case disappear from the media, and hopefully people’s memories, by trying to settle out of court. They try to push money onto the table along with a gag order, and pray that the plaintiff will take the money and go away.

For me, the first half of the book was a bit boring, seeing as the case just felt like it was going nowhere, with how strong the opposing lawyers were, but the story still kept me engaged. After the first visit, Noah begins to get attached to the case and its clients Rebecca and 12 year old Joel. Joel was already pretty bad off during Noah first visit, but as time goes on and his prognosis seeming to spell out a death sentence, the case becomes very personal to Noah and he officially takes the case on (previously mostly just investigating). Joel’s role in the book contributes as a huge factor to Noah’s growth.

Mini-Character Analysis

Noah Byron

Noah is an interesting character. In the beginning of the book, I had pegged the lawyer to be cold; in it for the money and without care or emotions. Of course, from a liability and risk standpoint, his logic on not taking a case is pretty sound; a losing case could be costly and becoming too attached to a case or client could bankrupt a company!

“I know, and I’m sorry, but the value of this case is just not very high. The loss of your income isn’t as high as I would need to take the case when liability isn’t clear. It’s true that pain and suffering and your medical bills are important, but those numbers don’t add up to much. I’m sorry—you just don’t earn enough.”

Methos, Victor. An Invisible Client (p. 18). Kindle Edition.

Noah is a man who puts a price tag on everything and understands that the world truly runs on that: money. The government, the White House and Congress, is a symbol of freedom and leadership, but the true rulers are the rich and mighty corporations, an oligarchy. When the world is a greed factory, it’s no wonder that Noah knows the limits of taking cases; he would only take a case that has a favorable outcome.

Under the law, a person was valued at exactly how much money that person could earn. Anyone who hadn’t gone to an Ivy League school, pulled in at least six figures, or had a family business waiting for them was what PI lawyers called “an invisible client”—one who lived and breathed but didn’t officially exist.

Methos, Victor. An Invisible Client (p. 17). Kindle Edition.

That’s why I felt like Noah was an interesting character; he was written in a way so that he had lots of room to grow; character development. And change he does! Noah begins to warm up and gets attached to this invisible client’s case and Joel grows on him. He see this very sick child and he sees a company doing everything in its power to hide something and he swears to get to the bottom of it.

As he begins to watch the case go downhill, almost in a losing position, Noah is risking a lot more than just a case gone wrong. Money ties to everything and so would a loss; his partners would lose everything, the firm could go bankrupt, and his employees would become displaced. So, seeing Noah pretty much gambling his all into an unfavorable case, end Noah is a quite a ways away from beginning of the book Noah.

Likes/Dislikes

Likes:

I think this book would be the third type of thriller I’ve come across. I’ve made a tiny comparison between military thrillers and mystery thrillers before, so I’m adding a new thriller to the list: legal thrillers. It’s different than the previous two in the fact that no blood is shed (sort of I guess…people are still hurt in personal injury cases afterall). The excitement of a legal thriller is in that last fight, the last trial, the “lose this and lose it all moment”. It’s watching the back and forth in that courtroom. Watching both sides go from being confident to desperate, you watch as every word is chosen slowly for fear of turning the jurynotn away from them, driving them to their opposing side and this applies to both sides.

The thrill is in watching one moment where everything seems to go your way until something is cross-examined or someone is thrown off and it’s a battle of words, no fists thrown, and the one who makes the least mistake wins. In the courtroom, nobody is spared; not the witnesses, not the lawyers, not their clients…

Olivia is brilliant and I’m pretty sure she has hyperthymesia to some extent. When questioning a witness who mentioned a date, she was able to come up with what day it was and what the weather was like that day. With an extraordinary memory and seemingly the ability to read through files in record speed, she’s whip smart and when others thought of law school as hellish, she aced through law school and treated it like it was finally time to relax and get to know her fellow students. If there’s anything I know about law school, it’s that everyone comes out looking like they are ready to drown themselves in a tub of Redbull.

While reading a book with a nearly superhuman genius is a bit cliche, I found myself kind of enjoying reading about Olivia as it’s with her crazy abilities that the case goes on well. Though a bit shy, she knows to challenge others on their views and beliefs and while she casts away her gaze at the beginning, she holds it firm as her confidence grows and it’s nice to read a little side character growth as well.

Dislikes (None really):

I didn’t have much of a dislike for this book as, for me, it’s a solid 5 star book. Relationships ran through too quickly for me, but what can I do? It’s a standalone and you don’t get to drag relationships across multiple books. I could complain that the beginning was slow, but it’s a lawsuit! Gathering evidence that’s being tightly sealed behind a sketchy company’s door is going to be painstakingly impossible to get ahold of and if I had a problem with that, well at that point I would just be nitpicking 😅 So for me, it’s a pretty solid and fantastic read that I throughly enjoyed.

5 ⭐️

The Family Journal [Review]

2020, Book Reviews, By Year

Book Name: The Family Journal
Series: [Standalone] Book N/A
Author: Carolyn Brown
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Book Type: Ebook > Kindle
Obtained: Purchased
Pages: 296
Genre: Romance, Fiction, Contemporary
Start Date: 07.02.2020
End Date: 07.08.2020
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is Carolyn Brown’s 100th book! Whopping 100! That’s amazing! Congratulations to Carolyn 🥳

Goodreads Summary

Link to Book’s Goodreads Page: >HERE<

At the end of her rope, single mom Lily Anderson is determined to move her rebellious children in the right direction. That means taking away their cell phones, tablets, and computers—at least temporarily—and moving to the house where Lily grew up in the rural town of Comfort, Texas. But Lily has a bigger challenge than two sulking teens.

The house comes with Mack Cooper, high school teacher and handsome longtime renter. The arrangement: just housemates. But Mack’s devoted attention to the kids starts to warm Lily’s resistant heart. Then Lily finds an old leather-bound book in which five generations of her female ancestors shared their struggles and dreams. To Lily, it’s a bracing reminder about the importance of family…and love.

Now it’s time for Lily to add an adventurous new chapter to the cherished family journal—by embracing a fresh start and taking a chance on a man who could make her house a home.

review

I usually don’t go for romance books, but I only realized it was romance after I’d purchased the book; a big oops on my part…There was implied sexual content of course, but nothing more than a good kiss on the cheeks or lips was actually written out for the readers to read. For that, I was so very glad. However, it was my fault for not reading properly about the genre and so I just stuck with it. How bad could it be? (Turned out to be a pretty good book that I semi-flew through).

Lily is a mother who has been divorced for a good few years now; her husband having admitted to cheating on her and leaving for a much richer woman, leaving her with her two kids, Holly and Braden. When she discovers fourteen year old Holly with weed and twelve year old Braden with alcohol, she’s decided that enough was enough and decided to move the three of them back to her childhood home in Comfort, Texas, a small community with a population of a little more than three thousand. Along with the move, she confiscates her kids’ electronics…all of them; computers, tablets, phones…

Holding steadfast to her resolve in making a change in her family, she continues with the move as her kids try to negotiate anything to keep them in the city. Nothing was going to make her budge on her decision, not this time. In the years after her divorce, she had began to drown herself in her work and left no time to her children. The combined effects of both the lack of proper family time and the divorce resulted in causing her children to drift apart and become rebellious. This time, she knew that she needed to make a change, and her decision better be solid; no puppy eyes would be changing her mind.

The house that she grew up in comes with Mack Cooper, someone she knew back in her own school days, now her tenant; a school teacher himself with forty goats living in the yard. The arrangement was to remain as friendly associates, a roommate relationship. He gets to keep living in a home that allows him to raise his goats, and she gets to use her house again. They will share the living room and kitchen only when they needed the use of them. With the agreement solid, Lily moves the family back home to get away from the influences of the city.

Thoughts

If I had to describe the book in one word it would be fluffy (heartwarming too). There were ups and downs and the book writes out to be incredibly predictable, but I enjoyed it. There were parts that made me tear up and once the water-work starts going, there’s no turning back. Mack and Lily just fits each other like the perfect puzzle piece. They’re compatible, there’s chemistry between them, each have personal trust issues that stem from the trauma of having to deal with specific people in their lives, and each have baggage they carry.

Lily doesn’t trust herself in another relationship because what if another man like her cheating ex-husband comes by and ruins the little trust and hope she had left? Someone close to Mack had stolen his previous girlfriends not once, but twice! He’s adamant in not getting himself into another relationship, just like Lily, because what’s the point if that someone is going to just stroll back in and steal his girlfriend with his charms and good looks…again!

But as they begin to live under and share the same roof, Lily and Mack begin to gravitate towards each other. Mack, being a vo-ag (vocational agriculture) teacher, is fantastic with Lily’s kids and bonds with her son, who has grown quite attached to the herd of goats outside. While her daughter is a bit more to handle, even Holly begins to settle in to the new rural lifestyle with new friends of her own and even gets along well with Lily’s childhood friends.

The house that Lily resides in now is her childhood home that once belonged to her mother, now deceased. When she finally has the courage to start going through her mother’s things, she finds an old journal that, to her surprise, belongs to the women in her family…spanning across many many years with the first entry starting in June 1862!

With the journal, Lily begins a journey of love and the importance of family. Through the ancient book, she begins to find parallels to her current life as she shares the struggles, hardships, happiness, and even dreams of her ancestors. As she discovers more about herself, she begins to share the journal with her daughter, whom she would love to pass the journal onto one day, and the two’s relationship begins to heal.

It’s a heartwarming story that makes you cry a little. Her kids are at a rebellious stage in their lives and the divorce only catapulted them further away from her; their words constantly laced with anger or I should’ve tried harder to convince dad to move in with him and the likes of such. But with the introduction of the journal, she begins to bond closer to her children, and with Mack, both their hearts begin to thaw as they learn to work through their past problems and learn to love again.

The book is very Christian centric, as well, with many of the scenes taking place at church or mentions of choir practice and Sunday schools. Macks’ old friend is the preacher of this tiny town’s church and it’s these weekends, Sundays especially, whose scenes are the primary focus with most of the weekdays somewhat zipping by (could be me though).

It’s a very sweet book with lots of sparks flying at every touch they make, accident or not. The “good” characters are all like-able and the “villains” are all very detestable. I enjoyed how everybody seems to have their own comfort groups that mingle well with each other, small town style. Mack knows of the old aloof woman at church, as does Lily and her friends. Holly occasionally gets to hang out with her mother’s friends and gets to hang out with that old woman as well. Everyone knows everyone (and everyone knows secrets in half a heart beat). There’s a sense of eye-rolling small town rumors that is always flying around, though most are generally harmless.

All in all, it’s a very sweet and heartwarming book. I loved the parts where Lily and Mack helped each other through their pasts, even before their relationship began to kindle (did you see what I did there 👀?). Mack is the fantastic father figure that Holly and Braden just needed in their lives. Even from the start, you get a feeling that they were all just meant to be together.

I didn’t expect to power through the book as fast as I did. It flows well and reads well; an exceptional page-turning book. I had read pieces of the first few chapters during work breaks and after work, but then managed to just blow through a good 200 pages in one go as the middle began to pick up.

Lovely read with a beautiful ending: 4⭐️

Teaser Tuesday: July 14, 2020

Tea Corner (Blog)

I was scrolling through twitter like the good ol’ procrastinator I was, and came across an interesting and fun looking book meme and decided that I wanted to try it out myself. Unfortunately…I don’t know who started this meme (do let me know!!).

Anyone can play along as the rules are simple!

Pick up a book, choose a random page, and share a quote or two! I had a random number generator throw a number at me.

The number I got this time was: 456
Book: “The Blade Itself” by Joe Abercrombie

The horseman at the back split in half, all of a sudden, blood spraying everywhere. The Thunderhead had come up from the stream, got round behind them. There’s no armour that could stop a blow like that. The giant roared and swung the great length of bloody metal over his head again. The next in line got his shield up in time, but he might as well not have bothered. The blade hacked a big chunk out of it, tore his head open and hammered him out of the saddle. The blow was that strong it clubbed the horse down too.

😳

Currently Reading: Reaper Drone Strike

Tea Corner (Blog)

My next book up is a book I received from Goodreads Giveaway:

Reaper: Drone Strike by Nicholas Irving with A.J. Tata. I’m a little nervous because I’m going to, off the bat, assume it’s going to have a lot of military slang/terms that I won’t understand and I’ll probably end up glued to Google half the time. However, I noticed another reviewer had mentioned the same thing and said that what jargon there is is usually explained to the reader, so I’m not too too worried.

The spine of the book says the book is on sale May 2020 and Goodreads states it’s to be released May 12th, 2020, but Amazon has it as “This title will be released on July 21, 2020.” Which ever the case, I’ll try my best to finish and review this book before the May 12th date.

Image

Book Name: Reaper: Drone Strike
Series: The Reapers Book: # 3
Author: Nicholas Irving with A.J. Tata
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Book Type: Physical > Paperback > ARC
Pages: 354
Genre: Fiction, War
Start Date: 05.04.2020
End Date: 05.16.2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️