Life · service dog

Service Dog in Training Update

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This is Manatee James, Manny for short. He’s my best friend, my little brother, my comforter, and my protector. I’ve been training him for 3 years to replace his dearly departed departed brother, Ozymandias, as my service dog. (I’d just like to note that I did not post my thousand different photos of Oz, I only posted two)Ozymandias at Veterans Memorial Park in GeorgiaOzymandias

Manatee is finally at the level of training where he has to work in-store to get used to the million and one distractions and happenings in the world. We decided on taking him into the Staples in Winter Garden Village (it’s an outdoor mall nearby that’s got a bit of that Stars Hollow vibe going on). I was so nervous, I hated the idea of all these people staring at me and my service dog, who is obviously a service dog because there’s a vest and numerous buttons to help deter dealing with people. I was terrified that we’d set foot in the store and Manny would forget all of his training. Just look at how loudly noticeable that training vest is!
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But it was great. I went in after a planner to help organise my bookish life with the rest of my life, a quick in and out mission. Manatee walked on my right side and tucked himself between me and the displays when I stopped to browse. He executed his first real block when I was getting too overwhelmed with men nearby (I have anxiety problems when men get too close). He even posed for one of the clerks working who apparently loves dogs and manatees and was tickled pink about a dog named Manatee – he asked from a respectable distance if he could take Manatee’s picture and totally respected the ‘do not pet’ rule.

Our only real issue was the register area, they have that set-up that feels like a livestock chute where they funnel the critters through a complex gate system to sort them out, I felt blocked in and he kept trying to drag me outside the whole time I was trying to check out, something he’s trained to do for anxiety attacks but he’s also supposed to apply pressure to me if we’re in that situation. I need to work more on his differentiating between the two scenarios and that’s going to be so much fun.

Our biggest success was when we walked by the large display of coffee and Manatee, the dog that sees a Starbucks sign while we’re driving and starts crying for coffee, only gave the entire display one sniff.

At the end of his training session, I took him over to the Starbucks across the mall and bought myself my usual frappuccino and bought him a regular recipe grande frappuccino all his own.

All in all, that was a great first in-store training session for us. We’re going to try Barnes and Noble this weekend and have a real coffee situation. Hopefully he remembers he doesn’t do the food and drink on duty. Cross your fingers, readers!

Until next time, dear readers, have a happily ever after!

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ARC Book Review · Book Reviews · NetGalley

ARC Review of Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge

Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge
Book One of the Spellwork Syndicate series
Publishing Date – 16 January 2018
Publisher – Ink Monster LLC
Source – Publisher via NetGalley
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Deadly Sweet

Anise Wise loves three things: baking, potion making, and reading her spellbooks in blissful silence. She might not be the most powerful witch, but enchantment is a rare skill, and her ability to bake with magic is even rarer. Too bad one wants witchcraft on their campus. Anise’s dream of attending pastry school crumbles with rejection letter after rejection letter.

Desperate to escape her dead-end future, Anise contacts the long-lost relative she’s not supposed to know about. Great Aunt Agatha owns the only magic bakery in the US, and she suddenly needs a new apprentice. Anise is so excited she books it to New Mexico without thinking to ask what happened to the last girl.

The Spellwork Syndicate rules the local witches in Taos, but as “accidents” turn into full-out attacks on Anise’s life, their promises to keep her safe are less and less reassuring. Her cranky bodyguard is doing his best, but it’s hard to fight back when she has no idea who’s the enemy. Or why she became their target.

If Anise can’t find and stop whoever wants her dead, she’ll be more toasted than a crème brûlée.

Who knew baking cakes could be so life or death?

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I received a copy of Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Ink Monster LLC, for the opportunity.

What first grabbed my attention on NetGalley was the cover, I mean, did you take a look at that gorgeous thing? Hello! I requested access and crossed all my fingers, toes, and eyes that I’d be granted access to this purple literary gem. And I was! I was cutting it close on the publication date but I read Deadly Sweet in two sittings and only two because I fell asleep at 3AM Saturday morning reading it. Then as soon as my errands were over for the day, I settled in to finish the final half of the book that night. And I loved it.

I enjoyed my time reading Deadly Sweet, it was a relatively relaxing read with an easy to follow storyline. Anise and her fellow characters were nicely developed and they each had their own personality and tone of voice. She made some friends for the first time in years and she even managed to get a smile from the assigned bodyguard who has a perpetual scowl on his face. Most of all, Anise got to bake her heart out in that drool-worthy kitchen.

Deadly Sweet was well-written and very entertaining, from the immolation at the County Fair to the Thriller dance at the sleepover. The descriptive details in Deadly Sweet were pretty good. I loved the eclectic architecture of Witch Way. I truly appreciated how Ms Dodge showcased the eternal bonds of true friendship between Nora and the friends she’d lost contact with 20+ years ago by passing them on to the trio’s children, AniseBlair, and Gabi. I could tell that Lola Dodge put a lot of her own experience into the culinary aspects of Deadly Sweet, nobody knows the baking world better than someone who’s actually been there and done that. I fell in love with Agatha’s kitchen and would love a chance to cook up one of my special recipes, maybe my chocolate bourbon pecan pie with a good fortune spell slipped in with the caramel?

What I didn’t like is that Gabi is introduced as this friendly and bubbly girl and it seemed that the author was building up for Gabi and Anise to become bosom buddies but then, she pretty much disappeared for most of the book. I’m hoping that Gabi has a more active role in the sequel.

It was rather obvious to me who the Big Bad was but I enjoyed Anise’s journey to discovering what I already figured out. It was like watching one of those cheesy horror movies where the entire audience is telling the vacuous blonde not to go investigate the creepy basement alone. I found myself yelling at my kindle at two in the morning, telling Anise not to do the thing that will probably kill her.

I enjoyed Deadly Sweet and I look forward to reading its sequel when the time comes. But throughout the book, there was also something missing, and I know not what, that made me incapable of falling truly madly in love with the story.

All in all, I’m going to give Deadly Sweet 3 out of 5 stars. I’m totally going to buy it and reread it in a few months, but it’s not a contender for my Top Twenty Literary Loves.

Check out the Deadly Sweet Blog Tour!

I know this review isn’t as in-depth as my others, but I’ve been dealing with a nasty little bug this week and I still wanted to get Deadly Sweet’s review out for its book birthday. So, please don’t hate me for the short review.

Until next time, darling readers, have a happily ever after! And if anybody knows how to get me some bake time in that kitchen, let a girl know!

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Book Reviews

Review of Water Bound by Christine Feehan

Water Bound by Christine Feehan
Book One of the Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart series
Published – 27 July 2010
Source – Personal Library
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Water Bound by Christine Feehan

Christine Feehan’s #1 New York Times bestselling Hidden Currents may have closed the Drake Sisters saga—which “brought paranormal romance to a new high”*–but it has opened the door to an all~new series of startling magic, mystery, and the soul~stirring elements of nature….

The last thing Lev Prakenskii remembered was being lost in the swirling currents of the ocean and getting sucked deeper into the nothingness of a freezing black eddy off the coastal town of Sea Haven. Just as quickly, just a miraculously, he was saved—pulled ashore by a beautiful stranger. But Lev has no memory of who he is—or why he seems to possess the violent instincts of a trained killer. All he knows is that he fears for his life, and for the life of his unexpected savior.

Her name is Rikki, a sea~urchin diver in Sea Haven. She has always felt an affinity for the ocean, and for the seductive pull of the tides. And now she feels drawn in the same way to the enigmatic man she rescued. But soon they will be bound by something even stronger, and their tantalizing secrets will engulf them both in a whirlpool of dizzying passion and inescapable danger.

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Rikki Sitmore is an autistic sea-urchin diver who lives on a farm in Sea Haven with her surrogate sisters who saved her from herself years ago. One day whilst she’s harvesting the spiny creatures off of a shelf along the San Andreas Fault, a massive wave comes out nowhere and throws Rikki off of her boat. Midway through her battle back to the surface, she encounters a man being battered against the underwater rocks along the shelf wall. In a split-second decision, Rikki saves the man from falling further into the fault line, risking her own life in the process. Rikki is a believer in the old laws, especially that of the sea. If you take it from the sea, it’s yours. and Lev Parenskii is hers, come hell, fire, or damnation.

Lev is a foreign secret agent, taken from his family as a child and trained to be the dark hand of his government. While on assignment, Lev ends up underwater in the Pacific Ocean with no rescue in sight. Just as he resigns himself to a watery death, he’s rescued by a woman who takes him home to recuperate. He quickly falls in love with this autistic woman with an affinity for water, but he knows that finding their Happily Ever After is going to be a bit harder than a dime-store romance novel.

Rikki has a rash of fire and death in her past and things have to work for her or she shuts down and Lev has his entire existence in the way, having to remember who he is and then making sure he remains dead to his country. Separate, the two have special abilities, and together, the pair can work wonders but are their unique gifts enough to survive everything the fates have thrown at them?

I have started and restarted writing this review dozens of time in its lifetime. I want to gush and be emotional. And I want to be distanced from it all, all professional-like. I’ve struggled to find a happy medium to do this review because I want y’all to see how amazing this book is. And I can’t. I am emotionally vested in this book and I am definitely not a literary professional as of yet. So here it is.

Water Bound hit the quadfecta for me. I found the book because it was written by Christine Feehan, a favourite author. I took it off the shelf for the title. I fell in love with the cover and the synopsis teased me. Author, Title, Cover, Synopsis. I immediately bought the book and I began reading it as soon as I got home and safely ensconced myself in my closet (I like reading in closets). And then, dearest readers, I read the book.

Water Bound shoved its way to the tippy top of my favourite books list with the first chapter. Why? Because for the first time ever, I had a book whose heroine I could relate to. An autistic woman with tragedy in her past that thought herself a monstrous freak. I cried reading Water Bound that night and I’m not a crying person. Not only was Rikki an autistic woman, but she was intelligent, not centring herself around math and science (which I strongly avoid), and she was mistreated by ‘the system’ for being different. Because Christine Feehan normalised autism by having an autistic heroine, I stopped hating being different and began to love myself, autism and all. I even started dating, which I’d sworn never to do because, ew, commitment and close personal contact with a person bother me.

Christine Feehan’s descriptions were exceptional, as always. I was enchanted with the vivid description of the underwater seascape that Rikki was so in love with. I was repeatedly reminded of the times when I was younger that I would climb out of my bedroom window at night to sit on the roof and just enjoy every raindrop that fell on my skin, something I haven’t done in over a decade.

I know this isn’t a new(ish) book or a yet-to-be-released book, but I’ve seen some disparaging reviews on Goodreads and Amazon that griped about Christine focusing on Rikki’s autistic qualities and her fascination with water and I felt the need to switch my review schedule about so that I could dedicate today’s review to this book that me feel a little bit more normal than I usually do. Writing from a point of view that isn’t neurotypical is hard – even for someone who is neurodiverse, trust me, I’ve tried. And the fact that Christine not only attempted to write from Rikki’s POV and give her a HEA, but succeeded in describing that special place we all disappear to during our ‘moments out of time’ and the frustrations of not being able to do ‘normal’ things like grocery shopping or hugging your family, it matters to me and any other reader on the spectrum. She constantly brings up Rikki’s ‘weird traits and obsessions’ because that’s a thing with us. We obsess and ‘space out’ and we stim and fidget. Many of us don’t do actual eye contact and some of us develop fake-out methods such as sunglasses or staring at a person’s nose. We have sensory issues and we have to have things just so or our entire worlds go off-kilter. For someone who isn’t an Own Voices writer (that I know of), she manages far better than certain popular TV shows to showcase autistic characters with a realness few authors achieve when writing characters with disabilities.

I give Water Bound a whole 5 stars because it is well-written and the research she put into the storyline shows from the succulent plants outside of Rikki’s home to her accurate portrayal of an autistic woman to the diving scenes that are fully developed without glossing over the ‘technical’ side of diving.

Oh, and I actually own three copies of this book. One is so tattered that its cover is duck taped to the binding which is also duck taped, I bought that one fresh off the shelf the first month it was available in my go-to chain bookstore in Georgia. Then I finally had the money last month to buy a replacement copy as a Christmas gift to myself and I bought the kindle edition this month, so that I can read that instead of accidentally damaging my brand-new copy that I cuddle with when I’m having an ‘autistic moment’. It’s calming and that’s all that matters. Buy a copy, rent a copy, audio, print or eformat. Whichever. Just read this book.

Until next time, readers, have a happily ever after!

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ARC Book Review · Book Reviews · NetGalley

ARC Review – Animal Instincts by Patricia Rosemoor

Animal Instincts by Patricia Rosemoor
A Kindred Souls Romance
Republishing Date – 9 January 2018

Recieved From – NetGalley
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Half-human, half-Kindred, Luc Lazare doesn’t want more complications in his life. He’s focused on protecting his shapeshifting family and love is the last distraction he needs.
Skye Cross has the ability to talk to animals. Her most recent animal rescue mission–stopping an alleged dog fight–actually involved shifters in a primal battle. Her investigation leads her to Luc, a man whose powers both unsettle and intrigue her. Skye quickly finds herself caught in a dangerous world she never knew existed, while relying on a man she couldn’t possibly trust.
Coming from two different worlds, can Luc and Sky overcome the obstacles fated to keep them apart?

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As this is a republishing, please wait until 9 January 2018 to purchase an updated copy

I received an advanced copy of Patricia Rosemoor’s Animal Instincts from the publisher, Tule Publishing, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Tule Publishing, for taking the chance on a new blog.

This book is a paranormal romance centred around a young woman, Skye Cross, who has a psychic connection with animals and routinely works in connection with the police force’s Animal Crimes Unit and Animal Care and Control to work towards shutting down the rampant animal fighting ring in the city of Chicago. While at a raid, Skye runs into her twin brother, Shade Cross, a homicide detective with CPD, who gives her a good luck charm after admonishing her for her presence at the bust and tells her to stay put. Skye disregards her twin’s commands and goes about doing what she does best, helping animals. Although, her disobedience soon lands her in a nice hot pot of trouble from which a mysterious man, whom we later learn is Luc Laverre, rescues her just in the nick of time. Not long after our main characters are introduced, Shade is killed protecting a woman during his investigation who turns out to be Luc’s mother and he turns into a ghost with short-term memory loss and a few weird rules regarding his ghostly activities.

Teaming up to solve Shade’s murder and put an end to the animal fighting ring, Skye and Luc alternate between butting heads and heavy flirting. Both of which were usually on account of Luc’s half-breed status of one of the Kindred and his self-imposed family duty to his mobster-esque father and his den of multitudinous iniquities, a casino boat called The Arc. As they search for the culprit(s), the duo face off against dirty members of law enforcement and Kindred that aren’t fond of half-breeds.

Y’all. I’m just going to say it. I struggled the whole way through Animal Instincts. I wanted to fall in love with it from the second I read the synopsis on NetGalley, what animal lover wouldn’t? But I couldn’t. I loved the premise of the story, a young woman trying to help animals and put an end to a animal fighting ring, but I just couldn’t lose myself in the story. The writing seemed a bit stilted to me and the lead characters were all over the place. It took me taking short moments out of my day to read Animal Instincts, one lonely page at a time. I had to skip over the overly graphic descriptions of the animal fights because I can’t even sit through one of those Humane Society commercials (you know the ones) on television. The characters varied from partially vivid to flat and lifeless. Skye and Luc were, of course, the most developed, but most of the other characters were a bit empty. The world-building that was put into this was underdeveloped and had definite holes that need plugging. To be quite honest, I’m still not entirely sure what the Kindred are except shifters who’ve given up their souls for more power. I was actually left in the dark on several things that happened in Animal Instincts and y’all have no idea how much it bothered me. I ranted for twenty whole minutes on New Year’s Eve after finishing it.

All in all, I’m giving this a 2 out of 5 stars. The story has good bones hidden underneath the one-dimensional characters and substandard world-building and I’d love to see it flourish one day. But for right this moment, it fell short and that saddens me.

Don’t forget to like, comment, share, use a bookmark, hug your pets, and brush your teeth.

Until next time, readers, have a happily ever after!

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Holidays · Life

A New Year’s Posting

Hello, darling readers! Happy New Year to everyone! I’m busy writing reviews today while I watch Strong Woman Bong-soon. I’m only 3 episodes into it and I’ve decided to learn Korean this year on top of everything else I’ve got going on. I know, I’m biting off a pretty big piece of salted caramel bourbon pecan pie (my personal recipe) but I like multi-tasking. I’m not terribly good at it, but I like it nonetheless.

I’m being a lazy caregiver and ordering Domino’s for dinner tonight. Today’s just been too cold, too hectic, too sleepy, too too to do anything else. My older brother and I both have sensory issues involving fireworks and our dogs have had them thrown at them by evil children so we had a rough late night since the fireworks finally died down around 2AM and the puppers fell asleep not soon after. Then, Manatee, my alarm dog, woke us up at 5AM. It’s been caffeine and pasta all day today. We actually really don’t do much in terms of celebrating the new year until Lunar New Year. It was one of my mum’s ways of keeping us kids in touch with our paternal roots after The Divorce when I was 4. Come February, I’ll be all about the nian gao, fu, jiǎozi, luóbo gāo, shehuo, and yuanxiao. I will probably make y’all so fed up with Lunar New Year traditions and customs, y’all will probably unfollow my blog (please don’t). But for January 1st, we just hang out and play cribbage and rummy and watch movies, nothing special.

I made my very first Goodreads book goal this morning. I’m planning to read at least 100 books this year. It’s just 100 though. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezey. I’m a multimedia reader and I really think it’ll be fun watching the books pile up and the kindle fill up. Mostly, I can’t wait to make a dent in my Goodreads TBR list – it’s over 400 books and counting! I have the worst time choosing which book to read next, most of the time I actually enlist my mum and my brother to help me decide. I make them choose their favourite covers and we narrow things down slowly until there’s two left and I make the final decision, usually employing the eenie, meenie, miney, mo method. I’m finishing a book from last month (not counting it towards my goal) and working my way through Linsey Hall’s Dragon’s Gift multi-series, I’m about in the middle of The Protector series now. One I’m done the entire set, I’ll do an overall long posting about it because it is that good.

Now it’s time to rejoin the world, take some time to check on my brother and walk the dogs before going and picking up the pizzas. Until next time, darklings, have a happily ever after!

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Holidays · Life

Happy Christmas to All and to All, a Good Read!

My mum was rescheduled to work Christmas Day so my family will be celebrating the holiday a day early. It’s wreaked utter havoc on my nice and orderly schedule and I’m having to multi-multi-task the next week. And with the addition of the new eARCs, I’m tripling up on my reading. I guess that means it’s time to pull the Coffee IV out of storage and hook myself up. And, since Manatee is a coffee fanatic and he’s been feeling a bit down lately, I’ll be making him a mug of his own to hopefully pick him up a bit.

I’m currently finishing up Mission: Vaquita by S.H. Goodhart for my first review, struggling through my eARC of Patricia Rosemoor’s Animal Instincts, and rereading Lori Foster’s When You Dare for a future backup review. I have so many sticky notes tucked into the pages of Mission: Vaquita and When You Dare right now. Because I take notes using a complicated tier system. I’ll explain it one day.

As for the actual day of Christmas, I’ll probably be wandering about the Orlando/Central Florida area (Celebration, Lakeland, Tampa, Cocoa Beach, who knows) taking photos with my precious camera. I’ll even bring along my Christmas Book Haul to take some Bookstagram photos. Or, you know, playing catch up on reading all the blog posts from the past few weeks. Between lessons, knitting, holiday prep, family time, and reading, I’ve fallen behind on reading blogs. Oops. That’s life though. The 20s are for figuring out how to make time for everything, right?

For now, I’m going to go take a short nap so I can be awake enough to take the dogs to see their Christmas lights displays tonight. My dogs are already in bed and I’ve been feeling so jealous of them. I’m joining them!

Until next time, have a happily ever after!

literary goodies

Just a Quick Bookish Post

Because my memory is so abysmal, I forgot I won a giveaway on goodreads and so I had a mystery parcel at the post today that was from author, Meredith Wild, and she included some goodies! A signed copy of On My Knees the first of The Bridge series, bookmarks, a pen (I love pens), and a little card for another of her books that I HAD to add to my TBR list.

I also printed out some bookmarks I found on pinterest – I have an entire board dedicated to bookmarks. What is wrong with me? I attached the bookmarks to some colourful cardstock and did a dreadful job of cutting them. I’ll definitely stick to ordering bookmarks on Etsy or picking them up at the bookstore. And I’ll stay on the crafty side of arts and crafts. Art hates me.

Book Reviews

A Not-Review of Heart Sight by Robin D Owens

 

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This past Friday, I received an ARC of Heart Sight in exchange for an honest review. And honestly, I read the first few chapters then realised – THIS ISN’T A STANDALONE! So, here is a not-review gush over Heart Sight as a precursor to the future review of Heart Mate.

I read a portion of this book over the weekend slowly – just imagine the speed of a tortoise and go back a few steps per minute, not my normal speed at all. I just couldn’t get myself into the book after I realised that it wasn’t a complete standalone novel. It’s a good book and I actually do want to go back and read the entire series from the beginning because I’m one of those people that has to read a series in order or I will never finish the book – it would be destined to become one of those books you leave on the shelf unread to fill a gap and make your shelfies look colourful. See the beginning of the post for an example. I struggled to reach Chapter 8 and I gave up at 3 AM this morning. Instead, I went online in search of the first in the series, Heart Mate. And I suggest you do as well if you want to know everything the characters are talking about because you’ll be a tad adrift on Literary Sea if you don’t. What follows is a not-review, I want you to buy Robin’s first book so you can fall in love with the series properly and devour all 14 books that came before Heart Sight so you’ll actually know what’s going on in this one, the fifteenth of the series.

Now, if you’re a fan of Christine Feehan’s Carpathian series, you’ll get into this. Owens writes books about predestined soulmates called HeartMates – one word, two capitals. And everybody on their planet, Celta, a colonisation from Earth a little over 400 years ago, has various powers called Flair, different Flair for different people. Heart Sight’s hero and heroine, Muin (called Vinni by everyone but his HeartMate) and Avellana have some pretty amazing Flair. Muin is the highest-tier prophet of his people and FirstLord of the T’Vine FirstFamily. Avellana has Flair so powerful it’s a big secret (and with good reason as you’ll discover) in order to protect her from anti-ruling party types.

A central theme of Heart Sight is Muin is suffocating Avellana with his overprotective streak and Avellana calls him on it after two decades of his overreacting from vague visions regarding her demise anytime there’s a threat in their vicinity and sends her away for her safety every time she turns around.

We meet Avellana on Mona Island, an artist commune, where she’s been hidden away for three months and is due to return to Druida City. Muin is there to convince her to stay even longer because he’s had yet another vague dream about her possible demise. And Avellana has had enough and lets him know that she’s done being treated like a fragile doll and refuses to remain on Mona Island any longer. Way to go, Avellana! Sorry, I let my not-so-inner feminist take over there.

And this is where prior knowledge of the series comes in, Muin and Avellana both reference several events and persons that you don’t know. And you start feeling as if you’ve just had your one oar ripped from your hands and someone gave your boat a polar bear sized shove (have you seen that clip? No? Do it. Do it for the cuteness!).

What did I like about what I did read of Heart Sight that made me order the first in the series? The pets are sentient, the houses are sentient, art is held in high regard, there is magic everywhere but it doesn’t run the show, there is mystery but not that horribly tacky mystery where the answer is totally obvious, and there is a destined someone out there for everyone.

If you’re not one of those folks who have to read a series in order or they start tweaking, go buy Heart Sight at one of the links below. It’s officially out and among the masses today. If you’re like me and need the series in order, I’ve also included some links to new and used copies of Heart Mate.

Until next time, my darkling readers, have a happily ever after.

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Holidays · Life

December in Disney

We all remember when we were little and our parents would bundle us up at like 4 or 5 in the evening and fasten us into the car and drive to the fancy part of town to drive around oohing and ahhing over the Christmas lights, right?

One of my earliest memories is of my mother and grandmother piling four of my cousins, my foster sister, my brother and myself into the van (totally illegal but whatever), buried us in sleeping bags and we’d drive the four miles into town. We’d pick up hot chocolate at Aunt Laurie Ann’s store and we’d turn the radio to whatever station was already playing Christmas music to sit in the parking lot to wait. Then, at 6:30, everybody would turn their Christmas lights on. One house after another. We’d drive around all over town until about 8:30 and we’d start the drive home. And we’d do this every weekend from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Everybody would camp out in our extra large living room, and we’d spend the weekend together while my cousin’s parental units went Christmas shopping.

Well, 20 years later, we live in Florida instead of on the Canadian border in Vermont. That means absolutely no snow whatsoever. But living right outside of Disney World, we’re treated to their nightly fireworks display. And sitting outside with my dogs, watching it, I learned something weird about my freaky dogs. Except for my oldest who’s going blind and has issues with fireworks (he was tortured by a boy with fireworks when he was a baby), my dogs love the lights.

Last year, my mom and I got it in our heads that they’d love seeing the Christmas lights and they did. They were even more excited when I set up the tree – something they’d never seen. They had lights at home! Nikki actually spent all December staring at the tree whenever the lights were on. We haven’t gotten the tree out yet, but we’re totally taking Zeus, Nikita, and Skädi out for a ride tonight. We’re going to drive up to this cutesy village-esque town for their town centre lights.

But before we do that, we’re going to drive down to the post office so I can pick up my books that arrived today. Honestly, that’s the part I’m excited about. There is nothing like the feeling getting new books. Even better, I have no idea which books arrived (I never do because I always forget what I ordered), so it’s kind of like a little taste of Christmas every time I pick up a package from the post. And considering how many books I’m ordering this week, there’s going to be a lot of Christmas tasting as I wrap them in penguin wrapping paper and put them under the tree, unread and teasing me for the next 24 days.

I’ve got to go load the truck up with canines now. Until next time, have a happily ever after.

Uncategorized

The Start of Something New

Hello, duckies! I’m Maggie and this is my book blog. Quite the catchy title, yes? It was almost ‘Maggie Reads Books’ but my best friend totally vetoed it.

I recently decided to expand my book reviews from my private social media accounts and Amazon to more public settings. Meaning a new Instagram account dedicated solely to bookstagram posts, a Facebook Page, a Twitter, a Goodreads, and this blog. Starting in the new year, I’ll be posting a book review every week or so – always on a Friday because weekends are family time. This way I’ll have time to read the book to be reviewed and summarise it, study, work, and read for pure entertainment purposes as well. If for some reason I need to have some mental health time, which does happen with my disability, I’ll most likely have a draft waiting in the wings to cover.

I’m autistic and sometimes I have days where I’m not very communication-friendly, so while I’ll respond to comments and messages as soon as possible all the time, some days ‘as soon as possible’ will be a smidgen longer.

think that’s all I wanted to say for now. Until next time, have a happily ever after.