Thursday Things

Thursday Things
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

With spring break behind me, I’ve got a lot of things rattling in my head. Most of it isn’t enough for a full post, but are loosely related. Thursday Things is a bit of a brain dump – a bit of what I’m excited about, a bit of what has me frustrated, and it all took place during spring break. Oh, and there are affiliate links in this post.

I talk about those, too. Kind of. Shh.

• • •

In Which I Get On My Soapbox and Rant About Coaches and Vacations

Last week was spring break for our school district. We didn’t go anywhere because we are rule followers, and I’m tired of being a rule follower. It just doesn’t pay. (My son also tells me NOW that we were the only ones who actually followed the rules. So there’s that. Nice timing, kid.)

Back in September, the high school soccer coach said “we are holding practice over spring break so plan accordingly. Sorry/not sorry”.

At the parent meeting at the start of the season, he said “we are definitely holding practice on Thursday and Friday of spring break. Sorry, but that’s the sacrifice the kids make. We’re sorry that they will have practice over Christmas break too, but that’s the way break falls.”

We opt to stay local, and maybe drive to Houston for a few days and explore the area there.

Two days before spring break, an email landed in my inbox with a thud. It read: “No practice next week”.

via GIPHY



Needless to say, the language that came out of my mouth would have gotten me suspended if I was still in school.

We’re used to having every three-day weekend and major holiday crossing with a tournament. It’s the “kids need to show dedication to their team and make sacrifices” speech that really butters my biscuit. I appreciate that players need to be dedicated to their team and their teammates. I do!

However, I wish coaches would also recognize that players are ALSO part of an actual family unit. With parents who cart them to practices and games, who buy them equipment, and who work hard for them to be able to afford all that stuff.

Those parents need vacations, too. So when you cancel the practice that you told us we couldn’t miss? *growls*

I’m getting ready to book a cruise for next year, club and high school soccer schedules be damned.

• • •

The upside of a spring break with only a few plans is that you have a LOT of time to read.

So….

Books and MORE Books (yay)

My to-be-read pile of advanced reader copies would be teetering if they were all physical copies and not in e-book form. Here’s a teaser of the books that I’ll reviewing shortly, as most of them have release dates which are quickly approaching.

Thursday ThingsThe Astral Traveler's Daughter by K.C. Archer
Published by Simon and Schuster on April 2, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Occult & Supernatural, Thrillers, General, Women
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon
Buy from your local independent bookstore via IndieBound
Goodreads
four-stars

Last year, Teddy Cannon discovered she was psychic. This year, her skills will be put to the test as she investigates a secretive case that will take her far from home—and deep into the past in the thrilling follow-up to School for Psychics.

With trepidation, Teddy enters her second year at The Whitfield Institute, a facility hidden off the coast of San Francisco where students master telepathy and telekinesis, investigative techniques and SWAT tactics for covert roles in government service. She has been obsessively tracking the movements of the Patriot Corps, a secret organization that seems to be behind a string of crimes on US soil—including the disappearance of her friend, Molly. She is not sure who she can trust with her findings: her friends think she is crazy and her teachers insist she focus on her schoolwork.

Teddy tries to do what she is told. She tries to forget about her missing friend, her long lost birth parents, her rivalry with other students, even her forbidden romance with an instructor. She learns to be a meat shield: a Secret Service operative trained to protect whatever dummy they throw her way. She learns to disarm explosive devices. She also learn to transport herself through time, as she begins to grasp astral travel (that is, if she doesn’t get lost in the time-space continuum). But Teddy has never been good at following the rules. So when an unexpected assignment leads her to the answers she’s chased for so long, and reveal a clue about her own past, she takes a risk that puts everyone else she cares about in danger.

The next book in the series that Kirkus Reviews called “Harry Potter with a cast of millennials,” K.C. Archer’s The Astral Traveler's Daughter is a heart-racing novel set in a world very much like our own—but there is more to this place than meets the eye.

This is the second book in the School for Psychics series by author K.C. Archer. As it picks up right where the prior book left off, you’ll want to read that one first to fully appreciate this book.

And you should, because it’s a lot of fun – I think in my review of the first book I described it as “A less angsty and depressing The Magicians meets a more grown up Harry Potter…at the police academy.” Teddy Cannon is aptly named, as she is impulsive and explosive. She’s also flawed and relatable as a character, which is why she’s as fun as she is maddening at times.


Thursday ThingsThe Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green by Erica Boyce
on 2019
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Women, Small Town & Rural
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon
Buy from your local independent bookstore via IndieBound
Goodreads
four-stars

Sometimes wonder is found not beyond the stars, but a few feet from your own front door...

Daniel Green makes crop circles. As a member of a secret organization, he travels across the country creating strange works of art that leave communities mystified.

He's always been alone; in fact, he prefers it. But when a dying farmer hires him in a last-ditch effort to bring publicity to a small Vermont town, Daniel finds himself at odds with his heart. It isn't long before he gets drawn into a family struggling to stitch itself back together, and the consequences will change his life forever.

For readers seeking the warmth of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend blended with the creative spark of Rachel Joyce, The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green explores the unexplainable bonds of family, the everyday wonder of love, and the strange mysteries life provides that help humanity light up the dark.

The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green is a great book for lovers of literary fiction. It’s a story about a young man who makes crop circles as much as it is about the family who he creates it for. It’s a story about family, forgiveness, and acceptance. This one caused all the feels, so grab your tissues.

Thursday ThingsOne Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan
on April 9, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon
Buy from your local independent bookstore via IndieBound
Goodreads
four-stars

"Morgan is a masterful storyteller, and readers will be fully immersed in this realistic but magical summer in Paris. Packed full of love, loss, heartbreak, and hope, this may just be Morgan's best book yet. For fans of Jojo Moyes, Taylor Jenkins Reid, and Stacey Ballis"

-Booklist Review on One Summer in Paris

USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan returns with this heartwarming novel about the power of friendship, love and what happens when an ending is just the beginning...

To celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Grace has planned the surprise of a lifetime for her husband--a romantic getaway to Paris. But she never expected he'd have a surprise of his own: he wants a divorce. Reeling from the shock but refusing to be broken, a devastated Grace makes the bold decision to go to Paris alone.

Audrey, a young woman from London, has left behind a heartache of her own when she arrives in Paris. A job in a bookshop is her ticket to freedom, but with no money and no knowledge of the French language, suddenly a summer spent wandering the cobbled streets alone seems much more likely...until she meets Grace, and everything changes.

Grace can't believe how daring Audrey is. Audrey can't believe how cautious newly single Grace is. Living in neighboring apartments above the bookshop, this unlikely pair offer each other just what they've both been missing. They came to Paris to find themselves, but finding this unbreakable friendship might be the best thing that's ever happened to them...

One Summer in Paris by had a familiar feel – but maybe that is simply because when I read it, my head was in a space where I really wanted to run away from my life and I just related so strongly to it. I think we all have moments when we need a mental break and wish we could just escape to a new life. This book was a sneak peek into that, as well as being a story about friendship and forgiveness. This was a light, easy read and I really enjoyed it.

Thursday ThingsI Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott
Published by Simon and Schuster on April 2, 2019
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Personal Memoirs, Family & Relationships, Life Stages, Mid-Life, Self-Help, Personal Growth, Happiness
Pages: 288
Buy on Amazon
Buy from your local independent bookstore via IndieBound
Goodreads
four-stars

One of 2019’s Most Anticipated Books: BuzzFeed, Bustle, HelloGiggles, LitHub, She Reads

Acclaimed essayist and bookseller Mary Laura Philpott presents a charmingly relatable and wise memoir-in-essays about what happened after she checked off all the boxes on her successful life’s to-do list and realized she might need to reinvent the list—and herself.

Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy.

But once she’d completed her life’s to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies—check!), she found that instead of feeling content and successful, she felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of overflowing calendars, grueling small talk, and sprawling traffic. She’d done everything “right,” but she felt all wrong. What’s the worse failure, she wondered: smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options?

In this memoir-in-essays full of spot-on observations about home, work, and creative life, Philpott takes on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood with wit and heart. She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don’t happen just once or only at midlife; reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary; and advises that if you’re going to faint, you should get low to the ground first. Most of all, Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don’t have to burn it all down and set off on a transcontinental hike (unless you want to, of course). You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you’re not, and where you belong. Who among us isn’t trying to do that?

Like a pep talk from a sister, I Miss You When I Blink is the funny, poignant, and deeply affecting book you’ll want to share with all your friends, as you learn what Philpott has figured out along the way: that multiple things can be true of us at once—and that sometimes doing things wrong is the way to do life right.

Confession – I’m currently still reading I Miss You When I Blink, but so far Mary Laura Philpott’s collection of essays is speaking to my heart, one anxious, type-A woman to another. Her writing is funny and honest, and timely – a lot what I need to read right now.

Bonus Sneak Peek!!!!

Thursday ThingsHouse of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
Published by Random House Children's Books on 2019
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Adaptations, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Horror
Pages: 416
Buy on Amazon
Buy from your local independent bookstore via IndieBound
Goodreads
four-stars

Get swept away in Erin A. Craig's mesmerizing House of Salt and Sorrows. As one by one her beautiful sisters mysteriously die on their isolated island estate, Annaleigh must unravel the curse that haunts her family. Be careful who you dance with. . . .

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last--the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge--and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who--or what--are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family--before it claims her next. House of Salt and Sorrows is a spellbinding novel filled with magic and the rustle of gossamer skirts down long, dark hallways. Get ready to be swept away.

A new take on the classic fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses, The House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin Craig has a gothic feel and is spooky and a bit creepy (but not scary). As its release date is in August, I can’t officially review it yet, but AM excited enough about it to babble on a bit. This was a one-day, stay up until the wee hours of the morning to finish it kind of book, with beautiful prose and a lot of twists. Put this one on your must read list for late summer.

• • •

Speaking of putting books on your must-read lists….

It’s Slightly Embarrassing How Excited I Am That I Earned A Commission This Year Week

I confess – while I disclose affiliate links, I don’t actually make that much money on said links. I can’t say much about it because….

via GIPHY



…so let’s just say that I don’t make as much money via these links as one would think. It’s just a bit more than being paid in “exposure”, and it pays out about as frequently.

So please, if you think you might like to preorder any of the books I’ve talked about, I would love you forever if you could use my affiliate link.
I could eventually buy myself another book.

Or maybe a another stress squishy, because I really need a proper vacation.

Every writer needs a happy pencil stress squishy.

four-stars

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