It’s Sunday! What are you reading this week?

Happy Sunday! Here it is going to be a hot one again. I am reading Christmas books today and just couldn’t get into it. So I lit a Pine candle and now the house smells like a Christmas Tree and the reading is rolling along just fine.

Today is also my little munchkin Corbins fifth birthday! So this afternoon and into the night we will be celebrating him out at GiGi’s house in the country. With all the cousins and Aunts and Uncles. And of course, Spiderman! This little boy brings me more joy than I ever thought possible. He has the most incredible imagination and you are likely to find us wearing capes and running in the yard being superheroes or having chocolate milk mocktinis at tea time.

Like me, he is a solitary soul. He is totally happy playing by himself and making up stories about fairies or super heroes.

Happy Birthday my darling boy. I love you to the moon and back!

xx Patricia

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Life, Miracles and an Eye Update!

The saying above is so very true. Life is a series of thousands of tiny miracles. And we should be noticing them. Being mindful, being engaged with the moment you are in and not thinking ahead to what’s next.

June 28 was a year since I woke up with a corneal ulcer and totally blind in one eye. When we finally got it uninfected, I had to wait while the thing healed. Then the end of February I had surgery to remove the scarring and the cornea and have a transplant.

2 months ago I had 2 stitches taken out. I didn’t see or feel anything then. Yesterday I spent hours with different cameras taking pictures of the little fellow clinging to my eyeball and the 14 stitches left holding it in place. And then my surgeon took one more out. This time I saw all of the equipment and I was amazed how tiny scissors and a needle can be! I’m progressing very well. My vision in that eye is still wonky but improves a few days after these stitch removals. Not as in good enough to drive or anything like that, but it’s improving. Now we shall start removing them every 6 weeks and then I’ll have another surgery.

My surgeon asked me what this past year has been like for me. Scary, full of anxiety, a lot of whining and moaning dramatically. But I also don’t rely on my sight completely anymore. My sense of smell and awareness of the things around me are heightened. I am extremely mindful of every thing I do. What the people around me are doing. I do one thing at a time. I let people help me. Pride has gone who knows where.

While my husband has to leave the room for every procedure as he is squeamish, my doctor and I do a lot of talking. About books, tea, especially tea. And yesterday he said,” You know through this whole thing, you’ve never complained to me. Never said no to me. You sit still as a statue and let us hurt you and learn from you and you never say a word. How do you do that?”  Me: “I trust you”. And that is the truth. I trust this man who is the best in his field. It’s just that simple. I trust him and the gratitude I feel for him and his residents is enormous. I have had tiny miracles every step of the way. When things should have gone bad from the beginning, they didn’t. When I had no idea how I was going to come up with $30,000.00 up front for the surgery, it just showed up in my mailbox the day before Christmas Eve.

Today will be a rather uncomfortable day but that’s to be expected. I’ll still be able to read because I have one good eye. And that’s more than some people have. Notice the tiny miracles around you. Seek them out. Make them happen.

Thank you all for supporting me on this journey. Now, go be someone’s miracle worker!

xx Patricia

Congratulations on Release Day!

I had 6 books that released today. Here they are!

Lies She Told: A Novel by [Holahan, Cate]  Odd & True by [Winters, Cat]  Chickadee Chickadee Bang Bang (A Bird Lover's Mystery) by [Ripley, J.R.]

Enigma (An FBI Thriller Book 21) by [Coulter, Catherine] Something Like Family by [Burch, Heather] In It For The Money (A Blu Carraway Mystery Book 1) by [Burnsworth, David]

All worthy of a read. You can catch my reviews on the website.

Congratulations to you all! It was a pleasure to read them all!

xx Patricia, Book,Books and More Books

Something Like Family by Heather Burch

Something Like Family

Abandoned by his mother when he was young, twenty-two-year-old Rave Wayne knows all about loss. That doesn’t mean he’s used to it. After he’s dumped by the girlfriend he assumed he’d spend his life with, Rave is longing more than ever to connect.

Then, as if by miracle, he receives an invitation from his grandfather, a man he thought was long gone, to come for a visit in rural Tennessee. Loyal, honest, and loving, dear old Tuck is everything Rave could have hoped for. He’s family. Soon, Rave finds himself falling for a down-to-earth local girl, and he thinks his life is finally coming together.

But the past isn’t through with Rave. When his mother returns after many long years, looking to reconcile the terrible mistakes that once defined her, Rave struggles to put together the unsettled pieces of his heart. Will this once-estranged family be able to come together to understand the meaning of unconditional love, the fragile bonds of family, and the healing power of letting go?

This is a beautiful book. So well written it involves every emotion you can think of!

None of these characters are perfect. They are all flawed in some way exactly like most families. A story of love, hope, courage and forgiveness. It shows us that what we believe isn’t always the truth. The truth is always more complicated.

Doing the right thing is sometimes the hardest thing to do. But it usually turns out to be the best thing.

Heather Burch is a storyteller of the best kind. From the first page to the last you cry, laugh, mourn and feel every emotion her characters feel. I don’t know how she does it but I’m awfully glad she does!

This book will be released on September 12, 2017 by Lake Union Publishing.  Netgalley

Sing, Unburied,Sing A Novel by Jesmyn Ward Release Day Congratulation!

Sing, Unburied, Sing

From National Book Award-winner for Salvage The Bones, Jesmyn Ward brings us this look at a place that I am very familiar with. The Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Ms. Ward uses language that pulls you in and makes you see, makes you feel. What an amazing gift she has!

Jojo, who is 13 and his toddler sister, Kayla and Leonie, their drug addicted mother live with Mam and Pop on a farm along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Mam is dying of cancer and Leonie is rarely there. She spends most of her time getting high and talking to her dead brother. She is about as unfit to be a mother as the yard dog.

Their father, Michael is currently a guest of the state, at Parchman. Parchman is not a place anyone would go willingly. For years mothers have used it as a way to keep teenagers in line. Just a drive by and you know it’s not a good place. Michael is also white, while Leonie and her parents are black. His family wants nothing to do with Leonie or their grandchildren. But Leonie loves him even though his own family killed her brother and covered up the murder.

When Michael is released from Parchman, Leonie takes the children and her best friend and heads north to pick him up. And on the trip back, it looks like Michael wasn’t’ the only one to get in the car with them. Richie, a spirit, has hitched a ride. He knows Jojo can lead him to Pops and he needs to know what happened to him in Parchman and how he died.

This portrait of Mississippi past and present is one of the most moving, raw, and beautiful stories I have read. Being from the Gulf Coast and knowing The Kill, their claim to fame being the home of Brett Favre and an odd bar with bras on the ceiling, this book made me cry, it actually was painful to read some parts because the author is so brutally honest about a subject few talk about. At least not in Mississippi.

You can pretty it up on the outside, but at the core, it’s still goes on everyday, the racism, the sense that they aren’t as good.

This story of loss, and family and prejudice was heart wrenching. The strength of the characters enduring burdens they should never have had to bear. There is no fairness, no equality, no respect for another human being, and yet they all endure. They keep moving.

Pops was my favorite character in this novel. The way he quietly took what ever came his way and made the best of it. Besides Leonie, the rest of the family never complained, whined or bucked the system in place. They just put their heads down and did what needed to be done.

Thank You to Netgalley and Scribner for this beautiful novel.

 

BORED AND BRILLIANT: How Spacing Out Can Unlock your Most Productive & Creative Self by Manoush Zomorodi

Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive & Creative Self

Has your smartphone become your BFF? Do you feel bored when you’re not checking Facebook or Instagram? Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self explains the connection between boredom and original thinking, and explores how we can harness boredom’s hidden benefits to become our most productive selves.

In 2015, WNYC Studio’s ‘Note To Self’ host Manoush Zomorodi led thousands of her listeners through a week of experiments designed to help them reassess their technology habits, unplug for part of each week and jumpstart their creativity. Throughout the book are a series of challenges that will help readers rethink their relationship to their devices without completely leaving the digital world.

Zomorodi also explores why putting greater emphasis on “doing nothing” is vital in an age of constant notifications and digital distractions. She speaks with neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists about “mind wandering”–what our brains do when we’re doing nothing at all, and the link between boredom and creativity.

Bored and Brilliant is about living smarter and better within a digital world. Technology isn’t going anywhere, and who would want it to? Bored and Brilliant teaches us how to align our gadget use with what we hold dear and true, and find equilibrium in this new digital ecosystem.

Thinking you may be spending way too much time on your Smartphone? I think it’s safe to say most of us are!

In 2015, the author led 20,000 listeners of her show on NPR, through 7 challenges which she shares with us in this book. They aren’t difficult but they are very eye-opening.

The book doesn’t bash technology, but emphasizes the human aspect of everyday life and the need for mind wandering, daydreaming if you will and the creative and productive results of doing so. It’s about balance.

Excellent read and a very good radio show!

Netgalley/St. Martin’s Press   Release September 05, 2017

September is giving us some seriously good books! Here are just a few!

Sing, Unburied, Sing  A searing and profound Southern odyssey by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward.

Lie to Me  They built a life on lies 

 

A Murder Too Soon: A Tudor Mystery  Jack Blackjack is ordered to eliminate a spy in Princess Elizabeth’s household in this engaging Tudor mystery. 

Odd & True   Hunting Monsters!

Protocol (A Maggie O'Malley Mystery #1) “A page-turner! Smart, fast-paced and surprising.” – Hank Phillippi Ryan, Mary Higgins Clark Award-Winner, Author of Say No More

These are just a few of the many books coming out in September! I think I have a total of 20 reviewed. The first one Sing, Unburied, Sing was a difficult book for me to read. The truth often is. It is set in a place in Mississippi that I am very familiar with and know these things to be true. Ms. Ward is an amazing writer!

Have a good Saturday. Luckily, we only had leaks and line back ups to deal with up  here yesterday. But our hearts were with everyone in Texas and we will continue to keep you right there, close to us.