In Which Nobody Puts TxtingMrDarcy in a Corner… Least of all Herself

Hello again Blogloves!

I have a confession to make. I’m sure that it’s going to surprise exactly .01% of you, but here it is:

I wrote myself into a corner.

After years of reading blogs, and loving blogs, and writing blogs, I felt the need to try to FOCUS myself.

“I should pick one thing and be really good at it!” I thought. “Every REALLY good, successful blog has an IDEA! Or a FOCUS! Or a THEME!”

Obviously, since I posted about books a great deal of the time, I pegged them as the thing that I am PASSIONATE! about, and started only posting about that.

And then? I got bored. SO bored.

If I didn’t love a book, I didn’t post about it. I got tired of trying to sound knowledgeable, and trying to formulate well-written opinions based upon my vast amount of reading. Even when I loved a book so much that I wanted to buy a notebook solely for the purpose of writing “Brooke + Life After Life” over and over again with pink puffy hearts? I still didn’t want to write about it.

I started to long to get back to just writing about LIFE again. Life, while it’s happening. Whether it’s boring and repetitious,  or fantastic and fresh every single day. That’s what I did when I started almost three years ago. (Holy crap) It worked for me.

(Example: I didn’t even blog about THE ROYAL BABY. Because I didn’t think it “fit.” How stupid is that?!)

(PS- OMG da widdle PrinceGeorgiekins and his widdle cheeks!@.)

Even while I didn’t blog for so much of this year, I tried to keep connected via Twitter, and Instagram, and other forms of social media. And even though it’s been A YEAR, the smoke has started to clear, and I’m ready to get back to interacting with all of you again. I miss the perspective that you give me- that whatever I’m going through here, there is a BIG world out there full of fun and laughter and amazing friends that I have yet to meet.

So, allow me to introduce myself, Internet.

My name is Brooke. I’ve been married for two years to my childhood sweetheart-of-sorts Army Boy.

We are parents to a devious beagle named Wesley (OF COURSE it’s after the Princess Bride.)

We live in a small town in Pennsylvania, with a lot of corn and cows, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We just sold our first home and bought our second, and I suddenly found myself a bit of a country girl.  Not, like Pioneer Woman -level country girl, but it feels close.  We dream sometimes of adventure, and when we do we do it big-time. See: Ireland in 2011 and Scotland in 2013. (The UK has my heart forever and ever.)

I am a completely unashamed book hoarder, but also share my affection with cupcakes, wine, travel and anything British.

Thank you for stopping by today, and I can’t wait to get to know you all again.

 

Advertisements

TxtingMrDarcy Reads: “Here There Be Dragons” Edition

Seraphina~ Rachel Hartman

Book Description (From Amazon): Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

Soundtrack: “Ave Maris Stella”~ Otto Olsson

So much of the book revolves around Seraphina’s relationship with music, and this gorgeous choral piece came to mind immediately.

After reading about this book in a recent issue of “Shelf Awareness,” I was beyond excited to snag a copy from the library.

In a country where there is an uneasy truce between humans and dragons, Seraphina has spent her entire life attempting to hide her true identity.  Turning her considerable musical talents to a position as the assistant to the court composer, she is unable to evade notice for long.

When a member of the royal family is killed, and the murder appears to have been commited by a dragon, Seraphina finds herself dragged into the investigation and forging unlikely relationships along the way.

It is not exaggeration to say that I LOVED this book. Seraphina’s character is so richly imagined that she practically leaps off the page. The reader sharply feels her turmoil at reconciling her public and private lives. She’s a very typical young woman, wanting to feel beautiful and valued but believing herself unworthy of those things. Seeing her explore her unique talents and realize that what makes her different also makes her remarkable is fantastic.

While Seraphina herself is reason enough to read this book, I can’t do it a disservice by neglecting to mention the supporting characters.  Each of them is challenged in some way by their role in society- Prince Lucian is contracted to marry his cousin regardless of his personal wishes, Orma finds himself fighting his very nature when it comes to loving his niece, and Seraphina’s father is an expert in the law despite having broken it himself long ago.  The mythology is developed to a wonderful degree.  Ms Hartman developed a unique class of dragons, with their own quirks, emotional characteristics and habits. She’s given the human residents of her world their own caste rules, prejudices and religious system.

In the case of this book I would even be tempted to break my own rule regarding YA series. Though the ending resolved the plot well, I wouldn’t have been opposed to spending a lot more time with Seraphina and following her as she and Kiggs move forward and prepare for a potential war between the humans and the dragons. I didn’t do a great deal of searching, but if I were to read that Rachel Hartman was planning a sequel, it wouldn’t cause any gnashing of teeth on my part.  There’s music, there’s romance, and plenty of intrigue to keep you turning pages until the end.

Five out of Five Ivory Flutes.

TxtingMrDarcy Reads: Sentimental Edition

“Sisterhood Everlasting”~ Ann Brashares

Book Description (from Amazon):

“On the cusp of turning thirty, Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget are now living
separate lives, out on their own. Yet despite having jobs and men that they
love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained
them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but
misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but
still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her
longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to
settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness. Then Tibby
reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a
reunion that they all breathlessly await.

And indeed, it will change their lives  forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected.”

Soundtrack: “Both Sides Now”~ Joni Mitchell

Love, in all of its many forms, has always been a key topic of the Sisterhood Books. This one is no exception, only it’s a bit more bittersweet this time around.

Best Enjoyed With: A cold beer and a brownie. Preferably to share.

I have to admit to some sentimentality when it came to choosing this book. I’d read The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants when it came out, and loved the four Septembers in their first appearance. Likewise, I enjoyed both of the movie adaptations. I’ve kept up with the books over the years, even as I grew older and the characters became “too young” for me.

Ann Brashares returns to her girls ten years after the events in the last books. They’ve all pursued life paths true to character- Carmen is a successful actress, Lena teaches art, and Bee floats wherever the wind takes her. The only mystery to the girls is Tibby, who moved away to Australia with Brian when his software design took off. They’re overjoyed to receive letters from her with an invitation to a reunion in Santorini, and each girl knows that it’s been far too long since she’s spent time with her best friends.

**Spoiler Alert! If you intend to read this book, stop here. I tried to write this review multiple times, but found it impossible to discuss some of the themes without revealing this one important plot point**- One of the girls dies tragically early in the story, and a letter she leaves behind indicates that her death was not an accident.

I admit to getting pissed off at Ms Brashares at that point. How could she possibly continue the story after making a plot choice like that?! And why create such seemingly unnecessary drama in something that was supposed to be a “light” read full of friendship and love?

Trust me, she has her reasons.

The tragedy forces each of the characters to deal with grief in her own way. For one, it’s running off the rails and once again coming to terms with the sadness in her own past. For one, it’s throwing herself into planning a wedding she doesn’t necessarily want. For the last, it’s cocooning herself even further into the solitude she’s cloaked herself in, to the point of pushing away anyone who would try to help her.

Rather than pulling the girls closer together, their sadness drives them apart. Each feels that trying to cope in the presence of the others would magnify her own sadness, and each blames herself for the loss of one of them.

I know, I’m making this sound like a real downer, but trust me, it is a gorgeous book and a very fitting end to the story of the Septembers. It’s a lovely examination of the ruts that we can fall into in life, and that the people we allow ourselves to become are not necessarily who we truly are. There’s just enough magic to remind the reader of the Pants, without being corny, and returning to this group of characters (all of them. Even Effie.) was reminiscent of visiting with old friends.

If you’ve read any of the story to this point, you absolutely must read this book. I read most of it in one day, and was sad to turn the last page. Could it be called too sappy? Possibly. Consider it a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, or raw cookie dough. Sometimes, you just need some sweetness.

Four and a half fireflies.

TxtingMrDarcy Reads: “Tick, Tick, BOOM!” Edition

“Ashfall”~ Mike Mullin

Plot Summary (From Amazon):

Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying supervolcano. It has erupted three times in the last 2.1 million years, and it will erupt again, changing the Earth forever.

Fifteen-year-old Alex is home alone when the supervolcano erupts. His town collapses into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence, forcing him to flee. He begins a harrowing trek in search of his parents and sister, who were visiting relatives 140 miles away.

Along the way, Alex struggles through a landscape transformed by more than a foot of ash. The disaster brings out the best and worst in people desperate for food, clean water, and shelter. When an escaped convict injures Alex, he searches for a sheltered place where he can wait–to heal or to die. Instead, he finds Darla. Together, they fight to achieve a nearly impossible goal: surviving the supervolcano.

Soundtrack: “Winter Song”~ Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

 I know, you’re thinking “WHA?!” But the repeating theme of this song, more than anything is “Is Love Alive?” What’s more fitting for Alex’s tale, in search of his parents and finding allies in unexpected places?

This is probably the first time I’ve bought a book entirely based on how likable the author is, but it certainly won’t be the last. I read a charming post about Mike Mullin hanging out with the ladies of Forever Young Adult, and decided that I needed to know more about his writing. Even his author biography hooked me, and I added Ashfall to my extensive to-read list.

Like Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Ashfall deals with an intensely plausible catastrophic event that changes the way the world exists as we know it. In this case, the eruption of the supervolcano beneath Yellowstone (which, YES, does exist and YES has erupted before) causes mass destruction and throws the United States into chaos.

Alex is a typical teenager, testing his limits in every way possible and eschewing family trips in favor of spending days playing World of Warcraft. When his home and town are decimated by the explosion of the volcano, he realizes that nothing is more important than being with his family, no matter what the cost.

His journey to get there brings him in contact with both the bad and good in humanity in startling ways. Mike Mullin has fascinating answers to whether the “system” we have in place in the even of a cataclysmic event would really serve us, or if humanity itself is too flawed to survive. In a notable quote, Alex remarks, “The volcano had taken our homes, our food, our automobiles and our airplanes, but it hadn’t taken our humanity. No, we’d given that up on our own.” (p. 344)

Part of what makes this story so effective is how believable it is, from the plausibility of an unexpected volcanic explosion to the survival tactics of some of the people that Alex comes across during his time on the road. He meets all types, from the quietly generous to the terrifying, and each character feels completely authentic.

Alex’s evolution over the course of the story, from a sulky teenager to a self-reliant young man is fascinating. His background in taekwondo doesn’t hurt, of course, but his survival instincts are dead on and he’s the type of character you’d definitely want on your side in a pinch.

Likewise, Darla is a total fireball. What Alex lacks in certain areas, she more than makes up for in her mechanical knowledge and moxie. In spite of both of them being violently thrown into adulthood, these two are a compelling team and I couldn’t wait to see how they were going to meet their next challenge. From violent gangs, to personal tragedy, to a dismal “aid camp,” I spent the whole book rooting for them to come out on top. Even though this is the first book in a series(?), the ending is satisfying and the story contained.

Four out of Five pieces of corn pone.

TxtingMrDarcy Reads: “Pass The Tissues” Edition

Plot Summary (From Amazon): Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Soundtrack: “Keep Breathing”- Ingrid Michaelson

Some of the very best books that I’ve ever read are the ones which have moved me to tears. I count them among my favorites, and take them out ever so often to lovingly revisit the characters that have become like dear friends. With a subject matter like this, there was no question that “The Fault in Our Stars” was going to be moving story. Even as I saw the positive reviews pouring out across the web, I had very little concept of just how moving.

Last night, as I was reading, the tears started approximately halfway through the book. And they just. didn’t. stop.

I finished this novel with a lump in my throat, and ache in my heart and a smile on my face. Really, what else can you ask of a great story? Even today, attempting to write a review, I feel internally scraped raw somehow. As if, after bearing witness to the lives of these fictional young people, I grieve with and for them.

I was initially tentative as I started to read, this being my first book by John Green, and was worried by the fact that Hazel and Augustus are dry, witty, and oh-so-adult. “I don’t know if this is for me,” the little voice in the back of my head. “I was hoping for so much more from this story than ‘Juno’ + cancer.” Then suddenly? It didn’t bother me. Of course these young people had a wisdom beyond their years. How else could they possibly be? They were grappling with the thought of immortality while other teenagers were concerned with sports, shopping, and dating.

John Green looks unflinchingly at Cancer with a capital C- from the physical pain and mental state of an ill person to the impact that it has on those who know and love them. Hazel compares herself at one point to a grenade- everyone is just waiting for her to explode, leaving shards of herself behind imbedded in the hearts of those who knew her. She wants to be known as MORE than “that girl with cancer,” or “a fighter,” but someone who had a real impact. It is in this aspect that she and Augustus find common ground, and begin a tentative relationship. Tentative, that is, on Hazel’s part, because she doesn’t want him to be another of the people affected when she passes.

It seems fitting to me somehow that I should have finished this book right after Joel Stein’s New York Times piece “Adults Should Read Adult Books”.  While I understand the point that he’s trying to make (As adults, we have few opportunities to continue enriching ourselves and books are one of our few chances to do so…which now that I think about it, I don’t entirely agree with either. I’m constantly trying new things, whether it’s a new hobby, a new recipe, pushing myself to learn a particularly tricky rhythm in a choral piece- all of those things offer growth opportunities as well.), I feel that there are certain pieces of literature that transcend age barriers. THIS is one of those books. It’s by no means a dumbed-down book- from the author’s language to the characters’ understanding of literary concepts, to the inevitable reaction that it evokes in the reader.

It takes a great deal for me to add a book to my “treasured” shelf, and “The Fault in our Stars” now occupies a place there. If you read nothing else this spring, make sure that you pick up this gorgeous novel.

A Bittersweet Farewell: The Honeymoon, The Final Frontier

When I started writing about our honeymoon over a month ago, I had no idea that it would take me so long or consist of so many entries. In retrospect, I should have been prepared to write pages and pages about an experience that was so incredibly rich and special. While we were lucky enough to have five whole days in Ireland (the first of which was basically decimated by jetlag), a part of me can’t help but wonder what other amazing things we’d have done if we only had more time, or if I hadn’t been battling the ominous Foot Injury of Doom.

Army Boy and I made a promise to each other that we WILL go back. A hopeful part of that promise is “before kids,” but we’ll just have to see what life throws us in the next year or so. In a perfect world, there would be new jobs and home improvements would miraculously NOT eat up all our potential extra funds… but for now we’ll wait and see.

Predictably, we slept late after our day spent outside exploring Kylemore Abbey and hiking to the D’Arcy monument. We managed to pull ourselves out of bed, groaning for coffee like a pair of neglected zombies, and stumble to the dining room in time for breakfast. While we didn’t have a set agenda for the day, we at least had to make it into town for a: a real Pint in an Irish pub and b: to buy MOAR of the Things!

After my successful trip out the day before, I felt confident that we’d be able to walk into town without too much trouble for me. The distance really WAS short enough that I could handle it with Das Boot. I grabbed the camera and we hiked down through the gardens of the hotel to get some pictures of the gorgeous property.

Our first stop once we reached down was the jewelry stop from our first day. A ring had caught Army Boy’s eye, and he was on a mission to make sure it became his. Unfortunately, there was one thing that we weren’t counting on- in addition to having a more relaxed opening/closing schedule than shops in the US, some stores actually observed the “day of rest” and weren’t open at all on Sunday!

At that point, we actually needed our umbrellas for the first time since we’d arrived- the weather had determined to set our itinerary for us, and we ducked into an open pub to have some lunch, get our pints and get out of the rain. Nothing’s better with a beer than fish and chips, and that’s what we both decided to enjoy. All of the rumors are true- Guiness is FAR better in Ireland than anywhere else. It’s practically a meal in itself, and finishing mine was a challenge. One I was more than willing to accept, of course.

Unsure of the Sunday hours of the other local shops, we decided to make our priority getting the whiskey that we’d promised to family back home. We stood in the liquor aisle, surveying the impressive selection of whiskeys, and realizing that we hadn’t the faintest clue which of them were actually any good. I decided to avoid any of the names that I was familiar with back in the US, so my first pick was a bottle of Crested Ten. It’s made by Jameson’s (yes, THAT Jameson), but you can’t get that particular variety over here.

After that, we were stumped. I hit on the bright idea of asking one of our fellow shoppers for recommendations- a trick that’s worked well for me in the past while traveling. If the locals enjoy a certain place/shop/food it’s probably going to be good. I looked up at the tall gentlemen browsing to my right, and inquired as to whether they had a particular favorite whiskey.

You would think that browsing in an Irish store, looking at the Irish whiskey while standing next to gentlemen with accents would guarantee you an Irish recommendation. I’m ashamed to admit that the sweet young man smiled and said, “I’m sorry Miss, we’re from Holland.” Diction-recognition FAIL. We ended up grabbing a bottle of Jameson’s 12-Year Reserve and another of Connemara (this one WAS recommended by a local) before heading to the supermarket for MY last shopping requirement.

We’d made fantastic work of our stash of Cadbury, and I’d managed to narrow down the choices of treats we’d be bringing home. I adored the Crunchie bars, and something about the simple sweet Dairy Milk Buttons made them a perfect treat. The thing I didn’t get nearly enough of?? Lemons Iced Caramels. Oh good lord, they’re amazing. Chewy soft caramel surrounded by a crispy icing shell?! So far, I haven’t had luck at finding a way to get them over to the states yet, but I’m still trying. And by “over to the states” I mean “in my face,” because I’m selfish like that.

A check of the time revealed that the day was getting away from us far too quickly, and we took the scenic route back up to the castle to finished our packing for the next day. Our 7am flight out of Shannon would demand that we leave the hotel at the ungodly hour of 3:30 in the morning (10:30pm EST) to make the drive from Clifden. Our evening’s activities would have to be greatly abbreviated, in order to go to bed and try to get a little sleep.

I’d decided ahead of time that for our last dinner in Ireland, I was going to ditch the flats and dress up for a nice dinner with my new husband. Regardless of how silly it might look to wear a dress (and hose, we were in the British Isles and if it’s good enough for Princess Kate, it’s good enough for me!) with Das Boot, I didn’t want to miss the chance. Even the universe was against me, as the hair dryer in the room (my last resort after frying my adapter and hair straightener on day one) blew, leaving me with a wet tangled mess of hair that was more fit for Connemara ponies to chew than a nice evening. Fortunately, the wonderful front desk staff came to our rescue and I was back in business in no time.

A short time later, we were seated in the dimly lit dining room, at a table for two by the window. Outside, we could see the Irish flag waving in the light drizzle that had rolled in with the evening. As we ordered our first course, I looked around the room that had become so familiar in a short time and felt a lump start to form in my throat. I forced myself to keep it together, but was barely able to hold back the tears as I realized the end of our adventure was so close at hand. After a few short hours rest, we’d be back to life and reality. The months of planning, work, stress and laughs had all boiled down to the last two incredible weeks, and it was…. Over??

Thanks to my internet reading, I knew it was perfectly normal to have a post-wedding “crash,” but I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be over prosciutto-wrapped melon in the hotel dining room. Or sitting in first class on the flight home the next day. (I should have known better than to watch “My Sister’s Keeper.” What a loon.) Army boy, who was sleeping like a baby in the amazingly comfortable seats, missed it all. There are not enough tissues in those little purse packs. For real.

We stopped at the front desk at the way back from dinner to settle our account, knowing that doing so at 3am was going to be out of the question. Returning to our room, with the suitcases neatly grouped and ready for our early morning departure, I couldn’t believe everything we’d gotten to see and do in our time in Ireland. We forced ourselves to bed, knowing that our alarm would ring all too early, and we’d have an “interesting” drive through the night to Shannon.

I wish that I had more memory of that drive to report, but the thing that I recall most is laughing hysterically. The wee hours of the morning lend even the most mundane task (driving) an edge of the manic that kept bubbling over in both of us at the slightest opportunity. Of course, it didn’t help that the night was dark and misty, and we were relying on our gps and the glow of our headlights to find our way. The Irish countryside at night is dark in a way that is difficult to find here, and the windy roads even more treacherous than by the light of day. You can only imagine our surprise when we came around a corner to find white cottony clouds blocking our way, especially when those clouds stared at our car and let out bleats of alarm.

“SHEEP! SHEEP IN THE ROAD!!” I cried out before I could stop myself, and then burst into giggles.

“WAH!” was Army Boy’s only response as he slowed and was able to maneuver around the unruly flock.

Just as we’d managed to calm ourselves from the sheep incident, we entered the Galway city limits, and began to navigate the series of six or so roundabouts that would point us toward Shannon. I don’t think that a GPS has ever taken such blistering verbal abuse as ours did that evening, but I comfort myself in the knowledge that they haven’t quite reached an A.I. level of intelligence.

The last moment of levity came as we merged onto a newer highway, and our dear friend the GPS wasn’t familiar with the road. She furiously attempted to “recalculate” over and over, landing our little electronic representation in fields and bogs before finally settling on guiding us along some train tracks.

“You are NOT a train,” I intoned in the dry British accent she used to express her displeasure with us, leading us both to ridiculous fits of laughter. All the excitement served only to tire us more, making our eventual exhausted sleep on the flight home that much more inevitable. Not SO inevitable that we couldn’t grab one last bottle of whiskey at the duty-free in the airport, but just about.

We pulled into the rental car parking as the first light of dawn streaked the sky pink, and solemnly loaded our luggage into the shuttle to the terminal. We had 22 hours of travel ahead of us before we’d pull into the sleepy train station in Central PA, complete with turbulence, flight delays and one more round of Crumbs cupcakes. By the time we entered our quiet house, on our darkened street, we couldn’t have been happier to be home.

Recent Reads: Why It’s Been Quiet Over Here

Immediately after finishing PWNED, I headed back to attack the other novels that I’d brought on the honeymoon. The first one I decided to tackle was George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones.” I’d heard a lot of hype about the HBO series and the recent release of the fifth book, “A Dance with Dragons.” Of course, anyone that’s read “Game of Thrones” knows that that sucker clocks in at just over 800 pages, and each of the subsequent installments is just as hefty.

I’m loving it to death (it’s totally “Lord of the Rings” + Sex)(And the characters, zomg!), and speeding to the end, but the recent holiday excitement has been limiting my reading time. I did make sure to ask Santa for some more installments in Martin’s saga, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that he’ll allow me to stay in Westeros for a while longer.

In addition to “Game,” I’ve got some other great reads staring me impatiently in the face. For starters, there are four books in Jean Auel’s “Earth’s Children” series just waiting for me to witniss some prehistoric lovin’.

Next in line is the new Jane Green novel “Another Piece of my Heart,” which I was lucky enough to grab an advance copy of through Goodreads. Jane Green is the one who really turned me on to reading chick lit back in 2003 while I was working at the library and happened to check out a copy of “Jemima J.” Since then, I’ve been following her releases eagerly. This one is shaping up to be a doozy, so I can’t wait to get a review posted.

I was thrilled to get a text from Army Boy on Friday letting me know that my Secret Santa/Fairy Bookmother Angela had struck again, sending me another totally awesome surprise package. Look, look!!

Why yes, that IS an autographed edition of “Clockwork Prince,” second book in the “Infernal Devices” trilogy. I’m eager to see what happened after the tense conclusion of the first novel, and return to some angsty Shadowhunter action.

In short, I’ve got a TON of great reads on my shelf, and am eager to get to each and every one of them! I’m not neglecting the “Reads” part of my blog in favor of honeymoon tales, I’m just making sure that I have LOTS of material. Stay tuned!