Sunday Post 57 | Countdown to Christmas

The Sunday Post is a weekly 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 we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

Our house is already full. My daughters came home last weekend and are home through the holidays, and my mother-in-law flew in on Monday, again for the duration of the holidays. So that’s five adults and four cats (thankfully, my MIL doesn’t have any pets). I don’t think our house has ever been this full for this length of time since we bought it after my oldest daughter went off to college. We are all working on finding our own space among the house’s three floors.

The countdown to Christmas has begun in earnest. We will be baking up a storm this week, and I have many gifts to wrap. I’m not a good wrapper, and I can never find a comfortable place to work on it.

We did get our garage mostly cleaned out yesterday, which was needed espcially this time of year. All the old deck boards had to go, plus we had all this furniture and stuff leftover from my daughters’ last move over the summer. It was hard to even move in our 2 car garage much less find anything.

I hope all of you who celebrate Christmas have a very merry holiday!

from NetGalley

From Random House – Ballantine Books

I had a wish granted from NetGalley for Dark Circles and was sent a widget for The Paradox Hotel. I think both of these books, which are coming out in 2022, sound excellent.

An embattled actress becomes entangled in a dark conspiracy at a spiritual retreat—and starts a true crime podcast to try to break the case—in this chilling novel about fame, violence, and our morbid fascination with murder, from the acclaimed author of Dead Letters. Olivia Reed needs a break. She doesn’t want to think about her name plastered on tabloids or be reminded of her recent meltdown on a Manhattan street. Her micromanaging publicist has just the thing in mind: a remote retreat in upstate New York—the House of Light. It’s not rehab; it’s a Spiritual Center, a site for seeking realignment and personal growth. There will be yoga and morning meditation, soft bamboo-blend fabrics and no shortage of crystals to cleanse her energy. But Liv will soon find that the House of Light is filled with darkness. A prickly local, Ava, informs her that something twisted is lurking behind the Light’s veneer. There have been a series of mysterious suicides committed by women caught in the Light’s web, and no matter who Ava talks to, no one believes the Center is involved. To find out what’s really happened and put her celebrity to good use, Liv starts a podcast, seeking to connect the dots and expose the Light’s true intentions. Because beneath the glowing skin of the Light’s inhabitants lie rotten souls, and Liv starts to wonder if anything—even her own life—is how it appears. Caite Dolan-Leach brings her tantalizing voice, her gift for atmosphere, and a cast of delightfully devious and absorbing characters to this riveting novel of suspense.
SciFy Thriller
An impossible crime. A detective on the edge of madness. The future of time travel at stake. From the author of The Warehouse . . . “An engrossing and thought-provoking sci-fi mystery that is also an achingly beautiful meditation on grief and the pain of lost love.”—S. A. Cosby, New York Times bestselling author of Razorblade Tears. January Cole’s job just got a whole lot harder. Not that running security at the Paradox was ever really easy. Nothing’s simple at a hotel where the ultra-wealthy tourists arrive costumed for a dozen different time periods, all eagerly waiting to catch their “flights” to the past. Or where proximity to the timeport makes the clocks run backward on occasion—and, rumor has it, allows ghosts to stroll the halls. None of that compares to the corpse in room 526. The one that seems to be both there and not there. The one that somehow only January can see. On top of that, some very important new guests have just checked in. Because the U.S. government is about to privatize time-travel technology—and the world’s most powerful people are on hand to stake their claims. January is sure the timing isn’t a coincidence. Neither are those “accidents” that start stalking their bidders. There’s a reason January can glimpse what others can’t. A reason why she’s the only one who can catch a killer who’s operating invisibly and in plain sight, all at once. But her ability is also destroying her grip on reality—and as her past, present, and future collide, she finds herself confronting not just the hotel’s dark secrets but her own. At once a dazzlingly time-twisting murder mystery and a story about grief, memory, and what it means to—literally—come face-to-face with our ghosts, The Paradox Hotel is another unforgettable speculative thrill ride from acclaimed author Rob Hart.

From St. Martin’s Press

St. Martin’s Press sent me a widget for the newest Megan Goldin book since I loved The Night Swim by her. I quickly downloaded the book, as you can imagine. And, I happened to see A Rip Through Time this week and received approval a few days later, all through NetGalley. It is my kind of story and I can’t wait to read it.

In the vein of SJ Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep and Christopher Nolan’s cult classic Memento, Megan Goldin’s Stay Awake is an electrifying novel that plays with memory and murder. Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers—a stranger who now lives in her apartment and forces her out in the cold. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing, and in its place is a bloodstained knife. That’s when she sees that her hands are covered in black pen, scribbled messages like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE. Two years ago, Liv was living with her best friend, dating a new man, and thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, the same message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing as she tries to piece together the fragments of her life. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget—permanently. A complex thriller that unfolds at a breakneck speed, Stay Awake will keep you up all night.
SciFy Thriller
In this series debut from New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, a modern-day homicide detective finds herself in Victorian Scotland—in an unfamiliar body—with a killer on the loose. May 20, 2019: Homicide detective Mallory is in Edinburgh to be with her dying grandmother. While out on a jog one evening, Mallory hears a woman in distress. She’s drawn to an alley, where she is attacked and loses consciousness. May 20, 1869: Housemaid Catriona Thomson had been enjoying a half-day off, only to be discovered that night in a lane, where she’d been strangled and left for dead . . . exactly one-hundred-and-fifty years before Mallory was strangled in the same spot. When Mallory wakes up in Catriona’s body in 1869, she must put aside her shock and adjust quickly to the reality: life as a housemaid to an undertaker in Victorian Scotland. She soon discovers that her boss, Dr. Gray, also moonlights as a medical examiner and has just taken on an intriguing case, the strangulation of a young man, similar to the attack on herself. Her only hope is that catching the murderer can lead her back to her modern life . . . before it’s too late. Outlander meets The Alienist in Kelley Armstrong’s A Rip Through Time, the first book in this utterly compelling series, mixing romance, mystery, and fantasy with thrilling results.

From different Harlequin Trade winter blog tours

This week brought to my inbox four emails of blog tours for Harlequin Trade and so many widgets. I was able to pair it down to 5 books though – 2 of which will come later, I was proud of myself that I was able to show such restraint, but to be honest – my January and Fenruary were alreay full with 3 book reviews per week so I would have been insane to take on more during those monthes.

“If you loved Big Little Lies and Little Fires Everywhere, allow me to introduce you to your next obsession. —Kim Liggett, New York Times bestselling author of The Grace Year. A tangled web of lies draws together three women in this explosive thriller of revenge, murder and shocking secrets. At an elite private school nestled in the Colorado mountains, Natalie, an office assistant, dreams of having a life like the school moms she deals with every day. Women like Brooke—a gorgeous heiress, ferociously loving mother and serial cheater—and Asha, an overprotective mom who suspects her husband of having an affair. Their fates are bound by the handsome assistant athletic director Nicholas, whom Natalie loves, Brooke wants and Asha needs. But when two bodies are carried out of the school one morning, it seems the tension between mothers and daughters, rival lovers, and the haves and have-nots has shattered the surface of this isolated, affluent town—where people stop at nothing to get what they want. Don’t miss Annie Ward’s other twisty and utterly original thriller, Beautiful Bad!
YA Fantasy
As Evenfall nears, the stakes grow ever higher for those in Faery… Banished from the Winter Court for daring to fall in love, Prince Ash achieved the impossible and journeyed to the End of the World to earn a soul and keep his vow to always stand beside Queen Meghan of the Iron Fey. Now he faces even more incomprehensible odds. Their son, King Keirran of the Forgotten, is missing. Something more ancient than the courts of Faery and more evil than anything Ash has faced in a millennium is rising as Evenfall approaches. And if Ash and his allies cannot stop it, the chaos that has begun to divide the world will shatter it for eternity. THE IRON FEY: EVENFALL: The Iron Raven / The Iron Sword
YA Fantasy
From the author of Sing Me Forgotten comes a lush new fantasy novel with an art-based magic system, romance, and murder… Myra has a gift many would kidnap, blackmail, and worse to control: she’s a portrait artist whose paintings alter people’s bodies. Guarding that secret is the only way to keep her younger sister safe now that their parents are gone. But one frigid night, the governor’s wife discovers the truth and threatens to expose Myra if she does not complete a special portrait that would resurrect the governor’s dead son. Once she arrives at the legendary stone mansion, however, it becomes clear the boy’s death was no accident. A killer stalks these halls–one disturbingly obsessed with portrait magic. Desperate to get out of the manor as quickly as possible, Myra turns to the governor’s older son for help completing the painting before the secret she spent her life concealing makes her the killer’s next victim.

From The Write Reads blog tour

MG Fantasy
The book that bites back is BACK! In the second beastly book from Jack Meggit-Phillips, the most distinctive new voice for readers of 8-12, revenge is a dish best served with a surprise … ‘Reads like a modern classic. Sharp, funny, original – I thought this was brilliant’, Sam Copeland, bestselling author of Charlie Changes into a Chicken. Once upon a very badly behaved time, 511-year-old Ebenezer kept a beast in his attic. He would feed the beast all manner of objects and creatures and in return the beast would vomit him up expensive presents. But then The Bethany arrived … Now notorious prankster Bethany, along with her new feathery friend Claudette, is determined that she and Ebenezer are going to DE-BEAST their lives and Do Good. But Bethany finds that being a notorious prankster makes it hard to get taken on for voluntary work. And Ebenezer is secretly missing the beast’s vomity gifts. And neither of them are all that sure what ‘good people’ do anyway … Then there’s Claudette, who’s not been feeling herself recently. Has she eaten something that has DISAGREED with her? The Beast and the Bethany has all the classic macabre humour of Roald Dahl with the warmth and charm of Despicable Me, finished off with a gleeful bite of Little Shop of Horrors!

The Witcher, season 2 came out Friday. We mostly enjoyed season 1, but it became kind of a joke in my household. I tend to fast forward through more sexually explicit scenes, especially if the girls are watching with us (yes, I know they are adults), and there are a lot of body parts I don’t care to stare at that get shown in this series. Needless to say, I did a lot of fast forwarding so we were wondering how much we actually did see. 😂. Hopefully, season 2 will have less nudity and sexually explicit scenes.

  • Monday, December 13: Book Review of A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw (5-stars) – psychological thriller
  • Tuesday, December 14: Blog Tour Book Review of The Girl of Dorcha Wood by Kristin Ward (3.5 stars rounded up to 4-stars) – YA Historical Fiction
  • Wednesday, December 15: WWW Wednesday
  • Thursday, December 16: Book Review of You’ll Be The Death of Me by Karen McManus (5-stars) – YA Thriller
  • Friday, December 17: Book Blogger Hop
  • Saturday, November 18: Under Lily’s Umbrella
  • Tuesday, December 21: Book Review of The Perfect Escape by Leah Konen (☀️☀️☀️☀️ – Psychological Thriller)
  • Wednesday, December 22: WWW Wednesday
  • Thursday, December 23: Book Review of The House Fire by Rosie Walker (☀️☀️☀️☀️ – Psychological Thriller)
  • Friday, December 24: Book Blogger Hop
  • Saturday, November 25: Under Lily’s Umbrella?/ Christmas

How was your week – bookish or otherwise?

35 Replies to “Sunday Post 57 | Countdown to Christmas”

  1. Wow, that’s a lot of people to get used to having under foot, I hope you’re all able to find your own space! And these books look so great! I’m really looking forward to ‘The Paradox Hotel.’
    Best of luck with the holiday chaos!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a lot of people under one roof but I hope you enjoy spending time together over the holidays 🙂 Looks like you’ve also got a lot of exciting reading coming up and I hope you enjoy all those reads!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does feel like a lot. And I agree about the books. I’m so excited to read them. ❤️


  3. The new Kelley Armstrong book makes me think of Outlander, so I can’t decide if I want to read it or not, but I do like her books. Have a wonderful holiday!
    Lisa Loves Literature

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it sounds very compelling. Now, I’m curious if I’ll think it’s like Outlander 🤔. Merry Christmas!


  4. I discovered the joy of using gift bags rather than wrapping for Christmas and in the interests of the environment, I ask that the bags be returned or reused if possible. It has slashed the time taken to prepare gifts!

    Enjoy having a full home and I’m planning on attempting the pecan recipe this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That a lot of people under one roof. My family lives too far away to gather together.

    Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like you’re going to have a fun week, Tessa! Son #2 flies in tomorrow, Son #1 will be here Wednesday, and I’ve been working like crazy to finish shopping and wrapping. We’ve got several of the same books again, lol. The Witcher has been on my list since it was released, so hopefully I’ll get there soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You must be so excited 🤗

      Oh, good. I love being able to share thoughts on the same book. I didn’t have room for the Mike Chen book though, which made me very sad. I’m going to post an excerpt of it.

      You definitely need to watch The Witcher!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I know it’s a houseful but it sounds festive!!! Have a wonderful holiday season, Tessa💜

    Okay, you got me adding books, too😏 Just put Dark Circles & Stay Awake on my shelf, of course holding out for the audio versions.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. How fun to be cooking up a storm with your daughters, Tessa. Thanks for the tip on the Witcher, season 2. I had a hard time getting into season one, but should try it again. I think we can thank GoT for all the nudity and sex. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Last year, I was more organised and had all our Christmas presents wrapped by now. I have a feeling I’ll still be busy wrapping on Friday evening! Lol!

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

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