Sunday Post 66 | Staycation and Valentine’s Day

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After a rough week last week, hubby and I did a Staycation for a long weekend ending with Valentine’s Day. Sometimes a Staycation can be even better than a vacation because you don’t have to travel, you get to sleep in your own bed, and you know all the best places to order food…yay for DoorDash who brings us food even from nice restaurants, not just fast food.

On Valentine’s Day, we enjoyed a relaxing day and had my favorite “bad for me” lunch which is a strawberry milkshake and an order of French fries. I’ve always loved that combination. And then after a luxurious nap in the afternoon, we showed up for our reservation at our favorite restaurant for dinner. It was busy but since it is reservation only, it was a manageable busy and not at all overwhelming.

The rest of the week played off of the high of easing into normalcy and was very productive. I managed to finish our taxes and reserved a condo overlooking the beach for a week in May. Not bad for a week’s work.❤️

from NetGalley

St. Martins Press Mystery/Thriller (YA)
Arlee Gold has always lived in the shadow of her successful mom; even after everything Arlee’s been through, her mother still expects nothing but the best. In an effort to get her daughter back on track after a less-than-stellar few school years, she’s enrolled Arlee as a legacy at Camp Rockaway, an elite college prep summer camp deep in the North Carolina wilderness. On her own for the first time and buzzing with anxiety, Arlee is intimidated by the camp’s shiny exterior, suffocated by the relentless, thick summer heat…and tormented by the ceaseless stream of crawling, slimy, flapping bugs that seem to come straight from her nightmares. In the midst of her brewing dread, Arlee is relieved to find a queer sanctuary in her bunkmates, and is especially drawn to Winnie, the enigmatic girl who sleeps in the bunk above her. Except Arlee starts to notice whispers in her wake, and how so many others recoil from her as if she were as creepy as the insects that terrify her. Struggling in her prep classes and feeling increasingly paranoid, Arlee can no longer suppress her panicked “glitches.” Winnie, too, seems to become wary, and Arlee’s worst fear is confirmed: even here, in the place her mother promised was “going to change everything,” she’s been found out as a freak. Just as she’s facing a summer completely alone, another rising junior slips her a mysterious invitation, and Arlee finds herself caught up in a secret society that expects its sisterhood to protect each other from any and all who would harm them—by any means necessary. Here, finally, Arlee feels like a part of something bigger, something that matters. Guided by their cunning leader, Lisha, a rising senior with a smile sharp enough to cut bone, the sisterhood will stand against any threat, unquestioningly. But when Winnie is put in grave danger, Arlee is forced to confront just how far her sisters will go, and whether they truly protect the girls.
St. Martin’s Press Contemporary (YA)
Georgiana Darcy gets the Pride & Prejudice retelling she deserves in Amanda Quain’s Accomplished, a sparkling contemporary YA featuring a healthy dose of marching band romance, endless banter, and Charles Bingley as a ripped frat boy. It is a truth universally acknowledged that Georgiana Darcy should have been expelled after The Incident with Wickham Foster last year – at least if you ask any of her Pemberley Academy classmates. She may have escaped expulsion because of her family name, but she didn’t escape the disappointment of her big brother Fitz, the scorn of the entire school, or, it turns out, Wickham’s influence. But she’s back for her junior year, and she needs to prove to everyone – Fitz, Wickham, her former friends, and maybe even herself – that she’s more than just an embarrassment to the family name. How hard can it be to become the Perfect Darcy? All she has to do is: – Rebuild her reputation with the marching band (even if it kills her) – Forget about Wickham and his lies (no matter how tempting they still are), and – Distract Fitz Darcy — helicopter-sibling extraordinaire — by getting him to fall in love with his classmate, Lizzie Bennet (this one might be difficult…) Sure, it’s a complicated plan, but so is being a Darcy. With the help of her fellow bandmate, Avery, matchmaking ideas lifted straight from her favorite fanfics, and a whole lot of pancakes, Georgie is going to see every one of her plans through. But when the weight of being the Perfect Darcy comes crashing down, Georgie will have to find her own way before she loses everything permanently—including the one guy who sees her for who she really is.
MCD Publishers Domestic_Thriller
You think you know a person . . . Ariel Price wakes up in Lisbon, alone. Her husband is gone—no warning, no note, not answering his phone. Something is wrong. She starts with hotel security, then the police, then the American embassy, at each confronting questions she can’t fully answer: What exactly is John doing in Lisbon? Why would he drag her along on his business trip? Who would want to harm him? And why does Ariel know so little about her new—much younger—husband? The clock is ticking. Ariel is increasingly frustrated and desperate, running out of time, and the one person in the world who can help is the one person she least wants to ask. With sparkling prose and razor-sharp insights, bestselling author Chris Pavone delivers a stunning and sophisticated international thriller that will linger long after the surprising final page.
Random House – Ballantine Fantasy/Mythology
Twins imbued with incredible magic and near immortality will do anything to keep their family safe—even if it tears the siblings apart—in the first book of a mythic epic fantasy duology from the New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls. ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—BookPage Rhea and her twin brother, Lexos, have spent an eternity using cunning and magic to help rule their small, unstable country. Rhea controls the seasons to show favor to their most loyal stewards with bountiful harvests and short winters, while Lexos keeps the tides strong and impassable to maintain the country’s borders. Reigning over them both is their father, who holds dominion over death, using his most powerful weapon—fear—to keep the people, and his children, in line. For a hundred years, Rhea and Lexos have been each other’s only ally, defending themselves and their younger siblings against their father’s increasingly unpredictable anger while also trying to keep up the appearance of unity and prosperity within their borders. Now, with an independence movement gaining ground, other nations jockeying for power, and their father’s iron grip weakening, the twins must take matters into their own hands to keep the world from crashing down around them. But as Rhea and Lexos travel beyond the security of their home to try to save their family, they begin to draw very different conclusions about their father’s style of rule. And if the siblings aren’t careful, they’ll end up facing each other on the battlefield. In a Garden Burning Gold is a captivating saga of love and legacy that explores the limits of power and the bonds of family—and how far both can be bent before they break.
Flat Iron Books Fantasy/Mythology
A spellbinding reimagining of the story of Elektra, one of Greek mythology’s most infamous heroines, from Jennifer Saint, the author of the beloved international bestseller, Ariadne. Three women, tangled in an ancient curse. When Clytemnestra marries Agamemnon, she ignores the insidious whispers about his family line, the House of Atreus. But when, on the eve of the Trojan War, Agamemnon betrays Clytemnestra in the most unimaginable way, she must confront the curse that has long ravaged their family. In Troy, Princess Cassandra has the gift of prophecy, but carries a curse of her own: no one will ever believe what she sees. When she is shown what will happen to her beloved city when Agamemnon and his army arrives, she is powerless to stop the tragedy from unfolding. Elektra, Clytemnestra and Agamemnon’s youngest daughter, wants only for her beloved father to return home from war. But can she escape her family’s bloody history, or is her destiny bound by violence, too?

We finished watching The Book of Boba Fett on Disney+ this week. The last 3 episodes were wonderful. I started to watch Star Trek Discovery’s new season on Paramount+ but got distracted by The In Between – a new movie out whose trailer reminded me of a book I read not long ago called You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao.

  • Monday, February 14: Mini Book Reviews of Bright Ruined Things by Samantha Cahoe and Reclaim the Stars (collection of short stories) (Both are YA Fantasy and 4-stars)
  • Tuesday, February 15: Book Review of Mickey7 by Edward Ashton (SciFy – 5-stars)
  • Wednesday, February 16: WWW Wednesday
  • Thursday, February 17: Book Review of The End of Getting Lost by Robin Kirman (Psychological Thriller/Suspense – 4-stars)
  • Friday, February 18: Book Blogger Hop
  • Monday, February 21: Mini Book Reviews of Edgewood by Kristen Ciccarelli (YA Fantasy) and The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart (SciFy Thriller)
  • Tuesday, February 22: Blog Tour Book Review of The Trap by Evie Hunter (Psychological Thriller)
  • Wednesday, February 23: WWW Wednesday
  • Thursday, February 24: Book Review of The Night Shift by Alex Finlay (Mystery/Thriller)
  • Friday, February 25: Book Blogger Hop

How was your week – bookish or otherwise?

34 Replies to “Sunday Post 66 | Staycation and Valentine’s Day”

  1. It’s so lovely that your had a staycation, sometimes the ‘bad for me’ meals are just what I need 😂 hope you have a great week!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your staycation sounds lovely. Restaurants didn’t generally offer takeaway services in the UK, until it was the only way to make ends meet during lockdowns here (the entertainment/hospitality sector were very badly affected). It’s so nice to enjoy the same quality food in the relaxed atmosphere of your own home.
    We’re so lucky in the UK that travelling only a hundred miles or so takes you to very different scenery and history. We’ve just enjoyed a few days in Hereford, which has to be one of the smallest and quaintest cities (population 61,000) that I’ve ever visited. It felt more like a country town to us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think New England in the US is more similar to the UK, but the Southern US has lots of land with everything far apart and what history it had burned up during the civil war for the most part.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought it looked interesting too. NetGalley sent me one of their promo emails about it, so I requested it and pretty quickly got an approval. Can’t wait to give Pavone a try.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I keep meaning to watch Boba Fett. My son and his friend (who lives with us) will watch it with us. A staycation sounds great, and I must admit there is nothing better than getting home and sleeping in your own bed. I’m reading Evil Intent and will post a review when I’ve finished. I’ve also bought Summer on a Sunny Island. That will be my next read.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can’t wait for that view! I usually alternate years between a condo with oceanfront views and a house with a pool that’s in easy walking distance to the beach because the houses that are oceanfront with a pool are crazy big and crazy expensive.


      1. We haven’t been away for a couple of years (thanks covid!) so we are doing 2 this year. Only in England but 1 with my extended family (there’s 20 of us) and another with just me, my son and my parents ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Your staycation sounds wonderful. And that condo view is gorgeous, your trip in May sounds great. Accomplished looks great, I’m going to check that one out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like a great staycation, Tessa, and your travel plans for May look wonderful. The book In a Garden Burning Gold has such a gorgeous cover! Elektra sounds really good too. Thanks for sharing your week and your haul. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am so pleased to hear your enjoyed your much-needed and well-deserved staycation after your busy start to the year and a rough week. I am also looking forward to a quiet, restful upcoming week, as it is the school’s half-term break. My last week was a blur of work, sleep and stormy weather. When I wasn’t too tired, I have been re-reading Eldest by Christopher Paolini and watching Sky’s new true crime series, Murder in the Valleys. Take care and happy reading in the coming week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Milkshakes, fries and afternoon naps!? Sounds like a dream! 😍 I do love a good staycation and it sounds like you had a great one. That view from your rental in May looks stunning as well! I haven’t heard of any of these books that you’ve recently added but I am loving the look of all of them. Will defo have to check some of them out. I hope you have a great week ahead, Tessa!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Once again, we got some of the same books. Loving that ocean view – something to look forward to. Boba Fett is on my list – I’m nearly halfway through season 2 of The Witcher.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Boba Fett starts slow but with episode 5, I think, it really picks up and we loved it from that point on. I finished The Witcher a few weeks ago and I enjoyed season 2 more than the first one. I didn’t have to FF once because of too many body parts I could do without seeing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They are the best. My husband and I both enjoyed it so much more once we got to that episode. And that’s funny that we both had Valentine’s Day milkshakes. They are so yummy 😋


  9. It sounds like you had a lovely Valentine’s day and Staycation. That condo on the beach looks wonderful, enjoy your upcoming holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

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