At least once a day, I find myself getting out on the Bike trail that runs close to my home. I’m always amazed at the variety of wildlife that I see. Here’s a collection of those photos, both old and new.
The Sunday Post is a blog news meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things you have received. Share news about what is coming up on your blog for the week ahead. Join in weekly, bi-weekly or for a monthly wrap up.
Welcome to another Sunday Post! If you are reading this, then I included links to the book reviews from the past week. If you are listening to the podcast, I’ve included the entire book review post within this podcast. Enjoy people and let me know what you think!
Book Reviews from Last Week
The Scars of Her Dragon by Julia Mills
The past is never just the past especially when it haunts your every thought and turns your dreams to nightmares. Forgiveness is the only path to peace. Unfortunately, that route is filled with the faces of the dead.
The dove brings love, peace and protection to the world. She has the power to restore what’s been lost and heal the wounds of the past. If only he would let her.
Rebel Lion by Anna Lowe
Lion shifter Dell O’Roarke has never been serious about life, but life is about to get serious with him. The beautiful stranger who’s just arrived in Maui isn’t just looking for anyone — she’s looking for him. And that’s not just any surprise she’s brought along — it’s a baby who looks a hell of a lot like Dell. Soon, he discovers there’s more at stake than his lifestyle as a swinging bachelor. Vengeful shifters are hot on the stranger’s heels, making Dell wonder… Are they after the woman, the baby, or him?
Leap of the Lion by Cherise Sinclair
After a decade of captivity, Darcy MacCormac escapes the corrupt, clandestine organization called the Scythe, leaving family and friends behind. She must find a way to rescue them. Discovered by other shifters, the brand-new cougar gets two mentors. Blademage Gawain is an easy-going blacksmith with a steel-hard core. His brother Owen is a deadly warrior. Grumpy. Rude. And he doesn’t like her.
Matched and Mated by Grace Goodwin
Miranda Doyle has spent months in the arms of a mysterious Trion doctor. His hands are skilled at more than just healing, but their casual “friends with benefits” arrangement isn’t enough for her. She wants it all, and the Interstellar Brides Program guarantees her not just a mate, but a perfect match.
Outlaw Wolves by Heather Long
Luciana Esposito Barrows never imagined her dream of uniting the Lone Wolves and giving them a home could go so terribly awry. First, her brother rejected her, repudiating her from Seven Hills and leaving her without a powerful ally. Then the U.S. packs put her on notice, monitoring their movements, keeping them contained…then the Russians came. The last person in the world she expected to turn on her, was her own mate.
Our last pet wouldn’t go outside when it was raining. It didn’t matter whether it was raining a lot or a little, he just wouldn’t do it.
So you can imagine my surprise when Coco insisted upon going out come rain or come shine. Her coat is rather thick so she stays wet for awhile after coming back inside. We gave in and bought her a rain coat!
In case you didn’t see it on the home page, I’ve started a Podcast called “Book Reviews by the Reluctant Retiree.” Yeah, I know, not exactly original. WordPress has partnered with Anchor, a Spotify division, to create podcast episodes from blog posts. My husband and I had looked into creating a podcast for him but were always afraid of the costs involved. With Anchor, there is no cost involved. My plan at the moment is to create episodes from the Sunday Posts rather than trying to create episodes from all the posts during the week.
Books Reviewed This Past Week
Fighting for Her Dragon by Julia Mills. Dragon Guard Series Book 7. One doomed dragon. One very special woman. One destiny no one could have predicted. Will they save dragon kin or destroy it?
The Science of Good Cooking from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine. Unlock a lifetime of successful cooking with this groundbreaking new volume from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated, the magazine that put food science on the map.
Lure of the Wolf by Anna Lowe. Jewels of the Heart Book 2. Nina only has the vaguest memories of who she is or why two men tried to kill her one terrifying night. All she knows is how quickly she’s falling in love with her rescuer — a man with secrets of his own. With her, he’s kind, gentle, and fun — but there’s a ferocious, animal side to Boone and the group of Special Forces vets he shares an exclusive seaside estate with. Can Boone help her uncover the past before the killers catch up with her? Or will an unexpected twist of fate steal her only chance at true love?
Sealord by Delta James. Alpha Lords Book 6. Only one thing could have awakened Kellan from long centuries of sleep. The scent of his mate.
Míorúilt has the blood of dragons in her veins and taming her will be no easy task, but Kellan wouldn’t want it to be. While he slumbered he dreamed of how sternly and shamefully he will punish her defiance and how thoroughly he will claim and ravage her beautiful virgin body.
Now it is time.
Her Mate’s Secret Baby by Grace Goodwin. Interstellar Brides Program Book 9. An attack on their outpost leaves Roark fighting for his life. For her protection, Natalie is transported back to Earth. Roark thinks she’s dead. But she’s very much alive and so is his newborn son. Natalie’s anger and regret grows with each passing day her mate does not keep his promise to come for her. By the time he discovers his mistake, it may be too late to win back her heart.
Desert Wolf by Heather Long. Wolves of Willow Bend Book 8. Cassius, Alpha of Sutter Butte, leads the most ruthless and dangerous pack in the United States. A pack comprised of misfits who didn’t fit in their previous packs, cast offs discarded by their packs and forgotten wolves who rose to create a pack more than a century before it utter defiance of the order of the day. Sometimes pitiless and cruel, he wants more for his people than a yearly bloodbath as they fight for a new place, a better spot in the pecking order. To change his pack, means to change himself and he will find rebellion on all sides, not the least of which is his own defiant heart.
As you can see (I hope), I am trying to expand the information I present on Sundays. Not everybody is interested in the paranormal romances and that’s okay. I plan to keep including the cookbooks and other informative posts. A blog should always be evolving otherwise it grows stale. So if you are listening to this as a podcast episode, thank you very much for your support.
- Her Dragon’s Heart by Julia Mills
- Accessories for Your Instant Pot
- Lure of the Bear by Anna Lowe
- Skylord by Delta James
- Mating Fever by Grace Goodwin
- Snow Wolf by Heather Long
Recently my husband and I decided that it was easier to get a couple of fleece throws to cover up with when things got a bit chilly. The weather can be quite changeable in early spring and if we put a heater on, it only leads to needing the AC by afternoon. Needless to say, Coco had to investigate this new covering. At this point, I gave in and bought her a blanket of her own.
This past week, my husband and I did something that we do about 4 times a year, we changed the set of dishes we are using. I remember how my mother loved to decorate her house for the seasons. Unfortunately, I don’t have the space to decorate that she did. She had a 3 story house, I have a single wide trailer. So over the years, I have collected 4 sets of dishes to use for the different seasons. This week we brought out the ones for spring.
Now, one of my husband’s greatest joys is buying me Crystal to use in our house. He’s wanted to do that for years but we were never in a position to afford it. Recently we have been. Last year, he bought me two things to use as centerpieces for the table. Godinger Swan Centerpiece Bowl Crystal Giftware and Godinger 25517 Dublin Hurricanes – Set of 3,. Those candleholders look like they hold votives, don’t they? Noooo, they hold 3 inch candles!
Christmas decorating using these was fairly simple. Red candles, red and gold ornament balls and 3 strands of holly wound around the base of the candlesticks. But look at how elegant they look! I got rave reviews all season long.
This week I changed that for spring. White candles, smaller flowers in the bowl, and 2 different flower garlands woven together then wound around the candlesticks.
Book Reviews for this Past Week
- Saved By Her Dragon by Julia Mills
- Planning for Canning
- Deception by Anna Lowe
- Fated by Delta James
- Tamed by the Beast by Grace Goodwin
- River Wolf by Heather Long
Weekly Cup of Coco
This week was Coco’s “Spa Day.” She’s not happy with me but accepted a rawhide chew as a bribe.
What’s new with me!
I’ve been planning to do this for quite awhile now, but never quite got around to doing it. Instagram, that is! I use the same handle, reluctantretireebookreviews for Instagram and Twitter both. I’ve started posting just once each day, until I get the hang of doing this.
I was surprised to see that sometimes an author will just post a quote from their book on a abstract background. This was not what I was expecting, but definitely something I can work with. I don’t take photos so much as I create 3d renders of the scene. I’ve got several different scenes set up that I can just change a few things, (along with the book covers) and it will render in just a few minutes. I’m not going for photorealism because that can take way too long.
Since I noticed that several of the series now have updated covers, I’m going through and updating the blog posts. You should already be seeing these. I’m trying to keep up with all the different series without just totally dropping any of them.
Lastly, I’m giving you a look at reviews written by people other than myself. I know that my reviews can be, shall we say, short? For the most part, I write reviews on my iPad and I just don’t care for trying to do long, involved reviews that way. So I try to give you reviews that look at things from a different perspective. These reviews may be recent or from when the book was published. Expect to see 3 – 4 reviews in each post.
Weekly Cup of Coco
As we age, my husband and I enjoy having our fur baby sleep with us. Some nights, Coco will stay, other nights she wants down. Thursday night was definitely a different gameplan! My nightstand lamp is just out of reach so I have to get out of bed to turn it off. That night I turned back around to get in bed only to see Coco settling in my space. I laid down anyway, thinking she would scoot further down in the bed. Nope, she crawled up on the top part of my pillow, and there she stayed all night!
This past week saw a great deal of change in the US. We actually swore in a female Vice President, never mind all the other firsts involved there! Then there was the somewhat hidden footnote for history, Joseph Biden is the first Catholic president since JFK. That’s worth taking note of. If it wasn’t for his using a family Bible for taking the oath, many people might not know that.
This year was the first time my husband and I watched an inauguration on TV. Previous years, we just didn’t have the time or perhaps the interest. In this year, facing a resurgence of the Coronovirus, we all need to pay better attention to what is going on around us.
Weekly Cup of Coco
My husband and I love bringing Coco to bed with us. Neither one of us believes that she was ever spoiled before and we are trying to make up for that lack. On the nights when she doesn’t want to spend the entire night in the bed, I drop my extra pillow on the floor for her to use.
What’s Up Ahead for the Blog
I’ll be starting the next Delta James series, “Alpha Lords.” This series is actually set years in the future from Wayward Mates. The world has suffered a cataclysmic event that decimated the population and drove them back to medieval times. Reading carefully, you can find numerous references to the ladies and people of the Wayward mates series.
Celia Kyle has a wonderful series called “Dragons of Preor.” She’s recently released a new book in the series which intrigued me enough to decide to include this series in my reviews.
Weekly Cup of Coco
So Coco had an appointment with the groomer last night. She looks so adorable now. Unfortunately I don’t think she appreciated the whole experience. She’s currently sleeping facing away from us.
What are you thankful for?
This week was Thanksgiving here in the US. With the pandemic still going strong in so many parts of the world, most family celebrations looked a lot different from just a year ago. At least, I hope they did!
The large family gatherings for many people took place virtually. Others still gathered, but weather in their area permitting, moved outdoors. For some, they made the decision to take that risk and still gather together, but make sure to all wear their masks.
However you celebrated this year, I hope you remembered to give thanks for your blessings. If you’re reading this post, then give thanks that you are alive, you have internet access, and that you have the education that allows you to read.
If you had family gathered around you on Thursday, give thanks for each and everyone of them. Traveling today is still a risk and the last thing anyone wants is for their family to get sick because of them.
As I write this, I’m cleaning up the house after last night’s dinner with friends. It was only the four of us, but we still made a mess! Even so, I’m thankful that I can do things like this.
So, please take a minute and give thanks for everything you have.
Coming to the Blog
You may have noticed that some of the new posts have a featured image showing the book cover in a living room setting. I created those using Bryce, a software package that creates computer generated images. As things progress, I hope to use that more.
Also, I hope to include more cookbooks among my reviews. Some that I’m reviewing for Netgalley, others are from my own shelf. I hope you enjoy them!
Weekly Cup of Coco!
This little girl is one of the many things I’m thankful for. She came into our lives at a time when we really needed a little help. We hadn’t realized just how much Odie helped my husband’s health until he was gone. My husband’s blood pressure started rising until his doctor finally informed him that if we didn’t get another Emotional Support Animal (ESA), he would need to go on medicine that Craig really wasn’t going to like. Now, with Coco here, that isn’t a problem.
Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat history.
Granted that’s a loose interpretation of the quote, but it remains true. All over the world, peoples who have loosen their pandemic quarantines and other restrictions are now facing a resurgence of the virus. Earlier this week I got a What’s App Chat notice from my youngest daughter. They began offering in person class lessons at her son’s school 2 weeks ago. (She lives in Dayton, OH.) The day she made the post, the school district had it’s first COVID-19 positive student confirmed. That day, the decision was made to extend the upcoming Thanksgiving break. It now starts this coming Monday and will extend through the beginning of January with no virtual lessons being offered.
Thankfully, my grandson had been doing all of his classes virtually. When the school year began, my Husband and I asked if he needed anything for his school. We were going to offer to ship him our laptop that we weren’t using if it would help him. Dayton Public Schools had furnished the students with Chromebooks so he was using that. When we heard that all he needed to be able to use the larger computer monitor was a web camera, it was on it’s way from Amazon that very day.
So how does this tie into history?
If you research the 1918 pandemic, you will find that two of the larger cities, New York and Chicago, decided to bring the children in to school during the days. The belief was that since they had the highest doctor/nurse to student ratio, that the children would be safer under their care.
What people aren’t realizing is that during that time frame, the children were much more obedient than they are today. There were sufficient teachers to ensure that the children followed all the rules that were put in place. Children were raised to listen to and follow instructions given by adults. Today, we’ve raised generations of people that are more interested in doing their “own thing” than in following the rules.
We’ve failed to learn from history, and now we are paying the price.
Weekly Cup of Coco!
It has been a hilarious week here at home. It was a bit chilly one morning so my husband covered his legs with an afghan while sitting in his recliner. The next thing he knew, Coco had jumped up on my recliner then walked across the middle and settled down on the afghan between his legs!
At this point in time, we’ve given up on getting the Afghan back. She has laid claim to it and she’s not backing down!
It’s definitely been interesting this week! Besides wanting to start the Wayward Mates and the Bridgewater Ménage, I also came across a couple of other Paranormal Dating Agency books to include. One book actually reaches back to a story at the beginning of the series. Those will be coming soon.
I was also reminded of a few other books that I have read, but never reviewed. Those will give me several different series to do.
Then, of course, there are the cookbooks that I have started reviewing on NetGalley. Now that it’s only my husband and myself, I find that I really enjoy cooking again. So watch for those to be posted.
Weekly Cup of Coco!
I have been trying to teach Coco to Sit on command. So far, she will sit on command if you have a treat in your hand. Then the other day she popped up into this pose that was just too cute to ignore.